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 • St. Kentigern Churchyard
 • Caldbeck
 • Allerdale Borough
 • Cumbria
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John Peel
Birth: Sep. 24, 1776
Death: Nov. 13, 1854

British Folk Figure, Huntsman. The trumpet has sounded on the English fox hunt. Animal rights activists and the anti-hunting lobby has prevailed, and the sport is banned. Oscar Wilde chastised Victorian era fox hunters with this quote, "The unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable." Animal activists have been successful after years of protests, sometimes to the extreme. In this sport, the fox is pursued by hunters on horseback controlling hunting hounds bred for endurance tracking the animal until it finally stops exhausted, seized and then literally eaten alive by the dogs or torn to pieces. In their most dastardly deed during their years of protest was to go to Caldbeck and vandalize the very symbol of the sport, John Peel's grave. They dug a hole over the occupant and threw the head of a fox into it, but did disturb him, then cracked the marker while strewing garbage over the plot. John Peel was born to a tenant farmer in the small English hamlet of Caldbeck. Still a teen,against the wishes of his parents, John ran off with his village sweetheart and married. The union produced 11 children. Farming produced enough revenue and he was able to keep a kennel of hounds and hire them out to various hunters while he himself managed to hunt two and three days a week. John received the ultimate huntsman recognition: Local MFH {Mater of Foxhounds) However, John's world wide fame came not from his title but as the subject in a folk song which became famous. John Woodcock Graves moved into the village working as the local mill manager. He met John Peel and they became drinking buddies. John Graves was struck by an old nursery rhyme that he had heard. He jokingly wrote a song that immortalized and enshrined the exploits of his friend Peel. Parting company, John Peel died at the age of seventy-eight after falling from his horse. 3,000 people attended his funeral and witnessed his interment at the church cemetery of Saint Kentigrern Church in Caldbeck. Graves sailed from England and settled in Tasmania where he died. The song had a long traditional popularity before it got into print. It found its way into early Scottish publications and then was greatly used in the early operas of the 18th century becoming popular in London dance halls. It was set to music by William Metcalfe, the Carlisle Cathedral organist. This old ballet known as "Do Ye Ken Saint John Peel" became world famous and is still known and sung by every child in England and homesick Brit's around the world. Physical memorials still remain to Peel some 150 years after his death. A sandstone shelter at the churchyard gate is dedicated to both Peel and Graves. In Hobart, Tasmania where Graves died, the city park is surrounded by an iron rail fence with a design of musical notes forming the opening bars of the song. At nearby Port Arthur located in The Fox and Hounds Hotel is the John Peel Bar where almost daily the patrons regale each other with this song that consist of five rollicking stanza's and the chorus sung after each until the stein is empty: "Twas the sound of his horn brought me from my bed; And the cry of his hounds has me oftimes led; For Peel's view holloa would wake the dead; Or a fox from his lair in the morning." (bio by: Donald Greyfield (inactive)) 
 
Family links: 
 Children:
  Elizabeth Peel Richardson (____ - 1903)*
  Peter Peel (____ - 1840)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
St. Kentigern Churchyard
Caldbeck
Allerdale Borough
Cumbria, England
Plot: Family Plot by Church Door
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Donald Greyfield (inacti...
Record added: Nov 23, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 9928392
John Peel
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John Peel
Added by: buttershap
 
John Peel
Added by: buttershap
 
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- Mellissa Lake Co. Illinois
 Added: Aug. 17, 2013

-Anonymous
 Added: Jan. 22, 2013

- Jackie Howard
 Added: Sep. 24, 2012
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