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The Cow Black Meg 766, and the Bull Panmure 51.
Hundreds of polled animals, many of them among the most famous of the breed, are descended from Mr Fullerton's cow Black Meg 766, and Lord Panmure's bull Panmure 51. The pedigrees of these two animals, as printed in vol. i. of the ‘Herd Book, are altogether misleading. Black Meg 766 has had placed before her name an asterisk, the sign adopted to distinguish the Galloway from the Aberdeen or Angus cattle, when the pedigrees of both breeds were recorded in the same “Herd Book,' and Panmure 51 is said to have been out of Black Meg 766. These are two very serious inaccuracies. The name of the sire of Panmure is not given, and the whole antecedents of these two celebrated animals are, so far as the ‘Herd Book’ entries go, shrouded in complete mystery. Breeders of polled cattle are under a debt of gratitude to Mr Thomas F. Jamieson, Mains of Waterton, Ellon, for having conducted such investigations as have solved the difficulties which arose from the erroneous entries of these animals. Writing to us under date 9th February 1882, Mr Jamieson says: “When I occupied the post of Fordyce Lecturer at Marischal College, Aberdeen, I devoted some attention to the subject of polled cattle along with other matters, and I found that all the best blood of the Aberdeen and Angus doddies traced back to three fountain-heads—viz., 1st, Mr Fullerton's Black Meg ; 2nd, the bull Panmure, from Brechin Castle; and 3rd, the Keillor Jocks. Unfortunately the first volume of the ‘Herd Book” is a complete mass of confusion in regard to the pedigrees and history of these animals at least; and I therefore considered myself very fortunate in getting from Mr Fullerton himself authentic communications giving me all that he, the possessor of Black Meg and Panmure, knew about these animals.” Mr Jamieson has kindly furnished us with the more important parts of Mr Fullerton's statements
NOTES ON SOME EARLY POLLED CATTLE.
no Black Meg 766, and the Bull Panmure 51.
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addressed to him at various times in the years 1872 and 1873, and we feel privileged in being able to place them before our readers. Mr Fullerton wrote from Mains of Ardestie as follows:— “I was fortunate at Ardovie in 1833 in starting to breed doddies—as we then called the breed—from a few cows of excellent milking-qualities. To no cow I then had was I more beheld than to a cow called Black Meg. She was a most wonderful beast this, and a great milker, and steady all the year round, although in her latter years she did fall off in this respect a good deal; but then I suppose she was having calves up to nearly twenty years of age. I shall never forget how her calves dwindled down in size; but it mattered not after we got hold of them—we had only to milk them well, and they all came to have size enough. To describe this cow. She was low on her legs, as otherwise, but of lengthy and heavy build, on small bone. Her back was straight as a rash, and her tail so well set on that you would never tire to stand behind her and to look along her back. Then her hooks were so level, wide enough and not too wide. Then her ears and eyes full and sticking well out; then her beautiful jaw and muzzle, with fine, good-natured expression of face, were such, and when taken as a whole, why one could stand and look at Meg and not weary for a whole hour, as she chewed the cud | Then her hair—my eye, such hair!— ‘we shall never see the like again;' of the best quality, and on to her flanks you could almost hide your hand in it. She had a streaked udder, had a knack of having quey calves, and in the colour of their udders they stuck to the old lady's pattern. My cow, Queen of Ardovie 29, daughter of Black Meg, was very like her mother in some points, but was a heavier and more stately cow. Princess of Ardovie 831, daughter of the Queen, was also a magnificent cow. I sold her to the late Mr Watson, Keillor, for, I think, 28 guineas—a big price in those days. She calved
the day she arrived at Keillor, Mr Watson afterwards showed her in Ireland, where she beat all comers, and he sold her for 60 guineas. Her calf was a quey she had at Keillor, and I bought it at Mr Watson's sale in 1847 for 35 guineas. I had only one calf out of this quey (Princess Daughter 832), when in 1859 pleuro-pneumonia got amongst my herd of pure polled—I cannot tell how—and between the 8th of January and 1st of June I had the misfortune to bury about 100 head of as well-bred cattle as ever were in any one's possession, reckoning that I had one way or other met with a loss of £2000. I have twice since commenced to breed the polled sort, and for a second and third time have I been all but cleared out by that fell disease, pleuro-pneumonia, and I am now frightened to keep a 60-guinea beast, and am breeding from £25 cows with a Shorthorn bull. I find these cows terrible eaters, and often wish I had a few Black