Historically interesting pubs

1703: The barmaid eaten by a tiger – The White Lion, Malmesbury

tigerThe inquisitive and eagle-eyed among you will have noted this story appear recently on the drinks business.

An intriguing fable, local legend in Malmesbury maintains that a barmaid at the White Lion pub was the first person in Britain eaten by a tiger.

A travelling menagerie stopped for a while in the Wiltshire town in October 1703 and set up their animals for display in the courtyard of the pub.

Hannah Twynnoy, the barmaid in question, spent the next few days provoking the tiger by various means despite a warning from its keeper.

One day the tiger, suitably enraged by the antics of the foolish woman, broke free from its cage and killed her.

Her gravestone still stands in the churchyard but, intriguingly, no mention of her exists in the parish records. A plaque in a nearby village church gave an explanation of her death and was copied down but the plaque itself went missing many years ago.

The pub still exists but is, sadly, no longer a pub having been turned into a private home in the 1960s.

2 Responses to “Historically interesting pubs”

  1. Philip Johnson says:

    Nell Gwynn cumly? How very revealing, Dictionary or decent sub-editor required.

  2. jenna says:

    It was the other way around. Rosalind Franklin first showed the X-ray experiment. Then Watson and Crick get “inspired” to postulate the double helix. #womeninscience…

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