Alice Maria Hayes

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Alice Maria Hayes (Pyett)

Birthplace: Esher, Surrey, England, United Kingdom
Death: January 09, 1913 (51)
Wimborne, Dorsetshire, England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Daughter of William Pyett and Ann Pyett
Wife of Capt Matthew Horace Hayes and Enrique Alejandro Rucker
Mother of James Hayes
Sister of William Henry Pyett; John Pyett; Joseph Pyett; Francis George Pyett and Rosa Annie Cole

Managed by: Ian Alexander Stone
Last Updated:

About Alice Maria Hayes

Note about the second name. Mary is the name in the birth registration; Maria is the name in the baptism record, the second marriage registration index record and her death registration index record; Marie is the name in the 1893 patent granted to Alice, the 1911 census and the probate registration index record for husband Horace in 1904 and her own probate registration index record of 1913. As Maria was her grandmother's name (mother Ann's mother) I have decided to use Maria.

England & Wales Birth registration index record for Alice Mary Pyett, Mother's Maiden Surname: Sexton, October-December quarter 1861, Kingston registration district, Surrey, Vol. 2A, page 211.

England & Wales birth certificate No. 254 for Alice Mary Pyett, father William Pyett, tailor, mother Ann Pyett, formally Sexton, born 20 September 1861 at Esher, Surrey. The birth was registered by Alice's mother Ann.

Parish Baptism record for Alice Maria Pyett, father William Pyett, tailor, mother Ann, baptised 13 October 1861, at Esher, Surrey, England.

1871 England Census - Alice M Pyett, 9 (born about 1862), born Esher, Surrey . Also in the house: father William Pyett, 37 (born about 1834), born St Ives, Huntingdonshire, tailor; mother Ann Pyett, 40 (born about 1831), born St Martins, Middlesex; brother William H Pyett, 11 (born about 1860), born Esher, Surrey ; brother John Pyett, 8 (born about 1863), born Esher, Surrey; brother Joseph Pyett, 5 (born about 1866), born Esher, Surrey; brother Francis G Pyett, 4 (born about 1867), born Esher, Surrey; sister Rosa A Pyett, 2 (born about 1869), born Esher, Surrey; and tailors apprentice William Gambles, 17.

Address 9 High Street, Esher, Surrey.

Sometime between early 1880 and before the census night, 3 April 1881, 18-19 year old Alice met the dashing but older (38-39 year old) Matthew Horace Hayes and moved in with him. At the time Horace was already married, having married in 1866 in India and his wife did not apply for a divorce until 1886, however a marriage registration record for Alice and Horace has not been located in England & Wales, Ireland or Scotland, so they may have married in India or one of the other countries they visited, or they may not have formally married.

Horace had been in India, an officer in the Royal Artillery, then with the Bengal Staff Corps and finally a Captain with "The Buffs", the 3rd regiment of the British Army, until 1879, when he resigned his commission and returned to England.

Horace was heavily involved with horses and horse racing, so it is speculated he may have met Alice at the Sandown Park racecourse at Esher in Surrey. Sandown Park opened in 1875 and was the first purpose built racecourse with enclosures, designed to be a leisure destination. The course is an 8 minute walk from the High Street, where the Pyetts were living.

"How pleasant once more," wrote a satisfied customer in 1879, "to find ourselves within the Sandown Club Enclosure, under a genial sky and with all the well-known surroundings of pretty women, good luncheon and good sport."

In the words of a contemporary diarist it was 'a place where a man could take his ladies without any fear of their hearing coarse language or witnessing uncouth behavior.'

1881 England census - Alice M. Hayes, 19 (born about 1862), born Esher, Surrey, England. Also in the house: husband Horace Hayes, 36 (born about 1845), born Tipperary, Ireland, sporting writer.

Address - 168 Marylebone road, London, England. (In 1881, Horace, actually aged 39, was already married and in his wife Caroline's 1886 divorce application, she thought husband Matthew Horace Hayes was living with a woman unknown at 178 Marylebone road in 1881)

It is speculated that Alice then traveled to Edinburgh, Scotland with Horace, as he had previously studied veterinary science there and had set up a school to train pupils for the army officer corps.

