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‘Some inhuman wretch’: Animal Maiming and the Ambivalent Relationship between Rural Workers and Animals1

  • CARL J. GRIFFIN (a1)


The daily lives of many rural workers were intertwined with animals: those they kept, those in the wild, and those they were employed to work with and care for. And yet despite the importance of this connection, work in rural history has tended, with some notable exceptions, to conceive of animals as fleshy capital, game, or pest. In part this is because the archive does not tend to describe the relationships between workers and animals. This paper contends, however, that the archive of animal maiming offers important detail for beginning to understand the connection. While animal maiming was necessarily rooted in violence, with its various forms essentially involving the mutilation and violation of animals, nonetheless episodes of animal maiming can tell us much about the politics of giving care to animals. Examining episodes of animal maiming also allows us to understand how the non-human helped to constitute the relationships between humans, especially the uneven bond between employer and worker, as well as the complex, and often contradictory, attitudes of rural workers to animals.



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2. Centre for Kentish Studies [herein CKS], Q/SBw/124/9, Deposition of Charlotte Stacey, Stockbury, 19th November 1830.

3. Quoted in Shave, S.The Dependent Poor? (Re)constructing The Lives of Individuals “On the Parish” in Rural Dorset, 1800–1832’, Rural History, 20 (2009), 67.

4. For an excellent recent study examining the ways in which rural workers were incentivised to think of wild animals as vermin, see Lovegrove, R., Silent Fields: The Long Decline of a Nation's Wildlife (Oxford, 2008).

5. Archer, J., ‘“A Fiendish Outrage?” A Study of Animal Maiming in East Anglia: 1830–1870’, Agricultural History Review, 33 (1985), 147–57; Archer, J., ‘By a Flash and a Scare’: Arson, Animal Maiming, and Poaching in East Anglia 1815–1870 (Oxford, 1990), chapter 8; Archer, J., ‘Under Cover of Night: Arson and Animal Maiming’, in Mingay, G., ed., The Unquiet Countryside (London, 1989); Shakesheff, T., Rural Conflict, Crime and Protest: Herefordshire, 1800–1860 (Woodbridge, 2003), chapter 7.

6. The inspiration here is Reay, B., Rural Englands: Labouring Lives in the Nineteenth Century (Basingstoke, 2004).

7. Griffin, C., ‘More-than-human Histories and the Failure of Grand State Schemes: Sylviculture in the New Forest, England’, Cultural Geographies, 17 (2010), 451–72; Griffin, C., ‘“Cut Down by Some Cowardly Miscreants”: Plant Maiming, or the Malicious Cutting of Plants as an Act of Protest in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-century Rural England’, Rural History, 19 (2008), 2954; Griffin, C., ‘Animal Maiming, Intimacy and the Politics of Shared Life: The Bestial and the Beastly in Eighteenth- and Early Nineteenth-century England’, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 37 (2012), 301–16; Lorimer, H., ‘Herding Memories of Humans and Animals’, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 24 (2006), 497518; McDonagh, B. and Daniels, S., ‘Enclosure Stories: Narratives from Northamptonshire’, Cultural Geographies, 19 (2012), 107–21.

8. Latour, B., Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory (Oxford, 2005).

9. Cited in Serpell, J., In the Company of Animals: A Study of Human-Animal Relationships (Cambridge, 1996), p. 227; K. Thomas, Man and the Natural World: Changing Attitudes in England, 1500–1800 (1983), p. 50.

10. K. Thomas, Man and the Natural World: Changing Attitudes in England, 1500–1800 (1983). For the most detailed review see Porter, R., ‘Man, Animals and Nature’, Historical Journal, 28 (1985), 225–9.

11. Chase, M., ‘Can History be Green? A Prognosis’, Rural History, 3 (1992), 243–4, 248.

12. This point is perhaps best attested by the 79th Anglo American Conference of Historians taking ‘environments’ as its theme. A large number of the sessions had an explicitly rural theme. See (accessed 23rd January 2014).

