Mr. Shaw was a famed Rat Pit proprietor in the "Rat Fink Days of Merrie Olde England" that fancied Manchester's of both Varieties! In the 1840's the Sport was in it's hey-day. It was Jimmy Shaw that gets the credit with the invention of the "no touch" rule which means that neither the dog nor the rats were touched or removed from the ring until the match was completed. Below is a brief commentary on the famed "Tiny" (by Old Dick x Old Nell) the 5 1/2 pounds of black and tan fury! (I hope you all find this as interesting as I did, JoAnn.) This extraordinary Black and Tan has won 50 interesting events, including the following matches: 2 matches of 6 rats when he weighed 4 1/2 pounds, 20 matches of 12 rats at 5 pounds of weight, 15 matches of 20 rats at 5 pound weight, 1 match of 50 rats ands 1 match of 100 rats in 34 minutes 40 seconds on Tuesday, March 30, 1847. Tiny beat Summertown bitch "Crack" of 8 pounds, 12 Rats each, September 14th. Beat the dog "Twig" at 6 1/2 pounds on November 7th. On Tuesday, March 28, 1848, he was matched to kill 300 rats in 3 hours. He accomplished the unprecedented test in 54 minutes 50 seconds, which took place in the presence of a crowded audience at the Blue Anchor, Bonhill Row, St. Lukes. May 2, killed 20 rats in 8 minutes; May 23 won a match of 50 rats against Mr. Batty's bitch "Fun," 8 pounds. August 15, won a match against "Jim," 50 rats; September 5 won a match of 12 rats, 2 minutes 30 seconds. (Just a few more, then you'll have the complete record! JoAnn) November 4 won a match of 100 rats, 30 minutes 5 seconds; January 31, 1849, won a match of 100 rats, 20 minutes 5 seconds; March 27 killed 200 rats 59 minutes 58 seconds. The above extraordinary feats were accomplished without either taking dogs or rats out of the pit. I know one thing, I would not have messed with "TINY!"
In the old days there was not "Manchester Terrier" Club, the breed being
known as "Black and Tan Terrier." Classification at shows was by weight.
The classes provided were usually, under 5 pounds, under 6 7 pounds for toys
and under 16 pounds and over 16 pounds for the larger ones. A class drawing
more than 6 entries was considered very good.
Mr. Dean of the Benham prefix was perhaps the best known breeder of the early
20th Century, several of his dogs being used to illustrate dog encyclopedias
of the time. He was a great advocated of the long fine head in the breed,
sometimes to the exclusion of other desired features. Mr. Higgs knew his
dogs well as they often judged each other's dogs. Probably Dean's best was
Ch. Pearl, in bitches and Beham Prince in dogs. Numerous dogs and bitches
were purchased at this time for export to the USA from both Mr. Higgs and Mr.
Dean, and can be traced in the pedigrees of contemporary American Dogs. The
period referred to is approximately 1903-1904.
Unfortunately, Mr. Dean ultimately went bankrupt and his dogs were sold by
auction. Mr. Higg's brother Norman attended the sale and made several
purchases on behalf of Mr. Dean. Other persons with well know dogs at the
time were Mr. Barlow with Ch. Brilliant Star, Mr. Sparling with Ch. Jeddah,
Mr. Wm. McKinley and Mr. Robert Stirling with Beadle and Wheel of Fortune.
>From what can be gathered, there seemed to be no problem with size as on one
occasion Mr. Higgs was awarded the special at Crufts for the smallest dog in
the show, weight 2 1/2 pounds and Mr. W.J. Amey's bitch, Surrey Queen, did a
lot of winning weight not less than 40 pounds! Other points being strong,
the odd patch of white was not a disqualification, for Mr. Higgs remarked
that Benham Prince possessed such a patch of small proportions.
In those days too, deadly diseases were rife (some of which are mercifully
rare nowadays). There were none of our Veterinary vaccines to help. In
fact, it is not until recently that the profession has devoted serious
research into canine diseases. Mr. Higgs had many setbacks by loosing
valuable dogs. Perhaps, although numbers in the breed remain comparatively
small, much progress has been made.
*This article was taken from "Manchester Terrier Highlights" ~ September 1960.
"As before written, the large Manchester Terrier and the smaller black
and tans are old and worthy varieties. Moreover, it can be said that no
breed has been so well maintained in their types, formation of heads and
bodies, length, carriage and style of tails; distribution of the Tan-Colour
markings; colour of the eyes and dispositions, especially that as rat killers
rather than rat hunters.
The Manchester is altogether too fine in his coat to become a useful
hunting terrier. He is game enough for anything, but his 'toggery' does not
befit him as a dog for brush, briar or brookside ratting. Mister Manchester's
sporting place is in the Rat Pit.
As to the gameness of the Manchester I can write with some authority.
