CC Rice

Charles Court Rice of Cornford Grove ~ Balham

The lovely drawing by the German artist Ludwig Beckmann [1822-1902] shows Beaufort’ Black Prince together with his famous ascent , champion The Shah ; being the result of a nephew/cousin mateing [grandparents were champions Orlando & The Lady Isabel , by ch Crown Prince ex The Lady Rowena] , Black Prince goes strongly back to The Shah , once also exhibited at the major German shows .

C Court Rice [1861- December 1936] was the third son of Thomas Rice who was for many years Master of the Horse to the King of Spain . CC Rice was educated at Dulwich College and afterwards in Germany . He practised as a veterinary surgeon in Australia , though never in England . Generations of his family had been canine specialists . According to the 1891 census  ‘living on his own means’ , he bred his 1st litter out of ch Orlando’ Frigga sired by Black Prince’ halfbrother Sir Stafford which produced ch Frigga Secunda  . He mated her back to Sir Stafford resulting in Dynevor who sired N Higgs’ champion Ha Ha [ b September 1894 out of Capt. Piddocke ch Brampton Beauty’ sis Stella III ] ; some months later Norman Higgs awarded the Crufts challenge award to Dynevor’ sis , Osburga II . CC Rice’  3rd & last litter gave ch Elgiva , her dam being Sir Stafford’ daughter Lady Lena sired by Ethelred , a son of Iron Duke who came from the famous Captain Piddocke’ litter by ch Ogilvie ex ch Jubilee Beauty, containing also ch Brampton Beauty, Stella III & Tom Bowling who sired ch Peter Piper .

CC Rice was appointed to write the yearly Kennel Gazette summary , called ‘ The Past Year’ ; looking back on 1889 , he a/o states ~ ‘ Now that Minting is dead I believe that Jack Thyr to be the best mastiff living , coming nearer to my idéal than any other dog we have ; he is not a tall dog , but has wonderful bone and substance and excellent muzzle , and his wide and powerful under-jaw put the finishing touch to a very good ensemble ‘. The 'Minting’ engraving at right was from a photo by Mr Schreiber and illustrated a comment of the American Kennel Gazette , March 1888 ~ ‘ Our illustration of the month is EH Moore’ Minting , by Maximilian out of Cambrian Princess . Writing elsewhere of the dog three months ago , we stated that he was the grandest specimen of a Mastiff we had ever seen , and Mr Charles Mason had supplemented this by saying he is probably the best ever shown . Minting is a bold , upstanding dog , of good length and great girth . His forelegs , which at one time were not perfectly straight are now all that could be desired , and he shows none of the weakness or defects behind to frequently noticeable in the present exhibition Mastiff . His having become straight in front is doubtless due to the admirable arrangements at Mr Moore’ kennels at Melrose , Mass.

The stud dogs are kennelled in a large house , each having a room to himself , at one end of which is a large bench thickly bedded with straw . The dogs have free access to the yards , each of which is as large as half a dozen of the usual size of runs.

Thus the dogs can run and romp about and build themselves up. Minting , nothwithstanding his great size , is as playful as a kitten, and when we saw him at Melrose was amusing himself by tossing about a sheet of paper which had blown into his yard ; his gambols were more like those of a year-old dog than of a dog nearly three years old .' -  At left ch Minting' grandson Ingleside Minting .

’CC Rice’ 1894 review mentions  a/o ~ ‘One of the most important and saddest events , by the death of Capt JL Piddocke , occurred in the early part of the year  and it removed from our shows a well-known figure .

