Photo: M & A Austin. Rapid Photographic Series Postcard. Courtesy of The Harrison Weir Collection


Although 'Silver Monarch' has of himself no particular claim to fame, either as a sire or as a show cat, he can count among his full and half-siblings, many of the greatest foundation Chinchilla Persian cats that ever lived. And he can claim to be one of the rarest of commodities, a Silver son of the eminent 'Ch. Silver Lambkin'. Certainly, if it had not been for his amazing little dam, and her female offspring, he would probably not have come to notice at all, but through his famous sisters and half-sisters, the legacy of the family he was born into, lives on.


'Silver Monarch' was born 1st June, 1899, the result of a repeat breeding between the enigmatic 'Ch. Silver Lambkin' and Mrs. Wellbye's modest but by now famous, 'Dossie'. Although 'Dossie' had earlier had no particular distinction or claim to notoriety, she had in the two years preceding this encounter, proven her immense worth as a brood queen.

        Eng Ch Perso
    Ch Silver Lambkin, Chinchilla
    |   Beauty of Bridgeyate
Silver Monarch, Jun-1-1899, Chinchilla, M
    |   Mr. York
    Dossie, Chinchilla

In the first breeding to 'Ch. Silver Lambkin' in 1897, she produced two exceptional females, namely 'Silver Jessamine' and 'The Silver Lily'. And as if that were not enough, in the very next season, when Mrs Wellbye very wisely bred her in 1898 to 'The Silver Squire', she again produced two show quality females, namely 'Silver Lotus' and 'Silver Veronica'.

So in 1899, Mrs. Wellbye took the decision to repeat the original breeding of 'Dossie' to 'Ch. Silver Lambkin', perhaps fearing that this might well be the last opportunity she would have to use this eminent but aging stud. Certainly no-one in 1899, could have foreseen that this amazing ten year old stud male, would have another seven years left in him, passing as he did at the ripe old age of 17 in 1906!

In Frances Simpson's listing of well-known breeders of Silvers, Mrs Wellbye is ranked along with the best. She also clearly considers her to be an astute breeder, in giving the following account:
"Mrs. Wellbye's silver cats 'Dossie,' 'Silver Lotus,' and 'Veronica' were at one time well-known winners, and for length of coat and beauty of eye have seldom been surpassed. Mrs Wellbye is a most astute judge of silvers, and her remarks on this her favourite breed will be read with interest."2

She then quotes directly from Mrs. Wellbye, who gives this passionate description of her favourite Persian variety:
"This handsome variety of the Persian, ranks high in the estimation of cat lovers; indeed, its ardent admirers consider it the crème de la crème of the cat world. And why not? Surely there is nothing to compare with a lovely young chinchilla Persian in full coat. Its very daintiness and seeming pride in itself is quite charming. One is reminded of a pretty child dressed out in its party frock, for puss appears to know it is well dressed and desirous to show her charms to the best advantage. She dances, pirouettes, and throws herself into the most graceful and entrancing attitudes, until we feel in sympathy with the Egyptians of old and are willing to fall down and worship our adorable pets."2

Apart from Mrs Wellbye, there is no record of 'Silver Monarch' having ever been owned by anyone else.


'Silver Monarch' had a number of famous siblings, both full and sire and dam siblings. Of his well-known full siblings, none were from the same litter, but from a previous breeding between his dam 'Dossie' and his memorable sire, 'The Silver Lambkin'. These were 'Silver Jessamine' and 'The Silver Lily'. This breeding took place two years earlier, in 1897, and in between that litter and the one in which he was born in 1899, 'Dossie' was bred to 'The Silver Squire' to produce his two renown dam-siblings, 'Silver Lotus' and 'Silver Veronica' in 1898.

His older full sisters had already carved out a name for themselves, one, namely 'Silver Jessamine' (owned by Miss R. Packham), as a 'poster girl', popular with the public and featured on many a postcard; while the other, 'The Silver Lily', (owned by Mrs. Bluhm), had made a name for herself as a top show cat and as a reliable breeder. These two had earned the popularised title of 'Dossie's Daughters'.

'Dossie's Daughters'
Above left: Cropped image of 'Silver Jessamine' from a Rotary Photographic Plate Sunk Series Postcard.3
Above right: Cropped image of 'The Silver Lily' from studio photograph by W. Muntz, Southport.4
Images courtesy of The Harrison Weir Collection

Having already bred 'Dossie' the previous year, directly and successfully to 'Ch. Silver Lambkin' with excellent results, in 1897, Mrs. Wellbye chose to try a variation, and this time chose to breed 'Dossie' to another of Mrs. Balding's males, a son of 'Ch. Silver Lambkin' known as 'The Silver Squire'. This was a move with exceptional foresight, as 'Silver Squire' was the product of a half-brother to half-sister mating, doubling on the dam of 'Ch. Silver Lambkin' himself. When Mrs. Wellbye had bred 'Dossie' directly to 'Ch. Silver Lambkin' and produced both 'Jessamine' and 'The Silver Lily', she had simply doubled on 'Ch. Silver Lambkin's' dam, through Dossie's grandsire, 'Charlbury Silver King'. But by choosing to breed to 'Silver Squire', she was in fact choosing to TRIPLE exclusively on 'Beauty of Bridgeyate'

From this breeding came two more females and a male, the females being photographed extensively by E.Landor (Ealing) both as kittens and young cats. The male was registered as 'Lucifer', but although he is listed under Mrs Wellbye's name, there are no photographs extant and no records of any progeny from him.

