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Title: Horses & livestock in Hanoverian London
Author: Almeroth-Williams, Thomas
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2013
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In his classic study, Man and the Natural World (1983), Keith Thomas assumed and asserted that by 1800 the inhabitants of English cities had become largely isolated from animal life. My research challenges this assumption by highlighting the prevalence and influence of horses and other four-legged livestock in London in the period 1714–1837. This study represents a deliberate shift in historical enquiry away from the analysis of theoretical literature and debates concerning the rise of kindness and humanitarianism, towards the integration of animals into wider historiographies and a demonstration of how animals shaped urban life. Reasserting the need to unbound the social, my research places human interactions with non-human animals centre stage in London’s history to reassess key issues and debates surrounding the industrial and consumer revolutions; urbanization and industrialization; and social relations. Following an introductory section, Chapter one assesses the role played by urban husbandry in feeding the metropolitan population and asserts that Hanoverian London was a thriving agropolis. Chapter two challenges and complicates the orthodox assumption that steam substituted animal muscle power in the industrial revolution and asserts that equine power helped to make London a dynamic hub of trade and industry. Chapter three examines the metropolitan trades in meat on the hoof and horses. These were significant features of the consumer revolution and major sectors of the British economy which impacted heavily on London life. Chapter four asserts that equestrian recreation played a powerful role in metropolitan culture, both promoting and acting as an alluring alternative to, sociability. Chapter five examines the heavy demands which horses and other livestock placed on metropolitan infrastructures, and assesses the city’s remarkable investment in these animals. In my conclusion, I consider the significance of recalcitrant interactions between plebeian Londoners and non-human animals.
Supervisor: Jenner, Mark Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available