The original Orpington,
the Black, was introduced in Orpington, Kent, by William
Cook in 1886. It was developed from Langshan-Rock-Minorca
The father of William Cook was a hostler on the infamous
London to Dover road, but young Bill, after serving his
time soon forsook horses and coaches to keep chickens.
In due course he rose to great prominence as an enterprising
poultry developer, in those days when poultry keeping was
very much in its infancy. He was a prolific journalist
in poultry matters –lecturer,
adviser and consultant- took in pupils- sold appliances,
medicines, poultry foods, fattening powders and published
the “Poultry Keepers Account Book”- the most
complete of its kind for one shilling (5 pence).
William Cook though is immortalised for
his origination of the Orpington which put
his Kentish town on the poultry map and
gave countless pleasures to generations
of devoted followers.