The Tamworth is an English breed of hog that was of distinctly bacon-type. The exact origin of this old English breed is not definitely known, but a Tamworth Swine Association booklet says: The Tamworth originated in Ireland where they were called "The Irish Grazer".
About the year 1812 it is said that Sir Robert Peel, being impressed with the characteristics of them, imported some of them and started to breed them on his estate at Tamworth, England. They have been bred quite extensively ever since they were imported into that country.
The body type, coloring, and general temperament of the Tamworth suggest that it is more a direct descendant of the old English hog than any of the other breeds of English origin. Concerning the very early Tamworth, E. Day wrote: It is of ancient and uncertain origin, and there seems to be no well authenticated account of where it came from. As first known, it was an extremely leggy, narrow type of hog, but it has been greatly improved during the past thirty years.
The first Tamworths were brought to the United States in 1882 by Thomas Bennett of Rossville, Illinois. During the next five years many other Tamworths were imported into Canada, and hogs from the Canadian importations and others from England have found their way into the United States.
Tamworth are very deep-sided hogs and are uniform in their depth of side. They carry a strong, uniform arch of back, and while not as wide of back as hogs of the thicker breeds, they do have a very muscular top and a long rump. The ham is muscular and firm although it lacks the size and bulk found in most other breeds.