The Project Gutenberg eBook of Social Life in the Reign of Queen Anne, Taken from Original Sources

This ebook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this ebook or online at If you are not located in the United States, you will have to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this eBook.

Title: Social Life in the Reign of Queen Anne, Taken from Original Sources

Author: John Ashton

Release date: August 26, 2017 [eBook #55429]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Chris Curnow, Christine P. Travers and the
Online Distributed Proofreading Team at
(This file was produced from images generously made
available by The Internet Archive)


Social Life in Queen Anne's Reign

The Daily Courant.

Wednesday, March 11, 1702.

From the Harlem Courant, Dated March 18. N. S.

Naples, Feb. 22.

On Wednesday last, our New Viceroy, the Duke of Escalona, arriv'd here with a Squadron of the Galleys of Sicily. He made his Entrance drest in a French habit; and to give us the greater Hopes of the King's coming hither, went to Lodge in one of the little Palaces, leaving the Royal One for his Majesty. The Marquis of Grigni is also arriv'd here with a Regiment of French.

Rome, Feb. 25. In a Military Congregation of State that was held here, it was Resolv'd to draw a Line from Ascoli to the Borders of the Ecclesiastical State, thereby to hinder the Incursions of the Transalpine Troops. Orders are sent to Civita Vecchia to fit out the Galleys, and to strengthen the Garrison of that Place. Signior Casali is made Governor of Perugia. The Marquis del Vasto, and the Prince de Caserta continue still in the Imperial Embassador's Palace; where his Excellency has a Guard of 50 Men every Night in Arms. The King of Portugal has desir'd the Arch-Bishoprick of Lisbon, vacant by the Death of Cardinal Sousa, for the Infante his second Son, who is about 11 Years old.

Vienna, Mar. 4. Orders are sent to the 4 Regiments of Foot, the 2 of Cuirassiers, and to that of Dragoons, which are broke up from Hungary, and are on their way to Italy, and which consist of about 14 or 15000 Men, to hasten their March thither with all Expedition. The 6 new Regiments of Hussars that are now raising, are in so great a forwardness, that they will be compleat, and in a Condition to march by the middle of May. Prince Lewis of Baden has written to Court, to excuse himself from coming thither, his Presence being so very necessary, and so much desir'd on the Upper-Rhine.

Francfort; Mar. 12. The Marquiss d'Uxelles is come to Strasburg, and is to draw together a Body of some Regiments of Horse and Foot from the Garisons of Alsace; but will not lessen those of Strasburg and Landau, which are already very weak. On the other hand, the Troops of His Imperial Majesty, and his Allies, are going to form a Body near Germeshein in the Palatinate, of which Place, as well as of the Lines at Spires, Prince Lewis of Baden is expected to take a View, in three or four days. The English and Dutch Ministers, the Count of Frise, and the Baron Vander Meer; and likewise the Imperial Envoy Count Lowenstein, are gone to Nordlingen, and it is hop'd that in a short time we shall hear from thence of some favourable Resolutions for the Security of the Empire.

Liege, Mar. 14. The French have taken the Cannon de Longie, who was Secretary to the Dean de Mean, out of our Castle, where he has been for some time a Prisoner, and have deliver'd him to the Provost of Maubeuge, who has carry'd him from hence, but we do not know whither.

Paris, Mar. 13. Our Letter from Italy say, That most of our Reinforcements were Landed there; that the Imperial and Ecclesiastical Troops seem to live very peaceably with one another in the Country of Parma, and that the Duke of Vendome, as he was visiting several Ports, was within 100 Paces of falling into the Hands of the Germans. The Duke of Chartres, the Prince of Conti, and several other Princes of the Blood, are to make the Campaign in Flanders under the Duke of Burgundy; and the Duke of Maine is to Command upon the Rhine.

From the Amsterdam Courant, Dated Mar. 18.

Rome, Feb. 25. We are taking here all possible Precautions for the Security of the Ecclesiastical State in this present Conjuncture, and have desir'd to raise 3000 Men in the Cantons of Switzerland. The Pope has appointed the Duke of Berwick to be his Lieutenant-General, and he is to Command 6000 Men on the Frontiers of Naples: He has also settled upon him a Pension of 6000 Crowns a year during Life.

From the Paris Gazette, Dated Mar. 18. 1702.

Naples, Febr. 17. 600 French Soldiers are arrived here, and are expected to be follow'd by 3400 more. A Courier that came hither on the 14th. has brought Letters by which we are assur'd that the King of Spain designs to be here towards the end of March; and accordingly Orders are given to make the necessary Preparations against his Arrival. The two Troops of Horse that were Commanded to the Abruzzo are posted at Pescara with a Body of Spanish Foot, and others in the Fort of Montorio.

Paris, March. 18. We have Advice from Toulon of the 5th instant, that the Wind having long stood favourable, 22000 Men were already sail'd for Italy, that 2500 more were Embarking, and that by the 15th it was hoped they might all get thither. The Count d'Estrees arriv'd there on the Third instant, and set all hands at work to fit out the Squadron of 9 Men of War and some Fregats, that are appointed to carry the King of Spain to Naples. His Catholick Majesty will go on Board the Thunderer, of 110 Guns.

We have Advice by an Express from Rome of the 18th of February, That notwithstanding the pressing Instances of the Imperial Embassadour, the Pope had Condemn'd the Marquis del Vasto to lose his Head and his Estate to be confiscated, for not appearing to Answer the Charge against him of Publickly Scandalizing Cardinal Janson.


It will be found from the Foreign Prints, which from time to time, as Occasion offers, will be mention'd in this Paper, that the Author has taken Care to be duly furnish'd with all that comes from Abroad in any Language. And for an Assurance that He will not, under Pretence of having Private Intelligence, impose any Additions of feign'd Circumstances to an Action, but give his Extracts fairly and Impartially; at the beginning of each Article he will quote the Foreign Paper from whence 'tis taken, that the Publick, seeing from what Country a piece of News comes with the Allowance of that Government, may be better able to Judge of the Credibility and Fairness of the Relation: Nor will he take upon him to give any Comments or Conjectures of his own, but will relate only Matter of Fact; supposing other People to have Sense enough, to make Reflections for themselves.

This Courant (as the Title shews) will be Publish'd Daily; being design'd to give all the Material News as soon as every Post arrives: and is confin'd to half the Compass, to save the Publick at least half the Impertinences, of ordinary News-Papers.

LONDON. Sold by E. Mallet, next Door to the King's-Arms Tavern at Fleet-Bridge.






(p. v) PREFACE.

From the time of Dean Swift downwards to our own days many Political Histories of the Reign of Queen Anne have been written, but its Social Life we have been left to gather mainly from the efforts of novelists, who have been more or less conscientious, according to their knowledge, in placing it before us.

No doubt the drudgery of the work, the wading through all the newspapers, and reading all the literature of the time, has deterred many from attempting what, in its execution, has proved a very pleasant task; for in doing it, one has got to be thoroughly identified with the age—its habits and customs—which, being taken from the very words of the people, then living, writing for living people, who could contradict their statements, if false or exaggerated, a charm was lent to the task, which fully compensated for its labour.

All history, unless it is contemporary, must necessarily, if honest, be a compilation, and my idea is, that it should honestly be avowed as such, and the authorities given for all facts; and this I have done, even at the risk of proving wearisome.

In compiling it, my task has been similar to one who, having a necklace of old beads, finds it broken, and the beads scattered hither and thither. His business, naturally, is to gather them (p. vi) together, and string them so as to satisfy criticism. He may not pick them all up, and he may not please everyone's taste in his arrangement, but his course is clear—he should not add new beads of his own to supply deficiencies, but should confine himself to putting together all he can find in the best manner he possibly can.

The almost total absence of domestic news in the newspapers has compelled me to draw largely on the essays and descriptive books of the time, and in one or two instances I have ventured to transcribe (as in the case of Misson) from works published, or written, two or three years before Anne actually reigned—but the facts were precisely the same as then obtained, so that much has been gained thereby.

The Illustrations might, undoubtedly, have been made more artistic and unreal—but I have carefully taken them from contemporary prints, and prefer to present them in all their uncouthness and reality.

John Ashton.

(p. vii) CONTENTS.



The Duke of Gloucester — The Queen's refusal to marry again — Treatment of children after birth — Baptismal feasts — A christening — 'Daffy's Elixir' — Treatment of infantile diseases — The nursery — Toys — Children's books — Horn-books — Private tuition — Boarding and day schools — Free schools — Classical education — School-books — Penmanship — Runaway boys — College education — Charity schools 1


Boarding schools — Town and country educations — Pastry schools — Dancing — Toasts — 'The Little Whig' — Madame Spanheim 17


Eloping with heiresses — Marriage between children — Tax on bachelors — Valentines — Marriage settlements — Pin money — Posies — Drummers — Private marriages — Irregular marriages — Fleet parsons — Marriage Act — Facility of marriage — Liability of husbands — Public marriages — Marriage customs — Bride's garters — Throwing the stocking — The Posset — Honeymoon 22


Longevity — Undertakers' charges — Costliness of funerals — Mourning — Burial in woollen — Burial Societies — Burial by night — A cheat — Mourning rings — Funeral pomp — Monuments — Description of a funeral — A Roman Catholic funeral — Widows 35

(p. viii) CHAPTER V.

'Queen Anne' houses — Vanbrugh's house — Real 'Queen Anne' houses — Hangings and wall papers — Letting and rent — Prevention of fire — A fire — Insurance companies — Water supply — Thames Water Works — New River — Coals — Furniture — China — Bedsteads 46


Number of servants — Footmen — Wages — Liveries — 'How d'ye' — The Upper Gallery — Footmen's Parliament — Accomplishments — White slaves from Barbary — Negro slaves — Runaways — Apprentices 58


Out-of-door amusements — A holiday — Hatred of French fashions — Beaus' oaths — Kissing — Fops: their daily life 63


Receiving in bed — A lady's life — A fine lady's diary — Walking — Visiting — Tea-table scandal — Shopping — Daily church — Pets — Dancing — Books on ditto — A dancing-master 68


Games at cards — Curious cards — Price — Tax on cards — Female passion for gambling — The Groom Porter's — Gaming houses — Gamesters — Noted gamesters — Debts of honour — Speculation — Life insurances — Marine and other insurances — Shopkeepers' lotteries — Government lotteries — Prizes and winners 78


Astrologers — Their advertisements — Their tricks — Witchcraft — Cases of witchcraft 89

(p. ix) CHAPTER XI.

Habit of snuff-taking — Perfumes — Charles Lillie — List of Scents — Soaps — Wash-balls — 'Complections' — Tooth powder — Hair-dye — Spectacles 95


The penny post — Dockwra's vindication of himself — Abolition of penny post — Post days and rates — Halfpenny post — Method of doing business — The Exchange — Description of frequenters — Bankers — Curious advertisement of Sir Richard Hoare's 99


A beau — An inventory of him — Hats — Wigs: their price: varieties — Hair powder — Robbery of wigs — Natural hair — Neck-cloths — Shirts — Open waistcoats — Colonel Edgworth — Coats — Cheap clothiers — Stockings — Boots and shoes — Shoeblacks and blacking — Handkerchiefs — Muffs — Swords — Walking-sticks — Watches — Overcoats — Night-caps — Night-gowns 104


The Commode — Description of ladies' dress — The Petticoat — The Bodice — A costly wardrobe — Underlinen — Dressing like men — Scents — Patches — Patching Whig and Tory — Masks — The hood — High-crowned hats — Furs — Umbrellas — Pattens — The fan — Mobs — Shopping — Stuffs — List of Indian stuffs — Lace — Linens — Tallymen — Jewellery — Diamonds — Plate — Children's jewellery 123


English fare — Time of dining — Pontack's — Other ordinaries — Books on cookery — Receipts — Pudding — Fish — Oysters — Poultry — Assize of bread — Markets — Vegetables — Lambeth gardeners — Fruit — Dried fruit 141


Beer — Hard drinking — 'Whetters' — Wines — List of French and Spanish wines — Wines of other countries — Duties on wines — Spirits — Liqueurs — Homemade wines — Prices of tea — Adulteration — Price of coffee — Chocolate — Its price — Duty on 150


Habit of smoking — Women and children smoking — Prices of tobacco — Customs duty — Origin of snuff-taking — The Vigo expedition — Snuff-rasps — Ladies taking snuff — Proper use of the snuff-box — Use of a spoon — Prices of snuffs — List of ditto — Duty on snuff 156


Universal use of coffee-houses — Their convenience — Company — First coffee-house — Number of them — Anecdote of Bishop Trelawney — Description of interior — The news — Advance in price — Chocolate-houses — Famous coffee-houses — Button's Lion — Lloyd's — Sales by candle — Jenny Man — Don Saltero's collection — Taverns — Noblemen frequenting them — Drinking own wine — Purl houses — List of old taverns 161


Origin — October Club — Calves' Head Club — Kit Cat Club — Other clubs — Suggested clubs 179


Royal visits to the City — Lord Mayor's show — The lions at the Tower — The Armoury — Tombs at Westminster — Bartholomew Fair — Description — Shows — Tight-rope dancing — Natural curiosities — Theatrical performances, etc. — Abolition — May Fair — Lady Mary — Pinkethman — Shows — Visit to — Abolition — Southwark Fair — Its Shows 185


The Lincolnshire ox — The large hog — The whale — Monkeys and wild beasts — 'The Lest Man and Hors in the World' — Performing horse Dwarfs and giants — Human curiosities — Helen and Judith — Conjurers — Posture masters — Mr. Clinch — Waxwork — Mrs. Salmon, etc. — Westminster Abbey wax-figures — Powell's puppets — Moving pictures — Glass-blowing — Miraculous fountain — Winstanley — His waterworks — The four Indian chiefs 201


Bear-baiting — Bear-gardens — Bull-baiting — Description — Extraordinary bull-bait — Cock-fighting — Cock-pits — Value of matches — Training 223


The Queen's love of racing — Visit to Newmarket — Queen's plates — Value of matches — Race meetings — Tregonwell Frampton — His horse Dragon — The Queen's love of hunting — Sir Roger de Coverley — Fox-hunting — Stag-hunting — Hare-hunting — Coursing — Packs of hounds — Fishing — Hawking — Netting — The Game Act — Shooting sitting and flying — Match shooting — Archery 228


Challenges — The stakes — The combatants — Description of fights — General combativeness — Boxing — Cudgel-playing — Pedestrianism — Tennis — Cricket — Football — Skating — Billiards — Country wakes — Bowling — Bowling greens — Formal gardening — Clipping trees — Books on gardening — Trees and Flowers — Town and country life — Country labourers 237


The theatres — Dorset Gardens — Its demolition — Performances — Lincoln's Inn Fields — Theatre Royal, Drury Lane — Its company — Mrs. Tofts — The Queen's Theatre, Haymarket — Its foundation stone — Its operas — Pinkethman's theatre at Greenwich — The Queen and the stage — Her reforms — Strolling players — Behaviour at the theatre — Orange wenches — Stage properties — Actors — Betterton — Verbruggen — Cave Underhill — Estcourt — Dogget — Colley Cibber — Wilks — Booth — Pinkethman — Minor Actors — Actresses — Mrs. Barry — Mrs. Bracegirdle — Mrs. Oldfield — Mrs. Verbruggen — The ballet 243


Introduction of Italian opera — Its rapid popularity — Mixture of Languages — Handel — His operas, and visit here — Singers — Abel — Hughs — Leveridge — Lawrence — Ramondon — Mrs. Tofts — Her madness — Foreign singers — Margherita de l'Epine — Nicolino Grimaldi — Isabella Girardeau — Composers — Dr. Blow — Jeremiah Clarke — Dean Aldrich — Tom D'Urfey — Henry Carey — Britton, the small coal man — His concerts — His death — Concerts and concert rooms — Gasparini, the violinist — Musical instruments — Musical scores 268


Wollaston — Murray — Hugh Howard — Lewis Crosse — Luke Craddock — Charles Jervas — Richardson — Sir James Thornhill — Sir Godfrey (p. xii) Kneller — Closterman — Pelegrini — Sebastian Ricci — Vander Vaart — Laguerre — Dahl — Boit — Class of pictures in vogue — Water Colours — Drawings — Engravings — Sculpture — Grinling Gibbons — Architects: Sir C. Wren — Vanbrugh 279


Its infancy — Virtuosi — Gresham College — Visit to the Royal Society's Museum — Their curiosities — Their new house — Geology — Experimental philosophy — Courses of chemistry — Mathematics — List of patents — Hydraulic machinery — Savery's steam-engine — Description 286


Authors — Public libraries — Their condition — George Psalmanazar — Hack writers — Poverty of authors — Their punishment — The Press — Daily Courant — List of newspapers — London GazettePostboyPostmanDawk's News LetterDyer's — Evening papers — Dearth of domestic news — Amenities of the press — Roper and Redpath — Tutchin — His trial — Press remuneration — Mrs. Manley — 'The Essay Papers' — The half-penny stamp — Its effect — Advertising — Almanacs — List of them — Moore's — 'The Ladies' Diary' — 'Poor Robin's Almanack' — 'Merlinus Liberatus' — The Essayists and Partridge — His false death — His elegy and epitaph — An amateur magazine 293


List of diseases — Quackery — Bleeding, etc. — Physicians — Surgeons — Apothecaries — Dissension between the physicians and apothecaries — The Dispensary — Pharmacopœias — Some nostrums — Prescriptions — Cupping — Treatment of lunatics — Physicians' carriages — Dr. Radcliffe — Sir Samuel Garth — Sir Hans Sloane — Dr. Mead — His duel with Woodward — Study of anatomy — Surgical instruments — Oculists — Sir William Read — Roger Grant — The Queen touching for the evil — Description of the ceremony — Quack remedies — Quacks' harangues 313


Bath — Manners of the company there — Description of Bath — Its gaieties — Sale of the water — Tunbridge — Epsom — Hampstead — Other spas — Turkish baths — Controversy on hot and cold bathing — The Hummums — Description of a Turkish bath — Other bagnios — Cold bathing and baths 329

(p. xiii) CHAPTER XXXII.

Inactivity of the Church — Dulness of Sunday — Contempt of the clergy — Low estimation of a chaplain — Dress of the clergy — Church furniture — Traffic in benefices — Forged Orders — Dr. Sacheverell — 'The Modern Champions' — Queen Anne's Bounty — Its history — Fifty new churches — Protestant tone of Church feeling — The effigies on Queen Elizabeth's birthday — Oppression of Roman Catholics — Religious sects — Eminent Nonconformists — Daniel Burgess — Dislike to Quakers — Examples — William Penn 337


The different branches of the law — Briefless barristers — Green bags — Forensic wigs — Attorneys — Knights of the Post — Lord Somers — Lord Cowper — His abolition of New Year's gifts 353


Use as a highway — River slang — Rates of watermen — Description of wherries — Pleasure parties and barges — The Folly — Its frequenters — Gravesend tilt boat — Fares at the Horse Ferry — The Fleet Ditch 356


Size of London — Pall Mall — London in wet weather — Early morning — Street cries — A list of them — Roguery in the streets — Orderly regulations — State of the roads — Rule of the road — Street signs — Description of the streets — Milkmaids on May Day — Hyde Park — Its regulations — Lighting the streets — The streets at night 362


Smithfield — Horse coursers — Waggons — Stage coaches — Travelling in them described — Bad roads — Posting — Hackney coaches — Their fares — Hackney coachmen — State coaches — Other carriages — Suburban drives — Mechanical coach — Mourning coaches — Harness — Sedan chairs — Chairmen 372


Scourers, etc. — Bully Dawson — Two outbreaks — That in 1712 — Hawkubites — Exploits of the Mohocks — Sir Roger de Coverley — Swift's fear of them — Emperor of the Mohocks — Gog and Magog — The Queen's proclamation — Decline of the scare — Constables and watchmen 382


Its prevalence — Bullying — Fielding's duels — Favourite localities — Its illegality — Col. Thornhill and Sir Cholmley Dering — Their quarrel and duel — Duke of Hamilton and Lord Mohun — Story of their duel 390


Sale of commissions — General practice — Its illegality — Arrears of pay — Descriptions of officers — Army chaplains — The rank and file — Description of them — Irregularity of pay — Rations — Recruiting — Bounty — Gaol birds — Vagrants — Desertions — Story of seditious drummers — Train bands — The navy — Its deeds — Unpopularity of the service — Pressing — Desertion — Rewards for capture — Pay — Description of Admiralty — Mercantile marine 396


Capital punishment — Its frequency — An execution described — Behaviour on the scaffold and way to execution — Revival after hanging — 'Peine forte et dure' — Hanging in chains — Highwaymen — Claude du Val lying in state — Ned Wicks and Lord Mohun — Their swearing match — A highwayman hanged — Highwaymen in society — Highway robberies — Footpads — Burglars — John Hall — Benefit of clergy — Coining — Pickpockets — Robbery from children — Perjury — Sharpers — Begging impostors — Gipsies — Constables — Private detectives — Commercial frauds — 'Society for the Reformation of Manners' — Statistics of their convictions — The pillory — Ducking stool 407


Dreadful condition of prisons — Bridewell — Description of — Flogging — Houses of Correction — Compters — Description of the Poultry Compter — 'Garnish' — Newgate — Description of — Marshalsea — Queen's Bench — Fleet and Ludgate — Poor Debtors — Kidnappers — Country prisons — Bankrupts 425


The London Workhouse — Life therein — Bedlam — Its building — Regulations — Description of interior — Governors — Bartholomew Hospital — St. Thomas's — Almshouses 435


Lilli-Burlero 439

Hunt the Squirll 439

Moll Peatley 440

A List of all the Persons to whom Rings and Mourning were presented upon the occasion of Mr. Pepys's Death and Burial 441

Lord Mayor's Delight 444

Walsingham 445

The Children in the Wood 445

A List of some of the Coffee-houses in London during Queen Anne's Reign, 1702-14 448

Chocolate-houses 453

Sir Roger de Coverley 453

Roger of Coverly 453

Christ Church Bells in Oxon 454

Cheshire Rounds 455

The Nightingale 455




The 'Daily Courant,' March 11, 1702 Frontispiece

The Nursery (Steele's 'Ladies' Library,' ed. 1714) 8

'Troope, every one' (Lauron's 'Habits and Cryes of the City of London,' ed. 1709) 9

A Raree Show ('Cris de Paris,' 1700. Print Room, B. M.) 10

'Oh, Raree Show!' (Lauron) 10

'Ripe Strawberryes!' (Lauron) 11

'Six Pence a Pound Fair Cherryes' (Lauron) 11

A Corpse (Undertaker's Bill, Harl. MSS. 5931, 129) 36

Invitation to a Funeral (Harl. MSS. 5931, 186) 37

Lying in State (Fletcher's 'The Tamer Tamed,' ed. 1711) 43

A Widow ('Ladies' Library') 45

A Fire ('Verses of John Hall, Bellman of Canterbury,' 1708) 51

'New River Water!' (Lauron) 52

'Small Coale!' (Lauron) 55

Fireplace and Utensils (Harl. MSS. 5961, 220) 56

A Bed (Harl. MSS. 5961, 180) 58

'The Merry Fidler' (Lauron) 65

Men Kissing (from a Contemporary View of Marlborough House—Guildhall) 67

A Tea Party (Satirical Prints, No. 1555. 1710? B. M.) 72

A Lady and Footman (View of Marlborough House—Guildhall) 74

Riding Pillion (From a View of Whitehall—1713—Guildhall) 76

A Bourée and a Contretemps (Weaver's 'Orchesography') 77

A Sissone (Siris' translation of Feuillet's book on Dancing) 77

A Card Table (Mrs. Centlivre's 'Basset Table,' ed. 1706) 79

A Gambling Scene (Lucas's 'Memoirs, &c., of the most famous Gamesters, &c.,' ed. 1714) 81

A Lottery (Steele's 'A Good Husband for Five Shillings,' ed. 1710) 88

An Astrologer (Harl. MSS. 5931, 12) 92

'4 Paire for a Shilling, Holland Socks!' (Lauron) 115

A Jack-boot 117

(p. xviii) Shoe-black ('Cris de Paris') 118

A Watch Riband (Harl. MSS. 5961, 222) 121

'Old Cloaks, Suits, or Coats!' (Lauron) 122

'Old Satin, Old Taffety or Velvet!' (Lauron) 122

A Commode (Anna Sophia of Hanover—Playing Cards, 1707, B. M.) 124

Coiffure (Princess Royal of Prussia—Playing Cards, 1707, B. M.) 128

Patching (Lauron) 129

A Mask or Vizard (Harl. MSS. 5996, 3) 131

An Umbrella (Gay's 'Trivia,' 1st ed.) 132

Costume of a Lady 140

'Four for Sixpence, Mackerell!' (Lauron) 144

'Twelve Pence a Peck, Oysters!' (Lauron) 146

A Coffee House ('Vulgus Britannicus,' 1710) 162

The Lion at Button's (Ireland's 'Graphic Illustrations of Hogarth') 169

A Tavern Scene (Satirical Prints, No. 1582. B. M. 1712) 176

A Leopard (Harl. MSS. 5961, 327) 203

'The Lest Man and Hors in the World' (Harl. MSS. 5996, 1) 206

Hungarian Youth (Harl. MSS. 5931, 280) 209

A Posture Master (Harl. MSS. 5961, 5) 211

Portrait of Powell (from 'A Second Tale of a Tub,' ed. 1715) 215

Glass-blowing (Harl. MSS. 5961, 224) 218

Wonderful Fountain (Harl. MSS. 5961, 331) 220

The Four Indian Kings (Hand Bill, B. M. 816. m. 19/26) 222

Billiards (Cotton's 'Compleat Gamester,' ed. 1709) 243

Savery's Steam Engine (from 'The Miner's Friend,' 1702) 291

A Printing Press (Harl. MSS. 5915, 215) 296

'London Gazettes here!' (Lauron) 298

A News Man ('Cris de Paris') 301

Newspaper Stamp (Newspapers of and after 1 Aug. 1712) 307

Partridge and Bickerstaff (Harl. MSS. 5931, 10) 310

Sir William Read operating (Handbill B. M. 778. K. 15/13) 324

A Quack (Harl. MSS. 5931, 147) 327

A Clergyman's Walking Costume (Satirical Prints, B. M. No. 1546—A.D. 1702) 341

A Bishop's Walking Costume (Satirical Prints, B. M. No. 1546—A.D. 1702) 342

A Prebend's Walking Costume (Satirical Prints, B. M. No. 1546—A.D. 1702) 342

'The Modern Champions' (Banks' Collection, B. M. 1890 e) 344

(p. xix) A Nonconformist Minister (Lauron) 350

A Quakers' Meeting ('The Quaker's Art of Courtship,' 1710) 351

Ditto. (Satirical Prints, B. M. No. 1554, by Heemskirk, A.D. 1710) 352

'The Folly on the Thames' (View of White Hall—Guildhall) 360

A Street Scene (Gay's 'Trivia,' 1st ed.) 363

Milkmaid on May Day (Lauron) 369

Hackney Coach (View of Westminster Abbey—Guildhall) 375

A State Coach (Thanksgiving at St. Paul's for Peace, July 7, 1713—Guildhall) 377

Ditto (Thanksgiving at St. Paul's for Peace, July 7, 1713—Guildhall) 378

A Sedan Chair (Vue du Palais Royall de White Hall—Guildhall) 381

The Watch (Bell Man's Verses, 1708) 388

A Constable (Ward's 'Nuptial Dialogues') 389

A Duel (Playing Cards, 1707, B. M.) 391

Duel between Duke of Hamilton and Lord Mohun (Historical Prints, B. M. 1712) 394

Soldiers (Historical Prints, B. M. 1709) 400

An Admiral 404

'Peine Forte et Dure' ('Newgate Chronicle'—Wm. Spigott, Pressed 1721) 411

Beating Hemp (Bell Man's Verses, 1708) 428

Flogging a Woman (ibid) 428

'Remember the Poor Prisoners!' (Lauron) 433



The Duke of Gloucester — The Queen's refusal to marry again — Treatment of children after birth — Baptismal feasts — A christening — 'Daffy's Elixir' — Treatment of infantile diseases — The nursery — Toys — Children's books — Horn books — Private tuition — Boarding and day schools — Free schools — Classical education — School books — Penmanship — Runaway boys — College education — Charity schools.

In all climes, and in all ages, since Man's creation, he has been subject to the same conditions, modified only by circumstances. He has been born—has had to receive some education (if only taught to fish and hunt for his subsistence), which was to fit him for the position he was to occupy in this life. This was absolutely necessary, for it is scarcely possible to imagine a more helpless being than an infant. In most cases he married, and so helped to preserve his species, and most certainly he died.

The scheme of existence in Queen Anne's time was no exception to the normal state of things—only, as the ways of people then were not exactly similar to ours, it will be interesting to note the differences attending childhood, education, marriage, and death. The Queen herself had more than once been a mother;[1] but only one child, the Duke of Gloucester, lived any length of time, and in his infancy he was indebted for his life to a young Quakeress, who acted as his wet nurse. Poor little fellow! his brief stay on earth was not a pleasant one. He suffered from hydrocephalus (water on the brain), and his head was so big that at five years of age his hat was large enough for an ordinary man. He could hardly toddle (p. 2) about, and felt himself unable to go upstairs without being led. His father and mother seemed to think that this assistance was not necessary; and, shutting themselves in a room with the poor little boy, Prince George gave him such a severe thrashing with a birch rod, that sheer pain made him move, and from that time he managed to get up and down stairs without help. Coddled by the women, and with somewhat rough playmates of his own sex, he amused himself by drilling his company of boy soldiers, even reviewing them on his eleventh birthday, the day before he sickened with scarlet fever, of which he speedily died. His mother grieved sorely for him, but never had another child to supply his place.

On her accession to the throne, the succession (failing her issue) was unsettled, and most anxious was the whole nation that she should yet be the mother of their future sovereign. In 'The form of prayer with thanksgiving to Almighty God to be used in all churches and chapels within this realm, every year upon the eighth day of March (being the day upon which Her Majesty began her happy reign),' in the prayer at the Communion service, immediately before the reading of the epistle, 'for the Queen as supreme Governor of this Church,' was the following petition: 'And that these Blessings may be continued to after Ages, make the Queen, we pray thee, an happy Mother of Children, who being Educated in Thy true Faith and Fear may happily succeed Her in the Government of these Kingdoms.' Her husband, Prince George, died October 28, 1708; and it was not until January 13 of the next year, that the Council struck out this portion of the service, some one evidently remembering that the 8th of March was approaching. On January 28, 1709, both Houses of Parliament petitioned Her Majesty to marry again; but her wounds were too recent and too sore. She replied that the provision she had made for the Protestant succession would always be a proof of her hearty concern for the happiness of the nation; but that the subject of their address was of such a nature that she was persuaded they did not expect a particular answer.[2]

Ignorantly as the little Duke of Gloucester was treated, what was the condition of ordinary babies? Let a contemporary tell the tale. Steele,[3] writing as if his familiar Pacolet was speaking, and giving an experience of his sensations, says: 'The first thing that ever struck my senses was a noise over my head of one shrieking; after which, methought I took a full jump, and found myself in the hands of a sorceress, who seemed as if she had been long waking, and employed in some incantation. I was thoroughly frightened, and cried out; but she immediately seemed to go on in some magical operation, and anointed me from head to foot. What they meant I could not imagine: for there gathered a great crowd about me, crying, "An heir! an heir!" upon which I grew a little still, (p. 3) and believed this was a ceremony only to be used to great persons, and such as made them what they called heirs.

'I lay very quiet, but the witch, for no manner of reason or provocation in the world, takes me, and binds my head as hard as possibly she could; then ties up both my legs, and makes me swallow down an horrid mixture. I thought it an harsh entrance into life, to begin with taking physic; but I was forced to it, or else must have taken down a great instrument in which she gave it to me. When I was thus dressed, I was carried to a bedside, where a fine young lady (my mother, I wot) had liked to have hugged me to death. From her they faced me about, and there was a thing with quite another look from the rest of the company, to whom they talked about my nose. He seemed wonderfully pleased to see me; but I know since, my nose belonged to another family.

'That into which I was born is one of the most numerous among you; therefore crowds of relations came every day to congratulate my arrival; amongst others, my cousin Betty, the greatest romp in nature; she whisks me such a height over her head, that I cried out for fear of falling. She pinched me and called me squealing chit, and threw me into a girl's arms that was taken in to tend me. The girl was very proud of the womanly employment of a nurse, and took upon her to strip and dress me anew, because I made a noise, to see what ailed me; she did so, and stuck a pin in every joint about me. I still cried; upon which she lays me on my face in her lap; and to quiet me, fell to a-nailing in all the pins, by clapping me on the back, and screaming a lullaby. But my pain made me exalt my voice above hers, which brought up the nurse, the witch I first saw, and my grandmother. The girl is turned downstairs, and I stripped again, as well to find what ailed me as to satisfy my granam's farther curiosity. This good woman's visit was the cause of all my troubles. You are to understand that I was hitherto bred by hand, and anybody that stood next me gave me pap if I did but open my lips; insomuch, that I was grown so cunning as to pretend myself asleep when I was not, to prevent my being crammed.

'But my grandmother began a loud lecture upon the idleness of this age, who, for fear of their shapes, forbear suckling their own offspring; and ten nurses were immediately sent for; one was whispered to have a wanton eye, and would soon spoil her milk; another was in a consumption; the third had an ill voice, and would frighten me instead of lulling me to sleep. Such exceptions were made against all but one country milch-wench, to whom I was committed and put to the breast. This careless jade was perpetually romping with the footman, and downright starved me; insomuch that I daily pined away, and should never have been relieved had it not been that on the thirtieth day of my life a Fellow of the Royal Society,[4] who had writ upon "Cold Baths," came to visit me, and (p. 4) solemnly protested I was utterly lost for want of that method; upon which he soused me head and ears into a pail of water, where I had the good fortune to be drowned.'

After its birth the babe was soon baptized, but there does not seem to have been a great social fuss made about the event. That most entertaining and observant traveller Henri Misson, who visited England at the very close of the seventeenth century, and whose book was translated into English in 1719,[5] says, 'The custom here is not to make great feasts at the birth of their children. They drink a glass of wine and eat a bit of a certain cake, which is seldom made but upon these occasions.'

Ward,[6] however, has left us a humorous description of a private christening. He was asked by a relation to stand Godfather to his newborn Child, and 'I, wanting ill-Nature enough to resist his Importunities, submitted to his Requests; and engag'd for once to stand as a Tom Doodle for an hour or two, to be banter'd by a Tittle-Tattle Assembly of Female Gossips. The time appointed for the Solemnisation of this Ancient piece of Formality being come, after I had put on a clean Band, and bestow'd Two Penniworth of Razorridge on the most Fertile part of my Face, whose Septuary Crop requir'd Mowing, away I Trotted towards the Joyful Habitation of my Friend and Kinsman, but with as aking a Heart as a Wise Man goes to be Married, or a Broken Merchant comes near the Counter.... As soon as we came into the Room, and had bow'd our Backs to the old Cluster of Harridans, and they in return had bent their knees to us, I sneak'd up to the Parson's Elbow, and my Partner after me ... whilst Old Mother Grope stood rocking of the Bantling in her Arms, wrap'd up in so Rich a Mantle as if both Indias had club'd their utmost Riches to furnish out a Noble covering for my little Kinsman, who came as callow into the world as a Bird out of an Eggshell.

'At last the Babe was put into my hands to deliver, tho' not as my Act and Deed, to the Parson, who having consecrated some New River water for his purpose, wash'd away Original Sin from my new Nephew, and brought him amongst us Christians into a state of Salvation. But when my froward Godson felt the Cold Water in his face, he threaten'd the Priest with such a parcel of Angry Looks, that if he had been strong enough I dare swear he would have serv'd him the same Sauce, and under the same Ignorance would have return'd him but little thanks for his Labour. After we had joined together in a Petition for the good of the infant Christian, the Religious part was concluded.... As soon as the Parson had refreshed his Spirits with a bumper of Canary, dedicated to the Mother; and the Clerk had said Amen to his Master's good Wishes, after the like manner, each of 'em accepted of a Paper of Sweetmeats for his Wife or his Children, and away they (p. 5) went, leaving the Company behind.' They then seem to have drunk a full quantity of wine, and the women having eaten, drank, and gossiped sufficiently, were each presented with 'a Service of Sweetmeats, which every Gossip carried away in her Handkerchief.... Having now struggled through every difficult part of these Accustomary Formalities, I had nothing to do but to Thank them for our Liberal Entertainment, Wish the Women well again, and both much Happiness in their Male Offspring, and so take my Leave, which I did accordingly; and was as greatly overjoyed when I got out of the House as ever Convict was that had broke Gaol or Detected Pick Pocket that had Escaped a Horse Pond.'

Having launched our baby thus far in life, we will see how he was treated when suffering from any of the numerous ailments which infancy is subject to. The marvel is that so many grew up. It was eminently 'the survival of the fittest.' Sanitary arrangements were extremely rudimentary; little care being taken either as to the purity of the water supply, or the efficiency of drainage. Fever was always in their midst, and, neither inoculation nor vaccination being known, or practised, smallpox was rampant, and spared no class, from the Queen (Mary) to the beggar. Was the child fretful, there was that cordial dear to old nurses of the Gamp school—Daffy's Elixir. This remedy, which has survived as a popular nostrum to our own time, was not new in Queen Anne's reign. It must even then have been a profitable property, for rivals could afford to quarrel over it, as the following advertisements show:—


The Finest now expos'd to Sale, prepar'd from the best Druggs, according to Art, and the Original Receipt, which my Father Mr. Thomas Daffy, late Rector of Redmile, in the Valley of Belvoir, having experienc'd the Virtue of it, imparted to his Kinsman Mr. Anthony Daffy, who publish'd the same to the Benefit of the Community, and his own great Advantage. This Very Original Receipt is now in my possession, left to me by my Father aforesaid, under his own Hand. My own Brother Mr. Daniel Daffy, formerly Apothecary in Nottingham, made this ELIXIR from the same Receipt, and Sold it there during his Life. Those who know me will believe what I Declare; and those who do not may be convinc'd that I am no counterfeit, by the Colour, Tast, Smell, and just Operation of my ELIXIR. To be had at the Hand and Pen in Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, London; and many other Places in Town and Country.'

Primâ facie, the lady would seem to have made out her case; but there were other aspirants to fame—as the following notice[8] will show:—

(p. 6)'Advertisement.

'Forasmuch as Mrs. Elizabeth Daffy has lately Published an Advertisement containing Invidious Reflections upon me, in relation to my Elixir Salutis, I should be wanting to my Self if I should not obviate them in the like public manner, to let the World see they are Malicious, unreasonable, and false.

'In the first place she charges me with Clandestinely taking the House in Prugeon's Court; which, by her leave, is equally absurd and unjust; for the House was to be Lett a long time before I took it (nor had she any lease of the House, or any Power to Lett it), so consequently any one else might have taken the same. As for my pretending to have been her Husband's Assistant in preparing the Elixir, I will only say this is just as true as the former Story; and I challenge her to produce one single Evidence of Refutation to prove her Assertion: nor had I need of any such trifling pretence, having known the Secret some time before the Death of his Father Dr. Anthony Daffy; which I presume was before the said Elias Daffy was privy to the preparing of the said Elixir (he being then a Cambridge scholar), and the same was communicated to me in the year 1684, at the time I was going to travel beyond Sea, where, in divers Countries, considerable Quantities of my Elixir has been taken by Persons of the greatest Rank, Quality, and Note, to their great Satisfaction.

'And whereas the said Mrs. Daffy is pleased to call my Elixir Spurious, and Insinuates as if it were hazardous to the Lives of Men; the numerous Instances of Good it has done, both here and abroad, do manifestly evince the Contrary. And I appeal to all who have taken it in this City, or elsewhere, whether they have not found at least as much Benefit from This as from any Thing of the like Nature they have ever taken; insomuch that I am well assured that those who have tried mine will apply themselves to nobody else for Elixir Salutis.

