Sunday, 10 July 2016
Edinburgh's Bobby. In 1867, when it had been mandated that all dogs in Edinburgh must be licenced (to alleviate the number of strays) and that any unlicenced dogs would meet an early death, the city cried out since wee Bobby's master was dead, so could not purchase a licence.
William Chambers, Lord Provost (Mayor) of Edinburgh, was also the Chairman of the SPCA. He paid for Bobby's licence, which reads "Greyfriar's Bobby from the Lord Provost 1867. Licenced" This essentially meant that wee Bobby now belonged to the City of Edinburgh and was free to remain at his master's grave, and wander onto the street to get his lunch at 1:00 when he heard the one o'clock gun fire from the Castle.
Bobby's licence and bowl are on display at the Edinburgh Museum in the Cannongate area of the Royal Mile. The Museum is free and has a treasure trove of Edinburgh history on display.