History of the Breed - Jersey -
by John Thornton.
I intend, in this paper, to give as much information respecting the Jersey breed of
Cattle as I have been able to glean from the Authorities in this Country; and I shall add
some facts ascertained, frem existing records and conversations with the oldest breeders,
during a recent visit to the Island. I shall endeavour to show how the trade in
these animals has grown from an annual export of 400 head at the beginning of this century
to a record of above 2000 in 1878. In dealing with the evidence, I shall, as occasion
requires, notice what I have found published, or written, by others.
It is not proposed to go into details of the management of the animals which I have
observed in this country and in Jersey; for experience shows that, since soil and climate
vary so much, it is a safer practice for every owner to feel his way by trials to the
method which is the best fitted to his means and situation, rather than to accept any
system which may have been elsewhere adopted by others, however succussful it may have
At the beginning, I would wish to bear testimony to the great and good influence which has
been exercised by the Royal Jersey Agricultural Society. Although its funds are, even now,
too meagre to permit a paid official, yet this Association seems to have, been one chief
means of improving the general character of the breed, and of developing those valuable
dairy qualities in which it now stands unsurpassed. The Society has indeed so successfully
encouraged stock breeding and practical farming, that the cattle on the island have
doubled in value; whilst the exports of them and of potatoes conjointly (from an area
under 29.000 acres) realized, in 1879, the prodigious sum of upwards of (engelske pund)
350.000. The prosperity which such successful agriculture has induced, makes itself seen
in the homes of the farmers and laboures. Nothing strikes a traveller in Jersey more than
the great proportion of new dwellings and farm-buildings which are visible in every
As far back as l789, the States of Jersey, which still retains its ancient privilege of
self-government, passed a stringent law, prohibiting the importation of cattle frem
France; but there has never been, until recently, any legal restriction against the
introduction of cattle frem this country of frem Guernsey and the adjacent Islands. It is
by the persistence with which the Jerseymen cling to their qwn breed that its purity has
been sustained. Efforts to introduce animals of other breeds from this country, have
invariably been rendered futile by the inhabitants. That the breed, at a remote period,
has reached som distinction i proved by the passing of the Act of 1789. The objects of
this were, no doubt, at once to keep the cattle from admixture, and to sustain their
reputation, by preventing French animals being sold in England, as imports freom the
island. The rev. Philip Falle, so far back as 1734, wrote that "the cattle of this
island are superior to the French." He goes on to attribute the excellence of beasts
and men to the natural productions of Jersey; and says: - "Could men be satisfied
with the common drink of nature, water I mean, no people in the world are better supplied
with that than we;" and, later, "though we are no great flesheaters, as in
England, our shamble on a market-day is well provided with good og wholesome meat, beef,
mutton, lamb, &c., whose sweet and tender flesh makes many prefer it to what is
elsewhere both larger and fatter. This must be owing to the shortness of our grass and its
not having the rankness of richer and deeper pastures. Hence also the peculiar goodness of
Regarding, however, the origin of the breed nothing definite appears to be known; nor has
any thing, so far as I can ascertain, been written on the subject. Mr. P.Amy, late Herd
Book Secretary, informed me that it was the impression of Col. Le Couteur (who closely
studied the subject, as we shall hereafter see) that the Jersey breed took its rise on the
adjacent coast. And any one may still observe the similarity that still exists between the
races. Travelling recently frem St. Malo into the interior of Brittany, I was accompanied
by Mr. E.J. Arnold, who is by far the largest exporter in Jersey. The small herds, which
abound about Dinan, invariably contain two or three animals that resemble Jerseys; and
these, Mr. Arnold assured me, would (if on the island) be readily purchased as second or
third rate animals.
The system of mangement in Brittany* [*Blacks's Guide to Brittany for l873 says: -"At
the fairs held at Dinan a great number of those small cows, commonly called in England
Alderney cows, are sold; the price varies from £5 to £8."] seemed also somewhat
similar to that practised on the Island. Yet there was wanting that excellence in the
udder which is so conspicuous in the best Jersey cattle. The Brittany breed, particularly
those exhibited at that magnificent show of cattle in Paris during the summer of l878,
were a smaller race. They were black and white, in som respects resembling the Kerre
cattle. These were all from the south coast of Brittany, where greater pains are taken to
keep them pure. In the north, although many are black and white, a number are nevertheless
of a fawn colour, and have yellowish black-tipped horns, with occasionally black noses and
a white rim round the muzzle.
So far as I was able to ascertain, very few Jersey Cows had ever been sent to the
neighbouring port of St. Malo: those that did arrive were mostly for the vicinity of
Avranches and the interior of France. The larger Norman race, (or Cotentin breed, brownish
red and occasionally brindled in colour, and generally with white faces) finds its way
along the coast to the great Lent fair at Dinan as well to the large Thursday market
there. An exceedingly fine herd of them - cows with immense wellplaced udders - is kept at
the Lunatic Asylum at Dinan. The majority of steers shipped weekly to Jersey for beef from
this coast are of the same race; though occasjonally smaller black and white cattle
It is a singular fact that this small black and white breed abounds in all those places
where the finest Druidical remains are found, and where the local dialects show many words
of Celtic origin. There is an interesting Cromlech at Gorey on the east of the Island. In
Mr. A. Durelle's herd near St. Heliers, which contains about 60 head, there were, at the
close of l879, many cows quite black, that were considered good, but not rich, milkers.
The best herds i Brittany are not far distant from the celebrated stones of Carnac. In
Friesland, where there were anciently Druids, the cattle are black and white; and shorter
legged and deeper in the body than those in the other provinces of Holland. In
Ireland (where many Druidical remains still exist) the Kerry may justly be called the
national breed. Youatt, writing of Anglesey, calls it the "peculiar sent of Druidical
superstition", and says, too, "the cattle are small and black".*[Mr. R.B.
Smith, of Penrhyn, North Wales, writes (l880) that the oldest inhabitants consider the
original Anglesey cattle were black; in travelling over the Island the colours are all
black, except in a very few places, where blue grey or black and white may be found, the
result of crosses, but the native population hold to their own breed unadulterated. The
cows are fair milkers, and good nurses of calves. In carnarvonshire the same colour
prevails, but the animals are smaller in size; even when crossed with the Hereford the
white face alone marks the cross.]
In Shetland (where other remains are found) the breed of cattle is small, and, though
mainly black, is occaionally black and white. In Orkney the breed again is small,
"their horns short and bending towards the forehead." The Highlanders, reared
for their feeding properties, have doubtless varied in type according to the purpose for
which, for generations, they have been selected. The Ayrshires and Jerseys, each breed
reared for the same source of profit, are not, however, so very dissimilar in size and
conformation, excepting in the horns, a point particularly studied by the Jerseymen. In
Ayrshire, where many old monuments still exist, the cattle, as recently as l811, were
described as being almost wholly black #, [See Report of the present state of
Agriculture of Scotland, arranged under the auspices of the Highland and Agricultural
Society of Edinburg, l878.] and the improvement in the breed is said to date back to 1750.
Col. Fullarton, in his General View of the agriculture of Ayrshire, 1793, says, "in
some parts the Galloway breed prevails, but they are generally black or brindled. In the
northern parts a breed of cattle, called the Dunlop breed, has been established for a
century; formerly black or brown, with white or fleshed faces and white streaks along
their backs were the prevailing colours. But within these twenty years brown and white
mottled cattle are generally preferred; these appear, however, to be of different origin
from the former stock. Alderneys and Guernseys have also been occasionally introduced in
order to give a richness and colour to the milk and butter, which they do in a degree
superior to any other animal of the cow species"-
[ » Col. Le Couteur in his article on the Jersey Cow (R.A.S.E. Journal, vol, V l845),
says: - "Field Marshal Conway, Governor of this sequestered isle, and Lieut. Gen.
Andrew Gordon, who succeeded him nearly half a century back, both sent home of the best
cattle to England and Scotland."]
Returning to the south of England; in Cornwall a great many Druidical remains still
exist. Mr. William Trethewy, of Probus, thus writes (January l880) of the county stock: -
"The original Cornish cattle were small, black and white, and some brindled, but
larger than the Kerries of the present day. They were hardy and good milkers. I believe
they are extinct; but occasionally you see some of the colours now amongst the cattle in
the west of the country." Mr. Hosken, of Hayle, also informs me that the original
Cornish cattle were small, black and white, brown, and brindle, with short legs. They were
good milkers and seldom weighed over 3½ to 4 ewt. of 112 lbs. *[Mr. Trethewy and
Mr. Hosken, for many years, have both given much attention to cattle, and possess
two of the best herds of Shorthorns in the county of Cornwall.]
Youatt describes the cattle as "small, black, with horns rather coarse." The
old blackish brown and white breed of Gloucestershire, still to be seen in Badminton Park,
and the black and white accompanied the people who erected Stonehenge.As far back as l8l2
Mr. William Stevenson #[#See "General view of the Agriculture of the county of
Dorset" (London, l8l2)] wrote: "There is no select breed in Dorsetshire; the
dairy cows are a longhorned kind, rather short in the leg, with white backs and bellies,
and darkspotted or brindled sides." In Wiltshire, Mr. Thomas Davis, of Longleat,
says, in his view of the agriculture of the county (l811), that probably the old
Gloucestershire breed was kept, a sort now almost extinct, or, as is now the case in
a mixture of all kinds; but the rage for upwards of twenty years past has been for the
longhorned, or, as they are called, the North-country cows. The breeds in most of these
districts, "improved away by the Shorthorn," are fast becoming things of the
past; and it seems to me conclusive that as the Shorthorn, according to the late Rev. Jon
Storer »[» "The Wild White Cattle of Great Britain: an account of their Origin and
present State."by the late Rev. John Storer, M.A. (London, l879).] represents the
improved type of the Bos Urus (the larger race of the original Wild Cattle), so the Jersey
is the most improved type of the Bos Longifrons, or samller domesticated race.
No writer on Jersey has been more quoted than Thomas Quayle, who, in l812, wrote "The
general view of the Agriculture and present state of the Islands on the Coast of Normandy
for the consideration of the Board of Agriculture." He resided in the islands five
months; and gave a very full account of the general state of property, building-land,
cultivation, and rural and political economy. Of live stock, he considered the treatment
of sheep and horses almost a disgrace to Jersey agriculture. "The treasure
highest", said he, "in a Jersey man's estimation is his cow. She seems to be a
constant object of his thoughts and attention; and that attention she certainly
derserves." It is true that in summer she must "submit to be staked to the
ground; but five or six times in the day her station is shifted. In winter she is warmly
housed by night, and fed with the precious parsnip. When she calves, she is regaled with
toast and with cider, the nectar of the island, to which powdered ginger is added."
He considers the breed is "too much dispersed throughout Great Britain and too
familiarly known under the appellation of Alderneys" to need description. Of its
origin, he has no doubt that "the breed was derived from the contiguous continental
coast, yet it is not known that in any part, the same bred is preserved in equal
purity." His remarks, on the act of l789, conclude with the opinion that an imported
French cow near calving might produce a bull calf and this calf escape the fate of its dam
in being slaughtered; and adds, "There is, indeed, at present little danger of the
occurrence of that evil which the Jerseyman so much deprecates. He will not speedily
become a convert to any heretical opinions which he may happen to hear from an Englishman
of the possible superior merit over this breed, in some points of view, of a Devon
or a Hereford ox, of the improved Shorthorn, or, in the quantity of milk, of a polled
The remainder of Mr. Quayle's account is, however, so interesting and, with the
exception of a few passages, so generally true, even now, that it may as well be here
given in full, instead of in extracts as it has generally appeared:- "It may readily
be concede that the breed in these islands, in one point of view, appears to have an
advantage over any other, and that is in the quantity and quality of cream produced from
the consumption of a given quantity of fodder; in the article of cheese, on the other
hand, they might probably be found inferior; in fact, with the exception of som cheese
made of cream in a few gentlemen's houses, of excellent quality indeed, but in very small
quantities, none is made in the island. The oxen are distinguished by rising to a stature
and bulk much superior to the female *[*There are few, if any, bull calves now castrated,
and oxen used in Jersey for working purposes; though in Guernsey they may still be seen in
Persons who have not seen any other than Alderney cows, would be surprised to witness the
size attained by some oxen of the same breed which may be seen in the Jersey carts.
"When destined to the butcher, the animal is usually fatted in the winter by means of
parsnips or potatoes, with hay, and at the conclusion, occasionally bean and oatmeal
mixed, called Pe'ture. Treated in this mode, cattle of this breed are disposed to fatten
quickly and to fill up well in the choice points.The ordinary weight of an ox is from 8
cwt. to 9 cwt.; som attain 11 cwt., and it is asserted that one or two individuals have
reached 12 cwt.; a cow, fatted, generally weighs but from 5 cwt to 6 cwt. No complaint is
made of their not fatting quickly enough when failing for the use of the dairy.
"When fatted in the summer, the animal is merely grass-fed, staked and treated as the
milch cows, with the exception, possibly, of having a preference, if there be any, in the
field assigned. Soiling for fatting has not hitherto been practised; but it is probable
that the mode introduced of fatting by means of the second cutting of lucerne, may become
usual as the culture of that valuable grass becomes more extended. Fatting by means by
turnips is also not practised. The beef of a parsnipfed ox is observed to have a yellowish
hue, but no peculiarity in the taste. All the beef of this breed of cattle has, perhaps, a
tendency to this colour.
"The oxen are broken into labour at the age of three years, and continue at labour to
that of eight or ten before they are fatted. When at work in the summer, they receive
during the day cut grass or clover, at night are staked out and treated as the cows.
"The colour is here commonly red, or red and white; occasionally what is called
creamcoloured, or that colour mixed with white. Sometimes they are black, and black and
white; some, like the north-west Highlanders, are black, with a dingy brownred ridge on
the back; and about the nostrils of the same colour. They have all a good pile, generally
are thinskinned, and fatten soon; if in any point they are universally deficient, it is in
being narrow in the haunch. To view a Jersey ox from behind is not placing him favourably.
Bulls are never harnessed; indeed they are seldom preserved in that state of their
third year. By this erroneous practice, which is but too general in other countries, it
becomes impossible to ascertain the merit of any individual, and consequently to preserve
his progeny; were the treatment of horses similar, how speedily would they degene rate!
"The female propagates at an early period, generally at two years, or even younger.
The month of March is preferred for cow calving. When the calf is destined for the
butcher, it is also killed at a very early age: sometimes at three weeks, generally at
four, and seldom is kept beyond six or seven. The greatest number of calves is usually
slughtered on Easter-eve. In l8ll, 343 were killed on that day; in l8l2, 318; and in l8l3,
334. Veal fetches, at market, prices from 6d to 1s. 3d. per pound. When reared the calf is
fed by hand, till able to drink alone; for about three weeks with new milk, then with
skimmed, till put to grass, which is early in June.
"On milch-cows the principal attention is bestowed: in summer they are fed in the
meadows, pastures , or orchards, being tethered to the ground, and shifted in succession
over every part by means of a halter of the length of 12 or 14 feet attached to the head
or foot, and having a swivel of two links in the middle. In apple orchards, when the fruit
has attained a size, likely in swallowing to endanger the animal, the halter passing from
the head by a noose round each fore foot, precludes her rasising her head to the boughs of
the appletrees. When she is staked in spots, unsheltered from the sun, it is said that she
is, or at least ever ought to be, removed to the homestall during the meridian heat.
Though this precaution seems indespensable, with regard to an animal so impatient of heat
and flies, yet instances there certainly are, and not infrequent, of its being neglected.
On the sand of St. Aubins Bay, during the ebb, cows may often be seen lying on the bare
sand in the hottest weather; thither the fly does not pursue them.
"It is not here admitted that a black and white cow is inferior for the dairy to a
reddish or to a cream-coloured cow; indeed the opinion seems to incline the other way; the
milk of a black cow is maintained by some to be the richeest: on hearing praises bestowed
on particular cows, they generally, but not always, were found to have a black tinge.
"From the middle of April to the middle of July, the cow flush in milk are milked by
those who most attend to dairying thrice in the day; during the remainder of the year
twice; when thrice milked, it is observed that though the quantity is greater, that of the
butter is not increased in proportion. The quantity of milk given, and its richness,
varies essentially as in other breeds. Excluding extraordinary animals, and for a very
short period of time, the greatest quantity given in 24 hours may be stated at twenty-two
English quarts; the medium quantity at ten. From april to august, of the extraordinary
cows above alluded to, instances are named of 14 lbs. of butter made in the week;
instances of 12 lbs. are well attested. In summer nine quarts of milk (English ale
measure) produce 1 lb. of butter; in the winter , when the cow i parsnip fed, seven quarts
produce that quantity. This it is believed is the richest milk known. About 30 lbs. of
parsnips are given in the 24 hours, with som deadow hay. The quantity of meadow hay
daily consumed by the cow has not been ascertained; but probably obout two stone.
"An accurate practical farmer, Mr. Bertram of Grouville, calculates that the money
received on each cow, the calf included, amounts, communibus annis, to £30, and that the
expense of her keep is about £18. He allows two verge`es*[*An English acre is equal to 2
1/4 Jersey verge`es; a verge`e consists of 40 perches, and each perch of 22 square feet;
104 lbs. Jersey are equal to 112 lbs. English avoirdupois; 110 gallons Jersey are equal to
100 gallons imperial.] and a half of pasture to each cow; but his land is of very superior
quality, and his farming in every respect (turnips excepted) most judicious.
"The destination of the milk being here almost entirely to butter, its manufacture
receives the principal attention, and is well understood. In the dairy, vessels of metal
or of wood are never employed; the preference is given to those of coarse unglazed
earthenware of Norman manufacture, round, of about 12 inches in height, 7 inches diameter
at bottom, and 9 inches at the top. These "crocs", as they are termed, are at
present extremely scarce, and sought by good housewives with great avidity. The
Staffordshire coarse pottery, in form somewhat resembling the French croc, being
glazed, is on that account never employed. The milk stands to the height of obout 10
inches in the croc, till the cream be all risen, usually till the third day in the summer;
in winter, to hasten its rising the croc is covered and placed on the hearth at bed-time.
"Skimming is consequently but once performed, and never till after the milk is
coagulated. In this operation the dairymaid is careful, first detaching the cream at its
edge from the vessel all round, and then raising it as much as possible together. By
inclining the croc over that destined to receive the cream, sometimes nearly the whole
slips off at once from the coagulated milk, the little that remains being removed by means
of a scallop shell. At the bottom of the cream-croc is a small hole, stopped up by a peg,
which is occasionally taken out in order to drain off the serous portion separating from
"If the cream be kept in summer five or six days before churning, the quality of the
butter is affected; when the cow is fed in summer on lucerne or clover, or in winter on
potatoes or turnips (though turnips for this purpose are here generally disapproved), the
butter is of lighter colour, and considered of inferior quality to that produced when she
is in natural pasture, or in winter when she is parsnip-fed. Jersey butter is of excellent
quality; when salted and transported to warm climates it is said to remain untainted,
preserving, as well as the best Irish butter, its good properties for a long period than
english butter. Let it not be omitted that the Jersey butter-milk, as that of Ireland, is
a grateful and refreshing draught, much preferable, whatever the reason may be, to the
same liquid produced in the south-east part of England, and more in use as an article of
human food. The present price of new milk is 5d. per pot of two quarts; skimmed milk 2d.;
butter 1s. 4d 1s. 6d. per pound of 17 ounces and a fraction (the weight of one penny
piece) avoirdupois; in harvest (l812), 2s.
"The price of Jersey cows, considering their size and small quantity of milk, is high
in the home market. A handsome two- year old heifer, may be worth about £15. A. cow of
four years old £21 to £25, if of good character. It should be observed, however, that it
is not the prime milkers which are generally exported. After the young cow has borne a
calf or two it is sometimes significantly remarked, qu'elle est bonne pour l'Angleterre,
and she goes to the cow-jobber. In selecting individuals of this breed for exportation
more strict attention is paid to the beauty of the coat; to the direction of the horn,
which must be in a short curve, resembling a half ring, and not divergent; to the nose
being slender; and to such points of fancied beauty, which are avowed to have no reference
to the judgment formed on the quality of the cow for the pail; than is paid to those which
in the dairying counties are deemed to indicate excellence; these, however, the Jersey
cows do in general possess, and will be found, on their diminutive scale, and as milch
cows, to be in many respects well modelled. If the palm can be contested with them by any,
it will be by a breed little known in the south, the Dunlop or Ayrshire cattle, a cross
between the Shorthorn and the Alderney.
"So long as the Jersey cow continues to command the present high price in England,
and notwithstanding her tender frame and thinnes of hair, to be in the same request for
gentlemen's dairies, the islanders will continue to act wisely in cherishing their own
breed, in order to supply that market, at the same time that the draft ox is found at home
extremely useful. Should the market in England become glutted, in consequence of the
breeds being perpetuated or improved in any home district, or by becoming less
fashionable, there is a grat probability, from the exuberant fertility of the pastures in
the island and its favourable climate, that the Shorthorn race of cattle, which has
recently attained such high perfection in the vale of Tyne, would, if transplanted hither,
be found well suited to the spot. If a first-rate cow of that breed escaped being put to
death and devoured on the spot, according to law, she would, on arriving here, be gazed at
as a prodigy; but to talk of the enormous bulk and weight of Mr. Carr's heifer, for
instance, would in these islands at present excite the smile of incredulity.
"The general purity of the breed is guarded by the rooted opinions of the
inhabitants, rather better than by the sanction of law; but hitherto no persevering,
systematical experimenter, has attempted , by a careful selection of individuals, and
attention to their crosses, to improve this breed. From the narrow limits of each dairy
farm, ands small quantity of pasture in the occupation of any one person, it is not likely
that such an attempt will speedily be made. When the cow i famed as a good milker, her
male progeny is preserved; but this is for a short period, and it is not known that any
other measure whatever has been persevered in, to keep up the breed at its present
standard. No complaints are made that horned cattle are subject to any particular
Under the patronage of the Board of Agriculture, Mr. George Garrard published a
description of the different varieties of Oxen common to the British Islands, with
engravings, being the accompaniment to a set of models of the improved breeds of Cattle,
in which the exact proportions of every point were preserved. Upon the success of these
models Mr. Garrard had the honour to receive the congratulations and thanks of the
Royal Academy. The bull illustrated is from Lord Howe's stock and the picture bears
date of publication July 29, l801; it is of a smallish animal, straight and deep, with
short hind quarters and short legs. In colour it is a reddish black and white; the white
running along the top of the back, over the girth, around the flanks and down the legs.
The cow is drawn from one in possession of Lord Stawell, and is dated November 20, l802.
It shows a long animal, lighter than the bull, and of blackish red hue, with white
along the back, belly, flanks, and legs; the horns spread upwards and outwards. The
ox, dated April 1, l803, is from the Woburn Abbey stock, and was bred by Mr. Crook,
Tytherton, Wilts. It is quite a different type to the bull and the cow. Regarding these
animals, Mr. Garrard writes:- "Varieties of the short-horned cattle are spread over a
great part of the North-west district of Europe, and have been brought into England under
the various descriptions of the Holstein, Dutch, Flemish, Norman, and Alderney, the last
of which is a breed of cattle imported from the islands of Guernsey and Jersey, few being
obtained from the small island of Alderney from whence they derive their name. They may be
considered as the high-bred cattle of the Short-horned class; being bred in a warmer
climate than the rest, they have acquired a density of bone and other valuable qualities,
which is exemplified in the richness of their milk, and all those properties attached to
which is called highbred stock.
