The exact history of the Dorset sheep is found wanting for some positive record of origin.
History does tell us that centuries ago, Sprain wished to conquer England and possibly during this time, the Merino sheep were brought into Southwest England
and were crossed with the Horned Sheep of Wales, which produced a desirable all-purpose sheep which met the needs of that time.
Thus began a breed of sheep which spread over Dorset, Somerset, Devon, and most of Wales and were called Horned Dorsets.
Today, they have moved into Scotland and Ireland, the Isle of Wright, and parts of Kent.
They have gone to New Zealand, Argentina, Australia, South America, Central America, and South Africa.
In fact, in Australia, they are one of the major mutton breeds.
In America, the first written notice of Horned Dorsets was in a publication called SHEEP INDUSTRY IN THE UNITED STATES.
From Ezra Carman, H.A. Heath, and John Minton, all of whom were living the Salem, Oregon area, we learn of Horned Dorsets being in Oregon in 1860.
In the East, the first Horned Dorsets were exhibited at the American Fat Stock Show in Chicago in 1865 by an English firm of E&W Stanford.
In March of 1887, Mr. William Daley of Lockport, NY imported a few from Canada
and in May, Mr. E. F Bowditch of Framingham, MA, made an importation direct from England.
A short time later, T. S. Cooper , Cooperstown, PA, imported 153 head and
in 1891, J. L. Henderson & Son, Washington, PA, made their first importation
followed closely by Tranquility Farms of Allamuchy, NJ.*
*Summarized from 2015-2016 Continental Dorset Club Directory
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