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John Stoker Letter


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On 10/12/2020 at 14:57, John H Williams said:

OnAugust 29th,2011,a letter about the Bedlington Terrier by John Stoker was posted on here by CBC. Would anyone know where CBC obtained this letter? It is an important letter,and I have not seen it anywhere other than on here. Thank you.

Unfortunately not @John H Williams and I would be very surprised in anyone knew the true identity of @CBC.

I had a look at CBC's profile and I see the comment that was made was the only comment CBC has posted within this group and the last time CBC logged into the group was the 14th January 2016.🙁

Do you know if it's the local Bedlington terrier group(s) that are interested in CBC's letter/info?

There are two Facebook groups returned from a Google search but when the 'address link' of each group is pasted into this comment they fail to connect to the group. 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1454448668116707/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/NEBTG/

Screen prints of the Google search & CBC's profile :-

 

BT groups.png

CBC profile.png

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57 minutes ago, Alan Edgar (Eggy1948) said:

Do you know if it's the local Bedlington terrier group(s) that are interested in CBC's letter/info?

There are two Facebook groups returned from a Google search but when the 'address link' of each group is pasted into this comment they fail to connect to the group. 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1454448668116707/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/NEBTG/

 

Sorry @John H Williams - it's just clicked in this worn out memory. I think we have passed comments before, on the local Facebook groups😉. Do you run the North East Bedlington Terrie Club?

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No.I live in Wales. I'm simply researching the origin of the Bedlington Terrier. John Stoker's letter was really helpful,and I wonder if he wrote anything else,or if there are other letters yet to be found. There are many wrong theories being written about this terrier,and I would like to put the record straight. I'm surprised that there is so little interest 'oop North' about the breed.

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In 2025 it will be the bicentenary of the first Bedlington litter bred in 1825. It would be appropriate to have the breed's early history,origin etc. sorted by then. I think I am on the right track,and I think I have discovered the origin of the Dandie Dinmont cross as well. It was staring me in the face for years,but I didn't realise it. There are lots of details to gather together first,to present as complete a picture as possible. 

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, John H Williams said:

No.I live in Wales. I'm simply researching the origin of the Bedlington Terrier. John Stoker's letter was really helpful,and I wonder if he wrote anything else,or if there are other letters yet to be found. There are many wrong theories being written about this terrier,and I would like to put the record straight. I'm surprised that there is so little interest 'oop North' about the breed.

John - I've posted a copy of the letter on the local Facebook group - Bygone Bedlington - to see if any member knows anything about it or the name tag 'CBC' and I will add any positive response, to the Facebook posting, into this topic.

I will search further for the NEBTC info and see if any history of the breed was posted.

   

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@John H Williams - checked back through some old MS Word documents I have put together over the last few years when I have been looking for info about anything to do with Bedlington. I have an old Desktop PC (runs on Windows Vista) where I have 2010 versions of Microsoft Word - Excel etc. etc. ( I got them for £8, quoting my daughter's student card number when she went back to do a second course at Uni).

One of the documents has info I have found on the www about the Bedlington Terrier. I wouldn't be surprised if you already had this info but it does no harm to pass it on :- 

The Bedlington Terrier

The Bedlington Terrier descends from a dog named ‘Old Flint’ born in 1782 which fathered a line known as ‘Rothbury Terriers’. In 1825, a man named Joseph Ainsley in Bedlington bred two Rothbury’s and deemed the result a Bedlington Terrier

Bedlington Terriers were developed to hunt and kill vermin including rats, mice and other predatory animals such as foxes.

It has been described as a dog with the heart of a lion and the appearance of a lamb.

http://www.bedlingtonrescue.co.uk/history-of-the-breed/

Origin and History

The Bedlington Terrier descends from a dog named “Old Flint,” whelped in 1782. The breed may have originally been kept by gypsies and poachers to hunt land owned by the gentry. The dogs came to the attention of Lord Rothbury in the town of Bedlington, according to one story.

