Jack White, Super Sportsman

I am frequently impressed by the toughness of many people in the past, but Captain Jack White of Derbyshire really was incredible even by their high standards. He was one of the most famous sporting celebrities of the 1st half of the 19th century.

He was the son of a Manchester doctor who had made his fortune, and his only profession was that of sport from his birth in 1791 to his death in 1866 aged 75. His success as a gentleman rider was extraordinary. In 1823 … he rode 9 out of 12 winners at Stapleford Park and 8 out of 12 at Lambton. The Croxton Park and Hinton Park meetings also witnessed many triumphs… But his greatest feat was one of endurance. He began a certain winter day with 2 good runs with the hounds, of 40 minutes and 70 minutes… He returned, changed, had a chop and a cup of tea, then rode home to Hayfield, a distance of 75 miles, crossing the Derbyshire moors in a blinding snow-storm. He arrived at Park Hall at 7 at night, having ridden 160 miles since breakfast. … He became master of the Cheshire Hunt for 12 years. His falls were innumerable, but nothing broke his nerve, not even when his horse fell on him in a drain, crushed his chest and 3 ribs, and smashed his collar-bone and ankle. His last bad accident was to alight in a green pond and have another norse and rider jump in on the top of him.

White was also an enthusiastic boxer.

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