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Clumber Spaniel


Original Works of art

Group: Sporting
Breed Family: Spaniel

The origin of the Clumber Spaniel is shrouded in myth. It was the Rev. Daniel, who in 1813 suggested that the Duke of Noailles of France transferred his kennel of Spaniels to England for sanctuary during the French revolution and housed them with the second Duke of Newcastle at Clumber Park. There is nothing to substantiate this claim in the family records of either the Newcastle or the de Noailles families.

There are, however, family records of the Newcastles owning Spaniels, referred to as ‘the Duke’s breed ‘ or ‘Mansell’s breed,’ and these indigenous Spaniels were probably crossed with a Spaniel from Spain, or an Alpine spaniel to produce a heavier dog to work the thick forests of the area. Another theory put forward is that the breed was developed by the second Duke when he crossed an Alpine Spaniel with the Basset Hound.

Other families in the area kept a similar type of Spaniel for working under similar conditions like those at Clumber Park. Included among them was the Duke of Portland, the Earl of Spencer, and George Foljambe of Osberton, the latter supplying dogs to Newcastle, while Earl Spencer was the first exhibitor of Clumber Spaniels.

Prince Albert was also interested in the breed in the nineteenth century and King Edward VII’s Clumbers at Sandringham became well known in the twentieth. They were among his favorite breeds and he worked them in packs of six or eight with as many as eighty beaters in the field.


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