 

Later, the name was changed to the Bedlington Terrier after the Bedlington Mining Shire in Northumberland county, England, where the breed was further refined. In the 1800s the dogs were used for killing vermin and the miners raced the dogs.

 

Bedlingtons are quite fast. Dandie Dinmonts, Kerry Blues, Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers and Whippets may have all mingled to create the Bedlington breed, or shared ancestry with it.

I don't have a link to where I obtained this info :- 

Bedlington Terrier Temperament

Compared to other terriers, the Bedlington variety is rather calm and mild-mannered. They are very loyal and loving toward their families and they are quite intelligent and gentle.

 

These dogs love children but they can be very energetic playmates with them. There is nothing fussy or mischievous about this dog breed. They have a big heart and they are very lovable. However, they can be quite courageous when necessary.

 

They are playful and affectionate and they are reasonably friendly with strangers. They can get along well with other dogs and pets, but it helps if they are well-socialized with them when they are young. Bedlingtons can be barking dogs.

 

http://bedlingtondogs.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/time-for-nostalgia.html - this 'blogspot' no longer exists - it has been closed down

 

The Bedlington Terrier originated in the a small village near Rothbury, Bedlington, hence its other name as a Rothbury Terrier.

It was used by gypsies and poachers to catch game on the land of the gentry, his ability to make a quick kill along with speed and endurance would have served poachers well. It is these points that brought the breed to the attention of the gentry, so much so that they hired the very dogs that were stealing their game to rid their estates of vermin.

The terrier soon became a favourite of the coal miners not only were they used to rid the mines of rats, but were also used for sport, racing not only other Bedlingtons but the faster Whippet, often with the Bedlington coming out winner.

There is no certainty of the breeds which lead to the Bedlington, however it shares similarities with the Dandie Dinmont, Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers and the Kerry Blue. The arched back may also have derived from the Whippet to add speed and litheness to the breeds performance.

A gentleman named Joseph Aynsley from the town of Bedlington in Northumberland bred the first dog named a Bedlington Terrier, Aynsley’s Piper, this gave the breed its start. Piper first hunted at 8 months and continued to bring down the most dangerous of badgers and otters even in his blind and toothless old age.

In the early 1900s the breed started to be bred as a companion dog which with newer methods of trimming gave the breed the appearance of a lamb, but underneath the baby face beats the heart of a true terrier.

 

 

 

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Thank you. Yes,I already have this information. There are probably other letters or articles somewhere,that have not been published anywhere yet,but which would give more information about the breed. John Stoker's letter was an especially interesting letter,giving first hand information about the early breeders and their dogs. I have tracked Joe Ainsley down - he moved from Bedlington after marrying. Woodhorn has the burial records,but they are closed until January. I hope to find his last resting place precisely when Woodhorn reopens.Ned Cotes is buried in St Cuthberts - there is a memorial to him on the wall,but I don't know which Madhouse he was sent to. Not yet,anyway. It would be wonderful to find a definite link back to Piper Will Allan of Rothbury,but I don't think  I'll find that in writing. Was it Old Will who put the Otterhound in,and so forth? I may have to visit Woodhorn in person to have a browse around! Thank you for trying - perhaps something new will turn up. Fingers crossed!

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I have sometimes seen it written that the Bedlington Terrier was bred by miners and taken underground. I have seen no evidence for this. Most of the early breeders were stone masons, the equivalent of our bricklayers. Ainsley and James Anderson were masons,as were several others. William Clarke was a farmer,and one or two others were farm labourers. No miners. The stone masons probably worked together  on various sites.j

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Very interesting reading!

17 hours ago, John H Williams said:

Ned Cotes is buried in St Cuthberts - there is a memorial to him on the wall,but I don't know which Madhouse he was sent to.

I might be able to point you in the right direction here. While I am not familiar with Ned’s problems, I did work for some years in both north- and south Tyneside with mental health issues and got to know a great deal about the history and development of mental health services.

