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SHORT-HORN CATTLE. As a part of the history of Short-horns, we have fortunately obtained a copy of the correspondence between Thomas Bates and John Parkinson in 1842.
Mr. Bates gives a full account of the Duchess family, including the Duke of “Northumberland," (1940,) bred by him in 1835. Mr. Bates' Duchess 1st was purchased originally from Charles Colling, at his sale in 1810. Charles Colling had the family in his possession from 1784, his original cow having been bought of the agent of the Duke of Northumberland—and this cow was called “Duchess" by Mr. Colling (155) No. 1, by Comet. This letter of Mi. Bates gives a full account of the Duchess family, up to the date of his letter in 1842.
FIRST CLASS PRIZE WINNERS FROM 1839 to 1863. In connection with this correspondence we give the pedigrees and listory of the prize bulls and cows of the first class, from 1839 to 1863, as published in Bell's Weekly Messenger to 1862; and we have added the prize animals of 1863.
MR. Bates' CELEBRATED PRIZE ANIMALS, THE “ DUCHESS" AND THE
“DUKE OF NORTHUMBERLAND.” To the Editor of the New Farmers' Journal :
Sir-Ilerewith I send you the pedigree of my Short-horn bull, “Duke of Northumberland,” as described in the “Herd-book," (1940, in 3d volume,) and which is as follows:
Color roan, calved October 15th, 1835; got by Belvidere (1706), dam (Duchess 34th page 356 of volume 3d of “Herd-book,") by Belvidere (1706), g. d. (Duchess 29th) by second Hubback (1423), gr. & d. (Duchess 20th) by the Earl (1511), gr. gr. g. d. (Duchess 8th) by Marzke (413), gr. gr. gr. g. d. (Duchess 2.1) by Thelton 1st (709), gr. gr. gr. gr. g. d. (Duchess Ist, bred by Mr. Charles Colling,) by Comet (155), -(this cow was bought by me at Mr. C. Colling's sale, at Thelton, near Darlington, in 1810,1-gr. gr. gr. gr. gr. g. d. by Favorite (252), gr. gr. gr. gr. gr. gr. g. d. by Daisy bull (186), -(this cow was also bought of Mr. C. Colling by me in 1804,}gr. gr. gr. gr. gr. gr. gr. g. d. by Favorite (252), gr. gr. gr. gr. gr. gr. gr. gr. g. d. by Hubback (319), gr. gr. gr. gr. gr. gr. gr. gr. gr. g. d. [bought by Mr. C. Colling, from Stanwix, in 1784, of the late Duke of Northumberland's agent,) by Mr. James Brown's old red bull (97.)
The whole of this family of Short-horns are alone in my possession, having purchased my original cow of this tribe of cattle of the late Charles Colling, Esq., then of Thelton, near Darlington, thirty-eight years ago. They had been in the possession of Mr. C. Colling twenty years, who purchased his original cow, from Stanwix, of the agent of the late Duke of Northumberland, and Mr. C. Colling named her “Duchess," (which name I have continued,)
and when the first “Herd-book” was prepared I called the Duchess by Comet (155), No. 1. The Duke's dam, Duchess 34th, is the oldest cow I have of the family, and the “Duke” was her first calf. She has had eight calves, and is, I hope, again in calf to the “Duka," her eldest son. She was calved September 14, 1832, and in her tenth year she obtained the highest prize at the Yorkshire Society's late exhibition, at York, in August last, as the best cow of any age, the only time she was ever exhibited. Her daughter, Duchess 43d, obtained the premium as the best year old heifer at the Oxford meeting of the Royal Agricultural Society of England, in 1839. Her eldest brother, the “Duke," obtaining at the same meeting the premium as the best bull of any age, being then three years and eight months old; and the sister in blood to the Duke's dam obtained at the same time the premium as the best beifer in calf, though then only a year old. The Duke's own sister was then also in calf; and these same two heifers were awarded the first and second premiums at the Yorkshire Society's exbibition at Hull, in August, 1841, as the best three year old cows. The "Duke" also obtained the highest premium as the best two-years old bull, at the Yorkshire Suciety's first exhibition at York, in 1838, and premiums likewise at Stockton and Darlington, the same year (1838), as the best bull of any age, and obtained the highest premium as the best bull of any age at the late York meeting in August last. He never has been exbibited but upon the above five occasions.
