The Horseman Pouter-Synopsis of Sources
In German they were called Ritter-tauben, in French; Cavalier, Cavalier Espagnol, Cavalier Faraud, Cavalier Ordinaire. In Latin; Columba eques,
Portuguese; Cavalleiro or Pombo Ladrao (Thief Pigeon)

Now who was the first, in any language, to call this bird Horsman, Horseman, or the correct translation?

From Don Raphael Buch-Brage’s files-:

1676: Willoughby, p.132, No. 12: Columba Eques, Light HORSEMAN Pigeon

1678: Willoughby, p.182, No. 12: " Light Horseman…. a bastard kind of cropper and carrier…. wattles and swollen throats…will not forsake their

1688: Holme, Randle: ‘The Academy of Armoury’; Chester for the Author, folio II, 244/2: "Light Horseman, a bastard kind between a cropper and a

1693: HORSEMAN. Word cited in the ‘Oxford dictionary of English’

1713: Ray, John: ‘Synopsis Avium’ page 61, No. 12: Columba Eques

1728: A London newspaper advertisement: "To be sold…. Carriers, Horseman, Croppers, Powters…"

1735: Moore, John: ‘Columbarium or; The Pigeon House’, London. Page 31: "The Horseman…. matter of dispute, whether this be an original pigeon
or whether it be not a bastard strain, bred between a Carrier and Tumbler, or a Carrier and a powter and so bred over again from a Carrier and the
oftener it is thus bred, the stouter the Horseman becomes…. Blue and Blue Pieds are most noted to be genuine and good."

Page 38: ‘Columba Tabellaria Guttorosa.’

"The Powting Horseman…. Bastard strain between the Cropper and the Horseman and according to the number of times that their young ones are
bred over from the Cropper, they are called FIRST, SECOND or THIRD bred. (NOTE: This is the same method that has been used in Spain for
centuries with the Buchonas Ladronas: called Tercerones, cuarterones y Quinterones.) They are a very merry Pigeon upon a house and by often
dashing off are good to pitch stray Pigeons that are at a loss to find their own home…Some of them will home ten or twenty miles."

1738: Albin, Eleazer: ‘ A Natural History of Birds, illustrated with 205 Copper plates, curiously engraved from the life and exactly coloured by the
author’. Page 41: "The Horseman Pigeon, No. XLV; Bastard breed between the Carrier and Cropper and sometimes the Carrier and Runt…of a dark
bluish ash colour…. they are very apt to decoy other pigeons and is often practised by our London pigeon merchants. They take the cock as soon as
the young are hatched and carrying him where there is any dove-houses, they throw him up and he will, by taking turns about, be sure to carry off
some of the pigeons from the place, or if he meet any in his way, he will endeavour to take them with him."

1741: ‘Complete family piece’, III, 512: Horseman pigeon.

1750: Albin, Eleazer: ‘A Natural History of Birds’ 2nd ed. Page 30, plate 45: Horseman Pigeon

1750: Klein, Jacobus Theodorus (Germany 1685-1759), ‘Historiae avium prodromus cun praefactine de ordine Animalium in Genere &c.’ Lubecae,
1750…. page 118…IV, Columba Tabellaria, Cera magna in rostro, Pavedette, Carriers, the Horseman Pidgeon, Albin II, plate 45(Homing pigeon with
large wattles on beak.)

1765: ‘A Treatise on Domestic Pigeons.’ London, C.Barry, 144 pages. Pages 86-88: The Horseman (follows John Moore.)

1767: Girton, Daniel. He copies from John Moore in all the various editions but in some of the cheaper issues the Horseman is not described, simply
mentioned. No illustrations of Horseman.


CAVALIER Pigeon, in French

1754: ‘R’ French manuscript, page 80: CAVALIERS. (First French mention)

1759: La Chesnaye Des Bois, F.A.A.: ‘Dictionnaire Raisonne et Universel des Animaux’, Paris 4 volumes. Volume III, pages 450-463, Pigeons: Des
Bois shortly describes le pigeon Cavalier, Columba Eques, Light Horseman.

1760: Brisson, J.M.: ‘Ornithologie’, Paris: Pigeon Cavalier, Columba Eques.

1765: Valmont De Bonare, M.J.O.: ‘Dictionnaire Raisonne Universel d’Histoire Naturelle’, Paris. Pigeon Cavalier, Columba Eques.

1774: Buffon, Count Georges Louis Leclers de: ‘Histoire Naturelle Generale et Particular’, Paris, Le Pigeon Cavalier de Willoughby and El Albin.

1824: Boitard & Corbie: Cavalier, Columba Eques.


Cavalleiro, Columba Eques, in Portuguese.

1906: Cyrillo Junior, J. J.: ‘Columbideos’, Lisbon, page 82, Chapter XXI.

Pombo Cavalleiro, Columba Eques, Papo Ladrao (Hespanhol)(Thief Pigeon)(First Portuguese mention).