Of late years , possibly no one has put so many winners upon the Mastiff benches as did he , and it cannot be denied that the death of Captain Piddocke and the retirement of Mrs Piddocke , who shared her husband’ liking for the Old English dog , has left a void in the rank of exhibitors . Other alineas remark ~ ‘At the Preston Show , Frigga Secunda joined Beaufort and Cambrian Princess as winners of the Old English Club’ Gold Medal , and closed a carreer unblemished by defeat .’~ The Kennel Club’ Autumn Exhibition introduced a youngster , in Mr Woolmore’ Peter Piper , of the very highest excellence . In my opinion , he has but four faults , and , at the same time not serious . He has not a black mask , a point which , strangely , does not seem to be considered of much moment in a brindle ; his tail is set on too low , which shortens his body in appearance ; the tail itself is not free from twist ; and he had an inclination – it was nothing more then , to be a little weak in his fore-legs . His head is very massive , and lovely in its type and character ; his skull , muzzle and eyes [both in colour and shape] and ears all perfect ; bone heavy , ribs and loins excellent , as are his hocks , and he, moreover , moved capitally ; in fact , I have not known another Mastiff of his sex so free of faults and therefore he was , last October , the best dog I ever had seen – so far as my opinion goes .

CC Rice’ 1895 retrospect sounds rather sour ~ ‘It is hardly necessary to say how much it grieves me that I am quite unable to earn  , as I earned last year , the title of optimist , which the Stockkeeper bestowed upon me when honoring my remarks with notice , but I am not even now altogether willing to admit that Mastiffs do not compare favourably with those exhibited nine or ten years ago . It is the interest which has detoriated , not the dog ; the class of exhibitor , not the exhibit . Only a few years ago since , even after the first day of a show one could meet most of the owners of the Mastiffs exhibited , in front of the benches , sufficiently interested to chat about the dogs and the awards . Dr Turner , the Rev Van Doorne , Mssrs Allen , Piddocke , Cook , Beaufoy , Hutchings , Nichols , Taunton , Woolmore , and many others were to be seen , but such of them as remain exhibitors to-day vanish with the putting up of the awards , and those who have taken the places of the others do not assume their interest . The quite latter-day exhibitors know nothing of the pleasures of a Kennel Club or Warwick show a decade ago  and would probably not appreciate them , if they did .’

March 10 , 1933 OLD ENGLISH MASTIFF TYPE [To the Editor of ‘Our Dogs’]        - Sir , - I have read with great interest the various letters which have appeared from time to time in your widely written journal on Mastiff type , despite the fact that it is 35 years ago since I left the Old Country for Australia , during at least 30 years of which no Mastiffs have been seen at the Antipodes . Nevertheless, I do not think I should be tempted to enter in any controversy over type were it not that the article in the December number of the Kennel Gazette from the pen of Mr Edmund Oliver has tickled the vanity of one who perhaps felt a trifle sore that he had been so completely forgotten that no reference to him appeared in the various letters you published for , after all , I did breed and (or) exhibit a considerable number of high class Mastiffs , including Chs. Frigga , Frigga Secunda and Elgiva , Sir Stafford , Cardinal Beaufort , Ethelred , Osburga II ( which like her dam , Frigga Secunda , was never beaten) , Estella , and Elfrida – all good prize winners. Mr Oliver makes an unimportant error in the reference to the illustration in Rawdon Lee’ ‘Modern Dogs’ of which he says ‘ Frigga Secunda  (31601) , the model of the illustration of both the fawn and the brindle types ‘, for there was not one but two Mastiffs in the picture , viz. , Frigga and her daughter , Frigga Secunda . Mr Wardle drew both from life at my place at Balham. Subsequently Mr Rawdon Lee changed the sex of F. Secunda in the picture and altered the colour of Frigga to brindle , for both were , of course fawns . I think that if Mr Oliver will again refer to the illustration he will notice at once that there were two , not one , illustrated , so dissimilar are the heads . Photographs which I have received , and illustrations which I have seen , chiefly in your journal , have shown me , perhaps more clearly than any change in type might struck those on the spot ( as insidious changes are not so easily noticed as those of a more sudden character) , a distinct trend towards St. Bernard type .

Though he had his faults , like other dogs , Dr Sidney Turner’ [afterwards Mr Taunton’] Hotspur (see below at left) was accepted at his time as the most perfect-headed Mastiff , short and really truncated in foreface . Compare it with the present-day winners whose heads comform more to the type advocated by Wynn , Nichols , Walker , Hutchings and even Taunton himself .

