Permanent link to this item
MR JOHN BOWES., Otago Witness, Issue 1989, 10 April 1890
MR JOHN BOWES.
(Licensed Victuallers' Gazette.) At the commencement of the present century two of the most notorious turfites of the day hailed from Durham, both were of high nobility, both had an utter contempt for the motto noblesse oblige, The Duke of Cleveland was known to be one of the most unprincipled sporting men of the day— a gamster, a row, a man who would not stick at anything for his own interest. Not many railea from Raby Oastle was Streatlam, the principal Beat of the Earl of Strathmore, a man after the Duke's own heart. Probably more raoing rogueries were concocted and oarried out between the two stables than in all the rest of England put together. The St, Leger is presumedly a three-year-old race, but how many four-year-olds were returned the winner in the first half of the present century could have been calculated with more preoision by those two gentlemen than anybody else of the time, to say nothing of the truth or falsehood of the stories an to how scores of less important races were lost or won, But it is with only one of these two aristooratic blacklegs that we have to do on the present ocoasion. Travellers in Durham and Northumberland have often stopped to admire these two noble mansions Streatlam Oastle and Gibside, both magnificently situated ; the castle was originally founded by the Baliols of Barnard Oastle, but it passed as early a3 the fourteenth century to the family of the Bowes, the first of whom was bow-bearer, hence the name, to William the Oonqueror, Most of the nobles of the North clung to the old faith at the Reformation, but the Bowes were among the staunohest of Protestants, and when the Catholics in the early years of Queen Elizabeth's reign attempted a rising in the North, the then gallant representative of the family, Sir George Bowes, did much towards repressing it by holding Barnard Oastle against the rebels for 11 days, until the arrival of the j Earls of Warwick and Sussex. But the anoient castle of Streatlam paid the forfeit for its owner's devotion to the Grown, as the insurgents set fire to it, burning everything that would burn, and ravaging the whole country round, The portrait of this grand old warrior, worthy of the age that produced Sydney, Raleigh, Drake, still hangs upon the walls of the mansion that rose upon the ruins of tha mediasval castle, and there is a legend that
His Gliost Yet Haunts the Chamber in which he died, though why the spirit of one who had done his devoir so well should ba perturbed and wish to revisit the glimpses of the moon we are at a losa to understand. The oastle was greatly modernised by Sir William Bowes in 1708, and though still a most imposing structure, is much in the prevailing Italian style of the period of its renovation. In 1767, male issue failing, Mary Eleanor Bowes, the heiress to the rame and estates, married the ninth Earl of Strathmore, who assumed the surname of Bowes, and his eldest son was made Baron Bowes, of Streatlam Oastle. It was the tenth earl to whom we have just referred as having so shady a character. Miss Mary Milner, of Staindrop, was the earl's chere amie, and lived with him openly at the castle. In tie year 1811 the lady presented him with a son, who waß christened John Bowes. Nine years afterwards the earl, feeling his last hour approach, married Miss Milner, and bequeathed to his son John the estate of Streatlam and Gibside, whioh were to be managed by trustees until the boy was of age, when be was to enjoy them for life, the title and estates of Strathmore being inherited by the brother of the deceased peer, John Bowes, after matriculating at Cambridge, was eleoted a member for South Durham in the Liberal interest in 1833, and Bat for that division, though not without oontests, until 1847. Among his heritages were some magnificent brood mares, and inheriting besides a love of the turf from his father, Mr Bowes, upon coming of age, started a raoing stud of which John Scott had the almost absolute control, and after the death of the famous Whitehall trainer, Peart of Malton and James Perrin succeeded to the poßt. The Streatlam Btables had been noted for many years before young John Bowea became lord of all he surveyed. In 1795 they owned two famous mares, Queen Mab and Beatrice— Queen 'Mab was by Eclipse out of a Tartar mare. The " Druid " tells us that Mab walked all the way from Esher to Streatlem, in Durham, under the care of John Smith, who had been the earl's trainer at the Surrey place, and was none the worse for the journey. We Bhould like to see one of our present racehorses perform a similar