The Scotsman 29 September 1881, p 2.

block advertisement:

Militia Competency

In Edinburgh Capt. M. Horace Hayes, R.A., receives three boarders into his house and gives special and individual instruction to a few non resident pupils. Terms and a list of successes with pupils sent on application to Orellana & Co., 32A George Street, Hanover Square, London, W.

In the United Kingdom Design Registration record 6517, 9 March 1882, for a horseman’s knife to be called Captain Hayes’ Horseman’s Knife, the address is 19 London Street, Edinburgh, Scotland.

In the 1901 census, James Hayes, 18 (born about 1883), born Edinburgh, is enumerated as Alice’s son, though no birth registration record has been found.

In the 1903 edition of Alice's book The Horsewoman - A Practical Guide To Side-Saddle Riding, first edition published 1893, she says in the introduction: "The first edition of this book was the result of seven years' experience of riding hundreds of horses in India, Ceylon, Egypt, China and South Africa; the most trying animals being those of which I was the rough-rider at my husband's horse-breaking classes. Since that edition came out, I have hunted a good deal, chiefly, in Leicestershire and Cheshire, and have taught many pupils, both of which experiences were of special advantage to me in preparing this new edition; because English ladies regard riding, principally, from a hunting point of view, and the best way to supplement one's education, is to try to teach.

From about 1885 to 1888, Horace and Alice traveled to Gibralter, Malta, India, Egypt, Ceylon, Singapore, the Straits Settlements, China and Japan, teaching and giving performances of Horace's horse breaking methods.

From My leper friends (pub 1891): In the early summer of 1888 my husband and I found ourselves enjoying a well-earned holiday in Japan. He, I may explain, writes books about horses, which have rendered his name widely known among English readers ; and having a special talent for making these animals conform to his wishes, he conceived the idea of going on a tour, with the object of teaching all he knew about "breaking" to those interested in the subject. ... Knowing what a charm novelty had for my husband, and wishing to get back to India, I suggested the advisability of his going to Calcutta and starting there a sporting paper, which, with his name as editor, would be sure to draw! My counsel proved so acceptable that I had only barely time to pack up my boxes and get them on board the French mail, for which my husband had taken tickets. We arrived at Calcutta, started our paper, and, in a short time, settled down to our work as journalists.

After three years in India, a circus show came to Calcutta from South Africa, and Horace and Alice were allowed to perform a zebra-breaking act in the show, using one of the circus's zebras. The owner told them stories of South Africa, and advised them to go there as the 'Africanders' had a love of horses and there were a large number of wild horses on the veldt. Horace writes in Among horses in South Africa that they were getting tired of India so they decided to do a tour of South Africa.

They sold their newspaper, horses, furniture, said good bye to their friends and returned to London for a few months stay so Horace could bring out new editions of some of his books and presumably enroll their son James in boarding school.

Alice and Horace are not identified in the 1891 census, held 5 April 1891, so I assume they returned to London after that date.

They left Southampton on Saturday 21 November 1891 for South Africa on the Dunnottar Castle. They would spend about 7 months travelling through the Cape Colony, the Transvaal, the Orange Free State and Natal, giving lectures and conducting their horse breaking show. A full description of this tour is given in Horace's book Among horses in South Africa.

Among the stories Horace tells, is of the occasion when Alice rode a buck-jumping pony that had disposed of all the young men rash enough to try and ride him. Although the pony did his best, he could not dislodge Alice from her saddle. The Governor of the Cape Colony and the other members of Government House in attendance warmly applauded her. Horace notes that Alice's fine riding had made such a good impression that when they returned to England, the 1 February 1893 issue of the Cape Times noted that it was a revelation to even the boldest rough-riders that Mrs Hayes was able to ride round even the most diabolical animal with a light hand. Horace's standard charge was 2 guineas (1 guinea = one pound and one shilling (21 shillings)) per person to attend the horse breaking instruction show.

As well as the horse riding, Alice also sang. At a concert in Pretoria, the Pretoria Observer reported 'Mrs Hayes was most enthusiastically received, and her two songs formed the feature of the evening'. They returned to Britain on the Union steam ship Tartar.

UK, Incoming Passenger List record for Captain Hayes, 49 (born about 1843), horse trainer, and Mrs Hayes, 34 (born about 1858), leaving Natal on the Tartar, arriving Southampton 10 July 1892. There is no child listed on the passenger list, so presumed son James must have been at boarding school.