Possibly present-day Mastiffs are sounder in limb than many of those of three or four decades back , but they are not the type of Hotspur, Beaufort , Crown Prince , Montgomery , Peter Piper, and those with which I won , to mention the few I can remember . They did conform the most perfect and almost perfectly worded standard even drawn up by any breed , so far as type went .     Leyton Jim (see below at right)  , Secunda’ cousin & Peter Piper’ brother  I have referred to that which has for so long struck me as a somewhat foreign- ie , St Bernard-type in the dogs depicted  to-day , which , however , is less conspicuous than it was a few years ago , and an incident which occurred many years back lends colour to my belief in a St Bernard cross .

Now , before I deal with the incident referred to , I should like to remind those who are still in the game and to inform those who came into it afterwards , that at the end of the last century breeders had got into a cycle from which extrication was well-nigh impossible , for the prominent strains of Beau and Crown Prince has been so almost exclusively bred that there was difficulty – it was almost impossible to find an outcross . In July 1891 , I journeyed from London to Hereford with a view to mating Frigga Secunda with one of Capt. Piddocke’ dogs at Brampton Park. Owing to delay in getting service I left the bitch , but while at Brampton Park I naturally saw all there was to be seen at Capt. Piddocke’ beautiful home .

That which I saw included a smooth St. Bernard bitch which had been sent by her owners , Dr Inman and Mr Ben Walmsley who were at that time showing in partnership , to be mated with Capt. Piddocke’ famous winner , ch. Ogilvie , a brindle . About that time Inman and Walmsley were not so conspicuous in the show ring as they had been , and they remained more or less in obscurity for two or three years , when they suddenly resumed exhibition with a team of smooth of remarkable quality , one or more showing evidence in markings and colour of the Mastiff cross – always assuming that the bitch I saw at Brampton Park had in due course produced a litter by Ogilvie . I am , of course , aware that because a St. Bernard was crossed with a Mastiff to improve the first-named breed , it is not proof that a similar cross was made to save the Mastiff from extinction , which I firmly believe was inevitable .

Ethelred ,    Elgiva’ sire & Peter Piper’ cousin. Farther , among the dogs I owned was the before-mentioned Ethelred . He was a truly magnificent animal , big , strong , sound , and a good winner , but it must be admitted he was a deep red or dark tawny with dark shadings , apart from the orthodox black mask , and had a coat of unorthodox length especially on forequarters and thighs . Whence did these attributes come ? Could they not have been atavism to the St. Bernard ? Yours , &c , Sidney , New South Wales .- CC Rice 


MASTIFFS IN 1890[To the Editor of ‘Our Dogs’]‘… Mr Court Rice is probably the greatest living authority on Mastiffs . One of the leading breeders and exhibitors of his time , he made , and has still in his possession , voluminous notes on the judging and the dogs at every show he attended , with exhaustive notes of the various kennels he visited ; litters (his own and others) , and alterations for good or bad in growing stock, etc . It is doubtful if anybody has ever taken so much trouble about the breed . His contributions to Our Dogs and other journals of his time attest his intense interest and industry , as well as his intimate knowledge of the breed. What a pity he cannot be induced to come over here once more to judge Mastiffs , and to show present-day fanciers what is the true type to be aimed at !   He was the breeder of some of the finest Mastiffs ever seen , as Frigga Secunda , 31.601 – perhaps the most perfect headed Mastiff of the last 50 years – a puppy of 6 months old at the time of the Crystal Palace show in 1890 , ch. Elgiva  , 1363A, the winner of 12 challenge certificates ; her litter sister Elfrida , 1.427A , another great winner ; Osburga II , 36.564 , daughter of Frigga Secunda , and like her dam never beaten in the show ring; Cardinal Beaufort , a litter brother to Frigga Secunda , exported young to the USA – ' Article by EG Oliver of Hellingly published in Our Dogs in the 1930s .