feat with as satisfactory a result, but in those days the vigour of the race had not been sapped by two-year-old running. We must in fairness admit, however, that she could never be trained for running ; but her constitution was so fine that phe continued to breed until she was 21, preserving muoh of her dam's Tartar temper. The owner of Streatlam bad given £267 for her, and kept her at Esher until she was 10 years old, at which age Bha made her celebrated pedestrian trip to the North. Her son Remembrancer, by Piperton, won the St. Leger of 1808, while another of her offspring, Oassio, by St. Peter, bad run second for the great Yorkshire race two years previously, and it was from hei and hor companion, Beatrice, that nearly all the grandest horses of John Bowes* Btables were drawn. From Beatrice's stock came the
Famous Derby Winners Mundig, Ootheratone, and West Australian, the first two being the sons of her granddaughter, [Gibaido Fairy, and the last the
grandson. All three of those famous old matrons attained a good old age ; Queen Mab, after presenting hor owner with foals for 16 years, died in 1807, while Beatrice produced a foal every year with two exceptions fiom 1797 to 1815. From the time of the earl's death no more horses were trained at Streatlam, Mr Bowes, was, aa we have seen. from the first, patronising Whitewall. His first Derby was won with Mundig (1835). It was more than Buspeoted in Yorkshire that the owner of Streatlam had followed the traditions of his father, and that Mundig was really a four-year-old ; he was cartainly never scon upon a course before the day on which he won the Blue Riband ; it was known that his dam had producod a foal by Oatton in 1831, another by the same sire in the following year, and it wag believed that tho changes bad been rung with the two ; while the appearance of the borsa, who looked too eturdy and firmly knit for his age, pointed to the same conclusion. No one thought, however, that the owner was cognisant of the swindle, if it really existed, which was no doubt arrangod by the stable ; but Bill Scott had to use the whip in a style that would hardly be tolerated now to make him head the field in the last 100 yds, and beat Lord Orford's Ascot by a neck, Ootherstone was Mr John Bowes 1 next Derby winner. That year (1843), aa we gather from the " Greville Memoirs," was famous for the almost unprocodentedly heavy bets that were dependent on the results. "Larger sums," ho writes, "were wagerod on it than were ever heard of before. George Bentinck backed a horse of his called Gaper (and not a gopd one) to win about £120,000. On the morning of the race the people came to hedge with him, when he laid odds against him to £7000—47,000 to 7000, 1 believe, in all. He had three bets with Kelburne of unexampled amounts. He laid Kelburne 13,000 to 7000 on Cotherstone (the winner) against British Yeoman, and Kelburne laid him 16,000 to 2000 against Gaper. Jhe result, I believe, was to these two noble lords that George Bentinok won about £9000, and the other lost £6000 or £7000." Gaper, with Sam Rogers on his baok, wkb the first to come round Tattenham Oorner, but the next moment Ootherstone came thundering down the bill, like the war horse of Job, urged on by the Demon Bill Scott, sweeping- past the field like a hurricane, and the black and gold was followed to viotory by Gorhambury and Sirical. who had stood respectively at 66 and 50 to 1, while Gaper was fourth. One of the moat sensational of all
Hocussing Stories is told of this horse. The winning of the Two Thousand had made him a hot favourite for the Darby, and the " Druid " relates a story of an attempt to get at the horse at L9atherhead, of a man with a little bottle of Btuff in his pocket, who pretended to be drank. How Bill Scott, getting an inkling of what was going on, bribed a pal of the hocousser, and wormed out of him the whole plot, and then made a foray, under the pretence of wanting a bed, whioh was not to b9 bad in the town, into a oopkloft, and there found a stocking full of poisoned oats and a packet of brown powder, both of which were intended to make Mr Bowes' horse "safe." The dodgery which lost Ootho'stono the St. Leger is another specimen of the turf, or perhaps we should say stable, morality of the day. It bad been settled by John Soott and Co. that Lord Chesterfield's Prizefighter was to be number one for " the Sillinger ; so Frank Butler, who had the mount of the Derby winner, received instructions that he was to ride him so as to let Prizefighter win. But, unfortunately for the conspirators, there was a third horse, Nutwith, ridden by Job Marston, whom Prizefighter had beaten by a