The Felixstowe Kennels

Isaac W. Everett of Felixstowe said in one article that he started in the breed in 1892 but Mary McBryde in The Magnificent Irish Wolfhound says he had his first wolfhound in 1893 when he lived in Ireland, and the later Felixstowe advertisements were headed "established 1893". The first Irish wolfhound of his ownership that I can find came from a litter born March 7th, 1896, bred by G.E. Crisp of Ipswich, by Navan (Myshall ex Iona) ex Zarah III (by Leon, a Gt. Dane, ex Fly II, a Deerhound). The bitch was Felixstowe Mavourneen, littersister to Crisps's Kenmare who was to be the sire of Felixstowe Esperance. Mavourneen was Best Bitch at Crufts 1898 and 1899. He also bought Emo, bred by R.A. Allen of Cardiff. Emo (to become Ch. Felixstowe Emo) was born June 20th, 1899, by Ch. O'Leary ex Lady Kathleen (Garryowen ex Cruiskeen). In 1904 at the age of 5, Emo was BOS at the Irish Wolfhound Club's show and Best Bitch at Crufts. Emo's littersister, Allen's Acushla, was the dam of Aughrim.

 I.W.Everett with two hounds  Isaac Everett with two of his hounds - F. Killary (left) and
F. Kilcully (right)

Felixstowe Mavourneen had a litter to Goth II in January, 1898 from which came Felixstowe Handy Andy, and to Goth II again on August 23rd, 1899, from which came Felixstowe Brian, Hooligan, Biddy and Kathleen. Biddy and Kathleen were transferred to Mr. W. Williams in February, 1900.

On July 6, 1900, the Rev. C. Steele had a litter by O'Leary out of Guinevere, from which Isaac Everett took a dog puppy, Felixstowe Rooney.

Mavourneen had a litter to O'Leary on August 23rd, 1900, from which came Felixstowe Cashel and Macroom, and again in April, 1901 from which came Graham's Norah (black and tan, a colour which Graham particularly liked) and Felixstowe Kilrea. In December, 1902 Mavourneen was transferred to Mrs. G. Fuller.

Felixstowe Emo had a litter to Bran II on June 12, 1901, from which came Felixstowe Doreen, and a litter by Wargrave on January 9, 1902, from which came Felixstowe O'Carroll.

In February, 1903 Dr. Pitts Tucker had a litter by Finn (Bran II ex Roseen) out of Juno of the Fen (littersister to Compton's Wolfe Witch) and from this litter a bitch went to Felixstowe where she became Felixstowe Dromore. Dromore was Best Bitch at Crufts, 1905 and, mated to Ch. Cotswold, produced Ch. F. Kilronan, who was owned by Major P.G. Shewell of the Cotswold kennel. Kilronan won 16 K.C. Challenge Certificates. F. Dromore was owned by Mr. G.L. Spooner at the time of her whelping the litter with F. Kilronan, which was July 27th, 1907. She was later owned by Mrs. Shewell of the Cotswold kennel.

Felixstowe Kilronan   Felixstowe Kilronan
Ch.  Felixstowe Kilronan Ch.  Felixstowe Kilronan at a show

Phyllis Gardner in her Irish Wolfhound Portraits writes of F. Kilronan "Colour red wheaten. Height given as 36 ins. 'Could move as freely as a greyhound'". His famous progeny included Wyke Mark Dan O'Hagarty, Lindley Lupin, and Jess of Midlothian. He was later owned by Mrs. Trethewy (Major and Mrs. Shewell sold up their kennel in 1912).

On June 2nd, 1904 Everett bred a litter out of Felixstowe Sheelah (by Bob, a Gt. Dane, out of F. Lufra, a Deerhound) by Ivo Brian, which produced Hamilton Adams' Ivo Dhulart, sire of Ivo Drogheda and possibly of Hy Niall, since a puppy was stolen from the litter a little before a puppy was bought for a few shillings from a tramp and was registered as Hy Niall with a made-up pedigree. F. Sheelah also had a litter by Kenmare, which produced F. Esperance.

