Henry Astbury Leveson (1828 - 1875) was a renowned British sportsman and big game hunter. He wrote many books using the pseudonym 'The Old Shekarry' or H.A.L 'The Old Shekarry'.
At the age of 17 Leveson obtained a commission in the East India Company's service. It was during 9 years in India that he developed his hunting skills and experience hunting tigers, pigs and other game. He returned to England and volunteered to serve in the Crimean War where he later commanded a brigade of the Turkish army at Sebastopol, Balaclava and, re-attaching himself to the 63rd Regiment, he fought at the battle of Inkerman.
Leveson always hunted wherever he found himself in the world ...in Germany, India, Tibet, the deserts of Asia, west Africa, the Rocky Mountains and Abyssinia...he even accompanied Jules Gerard, the famous French 'lion-killer' on a hunting trip in Algeria. At one stage Major Leveson volunteered his services as chief of an expedition to find David Livingstone when there was no news of him for several years - this offer was turned down.
Leveson's health deteriorated due a previous head wound and he died at the early age of 47 years.
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Wrinkles: Or Hints To Sportsmen And Travellers On Dress, Equipment And Camp Life by 'The Old Shekarry' / Henry Astbury Leveson (1874) is a fascinating book advising the uninitiated hunter in great detail, what to wear, equipment to use and how to hunt the "fiercer denizens of the forest"..."where in a wild and almost unknown country, peopled by treacherous tribes, the traveller will have much difficulty in keeping his health sound and his skin whole". Being a strong advocate of flannel next to the skin in tropical climates, he advises "calico shirts may be worn, but without flannel under-clothing, linen should never be placed next the skin" and "Flannel ought to be thoroughly shrunk before making up" and Leveson also tells the hunter where to buy the most suitable clothes. Free eBook
The Forest And The Field by H.A.L 'The Old Shekarry' / Henry Astbury Leveson (1867). This entertaining work of big game hunting adventures includes hunts after gorilla and hippopotamus in the region of west Africa which is now Gabon. However, most of the action takes place in India where he hunted rogue elephant in the Moyaar jungle, tiger in the Dehra Doon and a variety of game including bear, serow, goral, Ovis ammon, yak and ibex in the Himalayas. Near the headwaters of the Ganges, he stalked bear and leopard. Free eBook
Sport In Many Lands by 'Old Shekarry' / Henry Astbury Leveson (1877) was published posthumously includes five chapters on hunting experiences in the Rocky Mountains in the 1860s with much on Indians and on the destruction of the buffalo herds. He hunted sheep, bear, moose, goat, deer, antelope and buffalo in America, plus all the African big game. A 2 volume edition was published in 1890. Vol I Free eBook Vol II Free eBook
The Camp-Fire by H.A.L 'The Old Shekarry' / Henry Astbury Leveson (1866) is a book of songs that were sung by the author's friends and comrades around the camp-fire during the Crimean War. There is also a poem written by Leveson while he was laid up from his wounds after the battle of Inkerman. It is a commemoration of those that fought and died in Crimea and was dedicated to a Lady Stratford de Redcliffe (the wife of the then British Ambassador in Constantinople), who nursed the wounded at Scutari. Free eBook
Hunting Grounds Of The Old World by H.A.L 'The Old Shekarry' / Henry Astbury Leveson (1860). Big game hunting in the Deccan, southern India, the mountain ranges of the Himalayas and Circassia. Much on tiger hunting, elephant, bear, ibex, sheep and more. Free eBook
Wild Sports Of The World: A Boy's Book Of Natural History And Adventure by James Greenwood (1862) was intended to "strengthen the spirit and inform the mind of the young reader". A fine mid-nineteenth century British adventure book which ontains chapters such as 'How the Lion is Hunted', 'Habitat of the Rhinoceros' and 'The War Elephant of the Ancients'. There are portraits of celebrated hunters, including Henry Astbury Leveson, from original photographs and maps showing the habitats of animals and plants all over the world.
Four Fathers of Big Game Hunting: Biographical Sketches Of The Sporting Lives Of William Cotton Oswell, Henry Astbury Leveson, Samuel White Baker And Roualeyn George Gordon Cumming by T R Thormanby (1901). The illustrated contents of this book include many little known facts and anecdotes on the sport and lives of William Cotton Oswell, Henry Astbury Leveson, Sir Samuel White Baker and Roualeyn George Gordon Cumming. Kindle Version
Page Updated: Aug 2020