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Aberdeen; Mr P. Davidson of Inchmatlo; Mr ads; the late Mr M'Combie, Caimbalo Mr Confunderland; Mr P. Cran, Old Morlich & ontiguous counties of Banff and Moray o 1 degree contributed to the improvement l. berdeen or Angus breed. In fact,the promo t? the present day—that belonging to Sir o rson Grant, Bart of Ballindalloch, MoS wn the borders of these two counties, * m of the rivers Spey and Aye". The o | Ilindalloch herd has been lost in the o .. of its early history nothio; wo o: than that (as described by Mr so béoll ps the oldest in the north," and that i TS. The alk of the country" for Voy many * lished t Baronet is an enthusiastic, and acco o r. For many years he has given o * ion to the management of his large *. remark and the success achieved by him has o title of the hat we believe no one will dispute the hich, sino dalloch herd to the premier so i. bees. ispersion of the Tillyfour hord lil hi i the Ball: uly assigned to it. The influence Whil& nt of otho och ieri has exercised in the impoeorge his could hardly be overestimated io these specially successful in the rea"; of iro o eagerly sought after by breeders o untry, in whose herds they have ". the same ony of their choice breeding. In a " i. breeding Ballindalloch herd is equally great * and this is k, the show-yard, and the * » towed up" so the highest tribute that could be bes od. The other leading improve,

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J. Tayler of Glenbarry; the late Mr Alexander Paterson, Mulben; the late Mr Skinner, Drumin, and his son, Mr William M. Skinner; the late Mr Robertson, Burnside ; and the late Mr John Collie, Ardgay. The late Mr George Brown's father bred polled cattle at Westertown more than half a century ago; and when Mr George Brown himself succeeded to the farm in 1853, he devoted his attention in a very special manner to the rearing of the breed. He procured the best material available, and devised a skilful and systematic plan of breeding which gave promise of grand results, but which was prematurely closed by his early and much-lamented death in 1874. Of the operations of Mr Brown and other breeders and improvers more anon. Improvers of polled cattle have received hearty encouragement in their noble work from the many influential agricultural societies which have existed in Scotland during the greater part of the present century. We have seen that at least one society in the old county of Angus —the East Forfarshire Farming Association—was started early in the century, mainly for the purpose of promoting the improvement of the native polled cattle. In the county of Aberdeen, where there are more than a score of similar societies, the improvement of the polled breed has in most cases been one of the chief objects kept in view. As early as 1812 “black humble" cattle were exhibited and won prizes at the show of the Garioch Farmers' Club, which was established in 1809, and still continues as active and useful as ever. At the second show of the Highland Society, held at Edinburgh in 1823, a second prize was won by a polled or “dodded" ox bred in Aberdeenshire; while at the Society's first provincial show, held at Perth in 1829, prizes were offered for polled cattle. On the latter occasion, as noted elsewhere, Mr Hugh Watson exhibited some of his famous Keillor doddies, both in the fat stock and breeding classes,

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Ever since that time the Highland Society has given due attention to the polled breed of the north-east, and has more than once taken official notice of its peculiarly high merits. At the Perth show of the Highland Society in 1852, there would seem to have been an excellent display of polled Aberdeen or Angus stock, for in the portion of the official report of that show referring to these, we find the following sentences: “The Directors rejoice that this and preceding shows indicate a praiseworthy amount of effort and care on the part of breeders of polled

stock, followed by a corresponding improvement in the

stock. They cannot but regard it as the most valuable
breed of Scotland, combining as it does in a great measure
the constitution of the Highlander with the feeding pro-
perties of the Shorthorn.” In 1834 the Highland Society
appointed a Committee to consider and report, as to the
general arrangements for its live stock shows. The Com-
mittee gave special attention to the classification of “the
particular classes of stock, or breeds as they are called,
which the Society will recognise and encourage in their
pure state by the offer of specific premiums;” and recom-
mended that the live stock department be divided into
four sections—one for Shorthorns, one for West Highland-
ers, one for Ayrshires, and another for “the polled breeds
of Galloway and the northern districts.”
The Society adopted the recommendation, and acted
upon it until 1848, when separate sections were arranged
for the Galloways and the polled cattle of the north-
eastern counties.
The starting of the ‘Polled Herd Book” forms an import-
ant event in the history of Aberdeen or Angus cattle.
The movement was taken up actively by Mr Edward
Ravenscroft, who, after many years of difficult work, made

heavier by an unfortunate mishap, succeeded in bringing

out the first volume in 1862. The collection of the materials for the first volume had been commenced about

IMPROVEMENT OF THE BREED,

ime the Highland Society has given e that time d breed of the north-east, and

tion to the polle - - than once taken official notice of its peculiarly

ls. At the Perth show of the Highland o there would seem to have been an exo t f polled Aberdeen or Angus stock, o, * fth official report of that o o the following sentences: ". iseworthy and preceding shows indicate a praiso o o and care on the part of lo. o llowed by a corresponding jot valuable They cannot but regard it as the In0 at measure Scotland, combining * it does in l o pro. stitution of the Highlander with ] e d soil; of the Shorthorn." In 184 the Hig o to i. ed a Committee to consider o: The Cossarrangements for its live stock s o n of “the * social attention to the classificatio led * k, or breeds as they are o i oise and encourage " t o cific premiums ;" and on department

gave speci lar classes of stoo the Society will reo ate by the offer of spec i that the live stock for Shorthorns, oh" ld another for

hern districts."