July 20th, 1905 Everett bred a litter by Major Shewell's Kilcullen out of Mrs. Griffith's Kitty Astore (Dermot ex Artara), from which came F. Yirra, a black and tan.

 Felixstowe Yirra
 Felixstowe Yirra

On July 27th, 1905 F. O'Carroll had a litter by Ivo Brian which produced F. Sheelin, which, mated to F. Esperance (Kenmare ex F. Sheelah), sired F. Gara and F. Erriss.

A bitch born in September, 1904, Mrs. Marshall's Ch. Lufra Rhu (by Zarko ex Brenda), mated to Ch. Leinster (by Connaught ex Nualla) produced Ch. Felixstowe Gweebarra (born May 12th, 1909), who was the sire, out of Grosvenor Doreen, of Felixstowe Nenagh, the dam of Caragh who in turn was the dam of Int.Ch. Sulhamstead Thelma and Ch. Sulhamstead Conncara. (Thelma was the first International champion in the breed and Conncara was a great sire; for example, all but one of the hounds gaining their English championship in 1930 were by him)

 Felixstowe Gweebarra
 Felixstowe Gweebarra

Gweebarra is said to have been "an immense dog, weighing at one time 180lbs., and standing on the most perfect legs and feet, with enormous bone, and a glorious outline and head." He was BoB at the Irish Wolfhound Club show in 1911 and was later exported to America to a gentleman who wished to use him on his estates "for bringing bears to bay." His brother, Silver King (born May 7th, 1908), mated to Fillongley Queen (Kilcullen ex Iris), produced Ch. Lindley Hector, the sire, out of Ch. Felixstowe Kilrush, of Felixstowe Navan who, mated to F. Cloone (Earlsmead Finn ex Lindley Biddy), produced Ch. Felixstowe Kilgerran, sire of Caragh and also grandsire of Felixstowe Kilbarry, Conncara's sire. F. Navan was later exported to the U.S.A., where he became a champion.

Ch. Felixstowe Kilrush   Felixstowe Kilgerran
 Ch. Felixstowe Kilrush Ch.  Felixstowe Kilgerran
 Ch. Felixstowe Kilgerran  head study of Kilgerran
 Ch. Felixstowe Kilgerran (from 1922 advertisement)  Head Study of Felixstowe Kilgerran

F. Kilrush was born December 25th, 1910, by F. Gweebarra ex F. Gara (born April 15, 1907 by F. Sheelin ex F. Esperance). She stood 33 ins. at the shoulder, was later owned by J. McKelvie, when, in 1913, she was Best Bitch at Crufts. F. Kilgerran was BoB at the Irish Wolfhound Club show in 1920 and 1922 and Best Dog at Crufts in 1917, 1921 and 1922. He stood 35½ ins. at the shoulder. He was actually registered with the Kennel Club as F. Kilkerran, was born August 8th, 1911 and was a full brother to Kilrush. Both Kilrush and Kilgerran were later transferred to Mr. J. McKelvie.

Ch. Felixstowe Gelert, litterbrother of Kilrush, was BoB at the Irish Wolfhound Club show in 1912. He was said to be one of the finest Irish Wolfhounds ever bred and to have what is the truest-to-type head.

 Felixstowe Gelert
 Ch. Felixstowe Gelert

Another from the Lindley Hector/F. Kilrush litter was Felixstowe Regan. He stood 37 ins. at the shoulder and was Best Dog at Crufts in 1916, where Felixstowe Clonatilty was Best Bitch. In 1915 Regan was advertised at stud to members of the Irish Wolfhound Club at 6 gns. and to non-members at 7 gns. [6 gns. in 1915 is the equivalent of £361.80 in 2007]

 Felixstowe Regan
 Felixstowe Regan

Regan fractured one leg at the elbow as a puppy, which left him somewhat stiff but his type and other attributes were much praised. Regan to F. Nenagh produced F. Fota (born June 7th, 1916), the dam, by Wyke Mark Dan O'Hagarty, of F. Kilbirnie (born December 24th, 1921).

