Showing posts with label ancient park cattle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ancient park cattle. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Have a look at what we have available for Fall 2019.  All breeding stock has been grassfed for over 15 years.  All my breedings over several generations are based on genetic testing for Feed Efficiency of original dams and sires, as well as ultrasounding for superior carcass those same originating dams and sires.   Please email Jimmie at with any questions.  And visit us on Facebook!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Shorthorn and white Park Cattle - Crossbreeding Experiment with Notable Results

Champion  White Shorthorn, A very large 19th century
bovine, or so it would appear in comparison to man and dog.

The following late 19th century account of the crossing of white Shorthorns with white Park cattle from the Chillingham herd is a very interesting read.  The heterosis from the cross was remarkable, resulting in at least a doubling of the harvest weight of the resulting steers; per some references, an almost tripling of harvest weight of a pure wild white steer. 

"This wild breed holds its own very strongly, and the first cross is not distinguishable from the pure breed in its colour or distinctive marks."  The Earl of Tankerville, ~1890, in reference to the cross breeding experiment with white Shorthorn cattle.

"The calves at birth are pure white, more creamy white afterwards, ears reddish-brown. The horns of the animals as they grow are white, with black tips; hoofs and noses black; eyes fringed with long eyelashes, which give them depth and character; bodies symmetrically formed; backs straight and level; shoulders fine, enabling them to trot like match horses with amazing rapidity. The average weights of wild (whitecattle killed from 1862 to 1889 were : bulls, 560 lbs. ; cows, 420 lbs.; and steers, 570 lbs." (Houseman, 1897)

Bruce Herald, Volume XXIV, Issue 2485, 16 June 1893, Page 4

"Our readers have heard of the famous white cattle of Chillingham, Northumberland, supposed to be the descendants of the original "Bos primigenius," but much degenerated in size, that once roamed the plains and forests of Europe in prehistoric times. There is still a herd of these cattle at Chillingham, and a recent number of the 'Agricultural Gazette' publishes a chatty and interesting article about the animals and experiments with them and thusly proceeds:

"At the Royal Show at Kilburn and again at the Smithfield Club Show in 1888 the public were much interested in the specimens of white animals which Lord Tankerville exhibited, being a cross between his own famous white wild cattle at Chillingham Park and the pure Shorthorn. In 1876 an experiment was made in putting a wild bull on four pure-bred Shorthorn heifers; only two of them bred. One produced a heifer calf (Eve), which she in her turn, never bred, and the bull (Adam), whilst running with his dam, a fine white cow, Honored Guest, got her in calf, and the produce was another bull, called Cain. At three years old this animal showed great masculine character, with extraordinary hair and flesh, though retaining some of the wild nature.
In 1884 a second experiment was made the reverse way. Two wild heifers were crossed with the white Shorthorn bull, Baron Bruce 47,387; from one of these was born, on March 20th, 1885, a white heifer called Wild Rose, and on April 13th the following year the other heifer produced a white cow calf called Wild Blossom.  Both these have since been mated with purebred white bulls from Mr. Booth's herd, Wild Rose, still breeding, having produced five calves and Wild Blossom four.
Now the second calf of Wild Rose, a heifer calved in September, 1888, called Wild Rose 2nd, has produced in her turn two bulls, which, like the rest of the male calves, have been castrated. Altogether there are to be seen in the small paddocks outside the park and adjoining the farm the two original half-bred wild cows and their ten descendants, six being females and four steers.  
On a bright winter's morning at the close of the last year the wild herd appeared remarkably quiet and well; they were lying in "happy content" on the grassy plateau to the west of Ross Castle, high up under the woods, basking in the sun. Two or three, the stragglers of the herd, got up, stretched their legs, and picked a bit here and there, but the early morning graze was finished, and a quiet hour's look at the herd from the wood showed little of their individuality. 
The herd for many years past has been numbered, and during the last five years has exceeded the usual sixty, going up to seventy three in 1890. The females ranged in the five years from thirty-five to thirty-nine, but more bulls and fewer oxen have been kept of late years.  A bull was sent in 1886, at much risk of life and limb, to the Duke of Hamilton's wild herd at Cadzow Park, near Glasgow.
Champion White Shorthorn exhibited at Smithfield, Dec. 1874
Print available from

The half-breds are kept completely apart from the wild herd, and there is rich grazing and comfortable hammels in each paddock for them. Wild Rose and Wild Blossom, both by Baron Bruce but out of different original wild cows, though each have the short legs and long, curved, upward type of horn, are deeper in their bodies than their wild ancestors, but differ in general character.

Wild Rose, with red hairy ears and dingy nose, is of broad frame and comparatively tame, though her produce inherit the wildness of her ancestors; whilst, on the contrary, Wild Blossom retains the wild type of head and horn and wild nature of her race; her hind-quarters are drooping and plain, the udder is well shaped, and she is a good milker, yet her produce are singularly tame; her third calf, a heifer, Wild Blossom 2nd by Sir Reginald Studley 58,148, was calved on January 12th, 1891, in the snow, and rarely goes under cover.  
Wild Blossom's first calf by the Rajah was calved December 3rd, 1888, and steered. It ran in the paddocks, and had, in addition, hay, a few cut turnips, and a little cake. It was killed on December 17th, 1891, and weighed 112 stone of 14 lb live weight, and dressed to 70 stone, being sold for £36 19s 6d. This is a great increase of the weight of the wild steers, as many years ago "The Druid", when writing of the Chillingham herd says, the steers always grow larger horns, and weigh from 40 to 50 stones of  14 lb in their natural state. Four steers were feeding in the paddocks during November last, and two of them would have easily carried honors in the crossbred classes at the Smithfield Show, one of them, full brother to Wild Blossom's first calf, was sold on December 12th last year for £50, he weighed alive 130 stones, and dressed 81 stones 8 1b when just three years old.  
Wild Rose 2nd by Rajah out of Wild Rose by Baron Bruce, having two crosses Shorthorn blood, is more lengthy and broader in body than her dam, the head, horns, and eye assimilating more to the shorthorn. She was served in July, but came regularly in use and was served again until November, and yet she produced a bull calf in April to the first service. The three calves by Sir Reginald Studley running with their dams were of singular merit; although shy and galloping a short distance off when approached, they were remarkably full of abundant long white hair and thick flesh, such, indeed, as would astonish the public if exhibited in our show yards."

Friday, December 16, 2011

Tracking Down White Park Cattle - Now there is an interesting headline . . .

