Tuesday, 4 April 2017

C is for Cattle … and Cow Cooper …



We have Canterbury Cattle painted so exquisitely by Thomas Sidney Cooper (1803 – 1902) found in Beaney House, near Canterbury Cathedral …
Separated, but not Divorced (1874) ...
a Shorthorn bull ... the title a humorous
reference by Cooper to the bull standing
at a distance from the cows


Cooper’s Collection is of national importance … it records farm life in Victorian Britain … he is part of our Collective memory, and one of the Characterising artists of the Country’s more recent history …


Cattle husbandry has been practised in Britain for more than six thousand years (Neolithic era) … but until the last three hundred years there was little selective breeding.


The Wild Cattle of
Chillingham (1867) by
by Edwin Landseer 



Feral herds – such as the Chillingham Cattle have lived in a large enclosed park, from the Middle Ages, at Chillingham Castle, Northumberland.





Most Cattle up to the 1700s were triple-purpose:
Draught animal
Milk yield
and only at the end of their life: Meat production


Then as they were superseded as a source of power, first by horses, and then tractors, cattle breeds became increasingly specialised.
Hereford Bull


Now in the 21st century we are appreciating traditional values, with some endangered breeds beginning to enjoy renewed favour.


Dairy and Dual-Purpose Rare Breeds

Clouty Cow’ – a Shetland, Scottish cow, which when sold had to have a piece of their owner’s apron (clouty) sent with them

Gloucester

Irish Moiled

Red Poll

Beef Rare Breeds

White Park … is the most ancient breed of British cattle.  It was mentioned in the sagas of pre-Christian Ireland and ninth century Welsh records.

       a joint of White Park beef was dubbed Sir Loin in 1617.  (In my Webster’s … there are three stories of the joint having been knighted by – Henry VIII; James I; and Charles II – you’z takez yoor pik!)

Vaynol … was part of the White Park breed … evolving, once some animals were moved, in North Wales ... it is a primitive type

Shorthorn ... it is now regaining popularity
Hereford – traditional … only a small number of genuine traditional Herefords exist.

Lincoln Red … native to the cold eastern areas of the UK


Some rare breeds 50 years ago … are now no longer rare – such as the Dexter, Longhorn and British White cattle … success stories ...


Cooper's Cows commissioned by
Canterbury Corporation  (1835)



Cattle as a term was borrowed from Anglo-Norman catel – itself from medieval Latin capitale ‘principal sum of money, capital’ – itself derived from caput ‘head’ …







That is C for the Cow that Characteristic Capitale of Certain Cattle which has Continued Chewing the Cud at Chillingham, Canterbury or Counties around our Country … from Aspects of British County Rare Breeds …

 
The Tudor Revival facade and
entrance to Beaney House


Counties with the letter C … 
(note some Counties have been retired!, or amended over historical local government … but some I’ve included)

England:  Cambridgeshire; Cheshire; Cleveland; Cornwall; Cumberland; Cumbria
Northern Ireland: City of Belfast
Scotland:  Caithness; Clackmannanshire; Cromartyshire
Wales:  Caernarfonshire; Cardiganshire; Carmarthenshire; Clwyd





Beaney House of Arts and Crafts (Canterbury, Kent): including the Cooper Cow Collection


Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

55 comments:

Bob Scotney said...

Well I guessed right and Chillingham appeared. Kirklevington where I live has close asscotions with shorthorns - Thomas Bates lived here and I have written about him and shown his grave in the cemetery. He is one of the original creators of the breed.

Elephant's Child said...

I wasn't aware that traditional Herefords are in short supply. Thank you. I always learn from your posts, which is a delightful thing.

Nasreen said...

Thanks for this interesting post, Hilary. I always learn new things by visiting you!

Keith's Ramblings said...

I'll probably think of this post when I'm listening to The Archers on Sunday morning! Really interesting. I wonder what breed Arthur's cows are in Amble Bay.

Today in Amble Bay!

bazza said...

Roding Valley Nature Reserve, near to where I live, has a collection of rare Longhorn Cattle. They are usually in a secure field but always attract a lot of public interest. You are doing your bit to help preserve these rarer species!
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Nilanjana Bose said...

