by ALFRED O. KING, SR.
With direct quotes from Historical Writers,
covering the first 30 years of Llewellin history.
~~ Continued from Volume 5 NO 2 ~~
In this issue, considerable information is also taken from "The Modern Setter" by A. F. Hochwalt, 1923 edition.
This article picks up where I enlarged on/or was diverted from, the information presented in Mr. Graham's article concerning the base of the Llewellin blood, that of crosses of Duke-Rhoebe-Laverack blood, which combined constitute the Llewellin Setter, and on Mr. Llewellin himself.
This issue will continue with the "Six Pillars" of the Llewellin blood.
These Llewellins were the foundation stock of our "American Llewellins".
These were the first dogs whelped or born in America from the original
Llewellins sent to America by Mr. Llewellin and his contemporaries. Two
of these dogs, Count Noble (Vol. 2 No. 3) and Gladstone (Vol.
3 No. 4), have been covered in detail in previous individual Journal articles.
We will continue with the remaining of the "Six Pillars", Druid, Leicester,
Lincoln, and Drake in an effort to stay in a time line of events.
The SEXTETT is described as the foundation of the AMERICAN LLEWELLINS. The six were dogs that were either imported or in whelp when brought to the United States and Canada. The original reason they were called American Llewellins was they were a strain of the original Llewellins that were bred, to some degree, in different ways than the ones being bred in England. This term began to be applied AFTER a few decades of Llewellins in America. The basic difference was the majority were bred strictly for FIELD qualities and not, to much of a degree for their SHOW qualities. Mr. Hockwalt stated, "The Llewellin is an AMERICAN EVOLUTION, because there was a greater number of Llewellins being bred in America than in England." The demand for this type of Field Setter being greater here.
Mr. Hochwalt, in 1923, in THE MODERN SETTER, had this to say about the Six Pillars or Sextett as they are best known. "While a great number of the dogs directly imported from the Kennels of (Mr.) Llewellin and others during that early period had a certain amount of influence upon our AMERICAN-LLEWELLINS, the student, looking for essentials, need go no farther that the Six Pillars of this line of breeding, which are: Gladstone, Count Noble, Druid, Leicester, Lincoln and Rake. These are the dogs upon which our American-Llewellins are founded; all the others are mere incidents, assisting in a small way, no doubt, in some respect; but the six dogs enumerated are the ones which constitutes the American fountain-head of our FIELD TRIAL SETTERS (American Llewellins)."
For the benefit of our new members, I am reprinting the introduction
to this series. At the same time those who read the last issues will be
refreshed as to the general intent behind this article.........................
I have had many inquires about the "American Llewellins", what is meant by the term, and to learn more about them. Because most of these questions have come from Association members I have decided to begin a series of articles concerning their history and accomplishments.
In this writing I will give a basic explanation of what an American Llewellin is and why they were tagged as such.
As many of you know my interest in Llewellins came from my Grandfather, William Luther King. I have an old photo of him in 1907 with a Llewellin pup and a new Browning Automatic shotgun. This and the stories my uncles told are what first triggered my passion to learn more about them and to have one of my own. Pure Llewellins were hard to come by in those days, early 1960's and even fewer believed there were any left in England. The thought of importing a Llewellin only vaguely fluttered (like the rush of a covey rise --- exciting and then gone) through the mind of this ordinary farm boy. There was only a wish and a someday hope. I knew if I wanted one so badly, others would too. I did not want them to be extinct, I wanted to be able to pass them along to others.
In the late 1800's a particular strain of English Setter began to be imported to America by the American sportsmen. Mr. Llewellin himself, did not call his dogs Llewellin Setters, he preferred they be called "Field Setters" as he called them himself in England.
The "Field Setters" of Mr. Llewellin's were a great success and far superior to the Native Setters and Pointers in America at that time. The American sportsman began calling them Llewellin Setters in order to distinguish them and in recognition of the "country gentleman" who developed them.
The American field dog registry "Field Dog Stud Book" recognized them as a separate breed from the "Native Setters" that were in America at the time of the entrance of the Llewellin to America. Of course the term "Native Setter" does not have the same meaning as that of Native American. Native Setters were also imported dogs. All setters are known to come from the courts of England and the European Kings. The Natives Setters were simply those brought over earlier, by Officers, Immigrants, Plantation owners, gentlemen sportsmen, etc..
