Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Dogs were expensive in 1823

One of my favorite lines of verse is by George Santayana, “Those who cannot remember the past, are forced to repeat it.” While looking through a Volume of 1823 I came across the following annual charges.

Dogs. For every Greyhound kept by any person, whether his property or not, £1. For every other species of dog, where more than one is kept, 14 shillings. And any person who shall inhabit any dwelling-house, assessed to any of the duties on inhabited houses, or on windows or lights, and shall keep one dog and no more, not being of the above description, 8 shillings for such dog.

But this duty is not to extend to dogs not six months old: the proof of which lies with the owner, on appeal tothe commissioners. Persons compounding for their hounds, to be charged £36.

Given the charges are for 190 years ago, present day owners are getting off very lightly. Maybe if dog owners payed modern equivelants to the above rates, we wouldn’t have the problems in our parks and on footpaths. 

But not many can remember 1823.