Update 12/20/11:  This particularly amusing article from 1912 does indicate either the continuation of the original 1891 'breeding experiment' at the London Zoo, or a brand new set of 'wild white cattle' -- whatever the case, black or mostly black calves continued to be born to the pristine wild white cattle Zoo stock in 1912.  And that stock was said to be in 1915 from the Chillingham herd:  "With the exception of two animals in the Zoological Gardens of London and of those in Chillingham Park, there is not another One of these cattle in the world."  (Evening Post, Jan. 1915) This was said in reference to Lord Chillingham gallantly offering to send examples of his wild white cattle to an exposition.

"Many years ago, when the British wild ox roamed throughout the country, an occasional white calf would be born (says a writer in the Daily Mail). This, if not killed by its fellows, would be regarded as sacred by the ancient Britons, and carefully guarded when captured. The mating of these occasional freaks resulted, it is supposed, in the establishment of the white wild cattle in semi-captivity, such as the Chartley herd. Recently a few members of this old herd was established at the London Zoo, and once or twice a black calf has been born to the herd. Two of these interesting black "throw-backs" have been mated, and a black calf was born last week. This seems to point to the fact that we have got back to the beginning of a herd of the real ancient British ox. of which the white cattle, as we know them, are but the modern albino descendants."

Tracking down White Park cattle

by Luigi, Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog, on December 6, 2011

"A current project coordinated by Rare Breeds International (RBI) is studying the degree of divergence between national populations. It already has demonstrated that descendants of cattle exported 50 years ago still have the same DNA profile as the current population in UK. In the course of this research RBI has discovered references in the twentieth century (1930s to 1990s) to White Park animals (also referred to as Park or English Park, and Ancient White Park in North America) in several zoological gardens in Europe, including Copenhagen, Prague, Riga, London and Berlin. We are interested to pursue further this thread of research to explore the possibility that the White Park was found more widely in zoological gardens. We request anyone with relevant information to contact RBI at and will be most grateful for your assistance."
This is a plate from a book published in the late 1890's and entitled
'White Cattle of Cadzow Park', and it is apparently a fraud.  See
the original below entitled 'Chillingham Cattle'.
It seems an opportune time to point out yet again the results of the grand experiment at the London Zoological Gardens that began in the late 19th century.  Perhaps the RBI has overlooked the results of that breeding experiment in their research efforts as they are only now realizing that specimens of the ancient wild white cattle were in fact sent to various Zoos, including the Bronx Zoo of New York by way of Toronto -- shall we enlighten them on that one? 

You decide, perhaps they would have better luck than I did in having the Bronx Zoo archives explored in regard to the Park Cattle that so very briefly called this zoo home -- but only if someone with 'veracity' accomplished that task. 

By now in this 11th year of the 21st Century, the RBI certainly ought not to be suddenly surprised to learn that specimens of the breed were shipped to various locales across the world in their target time frame beginning in the 1930's - so I must say I am quite surprised at this RBI 'new' information and research focus - actually, I am quite skeptical and have to wonder at the motive of such naivete' from such an organization.

Please pay more attention than usual to the photos and their captions in this blog, as they are quite demonstrative of . . . well, lots of things that are quite pertinent historically to the much beloved ancient wild white cattle of Britain, both horned and polled -- and the veracity of the postulated history by pompous and influential individuals for well over 100 years of the laughable purity of horned Park cattle in comparison to polled Park cattle, or British White, as they are known today.  Veracity - such a potent word when it comes to attempts to 'shape' any history . . .

The 1891 Grey Argus news article quoted below tells us that a heifer from the Chillingham herd and a bull from the Chartley herd were 'captured' and taken to the London Zoological Society as the first two representative animals of the 'wild white cattle' of Britain.  They were to be used in a breeding program focused on trying to arrive at the 'original' type of wild white cattle. 

We know that plans were in place to obtain specimens from several other wild white cattle herds of the late 19th century, including specimens from the polled Hamilton, Blickling and Somerford herds.  This is highly pertinent to the ongoing stance of the horned Ancient White Park Cattle Association of the UK - and other flatulent and interested parties - which wish to establish the horned Park Cattle as the 'true' original and 'ancient' wild white cattle of Britain with NO genetic relationship to the polled British White cow of today:
"The Zoological Society will try to procure specimens from the other herds— Mr. Assheton-Smith's at Vaynol, the Duke of Hamilton's at Cadzow, Lady Lothian's at Blickling, and Sir Charles Shakerley's at Somerford, near Congleton." Grey River Argus 29 April 1891
"Zoologists hope by crossing the various strains to arrive at the original type, which is older than English civilisation and from which all these species are derived." Grey River Argus 29 April 1891
This 1835 drawing is entitled 'The White Urus' (or Hamilton breed
of wild Cattle) and is a true Original drawing, and is available
for purchase at this link: Prints Old and Rare.  Note the polled cow.
What a bold statement!  All other species of bovine were believed by some folks in the British Isles to be derived from the wild white cattle back in those days.  Just what was the result of this breeding experiment for 'original type'?  Abnormally colored calves were born to a Vaynol cow and Chartley bull.  I've been unable to find where specimens were ever obtained from the other various herds mentioned in the article above. 

But, there is written proof of the result of a Vaynol and Chartley breeding (if in fact it was a Vaynol female):

"In the same house is a black calf of the Chartley X Vaynol blood, two abnormally colored calves having been thrown in succession by the same cow."  Source: Science, Volume 28, October 16, 1908; By American Association for the Advancement of Science

This drawing dates from . . . hmm, no one knows except the perpetrator. 
It is a fraud, merely a colorized version of the original drawing of the
Hamilton herd of wild Cattle, and re-named 'Chillingham Cattle'.
It is available for purchase from Prints Old and Rare.
So, would this be an example of the wild white cattle reverting to 'original type'?  No doubt that is the case.  There are centuries of documented observations of the birth of black calves, or mostly black, or however one wishes to describe them - born in to the Chillingham herd and swiftly destroyed.  No doubt this wild white cattle breeding experiment was 'swiftly' ended shortly after 1908.  (Update 12/20/11: See update note at beg. of blog.)

