Anecdotes of the Manners and Customs of London during the Eighteenth Century; Vol. 2 (of 2) Including the Charities, Depravities, Dresses, and Amusements etc. by Malcolm, James Peller

Transcriber's Notes: Words in italics in the original are surrounded by _underscores_. A row of asterisks represents a thought break. A complete list of corrections as well as other notes follows the text.




















John Nichols and Son, Printers, Red Lion Passage, Fleet Street, London.




CHAP. V. Page.

Public Methods of raising Money exemplified in Notices relating to Lotteries, Benefit Societies, &c. 1


The Religious and Political Passions of the Community illustrated by Anecdotes of popular Tumults 11


Amusement--Detail of its principal Varieties since 1700 107


Anecdotes of Dress, and of the Caprices of Fashion 312


Domestic Architecture traced from its origin to its present improved state in London--Lighting and improving of Streets--Obstructions in them--Ornaments, &c. 358


Sketch of the present State of Society in London 406




The Plates of Dress (chronologically) 312

Croydon Palace } Brick Gateway near Bromley } 364

The Views of Antient and Modern Houses 366

The general Views 404



The community of London had superior advantages an hundred years past in the State Lotteries, though, if interested Office-keepers could be credited, the Londoners of the present Century enjoy greater gaming privileges than the world ever yet produced. The reader shall judge between the schemes of 1709 and 1807. The Post Boy of December 27 says, "We are informed that the Parliamentary Lottery will be fixed in this manner:--150,000 tickets will be delivered out at 10_l._ each ticket, making in all the sum of 1,500,000_l._ sterling; the principal whereof is to be sunk, the Parliament allowing nine _per cent._ interest for the whole during the term of 32 years, which interest is to be divided as follows: 3750 tickets will be prizes from 1000_l._ to 5_l. per annum_ during the said 32 years; all the other tickets will be blanks, so that there will be 39 of these to one prize, but then each blank ticket will be entitled to fourteen shillings a year for the term of 32 years, which is better than an annuity for life at ten _per cent._ over and above the chance of getting a prize." Such was the eagerness of the publick in subscribing to the above profitable scheme, that Mercers-hall was literally crowded, and the Clerks were found incompetent to receive the influx of names. 600,000_l._ was subscribed January 21; and on the 28th of February the sum of 1,500,000_l._ was completed.

The rage for Lotteries reigned uncontrouled; and the newspapers of the day teemed with proposals issued by every ravenous adventurer who could collect a few valuable articles; and from those shopkeepers took the hint, and goods of every description were converted into prizes, even neckcloths, snuff-boxes, toothpick-cases, linen, muslin, and plate. The prices of tickets were generally sixpence, a shilling, half a crown, &c. At the latter end of the year just mentioned, the Magistrates, being alarmed, declared their intention of putting the Act of William and Mary in force, which levied a penalty of 500_l._ on the proprietor, and 20_l._ on each purchaser. In the tenth of Queen Anne another Act was passed for suppressing private Lotteries, which was followed by a second to prevent excessive and deceitful gaming.

Matthew West, a Goldsmith, of Clare-street, Clare-market, appears to have been the man who first divided Lottery-tickets into shares. He advertised in 1712, that he had sold 100 tickets in the million and an half Lottery in twentieths, and purposed pursuing his plan, which was well received.

The Lottery for 1714 contained 50,000 tickets at 10_l._ each, with 6982 prizes and 43,018 blanks; two of the former were 10,000_l._ with one of 5, another of 4000_l._ a third of 3000_l._ and a fourth of 2000_l._ five of 1000_l._ ten of 500_l._ twenty of 200_l._ fifty of 100_l._ four hundred of 50_l._ and six thousand four hundred and ninety-one of 20_l._

Besides the drawing for prizes and blanks, there was another for the course of payment, and each 1000 tickets was called a course. The payments to the receivers were on the 10th of November and 10th of December 1713. When the Tickets were drawn, they were exchanged for standing orders, and thus rendered assignable by endorsement; all the blanks were repaid the 10_l. per_ ticket at one payment, in the order their course of payment happened to fall, and they bore an interest of four _per cent._ from Michaelmas 1713. The prizes were payable in the same manner: the first drawn ticket had 500_l._; the last 1000_l._ besides the general chance; 35,000_l. per annum_ was payable weekly from the Exchequer to the Paymaster for the discharge of the principal and interest, and the whole funds of the Civil List were chargeable for thirty-two years for 35,000_l. per annum_.

To shew the difference between past and present methods, it may be worth while to insert a modern scheme.

"State Lottery begins drawing October 13, 1806, containing more Capital Prizes, and 5000 less Tickets, than last Lottery. The first drawn Ticket entitled to 10,000_l._; all other Capital Prizes are afloat. Purchasers of Tickets and Shares will have the opportunity of obtaining all the Capital Prizes, provided they purchase before the drawing commences. The Scheme has equal advantages of 20,000_l._ Prizes, 10,000_l._ Prizes, 5,000_l._ Prizes, &c. &c. to former Lotteries of double the number of Tickets.

No. of Prizes. Value of each: Total Value. 3 of £.20,000 are £.60,000 3 10,000 30,000 3 5,000 15,000 5 1,000 5,000 8 500 4,000 20 100 2,000 40 50 2,000 4,100 20 82,000 ------ --------- 20,000 Tickets. £.200,000

20,000 Tickets only, and no other State Lottery to be drawn this year."


The first mention of any thing of this kind I have met with is in the year 1708, under the name of the "Taylors' Friendly Society" for insuring the lives of Adults and Children male and female; which was held at the Cross Keys, Wych-street; and the Trustees met twice in each month, when 1500 persons had subscribed 5_s._ each, including policies, stamps, entrance, and first claim; and continued their payments three years. They became entitled to relief in case of illness or poverty, and their Executors after death to 200_l._ Another Society was connected with it, and termed the "Amicable Society," the terms 5_s._ 6_d._ and 2_s. per_ quarter; for which relief was afforded, and 120_l._ paid at the decease of the Subscriber.

Another, called "The Fortunate Office," was intended to provide marriage-portions for the Subscribers, who paid 2_s. per_ quarter for their tickets.

A sort of Tontine had its origin in 1709 under the name of "The Lucky Seventy, or the longest livers take all." It was declared to issue out of the Annuities granted or to be granted by Parliament for the term of 99 years; the sum subscribed 10_l._ or as many tens as the Subscriber chose. The income was immediate, tax free, and payable half-yearly during the lives of their respective nominees. The office was held at Haberdashers Hall.

An office was opened in Theobald-road, 1710, which, if really answerable to the statement announcing it, promised great benefit to the lower classes of the community; and was highly honourable to the dignified Clergy, eminent Physicians, Surgeons, and Counsellors at Law, who founded and supported it. Those persons, taking into consideration the difficulty the poor laboured under of procuring medical and surgical assistance and legal advice, offered to afford prescriptions and opinions for one shilling on delivering a case, and one other shilling at receiving the answer, which payments they declared would be applied only to the actual expences of the office.

The success of these schemes sharpened the invention of the thrifty; and immediately almost every street in London abounded with Insurance offices, where policies for infants three months old might be obtained for short periods. From those they diverged into other ages and various descriptions of persons. Their reign, however, appears to have been but short; as I meet with very few advertisements of the kind in 1712. One specimen may be worth preserving: "By the United Friendly and Perpetual Society, at the Naked Boy, the corner of Battle-bridge, in Tooley-street, Southwark, on Thursday the 25th instant, will be opened two offices on Marriages for three months, on Claims two, upon Births for two months, and two on Servants for three months on dividends." Another will verify the "Wisdom of Nations" in the adage of "Set a Thief, &c.:" indeed, the Gentleman writer lets us into the whole secret at once.

"From the _antient_ and _most reputable_ sale of Alphabetical Letters at the Golden Ball in Whalebone-court, Lothbury, fronting the end of Bartholomew-lane: Whereas several as well _impudent_ as ignorant pretenders have of late erected offices of various methods, and under several denominations, proposing such prodigious profits, in making so many several returns of _cent. per cent._ for each principal sum paid into them, that it is even _miraculous_ to those of the greatest capacities in these undertakings how or with what _assurance_ they could ever pretend to publish the same; but now it is presumed every one who has any _concerns_ in matters of this kind are thoroughly sensible of the difference between _honest_ and well-regulated schemes (_as this is_) and those _chimerical_ ones which are only set up on purpose to be a glittering show of profit, where the end fails of the expectation. The failures of some of this kind, and the probability of _all_ such methods taking the same course, _has been the only motive_ of publishing this; the proposer hereof not having advertised in print these eight months, though his sale has been of nine months standing, and has paid for re-bought letters to his subscribers out of the same upwards of 29,600_l._ never paying less than double for _all_ money paid in, and that in a very short time. Proposals may be had _gratis_ at the _Sale_ aforesaid, _all_ the books being now open for subscriptions. And on Thursday the 22d instant will be opened a subscription-book, where any person may subscribe _what sum he or they please_, and receive the _principal and profit_ entire in three months, proposals of which will be delivered out the same day. This book is of the same nature with our other books; only in this, whatever sum is subscribed must be paid down with 12_d._ for each pound entrance, whereas in the other the money is paid weekly, which is a great trouble to those who cannot spare so much time."

I think I may congratulate my fellow-citizens on the improvement in our morals after their perusal of the following modest production:

"Observe well this Advertisement,

Which comes from the old and original Sale of the Queen's picture (_Qu._ the Guinea), the very next house to the George Inn, Coleman-street, London. There having been of late great discourse about offices, _and I cannot but say great reason to suspect their honesty_ (_some not designing any_), and others who knew not how to be honest, _being they wanted experience_, which business requires a regular method to be observed, occasions me to satisfy the world that the sale of the Queen's picture has been maintained this three quarters of a year, the payment every Saturday paid honourably and justly, which thousands can testify, and which is a plain demonstration of its continuance; _good payments being the only security_ in these cases. I have all along acquainted every single person concerned that I will maintain it as long _as it is possible_ to be preserved; _whenever it decays_, I have promised them all from the very beginning to summon all my purchasers together, and _to distribute what is left_ among them. This method I have taken; and I defy _any one to say it is unjust_, and I will surely perform it. Pray take good notice we begin this present Thursday to enter again, and shall continue until Saturday the 7th of June. On that day we shall also pay above 500_l._"

One of the schemes which preceded the Bubbles of 1720 was an Insurance-office for Lottery-tickets, opened at Mercers'-hall; and 120,000_l._ was actually subscribed on the following terms: for every ninety-six tickets insured the proprietors agreed to allow to the Company (after the tickets were drawn) 16_s. per_ ticket, and 5 _per cent._ on such prizes as occurred to the ninety-six tickets, the Company returning the tickets, and in case the prizes did not amount to 288_l._ valuing the prizes at _par_; the Company to make up the money 3_l._ for every ticket. For every forty-eight tickets the proprietors agreed to allow 19_s. per_ ticket, and 5 _per cent._ on the prizes as above; the Company making up the tickets 144_l._ or 3_l. per_ ticket, and so on down to twelve tickets. The proprietors of the tickets to advance no money for this security; but, when drawn, to allow as above; the tickets to be deposited with the Company, and placed by them under seal in the Bank of England; if not called for in ninety days after the drawing, to be forfeited.

We have at length reduced these schemes to a few honourable Insurance-offices for Lives and Property; and Benefit Societies have been sanctioned by the Legislature.



The first violent effervescence of party after the year 1700 originated from the intemperance of certain Sectaries, who omitted no opportunity of attacking the Established Church; one of the members of which, Sacheverell, equally intemperate, contrived to raise the Demon of Discord throughout the Nation by Sermons calculated to make all good Churchmen detest him. In these half religious, half political contests, the populace uniformly arrange themselves on the side of Liberty--that Liberty which prompts them to assume the reins of Justice, and to dispense it according to the best of their shallow judgments; but their whips are firebrands, and indiscriminate destruction is substituted for the terrors of the Law; _their_ Culprits are seized at the instigation of some infamous leader, and punishment is inflicted before passion subsides. While Sacheverell's trial was depending in 1709-10, the many-headed monster of this monstrous Metropolis thought proper to pronounce sentence on the harmless wainscot, pews, and other woodwork of Mr. Burgess's Meeting, near Lincoln's-inn-fields, whither they were conveyed and burnt. When this wicked exploit was accomplished, and they had contrived to kill a young man in their undistinguishing fury, they proceeded to Fetter and Leather lanes, and several other places in which Meetings were situated; and would probably have committed incredible mischief, had not the Queen's guards dispersed them, and seized several of the ringleaders; one of whom was tried and condemned, but afterwards reprieved. Some of those infatuated men stopped coaches in the streets, to demand money of the passengers, to drink Sacheverell's health; which occasioned an official communication from the Queen to the Lord Mayor. Her Majesty declared her knowledge of the riots, bonfires, illuminations, the assaults and stoppage of coaches to demand money, in opposition to her Proclamation, and in contempt of the proceedings of the High Court of Parliament; and that she was credibly informed that great part of those lawless proceedings were committed through the culpable inactivity of the Magistracy; at which she expressed great displeasure; and concluded by charging the Mayor and City Officers, at their peril, to apprehend all persons exciting tumults and hawking seditious papers through the streets for sale. To the above letter the Corporation addressed an humble answer, observing that the insolent attacks on the Constitution and Her Majesty's Prerogative, by the publication of books and pamphlets intended to infuse Republican tenets in the minds of her subjects, had roused them to a consideration of their fatal tendency; they therefore declared their detestation of such doctrines, their determination to support the Protestant succession, and, in obedience to her commands, to suppress all riotous assemblies, and to oppose with undaunted vigour all attempts to disturb the peace of her reign, or the serenity of her Royal mind, at home and abroad.

The Queen addressed a similar complaint to the Magistrates of Middlesex; and received assurances of support from them, those of Westminster, and the Lieutenancy of London.

_After these professions_ of prevention, riots occurred on the 14th of October, 1710, with the watch-word of "Sacheverell and High Church;" and the mob beat off the Constables with brands from the numerous bonfires they had lighted.

The month of November teemed with the seeds of riot; but the vigilance of Government was then excited, and secret means employed to discover those preparatives by which the mob were to be set in motion. Some of the emissaries employed on this occasion gave information that a house near Drury-lane contained certain effigies, intended to represent the Pope, the Pretender, and the Devil; this trio were accompanied by four Cardinals, four Jesuits, and four Monks, who were to have been exhibited in due state on the evening of November 17, the anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's accession, and then burnt, in testimony of the abhorrence entertained against the Head of the Roman Catholic faith, his engine for establishing it again in England, and his Majesty of the Infernal regions, together with the inferior instruments of the dissemination of his doctrines. Thus informed, Government preferred opposing _such_ public support of _their_ cause, and wisely intimated by their conduct that they were willing to rest it on the conscience of each individual of the community, rather than terrify _wavering_ Protestants into their measures: in consequence, they issued orders to seize the figures; which being promptly obeyed, the Messengers and guards conveyed them in safety to the Earl of Dartmouth's office, by whose means the sentence of the mob was probably more _privately_ performed, and the evening passed away without any particular occurrence. This event was eagerly seized upon by the partizans of the day; those of Government discovering in it the _stamina_ of a thousand horrors intended to involve the Roman Catholicks and the Established Church in one grand ruin; those of the Antimonarchical side deeming the intended procession a mere common occurrence, occasionally resorted to by the populace with the best motives. By _us_, who have known the infernal proceedings accompanying the cry of "No Popery," riots of any kind must be dreaded; and we cannot but approve the vigilance of the then Government in terminating the existence of an expiring habit, whose vigorous movements were marked in the following disgusting "Account of the burning the Pope at Temple-bar in London, the 17th of November 1679;" an account that compels us to hail with ten-fold reverence the auspicious Revolution of 1688, that defined the boundaries of the Sovereign's and the People's right. At the present period, praised be Heaven! a _Jury_ of twelve men would make the instigators of such a procession tremble: and every Protestant in the City would fly from it with indignation; and yet with all our modern mildness the faith in question gains no proselytes:--a memorable _memento_ of the liberality of the age[15:A]!

"Upon the 17th of November the bells began to ring about three o'clock in the morning in the City of London; and several _honourable_ and _worthy_ gentlemen belonging to the Temple as well as the City, (remembering the burning both of London and the Temple, which was apparently executed by Popish villainy[16:A]) were pleased to be at the charge of an extraordinary triumph, in commemoration of that blessed Protestant Queen, which was as follows: In the evening of the said day, all things being prepared, the _solemn_ procession began from Moorgate, and so to Bishopsgate-street, and down Hounsditch to Aldgate, through Leadenhall-street, Cornhill, by the Royal Exchange, through Cheapside, to Temple-bar, in order following.

1st. Marched six whifflers, in pioneers' caps and red waistcoats.

2. A bellman, ringing his bell, and with a _dolesome_ voice crying all the way "Remember Justice Godfrey."

3. A _dead body_, representing Justice Godfrey in the habit he usually wore, and the cravat wherewith he was murdered about his neck, _with spots of blood_ on his wrists, breast, and shirt, and white gloves on his hands, his face pale and wan, riding upon a white horse, and one of his murderers behind him to keep him from falling, in the same manner as he was carried to Primrose-hill.

4. A Priest came next, in a surplice and a cope embroidered _with dead men's sculls_ and bones and _skeletons_, who gave out pardons very plentifully to all that would murder Protestants, and proclaiming it meritorious.

5. A Priest alone, with a large silver cross.

6. Four Carmelite Friars, in white and black habits.

7. Four Grey Friars, in their proper habits.

8. Six Jesuits, carrying _bloody daggers_.

9. Four wind-musick, called the waits, playing all the way.

10. Four Bishops, in purple, with _lawn_ sleeves, and golden crosses on their breasts, and crosiers in their hands.

11. Four other Bishops, in their _pontificalibus_, with _surplices_ and rich-embroidered copes, and golden mitres on their heads.

12. Six Cardinals, in scarlet robes and caps.

13. Then followed the Pope's chief Physician, with Jesuits powder in one hand and an _urinal_ in the other.

14. Two Priests in surplices, with two golden crosses.

"Lastly, the Pope, in a glorious pageant or chair of state, covered with scarlet; the chair being richly embroidered and bedecked with golden balls and crosses. At his feet was a cushion of state; and two boys sat on each side the Pope in surplices, with white silk banners painted with red crosses and _bloody consecrated daggers_ for murdering Protestant kings and princes, with an incense-pot before them censing his Holiness. The Pope was arrayed in a rich scarlet gown lined through with ermines and adorned with gold and silver lace, with a triple-crown on his head, and a glorious collar of gold and precious stones about his neck, and St. Peter's keys, a great quantity of beads, _Agnus Dei's_, and other Catholic trumpery about him. At his back stood the _Devil_, his Holiness's privy-counsel, hugging and whispering him all the way, and often instructing him aloud to destroy his Majesty, to contrive a pretended Presbyterian plot, and to fire the City again; to which purpose he held an infernal torch in his hand. The whole procession was attended with 150 torches and flambeaus by order; but there were so many came in volunteers as made the number to be several thousands. Never were the balconies, windows, and houses more filled, nor the streets more thronged, with multitudes of people, all expressing their abhorrence of Popery with _continual shouts and acclamations_; so that in the whole progress of their procession by a modest computation it is judged there could be no less than 200,000 spectators.

"Thus with a slow and solemn state in some hours they arrived at Temple-bar, where all the houses seemed to be converted into heaps of men, women, and children, who were diverted with variety of excellent fire-works. It is known that Temple-bar since its rebuilding is adorned with four stately statues of Stone, two on each side the Gate; those towards the City representing Queen Elizabeth and King James, and the other two towards the Strand King Charles I. and King Charles II.: now, in regard of the day, the statue of Queen Elizabeth was adorned with a crown of gilded laurel on her head, and in her hand, a golden shield with this motto inscribed thereon, "The Protestant Religion, Magna Charta." Several lighted torches were placed before her, and the Pope brought up near the gate.

"Having entertained the thronging spectators for some time with ingenious fire-works, a very great bonfire was prepared at the Inner Temple-gate; and his Holiness, after some compliments and reluctances, was decently tumbled into the flames; the _Devil_ who till then accompanied him left him in the lurch, and, laughing, gave him up to his deserved fate. This last act of his Holiness's tragedy was attended with a prodigious shout of the joyful spectators. The same evening there were bonfires in most streets of London, and universal acclamations, crying, "Let Popery perish, and Papists with their plots and counter-plots be for ever confounded. _Amen._"

_Protestant Postboy, Nov. 20, 1711._

The brutal ferocity of the scenes just described appeared in a more matured state in the acts of an inconsiderable part of the populace in 1712: indeed, had their numbers or their courage equalled the fiend-like qualities of their souls, the consequences must have been dreadful to the publick. Fortunately, however, there were but fifty _Mohawks_, and their cowardice made them an easy prey to justice; but not before they had committed the most unheard-of excesses, of which the wounds they inflicted with their swords on the peaceable passenger of the streets at night were the least. They treated women in a manner too brutal for a man of the least spirit to repeat, and their exploits were marked in every other respect with the violation of decency: Modesty and Innocence became their victims, Impudence and Lasciviousness they patronized and protected. The Queen issued a Proclamation on this hateful occasion pregnant with just resentment, and offered a reward of 100_l._ for the apprehension of any of the offenders. The Gazette of March 18, 1711, mentions that Sir William Thomas, Bart. had been apprehended (who was accompanied by two men then unknown) for assaulting a gentleman in St. James's Park between nine and ten at night on the 15th, and calls on the injured person to appear in evidence before the Secretary of State: but whether the charge applies to the above outrages is not discoverable from the notice. April 19 following the Gazette mentions seven men and seven women who had been assaulted.

At the Quarterly Sessions of that period the Justices had received orders to put the law in force against Vice and Immorality; and in consequence of a petition from the inhabitants of Covent-garden, complaining of the indecency and riots of the loose women and their male followers in the vicinity of the Theatre, they issued warrants for their apprehension. The execution of those were violently opposed; and the Justices were compelled to state to the Privy Council and the Lord Lieutenant of Middlesex, that the Constables were dreadfully maimed, and one mortally wounded by Ruffians aided by 40 Soldiers of the guards, who entered into a combination to protect the women.

In May, Lord Inchinbroke, Sir Mark Cole, and some others, were found guilty on the charge of being principals in some or other of the above vile proceedings. After having complimented Government on the propriety of preventing the populace from publicly burning effigies, it would be injustice to the latter not to acknowledge they might have pleaded high authority for doing it. On the 5th of November 1712, the Queen's guards made a bonfire before the gates of St. James's Palace; into which the Pretender's effigy was thrown and shot at. Such is Human Nature! The Lord Mayor appears, however, to have done his duty, by requesting his fellow citizens to keep at home on the night of the anniversary of Elizabeth's accession.

One of the oddest occurrences I have yet met with under this head was a political contest between the Whig and Tory Footmen, who served the Members of the House of Commons. These worthy patriots had inviolably observed a custom, for many years previous to 1715, of imitating their masters in the choice of a Speaker, modestly conceiving themselves a deliberative body. Now, as the parties happened at this period to be nearly balanced, much animosity naturally ensued; and, not possessing the forbearance of their superiors, they had recourse to active hostilities, and severely beat each other, till the rising of the House compelled them to desist; but, on the following Monday, the battle was renewed, and the Tories having gained the day by dint of blows, they carried their Speaker three times round Westminster-hall, and then, in pursuance of antient usage, they adjourned to a good dinner at an adjacent alehouse, and to expend their crown each in toasting their success.

The accession of George I. was celebrated, in the month of July of the same year, in the customary manner by the peaceable part of the community; but the more violent assembled, to the amount of several hundreds, at the Roebuck Tavern, Cheapside, where they burnt the effigies of the Pretender habited in mourning before the door, accompanied by a peal from Bow bells; and the populace were plentifully supplied with liquor. The same persons, joined by many young men and apprentices, busily employed themselves between the above date and October 22, the anniversary of the King's coronation, in preparing the effigies of the old Triumvirate for the same fate; but the Jacobin interest, then in full effervescence, contrived to drop printed bills, and to insinuate that those loyal persons meant to burn the effigies of the late Queen and Dr. Sacheverell. To repel such ideas, the Loyal Society deputed their Stewards to the Lord Mayor with a relation of their real intention, who forbid a procession, but permitted them to consume the effigies where they pleased. Thus privileged, they adorned their hats with cockades of white and orange, and sallied forth with effigies of the Pope, the Pretender, the Earl of Man, the Duke of Ormond, and Lord Bolingbroke, accompanied by link-bearers, and precipitated them into a fire near Bow-church. Hence they went to Lincoln's-Inn-fields, and assisted at the hateful orgies of the same description ordered by the foolish Duke of Newcastle, whose power ought to have been exerted in a far different way, as the sequel will shew. The Jacobites, full of rage and disappointment, trod on their kibes, but were afraid to commit open violence. These processions and burnings were repeated again on King William's anniversary, and on the 5th of November; and, had the subject been less serious, the exhibition of the _warming-pan_ and sucking bottle might have excited a smile. Some slight opposition occurred on these evenings; but the Loyal Society of the Roebuck routed the Jacobites on all sides. The day of the inauguration of Queen Elizabeth, November 17, shews the folly and wickedness of suffering the populace to exercise their brutal celebrations uncontrouled. The Loyal Society met at their usual rendezvous in Cheapside, whence they sent a deputation to examine a house near Aldersgate, where certain effigies were placed under the guard of a man with a hanger, said to be those of Cromwell, Ireton, Bradshaw, and Dr. Burnet, which the Jacobites intended to burn that evening. However, upon viewing the harmless figures, they were found to be the representatives of George I. King William, Marlborough, Newcastle, and Dr. Burnet. The Deputies immediately seized them, and proceeded without opposition and no little triumph to the Roebuck. At 8 o'clock in the evening shouts of High Church and Ormond, &c. &c. announced the approach of the Pretender's friends, who poured into Cheapside from the neighbouring streets, proclaiming their intention of tearing the house to pieces. The attack commenced with stones and bricks, which soon demolished the windows; they then prepared for the assault; but the Loyal Society, thinking to terrify them, fired with powder only. The Jacobites, perceiving they had sustained no injury, renewed the attack, when a second volley, accompanied by ball, laid two of them dead on the pavement, and wounded several others. _Then_ the Mayor made his appearance with the _posse comitatus_, and the Jacobites fled. Thus the Tragedy proceeded scene after scene; and in which way were either party benefited by the catastrophe? Rioters acting with a majority are like the officious bear who flattened his friend's nose in order to kill a fly that teased him; those on the side of a minority can expect nothing but disgrace and hanging: a well-ordered government should therefore suppress the turbulence of both. Another attempt was subsequently made upon the Roebuck, but the Trained Bands prevented the accomplishment of its demolition. The Coroner's Jury returned a verdict of justifiable homicide on the two bodies.

During the rebellious year 1716 there were many violations of public decorum, which, if not really dangerous to lives and property, were alarming and extremely offensive to the quiet Citizens. One of those was the exploding a train of powder and nauseous combustibles within Shower's Dissenting Meeting in the Old Jewry in the midst of an evening service. The sudden flash, the smoke, and suffocation, put the audience into a most violent ferment; and the attempts on all sides to escape occasioned the only injury done by this stupid contrivance of a mischievous partisan, who probably congratulated himself on observing broken pews, bruised bodies, scattered shoes, wigs, scarves, and watches; a chaos begun and ended in smoke.

The anniversary celebrations which were usually accompanied by conviviality and pleasure seem in this turbulent year to have been authorised days for riot, fighting, and disorder, or stated times for the display of brutal courage. Were the circumstances more congenial to humanity, many instances might be given. The very focus of those mischiefs were the various _mug_-houses, as they were politely termed, or in other words Club-taverns. That of Salisbury-court was regularly assaulted in July, and the leader, a Bridewell apprentice, was shot by the Master of the House, for which he was tried and acquitted; but five of the rioters were executed. The members of the Roebuck mug-house carried their loyalty into the street on the first of August, where they had an enormous bonfire, and a table near it, when they drank their glasses of wine, and pronounced healths, accompanied by the brazen lungs of the trumpet. Several of those gentlemen having heard that the Jacobites held religious meetings in various parts of the town, where they prayed for their lawful King without naming him, determined to distribute some of their numbers in each, and when the proper time arrived they exclaimed King George and their Royal Highnesses, &c.: to which others added Amen. This expedient served to confound if not to convince; but neither lenity nor punishment operated with the fiery Jacobites, who dared to bury two of the above rioters with grand funeral honours in September, and would have made a procession of young persons in pairs habited as mourners to pass every mug-house in the City, had not the officers of the Police interfered and apprehended several.

The gentry of the Roebuck attracted public notice on the King's return from one of his excursions to Hanover, by a fresh exhibition of obnoxious effigies, which they had prepared some time before, and shown for two-pence each person. Those were dragged about till the thousand links that attended them were almost consumed, the persons who rode as Highland prisoners jaded, and the Man in armour who represented the King's champion sufficiently cooled (for it was January, good reader), when they halted at Charing-cross, and committed the inanimate part of the procession to the flames. As this folly was protected by three files of soldiers, the Jacobites remained _perdu_.

The months of May and June 1717 were war-like periods in Westminster, and marked by furious battles between the butchers of St. James's market and the footmen and valets of the same courtly City. After several actions the footmen solicited and obtained the assistance of the Bridewell-boys; to balance this accession of strength, the fraternities of Westminster, Clare, and Bloomsbury-markets were summoned, and joined the St. James's.

The Roebuck Society seem to have been exhausted by their exertions in the latter end of 1717, and determined to decline active hostility against the Jacobites; but I find them subsequently roused, and the assailants in a pitched battle and siege of Newgate-market. One of them describes the Society in the following lines--a paraphrase from Martial, lib. xiii. Ep. c.

"As Deer upon the rocks where Dogs can't go Look down, and vex the noisy pack below, So stands our Roebuck far above the spite Of ill-look'd curs that growl but cannot bite; And if they yelp against our Sun at noon, 'Tis but like puppies barking at the Moon."

The Nonjurors, unwilling to resign their pretensions and the Pretender, continued their secret meetings. Government, however, appears to have used summary measures with them. Mr. Hawes's meeting opposite St. James's was stormed in October 1717 by two Justices, two of the King's messengers, and a guard of soldiers, when an hundred persons were found within, to whom the Justices tendered the oaths; five accepted them, but the rest refused, and were dismissed after being compelled to declare their names and residences: the preacher escaped. Dr. Welton, the ejected or Nonjuring rector of St. Mary's Whitechapel, held the same kind of assemblies at his house in Goodman's-fields, which was visited in the same manner; but the Doctor thinking proper to resist, the door was broken open, and about 200 persons were discovered, all of whom except 40 refused the oaths. The Doctor not only rejected the oath, but acknowledged he did not pray for the Royal family. His escapes for a long time after furnished matter for paragraphs in the newspapers.

The year 1718 closed with a faint revival of the turbulence of party. In this instance the Bridewell-boys acted with hardened effrontery and violence against the Loyalists. This period produced the long-required interference of the Civil Power to prevent the Roebuck processions; but this happy event was succeeded by the unjustifiable conduct of the Spital-fields weavers, who were injured by the too common use of foreign calicoes. These indiscreet persons, instead of applying for redress to the Legislature, proceeded to terrify the wearers into a compliance with their wishes, by throwing pernicious liquids on the gowns of females, and tearing them from their backs in the most brutal manner. The Police were compelled to interfere; but to little purpose, till they were fired upon, and several killed and wounded, and others committed to prison, whence some were conveyed corpses through the raging of a Gaol fever, and others to the Pillory; but it was a long time before the effervescence was allayed, and a paper war exhausted.

London was remarkably quiet from the above period till November 1724; but that year produced a thief that seemed calculated to perform successfully every scheme of desperation. He enjoyed a limited sway, and during the time he was at large the publick were in constant apprehension. Sheppard finished his career at Tyburn in the midst of an incredible number of spectators; and their conduct occasions this notice of him. The Sheriff's-officers, aware of the person they had to contend with, thought it prudent to secure his hands on the morning of execution. This innovation produced the most violent resistance on Sheppard's part; and the operation was performed by force. They then proceeded to search him, and had reason to applaud their vigilance, for he had contrived to conceal a penknife in some part of his dress. The ceremony of his departure from our world passed without disorder; but, the instant the time expired for the suspension of the body, an undertaker, who had followed by his friends' desire with a hearse and attendants, would have conveyed it to St. Sepulchre's church-yard for interment; but the mob, conceiving that Surgeons had employed this unfortunate man, proceeded to demolish the vehicle, and attack the sable dependants, who escaped with difficulty. They then seized the body, and in the brutal manner common to those wretches beat it from each to the other till it was covered with bruises and dirt, and till they reached Long-acre, where they deposited the miserable remains at a public-house called the Barley-mow. After it had rested there a few hours the populace entered into an enquiry why they had contributed their assistance in bringing Sheppard to Long-acre; when they discovered they were duped by a bailiff, who was actually employed by the Surgeons; and that they had taken the corpse from a person really intending to bury it. The elucidation of their error exasperated them almost to phrensy, and a riot immediately commenced, which threatened the most serious consequences. The inhabitants applied to the Police, and several Magistrates attending, they were immediately convinced the civil power was insufficient to resist the torrent of malice ready to burst forth in acts of violence. They therefore sent to the Prince of Wales and the Savoy, requesting detachments of the guards; who arriving, the ringleaders were secured, the body was given to a person, a friend of Sheppard, and the mob dispersed to attend it to the grave at St. Martin's in the Fields, where it was deposited in an elm coffin, at ten o'clock the same night, under a guard of Soldiers, and with the ceremonies of the church.

The Weekly Journal of November 21, 1724, gives a brief abstract of Sheppard's life, published at the time, which may amuse the reader.

"An Abridgement of the Life, Robberies, Escapes, and Death, of John Sheppard, who was executed at Tyburn on Monday the 16th instant, 1724.

"The celebrated Jack Sheppard, whose eminence in his profession rendered him the object of every body's curiosity, having made his exit on Monday last at Tyburn, in a manner suitable to his extraordinary merits, we hope a short summary of his most remarkable performances, before and since his repeated escapes out of Newgate, together with his behaviour at the place of execution, will not be a disagreeable entertainment to our readers.

"He was born in 1701, and put apprentice by the charitable interposition of Mr. Kneebone, whom he afterwards robbed, to one Mr. Owen Wood, a Carpenter, in Drury-lane. Before his time was out he took to keep company with one Elizabeth Lyon, who proved his ruin: of her he gave this character. That 'there is not a more wicked, deceitful, lascivious wretch living in England.' The first robbery he ever committed was of two silver spoons at the Rummer-tavern, Charing-cross. He owned several other robberies, particularly that of Mr. Pargiter in Hampstead, for which the two Brightwells were tried and acquitted; in relation to which he often said jocosely, 'Little I was that large lusty man that plucked him from the ditch,' as Pargiter had deposed at Brightwell's trial. He was long comrade with Blueskin, lately executed, who, according to the account Sheppard gave of him, was 'a worthless companion, a sorry thief, and that nothing but his attempt on Jonathan Wild could have made him taken notice of:' afterwards he broke out of St. Giles's round-house, throwing a whole load of bricks, &c. on the people in the street who stood looking at him, and made his escape. After this he broke out of New Prison; then out of the condemned hold in Newgate; but his last escape from Newgate having made the greatest noise, we shall insert the following particulars.

"Thursday, October the 15th, just before three in the afternoon, he went to work, taking off first his handcuffs; next with main strength he twisted a small iron link of the chain between his legs asunder; and the broken pieces proved extremely useful to him in his design; the fetlocks he drew up to the calves of his legs, taking off before that his stockings, and with his garters made them firm to his body, to prevent their shackling: he then proceeded to make a hole in the chimney of the Castle about three feet wide, and six feet high from the floor, and with the help of the broken links aforesaid, wrenched an iron bar out of the chimney, of about two foot and half in length, and an inch square; a most notable implement. He immediately entered the Red room, which is directly over the Castle, and went to work upon the nut of the lock, and with little difficulty got it off, and made the door fly before him; in this room he found a large nail, which proved of great use in his farther progress. The door of the entry between the Red room and the Chapel proved an hard task, it being a laborious piece of work; for here he was forced to break away the wall, and dislodge the bolt which was fastened on the other side: this occasioned much noise, and he was very fearful of being heard by the master-side debtors. Being got to the Chapel, he climbed over the iron spikes, with ease broke one of them off, and opened the door on the inside: the door going out of the Chapel to the leads, he stripped the nut from off the lock, and then got into the entry between the Chapel and the leads, and came to another strong door, which being fastened by a very strong lock, he had like to have stopped, and it being full dark, his spirits began to fail him, as greatly doubting of success; but cheering up, he wrought on with great diligence, and in less than half an hour, with the main help of the nail from the Red room, and the spike from the Chapel, wrenched the Box off, and so was master of the door. A little farther in his passage another stout door stood in his way; and this was a difficulty with a witness; being guarded with more bolts, bars, and locks, than any he had hitherto met with: the chimes at St. Sepulchre's were then going the eighth hour: he went first upon the box and the nut, but found it labour in vain; he then proceeded to attack the fillet of the door; this succeeded beyond expectation, for the box of the lock coming off with it from the main post, he found his work was near finished. He was got to a door opening in the lower leads, which being only bolted on the inside, he opened it with ease, and then clambered from the top of it to the higher leads, and went over the wall. He saw the streets were lighted, the shops being still open, and therefore began to consider what was necessary to be further done. He found he must go back for the blanket which had been his covering a-nights in the Castle, which he accordingly did, and endeavoured to fasten his stockings and that together, to lessen his descent, but wanted necessaries, and was therefore forced to make use of the blanket alone: he fixed the same with the Chapel spike into the wall of Newgate, and dropped from it on the Turner's leads, a house adjoining the prison; it was then about nine of the clock, and the shops not yet shut in. It fortunately happened, that the garret door on the leads was open. He stole softly down about two pair of stairs, and then heard company talking in a room, the door being open. His irons gave a small clink, which made a woman cry, 'Lord! what noise is that?' A man replied, 'Perhaps the dog or cat;' and so it went off. He returned up to the garret, and laid himself down, being terribly fatigued; and continued there for about two hours, and then crept down once more to the room where the company were, and heard a gentleman take his leave, who being lighted down stairs, the maid, when she returned, shut the chamber door: he then resolved at all hazards to follow, and slip down stairs; he was instantly in the entry, and out at the street-door, and once more contrary to his own expectation, and that of all mankind, a free man.

"He passed directly by St. Sepulchre's watch-house, bidding them good-morrow, it being after twelve, and down Snow-hill, up Holborn, leaving St. Andrew's watch on his left, and then again passed the watch-house at Holborn-bars, and made down Gray's-Inn-lane into the fields, and at two in the morning came to Tottenham-court, where getting into an old house in the fields, he laid himself down to rest, and slept well for three hours. His legs were swelled and bruised intolerably, which gave him great uneasiness; and having his fetters still on, he dreaded the approach of the day. He began to examine his pockets, and found himself master of between forty and fifty shillings. It raining all Friday, he kept snug in his retreat till the evening, when after dark he ventured into Tottenham, and got to a little blind chandler's shop, and there furnished himself with cheese, bread, small beer, and other necessaries, hiding his irons with a great coat. He asked the woman for an hammer, but there was none to be had; so he went very quietly back to his dormitory, and rested pretty well that night, and continued there all Saturday. At night he went again to the chandler's shop, and got provisions, and slept till about six the next day, which being Sunday, he began to batter the basils of the fetters in order to beat them into a large oval, and then to slip his heels through. In the afternoon the master of the shed, or house, came in, and seeing his irons, asked him, 'For God's sake, who are you?' He told him, 'an unfortunate young man, who had been sent to Bridewell about a bastard-child, and not being able to give security to the Parish, had made his escape.' The man replied, 'If that was the case it was a small fault indeed, for he had been guilty of the same things himself formerly,' and withal said, 'However, he did not like his looks, and cared not how soon he was gone.'

"After he was gone, observing a poor-looking man like a Joiner, he made up to him, and repeated the same story, assuring him that twenty shillings should be at his service, if he could furnish him with a Smith's hammer, and a puncheon. The man proved a shoe-maker by trade, but willing to obtain the reward, immediately borrowed the tools of a blacksmith his neighbour, and likewise gave him great assistance, so that before five that evening he had entirely got rid of his fetters, which he gave to the fellow, besides his twenty shillings.

"That night he went to a cellar at Charing-cross, and refreshed very comfortably, where near a dozen people were all discoursing about Sheppard, and nothing else was talked on whilst he staid amongst them. He had tied an handkerchief about his head, tore his woollen cap, coat, and stockings in many places, and looked exactly like what he designed to represent, a beggar-fellow; and now concluding that Blueskin would have certainly been decreed for death, he did fully resolve and purpose to have gone and cut down the gallows the night before his execution.

"On Tuesday he hired a garret for his lodging at a poor house in Newport-market, and sent for a sober young woman, who for a long time past had been the real mistress of his affections, who came to him, and rendered all the assistance she was capable of affording. He made her the messenger to his mother, who lodged in Clare-street. She likewise visited him in a day or two after, begging on her bended knees of him to make the best of his way out of the kingdom, which he faithfully promised; but could not find in his heart to perform.

"He was oftentimes in Spital-fields, Drury-lane, Lewkenor's-lane, Parker's-lane, St. Thomas's-street, &c. those having been the chief scenes of his rambles and pleasures.

"At last he came to a resolution of breaking the house of the two Mr. Rawlins's, brothers and pawnbrokers in Drury-lane, which he accordingly put in execution, and succeeded; they both hearing him rifling their goods as they lay in bed together in the next room. And though there were none others to assist him, he pretended there was, by loudly giving out directions for shooting the first person through the head that presumed to stir, which effectually quieted them, while he carried off his booty, with part whereof, on the fatal Saturday following, being the 31st of October, he made an extraordinary appearance; and from a carpenter and butcher was now transformed into a gentleman; he went into the City, and was very merry at a public-house not far from the place of his old confinement. At four that same afternoon, he passed under Newgate in a Hackney-coach, the windows drawn up, and in the evening he sent for his mother to the Sheers alehouse, in Maypole-alley, near Clare-market, and with her drank three quarterns of brandy; and after leaving her drank in one place or other about that neighbourhood all the evening, till the evil hour of twelve, having been seen and known by many of his acquaintance; all of them cautioning him, and wondering at his presumption to appear in that manner. At length his senses were quite overcome with the quantities and variety of liquors he had all the day been drinking, which paved the way for his fate; and when apprehended, he was altogether incapable of resisting, scarce knowing what they were doing with him, and had but two second-hand pistols scarce worth carrying about him.

"From his last re-apprehension to his death some persons were appointed to be with him constantly day and night; vast numbers of people came to see him, to the great profit both of himself and those about him; several persons of quality came, all of whom he begged to intercede with his Majesty for mercy, but his repeated _returning to his vomit_ left no room for it; so that, being brought down to the King's-bench bar, Westminster, by an _habeas corpus_, and it appearing by evidence that he was the same person, who, being under a former sentence of death, had twice made his escape, a rule of court was made for his execution, which was on Monday last. The morning he suffered he told a gentleman, that 'he had then a satisfaction at heart, as if he was going to enjoy an estate of 200_l._ a year.'"

A tumult of a different description in some particulars, but originating from an execution, happened in May 1725, when the infamous Jonathan Wild expiated his numerous offences at Tyburn. The mob in the former case were willing to have rescued Sheppard, _because he was a man utterly unfit to be at large_; but they would have torn Wild to pieces, because he was the means of ridding the publick of many villains, though one of the blackest die himself. Jonathan Wild was born at Wolverhampton in 1684, and commenced his active life as a buckle-maker, whence he migrated to London, where he became in a short period thief-taker general. In this office his body received a greater variety of wounds than the hardiest soldier ever exhibited; his scull actually suffered two fractures; and his throat was scarred by the erring knife of a wretch hanged by his means, the companion of Sheppard. That the reader may fully comprehend this man's crimes, I shall insert an abstract of his indictment.

"That he hath for many years past been a confederate with great numbers of highwaymen, pick-pockets, house-breakers, &c.

"That he hath formed a kind of corporation of thieves, of which he is the director; and that his pretended services in detecting and prosecuting offenders consisted only in bringing those to the gallows who concealed their booty, or refused to share it with him.

"That he hath divided the town and country into districts, and appointed distinct gangs for each, who regularly accounted with him for their robberies. He had also a particular set to steal at churches in time of Divine service; and also other moving detachments to attend at Court on birth-days, balls, &c. and upon both Houses of Parliament, Circuits, and Country Fairs.

"That the persons employed by him were for the most part felons convict, who have returned from transportation before their due time was expired; of whom he made choice for his agents, because they could not be legal evidence against him, and because he had it in his power to take from them what part of the stolen goods he pleased, and otherwise abuse or even hang them at his will and pleasure.

"That he hath from time to time supplied such convicted felons with money and clothes, and lodged them in his own house the better to conceal them, particularly some against whom there are now informations for diminishing and counterfeiting broad pieces and guineas.

"That he hath not only been a receiver of stolen goods, as well as of writings of all kinds, for near fifteen years last past, but frequently been a confederate, and robbed along with the above-mentioned convicted felons.

"That, in order to carry on these vile practices, and gain some credit with the ignorant multitude, he usually carried about him a short silver staff as a badge of authority from the government, which he used to produce when he himself was concerned in robbing.

"That he had under his care and direction several warehouses for receiving and concealing stolen goods, and also a ship for carrying off jewels, watches, and other valuable goods to Holland, where he has a superannuated thief for his factor.

"That he kept in pay several artists to make alterations, and transform watches, seals, snuff-boxes, rings, and other valuable things, that they might not be known; several of which he used to present to such as he thought might be of service to him.

"That he seldom helped the owners to lost notes and papers, unless he found them able to specify and describe them exactly, and then often insisted on more than half the value.

"That he frequently sold human blood, by procuring false evidence to swear persons into facts of which they were not guilty; sometimes to prevent them from being evidences against himself, at other times for the sake of the great reward given by the government."

This consummate criminal, after dealing so widely and to an enormous amount, fell a sacrifice to a paltry theft of a little lace stolen from a window on Holborn-hill, when Wild's usual foresight so far deserted him as to enable the person he employed while he waited on the Bridge to turn evidence against him. His execution attracted the greatest concourse of spectators ever known to have assembled on a similar occasion; and an incredible number of thieves of every description attended, to wreak their vengeance on their general enemy. They shouted incessantly with frantic yells of joy, and threw stones at the miserable man as he rode, till his head streamed with blood; but, when he fell from the cart, the air was literally rent by reiterated cries of triumph. Wild had endeavoured to commit suicide; but the dose of laudanum intended for the purpose, proving too great, his stomach rejected it in time to save his life. It, however, rendered him nearly insensible, and consequently prevented the anguish he must have experienced in his last moments from the conduct of his enemies and the brutality of the populace.

Several prosecutions were instituted in 1725, in order to prevent a shamefully indecent practice of the populace, which was the storming of hearses and tearing from them the various heraldic ornaments used at funerals.

A dissolute young man named Gibson, a Mercer, and one of the Society of friends, occasioned very serious riots in the summer of 1727 by persisting to preach in defiance of the elders of Gracechurch street meeting, and indeed of the whole posse of the Police, who were more than once compelled to convey him by force to St. George's fields, where he was permitted to hold forth unmolested. Gibson had a mob constantly surrounding him, which committed many extravagances.

He afterwards rented the London Assurance Coffee-house in Birchin-lane, before which he erected a sign representing a person extended on his back with the head bloody and a hat and wig near him. Several persons supposed to have committed the assault were shewn hiding under bushes. In another part of the design, the wounded person waded through a marsh supported by crutches, and a friend assisted him towards a house on a hill. The other side represented him lying on his face, and again washing blood and tears from his features; a rising moon in each painting lighted the scene, under which was inscribed "Gibson from Gracechurch-street."--The aim of Gibson in this allegory was to introduce himself to the publick in a pitiable situation, to shew the Quakers in a disgraceful light as assassins, and to compliment the friend by whom he was placed in his new house.

The populace had not indulged in their favourite excesses for several years; but, an opportunity occurring in September 1729, they seized it with avidity. The King had been to Hanover, and, returning in safety, a party from Whitechapel chose to express their loyalty by breaking many hundreds of windows on each side of the way between that place and Charing-cross, under a pretence that the inhabitants should have illuminated them. The damage done by these desperadoes is said to have amounted to more than 1000_l._; and it is remarkable that the King rode through the same street within an hour after the havock had been committed; no doubt, infinitely vexed that he was the innocent cause of so much injury to his peaceable subjects.

The public mind was greatly agitated in 1733 by the introduction of an Excise bill into the House of Commons, which experienced great opposition, and was deferred till June in that year. The populace, highly elated, made effigies of the Minister, burnt them in various places, and demonstrated their joy by breaking numbers of windows. This excess was repeated on the anniversary of the above event with increased violence, when, in addition to breaking the Lord Mayor's windows, they broke his officers' heads; but several of the ringleaders were apprehended, and sent to different prisons.

On the 30th of March, 1734, a disgraceful tumult occurred in Suffolk-street, Charing-cross, occasioned by several young men whose situation in life ought to have produced far different conduct. They met at a house in the above street under the denomination of the Calves-head club, prepared a fire before the door, and after several indecent orgies appeared at the first-floor windows with wine and a calf's head dressed in a napkin cap, which they threw into the flames with loud huzzas. As the populace assembled round the fire were entertained with plenty of beer, they shouted at many of the toasts drank by the _Club_; but, some being proposed that interfered with the Majesty of the People, they were considered as the signal for attack, which immediately commenced with so much impetuosity as to render it necessary for the founders of the feast to fly for their lives. The mob broke all the windows of the house, forcibly entered it, and demolished every article in their way, to the amount of several hundred pounds. The royal guards put an end to the tumult. I have a print, published immediately after the transaction, which faithfully represents the wickedness and folly of it.

"The Hyp Doctor" observed on this occasion: "It is an honour to the Dissenters, that we do not hear of one of their body who belonged to this ingenious and refined cabal. It must not be overlooked, that if the report be right, the Calves-heads were bought in St. James's-market; the _double entendre_ was intended to have _wit prepense_; but methinks the emblem was wrong-_headed_; for how can a _Calf_, which is a _tame gentle creature_, and _incapable_ of _sin_, represent a _supposed_ Tyrant, or a bad Monarch? Some of the parties concerned were, as the chronicles of Suffolk-street record it, sons of nobles of _England_, _Scotland_, and _Ireland_, besides _Commoners_; but the transaction was _carried on_, like Io in the _farce_, by a _Bull_ rather than a _Calf_ (by which it might appear to be more _Irish_ than _English_), if you examine the criticism of the _Shew_. It was a sequel to Punch at the masquerade, putting his Opera bills into the hands of some too great for a familiar mention; but neither the Haymarket Punch, nor the Suffolk-street Puppet-shew _took_: one was acted but once, the other was not acted thoroughly the first time: the _people_ were the _criticks_, the connoisseurs, and corrected the play. We are now assured it had no _plot_; the _head_ had no _brains_, like Æsop's masks: this may be true, but no credit to a tragi-comedy: it only proved they were no _Poets_, and but _indifferent actors_. Was there none who bore a Calf's-head _couped_, as the Heralds speak, in his coat of Arms? The device of the escutcheon might be more _significant_ than that of the _Club_. Such a proceeding might have been proper in a _slaughter-house_; but, perhaps, they were replenished with the wisdom of the Egyptians, who worshiped Osiris in _the form of a Calf_: was it an _Essex_ or a _Middlesex_ Calf?--_Baa_ be the motto of this speculation. The _Gens Vitellia_, the _Vitellian_ family at Rome, were denominated from the like. This adds light from the Roman history."

The next disturbance of the public peace proceeded from the dregs of the people, who were exasperated beyond measure at the laudable attempts of their superiors to suppress the excessive use of _Gin_; and their resentment became so very turbulent in September 1736, that they even presumed to exclaim in the streets, "No _Gin_ no _King_:" in consequence, double guards were posted at Kensington, St. James's, Somerset-house, and the Rolls. Besides these precautions, 500 of the Grenadier-guards, and the Westminster troop of Horse-militia, were distributed as patroles, and in Hyde and St. James's Parks, Covent-garden, &c.

Many satirical and pleasant attacks upon that pernicious liquor appeared in the diurnal publications; two of which are worth preserving:

"To the dear and regretted memory of the best and most potent of cheap liquors, _Geneva_; the solace of the hen-pecked husband, the kind companion of the neglected wife, the infuser of courage in the _tame_ and _standing_ army, the source of the thief's resolution, the support of pawnbrokers, tally-men, receivers of stolen goods, and a long _et cetera_ of other honest fraternities, alike useful and glorious to the Commonwealth. A _Victor_, fuller of fire than Bajazet, and who destroyed more men than Tamerlane in his numerous conquests. The bane of chastity, the foe of honesty, the friend of infidelity, the _very spirit of sedition_, through the inhuman malice of ---- and ----, by the edge of an Act of Parliament, cut off in her prime September 19, 1736, _anno regni Georgii secundi decimo_. Her constant votary Nicholas _No-shoes_, in testimony of a friendship subsisting after death, erects this monument.

"Attend, my Sons, and you, my friends, draw near, And on my last remain bestow a tear; Your dear, dear _Punch_, must yield his nect'rous breath, And ere to-morrow noon submit to death. No hopes of pardon, no reprieve is nigh, My death is sign'd: and must I, must I die? It is resolv'd.--Then rouse your noble souls, And crown _this_ night with cheerful flowing bowls; Let none but you, my friends, support my pall, And bilk those fops who triumph in my fall[51:A]."

Numberless evasions of the Act were practised; and even Apothecaries were tempted to retail Gin under the specious name of a medicine or cordial.

The month of July 1736 afforded a singular _popular explosion_, contrived in the following strange manner. A brown paper parcel, which had been placed unobserved near the side-bar of the Court of King's-bench, Westminster-hall, blew up during the solemn proceedings of the Courts of Justice assembled, and scattered a number of printed bills, giving notice, that on the last day of Term five Acts of Parliament would be publicly burnt in the hall, between the hours of twelve and one, at the Royal Exchange, and at St. Margaret's hill, which were the Gin Act, the Smuggling Act, the Mortmain Act, the Westminster Bridge Act, and the Act for borrowing 600,000_l._ on the Sinking fund.

One of the bills was immediately carried to the Grand Jury then sitting, who found it an infamous libel, and recommended the offering of a reward to discover the author.

The labourers and weavers of Spitalfields were infected with a contagious _mania_ at the same period, which led them to suppose that numbers of Irishmen had recently arrived in London, for the purpose of working at under-prices and starving them. Influenced by a species of despair they assembled in crowds, and proceeded to Brick-lane, Whitechapel, where they immediately attacked a house supposed to contain Irishmen, and completely destroyed it, bearing away the furniture in triumph; but they lost one man, and had several wounded, by a musket discharged amongst them from the house. The neighbouring Magistrates, alarmed at this outrage, immediately attended at the scene of action, and read the Riot Act, but without effect, although the Tower Hamlet association and a party of the Tower guard were summoned to their assistance; nor did they desist till a company of Regulars dispersed them by force.

Several severe combats occurred between the English and Irish in other parts of the town, in which much mischief was done to each party. The cause appears to have originated chiefly through the parsimony of the person who contracted to erect the new church of St. Leonard Shoreditch, in employing no other than Irish labourers at five or six shillings a week, when the British demanded twelve shillings. These two affairs occurring nearly together led government to suspect the authors of the paper-plot, and the rioters, or at least their leaders, to have been connected in seditious if not treasonable designs.

An estimate was made in July 1738 of the numbers convicted under the Act for preventing the excessive use of spirituous liquors. Claims were entered at the Excise-office by 4000 persons for the 5_l._ allowed to the informer from the penalty of 100_l._, 4896 such convictions having taken place. 3000 persons paid 10_l._ each to avoid being sent to Bridewell; and it was computed that 12,000 informations had been laid within the bills of mortality only. It is therefore not to be wondered at that the newspapers frequently mentioned the quiet and decency observed in the streets subsequent to these convictions; but in effecting them several informers were killed, and others dreadfully hurt, by the mob.

It sometimes happens that articles of information are so vaguely mentioned in the public papers, that, though they might be understood by their contemporaries, we are at a loss to comprehend them. An instance of this kind occurred in August 1757, when a number of riotous persons assembled before the Craven-arms, Southampton-street, with an intention to level it with the earth, and destroy the goods; but for what reason the papers are silent. The officers of the Police attended, but were beat off with stones; and it was two o'clock in the morning before two serjeants and twenty-four soldiers of the guards could disperse them; at which hour fourteen were apprehended, several wounded, and two were afterwards committed to prison. The following letter was sent on this occasion to Mr. Justice Fielding:

_Christ-church, Surrey, Aug. 13, 1757._


"We beg leave to acquaint you, that the house known by the sign of the Craven-arms, in Southampton-street, belongs to a charity in our parish; and we therefore beg the favour of you to use what methods shall seem right to prevent the populace doing any farther damage to it: and as to any extraordinary expence which may happen on this account, the trustees will readily pay. A Committee of the Trustees of the Charity will be immediately called, and they will do themselves the pleasure of waiting on you. We are, Sir, &c.

JACKSON, Rector, BARTHO. PAYNE, Churchwarden. HENRY BUNN, Secretary to the Trust[54:A]."

Nothing particular occurred for upwards of a year after the above outrage; but in October 1758, the brutality of the mob was excited by the interment of Mr. Wilson, an undertaker and pawnbroker, who had kept the Punch-bowl near Moorgate. The cause of their resentment proves that a British mob generally acts upon a noble principle; as the deceased was reported to have left a legacy of 200_l._ to be paid in groats to those persons who were then imprisoned at his suit, though he died rich. This malice from the grave justly exasperated all who knew of it; and their anger was properly inflamed by observing that a detachment of the Artillery company, to which Wilson had belonged, intended to pay him military honours on the way to Islington, where he was to be buried. Every mark of abhorrence and contempt consequently ensued from an astonishing number of persons, who severely hurt each other by collision; and it was with the utmost difficulty that the priest performed his office.

I am sorry to add that at the same time some miscreants in the middle rank of life, inflamed by dissipation, were in the practice of pretending to fight every evening on Ludgate-hill, for the diabolical pleasure of dealing blows indiscriminately on peaceable passengers; and, to use their own words, "in order to see the claret run." These wretches who thus wantonly attacked the publick, broke the leg of a Constable, and bruised several watchmen, before they could secure two of them, who were committed till the Constable recovered.

Five years passed without producing a single offence committed by numbers acting under temporary impulse; at length an affray happened between certain Irish chairmen and sailors, who were all inflamed by liquor, drank in honour of the election held in Covent-garden March 1763. After they had abused each other with the usual language of vulgar irritation, a challenge was offered by a chairman to fight the best sailor present: this ended in the defeat of the Irishman, who was instantly reinforced by his brethren, when a general attack with pokers, tongs, fenders, &c. &c. commenced on the sailors; those, supported by a party of unarmed soldiers, drove their antagonists from the field, and immediately proceeded to demolish every chair they could find. These outrages continued till evening, and by that time a general muster of chairmen had taken place, who, exasperated to madness, beat down men, women, and children, in their progress to the scene of action, where a dreadful conflict was prevented by a party of Soldiers from the Savoy, whose exertions accomplished the capture of some of the ringleaders, but not before a Soldier and a Sailor, and three other persons, had been dangerously wounded, and the King's-head ale-house almost demolished.

The hardy seamen, defenders of our island, are excellent subjects when on-board their respective ships, but they are very apt to be turbulent on shore; another instance of which succeeded the Covent-garden riot almost immediately, though the cause was different. The conduct of the Sailor is generally exceedingly thoughtless: low drinking-houses and women are their favourite sources of amusement; and the keepers of the former, united with the latter, never fail to make them repent, as far as their insensible minds are susceptible. The Police of the Tower Hamlets, aware of this, frequently sent peace-officers to houses of ill-fame, in order to apprehend the most obnoxious inmates; and in pursuit of this laudable custom several women and a few sailors were sent to the Round-house in March 1763. On the following morning they were taken before the Magistrates then assembled at the Black-horse near the Victualling-office for examination; there numbers of Sailors collected, and demanded the release of their comrades, which the Justices complied with; but, still dissatisfied, they insisted on the enlargement of the women. This presumptuous request was, however, positively refused, and the Magistrates, dreading the consequences, sent three different times for detachments of Soldiers to support their authority, and as an equipoise for the increasing numbers of the Sailors, who assembled from all sides to the amount, it is said, of more than a thousand: the Riot Act was read no less than three times to no purpose, during which time the Sailors had obtained flags from the shipping, and having marshalled themselves _in a line of battle, they bore down_ on the Soldiers drawn up to receive them. At the instant the commanding officer of the latter was about to pronounce the dreadful word _Fire!_ a naval officer made his appearance in front of the Sailors, and intreated the order might be reserved till he had endeavoured to convince his brethren of the impropriety of their conduct. He then addressed himself to the Sailors, and said they would forfeit the favour of the King, who had promised to take off their R's; to which he added other arguments, and at length prevailed upon two-thirds of them to follow him to Tower-hill, where he dismissed them.