'John Harrison.

'From my House in Prujean's Court in the Great Old Baly (The Original and famous Elixir Salutis) being wrote in Golden Characters over the Door fronting the Court Gate. March the 31st, 1709.'

One doctor at least (John Pechy) made the diseases of infants and children his study, and wrote upon the subject. I have been unable to get his book, but a few remedies from the medical works then in vogue will show how these diseases were then treated. Here is a recipe for a child's cough.[9]

Horehound, ℥ix; Liquorice, Maidenhair, Hyssop, Wild Thyme, Coltsfoot, Penny royal, ana ℥iij. Aniseeds and Fennel seeds ana ℥iss. Raisins of the Sun ℥vj. Figs, Jujubes ana ℥iv. Elecampane ℥ij, boil all in lb. vj. of water to 1/2. Strain, and add Honey, Sugar, (p. 7) ana lb. j. Boil to a Syrup; and when almost cold add Orrice, Woodlice, both in fine powder, ana ℥j.'

This mixture might not have been bad, but why add powdered woodlice?

Worms in children were to be treated with 'Prevotius's Oyl to kill Worms.[10] Take—Wormwood, Carduus, Scordium, Tobacco, ana Mj, Roots of Sow bread ℥fs, Coloquintida, ℥ij, Oyl, Vinegar, ana lb. j: boil to the consumption of the vinegar, then add Myrrh in powder ℥j; mix, and boil to the dissolution of the Myrrh. The Title shows the Virtues, anoint it upon the Stomach and Belly.' If this was not effective, the child might be given some lozenges made as follows—'Take Rhubarb, Citron seeds husked, Worm seeds, seeds of Purslain, of Coleworts, Broom finely powdered, ana ʒiij ☿ dulcis ʒij, White Sugar ʒxvj, all being in fine pouder; mix and incorporate with mucilage of Gum Tragacanth, made with Orange-flower water, of which Past make Lozenges each weighing ʒj. They kill all Worms in the Stomach and Bowels, and you may give one or two of the lozenges at a time to a Child in the Morning fasting, but some suppose that the best time is the last three days of the Moon.'

The Measles were simply treated—the patient only had a draught to soothe any cough, 'Let the sick keep their bed two days after the first coming forth of the spots.'[11]

In teething, a child should be soothed every four hours with a spoonful of black cherry water, in which two, three, or four drops of Spirits of Hartshorn have been mixed.[12]

There is[13] 'An experimented Remedy for the Rickets. Take roots of Smallage, Parsly, Fennel, and Angelica Roots, slice and boil them in distilled water of Angelica, unset Hyssop and Coltsfoot, of each one part, till they are tender, then strain it, and boil it up to a syrup, with white Honey. Then take a stick of Liquorice, scrape it, and bruise one end of it, and give the Child with it of the syrup one spoonful in the Morning, at four of the Afternoon, and at night.'

There was also advertised 'A necklace that cures all sorts of Fits in children occasioned by Teeth or any other Cause; as also all fits in Men and Women. To be had at Mr. Larance's in Somerset Court, near Northumberland House in the Strand; price 10s. for 8 days, though the cure will be performed immediately;' and there was a palatable medium for the little ones in 'the so-much approved Purging Sugar Plumbs.'

Of the Nursery we know very little; indeed children are very seldom mentioned. It is most likely that, in well-to-do families, they were relegated to the nursery, and the care of their mothers, until they were of fit age to go to school. The accompanying illustration, taken from 'The Ladies' Library,' ed. 1714, by Steele, gives us an excellent view of the nursery.

(p. 8)


The very babies were amused much as now—for Addison, Spectator, No. 1, speaking of his natural gravity, says, 'I threw away my rattle before I was two Months old, and would not make use of my Coral till they had taken away all the Bells from it.' Some of these corals were very beautiful and costly, even being made of gold.

(p. 9) We know how, from the earliest ages, a doll has been the favourite toy with girls, and the reign of 'Good Queen Anne' was no exception to the general rule—but they were not then called Dolls, but 'Babies'; so, indeed, were Powel's Marionettes—as also the milliner's models. 'On Saturday last, being the 12th instant, there arrived at my House in King Street, Covent Garden, a French Baby for the year 1712' &c. Some were made of wax, but these were, of course, of the expensive sort, as must also have been those in Widow Smith's raffle—'large joynted dressed Babies.' Probably, dolls were the girls' only playthings. As to the boys, history records very little of their amusements. Give a boy in the nursery a whip, or a stick, to beat somebody, or something, he generally is content. How superlatively happy, however, must he have been in the possession of one of these wonderful horses?—warranted chargers—troop horses, every one! They also had card-board windmills on the end of sticks. We hear nothing of marbles, tops, or any other toys; but, doubtless, children's ingenuity supplied any defects that way, then as now, and made shift to play, and amuse themselves, until the time of enfranchisement came, and the boy could wander in the streets and see the marvels of the raree show, and buy 'hot baked wardens—hot,' or some of old 'Colly Molly Puffe's' pastry—or, should his tastes be simpler, there were 'Ripe Strawberryes,' or 'Sixpence a pound fair Cherryes.'


These little folk, however, had their special literature. For there was compiled and printed 'A Play book for Children, to allure them to read as soon as they can speak plain; composed of small Pages so as not to tire children; printed with a fair and pleasing Letter, the Matter and Method plainer and easier than any yet extant.' The price of this was fourpence, and it must have been a favourite, for it is advertised as being in its second edition in 1703. Certainly, the little ones then lacked many advantages in this way that ours possess—but, on the other hand, so much was not required of them. There was no dreaded 'Exam.' to prepare for—no doing lessons all day long, and then working hard at night to get ready for the next day's toil. They were not taught half a dozen languages, and all the ologies, whilst still in the nursery; but, were the suggestions and advice given to 'the Mother' in Steele's 'Lady's Library' thoroughly carried out, they would grow up good men and women.

(p. 10)


The boys, however, had strong meat provided for them in such tales as 'Jack and the Giants,' &c. Steele, in Tatler 95, says, speaking of a little boy of eight years old, 'I perceived him a very great historian in "Æsop's Fables," but he frankly declared to me his mind "that he did not delight in that learning, because he did not believe they were true," for which reason I found he had very much turned his studies for about a twelvemonth past unto the lives and adventures of Don Bellianis of Greece, Guy of Warwick, the Seven Champions, and other historians of that age.... He would tell you the mismanagements of John Hickerthrift, find fault with the passionate temper in Bevis of Southampton, and loved Saint George for being the champion of England.... I was extolling his accomplishments, when his mother told me that the little girl who led me in this morning was in her way a better scholar than he. "Betty," says she, "deals chiefly in Fairies and Sprights; and sometimes in a winter night will terrify the maids with her accounts, until they are afraid to go up to bed."'


In all probability the child learned his letters in the first instance from a 'Hornbook,' such as were then commonly used and sold—as the following excerpt from an advertisement shows: 'Joseph Hazard at the Bible, in Stationers Court, near Ludgate, sells ... Spelling books, Primers, Hornbooks, &c.' Hornbooks are now very scarce indeed, and the man lucky enough to possess a genuine one must feel proud of his rarity. It consisted of a small sheet of paper, generally about 4 in. × 3 in. or (p. 11) so—sometimes smaller—on which was printed the alphabet, both in capitals and small text, the vowels, and a few simple combinations, such as ab, eb, ib, ob, ub,—ba, be, bi, bo, bu, &c., and the Lord's Prayer. This was laid on a flat piece of board with a roughly shaped handle, and covered with a thin plate of horn, fastened to the board by copper tacks driven through an edging of thin copper. It therefore would stand a vast amount of rough usage before it would be destroyed—a fact of great importance in elementary education.


Private tuition existed then as now. 'A Grave Gentlewoman of about 50 years of age desires to be Governess to any Gentleman's Children; she can give a very good account of herself,' and 'Whereas in this degenerate Age Youth are kept for so many Years in following the Latin Tongue, and many of them are quite discourag'd, Mr. Switterda (who was formerly recommended to the late King William, and well known by their Excellences my Lord Sparkein and my Lord Methuen) offers a very easy and delightful Method, by which any Person of tolerable Capacity, who can but spare time to be twice a Week with him, and an Hour at a Time, nay, Children of ten Years of Age, may in one Year learn to speak Latin and (p. 12) French fluently, according to the Grammar rules, and to understand a Classical Author; and if they are not compleat in that time, he will teach them without any farther Charge, provided they will be manag'd.' Another gentleman, living in Abchurch Lane, offered to do the same, and, moreover, 'he offereth to be bound to every one for the performance thereof, and to give a Month's trial.'

But a Day School was the normal institution for a boy, although there were Boarding Schools. Judging by the advertisements, these must have been but few in the beginning of the reign, as they gradually become more numerous towards its close. A record of one or two will suffice to show what kind of education they gave. 'At the upper end of Knights Bridge, near the Salutation, there is a Boarding School for young Gentlemen, where, besides French, are carefully taught, after the best English method, Latin, Greek, Writing, Arithmetic, Geography, &c.' And again, 'At Lady Day next will be open'd a Boarding School for young Gentlemen at Kensington Gravel Pits, by Richard Johnson, A.M., author of the Grammatical Commentaries.... There will be taught also French, Writing, Arithmetick, and Mathematicks;' whilst another takes a wider range: 'A boarding School will be open'd after Easter, at Chertsey ... for the Instruction of Youth in the English, French, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew Tongues, besides Geography, History, Mathematicks, Writing, and Accompts; to fit 'em either for the University, Study of the Law, or other Business.'

In London, too, were many free schools. There were Westminster, Merchant Taylors', Paul's, Greyfriars, Christ's Hospital, and St. Olave's, Southwark. There were three free schools in Westminster besides the Queen's School; these were, Palmer's in Tuttlefields, Almery School, and Hill's School. Besides which were Lady Owen's School, Islington, and Bunhill School—and there were free schools in Cherrytree Alley, Castle Street (Tennyson's), Great Queen Street, Parker's Lane, Church Entry, Old Jewry, Whitechapel, Ratcliffe, Foster Lane, Hoxton, St. Saviour's, Southwark, Plough Yard, Rotherhithe, and East Smithfield—and this probably is not an exhaustive list.

Although French, High Dutch, and Italian were taught, it was a Classical age, and every gentleman was bound to be a fair, if not a good, classical scholar; indeed, other branches of education were neglected for this, as Steele complains (Spectator, No. 147) that boys at school, 'When they are got into Latin, they are looked upon as above English, the reading of which is wholly neglected, or at least read to very little purpose.' We might look a long time now-a-days for an advertisement such as the following: 'At Hogarth's[14] Coffee House in St. John's Gate, the mid-way between Smithfield Bars and Clerkenwel, there will meet every day at 4 o'clock some Learned Gentlemen who speak Latin readily, where any Gentleman that is either skilled in that Language, or desirous (p. 13) to perfect himself in speaking thereof, will be welcome. The Master of the House, in the absence of others, being always ready to entertain gentlemen in the Latin Tongue.' It is much to be doubted if that literary society, the Urban Club, which till lately held its meetings at the same place, St. John's Gate, could do the same.

Let us glance at a few of the school books then in vogue. First of all is one of the immortal Cocker, 'according to' whom all correct calculations should be made. Although he had been long dead (since 1677), his works lived after him; and there were also other works on Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, and the use of the Globes. (By the way, a pair of 9-in. diam. globes only cost a guinea.) There were Latin Dictionaries, Lilly's Latin Grammar, and an abridgment of it for the use of Blackheath School. There was that English Grammar which 'Isaac Bickerstaff' (Steele) puffed up so: 'That as grammar in general is on all hands allow'd the foundation of all arts and sciences, so it appears to me that this grammar of the English tongue has done that justice to our language which, 'till now, it never obtained;' and there was 'A Guide to the English Tongue, by Thos. Dyche, schoolmaster in London,' the second edition of which was published in 1710, but which has been so popular that a revised edition of it was published as late as 1816; and there were any quantity of books on writing—notably the 'Paul's Scholar's Copy Book, by John Rayner,' immortalised in Tatler 138. The writing of the age was very good—and many are the specimens of elaborate caligraphy in the 'Bagford Collection': for unassuming and yet good writing, perhaps, however, the best are in Harl. MS. 5995, 211, &c.[15] In the eighteenth century penmanship was held in higher estimation than now, and in 1763 W. Massey published 'The Origin and Progress of Letters,' in which he gave the lives of the most famous writing masters during the preceding hundred years. He mentions some half-dozen or more, as living in Anne's reign, but Charles Snell seems to have been the most famous.

As may be supposed, when so much pains was taken in writing, there were many curiosities of caligraphic art. Here is one: 'A piece of close Knotting, viz. 2 Boys holding Circles in their Hands, either being less than a Silver Penny, in which are perspicuously wrote the Lords Prayer in Latin and English. Invented and perform'd by John Dundas (who will shortly publish a Copy book with about 50 new Fancies).... N.B. Any Gentleman or Lady that desires small Writing for a Ring, Locket, or other Curiosity, may be furnished by the Author.'

That pens other than quill were in use is evidenced by an advertisement re a lost pocket-book, which contained 'a Brass Pen.'

Stenography was practised somewhat extensively, to judge by (p. 14) the numerous advertisements; but William Mason, living at the Hand and Pen, in the Poultry, claimed to be 'the Author and Teacher of the shortest Shorthand extant.'

And yet, with all these scholastic advantages, some boys would not be happy; but, as boys have done ever since boarding schools have been invented, they sometimes ran away. Vide the following advertisements: 'A Gentleman's only Child is run from School; he is about 12 years of Age, with light Cloaths lin'd with red, a well favour'd brisk Boy, with a fair old Wig: speaks a little thro' the Scots, his Name Alex Mackdonald: he has been in Spain and Portugal, which makes his Parents fear that some Ship may entertain him.' Whoever captured this lad was to be 'sufficiently rewarded,' whilst the next runaway was only valued at 'half a guinea and charges,' although he was dressed so smartly: 'A little slim, fair hair'd handsome English Boy, who speaks French very well, between 11 and 12 Years of Age, with a sad colour, coarse Kersay Coat trim'd with flat new Gilded Brass Buttons, with a whitish Calla-manca Waistcoat with round Plate Silver Buttons, and a little Silver Edging to his Hat, with fine white Worsted rowl'd Stockings, and with Silver Plate Buttons to his sad colour Sagathy Stuff Britches: went away from School on Thursday, the 6th Inst. Supposed to be gone towards Wapping, Rotherif, Greenwich, or Gravesend, he having been seen near the Thames Side asking for a Master to go to sea.' Curious how, in every century since Elizabeth's time, the runaway English boy naturally flies to the water. Always the same tale: ran away and went to sea. Here were two well-nurtured lads, more than ordinarily accomplished, yet they were bitten by this same tarantula.

Let the Spectator describe the rising generation of that time after they had finished their academic career and had gone to the university. In No. 54, attributed to Steele, speaking of Cambridge, he says, 'Now for their manner of living: and here I shall have a large field to expatiate in; but I shall reserve particulars for my intended discourse, and now only mention one or two of their principal exercises. The elder proficients employ themselves in inspecting mores hominum multorum, in getting acquainted with all the signs and windows in the town. Some have arrived to so great knowledge, that they can tell every time a butcher kills a calf, every time any old woman's cat is in the straw; and a thousand matters as important. One ancient philosopher contemplates two or three hours every day over a sun-dial; and is true to the dial.

As the dial to the sun,
Although it be not shone upon.

Our younger students are content to carry their speculation as yet no further than bowling greens, billiard tables, and such like places.'

Of the reading men, he says, 'They were ever looked upon as (p. 15) a people that impaired themselves more by their strict application to the rules of their order than any other students whatever. Others seldom hurt themselves any further than to gain weak eyes, and sometimes headaches; but these philosophers are seized all over with a general inability, indolence, and weariness, and a certain impatience of the place they are in, with an heaviness in removing to another.

'The loungers are satisfied with being merely part of the number of mankind, without distinguishing themselves from amongst them. They may be said rather to suffer their time to pass than to spend it, without regard to the past or prospect of the future. All they know of life is only in the present instant, and do not taste even that. When one of this order happens to be a man of fortune, the expense of his time is transferred to his coach and horses, and his life is to be measured by their motion, not his own enjoyments or sufferings. The chief entertainment one of these philosophers can possibly propose to himself is to get a relish of dress. This, methinks, might diversify the person he is weary of, his own dear self, to himself. I have known these two amusements make one of these philosophers make a tolerable figure in the world; with variety of dresses in public assemblies in town, and quick motion of his horses out of it, now to Bath, now to Tunbridge, then to Newmarket, and then to London, he has, in process of time, brought it to pass, that his coach and his horses have been mentioned in all these places.' And this description, with a little alteration, would pass as a fair reflex of modern undergraduate existence at either Oxford or Cambridge.

Before closing the question of male education, we must not forget that in Queen Anne's time was inaugurated that system of charity schools which has played so prominent a part in our national system of education, and which has not yet been superseded by our Board Schools. Steele (Spectator, 380) notices this movement—

'St. Bride's, May 15, 1712.

'Sir,—'Tis a great deal of Pleasure to me, and I dare say will be no less Satisfaction to you, that I have an Opportunity of informing you that the Gentlemen and others of the Parish of St. Brides have raised a Charity School of fifty Girls as before of fifty Boys. You were so kind to recommend the Boys to the Charitable World, and the other Sex hope you will do them the same Favour in Fridays Spectator for Sunday next, when they are to appear with their humble Airs at the Parish Church of St. Brides. Sir, the Mention of this may possibly be serviceable to the Children: and sure no one will omit a good Action attended with no expence.

'I am, Sir,
'Your very humble Servant,

'The Sexton.'

(p. 16) At the public thanksgiving for peace in 1713,[16] the charity children were placed in rising rows of seats in the Strand to see the procession pass, and the Queen go to St. Paul's to return thanks—and bitter must have been the disappointment of the little ones at the Queen's absence, on account of illness.

A contemporary account of this festival says: 'Upon the Thanksgiving day for the Peace, about Four Thousand Charity Children (Boys and Girls), new Cloath'd, were placed upon a Machine in the Strand, which was in Length above 600 Foot, and had in Bredth Eight Ranges of seats one above another, whereby all the Children appear'd in full View of both Houses of Parliament, in the solemn Procession they made to St. Paul's upon that joyful Occasion, and who, by their singing Hymns of Prayer and Praise to God for her Majesty, as well as by their Appearance, contributed very much to adorn so welcome a Festival; and gave great Satisfaction to all the Spectators, not without some Surprize to Foreigners who never had beheld such a glorious Sight. The Trustees of the several Charity Schools in and about London and Westminster readily agreed upon Measures for placing the Children in the expected View of Her Majesty, as a Testimony of their great Duty and Humble Thankfulness to Her Majesty for the particular Countenance and Encouragement Her Majesty hath always vouchsafed to give to the Charity Schools,[17] whereby She may be truly stiled their Patron and Protector. Her Majesty not being present, the Hymns were both sung and repeated during the whole Procession, which lasted near Three Hours; and for the Satisfaction and Entertainment of the Publick they are printed as follows:—

'Hymns to be sung by the Charity Children upon the 7th of July, 1713, being the Thanksgiving Day for the PEACE.

'As Her MAJESTY goes to St. Paul's—

Lord give the QUEEN Thy saving Health,
Whose Hope on Thee depends:
Grant Her Increase of Fame and Wealth,
With Bliss that never ends!
Allelujah, Allelujah, Allelujah, Allelujah!
Allelujah, Allelujah, Allelujah, Allelujah, Allelujah!

(p. 17) For Her our fervent Vows aspire,
Our Praises are Address'd;
Thou hast fulfill'd Her Heart's Desire
And granted Her Request.
Allelujah, &c.

A Nursing Mother to Thy Fold,
Long, long may She remain,
And then with Joy Thy Face behold,
And with Thee ever Reign.
Allelujah, &c.

As Her MAJESTY returns from St. Paul's—

Glory to GOD who Reigns on High,
Whom Saints and Angels praise;
Who from His Throne above the Sky,
The Sons of Men surveys.
Allelujah, &c.

PEACE, His best Gift, to Earth's return'd,
Long may it here remain;
As we too long its Absence mourn'd,
Nor sigh'd to Heav'n in vain.
Allelujah, &c.

Good Will, Fair Friendship (Heavenly Guest!)
And Joy and Holy Love,
Make all Mankind completely bless'd,
Resembling Those above.
Allelujah, &c.


Boarding schools — Town and country educations — Pastry schools — Dancing — Toasts — 'The Little Whig' — Madame Spanheim.

Girls were not all educated at home—though, doubtless, the majority of them were, with the exception of their dancing lessons—but had boarding schools of their own; and the schoolmistresses seem always to have been harassed by malicious reports. For instance: 'Whereas it is reported that Mrs. Overing who keeps a Boarding School at Bethnal Green near Hackney, is leaving off; this is to give Notice that the said Report is false, if not Malicious. And that she continues to take sober young Gentlewomen to board, and teaches whatsoever is necessary to the Accomplishment of that Sex.' Take another: 'Mrs. Elizabeth Tutchin[18] continues to (p. 18) keep her School at Highgate, notwithstanding Reports to the contrary. Where young Gentlewomen may be soberly Educated, and taught all sorts of Learning fit for young Gentlewomen.' Observe the stress that was then laid on the sobriety inculcated in these establishments. Read the plays—read the essays of the time—and then, if they are to be taken at all as a just standard of feminine conduct, you will, undoubtedly, come to the conclusion that sobriety of conduct was just the very quality that required instilling into the heads of the maidenhood of the time. Pert little hoydens—ogling the men, flirting their fans, their thoughts always running on a husband—the schoolmistresses of that time must have had hard work to keep them serious, and need of most dragon-like guardianship. They were not taught much, these girls; 'the Needle, Dancing, and the French tongue,' says one—'a little Music, on the Harpsichord, or Spinet, to read, write, and cast accounts in a small way'—this was the sum of their education. Essentially were they to be housekeepers. Here is the description an exceptionally accomplished young lady gives of her own education:[19] 'You know my father was a tradesman, and lived very well by his traffick; and I, being beautiful, he thought nature had already given me part of my portion, and therefore he would add a liberal education, that I might be a complete gentlewoman; away he sent me to the boarding school; there I learned to dance and sing, to play on the bass viol, virginals, spinet, and guitar. I learned to make wax work, japan, paint upon glass, to raise paste, make sweetmeats, sauces, and everything that was genteel and fashionable.' Here we see the best obtainable education of the town-bred lady. What was a girl's education in the country like?[20]

Priscilla. Did she not bestow good breeding upon you there?

Eugenia. Breeding! what, to learn to feed Ducklings, and cram Chickens?

Clara. To see Cows milk'd, learn to Churn, and make Cheese?

Eugen. To make Clouted cream, and whipt Sillabubs?

Clara. To make a Caraway Cake and raise Py Crust?

Eugen. And to learn the top of your skill in Syrrup, Sweetmeats, Aqua mirabilis, and Snayl water.

Clara. Or your great Cunning in Cheese cakes, several Creams and Almond butter.

Prisc. Ay, ay, and 'twere better for all the Gentlemen in England that Wives had no other breeding, but you had Musick and Dancing.

Eugen. Yes, an ignorant, illiterate, hopping Puppy, that rides his Dancing Circuit thirty Miles about, lights off his tyred Steed, draws his Kit[21] at a poor Country Creature, and gives her a Hich in her Pace, that she shall never recover.

Clara. And for Musick an old hoarse singing man riding ten miles from his Cathedral to Quaver out the Glories of our Birth and State, or it may be a Scotch Song more hideous and barbarous than an Irish Cronan.

Eug. And another Musick Master from the next town to Teach one to (p. 19) twinkle out Lilly burlero[22] upon an old pair of Virginals, that sound worse than a Tinker's Kettle that he cries his work on.

We saw that even the accomplished town young lady was taught how to raise paste, &c.; indeed that was a regular branch of a girl's education, and all housewifely gifts were thoroughly appreciated.

Niece. Good madam, don't upbraid me with my Mother Bridget, and an excellent housewife.

Aunt. Yes, I say, she was, and spent her time in better Learning than ever you did. Not in reading of Fights and Battels of Dwarfs and Giants; but in writing out receipts for Broths, Possets, Caudles and Surfeit Waters, as became a good Country Gentlewoman.[23]

But, if girls could not learn pastry-making at home, or wanted a higher class of education therein, there were the forerunners of our 'Schools of Cookery' in the shape of 'Pastry Schools,' where the professor demonstrated. Here is one of them. 'To all Young Ladies at Edw. Kidder's Pastry School in little Lincoln's Inn Fields, are taught all Sorts of Pastry and Cookery, Dutch hollow works, and Butter Works, on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays in the Afternoon, and on the same days, in the Morning, at his School in Norris Street in St. James's Market, and at his School in St. Martin's Le Grand, on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in the Afternoon. And at his School at St. Mary Overies Dock, Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesday mornings from 9 to 12.'

But one branch of a girl's education seems never to have been neglected—her dancing. Steele says,[24] 'When a girl is safely brought from her nurse, before she is capable of forming one simple notion of anything in life, she is delivered to the hands of her dancing master, and with a collar round her neck, the pretty wild thing is taught a fantastical gravity of behaviour, and forced to a particular way of holding her head, heaving her breast, and moving with her whole body; and all this under pain of never having a husband, if she steps, looks or moves awry.'

He gives a humorous description of the dancing master:[25] 'There was Colonel Jumper's Lady, a Colonel of the Train Bands, that has a great Interest in her Parish; she recommends Mr. Trott for the prettiest Master in Town, that no Man teaches a Jigg like him, that she has seen him rise Six or Seven Capers together with the greatest Ease imaginable, and that his Scholars twist themselves more ways than the Scholars of any Master in Town; besides there is Madam Prim, the Alderman's Lady, recommends a Master of her Own Name, but she declares he is not of their (p. 20) Family, yet a very extraordinary Man in his Way; for, besides a very soft Air he has in Dancing, he gives them a particular Behaviour at a Tea-Table, and in presenting their Snuff Box: to twirl, flip or flirt a Fan, and how to place Patches to the best advantage, either for Fat or Lean, Long or Oval Faces.

Indeed, dancing was much thought of as an accomplishment, and more will be said of it in its place among the social habits of the time. One book alone, 'The Dancing Master' for 1713, 15th ed., contains 358 different figures and tunes for country dances. It got to be a fine art, and books were written on 'Chorography' and 'Orchesography,' illustrated with wonderful and most perplexing diagrams. A contemporary sketch of a dancing academy is interesting. It is by Budgell.[26] 'I am a Man in Years, and by an honest Industry in the World have acquired enough to give my Children a liberal Education, tho' I was an utter Stranger to it myself. My eldest Daughter, a Girl of Sixteen, has for some time past been under the Tuition of Monsieur Rigadoon, a Dancing Master in the City; and I was prevailed upon by her and her Mother to go last Night to one of his Balls. I must own to you, Sir, that having never been at any such Place before, I was very much pleased and surprized with that Part of his Entertainment which he called French Dancing. There were several young Men and Women, whose limbs seemed to have no other Motion but purely what the Musick gave them. After this Part was over, they began a Diversion which they call Country Dancing, and wherein there were also some things not disagreeable, and divers Emblematical Figures, compos'd, as I guess, by Wise Men for the Instruction of Youth.

'Amongst the rest, I observed one, which I think they call[27] Hunt the Squirrel, in which while the Woman flies, the Man pursues her; but as soon as she turns, he runs away, and she is obliged to follow.

'The Moral of this Dance does, I think, very aptly recommend Modesty and Discretion to the Female Sex.

'But as the best Institutions are liable to Corruptions, so, Sir, I must acquaint you, that very great Abuses are crept into this Entertainment. I was Amazed to see my Girl handed by, and handing young Fellows with so much Familiarity; and I could not have thought it had been in the Child. They very often made use of a most impudent and lascivious Step called Setting, which I know not how to describe to you, but by telling you that it is the very reverse of Back to Back. At last an impudent young Dog bid the Fiddlers play a Dance called Mol Patley,[28] and after having made two or three Capers, ran to his Partner, locked his Arms in hers, and whisked her round Cleverly above Ground in such manner that I, who sat upon one of the lowest Benches, saw further above her Shoe than I can think fit to acquaint you with. I could no longer endure these Enormities; wherefore, just as my Girl was (p. 21) going to be made a Whirligig, I ran in, seized on the Child, and carried her home.'

Poor Budgell! what would have been his feelings could he have but seen a galop, or a valse à deux temps?

We may now consider the girl's education complete, and, as she may be 'sweet seventeen' or so, she naturally would be, if either pretty or witty, 'a TOAST' among her male friends. This peculiar institution has its rise in Queen Anne's time, and is aptly described[29] as 'a new name found out by the Wits, to make a lady have the same effect, as burridge in the glass when a man is drinking.' Pope, even, could hardly make it out.

Say why are beauties prais'd and honour'd most,
The wise man's passion, and the vain man's toast?
Why deck'd with all that land and sea afford,
Why angels call'd, and angel-like adored?

It was an old English custom to put a toast, a roasted pippin or so, in a hot drink, such as a tankard of spiced ale, or of sack; and this is whimsically applied as the derivation of the word used to express the slavish adulation and worship of the fair sex, as embodied in this custom. [30]'Many of the Wits of the last age will assert that the word, in its present sense, was known among them in their youth, and had its rise from an accident at the town of Bath, in the reign of Charles the Second. It happened that, on a public day, a celebrated beauty of those times was in the Cross Bath, and one of the crowd of her admirers took a glass of the water in which the fair one stood and drank her health to the Company. There was in the place a gay fellow half fuddled, who offered to jump in, and swore, though he liked not the liquor, he would have the Toast. He was opposed in his resolution; yet this whim gave foundation to the present honour which is done to the lady we mention in our liquors, who has ever since been called a TOAST. Though this institution had so trivial a beginning, it is now elevated into a formal order; and that happy virgin, who is received and drunk to at their meetings, has no more to do in this life but to judge and accept of the first good offer. The manner of her inauguration is much like that of the choice of a Doge in Venice: it is performed by balloting; and when she is so chosen, she reigns indisputably for that ensuing year; but must be re-elected anew to prolong her empire a moment beyond it. When she is regularly chosen, her name is written with a diamond on a drinking glass. The hieroglyphic of the diamond is to shew her that her value is imaginary; and that of the glass to acquaint her, that her condition is frail, and depends on the hand which holds her.' Many of the members of the 'Kit Cat Club'—Lords Halifax, Wharton, Lansdowne, and Carbury, Mr. Maynwaring and others—thus immortalised their Toasts. One, by Lord Lansdowne, will amply serve as an illustration—

(p. 22) Love is enjoyn'd to make his favourite toast,
And HARE'S the goddess that delights him most.

There were two very famous toasts in Queen Anne's time; one in particular was Lady Sunderland, a daughter of the Duke of Marlborough, who was known by the sobriquet of 'The Little Whig.' She was the toast of her party, and her nickname was so well known that it is said the first stone of Sir John Vanbrugh's theatre in the Haymarket had 'Little Whig' cut upon it. The other was Mademoiselle Spanheim, the daughter of Baron Spanheim, Ambassador Extraordinary from the Court of Prussia. She was very lovely; indeed, her good looks were proverbial, as the current expression, 'as beautiful as Madam Spanheim,' shows. She was married early in the year 1710 to the Marquis de Montandre. Her father died here in November of the same year, aged 81; and the Queen presented the Marchioness de Montandre with a thousand guineas, which was the usual present then given to an ambassador on taking his leave.


Eloping with heiresses — Marriage between children — Tax on bachelors — Valentines — Marriage settlements — Pin money — Posies — Drummers — Private marriages — Irregular marriages — Fleet parsons — Marriage Act — Facility of marriage — Liability of husbands — Public marriages — Marriage customs — Bride's garters — Throwing the stocking — The posset — Honeymoon.

We will suppose our toast to escape the perils to which her position exposed her, and not forcibly carried off by some bold knight, as had been known in this reign[31]—'Same evening Sir Alexander Cumming, Knight of the Shire for Aberdeen, carried off from the Ring in Hyde Park madam Dennis and married her; she is said to be worth about £16,000.' Probably his position stood him in good stead, for it fared differently with one Haagen Swendsen,[32] who was, in 1702, convicted and executed for stealing Mrs. Rawlins, an heiress. Nowadays, he would have been unhesitatingly acquitted, even if he had ever been prosecuted, as there was no real case against him, and Mrs. Rawlins married him of her own free will.

That people could be married young enough is rendered sufficiently evident by the very painful case of Sir George Downing and Mary Forester, which excited much interest in the last year of Anne's reign. It is very lucidly put as a case for counsel's opinion.[33]

(p. 23) 'The Case.

'1. G. D. without the Knowledge and Consent of his Father (then alive, but accounted not of sound Judgment) was at the Age of Fifteen, by the Procurement and Persuasion of those in whose Keeping he was, Marry'd, according to the Church form, to M. F. of the Age of Thirteen.

'2. This young Couple was put to Bed, in the Day time, according to Custom, and continu'd there a little while, but in the Presence of the Company, who all testify they touched not one the other; and after that, they came together no more;—the young Gentleman going immediately Abroad, the young Woman continuing with her Parents.

'3. G. D., after Three or Four Years Travel, return'd home to England, and being sollicited to live with his lawful Wife, refus'd it, and frequently and publickly declar'd he never would compleat the Marriage.

'4. Fourteen Years have pass'd since this Marriage Ceremony was perform'd, each Party having (as is natural to think) contracted an incurable Aversion to each the other, is very desirous to be set at liberty; and accordingly Application is made to the Legislative power to dissolve this Marriage, and to give each Party leave, if they think fit, to Marry elsewhere.

'The Reasons against such Dissolution are:—

'First. That each Party was Consenting to the Marriage, and was Old enough to give such Consent, according to the known Laws of the Kingdom; the Male being Fifteen Years Old, the Female Thirteen; whereas the Years of Consent are, by Law, Fourteen and Twelve.

'Secondly. They were actually Marry'd according to the Form prescrib'd by the Church of England; the Minister pronouncing those solemn Words us'd by our Saviour, Those whom God has joyn'd let no Man put asunder. They are therefore Man and Wife both by the Laws of God and of the Land; and, since nothing but Adultery can dissolve a Marriage, and no Adultery is pretended here, the Marriage continues indissoluble.'

And, in the course of some very able pleading, the author says, 'My Lords, the Years of Consent are not fix'd to Fourteen or Twelve either by Nature, Reason, or any Law of God; but purely and meerly by the positive Laws of the Land, which may change them to Morrow;[34] and if they were chang'd to Day, no Man in England would, I dare affirm it, be dissatisfy'd; it seems so senseless and unreasonable to give our Children the Power of disposing of their Persons for ever, at an Age when we will not let them dispose of Five Shillings without Direction and Advice.'

(p. 24) However, no pleading could prevail against the actual law, and this singularly married couple remained, legally, man and wife.

In 1690 there was a pamphlet issued by 'A Person of Quality,'[35] advocating a tax on bachelors, and on April 22, 1695, William III. gave his assent to an Act intituled 'An Act for granting his Majesty certain Rates and Duties upon Marriages, Births, and Burials, and upon Batchelors and Widowers for the term of five years, for carrying on the War with Vigour.'

  £ s. d.
For the Burial of every person 0 4 0
" of a Duke (above the 4s.) 50 0 0
" of a Marquess, &c. &c., in proportion. of every person having a real estate £50 per annum or upwards, or a personal estate of £600 or upwards 1 0 0
" of the Wife of such person having such estate 0 10 0
For and upon the Birth of every person and Child, except the children of those who receive Alms 0 2 0
" of the eldest son of a Duke 30 0 0
" of a Marquess and so forth.  
Upon the Marriage of every person 0 2 6
" of a Duke 50 0 0
" Marquess 40 0 0
" Earl 30 0 0
" and so forth.  
Bachelors above 25 years old, yearly 0 1 0
Widowers above 25 years old, yearly 0 1 0
A Duke being Bachelor or Widower, yearly 12 10 0
A Marquess " 10 0 0

By the Act 8 & 9 Will. III., 'For making good the Deficiencies of Several Funds therein mentioned,' these taxes were kept on, and were to be paid until Aug. 1, 1706, so that they were in force during four years of Anne's reign.

In a most amusing tract[36] this Act is alluded to as a law discouraging marriage, and proposes to make bachelors of 24 and widowers of 50 pay 20s. per annum, and estimates that a revenue of 2-1/2 millions sterling would accrue.

There was every freedom of intercourse allowed between the young of both sexes: they visited, and we have seen that they mixed in the dancing academies. There was also the custom of valentines, now become obsolete and unmeaning. Misson describes it well, as indeed he did everything he saw in England: 'On the Eve of the 14th of Feb., St. Valentine's Day, a Time when all living Nature inclines to couple, the Young Folks in England, and Scotland too, by a very ancient Custom, celebrate a little Festival that tends (p. 25) to the same End. An equal Number of Maids and Batchelors get together, each writes their true or some feign'd Name upon separate Billets, which they Roll up, and draw by way of Lots, the Maids taking the Men's Billets, and the Men the Maids; so that each of the Young Men lights upon a Girl that he calls his Valentine, and each of the Girls upon a young Man which she calls hers: By this means each has two Valentines; but the Man sticks faster to the Valentine that is fallen to him, than to the Valentine to whom he is fallen. Fortune having thus divided the Company into so many Couples, the Valentines give Balls and Treats to their Mistresses, wear their Billets several Days upon their Bosoms or Sleeves, and this little Sport often ends in Love. There is another kind of Valentine; which is the first young Man or Woman that Chance throws in your Way in the Street, or elsewhere, on that Day.'

The whole of the literature of the day speaks of the tendency of young men to avoid the trammels of matrimony. Most probably the wild blood engendered in Charles the Second's time had not yet cooled down, and the licence then habitual, had hardly been superseded by decorum; but there were other causes, one of which was the introduction of marriage settlements. These were comparatively new. Steele calls attention to it:[37] 'Honest Coupler, the Conveyancer, says "He can distinguish, upon sight of the parties before they have opened upon any point of their business, which of the two has the daughter to sell." Coupler is of our Club, and I have frequently heard him declaim upon this subject, and assert "that the Marriage Settlements, which are now used, have grown fashionable even within his memory."'

When the theatre, in some late reigns, owed its chief support to those scenes which were written to put matrimony out of countenance and render that state terrible, then it was that pin money first prevailed; and all the other articles were inserted, which create a diffidence, and intimate to the young people that they are very soon to be in a state of war with each other; though this has seldom happened, except the fear of it had been expressed. Coupler will tell you also 'that jointures were never frequent until the age before his own; but the women were contented with the third part of the estate the law allotted them, and scorn'd to engage with men whom they thought capable of abusing their Children.' He has also informed me 'that those who are the oldest Benchers when he came to the Temple told him, the first Marriage Settlement of considerable length was the invention of an old Serjeant, who took the opportunity of two testy fathers, who were ever squabbling, to bring about an alliance between their Children. These fellows knew each other to be knaves, and the Serjeant took hold of their mutual diffidence, for the benefit of the Law, to extend the Settlement to three skins of parchment.' This was undoubtedly the substance of a genuine conversation with a lawyer, and is (p. 26) further referred to in a subsequent paper. Nor did Steele like pin money: he not only declaims against it in his essays, but in his dramatic works—in 'The Tender Husband,' where two fathers are squabbling over settlements. One, Sir Harry Gubbin, says—

Look y', Mr. Tipkin, the main Article with me is that Foundation of Wives Rebellion—that cursed Pin Money—Five hundred Pounds per annum Pin Money.

Tipkin. The Word Pin Money, Sir Harry, is a Term——

Sir H. It is a Term, Brother, we never had in our Family, nor ever will. Make her Jointure in Widowhood accordingly large, but Four hundred Pounds a Year is enough to give no account of.

Tipkin. Well, Sir Harry, since you can't swallow these Pins, I will abate to Four Hundred Pounds.

