Ashley Clinton Game Book

A certain item came up for sale in the Medals, Militaria & Firearms auction of Hansons Auctioneers and Valuers on 28 February 2024. It was a "rare Victorian 1863 starter year leather bound game book, which sold for £250. The catalogue description of the item noted it was an interesting and well preserved ledger-size Game Book recording game shot or taken on the Ashley Clinton Estate in [New Milton,] Hampshire from 1863 to 1873. The hand-written book records in detail the individual species of game, the participants and disposal of the quarry together with some interesting notes [such as Captain Clinton left for India and Canada on 9 September] and observations of shoot days throughout that period. Ashley Clinton was the home of the Clinton family who lived there until 1958, when it was sold, at which time the estate included virtually all land from Barton to Hordle and comprised six farms including Taddiford, Beckton, and Ashley Manor, nine cottages and 1000 acres. The house [had 11 bedrooms, four staff bedrooms and extensive grounds. On top of the tower was an observatory]. The house was badly neglected,  became derelict and was burnt down by arsonists in 1979 with only a tower and the stable block surviving and now converted to private residences. The family included Sir Henry Clinton who served in the American War of Independence, serving with distinction at Bunker's Hill and becoming Commander in Chief in America by the time of Cornwallis's surrender at Yorktown in 1782.  His son Sir Henry Clinton Jnr also had a distinguished military career serving in the Peninsular War and leading Wellington's 2nd Division at the Battle of Waterloo.  His preserved papers are considered to comprise one of the most reliable first-hand accounts of the battle"

The catalogue description also included the cover and several pages from the Game book and among the names is Colonel Raitt! The career and family of Colonel Charles Robert Raitt (1811-1976) is detailed above. Charles and family lived in nearby Hordle and clearly Charles, a retired military man, was a frequent guest hunting on the Ashley Clinton Estate. In fact, I wonder whether Charles's son Percy Clinton Raitt, born in 1853 in Lymington, was named after Sir Henry Clinton. The name Clinton also appears in the family of another son of Charles, Anastatius, who emigrated to South Africa. Interestingly there is a place named Ashley Clinton in Central Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. The NZ History Online website opines that it is probably named after the Ashley Clinton estate in Hampshire, England. The name was originally 'Makeritu' (correctly Makeretu), lit: makere, to alight; tu, to stand, but was changed to Ashley Clinton on 1 January 1885.