"In respect of size the cows seldom exceed four feet two, oxen four feet three to
four feet seven. As to colour they are very distinct to all other cattle in England, and
although in a general description we might say there are some red and white, and some
black and white, and some in common with other cattle; yet upon nice obeservation it will
be found that the colours are more brilliant and have a grater variety in examining the
surface of the animal than is to be found in examining any other neat stock in Britain. We
find them in all the variety of colour peculiar to the different sorts of fallow deer, and
this breed of cattle also resembles the deer in the neatness and elegance of its limbs and
genral form. The hide is stained nearly in the same manner as we find that of the fallow
deer, but if white is anywhere discovered in an ox, it is always as the ground upon which
the other colours are spread. In the deer tribe the white in spots upon a coloured ground.
"The cows exceel in the quality of their milk, of which they give from three to four
gallons a day, and in one year the produce of a good cow in butter may be from 220 to 300
lbs., the pound being 2 ozs. heavier than the English *[*This is not quite corrwct, the
proportion being 104 to 112 lbs. English weight.] Some cows in the seasons have given 14
lbs. a week. The calves fatten very well and the veal is execellent, best at 5 weeks old;
the average weight per quarter is at one month 12 to 15 lbs.; two months 18 to 24 lbs.;
three months 24 to 36 lbs. The usual weight of a heifer is 350 lbs., hide 36 lbs; of a cow
500 lbs., hide 50 lbs; and an ox 1000 lbs, hide 90 lbs.,; hides sold in 1799 at 6d. per
"The cattle are healthy and subject to no particular disease, though in England they
bear the strongest winter out of doors; yet from custom they are always in the islands and
fed upon straw. They are easily fattened at any age, best at four or five years old;
for this purpose parsnips are generally cultivated, though with time they may equally
improve on turnips, potatoes, or any of the methods usually practised, as they are not
very dainty. Price in l799, a good cow and calf £15; dry cow £10; calf one year £4;
good ox for yoke £18.
"The Alderney resembles in appearance much the Norman cows of the coast, but differs
in quality; cows there not exceeding 8 lbs. of butter a week in the best season, nor is
their butter of so fine a flavour or colour as that of Jersey and Guernsey."
Others writers in the beginning of the century have left but scanty records of the Channel
Islands Cattle. Mr W.Plees, for many years a resident on the Island, wrote an account of
it in l817. "The cows", he remarks," are of that breed known in England by
the name of Alderney cows; the far greater number, however, if not all, are now sent from
Jersey. They are smaller and more delicately formed than the English cows, and yet the
oxen are sometimes very large and strongly limbed. They were, doubtless, brought originaly
to Jersey from Normandy, as the same breed is common in the latter province. It is,
however, probable, that the first cows imported into England from these islands were sent
from Alderney, and that the name has been continued to prevent any supposed diminution in
Mr. Henry D. Inglis published in l834 a work on the Channel Islands, after a two year's
residence; he quotes Quayle and adds:- "I have heard of three cows on one
property yielding from 16 to 18 quarts per day during May and June, and of 36 lbs.
of butter being made weekly from their milk. I have heard, indeed, of one cow
yielding 22 quarts. The general average produce may be stated at 10 quarts of milk per day
and 7 lbs. of butter per week. The price of Jersey cows has considerably fallen during the
last fifteen years; a good one may now be purchased for £12; a prime milker will fetch
£15, and the average may be stated from £8 to £10. Notwithstanding the attention
bestowed upon the Jersey cow, and the purity of its breed, guarded as it is both by law
and rooted opinion, it has nevertheless deteriorated. I was present at the inaugurational
meeting of the Agricultural Society for Jersey, at which many facts illustrative of this
truth were by the Secretary." Mr. Inglis considered greater attention had been
bestowed on the breed of cattle in Guernsey than in Jersey, and his notions of the
Alderney were disappointed. "I found it, however",said he, "everywhere
admitted that there is but little distinction between the Alderney and the best specimens
of the Jersey cow; the Guernsey cow, though of the same breed, is a larger animal."
He had been told he would find the true Alderney black and white, but found the people of
Alderney did not adopt this eriterion of purity of breed; red and white and brown and
white he found equally common. The short curved horn and the prominent sparkling eye were
more looked to than the color. The Govenor of Alderney showed him a cow which yielding 25
quarts of milk per day; but his inquiries did not waarant him in asserting that the cow
met with in Alderney was in any way superior as a milker to the cows of Jersey and
That amusing chronicler Mr. J. Stead, who wrote his own epitaph "Here lie the remains
of an Englishman," in a series of letters describing his voyage and travels in
Jersey, l809, said, "The cows are of that choice breed known in England by the name
of Normandy and Alderney cows, in such high request for the richness and quantity of
their milk. The sheep are small, but when fat of most exquisite flavour." Another
(nameless) writer, in his Brief description and historical notices of Jersey, l826,
remarks:- "The cows are so generally sought after, and are held in such high
estimation, that they require but little to be said in therir praise; by a singular
misnomer they are almost universally described in England as Alderney cows. The breed on
both islands is similar."
Even Professor Low's celebrated work on Domesticated Animals, l845, gives more a history
and describtion of the Island and its people, than of its Cattle; from his remarks he
evidently read Quayle's work. He considers the breeds of the islands essentially the same,
althoug that of Guernsey deviates from the common type and presents a greater affinity
with the races of Normandy. The true Alderney, however, he concludes, has a great
resemblance to certain breeds of Norway, and adds: -"The cows are imported into
England in considerable numbers, and are esteemed beyond those of any other race for the
richness of the milk, and the deep yellow tinge of the butter. Hence they are in demand by
the more opulent classes for the domestic dairy, and regarded as a kind of appendage of
the park and rural villa. They are introduced likewise into the regular butter dairies,
chifly of Dorsetshire and Hampshire, and they are mingled in blood with the native races,
especially the Devon and its varieties. To supply these sources of demand , the
importation from the island is regular, and forms a considerable branch of their commerce.
"The catte of this race are small and ill-formed, when regarded as animals to be
fattened. The cow is greatly below the male in strength and stature, in which respect she
resembles the cows of the Devon and its kindred breeds. Her neck is thin, her shoulder
light, and her chest narrow, and the belly large. The limbs are slender, the pelvic bones
prominent; the lumbar region is deep, the croup short and drooping, and the udder large.
The muzzle is narrow, the horns are short and slender, and curving inwards. The color is
usually of a light red or fawn, mixed with white; but frequently individuals are black,
mixed with white or dun, and sometimes cream-coloured. The skin is thin and of a rich
orange-yellow, and the fat as well as the milk and butter is tinged with the same colour.
The animals in size, the milk they yield is likewise small in quantity, although fully in
proportion to their bulk of body; and it is viscid, and rich in cream. In their native
country, the bullocks are used for labour *[*This evidently refers to Guernsey. Mr. Le
Cornu informs me that bullocks would not have been found in use in Jersey, even as far
back as l845.] to which they are better adapted than, from the slender form of the dam,
might be inferred."
Having shown what had been published regarding the breed by those who had personally
visited the Island up to l845, I purpose now to point out the means adopted by the Royal
Jersey Agricultural Society for the improvement of their native breed of cattle. The
origin of this Society is somewhat obscure. Few men now living remember much of its early
history. Although its minute books record its early transactions somewhat imperfectly,
yet, from these and the annual published reports, much may be gleaned to show the
indefatigable efforts of the Committee, whose noble aims were not only to improve the
native breed of cattle, but also to encourage agriculture and ameliorate the
condition of the small farmer and cottager.
The history of Mr. Michael Fowler and of his sons will be given hereafter. It may not,
however, be out of place here to mention that, from his natural love of stock (being a
Yorkshireman), his large and varied experience in England, and his frequent journeys to
the Island, he was, indirectly, one of the means of establishing the Society. It is said
that he was one of the first to draw attention to the great cattle shows held, not only in
his own county, but by the Bath and West of England Society and local farmer's
associations. An opinion also prevailed that the Island cattle had retrogarded during the
first quarter of the century; and that, as Agriculture Societies had done much towards
improving tho breed of cattle in England, something similar might be effected by
establishing a Society in Jersey.
At last, on the 26th August l833, a meeting was held in St. Heliers for the purpose of
taking into consideration the propriety of forming an Agricultural and Horticultural
Society. The Lieut.-Govenor, Major-Gen. William Thornton, occupied the chair, and
twenty-five gentlemen and farmeres were present. Three days later, rules and regulations
were agreed to, among which was the offer of premiums, directed to the improvement of
agriculture and breeding of cattle; no person was to complete unless a member or
subscriber. On the 7th September a public meeting was held. To this Col. Le couteur acted
as secretary; and the first resolution carried was to the effect that the encouragement of
agricultural and horticultural improvements and improving the breed of cattle would
conduce to the general welfare of the Island.
On the 5th October the Act of l826, prohibiting the importation of cattle from France was
recorded on the books, "to preserve the original breed from all mixture, and to
preserve a trade that had hitherto proved of so much advantage to the Island".
This seems a fitting opportunity to give further information regarding these Acts. A
spirit of independence, not unmixed with a sense of jealousy towards France, seems to have
actuated the mind of the Jerseyman since the days of the Conqueror.
On the 16th July, l763, at the proposition of the Deputy Attorney General, an Act was made
forbidding all persons whatsoever to import from France any cattle, sheep, hogs, fowls,
eggs, meat of any kind, butter, fat, under pain of confiscation of the vessel and cargo to
the king* [*See an a uthentic narrative of the oppression of the Islanders of Jersey.
London, l771] This Act continued in force for some years, and, on the 8th August l789,
that celebrated law, the spirit of which is in force to this day, was enacted+[+I am
indebted to Mr. Jon. Smith of St. Heliers, for the translation of these Acts from the
Act of the States of Jersey.
August 8, l789
The fraudulent importation of Cows, Heifers, Calves and Bulls from France having become
a matter most alarming to the country, in that it not only contributes to raise butcher's
meat to an exorbitant price, but that it also menaces with total ruin one of the most
profitable branches of the commerce of this Island with England, the states have judged it
necessary to enact-
Article 1. - That whoever shall introduce into this Island, be it Cow, Heifer, Calf or
Bull from France, shall be subject to a fine of two hundred pounds for each head of Cattle
so introduced, besides the confiscation of the Cattle and of the Boat and its
appurtenances: and every sailor employed at the time on board the said boat shall be
obliged to declare this, within twenty-four hours at the latest after its arrival, to the
Constable or to one of the Centeniers of the Parish where the Cattle shall have been
disembarked, under a penalty of fifty pounds for each contravention: such fines and
confiscation to be applied - ont third to the King, and the other two thirds to the
benefit of the poor of the Parish: he (Whether Master or Sailor) who is found insolvent
under these circumstances, shall be punished by imprisonment for six months.
Article 2. - That the Master of every Vessel who imports bullocks into this Island
shall be found to land them in the harbour, either of St. Helier or St. Aubin, and nowhere
else; and shall be obliged before landing them to give notice to the Constable, or, in his
absence, to one of the Centeniers of the Parish where he is lying, under pain of
confiscation of the said Cattle, Vessel and appurtenances: being forbidden to disembark
them in any other part of the Island under the same penalties.
Article 3. - That the Master of every Vessel having on board, be it Cow, Heifer, Calf,
or Bull from the adjacent Islands subject to His Britannic Majesty, shall be obliged,
under the penalties named by the second Article, to observe the regulations established by
that Article, being further bound to produce to the Constable (or in his absence to one of
the Centeniers) of either of the two Parishes where disembarking is permitted, an
affidavit that the said Cattle is the production and breed of the Island from which it is
pretended to be brought.
Article 4. - That every Cow, Heifer, Calf, or Bull coming from France which shall be
confiscated, shall be killed on the spot, and the meat shall be distributed or sold for
the benefit of the poor of the Parish where it shall be seized.
Article 5. - That whenever the Master of a Ship shall have on board, be it Cow, Heifer,
Calf, or Bull for exportation to England or elsewhere, he shall be liable before obtaining
a passport, to give under his seal to his Excellency the Govenor a List which shall
particularise the Cattle, the name and the Parish of the vendor of the said Cattle,
under a penalty upon the Master of a ship who shall be convicted of having given a false
Report, or of having used any fraud respecting it, of one thousand pounds, applicable one
third to the King, and the two other thirds to the General Hospital.
Article 6. - That the Master of every Vessel who shall transport, be it Cow, Heifer,
Calf, or Bull out of this Island, shall be bound to produce to the Govenor a Certificate
signed by the person who has sold such Cattle, specifying that such Cow, Heifer, Calf, or
Bull is of his breeding, or otherwise of whom he has had them, and of what age, and if he
has had them as being of the breed of this Island. Every person who shall give a false
Certificate in selling or disposing of such Cattle shall be subject to a penalty of one
hundred pounds, applicable in the same manner as the penalties of the 5th Article.
Article 7. - That the Master of every Vessel who shall transport, be it Cow, Heifer,
Calf, or Bull out of this Island, shall be bound to enter into an obligation with the
Governor, under the penalty of one hundred pounds for each head of cattle, that he will
produce to the said Govenor, on his return from the same voyage a Certificate or
discharge, signed by the Customs' Officer of the place where such cattle shall have
disembarked written on the back of the Passport itself and nowhere else, that such a
number of cattle and not more has been disembarked: in default of such Master producing
the said passport with the Certificate on the back, the penalty above mentioned shall be
adjudged against such Master, and shall be applied in the same way as the penalties of the
Article 8. - That the Master of every Vessel who shall export, be it Cow, Heifer, Calf,
or Bull out of this Island by the Harbours of St. Helier or St. Aubin, shall be bound to
produce to the Harbour Master immidiately before leaving the passport of the Govenor
containing the list of the Cattle he is about to transport, under a penalty of One
Thousand Pounds, applicable as in Article 5; and the Harbour Master shall be bound to
assure himself that the same number and quality of cattle is on board as is contained in
the said Passport: if he find more or less, to prevent such vessel leaving, and
immidiately inform the Govenorg of it: and if such vessel leave any other part of the
Island than the said Harbours of St. Helier and St. Aubin, then the Master of such vessel
shall address himself to the Constable or one of the Centeniers of the Parish whence the
vessel intends to sail, under the same penalty: and the Police Officer of that Parish
shall fulfil in this case the duty above imposed on the Harbour Masters.
Finally, the States have ordained that the above-named Articles shall be published
immidiately, as well in the ordinary place, the Market, as in each of the Parishes of this
Island, to the end that no one pretend to be ignorant of the same.
The tenor of this law, some years after, was partially laid aside, for, owing to the
war, meat for the increased garrison could not be obtained from England. That led to the
Act of l826.
Act of the States of Jersey
March 18, l826
The export of Cows from this Island into England being a branch of commerce advantageous
to the country, and the superiority of their quality to those of France having shown the
necessity of preserving the original breed, of avoiding any foreign admixture, and of
preventing, the frauds which might be practised by introducing into England French cows as
being cows of this Island: The States have believed it hteir duty to that end to establish
the following regulations:-
Article 1. - The importation of Cows, Heifers, and Bulls from France is prohibited.
Whoever shall be convicted of having introduced any into this Island, or of having
assisted or participated in it, shall be subject to a fine of one thousand pounds for each
head of cattle so introduced; and such cattle shall be confiscated, as well the ship or
boat which shall have imported it, will its rigging and appurtenances.
Article 2.- Whoever shall have assisted in landing such cattle so prohibited, or
favoured it, or lent a hand in any manner in introducing such cattle, or brought it
ashore, or hid, or received it on his premises, knowing it for cattle so prihibited, shall
be considered an accomplice and subject to the same fine.
Article 3.- All cows, heifers, and bulls from France which shall be found on board a
ship or boat at a distance from this Island of less than two leagues shall be confiscated,
as well as the ship or boat with its rigging and appurtenances, and the Master of such
ship or boat shall be subject to the fine named in the 1st Article of these Regulations;
and all persons are authorised to seize such ship or boat with the said cattle and bring
it to land, and shall be bound to give information of it on their arrival to the
Constable, or Chief of Police, of the Parish, who will take the necessary measures to
adjudge the fine and confiscation.
Article 4.- Whoever shall own or have in this possession cattle suspected of having
been introduced fraudulently, shall be bound to give proof that such cattle is of the
breed of this Island, or that it has been introduced from England, or from some other
non-prohibited place, or that it was in this Island before the publication of the present
Regulation, or that he had been in possession of it more than six months; in default of
which, such cattle shall be declared to have been fraudently introduced and shall be
confiscated; and the person who shall have owned it, or shall be in possession of it shall
be subject to the fine named in the first Article of this
Article 5.- The Master of every ship or boat who shall import, be it bullocks, cows,
heifers, or bulls from the islands of Guernsey, Alderney , or Sark, or their dependencies,
shall be bound to disembark them in the Harbours of St. Helier, St. Aubin, or Mount
Orgueil, and nowhere else; and shall be obliged before landing them to give notice to the
Constable or Harbour Master, and produce to him an affidavit that such cattle is
orginally from the island whence it is said to be brought, under pain of confiscation of
the said ship or boat, rigging and appurtenances; it being forbidden to disembark them in
any other part of the island than at the ports above named under the same penalties.
Article 6.- The Master of every ship or boat who shall introduce bullocks from France
into this Island shall be bound to disembark them in the Harbours of St. Helier, St.
Aubin, or Mount Orgueil, and nowhere else; and shall be obliged before landing them to
give information of it to the Constable or Harbour Master, under the penalties declared in
the preceding Article; it being forbidden to disembark them in any other part of the
Island than the Ports above mentioned under the same penalties.
Article 7. The Master of every ship or boat who shall export, be it bullocks, cows,
heifers, or bulls out of this Island, shall be bound before embarking them to produce to
the Harbour Master an affadavit of the person who has sold such cattle, specifying that
such bullocks, cows, heifers, or bulls are of his breeding, or otherwise of whom he has
had them, and of what age, and if he has had them as being of the breed of this Island,
under a penalty of one thousand pounds on the Master of such ship or boat.
Article 8. When the Master of a ship or boat shall have on board be it bullocks,
cows, heifers , or bulls for exportation to England or elsewhere, he shall be bound before
obtaining a passport, to produce to his Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor a list
certified by the Harbour Master, who shall specify the cattle, the name and the Parish of
the vendor of the said cattle under the penalty given in Article 7 of this Regulation.
Article 9.- The Master of every ship or boat, who shall export be it bullocks, cows,
heifers, or bulls out of this Island by the harbours of St. Helier, St. Aubin, or Mount
Orgueil, shall be bound to produce to the Harbour Master immmediately before leaving, the
passport of his Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor under a penalty of one thousand pounds;
and the Harbour Master shall be bound to assure himself that the number of cattle on board
such ship or boat is in conformity with the affidavits which have been put into his hand
by the said Master of the ship or boat; and if he finds more or less of them to prevent
such vessel from leaving, and immediately inform His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor of
it. And if such ship or boat sail from any other part of the Island than the said harbours
of St. Helier, St. Aubin, or Mount Orgueil, then the Master of such ship or boat shall
address himself to the Constable or to one of the Centeniers of the Parish whence the ship
or boat intends to sail, under the same penalty; and the Police Officer of such Parish
shall in this case fulfil the duty imposed as above on the Harbour Masters.
Article 10.- The Harbour Master shall receive four pence for each head of cattle that
he shall have seen and examined, which shall be paid him by the Master of the ship or boat
when he shall have made the examination; and each Harbour Master shall keep a
register of the cattle so embarked, in order that the same may be produced to the Greffier
as is hereafter ordered.
Article 11.- The Harbour Masters shall deliver to the Greffier every quarter, or more
often if he require it, their respective Register of the cattle that they have examined
and seen embark, as before said; and they will deliver to him at the same time the lists
and affidavits above-mentioned, under pain of a fine of two hundred pounds for each
Article 12.- The cattle which shall be confiscated in virtue of this Regulation shall
be sold before the Sheriff, who shall be bound to assure himself that the said cattle are
killed immediately after the sale.
Article 13.- The fines and penalties contained in this Regulation are in lawful money
(of the king) and shall be applied, as well as the amount of the confiscations, one third
to the King and the two other thirds to the informer; and in the case of the insolvency of
the persons upon whom the said fines or penalties shall be adjudged, they shall be
imprisoned for a period not exceeding one year, and not less than six months; and the
causes shall be tried before the Royal Court, whether during term or in the interim.
The general desire for free trade about 1861 between Great Britain and France
caused some people to wish for an extension of the treaty, and the States met to consider
what changes should take place relative to the entry of foreign cattle. The Society drew
up certain suggestions for preserving the purity of the breed, which was then valued at an
annual export of £20.000 for an average of 1800 head exported; viz. no Jersey cattle to
be allowed to be shipped or transhipped, except at St. Heliers; oxen to remain under the
same regulations; all bull calves and heifers intended for importation or transhipment to
be distinctly branded; all other cattle, save oxen, to be kept in a separate enclosure,
and that none be removed or allowed to leave except for transhipment or slaughter; any
calves dropped to come under this law; an officer to be appointed to enforce the law. The
effect of this was the Act of 1864.
Act of the States of Jersey.
September 8, 1864
Considering that it is to the interest of commerce that this Island be included in the
Treaties concluded and signed between the United Kongdom and France; considering that to
this effect it is necessary to modify certain prohibitive regulations of the commercial
legislation of the Island, in order to put this legislation in harmony with the
fundamental principle of those Treaties; considering always that it is to be the interest
of agriculture to maintain the purity of the bovine race, and consequently necessary to
establish a regulation to that effect, - the States have decided, subject to the sanction
of Her Most Excellent Majesty in Counsil, to adopt the following Law, to have force of law
as long as this Island shall participate in the advantages of the Treaty of Commerce:-
Article 1.- Provides that French wines and spirits shall pay no more duty than those of
the most favoured country.
Article 2.- Permits the importation of French and other apples, pears, and cider, which
were before prohibited.
Article 3.- The Law of the 18th March, 1826, confirmed the 14th March 1827, so far as
concerns its dispositions prohibiting the introduction of cows, heifers, calves, and bulls
from France is also abrogated. For the future foreign cattle may be introduced into the
Island, be it for consumption, be it in transit for re-exportation.
Article 4.- Foreign cows, heifers, calves, and bulls cannot be employed for
reproduction in this Island. To ensure the execution of this regulation, the introduction
of these animals, whether for consumption or re-exportation, shall be subject to the
Article 5.- The cattle indicated in Articles 3 and 4 can only be landed in the Port of
St. Helier under pain of the fine named i Article 10.