Sir H. And to Mollifie the Article, as well as Specifie the Uses, we'll put in the Names of several Female Utensils, as Needles, Knitting Needles, Tape, Thread, Scissors, Bodkins, Fans, Playbooks, with other Toys of that Nature.

Addison, too, must needs have a fling at it, and wrote a whole essay on pin money,[38] and, in a letter therein, gives a doleful case. 'The education of these my Children, who, contrary to my expectation, are born to me every Year, straightens me so much that I have begged their Mother to free me from the Obligation of the above mentioned Pin Money, that it may go towards making a Provision for her family. This Proposal makes her Noble Blood swell in her Veins, insomuch, that finding me a little tardy in her last Quarter's Payment, she threatens every Day to arrest me: and proceeds so far as to tell me, that if I do not do her Justice, I shall die in a Jayl. To this she adds, when her Passion will let her argue calmly, that she has several Play Debts on her Hand, which must be discharged very suddenly, and that she cannot lose her Money as becomes a Woman of her Fashion, if she makes me any Abatements in this Article.'

Supposing the vexed question of settlements or no settlements disposed of, a thing of primary importance before marriage was to provide the ring, and that, according to the custom of the day, must have a posy on it.[39] 'He has likewise promised me to get the measure of his Mistress's marriage finger, with a design to make a posy in the fashion of a ring which shall exactly fit it.' The posy was mostly a couplet—and as not much sentiment or poetry can be compressed into two lines, the posies, as far as we can judge, are not very brilliant efforts of genius. The appended examples are all genuine of the time, as they are taken from the newspaper advertisements of things lost.

Two made one
By God alone.

God's Providence
Is our Inheritance.

God decreed
Our Unity.

This in Love
Join our Hearts
To God Above.

Vertuous love
Will never remove.

(p. 27) And now a word or two as to the Marriages of those times, and one is fairly surprised at the very little fuss that was generally made about them. On the Stage, a clergyman coupled the pair presently, or the young people just left the room and came back in a few minutes, duly married. And this really was somewhat like real life, and not a travesty. 'Aunt, Aunt, run for Doctor Dromedary, and let us be Married before the Sun reposes,'[40] was a not unnatural request for a young lady to make. A custom had grown up to avoid the noise and riot of a public wedding, which, besides, was very expensive—open house being but a small part of it; so it used to be, that the young people would get married with just sufficient legal witness, and with the full consent of the parents. Even the middle class were glad to get rid of the noise of drums, etc. (which still survives in the marrow bones and cleavers—the rough music of a lower-class wedding).

Here Rows of Drummers stand in Martial File,
And with their Vellom Thunder shake the Pile,
To greet the new made Bride;[41]

and in one of Steele's Spectators (364) is a letter commencing 'I was marry'd on Sunday last, and went peaceably to Bed; but, to my Surprize, was awaken'd the next Morning by the Thunder of a Set of Drums.' For this noise the unfortunate bridegroom had to pay pretty smartly.

These private marriages had their inconveniences, as the following advertisement[42] shows: 'Whereas, for several Reasons, the Marriage of Mrs. Frances Herbert to Capt. James Price, Son to Brigadier Price of Ireland, was kept private for some time, which has occasioned some insolent People to censure her Virtue; to prevent which Censures for the future, it is thought proper to give this Publick Notice that she was marry'd to the said Capt. James Price on the 18th Day of June last at the Parish Church of St. Bennet's, Pauls Wharf, London, by License and before Witnesses.'

Misson adverts to this custom of private marriage as being very common. 'In England, a Boy may marry at fourteen Years old, and a Girl at twelve, in spight of Parents and Guardians, without any Possibility of dissolving their Marriage, tho' one be the Son of a Hog-driver, and the other a Duke's Daughter.[43] This often produces very whimsical Matches. There is another thing in it odd enough; for those Children by this means not only become their own Masters, but obtain this Advantage at a very easy Rate. If to be marry'd it were necessary to be proclaim'd three Times in a full Congregation, their Friends would be inform'd of the Matter, and might find a Way to disswade a little Girl, that had taken it into her Head to have a Husband, by giving her fine Cloaths, (p. 28) pretty Babies, and every Thing else that might amuse her; but the Wedding is clapp'd up so privately, that People are amaz'd to see Women brought to Bed of legitimate Children, without having heard a Word of the Father. The Law, indeed, requires that the Bans should be publish'd; but the strange Practice of a dispensing Power makes the Law of no Manner of Use. To proclaim Bans is a Thing no Body now cares to have done; very few are willing to have their Affairs declar'd to all the World in a publick Place, when for a Guinea they may do it Snug, and without Noise; and my good Friends the Clergy, who find their Accounts in it, are not very zealous to prevent it. Thus, then, they buy what they call a Licence, and are marry'd in their Closets, in Presence of a couple of Friends, that serve for Witnesses; and this ties them for ever: Nay, the Abuse is yet greater, for they may be marry'd without a Licence in some Chappels, which have that Privilege.... Hence comes the Matches between Footmen and young Ladies of Quality, who you may be sure live no very easy Life together afterwards: Hence, too, happen Polygamies, easily conceal'd, and too much practised.'

Sometimes they were married at a tavern.[44] 'Whereas a Couple was marryed at the Ship Tavern without Temple Barr, London, in March, 1696. The Parson, or any other that was then Present, is desired to come or send to the Publisher of this Paper, and give an account of the said Marriage, and shall be satisfied for their charges of coming or sending, and loss of time.'

The irregular marriages were a crying evil of the times—in spite of legislative efforts to stop them. There was an Act passed, 6 and 7 Wm. III. cap. 7, sec. 52, for the better levying the 5s. duty on licences, and imposing a penalty of 100l. for marrying without one—and the 7 and 8 Wm. III. cap. 35 recites this Act, and says it was ineffectual, because the penalty of 100l. was not extended to every offence of the same parson—because the parsons employed poor and indigent ministers, without benefices, or settled habitations, and because many ministers, being in prison for debt or otherwise, married persons for lucre and gain.

There have been certain churches and chapels[45] exempted from the visitation of the ordinary—and the ministers of such, usually married without licence or banns—and these were called 'lawless churches.' In Anne's reign there was one famous one, St. James', Duke's Place, by Aldgate. Another was Holy Trinity, Minories, which exercised the same privilege. The Savoy had not yet been much heard of, and they did a good business. In the former case, privilege was claimed, because the Mayor, Commonalty, and Citizens of London were lords of the manor and patrons of the church, and therefore set up an exemption from the jurisdiction (p. 29) (in matters ecclesiastical) of the Bishop of London. In the latter, it was pleaded that the living was held direct from the Crown, in whose gift it was, and that the minister held the same by an instrument of dotation, under the Great Seal of England, and that it was neither a rectory nor vicarage institutive. However, the arm of the ecclesiastical law did once reach Adam Elliott, rector of St. James', and on Feb. 17, 1686, he was suspended for three years, ab officio et beneficio, for having married, or having suffered persons to be married, at the said church, without banns or licence. He was, however, reinstituted on May 28, 1687, after having petitioned the Ecclesiastical Commissioners; but he began his old trade very shortly afterwards, in fact the next day, as appears in the marriage register of the church—'There were no marriages from the tenth of March till ye 29 day of May' 1687.

People could be, and were, married without licence, both in the Fleet and Queen's Bench Prisons. It is probable that prisoners there were duly and properly married by banns in the prison chapel, long before 1674, which is the date of the earliest illicit Fleet Register in the Bishop of London's registry; for, in a letter, Sept. 1613, we read:[46] 'Now I am to enform you that an ancyentt acquayntance of yrs and myne is yesterday maryed in the Fleette, one Mr. Georg Lestor, and hath maryed Mris Babbington, Mr. Thomas Fanshawe mother-in-lawe. It is sayed she is a woman of good wealthe so as nowe the man wylle able to lyve and mayntayn hymself in prison, for hether unto he hath byne in poor estate.' But, at all events, the law was set at nought in Anne's reign, as it was for many a long year afterwards. In 1702 the chaplain was Robert Elborough, who married but few without banns or licence, 'but under a colour doth allow his clerk Bartholomew Basset to do what he pleases,' and in 1714 Mr. John Taylor filled the same office, but he does not seem to have solemnised matrimony at the Fleet. There was, however, a low clergyman, named John Gaynam, otherwise Doctor Gaynam, who did a large trade there in marriages, from 1709 to 1740. A little anecdote of him, though not in Queen Anne's time, may not be amiss. He was giving evidence at the Old Bailey on the trial of Robert Hussey for bigamy, in 1733.

Dr. Gainham. The 9th of September, 1733, I married a couple at the Rainbow Coffee House, the corner of Fleet Ditch, and entered the marriage in my register, as fair a register as any church in England can produce. I showed it last night to the foreman of the jury, and my Lord Mayor's Clerk, at the London Punch House.

Counsel. Are you not ashamed to come and own a clandestine marriage in the face of a court of justice?

Dr. Gainham (bowing). Video meliora, deteriora sequor.

The same practice was followed by others during this reign. Wm. Wyatt, who moved from the Two Sawyers, at the corner of Fleet Lane, to the Hand and Pen near Holborn Bridge, married from 1713 to 1750. John Floud, who was for some years a prisoner (p. 30) in the Fleet, married from 1709 to 1729. John Mottram, from 1709 to 1725. He was convicted, in 1716, in the Consistory Court, for marrying illegally, and was suspended from his ministerial functions for three years. Jerome Alley, from 1681 to 1707, when he left off marrying 'for some other preferment.' Draper, from 1689 to 1716. John Evans, from 1689 to 1729. Henry Gower, 1689 to 1718. Thos. Hodgkins, 1674 to 1728. Ed. Marston, 1713 to 1714. Oswald, 1712. Nehemiah Rogers, a prisoner, but rector of Ashingdon, Essex, married between 1700 and 1703. He seems to have been a specially bright specimen of the Fleet parson. 'He is a Prisoner, but goes at larg to his P. Living in Essex, and all places else; he is a very wicked man as lives, for drinking, whoring, and swearing, he has struck and boxed ye bridegroom in ye Chapple, and damned like any com'on soldier, he marries both within and without ye Chapple like his brother Colton.' This was James Colton, who had been deprived of his living for evil practices, and married from 1681 to 1721. Benj. Bynes, 1698 to 1711. Walter Stanhope, 1711. Jo. Vice, 1689 to 1713; and J. Wise, in 1709.

The Queen's Bench was not behind its brother of the Fleet, but there even greater abuses existed—laymen officiating.[47] ''Tis expected that a Bill to prevent clandestine Marriages, under a severe Corporal Penalty, will be brought in very early next Session of Parliament. For which 'tis said too just Occasion has been given by a Discovery lately made that Laymen have been suffer'd to marry at the Queen's Bench; and that John Sarjeant, who now acts there again as Clerk, has forg'd Certificates of pretended Marriages, for which he keeps Register books, with large blanks almost in every Page, whereby very mischievous Frauds are practicable. For preventing whereof, the late Chaplain labour'd hard with the most proper Person to command the said books out of the Clerk's Custody, and not prevailing, resign'd his Office, which he had discharg'd among the Prisoners, both in the House and in the Rules, above five years, charitably, having never receiv'd one Farthing of the Fees thereto annexed.—William Tipping.'

This evidently refers to the Marriage Act of Queen Anne (10 Anne, c. 19), which received the royal assent on May 22, 1712. This was a short Act smuggled in in a long money bill about duties on 'Sope' and paper, linen, silks, calicoes, stampt vellom, &c. It renewed, from June 24, 1712, the penalty of 100l. attaching to the performance of illegal matches, giving half the penalty to the informer, and, 'if any gaoler or keeper of any prison shall be privy to, or knowingly permit, any marriage to be solemnised in his said prison, before publication of banns, or license obtained as aforesaid, he shall for every such offence forfeit the sum of one hundred pounds to be recovered and distributed as aforesaid.' There, then, was an extra duty of 5s. imposed upon every marriage licence, or certificate of marriage.

(p. 31) Marriages were made easy. You could go a country walk and pop in and get married. A newly built church at Hampstead thus[48] advertises: 'As there are many weddings at Sion Chapel, Hampstead, five Shillings only is required for all the Church fees of any Couple that are married there, provided they bring with them a license or Certificate, according to the Act of Parliament. Two Sermons are continued to be preached in the said Chapel every Sunday, and the place will be given to any Clergyman that is willing to accept of it, to be approved of.' Early in George the First's time, in 1716, they offered 'that all persons, upon bringing a licence, and who shall have their wedding dinner in the gardens, may be married in the said Chapel, without giving any fee or reward whatsoever.'

Whilst on the subject of curious marriages, the following may well be noticed, extracted from the Parish Register: 'John Bridmore and Anne Sellwood, both of Chiltern All Saints, were married October 17, 1714.

'The aforesaid Anne Sellwood was married in her Smock, without any clothes or head gier on.'

This is not uncommon, the object being, according to a vulgar error, to exempt the husband from the payment of any debts his wife may have contracted in her ante-nuptial condition. This error seems to have been founded on a misconception of the law, as it is laid down[49] that 'the husband is liable for the wife's debts, because he acquires an absolute interest in the personal estate of the wife,' etc. An unlearned person from this might conclude, and not unreasonably, that if his wife had no estate whatever, he could not incur any liability.

Anyhow, after marriage they were liable, as the following gentlemen knew: 'Whereas Elizabeth Stephenson, Wife of George Stephenson, late of Falken Court, near the Queen's Bench, in Southwark, hath Eloped from her said Husband, and since hath contracted several Debts with a design to Ruin her said Husband. These are therefore to give notice to the Publick, That the said George Stephenson will not on any Account whatever Pay or allow of any Debt so Contracted by the said Elizabeth Stephenson, either before or since her elopement.' 'Whereas Isabella Goodyear, the Daughter of Rich. Cliffe of Brixhome in the County of Devon, and Wife of Aaron Goodyear of London, Merchant, about 18 months since abandon'd and forsook the Bed and since the Board of Aaron her said Husband, carrying with her in Goods, Plate, and other Goods to the value of £200 and upwards, and whereas the said Isabella hath as well been sollicited by the said Aaron her Husband, as also by several of his acquaintance, to return to and Cohabit with him, under all assurances of being civilly receiv'd and maintain'd according to his quality and circumstances, which the said (p. 32) Isabella hath, and still doth obstinately refuse. These are therefore to give notice to all Traders, and all other persons whatsoever, that from and after this present Notice they do not maintain, sustain, or detain the said Isabella from the said Aaron her Husband, or any of his Goods or Plate carryed off by the said Isabella, either by lending her Money or Selling her Goods, or by any other ways whatsoever, under penalty of the law, and forfeiture of the credit, if any, given to the said Isabella from the Notice hereof.'

Having discussed the private hole-and-corner, and clandestine marriages, it may be well to inquire the reasons why these were preferred to the more ceremonious ones. Mainly on the score of expense, and to get rid of the uproarious and senseless festivities which accompanied them. Let Misson describe what one was like: 'One of the Reasons that they have for marrying secretly, as they generally do in England, is that thereby they avoid a great deal of Expence and Trouble.... Persons of Quality, and many others who imitate them, have lately taken up the Custom of being marry'd very late at Night in their Chamber, and very often at some Country House.[50] They increase their Common Bill of Fare for some Days; they dance, they play, they give themselves up for some small Time to Pleasure; but all this they generally do without Noise, and among very near Relations. Formerly in France they gave Livrées de Nôces, which was a knot of Ribbands, to be worn by the Guests upon their Arms; but that is practised now only among Peasants. In England it is done still among the greatest Noblemen. These Ribbands they Call Favours,[51] and give them not only to those that are at the Wedding, but to five hundred People besides; they send them about, and distribute them at their own houses.... Among the Citizens and plain Gentlemen (which is what they call the Gentry) they sometimes give these Favours; but it is very Common to avoid all Manner of Expence as much as Possible. When those of a middling Condition have a mind to be so extravagant as to marry in Publick (which very rarely happens) they invite a Number of Friends and Relations; every one puts on new Cloaths,[52] and dresses finer than ordinary; the Men lead the Women, they get into Coaches, and so go in Procession, and are marry'd in full Day at Church. After Feasting and Dancing, and having made merry that Day and the next, they take a Trip into the Country, and there divert themselves very pleasantly. These are extraordinary Weddings. The Ordinary ones, as I said before, are generally incognito. The Bridegroom, that is to say, the Husband that is to be, and the Bride, who is the (p. 33) Wife that is to be, conducted by their Father and Mother, or by those that serve them in their room, and accompany'd by two Bride men and two Bride maids, go early in the Morning with a Licence[53] in their Pocket and call up Mr. Curate and his Clerk, tell him their Business; are marry'd with a low Voice, and the Doors shut; tip the Minister a Guinea, and the Clerk a Crown; steal softly out, one way, and t'other another, either on Foot or in Coaches; go different Ways to some Tavern at a Distance from their own Lodgings, or to the House of some trusty Friend, there have a good Dinner, and return Home at Night as quietly as Lambs. If the Drums and Fiddles have notice of it they will be sure to be with them by Day break, making a horrible Racket, till they have got the Pence; and, which is worst of all, the whole Murder will come out. Before they go to bed they take t other Glass, &c., and when Bedtime is come the Bride men pull off the Bride's Garters, which she had before unty'd that they might hang down, and so prevent a Curious Hand coming too near her knee. This done, and the Garters being fastened to the Hats of the Gallants, the Bride maids carry the Bride into the Bed chamber, where they undress her,[54] and lay her in Bed. The Bridegroom, who by the Help of his Friends is undress'd in some other Room, comes in his Night-gown as soon as possible to his Spouse, who is surrounded by Mother, Aunt, Sisters, and Friends, and without any farther Ceremony gets into Bed. Some of the Women run away, others remain, and the Moment afterwards they are all got together again.[55] The Bridemen Take the Bride's Stockings, and the Bridemaids the Bridegroom's; both sit down at the Bed's Feet and fling the Stockings over their Heads, endeavouring to direct them so as that they may fall upon the marry'd Couple. If the Man's stockings, thrown by the Maids, fall upon the Bridegroom's Head, it is a Sign she will quickly be marry'd herself; and the same Prognostick holds good of the Woman's Stockings thrown by the Man. Oftentimes these young People engage with one another upon the Success of the Stockings, tho' they themselves look upon it to be nothing but Sport. While some amuse themselves agreeably with these little Follies, others are preparing a good Posset, which is a kind of Cawdle, a Potion made up of Milk, Wine, Yolk of Eggs, Sugar, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, etc. This they present to the young Couple, who swallow it down as fast as they can to get rid of so troublesome Company; the (p. 34) Bridegroom prays, scolds, entreats them to be gone, and the Bride says ne'er a Word, but thinks the more. If they obstinately continue to retard the Accomplishment of their Wishes, the Bridegroom jumps up in his Shirt, which frightens the Women, and puts them to Flight. The Men follow them, and the Bridegroom returns to the Bride.

'They never fail to bring them another Sack Posset next Morning, which they spend in such Amusements as you may easily imagine. The young Woman, more gay and more contented than ever she was in her Life, puts on her finest Cloaths (for she was married only in a Mob[56]), the dear Husband does the same, and so do the young Guests; they laugh, they dance, they make merry; and these Pleasures continue a longer or shorter time, according to the several Circumstances of Things.'

There was no going away for the honeymoon for the newly married couple. That trying season was spent at home, in a somewhat stately manner—receiving company, and must have been excessively irksome, as the following amusing account of a citizen's honeymoon shows:[57] 'I have lately married a very pretty body, who being somewhat younger and richer than myself, I was advised to go a wooing to her in a finer suit of clothes than ever I wore in my life: for I love to dress plain, and suitable to a man of my rank. How ever, I gained her heart by it. Upon the wedding day I put myself, according to custom, in another suit, fire new, with silver buttons to it. I am so out of Countenance among my neighbours, upon being so fine, that I heartily wish my clothes well worn out. I fancy every body observes me as I walk the street, and long to be in my own plain geer again. Besides, forsooth, they have put me in a Silk Night gown and a gaudy fool's cap, and make me now and then stand in the window with it. I am ashamed to be dandled thus, and cannot look in the glass without blushing to see myself turned into such a pretty little master. They tell me I must appear in my wedding suit for the first month at least; after which I am resolved to come again to my every day's clothes, for at present every day is Sunday with me.... I forgot to tell you of my white gloves, which they say, too, I must wear all the first month.'

I am afraid some of these good gentlemen beat their wives sometimes; and even the gallant Sir Richard Steele says:[58] 'I cannot deny but there are perverse Jades that fall to Men's Lots, with whom it requires more than common Proficiency in Philosophy to be able to live. When these are joined to Men of warm Spirits, without Temper or Learning, they are frequently corrected with Stripes; but one of our famous Lawyers is of opinion, That this ought to be used sparingly.' On the other hand, we hear much of hen-pecked men—so that it is probable, so far as matrimonial jars were concerned, the world wagged then much as now—without the facility for separation and divorce which now exists.

(p. 35) CHAPTER IV.

Longevity — Undertakers' charges — Costliness of funerals — Mourning — Burial in woollen — Burial societies — Burial by night — A cheat — Mourning rings — Funeral pomp — Monuments — Description of a funeral — A Roman Catholic funeral — Widows.

That some lived to a good old age there can be no doubt; but a patriarch died in this reign at Northampton, April 5, 1706:[59] 'This Day died John Bales of this Town, Button Maker Aged 130 and some Weeks; he liv'd in the Reigns of Queen Elizabeth, King James the First, King Charles the First, Oliver, King Charles the Second, King James the Second, King William the Third, and Queen Anne.'

And this brings us—

Where the brass knocker, wrapt in flannel band,
Forbids the thunder of the footman's hand;
Th' upholder, rueful harbinger of death,
Waits with impatience for the dying breath;
As vultures o'er a camp, with hovering flight,
Snuff up the future carnage of the fight.[60]

Nay, if Steele is to be believed, they even feed heavily for early information of death.[61]

Sable. You don't consider the Charges I have been at already.

Lord Brampton. Charges? For what?

Sable. First, Twenty Guineas to my Lady's Woman for notice of your Death (a Fee I've, before now, known the Widow herself go halfs in), but no matter for that. In the next place, Ten Pounds for watching you all your long Fit of Sickness last Winter.

Lord B. Watching me? Why I had none but my own Servants by Turns.

Sable. I mean attending to give notice of your Death. I had all your long fit of Sickness last Winter, at Half a Crown a day, a fellow waiting at your Gate, to bring me Intelligence, but you unfortunately recovered, and I Lost all my Obliging pains for your Service.

This, of course, is exaggeration, but although, as we have seen, people were sparing in expense over births or marriages, they were absolutely lavish over funerals, and the undertaker could well afford to disgorge some of his gains. Was it the funeral of a rich man, the corpse must straightway be embalmed, roughly though it may be. 'Have you brought the Sawdust and Tar for embalming? Have you the hangings and the Sixpenny nails for my Lord's Coat of Arms?' The hatchment must be put up, and mutes must be (p. 36) stationed at intervals from the hall door to the top of the stairs. 'Come, you that are to be Mourners in the House, put on your Sad Looks, and walk by Me that I may sort you. Ha you! a little more upon the Dismal. This Fellow has a good Mortal look, place him near the Corps; That Wanscoat Face must be o' top of the Stairs: That Fellow's almost in a Fright (that looks as if he were full of some strange misery) at the Entrance of the Hall. So!—but I'll fix you all myself. Let's have no Laughing now on any Provocation; Look Yonder, at that Hale, Well looking Puppy! You ungrateful Scoundrel, Did not I pity you, take you out of a Great Man's Service, and show you the Pleasure of receiving Wages? Did not I give you Ten, then Fifteen and Twenty Shillings a Week to be Sorrowful? and the more I give you, I think the Glader you are!'


The undertaker issued his handbills—gruesome things, with grinning skulls and shroud-clad corpses, thigh bones, mattocks and pickaxes, hearses, and what not. 'These are to Notice, that Mr. John Elphick, Woollen Draper, over against St. Michael's Church in Lewes, hath a good Hearse, a Velvet Pall, Mourning Cloaks, and Black Hangings for Rooms to be Lett at Reasonable Rates.

'He also Sells all sorts of Mourning and Half Mourning, all sorts of Black Cyprus for Scarfs and Hatbands, and White Silks for Scarfs and Hoods at Funerals; Gloves of all sorts and Burying Cloaths for the Dead.

'He sells likewise all sorts of Woollen Cloth Broad and Narrow, Silks and Half Silks, Worsted Stuffs of all Sorts, and Prices of the Newest Fashions, and all sorts of Ribbons, Bodies and Hose, very good Penny worths.'

'Eleazar Malory, Joiner at the Coffin in White Chapel, near Red Lion Street end, maketh Coffins, Shrouds, letteth Palls, Cloaks, and Furnisheth with all other things necessary for Funerals at Reasonable Rates.'

The dead were then buried in woollen, which was rendered compulsory by the Acts 30 Car. II. c. 3 and 36 ejusdem c. 1. The (p. 37) first Act was entitled 'An Act for the lessening the importation of Linnen from beyond the Seas, and the encouragement of the Woollen and Paper Manufactures of the Kingdome.' It prescribed that the curate of every parish shall keep a register, to be provided at the charge of the parish, wherein to enter all burials and affidavits of persons being buried in woollen; the affidavit to be taken by any justice of the peace, mayor, or such like chief officer in the parish where the body was interred; and if there be no officer, then by any curate within the county where the corpse was buried (except him in whose parish the corpse was buried), who must administer the oath, and set his hand gratis.



You are desired to Accompany the Corps of Mr. Thomas Newborough, from his late Dwelling-House in St. Paul's Church-Yard, to the Burial-place of St Gregory's, on Wednesday the 29th of this Instant January, 1704 at Five of the Clock in the Afternoon.


No affidavit to be necessary for a person dying of the plague. It imposed a fine of 5l. for every infringement, one half to go to the informer, and the other half to the poor of the parish.

This Act was only repealed by 54 Geo. III. c. 108, or in the year 1815.

The material used was flannel, and such interments are frequently mentioned in the literature of the time, and Luttrell mentions in his diary (Oct. 9, 1703) that the Irish Parliament had just brought in bills 'for encouraging the linnen manufacture, and to oblige all persons to bury in woollen.'

(p. 38) 'Odious! in woollen! 'twould a saint provoke,'
Were the last words that poor Narcissa spoke;
'No, let a charming chintz and Brussels lace
Wrap my cold limbs and shade my lifeless face:
One would not, sure, be frightful when one's dead—
And, Betty, give this cheek a little red.'[62]

Funeral invitations were sent out—ghastly things, such as the foregoing.

Elegies, laudatory of the deceased, were sometimes printed and sent to friends: these were got up in the same charnel-house style. Indeed, no pains were spared to make a funeral utterly miserable and expensive. Hatbands were costly items. 'For the encouragement of our English silk called Alamodes, His Royal Highness the Prince of Denmark, the Nobility, and other persons of Quality appear in Mourning Hatbands made of that Silk, to bring the same in fashion, in the place of Crapes, which are made in the Pope's Country where we send our Money for them.' Gloves, of course, had to be given to every mourner. Indeed it is refreshing among the universal spoiling of the deceased's survivors to find that one man advertises cheap mourning and funeral necessaries. 'For the good of the Publick, I Edward Evans, at the Four Coffins in the Strand, over against Somerset House; Furnish all Necessaries for all sorts of Funerals, both great and small. And all sorts of set Mourning both Black and Gray and all other Furniture sutable to it, fit for any person of Quality. Which I promise to perform 2s. in the Pound cheaper than any of the Undertakers in Town or elsewhere.'

Of course these remarks do not apply to the poor: they had already started burial clubs or societies, and very cheap they seem to have been. 'This is to give Notice, that the Office of Society for Burials, by mutual Contribution of a Halfpenny or Farthing towards a Burial, erected upon Wapping Wall, is now removed into Katherine Wheel Alley in White Chappel, near Justice Smiths, where subscriptions are taken to compleat the number, as also at the Ram in Crucifix lane in Barnaby Street, Southwark; to which places notice is to be given of the death of any Member, and where any Person may have the Printed Articles after Monday next. And this Thursday about 7 o'clock Evening will be Buried by the Undertakers the Corpse of J. S., a Glover over against the Sun Brewhouse, in Golden Lane; as also a Child from the Corner of Acorn Alley in Bishopsgate Street, and another Child from the Great Maze Pond, Southwark.'

We see in the invitation to Mr. Newborough's funeral that it was to take place on an evening in January. This probably was so (p. 39) arranged by the Undertaker (indeed, the custom was general) to increase his costs, for then the mourners were furnished with wax tapers. These were heavy, and sometimes (judging from the illustrations to undertakers' handbills) were made of four tapers twisted at the stem and then branching out. That these wax candles were expensive enough to excite the thievish cupidity of a band of roughs the following advertisement will show: 'Riots and Robberies. Committed in and about Stepney Church Yard, at a Funeral Solemnity, on Wednesday the 23rd day of September; and whereas many Persons, who being appointed to attend the same Funeral with white Wax lights of a considerable Value, were assaulted in a most violent manner, and the said white Wax lights taken from them. Whoever shall discover any of the Persons, guilty of the said Crimes, so as they may be convicted of the same, shall receive of Mr. William Prince, Wax Chandler in the Poultry, London, Ten Shillings for each Person so discover'd,' &c.[63]

We get a curious glimpse of the paraphernalia of a funeral in the Life of a notorious cheat, 'The German Princess' who lived, and was hanged, in the latter part of the seventeenth century, and the same funeral customs therein described obtained in Anne's time. She took a lodging at a house, in a good position, and told the landlady that a friend of hers, a stranger to London, had just died, and was lying at 'a pitiful Alehouse,' and might she, for convenience sake, bring his corpse there, ready for burial on the morrow. The landlady consented, and 'that Evening the Corps in a very handsome Coffin was brought in a Coach, and plac'd in the Chamber, which was the Room one pair of Stairs next the street and had a Balcony. The Coffin being cover'd only with an ordinary black Cloth, our Counterfeit seems much to dislike it; the Landlady tells her that for 20s. she might have the Use of a Velvet Pall, with which being well pleas'd, she desir'd that the Landlady would send for the Pall, and withal accommodate the Room with her best Furniture, for the next Day but one he should be bury'd; thus the Landlady perform'd, getting the Velvet Pall, and placing on a Side-Board Table 2 Silver Candlesticks, a Silver Flaggon, 2 Standing gilt Bowls, and several other Pieces of Plate; but the Night before the intended Burial, our counterfeit Lady and her Maid within the House, handed to their Comrades without, all the Plate, Velvet Pall, and other Furniture of the Chamber that was Portable and of Value, leaving the Coffin and the suppos'd Corps, she and her Woman descended from the Balcony by Help of a Ladder, which her Comrades had brought her.' It is needless to say that the coffin contained only brickbats and hay, and a sad sequel to this story is, that the undertaker sued the landlady for the loss of his pall, which had lately cost him 40l.

Another very costly item in funerals was the giving of mourning rings. We see[64] the number of rings given at Pepys' funeral in (p. 40) 1703, and their value, 20s. and 15s., especially when we consider the extra value of the currency at that period, must have been a sore burden to the survivors. Thoresby[65] shows to what a prodigal extent this custom might be carried. 'Afternoon, at the Funeral of my excellent and dear friend, Dr. Thomas Gale, Dean of York, who was interred with great solemnity: lay in state, 200 rings (besides scarfs to bearers and gloves to all) given in the room where I was, which yet could not contain the company.'

Naturally, a great many must have come to a man in the course of his life, as we may see by the contents of a box lost out of a waggon between Stamford and London: '3 Hair Rings, 6 with a Death's Head, about 2 penny weight apiece the Posie (Prepared be to follow me); 3 other mourning rings with W. C. ob. 18 Dec. 1702; 1 Ennamelled Ring, 3 Pennyweight twelve grains. W. Heltey, ob. 5 July, Æt. 61.' And their value may be guessed from 'Lost on Thursday, the 8th Instant one of the late Lord Huntingdon's Funeral Rings. Whoever brings it to Mr. White's at the Chocolate House in St. James's shall have two Guineas reward.'

Besides the rings, hatbands, scarves, and gloves, there was another tax; for Evelyn,[66] noting Pepys' death and burial, says, 'Mr. Pepys had been for neare 40 years so much my particular friend that Mr. Jackson sent me compleat mourning, desiring me to be one to hold up the pall at his magnificent obsequies, but my indisposition hinder'd me from doing him this last office.'

The pomp of funerals was outrageous. Gay, observant as he always was, notes this in 'Trivia,' book 3:—

Why is the Herse with 'Scutcheons blazon'd round,
And with the nodding Plume of Ostrich crown'd?
No, the Dead know it not, nor profit gain:
It only serves to prove the Living vain.
How short is Life! how frail is human Trust!
Is all this Pomp for laying Dust to Dust?

No wonder he exclaimed against these mortuary extravagances. Take an alderman's funeral as an example: 'On Wednesday last the Corps of Sir William Prichard, Kt., late Alderman, and sometime Lord Mayor of the City of London, (Who died Feb. 18) having lain some days in State, at his House in Highgate, was convey'd from thence in a Hearse, accompanied by several Mourning Coaches with 6 Horses each, through Barnet and St. Albans to Dunstable; and the next day through Hockley (where it was met by about 20 Persons on Horseback) to Woburn and Newport Pagnel, and to his seat at Great Lynford (a Mile farther) in the county of Buckingham: Where, after the Body had been set out, with all Ceremony befitting his Degree, for near 2 hours, 'twas carried to the Church adjacent in this order, viz. 2 Conductors with long Staves, 6 Men in Long Cloaks two and two, the Standard (p. 41) 18 Men in Cloaks as before, Servants to the Deceas'd two and two, Divines, the Minister of the Parish and the Preacher, the Helm and Crest, Sword and Target, Gauntlets and Spurs, born by an Officer of Arms; the Surcoat of arms born by another Officer of Arms, both in their rich Coats of Her Majesty's Arms embroider'd; the Body, between 6 Persons of the Arms of Christ's Hospital, St. Bartholomew's, Merchant Taylors' Company, City of London, empaled Coat and Single Coat; the Chief Mourner and his 4 Assistants, follow'd by the Relations of the Defunct, &c. After Divine Service was perform'd and an excellent Sermon suitable to the Occasion, preach'd by the Reverend Lewis Atterbury, LL.D., Minister of Highgate aforesaid, the Corps was interr'd in a handsome large Vault, in the Ile on the North side of the Church, betwixt 7 and 8 of the clock that Evening.'[67]

But there was one thing they did not spend so much money upon as their forefathers did, i.e. on monumental statuary, &c. In this age the bust, or 'busto,' was used in preference to the recumbent, or half-figures, of the previous century; but by far the greater number of mortuary memorials took the form of mural tablets, more or less ornate, according to the taste and wealth of the parties concerned. As a rule the epitaph was in Latin—this classical age, and the somewhat pedantic one that followed, could brook no meaner tongue in which to eulogise its dead; and their virtues were pompously set forth in that language which is common to the whole of the civilised world.

No account of the funerals of this age would be complete without seeing what Misson says on the subject:—'As soon as any Person is dead, they are oblig'd to give Notice thereof to the Minister of the Parish, and to those who are appointed to visit dead Bodies. This Custom of visiting dead Bodies was establish'd after the dreadful Plague that ravag'd London in 1665, to the Intent that it might be immediately known if there was any Contagious Distemper, and proper Methods taken to put a Stop to it. They are generally two Women that do this. The Clerk of the Parish receives their Certificate, and out of these is form'd an Abridgment that is publish'd every Week. By this Paper you may see how many Persons of both Sexes dy'd within that Week, of what Distemper, or by what Accident.

'There is an Act of Parliament which ordains, That the Dead shall be bury'd in a Woollen Stuff, which is a Kind of a thin Bays, which they call Flannel; nor is it lawful to use the least Needleful of Thread or Silk. (The Intention of this Act is for the Encouragement of the Woollen Manufacture.) This Shift is always White; but there are different Sorts of it as to Fineness, and consequently of different Prices. To make these Dresses is a particular Trade, and there are many that sell nothing else; so that these Habits for the Dead are always to be had ready made, of what Size or Price you please, for People of every Age and Sex. After they have (p. 42) wash'd the Body thoroughly clean, and shav'd it, if it be a Man, and his Beard be grown during his Sickness, they put it on a Flannel Shirt, which has commonly a Sleeve purfled about the Wrists, and the Slit of the Shirt down the Breast done in the same Manner. When these Ornaments are not of Woollen Lace, they are at least edg'd, and sometimes embroider'd with black Thread. The Shirt shou'd be at least half a Foot longer than the Body, that the Feet of the Deceas'd may be wrapped in it as in a Bag. When they have thus folded the End of the Shirt close to the Feet, they tye the Part that is folded down with a Piece of Woollen Thread, as we do our Stockings; so that the End of the Shirt is done into a Kind of Tuft.

'Upon the Head they put a Cap, which they fasten with a very broad Chin Cloth, with Gloves on the Hands, and a Cravat round the Neck, all of Woollen. That the Body may ly the softer, some put a Lay of Bran, about four inches thick, at the Bottom of the Coffin. Instead of a Cap, the Women have a Kind of Head Dress, with a Forehead Cloth. The Body being thus equipp'd and laid in the Coffin (which Coffin is sometimes very magnificent), it is visited a second time, to see that it is bury'd in Flannel, and that nothing about it is sowed with Thread. They let it lye three or four Days in this Condition; which Time they allow, as well to give the dead Person an Opportunity of Coming to Life again, if his Soul has not quite left his Body, as to prepare Mourning, and the Ceremonies of the Funeral.

'They send the Beadle with a List of such Friends and Relations as they have a Mind to invite; and sometimes they have printed Tickets, which they leave at their Houses. A little before the Company is set in Order for the March, they lay the Body into the Coffin upon two Stools, in a Room where all that please may go and see it; they then take off the Top of the Coffin, and remove from off the Face a little square Piece of Flannel, made on Purpose to cover it, and not fastened to any Thing; Upon this Occasion the rich Equipage of the Dead does Honour to the Living. The Relations and chief Mourners are in a Chamber apart, with their more intimate Friends; and the rest of the Guests are dispersed in several Rooms about the House.


'When they are ready to set out, they nail up the Coffin, and a Servant presents the Company with Sprigs of Rosemary: Every one takes a Sprig and carries it in his Hand 'till the Body is put into the Grave, at which Time they all throw their Sprigs in after it. Before they set out, and after they return, it is usual to present the Guests with something to drink, either red or white Wine, boil'd with Sugar and Cinnamon, or some such Liquor. Butler, the Keeper of a Tavern,[68] told me there was a Tun of Red Port drank at his Wife's Burial, besides mull'd White Wine. Note, no Men ever go to Women's burials, nor the Women to the Men's; so that (p. 44) there were none but Women at the drinking of Butler's Wine. Such Women in England will hold it out with the Men, when they have a Bottle before them, as well as upon t'other Occasion, and tattle infinitely better than they.

'The Parish has always three or four Mortuary Cloths of different Prices,[69] to furnish those who are at the Charge of the interment. These Cloths, which they Call Palls, are some of black Velvet, others of Cloth with an edge of white Linnen or Silk, a foot broad, or thereabouts; For a Batchellor or Maid, or for a Woman that dies in Child Birth, the Pall is white. This is spread over the Coffin, and is so broad that the Six or Eight Men that carry the Body are quite hid beneath it to their Waste, and the Corners and Sides of it hang down low enough to be born by those[70] who, according to Custom, are invited for that purpose. They generally give Black or White Gloves and black Crape Hatbands to those that carry the Pall; sometimes also white Silk Scarves.

