Hunt Buttons from the Evans family

Amongst the heirlooms of the Evans family of the Red Lion, Wolverhampton are several envelopes full of 19th century sets of buttons.

Specifically there are four distinct sets of buttons that may have come from different sources within the family. Some are set on backing tissue from the seller, suggesting they were never used. Molly Downing put them in the envelopes, labelling them ‘Hunt Buttons’ in 1973.

There are ten large buttons, depicting a leaping fox, bearing the words “Montreal Hunt”. On the inside of the button the manufacturer is given as “G & W Boggett, St Martins Lane London”. One would suppose that they come from Charles Richard Ogden Evans who was born in Trois Rivieres but brought up largely in Ireland. His wife, Sarah Evans, was the brother of Henry Evans, and many of his artefacts ended up with Henry and his descendants. The Montreal Hunt is the oldest Hunt in North America and was founded in 1826. These buttons date from the mid 1830’s going by the maker’s backmark. In its early years the hunt was dominated by the military and Charles Richard Ogden Evans, his father General Thomas Evans and brothers would appear to all fit the profile of membership.

The second set (12 + 1) are more standard buttons of a fox head with the backmark “Ne Plus ultra” and lion. It is difficult to date these but again we presume as with all the others they are early to mid 1800’s.

The third set of buttons are ciphered ‘AH” which we can presume is the Albrighton Hunt. Whilst these too could have belonged to Charles Richard Ogden Evans, they are more likely to have belonged to his English cousins or uncles. Charles Richard Ogden Evans was married in Tettenhall in 1856 and lived briefly in the Albrighton area.  It seems, though, more likely they belonged to either his wife’s father, Richard Evans or his wife’s uncle Thomas Evans. Both, we know, rode with the Hunt and indeed his wife’s mother’s brother Thomas Shaw Hellier was Master of Hounds, a position other members may have held at one time but is not recorded. The backmark on these buttons is ‘treble gilt’ and crest.

The final set of buttons is a large set of 32 small and 10 large ‘Livery Buttons’, rather than Hunt buttons. They all bear the crest of Lord Carberry’s family. This crest was self evidently used by the Evans family when they ran the Red Lion in Wolverhampton and the crest’s use or misuse is discussed on a separate page. It is easy to imagine that this supply of buttons was used for various coachmen or footmen, working in the busy coach yard of the Red Lion in Wolverhampton prior to 1820. The backmark on all these button is the London maker “Jennens & Co”, but this would appear to give a wide possible date range of 1812-1860.

Evans family hunt and livery buttons collection

Evans family hunt and livery buttons collection

Last updated on 14 October 2022 by JJ Morgan