Human-baiting is a
bloodsport involving the
Gentleman and the Bull Dog
Sporting Magazine vol. XVIII, there is the description of a fight between
the 'Gentlemen and the Bull Dog'. The
Sporting Times reports on this fight, which occurred in
- "A fight between a man and Bull Dog took place some time ago to settle a
bet. With its first charge the Bull Dog already succeeded in throwing and
pinning its opponent. Although the dog's jaws were nearly closed by a
muzzle, it succeeded in sinking its teeth into the man's body. Had the dog
no been pulled away immediately, it would have disembowelled the man."
This story illustrates the outcome of a large, mastiff like dog charging its
opponent. Despite the handicap of a muzzle, the dog was the winner.
Brummy and the Bulldog
Daily Telegraph on
1874, provided an
article written by journalist,
James Greenwood, in which he reported on
1874 to have
witnessed a human-baiting. In
republished the article in his book "Low-Life Deeps" in the chapter called
In The Potteries.
To make the story all the more odd, the human named 'Brummy' was a forty-year
old dwarf standing at most four-and-a-half feet tall, but possessing
extraordinary strength. The enormous size of his head and ears were particularly
striking. He had huge hands and feet and he was extremely bow-legged.
Physic and Brummy, An Evening at Hanley
The Bulldog named 'Physic' was stately white and red-eyed, eager for the
fray. He did not bark but was frenzied with passion to the degree that tears
trickled down his blunt nose and his gasping became each moment more shrill and
The bait occurred at an old inn located at
Staffordshire, in a large guest room with a ring cordoned off with a line.
The fifty spectators were mostly coal miners, with some gentlemen from better
social classes, each eagerly awaiting the fight. The floor was covered with
sawdust, from the ceiling hung an oil lamp and all the windows were closed and
carefully covered, with the only ventilation through the fireplace. Thick smoke
from cigars and pipes filled the room, with perspiration from the crowd making
the room hot and sticky.
Brummy had agreed to fight the dog for a wager, on his theory that no dog,
not even a Bulldog, "could lick a man". The conditions were no weapons and he
could only wear his trousers. The combat rules provided that both 'beasts'
should be chained to the wall opposite and facing each other and the man was to
assume and continue the position on all fours throughout the fight. During the
fight Brummy was bitten deeply several times on the arms and the Bulldog was
dealt several heavy blows to the head and ribs from sledge hammer fists.
By the end of round ten the Bulldog's head was swollen beyond its accustomed
size, it had lost two teeth and one of its eyes was entirely shut up; while as
for the dwarf, his fists and arms were reeking and his hideous face was ghastly
pale with rage and despair.
The fight lasted until round eleven when Brummy dealt the Bulldog a
tremendous blow under the chin and with such effect that the dog was dashed
against the wall, where despite all its' master could do for it, for the space
of one minute it lay still and Brummy was declared the winner.
East End Club
In 1892, another
human-baiting occurred between the human combatant
James Oxley and a fighting dog named 'Crib'. The following is extracted from
a report published from those times.
- "An arbite (man and dog fight) took place in an East End Club. The match
was that James Oxley, a man well known in the neighbourhood of Shoreditch,
would stall off for thirty minutes a fighting dog called 'Crib' owned by
Robert Green. The match came off not many yards from the
excited considerable interest amongst those in the know. Some of the
prominent people, who brought about this sickening match, when interviewed,
stated that for twenty-one minutes Oxley kept the dog off by using his
fists. But, at one moment, the dog made a desperate effort to get past the
man's guard and did and jumped over his left shoulder, wheeled round and
fastened on the man's right ear, and dragged him to the ground. As soon as
it was possible, the dog was choked off, but the upper part of Oxley's ear
Warning from history
history of dog fighting breeds reflects the intensive breeding efforts to
create a dog
breed with the absolute courage, insensitivity to pain, gameness and
willingness to win, even if they have to pay with their own life. This and the
above examples of past human-baiting should provide ample warning to any person
considering fighting such a dog themselves.
- Fleig, D. (1996). History of Fighting Dogs. T.F.H. Publications.
- Homan, M. (2000). A Complete History of Fighting Dogs. Howell
Book House Inc.
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