A Serjeant and twelve Soldiers were sent about four o'clock on the same afternoon to Clerkenwell Bridewell, as an escort to eight of the women who had occasioned the riot. Those were pursued by a party of Sailors, and overtaken at Chiswell-street. The instant release of the prisoners was demanded and refused, when one of the Soldiers fired, and wounded a Sailor and a Baker; but, as the assailants became more violent after this precipitation, the Serjeant wisely determined to resign his charge, rather than cause farther bloodshed.

The Weavers resident in Spital-fields were the next disturbers of the public peace. Those useful members of Society had long disputed with their employers respecting their wages; and at length a compromise took place, when printed papers of the various prices of their work were distributed, in order to prevent future disputes. Some avaricious master-weavers, however, thought proper to reduce the weaving of certain articles one half-penny _per_ yard; and hence the riots, which commenced with the destruction of the looms belonging to one of the most active opponents of the journeymen, whose effigies they afterwards placed in a cart, hanged, and burnt. This conduct, though highly improper, was innocence compared with that now to be related, which originated in the strange folly and wickedness of Seamen almost at the same time. The narrative was compiled from the minutes of the Coroner's Inquest.

"On Thursday last an inquisition was taken in Holywell-street, Shoreditch, upon the bodies of Ralph Meadows and John Whitrow, two of the persons killed in the late riot before a public house, known by the sign of the Marquis of Granby's-head, in Holywell-street. The inquisition lasted six hours. It appeared in the evidence, that on Monday last, about one o'clock, a great mob assembled before and in the dwelling-house of Thomas Kelly the publican, committing outrages; that on application to two Magistrates, they wrote to the Lieutenant of the third regiment of foot-guards, then on duty, with an Ensign and 100 men under his command, in Spital-fields, on account of a late riot there, acquainting him, that there was a great mob assembled in Holywell-street, Shoreditch, who had broke open a house in a violent and outrageous manner, to the terror of his Majesty's quiet subjects, and in breach of the peace; and desiring him to attend with a proper force to disperse the mob and stop their proceedings.

"The Lieutenant assembled as many of his men as the short notice would permit, before the passage door leading to the said public house, where he found a great crowd of people; and on going into the house with the Justices' order in his hand, he found some very desperate fellows in it, some in sailors' habits, who were cursing and swearing that they would not leave the house, but do what they pleased; one of them behaving in a very affronting manner to the Lieutenant, some of the soldiers led him out. About three o'clock, the Lieutenant prevailed on them to depart, and they went away quietly, leaving only a crowd of people standing before the passage door, who had gathered there out of curiosity. The Lieutenant then withdrew himself, leaving only a Serjeant, Corporal, and twelve private soldiers, which he did at the solicitation of the publican, who was afraid of a second attack. The Lieutenant then went to dinner, and informed the Serjeant he would return in an hour. For about half an hour all was quiet; and then a gentleman came up to the Serjeant, and bade him take care of himself, as there was a body of sailors coming up the street, d--ing their eyes, declaring, 'they would clear the soldiers, and pull the house down.' The Serjeant seeing them advance, looked round to the soldiers, and said, 'There they come;' and ordered his men to stand to their arms, and he would meet the rioters, but bade them fix their bayonets. He approached about twelve yards towards the rioters, and pulled off his hat, and said, 'Gentlemen, I hope you do not come with any intent to make a disturbance.' They d--ned their eyes, and informed him, that 'they had got one man, and would have the landlord of the house.' The Serjeant, telling them 'that he was placed there by an order from the civil power to take care of the house and preserve the peace,' returned to his command. The sailors then advanced, and some of them mounted the sign-post, and to prevent their getting up, some of the soldiers gently struck them with their pieces; but the Serjeant, finding them resolute to take down the sign, ordered the soldiers to let them, and informed the soldiers, that he was then in hopes to disperse them without mischief. As soon as the sign was down, they gave a huzza, and some of them called out, 'Now for the landlord,' and in a riotous manner advanced with their sticks towards the passage which the soldiers were guarding. The Serjeant informed them he could not admit them into the house upon any account: upon which they began to beat with their sticks, and press on the soldiers; and the serjeant ordered the soldiers to charge (which is fixing their musquets breast high) but it had no effect: they then assaulted the soldiers with pieces of brick, tile, and great quantities of mud, and forced two bayonets from the musquets, one of which was broke, and the other was taken up by one of the sailors, with which he made a full push at the Serjeant, but he happily warded it off with his halbert; and the sailors got between him and his men, and attacked them with such violence that they were forced into the passage which leads to the public-house, and thereupon a battle ensued, and the Serjeant used all his endeavours to come to his men, but he was prevented by the sailors, and received several blows. The men being thus pressed into the passage, were obliged to fire, and two pieces were discharged, which, from the faint report, and no mischief being done, and the sailors not giving way, the witnesses all declared, that they believed the pieces were loaded with gunpowder only. The sailors continuing to press violently upon the soldiers, and endeavouring to force the passage, the soldiers fired again, and two men, amongst the rioters, were seen to drop.

"The sailors now became very desperate, and most violently assaulted the soldiers with their sticks; and the soldiers were, through inevitable necessity, in defence of their lives, and for the public peace, obliged to fire, and the firing continued till they cleared the passage and street before it, which was very soon done: upon which the Serjeant took the opportunity of running to his men, and cried out, 'For God's sake fire no more.' He then drew all his men out of the passage, and formed a square in the street, and ordered them to ease their arms, and on looking about him he saw three men lying dead in the street, two of which appeared to be sailors. Several of the soldiers' fingers were bloody from the blows they received from the rioters. In the riot two sailors jumped into a window belonging to a butcher's house, near the public-house, and one of them taking a chopper out of the shop, endeavoured to rush by the Corporal into the passage to the public-house, but was seized by the Corporal to prevent his going in, by which means the Corporal's hand was cut by the chopper to such a degree, that he was obliged to be sent to an hospital.

"The witnesses swore, that they verily believed the soldiers were obliged to fire in defence of their lives, as well as for the preservation of the public peace; and the Jury were well satisfied with the evidence before them.

"The Coroner, in summing up the evidence, distinguished between murder, manslaughter, and justifiable or excusable homicides, both voluntary and involuntary; and chance-medley, or homicide by misadventure; under one of which classes, he informed the Jury, the present case must fall. He observed, that the soldiers did not come to that place wantonly to do an injury, but were called in, as the Lieutenant understood, and so called it (when he produced his authority) in his evidence, 'by an order from the civil power,' to suppress the rioters, and preserve the King's peace; and whether the civil power had taken the proper steps before applying to the military, or whether the notice sent to the Lieutenant was a legal warrant or order, or not, were not matters of their enquiry; for that, supposing a Justice of Peace should issue an illegal warrant, and an officer should be killed in the execution of it, in that case the party killing would be deemed a murderer; for the officer was obliged to execute his office: he is not supposed to be a judge of law; he is only a minister of Justice, and the party had a legal remedy, if he had been improperly arrested. The Coroner said, that the conduct of the military power upon that occasion was the immediate subject of their enquiry; that, if the Jury gave credit to the witnesses, the major part of whom were disinterested persons, the soldiers did not fire till they were pressed to it, by inevitable necessity, in defence of their own lives, and for the preservation of the public peace; and in killing any of the rioters, had done no more than 'Justifiable Homicides' of inevitable necessity, for the preservation of the King's peace, and in defence of themselves; and added, that in such case, if any person was killed that was not concerned in the riot, but unfortunately hemmed in by the rioters, or was passing along at that time, in that case it would be chance-medley, or homicide _per infortunium_, that is, death by misadventure; and as it did not appear to the Jury that the persons upon whom they then sat were acting in the riot, the Jury found the special matter, and brought in their verdict Homicides by Misadventure.

"After the riot by the sailors was over, the people collected, and were so much enraged against the soldiers, that the Lieutenant was obliged to send to the Tower for a reinforcement to prevent mischief; and they continued under arms till near twelve at night, when he withdrew, leaving at the public-house a Serjeant, Corporal, and twenty private men, who, reporting the next morning that all was well, were ordered to their several quarters."

A third scene of popular tumult occurred before the close of the year 1763, and was caused by the execution of the sentence of burning Mr. Wilkes's celebrated Number 45 of the North Briton.

The 3d of December was appointed for this silly ceremony, which took place before the Royal Exchange amidst the hisses and execrations of the mob, not directed at the obnoxious paper, but at Alderman Harley, the Sheriffs, and constables; the latter of whom were compelled to fight furiously through the whole business. The instant the hangman held the work to a lighted link it was beat to the ground; and the populace, seizing the faggots prepared to complete its destruction, fell upon the peace-officers, and fairly threshed them from the field; nor did the Alderman escape without a contusion on the head, inflicted by a billet thrown through the glass of his coach; and several other persons had reason to repent the attempt to burn that publicly which the _sovereign people_ determined to approve, who afterwards exhibited a large _jack boot_ at Temple-bar, and burnt it in triumph, unmolested, as a species of retaliation.

February in the following year produced another description of outrage; and, as the mob arranged themselves on the side of Liberty in the above instance, they determined in the following to adopt the cause of Justice, though, as it almost always happens, they listened only to _one_ side of the case; in short, they are generally a Jury who retire for a verdict when the evidence _for the prosecution_ is closed. The Ambassador from the Emperor of Morocco resided in Panton-square, and had in his suite a female servant who was arrested for debt, and sent to a receiving or _spunging_ house. When the Resident heard of this violation of diplomatic privilege, he immediately demanded that the woman should be restored to liberty; and the officer in whose custody she was, knowing of the illegality of the arrest, complied. So far all was right; but the plaintiff (a chairman) despising the law of Nations, watched at the Ambassador's door, and as soon as he obtained a glimpse of his debtor claimed her _as his wife_, and under that claim compelled her to attend him to a public-house in the neighbourhood. Though the good lady strained every faculty in denying his assumed rights, her clamour, of no avail with the chairman, reached the ears of her fellow servants, who, melted with her distress, sallied forth, and manfully released the captive from the fangs of a number of the captor's brethren, whom he had wisely stationed at the public-house to assist him in his views. Thus defeated, the creditor adopted a most certain method to carry his point. He therefore assembled his _posse_ in front of the Ambassador's house, and began his operations by loud complaints, intended for the ears of those who passed, that the servants of his Excellency had forcibly seized on his wife, and conveyed her for some very dreadful purpose into his mansion, where she was detained to his inexpressible grief and terror. A hint of this description is sufficient in the streets of London; curiosity soon collects a crowd, and the idea of injustice or oppression flies like lightning from male to female, kindling in its progress the very essence of indignation, and an immediate resolve to execute summary justice. An hundred voices demanded the woman; an hundred arms were lifted at the same moment with hands grasping dirt and stones, which they hurled at the inoffensive windows without effect. At this moment a cry to burst the door was accompanied by a successful effort, and in rushed the mob; every thing that could be broken in the parlours was demolished, and used as weapons for forcing the besieged, now driven to the stairs head of the first floor, where they appeared, commanded by the Ambassador and a gentleman, armed with drawn sabres. Intimidated at the glances of the shining steel, the besiegers dared not ascend, but made a drawn battle of the affair. A cannonade of legs and arms of chairs, and other articles of broken furniture, succeeded, which no sooner reached the heads of those above than they were darted back with additional velocity. Captain Woolaston of the guards happened to pass through the square with a party of soldiers, on his way to protect the sufferers from a fire then raging in Eagle-street; and, attracted by the shouts of the contending forces, examined into the affair, and soon dispersed the rioters, several of whom were afterwards apprehended by Justice Welch, and committed to prison.

In May 1764 several footmen who had attended their masters to Ranelagh thought proper to attack certain gentlemen there for refusing vails to their servants; and, not contented with hissing and abusing _them_, proceeded to destroy the fences, break the lamps, and throw stones through the windows upon the company in the Rotunda. The ringleaders were as usual apprehended, and constables were afterwards placed at Ranelagh to preserve the peace; but the best part of the fact is that those worthy officers of Justice actually drank till they were intoxicated on a subsequent evening, and _fought in the midst of the company_.

We have now arrived at a period when riot and outrage was, to use a modern phrase, _organized_; every real or imaginary evil led to extremities, and the quiet Citizen passed his days in constant apprehension. The year 1768 commenced with a fresh display of the turbulence of weavers, who went well armed to the houses of other journeymen in the same business, called single-handed Weavers, to revenge the injuries asserted to have been inflicted by them on the engine-loom Weavers, where they secured several, and conveyed them to a Magistrate; and it appeared on examination their complaints were well founded, as they proved the prisoners and their brethren had even fired into their windows. Others in April, armed with cutlasses, pistols, &c. and in disguise, went at 12 o'clock at night to the residences of several journeymen in Spital-fields; and cut to pieces 16 looms, with their contents, which belonged to Messrs. Everard and Phipps. On a subsequent nocturnal excursion those miscreants narrowly escaped from a party of soldiers who had nearly surrounded them unperceived.

Influenced by the above pernicious examples, the Coal-heavers of the Metropolis entered into combinations before the end of April; and collecting in considerable numbers went through Wapping, and thence on board of colliers, where with weapons in hand they compelled their sable brethren to desist from working, and even dangerously wounded several. In this instance the military prevented greater outrages.

In May a large body of Sailors with drums and flags proceeded in two divisions to St. James's Palace, and presented a petition to the King, praying for an increase of their pay in consideration of the high price of provisions. On the 10th of the same month, and at four o'clock in the morning, many boats, manned by Sailors and Coal-heavers, entered upon a survey of the wharfs above Blackfriars-bridge, and compelled all they found at work to join them; others patroled the streets, and collected those who were at home and in public-houses; when they began their operations by forcing the drivers of carts and waggons loaded with coals, flour, and wood, to return whence they came. After this operation had been completely accomplished, they marched in a body, increasing as they went, to Stepney-fields, whence parties of them proceeded to unrig such vessels as they chose to prevent from sailing. The fraternity of Sawyers, equally refractory, destroyed an excellent saw-mill then recently erected by Charles Dingley, Esq. almost at the same instant.

Government acted on this trying occasion with great lenity, or was under the influence of fear; and it plainly appears that the safety of the publick in their lives and property originated rather from the _tempered_ madness of the rioters, than in any dread of resistance from the Police or the Military. We are told of the marching of troops, and of orders issued to Magistrates to be vigilant; yet the populace, inflamed by politicks, even ventured to chalk No. 45 on the coaches of the nobility as they passed through the streets. The cause of this irritation I hardly need inform my readers was Mr. Wilkes, whose conduct in attacking the Ministry had excited ministerial anger to a degree that alarmed all ranks of people lest arbitrary proceedings should be substituted for constitutional, to gratify that resentment; and some of the decisions of the Courts proved their fears to be well-founded. Thus far I have thought it necessary to state the cause, but by no means intend to enter into the merits of the case, which I shall conclude with Mr. Wilkes's address to the Gentlemen, Clergy, and Freeholders of the county of Middlesex, in order to explain the origin of the subsequent bloodshed.


"In support of the liberties of this country against the arbitrary rule of Ministers, I was before committed to the Tower, and am now sentenced to this prison. Steadiness with, I hope, strength of mind, do not however leave me; for the same consolation follows me here, the consciousness of innocence, of having done my duty, and exerted all my poor abilities, not unsuccessfully, for this nation. I can submit even to far greater sufferings with cheerfulness, because that I see that my countrymen reap the happy fruits of my labours and cruel persecutions, by the repeated decisions of our sovereign Courts of Justice in favour of liberty. I therefore bear up with fortitude, and even glory that I am called to suffer in this cause, because I continue to find the noblest reward--the applause of my native country, of this great, free, and spirited people.

"I chiefly regret, gentlemen, that this confinement deprives me of the honour of thanking you in person according to my promise, and at present takes from me in a great degree the power of being useful to you. The will, however, to do every service to my constituents remains in its full force; and when my sufferings have a period, the first day I regain my liberty shall restore a life of zeal in the cause and interests of the county of Middlesex.

"In this prison, in any other, in every place, my ruling passion will be the love of England and our free Constitution. To those objects I will make every sacrifice. Under all the oppressions which ministerial rage and revenge can invent, my steady purpose is to concert with you, and other true friends of this country, the most probable means of rooting out the remains of arbitrary power and Star-chamber inquisition, and of improving as well as securing the generous plans of freedom, which were the boast of our ancestors, and I trust will remain the noblest inheritance of our posterity, the only genuine characteristic of Englishmen. I have, &c. &c.


"_King's-bench Prison, May 5, 1768._"

Some circumstances had induced the populace to suppose it was the intention of Government to remove Mr. Wilkes from the King's-bench to the House of Commons on Tuesday, May 10. Many idle and curious persons probably assembled near the gates to _kill_ an hour by gazing at a man who had excited their attention, and many others doubtlessly attended for riotous and unjustifiable purposes, which Mr. Wilkes or any real patriot must have disapproved, though in the usual blindness of zeal those purposes are generally disregarded as unworthy notice in the cause of liberty, when violent men choose to espouse her interest. A detestable incendiary, a successful villain, to whom I attribute the innocent deaths of those that fell on this fatal day, pasted certain doggrel lines on the prison walls which were read with avidity by the mob, and contributed to inflame their minds; they demanded the appearance of the prisoner with shouts, and at length several Magistrates and the military arrived, the paper was taken down, the riot commenced, the soldiers fired, and a young man named Allen fell under such circumstances as occasioned the following trial.

"Summary of the Trial of Donald Maclane, on Tuesday last, at Guildford Assizes, for the Murder of William Allen, jun. on the 10th of May last in St. George's Fields.

"Mr. Serjeant Leigh, Counsel for the prosecution, having opened the trial with a speech suitable to the purpose, proceeded to an examination of witnesses, and produced two, one Skidmore a discharged marine, and one Twaites a country lad, who had been about a fortnight in Mr. Allen's service as an ostler. These evidences swore positively to the identity of the prisoner, and were the only people on the part of the prosecution, who declared any knowledge of his person. The latter, however, differed in his own accounts of the transaction; and the testimony which he gave before the Coroner was contradicted by the deposition which he gave into Court.

"The next witnesses, Okins and Brawn, swear that they were in the cow-house with Mr. Allen at the time he was shot; and the latter particularly says, that he was going to strike down the soldier's musquet, which was levelled at the deceased, but that another soldier seeming ready to present at himself, the care which he had for his own life, together with his terror at the situation of Mr. Allen, obliged him to retire. Okins says, that when he heard the soldier threaten Mr. Allen, he (Okins) fell down with an excess of apprehension; neither, however, though so near to the soldier, could swear to his identity; and what is the more remarkable, each was unseen by the other, Okins never once recollecting Brawn's being present, and Brawn being equally ignorant of Okins. Several other witnesses appeared for the prosecution, but as they prove nothing so material as the evidences already mentioned, and chiefly tend to clear up what is universally admitted, namely, Mr. Allen's being wholly unconcerned in the riots of the day, it is not necessary to take any particular notice of them.

"The evidence for the prosecution being ended, the prisoner's Counsel produced their witnesses; the first of whom, Samuel Gillam, Esq. declared, that on the 10th of May, having been previously applied to by the Marshal of the King's Bench prison for a guard, he came into St. George's Fields, where a detachment of one hundred men, properly officered, had been ordered. Here the mob were exceedingly riotous; and Mr. Gillam tells us, that he himself was several times struck with a variety of missile articles. A paper had been stuck up against the prison, which seemed the raving of some _patriotic_ bedlamite, and in six lines, as stupid as they were seditious, talked about Liberty being confined with Mr. Wilkes, and desiring all good Englishmen to pay their daily homage, at the place where those invaluable blessings were lodged. This paper had been taken down by the Constables, a circumstance which gave the _generous_ assertors of Freedom incredible offence, and they roared out, 'the paper, the paper, give us the paper.' Mr. Gillam answered, that if any person there would claim the property of the paper, it should be immediately restored, and gave it into Mr. Ponton's hands, before the rioters, to keep till somebody should be bold enough to make so particular a demand. This enraged the populace still farther, and a Patriot in two dirty red waistcoats, but without any coat, distinguished himself in throwing stones at the Magistrates, and the Constables received orders to apprehend him; in this service they were assisted by Mr. Murray, the Ensign on duty, and five or six grenadiers. The fellow fled, and was pursued by the grenadiers; he escaped into a Cow-house, and shut the door after him, but the soldiers continued their pursuit, and in a little time the report of a musquet was heard; in a few minutes after they returned, and Peter Mac Cloughlan, with an air of great concern, and a tone of much distress, informed Mr. Murray that his piece had gone off accidentally, and that a man was killed--'Damn you,' replied Mr. Murray, 'Who gave you orders to fire?' 'Nobody,' answered Mac Cloughlan; 'it went off entirely by accident.' This circumstance Mr. Gillam deposed he took particular notice of, because the man testified every natural sign of concern and humanity.

"The Cow-house has three doors or gates, one at each side, and another at one of the ends. The fellow in the red waistcoat got in at a side door, and is supposed to have escaped the opposite way; just at this unfortunate crisis young Mr. Allen, who was also in a red waistcoat, entered at the door out of which the rioter had fled, so that when the soldiers opened the door nearest to them, they found a person in a red waistcoat, and this person was shot by Mac Cloughlan, as he himself confessed; but whether by accident, or design is not at all necessary to the present object of enquiry; the enquiry now is, whether Mr. Allen was shot by Maclane, or whether he was not.

"Mr. Gillam swears peremptorily that Maclane is not the man who made the confession alluded to; and Corporal Neale, with Serjeant Earle, Serjeant Steuart, and several private men, who were that day in St. George's-fields, and some of whom were likewise at the Cow-house, in pursuit of the rioter, either declare, that they heard Mac Cloughlan's own acknowledgment of the fact, or swear that Maclane did not enter the Cow-house at all. One of the private men particularly, James Hide, says he was in the Cow-house when Mac Cloughlan's piece went off, and adds, that there was at that time nobody in it but the deceased, Mac Cloughlan, and himself.

"Many of the military witnesses swear that they can easily tell, by looking at a musquet, if it has been newly discharged; and they express themselves with certainty, that Maclane's was not discharged at all on the 10th of May. To this they add, that Mac Cloughlan, from an apprehension of consequences, has deserted.

"The evidence for the prosecution, however, took notice, that Maclane's musquet was particularly examined, and that he was even ordered from the ranks, upon a presumption, as they imagine, that the officers themselves were satisfied he was the person by whom Mr. Allen had been killed. But this circumstance is very well accounted for on the other side; where several of the witnesses prove, that after the _accidental_ discharge which Mac Cloughlan mentions of his piece, and the unhappy consequence, Mr. Murray, the Ensign, observing Maclane's musquet on a full cock, reproached him with negligence, and took the piece out of his hand to look at; Maclane mentioned in his excuse, that his flint was too large, and that if he kept it upon a half cock, he should lose all the priming from his pan.

"Some persons seeing the transaction, and hearing Maclane reproached, concluded he was the person who had shot Mr. Allen; and they pointed him out as a murderer; the officer, therefore, thought it necessary, for the man's security, to remove him from the ranks; but, finding him more liable to danger then than when he was with the corps, he ordered him to his former station.--However, as he was positively sworn to, the military were forced to give him up, notwithstanding their consciousness of his innocence; and Mr. Gillam, as a Magistrate, was obliged to receive the charge, notwithstanding he was so perfectly acquainted with Mac Cloughlan's declaration.

"Such was the general scope of the evidence on this trial; after which the Judge summed up the evidence, declined saying much from himself, as the question did not turn upon any difficult points; the Jury withdrew, and in about an hour returned with a verdict of _Not Guilty_. Mr. Wilkes, who was all the time at the Red Lion Inn, opposite the Court, was taken to town the moment the prisoner was acquitted. He was only examined a few minutes by the Grand Jury. He was brought back on Tuesday night to the King's-bench Prison.

"The Grand Jury dismissed the bills against the officer and the other soldiers.

"The above trial began about half an hour after seven in the morning, and lasted near nine hours. The counsel for the prosecution were, Mr. Serjeant Leigh, Mr. Lucas, Mr. Lade, and Mr. Baker; those for the prisoner were, Mr. Hervey, Mr. Cox, Mr. Bishop, and Mr. Robinson."

The lines alluded to in the trial were:

"Let * * * * * Judges, Ministers combine, And here great Wilkes and _Liberty confine_; Yet in each English heart secure their fame is, In spite of crowded levies at St. J--s's. Then, while in prison Envy dooms _their_ stay, Here grateful Britons daily homage pay."

It is by no means necessary to trace the effects of the several balls fired upon this occasion; it will be quite enough to add that the innocent alone suffered.

To conclude the eventful story of poor Allen; his remains were deposited in the church-yard of St. Mary Newington, Surrey, where _political_ friends honoured his memory with a handsome, if not a superb monument, thus inscribed:

North side:

"Sacred to the memory of WILLIAM ALLEN, An Englishman of unspotted life and amiable disposition, Who was inhumanly murdered near St. George's-fields, the 10th day of May, 1768, by the Scottish detachment from the army. His disconsolate parents, inhabitants of this parish, caused this tomb to be erected to an only son, lost to them and to the world, in his 20th year, as a monument of his virtues and their affection!"

South side:

"O disembody'd Soul! most rudely driven From this low orb (our sinful seat) to Heaven; While filial piety can please the ear, Thy name will still occur, for ever dear: This very spot, now humaniz'd, shall crave From all a tear of pity on thy grave. O flow'r of flow'rs! which we shall see no more, } No kind returning Spring can thee restore: } Thy loss thy hapless countrymen deplore." }

East side:

"O earth! cover not thou my blood. Job xvi. 18."

West side:

"Take away the wicked from before the King, and his throne shall be established in righteousness. Prov. xxiii. 5."

The unwarrantable inferences of the above inscription, and the spirit which dictated the exposure of it, removes the compassion that posterity would otherwise have felt for the parents of the innocent youth, whose situation was certainly not more pitiable than that of the relatives of the other persons killed on the same day. If we had a single doubt that the senior Allen became a tool of party after perusing the epitaph, the petition which he put into the King's own hands on the 5th of October will prove it beyond dispute. His cries for vengeance proceeded not from a broken spirit; such would have forgiven mankind long before _a year and three months_ had elapsed.

"To his MAJESTY.

"The humble Petition of William Allen, the disconsolate father of William Allen, who was barbarously murdered on the 10th of May, 1768.

"Most gracious Sovereign,

"Your Petitioner thinks it his duty to lay before your Majesty, with great humility, a short account of the unprovoked and outrageous murder committed by a Scotch officer, and three soldiers of the same regiment, upon the innocent body of your Petitioner's only son: a youth that, all who knew him are ready to attest, was perfectly sober, temperate, humane, dutiful to his parents, and a sincere lover and worshiper of his God. It was a murder of so complicated a die, and attended by so many barbarous and cruel circumstances, as can hardly be paralleled in any former age, and is a disgrace to the present, which was proved to a demonstration, before an honest impartial Jury summoned by the Coroner, and the officer and soldiers brought in guilty of _Wilful Murder_; yet, by the powerful interposition of the great, and the artful and sinister means of some of your Majesty's Justices, who ordered the soldiers to fire, and suffered one of the murderers to make his escape, and the others have been screened from the punishment they so justly deserved; and, as your Petitioner has been informed, some of them rewarded for committing this most execrable crime.

"That if your most gracious Majesty, the father of your people, would permit your unhappy Petitioner to lay the whole state of his case before you, he is well persuaded your Majesty's fatherly heart would sympathise with the still bleeding agonies of the disconsolate parents of so amiable a child, snatched from them by the hands of ruffians in the bloom of youth and innocence; of a daughter who did not long survive the untimely death of her beloved brother, and of a most afflicted mother, who (though still alive) incessantly moans and weeps over the cruel death of the best of children, and cannot be comforted. Your Majesty can never be offended with your most afflicted Petitioner for applying to your Majesty for justice against the cruel murderers of his beloved child, whose blood cries aloud for vengeance.

"Your Majesty's Petitioner has spent a very large sum of money in the prosecution of the perpetrators of this horrid crime; and though this prosecution was carried on in your Majesty's name, yet it is a notorious fact, that your Majesty's Counsel, Solicitor, and Agents for the Treasury, were employed against me, appeared publicly at the Assizes, and by all other arbitrary acts, rendered every effort of your poor Petitioner vain and insignificant, to the astonishment of all unbiassed hearers who attended that trial. Your Petitioner, therefore, has no hopes of justice but from your Majesty: he has, indeed, this consolation left, that he proved by incontestable evidence that his son was innocent, and that he was not in the fields that fatal day, neither had he given the least offence to any person whatsoever; that he was employed in his own business to the very minute of his being killed adjoining his father's own premises; that neither his natural temper, nor inoffensive behaviour, ever tempted him to mix with ill-disposed persons in any private or public disturbance of any kind, and was so remarkably harmless and mild, that he hath in these particulars hardly left his equal; for the truth of which facts, your Petitioner appeals to all that knew him.

"It is humbly hoped, your Majesty will pardon the length of this Petition, laid before you by the most disconsolate father of a murdered child, who now, with tears in his eyes, and a bleeding heart, lies prostrate at your Majesty's feet, meekly and humbly imploring your compassion and justice, equally due to the meanest of your subjects.

"Your Petitioner, therefore, most humbly beseeches your Majesty, to take the premises into your royal consideration, and to issue out your proclamation for apprehending the perpetrators of this horrid crime, which may still be useful, though it is a year and three months since the commission of the fact, that they may be brought to a fair trial, when your Petitioner will be ready to prove what he has asserted, or in any other way or method that your Majesty in your great wisdom and justice shall think most proper; and your Petitioner shall for ever pray for the ease, happiness, and prosperity of your Majesty's Royal person and posterity.


Exclusive of the foregoing attempt to terminate the strange infatuation of the people, a Proclamation was issued in the ensuing words:


"Whereas it has been represented to us, that divers dissolute and disorderly persons have of late frequently assembled themselves together in a riotous and unlawful manner, to the disturbance of the public peace; and particularly, that large bodies of Seamen, consisting of several thousands, have assembled tumultuously upon the river Thames, and, under a pretence of the insufficiency of the wages allowed by the merchants and others, have in the most daring manner taken possession by violence of several outward-bound ships ready to sail, and by unbending the sails, and striking the yards and topmasts, have stopped them in the prosecution of their voyages; and that these acts of violence have been accompanied with threats of still greater outrages, which have spread terror and alarm among those most likely to be immediately affected thereby; and it has been further represented to us, that some of the said dissolute and disorderly persons have audaciously attempted to deter and intimidate the civil Magistrates from doing their duty: we, having taken the same into our serious consideration, and being duly sensible of the mischievous consequences that may ensue from the continuance or repetition of such disorders, have thought fit, by and with the advice of our Privy-council, to issue this our Royal Proclamation; hereby strictly requiring and commanding the Lord Mayor, and other the Justices of the peace of our City of London, and also the Justices of the peace of our City and Liberties of Westminster and Borough of Southwark; and of our Counties of Middlesex, Surrey, Kent, and all other our peace-officers, that they do severally use their utmost endeavours, by every legal means in their power, effectually to prevent and suppress all riots, tumults, and unlawful assemblies; and to that end to put in due execution the laws and statutes now in force for preventing, suppressing, and punishing the same; and that all our loving subjects be aiding and assisting therein. And we do further graciously declare, that the said Magistrates, and all others acting in obedience to this our command, may rely on our Royal protection and support in so doing.

"Given at our Court at St. James's the 11th day of May, 1768, in the eighth year of our reign."

Two days before the appearance of the King's Proclamation the Lord Mayor had published others, which follow:

"_Mansion-house, London, May 9, 1768._

"Whereas information has been given to me that great numbers of young persons, who appear to be apprentices and journeymen, have assembled themselves together in large bodies in different parts of this city and liberties thereof, for several evenings last past, and behaved themselves in such manner that, if continued, may greatly endanger the peace of the said City: this is therefore to caution all masters to use their best endeavours to prevent their apprentices and servants from assembling themselves together in the public streets, as whoever shall hereafter be found offending in the manner aforesaid will be prosecuted according to law: and for the better preserving the peace of the said City and Liberties, the Freemen thereof are at this juncture reminded of the two following clauses contained in their oath of admission before the Chamberlain:

'You shall keep the King's peace in your own person. You shall know no gatherings, conventicles, or conspiracies made against the King's peace, but you shall warn the Mayor thereof, or hinder it to your power.'

"If a Freeman breaks through this oath he forfeits his freedom; and if having one, two, three, or more apprentices, and does not in a time of public disorder restrain him or them from going abroad, and from encreasing the said public disorder, he may be deemed and construed an accessary thereto, and guilty of a breach of his oath.


* * * * *

"Whereas a paragraph appeared in the public papers the 5th instant setting forth, 'That 790 quarters of wheat had been laid up upwards of six months in two lighters below bridge, and was become rotten and thrown overboard into the Thames:' and as such paragraphs are frequently void of truth, and tend only to inflame the minds of people, who at this time are too much deluded and deceived by what they read in public newspapers; I think it necessary to inform the publick of the state of that matter from the best information I could obtain; _viz._ the Lady Adleheit, John Segal Ken, took on board at Bremen, the 17th day of December last, 70 last of wheat in bags, being 1400 bags; the frost setting in immediately she was detained by the ice there, and did not arrive at the port of London till the 4th of April; and the cargo by being so long on board, and by the damage the ship sustained among the ice, proved in a most terrible condition, and was disposed of in the following manner:

300 quarters at 40_s._ 6_d._ 90 ditto 41 270 40 50 14

35 ditto in the lump at five guineas; 9 one-half thrown overboard.


A set of wretches, taking advantage of the general confusion, adopted a new method of depredation, by passing through the streets in the characters of Sailors and Coal-heavers in such numbers as to intimidate persons into complying with their demands for money. It is but justice, however, to add, that the real Sailors treated them with the utmost severity when they had an opportunity of meeting with them.

The Journeymen Tailors soon after caught the combination-fever, and collected, in humble imitation of the Seamen, in Lincoln's-inn-fields, to proceed with a petition for redress of their _sewing_ grievances. They too had leaders, and to those the Magistrates applied successfully in dissuading them from their purpose; but unfortunately these helms of the vast body were unable to swerve the many-headed monster, and yet by the exertion of a little address the Magistrates contrived to prevail on them to entrust the petition to a deputation of six; and the rest dispersed.

Although the Coal-heavers and Sailors appear to have acted under the influence of the same cause, an attempt to obtain an increase of wages, they had become inveterate enemies before the middle of June, and actually fought with such rancour as to use swords and fire-arms; the consequence of which was many wounds, and several deaths, inflicted by each party; and the newspapers even assert that seven soldiers and a serjeant lost their lives in attempting to quell a riot in Wapping, when twenty of the aggressors were killed.

That the reader may form a just estimate of the wicked proceedings of some of those infatuated wretches the Coal-heavers, I shall introduce an abstract of the trial of seven of them for shooting at John Green on the 21st of April, 1768.

"Abstract of the Trial of John Grainger, Daniel Clark, Richard Cornwall, Patrick Lynch, Thomas Murray, Peter Flaharty, and Nicholas M'Cabe, for shooting at John Green contrary to the Statute on the 21st of April last.

"John Green, living at the bottom of New Gravel-lane, Shadwell, deposed, that he was employed as Deputy Agent under Mr. William Russel, who, as agent appointed by Mr. Alderman Beckford, was concerned in the execution of the Act of Parliament for regulating Coal-heavers; that before this they were under the direction of Justice Hodgson, and revolted from the coal-undertakers, insisting first upon sixteen-pence a score, and then eighteen-pence, but at last would have nothing to do with the undertakers, and would have their price under the Act of Parliament; that Mr. Russel and the deponent had fixed upon an office at Billingsgate for registering the Coal-heavers, but none of them came there; alledging they were under the direction of Justice Hodgson, to whom only they would apply; that the deponent was sent with a complaint to the Justice by Mr. Russel, desiring a meeting with him, which he excused, but would send his clerk, and further told him, that if Mr. Russel did not desist, he would meet with trouble, and he would give him a pretty dance to Westminster-hall, for the Act of Parliament was in so vague a manner that any body might keep an office, and that as they had the best men at their office, they did not fear to have the business; that, however, in a few days after Mr. Russel advertised for men to come, but none came; and then he advertised for their coming at such a time, or he would employ such able-bodied men as chose to come, whereupon many came, and they were put in the gangs; that Dunster, Justice Hodgson's clerk, having seen the deponent do this at Billingsgate, he brought to his door no less than three or four hundred of these men, a great many of whom threatened they would pull down his house, or they would do for him; that the Deponent went to the Mansion-house to acquaint the Lord Mayor of the danger he was in, and received for answer, that he must be directed by some Magistrate in his neighbourhood; that on Saturday morning, the 16th of April, the Coal-heavers having put up some bills, a neighbour's servant went and pulled one down, upon which the Coal-heavers cried out, that Green's maid had pulled down their bills, and then they directly came running from different parts to his door to the amount of one hundred and upwards. The purport, the Deponent said, of these bills was a libel on Mr. Alderman Beckford, and what was done was Mr. Russel's own doing.----The acts of violence committed by the Coal-heavers against this Deponent, best appear from his own words.

"I asked them, said he, what they wanted with me; they cried, 'by Jesus they would have my life if I offered to meddle with any of their bills;' I said I had not meddled with any, nor none had that belonged to me; one of them cried, 'By Jesus he shall have a bill put up at his own window;' he took up a handful of dirt, and put it upon the window, and put the bill upon it; another of them laid hold of my collar, and dragged me off the step of my door; another said, 'Haul him into the river;' said another, 'By Jesus, we will drown him.' I got from them, and retreated back into my house. After that I went to Billingsgate, and met several of them there; they threatened they would have my life. When I came home, I saw a great many of these people running from their different habitations, some with bludgeons, or broomsticks, and weapons of that sort; they did not collect themselves in a body, but were running to the head of New Gravel-lane; I believe about four or five hundred of them came within two hundred yards of my house; they went to Mr. Metcalf, a neighbour of mine, and threatened him; there was one of them that was a pretended friend of mine, that had promised, when he knew of any thing against me, he would let me know; I sat up to guard my house, and I sent my wife and children out of the house; after that I prevailed upon my wife to stay in the house upon this man's intelligence; he came about twelve, and told me nothing was intended against me, that they had done their business they were about; I went to bed, and was asleep; I was awaked by my sister-in-law, calling, 'Mr. Green, Mr. Green, for God's sake, we shall be murdered;' this was about one o'clock on the Sunday morning; I jumped out of bed, and ran into the next room where my arms were; I took and levelled one, and said, 'You rascals, if you do not be gone, I will shoot you;' they were then driving at my doors and shutters, the noise was terrible, like a parcel of men working upon a ship's bottom; I could compare it to nothing else; I fired among them; I believed I fired about fourteen times; and, when I had not any thing ready to fire, I threw glass bottles upon them; they were at this about a quarter of an hour, when they all dispersed. On the Monday I went to Billingsgate about eleven; I saw several of them there who threatened me; Dunster was there also; they told me they would do for me if I did not desist in my proceedings, which was to register such people as applied; there were always some of the Coal-heavers about Dunster, he talked of the advertisements that had been in the paper, and said they were mine; for he said Mr. Russel had told him he totally declined having any thing to say in it, and it was my doing only; I said, 'Do not deceive these men, that is very wrong of you;' I asked him, if Mr. Russel did not tell him he would advertise to this effect; I began to be afraid, and, as many of them came about me, I left them.

"Nothing happened after till Wednesday night, that was the 20th, about seven in the evening; then I saw a great many of these Coal-heavers assembling together, about three or four hundred yards from my house, going up Gravel-lane. I shut up as fast as I could, and told my wife to get out of the house as fast as she could with her children; accordingly she went away with the child that was asleep in the cradle; Gilberthorp was in the house drinking a pint of beer (I did not know his name then); said I, 'Brother tarpawling (he is a seafaring man), I am afraid I shall have a desperate attack to-night from what I have heard; will you stand by me, and give me all the assistance you can?' 'Yes,' said he, 'that I will.' When the house was secured backwards and forwards, I went up stairs; some stones had broke some windows there; I believe some of them had thrown stones and run away; I heard them call out _Wilkes and Liberty_; I saw the neighbours lighting up candles, for these people shall have no occasion at all to use me ill. I went to the window and begged of them to desist, and said, if they knew any thing particular of me, I was willing to resolve any thing they wanted to know: seeing I could not defend myself, I disguised myself, and put on an old watch-coat and a Dutch cap, and went down stairs in order to get a Magistrate to come and prevent my house from being pulled down; I had one Dunderdale, a shoemaker, that lodged in my house, he went down with me; when I came down to the back-door, I heard them threaten they would have me and my life; I then found it impossible to get out of the house; I ran up stairs then, fully determined to defend myself as long as I was able: I spoke to them again in the street from the window, and desired them to tell me what I had done; they called out in the street 'they would have me and hang me over my sign-post;' others said 'they would broil and roast me,' and words to that effect; stones came up very fast. I then took a brace of pistols from the table, and fired among them, loaded with powder only; after that I kept firing away among them what arms I had loaded with bird and swan shot; they dispersed in the front then; I immediately ran backwards, they were heaving stones into the back chamber windows; I fired from the back chamber windows; after I had fired some few rounds backwards, they desisted from heaving stones into the back part of the house, but I did not find they had left the place. I was again attacked both in front and back part of the house; I fired among them sometimes from the front of my house, and sometimes from the rear; I imagined they would have broke into the house presently, if I had not kept a warm fire upon them; I heard them call out several times, I am shot, I am wounded; still they said 'they would have me, and do for me.' I had various attacks in the night; I saw no fire-arms they had till eleven or twelve in the night: they were driving at the door about ten, but I cannot tell with what; I looked through the door, and saw their hands moving, driving something hard against it. About twelve they fired into the house, both in the front and the rear; the balls struck the cieling in the room where I was, sometimes close over my head; as they were in the street, and I in the one-pair of stairs, the balls went into the cieling, and dropped down on the floor; I could not walk about the room with any safety, I was forced to place myself by the wall between the windows, and sometimes I would crawl under the window to the next, and sometimes I stood behind the brackets; then I would stand up and drive among them like dung; I have seen their balls strike the cieling as I have stood under the cover of the wall, and as I have been going to fire, they have come over my head, and some lodged in the cieling.

"This firing continued all the night and all the morning at different periods.

"When I attacked them backwards, I used to crawl out of the window on my belly, and lie upon the wash-house leads with my arms; I have heard them say, "You that have arms are to fire upon him, and you that have stones are to heave, and so many to break the door, and so many to climb the wall." If they got up there, they could get in at the window from the leads. I had Gilberthorp below to guard the door, for part of the front door was broke. I got off, I believe, about nine in the morning, when I had no more ammunition left, only the charge that I had in my blunderbuss, except what was in the musket, that would not go off; so I said to the men that were in the house, 'You see they are firing from every quarter, there is no help for me, they will come in, and I can make no return upon them to check their insolence; the best way to make them desist, is for me to get out of the house, you will all be very safe whether I make my escape or not.' Mr. Gilberthorp said, 'Do what you think best.' I said, 'They only want me, if they get me it is all over, or if they know I am gone, they will desist.' I took my blunderbuss over my arm, and my drawn hanger in my hand, and went out of the back window upon the leads; I saw several of them in the alley, I levelled the blunderbuss at them, and said, 'You rascals, be gone, or I'll blow your brains out, especially you (that was to one under me); but I scorn to take your life.' He said, 'God bless you, Mr. Green, you are a brave man;' he clapped his hand on his head, and ran away. I went over into Mr. Mereton's ship-yard, one of the shipwrights met me; just as I jumped, he said, 'Mr. Green, follow me;' he took me to a saw-pit, and shewed me a hole at the end where the sawyers used to put their things; he said, 'Go into that hole, you will be safe enough;' said I, 'Don't drop a word but that I am gone over the wall;' I got in, he left me; there I lay till the guards came. I heard the mob search for me; some said he is gone one way, some another; they were got into the yard, I heard one of the shipwrights say he is gone over the wall, and gone away by water.

"When the guards came, one of the shipwrights came to me, and desired to know what I should do; I said, 'Go and tell the officer to draw his men up and come into the yard, and I will surrender myself to him.' The soldiers came, and I came out of the saw-pit; I had nothing but my handkerchief about my head; I had been wounded between ten and eleven at night; I surrendered myself to the officer; Justice Hodgson said, 'Mr. Green, you are one of the bravest fellows that ever was; who do you intend to go before, me, or Sir John Fielding?' I said, 'I do not care who it is;' then said he, 'you will go before me;' accordingly we went, and when I came there he committed me to Newgate.--In the course of this evidence it does not appear, that the deponent swore to the identity of any of the prisoners, as engaged in the act of firing against, or otherwise assailing his house, though he did to some few of them threatening him at Billingsgate; but this identity was sworn to by the next evidence, George Crabtree, in the persons of Cornwall, David Clark or Clarey, Lynch, Flaharty, and Grainger. The first he saw fire several times towards Green's windows; Clark he also saw fire after Green had shot his brother; Grainger he saw heaving a stone, or brickbat, at Green's windows, and Lynch with a musket in his hand, but did not see him fire. Robert Anderson swore to Clark's and Cornwall's firing several times, as did also Andrew Evenerus to Clark's firing. Thomas Cummings swore to the same as committed by Flaharty, Clark, Lynch, Cornwall, and Murray, and he particularly accused Flaharty of getting into his own house and firing out at his garret windows. Philip Oram and William Burgess corroborated the same as to Cornwall; and the latter saw M'Cabe and John Grainger firing, knowing their persons but not their names. M'Cabe asked him for his sleeve-buttons to load a piece with to fire at Green, and moreover examined his coat, and wanted to feel in his pocket for something to load: M'Cabe also inquired in the house, where he the deponent lodged, for the pewter spoons and pots to cut them in pieces for shot, saying he would pay for them. There were several other evidences to prove the identity of the prisoners as concerned in this riot. Some of the prisoners declared their innocence of the charge; others said they were there with the design of keeping the peace, and preventing the escape of Green, who had been guilty of murder by firing out of his windows. Several appeared to their character, but all seven were brought in guilty, _Death_, and were executed the 26th of July pursuant to their sentence."

The last disgraceful act of this turbulent æra was marked with additional depravity: a set of Spital-fields weavers had constituted themselves a deliberative body, and decreed that all possessors of looms should send them a tax of four shillings each. Their place of rendezvous was the Dolphin in Cock-lane, and their denomination the "Cutters;" and, justly dreading the consequences of their conduct, they were provided with swords and fire-arms, to defend themselves, and intimidate those to whom they wrote. A Mr. Hill exhibited the following order to the Magistrates of Bow-street in October 1769: "Mr. Hill, you are desired to send the full donation of all your looms to the Dolphin in Cock-lane. This from the conquering and bold Defiance to be levied four shillings _per_ loom"--and obtained a summons for the keeper of the Dolphin, which that person disobeyed. Officers were then dispatched to ascertain whether the Cutters had really assembled; and oath having been made that they were sitting, a warrant to search the house was issued, and a Magistrate, several officers of the Police, and a party of Soldiers, went to execute it between eight and nine o'clock in the evening. They found this diabolical assembly in full progress, receiving the contributions of terrified manufacturers; and almost at the same instant received the fire of the whole number. A soldier fell dead, and the miscreants fled over the house tops; but four were apprehended. A detachment of the guards afterwards did duty in the neighbourhood, and had their quarters in the Parish-church. This precaution terminated the operations of the Cutters.

From 1776 till 1780, the inhabitants of London enjoyed a degree of tranquillity they must have long panted for. Temporary disturbances of the peace through sudden resentment, and the riots arising from inebriation, are too common for recital, and are seldom heard of beyond the parish in which they occur; but the effervescence of June 1780 spread like a torrent through every avenue of the Metropolis, and convulsed every quarter of the Kingdom. That one man should accomplish such an effect, and that his weapon should have been _intolerance only_, where tolerance is one of the gems which distinguish England from all Europe, is most astonishing. Our Legislature, acting upon the long-approved system of religious benevolence, would have erased from the Statute-books those restrictions which were calculated to repress a _powerful_ enemy, and which had become useless through the lapse of time and the cessation of hostility; yet, _Protestants_ objected, and acted the part of tyrants and bigots marshalled by a _madman_.

When an incendiary seizes upon a real grievance, or upon the presumed violation of any favourite point with the publick, let the peaceable Citizen beware how he listens to his _interested_ declamations; let him remember that his _passions may be excited_ by inflammatory insinuations; in short, let him remember the sophistry of Lord George Gordon; the errors of his predecessors, the cries of No Popery, the burning of part of London, the triumph of thieves, the exaction of money--realized in the horrors of 1780!

Had the multitude collected by the harangues of the miserable man alluded to possessed individually a grain of sense or reflection, they must have disbelieved his monstrous charge, that the Legislature intended to encourage or introduce the Roman Catholic religion, or, as he termed it, Popery. The very idea is so ridiculous that I should be ashamed to attempt to disprove it.

Under every disadvantage which might reasonably have been supposed to exist against the probability of raising so extensive a whirlwind of civil commotion, the adventurous chief commenced his operations by legally opposing the projected measures; but, fired by the homage paid to him, Lord George Gordon conceived the vast design of leading the whole community to the doors of Parliament with a Petition in their van unexampled in the number of its signatures. This he accomplished; but, observe the result: the _petitioners_ became _dictators_; the friends of _toleration_ were insulted, and barely escaped with their lives from a lawless mob (for to such had the petitioners degenerated); the voice of the _leader_ was drowned in yells of _No Popery_; and the deluded Citizen fled to his home, resigning his country to its fate, and trembling with apprehension lest his late friends should involve _him_ in the ruin he contributed to promote.

Let us now turn a hasty glance towards those dreadful harpies who spread through London, compelling the passenger to join in the general exclamation or watch-word of destruction, and to wear blue cockades, or hang badges at their doors, indicative of their detestation of Popery; and see them employed, unmolested, burning Roman-catholick chapels, the dwellings of members of that faith, _and the mansions of some of our most revered Judges and Legislators_! Even the admired and venerated Mansfield, the modern father of British law, lost his house, his valuable papers, and barely escaped with life. Invigorated by these scenes of horror, the ruffian emerged from his den, and filled the place of the appalled _petitioner_: flames spread on every side, the prisons were stormed and burnt, the convicts freed, and the metropolis was resigned to theft and destruction by the light of the various conflagrations.

After the intoxicated and wicked plunderers had rioted in excess till almost exhausted by exertion and debauchery, the hitherto nerveless arm of Government was raised, troops were poured into London, and the civil power became less terrified; the wretches still employed in works of horrible depravity were fired upon, many were killed and wounded, and numbers were apprehended and committed for trial. Thus London once more tasted the sweets of that repose, which would never have been interrupted, had not Bigotry and Passion triumphed in breasts where more gentle guests ought to have presided. Many vagabonds expiated their crimes with their lives after the subsequent trial; but a far greater number were victims to their own brutal acts, when plundering and drinking, surrounded by fire and falling walls.

It is strange that I should be compelled to record such scenes, without one cheering instance of manly exertion on the side of order, to relieve the odious picture. Why did not every thing in the shape of an honest _man_, arm in the defence of their families? Why was it that every muscle relaxed, that every nerve trembled, in the hour of danger? This fact cannot be satisfactorily explained.

The Riots of 1780 should close the article of popular tumult; an occurrence so important ought to be the last scene of the Drama: indeed it has not yet been even faintly copied, though much turbulence prevailed in consequence of the trial of Sir Hugh Palliser, the meetings of the Corresponding Society, the trial of Hardy, Tooke, &c. the destruction of Crimping-houses; and, to complete the catalogue, certain inflamed partizans dragged the Monarch from his coach when returning from exercising one of the most important functions of his great office: these and some other lesser acts of violence, are well known to have originated with the frantic votaries of the French revolution, the Republicans of England who have lived to see the great _Republick_ of France governed by an _Emperor_, and the Empire surrounded by Kings created by that Emperor!


[15:A] The liberality of sentiment which I ever have and ever shall entertain towards Christians of every denomination, has induced me to reprobate all acts of violence committed by them under the mask of Religion. Passages of my former publications similar to the above have induced certain narrow-minded men to assert that I am a _Roman Catholic_. Were that the fact, I fancy some other articles written by me might be pointed out, which would obtain for me pretty severe penance from my Confessor. Good criticks, be assured I was baptized, and have ever been, an unworthy member of the Church of England, and am actually a descendant of Cranmer, who died to establish that faith.

[16:A] This subject may be allowed to be familiar to me, and I have perhaps had more than common means of judging; and I now declare it to be my full and decided opinion that London was burnt by Government, to _annihilate the plague_, which was grafted in every crevice of the hateful old houses composing it.

[51:A] Addressed to a Society at Jonah's Coffee-house.

[54:A] Since writing the above Mr. Nichols pointed out to me the following article from the Gentleman's Magazine for 1757, p. 386, which is a sufficient explanation of the outrage:

"Aug. 10, 1757. Early this morning Mr. Hartley, a seafaring gentleman, was found dead in the area of a house of ill fame in Southampton-street, Covent-garden. He had been drinking with some sailors at their house of rendezvous near Westminster Bridge, and in his way home wanted to stop at the house above mentioned, but was denied admittance; on which he attempted to break the windows with his cane, but that dropping into the area, he jumped down after it, fractured his skull, and died without speaking a word. Since this accident happened great numbers of people have assembled with a design to pull the house down (_the Craven Arms_), many of whom have been wounded, and 14 sent to the round-house in one night. The people had a notion that the house was Justice Fielding's, and that he protected it; and it was found necessary to undeceive them, by advertising that it belongs to a charity in Southwark."



Many pursuits called amusements will be found in this section which the Moralist must term _Crimes_.

When the reader has traced the endeavours of the last century in the art of killing time, as related in this volume, he cannot but agree with me that a laughing is better than a sullen and ferocious age.

Concerts of vocal and instrumental musick were held as at present at the commencement of the century, and patronised by Ladies of distinction.

"_The great room_" in York-buildings was used for this purpose; and benefits were appointed for Mrs. Hudson and Mr. Williams, March 20, 1700.

A Concerto was held at the Theatre in Dorset-gardens April 24, 1700, with a most curious accompaniment, in order to amuse the auditors optically as well as auricularly. Joseph Thomas, master of the noble science of defence, had challenged or been challenged by a Mr. Jones, who came from North Wales, in order to decide whose skill was superior; after a trial before many of the nobility and gentry the palm was assigned to Mr. Jones.

While the superior ranks were thus employing their leisure hours, the _canaille_ had their amusements, perhaps not _quite_ so refined, but equally palatable to them. The following advertisement will explain one description of those, probably entirely forgotten by the oldest inhabitant now living: April 27, 1700. "In Brookfield Market-place, at the East corner of Hyde-park, is a fair to be kept for the space of _sixteen_ days, beginning the first of May. The first three days for live Cattle and Leather, _with the same entertainments as at Bartholomew-fair_; where there is shops to be let ready built for all manner of tradesmen that usually keep fairs; and so to continue yearly at the same time and place."

The present Tunbridge-wells, or Islington Spa, was in full favour with the publick, and opened for the Summer on the 5th of May. The proprietors admitted dances during the whole of the day on Mondays and Thursdays, provided they did not appear in Masks, for whom musick was provided. In this instance, it may be worthy of remark, we have no parallel at present; and happily none for the Bear-garden at Hockley in the Hole, where the infamous part of the community were _entertained_ with battles between eminent professors of the art of fencing, and sometimes with five pair of young men exhibiting together proofs of skill and strength.

"_At his Majesty's_ Bear-garden in Hockley in the Hole: a trial of skill to be performed to-morrow, being the 10th instant (July 1700), at three in the afternoon, between John Bowler of the City of Norwich, and Champion of Norfolk, Master of the noble science of defence, and Will of the West, from the City of Salisbury, Master of the said science of defence."

The trumpet, always a favourite instrument with the publick, was then used only by persons licensed by the Serjeant Trumpeter, who received upon conviction one shilling _per_ day from those who performed without a licence, which William Shore, Serjeant, assured the publick should be given to the poor, as the fines had been by his father, whom he succeeded in the office. These instruments are now used by persons who wish to attract notice at Puppet-shews, Bartholomew-fair, &c.; the amusements peculiar to which can only be caught by an attentive examination of the periodical publications of the day. An article in one of those, dated August 6, 1700, mentions: "The lessees of West-Smithfield having on Friday last represented to a Court of Aldermen at Guildhall, that it would be highly injurious to them to have the erection of all booths there _totally prohibited_, the right honourable Lord Mayor and the Court of Aldermen have, on consideration of the premises, _granted licence to erect some_ booths during the time of Bartholomew-fair now approaching; _but none_ are permitted for _Music booths_, or any that may be a means to promote debauchery." On the 23d of the same month the Lord Mayor went on horseback to proclaim the Fair, when he ordered two booths erected for the performance of Musick to be taken down immediately.

An anniversary celebration of Musick was held on St. Cecilia's day at Stationers'-hall in 1700 by a Society of Gentlemen; but whether those amateurs performed themselves, or hired performers, does not appear.

Certain persons felt great displeasure at the public amusements of the day; and at length that displeasure found vent in the presentment of the Grand Jury of Middlesex: "We the Grand Jury of the County of Middlesex do present, that the Plays which are frequently acted in the play-houses in Drury-lane and Lincoln's-Inn-fields in this County are full of prophane, irreverent, lewd, indecent, and immoral expressions, and tend to the great displeasure of Almighty God, and to the corruption of the auditory both in their principles and their practices. We also present, that the common acting of plays in the said play-houses very much tend to the debauching and ruining the youth resorting thereto, and to the breach of the peace, and are the occasions of many riots, routs, and disorderly assemblies, whereby many murders and other misdemeanors have been frequently done, and particularly the barbarous murder of Sir Andrew Slanning, which was very lately committed as he came out of one of the said play-houses; and further that the common acting of plays at the said play-houses is a public nuisance. As also the Bear-garden in Hockley in the Hole, in the parish of St. John's Clerkenwell, in the said County, to be of the like nuisance. We hope this honourable Court will use the most effectual and speedy means for the suppressing thereof."

The minor offenders were noticed as follows, in "The presentment of the Grand Jury sworn for the City of London at Justice-hall in the Old Bailey the 4th day of June 1701, and in the 13th year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King William III. of England, &c.

"This honourable Court, having taken notice in the admirable Charge given to us of the great advantages which this City hath received from the zeal and industry of those gentlemen and citizens, who in and about this City are concerned in Societies for the promoting more effectually the execution of the Laws against profaneness and debauchery, in pursuance to his Majesty's proclamations, and who have received the public approbation of many persons in high stations in Church and State: we the Grand Jury of this City do think it becomes us to return our hearty thanks to those worthy persons who are thus engaged in Societies for the promoting a reformation of manners, so absolutely necessary to our welfare; and we hope their engaging so heartily in this noble design will be an encouragement to others to join with them for the effecting a more general reformation.

"We having observed the late boldness of a sort of men that stile themselves masters of the noble science of defence, passing through this City, with beat of drums, colours displayed, swords drawn, with a numerous company of people following them, dispersing their printed bills, thereby inviting persons to be spectators of those inhuman sights, which are directly contrary to the practice and profession of the Christian Religion, whereby barbarous principles are instilled in the minds of men: we think ourselves obliged to represent this matter to this honourable Court, that some effectual method may be speedily taken to prevent their free passage through the City, in such a tumultuous manner, on so unwarrantable a design."

"Whereas we have seen a printed order of the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen the 25th June, 1700, to prevent the great profaneness, vice, and debauchery, so frequently used and practised in Bartholomew Fair, by strictly charging and commanding all persons concerned in the said Fair, and in the sheds and booths to be erected and built therein, or places adjacent, that they do not let, set, hire, or use, any booth, shed, stall, or other erection whatsoever, to be used or employed for interludes, stage-plays, comedies, gaming-places, lotteries, or music meetings[113:A]: and as we are informed the present Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen have passed another order to the same effect on the 3d instant, we take this occasion to return our most hearty thanks for their religious care and great zeal in this matter; we esteeming a renewing their former practices at the Fair a continuing one of the chiefest nurseries of vice next to the play-houses; therefore earnestly desire that the said orders may be most vigorously prosecuted, and that this honourable Court would endeavour that the said Fair may be employed to those good ends and purposes it was at first designed."

These Juries omitted noticing a most barbarous _amusement_ which prevailed to great excess, as will appear by the ensuing advertisements issued in the same year: "At the Royal Cockpit on the South side of St. James's-park, on Tuesday the 11th of this instant February, will begin a very great Cock-match; and will continue all the week; wherein most of the considerablest Cockers of England are concerned. There will be a battle down upon the Pit every day precisely at three o'clock, in order to have done by day-light. Monday the 9th instant March will begin a great match of Cock-fighting betwixt the Gentlemen of the City of Westminster and the Gentlemen of the City of London for six guineas a battle, and one hundred guineas the odd battle, and the match continues all the week, in Red-Lion-fields."

In the following April another match commenced, to continue for a week, at four guineas a battle, and forty guineas the odd battle, between the Gentlemen of London, and those of Warwickshire, at the new Cockpit behind Gray's-Inn-walks.

The presentments were, however, of some service, as the proprietors of the Bear-garden advertised subsequently "_without beat of drum_." Wrestling was exhibited by them, and the prizes were gloves at two shillings and sixpence _per_ pair. Lambeth-wells opened on Easter Mondays, and had public days on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, with musick from seven in the morning till sunset; on other days till two. The price of admission was three pence; the water one penny _per_ quart to the affluent, and _gratis_ to the poor.

