Charles Gough (1784 – April 1805) was an artist of the early English Romantic Movement in the 18th and 19th centuries. At the beginning of the 19th century, hill walking and mountaineering for pleasure were new pursuits. Gough was visiting the Lake District from Manchester in April 1805. On 17th April he set off on a fishing trip to Grasmere with his dog Foxie, taking a shorter route over Helvellyn, via Striding Edge. Gough had no specialist clothing or equipment. He had been due to use a local militia man as a guide, but he was training that day (this was during the Napoleonic Wars) so he set out alone, except for his dog. He never made it to Grasmere and nobody seems to have gone looking for him.
On 22nd July 1805, a shepherd heard barking near Red Tarn where he discovered Foxie beside the body of her master. He found the skeletal remains and some of Gough's belongings, which included fishing tackle. He ran for help and a crowd came up the mountain and helped to return Gough to the valley below. His hat had been split in two so it was surmised that he had fallen from the precarious ridge of Striding Edge and died from his head injuries. Foxie had somehow survived and had also had a puppy, although this did not make it. A Carlisle newspaper ran the story; “The bitch had pupped in a furze near the body of her master, and, shocking to relate, had torn the cloaths from his body and eaten him to a perfect skeleton.” However, this story was not contemplated by others who saw the dog as a hero who refused to leave her master’s side.