Not only did she intervene personally to protect bearbaiting
against the encroachment of commercial theater in the 1590s, but Laneham's account of the dismemberment of thirteen bears (and the queen's delight with the show) at Kenilworth in 1575 provides the most graphic description of the practice that we have.
(37) British colonists brought their dogs to the colonies to compete in the more popular blood sports of the day, bull- and bearbaiting
. (38) Dogfighting rose in popularity in the 1800s as industrialization moved the working class into cities, making baiting sports less practical.
One of the reasons I initially changed my mind about this series was that they seem to have dropped the bearbaiting
aspect of the show - putting people on just because they were so awful.
I always assumed the bear - featured also, I discovered, in Walsall's coat of arms - referred to the county's onetime enthusiasm for bearbaiting
The inventory - published for the first time in this month's English Heritage Historical Review - reveals that Dudley commissioned four portrait paintings of himself and the Queen for the lavish event, which included music, morris dancing, bearbaiting
, hunting, banquets and extravagant firework displays.
He eggs them on in patronising tones in a show a judge has slammed as "a human form of bearbaiting
intimations of tragic fury, the bearbaiting
ring, and bloodthirsty dogs,
Here Will probably witnessed elaborate entertainments of fireworks, pageants, bearbaiting
, acrobatics, and a water pageant, along with a "catalogue of theatrical catastrophe" that plagued a Coventry Hock Tuesday performance, mishaps the Queen graciously overlooked, commanding a second performance a week later.
After pointing out "that the Elizabethan taste for plays was of a piece with a love for other public entertainments such as fencing, bearbaiting
, and cock-fighting" Kermode reminds his readers: "Londoners may reflect that in our own time the Albert Hall is a multipurpose amphitheater, used for operas, symphony concerts, boxing, tennis tournaments, and national celebrations like Armistice Day." At the same time, Kermode does not fail to call our attention to some crucial ways in which Shakespeare's theater differed from what we are familiar with today: "few theatrical historians omit to remind us that these theaters had no lavatories."
Field pere, a clergyman, in 1583 wrote against bearbaiting
, interludes and plays; Field fils was one of the next generation's greatest players.
This Elizabethan attribution of bloodthirstiness to dogs was in part informed by images from popular sports such as bull- and bearbaiting
as well as dog fighting.
As late as 1906, when Bennett was preparing to write The Old Wives' Tale, one author recalled bearbaiting
on the very site where the elephant in the novel is supposed to have run amok (Scarratt 76).