There is some question as to whether the heifer was actually a Vaynol animal or one from the Chillingham herd.  The story of the great furor created by the capture of the wild white heifer that was sent to the London Zoological Gardens refers in one article to its being captured from the Vaynol herd, and another of its being captured from the Chillingham herd.  As the Grey River Argus article refers, as noted above, to the future plans to obtain a 'specimen' from the Vaynol herd, it seems more plausible that it was actually a Chilllingham heifer.
 "A wild bull was presented from Lord Ferrers's herd at Chartley, near Uttoxeter, was presented to the gardens last summer, and a wild heifer from Lord Tankerville's herd at Chillingham has now been added." Grey River Argus 29 April 1891

This article is from the February 12, 1891, Timaru Herald and indicates two months prior that the heifer was from the Vaynol herd:

"Some notion, of the untameable nature of the 'wild white cattle', of which two interesting examples have lately been transferred to the Zoological Gardens, is to be gathered from Mr. J.E. Harding's account of the capture of the white heifer, which belonged to the famous herd Mr. Assheton-Smith's Park at Vaynol, near Bangor. These animals we are told, never suffer anyone to approach near enough to handle them."

"The heifer was lassoed in South American fashion, and it required the united efforts of five or six horsemen to prevent its rejoining the herd after it had been ridden out. Its bellowing then brought up its companions to the rescue, and it needed tact and care to prevent a charge and general stampede."

"Even when the herd had been successfully kept at bay, it required all the strength of five men to get the captive out of the park and into a loose box, where, as it had never before been under a roof, it  remained for some days extremely wild and savage. It was eventually got into a strong deer cart, and thus was transported to the Zoological Society's grounds. Its companion, the young bull, came from Lord Ferrer's seat,  Chartley Park, and represents a distinct type of this ancient breed."
This appears to be an original 1885 color lithograph of the Chillingham Cattle,
although I can't imagine how they could have got so very close to the so-called 'wild' cattle,
and is available for purchase from Prints Old and Rare.  And the de-colorized
late 1890's book plate shown at the beginning of this blog as Cadzow cattle appears to be a fraud.
Here is a writer's observation of the Chartley bull in the Zoological Gardens in 1890: 

"Students of natural history are much interested by the latest arrival at the Zoological Gardens of the so-called "wild bull" from Chartley. In spite of its fierce name it is the mildest-looking little beast imaginable, very small, with a rough, white coat and black points . . . " (Agricultural and Pastoral News, 1890)

Does that cow above remind you in any way other than color of the same breed
of cow in the old Chillingham lithograph just above?
This is a March 2004 photo in Mother Earth News, and is representative
of the horned 'Ancient' White Park Cows found in the USA today, and found
by the referenced and recent study by the RBI to have the "same DNA profile" of those
found in the UK today.  What they don't mention is that yet again the horned White Park is found
most closely related to the English Longhorn in that study, and that
would be due to crossbreeding with English Longhorn, as well documented many years ago. 
This awesome painting is entitled "White Park Cattle", and was presented by the Plymouth
artist, Carol Payne, to the Duke of Cornwall in June of 2010, and is found at the
UK's "Field Day" blog.  One comment was made on the blog:
"That is a British White cow!"
I'm guessing the Duke of Cornwall is well aware it is a 'white' Park cow
that happens to be polled, and happens in the short term of history to have been labelled "British White".
"He (the Duke of Cornwall) suggested one of two breeds and I chose White Park cattle." Since then Carol has researched the subject and "worked flat out day and night" to create the painting of a cow in a field of buttercups."

This is a vintage postcard from 1903 available from entitled:
Old English Wild Cattle, "A Somerford Park Cow"
Compare this old postcard with the modern painting presented just above, and you decide
just which type of ancient Park Cattle, polled or horned, have remained the
most true to type of the breed of old . . .


"Park cattle, descendants of the gigantic white beasts which once roamed wild through Britain's forests, are to-day setting up new milking records. The cattle, owned by Sir Claud Alexander of Faygate, Sussex, last year attained an average milk yield for the herd of 8,060 lbs., with a butterfat content of 4.50."

Tracking Down white Park Cattle . . . indeed it is always an interesting hunt!  

Friday, June 17, 2011

Spotted Calves Born in the Dinefwr herd of White Park Cattle in Wales

"So. . . you don't like my spots?  Check out my horned Welsh cousins . . ."
  J.West's Tootsie, Sired by J.West's S.S. Carter 

You have to see this May 2011 video of  horned White Park Cattle on the grounds of old Dinefwr Castle in Wales.  Some of the cows have calves at foot, and altogether it is a perky upbeat video you don't want to miss.  But, Lawrence Alderson, late of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust in the UK, must be cringing every time he thinks about this video in the public venue.  This particular herd of White Park Cattle have been under his purview for many years, and the very natural manifestation of SPOTS in many of the calves quite belies the sputtering stance of the horned White Park breeding either all white or all black bodied calves -- or was that just the theoretical genetically pure Chillingham herd that purportedly only has solid black calves occasionally, never parti-coloured or spotted?  Hard to keep up with the yarns. 

Regardless, the Dinefwr cattle are quite beautiful, very impressive, and I was glad to have the video brought to my attention.  It is interesting to note that you can only identify one or two cows with spots along the neck in this magnificent herd.  Sadly, I'm fairly sure all those pretty calves with spots are not long for this world, as in days of old they'll be culled by the knife as unacceptable - male and female alike.  It would appear that despite all these decades upon decades leading to well over a known century of killing spotted or overly colored calves -- those babies just keep on coming.   Why?  Because spotted calves are a natural manifestation of the breed's genetics -- accept that, embrace that, and you won't be so upset when two perfectly white animals give you a calf with spots.

"I was snow white when I was born!  My skin grayed or blued,
 depending on who you talk to, or maybe it was that way from the get go, ask my human Mom,  she might not have noticed at the time, all I know is I'm
 this cool dun white color!"  J.West's El Presidente

In regions of the country where the sun can be intense, it is preferable to have cattle with gray or black or blue skin, whatever you choose to name it, both around the eyes and nose and on the vulva and rectum of the cow, as both are constantly bearing the rays of the sun thoughout their life moreso than any other vulnerable area of your cows.  In my experience, a British White cow with black spots on her body hair will also be more likely to have sun protective black spotted skin on her vulva and rectum, as well as all the rest of the desirable dark pigmentation of the eyes, nose, teats, etc... When possible, breeding decisions should include consideration for maintaining or improving the skin pigment of sun vulnerable areas, particularly in hot climates such as Texas.

The Dynevwr (Dinefwr) herd of white cattle actually date back to at least the 10th century A.D.   Records exist that document the payment of white cattle with colored points as a tribute to the ". . . Welsh lord of Deheubarth" by those seeking his pardon.