About 50 years ago, I resided at Ferryside, Camarthenshire, South Wales, a
charming fishing and wild foul shooting resort at the estuary of the salmon,
sewin and trout-holding River Towey. At low water during the spring-tides
periods, conger eels were sometimes found under the large but moveable
boulders left uncovered at such times. By the use of crowbars the huge stones
could be 'rocked' and the stranded eel would glide out like a scared rabbit.
Small crabs would likewise make their exits and these Pauline, one of my
Manchester Terriers, would grab at to be immediately nipped and lip-held by
the crustacean. Although this was terrible punishment, Pauline never yelped;
but would swing the crab until its claw became detached at the butt. She
would again tackle the one clawed creature and ridding it of its second
holder, take up and actually crush the arthropod into a shapeless mass. As
most people have observed, dogs have no particular taste for live
fishes or crustaceans of any kind, so, it was considered that Pauline's
method of destroying crabs was done more in the spirit of revenge, backed up
by pluck, than simply for the game or sport of chewing or biting live fish.
* From "Dog Breeds of the World," ~ by Freeman Lloyd, 1930's.
"Finally one of the visitors from this side of the Atlantic inserted an
Advertisement in a Newcastle paper that Mr. James T. Heasley wanted to
purchase a good terrier, and dogs were to be shown to him at the Ords
Arms, Scotswood Suspension Bridge, Hanlan's headquarters at the upper end of
the course. We had come over from Manchester by night train to see how things
were going, and driving up the river road became more and more puzzled by the
number of men we passed accompanied by dogs-terriers of every description.
Finally at the Ords Arms there was quite a gathering of men and terriers, but
Jimmy had long since disappeared, having made his escape over the back wall
and up the hill to the rear of the Hotel. He got a dog eventually, and
Needle was one well worth bringing over."
"Although there was some cavil a few years ago at the distinctive name of
Manchester for the large show of Black and Tan terrier it was not such a very
farfetched distinction. The London fancy was more for the Toy, it being
bred by the same class of fanciers that went in for toy spaniels, and held
their occasional displays or club shows at various public houses where they
met for social purposes. Through Lancashire and eastern Yorkshire the fancy
ran to the larger dog, and head and colour, with markings took the place of
smallness. Manchester by far had the largest number of the fanciers, and it
was by no means out of the way to give it the Variety name of the place where
it was specially fostered and encouraged. It is a pity that some of those who
have written regarding the "unwarranted assumption" of Manchester claiming
the large black and tan, did not first look up to their own stud book-it is
only English men who have written-and noted what Manchester did for the
* Quotations from "The Dog Book" by James Watson.
Printed in NY in 1906, by Doubleday, Page & CO.
A recent edition of the American Manchester Terrier Club Magazine had a very good article by the much respected Robert Cole in one of his "You Be The Judge" series. To my knowledge this has never been published in the UK and we could not reproduce it, as doubtless there are all sorts of copyright difficulties. In the article the writer makes some very good points and ends on the most important one, that sound conformation should be the deciding factor over any other single fault. Some judges often overlook this wisdom. Within the text of the article however, is the old chestnut of Mr. Hume of Manchester and his secret crossing of a Manchester with a Whippet. This has become the only thing people can remember about our breed, and it has been quoted so often, without being challenged, that it is accepted with not much evidence to back it up. Why should Mr. Hume tell the truth about his preparation when he had a good dog and was winning anyway? At that time there was much speculation about 'faking' of the colours, painting, stimulants and a host of other methods to cheat the results. So what changes you may say! (Gee, in all these years things still haven't changed, have they! JoAnn) The origins of most of the breeds are clouded in myth and rumour, but in terriers there are some accepted facts. The rough-coated variety, which by the very nature of the coat was the most hardy, was the origins of the Airedales, Welsh, Lakeland, etc. This was obviously the branch to work with, as it would be tough enough to strive the conditions that prevailed at that time. On the other hand, the smooth coated version as depicted in the 'Hour of the Virgin' (circa 1300) picture is as close to being a Black and Tan, Manchester or English Toy Terrier as it is possible to get. (George Stubbs includes a black and tan, Manchester look-a-like, dog in a painting dated 1790) (of which I am trying to locate-JoAnn.) As the case today, I am sure that there have been various sizes and types and to have whippety Black and Tan was to be the butt of contempt.
