I'ANSON international

William I'Anson (the Younger) of Highfield
Highfield House
William I'Anson Jr.
William I'Anson Jr was the last of William I'Anson's children to be born in Scotland before his return to Yorkshire: 
"I am, of course, a Scotsman by birth, and though I came to Yorkshire so young as to be almost a Tyke, I have always had a great love for Gullane . . . and those things which are essentially Scotch."
(from Fairfax-Blakeborough, Malton Memories, p.121) 
William I'Anson
(a poem by Yorkshire poet Robert Arthur Hanson Goodyear)

"He's coming, he's coming!" -- the crowd's heels are drumming, 
And voices cease humming, and hearts gladly soar; 
In raputous cheering its good to be hearing 
That swells from their throats in a great Yorkshire roar. 

I'Anson the portly, the kind and the courtly, 
Who ne'er judged men harshly nor did one a wrong; 
A stout-without-doubt man, an out-and-about man, 
As tender in heart as in hand he is strong. 

Just think of the horses on Britain's best courses 
That William I'Anson has shaped from the raw -- 
Of Beauclerc and Rathlea (no broken-kneed rath he!) 
Of Breadalbane, Breadknife, and swift Broomilelaw! 

So many points giving to any man living 
In training a horse in the way it should go; 
What trainer could match him or possibly catch him 
In flat-racing winners that Turf-records show? 

How well he had reared them (till rivals all feared him) 
Jim Snowden, Jim Fagan, Bob Colling could tell; 
How great was their pride in the fierce joy of riding 
The mounts their loved master made sound as a bell! 

Still laughing and joking, his pet cigar smoking, 
His mind's eye looks back on the fame-crowded years; 
Life-pensions reserving for servants deserving, 
He's "seen them all right" and calmed poverty's fears. 

 (from Fairfax-Blakeborough, Malton Memories, p.319)
The story of the younger William I'Anson is told in the later chapters of Faifax-Blakeborough's Malton Memories and I'Anson Triumphs. William Sr had apparently not wished his sons the anxieties of training racehorses. William Jr was sent to "a good school at Pontefract" in 1856, and articled to Messrs R.J.Thompson in Sunderland in 1862, to learn the shipping and timber trade. After five years there he went to Sir James Gowans in Scotland (contractor and builder of bridges). 
But what is bred in the bone comes out in the flesh, and the love of horses, of training them, and the fascination of the Turf were all inherent and potent within him.
(Malton Memories, p.177) 
  • In 1869 he left the potential of a mercantile career with Sir James, who bought him three horses, and with these William commenced his life as a trainer. 
  • He lived at first in a cottage that was part of his father's property at Highfield. His hearth apparently attracted some of the greatest men of the Turf who came to talk to "Young William" after transacting business at his father's place. 
  • Soon, however, he moved his string to Hambleton, near Thirsk, where he trained with his older brother, Tom, to assist him. His first important patron was Mr Henry (later Viscount) Chaplin.
The Gimcrack Stakes was established in 1846, and it was originally open to horses of either gender. 

William I'Anson Jr. is still the Leading Trainer (7 wins):  Pursebearer (1881), Castor (1885), Lady Muncaster (1886), Derwentwater (1887), Lockhart (1889), Royal Stag (1890), Barbette (1903)

Highfield House, Norton by Malton
Highfield House 
  • However, in less than two years, in 1873, Tom died suddenly, and before the end of 1874 William and his increasing string returned to Highfield.
  • On the death of his father in 1881, William inherited the Highfield Estate, and in 1892 began the building of a new house there in "the Italian style". 
In September 1895 the Racing Illustrated ran an article on Malton which focussed on William I'Anson's Highfield establishment, and the Blink Bonny Stud of William's younger brother, Miles I'Anson

The article ended by saying: 

 Well! that is about enough for today respecting Messrs. I'Anson. All that remains is to thank them heartily for their kindness, patience, and hospitality, and wish that people of such a "good sort" were very plentiful. 

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Dr M.L.Ille