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.


Christine H. said...

What an interesting story. I have to admit though,I was very distracted by the odd boxy shape of the ox (with its tiny head) and then the odd boxy shape of the Colling brothers, especially the one on the right with the tiny knee.

Bob Scotney said...

I believe the ox is on a painting, I'm not sure of where the Colling brothers picture originated.

Marilyn said...

Oh this is so interesting, just love the photo of the Colling brothers!
I always thought that Wordsworth's daffodil poem was based on an entry in his sister Dorothy's journal.

Tattered and Lost said...

Oh how lucky for you to live in Yorkshire. I love it there. The light is amazing!

Now as to the two fellas at the top. Oh my but they look to have skinny legs with big donuts around the middle and heads stuck on like Christmas puddings.

Pat transplanted to MN said...

Fascinating, I was wondering why and how you chose this. Do they still have Durham ox today? Lots of history and anecdotal tales here, the father in law finally repented about his daughter's choice of husband (Wordsworth) The stained glass window is exquisite and a most appropriate close with the same ox!

(Queenmothermamaw) Peggy said...

That was very interesting. Full of answers which brings up more questions. Didn't know that about Wordsworth. Blessings to you and yours.


bovines, poetry and grave stones!! quite the menu here. a delightful post!!

Alan Burnett said...

Oh that is a Sepia Saturday post for so many reasons. It combines almost everything I like - history, chance, pubs - and weaves them into a delightful garment of a post. Great Sepia Saturdaying.