How to Track a Bear in Southwark

A Day at the Bear Garden

With an idea of where the Bear Garden - and its cognate locations - could be found, we can now consider what bearbaiting entailed as an essential facet of social recreation in early modern London. Possibilities include descriptions of baiting events, traces of the animal-performers and their keepers, and the troupes associated with the Bear Garden/Hope theatre venue. Alongside these details of the quotidian operations of the Beargarden as a centre of popular entertainment, there are also records of its status as an official form of courtly leisure, administered through the highly sought-after office of the Master of the King’s Game.