I wonder why a piece of the owners apron was required? Your posts are always an education and a delight to read!


Nilanjana.
Madly-in-Verse

Curtis Bausse said...

Nice to learn about so many different breeds. I grew up near Hereford, so of course that's the best of them all! Curtis at Curtis Bausse Books, visiting from the A to Z challenge.

crgalvin said...

Enjoying your series. We have some of these breeds in Australia but the concentration is on breeds developed specifically for meat or milk. The agricultural sheds of each State's capital city shows always have interesting collections of cattle to visit.

Natasha Duncan-Drake said...

I live next to Canterbury and I had no idea we had a collection of cow paintings anywhere. I also had no idea the library was called Beany House - LOL. Thank you for educating me :)
Tasha
Tasha's Thinkings - Shapeshifters and Werewolves

Michelle Wallace said...

So caput means ‘head’. Makes sense when I think of the word decapitate (de CAPIT ate) which is to cut off the head.
Thanks for another wonderful post.
Always something new to learn here at your place.

Mason Canyon said...

We don't stop and think what a long and rich history the animals around us have. Always learn so much from your post, Hilary. Thanks.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Bob – I’ll have to read up on Thomas Bates (the stockbreeder) at some stage, and I didn’t come across him in my research … but fascinating to have more detail here re Chillingham …

@ EC – yes they were obviously mixed too much, at least they’ve been rescued and will survive as a breed.

@ Nas – thank you .. lots to learn about rare breeds …

@ Keith – ah now there’s a new addition to Amble Bay – Arthur’s going to need to get his strength back … and decide which breed of cattle he wants to have in his village …

@ Bazza – interesting to read about Roding Valley Nature Reserve with their Longhorn Cattle … I bet they attract a lot of interest – lovely looking beasts! Well I’m advertising about rare breeds …

@ Nila – probably like a child hanging on to something it recognises via scent … same as a cat – move its basket with it and it’s fine. I’m guessing!

@ Curtis – thank you .. good to meet you. Ok I agree with you re the Herefords .. and it’s a lovely part of the world …

@ Carmel – I’m sure we ‘exported’ some of these breeds to your shores … but as I mentioned here – some breeds now are specifically for dairy or for meat. The agricultural shows are quite special. I went to an RBST one in 2015 before I wrote these posts …

@ Tasha – oh yes … well I’m glad you’ll be visiting Cow Cooper – they are magnificent paintings – you’ll be blown away. The museum is called Beany House – or was about three years ago when I visited … well worth a visit: enjoy!

@ Michelle – yes had to put in a few extra snippets – I’m always amazed at what I learn, yet what really is so obvious …

@ Mason – no we just often don’t stop and think … me too – I get some home truths here and from the comments …

Thanks everyone – interesting comments adding to the conversation … cheers Hilary

Bob said...

Great post, and very interesting. Tx.

Laurel Garver said...

That art collection sounds moo-velous (sorry, couldn't resist). As for the triple purpose, in US farming at least, it seems there's now also specialization for dairy vs. meat cattle, with Holsteins taking the lead in the former, and other breeds (esp. Angus) the latter. My family raised Herefords (probably a watered down version that got imported) for a few years. The calves were as spunky as any horse and fond of fence jumping!

Jean Davis said...

That's a lot of cattle history! Great to see those breeds are doing well now.

I do wonder why a piece of apron had to be sold with the cows. That seems very odd.

Chicky Kadambari said...

I had no idea there were so many different breeds! I just identify cows by their color! :P
A very informative post.
Happy AtoZing!
Chicky @ www.mysteriouskaddu.com

FinnBadger said...

Love the research you're putting in to your theme. I have never heard of the Clouty Cow. I'm definitely looking forward to some of the amazing heritage pig breeds.

Phillip | C is for collaboration

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Interesting that, originally, the meat production came only at the end of the cow's life. It makes sense, practically speaking, but I can't help but think, "Tough old cow. Yum." :P

Out on the prairie said...

my daughter wants the Dexter. I have a few angus, but you can milk the Dexter also

Anabel Marsh said...

