|Royal Cock Pit Thomas Rowlandson 1808|
Julius Caesar led Rome into enjoying the sport of cockfighting. He was the first citizen of Rome to be an enthusiast of the sport. Caesar ultimately introduced cockfighting into England. In the 16th century, cockfighting was flourishing in England. During the time of King Henry VIII, cockfights were held at Whitehall Palace. The game became a national sport at one point, and exclusive schools were required to teach students the points of cockfighting, such as breeding, walking, and conditioning of the gamecock. At its very height of popularity, even the clergy encouraged the sport. Church yards and inside of the churches were used as an arena for cockfighting. The sport declined in England during the reign of Queen Victoria in the 17th century, when she banned cockfighting with a royal decree.
|Tragedy of Anthony and Cleopatra Act 2 Scene 3|