Megs, Queens, and Princesses. The big brutes of cows I have, I am convinced, eat a third more food than ever I saw doddies do; and I do not find we are so well served with milk, and I feed higher than I ever fed the blacks, nor is the milk of that rich quality my old favourites used to supply me with. So much as to the milking-qualities of the black polled breed, and the ready tendency to fatten and also to milk well that all cows of the breed have as well as their progeny, who are of good mellow handle, and have plenty of good hair. “The famous bull Panmure 51 was not bred by me at all, but by the late Lord Panmure, from whom I bought the bull when a year and a half old. He was out of a cow called Black Meg, belonging to his lordship, not certainly to me—and I never at any time said so. It is a misprint altogether of Mr Ravenscroft, the editor of vol. i. of the ‘Herd Book, to confuse in the way he has done Black Meg of Ardovie with Black Meg of Panmure. I do not think at the time the late Lord Panmure bred this bull that he had over three or four polled cows in all; and certain I am of this—he had no Galloways. Therefore a double mistake occurs by Mr Ravenscroft placing either
T my Black Meg or his lordship's Black Meg amongst the S Galloway cows in the ‘Herd Book. As for me, I never jt had a beast of the Galloway blood in my life; and at an id early period of the existence of the Eastern Forfarshire he Association (about the end of the last or beginning of the tle present century), a trial to introduce the Galloway blood lad into this county not succeeding at all well, the late Lord ice Panmure, the then—and indeed he was the perpetual— ond President of this Society, had ever afterwards an utter disfell like to the Galloway breed, and, as is well known by many d to in this county to this day, would not have tolerated the COWS existence of a beast of this breed in any moor, park, or atéfs, paddock on his wide domain. Therefore his Black Meg and was not a Galloway. But the bull Panmure is on canvas o in the Mechanics' Hall, Brechin, painted by the great J. oddics Phillip; also he is now before me and on canvas by the milk, same great man, and presented to me by the late Lord is the Panmure; and let any judge look at these paintings, and supply say if he sees the very slightest resemblance to the Galloof the way breed. Not he No Half a judge would even say on and so. His elegant head and stately outline would at a glance Aye āś at once bring out such a remark as, “There has been no o aud Galloway blood there—no, no!' 3 “Further, as to Black Meg of Ardovie 766, where did e at she come from ? I purchased this cow from an excellent m ght man now no more — Mr Thomas Fawns, cattle-dealer, oW Brechin. He brought her from the north, and I always f a . understood that she was bred in Buchan, although I think o: Mr Fawns got the cow off the estate of Mr Arbuthnot in o the Mearns. She cost scarce £15; yet in those days she of t k was looked upon as bought at rather a foolish price. For e o all that, I know not of any other three five-pound notes I do no ever laid out so profitably. his bull
“The bull Panmure 51, again, and as to his dam, Neither was the price of this bull a bad investment. His price at eighteen months old was £17, 17s. While Black Meg of Ardovie was a great bearer of quey calves, this bull was a great getter of males. I saw him stand as winner of the third prize at Aberdeen with his two sons, Monarch 44, and the Colonel, both bred by me, standing beside their father—Monarch having the first and Colonel the second prize. Of course Panmure was by this time Some eight or nine years old, and so wanted to some extent the outline and sprightliness of a three or even a five year old. Still, and to make allowance for the service he had rendered, there would have been but small mistake, if any, to have made his sons stand below him. I do not think I have ever seen such a dashing three-year-old as he was at Dundee in 1843. “As to Black Meg of Panmure, dan of the bull Panmure, I think I only saw her once, and all I recollect of her is that she had a large streaked udder, and, if I am correct, was amazingly well ribbed; also a very strong cow. Who the bull Panmure's father was I am not certain.” These most valuable communications from Mr Fullerton still left one point uncertain—viz., the sire of Panmure 51. Mr Jamieson, in his indefatigable efforts to procure reliable information, accordingly prosecuted his inquiries further. He received from Dr Simpson of Marykirk, in Kincardineshire, the following interesting letter, which we have Mr Jamieson's permission to quote. The letter is dated September 30, 1873, and reads:— “As soon as I thought the harvest would be finished, I went over to have an interview with David Fullerton, who was grieve to the late Lord Panmure at Brechin Castle, when the famous polled bull Panmure was calved. David states that he was out of the cow Black Meg; that his sire was a black bull very like the calf himself, from