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BOROUGH PETTY SESSIONS.

ARCHDEACON'S VISITATION.

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FOREIGN AND BRITISH BREEDS…

BRITISH CATTLE.

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BRITISH CATTLE. The origin of our present breed of domestic cattle has been a subject of much discussion. Their introduction into these islands is neither known in history or asserted in tradition. The bulk of evidence seems in favour of the theory that as- signs their origin to the race of wild animals of the Urus race. Julius Caesar describes some of these as existing when he landed in Britain, as being little short of an elephant in size. Many fossil remains oi this species liftye-lwn found and quite correspond with the description of Gesar. The climate of Great Britain and Ireland is pro- ductive of great variety of pastures, and as it is on the supplies of food thlit the size and strength of the animals much depend, we find a corresponding variety in the breeds of cattle and their condition. Caesar informs us that the people lived on milk and flesh to the neglect of tillage another writer of the same period states that such was the rich- ness of the Irish pastures that the cattle of the "Green Isle" would burst if allowed to feed on them too long. Tillage received little or no atten- tion for many centuries, and during the feudal times immense stores of food were laid up. We read that in the castle-of one of the Spencers, in the month of May, when nearly all the winter stock was cleared out there was still remaining in salt 80 oxen, 600 bacons, and 600 sheep. The breeding of cattle however, was much neglected for the more profitable pasturage of sheep, indeed, so great was the evil that in 1555, Parliameut in- interfered, and a law was enacted to the following effect :—" Forasmuch as of late years a great num- ber of persons in this realm have laid their land, farms, and pastures to the-feeding of sheep, oxen, runts, scrubs, steers, and heifers, &c. having no regard or care to breed up young beasts and cattle, whereby is grown great scarcity of cattle and victual, it is enacted that a cow shall be kept wherever there are 60 sheep, and a calf reared wherever there are 120 sheep." About the middle of the 12th century an agricultural writer, Fitz- stephens, mentions a number of wild oxen that infested the woods round London. Hector Boece, in his History and Chronicles of Scotland, mentions a wild species of cattle.—" At this toun (Stirling) "began the grat wod of Calidon. This wod of Calidon ran fra Stirling throw Monteith and Stratherne to Atholl and Loehquhabir. In this wod was som time quhit bullis with crisped and curled mane, like feirs lionis, and thoucht they semit meik and tame in the remanent figure of thair bodyis, they were mair wild than ony uther beistis, and had sic hatrent aganis the societe and cumpany of men, that they come nevir in the woodis. Also sone as any man invadit thir bullis thay ruschit with terrible press on him that tliay dang him to the eird; fcakand na feir of houndis, scharp lancis, nor uther maist penitrive wappinis." The family name of Turnbull in Scotland is sup- posed to have been derived from one of their an- cestors who turned a bull which had nearly slain King Robert Bruce in Calidon Wood. Wild white cattle, the supposed descendants of those alluded too, stil remain at Chillingham Castle, at Northumberland, and at the Duke of Hamilton's, in Lanark; th{y have however lost the mane as- cribed to them by early writers, and the female is destitute of horns they are about the size of West Highland cattle, a dun white color, the muzzle is black, inside of ear red, hoof and tongue black. It appears from various notices that a race -of cattle similar to these existed in Wales, as early as'the 10th century. Howell Da, surnamed the good, describes certain cattle as being white and having red ears at a subsequent period we are informed that as a compensation for offences against certain Princes of Wales-there were' de- manded 100 white cows with red ears, that if the cattle were black 150 were to be given. The breeds of cattle as they are now found 111 Great Britain are almost as various as the soils of the different districts they have, however, been very conveniently classed according to the com-j parative size of the horns;—the Long Horns, the Short Horns, the Middle Horns, (not derived froi-a i a mixture of the preceding, but a distinct breed;) t and lastly the Polled or Hornless Cattle. These have, however, been mjxed, and so many mongrel breeds result that it is often really difficult to pro- cure the real "Simon pure." The question arises which is the original breed of English Cattle ? The short horns and the polls can have no claim the first is evidently of foreign extraction, and is of modern culture the iatter although it has ex- isted in certain districts from time immemorial, was probably an accidental variety. Youatt and others are inclined to give the palm to the middle horns this breed is found in its greatest purity in Devonshire.

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'--------'-----.-BRECON AND…

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