Reverend Mellor

Reverend WJ Mellor , passion of the OEMC , 1883

Antipode of Malcolm Bush Wynn , founder of the Mastiff Club , 1873

Being an established & well respected judge and late owner of Crown Prince , one can consider him as the senior breed authority who strongly influenced the OEMC foundation & her standard called  ‘ Points of the Mastiff ‘ , that on the moment that Reverend Wynn’ Mastiff Club was on a very low ebb due to some awkward  repressive rules governing exhibition of Mastiffs by own club members .

Being a longstanding judge and ‘ éminence grise ‘  within the group of London Mastiff fanciers as a/o Dr Lyttleton Winslow , Dr Sidney Turner and W K Taunton , Reverend William James Mellor maybe can be hold co-responsible for the change in type during the 1870ties , and also involved with the Bulldog Club Inc. as a Committee member in the 1880ties .

WJ Mellor was born at Madras , India , in 1834 as the eldest son of Major James Mellor . He was educated at Bedford Grammar school before he became admitted at Trinity College , Cambridge on February 1853 which was a great honour because three of the six Prime Ministers between 1809 & 1834 were alumni of Trinity college, Cambridge ; namely Spencer Perceval , Earl Grey & Viscount Melbourne .

In the Victorian era the Cambridge & Oxford universities counted altogether some forty colleges, Trinity college being famous for his PM alumni . Trinity College  was only surpassed by Christ Church college , Oxford , delivering not less than 12 Prime Ministers from 1721 till the end of the Victorian era , amongst them the illustrious ‘Victorian’ William Gladstone . 

Reverend Mellor took his ‘ Bachelor of Arts ‘ in 1858 . After a clerical career as a Curate in several parishes of the North of England , he became Vicar of St Nicholas parish of Rodmersham near Sittingbourne in 1874 , the year he also started his Mastiff breeding during a rather short period  ; in 1882 he already bred his ninth & last litter .

His first brood bitch was a daughter of Mr Nichols’ huge Big Ben , Duchess  bred by Edwin Nichols. When mating her to Wolsey’ brother , Mr Nichols’ Prince , she produced Creole , owned by Mr Allen of Hereford . She became a champion  , winning Crystal Palace in 1878 & 1880 , the year between she gained top honours at Birmingham . The Reverend used further on only the top champion studs of the day as Turk , The Shah , Rajah , Cardinal and Crown Prince . Some years before he sold Crown Prince to Dr Winslow , he already  owned not only the famous champion Turk [5th owner] but also a highly potential puppy , namely Gwendolen born 1875 & bred by the Reverend Bulkeley Jones . Rose was one of her get by Rajah and was firstly owned by Dr Forbes Winslow , later on by Hugh Dalziel , the author of a/o the standard work ‘British Dogs’.

Also Gwendolen changed hands and came into the possession of Mr WK Taunton who made her up and mated her to his champion Cardinal which resulted in champion Lily II owned by Dr FJ Campbell , Royal Normal College  , Upper Norwood . Mark Beaufoy , the owner of Gwendolen’s older brother , ch Nero [vide at left] , possessed also  several specimens of Reverend Mellor’ stock as a/o his foundation bitch Duchess and her son Talisman .

As an exhibitor from 1874 till only 1876 , the Reverend achieved only stud book entries with his first bitch, Duchess , and her daughter Corisande ( a/o Bristol 2nd prize after Mr Allen’s Creole , bred by Reverend WJ Mellor ! ) .

Being the Vicar of Rodmersham Parish , Reverend William James Mellor spent no less than £4,000 in repairs and improvements at the Vicarage [also called ‘Glebe House’] within twenty acres of glebe ; he also recast at 24th June 1893 , three bells ‘ Ad majorem gloriam dei ‘ foundred by Mears & Stainbank, Whitechapel Bell Foundry .

‘Big Ben’ remains the largest bell ever cast by this company [13.7 tons & at 9 ft diameter] placed in the 322 feet high turret of the Great Clock at Westminster  and named after Sir Benjamin Hall’ nickname , ‘Big Ben’ ; it chimes first on May 31, 1859 . In 1896 he moved to South Kensington , London , and served there as an Honorary Curate.

Before he died in London on December 4th  , 1899 [ an obituary notice appeared in The Times on December 8th ] , the Reverend Mellor enjoyed some time of his retirement at Bournemouth on the south coast .