The good people at Bartholomew Fair were entertained in 1701 by a Tiger, who had been taught to pick a fowl's feathers from the body. This feat seems to have roused the proprietors of the Theatre in Lincoln's-Inn-fields; and they immediately, "at the desire of several persons of quality," exhibited "that delightful exercise of vaulting on the managed horse according to the Italian manner," after the play of the Country Wife.

Amongst the variety of amusements with which London has abounded, public exhibitions may be fairly included. The first upon record within the century appears to have been certain models representing William the Third's palaces at Loo, Keswick, and Hunslaerdike: those were shown in 1701 from ten in the morning till one, and from two till eight at night, "at the White head near Pall-Mall facing the Haymarket, _within two doors of the glass lamps_." The proprietors elegantly observe in their advertisement, that they were "brought over lately by _outlandish_ men;" and that, "to render those diversions altogether more delightful and acceptable, there will be a collection of several curiosities to be sold and raffled for at the opening, and likewise every Monday and Friday following, those days being appointed the public raffling-days, besides a great variety of rarities: and to entertain the nobility and gentry (who, the undertakers hope, will countenance them with the honour of their company) there shall be on Wednesday the 14th instant (January) a _concert_ of musick by the best performers; and if all these diversions please such for whom they are intended, there shall be from time to time great additions made."

However pleasing and moral the Stage may be at present, we are in great measure indebted to our Ancestors for the improvements which have taken place. In the reign of Charles II. the licence permitted to Dramatic Authors was indecent and infamous in the extreme, and the profane and immoral expressions inserted in many plays really rendered the use of masks necessary for those ladies who possessed the least delicacy of sentiment.

In 1701-2 another and effectual effort was made to reform this evil, by a prosecution instituted in the Court of King's-bench, and tried before Lord Chief Justice Holt. The Jury on this occasion found the players of Lincoln's-Inn-fields play-house guilty of uttering impious, lewd, and immoral expressions.

In April 1702, an advertisement appeared in the papers, inviting the publick to see the skeleton of a Whale then lately caught in the Thames, which the proprietors had carefully scraped and put together in the field near King-street, Bloomsbury. They asserted that one bone of his head weighed 40 cwt. The price of admission was threepence.

This stupendous exhibition accompanied another of the model of Amsterdam, which almost vied with it in size: the length was between twenty and thirty feet, the breadth twenty; and the artist or artists were occupied twelve years in completing it. The place of exhibition was Bell-yard, Fleet-street.

May Fair opened this year with the usual _splendid_ entertainments, and, if the managers of these elegant diversions were to be credited, with more than common _eclat_. There was Mr. Miller's booth "over against" Mr. Barnes the rope-dancer's, where was "presented an excellent droll called Crispin and Crispianus, or a Shoemaker a Prince, with the best machines, singing, and dancing _ever yet in the Fair_." This and other excellent performances attracted the lasses and lads of London, whose spirits, exhilarated by the season from which the Fair was named, met in vast numbers, and with them the thief and the prostitute, who, as usual, did not permit the attractions of _drolls_ to _divert_ them from business: indeed they were so extremely active in their vocations, that the Magistrates thought proper to thin the number of the latter by commitments; but in the execution of this plan the Constables were resisted by a set of Soldiers, who determined to protect the _Fair_, which they did in such serious earnest, that Mr. John Cooper, one of the peace-officers, lost his life, and in due time was buried at St. James's Church Westminster, where a Funeral Sermon was preached by Josiah Woodward, D. D. Minister of Poplar Chapel, before the Justices, High Constable, &c. and which he published at their request. The Observator, a paper published twice a week at that period, says ironically of May Fair; "Oh the piety of some people about the Queen; who can suffer things of this nature to go undiscovered to her Majesty, and consequently unpunished! Can any rational man imagine that her Majesty would permit so much lewdness as is committed at May Fair for so many days together so near her Royal Palace, if she knew any thing of the matter? I do not believe the patent for that Fair allows the Patentees the liberty of setting up the _Devil's shops_, and exposing his merchandise to sale; _nor was there ever one Fair or Market in England constituted for this purpose_. But this Fair is kept contrary to Law, and in defiance of Justice; for the last Fair, when the Civil Magistrate came to keep the Queen's peace there, one Constable was killed, and three others wounded." The man who committed the above murder escaped, and a butcher of Gloucester was hanged for the crime; but the real culprit finally suffered: and thus tragically ended the Fair of May 1702.

Mr. Pawlet had a great dancing-room near Dowgate, Thames-street; hither the gay were invited to a "_Consort_" produced by violins, hautboys, flutes, and _a trumpet_, with singing. The admission 1_s._ 6_d._

The following quotation from the first number of "The Secret Mercury," published September 9, 1702, gives a better idea of one of the Drolls or Interludes of the day than any I have previously met with: "Wednesday September 2, having _padlocked my pockets_, and trimmed myself with Hudibras from head to foot, I set out about six for Bartholomew Fair; and, having thrown away _substantial silver_ for visionary Theatrical entertainment, I made myself ready for the Farce; but I had scarce composed myself when bolts me _into the Pit_ a bully beau," &c. &c. "The curtain drew, and discovered a nation of beauish machines; their motions were so starched, that I began to question whether I had mistaken myself and Dogget's booth for a Puppet-shew. As I was debating the matter, they advanced toward the front of the stage, and making a halt began a singing so miserably, that I was forced to tune my own whistle in romance ere my brains were set strait again. All the _secret_ I could for my life discover in the whole grotesque was the consistency or drift of the piece, which I could never demonstrate to this hour. At last all the childish parade shrunk off the stage by matter and motion, and enter a _hobletehoy_ of a dance, and Dogget in old woman's petticoats and red waistcoat, as like Progue Cock as ever man saw; it would have made a Stoick split his lungs, if he had seen the temporary harlot sing and weep both at once; a true emblem of a woman's tears. When these Christmas carols were over, enter a _wooden_ horse; now I concluded we should have the ballad of Troy-town, but I was disappointed in the scene, for a dancing-master comes in, begins a complimenting the horse, and fetching me three or four run-bars with his arm (as if he would have mortified the ox at one blow) takes a frolick upon the back of it, and translates himself into cavalry at one bound: all I could clap was the _patience_ of the beast. However, having played upon him about half a quarter, the conqueror was pursued with such a clangor from the crusted clutches of the mob in the _sixpenny place_, that for five minutes together I was tossed on this dilemma, that either a man had not five senses, or I was no man. The stage was now overrun with nothing but Merry Andrews and Pickle-herrings. This Mountebank scene was removed at last, and I was full of expectation the successor would be Pills, Pots of Balsam, and Orvietan; but, alas, they were but half Empiricks, and therefore _Exeunt omnes_."

From several circumstances it appears that, notwithstanding the proclamation and feeble exertions of the Corporation of London, these interludes were openly performed in Smithfield: and that the Governors of St. Bartholomew's Hospital actually permitted prostitutes to walk the Cloisters. One of the "Secret Mercuries" has this expression: "Well, I shall catch you _in the Cloysters_;" but the Observator of August 21, 1703, sets the matter beyond doubt: "Does this Market of lewdness tend to any thing else but the ruin of the bodies, souls, and estates, of the young men and women of the City of London, who here meet with all the temptations to destruction? The lotteries to ruin their estates; the drolls, comedies, interludes, and farces, to poison their minds with motions of lust; _and in the Cloisters_ (those conscious scenes of polluted amours) in the evening they strike the bargain to finish their ruin. What strange medley of lewdness has that place not long since afforded! Lords and ladies, aldermen and their wives, squires and fidlers, citizens and rope-dancers, jack-puddings and lawyers, mistresses and maids, masters and prentices! This is not an ark, like Noah's, which received the clean and unclean; only the _unclean_ beasts enter this ark, and such as have the Devil's livery on their backs." And in another paper he says, "they'll raffle with the punks in the Cloysters."

The reader will pardon the introduction of the substance of an advertisement inserted in the Postman, August 19, 1703, by Barnes and Finley, who, after the usual exordium of _their_ superior excellence, mention that the spectator will "see my _Lady Mary_ perform such curious steps on the _dancing rope_, &c. &c." This lady Mary is subsequently noticed in Heraclitus Ridens, No. 7, by Earnest, who says, "Look upon the old gentleman; his eyes are fixed upon my lady Mary: Cupid has shot him as dead as a Robin. Poor Heraclitus! he has cried away all his moisture, and is such a dotard to entertain himself with a prospect of what is meat for his betters; wake him out of his lethargy, and tell him the young noblemen and senators will take it amiss, if a man of his years makes pretensions to what is more than a match for their youth. Those, &c. &c. and roguish eyes have brought her more admirers than ever Jenny Bolton had; it is a pity, say I, she has no more manners, and less ill-nature." Chetwood, in his History of the Stage, mentions a Lady _Isabella_, which name, writing from memory, he has evidently mistaken for Mary, who was the daughter of noble parents inhabitants of Florence, where they immured her in a Nunnery; but, most fruitlessly careful of their beautiful offspring, she accidentally saw a Merry Andrew, who unfortunately saw her; in consequence of which a clandestine intercourse took place, an elopement followed, and finally this villain taught her his infamous tricks, which she exhibited for his profit till vice had made her his own; as Heraclitus proves. The catastrophe of the Lady Mary was dreadful; her _husband_, impatient of delays or impediments to profit, either permitted or commanded her to exhibit on the rope when eight months had elapsed in her pregnancy: encumbered by her weight, she fell, never more to rise; her infant was born on the stage, and died a victim with its Mother.

Mr. Abel advertised a concert and dancing at Covent Garden Theatre for Tuesday December 29, 1702: the performers, himself, Monsieur l'Abbé, Mr. Isaac's _scholar_, and others. The galleries were let for the benefit of the proprietors of the Playhouse.

Hitherto we have had to notice amusements which involved the performers in little corporeal injury, unless from accidents, or sudden quarrels. I shall now introduce an _entertainment_ the very zest of which consisted in a great number of broken pates. "At the White Horse at _Bristol_ Causeway (now denominated Brixton) in Surrey, three miles from London in the road to Croydon, will be a Hat played for at Cudgels, on the 23d of April, 1703; the Country against the Londoners. _He that breaks most heads_ to have the hat; he that plays puts in sixpence." Smock-races were run at this elegant place of resort "by young women and maids," to the utter disgrace of the neighbouring Magistracy.

The year 1703 produced a new source of amusement, which is noticed by _Tutchin_ in the Observator: "But I have some Play-house news to tell you: the great Play-house has calved a young one in Goodman's fields, in the passage by the Ship Tavern betwixt Prescot and Chambers-street. _Observator_--It is in a very good place in Rosemary-lane precinct; I know no reason why the quality at both ends of the town should not have the same diversions. This will be a great ease to the Ladies of Rag Fair, who are now forced to trudge as far as Lincoln's-inn-fields to mix themselves with quality. The mumpers of Knockvargis will now have the Playhouse come to them, who were not able to stump it to the other end of the town on their wooden legs: the Does in Tower-hill Park and Rosemary-lane purlieu will be foddered nearer home this winter; and the sailors will have better entertainment for their loose coins than formerly."

The Grand Jury of Middlesex presented May Fair in November 1703. And early in the ensuing year, the public mind had been so influenced by the dreadful storm of November, the effects of which were felt in every direction, that prelates, the clergy, authors, and in short all men of virtue, joined in one grand exclamation against the obscenity, the immorality, and the blasphemy of the stage, which its most ardent admirers must admit to have arrived at such a height as fully warranted an order from the Queen to restrain it. At the same period the Lord Mayor and Aldermen issued a proclamation, forbidding the cruel practice of throwing at Cocks on Shrove Tuesday; and the Tatler of April 18, 1709, mentions the total abolition of May Fair as far as related to the exhibition of puppets, and similar contemptible traps for the vulgar.

The Theatre in the Haymarket was opened in 1705, when these strange and almost impious lines were pronounced as part of the Prologue:

"Such was our Builder's art, that, soon as nam'd, This fabrick, like the infant World, was fram'd: The Architect must on dull order wait, But 'tis the Poet only can create. In the good age of ghostly ignorance, How did Cathedrals rise, and zeal advance; But now that pious pageantry no more, And Stages thrive as Churches did before."


The Theatre in Dorset Garden was taken down about 1709, and the site immediately afterwards converted into a wood-yard and saw-pit.

Firing at marks formed part of the amusement of a certain class of people in 1709; and prizes were offered of various descriptions, particularly one at Islington of a pair of doe-skin breeches worth 3_l._ The terms for the privilege of firing were a subscription of one shilling each by sixty men.

A most tragical occurrence happened in September 1709, at that polite place of resort the Bear-garden at Hockley in the Hole. Christopher Preston, keeper of the Garden, had taught his Bears every thing but forgiveness of injuries; and this he experienced, at an unguarded moment, by an attack from one, who not only killed, but almost devoured him, before his friends were aware of the fact.

In 1710 the publick were offered an exhibition something similar to the modern moving picture at Vauxhall; it was shown for sixpence and a shilling opposite Cecil-street in the Strand, and represented ships sailing out of port, a coach passing over a bridge leading to a city, a cart drawn by two horses with a woman in it, and many other things.

Matches at Cricket were played for many years on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, at the Duke of Ormond's head near Lamb's Conduit-fields.

The Tatler of April 25, 1710, advertises a Pastoral Mask to be performed at York-buildings on the 27th, composed by Mr. Clayton, and for his benefit, who is there said to have introduced the Italian Opera into England.

Mr. Winstanley had a "_Water Theatre_," distinguished by a _Windmill_ on the summit in Piccadilly near Hyde-park, "wherein was shewn the greatest curiosities in water-works, the like being never performed by any." The hours of exhibition were from five to six o'clock every evening in June and July 1710, for his widow's benefit. This gentleman had a house at Littlebury, Essex, where some experiments in Hydraulicks were exhibited for money.

The following notice was issued in August, "that a Gold Ring is to be danced for on the 31st instant, and a Hat to be played for at skittles the next day following, at the Green-gate in Gray's walks, near Lambeth-wells."

The Bowling-green and Cockpit behind Gray's-Inn garden were advertised for sale or to be let in 1710; but, though the publick seem thus to have lost one place of resort, Punch's Opera, under the direction of Powell, was opened at the same time at the _end_ of Lichfield-street, where the prices of admission were, boxes 2_s._ pit 1_s._ gallery 6_d._ This exhibition must have been something like the modern Fantoccini; the figures were dressed in character; and one of the performances was "The History of chaste Susannah."

A new Cockpit and Bowling-green were opened in March 1711 behind Gray's-Inn gardens; the Gentlemen of Essex against all Britain, at ten guineas a battle, and 500 the odd battle.

That the reader may not be bewildered by my conjectures as to the real nature of the entertainment described in the following advertisement, I shall transcribe it _verbatim_ from the original Spectator, No. 46: "Mr. Penkethman's (I suppose the actor of that time, 1711) wonderful invention called The Pantheon, or the Temple of the Heathen Gods, the work of several years and great expence, is now perfected; being a most surprising and magnificent machine, consisting of five several curious pictures, the painting and contrivance whereof is beyond expression admirable: the figures, which are above an hundred, and move their heads, legs, arms, and fingers so exactly to what they perform, and setting one foot before another like living creatures, that it justly deserves to be esteemed the greatest wonder of the age. To be seen from ten in the morning till ten at night, in the Little Piazzas, Covent-garden, in the same house where Punch's Opera is, price 1_s._ 6_d._, 1_s._, and the lowest 6_d._"

The room in Spring-garden now used as a Toy-shop, and for various exhibitions, was a Masquerade-room in 1711; which amusement was afforded for half a guinea _per_ ticket, and a concert included. No person admitted unmasked or armed.

St. George's-fields abounded with gardens, where the lower classes met to drink and smoke tobacco; but those were not their only amusements. Mr. Shanks near Lambeth-marsh contrived to assemble his customers in 1711 with a grinning match. The prize was a gold-laced hat, and the competitors were exhilarated by musick and dancing: the hour of exhibition twelve at noon, and the admission 6_d._ At six o'clock the same. And every evening another portion of the same class were delighted with contortions of a different description, which had however the sanction of antiquity; posture-masters are represented in the illuminations of very antient MSS. and in attitudes described in the following advertisement: "At the Duke of Marlborough's-head in Fleet-street, in the great room is to be seen the famous Posture-master of Europe, who far exceeds the deceased posture-masters Clarke and Higgins; he extends his body into all deformed shapes, makes his hip and shoulder-bones meet together, lays his head upon the ground, and turns his body round twice or thrice without stirring his face from the place; stands upon one leg, and extends the other in a perpendicular line half a yard above his head, and extends his body from a table with his head a foot below his heels, having nothing to balance his body but his feet; with several other postures too tedious to mention."

Queen Anne was prevailed upon in 1711 to issue her proclamation to the ensuing purport: "Whereas we are informed that the orders we have already given for the reformation of the Stage, by not permitting any thing to be acted contrary to Religion or good manners, have in great measure had the good effect we proposed; and being further desirous to reform all other indecencies and disorders of the Stage: Our will and pleasure therefore is, and we do hereby strictly command, that no person, of what quality soever, presume to stand behind the scenes, or come upon the Stage, either before or during the acting of any Opera or Play; and that no person come into either of our houses for Opera or Comedy without paying first the established prices for their respective places. All which orders we strictly command the managers of both our Opera and Comedy to see exactly observed and obeyed; and if any persons whatsoever shall disobey this our known pleasure and command, we shall proceed against them as contemners of our Royal authority, and disturbers of the public peace." _Gazette, Nov. 15, 1711._

It was in the latter part of the above year that the Spectator first noticed the _Trunk-maker_, a person who appears to have possessed great critical knowledge in theatrical affairs, which he evinced by violent blows aimed at the benches and wainscot of the upper-gallery; in short, according to the accounts of that valuable paper, his judicious manner of bestowing approbation with his stick soon made him a popular leader in criticism, and the arbitrator of applause.

The tradesmen who furnished the several materials necessary for the performance of the Opera in the Haymarket 1710, supported by a subscription from the Nobility, &c. were not paid their several demands by December 1711; in consequence of which they advertised an intended general meeting to concert measures for petitioning the Lord Chamberlain, or commencing law-suits against the Manager, who peremptorily refused payment, although the articles obtained were in constant use.

The following advertisement appeared at the same time: "Mr. Rich and others having petitioned her Majesty against an order for silencing of acting Plays, Operas, &c. under the patents granted by King Charles II. and touching a forcible entry made by Mr. Collier into the Theatre Royal; the matters of which having been referred to her Majesty's Attorney and Solicitor-general to examine; it is said they have made their report of the facts, and of the right of Mr. Rich and other petitioners under the Patents being a franchise in fee; and that speedy application will be made to her Majesty in Council to determine the same. The Town seems very desirous to have two companies, to emulate one the other, and create more variety of theatrical diversions without raising the price."

Almost immediately after Messrs. Clayton, Haym, and Dieupart, prevailed upon the Authors of the Spectator to insert the ensuing notice, from which it may be inferred that they had in some degree baffled their own designs in introducing the Italian Opera: "Mr. Spectator, You will forgive us professors of musick, if we make a second application to you, in order to promote our design of exhibiting entertainments of musick in York-buildings. It is industriously insinuated, that our intention is to destroy Operas in general; but we beg of you to insert this plain explanation of ourselves in your paper. Our purpose is only to improve our circumstances by improving the art which we profess; we see it utterly destroyed at present, and as we were the persons who introduced Operas, we think it a groundless imputation that we should set up against the Opera in itself: what we pretend to assert is, that the songs of different authors injudiciously put together, and a foreign tone and manner which are expected in every thing now performed amongst us, has put musick itself to a stand; insomuch that the ears of the people cannot now be entertained with any thing but what has an impertinent gaiety without any just spirit, or a languishment of notes without any passion or common sense. We hope those persons of sense and quality who have done us the honour to subscribe will not be ashamed of their patronage towards us; and not receive impressions that patronising us is being for or against the Opera, but truly promoting their own diversions in a more just and elegant manner than has been hitherto performed."

There was an established Cockpit in Prescot-street, Goodman's-fields, 1712: there the Gentlemen of the East entertained themselves, while the Nobles and others of the West were entertained by the edifying exhibition of the agility of their running footmen. His Grace of Grafton declared _his_ man was unrivaled in speed; and the Lord Cholmondeley betted him 500 guineas that _his_ excelled even the unrivaled: accordingly the ground was prepared for a two-mile heat in Hyde-park; the race was run, _and one of the parties was victor_, but _which_ my informant does not say.

In the same month a curious Brass Gun was advertised to be shot for at Hoxton: it was in the shape of a walking-cane, and might be used as gun or pistol, contained a telescope, a dial on the head, and a perpetual almanack.

The Spectator, No. 436, enables us to form a correct idea of the brutal sports of the Bear-garden--the Theatre for the double exhibition of natural brutes and the degeneracy of human nature. The ridiculous movements of the bear appear to have been too innocent an amusement for the populace; they therefore gave place to pugilism and fighting with swords: the latter _diversions_ were certainly countenanced by the customs of the Antients; but the tyranny of their government and the ferocious nature of their people were palliatives that Englishmen could not plead. Their emperors and senates erected stupendous amphitheatres for public games; youths were tutored from infancy for gladiators, and slaves fought for the entertainment of their masters; the populace were used to see gashes, blood, and death, nay to see criminals rot in their streets; and the males hardened female feelings by their military plunder of and cruelty to the surrounding nations. But the British populace knew not of those horrible proceedings; and most probably Miller and Buck were ignorant that a Roman state ever existed. We therefore cannot but be surprised, that so many years were suffered to elapse before the vigilance of the Magistracy was roused to suppress the hateful wickedness of a few miscreants who had it in their power to attract men around a stage to view their fellow-citizens endeavouring to maim each other; but, however disgusting the recollection that such things have been, we must rejoice that no Serjeant _now_ dare offer, or Human Butcher receive, a challenge similar to the following:

"I James Miller, serjeant (lately come from the frontiers of Portugal), master of the noble science of defence, hearing in most places where I have been of the great fame of Timothy Buck of London, master of the said science, do invite him to meet me, and exercise at the several weapons following: back-sword, sword and dagger, sword and buckler, single falchon, case of falchons, quarter-staff."

The author of the above paper declares he witnessed the combat the challenge occasioned; and I shall endeavour to shew it to the reader in its true colours, divested of that romantic and chivalric air with which it is glossed in the paper alluded to. Two drummers, whose bodies were disfigured by the wounds they had received in battle, preceded the challenger, a stout athletic man with a blue ribband tied round his right arm, accompanied by a fell dæmon, a _second_ or friend, one who is described as bearing in his breast that malice which darted amongst the crowd through his organs of sight, the _crowd_ whose eagerness had arisen to frenzy; keen expectation marked their features and convulsed their limbs, motion impelled motion, the stout overwhelmed the weak, the tallest the short, impatience and anger prompted removals, and instantly a grand transfer of places ensued: the spectators rushed from the gallery into the area, and from the area into the gallery; and confusion reigned triumphant till Buck appeared, when all was hushed. Now observe the picture: the combatants, stripped to their shirts, _shake hands_ to show that they kill each other in _good will_, and prepare to injure and defend. Turn to the spectators, examine their breasts, what is the result?--Humanity? Pity? Fear? Horror? No: those passions would have rendered the Bear-garden desolate. The painter finds but one dreadful chaos, a compound of features expressive of eagerness, partiality, and hope; not that Miller or Buck may escape injury, but that Buck may conquer Miller, or Miller Buck. Mark the issue: Miller has received a dreadful cut in the forehead, and his eyes stream with blood. Who leaps upon the stage to staunch it, or part the fiends?--no one. What then succeeds?--a _yell of satisfaction, a huzza from the crowd_. But, not to dwell on this horrible scene, a gash on Miller's left leg terminated the combat. "The wound was exposed to the view of all who could delight in it, _and sewed up on the stage_." One solitary female shed tears for Miller, and hid her face; but, my author seems to hint, her humanity was selfish.

A far more innocent amusement was announced directly after the battle, in No. 533. Mr. Clinch of Barnet entertained the publick at the Queen's-arms tavern, Ludgate-hill, for one shilling each, by imitations with his voice of the Flute, double Curtel, the Organ with three voices, the Horn, Huntsman, and Pack of Hounds, the Bells, &c. &c.

Dawks's News-letter of April 2, 1713, has the following article: "Yesterday a trial of skill was fought at the Bear-garden between Henry Clements and Parks of Coventry, _where there was good sport, hacking and hewing_. It is thought they got 50_l._ apiece, the French ambassador being there, _and giving them money very liberally_." Soon after three bouts "at threshing flail" were announced; and a flourish of "no cut, no bout."

A Renter's share in Drury-lane Theatre was advertised for sale June 1714 (a 36th) the terms 170_l._ for 23 years: 2_s. per_ night for acting days, and free admission.

The Weekly Packet of Nov. 6 says, "Christopher Rich, Esq. the patentee of the Playhouse, and a great encourager of poetical performances, died two days since without seeing his new Theatre in Lincoln's-inn-fields perfected, which is left to the care, with other legacies, of his eldest son Mr. John Rich." The same paper adds, Nov. 13, that Mr. Rich, driven from the Theatre of Drury lane by his rebellious subjects, was buried at St. Andrew's Holborn from his house adjoining the King's Theatre, accompanied by several of those who had resisted his authority when living.

And in the publication of December 18, is the following paragraph: "This day the new Playhouse in Lincoln's-inn-fields is to be opened, and a comedy acted there called _The Recruiting Officer_ by the company that act under the patent, though it is said that some of the gentlemen who have left the house in Drury-lane for that service are ordered to return to their colours, upon pain of not exercising their lungs elsewhere; which may in time prove of ill service to the patentee, that has been at vast expence to make his Theatre as convenient for the reception of an audience as any one can possibly be."

The King and his Family were either really or _politically_ partial to Drury-lane, in preference to the Italian Opera; and visited the former frequently.

The King's licence under the great seal was granted, in January 1715, to Richard Steele, Esq. to form and keep a company of Comedians, to be styled "The Royal Company of Comedians."

The Evening Post of March 19, 1715, announced, "On Monday next the 21st of March the Bowling-green at Mary-le-bon will be opened, by order of the Nobility and Gentry."

The Weekly Packet of June 25, 1715, shews in few words the extravagant patronage bestowed on the Italian actors at that time: "Seignior Nicolini's quail pipe continues to _lug_ the nobility and gentry by the ears, who have gone very far on his last benefit night towards equipping him for another purchase at Venice, he having already built a stately edifice there near the Rialto, upon which is written, in characters of gold, _Villa Britannica_, as a testimony that Scaliger's saying that we are _hospitibus feri_ is a downright untruth, and falsely imputed to our Nation."

George I. seems to have been partial to aquatic excursions. On the 22d of August, 1715, the King, Prince, and Princess of Wales, and a numerous party of Nobility, went with musick on board their barges from Whitehall to Limehouse. When they returned in the evening, the captains of the shipping suspended lanterns in their rigging, and the houses on both sides of the river were illuminated; an incredible number of boats filled with spectators attended the Royal party, and cannon were continually fired during the day and evening. This amusement is repeatedly noticed in the papers.

Several years elapsed without the least notice of Bartholomew Fair; but Dawks's News-letter of August 27, 1715, mentions, "On Wednesday Bartholomew Fair began, to which we hear the greatest number of black cattle was brought that ever was known. It seems there is not a public licence for booths and plays as formerly; but there is one great play-house erected in the middle of Smithfield for the King's players (as they are called). The booth is the largest that ever was built, and abundance of puppet-shews and other shews are set out in the houses round Smithfield, and public raffling and gaming in the Cloisters (of St. Bartholomew's Hospital), so that the Fair is almost as much resorted to as formerly."

I have hitherto described the amusements of the Londoners on _terra firma_; the frost of 1715-16 enables me to shew how they gamboled on the Thames when frozen. The following advertisement leads the way: "This is to give notice to gentlemen and others that pass upon the Thames during this frost, that over against Whitehall-stairs, they may have their names printed, fit to paste in any book to hand down the memory of the season to posterity.

You that walk there, and do design to tell Your Children's children what this year befel, Go print your names, and take _a dram_ within; For such a year as this has seldom been."

Dawks's News-letter of Jan. 14 says, "The Thames seems now a solid rock of ice; and booths for the sale of brandy, wine, ale, and other exhilarating liquors, have been fixed there for some time. But now it is in a manner like a town: thousands of people cross it, and with wonder view the mountainous heaps of water that now lie congealed into ice. On Thursday a great Cook's-shop was erected there, and gentlemen went as frequently to dine as at any ordinary. Over against Westminster, Whitehall, and Whitefriars, printing-presses are kept upon the ice, where many persons have their names printed, to transmit the wonders of the season to their posterity."

Coaches, Waggons, Carts, &c. are said to have been driven over it; and an Enthusiast preached to a motley congregation _on the mighty waters_, with a zeal fiery enough to have thawed himself through the ice, had it been susceptible of religious warmth. This and other diversions attracted the attention of many of the Nobility, and even tempted the Prince of Wales to visit _Frost Fair_.

On that day there was an uncommonly high spring tide, which overflowed the cellars on the borders of the River, and raised the ice full fourteen feet without interrupting the people from their pursuits.

The Protestant Packet of this period observes, that the Theatres were almost deserted.

The News-letter of February 15 announces the dissolution of the ice, and with it the "baseless fabrick" on which Momus had held his temporary reign. The above paper enables me to conclude this article, as I began it, with a scrap of doggrel:

"Thou beauteous river Thames, whose standing tide Equals the glory of thy flowing pride, The City, nay the World's transferr'd to thee, Fix'd as the land, and richer than the sea. The various metals Nature can produce, Or Art improve for ornament or use, From the Earth's deepest bowels brought are made To shine on thee, and carry on the trade. Here Guilleaum, fam'd for making silver pass Through various forms---- And Sparks as fam'd for brass. There's T----, 'tween God and gold who ne'er stood neuter, And trusty Nicholson, who lives by pewter; Wrote o'er their doors having affix'd their names, We under-writ removed to the Thames, Who on the slippery substance seek their food, Some miles together for the common good. Here healing Port-wine, and there Rhenish flows, Here Bohea-tea, and there Tobacco _grows_. In one place you may meet good Cheshire cheese, And in another whitest Brentford peas; Here is King George's picture, there Queen Anne's, Now nut-brown ale in cups and then in canns; One sells an Oxford dram as good as can be, Another offers General Peper's brandy. See! there's the Mall, and in that little hut The best Geneva's sold, and love to boot. See there a sleek Venetian envoy walks; See here an Alderman more proudly stalks. Behold the French Ambassador, that's he; And this is the honest Sire and Captain Leigh. Here is St. James's street, yonder the Strand: In this place Bowyer plies; that's Lintot's stand."

The Societies of the two Temples gave grand entertainments at their Halls to the Lord Chancellor and many of the Nobility in February; but the most remarkable accompaniment to these convivial meetings was the representation of the comedy of _The Chances_, performed within the greater Hall by the Comedians of Drury-lane Theatre.

The present representatives of the Societies will forgive my transition from their elegant amusements to those of a Bear-garden, "the back-side of Soho-square," where the proprietors had an amphitheatre of three gradations; the lowest of which let at 2_s._ 6_d._ for each seat, the next 5_s._ and the third 10_s._ 6_d._ There, "at the desire of several persons of Quality," a Leopard, twelve feet in length, was advertised to be baited to death on the 24th of March; and gentlemen who chose to risk their dogs were permitted to assist in the destruction of this monstrous animal, which appears to have been the first so used within the century. The Leopard was shewn with other beasts in a room "at the boarded-house, Mary-le-bon-fields." We will leave the "Quality" in full enjoyment of their classical entertainment; and follow another description of citizens to Wanstead, where a female had long resided, who annually attracted notice by the following advertisement, in which she then mentioned her age for the first time: "This is to give notice to all my honoured masters and ladies, and the rest of my loving friends, that _my lady_ Butterfield gives a challenge to ride a horse, to leap a horse, or run on foot, or halloo, with any woman in England seven years younger, but not a day older, _because I won't undervalue_ myself, being now 74 years of age. My Feast will be the last Wednesday of this month, April, where there will be good entertainment for that day and all the year after in Wanstead in Essex."

From a paragraph in a newspaper we subsequently find the Boarded House at Mary-le-bon to have been used as a Theatre for Pugilism.

The Prince of Wales frequently visited the Theatre during his father's first absence in Germany. The visit of Thursday night the 6th of December, 1716, appears to have been a dangerous one, and very similar to that of his successor George III. in May 1799; and, what is more remarkable, Drury-lane was the place selected for a Royal assassination twice within a century. A Mr. Freeman attempted to enter a box facing the Prince's in a very coarse dress, which excited suspicion of the Box-keeper, who, with the assistance of a centinel, discovered a pistol under his coat; this he immediately discharged at the Soldier, and wounded him in the neck; but before he could accomplish farther mischief, the people knocked him down, and, searching his person, found other loaded pistols. These circumstances led to farther enquiries, when it was found that he had a servant in waiting with a horse at the door of the Theatre. It is observed in the papers which relate this occurrence, that the Prince evinced no signs of agitation, though there was every reason to suppose the assassin aimed at his life; and in this particular he has been emulated by his present Majesty under more trying circumstances.

Mr. Freeman committed horrid outrages some time after his commitment to Newgate, which he commenced by a pretended quarrel with a woman occasionally admitted to his cell. Two of the keepers proceeding to the spot found Freeman without the door, who immediately stabbed Mr. Russell in the breast with a rusty fork he had held in his hand behind him, and then returned to his room, shutting the door, which he refused to open. A guard of Soldiers was called by Mr. Smith, who endeavoured to force it open; and an unfortunate man introducing his hand, Freeman, who was upon the watch, almost severed it with a knife from the wrist. They then threatened to fire through the door: this alarmed him, and he opened it; but the Soldiers met with a fierce resistance in attempting to secure him; and he actually overpowered two ere he was mastered and conveyed to the condemned hole. It is singular that during this contest he had planned the firing of Newgate; and his handkerchief was found burning within his hat in a convenient part of the room for communication. Freeman was afterwards tried at Kingston for the murder of a Trooper, and acquitted as a lunatic.

Moorfields was occasionally used by Showmen and Merry-andrews as their Theatre. The Act of the 12th of Queen Anne was aimed at the suppression of these low amusements. The proprietors of them, fearful of the penalties annexed, endeavoured to prevail upon Mr. Justice Fuller to license them in April 1717, but in vain. Finding this worthy Magistrate obdurate, they ventured to begin their operations; which he was no sooner acquainted with, than he assembled thirty constables, and issued his warrant, supported by the signature of Mr. Rand for their apprehension. When the High Constable and his posse proceeded to Windmill-hill, they found it occupied by Messrs. Saunders and Margaret, two Middlesex Justices, who forbade the execution of the warrant, and declared they would protect the Showmen. The intrepid Fuller, conscious of his own rectitude, commanded the arrest of the principals, which was promptly obeyed; and when conveyed to his residence at Clerkenwell, he committed them to the House of Correction, where they had been but a few hours, when three other _upright Magistrates_ set them at liberty.

The next occurrence under this head seems perfectly in unison with the preceding articles: the proprietors of the Boarded House Soho advertised a savage entertainment for the 21st of May, 1717, which required the support of such Magistrates as Margaret and Saunders, and such spectators as Freeman. They had, during the period between the baiting of the Leopard and May 21, refined upon cruelty to the very _acme_, and were ready to exhibit an African Tiger on a stage four feet high worried by six bull and bear dogs, for 100_l._; a mad bull, and a bear, both covered with fire-works; and, lest those pleasant spectacles should fail to amuse, six young men were to play _at blunts_; in other words he that broke most heads obtained a hat. The miscreants had even the audacity to conclude their detestable advertisement with "_Vivat Rex_."

Tottenham Court-road was another place of resort for the lower orders of society; and their successors even now presume at Easter and Whitsuntide to set order and magistracy at defiance. "Information having been given upon oath to divers of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the County of Middlesex, that several lewd and disorderly persons, and players of interludes, had erected booths and sheds at Tottenham-Court in the County of Middlesex aforesaid, wherein were used a great deal of prophane cursing and swearing, together with many lewd and blasphemous expressions, as also several rude, riotous, and disorderly actions committed; eleven of his Majesty's Justices, having duly considered the evil tendency of such wicked and abominable practices, for suppression thereof, and for preventing the like for the future, granted a warrant under their hands and seals, dated the 10th instant, for the apprehension of several of the persons concerned in the management of the said interludes, which hath since been put in execution, and the same have been suppressed accordingly, and the said booths and sheds pulled down and taken away[148:A]."

On Friday evening September 13 several Constables visited Southwark, and particularly Penkethman's booth, whom they apprehended, with others of his company, just as they had concluded a play, and in the presence of near 150 noblemen and gentlemen seated on the stage. They were soon liberated, on making it appear that they were the King's servants. The Prince visited this booth.

In the same month Mr. Rich assigned his patent granted by Charles II. and his right in the New Theatre, Lincoln's-inn-fields, to Messrs. Keene and Bullock, who commenced their reign with the performance of Cymbeline.

One of the amusements of 1718 was the juggling exhibition of a fire-eater, whose name was De Hightrehight, a native of the valley of Annivi in the Alps. This tremendous person ate burning coals, chewed flaming brimstone and _swallowed_ it, licked a red-hot poker, placed a red-hot heater on his tongue, kindled coals on his tongue, suffered them to be blown, and broiled meat on them, ate melted pitch, brimstone, bees-wax, sealing wax, and rosin, with a spoon; and, to complete the business, he performed all these impossibilities five times _per diem_, at the Duke of Marlborough's head in Fleet-street for the trifling receipts of 2_s._ 6_d._ 1_s._ 6_d._ and 1_s._ Master Hightrehight had the honour of exhibiting before Lewis XIV. the Emperor of Germany, the King of Sicily, the Doge of Venice, and an infinite number of princes and nobles--and the Prince of Wales, who had nearly lost this inconceivable pleasure by the envious interposition of the Inquisition at Bologna and in Piedmont, which holy office seemed inclined to try _their mode of burning_ on his _body_, leaving to him the care of resisting the flames and rendering them harmless; but he was preserved from the unwelcome ordeal by the interference of the Dutchess Royal Regent of Savoy and the Marquis Bentivoglia.

The following paragraph occurs in the Weekly Journal of March 15, 1718; from which an idea may be formed of the audiences at Sadler's Wells about that period: "Sadler's Wells being lately opened, there is likely to be a great resort of strolling damsels, half-pay officers, peripatetic tradesmen, tars, butchers, and others that are musically inclined," who had an opportunity this year of gratifying their curiosity at the Duke of Marlborough's head, by listening to sentences in German, French, and English, pronounced by a _Speaking Dog_ in sounds so correctly articulate, as to deceive a person who did not see him into the belief that the _vox humana_ was actually in use at the moment. Penkethman exhibited at his booth in Southwark several _dancing dogs_ imported from France.

A person who was called the Grimace Spaniard induced the proprietors of the Boarded House to advertise his intention of fighting bulls with darts, and to kill one with his sword after the Spanish manner. The man attempted the feat; but whether he was unskilful, or _John Bull_, the British beast, was too spirited, it is certain he completely failed; and retired with the disappointed clamour of the populace thundering in his ears.

A Royal Academy of Musick was established by letters patent in 1719; and the Directors were concerned in the management of the Opera, for which Mr. Handel visited the Continent to obtain performers.

The close of the same year presented the eighth wonder of the world to the Londoners, as Mr. De Lepine, the inventor, had the vanity to call it. This was a machine, moved by springs and wheels, impelling figures to advance on a stage, where they performed a pantomimic opera, aided by the usual changes of scenes, musick, &c. &c.

The patent of Sir Richard Steele, dated October 18, 1714, by which that gentleman, Robert Wilks, Colley Cibber, Thomas Doggett, and Barton Booth, had authority to establish a company of Comedians, received a violent attack in January 1720; when, through the intrigues of the Lord Chamberlain, the King was induced to revoke his Royal licence, and to command their silence at Drury-lane Theatre. This proceeding was violently resented by Sir Richard; who vented his anger in very severe terms against the Duke of Newcastle in a periodical paper, intituled, "The Theatre," and the King now and then received a slight rub.

At the very instant a company of French comedians arrived in England, encouraged by advantageous offers and a large subscription. Whether the above prohibition had any reference to such arrival does not appear; but that the King was partial to their performances is very certain, and he frequently saw them act.

The London Journal of March 5, 1720, says: "Yesterday morning the King's company of Comedians belonging to the Playhouse in Drury-lane were sworn at the Lord Chamberlain's office at Whitehall, pursuant to an order, occasioned by their acting in obedience to His Majesty's licence, lately granted, exclusive of a patent formerly obtained by Sir Richard Steele, knight. The tenor of the oath was, that as his Majesty's servants they should act subservient to the Lord Chamberlain, Vice Chamberlain, and Gentleman Usher in waiting."

The company of the New Theatre in Lincoln's-inn-fields was dissolved in July 1720, and the house seized in execution for debt.

The fashionables of 1720 derived one of their amusements from a most magnificent marriage celebrated between a Jew and a Jewess of great respectability named Cornele. Part of the ceremony was held at Leathersellers Hall, which they hired for six days. These spirited Israelites went in procession on the Sabbath after their marriage to the Synagogues, preceded by two men strewing flowers and herbs, and followed by a great number of nobility and their friends, all on foot, as the Law of Moses forbids the use of carriages or horses on that holy day; but, as John Bull did not enter into the spirit of these rites correctly, Master Cornele thought it useful to provide a guard of grenadiers, who served to render the pageant splendid, and the persons who composed it safe.

At the Hall the happy pair were seated under a canopy, for the purpose of receiving the congratulations of their visitors; those they returned by entertainments of musick, dancing, and every description of rich viands, presenting them besides with silver favours elegantly ornamented with the motto, "_This is God's command_," inscribed above their effigies joining hands. The more humble guests had streams of wine poured from the mouth and breasts of the old Mermaid, which till recently fronted the Hall door.

The Theatre in the Haymarket appears to have been re-erected by John Potter, who leased the King's-head inn of John and Thomas Moor at a fine of 200_l._ in 1720. On this site he erected the Theatre for 1000_l._ and expended 500_l._ on scenes, dresses, &c. It was finished December 1, 1720, and appropriated to the company of French Comedians, who arrived in that month from Paris. Their opening was some time in January; on the 31st they acted, by desire of several ladies of the first quality, _Le Tartûffe_ and _Le Tombeau de Maitre Andrè_ with dances. The prices were, boxes 4_s._ pit 2_s._ 6_d._ and gallery 1_s._ 6_d._

A riot which happened in Lincoln's-inn-fields Theatre in March 1721 occasioned the custom, still retained, of having a serjeant and twelve men stationed round the house during the performance.

Wells, who had left the old Bear-garden at Hockley in the Hole, and established that at Mary-le-bon, died in 1721. Dan Singleton composed the following ludicrous epitaph on the occasion:

"Shed, O ye combatants, a flood of tears; Howl, all ye dogs; roar, all ye bulls and bears! Ye butchers, weep! for ye, no doubt, are grievers, And sound his loss with marrow-bones and cleavers. Wells is no more! Yet death has been so kind That he hath left the bulls and bears behind."

One of the newspapers of the day says: "By the decease of Mr. Wells, the original Bear-garden in Hockley in the Hole is now likely to be thronged, especially since all the old gamesters are resolved to bait every Monday and Thursday; and the gladiators have promised frequently to try their skill there; the brutes to box; the furmity and hasty-pudding eaters to cobble down their hot guttage at Madam Preston's, and at no other place."

The French Comedians appear to have met with little encouragement at the Haymarket. Aaron Hill announced himself manager and director of a new company formed by ladies and gentlemen who had never before appeared on any stage, with the aid of scenery quite novel and upon an improved plan. He opened with his own play of "Henry the Fifth" in December 1721.

The prognostick relating to the Bear-garden in a preceding paragraph seems to have been realized in June 1722 by the following extract from the London Journal: "Boxing in public at the Bear-garden is what has lately obtained very much among the men; but till last week we never heard of _women_ being engaged that way, when two of the feminine gender appeared for the first time on the Theatre of War at Hockley in the Hole, and maintained the battle with great valour for a long time, to the no small satisfaction of the spectators. The challenge and answer of these females being originals, we give them to our readers:

"I Elizabeth Wilkinson, of Clerkenwell, having had some words with Hannah Hyfield, and requiring satisfaction, do invite her to meet me on the Stage, and box with me for three guineas, each woman holding half a crown in each hand, and the first woman that drops her money to lose the battle."

"I Hannah Hyfield, of Newgate-market, hearing of the resoluteness of Elizabeth Wilkinson, will not fail, ---- willing, to give her more blows than words, desiring home blows, and from her no favour."

Their habits on this occasion were close jackets, short petticoats, Holland drawers, white stockings, and pumps.

The Opera of 1723 was supported by the introduction of a lady from Italy, of great musical celebrity, named Cuzzoni. She sung in private for the amusement of the Prince and Princess of Wales, to their great satisfaction, previous to her appearance in publick. Her engagement was at the enormous salary of 2000_l. per_ season, presuming on her future success; nor were the managers disappointed, for they were enabled on the second evening of her performance to demand and receive four guineas each ticket. An excellent epigram was made upon this lady immediately after her first appearance:

"If Orpheus' notes could woods and rocks inspire, And make dull rivers listen to his lyre; Cutzona's voice can with far greater skill Rouse death to life, and what is living kill."

She received an incredible number of rich presents, which would have been extremely well, if other sums equal to those employed in their purchase had flowed in a stream at all correspondent towards the meritorious performers of the English Stage, who languished in comparative penury; while the managers profited, and exhibited them in a way which occasioned the following just censure from a contemporary: "When we come to consider the decoration of the Stage at present, we shall sometimes find it magnificent and well ordered. In this I include the habits of the characters or persons of the drama, in which the propriety is not near so well observed as in the scenery; for we shall often see a shabby King surrounded by a party of his guards, every man of which belongs to the ragged regiment. One would think that the managers of the Theatre were republicans in their principles, and they did this on purpose to bring monarchy into contempt; for it is certain that Duncan King of Scotland has not had a new habit for this last century; and the mighty Julius Cæsar first Emperor of Rome appears as ragged as a colt, and many other Monarchs I could name that are no better dressed than heathen philosophers. The reason is, that you will find those parts are not played by any of the _three_ managers; and it is their awkward vanity to appear fine themselves though never so much out of character; so that when you go to see a play there in new habits, it is not the King, the Prince, or the General, but Cibber or B. you are to see well dressed."

One of the entertainments for which the Opera-house was used in 1723 attracted the notice of the Grand Jury of Middlesex, whose presentment follows: "Whereas there has been lately published a proposal for six Ridotto's or Balls to be managed by subscription at the King's Theatre in the Haymarket; we the Grand Jury of the County of Middlesex, sworn to enquire for our Sovereign Lord the King and the body of this County, conceiving the same to be wicked and illegal practices, and which, if not timely suppressed, may promote debauchery, lewdness, and ill conversation; from a just abhorrence therefore of such sort of assemblies, which we apprehend are contrary to law and good manners, and give great offence to His Majesty's good and virtuous subjects; we do present the same, and recommend them to be prosecuted and suppressed as common nuisances to the publick, as nurseries of lewdness, extravagance, and immorality, and also a reproach and scandal to civil government." This presentment had no effect whatever.

The Theatre in Lincoln's-inn-fields seems entitled to the exclusive honour of introducing Harlequinades to the publick. The manager is mentioned in 1723 to have been particularly successful; so much so as to have excited the envy of his brethren of Drury-lane, who determined either to ridicule, or eclipse him, by the introduction of a piece called "Blind Man's Buff, supported by the freaks of _eight_ Harlequins." My author of the Weekly Journal adds: "The thing was so ridiculous, there was no musick to be heard but hissing."

A Footman's gallery is mentioned at the Opera-house in the papers of this date, with the addition that its frequenters were so insolent and noisy that threats of shutting it were circulated.

The Cock-pit and Bowling-green before-mentioned, back of Gray's Inn gardens, was let on a building lease in 1723.

In the month of December an entertainment or pantomimic performance was produced at the Theatre in Lincoln's-inn-fields, founded on the old story of Dr. Faustus, written by Mr. Thurmond, with musick by Monsieur Galliard. The publications of the day take such repeated notice of it, and appear to think it so very wonderful, I shall venture to give the story _verbatim_ from the Universal Journal of December 11.

"At the drawing of the curtain, Dr. Faustus's study is discovered; the Doctor enters, pricks his finger, and with the blood signs a contract; it thunders; and a Devil, riding on a fiery dragon, flies swiftly cross the stage: the Devil alights, receives the contract, and embraces Dr. Faustus, delivers him a wand, and vanishes. Two Countrymen and women enter to be told their fortunes; the Doctor waves his wand, and four pictures turn out of the scenes opposite to these country people, representing a Judge, a Soldier, a dressed Lady, and a Lady in a riding habit: Dr. Faustus, by his action, shews them they are to be what is represented in those pictures. The scene changes, and discovers the outside of a handsome house; the two men and women enter, as returning home; as they are going off the Doctor seizes the two women; the Countrymen return to rescue their wives; the Doctor waves his wand, four Devils enter, the men are frighted, run up the steps of the house, clap their backs against the door, the front of the house immediately turns, and the husbands are thrown out of the stage; the wives remain with the Doctor; and at the same instant the machine turns, a supper ready dressed rises swiftly up, and a Devil is transformed into an agreeable shape, who dances whilst they are regaling, and then vanishes. The husbands appear at the window, threatening the Doctor, who by art magic have large horns fixed to their heads, that they can neither get out nor in. Dr. Faustus and the women go out; he beckons the table, and it follows him off. The scene changes to the street. Punch, Scaramouch, and Pierro enter in Scholars gowns and caps; they are invited into the Doctor's house by a Devil: they enter, and the scene changes to the inside of the house: the Doctor receives them kindly, and invites them to sit down to a bottle of wine; as they are drinking, the table rises, upon which they start back affrighted: then the spirit of Helen rises in a chair of state, with a canopy over her; she entertains them with a dance, goes to her seat again, and sinks. While the Scholars are drinking, the Doctor waves his wand, and large asses ears appear, at once, upon each of their heads: they join in a dance, each pointing and laughing at the others; the Doctor follows them out, pointing and laughing at them all. The scene being changed to the street, a Usurer crosses the stage with a bag of money, goes into the Doctor's house; the scene opens, and discovers the Doctor at a table; the Usurer enters, lends the Doctor the money, but refuses his bond, and demands a limb of him; the Doctor suffers him to cut off his leg, and carry it away. Several legs appear upon the scene, and the Doctor strikes a woman's leg with his wand, which immediately flies from the rest, and fixes to the Doctor's stump, who dances with it ridiculously. A bawd next enters with a courtezan; she presents her to the Doctor, for whom he gives the bawd the bag of money; they all join in a dance, and the Doctor is going off; the bawd stops him, to demand more money; he hangs his hat against the scene, and points to that, and goes out with his mistress. The bawd holds her apron under the hat, from whence a considerable quantity of silver drops; she advances to the front of the stage with a great deal of pleasure, but going to review her money, finds she has none, and runs off. The scene changes to the street, four watchmen enter, and join in a dance adapted to their character. The scene opens, and discovers the Doctor's study, he enters affrighted, the clock strikes one, the figures of Time and Death appear, and in a short piece of recitative declare his latest minute is come. Several Devils enter, tear him in pieces, some fly up, others sink, each bearing a limb of him away; flashes of fire arise, and thunder is heard.

"The last, which is the grand scene, whether proper or not I shall not pretend to determine, is the most magnificent that ever appeared upon the English stage. The Gods and Goddesses discovered there are, Apollo, Mars, Mercury, Bacchus, Ceres, Iris, Flora, and Pales. Apollo advances and sings, inviting the Gods to revel, the power of Faustus being at an end. The rest of the deities (Pales excepted) advance, and dance, agreeable to their several characters, in the greatest order and exactness. Apollo again advances, and invites Diana to appear; upon which a machine flies up and discovers Diana in her chariot, the crescent in an azure sky hanging over her head; she descends, beckons two nymphs who take her bow and quiver; which done, she dances. They then all join in a chorus of singing and dancing; which concludes the entertainment."

The London Journal says, that the Managers received 260_l._ entrance-money the first night, from which we may judge of the size of the Theatre when greatly crowded.

The Universal Journal of December 18, 1723, has the following article: "On Thursday last a new play-house was opened in the Haymarket. The company, we are informed, consists of persons who never appeared in public before. The first play they entertained the town with was a comedy, intituled, 'The Female Fop, or the False one Fitted,' whose author has not yet reached his sixteenth year."

An author mentioned the rehearsal of Dr. Young's tragedy of the Brothers in 1724, and prognosticated its failure in these words: "I am credibly informed the manager of the new house has formed a resolution that it shall be acted to an empty pit and boxes, there being a new entertainment in grotesque characters preparing there, intituled, 'The Cruel Uncle, or the Children in the Wood,' so very artfully contrived, that at the instant Perseus and Demetrius are entering upon that scene, the ruffians (represented by Harlequin and Scaramouch) will be making their appearance at the other house. The consequence of this is easily foreseen: Booth and Cibber will preach to bare walls, whilst Lanyon and Dupre dance before a full audience; and lest Mrs. Oldfield's name should sway some few unfashionable wretches, they have contrived a very musical Robin red-breast, which is to have more melody in its song than there can possibly be in all the mournful accents of the unhappy Erixene."

The Police were at length convinced how very improper the exhibitions of bear-baiting and prize-fighting were in the City of London; and sent the proper officers to Spital-fields, in June 1724, where a stage had been erected for the first time for those purposes, which was immediately pulled down by their orders, and in August they were vainly employed in concerting measures for the total suppression of the long established place of resort at Hockley in the Hole.

An expensive tragedy, intituled, "Julius Cæsar in Egypt," was produced and condemned in 1724, when the following excellent Epigram appeared:

"_The sixth night._

When the pack'd audience from their posts retir'd, And Julius in a general hiss expir'd, Sage Booth to Cibber cried: 'Compute our gains; These dogs of Egypt and their dowdy queans But ill requite these habits and those scenes, To rob Corneille for such a motley piece; His Geese were Swans, but zounds thy Swans are Geese.' Rubbing his firm invulnerable brow, The Bard replied, 'The criticks must allow, 'Twas ne'er in Cæsar's destiny to _run_;' Wilks bow'd, and bless'd the gay pacific pun."

August 1725 produced a conflict for the entertainment of the visitors of Mr. Figg's amphitheatre, Oxford-road, which is characteristic of savage ferocity indeed. Sutton the champion of Kent and a courageous female heroine of that County fought Stokes and _his much admired_ consort of London; 40_l._ was to be given to the male or female who gave most cuts with the sword, and 20_l._ for most blows at quarter-staff, besides the collection in the box. A poetical account of a battle of this kind, was published in the London Journal, and is, I think, worth preserving, especially as it is said to have been written by the author of the Pastoral in the Spectator beginning "My time, O ye Muses, was happily spent:"

"Long was the great Figg by the prize-fighting swains Sole monarch acknowledg'd of Mary-bon plains; To the towns far and near did his valour extend, And swam down the river from Thame to Gravesend. There liv'd Mr. Sutton, pipe-maker by trade, Who, hearing that Figg was thought such a stout blade, Resolv'd to put in for a share of his fame, And so sent to challenge the Champion of Thame. With alternate advantage two trials had past, When they fought out the rubbers Wednesday last. To see such a contest the house was so full, There hardly was room left to thrust in your scull. With a prelude of cudgels we first were saluted, And two or three shoulders most handsomely fluted; Till, wearied at last with inferior disasters, All the company cry'd, "Come, the Masters, the Masters." Whereupon the bold Sutton first mounted the stage, Made his honours as usual, and yearn'd to engage; Then Figg with a visage so fierce and sedate Came, and enter'd the list with his fresh-shaven pate. Their arms were encircled by armigers two With a red ribbon Sutton's, and Figg's with a blue; Thus adorn'd the two heroes 'twixt shoulder and elbow Shook hands, and went to 't; and the word it was _bilboe_. Sure such a concern in the eyes of spectators Was never yet seen in our Amphitheatres! Our Commons and Peers from their several places To half an inch distance all pointed their faces; While the rays of old Phœbus that shot through the sky-light Seem'd to make on the stage a new kind of twilight; And the Gods without doubt, if one could but have seen them, Were peeping there through to do justice between them. Figg struck the first stroke, and with such a vast fury, That he broke his huge weapon in twain I assure you. And if his brave rival this blow had not warded, His head from his shoulders had quite been discarded. Figg arm'd him again, and they took t'other tilt, And then Sutton's blade run away from its hilt; The weapons were frighted, but as for the men In truth they ne'er minded, but at it again. Such a force in their blows you'd have thought it a wonder Every stroke they receiv'd did not cleave them asunder. Yet so great was their courage, so equal their skill, That they both seem'd as safe as a thief in a mill; While in doubtful attention dame Victory stood, And which side to take could not tell for her blood, But remain'd like the Ass 'twixt the two bottles of hay Without ever moving an inch either way; Till Jove to the Gods signified his intention In a speech that he made them too tedious to mention. But the upshot of it was, that at that very bout From a wound in Figg's side the hot blood spouted out; Her ladyship then seem'd to think the case plain, But Figg stepping forth, with a sullen disdain, Shew'd the gash, and appeal'd to the company round If his own broken sword had not given him the wound. That bruises and wounds a man's spirit should touch, With danger so little, with honour so much! Well, they both took a dram, and return'd to the battle, And with a fresh fury they made the swords rattle; While Sutton's right arm was observed to bleed By a touch from his rival, so Jove had decreed; Just enough for to shew that his blood was not _icor_, But made up, like Figg's, of the common red liquor. Again they both rush'd with as equal a fire on, That the company cried, 'Hold, enough of cold iron; To the quarter-staff now, lads;' so first having dram'd it, They took to their wood, and i'faith never shamm'd it. The first bout they had was so fair and so handsome, That to make a fair bargain it was worth a King's ransom; And Sutton such bangs to his neighbour imparted, Would have made any fibres but Figg's to have smarted. Then after that bout they went on to another; But the matter must end in some fashion or other, So Jove told the Gods he had made a decree, That Figg should hit Sutton a stroke on the knee; Though Sutton, disabled as soon as it hit him, Would still have fought on, but Jove would not permit him. 'Twas his fate, not his fault, that constrain'd him to yield, And thus the great Figg became lord of the field."

Sir Richard Steele exhibited a bill in the Court of Chancery against the holders of Drury-lane Theatre for a share in the profits of the house by virtue of his patent, in October 1725.

The editor of the Flying Post observes in February 1727: "The directors of the Royal Academy of Musick have resolved, that after the excellent Opera, composed by Mr. Handel, which is now performing, Signior Attilia shall compose one; and Signior Bononcini is to compose the next after that. Thus, as this Theatre can boast of the three best voices in Europe, and the best instruments, so the town will have the pleasure of hearing these three different styles of composing."

However flattering these prospects seemed, they ended most unharmoniously in a fierce contention between the rival female performers Cuzzoni and Faustina, whose partizans were so vehement in the operations of hissing and clapping, that they proceeded in them even in the presence of the Princess of Wales.

After this notice of the _polite_ portion of the community, the following advertisement, copied literally from the original issued by the proprietors of the Amphitheatre, will appear less wonderful and disgusting: "In Islington road, on Monday, being the 17th of July, 1727, will be performed a trial of skill by the following combatants. We Robert Barker and Mary Welsh, from Ireland, having often _contaminated_ our swords in the _abdominous corporations_ of such antagonists as have had the insolence to dispute our skill, do find ourselves once more necessitated to challenge, defy, and invite Mr. Stokes and his bold Amazonian _virago_ to meet us on the stage, where we hope to give a satisfaction to the _honourable Lord_ of our nation who has laid a wager of twenty guineas on our heads. They that give the most cuts to have the whole money, and the benefit of the house; and if swords, daggers, quarter-staff, _fury_, _rage_, and resolution, will prevail, our friends shall not meet with a disappointment.'--'We James and Elizabeth Stokes, of the City of London, having already gained an universal approbation by our agility of body, dextrous hands, and courageous hearts, need not _preambulate_ on this occasion, but rather choose to exercise the sword to their sorrow, and corroborate the general opinion of the town than to follow the custom of our _repartee_ antagonists. This will be the last time of Mrs. Stokes' performing on the stage.'--There will be a door on purpose for the reception of the gentlemen, where coaches may drive up to it, and the company come in without being crowded. Attendance will be given at three, and the combatants mount at six precisely. They all fight in the same dresses as before."

Although a Coronation cannot by any means be considered as an amusement by a serious and reflecting person, there have been, and will be, numbers who see it in no other light than as a brilliant pageant. The splendour of that of George II. in October 1727 attracted vast crowds of strangers to London; and it was generally computed at the time that full 200,000 seats were provided for their accommodation in every situation which afforded even a glimpse of part of the ceremony.

In the month of October 1727, a lady, seated in the pit of Drury-lane Theatre, thought she perceived smoke issuing through the apertures of the stage, and, fancying she smelt it, declared her apprehensions aloud, and at the same time endeavoured to leave the Theatre. The audience were immediately excessively alarmed, and numbers rushing to the different doors impeded each other's progress; confusion prevailed for half an hour before her error was perceived, during which time a pregnant woman was pressed to death, and several persons severely injured. The Play was that of King Henry VIII. and the house very much crowded.

