Victorian fundraising dog comes to museum at Tring

21 April 2008

Victorian fundraising dog, London Jack, who raised money for charity at London railway stations between 1894 and 1921, comes to the Natural History Museum at Tring today.

London Jack was one of at least four charity dogs that collected coins in a box on his back from passing passengers. Travellers donated money for orphans of railwaymen killed at work during the early days of steam trains. They were introduced by railway guard John Climpson in the 1880s.

London Jack

London Jack worked at London's Paddington station from 1894 until 1900, raising more than £450 in his lifetime. After his death, he was preserved and placed in a glass box where he continued to raise charitable funds.

In 1996, he moved to Potter's Museum at Jamaica Inn in Cornwall and was sold in 2003 after the museum closed. He later appeared on an internet auction site, before finally coming to the Natural History Museum where he has been restored to his former glory.

'We're very pleased to be able to see London Jack return to public display,' says Museum Manager Paul Kitching. 'He was clearly a much-loved dog and we hope our visitors will find his story fascinating.'

Dogs at Tring

The Natural History Museum at Tring is the Natural History Museum's sister museum in Hertfordshire. It opened in the late 1800s to house the collections of Lionel Walter, second Baron Rothschild and has outstanding examples of 19th Century taxidermy.

The Museum has an internationally important collection of 88 domestic dogs in its Gallery 6. They highlight the impact of selective breeding showing the great variety of breeds of dogs.

London Jack will greet visitors in the entrance foyer of the Natural History Museum at Tring until 13 July.