Article 6.- The Master of every vessel importing cattle mentioned in Articles 3 and 4
shall be bound, before landing the same, to give written notice of it to the Agent to be
named. The consignee of the cattle shall equally be bound within 24 hours of the
disembarkation to remit to the said Agent a declaration containing the number and kind of
cattle so introduced, and the name of the vessel which has brought them.
Article 7.- The Harbours Committee shall provide a place where the cattle indicated in
Articles 3 and 4 shall be taken directly from the place of landing.
Article 8.- The cows, heifers, bulls, and calves imported shall be branded on their
arrival at the above place on the right quarter or on the forehead, at the choice of the
importer, with the letter F three inches square, the said letter to be stamped with a
red-hot iron. The said animals must remain in the above place in the keeping of the Agent
provided for that purpose; and can only be withdrawn from it for slaughter in the Public
Slaughter-house, or for re-embarkment if they are consigned for re-exportation, and this
under the surveillance of the said Agent.
Article 9.- The owner of the cattle brought here in transit must obtain from the Agent
a permit to ship them, such permit specifying the number and kind of animals that he
proposes to export. He must obtain from the Master of the vessel a receipt containing the
same particulars, which he shall be bound to remit to the Agent. The Master of every
vessel is forbidden to receive foreign cattle on board his vessel without the production
of the above-named permit.
Article 10.-Every person convicted of having infringed, or of having aided or assisted
in infringing any of the dispositions of this Law, shall be condemned to pay a fine to Her
Majesty of ten ponds sterling for each head of cattle. Where there is an informer,
he shall receive one third of the said fine. If unable to pay, the delinquent shall be
punished by imprisonment for six months. All foreing cattle found, in contravention of
this Law, in the possession of any person shall be sequestrated by the Constable or by one
of the Centeniers fo the Parish where such cattle shall have been found, and shall be
immediately slaughtered for the use of the General Hospital without prejudice to the fine
Article 11.- The States will name an Agent who shall have the surveillance of the place
mentioned above and the care of the cattle which shall be taken there, and shall be
charged to watch over the execution of the other dispositions of the law as above
mentioned. The Harbours`Committee shall establish such a tariff as shall seem just to levy
to defray the expenses necessitated by the present Law.
Article 12.- The present Law rescinds none of the dispositions of the Law of 18th March
1826, relative to the importation of foreign bullocks; and the bullocks, cows, heifers,
calves and bulls from the Islands of Guernsey, ALderney, Sark, and their dependencies; and
the duties of the Harbour Masters. The tax of sixpence per head hitherto levied on cattle
exported from this Island is abolished.
A further Act was passed on the 19th September, 1878, for sanitary purposes only, the
preamble of which runs "Considering that it would be advantageous, while taking
precautions to preserve the bovine race of this Island against all danger of contagious
malady, to be able to import cattle for provisioning the island from the ports of Normandy
and Brittany and other countries not included amongst prohibited places."
This arose on account of the restrictions enforced for the suppression of the rinderpest
or cattle plague; and in October a clause was added, giving power to the veterinary
inspector to slaughter any animal from any port whatsoever. Two attempts were made to land
some Shorthorn cows frm Weymouth; but they were promptly arrested by Mr. Henry E. Poole,
the Government veterinary, and were at once slaughtered. This act was sanctioned and
approved by the Harbours` Committee; and Mr. Poole was requested to follow the same course
in any future attempt to land bulls or cows on the Island. This is not the first time
Shorthorn cattle have been brought to Jersey. Mr. Revans, about 1845, introduced some
"Durhams", as they were then termed; but Mr. Falla informed me they were not
succesful; and, on being sold by auction some time afterwards, were bought by butchers to
be killed. Some Ayrshires were also introduced into St. Martins`s parish by Col. Godfray;
but these, after a time, shared the same fate as the Shorthorns.*
[* Mr. C.P. Le Cornu writes on this subject as follows:- "It appears that many years
ago, when Col. James Godfray farmed his estate at St. Martins, he introduced a few
Shorthorns for the purpose of trying crosses with his own Jersey stock. This he tried, and
becoming very soon tired of the results gave up the idea, and got rid of his animals by
selling them to the butcher. He next tried Ayrshires, but not being satisfied and seeing
no improvement in his stock, he ultimately got rid of the whole in the same way. As
regards the effect produced on the quality of the milk, Col. Godfray says it got of such
thin substance that his foreman would not think of continuing. In this respect the
Ayrshires gave more satisfaction than the Shorthorns, but he gladly returned to his
Guernsey cattle are not prohibited and a few, very few, may still be found on the
Island. Intermarriages have occasionally taken place between the inhabitants, and it is
said a Guernsey bride sometimes receives a cow as dowry. This animal is naturally
cherished; its butter is deeper in colour than the Jersey, but very rarely of greater
quantity. Crosses between the breeds are neither successful nor advantageous; the yellow
colour, and the pink nose and eyes of the Guernsey crop up in the offspring, which retains
a coarseness, at once detected and rejected by the judges. Indeed the natural pride that
every Jerseyman has in his cow, and his desire to mate her to a prize or decorated bull,
of itself, sufficient to keep the breed pure.
The French cattle for beef arrive generally on Thursday mornings and come mostly from the
Brittany coast. They are landed at a different quay in St. Heliers to that from which
cattle are shipped from the Island, and driven at once to a large yard and slaughter-house
at the head of the harbour. About one hundred and upwards arrive weekly, according to the
trade, and are of a most varied description, of all sizes and colours - reddish browns,
brindles, red and white, and black and white, many of them showing unmistakable signs of a
Shorthorn cross. They are all examined by the veterinary inspector and marked; the steers
are bought by butchers and driven away to be slaughtered as required. The bulls, cows, and
acalves are not permitted to leave the yard, but are there killed, and the carcases taken
away by the various purchasers to the market or their own shops. Every precaution is thus
taken to keep the Island breed both pure and healthy, and though the beef supply is
abundant, it is not of the finest quality.
On the 18th of January, 1834, the Society drew up their first scale of points. Two of the
best cows on the Island were selected as models; one was allowed to be perfect in her
forequarters and barrel, the other in her hind-quarters. With the help of the best
breeders and dealers a scale for governing the judges at the cattle shows, was drawn up as
Scale of Points for Bulls.
1.Purity of breed on male and female sides, reputed for having produced rich and yellow
2. Head fine and tapering; check small; muzzle fine, and encircled with white; nostrils
high and open; horns polished, crumpled, not too thick at the base and tapering, and
tipped with black; ears small, of an orange colour within; eye full and
3. Neck fine and highly placed on the shoulders; chest broad, barrel hooped and deep, well
ribbed home to the hips........ 3.
4. Back straight from the withers to the setting on the tail, at right angles to the tail;
tail fine, hanging two inches below the hock..............................................
5. Hide thin and movable, mellow, well covered with soft and fine hair of a good
6. Forearm large and powerful; legs short and straight, swelling and full above the knee,
and fine below it............ 2.
7. Hind quarters, from the huckle to the point of the rump, long and well filled up; the
legs not to cross behind in walking .................................................... 2
No prize shall be awarded to a bull having less than 20 points
Scale of Points for Cows and Heifers.
1. Breed on male and female sides reputed for producing rich and yellow
2. Head small, fine, and tapering; eye full and lively; muzzle fine and encircled with
white; horns polished and a little crumpled, tipped with black; ears small, of an orange
colour within...................................................... 8
3. Back straight from the withers to the setting-on of the tail; chest deep, and nearly of
a line with the belly....... 4
4. Hide thin, movable, but not too loose, well covered with fine and soft hair of good
5. Barrel hooped, and deep, well ribbed home, having but little space between the ribs and
hips; tail fine, hanging two inches below the
6. Fore legs straight and fine; thighs full and long, close together when viewed from
behind; hind legs short, and bones rather fine; hoofs small; hind legs not to cross in
7. Udder full, well up behind; teats large and squarely placed, being wide apart;
milk-veins large and swelling............. 4
Perfection for Cows 27
Two points shall be deducted from the number required for perfection in Heifers, as
their udder and milk-veins cannot be fully developed. A Heifer will therefore be
considered perfect at 25 points.
No prizes shall be awarded to Cows or Heifers having less than 24 points.
The above points were approved of and decided on by Messrs. Brehaut, Bevens, Le
Gresley, Simon, and Le Bas, Cattle dealers, in the presence of His Excellency the
President and Committee for 1834.
Form of Judge`s Declaration
I,A.B., do declare upon my honour, that I will well and truly judge, according to the
best of my skill and knowledge, which is the best animal in each class without favour or
Each prize bull shall receive a premium from the Society of three pence, beyond the
customary charge paid for every cow belonging to a subscriber that shall be in calf by
No person shall receive a prize for a bull, stallion, or boar until they shall
have remained in the Island at least one whole season after the prizes were awarded, and
which must be duly certified to the satisfaction of the Agricultural Committee.
Cattle or swine having been reared on the Island by a subscriber, or the bonâ fide
property of the exhibitor for six months before the exhibition, shall be considered his
In course of time and experience this scale of points received sundry additions and
modifications, as will be shown hereafter. Meantime the little society began to flourish.
King William IV was graciously pleased to become Patron, and Her Majesty has continued
this Patronage. The States grant of £100 was continued and paid a second year.
The first show was held March 31, 1834. The prizes amounted to £24. There were seven
Parochial prizes of £1 each, and a general prize of £3, which Col. Le Couteur won with a
red and white yearling bull. The Report for the year very modestly stated, that it was not
within its limits to point out all the improvements that might be adopted; but the fatting
of cattle having been recently introduced with success by an intelligent farmer, it may be
desirable to offer a premium for the finest ox - this branch of agriculture having
hitherto been entirely overlooked by the Jersey farmer, the beef of the island being
confessedly much inferior to that of Guernsey. The cultivation of chicory, Trifolium
incarnatum, and parsnips was advocated. It was resolved to encourage fine bulls, with
points up to perfection by giving a premium of £10 for perfect bulls, and allowing the
owner 2s. a head for each cow that shall have been with calf by such bulls.
In 1835 the show furnished not only a larger supply, but the animals were of a much finer
order as to breed and condition. The Society was congratulated on the happy results of its
influence in producing a spirit of emulation, that the race of Jersey cows may become
still more valuable and perfect.
Her Majesty became Patroness in 1837. £55 was awarded in prizes; £1 each for the best
yearling bull and yearling heifer in each parish; £2 each for the best bull and best
heifer among these; £10 for a bull with 25 points, the service fee to be 1s 6d.; and £4
for a cow with 27 points. Two shows were held; one in March for bulls, and the other in
May for cows and heifers. This division of the shows has continued up to the present day.
The year 1836 saw an increased number of animals exhibited; and it was remarked that they
were cleaner and in better condition than formerly. The 71 entries increased to 153 the
next year; and it was suggested that arrangements be made, to keep one superior bull in
each parish *.
[* The island of Jersey is divided into twelve parishes, viz. St. Brelade, St.
Clement, St. Helier, St. John, St. Lawrence, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Owen, St. Peter,
St. Saviour, Grouville, and Trinity. Each parish has a church, and its own administration.
These parishes are subdivided into vingtaines, or double tithings]
and encouragemnt be given to keep first rate heifers in the Island, as the high prices
offered were a strong temptation to export them. The States grant was given in separate
prizes, and the Society`s balance in hand amounted to £52 16s. 5½d.
The system of giving points for pedigree (which, in the Island interpretation, means
"the offspring of a prize or decorated male or female stock"), from which
eventually dawned the Herd Book, commenced in 1838. "The period having arrived when
the pedigree of cattle is to be recorded, two points being allowed for breed on the male
side, two on the female, and four when the stock is derived.from prize cattle on both
sides, competitors will now be required to state the pedigree of their cattle in sending
in their list, as the Committee will be charged to add the points for breed from the
record book, to those awarded by the Judges." Sweepstakes, as in the English, Irish,
and Scotch societies, were also recommended, and afterwards occassionally adopted. Three
more points were added to the scale, viz. one for growth and two for general
appearance, making a total of 28 for bulls, 30 for cows, and 28 for heifers. Two new rules
were also enacted; one to the effect, that any person withholding the service of a prize
bull from the public shall forfeit the premium, and the other, that all heifers having had
premium adjudged to them shall be kept on the Island until they shall have dropped their
first calf. If previously sold for exportation they shall forfeit te premium. The report
for the year concludes:- "This Society set out with the desire of creating a spirit
of industry and emulation. It has fulfilled its object. It has improved, greatly improved,
the breed of cattle.At the last show 166 head of very fine cattle, in a most superior
condition as compared with former exhibitions, were declared by the judges to evince in
the most satisfactory and conclusive manner, the undeniable improvement that is manifested
in form and condition. Their value has also increased, £30 having been refused for a
prize cow and her prize yearling heifer, and £20 have been realized for another prize
The report for 1839 again pointed out that the attention of the Board of Management was
closely directed to the improvement of the breed of Island cattle. It adds:- "The
cows indigenous to our soil had long been exported from the Island generally in such poor
and wretched condition, that they were bought by the English farmers from their cheapness
and utility as regarded the dairy only. Until recent years, so little was the breed of
this island distinguished, that the cows imported into England were sold as the product of
ALderney, although that little speck in the Channel could not have supplied one hundredth
part of the exportation from the Channel Islands. The Board has now to congratulate the
Jersey farmer, that while the celebrity of the Jersey cow has advanced so high in esteem
in the mother country, her value has increased in the same proportion. In our last report
instances were referred to, of cows exhibited at our Cattle shows, fetching the high
prices of £25 and £30 each; and it is highly encouraging to add that this amelioration
in so important a branch of the farm is far from being stationary. The exhibits in March
and May of the present year were not only more crowded than on any preceding occasion, but
the bulls, cows, heifers, and yearlings, brought for competition, when arranged for
adjudication, showed a display of cattle as to condition and breed, never before equalled.
There has arisen that honourable emulation among the Jersey farmers, which has
called forth an attention to the breed and condition of their cattle, that makes the
traffic in the sale of cows, an important item of our island exports, and of course a very
essential one in the profit of the farm."
The following year nineteen bulls were decorated. Several were rejected that formerly
would have been considered deserving a prize. Twenty-six heifers and twelve cows received
premiums or decorations, and the Judges, on this occasion stated to the Secretary the
defects which they observed, and deducted from the number of points required in the
perfect animal. By this regulation, on referring to the note book in which the defects
were recorded, a farmer could, by a judicious system of crossing, command the improvement
of form required. Earl Spencer`s treatise on breeding was quoted at some length; and the
report concluded with the hope that by adhering to the rules recommended by the best
authority, the genral form of the "CrumpledHorned Cattle" may be brought into a
repute as certain as that of the Durham or Shorthorn breed; that by the excellent food,
warmth and shelter insisted on for calves of the first year, Earl Spencer`s pure Jersey
yearlings were nearly as large as most of the two-year old heifers seen on the Island.
Considering the good work the Society was effecting with he small funds at its command,
some little pique was felt that the States gave so little assistance. The £100 granted to
pay the prizes awarded was gratefully acknowledged; but some surprise was expressed
that £60.000 [*] was voted for commerce, and only £100 to stimulate
[* Probably a State vote for harbour docks.]
husbandry in a soil and climate highly favoured by Providence, and which only required the
light of science and spur of competition, to bring the whole surface of the Island into
the highest state of culture. Seven years` attention to breeding had almost caused the
ancient characteristic defect, the drooping hind quarter, of the Jersey Cattle to
disappear, besides several minor defects, and it only remained to give squareness to the
hind quarter, and roundness to the barrel, to render it a most beatiful animal. "The
fact that neither the 30 points to cows nor the 28 to bulls have ever yet been awarded,
sufficiently evinces the jealous care and attention with which the Judges have discharged
their oftentimes difficult duty." At the annual dinner this year, Col. Le Couteur, in
proposing the Society, made the following speech, which was quoted in the English
newspaper:- "He would tell those who are lukewarm to this Society to look back ten
years. The land foul with weeds, crops inferior, liquid manure wasted, the market ill
supplied. What had been effected? In cattle, beauty of form and flesh had been added to
milking and creaming qualities.More cattle had been decorated this year than on any
previous occasion; and the breed had so greatly improved, that many of the animals
rejected for having less than nineteen points, would have been prize cattle when the
Society was formed, so well were their merits now understood. The price of cattle had
fully doubled. This led him to call the attention to one important change; The Board of
Management had found it difficult at times to get cattle dealers to act as judges;
besides, it was a question whether there might not be an interest in keeping back the
points. Seven years being a full apprenticeship in any business, it was conceived that
many of our farmers having now given constant attention to the points of their
cattle, there were numbers who could act as judges for horned cattle quite as well as
other judges for horses; and the event has verified the expectation."
The States grant of £100 was withdrawn in 1842, yet the funds of the Society were
sufficient to continue its good work. Inferior cattle had fallen in value, but those
decorated by point still fetched high prices. The Board of Management had, however, a new
spur to arouse the skill and energy of "our breeders of cattle". French and
other foreign cattle having the appearance of the Island breed, had been introduced into
England and sold as inferior Alderneys, though they were singularly dissimilar from them
in their most valuable property, the milk or rich creaming qualities. With a view of
checking this deception, it was proposed to brand all the prize and decorated cattle.
Sixty-four head of cattle had gained premiums; and it was noted as worthy of remark that
Mr. Fowler (known as an extensive cattle dealer) purchased a young Jersey bull for £9; he
afterwards sold it in England, and the purchaser, within a short period, resold the same
bull for £84.
The Meeting of the Royal Agricultural Society of England at Southampton in 1844 caused
some little stir. The Board gratefully acknowledged the liberal grant of premiums given by
the English Society for "Channel Islands or crumpled-horned cattle," and allowed
half the sum granted as additional premiums to the owner of the prize animals in each
class, calling at the same time specialattention to Rule 57, which permitted no person to
receive a prize for a bull, stallion, or boar until the animal had remained in the Island
at least one whole season after the prizes were awarded. At the Show "it was
observable that a marked difference existed between the Guernsey and Jersey breeds, the
latter being altogether of a more delicate and slight form." Capt. Douglas`s first
prize cow was sold by Mr. Fowler for £30. Col. Le Couteur obtained £28 for his Jersey
prize cow, and Mr. Robin refused £29 for his cow, and Mr- Hume £20 for his heifer. On
the same day four ordinary good yearling heifers were sold for £50. It was remarked
"by that eminent breeder Mr. Bates of Kirklevington, that the handling, as it is
termed by English breeders, was noticed by him to be good in some of our cattle. This
quality should be endeavoured to be obtained by careful crossing, as it gives a tendency
to fattening and milking qualities." The visit to the Southampton Show not only
resulted in good value for cattle, and good opion from that most critical of judges, Mr.
Bates, but showed the Jerseymen how their breed was used in England, for the report
added:-" It seems pretty well established throughout most dairy farms in England,
that one Jersey cow to two or three another breed greatly tends to improve the colour and
richness of the butter. Hence it behoves the Jersey farmer to be watchful in improving the
colouring and rich properties of their breed."
Attention was called this year to a communication from the bailiff of Guernsey conveying
an ordinance of the Court of Guernsey allowing the importation of foreign cattle under
certain regulations into that Island. "Such a measure is regarded with extreme
jealousy by the farmers here (Jersey), and will require great vigilance on the part of the
Guernsey farmers in order to preserve the native race pure." It noticed the
Guernsey Cattle Club for the insurance of Cattle, wherby 8995 Cattle, valued at £72.934
were insured from 1822-1842, as "being an excellent principle so advantageous to the
small farmer generally, as to be worthy of adoption." The number of bulls exhibited
now began to fall off, which was attributed to the small premium offered, and the
"cost of keeping these expensive animals." Cows and heifers continued very
numerous. Ninety received premiums or decorations, but the "hind quarter defect is
still the principal one to be removed."
Again, in 1845, the entry of bulls at the Show fell off, and it was proposed to
suppress some prizes and increase those for bulls. The season, too, had been unfavourable.
Potato disease abounded, and some of the animals were so far out of condition that the
judges refused to examine them. Indeed, the Committee reported that some were sent in such
a "disgracefully dirty state as to be discreditable to their owners and the
Show." The failure of crops doubtless had something to do with this; and I was
informed by one high authority that he remembered some of the cattle in the country being
so thin that it was necessary to help them to rise.
The Scale of Points received some revision about this period, and again in 1849, 1851,
and 1858. Each part of the animal was given in detail, and received one point, instead of
being put into sections with a number of points, as in the first arrangement. Experience
showed, too, the necessity of adding some others, so that in 1858 the number for bulls
stood at 33, and cows at 36. A bull having 23 points might be branded, but required 25 to
gain a prize; cows required 29 points for at prize, branded with 27; and heifers 26 for a
prize, and 24 to be branded. Subsequently, in order to give the judges an opportuni- ty of
detailing the merit of these points, the number was increased to 100, as will be shown
The excellence of the animals at the Southampton Show doubtless led the Royal
Agricultural Society of England to give more consideration to the breed; and in the
"Journal" for 1845 appeared that excellent paper "On the Jersey, misnamed
Alderney, Cow." by Col. Le Couteur, who was by birth and family a Jerseyman. He spent
his early years in the army; then settled in his native place, where he continued to lead
an active life, filling various posts. He seems to have served the Agricultural SOciety in
every way, always warmly supporting its interests. He was the author of a work on
"The varieties, Properties, and Classification of Wheat," published in 1836 and
re-edited in 1872. His opinion on the subject of the Jersey Cow is even better set forth
in the Annual Report for 1846 than in the Essay.For he was still then acting as secretary
to the Society, which had so prospered under his generous efforts, that in the following
year he was unanimously elected President, a position which he afterwards filled in 1853
and again in 1868 and 1869, and he received the honour of knighthood a few years prior to
his death. He reviewed the action and effects of the Society in the improvement of cattle
in the report for 1846 as follows:- "It can be safely asserted that previous to 1833
no one had thought of improving the breed of cattle by any system or fixed rule. The
Jersey cow was excellent, as she has ever been, which has been attributed to the
circumstance of a few farmers having constantly attended to raising stock from cows of the
best milking qualities; which attention, prosecuted for a long number of years in a small
country like ours, where such superior qualities would soon be known, led to the
excellence of milking and butter yielding properties in the race at large. This never
could have been attained so generally in Normandy, from whence our breed probably
originated, or in any other extended country. Hence in a great measure may be traced the
cause why half a century back it is recorded of a Jersey cow that she produced fourteen
pounds of butter in a week. This great quantity is not likely to be exceeded; but it has
frequently been, and is constantly equalled.
"The animal which then produced that quantity might have been the ugliest that can
be described: with a long head, bad horns, ewe necked, hollow backed, cat hammed, walking
ill; yet her points of value, the characteristic features of the Jersey breed, were
present and redeeming - a lively eye, orange ears, round barrel, depth of chest, short
fine deerlike limbs, a capital udder, largely developed milk veins, and a fine tail. No
one would have purchased this animal for ornament; her usefulness might have commanded a
high price, but the ordinary value of good cows was from £8 to £12. Heifers were sold at
£4 or £5. The export at that period was from 700 to 800 yearly." In order to be
convinced that the picture is not overdrawn the following report is produced, drawn up by
the judges, who were the principal cattle dealers, at the cattle show of the 9th of April,
1834: "the secretary requested the judges to state their opinion in writing as to the
general defects observable in the cattle exhibited, in order to direct the attention of
the Society to the most faulty points; and they reported their opinion as follows:-
1. That the cattle were very much out of condition.
2. Too slightly formed behind, and cat hammed.
3. Gait unsightly
4. The udder ill formed.
5. The tail coarse and thick.
6. The hoofs large.
7. The head coarse and ill shaped.
8. Many were without that golden or yellow tinge within the ears which denotes a property
to produce yellow and rich butter.