'Every Thing being ready to move (it must be remember'd that I always speak of middling People, among whom the Customs of a Nation are most truly to be learn'd), one or more Beadles march first, each carrying a long Staff, at the End of which is a great Apple or Knob of Silver. The Minister of the Parish, generally accompany'd by some other Minister, and attended by the Clerk, walks next; and the Body carry'd as I said before, comes just after him. The Relations in close Mourning, and all the Guests two and two, make up the rest of the Procession. The Common Practice is to carry the corpse thus into the Body of the Church, where they set it down upon two Tressels, while either a Funeral Sermon is preach'd, containing an Eulogium upon the deceased, or certain Prayers said, adapted to the Occasion. If the Body is not bury'd in the Church, they carry it to the Church Yard belonging to the same, where it is interr'd in the Presence of the Guests, who are round the Grave, and they do not leave it 'till the Earth is thrown in upon it. Then they return Home in the same order that they came, and each drinks two or three Glasses more before he goes Home. Among Persons of Quality 'tis customary to embalm the Body, and to expose it for a Fortnight or more on a Bed of State. After which they carry it in a Sort of a Waggon[71] made for that Purpose, and cover'd with black Cloth, to the Place appointed by the Deceased. This Cart is attended by a long train of Mourning Coaches belonging to the Friends of the Dead Person.'

A notice of a Roman Catholic funeral must conclude this subject. It is taken from the will of 'Mr. Benjamin Dod, Citizen and Linnen Draper, who fell from his Horse, and dy'd soon after.'[72] 'I desire Four and Twenty Persons to be at my Burial ... to (p. 45) every of which Four and Twenty Persons ... I give a pair of white Gloves, a Ring of Ten Shillings Value, a Bottle of Wine at my Funeral, and Half a Crown to be spent at their Return that Night, to drink my Soul's Health, then on her Journey for Purification in order to Eternal Rest. I appoint the Room, where my Corps shall lie, to be hung with Black, and four and twenty Wax Candles to be burning; on my Coffin to be affixed a Cross, and this Inscription, Jesus, Hominum Salvator. I also appoint my Corps to be carried in a Herse drawn with Six white Horses, with white Feathers, and followed by Six Coaches, with six Horses to each Coach, to carry the four and twenty Persons.... Item I give to Forty of my particular Acquaintance, not at my Funeral, to every one of them a Gold Ring of Ten Shillings Value.... As for Mourning I leave that to my Executors hereafter nam'd; and I do not desire them to give any to whom I shall leave a legacy.' Here follows a long list of legacies. 'I will have no Presbyterian, Moderate Low Churchmen, or Occasional Conformists, to be at or have anything to do with my Funeral. I die in the Faith of the True Catholic Church. I desire to have a Tomb stone over me, with a Latin Inscription, and a Lamp, or Six Wax Candles, to burn Seven Days and Nights thereon.'

Widows wore black veils, and a somewhat peculiar cap, and had long trains—allusions to which are very frequent in the literature of the time. That they were supposed to seclude themselves for six weeks, and debar themselves of all amusement for twelve months, is shown by the two following extracts from Steele's 'Funeral, or Grief à la Mode.'

(p. 46) 'But, Tatty, to keep house 6 weeks, that's another barbarous Custom.'

'Oh, how my head runs my first Year out, and jumps to all the joys of widowhood! If, Thirteen Months hence, a Friend should haul one to a Play one has a mind to see!'


'Queen Anne' houses — Vanbrugh's house — Real 'Queen Anne' houses — Hangings and wall papers — Letting and rent — Prevention of fire — A fire — Insurance companies — Water supply — Thames Water Works — New River — Coals — Furniture — China — Bedsteads.

Although for the purpose of this work it is necessary to say somewhat of the houses of the period, it is not worth while discussing the so-called revival of the architecture of Queen Anne's time. The modern houses are quaint and pretty, but they are innocent of any close connection with her reign. Artists' and architects' holiday rambles in Holland are provocative of most of them; 'sweet little bits' having been brought home in sketch-books from Dordrecht and kindred happy hunting-grounds for the picturesque. The style was not even adopted for mansions—vide Marlborough House and Blenheim; and the exterior of the ordinary town houses, even of the better class, was singularly unpretentious. Hatton[73] is struck with admiration of Queen Square (now Queen Anne's Gate), and says it is 'a beautiful New (tho' small) Square, of very fine Buildings.' If he could thus eulogise its architecture, what must have been the plainness of the exterior of ordinary houses! It was not that there was a lack of good architects, for Wren and Vanbrugh were alive, but the houses and furniture were in conformity with the spirit of the times—very dull, and plain, and solid. We must never forget that during nearly the whole of this queen's reign a cruel war exhausted the people's finances, that trade was circumscribed, and that there were no mushroom parvenus, with inflated fortunes made from shoddy or the Stock Exchange, to spend their wealth lavishly on architecture or art in any shape.

A dull mediocrity in thought and feeling prevailed, and if any originality in architecture was attempted, it would certainly have been satirised, as it was in the very little-known poem of 'The History of Vanbrugh's House.'[74]

(p. 47) When Mother Clud[75] had rose from Play,
And call'd to take the Cards away;
VAN Saw, but seem'd not to regard,
How MISS pickt ev'ry Painted Card;
And Busie both with Hand and Eye,
Soon Rear'd a House two Story high;
VAN's Genius without Thought or Lecture,
This hugely turn'd to Architecture.
He view'd the Edifice, and smil'd,
Vow'd it was pretty for a Child;
It was so perfect in its Kind,
He kept the Model in his Mind.

But when he found the Boys at Play,
And Saw 'em dabling in their Clay;
He stood behind a Stall to lurk,
And mark the Progress of their Work;
With true Delight observ'd 'em All
Raking up Mud to build a Wall;
The Plan he much admir'd, and took
The Model in his Table-Book;
Thought himself now exactly skill'd,
And so resolv'd a House to build.
A real House, with Rooms and Stairs,
Five Times at least as big as Theirs;
Taller than MISS'S by two Yards;
Not a sham Thing of Clay, or Cards;
And so he did: For in a while,
He built up such a monstrous Pile,
That no two Chairmen cou'd be found,
Able to lift it from the Ground;
Still at White Hall it Stands in View,
Just in the Place where first it grew;
There all the little School Boys run,
Envying to see themselves outdone.

From such deep Rudiments as these,
VAN is become by due Degrees,
For Building Fam'd, and justly Reckon'd
At Court, Vitruvius the Second;[76]
No wonder, since wise Authors show,
That Best Foundations must be Low;
And now the Duke has wisely ta'en him
To be his Architect at Blenheim:
But Railery for once apart,
If this Rule holds in ev'ry Art;
Or, if his Grace was no more Skill'd in
The Art of Batt'ring Walls, than Building,
We might expect to find next Year
A Mouse trap Man, Chief Engineer.

But should any reader wish to see good specimens of real Queen Anne's houses, I would recommend a visit to Nos. 10 and 11 Austinfriars. They are undoubtedly genuine (mark the date 1704 on the waterspout); and the staircase of No. 10, with its beautifully turned and carved balusters, and boldly yet easily carved soffits, is (p. 48) a real treat to see; and were it to be cleansed from its many coats of paint, and appear in its original state, it would be an almost matchless specimen of the domestic building of the time. The ceiling, too, at the top of the staircase is very beautifully painted, and was most probably the work either of Laguerre or Thornhill. It is good enough for either of them. No. 11 is inferior to No. 10, but were its neighbour away it would be looked upon as a very good type of a house in the reign of Queen Anne. See also an old house, now used as a Ward School, formerly the residence of Sir C. Wren, in a courtyard in Botolph Lane, Eastcheap.

But a good plan is to judge of the houses by contemporary evidence and description. 'To be Let, a New Brick House, Built after the Newest Fashion, the Rooms wainscotted and Painted, Lofty Stories, Marble Foot paces to the Chimneys, Sash Windows, glaised with fine Crown Glass, large half Pace Stairs, that 2 People may go up on a Breast, in a new pleasant Court planted with Vines, Jesamin, and other Greens, next Door to the Crown near the Sarazen's Head Inn in Carter Lane, near St. Paul's Church Yard, London.' So we see even as late as 1710 that a staircase capable of accommodating two people abreast was a novelty, only to be found in 'the last thing out' in houses. The windows of these houses were long but narrow; the smallness of the panes being rendered necessary by the fact that no large size could be made in window-glass, it being only of late years that the manufacture has improved to that extent. Here is another house described, temp. 1712. 'To be Lett, near Cheapside, A large new-built House that fronts two Streets of great Trade: The Shop is lined with Deal all round, and is about 60 Foot deep one way. There is under the Shop a very good dry Warehouse that is brickt at Bottom. Joyce and boarded over it, the Sides and Top is lined with Deal, it is 9 foot between Floor and Top. There is above Stairs 4 Rooms on a Floor, almost all Wainscotted, and a large Staircase all Wainscotted. All the Flat is covered with very thick Lead, with Rails and Bannisters round the Leads and a large Cupolo on the Top. Inquire of Mr. Richard Wright at the Perriwig in Bread Street.'

This must have been an extra good house, for they were mostly roofed with tiles, a fact which has practical demonstration, for after the terrible storm of Nov. 26, 1703, which damaged London alone to the extent of a million sterling, and cost us many men-of-war, the loss of over 1,500 sailors of the navy, and an unnumbered quantity of merchant seamen, the price of tiles rose tremendously. On Dec. 7 'there is to be sold Plain Tiles 50s. a Thousand, and Pan Tiles for 6l. a Thousand.' The plain tiles went still higher, for on Dec. 24 they were 65s. a thousand.

As a rule the rooms were fairly lofty, and the walls of the better class were mostly wainscotted with oak, walnut, chestnut, or cedar, and sometimes beautifully carved, and in the lower-class houses with deal, painted. But wall papers were coming in.[77] 'At the (p. 49) Blue Paper Warehouse in Aldermanbury (and nowhere else) in London, are sold the true sorts of figur'd Paper Hangings, some in pieces of 12 yards long, others after the manner of real Tapistry, others in imitation of Irish Stitch, flower'd Damasks, Sprigs and Branches; others yard Wide, in imitation of Marble and other coloured Wainscoats; others in yard wide, Emboss'd work, and a curious sort of Flock work in imitation of Caffaws, and other Hangings of curious figures and colours. As also Linnen Cloath, Tapestry Hangings, with a variety of Skreens and Chimney pieces, and Sashes for Windows, as transparent as Sarconet.' And another advertisement in next year gives 'imitation of Marbles and other Coloured Wainscoats, which are to be put in Pannels and Mouldings made for that purpose, fit for the Hanging of Parlours, Dining Rooms, and Stair Cases; and others in Yard wide Emboss'd work, in imitation of Gilded Leather.' The old style of hangings did not go out at once, for in 1704 was advertised 'Three Suites of Hanging: one of Forrest Tapistry, one of clouded Camlet, and one of blue Printed Linsey; the 2 first very good, scarce the worse for wearing—to be sold very reasonable.'

Stained glass was not used, generally, for decorative purposes, save for coats of arms; indeed, the art seems to have been in a bad way, judging from the following advertisement:[78] 'Whereas the ancient Art of Painting and Staining Glass has been much discouraged, by reason of an Opinion generally received, That the Red Colour (not made in Europe for many Years) is totally lost; These are to give Notice, That the said Red, and all other Colours are made to as great a Degree of Curiosity and Fineness as in former Ages by William and Joshua Price, Glasiers and Glass Painters near Hatton Garden in Holborn, London, where any Gentlemen, who have the Curiosity, may be convinc'd by Demonstration, there being a large Window just now finished for his Grace the Duke of Leeds, which will be sent into the Country in a few days.'

Houses were not always let by Agreement, but the leases were sold; and it is by means of such advertisements that we are able to get at the rents, which seem to have been very low—even reckoning the difference of value in money. Certainly they had none of our modern appliances and conveniences, which add so considerably to the cost of buildings, nor do they seem to have been saddled with exorbitant ground rents. 'To be sold a lease of 33 years to come in 5 Houses standing together on the North side of the Pall Mall, whereon 25l. per Ann. Rent is reserved. The Houses are let at 200l. a year.' 'A Gentleman has occasion for a lightsome fashionable House in some Genteel part of the Town, or very nigh the Town, and if accommodated with Coach House and Stables it will be better lik'd, of about 30l., 40l., or 50l. a year Rent.'

A little way out of town rents were even cheaper than this. Here would be a boon for rowing men. 'To be let at Barns (p. 50) adjoyning to Mortlack, fronting the River Thames, is a convenient little New House, 2 rooms on a floor, so well situated that it may be shut up, and the Furniture Safe. The benefit of the air may be had at pleasure, for 6l. 10s. per Ann.' 'Also another House for more private Dwelling, well accommodated with a Garden, River Water, etc., well situated for a Gentleman belonging to the Custom, East India, or African House, or Navy or Victualling Office, and the rent but 10l. per Annum. Also a Brick House in the Country, 2 Miles off, standing pleasantly in a good Air, and but 5l. per Annum to be Lett.' These instances clearly prove that house rent was cheap in those days, which makes the price paid for apartments seem rather high. When Swift came to London in 1710, he says:[79] 'I lodge in Bury Street, where I removed a week ago. I have the first floor, a dining room and bed chamber, at eight shillings a week; plaguy deep, but I spend nothing on eating,' etc. When he removed to Chelsea he had to pay more. 'I got here in the stage coach with Patrick and my portmantua for sixpence, and pay six shillings a week for one silly room, with confounded coarse sheets.'[80] On one of Ralph Thoresby's visits from Leeds to London[81] he 'was surprised with the old gentlewoman's (Mr. Atkin's mother) demand of 4s. per week for my lodgings;' but then that could only have been a bedroom, for the old gentleman was always out the whole day.

It is needless to say that there was more danger of fire then than now; and the inhabitants of London, very many of whom must have had a vivid remembrance of that awful fire in 1666, were not altogether neglectful of their interests in this matter. In 1710 an Act was passed amending an Act made in the sixth year of Anne's reign, 'for the better preventing of Mischiefs that may happen by Fire.' This Act dealt with parochial fire-engines, rewards, rates for water supply and maintenance of same, the thickness of party walls,' etc., and contained one very useful little clause. 'It is further enacted, That there shall be left at the House, upon which there is a Notice of a Fire Plug, a Key to open the Stop Cock, and also a Pipe for the Water to come thereout, to be made use of as Occasion shall require.'

They were also fully alive to the necessity of keeping life-saving appliances in their houses. 'This is to give Notice, That the Rope Ladders and other Ropes, so useful for preserving whole Families from the dismal Accidents of Fire, are to be sold,' etc.

There were three fire insurance companies, whose leaden badges used to be nailed on to the houses, to show they were insured, and in what office; and a reward was offered by the Friendly Society on July 14, 1705, for the discovery of persons who had stolen some of them.

These three insurance companies were: first, the Phœnix, which was at the Rainbow Coffee House, Fleet Street, and also by the (p. 51) Royal Exchange, established about the year 1682, and the assurers in 1710 numbered about 10,000. The system was to pay 30s. down, and insure 100l. for seven years. Second, the Friendly Society, in Palsgrave Court, without Temple Bar, which was the first (in 1684) that insured by mutual contribution, where you could insure 100l. for seven years by paying 6s. 8d. down, and an annual subscription of 1s. 4d. In 1710 the number of assured was 18,000. And thirdly, the Amicable Contributors, at Tom's Coffee House in St. Martin's Lane (commenced about 1695). Here a payment of 12s. would insure 100l. for seven years, at the expiration of which time 10s. would be returned to the assured—who in 1710 numbered over 13,000. This society seems to have changed its name to the Hand-in-Hand Fire Office, who gave up their two establishments at Tom's Coffee House and the Crown Coffee House, behind the Exchange, for more suitable premises in Angel Court, Snow Hill, and notified the change in the Gazette of Jan. 1, 1714.


All these employed several men in liveries, and with badges on their arms, to extinguish fire. The accompanying contemporary illustration is very rude, but it gives a vivid representation of a fire at that time.

Gay gives the following graphic description of a fire, so that we may almost fancy we see the firemen at work.

But hark! Distress with Screaming Voice draws nigh'r,
And wakes the slumb'ring Street with Cries of Fire.
At first a glowing Red enwraps the Skies,
And borne by Winds the scatt'ring Sparks arise;
From Beam to Beam, the fierce Contagion spreads;
The Spiry Flames now lift aloft their Heads,
Through the burst Sash a blazing Deluge pours,
And splitting Tiles descend in rattling Show'rs.
Now with thick Crouds th' enlighten'd Pavement swarms,
The Fire-man sweats beneath his crooked Arms,
A leathern Casque his vent'rous Head defends,
Boldly he climbs where thickest Smoak ascends;
Mov'd by the Mother's streaming Eyes and Pray'rs,
The helpless Infant through the Flame he bears;
With no less Virtue, than through hostile Fire,
The Dardan Hero bore his aged Sire.
See forceful Engines spout their levell'd Streams,
To quench the Blaze that runs along the Beams;
(p. 52) The grappling Hook plucks Rafters from the Walls,
And Heaps on Heaps the smoaky Ruine falls.
Blown by strong Winds the fiery Tempest roars,
Bears down new Walls, and pours along the Floors:
The Heav'ns are all a blaze, the Face of Night
Is cover'd with a sanguine dreadful Light.
Hark! the Drum thunders! far, ye Crouds retire;
Behold the ready Match is tipt with Fire,
The Nitrous Store is laid, the smutty Train
With running Blaze awakes the barrell'd Grain;
Flames sudden wrap the Walls; with sullen Sound,
The shatter'd Pile sinks on the smoaky Ground.

The sanitary arrangements of these houses were very defective, and the streets at night time must have been anything but pleasant walks.

'We had not walk'd the usual distance between a Church and an Alehouse, but some Odoriferous Civet Box perfum'd the Air, and saluted our Nostrils with so refreshing a Nosegay, that I thought the whole City (Edenborough-like) had been over-flow'd with an inundation of Surreverence.'[82]

The water supply, too, was not good. Old-fashioned wells and pumps, sunk in a crowded city full of cesspools and graveyards, could not have furnished a healthy supply. Of course there was the water brought by the city from Highgate and Hampstead, and there was the New River, but it evidently was not sufficient for the use of the inhabitants, or it would not have been hawked about.


More was furnished by the Thames Water Works by means of a huge water-wheel, which worked many force-pumps, and which was erected by a Dutchman named Peter Morrice, in 1582. This occupied a position on the old bridge, similar to its being placed close to the stairs by Fishmongers' Hall at the present time. Although the river was infinitely purer than at present, yet, being tidal, and the supply being taken from in shore, it could not have been good for drinking purposes. There was a new company formed to work this machine, and in the London Gazette, Oct. 28/ Nov. 1, 1703, is an advertisement: 'This is to give Notice to such Persons as have subscribed for Shares in (p. 53) the Thames Water, That the Transfers of the said Shares will be ready to be made to the respective Subscribers to-morrow the 2nd Instant, being the last day limited in the Contract, at Mr. Nicholas Opie's in Bartholomew Lane, where the said Contract or Subscription Roll now lies.'

Hatton says in his 'New View of London' that 'besides the old work erected by Mr. Morris, the New placed in the 4th Arch of the Bridge consists of 2 Wheels with 7 Engines set up about the Year 1702, so there are in all 13 Engines.

'They are the contrivance of that great English Engineer Mr. Sorocold, whereby the Thames Water is raised from the N. end of the Bridge to a very great altitude, by which means many parts of the City &c. are served with the Thames Water. The Flux and Reflux of the Water worketh the Engine. Here are several Proprietors who serve Houses for the most part at 20s. per Ann. paid quarterly, and they have proportionately more from Brewhouses, &c., according to what they Consume. To this Company also belongs the Works at Broken Wharf and the City Conduit Water.

'The Old Stock was 500 Shares, and valued at 500l. a Share, since which those Shares were divided into 1,500 Shares, each valued at about 100l. per Share. They pay the City 700l. per Ann. for the Conduit Water, and about 10l. per Ann. for the Bridge; Also 300l. to Sir Benj. Ayloff or his Assignees for the Broken Wharf, to which place 2 of the Engines at the Bridge do Work, and there are also at that Wharf 2 Horse Works.

'They chiefly serve Goodman's Fields, Minories, Houndsditch, White Chapel, and Birchin Lane.

'Merchant's Water Works are in Hart's Horn Lane.[83] He serves with the Thames Water by Horse Work and Engines. His Rates are 20s. per Ann.

'Mill Bank Water is raised and laid into Houses in the Parish of St. Margaret's, Westminster, from the Thames. The Water House is situate on the E. side of Mill Bank, for which the Proprietors, who are in Number 5, had a Patent granted them by K. Charles 2 about the Year 1673. Their Stock and Income is divided into 8 Shares. Rates are at least 10s. per Ann., but commonly 20s., and for Brewers and extraordinary Occasions more than so many Pounds.'

The water was supplied in primitive pipes of wood, some being of the very small bore of one inch. 'The Governor and Company of the New River, being inclined to contract for Wooden Pipes of 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 7 Inches Diameter in the Bore, to be delivered at any Place within the Bills of Mortality, as occasion shall require, do hereby give notice, that they shall be ready to receive proposals for that purpose, any Thursday, at their Office at Puddle Dock.'[84]

An adventurer's share in the New River Water Company was (p. 54) then worth 4,500 guineas; and Hatton, in his 'New View of London,' says: 'They now Let the Water to most Houses without Fine or Lease, according as they Consume Water, to none less than 22s. 8d. per Ann., but to some Brewers, &c., for 40l. per Ann., which, and all common Cocks, they Let by Lease and Fine.'

The river was scoured out twice a year, and a staff was kept of '12 Walkers between Ware and London (who daily take care that no Infectious or other thing be thrown into the River that might in any way prejudice it, whereby it is kept Sweet and Wholesome).'

The following advertisement appears in the London Gazette, April 20/May 3, 1703: 'The Governor and Company of the New River brought from Chadwell and Amwell to London, having from time to time made several Orders and Regulations for the Ease and Benefit of those who make use of their Water; but being informed, that several Misrepresentations are Industriously spread abroad to their Prejudice, they have thought fit to publish the following Orders, which have been made from time to time since at several Courts. Viz:

'Ordered. That no Private Family that is served with the Water of the New River, shall be required to take a Lease of the said Water; but that what Rent shall be agreed on with the Collectors to be paid, shall be received by them without the Charge of a Lease.

'Whereas Strict Charge hath been given to the Collectors, and all other Officers of the said New River, That they behave themselves Civilly and Respectfully to such as use the said Water: If any do otherwise

'Ordered. That upon any Complaints to the Meetings of the Company every Thursday at Three in the Afternoon, at their Office at Puddle Dock, Reparation shall forthwith be made to the Party grieved.

'Ordered. That any Tenant may employ their own Plummer to do their Work in mending, or laying any Branch, such Plummer first acquainting the Collector, and making use of the Company's Paviour of that Walk to dig the same.'

The leaden cisterns for holding the family supply were often very artistically and elaborately ornamented, either with flowers or classical subjects, and are nearly all dated. The few now spared in London are of course extremely curious, as being exemplars of the art manufactures of the time.

The houses were principally heated by coals, except in the bedrooms, and, coals being all sea-borne, prices were sometimes very high; thus, latter end of April 1702—'Coals are at 33s. per Chaldron in the Pool, because of the great Impress. No Ships are to sail till the Fleet is compleatly mann'd.' Besides this there was a tax of 2s. per chaldron, 'to be applyed towards finishing St. Paul's Cathedrall,' which was, on Nov. 26, 1702, ordered to be continued till after the year 1708.[85] This high price was partly fictitious, (p. 55) a 'ring' having been formed in coals; but they managed those things better then than now, and held public inquiry on 'forestalled and regraters.'[86] 'The lords ordered several persons to attend upon account of engrossing Coals, and among them two noted quakers; 'tis said the chief reason of their being so dear is, that several persons in the north, and some Londoners, have farmed most of the Coal pits about Newcastle, with design to sell them at what price they please.' It was even suggested that Government should take the matter up. ''Tis said a proposal is made to the parliament, that the queen be the free importer of Coals, and that they shal never exceed 25s. per Chaldron, nor be under 20s.'[87]

Not only were they dear, but at times poor in quality. 'The late Common Practice at Sunderland of mixing bad sorts of Coals with the right Lumley Coals, giving such Mixtures the Name of 'pure Lumley Coals,' &c., was counteracted by certificates being given of their genuineness. In Oct. 1711 coals in the Pool were 25s. to 26s. a chaldron. Scotch coals had, however, been introduced, for we find an advertisement: 'At Mr. Folley's Warehouse on White Fryers Wharf, are a parcel of Scotch Coals to be Sold Reasonably, being the best that have come to London for many Years, and out of the Earl of Marrs Collyary.'[88]


But if they were this high price, ex ship, and wholesale, those who bought in small quantities had to pay very heavily. Swift in his letters to Stella is always grumbling at the expense of his modicum of coals, and would stop longer in, and go earlier to, bed, in order to save. Then was it that the cry of 'Small coale!' was heard in the streets—a cry that will always be associated with the memory of Thomas Britton, the 'musical small coal man,' who died Sept. 14, 1714.

The stoves used to burn coal were small and portable, taking the place of the old andirons, and standing unfixed in the somewhat wide chimney-pieces. It is needless to say that the modern 'Queen Anne' stoves bear very little likeness to the genuine article. The back plates were frequently very ornamental, sometimes having the arms of the owner of the house upon them. (p. 56) The accompanying illustration, being taken from an ironmonger's handbill, is probably copied from one he had in stock—if not, it most certainly represented those in use.


Of the furniture of the time—the houses were, to our idea, very scantily furnished. Take any of the very few engravings of social life in this reign, and one is astonished at the bare look of the apartments: a table in the centre, a few high-backed and clumsy chairs, a square, box-like settee, are all that are movable; on the walls a picture or two, sometimes, not always, a looking-glass, occasionally an alcove with shelves for china and bric-a-brac, and window curtains—always curtains,—the possession of which must have entailed much trouble on many housekeepers. Vide the following advertisement:[89] 'London, Nov. 24.—Having no longer since than last Night had the misfortune (with other of my Neighbours in Leicester Fields) to be robb'd by a very uncommon method; I desire you would (for the Good of the Publick) incert in your Paper the underwritten Advertisement, that Persons may thereby be put upon their Guard, and make such provision as may prevent the like Robberies.

'The Thieves observe those Houses whose Window-shutters, (p. 57) either outward or inward, reach not up to the top of the Windows; and taking out some Quaries of the Glass, put their Hands in and rob the Houses of their Window Curtains.'

Without doubt, the houses of the wealthy were better furnished, and more artistically. The virtuoso would bring with him on his return from his 'grand tour' some specimens, both of pictures and furniture, of the lands he visited. Of the former, they were invariably originals or copies of the Caracci, Titian, Palma, Van Dyck, etc., and they were always being imported or changing hands; but of good furniture we seldom find any to be sold, such as, for instance, 'Two Cabinets, the one of 48 drawers, containing great variety of curious Shells, Agates, Corals, Mocus's' (the Mocha or Moco Stone), 'Medals, Minerals, and other Rarities. The other finely inlaid with Flowers and Birds of Stone by Baptist.'

And the merchants and well-to-do people undoubtedly had furniture almost invented to show off their china:[90] 'Whereas the New East India Company did lately sell all their China Ware, These are to Advertise, that a very large parcel there of (as Broken and Damag'd) is now to be sold by Wholesale and Retail, extreamly Cheap, at a Warehouse in Dyer's Yard. Note.—It's very fit to furnish Escrutores, Cabinets, Corner Cupboards or Sprigs, where it usually stands for Ornament only.'

Naturally, almost all the ornamental ceramics came from China or Japan—for the state of our own ceramic art was at a very low ebb; in fact, it was only in its infancy in the middle of the last century. Some pottery was made in Staffordshire and York, but it was near London that the manufacture of the best, such as it was, was seated. The potteries at Fulham were at work, as also Lambeth and Vauxhall. Thoresby tells us of this latter:[91] 'We went by water to Foxhall and the Spring Garden: I was surprised with so many pleasant walks &c. so near London. After dinner there, we viewed the pottery and various apartments there; was most pleased with that where they were painting divers colours, which yet appear more beautiful, and of different colours when baked.'

None of these wares were remarkable at that time for their beauty, and so the oriental porcelain was naturally the most admired, and consequently bore away the palm, both for beauty of form and design. The use of tea, too, largely helped the consumption of oriental China. The cups and teapots were home articles for the Chinese to make, and it was very many years before we, in England, were even nearly rivalling them.

Tea necessitated a smaller and more elegant table, so we find the want supplied by tea and Dutch tables. Lacquer ware was also in much request, as well for 'Tea Tables, Bowls, Dressing Suites, Cabinets, and Bellows Boards,' as for screens to keep off draughts.


But perhaps the most glorified piece of furniture in the house, (p. 58) was the bed, which could be had at all prices, from the[92] 'new sacking bottom'd Bedsteads at 11s. a piece' to that imperial couch which was a prize in a lottery 'by her Majesty's permission,'[93] 'A Rich Bed, 7 Foot broad, 8 foot long, and about 14 foot high, in which is no less than Two Thousand Ounces of Gold and Silver wrought in it; Containing four Curtains Embroidered on both sides alike, on a white Silk Tabby, Three Vallains with Tassels, three Basses, two Bone-graces, and four Cantoneers Embroider'd on Gold Tissue Cloth, cost 3,000l., put up at 1,400l.' This, of course, was an extraordinary bed; but the price of bed Furniture really seems to have been 'from 6l. or 7l. per Bed to 40l. per Bed, with all sorts of fine Chain Stitch Work.' Velvet, both in crimson and other colours, was also a favourite for bed-hangings, and cost 40l. at least. One quilt is described, but I fairly give it up—'Stole out of the house of John Barnes, &c., a Culgee quilt.'


Number of servants — Footmen — Wages — Liveries — 'How d'ye' — The Upper Gallery — Footmen's Parliament — Accomplishments — White slaves from Barbary — Negro slaves — Runaways — Apprentices.

The quantity of servants in vogue at that time, especially of male servants, seems to us to be excessive, but when we look how useful they were, apart from their menial duties, as guards, and assistants when the carriage stuck in a deep rut when travelling, and remember that the old feudal system of having retainers about one for show was then only moribund (it is not yet dead), their number is accounted for. First on the list stands my lord's page, who wore his livery, although of more costly material than that worn by the footman. He served his apprenticeship as 'a little foot page,' but (p. 59) it was always understood that, afterwards, his rise in life should be looked to by his patron. It was very much the same relation that existed between knight and squire. How he accompanied his lord on state occasions is shown in one of the illustrations of carriages. Steele speaks disparagingly of the lad's position.[94] 'I know a Man of good Sense who put his Son to a Blacksmith, tho' an Offer was made him of his being received a Page to a Man of Quality.'

But it was the footman of that age, and indeed of the whole of the early Georgian era, who was the perpetual butt of the satirist—probably not without reason. 'There's nothing we Beaus take more Pride in than a Sett of Genteel Footmen. I never have any but what wear their own Hair, and I allow 'em a Crown a Week for Gloves and Powder; if one shouldn't, they'd Steal horridly to set themselves out, for now, not one in ten is without a Watch, and a nice Snuff Box with the best Orangerie; and the Liberty of the Upper Gallery, has made 'em so confounded pert, that, as they wait behind one at Table, they'll either put in their Word, or Mimick a body, and People must bear with 'em or else pay 'em their Wages.'[95] Steele, of course, could not resist such a tempting theme for his pen, and, consequently, devotes a whole Spectator (No. 88) to footmen. He says: 'They are but in a lower Degree what their Masters themselves are; and usually affect an Imitation of their Manners; and you have in Liveries, Beaux, Fops, and Coxcombs, in as high perfection, as among People that keep Equipages. It is a common Humour among the Retinue of People of Quality, when they are in their Revels, that is when they are out of their Master's Sight, to assume in a humourous Way the Names and Titles of those whose Liveries they wear.'

Indeed, the footmen of that age must have had a good time of it, for the custom of feeing them, or, as it was called, of giving them 'vails,' was very prevalent. It got worse later on—indeed, it became such a nuisance that it was obliged to be stopped. Yet even now it has to be done, like feeing waiters. Certainly their wages were not great. 'I love punctual Dealings, Sir; Now my Wages comes to at Six Pound per Annum, Thirty two Pounds the Five Years and four Months, the odd Week two Shillings Sixpence, the two Hours one halfpenny,' etc.[96] This, certainly, even at the then enhanced value of money, was not a great yearly wage, and to a certain extent must plead excuse for the custom of giving vails. As a rule they were treated like dogs by their masters, and were caned mercilessly for very trivial faults. They were very far from being faultless, and Swift's man Patrick seems to have been a specimen of his kind. How humorously Swift used to describe his faults to Stella! how he was always going to get rid of him, and never did!

Their liveries were, perhaps, not so gorgeous as in the later (p. 60) Georgian time, but they liked fine clothes. 'Her footmen, as I told you before, are such Beaus, that I do not much care for asking them Questions; when I do, they answer me with a sawcy Frown, and say that every thing, which I find fault with, was done by my Lady Mary's Order. She tells me that she intends they shall wear Swords with their next Liveries, having lately observed the Footmen of two or three Persons of Quality hanging behind the Coach with Swords by their Sides.'[97]

One part of their duty was to call on their master's or mistress's acquaintances, and ask, with their compliments, 'How do ye?'—equivalent to our sending in a card; and this custom is frequently mentioned in contemporary literature. 'And I'll undertake, if the How d'ye Servants of our Women were to make a Weekly Bill of Sickness,' &c.,[98] 'While she sleeps I'm Employ'd in Howdee's,'[99] 'We have so many come with How-dee's, I never mind 'em.'

The upper gallery at the play was theirs by prescriptive right; their verdict greatly influenced the success or failure of a play, and they were worth conciliating. Pinkethman, who played to the gallery, knew this, and in Mrs. Centlivre's comedy of 'The Basset Table,' where he took a footman's part, spoke the prologue, in which he not only addressed them in preference to the other portion of the audience, but showed his power over them by making them rattle their sticks and clap their hands at his command.

Therefore dear Brethren (since I am one of you)
Whether adorn'd in Grey, Green, Brown or Blue,
This day stand all by me, as I will fall by you;
And now to let—
The poor Pit see how Pinky's Voice Commands,
Silence—Now rattle all your Sticks and clap your grimy Hands.
I greet your Love, and let the vainest Author show,  
Half this command on cleaner hands below,
Nay, more to prove your Interest, let this Play live by you.
So may you share good Claret with your Masters,
Still free in your Amours from their Disasters;
Free from poor Housekeeping, where Peck is under Locks.
Free from Cold Kitchings, and no Christmas Box:
So may no long Debates i' th' House of Commons,
Make you in the Lobby starve, when hunger summons;
But may your plenteous Vails come flowing in,
Give you a lucky Hit, and make you Gentlemen;
And thus preferr'd, ne'er fear the World's Reproaches,
But shake your Elbows with my Lord, and keep your Coaches.

Whilst waiting in the House of Commons, as alluded to in the foregoing, the footmen used to form a parliament of their own, and discussed politics like their masters. As a joke upon the poverty of the Scotch lords, it used to be said that, in the footmen's House of Lords, many questions were lost to the court party, which were carried in the real House, owing to there being so few footmen (p. 61) belonging to them. Swift alludes to this practice[100]: 'Pompey, Colonel Hill's black, designs to stand speaker for the footmen. I am engaged to use my interest for him, and have spoken to Patrick to get him some votes.'

'Give you a lucky Hit' shows that the spirit of Chawles Jeames Yellow Plush was then in existence, and that he sometimes speculated; and, if the following newspaper paragraph is reliable, he sometimes won: and would be in a position to realise the last line in the prologue: 'The Ticket which entitled the Bearer to 10,000l. drawn in this present Lottery, belongs to a Brewer's Man and Maid Servant.'[101]

The accomplishments of male servants seem to have been varied. Addison says,[102] 'I remember the time when some of our well-bred Country Women kept their Valet de Chambre, because, forsooth, a Man was much more handy about them than one of their own Sex. I myself have seen one of these Male Abigails tripping about the Room with a looking glass in his Hand, and combing his Lady's Hair a whole Morning together.' And another of the fraternity advertises thus: 'A likely sober Person, who can give a very good Account of himself, by several Gentlemen and others: He has a Mind to serve a Gentleman as a Valet de Chambre or Buttler; or to wait on a single Gentleman in Town or Country; he is known to shave well, and can make Wigs; he well understands the Practice of Surgery, which may be of great Use to a Family in the Country or elsewhere; he is a Sportsman; he understands shooting flying, Hunting and Fishing, and all other Sports relating thereunto; he well understands a Horse.'

But (and it is a curious little revelation of social life) men did not monopolise the position of body servants to their masters. Steele, writing as Isaac Bickerstaff, about his club, says:[103] 'This may suffice to give the world a taste of our innocent conversation, which we spun out until about ten of the clock, when my maid came with a lantern to light me home.'

There was, however, another class of servants—black slaves; for the children of Ham were still in their cruel bondage here—and many are the advertisements respecting them, from 'a parcel of beads for the Guinea trade' to a 'Mulatto Maid missing.' It seems curious to us, now, to think of the somewhat inconsequent behaviour of those times, keeping black slaves with one hand, and redeeming white ones from Barbary with the other. One thing is, the poor whites only changed their method of slavery, for they were draughted into the navy, and in the long war that followed, there was very little hope of their release. The papers of March 10, 1702, tell of 143 out of 190 of these poor wretches going to St. Paul's, where the Bishop of London gave them 70l. between them, and the dean, Dr. Sherlock, 'admonished them to return thanks to the Government (p. 62) for their Deliverance, and to the People for their Charity, and that they should not pursue the Practices to which Sailers, &c., are too much addicted, viz. Swearing and Cursing. There are about 42 left behind, as 'tis said because some of the Powder, which was carried thither, happened not to be Proof.' And the London Post, March 11/13, tells a touching little romance of this event: 'This day the Slaves lately arrived from Barbary, went in a Body to the Admiralty Office, in order to enter themselves on Board the Queen's Ships; And 'twas observable, that when they came Yesterday out of Paul's, one of them was spy'd out by 2 of his Daughters who came thither only out of Curiosity, and so soon as they saw their Father, run with open Arms, imbraced and kissed him.'

It is needless to say that the negro slaves were always running away, and being advertised for; but, as the rewards given were not high, it is probable that recapture was almost certain. One or two instances will suffice: 'A Slender middle sized India Black, in a dark grey Livery with Brass Buttons, went from Mrs Thwaits, in Stepney, the 4th of June, and is suppos'd to be gone on board some Ship in the Downs; whosoever secures and gives notice of him to Mrs. Thwaits or Mr. Tresham, two doors within Aldgate, shall have 10s. reward and reasonable Charges.' 'Went away from his Master's House in Drury Lane, upon Monday the 6th Instant, and has since been seen at Hampstead, Highgate and Tottenham Court, an Indian Black Boy, with long Hair, about 15 Years of Age, speaks very good English; he went away in a brown Fustian Frock, a blew Wastecoate, and scarlet Shag Breeches, and is called by the name of Morat; Whoever brings him to, or gives Notice of him, so as he may be brought to Mr. Pain's House in Prince's Court, Westminster, shall have a Guinea Reward, and the Boy shall be kindly received.' Judging by his 'long Hair,' this boy was not a negro—indeed it would seem that it only needed a dark skin to constitute a slave; for 'an East India young man, named Cæsar,' ran away. 'A Negro Maid, aged about 16 Years, much pitted with the Small Pox, speaks English well, having a piece of her left Ear bit off by a Dog; She hath on a strip'd Stuff Wastcoat and Petticoat ... they shall have a Guinea Reward and reasonable Charges.' Sometimes (indeed it was rather fashionable) the poor wretches had collars round their necks. 'A Tall Negro young fellow commonly known as Jack Chelsea, having a Collar about his Neck (unless it be lately filed off), with these Words; Mr. Moses Goodyeare of Chelsea his Negro, ran away from his Master last Tuesday evening.' This habit of wearing collars is noticed by Steele,[104] who inserts a letter from 'a blackamoor boy—Pompey.' 'Besides this, the shock dog has a collar that cost almost as much as mine.' Sometimes these collars were of silver. 'Run away from his Master about a Fortnight since, a lusty Negroe Boy about 18 years of Age, full of pock holes, had a (p. 63) Silver Collar about his Neck engrav'd Capt. Tho. Mitchel's Negroe, living in Griffith Street in Shadwel.'

