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John H Williams

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John H Williams last won the day on December 17 2020

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  1. A few months ago,I asked if anyone had any further information about a letter written by John Stoker about Bedlington Terriers in 1878. Anyway,I have been trying to learn more about John Stoker,and I found the following newspaper cuttings which may perhaps be of some interest,as they describe life in a very different way to the present. John Stoker buried two wives at an early age,probably through childbirth (??),suffered a serious accident at work,was almost drowned while trying to deliver the Mail (he was also the postman) - his horse was drowned but he survived and - most importantly,of course - he managed to save the Mail !! He was later given 'a purse of gold' by grateful villagers for his diligence as a postman. And,despite all these trials and tribulations,he maintained 'an obliging manner' without recourse to Counselling! How different to today!
  2. The BNA is the British Newspaper Archives. Most old British newspapers have now been put on the internet. You have to pay a subscription fee,then you can research and download anything you want. Yes,I would recommend it. Instead of going to the newspaper offices and going through page after page,you can 'search' for whatever you want,and it will give you the references. I put Edward Cotes into the Newcastle Journal and it came up with his death notice. You can research people,dogs,industry,villages,whatever you want,without leaving your house. I have found a lot of references to Bedlington (the dogs and the town) on the site.
  3. That was the Newcastle Journal. 1835.
  4. Well,well!! The father was highly respected,but his offspring were not as successful. I found the death notice below amusing.Ned Cotes was involved in breeding the first Bedlingtons.John Stoker,in his letter,describes Ned and John Cotes hunting foxes,baiting badgers etc.. Then Ned went off to the madhouse. But the death notice claims he was a gentleman of strict integrity and refined manners!! Thanks for the book reference. A peculiar family.
  5. I was hoping to find some information about the two Cotes brothers,sons of Henry Cotes,the vicar of Bedlington. They both died young-ish.They were involved in foxhunting,badger baiting and all sorts,and I wondered what jobs they had.
  6. If I wanted to find an obituary for a Bedlingtonian who died in 1835, was there a local paper where I could search?
  7. Thank you for trying. Maybe there is nothing else,who knows? Every now and then,something not previously seen turns up. As we say in Wales, Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
  8. I know little about Northern surnames. Donkin seems to crop up frequently in different areas,so I am guessing (I could be wrong) that it is fairly common. The early records claim that the ancestors of the Bedlington Terrier were derived from two dogs named Peachem and Pincher owned by Edward Donkin (known as Hunting Ned) of Great Tosson Farm,near Rothbury. He died in 1832,and there is no mention of any Donkin in the pedigrees of the Bedlington Terrier afterwards. Great Tosson is near Piper Allan's home,and Donkin's terriers were probably related to,or were descended from,Old Will Allan's terriers.
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  11. The Bedlington Terrier has changed dramatically since its first appearance in Bedlington in 1825.It was once considered the hardest,meanest,toughest terrier around.It was often used in dog fights,and crossed with Bull Terriers (which Stafford nailmakers had brought to Bedlington) to produce small/medium sized gladiators. Sir Mathew Ridley of Blagdon Hall and Edward Donkin of Great Tosson used Bedlingtons with their foxhounds.The Carlisle Otter Hunt used Bedlingtons with the Otterhounds.The modern Bedlington does not look anything like the original dog,especially in regards to coat. The original dogs had rough,waterproof coats that did not need trimming.The drawing below shows what the early Bedlingtons were like.William Clark,who farmed the Wind Mill Farm in Bedlington,was an enthusiastic early breeder of Bedlington Terriers,and he considered the dog in the drawing below to be remarkably similar to Ainsley's 'Piper',the first dog to be called a Bedlington Terrier,bred in St. Cuthbert's Vicarage in 1825. This is the earliest known representation of a Bedlington Terrier,a drawing of Mr. Taprell-Holland's Peachem,which was published in The Field in November 1869.The dog is very different to the modern Bedlington,with a business-like appearance and a rough coat. In January 1870,a letter by "A" (actually Mr.W.J.Donkin,the secretary of the first Bedlington Club) appeared in The Field,and he mentioned this dog. "Let me assure Senex that where pains have been taken to preserve the breed pure,there has been no degeneration in head,shape,or courage.Of this I had a striking proof at the last Darlington Show. In the Bedlington class were two light liver-coloured dogs in adjoining pens,so much alike as to pass for brothers,or sire and son. They had many admirers,one of whom was William Clark,an old and enthusiastic breeder. From him I learned that Ainsley's Piper was faithfully represented in the specimens before him. Neither of them were known to him,but I may here state Peachem was one,and William Weldon's Billy the other." So,in this drawing of Peachem,we find a "faithful representation" of Ainsley's Piper,the original Bedlington Terrier.
  12. 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.
  13. When Ned Cotes was sent to the Madhouse,he took a Bedlington with him.Sadly,the dog became too savage and had to be destroyed. 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.
  14. I have just read some fascinating history of Dunston. It opened in 1830,so it depends on when Ned Cotes became ill.... Perhaps the opening of Dunston prompted his family to send him there. Hmmmmmm.... https://historyofdunston.weebly.com/lunatic-asylum.html
  15. 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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