Although there are many distinguished figures in the Doggy World, as I hope to show in the course of these sketches of a few of them, there is certainly no one man to whom exhibitors in general are so much indebted as to this gentleman, who was the real founder of the Kennel Club, for many years acted as its Chairman, and, since his retirement from that arduous post a few years since, was unanimously elected as its President.
As 1 have said elsewhere, only a few people, comparatively speaking, know the amount of work undertaken and time given by Mr. Shirley to the affairs of the Kennel Club, as he was no merely ornamental head-piece, but took a lively and active interest in all connected with it. A born lover of animals, successful breeder and exhibitor of many varieties, a well-qualified and popular judge, and a man of courteous and unassuming manners, he formed an excellent combination for the position he so long and ably filled.
MR. G. R. SIMS.
By permission of Our Dogs.
Mr. Shirley has usually kept a rather large kennel of sporting and non-sporting varieties, comprising Retrievers, Wire-haired Fox-terriers, Bull-dogs, and Bull-terriers, and has taken numerous prizes at many of the best shows in the kingdom.
Of late years Mr. Shirley has resided more on his property in Ireland, and his dogs have not been so often seen at our shows in this country.
Even while at Eton Mr. Shirley kept a pack of Beagles, and, for several seasons, Hounds in Ireland. Short-horned cattle, shire horses, and thoroughbreds have also engaged his attention, so that, although he is a recognised authority on the points of many varieties of dogs, he has not restricted himself to them alone.
On his resignation of the chairmanship of the Committee of the Kennel Club some of his many friends amongst Doggy People took the opportunity to present him with his portrait, painted by Mr. Stuart Wortley, as a slight recognition of the eminent services he had rendered to the Kennel World for the better part of thirty years, as the foundation of the Club dates from April, 1873, and any one who takes the trouble to look through the shows, of which some details are given in this book, from 1858 to 1879 will find how often the name "S. E. Shirley, M.P.," as he then was, occurs, either as a committeeman, exhibitor, or judge in connection with them.
I am sure I have said more than enough, even in these few inadequate lines, to show that Mr. Shirley occupies quite an unique position amongst Doggy People, with whom he is so justly popular and well known.