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NOTES ON SOME SOURCES IN THE EARLY HISTORY OF THE BLOODHOUND  continued The Beginnings BUT FROM WHERE DO WE TRACE THE BEGINNING? There are and have been many dogs more or less large, keen scented, with ears that hang rather than stand erect.  They may very well share a common ancestor, and this may have existed in Mesopotamia or points east in the year dot.  That does not make them Bloodhounds.  I take it, too, that any stories about Bloodhounds existing in Britain in the time of the Romans, (or being brought here from the sack of Troy even!) are irrelevant.  Such traditions have too little support and are too unspecific.  The most persistent notion is that the Bloodhound was brought over from France by William the Conqueror in 1066.  I do not know of any reputable source for this idea. [  3 Footnote: 3  ]    However, there is one sense in which it is almost bound to reflect, if not the truth, at least a part of it.  After the Norman Conquest the royalty and the nobility of England and the upper ranks of the church were French, while the subject population was English.  And the Normans were fanatical lovers of hunting; hunting and falconry were the major peacetime pursuits of knighthood.  England was not culturally isolated before the conquest, and hunting and hunting hounds existed among the English royalty and nobility who were displaced, but there could hardly have been enough to satisfy the appetite of the new aristocracy, so numbers of hounds must have been brought over from Northern France during the century after the battle of Hastings.  How many, and whether the specific ancestors of the Bloodhound were among these, or whether hounds already resident gave rise to our breed, [  4 Footnote: 4  ]    or whether it came from a mingling of French with native stock, is impossible to say.  The highly specific idea that a particular, pure breed of hound, the St Hubert, was brought over by William, and continued to be kept virtually pure over here till modern times, certainly lacks any basis in any early source that I have been able to find, and I shall look at the idea again when considering later evidence.