Felixstowe Fota   Felixstowe Kilbernie
 Felixstowe Fota  Felixstowe Kilbirnie (sometimes spelt Kilburnie)

Isaac Everett pretty well kept the breed going during the 1914-18 War. The hounds were fed on ox tripe mixed with blood from the slaughterhouse, plus eggs, milk and bonemeal. After shows they were dosed with a garlic mixture called Yadil, which was supposed to kill all germs. There were, of course, no inoculations and distemper killed many young hounds. Felixstowe hounds formed the basis of many of what were to become major kennels such as Mrs. Florence Nagle's Sulhamstead, Mr. Rank's Ouborough, and Captain and Mrs. Hudson's Brabyns.

A piece on the kennel from Our Dogs of July 16th, 1915 mentions that five or six brood bitches were kept. A piece in 1922 mentions eight brood bitches. In 1928 when Mrs. Alice Dunlop (Delorne Irish wolfhounds) worked there, the kennels held about twenty hounds, including two stud dogs and several old bitches. Several litters were bred each year (except for the period 1917 until following the Armistice in November, 1918, when breeding was banned) until the early Thirties, when the number of litters dropped to about two a year.

F. Muldooney was born on April 7th, 1919, by F. Kilgerran out of F. Nenagh, and was transferred to Mr. Fitzgerald in November, 1920. F. Creeshe was born on March 19th, 1920, by Mrs. Shewell's Cotswold Tipperary out of F. Magee.

 Felixstowe Muldooney  Felixstowe Creeshe
 Felixstowe Muldooney  Felixstowe Creeshe
Head study of Felixstowe Creeshe   Head study of F. Creeshe

Jess of Midlothian, by F. Kilronan ex Dhudesia (a granddaughter of Nookoo through Nualla), became part of the Felixstowe kennels and was the dam of Ch. Felixstowe Killcoo, who was BOS at the Irish Wolfhound Club show in 1922 and 1924 and Best Bitch at Crufts in 1923 and 1924. Jess barely reached 30 ins. to the shoulder but proved herself as a brood.

Jess of Midlothian   Felixstowe Killcoo
 Jess of Midlothian  Ch. Felixstowe Killcoo
 F. Regan & Jess of Midlothian
 Felixstowe Regan and Jess of Midlothian

These head studies are of Felixstowe Kilgerran, mentioned earlier as being by F. Navan out of F. Cloone.

 Felixstowe Kilgerran  Felixstowe Kilgerran
 Ch. Felixstowe Kilgerran -  Studies of Expression

On September 20th, 1919 Country Life carried an article about the kennels, entitled "The Noblest of the Kind" and written by A. Croxton Smith. It says: "One of our oldest and most successful breeders is Mr. I.W. Everett, of Witnesham, Suffolk, whose dogs are illustrated this week. Chief among them is Felixstowe Kilgerran, championship winner at the last Cruft's show. A light brindle in colour, he stands 35½ ins. at the shoulder, and weighs about 180 lbs. Yet, notwithstanding this great size, he is so perfectly put together that he gallops like a greyhound, and is as active as a terrier. If he were not beautifully proportioned this would not be possible. He has heavy, straight bone carried well down, his girth is remarkable, and he is strong behind the withers, with no suspicion of being dipped there, which is a fault that so often disfigures the big breeds. His sire, Felixstowe Navan, was sold to a gentleman in Massachusetts for a considerable sum. Felixstowe Graigue promises to make a giant, as he was only seven months old when photographed, and he then measured 33 ins. Probably by the time this article is published he will have sailed for Brazil, which will be a distinct loss to the country, as in every respect he is an extraordinarily good hound."

 Felixstowe Graigue
 Felixstowe Graigue

Felixstowe Garryellen was also mentioned in the Country Life article as "........a raking big bitch standing over a lot of ground, bought purposely for mating with Kilgerran. Strong in loin, deep in girth, and with powerful hindquarters, she is fitted to become the mother of a great race, and her breeding - Champion Fodhla Patrick out of Lindley Brenda - brings sound blood into the kennels."

 Felixstowe Garryellen Felixstowe Garryellen 
 Felixstowe Garryellen  Felixstowe Garryellen

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