Here is the 26th weekly digest for Animal History Daily, which I'm running on Twitter (@hannahvelten) every day for 2014. Using the #AHD tag, I find random titbits of animal history from the British Newspaper Archive (@BNArchive) on the appropriate day, from any year (generally the 1800s).
This week… I give you horses.
IMAGE OF THE WEEK
Hengler’s Grand Cirque, Covent Garden, 1889
More on the sad tale of the Baldwin Pony from a previous post
This week’s #AHD tweets: a horse for sale, performing horses, dangerous carriage horses, processional horses, a smuggler’s horse, the original horse ‘whisperer’ and a poisoned racehorse.
25th June: 1785: To Be SOLD: at the Bell, Hog Hill (Norfolk) - 'A Capital Brown HORSE, nr 16 hands high, a fine Figure, goes well & trots fast...' (Norfolk Chronicle)
26th June: 1816: Royal Amphitheatre (Astley's) Westminster-bridge... introducing a real Horse Race and real Fox Chace [sic]... (Morning Chronicle)
27th June: 1826: Court case of surgeons pursuing payment from 2 wealthy ladies whose carriage horses ran over 2 ladies as turned into Berkeley Square. Ladies suffered broken leg & injured spine - surgeons treated, but bill not paid by carriage owners (2 tweets) (Morning Post)
28th June: 1838: Her Majesty's Coronation Procession details. The State Coach to be drawn by 8 Cream-coloured Horses. Director of event = Master of the Horse (Wiltshire Independent) *
29th June: 1848: Portsmouth - Affray with Smugglers - customs men spotted horse & cart receiving boxes full of tobacco; investigated & attacked (London Standard)
30th June: 1858: Practical demonstrations by Mr Sullivan, the "whisperer" of horses, with proven taming powers - subdued 3 vicious horses… any person with ordinary share of strength & activity, & accustomed to horses, could subdue... by means of Mr Sullivan's secret (2 tweets) (Cork Examiner) **
Image to right: James Sullivan - The Irish Horse Whisperer of Dunhallow County Cork (Harrison Weir, 1858). But could this be Daniel or his father, or grandfather?? It seems three generations of Sullivans were horse "whisperers".
1st July: 1868: The Poisoning of a Racehorse - Barnstable - groom killed 'Little Sally' by putting hydrochloric acid into her corn feed on morning of race. Groom had part ownership of 'Little Fairy' and wanted it to win race - poisoner committed for trail (Taunton Courier) ***
* One of the ‘Great Officers of the Household’, the Master of the Horse was head of the Royal Mews and had responsibility for the royal stables, for arranging transport for the Sovereign and the Royal Household – horses, carriages, and vehicles – and for maintaining the Royal studs.
** see image below: letter to the Editor of Belfast Morning News 22 February 1858: it seems the Irish fought hard to retain their status as the original horse whisperers!
*** Eventually the groom was sentenced to 5 years ‘penal servitude’
Hannah Velten - author of