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EARLY HISTORY OF THE BLOODHOUND . .  Robert Boyle continued:


By the time we get to Dignity and Impudence 1839, we have, in Grafton, something which still shows a broad, rather rounded and peakless skull, short of lip by modern standards, but with long ears.  They may be set on fairly low, taking account of the fact that the dog has them ‘pricked’ in the picture, but, like those of the Bloodhound on the cover of this booklet, are set higher than those of the modern hound. But we are certainly well on the way to the modern breed, and it is likely that there was more variation in type at the beginning of the nineteenth century than there is now. 

  Plate This Medieval Limer shows impressive depth of lip, but a short rounded head and short ears


WHAT I HAVE AIMED AT IN THIS STUDY has not really been to say anything new, but to try to make a beginning in getting the early history of the Bloodhound onto a firm and clear footing, by naming the sources on which my conclusions are based, and making clear what inferences I am drawing from what evidence. Where I have made assumptions which are not supported by evidence, I hope they have been reasonable ones.

If I had discovered anything which radically changed our picture of the Bloodhound’s history, I would have certainly proclaimed it.  What emerges from my sources, which I suspect are the same as theirs, is a picture broadly similar to that given by the writers of Bloodhound books (Brey and Reed, etc.)

As regards the Sleuth-hound and Talbot, I can find nothing to support the idea that either was an earlier breed from which the Bloodhound developed.  Both of them are breeds with which the Bloodhound is sometimes compared, and at others to some degree identified. The Talbot definitely appears to be a later name.  On the St Hubert hound the books generally agree that the “true” St Hubert died out on the Continent in the late 19th Century, but state that it was one of the ancestors of the bloodhound, or that “it is likely that the St Hubert hound was involved at some time.” [Lowe (1981)].  Fair enough, though up until Turbervile, no early reference to the Bloodhound gives any support to the idea, and Turbervile, when properly related to Du Fouilloux, simply gives us the information that St Hubert hounds made good leashhounds in France, and that leash-hounds in England could also be called Bloodhounds.