The following statement is from a book in my personal Library. "The Field Dog Stud Book", Annual Register, Volume II, published in 1902 by The American Field Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill. states in the preface, "For the purpose of definite distinction the Llewellin setters have been separated in this volume from the English setters, under Llewellin classification; a list of the Llewellin setters registered in Volume I is also published, thus establishing a perfect record of Llewellin setters. The reason for this is explained fully in the article following, entitled "Llewellin Setters." (Not included in this issue.)
I would like to begin this series by explaining to you more history behind the American Llewellins. I could write only my own opinion -- in my own words (which I do often add) -- what the writers of that day said. But I feel you would enjoy it more seeing these writings for yourselves. They wrote a lot closer to the "present day facts" than any writer of today could, although keep in mind that much of their own writing is in the past tense. Mr. Graham was there to witness the generations following the original imports. In this way you can come to your own conclusions as to what the writer was attempting to convey; whether about a particular dog or man who bred or owned a Llewellin at the turn of the century. Keep in mind that all writing is an interpretation of facts and many of these old writings will differ on exactly the same subject.
I will begin this series of articles by quoting Joseph A. Graham, from a series done on English Setters, in "Outing" titled "American Llewellins". Other sources will be quoted in order to enlarge on a given dog or subject. My goal is to give you as complete a picture as possible on each as we cover them. Mr. Grahams discourse on the "native stock" is the first and fullest explanation given; his statements are taken as "law" to this day. Also, in this writing Mr. Graham names and describes a great number of the first Llewellins as they were introduced to the American sportsmen and continues into the first few decades of Llewellin Setters.
By: JOSEPH A. GRAHAM
Mr Graham continues, . . . . .
"Druid was a good-sized dog and much handsomer than the average Llewellin. His proportions were good and his color very attractive -- a finely marked head and heavily ticked body. The shape of his head and the set of his ears were better than those points in Gladstone and other prominent Llewellin dogs. His tail, however, like those of his mother, Nora, and his close relative, Gladstone, curled upward and was carried high." As I mentioned in the last issue and for the benefit of new members with this issue, these dogs with high or curl tails WERE considered a cull to the English dog fancier, as much importance was placed on "bench" quality. High tails are very much the American Sportsman's invention. "Druid was a dog entirely different from Count Noble and Gladstone in disposition. He was by no means a brilliant field performer, but was a good bird dog. He inherited Dora's amiable and tractable disposition, and it is very likely that he exercised valuable influence in modifying the headlong and often reckless tendency of Gladstone blood. Certainly he must be credited with improving the appearance of the Lleweilins as bench-show candidates. His daughter, General Shattuc's Dido II, was a bench-show champion of her day, and her son, Cincinnatus, was also a bench-show champion as well as a placed dog in some of the important field trials. Dido was also the dam of the bench champion, Dad Wilson."
A. F. Hochwalt, in "THE MODERN SETTER", in1923 gives a comprehensive accounting of Druid, another of the Sextette. "Arnold Burges, of Hillsdale, Michigan, imported this handsome son of Prince and Dora in 1877 when the dog was nearly
four years old. He was bred along the usual lines except that his Laverack blood was of the top cross; his sire being a full brother to Countess and Nellie, while Dora was a full sister to Dan and Dick. Like Leicester, he was fifty per cent Laverack, twenty-five Duke, and twenty-five Rhoebe, but the blood proportions were reversed.
Druid was whelped in 1873 and came to this country with a record. In 1814 he won second in the puppy stakes at Cleverly and third with Ruby in the brace stakes. In 1875 he won second in the Powderham brace stakes with Leda and second in the Endson stakes at Shrewsbury. On the bench he won second at G!asgow and V. I-I. C. and the Champion class at the same place in 1875. In this country he won second in the open and first in the brace class with Queen Rilab at St. Louis, in 1878.
Druid was a typical blue belton in markings with the regulation black and tan head markings, white blaze and nicely flecked over the body. He was of medium size, well balanced and strong in essentials. His head was extremely good and he had that beautiful, mild setter expression that is so indicative of the breed, which in this instance seemed to reveal the dog's own temperament, for Druid was the exact antithesis of the Gladstone dashing, daring, bold, uncontrollable type. He was even-tempered, docile at all times and easily handled.