13. Fudge, E., Brutal Reasoning: Animals, Rationality and Humanity in Early Modern England (Ithaca, NY, 2006).

14. For the pioneering study, see Turner, J., Reckoning with the Beast: Animals, Pain, and Humanity in the Victorian Mind (Baltimore, MA, 1980). For important subsequent studies see Kean, H., Animal Rights: Political and Social Change in Britain Since 1800 (London, 1998); Beers, D., For the Prevention of Cruelty: The History and Legacy of Animal Rights Activism in the United States (Athens, OH, 2006).

15. Huggins, M., ‘Nineteenth-Century Racehorse Stables in their Rural Setting: A Social and Economic Study’, Rural History, 7 (1996), 177–90; Davis, S. and Beckett, J., ‘Animal Husbandry and Agricultural Improvement: The Archaeological Evidence from Animal Bones and Teeth’, Rural History, 10 (1999), 117; Sheail, J., ‘The Mink Menace: The Politics of Vertebrate Pest Control’, Rural History, 15 (2004), 207–22; Urdank, A., ‘The Rationalisation of Rural Sport: British Sheepdog Trials, 1873–1946’, Rural History, 17 (2006), 6582; Tichelar, M., ‘Putting Animals into Politics’: The Labour Party and Hunting in the First Half of the Twentieth Century’, Rural History, 17 (2006), 213–34; Osborne, H. and Winstanley, M., ‘Rural and Urban Poaching in Victorian England’, Rural History, 17 (2006), 187212; Pickard, J., ‘Shepherding in Colonial Australia’, Rural History, 19 (2008), 5580; Jones, E., ‘The Environmental Effects of Blood Sports in Lowland England since 1750’, Rural History, 20 (2009), 5166; Martin, J., ‘The Commercialisation of British Turkey Production’, Rural History, 20 (2009), 209–28; Martin, C., ‘Swedish Milk, A Swedish Duty: Dairy Marketing in the 1920s and 1930s’, Rural History, 21 (2010), 213–32; Tichelar, M., ‘A blow to the men in Pink’: The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Opposition to Hunting in the Twentieth Century’, Rural History, 22 (2011), 89113. Natural history has also been the focus of a recent paper, Beckett, J. and Watkins, C., ‘Natural History and Local History in Late Victorian and Edwardian England: The Contribution of the Victoria County History’, Rural History, 22 (2011), 5987.

16. Archer, ‘A Fiendish Outrage’. For other ‘animal’ papers in the last ten years see: Stone, D., ‘The Productivity and Management of Sheep in Late Medieval England’, Agricultural History Review, 51 (2003), 122; Page, M., ‘The Technology of Medieval Sheep Farming: Some Evidence from Crawley, Hampshire, 1208–1349’, Agricultural History Review, 51 (2003), 137–54; Matthews, S., ‘Cattle Clubs, Insurance and Plague in the mid-Nineteenth century’, Agricultural History Review, 53 (2005), 192211; Bielman, J., ‘Technological Innovation in Dutch Cattle Breeding and Dairy Farming, 1850–2000’, Agricultural History Review, 53 (2005), 229–50; Woodward, N., ‘Seasonality and Sheep-stealing: Wales, 1730–1830’, Agricultural History Review, 56 (2008), 2547; Woodward, N., ‘Horse-stealing in Wales, 1730–1830’, Agricultural History Review, 57 (2009), 70108; Newfield, P., ‘A Cattle Panzootic in Early Fourteenth-century Europe’, Agricultural History Review, 57 (2009), 155–90; Slavin, P., ‘Goose Management and Rearing in Late Medieval Eastern England, c.1250–1400’, Agricultural History Review, 58 (2010), 129; Winchester, A. and Straughton, E., ‘Stints and Sustainability: Managing Stock Levels on Common Land in England, c.1600–2006’, Agricultural History Review, 58 (2010), 3048; Bevan, J., ‘Agricultural Change and the Development of Foxhunting in the Eighteenth century’, Agricultural History Review, 58 (2010), 4975; Rasmussen, C. Porskrog, ‘Innovative Feudalism. The Development of Dairy Farming and Koppelwirtschaft on Manors in Schleswig-Holstein in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries’, Agricultural History Review, 58 (2010), 172–90; Collins, E., ‘The Latter-day History of the Draught Ox in England, 1770–1964’, Agricultural History Review, 58 (2010), 191216; Martin, J., ‘The Wild Rabbit: Plague, Polices and Pestilence in England and Wales, 1931–1955’, Agricultural History Review, 58 (2010), 255–76.

