Thomas Bewick, 'The Chillingham Bull'

Thomas Bewick, 'The Chillingham Bull'

Thomas Bewick
'The Chillingham Bull'
Wood-engraving
England
1789
Museum no. 23539

This wood-engraving by Thomas Bewick shows an example of the wild cattle of Chillingham Park in Northumberland. They are one of the original herds of emparked wild cattle and still roam over the 300 acres of Chillingham Park. The origin of the breed is believed to go back to ancient times in Britain, possibly descending from the ox. The bull is renowned for its fighting capabilities, and the strongest bull will become 'king' of the herd, siring all the calves born during his tenure. The remarkable survival of the breed is believed to be due to the strength and fittness of the bull.