While in his mid-20s, John W. Cross Jr., imported the first AKC-registered Bullmastiff into the United States: the bitch Fascination of Felons Fear (Farcroft Felons Frayeur x Farcroft Fortitude), bred in March 1933 by S.E. Moseley of England.
A rare photo of S.E. Moseley, taken in 1924.
Two other Moseley imports followed: the bitch Fondant of Felons Fear (Farcroft Finality x Farcroft Silvo) and the dog Founder of Felons Fear (Farcroft of Finality x Farcroft Bravery). Founder sired a litter with Fascination of Felons Fear, the first AKC-registered Bullmastiff, in January 1935.
Cross was one of the organizers of the Bullmastiff Club of America, elected to AKC membership in 1936, and was its first delegate. That same year, his bitch, Ch. Jeannette of Brooklands of Felon’s Fear, went Best of Breed at the Garden.
Cross was involved with the Rockefeller family in dog-related affairs, but none of them to do with Bullmastiffs: Cross was the chairman of the Westminster Kennel Club show from 1948 to 1968, during the same span of time that its president was William A. Rockefeller, a Junior cousin whose Rock Ridge Kennels was known for its Bedlington Terriers.
An advertisement for the Farcroft Bullmastiffs of influential early British breeder S.E. Moseley. Pictured is Ch. Farcroft Finality.
Despite Cross’ importation of the best stock, it was a Rockefeller-derived dog that became the first American-bred Bullmastiff champion: Ch. Lancelot of North Castle.
Ch. Lancelot of North Castle, the first American-bred Bullmastiff champion, was heavily linebred on the original Rockefeller dogs.