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Sports and Pastimes of Scotland
Chapter I. The Old Scottish Wild Cattle


Mightiest of all the beasts of chase,
That roam in woody Caledon,
Crashing the forest in his race,
The Mountain Bull comes thundering on.

Fierce, on the hunters' quiver'd band,
Ile rolls his eyes of swarthy glow,
Spurns, with black hoof and horn, the sand,
And tosses high his mane of snow.

Scott's "Cadyow castle."

In the remote and misty past,—in epochs far beyond the ken of history, those pre-historic times which stretch back indefinitely to the emergence of our island from the bosom of the sea—various species of wild and savage animals were common in Britain, partly contemporaneously, and partly in succession to each other, according to the climatic changes, most of which races have been long extinct in this country. The fact of their existence is attested by their remains found chiefly in the limestone caverns and the river deposits. The elephant and the rhinoceros grazed on British soil, and the hippopotamus wandered on the banks of British rivers. The moose-deer or elk once roamed here, though in small numbers. The rein-deer are believed to have spread over Britain and Ireland, towards the close of what is known as the glacial period. Ancient tradition asserts that in some distant age the Norwegians were wont to cross over to Scotland for the purpose of hunting the rein-deer ! And tradition is so far supported in this story by an olden authority of fair repute, the Orkneyina Saga, which states explicitly that the Norse lords of the Orkneys were accustomed to pass over to Caithness to enjoy the chase of the rein-deer. The Jarls of Orkney were in the habit of crossing over to Caithness almost every summer, and there hunting in the wilds the red deer and the rein-deer : " and those Jarls [Earls] are said to have been Ronald and Harold, who lived in the middle of the twelfth century,—though we suspect the date of the existence of reindeer in Caithness is rather too recent Numerous remains of the rein-deer have been discovered there and in other parts of the country. In Perthshire, during drainage operations at the Loch of Marlee. many years ago, the horns and some of the leg-bones of a reindeer were found. It should also be remembered that the rein-deer moss is still common in Scotland. The reintroduction of the rein-deer has been attempted in modern times, both on the hills of Athole, Perthshire, and in Mar Forest, Aberdeenshire; but in each case the project failed—the animals having died soon after being liberated in the wilds.

It is believed that the elk and the rein-deer, or other animals of the deer tribe, were contemporaneous in Britain with carnivorous enemies—two species of lions, one greater and the other smaller in structure ; a species of time leopard or panther; the hyana; the grisly and brown bears, etc. Most of the larger beasts of prey were ultimately exterminated, perhaps by a constantly-increasing diminution of food, following the total separation of our island from the Continent of Europe. The lions, the leopard, the hyena disappeared ; but the brown bear survived until long after the Roman invasion. In the Sylvae Caledonia,—the great Caledonian Forest which overshadowed a vast extent of Scotland beyond the Forth, covering the vales of Menteith and Strathearn, and away across Athole and Lochaber, and which proved so formidable an obstacle to the progress of the Roman arms northward,—the blue-painted Pict could vary his fierce contest against the " masters of the world " with scarce lesser war against bears, wolves, boars, and those wild white cattle whose chase was the most exciting and perilous of all. The existence of the brown bear in Britain during the Roman times is established beyond the possibility of doubt. The animal was hunted by the Romans of the occupation it was captured alive, and sent over the sea to Rome for the savage purposes of the amphitheatre. The Romans, writes Plutarch, "transported bears from Britain to Rome, where they had them in great admiration." The bears were used otherwise than for the ordinary sport of the populace of the Eternal City. It was the practice to crucify "malefactors"—probably in many cases Christian martyrs—in the circus, and then to let loose British bears to lacerate and devour the living victims nailed to the cross The poet Martial, in his 7th epigram, mentions the barbarous custom—how that Laureolus, a noted robber, was crucified on the stage, in a drama, and torn to pieces by "a Caledonian beat" Such was one of the many refinements of cruelty by which the vaunted Roman civilization was disgraced.

Centuries after the Roman occupation of Britain had ceased, the brown bear was still found in the island. An old Welsh manuscript states that the bear was authoritatively reckoned among the beasts of chase, and its flesh was considered as equal to that of the hare and the boar. To this day different localities in the Principality arc called by names referring to the bear. In regard to England generally—about the year 750, Archbishop Egbert wrote in his Penitensiale that when any one strikes a wild beast with an arrow, and it escapes and is found dead three days afterwards, if a hound, a wolf, a fox, or a bear, or any other wild beast hath begun to feed upon it, let no Christian touch it." In the reign of Edward the Confessor, the town of Norwich was bound to furnish to the King one bear annually, and six dogs for the baiting of it : so it is entered in Doomsday Book although doubt may be expressed whether the native bear was not extirpated in England prior to the era of the Norman Conquest. The bear-baiting which continued so long a popular pastime in England was at first supplied from the native race but afterwards bears for that sport were imported from the Continent.

