GILKERSON, LAWMAN, AND MORGAN
In the third Edition is the history of the Gilkerson fowl as given by Wm. Dovey of Lindsay, Ontario. The following quotation taken from a letter of Mr. Dover's written in 1913 gives a bit more information not found in other articles.
I will only make a few remarks as to the origin of the North Britons. Gilkerson had no more to do with the origination of the North Britons than I had. The fowl were simply an experiment that was made by three men living between Caryle and Penrith, Cumberland, England. The men were William Lawman, John Mitchell and John Scoby. Mitchell bred Earl Derbies, while Scoby bred Pyles, both red and white. Lawman had some Muffs and Brown Reds and willow legged Seftons. The Seftone and Derbys were crossed then Scoby loaned Mitchell a grand white Pyle cock to run over the cross hens. And there are the North Britons.
The following information concerning the Gilkerson fowl is from another writer and is similar to but not identical with the original article by Dovey.
George Gilkerson came to America in 1843. In 1858 he returned to Orton, England to secure some of the old fowl bred by his friends and old neighbors, the Barnes, Mitchells and Lawmans. His first importation was a white legged Derby cock and stag and five hens. One of these hens was yellow legged and red eyed, with pale wheaten breast and under color. She had a golden laced hackle and was velvet black on her back to her tail. He bred this stag to the hens and offspring came as follows, wheaten and partridge spangle pullets with both white and yellow legs. Stags were duckwing black breasted reds (almost canary color). He called the darker ones North Britons and the light ones Greek Fires.
Gilerkerson returned to England several times to get more fowl and also sent Billy Lawman many times as most of these fowl came from Billy's father back in England.
Both William Gilliver and John Harris knew Gilkerson well and both sent him several lots of fowl. Those Harris sent were of the Coath and Holford strains, which were of Lord Derby origin.
According to a letter from Gilliver to O'Connor in 1906, Harris also sent Mansell Pyles and Yellow Birchen crosses and some that would throw brassy wings. Gilliver in the same letter mentions some great white legged spangles he sent. This was about 1860 and about the time Gilliver started feeding for Lord Sefton. Sefton's fowl were a b.b. light red strain with white legs and that cut out Whitehackle.
William Morgan was a closed friend of Gilkerson and both bred and fought his fowl. Dime Ormsby bred most of the cocks fought by Morgan which were later called Morgan Whitehackles. John and Joe Scott not only lived close to Gilkerson but came from the same section of England and they also bred and fought his fowl. Gilkerson fought these fowl successfully from 1946 to 1879. Since then most of the best short heel fowl have contained a very high percentage of that blood such as Hatch, Sage, Thompson, Hardy Bros., Kearney, Duryea, Pogmore, Murphy, Hoy, Pine, O'Connell, Bradfords, Kosygarten, Cronk, Berg, Marshes Butcher Boys. Billy Lawman who conditioned cocks for Gilkerson not only brought over many fowl for him but also brought over some for himself. The ones similar to the North Britons were a white legged b.b. red fowl that he told Marsh he thought were Earl Derbies. He also brought over for himself a family of Muffs.
Many great short heels cockers say the Lawman Whitehackles were the best of any strain they have ever seen.
Concerning the spelling of Lawman. It is generally spelled Lawman but a letter follows giving some information on this.
About Billy Lowman. The May issue of Grit and Steel 1913 has a letter signed by him in which spells it Lowman. Both Hoy and Andy Kirk told me when he first came to Albany he spelled his name Lohman but as everyone spelled it Lowman he finally accepted that spelling.
Best Wishes, Arch Ruport.