Memorial for Cottesmore Hunt president Lord Kimball

Lord Kimball EMN-140423-140040001
Lord Kimball EMN-140423-140040001
Have your say

A memorial service will be held tomorrow (Thursday) for Lord Kimball, the president of the Cottesmore Hunt, who died last month.

Lord Kimball, formerly Sir Marcus Kimball MP, died on March 26 aged 85.

The service celebrating his life will be held at Oakham Parish Church at 2.30pm.

Lord Kimball was brought up in Barleythorpe and retained close connections with Rutland.

He hunted with the Cottesmore Hunt since childhood,and served as joint master and amateur huntsman between 1952 and 1958. He was in office as hunt president when he died.

Not only did Lord Kimball maintain a commitment to the Cottesmore Hunt, for many years he made a major contribution to all country sports at national level through his political work.

Marcus Kimball was born on October 181928, the son of Major and Mrs Lawrence Kimball who lived at Barleythorpe. Major Kimball was the Conservative MP for Loughborough.

Lord Kimball was joint master and huntsman of the Fitzwilliam Hunt from 1950 to 1952, before joining the Cottesmore Mastership.

He was chairman of East Midlands Young Conservatives, and in 1955 was elected to Rutland County Council.

In February 1956 he won a by-election to become MP for Gainsborough, and held the seat for the next 28 years.

He proved himself a remarkable parliamentary tactician in heading off or blocking bills attempted by Labour MPs to ban hunting and hare coursing.

From 1964 to 1981, he was chairman of the British Field Sports Society, and gave exemplary leadership in preserving all country sports.

As well as a hunting man, he was a keen angler and an excellent shot. He also served as president of the British Field Sport Society and deputy president of the Countryside Alliance.

Lord Kimball was knighted for political services in 1981, and created a Life Peer four years later.

His considerable experience made him an important member of the Countryside Alliance Parliamentary team striving to avert a hunting ban.

Lord Kimball recorded that he had hunted on 1,182 days during his time in Parliament.

Having already served as chairman of the Hunt Trustees, he became Cottesmore Hunt chairman in 2000.

It was a time of major change when planning permission had been gained for the conversion of the old hunt kennels for housing. The road through the housing estate on the old Ashwell site bears the name Kimball Close.

He also initiated a hunting museum within the Melton Carnegie Museum.

Lord Kimball, who lived in Great Easton, near Caldecott, is survived by Lady Kimball, the former June Fenwick, who he married in 1956, and by their two daughters .