ROMALDKIRK ADMIRAL (1896)
PHOTOS | SOCIAL MEDIA | REFERENCES
Among the earliest breeders of Creams of note was the famous Romaldkirk Cattery of the Misses Winifred and Mildred Beal, (Romaldkirk Rectory) near Darlington, from which came a notable litter containing two remarkable early males, who made an immense mark on establishing the Cream as a recognized and sought-after colour variety. These were namely Romaldkirk Admiral and Romaldkirk Midshipmite (1896), who were never known to be shown in anything but superb coat and condition, becoming commonly referred to as 'The Heavenly Twins'.
At about this time also, breeders of Orange cats (Reds) began to realise that Creams were essential in the breeding of consistently good reds, by helping to clear the coat of barring and to produce the elusive 'orange females', the Victorian breeders not yet understanding the principles of the sex-linked red genome. So this added to the appeal of the good 'Cream or Fawn' cat and helped to raise its profile as a valued member of the Persian family.
On the colour of Creams and the difficulties of breeding cats of sound colour, the following notes are from the renowned breeder and judge of Cream Persians, Mr Frank Norris (of Kew Cattery):
"Cream cats are of a modern colour in Persians, but are now being more freely bred and finding numerous supporters. There are however, very few good ones in the fancy, for size, and colour are difficult to obtain. The great failing with them is that, although they are called cream cats, the best and soundest coloured ones are really of a fawn shade. So many show markings, patches, or shadings, whereas the colour should be one shade and sound throughout; better to be a little dark in colour rather than shade from cream to white, as is the case with so many specimens exhibited."
The litter which produced 'The Heavenly Twins', was born 11th June, 1896, from a pairing of Romaldkirk Laddie (1894) a Blue, and Romaldkirk Fluffie (1892) a Blue-Cream. Although both parents were dilutes, it is interesting to note that Fluffie's dam was a Red or 'Orange' female of some repute, named 'Jael' of whom the following is recorded by Frances Simpson: "Jael was quite unique as an orange female, and at fifteen years of age could yet win in her class by reason of her grand colour, perfectly shaped head, short face, and tiny, well-set ears. Such a cat stands out in any breed, and such a cat may never again be bred. Jael died in 1902 after a long and successful career.1"
Knowing as we do now, that the gene for 'Orange' was inherited by Fluffie from her dam, and subsequently passed to her two famous sons in the dilute form of cream, little Jael's contribution to the establishment of the Cream has been immense, but has seldom if ever been noted!
Miss Beal does herself however, make mention of the humble beginnings of Creams out of Orange cats: "The cream or fawn Persian was a few years ago looked upon as a 'sport' and when cream kittens appeared in an orange strain they were considered spoilt oranges, and were either given away or sold for a few shillings……now however, it is very different.1"
Turkish Delight, NCC 1544, Blue Romaldkirkk Laddie, NCC 1852, Blue | Pearl, NCC 1061, Silver Tabby Romaldkirk Admiral, Jun-11-1896, Cream M | Caiaphas, Blue Romaldkirk Fluffie, NCC 1955, Blue-Cream Jael, NCC2309, Orange
Admiral's singularly notable sibling was his own 'heavenly twin' Romaldkirk Midshipmite. But there were other siblings from later repeat breedings. From a litter born in March 1898, came the Blue male Romaldkirk Commodore, and Blue female Romaldkirk Flora, both retained by Miss Beal. From a litter born in April 1899 came both Romaldkirk Iris, a Blue female retained by Miss Beal, as well as Crème De La Crème, a valuable Cream male who was sold to Mrs Woodcock, another ardent admirer of Cream Persians.
