The exact date of the introduction of canis familiaris to Port Elizabeth will never be known with certainty but by 1847 regulations were promulgated requiring all dogs to be registered at a charge of 1s per annum.
Treatment of domestic animals was often appalling but by mid-nineteenth century, voluntary organisations such as the SPCA had been established to combat this ill-treatment. Amongst the gentry or squirearchy, the hunting dog was an indispensable part of the hunting activities especially during the Easter Hunt at Wycombe Vale.
Main picture: Howard Mapplebeck with his canine companion
Apart from his name and a few other biographical details, there is a paucity of information regarding Howard Mapplebeck (1847-1909). Despite appearances that he was a prosperous individual, I am unable to establish much apart from the fact that he lived in a plush house on Emerald Hill. Having uncovered these photos on Flickr, I was intrigued. They cast a light on an elegant milieu and a graceful lifestyle.
Main picture: Howard Mapplebeck (1847-1909) with family and friends, Emerald Hill, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, 1886. Howard is in white with pith helmet. Seated in front of him are his children Sybil Mapplebeck (1875-1955) and Sydney Mapplebeck (1877-1904). Nanny Marie stands to the side. Photo taken in 1886 at the age of 39.