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1883 -The Clydesdale Horse In Gazette

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THE CLYDESDALE or the draught horse, superceded in
the last 50 years by the tractor, is something of the past except for
show purposes. They are seldom seen in the county nowadays but
there was a time when Lanarkshire, in particular, was special
where Clydesdale horses were concerned. The horse fairs at
Lanark — home of the Clydesdale ——-— could well last a week, while
the special sales at Camwath, Larkhall and Rutherglen were
advertised throughout the entire conmtry.

The displacement of the horse was a that the death of the draught horse had
very gradual process in Britain as a been predicted. In September, 1825, a
whole, if we examine the history of the steam engine and several wagons ran
tractor, since its invention by George between Darlington and Stockton.
H. Harris of Chica o and patented in Everyone expected that the horse
United States in 18%. would vanish from the country.
Before the turn of last century many However, instead of vanishing they
tools for cultivation and harvesting had multiplied and their use was needed
been adapted to go with the tractors. more than ever. New trades developed,
The methods of working were more resulting in many more horses being
comfortable and could be operated required, more often than not to
with much less physical effort. For transport the goods from the farms and
example in that area it took 15 man these trades to railway stations which
hours to produce and harvest an acre were placed strategically near every
of corn by horse, but by 1940 the town of a reasonable size.
mechanised farmer could do it in
under five hours. ADMIXTURE
These were first used extensively in -1-here are stm a few farms in
Gmat .Bmam dlmng the fwd Lanarkshire whereaClydesdale is used
pr°du°U°" campaign at 1917/l8‘ eve da but these are few and far
although several models appeared at bctgiecn yirhcy are stm being bred in
the Royal Horticultural Society’s shows Smtlami b a small number of
°f 1903 and 1910 The first Ford breeders ziincipall for the export
tractor was built in 1909. Their trade tlgcpmain argas being Wigmn
unreliability at first left farmers coid“,_m_:_“’éd_f{,€h_kcudb“guf;-»W-rw hai? in
. »__-, ¤T'i‘*'¤¤%?mY meant years, became renowned for
By 1931, the number of tractors in thi:. C?;;cs‘¥g§5;l-ais' the railways
Britain was 28*000; in 1939 it was develo ed the various Dukes of
50*000; and by 1948 it was 231‘2B0‘ I Hamilijoniwere doin their utmost to
would at that by the mid·“*°**~‘=$ *h= im me the brccdgsr in smith
Clydesdale died as a working horse. drgu ht hom:
The use ofthe tractor was further Thin? has élways been Some doubt
stlmulatcd br high labour mm and the as to the origin of the Clydesdale but it
scarcity °flab°ur' — is certainly an admixture of Flemish
This, of course, wasn’t the first time ··

horsetlesh with that of the Scottish and
There is a story about six Flemish
stallions being imported by a Duke of
Hamilton, whic he kept at
Strathaven, hiring them out for
nothing to his tenants for stud
Lawrence Drew of Merryton,
Hamilton, one of the Duke’s tenants,
was the man who achieved most to
improve the Scottish agricultural horse
mainly by selection of his breeding
stock which he purchased and bred
solely to effect this improvement.
Regarding the origin of the species,
Drew puts more credence to the story
ofa Mr R. Burns, who was a servant of
the Duke of Hamilton in 1883. He
stated that James, the oth Duke, who
held the title from 1742 to 1758,
imported a dark brown Flemish
sta lion to improve the farm horses of
his tenants, and that there was a
painting of the horse in the lumber
room at the palace.
The horse was named "Clyde" and it
was led for three or four seasons by
James Davidson (1731-1813). one of the
Duke’s grooms, around the districts of
Lesmahagow, Dalserf, Strathaven,
Cambuslang and Shotts, where the
main farms belonging to the Hamilton
Estate were situated.
For some time the breed was called
"Clyde" and later "C1ydes" and
subsequently "Clydesdale".
The Highland Society’s Report of
13*93 gives the County of Lanark praise
by stating that "a high degree of merit
is due to the unremitting endeavour to
improve this excellent breed as nearly
every farmer in the upper art of the
County at the end of the 18Jth century
'* -;:;;ii§f -==‘ ‘‘`‘‘‘ - ‘‘=‘ '‘'‘’·=== is- ==- —=----.

