Captain Piddocke

Captain John Leonard & Adelaide Piddocke

Besides being a captain of the 2nd Hereford Rifle Corps [see badge at above right], John Leonard Piddocke Piddocke was a partner solicitor in the ‘ Henry Minett , Son & Piddocke’  firm and commissioner to administer oaths in the supreme court of judicature ; the offices were at St Mary street ~ Ross on Wye while he resided at The Hill House ~ Walford [see above at right] ; he also was additional beneficiary within the will of Henry Minett.

Piddocke Jno.  Leonard [1849 -  1894] , Esq , was captain of the 2nd Herefordshire rifle corps which was raised at Ross on Wye in 1860 . According to Littlebury' Directory and Gazetteer of Herefordshire, 1876-7, JL Piddocke resided at ‘The Hill’ , Walford - Herefordshire  , 3 miles South of  Ross on Wye] with a/o following neighbours - Lewis Edgar, Esq., The Hill & Bradstock Thos. Skinner, Esq., sen. , farmer , Cobrey Park [ a post medieval  historic  Herefordshire site earlier on mentioned as Cokebury, Coughbury Park , Colbury , Coughbury , Cobury & Chalceburge ] , which later on became the home of captain JL Piddocke.

In 1871 Walford parish , near the river Wye on the Ross and Forest of Dean road with an adjacent scenery of romantic beauty and loveliness not surpassed by any on the Wye , counted 1.303 inhabitants , under them lord of the manor Captain Kingsmill Manley Power of Hill Court .

Hill Court’ gardens , dating from the late 17th Century [with later additions] set in parkland of 80 acres , are associated with John Kyrle [‘Man of Ross’ 1637-1724] . Captain KM Power was the  grandson of  Lieutenant-General Sir Manley Power  [1773-1826]  KCB , Lt-Governor of Malta , highly distinguished as an Officer through the Peninsular War , and also was destined as one of the famous Waterloo Men who defeated the French Emperor Napoleon ; Walford’ St Leonard church is an ancient stone edifice in the Anglo-Norman style of architecture , with square tower containing two bells ; the vicar , instituted in 1842 , was Reverend Arthur Stonehouse, BA of Wadham College , Oxford where Mr  MB Wynne’ father officiated as a Master of Arts.

Captain JL Piddocke wasn’t only a Mastiff fancier; he presented a twenty-five guinea cup for bitches as a Member of  ‘The British Bulldog Club’ [established 1892]. John Leonard Piddocke died on Friday February 2nd 1904,  the same day The Guardian gazetted the bankruptcy of' 'John Leonard Piddocke, Brampton Abbots and Ross, Herefordshire, solicitor'. He was buried in the family vault at St Peter’ churchyard Stapenhill Derbyshire on Feb 7th, the 1st day of Crufts (Mastiff judge Mr Richard Cook – steward Mr WM Higgs). The catalogue mentions six entries owned by Mrs Adelaide Piddocke, ie ch’s Ogilvie, Plutarch & Jubilee Beauty and also Lord Clive, Iron Duke & Bellerina; all up for sale.

His first brood bitch , Leah , was out of Heela , ‘a bitch admired by some , but having a cur-like head , and only a poor reproduction of her famous sire [Hanbury’ Prince] ‘ . Captain Piddocke’ first stud was Malcolm Bush Wynne‘ four years old own bred Young King [see head study below at left] by champion Taurus ; their son Ajax was reported to ‘have possessed a pinched muzzle’ . Possibly Leah was later on sold to George  Renton , MD [Doctor of Medicine] of Edinburgh who bred ch Prince of Wales from her .

The second bitch , Lena , had 'a good body , but also pinched in the muzzle  and ears badly carried' . She was mated to champion  Crown Prince resulting in champion Toozie & Rudolph .

‘ Champion Toozie had not much the matter with her but her name , which seems hardly appropriate to a Mastiff , a fine big bitch of a rich fawn colour , straight and firm on her legs , needs a shade more bulk & size , moves lightly, a good skull but much undershot in the underjaw, nice small ears but not well carried , light full eye .’

Rudolph , ‘a good Mastiff with plenty of substance , very good in legs and feet ,  marred by a staring eye and somewhat spoilt by having one tulip ear ; his ears , however , are smaller than most of Crown Prince’ get .’  Malcolm Bush Wynne writes ‘ to anyone about importing a really good specimen for America , I should certainly select Bismarck [ note - ch Crown Prince ex  The Boss’ Lady ] or Rudolph before all others exhibited at the Palace , July 1884 , under Dr J Sidney Turner .’