Never knew the derivation of cattle - makes perfect sense though! Interesting.

Sara C. Snider said...

I had no idea cattle husbandry has been practiced for so long. Amazing!

A to Z 2017: Magical and Medicinal Herbs

Lenny Lee said...

hi grandblogmom!
i never thought about cows except for a mcdonalds hamburger. i didnt know there are so many breeds. i learn so much from you. another cool and interesting post.

Susan Scott said...

Fine, dramatic & delicious words for them thar cows Hilary thank you! A Clouty Cow? And so interesting to learn that cattle represented a principal sum of money. and that is where Sirloin comes from ... I wish I'd known that on Sunday evening when we went out for dinner. My son, husband and daughter-in-law had sirloin .. I would have amazed them. They probably wouldn't have believed me ...

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I always learn so much from your posts. I wonder how their milk tasted? I love that painting!

Emily Bloomquist said...

Great information, Hilary.

I grew up in Minnesota, USA where my family raised Hereford cattle. In Ecuador, I see many farmers working the land with cattle as draught animals.

Emily | My Life In Ecuador

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Bob – thank you … am happy you enjoyed it …

@ Laurel – that little art collection is a treasure – they are wonderful and I love the ‘moo-velous’ … not a problem! Farmers here I think specialise too … these are Rare Breeds or breeds that have been saved for posterity … as the Herefords. But interesting to read about the States and breeds of cattle you mention … I’m not sure I mention the Angus breed – but I guess it’s not rare … certainly their meat is advertised for sale as an excellent eating meat – and it is! Interesting to know the calves jumped fences … frustrating to say the least: having to round them up.

@ Jean – yes quite a lot of cattle and it is good they are being looked after and protected back to a healthy status.

Like a baby with its comforter – is the way I look at it …

@ Chicky – lots of different breeds and these are only the Rare Breeds …

@ Finn – many thanks – there was more research than I expected! It’s not a clouty cow … just that cows, like humans, or cats for instance are comforted with a comforter – at least that’s what I think … and yes I am doing a Pig post …

@ Dianne – well that would make sense in medieval times … and at that stage they didn’t understand about ‘sweet’ meat – just glad to have some meat … bones and all - humans had better teeth back then!

@ Steve – sounds good – Dexters are wonderful – they are now considered to be ‘Recovering’ so no longer rare … I hope you’ll get a Dexter for your daughter?!

@ Anabel – nor did I know about the derivation of cattle … I live and learn as I wrote or re-read these posts …

@ Sara – it was only about 400 years ago that it was realised animals could be bred for specific purposes … and then of course in the ensuing centuries this sort of breeding has developed so much …

@ Lenny – ha ha … McDonalds – not my favourite … but I know many visit old man McDonald for his burgers! Yes and these are only the Rare Breeds – plenty of others that are safe from extinction …

@ Susan – thank you for the extra west country burr of ‘thar cows’ – adds authenticity to the post … the Clouty Cow isn’t a breed … a bit like a child’s comforter.

Yes I was interested in those extras I slotted in … the principal sum of money, and the Sirloin – fascinating to find that out. Sorry it didn’t pop up earlier but next time – one for the ‘boss of the house’!!

@ Roland – I’ve no idea about the taste of milk – I’m afraid I’ve only ever had it out of a bottle or now Tetra Packs .. though in South Africa it was sold in plastic (strong) bags …

I know the painting is just wonderful to see in person – it is huge …

@ Emily – Herefords were a rare breed here until recently, but the stock has recovered and is not on the Rare list any more. I imagine in Ecuador they would use cattle as draught animals – probably bred that way now …

Thanks so much everyone – lovely comments … fun to read and enjoy – cheers and see you all soon …. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...


Hi Kristin - Bob thinks you inadvertently left this comment for my blog on his ...

Kristin has left a new comment on your post "A-Z Challenge 2017 - Houses, some real, some not -...":

My favorite of the pictures above is the one of the Wild Cattle. I stopped listening to The Archers when that maniac was tormenting his wife. I hear he's out of the story now.

