|John Gilchrest, 1948 International, with Ben and Spot.|
Who put the border in Border Collie?
Who put the border in Border Terrier?
The border in question, of course is the border between Scotland and England and is, to put a finer point on it, the Cheviot Hills.
I have detailed, in an earlier post, the origin of both the Border Terrier and the Patterdale Terrier which is descended from the "blue" or "blue-black" versions of the Border.
But what about the Border Collie?
The term "Border Collie" is not as old as some imagine, and appears to have become popular around 1900 to differentiate it from the non-working or pet collies that began appearing at about that time (though the term is older, it was not in common use before about 1900).
The world is a small and inbred place, and perhaps nowhere more so than in the border area of Scotland where the population is not thick, and the names tend to swim together. Consider the Cheviot Sheep prize-winners list, below, from The Farmer's Magazine (July-December) of 1850.
Look carefully at the names. If you are very familiar with the true history of the Border Collie and the Border Terrier, two names will jump out at you from the swirling ink.
Yes indeed, that is Thomas Elliott, Hindhope, Jedburgh, listed with John Dodd of Catcleugh one the 1857 founders of the Border Hunt!
Who is Thomas Elliott, and how does he factor into the development of the Border Collie?
Well quite directly. You see, it was Thomas Elliott who supplied Queen Victoria with her much-loved dog, Noble, through the Duke of Roxburghe at Floors Castle, for whom he managed stock.
Noble was given to Queen Victoria when the dog was about one year old, and he lived with her as her favorite dog for more than 15 years, passing away at Balmoral on September 18, 1887 at aged 16. It should be noted that this was not the first herding dog for Queen Victoria -- "Sharp," who looked very similar to Noble, was with her from 1866 to 1879. That said, it was Noble that catapulted the "Collie" onto the front page of the dog world, as it was Queen Victoria's most loved dog the year that the Kennel Club was founded (1873), and for the next 14 years, as the Kennel Club developed.
John Elliot, William Elliott's son, was born in 1858 and he went on to become a famous breeder and supplier of Cheviot sheep in his own right.
Here too we find the laced roots of Border Terriers and Border Collies in the form of this page of prize postings from Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (1894):
The John Robson listed here, of course, is none other than the famous Border Hunt man whose son, Jacob Robson, helped shepherd (pun intended) the Border Terrier into the ranks of the Kennel Club.
- Related Links:
** The Thin Portfolio of the Working Border Terrier
** What Flint Can Tell Us About Working Terriers
** Reality Comes to the Rally
** Show Vs Working Size
** A Brief History of the Patterdale Terrier
** Joe Bowman's Patterdale
** A Bit More on the Border-Patterdale Connection
** These Are The Good Old Days
** Old and New Border Terriers?
** A Question of Breed
** Border Collie Owners Battle What Doesn't Work
** Four Legs, Not Two