Martial, as we have seen, speaks of the Caledonian bear. In Scotland the brown bear seems to have lingered longer than in the southern portion of the island. The rugged nature of the country, especially of the Highlands, afforded every facility for the shelter of wild beasts. Historical writers of the sixteenth century specify bears as having existed numerously in Scotland in ancient times, though the period of their extirpation is not indicated. Thus, Bishop Lesley says that the Caledonian Forest was once full of bears: and Camden, in his Britannia, writes that Athole was a country fruitful enough, having woody vallies where once the Caledonian Forest (dreadful for its dark intricate windings, and for its dens of bears, and its huge, wild, thick-maned bulls)," had extended itself far and near in these parts. Traditions of the bear are still remembered in the north, where it is distinguished as the Magh-Ghamhainn "the paw calf," and also under the more general term of beiste, or "the monster "—as----Ruich-na-beiste, "The Monster's Slope," and Loch-na-beiste "The Monster's Lake." The surname of the Clan Forbes is said to have arisen in connection with the chase of the bear. An Irish chieftain, Ochonchar, carne to Scotland, and hearing that a district in Aberdeenshire was ravaged by a bear, he went thither, tracked the destroyer to its lair, and was successful in putting it to death, for which exploit he was rewarded with lands, and the title of Forbear or Forbeiste was given him, while he was also granted three bears' heads as an armorial cognizance, which has ever since been borne by his descendants. Another version of the legend is to the effect that the hero killed the bear to obtain the hand of a beautiful heiress, named Bess or Elizabeth, and on accomplishing his object he assumed the name of "For Bess." A third version relates that a boar, not a bear, having devoured nine young women at a spring iii the parish of Auchindoir, Aberdeenshire, it was "slain by a young man of the name of Forbes, the lover of one of the young women, and a stone with a boar's head cut on it, was set up to preserve the remembrance of his gallantry and courage. The stone," continues the Old Statistical writer, "was removed by Lord Forbes to his house of Putachie and it is from this circumstance that a boar's head is quartered in the arms of the family; "—a mistake, the Forbes arms being three bears' heads. The spring where the tragedy happened was thenceforth known as the " Nine Maidens' Well." Ochonchar's slaughter of the bear is assigned to the eleventh century—the year 1057; but the brown bear must have become extinct in Scotland considerably earlier than that date. The main legend is a fair example of the turn for ending out a punning or familiar explanation of the names of persons and places, which was common in unlettered times. An instance of the same thing occurs in the derivation of" Buccleugh"

Old Buceleugh the name did gain
When in the cleuch the buck was ta'en.

King Kenneth Macalpin, as we are told, was hunting in Ettrick Forest, when the buck standing at bay in a hollow into which the monarch and his attendants, being on horseback, could not descend, a native of the country, a banished man, who followed the chase on foot, clambered down, and ran in upon the deer. Possessing great strength and daring, he seized it by the horns, and, throwing it upon his back, ascended the steel) hill-side with his struggling burden, and flung it down before the King, who thereupon named him Buccleuch. Still another example will be given at a subsequent stage.