Here is a passage from a lovely Welsh fairy tale, The Lady of the Lake, that makes reference to the Dynevwr (Dinefwr) herd of white cattle - and it's good to see the dear Lady thought enough of the speckled and spotted cows that she took them on home as well.  This old version of the fairy tale provides some of the original Welsh language side by side with the English translation.  Follow this link to the Sacred-Texts copy of The Lady of the Lake if you'd like to read the whole charming story.

She started off immediately towards Esgair Llaethdy, and when she arrived home, she called her cattle and other stock together, each by name. The cattle she called thus:
Mu wlfrech, moelfrech - Brindled cow, bold freckled,

Mu olfrech, gwynfrech - Spotted cow, white speckled;

Pedair cae tonn-frech - Ye four field sward mottled.

Yr hen wynebwen - The old white-faced,

A'r las Geigen - And the grey Geigen

Gyda'r tarw gwyn - With the white bull

O lys y Brenin - From the court of the King,

A'r llo du bach - And thou little black calf,

Sydd ar y bach - Suspended on the hook,

Dere dithe, yn iach adre! - Come thou also, whole again, home!

"I come by my spots honestly and where them proudly . . . no worries, just keep me in green grass!"
J.West's Tom Sawyer - Sired by the English bull De Beauvoir Huckleberry Finn, and his own dam was sired by the English bull Woodbastwick Randolph Turpin . . . so he's pretty predominantly English with a great American punch by way of his Popeye sired granddam, HRH Bountiful, bred by Halliburton Farms. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Wild White Cattle of Cadzow and Chartley - A 1903 New Zealander's Report

What follows is an article from 1903 reporting on the status of  the "wild white cattle" of the United Kingdom.  It should be noted that neither herd,  nor the breed in general, is referred to as being either horned or polled.  It is however well documented that both horned and polled 'wild white cattle' were in these old herds.  In 1918 the Park Cattle Society was formed, and a registry inclusive of both horned and polled Park Cattle was established and maintained until 1946.  And of course the quite 'wild' notion that the wild white cattle were descended from the Urus, a speculative fiction perpetuated by the Chillingham's for hundreds of years, was very much still alive and well -- but clearly found somewhat of an amusing notion.

Wild White Cattle.
Otago Witness , 1903

 "In view of the fact that only a few specimens of the original wild white cattle which at one time roamed the forest solitudes of these countries are now left in the United Kingdom, it is regrettable to learn that the herd of those animal's which has been in existence for many years past at Chartley is threatened, with extinction. Some years ago, owing to an outbreak of rinderpest, the herd of these wild white cattle kept by the Duke of Hamilton at Cadzow (see 1835 print below) was reduced to less than a dozen, but, thanks to the adoption of special measures to facilitate breeding operations among them, tho stock again multiplied steadily until the herd once, more reached its original dimensions. The rapidity with which the Cadzow herd recovered itself in that crisis is rendered specially interesting at the present juncture because of the corresponding position into which the herd at Chartley Castle has fallen.

Some time ago a number of the animals in this herd were found suffering from a destructive disease, and before the progress of the malady could be arrested a good many fatal cases had occurred. According to the latest reports the total number of wild cattle at Chartley at the present time falls short of a dozen; it is therefore to be hoped that, as in the case of the Cadzow Park cattle, such steps will be taken as will prevent the extinction of the herd, and the consequent disappearance of one of the most interesting links between the present and the past of stock-breeding in these countries.

The origin of these and the other wild cattle left in England and Scotland has been much speculated upon, but no very definite conclusion has ever been reached.  They are small in size, and there is little to encourage the belief that they are the descendants of the great Urus that was once plentiful enough in this part of the world. But, whatever their lineage, it would be unfortunate if they were allowed to die out, and with them so many interesting associations.

Apropos of these wild white cattle, it is interesting to learn that in browsing on what may be described as their native wilds, they always keep close together, never scattering or straggling, a peculiarity which does not belong to any domesticated cattle. The wild cows are also remarkable for their systematic manner of feeding. At different periods of the year their tactics are different, but by those acquainted with their habits they are always found about the same part of the forest at the same hour of the day. In the height of summer they always bivouac for the night towards the northern extremity of their confines; from this point they start in the morning and browse to tho southern extremity, and return at sunset to their old rendezvous, always feeding close together."

1835 Elegant engraved image titled, "The White Uru or Hamilton (Cadzow) Breed of Wild Cattle."
NOTE: In this 1835 image you see both a horned example of the Park cattle breed, along with a Polled example of the breed; as well, the young calf is what we consider to be under-marked today.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Two Black, or Mostly Black, Calves born to Chartley and Vaynol horned white Park Cattle at the London Zoo

The fine specimens of ancient horned white Park Cattle gifted to the London Zoo had at least two calves born that were 'abnormally colored' or mostly black.  Imagine that...........

The Park cattle at the London Zoo were considered to be "pure wild cattle" and they all sprang from a "Chartley bull and a Vaynol Park cow". (Farm Livestock of Great Britain; 1907; Loudon, Wallace, et al)

We know from the accounts of many dispassionate observers of the 19th century that it was not at all uncommon for non-standard calves to be born to 'wild white cattle' herds and swiftly destroyed.   Storer's 1887 work, "The Wild White Cattle of Great Britain", provides one source -- ". . . and in some (herds) black or black and white calves now and then appeared, but these  were always destroyed when young in order to preserve the original characteristics of the herd." 

I wonder if those two black calves born at the London Zoo (see article below) were destroyed as well. And one thing that always nags at me, is just how did they get those unwanted linebacked or black babies swiftly out of the pasture?  After all, they were supposed to be wild and mean cows, so it would surely have been risky human business.  Ah, they probably picked them off with a rifle shot, now that's the logical human way.

Pictured to the left are Chartley Park Cattle in 1898, with the following caption:

Description: White Park cattle are one of the oldest breeds of British cattle.
In the thirteenth century several herds were enclosed in parks. Today four of these herds remain - Chartley, Chillingham, Dynevor and Cadzow.Chartley cattle remained in Chartley Park until 1904, when only 8 or 9 remained. The herd was sold to the Duke of Bedford at Woburn and crossed with Longhorns to enable the herd's survival.

