Bear-bating Abraham Hondius 1650-1-
Bear-baiting was an English blood sport from the late 16th century until the 19th century. A captured bear was made to fight a pack of 10 mastiffs to the death. (It was rare for the bear to defeat all 10.) Members of the audience gambled on how many mastiffs the bear would manage to kill. Some people found the sport barbarous and unconscionable, but more found it thrilling. After similar bills have failed many times over the centuries, the British Parliament finally outlawed the sport in 1835.

Though most countries have outlawed bear-baiting, it continues illegally in some places. Notable incidents in the 21st century have taken place in remote parts of South Carolina, Pakistan, and other regions.

Bear-baiting in Ruled BritanniaEdit

Bear-baiting continued under the Spanish rule of England. Some Spaniards came to enjoy the sport during the occupation. The Southwark bear-baiting arena was a popular venue for the sport.