Dr JS Turner reported as following ‘ Rudolph has a very good skull and the squarest of muzzle , grandly made body , capital legs and feet , but he is spoilt by light mask and ears , which are set on too high and are badly carried; his eye is very light , thus giving him a wild expression of a nature which he evidently does not possess , as his temper seems very good ‘ .               At Birmingham 1887 , judge Harding Cox wrote ‘ Rudolph was the single exception to the rule of timidity , and exhibited such a fiendish temper , that he had to be left in peace ; he appeared to be a well built dog , and his head is square and massive , but its colour is very bad, showing no dark shadings whatever ’ .   

Their third bitch was Taunton ‘ brindle Stella [ ch. Cardinal ex ch. Gwendolen ] , mated to champion Montgomery produced Zillah III . Champion Montgomery , ‘ a good one , all round , a good deep body , but not well ribbed up , just a trifle more undershot than I liked , walked less lame than others , has a very good skull , his head is almost too short , but wonderfully square , his muzzle is perceptibly undershot , so as to prevent that squareness of muzzle of profile which is so desirable , good colour of mask and eyes .’

Zillah III , ‘ a very taking big strong , straight grown  , active bitch and good mover ; in body , legs and feet very good ,  somewhat weak behind , spoilt by her bushy stern , pointed somewhat weak muzzle , general coarseness ,  and similarity to the St. Bernard type , grand colour , her expression is marred by a light eye , she is strong in some points calculated to make her a useful brood bitch .’

Champion Toozie was mated to three studs , namely

1)  Champion Victor Hugo , ‘ a large yellow dog with a long weak head , and very bad pastern joints [ 11 months , judge Beaufoy ] ; a good skull , but a moderately broad muzzle , of great size and of symmetrical proportion , muscular development , and good bone ; his present faults being weakness of pasterns and rather splayed feet , but he has much improved in these and other respects during the last six months , and if he continues to improve he will be heard of again in a front place , a good mover , taking in colour , full of the old fashioned Mastiff points , big and wide in skull , powerful in frame , deep , and on good limbs , with the massiveness of the breed ; keeping in the same line , it was a good decision also that got Beaufort , Ilford Chancellor an Boatswain  into the other positions [ Kennel Club Aquarium , July 1886 , judge Edgar Hanbury ] . Victor Hugo is a splendid mover , having a grand stride when walking , has a good body , which would be improved by a little more spring of ribs ; he is better than Ilford Chancellor in colour of eye , but not so good in muzzle .’

Progeny – Champion Jubilee Beauty , ‘ a most typical bitch , needs more size & bone , has good body , legs and feet  , moves splendidly and light , but inheriting her dam  bold , light eyes .’

2)  Champion Beaufort , ‘ somewhat overrated ; his muzzle and underjaw simply perfect , but he lacks wrinkle , and his eyes are not right ; he is undoubtedly narrow chested , and the outward turn of one hind leg is awkward .’

Progeny - Lord Cobrey , ‘ has a good skull , square muzle , which is blunt without being repulsive , nice eyebrows , ears , neck and head , and plenty length of body ; his chief faullts are an eye which is not good of colour , and a slight tendency to weakness in his pasterns and hind quarters , which probably age will correct , moved badly in the ring .’ Lord Cobrey’ brother David Garrick , ‘ but little inferior in markings , too narrow in muzzle , though small he is a nicely made dog , with a nice skull , good ears and eyes .’ not large but is a fairly good dog . He has good depth of muzzle but lacks width . An interesting note about Lord Cobrey is given by CC Rice Dec '89  - 'his face indeed reminds one of Victor Hugo (see comparative depictions hereabove) .

3)  Champion Ilford Chancellor ,  ‘ but a puppy of nine months , and is a very fine specimen of that age , his skull and muzzle promise to become very good , but he is too troaty , good legs and feet ; if his body develops well , he will take a good position in the future , his mouth is very level , although his sire was anything but perfect in this respect ; this shows the good result may be arrived at by breeding from an ultra typical specimen .’

Zillah III mated to Champion Jack Thyr gave Don Juan II , ‘ most majestic looking dog , tremendous bone and wonderful size , monkey faced and as sliding of under the eyes .’

Champion Jack Thyr , ‘ a dog of great power , and possesses a good formation of skull and muzzle squarely modelled ; he is exceedingly strong in foreface , and very powerful in underjaw ; his head is equally good , whether viewed in front or profile ; his ears are well carried , but he would be much improved by a darker eye , more colour of mask , and a little more wrinkle over the forehead ; age may however , improve the last point . In bone , body , legs and feet he is good , and he walks very squarely , although he turns one foot a little when standing still . His condition of coat was bad , which detracted a little from his appearance , but his general Mastiff character and general all-round points carried him to the front of this class very easily .’ - 'Jack Thyr was in good trim , is a very good all-round Mastiff, especially strong in front of the eyes , well shaped in skull , with good body and legs , and he moves in good style . He is mealy in colour of mark, and rather light in eye.  A very square , well-built dog , with large bone , and well formed skull.’

