Mr W K Taunton (1845 - 1927)
Afghan Hound Pioneer 1880's
(By Steve Tillotson January 2018)
1. ABOUT MR W K TAUNTON'S DOGS
Mr W (Walter) K Taunton was one of the first exhibitors of Afghan hounds in England. He was also a dog dealer, an All Breeds judge, Chairman of the British Kennel Association and an officer of the Crystal Palace Company. This company was responsible for moving Crystal Palace from Hyde Park to Sydenham Hill. Following the successful Great Exhibition of 1851, the Crystal Palace was disassembled and rebuilding was completed in 1854. In 1937 totally destroyed the much loved and admired building.
On two occasions Taunton was invited by London Police to assist in solving crimes. They called him to have his Bloodhound follow the scent trail of burglars. However, as the request was made several hours after the crime occurred and there had been considerable foot traffic since, the dog was unable to follow the trail. On the second occasion, the Whitechapel Police, struggling to identify and capture the infamous serial murderer "Jack the Ripper" called on Taunton's services. They "tested" the hounds scenting ability by having an officer act as the suspect. Then the Bloodhound was given an item that had been handled by the officer; and the dog successfully tracked him down. The Police then took Mr Taunton and his Bloodhound to the scene of the latest murder committed by Jack the Ripper, but the hound was unable to pick up and follow the scent.
On 5 August 1852, when W K Taunton was an officer of the Crystal Palace Company, which purchased the Crystal Palace for 70,000 pounds sterling (over 3.5 million pounds in today's currency) and rebuilding began.
He was also Chairman of the British Kennel Association (BKA) - which was founded in 1882. The BKA arranged and promoted dog shows, under license and rules of The Kennel Club. The first show organized by the BKA attracted almost 1000 entries and was held at Aston, Birmingham in 1883,. Walter Taunton was Show Manager. The British Kennel Association also organized the Warwick Dog Show in 1885, a which was a huge success attracting 1500 entrires. This entry rivalled that of Birmingham Show and other large famous show societies of the day.
In addition to his British Kennel Association activities, exhibiting many rare (exotic and foreign) breeds and showing his top winning Mastiff "Hotspur" Walter was also an 'all- rounder' or All Breeds Dog Judge.
Here's some news archives items about Mr W K Taunton exhibiting his dogs -
Kennel Club Show 1882 London Daily News , London
Extraordinary Afghanistan dog, somewhat resembling a rough sheepdog on stilts; an animal described as an Australian wild dog, but that is certainly only half a dingo
Frome District and Agricultural Dog Show 1 October 1884 , Taunton Courier, and Western Advertiser
Taunton's magnificeent Afghanistan dog (Khelat), which was imported from Afghanistan
East of England Dog Show Colchester, Essex, 13 February 1882 , Essex Newsman
C. Woodss Moscow, W. K. Taunton's Jeanette; 2, not awarded; h.c., R. H. Campbell Tuffnell's Motee,
While Mr W K Taunton was one of the first people to exhibit Afghan hounds in England, his first "Afghan dog" (Khelat) whIch not an Afghan hound at all but an Afghan sheepdog. A show report dated Dec 1881 states: - "The Afghan '"Khelat'" has no resemblance to the types with which our soldiers were familiar".
Mr Taunton did, later own genuine Afghan hounds. He became the second owner of the dog '"Roostam"' and the bitch '"Motee'", both imported from Afghanistan by Mr T R Tufnell. The famous dog writer Clifford L ‘Doggie’ Hubbard wrote that Mr Taunton also had genuine Afghan hounds and that he showed a nice bitch at Bristol, England in 1886. A newspaper report from the show confirms that Motee (an Afghan hound bitch imported by Tufnell and later owned by Taunton) was exhibited that day. Motee was also exhibited at the Crystal Palace Show, in London, England in July 1885. A year earlier than the Bristol show and the show report for the Crystal Place Show lists Tufnell as the owner. So, show reports for 1885 and 1886 confirm that Motee’s ownership moved from Tufnell (1885) to Taunton (1886).
Prior to Roostam and Motee becoming the property of Mr Taunton, Mr Tufnell bred from them. Below is a painting by Hyland. of one from that litter, the dog Rajah II
Rajah II (Roostam x Motee) Whelped December 1883
Breeder T R Tufnell Owner Mr F Carter
We learn something of Rajah II from Clifford L 'Doggie' Hubbard, who in his book writes the following - "Rajah II a fawn son of Roostam out of Motee was bred by Mr Tufnell and exhibited often by Mr F Carter of Carsholton, the first major appearance I can trace being at the Crystal Palace show of 1889 where he won an equal third in the Foreign Dog Class. Rajah II was considered quite a typical Afghan hound in his time, moreover he carried a slightly better coat than '"Shahzada'" , and although having the typically wide hip-bones did not appear anything so gawky a dog."
2. ABOUT MR W K TAUNTON AND THE CITY OF LONDON TRUSS SOCIETY
Walter K Taunton was born in Holborn, London, in 1845. His father was John Colley Taunton of Saint Andrews, Holborn, London, and his mother was Isabella Jones of Saint Dunstan in the West, London, England,
Three generations of the Taunton family were founders/committee members of the '"City Of London Truss Society'" which was established in 1807. The society is a charity dedicated to servicing the medical health needs of the poor. His Grandfather was John Taunton (1769-1821) was an anatomist and surgeon;, of Hatton Garden, London. John Taunton, founded, and was first Surgeon of, the City of London Truss Society and was its first surgeon. Walter K Taunton's father John Colley Taunton succeeded his father as Surgeon to the Truss Society and served that institution from 1823-1856. Walter K Taunton; maintained a life-long iinterest in the Truss Society and served as Secretary from 1906 to the time of his death on 4 January 4th, 1927. Walter K Thornton was also Secretary of the Faringdon General Dispensary, another medical health charity for the poor.
The family home was located at 48, Hatton G-garden,, London from the mid 1850's. This is the address given by Walter in show catalogues when he entered his hounds for exhibition. Walter didn't follow the family tradition of becoming a surgeon. H, he became a businessman. instead. However, he did ffollowed thehis family tradition of support for the Truss Society and support for the medical needs of the poor through his work as Secretary of The London Truss Society and The Faringdon General Dispensary.by his Secretaryship of the Truss Society and his efforts to support he poor by his Secteraryship of the Faringdon General Dispensary
Three generations of the Taunton family were founders/committee members of the "City Of London Truss Society" est 1807. A charity dedicated to servicing the medical health needs of the poor. His Grandfather was John Taunton (1769-1821) anatomist and surgeon, of Hatton Garden, London, who founded, and was first Surgeon of, the City of London Truss Society. Walter K Taunton's father John Colley Taunton succeeded his father as Surgeon to the Truss Society and served that institution from 1823-1856. Walter K Taunton, was interested all his life in the Truss Society, for which he was Secretary from 1906 to the time of his death on Jan 4th, 1927 Walter K Thornton was also Secretary of the Faringdon General Dispensary, another medical health charity for the poor.
The family home was located at 48; Hatton-Garden, London from the mid 1850's. This is the address given by Walter in show catalogues when he entered his hounds for exhibition. Walter didn't follow the family tradition of becoming a surgeon, he became a businessman. However, he followed the family tradition of support for The London Truss Society and support for the medical needs of the poor through his work as Secretary of The London Truss Society and the Faringdon General Dispensary
Mr T R Tufnell
Early Afghan Hounds
The Origins Section
British Dogs, Their Points, Selection, And Show Preparation" by W. D. Drury 1903
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