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loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

dogs in church, scotland 1807

. . . I was amazed to see how much the minister in the interior of the Highlands are plagued with dogs in their churches. As almost every family has a dog, and some two, and as these dogs generally go with the people to church; so many dogs being collected often fight, and make such a noise during public worship, as not only disturbs the congregation, but endangers the limbs of many. I have seen more than twenty men plying with good cudgels, yet unable to separate a number of dogs fighting in a church. Nay, so much trouble do dogs give in some churches, that there is one appointed to go through the church-yard with a kind of longhandled forceps, which he holds out before him, and with which he wounds the tails, legs, and ears, &c. of the dogs, and thereby keeps the church and church-yard clear of these useful, but totally unnecessary animals in a place of public worship. Indeed, as these long-handled forceps have been found so useful in the Highlands, perhaps they might be of use in some other places; for ladies in too many places bring their lap-dogs to church, both on the north and south side of the Tweed. It often happens that a lady's lap-dog, running out and into her muff at church, and playing other antic tricks, draws more attention than the parson. . . 

I don't know about you, but I have to say that sounds entertaining.  
James Hall ("of Walthamstow"), Travels in Scotland, by an Unusual Route: With a Trip to the Orkneys and Hebrides. Containing Hints for Improvements in Agriculture and Commerce. With Characters and Anecdotes. Embellished with Views of Striking Objects, and a Map, Including the Caledonian Canal, Volume 2 (London: J. Johnson, 1807), p. 428

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