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CHAPTER XV.

THE ENGLISH SETTER.

WITHOUT doubt, to the late Mr. Edward Laverack, who died in April, 1877, the present generation is indebted for the excellence of the setter, both in form and work, as he is found to-day, and, with few exceptions, the very best dogs are actual descendants of the Laverack strain. That there is, however,

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such a thing as a “pure Laverack" to be found now in 1892 I very much dispute. The best strains have a cross or two cropping in somewhere or other. Mr. R. L. Purcell Llewellin, to whom Mr. Laverack dedicated his volume on the setter, claims a strain of his own, which perhaps has been more successful than any other, both in the field and on the show bench. Mr. Llewellin has, however, kept it very much to himself, so the continuation of the general improvement, at any rate in appearance, of this dog, has been due to another source. This is from the kennel of Mr. James B. Cockerton, of Ravensbarrow Lodge, North Lancashire, who, in reality, had his first setter from Mr. Laverack himself. It appears that some forty years or more ago, the author of “The Setter'' was in the habit of going into the neighbourhood of Mr. Cockerton's residence to shoot during September, and he left behind him, with the uncle of the latter, one or two setters, from which the present breed has, with the aid of slight infusions of other strains, been continued with extraordinary success. Thus they are more or less inter-bred, and resist very much the introduction of new blood. This, Mr. Cockerton has repeatedly found to be the case, he having on several occasions introduced a new strain by the purchase of a stud dog. In no instance has the progeny answered expectations. They were destroyed, and their sire came to a similar end. Latterly he has tried a well-known field trial winner, Dr. Wood's Fred, of great excellence in the field, and by no means indifferent in appearance. How the result has turned out it is yet too early to tell. However, to the origin of the “Laveracks.” We are told that Mr. Laverack first obtained his strain from the Rev. A. Harrison, who resided near Carlisle, and he informs us in his book, published in 1872 when he was seventy-three years of age, that he had been breeding setters for fifty years. His first fancy

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