In the 17 December 1892 issue of The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News (p. 478) these is a report of a riding for ladies event put on by Horace and Alice at a riding school on the Brompton Road, where Alice wore a Norfolk jacket, boots and breeches so the ladies could see exactly where the legs should be placed when riding side-saddle.

In 1893 Alice and Horace were charged with libel over some articles Alice had written, which had been published in an Indian newspaper.

The Era, 1 July 1893, p. 15

Libelling "Leon"

In the Queens Bench Division on Thursday, Mr Justice Wright and a common jury heard the case of Sexton v Hayes and wife. It was an action to recover damages for libel, and the defendants pleaded that what was complained of as being libelous were extracts from articles which were fair comment upon a matter of public interest, that the publication was without malice and for the public benefit, and that it was privileged. ...

The newspaper article goes into detail but essentially Alice had visited a horse breaking show in London in 1892, given by George Sexton, a horse tamer, who went by the stage name of "Leon". Alice then wrote articles criticizing the show and Sexton's techniques. The libel action was due to Alice writing that she didn't think Leon had ridden a horse in his life and that he had told her he sometimes had to stick pins in the horses to make them kick and buck. These articles were published in the "Indian Planters Gazette and sporting news", published in Calcutta. Sexton claimed he had planned to visit India. Although Alice had written the articles, it was Horace and Alice who were charged with libel. Horace had also visited the show, but when he went to give evidence on his opinion of the genuineness or not of the show, Justice Wright said such evidence was not admissible. The witnesses that were called were connected to the show and gave evidence that the performances of Sexton were genuine.

The jury gave the verdict to Sexton, who was awarded damages of £250.

The Social Review (Dublin, Ireland : 1893) 20 January 1894, p. 14

In a section called: "Social notes from London", C O'Connor Eccles writes:

Another new volume of interest to our folk is "The points of the horse" by Captain M. Horace Hayes, late of "The Buffs". I had the pleasure of meeting Captain and Mrs Hayes about a year ago, and at their invitation witnessed some extremely clever feats of horsemanship by the lady. Mrs Hayes can ride anything big enough to bear her very light weight. She has ridden the Zebra, pronounced to be untameable, and in barbarous and semi barbarous countries, visited with her husband, has literally "astonished the natives" by her dominion over animals. Captain Hayes hales from the Emerald Isles, and so does his wife, if I'm not mistaken. At any rate she has all the Irishwoman's pluck and Irishwoman's charm. She gave me some useful tips, one of which had reference to safety habits. The ordinary safety habit she finds unduly expensive, and the idea of attaching it to the pommel, if "spilt," and having in most undignified fashion to run after it, does not meet with her approval. For her own wear she adopts a simple riding skirt, without a fitted knee-piece, and to her riding-trousers she has a strong button sewn on, just above the knee. To this there is a corresponding button hole in the habit. When mounted, Mrs Hayes simply buttons one to the other, and if thrown her habit comes clear off the pommel without catching anything. Her book about riding is considered the most practical and useful in existence. This latest volume of her husband is full of valuable information, the result of observations in four quarters of the globe. ...

In June 1894, Alice and Horace were living at Woodbine Cottage, Melton Mowbray. (from the introduction to Horace's book Among men and horses)

In order to pay for the costs of the libel action, Horace and Alice visited Germany and Russia at different times during the mid to late 1890's conducting horse breaking shows. In the visits to Russia, Horace helped to train and instruct the Russian military in horse management. Alice continued to write and the Daily News (Perth, WA), Saturday 12 August 1899, page 5, contains an article written by Alice, from a magazine called The Church Gazette, where Alice describes Russian superstitions.

1901 England census - Alice M Hayes, 36 (born about 1865), born Norwood, Surrey, England, Authoress. Also in the house: son James Hayes, 18 (born about 1883), born Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland; servant Arthur H Fretter, 15 (born about 1886), born Crick, Northamptonshire, England, House Boy; and servant Joseph Fretter, 18 (born about 1883), born Crick, Northamptonshire, England, Garden Boy Domestic. Note it is assumed Horace was away in South Africa as he was working for the British Army during the Boer War (1899-1902) using his horse skills to advise on the best ways of transporting and managing horses and mules, due to the high level of losses, and subsequently wrote the book Horses on Board Ship: A Guide to Their Management.

