Irish Wolfhound History

Bits & Pieces


Chatterbox was the second children’s magazine established by Rev. J. Erskine Clarke, a clergyman and author in England in the 19th century. A weekly, published from 1866 to 1948.

Irish wolfhound


Wolves, which are still so plentiful in many parts of the continent of Europe, have long since been exterminated in Great Britain. It is hard for us to realise that there was a time when these dangerous animals were so common in wild and unpeopled districts of England, that refuges were erected here and there, to which lonely foot travellers might betake themselves for shelter when hard pressed by hungry wolves.

In the days of King Edgar, criminals were granted a pardon if they could produce a certain number of wolves' paws. We read that some lands in Derbyshire were held on condition that the tenant undertook to kill the wolves. At what date wolves ceased to exist in England it is is impossible now to say, but it is certain that they lingered on in mountainous districts of Scotland to the close of the sixteenth century, and in Ireland to a still later period. The hounds used in the chase of wolves were fleet of foot, strong, and very courageous. When they seized the prey, they held on with a grip which they refused to relax so long as life remained in the victim. The animals known now as wolf-hounds have degenerated from the original type. They are, however, still marked not only by fineness of scent, but by docility and sagacity. The muzzle is not so sharp as in the greyhound, nor is the form so slender. The ears are long and drooping. Some varieties have rough and some have smooth hair. The rough-haired dogs attach themselves most closely to man; indeed, to own one of those intelligent animals is to possess a friend whose fidelity may be counted on as long as it has life.


wolfhound and girl in garden

Picture by Percy Harland Fisher (English 1867 - 1944)
He was born in Dulwich on 3rd August 1867, the son of Samuel Fisher, and educated at Dulwich College. He was principally a portrait and figure painter.
He initially lived in the home counties, including Herne Hill, Sussex in 1886, and London in 1895, but spent much of his early life abroad. On returning home he lived in Camberley, Surrey from 1909 - 1930.
He was a reserved figure who enjoyed a quiet life, perhaps reflected in his paintings. Yet, like his contemporaries, he exhibited profusely, including 40 times at the Royal Society of Artists in Birmingham, twice at Cooling & Sons Gallery, 50 times at the International Society, 11 at the Manchester City Art Gallery, twice at the New Gallery, 3 times at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, 36 at the Royal Academy, 6 at the Royal Society of British Artists, once at the Royal Hibernian Academy, 14 at the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours, and 20 times at the Royal Institute of Oil Painters.
He also illustrated, including some of the images for the children's anthology "The Make-Believe Story Book". He is not known for his portraits of dogs, and it is probable that most of these resulted first from a commission for a family portrait. He died in Camberley on the 12th May 1944, and was given prominence in David Messum's 1991 catalogue, "An Edwardian Rediscovered".

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