FRANCES A. SIMPSON (1857-1926)
THE 'MATER' DYNASTY
'Mater' became a foundation stone upon which the early Blue Persian was built. In the years that followed, progeny and grand-progeny from 'Mater' and 'Rajah' helped to establish a number of prominent early breeders. In 1886, Frances bred from this combination, 'Fanny',(NCC: 1284) a Blue Persian female who was sold to Mrs. Hunt, who in turn was a wonderfully prolific female who helped to populate the register and the fancy with Blue Persians. As a young cat in 1887, she was successfully shown at the Crystal Palace where she won a First place. Between 1889 and 1894, no fewer than six of her daughters and two of her sons from various sires, helped in the establishment of Blue Persian breeding programs. Among them, was 'Blue Stella', (NCC: 1402) sired by 'Ch. Glaucus', who was sold to Mrs. W. Wells and became in her turn a forebear of the Rev. P. Cosways 'Imperial Blue'.4
Other breeders who benefitted from the progeny of 'Fanny' were Mrs. E.S. Walker, whose 'Bluebell' (NCC: 1004), is the second only Blue Persian to be recorded in the Register of the National Cat Club. Others included Mrs. F. Ward in 1890, Mrs. A.A. Clarke in 1893, Mrs. W. Wells again in 1893, Mr. A.E. Granville in 1894, and Mrs. E.R. Bagster, also in 1894.4
Miss Simpson's 'Mater' when re-mated to 'Rajah' then produced 'Queenie' in 1887, who was subsequently sold to the Hon. Miss E. Montague, and then took a name change to 'Farnham Royal Queenie' (NCC: 1022). She in turn was the dam of the Blue Persian female, 'Farnham Royal Silver', who was the dam of the famous 'Blue Boy The Great of Islington'.4
In 1888, 'Mater' produced 'Queen Victoria', (NCC: 1439), a Blue Tabby, which proves to us that 'Rajah' was a 'Brownie' as claimed by Frances in her chapter on Brown Tabbies and not a straight blue as is so often surmised. This Blue Tabby female was sold to Mrs. Louisa Herring, of Lestock, a sister-in-law of Harrison Weir and an ardent cat fancier and exhibitor. 'Queen Victoria' was shown very successfully, winning a First and Medal at Bexley Heath, a First and Cup at Maidstone, a First and Medal at Canterbury and numerous other prizes.4
On 15th April 1889, 'Mater' produced 'Beauty Boy', (NCC: 1031), whom Frances initially retained as a stud. Later that year, Frances brought in a new Blue female, 'Bluette' mentioned earlier as the first Blue Persian recorded in the Register. From 'Beauty Boy' and 'Bluette', came a new generation of Blues. Several breeders also used 'Beauty Boy' to further their own programs, and numbered among his better known progeny are cats such as Mrs. Dean's blue female, 'Hawthorne Bounce',(NCC: 1191) born in 1891, a winner of First and Special at Windsor in 1893, and the dam of 'The Beadle', exported to Mrs. Clinton Locke,(aka 'Lockehaven The Beadle', BCC: 125)6,and a foundation of many fine Blues in the Americas. Also Miss Stisted's 'Tomato' (NCC: 1214) who was sold to Miss Rosa Bray, amongst whose progeny are Miss Bray's 'Ulysses' and Mrs. H.V.James' 'Backwell Jill' also bred by Miss Bray, to name only two. He was also bred to Mrs. Little's black smoke, 'Namouschka' to produce 'Lady Bruin', the foundation of the black dynasty bred down from her son 'Lord Albemarle' and his daughter 'Colleen', who was exported to the United States and subsequently registered as 'Sweet Lalla Rookh' (Imp.UK).7 'Beauty Boy' then appears to have been placed with Mrs. Louisa Herring.
With the 'blues' growth in popularity, came pressure again to improve the classes at shows. Frances explains:
"In 1890, it was decided to divide the sexes in the blue cat classes, and let the kittens compete with black and white." (Ed: Solid Colours together). 'The result was an entry of eight in each class, my famous 'Beauty Boy' taking first in the male, and Mrs. H.B. Thompson's celebrated 'Winks' first in the female division. At Brighton in the same year, the 'self-blue' class was adopted with success. The famous blue stud cats of that period were Mr. A.A.Clarke's 'Turco,' Miss Bray's 'Glaucus,' and my own 'Beauty Boy'. Amongst other exhibitors of blues about this time I may mention Mrs. Warner (now the Hon. Mrs. McLaren Morrison), Mrs. Vallance, Mrs. Wells, Mrs. Hunt, Mrs. H.B. Thompson, Mrs. Ellerton, and Miss F. Moore."1
Late in 1890, Frances went into joint ownership of a Blue male kitten named 'Bootles' bred by a Mrs. Gurney in August, exhibiting him at the Crystal Palace later in the year, where he won a 2nd in his class. However, he appears to have been sold on to a Miss Molony of Lindfield and his name then changed to 'Lindfield Bootles'. This male went on to appear on a good number of blue Persian pedigrees.4
"In 1891 blues came very much to the fore, and the entries at the Crystal Palace numbered 15 males and 17 females."1
In 1892, from 'Beauty Boy' and 'Bluette' also came 'Richmond Bounce' (NCC: 1620). By now, Frances who had been living at 12 Downe Terrace, Richmond, since the mid 1880's, had settled on the prefix "Richmond" to occasionally attach to cats of her breeding. A 'Blue Bounce' (NCC: 1998), purportedly from the same litter, was sold to a Mrs. Harton, but it is unclear as to whether this was simply a litter brother or whether 'Richmond Bounce' had been sold and re-registered as 'Blue Bounce'. From a repeat breeding came the Blue females 'Nanette' (NCC:1282) and 'Elphinstone Blue' (NCC: 1293), born 12th February, 1893 and both sold to Mrs. A.A. Clarke. Then from yet another repeat breeding, and a litter born on 23rd Sept, 1893, came 'Roy', a Blue male sold to Mr. J. Richard Jun.4
As can be ascertained by all of the aforementioned breeding, over a number of years, Frances Simpson had made a great many useful connections throughout the cat world, familiarising herself with the early major breeders such as Mr. & Mrs. A.A. Clarke (owner of the early Blue Persian 'Turco'), Mr. & Mrs. H.C. Brooke, the eclectic breeders of many and varied breeds in both the longhair and shorthair varieties, as well as other judges of note, such as Fred Gresham, Charles Lane, and T.B. Mason, all of whom in one way or another had been involved with Harrison Weir. These connections, plus the fact that she was among the few that could personally recall the very first Crystal Palace show, put her invariably into a class of her own.
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