Address - (Yew Tree House), Yelvertoft Road, Crick, Northampton, England.

Husband Horace died in 1904 and when he died they were living at Yew Tree House, Crick, Northamptonshire. In Horace's will he named Alice as his executrix, and she inherited all his possessions including the copyrights to his books and illustrations and the English translation of Friedberger & Frochmen's Textbook of the special pathology and therapeutics of the domestic animals, as well as Yew Tree House. There were no children named in the will.

Alice remarried in 1906.

England & Wales Marriage registration index record for Alice Maria Hayes marrying Enrique Alejandro Rucker, July-September quarter 1906, Rugby registration district, Warwickshire, Vol. 6D, P. 1101.

England & Wales marriage certificate for Alice Maria Hayes, widow, 35, of The Bungalow, Crick, father William Pyett (deceased), Surveyor, marring Enrique Alejandro Rucker, 26, bachelor, of The Bungalow, Crick, Stock & share broker, father Enrique Carlos Rucker (deceased), Stock & share broker, on 12 September 1906 at the Register Office in the district of Rugby.

Well actually naughty Alice was almost 45, and of course father William was a tailor not a surveyor, and Enrique was 25.

Rugby Advertiser 10 November 1908, p. 1

Block advertisement

Crick, Bungalow residence. Mr W, Wiggins has received instructions from Mrs Rucker who has left the neighborhood, to sell by auction, on Friday next, November 13th 1908, at 5 for 6 o'clock prompt in the evening, at the Royal Oak Inn, Crick, subject to conditions of sale then to produced, which will incorporate the Common Law Conditions of the Leicester Law Society, all the convenient and comfortable Freehold Messuage or dwelling house (formally two), known as "The Bungalow", late in the occupation of Mrs Rucker, but now vacant, pleasantly situate, and containing 3 sitting rooms, kitchen 2 pantry's, cellar, coalhouse, w.c., bathroom, 5 bedrooms, large glass veranda, with garden, hard and soft water, and force pump. To view, and for further particulars, apply to the auctioneer, 25A, High Street, Rugby; or to Mr W.G.B. Pullman, Solicitor, Rugby and Lutterworth, where conditions of sale can be seen seven days prior to the day of sale.

1911 England census - Alice Marie Rucker, 42 (born about 1869), born Esher, Surrey, private means, married, visitor to the house of Walter and Elizabeth Webb and their two sons. Also in the house: Walter Webb, 73 (born about 1838) born Essex Earls Colne, Retired; wife Elizabeth Webb, 66 (born about 1845), born Buckinghamshire Maids Morton; son Alfred J L Webb, 37 (born about 1874), born Surrey Esher, Railway Clerk; and son Arthur Webb, 28 (born about 1883), born Surrey, Esher, Shop Assistant Ironmonger. Walter and Elizabeth are recorded as having been married for 41 years and Elizabeth had given birth to 7 children, 6 still alive, while Alice is recorded as having been married for 4 years and had no children from the marriage.

Address - Ravelagh Cottage, Pemberton Road, East Molesey, Surrey

Note Alice would have been aged 49 not 42 and the reason she may have been visiting a friend and husband Enrique is not listed in the census, was because an E.A. Rucker, presumed to be Enrique, had left the UK for South America before the census date of 2 April - UK Passenger list record for E.A. Rucker, citizen of Chile, travelling 1st class, departing Avonmouth, 15 March 1911, on the Chirripo, for Santa Marta, Colombia. Alfred Webb was a witness to Alice’s will.

England & Wales Death registration index record for Alice Maria Hayes Rucker, died aged 42, January-March quarter 1913, Wimborne registration district, Dorset, Vol. 5A, P. 329. Note Alice was actually 52 when she died.

England & Wales death certificate No. 339 for Alice Maria Hayes Rucker, wife of Enrique Alejandro Rucker, foreigh correspondent & clerk, of Wimborne U.D., died 9 January 1913 at the Cottage Hospital, Wimborne U.D., aged 42 [ie 52, though 40 had been originally entered and crossed out]. Cause of death was 1) carcinoma of the uterus 6 months; 2) operation & hysterectomy 11 days; paralysis of bowels 8 days; heart failure. The informant of the death was Enrique Alejandro Rucker, widower of the deceased, No. 15 West Borough, Wimborne.

