Gamefowl Yellow Birchen History

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Yellow Birchen | Duryea Whitehackle

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Spangled Duryea Cock

Spangled Duryea

The following is taken from an old type written article. I believe it was written by Gus Frithof. It has a great deal of information on the Yellow Birchens, Duryea, Eslin Red Quills, Black and Tans, and Herisford Brown Reds,

"Bell Ringers" bred by Gus Frithiof

These fowl have their beginning in the 17th Century with the imported Chinese Pyles, taken to England by Admiral Sir Francis Drake during the REIGH of King Charles the 2nd., who bred them at Hampton Court, near London and they were known as Cheshire Pyles and King Charles II Pyles. In about 1790 Dr. Bellyse of Audelem,Cheshire England obtained the Chinese Reylance Cheshire Pyles and with Joseph Gilliver feeding won over 50 mains against the 12th Earl of Derby of from 31 to 61 cocks in each main. The most famous feeders of their time namely Richardson, Paul Potter and Paul Potter, Junior IIIrd. were the Earl of Derby's feeders. In 1810 Dr. Bellyse crossed a Cheshire Pyle cock over his "Crow Alleys" which were deep black Reds, with black eyes and dark legs and produced his unbeatable strain of Black Hackles. Dr Bellyse will always live in English Cocking History as their greatest breeder cocker. After the death of Dr. Bellyse, 1834, the Earl of Sefton obtained his choice of Bellyse's fowl and fought them with success fed by Tom Davis (Tommy the Sweep) and later presented the fowl to Davis. Davis had a daughter who married a young cocker named jarvis Ellis, but he spelled his name Elise, a way of spelling it in the event he was arrested for cock-fighting in England. The first and only international main ever fought was between mr James Eslin and Mr Jarvis Elise of Bradford, Yorkshire, England, in 1858 and was fought at the Greys's Ferry Boat Club, which is now 20th and Wharten St., in Philadelphia, Pa. In this main the Elise Black Hackles suffered defeat as Mr. Eslin won this main, and as did all his mains. After the main Mr. elise presented Mr. Eslin with his choice of the cocks, as he admired the great gameness displayed by them. With his own Irish Brown Reds and the Elise cock Mr. Eslin made a new strain. During this time the Bellyse fowl gained their name of Black Hackle due to the Pyle blood introduced into the "Crow Alleys" suddenly became active, in obedience to the inexorable laws of atavism. The Pyle under the white covering would be jet black, hence the name of Black Hackle. Pat Carroll fed the Dr. Bellye strain for Jarvis Elise.

In 1884 Mr James Eslin presented my friend Andrew P O'Conor a red neck Black hen of his Eslin Brown Red and Jarvis Elise Black hackle family. In 1887 Mr O'Conor bred this hen to her brother and a hen from this mating was bred in 1889 to the cock he secured from pat Carroll, pure Black hackle, and created his Rock Hill family, which were nearly pure Black Hackle. My present strain descend from this mating.

(Red Quills, and Black & Tans)

In 1885 , one year before his death, Mr James Eslin gave the last living hen of his Red Quill strain to my friend A. P. O'Conor, who bred her to a 11 time winning cock of Mr. Michael Kearney's Herrisford Brown Reds and proceeded to win 32 consecutive mains with their produce. This Herrisford Brown Red cock was brought to America by Mr. Robert Quinn (Bobby), uncle of Kearney. Mr. James Eslin made his strain in about 1842 and they were known as Eslins's Brown Breds, until after 1865, when they were called Red Quills. Mr. Eslin never lost a main in his lifetime with this strain and bitterly assailed the advertiser of his stain as hucksters and frauds, as he had never parted with a pure female of the strain. The produce of the Eslin hen above mentioned and the Herrisford Br Red cock were called Black & Tans and won 32 consecutive mains. The "Bell Ringers" contained the blood of direct descendents of those fowl, direct from their originator.

(Yellow Birchens, Herrisford Brown Reds)

In 1905, while in Ireland, Mr. O'Conor located the last of the Herrisford family of fowl; but all the Herrisfords had died. They had been the "Game Keepers" for the O'Kelly's and O'Callaghan's, who fought their cocks in the name of their feeder Herrisford.

