Turtle Bunbury

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HISTORY

IRISH HISTORY


THE BYERLEY TURK: WARHORSE ON THE BOYNE

It was still early morning when Colonel Robert Byerley led his Turkish stallion into the waters of the Boyne near Oldbridge. His men followed close behind, some carrying sea-green standards that floated in the breeze. Each horse was decorated in sea-green ribands, each cavalryman’s hat adorned with green branches.

A division of Williamite infantry advanced alongside them, urged onwards by the 75-year-old Duke of Schomberg, William of Orange’s trusted commander. At length the Duke ordered his troops to form a line. Colonel Byerley and the Queen Dowager's Horse unsheathed their glittering board-swords and held them to the fore. And then, with a nod from Schomberg, they charged.

Every thoroughbred horse that races today in Britain or Ireland can trace its ancestry to one of three stallions - the Godolphin Barb, the Darley Arabian and the Byerley Turk. Colonel Byerley’s war-horse, whom he rode throughout William of Orange’s Irish campaign, was the earliest of these three foundation sires. [i]

The Byerley Turk is believed to have been foaled in Serbia, then part of the Turkish or Ottoman Empire, in 1678. The dark brown horse had a larger frame than most Arabians and was distinctive for his large eyes, ‘high carriage of the tail’ and ‘prominent knees’. Trained as a cavalry horse, he was ‘schooled to the canons’ by the time he participated in the battle of Vienna in 1683 and the siege of Buda the following year. The story runs that Byerley captured his handsome dark brown charger in the wake of the Turkish defeat at Buda although it seems rather more likely he was captured by another man and later sold to Byerley. [ii]

Robert Byerley was born in 1660, the fourth son of Col. Anthony Byerley of Middridge Grange, county Durham.[iii] His father, who died when he was seven, commanded a Royalist cavalry unit known as ‘Byerley's Bulldogs’ under the Marquess of Newcastle during the English Civil War and was subsequently awarded the Order of the Royal Oak. Robert’s maternal grandfather Sir Richard Hutton was killed in action during the Civil War while his paternal grandfather, another Robert Byerley, was regarded as ‘a great money man’.[iv]

All three of Robert’s older brothers died young and by 1674 the 14-year-old Robert was laird of Middridge Grange. When James II succeeded to the throne in 1685, Robert was elected to Parliament, unopposed, for County Durham.[v] Although he opposed many of the new king’s policies, Byerley sided with his monarch when the Duke of Monmouth, an illegitimate son of the late Charles II, launched his rebellion that summer. He raised an independent troop of horse in Doncaster, which was swiftly incorporated into a new regiment, the Queen Dowager’s Horse, under the command of Richard, 2nd Viscount Lumley of Waterford.[vi]

Following Monmouth’s capture and execution, both Byerley and Lumley began to seriously doubt James II’s merits as monarch. Byerley was soon sidelined for refusing to accede to the king’s ambitions to repeal the Test Act and the Penal Laws. Meanwhile, Lumley emerged as one of the Immortal Seven, the English noblemen who invited William of Orange to invade England and depose James, his own father-in-law.[vii]

King William's War, as the conflict became known, quickly spilled into Ireland where James II found considerable support amongst a Catholic population still reeling from the Tudor and Cromwellian conquests.

Lieutenant Colonel Byerley and the Queen Dowager’s Horse sailed for Ireland on 12 September 1689, embarking from Hoylake in Cheshire. He was accompanied by his trusty charger, hereafter known as the Byerley Turk.[viii]

Man and horse would serve together in Ireland for the next two years. Their adventures form the basis of ‘The Byerley Turk’ by Jeremy James, an acclaimed fictionalized account of the stallion’s life.

James has certainly done his homework, charting the zealous Byerley’s progress from the moment the horse was unloaded upon the black wharves of Belfast Lough in the autumn of 1689.

Byerley was to play a major role in the ensuing campaign following the death of his commander who was ‘seized with a severe indisposition’ at Dundalk shortly before Christmas.[ix] On the Duke of Schomberg’s personal recommendation, Byerley was promoted colonel and placed in command of the regiment.[x]

The cavalry remained in loyalist Ulster for the remainder of the winter. On 15th March, Byerley found the perfect opportunity to exhibit his magnificent stallion when he entered him in a military race that took place at the Flying Horse Crossroads outside Downpatrick, the site of the original Down Royal racecourse. The Byerley Turk duly triumphed over the three-mile horseshoe-shaped course and won the top prize, the Silver Bell.

