Panmure

  Panmure is a short story about the Aberdeen Angus bull Panmure written in 1904 by Charles S. Plumb, B. Sc., Professor of Animal Husbandry, Ohio State University. This bull played a great part in the early history of the Angus breed of Beef Cattle. This story rescued from the public domain.

     The breeder of Aberdeen-Angus cattle who does not study pedigrees mas’ have to plead guilty of lack of knowledge of Panmure (51), and yet in his time he was a very famous animal. In fact, by many he is regarded as important an element in Angus history as Hubback of the Shorthorns. Both were great bulls individually and in breeding power.

   There has been some controversy concerning the ancestry of Panmure. Vol.I. of the Scotch Polled Cattle Herd Book states that his dam is Black Meg (766), an animal of implied Galloway blood, while the name of her sire is not given in this volume. A careful study of the parentage of Panmure was made by Mr. Jamieson of Marischal college, Aberdeen, who most satisfactorily solved the question. Black Meg (766) may be referred to as Black Meg of Ardovie. William Fullerton of Ardovie, the owner of Panmure, in correspondence published by Mr. Jamieson, states that the bull was bred by Lord Panmure, and that his dam was Black Meg of Panmure, unquestionably an Aberdeen-Angus. Some time after the publication of the herd book referred to it was learned that Panmure was sired by an Angus bull by the name of Hector, bred by a gentleman of that name of Fernyflatt, parish ol Kinneff.

     Regarding the reflection on the purity of Panmure’s breeding that is, being partly from Galloway blood the following is of interest: Trie bull was owned for some years by Mr. Farquharson Taylor of Wellhouse, Aberdeen. While in his possession Lord Panmure sent a famous artist by the name of Phillip to his home to paint the bull’s portrait. “Not satisfied with Mr. Phillip’s first sketch,” writes Mr. McCombie, “he sent him back and Mr. Phillip lived at Wellhouse for weeks and painted Panmure a second time.” Referring to the portrait of the bull, as bearing on breed ancestry and type, Mr. Fullerton, along in the early ’70s, wrote to Mr. Jamieson as follows: “But the bull Panmure is on canvas in the Mechanics’ hall, Brech-In, painted by the great J. Phillip; also he is now before me, and on canvas by the same great man, and presented to me by the late Lord Panmure; and let any judge look at these paintings and say if he sees the very slightest resemblance to the Galloway breed. Not he! No! Half a judge would even say so. His elegant head and stately outline would at a glance at once bring out such a remark as, ‘There has been no Galloway blood there No, no!'”

     Mr. Fullerton was a celebrated breeder of Angus cattle in his time, winning many prizes of great value. Panmure was calved in 1840, and in 1841, when a year and a half old, he was purchased by Mr. Fullerton from Lord Panmure for about $90 American money. He proved to be a good investment, although owned by Mr. Fullerton but two years. While in his possession he sired Monarch (44) and another bull named Colonel. Panmure was exhibited by Mr. Fullerton and with much success, winning the first prize as a 3-year-old at Dundee in 1843, when in very strong competition. After this show he was purchased by Mr. Taylor, already referred to, in whose hands he made a good record as both breeding and show bull. Referring to him in his later career Mr. Fullerton writes: “I saw him (Panmure) stand as winner of the third prize at Aberdeen with his two sons, Monarch (44) and the Colonel, both bred by me, standing beside their father Monarch having the first and Colonel the second prize. Of course Panmure was by this time some 8 or 9 years of age, and so wanted to some extent the outline and sprightliness of a 3 or even a 5 year old. Still, and to make allowance for the service he had rendered, there would have been but small mistake, if any, to have made his sons stand below him. I do not think I have ever seen such a dashing 3-year-old as he was at Dundee in 1843.”

Eleven calves of Panmure are recorded in the first volume of the Scotch herd book, but it is known that he was used liberally in the localities where owned and he no doubt sired many calves that were never registered. Some of the more important ones recorded are Monarch (44), Princess (47), Jean Ann (206), Queen Mother (348), Queen of Scots (72), Queen of Kinnochtry (572), and Princess Daughter (832).

     Panmure, bred to Queen of Ardovie (29), a daughter of Black Meg (766), produced Queen Mother (348), the foundress of the famous Queen tribe, most highly esteemed by all lovers of Angus cattle. Monarch (44) was a son of Panmure’s through a daughter of his by the name of Julia, out of Susanna, a daughter of Black Meg (766). Thus Monarch and Queen Mother, as a result of in-and-inbreeding worthy of a Colling, were half brother and sister. Not only that, but on the sire’s side Panmure was not only sire but also grandsire. Yet Monarch was such a superior individual, and his breeding was so good, that he was bought by William McCombie and placed at the head of his herd. In his work on “Cattle and Cattle Breeders” that breeder writes, as evidence of the merit of Panmure’s breeding, transmitted to his herd by his son, that “some of my best stock trace their descent from Panmure.” The importance of this statement becomes apparent when we consider that McCombie stands in history as the most successful of Angus breeders.

     Mr. McCombie purchased at Ardovie the cows Queen Mother and Jean Ann, that were full sisters, sired by Panmure and out of Queen of Ardovie (29). He bred Monarch (44)) to each of these, resulting in 1847 in the production of Lola Montes (208), and in 1849 of Bloomer (201), two famous prize-winning cows in their day and generation. This was in-andin-breeding with a vengeance. In 1852 Lola Montes was bred to Angus (45), a superior bull bred by Hugh Watson, and from that union she dropped a heifer named Charlotte (203), which became a prize winner at Paris in 1856. A bull named Hanton (228), that was the first prize Angus male at the Paris exposition the same year, and shown by McCombie, an animal tracing three times to Panmure, was bred to Charlotte. From that service in 1857 she dropped the heifer Pride of Aberdeen (581), the foundress of the Pride family of the Queen tribe, whose “career is without a parallel in the chronicles of the breed.” She was a most remarkable cow, creating a sensation at Sccf.ch shows for three years, and making a great impression at the international show at Battersea in 1862.

     The famous Prince Ito (12869), that in1902 sold for $9,100 in Chicago at public sale, the Angus record price, is five generations descended from Pride of Aberdeen in a direct line on the dam’s side. One cannot trace a Queen Mother or Pride of today without running back into the blood of Panmure. A study of many an Angus pedigree will show that Panmure played his part, although often overlooked through the space of time. Yet the very best blood of the Angus cattle of Scotland secured from him a rich part of its inheritance.