9. Some cows and heifers had short bull necks.
10. Some had too much flesh or dewlap under the throat.
11. Some were too heavy in the shoulders.
"And from these principal defects, so clearly and frankly pointed out by the
experienced judges, and the information gained from the list of points required for
perfection in cattle, your committee may be warranted in expressing an opinion, that by
judicious crossing a material and speedy improvement in the race of Jersey cows may be
expected; and it should be specially urged on the notice of the Society, that the
improvement is not only attainable, and the correction or removal of the faults pointed
out to be accomplished; but that by crossing the breed, perfection is most likely to be
attained, if proper pains be taken in the selection.
"The fixing of points and pedigree to cattle have established the fact that a
cow may be equally good as beautiful; and on many farms, including that of the writer, two
cows may be found with prize points, each producing fourteen pounds of rich butter in May
and June. Such cows are now of a value of between £20 and £30, while their heifers will
fetch from £12 to £15. From £20 to £24 have been paid for many. Jersey bulls have also
risen in value from £10 to £20; in one case £84 was given for one in England. A fact
worthy of notice, not generally known, is that the Jersey cow when old and becoming of
little value as a milker, will. when fed up, fatten rapidly and produce a greater quantity
of butcher`s meat than is supposed; this has been verified in several instances by members
of your board. By a reference to the pedigree of the cattle it will be found that the
essential character of form is to be traced to the male, the imprinting of certain
characteristic features having been observed for three and four generations. There is now
a bull at La Moie with the peculiar white ring round the muzzle which belonged to a
progenitor six or seven years back; and in another parish may be seen a bull with the
peculiar spot on the nose which defaced his forefathers. So will the valuable qualities
for milk, or a tendency to fatten, be readily kept up and traced back throughout several
(Signed) "J.Le Couteur."
The report finally concludes:-" The Committee learnt with great regret that some
cattle dealers, taking advantage of the late alteration of duties in England, have
introduced French cattle into England mixed with those of Jersey, passing off animals
almost of the same external appearance for our native breed; while their qualities for
milk and butter are astonishingly inferior; so much so as for the fact to be almost
incredible. It was proposed to submit a petition to the Legislative Assembly to protect by
means of certificates, delivered to the purchasers of each head of cattle on exportation,
or any other means to prevent this fraud, which they have every reason to believe is
carried on to a considerable extent."
That these French cattle were shipped as Jerseys to England is well known by many still
living; it is said they were bought in France for about £5 and sold in England for £15,
one man making alone by the trade upwards of £1800.Nearly twenty years later much anxiety
was caused by this nefarious system being revived. Even at the present day (1879-80) it is
possible to buy animals along the northern coast of Brittany in every way resembling
Jerseys, except in the inferiority of their udders, at from £8 to £10; but the fourteen
days` quarantine at Southampton required for French cattle, is sufficient precaution
against this trade now being carried on. Small black and white Brittany cattle a few years
ago were brought over in large numbers by Messrs. Robertson & Co., who have carried on
an extensive business in them [*]
[* Messrs Robertson & Co., of Woking, Surrey, write, 1880:-"We have imported some
hundred since the year 1864, principally from the department of Morbihan. They have been
mostly sent into the Southern Counties from Kent to Devon; several have gone to South
Wales, a few to North Wales and the Midland Counties; also to York and Newcastle, indeed
as far north as Perth, as well as to Cork and Limerick in Ireland. The orders of the
Privy Council since the unfortunate Franco-Prussian war have, however, greatly retarded
In 1847 ,"a year of unprecedented distress." correspondence took place with
the Royal Agricultural Society of England, soliciting that Society to render every
assistance in preventing the imposition of introducing French cattle into England and
selling them there as Jersey stock; to such an extent was this trade carried on that the
export of cows from the Island in 1846 fell from 1687 to 1214 head the following year.
Indeed so frequent became the intercourse between this country and Jersey, and such good
feeling prevailed, that the Board presented a yearling bull and heifer, given by
Col. Le Couteur, and a two-year-old heifer of Mr. Thos. Filleul`s, to Her Majesty, "
who was graciously pleased to express herself highly gratified with the attention of the
Col. Le Couteur`s paper in the Journal of the Royal Agricultural SOciety of England having
attracted considerable attention, the President of the Royal Jersey Society, Mr. Hume,
published at letter to the Board of Management, in which he set forth that, in order to
prove the excellence of the Jersey cow it was necessary that some individual should put
her virtues as a dairy cow to the test. He did so, with the following results of his
experience for one year.:-
"On the 1st of July, 1845, three cows were put into the dairy; they were selected
with great care; but were cows upon their first calves, and two-years olds, which of
course, you all must know, is not the most favourable period for an experiment such as I
now mean to lay before you. Due care was, however, taken that they should be fed in what I
considered the best manner for produce, and a regular account of that produce was kept,
and which is as follows:-
£ s d
580½ lbs. butter at 1s. per lb is...........29 0 0
Cream and milk for supplyof house at 1s per
day.........................................18 5 0
Three calves reared, at £5 each............ 15 0 0
Manuare for six month, at 5s per month each
cow....................................... 4 10
£ 66 15 6
Deduct the expense of keep at £7 each cow 21
Total........................ 45 15 6
Which gives to each cow, annually, a profit
of........................................£ 15 5 2
"My object in thus bringing before you this result is in the hope that it may
induce some of you to try a similar experiment. My own impression is that the cows of this
Island are the best at present known for dairy purposes; but to the feeder, I think, they
cannot yield a profit, for this simple reason -that were they ever so well inclined to
fatten (which they are not), their frames are too small to carry a sufficient quantity of
beef to recompense the feeder; their province is the dairy, into which the cow is brought
at the age of twenty months; and if care is taken of her, she will continue there,
breeding annually, until she attains the age of sixteen or seventeen years. In may
opinion, it is a matter of little consequence what becomes of her after that time, as she
cannot owe anything to her master, whatever he may be indebted to her. I am not quite
satisfied with this trial, and shall therefore continue the experiment for another year
with the same cows." The result of the trial the following year with the same cows
was an additional profit of about 33 per cent.
Few events of interest took place during the next three years. Farmers were urged to avoid
the diseased sorts of potatoes, and prices of cattle declined fully twenty per cent in
1849. But the Great Exhibition year of 1851 showed an increase of funds and a larger
number of animals exported. The R.A.S.E. was congratulated on the success of its show at
Windsor; the Jersey men on the remunerative and highly satisfactory prices obtained for
their stock; and the Board was entirely convinced that the encouragement the Society may
give to the breeding and rearing of this very valuable breed of Cattle must be a vast
source of wealth and prosperity to the agriculturists of the Island. The funds, however,
were still falling off, and the Board hoped the States would see the necessity of voting a
small sum of money to increase principally the prizes for bulls.
In 1853 American wealth and influence were felt on the Island equally as the English stock
[* At the sale of Earl Ducie`s herd of Shorthorn Cattle at Tortworth Court, Aug. 24, 1853,
the Americans bought four cows and two bulls for £3255; for one three-year-old cow,
Duchess 66th, they paid 700 guineas.]
The report remarks that several animals had been sent to the United States, "where a
great and intelligent people are offering every encouragement to all branches of
agriculture." The scale of points figured in the tenth volume of the Transactions of
the New York Agricultural Society, and the experiment made in America to ascertain the
relative merits of the Jersey and Ayrshire cow, resulting in favour of the Jersey, was
reported in full Bu direction of the Board, "The Artist who paints the prize cattle
in the Herd Book and for the Smithfield Club "drew a picture of a Jersey cow, and
"declared it to be the most beautiful form of a cow that he could conceive;" the
report significantly adds, "this is to be believed." At the show 26 bulls and 79
cows and heifers were entitled to give their progeny pedigree. The Society was urged to
offer the original prize of £10 extra to any breeder who might produce perfection in
either male or female animal; and adds:-"Pedigree has led, through a more careful
attention in breeding and crossing, to a more certain success, and to the practice of
The exportation to America continued in 1854 and 1855 with undiminished activity; and the
Board called special attention to the "impolicy of selling for exportation, the far
greater part of the cattle which have obtained prizes, instead of retaining them for
breeding purposes. Tempted by the high prices which of late years have been offered, and
allured by the prospect of present gain, the farmers seem to have overlooked the eventual
detriment, and the lasting injury, which conduct so short sighted, is calculated to
inflict on their own interest. It must be evident that the only means of keeping up the
reputation, and as a natural consequence the pecuniary value of our native breed, are to
prevent its deterioration, to eradicate its defects, and to perpetuate and increase
its excellencies. Such results can only be obtained by selecting the finest and most
perfect for reproduction; resolutely rejecting from the breeding stock, every animal in
which defects are to be found. "Like produces like" being a maxim which every
breeder must ever keep in view. For, as Bakewell, the COllings, and their followers
succeeded in perfecting the English breeds, so the Jersey breeders can only hope to obtain
a like success by imitating their example. The society has done its best to counteract the
baneful effects of the practice of the practice alluded to, and to encourage the retention
on the Island of the best cattle for breeding purposes, by giving premiums under certain
restrictions for two-year-old heifers and cows from three to five years old; but its
scanty funds have not allowed it to interfere in the only manner likely to be efficacious;
viz. by offering prizes of sufficient value to caounterbalance the temptation to part with
his best stock, which high prices too succesfully present to the unreflecting breeder. The
Board appeals to the good sense of the agricultural community; and, though much cannot be
expected from the small farmer, yet among agriculturists are men numerous and wealthy; who
have both the intelligence to comprehend and the means to carry out, the views put forth
in the preceding observations." Attention was again called to.
Rule 55, which provided that "no person is to receive a prize for bull, stallion, or
boar until the animal shall have remained on the Island at least one whole season after
the prizes were awarded."
Rule 56. "No person shall during April, May, and June allow the service of a prize
bull to any other cow, than such as are the property of a member of the Society, on pain
of forfeiture of the prize awarded."
Rule 57. "All heifers having had premiums adjudged to them shall be kept on the
Island until they have dropped their first calf, or forfeit the premium, if previously
sold for exportation."
The Paris Universal Exhibition in 1856 and 1857 also caused some little stir. Premiums
amounting to £163 9s. 3d. were offered. And the French government engaged to transport
and feed cattle from the ports of debarkation to Paris.
The formation of farmer` clubs in several parishes, St. Peters first, St. Owens following
in 1852, was looked upon at first with some degree og jealousy, for it was thought the
parent society might suffer thereby. Instead of which, in 1857 (Mr. C.P. Le Cornu then
being secretary) one hundred more animals were exhibited than at the last meeting; this
increase was attributed to the influence of the clubs, as each parish sent animals for
competition, and to a general revival of emulation which was brought into the working of
the Society. Five prizes were offered for butter. The reports, which began a few years
previously to give the names of the winning animals, now continued them; and the prize
list was as follows: - For the best yearling bull 30s., the second best 20s., the best of
all in each parish 10s.,; for the best two-year-old bull 50s., the second best 30s.,for
the best yearling heifer 12s 6d., the second best 10s., the best of all in each parish 7s
6d.; for the best two-year-old heifer 20s., the second best 10s., the best of all in each
parish 10s.; for the best cow three to five years old 20s, the second best 10s; for
the finest bull, 33 points, £10 (1s6d service fee); for the best cow, 36 points, £4.
The Report in 1858 was retrospective. Thirty years ago the cattle were ill-fed,
ill-shaped beasts that knew not the taste of mangolds, carrots, or swedes, scarcely that
of hay; whose stabling was wretched, and whose winter food consisted chiefly of straw and
a few watery turnips. Now they were well fed, improved in quality and symmetry, and well
housed. The watery turnip, by careful husbandry, had become firm and rich as cheese; new
buildings dotted the Island; and general prosperity dawned on the farmer. But the potatoe
crop, once the principal export, had dwindled to a mere nominal item; and early
cultivation began In 1859 the first shipment took place on the 18th of April, and extra
vessels were put on to take the supply. It was still thought that the chief obstacle to
success in the cattle shows was the trifling value of the prizes; and the President gave a
£5 cup for the best milch cow three to five years old, which attracted several handsome
animals. To show the public value of the cattle, it may be here worth while to mention
that at an auction held at the time of the show, in 1859, a six month`s heifer realizes
£16, a young cow £30, and a ten-years-old cow £20, all to remain on the Island; but
this system of business does not appear to have been repeated.
The show in 1862 brought 205 exhibits, of which 179 animals were decorated; and the
Report, commenting on this great show, goes on to say: -"We may not have been struck
by any very decided case of improvement; still it is certain, that indirectly some
progress had been effected. To a very considerable extent the business of this Society is
limited to the improvement of our insular race of cattle, which in itself is of the
highest importance; here, therefore, we wish to impress an observation on those who study
he improvement of their stock: -Beauty of symmetry alone cannot ever be the acme of
perfection; the latter can only be attained when goodness and beauty are equally combined.
"It is an established fact that the renown which the Jersey cow enjoys is
attributable to the peculiar richness of its milk, as well as to its docility of temper
and neatness of form. Now, as this richness is not so marked in some specimens as it is in
others; it becomes advisable to make such selections in breeding, as will ensure further
amelioration in this most essential and highly important point. To the generality of our
farmers it is well known that the principal physical features which denote this
superiority, are the orange colour of the ears and skin generally; the smallness and
yellow appearance of the horn; fineness of the bone and the mellow texture of the hide; as
well as the fully develpoed udder and milkveins - not the fleshy and coarse-boned beast
with thick horns and palecoloured ears; these, although possessing every other point,
should be entirely discarded, and when introduced at our exhibitions, such animals should
be acted against by the judges with great severity, otherwise the reputation of the breed
may materially suffer".
The small number of animals exhibited at the R.A.S.E. show at Battersea was
commented on; and, considering the demand for sale there, it was remarked that the trouble
and outlay of sending more animals would have been well repaid. The opening of
another local farmers` club caused some comment. "It was feared these local
associationens would raw from the Institution a great share of the support which it
enjoys; but so far it has proved to the contrary. They diffuse much practical knowledge
among farmers; so that their formation must be welcomed rather than otherwise.
"Among the tenant farmers we are struck with the increasing number of French
people who settle here -apparently, at first, with very little means at their command;
nevertheless, it is equally surprising to see what they achieve, simply by avoiding any
habits tending to luxury, and by devoting their whole attention and moments strictly to
their business." Many of these eventually became breeders of good animals.
It was urged in 1863 that more members should join the SOciety. ALthough it had
existed thirty years, and originated so much good, there were many still indifferent to
its existence, whilst others had left the Society when the opportunities of prize-gaining
were less favourable to them.
From the development of trade and facilities of transport, increased competition was
expected from "our French neighbours", who with equal advantage of soil and
climate, will undoubtedly compete for the entire supply of aou wants. French provisions
had gained considerably, not because of any falling off in the culture of vegetables in
Jersey, but because of the value of land and price labour in Normandy and Brittany being
considerably below the insular standard. It may be safely said that, with the exception of
cattle (which have found a ready sale at the established rates), all products of the farm
have sold considerably lower than formerly.
The introduction of French cattle was again brought under the notice of the Members.
Some considered the introduction of them desirable on the ground of benefiting trade. The
Committee, however, believed that the Island would derive little benefit therefrom. And it
was thought probable that fraud would be practised and result in a serious loss. Others
entertained a notion that crossing our cattle, with other varieties, would improve the
present breed.. In contradiction to this, the judges`recommendation at the Meeting of the
R.A.S.E. at Worcester was cited. This was, that, in future, the twoChannel Islands stocks
should form separate classes, as the breeds of Jersey and Guernsey were becoming much
sought after and appreciated; and it was further recommended to the Council of the
R.A.S.E. (by a Petition from mr. Dumbrell), signed by the President, Secretary, and other
officers of the Jersey Society) that the cattle, being of pure breed and adapted for a
particular purpose, could not be fairly judged in a mixed class. Mr. Fisher Hobbs, of
Boxted Lodge, Essex, was also of this opinion, and considered that, with fair play,
nothing could exeel the breed. Mr. Dumbrell of Ditchling, also wrote a letter, deprecating
the crossing of the breed, which was known for its extreme richness of milk; he stated
that he had tried crosses with Ayrshires and Runts (Welsh cattle); and though by certainly
thus gained a more fleshy animal and a larger produce of milk, yet the quality of the milk
was sadly deteriorated. He further considered the breeds were "more extensively known
and better appreciated in England than ever they were before; and that, being
recognised by the Royal Agricultural Society of England, they will become more valuable
An interchange of hospitality took place between the societies of Jersey and
Guernsey. The Jersey deputation was much struck with the general order and well-to-do
appearance of the farms in Guernsey, and also with thirty oxen remarkable for size,
symmetry, and capability for fattening. A careful selection of seeds was recommended.
Interchange of judges was suggested, and warmly approved; and it was remarked how widely
the systems of husbandry practised in these islands differed from each other.
Much excitement arose concerning a cargo of French heifers which were brought into
the harbour and landed on the quay, then reshipped to England as cattle from Jersey. Great
inquiry was made, and the debate on it was adjourned for a week. It was found the law had
been violated, and steps were taken, by branding the cattle and otherwise, to prevent the
repetition of such proceedings.
The new law on the introduction of foreign cattle came into operation in 1864. It
was not considered likely to effect any downward tendency in the market price of beef; but
it was feared that the quality of the supply would fall off. On the whole, it was thought
satisfactory to the agricultural community; as, owing to its stringent nature, all
material injury to their interests would be prevented.
A new trouble arose in an active trade in butter between St. Malo and England viâ
Jersey. It appeared that, in many instances, this French butter had been introduced into
the mother country as Jersey produce, the barrels being stamped "prime Jersey
butter". It is probable that this is still practised; for Jersey butter continue to
be quoted in the London Market, although the quantity sent from the Island rarely reaches
the regular London markets, but is sold to private dealers and even to them in small
quantities. *[The Customs returns for the year 1879 showed 1655 cwts of butter were
exported against 1874 cwts in 1878 and 1934 cwts. in 1877]
The funds of the SOciety were at a low ebb; and it was remarked that, unless
supplies increased, a diminution in the prize list must follow. This was felt to be very
different to the Royal Agricultural Society of England, who had offered nine prizes for
Channel Islands cattle, six of which were won with Mr. Dumbrell`s Jerseys at
In 1865 the business of the SOciety was at last carried on by two departments - the
Agricultural and the Horticultural, with beneficial results. The deficit of the last year,
£22 17s 1d was made up, and a favourable balance left of £1 11s 1½d. The exhibition was
sufficient to convince any one of the great improvement which was steadily taking place in
the catlle, for 126 animals were exhibited and only two were held to be unworthy of the
Mr. Dent Dent`s report of the R.A.S.E. show at Plymouth was quoted. This adcocated
separating the classes for Jerseys and Guernsys, and his views were confirmed by the
judges. They reported that the classes were well filled, and that generally the animals
displayed a marked improvement on those shown on former occasions. Severe competition took
place among the cows and heifers, arising out of the great improvement made by the Channel
Islanders in combining beauty of form with that quality for which the breeds are so
remarkable, viz. richness of dairy produce. It was found difficult to award prizes in
mixed classes. Some distinction was suggested in the classification, so as to encourage
separate competition for each breed. Mr. Dent added that he hoped the Council would follow
suggestion, as the Americans were buying so freely. Prices were consequently raised. He
took the occasion to protest against the neglect of milking properties by the English
breeders of fashinable stock.
The committee also impressed on Jersey breeders greater attention being paid to the
milk-producing properties of the cow, and urged that they should persevere in weeding out
every animal which which might have the least tendency to deficiency in quantity of milk,
but even more to any want of richness of milk; and they urged the jdges to specially
examine these points at shows
The export trade was very brisk during the first six months of the year, but during
the last six, little business was done. This was owing to the fearful calamity of the
cattle plague which had befallen the agriculturists of England. The committe felt thankful
that the visitation had not come on the Island. The local authorities had done their
utmost to guard against the introduction of this terrible visitant.
The year 1866 will always be memorable as that in which the Jersey Herd Book was
started. The necessity and object of this work will be found fully set forth later on.
Members were congratulated on the gradual disappearance of the cattle plague, and on the
renewal of the export trade. The shows of the year were good; 42 bulls and 182 cows were
approved, and the bulls were noticed as being above the average in size, condition, and
symmetry. Potatoes, too, yielded well this season, and made a higher value than had been
the case for many years.
New members and promises of support came during 1867, so that finances improved, and
remunerative prices were obtained for all produce. Mr. Le Bas shipped 2041 head of cattle
valuede at £29.000. Farmers were invited to cooperate in carrying out the principles of
the Herd Book; and the pedigree points would be discontinued in the future scale. The
effect of careful breeding was shown to the members by the grand result of Mr. Dauncey`s
sale in England, when 90 animals realized £3737 9s 6d. At the show the first prize
two-year-old heifer was sold for £38, and the first prize yearling bull for £42.
Attention was against called to the export of butter from France, and farmers were
reminded that unless more attention was paid to the making of it, they would lose the
advantage derived from the English markets; for first-class Jersey butter commanded prices
in London equal to the best English made. The favourable balance of £20 19s 9½d led to a
hope that in 1868 higher prizes might be offered.
Several Americans visited the Island in 1868. The first prize yearling bull was sold
to them for £45, and they paid much attention to pedigree stock and registered cattle.
Exhibitors were once more warned of the evil practice of exporting prize cattle,
particularly the bulls, for the sake of a liberal sum. They were again assured they would
defeat, by such a course, the objects of the Society to improve the breed. The news of the
liberal prizes offered by the R.A.S.E. at Leicester was received with pleasure. The
Society seemed to view much satisfaction the success of their cattle, as dairy stock, both
in England and America, and they attributed it, in a large measure, to the improvement
effected in the breed in the Island. The encouragement given in England to the growth of
beef, whilst overlooking to a great extent the milk and butter qualities, was quoted as a
wholesome warning. Again were their members urged never to sacrifice rich milking
qualities to shape or appearance.
The exhibition in 1879 was one of the best and most successful for the sale of stock
exhibited. The first prize two-year old heifer realized £60, two parochial prize
heifers £50 each, two heifers £46 each, three cows £40 each, eight heifers £30 each.
Altogether 31 animals were bought for exportation to America at £995. The funds were
still inadequate to retain on the Island the prize bulls by liberal premiums; but it was
resolved to offer prizes for the best yearling bull and yearling heifer approved and
registered in the Herd Book.