Unfortunately for Ned, and thousands of others, reform came too late. Ned had already been dead for some ten years before the passing of the County Asylum/Lunacy Act of 1845 which determined that all counties should provide humane care and treatment for their lunatics.

Northumberland County seems to have been particularly sluggish in getting to grips with the terms of the act and it wasn’t until 1859 that the Northumberland County Pauper Lunatic Asylum opened its doors to the first ‘patient’ – as they were now to be called. It eventually became St Georges Hospital, Morpeth having had many other names along the way.

As I said, this came too late for Ned Cotes, so prior to his demise he would have been cared for under the terms of a previous act – The Madhouse Act of 1774 – which allowed unlicensed practitioners to run their establishments as commercial enterprises whose premises, but not practices, were subject to yearly inspection.

This meant that people like Ned could be sent almost anywhere and I know that many of North Tyneside’s lunatics were sent south of the Tyne and vice versa.  I have seen Bedlington adresses in old South Tyneside records. Gateshead, on the other hand, sent lunatics north of the Tyne and even chose to build its County Asylum in Stannington outside of Morpeth. It later became known as St Mary’s Hospital.

Gateshead, one of my old stomping grounds, had several such establishments during Ned’s  time: Bensham Asylum, Wrekenton Asylum, Sherriff Hill Lunatic Assylum and Garbutts Asylum and one other which I think could be of interest in Ned’s case - Dunston Lodge asylum, which I know to have been in use during Ned’s lifetime.

Denton Lodge Asylum goes down in asylum history as being one of the most advanced in terms of treatment, not only in  Northumberland or even England but in the whole world! It was visited by people from all over the world and had a success rate second to none, better than any other in the UK. I believe it was in use in one form or another right through to the 1930s. I know it was talked about a lot by older nursing staff (1960s) and quite a few elderly patients.

That to me sounds like a reason it may have been chosen by the Rev. Cotes for his son. The clients weren’t paupers and Ned’s father was a vicar who I’m sure would seek out the very best help available.

I also know that a great deal of documentation from these places is preserved at national. archives.gov.uk  - try the Northumberland Archive .

If it wasn’t for the fact that Christmas is two weeks away I’d gladly have a poke around myself. But, a woman’s work is never done especially in the lead up to the festive season. Good Luck wishes from a former Llanbradach resident!

Edited by Canny lass
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Thank you,Canny Lass from Llanbradach! Woodhorn Archives are closed for now,because of the virus.They hope to reopen in the New Year. I have other enquiries to ask them! A very informative post indeed. I hope to head oop North next year,in the spring perhaps,and a browse around in Woodhorn could be on the agenda. I might even see you in your incandescent purple hat - I'm sure that will be a sight to behold! I'll try to look up Denton Lodge in the meantime.

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Correction:

 

13 hours ago, Canny lass said:

Denton Lodge Asylum goes down in asylum history as being one of the most advanced in terms of treatment,

That should read DUNSTON Lodge Asylum - NOT Denton. Auto-correct sometimes works overtime when I produce English text. Denton is another area.

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Great stuff! Interesting to read that the owner was named Garbutt. There was another asylum called simply Garbutt's Asylum but I don't know just where in Gateshead it was. The old road passing Dunston Lodge was still there in the 60's and was known locally as Asylum Road.

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On 14/12/2020 at 11:18, John H Williams said:

To be allowed to keep a dog in the Madhouse,Ned Cotes cannot have been that Mad? I am surprised the Asylums allowed dogs with the nmates.

Pets in institutions are the 'in-thing' today and considered to be therapeutically beneficial. Perhaps the owner (Garbutt) was ahead of the times in his thinking. More likely, however, is that taking the dog was a means to get Ned to the asylum without causing distress/anger on his part. It's also worth remembering that these places were run for monetary gain. If taking the dog meant a few extra coppers in the bank, I'm sure it would have been agreed to.

