Falconry, the art of training falcons or other birds of prey for the chase, the sport itself being called in English hawking, in French le vol. A falconry is also the place where such birds are kept. The practice is very ancient in Europe, and yet more so in Asia. We have no mention of it among the Romans till after the time of Vespasian. It was certainly in existence in the 4th and 5th centuries. In Britain it appears to have been a favorite recreation in the reign of Ethelbert II. of Kent, A. D. 760. King Alfred had his falconers, and a book on falconry is still extant attributed to Edward the Confessor. Harold II. is represented in the Bayeux tapestry as visiting the court of Duke William of Normandy with a hawk on his fist. The Domesday book makes frequent mention of falconries and eyries for breeding. In the time of Henry II., William Knot, the king's tenant, paid his rent at the exchequer in three hawks and three gerfalcons. King John was devoted to the sport. Nicholas, a Dane, was to give the king a hawk every time he came trading to England. The sport died out in England in the time of the Stuarts. In France falconry was most practised in the time of Francis I. (1515-'47). His grand falconer had an annual revenue of 4,000 florins, and had under him 50 gentlemen and 50 falconers, the whole establishment costing annually 40,000 florins.

Under Louis XIV. the institution was yet more expensive. Louis XVI. tried in vain to reduce the expense of the royal falconry; but finally the revolution swept it away. In Germany the sport was honored in the reign of Frederick II., and in the 14th century fiefs called Habichtslehen, or hawk tenures, were granted on condition of payment in trained hawks. The sport retained its existence in Germany till toward the close of the 18th century. In Italy falconry was a favorite pastime. In the East, the Persians are skilful in training falcons to hunt all manner of birds, and even gazelles.-The vocabulary of hawking in England was as extensive as its ordinances, and several of its terms have been adopted into the language. Hawks' legs were their arms; their talons, pounces; wings, sails; the long feathers of the wings, beams; tail, the train; breast feathers, the mails; crop, the gorge. A cover for the bird's head was the hood. When the hawk fluttered to escape, it bated; to sleep was to jouk; to stretch one wing back was to mantle; to shake itself was to rouse; to recross its wings again was to warble; to tear the feathers from its prey was to plume; to raise its prey aloft before descending was to truss; to descend on its prey was to stoop; to fly off after crows was to check.

A living prey was quarry; when dead, pelt. Taming a bird was called reclaiming, by the French affaitage; and an old, stanch, pattern hawk was called a make-hawk. No rank was excluded from the enjoyment of hawking, but each condition of men must confine themselves to their peculiar grade of hawk and quarry. The sinecure office of grand falconer of England is hereditary in the family of the duke of St. Albans.-Among the most noted treatises on falconry is one written by Frederick II. of Germany (died in 1250), annotated by his son Manfred, and republished with several other treatises by J. G. Schneider in 1788 (2 vols., Leipsic). Others are: the famous Boke of St. Albans," by Lady Juliana Berners (fol., 1481), containing the Treatyses perteynyng to Hawkynge, Huntynge, and Fysshynge with an Angle;" Hieracosophion, vel de Re Accipitraria, a poem in three books, by De Thou (1584); La fau-connerie, by Charles d'Esperon (Paris, 1605); Latham on "Falconry" (1615-'18). Among the more recent works on the subject are Falconry in the British Isles," by Salvin and Brod-rick (London, 1855), and "Falconry, its Claims, History, and Practice," by G. E. Freeman (London, 1859).