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Charles Waterton's Life and Family
Life as the Squire

In December of 1824, Waterton returned home from his Fourth Wandering, and his Wanderings in South America were published in 1825. Thereafter, his travels were confined to Europe with a journey, slightly further afield, to Madeira in 1845 with his sisters-in-law.

He settled into his life as a country squire, a dabbler in political debate, a father, an author (his Essays), a campaigner fighting against pollution in his home village of Walton, the running of Walton Park (also referred to as the Walton Hall Estate and, more recently, as "Waterton Park") and a traveller on the Continent.

His wandering days were at an end - but his interest in life most certainly was not, and his status as a celebrity was assured.


Charles WatertonIn 1824, the Squire's portrait was painted by Charles Willson Peale.
Read more about the painting and the artist.


Down's Zoological GardensAndrew Downs
(One of Waterton's visitors.)
A naturalist, ornithologist, and taxidermist.
(b. 27 Sept. 1811 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. d. 26 Aug 1892 in Halifax, Nova Scotia).
In 1847, Downs established what became known as his zoological gardens. His collection of wild life was supplemented by donations arranged by British Army personnel, importations from the Zoological Society of London, and Downs's own work during three European trips in 1862, 1864 (when he visited English naturalist Charles Waterton), and 1867.
(Source: Dictionary of Canadian Biography, site accessed 29 May 2017.)

Down's Zoological Gardens[The Halifax Zoological Gardens were] at their best in the years 1864 to 1868. As a tribute to Charles Waterton of Walton Hall, Yorks., his "worthy master in ornithology," whose Wanderings in South America he found to be of absorbing interest, and whose home he visited in 1864, Andrew Downs named his own charming residence Walton Cottage. As Waterton "would sooner be in the woods than in the finest palace in Europe", so likewise Downs preferred the country to "all the pleasure and grandeur of the town.
(Source: Montezuma's Successor: Andrew Downs of Halifax, Dalhousie Review, Volume 27, Number 3, 1947.
Read the full document (PDF).) Photograph courtesy of Nova Scotia Archives.

■ See also CBC News, Nova Scotia. Halifax's first zoo is well-kept secret of Fairmount history.
By Phlis McGregor, CBC News, Nova Scotia, 04 Sep 2015.
[Site accessed 29 May 2017.]



Funeral for a FriendWhen Father Glover, a Jesuit priest, became ill, Charles Waterton and his household cared for him at Walton Hall. Father Glover died there on 31st May 1849. Waterton wrote his obituary and arranged for his interment in the Waterton Chapel in St. Helen's, Sandal Magna.
Click here to read the obituary.

A.M.D.G. (Mentioned in the obituary.)
Ad maiorem Dei gloriam or Ad majórem Dei glóriam, also rendered as the abbreviation A.M.D.G., is the Latin motto of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), an order of the Catholic Church. It means "For the greater glory of God."


A poacher entrapped by the Squire in the Water Gate.A poacher entrapped by the Squire in the Water Gate.

Read more.


HeadstoneThe headstone of Mary Joyce, the Faithful Servant.
St. Helen's, Sandal Magna.
Read more.





Click here to read more.The Noctifier.
Waterton had some strong views on political issues of the day.
His views were sometimes represented by his own creations, or those created by Nature with his help. Read more.





The Squire and his money.
"Mr. Waterton was, during his whole life, anxiously punctual and extremely exact in all his pecuniary transactions,
ever having the greatest horror of being in debt." (Richard Hobson).
More about the Squire and his finances.





Joseph Wolff
(One of Waterton's visitors.)
'That Sublime Vagabond' meets 'A White Man From Yorkshire'.
Read more.





Fine dining at the Hall.
The Waterton household had some fine crockery - this plate is one of the exhibits at Wakefield Museum in Wakefield One.
Many of the exhibits are on loan from Stonyhurst College.
■ See also Experience Wakefield for things to do, visitor information, etc..
[Websites accessed 12 Nov 2017.]





The Dog Breeder
Charles Waterton features in "The History of the Mastiff" by M.B. Wynn, published in 1866. He was the owner of an mastiff named Tiger.

Extract from the book:

".... it was the custom to crop the ears and shorten the tail of the mastiff in- Charles Ist's day, which fashion remained up to 1835 at least ; Squire Waterton's (the Naturalist) Tiger and Mr. Lukey's first mastiff Countess being thus mutilated, and from the life-like boarhounds of Sneyders we see it was also the Continental custom. (CHAPTER XII.
THE MASTIFF IN THE 18TH CENTURY. p. 129).
~~~

"In 1823 Crabtree* mated. Mrs. Brewer's Bet with Tiger, the property of Chas. Waterton, the naturalist, then living at Walton Hall, near Sandal.
This Tiger was procured in Ireland, he was a red fawn upstanding animal, cropped eared, and bob tailed, and standing over 34 inches at shoulder, according to Crabtree's own measuring, and in Crabtree's opinion he had much 01 the boarhound in his appearance, but he knew nothing of the dog's pedigree or antecedents, and it is very possible he was a descendant of some of the Great Danes, kept by Lord Altamont, and erroneously designated Irish Wolfhounds by some.
However from Waterton's Tiger and Mrs. Brewer's Bet among others was Venus, a fawn, who Crabtree sent to his brother Henry, who was then keeper for Sir E. Dodsworth, Bart., of Newland Park, near Normanton, Yorkshire. Another puppy, also a yellow fawn called Tiny, was kept by a Mrs. Scott." (CHAPTER XIII. THE MASTIFF IN THE I9TH CENTURY, p. 151)

~~~

[* "John Crabtree, keeper at Kirklees Hall, Yorkshire, the seat of the Armitage family. John Crabtree made Kirklees classic ground to the mastiff fancier considerably over six feet in height, handsome in face and figure, with the courage of a lion, and true courtesy of the gentleman, " Old John Crab" as his friends loved to call him, was one of nature's noblemen."
(CHAPTER XIII. THE MASTIFF IN THE I9TH CENTURY, p. 148)] .


These pictures are not contained in the above-mentioned book.







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