After 30 years, Squire Crozier felt that the time had come for his pack to be turned into a subscription hunt and, at a meeting in Threlkeld on 21 January 1870, the Blencathra was formed on its present basis. It was agreed that, in the event of the subscribers giving up the hounds, they should revert to the Crozier family. Mr Crozier was invited to continue in office and retained the Mastership for a total of 63 years until his death in 1903.
Mr Crozier was succeeded by the Rt Hon J W Lowther, later Viscount Ullswater, who held office until November 1919 when, despite the appointment of two Deputy Masters, his duties as Speaker of the House of Commons necessitated retirement. He was one of the few Masters not to die in office.
Upon Mr Lowther's retirement, Mr R J Holdsworth of Seathowe, Thornthwaite was appointed as Master. Mr John Tatters acted as his Deputy Master from 1927 and succeeded Mr Holdsworth, who became Honorary Master, in 1937. It was Mr Tatters who carried the pack through the difficult years of the Second World War.
Lt Col Sir Percy Hope became Master in 1945. On his death in 1973 he was followed by two Joint Masters, Mr George Graham QC, who stood down after 20 years in 1993, and Major Phil Davidson. In 1992 Mr ‘Bunty’ Airey and Mr Joe Bennett joined Major Davidson as Joint Masters. Sadly both Major Phil Davidson and Mr Bunty Airey died in 1996, leaving Mr Joe Bennett, a respected local farmer, to hold office alone. He was joined in 1997 by Dr Jim Cox from Caldbeck, at the northern end of Blencathra country and home of John Peel, and Mr Stan Mattinson, former Blencathra whipper-in and Coniston huntsman.
Joe Bennett stood down in 2000 and Stan Mattinson in 2001. Mr Michael Thompson, former Hunt secretary, joined Dr Cox as joint master in 2002, and when Dr Cox stood down in 2005 became the sole Master.
Michael Thompson current Master