A new in­dus­try

Bird Watching (UK) - - Conservation Hen Harrier -

By 1534, the first doc­u­mented Fox hunt took place. Farm­ers in Norfolk be­gan chas­ing down Foxes with hounds as a means of pest con­trol. Most lived in the kind of poverty we can­not imag­ine to­day, so per­haps we can for­give them for some­thing that would one day evolve from a poor man’s ne­ces­sity to a rich per­son’s choice. By the 1600s, packs like those in Bils­dale, York­shire, were trained to hunt Foxes: by 1869, this had be­come an in­sti­tu­tion. More than half the hunt­ing packs in Eng­land and Wales were reg­is­tered be­fore this date. In 2005, 13,000 Foxes were caught by a to­tal body-mass of 1.28 mil­lion peo­ple. Wher­ever a hunt has started, as­pects of Bri­tish so­ci­ety have fol­lowed ea­gerly, em­bel­lish­ing a ba­sic ac­tiv­ity with lay­ers of so­cial mean­ing and con­ven­tion. Shoot­ing came long af­ter the in­ven­tion of the gun. Be­fore the 18th Cen­tury, most guns

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