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white in colour, and with a dark patch over one eye. He also attempts to make the original manuscript of greater antiquity than is actually the case, by describing the picture as
“ Saxons bolting a fox."
I have no doubt this terrier record the learned Strutt has given us is the oldest upon
any reliance can be placed, so far as this country is concerned. Some may say that the dog given is not a terrier, but I believe it is intended to represent such a terrier as might be the common dog at that time. It is little bigger than the fox upon which it would like to seize, and the general surroundings of the quaint picture are altogether in favour of my supposition.
Later than this, Dr. Caius, at the instigation of Gesner, wrote the book on English Dogs," which, being translated from the Latin, was in 1576 published, this being the first book in English concerning dogs. Of the terrier, Dr. Caius says
there is one " which hunteth the Fox and the Badger or Greye onely, whom we call Terrars, because they (after the manner and custome of ferrets in searching for Connyes) creep into the grounde, and by that meanes make afrayde, nyppe and bite the Foxe and the Badger in such sorte that eyther they teare them in pieces with theyr teeth, beyng in the bosome of the earth, or else hayle and pull them perforce out of theyr lurking angles, darke dongeons, and close caues ; or at the least through cocened feare drive them out of theire hollow harbours, in so much that they are compelled to prepare speedie flyte, and, being desirous of the next (albeit not the safest) refuge, are otherwise taken and intrapped with snayres and nettes layde over holes to the same purpose.
But these be the least in that kynde called Sagax.” Here, though quaintly written, is a description of the use a fox terrier ought to be put to at the present day, although setting nets before a fox earth would scarcely be called legitimate sport in the nineteenth century. Still, if a net is not used for foxes, its equivalent a sack is often enough, even now, found useful when the badger or graye
be sought. What Gervase Markham wrote about terriers early in 1600 is not of much account, for, however learned that great man might be, he was after all a mere bookmaker, as the numerous works he wrote plainly testify. Not satisfied with giving us elegant disquisitions on hunting, archery, and other sports, he wrote and filled volume after volume on military tactics, housewifery, heraldry, &c., and wound up by composing poems, and posing as a dramatist.
Nicholas Cox's well-known book, “The Gentle. man's Recreation,” published in 1677, gives us less information about terriers than one would have expected.
He describes them as of two sorts—one with legs more or less crooked, with short coats; the others, straighter on their legs, and with long jackets. Possibly the first-named were the ordinary turnspits, or, may be, some bold breeder of the Dandie Dinmont will lay claim to them as the original progenitors of that variety of vermin terrier. Anyhow, whatever these crooked. legged dogs were, the long-coated ones
" with shaggy hair,” like water spaniels, were said to be the best workers, because they could both chase their
game above ground and drive it from the earths, as occasion required. Other authors have followed much in the same strain ; indeed, the general description of the terrier about this time appears to have been copied by one writer after another without acknowledgment, and without taking any trouble to ascertain the truth of the original statement. Master Cox, especially, seems to have been a great offender in this respect—not only where he deals with dogs, but where he treats of the fishes likewise.
The writer who suggested that terriers could be bred from a cross between a "mongrel mastiff and
a beagle” was Blome, who, following the example of Cox, some years after the latter's publicationviz., in 1686 — rendered himself famous by the appearance of his “The Gentleman's Recreation." Whether a man who would suggest the production of suitable terriers by the above cross was the proper person to deal with sport and dogs from a practical point of view is surely to be doubted. He bore but a sorry character in his lifetime, for it was said he "was esteemed as a most impudent person;
he gets a livelihood by bold practices
originally a ruler of books and paper, who had since practised for divers years progging tricks, in employing necessitious persons to write in several arts."
Blome's description may, however, be interesting to the curious, so here it is.
“ The terrier is a very small dog, used for hunting the fox and the badger, his business being to go into the earths and bay them – that is, to keep them in an angle (a fox's earth having divers) whilst they are dug out, for by their baying or barking is known whereabouts the fox is, that he may be the better dug out. And for this use the terrier is very serviceable, being of an admirable scent to find out. A couple of terriers are commonly used, in order that a fresh one may
put in to relieve that which first went under ground.”
There is nothing wrong in the above, nor is there in the following extract from the same author :
Everybody that is a fox hunter is of opinion that he hath a good breed, and some will say that the terrier is a peculiar species of itself. I shall not say anything to the affirmative or negative of the point.” Blome concludes by writing that the cross already mentioned “generally proves good; the result thereof hath courage and a thick skin as participating of the cur, and is mouthed for the beagle.”
Whatever was the case during the seventeenth century, there is no doubt that now the "terrier is a peculiar species of itself,” careful and judicious selection during a series of generations having made it as much so as any other quadruped we possess.
In the “Compleate Sportsman” (1718), Jacobs mentions two sorts of terriers, which he describes pretty much as Nicholas Cox had done before him, so a repetition thereof need not be made here. In fact, with the country overrun as it was in those days, with four-footed vermin of all kinds, which destroyed the poultry and played sad havoc with the flocks, dogs of one kind or another to keep down the marauders were simply a necessity; and a terrier small enough to drag the fox from his