17. Shakesheff, Rural Conflict, p. 195; Archer, ‘A Fiendish Outrage’, 148.

18. Griffin, ‘Animal Maiming’.

19. Connolly, S. J., ‘The Houghers: Agrarian Protest in Early Eighteenth-century Connaught’, in Philpin, C., ed., Nationalism and Popular Protest in Ireland (Cambridge, 1987), pp. 139–63, 160, 161; Connolly, S. J., ‘The Whiteboy Movement, 1761–5’, Irish Historical Studies, 21 (1978–9), 2054.

20. Patterson, J., In the Wake of the Great Rebellion: Republicanism, Agrarianism and Banditry in Ireland after 1798 (Manchester, 2008), pp. 118–22; Featherstone, D., ‘Skills for Heterogeneous Associations: The Whiteboys, Collective Experimentation, and Subaltern Political Ecologies’, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 25 (2007), 284306.

21. Caunce, S., Amongst Farm Horses: The Horselads of East Yorkshire (Stroud, 1991). Caunce's conclusions have recently been supported by the analysis of graffiti found within late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century farm buildings in the Wolds of East Yorkshire. See Giles, K. and Giles, M., ‘The Writing on the Wall: The Concealed Communities of the East Yorkshire Horselads’, International Journal of Historical Archaeology, 11 (2007), especially 348–50.

22. Burchardt, J., Paradise Lost: Rural Idyll and Social Change Since 1800 (London, 2002), p. 154.

23. For a deconstruction of the place of wilderness in American culture see Cronon, W., Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature (New York, 1995).

24. For a pithy survey and manifesto see Trentmann, F., ‘Materiality in the Future of History: Things, Practices, and Politics’, Journal of British Studies, 48 (2009), 283307.

25. For two useful recent surveys see: Hurn, S., Humans and Other Animals: Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Human-Animal Interactions (London, 2012); and Knight, J., ed., Animals in Person: Cultural Perspectives on Human-Animal Intimacies (Oxford, 2005).

26. For landmark studies see: Holloway, L., ‘Pets and Protein: Placing Domestic Livestock on Hobby-farms in England and Wales’, Journal of Rural Studies, 17 (2001), 293307; Lorimer, ‘Herding Memories’; Matless, D., ‘Versions of Animal–human: Broadland, 1945–70’, in Philo, C. and Wilbert, C., eds, Animal Spaces, Beastly Places (London, 2000), pp. 115–40; Nimmo, R., Milk, Modernity and the Making of the Human: Purifying the Social (London, 2010); Whatmore, S., Hybrid Geographies: Natures, Cultures, Spaces (London, 2002).

27. Ritvo, H., The Animal Estate: The English and Other Creatures in the Victorian Age (Cambridge, MA, 1987).

28. Beaver, D., Hunting and the Politics of Violence before the English Civil War (Cambridge, 2008); Griffin, E., Blood Sport: Hunting in Britain since 1066 (Newhaven, CT, 2008); Tichelar, ‘Putting Animals into Politics’; Tichelar, ‘A blow to the men in Pink’.

29. Howkins, A. and Merricks, L., ‘“Dewy-eyed Veal Calves”: Live Animal Exports and Middle-class Opinion, 1980–1995’, Agricultural History Review, 48 (2000), 85103.

30. Fudge, Brutal Reasoning; Fudge, E., Perceiving Animals: Humans and Beasts in Early Modern English Culture (Champaign, IL, 2002).

31. Serpell, In the Company of Animals.

32. Nimmo, Milk, Modernity and the Making of the Human; Atkins, P., ed., Animal Cities: Beastly Urban Histories (Farnham, 2012).

