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History Group – Cockfighting in Liverpool: Rise, Fall & Lingering Death

October 31, 2023 @ 5:30 pm - 10:00 pm

This talk will examine the history of cockfighting, once one of England’s most popular pastimes, from the medieval period through to its abolition in 1849. It was first recorded in Liverpool in the 16th century, and the talk will focus on the locations of the town’s cockpits, and on the close connection of the ‘sport’ with schools, the local aristocracy and horse racing at Maghull and Aintree. It became the focus of early campaigns for the prevention of cruelty to animals, led in Liverpool by Egerton Smith, the editor of the “Liverpool Mercury’, who wrote one of the first novels on the subject. Despite abolition, it continued clandestinely for many years, and the talk will conclude with a discussion of how and why that became the case.

If you woud like to stay for supper following the talk, please book with Reception.

Looking forward to seeing you all again.


Attendance of the talk is free for Members are guests.

Supper is available to pre-book following the event for just £16.50. Book your place now via the Members’ Area or with the Concierge.

Talk: 5:30pm in the Library Reading Room

Supper: 6:30pm on the third floor


October 31, 2023
5:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Event Category:


The Athenaeum Liverpool
Church Alley
Liverpool,L1 3DDUnited Kingdom
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+44 151 709 7770