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Then as they were superseded as a source of power, first by horses, and then tractors, cattle breeds became increasingly specialised.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