33. Archer, By a Flash and a Scare, pp. 203–4; Shakesheff, Rural Conflict, p. 195.

34. On these dynamics see Griffin, C., ‘Knowable Geographies? The Reporting of Incendiarism in the Eighteenth- and Early Nineteenth-century English Provincial Press’, Journal of Historical Geography, 32 (2006), 3856.

35. Archer, By a Flash and a Scare, p. 202.

36. On the making of the Black Act see Thompson, E.P., Whigs and Hunters: The Origin of the Black Act (London, 1975).

37. For a brilliant analysis of the judicial limits to the operation of the ‘Bloody Code’ see King, P., Crime, Justice and Discretion in England, 1740–1820 (Oxford, 2000). On its deployment in relation to protest see Randall, A., Riotous Assemblies: Popular Protest in Hanoverian England (Oxford, 2006), especially chapter 2.

38. Formally titled ‘An Act to Prevent the Cruel and Improper Treatment of Cattle’: 3 Geo. IV, v.71. For a study of nineteenth-century legislation regarding animals see Harrison, B., ‘Animals and the State in Nineteenth-century England’, English Historical Review, 88 (1973), 786820.

39. Hampshire Chronicle, 14th January and 11th March 1797.

40. Archer, ‘A Fiendish Outrage’, 150.

41. The episode was occasioned, so the Maidstone Journal related, by a lame pauper who had been refused relief. The following week, the paper reported that the report they had received may have been ‘dubious’ but did not issue a retraction: 21st and 28th July 1835.

42. Salisbury and Winchester Journal, 14th June 1824 (twenty-one sheep, Idmiston, Wiltshire); TNA, HO 64/5, fo. 85, F. Norrice, Betteshanger to Phillips, 23rd July 1835; TNA, HO 64/5, fos 91–2, same, 13th July 1835 (four ewes and eight lambs, Ash-next-Sandwich, Kent); Kentish Gazette, 30th October 1838 (ten sheep, Ospringe, Kent); Surrey Standard, 22nd March 1839 (twenty sheep, Haslemere, Surrey); Sussex Advertiser, 19th April 1842 (four sheep and twenty-three lambs, Rye, Playden and Iden, Sussex); Sussex Agricultural Express, 24th December 1842 (nine sheep, Guestling, Sussex); Hampshire Advertiser and Salisbury Guardian, 18th January 1845 (nineteen sheep, Great Bedwin, Wiltshire) and 20th May 1848 (198 sheep, Berwick St John, Wiltshire).

43. Archer, ‘A Fiendish Outrage’, 149–50; Shakesheff, Rural Conflict, p. 197.

44. Featherstone, ‘Skills for heterogeneous associations’.

45. While the boy was sentenced to seven years transportation, because of his ‘very tender age’ the sentence was respited, the Judge promising that ‘endeavor would be made to find him a place in the Penitentiary where he would be well-educated, though kept to work.’ Salisbury and Winchester Journal, 14th June and 16th August; Southampton County Chronicle, 19th June 1824.

46. Hampshire Chronicle, 14th January 1797.

47. Salisbury and Winchester Journal, 16th September 1822 and 28th July 1823.

48. TNA, HO 52/2, fos 295–7, T Broadley, Gore Court to J. H. Capper, 31st October 1821.

49. Salisbury and Winchester Journal, 25th November 1822.

50. Hampshire Advertiser, 1st December 1827; Portsmouth, Portsea and Gosport Herald, 21st November 1830.

51. Hampshire Telegraph, 5th March 1821 (bullock, Parkhurst near Southampton); Kent Herald, 22nd June 1826 (sheep, Milton-next-Gravesend) and 10th May 1827 (sheep, Dover); Hampshire Advertiser, 1st May 1830 (cow, Southampton Common); Maidstone Journal, 2nd March 1847 (dog on two occasions, Chatham).

52. Salisbury and Winchester Journal, 10th November 1823 (coach proprietor, Trowbridge); Sussex Advertiser, 5th July 1842 (carrier, Mayfield); Rochester Gazette, 10th November 1846 (blacksmith, Chatham); Sussex Advertiser, 24th October 1843 (marine stores dealer, Worthing); Dover Telegraph, 10th February 1849 (bootmaker, Folkestone); Brighton Herald, 21st March 1840 (beershop keeper, Heathfield).