"A NOTE in the London Times says that the fine herd of Indian cattle presented to the London Zoological Society by the president, the Duke of Bedford, has been a considerable attraction, and now that two of the cows -- of the Mysore and Hussar breeds -- have produced calves, the interest of visitors in these animals has increased.  In the same house is a black calf of the Chartley X Vaynol blood, two abnormally colored calves having been thrown in succession by the same cow."

Source: Science, Volume 28, October 16, 1908; By American Association for the Advancement of Science

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Head of the Chillingham Wild Bull - Engraving dated 1872

Head of the Chillingham Wild Bull, shot by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales

Genuine original antique engraving, 1872

Well, I find this interesting, where are the colored points of the ears, and the dipped in color nose?  Or the black tips to the horns? He does have a decidely hostile expression in his eyes.  But then that is to be expected!  He was after all chased and killed for sport.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Bronx Zoo Art Exhibition- Reference to Park Cattle on January 15, 1942 in the NY Times

New York Times, Published: January 15, 1942, Found at this LINK




The article makes specific mention of drawings of "park cattle" of England.  At this point in time, both the polled and horned varieties of the cattle were, and had been for many years, referenced as Park Cattle and  breed records were maintained by the Park Cattle Society in England.

There are many anecdotal comments to be found in breed histories about a group of Park Cattle being transported to the USA and/or Canada prior to the outbreak of WWII.  This is believed to have been an effort to preserve the genetics of the breed, should acts of war destroy the few existing herds in the United Kingdom.

There are two artists referenced in the article:  Australian born, Miss Mary Cecil Allen (1893-1962) and Miss Rhys Caparn (1909-1997).  Both artists were highly respected and it is certanly possible that the drawings and sculptures shown in this exhibit still exist today.  The drawings, sculpture, and possibly photographs of this exhibit would be invaluable in establishing the breed type of the Park Cattle that were housed by the Bronx Zoo.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

British White Cattle and Lord Tankerville of Old Attempting to Tinker with History 161 Years Ago

A great read, have some patience and read the whole of this very old article, and very old rational and factual argument. It strikes me as sad, as well as asinine, that pure fact and rational argument was ignored then and remains ignored today in the works of so-called authorities on the origin of the horned Chillingham and White Park Cattle as compared to the polled British White (known as the polled Park breed prior to the late 1940's).
 Both the horned and polled ancient Park Cattle were recorded in the same Park Cattle Society herd book for many many years, bred in the same pastures for hundreds of documented years, yet politics and old money influence have continued to abominably skew the real history of the polled and horned Park Cattle  in the interests of presenting the horned Chillingham herd of cattle as a bovine uniquely blooded and bonded to the history of the British Isles above and beyond that of either the horned or polled ancient Park cattle-- which is an absurd fiction fast becoming accepted as factual history. 

The breeders of both polled and horned ancient Park Cattle need to find a common ground, a mutual wish for resolution, and let the sophisticated science of today explore and resolve this relatively new quibble in the broad spectrum of the history of the horned and polled Park Cattle which reaches back in time before the advent of the written word.

(Note: If the text appears too small too read, just click on each section and you will be taken to the source document on Google books where you can adjust the text size to one for comfortable reading.  You'll also find many more interesting things to read in this publication as well, fascinating reading to history buffs.)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ancient White Park Cattle - Errors & False Reasonings of the 19th Century Still Firmly a Part of the 21st Century

          Here again is found, from research and observation over 150 YEARS AGO, that the Chillingham herd of Park Cattle were not true 'wild cattle', and certainly not considered by rational educated people as the only remaining genetic link to the ancient aurochs of the British Isles.  Further, it is documented here that the Chillingham cattle produced black and white offspring (Significant as modern texts perpetuate the falsity that the horned Park cattle only produce solid black calves occasionally, an absurd mythical notion.) that were regularly destroyed in the early 1800's, and undoubtedly for many decades prior.  

Many old texts provide ample evidence of the absurdity perpetuated by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust and the Chillingham Wild Cattle Association that these cattle are genetically distinct from all other cattle. What continues to be even more amazing to me is the continued stance of the White Park Cattle Society of the United Kingdom that their 'horned' Park Cattle are genetically distinct from the polled Park Cattle registered with the British White Cattle Society of the UK, and are "the most ancient breed of cattle native to the British Isles".  The only supportable statement as to the antiquity of  both the polled and horned Park Cattle is the breed is undoubtedly "the most fabled and storied ancient breed of cattle native to the British Isles."

If ever there was an example of a concerted effort to change history to suit the purposes of political and social goals, it is the long history of the 200 year old argument with the owners of the Chillingham Cattle and every sound impartial review and research of the facts of this breed's history.  Perhaps if we could make inquiry of one of Chillingham Castle's infamous ghosts, we could be rid of the fanciful notions regarding the wild white cattle of Chillingham.  Who knows, maybe one of those howling frights is merely trying to set the record straight on the history of the cattle and tattle about all the black and white calves mercilessly slaughtered in the name of purity and maintaining myth for hundreds of years.

The Project Gutenberg EBook of Delineations of the Ox Tribe, by George Vasey

LONDON: PUBLISHED BY G. BIGGS, 421, STRAND.  1851 (Full Text Presented Below)

Considerable interest has always been connected with the history of those herds of white cattle which have been kept secluded, apparently from time immemorial, in the parks of some of our aristocracy.[D] It has been, and still is,[Pg 141] a matter of lordly pride to their noble owners, that these cattle are held to be of a distinct and untameable race.

Feeling a full share of the interest attached to them, and anxious to gain the most accurate and circumstantial information, I was induced to pay a visit, during the summer of 1845, to the beautifully wooded and undulating Park of Chillingham, in which a herd of these cattle is preserved; and, although I have not been able to gather material for a perfect history of these animals, I think it will not be difficult to show that matters respecting them have been set forth as facts which are fictions; and that from some points of their history which have been correctly detailed, inferences have been drawn, which are by no means warranted by the facts.

In endeavouring to point out these errors and false reasonings, it will be necessary to make quotations from the old history of the white cattle, in Culley's 'Observations on Live Stock,' which has been so often repeated in works on natural history, and is, moreover, so thoroughly accredited, that it may now appear something like presumption to call it in question. To what extent it is called in question on the present occasion, and the reasons for so doing, will be seen in the running commentary which accompanies these quotations.