His traits were decidedly feminine, although by this I do not mean effeminate, for there is a wide distinction between the two words in the sense they are used. In these days we often hear the expression, "bitch-bred." It was through Druid that this quality entered principally into American Llewellin breeding, all statements to the contrary notwithstanding, although at that time this influence was a very necessary one. The term is used today as a sort of stigma against certain strains, but as a matter of fact, if it were not for this influence who knows what would have happened to the setter?
Druid introduced the softening necessary to make our setters subservient
to our needs and he came at a very opportune time. The Druid-Ruby combination
to which I shall frequently have occasion to refer, was indeed a very fortunate
one for the field trial setter; its influence was great in the early days
and it is felt now. Years ago quite a discussion was waged through the
kennel press on the color question. The late Col. Gordon, writing under
the nom de plume of "Plus Jeems," went on record with the statement that
we got our feminine traits in setters through the lemon and orange and
white dogs while the masculine qualities were transmitted through the white,
black and tans. It was this controversy which had much to do with the prejudice
against the lighter colors, although when a study is made of conditions
it will be found that Col. Gordon's deductions are not substantiated by
facts and Druid is a marked example, for he was a blue belton or white,
black and tan dog. His dam, Dora, is given credit for Druid's temperamental
qualities for she had the sweetest, most docile of dispositions, yet she
was a large, rough-looking bitch, heavily marked with black and shaded
with tan. Dora came to this country two years before Druid and was also
the dam of Dart, Drake and Duke. If a dog's temperamental traits are revealed
by his looks and markings, then surely Dora and her son Druid were decided
exceptions to the rule. Personally I never could see the connection between
color and temperament, and the facts as brought out by the various
strains of setters do not corroborate this theory.
Druid was a bird dog above the average, another trait which he inherited from his mother, for all of her progeny were levelheaded, possessed good noses and knew how to handle game when they found it. He was not a brilliant dog in the field, but consistent. None of the erratic traits of the Laveracks seemed to have been inflicted upon him. He lacked brilliancy, but he was a dog of even tenor. In the matter of conformation, he did much for type and through him came some of our most notable examples of correct form. Dido II, previously referred to as a champion on the bench and the mother of winners, was his daughter.
Druid gave finish and outline to his progeny to such an extent that it is noticeable in the present generation. He was the sire of eight field trial winners; namely, Buckellew, Count Rapier, Gilderoy, White Cloud, Kink, Marchioness Peg, Lizzie Lee, and Sue. The latter was undoubtedly his most noted winning daughter and as a producer was also a great success, for she produced some famous ones to Gladstone, as enumerated in the chapter on that dog. Sue and Buckellew were both out of Ruby, the Rake-Fanny bitch, and this was the first indication as to what happy results were possible with the Druid-Ruby combination.
Druid was the same breeding as (1) Drake, bred a year later. Drake was winner of the American Field Trial Champion Stake in 1876 and 1878 winner of two brace stakes. Drake was also a show bench winner. Litter mate to Drake was (2) Duke who was said to be more brilliant than Drake in field but died soon after coming to America. (3) AKC Show Champion Dart, dam of eight field trial winners including Paris, nearly a dual champion, (4) Dimple, dam of Field Trial Champion Nellie, and of (5) Doll.
Druid proved to be an exceptional birddog. All of his progeny were level-headed, possessed good noses and knew how to handle birds. He gave finish and outline to his progeny. Although sources differ on the number of his field trial winners he sired (from 5 to 8), nevertheless he is repeatedly cited as being one of the eight greatest field trial producing sires in America. Mr Whitford was also very high on him. In his series of articles for FIELD AND FANCY, in 1906 and 1907, he states, "There was nothing in America that beat him on the bench."
Mr Graham continues, . . . . .