short head for the Great Yorkshire Stakes, and was therefore considered out of the betting. But, thanks to the energy of the jockey, Nutwith got to the front too late for Frank, who could have won easily, to retrieve his tieaohery, and won by a head, Ootherstone being second, and Lord Chester field's horse third. How it was that John Bowes did net from that time withdraw his patronage from the Whitewall stable must ever remain a mystery. We now come to that grand horse West Australian, whose name to every reader of that delightful writer "Druid" Dixon, must be as familiar as a household word. " The West's " first trial as a two-year-old was with Lord Derby's Longbow, whom he beat three times, the first time being at 261b, the second at 211b, and the third at 161b. "The splendid grunt of Frank," says the " Druid," " when he first caught sight of the West delighted John Soott and Isaac Walker above all things. 'What's that?' be said. ' That ! ' quoth John, quite gravely ; •oh, that's only a rough thing by Freedom ; we'd better pass him.' 'What a pretty pair yoa are I ' replied Frank, as he went up to introduce himself to his love at first sight." Beaten for the Criterion Stakes, on the following Monday he won the Glasgow Stakes, and next year carried off the Two Thousand, the Derby, and the St. Leger. Frank Butler, however, had
Arranged With the Ring to sell the Great Donoaster event, and but for the promptness and firmness of Lord Derby and General Anson, who on the night before summoned the jockey before them and told him--they knew all, and what they would do if ha did not win next day, West Australian's name would certainly not now be found in the list of St. LBger winners. A curiously lymphatic person John Bowea seems to have been. The manner in which he yielded the entire control of his horses to John Scott, and, however suspiciously that downy Yorkshireman might act, never attempting to put his foot down, and his usual retiring manner, point to this conclusion. Although one of the most conspicuous owners of his day, he seldom visited a racecourse, and actually never took the trouble to see West Australian run, and although a member of the Jockey Olub, was never known to attend one of ita meetings. Yet from 1832 to 1885— the year of his death— his horses were seen on every great racecourse, Mr Bowes was enormously rich. His father had spent a fortune in improving Gibside, a fine old Tudpr mansion of James I'a time, with gardens laid out in the Louis Quatorze style, beautifully situated and grandly timbered on the banks of the Derwont. Soon after John Bowes came into possession of this estate a vein of the finest coal was found beneath the ' park, which yielded the fortunate owner from first to last at least a million of money. Fifty-three years on the Turf, and, with the exception pf the late Lord Falmoutb, the winner of the greatest number of classic races of any man of the century, was a distinction that aay man might be proud to gain. Mr Bowes was twice married, and, curious to relate, both bis wives were French ladies. Tho first, the Countess of Montalbo, died in 1874. The last two years of his life he passed in France; but finding his end approaching he returned to btreatlam to die in the home of his birth. He and his first wife repose within one of the most magnificent mausoleums in the kingdom at Barnard Castle, which it was said he erected partly to spite hisßuccessor, the present Earl of Strathmore, to whom the estate reverted at his death.
A child can wash clothes with Sunlight Soap by following directions.--[ADVT.]
MR JOHN BOWES., Otago Witness, Issue 1989, 10 April 1890
See our copyright guide for information on how you may use this title.
Papers Past now contains more than just newspapers. Use these links to navigate to other kinds of materials.
These links will always show you how deep you are in the collection. Click them to get a broader view of the items you're currently viewing.
Enter names, places, or other keywords that you're curious about here. We'll look for them in the fulltext of millions of articles.
Browsed to an interesting page? Click here to search within the item you're currently viewing, or start a new search.
Use these buttons to limit your searches to particular dates, titles, and more.
Switch between images of the original document and text transcriptions and outlines you can cut and paste.
Print, save, zoom in and more.
If you'd rather just browse through documents, click here to find titles and issues from particular dates and geographic regions.
The "Help" link will show you different tips for each page on the site, so click here often as you explore the site.