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The New International Encyclopædia/Bear-Baiting

BEAR-BAITING. A sport which consisted of setting a pack of dogs upon a bear, which was usually tied to a stake. It was an established amusement in many countries. In England it was known as early as the reign of Henry II., but was prohibited by Parliament in 1835. Queen Elizabeth not only allowed them the benefit of her royal patronage, but attended the bear-baitings in person. The Puritans hated the sport, “not because it gave pain to the bear,” as Macaulay has recorded, “but because it gave pleasure to the spectators.” The place where bears were kept and publicly baited were called bear-gardens. “Looks like a bear-garden,” is a common English expression used to this day to designate any disarranged or ill-kept room or grounds.