"Leicester was imported from Mr. Llewellin's kennel. He was a lemon and white, by Dan out of the Laverack, Lill II. It is said that he was not trained for the field to any great extent, although shot over some. He was a beautifully formed dog, and, perhaps, the fastest of his day as a mere matter of speed. He had, however, a nervous disposition and apparently was easily rattled, though not much was ever said about his actual field quality. He was chiefly famous on account of the success of his daughters when bred to Druid, Rake, Gladstone, and other well-known sires. His brother Lincoln was, judging from the annals of those days, a much better dog than Leicester. He was also lemon and white, stylish in the field, and rated as a first-class bird dog. His influence on American pedigrees comes chiefly through his son, Gleam a dog which inherited most of his characteristics and probably some additional qualities from the beautiful Countess Bear, another lemon and white, the dam of Blaze, Gleam's mother. Gleam was a very large, rough, orange and white of great field quality. He comes into modern pedigrees through his daughters, Daisy F. and Georgia Belle. The former, herself half Llewellin and half Campbell, was the dam of Daisy Hope and Daisy Hunter; and Georgia Belle produced the phenomenal litter which included Gleam's Sport, Gleam's Pink, Maiden Mine, and Spot Cash, all of which were field trial performers of unsurpassed natural quality. Gleam's Sport became the sire of Marie's Sport; Gleam's Pink sired Pink's Boy; Spot Cash sired Spot's Girl; and Maiden Mine became the dam of some good performers. Naturally the lemon and white color appears often in the Gleam line. Marse Ben, white, black and tan, is a dog also likely to perpetuate the Gleam blood, which comes to him through Almo, brother of Georgia Belle, and through Mecca, she by Gleam out of Tuberose."
A. F. Hochwalt, in "THE MODERN SETTER", in1923 also gives a comprehensive accounting of Leicester, another of the Sextette. It was in February, 1875, that L. H. Smith, (who also imported Gladstone's dam in whelp) of Strathroy, Ontario, imported Leicester direct from the kennels of Mr. Llewellin. He was one of the first of the Dan-Laveracks, his blood proportions being 50 per cent Laverack, 85 per cent Duke and 25 per cent Rhoebe. His dam was the erratic, gunshy Lill II and his sire Llewellin's Dan. In appearance Leicester was the handsomest of all the dogs of this breeding that had come over to this country up to that period. In markings he was white and lemon, flecked through the white with belton markings. He was whelped in July, 1872, consequently was less than three years old at the time of his importation by Mr. Smith. Previous to coming to this country he was shown with success on the bench, in England, winning first at Glasgow, second at Wolverton and third at the Crystal Palace shows.
He made no field trial record, however, and it was rumored that in this respect he was a decided failure, although the claim is made that he was shot over to a certain extent. In this country the common report was circulated that he was as gunshy as his dam. In the mere matter of speed there were few faster than he, but it seems that he did not know how to apply it to any degree of advantage and like many of the dogs of the present day, was an aimless, harum-scarum sprinter, displaying little intelligence and utter lack of nose, or at least the ability to use it.
In temperament he was a high-strung, abnormally nervous dog which was to be expected, coming from such a mother as the crazy Lill, but in Leicester these nervous attributes were even more accentuated than in Lill II. He had evidently inherited the temperament with the good looks of the Laveracks. On page 283 in my earlier work, "The Pointer and the Setter in America," I allude to a conversation I had with Captain Washington A. Coster in reference to this dog, the substance of it being that the Captain saw Leicester at the New York show shortly after he was imported. The dog was resting quietly upon his bench when a carpenter, working near by, dropped a pine board flat upon another. The impact naturally produced a loud sound, "and," Captain Coster added, "had I not been near by, the dog would have choked himself tugging at his chain and trying to get away, he was so frightened."
Leicester was a beautiful dog in conformation, however, and in this respect he was a salutary influence toward sustaining type in the field trial breed, for while in a direct line he failed to produce progeny of great importance, his daughters became famous as mothers when bred to such dogs as Gladstone, Count Noble, Druid and others. Like Rake, he was the sire of six field trial winners. These were: Maude (Bryson's) Paris, Pride of the South, Clip, Strathroy and Breckenridge. Cambridge was a nonperforming son, but a very handsome dog, which figures frequently in pedigrees. He sired the field trial winners Canada Peg, Cambriana and Cambria. Dad Wilson was a bench winning son of Cambridge which had quite a vogue in the later eighties and early nineties.
While Leicester is always thought of as one of the famous sextette which constitutes the pillars of our American field trial dogs, it must be remembered that he produced to Dart alone. Now Dart also produced to Rake, hence she is as fully entitled to credit as is Leicester.
