Pig and human history timeline
1351 to 1500 AD
- Robert de Vere, 9th Earl of Oxford is killed by a boar while hunting.
- A leg of roast mutton sells in London butchers for as much as a farm worker earns in a day, and a whole roast pig sells for more than three times that amount, and is only affordable by Londoners prospering under the Hundred Years War with France.
- c. 1400s
- First production of a more refined metal — alloy pig iron — so called because the molten metal was cast into a series of stubby, round ingots known as pigs as they resembled, in the mold, a row of suckling piglets at their mother’s teats.
- 1412 (- 1416)
- One of the great art treasures of France, the TrËs Riches Heures, a medieval French “book of hours” is painted for the Duc de Berry, brother of King Charles V, by the Limbourg brothers, Paul, Hermann and Jean. The calendar panels mark the pinnacle of the art of medieval manuscript illumination. The panels for November depicts the autumn acorn harvest, with a peasant knocking down acorns on which his pigs are feeding while December shows a wild boar hunt in the forest of Vincennes with the boar being torn apart by the hounds.
- c. 1430
- The medieval tapestries know as the Devonshire Hunting Tapestries are created. They depict exquisite and lively scenes of armed men with spears and hunting dogs in pursuit of a tusked boar and other wild game.
- January 10
In the French town of Savigny-sur-tang, a sow and her six piglets are tried on charges of murdering and partially eating a child. The sow is found guilty and sentenced to death, but the piglets are released on account of their youth, the bad example set by their mother and as there was no direct evidence that they had taken part in the eating of the victim.
- c. 1478
- The Spanish Inquisition (1478-1834) is begun by the monarchy in order to find and punish converted Jews and Muslims who secretly practiced their original religion. As both faiths forbade the eating of pork, any obvious distaste for pork is viewed as heretical. Christian converted Jews who secretly practice their original faith are referred to as Marranos (the word originally meant pigs) and are the subject of particular interest by Spain’s future queen, then Isabella of Castile. The Inquisition will soon be broadened to include all manner of “heretics.” and every Spaniard would come to fear its power.
- c. 1480
- Louis XI of France, “The Cruel,” is often melancholy, but can be cheered up by a troop of pigs, dressed in cloths and wigs, who dance and sing when stuck with pins. Not satisfied with the above entertainment, Louis XI orders the Abbot of Baigne, an inventor of musical instruments, to create for him a “concert of swines’ voices.” The Abbot builds an organical instrument comprised of a collection of pigs of various ages hidden under a velvet coverlet beside which was placed a table and a keyboard arranged so that, when the keys were pressed, little spikes pricked the pigs and made them call out in a planned order and consonance. Louis XI was delighted.
- Pigsties are officially banned from the streets of Frankfurt, Germany for reasons of sanitation.
- The Bishop of LiËge [Belgium] is killed by Guillaume de la Marck, nicknamed “the Wild Boar of the Ardennes,” a Belgian soldier under the command of Louis XI of France.
- Richard III usurps the throne of England. His nickname is “The Hog,” and his cognizance a white wild boar.
- Inn keepers throughout England with signs that include a heraldic boar, especially in white as in the colour of Richard III’s arms, hurriedly paint their boars blue, the Earl of Oxford’s colour, when Henry VII, defeats and kills Richard III at Bosworth Field (August 22) and is proclaimed king, ending the Wars of the Roses in England.
- 1493 (- 1496)
- Spain’s Queen Isabella (Isabella of Castile) insists that Christopher Columbus carry hand-picked hogs across the Atlantic on his second voyage to the “New World”. He transports eight pigs to Hispaniola. These pigs, originally left on Haiti, were later transported to the North American mainland forming the first domestic and wild populations there.