Sealyham Century Site


Sealyham Century Site


Owned and Bred by: Sir Jocelyn Morton Lucas,

Watford-By-Pass, Great Britain

Major Sir Jocelyn Lucas, was born on 27th August 1889. He started his hunting career as a young boy with pack of Smooth Fox Terriers. He got his first Sealyham in 1909.

After education at Eton and the Royal Military Collage, Sandhurst he served as a pilot during the first world war. He was wounded at Ypres and became a prisoner of war for three years. 1918 he was transferred to Holland where he with the help of new friends continued his big interest in dog sports. He imported some Sealyhams from England that was showed in Holland to their titles under the Cerne prefix.

Already in 1912 he bred Sealyhams under this prefix when he lived in Dorset.

After returning from Holland  he wanted to build up his kennel again. He did so in partnerships with Miss Moira Shedden and Cecil Hayward.

Sir Jocelyn had always been interested in the working qualities of the Sealyham so in 1919 he bought 12 small Sealyhams from Captain Jack Howell and a hunting Sealyham pack from the late Mr Gladdish Hulk when on his deathbed. The Ilmers are all descended from these dogs.

He also bred Fox terriers and Parson Jack Russel terriers during this period.

The first dog carrying the Ilmer prefix was Ilmer Impression. In 1925 the partnership between Sir Jocelyn, Miss Shedden and Cecil Hayward ended and so did the Ilmer prefix.

In 1929 the name was re-registered and he concentrated his breeding on the Sealyham terrier.

Always being interested in the sporting side of the dogs he now became just as keen in their points of looks.

Sir Jocelyn´s hunting method was different since he used the pack as beaters to push pheasants, rabbits and other small game up from cover in the woodlands to waiting guns. The Sealyhams worked very well as a pack.

The Ilmer pack consisted of 20 - 40 Sealyhams and since they had to be transported together no fighting dogs were tolerated.

Sir Jocelyn was invited by land owners to hunt. People came from all over the world to watch the hunt. About 3000 rabbits were credited to them each year in addition to other game. 

The Ilmer Sealyham would also go to ground to bolt foxes and badgers if required.

The Sealyhams seldom barked when scenting the game so Sir Jocelyn added Cocker Spaniels and some not pure bred Beagles that sounded like hounds. This scared the rabbits to run towards the waiting guns. The Sealyhams were called back with whistle or horn.

Sir Jocelyn was Master and huntsman of the Aldenham Harriers which hunted in Hertfordshire.

Sir Jocelyn wrote,”You should buy an Ilmer Sealyham because, unlike the purely show dog, every Ilmer Sealyham is bred for brains as well as looks, and looks as well as brains ........There is nothing to stop a congenital idiot becoming a show bench champion...... No adult is kept and bred from unless it is intelligent, bold and friendly.”

200 - 300 puppies were bred each year. An average of six litters a month was bred and the majority of litters by the Ilmers sires were brought in and that was a great help to the novice breeder. About 50 puppies a year went to American owners. No fighter or bad-tempered dog was ever kept or bred from. Sir Jocelyn avoided the pink eye rims and the woolly coats.

In 1920 Sir Jocelyn bought Edwalton Chum, a small dog that weighed only 16 lbs. That was bout 10 lbs less than many show Sealyhams in those days.

He started to breed miniature Sealyhams.

They were active, perfectly proportioned dogs. There were a large demand for the miniatures although they could not win at the dog shows since they were below standard weight.

Ilmer Little Un (14 lbs), Ilmer Fearnougut (11 lbs) and Ilmer St.Michael were some of the well know miniatures.

The Ilmer Sealyhams began training for work at about 5 months of age. The ones that did not show promise were sold to pet homes. Those that showed progress were incorporated into the pack at a year old.

Ch Edwalton Chum ( Champ1927)


Brockilow Busty and Gypsy Countess

The Ilmer dogs were exported to almost every part of the world, including countries like The Soviet Union, Lebanon, Egypt, Nigeria and Malaya.

Besides Royalty, Dutch and British Royal family, famous people all over the world were on the list of owners. Alfred Hitchcock had four Sealyhams, famous author E. Philips Oppenheim had five and several film stars,  Countesses, Ladies and Lords where among the Ilmer owners as well as ministers and members of both parliaments.

The three Princesses of the Royal family in the Netherlands.

Alfred Hitchcock´s Ilmer Sealyhams sometimes played  a small part in his movies.  One example of this is in  the movie “The Birds”.

E.Phillips Oppenheim,

famous English novelist.

HRH Princess Margaret with her Ilmer Johnny Boy.

Ilmer Johnny Boy

In the movie “Storm In A Teacup” from 1937, staring Vivian Leigh and Rex Harrisson, the pack is part of the story and wonderful to watch.( I know I have the DVD.)