The earl of Clonmell obtained all of the Herrisford Brown Reds and Yellow Birchens by donating a sum of equivalent to $1,000. to a charity in which the old maids, that had the Herrisford fowl, were interested. Mr. O'Conor brought these fowl to America in 1906. Their blood has now been blended into the "Bell Ringers" The Brown Red blood was the same as the cock that made the Black and Tans; that won 32 consecutive mains. Some of the first Yellow Birchens were fought by Al Jones of Dallas, Pa. who won 9 lost 2 with 7 cocks in Pittsburg, Pa. Tour's and mains. He fought Ed. Pine for $1,500 with sons of 5 of those cocks and beat him every fight in the main. In 1935, Al Jones whipped Clarets and Claret crosses three mains for large sums of money with Birchen-crosses, which looked to be pure Birchen in color. The first was with Walter Kelso, Mr. Madigins best friend and the man who inherited his fowl upon his deat on Sept. 16 1942. The Birchens won 7 to 1. The following June, in the follow-up main between Law and Murphy, Al whipped Geroge hardy and J.H. madigin 5 to 2 and all 5 Birchen crosses won. The Birchens lost 1, one draw in 3 mains for from $1500 to $5000 on the odd.

In 1902 Mr. Michael Kearney sent the Earl of Clonmell a pair of his Whitehackles, as a present, when he sold him a trio of fowl for $1000. The Earl of Clonmell in Kildaire, Ireland gave that pair of straight comb Whitehackles to my friend A. P. O'Conor. In 1912 Mr. Michael Kearney wrote the Earl of Clonmell that he had lost by death, the last hen of his old strain; that he had never parted with a female of that family, except the hen he gave him, with a cock, in 1902--otherwise, the strain would be lost. According to this letter of Kearney's there are no Kearney Whitehackles in existence that does not come from this pair of fowl he sent to the Earl of Clonmell. Mr. O'Conor bred the straight combed Whitehackle cock of Kearney's to the first cross of Black and Tan Cock and Brown Red pure Herrisford Hen to check their extreme speed, thereby improving accuracy in cutting. My "Bell Ringers" contain the blood of that kearney Whitehackle cock sent to the Earl of Clonmell. These Kearney cocks under all conditions of "Grief", they had the SMASH, when in a dying condition, which no other cocks, not of the Herrisford breeding ever had. Their Gameness was always, under all conditions , almost unbelievable.

(Hail Stone Yellow Birchen, Duryea)

In 1901 Mr. Herman Duryea sent the Earl of Clonmell in Kildaire, Ireland, a little Robin-breasted Birchen colored cock that had won 14 battles. Clonmell fought him 5 times, including 4 times in a 16 cock Welsh main in which a cock must defeat 4 opponents to win, which he did, making him a 19 time winner. The Mother of the 19 time winner, Duryea sent the Earl of Clonmell along with her 3 daughters, was a little "Hail Stone" Spangle-Birchen. Sons of the 19 time winner, out of his mother and 3 sister, beat the unbeaten Soften Derby cocks, unbeaten in 50 years, two out of the trhee mains of 17 cocks cach for $50,000 on the odd 3 mains, one main ended in a draw. 84 Duryea cocks fought in the English and Irish mains and won 72 battles defeating all the leading strains over them, including the Sefton Derbys, and the Earl of Craven's Mansell-Pyle-Joe Gilman Grey fowl, which they defeated every fight in a 11 cock main. The Duryea strain according to a letter he wrote Major Carson, Hickory Valley Tenn., in 1914 was bred out of a Yellow Birchen hen and a cock of Kearneys Brown Reds; also of the Herrisford strain. This Kearney Br. Red cock won 11 time, 5 of his wins in mains Vs the Eslins, and was the same cock that founded the Black and Tans that won 32 consecutive mains. Mr. Duryea was the master of the cocking world during his lieftime and for 32 years he lost only 1 main and that to John Hoy, when Kearney wanted to pay forfeit due to a batch of sick cocks. He fought on an average of 4 mains yearly for over 30 years for sums ranging from 5 to 50 thousand dollars.

