The Irish Wolfhound Archives

Capt. Graham's
The Irish Wolfhound


The first editions of  Capt Graham’s THE IRISH WOLFHOUND and Rev E Hogan’s THE IRISH  WOLFDOG  were printed separately. Graham’s in 1885 and Hogan’s in 1897.  

In 1939 The Hogan and Graham books were reprinted as one, entitled THE IRISH  WOLFDOG  by  The Irish Wolfhound Club of Ireland.  In 1972 THE IRISH  WOLFDOG , Hogan & Graham was reprinted again by  The Irish Wolfhound Club of America and  The Irish Wolfhound Club of Ireland


                             THE IRISH  WOLFHOUND
                     CAPTAIN  G.  A.  GRAHAM

Captain Graham kept two copies of this early edition;  one is in almost perfect condition, with his signature inside, the other very well used with comments, additions and inserts.  This is the copy reproduced here.  The cover is copied from the best copy.

At the beginning of his work copy Captain Graham taped in extra blank pages where he pasted numerous drawings with captions. These are reproduced here. The book is 8.5 inches high x 5.5 inches wide.  Cover; gold writing on olive green  with red binding on spine.

The actual photographs of “Colin” and “Scot” in the index pages must have been added after publication.   Capt Graham did not put them into his own copies but they are in Mr Baily’s copy.  These pages are copied from Mr Baily’s copy.  Mr Baily’s copy is signed inside ‘John F. Baily, Dublin’, in the centre of the page, and in the top corner  ‘R J May’.  It appears that Dr May received Mr Baily’s copy.




Capt G. A. Graham’s  THE IRISH WOLFHOUND, 1885 Edition

Six handwritten pages at back of book, starting on page 47
Transcribed by Luisa Finberg, USA

Page 47

In 1886, the nephew of Mr. Carter of Bray was lighted on and he stated that he well remembered his uncle’s houndogs IW Hounds and that they resembled Riuna (?) - at the head of this book—

This narrated in a late work by John Ashton – that a wild Irishman known as Fighting Fitzgerald, entertained a particular dislike to Lord Altamont and his family, so much so that on one occasion he rode over to Lord Altamont’s house and asked to see the IW dog which for its size and fierceness was the admiration and terror of the neighborhood.  No sooner was he shown the dog than he shot it, charging the servants to tell the master that until he became more charitable to the poor, who only came to his door to be barked at and bitten, he should not allow such a beast to be kept, but that he had no objection to each of the Ladies keeping a lap dog!!

[transcr. note: in the margin next to the name Riuna (?) Graham writes “January 1893 now in photo book”]

 Page 48


 Sketch from “Seal” mentioned on page 44.

On the 13 January 1890 a paper entitled Notes on the I.W. Dog, consisting of (6 ½) pages of printed matter—was read by Professor O’Reilly before the Royal Irish Academy.  The sole matter of interest was to this effect . . . . . . about 1775 one William Bowles . . . . .  an Irishman residing in Spain -- wrote a book in which the following remarks occur: “The ordinary wolves are rare (i.e. in Spain) either because there are few small cattle or because the whole country being covered with farms – he is at once hunted and killed by the excellent greyhound dogs – which they have brought here from Ireland.”

Page 49

Nothing can be more precise than the terms used by Bowles and it would appear from this that it was customary to import from Ireland Wolfdogs for the purpose of hunting the wolves in this part of the Pyrenees. The one used by sportsmen for hunting that animal, the Irish Wolfdog, being known in Spain by the term “lebruel” possible by reason of his lithe form and likeness in shape to the greyhounds proper.

Taking for granted that there was an importation of  I.W. dogs in Spain during the 17th and commencement of the 18th Centuries, it would be reasonable to presume that the race of these dogs may still survive in Biscay or other parts of the Pyrenees since wolves exist there.  Swine are herded as of yore and the climate of this mountainous district would not materially tend to the degeneration of the race.

