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Cock-Fighting

Volume I

The Gaming Table by Andrew Steinmetz, Volume II

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Cock-Fighting

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'Although disapproved of by many, and prohibited by law, cock-
fighting continued in vogue, patronized even by royalty, and
commonly called "the royal diversion." St James's Park, which,
in the time of Henry VIII., belonged to the Abbot of Westminster,
was bought by that monarch and converted into a park, a tennis
court, and a cockpit, which was situated where Downing Street now
is. The park was approached by two noble gates, and until the
year 1708 the Cock-pit Gate, which opened into the court where
Queen Anne lived, was standing. It was surmounted with lofty
towers and battlements, and had a portcullis, and many rich
decorations. Westminster Gate, the other entrance, was designed
by Hans Holbein, and some foreign architect doubtless erected the
Cockpit Gate. The scene of the cruel diversion of cock-fighting
was, however, obliterated before Anne's time, and the palace,
which was a large range of apartments and offices reaching to the
river, extended over that space.'[69]

[69] Wharton, Queens of Society.

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