Friday, March 04, 2016

Animal Grief in the 19th Century

Old Shepherd’s Chief Mourner by Edwin Henry Landseer, 1827.
During the 19th century there were many reports of dogs who wasted away at their master’s graves, cats who refused to eat or drink upon the death of their mistress, and even a pet monkey who committed suicide. The most famous of these is Greyfriar’s Bobby, a terrier whose owner died and was subsequently buried in Greyfriar’s churchyard in Edinburgh. For nearly fourteen years wee Bobby kept watch over his master’s grave regardless of the weather. He was ultimately found dead one bitter morning in winter and was supposed to have perished of age and cold.

Greyfriars Bobby, circa 1865.
(National Galleries of Scotland)

Find more stories of Regency and Victorian era grief-stricken pets at this post by Mimi Matthews .

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