As I wished to obtain the best information about rat and vermin
destroying, I thought I could do no better now than apply to that
eminent authority "the Queen's ratcatcher," and accordingly sought
an interview with Mr. "Jack" Black, whose hand-bills are headed
"V.R. Rat and mole destroyer to Her Majesty"...
[CMTC: The interview was quite long and discussed Mr. Black's
involvement for over 55 years in the rat trade, his mastery of
training several types of animals for rat killing as sport
(including dogs, ferrets, badgers and monkeys) and his knowledge of
general animal training. Only the passage dealing with his
black and tan terriers has been excerpted here.]
"When I found I
was master of the birds, then I turned to my rat business again.
I had a little rat dog -- a black and tan terrier of the name of
Billy -- which was the greatest stock dog in London of that day.
He is the father of the greatest portion of the small black tan dogs
in London now, which, Mr. Isaac, the bird fancier ins Princes'
Street, purchased one of the strain for six or seven pounds ; which
Jimmy Massey, afterwards purchased another of the strain for a
monkey, a bottle of wine, and three pounds. That was the
rummest bargain I ever made.
"I've ris and trained
monkeys by the shoals. Some of mine is about now in shows
exhibiting, one in particular, Jimmy.
"One of the strain of
this little black tan dog would draw a badger twelve or fourteen
lbs. to his
six lbs. which was done for a wager, 'cos it was thought the badger
had his teeth drawn, but he hadn't, as was proved by his biting Mr.
P---- from Birmingham, for he took a piece clean out of his
trousers, which was pretty good proof, and astonished them all in
"I've been offered a sovereign pound for some of my
little terriers, but it wouldn't pay me at that price, for they
weren't heavier than two or three pounds. I once sold one of
these dogs of the same strain for fourteen pounds, to the Austrian
Ambassador. Mrs. H---, the bankers' lady, wished to get my
strain of terriers and she gave me five pounds for the use of him ;
in fact my terrier dog was known to all of the London fancy.
As rat-killing dogs there's no equal to that strain of black-and-tan