The ancient Celtic tribes of Scotland were much devoted to the chase, from which they derived a large portion of their subsistence the wild hog, with which the country abounded, being one of their chief beasts of pursuit, notwithstanding that the sow appears to have been somehow associated with their mythology, and its figure is found on most of the sculptured stones—hence the conjecture has been hazarded that originally it was worshipped here as in Egypt of old. In the Perthshire vale of Glenshee there was once a famous boar-hunt, which, because it proved fatal to the best-beloved of the Fingalian heroes, has been commemorated in song by one of Albin's olden bards. Diarmaci, the son of Duinc, was the nephew, of Fingal, by the mother's side, and was the handsomest warrior in the train of the King of Morven, whose jealousy and hatred, however, he had the misfortune to kindle. Brave, noble Diarmad (so sung the bard) was full of strength and valour ; his might in battle was as a wintry torrent rushing on resistlessly fair his cheek, red his lip, blue and grey blended in his clear eye, and long locks of yellow waved over his shoulders. Fin gal's hate was moved against him ; but it was dissembled, and never found vent until a great hunt was held in Glenshee, where the sounds of deer and elk were ever heard, and where the stream winds at the foot of Ben Gulbin, among the grassy knolls and grey mossy cairns, on which the sunshine sweetly beams. Thither came the Fingalians,—Diarmad accompanying the "king of men" They climbed the hill with their dogs, and the great boar of Ben Gulbin was roused from his darksome cave. Fierce was the aged wild boar that issued in his wrath from the lofty echoing rocks. Tic sought safety in flight, but being hemmed in by the hunters and their eager pack, he turned furiously upon them, scattering the hounds and defying sword and spear. Diarmad, ever fearless and intrepid, sprung forward to the encounter. his spear shivered in splinters on the beast's thick hide, but drawing his thin-leaved sword, of all the arms most crowned with victory, he killed the monster with repeated strokes rapid as the levin-bolt. Sad was Fingal at the sight. It grieved his soul that Diarmad had not fallen a victim,—that the youth should even have emerged unwounded from the struggle. Long sat the King on the hill-side, musing in gloomy silence; and, then pointing to the enormous carcase stretched on the grass, he said—" Diarmad, measure the boar from snout to heel, that we may know its length" Diarmad did so. lie measured the boar by treading with his bare feet along its back. "Measure it again, from heel to snout, against the bristles," cried the King. This was also done. But the poisonous bristles pierced Diarmad's naked soles, and the venom working quickly into his blood, he fell beside the boar, and died: and so Fingal was revenged. "Valorous chief!" laments the bard, "lightly may the clod rest upon thy golden locks! I stand by thy grave, like a leafless, sapless bough amid the whistling blast of sorrow that scatters the withered twigs around Diarmad's bed at the bottom of Ben Gulbin. Though green was the hill when first we approached it, yet red it is this night with the blood of the youthful champion." This is the legend of the hunting of Glemishec : and somewhat may be traced in it of analogy with classic fable; for Achilles was vulnerable only in the heel, and Adonis, the beloved of the Cyprian goddess, was slain by a boar. The clan Campbell claim their descent from Diarmad  they are called in Gaelic song Sliochd Diarmad an Tuirc—"the race of Diarmnad who slew the boar:" and their heraldic crest is the boar's head. A curious entry in the Sheriff of Forfar's Accounts for the year 1263 would seem to indicate that by the time of Alexander III. the wild boar had become scarce in the country. The Sheriff notes that he expended 4 chalders of corn for the wild boars, porci si/vesires : upon which Professor Inncs asks :-" Are we to conclude from this last that the native wild boar of the Caledonian Forest had become extinct or scarce in the valley of Strathmore, and that a supply was reared for sport?" The wild hog seems to have long haunted the far highland wastes though its numbers were fast diminishing. In Scott's Hi,-Iiland Widow, Elspat of the Tree, recounting to her son reminiscences of her native Kintail, tells him that the white-tusked boar, the chase of which the brave loved best, was yet to be roused in those western solitudes." Eventually the wild hog shared the fate of the brown bear.

The ravages of the Wolf provoked Scottish Parliaments of the fifteenth century to pass decrees for its extirpation. But even the wolf was outlived by remnants of the white cattle which, from time immemorial had haunted the Scottish woods; and, indeed, to this day, survivors of this race are preserved in several parts of our island. The indigenous wild ox of Britain was the Ui-us; but whether the later breed of wild cattle, and, in particular, the Scottish Bison or White Bull, can be held as sprung of the aboriginal stock, we do not pretend to judge. It has been supposed that the Urns became extinct in England within the pre-historic period, but that it still subsisted in the regions north of the Tweed. At all events, the wild White Bull appears to have been in Scotland from very early days, and was contemporaneous with various beasts of prey, to which it must have proved a sturdy and dreaded opponent. Without troubling ourselves with vexed questions of breed and descent, let us say that there is abundant and indisputable evidence to show that, for many ages, herds of wild cattle were numerous on both sides of the Border. The Celtic shorthorn "is understood to have been the domesticated British Ox during the Roman occupation but wild cattle in England are spoken of in records dating more than eight centuries ago. The "Forest Laws" of King Canute, who reigned from 1014 to 1036, state that "there are also a great number of cattle which, although they live within the limits of the forest, and arc subject to the charge and care of the middle sort of men, or Regardors, nevertheless cannot at all be reputed beasts of the forest as wild horses, bubali [buffaloes, or wild bulls], wild cows," and so forth. An earlier reference occurs in Wales. The "Lc.šes [Val/ice," or \Velsh Laws of King howell the Good, enacted about 942-3, mention white cattle with red ears, which were to be given in compensation for certain offences committed against the Welsh Princes. Matthew Paris, in his Lives of the Abbots of Si. Albans, relates how, in the days of Edward the Confessor, "there abounded throughout the whole of Ciltria [the Chiltrens] spacious woods, thick and large, the habitation of numerous and various beasts, wolves, boars, forest bulls [tauri sylvesties], and stags." The historian Fitz-Stephcn, says, about 1174, that ' close at hand" to London, "lies an immense forest, woody ranges, hiding places of wild beasts, of stags, of fallow deer, of boars, and of [tauri sylveslres] forest bulls." Subsequent records speak of wild cattle in other parts of England and tradition goes as far back as the oldest writing extant. The ballad of "Sir Guy of Warwick," dating at least in the sixteenth century, tells how the hero slew a great wild cow (called "the Dun-cow of Dunstnore heath") in the time of King Athelstan, who reigned from 923 to 940 and although the ballad as such cannot be regarded as competent authority, yet it doubtless preserves a very ancient popular belief which coincides in the main with well-authenticated facts.

