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Francis Quartly with Cherry 66 and calf. 

Francis Quartly with Cherry 66 and calf. 

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Early British explorers and settlers introduced their domestic livestock to new lands. Many species and breeds were indigenous to the place of origin of the introducers. The Devon breed of cattle is one example of such introductions. Cattle recognizable as the progenitors of the Devon type appeared in its native county in southwest England in Domes...

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... Quartly set about improving this situation by buying in some of these animals, outbidding the butchers, and -- as one noted Devon breeder remarked -- taking the trump in every hand and retaining them for breeding (Tanner Davy, 1869). Many Quartly females were thus bought in but Francis used his own bulls in the herd. Already at this early stage he could command five guineas as a service fee for covering other breeder‘s cows ( Hall and Clutton-Brook, 1989: Thornton, 1992). Quartly bred for meat and draught with milk production being only a minor consideration. When Davy‘s Devon Herd Book was first published Quartly was acclaimed as the saviour of the race and the founder of the true breed. Just prior to the Herd Book‘s publication a portrait of himself and two of his animals was presented to Francis Quartly in recognition of his achievements (Figure 1) (Beer and Beer, 1998). It was probably the dual purpose nature – draught and meat – of eighteenth and nineteenth century Devons that made them popular with the nobility and the gentry: far from being ―old fashioned‖, the use o f oxen for work was still an important asset. The Earl Fortescue and Baron Clinton, both Devon land owners, had herds. His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales (who is also the Duke of Cornwall and owns vast tracts of land in Cornwall, the county next to Devon) had a herd on the Duchy Home Farm. A plethora of other gentry who occupied several pages in Burke‘s Peerage also rode on the band wagon. Farther afield the Duke of Bedford owned Devons as well as the noted agricultural innovator Thomas Coke, Earl of Leicester who kept a herd at Holkham Hall in Norfolk. There was also a number of herds in Ireland. In addition to the admitted usefulness of the Devon a further possible reason for the landed gentry keeping them at this stage was that, along with the Sussex and to a lesser extent the Hereford, they were the breed in which the continental influence was then least apparent (Hall and Clutton-Brook, 1989) and thus they could flaunt their ―patriotism‖. If it were the Quartly family and other progressive local husbandmen that were the master craftsmen in fashioning the designer breed that we recognize today, it was another Devon farming family that put order into it. John Davy, who was born in 1706, died in 1790 and left his Devon herd to his sons John Tanner Davy at Rose Ash about 10 miles from Molland and William Davy at Flitton Barton about five miles to the west. John Tanner Davy died in 1852 and was succeeded by his son of the same name. William promoted the dairy properties of his cattle with considerable success but never lost sight of the distinctive beef characteristics of the breed. The Flitton Devons won many top show prizes and had a considerable influence on the breed as a whole. It was the second John Tanner Davy (Figure 2), however, to whom the Devon ...