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
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
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
"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