Mr. E. Cowdell's Manchester Terriers, at 135, Bury New Road, Bolton. Mr. Cowdell as is well known, has a fine exhibition of Manchester Terriers. Did you ever see Bolton Haulgh? This graceful and shapely little Manchester is the true type of this very ancient and pure-blooded Lancashire breed, the one indigenous breed of the Country Palatine, and Mr. Cowdell is as stalwart a champion of the Manchester Terrier as is to be found among the fanciers of the Black and Tan Terriers. Where is the Black and Tan on the show bench today? Yet there are good Black and Tans in plenty, genuine thoroughbreds; not Whippet Manchester's or black and brown, as so many apologies for the Manchester would be better named, but the real thing that Queen Elizabeth fancied for a boudoir pet, and Court Ladies worked into historic tapestries. For one reason or the other the pick of the breed keeps out of the show ring, and it may be that the Kennel Club may have something to say before long that will adjust some point of disagreement, and bring the enthusiasts of the real breed into the open show world once again in full force. At Mr. Cowdell's kennel in Bury New Road, Bolton, you may see four specimens of the breeds pretty as you might wish to find. There is Bolton Haulgh to begin with, a decorative little beauty to delight the eye of a formal designer. Bolton Haulgh is remarkable for very fine markings, jet black colour and richest mahogany tan, with the peculiar thumb markings that mark the best blood in Black and Tan breeding. Bolton Haulgh has stood up for colour and markings in an open challenge to the world. Annie Laurie is by Bolton Haulgh, and although only young, has won at Leicester, Accrington, Hindley, Blackburn, Deane, Sheffield, Manchester, and Glasgow, also taking the special for the Best Black and Tan in the show, and Mr. Cowdell issued a challenge to the world, offering to match eight different dogs and bitches all by Bolton Haulgh, against any other dog or bitch for a ten guinea cup. The challenge was not accepted....
Perhaps Mr. Hume was one of those using Black and Tan to develop the
Whippet? It makes more logical sense. The best read Historian of the canine
world must be Clifford 'Doggie' Hubbard, who rejects the Hume claim and
supports the suggestion that the creators of the Whippet drew on the blood
lines of the Black and Tan as many others have done, most famously in the
creation of the Doberman. Black and Tan seems to be a strong gene, so mush so
that the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Standard actually bans the colour, aware
that it could take a hold very easily. In spite of the complex requirements
of the black and tan placements, we breed to a consistent standard. Perhaps
with some varying degrees of perfection in the details.
The name allocated by the authorities, 'Manchester Terrier,' was in the
writers opinion a sad mistake. The fashion was to name the breed by
place. Better than the oldest English Terrier, virtually unchanged in
hundreds of years, should have been called the 'English Terrier' or the
'Black and Tan Terrier' and everyone would be able to understand what it is.
What is called the Manchester Terrier has evolved from within its own
kind for many hundreds of years and is continuing to do so. In the short span
of the breed's history that I have been involved it has changed and mostly
for the better. Some have tried to hard in my view and produced a new type,
not really a Manchester but nevertheless a showy dog who can be successful in
the ring, some times sacrificing health to do so. My view is that we should
not lose what it is, improve the soundness and conformation whilst retaining
the characteristics and the special Black and Tan bits!
Wow, Peter Eva has said a mouthful here! I commend him and strongly
applaud him for taking a stand on what he believes in.
When Peter Eva gives a Seminar in the UK, it is attended by
approximately 175 Judges at a time. His Seminar packet is wonderful.
His wife Ella is the 'Highlights' Newsletter Editor along with Mrs. Enid Teague Knight.
Peter is also the Vice Chairman of the British Manchester Terrier Club.
A curious and rather ludicrous instance of cheatery on the part of the
dog was observed by one of my friends. He has three little black and tan
terriers, father, mother and daughter, which are great pets and consider
the house as their own property. Like most pet dogs, they have their
favorite spots by way of couches; and as they all three generally take a
fancy to the same spot, there is occasionally a difference of opinion
and a slight loss of temper. The one pet spot of all is a soft cushion
at the head of a sofa. Now the cushion had accompanied easily the father
and the mother; but when the daughter came, and in course of time,
wanted her share of the couch, it was found that the quarters were
rather to limited for comfort, especially as the daughter persisted in
growing until she reached the size of her parents. One day, the father
and daughter had got into the room first, and according to custom made
straight way for the cushion, on which they established themselves
comfortably, occupying the whole of it's surface. Presently, the mother
came in, and also went to the cushion. She tried to take her place on
it, but her husband was to selfish and her daughter too undutiful to
move, and in consequence she had to retire. Presently, she went to the
farthest corner of the room, and suddenly began to scratch violently,
barking, growling, and sniffing as if she were digging out a rat! Up
jumped the others, all blazing with excitement, and anxious to have
their share of the sport. As soon as they got their noses well down in
the corner, the mother ran to the sofa at full speed, jumped on the
cushion, curled herself around, and was happy. However, she was generous
in victory and made room for her husband and daughter as they came back
to the sofa crest-fallen and humiliated.
* * ** * ** * ** * *
A lady writes to me to say that a friend of hers has two dogs-one a
Newfoundland, and the other a small black and tan terrier. They are both
good water dogs, and are now in the habit of swimming about together.
But on the first occasion after their introduction to each other, when
the terrier jumped into the water, the Newfoundland dog sprang in after
him and put him on the bank, evidently thinking that he had fallen
accidentally into the water and might be drowned!
(To be continued...)