Mr. M. C. Ashwin, of Cross-o'-the-Hill, Stratford-on-Avon, whose portrait accompanies this slight sketch, was one of the earliest exhibitors of Collies, having commenced his career in 1875, winning first prize with Mac at Wolverhampton (Mac, by Old Cockie, dam Mag). He also won several prizes in 1875, 1876, 1877, and 1878 with Bruce, Elsie, Glen, Lassie, Mac, Nellie, Truce, Wallace, and Watch. From 1877 to 1878 Cocksie, by Old Cockie out of Lassie, won twenty-one prizes, six being champions.
In 1878, 1879, and 1880 many prizes were won by Bums, Comet, Fern, Grace, Guard, Help, Hector, Mossy, Trevor, Tyne, Wrickton (claimed by Mr. Panmure Gordon at Alexandra Palace), and Effie (by Trefoil, dam Maude; Maude bred by Mr. Ashwin). Effie was sold to an American for £200, which was the record price of the day for a Collie.
In 1881,'82, '83/84, and '85 several prizes were won by Bonnie Lass, Beryl, Cairn, Croy, Donald, Fussy, Jamie, Ida, Lady Elcho, Liff, Lasset, Oola, Old Carlyle, Tarn, and Track.
In 1885 Mr. Ashwin, on account of a serious illness, parted with all his Collies, then took up with Scottish Terriers, and with Crag, Fidget, and Scuffles won many first and second prizes; amongst them, first with Fidget at Crystal Palace, and first with Scuffles at Brussels.
Mr. Ashwin was the first to introduce Welsh Terriers to the English show bench, having gone to the first show of Welsh Terriers that was held at Carnarvon, from which show he brought away Pym, who afterwards won many prizes, value more than £36.
Mr. Ashwin claims to be the founder of the Collie Club, as, at a Crystal Palace Show, he suggested it amongst some Collie men, who were pleased with the idea; but, wanting a secretary, Mr. Ashwin asked Mr. Radcliffe, who was standing near, if he would help them, and he most kindly accepted the post, which he held for many years; and in a very short time Mr. Ashwin brought in, as far as memory serves, the names -of Messrs. Shirley, Arkwright, the Rev. Hans Hamilton, Messrs. Bissell, Thomson, and himself, with several others; but, of course, this is now all ancient history.
During Mr. Ash win's career he won £641 in money prizes alone, besides numbers of cups, plate, gold medals, etc. I am glad to be able to include this sometime enthusiastic breeder and fancier, more especially with Collies, in my sketches of Doggy People.
MR. M. C. ASHWIN.
From photo by E. A. Tyler, Stratford-on-Avoii.