Culley says: "The Wild Breed, from being untameable,[Pg 142] can only be kept within walls or good fences; consequently very few of them are now to be met with, except in the parks of some gentlemen, who keep them for ornament, and as a curiosity: those I have seen are at Chillingham Castle, in Northumberland, a seat belonging to the Earl of Tankerville."
The statement of their being untameable is a mere assertion, founded upon no evidence whatever. But so far is it from being the fact, that, notwithstanding every means are used to preserve their wildness, such as allowing them to range in an extensive park—seldom intruding upon them—hunting and shooting them now and then—notwithstanding these means are taken to preserve their wildness, they are even now so far domesticated as voluntarily to present themselves every winter, at a place prepared for them, for the purpose of being fed. From which it may reasonably be concluded, that were they restricted in their pasture, gradually familiarised with the presence of human beings, and in every other respect treated as ordinary cattle, they would, in the course of two or three generations, be equally tame and tractable.

Whilst writing the foregoing I was not aware that any attempt had been made to domesticate these so-called untameable oxen; but on reading an account of these cattle by Mr. Hindmarsh, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, (bearing date about 1837,) I find the following paragraph.

"By taking the calves at a very early age, and treating them gently, the present keeper succeeded in domesticating an ox and a cow. They became as tame as domestic animals, and the ox fed as rapidly as a short-horned steer. He lived eighteen years, and when at his best was computed at 8 cwt. 14 lbs. The cow only lived five or six years. She[Pg 143] gave little milk, but the quality was rich. She was crossed by a country bull, but her progeny very closely resembled herself, being entirely white, excepting the ears, which were brown, and the legs, which were mottled." These facts speak for themselves.
Culley, in giving their distinguishing characteristics, says: "Their colour is invariably of a creamy white; muzzle black; the whole of the inside of the ear, and about one third of the outside, from the tips downwards, red; horns white, with black tips, very fine, and bent upwards; some of the bulls have a thin upright mane, about an inch and a half, or two inches long."

That their colour is invariably white is simply owing to the care that is taken to destroy all the calves that are born of a different description. It is pretty well known to the farmers about Chillingham (although pains are taken to conceal the fact,) that the wild cows in the park not unfrequently drop calves variously spotted. With respect to the redness of the ears, this is by no means an invariable character, many young ones having been produced without that distinctive mark; and Bewick records, that about twenty years before he wrote, there existed a few in the herd with black ears, but they were destroyed. So far from the character here given of the horns being confined to those white cattle, it is precisely the description of the horns of the Kyloe oxen, or black cattle. The investiture of some of the bulls with a mane is equally gratuitous; Cole, who was park-keeper for more than forty years, and of course had ample means of observation, distinctly informed me that they had no mane, but only some curly hair, about the neck, which is likewise an attribute of the Kyloe Oxen (pictured here) .

Culley goes on to say: "From the nature of their pasture, and the frequent agitation they are put into by the curiosity of strangers, it is scarce to be expected that they should get very fat; yet the six years old oxen are generally very good beef, from whence it may be fairly supposed, that in proper situations they would feed well."
It would naturally be inferred from this, that the park in which they are kept is visited by strangers every day, who are allowed to drive them about, and disturb them in their feeding and ruminating, as boys hunt geese or donkeys on a common. This, however, is so far from being the case, that it frequently happens that the park is not visited for many weeks in succession, and certainly on an average it is not visited once a week. What is here meant by "the nature of their pasture," and "in proper situations they would feed well," it is difficult to say. The fact is, their pasture is both good and extensive, and they feed as well as animals always do who are left to themselves with plenty of food.

Their behaviour to strangers is thus described: "At the first appearance of any person, they set off at full speed, and gallop a considerable distance, when they make a wheel round, and come boldly up again, tossing their heads in a menacing manner; on a sudden, they make a full stop, at a distance of forty or fifty yards, looking wildly at the object of their surprise; but upon the least motion being made, they turn round again, and gallop off with equal speed; but forming a shorter circle, and, returning with a bolder and more threatening aspect, they approach much nearer, when they make another stand, and again gallop off. This they do several times, shortening[Pg 145] their distance, and approaching nearer, till they come within a few yards, when most people think it prudent to leave them."
In the instance in which I had an opportunity of witnessing their method of receiving visitors, the fashion was somewhat different. The park-keeper who accompanied me described, as we rode through the park in quest of them, what would be their mode of procedure on our approach. This he did from observations so repeatedly made, as to warrant him in saying that it was their invariable mode. It was perfectly simple, and I found it precisely as he had described it. When we came in sight of them, they were tranquilly ruminating under a clump of shady trees, some of the herd standing, others lying. On their first observing us, those that were lying rose up, and they all then began to move slowly away, not exactly to a greater distance from us, but in the direction of a thickly wooded part of the park, which was as distant on our left as the herd was on our right. To reach this wooded part they had to pass over some elevated ground. They continued to walk at a gradually accelerating pace, till they gained the most elevated part, when they broke out into a trot, then into a canter, which at last gave way to a full gallop, a sort of "devil-take-the-hindmost" race, by which they speedily buried themselves in the thickest recesses of the wood. What they may have done in Mr. Culley's time, we must take upon that gentleman's word; but at present, and for so long as the present park-keeper can recollect, they have never been in the habit of describing those curious concentric circles of which Mr. Culley makes mention in the last quotation.

The late mode of killing them is described as "perhaps[Pg 146] the only modern remains of the grandeur of ancient hunting. On notice being given, that a wild bull would be killed on a certain day, the inhabitants of the neighbourhood came mounted and armed with guns, . . sometimes to the amount of a hundred horse, and four or five hundred foot, who stood upon walls or got into trees, while the horsemen rode off the bull from the rest of the herd until he stood at bay, when a marksman dismounted and shot. At some of these huntings twenty or thirty shots have been fired before he was subdued. On these occasions the bleeding victim grew desperately furious, from the smarting of his wounds, and the shouts of savage joy that were echoing from every side. But from the number of accidents that happened, this dangerous mode has been little practised of late years, the park-keeper alone generally shooting them with a rifled gun at one shot."

This vivid portraiture of a scene, which the writer is pleased to consider grand, does not appear to have much relation to the history of the Genus Bos: it however, exhibits the brutal and ferocious habits of two varieties of Genus Homo, namely Nobility and Mobility—two varieties which, although distinguished by some external marks of difference, possess in common many questionable characteristics.