The _new_ Theatre, as it was called in 1728, now the _little_ Theatre in the Haymarket, was opened in that year for the season with the Beggar's Opera: it was handsomely decorated, and the actors were described as very respectable.

One of the follies of 1728 was the performance of the Beggar's Opera at the Theatre in Lincoln's inn-fields by _children_; and that the childish exhibition might be supported in all its branches, the Managers contrived to send a book of the songs across the Stage by a flying Cupid to Prince Frederick of Wales.

The Village Opera was acted, in March 1729, at the Theatre Drury-lane. The absurd custom of placing seats upon the stage had been much condemned previous to that period; but the Managers ventured to introduce one for the Dutchess of Queensberry on the first representation of the piece; and thus incurring the resentment of the audience, they hissed incessantly till it was removed, and the wits wrote epigrams upon the subject:

"Bent on dire work, and kindly rude, the Town Impatient hiss'd thy seat, dear Dutchess, down; Conscious that there had thy soft form appear'd, Lost all in gaze, no vacant ear had heard: Thy lambent eyes had look'd their rage away, And the relenting hiss, and sav'd the play. Thus not in clouds (as father Homer sung) Such as fair Venus round Æneas flung, Had our dull Bard escap'd the dreadful fright, But sunk conceal'd in an excess of light."

Mr. Handel visited Italy in 1729, for the express purpose of collecting performers for the Opera-house in the Haymarket. Those persons are thus described in the Evening Post: "Signior Bernachi, who is esteemed the best singer in Italy; Signiora Merighi, a woman of a very fine presence, an excellent actress, and a very good singer--a contre-tenor; Signiora Strada, who hath a very fine treble voice, a person of singular merit; Signior Annibal Pio Fabri, a most excellent tenor and a fine voice; his wife, _who performs a man's part exceeding well_; Signiora Bartoldi, who has a very fine treble voice--she is also a very genteel actress both in men and women's parts."

The delicately attenuated nerves of my female reader must be shocked by the transition from the above divine warblers to the horrid Mr. Figg, who fought his 271st battle in October 1730, with a Mr. Holmes, whose wrist he cut to the bone in this _amusing_ description of public entertainment. Master Figg was conqueror in _all_ those conflicts; a tolerable poet, his contemporary, thus celebrated the exploits of the modern Gladiator:

"Inspir'd with generous thirst of martial fame Figg's early years presag'd his future name, As Hannibal, ere grown to manhood's bloom, Swore in his blood fell enmity with Rome: Like ardour did our infant Hero grace; Like dire aversion to the Hibernian race. Long in successful fights both champions view'd Their oath accomplish'd and their foes subdu'd; But here th'illustrious parallel must end, } And Afric's warrior to Britannia's bend; } Events unequal their last fights attend, } The former _loses_ what he earn'd before, The _latter_ closes all his past _with one grand triumph more_."

As the following advertisement appears to be the _acme_ of absurdity and folly, I think it will very properly close those of the prize-fighting Figgs, &c.

"At Mr. Figg's great room to-morrow, the 20th of this instant May, by the command of several noblemen and others, will be shewn in full proof the judgment of the sword in all its noble branches, offensive and defensive.

"We Mathew Masterson, Serjeant from Gibraltar, and Rowland Bennet from the city of Dublin in the kingdom of Ireland, masters of the said science, both having lately tasted our error by unwarily receiving wounds from Mr. Figg, and resolving if possible to return the keen rebuke by our chastising swords, make this challenge the hostility of our confederate arms, inviting them to the brightest of their performances, Mr. Figg taking Mr. Gill to his assistance, and fighting us at the time and place above for the benefit of the whole house, which Mr. Masterson and the said Gill are solely to have to themselves; the victor of them two defraying all charges, and taking the surplus to himself as free plunder. It is that makes a soldier a Cæsar or a Marius, without the help of Lilly, who was most unmercifully whipped last Wednesday in quarto by a Yorkshire Jockey with Roman epithets, in order to extort rules for declining a good house in favour of the present tense singular; but the grammatical tit being too high-mettled to be verb-ridden, left his Elorian corrector in an infinitive ill-mood, confounded in particles in search of the great negative--nothing.


* * * * *

"We, James Figg from Thame in Oxfordshire, and William Gill (his scholar), more surprised than terrified at the peremptory summons, assure the above gentlemen we did not apprehend they would have been guilty of repeating those crimes for which they so lately received the benefit of their Clergy; but, as Mr. Bennet then obtained mercy by pleading weakness, occasioned by the fatigue of a long journey, it is hoped he will not make use of the same plea again, but more bravely oppose the same arm, if recovered strength and improvement have given him leave. Otherwise, both him and his mighty ally may find Cæsars cut into Lazarus's, and Rome's capitol converted into Chelsea college for the residence of their titular Majesties, whilst the stock and branch of superior force flourishes on Britannia's stage like the tall cedars of Lebanon; and mourn their fate by shedding leaves to adorn their untimely Monuments--if any be erected.


"Note--On this extraordinary occasion Captain Vinegar has orders to assemble his whole posse of leather-bottle men, shin-kickers, and fist-clinckers; so that the whole may be expected a complete evening's entertainment. The doors will be opened at 3, and the masters mount at 6."

In December 1731, Figg and Sparks contended with the broad-sword at the French or Little Theatre in the Haymarket, before the Duke of Lorrain, Count Kinski, and many persons of distinction. One of the papers of the day observes, "The beauty and judgment of the sword was delineated in a very extraordinary manner by those two champions, _and with very little bloodshed_: his Serene Highness was extremely pleased, and expressed his entire satisfaction, and ordered them a handsome gratuity."

A Theatre was erected in Goodman's fields by Thomas Odell in 1729; his property in which was purchased 1731 by Henry Giffard. In 1732 the latter person opened a subscription, and received 2,300_l._ for rebuilding it, and soon after divided the property into twenty-three shares, which he assigned by indentures to the subscribers, allowing them 1_s._ 6_d._ each night of performance, and free admissions, with a mortgage on the Theatre as security. The means of building thus secured, Giffard contracted with Sir William Leman for a piece of ground for 61 years at a rent of 45_l. per annum_, and proceeded with the building, expending several thousand pounds on scenes, dresses, and decorations.

In the month of April 1730, Mr. Odell, proprietor of the New Theatre in Goodman's-fields, waited on the King, requesting his licence to act there; but met with a decisive refusal.

Covent-garden Theatre was built by subscription under the direction of Mr. Rich; in the month of January 1731, 6000_l._ had been obtained, and a design for the building was prepared by James Sheppard, Esq. which met with general approbation. It appears from the public papers that the Crown was then in treaty for Lincoln's-inn-fields Theatre, to use as an office for the Commissioners of the Stamp-duties. In February workmen begun to take down several old houses on the site of the intended Theatre.

The validity of a patent intended to be granted by the King for R. Wilks, C. Cibber, and Barton Booth, for Drury-lane Theatre was argued in April 1732 before the Lord Chancellor, Lord Chief Justice Raymond, and Mr. Baron Comyns; when it was decided to be a lawful grant, and it passed the great seal accordingly.

Prince Frederick of Wales gave a grand entertainment to the Nobility _at the Opera-house_ in 1732. The same Royal personage formed a company of Soldiers, consisting of Courtiers sons, to which he declared himself Corporal; and as such relieved guard between the acts of the Indian Emperor, performed before their Majesties and the Court in the grand ball room at St. James's by noble youths of both sexes.

The first notice of Vauxhall-gardens that I recollect to have seen in the Newspapers was in June 1732, when a Ridotto al fresco is mentioned. The company were estimated at 400 persons, and in the proportion of _ten men_ to _one woman_, who generally wore domino's, lawyers gowns, and masks, but many were without either. The company retired between three and four in the morning, and order was preserved by 100 _soldiers_ stationed at the entrance.

The Tottenham-court Fair was unusually brilliant that year, and Lee, Harper, and Petit's droll of Whittington was attended by many of the Nobility, and the son of Ach Mahomet, Envoy from the Dey of Algiers.

The Theatre in Goodman's-fields opened for the season of 1732, encouraged by the subscription of several merchants and others, and was decorated by two pieces of painting, representing the King supporting Liberty, and Apollo and the Muses--the works of Hayman and Oram.

The St. James's Evening Post of September 19, 1732, has the ensuing paragraph: "We hear that Mr. Harvey and Mr. Lambert have been employed for some time in painting the scenes for the New Theatre in Covent-garden, and that Signior Amiconi, who painted the Lord Tankerville's excellent stair-case in St. James's square, is to shew his art in the cieling of that Theatre; and, in order thereto, hath prepared a design in which Apollo is represented, in an assembly of the Muses, dignifying Shakspeare with the Laurel. And as the several hands employed require some farther time for completing their undertaking, we are informed the Theatre in Lincoln's-inn-fields will be opened in a few days, it being now determined not to act in that of Covent-garden till the decorations are quite finished."

The present magnificent arched entrance from the Piazza's with columns and enrichments of the Ionic order was erected in the above year. The newspapers mention the Theatre as completely finished in November, and that it was to be opened on the 27th of that month, when the following lines made their appearance.

"Thespis, the first of the dramatic race, Stroll'd in a cart, for gain, from place to place: His actors rude, his profits came but slow; The poet he, and master of the show; To raise attention, he employ'd his art To build another, and more costly cart: New Asses he procur'd to drag the load, And gain'd the shouts of boys upon the road. Awhile the gay machine spectators drew; The people throng'd, because the sight was new; Thither they hurry'd once, and went no more, For all his actors they had seen before; And what it was they wish'd no more to see: The application _Lun_ is left to thee."

There is some difference in our manner of resenting affronts offered to the publick or individuals, by those on the stage at present, from the mode adopted by Sir Robert Walpole in March 1733, who was present at the pantomimic entertainment, called "Love runs all dangers," performed at the Theatre in the Haymarket; when one of the Comedians presumed to hint at the Minister's intended Excise Act. At the conclusion of the performance his Lordship went behind the scenes, and demanded of the prompter whether the offensive words were part of the play: upon receiving an assurance they were not, he gave the actor a severe beating.

It has been mentioned in the third volume of "Londinium Redivivum," that the Princess Amelia rendered the New Tunbridge Wells a place of fashionable resort by drinking the water there for the restoration of her health; a wag made the following poetical queries in the year 1733:

"Whence comes it that the splendid great, To titles born and awful state, Thus condescend, thus check their will, And shape to Islington their way, To mix with those of vulgar clay? Astronomers, your glasses raise, Survey this meteor's dazzling blaze, And say portends it good or ill?

Soon as Aurora gilds the skies, With brighter charms the ladies rise, To dart forth beams that save or kill: No homage at the toilette paid, Their thousand beauties unsurvey'd, Sweet negligence assistance lends, And all the artless graces blends That form the tempting dishabille.

Behold the walks (a checquer'd shade) In all the pride of green array'd; How bright the Sun! the air how still! In wild confusion there we view, Red ribbands group'd with aprons blue, Curtsies, scrapes, nods, winks, smiles, and frowns, Lords, milk-maids, dutchesses, and clowns, All in their various dishabille!"

The pleasant gardens alluded to possessed, and still possess, greater attraction than any others in the vicinity of London; it is therefore by no means wonderful that _once in an age_ they became the scene of attraction; but that noblemen, and men and women of fashion should, by any of the strange mutations of caprice, _ever_ enter the booths of Bartholomew Fair, is to me astonishing. That they did is beyond a doubt; and even Cibber, Griffiths, Bullock, and Hallam, found it worth their while to expend large sums in erecting magnificent booths for their reception. Those prepared in August 1733 for the performance of Tamerlane, the Miser, the Ridotto al fresco, &c. had gilt boxes and other rich decorations, and were lighted by candles placed in glass lustres. A considerable number of gentlemen, tradesmen, and others, went in procession from the Bedford-arms to honour the commencement of the entertainments.

Some absurd persons were at the expence in October the same year of procuring a Holland smock, a cap, clocked stockings and laced shoes, which they offered as prizes to any four women who would run for them at three o'clock in the afternoon in Pall-Mall. The race attracted an amazing number of persons, who filled the streets, the window's, and balconies. The _sport_ attendant on this curious method of _killing time_ induced Mr. Rawlings, high Constable of Westminster, resident in Pall-Mall, to propose a laced hat as a prize to be run for by five men, which appears to have produced much mirth to the projector; but the mob, ever upon the watch to gratify their propensity for riot and mischief, committed so many excesses, that the sedate inhabitants of the neighbourhood found it necessary to apply to the Magistrates for protection, who issued precepts to prevent future races, directed to the very man most active in promoting them.

Senesino, the celebrated Italian performer, is said to have hired the Theatre in Lincoln's-inn-fields for the winter of 1733-4 as an Opera-house.

It is one of the singularities attendant on the present system of Theatrical amusements, that certain actors performing under a patent are gentlemen and ladies of merit, respectability, and fashion; but, leaving the magic circle, and acting for any other person than a patentee, they instantly become _rogues_ and _vagabonds_. It was the same in 1733, when Messrs. Rich, Highmore, and others, patentees of Drury-lane and Covent-garden Theatres, issued a summons against a player of each of the companies employed by Giffard of Goodman's-fields, and Mills of the Haymarket. A hearing of this momentous affair commenced in November before Sir Thomas Clarges and other Justices at the vestry-room of the parish of St. George Hanover-square, in order to decide whether the Act of the 12th of Queen Anne constituted persons acting without the authority of a patent _vagrants_, or _rogues_ and _vagabonds_. After much dispute between the counsel of both parties, Sir Thomas declared with great impartiality that the summons ought to have been worded _rogues_ and _vagabonds_, in strict conformity with the words of the Statute, instead of _vagrants_; that it was therefore nugatory; and as the persons implicated were reputable residents, he declined issuing another. By this decision the two Theatres were in some measure sanctioned by authority, though the performers certainly came within the meaning of the Law, which is too harsh and monopolizing, to the great injury of genuine merit thus denied the means of emulation; but the matter did not end as Sir Thomas Clarges wished, as will appear from the following letter addressed to "Mr. John Mills, and the rest of the persons acting at the Theatre in the Haymarket, lately belonging to the Theatres at Drury-lane and Covent-garden:"

"We have been daily in hopes, that, before this, the mediation of friends would have put an end to the differences that have for some time been between us; and though we are well advised of the unlawfulness as well as unreasonableness of your acting, yet we are extremely unwilling to take such methods as the Law prescribes, without first assuring you, that, if you think fit to return to your respective companies, we shall be ready on our parts to do whatever can be thought reasonable for us: but if you still persevere in your separation, which is greatly prejudicial to us, we shall be necessitated (though contrary to our inclinations) to proceed in such a manner as the Law directs, for supporting the Royal patents under which we act. We are in hopes of an amicable answer from you, directed to the Theatre in Drury-lane; and are your humble servants,


The above letter was conveyed to the Theatre in the Haymarket, but none of the actors were there; it was then sent to Mr. Mills, who returned it unopened; upon which the patentees directed it to Theophilus Cibber, who sent them this answer:

"I have received a letter from you, which speaks of several persons and different companies; but, as no particular names are mentioned, and the letter is directed to me alone, I can only answer for myself. I am well advised that what I am about is legal, and I know it is reasonable; and therefore I do not think of changing my present condition for servitude.

"Your humble servant, THEOPHILUS CIBBER."

Soon after the parties had a trial in the Court of King's Bench on the following grounds: the Managers of the Haymarket Theatre took a lease of two Trustees appointed by the 36 sharers of Drury-lane Theatre, who, wishing that the grant of the Haymarket Theatre should be valid both in Law and Equity, consulted the sharers on the subject, when 27 agreed to the execution of the lease; but the Patentees, thinking otherwise, suffered an action of ejectment to be brought against them, which was decided in November in favour of the plaintiffs, though several unwarrantable methods were adopted to obtain a different verdict: one of those was the arrest of Mr. Harper, who was committed to Bridewell as a vagabond, in hopes to withdraw the attention of the plaintiffs Counsel from the cause at Westminster, and to enrage the publick, before whom he was to have appeared the same night in the character of Sir John Falstaff: but they totally failed in each of their ungenerous attempts, by the Company's permitting the imprisonment of poor Harper, and the house forgiving his non-appearance. Harper's case was afterwards argued before Lord Chief Justice Yorke by twelve Counsellors, six for the plaintiffs, and the same number for the defendants. The Judge admitted the player to bail upon his own recognizance; and ordered a feigned issue, to try the validity of the commitment on the last day of the term.

Charles Fleetwood, Esq. of Bromley-hall, Staffordshire, who was said to be worth 8000_l. per annum_, purchased five of the six shares of the patentees of Drury-lane Theatre in January 1734 for 3500_l._; the seceding actors were determined in consequence to return to their stations at that playhouse.

Plays were not entirely confined to the regular Theatres at this period; for the Benchers of the Society of the Inner Temple gave a splendid entertainment, February 2, to the Lord Chancellor, the Master of the Rolls, Judges, Serjeants, and Counsellors at Law, when the Comedy of Love for Love was acted by the Company from the Haymarket on a temporary stage, fronting of which a gallery was erected for 100 ladies, who, with the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cumberland, and many noblemen, witnessed the performance: the actors received 50_l._ for their exertions.

A baron of beef, weighing 175lb. and conveyed to the table by the exertions of four men, formed part of the _solid_ entertainment presented to these defenders of the laws of Great Britain.

On the 15th of March 1734, the Players of the Revels to the King, assisted by Sheriffs-officers, went in a body to Drury-lane Theatre, which was delivered into their possession by Mr. Fleetwood as a matter of form.

Ranelagh-house, Chelsea, the residence of the nobleman of that title, was sold in 1733 to an eminent builder named Timbrell for 3200_l._, who advertised it for sale in the following year, as a freehold, with garden, kitchen-garden, and offices, and a smaller house and garden with fruit-trees, coach-houses, &c. &c. These, I apprehend, were the first vicissitudes of Ranelagh, preparatory to its conversion into a place of amusement.

Farinelli engaged to perform fifty nights during the season of 1734-5 for a salary of 1500 guineas and a benefit.

The King gave his annual 1000_l._ to the Managers of the Opera-house on this occasion, and added 500_l._ as a subscription to Mr. Handel, who had Operas at Covent-garden Theatre, in consequence of a dispute with the latter, which caused an expenditure of 12,000_l._ at the Haymarket and 9000_l._ to Handel.

Farinelli's benefit at the close of this season surpassed every other previously received. The Theatre was so contrived as to accommodate 2000 spectators, whose admission money, added to the following sums given by the Nobility, amounted to more than 2000_l._: the Prince of Wales, 200 guineas; the Spanish Ambassador, 100_l._; the Imperial, 50_l._; the Duke of Leeds, the Countess of Portmore, Lord Burlington, and the Duke of Richmond, 50_l._ each; Colonel Paget, 30_l._; and Lady Rich, 20_l._ &c. &c. The pit was filled at four o'clock; and as the Stage was crowded with beauty and fashion, no scenes were used during the performance: gilt leather hangings were substituted, which usually adorned that part of the Theatre at Ridottos. Many of the songs in the Opera were new; that which preceded the chorus was composed by Farinelli, and so vehemently applauded, that he sung it a second time at the request of the audience, though the chorus was over, and the musicians had retired from the orchestra.

The Prince of Wales soon after presented this favourite singer with a richly wrought gold snuff-box set with rubies and diamonds, containing a pair of diamond knee-buckles, and a purse of 100 guineas.

A great deal was written for and against Theatrical amusements in 1735, when the Legislature intended to prevent an increase of Theatres, yet but little information can be obtained from those essays; indeed the matter of fact may almost be said to be confined to the statements in the following extract from the Universal Spectator, No. 340: "What will ensue from _new_ play-houses being erected may be seen by that at Goodman's-fields: the street where it is built used formerly to be inhabited by silk-throwsters, ribband-weavers, and others whose trades employed the industrious poor; immediately on setting up this Playhouse, the rents of the houses were raised, as the landlords could then let them to more _profitable_ tenants; and now there is a bunch of grapes hanging almost at every door; besides an adjacent Bagnio or two; an undoubted proof that innocence and morality are not the certain consequences of a Playhouse. I could urge this much farther; but, as the regulation of the number of Theatres is now before the Parliament, _they_ only are to determine whether the continuance of this Theatre, or the increase of others, are consistent with the public good. Since the above was written, I have received information that a great number of apprentices and _gentlemen_, who play for their diversion, have formed a new company at York-buildings, which shews the necessity for the number of players and playhouses to be regulated, or else the whole nation may degenerate into a set of Stage-players."

A shocking accident occurred during the representation of Dr. Faustus at Covent-garden Theatre in October 1736. Four servants, the _representatives_ of Lun, Nivelon, Salway, and Mrs. Moreau, in the characters of harlequin, the miller, his wife, and man, had entered a car which was to be supposed to convey them an aërial journey; but unfortunately the wires broke when the machine had elevated the people to the greatest height intended, whence they were precipitated on the stage. Harlequin had his head bruised and wrist strained, the miller's arm was broken, his man had his scull fractured, and died a few days after, and the poor woman had a thigh broken and knee-pan shattered.

The Opera of Atalanta, composed by Handel, was acted at Covent-garden Theatre in May 1736 in honour of the marriage of the Prince of Wales: the scenery on this occasion was adapted to the circumstances of the day, and represented an avenue to the Temple of Hymen intermixed with statues of Deities, beyond which a triumphal arch supported the arms of the happy pair; directly above, Fame, seated on a cloud, was supposed to sound the names of Fredericus and Augusta exhibited in transparent characters. Through the arch appeared the façade of a Temple, consisting of four columns and a pediment, on which two Cupids were represented embracing, and supporting the coronet and feathers of the Principality of Wales: the Temple of Hymen closed the brilliant scene.

The proprietor of Vauxhall-gardens found it necessary to publish the following statement in 1736:

"As the master of the Spring-gardens at Vauxhall has always been ambitious of obliging the polite and worthy part of the Town, by doing every thing in his power that may contribute to their ease and pleasure: he for that reason was induced to give out tickets, but in no other view than to keep away such as are not fit to intermix with those persons of quality, ladies, gentlemen, and others, who should honour him with their company. This method he has already tried: and the publick having been so indulgent as to approve of his constant endeavours to serve them, it is with the utmost regret he finds himself obliged to make a change with respect to the tickets; and that for the following reasons.

"First, with regard to the conveniency of the company--his entertainments being made (as he presumes) so very reasonable, such numbers might probably be induced to flock to it, from this large and populous City (and especially in hot and sultry weather), that it would be impossible to accommodate a great part of them. The consequence of this would be, that as every person had paid a shilling for his ticket, he would expect an equivalent for it; but, as there would be no opportunity of doing this in the great hurry, it might cause such a disturbance as would for ever ruin his entertainment.

"Secondly, with respect to his own security--because counterfeit tickets may be taken by the servants (who are the first receivers) in a great hurry of business, as has already been found by experience.

"Because of the ill use which his servants (who are very numerous) make of the tickets, by admitting as many persons as they please for nothing, and that in the following manner:

"A person takes a ticket at the door, and pays a shilling for it; he then goes to a servant with whom he is acquainted, who returns the shilling to him, and takes his ticket, for which the master must allow the servant a shilling when he comes to account with him. In this case, it is manifest, the person is admitted for nothing. In the other case, the servant may make a private advantage of the tickets, and that as follows: a person sells his ticket to the servant (suppose for ten pence), here the servant would gain two-pence, which is all the person pays for being admitted; and the master gets nothing, because he must allow the whole shilling to the servant as above.

"As it is obvious from these several considerations, that the company may be vastly incommoded, and the master in danger of being ruined; because servants may be induced to encourage great numbers of the inferior sort to come to the gardens, since this would be so much to their advantage: for these reasons he humbly presumes, that the publick will be fully convinced of the necessity he is under of taking a shilling at the gate for the future, without giving a ticket for it; and his servants have strict orders to solicit no person to call for any thing, upon pain of being immediately discharged."

Some wags _amused_ the publick with a most solemn exhibition in June 1736, which originated from a call of Serjeants at Law. Those merry gentlemen, well acquainted with classic story, dressed a huge _Owl_ in a coif and band, and placed him on a broom staff over a door opposite Lancaster-court. Minerva's favourite bird was afterwards observed to behave with great gravity, and particularly during the time his learned brethren were passing in procession under him; one flap of his band was inscribed _Ecce!_ the other _Fratrem_.

The recent amusements afforded by riding asses as ponies, and racing on them, although strong efforts of modern sagacity, were anticipated by our forefathers. An Ass-race attracted vast crowds of people to May-fair in 1736, where there was doubtlessly much good betting.

Fleetwood, the proprietor of Drury-lane Theatre, offered a reward of fifty guineas for the discovery of the author or authors of an incendiary letter sent to him in 1737:


"We are willing to admonish you before we attempt our design; and provide you will use us civil, and admit us into your gallery, which is our property according to formalities; and if you think proper to come to a composition this way, you'll hear no further; and if not, our intention is to combine in a body _incognito_, and reduce the playhouse to the ground; we are


Fog's Weekly Journal contains a well-written and whimsical explanation of the motives which produced the above extraordinary letter--the production, doubtless, of a Committee of aggrieved footmen, remarkable then, and certainly at present, for _propriety of behaviour_ and _modesty_ of demeanour.

March 12, 1737: "The footmen and other livery servants attending the nobility and gentry frequenting the Theatre Royal in Drury-lane, having (on account of their vociferations during the acts, as well as the intervals) been expelled the uppermost gallery of the house, in which they and their _ancestors_ had _sat_ and _voted_, in all affairs that came upon the _Stage_, time immemorial; thus, conceiving themselves to have an indefeasible hereditary right to the said gallery, and this expulsion to be a high infringement on their liberties, and to the end that posterity might see they were not wanting to vindicate the honour of their cloth, and maintain the whole body of the _livery_ in the full and free enjoyment of all their antient rights and privileges; on Saturday night last a great number of them, provided with staves and _truncheons_, and well-fortified with _three threads_ and _twopenny_, assembled at the doors of the said Theatre, when their Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Wales, others of the Royal Family, and many of the Nobility, were in the house; and having made a practicable breach, entered at the same, and carried the stage-door by mere dint of _oak_, bearing down all the _box-keepers, candle-snuffers, supernumeraries, and pippin-women_, that stood in their way, in which assault 25 or 26 persons were said to be desperately wounded. Justice De Veil, _luckily chancing_ to be present in the house (as he was once before when a disturbance of the like kind happened), immediately interposed his Magisterial authority, commanding the proclamation against riots to be read; but so great was the confusion, they might as well have read _Cæsar's Commentaries_. At length the disorder boding very bad consequences, the Justice, supported by the foot-guards, prudently seized some of the principal rioters, and ordered them to be reposited in Newgate, till their claims can be inquired into in a more regular and judicial way, and the whole matter set in a true light.

"The Welsh footmen are said to have been the most contumacious in this affair; for after several meetings and mature considerations had, at the Goat and Harp alehouse, they unanimously resolved to support this essential privilege, at the hazard of their limbs and liveries; and likewise ordered a message to their brethren at the Ship victualling-house in the Old Palace-yard, Westminster, requiring the sense of that venerable body of _brass-button Senators_, at this _knotty_ and critical conjuncture. Were these pertinacious _gentlemen_ but to look into history, they, perhaps, may find by what means their _predecessors_ forfeited the privilege of wearing swords: for Rapin and others write, "That in the fourth year of Henry VI. a Parliament was held at Leicester, which was called the _Parliament of batts_, because, their footmen not being allowed _swords_, they followed their masters to the House with _batts_ and _cudgells_ in their hands. And it must be allowed that they have made a pretty good use of them ever since."

Numbers of anonymous letters were thrown down the areas of people of fashion after this affair, denouncing vengeance against those who assisted in depriving them of their liberty and property, as they were pleased to term their riots and the gallery of Drury-lane Theatre. Two footmen were committed without bail or mainprize to answer for their conduct; and, while in Newgate, received supplies of every kind through the _generous subscriptions_ of their sympathising brethren. At the same time 50 men mounted guard at the Theatre every night under the direction of Colonel De Veil.

Mary-le-bon Gardens were opened previous to 1737; and till that year were entered _gratis_ by all ranks of people; but the company resorting to them becoming more respectable, Mr. Gough, the keeper, determined to demand a shilling as entrance-money, for which the party paying was to receive an equivalent in viands.

Mr. Chetwynd and Mr. Odell, Inspectors of Plays under the Lord Chamberlain, were granted seats at each house _gratis_ in 1738.

The ensuing proposals were published by the master of Vauxhall-gardens in March 1738:

"The entertainment will be opened the latter end of April or beginning of May (as the weather permits), and continue three months or longer, with the usual illuminations and band of musick, and several considerable additions and improvements to the organ.

"A thousand tickets only will be delivered out, at 24 shillings each; the silver of every ticket to be worth 3_s._ 6_d._ and to admit two persons every evening (Sundays excepted) during the season.

"Every person coming without a ticket to pay 1_s._ each time for admittance.

"No servants in livery to walk in the gardens.

"All subscribers are desired not to permit their tickets to get into the hands of persons of evil repute, there being an absolute necessity to exclude all such.

"All possible endeavours will be used that the particulars provided at the entertainment may be the best in their several kinds; and, that the Company may judge of the reasonableness of them, printed tables of the prices of each will be fixed up in different parts of the gardens.

"Receipts will be delivering from this day till Thursday the 13th of April inclusive, and no longer, by Mr. Thomas Cox, bookseller, under the Royal Exchange; Mr. John Stagg, bookseller, in Westminster-hall; and at the Spring-gardens above-mentioned; at all which places tickets will be ready for delivery on Tuesday the 18th of April. N. B. As the striking the tickets and engraving the names must necessarily employ a considerable time, the subscribers are desired to take out receipts as soon as may suit their conveniency, in order that the tickets may be delivered at the time mentioned."

The Watermen's company gave notice, at the same time, that two of their beadles would attend at Vauxhall-stairs from five o'clock till eleven, to prevent impositions by the members of their Society.

Mrs. Arne sung at a Concert established in the succeeding winter at the Great Room, Panton-street, the band of which was selected from that of the Opera-house; but the singularity most attractive consisted of an organ combined with a harpsichord played by clock-work, which exhibited the movements of an orrery and air pump, besides solving astronomical and geographical problems on two globes, and shewing the moon's age with the Copernican system in motion; in the canopy, Apollo, and the Muses, &c. &c.

A company of French Comedians hired the Little Theatre in the Haymarket for the season of 1738, and attempted to play "_L'Embarras des Richesses_;" but the audience, evidently assembled to drive the performers from London, commenced a violent riot, in which they proceeded till Mr. Hewit, a fencing-master, had one of his cheeks cut almost off by a sword, and the actors had fled through the back-windows into Suffolk-street; every thing that could be broken within the house was completely demolished, and a wag, alluding to the title of the play, wrote these lines:

"Zealous for Britain, and to teach it sense, The Gallic players came over----_not for pence_; And as first trials oft give projects health, Wisely they open'd with "The Plague of Wealth." The grateful Britons, conscious what they ow'd For unsought favours with such grace bestow'd; To prove they lik'd the donor's wholesome lore, Return'd them _cashless_ to their native shore."

The assertion in the latter line however is not true, as a handsome subscription was made to enable the disappointed Comedians to return in comfort to France, which amounted to 600_l._

Handel hired the Opera-house in 1738, for the performance of Oratorios twice a week.

One of the most extraordinary events upon record in the history of the stage occurred in 1749, when the Duke of Montague, in concert with some other wits, determined to make trial of the credulity of the publick, in order to ascertain how far it would extend: in the accomplishment of this purpose they inserted several most absurd and ridiculous advertisements in the newspapers, one of which announced that on Monday, the 16th of January, a man would enter a common wine-bottle on the stage, and sing in it. Contrary to all _probable_ calculation, the Little Theatre in the Haymarket received an overflowing audience, who waited without musick and with exemplary patience till eight o'clock. At that hour the usual testimonies of discontent appeared, to the terror of the proprietors of the house. And the contrivers of the scheme being now totally at a loss how to dismiss their dupes, a person was at length deputed to offer the return of the admission-money. At the same moment another unfortunately added, that the Conjuror would enter a pint bottle for _double_ prices. The riot then became general, and some injury occurred to the ladies' dresses and the gentlemen's wigs in effecting their escape from the Theatre. A party who were determined on mischief remained, and proceeded to demolish the boxes, benches, scenes, &c. &c. which they carried into the street, and burnt before the Guards arrived to prevent it.

Though the following incident, and some others of a similar nature, are not intrinsically worth notice; yet, as they serve to fill the general outline I have undertaken to sketch of the manners of the last century, they are necessarily introduced. During the season of 1757 the audience of Covent-garden Theatre missed their favourite actor Barry; and finding that the month of December had arrived without producing him, they loudly demanded his appearance, when Mr. Smith, stepping forward, assured them, that to his knowledge Mr. Rich was then engaged in a treaty with Mr. Barry. This information satisfied the majority; but, several riotous persons continuing their vociferation, partial battles took place in the pit, and even blood was shed before the civil and military powers conveyed the delinquents to the office of Justice Fielding.

An article inserted in the London Chronicle in November 1758 expresses the writer's surprize that the Theatres and Opera-house were not furnished with ventilators, as he was convinced many severe complaints had been and were then caused by the profuse perspirations of individuals suddenly encountering the chill air of the streets.

_Spouting_ Clubs, or, in other words, assemblies of persons ardent admirers of the antient art of Acting, were known before the middle of the century, and have flourished, under the influence of some unavoidable mutations, to the present moment. The violent action of the members, their improper emphasis, and their grimaces, have frequently been successfully ridiculed; but the evil still exists in private Theatres, where it is asserted some vices are acquired which are not very creditable to the possessors; and I shall only add that in my opinion youth is generally sufficiently presuming without having recourse to this improper mode of _education_. Influenced by this conviction, I am always grieved to hear of private plays at colleges and schools, and particularly at _female_ boarding-schools. It is from the latter custom, that we have witnessed so much folly in the recent exhibition of heroes and legislators by _infant girls_ and _boys_, whose feeble and shrill voices pronounce denunciations and elevated sentiments which are often injured by the imperfect organs even of our best tragic adults. To illustrate this assertion more forcibly, let posterity be informed, that _we enlightened inhabitants_ of London have actually listened to the ensuing speech with rapture uttered by children under fifteen years of age, and little more than four feet in height:

"_A thousand hearts are great within my bosom._ Advance our standards, set upon our foes, Our antient word of courage, fair _St. George_, Inspire us with the spleen of fiery dragons: Upon them, Victory sits on our helms[204:A]."

Let it also be recorded, that the season of 1806 produced a _juvenile Theatre_, which was well attended. But let us return to the Spouting-clubs, lest we pass them without _due_ notice: that indeed they received in 1759, when these excellent lines appeared in the London Chronicle, to which I can add nothing new.

"THE SPOUTING CLUB. _A Poetical Dish newly cooked up_ By RIGDUM FUNNIDOS, Esq. Professor of Bombast and Blank Verse in the University of Queerumania. _Conamur tenues grandia._

"NOW o'er the world, in sable cincture clad, Night rolls her awful clouds. Her misty veil Hangs black'ning 'fore the eye, whose visual orb In vain attempts to penetrate the gloom Condens'd; save where the cotton 'mers'd in oil Within some glassy concave yields its flame Twinkling; and save where in the servile hand Behind a rattling coach, the tædal stick Held waving glimmers on the face of things. Free from the business of the bustling day, This interval indulging, to the Club Of Spouters I repair; where mortal forms, Borne high upon the feathers of conceit, Rise into air; while puffing blasts of wind, Bursting from loosely-flying Fancy's cave, Blow them to regions where Theatra dwells. Here, o'er the summit of a chair I loll; My circumspective eyes explore the room. A groupe of staring objects strike my sight; Features distinct and various. While upon The table's oval, the resplendent cup Its pure contents and frothy surface boasts Invigorant. Virginia's plant matur'd Lies in the centre. With a clay-form'd tube Each member graces his extended hand. Above the rest, with looks erect and sage, Deputed sits the regent of the night, In elbow-chair pre-eminent. His hand The silence-knocking hammer wields. Before His optic balls are plac'd two shining plates, Betwixt whose pewter confines, interspers'd With glittering pieces of argental coin, Lie wide-spread half-pence, jingling at the touch. There great he sits, with glee magnificent, The strong potation quaffing. On the slate The num'rous pots he marks, with aspect keen. So, with superior power invested, sits A constable elate, in dome rotund, Imbibing porter solid. With an air Self-confident he scrawls the captive's name. Now moves around, with circulation quick, The tankard less'ning. Strait again receives Its due completion. Like the changing tide It ebbs and flows alternate. Curling spires Ascending paint the plaster'd canopy Fuliginous: the wafture dims the sight, And thro' the smoaky mist the candles shine Azure. But lo! a Roscian stands erect Stentorophontes. Him long time I mark'd, Saw meditation hover o'er his brow, And all his faculties absorb'd in thought. He bends his head addressive to the board, And thus harangues--"Why sit we here thus mute, "And frustrate all the purpose of our meeting? "Already has the hoarse-lung'd watchman bawl'd "Past nine o'clock." So saying, forth he stalks, With step theatric. Mark his buskin tread, And eye-balls rolling. Rang'd along the floor The candles blaze. And now the signal giv'n, All bend their eyes on him--No longer now Pauses the youth, but storms in wild Macbeth. Lo! now apparent on his horrid front Sits grim distortion. Every feature's lost, Screw'd horrible, unhumaniz'd--On stage Of quack itinerant thus have I seen An Andrew wring the muscles of his face, Deforming nature, and extort the grin And wonder of the many-headed crowd. He spoke; when strait a loud applauding noise Ensues: the clap of hands and thump of feet Commingling. Knuckles on the table's verge With fury beating, and the sound of sticks Junctive confirm the rattle of applause. Tremble the pewter vases, and within The fluid fluctuates. The surging pipes Roll from their beds of tin. The wooden plain Is strew'd on all sides with the clatt'ring ruin. Lo! now another of theatric mould "Rises in clouded majesty," yclep'd Ranter. Forth issue from his steaming mouth These long imprisoned Alps of tow'ring smoke, "Riding upon the bosom of the air." Him had his inauspicious cruel stars Destin'd to oil, to dress the flowing curl, And with nice hand to weave the yielding hair. But each revolving, rising, setting sun Beheld this hero looking on his trade With eyes indignant. His exalted soul Launch'd 'yond the limits of his narrow sphere. Fraught with extended notions of the stage, His ample-daring mind the drama's laws Sole entertain'd--The tonsor now assumes The part of Richard, and with awkward strut Affects majestic air.--So at the wake Roger begins the dance, but, wanting skill, Betrays himself unequal to the task. Thy graceful periods, so oft admir'd, Divine inspir'd Shakspeare! on his tongue Imperfect die away. His labour'd speech Sounds gutt'ral, like the hoarsely croaking race Upon the banks of some pellucid stream. Scarce had he finish'd, when salutes his ears The mingled noise upon the dusty floor Reverberated. Down the shaver sits Well-pleas'd. And next upstarts Hibernia's son, Like some enthusiast on a tripod rais'd With apish gesture, and with strange grimace, To rant unto the multitude. The cork Intruded swift into the candle's blaze Is nigrified, and marks th'aspiring youth With whiskers bold. Ferocity now darts From either eye her broad unmeaning stare; In Bajazet he raves, and low'ring bids Defiance. 'Yond just Nature's ample pow'r He rants elaborate. His roaring voice Calls echo forth respondent. On the mart Of fishy Billingsgate thus have I heard A harsh lung-cracking noise, nor yet to this Dissimilar. He ended; but the tribe Withhold the grasp'd-at banners of applause. Then down he sits, with woeful aspect dull. But strait emerging from a sea of thought, He swallows hasty the salubrious stream, And re-inthrones his abdicated soul. Bronzoides next his meteor lays down Igniferous. Him had his parents sent To London (seat of business)--there the laws Of England's state to learn and exercise. For him a well-experienced Don was found, Whose quick-turn'd eyes foresaw each quibble quaint, And quirk evasive. As an osier light, That bending yields to ev'ry blast of wind, His heart to fraud was flexible,--his heart, Where dark Deceit, in honest guise array'd, Had sown its seeds, and poison'd ev'ry grain Which, warm'd by potent Truth's congenial ray, With Virtue's plenteous harvest might have teem'd. But fruitless was the youth's parental aim, Tho' sedulous. For scarce two years had roll'd Since fair Augusta first had bless'd his eyes, When great Bronzoides first soliloquiz'd: 'Was it for this, that o'er the classic deep I sail'd, and landed on poetic shores? Have I for this flew round the Aonian mount With plumes immortal, and so often play'd With spotless Muses, in Pierian meads? Am I, ye Gods, eternally to scribe Inglorious? No--Some power uplifts my soul, Buoyant, above the common class of earth's Dull reptiles. Hence, ye wrong-adjudg'd Reports; Ye dry collections, hence. I leave ye all To those grave, solid-looking fools, whose ears Tautology best charms. Oh! Shakspeare, come With all thy pupils. Fire my glowing breast, Expand my genius, and enlarge my soul.' Kindled that instant at the raptur'd thought, His intellects, high tow'ring flew to realms Dramatic. There the storehouse of his brain He fill'd redundant. Here he tries his skill Theatric, ere upon the graceful stage With steps adventurous he dares to tread. So children dabble in the shallow stream Playful, till fear forsakes their little souls; Then bold they rush into the middle Thames. 'List, list, O list'--Oh! how his tuneful voice Rises and falls, as Oysterella's soft And strong, when ev'ry street and curving lane Adjacent echo the testaceous cry. He spouted--and receiv'd his share of praise. Inflated with the swellings of conceit, And newly flush'd with large-aspiring hopes Of excellence, uprises Leatheronzo Fam'd. In repairing worn-out calcuments None was his equal. No one better knew The pointed awl to handle. Yet his breast With rage dramatic glow'd. In mad-struck Lear The scene he opens: but for want of crown Paus'd his mock-majesty. Around the place Long time his eyes terrific roll'd. At length 'In a black corner of the room he spied' An empty urinal--Fir'd at the sight, He snatch'd the vacuum, and to his head Adapted it well pleas'd. Now, now he raves With brazen lungs, until a sudden jerk His action terminates. Upon the floor Down drops the jordan. As it rolls along It rings applause unto his list'ning ear. Lo! now springs forward with elastic step, A son of Comedy, Soccado call'd. The tunic dazzling with its golden pride, The button-hole gay-wrought with wondrous art, The mode-cut collar, and well-fancied sleeve, Had oft proclaim'd his taste. Yet not to this Was his great soul confin'd. Theatra now, Dramatic goddess, whispers in his ear, And bids him shine away in Foppington. Where's now that stately flatness of the gait? That easy stiffness where? so often seen In thee, O Cibber! and so oft admir'd, Alas! how faintly, rudely copied here! With joints inflexible, and neck oblique, An object stiff'ning to the sight he stands In attitude unmeaning, and deprives Each injur'd word of its emphatic due. He finish'd, when the wonted noise begins, Loud as his all-attentive ears can wish; Nor less than that which shakes the bending stairs To the Theatric semicircled seats, Hight upper gallery, ductive, when some Grand-habited scene-boasting pantomime, From 'hind their compters, and from cleaning knives, And from tenebrious porter-breathing cells, Where all day long in glee they tippling sat, Calls forth the terrene quick-ascending gods. Prologues and epilogues increase the sport, To periodize the humours of the night Now far advanced; goes round the jovial song, The laugh-exciting catch, or wanton tale Re-iterated. Bacchus, King of Joys, Twines not his vine-branch here. "Trueman's entire" Reigns arbitrary. With its vapours bland Their giddy-rolling heads anointed turn Upon an axis brittle. Total noise Its anarchy extends. But oh! how soon Terrestrial mirth evaporates. Amidst Their jocund glee, and lovely-floating hours, Enter the Constables. Ten watchmen brave Their presence dignify. Amazement chill Sits on each spouting face. So looks the wretch Involv'd in debt, when first he spies the front-- The front most hated of a Catch-pole grim. Not e'en Macbeth stands more appall'd with fear, When murder'd Banquo's horrid-glaring ghost Disturbs the regal banquet. Such, so great Their fear unmanly, that their passive souls To their hard fate submit. Restless all, All walk desponding to the round-house dire; And one sad exit terminates the scene. All hail to thee! thou young dramatic bard! Ingenious M-rp-y, hail! Before thy shrine I bend the knee. This epidemic rage Well hast thou ridicul'd. Oh! may thy scenes On Fame's high-pending annals be enroll'd: And as thy Muse shall henceforth deign to grace Th'enlighten'd scene, and with a steady hand To hold up Nature's mirrour, may the tribe Of snarling Critics, with invidious eyes, View the bright image, and confess it true."

The reader will of course forgive the chasms in dates which he frequently meets with, by recollecting that most of the amusements of the people of London occur in succession annually: the Theatres, the Opera, concerts, exhibitions, Ranelagh, and Vauxhall, have always had their regular stated periods of opening; and when nothing remarkable took place at either, it is by no means necessary they should be mentioned under every year. The Vauxhall season of 1759 produced some unpleasant animadversions; and the proprietors were publicly called upon to prevent the infamous conduct of loose women and their male companions, whose yells have been described as issuing from the dark walks in sounds full as terrific as "the imagined horror of Cavalcanti's bloodhounds:" indeed the latter were charged with driving ladies from their friends into those recesses where dangerous terrors were wantonly inflicted.


Occurred on the 6th of April, 1759. As this eminent composer may justly be said to have formed a new æra of musick in England, and to have established the Opera, and the fame of his Oratorios perhaps for centuries to come; a sketch of his life from his arrival in this Island cannot be altogether unacceptable, particularly as it must contain a general history of those amusements with which he became connected. Handel was born at Hall in Upper Saxony February 24, 1684, but did not visit England till he had attained his 26th year, and when perfect master of his profession. The stranger, though only upon leave of absence from the Court of Hanover, where he received a pension of 1500 crowns _per annum_, and held the place of Master of the Elector's chapel, was presented to Queen Anne, and favourably received; thus honoured, Handel soon enjoyed the patronage of her courtiers, and immediately commenced his career by correcting the errors of the _Italian_ Opera, if that could be so called which had been translated into the _English_ language. As this celebrated composer found it, the most pathetic parts of the Italian musick frequently fell upon words expressive of anger, and _vice versâ_; he therefore composed Rossi's Rinaldo, written after an outline by Aaron Hill, who favoured the publick with an English version of it.

When Handel had remained here one year, the full term of his leave of absence, he returned to Hanover, but promised to re-visit the Queen at the first convenient opportunity: that occurred in 1712, and he composed his _Te Deum_ and _Jubilate_ after the signing of the peace of Utrecht. Queen Anne, highly gratified with his exertions, granted him a pension of 200_l._ for life, and added her commands to the solicitations of the Nobility, that he should assume the management of the Opera-house. This he complied with, and violated in consequence an engagement he was under to return to the Elector's Court. When that Prince ascended the British throne, Handel, conscious of his offence, dared not venture into his presence; and his friends even thought stratagem preferable to intercession in restoring him to favour. To accomplish this, Baron Kilmanseck and several of the English nobility engaged the King in a party of pleasure upon the Thames: at that hour of relaxation the King was surprized with those grand movements yet known as Handel's Water-piece, which were composed expressly for the occasion, and performed under his direction in a boat attendant on the Monarch. The scheme was successful beyond expectation; and from that hour the fortunate musician received both honours and rewards from George I. The Earl of Burlington and the Duke of Chandos were his warmest patrons and admirers: the latter indeed retained him at Canons as master of his splendid choral establishment for the offices of religion; and as Buononcini and Attilio were then composers for the Opera, he did not frequently interfere with their province.

At length the period arrived destined to rouse the powers of Handel as a composer and a tyrant. Several persons of distinction had determined to found an Academy of Musick in the Haymarket, in order to insure a constant supply of Operas from the pen of the unrivalled Saxon, which they intended should be performed under his direction. The subscription for this purpose amounted to 50,000_l._; and they procured the King's name for 1000_l._ to grace the head of the list. Thus authorised and enabled, Handel went to Dresden for performers of celebrity, and engaged Senesino and Duristanti, with whom he returned to England, when they acted his Opera of Radamisto to a most crowded audience, which honoured him with the loudest plaudits. From that day the powerful partizans of Buononcini, and those of Handel, became irreconcileable enemies; though their enmity was so far controuled as to permit an agreement between them, that the rival masters should alternately compose the acts of Mutius Scævola, and thus afford a criterion by which their superiority was to be determined. Handel conquered; and, his reputation firmly established, he reigned sole monarch of the Academy for nine years. At the close of that period Senesino accused Handel of oppression, and Handel treated Senesino as a rebel against his authority; the publick immediately divided on this important question; and, to complete their vexation, Faustina and Cuzzoni quarrelled. Harmony ceased in every point of view, and the Academy was dissolved; but Handel maintained his post at the Haymarket, where he soon discovered that with Senesino he had dismissed the majority of his audiences. In this dilemma he entered into an agreement with the celebrated Heidegger to perform Operas on their own account; they accordingly engaged several new performers; but the Nobility, exasperated at the Saxon's tyrannical conduct, entered into a subscription, with which they opened the Theatre in Lincoln's-inn-fields, countermatching his Italians with the incomparable Farinelli. The contest was continued three years in conjunction with Heidegger; and Handel persisted one year after his partner retired: he then left the Haymarket to his rivals.

Chagrined and disappointed, he endeavoured to establish himself at Lincoln's-inn-fields, and afterwards became a partner with Mr. Rich at Covent-garden Theatre, where he found, to his great mortification, that his musick, however sublime, was not a match for Farinelli's voice; yet he persisted till he had almost ruined his fortune, and actually deranged his faculties, besides causing a paralytic stroke, which deprived him of the use of his right arm: he was however recovered from the latter calamities by using the baths of Aix-la-chapelle about the year 1736.

Fortunately for Handel the publick were pleased with the performance of his Alexander's Feast at Covent-garden Theatre soon after his return; and, to add to his good fortune, he was solicited to compose two Italian Operas for Lord Middlesex, who had been compelled to take the direction of this difficult concern upon himself, to preserve it from total ruin. His success on this occasion operated powerfully with the multitude; and a benefit produced him 1500_l._ in the year 1738. An opportunity thus offered to effect a complete reconciliation with his former employers; but that asperity of temper and impatience of controul which always marked his character induced him to reject every proposal connected with subscriptions. After several unsuccessful attempts to establish the Opera at Covent-garden Theatre, he turned his attention to the composition of Oratorios, which he intended should have been _acted_ and sung; but the popular opinion, that such representations from Scripture would be a profanation of religion, deterred him from the design; and he caused them to be sung only as they are at present.

Similar to most human inventions, the Oratorio was of little service to the _Author_: posterity, according to custom, has had the honour of rewarding Handel's _memory_; and if an Angel composed new ones, they would certainly not succeed, till he had fled from the earth half a century, and till Handel has had _his_ day.

The Irish nation received our great musician and his oratorios with complacency; and as he gave the produce of the first performance of his Messiah in Dublin to the City prison, he soon secured their patronage. After considerably improving his circumstances, he returned to England, where his oratorios recovered from their previous depression, and received that approbation which a dread of having lost them probably excited. Handel gave the profits of an annual performance of the Messiah to the Foundling Hospital; and attended their oratorios regularly long after he had lost his sight by a _gutta serena_, and till within eight days of his death.

His present Majesty is passionately fond of Handel's musick; and that the publick are not less so, may be inferred by the eternal repetition of his Oratorios during the season of Lent; by which means, I shall be excused in observing, modern musical genius is depressed, and the pockets of conductors more readily filled. Hence the tiresome selections upon festivals and at concerts, where, if the audience is surprised by _a new_ movement, they exclaim, "Ah! this is _not like_ Handel's strains:"--True, but may they not be equally delightful?

The first _description_ of an Opera which I have met with is in the eleventh number of the Theatre, for November 18, 1758. As the writer appears to have entered into the subject with more than usual spirit, its insertion may possibly prove acceptable to the reader; but he will immediately discover that even our Theatres for pantomime now rival the antient Opera.

"King's Theatre. On Saturday the 18th instant was performed a new Opera called _Attalo_, with new decorations and dances. I have already thrown out a few loose hints with regard to the abovementioned performance; and as in this place I propose speaking of it a little more at large, I shall begin with observing, that an Opera has in one particular a manifest advantage over almost every theatrical entertainment, by admitting of that kind of shew and decoration, which if not absolutely rejected by the other daughters of the Drama, is at least, generally speaking, forced upon them: that is to say, though we sometimes see triumphs and processions in a few of our tragedies and comedies, yet the best judges have always looked on them as childish and ridiculous: whereas, the only design of an Opera being to delight, that gay finery which looks so unbecoming and out of character upon her two elder sisters, is a necessary part of her dress; and as nobody understands the method of placing those ornaments better than Mr. Vaneschi, so in the present case I think he has taken all the care imaginable to set off _Attalo_ to the best advantage.

"But a dry and circumstantial description of these matters would not only fall very short of what is meant to give an idea of, but also be tedious to the readers: for this reason therefore I shall hardly attempt to do any thing more in the present essay than to assure them that the finest scenes, the finest pantomime hitherto invented, even by that father of pantomimes himself, the manager of Covent-garden playhouse, are considerably inferior to those in the Opera of _Attalo_; but particularly, in the first act, where Semiramis enters in a triumphal car, supported by Medean and Bactrian slaves, and surrounded by a number of Assyrian soldiers who carry the spoils and trophies of an enemy which she is supposed lately to have conquered, we are presented with the scene of a square; not a dead piece of painted canvass, but one in which the prospective is executed in so masterly a manner, that one would almost swear it was something more than a mere _deceptio visûs_; to which, by the way, a pedestrian statue, which is elevated in the centre of the buildings, does not a little contribute.

"Scenes of this kind are seldom if ever to be seen in a common Theatre, where the other charges are so large and numerous, as well as the price so confined, that the profits of such a pompous apparatus would by no means answer the expence: the place in our English plays also is too often varied to allow of it; besides, the business of these stages is, properly speaking, to provide the understanding with substantial food, not to treat it with conserves and sweatmeats; and from this reason it proceeds that dances, which at the playhouses are only made use of as a garnish, are at the Opera (which may not unaptly be compared to a dessert or a collation) one of the principal parts of the entertainment.

"I should be extremely glad were it in my power to oblige the readers even with a faint idea of these: they all know, I believe, that Signior Galini is universally allowed to be one of the finest dancers in Europe; but at the King's Theatre, where he at present performs, he not only gives us the strongest proofs of his executive powers, but also of his skill in designing, by having composed three of the prettiest ballets I ever saw; and for plot, movement, humour, and, if I may make use of the expression, gesticulated wit, they are equal, I believe, to any, even of those which Lewis the Fourteenth himself was so fond of.

"In the first dance, the scene of which, by the way, may more properly be called an emulation than a copy of nature, being that of a forest half cut down, where the trees are represented in the liveliest manner, and the prospect of clouds and blue mountains extended to an amazing distance; Forti and Bononi, in the characters of a woodman and his wife, carry the grotesque to a most entertaining degree of extravagance. Bononi is allowed to excel in this way every one who has gone before her; for Galini, as his genius is very different, so it is greatly preferable to this. His dancing indeed may be considered as a kind of dumb musick, since there is hardly a note which he does not express by some significant gesture. Carlini, his partner, is pretty much in the same mode, and when they appear after the second act in a very extensive plain, interspersed with villages, there cannot perhaps be imagined two more agreeable figures. But the third and last ballet, in which the four principal dancers come out together, surpasses all the rest. The prospect is that of a rock, which being open in two or three different places, discovers a wide river, and, in appearance, at least half a mile long, the transparency of the water is so well imitated, that we see the shadows of several flags and bullrushes, which grow upon it; nor is a distant village, which appears at one side, a small addition to the beauty of the view: down this rock come the figure dancers, who are met at the door of a cottage by Signior Galini and his friends; it is a kind of rural feast, and the music is so antic and lively, that that alone would be sufficient, I should think, to put an audience into a good humour.

"I had forgot to mention a scene in this Opera which is remarkably beautiful; I am told it was painted by the celebrated Salvandoni, and is the representation of a magnificent hall, adorned with arms and trophies. There was a full house; and the spectators expressed their approbation by unanimous applause."

The Oratorio of Judas Maccabæus was performed on the 18th of January 1760 at the Music-room in Dean-street, Soho, which was the first night of subscription. The pit seats were 10_s._ 6_d._ and the gallery 5_s._; the performers Signora Passerini, Miss Frederick, Mr. Hudson, and Mr. Champness; and the chorus contained the best singers of the Chapel Royal and St. Paul's. The music-room is now Christie's Auction-room for furniture, and seems in a state of ruin.


_And to_ White Conduit _House We will go, will go, will go_.

Grub-street Register.

"Wish'd Sunday's come--mirth brightens ev'ry face, And paints the rose upon the house-maid's cheek, Harriot, or Moll, more ruddy. Now the heart Of prentice resident in ample street, Or alley kennel-wash'd, Cheapside, Cornhill, Or Cranborne, thee for calcuments renown'd, With joy distends. His meal meridian o'er, With switch in hand, he to the White Conduit House Hies merry-hearted. Human beings here In couples multitudinous assemble, Forming the drollest groupe that ever trod Fair Islingtonian plains. Male after male, Dog after dog succeeding--husbands--wives-- Fathers and mothers--brothers--sisters--friends And pretty little boys and girls. Around, Across, along, the garden's shrubby maze, They walk, they sit, they stand. What crowds press on Eager to mount the stairs, eager to catch First vacant bench or chair in long-room plac'd! Here prig with prig holds conference polite, And indiscriminate the gaudy beau And sloven mix. Here he, who all the week Took bearded mortals by the nose, or sat Weaving dead hairs, and whistling wretched strain-- And eke the sturdy youth, whose trade it is Stout oxen to contund,--with gold-bound hat And silken stocking strut. The red-arm'd belle Here shews her tasty gown, proud to be thought The butterfly of fashion: and forsooth Her haughty mistress deigns for once to tread The same unhallow'd floor--'Tis hurry all And rattling cups and saucers. Waiter here, And waiter there, and waiter here and there, At once is call'd--Joe--Joe--Joe--Joe--Joe-- Joe on the right--and Joe upon the left, For ev'ry vocal pipe re-echoes Joe. Alas, poor Joe! Like Francis in the Play He stands confounded, anxious how to please The many-headed throng. But should I paint The language, humours, custom of the place, Together with all curt'sies, lowly bow, And compliments extern, 'twould swell my page Beyond its limits due. Suffice it then For my prophetic Muse to say, 'So long As Fashion rides upon the wing of Time, While tea and cream and butter'd rolls can please, While rival beaux and jealous belles exist, So long, White-conduit house, shall be thy fame.'


One of the entertainments of 1760 was the performance on goblets containing water at different heights, which, rubbed on the rims by a wet finger, produces very sweet sounds, and when rapidly combined will make complete musick. Mr. Puckeridge was celebrated for performances of this description, which were much admired for some time, but are now nearly out of fashion.

One of the characteristicks of our various Theatres is the benefits, or, more properly speaking, the plays which are acted at the close of each season for the individual profit of the several performers. When an actor takes a benefit, he pays all the expences of the evening, and incurs the risk of great charges and small profits. Under the dread of losing, he exerts every nerve to fill the Theatre, and frequently lays heavy contributions on tradesmen, who, through some existing circumstances, think themselves bound to take tickets, and dispose of them as they can to their friends: and he solicits the wealthy without risking the imputation of mendicacy, because they know the actor has from 10_l._ to 20_l. per_ week salary. The benefit-night at length arrives, and the doors are besieged at an early hour by crowds determined not to lose the entertainment they have unwillingly paid for; in due time they rush forward, clamour prevails, and the quiet casual spectator is entirely deprived of hearing the play[227:A]. Mrs. Clive, the justly celebrated comic actress, has enabled me to illustrate this subject by the following spirited letter, addressed to "the Author of the Daily Gazetteer," concerning her benefit, and printed in April 1761. If the reader should wish still further illustrations, I beg leave to refer him to the various _apologies_ for theatrical lives which have been published by Cibber, Bellamy, Wilkinson, &c. &c.

"SIR, As I never read your paper, I did not hear of the malicious letter you had published against my benefit, till the very day, when it was too late to endeavour to prevent the mischief it might do me, as it was most artfully put in your paper the day before, as well as the day of my play. It is dated from George's Coffee-house; but your correspondent must excuse me for not believing it came from thence, as I have always heard that Coffee-house was frequented by gentlemen, not one of whom, I am confident, would have done me an undeserved mischief. I could not possibly suppose Mr. Shuter was capable of asking any body to write such a letter for him, as I never did him, or any performer, the least injury; on the contrary, I have had the greatest pleasure when it has been in my power to serve them in their benefits, from the highest class of actors down to the very lowest. But though he was not concerned in the writing of it (as he has declared he was not), it is too palpable to admit of the least doubt, that it must be wrote by some of his acquaintance, in order to serve his benefit by destroying mine.--That indeed was not quite in their power, as I had the honour to have a most noble and splendid appearance of persons of the first distinction that night at my play; who have been constant in their goodness and favour to me, and who were not to be influenced by a wretched Letter-writer. The loss I most certainly sustained by it I should have submitted to in silence, as it is with the utmost diffidence and reluctance I appear before the public in this light: but there is a most malicious and wicked insinuation in his letter, which I think myself under an absolute necessity to reply to.