Captain Piddocke’ Zillah III mated to Orlando II gave the grand champion Ogilvie , ‘ great height & substance, very symmetrical & active dog with good elastic movement , a trick of standing with his forefeet too close together, little lacking in spring of ribs [cfr his grandsire Montgomery] & second thighs , rather light eye , small soft ear , really square foreface a rare quality in brindles , rather undershot , shows some dish face , has lots of bone , having little life and ‘go’ about him . ‘

Ch Ogilvie’ brother Cobrey Bruce , ‘ a grand bodied dog , with stern and hinder parts like a bull and a grand mover [nevertheless both parents were weak behind !] , eyes and ears right , strong under the eye , plain and rounded skull , rather long in muzzle, more blunt and not quite broad or deep enough at the end of the muzzle; one of the finest coloured dark brindles ; but somewhat coarse especially his stern and his head, exhibiting much Newfoundland character.’ 

Orlando II is ‘ a very massive dog for his age , with large skull , immense chest , and good forelegs , moves badly ~ has a grand skull frontispiece , with heavy bone , but appears to inherit the weakness of his sire , Orlando , in his hind-quarters .’

Lady Dudley was also mated to three studs , namely Don Juan II , Montgomery II out of ch Lord Stafford’ sis ch Lady Florida  & his own bred Iron Duke . Her best get was ch  Plutarch , ‘ larger than Stentor , good length of body and good skull , not deep enough in muzzle , cheekiness, dark eye, small ears , cowhocks , though fine active mover .’  Champion Plutarch brother ‘Lord Clive (note - see pic at right)  , ‘ having size and bone with capital legs and carriage , enormous bone, ears are full large , at present he is too flat sided and wanting in cheeks , and his expression , though kindly , lacks dignity , a trifle too turned up , slightly cow-hocked ; champion Plutarch’ sister Lady Clive , her muzzle though full under the eye tapers off too much towards the end , her ears are over large . ‘

At left - part of a photograph which gives several indications it may be depicting the Captain & one of his broods , in particular ch Jubilee Beauty . Ch  Jubilee Beauty was mated to two studs,

1)  Champion Ogilvie resulting in champion Brampton Beauty , ‘ best bitch of the era ‘ , according to Dr Sidney Turner and her brother Tom Bowling , ‘ a grand headed dog , but he was shown in a wretched condition , owned by AW Lucas . ‘ [ Note - both parents light eyed ! ]

2) Ch Lord Stafford , ‘ too bully to please me, good skull and measures well under the eye , but he falls away at the end of the end of muzzle , a well grown dog , very strongly put together , with good legs and feet , skull very large and muzzle good , but the larger size of the former spoils the balance between them , altogether the head wants modelling and that bevelled off look which we see so well shown in Hotspur , somewhat light in bone ; fails in foreface , although short, lacks the squareness which is so essential in a highly typical Mastiff  .


His brother Sir Stafford [champion Frigga Secunda’ sire] , is  ‘ built on very similar lines but has the same faults more strongly marked  , also shorter in body ; if he had a bolder muzzle , he would rarely be beaten ; though of great heigth and size , he is full of quality , excellent bone and a free mover , showing himself remarkably well , his forefeet somewhat splayed .’

Quadruple Cruft’ winner Champion Peter Piper was sired by Tom Bowling and along his dam side , Selina , he was grandsired by ch Lord Stafford’ brother Sir Stafford while ch. Ilford Chancellor great grandsired him, so there was much resemblance regarding Captain Piddocke own breeding terms . Champion Peter Piper , ‘ was not looking quite so well as he did at the Crystal Palace , being too light . He excels in all the points , that are desired in a Mastiff ; if he had any faults , it is that he carries his stern a little too high  and being a trifle flatsided [ Note - grandsire Ogilvie & f  4  Montgomery - 'little lack of spring of ribs' ; great grandam Toozie - 'needs more bulk' ;  f  3 Beaufort - 'narrow chested' ] . In the Kennel Club Gazette of December 1897 , C Court Rice described him as , ‘

Peter Piper begins to show ‘wear and tear’ and he is heavier in front and lighter behind than formerly , which is certainly no assistance to his forelegs , never his strong point , and he shows a wonderful resemblance to his GG sire ch Ilford Chancellor , in his development of loose skin about the throat . Still he , of course , had no difficulty in defeating his opponents in the Open Class, nor in beating Marksman for the challenge .’

Other KC Gazettes  ‘97 mentioned Peter Piper’ brother Leyton Jim as ~ ‘ whom I [Blondin’ breeder Thorpe] considered the best headed dog in the Class ; colour bone and movement good , but sadly handicapped in his very short forelegs   ; Leyton Jim has a grand head with a good shaped body and nice bone , an otherwise grand specimen being spoiled by having a low front .’ Dr Turner described their aunt , Brampton Beauty [17 mths old ch Ogilvie’ daughter] as ~ ‘ head of excellent type ,  had she been as long in body and as good in loin as Frigga II [28 mths] , she would have also won the Challenge Cup . I don’t mean to say that she is bad in these points , but her rival is superlatively good in them. Anyway there was not a great deal to divide them, and I carefully weighed the better type of head against the better body .’