We now pass to Scotland, where the wild white cattle have been well known. One or two references to the race appear in Ossian's l'ocms ; as, for example, in "Fin-al" (Macpherson's version):-"Long had they strove for the spotted [the original has spotless] bull that lowed on Golbun's echoing heath. Each claimed him as his own. Death was often at the point of their steel. Side by side the heroes fought ; the strangers of ocean fled. Whose name was fairer on the hill than the name of Cairbar and Gruclar? But, ah why ever lowed the bull on Golbun's echoing heath? They saw him leaping like snow." And, again—" I went and divided the herd. One snow-white bull remained. I gave that bull to Cairbar." But the most ample and distinct account of the wild white cattle is given by }lector Bocce, in his Scotorum Histori, which was first published in 1526 and his account has been repeated by succeeding writers in this wood "—the great Caledonian Forest, says he, were some time white bulls, with crisp and curling manes, like fierce lions ; and though they seemed meek and tame in the remanent figure of their bodies, yet were more wild than any other beasts ; and had such hatred against the society and company of men, that they came never in the woods or lesuris [pastures] where they found any feet or hand thereof; and many days after they eat not of the herbs that were touched or handled by men. Thir bulls were so wild that they were never taken but [without] sleight and crafty labour, and so impatient, that after their taking they died for importable [insupportable] dolour. As soon as any man invaded thir bulls, they rushed with so terrible press on him that they dang him to the earth, taking no fear of hounds, sharp lances, nor other most penetrative weapons." Bocce then tells a story of the narrow escape of King Robert Bruce, while, with a small train, he was hunting the wild bull in the Forest, and how the King's deliverer received the name of Turnbull for his prowess at the critical moment. "For after the beast felt himself sore wounded by the hunters, he rushed upon the King, who having no weapon left in his hand wherewith to defend himself, he had surely perished, if rescue had not come. I-Iowbcit in this distress one came running unto him, who overthrew the bull by plan force, and held him down till the hunters came that killed him outright. For this valiant act the King endowed the aforesaid party with great possessions, and his lineage is to this day called of the Turnbulls, because he overturned the beast, and saved the King's life, by such great prowess and manhood." Of course, the story, so far as relates to the origin of the surname, bears the same mint-mark as that of Forbes or I3uccleugh although the incident of, the King's rescue has nothing improbable ill it. This Turnbull, it is farther said, fell in a singular manner at Halidon Hill, in July, 1333. Immediately before the battle joined, he, accompanied by a large and ferocious mastiff, advanced towards the English army, and challenged any soldier to single combat. A Norfolk knight. Sir Richard Benhale, encountered the bold Scot, and being first assailed by the dog, killed it at a blow, and then engaging Turnbull, hewed off both his left hand and his head. With regard to the wild bulls, Bishop Lesley, in his History, published in 1578, gives a description of the animals similar to that of Bocce, and adds that in his day such cattle were preserved in the parks of Stirling, Cumbernauld, and Kincardine.

At the baptism of James VI., in the Chapel of Stirling Castle, the Earl of Bedford attended, as representative of Queen Elizabeth: and on the following cay the English party were entertained with the hunting of the wild bull," in Stirling park, at which Queen Mary was present. In 1570, certain retainers of the Regent Lennox were charged with 11 having slain and destroyed the deer in John Fleming's forest of Cumbernauld and the white kye and bulls of the said forest, to the great destruction of police and hinder of the commonweal ; for" adds the document quoted (Calendar, 1570, No 1418) "that kind of kye and hulls has been kept there many years in the said forest, and the like was not maintained in any other part of this isle of Albion, as is well known."

The chief haunts of the wild white cattle of Scotland had been the old forests, which, however, were gradually destroyed, partly by the ravages of war, and partly by the extension of cultivation consequent on the increase and spread of population, so that the herds were deprived of their accustomed and necessary shelter. The breed would seem to have been extirpated generally in the Highlands sooner than in the low country, leaving only to after-days a hazy traditional recollection in which superstition mingled its dreams and terrors—the white bull merging into a mythical " water-bull," which, with malevolent powers akin to those of the "kelpie" or water- horse, was supposed to hover about small lochs amid heathy deserts and rocky solitudes and the remnants of ancient woods. " It is easy," say the brothers John Sobieski and Charles Edward Stuart (in their Lays of the Deer Forest, Vol II., P. 222) 'to resolve this fable into the associations of the last animal of the district, exaggerated by its mysterious seclusion and ferocious nature. The wild bull, like the stag, is fond of deep solitude, water, and marshy places, and in summer retires to remote lakes and rivers, loving to stand in the water, and wallow in the mire. When the wild cattle were reduced to here and there a single individual, his haunt would be often—in some seasons always—about the margins of the small marshy lakes in the depths of the woods, where, formidable to the hunter, and a terror to women and children, he would soon become the minotaur of the neighbourhood, and hence the superstitions associated vnit all those little lakes iii the Highlands called Bull- Locks." In the Lowlands the few survivors of the race fared otherwise ; for at some places in the south of Scotland, the enclosures—parks and policies—which came to be formed around baronial castles and mansions, preserved what remained of the once numerous herds. Thus, a number of these cattle were confined in the park of Cadyow Castle, on the banks of the Avon, before its confluence with the Clyde. There the Hamiltons have Riled for centuries, but the castle went to ruin after the civil wars of Queen Mary's time. The Caledonian Forest had spread over this district, and -catered fragments of it still remain, in the shape of lofty, broad- topped oaks, darkening the course of the stream. The Cadyow domain was granted to the Hamilton family by King Robert Bruce, who used to hunt in its woods and probably it was there that Turnbull rescued him from the infuriated wild bull. Succeeding sovereigns occasionally enjoyed the same sport in the same locality, and it is known that James IV. did so about the year i oo. Unvarying tradition declares that a herd of the white cattle existed at Cadyow from the time of the Bruce's grant to the Hamiltons; and there a herd remains to this day.

