Sir Joshua Jebb's Pen of Prize Lambs
Crime, Nutrition, Sanitation, Health, Animal Husbandry, Breeding, Psychology
Describes the exhibits 'At the Metropolitan Fat-Cattle Show, Dec. 1862' of Joshua Jebb, the surveyor-general of prisons. Pays particular attention to 'the Dartmoor or Portland variety of the old black-legged, coarse-featured, bull-headed, thick-necked Newgate Breed'—an allusion to the fact that Jebb designed Dartmoor Prison and Portland Prison. The report describes the inmates in Jebb's prisons as if they were lambs. These 'lambs' are judged to be 'the most perfect examples yet seen of what may be done to develope the animal by careful selection of the stock' and by subjecting the 'animal' to good conditions of 'health and comfort'. Compares the 'old Newgate breed', that is generally 'uncared for', to Jebb's animals, who 'are the very perfection of development' and have the 'general air of content and well-being'. Warns, however, that his are a 'very costly breed' who tend to 'break bounds and run wild', but adds that Jebb has successfully dissipated the idea that 'lambs of this class ought to be kept hard', and that large numbers of his animals have been safely let loose and won the praise of senior judges. (243) Proceeds to praise the good feeding and the healthy conditions that Jebb's lambs enjoy, but expresses concern that this breeding may create 'inflammatory tendencies' (243–44).
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020
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