had at least tour Clydesdale ma
their stables hlf of which
normally in foal annual1y."
All this is amplified by the
Register of Drew, and, while he
deemed it necessary to mainta
regular written record of desce
was normally the practice, it is ob
from the sales catalogues and re
which have been retained by Mr A
Marshall of Messrs J. & J. Mars
Carluke, that Drew’s stock was so
out by breeders from all over Brita'
The Clydesdale mixture, of co
came from a fortunate combinati
the breeds already mentioned, but
credit for most of the experime
must go to Drew, who, as I
already said, did not keep a regist
all the horses bred, but he did kee_p
for his breeding stock, with pedi
going back, in some eases, for year
There have been many referenc
the breed in historical notes of o
counties including Renfrews
Ayrshire, Kirkcudbrightshire
Dunbartonshire -- all of them g
and praising the work horses in t
various areas being improved by
introduction of horses and mares
Hamilton, Rutherglen and Lan
Influence of the breed in the Gall
area is attributed to the stal
"Samson" belonging to Mr John
Sornfallow, Lanark, who travelled
Stewarty from 1832 to 1834.
The colts were mostly sold at La
and Carnwath fairs going mainl
Renfrewshire, Ayrshire and Lan
shire and costing anything from £
£20. These were broken there for
draught and when they were five y
old they were sold at Rutherglen fai
buyers from all over the countryk
The stallion "Prince of al
shown in the picture, and one of
best ever, was foaled in 1866. It
dark brown and bred by Mr J.
Fleming, had the "General" as
and dam "Darling", both of w
took first prize at the Highland S
in 1865. "`Prince of Wales" won
prize at the same show in 1872. It
eventually sold at Merryton on A
17, 1884, to D.Riddel| for 900 guine

The stud fee for the "Prince
Wales" in 1877 stood at £40, a lot
money in those days, and this is pro
from the sales catalogues of Ja
Marshall, Auctioneer, Cariuke.
following year in April, 20 lillies
colts sired by the "Prince of Wal
fetched £5289; one brown colt, No.
bringing £I000. The dam was "Yo
Rosie", a celebrated prize mare.
colt as a two-year-old gained iirst p
at the Glasgow show in 1879, and
considered to be one of the finest c
ever got by the "Prince of Wales"
was bought by John Waddell.
Another fine horse from
Merryton stables was "Lord Har
the sire again being the Prince. T
horse was never beaten in a show. A
yearling he was first at Hamilton, A
Glasgow and the Highland Soci
shows. As a two-year-old he obtaine
tirst at Glasgow, Hamilton and t
Royal Society Show at Birmingham.