"The Letter-writer, with great ease, desires the Publick not to go to my benefit, notwithstanding I had taken infinite pains to endeavour to entertain them the whole season through; his reason for that extraordinary request is, that I was to have a French farce, wrote by a poor wretched author, translated into English, and called _The Island of Slaves_:--and then, with great art and malice, he jumbles together some popular words, as, _French Farce_, _English Liberty_, _Island of Slaves_! 'What can Englishmen have to do in the _Island of Slaves_?' Poor wretched insinuation! Is it possible for any body to suppose, if there had been one syllable in the piece that had the least tendency to sneer at, or affront, the liberties of this country, that the managers would have suffered it to have been acted; or that the Lord Chamberlain would have given his sanction; or that I could have been such a fool as to dare to affront the publick with such a performance on my own benefit-night? I hope I may be indulged (though a woman) to say I have always despised the French Politicks; but I never yet heard that we were at war with their Wit.

"It is imputed to _me_, by the author of the letter, as a crime, that I should have a piece taken from the French for my benefit; when at the same time I believe one part in three of the Comedies and little pieces, that are now acting at both the Theatres, are acknowledged to be taken from the French; besides those that both antient and modern authors have sneaked into the Theatres without confessing from whence they came. I shall take the liberty to mention two that are known translations: _The Confederacy_, by Sir John Vanbrugh, one of our best Comedies, revived about two years ago, and acted to crowded houses with great applause; _The Guardian_, another French piece, brought on about the same time, and received with the highest approbation: both these performances acted at a time when we were at war with France, as we are now. 'Ay,' but says the good-natured Letter-writer, '_The Island of Slaves_ (tremendous title!)' I think I have made his malice appear pretty plain; I shall not have the least difficulty in making his ignorance full as conspicuous. It does not seem, by the style of his letter, that he is very intimately acquainted with his own language, but it is evident he knows nothing of the French; for if he had been capable of reading Mons. Marivaux's _Isle des Esclaves_, he could not have been quite so clumsy a critick, as to say he is a poor paltry author, when he is acknowledged by all people of taste and judgment to be one of the very best writers the French have. Then, as to his malicious insinuation, _The Island of Slaves_ is so very far from being a satire upon English liberty, that there is the highest compliment paid to it: the people of that island having quitted their native country (Athens) because 'they would not be Slaves,' and established themselves in an island, where, when their passions have subsided, and they begin to forget the injuries they received in their own country, they make the most noble, humane, sensible laws. I cannot pretend to give an account of the whole piece in this letter; but I may with great truth say, there was not any thing in it that was exceptionable; great spirit and humour in two of the characters, and fine sentiments throughout the whole; some part, perhaps, too grave for what is generally expected in pieces after a play. I shall beg leave to insert a few lines (not a translation) which concluded the piece: after Philo (one of the Islanders) has convinced the Athenians, who are then in his power, of their follies, he promises to provide them ships to send them into their own country; Cleanthe (one of the characters) says:

'We are all equally obliged to you, most amiable Philo, for your goodness to us; and if we should be so fortunate to arrive safe at Athens, I hope we shall have influence enough to prevail with them, when we recount our adventures, to imitate the incomparable laws of this ever happy Island.'

"I have done with your Correspondent: now, Mr. Gazetteer, I must say two or three words to you. I desire you would let me know who was the author of that letter; or it is possible I may convince you, I am so truly an English woman, and so little inclined to be a _slave_, as not to suffer any one to do me an injury with impunity.

"I am informed, you have more than once drawn yourself into scrapes, by the delicacy of your paper. If you comply with this request, in giving up your author, I shall think you intend to reform your manners; and in that case you will stand a chance of being read by your humble servant,


"_Henrietta-street, Covent-garden, April 3, 1761._

"P.S. If I can have leave from the person who did me the honour to translate _The Island of Slaves_ for me, I shall print it; when every one that pleases may see how extremely ill I have been treated."

Benefits more congenial to the benevolent mind are, much to the credit of the proprietors of our places of public amusement, frequently given to Charitable Institutions: a short bill dated in May 1761 will explain those as they were and are now announced:

"Ranelagh-house, Tuesday the 9th of June, will be an Assembly for the benefit of the Middlesex Hospital. The doors will be open, and the concert begin, at the usual time. At ten o'clock a magnificent fire-work will be played off on the canal in the garden; and to conclude with a ball.

"N. B. There will be no collection made for the Charity. Tickets half a guinea each, &c."

I have in another place recommended the reader to visit Smithfield at eleven o'clock at night, in order to obtain a perfect knowledge of the _amusements_ substituted for a Fair. The facetious George Alexander Steevens wrote the following ludicrous but strictly just description of it about 1762:

"Here was, first of all, crowds against other crowds driving, Like wind and tide meeting, each contrary striving; Shrill fiddling, sharp fighting, and shouting and shrieking, Fifes, trumpets, drums, bagpipes, and barrow-girls squeaking, Come, my rare round and sound, here's choice of fine ware, Though _all_ was not sound sold at _Bartelmew_ Fair. There was drolls, hornpipe-dancing, and showing of postures, With frying black-puddings, and opening of oysters; With salt-boxes, solo's, and gallery folks squawling; The tap-house guests roaring, and mouth-pieces bawling; Pimps, pawnbrokers, strollers, fat landladies, sailors, Bawds, baillies, jilts, jockeys, thieves, tumblers, and taylors: Here's Punch's whole play of the Gunpowder plot, Wild beasts all alive, and pease-pudding all hot, Fine sausages fried, and the black on the wire; The whole court of France, and nice pig at the fire; Here's the up-and-downs, who'll take a seat in the chair? Tho' there's more up-and-downs than at Bartelmew Fair. Here's Whittington's cat, and the tall dromedary, The chaise without horses, and Queen of Hungary; Here's the merry-go-rounds, 'Come, who rides? come, who rides?' Sir; Wine, beer, ale, and cakes, fire-eating besides, Sir. The fam'd learned dog, that can tell all his letters; And some men, as scholars, are not much his betters."

Drury-lane Theatre was much improved in 1762, by lengthening the stage, enlarging the boxes and pit, and rebuilding the galleries. This alteration probably originated from the hopes of additional profit. Another in the management had its rise from the same cause; but the publick were less satisfied than with the former, as in the latter the advantage was by no means mutual between the proprietors and their patrons. The managers intimated that nothing under full prices would be taken during the performance; and the intimation received no opposition till January 1763: at that period symptoms of resistance appeared; and the publick complained that the time had been when they were admitted to the boxes for 4_s._ 6_d._ to witness plays performed by Booth, Wilkes, Cibber, Doggett, Norris, Penkethman, Johnson, Griffin, Porter, and Oldfield; and were then compelled to pay 5_s._ to hear _half a play_ acted by Garrick, Cibber, Yates, King[236:A], Packer[236:A], Holland, Obrien[236:B], Bransby, Palmer, and Ackman.

The audience of Covent-garden Theatre seized the first opportunity of demanding that full prices should no longer be insisted upon for half plays and the farce, except when new pieces were represented; and received a promise from the proprietors of acceding to their wishes.

Mr. Garrick of Drury-lane Theatre resisted, and published this notice in the Advertiser:

"The Managers of Drury-lane Theatre having been suddenly called upon last night, to answer the charge of an innovation in regard to their prices, Mr. Garrick acquainted the audience that he was not conscious that the managers had done any thing in this respect, in which they were not fully authorised by the established usage of the Theatre; and that, if there had been the slightest innovation, it should be rectified:--and this unexpected complaint being grounded on the assertion contained in a printed paper, which had been the same day industriously circulated in Coffee-houses, and distributed through every part of the Theatre, Mr. Garrick promised to publish a full answer to the charges contained in that paper; but, the clamour still continuing, the performance of the play was entirely prevented. The Managers, therefore, find themselves under the necessity of informing the publick, that a full and satisfactory answer will be published accordingly; and it is hoped that they will, with their usual candour, suspend their judgment on this occasion till the appearance of such answer, which will be in a few days."

The Tragedy of "Elvira" was announced for the evening succeeding the above address; and the Theatre was filled by a number of persons, who were determined to enforce their resolution of seeing plays as usual at half price. They commenced their operations by ordering the orchestra to play the musick of "Roast-beef" and "Britons strike home," which was complied with. When Mr. Holland appeared to speak the Prologue, he was immediately driven from the stage: Mr. Garrick then came on, and endeavoured to explain his reasons for the alteration complained of; but in vain, and the tumult was excessive. The following question at length issued from the pit: "Will you, or will you not, give admittance for half price after the third act, except during the first winter of a new Pantomime?" The Manager again attempted to explain without effect: _yes_, or _no_, were the only words granted him. _Yes_, accompanied by an expression of indignation, escaped the lips of Roscius; and the Theatre shook with sounds of triumph.

Mr. Ackman, who had offended the audience on the evening when this affair was first noticed by the publick, then received a summons to appear and apologise for his conduct: this order he promptly obeyed; but our old veteran Moody, when called upon for the same purpose, seemed refractory, or was misconceived, through the noise which issued from all parts of the Theatre. The audience commanded him, in consequence, to drop upon one knee, and thus solicit their pardon: this imperious order justly roused the actor's resentment, and he retired without compliance. Mr. Garrick was afterwards obliged to promise, Mr. Moody should not appear again upon his stage till he had appeased their displeasure: the play then went on as usual.

Mr. Beard conceived himself under the necessity of publishing "The case concerning the late disturbance at Covent-garden Theatre fairly stated, and submitted to the sense of the publick in general," which follows.

"As the opposition to _full price_ at Drury-lane Theatre was founded upon the pretence of its having been exacted on unjustifiable occasions, it was imagined, that let what would be the event of that dispute, the Managers of Covent-garden Theatre ought in no sort to be affected by it, as no such complaint had ever been pretended against them; yet, when Mr. Garrick thought proper to wave his private advantage, for the sake of the public peace, it was deemed necessary for the same laudable purpose, to perform such pieces only for the present at Covent-garden, as could by no means bring the point, which had been so lately and so violently agitated, into immediate debate again, and even latter account was taken to _Love in a Village_.

"When the Opera of _Artaxerxes_ was revived (a piece as distinct from the common course of business as even an _Oratorio_ itself), it was generally understood, the peculiarity of the performance, together with the apparent extraordinary expence attending it, would sufficiently exempt it from the limitations which had been prescribed at the other Theatre; accordingly it was advertised, in the same manner it had ever been, at _full price_.--Mr. Beard received some private hints the evening before the intended representation, though not till after the bill was sent to the press, that an opposition was intended by some particular persons; but flattered himself that the candour and justice of the Public in general would distinguish in a case so particularly circumstanced; and when he was called upon the stage, would have humbly offered such reasons, as, had they been calmly and dispassionately heard, might possibly have prevented the violence which ensued. In this he was continually prevented by an incessant and clamourous demand of a general and decisive _Yes_ or _No_.--As Manager only, and Trustee for other Proprietors, he thought himself totally unimpowered to resign up their rights by so sudden and concise a conveyance; and, as the point in dispute was an essential matter of Property, conceived their concurrence absolutely necessary to any determination on his part, which, at this juncture, was impossible to be obtained.--In this difficult situation, where acquiescence subjected him to a breach of that trust which had been reposed in him, and refusal exposed him to insult and displeasure, his submitting rather to the latter, than be guilty of the former, it is hoped, will be deemed an offence not altogether worthy so severe a resentment.

"However unfortunately he may have incurred the imputation of insolence, obstinacy, or at least imprudence, in not immediately submitting to the demands proposed; yet, when it is considered that these demands were enforced by part of the audience only, and that he had then great reason to believe such submission would be very far from producing the salutary effect of theatrical tranquillity, he may not perhaps be judged so blameable.

"Mr. Beard had at that time received several anonymous threatening letters and notices concerning many other branches of what they call _reformation_.--He was ordered by one to add a farce to _Love in a Village_, or the house should be pulled about his ears.--By another, he was commanded to put a stop to the farther representation of that Opera, upon the penalty of enforcing his compliance by a riot the next night of performance; and very lately received certain information of meetings which have already been held, and an association forming, to reduce the prices at the Theatre to what they were forty years since, though it is notorious the expence of theatrical entertainments are more than doubled. For these reasons, he looked upon the occasion of the present disturbance only as a prelude to future violence; as the first, not the last salutation of this extraordinary kind, to be expected; and apprehended, that too easy an acquiescence might possibly prove rather encouragement than prevention.

"Nevertheless, in gratitude for the many favours and indulgences received from the Publick, and from an earnest desire to promote that order and decorum so essential in all public assemblies, the proprietors have now jointly authorized Mr. Beard to declare, that they shall think themselves equally bound with the Managers of the other Theatre, to an observance of those limitations which they have agreed to.

"Mr. Beard, though sensible how unworthy an object his character is for the attention of the Publick, yet hopes his zeal to have it appear in a fair light will not be deemed impertinence, and therefore begs leave to mention one occurrence that relates particularly to himself. It has been industriously reported, that both before and after Mr. Garrick's submission to the point in dispute, he himself had expressly promised to give it up likewise, but has now insolently dared to resume a right, which he had already disclaimed. How incapable Mr. Beard is of such a conduct, he flatters himself those who know him will testify: to those who do not, it may not be unnecessary solemnly to declare, that so far from ever making such a promise, he constantly insisted, that it neither was in his power or intention to comply with the demand.


This imprudent statement might have produced fatal consequences, had the Police been as little attentive to the preservation of the public peace as Mr. Beard: on the contrary, the Magistrates held a meeting, and issued an intimation that every riotous proceeding would be immediately checked, and the perpetrators prosecuted under the Act which contains this clause: "That if any persons unlawfully, riotously, and tumultuously assemble together, to the disturbance of the public peace, shall unlawfully, and with force, demolish or pull down, or begin to demolish or pull down, any dwelling-house, house, barn, stable, or other out-house, they shall be adjudged felons; and on conviction, shall suffer death, as in cases of felony, without benefit of clergy."

The evening of March 3, proved the truth of my assertion, that Mr. Beard had acted imprudently in publishing his address. Covent-garden Theatre was crowded by gentlemen that seemed little affected by the threats of the Police, who began the operations of the night by calling for "Hearts of Oak," and "Britons, strike home;" and, when the curtain rose, a tumult commenced, which soon drove the actors from their presence; and the name of Beard echoed from every side of the house. That gentleman appeared, and, alarmed at his previous temerity, declared he had complied with their request in publick, and came before them to confirm it. This declaration was in part approved; but the audience required that all prosecutions against individuals, by the Managers, originating in this dispute, should be immediately discontinued. Mr. Beard assented as far as related to himself, and retired. Exasperated by this evasion, another and more spirited effort succeeded; and behold the Manager once more before his Judges, prepared to promise any thing and every thing the audience demanded. Violent applause followed, and the play was begun without interruption about forty minutes after seven o'clock.

The Peace of 1763 was celebrated with uncommon splendour throughout Europe, and particularly in St. James's Park, where a grand fire-work was exhibited. Our amiable Queen, animated by the same impulse, contrived an amusement for his Majesty on his birth-night equally calculated to surprise and please. The Queen induced her royal consort to pass several days previous to the 4th of June at St. James's; and in that interval a great number of persons were employed in preparing a superb temple and bridge, to be illuminated with upwards of 4000 lamps, in the gardens of Buckingham-house. Such was the secrecy used, that the King entertained not the least suspicion of the design in progress, and was consequently astonished on returning to the above palace at ten o'clock, when the window-shutters were suddenly thrown open, at the brilliancy of the scene, which presented an orchestra containing upwards of fifty performers led by Dr. Boyce, amongst whom were the most eminent singers of the day, and the front of a temple ornamented with emblematic paintings conveying the most grateful intimations.

The following article, extracted from the London Chronicle for August 1763, must produce a sensation of regret in the recollection of those who were partial to the amusements of Ranelagh:

"The only defect in the elegance and beauty of the amphitheatre at Ranelagh, is an improper and inconvenient orchestra, which, breaking into the area of that superb room about twenty feet farther than it ought to do, destroys the symmetry of the whole, and diffuses the sound of the musick with such irregular rapidity, that the harmonious articulations escape the nicest ear, when placed in the most commodious attitude: it also hurts the eye upon your first entry.

"To remedy these defects, a plan has been drawn by Messrs. Wale and Gwin, for adding a new orchestra, which, being furnished with a well-proportioned curvature over it, will contract into narrower bounds the modulations of the voice, and render every note more distinctly audible. It will by its form operate upon the musical sounds in the same manner as concave glasses affect the rays of light by collecting them into a focus. The front of this orchestra being planned so as to range parallel to the balustrade, the whole area also will be disencumbered of every obstruction that might incommode the audience in their circular walk. There is likewise provision made in this plan for a stage capable of containing 30 or 40 performers, to officiate as chorus-singers, or otherwise assist in giving an additional solemnity on any extraordinary occasion."

This, or a similar plan, was afterwards adopted.

The irregularities mentioned in a preceding page as having occurred at Vauxhall were noticed on the day appointed for licensing places of amusement in 1763, when the proprietor pledged himself that the dark walks should thenceforward be lighted, no bad women, known to be such, admitted, and that a sufficient number of watchmen should be provided to keep the peace.

The ridiculous custom of placing two centinels on the stage during the performance of plays was not discontinued in the above year, as a soldier employed for that purpose highly entertained an audience in October by laughing at the character of Sir Andrew Ague-cheek in Twelfth-night, till he actually fell convulsed upon the floor.

Violence and exertion are common occurrences at the doors of the English Theatres every evening when pieces or performers of superior attraction are to be seen; but it very rarely happens that those marks of ill-breeding are practised at the entrances of the Opera-house. When the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick went to the Opera in January 1764, the eagerness of a titled and fashionable _mob_ was such, that the male part fought their way with drawn swords, the females fainted, and lost shoes, caps, ruffles, &c. &c. quite as rapidly as those they condescended to imitate at the other Theatres.

A letter signed "Theatricus," inserted in the London Chronicle, vol. XV. contains a rapid but masterly sketch of the state of Theatrical amusements between 1700 and 1763. Under this impression I shall transfer it to this work:


"Since I was a boy, I have been an admirer of the Drama, and have, for near sixty years past, observed the revolutions of the stage (in England and Ireland) more than those of the State.

"The first play I remember to have seen was _The Maid's Tragedy_ in the year 1710; the famous Mr. Betterton acted Melanthius; he died the week following, after having been above fifty years the ornament of the stage. With great satisfaction I recollect the memorable theatrical year 1712, when _Cato_ was first acted: never were the expectations of the Town more fully satisfied, nor more emulation shewn by the performers. I was at that time in the first form at Westminster-school; our master offered a premium of a gilt Horace for the best Latin translation of _Cato's_ soliloquy in the fifth act. I had sufficient vanity to be one of the candidates; but, to my great mortification, was told, 'that it was a good first attempt,' and saw the premium delivered to my class-fellow, who, a few years ago, enjoyed one of the best deaneries in the church.

"My uncle used frequently to take me of a Sunday evening to Button's Coffee-house; it was there I first saw Addison and Congreve; he was intimate with Sir Richard Steele, and belonged to a club with the unfortunate Mr. Budgell.

"I remember the stage in its greatest glory, during the management of Wilks, Booth, and Cibber; its decline under the elegant but unfortunate Fleetwood; and its revival, with uncommon lustre, under Garrick. I must do justice to this last mentioned performer in saying, that it is to him alone we owe the bringing of Tragedy nearer to Nature than in the days of the Triumvirate. This one of them confessed to me not a year before his death; for formerly a turgid vociferation, or effeminate whine, were mistaken for the best display of the heroic and tender passions; but these caricatures are neglected for the real likenesses, which that great master of his art, Garrick, has truly delineated. I have often wished that the Stage could be brought under the regulations hinted at by Mr. Addison; then it would be, to use his own words, 'a source of the highest and most rational amusement.'

"I look upon the principal structures of the Drama, to be _Tragedy_ and _Comedy_; the most interesting circumstances of _Tragedy_ may be reduced to two different heads, _viz._ the elevated (such as Julius Cæsar, Coriolanus, &c.) and the tender and affecting (as Romeo, and the Orphan); but that tragedy must ever have the preference which unites the pathetic with the sublime.

"_Tragedy_ should never go beyond the natural; that which is great in it never goes farther than heroism; it is a living picture, so that its beauty consists in its resemblance with the truth.

"_Comedy_ is a feigned action, in which is represented the ridiculous, in order to correct it; it rebukes with a smile, and corrects with a facetious stroke: the matter of comedy is civil life, of which it is an imitation: it ought to be every where enlivened with all possible care, to have fine and easy strokes of wit and satire, which present the ridiculous in the most glaring point of view; it should be pure, easy, and natural, have no borrowed passions or constrained actions; morality and instruction ought to be infused into the several parts, so that we might feel instruction, but not see it.

"Tragedy imitates the beautiful, and the great; Comedy imitates the ridiculous: one elevates the soul, and forms the heart; the other polishes the behaviour, and corrects the manners. Tragedy humanizes us by compassion, and restrains us by fear; Comedy makes us laugh, because the faults of the little are trifling, we fear not their consequences.

"If examples have some force and life when trusted to paper, how much greater must their vigour be, when they live in the player, and are moved and speak in the most lofty sentiments, and all the eloquence of action. The spectator imagines that a series of ages having revolved back, and the distance of places being contracted, he is suddenly conveyed into those places and ages, in which the subject of the drama happened; or else, that past times being renewed, the subject is again acted in his presence. You do not on these occasions read silently in your closet the illustrious acts of antient heroes, who have immortalized themselves by the love they displayed for their country, their parents, their children, &c. These wonderful men are called from their tombs where they have so long slumbered, appear again in the world, and you behold their generous, their pious strife.

"In Athens the Stage was impowered by the Legislature to instruct the ignorant vulgar, and, as a censor, to reform the rude populace; it was its duty to make Tragedy a school of wisdom, and Comedy of reproof. The poets rendered the Theatre beneficial to the world, by appointing Tragedy to calm the passions by terror and pity, and Comedy to reform the mind by ridicule and censure. The duty of the Poet was, as Horace expresses it--_aut prodesse aut delectare_.

"I am sorry to say that some of our comic writers have been too fond of familiarizing their audiences to vice; and we need make no doubt that the immorality of the stage has contributed to the depravity of manners too visible amongst all ranks of people, and fulfils what Juvenal says,

----_nullâ virtute redemptum A vitiis_.----

"_Farce_ I consider as the gleanings of the Drama. I remember when it was seldom used; those who have seen the Theatrical Calendar for the years 1708 and 1709, will confirm what I assert. Dogget, one of the first Comedians of his time, was three years before he could obtain leave to have his farce of _The Country Wake_ performed; and, when granted, it was provided he acted the principal part (Hob). Farquhar, from the success of his comedies, and interest with the Duke of Ormond his patron, obtained leave for his farce of _The Stage Coach_; and Cibber, with great difficulty, brought on his _School Boy_; before these times the plays of Shakspeare, Jonson, &c. did not need the aid of farce. It must be allowed, that the farces by Garrick, and some by Foote, have met with much success, and abound with the _utile dulci_; but the generality of those now in possession of the Stage are, as Dryden says, 'a compound of extravagances, fit only to entertain such people as are judges of neither men nor manners.' To confirm this great Poet's opinion, I appeal to those who have seen a new farce last season at Crow-street Theatre, devoid both of wit and satire, and composed of vulgar phrases, beneath a Bartholomew-fair droll; however, I applaud the author for not printing it; if he had, it must certainly have suffered the fate it most justly deserved, to be condemned by all its readers[252:A].

"_Pantomime_ first dawned, in the year 1702, at Drury-lane, in an entertainment, called, _The Tavern Bilkers_; it died the fifth night. It was invented by Weaver, a dancing-master at Shrewsbury, who, from the encouragement of the Nobility, invented a second, called _The Loves of Mars and Venus_, performed at the same Theatre, in the year 1716, with vast success; which occasioned Sir Richard Steele to write the following lines on the back of one of the play-bills at Button's Coffee-house.

"Weaver, corrupter of this present age, "Who first taught silent sins upon the stage.

It was about this time that the taste of the Town became vitiated: one remarkable instance I cannot forget. In January 1717 some dancers arrived from France, and with them one Swartz, a German. This man brought over two dogs, whom he had taught to dance the louvre and minuet; they were immediately engaged by Rich, at ten pounds _per_ night, and brought above twenty good houses, when the Othello of Booth, the Wildair of Wilks, and the Foppington of Cibber, were neglected, and did not bring charges. The town, who were formerly unanimous in supporting the stage, now were formed into different parties; some preferred sense to sound, others were for the Opera and Pantomime, and the actors, as Colley Cibber remarks, 'were very near being wholly laid aside, or, at least, the use of their labour was to be swallowed up, in the pretended merit of singing and dancing.' I must, however, not forget to mention, that a few years ago, some ladies of the first distinction, eminent for their just taste, entered into a society, and distinguished by the name of the Shakspeare Club, in order to support his plays on the stage. Many verses were written on this occasion; one stanza I remember:

"No more shall Merit's passion fail, Since Beauty wit and knowledge prize, Whose bright example shall prevail, And make it fashion to be wise.

"I must do justice to the managers of the Dublin Theatres, in commending their care and assiduity to please the Town; and could wish, instead of importing from Sadler's-wells wire-dancers, &c. they would revive some select plays of Shakspeare and Jonson.

"I have at my leisure hours drawn up the following scale of the merits of the performers on the Irish stage; I have no connections with either Theatre or Managers, but am a lover of Truth and the Drama. I am, &c.



"A SCALE of the Merits of the Performers on the Irish Stage, 1763.

Men. |Trag.|Com.|| Women. |Trag.|Com. ----------+-----+----++-----------+-----+---- Barry | 20 | 10 ||Dancer | 14 | 16 Mossop | 15 | 6 ||Fitz-Henry | 14 | 6 Sheridan | 15 | 6 ||Abington | 0 | 18 Macklin | 8 | 15 ||Hamilton | 10 | 12 Sowdon | 13 | 12 ||Kennedy | 8 | 10 Dexter | 10 | 12 ||Kelf | 8 | 10 T. Barry | 10 | 8 ||Barry | 8 | 10 Ryder | 6 | 12 ||Jefferson | 6 | 8 Stamper | 0 | 12 ||Ambrose | 0 | 8 Sparks | 0 | 12 ||Mahon | 0 | 6 Jefferson | 8 | 10 ||Roach | 0 | 6 Heaphy | 6 | 8 ||Parsons | 0 | 6 Reddish | 6 | 8 || | | Walker | 0 | 8 || | | Glover | 4 | 8 || | | Mahon | 4 | 6 || | |

The doors of the Theatres were opened _circa_ 1765 before five o'clock, and the house thus filled gradually. The present method of opening one hour before the commencement of the performance occasions great confusion, and frequent injury to individuals.


Died in the Fleet-prison at a very advanced age in 1797. She was born in Germany, and, having talents for singing, performed publicly in her native country and Italy. Mrs. Cornely arrived in England about 1756 or 7; and being a woman of much taste and address, and possessed of many accomplishments, she soon received the patronage those advantages excited. To continue the celebrity thus obtained, she explored the regions of fancy, and exhausted every art, to contrive fascinating amusements for the eager publick, who crowded to Carlisle-house, Soho-square, as the very focus of pleasure and entertainment. While this lady confined her exertions to mere frivolous and fashionable enticements, she succeeded admirably; but, wishing to soar beyond her sphere in endeavouring to establish a musical meeting, the Proprietors of the Opera-house became alarmed, and applied to the Civil power to suppress what they deemed an unwarrantable rivalship. This was easily accomplished; and Mrs. Cornely had the mortification to find herself considerably involved without a hope of remuneration; but her concerts, balls, and masquerades were continued with advantage, though her influence insensibly declined; and other attractions, particularly the Pantheon, withdrawing many of her patrons, she was at length compelled to relinquish her pretensions to public favour, and fly from the menaces of her creditors, whose number and demands were very considerable. It is said that she remained in concealment for many years under the name of Smith; but, her active spirit being still unsubdued, she ventured once more as a candidate for public favour in the strange profession of a keeper of Asses at Knightsbridge, where she fitted up a suite of rooms for the reception of visitors to breakfast in public, and regale themselves with the milk of that patient and enduring animal. The success of this enterprise may be anticipated: a second flight from her creditors, and the catastrophe of the Fleet-prison, closed the scene.

The above slight outline of the life of this singular female will explain some subsequent parts of this Chapter. Mrs. Cornely is said to have expended near 2000_l._ in 1765 in altering and embellishing Carlisle-house.

In the year 1766 the Patentees and persons employed about Drury-lane Theatre commenced a subscription, in order to establish a fund for the support and relief of such performers and others belonging to the Theatre as through age, infirmity, or accident, should be obliged to retire from the stage. To this sum the Patentees gave benefit-plays, and some benevolent persons not connected with the Theatre augmented it by donations. In 1776, the amount of their principal was 3400_l._, which the managers vested in the public funds, and a house in Drury-lane that let for 50_l. per annum_; since which period it is still farther increased.

Partnerships too frequently produce dissentions and a struggle for individual power: the publick was called upon in 1768 to witness the truth of this observation in a letter from T. Harris to G. Colman on the affairs of Covent-garden Theatre, which, with the answer, follows:

"The schemes and arts (says Mr. Harris) that you have practised to creep into an exclusive management, and in consequence of that into an exclusive possession, were various, and incessant in their operations. But, among them all, your favourite scheme to that end, was that of being thought an able and successful manager; and to support that character, it is incredible to those who know not your arts, what an enormous burthen it hath been to the partnership: not less than thirty, forty, fifty, and sixty pounds in orders, were generally sent into the Theatre each night; and on one night in particular, in support of one of your pieces, upwards of one hundred pounds. Thus, Sir, you supported your fame, at the expence of our common property.

"The next day (June the 12th) by accident I and Mr. Rutherford severally met Mr. Sarjant's son, one of our box-keepers, who informed us, that Mr. Colman had taken away the keys of all the doors in the Theatre, and that the doors were all barred and bolted, but that, if we applied, we alone might be admitted through Mr. Powell's house in the Piazza, in which there was a door which communicated with the Theatre.

"Being well advised that we could not justify entering our own premises through another man's house, and being well aware of your ---- disposition, we determined not to go into the Theatre through the house of Mr. Powell, who was then at Bristol.--We therefore, on Monday the 13th of June, sent a servant with a written order for admittance: he was refused by Mr. Sarjant, who urged your express order for that purpose. We then desired two gentlemen to accompany us to the Theatre, and in their hearing demanded entrance of Mr. Sarjant, who answered us, thrusting his head out of a barred window, that Mr. Colman had got all the keys of the doors, and he could not let us in. We immediately dispatched Mr. Sarjant junior, whom we met under the Piazza, to you, Sir, with our compliments, desiring you to send the keys of the Theatre, informing you, that we were then waiting with two friends, and wished to take a walk in the Theatre. He very soon returned with this answer (delivered in the hearing of the above-mentioned two gentlemen): 'That you would not send the keys; that you had ordered all ingress to the Theatre to be denied us, except through Mr. Powell's house; and even that way, we, and we _only_, must enter.' With this very extraordinary rebuff we returned to our respective homes. The time between this event and Friday morning, we passed in reflection upon your unaccountable treatment of us; and in consulting and advising with several gentlemen of great eminence in all departments of the law; who all concurred in assuring us that no damage could arise to us from entering our own premises, and turning our own servants out, who refused us admittance. Accordingly, on the 17th June, after six o'clock, Mr. Harris, attended by two witnesses, again demanded admittance for himself and Mr. Rutherford, at Mr. Sarjant's door; he answered from within, in the hearing of the witnesses, that, by Mr. Colman's order, they would not admit us. Harris then came to the door in Hart-street, where Mr. Rutherford was waiting for him, attended by some servants, and told him the result of his demand at Mr. Sarjant's door; whereupon Harris and Rutherford ordered their servants to open a window on the North side of the said door, where they entered with their servants. One of your servants, who kept possession of the Theatre for you, having struck one of ours, it was with the greatest difficulty we could prevent ours from doing mischief to their opponents; we were therefore obliged to turn them all out of the Theatre. Being thus in possession, we began immediately to take a survey of the place; and never were men so much astonished as we were, to find ourselves in so complete a fortification. Emery, the master-carpenter to the Theatre, coming at that instant, we ordered him to be let in; and taking him about the Theatre with us, we observed to him how _advantageously_ he and his men had been employed for the last week or two in cutting our boards and timber to pieces in order to bar and fortify every avenue and window in the house, even those which were thirty or forty feet from the ground. The fellow, with a good deal of awkward embarrassment, scratching his head, replied, 'Why, Gentlemen, I told Mr. Colman, all I could do would signify nothing against a sledge-hammer. I thought,' says he, 'it was a strange undertaking.' We then asked him, if he too was engaged by Mr. Colman; he said he was. On our telling him it was unaccountable to us how house-keeper, wardrobe-keeper, and carpenters, should think of entering into articles; he confessed he never heard of any such thing before in his life, but that Mr. Colman had taken him one day entirely unguarded, and in a manner compelled him immediately to sign an article. The more we examined the Theatre, the more we were astonished at your excessive precaution to prevent our getting into it. On the same day we sent you a letter from the Theatre, importing, 'That we did not mean to retaliate your behaviour; on the contrary, we had given orders to our servants, at all times to admit you and Mr. Powell.'

"Reflecting now very considerately on our situation, and on your past conduct; 'That you had from the beginning laid a plan of driving us out of the Theatre; that, in the execution of that plan, you had persevered through the whole season, paying no more regard to us than if we were entirely unconcerned in the property; that you had very essentially hurt the whole property, and the profits of the past season in particular; that, in fine, you had engaged to act under your direction solely every person belonging to the Theatre, upon pain of large penalties; and had at last absolutely forbid our entrance into our own house:' For these reasons we determined to remove from the Theatre, to one of our dwelling-houses, such part of the property as might the most effectually prevent your proceedings, until a plan should be formed, which would as effectually confirm to us those legal and equitable rights in the Theatre, of which you had so unwarrantably divested us.

"With this view only, we sent down to my house in Surrey-street, so much of the wardrobe as we imagined would make the remaining part useless, together with the musick, prompt-books, &c. &c. belonging to the Theatre; of all which we have an exact inventory, and they will be immediately and safely returned to the Theatre, whenever a fair and equitable plan for the future government of it shall be fixed upon. It has been urged by some, that it would have been much better for us at once to have applied to the Court of Chancery for redress, and that there we must have found a certain relief, and reparation for all past damages: this too, Sir, has been always your language--'If I injure you, why don't you apply to the Court of Chancery for redress?'

"There is no doubt, Sir, the Court of Chancery would redress us. But delays are dangerous. Of this the history of the acting Manager, recorded by Cibber, is a _memento_. A long Chancery suit would be but a very poor remedy for the injuries you are daily doing us.

"About a month since we were again amused by you with the hopes of a fair reference.--By our respective counsel a meeting was appointed for all parties in Westminster-hall. We there met, in order, if possible, to fix on a mode of arbitrating all differences; both parties brought preliminary articles to be agreed to, before the general concerns should be referred. On our part were produced these two:

"1st. That the contracts which you might have made without our knowledge and consent, for the ensuing season, should be rescinded, unless agreed to by us.

"2d. That no servants who were employed in shutting us out of our own house, should be employed in future.

"Surely these can never be deemed unreasonable by any person, when at the same time he is assured that we never wish, nor ever did wish, to engage any performer, servant, &c. &c. who should be objected to by Mr. Colman and Mr. Powell.

"You, Sir, on your part, insisted on the following eight preliminaries.

"1st. Colman and Powell should not be obliged to sell.

"Meaning, we conceive, that if the referees should think it necessary to oblige either of the parties to sell, it must be Harris and Rutherford.

"2d. All contracts to be made by Mr. Colman to be confirmed.

"Can this be a reasonable preliminary, to be obliged to confirm all contracts made by you, without having the least knowledge how many, with whom, or upon what condition, they were entered into? For we are at this time entire and absolute strangers to all your late proceedings, except what we gather from uncertain report, and some few of the parties who have engaged with you.

"3d. No legal proceedings to be stopped.

"The meaning of this preliminary we did not enter into, as no legal proceedings were begun, nor had we any guess at your litigious intention of making Garton put us in the Crown-office; or of your inquisition, &c. &c.

"4th. Powell's article to be cancelled, and another made, allowing him more explicitly the largest salary in the house.

"That you should think it proper to give Mr. Powell this _douceur_, we were not at all surprised; but it did not occur to us why we should give any farther indulgence to a man, who, after having attached himself to you, had separated himself from you, disapproved of your conduct, and then without the least reason implicitly and blindly suffered himself to be duped by you again.

"5th. The books to be restored to Garton.

"The books were never intended to be kept from Mr. Garton, so as to prevent his making up his accounts. We mean, whenever he is disposed to take his discharge.

"6th. The wardrobe to be restored, and all damages to be made good by Harris and Rutherford.

"To that we should have no objection, provided we are not obliged to make good the damages Mr. Powell has done.

"7th. Colman still to be the _acting_ manager. If alteration in the controuling power, it must be lodged in the other three proprietors.

"Here the cloven foot indeed appears plainly: so the article must not be meddled with, or it must be altered in your favour!

"8th. That all bills and all claims upon the Theatre should be discharged.

"Whoever will attentively consider the above preliminaries must observe, that there is not a single point on which an arbitration could turn, which is not most artfully and subtilly provided for by Mr. Colman; that is to say, on every point they must determine absolutely for Mr. Colman, or otherwise some one of the preliminary articles will prevent their considering it at all. And these, Mr. Colman, you called fair, candid, and honest proposals, and have thrown the grossest abuse on us for not consenting to what you call a fair reference.

"Mr. Harris and another gentleman calling in at the Theatre one afternoon, found therein Mr. Powell and yourself, with each a candle in your hands, lighting and shewing the Theatre to two of your counsel, your attorney, and another gentleman. Mr. Harris was at a loss to know whether they came as witnesses, or for what other purposes. The servants of the Theatre, however, were ordered to shew you, and your friends, all possible respect. Besides this fact, we defy you to prove at any one time that either yourself or Mr. Powell, or any one that came by your order, was refused entrance into the Theatre."

"_Mr. Colman's Retort._

"As to my management of the Theatre, whatever reflections T. Harris may endeavour to throw on it, however he may prevaricate by talking of the small profits that have resulted from it, the success of it is incontestible; and the extraordinary receipts of the last season are an irrefragable proof that Covent-garden Theatre has attracted the particular notice and favour of the publick under my direction. If the disbursements have been very large, great part of those sums must be considered as the first expence of setting up in business, having been employed in what may be called stock in trade, which is at this instant of great intrinsic value, and will prevent future expence; and, large as those disbursements have been, I was not the promoter of them, except in the single instance of engaging Mr. and Mrs. Yates, more than Mr. Harris; and that single instance was honoured with Mr. Rutherford's approbation, till his colleague exerted his undue influence over him, and taught him to object to it.

"Now I am on the article of expence, it may not be amiss to lay before the publick a short anecdote. When Mr. Powell, at a meeting of all the proprietors, proposed some additional illuminations, I objected to them, at least for the present, saying that they would have a happier effect at the commencement of a season. Mr. Harris said, the measure being advisable, the sooner it was carried into execution the better. Mr. Powell accordingly gave the necessary orders; but when the bills came in, Mr. Harris and his colleague forbade the payment of the sum charged for two lustres to their Majesties box, saying it was a measure that had not been submitted to them.

"The pitiful charge concerning orders sent into the Theatre, as far as it is imputed to me as an artifice to support my reputation, Mr. Harris knows to be false. Mr. Rutherford and himself have told me more than once, that I sent in fewer orders than any of the proprietors. The little piece at which his malice points was, with all its faults, extremely successful, and of great advantage to our Theatre last season. The people sent to the house on one night in particular did not go at my desire in support of my piece, but at the instance of all the proprietors in support of the house, which was threatened to be pulled down; and it was thought a very cheap expedient to sacrifice a hundred pounds, to prevent a tumult which might perhaps have occasioned a loss of one or two thousand. As to the piece, good or bad, being very well acted, it brought great houses, and was received with much applause, so that however Mr. Harris may prove the soundness of his taste and judgment, he certainly does not manifest his gratitude by a public disapprobation of it.

"I am now arrived at that period, where I should think any present appeal to the publick, if any were necessary, ought to have begun; but as T. Harris chose to go over the old ground again, I was obliged to follow him, and to trace him through all his doublings of cunning and sophistry. What follows is entirely new matter, which has arisen since the tenth of February, the date of my last publication.

"The first new act of hostility on the side of the negative managers was intended, like their late proceedings, as a negative general, being calculated to deprive us of the very sinews of war. On the 14th of February they sent, without our knowledge, the following letter to the bankers where our money was deposited.

'To Messrs. FREAME, SMITH, and Co.


'We desire you will not pay any money, or deliver any property in your hands belonging to the proprietors of Covent-garden Theatre to any person whatsoever, until farther notice from us. And we desire you in like manner, to retain any further sums of money belonging to the said proprietors that may be sent to you. We are, &c.


_London, 14th Feb. 1768._'

"At the beginning of the season the bankers had received an order, signed by all the proprietors, to pay all drafts of Mr. Garton, our Treasurer. It is a question therefore whether any two of the proprietors had a legal right to revoke the joint order of the four, and to desire the bankers not to pay any money to any person whatsoever. However that may prove, a step of such importance could not have been too early communicated to Mr. Powell and me. It was a measure that struck at the very being of our Theatre.

"A few days after the following letter was sent to the Treasurer:


'Sir, We desire you will, with all possible dispatch, send to each performer, officer, and servant of Covent-garden Theatre, whose articles expire this season, or who are not under articles, a copy of the inclosed letter; and that you will take down the names of those to whom such copy is sent, and return us a list thereof signed by yourself.

'We also desire you will have your accounts ready for our examination, and your balance for inspection, on Monday morning next at eleven o'clock, as we shall then be at the office for that purpose. We are, Sir, your most humble servants,


_Thursday, Feb. 25, 1768._'

'_Letter inclosed._

'I am directed by Messrs. Harris and Rutherford, to give you notice that "you cannot be considered as belonging to Covent-garden Theatre, after the expiration of this season," unless the engagement you may enter into for the next be confirmed in writing by one, or both of them.

Yours, &c. J. GARTON.'

_Feb. 28, 1768._

"The determined resolution of Messrs. Rutherford and Harris to rescind the article respecting the management, appears in the above notice, wherein they assume, contrary to the letter, spirit, and common sense of that article, the power of dismission, the dismission of almost the whole Theatre, as well as the power of signing the articles of agreement; to which also they have not any right. The ordering the Treasurer to transcribe and circulate these notices was undoubtedly intended as a new insult to me; and perhaps the Treasurer, who was now growing obnoxious to them, because he would not further their attempts to stop the business of the Theatre, was purposely distressed with this order, that they might take offence at his denial to comply with it. I had not the most distant intention of settling the future state of the company without communicating the plan of it to them. This, whatever they might have learned from their informers, my subsequent conduct testified. I suffered, however, the poor young men to continue to expose themselves. The notices were actually served on the persons they required, and I passed over this new instance of their insolence and irregularity with the most silent contempt.

"I do hereby aver to the _Publick_, for _to the Publick alone I now address myself_, that whenever T. Harris and his colleague will prefer a Bill in Chancery against us, respecting _our present Articles and past Transactions_, neither I nor Mr. Powell will make any delay in putting in a full and sufficient answer. And I now, in this public manner, call upon them to file this long-threatened bill against us. And I do hereby pledge my _honour_, not to T. Harris, but _to the Publick_, that no means or endeavours of mine, or Mr. Powell, shall be wanting to bring it to a short and speedy conclusion.

"It now only remains to assure that Publick, whose protection we have already so often experienced, that we are determined to open the Playhouse at the usual time; and then to submit it to their tribunal, whether they will suffer the insolence and tyranny of T. Harris to interrupt their amusements, as well as to oppress us and the rest of their servants in Covent-garden Theatre."

The invitation to try the merits of the dispute between Messrs. Colman, Harris, &c. offered at the close of the paper published by the former, was accepted; and a decision took place in the Court of Chancery July 1770, when it was decreed that Mr. Colman should continue the acting manager, subject to the advice of the three other managers.

One of the most splendid Masquerades which has taken place in England was that given by the King of Denmark at the Opera-house, in 1768. 3000 persons, or nearly that number, were present, and received an entertainment consisting of every delicacy in the utmost profusion.

I have just ceased to applaud the old custom of opening the doors of the Theatre _before five o'clock_; and have at this moment to notice the strange caprice of the publick, in requiring the managers _to open at five_. This alteration occurred in October 1768.

The stupid and barbarous diversion of Throwing at Cocks, practised by the vulgar on Shrove Tuesday, was very properly prevented by the Police in February 1769.

The reader cannot form a better idea of the amusements prepared for the publick by Mrs. Cornely than from the following account, published a few days after the Masquerade occurred February 1770.

"Monday night the principal Nobility and Gentry of this kingdom, to the number of near eight hundred, were present at the masked ball at Mrs. Cornely's in Soho-square, given by the gentlemen of the Tuesday Night's Club, held at the Star and Garter Tavern in Pall-mall. Soho-square and the adjacent streets were lined with thousands of people, whose curiosity led them to get a sight of the persons going to the Masquerade; nor was any coach or chair suffered to pass unreviewed, the windows being obliged to be let down, and lights held up to display the figures to more advantage. At nine o'clock the doors of the house were opened, and from that time for about three or four hours the company continued to pour into the assembly. At twelve the lower rooms were opened: in these were prepared the side-boards, containing sweetmeats and a cold collation, in which elegance was more conspicuous than profusion. The feast of the night was calculated rather to gratify the eye than the stomach, and seemed to testify the conductor's sense of its being prepared almost on the eve of Ash Wednesday. The richness and brilliancy of the dresses were almost beyond imagination; nor did any assembly ever exhibit a collection of more elegant and beautiful female figures. Among them were Lady Waldegrave, Lady Pembroke, the Dutchess of Hamilton, Mrs. Crewe, Mrs. Hodges, Lady Almeria Carpenter, &c. Some of the most remarkable figures were,

"A Highlander (Mr. R. Conway.)

"A double Man, half Miller, half Chimney Sweeper (Sir R. Phillips.)

"A political Bedlamite, run mad for Wilkes and Liberty, and No. 45.

"A figure of Adam in flesh-coloured silk, with an apron of fig-leaves.

"A Druid (Sir W. W. Wynne.)

"A figure of Somebody.

"Ditto of Nobody.

"A running-footman, very richly dressed, with a cap set with diamonds, and the words 'Tuesday Night's Club' in the front (the Earl of Carlisle.)

"His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester in the old English habit, with a star on the cloak.

"Midas (Mr. James the Painter.)

"Miss Monckton, daughter to Lord Gallway, appeared in the character of an Indian Sultana, in a robe of cloth of gold, and a rich veil. The seams of her habit were embroidered with precious stones, and she had a magnificent cluster of diamonds on her head; the jewels she wore were valued at 30,000_l._ The Duke of Devonshire was very fine, but in no particular character. Captain Nugent of the Guards, in the character of Mungo, greatly diverted the company.

"The Countess Dowager of Waldegrave wore a dress richly trimmed with beads and pearls, in the character of Jane Shore. Her Grace of Ancaster claimed the attention of all the company in the dress of Mandane. The Countess of Pomfret, in the character of a Greek Sultana, and the two Miss Fredericks, who accompanied her as Greek Slaves, made a complete groupe. The Dutchess of Bolton, in the character of Diana, was captivating. Lord Edg--b, in the character of an Old Woman, was full as lovely as his lady, in that of a Nun.

"Lady Stanhope, as Melpomene, was a striking fine figure. Lady Augusta Stuart, as a Vestal, and Lady Caroline, as a Fille de Patmos, shewed that true elegance may be expressed without gold and diamonds. The Chimney Sweeper, Quack Doctor, and a Friar, acquitted themselves with much entertainment to the company.

"About two o'clock the company began to depart, in effecting which there was great difficulty.

"We hear that two Great Personages were complimented with two tickets for Monday night's masquerade, which they very politely returned.

"Most of the carriages that came to the masquerade were chalked by the populace with 'Wilkes and Liberty.'"

It will no doubt be remembered by many, that a very good representation of an eruption of Mount Ætna, on a large scale, with Cyclops at work in the centre of the mountain, was exhibited a few years since in the garden at Ranelagh. That it may not be supposed that this scene was a new thought, I shall describe the entertainment of an evening at Mary-le-bon gardens when they were in full reputation. The usual concerts and songs were performed; but Signior Torré had been employed to prepare a representation of Mount Ætna as an addition to the common fire-works, consisting of vertical wheels, suns, stars, globes, &c. in honour of the King's birth-day, June 4, 1772, who was, with the Queen, represented in transparencies surrounded by stars. When the fire-works were concluded, a curtain which covered the base of the mountain rose, and discovered Vulcan leading the Cyclops to work at their forge; the fire blazed, and Venus entered with Cupid at her side, who begged them to make for her son those arrows which are said to be the causes of love in the human breast: they assented, and the mountain immediately appeared in eruption with lava rushing down the precipices.

A few trees stand as mementoes of Mary-le-bon gardens near the North end of Harley-street.

January 27, 1772, was rendered remarkable in the annals of Amusement by the opening of the Pantheon in Oxford-street, which had been erected at a vast expence from the designs of Wyatt, the celebrated architect. Near two thousand persons of the highest rank and fashion assembled on this occasion to admire the splendid structure, which contained fourteen rooms, exclusive of the rotunda: the latter had double colonnades or recesses for the reception of company, ornamented with the reliefs peculiar to the Grecian style of building; and the dome contained others equally rich. In order to support the propriety of the name given to this superb place of fashionable resort, the architect introduced niches round the base of the dome with statues of the Heathen Deities; and to _complete_ the circle, added _Britannia and their present Majesties_. Such were the ideas of classic taste exhibited by the proprietors; the Gods worshiped in the _real Pantheon_, were compelled to witness a modern Pantheon _dedicated to pleasures_ and amusements of which even Jupiter himself was ignorant when in the Court of Olympus.

One of the first steps of the conductors was an order to exclude all loose women: an order which deserves honourable mention, but one impossible to be executed. The Masquerades given at the Pantheon would have been thin of company indeed, had not improper persons formed part of the silly groupe. The nature of those masked entertainments is so confined, that when one is seen or described, novelty is at an end. I shall therefore pass them over, and merely mention, that part of the commemoration of Handel, noticed at large in the first volume of "Londinium Redivivum," was celebrated at the Pantheon; after which caprice or some other cause converted it into an Opera-house, and very soon after an _accidental fire_ consumed it. The Pantheon has been rebuilt, but on a miserable plan indeed compared with the original: it now serves for Masquerades at different periods; and Garnerin and Lunardi have exhibited their balloons there.

It is by no means creditable to the memory of Mr. Garrick, that he acted the Beggar's Opera for two seasons in opposition to the entreaties of Sir John Fielding and his brethren the Magistrates, and after they had informed him that the representation invariably produced fresh victims to offended Justice. The latter season alluded to, 1773, produced a long and serious contention between persons who never before saw or had received the least injury from each other, through the turbulent and daring effrontery of the late veteran Macklin. This actor, offended at the conduct of a player named Reddish, and that of Sparks, the son of another, presumed to make the publick parties in the affair, by thus addressing the audience at Covent-garden Theatre on the night of October 30.

"Ladies and Gentlemen--My appearing before you in my own character, instead of that which I am this night appointed to perform, is an unexpected measure; but in my distressed condition, from my feelings as a man and an actor, and _in order to produce decency_ in this Theatre to-night, and from my duty to the publick, I humbly hope it will be found to be a necessary one. I am sensible, that, by a certain set of people, this address to you will be deemed a very saucy step; and that their wishes and endeavours will be, that it may be attended with a very serious and fatal animadversion; but I hope and trust, that it will excite a very different effect in the minds of the candid and the just, when they shall have heard my motive for this proceeding; which, with your indulgence and protection, I will humbly lay before you."

This period was the touch-stone of opinion; the majority of the audience requested Macklin to proceed: one person exclaimed "No," but was silenced. The actor proceeded:

"Through the course of my theatrical life, I have constantly thought it the duty of an actor, and his best policy, to regulate his conduct in such a manner as to merit the credit and esteem of those who know him; so as to be able by moral justness to defy, and to be proof against all insinuations, aspersions, or open attacks upon his private character. This has been my constant doctrine; this my constant policy; and as a proof of my practice being conformable to these principles, I here appeal, not to hearsay, credulity, or party, but to all who know me: and I call upon every individual of the publick in this great metropolis to produce, if they can, a single instance to the contrary."

A person observed at this instant, "That is a bold challenge, Mr. Macklin;" to which he replied, "Sir, I will abide by it; and I repeat it; I say a _single instance_."

"From the first of my appearing upon the Stage, I have met with the indulgence, protection, and encouragement of a benevolent publick, until I attempted to act the part of Macbeth last Saturday: in that attempt I have not the least reason to complain of that awful and impartial tribunal, which, from my observation, and the experience of the oldest actors I have known, never yet condemned piece or actor that had merit: but the usage I have met with from news-writers is without example in the history of the Stage. I have here in my hand folios of paragraphs, epigrams, intelligences, and what are called criticisms, upon _me_: some even before I appeared in the character; such as do no great honour to the press, or to the genius, candour, or erudition, of the gentlemen who produced them. I will not give a name or a quality to these productions; the present publick and posterity, should they meet with them, will do it for me."

A voice from the gallery demanded an explanation, why he felt indignant at what had passed on the Saturday alluded to. Macklin affected to be at a loss what the gentleman meant: an altercation then ensued between Mr. Sparks, the person who spoke, and another, which ended _in a challenge_ to walk out, or to take the unknown's address. Quiet again took place.

"These criticks or partisans, not satisfied with their newspaper attacks upon my powers as a man and an actor, assembled in the gallery last Saturday night; and in two or three parties dispersed about the gallery, did by groans, laughs, hissing, and loud invectives, attack me in a violent manner. These parties were headed by two gentlemen, whom for the sake of truth and justice, with your permission, I will name.--The one was Mr. Reddish, a player belonging to Drury-lane Theatre; the other, one Mr. Sparks, a son of the late Luke Sparks, of worthy memory, an actor belonging to Covent-garden Theatre. This charge, I own, is a heavy one against Mr. Reddish in particular; as he is himself an actor: it is likewise heavy on Mr. Sparks, who intends to be one. Mr. Garrick, in his own defence, I am told, enquired into this matter in a formal manner behind the scenes; and upon the evidence produced by Mr. Reddish and Mr. Sparks, I am informed that Mr. Garrick did acquit Mr. Reddish of the charge; but I here pledge myself to give a positive proof of the fact of Mr. Reddish's hissing, which shall be supported by all the circumstances of probability and truth. I am afraid I have taken up too much of your time; yet, with your permission, I have a few words more to offer on this disagreeable subject.

"_The condition of an actor_ on the first night of his performing such a character as Macbeth is the most alarming, to a mind anxious to gain the public favour, _of any condition that the pursuit of fame or fortune can cast man into_. A dull plodding actor, whose utmost merit is mediocrity, is in no danger; he plods on from the indulgence of the publick, and their habit of seeing him, in safety; he never is in danger of offending by starts of genius, or by the unruly fire that the _fury of his spirits_ enkindles. Mediocrity is his merit; mediocrity is all that is expected from him; mediocrity is his protection. But the actor that can be impassioned in the extreme, and is _inflamed_ by Shakspeare's genius, will, on his first appearance in Macbeth, be _carried out of the reach of sober judgment_, and of wary, nice discretion; those passions and that _flame_ will _run away with him_, will make him _almost breathless_, _crack_ or hoarsen in his voice, arrest his memory, _confine his sight_, his action, gait, and deportment; and all that candour and the nicest judgment can expect from him is, that he shewed he understood his character, that he gave noble marks of genius and judgment, and that, when he had played the part half a dozen times, he would then charm and convince his audience of his powers, and of his having a competent capacity for it.

"But let this man be but checked by a single hiss, all his fire will instantly cool; his spirits abate their motions; grief and despair will seize him, and at once he becomes the pining broken-hearted slave of the tyrant that ruined a wretch that was labouring to please him, who did not dare to resent the cruelty, nor to assist himself. A soldier in the very front of war, at the teeth of his enemy, _and at the mouth of a cannon_, is not in so wretched, _nor in so fatal_, so hopeless a state. The noble ardour of the soldier gives him hope, alacrity, effort, double, treble vigour and courage; the very danger adds to both, and to such a degree, as to make him lose even the idea of danger; _and sure death, even death, in that state is preferable_ to an actor, who by his post is _obliged to endure the hiss of a Reddish, or a Sparks_; or a critic who hisses him for daring to act a part of Mr. Garrick's, and who would _damn him_ to want and _infamy_, to shew he is an admirer of Mr. Garrick."

Mr. Macklin then went on beseeching the audience to believe that the agitation he felt on Saturday evening prevented him from exerting his faculties; that he was then under the same terrors; and concluded by begging them to try his merits by uninterrupted attention for a few nights, and then applaud or reject him.

Messrs. Reddish and Sparks, though they knew Macklin had gained public approbation by his strange address, did not hesitate severally to make oath that Mr. Reddish never hissed the complainant; and that, when Sparks once did, Reddish warmly insisted that he should forbear. In addition to these assertions, Sparks published a letter, containing a positive denial of his being present at the second performance of Macbeth on the Saturday mentioned.

The reader to whom this scene is now first known cannot but perceive Macklin's aim in all his proceedings; and, if he entertains the same ideas of justice with myself, he will be pleased to find those aims completely disappointed. Whatever impropriety of conduct Reddish and Sparks might have been guilty of, Macklin had no right to disturb the public peace by making many hundreds of inconsiderate people judges of his or their private jealousies.

On Saturday evening the 6th of November Macklin _acted_ the second part of his appeal to the audience, and affected to be literally overcome by the awful situation his opponents and himself stood in before Heaven and the frequenters of theatrical amusements. He called for a glass of water to prevent him from fainting; and the compassionate audience ordered him a chair, on which they desired he might sit and read his proofs in opposition to the oaths of Reddish and Sparks. When he finished the play proceeded.

Transactions of this nature never fail to produce parties, which arrange themselves on either side of the question, as caprice, or justice, actuates the individuals who compose them. A trial of strength on this _most important_ subject took place at Covent-garden Theatre on Thursday evening November 18, when a considerable number of persons raised a violent uproar, for the express purpose of preventing the commencement of the play in which Macklin was announced to perform. After some time had elapsed, the offender appeared, but to no purpose, as neither himself, his accusers, or approvers, could distinguish a word uttered by either; but the narrators of the disgusting occurrence say, that Macklin retired and threw off his dress for the character of Shylock, and re-appeared; that Mr. Bensley was commissioned by the Managers to pronounce--nobody would hear what--and retired; that Macklin dressed again, and again entered, but the noise, in which "_Off_" predominated, encreased with tenfold violence, and he was even commanded to go on his knees. This he positively refused, and made his "_exit in a rage_." Mr. Woodward succeeded Mr. Bensley as a pacificator with equal success. The Managers at length, foreseeing perhaps fatal consequences, sent Mr. Owenson upon the Stage, who held a large board before him on which they had written with chalk, "At the command of the publick, Mr. Macklin is discharged." This concession procured loud applause from the opposers of the actor; but his friends in the gallery, doubly exasperated, demanded "Shylock, Macklin, and Love a-la-mode," instead of "She Stoops to Conquer," which was begun by the Manager's direction. The confusion soon became general, and many persons left the Theatre. Mr. Fisher, one of the proprietors, entered, and attempted to speak; but Colman, and Colman alone, would satisfy the audience. That gentleman was at length induced to make (as he observed) _his first appearance_, attended by Colonel Lechmere; a general plaudit succeeded; and when silence could be obtained he said that, from the hour he had undertaken the management of the Theatre, his first wish had ever been to know the pleasure of the publick, that he might instantly comply with it; and, as a proof of the truth of his assertion, he referred the audience to the _legible card_ which had just been offered to their perusal. Mr. Colman farther observed, that the Managers really had no other play in readiness besides "She Stoops to Conquer;" and recommended those who were displeased with it to receive their money and retire. A new trial of skill commenced between the contents and non-contents; the musick played, and the first scene of the above play was completed; but the second produced such brutal rage in the gallery, that it became unsafe to remain on the stage, and the curtain was finally dropped. The audience immediately retired, and received their entrance-money as they went; but the Managers are said to have lost near 90_l._ by certain despicable wretches who clambered from the Pit into the Boxes, and thus obtained Box prices instead of Pit.

That this most unpleasant affair terminated without bloodshed or bruises, or broken limbs, must excite both astonishment and pleasure; and I think it must be allowed equally astonishing, that Mr. Macklin ever dared again to face an audience.

It is singular that Macklin was under the necessity of publishing the ensuing extract of a letter, directed to Dr. Kenrick, _to clear himself of a charge of hissing_ a new play on the 26th of November.