England & Wales Probate registration index record for Alice Marie Rucker, of Studland House, Avon road, West Dorsetshire, (wife of Enrique Alejandro Rucker), died 9 January 1913, at the Cottage Hospital, Wimborne, Dorsetshire. Probate London, 18 February 1913, to the said Enrique Alejandro Rucker, gentleman. Effects £2366 3s 1d.

Information from Annie Ravenhill-Johnson, 28 November 2016.

Alice Pyett got away at 19 by marrying a much older man, Captain Horace Hayes of The Buffs. He is a very famous vet and wrote countless books on the subject. The Points of the Horse is still the definitive book on equine anatomy even today. It appears that Alice travelled with the regiment to India and visited China and the Arab countries. She wrote a book The Horsewoman by Mrs. Hayes in which she describes a divided riding skirt she has designed because ladies still rode sidesaddle. There's a photo of her riding a mountain zebra sidesaddle! She relates how she rode in the desert every day breaking in horses for Arab sheiks. In the UK she is a hero in the eyes of the Sidesaddle Riding Association.

In Calcutta she visited the leper colony and was appalled by the conditions and campaigned for clean linen, showers and fresh fresh fruit. The British rajh press called her an hysterical woman but she won in the end. When they left India she handed her work to the St Vincent de Paul Association and wrote a book My Leper Friends with all proceeds to the leper colony. She and her husband wrote a sporting newspaper in India too. What a woman! I am so proud of her!


In the 1870s, “safety skirts” appeared. These were skirts that were fastened at the back and engineered to release the rider if caught on the pommels of the saddle in a fall. Getting caught in one’s riding skirt was a serious danger and tailors were constantly designing their own skirt systems and hoping to patent them. The first safety skirt was patented in 1894 by Alice M. Hayes and tailor Frederick Tautz of Oxford Street London. Breeches were, of course, an essential part of riding habits by this time. The safety skirt would eventually evolve into the apron skirt, a shaped apron that gives the appearance of a skirt while mounted side saddle, but requires breeches to be worn underneath.

Note no patent has been found. The only patent granted to Alice is: UK Patent No. 12,122 of 1893. Title : Sanitary Pad for Ladies' Riding Breeches and Riding Trousers; Inventor : Alice Marie Hayes, of 34 Montpelier Street, Brompton Road, in the county of London, Professional Lady Rider, and wife of M. H. Hayes, Fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. Date of application : 20 June 1893; Complete specification : 17 March 1894; Accepted : 20 June 1894.

Similarly the only patent found for Frederick Tautz is for improvements to breeches, also granted in 1894.

From the 1901 census and from her writings it would appear that Alice had a son, recorded as James Hayes, born about 1883 in Edinburgh, however no birth registration record in Scotland or England has been found. From the preface to the 1903 edition of The Horsewoman : a practical guide to side-saddle riding : "Knowing the immense value of photographs in explaining technical subjects, I have gladly availed myself of the expert help of my husband and son in that form of illustration." From that we could assume son James was still alive in 1903. Other mentions of her son in The Horsewoman include talking about a cup she had won in a jumping competition, presumably in Calcatta: "By-the-bye, my acquisition of this cup caused me to be branded as a “circus rider” by the ladies in a Little Pedlington village in this country; for when the local society leader called on me, I was out, and my son, by way of entertaining her, showed her “the cup that mother won in a circus!”" And in the chapter on riding difficult horses, while in India: "She [the horse] would carry my son to his school, a distance of about five miles, and bring him home without making any attempt to shy with the child, but if an adult person rode her on the same route, she would play up as usual. I can only infer from this experience that, as I have already said, many horses possess a certain sense of honour."