In Hollinshed’s “Scotland” edition 1577, p. 13.  "Doruadille 4: King of the Scots (260 years B.C.)  set all his pleasure on

Page 50

hunting and keeping of hounds and greyhounds, ordaining that every householder should find him 2 hounds and one greyhound. He that killed a wolf should have and ox for his pains, etc.”  [to see the original text from which Graham transcribed these notes, go to: ]

Again “Ederus’s (15th King – 60 B.C.) chief delight was altogether in hunting and in keeping of hounds and greyhounds to chase and pursue wild beasts and mainly the wolfe—the herdsman’s foe – by means whereof his advancement was made the more acceptable amongst the nobles who in those days were wholly given to that kind of game and pastime.” [to see the original text from which Graham transcribed these notes go to: ]

Finn MacCoul had a famous hound called “ Bran” and Cuculain a warrior who lived at the beginning of the Christian Era, got his name from having killed one of those animals during his boyhood.  He was the nephew of the King of Ireland and was brought up in a military school that was attached to the palace where boys of good family were trained in athletic sports, etc.  The lad who was afterwards known as Cu-culain was much younger than his companions but he was tall and strong for his age and easily overcame them in their games.  Now it happened that one day a smith whose name was Culain and who was famous for making armour and all sorts of weapons came to the palace and asked the King to come to a feast at his house.  The King accepted and as he crossed

Page 51

the grounds where the boys were playing he saw how much stronger and more skilful at the games his nephew was than the other boys and turning to one of his warriors he said, “It would be well for Ireland if this lad was as good a soldier as he is at boy’s games.”  “I think, Sir,” replied the warrior “that he will not be found wanting when he comes to be tried.”  Then the King called the boy to him to ask him to go with him to the feast.  “I cannot go Sir.” Replied the lad “until the games are finished, then I will come after you.”  “Very well,” said the King and he went on to the smith’s house.  When the games were over the boy took his “hurl” which was a curved stick for playing ball with, and his little silver ball, and ran off to the smith’s house.  But when he got there he saw a big fierce dog at the gate of the yard and it barked so loudly that the smith heard and asked the King if he had told anyone to follow him.  “No,” replied the King but he suddenly remembered that he had told his nephew    to follow him and at once had his men run to the gate and save the lad from being torn to pieces.  So they ran out in haste and saw the boy standing in the yard with the great dog lying dead at his feet, and one of them caught the lad up and getting him on his shoulder carried him in triumph into the smith’s house to the King as he sat at the table.  The King was right glad to see his young nephew safe but the smith, whilst he welcomed him exclaimed, “Tho I am glad to see you I have to pay for it, for this dog of mine was so brave that he not only guarded my house--but neither wolves nor robbers dared to come near any of my neighbors . . . .  . . . for fear of him, and what shall I do without him?”

Page 52

“Never mind the dog’s death” said the boy—“for if there is a puppy of the same breed in Ireland I will get him for you and until the puppy is big enough to serve you, I will be your watchdog.  And a wise man who was present said that the lad ought to be called Cu-culain which is Irish for Culain’s hound and he prophesied that the lad would be famous so long as the Irish language was spoken.

 Copy of Edict  . . . .   by Cromwell on April 27, 1652 “Forasmuch as we are credibly informed that wolves do much increase and destroy many cattle in several parts of this dominion (i.e. Ireland) and that some of the enemies party, who have laid down their arms and have liberty to go beyond the seas, and others do attempt to carry away several such great dogs as are commonly called “Wolfdogs”, whereby the breed of them would be—if not prevented, speedily decay, these are therefore to prohibit all persons from exporting any of the said dogs.” 

In 18 February 1892 the honorable Charles Alexander wrote an old lady of (90) years-lives near here (Caledon House) who remembers the Wolfhounds at Horoth Castle when she was a very little girl—says “Colleen” (Major A’s bitch by Dhulart - Brenda) is just the great counterpart of them.”







  Article by Professor
  J. P. O'Reilly