Darcy's Yellow Turk

James Darcy, Lord Navan

[probably Darcy's Chesnut Arabian, probably Dodsworth] c 1670c. Sire Line Darcy's Yellow Turk.

Some of the following equine genealogy incorporates the original research of Highflyer.

As one of the earliest stallions recorded in the Stud Book and moreover an ancestor of every living thoroughbred, he has been the object of much speculation, both as to his origins and to the unique colour ascribed to him.

The General Stud Book says only that he was "the sire of Spanker, Brimmer, and the great great grandam of Cartouch" [GSB 1:389]. Lady Wentworth said he was presented to the Pasha of Damascus around 1658, and that he was otherwise known as "Orange," but does not reveal her source for this information [Thoroughbred Racing Stock:269]. Alexander Mackay-Smith developed a hypothesis that he was not imported, but sired by Place's White Turk in England. This was, however, based on the assumption that Place's White Turk had been imported in 1657 [Speed and the Thoroughbred:126]. Highflyer, who provides persuasive evidence, says he was the horse known as Dodsworth, imported in utero and foaled in England.

Darcy's Yellow Turk is generally thought to have been first owned or managed by James Darcy the elder (1617-1673), stud master to King Charles II, whose reign extended from 1660 to 1685. However, Darcy had negotiated a contract with the king to supply the king with "twelve choice horses" annually in exchange for a payment of 800. Although Darcy had included the use of two stallions in his original draft this request seems to have been ignored in the final agreement. [Early Records:10]

While Dodsworth is said by some sources to have been owned by the king himself, no racehorses were bred at Hampton Court during this period, since the royal stables then were being supplied by Darcy. It is also possible that Dodsworth belonged to the Dodsworth family that was related by marriage to Darcy's brother, Conyers, the 1st Earl of Holderness. In any case no importations are credited to Darcy and it is reasonable to suppose that he had access to Dodsworth. Despite the General Stud Book's insistence that Dodsworth stood at Hampton Court, it seems likely that he stood at Sedbury and that his name was changed to Darcy's Yellow Turk when he took up residence there.

The Darcy family seat had long been at Hornby Castle, near Bedale, in Yorkshire. Darcy acquired Sedbury Park, near Richmond, Yorkshire, from Sir Marmaduke Wyvill (who had acquired it from the Gascoigne family), either by purchase or through his marriage to Sir Marmaduke's daughter Isabel (sources vary). After the death of James Darcy the elder in 1673 Sedbury Park and the management of the Yellow Turk passed on to his son James Darcy the younger (1650-1731), later 1st Baron Darcy of Navan, in Ireland.

There has been much modern speculation over the colour of Darcy's Yellow Turk. Even though he was identified as the older of the Darcy's Chesnut Arabians [Royal Studs:94], he was earlier called the Yellow Turk.

Given that people were familiar with the term "gold," the use of "yellow" in his name invites speculation. The term "dun" was used to refer to buckskin, and possibly palomino. The dilute (or cream) gene may be expressed as either buckskin or palomino and may hide behind black and grey. Although the dilute gene had always been available in the thoroughbred gene pool, as racehorse portraits of this era clearly show, names had not yet been invented to cover the range of the colours expressed.

In the inventory of the Tutbury Stud, which had belonged to King Charles I before his execution in 1649, an entry is recorded for a son of Fantus: "One dun Horse with a black tayle and mane, a starre and a white speck on the nose, 6 yeares oulde". The same inventory includes two offspring of Black Morocco, one a "Dunn filly" and the other a "Yellow filly," which suggests there was a distinction made between those two colours. Others colours recorded in this inventory are black, browne and grey. It may be worthy of note that a number of horses were described as "sorrill" and the term "chesnut" does not appear to be in use as yet [Royal Studs:58]. Given that most of the usual colours are present in this inventory it seems reasonable to speculate that "yellow" may have been utilised at this time to indicate palomino.

