Horses, hunting dogs and companion pets in the 17th Century
TRANSPORT IN THE 17th CENTURY
In 1600 the royal posts were exclusively used to carry the kings correspondence. However in 1635, to raise money, Charles I allowed members of the public to pay his messengers to carry letters. This was the start of the royal mail. From the middle of the 17th century stagecoaches ran regularly between the major English towns. However they were very expensive and they must have been very uncomfortable without springs on rough roads. There was also the danger of highwaymen. In 1663 the first Turnpike roads opened. You had to pay to use them. The money was used to maintain the roads. In towns wealthy people were carried in sedan chairs. In Tudor times goods were carried by packhorse. Or carriers with carts carried goods. However it was still easier to transport goods by water. Around Britain there was a 'coastal trade'. Ships and boats carried goods from one part of the coast to another.
The Shire horse is a breed of draught horse (UK) or draft horse (US). It is the tallest of the modern draught breeds, and a stallion may stand 18 or more hands (about 180 cm ) high and weigh a short ton. The Shire horse has a dense rounded body, a broad back, strong loins, powerful hind-quarters, and long legs with dense bones. It can be black, brown, bay, or gray and has distinctive long silky hair (often white) on the lower parts of its legs. The hair down the back of the legs is called the "feather", while the hair over the foot is known as the "spats".
Miniature horses have been around since the 17th century, and can be seen in growing numbers all over the world. They are known as Falabellas, Miniature Shetlands, or Miniature Ponies. These small horses are definitely a site to be seen and have won the hearts of many horse lovers. A miniature horse can come in a variety of colors, but cannot exceed 34 inches in height, which is roughly half the size of a full-size breed. This month, we want to explore the history and background of the miniature horse and look into one of the biggest organizations that dedicate themselves to the growth and development of the species.
Formal portraits from the 17th century onwards show kings, queens and their children happily posing with their beloved animals, from pugs to greyhounds, King Charles Spaniels to Corgis. Some pets have even merited their own portraits, and, as in many households, were considered very much members of the family. When Queen Victoria’s beloved Collie, Noble, died at Balmoral in 1887, he was buried in the grounds of the castle and given his own gravestone, which read: 'Noble by name by nature noble tooFaithful companion sympathetic trueHis remains are interred here' A terrier named Caesar belonging to King Edward VII was given even greater status when, having outlived the king, he walked behind His Majesty’s coffin in the funeral procession. The current Queen is, of course, associated with the Corgi. The breed was introduced to the Royal Family by her father, King George VI, in 1933 when he bought a Corgi called Dookie from a local kennels. The animal proved popular with his daughters and was described as ‘unquestionably the character of the Princesses’ delightful canine family’ and ‘a born sentimentalist’. A second Corgi was acquired called Jane who had puppies, two of which, Crackers and Carol, were kept. For her eighteenth birthday, The Queen was given a Corgi named Susan from whom numerous successive dogs were bred. Some Corgis were mated with dachsunds (most notably Pipkin, who belonged to Princess Margaret) to create ‘Dorgis’. At present, The Queen owns three Corgis: Monty, Willow and Holly and three Dorgis: Cider, Candy and Vulcan. The Queen’s corgis travel with her to the various residences, with Her Majesty looking after them herself as much as possible given her busy schedule. Other members of the Royal Family own dogs of various breeds. The Duchess of Cornwall owns two Jack Russell terriers, Tosca and Rosie.
C'est un papillon, which is French for butterfly, of course. This gorgeous little dog is so-called because his ears have a flighty, wing-like silhouette, similar to that of a butterfly. Like many small dogs, the papillon is a lot of dog trapped inside a little body, and he makes a great companion. If push came to shove, he would be described as a toy spaniel, but owners will agree that he is a breed apart (but don't all dog owners claim that?). Where does he come from? The origins of the papillon are to be found in Belgium and France, as these toy spaniels were favourites among the royal courtiers of the 17th century. Indeed, it is rumoured that Marie Antoinette so loved her papillon that she took it with her to the guillotine. It seems likely that they were bred mainly for companionship, as their intelligent, placid nature suggests, but they are really quite adaptable. They are delicate creatures, but robust enough to enjoy long walks, though they don't appreciate too much rough and tumble (so they don't mix terribly well with small children and other large dogs). The English Pointer was most likely developed in the 17th century by crossing various Foxhounds, Greyhounds, Setters and Bloodhounds. They are considered the first true pointer, which means when hunting they stop immediately when they spot game and "points" in its direction for its owner. By the late 17th century spaniels had become specialized into water and land breeds. The extinct English Water Spaniel was used to retrieve water fowl shot down with arrows. Land spaniels were setting spaniels—those that crept forward and pointed their game, allowing hunters to ensnare them with nets, and springing spaniels—those that sprang pheasants and partridges for hunting with falcons, and rabbits for hunting with greyhounds
As the cat population decreased the rat population increased, contributing greatly to the spread of plagues throughout Europe. By the middle of 17th century the cat had regained its place as a companion and a controller of vermin. By the late 1800s cat shows were being held in England and cat fanciers' organizations were established. Many of the superstitions that arose during the period of cat persecution, however, are still with us today in the form of such superstitions as "A black cat crossing your path will bring you bad luck." http://www.localhistories.org/stuart.html http://www.horsesmarts.net/forums/horse_breeds_s_u.htm http://www.hamletshouse.co.uk/breeds/shirehorse.htm http://www.royal.gov.uk/TheRoyalHousehold/RoyalAnimals/Familypets.aspx http://www.independent.co.uk/property/house-and-home/pets/features/pet-of-the-week-the-papillon-1909474.html http://www.equestrianmag.com/article/miniature-horses-history-9-07.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spaniel