Facts about bear-baiting for you to fight about

The Gruesome Blood Sports of Shakespearean England - HISTORY

Bear-Baiting is an old sport where a bear was chained up, defanged and declawed so that it could battle one or more dogs for the amusement of sadists all over Europe. The entertainment was two-fold: There was the battle between the dogs and the bear; and, there was the surprised look on the dogs’ faces when they had to fight a bear that wasn’t defanged, declawed and chained up.

Bear-Baiting is a bloodsport. A bloodsport is any sport that pits two animals against one another in battle like dog-fighting or a school-board meeting.

What was the difference between bear-baiting and bull-baiting? With bull-baiting there was a steak dinner afterwards…

Henry VIII enjoyed bear-baiting so much, he had his own bear pit. I’d imagine that it’s nice to have a pit. I’ve always wanted one… either that or a hole. Best I could do was a crater in my backyard; but, I got so paranoid about someone stealing it that I buried it and subsequently never found it again…

By the eighteenth century, England was pretty much over bear-baiting. They preferred a sport that was far more violent and futile. Yes, I AM talking about rugby.

King Frederick of Sweden received a lion as a gift and fought it against a bear because, when you get a really nice gift, you can’t wait to use it on something.

Since bears were imported to England and in short supply, organizers did their best to keep the bear alive. This is where the “standing eight-count” rule originated.

The dogs, however, did not fare so well. In fact, by 1607, England was running out of dogs to fight in the pits. This nation-wide shortage of dogs had wide-reaching consequences: Mail-carriers found themselves unmolested, fire hydrants remained untouched by urine and cats were walking around like they owned the place.

Bears, who did well in the pit, often became celebrities. They were given nicknames like “Harry Hunks”, “Blind Bess” or “Jason Momoa”…

In the modern world, “Bear-Baiting” is leaving food out in the woods and waiting for a bear to find it… then killing it. Because nothing impresses people more than knowing you shot a bear eating breakfast from a long way off…


14 thoughts on “Facts about bear-baiting for you to fight about

      1. The photo of the rhino was this week. Poachers tore its horn out. I’ve been crying about it all week. Sometimes I don’t want to live in this world anymore Charles

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s good to know how horrific the world can get; but, realize that most people are just as horrified as you by the poachers. We improve but not very quickly.


  1. Bear baiting is a business up here and it’s utterly despicable. There are camps up north that lay out Dunkin Donuts under a tree all year long to draw the bears in. Then during hunting season, they charge people huge amounts of money to deposit them in a stand in those trees. A challenging hunt it’s not.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s