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When is the Glorious Twelfth?
The Glorious Twelfth falls on August 12 every year. It marks the first days of the grouse shooting season. The shooting was popular among the aristocrats and the upper class of the Victorian Society.
The members of the upper class of society went hunting to shoot game in the country. Usually, they went with an entourage of staff, dogs to retrieve the game and people to load their guns.
Girls who couldn’t shine during the debutante season used this opportunity to win hearts with their riding and hunting skills. The game season caused a lot of controversy due to the safety of the sport to both, the people and the animals and birds.
Because of this, a number of laws were introduced. The first law which was introduced was in the Game Act in 1773, which said when people could and couldn’t shoot game.
Acts and Licenses Placed for Shooting Game
The Act said that no one could hunt or but ‘black-game’ or ‘red-game’ also called grouse between December 10 and August 12. Hence August 12 was celebrated as the first day of the hunting season even though it was formally not called The Glorious Twelfth.
There were fines in place anyone violated the Game Act. People were fined between ten and tweet pounds, depending on the offense. After that, many license laws changed. The first one was in 1831 where another Game Act was introduced.
This one said that a person required a license to hunt any form of bird or animal which included game, woodcock, snipe, coney or any deer. This law put an end to the Royal Forests which was the monarch’s hunting ground.
The Sport Becomes Popular
The Victorian Era saw a surge in the game shooting in the 1850s. This was because of the railway networks which helped connect the entire kingdom as well as the increase in the number of motor vehicles on the roads.
There was also a better financial situation for the middle-class and the upper class which helped them afford to staff and dogs for the hunting season and sometimes, as well as houses in the countryside.
There were new guns introduced which piqued the interest of the people. As a result, more people started shooting because of the ease with which they could handle the new guns.
Impact of the Wars on the Glorious Twelfth
Due to the wars, there was a need for rationing food. The supplies were cut. Due to this, more people started to shoot game for food. Hence, from an aristocratic sport of leisure, hunting became necessary for survival.
Farmers and factory owners invited their employees to shoot game in large parties. This was a win-win situation. The landowners got rid of the vermin and the employees got food.
After the War
After the war, these parties were still around and went on to become shooting clubs around London.
The Glorious Twelfth in the 21st Century
Currently, the Glorious twelfth still holds a lot of importance and brings in revenue for the government of the United Kingdom.
Scotland generates 30 million pounds a year with shooting tourism and the UK earns an overall 150 million pounds. The red-game is the most popular bird for shooting.