They were rarely advertised to be sold—indeed, I have only found one instance in all the newspapers of the twelve years of Anne's reign, and that is very simple. 'A Negro boy about 12 years of age, that speaks English, is to be sold. Enquire of Mr. Step Rayner, a Watchmaker, at the sign of the Dial, without Bishopsgate.'

Another kind of servant must not be forgotten, although his servitude was but a limited one—and that is the apprentice, of whom Misson says: 'An Apprentice is a sort of a Slave; he wears neither Hat nor Cap in his Master's presence: he can't marry, nor have any Dealings on his own Account. All he earns is his Masters.' Misson is slightly in error in one part of this description, but it is a piece of delicate etiquette, which probably escaped a foreigner's eye: the apprentice might wear his cap in his master's presence during the last year of his time. A branch of industry then existed—although probably it was practised by very few:—'Attendance will be given at the Sun Coffee House in Queen Street, very near Cheapside, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, where Youth may be furnished with Masters to go Apprentices to Merchants, Wholesale or Retale Trades, or Handicraft Trades.'


Out-of-door amusements — A holiday — Hatred of French fashions — Beaus' oaths — Kissing — Fops: their daily life.

Passing to the social habits of the people, it is difficult where to commence the description. The men of the time were humdrum and prosaic—they went nowhere, at least according to our ideas—a journey to York or so was really fraught with peril and hardship, consequently no one ever moved about unless they were compelled. The suburbs were sparsely inhabited, and there was nothing much to see when one got there except at Hampstead or Highgate. 'Your Glass Coach will go to Hide Park for Air. The Suburb fools trudge to Lambs Conduit or Totnam; your sprucer sort of citizen gallop to Epsom, your Meckanick gross Fellows, showing much conjugal affection, strut before their wives, each with a Child in his Arms, to Islington or Hogsdon.'[105] What a suburban holiday was like we may see in the following description, which, however, is somewhat condensed and revised:[106] 'Fearing Time should be Elaps'd and cut short our intended Pastime, we Smoak'd our Pipes (p. 64) with greater Expedition, in order to proceed on our Journey, which we began about Eleven a Clock; and marching thro' Cheapside, found half the People we either met, or overtook, equip'd for Hunting; walking backwards and forwards, as I suppose, to shew one another their Accoutrements. The City Beaus in Boots as black as Jet, which shin d, by much rubbing, like a stick of Ebony; their Heels arm'd with Spurs, the travelling weapons to defend the Rider from the Laziness of his Horse, carefully preserv'd bright in a Box of Cotton, and dazzled in the eyes of each beholder like a piece of Looking glass; their Wastes hoop'd round with Turkey Leather Belts, at which hung a Bagonet, or short Scymitar, in order to cut their Mistresses Names upon the trees of the Forest: In the right Hand a Whip, mounted against the Breast like the Scepter of a King's Statue upon the Change, adorn'd with twisted Wiggs and crown'd with edg'd Casters; being all over in such Prim and Order, that you could scarce distinguish them from Gentlemen. Amongst 'em were many Ladies of the same Quality, ty'd up in Safeguards so be-knotted with their two penny Taffaty, that a Man might guess by their Finery, their Fathers to be Ribbond Weavers. We crowded along, mix'd among the Herd, and could not but fancy the major part of the Citizens were Scampering out of town to avoid the Horse Plague. We mov'd forward, without any discontinuance of our Perambulation, till we came to the Globe at Mile End, where a Pretious Mortal made us a Short hand complement, and gave us an Invitation to a Sir-Loine of Roast Beef, out of which Corroborating Food we renew'd our Lives; and strengthening our Spirits with a flask of rare Claret, took leave of my Friend's Acquaintance and so proceeded.


'By this time the Road was full of Passengers, every one furnish'd with no small Appetite to Veal and Bacon. Citizens in Crowds, upon Pads, Hackneys, and Hunters; all upon the Tittup, as if he who Rid not a Gallop was to forfeit his Horse. Some Spurring on with that speed and chearfulness, as if they intended never to come back again: Some Double, and some Single. Every now and then drop'd a Lady from her Pillion, another from her Side Saddle; Sometimes a Beau would tumble and dawb his Boots, which, to shew his Neatness, he would clean with his Handkerchief. In this order did we march, like Aaron's Proselites, to Worship the Calf, till we came to the New rais'd Fabrick call'd Mob's Hole, where the Beast was to be Eaten. We press'd hard to get into the House, which we found so full, that when I was in, what with the smell of Sweat, Stinking Breaths and Tobacco, I thought there was but a few Gasps between the Place and Eternity. Some were Dancing to a Bag pipe; others Whistling to a Base Violin, two Fidlers scraping Lilla burlero,[107] my Lord Mayor's[108] Delight, upon a Couple of Crack'd (p. 65) Crowds[109], and an old Oliverian trooper tootling upon a Trumpet.' After a rest and some liquid refreshment, they chatted and bantered with the holiday folk, until 'from thence went into the Kitchin, Built up of Furzes, in the Open Air, to behold their Cookery; where the Major part of the Calf was Roasting upon a Wooden Spit: Two or three great Slivers he had lost off his Buttocks, his Ribs par'd to the very Bone, with holes in his Shoulders, each large enough to bury a Sevil Orange, that he look'd as if a Kennel of Hounds had every one had a Snap at him. Under him lay the Flitch of Bacon of such an Ethiopian Complection, that I should rather have guess'd it the side of a Blackamore; It looking more like a Cannibal's Feast than a Christian Entertainment. Being soon glutted with the view of this unusual piece of Cookery, we departed from thence, and hearing a great bustle in the Upper Room of an Outhouse, we went up Stairs to see what was the matter, where we found a poor Fidler, scraping over the tune of Now Ponder Well you Parents Dear;[110] and a parcel of Country People Dancing and crying to 't. The Remembrance of the Uncles Cruelty to the poor Innocent Babes, and the Robin Red Breasts Kindness, had fix'd in their very Looks such Signs of Sorrow and Compassion, that their Dancing seem'd rather a Religious Worship, than a Merry Recreation. Having thus given ourselves a Prospect of all that the place afforded, we return'd to Stratford, where we got a Coach, and from thence to London.'

This stay-at-home lot naturally disliked all who differed from them; and their especial hatred, on whom all their vials of wrath was poured out, and who provoked their most pungent satire, was the travelled fop who had brought back with him Continental ideas and fashions. In this matter John Bull, until he began to move about a bit, has always been most conservative. Anything 'un-English' was certain of condemnation, and of course, during the war the French, and all belonging to them, were especially hated.

Our Native Speech we must forget, ere long,
To learn the French, that much more Modish Tongue.
(p. 66) Their Language smoother is, hath pretty Aires;
But ours is Gothick, if compar'd with theirs.
The French by Arts of smoother Insinuation,
Are now become the Darlings of the Nation;
His Lordship's Valet must be bred in France,
Or else he is a Clown without Pretence:
The English Blockheads are in Dress so coarse,
They're fit for nothing, but to rub a Horse,
Her Ladyship's ill-manner'd or ill-bred,
Whose Woman, Confident, or Chamber Maid,
Did not in France suck in her first breath'd Air,
Or did not gain hir Education there;
Our Cooks in dressing have no Skill at all.
They're only fit to serve an Hospital,
Or to prepare a Dinner for a Camp;
French Cooks are only of the Modish Stamp.[111]

These affectations offended our insularity, and, probably, the following sketch was not at all ungenerous or uncalled for:—

And he who to his Fancy puts no Stop,
Goes out a Fool, and may return a Fop;
And after he Six Months in France has been,
Comes home a most Accomplish'd Harlequin,
Drest in a tawdry Suit at Paris made,
For which he more than thrice the Value paid.
French his Attendants, French alone his Mouth
Can speak, his native Language is uncouth.
If to the Ladies he does make Advance,
His very Looks must have the Air of France,
The English are so heavy and so dull,
As if with Lead, not Brains, their Heads were full.
But the brisk Frenchman, by his subtil Art,
Soon finds Access to any Lady's Heart.

And again,[112] 'Then before they can Conster and Pearse,[113] they are sent into France with sordid illiterate Creatures, call'd Dry'd Nurses, or Governours; Engines of as little use as Pacing Saddles, and as unfit to Govern 'em as the Post Horses they ride to Paris on; From whence they return with a little smattering of that mighty Universal Language, without being ever able to write true English.'

If these descriptions be true, and they are so numerous and widely scattered as to leave little doubt of it, the young fellow came back a fribble, an emasculated nothing, except as regards his periwig, his clothes, and his snuff-box.

[114]But Art surpasses Nature; and we find
Men may be transform'd into Womankind

—a creature who 'can Sing, and Dance, and play upon the Guitar; make Wax Work, and Fillagree, and Paint upon Glass'[115]—who (p. 67) swore pretty little oaths—odsbodikins![116] oh me! and never stir alive! or blister me![117] impair my vigour! enfeeble me! or could say to a lady,[118] Madam, split me, you are very impertinent! who painted himself[119] 'purely to oblige the ladies,'—and who, when he met a friend, must needs fall a-kissing him, described in one old play as 'the Embracing[120] and the fulsome Trick you Men have got of Kissing one another.' Or, as in another play, one of those travelled pretty dears says,[121] 'Sir—You Kiss Pleasingly—I love to Kiss a Man, in Paris we kiss nothing else.'


What was their life composed of, and how did they spend it? Naturally they got up late, breakfasted en déshabillé, held a sort of levée, till it was time to go to White's or the Cocoa Tree, or else lounged in the Mall, where Ward describes the scene as 'It seem'd to me as if the World was turn'd Top-Side turvy; for the ladies look'd like undaunted Heroes, fit for Government or Battle, and the Gentlemen like a parcel of Fawning, Flattering Fops, that could bear Cuckoldom with Patience, make a Jest of an Affront, and swear themselves very faithful and humble Servants to the Petticoat; Creeping and Cringing in dishonour to themselves, to what was decreed by Heaven their Inferiours; as if their Education had been amongst Monkeys, who (as it is said) in all cases give the Pre-eminence to their Females.' Or perhaps he would lounge down to the Exchange to buy a pair of gloves or a sword knot, and, under any circumstances, to ogle the shop girls. Ward's language may be a little rough, but it is sound, and it touches one of the social cankers of the day. Then dinner at Pontac's, or some ordinary; then a little more coffee-house, and a wind up at some side box—favourite haunt of beaus—at the play, where probably other of the jeunesse dorée—this time those who had received a home education—would arrive; would-be men-about-town, things of sixteen years old or so—whose future development would be first Mohock, then sot:[122] 'Such as come Drunk and Screaming into a Play House, and stand upon the Benches, and toss their full Perriwigs and empty Heads, and with their shrill unbroken Pipes, cry Dam me, this is a Damn'd Play.' A little Tunbridge or Bath in the season, and this was the sum of their existence, which, if the money held out, lasted until they either physically rotted, or settled down to married life! sated and blasé; or, if it was soon spent, and the brilliant meteor had flashed its course across the heavens, there was nothing but the living death of the debtors' gaol, from which release was next to impossible.


Receiving in bed — A lady's life — A fine lady's diary — Walking — Visiting — Tea-table scandal — Shopping — Daily church — Pets — Dancing — Books on ditto — A dancing master.

And how did the women fare? We have seen that among the middle classes the domestic virtues were encouraged and highly extolled, and to be a 'notable housewife' was a legitimate and proper ambition; but how did the fine-lady class spend their time? Were their lives more usefully employed than those of the beaus? Addison says that he remembers the time when ladies received visits in bed, and thus graphically describes the custom:[123] 'It was then looked upon as a piece of Ill breeding for a Woman to refuse to see a Man, because she was not stirring; and a Porter would have been thought unfit for his Place, that could have made so awkward an Excuse. As I love to see everything that is new, I once prevailed upon my Friend Will Honeycomb to carry me along with him to one of these Travelled Ladies, desiring him at the same time, to present me as a Foreigner who could not speak English, so that I might not be obliged to bear a part in the Discourse. The Lady, tho' willing to appear undrest, had put on her best Looks, and painted herself for our Reception. Her Hair appeared in a very nice Disorder, as the Night Gown which was thrown upon her Shoulders was ruffled with great Care.'

There is an amusing little pamphlet—not a chap book proper[124]—which, though undated, bears internal evidence of the time of its birth, which gives an account of a fine lady's life.

'How do you employ your time now?'

'I lie in Bed till Noon, dress all the Afternoon, Dine in the Evening, and play at Cards till Midnight.'

'How do you spend the Sabbath?

'In Chit Chat.'

'What do you talk of?'

'New Fashions and New Plays.'

'How often do you go to Church?'

'Twice a year or oftener, according as my Husband gives me new Cloaths.'

'Why do you go to Church when you have new Cloaths?'

'To see other Peoples Finery, and to show my own, and to (p. 69) laugh at those scurvy, out of fashion Creatures that come there for Devotion.'

'Pray, Madam, what Books do you read?'

'I read lewd Plays and winning Romances.'

'Who is it you love?'


'What! nobody else?'

'My Page, my Monkey, and my Lap Dog.'

'Why do you love them?'

'Why, because I am an English Lady, and they are Foreign Creatures; my Page from Genoa, my Monkey from the East Indies, and my Lap Dog from Vigo.'[125]

'Would not they have pleased you as well if they had been English?'

'No, for I hate everything that Old England brings forth, except it be the temper of an English Husband, and the liberty of an English wife; I love the French Bread, French Wines, French Sauces, and a French Cook; in short, I have all about me French or Foreign, from my Waiting Woman to my Parrot.'

And Addison tells much the same story when he gives a portion of the diary of a lady of quality.[126]

'Wednesday From Eight 'till Ten. Drank two Dishes of Chocolate in Bed, and fell asleep after 'em.

'From Ten to Eleven. Eat a Slice of Bread and Butter, drank a Dish of Bohea, read the Spectator.

'From Eleven to One. At my Toilet, try'd a new Head. Gave orders for Veney to be combed and washed. Mem. I look best in Blue.

'From One till Half an Hour after Two. Drove to the Change. Cheapned a couple of Fans.

'Till Four. At Dinner. Mem. Mr. Froth passed by in his new Liveries.

'From Four to Six. Dressed, paid a Visit to old lady Blithe and her Sister, having heard they were gone out of Town that Day.

'From Six to Eleven. At Basset. Mem. Never set again upon the Ace of Diamonds.

'Thursday. From Eleven at Night to Eight in the Morning. Dream'd that I punted to Mr. Froth.

'From Eight to Ten. Chocolate. Read two Acts in Aurenzebe[127] abed.

'From Ten to Eleven. Tea Table. Sent to borrow Lady Faddle's Cupid for Veney. Read the Play-Bills. Received a letter from Mr. Froth. Mem. Locked it up in my strong box.

'Rest of the Morning. Fontange the Tire woman, her Account of my Lady Blithe's Wash. Broke a Tooth in my little Tortoise-shell (p. 70) Comb. Sent Frank to know how my Lady Hectick rested after her Monky's leaping out at Window. Looked pale. Fontange tells me my Glass is not true. Dressed by Three.

'From Three to Four. Dinner cold before I sat down.

'From Four to Eleven. Saw Company. Mr. Froth's opinion of Milton. His Account of the Mohocks. His Fancy for a Pincushion. Picture in the Lid of his Snuff-box. Old Lady Faddle promises me her Woman to cut my Hair. Lost five Guineas at Crimp.

'Twelve a Clock at Night. Went to Bed.

'Friday. Eight in the Morning. Abed. Read over all Mr. Froth's Letters. Cupid and Veney.

'Ten a Clock. Stay'd within all day—not at home.

'From Ten to Twelve. In Conference with my Mantua Maker. Sorted a Suit of Ribbands. Broke my Blue China Cup.

'From Twelve to One. Shut myself up in my Chamber, practised Lady Betty Modely's Skuttle.

'One in the Afternoon. Called for my flowered Handkerchief. Worked half a Violet Leaf in it. Eyes aked and Head out of Order. Threw by my Work, and read over the remaining Part of Aurenzebe.

'From Three to Four. Dined.

'From Four to Twelve. Changed my Mind, dressed, went abroad, and play'd at Crimp till Midnight. Found Mrs. Spitely at home. Conversation: Mrs. Brilliant's Necklace false Stones. Old Lady Loveday going to be married to a young Fellow that is not worth a Groat. Miss Prue gone into the Country. Tom Townley has red Hair. Mem. Mrs. Spitely whispered in my Ear that she had something to tell me about Mr. Froth, I am sure it is not true.

'Between Twelve and One. Dreamed that Mr. Froth lay at my Feet and called me Indamora.[128]

'Saturday. Rose at Eight a Clock in the Morning. Sate down to my Toilet.

'From Eight to Nine. Shifted a Patch for Half an Hour before I could determine it. Fixed it above my left Eye-brow.

'From Nine to Twelve. Drank my Tea and Dressed.

'From Twelve to Two. At Chappel. A great deal of good Company. Mem. The third Air in the new Opera. Lady Blithe dressed frightfully.

'From Three to Four. Dined. Miss Kitty called upon me to go to the Opera before I was risen from Table.

'From Dinner to Six. Drank Tea. Turned off a Footman for being rude to Veney.

'Six a Clock. Went to the Opera. I did not see Mr. Froth till the beginning of the second Act. Mr. Froth talked to a gentleman in a black Wig. Bowed to a Lady in the Front Box. Mr. (p. 71) Froth and his Friend clapp'd Nicolini in the third Act. Mr. Froth cried out Ancora. Mr. Froth led me to my Chair. I think he squeezed my Hand.

'Eleven at Night. Went to Bed. Melancholy Dreams. Me-thought Nicolini said he was Mr. Froth.

'Sunday. Indisposed.

'Monday. Eight a Clock. Waked by Miss Kitty. Aurenzebe lay upon the Chair by me. Kitty repeated without Book the Eight best Lines in the Play. Went in our Mobbs to the dumb Man,[129] according to Appointment. Told me that my Lover's Name began with a G. Mem. The Conjurer was within a Letter of Mr. Froth's Name,' &c.

Virtually, these two different versions of how an idle woman passed her time agree remarkably well, and they let a whole flood of daylight into the inner life of the time—on what they breakfasted when they dined, what time the opera began, etc. Apart from opera, the play, and cards, how were the females of the middle class to amuse themselves of an evening? Say they had been busy all day, the evenings had to be passed somehow. There was very little of that domesticity and home life of which we are so proud, for the men spent their evenings at their club, their coffee-house, the tavern, or the play, so they had to amuse themselves with such innocent games as hot cockles, questions and commands, mottoes, similes, cross purposes, blindman's buff, and a game called 'Parson has lost his Cloak,' or else 'Bouts rimés,' which consisted of giving four terminal words of any kind so that they rhymed, and then some one else filling up the blank lines, and making four lines of sensible poetry.[130] In fact, just the same amusements that are now compelled to be resorted to as pastimes in a village home. The better class had musical evenings, for chamber music was popular, but the spinets and harpsichords were of moderate compass, and very slight in sound. They danced country dances too, any quantity of them; and there was the curse of the age—cards—as a never-failing resource.

The women did not walk much. Swift seems to think they did; but then a little walking went a long way with him. He quite boasts of his walk from and to Chelsea of a day, a good two-mile walk each way, as somewhat of a feat, and he repeatedly grumbles at Stella for not walking more—tells her to knock off her claret and buy a pair of good strong boots and use them.[131] 'When I pass the Mall in the evening it is prodigious to see the number of ladies walking there; and I always cry shame at the ladies of Ireland, who never walk at all, as if their legs were of no use, but to be laid aside.... I tell you what, if I was with you, when we went to Stoyte, at Donnybrook, we would only take a coach to the hither end of Stephen's Green, and from thence go every step on foot; yes, faith, every step.'

(p. 72) The Mall was the fashionable lounge, or the Parade, where smoking was not allowed.[132] 'From thence we walk'd into the Parade, which my Friend told me us'd, in a Morning, to be cover'd with the Bones of Red Herrings, and smelt as strong about Breakfast Times as a Wet Salter's Shop at Midsummer. But now, says he, its perfum'd again with English Breath; and the scent of Oroonoko Tobacco no more offends the Nostrils of our squeamish Ladies.' And there were the ducks to feed on the canal. But the Mall was the place. Ward goes into ecstasies over it: never was there such a sight. 'From thence we went thro' the Pallace into the Park about the time when the Court Ladies raise their extended Limbs from their downy Couches, and Walk into the Mall to refresh their charming Bodies with the Cooling and Salubrious Breezes of the Gilded Evening. We could not possibly have chose a Luckier Minute to have seen the delightful Park in its greatest Glory and Perfection; for the brightest Stars of the Creation sure (that shine by no other Power than humane Excellence) were moving here with such awful State and Majesty that their Graceful Deportments bespoke 'em Goddesses,' etc.


Of course they paid visits—how could women live without a little gossip? The invaluable Misson takes a note of the practice. 'Persons of the first Quality visit one another in England as much as we do in France, generally about Evening; but the ordinary Sort of People have not that Custom. Among us all the little Shopkeepers, particularly the Women, go with their Gowns about (p. 73) their Heels to visit one another by Turns, either to crack and bounce to one another, or else to sit with their Arms a cross, and say nothing. What can be more tedious, impertinent, and ridiculous than such Visits? Here, Persons of that Condition go to see one another with their Work in their Hands and Chearfulness in their Countenance, without Rule or Constraint. Upon certain Occasions, as upon Mourning or Marriage, they pay one another Visits of Ceremony.' Brown gives a most amusing description[133] of 'the City Ladies Visiting Day, which is a familiar Assembly, or a general Council, of the fair and charming Sex, where all the important affairs of their Neighbours are largely discuss'd, but judg'd in an arbitrary manner, without hearing the Parties speak for themselves. Nothing comes amiss to these Tribunals; matters of high and no consequence, as Religion and Cuckoldom, Commodes and Sermons, Politicks and Gallantry, Receipts of Cookery and Scandal, Coquetry and Preserving, Jilting and Laundry; in short, every thing is subject to the Jurisdiction of this Court, and no Appeal lies from it. The Coach stops at the Goldsmith's or Mercer's Door, and off leaps Mr. Skip Kennel from behind it, and makes his Address to the Book Keeper or Prentice, and asks if his Lady (for that is always the name of the Mistress) receives any Visits that day or No; some stay must be made till the Woman above stairs sends down her Answer, and then the Pink of Courtesie is receiv'd at the top of the Stairs, like King James by the French King, and handed to her stool of discourse.... Thus they take a sip of Tea, then for a draught or two of Scandal to digest it, next let it be Ratafia, or any other Favourite Liquor, Scandal must be the after draught to make it sit easie on their Stomach, till the half hour's past, and they have disburthen'd themselves of their Secrets, and take Coach for some other place to collect new matter for Defamation.'

Tea was then in its infancy, but it was an extremely fashionable beverage, in spite of its expense, and the tea-table was the very centre of scandal and gossip.

How see we Scandal (for our sex too base),  
Seat in dread Empire in the Female Race,
'Mong Beaus and Women, Fans and Mechlin Lace,
Chief seat of Slander, Ever there we see
Thick Scandal circulate with right Bohea.
There, source of black'ning Falshood's Mint of Lies,  
Each Dame th' Improvement of her Talent tries,
And at each Sip a Lady's Honour dies;
Truth rare as Silence, or a Negro Swan,
Appears among those Daughters of the Fan.

Naturally, when out walking they did a little shopping, or what passed as such; for then, as now, many a fine lady would go into a shop and look at the goods simply to pass away the time, regardless of the loss and inconvenience to the shopkeeper. Steele (p. 74) notices this—indeed, what little social blot ever went undetected by the omniscient Spectator?—in the following amusing strain:[134] 'I am, dear Sir, one of the top China Women about Town; and though I say it, keep as good Things and receive as fine Company as any o' this End of the Town, let the other be who she will. In short I am in a fair Way to be easy, were it not for a Club of Female Rakes who, under pretence of taking their innocent rambles, forsooth, and diverting the Spleen, seldom fail to plague me twice or thrice a day to cheapen Tea, or buy a Skreen. What else should they mean? as they often repeat it. These Rakes are your idle Ladies of Fashion, who having nothing to do employ themselves in tumbling over my Ware. One of these No Customers (for, by the way, they seldom or never buy anything) calls for a set of Tea Dishes, another for a Bason, a third for my best Green Tea, and even to the Punch bowl; there's scarce a piece in my Shop but must be displaced, and the whole agreeable Architecture disordered, so that I can compare 'em to nothing but to the Night Goblins that take a Pleasure to overturn the Disposition of Plates and Dishes in the kitchens of your housewifely Maids. Well, after all this Racket and Clutter, this is too dear, that is their Aversion; another thing is Charming, but not wanted. The Ladies are cured of the Spleen, but I am not a Shilling the better for it.'


One famous place for shopping was the New Exchange, in the Strand, which must have been something like our arcades; and many are the allusions, in contemporary literature, to the dangerous allurements of the Exchange shop-girls. 'Did you buy anything? Some Bawbles. But my choice was so distracted among the Pretty Merchants and their Dealers, I knew not where to run first. One little lisping Rogue, Ribbandths, Gloveths, Tippeths. Sir, cries another, will you buy a fine Sword Knot; then a third, pretty voice and Curtsie, Does not your Lady want Hoods, Scarfs, fine (p. 75) green silk Stockings. I went by as if I had been in a Seraglio, a living Gallery of Beauties—staring from side to side, I bowing, they laughing; so made my escape.'[135]

This was the universal description of the New Exchange, and the character of their wares has been immortalised in a song by Ward:—

Fine Lace or Linnen, Sir,
Good Gloves or Ribbons here;
What is't you please to Buy, Sir?
Pray what d'ye ask for this?
Ten Shillings is the Price;
It cost me, sir, no less,
I Scorn to tell a Lye, Sir.

Madam, what is't you want,
Rich Fans of India paint?
Fine Hoods or Scarfs, my Lady?
Silk Stockings will you buy,
In Grain or other Dye?
Pray, Madam, please your Eye;
I've good as e'er was made ye.

My Lady, feel the Weight,
They're Fine, and yet not Slight;
I'd with my Mother trust 'em.
For Goodness and for Wear,
Madam, I Vow and Swear,
I show'd you this same Pair
In hopes to gain your Custom.

Pray tell me in a Word,
At what you can afford,
With Living Gain to sell 'em:
The price is one Pound five,
And as I hope to Live,
I do my Profit give,
Your Honour's very welcome.

Knives, Penknives, Combs or Scissors,
Tooth Pickers, Sirs, or Tweesers;
Or Walking Canes to Ease ye.
Ladies, d'ye want fine Toys,
For Misses or for Boys?
Of all sorts I have Choice,
And pretty things to please ye.

I want a little Babye,
As pretty a one as may be,
With Head dress made of Feather:
And now I think again,
I want a Toy from Spain,
You know what 'tis I mean:
Pray send 'em home together.

Another female practice, then, was to go to daily service at church especially—and St. Paul's, Covent Garden, was a very fashionable church at which to worship, or ogle the beaus.[136] 'This Market and that Church,' says my friend, 'hides more faults of kind Wives and Daughters among the Neighbouring Inhabitants than the pretended Visits either to my Cousin at t'other end of the Town, or some other distant Acquaintance; for if the Husband asks, Where have you been, Wife? or the Parent, Where have you been, Daughter? the Answer, if it be after Eleven in the forenoon, or between Three and Four in the Afternoon, is, At Prayers. But, if early in the Morning, then their excuse is, I took a walk to Covent Garden Market, not being very well, to refresh myself with the scent of the Herbs and Flowers; Bringing a Flower, or a Sprig of Sweet Bryar, home in her Hand, and it confirms the matter.'

When not walking, ladies used either a coach or a sedan chair, and but seldom rode on horseback; but, when they did so, they generally preferred the pillion to the side-saddle, as in the accompanying illustration, and held on by the belt either of her cavalier or groom.

In the country, horse exercise was much more in vogue, and Swift repeatedly alludes to, and reminds Stella of, her riding. When (p. 76) riding, ladies very frequently wore masks to protect the countenance from the rays of the sun.


Frequent allusions are made to a lady's pets, her lap-dog or her parrot; but very few people know the very wide range of choice she had in the selection of those pets. Needless to say there were monkeys, both Marmoset and other kinds; there were paroquets, paroquets of Guinea, cockatoos and macaws, scarlet nightingales from the West Indies, lorries or lurries, canaries, both ash and lemon colour, white and grey turtle doves from Barbary, white turtle doves, and the turtle doves from Moco, no bigger than a lark, spotted very fine. There were milk-white peacocks, white and pyed pheasants, bantams, and furbelow fowls from the East Indies, and top-knot hens from Hamburg. She would hardly want the 'Parcel of living Vipers, fresh taken, fat and good, are to be sold by the dozen,' nor would she care about the 'fine Tyger from the East Indies, who was brought over together with some fine geese from the same part of the world,' and some 'Amedawares.' In fact there were 'Jamrachs' then as now, and many of the bird shops were in St. Martin's Lane, near which locality they still abound. There is a curious advertisement in the Postman, January 12/15, 1706, which settles the date of bird-seed glasses. 'The so much approved and most convenient new fashion Crystal Bird Glasses, which effectually prevent the Littering of the Seeds into the Rooms.'

An innocent amusement, of which they were very fond, was dancing. And of dances there were a considerable quantity: country dances and jigs, of which there was an infinite variety, and minuets, rigadoons, and other more stately and stagey dances, as the 'Louvre and the French Brittagne.' These latter were elaborate, and absolutely inaugurated a fresh literature devoted to their cult. This seems to have been started by one Thoinet Arbeau, in a book published by him in 1588, and he may be called the originator of the ballet. Both Beauchamp and Feuillet wrote on this subject in French. Feuillet's book was translated and improved upon by Siris, in 1706. John Weaver wrote on this subject (in his 'Orchesography') about 1708, and John Essex (in the 'Treatise of Chorography') in 1710. The object was to teach the different steps and dances, by means of diagrams. Thus coupées, bourées, fleurets, bounds or tacs, contretemps, chasses, sissones, pirouettes, capers, entrechats, etc., all had their distinguishing marks.

The effect of learning by this method is whimsically given by Addison.[137] 'I was this morning awakened by a sudden shake of (p. 77) the house, and as soon as I had got a little out of my consternation I felt another, which was followed by two or three repetitions of the same convulsion. I got up as fast as possible, girt on my rapier, and snatched up my hat, when my landlady came up to me and told me "that the gentlewoman of the next house begged me to step thither, for that a lodger she had taken in was run mad, and she desired my advice," as indeed everybody in the whole lane does upon important occasions. I am not like some artists, saucy, because I can be beneficial, but went immediately. Our neighbour told us "she had the day before let her second floor to a very genteel youngish man, who told her he kept extraordinary good hours, and was generally home most part of the morning and evening at study; but that this morning he had for an hour together made this extravagant noise which we then heard." I went up stairs with my hand upon the hilt of my rapier, and approached this new lodger's door.


'I looked in at the keyhole, and there I saw a well-made man look with great attention on a book, and on a sudden jump into the air so high, that his head almost touched the ceiling. He came down safe on his right foot, and again flew up, alighting on his left; then looked again at his book, and holding out his right leg, put it into such a quivering motion, that I thought he would have shaked it off. He then used the left after the same manner, when on a sudden, to my great surprise, he stooped himself incredibly low, and turned gently on his toes. After this circular motion, he continued bent in that humble posture for some time, looking on his book. After this, he recovered himself with a sudden spring, and flew round the room in all the violence and disorder imaginable, until he made a full pause for want of breath.


'In this interim, my women asked "what I thought." I whispered, "that I thought this learned person an enthusiast, who possibly had his first education in the Peripatetic way, which was a (p. 78) sect of Philosophers, who always studied when walking." But observing him much out of breath, I thought it the best time to master him if he were disordered, and knocked at his door. I was surprized to find him open it, and say with great civility and good mien, "that he hoped he had not disturbed us." I believed him in a lucid interval, and desired "he would please to let me see his book." He did so, smiling. I could not make anything of it, and therefore asked "in what language it was writ." He said, "it was one he studied with great application; that it was his profession to teach it, and he could not communicate his knowledge without a consideration." I answered "that I hoped he would hereafter keep his thoughts to himself, for his meditation this morning had cost me three coffee dishes and a clean pipe." He seemed concerned at that, and told me "he was a dancing master, and had been reading a dance or two before he went out, which had been written by one who had been taught at an Academy in France." He observed me at a stand, and went on to inform me, "that now Articulate MOTIONS as well as SOUNDS were expressed by Proper CHARACTERS, and that there is nothing so common as to communicate a Dance by a letter." I besought him hereafter to meditate in a ground room.'

The public dancers were utilised in rather a curious way, if we may credit Mrs. Centlivre—who certainly ought to know. She says, in 'Love at a Venture,' 'Sir Paul Cautious, Go to the Play House, and desire some of the Singers and Dancers to come hither,' and the servant, later on in the play, announces, 'The Singers and Dancers are come, Sir. (Here is songs and dances.)'


Games at cards — Curious cards — Price — Tax on Cards — Female passion for gambling — The Groom Porter's — Gaming houses — Gamesters — Noted gamesters — Debts of honour — Speculation — Life insurances — Marine and other insurances — Shopkeepers' lotteries — Government lotteries — Prizes and winners.

But primest and chief delight of men and women in this age was CARDS. Never, perhaps, was such a card-playing time—certainly not in England. Ombre, which is so vividly described in the third canto of the 'Rape of the Lock' was a game which could be played by two, three, or five persons—generally by three; to each of whom nine cards were dealt. It takes its name from the Spanish, the person who undertook to stand the game making use of the words 'Yo soy l'hombre,' 'I am the man.' It was an improvement on Primero, which disappeared after its introduction. (p. 79) L'hombre is still played in Spain under the name of Tresillo, and in Spanish America it is called Rocambor. Piquet is now played. Basset was a very gambling game, closely resembling the modern Faro; Whisk or Whist, Brag, Lanterloo, or Lanctre loo, in which pam, or the knave of clubs, is the highest card:[138] 'Were she at her Parish Church, in the Height of her Devotion, should any Body in the Interim but stand at the Church Door and hold up the Knave of Clubs, she would take it to be a Challenge at Lanctre Loo; and starting from her prayers, would follow her beloved Pam, as a deluded Traveller does an Ignis Fatuus'; and One and Thirty, which does not seem a very extravagant game, judging by Swift's account of it.[139] 'Lord Treasurer has had an ugly fit of the rheumatism, but is now near quite well. I was playing at one and thirty with him and his family the other night. He gave us all twelvepence apiece to begin with.' These were some of the games[140] they delighted in; and the accompanying illustration very vividly brings before us a quiet and pleasant game at cards.


The implements of gaming, the cards themselves, were much smaller and thinner than those we are accustomed to play with. They were not always confined to the prosaic display of the pips and Court cards, as ours are, but took a far more fanciful flight. 'Geographical, Geometrical, Astronomical and Carving Cards, each Pack price 1s.' 'Orange Cards, Representing the late King James's Reign and Expedition of the Prince of Orange, Plots of (p. 80) the Papists, Bishops in the Tower and Trial, Consecrated mock Prince of Wales, Popish Midwife, Fight at Reading, Pope's Nuncio, Captain Tom, Essex's Murder, burning Mass Houses, Army going over to the Prince of Orange, etc.'; cards delineating the victories of Marlborough and other events in Anne's reign; Sacheverel cards; and anything for fashion—cards from Vigo—in 1702—after the great victory there; proverb cards; all kinds of cards. The ordinary playing cards were cheap enough in all conscience, 'the best Principal superfine Picket Cards at 2s. 6d. a Dozen; the best Principal superfine Ombro Cards at 2s. 9d. a Dozen; the best Principal superfine Basset Cards at 3s. 6d. a dozen' (packs understood). The price to retailers averaged 1-1/2d. per pack, and it is marvellous how they could, at that time, be made for the money.

By an Act of 10 Anne, c. 18, s. 176, etc., a duty of sixpence per pack for cards, and five shillings a pair for dice, was imposed; and all cards made and unsold before June 12, 1711, were to be brought in to be stamped, and pay a duty of one halfpenny per pack, and dice 6d. a pair.

The passion of women for gambling was a fruitful theme for satire in those days. 'She's a profuse Lady, tho' of a Miserly Temper, whose Covetous Disposition is the very Cause of her Extravagancy; for the Desire of Success wheedles her Ladyship to play, and the incident Charges and Disappointments that attend it, make her as expensive to her Husband, as his Coach and six Horses. When an unfortunate Night has happen'd to empty her Cabinet, she has many Shifts to replenish her Pockets. Her Jewels are carry'd privately into Lombard Street, and Fortune is to be tempted the next Night with another Sum, borrowed of my Lady's Goldsmith at the Extortion of a Pawnbroker; and if that fails, then she sells off her Wardrobe, to the great grief of her Maids; stretches her Credit amongst those she deals with, or makes her Waiting Woman dive into the Bottom of her Trunk, and lug out her green Net Purse full of old Jacobuses, in Hopes to recover her losses by a Turn of Fortune, that she may conceal her bad Luck from the Knowledge of her Husband.'[141]

Nay, worse subterfuges than these are more than openly hinted at in divers authors. One or two examples will suffice.

This Itch for play has likewise fatal been,
And more than Cupid draws the Ladies in,
A Thousand Guineas for Basset prevails,
A Bait when Cash runs low, that seldom fails;
And when the Fair One can't the Debt defray
In Sterling Coin, does Sterling Beauty pay.[142]

No wonder that Steele bursts out,[143] 'Oh, the damned Vice! That Women can imagine all Household Care, regard to Posterity, and fear of Poverty, must be sacrificed to a game at Cards.

(p. 81)


(p. 82) But we must not think that the fair ones monopolised the enjoyment of this passion—the sterner sex were equally culpable. Gaming houses were plentiful. The 'Groom Porter's' was still in full swing, vide this advertisement:[144] 'Whereas Her Majesty, by her Letters Patent to Thomas Archer Esq. constituting him Her Groom Porter, hath given full Power to him and such Deputies as he shall appoint, to supervise, regulate, and authorize (by and under the Rules, Conditions and Restrictions by the Law prescribed) all manner of Gaming within this Kingdom. And, whereas several of Her Majesty's Subjects, keeping Plays or Games in their Houses, have been lately abused, and had Moneys extorted from them by several ill disposed Persons, contrary to Law. These are therefore to give Notice, That no Person whatsoever, not producing his Authority from the said Groom Porter, under the Seal of his Office, hath any Power to act anything under the said Patent. And to the end that all such Persons offending as aforesaid may be proceeded against according to Law, it is hereby desired, that Notice be given of all such Abuses to the said Groom Porter, or his Deputies, at his Office at Mr. Stephenson's, a Scrivener's House, over against Old Man's Coffee House near Whitehall.'

The Groom Porter's own Gaming House must have been the scene of brawls.[145]

Sir Geo. Airy. Oh, I honour Men of the Sword; and I presume this Gentleman is lately come from Spain or Portugal—by his Scars.

Marplot. No, really, Sir George, mine sprung from civil Fury: Happening last night into the Groom Porter's—I had a strong Inclination to go ten Guineas with a sort of a—sort of a—kind of a Milk Sop, as I thought; A Pox of the Dice, he flung out, and my Pockets being empty, as Charles knows they sometimes are, he prov'd a Surly North Briton, and broke my face for my Deficiency.

If scenes like this were enacted at the Groom Porter's, what must have taken place at the other gaming houses? Let two contemporary writers, whose language, though rough, is trustworthy, answer the question. 'Gaming is an Estate to which all the World has a Pretence, tho' few espouse it that are willing to keep either their Estates, or Reputations. I knew two Middlesex Sharpers not long ago, that inherited a West Country Gentleman's Estate, who I believe, wou'd have never made them his Heirs in his last Will and Testament.