In her book "My leper friends" (London : Thacker, 1891), she writes about her first visit to the leper asylum, probably in 1890 (p24) : When I arrived home from the asylum, I went at once to find my husband, to tell him all that I had seen, and ask him to help me in doing something for the lepers. He was out, unfortunately, and, no one else being in the house, I tried to interest my little boy in the fate of the poor leper child whom I had just seen. His baby brain could not grasp the full extent of my meaning ; but he understood enough to offer his scrap-book and promise me his musical-box and other things, all of which were duly handed over to the poor little leper next day. And writing about the Nuns of the Loretto Convent (p.89) : I first became acquainted with them through sending my little boy to school at their convent in the hills. During the hot weather, it is found necessary to send as many children as their parents can afford to pay for, away out of the heat of Calcutta, to the cooler climate of Darjeeling or any adjacent hill station, where the little ones remain till the temperature becomes sufficiently cool for them to return to their studies in the plains. I sent my boy one season to Darjeeling with the nuns, and it was when arranging for his trip that I first met my kind friends.

Caring for the lepers in Calcutta became a major project for Alice.

The Queen, 22 November 1890, p. 68


A Calcutta correspondent writes : Perhaps your readers may be interested to hear what a woman has done for the lepers in the Calcutta Leper Asylum. Mrs Alice Hayes, lady correspondent of a local weekly, entitled “Hayes’ Sporting News”, edited by her husband, Capt. Horace Hayes, lately commenced writing in her husband’s paper a series of articles on Calcutta charities, visiting each one for this purpose, amongst them the Calcutta Leper Asylum. She found entombed there about seventy lepers – men and women and one or two children. Amongst the inmates are some Eurasian and European men and women. The latter seem, from Mrs Hayes’ accounts, to be badly furnished with the comforts of life. Two of the women had been students in some of our large public schools before the disease showed itself, and were hidden away here by parents and friends anxious to put any such a visitation from the world’s gaze. Mrs Hayes was much touched at the sad loneliness of these poor creatures, and describes their condition most vividly in the paper before mentioned, inviting the help of the public to form a small fund to provided them with small creature comforts which the asylum had omitted to supply, such as sufficient clothes, sheets, washstands, fruit, jam, illustrated papers, &c., and proposing personally to visit the asylum weekly and to distribute amongst the afflicted people the small offerings. Her appeal has been very generously responded to, and money, clothing, &c., have been sent her. Nobly, to, does she, week after week, fulfil her self-imposed mission, going amongst the poor and outcasts, and cheering their loneliness with sprightly talk and news of the outside world, and leaving each time some memento of her kindly presence. Leprosy in our tropical climate assumes its most loathsome aspect, and many of the inhabitants of our Leper Asylum are in a very advanced stage of the disease. The sight as described by others whom curiosity or pity perhaps has tempted there is enough to appal any man. I hardly think a second visit is paid, however good the intention of doing so. Mrs Hayes, on the contrary, as I have said before, has never failed a single Tuesday to visit her poor suffering fellow-creatures. We read with admiration of the deeds of Florence Nightingale, Sister Dora, Sister Gertrude, and I think we should add to this list the name of our brave young citizen, Mrs Alice Hayes, whose kindness and courage are certainly unequalled in India.

The Hayes left Calcutta in 1891, leaving via Bombay for England.

Alice's books were:

My leper friends : an account of personal work among lepers and of their daily life in India / by Mrs M. H. Hayes. London : W. Thacker & Co., 1891.

The horsewoman : a practical guide to side-saddle riding / by Alice M Hayes, edited by M. Horace Hayes, F.R.C.V.S. late captain "The Buffs". London : W. Thacker & Co. 1893. ; 2nd ed. London : Hurst and Blackett ; New York : Charles Scribner's Sons, 1903 ; 3rd ed. London : Hurst and Blackett, 1910.

The story of the Tzars / by Alice M. Hayes. This was advertised as [In the press] in 1900 in Horace's book Among horses in Russia, but does not appear to have been published.

Caroline Cardew, widow (born Caroline Hake), had married Matthew Horace Hayes at Cannanore, Madras, India, on 13 January 1866. In her 1886 Divorce application, Caroline claimed Matthew had not lived with her since June or July 1866 and had been cohabiting with women unknown at various dates and in various places in India and England, and since November 1885 in India. Horace had returned to Ireland from India in 1866 so perhaps Caroline had stayed in India?

