According to The Complete Dog Book, an official publication of the American Kennel Club, 17th Edition, published in 1985:
"The first Pointers appeared in England about 1650, some years before the era of wing-shooting guns, and the use to which they were put is interesting. Coursing with Greyhounds was a favorite sport of those times and the earliest accounts of Pointers reveal that they were taken afield to locate and point hares.....But at least by 1711, wing shooting had come into vogue and, from that day on, "shorthair" has been considered by the majority of sportsmen the equal, if not superior, of any of the gun dogs.
As for the Pointer's lineage, there is no question that the Foxhound, Greyhound and Bloodhound all had a share in its making.
Remarkable stories are to be found in British sporting papers of the early 19th century, relating the prodigies performed by certain English Pointers of a former day. Col. Thornton's Pluto and Juno, for example, are said to have held a point on a covey of partridges for an hour and a quarter by the watch.
During the 19th century the English Pointer was repeatedly crossed with the various setters as they came into existence and favor. This, as it seems, was partly to improve his disposition, for an old-time writer, commenting on the breed says: "They have a ferocity of temper which will not submit to correction or discipline, unless taken in hand very young."
General Appearence: The Pointer is bred primarily for sport afield; he should unmistakably look and act the part. The ideal specimen gives the immediate impression of compact power and agile grace; the head noble, proudly carried; the expression intelligent and alert; the muscular body bespeaking both staying power and dash. Here is an animal whose every movement shows him to be wide-awake, hard-driving hunting dog possessing stamina, courage, and the desire to go. And in his expression are the loyalty and devotion of a true friend of man"