In the pedigree of Morgan's Dun, so called in the General Stud Book although his colour is not given, Highflyer's argument that the Darcy Yellow Turk is the same horse as Dodsworth might explain the appearance of the Dun's colour.
Burton's Barb Mare (Family 2)
   Dodsworth Mare (f Dodsworth [Darcy's Yellow Turk])
      Morgan's Dun (c Helmsley Turk Colt [Darcy's White Turk])

Darcy's Yellow Turk, whatever his colour, exerted a profound influence on the stud book through his well known sons Spanker, Brimmer and the Oglethorpe Arabian.

His daughters were influential as well. An unnamed mare was the 2nd dam of Kitt Darcy's Royal Mare (f Blunderbuss) from whom most of Family 13 descends. Another unnamed daughter was the 3rd dam of Hampton Court Childers (c 1725c) and his sister, she the dam of the Irish Ground Ivy (c 1737). Yet another daughter, Sister to Spanker, was the dam of the Lonsdale Counsellor.

He is also said to have sired the 4th dam of Cartouch (c 1717c Bald Galloway), although the pedigree given for Cartouch usually shows Dodsworth in this position. See Trumpet's Dam for an explanation.

 Spanker (GB)

[Pelham's Bay Arabian] b c 1675c (Darcy's Yellow Turk - Old Morocco Mare, by Fairfax Morocco Barb). Sire Line Darcy's Yellow Turk. Family 6.
The General Stud Book says that he was bred by George Villiers (1628-1687), 2nd Duke of Buckingham, and later acquired by the elder Charles Pelham of Brocklesby Park, Lincolnshire [GSB 1:14]. The Turf Register records his breeder as Charles Pelham [Pick 1:11] and notes that he was also owned by Sir William Ramsden [Pick 1:xxvi]. However, in the pedigree of the Bolton Fearnought, the latter's greatgrandam is given as "Sir William Ramsden's Spanker" [Heber 1754], and also as "a Son of Spanker" [Cheny 1745,index]. Spanker was said to have been the best horse at Newmarket in the time of Charles II, who was on the throne from 1660 to 1685. Well known for his fillies, he also got the stallions Old Careless (c 1693c), Young Spanker and St. Martin.

Spanker Mares
1. Charming Jenny, whose name is given in both Cheny and Pick, is usually referred to as Spanker Mare. One of the most influential mares in the stud book she was the dam of Betty Percival (grandam of Miss Belvoir), Charming Jenny (dam of Fox Cub), Cream Cheeks (taproot mare of Family 6-a and grandam of Childers and Bartlet's Childers), and the stallions Highland Laddie, Leedes, and according to some sources Jigg. However, Mr Prior felt that the pedigree given in Cuthbert Routh's stud book for the Childers brothers, in which the Leedes Arabian Mare was instead a daughter of the unidentified Wyvill's Roan Mare, was more likely correct. This argument would considerably diminish the influence of this mare [Early Records:28]. However, lacking evidence to the contrary, Wyvill's Roan Mare and Charming Jenny could well have been the same mare.
2. Young Bald Peg, 2nd dam of Basto (br c 1703 Byerley Turk) and Fox (b c 1714 Clumsey), and 7th dam of the Champion Sire and good racehorse King Fergus (ch c 1775 Eclipse). (There is some evidence that Basto and Fox were from different mares, although the dam line would remain similar).
3. Spanker Mare, taproot mare of Family 27.
4. Spanker Mare, taproot mare of Family 42.
5. Spanker Mare, 3rd dam of the racehorse Bolton Fearnought (br c 1725 Bay Bolton) and the stallion Brother to Fearnought (c 1726c Bay Bolton).
6. Sir John Parson's Cream Cheeks, the dam of the Ryegate Mare that produced the Duke of Somerset's Cinnamon (ch c 1722 Wyndham).
7. Lonsdale Royal Mare, 4th dam of Lord Lonsdale's Spider (b c 1729 Lonsdale Bay Arabian) and his sister, the latter the 3rd dam of the American stallions Lonsdale (b c 1759 Jolly Roger*) and Nonpareil 1st (c 1758 Morton's Traveller*).
8. Spanker Mare, 2nd dam of Spanking Roger (ch c 1732 Childers).
9. Spanker Mare, 2nd dam of Dabster* (ch c 1736 Fox), one of the earliest "bred" stallions to make his way to America.
10. Spanker Mare, 7th dam of Aimwell (gr c 1750 Babraham).


