Wednesday, September 1, 2010

First of September 1827

Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Loretta reports:

From The Every-day book; or, Everlasting Calendar of Popular Amusements, Vol. II, by William Hone.
~~~
September 1*

Until this day partridges are protected by act of parliament from those who are "privileged to kill."

Application for a License.
In the shooting season of 1821, a fashionably dressed young man applied to sir Robert Baker for a license to kill— not game, but thieves. This curious application was made in the most serious and business-like manner imaginable.

"Can I be permitted to speak a few words to you, sir?" said the applicant.  "Certainly, sir," replied sir Robert. " Then I wish to ask you, sir, whether, if I am attacked by thieves in the streets or roads, I should be justified in using fire-arms against them, and putting them to death ?"  Sir Robert Baker replied, that every man had a right to defend himself from robbers in the best manner he could; but at the same time he would not be justified in using fire-arms, except in cases of the utmost extremity. "Oh! I am very much obliged to you, sir; and I can be furnished at this office with a license to carry arms for that purpose?" The answer, of course, was given in the negative, though not without a good deal of surprise at such a question, and the inquirer bowed and withdrew.

* Feast of St. Giles, patron saint of beggars and blacksmiths, among many others.  The name is familiar to Regency readers as a famously crime-ridden section of London. 

Illustration by Robert Havell, Partridge Shooting at Windsor

5 comments:

Susan Holloway Scott said...

Hmmm...when we were determining our official anniversary date, Loretta, you didn't tell me it was the first day of partridge season. No connection, I hope? *g*

LynS said...

Today is really my birthday (half a century to be exact). My husband remembers it because it is the first day of lobster season in Florida.

Jane O said...

Was that applicant named Bernie Goetz by any chance?

Janae said...

I just stumbled across your site and I love it!! So happy to have found it. Though I studied (art) history in college, I was always more interested in the lives of the people than the actual evens. So fascinating... Love the way you've put this all together!

Richard Foster said...

I believe that in England the first of September was also the traditional day for sowing next season's rye.

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