In 1764, Mr. John Wilson, an ingenious schoolmaster in the west of Scotland, published at Glasgow his loco-descriptive poem of The Clyde, in which there is a passage devoted to these cattle as they then existed :-

Where these high walls round wide inclosures run,
Forbid the winter, and invite the sun,
Wild strays the race of Bisons, white as snow,
Hills, dales, and woods re-echo when they low.
No houses lodge them, and no milk they yield,
Save to their calves nor turn the furrowed field
At pleasure through the spacious pastures stray
No keeper know, nor any guide obey
Nor round the dairy with swelled udders stand,
Or, lowing, court the milkmaid's rosy hand.
But, mightiest of his race, the bull is bred
High o'er the rest he rears his armed head,
The monarch of the drove, his sullen roar,
Shakes Clyde with all his rocks from shore to shore.
The murdered sounds in billowy surges come,
Deep, dismal as the death-denouncing drum,
When some dark traitor, 'mid an armed throng,
His bier the sable sledge, is dragged along.
Not prouder looked the Thunderer when he bore
The fair Europa from the Tyrian shore:
The beauteous females that his noel obey,
Match the famed heifers of the god of day.

The brothers Stuart described the animals in 1848, when they were about 6o in number. They were "of a pure white colour, their eyes dark blue, their noses black, the cars tipped and lined with the same colour, the horns white, tipped with black, and the feet generally speckled, according as the hair above the hoof is black or white. The bulls have now in a great measure lost their manes, and the cows are horned or 'humble' indifferently. The general size of the animal is a degree larger than the West Highland cattle, fat bulls of seven or eight years old weighing about 55 to 60 stones cows full-grown from 28 to 35 stones. Although by long limit to the semi-detached state of an inclosed park, familiarised to the sight of man, the animals have lost their original ferocity, the bulls are fierce when pursued, and at all times shy." An account of the habits of these animals has also been given by the Rev. W. Patrick, in the Quarterly Journal of Agriculture :-

I am inclined to believe that the Hamilton breed of cattle is the oldest in Scotland, or perhaps in Britain. Although Lord Tankerville has said they have no wild habits," 1 ant convinced front personal observation, that this is one of their peculiar features. In browsing their extensive pasture, they always keep close together, never scattering or straggling over it—a peculiarity which does not belong to the Kyloe, or any other breed, from the wildest or most inhospitable regions of the I lighlands. The white cows are also remarkable for their systematic manner of feeding. At different periods of the year their tactics are different, but by those acquainted with their habits they are always found about the same part of the forest at the same hour of the day. In the height of summer, they always bivouac for the night towards the northern extremity of the forest front this point they start in the morning, anti browse to the southern extremity, and return at Sunset to their old rendezvous and during these perambulations they always feed en masse.

The bulls are seldom ill-natured, but when they are so, they display a disposition more than ordinarily savage, cunning, pertinacious, and revengeful. A poor bird •catcher, when exercising his vocation among the "Old Oaks," as the park is familiarly called, chanced to be attacked by a savage bull. by great exertion he gained a tree before his assailant made up to hint. here he had occasion to observe the habits of the animal. It dirt not roar or bellow, but merely grunted, the whole body quivered with passion and savage rage, and he frequently attacked the tree with his head and hoofs. Finding all to no purpose, he left off the vain attempt, began to browse, and removed to some distance front the tree. The bird-catcher, tried to descend, but his watchful Cerberus was again instantly at his post, and it was not until after six hours' imprisonment, and various bouts at "bo.peep as above, that the unfortunate man was relieved by some shepherds with their dogs. A writer's apprentice, who had been at the village of Quarter on business, and who returned by the " Oaks" as a "near-hand cut," was also attacked by one of these savage brutes, near the northern extremity of the forest. Ile was fortunate, however, in getting up a tree, but was watched by the bull, and kept there, during the whole of the night, and till near two o'clock next day.

