American Fancy Rat & Mouse Association

This article is from the March/April 1989 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.

History of the Standards: N.F.R.S.

By Nick Mays


First shown at Cheltenham by Douglas and Vale, 1902. In Standards circa 1902. Carried through all Standards to 1976.


Introduced circa 1957 – name said to be based on breed of marked pig of same name. Carried forward to N.F.R.S. Standards 1976.


Introduced as “Dutch Headed Even” by H.C. Brooke circa 1915. Said via Fur & Feather article (1909) that such rats had been bred in the 1860s (not verified). Carried through Standards as “Dutch.” Reintroduced in more familiar form as “Hooded” by Mrs. J. Curzon circa 1962, later re-named “Capped.” In N.F.R.S. Standards as such 1976.


Possibly classed as “Cream” circa 1935 Standards. In N.F.R.S. Standards as Champagne 1976. (Cream deleted from N.F.R.S. Standards 1978)


First bred circa 1915. In Standards 1935. Carried forward to N.F.R.S. Standards 1976, deleted from same in 1978 (no specimens shown). Reintroduced by Chriss Lown 1981. Full Standardisation 1983.


Introduced as “Fawn Agouti” circa mid-1920s. In 1935 Standards as such. Renamed in N.F.R.S. Standards as Cinnamon in 1976.


No previous reference to variety resembling this found prior to 1979. Bred simultaneously by Clive Love (Genesis Stud) and Jackie Chapman, 1979. Provisional and Full Standardisation granted to Genesis Stud 1979 and 1982 respectively.


Bred in basic form in laboratory in Orleans, France, circa 1972. Imported by Roy Robinson 1978. N.F.R.S. Standard drawn up 1978. Full Standardisation 1981.


Introduced in basic form as “Even Marked” circa 1901 (possibly earlier). In Standard as such 1901. In Standards as “Japanese” by 1915. In Standards as “Japanese Hooded” 1957. In N.F.R.S. Standards as “English Hooded” 1976. Referred to as “Hooded” by 1977.


Said by Mary Douglas to resemble a Rattus rattus sub-species, Mus hibernicus, found on coasts of Ireland by a Mr. Thompson in 1837 (said species having a white diamond or triangle on its chest). A Black Mus hibernicus shown by Vale at Aylesbury Show 1901 (placed 4th). Good fancy specimen shown by Mr. W. Hailing, 1906. In Standards as Irish by 1907. Standard carried forward to 1976.


Possibly originated as “Blue” (?) circa 1905. In N.F.R.S. Standards 1977.


Bred simultaneously (again) by Clive Love (Genesis Stud) and Jackie Chapman, 1978. Provisional Standard granted to Jackie Chapman 1978. Full Standardisation 1983.


Bred by Roy Robinson 1976. Into N.F.R.S. Standards 1976.


Bred from Himalayan circa 1979. Full Standardisation 1981.


Bred originally as “Fawn” circa 1910. Bred and classified as Silver Fawn circa 1922. In Standard by 1935. Carried forward to N.F.R.S. 1976.


Bred as such circa 1909. In Standards mid-1920s. Listed in Standards 1935. Introduced to N.F.R.S. Standards 1981. Other Silvered varieties introduced to N.F.R.S. Standards in 1981.


Bred as “Broken Marked” circa 1900. In Standards by 1909, but to be bred/shown without Hood. Bred as “Variegated” by Mr. Butler-Adams 1921, but remained in Standards as “Broken Marked” circa 1935. Reintroduced as “Variegated” by Les Suttling 1977. Second reintroduction by Jean Judd, 1981. Full Standardisation granted to both Fanciers in 1984.


Bred in Rattus rattus fancy species by H.C. Brooke 1915. Good Fancy specimens shown 1919/20. Reintroduced (in Rattus norvegicus!) by Rosemary and Pat Quaid and Diane Wildman in 1984. Full Standardisation 1986.


Said by Mary Douglas to be introduced into Britain from a pair obtained in France by a travelling showman in early 19th Century, circa 1810, but probably bred before this date, possibly in wild strains. In Standards 1901. Carried forward to N.F.R.S. Standards, 1976.

NOTE: This chronology is as accurate as research has allowed. Doubtless some dates vary a little in the case of some of the older Standards, but it is hoped that any such errors will be rectified when all old Rat Fancy records are collected. N.C.M.

©Nick Mays/N.F.R.S.- E & OE May 1987 (permission to use, July 1987) *

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Updated February 24, 2014