The breed type
“Spaniel” was first referred to in the XIV century. In his
Book of Hunting "Le Livre de la chasse" Gaston Phoebus de Foix
- a feudal landowner- mentions Spaniels….”fair Spaniels”,
already. He wrote: "There´s another kind of dogs….....hounds
for the hawk. Spaniels of their manner come from Spain. Such a hound for
the hawk should have a great head, a great body, be of fair hue. White
or tavele for they be the fairest and of such hue as is commonly the best.
The good qualities of such hounds are these…..they love their master
and follow him without loosing him, notwithstanding if they are located
in a big crowd of people….mostly they run ahead their master, dashing
and wagging their tails, and let flush the winged game….but their
real skill is focussed on quails and partridges. When they were taught
to lay before than they are qualified to catch partridges and quails with
the net……and if they have learned to swim they are good for
the river and the duck shooting".
There are some legends about the arising of this breed. A fairly well documented history indicates that the Spaniels that we now know as Clumber come from Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire. The breed was bred from spaniels, which the Duc de Noailles at the time of the French Revolution in the late 18th century gave with his kennel of prized spaniels to the Duke of Newcastle at Clumber Park. It has been theorized that the Duke of Newcastle's long time gamekeeper, William Mansell, was himself responsible for the development of this unique breed. Probably get through the selection of the best working dogs to find a suitable dog for these purposes. It is known that he and his descendants worked in that area for a long time with a significant number of hunting spaniels. The earliest description of the Clumber is from the year 1861 by John Meyrick, who described him as " the largest variety of Spaniel, weighing sometimes as much as 30lbs." .... - Much smaller than the Clumbers as we know them today!
From his kennel
the Duke then shared dogs with his neighbours at the country seats in
the Dukeries (this is also the explanation for our kennel name).The Dukeries
is a district in the county of Nottinghamshire so called because it contained
four ducal seats. It is south of Worksop which has been called the Gateway
to the Dukeries.
: principal seat of the Dukes of Newcastle.
Near Worksop Francis
John Savile Foljambe of Osberton Hall then became well known for his Clumbers,
the prize winning Nabob and notably Beau “pillar of the stud”
the Prince consort of Queen Victoria, was a fancier and promoter of the
breed, as was his son King Edward VII, who bred them at the Sandringham
estate in Norfolk. They are referred to in Queen Victoria's diary:
The breeding of
the Clumber Spaniel was mostly reserved to the nobility until the mid
19th century. During World War I breeding was stopped and their numbers
dropped to a record low. King George V. re-developed a line of Clumbers
in the Royal Kennel in 1925 and this dogs were used in the fields in the
Mr. F. Winton Smith's Clumber Champion Beechgrove Donally (top right), a dog that has remained practically unbeaten in the show-ring: several of his offspring have performed creditably at the trials. The picture left shows another of Mr. Winton Smith's famous Clumbers, Champion Beechgrove Bee, a bitch that has won the rare distinction of a title gained at trials alone; for she has never been exhibited.
During World War II the breeding of Clumber became less and they were only kept as show- and family dogs. The dogs were bred against the breed standard more for show than for looking on the abilities for work. The breed standard now was determinate by heavier dogs than the original Duke of Newcastle’s spaniels. The Breed became rarer and their reputation as working dogs was damaged. They were known as clumsier and more dawdling Spaniels, nothing for a fan of working dogs. Cocker and Springer now were preferred for hunting.
At the beginning
of this century the registration numbers of Cocker- just like Springer
Spaniels - in Great Britain
But in the last few years some Breeder in GB made a reversion and thereby the numbers of Clumber Spaniels are increasing.