      In an article was published under ‘Notes by Terror’ , Otago Witness - New Zealand dd 28 April 1898 . Charles Court Rice writes – ‘the terrible mess which resulted from a similar experiment in France’ (crossing Mastiffs & Dogues de Bx) makes one wonder if progeny from that ‘mess’ has been used on the sly in British Mastiff breeding already before the publication of this article ? Could it be held responsible for the dark apricot (red) color in some strains later on? An example - Ch Marchioness , b 1901 , being of that hue was sired by Dalston Benedict , a dog bred by WN Higgs out of  an unregistered Queenie , the latter presumably born ca 1895 or about the period quite some Dogues de Bordeaux were imported from France …

Horse dealers’ descent Rice vs wealthy pork butcher Joseph Royle

Charles Court Rice’ parental home ‘The Grange’ College Rd Dulwich was built by Thomas Lett ca  1822. His father Thomas Henry Rice , according to an eulogy – ‘for many  years Master of the Horse to the King of Spain’ , a given not sustained by the available historical listings of Caballerizos mayor and so far as known only containing the names of Spanish Dukes , Earls & Marquesses .

The Master of The Horse’ was the Officer of the Royal Household and Heritage of the Crown of Spain in charge of the trips, the mews and the hunt of the King of Spain. The Office of Caballerizo mayor was one of the main Offices of the Royal Household in charge of the Royal Stables & everything related to the transportation of the Monarch . When the King sorted out from the Royal Palace the Caballerizo had the main position behind him and the major rang over the other Court Officials . He managed as well the stables , the carriages & the horses . He was assisted by the ‘Primeros Caballerizos’ aka First Equerries who were nominated by him . He was in charge of the Royal hunt as ‘Montero mayor’ aka Great Hunter holding , in many cases , the ‘Alcaldias’ aka Majorships of the Spanish royal sites .’

But there’s a reference which mentions - ‘In the 19th century , another traveler called Thomas Rice described the profile of the Spanish horses in these terms - The Spanish horse stands between 15 & 16 hands , has a fairly large , bony head the shape of a merino ram - ’. So perhaps he once became some Caballerizo aka Equerry nominated by the then Spanish Master of The Horse .

There’s a London Gazette Dec ’63 which mentions William Royle, Samuel Royle, Edward Boyle, Joseph Royle , Peter Royle & John Royle carrying on business as Farmers , Dyers, & Bleachers at Bowker Bank Farm - Great Heaton , in the parish of Prestwich and as Dyers, Bleachers & Finishers  at the Crumpsall Vale Dye Works nr Manchester and at the city of Manchester, under the style or firm of Royle Brothers . Perhaps this Joseph Royle being the same as the wealthy pork butcher & fancier of first-class dogs .

Royle’ canine manager Midgley Marden 1846-1916 was born at Elland – Yorks as the son of Richard , a woollen spinner & journeyman while in ’61 Midgley was reported as a ‘yarn maker' and in ’81 as a ‘pork butcher’ , so perhaps becoming Royle’ business partner ; later on this Marsden was reported as being a publican , a/o at Hayfield via Stockport , and thereby a world-wide renowned allround dog judge .

Not only CC Rice disappeared from the Mastiff dog show scene around the fin de siècle , also his peer William Norman Higgs , according to the Census Return 1911 b ’67 London - Valuer & Mortgage Broker married in ca ’91 to Minnie aka ‘Min’ Mary Ann Cameron b ’60 ; children Ivy Minnie b’ 92 , Vera b ’95 ; boarder Hugo Bruck b ’91 , Lilian Beatrice Barber Bruck sister , Ruth Jan Bruck b ’83 niece ; Alice Maud Mary Ebsworth b ’84 domestic housemaid . Address 27 St Stephen’s Road Bayswater London . According to Mrs Betty Baxter , of Farnaby repute , he once had estates at Liverpool being also keen on horses as he imported them from Canada . It was Mr Higgs who wrote the epitaph for Charles Court Rice who died in Sidney –Australia  , October ’36 .