Escape of a young Tiger from Mr. Wombwell’s Caravan, London, 1827

January 8, 2013

Escape of a young Tiger from Mr. Wombwell’s Caravan.’
(engraving: Pickering, London, 1827)

Misfortunes beset Wombwell’s Menagerie, England, 1827
‘Diabolical Act.
‘On Saturday, July 14th, 1827, Wombwell’s Menagerie arrived in Dewsbury, on its way to Leeds Fair, and on Sunday morning, about two o’clock, some incendiary set fire to the large caravan, containing the Elephant, by throwing upon it an ignited substance, wrapped in some cloth. Fortunately an alarm was given by a person accidentally passing when the fire had only penetrated through the first covering of the canvas. The keepers were instantly roused, and by their prompt exertions, aided by a few of the inhabitants, the dreadful consequences were prevented which such a conflagration, if not suppressed in time, would have produced. It is horrible to think of the havoc and destruction which might have been effected by the stupendous powers of an enraged Elephant, and the ferocity of Lions, Tigers, and other ferocious animals, all let loose in a state of great excitement. Strong suspicion attaches to some individuals in the town, but Mr. Wombwell, disliking the trouble of a prosecution, declines taking any steps to bring the supposed offenders to justice.
(The London Register of Remarkable Events, London, Saturday, 28 July 1827, p. 111)

‘A short time since, as Mr. Wombwell’s collection of wild beasts were passing from Nottingham to Workshop, a small tiger effected his escape from one of the caravans, near to Mr. Ichabod Wright’s Lodge, Mapperley, and entered the farm-yard of Mr. Thomas Ayre. Several persons contrived to get him into an out-house, and endeavoured to retake him by turning a dog in, but he nearly tore the dog to pieces.
‘The tiger was obliged to be left there for the remainder of the night, but he again made his escape, and has not yet been recovered. It is generally supposed that he is still in some of the thickets of the forest, as several sheep, belonging to neighbouring farmers, have been worried in the vicinity of the forest. It is intended to form a party of gentlemen , and scour the forest for him.’
(The London Register of Remarkable Events, London, Saturday, 4 August 1827, p. 113)


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