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Deerhound Saves Life of Lord Ossulston's Park-Keeper
From - Memoirs of an ex-minister: an autobiography
James Howard Harris (Earl of Malmesbury) - 1884
(Compiled by Steve Tillotson, February 2013)

hjttp:// - Landseer painting mad bull and Earl Of Malmesbury

Landseer painted several Deerhounds. There is quite a story to the Deerhound above -

November 9. 1833 — A large party at Chillingham; Mr. Landseer, Charles Mathews, Lord Macdonald, Lord Ossulston, and Mr. Gilmour, settled to kill one of the wild bulls the next day. Cole, the park-keeper, came to the castle early this morning to say that a bull had been driven out of the herd, and that he was extremely savage. He advised the gentlemen to be very careful how they approached him. Nobody, however, seemed inclined to listen to him, and Mr. Gilmour and Lord Macdonald went to put on their red coats to irritate him. The bull was near a little oak wood, where Cole had left his son and Barnes, the under-keeper, to watch him. After he had received his orders for the cluisse, he returned to his post, and the gentlemen began their preparations in great spirits at the prospect of the fun. All at once we saw Cole running back to the castle as fast as he could. He rushed up to the windows pale and breathless, and exclaimed with a voice of horror, 'Barnes is killed by the bull!'—and then left us without further explanation. We were all too much shocked to be able to utter a word, and remained looking at each other; but went out after a time and saw a crowd running across the park towards a cart which was conveying Barnes to his house. Ossulston accompanied it to the village, and sent a man on horseback for the doctor. As he could not possibly arrive under an hour, Cole bled the poor man, who was not dead as was at first supposed, though severely hurt, several ribs being broken, with a deep wound in the thigh.

The accident happened thus: When Cole came to the castle for orders, he left his son and Barnes to watch the bull and prevent his breaking away to join the herd, which he had several times tried to do. The two men were in the oak wood, and Barnes seeing the bull approach the fence came out to frighten him away. The beast instantly rushed at him; he turned to run away, but his foot slipped and he fell. In one moment the bull overtook him and tossed him clean over his head. Young Cole could do very little, for, though he had his rifle, he had no means of loading it, and the other spectators were also unarmed, and too much frightened to be of any use. Young Cole, however, did as much as possible under these circumstances, coming out several times towards the bull and trying to entice him to run at him, but in vain. The bull tossed Barnes five times over his head, then lifted him with his horns, placed him across his knees, and threw himself down with his whole weight upon the man, whom he trampled upon and gored for full ten minutes. The bloodhound refused to go in; but at last Ossulston's deerhound, Bran, fastened upon the bull's hocks and worried him so that he left his victim. The cart arrived fortunately just at that moment, and they succeeded in getting poor Barnes into it. Barnes eventually recovered and lived to the age of 80..

Had it not been for the dog (Deerhound, Lord Ossulton's "Bran"), nothing could have saved his life.

The gentlemen went out to kill the bull, and fired several shots at him before he dropped. He had six balls in his head, and even then was not dead, and made an effort to get up again. Then Cole and several others threw themselves upon him and held him down whilst he was stabbed in the throat.

Mr. Landseer made a beautiful sketch of him after his death, and Lord Tankerville ordered a picture to be painted of Ossulston and the animal. It is now at Chillingham Castle.

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