In reference to his prepotency, I quote the following from "The Pointer and Setter in America": "By glancing at his record we find that it was through the female line that his blood was perpetuated, and not through his sons. Clip produced a winning son and a winning daughter when bred to Gladstone, London and Peep-O' Day. The son's record as a sire is an ordinary one, but Peep-O'-Day's record will always live as the dam of Gath, and here, at this early date, we have an inkling of what the blood of Count Noble, when mingled with that of the Daughters of Gladstone could do in behalf of the field trial setter.
"In summing up, we are pleased to give Leicester his proper dues, but in doing so we are not unjust when we say it was through a train of fortuitous circumstances that his name is numbered among the six great ones of setter history, for had his daughters and granddaughters not been mated as they were, even the reflected glory which shines on him through them, would have paled into insignificance before the brighter lights of the five other stars in that galaxy among which he is grouped."
Remember that these dogs were of the first generations imported. Leicester, although cross-bred, is the true example of what the pure Laveracks had become. He certainly does not sound like anything I would use for breeding today. Nevertheless he is accounted, as all seem to agree, to have been one of the six pillars on which the American Llewellins were formed. He is truly the prime example that the out-crosses of the Duke-Rhoebe blood was necessary in producing a field dog from the Laverack. Leicester was sold by Mr. Llewellin after he had no further use for him in his own breeding program.
As we learn more about these early Llewellins in America; we can see why Mr. Llewellin was not keen on dogs he did not breed having the name of Llewellin. I said you can see why, I didn't say I agreed. I am glad they have the name. These dogs are by far the majority of Llewellin blood in America today. You can tell Mr. Hochwalt's feelings on this by his comments in the next section. This is the exact reason I try to give you several opinions on any subject. In my writings I always try to remain unbiased. It is not always easy, anyone who disagrees with you will say you are biased because they do not agree. The fact remains that Mr. Llewellin provided the dogs that produced what we are so proud of today! The end result is the dog of today. After 100 years of breeding on two different continents, there is little or no difference in the American Lines and Llewellin's Bondhu & Wind'em lines which cross so well with them.
Mr Graham continues, . . . . .
"Bergundthal's Rake is a name which figures in the early generations of a great majority of the American Llewellin pedigrees.
At one time he was widely discussed on account of the large amount of Rhoebe blood which he carried. He came from Mr. Llewellin's kennel, and was by Dan, son of Rhoebe, out of Ruby, daughter of Rhoebe. Ruby's sire was the Laverack, Fred. Rake's blood was believed by many authorities to be extremely valuable and suitable for perpetuation as the proper cross for dogs having a preponderance of Laverack blood. Individually he was not an attractive dog in any respect except that he was large and powerful, with particularly strong bone. He was white, black and tan, nearly all black; rough and coarse-looking, and without any of the fancy bench-show points. Just what his field qualities were I have been a little perplexed to discover. In those days there was a sort of freemasonry among the experts. They seemed to regard it as somewhat nonethical to speak to outsiders of the faults of prominent dogs. All of them mentioned Rake's field qualities with reservation. Mr. A. C. Waddell once told me that he had charge of Rake for a time and that, while the dog had considerable speed and disposition to hunt, there was a lack of nose. Mr. P. T. Madison described the dog to me as having plenty of nose, but not much judgment in the use of it; intimating that he was a difficult dog to make serviceable in the field. He appears in modern pedigrees largely through his daughters out of Bergundthal's Fanny, a daughter of Leicester and Dart, Dart being a sister of Druid. From this source he comes into the modern stock through Major Taylor's famous Lit, Lit's sister, Bopeep, Bryson's Sue, Ruby's Girl, and others. In the direct male line there is not much to perpetuate Rake's erstwhile reputation. In a chapter on breeding I shall refer to an interesting experiment by Dr. Stark of Mlilwaukee, who by inbreeding to
Rake concentrated a remarkable number of lines of Rhoebe. This experiment did not result successfully and cuts little figure among the later Llewellins."
A. F. Hochwalt, in "THE MODERN SETTER", in1923 also gives a comprehensive accounting of Rake, another of the Sextette. "The Same year that Pride of the Border come to this country (1874), there were several importations of the "Field Trial Breed," among them Rake, brought over by C. F. Demuth, of Ft. Dodge, Iowa, but shortly after becoming the property of D. C. Bergundthal, of Indianapolis, Ind. Right here I wish to digress long enough to say that among other importations of this year were the bitches Dart and Dora, both of which became producers here in America. Dora, as we have stated previously, was a sister to Dan and Dick and therefore only "half of the new breed," but she was in whelp to the Laverack, Llewellin's Prince when she arrived on these shores, consequently she produced "Llewellins" in this country. A rather ludicrous state of affairs it is, when a man claims to be the originator of a breed where dogs of the first cross are not yet born!