'Lantrillou is a kind of Republick very ill ordered, where all the World are Hail Fellow well met; no distinction of Ranks, no Subordination observed. The greatest Scoundrel of the Town, with Money in his Pockets, shall take his Turn before the best Duke or Peer in the Land, if the Cards are on his side. From these Privileg'd Places not only all Respect and Inferiority is Banish'd; but every thing that looks like Good Manners, Compassion, or Humanity: Their Hearts are so Hard and Obdurate, (p. 83) that what occasions the Grief of one Man, gives Joy and Satisfaction to his next Neighbour....

'In some Places they call Gaming Houses Academies; but I know not why they should inherit that Honourable Name, since there's nothing to be learn'd there, unless it be Slight of Hand, which is sometimes at the Expence of all our Money, to get that of other Men's by Fraud and Cunning. The Persons that meet are generally Men of an Infamous Character, and are in various Shapes, Habits and Employments. Sometimes they are Squires of the Pad, and now and then borrow a little Money upon the King's High Way, to recruit their losses at the Gaming House, and when a Hue and Cry is out, to apprehend them, they are as safe in one of these Houses as a Priest at the Altar, and practise the old trade of Cross biting Cullies, assisting the Frail Square Dye with high and low Fullums, and other Napping Tricks, in comparison of whom the common Bulkers, and Pickpockets, are a very honest Society. How unaccountable is this way to Beggary, that when a Man has but a little Money, and knows not where in the World to compass any more, unless by hazarding his Neck for't, will try an Experiment to leave himself none at all: Or, he that has Money of his own, should play the Fool, and try whether it shall not be another Man's. Was ever any thing so Nonsensically Pleasant.

'One idle day I ventur'd into one of these Gaming Houses, where I found an Oglio of Rakes of several Humours, and Conditions met together. Some that had left them never a Penny to bless their Heads with. One that had play'd away even his Shirt and Cravat, and all his Clothes but his Breeches, stood shivering in a Corner of the Room, and another comforting him, and saying, Damme Jack, who ever thought to see thee in a State of Innocency: Cheer up, Nakedness is the best Receipt in the World against a Fever; and then fell a Ranting, as if Hell had broke loose that very Moment.... I told my friend, instead of Academies these places should be call'd Cheating Houses: Whereupon a Bully of the Blade came strutting up to my very Nose, in such a Fury, that I would willingly have given half the Teeth in my Head for a Composition, crying out, Split my Wind Pipe, Sir, you are a Fool, and don't understand Trap, the whole World's a Cheat.'[146]

Ward,[147] also, writing of gaming, says: 'Pray, said I, what do you take those Knot of Gentlemen to be, who are so Merry with one another? They, reply'd my Friend, are Gamesters, waiting to pick up some young Bubble or other as he comes from his Chamber; they are Men whose Conditions are subject to more Revolutions than a Weather Cock, or the Uncertain Mind of a Fantastical Woman. They are seldom two Days in one and the same Stations, they are one day very richly drest, and perhaps out at Elbows the next; they have often a great deal of Money, and are as often without (p. 84) a Penny in their Pockets; they are as much Fortunes Bubbles, as young Gentlemen are theirs; for whatever benefits she bestows upon 'em with one Hand, she snatches away with t'other; their whole Lives are a Lottery, they read no books but Cards, and all their Mathematicks is to truly understand the Odds of a Bet; they very often fall out, but very seldom Fight, and the way to make 'em your Friends is to Quarrel with them.... They generally begin every Year with the same Riches; for the Issue of their Annual Labours is chiefly to inrich the Pawnbrokers. They are seldom in Debt, because no Body will Trust 'em; and they never care to Lend Money, because they Know not where to Borrow it. A Pair of False Dice, and a Pack of mark'd Cards sets 'em up; and an Hours Unfortunate Play commonly breaks 'em.'

These professional swindlers belonged to all classes of society, and some who died in this reign have left names behind them: St. Evremont, Beau Fielding, Macartney, who was Lord Mohun's second in his celebrated duel with the Duke of Hamilton, and the Marquis de Guiscard, who stabbed Harley, the Earl of Oxford. Their Lives, and many others, are given by Lucas,[148] from whom I shall only borrow one example, to show the equality that play made between the different social grades. Bourchier died in 1702, so that he just comes within this reign. 'Being at the Groom Porter's, he flung one Main with the Earl of Mulgrave for 500 Pounds, which he won; and his Honour looking wistly at him, quoth he, I believe I shou'd know you. Yes (reply'd the Winner) your Lordship must have some Knowledge of me, for my Name is Dick Bourchier, who was once your Footman. Whereupon his Lordship supposing he was not in a Capacity of paying 500 Pounds in case he had lost, cry'd out, A Bite, A Bite. But the Groom Porter assuring his Lordship that Mr. Bourchier was able to have paid 1,000 Pounds provided his Lordship had won such a Summ, he paid him what he plaid for, without any farther Scruple.'

'Once Mr. Bourchier going over to Flanders, with a great Train of Servants, set off in such a fine Equipage, that they drew the Eyes of all upon them wherever they went, to admire the Splendor and Gaiety of their Master, whom they took for no less than a Nobleman of the first Rank. In this Pomp, making his Tour at K. William's Tent, he happen'd into Play with that great Monarch, and won of him above £2,500. The Duke of Bavaria being also there, he took up the cudgels, and losing £15,000 the Loss put him into a great Chafe, and doubting some foul Play was put upon him, because Luck went so much against him, quoth Mr. Bourchier: Sir, if you have any suspicion of the least Sinister Trick put upon your Highness, if you please I'll give you a Chance for all your Money at once, tossing up at Cross and Pile, and you shall have the (p. 85) Advantage too of throwing up the Guinea yourself. The Elector admir'd at his bold Challenge, which never the less accepting, he tost up for £15,000, and lost the Money upon Reputation, with which Bourchier was very well satisfied, as not doubting in the least; and so taking his leave of the King, and those Noblemen that were with him, he departed. Then the Elector of Bavaria enquiring of his Majesty, who that Person was, that could run the Hazard of playing for so much Money at a time, he told him it was a subject of his in England, that though he had no real Estate of his own, yet was he able to play with any Sovereign Prince in Germany. Shortly after Bourchier returning into England, he bought a most rich Coach and Curious Sett of Six Horses to it, which cost him above £3,000, for a present to the Elector of Bavaria, who had not as yet paid him any thing of the £30,000 which he had won of him. Notice hereof being sent to his Highness, the generous Action incited him to send over his Gentleman of Horse into England, to take care of this Present, which he receiv'd Kindly at Bourchier's Hands, to whom he return'd Bills of Exchange also, drawn upon several eminent Merchants in London, for paying what Money he had lost with him at Play.'

Bourchier became very rich, and purchased an estate near Pershore, in Worcestershire, where he was buried—although he died in London.

The lower classes followed the example of their social superiors, and gambled; but once only can I find such an instance of gaming fever as the following:[149] 'An Inditement is presented against a Person in Westminster, for playing away his Wife to another Man, which was done with her own consent.'

Losses at cards, or debts of honour, as they were then and are now called, were supposed to be punctually paid. See 'The Gamester.'

Hector. Then, Sir, here is two Hundred Guineas lost to my Lord Love-game, upon Honour.

Sir Thos. Valere. That's another Debt I shall not pay.

Hector. How, not pay it, Sir. Why, Sir, among Gentlemen, that Debt is look'd upon the most just of any: you may Cheat Widows, Orphans, Tradesmen without a Blush; but a Debt of Honour, Sir, must be paid. I cou'd name you some Noblemen that pays no Body—yet a Debt of Honour, Sir, is as sure as their Ready Money.

Sir Thos. He that makes no Conscience of Wronging the Man whose Goods have been deliver'd for his use can have no pretence to Honour, whatever Title he may wear.

There was a speculating mania arising, which boded ill for the future. In this reign was born the 'South Sea Bubble,' which burst so disastrously in the next, and involved thousands in ruin. Perhaps the mildest form it took was in insurances. We have already glanced at the fire insurances in Queen Anne's time; they now began to think of life insurance, and the first advertisement on this (p. 86) subject that I have noticed is in 1709. 'The Office of Assurance of Money upon Lives is at the Rainbow Coffee House in Cornhill, where Men or Women may Subscribe on their own Lives for the benefit of their Children, or other Person's Lives for the benefit of themselves, and have them approv'd without their Knowledge, paying 10s. Entrance, and 10s. towards the first Claim for each Life, and shall have a Policy for £1,000 for each Life subscribed upon in the said Society. This Office may be proper for such Persons as have Annuities, Estates, or Places for Life; and for such Persons to make Assurance upon Lives where Debts are dubious if the Person die. This Office will assure Money much Cheaper per cent. than private Persons.' This looks very much as if it were the first life insurance company that was started, in lieu of private enterprise; and as this is the only company that is advertised in Queen Anne's reign, it was probably the sole forerunner of the numerous similar enterprises now in existence.

Hatton says, 'Offices that Insure Ships or their Cargo are many about the Royal Exchange, as Mr. Hall's, Mr. Bevis's, etc., who for a Premium paid down procure those that will subscribe Policies for Insuring Ships (with their Cargo) bound to or from any part of the World, the Premium being proportioned to the Distance, Danger of Seas, Enemies, etc. But in these Offices 'tis Customary upon paying the Money on a Loss to discount 16 per cent.'

A curious marine insurance was in existence early in 1711, of which the following is the advertisement; but it seems a sporting insurance, and only meant to cover the war risk. 'For the Encouragement of Navigation for Masters, Mates and other Seafaring Men that are Burnt, Sunk or Taken. That 4,000 Persons by paying 2s. 6d. for a Policy, and 5s. to the 1st Quarter, which will be paid 21 days after Midsummer for the Lady Day Quarter, to the Sufferer or Sufferers £1,000 in full, or in proportion to what is paid in, and continuing to pay 5s. every Quarter or 14 days after; likewise if 4,000 persons by paying 2s. 6d. for a Policy, and 2s. for the 1st if full, £400 or in proportion to be paid 21 days after Midsummer for this Lady Day Quarter, and likewise 4,000 by paying 2s. 6d. for Policies and 1s. per Quarter, the Sufferer or Sufferers to receive the benefit of £200 if full, or else in proportion, to be paid in 21 days after Midsummer; the Office was opened on Saturday last, the 27th past, by Hen Willson, Gent, in Jacob Street, Southwark. Note. When 1,000 Policies are taken out, Trustees will be Chosen and Land Security given. Any Person may Insure in all 3 Offices. Proposals at large may be had at the Office. Note, that £6 per cent. will be deducted out of the Money paid for the trouble and charges.'

There were besides—and they sprang up as if by magic—insurances for everything: for marriages, for births, for baptisms—rank swindles all. And lotteries! why, every thing, unsaleable otherwise, was tried to be got rid of by lottery. The papers teemed with advertisements. Take one newspaper haphazard; for example, (p. 87) the Tatler, Sept. 14/16, 1710: 'Mr. Stockton's Sale of Jewels, Plate, &c., will be drawn on Michaelmas Day.' 'The Lottery in Colson's Court is to be drawn the 21st Inst.' 'The Sale of Goods to be seen at Mrs. Butler's, &c., will certainly be drawn on Tuesday the 19th Inst.' 'Mrs. Povy's Sale of Goods is put off to Saturday 23rd Inst. 'Mrs. Symond's Sale of Goods will begin, &c., on Wednesday the 20th of this Instant.' 'Mrs. Guthridge's Sixpenny Sale of Goods, &c., continues to be drawn every Day.'

The financial atmosphere was getting unwholesome, Government had to step in, and an Act was passed which duly appeared in the London Gazette, June 28/July 1, 1712, which enacted 'That every Person who, after the 24 June 1712, shall erect, set up, or keep any Office or Place for making Insurance on Marriages, Births, Christnings, or Service, or any other Office or Place, under the Denomination of Sales of Gloves, of Fans, of Cards, of Numbers, of the Queen's Picture, for the improving of small sums of Mony,[150] or the like Offices or Places under pretence of improving small sums of Money, shall Forfeit for every such Offence the sum of 500l., to be recovered with full Costs of Suit, and to be divided as aforesaid.' This had the desired effect, and both in the British Mercury, June 27/30, 1712, and the Post Boy, Aug. 21/23, 1712, we hear of prosecutions of illicit lotteries—and they soon ceased.

Of course, morally speaking, the Government had no right to complain, for they had begun the system—by legalising a lottery for £1,500,000 in 1709—from which time until 1824 no year passed without Parliament sanctioning a Lottery Bill. It is not worth while going into the schemes of the various lotteries in Queen Anne's reign, but it may be interesting to note the constitution of the one which inaugurated an indefensible system of immoral finance, which lasted over a century. There were 150,000 tickets at £10 each, making £1,500,000, the principal of which was to be sunk, and 9 per cent. to be allowed on it for 32 years. Three thousand seven hundred and fifty tickets were prizes from £1000 to £5 per annum; the rest were blanks—a proportion of thirty-nine to one prize, but, as a consolation, each blank was entitled to fourteen shillings per annum during the thirty-two years.

People rushed after the tickets, and they were taken up at once. '21 Jan. 1710.—Yesterday books were opened at Mercer's Chappel for receiving subscriptions for the lottery, and, 'tis said, above a Million is already subscribed; so that, 'tis believed, 'twill be full by Monday 7 night.'[151]

(p. 88)


And the same authority tells us[152] that 'Mr. Thomas Barnaby, (p. 89) who lately belonged to the 6 clerk's office, has got the £1000 per ann. ticket in the lottery.'

Among the prize-holders of the next lottery (at least, so Swift writes Stella, Aug. 29, 1711) was a son of Lord Abercorn's. 'His second son has t'other day got a prize in the lottery of four Thousand pounds, beside two small ones of two hundred pounds each; nay, the family was so fortunate, that my lord bestowing one ticket, which is a hundred pounds, to one of his servants, who had been his page, the young fellow got a prize, which has made it another hundred.'

In some of the lotteries the prizes were very valuable, for we read in the Post Boy, Jan. 6/8, 1713, that 'Yesterday was drawn No. 22858, which entitles the Bearer to £36,000.'

The accompanying engraving shows us exactly how the lotteries were drawn; and, as it is taken from a book published in 1710, in all probability it is a correct representation of the famous first State lottery of 1709. Bluecoat boys, then, as in 1824, drew out the tickets.

As in all lotteries, superstition attaches a peculiar value to some number, or combination of numbers, in the ticket: so it was in Anne's time, and the Spectator (191) comments on an advertisement in the Post Boy of Sept. 27, 1711—'This is to give notice, That Ten Shillings over and above the Market Price will be given for the Ticket in the £1,500,000 Lottery No. 132, by Nath. Cliff, at the Bible and Three Crowns in Cheapside.'


Astrologers — Their advertisements — Their tricks — Witchcraft — Cases of witchcraft.

It is not for us to decry the superstition of that age—we should look to ourselves in this matter. Perhaps they were more open in their expression of belief in the supernatural, and perhaps that belief was wider spread than at present. The seventh Spectator gives a very good account of the minor superstitions, but does not touch on the grosser ones, such as the consulting of astrologers, and the belief in witches. These two things still exist in England, though nothing like to the extent they did in the early part of the last century. In spite of Hudibras and Sidrophel, an astrologer was a very important entity. He published his almanacs—he drew horoscopes; and, as to witches, why, of course there were plenty of them. An old, ugly, soured, and malevolent woman earned a right to be considered such.

As for the astrologers, it is needless to say they were unscrupulous, (p. 90) needy sharpers, who lived 'in all the By-Allies in Moorfields, White Chappel, Salisbury Court, Water Lane, Fleet Street, and Westminster.' Their advertisements have come down to us, and a selection of two or three of them will furnish both amusement and information.

'In Cripplegate Parish, in Whitecross Street, almost at the farther End near Old Street (turning in by the sign of the Black Croe in Goat Alley, straight forward down three steps, at the sign of the Globe) liveth one of above Thirty Years Experience, and hath been Counsellor to Counsellors of several Kingdoms, who resolveth these Questions following

'Life Happy or Unhappy? If Rich, by what means attain it. What manner of Person one shall Marry? If Marry the Party desired. What part of the City or Country is best to live in? A Ship at Sea, if safe or not. If a Woman be with Child, with Mail or Female, and whether Delivered by Night or by Day? Sickness, the Duration, and whether end in life or death? Suits at Law, who shall overcome, With all lawful Questions, that depend on that most Noble Art of CHRISTIAN ASTROLOGY.

'Likewise, he telleth the Meaning of all Magical Panticles, Sigils, Charms, and Lamens, and hath a Glass, and helpeth to further Marriages.

'He hath attained to the Signet Star of the Philosopher.

'He likewise hath attained to the Green, Golden, and Black Dragon, known to none but Magicians, and Hermetick Philosophers; and will prove he hath the true and perfect Seed and Blossom of the Female Fern, all for Physician's uses. And can tell concerning every serious Person, what their Business is on every Radical figure, before they speak one Word; secondly, What is past in most of their Life, What is present, and what is to come; where that they have Moles, what colour they are, and what is the meaning of them, &c.

'He hath a Secret in Art, far beyond the reach or Knowledge of common Pretenders.'[153]

In this case we see the astrologer using the jargon of the alchemists, to enhance his value in the eyes of his dupes. It was still familiar to the ears of the people, and Jonson's 'Alchemist' was a popular play. The succeeding examples are more commonplace:—

'To be spoken with every day in the Week except Saturday at the Golden Ball (being the Third House on the Left Hand) in Gulstone Square, next Turning beyond Whitechappel Bars: And for the convenience of those who live in Westminster, Southwark, &c., He is to be spoken with every Saturday at the Golden Ball and 2 Green Posts, (There being a Hatch with Iron spikes at the door) near the Watch House in Lambeth Marsh.

'A Person who by his Travels in many Remote parts of the (p. 91) World, has obtained the Art of Presaging or Foretelling all Remarkable Things, that ever shall happen to Men or Women in the whole course of their Lives, to the great Admiration of all that ever came to him; and this he does by a Method never yet practised in England: He might give Multitudes of Examples, but will give but one of a Sort.

'A Young Woman, who had a Person pretended Love to her for many Years; I told her, she would find him False and Deceitful to her, and that he never design'd to Marry her, which was a great Trouble to her to hear, by reason she had plac'd her Affection on him, but she found it True, for shortly after he Marryed another: Soon after she had several Sweethearts at a Time, and came to me again for Advice; I told her, there was but one of those she could be happy with, and describ'd him to her; she took my Advice and Marryed him, and they prove a very Happy Couple.

'I have prevented the Ruin of Hundreds of Young Men and Women, by advising them to whom to dispose of themselves in Marriage.

'Another who had been many Years Plagued with a Bad Husband, I told her very few Months she'd Bury him and Marry again very happily, which she found True,' &c., &c.[154]

The next is much shorter: 'Noble, or Ignoble, you may be foretold anything that may happen to your Elementary Life: as at what time you may expect prosperity: or, if in Adversity, the end thereof: Or when you may be so happy as to enjoy the Thing desired. Also young Men may foresee their fortunes, as in a Glass, and pretty Maids their Husbands, in this Noble, yea, Heavenly Art of ASTROLOGIE. At the Sign of the Parrot opposite to Ludgate Church within Black Fryars Gateway.'[155]

Ward,[156] with his keen observation, naturally attacked these gentry, lashed them unmercifully, and at great length. A short extract must suffice for our purpose, and will sufficiently show the estimation in which these astrologers were held by persons of common sense.

'No common Errours, Frauds, or Fallacies, in the World, have so far subdued the Weaker, and Consequently the Greater part of Mankind, as the Juggles and Deceits practicable in a parcel of pretending Astrologers; who undertake to resolve all manner of Lawful Questions, by Jumbling together those distant Bodies, in whose Nature or Influence they have just as much Knowledge, as a Country Ale Woman has of Witchcraft, or a German Juggler of Necromancy. In the first place, I have had an opportunity of examining several Nativities Calculated by those who have had the Reputation of being the best Artists of this Age; wherein I have observ'd Sickness, Length of Days, and all other Fortunate and Unfortunate Contingencies assign'd the Natives, have been as directly opposite to what has happen'd thro' the whole Course of (p. 92) their Lives, as if the Fumbling Star Groper had rather, thro' an Aversion to Truth, study'd the Rule of Contraries, that he might always be found in the Wrong on't.


'In the next place, their method in deceiving people who come to enquire after Stolen Goods, is such a bare fac'd ridiculous piece of Banter, that I wonder any Creature that bears Humane Shape, can be so stupidly Ignorant, as not to plainly discern the Impositions that are put upon them by their canting Albumazer; Who, in the first place, enquires about what time, and in what manner the things were lost; and what strangers they had in the House? From whence he reasonably infers, whether the Spoon, Cup, Tankard, or whatsoever it be, was taken away by the Common Thief, or stolen by a Servant, or Person that uses the House, or whether Conceal'd by the Master or Mistress on purpose to make the Servants more diligent. If his Conjecture be, that it was taken by a Common Thief, he describes a Swarthy Black Ill looking Fellow, with a down look, or the like; most wisely considering That such sort of Rogues are seldom without a Gallows in their Countenances: Telling withall, That the Goods are Pawn'd, and will scarcely be recoverable, without they take the Thief speedily, in order to effect which, he will give them his best Directions; which the credulous Ignoramus desires in Writing, for fear he should forget; which the Sower look'd Conjurer gives him accordingly, after the following manner:—Go a quarter of a Mile from your own Dwelling, and then turn Easterly, and walk forward till you come to the Sign of a (p. 93) large Four Footed Beast, and Search within three or four Doors of that Sign, and you will go near to take him, if you go soon enough, or hear of him, who is of a middle Stature and in poor Habit. Away goes the Fool, as well satisfied with the Note, as if he had the Rogue by the Elbow, and if by any Accident they do hear of the Thief, all is ascrib'd to the wonderful Cunning of their Wissard: But if on the contrary, he believes it to be taken by a Servant, or any Body that uses the House, he bids 'em, hab nab at a venture, Go home satisfied, for they shall certainly find the Spoon, &c. in three or four days' time, hid in a private Hole, in such a part of the Kitchen, or he'll make the Devil to do with those that have it; and force them to bring it in open shame and disgrace at Dinner time, and lay it down upon the Table in the Sight of the whole Family. Away goes the Person well satisfied with what their Ptolomist had told 'em: and declares to every one in the House how the Thief was Threaten'd, and after what manner the Spoon should be found within the time appointed, or else woe be to them that have it. This Frightful Story coming to the Ears of the Guilty, brings 'em under such dreadful Apprehensions of the Conjuror's Indignation, if they do not lay what they've taken within the time, according to the Direction; that the first opportunity they have, they will place it to the utmost exactness in whatever Hole or Corner he has appointed for the finding of it.'

The belief in witchcraft was still firmly rooted in the country in spite of the more enlightened feeling on the subject which prevailed in the metropolis. Addison[157] tells us of the Coverley Witch, Moll White, how he and Sir Roger went and visited her hovel, and found a broomstick behind the door, and the tabby cat, which had as evil a reputation as its mistress, and how 'In our return home, Sir Roger told me that Old Moll had been often brought before him for making Children spit Pins, and giving Maids the Night Mare; and that the Country People would be tossing her into a Pond and trying Experiments with her every Day, if it was not for him and his Chaplain.'

A little before this was written, two women had been executed at Northampton for witchcraft, and at that very time an old woman named Jane Wenham, living at a little village in Hertfordshire called Walkerne, was charged with, and next year tried for, witchcraft. She was condemned, reprieved, and pardoned. But in 1716 Mrs. Hicks and her daughter were executed at Huntingdon, and their crime was that of selling their souls to the devil, etc. Indeed, the capital sentence against witchcraft was only abolished by an Act 9 Geo. II. cap. 5.

There are two other published cases of witchcraft in Queen Anne's time. One[158] is the 'Full and True Account of the Apprehending and Taking of Mrs. Sarah Mordike, who is accused for a (p. 94) Witch. Being taken near Paul's Wharf on Thursday the 24th of this Instant, for having Bewitch'd one Richard Hetheway, near the Faulken Stairs in Southwark. With her Examination before the Right Worshipful Sir Thomas Lane, Sir Owen Buckingham, and Dr. Hambleton in Bow Lane.' It was an ordinary case: the bewitched person lost his appetite, voided pins, etc., and got better when he had scratched and brought blood from Moll Dyke, as she was familiarly called. The other, if at all credible, is a much worse case:[159] 'A Full and True Account of the Discovering, Apprehending and taking of a Notorious Witch, who was carried before Justice Bateman in Well Close, on Sunday July the 23. Together with her Examination and Commitment to Bridewel Clerkenwel.

'Sarah Griffith who Lived in a Garret in Rosemary lane was a long time suspected for a bad Woman, but nothing could be prov'd against her that the Law might take hold of her. Tho' some of the Neighbours' Children would be strangely effected with unknown Distempers, as Vomiting of Pins, their Bodies turn'd into strange Postures and such like, many were frighted with strange Apperitions of Cats, which of a sudden would vanish away, these and such like made those who lived in the Neighbourhood, both suspicious and fearful of her: Till at last the Devil (who always betrays those that deal with him) thus brought the Truth to Light. One Mr. John —— at the Sugar loaf had a good jolly fellow for his Apprentice: This Old Jade came into his Shop to buy a quartern of Sope, the young fellow happened to Laugh, and the Scales not hanging right, cryed out he thought that they were be Witch'd; The Old Woman hearing him say so, fell into a great Passion, judging he said so to Ridicule her, ran out of the Shop and threatned Revenge. In the Night was heard a lumbring noise in the Shop, and the Man coming down to see, found a strange Confusion, every thing turn'd topsy turvy, all the goods out of order; but what was worse, the next day the poor fellow was troubled with a strange Disease, but (by) the good Prayers of some Neighbouring Divines the power of the Devil was restrain'd.

'Two or three days after it happened, that the Young Man with two or three more walking up to the New River Head, who should they see but Mother Griffith walking that way. They consulted together to try her, and one of them said let us toss her into the River, for I have heard that if she Swims 'tis a certain sign of a Witch; in short they put their design in Execution, for coming up to her, they tossed her in; but like a Bladder when forc'd under Water pops up again, so this Witch was no sooner in but Swam like a Corke; they kept her in some time, and at last let her come out again; she was no sooner out but she smote that Young Man on the Arm, and told him he should pay dear for what he had done. Immediately he found a strange pain on his Arm, and looking (p. 95) on it found the exact mark of her Hand and Fingers as black as a Cole; he went home where he lay much Lamented and wonderfully affrighted with the Old Woman coming to afflict him, and at last died with the pain, and (was) Buried in St. Pulchers Church Yard.

'Mr. John —— fearing some further mischief, takes a Constable and goes to her Lodging, where he finds the Old Woman, and charges the Constable with her. She made many attempts to escape, but the Devil who owed her a shame had now left her, and she was apprehended. As she was conducted towards the Justices' House she tried to leap over the Wall, and had done it, had not the Constable knocked her down. In this manner she was carried before the Justice, there was Evidence that was with him in his Sickness could Witness that he had unaccountable Fits, Vomitted up Old Nails, Pins and such like, his body being turned into strange postures, and all the while nothing but crying out of Mother Griffith that she was come to torment him, his Arm rotted almost off, Gangreen'd, and Kill'd him. When she came before the Justice she pleaded innocence, but the Circumstances appeared so plainly that she was committed to Bridewel, where she now remains.

'Witness my Hand,
'July 24, 1704.' 'Thos. Greenwel.

And Thoresby, in his semi-pious way, mentions (Feb. 18, 1712), 'With Mrs. Neville, Cousin Cookson, and others of the Grand Jury to see a reputed witch, who, though aged, could not repeat the Lord's Prayer; a fit instrument for Satan.'


Habit of snuff-taking — Perfumes — Charles Lillie — List of scents — Soaps — Wash balls — 'Complections' — Tooth powder — Hair dye — Spectacles.

There was one social habit that the two sexes had in common, and that was in taking snuff: nay, it was more than hinted that some of the fair sex smoked—not nice little fairy 'Paquitas' or dainty little cigarettes, but nasty, heavy, clumsy clay pipes. The subject will be discussed in another part, but now we merely glance at the prevalence of the habit—not so much with the ladies, as it was later on in the century, but with the gentlemen; and the quantity taken, in the latter part of the reign, was excessive.

It is a marvel how the ladies at first allowed it, for it was the custom in society for a gentleman to kiss all the ladies in a room—a (p. 96) custom frequently mentioned in contemporary literature, and therefore only requiring one quotation[160] to illustrate it: 'The other Day entering a Room adorned with the Fair Sex, I offered, after the usual Manner, to each of them a Kiss; but one, more scornful than the rest, turned her Cheek. I did not think it proper to take any Notice of it till I had asked your Advice.'

Besides, the ladies were undoubtedly fond of sweet smells, perfumes, and scents; and one, in particular, seems to have possessed remarkable properties. 'The Princely Perfume. Being a most delightful Powder, which incomparably scents Handkerchiefs, Gloves, and all Sorts of Linnen, making them smell most deliciously oderiferous, fine and charming; it perfumes the Hands, the Hair of the Head, and Periwigs most delicately, also all Manner of Cloaths, Beds, Rooms, Scrutores, Presses, Drawers, Boxes, and all other Things, giving them a most admirable, pleasant and durable Scent, which is so curiously fragrant, so delectably sweet, reviving and enlivening, that no Perfume or Aromatick in the World, can possibly come near it; it never raises the vapours in Ladies, but, by its delicious Odour, Fragrancy and charming Perfume (which is really Superior to all other Scents upon Earth) it refreshes the Memory, cures the Head Ach, takes away Dulness and Melancholy, makes the Heart glad, and encreases all the Spirits, Natural, Vital, and Animal, to a Wonder.'[161] And there was a much bepuffed scent called the 'Royal Essence,' which, besides being a paragon of perfume, had the useful quality of curling the Periwig.

But the prince of perfumers and puffers was Charles Lillie, whose connection with the Tatler is so well known, and who was so belauded, that Addison, or Steele, in No. 96, had to issue a disclaimer. 'Whereas several have industriously spread abroad, that I am in partnership with Charles Lillie the perfumer, at the corner of Beaufort Buildings; I must say with my friend Partridge, that they are Knaves who reported it. However, since the said Charles has promised that all his customers shall be mine, I must desire all mine to be his; and dare answer for him, that if you ask in my name for Snuff, Hungary or orange water, you shall have the best the town affords at the cheapest rate.'

When Lillie died, he left his MS. receipts behind him, made into a book, but it was never published till 1822; and he gives a long list of the scents in use.

This reads like a very sufficient list of scents; that it was not greater was undoubtedly owing to the disturbed state of trade, and the absence of geographical discovery—which of late years has greatly increased the perfumer's répertoire.

There were soaps enough, in all conscience—Joppa, Smyrna, Jerusalem, Genoa, Venice, Castille, Marseilles, Alicant, French, Gallipoly, Curd, Irish, Bristol, Windsor, Black, and Liquid Soaps—and yet the ladies would use abominations called 'Wash balls.' These must have been a profitable manufacture, for the makers advertised freely in the papers. Let us look into a 'Composition for best Wash balls. Take forty pounds of rice in fine powder, twenty-eight pounds of fine flour, twenty-eight pounds of Starch powder, twelve pounds of white lead, and four pounds of Oris root in fine powder; but no whitening. Mix the whole well together, and pass it twice through a fine hair seive; then place it in a dry place, and keep it for use. Great care must be taken that the flour be not Musty, in which case the balls will in time crack, and fall to pieces. To this composition may be added Dutch pink, or brown fine damask powder, &c., according to the Colour required when the wash balls are quite dry.' These wash balls were in some variety—common, best camphor, ambergris, Bologna, marbled, figured, Greek, Marseilles, Venice, and chemical.

This making up of complexions was an art, and would not bear trifling with. 'Madam, who dress'd you? Here's this Tooth set in the wrong way, and your Face so besmear'd! What Complection do you use? This is worse than they daub Sign posts with; I never saw any thing so frightful.'[162] Naturally, with such an ingredient as white lead in their composition, these wash balls were injurious to the skin—vide a letter in Spectator, No. 41. 'Her skin is so tarnished with this Practice, that when she first wakes in a Morning, she scarce seems young enough to be the Mother of her whom I carried to bed the night before.' No wonder, for they used carmine, French red, Portuguese dishes, Spanish wool and papers, Chinese wool, and they had, also, pretty little lacquered boxes of paints for the toilette sent over from China. There was a wonderful 'bloom' advertised, 'The famous Bavarian Red Liquor, which gives such a blushing Colour to the Cheeks of those that are white or pale, that it is not to be distinguished from a natural fine (p. 98) Complection, nor perceived to be Artificial by the nearest Friend, is nothing of Paint, or in the least hurtful, but good in many Cases to be taken inwardly; it renders the Face delightfully handsome and beautiful, is not subject to be rub'd off like Paint, therefore cannot be discovered by any one.' There were also pearl and bismuth powders for the face.

Rose and white lip salves were used as now, but their dentifrices were peculiar, to say the least, if this is a fair sample: 'Take four ounces of Coral, reduced to an unpalpable powder, eight ounces of very light Armenian bole, one ounce of Portugal Snuff, one ounce of Havanah Snuff, one ounce of the ashes of good tobacco, which has been burnt, and one ounce of gum myrrh, which has been well pulverised. Mix all these well together, and sift them twice.' An inferior tooth powder was made by leaving out the coral and substituting old broken pans (brown stone ware) reduced to a very fine powder. These mixtures were either rubbed on the teeth with the finger, or else used with a vegetable tooth brush or 'Dentissick Root,' which seems to have been made out of the roots of the marsh mallow, partially dried, and then fried in a mixture of rectified spirits, dragon's blood, and conserve of roses, until they were hard; when one end was bruised with a hammer, in order to open the fibres and form a rudimentary brush. There were dentists, both male and female, and they seem to have been so far successful that some of them guarantee their patients being able to eat with the false teeth after they were fixed. 'So firm and exact as to be eat on, and not to be discover'd by any Person from Natural Ones.'

The usual way of darkening the hair was by the mechanical means of a leaden comb.[163] 'Jenny Trapes! What that Carrot pated Jade that Lodges at the Corner of White Horse Alley!—The Same indeed, only She has black'd her Hair with a Leaden Comb.' But there were also 'Hair Restorers' in those days, as we find by an advertisement, that 'All Persons who, for themselves or Friend, having red or grey Hairs, and would have them dy'd, or turn'd black or dark brown, will find entire Satisfaction, as a great many have already, by the use of a Clear Water,' etc.

Should the sight fail, it could be aided by spectacles, as now—but they were awsome things—with heavy horn, tortoiseshell, or silver rims, and were certainly no adjuncts to personal appearance. They varied in price from 4d. to 25s. per pair.

(p. 99) CHAPTER XII.

The penny post — Dockwra's vindication of himself — Abolition of penny post — Post days and rates — Halfpenny post — Method of doing business — The Exchange — Description of frequenters — Bankers — Curious advertisement of Sir Richard Hoare's.

Among the social institutions then in existence, was the penny post, which cannot be better, or more tersely, described than in Misson's own words: 'Every two Hours you may write[164] to any Part of the City or Suburbs, he that receives it pays a Penny, and you give nothing when you put it into the Post; but when you write into the Country, both he that writes and he that receives pay each a Penny. It costs no more for any Bundle weighing but a Pound, than for a small Letter, provided the Bundle is not worth more than ten Shillings. You may safely send Money, or any other thing of Value, by this Conveyance, if you do but take care to give the Office an Account of it. It was one Mr. William Dockwra that set up this New Post, about the beginning of the Reign of King Charles 2, and at first enjoy'd the Profits himself; but the Duke of York, who had then the Revenue of the General Post, commenc'd a Suit against him, and united the Penny Post to the other.'

Misson makes a slight error here. The penny post was started in 1683 by Rob. Murray, an upholsterer, but next year, several charges being brought against him, he was removed, and the concern was handed over to Dockwra, who was dispossessed as above, by an action in which he was cast both in damages and costs; but, about a year after, he was appointed Controller of the District Post. He was allowed a pension in the time of William and Mary (variously stated of from £200 to £500 a year), but he only enjoyed it four years, when he was discharged on account of some charges of malversation, etc., which were brought against him.

In January 1703, when Dockwra tried for the Chamberlainship of the City of London—which candidature, however, he soon abandoned—he found it necessary to issue disclaimers, and tell his version of the history of the penny post.[165]

'Whereas a malicious false Report has been industriously spread, that one Robert Murray was the first Inventor of the Penny Post, and that he has been in Articles with me William Dockwra, and wrong'd and hardly used; the World is desired to take notice, That as to the first Pretence, it is utterly false, for Dr. Chamberlen, (p. 100) one Henry Neville, Payne, and others pretended themselves the first Inventors; And after I had actually set up the Office, one Mr. Foxley came and shew'd me a Scheme of his concerning a Penny Post, which he had offer'd to Sir John Bennet, Post Master General, eight Years before I ever Knew Murray, but that was rejected as impracticable, as indeed were all the rest of their Notions; nor was it by any of them, or any other Person whatsoever, put into any Method to make it practicable, till at my sole Charge and Hazard I begun it in the Year 1680.

'As to the Articles, they were sacredly Kept on my part, but never perform'd by Murray, to my great Loss and Damage, as by the very Articles themselves will evidently appear; and I am ready at any time to demonstrate, it is so far from having One Shilling due to him, or using him any way hardly, That on the Contrary, in Compassion to his distressed Condition, I have often bayl'd him to keep him out of Prison, and redeem'd him from thence, lent him several Sums of Money, which he never took care to pay again; and to this day I have Notes and Bonds to Produce, that he owes me more than One hundred and Fifty Pounds: So that these most unjust and ungrateful Allegations in Murray, are at this time reviv'd to be made use of, as malicious Reflections to lessen my Service to this City, and to stain my Reputation and Integrity thereby, to hinder my Fellow Citizens Kindness upon the Election for Chamberlain, which I hope will make no Impression, since I do affirm myself to be the first that ever put the Penny Post into Practice at a vast Expence and great Loss to me and my Family.

'William Dockwra.'

And in the next day's Courant he was obliged to defend himself from other allegations.

'Whereas some Malicious Persons, designing to lessen me in the good Opinion of my Fellow Citizens, have spread a False and Scandalous Report, that I, William Dockwra, was remov'd from being Comptroller of the Penny Post, because of Injuries done to the Subject; and that I sunk the Revenue at least one fourth part to the Crown. I do hereby declare, That on the Contrary, I rectified many Abuses in the Management of that Office, and never wrong'd either Crown or Subject of the Value of a Shilling: And I do positively affirm, That I prov'd undeniably before the Post Master General by the Accounts then made up, that I advanced that small Revenue above Four Hundred Pounds: Yet neither my Right to the whole (being the only Person that ever brought the Penny Post to Perfection) nor the faithful Discharge of my Trust while Comptroller thereof, were sufficient to protect me against those Artifices too often made use of to remove useful and honest Men from publick Imployment: Nor have I receiv'd any of the Pension formerly granted me these two Years and half past. So that I hope the Impartial World will consider the great Loss I and (p. 101) my Family have sustain'd, by being depriv'd of the Penny Post, whilst the Publick daily reaps the Benefit and Advantage thereof and will do so to Posterity.

'William Dockwra.'

In 1711 an Act was passed abolishing the penny post, and on June 23 of that year a proclamation was issued putting it in force. A notice had previously appeared in the London Gazette of June 12/14, assimilating all rates to those of the General Post, although for 'the Accommodation of the Inhabitants of such Places, their Letters will be convey'd with the same Regularity and Dispatch as formerly, being first Tax'd with the Rates, and Stamp'd with the Mark of the General Post Office, and that all Parcels will likewise be Tax'd at the Rate of One Shilling per Ounce as the said Act directs.'

