Durham Agricultural Society

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Thomas Bewick
Posts: 2
Joined: 26 Dec 2017, 17:03

Durham Agricultural Society

Post by Thomas Bewick » 26 Dec 2017, 17:17

Hello: Can anyone please help with the date that the Durham Agricultural Society was founded.

I have a silver cup presented by the Durham Agricultural Society in 1791 for best stallion. I presume this is quite an early example.

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webweaver
Posts: 27
Joined: 25 Jun 2017, 09:54

Re: Durham Agricultural Society

Post by webweaver » 06 Feb 2019, 14:13

I have finally found an answer to this question, from Seb Littlewood, Head of Rural Life at the Beamish Museum, who says: 'The Durham Agricultural Society was founded in September (15th I think) 1783 in Darlington. The first county show was held in 1841 at Chester le Street, just a couple of miles from the location of Beamish Museum.'

Catherine

Nutmeg
Posts: 10
Joined: 07 Sep 2018, 22:20

Re: Durham Agricultural Society

Post by Nutmeg » 06 Feb 2019, 17:29

My earlier reply now seems to have disappeared, so to repeat and add to it, as it is more detailed than the reply you had from Beamish (and which quotes no evidence/sources). As you can see these early meetings were held in Durham not Darlington and the first show seems to have been held in 1838 not 1841.

In the Newcastle Courant of 9/8/1783 is an advert for a meeting to be held on Wednesday 13 August 1783 at Mr Richardson's Long Room, Durham for 'gentlemen desirous of promoting and establishing an Agriculture Society for the County of Durham'.

A notice in the Newcastle Courant of Saturday 13 September 1783, p.2 records a meeting on 30 August 1783 which set up another meeting on 15 September at Mr Richardson's Long Room in Durham, at which the rules were to be fixed, and officers are first named: President Rowland Burdon junior, Esq, Vice President Christopher Hill Esq, Secretary Henry Ornsby Esq. They agreed to hold their next meeting on Monday 15 September at Mr Richardson's Long Room, Durham, at 12 noon.

The following year the Agriculture Society for the County of Durham offered 16 prizes (Newcastle Courant 24/1/1783) also at a meeting in Durham, but mentions that they intended to award some prizes at their meeting in Darlington in September.
It would appear that the first meetings were held on market days and stock judged then. Other prizes were introduced later such as for ploughing, so competitions for that were held on farms.

By 1838 an 'Exhibition of Stock' was being held on Mr Gregson's Field in Durham (York Herald 7/4/1838). It is the first show I can trace. This and later meetings were called shows in newspaper reports. By this time the society was also usually called Durham Agricultural Society.
In 1840 the annual show was held at Gregson's in Durham (Carlisle Patriot 4/4/1840) and in 1841 the cattle show was again held at Gregson's in Durham (Durham Chronicle 2/4/1841). A second stock show was held in Durham in William Wetherall's field (Bell's Weekly Messenger 20/9/1841).

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webweaver
Posts: 27
Joined: 25 Jun 2017, 09:54

Re: Durham Agricultural Society

Post by webweaver » 06 Feb 2019, 20:30

Thanks for your very full (and referenced) answer, Nutmeg. I'm sorry if your original answer disappeared - I don't know how that happened because I can't get rid of some posts that ought to be removed :-)
Catherine

durhamcountyshow
Posts: 1
Joined: 27 Mar 2019, 10:27

Re: Durham Agricultural Society

Post by durhamcountyshow » 27 Mar 2019, 10:32

Hi
Durham County Show returns in 2019 and the venue is the magnificent Ushaw Estate. We are a new committee and are currently collecting any old memorabilia to go into the trophy room at Ushaw. We would love to retain some of the old society trophies to go on display. If anyone has any history of the show wed love to see it and display these items in our trophy/history of the show room

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