Yesterday I showed you a beautiful illustration of a dog kennel from a Book of the Hunt. Today I have a passage from The Master of Game, the English translation of that book, created sometime between 1406 and 1413 by Edward of Norwich, 2nd Duke of York. This passage is about kennels, too.
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HOW THE KENNEL FOR THE HOUNDS AND THE
COUPLES FOR THE RACHES AND THE ROPES
FOR THE LYMER SHOULD BE MADE
The hounds' kennel should be ten fathoms in length and five in breadth, if there be many hounds. And there should be one door in front and one behind, and a fair green, where the sun shineth all day from morning till eve, and that green should be closed about with a paling or with a wall of earth or of stone of the same length and breadth as the hounds' kennel is. And the hinder door of the kennel should always be open so that the hounds may go out to play when they like, for it is a great liking to the hounds when they may go in and out at their pleasure, for the mange comes to them later. (1) In the kennel should be pitched small stones wrapped about with straw of the hounds' litter, unto the number of six stones, that the hounds might piss against them. Also a kennel should have a gutter or two whereby all the piss of the hounds and all the other water may run out that none remains in the kennel. The kennel should also be in a low house, and not in a solere (an upper chamber), but there should be a loft above, so that it might be warmer in winter and cooler in summer, and always by night and by day I would that some child lie or be in the kennel with the hounds to keep them from fighting. Also in the kennel should be a chimney to warm the hounds when they are cold or when they are wet with rain or from passing and swimming over rivers. And also he should be taught to spin horse hair to make couples for the hounds, which should be made of a horse tail or a mare's tail, for they are best and last longer than if they were of hemp or of wool. And the length of the hounds' couples between the hounds should be a foot, and the rope of a limer three fathoms and a half, be he ever so wise a limer it sufficeth. The which rope should be made of leather of a horse skin well tawed.
(1.) They are not likely to get the mange so soon.
-- Edward, of Norwich, 2d Duke of York, 1373?-1415. The Master of Game: the Oldest English Book On Hunting. London: Chatto & Windus, 1919. 125-6.