These animals are never taken ansi killed like other cattle, but are always shot in the field. I once went to see a bull and some cows destroyed in this manner,—not by any means for the sake of the sight, but to observe the manner and habits of the animal under peculiar circumstances. When the shooters approached, they, as usual, scampered off in a body, then stood still, tossed their heads on high, and seemed to snuff the wind; the manoeuvre was oft repeated until they got so hard pressed (and seemingly having a sort of half-idea of the tragedy which was to be performed), they at length ran furiously in a mass, always preferring the sides of the fence and sheltering situations, and dexterously taking advantage of any inequality in the ground, or other circumstances, to conceal themselves from the assailing foe, in their flight, the bulls, or stronger of the lock, always took the lead ;a smoke ascended from them which could be seen at a great distance; and they were often so close together, like sheep, that a carpet would have covered them. The cows which had young, on the first "tug of war," all retreated to the thickets where their calves were concealed front motives, they are never, if possible, molested. These and other wild habits I can testify to being inherent in the race, and are well known to all who have an opportunity of acquainting themselves with them.

The number of these cattle kept at Cadyow Castle, in October, 1874, was 45; of which 30 were in the park, and 15 bulls and steers were in an adjoining pasture field. In June, 1877, the numbers remained much the same.

At Drumlanrig Castle, in Dumfriesshire, one of the seats of the Queensberry family, a herd of wild white cattle was kept until about the year 1780, whets, on account of their ferocity, they were sold to an English nobleman by the fourth and last Duke of Queensberry, and removed across the Border. Mr. Pennant, when at Drumlanrig, in 1772, saw these cattle, and has described them in his Tour:—

In ttty walks about the park, see the white breed of wild cattle, derived from the native race of the country; and still retain the primeval savageness and ferocity of their ancestors; were more shy than any deer; ran away on the appearance of any of the human species, and even set off at full gallop on the least noise; so that I was under the necessity of going very softly under the shelter of trees or bushes to get a near view of them; during summer they keep apart front other cattle, but in severe weather hunger will compel them to visit the outhouses in search of food. The keepers are obliged to shoot them, if any are wanted if the beast is not killed on the spot, it runs at the person who gave the wound, and who is forced, in order to save himself, to fly for safety to the intervention of some tree.

These cattle are of a middle size, have very long legs, and the cows are fine horned: the orbits of the eyes and the Lips of the noses are black; but the bulls have lost the manes attributed to them by by Boethlus.

Upwards of half-a-century ago, a herd of wild white cattle, with black ears, muzzles, and hoofs, was kept in one of the Parks attached to Blair Castle, Perthshire, the scat of the Duke of Athole. How long they had been there we have not ascertained ; but in 1834 it was resolved to dispose of the herd, and accordingly it was sold,—part being purchased by the Marquis of Breadalbane, and part by the Duke of Buccicuch. But neither at Taymouth Castle nor Dalkeith Palace were the animals long preserved. A sort of half-breed from this herd is still kept at Kilmory House, Argyleshirc, belonging to Sir John Powlett Orde.

At Ardrossan Castle, in Ayrshire, a herd of the white cattle was introduced, about 1750, by Alexander, tenth Earl of Eglinton. What their number was is uncertain but they were gradually diminished by shooting to about a dozen, when, in 1820 Hugh, the twelfth Earl, ordered them to be destroyed, which was accordingly done.

In another part of the same county,—at Auchencruive, a herd of the white cattle was introduced by Lord Cathcart about the same time as they were brought to Ardrossan, namely, in the middle of the last century. In 1763, however, Auchencruive estate was sold to Mr. Oswald, and he previous to his death, in 1784, caused the wild cattle to be killed on account of their dangerous propensities.

At Chillingham Castle, in Northumberland, the patrimony of the Earl of Tankerville, a park with wild cattle is distinctly mentioned in records of the year 1292, while the great wood of Chillingham is spoken of as early as 1220. The park of 1292 comprised 1500 acres and at present, excluding woods, it contains 1100 acres. There can be little doubt that from the end of the fifteenth century down to the present day, Chilliughani has possessed a herd of the ancient white cattle of Britain that has remained secluded in what still exists as a wild tract of country amongst the Cheviot hills on the bounds of Scotland, where they have scarcely been disturbed in their quiet possession until startled by the whistle of the railway engine." When Mr. Pennant visited the Castle in 1772, he noted that "in the park are between thirty and forty wild cattle, of the same kind with those described at Drumlanrig." After the publication of castle Dangercies, Sir Walter Scott received an interesting letter on the subject of the Chillingham cattle, which lie appended to the revised edition of the novel :-

When it is wished to kill any of the cattle at Chillingham, the keeper goes into the herd on horseback, in which way they are quite accessible, and, singling out his victim, takes aim with a large rifle-gun, and seldom fails in bringing him down. If the poor animal makes much bellowing in his agony, and especially if the ground be stained with his blood, his companions become very furious, and are themselves, I believe, accessory to his death. After which they fly off to a distant part of the park, and he is drawn away on a sledge. Lord Tankerville is very tenacious of these singular animals he will on no account part with a living one, and hardly allows of a sufficient number being killed, to leave pasturage for those that remain.