"So far from injuring you in the point you complain of, I solemnly declare that I sincerely wished you success in your 'Duellist,' as I do every person who undertakes the arduous and perilous task of writing for the Stage. And I further assure you, that I was not near the Theatre on the night that your Comedy was acted. Nay, that, to the best of my recollection, I never spoke to a person, directly or indirectly, who was going, or who told me he intended to go, to 'The Duellist;' and that I was employed about business of the utmost consequence to myself the whole day on which your Comedy was acted; particularly from five that evening till after all the Theatres were shut for that night. And as to my friends, Sir, _the world_ must know that I cannot answer whether any of them were at the 'Duellist' or not, since I was not there myself; nor ought I to be responsible for their conduct there. But, Sir, in justice to those whom I esteem my friends, and for your farther satisfaction, I do assure you that I have not heard of one friend of mine that was at your Comedy. My testimony, perhaps, in this cause may be deemed in your opinion weak and partial, as it tends to exonerate myself and my friends. In answer to that argument, Sir, it is the best that it is in my power to give from the nature of the case. In your request of a re-hearing, and in the consequence should you be re-heard, I sincerely wish you success. I am, &c.


Dr. Kenrick was supported by a strong party, which declared that his play had been unjustly condemned; and that gentleman thought proper to intimate, through the public papers, to Mr. Colman, that 'The Duellist' would be called for on the evening when a Mr. Brown was announced to appear for the first time in the character of Othello; thus clearing himself from the presumed imputation of wishing to injure a new performer. This hint did not, however, produce the play; and Kenrick and his friends were under the necessity of having recourse to other measures; which were, distributing printed papers to the publick, and showering cards down upon the Pit from the Gallery: the latter contained these words, "No Play till an assurance of The Duellist being given out for Monday." Whether the riot of the preceding week had satiated the multitude, or whatever else might be the cause, the affair ended merely in violent hissing and clapping, and Brown had a candid hearing.

The reader will, without doubt, be satisfied with the preceding descriptions of theatrical commotions; and under that conviction I shall omit all that have subsequently occurred, at the same time assuring him that so many would not have been mentioned, had I not thought it necessary to illustrate all the operations of the community.

Dr. Kenrick opened a course of Lectures in the Theatre for Burlettas at Mary-le-bon gardens in the following July, which he termed "a School of Shakspeare;" where he recited different parts of the works of our inimitable Dramatist, and particularly that of Sir John Falstaff, with much success, to crowded audiences.

The newspapers of that month vented severe complaints against the Proprietors of the gardens alluded to for having demanded 5_s._ entrance money to a _Fête Champêtre_, which consisted of nothing more than a few tawdry festoons and extra lamps; indeed, they appear to have been suggested by the conduct of the spectators, who demolished most of the brittle wares of the scene, and injured the stage. A second attempt produced this description: "The orchestra, boxes, theatre, and every part of the gardens were beautifully illuminated at a vast expence with lamps of various colours, disposed with great taste and elegance. The grass-plat before Mr. Torre's building was surrounded with two semicircular rows of trees and hedges prettily contrived, divided, and forming two walks; and between every tree hung a double row of lamps bending downwards; between every break orange and lemon-trees were placed, and the whole was hung with festoons of flowers and other pastoral emblems. On this place the rural entertainment was held, consisting of singing and dancing; several airs were well sung by Mr. Thompson, Mr. Bannister, Miss Wewitzer, and the rest of the performers. On the left hand of this rural scene was a stile, and a walk which led to a Temple sacred to Hymen, which was transparent, and had a pretty effect when viewed at a distance. The gardens were not clear of company at six o'clock next morning."

Encouraged by their success, the Proprietors entered still farther into the spirit of hilarity, and prepared an entertainment thus described in a newspaper a few days after it had taken place:

"On Tuesday evening (July 23, 1776) Mary-le-bon gardens exhibited a scene equally novel and agreeable; namely, a representation of the Boulevards of Paris. The boxes fronting the ball-room, which were converted into shops, had a very pleasing effect, and were occupied by persons with the following supposititious names, legible by means of transparent paintings.--Crotchet, a music-shop; a gingerbread shop (no name over it), the owner in a large bag-wig and deep ruffles _à-la-mode de Paris_: Medley (from Darley's), a print-shop; New-fangle, a milliner; a hardware shop and lottery-office in one (the price of tickets 11_l._ 14_s._); _La Blonde_, a milliner; Pine, a fruiterer; Trinket, a toy-shop; Fillagree, ditto; Mr. Gimcrack, the shop unoccupied, and nothing in it but two paper kites; _Tête_, a hair-dresser. The shopkeepers seemed rather dull and awkward at their business, till the humour of the company had raised their spirits by purchasing; and then, in proportion to their trade, their diligence advanced. Madam Pine, Messrs. Trinket, and _le Marchand de la gingerbread_, ran away with the custom from all their competitors. Mr. _Tête_ indeed would have had a good share of trade, but that the ladies were previously provided with every article he had to sell, and superior of the kind; for if his head-dresses were as big as a peck, many of theirs could not be crammed into a bushel.

"The ball-room was illuminated in an elegant manner with coloured lamps; and at one end of it women attended, selling orgeat, lemonade, and other cooling liquors. This was intended as a representation of the English Coffee-house at Paris.

"There was a great variety of different amusements; and amongst the rest a booth representing that of Signior Nicola at Paris, in which eight men, at the command of the supposed Signior, who was behind the scenes, exhibited a dance called the Egyptian Pyramids, standing on the backs, arms, and shoulders of each other, to an astonishing height. The number of the persons present is thought to be about 600."

We will now bid adieu to Mary-le-bon gardens.

Very considerable alterations were made in Drury-lane Theatre previous to the opening for the season of 1775. The frequenters of it before the above period describe the interior as very little superior to an old barn; but the raising of the ceiling twelve feet, the removal of the side-boxes, and substituting others supported by slight pillars, the opening of new passages to the boxes and to the Theatre from Bridges-street, seem to have entitled it to that approbation which it received till the re-building in 1794 of the spacious edifice demolished by fire February 24, 1809.

The fashionable world had often read and heard of the Venetian _Regattera_, or race of Oarsmen, and were inclined to attempt a grand effort of imitation on the Thames; for which purpose many preparations were made, and the following plan was submitted to the publick in May 1775.

"Ladies and gentlemen to arrange their own parties, and to provide their own barges or boats; excepting those persons who shall apply to the managers of the _Regatta_ for a seat in the public barges, which the several City companies have been so kind to lend on this occasion.--It is recommended that the rowers of the private barges be uniformly dressed, and in such a manner as may accord with some one of the three marine colours, chosen by the Marshals of the _Regatta_, _viz._ the White, the Blue, or the Red: the blue division to take the four Western arches of Westminster-bridge; the red division to take the four arches next the Surrey shore; and St. George's division the two arches on each side the centre. The whole procession to move up the river from Westminster-bridge at seven o'clock in the evening, the Marshal's division rowing a-head about three minutes before the second division, and the same interval of time between the second and third divisions. The company to begin to embark at the several stairs adjacent to Westminster-bridge, as well on the Lambeth as the Westminster side, between five and six o'clock. The Marshal's barge of twelve oars, carrying St. George's ensign (white field, with a red cross), will be to the Westward of the centre arch; the rest of the barges and boats to spread at such distances on the rendezvous, as to fill all the arches of Westminster-bridge at one time; but it is to be understood, that none of the pleasure-boats, nor others, do, upon any account, go into the centre arch, which must be left free for the race-boats; twelve of which, with each two rowers, will start from Westminster-bridge at six o'clock, and row against tide to London-bridge; from whence they will return back to Westminster-bridge: the three boats that first clear the centre arch of Westminster-bridge, to the Westward, win the prizes.--First men, ten guineas each, with coats and badges.--Second men, seven guineas each, with coats and badges of an inferior value.--Third men, five guineas each, with coats and badges.--Besides which, every successful waterman will have an ensign given him to wear one year on the Thames, with the word _Regatta_, in gold characters, thereon inscribed, and the figures 1, 2, or 3, according to the order in which he may arrive at the close of the race. The twelve boats, when the race shall be over, are to wait on the Marshal's barge, and to obey whatever orders may be given from thence, both going up the river, and returning home, when the entertainment is ended.--Circular ranges of tables, with proper intervals, will be placed round the Rotunda of Ranelagh, on which supper will be prepared in the afternoon, and the doors thrown open at eleven o'clock: the several recesses on the ground-floor to serve as side-boards for the waiters, and for a variety of refreshments, &c. &c.--A band of musick, consisting of one hundred and twenty vocal and instrumental performers, will play in the centre of the Rotunda during supper-time: other music to be disposed of in the garden, as the Committee shall direct.--Three military bands, composed of fifes, drums, cymbals, &c. will be habited in a manner consonant with the naval flags of Great Britain, and be properly stationed, as will likewise three other select bands of the most eminent masters on wind instruments:--all under such directions as may best entertain the company while on the water, and at the time of disembarking.--The garden of Ranelagh will be lighted up, and a temporary bower erected and decorated round the canal for dancing.--The platform of Chelsea-hospital to be open, for the greater conveniency of disembarking.

"If the 20th of June be the day approved of by the Committee, a red flag will be displayed at ten in the morning over the centre arch of Westminster-bridge, continue flying all day, and the bells of St. Margaret's church will ring from ten o'clock till one: without such notification, be it understood, that the _Regatta_ is, on account of unfavourable weather, postponed till Wednesday the 21st of June, when the like signal will be repeated:--if the weather still continue bad, the _Regatta_ to be put off till Thursday the 22d of June, when it will be given at all events."

An account of this amusement was inserted in the newspapers, from one of which I beg leave to repeat it.

"Yesterday before noon several of the companies and great numbers of pleasure barges were moored in the river, with flags, &c. Half a guinea was asked for a seat in a common barge, to see the _Regatta_.

"Early in the afternoon, the whole river, from London-bridge to the Ship-tavern, Milbank, was covered with vessels of pleasure, and there seemed to be a general combination to make a gay evening. Above 1200 flags were flying before four-o'clock; and such was the public impatience, that scores of barges were filled at that time.--Scaffolds were erected on the banks and in vessels, and even on the top of Westminster-hall was an erection of that kind.--Vessels were moored in the river, for the sale of liquors and other refreshments.

"The Thames, by six o'clock, was overspread with vessels and boats ornamented with divers colours; much about which time they began to form themselves into divisions. The Director's barge, which was uncommonly superb, and on the stern of which was displayed a blue ensign, with the word _Regatta_ in large gold characters, was rowed in great state to its station, a little before seven, on the West point of the centre arch. The boats and vessels of the red flag immediately brought up in the line of the four arches, on the Lambeth-side; the blue division in the direction of the four nearest Westminster; and the white, of the two arches on each side the centre: the grand centre arch being solely appropriated to the race-boats.

"The whole river formed a splendid scene, which was proportionably more so nearer to Westminster-bridge. A City barge, used to take in ballast, was, on this occasion, filled with the finest ballast in the world--above 100 elegant ladies. At half past seven the Lord Mayor's barge moved, and falling down the stream, made a circle towards the bridge, on which twenty-one cannon were fired as a salute.

"At half past seven the several candidates for the Regatta honours started at Westminster-bridge; twelve boats, two men in each, in three divisions, habited in white, red, and blue, rowed down to Watermen's-hall, and went round a vessel placed there for the purpose, and then made up again for the goal, which was gained by one of the red squadron, who had for their reward each a new boat, with furniture complete, coats and badges, and an ensign with the word _Regatta_ in gold letters inscribed thereon; the second boat eight guineas each, and the third five guineas each; and to every other candidate who rowed the full distance, half a guinea, with permission to be in Ranelagh-gardens (in their uniforms) during the entertainment.

"As soon as the winners were declared, and their prizes awarded, the whole procession began to move from Westminster-bridge for Ranelagh; the Director's barge at the head of the whole squadron, with grand bands of musick playing in each.

"The ladies in general were dressed in white, and the gentlemen in undress frocks of all colours; and it is thought the procession was seen by at least 200,000 people.

"The company landed at the stairs about nine, when they joined the assembly which came by land in the _Temple of Neptune_, a temporary octagon kind of building erected about twenty yards below the Rotunda, lined with striped linen of the different-coloured flags of the Navy, with light pillars near the centre, ornamented with streamers of the same kind loosely flowing, and lustres hanging between each. It happened however that this building was not quite finished when the company assembled, which prevented the cotillion-dancing till after supper.

"At half after ten the Rotunda was opened for supper, which discovered three circular tables, of different elevations, elegantly set out, though not profusely covered. The Rotunda was finely illuminated with party-coloured lamps, and those displayed with great taste; the centre was solely appropriated for one of the fullest and finest bands of musick, vocal and instrumental, ever collected in these kingdoms; the number being 240, in which were included the first masters, led by Giardini; and the whole directed by Mr. Simpson, in a manner that did him great credit. It was opened with a new grand piece composed for the occasion; after which various catches and glees were sung by Messrs. Vernon, Reinhold, &c.

"Supper being over, a part of the company retired to the Temple, where they danced minuets, cotillions, &c. while others entertained themselves in the great room.

"The company consisted of about 2000, amongst which were the first personages of distinction; _viz._ the Dukes of Gloucester and Cumberland, Duke of Northumberland, Lords North, Harrington, Stanley, Tyrconnel, Lincoln, their respective ladies, &c. also Lords Lyttelton, Colrane, Carlisle, March, Melbourne, Cholmondeley, Petersham, &c.; the French, Spanish, Prussian, Russian, and Neapolitan Ambassadors, &c.

"Mrs. Cornely had the sole management of the decorations and supper, for which she was allowed 700 guineas; the supper was but indifferent, and the wine very scarce.

"It is said that part of the company returning this morning early from Ranelagh by water met with some accidents, and that four persons were drowned."

I shall now confine myself entirely to the Theatres, with which this article necessarily concludes. The different amusements of the present day will come under review in another place.

Mr. Foote had long entertained the inhabitants of London with a variety of scenic representations, and met with the most rapturous applause; his dramatic pieces are pregnant with satire, and he stung the votaries of vice and folly by the most pointed applications. His dispute with the Dutchess of Kingston has been too often repeated to bear another recital; but his letter to the Lord Chamberlain on the suppression of the "Trip to Calais," in which the above lady was supposed to be alluded to, is too short to create _tedium_, and too witty not to give pleasure after twenty perusals.

"My Lord, I did intend troubling your lordship with an earlier address; but the day after I received your prohibitory mandate, I had the honour of a visit from Lord Mountstuart, to whose interposition, I find, I am indebted for your first commands, relative to the 'Trip to Calais,' by Mr. Chetwynd, and your final rejection of it by Colonel Keen.

"Lord Mountstuart has, I presume, told your Lordship, that he read with me those scenes to which your Lordship objected; that he found them collected from general nature, and applicable to none but those who, through consciousness, were compelled to a self-application. To such minds, my Lord, the Whole Duty of Man, next to the Sacred Writings, is the severest satire that ever was wrote; and to the same mark if Comedy directs not her aim, her arrows are shot in the air; for by what touches no man, no man will be mended. Lord Mountstuart desired that I would suffer him to take the play with him, and let him leave it with the Dutchess of Kingston: he had my consent, my Lord, and at the same time an assurance, that I was willing to make any alteration that her Grace would suggest. Her Grace saw the play, and, in consequence, I saw her Grace; with the result of that interview, I shall not, at this time, trouble your Lordship. It may perhaps be necessary to observe, that her Grace could not discern, which your Lordship, I dare say, will readily believe, a single trait in the character of Lady Kitty Crocodile, that resembled herself.

"After this representation, your Lordship will, I doubt not, permit me to enjoy the fruits of my labour; nor will you think it reasonable because a capricious individual has taken it into her head that I have pinned her ruffles awry, that I should be punished by a poignard stuck deep in my heart: your Lordship has too much candour and justice to be the instrument of so violent and ill-directed a blow.

"Your Lordship's determination is not only of the greatest importance to me now, but must inevitably decide my fate for the future, as, after this defeat, it will be impossible for me to muster up courage enough to face Folly again: between the Muse and the Magistrate there is a natural confederacy; what the last cannot punish, the first often corrects; but when she finds herself not only deserted by her antient ally, but sees him armed in the defence of her foe, she has nothing left but a speedy retreat: adieu, then, my Lord, to the Stage. _Valeat res ludicra_; to which, I hope, I may with justice add _Plaudite_; as, during my continuance in the service of the publick, I never profited by flattering their passions, or falling in with their humours; as, upon all occasions, I have exerted my little powers (as, indeed, I thought it my duty), in exposing follies, how much soever the favourites of the day; and pernicious prejudices, however protected and popular. This, my Lord, has been done, if those may be believed who have the best right to know, sometimes with success; let me add too, that in doing this I never lost my credit with the publick, because they knew that I proceeded upon principle, that I disdained being either the echo or the instrument of any man, however exalted his station, and that I never received reward or protection from any other hands than their own.

"I have the honour to be, &c.


Mr. Garrick, whose unrivalled powers as an actor have ever been the theme of applause and admiration, retired from the Stage in June 1776, when in full possession of his extraordinary faculties, after disposing of his share and patent of Drury-lane Theatre to Messrs. Ford, Ewart, Sheridan, and Linley, for 35,000_l._

The property of the Theatre in the Haymarket was transferred from Mr. Foote to Mr. Colman in the following year, and has remained in that gentleman's and his son's possession till very lately. It will be sufficient to observe of this place of amusement, that it is too confined for a _Summer_ Theatre, and to accommodate the crowds which attend it, attracted by the best old plays, many excellent new ones, and good performers selected from the Winter and Provincial Theatres.

The reader who recollects my previous notices of the enlargement of Drury-lane Theatre will perceive, from those and the subsequent, how rapidly population and the admiration of theatrical amusements have increased. Mr. Harris, proprietor of Covent-garden Playhouse, found it necessary in 1782 to raise the roof eight feet, and make other alterations, to benefit himself, and accommodate the publick. It was then that the Theatre was adorned with those genuine ornaments in the Grecian style, which have lately given place to I know not what strange substitutes of painted deal boards.

Mr. Kemble, the present Roscius of the British Stage, made his first appearance in 1784; but his accomplished and unrivalled sister had astonished and delighted the publick in the previous year. The _two_ Thalias, Farren and Jordan, were contemporaries with the celebrated tragedians; but the former is now a Countess, and the latter I had _almost_ said a Princess, though still the object of rapturous approbation on the Stage.

The year 1785 produced the agitation of a singular problem, which has never yet been solved. While an actor of abilities performs upon the two Stages of Drury-lane and Covent-garden under the patents of the proprietors of those Theatres (as I have before observed), the courtesy of the world, or their own pretensions, dignifies them with the appellations of Gentlemen and even Esquires; but let the same men only step on the stage of a theatre opened without a patent or licence, and he instantly becomes a rogue and vagabond. At the time alluded to, the late Mr. Palmer, an excellent comedian, supported by a large subscription, determined to erect a new Theatre near Wellclose-square for the performance of plays, as at the established houses, without having first obtained a patent or licence; and, however astonishing it may appear, he actually completed the house, and obtained several of the higher rank of performers from the two Theatres. The event might have been anticipated: when every thing was in readiness to receive the publick, Palmer became a _rogue and vagabond_; and as such the persons engaged deserted his _company_. He struggled, remonstrated, and at length went to prison. Since that period the Theatre at Wellclose-square remains a _memento_ of rashness and folly, used only at intervals through the indulgence of the Magistracy, by Astley and others, for the representation of dances, burlettas, serious ballets, and pantomimes.

A most extraordinary occurrence in the affairs of the Stage marked the year 1789; which was Mr. Macklin's _attempt_ to perform the character of Shylock at the age of _ninety_.

The Theatre of Drury-lane was generally supposed at that time to have arrived at a period of decay, which rendered the safety of a crowded audience at least problematical. The proprietors therefore determined to rebuild it on an enlarged and magnificent plan; and for this purpose they hired the new Opera-house in the Haymarket for theatrical performances in 1791, while their own Theatre was in progress; and an advance in the prices of admission of 6_d._ in the pit and 1_s._ in the boxes took place, as it was said, to reimburse the extraordinary expences of the measure.

The following account of the operations attending the re-building appeared in one of the public papers of the time.

"One of the corner-stones of the new Drury-lane Theatre was laid on Tuesday September 4, 1792, and, as usual, some coins of the present day were deposited under it. The principal foundation stone will be laid in a few days, and it is said that a grand procession will appear at the ceremony of it.

"The articles which follow concerning this Theatre, we can vouch for being correct: and the curious, as well as those who are theatrically inclined, will be glad to read them.

"The delay in the building of this new Theatre, which was originally intended to have been finished by the opening of the ensuing season, has been occasioned partly from Mr. Sheridan's mind having been long employed in performing the last mournful duties of a husband; and from a dispute in the purchase of the dormant patent belonging to Covent-garden Theatre, on which security the money for the new building was to be advanced. Mr. Harris had agreed with Mr. Sheridan for the price of this patent at 15,000_l._

"The old Theatre was pulled down, and the money offered to be paid for the patent, when it occurred that there were other persons necessary to be consulted, who had a property in it. Mr. White, who had married a Miss Powell, had a quarter share of the patent; and when the assignment of it was offered him to be signed, he objected, and said he would not sell his share under 5000_l._

"Here then was a difficulty which had never been thought of. The old Drury was pulled down, and the money for the new House was not to be advanced without the patent. What was to be done? There was much cavilling on both sides; and the dispute had the appearance of being drawn into Chancery, to compel Mr. White to sell. All this time Mr. Sheridan was paying 5_l. per cent._ interest for the first payment that had been advanced for the new building, which was laying idle; his present Theatre in the Haymarket was filling every night with new Proprietors' tickets; and he was paying a heavy ground-rent to the Duke of Bedford. This was a ruinous business,--and at length Mr. Sheridan concluded a bargain a few days since at the price of 20,000_l._ for the dormant patent. It is believed that had he employed his usual _finesse_ in the management of this affair, as well as in the dear bargain he made for the Haymarket Theatre, he might have saved himself full 20,000_l._; for he has been likewise outwitted in the agreement he entered into with Mr. Taylor, which we shall speak of to-morrow.

"The new Drury, however, now proceeds; and Mr. Holland has declared he will have the Theatre covered in by the month of January next. The plan is extremely magnificent, and will afford the most ample accommodation. It is almost a square. A very grand piazzi will be built round three sides of it, over which will be setts of chambers. The Theatre will be insulated, as there are to be streets all round it. An opening is to be cut from Bridges-street into Drury-lane, through Vinegar-yard; and as the Theatre will extend to Drury-lane, there will be on one side Brydges-street, on the other Russell-street, the third Drury-lane, and on the fourth, the street through Vinegar-yard. Thus will there be avenues on all sides; and then can the Theatre be emptied of its company in the space of a quarter of an hour, a convenience which is much required.

"The money raised for this building is 150,000_l._ payable in three instalments.--60,000_l._ of this is to pay off the mortgagees on the old Theatre----80,000_l._ is allotted for the new building, and 10,000_l._ for contingent expences. The mode of raising this money is by an annuity of 100 years at 5 _per cent._ and a free admission for every subscription of 500_l._ which already bears a premium of 5_l. per cent._"

The Theatre is completed; but the East and West ends remain in a state of ruin, which must be injurious to the walls and foundations. The sides are faced with stone, and ornamented with pediments; and an unfinished colonnade protects the audience from rain, while waiting for admission; or their carriages are drawn before the doors on retiring from the amusements of the evening. A description of the interior is in a great measure unnecessary, and would be difficult to comprehend: the shape is that of the lyre, as indeed are all our present Theatres, and the decorations appear very splendid, though they are nothing more than plain boards well painted in relief; in short, the silvered pillars, and the beams, and the outward walls, are the only _substantial_ parts of the building; and yet the effect is wonderfully magnificent, and far superior to Covent-garden Theatre, which underwent great enlargements, but in my opinion no improvements, at least in effect, about the time Drury-lane was completed.

The ensuing particulars were given in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1794: "New Drury-lane Theatre contains in the pit 800 persons; whole range of boxes 1828; two shilling gallery 675; one shilling gallery 308; total 3611: amounting to 826_l._ 6_s._ There are eight private boxes on each side of the pit; 29 all round the first tier, and eleven _back front_ boxes; 29 all round the second tier, of which eleven are six seats deep; 10 on each side the gallery three tier; boxes in the cove nine each side. Diameter of the pit is 55 feet; opening of the curtain 43 feet wide; height of the curtain 38 feet; height of the house from the pit floor to the cieling 56 feet 6 inches."

The proprietors deserve every praise for the precautions they have taken to extinguish fire, by providing reservoirs of water in different parts of the building, and an iron curtain to drop between the audience and the stage. Whether those in the hurry of so dreadful a moment, would be of any real use, is a question which I sincerely hope will never be decided; I cannot, however, help observing that many large doors seem so obviously necessary in Theatres, that I dare not attempt to account for the diminutive size of the two through which the audience actually creep in the pit of Covent-garden Theatre. An alarm of fire in that house must end fatally, whether it spread, or was immediately extinguished[310:A].

The amusements of the present day are very confined: the two Theatres and the Opera for the winter, and the Haymarket for the summer, are the only _established_ places of entertainment; if the latter can be called such, which dares not open till May 15, and _must close_ by September 14. Astley is a veteran in scenic feats at his Amphitheatre and _Pavilion_; Sadler's wells is a more permanent establishment: and the Circus and Wellclose Theatre are mere _moderns_ in comparison; but these are literally Summer houses, as the proprietors are compelled to confine their performances to the period between Easter and October. There are other inferior places of resort opened at intervals, exclusive of the various Concerts; but few of which deserve notice.


[113:A] The ridiculous tricks mentioned in the "famous Dutch-woman's" bill of fare were permitted without reprehension. These will serve to shew how stationary the entertainments of this place are: six companies of rope-dancers coalesced. "You will see a wonderful girl of ten years of age who walks backwards up the sloping rope driving a wheelbarrow behind her; also you will see the great Italian Master, who not only passes all that has yet been seen upon the low rope, but he dances without a pole upon the head of a mast as high as the booth will permit, and afterwards stands upon his head on the same. You will be also entertained with the merry conceits of an Italian scaramouch, who dances on the rope with two children and a dog in a wheelbarrow, and a duck on his head."

[148:A] Flying Post, August 22, 1717.

[204:A] Shakspeare's Richard III.

[224:A] London Chronicle.

[227:A] The excessive crowd and pressure on those occasions provokes every passion of the human breast to their utmost extent; hence every petty dispute swells into a wide-spreading fray, and every little alarm becomes the source of horror and despair: a melancholy proof of this fact occurred in October 1807, at Sadler's-wells, when the words _a fight!_ were construed by certain terrified ladies into _fire!_ and, wonderful as it may appear, though neither light nor smoke were seen, nor was it scarcely possible a fire could happen in that Theatre, such are the precautions used by the managers, yet a phrensy took place in the gallery altogether unaccountable. The entreaties and despairing cries of the managers with speaking trumpets, that there was no fire, availed nothing: persons, regardless of their lives, threw themselves over into the pit; and eighteen died from pressure and suffocation on the gallery stairs: numbers, besides, will probably suffer long from their bruises. Every possible recompence has been made to their surviving friends by the Proprietors, who have prosecuted the wretches whose hateful tempers excited the terror, and given two _free_ benefits, the produce to be divided between those deprived of support by the unexpected death of their fathers or husbands. Indeed their conduct deserves the thanks of the publick.

[236:A] These veterans died within a year of each other; the latter in September 1806, aged 78: they were almost the last survivors of Garrick's school.

[236:B] This actor was sent a short time before to announce a Comedy for representation to the audience, and forgot the title; after pronouncing the word "called"--"called" several times, a tar vociferated "The Tempest;"--"True," said Obrien, "The Tempest."

[252:A] _The True-born Irishman_, written by Macklin.

[310:A] Both were reduced to ashes, Covent-garden at the close of 1808, and Drury-lane in the beginning of 1809, and _both accidentally_ without doubt.



To render past fashions as intelligible as possible, I beg leave to refer to the prints annexed; by which every remarkable change in male and female dress may be traced between 1700 and 1806.

The Ladies Bodice or Stays were sometimes made of silk, with black straps to fasten with buckles set with stones or false jewels.

The head had a covering called a Hood, and this was in the form that is now worn by old-fashioned people on the upper part of the Cloak: they were of satin, sarsnet, or velvet.

[Illustration: _Dress 1690-1715_]

[Illustration: _Dress 1721_]

[Illustration: _Dress 1735_]

[Illustration: _Dress 1738_]

[Illustration: _Dress 1745_]

[Illustration: _Dress 1752_]

[Illustration: _Dress 1766_]

[Illustration: _Dress circa 1770, 1773_]

[Illustration: _Dress circa 1785_]

[Illustration: _Dress 1797_]

[Illustration: _Dress 1807_]

Ear-rings, and Girdles fastened by buckles, were common, as were coloured gowns lined with striped silks. Lady Anderson, whose house was robbed at a fire in Red Lion-square in 1700, lost one of this description of _orange_ damask lined with striped silk. The family of George Heneage, Esq. at the same time, and by the same casualty, lost "a _head_ with very fine looped lace of very great value, a Flanders laced Hood, a pair of double Ruffles and Tuckers; two laced Aprons, one point, the other Flanders lace; and a large black Scarf embroidered with gold."

At the same period the ladies wore Holland Petticoats, embroidered in figures with different-coloured silks and gold, with broad orrice at the bottom.

It may be inferred from the ensuing story that Wigs of delicate and beautiful hair, whether for the use of ladies or gentlemen, were in great demand, or highly valued, by some of our beaus or belles.

"An Oxfordshire Lass was lately courted by a young man of that country, who was not willing to marry her unless her friends could advance 50_l._ for her portion; which they being incapable of doing, the lass came to this City to try her fortune, where she met with a good chapman in the Strand, who made a purchase of her Hair (which was delicately long and light), and gave her _sixty pounds_ for it, being 20 ounces at 3_l. an ounce_; with which money she joyfully returned into the Country, and bought her a husband." _Protestant Mercury, July 10, 1700._

Admitting this tale to be a mere fabrication to fill the paper, it is by no means to be doubted that good Hair sold at 3_l. per_ ounce.

The Sword as one of the most reprehensible articles used in the dress of the gentlemen. It is undoubtedly an incumbrance to a well-bred man; but dangling by the side of an awkward person it becomes ridiculous, troublesome to himself, and intolerable to his neighbours. These observations apply only to the _absurdity_ of the custom: as a dangerous weapon ready on a sudden quarrel, humanity revolts against its use. The following notice from the Gazette of January 1, 1701, will shew, that Government was at least careful of the lives of that honourable set of gentlemen _ycleped_ Footmen who sported _their_ side-arms.

"By the Right Hon. Charles Earl of Carlisle, Earl Marshal of England during the minority of Thomas Duke of Norfolk. Whereas many mischiefs and dangerous accidents, tending not only to the highest breach of the peace, but also to the destruction of the lives of his Majesty's subjects, have happened and been occasioned by Footmen wearing of swords: for prevention of the like evil accidents and disturbances for the future, I do hereby order, that no Footman attending any of the nobility or gentry of his Majesty's realms shall wear any sword, hanger, _bayonet_, or other such like offensive weapon, during such time as they or any of them shall reside or be within the Cities of London and Westminster, and the liberties and precincts of the same, as they will answer the contrary hereof. Given under my hand, and the Seal of the Office of Earl Marshal of England, the 30th day of December, 1701, in the 13th year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King William the Third of England, &c.


Muffs were in use before the year 1700, but very different in shape and materials from those of the present day. What would a fashionable belle say to a Furrier, who should offer her one for sale made of the Leopard's skin? Yet such were worn in 1702.

In the same year it was customary to adorn the arm with Lockets, as they were then called. A large one is thus described in an advertisement as lost by a lady: "Striped with dark brown and fair hair, wrought like Camlet, the hair set in gold, over the hair a cypher of four letters, R. A. M. L. under a cut crystal, and set round with ten rose diamonds."

Diamond Stomachers adorned the ladies' breasts, which were composed of that valuable stone set in silver, and sewed in a variety of figures upon black silk; and they must be admitted to have been a brilliant, if not an elegant ornament.

The men imported the Campaign Wig from France. Those were made very full, were curled, and eighteen inches in length to the front, with drop locks. When _human_ hair was scarce, a little _horse_ hair supplied the place in the parts least in sight.

An advertisement issued in 1703 gives a whole-length portrait of the dress of a Youth in the middle rank of life. Such a figure would attract much wonder at present in the streets of London. "He is of a fair complexion, light-brown lank hair, having on a dark-brown frieze Coat, double-breasted on each side, with black buttons and button-holes; a light drugget Waistcoat, _red-shag Breeches striped with black stripes_, and _black_ Stockings."

Mourning Rings were used in 1703.

Satin Gowns were lined with Persian silk; and laced Kerchiefs, and Spanish leather Shoes, laced with gold, were common. To these the Ladies added bare breasts, with gold and other Crosses suspended on them.

The odd custom of setting little circular pieces of black silk on various parts of the female face, well known by the name of _Patches_ even in our enlightened days, prevailed to a most extravagant degree at the time I am now treating of: they then, as at present, varied in size, and were supported by their auxiliaries in elegance, frizzed and powdered _false Locks_, and emulated by the men's Sword-knots and black silk facings to their Coats.

The Ladies must indeed have exhibited a wonderful appearance in 1709: behold one equipped in a black silk Petticoat with a red and white calico border, cherry-coloured Stays trimmed with blue and silver, a red and dove-coloured damask Gown flowered with large trees, a yellow satin Apron trimmed with white Persian, and muslin Head-cloths with crowfoot edging, double Ruffles with fine edging, a black silk furbelowed Scarf, and a spotted Hood! Such were the clothes advertised as stolen in the Post-Boy of November 15. To cover all this finery from rain the fashionables had Umbrellas. The Female Tatler of December 12 says, "The young gentleman belonging to the Custom-house, that for fear of rain borrowed the _Umbrella_ at Will's Coffee-house in Cornhill of the _Mistress_, is hereby advertised that to be dry from head to foot on the like occasion he shall be welcome _to the Maid's pattens_;" which seems to imply that this useful invention was then considered as too effeminate for Men.

Sedans were in use at the same time; but I should imagine not generally, as the same writer describes a _City_ Lady rendered sick, and dislocating her neck, by being carried in one, and rising too suddenly.

The ridiculous long Wigs of 1710 were very expensive: one was advertised as stolen in that year, and said to be worth five guineas; and Duumvir's "fair Wig" in the Tatler, No. 54, "cost forty guineas." But, lest it should be supposed that the gentlemen _only_ were extravagant in decorating the _caput_, take the prices from the Lace-chamber on Ludgate-hill: "One Brussels head at 40_l._; one ground Brussels head at 30_l._; one looped Brussels head at 30_l._"

The Tatler ludicrously advertises "A Stage Coach as departing from Nando's Coffee-house for Mr. Tiptoe's Dancing-school every evening;" and adds the following: "N. B. Dancing-shoes not exceeding _four inches height in the heel_, and Perriwigs not exceeding _three feet in length_, are carried in the Coach-box _gratis_."

Those unfortunate persons who were born with golden tresses, and those who had lived to bear the silver locks of Time, and did not choose to carry the weight of the above tremendous wigs, were not without their _Tricosian fluid_; for Mr. Michon, goldsmith, informed them in 1710, that he had "found out" "a clear water," which would convert them into brown or black locks.

Mr. Bickerstaff notices the extreme nakedness of the ladies' breasts at this time; and casually mentions the beau's pearl-coloured stockings and _red_-topped shoes, fringed gloves, large wigs, and feathers in the hat.

A lady's Riding-dress was advertised for sale in the Spectator of June 2, 1711, "of blue Camblet well laced with silver; being a coat, waistcoat, petticoat, hat and feather." Another in 1712 mentions an _Isabella_ coloured _Kincob_ Gown, flowered with green and gold, a dark-coloured _cloth_ (probably linen) Gown and Petticoat with two silver orrices, a purple and gold _Atlas_ Gown; a _scarlet and gold_ Atlas Petticoat edged with silver, a wrought _Under_-petticoat edged with gold, a black velvet Petticoat; _Allejah_ Petticoat striped with green gold and white, a blue and silver silk Gown and Petticoat, a blue and gold Atlas Gown and Petticoat, and clogs laced with silver. These were the property of Mr. Peter Paggen of Love-lane near Eastcheap, brewer, who fined for Sheriff in 1712; and were probably the dresses of the females of his family. That _they_, or whoever wore such, were very gaudy, cannot be denied; but those rich coverings for the body were matched by the decorations of the head: if the hips had their scarlet, the seat of the understanding had its blue, yellow, pink, and green Hoods. The Spectator says, "When Melesinda wraps her head in _flame_ colour, her heart is set upon execution." The majority of these fashions were doubtlessly from France, as the same work describes a Parisian Doll imported by the Milliners; a custom most religiously continued during the rare intervals of peace between the two Countries.

To the above list of finery pray let me add Mrs. Beale's loss in 1712. "A green silk knit Waistcoat with gold and silver flowers _all over it_, and _about fourteen_ yards of gold and silver _thick_ lace on it. And a Petticoat of rich strong flowered satin red and white, _all in great_ flowers or leaves, and _scarlet_ flowers with _black specks_ brocaded in, _raised high like Velvet or Shag_." Surely if James I. had seen this Waistcoat and Petticoat, he would have sadly abused his two subjects who wore them; they even set the Stomachers of Queen Bess at defiance, except that they are deficient in _Jewelry_. And in 1714 Mr. John Osheal had the misfortune to be robbed of "a scarlet cloth Suit, laced with broad gold lace, lined and faced with blue; a fine cinnamon cloth Suit with plate buttons, the Waistcoat fringed with a silk fringe of the same colour, and a rich _yellow_ flowered satin morning Gown lined with a cherry-coloured satin, with a pocket on the right side."

The extreme richness of the habits of those days were accompanied by equal extravagance in the furniture of Beds, advertised as stolen 1715, and thus described: "Four Curtains of damask, a blue ground and changeable flowers; the curtains lined with white satin, having a mixed fringe. A white satin Quilt to the said bed embroidered. Four flowered velvet Curtains of a yellowish ash-colour, in a border of the same kind of flowered velvet of a musk-colour; the border trimmed with green lace with a stripe of red, lined with a striped India muslin." Those were the property of a lady resident in Bedford-row, whose name is not mentioned.

The Weekly Journal of January 1717 mentions the death of the celebrated mantua-maker Mrs. Selby, whose inventive talents supplied the ladies with that absurd and troublesome obstruction, that enemy to elegance and symmetry, the Hooped Petticoat. The same paper of a subsequent date contains an humourous essay on the advantages and disadvantages of the Hooped Petticoat. As I presume the reader with me inclines to the disadvantages, he will be pleased with a short extract: "I believe it would puzzle the quickest invention to find out one tolerable conveniency in these machines. I appeal to the sincerity of the ladies, whether they are not a great incumbrance upon all occasions (vanity apart) both at home and abroad. What skill and management is required to reduce one of these circles within the limits of a chair, or to find space for two in a chariot; and what precautions must a modest female take even to enter at the doors of a private family without obstruction! Then a vivacious damsel cannot turn herself round in a room a little inconsiderately without oversetting every thing like a whirlwind; stands and tea-tables, flower-pots, China-jars and basins innumerable, perish daily by this spreading mischief, which, like a Comet, spares nothing that comes within its sweep. Neither is this fashion more ornamental than convenient. Nothing can be imagined more unnatural, and consequently less agreeable. When a slender Virgin stands upon a basis so exorbitantly wide, she resembles a funnel, a figure of no great elegancy; and I have seen many fine ladies of a low stature, who, when they sail in their hoops about an apartment, look like children in Go-carts."

Black and white beaver Hats for ladies were advertised in 1719, faced with coloured silks, and trimmed with gold or silver lace.

Wigs maintained their ground in 1720; and white hair for the manufacture of them bore a monstrous price, if we may credit that that of a woman aged 170, of a very considerable length, produced 50_l._ after her death from a Perriwig-maker. _Original Weekly Journal._

The man of fashion in 1720 wore the full-curled flowing Wig, which fell in ringlets half way down his arms and back; a Neckcloth tied tight round his neck; a Coat reaching to his ancles, laced, strait, formal, with buttons to the very bottom, and several on the pockets and sleeves; his Shoes were square at the toes, had diminutive buckles, a monstrous flap on the instep, and high heels; a belt secured the coat, and supported the Sword.

A man advertised a wonderful Wig to be seen in Sidney-alley, Leicester-fields, at one shilling each person in February 1721. He said it was made without weaving or sewing; in short, as Sterne says, it might be immersed in the Ocean without derangement.

The ladies wore Hooped Petticoats, scarlet Cloaks, and Masks, when walking. The Hoops were fair game for the wits, and they spared them not.

"An elderly lady whose bulky squat figure By hoop and white damask was rendered much bigger, Without hood and bare-neck'd to the Park did repair, To shew her new clothes, and to take the fresh air; Her shape, her attire, rais'd a shout and loud laughter; Away waddles Madam; the mob hurries after. Quoth a wag, then observing the noisy crowd follow, As she came with a _hoop_, she is gone with a hollow."

If the Flying Post of June 14, 1722, may be credited, the Bishop of Durham[323:A] appeared on horseback at a review in the King's train "in a lay habit of purple with Jack boots, and his hat cocked, and a black wig tied behind him, like a militant officer."

George II. reviewed the Guards in 1727, habited in gray cloth faced with purple, with a purple feather in his hat; and the three eldest Princesses "went to Richmond in riding-habits with hats and feathers and _periwigs_." _Whitehall Evening Post, August 17._

If the reader will have the goodness to forgive the introduction of very vile doggrel lines, I will in turn present him with a Beau of 1727:

"Take one of the brights from St. James's or White's; 'Twill best be if nigh six feet he prove high. Then take of fine linen enough to wrap him in; Right Mechlin must twist round his bosom and wrist, Red heels to his shoes, gold clocks to his hose, With calves _quantum suff_--for a muff; In black velvet breeches let him put all his riches; Then cover his waist with a suit that's well lac'd. 'Tis best if he wears not more than ten hairs, To keep his brains cool on each side his scull. Let a queue be prepar'd, twice as long as a yard, Short measure I mean; there is great odds between. This done, your Beau place before a large glass; The recipe to fulfil mix with powder pulvil; And then let it moulder away on his shoulder. Let a sword then be tied up to his left side, And under his arm place his hat for a charm. Then let him learn dancing, and to ride horses prancing, Italian and French, to drink and to wench: O! then with what wonder will he fill the _beau monde_ here!"

_Mist's Journal._

I have met with the following description of the dress of a Running Footman in 1730: "They wear fine Holland drawers and waistcoats, thread stockings, a blue silk sash fringed with silver, a velvet cap with a great tassel; and carry a Porter's staff with a large silver handle."

The Beaus of the day seemed emulous of the Running fraternity in the latter part of their _insignia_, according to the Universal Spectator, which says: "The wearing of Swords at the Court-end of the town is by many polite young gentlemen laid aside; and instead thereof they carry large Oak Sticks, _with great heads and ugly faces carved thereon_."

An advertisement in March 1731 mentions several articles of the dress of the time; amongst which were, "a black velvet Petticoat; a rose-coloured paduasoy Mantua, lined with a rich mantua silk of the same colour; a Suit of black paduasoy; a long velvet Scarf, lined with a shot silk of pink and blue; a long velvet Hood; a long silk Hood laced; two white short silk Aprons, one embroidered with silk at the edges; one green silk Apron embroidered with silk and silver; three new muslin India half Handkerchiefs, spotted with plated silver; two gauze half Handkerchiefs, one brown embroidered with gold, silver, and silk; a short crimson satin Cloak, lined with white silk; a gold and silver Girdle, with Buckles set with Bristol stones, &c."

The Weekly Register of July 10, 1731, contains a lively survey of female dress, which I have transcribed for the information and amusement of the reader.


"The love of novelty is the parent of fashion, and, as the fancy sickens with one image, it longs for another. This is the cause of the continued revolutions of habit and behaviour, and why we are so industrious in pursuing the change: this makes fashion so universally followed, and is the true reason why the awkwardest people are as fond of this folly as the genteelest, who give a grace to every thing they wear. This affectation indeed is so notorious, that a certain lady of humour and quality, trusting to the inimitable beauties of her own person, very frequently invented some whimsical dress, which she herself was sure to become, that the rest of the ladies might copy her to their own confusion; but as soon as the stratagem had effectually taken place, she laughed at their folly, and left them to be ridiculous by themselves. Hence it is plain that every novelty is not beauty, and that it requires great elegance of taste, and truth of judgment, to determine the modes of dress, that every one should consult the particular turn of their own manner in their choice, and be well convinced of its propriety, before they ventured to set the world an example. But, as this is very seldom found, I shall content myself with recommending it only, and make the present entertainment a mere Register of the fashions that are by turns in vogue, with a hint or two at the characters of the inventors. I shall not busy myself with the ladies Shoes and Stockings at all; it may serve to recal some ideas to the young fellows of this age, which it does not become my character and office to encourage; but I cannot so easily pass over the Hoop when it is in my way, and therefore I must beg pardon of my fair readers, if I begin my attack where the above-mentioned pretty gentlemen end theirs. It is now some years since this remarkable fashion made a figure in the world, and, from its first beginning, divided the public opinion, as to its convenience and beauty. For my own part, I was always willing to indulge it, under some restrictions; that is to say, if it is not a rival to the dome of St. Paul's, to incumber the way, or a tub for the resistance of a new Diogenes; if it does not eclipse too much beauty above, or discover too much below.--In short, I am for living in peace; and I am afraid a fine lady, with too much liberty in this particular, would render my own imagination an enemy to my repose.

"The Farthingal, according to several paintings, and even history itself, is as old as Queen Elizabeth, of blessed memory, though it is possible it had its original in the same manner with the hoop, and was worn as universally: but the prudes of our days revived it in stark opposition to that fashion, and boasted that while they were in that circle, they were secure from temptation; nay, some of them have presumed to say it gave them all the chastity of that heroic Princess, who died, as she had lived, a virgin, after so many years of trial.--N. B. Her Maids of Honour wore Farthingals as well as her Majesty, and undoubtedly participated of the same virtue, though I submit that point to the examination of the learned.

"The Stay is a part of modern dress that I have an invincible aversion to, as giving a stiffness to the whole frame, which is void of all grace, and an enemy to beauty; but, as I would not offend the ladies by absolutely condemning what they are so fond of, I will recall my censure, and only observe that even this female armour is changing mode continually, and favours or distresses the enemy according to the humour of the wearer. Sometimes the Stomacher almost rises to the chin, and a Modesty-bit serves the purpose of a Ruff: at other times it is so complaisant as not to reach half way, and the Modesty is but a transparent shade to the beauties underneath. This is what one may call opening the windows of Heaven, and giving us a view of Paradise; the other shuts up every avenue, and makes Reserve a Dragon for its security: the first may give passion too great a licence, and the last may be an injury to nature: for which reason I recommend a medium; Coquets are the encouragers of one, and Prudes of the other.

"I have no objection to make to the Tippet. It may be made an elegant and beautiful ornament; in Winter the sable is wonderfully graceful, and a fine help to the complexion: in Summer the colours and the composition are to be adapted with judgment, neither dull without fancy, nor gaudy without beauty. I have seen too many of the last; but, as I believe them to be the first trial of a child's genius in such performances, I only give this hint for their amendment.

"As the Breast-knot allows a good deal of ingenuity in the delicate choice of colours, and disposition of figure, I think it may be indulged; but very sparingly, and rather with a negligence, than the least affectation.--It seems there is a fashion even in the colours of ribands, and I have observed a beautiful purple to be lately the general mode; but it is not the beauty of the colour that recommends it so much, as the symbol it is said to bear: a set of fashionable people have thought fit to entitle themselves the Gallant Schemers, and this is the ensign of the order; this is hung out to distinguish the society, who publicly declare that gallantry is their business, and pleasure their only idol.--I thought myself obliged to make this known, that nobody, through ignorance, might be led astray.--She that invented it, is above regarding the discovery; such a liberty is but spirit and genius in quality, and only meets with censure from the vulgar.

"I come now to the Head-dress, the very highest point of female elegance; and here I find such a variety of modes, such a medley of decoration, that it is hard to know where to fix: lace and cambrick, gauze and fringe, feathers and ribands, create such a confusion, occasion such frequent changes, that it defies art, judgment, or taste, to reconcile them to any standard, or reduce them to any order.--That ornament of the hair which is styled the Horns, and has been in vogue so long, was certainly first calculated by some good-natured lady to keep her spouse in countenance; and, by sympathy, the fashion has prevailed ever since.--The _Tête de Mouton_ has made no farther progress, than those who first imported it from Paris. They inform you the wearer has seen the world, and has acquired sense enough to contemn the fashions of her own country, and courage enough to defy them.--To this may be added, the _Robe de Chambre_; and then the dull untravelled English may begin their ridicule as soon as they please; there is more pleasure in being stared at for the novelty, than there is pain in knowing they condemn it.--But, though the _Tête de Mouton_ has had no more success, we have imitations that will do as well; both sides of a fashionable head are now curled out to the best advantage, and I do not know but, by little and little, we shall be able to conquer our difficulties, and appear with a full fleece, till another foreign belle arrives to furnish us with a new extravagance.

"The High-crowned Hat, after having been confined to cots and villages for so long a time, is become the favourite mode of quality, and is the politest distinction of a fashionable undress. I quarrel with it only because it seems to be a kind of masquerade; it would insinuate an idea of innocence and rusticity, though the Park is not the likeliest place to be the scene of either: in short, if a woman is dressed like a Wood Nymph, I expect the simplicity of manners, and full force of rural nature, which is of a piece with the character; but I am generally most egregiously disappointed. Some lady who was intimate with the intrigue of romances was certainly the reviver of this custom; she had read of lucky adventures in that disguise, and fancied an amour was its inseparable companion. On which account I give public notice, that a High-crowned Hat shall be esteemed as an emblem of an amorous heart, and a signal for the first assignation that falls in the way.

"The Hat and Peruke, which has been some time made part of a lady's riding equipage, is such an odd kind of affectation, that I hardly know under what species to range it; it is such an enemy to female beauty, it is so foreign to every amiable grace, it adds such a masculine fierceness to the figure, and such a shameless boldness to every feature, that neither decency nor elegance can justify it.--None but Amazons ought to wear it; and, if any of the sex are now courageous enough to bid defiance to mankind, I must insist on their wearing the Breeches too, to make their disguise complete. But I am apt to believe it is made use of on quite different motives; it must certainly take place out of a more than ordinary regard to us, and must be meant as the highest compliment. Besides, it may serve to tickle the mind with pretty imaginations; sometimes supply the absence of a beau, and sometimes please with the resemblance. I never see one of these Heroines without ascribing some such cause for her gallantry; and always surmise with what readiness she would part with the appearance in exchange for the reality.

"The Riding Habit simply, with the black velvet cap and white feather, is, in my opinion, the most elegant dress that belongs to the ladies' wardrobe; there is a grace and gentility in it that all other dresses want; it displays the shape and turn of the body to great advantage, and betrays a negligence that is perfectly agreeable. This fashion was certainly first invented by a woman of taste; and I am pleased to see the ladies in general so well reconciled to it. It argues something like good sense in their choice still remaining; and she who makes her whole actions most conformable to that standard, will always be most secure of conquests and reputation."

Perukes were an highly important article in 1734. Those of _right gray human hair_ were four guineas each; light grizzle Ties three guineas; and other colours in proportion, to twenty-five shillings. Right gray human hair Cue Perukes from two guineas to fifteen shillings each, which was the price of dark cues: and right gray Bob Perukes two guineas and an half to fifteen shillings, the price of dark bobs. Those mixed with horse-hair were much lower. It will be observed from the gradations in price, that real gray hair was most in fashion, and dark of no estimation.

The following extracts will describe the dresses of 1735: "On his Majesty's birth-day, the Queen was in a beautiful suit, made of silk of the produce of Georgia; and the same was universally acknowleged to excel that of any other country. The Noblemen and Gentlemen wore chiefly at Court brown flowered velvets, or dark cloth Coats, laced with gold or silver, or plain velvets of various colours, and Breeches of the same; their Waistcoats were either gold stuffs, or rich flowered silks of a large pattern, with a white ground: the make much the same as has been worn some time, only many had open Sleeves to their Coats: their Tie Wigs were with large curls, setting forward and rising from the forehead, though not very high: the Ties were thick and longer than of late, and both behind; some few had Bag Wigs.

"The Ladies wore flowered silks of various sorts, of a large pattern, but mostly with a white ground with wide short Sleeves, and short Petticoats: their Gowns were pinned up variously behind, though mostly narrow. Some few had gold or silver nets on their Petticoats, and to their Facings and Robings; and some had gold and silver nets on their Gown-sleeves, like flounces: they wore chiefly fine escaloped laced Heads, and dressed mostly English. Some few had their hair curled down on the sides; but most of them had it pinned up quite strait, and almost all of them with powder, both _before and behind_. Some few had their heads made up Dutch, some with cockades of ribands on the side, and others with artificial flowers; they wore treble escaloped laced Ruffles, one fall tacked up before, and two down, but all three down behind; though some few had two falls tacked up, and one down before. Laced Tippets were much worn; some had diamond Solitaires to hook them together; others had their jewels made up bows and ends. Those without Tippets had mostly very broad-laced Tuckers, with diamond Necklaces and Ear-rings. Diamond Buckles were much worn in the shoes both of the gentlemen and ladies. Lord Castlemain made a very splendid appearance among the young noblemen in a rich gold stuff Coat; as Lady Harcourt did among the ladies, in a white ground rich silk embossed with gold and silver, and fine coloured flowers of a large pattern."

The Editor of the London Evening Post has whimsically described the dresses then prevailing, under the character of Miss Townley, in one of his papers for December 1738, who observes: "I am a young woman of fashion, who love plays, and should be glad to frequent them, as an agreeable and instructive entertainment, but am debarred that diversion by my relations, upon account of a sort of people who now fill, or rather infest the Boxes. I went the other night to the play with an aunt of mine, a well-bred woman of the last age, though a little formal. When we sat down in the front boxes, we found ourselves surrounded by a parcel of the strangest fellows that ever I saw in my life; some of them had those loose kind of great Coats on, which I have heard called _Wrap rascals_, with gold-laced Hats slouched, in humble imitation of _Stage-coachmen_: others aspired at being _Grooms_, and had dirty Boots and Spurs, with black Caps on, and long Whips in their hands: a third sort wore scanty Frocks, little shabby Hats put on one side, and Clubs in their hands. My aunt whispered me, she never saw such a set of slovenly unmannerly Footmen sent to keep places in her life; when, to her greater surprize, she saw those fellows _at the end of the act pay the box-keeper for their places_."

Claret-coloured cloths were considered as handsome suits; and light-blue, with silver button-holes, and silver garters to the knees, was very fashionable between 1740 and 1751. In the latter year a trunk containing these articles was advertised, which will be found to differ but little from some already described. "A scarlet tabby Negligée trimmed with gold; a green tabby Petticoat trimmed also with gold; a white damask Negligée, trimmed with a blue snail blond lace, with a Petticoat of the same; a silver brocade silk Negligée trimmed with pink-coloured silk; a white fustian Riding-habit turned up with blue, and laced with silver, a Petticoat of the same, and a Waistcoat trimmed also with silver."

When our present Queen landed in England 1761, she was habited in a gold Brocade with a white ground; had a Stomacher ornamented with diamonds; and wore a Fly-cap with richly laced Lappets. Such was the then female British dress, which her Majesty adopted in compliment to her Royal consort's subjects.

General Napier lost by robbery in the same year "a painted silk Negligée and Petticoat, the ground white, a running pattern of flowers and leaves, the edges of the leaves painted in silver, and the veins gold, with some birds and butterflies painted thereon."

The author of "Historical Remarks on Dress," published in 1761 by Jefferies, asserts, that party-coloured Coats were first worn in England in the time of Henry I.; Chaplets, or wreaths of artificial flowers, in the time of Edward III.; Hoods and short Coats without sleeves, called Tabarts, in the time of Henry IV.; Hats in the time of Henry VII.; Ruffs in the reign of Edward VI.; and wrought Caps or Bonnets in the time of Queen Elizabeth. Judge Finch introduced the Band in the time of James I. French Hoods, Bibs, and Gorgets, were discontinued by the Queen of Charles I. The Commode or Tower was introduced in 1687; Shoes of the then fashion in 1633; Breeches, instead of Trunk Hose, in 1654. And Perukes were first worn after the Restoration.


"_The French Night-cap._

"Our fine women have, by covering their cheeks with this fashion, put their faces into eclipse. Each lady, when dressed in this mode, can only peep under the lace border. Perhaps they are intended, like blinds to a horse's head-harness, to teach ladies to look forward.--A good hint, however.

"It has been whispered, indeed, that this mode is an introduction to Popery; it is to bring in the veil by and by, and a sort of trial, to see how our English Toasts will take it.

"Some ill-natured persons, indeed, go so far as to say, that every woman who wears these visage-covers, has done something she should be a little ashamed of, and therefore do not care to shew much of her face.

"_The Ranelagh Mob; or the Hood from Low Life._

"This is a piece of gauze, minionett, catgut, or Leicester web, &c. &c. which is clouted about the head, then crossed under the chin, and brought back to fasten behind, the two ends hanging down like a pair of pigeons tails.

"This fashion was copied from the silk-handkerchiefs which Market-women tie over their ears, roll about their throats, and then pin up to the nape of their necks.

"They were first worn in the Inner-square of Covent-garden market, among the green-stalls; it was from thence introduced into the outward-square or Piazzas among the stalls there.

"Mrs. Jane Douglass (of procuring memory) who was a very great market-woman in her way, was the first who made a Scotch lawn double neck handkerchief into the Mob above-mentioned.

"Her female boarders would do as the mistress did, to be sure; and, after a little cut and contrivance, away they whisked in them to Ranelagh.

"The ladies of fashion there, who sometimes dress almost like ladies of the town, immediately took the hint. The fashion flew abroad upon the wings of whim; and, as Schioppius observes, instantly spread itself over the face of the land.

"_The Mary Queen of Scots Cap_,

"Edged down the face with French beads, was very becoming to some complexions; but as the Cap was made of black gauze, and saved washing, it has too much good housewifery in it, ever to be immense taste.

"_The Fly Cap._

"This is fixed upon the forehead, forming the figure of an over-grown butterfly, resting upon its head, with outstretched wings; it is much worn at present, not that it either adds to the colour or outlines of the face; but as these Caps are edged with garnets, topazes, or brilliants, they are very sparkling; and a side-box appearance is not now altogether the consultation of elegance, but ornament.

"Therefore those ladies who make the most show, are looked upon to be the finest women.

"It is become a very interesting dispute, among the connoisseurs in general, whether the present Turban-roll, which is now wore round the Mecklenburgh Caps, was taken from the Ægyptian Fillet, the Persian Tiara, or Wreath round the eldest Faustina's temples?

"By way of Postscript we may add, that the ladies, as to their Shoe-heels, go just as they did, no fixed measure, some as broad as a tea-cup's brim, some as narrow as the china circle the cup stands upon.

"Bell-hoops, Blond-laces, Pompoons, Neck-laces as usual. Modesty-bits--out of fashion; and Hats are trimmed as every person pleases."


"_First Chapter. Of Hats; after Hippocrates._

"Hats are now worn, upon an average, six inches and three fifths broad in the brim, and cocked between Quaker and Kevenhuller. Some have their Hats open before, like a church-spout, or the tin scale they weigh flower in: some wear them rather sharper, like the nose of a greyhound; and we can distinguish by the taste of the Hat, the mode of the wearer's mind. There is the military cock, and the mercantile cock; and while the beaux of St. James's wear their Hats under their arms, the beaux of Moorfields-mall wear their's diagonally over their left or right eye.

"Sailors wear the sides of their Hats uniformly, tacked down to the crown; and look as if they carried a triangular apple-pasty upon their heads.

"I hope no person will think us disaffected; but when we meet any of the new-raised infantry wearing the buttons of their Hats bluff before, and the trefoil white worsted shaking as they step, we cannot help thinking of French figure-dancers.

"With the Quakers, it is a point of their faith not to wear a button, or loop tight up; their Hats spread over their heads like a pent-house, and darken the outward man, to signify they have the inward light.

"Some wear their Hats (with the corner that should come over their foreheads in a direct line) pointed into the air; those are the Gawkies.

"Others do not above half cover their heads, which is indeed owing to the shallowness of their crowns; but between beaver and eye-brows expose a piece of blank forehead, which looks like a sandy road in a surveyor's plan. Indeed, people should hide as much of the face under their Hats as possible; for very few there are but what have done something for which they ought to be out of countenance.

"I remember at a droll society established in Dublin, called 'The Court of Nassau,' a gentleman was indicted for wearing his Hat in the Court: the Attorney-general moved, in favour of the defendant, that the indictment was falsely laid; for in it was expressed, the gentleman had his Hat upon his head; and the Attorney proved his client not to have a head. Now if, in London, no persons were to wear Hats but such as have heads, what would become of the hatters? Yet this we may safely avow, that a man may shew by his Hat whether he has a head; or at least by the decorating it, whether his head is properly furnished. A gold button and loop to a plain Hat distinguishes a person to be a little lunatic; a gold band round it shews the owner to be very dangerously infected; and, if a tassel is added, the patient is incurable.

"A man with a Hat larger than common, represents the fable of the Mountain in labour; and the Hats edged round with a gold binding, belong to brothers of the Turf.

"_Second Chapter. Upon Wigs._

"Elaborately have both antients and moderns expressed themselves concerning the brain, the pineal gland, ideas, and cogitations, by which the head, or the animal spirits of the head, properly trammeled, might pace in good order.

