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
of May 1387, Count of Foix and Viscount of Béarn, Gaston
Phoebus wrote the “Book of hunting” (Le Livre de la
chasse) and dedicated it to his hunting companion “Phillip
dem Kühnen” in 1389.
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!
First pictures of this
original Clumber Spaniels on the painting of Francis Wheatley
which now is to be seen in Clumber Park and shows the 2nd Duke
at the hunt with his dogs.
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.
The ducal seats were:
House : principal seat of the Dukes of Newcastle.
Thoresby Hall : principal seat of the Dukes of Kingston and later
of the Earls Manvers.
Welbeck Abbey : principal seat of the Dukes of Portland
Worksop Manor : a seat of the Dukes of Norfolk
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” in 1872.
The Clumber spaniel was shown in England from 1859 onward and
officially recognised as a breed in 1879.
The Clumber Spaniels have been favored by the Royals. Kept and
bred by Prince Albert,
King Edward VII, King George V and more recently HRH Princess
Anne the Princess Royal.
Albert, 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: On October
16, 1840, she wrote, "Walked out directly after breakfast
before Albert went to shoot. He had his 7 fine Clumber Spaniels
with us and we went into the Slopes, with such a funny old Gamekeeper,
Walters, in order that I should see how the dogs found out their
game. They are such dear, nice dogs."
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 Sandringham Estate.
In 1891 Cruft's developed
from a pure terrier show to exhibiting all dogs, including Clumber
Spaniels. An advertisement for Mr James Thorpe Hinck’s stud
dogs ‘Friar Trounce’ and ‘Friar Bob’ claim
them to be both “well broken and excellent workers”.
Friar Bob being a direct descendent (6th generation) of Nabob
of 1872. In the beginning of the last century Clumber were used
as working dog as well as show dog. Kennels like "Beechgrove",
"Heathmynd" and "Hempstead" bred Clumber Spaniels
that had been both ....successful in the show ring and in the
The first Field Trials were given in 1899 and Clumber were represented
in a high number.
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.
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
beginning of this century the registration numbers of Cocker-
just like Springer Spaniels - in Great Britain
were almost one hundred times of the registered Clumber Spaniels.
the last few years some Breeder in GB made a reversion and thereby
the numbers of Clumber Spaniels are increasing.