Ladies and Hawking

This is from Sports and Pastimes of England, published in 1801. It seems ladies were not only allowed to practice hawking, but some may have been rather good at it: Ladies not only accompanied the gentlemen in pursuit of this diversion, but often practiced it themselves; and, if we may believe a contemporary writer, in … Continue reading

Deafness in Farmed Fish

This is from Friday’s i paper: Salmon that grow up on a farm are much harder of hearing than those reared in the wild, with half of them suffering a considerable degree of dearness, research suggests. The hearing loss is caused by a deformity of the earbone which reduces hearing sensitivity by up to 50% … Continue reading

Gender Equality on BBC

On the 4ooth anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, the BBC announced that they would be enforcing gender equality across all services. This seems to be a good thing, providing more work for women, more visibility in the arts, so encouraging more women to become involved, and pursue careers n the arts, and it follows the announcement … Continue reading

Reclaiming Rome

This is from last week’s ‘i’ paper Armed with shovels and sacks of asphalt, Rome’s residents fill potholes. Defying rats, they pull weeds and pick up litter along the Tiber’s banks and in city parks. Tired of waiting years for the city to replace diseased trees, neighbours have dug into their own pockets to pay … Continue reading

Aristocracy and Hawking

Aristocracy and Hawking

One of he great Indy films of England last century was ‘A Kestrel for a Knave’, based on both animals and people having a fixed hierarchy. This is the full list, from Sports and Pastimes of the People of England: The eagle, the vulture, and the merlun, for an emperor The ger-faulcon, and the tercel … Continue reading

Extincting Wolves in England & Wales

This is from Sports and Pastimes of he People of England, published in 1801. My previous post listed a lot of animals of the hunt, but wolves were absent, apparently because they were already hunted to extinction. It is generally admitted that Edgar gave up the fine of gold and silver imposed by his uncle … Continue reading

Naming the Beasts of the Hunt

This is from Sports and Pastimes of he People of England, published in 1801. Twice or Twety, grand huntsman to Edward II divides animals to be hunted into 3 groups: The first class contains four, which may be properly called beasts for hunting; namely, the hare, the hart, the wolf, and the wild boar. The … Continue reading

Wingrave Witches

This comes from Highways & Byways of Buckinghamshire, and shows not all witch accusations were accepted. This one seems particularly lame, again from the village of Wingrave : William Wooley, who was vicar here for 1753 to 1783, was a great witch-hunter in years when the belief in witchcraft was happily dying out. It is … Continue reading

Tudor Recreations

Before the Reformation it seems our ancestors’ lives were largely structured round work and religious festivals. After the dissolution, there were ongoing debates as to how people – especially the ignorant masses – were allowed to spend their time. This is from Sports & Pastimes of the People of England, citing Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy, published in … Continue reading