An Elephant In 17th Century Dublin


Unfortunately, on the night of Friday the 17th of June 1681, things went disastrously wrong for this zoological enterprise. At approximately 3am the wooden booth [near the Custom House on Parliament Street] caught fire and was quickly enveloped by flames. The elephant, trapped inside, was overcome by the fire and smoke. News of the elephant’s death soon drew a large crowd of onlookers, many of whom had not been able to see the living animal due to the high admission price. It was a motley crew and things soon got out of hand. As the flames died down many of the onlookers rushed forward and attempted to carry parts of the dead animal away.

The Death Of An Elephant, Dublin, 1681 (Irish Archaeology)

Thanks Colm

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