On June 17th, Byerley and his charger were presented to William of Orange at Hillsborough. The Dutch monarch had landed at Carrickfergus three days earlier. Just over one week later, William’s army marched south, reaching the banks of the Boyne at the end of June.[xi]

Byerley’s regiment were to the fore during the battle of the Boyne, the first action they ever fought. Byerley was engaged in a reconnaissance mission on the eve of the battle when a detachment from James II's cavalry unexpectedly encircled them. Fortunately the Turks’ remarkable agility enabled him to escape certain death. However, several men and horses were killed by a Jacobite cannonade that evening. It is said that this was the same cannonade that wounded King William’s shoulder.[xii]

On the morning of the battle, the cavalry crossed a ford in the river and then charged into the Jacobite lines, spreading themselves over the surrounding corn-fields, galloping up laneways, leaping over ditches and tearing the enemy apart with their swords. [xiii] Elsewhere William’s forces were similarly prevailing so that the day would become one of the defining moments in European history and a massive step towards securing Protestant dominance in Britain and Ireland.

Within days, James II had fled Ireland while William’s forces mustered at Finglas in north Dublin. Byerley was again presented to the king who thanked him for his good conduct.

Byerley then advanced south in pursuit of the Jacobite army which, despite James II’s flight, was committed to continuing their fight. He spent the ensuing summer leading his regiment through Kilkenny, Clonmel and Waterford, helping to capture each town in turn. They reached Limerick at the end of August but the Williamites were unable to crack the city, not least when a band of Jacobite guerrilla fighters, known as rapparees, managed to destroy their main siege weapons.[xiv]

Byerley was then appointed Governor of Mountmellick, a Williamite stronghold in County Laois, from where he orchestrated a campaign to hunt down rapparees. At his command were 50 sabre-rattling horsemen and 300 musket-wielding troops. Records indicate that he was certainly kept busy defending Mountmellick from frequent attempts to surprise and burn the town, as well as leading his Turkish stallion out on numerous deadly forays against the rebels in and around Portarlington, Rosenalis and Brittas. [xv]

In the summer of 1691, the Byerley Turk served at both the Siege of Athlone and the battle of Aughrim where Byerley’s cavalry once again galloped at full pelt into the enemy lines, slashing, hacking, cutting and firing as they went, completely overpowering the Jacobites until the bugler sounded the call to cease fire. [xvi]

The wars finally ended with the surrender of Limerick in the autumn of 1691. On 19th November, Byerley shipped his now famous warhorse out of Dublin to Hoylake and put him out to stud at Middridge Grange, his family seat in Durham. Byerley also retired from army life at this time, possibly due to an injury picked up in Ireland.[xvii]

On St. Patrick’s Day 1692, he married his cousin, Mary Wharton, the wealthy heiress to the Goldsborough estate near Knaresborough in North Yorkshire. The Whartons were descendants of Henry VIII through his illegitimate son by Mary Boleyn, and were well connected with the fledgling world of horse breeding. They also owned substantial lands in Ireland, primarily in Westmeath and Carlow (including a castle at Killerig that subsequently passed on to Benjamin Bunbury), while one of Mary’s cousins was credited with composing ‘Lilli Burlero’, the marching song of the Williamite army, ‘a jig with Irish roots’, which ridiculed James and his Irish Catholic supporters.[xviii]

Mary Byerley had already had a dramatic life, having been abducted and forced into marriage by a brother of the Duke of Argyll aged 13.[xix] The marriage was declared void by an Act of Parliament freeing her up to marry Byerley.

The newlyweds moved to Goldsborough Hall where they raised two sons and three daughters, while Byerley focused on ‘agricultural pursuits’. He also became ‘a leading figure among the High Church gentry in Yorkshire’, representing Knaresborough in nine parliaments between 1695 and 1714.[xx] He passed away in 1731.[xxi]

As for the Byerley Turk, he ‘proved a most excellent stallion’ despite the fact that ‘he did not cover many well bred mares.’ [xxii] The British aristocracy were soon queuing up for his offspring while his progeny would become prized possessions of the racing elite all across Europe. He died at Goldsborough in 1706 and was buried on the estate.


