Wednesday, 16 January 2013

The Rat Catcher

Picture: Wikipedia, Public Domain

In Victorian times, not all rat-catchers were forced to exterminate their quarry immediately. On the contrary, if they put them into a sack alive and took them to the local inn to be thrown to the dogs in the rat pit, the sport would entertain the riotous crowd and the dirty work could be done for a generous reward.

Mr. J. Watson, a resident of Princes Street in Dover, attended Dover Local Board of Health Managing Committee in 1850, presided over by the mayor of Dover and Councillors Back, Dickeson, Walter, Rutter, Stockwell, Clark and Terry.

An Unsavoury Neighbour

Mr. Watson explained his feud with his unsavoury neighbour, Jacob Pother, a rat-catcher by profession. Jacob Pother lived in considerable filth and kept some very unpleasant terrier dogs who barked constantly. The dogs were ferocious as well as noisy and dirty, and Mr. Watson was distraught with the nuisance he had to endure.

The board empathised with Mr. Watson's dilemma and ordered that Mr. Pother be given notice that the nuisance had to stop. If it did not, he would be dealt wih according to law.

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