Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Caesar (c1898-1914): A dog fit for a King

One of the most famous WFTs is King Edward VII's dog, Caesar. He was bred by WFT enthusiast the Duchess of Newcastle, sired by Ch Cackler of Notts. He's a scruffy little fella, isn't he?

Edward had many dogs, including Bassett Hounds, Clumber Spaniels and Chow-Chows but Caesar was the king's favourite and travelled widely with him, both at home and abroad. Apparently many a country trip was delayed while Caesar went off hunting. Once, in Marienbad he ran off into the woods and an entire police force had to search the countryside for him until he was eventually found. He wore a rather fetching collar which said "I am Caesar. I belong to the King" which ensured that he could always be identified and returned home safely.

Caesar wasn't always a popular houseguest, being rather partial to gentlemans' trouserlegs. The daughter of Edward's mistress, Alice Keppel, complained in an unpublished memoir that she hated Caesar and that despite daily grooming, he stank!

In 1908 Edward VII commissioned Carl Fabergé to make this trinket for his wife, Queen Alexandra. It's made from chalcedony (a type of quartz), gold, enamel and rubies.

On Edward's death in 1910, Caesar is reported to have been broken hearted. The very best veterinary care was enlisted as he barely ate or drank, mourning the loss of his master.

Caesar and Edward's favourite charger famously accompanied the King's funeral procession. You can just about make him out in these photos.

Apparently, as the procession reached Hyde Park Gate a stray dog rushed over and was sternly rebuked by Caesar. You can read an account of the funeral from the New York Times 21 May 1910 by clicking here.

The sight of Caesar mourning at the funeral captured the nations' hearts and thousands of postcards of him were issued. He even wrote a book called "Where's Master?" What a clever little dog he must have been.

Here's an extract from the final page:

Maud Earl painted this portrait, entitled "Silent Sorrow" which shows Caesar with his head resting on Edward's favourite chair.

If you look closely at the photo below you can see a carving of Caesar curled up at Edward's feet on his tomb in St George's Chapel, Windsor.

Caesar died in April 1914 and was laid to rest in the grounds of Marlborough House, which was then the residence of Queen Alexandra. She composed this inscription on his tombstone which reads as follows:

"Our beloved Caesar who was the King's Faithful and Constant Companion until Death and My Greatest Comforter in my Loneliness and Sorrow for Four Years after. Died April 18th 1914"

Caesar sounds like my kind of dog. He was certainly fit for a king.


Amber-Mae said...

Wow, those are some great photos & drawings of Cesar... Thanks for sharing us the history of Cesar!

Love licks,
Solid Gold Dancer

Headgirl said...

Hi there fav.WFT!

Now that was an informative post.
I knew nothing of Caesar &the King.
He, Caesar sounds quite a charactor, even though he was a bit of a scruff, meant nicely of course!

Pats & pets

Simba and Jazzi said...

Thats so sad. They loved each other, even though one of them sank. I'm not saying which one.

Simba xx

Harry said...

We enjoyed reading about Caeser's story, sad though it was. What a loyal, devoted boy he was.

Toodle pip
Harry x

Molly the Airedale said...

Caesar was a much loved and lucky dog! What a neat story!

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

Anonymous said...


That story was just pawsome and Keeper enjoyed reading all about that famous WFT.


Hammer said...

Hi Jackson
Your post about Caesar is bootiful. It is good his love for his master was recognised by the hoomans.
Love from Hammer

Roxie, Sammy, Andy and Shermie said...

Very interesting, thanks for sharing! It is quite a testament that, not only did Caesar live to 15 or 16, he also lived 4 years passed the king's death. There were lots of people who didn't live that long!

Roxie, Sammy & Andy

The Black and Tans. said...

What a faithful companion little Caesar was. WE feel quite sorry for him being left without his master and being told he stank.
Molly and Taffy

Agatha and Archie said...

Oh dear,We tried to prevent PL2 from reading this because this is the type of thing that sets her off but we were too late and now she is all weepy.What a great kid and how sad he was,kind of like Grey Friar's Bobby(oh no there she goes again) Love A+A

Gus said...

Thank you Jackson, another very informative post. We had heard an edited account of the story..(no trouser legs) but appreciate the scholarship you brought to the post. I am also encouraged because I think he looks like he is a "substantial" WFT just like me!


Lenny said...

Jackson, we love your WFT history lessons. Thanks!!

Your friend, Lenny

Linda said...

Hey Jackson,
We actually have that story about Caesar in our Wire Fox Terrier book. But your version is much more interesting. Kinda cool that they made the carving of him at the feet of his master.
Luv & Wirey Hugs!
Butchy & Snickers

The Airechicks said...


What a PUP that Caesar - we also knew not of him. what a wonderful
happy loved life he had...

Something to aspire to ....