on was visited in 1878 by the Prince of
·VaIes, later King Edward VII, and
·ther distin uished guests among them
he Prince lmperial of France. When
ll the animals ·—- more than 100 of
hem — were turned loose in the yard,
he Prince of Wales is said to have
emarked that such a sight could
owhere else be seen in the world.
lt was on this occasion that the
'rince Imperial of France gave an
xhibition of his horsemanship by
zaping on to the back of"Lord I-Iarry"
- at that time a young horse of great
pirit, which had never been ridden
eforc -—- and galloped several times
round the yard to the astonishment of
1e spectators, who were at a loss
·hether to applaud or rebuke the
aring performance. Whether it was
ue to t is event or not, Drew named
ne of his young stallions Prince
Merryton was famous for its sales,
ith beautifully illustrated catalogues
forming potential customers that it
y about three miles from Hamilton,
IB mile from Larkhall and Ferniegair
ations, and for the 1878 sale the
aledonian Railway arranged special
ains from Motherwell to connect with
se London train and also that certain
ains from Glasgow to Lesmahagow
nd Ayr Road would call at Merryton
iing — a special railhead to Drew’s
Mr Drew, in one of the catalogues,
·scribed his aspirations as "The
lection of breeding stock has been to
oduce a superior draught horse, and
the scarcity of good mares in
otland has been long felt and
knowledged, he has not scrupled to
ail himself of fresh blood, of the right
rt, wherever it could be found, being
nvinced, from lengthened
perience, that breeding from animals
thin a limited area could only result
constitutional weakness, and
bsequent tendency to disease."
In another, he stated that "The
rity of an animal is proved by the
nnsmission of its distinctive
aracteristics to its progeny, and any
cidental departure from the original
ld type may be taken advantage of
d rendered permanent by careful
The sale on April 17, 1884,
nducted again by James Marshall,
2 Carluke auctioneers, is of
rticular interest as it was the final
e of Lawrence Drew (he died in the
ring of that year) and of the total sale
`£ ,575:9:6. Mr D. Riddell of
zckhall purchased no»less than 32
rses to the value ot`£6250 13s.
The stallions at the sale, 12 in
rnber went to Blackhall (7). Carluke
:1 Aberdeen. Of the seven two-year-
. colts six went to Blackhall and one
Draffan. The yearling colts
mbered only ei ht, four of which
nt to Blackhali with the others
ng to Radnorshire and Carluke. =
ere were nine two and three-year-old Q
ies; four going to Blackhall, four to -
mpbelltown and one to Bishop- l
ggs. Twenty-two mares came up at ·
sale, half of which went to 1


Bl_ac_khall and the others going to Kgsscd bfncath it as it st°°d at
Stirling, Campbelltown, Banff, °*"`Yt°“- _
Welshpool and various parts of the Thc w°rld":°°°rd pncc for °
c0unty_ Clydesdale stalltonwas at a sale in Ayr .
Auction Market in 1911 when the
WQRLD REC0RD "Baron of Bucklyvie" fetched £9§00.
. . The story about it 1S worth relating.
The horse which Call be See!} III the wrhc Bamn·· was bred by William
photograph on the top of the arehway Melieish Woodend, Buckl ie, in 1902
of the entrance to Merryton Farm was and Sold as 3 tW0_ycm._0H to James
out out .0f Sheet-iron and represents KH atrick fm. {{00 who Sold 3
,,g,1§,P""°° gf Walcs! ang marllicd halgshare to William Dunlop, Dunure
h t az IS °“’“ *9 eg ° Mm 9* Mains, Ayr. In 1904 Dunlop tried to
P ° qgmp · {was °°°£·‘“` bY °“"$ buy out his partner with an offer of
Lawnc & symmgt°“* “"i“°k· and fm` £2000. Kilpatrick agreed but later
s?m° {cgrs °°l:1Ig b°.s°°“ m rhs h°I`S° insisted that this was only for his share
MS “ **9*** “°F’°¤ M°**$°* “*'*°*‘° ofthe heme white Dunlop stated that
horse auctions continued until at least this was the price fm. the Stallion The
1954 when 299 horses were put up for case went to court in 1g08' and
§aI°i_lTh° Y°ar(;?tf°g°· h°T°"¥ Soqiwcm Kilpatrick won. It was put up for sale
m t °,,S?·m° 0 cr sa C- he lmn in 1911 when a mystery buyer who bid
Horse 15 now relegated to the stables up to £g5O0 turned out to bc buying on
m°1:°.°" lcss as hm`{b°r· shculd 't be behalf of Dunlo so that, eventually, he
cxhlbltcd as wmcthmg 9f the Past as had to pay :54758 for the half share that
many a good Clydesdale must have hcdidnycwnl


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Last Updated on Mar-25-2016