Dinas Mawddwy Otter Hunting
Edmund Peck eventually took his father's name and was created a baronet in 1868. He rebuilt Plas Dinas in 1867 and built a railway to Dinas Mawddwy in the same year, joining the Cambrian Railway at Cemmaes Road. Nimrod's nephew, Newton Wynne Apperley, often visited the Sir Edmund Buckley at Plas Dinas. The following are two of his reports of otter hunts on the River Dovey, near Dinas Mawddwy. They are taken from his 'Hunting Diary', published in 1926. Apperley rarely found an otter, let alone killed one, but his reports give a vivid picture of the Anglo-Welsh gentry at play.
1 August 1872: Dinas Mawddwy, Dovey River. Gogerddan Otterhounds.
I took the hounds by road the day before, to Cemmaes Road, where Sir Edmund Buckley, M.P., had kindly sent a special train to convey us down on his line from Cemmaes to Dinas Mawddwy, where he put the hounds up, and myself and John Pugh. I and Dr. Whitehead went after lunch to inspect the river, but we found no fresh signs, and my hopes of sport for the morrow were small. The following company were in the house: Sir Edmund and Lady Buckley, Mrs. Rees (Lady B.'s mother), Dr. Whitehead and Mr. Tamberlain. The house is a perfect palace, splendidly furnished. We played billiards till a late hour, and the following morning we took the hounds by rail from Dinas to Aberangell, by 7.20 train, and waited at Captain Haines' till 9.30 for Colonel Pryse, when I received a note to say he was too unwell to come, and I was not to wait, so I immediately moved off, and went by road some 2 miles down the river, and then commenced to hunt. We worked up stream to about 1 ? miles above Dinas, and also about two miles up Mr. Wilcox's brook, and never had a whimper, or a sign of a drag all day, which was beyond everything disgusting, as the day was fine, and a large field out, viz., Sir Edmund Buckley, Dr. Whitehead, Dr. Griffith, Captain Haines, Charles and David Williams, W. Bonsall of Glanrheidol, and a great many others. I carried Sir Edmund's two eldest sons over the river by Aberangell Bridge, much to their father's surprise. Colonel Pryse arrived at Sir Edmund's at 5 p.m., ready for the morning, so the hounds were again put up, and we hungry sportsmen partook again of his princely hospitality.
21 April 1874: Dovey River. Gogerddan Otterhounds.
I and the hounds were staying with Sackville Phelps at Machynlleth. Col. Pryse and Marteine Lloyd came to breakfast, and drove up to the meet. I started on foot at 8 a.m. with 8 couple of hounds and 4 terriers to Abergwydol and commenced on the river there. We drew it right up to Dinas Mawddwy without finding, only had one touch all day, and that was near Mallwyd. I drew the river about a mile up above Sir Edmund Buckley's " Palace," at Dinas Mawddwy, but the field, which was large, never came further than Sir Edmund's, they no doubt smelt the lunch, and intended business. When I came back I put the hounds up in a loose box, and went into the house. I found a large table full of sportsmen, who seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely, and from the appearance of the table, had done justice to the grub, but I was in time to get some lamb, etc., for which I felt much better. I sat next Lady Buckley, and she looked after me well, as she always does. Afterwards Sir Edmund sent the hounds by rail to Cemmaes Road to meet the Aberystwyth train, and they went straight back to Peithyil, but I and Alan Greenwell remained with old Phelps for the night, and I had some business to do with the Marquess of Londonderry. We had a large field out, viz., Col. Pryse, Marteine Lloyd, Sir Edmund Buckley and Lady Buckley, three of Sir Pryse Pryse's sons and their young school friend, Morris Davies, Bonsall, E. and W. Davies, H.R.A. Johnson from Plas Machynlleth, Sackville Phelps, E. Morgan, Richard Jones, Alan Greenwell, Nesbit Thruston, Mott, Col. Wingfield of Onslow, Salop, the Llugwy people, etc., etc. I had a hard day's walking for no sport, which was very disappointing. Beautiful day. My cousin, Atty Powell, was also out. He died eight days afterwards, though perfectly well when out hunting, full of jokes. I was very sorry to lose the old fellow, he was a regular attendant with otterhounds.
Sir Edmund Buckley entertained lavishly at Plas Dinas prior to his bankruptcy in 1876.