Skip to main content Accessibility help

Global cities, glocal fauna: animals and the urban British Atlantic, 1660–1800

  • Andrew Wells


This article has two principal aims. The first is to assess the usefulness of ‘glocalization’ as a concept in the study of early modern global cities, using human–animal interactions as a test case. The second is to explore the reciprocal influence that human–animal interactions and the development of global cities had on each other. Exploration of these two issues interrogates the frequently contradictory, often ambiguous and always contested nature of the early modern global city itself.


Corresponding author

*Corresponding author. Email:


Hide All

1 Bayly, C.A., ‘“Archaic” and “modern” globalization in the Eurasian and African arena, c. 1750–1850’, in Hopkins, A.G. (ed.), Globalization in World History (London, 2002), 48–9.

2 Robertson, R., Globalization: Social Theory and Global Culture (London, 1992).

3 English Mechanic and Mirror of Science, 15 Jan. 1869, p. i (emphasis mine).

4 ‘Futter, welches in England von jedem Sportsman angewandt wird’, Renn-Bulletin des ‘Sporn’, 8 Apr. 1876, 84. See also Sportblatt, 3 Apr. 1875, 116; Manchester Times, 4 Apr. 1868; The Kennel Club Calendar and Stud Book, 3 (1875), facing p. [i]; New York Times Magazine, 3 Aug. 2014, p. MM14.

5 Exceptions include Robbins, L.E., Elephant Slaves and Pampered Parrots: Exotic Animals in Eighteenth-Century Paris (Baltimore, 2002); C. Wischermann (ed.), Tiere in der Stadt, Special Issue of Informationen zur modernen Stadtgeschichte, 2 (2009); Guerrini, A., The Courtiers’ Anatomists: Animals and Humans in Louis XIV's Paris (Chicago, 2015); Plumb, C., The Georgian Menagerie: Exotic Animals in Eighteenth-Century London (London, 2015); Atkins, P. (ed.), Animal Cities: Beastly Animal Histories (Farnham, 2012); McNeur, C., Taming Manhattan: Environmental Battles in the Antebellum City (Cambridge, MA, 2014).

6 Anderson, V.DJ., Creatures of Empire (New York, 2004).

7 Giulianotti, R. and Robertson, R., ‘Glocalization’, in Ritzer, G. (ed.), Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Globalization (Chichester, 2012); Robertson, R., ‘Globalisation or glocalisation?’, Journal of International Communication, 18 (2012), 191208; Bauman, Z., ‘On glocalization: or globalization for some, localization for some others’, Thesis Eleven, 54 (1998), 3749; Roudometof, V., ‘Theorizing glocalization: three interpretations’, European Journal of Social Theory, 19 (2016), 391408; Brenner, N., ‘Global cities, glocal states: global city formation and state territorial restructuring in contemporary Europe’, Review of International Political Economy, 5 (1998), 137; Ritzer, G., ‘Rethinking globalization: glocalization/grobalization and something/nothing’, Sociological Theory, 21 (2003), 193209.

8 A.G. Hopkins, ‘Introduction: globalization – an agenda for historians’, in Hopkins (ed.), Globalization, 1–10; Bayly, ‘“Archaic” and “modern”’; Hopkins, A.G., American Empire: A Global History (Princeton, 2018), 2532.

9 See, for example, Wischermann (ed.), Tiere in der Stadt; Plumb, Georgian Menagerie; Atkins (ed.), Animal Cities.

10 See Howell, P., At Home and Astray: The Domestic Dog in Victorian Britain (Charlottesville, 2015), 124; P. Atkins, ‘Introduction’, in idem (ed.), Animal Cities, 1–17; McNeur, Taming Manhattan; Smith, K.K., Governing Animals: Animal Welfare and the Liberal State (New York, 2012); Tague, I.H., Animal Companions: Pets and Social Change in Eighteenth-Century Britain (University Park, PA, 2015); Wells, A., ‘Antisocial animals in the British Atlantic world: liminality and nuisance in Glasgow and New York City, 1660–1760’, in Wischermann, C., Steinbrecher, A. and Howell, P. (eds.), Animal History in the Modern City: Exploring Liminality (London, 2018), 5574.

