23 April 2014

Pitt's Game Certificate for the year 1799

Fig. 1: William Pitt's Game Certificate for the year 1799

The above image is the game certificate for 'The Right honourable William Pitt of Downing Street,' dated the 4th of September 1799. [1] Pitt enjoyed hunting, and particularly shooting (or failing to shoot) partridges and pheasants. It was a common form of amusement and pastime for any 18th century gentleman. 

Pitt wasn't above joking about his poor shooting skills. In a letter Pitt sent from Walmer Castle to William Eden (1st Lord Auckland) on September 8, 1793, he writes: "The occupation of missing partridges has so completely consumed all my mornings since I have been here, that I have not had time sooner to congratulate you on the addition to your family [Eden had recently become a father again], and to assure you how happy I shall be to undertake the office of godfather." [2] 

Pitt was a bit of a jokester. I'm still trying to count up the number of godchildren he had. He was godfather to at least 8 children, if not more. As I discussed in an earlier post, Pitt requested to be a godfather for the first time at the age of 13!


1. William Pitt's Game Certificate - 1799. Kent History and Library Centre, Maidstone. Pitt MSS: U1590/S5/C51. 

2. William Pitt to Lord Auckland, Walmer Castle, September 8, 1793. Printed in: The Journal and Correspondence of William, Lord Auckland, Volume 3. (1862) London: Richard Bentley, p. 114. 

Image Credit:

Figure 1: William Pitt's Game Certificate for the year 1799. Source: Pitt Mss: U1590/S5/C51.

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