I named this bull " Duke of Northumberland,” to perpetuate the commemoration, that it is to the judgment and attention of the ancestors of the present Duke of Northumberland that this country, and the world, are indebted for a tribe of cattle which Mr. C. Colling repeatedly assured me was the best he ever had or ever saw, and that his first cow of this tribe was better than any he could produce from her, though put to bis best bulls, which improved all other cattle; and this tribe of Short-horns was in the possession of the ancestors of the present Duke for two centuries; and Sir Hugh Smythson, the grandfather of the present Duke, kept up the celebrity of this tribe of cattle, by paying the greatest attention to their breeding. He used, a century ago, regularly to weigh his catile and the food they ate, so as to ascertain the improvement made in proportion to the food consumed. This was before Mr. Bakewell was known as a superior breeder of stock, and this system I adopted above fifty years ago, not knowing that it had been previously done, and it was from the knowledge thus acquired by weighing the food consumed, and ascertaining the improvement made, that I became enabled to judge of the real merils of animals by their external characters, and in my experience, as a breeder, I have never found it to fail. From that knowledge, thus acquired, I selected this tribe of Short-horns, as superior to all other cattle, not only as small consumers, but as great growers and quick graziers, with the finest quality of beef. Mr. C. Colling exbibited at Darlington, in the spring of 1799, his two first calves by his bull Favorite, (252) a heifer and a steer, (afterwards known as the Durham ox, and exhibited for six years by Mr. John Day), then each three years old. The heifer was of this Duchess family, and she was larger than the steer, and exceeded him in every point, and on being slaughtered the following week, weighed above 100 stones, of 14 lbs. per stone; but her great excellence consisted in the superior quality of her beef. She was uniformly covered with fat on every part. Mr. Robert Thompson, then of Chillingham Barns, in Northumberland, (whose superior judgment in Shorthorns and Leicestershire sheep no one ever questioned) was at Darlington that day, and we repeatedly met each other at this heifer, both agreeing that she far exceeded any animal we had ever seen at her age. Finding that tribe of cattle were equally extraordinary as great milkers, induced me afterwards to purchase my first Duchess, then in calf by Favorite, of my bull Shelton Ist, and her daughter, and afterwards at the sale in 1840, the granddaughter. My first Duchess calved at Halton Castle, in Northumberland, June 7th, 1807; she was kept on grass only, in a pasture with nineteen other cows, and made in butter and milk for some months above two guineas per week, or forty-two shillings English money.
As a proof that this tribe of Short-horns have improved under my care, I may mention that “Duke of Northur berland’s” dam consumes one third less food than my first Duchess (purchased in 1904), and her milk yields onethird more butter for cach quart of milk; and, whilst the consumption of food is one third less, and the milk yields one-third more butter, there is also a greater growth of carcass, and an increased aptitude to fatten. “The Duke's” dam, Duchess 34th, was found with her right leg broken below the knee, when on grass, before she was a year old, and was (in consequence) confined in the house, and was not able to bear her weight on this leg for near nine months afterwards, thus preventing any improvements for that length of time, and is a cow that never has been indulged at any period ; for some years scarce ever tasting a turnip in the winter months, and yet preserving her condition, and breeding regularly.
It is now about sixty years since I became impressed with the importance of selecting the very best animals to breed from, and for twenty-five years afterwards lost no opportunity of ascertaining the merits of the various tribes of Short-horus, and it was only then that this could be done, as there is scarce a vestige remaining of the many excellent cattle that were then in existence. I have never used any bull that bad not Duchess blood, since I became possessed of this tribe, without perceiving, immediately, the error-except Belvidere (1706), and he was the last bull of a long race of well-descended Short-horns, whose blood (in the Princess cow) went direct from Hubback (319) to Favorite (252)--as in the Duchess tribe, and in Yarborough's dam (second Hubback's blood, 1423) — and these are the only three tribes of Short-horns that were so bred as females (and Mr. R. Colling's white bull the only male, being of the Princess family)—and all these three tribes, so bred, are united in the dam of the Duke of Northumberland -- and there are no other Short-horns so bred. The superiority of the stock of Mr. R. Colling's white bull over Favorite's stock, (252), his sire, was evident to me in 1804_and was admitted by Mr. C. Colling, and I would gladly have then given 100 guineas to have had my first Duchess bulled by him, but I could not obtain it on any terms, and it was 27 years afterwards before I obtained the same blood in Belvidere (1706), the last pure blood of that tribe of Short-horns. For the last 35 years I have paid little attention to the subject, but the matter was as perfectly fixed in my remembrance as that of the pence or multiplication tables ; nor have I had cause to alter any opinion I then formed, and each revolving year has given me additional proof that the judgment I formed 35 years ago was correct in every particular. From 1805, when the Tynedale Ward Agricultural Society was formed, till 1812, I exhibited cattle at their Ovingham shows, and my success, even with interior animals of my breeding, is yet well remembered, but I never showed my first Duchess, nor her son, Kelton 1st; and from 1812 till the York first meeting, in 1838, I never showed any cattle at public exhibitions (26 years between); and it was with great reluctance that I again did so), well knowing what I had seen practiced at public meetings ; but I consented, at the urgent request of a then stranger, who happened unintentionally to have seen my cattle when buying horses of my tenants, and I exhibited seven Short-horns for eight premiums at York, in 1838, and, though five premiums were awarded to them, the three best animals were rejected ; and then I sent the next year to the Royal English Agricultural Society's first meeting at Oxford, expecting those placed before them at York would have again made their appearance at that exhibition ; but none of those appeared, and all my three rejected at York obtained the bighest premiums; the fourth ( he cow) I there obtained the premium for was placed second at York, as a three year old, to one of my own, which got her thigh broke in the field, or she would have gone to Oxford instead of the one I did send.
