BACK TO ALL Works of Art

‘The Great Carriage Match on Newmarket Heath’ by Daniel Quigley, Oil on Canvas

Run by the Earls of March and Eglington on the 29th March, 1750

Daniel Quigley, Irish (fl. 1750-1773)

Height: 152.5 cm (60 inches)
Width: 264 cm (104 inches)
including the frame


The inscription on the painting (giving the account of the match) reads:

An account of the CARRIAGE MATCH made by the Earls of March and Eglington, with Theobald Taaf and Andrew Sprowle, Efqrs’s for One Thousand Guineas. 
The conditions of the Article were to get a carriage with four wheels ,and a person upon it, drawn by four horses,nineteen miles in one hour; There was a certain time allowed to prepare, their Lordships were to give two months notice what week it should be done in, and had the liberty of choosing any one day in that week, which was performed on Newmarket Heath on 29th of August 1750, in 53 minute and 27 seconds, as appeared by three stop-watches the umpires held, which did not vary one second.
The horses were bred and trained for running The two leaders including riders, saddles and harness carried about eight stone.
The wheel horses about seven stone each. The carriage with a boy on it weighed about twenty -four stone. Tawney, the leader, Roderick Random, was rode by John Watson, the near wheel horse, Chance was rode by a lad called Kit. The off-wheel horse Little Dan was rode by James Fullfor. Tom Wagstaff a lad of Lord March’s rode in the carriage. All the horses had bolsters to preserve their shoulders. The traces (by an ingenious contrivance) run into boxes with spring when any of them hung back, to prevent the traces getting under their legs, a rope went from the further end of the carriage to the pole and brought back under it to keep the pole steady.
By the side of each wheel there was thin cases with oil dropping on the axle three to prevent it’s firing. The boy plac’d on the carriage was only to fulfil the Articles- it started about seven in the morning, near the six mile house and run between the Warren and Rubbing Houses, came through at the Ditch called the Running Gap, then turn’d to the right and run three times round a corded piece of ground of four mile, and then back to the place it started from.
The match was preform’d before a great number of spectators, without any person attempting to ride with it, except Mr George Tuting, who rode before, and Mr James Craven, Mr Leith’s groom who rode behind. They wanted to assist in case of an accident.