In 1709 the Foreign and Inland Post Letter days were:—

'Monday. To Spain, Italy, Germany, Flanders, Denmark, Sweedland, Downs and Kent.

'Tuesday. Germany, Holland, Sweedland, Denmark, North Britain, Ireland and Wales.

'Wednesday. Kent and the Downs.

'Thursday. Spain, Italy, and all parts of North Britain and England.

'Friday. Italy, Germany, Flanders, Kent, Holland, Sweedland, Denmark and Downs.

'Saturday. All parts of Wales, North Britain, England and Ireland.

'Letters return from all parts of England and North Britain, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; from Wales, Mondays and Fridays, from Kent and the Downs every day; but from beyond Sea uncertain.

'The Carriage is 2d. a Sheet 80 Miles, double 4d. and 8d. an Ounce for more than Letters. All Letters more than 80 Miles is 3d. Single and 6d. Double Pacquet 12d. an Ounce. A Letter to Dublin 6d. Single, Double 1/ and 1/6 an Ounce.'

Foreign postage was not so very dear. In 1705, for instance, a letter of a single sheet could be carried to the West Indies for 1s./3d. and 2 sheets for 2/6; whilst from thence to England it was respectively 1/6 and 3/, or by weight 6/ per oz.

In 1708 Mr. Povey established a foot post—carrying letters, in the London district only, for one halfpenny. How long he kept it up does not seem clear; the Post Office authorities stopped him; but there is an advertisement referring to it in the Daily Courant of July 4, 1710: 'Whereas a Person in some Distress sent a letter by the Halfpenny Carriage on Monday night last,' etc., and this clearly shows it was in existence at that date.

(p. 102) The Gazette Nov. 29/Dec. 1, 1709, has the following Advertisement: 'Whereas Charles Povey and divers Traders and Shop Keepers in and about the Cities of London and Westminster, Borough of Southwark and Parts adjacent, and several Persons ringing Bells about the Streets of the said Cities and Borough, have set up, imploy'd, and for sometime continued a Foot Post for Collecting and Delivering Letters within the said Cities and Borough, and Parts adjoining, for Hire under the Name of the Halfpenny Carriage. Contrary to the Known Laws of this Kingdom, and to the great Prejudice of her Majesty's Revenues arising by Posts; her Majesty's Postmaster General has therefore directed Informations in her Majesty's Court of Exchequer, to be exhibited against the said Charles Povey, and several Shop Keepers and Ringers of Bells, for Recovery against every of them of £100 for such setting up, and for every week's continuance thereof; and also £5 for every Offence in Collecting and Delivering of Letters for Hire as aforesaid, contrary to the Statute for erecting and establishing a Post Office.'

These additions to the rate of postage, of course, induced people to look after franks—the granting of which, however, had not assumed anything like the proportions it did later on.

But there was not the hurrying and driving in business then as now. Men lived over their shops or counting houses, and, being easily accessible, did their work in a deliberate, leisurely manner, and began their business very early in the day. For instance, when Sir William Withers, Lord Mayor in 1707, was putting up for a seat in Parliament, he adduced, as showing he would have time for his parliamentary duties, that 'There is not above one Cause in a Day throughout the whole Year, to be Heard after Ten a Clock in the Morning.'[166] 'Change was earlier than now; 'Crowds of People gather at the Change by One, disperse by Three.'[167] It is thus humorously described:[168] 'The Exchange is the Land's Epitome, or you might call it the little Isle of Great Britain did the Waters encompass it. It is more, 'tis the whole World's Map which you may here discern in its perfectest Motion, justling and turning. 'Tis a vast heap of Stones, and the confusion of Languages makes it resemble Babel. The Noise in it is like that of Bees; a strange Humming or Buzzing, of walking tongues and feet; it is a kind of a still Roaring, or loud Whisper. It is the great Exchange of all Discourses, and no Business whatsoever but is here on Foot. All things are sold here, and Honesty by Inch of Candle; but woe be to the Purchaser, for it will never thrive with him.'

In the centre of the Exchange was a statue of Charles II., and here the stock jobbers hovered about—when they were not at Robin's or Jonathan's in Exchange Alley; and all about, each (p. 103) under his own nationality, stood the trim Italian, the Hollanders and Germans, with their slovenly mien, and uncouth, unkempt beards and moustachios. The Dons, in flat crowned hats and short cloaks, took snuff prodigiously, and smelt terribly of garlic; there were the lively Gauls, animated and chattering, 'ready to wound every Pillar with their Canes, as they pass'd by, either in Ters, Cart, or Saccoon.' Jews of course, amber necklace sellers from the Baltic in fur caps and long gowns, a sprinkling of seedy military men, and the merchants. These were the constituent parts of 'Change in those days, and it must have been a sight worth seeing. Round about were shops as now, where the spruce young Cits ogled the pretty glove sellers, or bought a Steinkirk, or a sword knot. Contemporary accounts of these fair damsels are not very good, but it was rather a libellous or scurrilous age as regards women, and they might not be true, or at all events be taken with much salt.

Ward[169] gives an amusing account of the exterior. 'The Pillars at the Entrance of the Front Porticum were adorn'd with sundry Memorandums of old Age and Infirmity, under which stood here and there a Jack in a Box, like a Parson in a Pulpit, selling Cures for your Corns, Glass Eyes for the Blind, Ivory Teeth for Broken Mouths, and Spectacles for the weak sighted; the Passage to the Gate being lin'd with Hawkers, Gardeners, Mandrake Sellers, and Porters; after we had Crowded a little way amongst the Miscellaneous Multitude, we came to a Pippin Monger's Stall, surmounted with a Chymist's Shop; where Drops, Elixirs, Cordials, and Balsams had justly the Pre-eminence of Apples, Chesnuts, Pears, and Oranges,' etc., showing a view of the motley group of costermongers without. The pillars of the Exchange were hung round with advertisements, as indeed they were until very recently.

Some well-known names of bankers were then in existence—Child's, Hoare's, Stone's, and Martin's. In Harl. MSS. 5996, 153 is a somewhat curious advertisement of Sir Richard Hoare's. 'Whereas there hath been several false and Malicious Reports industriously spread abroad reflecting on Sir Richard Hoare, Goldsmith, for occasioning and promoting a Run for Money on the Bank of England; and in particular, several of the Directors of the said Bank reporting, That the said Sir Richard sent to the Bank for Ten of their Notes of £10 each, with a design to send several Persons with the said Notes to receive the Money thereon, so as to effect his ill Designs, and to bring a Disreputation on the Bank, and occasion a Disturbance in the City of London:

'This is to satisfie all Persons, That the Right Honourable the Lord Ashburnham, Father of the Honourable Major Ashburnham, Major of the First Troop of Her Majesty's Life Guards, who was (p. 104) ordered to march for Scotland, sending to the said Sir Richard Hoare for a large Quantity of Gold, and for Ten Bank Notes of £10 each, for the said Major to take with him to bear his Expenses. The Gold was sent to his Lordship accordingly, and Sir Richard's Servant went to the Bank for ten Notes of £10 each, which the Cashier of the Bank refus'd to give: But if Sir Richard had intended to promote a Run for Mony on the Bank, he could have done it in a more effectual manner, having by him, all the time that the great demand for Mony was on the Bank, several Thousand Pounds in Notes payable by the Bank; and also there was brought to Sir Richard by several Gentlemen, in the time of the Run on the Bank, Notes payable by the said Bank, amounting to a great many Thousands of Pounds, which he was desir'd to take and receive the Mony presently from the Bank, which he refus'd to do until the great Demand on the Bank for Money was over.

'N.B. That the Reports against Sir Richard have been more Malicious than herein is mention'd, which he forbears to insert for brevity's sake.'

Ward, for some reason, disliked bankers: 'What methods do they take now to improve their Cash? The chief advantage they now make is by supplying the Necessities of straiten'd Merchants and great Dealers, to pay (for) the Goods imported, rather than they should fall under the Discredit as well as Disadvantage of being run into the King's Ware House, or by assisting of 'em in the purchase of great Bargains, or the like; for which they make 'em pay such unreasonable extortion, that they devour more of the Merchants Profit than Snails, Worms or Magpies, do of the Farmers Crop, or the Gardiner's Industry.' If this was all the fault he could find, their iniquities were not very glaring.


A beau — An inventory of him — Hats — Wigs: their price: varieties — Hair powder — Robbery of wigs — Natural hair — Neck cloths — Shirts — Open waistcoats — Colonel Edgworth — Coats — Cheap clothiers — Stockings — Boots and shoes — Shoeblacks and blacking — Handkerchiefs — Muffs — Swords — Walking sticks — Watches — Over coats — Night caps — Night gowns.

We have seen the birth, marriage, and funeral of these good people, and have noted some of their social habits. Next is, how did they dress? Far plainer than in Charles the Second's time, rather richer than under solemn and austere Dutch William, yet not nearly as finely as during the Georgian era. That, of course, is (p. 105) speaking of ordinary mortals—neither the titled ones of the land, who showed their rank by their dress, nor the beaus, who formed no inconsiderable portion of metropolitan life, and at whom were levelled stinging little shafts of satire from all sides, mostly good-humoured. The macaroni, the dandy, the buck, the blood, the swell—all are fine, but the beau of Anne's time was superfine, and modelled on the messieurs of the time of Louis XIV. He cannot be dismissed in a few words, for he was an institution of the time. There were travelled fops, and they were hated—there were those of home manufacture, and they were laughed at. Misson notes that 'A Beau is so much the more remarkable in England, because generally speaking, the English Men dress in a plain uniform manner,' and he describes them as 'Creatures compounded of a Perriwig and a Coat laden with Powder as white as a Miller's, a Face besmear'd with Snuff, and a few affected airs; they are exactly like Molière's Marquesses, and want nothing but that Title, which they would infallibly assume in any other Country but England.' Cibber[170] describes him as one 'that's just come to a small Estate, and a great Perriwig—he that Sings himself among the Women—He won't speak to a Gentleman when a Lord's in Company. You always see him with a Cane dangling at his Button, his Breast open, no Gloves, one Eye tuck'd under his Hat, and a Toothpick.' Verily, there is little new under the sun, and we, in these our latter days, have been familiar with the Toothpick.

Ward naturally loves him—impales him on his entomological pin—and enjoys his wriggles. He puts him under his microscope and minutely observes him, and then gives us the benefit of his description: 'A Beau is a Narcissus that is fallen in Love with himself and his own Shadow. Within Doors he is a great Friend to a great Glass, before which he admires the Works of his Taylor more than the whole Creation. His Body's but a Poor Stuffing of a Rich Case, like Bran to a Lady's Pincushion; that when the outside is stript off, there remains nothing that's Valuable. His Head is a Fool's Egg, which lies hid in a Nest of Hair; His Brains are the Yolk which Conceit has Addled. He's a strolling Assistant to Drapers and Taylors, showing every other Day a New Pattern, and a New Fashion. He's a Walking Argument against Immortality; For no Man by his Actions, or his Talk can find he has more Soul than a Goose. He's a very Troublesome Guest in a Tavern; and must have good Wine chang'd three or four Times till they bring him the worst in the Cellar, before he'll like it. His Conversation is as intolerable as a young Councel's in Term Time. Talking as much of his Mistresses, as the other does of his Motions; and will have the most Words, tho' all he says is nothing. He's a Bubble to all he deals with, even to his Periwig Maker; and hates the sordid Rascal that won't Flatter him. He scorns to condescend so low, as to speak of any Person beneath the dignity of a (p. 106) Noble man; the Duke of such a Place, and my Lord such one, are his common Cronies, from whom he knows all the Secrets of the Court, but dares not impart 'em to his best Friends, because the Duke enjoyn'd him to Secrecie. He is always furnish'd with new Jests from the last New Play, which he most commonly spoiles with repeating. His Watch he compares with every Sun Dial, Swears it corrects the Sun; and plucks it out so frequently in Company, that his Fingers go oftener in a Day to his Fob, than they do to his Mouth, spending more time every Week in showing the Rarity of the Work, than the Man did in making on't; being as forward to tell the Price without desiring, as he is to tell you the Hour without asking; he is a constant Visitor of a Coffee house, where he Cons over the News Papers with much indifference; Reading only for Fashion's sake and not for Information. He's commonly of a small standing at one of the Universities, tho' all he has learnt there, is to Know how many Taverns there are in the Town, and what Vintner has the handsom'st Wife.... He's a Coward amongst Brave men, and a Brave fellow among Cowards; a Fool amongst Wise men, and a Wit in Fool's company.'

Pretty hard hitting; but it is borne out on all hands. Try another description:[171] 'His first Care is his Dress, the next his Body; and in the uniting these Two lies his Soul and Faculties. His business is in the Side Box, the Stage, and the Drawing Room; his Discourse consists of Dress, Equipage, and the Ladies, and his extream Politeness in writing Billet deux; which he never fails to shew in all Companies. The nice Management of his Italian Snuff box, and the affected Screw of his Body, makes up a great Part of his Conversation, and the Pains he takes to recommend himself, wou'd set Heraclitus a Laughing. He's perpetually Laughing to shew his white Teeth, and is never serious but with his Taylor. His whole Design is bent upon a Fortune, which if he gets, the Coach and Equipage is still supported; if not his fine Cloaths and he prove stale together, and he is commonly buried ere he dies in a Gaol, or the Country, two places equally disagreeable to a Man of his Complexion.'

And, not to be wearisome, we will conclude with John Hughes' 'Inventory of a Beau':[172] "A very rich tweezer case, containing twelve instruments for the use of each hour in the day.

'Four pounds of scented snuff, with three gilt snuff boxes; one of them with an invisible hinge, and a looking glass in the lid.

'Two more of ivory, with the portraitures on their lids of two ladies of the town; the originals to be seen every night in the side boxes of the play house.

'A sword with a steel diamond hilt, never drawn but once at May fair.

'Six clean packs of cards, a quart of orange flower water, (p. 107) a pair of French scissors, a toothpick case, and an eye brow brush.

'A large glass case, containing the linen and cloaths of the deceased; among which are two embroidered suits, a pocket perspective, a dozen pairs of red heeled shoes, three pairs of red silk stockings, and an amber headed cane.

'The strong box of the deceased, wherein were found five billet doux, a Bath shilling, a crooked sixpence, a silk garter, a lock of hair, and three broken fans.

'A press for books; containing on the upper shelf Three bottles of diet drink—Two boxes of pills.

'On the second shelf are several miscellaneous works; as Lampoons, Plays, Taylor's Bills, And an Almanack for the year 1700.

'On the third shelf, a bundle of letters unopened, indorsed, in the hand of the deceased "Letters from the old Gentleman," Lessons for the flute, Toland's "Christianity not mysterious," and a paper filled with patterns of several fashionable stuffs.

'On the lower shelf, one shoe, a pair of snuffers, a French Grammar, a mourning hatband; and half a bottle of usquebaugh.

'There will be added to these goods, to make a complete auction, a collection of gold snuffboxes and clouded canes, which are to continue in fashion for three months after the sale.'

In a description of men's dress, we will begin at his hat, and descend gradually to his boots. The hats were rather low crowned, made of felt, with very broad flapping brims—which were looped up, or cocked—very much at the fancy of the wearer—and the absence of this cocking denoted a sloven. 'Take out your Snuff Box, Cock, and look smart, hah!'[173] says Clodio to his bookworm brother Carlos; and their numerous shapes are alluded to by Budgell,[174] 'I observed afterwards, that the Variety of Cocks into which he moulded his Hat, had not a little contributed to his Impositions upon me.'

They were universally of black hue; at least I have never met with mention of any other colour, except in sport: 'I shall very speedily appear at White's in a Cherry coloured Hat. I took this Hint from the Ladies Hoods, which I look upon as the boldest Stroke that Sex has struck for these three hundred Years last past.'[175] They had a gold or silver lace hat band, but ordinary people seldom had their hats edged. A hatband was considered de rigueur for servants, and Swift's man, Peter, even bought a silver one for himself, rather than be without one. Feathers were only worn by military men. 'The Person wearing the Feather, though our Friend took him for an Officer in the Guards, has proved to be an arrant Linnen Draper,'[176] i.e. only in the train bands.

(p. 108) But it was in the periwig, the Falbala, or Furbelow, the dress wig of the age, that all care was centred, and in which all the art of dress culminated. Originally invented by a French courtier to conceal a deformity in the shoulders, either of the Dauphin, or the Duke of Burgundy, its use spread all over Europe; but, perhaps, the fashion never was so preposterous at any time, as it was in Anne's reign, if we except the wonderful wig of the spendthrift Sir Edward Hungerford (whose bust used to be in a niche in Hungerford Market) in the middle of the previous century, who is said to have given five hundred guineas for a wig! They were made from women's hair—or, at least, were so presumably. Of this we have many examples; take one: 'A noisie Temple Beaux with a Peruke of his Sister's Hair ill made';[177]

They made our Sparks cut off their Nat'ral Hair,
A d—d long W——'s Hair Periwig to wear.[178]

Women's hair was a valuable commodity, judging by the following: 'An Oxfordshire Lass was lately courted by a young man of that County, who was not willing to marry her unless her friends could advance £50 for her portion; which they being incapable of doing, the lass came to this City to try her fortune, when 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 an ounce; with which money she joyfully returned into the Country and bought her a husband.'[179] Indeed, it was an article of general purchase and sale: 'We came up to the corner of a narrow Lane, where Money for old Books was writ upon some part or other of every Shop, as surely as Money for Live Hair, upon a Barber's Window.'[180]

Men used to travel the country on horseback and collect it, and it was not unfrequent for suspected highwaymen, when stopped and brought before the authorities, to declare they were dealers in hair, roaming about, following their avocation—although it could not have been a very remunerative one, if we can believe the advertisements for the apprehension of deserters from the army: 'said he was a dealer in hair' being frequently mentioned. Here is an advertisement which gives a graphic picture of one of these gentry: 'Lost on Tuesday Night last the 14th Instant, about 6 in the Evening, from behind a Gentleman in Piccadilly, a Pair of Bags, in which were three Bladders with Hair in, two Holland Shirts, Neckcloaths, and other Linnen, A Leather Bag with an Iron Instrument and Hair in it, a pair of small Perriwig Cards, with Read the Maker's Name in Flower de Luce Court in Fleet Street, and other small matters beside,'[181] etc.; and we may (p. 109) note that 'At the Sugar Loaf in Bishopsgate Street near Cornhil, is the House of Call, where Perriwig Makers can have Men, and Men may have Masters.'[182]

'Did you ever see a Creature more ridiculous than that stake of human nature which dined the other day at our house, with his great long wig to cover his head and face; which was no bigger than a Hackney Turnep, and much of the same form and shape? Bless me, how it looked! just like a great Platter of French Soup, with a little bit of flesh in the middle. Did you mark the beau tiff of his wig, what a deal of pains he took to toss it back, when the very weight thereof was like to draw him from his seat?'[183] And they must have been heavy. 'His Wigg I believe had a pound of Hair and two pounds of powder in't.'[184] And again, 'One Impudent Correcter of Jade's Flesh, had run his Poles against the back Leather of a foregoing Coach, to the great dammage of a Beau's Reins, who peeping out of the Coach door, with at least a fifty Ounce Wig on,' etc.[185]

The furbelow, or dress wig, was sometimes called a 'long Duvillier' (see Tatler 29), from a famous French perruquier of that name; and these wigs were not only long, but tall: vide the humorous advertisement in the Tatler (180): 'N.B. Dancing Shoes, not exceeding four inches in height in the heels, and periwigs not exceeding three feet in length, are carried in the coach box gratis.' Not to have it in perfect curl was unendurable. 'I think standing in the Pillory cannot be a more sensible Ignominy to a Gentleman that wears tolerable Cloaths, than appearing in Publick with a rumpled Periwig.'[186] Pretty dears! they used to carry ivory or tortoiseshell combs, curiously ornamented, with them, and comb their precious wigs in public—ay, the most public places—walking in the Park, or sitting in the Beau's Paradise, the side box of the theatre, and when paying visits. But it seems to have been in anybody's power, by the exercise of a little trouble, to keep his wig in proper curl.[187] 'The Secret White Water to Curl Gentlemen's Hair, Children's Hair, or fine Wigs withal, that are out of Curl; being used over Night, according to Directions, it performs a Curl by next Morning as substantial and durable as that of a new Wig, without damaging the Beauty of the Hair one jot; by it old Wigs that look almost scandalous, may be made to shew inconceivably fine and neat, and if any single Lock or part of a Wig be out of Curl, by the pressing of the Hat or riding in windy or rainy Weather, in one Night's time it may be repaired hereby to Satisfaction. The Directions are so ample and large that Gentlemen's Men may perform the work with all the ease imaginable, the like thing never done before. Invented by an able Artist, and sold only at the Glover's Shop under the Castle Tavern, Fleet Street. Price 1s. a Bottle.'

(p. 110) These wigs were expensive—that is, if Steele and Addison do not exaggerate. Take this example from the Tatler, No. 54. 'He answered Phillis a little abruptly at supper the same evening, upon which she threw his perriwig into the fire. "Well," said he, "thou art a brave termagant jade; do you know, hussy, that fair wig cost forty guineas?"' And in the Guardian (No. 97), 'This gave me some encouragement; so that to mend the matter, I bought a fine flaxen long wig that cost me thirty guineas.' But there were wigs and wigs, and probably these highly priced ones were somewhat abnormal; at all events, ordinary people could not have afforded them, for we find Swift loud in his laments about paying three guineas for one.[188] 'It has cost me three guineas to day for a periwig. I am undone! It was made by a Leicester lad, who married Mrs. Worrall's daughter, where my mother lodged; so I thought it would be cheap, and especially since he lives in the city.'

It must not be imagined that the periwig was the only variety. On the contrary, there were several kinds of wig. 'I had an humble Servant last Summer, who the first time he declared himself, was in a Full Bottom'd Wigg; but the Day after, to my no small Surprize, he accosted me in a thin Natural one. I received him, at this our second Interview, as a perfect Stranger, but was extreamly confounded, when his speech discovered who he was. I resolved, therefore, to fix his Face in my Memory for the future; but as I was walking in the Park the same Evening, he appeared to me in one of those Wiggs that I think you call a Night Cap, which had altered him more effectually than before. He afterwards played a Couple of Black Riding Wiggs upon me, with the same Success,'[189] etc. The 'Night Cap' wig was a sort of periwig, with a short tie and a small round head. Then there was a 'Campaign' wig, which was imported from France; and this was made very full, was curled, and eighteen inches in length in the front, with drop locks. In the contemporary prints of Marlborough's victories, the back part of the wig is sometimes shown as being put in a black silk bag. We get an approximate idea of their value from the following advertisement: 'Lost &c. a Campaign Perriwig, fair Hair with a large Curl, value about 7 guineas,' etc.

I have come across one mention of a 'Spanish Wigg,' but as this was worn by a runaway ship's apprentice, it was probably of foreign manufacture, and the species had no place here. Lastly, there was the 'Bob' wig, or attempt to imitate the natural head of hair. This wig was mostly in use among the lower orders; and many are the descriptions of it, and its various colours, in the advertisements for army deserters. But the better class also used it. We have seen, in the Spectator, No. 319, how a man wore 'a thin Natural' wig; so also we read in Steele's 'Lying Lover,' 'What shall I do for powder for this smart Bob?'

(p. 111) The proper quality, and quantity, of his powder, must have been a serious weight upon the mind of a beau. Its groundwork, or basis, was starch, very finely ground and sifted; but this was adulterated with burnt alabaster, plaster of Paris (which was called in the trade Old Doctor), whitening, fine flour, flour from pearl barley, and other things; and it was scented—well, we should think to a sickening degree—with ambergris, musk and civet, violets, orris root, rose, bergamot, orange flowers, and jessamine. And there were different coloured hair powders. The black was made with starch, Japan ink, and ivory black; a cheaper sort was made of pounded coal-dust. Brown was made with starch and umber—according to the shade required. Grey was produced by mixing some of the black powder with more starch, and adding a little smalts.

Gay presents us with a curious little piece of economy:—

When suffocating Mists obscure the Morn
Let thy worst Wig, long us'd to Storms, be worn;
This knows the powder'd Footman, and with Care,
Beneath his flapping Hat, secures his Hair.[190]

We are indebted also to Gay[191] for the following vivid description of the manner in which the beaus were robbed of their cherished chevelure:—

Nor is thy Flaxen Wigg with Safety worn;
High on the Shoulder, in the Basket born,
Lurks the sly Boy; whose Hand to Rapine bred,
Plucks off the curling Honours of the Head.

This was an ingenious plan, but it was almost equalled in the very early years of George I. by a practice which sprang up, of cutting a hole in the leather backs of the carriages, boldly clutching the occupant's wig, and dragging it through the hole.

Some few had the courage to wear their own hair, and here is a hairdresser's advertisement on the subject:[192] 'Next door to the Golden Bell in St. Bride's Lane Fleet Street, Liveth Lydia Beecroft, who Cutteth and Curleth Ladies, Gentlemen's, and Childrens Hair; and selleth a fine Pomatum, which is mixt with Ingredients of her own making, that if the Hair be never so Thin, it makes it grow Thick; if Short, it makes it grow Long: If any Gentlemens or Childrens Hair be never so Lank, she makes it Curle in a little time like a Periwig. She waits on Ladies, if desir'd, on Tuesdays and Fridays; the other Days of the Week, she is to be spoken with at Home.' So that we see the 'Professors' of those days were very similar to their congeners of ours, and had invaluable nostrums—'prepared only by,' etc. Bear's grease used to be imported from Russia; but a spurious kind was also sold, made out of dog's, or goat's, fat, or rancid hog's lard. There were (p. 112) common, hard, black, and brown pomatums, to say nothing of powders and liquids for thickening the hair, principally made of burdock root and small beer, and a powder for cleansing the hair, made with cassia wood and white vitriol.

We next come to the neckcloth, as no collar or band of the shirt was shown; and the one most in fashion was the 'Steinkirk, so called from the battle of that name, which was fought on Aug. 3, 1692, when the English under William III. were defeated, and the campaign broken up. This style of neckcloth was introduced from Paris, and it was highly fashionable there, because its negligent style was popularly supposed to imitate the disordered dress of the victorious French generals, who were so eager to rush into the fight that they did not stop to finish dressing—or, at all events, to tie their neckcloths. It was a very graceful fashion, and the ends, which were laced or fringed, were sometimes tucked in the waistcoat or shirt. They are frequently alluded to as 'snuff grimed.' Ladies also wore them, as in 'The Careless Husband' Lady Easy 'takes her Steinkirk from her Neck and lays it gently over his Head.'

And there was the 'Berdash.' 'I have prepared a treatise against the Cravat and berdash, which I am told is not ill done.'[193] Some have imagined that the word haberdasher is derived from this neckcloth, but it is too ridiculous to think of for a moment, as there were haberdashers as early as Edward the Third's reign, and at the time of which we write there were 'haberdashers of hats.' In the epilogue to Mrs. Centlivre's 'Platonick Lady,' 'design'd to be spoken by Mrs. Bracegirdle but came too late,' it is mentioned—

Yet, tell me, Sirs, don't you as nice appear
With your false Calves, Bardash, and Fav'rites here?[194]
[pointing to her forehead.]

The Daily Courant, Nov. 4, 1708, says: 'Also very fine Muslin Neckcloths to be sold at 5s. a Piece.'

A gentleman's shirt was of fine holland, and was somewhat dear—the fronts were worn very open, and the ruffles were not laced, at least for ordinary wear: this piece of extravagance was reserved for a later time. Showing so much of the shirt necessitated clean linen, but it is hardly likely that many followed the example of Tom Modely,[195] whose 'business in this world is to be well dressed; and the greatest circumstance that is to be recorded in his annals is that he wears twenty shirts a week.' That they were costly, we may judge from the fact that Swift was not extravagant in his dress, and that he bought them first-hand in Holland, by means of his friend Harrison, who was under great obligations to him. '28 Feb. 1718. I have sent to Holland for a dozen shirts,'[196] etc.—and again he writes: 'Jan. 31, 1713. I paid (p. 113) him (Harrison) while he was with me seven guineas, in part of a dozen of shirts he bought me in Holland.'

This having the waistcoat unbuttoned to show the shirt is very frequently mentioned, but it was eminently a young man's practice. A lady, speaking of her husband, says: 'You must know, he tells me that he finds London is a much more healthy place than the Country; for he sees several of his old acquaintance and schoolfellows are here young fellows with fair full-bottomed perriwigs. I could scarce keep him this morning from going out open breasted.'[197] Again[198]: 'There is a fat fellow whom I have long remarked, wearing his breast open in the midst of winter, out of an affectation of youth. I have therefore sent him just now the following letter in my physical capacity:—


"From the twentieth instant to the first of May next, both days inclusive, I beg of you to button your waistcoat from your collar to your waistband."'

It was supposed to have a most killing effect on the fair sex. 'A sincere heart has not made half so many conquests as an open waistcoat.'[199] The waistcoats, otherwise, were seldom mentioned; they were long, but not so long as they afterwards became; and, with the exception of very fine suits, seem to have been quite plain. One or two advertisements of fine clothes will tell us a great deal about them. 'Lost &c.—a Red Waistcoat Wove in with Gold, 2 Cravats, and 2 pair of Ruffles, 1 being grounded Lace very fine, the other Colebatteen.' 'Stolen &c.—a new Cinnamon Colour Cloth Coat, Wastcoat and Breeches, Embroider'd with Silver 4 or 5 inches deep down before, and on the Sleeves, and round the Pocket Holes and the Pockets and Knees of the Breeches. They are lin'd with a Sky Blue Silk.' 'Left in a Hackney Coach &c. a light brown colour'd Hanging Coat, with long Sleeves, upper Cape Black Velvet, with Gold Buttons and Button Holes.' 'Taken from a Gentleman's House &c. a Dove Coloured Cloth Suit embroider'd with Silver, and a pair of Silk Stockings of the same Colour; a Grey Cloth Suit with Gold Buttons and Holes; a Silk Drugget Salmon Coloured Suit lin'd with white Silk; a Silver Brocade Waistcoat trim'd with a knotted Silver Fringe, and lin'd with white Silk; A floured Satin Nightgown, lin'd with a Pink coloured Lustring, and a Cap and Slippers of the Same; a Thread Satin Nightgown, striped red and white, and lin'd with a Yellow Persian, and a Cap of the same; a yellow Damask Nightgown lin'd with Blue Persian; a Scarlet Silk net Sash to tye a Nightgown.' These were clothes fit for 'the prince of puppies, Colonel Edgworth,'[200] who went one day to see his brother who lived but (p. 114) a day's journey from him; yet he took with him a led horse loaded with portmanteaus. On his arrival, these were unpacked, and three suits of clothes, each finer than the other, were displayed on chairs, his nightgown on another, and his shaving plate all put out. Next morning he appeared at breakfast with his boots on, and his brother asked him where he was going for a ride before dinner. He replied that he was going home; that he had only just come to see him, and must go back at once, which he did. The poor man afterwards died mad in the common Bridewell at Dublin.

Noblemen wore their stars on their coats, and their ribands, but it must have been a Collar day when the following happened: 'On Wednesday morning last between 11 and 12 at St. James's Gate, was dropt from a Nobleman's Coller of Esses, an enamel'd George; if brought to Mr. Mead's, a Goldsmith, at the Black Lyon within Temple Bar, shall have a Guinea Reward, and no Questions ask'd.'[201] The reward does not indicate reckless prodigality on the part of the nobleman.

We have seen that there was a great variety of colours in men's clothing. A little curiosity in colour must not pass unnoticed.

The City Prentices, those upstart Beaus
In short spruce Puffs and Vigo coloured clothes.[202]

—a colour which might puzzle for some time, were it not for the huge quantity of snuff captured at Vigo in 1702.

There were clothes of Drap du Barri and D'Oyley suits, so called after the famous haberdasher, whose name still survives in the dessert napkin. They were made of drugget and sagathay, camlet, but the majority of men wore cloth. It is scarcely necessary to describe the shape of the coat, for the illustrations show it better than any printed description. There is but one peculiarity I would point out—that in 1711 the coats used to be wired to make them stick out. 'The Skirt of your fashionable Coats forms as large a Circumference as our Petticoats; as these are set out with Whalebone, so are those with Wire, to encrease and sustain the Bunch of Fold that hangs down on each side.'[203]

The cheap clothiers lived in Monmouth Street, St. Giles (now called Dudley Street), and there was no love lost between them and their higher-priced brethren, as the following advertisement shows: 'Whereas the Monmouth Street Men and other Taylors in and about the City, have by divers Advertisements in the Postman and other publick Prints, and by Bills given from Door to Door, boasted what mighty Pennyworths Persons may have of them, in selling Sagathy and Druggit Suits, the smallest sized Men for 3 Guineas, and the largest sizes for £3 10s. and Men's Cloth Suits at £4 and £4 10s. This is to acquaint all Persons that have occasion (p. 115) for such Suits, if they please to make Tryal, may have the same as Cheap in Birchin lane, and as well and as fashionable made, and may be assured of seeing more choice both of broad Cloaths, Camblet, Druggits and Sagathys than many of those Upstarts can pretend to.'[204]


A perusal of the advertisements of these 'Monmouth Street Men' confirms these prices, and one will serve as a type of all. 'At the sign of the Golden Heart in Monmouth Street in St. Giles' in the Fields. All Gentlemen and Others, may be Furnished with all sorts of Cloathes and chuse their Patterns and have them made very well and Fashionable, of Cloath, Druggets, or Sagathie, the first size Drugget or Sagathie at Three Pounds, the second size at Three Guineas, and the largest size at Three Pound Ten Shillings; with all sorts of Cloath Suits very Reasonable, and Cheaper than any hath yet pretended to make them: With all sorts of Plain Liveries at Three Pound Fifteen and Four Pound a Suit, and Laced Liveries proportionable; As likewise all sorts of Camblet Suits very Reasonable, and Campaign Coats at Fifteen or Sixteen Shillings a Coat; All sorts and sizes of Boys Cloathes very Good and Cheap.'[205] In reading these advertisements, and indeed in all quotations of price, the different value of money—then and now—should never be forgotten; three pounds being equivalent to seven or eight. So that, according to our ideas, clothing was dearer then than now.

In the country, owing to the very little correspondence between it and the metropolis, of course the fashions were some time in reaching remote distances, and were equally long in departing from thence, to make way for new ones. Addison humorously describes the fashions for men in Cornwall in 1711. 'From this place, during our progress through the most western parts of the kingdom, we fancied ourselves in King Charles the Second's reign, the people having made very little variations in their dress since that time. The smartest of the country Squires appear still in the Monmouth Cock, and when they go a wooing, whether they have any post in (p. 116) the militia or not, they generally put on a red coat. We were indeed very much surprised, at the place we lay at last night, to meet with a gentleman that had accoutred himself in a night cap wig, a coat with long pockets and slit sleeves, and a pair of shoes with high scallop tops; but we soon found by his conversation that he was a person who laughed at the ignorance and rusticity of the country people, and was resolved to live and die in the mode.'[206]

Of men's breeches, and the materials of which they were made, very little mention is made; but the stocking is frequently brought to notice. They were of cloth, knitted woollen, thread, and silk. The latter were of all colours, to suit the beaus' costumes, but black silk was the wear of your well-to-do citizen, professional man, or gentleman. Misson says 'The English Silk Stockings are one of its famous Merchandizes;' and solemn old Thoresby records how he and his cousin 'bought each a pair of black silk rolling stockings in Westminster Hall.' There is no mention of gaiters as a protection against cold, rain, or mud. Addison grumbles that 'another informs me of a pair of silver Garters buckled below the knee, that have lately been seen at the Rainbow Coffee house in Fleet Street,'[207] and considers it his mission 'to Correct those Depraved Sentiments that give Birth to all those little Extravagances which appear in their outward Dress and Behaviour.'

With regard to shoes, there seems to have been much foppery. Red heels are specially railed against by the Spectator. The beaus wore the heels very high, as indeed was the fashion with the fair sex. Gay speaks, among his de omnibus rebus, of shoes, and gives the following advice[208]:—

When the Black Youth at chosen Stands rejoice,
And Clean your Shoes resounds from ev'ry Voice;
When late their miry Sides Stage Coaches show,
And their stiff Horses thro' the Town move slow;
When all the Mall in leafy Ruin lies,
And Damsels first renew their Oyster Cries:
Then let the prudent Walker Shoes provide
Not of the Spanish or Morocco Hide;
The wooden Heel may raise the Dancer's Bound,
And with the 'scallop'd Top his Step be crown'd:
Let firm, well hammer'd Soles protect thy Feet
Thro' freezing Snows, and Rains, and Soaking Sleet.
Should the big Laste extend the Shoe too wide,
Each Stone will wrench th' unwary Step aside:
The sudden Turn may stretch the swelling Vein,
Thy cracking Joint unhinge, or Ankle sprain;
And when too short the modish Shoes are worn,
You'll judge the Seasons by your shooting Corn.

Shoe-strings had gone out, and buckles were in fashion; but they had not assumed the proportions they did in after years. Boots were never worn except for riding; and there was in this reign very little improvement on the heavy and clumsy riding-boot of (p. 117) William the Third's time, which was still worn by Marlborough and his cavalry. Many are the pairs, with their spurs, that are advertised for as being left in coaches.


In those days of bad pavements and defective sewage, when men had hardly begun the general use of the chair, and a coach was, as now, the luxury of the few, shoeblacks were a necessity; and, although a man might, like the Templar in 'Sir Roger de Coverley,' 'have his shoes rubbed and his periwig powdered at the Barber's, as you go unto the Rose,' yet a large number of 'Black Youth at chosen Stands rejoice; and Clean your Shoes resounds from ev'ry Voice.' They were very numerous; and from them is derived our word blackguard, for so were they called about Charing Cross and White Hall.


There were different kinds of blacking, but, judging from the dispraise awarded to each other's goods by rival manufacturers, they could have been neither pleasant nor effective. 'London Fucus for Shoes; being an unparallel'd Composition of the most pure and rich Blacks, Choice Oils, &c., and is a thing so adapted to this Use, that the World never yet produc'd the like Invention, having gain'd a General Applause, causing the straitest Shooes to wear with delight and ease; beautifies them to admiration, preserves the Leather from cracking or rotting to the very last; and frees the Feet from all Pains, Corns, Swellings, &c.... Price 12d. a Roll. Note, one Roll serves one Person near half a year.' And then the famous 'Spanish Blacking' advertised, and called the poor 'Fucus' names.

(p. 118) The little odds and ends of male attire must be noted. Gloves, for instance, were in constant use, and we have seen how prodigally they were given away at funerals. The ire of the Spectator was aroused by a custom, then just brought up, of edging them with silver fringe, but this luxurious practice does not seem to have obtained for very long.

The pocket-handkerchiefs, owing to the prevalence of the practice of snuff-taking, were nearly always of silk, though cambric was used; and although we do not hear of 'Moral Pocket-handkerchiefs,' they were somewhat similarly utilised, as the following advertisement shows: 'A Silk Handkerchief Printed, with a Draught of the Roads of England according to Mr. Ogleby's Survey, shewing the Roads and distance in measured Miles from London to the several Cities and Towns in England. Also the Victory Handkerchief, which gives an account of the Success of 5 most glorious Victories obtain'd by the Confederates over the French. Ornamented with the Arms of the Empire and Great Britain, Prussia and Holland: They will both Wash in a weak Lather of Soap without Prejudice. Price 2s. 6d.' Others were printed with the Queen's Speech to Parliament, April 5, 1710; the standards and ensigns taken from the French, with the queen's effigies at full length; Dr. Sacheverell and the six bishops who voted with him; the four seasons of the year with the sun in the centre, curiously ornamented; and the last one I can find advertised in Anne's reign was one printed on white silk with 'An Abstract of the Peace made between England and France, with the lively Effigies of all the Confederates, Princes and the several Plenipotentiaries at Utrecht.'

