THE IRISH WOLFHOUND, 1885
handwritten pages at back of book, starting on page 47
Transcribed by Luisa Finberg, USA
1886, the nephew of Mr. Carter of Bray was lighted on and he stated that
he well remembered his uncle’s houndogs IW Hounds and that they
resembled Riuna (?)
- at the
head of this book—
This narrated in a late work by John Ashton – that a wild Irishman known
as Fighting Fitzgerald, entertained a particular dislike to Lord
Altamont and his family, so much so that on one occasion he rode over to
Lord Altamont’s house and asked to see the IW dog which for its size and
fierceness was the admiration and terror of the neighborhood.
No sooner was he shown the
dog than he shot it, charging the servants to tell the master that until
he became more charitable to the poor, who only came to his door to be
barked at and bitten, he should not allow such a beast to be kept, but
that he had no objection to each of the Ladies keeping a lap dog!!
[transcr. note: in the
margin next to the name Riuna (?) Graham writes “January 1893 now in
from “Seal” mentioned on page 44.
the 13 January 1890 a paper entitled Notes on the I.W. Dog, consisting
of (6 ½) pages of printed matter—was read by Professor O’Reilly before
the Royal Irish Academy.
The sole matter of interest
was to this effect . . . . . . about 1775 one William Bowles . . . . .
Irishman residing in Spain -- wrote a book in which the following
remarks occur: “The ordinary wolves are rare (i.e. in Spain) either
because there are few small cattle or because the whole country being
covered with farms – he is at once hunted and killed by the excellent
greyhound dogs – which they have brought here from Ireland.”
Nothing can be more precise than the terms
used by Bowles and it would appear from this that it was customary to
import from Ireland Wolfdogs for the purpose of hunting the wolves in
this part of the
Pyrenees. The one used
by sportsmen for hunting that animal, the Irish Wolfdog, being known in
Spain by the term “lebruel” possible by reason of his lithe form and
likeness in shape to the greyhounds proper.
Taking for granted that there was an importation of
I.W. dogs in Spain during
the 17th and commencement
of the 18th Centuries, it
would be reasonable to presume that the race of these dogs may still
survive in Biscay or other parts of the Pyrenees since wolves exist
Swine are herded as of yore
and the climate of this mountainous district would not materially tend
to the degeneration of the race.
edition 1577, p. 13.
4: King of the Scots (260 years B.C.)
set all his pleasure on
hunting and keeping of hounds and greyhounds,
ordaining that every householder should find him 2 hounds and one
greyhound. He that killed a wolf should have and ox for his pains, etc.”
[to see the original text
from which Graham transcribed these notes, go to:http://dewey.library.upenn.edu/sceti/printedbooksNew/index.cfm?TextID=holinshed_chronicle&PagePosition=754
Again “Ederus’s (15th King
– 60 B.C.) chief delight was altogether in hunting and in keeping of
hounds and greyhounds to chase and pursue wild beasts and mainly the
wolfe—the herdsman’s foe – by means whereof his advancement was made the
more acceptable amongst the nobles who in those days were wholly given
to that kind of game and pastime.” [to
see the original text from which Graham transcribed these notes go to:
Finn MacCoul had a famous hound called “
Bran” and Cuculain a warrior who lived at the beginning of the Christian
Era, got his name from having killed one of those animals during his
He was the nephew of the
King of Ireland and was brought up in a military school that was
attached to the palace where boys of good family were trained in
athletic sports, etc.
The lad who was afterwards
known as Cu-culain was much younger than his companions but he was tall
and strong for his age and easily overcame them in their games.
Now it happened that one
day a smith whose name was Culain and who was famous for making armour
and all sorts of weapons came to the palace and asked the King to come
to a feast at his house.
The King accepted and as he
the grounds where
the boys were playing he saw how much stronger and more skilful at the
games his nephew was than the other boys and turning to one of his
warriors he said, “It would be well for Ireland if this lad was as good
a soldier as he is at boy’s games.”
“I think, Sir,” replied the
warrior “that he will not be found wanting when he comes to be tried.”
Then the King called the
boy to him to ask him to go with him to the feast.
“I cannot go Sir.” Replied
the lad “until the games are finished, then I will come after you.”
“Very well,” said the King
and he went on to the smith’s house.
When the games were over
the boy took his “hurl” which was a curved stick for playing ball with,
and his little silver ball, and ran off to the smith’s house.
But when he got there he
saw a big fierce dog at the gate of the yard and it barked so loudly
that the smith heard and asked the King if he had told anyone to follow
“No,” replied the King but
he suddenly remembered that he had told his nephew
to follow him and at once
had his men run to the gate and save the lad from being torn to pieces.
So they ran out in haste
and saw the boy standing in the yard with the great dog lying dead at
his feet, and one of them caught the lad up and getting him on his
shoulder carried him in triumph into the smith’s house to the King as he
sat at the table.
The King was right glad to
see his young nephew safe but the smith, whilst he welcomed him
exclaimed, “Tho I am glad to see you I have to pay for it, for this dog
of mine was so brave that he not only guarded my house--but neither
wolves nor robbers dared to come near any of my neighbors . . . .
. . . for fear of him, and
what shall I do without him?”
“Never mind the dog’s death” said the
boy—“for if there is a puppy of the same breed in Ireland I will get him
for you and until the puppy is big enough to serve you, I will be your
And a wise man who was
present said that the lad ought to be called Cu-culain which is Irish
for Culain’s hound and he prophesied that the lad would be famous so
long as the Irish language was spoken.
of Edict .
. . .
Cromwell on April 27, 1652 “Forasmuch as we are credibly informed that
wolves do much increase and destroy many cattle in several parts of this
dominion (i.e. Ireland) and that some of the enemies party, who have
laid down their arms and have liberty to go beyond the seas, and others
do attempt to carry away several such great dogs as are commonly called
“Wolfdogs”, whereby the breed of them would be—if not prevented,
speedily decay, these are therefore to prohibit all persons from
exporting any of the said dogs.”
In 18 February 1892 the
honorable Charles Alexander wrote an old lady of (90) years-lives near
here (Caledon House) who remembers the Wolfhounds at Horoth Castle when
she was a very little girl—says “Colleen” (Major A’s bitch by Dhulart -
Brenda) is just the great counterpart of them.”