 Old Careless (GB)

c 1693c (Spanker - Barb Mare). Sire Line Darcy's Yellow Turk.
Bred by Engelbert Leedes in North Yorkshire, he was later sold to Thomas, 1st Marquis of Wharton, whose sister Elizabeth married the father of the 1st Duke of Ancaster. The Wharton family seat was at Winchedon in Buckinghamshire. Said to be the only racehorse mentioned by name in Macaulay's History of England, Careless appears to have stepped effortlessly into the legendary shoes of his sire. In 1698 he barely lost a 500 match at Newmarket, made by Lord Hervey, against the King's Stiff Dick, with Careless, the 7 to 4 favourite, carrying 9 stone, and giving away "perhaps 5 st. over as many miles" to Stiff Dick who carried a "feather". Lord Hervey won 1170 guineas on this match. The following year Careless won a match at the Newmarket Spring Meeting for 1000 a side (or 1900, or 1900 a side, depending on the source) against the Duke of Devonshire's mare over six miles. In April of 1701 he lost a race to the Duke of Rutland's Kiloe at Newmarket. Lady Roos, writing a letter to the 9th Earl of Rutland, her father-in-law, mentions that in his race with Kiloe, it was thought that Careless had fallen blind by the time he had run two miles [Royal Studs:119], allowing Kiloe to win with ease. Apparently this was a temporary condition since Macaulay notes that Careless had "ceased to run at Newmarket merely for lack of competion," although he continued to appear at other courses. At the age of fourteen Lord Wharton refused 700 for him and instead returned him to his breeder, Engelbert Leedes, to stand at North Milford [C M & F M Prior, Stud-Book Lore:67]. In the stud he left no sons that bred on, however, one of his daughters proved to be priceless.

Careless Mares
1. Betty Leedes was the dam of the Champion Sires Childers (b c 1714 Darley Arabian) and Bartlet's Childers (b c 1716c Darley Arabian).
2. Sister to Betty Leedes (b f 1703), bred by Mr Leedes and owned by Lord Bristol [Royal Studs:193], whose produce has not been identified.
3. Wharton's Careless Mare was the dam of Hobgoblin (br c 1724 Aleppo).
4. Sister to Bay Pigot was the 2nd dam of Mr. Panton's Leadenheels (b c 1725 Childers).
5. Careless Mare, dam of Lord Gower's Diana (f Hampton Court Chesnut Arabian).


 Young Spanker (GB)

c 1695c (Spanker). Sire Line Darcy's Yellow Turk. The Turf Register notes that Spanker was the sire of "Mr Curwen's Young Spanker" [Pick 1:11]. As mentioned above, in the pedigree of the Bolton Fearnought he is called "Sir William Ramsden's Spanker" in Heber, and a "Son of Spanker" in Cheny. He sired the grandam of the Bolton Fearnought (br c 1725 Bay Bolton), Brother to Fearnought, and Young Spanker Mare, a foundation mare of Family 44. Possibly he sired Old Sophonisba (ro f 1711) as well, she was owned by Mr Leedes and a celebrated racemare.

 St. Martin (GB)

c 1695c (Spanker - Burton's Barb Mare). Sire Line Darcy's Yellow Turk. Family 2. Bred and raced by Philip, 1st Duke of Wharton, in April of 1701 he won "an extraordinary fine match and for a good deal of money" against the Duke of Devonshire's Dimple, who was said to be the earliest recorded winner of The Whip. After his turf career St. Martin joined the stud of Robert Bertie, who succeeded his father as 4th Earl of Lindsey in 1701, was created Marquis of Lindsey in 1706 and finally 1st Duke of Ancaster in 1716, at Grimsthorpe, Lincolnshire, and after his death in 1722 St. Martin, then about twenty-seven years of age, is said to have continued in that capacity for Peregrine Bertie, 2nd Duke of Ancaster [Early Records:78]. Among his progeny that bred on were the Old Lady Mare, the Pudding Mare and Governor. The Old Lady Mare was a foundation mare of Family 14 and 2nd dam of the good racehorse and useful sire Ancaster's Driver (gr c 1727 Wynn's Arabian). The Pudding Mare (sister to Governor) was the 5th dam of Spark* (c 1733c Aleppo).

