Home   |   Members Only   |   Contact Us   | 

Historical Notes

Excerpted from: Dogs: Their History and Development (Volume II)
By E.C. Ash
Published in 1927
Submitted by Dean Tomes, then CMTC Historian for
The Ratter's Review, February 2004

I remember, and the recollections are by no means dulled by time, when I was quite young, the lightly built and graceful Manchester terriers of a rich black-and-tan, which used to run about and please me.  The nursery governess, the pram, and the attendant "Manchester".  But times have changed and today's black-and-tan terrier has lost much of that smart, racy, "classy" appearance it once had, and become heavier and less attractive.  Such is my opinion at least.

The black-and-tan Terrier Club was established in 1884m but long before that the variety existed, very much as it was when I knew it and as it is to-day.  Though so critical an authority as the late Mr. Rawdon Lee was of the opinion that the Manchester terrier is a recent production, I think that we can safely allot to it a history of at least 126 years.

Edwards, in 1800, shows an old English white terrier and a black-and-tan terrier of the present-day type, except that the arrangement of the colours is not in accordance with to-day's standard.  This terrier is seen on Plate 108, Vol. I.

The lighter dogs, such as I have described in my first few lines, were, as Mr. Rawdon Lee points out, a cross between the original black-and-tan and a small "dark coloured whippet", though it is quite possible that an old variety of smooth white terrier was used.  It is interesting that black-and-tan was the common colour of the English terriers of olden days, in the illustrations and accounts of Bewick, Taplin, and contemporary authors.
But these early terriers differed from the Manchester-type terrier of Edwards and of later time in short legs, broad chests, being more in the shape of the Sealyham, whilst others resembled the ordinary fox terrier.  The Manchester was at one time known as the English terrier, for Richardson in 1847 describes the English terrier as an "active, graceful little dog" usually of a black-and-tan colour, that colouring being the best, though some are white.  He writes:

"The English terrier is, in combat, as game as the Scotch, but less hardy in enduring cold or constant immersion in water.  It appears most probable that the rough or Scotch breed was the primitive stock, and that the smooth or English varieties are the result of artificial culture.  A small, well-marked English terrier, under 7 lbs. Weight, will, 'is as good as he looks' fetch from five to ten guineas.  The celebrated dog Billy, who killed the hundred rats in less than five minutes was a white English terrier, with a dark patch on the side of his head."
Home   |   Members Only   |   Contact Us   |