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arting of the it in the history of vement was taken up a C roft, who, after many years O ded in bringing fortunate mishap, Succee tion of the me in 1862. The collecti d aboll had been commence

Polled Herd Book'

by an un first volt for the first volume

twenty years before that date, but in 1851 the whole of the matter which had been obtained was destroyed in the fire which in that year took place in the museum of the Highland Society in Edinburgh. This was indeed a great misfortune, and it seemed for a time as if the desired object would have to be abandoned. In 1857, however, Mr Ravenscroft, at the urgent request of some of the leading breeders, headed by Lord Southesk, recommenced the work, and succeeded in completing the first volume by 1862. Although, as we shall have occasion to point out afterwards, the volume contains many inaccuracies, its publication was nevertheless an event of great importance to the breeders of polled cattle. Mr Ravenscroft, in the preface, says: “While regretting the apathy of some breeders, and the opposition of others, during the progress of the work, I should be ungrateful did I not record the valuable assistance I have received from the Earl of Southesk; Sir John Stuart Forbes, Bart. ; the Hon. Charles Carnegie, M.P.; Mr Alexander Bowie, Mains of Kelly; Mr Fullerton, Ardestie Mains; Mr Robert Walker, Portlethen; and the late Mr Threshie, Dumfries. Without their aid I am afraid the work would never have seen the light.” Soon after the issue of the first volume the polled herds in Angus were decimated by rinderpest; and this, together with the apathy created among the breeders of pure-bred stock by the mania for rearing crosses, which succeeded the general introduction of Shorthorns into the north, resulted in long and unfortunate delay in bringing out the second volume of the ‘Herd Book.’ On the occasion of the Highland show at Perth in 1871, a meeting of breeders of polled cattle was held, when it was decided that the ‘Herd Book’ should be revived. The copyright of the work had previously been obtained by Mr Alexander Ramsay of Banff, and arrangements were made whereby the work should be carried on jointly by

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Mr Ramsay and Mr H. D. Adamson, late of Balquharn, Alford. The second volume was brought out in 1872, and since then four volumes have been issued. The third, fourth, and fifth volumes were produced under the sole charge of Mr Ramsay, and breeders of polled cattle are much indebted to him for the careful and efficient manner in which he executed the difficult and important work that devolved upon him. The sixth volume was published in 1881. It contains the names of 190 breeders, and the register of 1193 animals—855 cows and heifers, and 308 bulls. There have now been registered 1930 bulls, and 5054 cows and heifers, making in all 6984 animals. In the first four volumes Galloway cattle are registered along with the polled Aberdeen or Angus breed, but the Galloway Cattle Society acquired the copyright of the Galloway portion after the issue of the fourth volume. Since then the ‘Herd Book’ has been confined exclusively to the race to which it was from the outset mainly devoted. The following is the qualification for entry in vol. vii., which is in preparation—viz., “Either (1) that the sire and dam are both in the ‘Herd Book; ' or (2) that the sire, and the sires of the dam and of the grand-dam, be all entered in the ‘Herd Book,' and that the grand-dam should come from a reputedly pure stock, provided that this rule shall not apply to the produce of cows whose produce has already been registered in the ‘Herd Book.”

Another important step in the history of improved polled Aberdeen or Angus cattle was the establishment of the Polled Cattle Society. The movement was promoted heartily by Sir George Macpherson Grant, Bart, M.P., and others; and at a meeting of breeders held at Perth in 1879—strangely enough, under the same auspices as the meeting held in 1871 to consider the revival of the ‘Herd Book"—it was formally decided that the Society should be established. Accordingly, the Society was started in the autumn of that year. Her Majesty the

IMPROVEMENT OF THE BREED,

Mr H. D. Adamson, late of Balquham,

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308 bulls. There and heifers, making in all 6984 four volumes Galloway cattle *

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Queen became Patroness of the Society; the Marquis of Huntly was chosen as the first President, and Sir George Macpherson Grant and the late Mr William M'Combie of Tillyfour the first Vice-Presidents. On the death of Mr M'Combie in 1880, the late Earl of Airlie was appointed one of the Vice-Presidents. Mr Alexander Ramsay was appointed Secretary. The Society acquired the copyright of the ‘Herd Book” from Mr Ramsay, and an Editing Committee was appointed to supervise the registering of animals. The chairmanship of the Editing Committee has been intrusted to the Hon. Charles Carnegie, whose extensive and accurate knowledge of all matters pertaining to the breed fits him peculiarly for this responsible work.

The objects of the Society are set forth as follows: (1) To maintain unimpaired the purity of the breed of cattle hitherto known as polled Aberdeen or Angus cattle, and to promote the breeding of these cattle; (2) To collect, verify, preserve, and publish the pedigrees of the said cattle, and other useful information relating to them; (3) To further the above objects by continuing the issue of the publication called the ‘Polled Herd Book;” (4) To receive subscriptions and other payments in return for, or in consideration of, the issue of copies of the publications of the Society, and the entry in any such publication of the names and pedigrees of polled cattle; and (5.) To make by-laws for conducting the business and regulating the proceedings of the Society, and to enforce the same by fines or otherwise.”

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