From all of the above information one can see quite clearly that the name Horseman Pigeon or its translations in foreign languages was used for the
first time by Willoughby in 1676, followed by other English authors. In France, the Cavalier Pigeon appeared in 1754, followed by Des Bois in 1759,
Brisson in 1760, Valmont de Bonnare in 1765 and Buffon in 1774. In Portugal it was late in 1906, by Cyrillo Jr., Pombo Cavalleiro or Ladrao (Thief
Pigeon) and in Italy as late as 1894 by G.C. Giacheti, page 367, Gruppo VIII, Razza 4: Battitore Spagnuolo o Ladrona.


1693: ‘Horseman’, cited in ‘The Oxford Dictionary of English.’ This was quoted from ‘The London Gazette’, 1693,No.2853, page 4, an advertisement:
"There is 113 pair of pigeons…as Carriers, Croppers, Shakers, Pouting Horseman, Barbaries…to be sold"

1725: Bradley, Richard, ‘Family Dictionary, article Pigeons’: "…from the Tumbler and the Horseman, Dragoons…Bastard bred Pigeons, such as
Pouting Horseman, Poutish Dragoons from a Powter or Cropper and a Leghorn."

1728: ‘A London Newspaper’; Advert: "That there is to be sold fine Carriers, Horseman, Croppers, Powters, Tumblers, Barbs, Mahomets, Nuns,
Jacobins, Capuchins, Rising Turners, Trumpeters, Turbits, Shakers or Fan Tales. To be heard of at the Windmill in Nicholas Lane, near Cannon


Additional references

1858: J.M.Eaton;‘A Treatise on Pigeons’; page 73: Eaton mentions a Pouting Horseman used by a bird catcher named Nathaniel Preston to bring in
regularly stray pigeons.

1916 'The Feathered World year book for 1916', page 78, article by James Laidler: The Horseman, on the decline, fewer fanciers than ever breeding
them, is a hardy and attractive pigeon of the 'blowing kind'. At the Glasgow show(1915) the cup was awarded to a blue Horseman over croppers and
Pigmy Pouters. Colours are blue, black, chequer, entirely free from white feathers. Sometimes a self dun or cream are bred but blues are favourite.
Principal points are: Head; oval and neat, Beak; Black and nicely set, Eye; Bright red, Crop; Large and round, nicely sprung, Body; Small and wedge
shaped, slim in girth, butts close fitting to the body, short in feather, Tail; Clear of ground, Carriage; Erect, Feet; Red, not feathered below hocks.

1925: 'The Feathered World year book', page 285:" Pigeons in 1924, some foreign varieties.", by Mr. W.L.Rae: 'Horseman, although only seen in
Scotland, where a club exists for this breed, are charming birds and may be briefly described as self-coloured Norwich Croppers. Originally known as
Pouting Horseman and fully referred to by Lyell and other writers, there is no doubt they were kept more extensively than at present'.

1929: C.A.M.Spruijt;"De Kropperrassen", page 148: Photo of a blue Horseman.

1944: Prof. Carl Naether, 'The Book of The Pigeon', pages 117,126:"The Horseman was called Carrier in old times."

1951: June, 'Pigeons and Pigeon World', Editor, Colonel Freestone, page 17, replying to a Mr.Wm.Bishop's query:"The Horseman is to all intents and
purposes a self-coloured Norwich Cropper. Some of them we saw before the war at Paisley were equally good in crop as the best Norwich and, if
anything, they had better limbs.ED"

1953: June, 'Pigeons and Pigeon World', page 8, "The Modern Horseman": Mr.J.F.Richardson, of Liberton, Edinburgh, raises the question of the
pedigree of the modern Horseman. This is because he finds that Levi in 'The Pigeon', lists the Horseman as an extinct variety. 'My understanding of
the matter is that the Horseman, Light Horseman or Pouting Horseman was a flying bird-as was the Norwich Cropper-in the 17th and 18th century. It
was probably a cross between the Carrier and the Old Dutch Cropper and was esteemed mainly for its flying ability. However, it never did, or could,
compete with the Carrier, Dragoon, or Antwerp as a flying bird and did not become a 'head' variety as these breeds have done. Consequently, the
breeders who remained faithful to the breed concentrated on the pouting ability-as did the Norwich men- and evolved a breed that is as good in crop
properties as the Norwich Cropper itself. Devotees seem mainly to have been Scotsmen and I have seen specimens at Paisley in the old days that
were first class in their blowing abilities. The only difference between the Horseman of today and the best Norwich Croppers is that the Horseman has
no white markings and is also a little longer in the leg than the Norwich. I shall be interested to hear the views of some of our older fanciers on this
extremely old and handsome variety and trust that it is not 'extinct' as Mr. Levi imagines. I should also very much welcome a glossy photo of a modern
Horseman for reproduction if such a thing exists."(COL. Freestone)

1953: July, 'Pigeons and Pigeon World', page 8: Article by James Mundell;'The Horseman and the common'.

1954: Personal communication between the late James Mundell and Ralph Buch-Brage, who compiled these references. June:'There are not so many
Horseman breeders now....they were used as Thief Pigeons here too...Have had some grand ones...'