 Governor (GB)

c 1709c (St. Martin - Somerset Mare, by Crofts' Commoner). Sire Line Darcy's Yellow Turk. Family 28. Bred in the Ancaster stud he got the Governor Mare, 3rd dam of the half-sisters Countess (gr f 1760 Blank) and Sprightly (gr f 1753 Ancaster Starling) of Family 30. Countess produced the very good stallion Delpini (gr c 1781 Highflyer) and Horatia, the dam of two Derby winners, Archduke (br c 1796 Sir Peter Teazle) and Paris (br c 1803 Sir Peter Teazle). Sprightly was the 3rd dam of the Ascot Gold Cup winner Master Jackey (ch c 1804 Johnny).

Brimmer (GB)

c 1685c (Darcy's Yellow Turk - Royal Mare). Sire Line Darcy's Yellow Turk. Bred by Lord Darcy, he sired a number of good daughters and two sons, Brimmer Colt and Burford Bull.

Brimmer Mares
1. Old Thornton, foundation mare of Family 2.
2. Brimmer Mare, given to Mr Croft by Queen Anne, dam of Bay Layton and Brown Farewell. Most of Family 4 descends from these two mares. Brown Farewell was the 2nd dam of Matchem (b c 1748 Cade).
3. Brimmer Mare, 5th dam of Eclipse (ch c 1764 Marske), and a foundation mare of Family 12.
4. Brimmer Mare, dam of Sir Matthew Pierson's famous Makeless Mare who was herself the dam of the Champion Sire Bay Bolton (br c 1705 Grey Hautboy), his brother Lamprie (gr c 1715 Grey Hautboy) and ancestress of most of Family 37.
5. Brimmer Mare, taproot mare of Family 25.
6. Brimmer Mare, taproot mare of Family 57.
7. Brimmer Mare, taproot mare of Family 70.
8. Brimmer Mare, dam of the two Castaway Mares of Family 40, one of whom was the dam of the celebrated Bald Charlotte (ch f 1721 Old Royal), 8th dam of the great American racehorse Boston (ch c 1833 Timoleon), while the other produced the stallion Quiet Cuddy (ch c 1727 Fox) who was probably the sire of Jenny Cameron* (b f 1742).
9. Musick, dam of the stallion Old Pert who sired Ancaster Ball (ch c 1712) and the Young Lady Mare, foundation mare of Family 14, and Sister to Old Pert, dam of the very good stallion Valiant* (b c 1747 Ancaster Grasshopper).
10. Brimmer Mare, 4th dam of the brothers Jason (gr c 1749 Old Standard) and Lord Hamilton's Figure (gr c 1747 Old Standard).
11. Sister to Old Thornton, 5th dam of Pearson's Little Partner (ch c 1745 Croft's Forester) and 11th dam of Whitworth (b c 1805 Agonistes).
12. Brimmer Mare, 2nd dam of Mr Metcalfe's Harlequin (b c 1719 Mixbury Galloway).


Brimmer Colt (GB)

c (Brimmer). Bred by the Darcy family, and said to have been "well-bred", he apparently died young. He got Bethell's Ruffler (ch c 1699c), sire of Portmore's Victorious (gr c 1722) and Sister to Ruffler, a foundation mare of Family 31, and dam of the brothers Castaway (br c 1704 Old Merlin) and Woodcock (b c 1715 Old Merlin).

Burford Bull (GB)

c (Brimmer - Layton Barb Mare). Sire Line Darcy's Yellow Turk. Family 4. Bred by Lord Darcy, he sired two significant daughters, one a foundation mare in the family of Wilkinson's Favourite, the other the ancestress of Figure* (br c 1757 Hamilton's Figure).

 Oglethorpe Arabian

c 1680c. Said to belong to Sir Thomas Oglethorpe of Scotland [Pick 1:17], however, this is probably a misinterpretation of the rendering of Sir Theophilus Oglethorpe who was frequently referred to as Sir Th. Oglethorpe. Sir Theophilus Oglethorpe (d 1702) of Oglethorpe was the brother of Sutton Oglethorpe (1637-1727), Studmaster, from 1674 to 1688, to King Charles II and King James II following the death of James Darcy the elder. Later Sir Theophilus held a similar position under King James II. It seems likely that the Oglethorpe Arabian belonged to one or both of them at some point.