"But the only persons who can properly be of benefit to heads, are periwig-makers, and Doctor Monro, Physician to Moorfields Hospital.

"Wigs are as essential to every person's head, as lace is to their clothes; and although understanding may be deficient in the wearer as well as money, yet people dressed out look pretty; and very fine gentlemen thus embellished represent those pots upon Apothecaries' shelves which are much ornament, but always stand empty.

"Behold a Barber's block unadorned: can we conceive any higher idea of it, than that of a bruiser just preparing to set to? Indeed, with a foliage round the temples, it might serve in an Auction-room for the bust of a Cæsar; and, provided it was properly worm-eaten, would be bid for accordingly. But of that hereafter: our business now is to shew the consequence of Wigs.


"The 'Prentice Minor-bob, or Hair-cap; this is always short in the neck, to show the stone Stock-buckle, and nicely stroaked from the face, to discover seven-eighths of the ears; and every Smart we meet so headed seems, like Tristram Shandy, to have been skaiting against the wind; and his hair, by the sharpness of the motion, shorn from his face.

"Next the Citizen's Sunday Buckle, or Bob-major; this is a first-rate, bearing several tiers of curls, disposed in upper, middle, and lower order.

"Then the Apothecary's Bush, in which the Hat seems sinking like a stone into a snow heap.

"The Physical and Chirurgical Ties carry much consequence in their foretops; and the depending knots fall fore and aft the shoulders, with _secundum artem_ dignity.

"The Scratch, or the Blood's Skull-covering, is combed over the forehead, untoupeed, to imitate a head of hair, because those gentlemen love to have every thing natural about them.

"The Jehu's Jemmy, or White and all white, in little curls, like a fine fleece on a lamb's back, we should say something upon, were it not for fear of offending some gentlemen of great riches, who love to look like coachmen.

"_Third Chapter. Frocks, Coats, Surtouts, and Walking-sticks._

"Every gentleman now, by the length of his skirts, seems Dutch-waisted, or like a Bridewell-boy, with a garment down to mid-leg; and they are so much splashed sometimes behind, that I have, when following in a dirty day one of those very fashionable frock-wearers, been tempted to call out--'Pray, dear Sir, pin up your petticoats.'

"Then their cuffs cover entirely their wrists, and only the edge of the ruffles are to be seen; as if they lived in the slovenly days of Lycurgus, when every one was ashamed to show clean linen.

"The Mode-makers of the age have taken an antipathy to the leg; for by their high-topped Shoes, and long trowser-like Breeches, with a broad knee-band, like a compress for the Rotula, a leg in high taste is not longer than a Common Councilman's tobacco-stopper.

"Fine scarlet shag Frocks were becoming, while no persons appeared in them but real gentlemen; but since tumblers, strolling-players, and French figure-dancers, dress themselves in such martial outsides, it is to be presumed, every one else will quit this very lasting habiliment, unless he has a mind to pass for one of those exotics above-mentioned.

"Blue Manchester velvets, with gold cords, or rich button-holes, are generally the uniform of bum-bailiffs, slight-of-hand men, and money-droppers. But plain suits of those cottons, of grave colours, are the dress of shop-riders, and country traders.

"Walking-sticks are now almost reduced to an useful size.

"Is it not wonderful we should put forth so many paragraphs concerning female fantasticalness as we are prone to do, and never consider that our own heads are but mere Piece-brokers' shops, full of the remnants of fashion. Do not some of us strut about with walking-sticks as long as leaping-poles, as if we were pioneers to the troop of Hickerry-cutters; or else with a yard of varnished cane, scraped taper, and bound at one end with wax-thread, and the other tipt with a neat-turned ivory head, as big as a silver penny, which switch we hug under our arms so jemmy?--Could our forefathers be such fools? Like enough, faith; and as we are but twigs of the same trunks, we scorn to degenerate from our ancestors.

"Surtouts now have four laps on each side, which are called Dog's-ears; when these pieces are unbuttoned, they flap backwards and forwards, like so many supernumerary patches, just tacked on at one end; and the wearer seems to have been playing many bouts at back-sword, till his Coat is cut to pieces. When they are buttoned up, they appear like comb-cases, or pacquets for a penny-postman to sort his letters in. Very spruce smarts have no buttons nor holes upon the breast of these their Surtouts, save what are upon the ears; and their garments only wrap over their breasts, like a Morning Gown--a proof, that dress may be made too fashionable to be useful.

"How far several sorts of people dress above themselves, and 'wear the cost of Princes on unworthy shoulders,' is not in the compass of our plan to examine; but we must beg leave to observe, that propriety in dress is an indication to a fine understanding; and those persons are blessed with the nicest tastes who never sacrifice sense to show, or derogate from that great rule of right, the Golden Mean."

The Countess Dowager of Effingham was robbed of the Robes which she wore at the Coronation, and other dresses; and thus described them in an advertisement: "Coronation Robes with a silver tissue Petticoat, the gold trimmings to the Petticoat, and the tassels, &c. to the Robe taken off, and put into papers; a scarlet-flowered damask Mantua Petticoat, very richly embroidered with silver; an uncut red-flowered velvet Mantua Petticoat, trimmed with silver flounces of net with silver tassels; a very rich blue and silver Mantua Petticoat, with a figured ground; a Mantua Petticoat white and gold, with figured ground; a white satin Gown and Petticoat; a brown satin Sack richly brocaded with silver; a new satin Sack and Petticoat, white satin ground brocaded with yellow; a scarlet unwatered tabby Sack and Petticoat; a white tissue flowered Sack and Petticoat; a white and silver Sack; a red satin Fly Petticoat, with a broad silver orrice at the bottom; a quilted red silk Petticoat; and a blue and gold Turkey silk Sack and Petticoat."

A person whose name is not mentioned, influenced by the same cause as the Countess, described clothes as follows: "A brocaded lustring Sack with a ruby-coloured ground and white tobine stripes trimmed with _floss_; a _black_ satin Sack flowered with _red_ and _white flowers_ trimmed with _white_ floss; a pink and white striped tobine Sack and Petticoat trimmed with white floss; and a garnet-coloured lustring Night-gown, with a tobine stripe of green and white, trimmed with floss of the same colour, and lined with straw-coloured lustring."

Such were the gawdy fashions of our dames _circa_ 1763. Are we not improved in our taste, good reader?

The rational change adopted soon after of wearing the natural Hair instead of Wigs produced the following petition, which is worth recording, as it marks an æra in an essential turn of public opinion. A Wig is necessary to him whose hair falls from the head; but that young persons should shave off their own locks, and adopt those of others, seems so absurd, that we wonder at the folly of the practice.

"To the KING'S Most Excellent MAJESTY.

"The Petition of the Master Peruke-makers of the Cities of London and Westminster, on behalf of themselves and the whole of their distressed Brethren of the Trade in Great Britain,

"Most humbly sheweth,

"That your Petitioners feel the utmost reluctance to prefer complaints to your Majesty. But the great distresses which they already labour under, and the expectation and even certainty of the continual increase of them unless timely averted, compels them to cast themselves at your Majesty's feet, and humbly implore your gracious attention to their sufferings:

"That themselves, and the several manufacturers depending on them, such as hair-manufacturers, ribbon-weavers, cawl-makers, &c. do amount to such a number, that they fear they should not be credited if they were to give a modest estimate of it; for they conceive the thousands thus employed are little if at all inferior to what can be boasted by any one manufactory in your Majesty's dominions:

"That out of this number of your Majesty's most loyal and dutiful subjects, there is a multitude already actually reduced to the want of the common necessaries of life; and that the whole body must seek subsistence in some different employ, at the risque of perishing miserably by a failure in the attempt, unless some means can be speedily found to support their falling trade, fatally wounded by the present mode of fashion which so generally prevails, of men in almost all stations wearing their own hair:

"That this mode, pernicious enough in itself to their trade, is rendered excessively more so by swarms of French hair-dressers already in these Cities, and daily increasing, who by artifice more than merit, as your Petitioners humbly presume, and by that facility with which your Majesty's British subjects are too much inclined to prefer French skill and taste in every article of dress (by which the most considerable manufactories in these kingdoms, as well as those of your Petitioners, do greatly suffer), find means to get employment, to the privation of that pittance to your Majesty's natural subjects which the fashion itself would still leave in their power to obtain:

"That, by the present fashion, your Petitioners are compelled to a breach of the command of God and man, and a course of disobedience to your Majesty's proclamation, wisely intended for the benefit of all your Majesty's subjects; for the Lord's day, designed for their instruction and confirmation in the principles of virtue and piety, is to such of your Petitioners as can yet find employment, the day, of all others, on which they are most hurried and confused; and a refusal to comply with any order from their employers on that day amounts to a resolution of starving at once. This is a hardship of so peculiar a nature, that your Petitioners humbly conceive no considerable body of your Majesty's subjects labour under it in any manner proportionally as they do. May they be permitted to say, that they tremble for themselves and their children, lest by this unavoidable absence from the sacred duties of that day, and the misemployment of it entirely to worldly pursuits, they become as those that knew not God, while their fellow-subjects are happy in the inestimable privilege of attending and discharging their religious duties, and imbibing continually the precepts that teach to bear a conscience void of offence, to fear God, and honour the King?

"Pressed by the weight of these sufferings; feeling their trade failing under them; sensible of the impending ruin of the several manufactories dependent on them, beholding great and daily increasing numbers of their journeymen in a starving and despairing condition; beholding also the subjects of France feeding on the only fragments they might hope to subsist on; and urged by every consideration interesting to human nature; your Petitioners have at last ventured on an application to the only earthly power able to save them from the torrent which is bearing them down to destruction. Their hearts prompt them to believe, that to know and to relieve the distresses of your subjects, is the same thing with your Majesty; in which sentiment they are fully confirmed by many Royal Acts since the commencement of your reign, and by none more than that which rescued the poor from the scourge of the oppressors, by reducing the price of provisions. Your Petitioners feel this effect of Royal paternal care, and gratefully bless the protecting hand.

"Your Petitioners therefore, with submissive hope and dutiful resignation, leave to your Majesty's consideration the merits of their Petition; and whether your Majesty's gracious condescension, by example and countenance, is not the only means whereby unimagined numbers can possibly be saved from the deepest misery; humbly praying such commiseration and relief in their present deplorable situation as to your Majesty shall seem meet. And they shall ever pray, &c.

"The above Petition was presented to his Majesty on Monday last; to which he was most graciously pleased to return the following answer: 'That he held nothing dearer to his heart than the happiness of his people; and that they may be assured, he should at all times use his endeavours to promote their real welfare[353:A].'"

The Ladies Head-dress in 1765 is said to have exactly resembled that of Mary Queen of Scots as represented in her portraits.

Court Mournings were continued for a most unreasonable length of time previous to 1768, and became very prejudicial to the Manufacturer and Retailer; but remonstrances from the City of London procured the ensuing notice, which was inserted in the Gazette:

"His Majesty, in compassion to such manufacturers and people in trade as by the length of Court Mournings are, in this time of general scarcity and dearness of provisions, deprived in a great measure of the means of getting bread, hath been pleased to give directions for shortening all such mournings for the future: and the Lord Chamberlain's orders for Court Mournings will be issued hereafter conformably thereto.


The subject of Dress is now nearly exhausted; but I cannot part with the Follies of thirty years without permitting an observer to speak of one of them:

"Among the many enormous exuberances of modern dress, I believe there is one lately sprung up which you may not have noticed. You will perhaps be surprized when I tell you it is the _Cork-rump_. To explain this technical term, you are to know that the ladies have thought it conducive to elegance to make an addition to the hinder-part of their dress, by sewing several large pieces of cork under the straps of their stays, in order that, by the protuberance of this new additional rump, their waist may seem the smaller and the more delicate."

Some of the then and subsequent exuberances shall now be brought to recollection. And first, the Head--this we have seen covered with a _Cushion_, as it was termed, generally formed of horse-hair, and something like a porter's knot set upon the ends; over this the hair was combed strait, the sides curled, and the back turned up, and the whole powdered; diminutive Caps of gauze, adorned with ribands, and miniature Hats, generally of black silk trimmed, were _stuck_ on the tower of hair with long pins. The Waist was covered by a long-bodied Gown, drawn exceedingly close over stays laced still closer; the Hips sometimes supported a Bell Hoop; the Shoulders alternately small Cloaks and Cardinals, the former of muslin and silk, and the latter almost always of black silk richly laced.

This description of Female dress altered by _degrees_ to the present fashion: the Head insensibly lowered; the horse-hair gave place to large natural curls spread over the face and ears; the Cap enlarged to an enormous size, and the Bonnet swelled in proportion; Hoops were entirely discontinued, except at Court; silks became unfashionable, and printed calicoes and the finest white muslins were substituted, and still hold their influence. The Ladies have at length, much to their honour, thrown aside those hateful attempts to supply Nature's deficiencies or omissions, the false breasts, pads, and bottoms; and now appear in that native grace and proportion which distinguishes an English-woman: the Hair, cleansed from all extraneous matter, shines in beautiful lustre carelessly turned round the head in the manner adopted by the most eminent Grecian sculptors; and the Form appears through their snow-white draperies in that fascinating manner which excludes the least thought of impropriety. Their Hats and Bonnets of straw, chip, and beaver, are generally well-proportioned and handsome; and their velvet Pelisses, Shawls, and silk Spencers, are contrived to improve rather than injure the form.

But in the midst of this praise I must be permitted to make one observation; and that is, some thoughtless females indulge in the licence of freedom rather too far, and shew their persons in a manner offensive to modesty.

The Male dress changed almost insensibly from formality to ease. This was effected merely by altering the cut of the clothes: the materials are the same they were an hundred years past; the colours however are more grave. Deep blue, dark browns, mixtures, and black, are worn by the sedate and the gay, the young and the old: the former indeed sometimes appear in Coats _rather large_ for their persons; but they compensate for this oddity by stretching their Pantaloons almost to bursting, and wear something _that resembles_ the Waistcoat of a boy seven years old. The modern Hat is very convenient--a high flat crown and narrow brim, pressed down before and behind, and turned up at the sides. Square-toed Shoes have been revived; and half and whole Boots are, I believe, every thing but slept in. The modern Neckcloth should not be omitted, especially as it has undergone more ridicule than the rest of the dress in the aggregate; it is enough to say, the Neckcloth has been compared _to a towel tied under the chin_.

The Hair was a long time dressed or frizzed high on the head, like a negro's wool, and perfectly whitened with powder, and alternately plaited and turned up or queued behind. The Powder-tax occurred, and thousands of heads became in an instant black and brown; and, as the Revolution in France _deserved_ imitation, the fierce Republican head of Brutus stared us full in the front, mounted upon the shoulders of _Ladies_ and Box-lobby Loungers composed of puppies rather than men.

Since those days of horror Powder again makes its appearance with the hair cropped close, except above the forehead; there it is turned erect, in imitation of a--cock's-comb.

And now, Fashion, I bid thee, in perfect good humour, heartily farewell!


[323:A] The Bishop of Durham, within his Diocese, has many of the privileges of a Lay Peer; and Dr. Talbot had then lately succeeded to that See.

[338:A] See London Chronicle, vol. XI. p. 167, for 1762.

[353:A] London Chronicle, Feb. 14, 1763.



The annual movement of the Sun to the South renders it an indisputable fact, that the Northern climate of England must have made huts or caves indispensibly necessary to the inhabitants, at least five months of each twelve, from the hour that our country was peopled. _Ideas_ are useless on such a subject; _sensation_ is sufficient; and instinct, which compels a brute to seek shelter under ground, or in a hollow tree, from the inclemency of the season, cannot have been so far denied to the Briton as to lead him to other expedients less calculated to answer his purpose. I do not hesitate, therefore, to assert that our Aborigines fortified existence in caverns natural and artificial, and in huts constructed of branches easily separated from trees, and covered or thatched with leaves and dried plants; nay, the piling of flat stones on each other seems an operation so easy and natural, that I cannot conceive why the art should have been imported; indeed, mortar is suggested by wet earth or mud dried on river sides by the air; and who knows but that our mud walls and even mud villages now to be found in numbers North of London may be the traditionary houses of our remotest ancestors[359:A]?

After this Island was invaded, the habitations of the various nations which accomplished the invasions were introduced by imitation, and copies of Roman, Saxon, Danish, and Norman houses were doubtlessly common. The Tesselated Pavements and Baths still discovered belong to the first; but their form can only be supposed, I should imagine, from the discoveries at Herculaneum.

The Saxons have left us strong and almost eternal proofs of their skill in masonry; but I believe there is little or nothing to be found, the work of their hands, besides Ecclesiastical Buildings and Castles. It is true, the latter were _habitations_, but for the rich and powerful alone; the dwellings of the mass of the community were too frail to reach our days.

The Danes appear to have done little more than plunder and destroy. The Normans, more politic, imitated the Saxons, and left us Churches and Castellated Mansions; but still we are without domestic architecture. All these facts tend to prove, that our Cities, and even London, consisted almost wholly of wooden or framed houses plastered. Why it was so, is a problem not easily resolved; for, supposing the antient Briton ignorant of masonry before the country was invaded, the Romans immediately introduced the cutting and sculpturing of stone, such cement as we cannot now equal, and the use of bricks. Perhaps, however, the uncertain tenure of all property discouraged the Farmer and Citizen from erecting solid mansions; indeed, they were all soldiers and vassals, and their houses probably were erected by their various masters at the least possible expence. This argument may apply to the time anterior to the Norman invasion; but it will not do after London increased, and the people were made more independent. When property became secure, the houses were certainly slight and combustible; and hence the tremendous fires which have been recorded between the time of William the Conqueror and 1666.

Stone was, I presume, almost exclusively used for Palaces and the mansions of the richest Citizens; but that is readily accounted for: Stone requires no great deal of preparation; the facing received the labours of the Sculptor or Mason, but the monstrous thick wall was filled with fragments from the chissel, or rough pebbles. Besides, pillars, mouldings, and fret-work, arose without difficulty from soft stone. Could those embellishments have been produced in brick without infinite trouble? and, would they ever have looked well when joined with mortar? Is it not then plain that the noble ideas of our Princes, Nobles, and other rich men who lavished vast sums on their structures, required _Stone_ to embody them; and that, had it been common, Brick would certainly have been rejected by them? The total disuse of brick by the rich deprived the less fortunate Citizen of its advantages. The revival or introduction of any manufacture demands encouragement from the powerful; if that is withheld, who will attempt them merely on disinterested motives? Parsimony in the great revived the art of Brick-making. When a Prince found the price of labour increase, and wished to build, he first stripped the design of his architect of ornament: thus stripped, a plain surface might be composed of any hard substance; Brick naturally occurred, and bricks were made. Still the mass of the people had them not. The affluent used them both in London and in the country; but the unhappy publick, fascinated with their Wood and Plaster, at last saw one fatal flame destroy all their frail tenements at one blow. The year 1666 expelled wooden buildings from our Metropolis; and from that year Brick reigned with undiminished sway, has crept beyond all reasonable limits, and even aspired to compose Churches and Chapels.

The next object in this difficult article will be the attempt to trace different æras in Domestic Architecture. Unfortunately the fire alluded to has nearly deprived us of a possibility of so doing in London: the most antient specimen there I should suppose to be the _ecclesiastical_ lodgings appendant to Westminster Abbey in Dean's-yard. I confess, they are not strictly in point; but I have ventured to mention them, as probably somewhat resembling those of the laity. Their date is previous to 1386, as Abbot Litlington, who built them, died in that year. It will be found that the windows are small and pointed: in this particular they differ from those erected at the same period by Richard II. adjoining the West side of Westminster-hall. Litlington's lodgings are of stone; but the latter is of brick, and perhaps one of the oldest specimens of that material in England, and certainly so in London. Part of it was recently taken down to widen the street, but enough remains to convince us œconomy prevailed in a very considerable degree at the date of its erection. From the time of Richard II. to that of Henry VIII. brick edifices were erected at intervals. In the reign of Henry VII. the pointed style became so expensive, through the introduction of excessive ornament, that its declination might readily be foreseen: accordingly the rich had recourse to brick; and when Henry VIII. dissolved religious houses, the pious had no motive to continue the use of splendid architecture in erecting or supporting Churches and Abbeys.

But I would not be understood to mean that the mansions of men of fortune were uniformly built of brick after Richard II. had introduced the use of it in London: there is at least one proof to the contrary now remaining, in the house of Sir John Crosby, erected soon after 1466. The reader, on referring to a view of that magnificent building inserted in the third volume of "Londinium Redivivum," p. 565, will find Sir John to have excelled the Monarch in his ideas of grandeur; and perceive, besides, that pointed windows with rich mullions were by no means confined to churches and ecclesiastical lodgings; and the roof will convince him that pendents pierced and flattened arches were not first introduced in the reign of Henry VIII.

The old gateway of St. James's Palace is a good specimen of brick architecture of that reign. Somerset-house, built in the reign of Edward VI. was an awkward imitation of the Grecian style; and the intercolumniations in several instances were filled with appropriate niches: but the remainder of those of the front had the old English angular window, with mullions of the same figure; the wings were more correct; that part of the Palace which faced the Thames resembled the style of St. James's before Inigo Jones altered it[364:A].

If we may credit the date, there is one house in Bishopsgate-street, almost adjoining St. Botolph's church, coæval with Sir John Crosby's, which resembles many others known to have been built in far subsequent periods. Whether the house alluded to of framed wood and plaster is really of the age mentioned is of little importance; but I think it may be safely adduced as a probable type of the mansions of tradesmen of very remote days.

Anderson says, in his History of Commerce, that most of the houses in London were thatched with straw in 1246; and that chimneys were not known to the inhabitants of the wooden houses even in 1300. According to this gentleman, they sat round stoves in the midst of smoke, which I suppose he intends to infer escaped through the doors and windows. The assertion that chimneys were _not known_ at that period is confuted by every old Castle in the kingdom. How the poorest classes fared in this particular, is another consideration.

[Illustration: _The Palace at Croydon_]

[Illustration: _Brick gate, near Bromley_]

There were numbers of private mansions erected in the reigns of Edward, Mary, Elizabeth, and James I.; most of which were of brick with stone quoins, ornaments, and window frames; for instance, Holland and Camden houses, Wyer-hall, the Middle Temple-hall, &c. &c. The windows of those were almost invariably angular and mullioned, and the ornaments resembled the Grecian rather than any other style. The reign of Charles I. was too unfavourable for general safety to admit the erection of many houses; but Inigo Jones appears to have improved the British imitation of the Grecian style almost to perfection. This architect, by elevating his cielings and altering the shape of windows, removed that darkness and gloom which belonged to the preceding æra.

Sir Christopher Wren completed the work commenced by Jones, and established the present favourite fashion of building; the gradations of which from splendour to extreme plainness are faithfully delineated in the prints which accompany this Volume. The examiner of those will find that our nobility and other rich persons can accommodate themselves to a house calculated for a man worth less than 200_l. per annum_, or occupy others of five times the dimensions.

We will now return to the more humble classes, and begin with some of the instances spared us by the fire of 1666. To describe those would be useless; prints are superior to the best description: the reader will have the goodness to consult them, and he will find old streets with the _projecting_ houses, and single old houses, and one or two sketches from the country to shew the Citizens' place of retirement[366:A].

Sir William Davenant drew a ludicrous yet true picture of antient London, which follows, and may be perused with double interest after a survey of the above old streets and houses, and their improved successors.

[Illustration: _The S. E. corner of Guildhall_]

[Illustration: Two buildings side by side

Building on left: _Erected in or before the reign of Queen Eliz._

_In Goswell street_

_Antient inconvenience contrasted with modern convenience_

Building on right: _Erected about 1800_]

[Illustration: _The old Magazine Hyde Park_]

[Illustration: _The entrance of great Portland-street_]

[Illustration: _Part of the Priory of the Holy Trinity Aldgate_]

[Illustration: _West end of Upper Grosvenor-street_]

[Illustration: _Meux's Brewhouse built about 1796_]

[Illustration: _Devonshire House_]

[Illustration: _The west end of Upper Brook street_]

[Illustration: _View in Privy garden_]

[Illustration: _In Hanover Square_]

[Illustration: _Mansion at Twickenham_]

[Illustration: _The East side of Fitzroy Square_]

[Illustration: _The late Lord Barrymores house Piccadilly_]

[Illustration: _Langley House_]

[Illustration: _The west side of Cavendish square_]

[Illustration: _The south side of Fitzroy Square_]

[Illustration: _Entrance to Hyde Park from Park Lane_]

[Illustration: _The Duke of Manchester's_]

[Illustration: _The Minced Pie house_]

"You of this noble City are yet to become more noble by your candour to the plea between me a _Bourgeois_ of Paris, and my opponent of London; being concerned in honour to lend your attention as favourably to a stranger as to your native orator, since it is the greatest sign of narrow education to permit the borders of rivers, or strands of seas, to separate the general consanguinity of Mankind, though the unquiet nature of Man (still hoping to shake off distant power), and the incapacity of any one to sway universal empire, hath made them the bounds to divide government. But already I think it necessary to cease persuading you, who will ever deserve to be my judges; and, therefore, mean to apply myself in admonishing him who is pleased to be awhile my adversary.

"My most opinionated antagonist (for a Londoner's opinion of himself is no less noted than his opinion of his Beef before the Veal of Italy), you should know that the merit of Cities consists not in their fair and fruitful situation, but in the manners of the Inhabitants; for, where the situation excels, it but upbraids their minds if they be not proportionable to it. And, because we should more except against the constancy of minds than their mutability, when they incline to error, I will first take a survey of yours in the long-continued deformity of the _shape_ of your City, which is of your buildings.

"Sure your ancestors contrived your narrow streets in the days of wheel-barrows, before those greater engines _Carts_ were invented. Is your climate so _hot_, that as you walk you need umbrellas of tiles to intercept the Sun? Or, are your shambles so empty, that you are afraid to take in fresh air, lest it should sharpen your stomachs? Oh, the _goodly_ Landscape of _Old Fish-street_! which, had it not had the ill-luck to be crooked, was narrow enough to have been your founder's perspective; and where the garrets (perhaps not for want of architecture, but, through _abundance of amity_) are so made, that opposite neighbours may shake hands without stirring from home. Is unanimity of inhabitants in wise Cities better expressed, than by their coherence and uniformity of building, where streets begin, continue, and end in a like stature and shape? But yours (as if they were raised in a general insurrection, _where every man hath a several design_) differ in all things that can make distinction. Here stands one that aims to be a _Palace_, and, next it, another that professes to be a _Hovel_. Here a Giant, there a Dwarf; here slender, there broad; and all most admirably different in their faces, as well as in their height and bulk. I was about to defy any Londoner, who dares pretend there is so much ingenious correspondence in this City, as that he can shew me one house like another. Yet your old houses seem to be reverend and formal, being compared to the fantastical works of the moderns; which have more ovals, niches, and angles, than are in your custards, and are enclosed with pasteboard walls, like those of malicious Turks, who, because themselves are not immortal, and cannot ever dwell where they build, therefore will not be at the charge to provide such lastingness as may entertain their children out of the rain; so slight and so prettily gaudy, that if they could move, they would pass for pageants. It is your custom, where men vary often the mode of their habits, to term the nation fantastical; but, where streets continually change fashion, you should make haste to chain up the City; for it is certainly mad.

"You would think me a malicious traveller, if I should still gaze on your mis-shapen Streets, and take no notice of the beauty of your River; therefore I will pass the importunate noise of your Watermen (who snatch at fares as if they were to catch prisoners, plying the gentry so uncivilly, as if they had never rowed any other passengers but Bear-wards), and now step into one of your pease-cod Boats, whose tilts are not so sumptuous as the roofs of Gondalo's, nor, when you are within, are you at the ease of _Chaise-a-bras_. The community and trade of your River belongs to yourselves; but give a Stranger leave to share in the pleasure of it; which will hardly be in the prospect or freedom of air, unless prospect consisting of variety be made with here a Palace, there a wood-yard, here a garden, there a brew-house. Here dwells a Lord, there a Dyer, and between both _Duomo Commune_. If freedom of air be inferred in the liberty of the subject, where every private man hath authority, for his own profit, to smoke up a Magistrate; then the air of your Thames is open enough, because it is equally free. I will forbear to visit your courtly neighbours at Wapping; not that it will make me giddy to shoot your Bridge, but that I am loth to disturb the _civil silence_ of Billingsgate, which is so great as if the Mariners were always landing to storm the Harbour; therefore, for brevity's sake, I will put to shore again, though I should be constrained, even without my Goloshoes, to land at Puddle-dock.

"I am now returned to visit your Houses, where the roofs (cielings) are so low, that I presume your ancestors were very mannerly, and stood bare to their wives (for I cannot discern how they could wear their high-crowned hats). Yet will I enter; and therefore oblige you much, when you know my aversion to the odour of a certain weed (Tobacco) that governs amongst your coarser acquaintance, as much as Lavender amongst your linen, to which, in my apprehension, your Sea-coal smoke seems a very Portugal perfume. I should here hasten to a period, for fear of suffocation, if I thought you so ungracious to use it in public assemblies; and yet I see it grow so much in fashion, that methinks your children begin to play with broken pipes, instead of corals, to make way for their teeth. You will find my visit short; I cannot stay to eat with you, because your bread is too heavy, and you disdain the slight sustenance of herbs: your drink is too thick, and yet you are seldom over-curious in washing your glasses. Nor will I lodge with you, because your beds seem, to our alcoves, no bigger than coffins; and your curtains so short, as they will hardly serve to inclose your Carriers in Summer; and may be held, if Taffata, to have lined your Grandsires shirts. But though your houses are thin, yet your kitchens are well lined with beef; and the plentiful exercise of your chimneys makes up that canopy of smoke which covers your City; whilst we on the Continent are well contented with a clear sky, entertain flesh as a regale; and we, your poor French frogs, are fain to sing to sallad. You boast that your servants feed better than masters at Paris; and we are satisfied when ours are better taught than fed. You allow yours idleness and high nourishment, to raise their mettle; which is, to make them rude for the honour of Old-England; we inure ours to labour and temperance, that we may allay them; which is to make them civil for the quiet of France. Yours drink malt, and the strong broth of malt, which makes them bold, hot, and adventurous to be soon in command: ours are cooled with weak water, which doth quench their arrogance, and makes them fit to obey long. We plant the Vineyard, and you drink the Wine; by which you beget good spirits, and we get good money. You keep open houses for all that bring you in mirth, till your estate run out of doors, and find new landlords: we shut our gate to all but such whose conversation brings in profit; and so, by the help of what you call ill-nature and parsimony, have the good luck to keep our inheritance for our issue.

"Before I leave you in your Houses (where your estates are managed by your servants, and your persons educated by your Wives), I will take a short survey of your Children: to whom you are so terrible, that you seem to make use of authority whilst they are young, as if you knew it would not continue till their manhood: you begin with them in such rough discipline, as if they were born mad, and you meant to fright them into their wits again before they had any to lose. When they increase in years, you make them strangers; keeping them at such distance, out of jealousy they should presume to be your companions, that, when they reach manhood, they use you as if they were none of your acquaintance. If you take pains to teach them any thing, it is only what they should not learn, bashfulness; which you interpret to be their respect to you, but it rather shews they are in trouble, and afraid of you; and not only of you, but all that are older than themselves; as if youth were a crime, or as if you had a greater quarrel to Nature than to the Devil. You seem to teach them to be ashamed of their persons, even when you are willing to excuse their faults. This education you give them at home; but though you have frequently the pride to disdain the behaviour of other nations, yet you have sometimes the discretion to send your sons abroad to learn it. To Paris they come, the school of Europe; where is taught the approaches and demeanours towards power; where they may learn honour, which is the generous honesty, which is the civil boldness of courts. But there they arrive not to converse with us, but themselves; to see the gates of the Court, not to enter and frequent it; or to take a hasty survey of greatness as far as envy, but not to study it as far as imitation; at last return home, despising those necessary virtues which they took not pains to acquire; and are only ill-altered in their dress and mind, by making that a deformity in seeming over-careful and forced, which we make graceful in being negligent and easy. I have now left your Houses, and am passing through your Streets; but not in a Coach, for they are uneasily hung, and so narrow that I took them for a Sedan upon wheels: nor is it safe for a stranger to use them, till the quarrel be decided, whether six of your nobles, sitting together, shall stop, and give place to as many barrels of beer. Your City is the only Metropolis of Europe where there is a wonderful dignity belonging to Carts. Master Londoner, be not so hot against Coaches: take advice from one who eats much sorrel in his broth. Can you be too civil to such gentry as bravely scorn to be provident?--who, when they have no business here to employ them, nor public pleasures to divert them, yet even then kindly invent occasions to bring them hither, that at your own rates they may change their land for our wares, and have purposely avoided the coarse study of arithmetick, lest they should be able to affront you with examining your accompts.

"I wonder at your riches, when I see you drink in a morning; but more at your confidence, when I see gray-beards come out of a tavern, and stay at the door to make the last debate of their business; and I am yet more amazed at your health, when I taste your wine; but most of all at your politicks, in permitting such public poisoning, under the style of free mystery, to encourage trade and diligence.

"I would now make a safe retreat, but that methinks I am stopped by one of your heroic games, called _Foot-ball_; which I conceive (under your favour) not very conveniently civil in the streets, especially in such irregular and narrow roads as _Crooked-lane_. Yet it argues your courage much like your military pastime of Throwing at Cocks. But your mettle would be more magnified (since you have long allowed those valiant exercises in the street) to draw your Archers from Finsbury, and, during high market, let them shoot at butts in Cheapside. I have now no more to say but what refers to a few private notes, which I shall give you in a whisper when we meet in Moorfields; from whence (because the place was for public pleasure, and to shew the magnificence of your City) I shall desire you to banish the laundresses and bleachers, whose acres of old linen make a show like the fields of Carthagena, when the five months' shifts of the whole fleet are washed and spread."

The following letter from the celebrated Erasmus to Dr. Francis, Physician to Cardinal Wolsey, will afford a disgusting view of the interior of common dwellings in the reign of Henry VIII.:

"I often wonder, and not without concern, whence it comes to pass, that England for so many years hath been continually afflicted with pestilence; and above all with the sweating-sickness, which seems in a manner peculiar to that country. We read of a City which was delivered from a plague of long continuance, by altering the buildings according to the advice of a certain philosopher. I am much mistaken, if England, by the same method, might not find a cure. First of all, they are totally regardless concerning the aspect of their doors and windows to the East, North, &c. Then they build their chambers so that they admit not a thorough air, which yet, in Galen's opinion, is very necessary. They glaze a great part of the sides with small panes, designed to admit the light and exclude the wind; but these windows are full of chinks, through which enters a percolated air, which, stagnating in the room, is more noxious than the wind.

"As to the floors, _they are usually made of clay, covered with rushes_ that grew in fens, which are so slightly removed now and then, that the lower part remains _sometimes for twenty years together_, and in it a collection of spittle, vomit, urine of dogs and men, beer, scraps of fish, and other filthiness not to be named. Hence, upon change of weather, a vapour is exhaled, very pernicious, in my opinion, to the human body. Add to this, that England is not only surrounded with the sea, but in many parts is fenny, and intersected with streams of a brackish water; and that salt fish is the common and the favourite food of the poor. I am persuaded that the Island would be far more healthy, if the use of these rushes were quite laid aside, and the chambers so built as to let in the air on two or three sides, with such glass windows as might be either thrown quite open, or kept quite shut, without small crannies to let in the wind. For, as it is useful sometimes to admit a free air, so is it sometimes to exclude it. The common people laugh at a man who complains that he is affected by changeable and cloudy weather; but, for my part, for these thirty years past, if I ever entered into a room which had been uninhabited for some months, immediately I grew feverish. It would also be of great benefit, if the lower people could be persuaded to eat less of their salt fish; and if public officers were appointed to see that the streets were kept free from mud and ----, and that not only in the City, but in the Suburbs. You will smile, perhaps, and think that my time lies upon my hands, since I employ it in such speculations; but I have a great affection for a country which received me so hospitably for a considerable time, and I shall be glad to end the remainder of my days in it if it be possible. Though I know you to be better skilled in these things than I pretend to be, yet I could not forbear from giving you my thoughts, that, if we are both of a mind, you may propose the project to men in authority; since even Princes have not thought such regulations to be beneath their inspection."

The tyrant who then reigned could not plead ignorance of the causes which almost depopulated London. A physician cannot offend when he talks of health to his patron. Wolsey must have heard the above truths repeated by Francis, and the _name_ of Erasmus must have enforced his arguments: the haughty Cardinal accomplished far more unworthy objects with his master than a consideration of the health of his people would have been; therefore each were criminal in not doing that for the benefit of the publick which a nod from absolute power could effect. A despicable disregard of decency evidently prevailed in the royal breasts of the Monarchs who reigned between the Conquest and the great Fire; the plague, the leprosy, and the sweating-sickness, reigned with them; filth in the dark confined streets, and filth in every house, made infection eternal; and yet not one step appears to have been taken in obedience to instinct--Instinct makes a man inimical to dirt.

Heaven be praised, old London _was burnt_. Good reader, turn to the views, in order to see what it has been; observe those hovels convulsed; imagine the chambers within them, and wonder why the plague, the leprosy, and the sweating-sickness, raged. Turn then to the prints illustrative of our present dwellings, and be happy.

The misery of 1665 must have operated on the minds of the Legislature and the Citizens, when they rebuilt and inhabited their houses. The former enacted many salutary clauses for the preservation of health, and would have done more, had not the publick rejected that which was for their benefit; those who preferred high habitations and narrow dark streets had them. It is only to be lamented, that we are compelled to suffer for their folly. These errors are now frequently partially removed by the exertion of the Corporation of London; but a complete reformation is impossible.

It is a fallacy to say that the New River now exclusively _prevents_ infectious disorders by the distribution of its water through the City, as it is well known to have been introduced to the houses very many years before 1665. It is to the improved dwellings composed of brick, the wainscot or papered walls, the high cielings, the boarded floors, and large windows, and cleanliness, that we are indebted for the general preservation of health since 1666. From that auspicious year the very existence of the natives of London improved; their bodies moved in a large space of pure air; and, finding every thing clean and new around them, they determined to keep them so. Previously-unknown luxuries and improvements in furniture were suggested; and a man of moderate fortune saw his house vie with, nay superior to, the old palaces of his governors. When he paced his streets, he felt the genial Western breeze pass him, rich with the perfumes of the country, instead of the stench described by Erasmus; and looking upward, he beheld the beautiful blue of the air, variegated with fleecy clouds, in place of projecting black beams and plaster, obscured by vapour and smoke. But there were other blessings, which he thought not of, that are attained by his successors; and those I shall proceed to describe chronologically, after introducing the assertions of M. de Grosley on the state of London with respect to Cleanliness _circa_ 1750. That gentleman observes, in his Tour to London, that "the plate, hearth-stones (generally marble), moveables, apartments, doors, stairs, the very street-doors, their locks, and the large brass knockers (almost exclusively iron at present), are every day washed, scowered, or rubbed. Even in lodging-houses, the middle of the stairs is often covered with carpeting, to prevent them from being soiled. All the apartments in the house have mats or carpets; and the use of them has been adopted some years since by the French."

The streets of London must have been dangerously dark during the winter nights before it was burnt: lanterns with candles were very sparingly scattered, nor was light much better distributed even in the new streets previous to the last century.

Globular lamps were introduced by Michael Cole, who obtained a patent July 1708; a copy of the docquet for which follows: "A grant unto Michael Cole, gent. of the sole use and benefit in England and Ireland of his invention of a _new kind of Light_, composed of one entire glass of a globular shape, with a lamp, which will give a clearer and more certain light from all parts thereof, without any dark shadows or what else may be confounding or troublesome to the sight, than any other Lamps that have hitherto been in use: To hold to the said Michael Cole, his executors, administrators, and assigns, during the term of fourteen years; with a proviso, that the said invention shall not before the determination of the term of twenty-one years (which commenced June 24, 1694) be used within the City of London, or the liberties thereof, to the prejudice of the proprietors of the public glass lights called _Convex lights, now used_ in the said City and liberties thereof; and such other provisos, prohibitions, and clauses are inserted, as were directed by warrant under her Majesty's Royal sign manual. Subscribed by Mr. Solicitor General.

"JOHN WOODESON, _Dep. to Sir_ GEORGE PIERS, _Bart._"

Cole first exhibited his Globe Lamp at the door of the St. James's Coffee-house in 1709, and attended there to answer queries relating to it. He afterwards offered to dispose of his patent for the benefit of this Kingdom, as he resided in Ireland.

The ensuing report was made September 17, 1736, by Alderman Alsop and Godschall, and eight Common Council-men, appointed a Committee to consider in what manner the Act of Parliament "for the better enlightening the streets of London" might be put in execution.

"There were 1287 houses under the rent of 10_l. per annum_; 4741 of 10_l._ and under 20_l._; 3045 of 20_l._ and under 30_l._; 1849 of 30_l._ and under 40_l._; and 3092 of 40_l._ and upwards. In all 14,014 houses, then inhabited and chargeable; which were about 400 less than the Committee imagined. The number of lamps required was 4200, exclusive of those wanted for public buildings and void places, fixed at twenty-five yards distance on each side of the way in the high streets, and at thirty-five in lesser streets, lanes, &c. The several Wards of the City agreed for the lighting them at an average of 41_s. per annum per_ lamp, at which rate the expence of the 4200 amounted to 8610_l._ The fixing of those on posts and irons, averaged at 14_s._ 6_d._ each, 3045_l._; total expence 5628_l._ The rates to supply which sum were fixed as follows: Houses under 10_l._--3_s._ 6_d. per annum_; under 20_l._--7_s._ 6_d._; under 30_l._--8_s._; under 40_l._--9_s._ 6_d._; upwards of 40_l._--12_s._"

The above particulars will be sufficient to explain the manner in which London and Westminster is now lighted. The only variety that has since occurred is, the converting of the shape of the lamps from a globular form to that of a bell, and affixing them to the iron railing of the area and houses. Several attempts to introduce strong reflectors have failed, as it has been uniformly found that they injure and confuse the sight.

The shop-keepers of London are of infinite service to the rest of the inhabitants by their liberal use of the Patent Lamp, to shew their commodities during the long evenings of winter. The parish lamps glimmer above them, and are hardly distinguishable before ten o'clock.

The first essential improvement of London, after the re-building of the City, was the filling of Fleet-ditch, and forming the streets where the market is situated; and the next, the continuation of the plan to Blackfriars-bridge. The latter was suggested by the success of Westminster-bridge; and the removal of the houses and widening of the arches of London-bridge proceeded from perceiving the neat appearance and superior accommodations of the new ones.

The following is a list of "Openings to be made in the City of London, pursuant to an Act of Parliament" passed in the Session of 1760.

"In Aldersgate Ward. A passage twenty feet wide, from the East side of Aldersgate-street (opposite to Little Britain) to the West of Noble-street, opposite to Oat-lane; and through Wood-street, opposite to Love-lane.

In Aldgate Ward. A passage fifty feet wide, from the Mason's shop facing Crutched-friars, in a direct line to the Minories.

A passage, twenty-five feet wide, through Northumberland-alley, into Crutched-friars.

In Bishopsgate Ward. A passage, twenty-five feet wide, through Angel-court, in Bishopsgate-street, into Little St. Helen's.

A passage, twenty feet wide, from Broad-street, through Union-court, into Bishopsgate-street.

In Coleman-street Ward. A passage, fifty feet wide, from Tokenhouse-yard to London-wall.

In Farringdon Ward Within. A passage through Cock-alley, on Ludgate-hill, opposite to the Old Bailey, forty feet wide, into Blackfriars.

A passage, twenty-five feet wide, from Butcher-hall-lane, into Little-Britain.

In Farringdon Ward Without. A passage, thirty feet wide, in the middle of Snow-hill, to the Fleet-market.

_The following passages are to be improved and enlarged._

In Aldgate Ward. The East side of Billiter-lane, to enlarge the passage thirty feet.

The East end of Leadenhall-street, to be thirty-five feet wide.

Part of the houses on the East side of Poor Jewry-lane, beginning at the North side of the Horse and Trumpet, and extending to Gould-square, to range in a line with that end of the lane next to Aldgate; the passage to be made thirty-five feet wide.

In Broad-street Ward. The House to be pulled down at the West end of the buildings between Cornhill and Threadneedle-street, opposite to the South end of Princes-street, and the ground laid into the street.

Houses to be pulled down on the South side of Threadneedle-street, extending from the house before-mentioned Eastward, till that part of the street opposite to the Bank gates; and the passage there enlarged to thirty-five feet in width.

Coleman-street Ward. One house on the N. E. corner of the Old Jewry, and another house at the S. W. corner of Coleman-street, and the ground laid into the street.

Cordwainers' Ward. The house at the N. E. corner of Trinity-lane, near the Dog Tavern, and the ground laid into the street.

In Cornhill Ward. The house at the West end of the buildings between Cornhill and Lombard-street, and the ground laid into the street.

In Cripplegate Ward Within. The houses which project forwards at the West end of Silver-street, from the end of Monkwell-street, quite through into Aldersgate-street, to make a street forty feet wide.

The house at the corner of Aldermanbury, facing Milk-street, and the ground laid into the street.

In Farringdon Ward Within. The Tin-shop and the Trunk-maker's house, at the S. W. corner of Cheapside, leading into St. Paul's Church-yard, and the ground laid into the street.

Such part of the houses in Creed-lane as are necessary to widen the passage to thirty feet.

In Farringdon Ward Without. All the houses in Middle-row between the paved alley, adjoining to St. Sepulchre's church and Giltspur-street, from the North end quite through to the South end, facing Hart-street, and the ground laid into the street.

All the houses in Middle-row, between the Great and Little Old Bailey, from the North end facing Hart-street, to the Baptist's Head at the South end, facing the Great Old Bailey, and the ground laid into the street.

The shops under St. Dunstan's church in Fleet-street, and the ground laid into the street.

In Langbourn Ward. Such part of the houses at the end of Mark-lane, next to Fenchurch-street, as will make the passage there thirty feet wide.

Such part of the houses at the East end of Lombard-street, as will make the passage there thirty feet wide.

In Portsoken Ward. The house at the N. E. corner of Houndsditch, adjoining to the church-yard, and the ground laid into the street.

In Tower Ward. Such part of the houses on St. Dunstan's-hill, adjoining to the George Alehouse, and opposite to the Chain, and such part of the warehouses opposite to the end of St. Dunstan's Church, as will make the passage thirty feet wide.

The house on the N. W. corner of Great Tower-street, and also the house on the S. E. corner of Little Tower-street, occupied by Messrs. Julon and Lidner, to make a convenient passage.

The house in Mark-lane which adjoins to All-hallows Staining, and projects twelve feet before the other houses, to make it range in a line with the other houses, and enlarge the passage.

In Vintry Ward. The houses on the North side of Thames-street which reach from Elbow-lane to College-hill, and also those on the South side of the said street which reach from Vintner's-hall to Bull-wharf-lane, in order to make the street forty feet wide.

The house at the corner of Tower-royal, facing College-hill, to be pulled down, and the ground laid into the street.

In Walbrook Ward. The house at the N. E. corner of Bucklersbury, which projects before the other buildings.

In Bishopsgate Ward. The two houses between New Broad-street and New Broad-street-buildings."

The removal of all the City Gates promoted a better circulation of air; and London Wall gave place near Moorgate to a fine new street.

It has ever been the practice of the London builders to erect houses at the least possible expence, because their tenures are almost exclusively leasehold. Hence it is that the Editors of the Newspapers of the last century were compelled from time to time to notice the horrid effects produced by the fall of those frail buildings. I am fully convinced, that not less than one hundred lives have been lost in this way between 1700 and 1807; and that at least three times as many persons were maimed. The publick justly condemned the supineness of their officials in not preventing occurrences of this description; and the compilers of the London Chronicle say in October 1760, "In one of the morning papers is a complaint of the present method of letting leases of the City Lands, and other estates of public bodies. It is not sufficient to build Bridges; it is not enough to widen and improve Streets and Passages: no, we should examine farther. Consider what the Houses are: they are all superannuated; the City is worn out; the major part of the houses have stood much longer than they should, _many years longer than they were built for_; and, instead of being rebuilt as the leases expire, or any thing done to aggrandise and render the City conspicuous, equal to the other improvements, they are advertised again on repairing leases, and are so shamefully propped up from time to time that the City must come to decay: nay, it will be even hazardous to walk the streets."

Though the latter assertion rather exceeds the truth, it will be recollected that Houghton-street Clare-market, Wapping, the neighbourhood of Bishopsgate-street, and Billingsgate, have very recently proved that fatal consequences attend the parsimony of those landlords who repair when they should rebuild; and I think I may safely declare that there are at this moment at least 3000 houses in a dangerous state of ruin within London and Westminster, which may hereafter make their owners repent the indulgence of their avarice. He that observes the present miserable representatives of bricks and _dirt_ mortar constantly ascending in tottering piles around him, cannot wonder that houses sometimes fall with their own weight ere they are finished; and he must anticipate future consequences. The Legislature wisely enacted regulations to prevent the communication of accidental fires; but more remains to be done--let them ordain that bricks and mortar should hereafter be of a certain standard, under a heavy fine and imprisonment; and that surveyors should be appointed to order the demolition of new houses built in opposition to the clauses of the Act.

The reader who _admires_ adulteration may find enough of it thus noticed in the London Chronicle, June 2, 1764. This article evinces that I am not the first person who has reprobated the London brick-maker. "We have long complained of _alum_ bread, of small beer brewed with _treacle and water_, and porter without _malt or hops_. No one is now ignorant, that half of the best rums and brandies are but _malt spirits_; and that the quantity of port-wine which is drunk in England, by the help of _Alicant_ and _other mixtures_, more than doubly exceeds what is annually imported. And every family at this time is lamenting the unmerciful roguery of forestallers and engrossers, and those who increase the price upon all adulterated commodities, without any feeling for the consumer. But we take not the least notice of a practice that seems more hurtful to the community than any of the above--_the present method of making bricks_.

"If you go to the remains of London Wall, or examine any old brick buildings, you will find it more difficult to pull it down, than it was for the architect to raise it; but let any person attend to the continual accounts given in the papers _of the number of half-built houses that tumble down before they can be finished_, and he will tremble for those who are to inhabit the many piles of new buildings that are daily rising in this metropolis. When we consider the practice among some of the brick-makers about the town, we shall not wonder at this consequence, though we must shudder at the evil. The increase of buildings has increased the demand, and consequently the price of bricks. The demand for bricks has raised the price of brick-earth so greatly, that the makers are tempted to mix _the slop of the streets_, _ashes_, _scavengers dirt_, and every thing that will make the brick-earth or clay go as far as possible. It is said the price of this brick-earth is more than doubled within these two or three years. The Scavenger, unwilling to be behind with the Landholder, has doubled the price of ashes, trebled the price of cinders, and charges a considerable price for the filth, mud, and what they call the slop of the streets. This slop makes near one half of the composition that is to raise the enormous and very numerous buildings which are to unite London with Highgate, Bromley, Rumford, and Brentford, within these five years; unless, what seems very possible, the bricklayers, carpenters, and masons, with all their labourers and workmen, are overwhelmed in the ruins of their own buildings before the plan is finished. The Legislature has provided for our safety against the roguery of the Builders; but, unless the materials of which the bricks are made shall be taken into consideration, London may shortly resemble the City of Lisbon, without the intervention of an Earthquake."

When the Corporation of London had determined in 1766 to remove many of the inconveniences and obstructions then common in the City of London, it appeared in evidence that the Streets were generally badly paved, very dirty, and not sufficiently lighted; and that the Signs prevented a free circulation of the air and view of the Streets, while the Posts contributed to impede the passenger. Nor were the Penthouses less injurious; those, loaded with flower-pots, often occasioned dangerous hurts by the fall of the latter; and the watering of the plants in them contributed, with the projecting spouts, in rainy weather, to sluice the Citizen, who at the same time steered his undulating or zig-zag way through wheelbarrows and bawling owners. Another comfort peculiar to this period was the ambition of Shop-keepers, who encroached upon the footways by bow-windows. When an example was set, the whole fraternity, fired with emulation, thrust each new one beyond his neighbour. Such were the impediments to walking so recently as 1766! The reader may imagine how a Londoner must have felt during a high wind and shower; a thousand signs swinging on rusty hinges above him, threatening ruin to his person at every step, and a thousand spouts pouring cascades at his luckless head.

The extravagant use of Signs had been complained of early in the century, when they were described as very large, very fine with gilding and carving, and very absurd. _Golden_ perriwigs, saws, axes, razors, trees, lancets, knives, salmon, cheese, blacks' heads with gilt hair, half-moons, sugar-loaves, and Westphalia hams, were repeated without mercy from the Borough to Clerkenwell, and from Whitechapel to the Haymarket; but a person who knew what they were much better than myself thus described them under the signature of A. B. in one of the newspapers of 1764: "In the beginning of the reign of Louis XIV. the inhabitants of the City of Paris were ever complaining how sick the City was, and how fast they died: upon which, Louis consulted the Medical people what could be the cause of it: and they all agreed, that it was owing to the largeness of the Signs, which choaked up the free circulating air, which ever administers to health; upon which an edict was published, that no Sign should be more than 18 inches by 12, and all the iron perhaps may weigh four or five pounds; and I do suppose that some of the Sign-irons in London weigh four or five hundred, and some a great deal more. Soon after this edict was published, it was declared by the inhabitants, that they found a sensible difference in their healths. The general run of their streets are a little wider than Paternoster-row; a few much wider, and a great many not so wide.

"Now, when the wind blows hard upon a very broad Sign, with a great weight of Iron on the front of the house, I often wonder, that the fronts do not fall oftener than they do. In the year 1718, the front of a house, opposite Bride-lane in Fleet-street, fell down, and killed two young ladies, a cobler, and the King's Jeweller. This you may depend upon as a truth; many others were maimed, and a few more were killed, I cannot say how many: this was done by the wind blowing hard against the large Sign and Iron. These gorgeous Signs are to draw in customers; but, if they were all upon a footing, and our signs and callings were wrote as they are in the Strand, would not every body be the better for it, and a great deal of money be saved into the bargain? First, they would save their money; secondly, render the City more healthy; and thirdly, prevent people's brains being knocked out," &c. &c.

The suggestions of this and other good citizens were at length attended to; and the Court of Common Council appointed a Committee, in the same year, to consider of some method by which they might accomplish the removal of Signs and Water-spouts, and cause the former to be affixed to the fronts of houses flat against the wall, and the latter to be so contrived as to discharge their contents without annoying passengers. The gentlemen commissioned for the above purpose were directed besides to arrange a plan for inscribing the names of streets, lanes, and alleys, on their corners.

Soon after the above appointment, the Newspaper-writers frequently noticed the alteration of Signs; and the inhabitants of Shug-lane appear to have led the way in putting the Act of Parliament in execution, sanctioning the general improvement of London and Westminster. In addition to the names of streets placed on the corners, the Nobility then introduced brass plates or door-plates with their names engraved on them; and the numbering of the houses completed this portion of the great work of amendment.

The streets of London were extremely inconvenient before this period, as the kennels were in the midst, and the stones of the pavements round; nor was there, as at present, a smooth footway for the pedestrian. A meeting of the Commissioners for the re-paving of London was held in June 1766, when Aberdeen granite was adopted, and Charles Whitworth, Esq. contracted for the performance; but the Commissioners for paving the squares, streets, and lanes of Westminster, had issued the following intimation in March 1763:

"Notice is hereby given, that they intend new paving Parliament-street, Charing Cross, Cockspur-street, and Pall Mall; for which purpose the following Proposals are advertised, _viz._

"1st, For furnishing Edinburgh stones, or stones of the like quality, for the carriage-way of the said streets, at the Quarry, according to the dimensions following, _viz._ of four and five inches thick (and a few of six for the kennels), and not less than nine inches deep, and for delivering the same at the places where they may be most conveniently shipped.

2dly, For freight and delivery at such wharf or wharfs, near Westminster-bridge, as the Commissioners shall direct.

3dly, For carriage from the said wharf or wharfs to the said streets, or any of them, as the Surveyor shall direct.

4thly, For paving of the carriage-way of the said streets with the said stones, supplying the best Thames sand, labourers, and all incidental charges (except only removing the old pavement, and leveling the ground), according to such dimensions as shall be set out by the Surveyor, and under such inspection of the Surveyor as is directed by the Act of Parliament.

5thly, For paving the footways of the said streets with the best Purbeck pavement, and a curb of Purbeck or Moor stone twelve inches broad, and seven inches thick, leveling the ground, finding all materials and workmanship, according to such levels and such dimensions as shall be directed and appointed by the Surveyor, and under his inspection, as the said Act directs; as likewise for re-laying such part of the old footways as shall be directed by the Surveyor.

6thly, Persons willing to contract may make their Proposals for the whole, or any part, of the said works; and for keeping the same in repair for the term of ten years; the said works being to be completed within one year from the 3d of May next.

Note, The number of square yards of the carriage-way is about 20,000; and the quantity of stones to be contracted for will be 7000 tons, to be delivered in London, within the space of one year from the 3d of May 1763 to the 3d of May 1764, according to the following proportions, _viz._ 600 tons in the month of May, 800 tons in each of the months of June, July, August, and September, 500 in October, 400 in each of the months of November, December, and January, and 500 tons in each of the months of February, March, and April.

Proposals in writing, sealed up, to be delivered in at Westminster-bridge office, Old Palace-yard, Westminster, on or before Tuesday the 12th of April next.

By order of the Commissioners,

GEORGE BOX, _Clerk_."

As St. James's-street now is, nothing can be more convenient than the gradual declination from Piccadilly to the Palace. That the houses on each side of the way have been almost entirely rebuilt since the year 1765, will pretty plainly appear from the ensuing lively paper, inserted in the London Chronicle August 15, 1765:

"We have read a great deal in your paper about Liberty, Mr. Printer; give me leave to say a word or two about Property, which, talk as they please, the greatest part of mankind reckon the most valuable of the two. Our sensible forefathers, in framing the Streets of this great City, preferred utility to ornament; and, in St. James's-street, they were very industrious, that the paving of that uneven ground should not prejudice the property of any individual.--Their wiser sons have wished to reverse this practice, and have been full as industrious in conforming the buildings to the Scotch paving. The descent from the upper to the lower end of this street being so very steep, has brought very whimsical distresses upon many of the inhabitants--some of the ground-floors, that were almost level with the street, are now eight, nine, and some ten steps, and those very steep, from the ground; while others, to which you used to ascend by three or four steps, are now as many below the surface. Cellars are now above ground, and some gentlemen are forced to dive into their own parlours. Many laughable accidents too have happened from this new method of turning the world upside-down: some persons, not thinking of the late alterations, attempting to knock at their own door, have frequently tumbled up their new-erected steps, while others, who have been used to ascend to their threshold, have as often, for the same reason, tumbled down; and their fall had been the greater, from their lifting up their legs to ascend as usual. An old gouty friend of mine complains heavily; he has lain, he says, upon the ground-floor for these ten years, and he chose the house he lives in because there was no step to the door; and now he is obliged to mount at least nine, before he can get into his bedchamber, and the entrance into his house is at the one pair of stairs. A neighbour too complains he has lost a good lodger, because he refused to lower the price of his first floor, which the gentleman insisted he ought, as the lodgings are now up two pair of stairs. Many of the street doors are not above five feet high; and the owners, when they enter their houses, seem as if they were going into a dog-kennel rather than their own habitations. To say the truth, no fault can be imputed to the trustees: but many are great sufferers; and this method of making the houses conform to the ornamental paving, is something like the practice of Procrustes, the robber, who made a bed of certain dimensions, and whoever was put into it, had his legs cut shorter if they were too long, or stretched out if they were too short, till the poor wretch was precisely of the length with the bed.

"I am, Sir, yours, &c.


The exertions of our fathers in the general improvement of houses and streets have left _us_ little to do. Pure air, so essential to the preservation of life, now circulates freely through the _new_ streets; squares, calculated for ornament, health, and the higher ranks of the community, are judiciously dispersed, and their centres converted into beautiful gardens; the tall houses have a sufficient number of large windows; the areas in front are wide, and handsomely railed with cast iron; lamps on scrollwork are suspended at due distances from each other; and admirable level smooth footways of great breadth protect the passenger from the carts and carriages, separated from him by a curb stone raised several inches above spacious kennels, through which the water from showers passes and descends into large drains, communicating with vast sewers many feet below the level of the street.

There are salutary laws providing for the performance of those acts of cleanliness which individuals might neglect or omit. The inmates of every house will of course cleanse the steps leading to it; but they will not _universally_ remove the soil from their pavements. The law commands them to do so _every_ morning under a penalty of 5_s._; and yet there are very few who walk the narrow streets of London in winter can forget the retrograde motion of their feet on the deep mud when the pavements are--_greasy_. Sir William Curtis, when Lord Mayor, recently determined to enforce the law--and very honourably _fined himself_.

Scavengers are appointed to sweep the carriage-ways, and carry off the dirt; and yet there are places to be found where brooms have not always done their duty. The publick are very properly forbid to throw any kind of dust into the streets, and are ordered to reserve it for the Dustman, who is enjoined to call for it frequently; and yet I was once informed by a housekeeper that their Parish Dustman had not honoured them with a visit _for six long weeks_. The renters of single rooms, in first, second, and third floors, in mean streets, feel themselves _above_ restraint. Those people empty dirty water mixed with their offals into the gutters, the stench of which is appalling; but I forget, they certainly do not offend against the law--it is _dust_, not _water dirtied_, or mixed with dust and vegetables, which they are forbidden to deposit in the streets.

