Hereford


Hereford
/herr"feuhrd, her"euh-/ for 1, 2; /her"euh feuhrd/ for 3, 5; /herr"feuhrd/ for 4, n.
1. one of an English breed of red beef cattle having a white face and white body markings.
2. one of an American breed of red hogs having white markings.
3. a city in Hereford and Worcester, in W England: cathedral. 47,300.
4. a town in N Texas. 15,853.
5. Herefordshire.

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Popular breed of beef cattle, the product of generations of breeding in the English county of Herefordshire.

The characteristic colour, red with a white face and white markings, has been fixed for only a comparatively short time. The outstanding characteristics are uniformity of colour, early maturity, and ability to thrive under adverse conditions. Introduced into the U.S. in 1817, it has become the predominant breed in the range areas of North America from Canada to Mexico.

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      city, unitary authority and historic county of Herefordshire, west-central England, on the River Wye.

      Hereford was founded as a settlement near the Welsh March—the politically unstable belt of territory flanking Wales on the east in medieval times—after the West Saxons had crossed the River Severn early in the 7th century. In 1086 the town included various ecclesiastical fees (tributes) but was otherwise a royal demesne (feudal holding). It also had a provincial mint and later (1215–16) the grant of an exclusive merchant guild. The wool trade, important by 1202, declined in the 16th century. The castle was of some early importance, but the 13th-century invasion and subsequent occupation of Wales by England deprived Hereford of military significance until the Civil Wars of the 17th century, when it changed hands several times.

      The Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Aethelberht exemplifies all architectural styles from Norman to Perpendicular. The see was detached from that of Lichfield in 676, Putta being its first bishop. After the body of Aethelberht, a slain English leader, had been brought to the site, a superior church was reconstructed (1012–52), but this was burned by the insurgent Welsh, and building began again in 1079; it was completed only in 1148. The western tower collapsed in 1786, taking the west front and first bay of the nave with it. Restoration of the west front was not completed until 1904–08. The cathedral's main features include a central tower (165 feet [50 metres]) in Decorated style and a north porch in rich Perpendicular style. There is a noted organ, a large chained library, and a collection of rare manuscripts, early printed books, and relics.

      The College of the Vicars Choral is Perpendicular in style, and the bishop's palace, which stands near the castle green, was originally a Norman hall. The castle itself no longer exists, and only one of the six gates and a few fragments of the old walls survived in modern times. All Saints Church is in Early English and Decorated styles; it, too, has a chained library. The Old Guild House (1621) is a museum. The Cathedral Grammar School was founded in 1384; the Blue Coat School in 1710.

      Hereford's trade is mainly agricultural, with sales of Hereford cattle and the making of cider and jam, as well as fruit canning and brewing. Manufactures include furniture, glass, leather, nickel alloys, and bricks. Pop. (2001) 56,373.

▪ breed of cattle
 popular breed of beef cattle, the product of generations of breeding work on the part of landed proprietors and tenant farmers in the county of Herefordshire (now in Hereford and Worcester county), England. Herefordshire was noted for its luxuriant grasses, and in that district for many generations the Hereford was bred for beef and draft purposes. The characteristic colour, red with white face and white markings, has been fixed for only a comparatively short time. When the first herdbook was published in 1846, the editor grouped the breed into four classes: mottle-faced, light gray, dark gray, and red with white faces. Twenty-five years later all but the last had practically disappeared. The outstanding characteristics of the breed are uniformity of colour, early maturity, and ability to thrive under adverse conditions.

      Herefords were first introduced into the United States in 1817 by the politician Henry Clay, who imported a young bull, a cow, and a heifer to his home in Kentucky. In the range areas of North America it has become the predominating breed from Canada on the north to Mexico on the south. In Great Britain it is chiefly bred in the county of Hereford and Worcester and its vicinity, although herds of this breed are found in Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. The Hereford also has met with much success under range conditions of Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Uruguay, and southern Brazil.

      In the United States a Polled Hereford strain was developed around 1900 by selecting naturally hornless registered Herefords. The number of Polled Herefords has increased rapidly; herds are found throughout the United States, including Hawaii, and the strain has been widely exported.

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Universalium. 2010.

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