Of their winning form, we once again refer to a commentary by Frances Simpson who made the following observation: "I have made frequent mention of Miss Beal's noted creams during my chapters on orange and cream cats. These two celebrated champions are commonly known in the fancy as the 'heavenly twins', their registered names being Romaldkirk Admiral and Romaldkirk Midshipmite. They are really fawn Persian cats,very sound in colour, well made, big boned, and are always exhibited in the pink of condition, and at all seasons of the year are in marvellous coat. Certainly the cold climate of the Romaldkirk cattery, which is situated 730 feet above the sea level, must, anyhow, suit this variety of Persian cat. I suppose the day will come when these well-tried and well-seasoned veterans will have to retire from public life and make way for some of their already noted offspring. In the North, South, East and West, these 'heavenly twins' have reigned supreme, and Miss Beal must almost have lost count of the number of prizes won by them, which, I think I am safe in saying, would give an exact record of the number of times exhibited.1"
On the subject of the accommodations of the Romaldkirk cats, we have the following description from the pen of Miss Winifred Beal: "I have recently utilised an old granary, which is over the coach-house. This is about 40 feet long and has a room at one end, with five windows and good ventilation above. In addition I have three big cat houses and a loft, where most of the queens reside. 'Middy' and 'Admiral' (the 'Heavenly Twins') have small wooden houses, felted inside and out, with wired runs and concrete floors.1"
Of Romaldkirk Admiral's specific wins, the NCC register confirms the following early wins, which were claimed hand in hand and in opposition to his equally successfully sibling: 1st and three 2nds Crystal Palace 1897; 2nd Crystal Palace 1898; 1st Botanic 1898; 2nd Botanic 1899; 1st Westminster 1899; 1st Brighton 1899; 2nd Crystal Palace 1899.4"
From Cats for Pleasure and Profit (1909),Frances Simpson enlarges upon his successes: "This grand Cream stud cat has never been beaten in his class, except by his brother. His prize-winning record is too long for insertion. This cat is in the proud position of being a Champion in the N.C.C. and the C.C., having carried off no less than 14 championships.5"
Both of the 'Heavenly Twins' were popular and successful as sires. Among the better known of 'Romaldkirk Admiral's' progeny are:
Crème D'or, (Cream Persian Female) originally owned by Mrs Wellbye, she went under the stewardship of Mrs Frank Norris of Kew, and from this daughter of 'Admiral' mated to Mrs Ransome's blue 'Darius' came the second generation of twins, known as Kew Laddie and Kew Ronald.
Romaldkirk Daphne, (Cream Persian Female) born 1900, although carrying the Romaldkirk prefix, is listed as bred by Mrs Darcy Hildyard, from her 'Josephine of the Durhams' and subsequently exported to Mrs Dwight Cutler of Detroit, Michigan. It would appear that she was purchased under a syndicate, as the USR shows her owners as jointly Mrs Cutler, Mrs E.Pierce (Ohio) and Mrs Woodward (Georgia). 2
Ch.Wildon Wily of Thorpe, Cream Persian Male born 4th June, 1904, out of Wildon Winsome, the cream daughter of Admiral's sibling, 'Midshipmite', and so representing a direct double up of the famous original Romaldkirk strain of creams.
Romaldkirk Flirt, Cream Persian Female born April 1900, another direct double-up of the Romaldkirk males, she being out of 'Romaldkirk Garnet'(1898), the red daughter of 'Midshipmite'.
Romaldkirk Calliope, Cream Persian Female born July 1897, out of 'Richmond Mistletoe', a cream daughter of the Red Tabby male, 'Cyrus the Elamite'.
Romaldkirk Galatea, a Tortie Persian female, and Romaldkirk Narcissus, a Cream Persian male, siblings born April 19th, 1898, out of 'Romaldkirk Torpedo' (Tortie). This breeding was a double up on Admiral's dam 'Romaldkirk Fluffie' as both Admiral and Torpedo came out of her.
ACA Ch.Romaldkirk Vice Admiral, who although listed as an Orange male appears to have a pure dilute pedigree! Sire is listed as Admiral, but dam is listed as 'Amias' (a Blue-cream), who is registered as from Romaldkirk Toga (a Blue) and Romaldkirk Calliope (a Cream). So sadly a question-mark is left over whether Calliope was in fact a pale orange cat or whether she was the true dam of Vice Admiral. (or whether perhaps Toga was not the sire of 'Amias'.) Whatever the case, Vice-Admiral was exported to the USA and competed successfully at shows there.
This is far from a full list of Admiral's progeny but goes some way to showing his influence on this colour within the breed.
Registers associated with this article include The Incorporated Cat Fanciers Association of Great Britain (TICFAGB), National Cat Club (NCC), The Cat Club (CCR), Beresford Cat Club (BCC), Feline Federation Francaise (FFF), Siamese Cat Registry (SCR), US Register & Studbook for Cats (USR)including Supplement(USRS), The Studbook of the American Cat Association (ACA), and the Studbook & Register of the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA).
Home | Cats | Gallery | Clubs | People | Artifacts | Articles | Updates | Contact Us
©The CFA Foundation, Inc and The Harrison Weir Collection