|Squirrel [Williams's] b c 1719 (Snake
- Mare, by Acaster Turk). Sire Line
Turk. Family 70.
Bred by Mr Smith of Middleham,
Yorkshire, and later owned by Richard Williams of Cheshire, Squirrel was a
full-brother to Easby Snake,
the sire of Mother Western, she the 2nd dam of
(ch c 1764 Marske). Racing from 1724 through
1726, generally in four-mile heats, he was said to be the best horse of
his time for high weights.
Following his career on
the turf Squirrel was sold to Ambrose Cowley for 500 guineas.
After Cowley's death Squirrel returned to Richard Williams who
owned him until his death. In the stud his sole contribution1
appears to be
Fair Helen, the taproot mare of Family
The pedigree given below for
Squirrel differs from that recorded in the General Stud Book
in that his second dam is shown as a daughter of the Layton Grey
Barb instead of as a daughter of a Son of Pulleine's Arabian,
also called Rockwood.
Highflyer presents evidence that this son was also sometimes
known as the Layton Grey Barb.
The General Stud Book
[1:413] also states that Williams’s Squirrel was sometimes referred
to as Lister’s Squirrel. This statement is difficult to accept
for three reasons. First and foremost, there is no trace of any
Mr Lister among the known owners of Williams’ Squirrel.
"Lister’s Squirrel" was, according to both Pick
and Cheny2, another name for Fox Cub, whose pedigree
is entirely unrelated to that of Williams’s Squirrel. The identification
of Lister's Squirrel with Fox Cub makes more sense
because Fox Cub and his close relative, Fox, were both bred by
Sir Ralph Assheton and the husband of Assheton's daughter
Catherine was Thomas Lister. Thomas and his wife appear to have
acquired Fox and Fox Cub following the death of Sir Ralph, which
occurred in 1716, when both colts were two years old. (Fox Cub’s
race record clearly shows that he ran for "Mr" Lister – probably
Thomas, not Matthew3 – under the name of Squirrel; it is not
clear when he began to be called Fox Cub).
Third, one of the mares
specifically said in the General Stud Book to have produced a daughter by Lister’s
Squirrel also has a daughter attributed to Fox Cub. This implies
two possibilities: either the mare was mated to the same
stallion twice, or there was in fact only one daughter, her sire
having been known by two different names.
The sire of Williams’s
Squirrel was Snake, also called Old Snake or Lister's Snake.
Snake is presumed to have been the property of Matthew Lister,
who stood his sire, known as Lister's Turk. It seems plausible
enough to suspect that Williams’s Squirrel, son of Matthew
Lister's Snake, was misidentified as Thomas Lister’s Squirrel
simply because both had a connection to a Mr Lister. The
confusion between two different horses could easily have been
due to a failure to distinguish between two different men.
General Stud Book attributes two other offspring to
"Squirrel (Lister's or Williams's)" [GSB1:413]: a filly from
Family 8 who was the
grandam of Sir R Grosvenor's Tweedle by Rib [GSB1:3], and
another filly from Family 8
who was the dam of a filly by Hutton's Blacklegs [GSB1:7].
However, on page 3 there are two offspring recorded by Lister's
Squirrel; the second one is also from
Family 8 but has no known
offspring. Additionally GSB records a Lister's Squirrel Mare
from Family 56 who is
thought to be the 4th dam of the American horse Batte &
Macklin's Fearnought (b c 1777 Fearnought*) [GSB1:59; E1:233].
2 "Fox-Cub, also
called Squirrel, (a bay horse - foaled in 1714,) Bred by
Sir Ralph Ashton, Bart and sold to Matthew Lister, Esq
Fox-Cub was also got by Clumsy; his dam was called
Charming Jenny, by Leedes's Arabian, out of a mare of Mr Leedes's
of the same name, got by an Arabian" [Pick1:12]. Mr Cheny agrees that Fox Cub was also
called Squirrel: "Fox was bred by the late
Sir Ralph Ashton Bart who purchased two Fillies of Mr Leeds,
and cover'd them both in one Season with Clumsey, one of which
Covers produced Fox, the other Fox Cub or Squirrel"
Thomas Lister of Gisburne Park, the son-in-law of Sir
Ralph Assheton, although distantly related to Matthew
Lister, was from a different family, Matthew being from
Burwell Park. Matthew was one of the first two of three
successive generations of "Matthew Lister of Burwell
Park," the first of whom married Eleanor Dymoke.
© Sandra K. Snider
and Richard Nash
|In July of 1724 at Bridgenorth he won a 300
guineas match, defeating Mr Cresswell's Tatney (br c
Wyndham), both carrying 8st 7lbs over four miles. Later the same
year he won a £40 purse at Chesterfield.
|In August of 1725 at York he won
the King's Plate for six year olds, beating Leonard Childers's Wanton
Willy (b c 1719 Darley Arabian), Mr Witty's
bay colt Boynton, Mr Purea's bay filly
Diana, Mr B Darley's black colt Black Tom and Mr
Graham's bay colt Stradler, each carrying 12 stone in four-mile heats. (Leonard
Childers also owned Childers (b c
1714)). In October at Newmarket, Squirrel won the King's Plate, beating
Colonel Butler's Fox (b c Hartley's Blind Horse), the Duke of
(b c 1719 Old Wyndam), and Mr Gulston's bay mare, each
carrying 12 stone in four-mile heats. He also won the King's Plate at
|In April of 1726 he won the King's
Plate at Newmarket, beating the Duke of Devonshire's Tick-Tack (ch c
Old Scar), the Duke of Bolton's Bay Wanton (b c 1719
Bolton), the Duke of Somerset's Windham and Colonel Butler's Fox, each carrying 12 stone in four-mile heats.
Helen b f 1728 (Williams's Squirrel - Mare, by
Oysterfoot). Sire Line
Turk. Family 10.
Gower's Fair Helen won the 600 guineas Wallasey Stakes at
Newmarket in April of 1734. In this race for five year olds, all
carrying 9 stone, she defeated the Duke of Devonshire's
Blacklegs (br c 1728
the Duke of Somerset's Quibble [Slouch] and Lord
Lonsdale's Ugly (b c 1728 Lonsdale's Bay Arabian). She
also placed 3rd in His Majesty's 100 guineas for five
year old mares, all twenty entries carrying 10 stone in
four-mile heats, on August 4, 1733 at Hambleton. The
race was won by Mr Durham's Favourite (gr f 1728 Bald
Galloway Colt), followed by Mr Witty's Belinda (ch
f 1728 Old Royal). Mr Warson's grey filly Miss Fox
finished 4th; seventeen others started. In
September of 1735 she was distanced for the 90gs Ladies'
Plate at Lincoln, won by Mr Carr's Dusty Miller (gr g
1728 Young Greyhound), with Mr Hutton's chestnut colt
Creeper placing 2nd, Lord Portmore's bay filly Ebony
3rd, 4th; the field included Mr Rawlinson's roan
filly Miss Wilkinson, Mr Honeywood's bay colt
Whitelegs, Mr Bethell's Poor Robin (br c 1728 Bethell's
Arabian) and the Duke of Ancaster's grey colt Wynn.