Esoteric London

No. 781: Cheapside, EC2

Posted in Friezes, Wildlife by esotericlondon on February 25, 2013

© Roger Dean RED_7982 copy

Cheapside, London, EC2. Photo © Roger Dean 2013

Curiosities of London Life: or, Phases, Physiological and Social, of the Great Metropolis – Charles Manby Smith, 1853:

There is an old Billy goat, with a long beard, which ought to be grey, though it isn’t, who is the progenitor of half the guardian goats in London. We say guardian goats, because there exists a superstition among the ostlers, grooms, and stable-keepers in London, by which goats of all grades enjoy protection and good treatment; it is supposed that the presence of a goat in a stable, or in that cancatenation of stables called a mews, secures all the horses there stabled from the attacks of certain diseases to which they would otherwise be liable. Hence Billy or Nanny is a pet in the stable-yard, and is so well fed and well used that he or she is familiar with all and afraid of nobody.

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