I have entered thus into detail, to answer objections, by quoting facts, to prove that this tribe of cattle have not had a recent origin; and, though the best cow then in existence, when I purchased my first Duchess, I have yet improved upon her, while all other Short-horns then in existence have been getting worse and worse, year by year.
Impressed with the importance of the subject of improving the live stock, from my attention to it, I addressed a printed letter, in 1807, to the Board of Agriculture, and all other agricultural societies ; but I met with the most violent opposition. I trust the spirit of inquiry is at length awakened by the formation of the Royal English Agricultural Society, and that thus the large landed proprietors of the United Kingdoms will direct that attention to the subject which it deserves, and which their own interest so evidently requires. It is only by the amelioration of the live stock that expensive 'improvements can be prudently undertaken ; this once made evident, the increase of green crops to rear and fatten the live stock, furnishes the manure that increases the produce of grain crops, and adds not only to the increased wealth of the nation, and to its increased population, rendering these kingdoms thereby independent of a foreign supply of the necessaries of life, and of those great fluctuations in price which inevitably have ever followed a foreign supply, increasing the wealth of the importers for a time, and generally ending in their ruin, whenever a kind Providence sends a fruitful season.
As the post hour draws near I must conclude, to enable you to print this letter in the same paper in which you purposed inserting the portraits of "The Duke" and his dam.
I do not expect any artist can do them justice. They must be seen, and the more they are examined the more their excellence will appear to a true
connoisseur; but there are few good judges-hundreds may be found to make a prime minister, for one fit to judge the real merits of animals. In great haste I remain yours truly,
THOMAS BATES. KIRKLEVINGTON, NEAR Yaru, Yorkshire, November 11th, 1842.
(From the Farmers' Journal of November 25, 1844.) The following paragraph appeared in our columns of Monday, November 11th, headed Short-Horns. We republish it, that our readers may see to what Mr. Bates is replying :
“Short-horns.- Mr. Bates having lately expressed himself very strongly against the merit of ‘Cramer,' by Sir Thomas Fairfax (5196) dam 'Cassan. dra,' by Miracle (2320), to Mr. Banks Stanhope, his owner offered to show that bull against any of Mr. Bates' bulls, under nine years old, at the next meeting of the Yorkshire Society, at Beverly; and Mr. Parkinson, the breeder of Cramer, proposed also to show against Mr. Bates' thirty Shorthorned cattle, each on their respective farms; and although it was declared, in each instance, that the terms of showing might be such as Mr. Bates considered unobjectionable, he has declined exhibiting in either case."
Correspondent. To the Editor of the Farmers' Journal :
Sir-I was not a little surprised to see in your paper of yesterday, just received, an article headed “Short-Horns," which I presume has been sent you by Mr. Parkinson, or someone through him, as it refers to a letter wrote to him. However, having preserved a copy of my letter, I herewith send it you for insertion in your next week's paper, that your readers may know what I really did say to Mr. Parkinson. I am, &c.,
THOMAS BATES. KIRKLEVINGTON, NEAR YARy, November 12, 1844.
"To John PARKINSON, Esq., Ley fields, near Newark :
"Sir-Your letter of the 10th instant having been (as stated on the back by some postmaster) missent, only reached me this morning. You are wrong in stating that I have written to disparage your Short-horned cattle generally. I do not know your Short-horned cattle generally. In respect to particular blood, whether of yours or belonging to other persons, which I have known, I have ever spoken and written of it as my experience convinced me. I have done the same forty years ago, which I presume was before you were a Short-horned breeder (as I presume you are a son of Mr. Parkinson, the owner of Sir Thomas Fairfax, and I think I so spoke of that bull to him long before he was the purchaser.) What I said to Mr. Stanhope I said for his good. If he has not taken it so, I cannot help it; further experience may convince him as it has others, who have acknowledged to me afterwards that they found I was right, though they did not think so when I gave my opinion. I did so then for the good of those I spoke to, and not to disparage, as you suppose. It is not the first time that .