2 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Wild Boar

Flyboat; 6th-rate; prize 1665; sold 1669.

(L&M Index)

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The English greatly honored the boar, but why is not clear.

In the 1st Century, Iceni frequently featured wild boar on their coins.
Rollo, the Norse chieftain who had been exiled from Norway, in the 9th century, spent considerable time in Scotland and Saxon England before he received the French region we now call “Normandy” in exchange for an end to raiding and fealty to the French crown.
Other Norse groups also spent much of their time in England. The Saxon infatuation with the wild boar began at least as early as this.

Edward the Confessor is said to have hunted wild boar in the royal forest of Bernwood.
William the Conqueror established draconian penalties for the unauthorized killing of a boar.

Perhaps the earliest record of the boar being served as a ceremonial dish is when Henry II personally serving the boar’s head to his son, Henry Fitzhenry, on a platter, in 1170, on the occasion of naming him “co-regent”. It was a traditional act honoring a cherished son and spotless warrior. The 2 remained Normans — Norse men.

By Tudor times, when documents describe the already historical importance of the boar for upper class Christmas dinners and the traditions that went with them, the population was small.
Only a few English forests existed in which to hunt it.
Wild boar was not readily available. The tusked beast on the Christmas platters of those who could afford it was probably shipped from Scotland or Europe.

The popular English text of the time on hunting the boar — "The Arte of Venerie" (1575), alternately attributed to George Tuberville and George Gascoigne — was really a translation of Jacques du Fouilloux’s 1568 "La Venerie". Even the specialized terms of the boar hunt are translations from Fouilloux’s work suggesting there were no social boar hunts any longer in England.
It appears English noblemen who wished to hunt boar, as a rite of passage, generally did so in Europe.

Shakespeare verifies the situation: ‘In olden times the enclosure in which the Boars used to be fattened was termed a "Boar-frank." Shakespeare uses the word in the Second Part of Henry IV:
"Doth the old boar feed in the old frank?"

The Bard’s works show he was familiar with all the noble hunting sports of his time — but not boar hunting.

When the boar's domain is not myth or escutcheon, it is mentioned as an animal kept in a fattening-pen.

By the reign of King Charles I, a population of boar was imported into England in an attempt to reintroduce the royal beast. The population grew rapidly and wild boars were soon considered a dangerous nuisance.

The boar nuisance was ended when the last of the population was killed during the English Civil Wars.

Excerpted from https://gilbertwesleypurdy.blogsp…

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.