Irish Wolfhound History

Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood

Born 25th April, 1897, the third child and only daughter of King George V and Queen Mary. After her marriage she held the title Viscountess Lascelles, and after 6th October, 1929 she was the Countess of Harewood.. She died March 28th, 1965 in Harewood House, which is in Yorkshire. She was very much involved with charitable work, and also took an active role in promiting the Girl Guide movement, VADs and Land Girls. She also took a course in nursing at the Great Ormond Street Hospital and worked in one of the wards two days a week.

She was also particularly interested in horses and horse racing, and she and her husband frequently rode with the Bramham Moor Hunt.

 Princess Mary  Princess Mary

For full details,_Princess_Royal_and_Countess_of_Harewood

She used "Harewood" as the kennel name when she bred a litter.
 Harewood House  Harewood House

THE IRISH TIMES 6th October, 1928


The Association of Irish Wolf-hound Breeders, in their appeal for support and co-operation, state in a circular that "the origin of our national dog is wrapped in the obscurity of the dawn of history. The Irish wolf-hound has been described as "noble in character, majestic in bearing, swift in the chase, tenacious to the end; a mighty hunter, generous to friend, but terrible to foe; supreme among the canine races for intelligence and an almost uncanny sense of good and evil; sublime in his devotion; the joy of his master's heart and faithful unto death" - such is the splendid record of the Irish wolfhoundm gleaned from the mythological legends of the Emerald Isle, and taken from the written page of English history from the dawn of our race until the twentieth century."
The breed, it is further stated, is advancing "with giant strides" towards its proper position of pre-eminence in the canine world, not only in England but in many of the countries of Europe and in America.
"It was with a view to endeavouring to make our own country take its proper place as the real home of its own national hound," says the circular, "that the campaign for the revival, purification, and the increase of the breed, that the Association of Irish Wolf-hound Breeders was founded on the 23rd July, 1928.
The president of the Association is Lady Talbot de Malahide and the vice-presidents are Viscount Powerscourt, the Marquess of Londonderry, Mr. J.F. Baily, Mr. & Mrs. J.V. Rork.
Among the objects and methods of the Association are an endeavour "to establish firmly the breed of Irish wolf-hound in Ireland by defining as precisely as possible its type and qualities; to urge upon breeders and judges the adoption of that type and those qualities as the only standard by which Irish wolf-hounds are to be bred and judged, and which may, therefore, be universally accepted as the sole standard in breeding."

The Presentation to Princess Mary

In 1928 Princess Mary visited Ireland and the Association of Irish Wolfhound Breeders presented her with Patrick of Ouborough as a gift.

 Princess Mary presentation

GLOUCESTER CITIZEN, Saturday 20th October, 1928

Dublin, Saturday
The pedigree Irish wolfhound which was presented to Princess Mary by the Association of Irish Wolfhound Breeders on the occasion of her recent visit to Portumna Castle, left Ireland last night en route for Goldsborough Hall. A beautiful specimen of his breed, Patrick of Ouborough, as the dog is called, has been the subject of ceaseless vigil by the Irish Civil Guards since the day he was presented to the Princess. In the interval Patrick has been an honoured guest at the kennels of Captain Purcell, of Beverston, County Dublin.
The dog is travelling in a specially-fitted basket and special arrangements have been made for his comfort on the long journey to Princess Mary's home. It is expected that the gift of this champion Irish wolfhound will do much to popularise the breed in England.

 Goldsborough Hall
 Goldsborough Hall, North Yorkshire


THE IRISH TIMES, October 20th, 1928

The young Irish wolfhound "Patrick", which was presented to Princess Mary by the Irish Wolfhound Association during her recent visit to Portumna, was shipped last night on the British and Irish Steam Packet Company's steamer 'Lady Limerick' for Liverpool, whence it will be taken by train to Goldsborough Hall, the residence of Princess Mary and Viscount Lascelles.

Princess Mary received three gifts on 10th October - a beautiful 15 months' old Irish wolfhound, a Tara brooch wrought in pure gold, and a rosary, all of which will serve to remind her of her first happy visit to Portumna. The Irish wolfhound was presented to Princess Mary by Mrs. H.K. Purcell, who, with Captain R.A.V. Hamilton, Miss O'Donnell, and Mr. J.F. Eustace, brought it by car from Dublin.

 Patrick of Ouborough  Patrick of Ouborough, bred by Mrs. A.B. Wild, by Fergus of Ouborough ex
Felixstowe Alana, whelped July 10th, 1927. Registered by Mr. J.V. Rank and
the following year given to H.R.H. The Princess Royal.