Let me not neglect in this survey the laudable efforts of the Sweepers male and female, who, stationed at corners and crossings, faithfully remove every appearance of soil from the stones for the casual receipt of half-pence. They are undoubtedly an useful body, and they have my commendations accordingly.

Beer-houses, or, as they are generally termed, Public Houses, render our streets extremely unpleasant in summer; but delicacy forbids my adding more on the subject. Would that equal delicacy in the keepers would _turn their customers backwards_!

So much for the Streets. Repairing-leases contribute greatly to the handsome appearance of the Houses; every thing is in order; and the clause for painting the fronts triennally keeps the woodwork as clean and bright as our fogs and the coal smoke will permit. The shop-keeper prides himself on the neatness of his shop-front; his little portico, and the pilasters and cornices, are imitations of Lydian, serpentine, porphyry, and verde antique marbles; and those who have the good fortune to serve any branch of the Royal Family immediately place large sculptures of their several arms and supporters over their doors, and their own names and business in golden characters. The great windows of large panes exhibit the richest manufactures, and the doors of the Linen drapers are closed by draperies of new muslins and calicoes. Some wags pretend indeed that the tradesman has a double motive in this proceeding--the darkening of his premises to prevent keen eyes from discovering coarse threads, and embellishing his shop.

The Goldsmiths and Jewellers, and some Pawnbrokers, indulge the publick with the view of diamonds, pearls, rubies, emeralds, gold, and silver, in most fascinating quantities; but the Watch-makers and Glassmen eclipse all competitors in the display of fanciful clocks set in alabastor, or _molu_, gold and silver, and the richest cut glass lighted by patent lamps at night. The Bookseller exposes copies of the most expensive works in his windows, and the Printsellers those of the best artists. The Undertaker covers his panes with escutcheons, crowns, coronets, and mitres of gold; and contrives to introduce the lid of a little velvet coffin, which is intended to lead the eye to full-sized real ones preparing for the dead.

The Lottery-office-keeper attracts a crowd by numbers of tickets and shares disposed for sale, and always places a paper _memento_ at the elbow, of "No. &c. &c. sold at this office in the last lottery, drawn a prize of 30,000_l._" Hence the Lucky Office and _Only_ Lucky Office[403:A].

The retailer of Quack Medicines covers every pane of his shop-windows with the bills of different compounders of nostrums, and the angles between the paper and the sashes with transparent vivid colours; and the Proprietors of Newspapers seize upon every battle or capture as fair opportunities for pasting large pieces of paper together, which they inscribe "Sixth edition," &c. &c. and suspend from the top to the bottom of their casements; while their myrmidons the Newsmen reiterate the "Sixth edition" with distended lungs in the short intervals between the--I had almost said--infernal blasts of their tin trumpets. Let the purchaser, however, beware the Newsman doth not give him a paper or gazette--three weeks old--_in the hurry of the moment_!

Such are the methods adopted by the London Tradesmen to attract attention, and such the appearance of the lower part of their Houses: indeed, Commodities are now generally used in place of the antient Signs. One of their _absurdities_ deserves reprehension: when a man has a front door between two windows, or a door on the right side of a window, he will have his name over the door, and his business on the friezes of the windows; for instance,

Window Door Window --+---------------+-------+---------------+-- | GOLDSMITH AND | BROWN | JEWELLER, &c. | +---------------+-------+---------------+

instead of "Brown, goldsmith and jeweller." The nonsense produced in this way is sometimes incredibly ludicrous. I once observed the words "Preston, Nightman, and Rubbish carted," so placed that they conveyed an idea of a partnership "Preston and _Rubbish_."

[Illustration: _View in Hyde Park_]

[Illustration: _View in Park-lane_]

[Illustration: _Westminster Abbey_]

[Illustration: _Westminster Abbey_]

[Illustration: _Part of Westminster bridge_]

[Illustration: _Westminster from Milbank_]

The noble fronts of the several Banking-houses and Insurance offices, many of the latter with fine emblematic statues over the doors, are great ornaments to the streets of London.

The interior architecture of our dwellings is generally very convenient; but I could wish that the kitchens might henceforward be erected behind the house, that no human being should be immersed in damp, and blinded with darkness, as our servants now are, seven or eight feet below the surface of the street.

It will be perceived that every thing under this article has now been noticed which is independent of the information already given in "Londinium Redivivum." I shall, therefore, conclude it with referring the reader to the annexed Prints, where he will find sketches of various parts of London which I have considered as the most picturesque, the whole contributing to illustrate the _general character_ of the Metropolis.


[359:A] Mungo Park confirms this supposition by his description of the mud walls and thatched roofs of the Savages in Africa, where civilization has not yet made its appearance.

[364:A] See specimens of brick-work in the annexed prints, of Croydon palace, and a curious gateway, dated 1599, near Bromley, Kent.

[366:A] The _Minced pie_ House is at Greenwich, and was built by Vanbrugh. The ludicrous title is a witticism upon the architecture.--It is an unfortunate circumstance that the two old houses in Goswell-street are just rebuilt; and the view of Privy-garden is _now_ incorrect, through alterations made since the Plate was engraved.

[403:A] The expensive and absurd methods lately adopted by Lottery-office keepers and many other tradesmen to invite customers are too contemptible for serious notice.



When a Londoner of the lowest class receives his employer's permission to relax from the labours of his profession, he endeavours to obtain the company of several of his acquaintance. Observe them assembled, and mark their _costume_: they wear a round hat, like those of Men of fashion, placed far back on the head, covering a collection of long lank hair, which shades the features composed of vacancy and impudence; the neck is clothed in a coarse muslin cravat folded in ungraceful lines over a monstrous stiffener, which, defying compression, leaves a great opening between the _poma Adami_ and it, from which the chin emerges and retires forty times in an hour. The coat is generally of dark blue or brown lapelled, the waistcoat of white or printed cotton, and the legs are covered either by pantaloons or breeches and white cotton stockings. Their progress through the streets is marked by impetuosity and a constant exertion of strength, making the peaceable Citizen with his wife and children retire to the entrance of a house, or cross the kennel, in order to avoid being hurried forward with them, or overturned. Their conversation consists of violent disputes and execrations, often degenerating into whimsical effusions of retort, peculiar to this branch of the great human tree, accompanied by occasional observations on the Females who unfortunately pass them. I must acknowledge myself more than once to have been surprised into risibility by this species of wit, for which the speaker deserved a horse-whip. The constant exercise of obscenity and gross allusion prevails when a neighbour's female servant, or a sister of one of the party, is present. We will not follow them across the Fields, but meet them seated at one of those inviting scenes which may be found on every side of London called Tea-gardens, where Tea indeed seldom makes its appearance. A few miserable bushes tortured into arbours veil in some degree the hateful exhibitions at these places, the licensed receptacles for mental degradation, receptacles for young men and young women, who are seated on benches before tables covered with _liquor and tobacco-pipes_! What can be expected from these assemblages but the inevitable consequences, drunkenness and debauchery? Their effects are observable whenever any public occurrence assembles the people of London; the whole Civil Power of which cannot restrain many enormities committed on those occasions. Under an idea of whim and pleasantry they perpetrate many scandalous actions, amusing themselves by throwing some filthy thing into the thickest part of a crowd, or driving forward till they half suffocate those before them, or hurt others by severe falls. Whenever an illumination takes place, their turbulence becomes seriously mischievous by the firing of pistols and throwing of squibs and crackers; but the latter practices, I hope, are now entirely subdued by the Magistracy.

This class is fond of Theatrical amusements; and numbers may be observed waiting on an evening before the doors of the Theatres impatient and crowding for admission. The Pickpocket is always ready; but his operations are often frustrated by the Peace-officer's constant exclamation of "Take care of your pockets." When the door is opened, a dangerous trial of skill ensues: every person endeavours to enter first; the space is clogged; and pushing, screams, and execrations follow. If we enter the One-shilling Gallery, we witness constant disputes often terminating in blows, and observe heated bodies stripped of the outward garments, furious faces, with others grinning horribly, hear loud and incessant talking and laughter, beating the floor with sticks, hissing, clapping the hands, and the piercing whistle, with exclamations for "Musick."

This motley collection are, however, generally attentive spectators and patient auditors during the representations; and I have remarked that any generous sentiment from the characters on the stage never fails to receive the loudest tokens of applause from the One-shilling Gallery; but this Gallery becomes a very troublesome appendage to the Theatre, when their highnesses divide into two parties, one for, and the other against the repetition of a pleasing song. This is particularly felt in the performance of a favourite Opera or Musical Farce.

The next stage is that of Journeymen; thousands of whom have been steady well-behaved youths, in the practice of passing their evenings and holidays in rational pursuits with parents or friends, and who enter upon their profession determined to render themselves respectable, and their connexions happy. With such I have nothing to do; there is too much still-life for description in the man who rises at six in the morning, and works without cessation till six in the evening. His intervals of amusement may be directed to the same objects, Tea-gardens, public Exhibitions, and the Theatres; but his conduct is so properly governed, that Temperance and Pleasure dance in his features.

Those whose characteristic outline I have traced before work, perhaps, three days in the week. Sunday they appropriate to the same species of relaxation to which they accustomed themselves in apprenticeship: Monday is sainted with them. And who will work on _Saint Monday_? Not the idle Journeyman and Labourer of London. Unfortunately the votaries of this Saint celebrate his name with libations of Beer and Gin, the fumes of which render them unfit for work on Tuesday. On Wednesday they begin the week; not by a close attention to their business, as their employers find to the extent of vexation and disappointment, but by repeated potations of beer, which a boy brings at stated hours all through the day; by retiring at twelve o'clock to dinner, and frequently returning at four, and going again to _tea_ at four, if they should _accidentally_ get to work at one. The excessive use of the former soporific beverage renders the Journeyman stupid, fretful, and quarrelsome, which any person may perceive by passing a public house at almost any period of the day. At the close of the week necessity compels this description of madmen to work; for, Saturday arriving, he must procure the means of redeeming his own and his wife's clothes from that _most respectable member of society_ the Pawnbroker. And this is the labouring life of at least thirty thousand persons at present in London!

Their domestic _amusements_ chiefly consist in disputes with a Wife, who finds herself and children sacrificed to the brutal propensities of Drinking and Idleness; and the scene of contention is intolerable, if the lady possesses a high spirit; so entirely so to the husband, that he fixes himself for the evening with a party at the public house, where he is at first entertained, and entertains in turn, on the thriving subject of Politicks, culled from the delightful themes of so many thousands massacred in one place, and as many in another. As the night advances, the Journeyman becomes whimsical; one of the company is requested to sing, the rest join in chorus; and another hour elapses in a chaos of sounds equally insulting to the general quiet of the publick and the neighbourhood. By this time the Wife peeps through the windows, hoping to find a favourable opportunity of getting the sot to bed; which if she accomplishes without a kicking, she may be pronounced a lucky woman for that evening. A sober inhabitant of London cannot but be shocked at the staggering fellow-citizens he meets with late on a summer evening, labouring under a voluntary St. Vitus's dance, when returning to their homes. I saw a man of this description in Russel-square, who had placed his hat on the pavement, and danced round it. To this ludicrous exhibition all eyes were directed. "Ah!" said an old female to another, "that man would never drink again could he see himself with our sensations."

There are thirty-six public-houses in Old-street between Goswell-street and the City-road. Can they be supported by the population of that neighbourhood without endless excesses? And there are other districts where those curses to society are equally numerous? Shame on our thoughtless conduct in permitting a trade calculated only for human destruction! If comfort, health, and pleasure can arise from quaffing gallons of beer, let the lower classes be compelled to drink it at home with their friends and families; and no longer suffer that promiscuous mixture of folly and vice which results from thieves drinking with honest men. It is from this cause alone that men are brutalized. Difference of opinion will arise between members of the most polished classes: those become quarrels in the lower; and hence the petty actions for assaults which are tried in every direction. Examine the Old Bailey causes; and if Public-houses and Dram-shops are not found to be the general theatres of thieving plots and murders, let me receive no farther credit.

London and the environs are overwhelmed with population. Every description of the inhabitants of the Country watch for favourable opportunities of removing to this enormous magnet; or, if that cannot be accomplished, they send their offspring of both sexes. Hundreds of servant girls and apprentices are thus prepared annually for prostitution and thoughtless marriages; every room in numbers of streets becomes the residence of Apprentices, Journeymen, their wives, and multitudes of children, who starve away existence year after year in hopeless sameness, and are often separated from Vice only by a deal or lath and plaster partition. The consequences of this crowded state of the City are so well known, that it is hardly necessary to point them out. I shall however venture to direct the Reader's attention to the Alms-houses, Work-houses, Charity Schools, Hospitals, and Prisons, which surround us; and ask whence they are filled? Who turns his attention to the second-floors, the garrets, the back-rooms, and the cellars of this Metropolis? It would be wrong to say no one; but who relates the result of his research? It may be imagined Hogarth has given us a true picture in his Distressed Poet: that print may serve as a foundation; a few additions of the _sombre_ cast would furnish thousands of real scenes.

The next class of crowded residents are persons with small incomes, who are compelled by great rents and heavy taxes to occupy furnished and unfurnished first and second floors. Those are generally healthy, and comfortably situated; but their eternal removals indicate that discontent and altercation exist but too frequently between the landlord's family and the lodger. Kitchens used in common by both parties are sources of discord; the cleansing of stairs ascended by all the inhabitants of the house is another; and the late hours of the latter a third. It is therefore common to see the streets almost obstructed every quarter-day with cart-loads of furniture.

The usual time of rising with the class of Journeymen is between five and six in the morning. At the latter hour they commence their daily labour, and work till eight; an hour is then allowed for breakfast, and from twelve till one for dinner; and the business of the day concludes at six; but some industrious men work many extra hours. Public-houses are opened in sufficient time to furnish those who choose it with pernicious liquids; and the keepers will either send tea and bread and butter to the Journeymen for breakfast, or provide it for him at the house. This innocent meal is most commonly preferred; but I am sorry to say numbers never drink any thing so weak. The Journeyman and Labourer sometimes eat bread and cheese, or salted meat and bread, on the spot where they work; others return to their homes to dine; and others eat at the Cook's-shop, at which they may have what quantity they please of baked and boiled meat, and flour and pease-puddings, at a very reasonable rate. Tea, and bread and cheese or meat, conclude the meals of the day. Large potations of beer, allowed by the employer in some instances, and clubbed for in others, fill the intervals of labour. When two labouring men meet accidentally in the streets, the second word after the usual salutation is _What will you drink?_ or, _Let us have a glass, or a pint_; and it frequently happens that neither can muster halfpence sufficient.

A Gin-shop may generally be _scented_ as the passenger approaches; but he cannot mistake it, as an assembly of the drivers of asses with soot, brick dust, cats'-meat, and vegetables, with a due proportion of _low_ ladies of pleasure, always besiege the door. Thanks to the Distiller and Brewer, liquor is much less powerful in its operations at present than it was fifty years past: hence the improvement in the conduct of the votaries of Geneva. Those people very seldom exceed low wit, a little noise, and abuse of each other: indeed, our streets are wonderfully quiet, and riots and quarrels are very rare.

The Tradesman and his Lodgers generally rise about the same hour, from six to nine o'clock, and often from the same description of _turned-up_ bedsteads, and beds inclosed in resemblances of chests of drawers and book-cases. These unwholesome contrivances originate from the necessity of accommodating many persons in a space calculated for very few: they are to be found in most lodging-houses; but four-post bedsteads and elegant curtains are constantly provided in _furnished_ lodgings.

Tea, coffee, cocoa, rolls, toast, and bread and butter, form the breakfasts of this class of the community; and the hours of dining vary from one till half past four. Plain joints baked, roasted, and boiled, and potatoes, and other vegetables, are standing dishes; some exceed in fish, fowls, rabbits, &c. &c.; and many make their meals from veal-cutlets, beef-steaks, and pork and mutton chops, with potatoes, and very little bread. Fruit-pies and puddings are much used; table-beer, ale, and porter, are the most common beverage. Ardent spirits and hot water mixed too often follow; but wine seldom appears. Invitations of friends on Sundays and holidays produce many luxuries distributed by neat servant-maids.

Tea, &c. succeeds from five to six o'clock, and a slight supper at nine. The evening is variously spent, in Visits, at the Playhouse, or with the eternal use of Cards. Conversation and Reading are greatly neglected; consequently numbers of this class speak very incorrectly.

The opulent Tradesman, he that has retired from business, and the Merchant, live much in the above manner in many respects; but, as the family never do any thing themselves, a Cook, a House-maid, a Nursery-maid, and a Foot-_boy_ or Foot-_man_, become necessary; to which may be added in many cases a second establishment for a Country-house, a Groom, and even a Coachman; but the latter is frequently hired by the year, and then the Coachman is not always a domestick.

The man of business and the Merchant generally sleep in the _country_, or if you please--_near London_, and come to town after breakfast. The family may either breakfast with him, or the ladies may indulge at their pleasure. Shopping in Hackney or other coaches in the morning, Visits, Musick, or Reading, occupy the space from breakfast at nine, ten, and eleven, till four, five, or six o'clock, the various hours for dining of the latter, when several friends are probably assembled to partake of a variety of viands of the best quality, followed by a handsome dessert and excellent wines.

The hour of relaxation is now arrived; the cares of the world and business are dismissed; little more is said besides observations on the goodness of the provision, &c. and "Shall I help you to this or that?" Shall I add that too great repletion in this class often produces apoplexy? Several hours elapse in drinking wine; and Bacchus almost always usurps the place of the Ladies, who retire to cards till the Gentlemen are summoned to tea, sometimes not in a state to enjoy rational conversation. Supper ensues, and the bottle finishes the scene at a late hour.

The reader must recollect that, when a family is without visitors, it is governed by greater regularity. Many Merchants and rich Tradesmen pass much of their leisure time at coffee-houses; and dinners are commonly given at those places. Reading the papers and conversation are strong inducements, exclusive of the bargains and consultations between strangers conveniently made and held at these places.

The Ladies of the class now under notice have almost universally been educated at boarding-schools, and possess a general knowledge of the usages of fashionable life. Drawing, Musick, Dancing, Fancy-works, the French language, &c. are alternately employed, with Vauxhall, the Winter and Summer Theatres, walking in the Park at a particular season of the year, Cards, &c. &c. to kill time--and a little trip to a Watering-place is delightful beyond measure, where, it is necessary to observe, _every body_ goes, from the Oilman's lady to the Princess, either in the Hoys, the Stage-coaches, Post-chaises, Glass-coaches, or their own coaches. Novels, those fruitful sources of amusement, are welcome besides to all descriptions of _Citizenesses_ and _some_ Citizens.

Libraries are to be found in the houses of many rich Traders and Tradesmen; and there have been instances of most valuable works issuing from their studies. _Circulating_ Libraries are of infinite use to the avaricious, and those of moderate incomes, and are very numerous; they produce a taste for reading, which cannot be excited in any other way, and should be encouraged by the Legislature under proper regulations. Many persons have associated, and composed Book Societies: the annual subscription of each individual is small; but the aggregate sum thus obtained enables the members to nominate expensive works, which are read in rotation; and, as it is a rule to sell the least approved of, the stock is farther maintained. The above means, and the additions to vast libraries both public and private continually making, has encouraged Literature to a most honourable extent in London, where numerous Authors are constantly employed in composing books of every possible description, which, richly embellished with engravings, generally sell rapidly.

The next and last class consists of persons of antient families possessed of large incomes, and the Nobility. Their manner of passing the day may soon be described. Early rising is neither _necessary_, nor is it _universally_ practised. Breakfast often makes its appearance at the Tradesman's hour of dining; though in some well-regulated families there is far more rationality. Novels, Newspapers, Magazines, Reviews, and little articles contrived to attract the fancy, are spread abroad in the breakfast-room, and afford amusement and conversation, while the languid operation of eating is performing. Suppose the Gentlemen of the family set forward on their morning equestrian ride; the Ladies read, work with their needle, or play on the Piano; nay, little childish games sometimes engage their attention till the hour for Visiting and Shopping arrives. Then the streets resound with the hoofs of fiery steeds, and thunder from the hands of the footman announces on the door of a friend ---- a card containing the visitors name; but there are instances, I believe, on record of Ladies alighting.

The hours of five, six, and seven o'clock reassemble the family to dinner, for which the party dresses in the most elegant manner, and frequently partake with their friends around them of the richest _made_ dishes, joints of meat, fish, poultry, confectionary, &c. &c. served in two or three courses by a butler, and footmen stationed behind each chair of the company present. Tea and coffee generally make their appearance before the wine and fruit are removed; but there are some who retire to the drawing-room for the use of those refreshments. The supper hour cannot be named with precision; it may be introduced from ten o'clock till two in the morning.

The amusements of the Rich and Noble consist of every possible enjoyment: birth-days, levees, breakfasts at _private_ houses attended by two or three hundred persons at three or four o'clock in the afternoon, dinners, card-parties, suppers, and _routs_. The reader _not yet born_ will, perhaps, thank my memory for adding that which may then be forgotten.

A fashionable and opulent inhabitant of Westminster often occupies a house calculated for the reception _conveniently_ of the Master, the Mistress, two or three Children, a Nursery-maid, a Groom, a Coachman, a Butler, three Footmen, a Cook, and two or three House-maids, governed by a House-keeper; and we will finish the groupe by a Governess _who speaks French_. So far all is right; now, future Reader, comes the essence of my information. See this house confined to an ichnography of twenty-five feet by forty prepared for a _rout_: the floor is painted in graceful figures and flowers with coloured chalks for dancing; girandoles and lustres of splendid cut glass with numerous wax-candles lighted exhibit the lady in her jewels ready to receive her guests equally resplendent. Ay, but the number--what say you to an _hundred, two hundred_? There is pleasure, there amusement, and the inexpressible delight of languor, even fainting through exertion, heat, and suffocation! The company endeavour to compress themselves for obtaining a space to dance in, and afterwards they crowd to the supper-table sparkling with polished plate, and loaded with every delicacy; there the _amusements_ of Tantalus are renewed. Can we wonder that Aurora often lights our fashionables home, when we reflect on these fascinating inducements to keep late hours? But those to whom Fortune has been more propitious, in presenting them with vast mansions, have entertained as many as eight hundred persons through the night in a far less crowded state. Other amusements of the great consist in riding through Hyde-park; the Ladies in their coaches, and the Gentlemen on horseback in an adjoining road. He that would judge of the population of London should attend in the Park on any Sunday at three o'clock, from February till May: he must be astonished at the sight. The coaches, the horses, the populace of every rank who toil against the bleak East winds, are wonderfully numerous. Nor should he omit a visit to Kensington-gardens in May, to view the beautiful pedestrians that form our fashionable world; or a winter excursion to the Serpentine-river and the Canal in St. James's-park, where numbers skait, or attempt to skait.

It would be useless to more than mention the additional pursuits of the Rich, who visit the annual exhibitions of Paintings and other attractive objects with eagerness, the Playhouse, Vauxhall, &c. &c.; but, alas! London becomes a mere blank after the 4th of June. _Nobody_ remains in _Town_; it is too hot, too suffocating! _Every body_ therefore retires to their seats, _if they have them_; and _the rest_ fly to _Margate_, _Ramsgate_, and _Brighton_, those _capacious_ receptacles.

Such are the follies of many: but, thanks to Heaven! there are numbers of our Nobility and Gentry who live and act for the general benefit of mankind.--And now,




Abel, Mr. concert by, ii. 123.

Accession of George III. celebrated, i. 339.

Accident, dreadful, at Covent Garden Theatre, ii. 190.

---- fatal, in Westminster, i. 253.

Actors, scale of merit of various, ii. 254.

Advertisement by Lord Vane, i. 431.

Ætna, mount, eruption of, represented, ii. 275.

Allen, W. jun. shot, ii. 74.

---- description of his tomb, ii. 81.

---- W. sen. his petition to the King, ii. 82.

Almanac John, and his sigils, i. 97.

Ambassador, riot at the house of the Morocco, ii. 66.

Anne, Queen, communication of, to the Lord Mayor, ii. 13.

Apollo Gardens, account of, i. 332.

Apprentices, turbulence of, ii. 88.

Archers, entertainment for, i. 302.

Architecture, domestic, notices of, ii. 358.

Ass race, account of one, ii. 194.

Asylum, the, account of, i. 48.

Atalanta, acted on the marriage of the Prince of Wales, ii. 191.

Attalo, opera of, account of, ii. 220.

Austin, J. account of his enormous pudding, i. 404.


Bancroft's Hospital, i. 47.

Barker, gladiator, fights Stokes, ii. 170.

Barley-corn, Sir John, burnt, i. 314.

Battles at Covent garden Theatre, ii. 202.

Beadles, number and salaries of, i. 165.

Beard, Mr. his address to the public, ii 238.

Bear-garden, amusements of the, described, ii. 109, 134, 137, 147, 155, 164, 170.

---- attempt to suppress, ii. 111, 163.

Beau of 1734, described, i. 301.

---- 1727, ii. 324.

---- portrait of, in verse, i. 319.

Bed, one described, ii. 320.

Beer given to the mob by the Prince of Wales, i. 314.

Beggars, trick of R. Alegil, i. 98.

---- tricks of, i. 99, 287.

Benefit, Farinelli's, ii. 188.

Benefits, theatrical, confusion at, ii. 226.

Betting, specimens of, i. 373.

Billiard tables, burnt, i. 173.

Bills, seditious, explosion of, ii. 51.

Boxing, patronised by the rich, i. 335.

Bread, adulteration of, bad effects of, i. 174.

Bricks, first used, ii. 362.

---- badly made, ii. 390.

Bristol, Bishop of, letter to his parishioners, i. 362.

Buck, gladiator, fights Miller, ii. 135.

Buckingham, Duchess of, adopts an infant, i. 43.

Bucks, bold, account of a club so named, i. 264.

Burges, Dr. burnt in effigy, i. 242.

---- ---- meeting burnt, ii. 12.

Butchers, battles between, ii. 28.

Butterfield, Lady, advertisement by, ii. 144.


Cæsar in Egypt, epigram on the tragedy of, ii. 164.

Cards, i. 325.

Centinel, anecdote of one, ii. 246.

Chairmen, Irish, fight with sailors, ii. 56.

---- scheme of one, to obtain a debt, ii. 66.

Charitable acts of George I. i. 20, 23.

---- ---- of C. Weedon, Esq. i. 17.

---- ---- of Mr. Feast, brewer, i. 20.

---- ---- of the Prince Regent, i. 22.

---- ---- of unknown persons, i. 23.

---- ---- of the Earl of Thanet, i. 24.

---- ---- of Mrs. Turner, i. 24.

---- ---- of Roman Catholics, i. 24.

---- ---- of Lady Holford, i. 24.

---- ---- of Thomas Guy, i. 25.

---- ---- of the Citizens, to the haymakers, i. 27, 53.

---- ---- of Mahomet, a Turk, i. 27.

---- ---- of Mrs. Palmer, i. 27.

---- ---- of a committee of the Commons, i. 28.

---- ---- of the Duke of Bedford, i. 28.

---- ---- of the public to the inhabitants of Saltzburg, i. 29.

---- ---- of the managers of Drury-lane and Covent-garden Theatres, i. 52.

---- ---- of the Dutchess of Buckingham, i. 43.

---- ---- of Eliz. Pattent, i. 60.

---- ---- of the public to C. Shaw, i. 64.

---- ---- of the Marine Society, i. 64.

---- ---- of an unknown baker to starving German emigrants, i. 65.

---- ---- of Mr. Wachsel, the public, and government, to the same, i. 70, &c.

---- ---- of the public to Spital-fields weavers, i. 72.

---- ---- to the poor, i. 74.

China jars, fashionable articles, i. 242.

Christmas, customs at, described, i. 288.

---- boxes noticed, i. 289.

Cities, models of exhibited, ii. 115.

Clergy, sons of the, i. 267.

Clinch, exhibition by, ii. 136.

Clive, Mrs. Actress, letter from, ii. 228.

Club, Calves-head, riot occasioned by, ii. 47.

Clubs, spouting, account of, poetic and prosaic, ii. 202.

Coaches, hackney, i. 277.

---- ---- useless, by street robberies, i. 145.

---- ---- job, &c. ill conduct of their drivers, i. 153.

Coal-heavers, riots by, ii. 70.

---- trial of seven for shooting at J. Green, ii. 91.

Cobler of Cripplegate, hints by, i. 336.

Cock-fighting, i. 335. ii. 114, 127.

Coffee-houses, particulars of, i. 277, 282.

Colman, Mr. his retort on Mr. Harris, ii. 266.

Comedians, French, discouraged, ii. 151.

---- ---- riot concerning, ii. 200.

Concerts, illegal, i. 331.

Conduit-house, White, described in blank verse, ii. 224.

Convents, French, female youth sent to, i. 359.

Cornely, Mrs. account of, ii. 255.

Cups and balls, cheats with, i. 100.

Curiosity, prevalence of, i. 318, 372.

Cuthbeartson, hair-dresser, challenge from, i. 97.

Cuzzoni, singer, particulars of, ii. 156.


Dancing, by footmen, &c. i. 291.

---- on the rope, ii. 113.

Davenant, Sir W. picture of London by, ii. 366.

Defence, science of, ii. 108.

Denmark, King of, incommoded by the public, i. 372.

Dent, John, constable, murdered, i. 234.

Depredators, an antient fraternity, i. 87.

Dice, formerly used by barrow women, i. 255.

Dissenters, vindicated, ii. 48.

Dodd, Dr. on his unhappy fate, i. 84.

Dog, speaking, ii. 150.

Doggett's coat and badge first rowed for, i. 256.

Doggrel lines on the South Sea scheme, i. 125.

Drams, drank in high life, i. 170, 234.

Dress, anecdotes of, ii. 312.

---- of a youth described, ii. 316.

---- of ladies described, ii. 317, 319, 325, 333.

---- of the Queen described, ii. 333, 337.

---- strange, of gentlemen, ii. 322.

---- in antient times, ii. 337.

Drumming a new married pair, i. 241.

Duelling, prevalence of, i. 261.

Dutch prophet, extract from the, i. 229.

---- Stiptick, i. 222.


Eccentricity of an old gentleman, i. 396.

---- of Joseph Jacobs, i. 397.

---- of Dr. Sacheverell, i. 398.

---- of Gustavus Parker, i. 400.

---- of T. Smith, operator, i. 400.

---- of four men, i. 401.

---- of men of rank and fashion, i. 403.

---- of James Austin, i. 404.

---- of Mr. Elderton, i. 406.

---- of Mr. Dyche, i. 407.

---- of an unknown lady, i. 407.

---- of certain tiplers, i. 408.

---- of a brewer's servant, i. 408.

---- of Mr. Morrisco, i. 409.

---- of Don Saltero, i. 410.

---- of several gentlemen, i. 411.

---- of Mr. Johnston, i. 412.

---- of a Priest of St. Andrew Undershaft, i. 413.

---- of A. Simmonds, i. 414.

---- of orator Henley, i. 415.

---- of the Duchess of Hamilton, i. 422.

---- of Mrs. Jennings, i. 425.

---- of a chare-woman, i. 426.

---- of Mrs. Mapp, the bone-setter, i. 427.

---- of Viscount Vane, i. 431.

Eclogue, Covent-garden, i. 302.

Education, particulars of, i. 326.

Effingham, Countess of, robes of, described, ii. 347.

Erasmus, letter of, on the state of London, ii. 376.

Exchange-alley, account of, i. 279.

Expences at Guildhall 1761, i. 347.

Explosion, popular, ii. 51.


Fair, at Mile-end, presented, i. 303.

---- Horn, noticed, i. 360.

---- Edmonton, censured, i. 361.

---- May, ii. 108.

---- ---- constable killed at, ii. 118.

---- ---- presented, ii. 125.

---- Bartholomew, ii. 110, 113.

---- ---- interlude at, described, ii. 119.

---- ---- further noticed, ii. 139, 182.

---- ---- described in verse, ii. 234.

---- ---- presented by the grand jury, ii. 113.

Families, antient, customs, &c. of, ii. 419.

Fare, bill of, at Guildhall, i. 344.

Farinelli, benefit of, ii. 188.

Fashion, verses on, i. 316.

Fashions, general review of female, ii. 326.

---- history of, ii. 338.

---- ---- of male, ii. 340.

---- gradual changes in, ii. 354.

Faustus, Dr. story of a pantomime so called, ii. 159.

Felons, number tried in Beckford's mayoralty, &c. i. 186.

Fête champêtre at Mary-bon Gardens, ii. 289.

Fielding, Sir John, address from, to the public, for establishing a dispensary for infants, i. 74.

---- address of, to the public concerning a coalheaver's funeral, i. 177.

---- address to the grand jury, 1773, i. 210.

---- ---- to a similar body, i. 352.

Figg, gladiator, fights Holmes, ii. 173.

---- ---- lines on, ii. 174.

---- battle at his room, ii. 175.

---- fights before the Duke of Lorrain, ii. 176.

Fire, false alarm at Drury-lane Theatre, ii. 171.

Fire-eater, extraordinary, ii. 149.

Fitzgerald, Capt. murder of a watchman by, i. 266.

Fleet Marriages, i. 272.

Florists' feast, i. 258.

Foote, letter to Lord Chamberlain, ii. 300.

Fund, Mr. Patterson's account of a charitable, i. 50.

---- Theatrical, ii. 256.


Gaming, extent of, i. 105, 217, 263, 295.

Garret, Mayor of, election of, i. 394.

Garrick, Mr. his dispute with the public, ii. 236.

---- retires from the stage, ii. 303.

Garth, Dr. extract from a prologue by him, ii. 125.

George I. honours paid him on his arrival, i. 243.

---- ---- aquatic excursion by, i. 257. ii. 139.

---- II. account of his dining at Guildhall, i. 283.

---- III. benevolence of, i. 57.

---- ---- celebration of his accession, marriage, &c. i. 339.

---- ---- entertained at Guildhall, i. 340.

Ghost, the Cock-lane, narrative of, i. 179.

Gibson, a Quaker, turbulence of, ii. 45.

Gifts, by the society for the relief of widows and children of clergymen, i. 24.

---- of the trustees for the sons of, i. 25.

---- to British seamen who had been in slavery, i. 26, 42.

Gin, destructive effects of, i. 133, 168, 316.

---- riots occasioned by, ii. 49.

---- ludicrous description of its virtues, ii. 50.

Gladiators, female, notices of, ii. 165.

Glasses, musical, account of, ii. 226.

Goodman, a highwayman, escape of, &c. i. 103.

Gordon, Lord George, riots occasioned by, ii. 102.

Goulding, Mrs. story of supernatural acts in her house, i. 376.

Green, J. house of, besieged, ii. 91.

Grosley, M. extract from his tour to London, i. 382.

Guinea dropping, i. 91.


Halls, public, how used formerly, i. 230.

Handel, anecdotes of, ii. 213.

Harlequinades introduced, ii. 158.

Harley, Lord Mayor, notice from respecting wheat, ii. 89.

Harper, comedian, hard case of, ii. 186.

Harris, Mr. account of his dispute with Mr. Colman, ii. 257.

---- Mr. his dispute decided in Chancery, ii. 257.

Hartley, Mr. death of, ii. 54.

Hawes, Mr. meeting-house of, stormed, ii. 29.

Hell-fire club, account of the, i. 264, 268.

Hearses, stormed, ii. 45.

Highgate, cave at, suppressed, i. 100.

Hill, Ludgate, brutal acts on, ii. 55.

Hoaxing, specimens of, i. 316, 375.

Hockley-in-the-hole, account of, ii. 109.

---- presented, ii. 111.

Hospitals, observations on, i. 45, 54.

---- Foundling, i. 14.

---- Small-pox, i. 76.

---- at Hyde-park corner, instituted, i. 44.

---- Lying-in, i. 77.

Houses, dreadful state of empty, i. 58.

---- disorderly, suppressed, i. 147.

---- Gaming, particulars of, i. 295.

---- Mug, riots at, ii. 26.

---- necessary for man, ii. 358.

---- antient, in London, ii. 366.

---- fall of old, ii. 389.

---- public, too numerous, ii. 412.

Howard, John, Esq. letters from, i. 79.

Humane Society, origin of, i. 83.

Hyp Doctor, extract from, ii. 48.


Incendiaries, letters of, i. 145. ii. 195.

Infant actors censured, ii. 203.

Infirmary, established 1719, i. 25.

Impostors, singular, i. 99, 100, 132, 146, 170.

Insurance upon lives, i. 109.

---- policies of, risked on all subjects, i. 109.

---- abuse of, i. 111.

---- of lottery tickets, ii. 9.

Islington Spa, amusements at, ii. 108.


Jacobites, proceedings of, ii. 25.

Jewish marriage, splendid one, ii. 152.

Joke, practical, instance of a, i. 316.

Jones, footman, escape from justice, i. 102.

Journeymen, general manners of, ii. 409.

Justice, courts of, turbulence in, i. 330.


Kemble, Mr. first appearance of, ii. 304.

Kenrick, Dr. his school of Shakspeare, ii. 289.

Knocking at doors illustrated, i. 238.


Lambeth Wells, ii. 115, 129.

Lamps, coloured, first used, i. 255.

---- globular, patent for, ii. 380.

---- particulars concerning, ii. 381.

Law, the projector, i. 105.

---- anecdotes of, i. 106.

Lepines, de, pantomimic opera, ii. 151.

Letter from A, B, &c. to the Bishop of Bristol, i. 368.

---- incendiary, to Mr. Fleetwood, ii. 194.

Liquors, spirituous, convictions for selling of, ii. 53.

London, city of, Lying-in hospital, i. 57.

Lord Mayor, soliciting charity in the markets, i. 26.

Lotteries, tricks of proprietors of, i. 89. ii. 2.

---- State, account of, ii. 4.

---- of Deer, i. 254.

Ludgate, illumination of described, i. 297.


Macky, his summary of the customs of London, i. 272.

Maclane, Donald, trial of, for the murder of W. Allen, jun. ii. 74.

Macklin, account of his conduct in his dispute with Reddish, ii. 278.

---- his letter to Dr. Kenrick, ii. 287.

---- his attempt to perform at the age of 90, ii. 305.

Mad-houses, private, abuses in, i. 186.

Magdalen hospital, i. 56.

Managers, theatrical, parsimony of, ii. 156.

Manners, society for reformation of; effects of their labours, i. 105, 140, 152, 329.

---- anecdotes of, from M. Grosley's tour, i. 382.

Mapp, Mrs. bone-setter, account of, i. 427.

Mary, Lady, catastrophe of, ii. 122.

Mary-le-bon garden, ii. 198, 276, 289.

Masks, instance of their abuse, i. 280.

Masquerade, room used for, ii. 128.

---- given to the King of Denmark, ii. 272.

---- Mrs. Cornely's, ii. 255.

Masters of defence, presented, ii. 112.

Mead, Dr. a cheat performed on, i. 104.

Mercers, folly of, i. 235.

Milliners, Men, supersede Women, i. 359.

Milton's daughter, &c. i. 281.

Mist, his advice to the public, i. 259.

Mob, brutality of, i. 271, 385.

---- infatuation of, i. 315. ii. 55.

---- fashionable, exertions of, ii. 246.

Mohawks, account of the, ii. 20.

Money-lenders, schemes of, exposed, i. 91.

Montague, Duke of, and the bottle conjuror, ii. 201.

Moorfields, resort of Merry Andrews, ii. 146.

Mourning, court order concerning, ii. 353.

Mug-houses, ii. 27.

Music-room, Soho, opened, ii. 224.


Narrative of distress and death by famine in Stonecutter's street, i. 60.

Necromancy, by John Bonnor, i. 99.

Nectar and Ambrosia, i. 234.

Nicolini, the singer, good fortune of, ii. 138.


Oades, dreadful riot between persons of that name, i. 100.

Opera, tradesmen of the, unpaid, ii. 131.

---- notice concerning, by Mr. Clayton, &c. ii. 132.

---- house, presented by a grand jury, ii. 157.

---- ---- disputes at, ii. 170.

---- merits of the Italians, in the, ii. 173.

---- The Beggars, performed by infants, ii. 172.

---- ---- ---- condemned by Sir J. Fielding, ii. 278.

---- that of Attalo described, ii. 220.

Orange, Prince of, married, i. 297.

Oratorios, Handel's, ii. 218.

Organ, curious, ii. 199.

Owl, singular exhibition of one, ii. 194.


Palmer, Mr. comedian, considered a _Rogue_, &c. ii. 304.

Pantheon, described, and opened, ii. 276.

Parish poor, facts relative to, i. 4-9.

Patents, theatrical, particulars of, ii. 131, 148, 169, 178, 187, 188, 306.

Parties, family, customs of, i. 324.

Paul's, St. how used formerly, i. 281.

Paving, notices relating to, ii. 395.

_Peace_ pudding, account of one, i. 242.

Penkethman, account of his Pantheon, ii. 128.

---- booth of, suppressed, ii. 148.

Perfuming the person, illustrated, i. 240.

Peruke-makers, petition of, ii. 349.

Petticoat, the hooped, troublesome, ii. 321.

---- ---- ---- fair game for wits, ii. 323.

Philips, Mr. invocation by, i. 130.

Picture, moving, exhibited, ii. 126.

Pipes of the new river, tapped, i. 89.

Plate, stole at a coronation dinner, i. 92.

Plays performed at the Temple, ii. 143, 187.

Police, report of a committee on, i. 189.

Poor laws, defective, i. 45.

---- wretched lodgings of, i. 271.

Pope, burning of, in effigy, prevented, ii. 14.

---- burnt in effigy, ii. 15.

Posture master, extraordinary, ii. 129.

Press, degraded state of, i. 262.

Preston, C. killed by a bear, ii. 126.

Proclamation for suppressing vice, seconded by the public, i. 93.

---- against riots, ii. 87.

---- against improprieties on the stage, ii. 130.

---- by the Lord Mayor, ii. 87.

Prologue, spoken at Drury-lane Theatre, i. 52.

Promenade, Sunday, in Hyde-park, i. 239.

Prostitutes, whipped, i. 350.

Punch, liquid, epitaph on, ii. 50.

---- opera, by Powell, ii. 127.


Quacks, specimens of their advertisements, i. 218, 228.

Quakers, perverseness of, i. 318.

---- grand wedding of one, i. 255.

---- instance of humility in one, i. 254.

Queen Charlotte, splendid surprize of his Majesty, ii. 244.

Queensberry, Duchess of, epigram on, ii. 173.


Ranelagh, fight of _peace_ officers at, ii. 69.

---- house sold, ii. 188.

---- benefit given by proprietors of, ii. 233.

---- defects in the rotunda at, ii. 245.

Regatta, on the Thames, described, ii. 293.

Register offices, tricks at, i. 171.

Review of various charities, i. 85.

Rice, David, strange notice by, i. 338.

Rich, C. Esq. death of, ii. 137.

Riots, public, i. 266. ii. 24, 46, 54.

---- dreadful, in the Haymarket, i. 265.

---- amongst footmen, ii. 22.

---- in Craven-street, ii. 53.

---- at an undertaker's funeral, ii. 55.

---- concerning Wilkes and liberty, ii. 74.

---- of 1780, ii. 102.

Robberies, letter from Lord Townshend concerning, i. 142.

Robinson, Mrs. cheated by a pretended quack, i. 102.

Roebuck Tavern, proceedings at, ii. 23, 28.

Rogues and vagabonds, theatrically defined, ii. 183.

Royal aquatic excursion, i. 257.

Ruptured poor, hospital for, i. 49.


Sabbath, breach of, condemned, i. 353.

Sacheverell, Dr. riots during his trial, ii. 11.

Sailors, battle of, with Irish chairmen, ii. 56.

---- further violence of, ii. 70.

Schools, charity, particulars of, i. 16, 19, 29.

---- boarding, pernicious, i. 328.

Sermon Tasters, i. 235.

Sheppard, the robber, anecdotes of, ii. 31, 32.

Shopmen described, i. 235.

Signs, dangerous, ii. 392.

Sion chapel, Hampstead, weddings advertised at, i. 256.

Smock races, ii. 124, 183.

Society for relief of debtors, origin of, i. 77.

---- Loyal, proceedings of, ii. 24.

---- Benefit, origin of, ii. 5.

---- sketches of the present state of, ii. 406.

Steele, Sir R. his patent invaded, ii. 151.

Stepney feast, account of, i. 43.

Stock, South Sea, distress occasioned by the fall of, i. 118, 131.

Stone, exclusively used for palaces, ii. 361.

Streets, various obstructions in, noticed, ii. 395.

---- improved, ii. 384.

---- cleanliness of, ii. 400.

---- St. James's, humorous description of, ii. 398.

Subscription for clothing soldiers, i. 52.

Suicide, horrid narrative of, i. 149.

Sutton, poetical description of his battle with Stokes, ii. 165.

Swearing, attempt to suppress, i. 352.

Swindlers, counsellor _Tom_ and _Sir John_, i. 164.

Swords, footmen forbid to wear them, ii. 314.


Tailors, journeymen, turbulence of, ii. 90.

Term-time described in verse, i. 321.

Thames, diversions on the ice of the, ii. 140.

Theatres, particulars relating to the, i. 274. ii. 110, 186, 254.

---- presented, ii. 110.

---- impiety of, suppressed, ii. 116.

---- ragged regiments of, ii. 157.

---- Lincoln's-inn opened, ii. 138.

---- Haymarket opened, ii. 125.

---- ---- re-erected, ii. 153.

---- ---- opened, ii. 162, 172.

---- Goodman's-fields, ii. 124, 177, 179.

---- Covent-garden built, ii. 177.

---- ---- decorations of, ii. 179.

---- ---- lines to the proprietors of, ii. 180.

---- ---- riots at, ii. 196, 202, 243, 285.

---- ---- dispute concerning, ii. 257.

---- ---- improved, ii. 304.

---- Drury-lane improved, ii. 235, 292.

---- ---- alarm of fire at, ii. 171.

---- ---- admission raised, ii. 235, 306.

---- ---- riot at, ii. 236.

---- ---- rebuilt, ii. 305.

---- ---- described, ii. 309.

---- dissertation on the, ii. 247.

Theatrical trial, ii. 186.

---- consequences, ii. 189.

Tottenham-court-road, interlude there, ii. 179.

Tradesmen, fancied improvements of, i. 356.

---- manner of living in 1700, i. 230. ii. 418.

Trumpet, the use of, licensed, ii. 109.

Trunk-maker, account of the, ii. 130.

Twelfth-day, how celebrated, i. 292.


Vacation, the Lawyers, described in verse, i. 321.

Vales, custom of giving, opposed, i. 334.

Vauxhall, first notice of, ii. 178.

---- statement of the proprietors, ii. 191.

---- proposal of the proprietors, ii. 198.

---- improper conduct at, ii. 213, 246.

Vice, Society for suppression of, i. 93, 214.

Vigo, trick relating to the treasure taken there, i. 99.

Vintners, hardships of, i. 161.


Wachsel, Mr. letters of, relating to German emigrants, i. 65.

Wager, pedestrian, i. 235, 287. ii. 133.

Wales, Prince of, marriage described, i. 303.

---- ---- ---- attempt to assassinate, ii. 144.

---- Frederick, Prince of, a corporal, ii. 178.

Walpole, Sir R. beats a comedian, ii. 180.

Watchmen. See Beadle.

Watermen, vulgar jests and abuse by, i. 158, 258, 384.

Water Theatre, ii. 127.

Weavers, Spitalfields, violence of, ii. 30, 51, 59, 69, 101.

Welsh charity school, i. 15.

Wells, of the Bear-garden, epitaph on, ii. 154.

---- New Tunbridge, ii. 181.

---- Sadler's, ii. 150.

---- ---- dreadful accident at, ii. 227.

Welton, Dr. his religious assembly dispersed, ii. 29.

West, Matthew, first who divided lottery tickets, ii. 3.

Whale, skeleton of one exhibited, ii. 117.

Wife, advertising for, i. 239.

Wigs, strange method of stealing them, i. 104.

---- high price and importance of, ii. 313, 315, 318.

Wild, Jonathan, account of his villanies, ii. 41.

Wilkes, John, Esq. burning of North Briton, ii. 65.

---- ---- address of, to the freeholders of Middlesex, ii. 72.

Williams, Renwick, the _Monster_, i. 217.

Wool-combers, procession of, i. 288.

Work-house, London, statement concerning, i. 25.

---- Quaker, an example for others, i. 286.

Wren, Sir C. author of the present style of building, ii. 365.


Youth, manner of educating, i. 326.


Zeal, religious, instances of, i. 402, 423.



Abel, ii. 123.

Abington, ii. 254.

Ackman, ii. 238.

Addison, i. 243.

Albemarle, i. 310.

Aldrich, i. 183.

Alegil, i. 99.

Allen, ii. 74, 82.

Amiconi, ii. 179.

Anderson, ii. 364.

Armstrong, i. 75.

Arne, ii. 199.

Attilia, ii. 169.

Aumont, i. 19.

Austin, i. 404.


Bancroft, i. 47.

Barclay, i. 341.

Barker, ii. 170.

Barnes, ii. 122.

Barry, ii. 202.

Bartlett, i. 221.

Bartoldi, ii. 173.

Beard, ii. 238.

Becher, i. 283.

Beckford, i. 186. ii. 91.

Bedford, i. 28, 44.

Bellpine, i. 328.

Bennet, ii. 176.

Bernachi, ii. 173.

Betterton, ii. 247.

Bonnor, i. 99.

Bononcini, ii. 169.

Bononi, ii. 222.

Booth, ii. 151, 163.

Bowler, ii. 109.

Bray, i. 234.

Brittain, i. 408.

Buck, ii. 134.

Buckingham, i. 43.

Bull, i. 83.

Burges, i. 242. ii. 12.

Burlington, ii. 215.

Burton, i. 254.

Butterfield, ii. 144.


Carey, i. 27.

Carlini, ii. 223.

Carlisle, ii. 314.

Carlton, i. 217.

Case, i. 220.

Chamberlain, i. 256.

Chandos, i. 27. ii. 215.

Child, i. 89.

Chetwynd, ii. 198.

Cholmondeley, ii. 133.

Cibber, ii. 151, 186.

Clarges, ii. 184.

Clark, i. 281.

Clayton, ii. 127, 132.

Clive, ii. 228.

Cogan, i. 83.

Cole, ii. 21.

Collingwood, i. 13.

Colman, ii. 257.

Condamine, i. 385.

Coram, i. 10, 11, 12.

Cornele, ii. 152.

Cornely, ii. 255.

Cotesworth, i. 140.

Cowper, i. 130. ii. 118.

Crackenthorp, i. 235.

Cunningham, i. 263.

Cuthbeartson, i. 97.

Cuzzoni, ii. 156, 170.


Davenant, ii. 366.

Dent, i. 234.

Dimsdale, i. 395.

Dingley, i. 84. ii. 71.

Dodd, i. 84.

Doggett, i. 256. ii. 151.

Dormer, i. 102.

Dyche, i. 406.


Eddowes, i. 164.

Effingham, ii. 347.

Elderton, i. 406.

Ellis, i. 140. ii. 185.

Erasmus, ii. 375.

Esch, i. 297.

Everard, ii. 70.


Fabri, ii. 173.

Farinelli, ii. 188, 189.

Farquhar, ii. 251.

Faustina, ii. 170.

Feast, i. 20.

Fielding, i. 74, 173, 177, 189, 209, 352.

Figg, ii. 164.

Fitzgerald, i. 266.

Fleetwood, ii. 187.

Foote, ii. 300.

Fothergill, i. 82.

Francis, ii. 375.

Freeman, ii. 144.

Fuller, ii. 146.


Gage, i. 404.

Gallini, ii. 222.

Garrick, ii. 236.

Garth, ii. 125.

Gibson, ii. 45.

Giffard, ii. 177.

Giles, i. 74.

Godfrey, ii. 17.

Godolphin, i. 257.

Goodman, i. 103.

Gordon, ii. 103.

Gough, ii. 198.

Goulding, i. 376.

Grafton, i. 310. ii. 133.

Grainger, ii. 91.

Green, i. 44. ii. 91.

Grosley, i. 382.

Guy, i. 25.


Haddock, i. 44.

Hamilton, i. 423.

Handel, i. 13. ii. 151, 169, 188, 213.

Harley, ii. 88.

Harper, ii. 179, 187.

Harris, ii. 257, 306.

Harvey, ii. 179.

Hawes, i. 83, 432. ii. 29.

Hawley, i. 186.

Heath, i. 207.

Heidegger, ii. 217.

Henley, i. 415-25.

Hertford, ii. 353.

Herwig, i. 221.

Hewit, ii. 200.

Higginson, i. 335.

Hightrehight, ii. 149.

Hill, i. 74. ii. 101, 154.

Holford, i. 24.

Holland, ii. 308.

Holmes, ii. 173.

Howard, i. 79, 82.

Hyfield, ii. 155.


Inchinbroke, ii. 21.


Jackson, ii. 54.

Jacobs, i. 397.

Jacobson, i. 12.

Jennings, i. 426.

Johnston, i. 412.

Jones, i. 102, 257. ii. 108.


Kemble, ii. 304.

Kenrick, ii. 287.

Kilmanseck, i. 257. ii. 215.

King, i. 187. ii. 236.

Kingston, ii. 301.


Lambert, ii. 179.

Law, i. 105, 106.

Lee, i. 49. ii. 179.

Lewis, i. 16.

Lillie, i. 240.

Litchfield, i. 44, 404.


Macdonald, i. 188.

Macklin, ii. 254, 278, 305.

Macky, i. 272.

Maclane, ii. 74.

Mahomet, i. 26.

Mapp, i. 431.

Marlborough, i. 310.

Martin, i. 223.

Masterson, ii. 175.

Mead, i. 104, 261.

Meadows, ii. 59.

Mercer, i. 140.

Merighi, ii. 173.

Miller, ii. 134.

Mills, ii. 184.

Milner, i. 11, 140.

Milton, i. 281.

Mist, i. 259.

Montague, ii. 201.

Moody, ii. 238.

Morrisco, i. 409.

Mossop, ii. 254.


Neale, i. 36.

Neild, i. 77.

Nelson, i. 74.

Newall, i. 406.

Newcastle, i. 257, 310. ii. 24.

Nicolini, ii. 138.


Oades, i. 100.

Odell, ii. 177, 198.

Orkney, i. 257.


Palmer, i. 27. ii. 304.

Park, ii. 359.

Parker, i. 400.

Parsons, i. 179.

Paterson, i. 50.

Pattent, i. 60.

Pechy, i. 218.

Pelham, i. 310.

Penkethman, ii. 128, 148.

Percy, i. 74.

Pigeon, i. 97.

Philips, i. 130.

Pinder, i. 140.

Pingo, i. 83.

Porter, i. 218.

Potter, ii. 153.

Powel, ii. 127, 261.

Preston, ii. 126.

Puckeridge, ii. 226.


Quare, i. 255.

Queensberry, ii. 173.


Railton, i. 147.

Rainsforth, i. 195.

Reddish, ii. 278.

Rice, i. 339.

Rich, ii. 131, 137, 177, 185.

Riddle, i. 186.

Robinson, i. 102.

Rutherford, ii. 257, 268.


Sacheverell, i. 398. ii. 11, 23.

Saltero, i. 410.

Salvandoni, ii. 223.

Sayer, i. 192.

Saxe, i. 384.

Selby, ii. 321.

Senesino, ii. 183.

Sheppard, ii. 32, 177.

Sheridan, ii. 306.

Shower, ii. 26.

Simmonds, i. 414.

Smith, i. 149, 152, 401.

Southwell, i. 269.

Sparks, ii. 281.

Spencer, i. 271.

Stanton, i. 59.

Steele, i. 119. ii. 138, 151.

Stephens, i. 59. ii. 233.

Stokes, ii. 164, 170.

Strada, ii. 173.

Stringer, i. 219.

Surman, i. 61.

Sutton, i. 76. ii. 164.

Switterda, i. 327.

Sydenham, i. 90.


Talbot, ii. 323.

Taylor, i. 254.

Thanet, i. 24.

Thomas, ii. 21, 108.

Thornhill, i. 140, 225.

Thurmond, ii. 159.

Tillard, i. 140.

Townshend, i. 145.

Tutchin, ii. 124.

Turlington, i. 186.

Turner, i. 24.


Vane, i. 432.

Vaneschi, ii. 220.

Veil, de, i. 164. ii. 196.


Wachsel, i. 65, 68, 70.

Wale, ii. 245.

Wallin, i. 428.

Walpole, ii. 180.

War, de la, i. 142.

Ward, i. 407, 427.

Watkinson, i. 83.

Waugh, i. 21.

Weedon, i. 17.

Welch, i. 6. ii. 170.

Wells, ii. 154.

Welton, ii. 29.

West, ii. 3.

Wharton, i. 424.

White, i. 426.

Whitrow, ii. 59.

Whitworth, i. 4.

Wild, ii. 41.

Wilkes, i. 374. ii. 65, 71.

Wilkinson, ii. 155, 228.

Wilks, ii. 151, 185.

Williams, i. 217. ii. 107.

Wilson, ii. 55.

Winstanley, i. 242. ii. 127.

Wolsey, ii. 377.

Woodward, i. 261.

Wren, ii. 365.


Young, ii. 163.


J. Nichols and Son, Printers, Red Lion Passage, Fleet Street, London.

Transcriber's Notes

The Index was originally printed at the end of Volume II. It has been included in this volume for completeness.

Variations in spelling and hyphenation have been left as in the original.

The use of apostrophes to indicate possessive case is not consistent in the original. The placement of quotation marks is not consistent in the original. Apostrophes and quotation marks have been left as in the original except where noted below.

The following corrections have been made to the original text:

Page i: AUTHOR OF "LONDINIUM REDIVIVUM," &c.[original has a comma] &c.

Page 8: _being they wanted experience_, which business[original has "busines"]

Page 18: "[quotation mark missing in original]Lastly, the Pope, in a glorious pageant

Page 28: "[quotation mark missing in original]As Deer upon the rocks

Page 36: cry, '[quotation mark missing in original]Lord! what noise is that?'

Page 41: enjoy an estate of 200_l._ a year.'[single quote missing in original]"

Page 44: number of thieves[original has "thievse"] of every description

Page 69: a period when riot and[original has "riotand"] outrage

Page 91: execution of the[original has "the the"] Act of Parliament

Page 97: I fired from the back chamber windows[entire phrase printed twice in the original]

Page 99: 'Mr. Green, follow me;'[original has double quote]

Page 99: '[quotation mark missing in original]Don't drop a word

Page 100: I said, '[quotation mark missing in original]I do not care who it is;' then said he, '[quotation mark missing in original]you will go before me;'[quotation mark missing in original]

Page 110: presentment of the[original has "the the"] Grand Jury

Page 115: desire of several persons of quality[original has "qnality"]

Page 122: squires and fidlers, citizens[original has "cizizens"] and rope-dancers

Page 124: entertainment for their loose coins[original has "corns"]

Page 126: shilling opposite[original has "opposte"] Cecil-street

Page 139: during the day and evening.[original has a comma] This amusement

Page 146: had planned the[original has "tne"] firing of Newgate

Page 155: money to lose the battle."[quotation mark missing in original]

Page 162: characters, in the greatest[original has "geatest"] order

Page 164: zounds thy Swans are Geese.'[original has a double quote]

Page 165: "[quotation mark missing in original]Long was the great Figg

Page 171: fight in the same dresses as before."[quotation mark missing in original]

Page 186: in favour of the plaintiffs[original has "plantiffs"]

Page 213: imagined horror of Cavalcanti's[original has "Cavalcauti's"] bloodhounds

Page 214: that occurred in 1712, and[original has "aud"] he composed

Page 221: "But["B" uninked in original] a dry and circumstantial

Page 225: Dog after dog succeeding[original has "suceeding"]

Page 270: "[quotation mark missing in original]The determined resolution of Messrs. Rutherford

Page 271: irregularity with the most silent[original has "mo t si'ent"] contempt

Page 275: populace with 'Wilkes and Liberty.'"[single quote missing in original]

Page 305: final rejection of it[original has "i"] by Colonel Keen

Page 311: "[quotation mark missing in original]Here then was a difficulty

Page 318: looped Brussels head at 30_l._"[quotation mark missing in original]

Page 353: to promote their real welfare[353:A].'"[single quote missing in original]

Page 365: reigns of Edward, Mary, Elizabeth[original has "Eliza" and "beth" on separate lines without a hyphen]

Page 382: upwards of 40_l._--12_s._"[quotation mark missing in original]

Page 408: every person endeavours[original has "endeavous"] to enter first

Page 418: without visitors, it is governed by greater[original has "reater"] regularity

Page 427: Coal-heavers[original has "Coalheavers"], riots by, ii. 70.

Page 428: Doggett's[original has "Dogget's"] coat and badge first rowed for, i. 256.

Page 431: Hearses[original has "Herses"], stormed, ii. 45.

Page 432: Letter from A,[original has a period] B, &c. to the Bishop of Bristol, i. 368.

Page 434: Petticoat[original has "Petticoa"], the hooped, troublesome, ii. 321

Page 439: Bellpine[original has "Belpine"], i. 328

Page 439: Bennet[original has "Bennett"], ii. 176.[last digit illegible in original]

Page 439: Cholmondeley[original has "Cholmondly"], ii. 133.

Page 441: Newcastle, i. 257, 310. ii. 24[original has "4"]

In the Indexes, punctuation has been standardized and repeated main entries have been removed.