The origins of the Manchester Terrier are far from clear. The earliest known illustration of a black and tan terrier type dog appears in the illustrated manuscript ‘The Hours of the Virgin’ This document has been dated at around 1500. the earliest written descritpion is from Dr Caius, who was physician to Queen Elizabeth I.
The breed was further refined by John Hulme, around the 1850’s or 60’s. He developed a finer, longer legged variety of black and tan terrier. This was probably achieved by crossing his black and tan terriers with ‘snap dogs’, the type of dog thought by some to be the precurser of the whippet.
It was not until the 1890’s that the name Manchester Terrier began to appear. It is believed this was because of the number of these dogs used in the cotton factories in the North West of England