Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Queen Victoria's Jack Russells

This post originally appeared on this blog in August 2007.

Queen Victoria put the "royal" into the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and yet she also employed a professional rat catcher by the name of Jack Black who not only supplied rats to the pits, but who was also the first collector of odd-colored rats that were later bred for dedicated medical research.

Queen Victoria had a phenomenal number of dogs around her -- dachshunds and collies, various types of terriers, pugs, and pomeranians, to name just a few breeds.

The picture above shows Prince Louis of Hesse, Princess Beatrice, Queen Victoria, Alicky, Ernst of Hesse, Duchess of Connaught and daughter with three white foxing terriers (what we would call "Jack Russells" today) of the type that were common in her day.

The dogs are, from left to right, "Wat", "Gay Girl" and "Spot".

The photo, below, was taken at Balmoral in October of 1882.  The Reverend Jack Russell would die the next year.

Queen Victoria, Arthur, Beatrice and Spot, Balmoral in 1876


Anonymous said...

Look at the eyes on Beatric in the last picture -- now there's a hottie!

A. Skeptic said...

Spot was not Queen Victoria's dog. It belonged to Princess Beatrice. An 1883 image of two dogs in the Royal Collection documents Spot as belonging to the Princess and another dog as belonging to the Queen.

PBurns said...

A. Skeptic --

Might I recommend the instruction sheet on the comments? No footnote, no name, etc.? Also, read the post: Spot was not claimed as Queen Victoria's, but since Beatrice was Victoria fifth and youngest daughter and lived with her mother her entire life (no income, no house of her own) it's all much of the same isn't it?

As for Victoria's dogs, they are are rather well documented in picture and text as she employed artists, such as George Morley, T.M. Joy, F.W. Keyl, Charles Burton Barber, and Edwin Landseer to paint "doggie pictures' -- to say nothing of the many photographs and still-extent purchasing records, gift records, and contemporaneous accounts.


Seahorse said...

Hard to say how near the camera the dogs might be, but from that view "Wat" looks like a honkin' huge terrier!