Reverend WJ Mellor’ roots

His father James Mellor , b 1799 Nottingham was according to the Census 1861 a Justice of Peace at Bedford married to the Française Anna of Boulogne , residing at 2 The Crescent , Eastern division of the Port of Saint Paul while his son William James Mellor resided as a rector  at the Rectory House at Colwich , married to Sarah F born ’39   , having a cook and a housemaid .

One of their childs , Lucy was born at Boulogne sur mer ; maybe James Mellor as a young Lieutenant in the British army , resided for some time  in France at the coastal resort of Boulogne-sur-mer where he met his future wife .

Boulogne sur mer was a very fashionable resort , popular with many British and particularly army officers living there , no doubt enjoying the pleasant way of life which seems to have been the lot of army officers when not actually fighting .

To help fill the days they applied to join the local pigeon club ; pigeon shooting was a fashionable pastime , played for large stakes . A report of 1835 speaks of a great match in Paris when ‘almost all the English Fashionable were present’ and the first match between Lord Barry and Major Welch was for £800 ; fifty pigeons were let out for each ~ the Major killed 27 and his lordship 26 .

At left ~ ‘Britannia crowned’ [1816] ~ Britannia crowned by Victory , trampling upon the chains of France , holding the trident of Neptune, whilst Fame proclaims the glory of her arms by pointing to military triumphs ; at right - an old  postcard of Boulogne Sur Mer .

His father James has also been Lieutenant-Colonel of the Madras Army [India] , a professional military force in the 1830ties whose use in internal security campaigns was a routine part of the Madras Presidency Government's operations. It was was a large , modern force organized to defend the state against external and internal enemies .

The British officers were aware for the strengths and weaknesses inherent in a multi-ethnic army which could not appeal to patriotism . The Madras Army deliberately attempted to overcome the weaknesses through such programs as encouraging the study of Asian languages by the British officers and providing paternalistic care for the sepoys and their families . The Madras Army was organized to support the civil administration in securing the revenue and maintaining tranquility .

The 1832-1833 campaign in the Vishakhapatnam District included from four to eight hundred troops in the field pursuing two rebel factions , the largest reported group of which numbered seven to eight hundred . Anytime the troops brought the rebels to battle , the superior discipline and training of the Madras Army produced a victory . Such campaigns were a normal part of the process of governing India for the British .

The image of passive Indians accepting British rule except in the Mutiny and other minor , isolated instances until Indian Nationalism erupted after World War I is untrue .

At left ~‘Britannia and her pets , the British lion and the Indian tiger , are ready to take on Afghanistan’ by Tenniel published in Punch or the London Charivari , 4 April 1885 .

His father died 31st December 1869 , grave at Saint Peter' Church , Leckhampton , Cheltenham , Gloucestershire . ‘Sacred to the memory of Lieutenant-Colonel James Mellor , late of the Madras Army, who died December 31st 1869 , aged 70 years .’ WJ Mellor’ mother took up residence at Avondale House , 4 Wellington Square , Cheltenham .

In 1881 Reverend William James Mellor , clergyman Church of England [vide Census Return 1881] , resided also at Avondale House , 4 Wellington Square , Cheltenham ,  together with his French mother Anna , his unmarried sisters Lucy born ’36 Boulogne France & Mary b ’39 India Mulligaum , and a sis Harriet b ‘49 Bedford , an officers’ widow .

At left ~  ‘Church of England divine’ , photo of a clergyman of the Church of England ; by WJ Suter , Montpellier Studio Royal House, Parabola Road , Cheltenham [ca 1880] . Is this Reverend WJ Mellor ? The episcopal and liturgical national Church of England has its seat in Canterbury , the diocese wherein Reverend WJ Mellor’ parish Rodmersham [near Sittingbourne] was located. In the second half of the 19th  century non-conformity was strong in Rodmersham . The Bible Christian Chapel was built in 1848 and could claim an average of 110 worshippers in the afternoon and 70 in the evening . In comparison the parish church had 87 in the morning and 137 in the afternoon . Towards the end of his time here , the Reverend WJ MelIor said ' when I first came to the parish many of the farmers were dissenters, but in time I won most of them back '. At right - photograph of his ch Turk .