FALCONRY. In the catalogue of British sports, we find Falconry, or the art of training and flying of hawks for the purpose of catching other birds (the favourite diversion of our ancestors), usually placed at the head of rural amusements; a superiority to which it is probably entitled, from being a pastime generally followed by the nobility of former times, not only in this kingdom, but also upon the continent; a fact not unmixed with regret, when it is added that hawking is now so fallen into disuse that the art of falconry is in danger of being entirely lost.
On looking into ancient authorities we find that persons of the highest rank rarely appeared without their dogs and their hawks. The latter they carried with them when they journeyed from one country to another, and sometimes even when they went to battle ; nor would they part with them to procure their own liberty when taken prisoners: for as these birds were considered to be ensigns of nobility, no action was regarded as more dishonourable to a man of rank than to give up his hawk.
Harewood, Harry. A Dictionary of Sports. London: T. Tegg and son, 1835.
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