"Sealyham" is a mansion situated just off the main A40 road from London to Fishguard, seven miles from Haverfordwest, in woodland in a small valley which runs the Afon Anghof which fills a small lake. Here the Sealyham, the native terrier, was first bread. Through the grounds of the mansion flows the Sealy river.
Sealyham Mansion was home of the Tucker family and world famous as the place where Sealyham Terriers were first bred.The first of the family to be associated with Sealyham was John Tucker, otherwise Tucker, described as "gentleman" in 1560. An eighteen century Tucker-Admiral Thomas Tucker R.N. achieved renown by killing the notorious pirate "Blackbeard" in West Indies. He went on to capture Spanish ships with rich cargoes and died in 1766. An heiress married an Edwardes descendant of Owen Edwardes, grandfather of of the 1st Lord Kensington and they took the name of Tucker Edwardes (Vide Burke's Peerage).
THE SEALYHAM MAKER
The late Captain Edwardes of Sealyham was the originator of the Sealyham breed. How exactly he made them is not known, but whatever were his crosses , he found one of the best of all Terrier breeds.
Sealyham Mansion become the residence of Cap. John Tucker Edwardes, the founder of the Sealyham Terrier. A great huntsman and sportsman, he was born in 1809. He joined the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and served in Gibraltar, where he hunted with Calpe Foxhounds. On returning to his own country, he settled down at Sealyham and after his mother"s death ran a pack of Foxhounds. The ruined kennels can be seen today.
Capt. Edwardes devoted much of his time and experience to perfecting his favourite breed of terrier, carefully keeping the ideal points meant for work in front of him. No greater proof of his affection or liking of any friend could be given than by offering them one of his precious puppies.
During the Rebecca Riots ( The breaking down of Toll Gates ) in 1843, when he, an officer of Pembrokshire Militia, was called out to keep down the rioting, he and his brother officers were so harried by "Rebecca" that he wrote himself to "her" asking her for days trice so that he could have some sport with his terriers. "Rebecca" readily agreed to his request.
Capt. Owen Tucker Edwardes, a younger brother, afterwards of sealyham, also went in largely for terriers but not so distinct to be marked a type as those of his brother ( It is believed that that these terriers were known as "Tyrhos Terriers")
After Capt.John Tucker Edwardes' death in 1891, the Sealyham Terrier breed went down sadly and they became scattered all over country, but in 1903 Mrs Edwardes one of the founders of The Sealyham Terrier Club and afterwards Mrs Victor Higgon made an effort to revive the standard of the breed by offering prizes at the Haverfordwest dog show, held at the Corn Market, Haverfordwest, on October 5th 1903.
In 1940 the house was described as "elegant modernised mansion". The ghost of a woman in which used to haunt the drive, the tradition being that a daughter of the house, Grace Tucker, had fallen in love with the coachman. Her angry father is said to have built a small cottage off the drive with barred windows in which he consigned his daughter"to cool off". This little building Major Jones reports become ruin but had for a time been used by Captain John Owen Tucker-Edwardes as kennels for his hounds. He was the first man to breed Sealyham Terriers. Mrs C.O. Higgon once told Major Jones that she and a friend had actually seen the ghost gliding across the drive on a winter's evening in 1987.
Several theories have been put forward as to the evolution of the breed. Allegedly there is a photograph of two Devonshire Terriers (Jack Russel Terriers) on the back of which , it hints those two terriers were brought in Pembrokeshire by late Capt.John Owen Tucker Edwardes, of Sealyham, and afterwards called the Sealyham Terriers.
Republished from the 52nd Year Book