The Dining Club was established by the first Lord Monson in 1732, this being some 60 years after John Monson was known to be hunting foxes in Lincolnshire. The Dinner at that time was held at the Green Man Inn on Blankney Heath, the Blankney then being a part of the original Burton Country. It is said that the then 12 members would consume with their dinner some 24 bottles of wine, port and madeira.
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In 1819, during the Mastership of Thomas Assheton-Smith we find the Club now at The White Hart in Lincoln; the rules of the Club were:
That the Club meet to dine at the White Hart on the first Tuesday in November and the first Tuesday in succeeding months, finishing with the month of April – dinner to be on the table for 6.00 o’clock – and to meet half an hour before dinner for the purpose of balloting – not less than 5 persons to form a ballot. Dinner to be provided for 16 persons at 10 shillings and six pence a head – Absentees to forfeit 5 shillings each. That the landlord be allowed one shilling for each cork drawn, that a subscription to be immediately entered into of 5 pounds for each member for the purchase of wines, port, madeira and claret. That Sir Harry Goodricke Bart., Sir Richard Sutton Bart., Henry Thorold Esq., William Miles Esq., Charles Morgan Esq., and Henry Lane Esq., be requested to undertake the regulation of the dinner and that the said Gentlemen be requested to purchase the wine as soon as the subscriptions are received and that Henry Thorold Esq., be requested to act as Treasurer.
Later references to the Club include: –
11 Nov 1928 rule abolishing the fines for non-attendance, and that each member should pay £1 towards expenses of dinner whether absent or present.
11 December 1834. Subscription increased to £10 and henceforth settled each year.
6 March 1839. Resolved that the Treasurer should again apply for the arrears due from Mr Johnson, totalling £48.10.0d and in case of no answer being received within a month, to inform him that he will no longer be considered a member of the Burton Hunt Club, and that he is requested no longer to wear their buttons.
I’m afraid there is no further reference to the hapless Mr Johnson whose expulsion from the Club was almost certain social death.
The Club sometime after this disappears from sight but was resurrected some 40 odd years ago by a committee of A W Lockwood MFH, Wing Commander Hood, Stephen Fieldsend MFH and Robert Fountain, the then Hon. Secretary of the Burton Hunt. Since then it has met every year at a number of eminent locations including Norton Place, Blyborough Hall, The Judge’s Lodgings, Hackthorn Hall and most recently at Gate Burton Hall.