It happened on one occasion, three or four years ago, that a party visiting at the Castle, among whom were some men of war, who had hunted buffaloes in foreign parts, obtained permission to do the keeper's work, and shoot one Of the wild cattle. They sallied out on horseback, and, duly equipped for the enterprise, attacked their object. The poor animal received several wounds, but none of them proving fatal, he retired before his pursuers, roaring with pain and rage, till, planting himself against a wall or tree, he stood at bay, offering a front of defiance. In this position the youthful heir of the Castle, Lord Ossulston, rode up to give him the fatal shot. Though warned of the danger of approaching near to the enraged animal, and especially of firing without first having turned his horse's head in a direction to be ready for flight, he discharged his piece but ere he could turn his horse round to make his retreat, the raging beast had plunged his immense horns into his flank. The horse staggered, and was near falling, but recovering by a violent effort he extricated himself from his infuriated purscer, making off with all the speed his wasting strength supplied, his entrails meanwhile dragging on the ground, till at length he fell, and died at the same moment. The animal was now close upon his rear, and the young Lord would unquestionably have shared the fate of his unhappy steed, had not the keeper, deeming it full time to conclude the day's diversion, fired at the instant. Ills shot brought the beast to the ground, and running in with his large knife, he put a period to his existence.

This scene of gentlemanly pastime was viewed from a turret of the Castle by Lady Tankerville and her female visitors. Such a situation for the mother of the young hero was anything but enviable.

Particulars are known of the Chillingham herd at different periods, commencing with the year 1692. In that year the herd numbered 28 animals. In 1772, Mr. Pennant reckoned 30 or 40. In 1838, the number was 80; in 1861, it was 50; in 1873, it was 64; in 1874, it was 71; in 1875, it was 62; and in July, 1877, the herd had decreased to 59. An authority quoted in Maxwell's Border Tales describes the cattle as invariably white muzzle black; the whole of the inside of the car, and about one-third of the outside from the tip downwards, red; horns white, with black tips, very fine, and bent upwards: some of the bulls have a thin upright mane, about an inch and a-half or two inches long ; the weight of the oxen is from 35 to 45 stone, and the cows from 25 to 35 stone." Formerly a portion of the cattle were black-eared.

During the hard winter of 1746, many of the Chilling- ham cattle were slaughtered from motives of charity. The Middlewick Journal or Cheshire Advertiser of the 14th December that year had the following paragraph :-

They write from Newcastle that on Friday se'nnight (bring Lord Ossulston's birthday) the Earl of Tankerville, in regard to the inclemency of the present season and great scarcity of provisions, was pleased to order a great number of the wild cattle in Chillisghamu Park to be slaughtered, which with a proportionable quantity of bread was on that day distributed amongst upwards of 600 poor people.

Subsequently the herd had a narrow escape from extinction. A letter from the late Lord Tankerville, in Annals of Natural History (1839), states that "several years since, during the early part of the lifetime of my father, the bulls in the herd had been reduced to three ; two of them fought and killed each other, and the third was discovered to be impotent ; so that the means of preserving the breed depended on the accident of some of the cows producing a bull calf," which turned out to be the case.

Chartley Park, in Staffordshire, belonging to the Earl Ferrers, has also been long celebrated for a herd of the wild white cattle with black cars. The park was formed, about 1248, out of Part of Needwood Forest; and we are told that some of the wild cattle of the country which had formerly roamed at large in the Forest of Needwood were driven into the park at this place (Chartley), where their breed is still preserved." The herd is occasionally mentioned in records ; but its number seems never to have averaged beyond 30. The animals are not so wild as those at Chillingham. In 1874 they numbered 25; and in 1877, only 20.

An old tradition connects the Chartley cattle with the singular superstition that the occurrence of a white calf in the herd is an invariable omen of death in the Chartley family. "In the year the Battle of Burton Bridge was fought, a black calf was born in this unique race ; and the downfall of the grand house of Ferrers happening about the same time, gave rise to the tradition, still current, that the birth of a dark-hued, or parti-coloured calf from the wild breed in Chartley Park, is a sure omen of deal/i within the same year to a member of the Ferrers family. It is a noticeable coincidence, say the Slaordshire Chronicle of July, 1835, that a calf of this description has been born whenever a death has happened in the family of late years. The decease of the seventh Earl Ferrers, and of his countess, and of his son, Viscount Tamworth, and of his daughter, Mrs. William Jolliffe, as well as the deaths of the son and heir of the eighth earl, and of his daughter, Lady Frances Shirley, were each preceded by the ominous birth of the fatal-hued calf. In the spring of 1835, an animal perfectly black was calved by one of this mysterious tribe, in the Park of Chartley, and the portentous event was speedily followed by the death of the Countess, the second wife of the eighth Earl Ferrers.*

In Lyme Park," Cheshire, "which contains about one thousand Cheshire acres," says Hansall's History of that county, published in 1817, " is a herd of upwards of twenty wild cattle, similar to those in Lord Tankcrville's park at Chillingham,—chiefly white with red ears. They have been in the park frorn time immemorial, and tradition says they are indigenous." The park was enclosed out of Macclesfield Forest, and was acquired by Sir Piers Legh from Richard II. It still remains in the possession of the Leghs, and probably the herd of cattle was introduced at the time of the grant. About 1850, the herd numbered 34; in 1875, only 4; and in 1877, there was an increase to 6. Both red and black ears have occurred in the herd. Generally the Lyme cattle have been larger than any others of the species.

