A History of Falconry in the UK

Falconry is believed to have been introduced to Europe around 400 AD during the invasion by the Alans and Huns from the East. In recent years, falconry gains popularity as a sport for the Kings. It was considered the favourite sport for just about all England’s Kings including Alfred the Great and George III; however, with the exception of James I who preferred spending time training or catching fish. King John’s passion is well-documented in chronicles on the history of falconry. The King’s passion extended to crane Hawking, and he always brought with him hunting parties to fly falcons at the Test Valley. The Domesday Book indicates that herons hunted by Falcons were ringed with information about location and number before they were re-released. Going into the Middle Ages, falconry was no longer a sport for just the rich; labourers used the hawks to find food – often illegally. King John did not like this idea, so he banned the taking of any feathered game from the forests belonging to royalty around the British countryside. It is also during the Middle Ages that a first was recorded in the history of falconry – the Laws of Ownership. The laws gave birds of prey ranking that meant no man could hawk with a bird that had a higher ranking than himself. Such hierarchy was usually determined by the value of the bird. You can find out more about falconry in UK by taking part in historical tours that also have interesting http://raphaelhistoricfalconry.com/about.php>historic falconry displays.

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