If we are to measure one's ability by genuine success, then Herman Duryea was the absolute Peer of any Cocker-Breeder that ever lived. After making his strain with a Herrisford Yellow Birchen hen and a Herrisford Brown Red cock he fought his cocks way over 100 mains, losing only 1, which includes the winnings of two $10,000 mains agains John H. madigin and his great Clarets and a main for $40,000 against the Allen Roundheads when they were the absolute champion of the south and at their peak. The main was against Paul Rainey of Cleveland for $5000. a battle and $40,000 on the odd.

(Belle Aurore Duryea)

After defeating all of the leading strains of England, Ireland and Spain with the Duryea and Kearney cocks above mentioned by friend A.P. O'Conor, brought back to America the original 19 time winning Duryea cock and his mother. My present "Bell Ringers" contain the above mentioned Duryea blood from this pair of fowl. John Madigin's strain contains tow infusions of Duryea, first through the daughter of the above pair in 1909 and the other through the "BELLE AURORE" Duryea cock in 1927. Madigin's Regular Greys contain the Herrisford Brown Red - Black and Tan through the "Butterfly-Honey Moon" hen sent to Henry Deans in 1922.

When Al Jones, Dallas, Pa. was unbeatable Mr O'Conor defeated him 9 to 4 for $500 on the odd. 8 Yellow Birchens and 1 "Bell Ringer" won A few years ago Gene Burdine paid hatch $500. for a cock and 4 hens. He made Jimmy La Fontaine a cheap main for $50. and $500, expecting to bet thousands on the side. La Fontaine had 4 Law Clarets which lost 4 straights, then he used a 6 year old yellow Birchen cock and he made the Hatch run in 10 minutes. 8 of the old Yellow Birchen's sons followed in the main and 7 won. At the finish of the main Gene Burdine owed la Fontaine $20,000. A number of years ago George Smith, R. A. McIntyre, and George Wilson, father of Jimmy and Gabe Wilson, made a main with a Mr. Callings, Cincinatti, Ohio, a standard oil executive, worth millions, to be fought in New York rules (Peg Awl heels) at Shamocken, P. Mr O'Conor represented Mr. Callings and Billy Howard pitted their cocks. They matched 13 pair for $5,000 and the Duryea cocks fed by O'Conor won 11 battles.

In conclusion

In conclusion let me say that there are no pure Kearney, or Duryea cocks, alive, that did not come from the stock that both Kearney and Duryea sent the Earl of Clonmell in 1901 and 1902 and brought back to America by Mr. Andrew P. O'Conor. The Duryea cocks were absolutely unbeatable in Mr Duryea's hands, fed by Michael Kearney , and to date they have remained unbeaten in the hands of Mr. O'Conor. This also applies to the Yellow Birchen cocks, from which Duryea made his stain. The cocks I offer contain all the blood of the great game Jarvis Elise Black Hacles that fought the first international main ever held between America and England. They contain the unbeaten James Eslin fowl of 1884, Black hackle-Eslin Brown Reds, and the unbeaten Red Quills of 1885 (last living pure Red Quill hen alive that year mated to the Kearney Herrisford Brown Reds cock produced the Black & Tans, which won 32 consecutive mains. They contain the blood of the last of the Herrisford Brown Reds and the Herrisford Yellow Birchens, which made the Kearney and Duryea cocks, obtained by the Earl of Clonmell donating $1000 to charity. They contain the blood of the cock that Michael Kearney sent to the Earl of Clonmell in 1902 (the last pure Kearney Whitehackle alive, according to a letter from Kearney to the Earl of Clonmell, in 1912) along with a trio of $1000. They contain the blood of the great unbeaten Herman Duryea Whitehackles, with which he won over 100 mains, lost 1, in 32 years of cocking. All of these fowl remain unbeaten to date and have never lost the odd in my hands. I fought many of the above mentioned strains in my mains, when I won 14 our of 17 mains lost two by the odd fight agains the best cockers of Texas and Louisiana. I know of no greater fighting game cocks than these Jarvis Elise Black hackle Eslin Br. Reds and Red Quills, Herrisford Br Reds and Yellow Birchens and the unbeaten Kearney and Duryea cocks.

All fowl raised and sold by The Fall Creek Farm are raised for historic reasons, for brood fowl, and show only! We will not sell to anyone that will use the birds for illegal purposes. Any mention on this site about fighting chickens is for historic and educational purposes only. It is your responsibility to abide by all local, state, and federal laws once you receive any birds from us.

2009  Bart Boewe