Thank you for sharing with us


Lorenza said...

Hi, Jackson!
Thanks for sharing the story of Caesar! Adorable!
Kisses and hugs

COL. Sam ASTA-fari Joe H. Pinkerton Peabody, Esq said...

Hello Pal,

What a nice post and one that everyone should read. After all, we are a noble breed!


Stanley said...

Hey, Jax!

Do you have a degree in WFT history? It sure sounds like you do.

Thanks for this post. I loved hearing about Caesar!

Goober love,

Asta said...

I love to heaw about fabulous wiwes thwoughout histowy, and you always know the best stowies..thank you!!
I love the pictoowes of him in the pwocession and the painting with the chaiw, but the best is to be in the cawving with his king...what a gweat Dog!
just like you1
smoochie kisses,Asta

Noah the Airedale said...

Thanks Jackson, what a life Caesar must have had. Poor little fella, how sad when his master died.

Hugs and tail wags
Noah Willow Tess & Lucy

Anonymous said...

We all learn history this time. Goona to check it out who was King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. Well done,Jackson!

umekotyan said...

It is a difficult contribution for a moment.
However, I feel that it is interesting.
They are faithful friends.
Please spend the weekend with a wonderful friend. :)

from loved ume tyan

Snowball said...

Cool story. Thanks for sharing.


Urban Smoothie Read said...

we're in tears....such a heart warming story... infact, is not a story, is a history...

Mack said...

Hi Jackson!
Thanks for stopping by my bloggy!
I just love dog history-
The "Silent Sorrow" was soooo sad!

Nice to meet you. And yes, I have butt boils, and man do they hurt! Strangely enough vinegar prevents them - woohoo!

Juno said...

This post & previous one are SO SO interesting!! Our pawrents love history, classic photos and old paper so we love them, too. Thank you for posting these very interesing subject. :)

Momo & Pinot

the many Bs said...

that is a very interesting story. we were glad to hear that Caesar lived for 4 more years after the king died. he was quite a famous dog and deservedly so.

we love to hear about dogs in history and those old photos are great!


Katherine and Pippa said...

I (I mean mistress actually) didn't know any of that either - so it was really interesting and some super photos.

good one Jackson


Bogart H. Devil said...

What cool photos Jackson - AND I learned something too!

My mama wants to send you something - a sample of the yummy dog treats we're making (it's doggie jerky!) - if you want some, just drop me an email with your address (my email is and I'll get ya some right out!


Karen Jo said...

I really enjoyed reading about Caesar and King Edward VII. It is a great bit of history.

Huskee and Hershey said...

What a dog Caesar was! Thanks for sharing it.. mom and I enjoyed reading it!
Now my mom us 'inspired' to do a collar for ME with the words 'I am Huskee. I belong to the (shopping) Queen'... Hee..
I do doubt if anyone will know who my owner is if I wear that collar!

William Tell said...

I wonder if Caesar had any offspring? Wouldn't it be nice to have some royal blue-blood in our personal history! Thanks for all the research you did on this wire fox terrier, we enjoyed very much learning about him.

Now, if we can just elect a President over here who has the same good taste in pups...


Gus, Louie and Callie said...

That is a great story. Louie and I enjoy history. There are so many famous dogs in history...

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus and Louie

Anonymous said...


Were is Seymour and Dunstan?



Thor and Jack said...

Hi Jackson! Great post! I adored to hear about Caesar!

Love and licks

Kirby said...

Hi Jackson,

What a great story! You know so much about doggie history. Caesar sounds like a great dog and a truly faithful companion. Thank you so much for sharing this with us!!

Your pal,

JB's Big and Small Worlds said...

Very interesting post about Cesar

Sophie Brador said...

Jackson, That is a great story! My mom's first dog ever, when she was a little girl, was named Caesar. He was a poodle and her best friend in the whole world.


Anonymous said...

Caesar didn't look that much like a Wire Fox Terrier even though I know that he was. He lived a long happy life like mine did. Still breaks my heart to see pictures of the cutie dogs even though mine's been gone for 2 years.

Graham said...

I came across this info when I posting information on Edward VII's funeral. This was a real warm story around all the pomp and royalty on the day.

Really great.

langbehn said...

My Great Grandmother was the vet nurse and houskeepe for the Vet who procured Caesar for the King. This vet was also instrumental in having working dogs well looked after and checked by vets. He also supplied the hounds that were used in the hunt for Jack the Ripper, unsuccessfully. I have a copy of the little booklet that talks about the Kings death from Caesars perspective and it makes your heart break. Dogs can most definately tug at our heart strings

Ian Janman said...

I thought that Caesar was given to Lillie Langtry by Queen Alexandra upon Edward's death. However, the tombstone inscription implies that he continued to live with Alexandra. Is the Lillie Langtry link a myth?