History of the Bullmastiff
The Bull-Mastiff (as it was then written) was accepted by the Kennel Club as a pure breed in 1924, but
it obviously occurred long before that date.

Originally, Bullmastiffs were a combination of 40% English Bulldog and 60% English Mastiff.  (These
are not today's Bulldogs & Mastiffs, but rather quite different versions from the 1700 - 1800's)

They were bred specifically to accompany gamekeepers on their rounds (in England, poaching was a
serious crime - for a while, it was punishable by death), being able to track well and having sufficient
size and strength to tackle and overpower a poacher.

The Bulldog was chosen for his speed, tenacity, and ferocity: the Mastiff for his great size, weight and
power.  The desired result was to be a dog who could catch, down, and hold a man without mauling.

Today, the bullmastiff does not walk the forest all night looking for poachers, rather snores in front of
the television with its owners, but this marvelous breed still has most of the properties what it had
then.
An interesting photograph from 1912.  The child was a gamekeeper's
daughter and the two dogs supposed to have been bullmastiffs of the
pre-recognition era.
(Picture from 'The Mastiff and Bullmastiff Handbook - Douglas B. Oliff)