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A Walk from London to John O'Groat's eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 293 pages of information about A Walk from London to John O'Groat's.
has worked his way, gradually and noiselessly, to the very head and front of the Shorthorn knighthood of the world.  While pursuing the occupation to which he was bred with as much assiduity and success as if it had every thought and activity which a man should give to a business, he built up, at a considerable distance from his warehouse, an enterprise of an entirely different nature, to a magnitude which no other man has ever equalled.  He now owns the largest herd of Shorthorns in the world, breeding and feeding them to the highest perfection in the cold and naturally unfertile county of Aberdeen, which no man of less patience and perseverance would select as the ground on which to enter the lists against such an array of competitors in Great Britain and other countries.  I regret that my Notes have already expanded to such a volume as to preclude a more extended account of his operations in this great field of usefulness.  A few simple facts will suffice to give the reader an approximate idea of what he has done in this department.

About the year 1825, young Cruickshank was put to a Friends’ school in Cumberland.  He was a farmer’s son, and seems to have conceived a great fancy for cattle from childhood.  A gentleman resided not far from the school, who was an owner and amateur of Shorthorns, and Anthony would frequently spend his half-holidays with him, inspecting and admiring his herd, and asking him questions about their qualities and his way of treating them.  From this school he was sent as an apprentice to a trading establishment in Edinburgh, and at the end of his term set up business for himself as a draper in Aberdeen.  All through this period he carried with him his first interest in cattle-culture, but was unable to make a beginning in it until 1837, when he purchased a single Shorthorn cow in the county of Durham, and soon afterward two other animals of the same blood.  These constituted the nucleus of his herd at Sittyton.  One by one he added other animals of the same stock, purchased in different parts of England, Ireland and Scotland.  With these accessions by purchase, and from natural increase, his herd grew rapidly and prospered finely, so that he was obliged to add field to field and farm to farm to produce feed for such a number of mouths.  In a few years he reached his present maximum which he does not wish to exceed.  That is, his herd now averages annually three hundred head of this noble and beautiful race of animals, or the largest number of them owned by any one man in the world.  In 1841, he announced his first sale of young bulls, and every year since that date has put up at public auction the male progeny of the herd.  These sales usually take place in the first week of October, and are attended by from 300 to 500 persons from all parts of the kingdom.  After carefully inspecting the various lots, they adjourn to a substantial luncheon at twelve o’clock, and at one p.m. they repair to the sale ring and the bidding begins in good earnest,

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