Culley proceeds:—"When the cows calve, they hide their calves for a week or ten days in some sequestered situation, and go and suckle them two or three times a day. If any person come near the calves, they clap their heads close to the ground, and lie like a hare in form, to hide themselves; this is a proof of their native wildness, and is corroborated by the following circumstance[Pg 147] that happened to Mr. Bailey, of Chillingham, who found a hidden calf, two days old, very lean and very weak. On stroking its head it got up, pawed two or three times like an old bull, bellowed very loud, stepped back a few steps, and bolted at his legs with all its force; it then began to paw again, bellowed, stepped back, and bolted as before; but knowing its intention, and stepping aside, it missed him, fell, and was so very weak that it could not rise, though it made several efforts. But it had done enough: the whole herd were alarmed, and, coming to its rescue, obliged him to retire; for the dams will allow no person to touch their calves without attacking them with impetuous ferocity."
It seems almost unnecessary to remind the reader that all animals are naturally wild; and that even those animals that have been the longest under the dominion of man, are born with a strong tendency to the wild state, to which they would immediately resort, if left to themselves: it appears, therefore, rather gratuitous to tell us that the natural actions of young animals (whose parents have been allowed to run wild), are proofs of their native wildness!

The concluding paragraph requires no observation:—"When a calf is intended to be castrated, the park-keeper marks the place where it is hid, and, when the herd are at a distance, takes an assistant with him on horseback; they tie a handkerchief round the calf s mouth, to prevent its bellowing, and then perform the operation in the usual way. When any one happens to be wounded, or is grown weak and feeble through age or sickness, the rest of the herd set upon it, and gore it to death."[Pg 148]

The following engraving exhibits the effects of castration on the curvature and length of the horns.

1. Head of the perfect animal. 2, 3. Heads of the emasculated animal.

We learn, on the authority of the present Lord Tankerville, that during the early part of the life-time of his father, the bulls in the herd had been reduced to three; two of them fought and killed each other, and the third was discovered to be impotent; so that the means of preserving the breed depended on the accident of some of the cows producing a bull calf.

In 1844 I wrote to Mr. Cole, the late park-keeper at Chillingham, requesting information on the following queries, to which he returned the answers annexed; and although they are not so explicit as might be wished, they embody facts both interesting and important.[Pg 149]

List of the Queries with their Answers.

1. How many pairs of ribs are there in the skeleton of the Chillingham Ox? Thirteen pairs.
2. How many vertebræ are there (from the skull to the end of the tail)? Thirty in the back-bone, twenty in the tail.
3. Will the wild cattle breed with the domestic cattle? I have had two calves from a wild bull and common cow.
4. What is the precise time the wild cow goes with young? The same as the domestic cow.
5. At what age does the curly hair appear which constitutes the mane of the wild bull? They have no mane, but curly hair on their neck and head; more so in winter, when the hair is long.
6. In what month does the rutting take place among the wild cattle? At all times,—no particular time.
J. Cole.
Here we have precise information on the following points:—namely, the number of ribs; the period of gestation; their having no mane; their not being in heat at any particular period; in all which points, they perfectly agree with the ordinary domestic cattle; and it is important to observe, that in the last point, namely, that of not being in heat at any particular time, they differ from every known wild species of cattle, among which the rutting season invariably occurs at a particular period of the year.


[D] Formerly these cattle were much more numerous, both in England and Scotland, than they are at present. Scanty herds are still preserved at the following places:—Chillingham Park, Northumberland; Wollaton, Nottinghamshire; Gisburne, in Craven, Yorkshire; Lime-hall, Cheshire; Chartley, Staffordshire; and Cadzow Forest, at Hamilton, Lanarkshire.

At Gisburne they are perfectly white, except the inside of their ears, which are brown. From Garner's 'Natural History of Staffordshire,' we learn that the Wild Ox formerly roamed over Needwood Forest, and in the thirteenth century, William de Farrarus caused the park of Chartley to be separated from the forest, and the turf of this extensive enclosure still remains almost in its primitive state. Here a herd of wild cattle has been preserved down to the present day, and they retain their wild characteristics like those at Chillingham. They are cream-coloured, with black muzzles and ears; their fine sharp horns are also tipped with black. They are not easily approached, but are harmless, unless molested.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Welsh White Cow & Park Cattle & the Dynevor Herd of Wales

There is a really nice ancient fairy tale, The Magical Welsh White Cow, which relates the legend of the origin of Welsh Black cattle. The notion sort of seems fantastical and magical that a white cow took herself away and her only remaining offspring forever turned black -- "Whereupon not only did the elfin cow arise and go home, but all her progeny to the third and fourth generations went home with her, disappearing in the air over the hill tops and returning nevermore. Only one cow remained of all the farmer's herds, and she had turned from milky white to raven black..."

But however magical the notion, I've long theorized it was a story based on actual history.  The following exerpts from old texts well supports an historical basis for the old story.  Breeders should also note that in the description the White Welsh had black spots, and that the old Dynevor herd was considered to be White Welsh cattle.

"Farm live stock of Great Britain", c.1907, By Robert Wallace, Loudon M. Douglas, Primrose McConnell, W. B. Wale

"The ancient white breed of the Principality has been rehabilitated by selecting and mating together those specimens of the South Wales breed which have "thrown back " in the matter of colour to their forest ancestors. In every other respect they are distinctly Pembroke cattle. Their colour is chiefly white, but there are frequently black spots over the body. The muzzles, ears, and eyelashes are black, and the feet and fetlocks should also be black. Charles Mathias, of Lamphey Court, to whom the Welsh originals of Plates X. and XLIII. belong, has raised this off-shoot of the South Wales breed to a position of importance."

"The difficulty of procuring at all times stud bulls good enough to keep up the standard of a small number of cattle is got over by the use of a choice black bull when a white is not available. A large proportion of his progeny take after the mothers in being white with black points, and those that are born black are transferred to the black cattle herd."

"R. H. Harvey (i S74) says: "The late Lord Dynevor had some very fine specimens of the white breed near Llandeilo, and I have often admired the five-year-old oxen as I have passed the park." For Professor David Low's beautifully illustrated book on The Domesticated Animals of the British Isles, published in 1842, was selected a Pembrokeshire "cow eight years old," from Haverfordwest, to represent the type of the Wild Forest breed. The painting of the animal is among the collection of original oil paintings which were used by him to illustrate the book, and which now adorn the walls of the Agriculture Department of Edinburgh University."

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Chillingham Cattle - Black ears or Red? - Local 'tame' cows turned out to pasture with the wild Chillingham herd!