With regard to understanding Ned's state of madness, it's necessary to filter off all present day knowledge of mental illness. Diagnosis was a different matter then and now. I'm sure that illnesses such as those defined in the greater groups of: psychoses (including such illnesses as Schizophrenia and Bi-polar disorders) and neuroses (including such illnesses as depression and personality disorder) were around at the time. However, they had not been fully identified or named. Some of the most common diagnoses encountered by me in old case histories (prior to 1953) are: severely retarded, simple-minded, feeble-minded, idiot, mentally deficient, of unsound mind, non compos mentis, lacks understanding, and incapable of reason. Feeble-minded or incapable of reason were applied to persons for a multitude of different reasons, some having no resemblence whatsoever to what we term mental ill health today. One of the most common I've seen is pregnancy outside of marriage! You would be amazed at the number of women in their 70s and 80s who were still sitting, now institutionalized, in mental hospitals around the UK in the 1960s, having been admitted some 50 to 60 years earlier simply because they became pregnant - without the help of a "husband"! That was enough to have you "put away", as was the common expression, and for many that meant " the further away the better". Mental illness, as we know it today, didn't need to be present at all in order to be comitted to an asylum.

It was interesting to see the drawing of Dunston Lodge Asylum which headed the article you provided. Founded at the beginning of the 19th century it has many of the hallmarks of the asylum recommended in the 1845 act. This act was really an ammendment to an earlier act (around 1810 if I remember right) which advocated county care. There were however too many loopholes in that act which allowed counties to circumnavigate the law and  is one of the reasons why work didn't get underway with asylum building until mid 19th century when the 1845 act enforced the earlier act.

In the drawing, you can clearly see the move away from treating patients as prisoners.- which was the aim of the law. There are gardens for recreation and therapeutic work and what appears to be a farm adjacent to but outside of the asylum walls where patients could work and contribute to the running of the asylum by producing food., so was the occupational therapy of the era. I note also an enclosed courtyard where dangerous patients could be safely exercised, allowing even those a chance to see daylight and feel the weather on their faces. Many of these features are common to the later builds and marked an advance in the treatment and conditions of the asylums.

Edited by Canny lass
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On 12/12/2020 at 19:33, Alan Edgar (Eggy1948) said:

John - I've posted a copy of the letter on the local Facebook group - Bygone Bedlington - to see if any member knows anything about it or the name tag 'CBC' and I will add any positive response, to the Facebook posting, into this topic.

I will search further for the NEBTC info and see if any history of the breed was posted.

   

@John H Williams - doesn't answer your question on the CBC letter but a member, Daren Mazzie, of the Bedlington remembered Facebook group replied to my posting with this newspaper cutting. Daren did say that he got access to the cutting via a group he subscribes to but didn't say which group only that the date of the  newspaper is 1868.  

Darin Mazzie cutting.jpg

Edited by Alan Edgar (Eggy1948)
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This letter appeared in 'The Field' on February 16th,1868. There was quite a correspondence about the breed in 'The Field' from 1868 into the 1870s.I have most of these letters,but there must be others that have not yet been recorded in print,or have been forgotten. John Stoker's letter was a valuable source of information,especially as he lived in Bedlington and was related to Joseph Ainsley.His letter came from first hand knowledge,not hearsay. Another letter to The Field disagreed with  the  letter mentioned above.The other letter,written by W.J.Donkin,the first secretary of the first Bedlington Terrier Club in 1875,stated that a military officer named West came to Bedlington with 'a French Terrier bitch'.This yellow bitch-whatever she was,since the French didn't have terriers- was confused with Phoebe,the black bitch left at the Vicarage with Ned Cotes.The pedigree of the 1825 litter-the first dogs to be called Bedlington-has been recorded and traced back to Old Flint,born 1782,and owned by Squire Trevelyan of Netherwitton. There is a mention of a Flemish weaver bringing a pair of dogs to Rothbury. I have an idea about this (only an idea),but it is probably too much to hope for further information on this??? Is there a tradition of weaving in or around Rothbury? I know there was a weaving mill in Otterburn. I will publish all these letters and articles once I am satisfied that there are no more,but I keep hoping something new will turn up. Thank you for any information,no matter how trivial it may seem.Sometimes a minor comment somewhere can change everything.

