Published 9th August 2012
In Regency England, the poor man's sport was rat catching and in the urban centres like London there was no shortage of the raw material. Billy the Rat Catcher was the canine champion.
I use the term 'catcher' a little loosely as one night in the early 1830s at a competition in the Westminster Pit the terrier dispatched one hundred of the furry critters in five and half minutes.
A Staffordshire Pottery figure of the famed terrier:
"Billy the Rat Catcher".
If Billy is a little blood thirsty for your tastes then maybe perhaps something of a more sentimental nature might hit the mark, so here is the 'Rescue Dog' a more benign canine hero pulling a drowning child from a stream? All together now ahhhh…..
A more benign Staffordshire ceramic of a 'rescue dog'.