FURTHER READING

‘BYERLEY, Robert (1660-1714), of Middridge Grange, Heighington, co. Dur. and Goldsborough, Yorks’ by Gillian Hampson. Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983, via http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1660-1690/member/byerley-robert-1660-1714

‘The Byerley Turk - The True Story of the First Thoroughbred’ by Jeremy James (Merlin Unwin Books, 2007)

‘Byerley Turk’ by Anne Peters via http://www.tbheritage.com/Portraits/ByerleyTurk.html

FOOTNOTES

[i] Ahnert, Rainer L. (editor in chief), “Thoroughbred Breeding of the World”, Pozdun Publishing, Germany, 1970; Cunningham, E. P.; Dooley, J. J.; Splan, R. K.; Bradley, D. G. (2001). "Microsatellite diversity, pedigree relatedness and the contributions of founder lineages to thoroughbred horses". Animal Genetics 32 (6): 360–364. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2052.2001.00785.x. PMID 11736806

[ii] The Byerley Turk’s story closely parallels that of the Lister Turk, also captured at the siege of Buda, whom the Duke of Berwick, James II’s natural son, brought to Ireland to serve in the Battle of the Boyne. It has been argued that theya re one and the same horse: http://www.highflyer.supanet.com/investigation8.htm

[iii] The family name is variously spelled as Bierley, Bierly, Byerly and Byerley.

[iv] See also Yorkshire Fines for the Stuart Period, Volume 58.

[v] Robert Byerely, MP, was appointed to two committees in James II’s Parliament, those for preventing rapine in the north and rebuilding St. Paul’s.

[vi] Although in the Opposition, Byerely was also a churchman and a Tory. Monmouth launched his rebellion in June 1685. Byerley raised his troop the same month. The following month it was incorporated into the Queen Dowager’s Horse.

In 1680, Lumley was appointed Master of Horse to Queen Catherine (of Braganza), Charles II’s Portuguese wife. He continued to serve her after James II’s accession. The regiment was initially called the Ninth Horse but, following a petition to Catherine by Lumley, the name changed to the Queen Dowager’s Horse. The regiment would later become the 6th Dragoon Guards.

According to John Evelyn, Lumley was personally responsible for Monmouth's arrest after the battle of Sedgemore, finding him unarmed and bearded, hidden in a dry ditch covered with fern brakes. He later conducted Monmouth to London, ‘where his grace perished on the scaffold’.

[vii] Lumley secured Newcastle for William in December 1688. After William became King, he appointed Lumley in rapid succession in 1689/90 as a Gentleman of the Bedchamber, a member of the Privy Council, Colonel of the 1st Troop of Horse Guards (until 1699), Viscount Lumley of Lumley Castle, Lord Lieutenant of Northumberland and Lord Lieutenant of Durham. Lumley was created Earl of Scarbrough on 15 April 1690.

[viii] Ranked as a Captain in 1685, Byerely rose to be Lieutenant Colonel in 1689 and became Colonel later that year. The General Stud Book (Vol., I, p. 389) simply states, without reference to his origins, that both man and horse were in Ireland: BYERLY TURK, was Captain Byerly's charger in Ireland, in King William's wars (1689, &c.)

Also:’ The Byerley Turk (sire of Basto) was Captain Byerley's charger in Ireland in King William's wars, (1689, etc.) and afterwards proved a most excellent stallion, though he did not cover many well bred mares. He was sire of the Duke of Kingstone's Sprite, who was allowed to be nearly as good as Leedes ; of Sir Roger Moyston's Jigg, (sire of Mr. Croft's Partner) of the Duke of Rutland's Archer and Black Hearty, (sire of Bonny Black) ; of Lord Bristol's Grasshopper, Lord Godolphin's Byerley gelding, Mr. Knightley's mare, etc. all in very high forms as racers. He got the dams of Lord Halifax's Farmer Mare (dam of his Lordship's Miss Halifax,) Sir W. W. Wynn's Looby, Mr. Smales's Childers, etc. ‘ (Whyte, James Christie (1840). History of the British turf, from the earliest period to the present day, Volume I. London: H. Colburn, p. 90.)

[ix] Cheered through Belfast, Byerley’s regiment crossed the River Lagan and marched south to camp at Dundalk. However, a pestilential disease was already ripping through the ranks and during the autumn, Viscount Hewytt, the regiment’s colonel, was ‘seized with a severe indisposition’ at Dundalk. Hewytt made his way back to Chester where he died on 15th December 1689.

