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were commonly all black, though occasionally all white, in being a spotted variety; and it seems more probable that the Southern hound was descended from the bloodhound than vice versa. Mr. Edwin Brough, the leading authority on the bloodhound, is of opinion that “the St. Hubert, Talbot, and bloodhound were all closely allied.” From which divergent opinions one thing stands out pretty clear-namely, that the bloodhound can boast a greater antiquity than all save a few breeds, and that the nobleman who " points with pride to his favourite hounds, and says 'This same strain has been with our family since the Conquest'" (as one writer on the subject pictures), is probably justified in dating its ancestry back to that landmark in our island's history.
You may trace or guess at references to the bloodhound through a succession of centuries. Henry III., about 1250, granted a dispensation to a certain Robert de Chenney, who was in charge of some hounds belonging to the King's son, “ to hunt with them in the King's forests and warrens, and to take the King's game, in order to train the said dogs to be accustomed to blood.” Dr. Caius, three centuries later, describes them as “having lippes of a large size and ears no small length ... able to pursue the deede dooers through long lanes, crooked reaches, and weary wayes, without wandering away out of the limits of the land whereon these desperate purloyners prepared their speedy passage . . . picking them out from an infinite multitude and an innumerable company, creep they never so far in the thickest thronge.”
It is highly probable that in its earliest development the bloodhound was purely a sporting dog ; later on its wonderful powers of scent caused it to be employed in war and in the pursuit of man. Certain it is that Henry VIII. used it in the wars with France and Elizabeth in the wars in Ireland. And we have it on the best authority that it has been employed in chiveying kings and would-be kings. The story of King Alfred and the burnt cakes is not more familiar than that of Wallace, who, after the affair of Black Erneside, being chased by the enemy, who employed these hounds, killed one of his followers to entertain and delay the beasts whilst he effected his own escape. Robert Bruce, too, on one occasion cleverly evaded pursuit and capture by bloodhounds by wading through the bed of a stream. And the unfortunate Duke of Monmouth was literally run to earth in a ditch by these hounds after the disastrous battle of Sedgemoor. No breed of dogs could have its name associated with such moving and royal adventures without gaining a glorified reputation, even though it be a grim one. In this respect history has helped to elevate the bloodhound to a very bizarre position in our annals. The frequent modern suggestions to employ bloodhounds for police and detective duties are merely illustrations of history repeating itself. Early in the seventeenth century they were used, under the designation of “slough dogs," on the borders between England and Scotland to track and discover the border robbers.
Although there is much that is horrible, there is nothing actually revolting in these uses to which the hound was put. To be harrowed one must turn to the New World, and the reputed deeds of the Spaniards across the Atlantic. Not that the “Cuban bloodhound,” as it is called, is anything but distantly allied to our English species. Mr. Rawdon Lee states it was not a bloodhound at all, but a half-bred foxhound. Whatever its precise caste, it was used for man-hunting, and has succeeded in giving the breed of bloodhounds a very bad name. The modern generation dates this libel back to the middle of the nineteenth century, and that period of slavery in the Southern States of America; but long before that the Spaniards used their bloodhounds,—for so I must continue to call them,—who had all the instincts of the breed, in their wars in Central and South America, and we followed their example on one memorable occasion.
I do not think the facts are generally known, and they are interesting. In 1795 certain free negroes in the island of Jamaica, known as Maroons, revolted ; they were but a handful of men,— barely six hundred, and the force we employed against them amounted to 5000 troops, and yet could not come at them by reason of their inaccessible hiding-places in the mountains and woody interior of the island. “Whereupon the Government of Jamaica had recourse to the mode adopted by the Spaniards in similar cases, and obtained a hundred bloodhounds from the island of Cuba, and twenty men expert in training and conducting them. With this supply the military penetrated to their hidingplaces, compelled the Maroons to surrender, and they were transported to the British provinces of North America.” My quotation is from the Annual Register, which goes on to say that an erroneous conviction arose that the bloodhounds had been employed not only to track out the Maroons, but to tear and mangle them, and the incident created a pretty general outcry. General Macleod brought the matter before Parliament, made a long speech about “ massacring the Maroons without mercy," and stated that “it was customary amongst the Spaniards in Cuba to feed their bloodhounds on human flesh in order to render them ferocious!” There were two long debates on the subject in the House of Commons, and in the end the