According to the General Stud Book he "may be the horse described as Mr Oglethorpe's son of the Yellow Turk," however, GSB also says that Darcy's Yellow Turk was "the sire of Spanker, Brimmer, and the great great grandam of Cartouch" without mentioning the Oglethorpe Arabian [GSB 1:389]. Lord Rockingham's collection of pedigrees includes that of Makeless, which says: "Makeless was got by General Oglethorpe's Arabian; dam by Lord D'Arcy's Yellow Turk; out of a natural Barb Mare which Sir Jno Lawson (a Sea Admiral) bought from Barbary and gave to King Charles, who gave her to Lord d'Arcy" [Sheffield Archives R193/49]. This results in a pedigree wherein Makeless is inbred 2x2 to the Darcy Yellow Turk, which would make it seem that Oglethorpe Arabian was less likely to have been a son of Darcy's Yellow Turk and more likely that he has been casually misidentified as Oglethorpe's Son of the Yellow Turk. However, it is also possible that Oglethorpe's son of the Yellow Turk was a brother to the dam of Makeless.

Oglethorpe's Arabian's most important son was Makeless. He also sired Bald Frampton, described as "a high formed galloway about whom the persistent legend is invariably told that he beat the Duke of Devonshire's Dumplin, or Dimple, for the whip" [Cook 1:168].


 Son of the Yellow Turk (GB)

c 1680c (Darcy's Yellow Turk). Sire Line Darcy's Yellow Turk. Although the General Stud Book notes that the Oglethorpe Arabian "may be the horse described as Mr Oglethorpe's son of the Yellow Turk," GSB also says that Darcy's Yellow Turk was "the sire of Spanker, Brimmer, and the great great grandam of Cartouch" without mentioning the Oglethorpe Arabian [GSB 1:389]. He sired the dam of Mr Egerton's White Stockings (ch c 1710 Wood's Counsellor).

Makeless (GB)

c 1685c (Oglethorpe Arabian - Mare, by Darcy's Yellow Turk - Natural Barb Mare). Sire Line Oglethorpe Arabian. A pedigree for Makeless (see above) is recorded in Lord Rockingham's collection of breeders' certificates. This pedigree appears to have been taken from Brown's copy of Sir Marmaduke Wyvill's stud book. Owned by Mr Croft, he was "greatly esteemed for running, as also for a stallion" [Pick 1:3]. In the stud, he got many good fillies and Old Scar.

Makeless Mares
1. Brown Farewell (br f 1710), dam of one of the Young Greyhounds (br c 1723 Greyhound), of Miss Partner and her sisters, and the 2nd dam of Matchem (b c 1748 Cade).
2. Chesnut Thornton, a foundation mare of Family 2.
3. Chesnut Layton, 2nd dam of Partner Mare, taproot of Family 4-o.
4. Makeless Mare (Pierson's), dam of Bay Bolton (br c 1705 Grey Hautboy) and Lamprie gr c 1715 Grey Hautboy).
5. Milbanke's Black Mare (bl f 1703), Sir Ralph Milbanke's famous mare, from whom most of Family 13 descends, was described as the "highest and best bred Mare in England" [Pick 1:17]. She was the dam of Hartley's Blind Horse (ch c 1712 Holderness Turk), 3rd dam of Charming Molly (br f 1742 Whitefoot), who won the Gold Cup at Chester in 1748, and her sister Diana, and 3rd dam of South (b c 1750 Regulus).
6. Makeless Mare, dam of Wood's Counsellor (c 1694c Darcy's Counsellor).
7. Old Scarborough Mare, dam of the Scarborough Colt (bl c 1724 Tifter), 2nd dam of Young Belgrade (c 1730c Belgrade Turk) and a foundation mare of Family 25.
8. Old Polly's Dam, a foundation mare of Family 33.
9. Makeless Mare, 2nd dam of Gallant's Smiling Tom (gr c 1710c Conyers Arabian).
10. Makeless Mare, 2nd dam of Mother Neasham (b f 1720 Hartley's Blind Horse) and her half-sister Jackson's Favourite (gr f 1725 Alcock's Arabian).
11. Makeless Mare, 2nd dam of Cartouch (c 1717c Bald Galloway) and 2nd dam of Hodge's Centurion (c Conyers Arabian Colt).
12. Sister to Brown Farewell, 3rd dam of Whistlejacket (ch c 1749 Mogul).
13. Bay Farewell, 3rd dam of Pearson's Little Partner (ch c 1745 Croft's Forester) and 9th dam of Whitworth (b c 1805 Agonistes).
14. Makeless Mare, 4th dam of Figure* (br c 1757 Figure).
15. Bay Thornton, 4th dam of Granby (b c 1759 Blank).