[x] Hugh Wyndham was his lieutenant colonel and Cornelius Wood was a major. On 30th December they marched on Lisburn … I think this was to escape the pestilence but I haven’t checked this properly yet. On 27th February 1690, they began the march to Downpatrick where the Bylerey Turk competed in the race on March 15th.

[xi] They marched south on June 25th, reaching the banks of the Boyne a week later with the van-guard commanded by the highly regarded Sir John Lanier. In 1752, as Jeremy James notes, Britain and its empire changed to the Gregorian calendar in order to correct ‘an error that had accumulated over hundreds of years.’ Consequently ‘the recording of dates for this period can be confusing and some people may date the Battle of the Boyne as July 12’, as opposed to July 1st.

[xii] The Williamite Order of Battle at the Boyne, records "Bierly" (sic) commanding his section of cavalry with Lanier and Riffel.

According to ‘Historical Record of the Sixth Regiment of Dragoon Guards, or the Carabineers [microform] : Containing an Account of the Formation of the Regiment in 1685, and of Its Subsequent Services to 1839’ (p. 13), “the regiment sustained a loss of several men and horses from a cannonade to which it was exposed. King William was at the same time slightly wounded in the shoulder by a cannon ball, and a report of his death spread through Ireland and France, and occasioned great rejoicings : but while this false rumour was circulating, the king was making arrangements for forcing the passage of the river, and the report of his death was speedily followed by that of the glorious victory he achieved on the 1st of July : a day important in the annals of the Sixth Dragoon Guards, being the first occasion on which the regiment was brought into close contact with an enemy in the field.’

[xiii] According to one account, ‘ the English troopers galloped forward, and spreading themselves over the fields, and dashing along the narrow lanes, mixed fiercely with their antagonists, who were distinguished by pieces of white paper in their hats. The Irish infantry fled for refuge behind the hedges, and attempted to conceal themselves in the corn-fields, or escape beyond the deep ditches ; many fell beneath the glittering broad-swords of the cuirassiers ; others cast away their muskets and threw themselves on the ground, or prostrate demanded quarter of the victorious horse-men, who spread havoc and confusion on the enemy's left. Meanwhile, the remainder of the army had passed the Boyne at other points ; the enemy gave way on every side ; a complete victory was gained, and King James fled from the field and escaped to France. Thus, in a very short space of time the battle of the Boyne, an event of great importance to the protestant interest in Ireland, was won with little loss, except the fall of the veteran Schomberg, who was killed at the head of a regiment of French protestants.’ [‘Historical Record of the Sixth Regiment of Dragoon Guards, or the Carabineers [microform] : Containing an Account of the Formation of the Regiment in 1685, and of Its Subsequent Services to 1839’ (p. 14).]

[xiv] July 2: James flees to France.
July 5. Muster at Finglas, Dublin. ‘The army advanced upon 'Dublin, and on the 7th of July the Queen Dowager's Horse were inspected by King William at the general review at Finglass, and received his majesty's thanks for their good conduct ; the regiment mustered forty private men per troop at this review.’
July 9: Marches west in pursuit of Jacobite army. After gaining possession of Dublin, and reducing Kilkenny, Clonmel, and Waterford, the siege of Limerick was undertaken
Mid-August: Byerley engaged with reparees.

[xv] On 8th August Byerley was at the First Siege of Limerick and during that month was engaged with reparee guerrillas. The siege was lifted on 27th August and the Byerley wintered in Mountmellick where Colonel Byerely served as Governor, commanding 50 horsemen and 300 troops. On 13 December he rode out against the raparees of Rosenalis.

In May it was reported that 500 rapparees had gathered at Brittas with a view to laying waste to Mountmellick. Byerely accompanied Major Cornelisu Wood to view and found the 700 rapparees had been joined by 800 from King James’s standing army. The cavalry won the day and slew 150 men and took many of the enemy prisoners. See: The History of the Life and Reign of William-Henry, Prince of Nassau and Orange, Stadtholder of the United Provinces, King of England, by Walter Harris (Edward Bate in George's- lane, 1749), p. 316.

He was in charge when the home of the Quaker William Edmundson was burned by rebels. See: ‘A History of the People Called Quakers, Volume 3’, p. 282, by John Gough (Robert Jackson, 1790).