These excerpts are from a quite respectable 1792 pubication:

A General History of Quadrapeds,c. 1792, by Thomas Bewick & Ralph Beilby

Can't tell you how many times I've read the Chillingham owners had the black eared ones killed, the wholly black ones, and anything not perfectly backward even for those times. A lack of copper in your pasture's soil will cause your otherwise black-eared cattle to have red ears (the muzzle, or nose, will generally remain black in a copper deficiency). Did they slaughter the black-eared ones when by chance the soils were healthy every few years?  Apparently so.........

"The white wild cattle of Chillingham Park have a pile much resembling the Tees Water, but they have uniformly black muzzles, hoofs, and the tips of the horns... the horn denoting the kindred breed above all other circumstances, and on that account the wild cattle must be related to the native cattle of Wales, Scotland and Ireland, the height, colour and direction of the homs being similar. This declaration in Nature, the similarity of horn,..." Source: The Country Gentleman's Magazine,1876 

Above we find reference to the preference for the black-eared ones, as well as a clear indication of the Size of the cattle.  Those not at Chillingham were "much larger" weighing about "50 stone" which equates to about 700 lbs, easily 40% of the average weight of a domestic cow in the USA today. 

As a side note, there are many early references to the Chillingham cattle having black points. Those pocket-book politics I've referred to before came to a resounding head in modern times, as well as in the late 19th and early 20th century, to try to present the Chillingham herd as something distinct, purely preserved, and genetically linked back to the ancient urus/aurochs of Britain -- even in the 19th century many writers found this notion absurd.

The reality is that the Chillingham herd itself has at least once been down to one female in calf who produced a bull sometime between 1776 and 1836, based on various writers descriptions of the existing stock.
"The stock at Chillingham was once reduced to a cow in calf. The produce fortunately proved a bull." (Jardine, 1836).
It is inconceivable that this bull was not crossed with locally desirable cattle. As well there are ample sources which tell us that English Longhorn, Welsh Black/White, and Highland were used to perpetuate the breed type.  It is truly absurd that in the present day the horned Chillingham cattle are perceived as being more closely kin to the ancient auroch that roamed the British Isles than any other bovine beast -- this notion has been greeted with educated skepticism from it's first pronouncement from the Lord of Chillingham in the early 19th century.

From Bewick in 1792 we also learn:

I'm not sure how these wild Chillingham cattle were penned and the tames ones subsequently sorted off. Based on the following excerpt from Youatt's, The Complete Grazier, 1893, the Chillingham calves apparently couldn't even be weaned from their dams.

1776 Reference to the white cow in Lincolnshire, Surry, and Suffolk

"In some parts of Surry there is a white sort of cows that it is reported produce the richest milk and their fleh more readily receives salt than any of the other."

Quotes from Chapters 1& 2, The Complete Grazier, 1767

"The white breed of kine(cow) were some time ago very frequent in Lincolnshire from whence a gentleman brought them into Surry as a curiosity. They are of different make and much larger than the black cattle, give more milk at a meal, but grow dry the soonest of the three."

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hamilton (Cadzow) Park Cattle of the early 1800's - Immortalized by Sir Walter Scott -

"The ancient parish, quite or nearly identical with Hamilton parish, was variously called Cadyhou, Cadyou, and Cadzow; and it changed that name to Hamilton in 1445."

The Castle stands in the gorge of Avon Water, 1½ mile SSE of Hamilton; crowns a rock, nearly 200 feet high, on the left side of the stream; dates from the times of a semi-fabulous prince of the name Caw, prior to the era of the Scoto-Saxon monarchy; was a royal residence in the times of Alexander II. and Alexander III.; passed, in the time of Robert Bruce, to the family of Hamilton; appears to have been often repaired or rebuilt; consists now of little more than a keep, covered with ivy and embosomed with wood; and looks, amid the grandeur and romance of the gorge around it, like ` sentinel of fairy-land. '

The ancient forest surrounds the castle; contains, on the opposite side of the Avon, the summer-house of Chatelherault, built in 1730; is now called Hamilton Wood; comprises about 1500 acres; is browsed by a noble herd of fallow deer; and is the scene of Sir Walter Scott's famous ballad of Cadzow Castle. Of it Mr Rt. Hutchison writes, . . . surrounded by a stone wall 6 feet high and about 3 miles in extent, which was most probably the boundary in feudal times. . .

The wild cattle are pure white save for black muzzles, hoofs, and tips of the horns; show their wildness chiefly in their fear of man; have only one recognised leader among the bulls; and in Nov. 1880 numbered 16 bulls and 40 cows. Regarded commonly as survivors of our native wild cattle, they are held by Dr Jn. Alex. Smith, in his Notes on the Ancient Cattle of Scotland (1873), to be rather 'an ancient fancy breed of domesticated cattle preserved for their beauty in the parks of the nobility.'

Drawing of the Hamilton white cattle in 1835:

Sir Walter Scott spent the Christmas of 1801 at Hamilton Palace. Must read Link to Annals of the Andersonian Naturalist's Society commenting on the visit of Sir Walter Scot to the Hamilton herd in Scotland.

BALLAD of CADZOW (Hamilton) CASTLE Excerpt:

Through the huge oaks of Evandale,
Whose limbs a thousand years have worn,
What sullen roar comes down the gale,
And drowns the hunter's pealing horn.

Mightiest of all the beasts of chase
That roam in woody Caledonia,
Crashing the forest in his race,
The Mountain Bull comes thundering on.

Fierce on the hunter's quivered band,
He rolls his eyes of swarthy glow.
Spurns with black hoof and horn the land,
And tosses high his mane of snow.

And well the chieftain's lance has flown,
Struggling in blood the savage lies,
His roar is sunk in hollow groan.

Tis noon against the knotted oak,
The hunters rest the idle spear.
Curls through the trees the slender smoke
Where yeomen light the woodland.

Proudly the chieftain marked his clan,
On greenwood lay all careless thrown,
Yet missed his eye the boldest man,
That bore the name of Hamilton

"It is highly probable that Sir Walter Scott's ballad awakened the interest of the ducal family, and that a successful attempt to form or collect a herd was made, either from a few survivors of the former one that had been kept somewhere else, or from a distinct one. Under any circumstances a small herd of white cattle, numbering about a score, were browsing in Cadzow by 1809, and the cows being horned and the bulls humble (means POLLED) would seem to indicate a herd in process of formation from different sources. Later the whole herd became humble. For twenty-five years past, at least, they have been all horned."