THE YORKSHIRE POST, Monday November 19th, 1928

DOG NOTES By Banshee
It is gratifying, though slightly amusing, to note how invariably the purchase or acquisition of any special dog by a member of the Royal Family leads to an immediate "boom" in that particular breed. This has never been more marked than in the case of the Irish wolfhound presented to Her Royal Highness, Princess Mary, during her visit to Ireland. I understand that the Secretary of The Irish Wolfhound Club has been nearly snowed under by applications for membership, from people of all sorts and kinds. Certainly no large breed of dog deserves more popularity than the Irish wolfhound, for no more excellent companion and friend could be found. Beyond possessing a fairly large appetite, the Irish wolfhound has no objectionable characteristics whatever. His devotion to his owner is beyond all words, but, at the same time, he is never rude or rough to a stranger. He likes to "chase"; a hare or rabbit comes alike to him, but he is an extremely "biddable" dog, and it is quite easy for anyone who knows even a little about dogs to keep him under control. I hear that Princess Mary's wolfhound has settled down well in his new quarters and made friends with all and sundry. This popularity of the Irish wolfhound is all the more welcome to one who remembers their being in a state nearly approaching extinction not so many years ago. The Irish Kennel Club Journal voices another "injustice to Ireland" in the fact that it was owing to an Englishman that they were saved from this extinction, and laments that nearly all the prizes at shows are, unfortunately, now won by owners who do not hail from the Emerald Isle.
Shows in the near future include the South London Bulldog Club Society's annual fixture on the 21st, and the Ladies Kennel Association Members' Show on the 28th, which latter will be held at the Alexandra Palace. Members of the L.K.A. are, however, revelling in the fact that the next members' show after this will take place in the summer, and in the open, at Stoke Court, where a delightful Country Club has recently been opened. If only the weather will be kind, this new venture of the L.K.A. should prove a delightful one. In the old days their bi-yearly show was always an open air one. Held at the Botanical Gardens, Regents Park, and generally graced by the presence of Queen Alexandra, it became quite a Society function but the lack of favour with which it was treated by the authorities of the Botanical Gardens, and the weather alike, forced this function to be abandoned and refuge sought under roofs, which though perhaps palatial are not nearly as pleasant as the open air rendezvous of old days.


THE IRISH TIMES, 30th October 1928


Princess Mary, Viscountess Lascelles, has consented to become Patroness of the Association of Irish Wolfhound Breeders, and has also intimated her willingness to accept the portrait of the wolfhound "Patrick of Ouborough", which the Association presented to her on October 10th.
The Association is organising a pantomime "The Babes in the Wood" at the Queen's Theatre for the week beginning December 3rd, in which the story has been woven around Irish wolfhounds in such a way as to recall the historical and legendary exploits of the breed.
Several dog fanciers are included in the cast, and seven Irish wolfhounds will make their appearance in the play.


THE IRISH TIMES 12th May 1930

The Irish wolfhound that Princess Mary brought back with her from her visit to Portumna will be among the exhibits at the show of the Ladies Kennel Association at Olympia on Wednesday and Thursday next. The show will be enormous; for there are no fewer than 4,600 entries in the many classes.


The one litter registered by Princess Mary with the Kennel Club was by Patrick of Ouborough ex Wealdstone Sheila, wh. September 14th, 1929 and this included three bitches - Pansy of, Poppy of, and Primrose of Harewood - and five dogs - Sambo of, Sammy of, Sandboy of, Shap of, and Silver of Harewood. Wealdstone Sheila was bred by Mrs. Massy, by Fionn-ma-Coul of Brabyns ex Maureen of Ifold, wh. July 9th, 1926.

 Pansy of Harewood  Primrose of Harewood
 Pansy of Harewood  Primrose of Harewood

Pansy of Harewood was given by Princess Mary to Mrs. Knox of the Raikeshill Kennels.

In the Irish Wolfhound Club Yearbook for 1929-30-31, H.R.H. the Princess Royal, Countess of Harewood is listed as having accepted the position of Patron of the Irish Wolfhound Club, which she held until her death in 1965. Florence Nagle, then Chairman of the Club wrote "It was with great regret that the Irish Wolfhound Club learnt of the death of H.R.H. The Princess Royal, their patron for over thirty years. A great sportswoman, she was the owner of Patrick of Ouborough and Wealdstone Sheila and bred a litter from them. I well remember her coming to one of our Club Shows at the L.K.A. where her hound was shown and she watched the Irish Wolfhound judging from start to finish. A great lover of horses and dogs, she will be sadly missed by our Club and many others to whom she had given her support."

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January 9th, 2016