C Court Rice has been known to wield a sharp pen from time to time as a/o in his ‘Review of Mastiffs’ of the show year 1891 wherein Captain JL Piddocke’ Lord Clive [ b September 1889 ~ by Jack Thyr’ Don Juan II out of Beaufort’ Lady Dudley] , full brother to ch Plutarch and by Mrs Adelaide Piddocke , was severely tackled as ~ ‘of bad construction and bad in forelegs , and has no end of other faults ! ‘ .

Opposite reports came from TW Allen [ch Montgomery’ owner] at Birmingham Show December 1890 as ~ ‘ a young dog of good promise , having size and bone with capital legs and carriage . His ears are full large , and at present he is too flat-sided and wanting in cheeks , and his expression, though kindly , lacks dignity. Increasing age should remedy most of his faults , and if so he will , I think , generally find a place in the money .’ and Mark Beaufoy at Manchester , March 1891 , who described him as following ~ ‘ Lord Clive won easily . He is a grand young dog , with enormous bone , a good head , deep square muzzle and perfect markings . He is a little inclined to be monkey faced and might be a few inches longer in back . ‘ 

Captain JL Piddocke’ phlegmatic reaction dd 22nd January 1892 rather sounds diplomatic and also his balanced judge report at Manchester of March ‘93 [vide next page] without harsh opinions regarding the entered specimens , show he was a keen gentleman ! At that moment his strain has been very successful  and from ‘92 on , all his dogs were entered into the KC stud books as ‘owned by Captain JL Piddocke & Mrs A. Piddocke’ ; strangely enough , at Birmingham Show Dec 1893 they were entered as  ‘ owned by Mrs Adelaide Piddocke ‘ .

In which way this feature could be related to a decree of the Supreme Court , called ‘ Piddocke versus Burt [dating 1894 ~ 1 Ch 343 ] ’ , regarding the dissolution of a partnership firm in consequence of the fiduciary capacity of the trustee for the other partners , isn’t obvious ; ‘ The National Register of Archives ’ mentions under NRA 37977 ~ ’ Burt, Evans & Shawcross, solicitors , Ross-on-Wye Reference AW44  concerning Herefordshire’ rentals from 1821 until 1836’ . So maybe there were some troubles between Captain  Piddocke and a local solicitor …

John L Piddocke , captain of the 2nd Herefordshire Rifle Volunteer Corps, died in March 1894 at the age of only 44 . The Cobrey kennels were disbanded and according the Kennel Club Stud Books , many of those fine specimens came in the ownership of AD Sutcliffe, 23 Great Ancoat Street , Manchester .Betweem them the champions Ogilvie , Plutarch & Jubilee Beauty   but also Iron Duke and two of his offspring , Bellerina & Lex ; W Higgs of London acquired ch Brampton Beauty , her sis Stella III & halfsis Seend Beauty while Seend Beauty’ brother Lord Overton became owned by Wm Adams of Liverpool and Lord Clive , so criticized by C Court Rice , by Luke Crabtree .  In this respect it is noteworthy to mention that Stella III was entered at Crufts , March 1894 , already in the ownership of W Norman Higgs .

WN Higgs recorded in ‘Our dogs’ Mastiff Mems [March 1933] – ‘It is well known that Mssrs Geo. Inman & Ben Walmsley used a Mastiff cross to improve their St Bernards and is said that their experiment was very successful ; but no cross made by Capt. Piddocke in July 1891 can possibly have accounted for any pecularity there may have been in the colour of CC Rice’ Ethelred [ note - sired by Capt Piddocke’ Iron Duke - born 03 1891 , brother to Tom Bowling, Stella III , &c ] ’.

Maybe Mssrs Inman & Walmsley’ smooth champion Parsifal [born ± 1895] , who made a great furore in the St Bernard ring , was a 1st  or 2nd  generation progeny of this secret Piddocke’ alliance ; the same year CC Rice bred a litter [a/o ch Elgiva] out of Lady Lena by Ethelred [see at left] , a coarse dark apricot stud great-grandsired by the ‘wretched’ Orlando II’ ! 

Ch Peter Piper’ cousin Ethelred reported by CC Rice ~ ‘ a fine big dog of beautiful colour , and who cannot be accused of want of bone. About his worst fault is his extreme coarseness, which gives him a common look. He has not a nice tail , his eyes are very light, his expression unpleasing, and while his muzzle measures well comparatively with the skull, it is nevertheless cut away before the eye ‘.