The following extracts come from ‘Historical Record of the Sixth Regiment of Dragoon Guards, or the Carabineers: Containing an Account of the Formation of the Regiment in 1685, and of Its Subsequent Services to 1839’
“… Colonel Byerley, was appointed commandant. The enemy's, as they had others in that neighbourhood, occasioned the troopers to be constantly on duty, and in the precautionary measures he adopted, Colonel Byerley evinced the qualities of a good officer. In the beginning of December he received notice of the arrival of a band of rapparees near the town, and he sent out Lieutenant Dent and twenty troopers of the regiment, each with a musketeer behind him. On arriving near the spot where the rapparees were reposing under some trees, the musketeers dismounted and concealed themselves behind a hedge, and the troopers advanced alone. The half-civilized peasantry, who had forsaken their homes and become inured to rapine and bloodshed, observing so small a party of horsemen approach, bounded forward with eager haste to destroy the adventurous troopers, who, retiring as if in confusion, drew their adversaries within range of the fire of the musketeers. The half-naked crowd was urging forward in pursuit with ferocious cries, when they sustained a volley, which laid ten men dead on the spot ; the troopers faced about, and galloping forward with a shout were assailed with a straggling fire ; the musketeers issued from their hiding place and joined in the charge, when a desperate struggle ensued; in a few moments the combat ceased; thirty rapparees lay dead in the field ; four were captured and immediately hanged ; and the remainder escaped.

This recourse to severity intimidated the enemy, and the neighbourhood was permitted to enjoy a few weeks quiet; but on the 14th of March 1691, a party of rapparees having stolen some cattle near Montrathy was pursued by a few men of the regiment and some militia ; and the valiant troopers soon overtook their antagonists, sabred six men, recovered the cattle, and took two prisoners, who were hanged on the following day.

On the 17th of March, as another party of the regiment was scouring the woods near Mountmellick, it encountered a band of rapparees, and after a short chase, slew twelve among the trees. The same party continuing the search on the following day, fell in with another, straggling body of the enemy, killed six, and took a lieutenant prisoner.

Information was received on the 18th of March that forty of the enemy were concealed in a glen near the cantonments of the regiment, and a few troopers were sent out against them ; but there proved to be a much greater number, and the soldiers were in great danger. A trumpeter, who had taken his stand on a hill in the rear to see the fight, observing the peril of his companions, with happy presence of mind sounded a march, then a charge, and gave a loud shout ; the rapparees, thinking a squadron of horse was advancing to attack them, fled in dismay ; the troopers faced about and charged their astonished adversaries, sabred twenty-seven, and took thirteen prisoners, who were all hanged.

In the beginning of May, as another detachment of the regiment and a few musketeers were scouring the thickets near Portarlington, they espied a company of the enemy's infantry, and instantly charging sword in hand, sabred eighteen and took one ensign, one Serjeant, and six private men prisoners.

Thus these gallant horsemen were seen evincing their innate bravery and zeal for their king and country on every occasion ; and these skirmishes were the prelude to a display of valour and prowess, which rivalled the deeds of the heroes of former ages.”

[xvi] In June 1691 he was present at the second Siege of Athlone and on 12th July took part in the great Battle of Aughrim. 17th July saw the march to the Siege of Limerick, which lasted until the Jacobites finally surrendered on 23rd September [check], signing the Treaty of Limerick on 3rd October 1691. The Byerley was on the march to Dublin on 7th November and was finally shipped back to Hoylake on 19th.

During the Irish Campaign, the Ninth or Queen’s Dowager Horse distinguished itself to such an extent that it was posted to London and renamed The King's Carabiniers.

[xvii] William III appointed Hugh Wyndham as Colonel in his place.

‘Having suffered in his health, and being more attached to agricultural pursuits than to the adventurous scenes of military life in times of war, he retired from service. He died on 2nd November 1731’. [Historical Record of the Sixth Regiment of Dragoon Guards, or the Carabineers [microform] : Containing an Account of the Formation of the Regiment in 1685, and of Its Subsequent Services to 1839, p. 92.