 

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13 hours ago, John H Williams said:

........... I keep hoping something new will turn up. Thank you for any information, no matter how trivial it may seem. Sometimes a minor comment somewhere can change everything.

 

Good luck with your search John. If we here of anything we will pass it on will.

If I see Izzy (Crufts 2014 best of Breed winner) around the village I will ask if she has any info🙂   

Izzy from Seghill.jpg

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I remember a Bedlington, owned by an elderly Netherton couple, who's name escapes me just now. The dog, however, was called Piper - a lovely natured animal that we kids used to love to see and stroke when he was out and about with the owners. Piper wasn't a common name for dogs in Netherton so I wonder if he was a direct descendent? Can anybody remember the name of the couple who owned him?

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Many early Bedlingtons were named Piper.It referred back to a chap who lived near Rothbury,William Allan,a well known 'Piper'. Old Will,and his notorious son  Jamie Allan,were quite famous for their ability on the small Northumbrian pipes,which required the piper to dance as well as play the pipes.Will and Jamie were both renowned for their physical toughness and agility. Old Will was a keen hunter,especially otters,and his dogs became well known in the area.It is thought that the Dandie Dinmont and the Bedlington Terrier (previously called Rothbury Terriers) are descended from Old Will's dogs.

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I'm going off on a tangent now,triggered by Canny Lass' mention of unmarried mothers sent to asylums.This has nothing to do with Bedlington! Canny Lass might be familiar with Margam Castle.The article below refers to a chap born in a workhouse.When older,he tried to trace his mother and discovered she had been sent to an Asylum.It was believed that she became pregnant by the owner of the Margam Estate.She was often seen travelling around with him in his car. There was an inheritance clause that meant the Margam Estate had to be passed down to the eldest son,so he tried claiming it.The Estate had sent the mother to an asylum and the baby was taken away for adoption. Getting rid of any evidence!! When his alleged father died,in his 90s,he was cremated immediately -and illegally- ,before the Death Certificate was received,to avoid any legal challenges for DNA. The woman is always at fault!!!

https://chasingcastles.com/the-lost-owner-of-margam-castle/

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/local-news/could-dna-test-robert-bruce-10355476

 

 

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6 hours ago, Canny lass said:

I remember a Bedlington, owned by an elderly Netherton couple, who's name escapes me just now. The dog, however, was called Piper - a lovely natured animal that we kids used to love to see and stroke when he was out and about with the owners. Piper wasn't a common name for dogs in Netherton so I wonder if he was a direct descendent? Can anybody remember the name of the couple who owned him?

@Canny lass - I posted your comment of the local Facebook groups. This is one response, that might help you :-

 

Mr wails had a Bedlington called piper I think he lived at Netherton we bought our Bedlington off him and called ours piper but that was in the 70s
 
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@Canny lass - nothing definite but this comment was posted by 

An elderly lady lived 29 second street had a Bedlington terrier cant remember her name but was Dennis O Brians gran that was late 50s early 60s
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2 hours ago, Alan Edgar (Eggy1948) said:

@Canny lass - nothing definite but this comment was posted by 

An elderly lady lived 29 second street had a Bedlington terrier cant remember her name but was Dennis O Brians gran that was late 50s early 60s

That would be the one! Mid- to late 50s is about right and the couple did live at the lower end of First or Second Street, putting it in the higher numbers. I remember Dennis but O'Brian doesn't ring a bell for the elderly couple. Perhaps it was his maternal grandmother?

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