Biography of Hermit

In 1864 Hermit was born to (age 16) and .

On 22 May 1867 The Derby, run during a freak snowstorm, was won by Hermit (age 3), owned by Henry Chaplin 1st Viscount Chaplin (age 26). The jockey was John Daley. Hermit was bred by Mr William Blenkiron and trained by Mr Bloss at Newmarket. There were 29 runners from an initial entry of 256. The winner won by a neck in 2 mins 52 secs, with a good distance between second and third. The winner won a first prize of £7,000. As a result of betting against Hermit Henry Hastings, 4th Marquess (age 24), who had three years earlier eloped with Henry Chaplin's (age 26) fiancé Florence Cecilia Paget Marchioness Hastings (age 24), was ruined. Henry Chaplin's (age 26), who had bet on his horse Hermit, whose odds had lengthened out to 66-1 as a result of doubts about his pre-race fitness, won a fortune.

Henry Chaplin A Memoir: Youth VI. Hermit's (age 3) sensational triumph in the Derby of 18671, which played a part in causing Lord Hastings' ultimate ruin, brought them once more into closer contact, and the consideration which Mr. Chaplin showed on this occasion towards his former rival was largely dictated by compassion for the woman whom he had once loved. Indeed, the poor lady (age 24) knew well how to play upon his feelings. In October of that year she writes to him in the semi-pious sentimental language of the period, pouring out her troubles to the "one real true friend " whom she knows she can trust.

I could not help crying over your letter, tears of joy at first, at the kindness of its tone, and then bitter, bitter tears of remorse at the thought of all I had caused you to suffer, and of the happiness that I now know was once so nearly in my grasp, and which I so recklessly threw away for a mere shadow. If what I am suffering now is a punishment for the way I treated you, it is indeed a hard one, and I feel at times it is more than I can bear. You don't know, you have no idea how miserable my life is, and for the future it will be nothing but one long regret. What shall I do? I assure you it is positively killing me and completely ruining whatever good there may have been in my nature....

I have tried everything, reproaches, kindness, every thing I can think of, and at last utter indifference, which is an awful thing to come to. Nothing does any good, and I feel and know the danger and temptation in which it places me. It is a hard cruel lot, and all I can do now is to pray to God to give me strength to bear it. I don't want to ask you to do anything the least painful to you, but I would give anything to see you once quietly and have a long talk with you. Is it asking too much?

Note 1. See p. 307.

On 11 Sep 1867 Hermit (age 3) won the St Leger Stakes; a race his sire had previously won in 1851.

1868. Benjamin Herring (age 38). Portrait of 1867 Derby Winner Hermit (age 4).

On 02 Oct 1868 [his sire]  (age 20) died.

1877. Robert Nightingale (age 62). 'Hermit (age 13)', A Bay Racehorse in a Landscape.

1882. Robert Nightingale (age 67). Portrait of Viscount Chaplin's Bay Hunter [Hermit (age 18)] in a Courtyard.

On 29 Apr 1890 Hermit (age 26) died at Blankney Hall. His skeleton was given to the Royal College of Vetinary Surgeons. A hoof was presented to the Prince of Wales who had it fashioned into an ink-stand, writing:

Marlborough House,

July 27/90.

My Dear Harry (age 49) — How kind of you to have sent me the hoof of dear old ! so prettily mounted, which I shall always greatly value and constantly use as an inkstand.

I am also very much touched by the kind expressions in your letter wishing me good luck with my racehorses. Though I can never expect to have the good fortune which attended the Dukes of Portland and Westminster, still I hope with patience to win one or more of the classic races with a horse bred by myself. I sincerely hope you may yet be able to come to Goodwood for a part of the time, at any rate.

Thanking you again for your kind remembrance of me and giving me so interesting a souvenir of your "best friend"

From yours very sincerely,

Albert Edward (age 48).

P.S.—I shall always take the shoe about with me.

Ancestors of Hermit