HAMPSHIRE is a county known for its rife and colourful history, with years of historical importance throughout its towns, cities and countryside.

Now thanks to new research, the county has an additional history story that it can call its own.

The earliest named pet in Britain is believed to have lived in Hampshire, new research has revealed.

FirstVet has been working with animal historian Jacky Colliss Harvey - author of The Animal’s Companion: People and their Pets, a 26,000-Year-Old Love Story - to reveal the first recorded pet name in British history.

A cat called Mite, who lived in Beaulieu Abbey, around the year 1270 AD - and featured as a drawing in an illuminated manuscript of the time - is believed to be the earliest named domesticated animal documented in the UK.

Mite’ was a cat who lived at the Abbey in the 13th century.

A depiction of the cat was found on the Cistercian Abbey’s account book from 1270, where it is drawn with the name ‘Mite’ written above it in Latin.

Abuwtiyuw, an ancient Egyptian Pharaoh's royal guard dog according to hieroglyphs carved on stone in 2280 BC, has a claim to the earliest documented named animal.

Jacky Colliss Harvey and FirstVet, an app which has recently expanded to the UK, are telling the stories of the earliest recorded examples of Britain’s domesticated animals.

FirstVet said they were inspired to collaborate with Colliss Harvey on this project as the naming of pets is "one of the clearest indicators of animals becoming viewed as more than simply property".

The naming of pets by people is an indicator of having a relationship with animals and is a key aspect of pets being perceived as a member of the family.

David Prien, CEO and co-founder of FirstVet, said: “Eight-hundred years on from Mite, naturally much has changed in regards to pet care.

"But the humanising aspect of naming an animal remains just as profound. While the age of the internet has resulted in vast documentation of the lives of pets, these rare but poignant historical examples of names demonstrate that, as now, animals were valued companions to humans.

"Today, with advancements such as digital platforms to provide veterinary consultations, pet owners can ensure their beloved companions remain happy and healthy.

"I probably care more for my pet’s health than I do my own - and I don’t think I’m alone.”

As well as the discovery of Mite, the team found a number of the other earliest named pets in British history.

Math was the beloved dog of King Richard II between 1367 and 1400.

Math is said to have deserted Richard II for his rival, Henry Bolingbroke - who would eventually go on to become King Henry IV.

Sturdy, a 14th-century dog, was owned by Nicholas Litlyngton, abbot of Westminster from 1362 to 1386.

Nosewise, Smylefeste, Trynket, Nameless, Clenche, Holdfast, and Crab were names mentioned in a 15th-century book on hunting, written by Edward, 2nd Duke of York between 1406 and 1413.

Crab was later used as the name of a dog in Shakespeare's 16th-century play, The Two Gentlemen of Verona.

Terri is the name of a small dog depicted in brass on the tomb of Sir John Cassey and his wife Alice in Deerhurst, Gloucestershire, around the year 1400.

Jakke is written next to a dog depicted on the 1448 tomb of Sir Brain de Stapleton at Ingham in Norfolk.