Thus, as we have enumerated, herds of the white wild cattle are still preserved at two places in ScotlandCadyow Castle and Kilmory house; and at three places in England—Chillingham Castle, Charticy Park, and Lyme Park. But formerly, for different periods, some extending down to recent years, herds of these animals were preserved at Nevorth Castle, in Cumberland; Gisburne Park, Yorkshire; Whalley Abbey, Lancashire Middleton Park, Lancashire; Hoghton Tower, Lancashire; Wollaton Park, Nottinghamshire; Somerford Park, Cheshire ; Woldenby Park, Northamptonshire ; Leigh Court, Somersetshire; Barnard Castle, Durham; Bishop Auckland, Durham; Burton Constable, Yorkshire; and Ewelme Park, Oxfordshire.

Although the wild white cattle were once so numerous in the Scottish highlands, yet it seems ultimately to have become a wonder to find a white ox of the domesticated species in the north. Mrs. Grant of Laggan relates a story which illustrates the point

A gentleman of no small note in Strathspey had a very remarkable animal stolen from him. it was a white ox; a colour rare in those northern countries.

Mungo was not accounted a man of desperate courage; but the white ox being a great favourite, there was in this case no common stimulus. Mungo, as may be supposed, had no numerous linne na chris [bodyguard of friends]. Ile took, however, his servant with him, and went to the shealing of Dry- men, at the foot of Corryarich, where he was credibly informed his white favourite might he found. lie saw this conspicuous animal quietly gearing, unguarded and alone; but having thought better of the matter, or supposing the creature looked very happy where he was, he quietly returned without him. Being as deficient in true Highland caution as in courage, he very innocently told when he came home, that be bad seen his ox, and left it there.

The disgrace attending this failure was beyond the power of a Lowland heart to conceive, lie was all his life after, called Mango of the White Ox; and to this day [1811] it is accounted very ill-bred to mention an ox of that colour before any of his descendants.

After the extirpation of the wild cattle and wild beasts, we hear not only of water-bulls, but of other strange animals in the Highlands, equally, as would appear, the creations of imagination. What shall we say of the one which is described by the Rev. John Grant, minister of Kirkmichael, Banffshire, in the Old Statistical Account of that parish? Among the Grampian mountains, it is asserted by the country people that there is a small quadruped which they call Jamh. In summer mornings it issues from its lurking-places, emitting a kind of glutinous matter fatal to horses, if they happen to cat of the grass upon which it has been deposited. It is somewhat larger than a mole, of a brownish colour, with a large head disproportionate to its body. From this deformed appearance, and its noxious quality, the word seems to have been transferred to denote a monster, a cruel, mischievous person, who, in the Gaelic language, is usually called a famh-fhea" The same venomous creature, or one very much akin to it, is mentioned by the author of The Scot/isle Gael (1831):—"A species of amphibious animal, apparently of the rat kind, called Beotleach an' fheoir, is found in the eddies of the upper regions, always in- habiting the vicinity of the green patches around springs. When a horse feeds upon the grass that has been recently cropped by this animal, it swells, and in a short time dies, and the flesh is found blue, as if it had been bruised or beaten. I believe this creature has not been hitherto described by naturalists.* Has any naturalist noticed it to this day? But it concerns us not to press the enquiry.

Let us not forget how Virgil fables that the water of the Campanian river, Clitumnus, rendered oxen white, preparing them as victims for "triumphs after prosperous wars." The elegiac Propertius and the naturalist Pliny also mention the same supposititious wonder.

It would seem that Bull-bailing was once a popular sport in Scotland, as it was in the sister kingdom. Here is an old example:-"It happened that, in the year 1164, Au- red, the Abbot of Rievaux, was oil journey in Galloway, and was at Kirkcudbright oil festival of the saint (St. Cuthbert) from whom the place is called. On this occasion a bull of a fierce temper was brought to the Church as an oblation, and was baited in the churchyard by the young clerics, notwithstanding the remonstrances of their more aged brethren, who warned the others of the danger of violating the 'peace' of the Saint within the limits of his sanctuary. The younger men persisted in their frolic, and one of them ridiculed the idea of St. Cuthbert's presence, and the consequent sanctity of the place, even though his church was one of stone—a great distinction when so many churches and chapels were still of timber. The bull, after being baited for a time, broke loose from its tormentors, and, rushing through the crowd, he attacked the young cleric who had just spoken, and gored him, without attempting to hurt any other person."* Nearly four hundred years later—in 1529—" the Provost and Bailies" of Stirling, "licensed the Deacon and Craftsmen of the Fleshers to bait ane bull on Cuthbert's Day, or on Sunday next thereafter." Such rude sports probably ceased at the Reformation.


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