53. Pigs: Hampshire Chronicle, 21st April 1834 (Headley); Kentish Gazette, 1st September, and Brighton Herald, 2nd September 1809 (Burgate Lane, Canterbury); County Chronicle, 13th October 1829 (near Tunbridge Wells). Cattle: Hampshire Courier, 2nd November 1811 (field near Portsmouth). Horses: County Chronicle, 13th October 1829 (near Tunbridge Wells). Donkey: Sussex Agricultural Express, 25th June 1842 (Wrotham, Kent).

54. Griffin, ‘Knowable Geographies’.

55. Poole, S., ‘“A Lasting and Salutary Warning”: Incendiarism, Rural Order and England's Last Scene of Crime Execution’, Rural History, 19 (2008), 163–77; Griffin, “Cut Down by Some Cowardly Miscreants”.

56. Sussex Advertiser, 30th March, 27th April; Kentish Gazette, 12th May 1835. Also see Wells, R., ‘Resistance to the New Poor Law in the Rural South’, in Rule, J. and Wells, R., Crime, Protest and Popular Politics in Southern England, 1740–1850 (London, 1997), p. 106.

57. Griffin, C., The Rural War: Captain Swing and the Politics of Protest (Manchester, 2012), pp. 91, 92–3; TNA, HO 64/5, fos 91–2 and 85, F. Norrice, Betteshanger to Phillips, 13th and 23rd July 1835.

58. Simpson's Salisbury Gazette, 23rd October 1817.

59. Salisbury and Winchester Journal, 16th December 1822 and 29th March 1824; Shakesheff, Rural Conflict, p. 198.

60. For sources see Kentish Gazette, 9th November 1821 and note 44.

61. Hampshire Telegraph, 20th September 1830; Sussex Agricultural Express, 30th July 1842 and 4th February 1843.

62. Shakesheff, Rural Conflict, p.198

63. Kent Herald, 24th November 1825; Brighton Guardian, 22nd April 1835.

64. TNA, HO 44/23, fos 36–7, Henry P. Powys, Hardwick House, near Reading to Lord Melbourne, Home Office, 5th December 1830; Hampshire Advertiser, 15th September 1832; Sussex Agricultural Express, 18th August and 1st September; Sussex Advertiser, 21st August 1849.

65. Exford, Somerset: all horses poisoned and house set on fire (Hampshire Chronicle, 26th March 1792); Bitton, near Bristol: cow and horse ‘inhumanely houghed and mangled’ and barn set on fire (Bath Chronicle, 7th August 1817); Droxford, Hampshire: mare shot and barns set on fire (Hampshire Chronicle, 15th May and 17th July 1820); Shere, Surrey: two cows and ‘several pigs’ belonging to two farmers and rick and barn fired (Hampshire Telegraph, 20th September 1830); Singledge, near Dover, Kent: hind quarters cut off a sheep and barn set on fire (Kentish Gazette, 20th September 1831); Westdean, Sussex: ducks killed and barn set on fire (Sussex Agricultural Express, 12th October 1839); Plumstead Marshes, Kentish-London fringe: several sheep had ears, tails and legs cut off and their backs and sides ‘mangled’ and attempted arson attack on the farmers’ premises (Kentish Gazette, 26th July 1842); Kennington Lees, near Ashford, Kent: pig's head cut off and barn and threshing machine set on fire (Rochester Gazette, 10th April 1849).

66. Archer, ‘A Fiendish Outrage’, 147–8.

67. Ears: ass, Bentley, Hampshire (Hampshire Chronicle, 11th March 1797); tails: cow, Winchester (Hampshire Chronicle, 8th February 1802); eyes: horse, Stelling, Kent (Kentish Gazette, 17th February 1804); cow, Hilverton, Wiltshire (Bath Chronicle, 23rd December 1824); sheep, Lenham, Kent (Maidstone Journal, 16th June 1829); cow, Brighton (Sussex Weekly Advertiser, 18th March 1822).