Fifty new members came in during 1871, and £102 was offered in prizes. This was the
largest sum since the States discontinued their grant. The bad season caused hay to reach
£10 per ton and straw £7. It was with pleasure that the Society saw the high prices
given for pedigree stock, and that the £10 and £5 prizes - to retain the yearling bulls
on the Island - had both been claimed. Mr. C.P. Le Cornu (who had been elected President)
was congratulated on the success of his efforts in obtaining separate classes at the
R.A.S. E. shows for Guernsey and Jersey cattle.The states granted this year £50 solely in
premiums for bulls; a restriction which was gladly enforced. At the Channel Islands Show,
held in Jersey, 274 Jerseys and Guernseys were exhibited, and £ 150 awarded in prizes.
Mr. Le Cornu sold Blue Bell, a two-year-old heifer, to go to New York, U.S.A., for 100
guineas, the highest price up to that time realized on the Island. The Board expressed its
gratification at the value set on the prize stock of the Island for breeding purposes a
proof in their opinion, of the confidence felt in the awards of the Judges. The Board
wished, however, to impress on farmers the necessity of selecting bulls only from the best
and richest milkers.
Another great show was held on the 12th june, 1872. This was the most striking event
of that year. 204 females, 32 bulls, 16 horses and 11 piges were exhibited. Foreseeing
evil from the taste of the American and English buyers for whole coloured animals, the
Committe urged the necessity of greater attention being paid to rich butter and milking
qualities than to the mere colour of the animal.
In the following year the demand still growing for whole or selfcoloured animals,
the Committee feared it might lead to establishing a fashion which, if not checked, would
ultimately lead many breeders to forget the real and true merit of the Jersey. The report
therefore vigorously and admirably protested thus: -"Let henceforth such fanciful
ideas as black tails and black tongues be simply estimated at their proprer value; but let
the large and rich yield of milk be ever the breeder`s ambition to procure." The
observations of Mr. Waring, the editor of the AMerican Herd Book, on the same subject,
Greater profits than ever continued to be realized by the sale of potatoes and
catttle; one farmer , in St. Lawrence, obtained £206 5s for 2½ vergéees (equal to at
little more than one English acre) of early kidney potatoes. Prosperity, as often occurs,
led to speculation, and two of the local banks stopped payment in this year, and great
pecuniary difficulties arose.
At the April Show, 1874, Mr. C. Renouf`s bull Duke was awarded thirty-one points and
appears to be the only animal that ever obtained the full number.
In 1875 experiences had shown the necessity of mote minutely detailing the several
points recognized as the standard of perfection, and of establishing a ratio of them. In
drawing up the annexed scale, preponderance was given to such points as denote richness of
quality and produce; and no fanciful ideas of taste or fashion were allowd to creep in.
Articles Ratio Scale of Points for
1. Registered pedigree............................... 5
2. Head fine and tapering, forehead broad............ 5
3. Check small....................................... 2
4. Throat clean...................................... 4
5 Muzzle dark, encircled by light color, with
nostrils, high and open............................ 4
6. Horns small, not thick at the base, crumpled, yellow
tipped with black................................. 5
7. Ears small and thin, and of deep orange colour
8. Eyes full and lively.............................. 4
9. Neck arched, powerful, but not coarse and heavy... 5
10. Withers fine, shoulders flat and sloping, chest
broad and deep.................................... 4
11.Barrel hooped, broad, deep and well ribbed up..... 5
12.Back straight from the withers to the setting on
of the tail....................................... 5
13. Back broad across the loins...................... 3
14. Hips wide apart and the fine in the bone......... 3
15. Rump long, abroad and level...................... 3
16. Tail fine, reaching the hocks, and hanging at
right angles with................................ 3
17. Hide thin and mellow, covered with fine soft hair. 4
18. Hide of a yellow colour........................... 4
19. Legs short, straight and fine, with small hoofs... 4
20. Arms full and swelling above the knees............ 3
21. Hind quarters from the hock to point of rump long,
wide apart and well filled up..................... 3
22. Hind legs squarcely placed when viewed from
behind, and not to cross or sweep in walking...... 3
23. Nipples to be squarcely placed and wide apart..... 5
24. Growth............................................ 4
25. General appearance................................ 5
No prize to be awarded to bulls having less than 80 points. Bulls having obtained
75 points shall be allowed to be branded.
Ratio Scale of Points for Cows and Heifers
1. Registered pedigrees.............................. 5
2. Head small, fine and tapering..................... 3
3. Check small, throat clean......................... 4
4. Muzzle dark and encircled by a light colour, with
nostrils high and open............................ 4
5. Horns small, not thick at the base, crumpled, yellow,
tipped with black................................. 5
6. Ears small and thin, and of a deep orange colour
7. Eye full and placid............................... 3
8. Neck straight, fine and lightly placed on the
9. Withers fine, shoulders flat and sloping, chest
broad and deep..................................... 4
10. Barrel hooped, broad and deep, being well ribbed up 5
11. Back straight from the withers to the setting on
of the tail........................................ 5
12. Back broad across the loins........................ 3
13. Hips wide apart and fine ine the bone; rump long,
broad and level.................................... 5
14. Tail fine, reaching the hocks, and hanging at right
angles with the back............................... 3
15. Hide thin and mellow, covered with fine soft hair.. 4
16. Hide of a yellow colour............................ 4
17. Legs short, straight and fine, with small hoofs.... 3
18. Arms full and swelling above the knees............. 3
19. Hind quarters from the hock to point of rump long,
wide apart, and well filled up..................... 3
20. Hind legs squarely placed when viewed from behind,
and not to cross or sweep in walking............... 3
21. Udder large, not fleshy, running well forward, in
line with the belly, and well up behind............ 5
22. Teats moderately large, yellow, of equal size, wide
apart, and squarcely placed........................ 5
23. Milk veins about the udder and abdomen prominent... 4
24. Growth............................................. 4
25. General appearance................................. 5
No prize shall be awarded to cows having less than 80 points.
No prize shall be awarded to heifers having less than 71 points.
Cows having obtained 75 points and heifers 65, shall be allowed to be branded.
The Articles Nos 21 and 23 shall be deducted from the number required for perfection
in heifers, as their udder and milk veins cannot be fully developed.
It may be as well here to state, that the practice in judging on the Island, is to
go carefully over all the animals; draft them, and gradually select the best, as is done
in this country; the scale of points is then brought forward; and, in giving the number of
points to each animal, an opportunity is afforded of correcting any oversight.
At the show, May 28, 1874, Mr. Charles Nicolle offered a cup for the cow with the
best escutcheon according to the Guénon system. The following year and since, this prize
has been continued by voluntary contributions. The system has now been known and practised
in France for nearly half a century. Its discoverer, Mons. Francois Guénon, of
Lisbourne, was a poor studious lad, the son of a gardener. He read books on botany,
agriculture, and geometry, to know the external signs of classifying plants and
vegetables; and to estimate their qualities and produce. When fourteen years old, he was
tending the milch cow of the house; and scratching the hair, that grew against the grain
above the udder, he observed a kind of bran or powder fall off. Remembering that some one
had said cows should have external signs of qualities and defects, he began to reason, and
concluded that as signs existed for the good or bad qualities of plants, there ought also
to exist analogous signs in the animals kingdom. He examined other cows, and observed that
the gravure (better known in England as the escutcheon), from which the bran fell, varied
in form. In length, in 1814, he concluded from the different varieties of these forms,
that one could know the qualities and faults of each animal. He visited fairs, markets,
cowhouses; interrogated cattle dealers and veterinarians; and i 1822 commenced himself in
the traffic of cows of all countries. He multiplied his experience, made exact notes of
his observations, and finally classified them. Selecting animals first into three groups,
large, middle, and small size; he divided the signs into eight classes or families, and
each class into eight orders, from which he could determine the quantity of milk any cow
would give daily, the longest and the shortest time they would hold their milk, and its
quality. In 1837 he laid his observations before the Agricultural Committee of Bordeaux,
who pronounced the system infallible; and the following year before the Agricultural
Society of Aurillac, who put his observations to a practical test, allowing even for the
food of the cow, and they were convinced of its thruth. Each Society awarded M. Guénon a
gold medal, proclaimed him member, and subscribed to his work. The system, by whose who
have studied it - and it certainly does require both study and memory - is found to be
very trustworthy; moreover, it holds good with bulls and with heifers from three months
old; and, when thoroughly known, is possibly very the external evidence of the milking and
The prevalence of the foot-and-mouth disease in England somewhat checked the
briskness of trade in 1876; and it saisfactory to know that the Island has kept free from
this troublesome complaint. The interchange of visits continued; the congress of the
"Association Normande" was visited at Bayeux, and the "Association Bretonne
" at Vitré.
The following year, 1877, these associations were invited to Jersey, where a fête
was held in August. At this, among other rural attractions, an immense show of cattle was
held. The great prices obtained for the show animals were again viewed with alarm; for the
first and second prize bulls were respectively sold for £75 and £50 each; £100 was
obtained for a heifer, and several others were sold at prices varying from £30 to 370
each. The report then goes on to say:-"It will be observed that we are steadily
obtaining an increasing value for our stock; to this extent, indeed, that whilst the
Society, supported by the States, has offered considerable sums as premiums, for the
purpose of retaining the prize cattle on the Island, so ready as sale, a high figures,
offers itself, that the forfeiture of the prizes becomes a secondary consideration
with proprietors. As the duty of your Committee is to stimulate and watch over every
interest connected with the agriculture of the Island, it is deemed expedient occasionally
to repeat warnings which have before been given; and, of all others, if there be one in
particular which needs attention in reference to cattle breeding, it is that Jersey
farmers should always breed in the first place for quality, and for beauty in the second.
Fanciful tastes and colours may continue to guide the lovers of fashion; but it must ever
be remembered that dairy properties are the true points of excellence in the Jersey cow.
The Committee, therefore, again desire to impress on all the necessity of discarding every
animal from prize-taking which does not possess the unmistakable signs denoting richness
The show in May 1878 was the largest on record; 213 cows and heifers competed, and
the cow classes were admirable. It became necessary again to endeavour to check the
exportation of prize animals by forfeiture of the prize money, and a fine was imposed as
well. The report adds:-" The Committee further hopes, by increasing still more the
value of the prizes in these classes, to retain the best bulls for the Island."
Special attention was called to the show at Kilburn; and the members were advised to
prepare for keen competition, and to go resolved to support the reputation of the island
Breed, by showing animals of the best forms, and - most typical of real merit -quality.
The show did give satisfaction; Mr. Bowstead`s report of the animals exhibited was
considered encouraging to the Island, and it was gratifying to find that the breed had
held its own against the English stock, for both champion prizes were won by native
animals. The London Dairy Show was commented on less favourably; and it was considered
that "the rules to guide the judges there, were not based upon those acknowledged by
the Society." The exports, however, fell off in 1879, owing to the depression in
England and to the American restrictions on the importation of cattle. Produce was scarce,
excepting early potatoes, which yielded a marvellous return, and prices generally became
low as the year closed.
The following is the Prize List for the Bull Show held April 3, 1879:-
Class 9. Bulls born on or after the 1st December 1877. First prize £20;
second,£15; third, £10; fourth,£5; parochial prize,£1.
Class 10. Bulls born or after the 1st December, 1876, and before the 1st December
1877. First prize,£7; second,£5; third,£3.
Class 10½. Bulls born on or after the 1st December, 1875, and before the 1st
December, 1876. Prize,£5.
Herd Book stock open to all comers:-
Class 11. To bulls born or after 1st December, 1877. First prize £10;
All bulls having obtained prizes at this show must be reexhibited at the show to
be held on the 22nd May, otherwise the prize will be forfeited.
Bulls in Classes 9 and 11, obtaining 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th prizes, must remain in
the Island for publice service thirteen calendar months; Bulls in Class 10, until the 1st
December, 1879; Bulls in Class 10½ till the 1st September, 1879; and Bulls obtaining
Parochial prizes, six calendar months; all dating from the 3rd April, 1879.
The charge for service of Members`Cattle not to exceed ten shillings per animal;
and not to be less than one pound for Non-Members`Cattle.
Exhibitors having taken prizes, and not complying with the above Rules, shall
forfeit their prize money; and those in Class 9 shall, besides, pay a fine of £10 if the
first prize, £7 if the second, £4 if the third, and £2 if the fourth; and those in
Class 11, £5 if the first prize, £3 if the second, and £1 if the third.
Special prizes be awarded for the richest type according to Guénon`s system:- in
Class 9, prize £2; Class 10,prize £1.
List of Prizes to be awarded at the Show of Cows, Heifers, and Butter, on May
Class 1. Heifers born on or after December 1st, 1877:- First prize, £2;
second,£1; third,10s.; fourth,5s.; Parochial prize, 10s.
Class 2. Heifers in Calf, born on or after Dec. 1st, 1876:- First prize,£3;
second, £2; third,£1; fourth, 10s.; Parochial,10s.
Class 3. Heifers in milk, born before Dec. 1st, 1876, and less than three years
old:- First prize, £2; second,£1; third 10s.
Herd Book Stock open to all comers: -Class 4. Heifers, born on or after Dec.
1st., 1877, first prize, £1; second, 10s.
Class 5. Heifers, born on or after Dec. 1st, 1876, first prize £1; second, 10s.
Class 6. Cowa from 3 to 5 years inclusive: First prize,£3; second,£2;
third,£1; fourth,10s; Parochial,10s.
Class 7.Cows above 5 years old. First prize, £3; second, £2; third, £1;
fourth, 10s; Parochial prize, 10s.
Extra:- For cows, prizetakers, which are thereby disqualified from competing in
this class; First prize, £1; second, 10s.
Note.- No second, third, or fourth prizes will be awarded in the above Classes, unless
there are 12 animals entered, except in the Class of Heifers in Milk, where the
lowest number is fixed at 6, and in the Extra Class for Cows at 5, except on the special
recommendation of the Judges.
Class 8. Cows giving the richest milk on trial, the said
animals having calved since Jan.1st, 1879, and producing 2 pots of milk *[One pot is
equal to two imperial quarts] at one milking. First prize, 30s; second, 15s.;
Class 9. Butter, best and finest pound. First prize, 10s; second, 7s 6d.; third,
Special prizes will be awarded for the richest type according to Guénon`s system
viz. Class 1, £1; CLass 2, £1.
The Society, at the close of the year 1879, numbered 247 members; of which 55
were £1 and 192 were ten shillings subscribers, out of a population of 2465 occupiers of
land. The States`grant consists of £150. Of this £100 is divided in prizes of £10 among
ten parishes, and £50 in prizes for Bulls. The entrance fees for Cattle at the shows
bring in from £5 to £7; but the forfeited prize money amounts to a considerable sum; in
1877, it was £46 10s. The money received at the exhibitions scarcely meets the expenses.
One shilling is charged for admission, the members and their families being admitted free;
in very good years, £7 to £8 is received; but generally it rarely exceeds £5. Seeing,
therefore, the small sum which the Society has at its command, it is the more surprising
that so much good has been effected. The work, like that of the Herd Book, is honorary;
and except a small rent for "the first floor over the little seed shop in Bath
Street", which is used as a Board Room, the bulk of the money is expended in prizes
and the encidental expenses in connexion with the shows.
It may be interesting to show, as far as can be ascertained, the number of animals
that have been exported from Jersey. Previous to 1862 the returns of all the exports from
the whole of the Channel Islands were put together by the Custom House. The export from
each island was not kept separately until 1862; therefore the returns prior to that year
cannot be quoted accurately for Jersey.
The following Table of the animals shipped from Jersey to England and elsewhere is
compiled from various sources * [ The figures from 1803 to 1812 are obtained from Quayle`s
work; from 1823 to 1825 from a "Brief description of Jersey;" from 1844 to 1858
from the Reports of the Royal Agricultural Society of Jersey.]
Year Cows and Heifers Bulls Calves Oxen Total
1803..............406 2 408
1804............ 267 2 269
1805........... 428 6 434
1806........... 754 11 765
1807.......... 712 22 734
1808............. 490 9 499
1809............. 790 19 809
1810............. 988 17 1005
1811............. 737 17 754
1812 to Aug. 10.. 534 7 541
1823.............1500 18 5
1824............ 1614 28 36 1678
1825........... 1796 33 69
1844.......... 1450 31 1481
1845.......... 1239 36 1275
1846.......... 1660 27 1687
1847.......... 1188 26 1214
1854.......... 1559 43 1602
1857.......... 1744 37 1781
1858.......... 1562 31 1593
The following are the returns, compiled from the Customs, of the Animals shipped
from Jersey to England* [I am indebted for this information to Mr. R. Butterfield of the
Bills of Entry Office, Custom House, London]
Year Cows and Heifers Bulls Total
1862........ 1783 30 1813
1863....... 2379 38 2417
1864........ 2793 18 2811
1865........ 2272 16 2288
1866........ 1610 4 1614
1867........ 2456 27 2483
1868........ 2147 41 2188
1869........ 1976 59 2035
1870........ 1751 51 1802
1871........ 1948 54 2002
1872........ 1859 51 1910
1873........ 1767 59 1826
1874........ 1577 47 1624
1875........ 1540 61 1601
1876........ 2094 108 2202
1877........ 2316 60 2376
1878........ 1992 75 2067
1879........ 1757 70 1827
It may be interesting to show the number of Live Stock in Jersey as published in
the Agricultural Returns+ [These figures were supplied to med by Mr. Pearson, of the
Agricultural Returns Office; the returns for the years 1871 and 1874 were not obtained in
time for publication]
Year ending Cow and Heifers Others than those total
in milk or in calf in milk or in calf
June 25, 1867....... 4270 5811 10081
- 1868....... 6420
- 1869....... 6504 5254
- 1870....... 6101 4972
- 1872........ 5887 5054 10941
- 1873....... 5817 5003
- 1875....... 6103
- 1876....... 6053 5249
June 4, 1877....... 5742 5264 11006
- 1878....... 5605
- 1879....... 5869 5205
Exportation of Cattle from the Island of Jersey, extracted from the Veterinary
Enspector`s registry. Mr- H.E. Poole, M.R.C.V.S.* [This Table is most likely to be
accurate, inasmuch as the customs returns are often in excess of the number actually
shipped. Notice is given to the Masters of vessels that so many cattle will be shipped on
such a day; when the day arrives, it often happens that two or three animals, for sundry
reasons, cannot be sent, and the actual number exported is consequently less than that
recorded in the Custom House]
Months 1876 1877 1878 1879
Cows Bulls Cows Bulls Cows Bulls Cows
January 94 7
84 5 87
6 95 6
February 128 2 90
5 110 7
March 246 7
136 4 193 5
April 258 6
243 8 283 8
May 227 5
238 2 328 10
June 189 4
161 5 203 6
July 91 3
174 9 141 4
August 116 9 187
7 135 10 78
September186 7 186
7 140 9
October 150 5 107
1 157 6 154 14
November 114 2 158
7 82 6
December 35 2 57
2 73 2 21
1821 62 1932 79 1575 59
1876... 1834 Cows, 59 Bulls......1893
1877... 1821 Cows, 62 Bulls......1883
1878... 1932 Cows, 79 Bulls......2011
1879... 1575 Cows, 59 Bulls......1634
During 1878 nearly 100 old cows were shipped to France, but are not included in
the above list.
The Herd Book is entirely due to the forethought and untiring efforts of Mr. Chas
P.Le Cornu. A Jerseyman by birth and lineage, he took an early and active part, as a
proprietor and breeder, in the Agricultural Society of the Island. His name is mentioned
on the Board of Management and as having acted as a Judge in 1851. He therefore must have
worked with many of the principal founders and members of the Society. In 1857 he became
Honorary Secretary, which office he seems to have filled for ten consecutive years;
afterwards he became Vice-President, and finally President of the Society in 1870-12. In
this course he seems to have followed in the steps of Col. Le. Couteur, and it is even
still more curious that he now holds the same post of Colonel and Adjudant-General, which
the Colonel filled, in the Militia - a MIlitia the oldest in the world, having been
established as far back as the reign of King John. Thus, happily, have the sword and the
ploughshare been united. To English breeders he is well known; having frequently acted as
Judge at the Royal Shows; and also as the author of the Prize Essays on the
Agricultural of the Channel Islands and on the Potatoe in Jersey *[See Royal Agricultural
Society`s Journals, vol.xx p. 32, 1859, and vol vi. second series, p. 127, 1870]
Consequently he was not only practically acquainted with the breeding and rearing of
animals, but also with the working and requirements of his own Island Society. He foresaw,
many years before the Herd Book was started, the necessity of some further classification
of the animals in a show, where upwards of two hundred were exhibited. The standard and
mangement of the English Herd Book, into which he inquired, did not meet his notions of
the character of the work required on the Island; so he determined to work our a unique
system of his own. His principle was to sift, as it were, these large gatherings into
three classes; by highly commending the best for their quality, symmetry, and
constitution, and their butyraceous or milk-flowing properties; commending the second
best, and rejecting the remainder or third class; and by examining and registering the
approved offspring, he hoped in time to root out the bad animals, so that with six or
seven registered crosses animals might be bred more to a certainty. Frequent complaints,
however, arose at the exhibitions, of fraudulent practices concerning the pedigree points;
and opinion was very much divided as to the continuance of these points. Some maintained,
that under the system practised up to 1865, it was impossible to precent false
declarations; whilst others were unanimous, that the points (if proper means were taken to
ensure faithful entries) were of the greatest value and importance. Some, again, contended
that as there was but one breed on the Island, a Herd Book was unnecessary. At last,
however, after great opposition, a meeting was held on the 3rd of March, 1866, of the
President the Rev. W. Lemprière, himself the Secretary, and Messrs. T. Le Cornu, A. Le
Gallais, H.J. Le Feuvre, J. Vaudin, and twenty members of the local Farmers` Clubs, who
were invited to cooperate with the Society to take steps "for the formation of a Herd
Book for the Cattle of the Island of Jersey." Large meetings of the several Parish
Farmers` Clubs were held, where he placed the advantages of the Herd Book system before
the members, and thus by degrees difficulties were surmounted and the people became
It may not be out of place here to quote the Report of the Royal Jersey Agricultural
Society on pedigree: -"It may be alleged by some that, as in this Island there is
only one, and thoroughly, distinct race of cattle, and which has been so preserved in its
integrity for numberless generations, there can be bo necessity for taking into such
particular consideration the question of pedigree; that, in short, the cattle comprising
the whole of the Island stock being of native birth, and the produce of parents of one and
the same race, it must follow that they are all of equal value as regards blood.
"If, on first consideration, such an argument as this could in any way be
entertained theoretically, it certainly, could not be maintained for one moment when
practically applied; for whilst admitting that the whole cattle in the Island are without
the slightest cross with foreign stock, nevertheless, in the number there are many
different strains, or, it may be said, different families, which vary immensely in some of
the most important features of type and character. Hence it is that we see cows which
yield a greater quantity of milk than others; some scanty milkers with a tendency
rather to fatten, others which carry little flesh and that milk well up to the moment of
calving. It cannot, therefore, be gainsaid that although the whole may comprise one common
race, still there is a vast and most important difference in the value of the various
strains which are comprised in it. Thus it is why the careful and intelligent breeder sees
the necessity of avoiding what is bad; and equally of selecting what is best, in order to
maintain his stock without alloy; and of preventing, as much as possible, degeneracy in
the qualities of the strain which he has adopted as his particular stock.
