A world expert on mules is appealing for help to trace the history of mules in Britain.
Professor William Clarence-Smith spoke at the finale of Donkey Week 2014 in Sidmouth.
He explained how pockets of mules existed in the East Midlands in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, and in Cornwall and South Wales, but says that how and where and why the animals were used and exactly how they were spread across Britain remains a mystery.
He has appealed for your documents, family archives and photographs to illuminate his research.
The academic from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) University of London says: “There is a big gap in understanding in the global history of mules and mules in Britain. It was said that there were no mules in Britain- but that is just nonsense! I’m keen to know why they were located in some places and not others and it’s not obvious. We know about those in Cornwall and South Wales, which might be to do with mining- but there is something else! There was quite a concentration in aristocratic houses in the East midlands during the 17th to 19th centuries, for example.”
If you can help Professor Clarence-Smith, an expert on animals in war and in Asian economics and history, he would be most grateful and you could help contribute to cutting-edge research. Please contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org