I don't do the Archers ... but I love Landseer's painting ...

Thanks for visiting ... cheers Hilary

quietspirit said...

I am enjoying reading about the different aspects of your world. Thank you for sharing.

Gail M Baugniet - Author said...

As much as I thought I knew about cows, coming from Wisconsin, I now realize my knowledge doesn't even scratch the surface. Information about two fun facts I learned from your post today: Sir Loin and "caput."

http:poetryfromthelanai.blogspot.com

Jacqui Murray said...

I remember reading something (somewhere) about the understated importance of herding cattle. The Aztecs, Mayans, Anisazi--they farmed, but not animals like cows or sheep. That list of yours--three important aspects of having cows--pretty significant.

M. Denise C. said...

So interesting! Sir Loin!! Who knew? Cheers, MDC

Jo said...

I always heard the sirloin story as being Henry VIII. One really knows very little about cattle as a general rule unless you are in the industry. When I buy meat (in whatever country) it doesn't occur to me to consider what breed of animal it came from. Maybe one should.

This is a very interesting series Hilary, thanks for thinking of it.

bookworm said...

We have Dexter cattle here in upstate New York. There is a farm in the Finger Lakes that makes a delicious cheese with Dexter milk and we were privileged to be able to visit the farm several years ago. They are a wonderful breed, small and gentle. The Unknown Journey Ahead agingonthespectrum.blogspot.com

Nick Wilford said...

Glad some of those breeds are making a comeback. I wonder if "chattel" is related too? An item of property sold for money.

troutbirder said...

Fascinating. I have seen some White Cattle here the States but I don't know exactly what breed...

Joanne said...

as always your research and presentation is impeccable. All quite compelling....moo!!!

DMS said...

Lots of Cs here today! I had no idea that cattle weren't selectively breeded until the 1700s. Reading the history you gave it makes sense. Nice that some endangered species are making their way back. Thanks for sharing. :)
~Jess

Sharon M Himsl said...

Pioneer cows...so cool, Hilary. It makes sense that cows were used more for work and as a source of milk at first. Killing for meat would have been a waste of a perfectly good resource. Some would say this is still true.

#AtoZChallenge
"Female Scientists Before Our Time"
Shells–Tales–Sails

C.D. Gallant-King said...

Did I read that correctly? Did you say they knighted cows?

I guess the English know how to get drunk and foolish, too.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

What beautiful creatures they are.

Liz A. said...

Used to be that critters did more. But then we got all specialized... Not a good thing, really.

JJ said...

Hilary: This is an area with which I am totally unfamiliar. I now have some interesting reading to do. Thank you!

Paula Kaye said...

I can honestly say I have never given much thought to cattle. Except for a juicy steak or a nice hamburger!!

D.G. Hudson said...

I like the paintings of the animals, but I'll admit, I know next to nothing about the breeds. It's never been on my radar.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Quiet Spirit –many thanks … glad you’re enjoying the posts …

@ Gail – I feel much the same way when I start ‘looking’ at something … and I’m glad you picked up the “Sir Loin” and “caput” ..

@ Jacqui – that I hadn’t come across … but the Aztecs, Mayans, Anisazi presumably had different ways of farming or domesticating animals … but glad the three aspects helped …

@ Denise – yes ‘Sir Join’– who knew – well many of us do now …

@ Jo – there are varieties of the silly type of ‘Sir Loin’ tale that have made it into ‘history’. You’re right – we don’t consider which breed the meat has come from … here in the UK they are demanding better and fuller details …

@ Bookworm – Dexters are a Recovering Rare Breed – they originally came from Ireland and are half the size of a Hereford –somewhat easier to handle … as you say a wonderful breed, small and gentle …

@ Nick – yes ‘chattel’ is another of those words derived from the Latin ‘capitalis’ (of the head) .. so thanks for that thought!