"The question now arises, How is this to be attained? We answer, By strict
attention to pedigree. Among breeders the value of this has frequently been a vexed
question. Careful, observing, and skilful men have frequently come to different
conclusions; some affecting to consider blood more slightly than others who, perhaps
relying altogether on blood, paid too little regard to physical appearance. But there is
one established rule in nature which experience has taught us, - that a family of cattle
which has been bred closely together, acquires a fixed type and possesses a wonderful
power of communicating their peculiarities to their progeny. You will see the same form,
the same colour, the same propensities, and frequently the same features transmitted with
fidelity; and, as by this rule, blood communicates its valuable properties, it also
carries with it its defects; and therefore, even before admitting a stock-getter, however
pure in blood that animal may be, he should be thoroughly examined; and, if he does not
possess all the requirements of his family type and character, he should be carefully
avoided, otherwise degeneracy must most undoubtedly follow. To obtain the best results, we
must breed from the best animals of the best blood and form; and from the product we must
again select, with the greatest care, those possessing the most valuable qualities and the
fewest defects. This has been the system upon which all the renowned breeders in England
have established those valuable herds which to-day are known by the names of their
"Another question may arise, since it is impossible to carry out the system
without breeding ind and in -Is this advisable? If we look upon the habits founded in
nature, we shall find that breeding in and in prevails extensively. This, perhaps, of
itself should be sufficient to determine; at any rate if not practised too closely, the
system cannot be wrong; but we have also as a guarantee the results obtained by scientific
breeders, which show us that to obtain permanency of type, this system must be followed;
studying the choice of parents, with the greatest possible accumulation of proved blood
and form, and carefully avoiding any cross with animals of a different strain. It is so
well established, that it need hardly here be recorded that, the most notorious animals
which have figured in the history of English cattle, have been bred by the system which we
here desire to advocate.
"In this Island, as we have already said, we possess a totally distinct and
special race, and which is becoming yearly more appriciated; and although the race is
unmixed, there is so much difference in the value of the thousands comprised in it, that
the Committee feel anxious to enforce the absolute necessity of following the principles
set forth by those eminent breeders who, by their careful study, have attained a
worldwide-reputation in their profession, and who, at this day, are the masters of animals
so valuable as scarecely to be bought at any price."
After several meetings of the Herd Book Committee a number of regulations were laid
down. These regulations, practicable on the Island, would scarecely be entertained in
England, if, indeed, they could be carried out; and even on the Island, for several years,
they received much opposition. The first regulation insisted that stock, from which
produce is to be hereafter registered, must be submitted for examination, and must be
approved by the Judges appointed for that purpose, and that examinations take place in
1866, 1867, and 1868. The first examination was held on the 4th April. Six Judges were
appointed. Breeders and owners brought up their cattle to St. Heliers, and a staff of men
brought the animals before the Judges to be examined. To subscribers to the Agricultural
Society a fee of 6d. was charged, but to non-subscribers 2s 6d. Forty-two bulls were
registered as foundation stock, in a tabular form, giving the number of the animal, its
proprietor`s name and parish, its qualification, name, colour, age at qualifacation, date
of qualification, distinctive markings, and remarks, prize notes &c. This form has
been adhered to, and is published as the Herd Book.
A week later 182 cows were examined and approved. By the end of 1868 altogether 92
bulls and 381 cows and heifers had been examined. Mr. C.P. Le Cornu undertook the honorary
duties of secretary and treasurer. The first year found him fifteenpence halfpenny out of
pocket, the second year the deficit amounted to 6s 9½d; but the third year brought in a
balance of £5 11 s. The Presidents of the Farmers` Clubs were then requested to consult
their members, if they were still of opinion to maintain the book on its present footing.
The reply was favourable; a general feeling prevailed to support the book, "without
giving to the cattle entered therein, any points for pedigree at the shows of the Royal
Jersey Agricultural Society."
Having shown how the foundation stock was established, it now becomes a more
difficult task to show the working of the book for pedigree stock. Each proprietor of a
foundation bull has to keep a correct entry of all qualified cows and heifers served by
his bull. He has also to give a certificate, to the proprietor of the cow or heifer, after
the service. Within twenty-four hours after the cow or heifer has calved, the proprietor
has to call in a neighbour (who must be a member of the Society), to attest that the
identical cow has calved, and to note the sex and markings of the calf. This calf has then
to be registered on the books of the Herd Book Society between the age of six and nine
months, and the date of birth is compared with the date of service given on the
certificate by the proprietor of the bull. If the calf be a bull, it has to come up for
examination when a year old, and is not allowed to serve until it is a year old; if a
heifer, when it has calved its first calf, so that its udder may be judged. If, however,
through any blemish this animal is rejected, it is permitted to come up again for
examination after its next calving, and even a third time, in the hope that improvement
may have taken place and that the judges might see fit to eventually give it a
It may well be conceived how onerous are these restrictions. As a natural
consequence, the number of qualified pedigree animals continued to be small, and up to the
end of 1871 only 28 bulls and 9 heifers received numbers. It was, however, found necessary
to again open the foundation stock. In 1869, 25 bulls and 92 cows, and in 1870, 33 bulls
and 251 cows were examined, and small prizes of £2 and £1 were offered for the produce
of registered animals. In 1871, the fund having increased to £14 18s 3½d., it was
resolved to give £6 for Herd Book stock at the Channel Islands Exhibition; but only
pedigree stock was to be examined. In January 1872 a report was published informing the
public of the steady and continued progress of the Institution; that the small number of
qualified animals was due to the neglect of farmers to register their young stock within
the appointed period of six and nine months; and that Herd Book animals had won the first
and third prizes, two silver, and five bronze medals at the Channel Islands Exhibition.
The small number of qualified animals is not to be wondered at, seeing the
troublesome regulations that are enforced. In 1872 the pedigree stock only increased to 47
bulls and 22 cows; so that it was resolved to reopen the foundation stock in 1873 and
1874, and charge 5s for approved animals. Mr. Waring wrote a letter urging the entry of
worthy animals, that they might be entered in the American Herd Register,* [The Herd
Register of the American Jersey Cattle Club has reached six volumes. It is published in
New York, in tabulated form, somewhat after the system of the Herd Book of the Island of
Jersey, thus: - Number of animal, name, sire and dam, colour and distinguishing marks,
breeder, when dropped, when imported, by whom, from what place, on what vessel &c.,
owner. Proofsheets of these entries are issued in a monthly bulletin, and owners and
others are requested to report all errors. The first volume, which was illustrated with
photographs of animals, was issued i 1871, and the last the sixth volume 1879. 3500 bulls
are numbered and 7700 cows. There are nine articles of Constitution; 150 members were
elcted up to April 1879; and a scale of points, after that drawn up in Jersey, is printed.
Certain inquiries were made of Col. Le Couteur on behalf of the Club when it was first
started, and in reply thereto he wrote the following letter:-
"Belle Vue, Jersey, September 14, 1869
"I have only experience to add to anything I may have written in my essay on
the Jersey cow in the Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society of England in 1845, which
has reappeared in the Transactions of the New York State Agricultural Society of 1850. Our
farmers have not not the singular variety of ideas as to the appearance and character of
our breed which you describe to prevail among the members of your Club.
"Our breed i believed to be a local pure breed, its original milking and
butyraceous properties having been improved more than three-quarters of a century back by
carefully crossing in the line: in that view, then, without much regard to beauty of form.
Later, since the formation of our present Society, of which I was the first honorary
secretary in 1834, great attention has been constantly paid to combine beauty of
form with butter-producing habits.
"The outline history of our breed is this:- In the year 1789 the Jersey cow was
already considered so good, so superior to any then known, I imagine, that an act of our
local legislature was passed by which the importation into Jersey of cow, heifer, calf, or
bull was prohibited.
"Guernsey cattle are not deemed foreign, but there are scarcely ever a dozen of
that breed in our Island. They are of larger bone and carcase, considered to be coarse,
though famous milkers, requiring much more food then the Jersey. Our judges at our cattle
shows have discarded both them and their progeny.
"Those enterprising American farmers who have visited Jersey, and have found a
marked difference to exist between the cattle of the eastern district and those of the
western district, being cursory visitors, may not have been made aware of what I am to
state. I believe the type to be the same. The difference in appearance is thus accounted
for: the north and north-west coast of Jersey is high and precipitous, a bold syenite rock
rising two hundred and more feet from he level of the sea. Its nearest shelter in a
westerly or south-westerly direction is the island of Newfoundland or the British-American
shore. South-west gales prevail here nine months out of the twelve. While I am writing, a
hurricane from the south-west has burst over us and burned all the exposed trees like a
flame; it has ruined scores of orchards and gardens, levelled many trees, leaving the
pastures like damaged hay. Hence this elevated coast has usually a short, scant, rich,
nutritious herbage, from being so frequently saturated with saline moisture. Thus the
cattle on this side are small, fine limbed, and hardy. The southward half of Jersey may be
called an inclined plane, gradually and beautifully slanting to the sea shore, watered by
innumerable streams. Part of it is a rich alluvial soil and meadow land - so sheltered and
warmed as to produce fruit and vegetables a fortnight or three weeks sooner than in my
neighbourhood. The cattle of this district are, consequently, fed on a richer pasture.
They are larger in carcase, some think handsomer, than those of the upland. I consider
them to be more delicate.
"The late Earl Spencer, former President of the Royal Agricultural Society,
England, the able and worthy contemporary of Bates, Booth, and other noted Shorthorn
breeders had a fine little herd of Jersey cows, When on a visit to him at Althorpe, in
1839, he strongly advised me to recommend our farmers never to venture on a foreign cross,
nor with Shorthorns or Devons: merely to cross the cows of the low rich pastures with the
hardy bulls of the exposed northern coasts and vice versâ. We had established a character
in our cows for creaming and milking habits peculiar to our crumpled-horned race, to hold
to that alone, by which means our breed might continue as renowned in the next century as
it has been so in the present one. Many have held to that sound advice.
"I shall be much honoured by receiving a copy of your Jersey Herd Book, and
shall, moreover, feel much gratified, if what I have written shall prove interesting or
useful to you.
"We have never had rinderpest or cattle plague in Jersey."]
where no animals from England or France were permitted. He also advised that
attention should be paid to the dairy qualities, rather than to the colour of the animal;
and he deprecated the practice of killing bad-coloured bull calves which were born from
good dairy cows; and also of saving goodcoloured bull calves from dams which were bad
The first volume of the Herd Book, in tabulated form, was then published. The sale
of it brought in £8 5s, at 1s. 6d each copy. Of this sum, 33 was given to the
Agricultural Society for prizes for Herd Book stock. Certificates of pedigree, stamped by
the Herd Book Society`s seal, were to be charged 1s.; but if the certificates were for
England or America, they were charged 2s. 6d. each. The demand, however, for pedigree
stock by the AMericans and English, and the increase of prices, awoke the Jerseymen to a
sense of the value of pedigree. When the second examination opened, even with a 5s fee,
they sent up their cows by hundreds for examination. By the end of 1874, the foundation
stock stood at 234 for bulls and 1584 for cows, and the funds amounted to nearly £200.
Nothing could be more gratifying to Mr. C.P. Le Cornu.
The second volume was published in 1874, and the examination of only pedigree stock
went on to December 1877. Only 175 bulls were examined and 185 cows and heifers; and the
small increase was attributed to the "temptingly high prices" offered for the
young animals of qualified stock, and which caused great numbers to be exported. The Herd
Book Society was very watchful, too, of any tricks; two of its members, having been
suspected, were arraigned before the Committee, judged, found guilty, and fined £2. The
third volume was published in 1877, and the fourth is expected to be issued in 1880.
The effect of the fashion in colour became apparent in 1878; for the Report stated
"that quality forms the leading point to which the judges attend; fanciful ideas of
colour form no part of the examination, though it is remarkable that an increasing
proportion has taken place in the number of (whole) self-coloured bulls and heifers."
Seventy certificates had been delivered by the Society - 48 for America and 22 for
Disappointing as the slowly increasing number of pedigree animals may have been out
of a stock of ten thousand, the Committee had, however, another pleasant surprice in
store; for a petition, signed by sixty-three breeders, was sent in, praying that the
foundation stock might be reopened for two more years. This was granted, on condition that
the fee for approved was made 10s, instead of 5s. Once more numbers flocked up for
examination; and the entries stood on the 30th December, 1879:- foundation stock -bulls
317, cows 2197; pedigree stock - bulls 220, cows 310; and the funds amounted to over
Such is the history of the Jersey Herd Book, a success most gratifying to Mr. C.P.
Le Cornu and to those who have undertaken its onerous and honorary duties. As a
registration of meritorious animals it is most excellent. Indeed every recorded animal
stands pretty well in the same position as a prize winner; but the book does not show at a
glance, as in the English volumes, the extended pedigree. It is, however, possible to
trace the pedigree in full from the numbering of the parents down to the foundation stock.
Like producing like is the theory upon which it is based. The practical experiences of
breeders in England has modified this theory; and the offspring of excellent parents,
though it be blemished, or ill nourished when a calf, has been found to beget
excellent produce; such a blemished calf, however, would not be admitted into the Jersey
Herd Book. It would be registered; but its entry with a number and qualification in the
printed Herd Book would depend on its merits, when brought up for examination after it had
Although many of the herds have been handed down by father to son, yet few private
records appear to have been kept by Island breeders. The pedigree of Coomassie and Lady
Isabella, both prize winners, are probably the longest on the Island. Mr. Marett, of St.
Saviours, has a good herd; he inherited the stock left by his father, who bought the farm
in 1820; and though he occasionally purchases other animals, his rule is to breed from his
own stock. He has paid especial attention to richness, quality, and colour. Mr. Le.
Gallais` herd at St. Brelade is one of the largest on the Island; it was established about
thirty years ago, and a number of prizes have been won both on the Island and in this
country by his stock. Capt. Perrée, at St. Marys, has had one tribe for about twenty
years; his herd is small, consisting of about half a dozen cows; but they are very
handsome, whole coloured, and exceedingly rich. His bulls, too, have been frequent prize
winners and much in request; the one in use during the past season having served upwards
of three hundred cows. Mr. Arthur`s herd, also in St. Marys parish, is numerous and of
long standing; it has produced many noted and prize-winning animals: and there are many
other successful exhibitors. An old, and certainly most uniform stock, belongs to Mr.
Falla, of St. Johns. This was commenced in 1837 by the purchase of a two-year old heifer
for £6 10s. She received 21 points at the Society`s show in 1839, and was of a red fawn
and white colour; he refused £15 for her, which was then considered an extraordinary
offer. There was at that period difficulty in obtaining good sires, and it was no
infrequent thing for him to ride the Island and find a bull out of a cow with a good
udder. The herd has grown up principally by the use of his own bulls. It consist of about
five cows, one bull, and four or five heifers, on sixteen acres. The animals are very
uniform, a reddish fawn grey in colour, and with occasionally a little white. They are
short legged, deep bodied and thin shouldered, with beautiful udders, and full of quality.
These points Mr. Falla considers have been greatly improved, for the original udders were
very narrow and deep, hanging down between the legs. The butter yielded is weighed. In
1875 five cows gave, from March 4 to January 19, 1359 lbs., and the following year the
same five cows gave 1398 lbs. from March 1 to February 7. In 1878 three of the same cows
gave in 52 days, from March 27 to May 18, 228½ lbs. *[The Jersey pound is a little
heavier than the English, in proportion of 104 to 112.],besides what milk was used in the
house. Cows calve in January, February, and March. In six years four first prizes have
been won by Mr. Falla`s yearling bulls.
The custom of late years has become very prevalent for breeders to send their cows
to prize bulls. It is no uncommon thing for yearling bulls to serve between two and three
hundred cows in one season. No old bulls are kept; some say that this is because they
become vicious after two and three years old. It is to be believed that another equally
cogent reason is, the aolder bulls become useless. Farmer`s Glory 319, the first prize
yearling bull at Kilburn, was stated to have positively served 292 cows before being
exhibited last July; and I was assured that about 150 cows had since been put to him
before the close of the year. Duke 274, the first prize two-year-old bull, purchased by
Lord Chesham at the Kilburn Show, was found to be utterly impotent; and was soon
The majority of cows kept on the Island are unnamed, and the bulls also [If animals
are named the name continues for generations; one breeder of considerable position and
longstanding called all his bulls "Nelson" in succession and his cows
"Beauty".] unless they happen to be prize or Herd Book animals. Considering that
only about 300 animals were recorded last year, out of 10.000 on the Island, a vast number
must still remain nameless. Nearly one fifth of these are annually exported; and, if named
at all, perhaps suddenly named the day they are sold. Hence it will be apparent that
though, occasionally, pedigree animals or their offspring may be purchased, yet no Island
pedigree can really be relied upon as authentic, unless it be signed by the Secretary of
the Herd Book and stamped with the Society`s Seal.
In England there have been several accounts of the Jersey breed of cattle published.
Of these I shall proceed to remark upon the principal ones; and to add other information
which, through private channels, has come to my knowledge.
Mr. C.P.Le Cornu, in his prize essay *[See Royal Agricultural Society`s Journal, vol
xx p. 48 (1859).] asserts that the fact of cattle of this type being brought over to
England first from ALderney was the cause through which the name of that small and
thinly-populated island got its name attached to the produce of Jersey and Guernsey. A
military station has long existed in ALderney; and it is possible that men returning from
service there may have been the means of spreading at home the reputation of the Channel
Islands breed for peculiarly rich milk and butter. But, be that as it may, the practice of
the Messrs. Fowler, in advertising their numerous sales as being of Alderney cattle,
popularized the use of the name, and has helped to keep it in existence.
Mr. Lawrence P. Fowler goes twice a year to Alderney, and takes the surplus stock,
which rarely exceeds one hundred head. Guernsey bulls have been used there; and the cattle
(which at one time were even smaller than the Jerseys) are now larger, and resemble more
the Guernseys, though not in any respect equal to them. Col Le Couteur states that the
proprietor of Alderney, about 1780, obtained from Mr. Dumaresq of St. Peters, Jersey, some
of his best cows - a statement which goes to show that even in that early day the Jersey
was recognized as a superior race.
At the close of the last century Channel Islands cattle were shipped in small
numbers to England, and found their way along the coast and into the southern counties. In
1794 they were so far recognized as a breed of value that an experiment was tried in Kent,
between a large home-bred (probably Suffolk) cow eight years old and a small Alderney *[I
have retained the use of the word Alderney in most places, in the remainder of this paper;
and also in some of the Catalogues of Sales at the end of the volume, as being the term by
which animals of the Channel Islands breeds were known in this country, and by which
they are still frequently called.] two years old. The home-bred gave in seven days 35
gallons of milk, which made 10½ lbs. of butter; the Alderney 14 gallons, which made 6½
lbs. *[General View of the Agriculture of the County of Kent, by John Boys, of Betshanger,
Farmer, 1794.], or more than double the amount of ounces of butter to the gallon of
Mr. George Culley, of Northumberland, an eminent agriculturist and authority on
cattle, wrote a book in 1807, called "Observations on Live Stock." His quaint
remarks are so characteristic of the breed at that period that they are worth quoting. He
says:- "The Alderney breed is only met with at the seats of our nobility and gentry,
upon account of their giving exceeding rich milk to support the luxury of the tea-table;
indeed, if it were not for the sake of method and my believing them a distinct breed, I
might have saved the trouble of naming them at all, as I imagine this breed too delicate
and tender ever to be much attended to by our British farmers; because they are not able
to bear the cold of this island, particularly the northernmost part of it. They are very
fine-boned, in general; light red or yellow in colour; and their beef is generally yellow
og very high-coloured, though very fine in grain and well-flavoured. They make themselves
very fat, and none of them in the least subject to lyer or black flesh. I have seen some
very useful cattle, bred from a cross between an Alderney cow and a Shorthorn bull".
Youatt`s description of them in his well known work i very meagre *[ William Youatt
was a professor in the Royal Veterinary College, London; he collected much information on
the British breeds of domesticated animals, and wrote the work on "Cattle"
published by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, 1834]. He classed them
under the head of Foreign breeds of Cattle, and associated them with those of Normandy,
remarking that wether from the Continent or the Islands they pass under the common name of
Alderneys. They are only found, he continues, in gentlemen`s parks or pleasuregrounds
(except in Hampshire); and their real ugliness is passed over on account of the richness
of their milk and its great yield of butter; moreover it is thought fashionable to view
and Alderney cow or two, grazing at a little distance from the house. Lawrence and
Parkinson are both quoted; and he adds, considering its voracious appetite, it yields very
little milk. "That milk, however, is of an extraordinarily excellent quality, and
gives more butter than can be obtained from the milk of any other cow. Of this no one can
doubt who has possessed any Alderney cows. One excellence it must be acknowledged that the
Alderneys possess; when they are dried they fatten with a rapidity that could be scarcely
thought possible from their gaunt appearance, and their want of almost every grazing point
while living. The Duke of Bedford exhibited a French ox at the Smithfield Cattle Show in
1802, whose four quarters weighed 95 stones 3 lbs., and the fat 17 stones 3 lbs.,
Smithfield weight of 8 lbs. to the stone".
Of all English herds, that belonging to Lord Braybrooke, at Audley End, is
undoubtedly the oldest. The Home Farm there has always been retained by the family; and
the best of stock, even to this day, is kept upon it. The Secretary of the Board of
Agriculture in 1805 states that, "Lord Braybrooke, at Audley End, has a very fine
dairy of polled Yorkshire cows and two bulls; and that he gives much attention to
keep the breed pure and improving by a du selection of calves for stock, and by feeding
them for the first two years on the of everything. Mr. Nockolds, the agent, assured me
they are excellent milkers, some of them giving in the height of the season three gallons
at a meal."
The farm books at Audley End have been carefully kept since 1772. These throw much
light on the early stock of the farm. On the 24th July, 1811, an auction was held of
"the whole of the truly valuable dairy of cows and young stock, consisting of
fourteen extremely large polled Yorkshire cows, six heifers, two weaning calves, and two
bulls of the same breed. The above are parted with on account of the proprietor`s wish to
change his stock; and are well worth the attention of gentlemen, farmers, or graziers,
being beautifully marked in colour, excellent milkers, and have the greatest tendency to
fatten. They have been reared on the premises; and at a very great expense." The
prices realized were:- Fourteen cows (£11 to £34 each), £320; six heifers [8gs. to £25
each), £91 8s.; two calves, £16 10s.; two bulls, 345 10s.
The entries relating to the introduction of the Alderneys read thus:-
"July 4, 1811. Paid John Shurmer, for 8 Alderney cows and a bull, £172 4s.
Man`s expenses, bringing beasts from Southampton, £8 16s. Gave Mr. Shurmer`s man,
"Sept. 11, 1811. Paid Shurmer for 12 Alderney cows and 3 heifers £257 10s.
Man`s expenses, bringing beasts from Southampton, £12 3s 6d. Paid Mollony
(land-steward at Billingbear), for one Alderney cow and two heifers, £42 7s."