Australasian (Melbourne, Vic.), Saturday 28 January 1893, page 45

LITERARY NOTES. ... Mrs. Alice M. Hayes, in the Horsewoman, a practical guide to side-saddle riding (London: Thacker and Co.) says emphatically that the side-saddle is the only possible saddle for women—and in saying so shows that she has heard, about Australia :- "Journalists short of 'copy' and women anxious for notoriety, periodically start the notion that ladies should adopt a man's saddle in preference to their own one. Anyone who takes up this idea seriously must be either mad or wholly ignorant. In the first place, a woman's appearance in a 'cross saddle' would be most ungraceful. On this point I need not go into particulars; but may draw attention to the, fact that even men who have broad hips never look well in a saddle. Secondly, riding a califourchon would be injurious to the health of any ordinary woman who aspired to going out of a walk. I am here alluding to ladies of every-day life, and not to feminine desperadoes like the famous Kate Kelly, who, mounted astride on her black mare, used to defy the efforts of the Australian police to prevent her from communicating with her brother Ned, 'the iron clad bushranger.' Thirdly the shape of a woman's limbs are unsuited to cross saddle riding, which requires length from hip to knee, flat muscles, and a slight inclination to ' bow legs.' And, finally, the seat in a man's ordinary saddle is much less secure, even for a man, than a woman's seat in a side saddle. The fact that by the adoption of the cross saddle about seven pounds in weight would be saved, and that the work for the horse would be a little easier to do, should surely not outweigh the enormous disadvantages (under ordinary conditions) on the other side! Having travelled a good deal in the East, I am aware that Oriental women ride astride; but they very rarely (I have never seen any of them voluntarily do so) go out of a walk. Their saddles are made something after the pattern of an easy chair, and their stirrups are very short; so that their seat is altogether different to what it would be in an English hunting saddle. Knowing the trouble there is in using the same saddle for different animals, I am quite ready to admit that if a lady had to travel on horseback through an uncivilised country, she might reasonably ride in a cross saddle, supposing that her side saddle did not fit her mount) or that she had not got one, or that she wanted to disguise her sex. In such a case, if she did not wish to adopt the Eastern saddle, she would be best suited by an Australian buck-jumping saddle, the ' rolls' of which curve round the leg, a little above the knee, something like what the leaping head does to the left leg, and gives great security of seat." The author of the Horsewoman (Mrs. Hayes) seems to have been in Egypt, India, South Africa, and Australia with her husband, who has written many books on the horse, and taught horse-breaking to thousands of pupils, including Prince George of Wales, who got his lessons at Malta. Mrs. Hayes had this adventure near Suez "One evening, after it was dark, when riding alone in the desert, I lost my way, so I allowed my pony to find it for me, which he did by taking me a short cut through the middle of an encampment of wandering Bedouins, who had been stealing everything they could lay hands on in and around Suez. I may mention that their halting-place was three or four miles away from any habitation. The moment they saw me they stopped my horse and care fully examined me by the light of a dirty lantern, with the object of seeing if I had anything worth appropriating. All that they thought worth taking was a gold bangle I was wearing. After consulting among themselves in what I suppose was Arabic, they released the pony and gave him a pasty blow across his quarters, as much as to say, ' Off you go!' He did not require a second hint for he plunged forward and bolted home as hard as he could, no doubt quite as glad as I was to get safely away from these wild thieves,"

Information from Annie Ravenhill-Johnson, 9 January 2017.

I am looking at Alice's second book "My Leper Friends" published in 1891. There was only one copy on the country, in Cambridge University's medical library, and my university got it on loan, and I photocopied it. Sadly it is too long to scan and send you. She says that in 1888 she and Horace enjoyed a "well-earned" holiday in Japan, having just come from China. They were doing a tour demonstrating the breaking in of horses. She says that when a horse or pony, which previously wouldn't allow anyone to mount him, was reduced to obedience in an hour or two, a side saddle was usually put on him then she mounted him, and put him through his paces and jumped over some improvised fences. She says she longed for a settled home after this continual round of hotel and steamer life. She wanted to go back to India where she says she had previously spent a pleasant time in her hobby, theatricals. She says she had received praise in the "Field" and "Graphic" for her riding when her husband gave a performance in London in aid of funds for retired horses. So they went to Calcutta and started a sporting newspaper. She had already had pieces published in "various papers" and she was the drama and music critic and also she wrote about events "of passing interest" from a lady's point of view.

