Monday, September 17, 2012


“If I had a donkey wot wouldn't go,
D'ye think I'd wallop him? no, no, no!
But gentle means I'd try, d'ye see,
Because I hate all cruelty;
If all had been like me, in fact,
There'd have been no occasion for Martin's Act.
Dumb animals to prevent being crack'd,
On the head.”

In 1822, the British parliament adopted one act that will lead to the situation we face today. The act was called The Cruel Treatment of Cattle Act 1822 with the full name “An Act to prevent the cruel and improper Treatment of Cattle” but it is more commonly known as the Martin's Act. Two years after the act was adopted, on June 16th 1824 a new organisation was formed the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals which will later be known as-Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The RSPCA.The man behind this act was called Richard Martin, also know as the “Humanity Dick” nicknamed by the King George IV himself.

So who was Richard Martin?

Well, he was the only son of Robert Martin Fitz Anthony and Hon. Bridget Barnwall, born on January 15th 1754 in the Ballynahinch Castle,County Galway, on the coasts of western Ireland. His family was Catholic, Jacobite, and also one of fourteen old families that ruled the Galway from 14th to 17th century, collectively known as the “Tribes of Galway”.

Richard Martin , however, was raised protestant.

He entered the Irish House of Commons in 1776, sitting for the Jamestown until 1783. Also he was appointed High Sheriff of County Galway in 1782. In 1798 her was returned to Parliament for Landsborough, advocating the Catholic emancipation. When the act of union, in 1800 was adopted, unifying the Kingdom of Great Brittan and the kingdom of Ireland thus creating the United Kingdom of Great Brittan,the Martin was already the MP for the Galway county and as such he entered the British parliament. There he continued to push for the Catholic emancipation with little success. Aside for pushing for Catholic emancipation, Richard Martin also pushed for the animal rights, and so, in 1822 the Martin's act was adopted.

What this act did, among other things was to ban blood sports, such as dogfighting, bull bating and bear bating. All these “sports” share one common thing, they are all linked by one participant and that participant is the dog-the BULL DOG.

The bulldog was the gladiator that was used to amuse the crowd and the brutality of those fights, equally amused the rich and the poor so the event itself was serving as vent for channelling the aggression and discontent among population. In a way it had the same, “adrenaline rush” feeling as the professional wrestling or NASCAR has today. It creates an overdose of excitement after which you feel, lets say, “more content” with your life. Or to put it in short, it is a tranquiliser drug. But with this ban, bulldogs lost their purpose and instead of being terminated as a breed,Oh by the glorious consensus rules!, they were kept alive. They went underground and continued to be used in illegal dog fighting.

Bulldogs were also transported to the New World, where they were used for the same purpose. However, the New World was in its infancy and was pretty much a wild and disorganised place to live in and so, eventually, those bulldogs became strays. The damage that they were doing was so vast, that no weapon was good enough to stop them. They soon became dreaded creatures, that were mauling humans left and right. So something new was needed that will contain the threat of roaming bulldogs. The “solution” was found in the creation of specific breed of dog that is designed with one thing in mind-to fight bulldogs. Enter the pit bull. Yes, that is right, the pit bull is the biological weapon designed to contain and exterminate bulldogs that were roaming free and unemployed across England and United States at the end of 19th century. This is, again, dismissed by the consensus as the notorious nonsense, cause it is true. Why would you have a dog that is specifically designed to attack other dogs and not only to attack them but to kill them, if you don't feel threaten by those “other” dogs?

So there you have it, that is the true nature and the agenda behind the creation of pit bulls.

But back to the “humanity” Dick. Humanity Dick was so humane that he was involved in more than 100 duels fought with sabres and guns. He held a military rank, he was a Colonel. Also somehow he appears in the American and French revolutions. He ended his life in France, where he fled after being accused for intimidation charges. To make things more bizarre, the formation of RSPCA was held in a coffee shop called "Old Slaughter's" and during his lifetime, the Martin was passionate fox hunter.
One event from his life, actually describes the true nature of the dogcraver better than I would ever be able to do.

Hair-Trigger Martin”

Reported to be of rather average height, with a brawny, stocky build, the ginger-haired Martin was also considered the most formidable and well-known fire-eater, or duelist, of the 18th century, having fought on over 100 occasions. An illustrious example of his skill and compassion relates to one incident involving a beloved canine by the name of Prime Serjeant.

Claiming the wolfhound was consuming meat scraps that should have been destined for the poor, George Robert “Fighting Fitzgerald” shot the dog with a pistol, but allowed the women in the Browne domain to keep their lapdogs. As a dear friend to the Browne Family and Prime Serjeant, Martin personally vowed to avenge the dog’s untimely end which he did some years later in a heated clash with Fitzgerald. (As he wasn’t the guardian of Prime Serjeant, Martin had no legal grounds to pursue justice at the time of the shooting.) Martin was maimed in the chest and proudly sported his battle scars in the years to follow, while the twice-hit Fitzgerald went unscathed as he had sneakily donned protective undergarments during the scuffle.

There are quite a few sympathetic animal tales like the above, some of which even Martin himself would recount in Parliament. At the ripe old age of 67, MP Martin stood on a street on London’s Ludgate Hill, watching a man mercilessly beat his equine. Out of nowhere, two men emerged, yanking the man away from the horse and dolling out punches on the animal abuser. The two avengers had been paid five shillings a piece for their act. Their financier? Richard Martin. Martin’s physical and legislative fight for four-legged creatures would continue in the decades leading up to this point and following it as well.”

No comment...


  1. So what?
    We should repeal cruelty laws because of undesired consequences and/or because the guy who started them was a shit?

    From animal cruelty laws came child protection laws and later the concept of "domestic violence" as a crime.

    1. Like I said before, this blog is a sort of a book. All essays are actually chapters or parts of the chapters that are connected and on their own, sometimes they don't make sense. What I am trying to do here, in essence is to identify the context of the dog ownership. The story about Martin's act is a historical note, simply because human civilisation has history, it has records that can be used to track something trough space and time. So, since the dogs and humans have a long historical bond, history comes into the play. The article about Martin's law is connected to the story about threat perception, but in Martin's act it deals more with the perception, perception of a man that was able to bring his idea to the reality and what were the consequences of the development that idea. Since the Richard Martin was clearly an violent man the paradox comes when he is portrayed as “humanity Dick” . How can you call someone humane when that someone, I don't know how to put it, lives the violent lifestyle?

      The link between dog ownership and violent personality is well documented and known and Richard Martin's case is no exception to that. The man whom played a crucial role in the creation of animal protection laws, loved dogs more than anything, back in 19th century and now we have reckless dog ownership and problems with dogs in 21st century. The dogs are legally protected but somehow humans didn't.

  2. i don't see a logical connection between this blog post and the previous two dozen?

    1. The connection is perception, how can you perceive someone that is so violent to be so elevated and humane.

  3. "The dogs are legally protected but somehow humans are not"