Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Today is the first day of the 'Glorious Goodwood' horseracing meet at the Goodwood estate near Chichester. The first Secretary for Scotland, the 6th Duke of Richmond, always considered Goodwood to be his primary base but did not inherit his father's passion for racing, despite being elected a member of the Jockey Club in 1838. Instead, he saw the annual Goodwood meeting as primarily a social gathering, and always held a large house party for race week - complete with kings, queens, emperors and empresses as guests.

Beyond the racecourse, Goodwood itself is a fine house with two portraits of His Grace, one of which was painted the year he became, reluctantly, Scottish Secretary. He died at Gordon (his Scottish estate) in 1903 and is buried in the family vault at Chichester Cathedral.

The other horseracing Scottish Secretary was another peer, the 6th Earl of Rosebery, who briefly served in Churchill's caretaker government in 1945. Known as 'Harry the horse', Rosebery was also a keen cricketer and breeder of racehorses.


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