Warwick, England ~ February 17, 2010
This modern-day placard is part of the interactive display of what life was like in the Middle Ages at Warwick Castle. I don't know the history of this image, but it clearly depicts a bear used for the brutal blood sport of bear-baiting. One of the towers at Warwick Castle is named Bear Tower, and some authorities believe that bears were kept in that tower. Warwick Castle is one of the places in England where bear-baiting continued until a fairly late date. The sport was very popular among all levels of society, including kings and queens, and seems to have created great mirth in the observers. This cruel activity typically pitted bears against dogs, although there are descriptions of bears being allowed to chase other animals and even people. Both bear- and bull-baiting were finally outlawed by the English Parliament in 1835.
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