11 Crosby, A.W., The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492 (Westport, 1972), ch. 2; Trigger, B.G. and Swagerty, W.R., ‘Entertaining strangers: North America in the sixteenth century’, in Trigger, B.G. and Washburn, W.E. (eds.), Cambridge History of the Native Peoples of the Americas, vol. I: North America. Part 1 (Cambridge, 1996), 361–9.

12 Minutes of the Common Council of the City of New York, 1675–1776, 8 vols. (New York, 1905) (MCC), vol. II, 74–5; Latimer, J., Annals of Bristol in the Seventeenth Century (Bristol, 1900), 267, 380, 441; Felix Farley's Bristol Journal (FFBJ), 27 Oct. 1787, 27 Sep. 1788.

13 Under the ‘Duke's Laws’ of 1667, every parish in New York was obliged to keep a pound. The National Archives of the UK (TNA) CO5/1142, fol. 116r. For pounds in Bristol, see Livock, D.M., City Chamberlains’ Accounts in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (Bristol, 1966), xxiii, 44, 106.

14 Little Red Book of Bristol, ed. F.B. Bickley, 2 vols. (Bristol, 1900), vol. II, 31–2; Great Red Book of Bristol, ed. E.W.W. Veale, 4 vols. (Bristol, 1931–53), vol. II, 144; Latimer, Seventeenth Century, 486; 11 Gul. III c. 23; 22 Geo. II c. 20; 28 Geo. III c. 65.

15 Anderson, Creatures of Empire, chs. 5 and 6; Christoph, P.R. and Christoph, F.A. (eds.), New York Historical Manuscripts: English. Books of General Entries of the Colony of New York, 1664–1673 (Baltimore, 1982), 319–20.

16 Denton, D., A Brief Description of New-York (London, 1670), 5.

17 The Colonial Laws of New York from the Year 1664 to the Revolution, 4 vols. (Albany, 1894) (Laws), vol. I, 618.

18 Ibid., vol. I, 781–2.

19 Court of Quarter Sessions, Convictions and Presentments, 1695–1728, Bristol Archives (BA) JQS/C/1, 52 (6 Oct. 1696).

20 A fuller account is found in Wells, ‘Antisocial animals’, 58–9.

21 Laws, vol. I, 82.

22 E.B. O'Callaghan and B. Fernow (eds.), Documents relative to the Colonial History of the State of New-York, 15 vols. (Albany, 1856–87) (DRCHNY), vol. XIV, 620; Laws, vol. I, 83.

23 See, for example, FFBJ, 5 May 1753, 6 July 1754; New York Mercury, 10 Mar. 1766; Ritvo, H., ‘Barring the cross: miscegenation and purity in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain’, in Fuss, D. (ed.), Human, All Too Human (New York, 1996), 3757.

24 Stokes, I.N.P., The Iconography of Manhattan Island, 6 vols. (New York, 1915–28), vol. IV, 548; TNA CO5/1222; Laws, vol. I, 996, vol. II, 297, 831, vol. III, 166.

25 Tague, Animal Companions; Plumb, Georgian Menagerie.

26 S. Farley's Bristol Journal, 16 Jan. 1748/49; FFBJ, 4 Nov. 1752, 18 Oct. 1755; New York Gazette, 3 Dec. 1759, 21 Dec. 1761; trade card of Thomas Cross (fl. 1781), BA MS 40442/85.

27 Tague, Animal Companions, 38; Estabrook, C., Urbane and Rustic England: Cultural Ties and Social Spheres in the Provinces, 1660–1780 (Stanford, 1998), 132–3.

28 FFBJ, 10 Nov. 1787.

29 TNA CUST3/28B (1726–28), fol. 38v; Tague, Animal Companions, 21; G. Edwards, Gleanings of Natural History, 3 vols. (1758–64), vol. II, 134.

