On this day in 1666, Samuel Pepys wrote in his diary (see also July 12th posting on “Bear-baiting”):
“[A]fter dinner, with my wife and Mercer to the Beare-garden [in Southwark], where I have not been, I think, of many years, and saw some good sport of the bull’s tossing of the dogs: one into the very boxes. But it is a very rude and nasty pleasure”.
The old animal-baiting arenas on Bankside in Southwark eventually closed down in the later seventeeth century, although at the same time new ones opened up Hockley-in-the-Hole in Clerkenwell, “the home of low-caste sport”. Animal-baiting was only finally outlawed, under the “Cruelty to Animals Act”, in the early nineteenth century, in 1835.
Bankside is visited on our “Historic Southwark” standard walk.
Further details of all our walks are available in the “Our Guided Walks” section of our web-site (www.lostcityoflondon.co.uk).