The History of the Club
In the smoking room at the Sealyham Mansion during January 1908, a quartet of Terrier enthusiasts Mrs Victor Higgon ( formerly Miss Edwardes ) , her husband Victor James Higgon, Captain Jack H. Howell (the Master of Foxhounds) and Mr. Adrian Howell, met to discuss the potential of building a foundation for the club of the Sealyham Terriers.
After-which, they sent notices to local newspapers in attempts to find interested parties to join. Originally, the club was known as the Sealyham Terrier Club of Haverfordwest . The four enthusiasts decided the standard for the breed at this time, and the Right Honourable Lord Kensington was elected as president and Mr. Fred Lewis as Honorary secretary.
On the 8th March, 1911, Lord Kensington succeeded in getting recognition of the Sealyham Terriers to the Kennel Club.
However, as time went on, the breed gradually gathered a number of stalwart’s adherents, who in 1908 formed the Sealyham terrier Club, the president of which was the Right Honourable Lord Kensington, and the hon. secretary Mr Fred Lewis, to whose efforts, and that of their coadjutors, the Sealyham terrier of today owes much.
The devotees of the breed who had founded the club evolved a standard description and points for the breed and set to work to improve the dog and bring him more in keeping in size, coat, character, and conformation, with his requirements as under-ground worker, which is his specific avocation.
On application of Lord Kensington, the Clubs president, the kennel Club recognised the breed and gave it a place on its register of the breed, on March 8th, 1911.
The die of the Sealyham was now effectually cast, and its future progress assured. The breed received more public attention, and gradually increased the number of its followers, in proportion to the general improvement and uniformity of type which were affected by breeders and exhibitors as time went on, until today it is, as we have already stated, one of the most popular and most rational of the terrier varieties.
The Kennel Club Challenge certificates were first offered for the Sealyham Terrier at the Great Joint Terrier Show held in Regents Park on June 10th, 1911. Lord Kensington was the judge, and Mr W Baker’s Chawston Bess Bach bred by Mr Fred Lewis, won the first challenge prize.
The article titled 'Sealyham Terriers at Crystal Palace' highlights the first time the breed was shown outside of Wales. Mr Fred. W . Lewis and Mr Jack Howell guaranteed the classes, and the Sealyhams were the stars of the show. Exert taken from Haverfordwest and Milford Haven Telegraph. 19th October 1910
In 1912, the name of the club was changed to the Sealyham Terrier and Badger Digging Association, where the Baron de Ketschendorf was the first Honorary Secretary elected and Mr. C.J. Gladdish Hulkes who was the last secretary and remained in post up until his death. The club was created to ensure the breed held onto it's roots as a working dog and not just a show dog.
The standard description and points of the Sealyham were promulgated in this club, which were slightly different of the principles in the Sealyham Terrier Club, and the badger digs were organised from time to time from various areas of the country to test the prowess of the Sealyham terrier, against other terriers, where reports were published in 'Our Dogs.'
which led to the formation of the association which was recorded in 'Our Dogs' of August 23rd, 1912: -
SEALYHAM TERRIER BREEDERS AND BADGER DIGGING ASSOCIATION
A preliminary meeting for the formation was held at Stones Restaurant, Ludgate Hill, on Wednesday,14th where the following gentlemen attended; Baron de Ketschendorf, Messrs, Hamilton-Adams. Holland Buckley, W. Baker, Raymond Bryan, Arthur Balding, and Dr Aubrey Ireland.
Mr Holland Buckley being voted as the chair, made sure the following resolutions and business were carried through: Decided that the names of the association should be that Baron de Ketschendorf should act as honorary secretary; that annual subscriptions should be one guinea.
The committee was officially formed: - Messrs Hardy, Hamilton Adams, Buckley, Balding and Dr Ireland decided that notice should be given for a general meeting to be held at 5.30pm on the first day of the Kennel club Show at Crystal Palace, at which all breeders interested, were encouraged to attend; that her Grace Mary Duchess of Hamilton be approached to honour the association by becoming president, and in the event of her Grace declining that the right Honourable the Earl of Lonsdale be asked to accept that post.
That the Right Honorary Lord Kensington would be invited to become the vice-president. The following gentlemen were also to be asked to act in that capacity: Mr Charles Levison-Gower; Captain Taggart; Mr Howells; Kidd; Mr Selby Lowndes; and Mr Charles McNeil.
The following resolution was proposed by the chairman and carried unanimously: That the objects of the association should be that the Association be formed for the breeding of Sealyham Terriers on working lines. Firstly, by the association holding badger-digging trials in natural earths and organising meetings for that purpose. Secondly, by guaranteeing classes or otherwise supporting shows for the encouragement of the correct type of Sealyham Terrier.
Thirdly, that no show should be supported that does not provide at least one class for Terriers holding a working certificate.
A sub committee was then formed consisting of Dr Ireland and Messrs Buckley and Baker to draw up rules for presentation to general meeting at the Kennel Club Show.
A resolution was then passed requesting the hon, Secretary to apply to the Kennel Club for registration of the association.
Baron de Ketschendorf, Hemingford Abbots, St Ives. Hunts.
After this other institutions started to form. In 1913, the American Sealyham Terrier Club was established, in 1923, the Midland Sealyham Terrier Club formed. In 1928, The Sealyham Terrier Breeders Association Club was created.