In today’s world, having pets is a common occurrence, but during medieval times, as in the Regency era, the view of owning animals was driven by their value in hunting, protecting the household, and keeping food on the table. Of note, in Regency times, small dogs were often favored by women of nobility.
Most animals were owned by royalty. Nobility used dogs to hunt and had servants whose responsibility was to train and care for them. Horses, held in high esteem throughout history, were used not only in war but also for hunting and during tournaments. A well-trained destrier, although, an expensive investment, was essential to a knight in battle, often saving his life. Cats were significant in that they kept mice away.
Falcons, hawks, and eagles were popular. Most birds of prey, which were used to hunt birds and other small animals, were caught using a complex setup of nets.
Hawks were kept in mews and were trained and groomed by the falconer. The job of falconer was highly regarded and one often passed down from father to son. Falconers were well paid, along with being part of planning a hunt and deciding which birds to use, depending on the prey.
Deer, fox, boar, and rabbits were pursued by nobles, with many preferring greyhounds as their dog of choice during the hunt. For hundreds of years, only royalty was allowed to hunt in the royal forest. Trespassers were dealt with quickly and faced severe penalties. Sentences served to poachers were decided upon by the lord and included varying degrees of public humiliation and even blinding, if not death.
Traveling menageries drew a lot of attention and were often the only way many people saw exotic animals. The rare collection of a variety of captive animals of the past was the predecessor of today’s zoos. So, the next time you take your dog out for a walk or scratch your cat’s ears, remember that pet ownership in medieval times was but a luxury, a noble’s prerogative.
About the Author
A retired Navy Chief, Diana Cosby is an international best-selling author of Scottish medieval romantic suspense. Books in her award-winning MacGruder Brothers series have been translated in five languages. Diana has spoken at the Library of Congress and Lady Jane’s Salon in New York City, and has appeared in several magazines. After her career in the Navy, Diana dove into her passion: writing romance novels. With thirty-four moves behind her, she was eager to create characters who reflect the amazing cultures and people she’s met throughout the world. After the release of the best-selling MacGruder Brothers series, The Oath Trilogy, and the first four books of The Forbidden Series, she is thrilled with the release of book #5, Forbidden Realm. Diana looks forward to the years of writing ahead and meeting the amazing people who will share this journey.
About the Novel
For the price of honor, he must walk away from the woman he loves ….
Orphaned young, a childhood of loneliness and brutality led Sir Ronan O’Connor to join the Knights Templar and vow never to return to Ireland. But now a mission to transport a cache of Templar armaments for King Robert the Bruce forces the knight back to his homeland. Under his protection on the journey is an Irish nobleman and his daughter, Lathir McConaghy. Trained in combat, Lathir will bend to no man.
After the death of her betrothed in battle, Lathir guards her heart fiercely until an attack at sea forces her and Ronan to rely on each other for their survival. In the storm-filled days adrift at sea, a passionate bond forms between Lathir and the fierce warrior. In a realm torn by treachery and turmoil, they fight for their future, even as secrets threaten to destroy their mission—and any chance at love.