Edwin Nichols

Coal merchant Edwin Nichols [1825 - 1902]

Edwin Nichols , born at Ide Exeter , wasn’t only a Mastiff fancier , he also bred quality stock of several breeds as a/o  Bloodhounds , St Bernards , Bulldogs & Newfoundlands [being the President of the latter breed club] . He resided at different locations during the last quarter of the XIX century, his kennels being at Knightsbridge nearby Hyde Park [sic James Watson’ The Dog book] . Firstly at Holland-terrace , Kensington ; Brook Green , Hammersmith ;  9 , Elsham road , Kensington and finally 42 , St Abbots-terrace , Kensington  in the very nearby of the great artist and President of the Royal Academy , Lord Frederic Leighton . According to James Watson At an older age,  he seemingly moved back to his place of birth where he died at St Thomas Exeter .

Note 1 - Percy Nash b ’68 , the son of Edwin Nichols’ coal business partner George James Nash , was a  pioneer British producer-director who made some seventy films between 1912-1927 and was a key figure in the creation of the Elstree Studios , based in the towns of Borehamwood & Elstree in Hertfords , since film production begun in 1927 ;   note 2 - the brood line ends up with ch The Lady Isabel ; her son ch Beaufort became an important stud while his litter sis Lady Beatrice got 1st in puppy class & prize [produce stakes] at Crystal Palace [July ‘85], and also first prizes at Portsmouth & Warwick 1887 , afterwards she came into the ownership of James W Whitney [Flower City kennels Rochester ~ NY] who also possessed her niece , The Lady Phillis , and ch Ilford Chancellor , the remarkable English champion who great-grandsired champion Peter Piper & Leyton Jim . Lady Beatrice' sis , Dr Sidney Turner’ The Lady Clare , got 1sts at Tunbridge Wells ‘84 , Hanley & Crystal Palace [July] ‘85 , Warwick & challenge award at Brighton ‘86 , beating her dam ch The Lady Isabel & Edwin Nichols’ Princess Ida , a ch Beau’ granddaughter .

The Classicist painter & sculptor Baron Frederic Leighton [Scarborough 1830-1896] lived at 12 Holland Park Road , Kensington ; his house was one of the most extraordinary buildings of the XIX century throughout Greater London . Maybe he was involved with the owner of Ansdell’ Leo , Richard Ansdell , Scottsmen and Royal Artist [1815-1885] , who moved in 1847 to London’ Kensington where he became an extremely popular painter through the widespread reproduction and dissemination of his works through engraving .

There’s an intriguing brood line starting off from ‘Warwick’ , an unr. bitch born ± 1876 , followed up by Piddocke’ Lena ~ Piddocke’ ch Toozie ~ Piddocke’ ch Jubilee Beauty ~ Piddocke’ Stella III [ch Brampton Beauty’ sis & ch HaHa’ dam] ~ Higgs’ Honeysuckle~Hopkins ch Marcella . Coincidently Nichols’ residence , St  Mary Abbots terrace , is connected with Warwick rd & Warwick Gardens .  Maybe ‘Warwick’ was bred by Nichols …

His foundation brood was Duchess sired by Ansdell’ Leo [supposed of Lyme Hall strain] and mated her in 1864 to Donaldson’ Oscar , owned by Sir C. Domville resulting in Nichols’ Venus , who became the dam of his first homebred champion , Miss Hales’ Lion . Maybe Sir C Domville was Sir Compton Domville [see Vanity Fair cartoon by Spy] , the well known Admiral who joined the navy in 1856 and served in the West Indies , South Africa & China . Edwin Nichols only once bred from ch King but many of his later litters were bred from King’ son  champion Turk & ch King' grandsons Big Ben & Monarch .

This Venus’ litter of 1866 contained also Leo [sired champion Stella , bred by Father Rowe] , Hilda [gave champion Turk , bred by Miss Anglionby & also champion Argus , bred by Field] and Slut [gave  champion Empress , bred by Hodge] .

In 1869 Edwin Nichols bred champion Juno  , in 1870 champion Punch & his brother Big Ben [sired champion Cardinal , bred by Banbury] , in 1873 champion Lottie, in 1876 champion Beau [sired champion Beaufort , bred by Dr Turner ; Ilford Baroness , bred by Richard Cook ; champion His Majesty King Canute & champion Cambrian Princess , both bred by HG Woolmore  and finally in 1884 champion Victor Hugo [sired champion Jubilee Beauty , bred by Captain Piddocke].

Above in the centre ~ A display of prize winners at the Agricultural Hall , Islington in  1863 ~ a/o a dark coloured heavily build bloodhound possessing deep flews & a muzzle cut off squarely ; at the right ~ An illustration published in de Bylandt’ Races de Chiens , ed 1904 , showing a head study of a Bloodhound called ‘Edwin Nichols’  [presumably] bred by Edwin Nichols himself who shipped him to a Dutch gentleman residing nearby Arnhem .

Taken globally Edwin Nichols bred six  champions & nine champions bred by other breeders were from a parent bred by him [ Leo , Hilda , Slut , Big Ben , Beau] . One can state Edwin Nichols , being a commonly highly appreciated judge  and although he only possessed one big winner ~ Victor Hugo ~, supplied the fancy one of the finest strains of linebred breed specimens also thanks to his two outstanding home studs Big Ben by ch Turk &  ch Wolsey’ fawn brother Prince .

At left - Victor Hugo ~ born 3rd August 1884 ~ linebred to ch Lottie’ brother Druid III along his daughter Boomah mated to her grandson Victor IV . His only KCSB entries were in 1886 & 1887 with 1st prizes at Hanley , Bristol , Aquarium KC [London] , Norwich , Ipswich , Manchester and challenges at Darlington , Trowbridge & Edinburgh . He defeated great champions as a/o Beaufort , Ilford Chancellor & Minting .

Victor Hugo sired Capt Piddocke’ ch Jubilee Beauty , dam of a magnificent litter containing ch Brampton Beauty , Tom Bowling [ch Peter Piper’ sire] , Stella III [ch Ha Ha’ dam] & Iron Duke [ch Elgiva ’grandsire] .

Dr JS Turner reported February 1886 ~ ‘ A good skull , but only a moderately broad muzzle . He is 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 will be heard of again in front place .’ Other reports ~ Too much of the boarhound , too long in the head , splendid mover , a grand strike when walking , more spring of rib , good legs , toes more arched , very bad pastern joints .