30 Gelles, E.B., Letters of Abigail Levy Franks, 1733–1748 (New Haven, 2004), 104.

31 Brenner, ‘Global cities’, 6; Giulianotti, Richard and Robertson, Roland, ‘Forms of glocalization: globalization and the migration strategies of Scottish football fans in North America’, Sociology, 41 (2007), 134.

32 In 1700, for example, beaver fur was imported into England from New York, Hudson Bay, New England, Maryland and Virginia, Carolina, Newfoundland, Pennsylvania, Russia, Germany, Spain, Holland, Denmark and Norway and Barbados; beaver hats were exported to Portugal, Spain, New England, the East Indies, Holland, Barbados, the western Mediterranean, Pennsylvania, Jamaica, the Canaries, New York, France, Germany, Italy, Nevis, Flanders, Montserrat, the Baltic, Scotland, Turkey, Madeira, Russia, Antigua, Maryland, Africa and Ireland (both lists in descending order by value of imports/exports). TNA CUST3/4 (1700). See also Crean, J.F., ‘Hats and the fur trade’, Canadian Journal of Economics and Political Science, 28 (1962), 373–86; Clayton, J.L., ‘The growth and economic significance of the American fur trade, 1790–1890’, in Sleeper-Smith, S. (ed.), Rethinking the Fur Trade: Cultures of Exchange in the Atlantic World (Lincoln, NE, 2009), 160–80; Fisher, R., Contact and Conflict: Indian–European Relations in British Columbia, 1774–1890, 2nd edn (Vancouver, 1992), ch. 1.

33 Jacobs, J., The Colony of New Netherland (Ithaca, NY, 2009), 109–17; Alexander, W., An Encouragement to Colonies (London, 1624); Innis, H.A., The Fur Trade in Canada, rev. edn (Toronto, 1956), ch. 2.

34 Waterman, K.-J. (ed. and trans.), ‘To Do Justice to Him & Myself’: Evert Wendell's Account Book of the Fur Trade with Indians in Albany, New York, 1695–1726 (Philadelphia, 2008), 100, 196, 198.

35 This and the following two paragraphs are indebted to Norton, T.E., The Fur Trade in Colonial New York, 1686–1776 (Madison, WI, 1974).

36 Kammen, M., Colonial New York (New York, 1975), 106–7.

37 By 8 Geo. I c. 15.

38 Lawson, M.G., Fur: A Study in English Mercantilism, 1700–1775 (Toronto, 1943), 71.

39 TNA CUST3/27 (1725), fols. 42v, 165v–166r.

40 L.J. Bradley, ‘The London/Bristol trade rivalry’, University of Notre Dame Ph.D. thesis, 1971, 318–19. These percentages are calculated from averages, of the number of entries 1722–30 in London (143.8) and Bristol (47.6), and of the number of entries in the same period listing furs as cargo (19 and 6, respectively).

41 Holmes, G. and Szechi, D., The Age of Oligarchy, 1722–1783 (London, 1993), 379; Davis, R., The Rise of the English Shipping Industry in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, Research in Maritime History, 48 (St Johns, 2012), 26, App. A.

42 Bloch, al. (eds.), An Account of Her Majesty's Revenue in the Province of New York, 1701–09 (Ridgewood, NJ, 1966), 60, 97, 232, 271, 278; TNA CUST3/22–30, 82; Bradley, ‘London/Bristol’, 223–37; Matson, C., Merchants and Empire: Trading in Colonial New York (Baltimore, 1998), 93–6.

43 New York State Library, Albany (NYSL) Misc. MSS, AT7003, box 4, no. 58, Philip Livingston to Samuel Storke, 25 Mar. 1736. He did the same thing at the American end of the logistics chain, by shipping furs via Boston. See III, W.I. Roberts, ‘Samuel Storke: an eighteenth-century London merchant trading to the American colonies’, Business History Review, 39 (1965), 164.

44 C. Colden, ‘A memorial concerning the fur trade of the province of New York’ (1724), in DRCHNY, vol. V, 729; Morgan, K., Bristol and the Atlantic Trade in the Eighteenth Century (Cambridge, 1993), 96100.