Old Scar (GB) b c 1705 (Makeless - Bay Layton, by Darcy's Counsellor). Sire Line Darcy's Yellow Turk. Family 4.
  [probably Darcy's Yellow Turk] c 1670c (Dodsworth's Dam). Sire Line Dodsworth. Family 32. Dodsworth's dam, a Royal Mare, was said to have been imported in the time of King Charles II, and at about the time of his death in 1685 she was sold by the stud master for 40 guineas. She was then twenty years of age and in foal with Vixen (f 1686c Helmsley Turk). Dodsworth sired a number of good fillies and Dicky Pierson.

Dodsworth Mares
1. Dodsworth Mare, dam of the well known mare, Trumpet's Dam (f Place's White Turk), and foundation mare of Family 4.
2. Dodsworth Mare, half-sister to St. Martin (c 1695c Spanker), dam of Morgan's Dun (c Helmsley Turk Colt) and Sister to Morgan's Dun (f Helmsley Turk Colt), the latter ancestress of a small branch of Family 2.
3. Dodsworth Mare, 2nd dam of Ancaster's Grasshopper (gr c 1731 Crab).
4. Dodsworth Mare, taproot mare of Family 54.
5. Dodsworth Mare, dam of Old Sophonisba (ro f 1711 Young Spanker).
6. Dodsworth Mare, 3rd dam of Spider (b c 1729 Lonsdale Bay Arabian), and 6th dam of Nonpareil 1st (c 1758 Morton's Traveller*) and Lonsdale (b c 1759 Jolly Roger*).


Dicky Pierson (GB)

[possibly Bay Dodsworth] c 1675c (Dodsworth). Sire Line Dodsworth. Sire of Dicky Pierson Mare, half-sister to St. Martin (c 1695c Spanker), a foundation mare of Family 2.

Bay Dodsworth (GB)

[possibly Dicky Pierson] c 1675c (Dodsworth). Bay Dodsworth is mentioned in Cuthbert Routh's stud book as the sire of the 5th dam of Hutton's Surley (gr c 1708 Hutton's Grey Barb), whose sister was in turn the 5th dam of Marske br c 1750 Squirt), the sire of Eclipse (ch c 1764). Bay Dodsworth would thus hold the position as the sire of the taproot mare of Family 8 [Early Records:30]. It is also possible that his daughter was the same mare as the Dicky Pierson Mare (above) of Family 2.

  Darcy's Chesnut Arabian
  [Darcy's Yellow Turk, probably Dodsworth] c 1670c. Since the term "yellow" preceded the term "chesnut" (which was then spelled in that fashion) Dodsworth probably acquired his third name later in life. A pedigree in the Newcastle Courant includes a pedigree, which reads in part: "the old Chesnut Turk which got Leeds' Spanker" and under this name [Newcastle Courant 1728-8:March 23 & Royal Studs:94] he sired the dam of Mr Pelham's Little George and his two sisters, both of whom contributed to Family 12-a. Sister 1 to Little George produced Lord Halifax's Goliah (gr c 1772 Greyhound) and Sampson (gr c 1721 Greyhound), both of whom were successful racehorses. Sister 2 to Little George was the 2nd dam of the Derby Looby (b c Pigot Turk). He was not the same Arabian that was the sire of Young Violet Layton in 1715 [GSB 1:18].