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Henry Calvert 1798-1869
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Henry Calvert 1798-1869

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Brigadier, winner of the 1866 Waterloo Cup in a landscape at Great Altcar


Oil painting on canvas 28 x 36 inches, and contained in its fine original gilt and gesso frame




Provenance: By descent in the family of Brigadier's owner Mr Foulkes of Withington




The Waterloo Cup was the premier event in the coursing calendar and known as the 'blue ribbon of the leash'. It was inaugurated in 1836 by Mr William Lynn, proprietor of the Waterloo Hotel in Liverpool's Ranelagh Street. Encouraged by the extra trade generated by the Waterloo Cup, the Liverpool entrepreneur turned his attention to the Turf the following year and organised the first running of the Grand Liverpool Steeplechase, known as the Grand National since 1839. The Waterloo Cup flourished under the patronage of  William Philip Molyneux, 2nd Earl of Sefton, and crowds of spectators reached the tens of thousands in its heigh-day.


The first winner of the Waterloo Cup was a bitch named Melanie, owned by Lord Molyneux, the eldest son of the Earl of Sefton on whose land the contest was run on the plains of Altcar. In addition to stakes of £16, Lord Molyneux won a trophy in the form of a silver snuff box.

The first supreme champion in the sport of coursing was Lord Lurgan's greyhound Master McGrath who won the Waterloo Cup on three occasions, 1868, 1869 & 1871. The dog became a household name in Britain and such was his fame that Queen Victoria commanded his appearance at Windsor Castle. Master McGrath set the standard by which all proceeding greyhounds would be judged. The great Master McGrath's record was finally eclipsed by Colonel North's greyhound "Fullerton" who recorded four consecutive victories in the Waterloo Cup between 1889 and 1892


'If King Lear was the first Cinderella winner of the Waterloo Cup, Brigadier in 1866 was given the most lasting memorial. Mr Foulkes from Manchester had found the black and white dog, a living skeleton, wandering in the filthy back streets of the city. Foulkes nursed the Brigadier back to health and by an odd quirk of fortune the dog ran in the Waterloo and was heavily backed. In those days a nomination could be backed well in advance instead of an actual dog [owners could put their name down to enter a dog in the race without having to specify which dog]. A syndicate had plunged heavily on Mr Gorton's nomination, believing that it would be filled by the well-fancied Bonus. Bonus's connections wouldn't play, however, and even attempts by the syndicate to buy him to fill the Gorton nomination failed and Bonus was nominated by someone else.

Meanwhile Brigadier eventually filled Mr Gorton's nomination and he went to Altcar with all the money intended for the famous Bonus riding unwillingly on his back. Bonus never raised a flag, but Brigadier won the Waterloo. With his new found wealth Mr Foulkes bought a hotel at Whithington which he called "The Waterloo" in Brigadier's honour. Brigadier was buried in the grounds at the age of fourteen under a memorial inscribed' "In Memory of a Faithful Friend, Brigadier, Winner of the Waterloo Cup, 1866. Died September 18th, 1877, aged 14 yrs 3 months".


The Waterloo Cup, The First 150 Years, Charles Blanning & Sir Mark Prescott, 1987.  



The Waterloo Inn, in Withington built by Mr William Foulkes in 1884, largely from the proceeds of Brigadier's exploits in the Waterloo Cup. Photographed just prior to its demolition in 1995. The Pub was replaced by a modern housing development which is called Brigadier Close. The Foulkes family were Publicans in Manchester for several generations in the 19th century. The present William Foulkes (who was married in St Peter's Church Manchester on 7th July 1843) was already a publican in his own right as a young man, following the trade of his like-named father.




Mr William Foulkes with Brigadier outside his house in Manchester, circa 1866






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