@ Troutbirder – I’m sure there are many breeds of cow in the States … white ones stand out don’t they …

@ Joanne – thank you so much … just glad you’re enjoying the series …

@ Jess – yes lots of ‘C’s … couldn’t resist Cow Cooper. It was only in the recent centuries it was realised the need for some selection – I’m glad my post made some historical sense …

@ Sharon – these are the Rare Breeds … so I don’t mention the other ‘normal’ breeds – yes our ancestors used the meat as best they could and to their knowledge of the day …

@ CD – yes … knighted cows – but as a spoof or joke – the way we’ll develop a silly story to remember an incident – no harm intended … but Sir Loin has proliferated a few jokes over the years … I’m afraid the idea probably came out of tomfoolery in the late hours … exactly as you say!

@ Arleen – they are lovely and certainly Mr Cooper knew how to paint … those art works seen in real life are amazing …

@ Liz – well thankfully we’ve realised the error of our ways re specialisation – too much is not a good thing …

@ JJ – well I was unfamiliar with it too – just glad you’re enjoying the reading you’ve read so far …

@ Paula – I don’t think many of us have … but we’re beginning to realise there’s more to meat than just having something to eat … we need to get it to our plate …

@ DG – they were vaguely on my radar, but I’ve learnt rather a lot doing these posts … but it was really Cow Cooper who set me on my way …

Cheers to you all – lovely comments and thoughts - Hilary

Mary Montague Sikes said...

The info about the cattle is intriguing. Also, I love the art.

diedre Knight said...

Wow! I lived on a cattle ranch and never realized a correlation between cows and capital - ha! Though I did trade a Hereford calf for a car once ;-) With all this talk about castles, one is bound to end up on my bucket list.

Courtney Turner said...

Why would you include part of the owner's apron with a Clouty cow? That's a curious bit of trivia. Maui Jungalow

Rhonda Albom said...

Thanks for the history on cattle. They are sometimes referred to as cattle beast in New Zealand. I understand the "beast" part as I find them rather intimidating. I particularly don't care for the ones that block your path, stare you down, and start swinging their heads back and forth with drool flinging off!

Ann Bennett said...

Interesting that you wrote they were for food at the end of their lives. This was true in the Southeastern United States. People kept cows for milk. They sold bulls and old cows. The meat was more valuable sold than eaten by the small farmers. They usually ate pork or chicken.

Marcy said...

My Grandpa and my Dad and then my brother raised Jersey milk cows for many years on our family farm, along with a few Herford/Jersey mixed breed steers for our beef. I grew up on milk and beef!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Monti – yes I loved writing this post – it’s my favourite …

@ Diedre – I’m always amazed at how things tie in together … I guess trading a Hereford calf for a car is a good option at some stage in one’s life.

I did write about Castles for one A-Z …?!

@ Courtney – I’m sure it’s like a baby’s comforter – they feel safe with their clouty … until they are used to the new owner …

@ Rhonda – oh interesting additional name for cows in NZ. They can be intimidating … we get them on the Downs sometimes and can be dodgy … yes their ‘drool’ is not very appealing is it …

@ Ann – it’s the way they lived originally before selective breeding came in. I expect selling your old cows was a sensible arrangement for the smaller farmers … and that’s interesting to read that the SE USA used to eat more pork and chicken … I’d wondered!

@ Marcy – good to see you … I’m sure if you’re of farming stock then you’d inherit that way of life … as has obviously happened with your family …

Thanks so much to you all for your visits – lovely to see you and to meet a few new friends … I’ll be over ‘shortly’! Cheers Hilary

Cynthia Rodrigues Manchekar said...

I liked the tidbit about the word, cattle, being a derivative of the word, capitale.

I also just noticed the alliterative effect you employ to conclude your posts. Appreciate your research too.

Lynn said...

I would love to go inside that Beaney House and learn more - this is a great start, Hilary!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Cynthia - thanks very much ... I like adding snippets in to my post - so there's a few extras going on; For some reason I started the alliterative effect when I started out writing the A-Zs in 2010 and it's stuck and I enjoy doing it ... that's great you enjoy the content - thank you.

@ Lynn - Beaney House museum is a really interesting compendium of historical and artistic pieces from the Canterbury area - just adds to the Cathedral and its surrounds ...

Cheers to you both - thanks for the visit - Hilary