Bull baiting in Rowley Regis, 1835

From Aris’s Gazette, Monday October 26th, 1835. The ‘wake’ mentioned was most likely the annual St. Giles fair held at the beginning of September. This is a graphic account of cruelty to animals.

To the editor of Aris’s Gazette,
Sir,
by inserting the following letter you will much oblige A FRIEND OF HUMANITY

___________

BULL BAITING AT ROWLEY REGIS

Sept. 13th was the wake. Tidy and T. Lodder (nicknames)  agreed to buy a bull. Saturday the 12th, after Tidy had got his week’s earnings, the money was raised and the bull bought of a publican at Black Heath. Between ten and eleven o’clock that night the bull was fastened to the stocks in the town, and baited by dogs by candle light until he broke loose. On the Wake Monday, this victim of wanton cruelty was again baited in the town till he was mangled in the most shocking manner.  Some dozens of bull dogs were brought to worry the manacled beast. His nose, lips and head were torn and swollen till they presented a frightful spectacle. His legs shared a similar fate and his neck was grievously galled by the rope. He was now so exhausted that he could be no more brought to the stake, and it was apprehended that he would soon die. He continued however in great agony till Thursday, when he was hauled into the brewhouse of Lodder’s father and killed.

In different parts of the parish four or five other bulls were baited during the wake, and some of them with very aggravated cruelty. Indeed, at one another of the beer shops this wanton sport is going on very often. One bull-baiting publican (a woman) is reported to have boasted of having taken upwards of £73 during the wake.

On these occasions the whole neighbourhood is annoyed, and often alarmed to a very high degree. The rabble returning from these inhuman scenes insult nearly everyone they meet, and frequently commit depredations where they pass. It is hoped the new law on this subject will, in every possible case, be enforced, until England is no more stained by such wanton cruelties.
Rowley Regis, Oct 12th, 1835

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