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The Bull Terrier Magic and James Hinks

If you say Bull Terrier you must also say the “Master Craftsman” James Hinks.

Born 1829 & died at very young age, 47 in Birmingham, England.

We could say, some of the breeds were established after hundreds of years of evolution, only few of the breeds can say, they own their existence to just one person, the one who was the Right person, in the Right place, in the Right time.

That is The Bull Terrier Magic.

James Hinks became a trader and a poultry dealer, which gave him and his family better status. 18th century was not definitively easy to live in. James Hinks was father of eight children. It was not until 1860's when Hinks name appeared registered as a breeder in the Market Hall, he was breeding foreign and domestic birds, rabbits and eventually he became a dog breeder and a dealer.

James Hinks and his wife Elizabeth Moore got married

in Saint Phillips Church, Birmingham. They lived at Phillips Street, Coventry Street and Balsall street. In 1865 the Hinks family moved to 53 Worcester Street, taking over Alehouse. As this address was listed for Hinks in “Great Annual Exhibition of Sporting and Other Dogs’” show catalog (today named as Crufts Show). James Hinks contracted tuberculosis and died at Belgrave Road in Birmingham.

James Hinks was not the first one to cross Bulldogs and Terriers. As a dog dealer, he got in contact with Mastiffs, Pointers, Bloodhounds, King Charles Spaniels, Pugs, Black and Tan Terriers, Dalmatians and Italian Greyhounds – but Bulldogs and Terriers were his favorites.

As it was documented by Henry Walsh (greatest canine historian of the era), James Hinks perhaps used the Old English Bulldog, English White Terrier and Dalmatian as well as perhaps Greyhound to obtain Bull Terriers.

We may say that James Hinks's - dog Old Madman, born in 1855 - Old Madman had enormous role during the birth of Bull Terrier. The breed made its first entrance to the public shows at Birmingham in 1862.

Hinks objectives was to create a “gentleman’s companion” that was not Aggressive but Brave. This vision created a “White Cavalier”.

The one who never seek to start the fight however is well equipped to finish one.

During the Cremorne Show of April 1864 James first stud dog Madman was described as:

“Many of the Bull Terriers, especially of the bigger sort were very good and the winner, Madman, a clean, active and lengthy dog that one might fancy, even without having been bread to the business”.

Or Idstone - Rev. Thomas Pearse described Old Madman as:

“One of the first Bulldogs exhibited which was worthy of the name”.

James Hinks exhibited his Bull Terriers very frequently. It was actually 82 times over 8 years! Hinks dominated the show ring throughout the length and breadth of England in the 1860’s . James Hinks disappeared from the dog shows around 1870's – however his footsteps & his first dogs are known all over the word until now.

Old Madman, Madman and Puss – can be named as the start of the Bull Terrier.

The legacy of Hinks is known worldwide, his son’s James II and Frederic, continued the work of his father, including the son of James II, Carleton until 1977. This being the way to honor the passionate work of his grandfather and his love for exhibition, breeding and their dogs.



Kane Kewin, “Not bread to the Business”, Retrieved 2020-01-31.

Rita Horter, “Masterminds: James Hinks and the Bull Terrier”

David Mason, “Mad dogs and Englishmen”, August 04, 2018

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