68. Hampshire Chronicle, 8th August 1791.

69. Southampton Herald, 6th June 1825 (bull, West Lulworth, Dorset); Western Flying Post, 24th December 1827 (cart horse, Corscomb, Dorset); Hampshire Advertiser, 3rd February 1838 (wether sheep, near Chippenham, Wiltshire); Sussex Agricultural Express, 20th April 1850 (cow, Iping, Sussex).

70. Sussex Weekly Advertiser, 30th May 1796; Hampshire County Record Office, Q9/1/523, Hampshire Midsummer Quarter Sessions 1811, indictment of Moses Anthony; Salisbury and Winchester Journal, 10th November 1823; Sussex Advertiser, 19th September 1825.

71. Kentish Gazette, 29th September 1837; Sussex Weekly Advertiser, 7th November 1808.

72. Kent Herald, 15th May 1835 (mare, Milton); Times, 1st November 1844 (horse, Croydon).

73. Gravesend and Milton Journal, 4th July 1835 (waggon horse, Frindsbury, Kent); Sussex Agricultural Express, 27th October 1849 (horse, Pyrford, Surrey).

74. Hampshire Chronicle, 28th January 1828; Maidstone Journal, 25th September 1827.

75. Sussex Agricultural Express, 25th June 1842; Salisbury and Winchester Journal, 17th January 1791; Dover Telegraph, 30th January 1841.

76. Rule, J., ‘The Manifold Causes of Rural Crime: Sheep-stealing in England c. 1740–1840’, in Rule, J., ed., Outside the Law: Studies in Crime and Order 1650–1850 (Exeter, 1982), pp. 102–29; Wells, R., ‘Sheep-rustling in Yorkshire in the Age of the Industrial and Agrarian Revolutions’, Northern History, 20 (1984), 127–45; Woodward, ‘Seasonality and Sheep-stealing’.

77. Salisbury and Winchester Journal, 8th June 1795.

78. Woodward, ‘Seasonality and Sheep-stealing’; Osborne, H., ‘The Seasonality of Nineteenth-Century Poaching’, Agricultural History Review, 48 (2000), 2741; Archer, By a Flash, chapter 6.

79. Kent Herald, 22nd June 1826.

80. Kent Herald, 10th May 1827; Kentish Observer, 30th May 1833.

81. Devizes and Wiltshire Gazette, 12th August 1830.

82. Dorset County Chronicle, 18th March 1830.

83. Hampshire Telegraph and Salisbury and Winchester Journal, both 5th May 1823.

84. Salisbury and Winchester Journal, 14th June and 16th August 1824; Surrey Standard, 22nd March 1839; Sussex Advertiser, 19th April 1842.

85. Hampshire Advertiser, 20th May and 19th August 1848; Hampshire Telegraph, 19th August 1848.

86. Salisbury and Winchester Journal, 16th September 1822.

87. Gravesend and Milton Journal, 16th July 1836; Brighton Gazette, 11th September 1828; CKS, QS/BW, 115, West Kent Quarter Sessions Michaelmas 1828, depositions in the case of Charles Bowler versus Thomas Hughes for maliciously killing a cow.

88. Ritvo, The Animal Estate, p. 2.

89. Hampshire Advertiser, 20th May and 19th August 1848; Hampshire Telegraph, 19th August 1848.

90. Salisbury and Winchester Journal, 15th August 1796.

91. Griffin, ‘Cut down by some cowardly miscreant’, 34–6.

92. Sussex Agricultural Express, 26th November 1842.

93. Archer, ‘A Fiendish Outrage’, 150.

94. Salisbury and Winchester Journal, 15th August 1796; Buckinghamshire Gazette, 10th January 1829.

95. Sussex Agricultural Express, 9th March 1850; Sherborne Journal, 27th January 1830.

96. Salisbury and Winchester Journal, 12th September 1819.

97. Hampshire Chronicle, 11th March 1797.

98. Kent Herald, 24th November 1825.

99. Southampton Mercury, 1st May 1830.

100. For the cultural potency of such inversions see Bushaway, B., By Rite: Custom, Ceremony and Community in England 1700–1880 (London, 1983), especially chapter 5.