In 1839 £15 10s was paid to Mr. N. Catlin, in Essex, for an Alderney heifer. In
Nov. 1841 £15 15s. to Mr. J.A. Houblon for an Alderney bull and an Alderney calf. And in
Nov. 1844, "Alderney prize bull, bought at Southampton show, and conveyance home £33
18s 9d". This bull was purchased from Mr. Massey Stanley; but it cannot now be
identified among the Southampton exhibits. The bull is remembered by the men on the estate
as "the prize bull." He was a light grey. That the stock was well managed, and
the best of its kind, is apparent from the following list of prizes won at the Shows of
the Saffron Walden Agricultural Society, which eventually became merged into the Essex
County Show; the first important meeting of which under the county name took place in
1833, Oct. First prize for Alderney Heifer.
1834, Oct. First prize for Alderney Cow.
Extra prize for Alderney Heifer.
1835, Oct. Second prize for Bull of any breed.
1837, Oct. First prize for Alderney Cow.
1840, Oct. Second prize for Bull of any breed.
1842, Oct. First prize for Alderney Cow.
1843, Oct. First prize for Alderney Cow.
1844, Oct. First prize for Alderney Cow.
1845, Oct. Extra prize for Alderney Cow.
First prize for two-year-old Heifer of any breed.
1847, Oct. First Prize for Cow of any breed or age.
First prize for Alderney Cow in milk
First prize for two-year-old Heifer of any breed.
1849, Oct. First prize for Bull of any breed.
First prize for two-year-old Heifer of any breed.
1851, Oct. First prize for Alderney Cow in milk.
1852, Oct. First prize for Cow in milk, any other breed than Shorthorn.
First prize for two-year-old Heifer of any breed.
No further entries occur, but a not significantly states that "many more
prizes would have been obtained if the cow and sheep stock which were qualified for
competition had not been kept from several of the shows for fear of the communication of
disease between exhibited animals." Feeding as well as dairy properties were studied
at Audley End. One entry records "a fat ALderney steer sold in December 1838; weight
86 stones 3 lbs., at 8 s per stone (of eight pounds), £34 9s 9d."
In January 1852 an Alderney cow was bought for £ 16; and a herd book, carefully
recording the dates of birth of the calves, their colours and destination, has been kept
since the 15th of July, 1839. The colours are therein given: dark, black and white, and
red and white; but, unfortunately, until several years later, the names of the sires of
the calves were not given. A bull of Lord Rivers` was used; and it is said that most of
the bulls were bred at home,. During the last ten years fresh blood has been introduced
into the herd from the stock of Lord Chesham, Mr. W.G.Duncan, Mr. W. Gilbey, and Mr. G.
Simpson. The herd at present number about 46 head, most of which are cows and heifers.
The great distribution of the breed in this country dates back to 1811, when Mr.
Michael Fowler, of Little Bushey, became importer of Alderney, Jersey and Guernsey cows.
He was born at Kirkleatham in Yorkshire, and came to London when eighteen years of age.
For years he was travelling partner in the Great West London Dairy. He bought upp cows all
over the country. Little Bushey Farm was the resting place for them before they finally
reached the Dairy, which stood near where Hyde Park Square now stands. On one of his
journeys Mr. Fowler passed e man driving a little cow to Barnet Fair, unlike anything he
had seen before. On inquiry, the drover told him the cow had been sent a present to his
master, who did not like her, and that he was to sell her and ask £9. Mr. Fowler, who had
just married and was living at Little Bushey, thought the little cow would be a pretty
present for his wife, and offered £7 for her. This was declined; and the man took the cow
to the fair, where, however, she, from her small size and appearance, became an object of
ridicule among the dealers and drovers. So much so was this the case that the man, far
from getting his £9, was glad enough to leave the fair and take the cow home again. Oddly
enough, Mr. Fowler overtook him returning, and repeated his offer of £7, which the man at
once accepted, with five shillings for himself. The cow calved a few weeks afterwards; and
produced for seventeen weeks 14¼ lbs. of butter weekly. This extraordinary yield and the
fine quality of the butter so surprised Mr. Fowler, that he determined to find out whence
she came, and to get more of the breed. He discovered that she came from one of the
Channel Islands; and Mr. James Deal, of Southampton, introduced him to Mr. Shurmer, who
used to have four or five cows over in the cutters that came from the Islands. These cows
he purchased and readily sold in London, but the cost price being raised he was
obliged to go direct to the Islands, and soon established a regular business with this
country. He pointed out to the Island breeders the indifferent state in which the cattle
were kept, and being acquainted with the improvements made in shorthorns, he urged the
Jersey farmers to improve their breeding; and recommended the establishment of
Agricultural societies and shows like those held in England. Col. Le Couteur took must
interest in this suggestion; and the original scale of points, with Mr. Fowler`s help was
drawn up, as has been previously stated. Mr. Fowlwe often acted as judge; he also
exhibited some animals at the Highland Society`s show at Glasgow in 1850, which won the
Silver Medal; and a Gold Medal and nine hundred francs were obtained at the Paris
Exhibition in 1856. The Emperor of the French bought his prize bull there, as well as four
When the Alderneys (for by such name only were they known) arrived in England, they
used to be shod with thin plates of iron; and then they travelled in droves of forty to
fifty to the principal towns. Circulars were sent out to the country gentlemen, and
advertisements inserted in the local papers. Many cows were sold privately; and when the
remainder became small and indifferent, they were finally sold by auction.
Mr. Fowler`s first agent in Jersey was Mr. P. Le Gresley; he was succeeded by Mr.
John Le Bas of St. Heliers (who acted in that capacity for Mr. Fowler and his son Mr. L.P.
Fowler for upwards of forty years). Mr. Le Bas`s business was dealing and collecting and
shipping the animals. The services rendered (in a large measure due to Mr. Fowler)
and estimation in which he was held by his countrymen, was shown by a testimonial, which
was presented to him in 1867, with a silver tea and coffee service, salver, and 160
Translation of the Testimonial to Mr. Le Bas.
"Mr. John Le Bas,
"It gives me great pleasure, on the present occasion, to be the interpreter to
you of the sentiments which animate the agriculturists of Jersey, and to present to you,
in their name, this testimonial of their esteem. For upwards of forty-five years you have
acted as intermediary between us and the agriculturists of England and other countries,
for the exportation and sale of the cattle bred in this Island. In that capacity, by the
loyalty of your dealings you have attracted the respect and confidence of all; and our
relations with you have always been most agreeable. The exportation of our cattle, as
every one knows, is a branch of industry of the greatest importance to the Island.; and is
a source of well-being to a great number of our farmers. The probity and good faith with
which you have always acted towards those with whom you have dealings have merited their
esteem and respect. They found that in you they could repose perfect confidence , and that
the prices they obtained were the result of a just and honourable valuation. It is this
trait in your character which has struck us all, and which explains the spontaneous
sentiment which has now brought us together to present you with the tribute of our
approbation. Kindly receive at our hans this testimonial, with a purse of one hundred and
sixty sovereigns; and may you yet live many years surrounded by the esteem and
respect which you have so legitimately acquired.
"John Picot, Secretary."
"Jersey, this 7th day of September 1867"
A list follows of the 867 names of those who contributed
He died in March 1874, in his seventy-third year, and was succeeded by his son,
Mr. J.F.G. Le Bas, and his grandson, Mr. Eugene J. Arnold, who were in partnership till
1877, when Mr. Le Bas, owing to ill health, retired. Mr. Arnold had helped in the business
some time before his grandfather`s death. The following table shows the number of animals
shipped by the firm up to 1876, and by Mr. E.J. Arnold afterwards, to England, America,
New Zealand, Australia, and France:-
Year Cows Bulls Total
1873....... 1179 56 1235
1874....... 725 24 749
1875....... 918 49 967
1876....... 1113 44 1157
1877....... 1025 50 1075
1878....... 1199 61 1260
1879....... 830 37 867
Mr. Michael Fowler had four sons, three of whom took to the business -Edward
Philip Parsons Fowler, of Southampton; Lawrence Parsons Fowler, of Little Bushey Farm; and
Percival Henry Fowler, of Watford. Mr. Edward P.P. Fowler helped his father when a boy; he
was a good hand at plating the cows and usually travelled with them to London and through
the country. In course of time he started business on his own account; and for
twenty-eight years resided in Jersey, leaving the island about ten years since to reside
in SOuthampton. Of the three brothers he does the largest business, and makes about forty
passages a year. The breed he considers has greatly improved; whilst prices have almost
doubled during the forty years he has been in the trade. The horns and head of the animals
in particular have become neater, and the form of the udder is greatly altered for the
The greatest number ever taken over by him was 128, on board a small boat called the
"Calpe"; and the "Atalanta" is said, on one occasion, to have brought
over 137. Once, when trade was very good, 71 head were sold at Southampton fair. On
another occasion, in the days before steamboats came into use, he had a number of cows and
several casks of cider on board a sailing ship. The vessel was thirteen days out, and,
running short of water, the captain tapped the cider casks. So much did the cows approve
of the cider, that they persistently refused to drink water several days after landing.
When a young man, Mr. E.P.P. Fowler was wrecked off Yarmouth; and again, in 1873,
off the coast of France, when the "Germany" was lost. He had then on board 36
cows, 4 rams, 22 dogs, and poultry of all kinds for America. The vessel calling for French
emigrants, fell into the hands of a bad pilot, and was wrecked near the Gironde; Mr.
Fowler got squeezed between the ship and the life-boat; and was picked up insensible and
taken on to Lisbon. His cargo, valued at about £1600, was entirely lost; indeed, this was
the case with everything save his pipe and the clothes he was wrecked in. A scar on
his leg will bear testimony to the occurrence to the end of his days.
To America Mr. E.P.P. Fowler has made many passages. He has sold cows in New
Orleans (where for fifteen years there was a good trade), Philadelphia, Mobile, Baltimore,
Cincinnati, Boston, and New York. There is scarcely a large or county town in England
which he has not visited, and in which he has not sold cattle. Mr. Duncan in
Buckinghampshire bought 113 cows from him. The Rev. John Hill and Mr. Kenyon were good
buyers for many years in Shropshire. A great many cattle were sold about Brigg in
Lincolnshire; whilst Banbury, Oxford, Birmingham, Derby, Peterborough, Bishops Stortford,
and Colchester have all proved excellent centres. The south of Scotland, about Lauder sale
for them in all the large towns in Ireland, particularly Dublin and Belfast.
Her Majesty, at Osborne , and the Duke of Richmond, at Goodwood, have been supplied
for many years; and Sit Tatton Sykes in Yorkshire, Sir John Tyrell in Essex, and Sir
Richard Bulkeley in Wales, were also old customers. Sir Richard had a great taste for the
breed; and three of his best cows were painted by a celebrated artist. This pictures was
afterwards given to Mr. Fowler. It represents three beautiful animals, similarly marked,
but of different colours. One is a black and white; another a brownish red and white; and
the third a grey and white with a darkish face. The white marks are a star on the
forehead, a large patch over the top of the shoulders, another on the loin and under the
belly, with white hind legs. The black and white and the grey cows have the white rim
round the muzzle, but the brown one has not. These colours corroborate an old story on the
Island, that no calf was considered good without the star, the white shoulders, loin, and
Mr. Lawrence P. Fowler has retained most of his father`s old customers, and has been
appointed a judge in Guernsey. He supplies the Royal Dairy at Windsor, and many other
large establishments. The Duke of Atol`s and the Earl of Rosslyn`s herds in Scotland were
also kept up by his importations. About forty animals are sent annually to Edinburgh,
where there is a ready sale for him. Several have gone to Hamburg and the Continent, and
large shipments were sent to Canada in 1868. It has been a frequent occurrence for
families going out to Australia to take a cow on board with them.
Mr. Percival H. Fowler has sent a good many to America and Canada, as well as to
different parts of England; and is supplied in Jersey by Mr. F. Le Brocq, of St. Peters. I
have gone thus fully into the business of the Messrs. Fowler, inasmuch as it was through
them that the Islands Cattle have spread of late years throughout the United Kingdom.
There are but few other dealers. Mr. H.J. Cornish, of Thornford Sherborne,
Sorsetshire, is the largest. His grandfather commenced the business about 1836; and his
father, ten years later, settled and farmed in St. Saviours, sending over a good number of
cattle, which went chiefly into the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Vilts, Gloucester, and
Devon; several, too, have been sent to Waterford in Ireland.
The verdict of these men is that some of the Jerseymen (as in all other countries)
are not quite trustworthy. The dealers prefer buying in-calf-heifers, as dry in-calf cows
have so often turned out with defective udders. The Jersey Herd Book caused an
inquiry and demand for pedigree stock. When animals were sold, in many instances they were
named, as well as their sires and dams, off hand. No records of these sales and names were
kept, and a short time afterwards the transaction was forgotten.
On the other hand, it is right to put on record, that the Jerseymen consider that
the dealers (whom the Americans do not consider reliable) have had a very fine trade, and
that they make a great deal more money of the stock than they pay for them. But in this
part of the case, it should not be forgotten that the dealers take all the risk of
shipping, travelling, and selling the animals in this country; and that it is a question
whether the breed would ever have become so numerous and so widely known as it is at the
present time, had it not been for the perseverance, the judgment, and the labour that
these men have applied to their business.
Mr. Philip Dauncey, of Horwood, may justly claim to be the father of Jersey breeders
in England. Although now in his eighty-fifth year, his memory is still clear, and his zeal
and activity for the improvement of the breed and for developing its production of butter
are as great as ever. His private herd book is full of quaint and instructive remarks,
exceedingly interesting to those engaged in breeding Jerseys. With a great taste for rural
pursuits, a keen sportsman, and a rare lover of a good horse, he went to reside at
Swanbourne in 1821. He kept there a Suffolk cow, which gave 21 quarts of milk; and one
day, riding near Watford, he saw a "little lemon fawn cow with white round her
nose," which took his fancy. This cow he afterwards bought from Mr. Fowler and called
by the name of "Pug". She gave 11 quarts of milk; yet it was found that she made
10½ lbs. of butter against 10¼ lbs. from the Suffolk; both of which had calved in
August. His choice of a dairy breed was at once made. Four years later he went to live at
Horwood and immediately bought Alderney cows from Mr. Fowler and friends in the district.
This was the beginning of a herd; which, forty-two years later, attracted noblemen and
gentlemen from all parts to witness its dispersion - an event which was considered at its
time one of the greatest achievements of a breeder`s skill which had ever occurred in
A few particulars regarding the introduction of some of the other cows may be
useful. Brunette, the ancestress of Mr. Gilbey`s Ban, which many considered the best cow
at the sale, was a great favourite and her blood permeated the whole herd. Mr. Dauncey
heard of her dam as a wonderful cow, which had made seventeen pounds of butter in one
week: He rode thirty miles to see her. He found her an old ugly cow of eleven years, a
patchy red and white, with one hip down, cock-horned, three-teated, and barren. He
inquired of her owner, Mr. Wight, of Blakesley, if the story of her yield of butter was
correct. "I can answer for sixteen pounds," said he, "but when I was away
my servants paid me for seventeen." Twenty-five guineas was asked for this cow,"
old, three-teated, and barren;" and Mr. Dauncey declined to buy her.Some time
afterwards, while hunting with the Duke of Grafton, he heard that a cow belonging to the
Rev. Mr. Clarke, at Cold Higham, was an extraordinary butter maker; and on pulling up at
the farm to look at her, Mr. Dauncey at once identified his old acquaintance Mr. Wight`s
cow. Knowing of Welch 930, a very good young bull, which he had bred, hard by, he
offered Mr. Clarke, as she was then fresh calved, £3 for her next calf if he would send
the cow to his bull. The produce was Brunette; she was calved in March 1833, and turned
out a beaturiful and most useful cow, producing altogether fourteen calves. After breeding
her last calf, on the 15th April, 1850, she went to the brook to drink, and, being old and
weakly, another cow pushed her over; her body dammed up the little stream, which soon
flowed over her head and drowned her. Brunette milked well to the last.
Violet was another celebrated cow; she came from Col. Le Couteur`s herd in May 1845;
and Negress, another favourite, was black, and given to Mr. Dauncey, when a calf, by Col.
Pigott, who imported her dam when in calf to an Island prize bull. The dam of the
broken-coloured cow Whaddon, Mr. Dauncey considered an Alderney and not a Jersey; she was
sent to Mr. Selby Lowndes`s father by Mr. Le Masurier as something choice. Pope 652 was
Mr. Dauncey`s first bull, and came in 1826 from Mr. Michael Fowler, from whom another
Island bull, Fowler 335, was obtained thirty years later. Lethe and Wasp were two of his
choicest cows. ALthough disinclined to exhibit, yet Mr. Dauncey showed these, as well as
another cow, two heifers, and a bull, when the Royal show was held at Windsor. The judges,
however, only commended Lethe and one of the heifers, considering them too large for the
breed. Their portraits, as well as a number of others then forming the herd, exist to show
what a beautiful stock it then was. But the sweets of revenge came in 1870, when Mr.
Pulley exhibited, at the Royal show at Oxford, Vixen, which hed had bought at the Horwood
sale, and won the first prize with her.
The herd at Horwood, as a rule, was kept up to fifty cows, which generally yielded,
in butter alone, "a thousand a year". The butter always went to London, and for
many years Her Majesty`s table was supplied with it. Careful measurement has often shown
fourteen pounds weekly from one cow, indeed in one instance sixteen pounds was obtained.
The greatest yield was the first week in June 1867, when the entire herd of fifty cows
made 10½ lbs. each cow and 9½ lbs. over. The average produce the same year from the
whole herd, was "within the slightest fraction of 7 lbs. per head per week, dry or
milking." Twentytwo quarts was the highest record from any one cow in one day; this
was accredited to Elk. Another calculation was that it required an acre and a half of
pasture for each cow, and nearly the same area of meadow to produce hay for winter
feeding. Mr. Dauncey was frequently tempted to sell; but so careful was he of his breed
that he would never part with a cow in calf, unless he had the calf back, and it was a
very rare occasion that he allowed a bull to be sold. Occasionally he would give one away
to a friend. Mr. Courtauld, in Essex, brought some cattle prior to the sale, and
successfully exhibited them at the Essex show. The Germans took quite a fancy to his
cattle some years ago; and several were purchased to go to the continent. One bull went to
Tasmania; and an Australian laid the foundation of a herd in Melbourne by purchasing nine
heifers and a bull calf.
At last increasing years, declining health, and domestic bereavement induced Mr.
Dauncey to offer the entire herd by auction. So strong, however, was his love for his cows
that, feeling better, he withdrew the sale when announced for the spring. Autumn`s
falling leaf again shook his resolution; and on the 24th October, 1867, the herd was
An immense company assembled to witness the dispersion of "this farrenowned
herd of Channel Island cattle," which was held to be "unrivalled for their
symmetry, colour and milking properties." An eye-witness graphically described them:
*[See "Mark Lane Express", Oct. 28, 1867] Nothing but greys, as they are termed,
have been admissible at Horwood; although with certain shades, from the light-reddish tint
to the duns, fawns, smoke-coloured with black markings, black tongues, and tan muzzles.
The produce of whole-coloured Jersey bulls pretty generally take after their sires in this
respect; while the preference for a grey herd has nothing further to recommend it than a
fancy. The lemon and white and other parti-coloured cows from the Channel Islands are
quite as good milkerss, and, if any thing, they show more style and breeding than their
quakercoated sisters. Mr. Dauncey, however, has been a breeder rather than a buyer; in
which way he has acquired more size and constitution; but, together with the higher
development of these qualities, an unmistakable coarseness is apparent. In going through
the herd, the first thing that struck the visitor was their fine size and level looks.
There were but few of those ragged razor-backed bags of bones, so often supposed to typify
good milkers; but most of the cows carried some flesh, with thick kindly coats, and other
such attributes of the hardy healthy animal. Imposing as the Horwood Alderneys looked in
their standings, they improved immensely upon the eye when led into the ring. What with
their free graceful carriage and kindly placid manners, they bore about them the very
impress of highly-bred but not over-bred animals. Long and low, level bu no fat, their
symmetry and condition were equally admirable. No wonder that the squire is loth to part
with them, now that he has fashioned them, as it were, all of a family - for to sketch one
is to portray the whole herd. The same darkpointing of the same sober garments is the very
livery of the tribe; set off by the gamely tanned muzzle, the blood-like necks, and light
deerlike limbs and movements. When the coarseness does crop up, we note it in a thick,
ungainly, and often gaudy horn, or yet more in the harsh awkward setting-on the
The herd was scattered far and wide -into Berks, Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire,
Essex, Surrey, Wilts, Hereford, Stafford, and Yorkshire. Five Dukes had purchased at one
time or another. A misfortune, however, befell the Duke of Northumberland`s lot, at Sion
House. The cows were tethered as on the Island, but they soon got loose and broke their
necks over a hawhaw; while the bull strayed into the hot-houses, and disported himself by
breaking the glass.
Mr. Dauncey still keeps some cows; and with the materials on the farm, and Colonel
189, a fine bull from Sir R.T. Gilpin, if years be spared him, his old hand not having
lost its cunning, he may yet raise another herd from the remnants that were left.
Most of the herds in the county take their rise from Horwood. The herd at Whaddon
is, however, of anterior date to that at Horwood. Unfortunately no records have been kept
of it; and even the bulls in use during the season 1879 were unnamed. In the
"Agriculture of Bucks`"*[By the Rev. St. John Priest, Secretary to the
Norfolk Agricultural Society, 1810] it is stated that "the Rev. Mr. Rush, of Stone,
had two Alderney cows (one a calf of the other), which for a considerable part of the year
gave eleven pounds of butter each per week. Mr. W. Lowndes of Whaddon, has one or two
Suffolk cows, and keeps Alderney cow as well; and it is allowed that he gets more and
better butter from them, than his neighbours do from the Holderness." The present
herd consists of about twenty cows, fawn and grey in colour, very even, short-legged,
deep-bodied, handsome animals; showing the characteristics of the true-bred English
Jersey. Occasionally an imported bull is used; and then home-bred ones follow; and they
are frequently kept till seven years old. A large number of bulls have been distributed
throughout the country from this herd. The stud of hunters, the immense pack of hounds,
the aviary of canaries, golden pheasants, peafowl, and other varieties of the feathered
tribe, all show that Whaddon is a great and quiet place for breeding, and that what it
breeds is true-bred.
Col. Sir R.T. Gilpin`s herd at Hockliffe is smaller, and was originally obtained ,
in 1845, from Mar. Dauncey; some animals were also bought from Sir John M. Burgoyne and
other stocks, as well as from the Fowlers. It has, however, been kept pretty much to Mr.
Dauncey`s blood through Mr. Bassett`s stock and animals bred from the Horwood herd.