By the time that 'Silver Monarch', had arrived on the scene in 1899, these dam-siblings, from the previous litter born in 1898, were already establishing themselves as well-known show cats. These were 'Silver Lotus' and 'Silver Veronica' (aka St.Veronica), by now invariably referred to as 'The Squires Daughters' or 'Daughters of The Squire' in deference to their well-known sire.

The dam-siblings of 'Monarch'
Above left: Cropped image of litter sister, 'Silver Lotus' from The Book of The Cat (1903)2
Above right: Cropped image of 'Silver Veronica' from a Rapid Photo 'Classic Series' Postcard.5
Images courtesy of The Harrison Weir Collection

'The Daughters of The Squire'
'Silver Lotus' and 'Silver Veronica' from a F.Frith & Co.Ltd Postcard.6
Image courtesy of The Harrison Weir Collection

That both of the above females were shown very successfully can be attested to by the commentary of Frances Simpson in 'The Book of the Cat' (1903) in which she states:
".....which may also be said of those of Mrs Wellbye, whose 'Silver Lotus' and 'Veronica,' daughters of 'Silver Squire' and 'Dossie,' did so much winning in their day".2

Of sire siblings, it would be futile to even begin to list them here as there are so many, but suffice to say that 'Silver Monarch' was in excellent and laudable company, counting among his sire siblings, the very greatest among Chinchilla studs, such as the renown 'Ch. Lord Southampton', 'Ch. Lord Argent', 'Silver Mist', 'Silver Tod Sloan', 'Silver Squire', 'Seafoam', 'Silver Owl', 'Mowgli', and many more besides, plus a host of equally impressive females, in a range of colours and patterns, all sired by 'The Silver Lambkin'.

Three famous sire-siblings of 'Silver Monarch', all sired by 'Ch. Silver Lambkin'
Above left: 'Ch. Lord Southampton. Photo, 'The Cat Manual', George Newnes Ltd 19027
Above center: 'Ch. Lord Argent. Photo, 'Harmsworth Magazine' 19008
Above right: 'Sea Foam', Photo: 'The Book of The Cat' by Frances Simpson, 19032
Images courtesy of The Harrison Weir Collection

The above, are just three of the many sire-siblings of 'Silver Monarch'. Any son of 'Ch. Silver Lambkin' out of a related line was worth his weight in gold at a time when access to the lines to cement this colour variety was paramount. So it comes as no surprise that he was retained by Mrs. Wellbye as a possible breeding prospect.

There exist at this time, no show records for 'Silver Monarch'.


Very sadly, there are no records of any progeny from 'Silver Monarch' which is extremely disappointing, given his obvious good looks, excellent boning and bold clear eyes. One can only imagine what kind of heritage he may have left behind, if he had been successfully integrated into a silver breeding program. But alas, we will have to make do, with enjoying his lovely countenance.


Fortunately we do have some images of 'Silver Monarch' as both a young cat and a mature adult. The two cropped images shown below were taken by E.Landor, in the same photographic sitting, when 'Silver Monarch' was a young cat and his half-sister , 'Silver Veronica' was a year older. Their cropped photos are purposely shown side by side, so that you can see they were photographed on the same table and cloth and in a similar pose. The more self-assured 'Veronica' looks far more comfortable during her sitting, while the young 'Monarch' a little unsure of his surroundings, squints moderately at the camera.

'Silver Veronica' and 'Silver Monarch' at the same photographic session, by E. Landor, in 1899
Above left: Dam-sibling, 'Silver Veronica'. From a C. W. Faulkner & Co. Series 5
Above right: 'Silver Monarch'. From a Landor's Studies Series Postcard 9
Images courtesy of The Harrison Weir Collection

'Silver Monarch'
Cropped Photo: by M & A Austin. From The Rapid Photo "Classic Series' Postcard1
Image courtesy of The Harrison Weir Collection


None currently available.


  1. The Rapid Photo 'Classic Series' Postcard
  2. The Book of The Cat by Frances Simpson, 1903
  3. Rotary Photographic Plate Sunk Gem Series Postcard
  4. Studio Photograph by W. Muntz, Southport
  5. C.W. Faulkner Series Postcard
  6. F. Frith & Co. Ltd. Postcard
  7. The Cat Manual George Newnes Ltd, 1902
  8. Harmsworth Magazine, 1900
  9. Landor's Studies Series Postcard
  10. Photos and Quotations as per credits noted.

Registers associated with this article include The Incorporated Cat Fanciers Association of Great Britain (TICFAGB), National Cat Club (NCC), The Cat Club (CCR), Beresford Cat Club (BCC), Feline Federation Francaise (FFF), Siamese Cat Registry (SCR), US Register & Studbook for Cats (USR)including Supplement(USRS), The Studbook of the American Cat Association (ACA), and the Studbook & Register of the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA).


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