101. Salisbury and Winchester Journal, 14th June and 16th August 1824; Sussex Agricultural Express, 18th August and 1st September 1849.

102. Hampshire County Record Office, Q9/1/523, Hampshire Quarter Sessions Midsummer 1811, indictment of Moses Anthony; Felix Farley's Bristol Journal, 19th May 1821.

103. Salisbury and Winchester Journal, 9th March 1795 (Wishford, Wiltshire) and 21st May 1821 (All Cannings, Wiltshire); Southampton Mercury, 1st May 1830 (Anvil Mill, near Basingstoke).

104. Jackson's Oxford Journal, 21st June 1823.

105. Sussex Weekly Advertiser, 16th June 1800.

106. In one particularly unusual case, shepherd Fisher of Great Bedwin, Wiltshire, was prosecuted for poisoning nineteen sheep belonging not to his employer but to another farmer, Thomas Stagg, in the parish. The reason was that Stagg's shepherd often won a local competition for rearing the most lambs, so, out of professional jealousy, Fisher attempted to check Stagg's shepherd's success by poisoning his sheep: Hampshire Advertiser, 18th January 1845.

107. Sussex Weekly Advertiser, 2nd April 1810; TNA, ASSI 94/169, indictment of James Santer, Sussex Lent Assizes 1810; Kentish Gazette, 12th February 1819.

108. Salisbury and Winchester Journal, 11th August 1817.

109. Sussex Agricultural Express, 11th January 1840; TNA, HO 47/16/55, fos 220–21, Report of Justice Buller on William Ranger, 11th August 1793; TNA, ASSI 31/17, Agenda Book, case of Daniel Ranger.

110. 2 East P.C. c. 22 s. 16, p. 1072.

111. Archer, ‘A Fiendish Outrage’, 152; Griffin, ‘Animal Maiming’, 310.

112. Western Flying Post, 13th July 1829 (Clevedon, Somerset); Hampshire Chronicle, 21st April 1834 (Headley, Hampshire).

113. Sussex Weekly Advertiser, 17th May 1802 (Kingsfold, Sussex); Hampshire Telegraph, 26th July 1824 (near Winchester).

114. Archer, ‘A Fiendish Outrage’, 152.

115. Beirne, P., ‘Rethinking Bestiality: Towards a Concept of Interspecies Sexual Assault’, Theoretical Criminology, 1 (1997), 317–40.

116. Sussex Advertiser, 20th October 1834; Reading Mercury, 19th August 1829; Kentish Gazette, 30th October 1838. On the problem of sheep becoming ‘blown’ on eating clover to excess see Baxter, J., The Library of Agricultural and Horticultural Knowledge (Lewes, 1830), p. 458.

117. Brighton Gazette, 15th November 1821.

118. Two cows and several pigs and an incendiary fire: Shere, Surrey (Hampshire Telegraph, 20th September); several pigs and ‘other similar instances to cattle’: Hicksted, Sussex (Rochester Gazette, 6th December); Two horses and threatening letters: Edmonton, Middlesex (TNA, HO 44/23, fos 36–7, Henry P. Powys, Reading to Melbourne, 5th December 1830).

119. Hudson, W. H., A Shepherd's Life: Impressions of the South Wiltshire Downs (London, 1910); Bourne, G. (Ewart), Birds in a Village (London, 1893); Bourne, G. (Ewart), Change in the Village (London, 1912); Evans, G. E., Ask The Fellows Who Cut The Hay (London, 1956); Evans, G. E., The Horse in the Furrow (London, 1960).

120. Haraway, D., The Companion Species Manifesto: Dogs, People, and Significant Otherness (Chicago, IL, 2003). Also see Haraway, D., When Species Meet (Minneapolis, MN, 2008).

121. Cited in Dyck, I.William Cobbett and Rural Popular Culture (Cambridge, 1993), pp. 115–16.

1. The quotation is taken from a report of the cutting of the tail of a heavily pregnant cow in the fields on the fringes of Winchester on the night of 1st February 1802, Hampshire Chronicle, 8th February 1802.

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