[xviii] Her fortune was computed at £50,000. The Whartons were descendants of Henry VIII through Henry Carey, the King’s illegitimate son by Mary Carey nee Boleyn. The best known member of the family was Mary’s great-uncle Philip, 4th Lord Wharton (1613–1696), a prominent horse breeder who also owned lands in Ireland, including a castle at Killerig in County Carlow and lands in Wetsmeath. Although he was a Puritan and a favourite of Oliver Cromwell, his lordship refused to assent to Charles I’s execution. In 1676 he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. When James II came to the throne in 1685, Lord Wharton’s son Thomas went to confer with William of Orange at his court in The Hague. He is also credited with having composed the popular marching ballad Lilli Burlero, described as ‘a jig with Irish roots’ which satirised the sentiments of Irish Catholic Jacobites and ridiculed James II. (‘The Berties of Grimsthorpe Castle’ by Allan Chilvers (AuthorHouse, 2010), p. 108.

Thomas served as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland 1708–1710 was later created Marquess of Wharton, as well as Marquess of Catherlogh (ie: Carlow) by George I. His son Philip, 1st Duke of Wharton, was an ally of the Jacobite Butlers but later bankrupted himself through his personal debauchery and other excesses. He was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of England and founder of the Hell-Fire Club in London. See The Present State of Europe, Or, The Historical and Political Mercury, Volumes 24-25 (Randal Taylor, 1713), p. 494.

[xix] Mary Wharton’s father had been warden of the Mint to Charles II from 1680-5. At the age of 13, she was abducted by Captain James Campbell of Burnbank, Lanarkshire, a brother of the Duke of Argyll, who promptly married her. Campbell’s accomplice was later executed for his role in the abduction and the marriage was declared void by Act of Parliament.

‘About this time an Incident happened which made a great Noise. Capt James Campbel, Brother to the Earl of Argyle, assisted by Archibald Montgomery and Sir John Johnson forcibly seiz’d on Mrs Mary Wharton, Daughter and Heiress of Sir George Wharton, a Fortune of 50000l as the Report was. Capt. Campbel taking her, then about 13 Years old , from her Relations in Great Queen Street, marry’d her against her Will, says Bishop Kennet; but he does not add what the Fact was, that she bedded too against her Will one long night, and again another long Night against her Will and that Capt Campbel ceas’d to trouble her, as she was pleas’d to call it in Court, upon hearing that a Proclamation was issued for apprehending him. Sir John Johnson’s Crime was assisting his Friend and Countryman in carrying off the young Lady, an Act of Gallantry which a brave young Fellow could not think to be a Hanging Matter; but so it prov’d to him for he was executed at Tyburn notwithstanding the great Application that was made to the King and to the Relations of the forc’d Bride to prevent his Execution: which was the more reflected upon because it appeared at his Trial that Miss Wharton had given evident Proofs that the Violence Capt Campbel us’d towards her was not so much against her Will as her Lawyers made it. The Marriage between her and Capt Campbel beings made void by Act of Parliament, she marry’d Colonel Bierly who had a Regiment of Horse in King Williams Service.’ P. 54-55. ‘The history of England: during the reigns of King William and Queen Mary, Queen Anne, King George’ by John Oldmixon (T. Cox, 1735)

[xx] He was the only member of his family elected to Westminster. He was also Commissioner for Privy Seal 1711-13.

[xxi] Mary Byerley died in 1727, a few months before George I. As all five of their children died without issue, the Hall was sold to Daniel Lascelles about 1756 and became part of the Harewood estate. Goldsborough Hall is now a private family home that offers accommodation, which includes the commemorative Byerley suite.

[xxii] The horse was painted five times.

Most of his offspring were either bay or black. Among those to purchase his foals were the Duke of Kingston, Sir Roger Moyston, the Duke of Rutland, Lord Bristol, Lord Godolphin and Mr. Knightley – ‘all in very high forms as racers’ while he also ‘got the dams’ of Lord Halifax's Farmer Mare, Sir W. W. Wynn's Looby and Mr. Smales's Childers.[xxii]

His descendants include at least 12 Epsom Derby winners, 10 St. Leger winners, and 14 The Oaks Stakes winners. The Byerley Turk also helped form the modern Cleveland Bay.

Known for his ‘prominent knees’ and ‘famous for standing work’

He was known to be at stud as late as 1701, the year he sired Basto, a dark bay colt foaled in 1702.

See: Whyte, James Christie (1840). History of the British turf, from the earliest period to the present day, Volume I. London: H. Colburn, p. 90.


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