You are visiting the "Barcrofts" page. The links in the box to the right will take you to other pages within the "Barcrofts" section. The links with asterisks in front will return you to either the parent or "Home" pages.

Jonathan and George Barcroft worked as shepherds for Lord Derby (Frederick Arthur Stanley, the 16th Earl of Derby) on the lands of Scout Moor (in the area called Shuttleworth, Lancashire near Bury). Both men handled sheepdogs at early sheepdog trials, and based upon recorded information and photographs, some of their sheepdogs were Beardie-likes.

Old articles demonstrated that the early sheepdog trials often took place at agricultural events. It was not uncommon for the dogs entered into a sheepdog trial to appear before a show judge after the trial ended. That was described in a couple of the articles on the trialing pages. The dogs were likely judged based upon their performance and movement, rather than how attractive they looked, or how their coats were marked. As handlers, the competitors dressed rather formally (compared to present day trial attire).

We are fortunate to have a close up view of George (cropped from a different picture appearing on the "Photos" page).

The below image shows a token that was likely worn on a collar belonging to one of George's dogs.

Ramsbottom Observer article of November 28, 1913 was amusing. George represented North Ward on the Ramsbottom District Council.

"On Monday, a dog belonging to Councillor Barcroft, of Scout Moor, Shuttleworth, leaped through a large window in Mr. Schofield's restaurant, Bridge Street, Ramsbottom. It appears that the dog, which is one of Mr. Barcroft's famous sheep dogs, entered the shop expecting its master to followówhich he usually doesóbut on this occasion he stopped outside talking to a friend. In the meantime, people entered the shop with the result that the dog upon hearing its master whistle obeyed the call, and being unable to get to the door owing to people blocking the passage, went round the counter and sprang through the window. The dog was little worse for its alarming adventure."

A paragraph in E. Packwood's book Show collies: rough and smooth coated (1906), stated:

"Mr. Bancroft (sic) is another of our best trainers and most successful competitors at Sheepdog trials with pedigree Collies and also Old English Sheepdogs. The advantages with pedigree Sheepdogs are that they are superior workers, are more handsome, therefore of greater commercial value either as show dogs, Sheepdogs, or companions."

W. Baskerville's book entitled, Show Collies (Rough and Smooth Coated) and Shetland Sheepdogs, 1923, was published by Our Dogs Publication Ltd. Baskerville drew much of his information from H. E. Packwood's 1906 book about show collies, and a snippet of what Baskerville wrote follows:

"Among the successful pioneers of Sheepdog trials Mr. R. S. Piggin was a leader, his principal winner being a rough Collie of the show type, Ormskirk Charlie, who was quite famous in his day. A very conspicuous name appears as an early winner, Mr. J. Barcroft, who practically "swept the boards" in his day. Following on we find quite a host of winning owners and their dogs, including Mr. E. Priestley's Moss, Ted and Wylie, Mr. J. B. Bagshaw's Lad, Mr. S. E. Batley's Hemp and Laddie, Mr. J. Tagg's Tom and Rap, Mr. B. Eyres' Wylie and Nell, Mr. J. Thorpe's Hemp and Meg, Mr. J. Mason's Glen and Laddie, Mr. J. Herdman's Pale, Mr. A. Telfer's Toss and Cap, Mr. M. Hayton's Mac, Mr. W. Telfer's Maddie, Mr. Hawksworth's Tip, Mr. W. Wallace's Betty, Mr. A. Millar's Mux and Rasp. etc."

In John Simpson's book A History of Edenfield and District (2003), George was mentioned.

"As well as the variety of sports and games we have looked at, local people filled their spare time with a host of other activities. For some people this meant turning their work into a hobby. The Barcrofts who farmed at Scout Moor Bottom and New Hall were one family who did this. Several of them bred prize-winning sheep and on occasion acted as judges of lonks and herdwicks. George Barcroft (1855-1919) specialised in breeding and showing sheep dogs. He first entered dogs in a trial at the Preston Guild of 1882 and from then until his death ran dogs in competitions all over the country. In 1889 he won first prize with his dog White Bob at Bala where Queen Victoria watched the trials. The same dog took first prize and a gold medal at the German Collie Club's annual show in Frankfurt in 1897. On this occasion, the Kaiser was among the spectators. By the time of his death, Barcroft had won ₤2,500 in prize money and trophies."

The Barcrofts' trialing endeavors, their famous Beardie-like dog named "White Bob," their family history, etc. are discussed further on the pages linked below. The Ludgate and Manchester articles are lengthy, but are excellent resources for those interested in learning more about what the dogs were asked to do at early herding trials.


Trialing to 1900

Trialing after 1900

White Bob



Ludgate Article

Manchester Article

The Family





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