Salisbury, Lion Attacks the Exeter Stage Coach, Horn Beaker
On the night of October 20,1816, the London to Exeter mail coach pulled into The Winterslow Hut, now the Pheasant Inn, between Salisbury and Andover. Nicknamed "Quicksilver" due to its speed, the coach was carrying mail, a mail coach guard, paying passengers and a driver. As it drew into the inn, a lioness emerged from the undergrowth and attacked the lead horse of the Quicksilver, clawing the horse's neck and chest. Two of the passengers of the coach fled to the inn and locked themselves inside, blocking the door against the remaining passenger and driver, while the mail guard, one Joseph Pike, attempted to shoot the animal with his blunderbuss.The animal had escaped from Ballard's travelling menagerie, which had stopped for the night nearby and the keepers were chasing it along with a large mastiff dog, which arrived at the scene and set upon the lioness.The lioness then released the horse and attacked the dog, chasing and finally killing it and the menagerie's keepers eventually trapped the animal under a granary.
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