The Stamford Bull Run was a bull-running event held every year on St. Brice’s Day (November 13) in Stamford, Lincolnshire, England. The Run began during the reign of King John (1199-1266).
Festivities began with the ringing of the bells of St. Mary’s Church at 10:45 am. All shops closed, and townspeople cordoned the street with wagons, carts, and barricades. At 11:00 am, they released a bull to run down the street, baited by drunken crowds and a man rolling towards it in a barrel.
The crowd then chased the bull into Bull-Meadow or the River Welland, where it was caught, killed, and fed to the poor.
Criticism of the Run and attempts to end it began in the late 1700s. In 1833, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals attempted to ban the Run but met stiff resistance. In 1836, a mob attacked a police officer and the home of a Bull Run opponent. A trial ensued, and the Court convicted three defendants. Authorities brought in police and military to stop the Run in 1837, but crowds, and the bull, simply ran through the security line.
By 1839, authorities had enough. They deployed sufficient police and military, and the Run was of very short duration. This, coupled with Stamford residents tiring of paying the Run’s costs, including the costs of militia, made November 13, 1839, Bull Run the last.