Richard Davis (1750-1825), the father of the artist, started his career as stud groom to Lord Claremont, but his wish always was to work for a hunting establishment and, after two years with a young hunting nobleman, Lord Molesworth, he entered the service of the Earl of Essex who kept a small pack of harriers and asked Davis to hunt them. Here, he had the opportunity to put his breeding theories to the test and when, seven years later, Lord Essex gave up his hunting establishment the hounds were sold at auction for higher prices than had ever been recorded. In 1789 King George III decided to form a pack of harriers and Richard Davis was selected to hunt and manage the pack. A standard of eighteen inches in height was required, the original hounds mainly coming from Lincolnshire. Davis was most successful in his hound management and in the sport he showed and remained huntsman for the entire twenty-three years of the pack's existence, 1789-1812.