HC Deb 07 August 1879 vol 249 c398

asked the First Commissioner of Works, Whether it is true that the game of cricket is absolutely prohibited in Richmond Park, which is kept up at the expense of the public; and, if so, whether he will kindly state by whose command this restriction is imposed; whether it is true that salaries ranging from £300 a-year, paid to the Duke of Cambridge's gamekeepers, and pheasants eggs purchased at one shilling a-piece, and other considerable incidental expenses for the private and Royal preserves in the park, are all charged to the public; and, whether the gamekeepers are pensioned off with considerable annuities at the public charge; and, if so, whether he can hold out any prospect of reducing these expenses under the present depressed condition of the Country?


Sir, the game of cricket has always been prohibited in Richmond Park, and it is so stated in the Rules of the Park, under the Act of 1872; but it is allowed in Petersham Park and on Richmond Green. Salaries ranging from £300 a-year are paid to the gamekeepers, as appears in the Estimates. No pheasants' eggs are paid for at the public expense, although £150 is charged for feeding the game and watching, of which the House is fully aware, as attention has frequently been called to this by the hon. Member for Chelsea. The gamekeepers, like all other servants of the Crown, are pensioned, according to their length of service, when they have to retire or are superannuated. Notwithstanding the depressed condition of the country, I fear it will be impossible to reduce the salaries or pensions of the gamekeepers in Richmond Park.