45 Morgan, Bristol and the Atlantic Trade, 17 (table 1.2).

46 Corfield, P.J., ‘Dress for deference and dissent: hats and the decline of hat honour’, Costume, 23 (1989), 6479.

47 Oath of a Burgess (Bristol, 1672).

48 Innis, Fur Trade, 341; J.A. Hanson, ‘The myth of the silk hat and the end of the rendezvous’, in Sleeper-Smith (ed.), Rethinking the Fur Trade, 420–35.

49 Fischer, D.H., Liberty and Freedom (New York, 2005); Harden, J.D., ‘Liberty caps and liberty trees’, Past & Present, 146 (1995), 66102; Epstein, J., ‘Understanding the cap of liberty: symbolic practice and social conflict in early nineteenth-century England’, Past & Present, 122 (1989), 75118.

50 Schama, S., The Embarrassment of Riches (London, 1987), 69–70, 100.

51 On carroting, see Crean, ‘Hats and the fur trade’, 375, 379; Sonenscher, M., The Hatters of Eighteenth-Century France (Berkeley, 1987), ch. 6.

52 Cf. Harden, ‘Liberty caps’, 74. Examples of the wide-brimmed hat in English graphic arts include The Noble Stand: Or the Glorious CCIII (1733); N. Parr, The European Coursers, Heat 1 (1739/40); The Highlanders Medley, or, The Duke Trumphant (1746); and W. Hogarth, Four Prints of an Election: Plate 4, Chairing the Members (1754).

53 Harley, J.B., The New Nature of Maps: Essays in the History of Cartography (Baltimore, 2001), 110–47; Bouzara, N. and Conley, T., ‘Cartography and literature in early modern France’, in Woodward, D. (ed.), Cartography in the European Renaissance, Part 1 (Chicago, 2007), 428.

54 For a sale of ‘New-York Beaver’, see General Advertiser, 30 Oct. 1751. New York's merchant shipping included vessels named after fur-bearing animals, such as ‘Beaver’ and ‘Wolf’, or places with close ties to the fur trade, such as ‘Albany’ and ‘Oswego’. TNA CO5/1222, 1224, 1225.

55 Observations on a Paper, Intituled, ‘Some Considerations on the Importation and Exportation of Beaver’ ([London], 1752), [1].

56 Norton, Fur Trade, 106; DRCHNY, vol. V, 753; Lawson, Fur, 108, 135; Matson, Merchants and Empire, 222–6.

57 Such as ‘Betty’ and ‘Frank’, respectively a ‘negro slave’ and a ‘free negro’, who were convicted of stealing a brass kettle in 1719. R v. Betty and R v. Frank, 5 Aug. 1719. New York County Clerk's Office, Court of General Sessions Minutes, vol. 2 (1694–1731), 363; MCC, vol. I, 314–16.

58 Stokes, Iconography, vol. IV, 361; Voe, T.F. De, The Market Book, 2 vols. (New York, 1862), vol. I, 271; T.D. Beal, ‘Selling Gotham: the retail trade in New York City from the public market to Alexander T. Stewart's Marble Palace, 1625–1860’, SUNY Stony Brook Ph.D. thesis, 1998, 186, 222 n. 19.

59 NYSL AT7003, box 5, no. 94, Livingston to Storke & Gainsborough, 2 Jun. 1738; TNA CO5/1225.

60 TNA E190/1173/1, fol. 123v; TNA CO5/1224.

61 Calendar of State Papers, Colonial Series, 45 vols. (London, 1860–1994), vol. XIX (1701), 451–2.

62 Lawson, Fur, 3; Bellomont to Lords of Trade, 28 Nov. 1700, in DRCHNY, vol. IV, 789; TNA CUST3/3 (1699); TNA CUST3/6 (1702).

63 NYSL AT7003, box 4, no. 58, Livingston to Storke, 25 Mar. 1736.

64 The first use of the term is listed in the Oxford English Dictionary as made in 1683 by a New York fur trader, Robert Livingston. See OED, s.v. ‘stroud’.

Global cities, glocal fauna: animals and the urban British Atlantic, 1660–1800

  • Andrew Wells


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.