She says that the brothers from the St. Vincent de Paul Society asked her to sing at one of their weekly concerts for sailors, after which she often went and sang. She started writing articles on Calcutta charities, and visited the almshouse, and then the building on the opposite side of the road which was the Leper Asylum. The superintendent said that they had never taken a lady over the place before. She says the lepers only had beds, that the sheets were dirty, their bandages filthy, and there were flies on their open sores. She was a woman of her age, and was horrified that a European woman had only a dirty sheet hanging up to separate her from the "natives". Leprosy was incurable at that time of course, and she says she wasn't afraid of contracting it herself. She asked them if she would bring them books but they said their sight was going fast and reading hurt their eyes too much. They had no bath tubs or washstands and had to wash at a tap in a brick enclosure with no doors. In the male ward men were even lying dying on mats on the floor.

She says when she got home she told her little boy about a leper child and he handed over his scrap book and musical box to give to him. So it appears that she and Horace definitely had a son.

She says they went next day with fresh fruit, flowers, fans, scent, biscuits, jam, clean linen for bandages, sheets, underclothing, etc. The superintendent was not pleased. Furthermore she wrote it all up in an article in their paper. She then went to the Police Commissioner and asked for help He and the President of the Society went down with her but of course by then, having read her article, the place had undergone a thorough cleaning! And when they were severely asked what complaints they had, the lepers just cringed and said nothing. So a reply to Alice's piece was published in another paper saying that her accusations were "absolutely without foundation, and are merely the careless and inaccurate reports of a hysterical, irresponsible woman seeking notoriety". But "The Queen" magazine in November 22nd wrote about her good work, how she visited every week taking her own offerings, and how money, clothing, books, linen, soap, tea, and so on had been sent to her following her appeal, and enough money to employ a female attendant for them. The food had also improved greatly. "We read with admiration of the deeds of Florence Nightingale, Sister Dora, Sister Gertrude, and I think we should add to this list the name of our brave young citizen, Mrs. Alice Hayes, whose kindness and courage are certainly unequaled in India".

When funds got low she and her friends hired the Town Hall and put on a concert. The Great Eastern Hotel sent their workmen with flags and drapery to decorate the Town Hall, the programmes were designed and printed for them at no charge, There were 6 soloists, she did two recitations, there was a short play, school children sang, a band played during the interval and after the concert, and she decorated the stage with flowers, evergreens and fairy lamps.

Information from the introduction to the 18th edition (published 2002) of Veterinary notes for horse owners by Captain M. Horace Hayes .Roy Knightbridge first become involved with the literary estate of Horace Hayes in 1975 when his step-father Frank Pyett (Alice's nephew, son of her brother John Pyett), by then sole trustee, asked him to help find a literary agent to replace the previous literary agent who had died. Frank then asked Roy if he would take on the role, which he did. When Frank died in 1982, Roy and his sister Pamela Sitch became joint trustees of the literary estate. It is not known how Frank became the Literary Trustee of Horace’s estate, as in Horace’s will he bequeathed everything to wife Alice, and in Alice’s will she had bequeathed everything to second husband Enrique Rucker.

Kent & Sussex Courier 4 March 1904, p. 7. Article titled Cudham, reporting the annual general meeting of the Cricket club, held in the "Blacksmith's Arms", Mr E.A. Rucker presiding. At the end of the meeting the Chairman gave £5 to the club. This is possibly a different Rucker as Sussex newspapers report in 1922 and 1925 the marriage of the son of the late Mr E.A. Rucker and Mrs Rucker. 1914 E.A. Rucker had a hat trick playing for Oxford University against the M.C.C.

UK Passenger list record for Enrique Rucker, foreign male aged over 12, only passenger, departing London, 7 February 1906, on the Ammon, for Valparaíso, Chile.

UK Passenger list record for E.A. Rucker, citizen of Chile, travelling 1st class, departing Avonmouth, 15 March 1911, on the Chirripo, for Santa Marta, Colombia.

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Alice Maria Hayes's Timeline

September 20, 1861
Esher, Surrey, England, United Kingdom
Edinburgh, Scotland (United Kingdom)
January 9, 1913
Age 51
Wimborne, Dorsetshire, England, United Kingdom