The New Dishley Society

Photograph of a Longhorn Cow

Perpetuating the memory of master livestock breeder, Robert Bakewell of Dishley Grange, Loughborough, Leicestershire, 1725-1795.

Research Projects

The Bakewell Family and the Local Unitarian Chapels

"It has been known for a long time that the Bakewells of Dishley Grange, near Loughborough, were members of the Unitarian congregation, but little else was known about their involvement.  However, a short history of the Loughborough Unitarian congregation is held in the Record Office for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (ROLLR), and this led the New Dishley Society members to investigate further and to make contact with the current Unitarian group.  We hoped by exchanging information to understand more about Bakewell’s beliefs, and perhaps how they interacted with his farming principles."

Read more of this paper by Janet Spavold

New Bakewell Print Found

A new print of Bakewell has been found by one of our members and it shows how well regarded he was even long after his death. Though foxed, it is possible to read the titles: "F. Engelheart sc. Robert Bakewell Born at Dishley Grange near Loughborough in the Year 1726. Died Octr 1, 1795 Aged 69 Years. London. Published by Joseph Rogerson, 24 Norfolk Street, Strand. August 1, 1842."

This print was published in "The Farmer's Magazine". It was intended for issue no. 1, vol. VI, July 1842 (second series), but was not published then. Instead the magazine wrote:

"We had made arrangements for giving a Portrait of this Eminent Breeder in this the first number of the Volume. But our engraver, being anxious to do full justice to his subject, has urged us to postpone it until the next month, when it will certianly appear, with a biographical sketch."

The portrait was then published in issue no. 2, vol. VI, August 1842 (second series).

Print of Robert Bakewell

Local Newspapers Search

Capital Long-horned Leicestershire Cattle.
At Mr. KNOWLES’S, at Nailstone, in Leicestershire, on
Wednesday the 16th of January, 1805.
Bulls bred from Stock purchased at Mr. Fowler’s
Sale at Rollright in Oxfordshire, and which are supposed
to be in Calf to Nelson or Duncan; also, three Two-year-
old Bulls, by Nelson, out of Cows by the Sire of Nelson;
and 3 valuable Rearing Bull and 2 Cow Calves, all by
Nelson. The Bull Calves are out of Cows by Peeping
Tom, a Son of Brindled Beauty, which was bought at the
Rollright Sale for 260 guineas; the Cow Calves are out
of Cows by the sire of Nelson.
N. B. Nelson was bred out of Nell, a Cow bought at the
Rollright Sale for 135 guineas, by B. N. her Son by
Peeping Tom. – Duncan is also out of Nell by another Son
of Peeping Tom.
At the same Time will be Sold a Pair of 6-year-old
Working Oxen.

Derby Mercury, Jan. 3 1805, p. 4, col. 4, Derby Local Studies Library (DLSL).

We want to trace the influence of Bakewell and his contemporaries on animal breeding and quality. It is often said that they had great influence but there is little real evidence collected so far. We would appreciate input from anyone working on old local newspapers who finds the type of advertisement shown here, for any area in the eighteenth century and on to about 1830. We are collecting copies of, or information from, advertisements for the sales of cattle, sheep, horses or pigs sold by Bakewell or his father (Robert Bakewell senior died 1750; Robert junior died 1795). Adverts for ram lettings, bulls, and stallions at stud are wanted, as are sales of stock descended from Bakewell’s animals or stock influenced by his work like the Collings’ development of the Shorthorn. Adverts for 1815 to 1817 or so, when Bakewell’s nephew Honeybourne sold up at Dishley Grange, would be worth copying. If in doubt – copy the advert and send it in anyway!

Local newspapers began to appear from about the 1730s. They were weeklies all through the period we are interested in, and shorter than modern local papers. We would like a full copy of the adverts. To be able to reference them, each advert must have the paper’s name, issue date, page and column numbers and the library name – and your name and contact details too please.

Auction catalogues are useful sources of information especially if they record the prices paid and the name of the purchaser; please note the catalogue number along with the details. Any information on local Unitarian chapels and what they did would be useful; Bakewell was a member of the Loughborough chapel and we know very little about the sect’s activities.

Email your research and queries to the Secretary, on

Image of original advertisment