Rake was a black, white and tan dog, whelped in July, 1873, and was only ten months of age at the time of his arrival in this country. He was bred and raised in the kennels of Purcell Llewellin, who at this time was sending quite a number of untried puppies over here at long prices. But the demand was great for this new breed and the "originator" reaped the benefit. However that may be, American sportsmen wanted and needed this new blood, hence after the expiration of nearly half a century it signifies little whether it was Mr. Llewellin or some one else who sent us our foundation stock. Rake was not the regulation half-and-half breeding; on the other hand, he was 25 per cent Laverack, 25 per cent Duke and 50 per cent Rhoebe. His dam, Ruby, was by the Laverack, Fred, out of Rhoebe. His sire was the Duke-Rhoebe, Dan. Thus we have in Rake two crosses of Rhoebe, one of Duke and one of Laverack, instead of the usual Llewellin proportions. It was thought, that with his preponderance of Rhoebe blood he would be an excellent outcross for Laverack bitches in this country and it was not outside the realms of possibility to assume this. Rake was bred to promiscuously, and his opportunities were great, for we find his name in various combinations in the pedigrees of well-known dogs, but in a direct male line he left nothing of any particular note, despite the fact that he has six field trial winners to his credit. His winners were Dogwhip, Stafford, Prairie Belie, Dan, (Sanborn's), Prairie Rose and Flossie. While direct records do not actually show just what influence Rake was on the setter breeding of his day, his blood in certain combinations was of great importance.
Rake was not a dog to impress one with his appearance, he was coarse
and lacked finish and quality. Very heavy in bone, short on the leg, long
in body, coarse in coat, beefy all over. Short in neck and utterly lacking
in finish of head. This is the Rake as he really was. Idealized pictures
of him may give us a better opinion, but the student, looking for facts,
must take the truth as the basis of his researches.
Mr Graham does not mention Lincoln. A. F. Hochwalt, in "THE MODERN SETTER", in1923 also gives a comprehensive accounting of Lincoln, another of the Sextette. "Lincoln, a full brother to Leicester, was brought to this country in 1877. Although, like his brother, he was white and lemon, or white and orange in markings, he was of an entirely different type, resembling the rough and ready Duke-Rhoebes.
To see Lincoln and Leicester set side by side one would scarcely imagine they were brothers, but this only demonstrates once more the lack of uniformity of type among the Duke-Rhoebe-Laverack progeny, emphasizing the fact that the conglomerated admixture of the various kinds of blood in Duke as well as Rhoebe would crop out in those early generations as it does, even unto this day.
Lincoln was what might be called a rugged, not to say rough looking dog. Big, coarse, utterly devoid of finish, he was not a setter to appeal to those who had seen Druid, Leicester, Gladstone, or even Rake. Count Noble, of course, came later and therefore could not be compared with the others at that time. However, those who knew Lincoln at first hand, soon became aware that he was different from his brother in another respect; he was a bird dog with nose, brains and style. On point he was the acme of perfection and his spectacular attitudes on game soon became the talk of his admirers. Big and virile looking, he did not belie his appearance for he had stamina to a fault and was just as prepotent as a sire. While Lincoln is only represented among field trial winners by Shadow, Ladd and American Dan -- dogs which never made a great impression upon posterity -- he is nevertheless a most important factor in breeding, for through him comes the Gleam blood. Gleam. his son, was not a field trial winner, but his place in history is more secure than many a dog which has a long list of wins to his credit. The Gleam blood is such an important influence in the breeding of our present day setters that it will require a special chapter to do it justice.
CONTINUED.................... I will continue this article in the next Llewellin Journal.
These 6 dogs sextette are the foundation of all Llewellins termed American Llewellins. The lines of descend back to these dogs. To keep them distinguished as what they are because of the influence of imports of the English and Irish imports.
The tracing of these pedigrees is a project we began some years ago
and has been put on hold with the Journal and now with the moving.