Romney History

See wiki article on Romney (sheep),  written mostly by Stephen Shafer  in 2008.  I did not supply all the pictures.   

Natural-colored Romneys in Devon, England

Natural-colored Romneys in Devon, England
photo: Angela Doughty

For an article Stephen wrote for in 2008 on the use of Romney wool in rugs and carpets,  click  on Romneys to Rugsnopix2014 .

 

 

The Romney statue, NZ photo by Katherine Moore

The Romney statue, NZ
photo by Katherine Moore

 

 

Laureano 2433-06 bred by Estancia Santa Maria, Uruguay

Laureano 2433-06 bred by Estancia Santa Maria, Uruguay

 

            The Romney is the second (to the Merino) most numerous  sheep breed in the world.  The foundation breed of New Zealand’s export  trade in chilled and frozen lamb,  Romneys also provide thousands of tons of strong wool for carpet yarns. Romney fleece is pleasing and durable in a spinner’s hands, ideal for bulk yarns in durable fisherman’s sweaters.

             Romneys emerged as a breed in the southeast corner of England (Kent and East Sussex) during the late eighteenth century.  This gives a long breed history, if not the seniority of the Lincoln or the Ryeland.  The breed’s development also follows by a little in time Ellman’s work on the Southdown and Bakewell’s improvements on the Leicester.   When Merinos, which has boomed in Australia, did not click on introduction to New Zealand,  Romneys were tried there in 1853 and have flourished since like no other breed.

            The seminal importation to the U.S. was from England to Oregon in 1904.  The American Romney  Breeders Association was founded in 1912.  ARBA has recognized natural-colored Romneys since 1972.