GAMEKEEPERS. Were first introduced by the act 22 and 23 Car. II. ch. 25, which authorizes lords of manors to appoint, under their hands and seals, gamekeepers who shall have power, within the manor, to seize guns, dogs, nets, and engines, kept by unqualified persons to destroy game. A mistaken opinion appears to have been prevalent among gamekeepers that they had a right to carry and use firearms for the capture of poachers and other unqualified persons. This error was distinctly refuted by Mr. Justice Bailey (Lancaster Assizes, March, 1827) who expressly stated that no gamekeeper had a right to carry fire-arms for any such purpose, nor to fire at any poacher whatever. No proprietor of game had any earthly power to give such authority to his keeper, who might certainly take into custody any poacher, but it was at his peril to use fire-arms. See Game.
Harewood, Harry. A Dictionary of Sports. London: T. Tegg and son, 1835.
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