[Note: In a discussion of the history of the Fox
Terrier published in The Century magazine in 1885, author James Watson
concluded that the below passages were not a description of early Fox
Terriers but rather of the modern black-and-tan terrier.
Interestingly, the article goes on to credit Stonehenge's theory of a
cross between foxhounds and black-and-tan terriers for the birth of the
Excerpts from: Biographical sketches and Authentic
Anecdotes of Dogs
By Captain Thomas Brown
Published in 1829
Terrarius, Variety B.)
is a handsome sprightly dog, and generally black on the back,
sides, upper part of the head, neck, and tail ; the belly and the
throat are of a very bright reddish-brown, with a spot of the same
colour over each eye. The hair is short and somewhat glossy ; the
tail rather truncated, and Carried slightly upwards; the ears are
small, somewhat erect, and reflected at the tips; the head is little
in proportion to the size of the body, and the snout is moderately
elongated. This dog, though but small, is very resolute, and is a
determined enemy to all kinds of game and vermin, in the pursuit and
destruction of which he evinces an extraordinary and untaught
alacrity. Some of the larger English Terriers will even draw a
badger from his hole. He varies considerably in size and strength,
and is to be met with from ten to eighteen inches in height.
This dog, or the wire-haired Scotch Terrier, is indispensably
necessary to a pack of fox-hounds, for the purpose of unearthing the
game. From the greater length of leg, from his general lightness,
elegant construction of his body, he is more adapted for running,
and, of course, better enabled to keep up with the pack than the
Daniel, in his Rural Sports, mentions a match against time with a
Terrier, which took place in 1794, in which a small dog ran six
miles; the first mile in two minutes, the second in four, the third
in six, the fourth in eight, and the fifth and sixth in eighteen
minutes,—an immense falling off, considering his wonderful speed and
the known stoutness of the Terrier. We doubt there has been some
unsteadiness either in the watch or watch-holder. He afterwards ran
six miles in thirty-two minutes.
THE CELEBRATED BILLY
The following extraordinary invitation to see a Terrier destroy
one hundred rats in twelve minutes, appeared in a sporting
" Rat-Murder by Authority!!
"One hundred lives lost in twelve minutes, at the
Westminster Cock-pit, Tufton-street, on Tuesday, September 3,
1823, when the phenomenon-dog, Billy, the property of Mr. Dew,
will exhibit his wonderful, peculiar, and almost incredible
method of rat- killing, for a stake of twenty sovereigns."
This attracted a full attendance of the most distinguished
characters among the Fancy from all parts. Nearly two thousand
persons were congregated in the pit at an early hour, including
people of all ranks ; and many hundreds of pounds were betted on
Billy, seconded by his owner, and the rats by Cheetham, now
entered the area of the pit, (twelve feet square,) and the rats
were expected to have been let go singly, with room to get away,
and many of them laid their bets accordingly ; but they were put
in all at once, and it was easy work for Billy, for he
dispatched the entire hundred in seven minutes and forty
seconds,—a grip a-piece sufficing to kill 'the varmints.
Loud huzzas from the winners crowned the feat.