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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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. 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
  11. 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!
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
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