The Snow Tankard

A plain cylindrical tankard with a stepped skirt foot. The body being inscribed “The Snow Tankard. The gift of Mark Millbank Bart and John Hutton Senr Esq. To ye Corporation after a disputed race in a great snowstorm at Easter”.

Made in York in 1686 by Marmaduke Best

A dispute had arisen between two local landowners, Sir Mark Millbank and John Hutton, what the dispute was about is unknown but they decided to settle the matter by staging a horse race on the Richmond Racecourse. This race was to be held at Easter 1868, winner takes all. From this statement in can be assumed that a sum of money was involved. The race was duly started but there came such a snowstorm that the race had to be abandoned, therefore there was no declared winner. Rather than race again, or go to law to settle the dispute, both parties agreed that such monies should be spent on a piece of fine silver, which should be presented to the town of Richmond. The Snow Tankard is one of the oldest sporting trophies in the country, and during the 1980’s it was displayed by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in their exhibition of sporting trophies.

©Copyright of Alan M. Wilcox Richmond Town Clerk 1985-1997.