Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Sepia Saturday 200 - Connexions - Durham Ox to Daffodils

Friday, 17 December 2010

Sepia Saturday: Connexions - The Durham Ox to Daffodils




The Durham Ox was bred in 1796 by the pioneering shorthorn breeder, Charles Colling of Ketton Hall, Bafferton, Nr Darlington in the North East of England. The beast became know as the Ketton Ox when it was exhibited in Darlington in 1799. 

Colling Brothers

The Colling brothers and a man named Thomas Bates, who farmed at Kirklevington, have been given much credit for the development of the Durham Shorthorn breed of cattle.

Thomas Bates
The Kirklevington estate in what is now North Yorkshire has been owned over the centuries by such aristocratic and royal landowners as William the Conqueror, Robert de Brus, The Percys, Henry IV and Henry V. It was finally divided and sold by the Earl of Strathmore to two wealthy business men one of whom was Henry Hutchinson who was mayor of Stockton-on-Tees for a time. His nephew, John, bred shorthorns at Stockton and named one of his bulls “Kirklevington.”

In their childhood John and his brothers and sisters became wards of Henry Hutchinson. In their early childhood before they were orphaned the Hutchinsons had been friends and neighbours of the Wordsworth family at Penrith. Mary Hutchinson had been born at Stockton-on-Tees and went to school there when she was sent to live with her Uncle Henry.

At twenty-four Mary announced she was going to marry William Wordsworth. Her uncle did not approve; he considered Wordsworth had no profession – he had changed his mind by the time Wordsworth had become Poet Laureate.

William and Mary

 William and Mary were married in 1802. William wrote a poem about his wife in 1803.
‘She was a Phantom of delight
When first she gleamed upon my sight;
A lovely Apparition, sent
To be a moment's ornament;’

But it was Mary who is said to have composed the last two lines of Wordsworth’s often quoted poem; he may have ‘wandered lonely as a cloud’ to see ‘A host of golden daffodils;’ but its Mary’s words at the end:
‘And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.’

So why is this my Sepia Saturday post?

I live in the village of Kirklevington less than a mile from the house which was once Thomas Bates farm and from the churchyard where his gravestone stands. 



St Martin’s Church at Kirklevington also has a memorial window to him which incorporates a shorthorn beast.

Detail of memorial window

I happen to have been born in the village of Ketton in England’s smallest county of Rutland. Finally I may also be able to toast you all this Christmas in one of Yarm’s many pubs less than three miles away.

Which one?

The Ketton Ox, of course.

28 comments:

Jo said...

Interesting Bob. I have never seen it spelled Robert the Brus before either. Nice bit of history there.

Dee said...

How wonderful that you are right where they were! I love the personal connection to the Wordsworths.

Dee

Kat Mortensen said...

I loved every element of this! So interesting to learn that Mary Wordsworth was responsible for that line about the dancing daffodils.

What a charming place you live in, and how lovely to have a little pub so close.

Bob Scotney said...

Kat we have a pub in the village and more than 10 in Yarm, including the Ketton Ox, and in its estates. At one time the Ox had a sign showing the Ketton Ox itself but in this modern world it now declares itself a 'Smith & Jones' pub, the sign has gone but the Ketton Ox name has remained.

Rosie said...

Some rich history there Bob! Enjoyed your post.

Alan Burnett said...

A perfect example of all that we have come to love in your sepia posts. Starting with a vague theme and then meandering through fields of historical fascination

Kristin said...

I think the Durham ox and the Colling brothers sort of resemble each other.

tony said...

Nice One Bob! I Agree with Kristin,Twins of sorts!

ScotSue said...

An intriguing title that made me want to read further.

Postcardy said...

The Durham Ox in the first picture looks unbelievably huge next to the man.

Jackie van Bergen said...

Love all the twists and turns in the 'story'. Makes me wish I had got involved in SS much earlier and been able to read all of these as they were written.

Mike Brubaker said...

History always gets the best treatment on your blog, Bob. Especially when it's local.

Recently on YouTube I stumbled upon a farming competition called Oxen Pulls. They are amazingly strong and handsome animals. But if I understand the definition of oxen correctly, Mr. Colling must have been very clever indeed to breed shorthorns from the Durham Ox.

Sean Bentley said...

Delightful! I need to get back to the Dales...

Martin Hodges said...

Excellent, Bob. I wouldn't want to 'cross' the Colling Brothers, though!

Wendy said...

What! Mary Wordsworth wrote those lines?? Next you're going to tell me there's no Tooth Fairy.

I've never given much thought to the breeding of animals, but this story makes me sit up and take note. I like that the local pub keeps the history alive.

North County Film Club said...

I wish I could join you at the Ketton Ox this Christmas. Maybe next Christmas.
Loved your post, as usual!
Barbara

North County Film Club said...

That was an excellently researched post. I can see why you were interested in the subject having all of that history right in your own back yard. The part about Mary writing some of Wordsworth's words was pretty shocking. I wonder how many other wives have helped out their poet husbands.
Nancy

Patrica Ball Morrison said...

Oh I remember this and the OX and how it related to the Bull Durham we saw in North Carolina a couple years ago.

Nancy said...

Geography, history, poetry, animal science. You've touched on all in this post, Bob, and made it very interesting, too.

Doug Peabody said...

Interesting that his wife finished that poem. Great post for Sepia Saturday 200!

Little Nell said...

I wouldn’t want to cross the Collings either, but I’d run away very fast from that Ox! Good choice Bob.

Karen S. said...

Great gads of history here again Bob. I do like this as your choice, even if it's not filled with lots of dogs and ships, it covers topics I otherwise wouldn't know about.

Boobook said...

An intriguing yarn. And, by the way,one of my husband's ancestors is buried at Durham Ox, in Victoria, Australia!

The Silver Fox said...

Ah, fascinating. And very well written.

Sharon said...

Interesting from start to finish.

L. D. said...

I have seen paintings of the Ketton Ox in farm scenes here in early America. You have perked my interest about it and will research. It is a neat post and enjoyed that you live so close to it all.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

That ox is huge! I love how you brought us full circle in this post and teaching us about many different subjects in a short time. Well done, and a great choice for the book, Bob.

Kathy M.

TICKLEBEAR said...

So the cows made it to church in the end!! Great post!!
:)~
HUGZ