The late Mr. W.G. Duncan`s herd at Bradwell ranked next to that at Horwood; it had
been bred upon the farm since 1849, from imported cows. Bulls were also imported or bred
from imported cows; Gipsy, the dam of one of them, yielded 17 lbs. of butter for several
weeks after calving, and gave 21 quarts of milk a day. Medora, a very favourite cow with a
fine udder, gave 20 quarts daily for a long time after calving. The Dauncey blood was
introduced after the sale, as well as a strain from Whaddon. Like Horwood, the herd was
celebrated for its extraordinary yields of butter. In twenty-two years an average of 29
cows realized, from udder produce alone £14.722, or about an annual profit of £23 for
each cow. Colour was studied, and the cows were generally of a uniform grey fawn with
black points; should a little white occasionally crop out, the animals were usually
drafted, unless they showed extraordinary dairy properties. In size they were a little
smaller than those at Horwood, and, except one tribe with rather cocked horns, showed
little coarseness. Mr. Duncan was of opinion that after the imported animals were
acclimatized they became very hardy, and good handlers, feeding quickly and heavily when
dry. The herd was sold April 24, 1873; it attracted a large company, and the result was
very gratifying, both to the owner and the public. It averaged £40 5s. 2d. for 44 head,
21 of which were cows.
Lord Chesham succeeded to Latimer in 1850. Alderneys and a mixed breed of dairy
cattle were then kept there, but on his lordship`s accession the mixed breeds were sold
and replaced by whole-coloured Jerseys. Mr. Duncan sent over a bull which was called The
Bull; as on other large estates, no record of the breeding of the herd was kept until
later years, when fresh animals were purchased; indeed, whenever any herd of long standing
and importance has been dispersed, a specimen or two of it has generally been purchased
for Latimer. Some animals have also been imported. It is a large, well known herd; and its
blood has been much spread about the country by draft sales and young bulls. Mr.
Coleman`s herd at Stoke Park, which was mainly dispersed in 1879, had been bred from Mr.
Dauncey`s, Mr. Duncan`s, and Mr. Simpson`s stocks. The cows generally were of large frame,
principally silver greys, and many of them great milkers.
The herd at Stewkley Grange is also another old herd i Buckinghamshire. It was
commenced by Mr. Palmer about 1845, by purchases from Mr. M. Fowler and from neighbouring
stocks. Bulls from these cows were used till 1854, when a bull was bought of Mr. Selby
Lowndes; and a son of this bull and grandsons were afterwards used. In 1869 a bull of
Dauncey blood came from the Rev. Dr. Booth; some cows were sent to the sires at Whaddon,
and bulls from Mr. Duncan`s, r. Gilbey`s, and Mr. Simpson`s herds followed. On the death
of Mr. Palmer in January 1874, the herd passed into possession of his widow, Mrs. C.M.
Palmer, who, with aid of her sons, still keeps up its high character. The Rev. Dr. Booth,
at Stone, and Mr. Acton Tindal, at Aylesbury, both kept good herds as far back as 1860.
They were bred from Mr. Dauncey`s stock. Dr. Booth had one celebrated cow called Dauncey,
that gave 26 quarts daily. Mr. F. Bassett`s herd near Leighton is of more recent date;
indeed it took its rise at the Horwood sale, and has been recruited from the leading
stocks of the day. The Duke of Grafton`s herd at Wakefield Lodge, the Duke of Bedford`s at
Woburn, and that belonging to the Righ Hon. J.G. Hubbard at Addington are all the growth
of the last twenty years, and were increased from the Horwood sale. For Woburn were
purchased some of the best of Mr. Gilbey`s stock; and at the close of the year 1879 it
numbered 114 head, 30 of which were cows. As at Latimer, Hallingbury, and elsewhere, great
value is attached to Jersey beef at Woburn. Steers are made and fed at an early age; they
come quickly to maturity, and produce most excellent beef of fine colour and flavour.
Lord Camoys has a beautiful herd at Stonor which has been entirely bred from stock
imported by Messrs. Fowler during the last thirty years: it has not been exhibited, nor
has any record been kept, the dairy having been the chief aim, and an assurance that the
bulls used were thoroughbred. One bull bred by Mr. G.A. Fuller was used here. Mr.
Middleton`s herd at Cutteslowe, and Mr. Salter`s at Egrove, both near Oxford, were
commenced by purchases of imported animals from Mr. E.P. Fowler in 1868. Mr. Middleton
keeps about 25 cows, and first used Mr. Dauncey`s bull Dolphin 242, which made a great
impression on the stock; his sons from imported cows have since been used.
The late Mr. Edward Marjoribanks succeeded to the herd of Mr. Stewart Marjoribanks
at Bushey Grove, who kept imported Alderneys for many years, and used Messrs. Fowler`s
bulls at Bushey. Landscape, the highest priced cow, 100 gs., at the Horwood sale, came
here, and others from Mr. Duncan. A silvergrey bull, called Lothair 509, was bought of Mr.
Lowndes, and is reported to have been particularly thick-fleshed and handsome; he was sold
to a butcher in Watford market for £44. Attention was paid here more to feeding than to
the dairy. A steer is said to have been sold by auction, when twenty months old, for £37
10s. The herd of 45 head was sold in September 1874, and averaged £35 6s 1d. The herd at
Charleywood, near Watford, belonging to Mr. Barnes, has been kept up for several years,
mostly from imported animals, to which Lord Chesham`s bulls have been used. It has
been successfully exhibited at the Royal and other shows.
Lord Dacre has also an old herd at The Hoo, Welwyn, bred during the last twenty
years from imported stock; occasionally a bull from Audley End or other old established
herds has been used. The herd at Luton Hoo is of later date, and also descended from
No herd has, however, been more distinguished or realized higher prices than that
belonging to Mr. Walter Gilbey. Its rise occurred in a singular manner. Owing to delicate
health he was advised to take new milk. Some Alderneys were bought by that capital judge,
the late Mr. Arthur Nockolds, from the Wendon Hall herd, and kept in London; on removing
into Essex, a herd was established for the use of the family. It is as well to mention
here, that one of the cheapest commodities in a town house, where a large family resides,
is a dairy cow. Mr. Gilbey believes good new milk to be not only a luxury, but
indispensable to the health of children. In establishing the herd at Hargrave Park, any
cows showing inferior dairy properties, or not approaching his standard of excellence,
were sold or given away; and he became an excellent customer for very choice animals;
indeed only the best were good enough. Selections were specially made by Mr. Nockolds for
him at the shows on the Island. At Mr. Dauncey`s and Mr. Duncan`s sales he was a
purchaser; and bulls from these stocks, as well as imported animals, were used.A careful
record of the dairy produce was kept, and the animals were successfully exhibited at the
Essex county shows; but as the inferior sums awarded in prizes attracted but few animals,
Mr. Gilbey supplemented the prizelist by special donations to the Channel Island classes.
This led to more numerous exhibits; and the show gradually became celebrated for the
excellence of this breed of cattle. His animals were afterwards sent to the Royal and
other shows; and rarely returned home without a prize or commendation. The stock becoming
very numerous, drafts were sent into Bishops Stortford and sold by auction; and these
draft animals, which were in themselves of a high character, became spread about the
district and produced excellent stock. Names of three letters were chosen for cows; and
their produce took this name with the addition of a second and third syllable as Fan,
Annual draft sales were afterwards held at Hargrave Park; the sale in May 1874 was
largely attended; seventeen yearling heifers selling for over fifty guineas each. In the
following December the herd was reluctantly dispersed, in consequence of the termination
of the lease and death of the owner of the estate. Extraordinary prices were obtained. The
Duke of Bedford gave 255 gs. for a three-years old cow, and an in-calf heifer brought the
same sum. Six cows realized 1010 gs., and the eighteen averaged £90 16s 6d. The heifers
and calves also sold very high; the herd of fifty averaging £64 16s 0d. The celebrated
cow Milkmaid was bought by Mr. C.L. Sharpless for Philadelphia, U.S.A., for 155gs. Her
best yield of milk in AMerica has since been 22½ quarts *[It is doubtful if this is the
English imperial quart of 40 fluid ounces; the quantity of butter obtained indicates that
it is not.] per day, and 11 lbs. 3 ozs. of butter per week. This was the second occasion
when Americans bought publicly; some animals having been previously purchased at Mr.
Duncan`s sale for Mr. P. Le Clair, of Vermont. Hitherto they had generally purchased
exhibited animals at the Royal and other shows.
Although Mr. Gilbey`s herd was in existence several years, yet that belonging to Mr.
J. Archer Houblon, of Great Hallingbury, was established many years before. It was
commenced as far back as 1831, with stock from Lord Braybrooke`s herd at Audley End and
Lady Canning`s at Hallingbury Place. Many animals were also bought from Messrs Fowler, and
occasionally Mr. Gilbey`s bulls were used.
The Earl of Rosslyn`s herd was taken to Easton Lodge in 1866; it was originally
started by his lordship`s father, about 1840, at Hampton Court, with imported animals, and
very carefully kept. In 1850 it was removed to Dysart House, Fifeshire, where it numbered
about twenty head; but, the climate being severe, the herd got low. When Lord Rosslyn
succeeded, he found seven or eight cows, which he brought down into Essex, and imported a
young bull. There the herd considerably increased, and has become one of the most
beautiful in the county. Mr. Gilbey`s stock was successfully introduced with a view to
retain the whole colours as well as the great dairy properties.
The herd at Wendon Hall is also of long standing, having been in the Cornwell family
for about forty years. Animals were bought in the neighbourhood of Bishops Stortford, and
the stock has been improved and kept up by the use of Lord Braybrooke`s bulls. Mr. W.
Cornwell also had a herd at Bishops Stortford; it was commenced by his father and crossed
with Mr. Gilbey`s stock. Mr. T.N. Miller, in the same neighbourhood, has bred and
successfully exhibited animals at the Royal and County shows. The Rev. John Collin, of
Rickling, imported two cows in 1851, and used Mr. Gilbey`s bulls. Mr. W.J. Beadel`s herd
at Springfield Lyons was bred from the stocks belonging to Mr. W. Gilbey, Mr. G. Simpson,
and other breeders; it was successfully shown at the Essex and Hertfordshire shows, and
when dispersed in 1877 averaged £38 18s for 37 head. But the county of Essex has long
been a stronghold for the ALderney cow. As previously shown, Mr. Courtauld bought some
animals privately form Mr. Dauncey. Mr. Badham, Mr. Vaizey, and others bred from imported
stock; and that well known agriculturalist, the late Mr. Fisher Hobbs, was a great admirer
of the breed. In 1863 he wrote a letter, which was read by Mr. Horn before the Eye
Farmers`Club, as follows:-"I send you a correct account of the produce of two
Alderney cows which I kept at my own residence, Boxted Lodge in 1861. I had no other cows
there during that time. You will observe that the produce for these two cows was kept
separate from the period of their calving until the 12th of July. After that time the
cream was mixed. The total produce of these two cows in thirty-four weeks was 800 lbs.,
besides what cream was used in my house."
From Essex the breed crept into Suffolk. The Rev. Morton Shaw at Rougham, has taken
great interest in it, for more than twentyfive years, owning and breeding many fine
animals; and Col. Wilson, at Stowlangtoft, has been a buyer at the most important sales,
using principally the Dauncey blood as sires. In Norfolk, Mr E. Birkbeck has kept a herd
at Horstead since 1868; and previously for seven years in Surrey. This has been bred from
Mr. Fuller`s and Mr. Gurneu`s stocks, and bulls were used from the Duke of
Richmond`s and Mr. Selby Lowndes` herds, as well as imported animals from Messrs. Fowler.
The late Rev. J.N. Micklethwait also had a choice herd near Norwich. At the Norfolk fat
stock show in 1877 much talk was occasioned by the great merit of an Alderney steer* [This
steer was bred by Mr. Horatio Wortley of Frettenham, and sold to Mr. W. Gray of Felthorpe
to be killed; he was by a bull of Mr. Birkbeck`s from an imported cow. Mr. Wortley also
sold in 1879, a young steer eighteen months old, of his own breeding, for £25] which was
sold to be killed for £42 at the age of two years and eleven months; it killed well, and
weighed 72 stones of 14lbs.
Into Yorkshire, the great home of the Shorthorn, many animals have been taken, but
very few kept pure. Major Thursby bought several in Jersey; and took them to the
neighbourhood of Pontefract, where they were bred for several years. In 1869 he wrote to
the Rev. Dr. Booth of Stone, that he preferred Mr. Dauncey`s breed, crossed by stock bred
in Jersey, as they then showed more quality and were not so coarse. The late Mr. Brown
also kept a herd at Rossington, which has since been continued by Mr. R.J. Streatfeild. It
was added to from Mr. Gilbey`s and other sales. Even over the border Sir John Marjoribanks
has kept a herd at Lees, near Coldstream, since 1862; and they may be found in many a
homestead at the Lothians.
Around Manchester they have also had a home. Sir Thomas de Trafford, exhibited a
bull at the Royal Show at Manchester, in 1869. Mr. Pilling also took some imported
animals, as well as some of Mr. Gurney`s stock, into Cheshire, where the Rev. W.D. Fox
kept a herd for upwards of thirty years. Mr. C.H. Bakewell has long kept a small select
herd at Quarndon, Derby. In Shropshire, Mr. Kenyon, at Pradoe, has one of the oldest
established herds in the country, the farm-book showing dates of birth of Alderney cows
since 1816. Col. Wilson`s bulls from Stowlangtoft in Suffolk were recently used here. The
Rev. J. Hill`s herd at Hawkstone, Shrewsbury, has been bred pure, chiefly from imported
stock, since 1826. Some animals have also been kept pure by the Rev. C.W. Grove, in
Gloucestershire; and Col. Barrows at Hagley, and Mr. H.P. Parkes at Belbroughton, have
each kept pure herds in Worcestershire since 1870.
In Dorsetshire, Mr. G.D. Wingfield Digby`s herd is one of the oldest and most
successful in the county, having been exhibited for many years; it was comenced over
twenty years ago with importations made by Messrs Fowler and Cornish. About thirty cows
and two bulls are kept ; the bulls are usually imported animals, and changed every two or
three years. In the south of Devon, Lord Poltimore, Mr. Scratton, and a few others are
keeping the breed pure.
South of the Thames they have existed from the beginning of the century. Mr. John
Middleton of Lambeth, wrote as far back as 1807, "that in the pleasure grounds of
gentlemen, the Suffolk, ALderney, Jersey, Guernsey, Welsh, and Scotch breeds are most to
be met with. The Shorthorn breed are almost the only sort kept by cow-keepers for the
produce of milk for sale." Mr. Thomas Hepburn has kept a numerous herd at Clapham
Common since 1856; and bred from both imported stock and English herds, which he considers
are distinct in character except as to quality and quantity of milk. He is also of opinion
that the English climate makes them more robust and larger in frame; that for the park,
where large herds are kept, and the males grazed for the butcher, the Englsih-bred
bull is the most useful; but the suburban residence is not complete without a couple of
Jersey cows, where , for the richness of their milk and their great docility and beauty,
they are so much admired, and for this supply importations from the Island must continue.
Mr. Fuller`s herd near Dorking is, however, one of the oldest in Surrey. He
originally got some animals from Mr. Slade at Eltham; and in 1848, while hunting in
Buckinghamshire, he so much admired Mr. Dauncey`s beautiful stock, that he bought a couple
of heifers, and used bulls from Mr. Duncan, as well as his homebred ones, and occasionally
imported bulls. In 1865 the herd was sold without any particulars, at very ssatisfactory
prices, and was the means of starting and improving other good herds. Mr. Gisbey`s
celebrated cow Milkmaid, whose dam Grasshopper lived until twenty years old, was bred by
Mr. Fuller, who in the course of another year began again to gather a herd together; it
now consists of about twenty cows, fawns and greys, of great uniformity and character. Mr.
Gurney`s herd near Reigate, like Mr. A.O. Wilkinson`s at Redhill, bred for whole colors,
was commenced in 1855, when he went to reside at Nutwood. His father kept a herd in Essex
about fifty years ago. He was a purchaser at Mr. Dauncey`s sale; and bought many animals
from Mr. Fowler and from neighbours in the district. Home-bred bulls have been used; and
cows sent over to Mr. Simpson`s celebrated herd at Wray Park; which, like that of Mr.
Gilbey, has been gradually selected whenever an opportnity offered of purchasing first
class animals. The best of Mr. Fowler`s importations have also gone to him; and the bulls
have been principally selected from the best breeders in Jersey, or bred at home. Of late
years this herd has been eminently successful at the Royal and principal shows in the
kingdom, and many animals have been sold at high prices, some going to America and
Australia. Great attention is paid to the yield of milk at Wray Park; and the following
table shows the produce of one of the best cows, Luna, calved February 20, 1874; she
produced her first calf January 1st, 1876, and yielded that month 701 lbs- *[Ten pounds
weight of milk may be taken as equal to 4 quarts or one gallon imperial measure, and one
pound of butter can ordinarily be made from about 15 lbs. of milk; but this very much
depends upon the food of the animal and richness of its milk.]; her second calf was born
on the 1st of April 1877, it sucked its dam several days, the milk was weighed on the
10th, from which time to February 1878 she yielded milk as follows:
Luna`s first calf calved Luna`s second
calf calved January 1,
April 1, 1877
January 8th to 31st. 1876 701 April 10th to 30th 1877 681
February................ 901 May...................... 1341
March................... 876 June...................... 1352
April................... 831 July...................... 1176
May..................... 822 August.................... 1052
June.................... 810 September................. 785
July.................... 749 October................... 749
August.................. 656 November.................. 768
September............... 662 December.................. 547
October................. 597 January 1878.............. 502
November................ 462 February.................. 249
February, dry on the 1oth 98
In Sussex, the Duke of Richmond has long had a herd at Goodwood, bred from
imported stock. The Earl of Egmont at Cowdray Park, imported five heifers and a bull from
Jersey in 1847; and a first prize was won with this stock at the Royal show at Windsor
1851. Bulls were imported from the Island every fourth year; and i 1874 another
importation of eight heifers was made.The herd is both uniform and numerous. Col Cavendish
also kept a herd at West Stoke, near Chichester, since 1845, breeding chiefly from
imported bulls. One of the most noted herds in Sussex was that belonging to the late Mr.
Dumbrell [Coleman: Dumbrill] at Ditchling. He kept a very large stock for twenty years
near Brighton, and imported most of his animals, bulls as well as cows, from Jersey, which
breed he considered gained the most strength, size, and constitution without losing its
characteristics for the dairy, and was better suited to our climate. He adopted the Island
method of tethering the cows, and so successful was his management that he was solicited
to read a paper on the subject before the London Farmers`Club in 1862. At the Newcastle
Royal show his animals were very successfully exhibited.
The breed abounds in Hampshire; but little record has been kept of their breeding.
The late Mr. Duff, at Town Hill, bred from imported stock; Mr. Cadus succeeded to this
country. Sir A.K. Macdonald`s herd at Woolmer, and Mrs. Malcolm`s at Beechwood, Mr. C.F.
Wilson`s at Tatchbury Manor, and Mr. C.B. Dixon`s at Shirley Warren, are also of high
standing and mostly bred from imported animals. Several prizes were won at the Hants and
Berks show, and the stock was widely dispersed when sold in 1877.
The value of this breed for dairy produce seems to have been known on the Isle of
Wight from the earliest periods. The Rev. Mr. Warner wrote the Agricultural Survey of the
Island in 1794, and remarked that "the cows are mostly of the Alderney breed, though
mixed with English sorts. They are extremely profitable, some of them giving during part
of the summer 10 lbs. of butter per week. It is a matter of surprise that this breed is
not more generally known in other parts of the kingdom than appears to be the case. The
original price of a good Alderney cow, at the place where she is imported, is seldom more
than 8 guineas; she is equally hardy with our own breed, consumes less provender, and
certainly yields as rich milk, the cream of which gives a richness to butter not
observable in what is made from the English cow". Her Majesty`s herd at Osborne has
been supplied by Mr. Fowler; bulls have been imported and also used from Col. Cavendish`s
and Mr. Fuller`s herds. Mr. Pittis had for some years a herd near Newport; Mr. J.R. Fisk
also keeps a herd at Brighstone, to which the Town Hill stock has been used; and Mr.
Hammick`s at Mirables is bred entirely from animals specially selected on the Island.
Messrs Arnold`s of West Meon, was originally bred by their father in the Isle of Weight
more than half a century ago; and he took great delight in them. In 1835 he removed to
West Meon in Hampshire, where the best of the herd was taken. It has there been kept
pure ever since by the use of imported bulls, and occasionally an exchange with Messrs.
Mortimer, whose herd dates back to imported stock since 1841. Messrs. Arnold keep about
ten cows, which are very rich, of good quality and symmetry, and exceedingly uniform.
The reports of the Judges at the Shows of the Royal Agricultural Society of England
commenced in 1862. They differ greatly from those published by the Jersey Society; and
refer more to the appearance of the animals exhibited, than to principles, for the
guidance of breeders. They are to be found in the Journals of the Society. It was
suggested by the Judges in 1865 to divide the Jerseys and Guernseys into separate classes.
This suggestion was repeated in 1869 and 1870, and after the classes were separated in
1871, the work of judging was much facilitated. In 1875 the judges emphatically pointed
out that every encouragement should be given to increase and, if possible, to improve the
produce of the Jersey and Guernsey cattle as dairy stock. The following year, the classes
becoming so numerous, they wished to point out, for the consideration of the Council, the
advisability of dividing for the futire, the heretofore existing heifer class into two
distinct classes, viz heifers in milk or in calf above two years, and heifers not
exceeding two years old. After the Liverpool Meeting in 1877, they recommended three
additional classes for younger stock; and, in 1878, alluded to the proposed English Herd
Book, and to the numerous entries at the Show, as indicating the increased number of
animals that were now bred in the country, and the interest, especially for dairy
purposes, that was being taken in them. Last year the Judges congratulated the Council on
the great success which the expansion of the classes had given to animals of the Jersey
and Guernsey breeds, and they recommended, if possible, the division of the heifers in
milk from those in calf.
I have dwelt somewhat at considerable length in this introduction on topics which
may perkaps be thought superfluous. Yet it seemed a fitting opportunity to put together on
record, all that can now be ascertained concerning the history, up to the present time, of
this very useful breed of cattle. The first volume of its Herd Book seemed the most
suitable repository for this accumulated information, before it became overlaid and lost.
That the breed has extended, and is still likely to extend even more than it has hitherto
done, is evident from the extraordinary increase in the number of animals exhibited at the
various agricultural meetings throughout the country. The readiness of owners to exhibit
Jersey Cattle may partially arise from the system of exhibiting the breed in a healthy
natural breeding state; whereas most other breeds are invariably shown in a very high
state of condition, which experience has proved to be damaging to the dairy properties, as
well as the fecundity of the animal. In evidence of the great increase of the breed, I
subjoin a table showing the number of the various races entered for the Great
International Meeting of the Royal Agricultural Society of England at Kilburn, London, in
Shorthorns................ 179 Scotch Breeds:
Herefords................. 63 Ayrshire................29
Devons.................... 56 Polled Galloway.........10
Sussex.................... 95 Polled Angus or Aberdeen 18
Longhorns................. 42 West HIghland........... 3
Norfolk & Suffolk Polled.. 35 Kerry (Irish)............. 29
Guernseys................. 39 Welsh..................... 40
Jerseys................... 253 Dairy Cattle.............. 35
Other British Breeds...... 4