In the early part of Anne's reign it was fashionable for men to wear muffs, as it had been ever since Charles the Second's time. Ward (1703) says: 'What is he in the long Whig, with his Fox skin Muff upon his Button, and his Pocket book in his Hand? Why he (replied my schoolfellow) is a Beau.' But they seem to have become less popular in 1710 (vide Tatler, No. 155). 'I saw he was reduced to extreme poverty, by certain shabby superfluities in his dress: for, notwithstanding that it was a very sultry day for the time of the year, he wore a loose great Coat and a Muff,' etc. Yet in 1711 Addison writes (Spectator, No. 16): 'I have receiv'd a Letter, desiring me to be very satyrical upon the little Muff that is now in Fashion.'

Every gentleman carried a sword, and we are able to get accurate descriptions of them, from the very numerous descriptions of them in the advertisements of lost and stolen swords—how they used to lose them! Probably the company at the tavern or club was jovial, the claret good, and the way home was badly lit, and in the morning the silver-hilted sword was a-missing. I wonder if they ever got them back? They cried after them loudly enough, (p. 119) although they did not offer great rewards, a guinea or so at the outside. Gay thus warns the walker in the streets:—

Where the Mob gathers, swiftly shoot along,
Nor idly mingle in the noisy Throng.
Lur'd by the Silver Hilt, amid the Swarm,
The subtil Artist will thy Side disarm.

With a beau, his sword, as every other part of his dress, received his special attention, and he very seldom was without it, except when dancing. His sword-knot was of some gay colour, and was very long; and he was solicitous as to the carriage of his sword. 'But my sword—does it hang careless?' asks Bookwit in the 'Lying Lover'; and yet withal the hilts very seldom seem to have been of much value, either diamond-cut steel, gilt, or plain silver hilts. The following are some of the better sort, and of the most artistic merit. 'A large plain Silver hilted Sword with Scrowls and gilt in parts, with a broad gutter'd hollow Blade gilt at the shoulder, and the edges ground very sharp and a strong silver gilt handle.' 'A Hanger with a fine Aggat Haft, Belt, and Silver buckle.' 'A Silver gilt Sword, done with several Figures, with a Chequer Gold handle done one half of it with a Black Ribbon.' 'A Silver and Gold Hilted Sword wrought with Figures and Images about the handle, being tyed with a broad black Ribbon, the Blade broad from the Hilt halfway, and stain'd with blew and Gold.' 'A Silver and Gold hilted Sword of a Trophy Pattern, with a man on Horseback on the Middle of the Pommel, and the same in the Shell, with the Figures lying down on each side of the Horse, the Button of the Pommel being in Squares.'

Here is an advertisement which shows how a poor innocent was led astray: 'June 24, 1712. Whereas a Gentleman coming to Bradbery's Hazard Table last Night, and not a Gamester, but brought by an Acquaintance to see the Nature of it, lost his Silver hilted Sword, which some of the Company took from his side; This is to give Notice that any body that produces the Sword to Mr. John Waters, Perfumer, in the Strand, over against the Talbot Inn; or to Mr. Hosier, over against the Bunch of Grapes in New Street, Fetter Lane, shall have 10s. Reward, and no Questions ask'd; and if the Sword is not produc'd, the Man that keeps the Table will be indited.'

Towards the end of Anne's reign swords were worn of a preposterous length, which excited the satire of the Guardian.[209] 'When Jack Lizard made his first trip to town from the university, he thought he could never bring up with him enough of the gentleman; this I soon perceived in the first visit he made me, when I remember, he came scraping in at the door, encumbered with a bar of Cold iron so irksomely long, that it banged against his Calf, and jarred upon his right heel, as he Walked, and came rattling (p. 120) behind him as he ran down the stairs. But his sister Annabella's raillery soon cured him of this awkward air, by telling him that his sword was only fit for going up stairs, or walking up hill, and that she shrewdly suspected he had stolen it out of the College kitchen.'

Equal, at least, in importance to the sword, was the cane, 'the nice conduct' of which was part of a gentleman's education—and, if swords were plentifully lost or stolen, how many more despairing owners mourned their canes? There were useful, as well as ornamental canes.

If the Strong Cane support thy walking Hand,
Chairmen no longer shall the Wall command;
Ev'n sturdy Car-men shall thy Nod obey,
And rattling Coaches stop to make thee Way:
This shall direct thy Cautious Tread aright,
Though not one glaring Lamp enliven Night.
Let Beaus their Canes with Amber tipt produce,
Be theirs for empty Show, but thine for use.[210]

The majority of those lost were hardly worth advertising for; but we will pick out a few, as specimens of what the better sort were like: 'A fine Cane with a Gold Head, engraved with a Cypher and Crown on the top of it.[210] 'A Cane with an Aggot head.' 'A small cane with an Amber head and a Black Silk Ribbond in it, a Princes Metal Hoop, and a Silver Ferril at the bottom.' 'A Cane with a Silver Head and a Black Ribbon in it, the top of it Amber, crack'd in two or three places, part of the Head to turn round, and in it a Perspective Glass.' 'A Cane with a croched Head, a Silver Ferrel and a Silver ring.' 'A Cane with a Silver Head, with the Figure of the Tower of Babel upon it, done in Chaced Work.' 'A Cane with a Silver Head and Scent Box, and a Ferril of Silver at the Bottom.'

His snuff-box, too, was an object of his solicitude, though, as the habit of taking snuff had but just come into vogue, there were no collections of them, and no beau had ever dreamed of criticising a box as did Lord Petersham, as 'a nice Summer box.' So many of them have come down to us that they need no description, and I may merely say that those of the middle classes were chiefly of silver, or tortoise-shell, or mother-of-pearl; sometimes of 'Aggat'—or with a 'Moco Stone' in the lid. A beau would sometimes either have a looking-glass, or the portrait of a lady inside the lid.

We have seen how proud the beau was of his watch, which he wore in a fob, or pocket, in his breeches. A seal or two, generally of small value, and a watch key, were attached to it by a ribbon; chains, either of gold, silver, or steel, being sparingly used. The seals, of course, were then necessary, as, there being no gummed envelopes, every letter had to be properly sealed, either by wax or wafer. Tompion was the great watch-maker, and he lived at the (p. 121) Three Crowns, at the corner of Water Lane in Fleet Street, where he was afterwards succeeded by George Graham. The value of Tompion's watches may be gathered from the fact that from seven to ten guineas were generally offered for their recovery when lost, or from eighteen to twenty-five guineas of our money.


The watch of that day, and indeed of the whole Georgian era, consisted of the watch proper, and an outer ornamental case, which was lined with a pad of coloured velvet or satin, to make it fit tight to the watch. We now never see watch-cases made of other materials than the precious metals, or imitations thereof; but then, beautiful cases were made of shagreen of various colours, or tortoiseshell inlaid, or studded, with gold. Some beautiful specimens may be seen in the library of the Corporation of the City of London, in the Clockmakers' Company's collection.

As umbrellas were not used by men, as being too effeminate, and india-rubber waterproofing was only to be discovered more than a century later, men, in Anne's reign, had to put their trust in good broadcloth coats or cloaks.

Nor should it prove thy less important Care,
To Chuse a proper Coat for Winter's Wear.
Now in thy Trunk thy Doily Habit fold,
The silken Drugget ill can fence the cold;
The Frieze's spongy Nap is soak'd with Rain,
And Show'rs soon drench the Camlet's cockled Grain.
True Witney Broad Cloth with its Shag unshorn,
Unpierc'd is in the lasting Tempest worn:
Be this the Horse man's Fence; for who would wear
Amid the Town the Spoils of Russia's Bear?
Within the Roquelaure's Clasp thy Hands are pent,
Hands, that stretch'd forth invading Harms prevent.
Let the looped Bavaroy the Fop embrace,
Or his deep Cloak be spatter'd o'er with Lace.
That Garment best the Winter's Rage defends,
Whose shapeless Form in ample Plaits depends;
By various Names[211] in various Counties known,
Yet held in all the true Surtout alone:
Be thine of Kersey firm, though small the Cost,
Then brave unwet the Rain, unchill'd the Frost.[212]

(p. 122) Scarlet seems to have been the favourite colour for the roquelaure or cloak, and some must have been 'exceeding magnifical, scarlet rocklows and rocliers, with gold buttons and loops, being advertised as lost. Ah! the men of that time! they were always losing something.

In doors, in their hours of ease, the precious furbelow wig was discarded, and their closely cropped or shaved heads were clad in handsomely worked caps—called night caps, although only worn in the daytime; some kind of night cap having been an article of dress ever since the time of Elizabeth. They were as common presents from ladies to gentlemen, as a pair of slippers, or a smoking-cap would be now. Says Swift, 'Your fine Cap, Madam Dingley, is too little, and too hot. I will have that fur taken off; I wish it were far enough; and my old Velvet cap is good for nothing. Is it velvet under the fur? I was feeling but cannot find; if it be, it will do without it, else I will face it; but then I must buy new velvet: but may be I may beg a piece. What shall I do?'[213]


The loose dressing gown, too, was called a night gown—why, I know not, because it was not worn at night. 'You must know I (p. 123) am in my night gown every morning betwixt six and seven, and Patrick is forced to ply me fifty times before I can get on my nightgown.'[214] They were made of costly materials as well as 'Callicoe'; indeed, they were generally of brocade, or some embroidered material. Men used even, early in the day, to lounge into the coffee-houses dressed in them. One example will show both their price and the materials of which they were sometimes made. 'Whereas on Tuesday the 23d of December last, 3 Night Gowns was agreed for, and taken away from a Shop in Exchange Alley, viz. One Man's Night-Gown of yellow Sattin with Red and white Flowers lined with a pale Blue Sattin, Value £6 10s. One ditto of blue Ground Sattin, with red and white Flowers, lined with a plain yellow Sattin, Value £5 10s. One ditto of red and white broad stript Thread Sattin, lined with a green and white Persian, Value £2 10s. for which the Payment left was not satisfactory. If the Person who bought the said Gowns will give notice to Mr. Gray at the Rainbow and Punch bowl in Gilt Spur Street, so as they may be had again, shall have 6 Guineas Reward, and no Questions asked.'

As the ultimate fate of all these fine clothes was the old clothes man, a picture of him will as appropriately close this portion of the disquisition on male dress, as one of his mate will open that on female costume.


The commode — Description of ladies' dress — The petticoat — The bodice — A costly wardrobe — Underlinen — Dressing like men — Scents — Patches — Patching Whig and Tory — Masks — The hood — High-crowned hats — Furs — Umbrellas — Pattens — The fan — Mobs — Shopping — Stuffs — List of Indian stuffs — Lace — Linens — Tallymen — Jewellery — Diamonds — Plate — Children's jewellery.


The 'commode' must have been so named on the same lucus à non lucendo principle as the night cap and gown; for a more inconvenient headdress, perhaps, was never invented. It originated in the Court of Louis XIV., and was there called a fontange because it had been introduced by Mademoiselle Fontange.[215] It was (p. 124) also named a 'head' or a 'top knot' and was made of rows of plaited muslin, or lace, stiffened with wire, one over the other, diminishing as they rose. During the reign, their fashion and shape altered very much, as is noticed by Addison: 'There is not so variable a thing in Nature as a Lady's Head Dress: Within my own Memory I have known it rise and fall above thirty Degrees. About ten years ago it shot up to a very great Height, insomuch that the Female Part of our Species were much taller than the men.'[216] The numerous examples given in the illustrations of this book render any further reference to the 'commode' unnecessary, as the reader will there see it depicted in every stage. The cut on this page is only given because it shows it on a larger scale than any other, and is, besides, interesting, as forming one of a pack of cards (1707).

Ward gives us his definition of a Belle, or 'Modish Lady,' as he prefers to call her, who was—

At Hackney, Stepney, or at Chealsea Bred,
In Dancing perfect and in Plays well Read.
Impatient of Extreams, with Pride half Craz'd,
Then must her Head, a Story higher be rais'd.
In her next Gaudy Gown, her Sweeping Train
Is order'd to be made as long again;
All things must vary from the common Rode,
And reach a Size beyond the Decent Mode:
Thus Monstrously Adorn'd, to make a show,  
She walks in State, and Courtsies very low,
And is a proper Mistress for the Fool, a Beau.[217]

We get a very good, and at the same time humorous, description of female dress in 1707 out of Mrs. Centlivre's play of 'The Platonick Lady,' wherein one of the characters is Mrs. Dowdy, 'a Somersetshire Widow, come to Town to learn Breeding.'

(p. 125) Act. 3. Enter Mrs. Dowdy, Mrs. Brazon the Matchmaker, Mrs. Wheedle the Milliner, Mrs. Turnup the Manto Maker, Mrs. Crispit the Tire Woman, and Peeper, her Maid. They all seem Talking to her.

Mrs. Dowdy. We'l, we'l la you now, la you now, Shour and Shour you'l Gally me.

Turnup. Here's your Ladyships Manto and Petticoat.

Mrs. Dowdy. Ladyship, why what a main difference is here between this Town and the Country. I was never call'd above Forsooth in all my Life. Mercy on me, why you ha spoil'd my Petticoat, mum: zee, Peeper, she has cut it in a Thousand Bits.

Peeper. Oh, that's the Fashion, these are Furbelows Madam—'tis the prettiest made Coat.

Mrs. Dowdy. Furbelows, a murrain take 'em, they spoil all the Zilk. Good strange, shour London Women do nothing but study Vashions, they never mind their Dairy I warrant 'em.

Turnup. Ladies have no other employment for their Brain—and our Art lies in hiding the defects of Nature. Furbelows upwards, were devised for those that have no hips, and too large ones, brought up the full bottom'd Furbelows.

Milliner. And a long Neck and a hollow Breast, first made use of the Stinkirk—and here's a delicate one for your Ladyship. I have a Book in my pocket just come from France, Intituled, The Elements of the Toylet.

Mrs. Dowdy. Elements, mercy on me! what do they get up in the Sky now?

Peeper. A Learned Author to be sure,—let me see that, Mrs. Wheedle.

Milliner. Here, Mrs. Peeper, 'tis the Second Volume; the first only shews an Alphabetical Index of the most notable Pieces which enter into the Composition of a Commode.

Mrs. Dowdy. Well, I shall ne'er mind these hard Names; Oh Sirs, Peeper, what swinging Cathedral Headgeer is this?

Peeper. Oh, Modish French Night Clothes; Madam, what's here—all sorts of dresses painted to the Life. Ha, ha, ha, head cloaths to shorten the Face. Favourites to raise the Forehead—to heighten flat cheeks flying Cornets—four Pinners to help narrow Foreheads and long Noses, and very forward, to make the Eyes look Languishing.

Mrs. Dowdy. Ay—that, Peeper, double it down, I love Languishing.

Peeper. Take it and read it at your leisure, Madam.

Mrs. Dowdy. I shall never ha done shour zeeing all my vine things. Hy day, what's these two pieces of Band Box for?

Turnup. 'Tis Past board, Madam, for your Ladyship's Rump.[218]

Mrs. Dowdy. A Rump, ho, ho, ho, has Cousin Isbel a Rump, Peeper?

Peeper. Certainly Madam.

Mrs. Dowdy. If Cousin has one, as I hope to be kiss'd, I'll have it, Mrs. Turnup.

It is hardly within the scope of this work to follow the varying fashions of the reign, so one more extract must suffice. It is from 'The Humours of the Army,' by Charles Shadwell (a son, or nephew, of the Poet Laureate, 1713): 'But there are some fashionable Creatures at the other End of the Town, that give great Hopes of their being very odd and Whimsical; for their Head dresses are no bigger than the Skull-caps they us'd to wear; their Petticoats are up to their knees; their Stays up to their chins; and their Fans up to their Nostrils; and the mody Shrug makes 'em (p. 126) wear their shoulders up to their Ears; their Lappets reach down to the Frenching of their Petticoats, which are widen'd with Abundance of Whalebone; They stoop forward when they should walk upright; they shuffle along a tip Toe, curtsey on one Side, smile on those they would ridicule, and look very grave on their intimate acquaintances.'

Begin my Muse and sing in Epick Strain
The Petticoat; (nor shalt thou sing in vain,
The Petticoat will sure reward thy Pain!)[219]

Before its introduction, women to improve their figures, or to follow the fashion, wore false hips, but these speedily disappeared when the hooped petticoat made its appearance, about 1709. Addison wrote a very funny paper, a mock trial of it,[220] in which the arguments for and against are duly heard, and he winds up his judgment with 'I consider women as a beautiful romantic animal, that may be adorned with furs and feathers, pearls and diamonds, ores and silks. The lynx shall cast its skin at her feet to make her a tippet; the peacock, parrot and swan shall pay contribution to her muff, the sea shall be searched for shells, and the rocks for gems; and every part of nature furnish out its share towards the embellishment of a creature that is the most consummate work of it. All this I shall indulge them in; but as for the petticoat I have been speaking of, I neither can nor will allow it.' Vain, idle words! the fashion crept on, until under the Georges it was absolutely outrageous. At present it was a somewhat mild hooping of whalebone, compressible—at least such was the under framework; for the word petticoat meant the skirt of the dress—over which was the furbelow. They were made of varied and rich materials; one example will serve to illustrate: 'Stolen &c. A Cloth Colour Gown and Petticoat of Grazet, an Ash Coloured Grazet Gown and Petticoat, a Hair Colour plush Petticoat, a black Russel Petticoat flower'd, an Ash colour Silk Quilted Petticoat, a Cloth Colour'd Silk Sattinet Gown and Petticoat,' etc.

The bodices were laced, open in front, over very tight stays, showing them; and they varied in material from 'a pair of stays cover'd with Black Tabby Stitched, lin'd with Flannel,' to one 'with 8 diamond Buckles and Tags,' for which Sir Richard Hoare, of the Golden Bottle in Fleet Street, would give the finder twelve guineas. The bodices were worn low, showing the bosom—which, however, was partially concealed by the 'tucker' or 'modesty piece,' which was an edging going round the top of the dress and front of the bosom. In 1713 this was beginning to be discontinued, and deep, and many, were the growls over it in the Guardian.

The sleeves of the bodice were somewhat short (only coming a little below the bend of the arm), and were worn hanging, to show the white muslin, or lace, hanging sleeve, which came nearly to the (p. 127) wrist—a very pretty fashion; and an apron was worn, made somewhat ornamental by frilling, etc.

This formed the outward costume of a lady; only sometimes it was of extremely rich material, vide the following: 'Stolen out of the house of Mr. Peter Paggen in Love Lane near Eastcheap ... One Isabella colour Kincob Gown flowered with Green and Gold, one Silver lace half Ell deep; One Silver Orrice a quarter of a Yard deep; A large Parcel of Black and Silver Fringe; One dark colour Cloth Gown and Petticoat with 2 Silver Orrices; One Purple and Gold Atlas Gown; One Scarlet and Gold Atlas Petticoat edged with Silver; One wrought under Petticoat edged with Gold; one Black Velvet Petticoat; three Black and White Norwich Stuff Gowns and Petticoats; one Black fine Cloth Gown and 2 Petticoats; One White Satin Gown lined with Black Silk; One Alejah Petticoat striped with Green, Gold, and White; One Silver Net half Yard deep; One White Sarsnet Scarf; Two Yards of White and Gold Atlas; one Blue and Silver Silk Gown and Petticoat; One Blue and Gold Atlas Gown and Petticoat; Two Silver Laces each a quarter of a Yard deep, One yellow Chintz Gown and Petticoat, one Workt Petticoat; one White Holland Gown and Petticoat drawn for Stitchin; One pair of Shoes and Clogs laced with Silver; One dark Colour Cloth Petticoat with a Silver Orrice, one White Sarsnet Scarf,' etc.

Of ladies' underlinen we get a glimpse in the following: 'Lost &c., a deal box containing 4 fine Holland Shifts, 7 fine Cambric Handkerchiefs, 2 Night rails and Aprons, one with edging and the other flowered, 2 yards of fine loopt Macklen Lace, one Suit of Muslen Lace Night Cloaths, 2 Holland Wastcoats, 3 Diaper Towels, One Powder Box and 6 combs.'

The stockings were either of thread or silk; in the latter case they were sometimes of bright colours. We have already seen how the little temptress of the New Exchange asked, 'Does not your Lady want ... fine green Silk Stockings?' The shoes were beautifully made, of satin or silk, embroidered, or of fine Morocco leather, with high heels.

Oddly enough, even in those days, which we are somehow inclined to clothe in idyllic simplicity, women dressed like men, as far as they could. Budgell notes this: 'They already appear in Hats and Feathers, Coats and Perriwigs.'[221] And Addison points out to them[222] that if their design in so doing is to 'smite more effectually their Male Beholders,' they are mistaken, for 'how would they be affected should they meet a Man on Horseback, in his Breeches and Jack Boots, and at the same time dressed up in a Commode and a Night raile?'

The same little feminine vanities existed then as now. We had a glance at the cosmetics and scents, so will only just give one more illustration which supplies some then missing scents. 'I (p. 128) have choice good Gloves, Amber, Orangery, Gensa, Romane, Frangipand, Nerol, Tuberose, Jessimine and Marshal. All manner of Tires for the Head, Locks, Frowzes and so forth;'[223] so that they were not altogether independent of the barber's art as regards false hair.


There stands the Toilette, Nursery of Charms,
Compleatly furnish'd with bright Beauty's Arms;
The Patch, the Powder Box, Pulville, Perfumes,
Pins, Paint, a flatt'ring Glass, and Black lead Combs.
So Love with fatal Airs the Nymph supplies
Her Dress disposes, and directs her Eyes.
The Bosom now its naked Beauty Shows,
Th' experienced Eye resistless Glances throws;
Now vary'd Patches wander o'er the Face,
And Strike each Gazer with a borrow'd Grace;
The fickle Head dress sinks and now aspires,
And rear's it's tow'ry Front on rising Wires:
The Curling Hair in tortured Ringlets flows,
Or round the Face in labour'd Order grows.[224]

The mode of coiffure was far less pretentious than in succeeding reigns. When a cap or commode was worn, the hair, except in front, was almost entirely concealed. When worn without a cap, (p. 129) as in the house—especially for dress occasions—it was rolled, as in the accompanying illustration, in a style both elegant and informal.


That curious practice of patching the face was in force, but was used in greater moderation than either in the reign of Charles I., when suns, moons, stars, and even coaches and four were cut out of sticking plaister, and stuck on the face, and even the mercers patched, to show the effect to their customers—or in the Georgian era, when the face was covered with a sooty eruption. The effect on a pretty face, as shown in the accompanying illustration, is far from unpleasant. But it was an art, and required judgment.

Penelope. But alas, Madam, who patch'd you to Day? Let me see. It is the hardest thing in Dress. I may say without Vanity I know a little of it. That so low on the Cheeks pulps the Flesh too much. Hold still, my dear, I'll place it just by your Eye—(Aside) Now she downright squints.

Victoria. There's nothing like a sincere Friend; for one is not a judge of one's self. I have a Patch box about me. Hold, my dear, that gives you a sedate Air, that large one near your Temples.

Penelope. People, perhaps, don't mind these things: But if it be true, as (p. 130) the Poet finely sings, That all the Passions in the Features are, We may show, or hide 'em, as we know how to affix these pretty artificial Moles.

Victoria. And so catch Lovers, and puzzle Physiognomy.[225]

When not properly applied see the result. 'Han't I got too many Beauty Spots on, in my Mind now my Vace louks just like a Plumb Cake var all the World,'[226] whilst they possibly might call forth some uncomplimentary remarks, such as 'You pert Baggages, you think you are very handsome now, I warrant you. What a devil's this pound of hair upon your paltry frowses for? what a pox are those patches for? what, are your faces sore? I'd not kiss a Lady of this Age, by the Mass, I'd rather kiss my Horse.'[227]

Misson notes the difference between his countrywomen and ours. 'The Use of Patches is not unknown to the French Ladies; but she that wears them must be young and handsome. In England, young, old, handsome, ugly, all are bepatch'd till they are Bed-rid. I have often counted fifteen Patches or more upon the swarthy wrinkled Phiz of an old Hag threescore and ten, and upwards. Thus the English Women refine upon our Fashions.'

One would hardly imagine that this fashion could have been pressed into the service of party passion, but so it was, if Addison was not jesting—and, after all, perhaps it is not so astonishing, when we recollect that the Tory ladies stayed away from the Queen's Drawing Room—on her Majesty's birthday too—because she gave a flattering reception, and a costly sword, to Prince Eugene: 'About the Middle of last Winter I went to see an Opera at the Theatre in the Haymarket, where I could not but take notice of two Parties of very fine Women, that had placed themselves in the opposite Side Boxes, and seemed drawn up in a kind of Battle Array one against another. After a short Survey of them, I found they were Patch'd differently; the Faces on one Hand being spotted on the right Side of the Forehead, and those upon the other, on the Left. I quickly perceived that they cast Hostile Glances upon one another; and that their Patches were placed in those different Situations, as Party Signals to distinguish Friends from Foes. In the Middle Boxes, between these two opposite Bodies, were several Ladies who Patched indifferently on both Sides of their Faces, and seem'd to sit there with no other Intention but to see the Opera. Upon Inquiry I found that the Body of Amazons on my right Hand were Whigs, and those on my Left, Tories: And that those who had placed themselves in the Middle Boxes were a Neutral Party, whose Faces had not yet declared themselves. These last however, as I afterwards found, diminished daily, and took their Party with one Side or the Other; insomuch that I observed in several of them, the Patches, which were before dispersed equally, are now all gone over to the Whig or Tory side of the Face.'[228]

(p. 131) It has been noticed that masks were used in the country by ladies when taking horse exercise; in fact, it was a substitute for the modern veil; and, in previous reigns, it had been used generally out of doors. But in Anne's time it had got to be associated with disreputable females, so much so that at concerts, and at Powel's puppet show, no person wearing a mask was admitted. They were still worn at the theatres, but scarcely by ladies. Still they were worn sometimes even by them, on the first night of a play, in case there might be any allusion, which might afterwards be excised, which would make them blush. They were not expensive luxuries.

No change in Government the Women stop.
For Eighteen Pence in Velvet sets them up.[229]


Seeing the class by whom they were worn, people having them on were naturally liable to insult. The following illustrates the manners of the time: 'An Arch Country Bumpkin having pick'd up a Frog in some of the adjacent Ditches, peeping into the Coach as he pass'd by, and being very much affronted that they hid their Faces with their Masks, Ads blood, Says he, you look as ugly in those black Vizards as my Toad here; e'en get you all together, tossing on't into the Coach: At which the frightened Lady birds Squeak'd out, open'd the Coach Doors, and leap'd among the throng, to shun their loathsome Companion.'[230]

Of course, when the commode was worn, no other head-covering could be worn with it; but, when it came to be lowered, and almost disappear, a graceful fashion came up of scarves or hoods, and thus bright colours are alluded to more than once by contemporary writers, especially in the Spectator:[231] 'I took notice of a little Cluster of Women sitting together in the prettiest colour'd Hoods that I ever saw. One of them was Blue, another Yellow, and another Philomot;[232] the fourth was of a Pink Colour, and the fifth was of a pale Green. I looked with as much pleasure upon this little party Coloured Assembly, as upon a Bed of Tulips, and did not know at first whether it might not be an Embassy of Indian Queens,' etc. Whatever made Steele attack the hood as he did in a manner so scurrilous, and utterly unlike him?—though, after (p. 132) all, his objurgations are directed more against the cloak than the hood.

Your Hoods and Cloaths or rather Riding Hoods
Were first invented to steal People's Goods—
For when their Wearers came with a Pretence
To Buy—Tho' looking with much Innocence,
Lace, Silk, or Muslin privately they steal
And under those same Cloaks their Theft Conceal.[233]

The tall broad-brimmed hat (which still exists in Wales, only made in beaver) of James the First's reign was still used by country women, and the poorer class in towns. Ward, talking of an 'Assembly of Fat Motherly Flat Caps' at Billingsgate, says: 'Their Chief clamour was against High Heads and Patches; and said it would have been a very good Law, if Q. Mary had effected her design, and brought the proud Minks's of the Town, to have worn High Crownd Hats instead of Top Knots.'[234] And in 'Tunbridge Walks': 'Oh! the joys of a Country life, to mind one's Poultry, and one's Dairy, and the pretty business of milking a Cow, then, the soft diversions of riding on Horseback, or going to a Bull baiting, and the Charming Conversation of High Crown'd Hats, who can talk of nothing but their Hogs and their Husbands.'


Furs were worn, and of course duly lost. From one advertisement we get to know the name of 'a Sable Tippit or Zar;' and from another we learn something of its shape, 'a round Sable Tippet, about 2 yards long, the Sable pretty deep and dark, with a piece of black Silk in the Square of the neck.' They also had muffs, not only of feathers, as we have already seen, but of fur of all sorts, from otter skin to 'the Cats' fur. But ladies did not go out more than they could help, either in cold or wet weather. The streets were so bad, and, although to them was accorded the 'umberellow' (for it was far too effeminate a thing for men to carry, no Jonas Hanway having yet arisen), yet they did not stir out unless obliged; and it was only

The tuck'd up sempstress walks with hasty strides
While Streams run down her oil'd umbrella's sides.[235]

Curious clumsy things these old umbrellas must have been. For a man to have used one, he would have deserved, and received, some such satire as '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 (p. 133) dry from head to foot on the like occasion he shall be welcome to the Maid's Pattens.'[236]

Good Huswives all the Winter's Rage despise,
Defended by the Riding Hood's Disguise;
Or underneath th' Umbrella's oily Shed,
Safe thro' the Wet on clinking Pattens tread.
Let Persian Dames th' Umbrella's Ribs display,
To guard their Beauties from the sunny Ray;
Or sweating Slaves support the shady Load,
When Eastern Monarchs shew their State abroad;
Britain in Winter only knows its Aid,
To guard from chilly Show'rs the walking Maid.
But O! forget not, Muse, the Patten's Praise,
That female Implement shall grace thy Lays;
Say from what Art Divine th' Invention came,
And from its Origine deduce the name.[237]

And then Gay tells the legend of how Vulcan fell in love with Martha (or Patty), the daughter of a Lincolnshire yeoman; how to save her feet from the cold and wet he studded her shoes with nails; but still she had a cold and lost her voice, until he hit upon the happy idea of the 'patten' the use of which completely restored her to health, and

The Patten now supports each frugal Dame,
Which from the blue ey'd Patty takes the name.

But we must not forget that potent weapon in woman's armoury, the fan.

The Fan shall flutter in all Female Hands,
And various Fashions learn from various lands,
For this, shall Elephants their Iv'ry shed;
And polished Sticks the waving Engine spread:
His clouded Mail the Tortoise shall resign,
And round the Rivet pearly Circles shine.
On this shall Indians all their Art employ,
And with bright Colours stain the gaudy Toy;
Their Paint shall Here in wildest Fancies flow,
Their Dress, their Customs, their Religion show,
So shall the British Fair their minds improve,
And on the Fan to distant Climates rove.
Here shall the Chinese Dame her Pride display,
And silver Figures gild her loose Array;
She boasts her little Feet and winking Eyes,
And tunes the Fife, or tinkling Cymbal plies;
Here Cross leg'd Nobles in rich State shall dine,
When on the Floor large painted Vessels shine,
For These, O China, shall thy Realms be sought,
With These, shall Europe's mighty Ships be fraught,
Thy glitt'ring Earth shall tempt their Ladies Eyes,
Who for thy brittle Jars shall Gold despise.
Gay France shall make the Fan her Artists' Care,
And with the Costly Trinket arm the Fair.
(p. 134) While Widows seek once more the Nuptial State,
And wrinkled Maids repent their Scorn too late,
As long as youthful Swains shall Nymphs deceive,
And easie Nymphs those youthful Swains believe,
While Beaus in Dress consume the tedious Morn,
So long the Fan shall Female Hands adorn.[238]

To anyone interested in the use of the fan at this period, a perusal of Addison's article in the Spectator (No. 102) is recommended: it is too long for reproduction here, and would be thoroughly spoilt by merely making use of extracts from it. They seem to have been seldom lost, or if so, were not of sufficient value to advertise—in fact, I have only met with one advertisement, 'A painted Landskip Fann, cutt, gilded Sticks,' and for this a reward of 7s. 6d. was offered. That they were largely imported is evident by the following notice: 'For Sale by the Candle, at the Marine Coffee House in Birchin Lane &c.—Forty Thousand Fans of Sundry Sorts;' but these most probably were either Chinese, Japanese, or Indian palm fans.

Before closing the subject of women's costumes the 'Mob' must be noticed—that dress of which Swift writes: 'The ladies were all in Mobs; how do you call it?—undressed.'[239] This negligent costume, of which no actual contemporary description seems to exist, is never mentioned except to be decried—as, for instance, the question is asked, 'How is a man likely to relish his wife's society when he comes home and finds her slovenly, in a Mob?' And there were one or two other articles of dress not usually mentioned, and not described, as 'Women's laced Head Cloaths commonly called Quaker's Pinners' and 'Dowds.'

What woman could exist without shopping nowadays? And the habit was the same among the ladies of Queen Anne's time. The Female Tatler (1709) gives us the following graphic description of shopping: 'This afternoon some ladies, having an opinion of my fancy in Cloaths, desired me to accompany them to Ludgate Hill, which I take it to be as agreeable an amusement as a lady can pass away three or four hours in. The shops are perfect gilded theatres, the variety of wrought silks so many changes of fine scenes, and the Mercers are the performers in the Opera; and instead of "vivitur ingenio," you have in gold capitals "No trust by retail." They are the sweetest, fairest, nicest, dished out creatures; and by their elegant and soft speeches, you would guess them to be Italians. As people glance within their doors, they salute them with—Garden silks, ladies, Italian Silks, brocades, tissues, cloth of Silver, or cloth of Gold, very fine Mantua Silks, any right Geneva velvet, English velvet, velvet embossed. And to the meaner sort—Fine thread satins both striped and plain, fine mohair silk, satinnets, burdets, Persianets, Norwich Crapes, anterines, silks for hoods and scarves, hair camlets, druggets or (p. 135) sagathies, gentlemen's nightgowns ready made, shallons, durances, and right Scotch plaids.

'We went into a shop which had three partners; two of them were to flourish out their silks; and after an obliging smile and a pretty mouth made, Cicero like, to expatiate on their goodness; and the other's sole business was to be gentleman usher of the shop, to stand completely dressed at the door, bow to all the coaches that pass by, and hand ladies out and in.

'We saw abundance of gay fancies, fit for Sea Captain's wives, Sheriff's feasts, and Taunton dean ladies.[240] This, Madam, is wonderfully charming. This, Madam, is so diverting a Silk. This, Madam—my stars! how cool it looks. But this, Madam.—Ye Gods! would I had 10,000 yards of it! Then gathers up a sleeve, and places it to your shoulders. It suits your Ladyship's face wonderfully well. When we had pleased ourselves, and bid him ten shillings a yard for what he asked fifteen; Fan me, ye winds, your lady ship rallies me! should I part with it at such a price, the weavers would rise upon the very Shop. Was you at the Park last night, Madam? Your ladyship shall abate me sixpence. Have you read the Tatler to day? &c.

'These fellows are positively the greatest fops in the kingdom; they have their toilets and their fine night gowns; their chocolate in the morning, and their green tea two hours after; Turkey polts for their dinner; and their perfumes, washes, and clean linen, equip them for the Parade.'

We get a glimpse at the prices of silk dresses in the following advertisement: 'The Silk Gowns formerly sold in Exchange Alley, are removed to the sign of the Hood and Scarf, directly over against Will's Coffee House in Cornhill, where any Gentleman or Lady may be furnished with any Size or Price, there being all Sorts of Silks, from rich Brocades of 7 Guineas Price to Thread Sattin Gowns of 37s.,' etc.

Besides the stuffs described in the Female Tatler, there were 'Silver Tishea, Pudsway Silks, Shaggs, Tabbeys, Mowhairs, Grazets, Brochés, Flowered Damasks, Flowered Lustrings, ditto striped and plain, Sarsnets, Italian Mantuas, Silk Plushes, Farendines, Shagreen, Poplins, Silk Crapes and Durants'; whilst among the woollen goods were 'Hair and Woollen Camlets, Hair Plushes, Spanish and English Druggets, Serge Denims, Calamancoes, Russels, Serges, Shalloons, Tammeys, Ratteens, and Salapeens.' Ladies' black broadcloth cost 13s. 6d. per yard, fine scarlet 15s. 6d., and superfine do. 17s. 6d.

Of Indian stuffs there is a formidable list, and as the names are curious, and are probably lost and forgotten, I reproduce them:—

Having a Queen upon the throne—one that kept her Court, and dressed well—lace was naturally an article in demand. The Queen was somewhat moderate at her Coronation, for her point lace only came to £64 13s. 9d. It was Flanders lace, and was allowed to be imported, provided it was not made in 'the dominions of the French king.' Mechlin and Brussels lace first made their appearance in this reign, and, in 1710, the Queen paid £151 for twenty-six yards of fine edged Brussels lace. Indeed, Brussels lace was somewhat dear: 'One Brussels Head is valued at £40; a grounded Brussels head £30; one looped Brussels £30.' 'Lost betwixt Hemming's Row and Owin Street near Leicester Fields, a Tin Box with Lace; whoever brings it to Mrs. Beck at the Angel and Star in Fleet Street shall have £10 Reward and no Questions ask'd.' '9 pieces of fine Bone Lace belonging to a Person of Quality' were also lost, and £10 reward offered. This lace does not always seem to have been made of thread, for, 'Whereas two pieces of Silver Bone lace, was brought to a shop in Winchester Street to be weighed, the Lace being suppos'd to be stol'n, is stoped.' Four pieces of 'Macklin' lace, lost, induced a reward of five guineas, and the finder of three pieces of 'Brussels edging Lace' is supposed to be tempted by the offer of 10s. to bring them back.

We have read in the robbery from Mr. Paggen's of a number of garments with gold and silver lace, and with silver 'Orrices,' and the use of bullion lace grew to such an extent, that in 1711, its entry was forbidden under pain of forfeiture, and a fine of £100.

(p. 137) The linen of this reign was finer, and better, than in those preceding, and one linen draper of the time has handed his name down to posterity, viz. 'Thomas Doyley at the Nun in Henrietta Street, Covent Garden.' A list of the linens then in vogue, is, as far as I can learn, as follows: 'White and Brown Osnabrigs, Dowlas's, Kentings, Muslins, Bed ticks, Garlets, Spotted Lawns, Sletias, Harford Blue, White Shorks, Holland, Cambricks, Gentings, Callicoes, Damask, Diaper, Huckabacks, Dimmities.'

Of these 'fine double threaded Cottons for Sheetings' was 12d. per yard and muslin 5s. 6d.

The 'Tally Man' was an institution in those days, and was well known. His handbills remain, and there is a singular unanimity among them; with one voice they make Monday the day for purchases and payments. The reason for this is obvious; at that early period of the week the Saturday's earnings ought not to be spent. As a rule, the terms were, 'Paying one shilling a Week for Thirty Shillings, untill the Sum is paid for which they Contract.' One gentleman sticks up for his dignity, and begs you to 'Note. That these goods are not to be sold by a Tally man, but the Money is to be taken by Weekly, or Monthly Payments, according as it shall be agreed upon for the Ease of the Customers.' This system was as pernicious then as now, only, as the law of arrest for debt was in full force, the prisons held plenty of victims.

It was not a particularly ostentatious age for jewellery, and we can get a good idea of what was worn, by one or two advertisements of lost property. 'Stolen the 11th of this Instant February 1703[241] between 6 and 7 of the clock at night, from the Golden Buck in Lombard Street, a Show Glass, in which, besides several things not remembr'd, were these Particulars, viz. A gold Moco[242] Stone Chain set in Gold with a Crown at the top. One Grain Gold Watch Chain mark't C. O. One large Saphyre loose and 1 a little less. One string of Pearls from 2 Grains to 5 or 6 Grains a piece; one large Pearl with a large Hole in it, about 12 Grains, with several other loose Pearls; with several Diamond Rings, Rubies and Garnet Grislets set in the Middle. One very large Sized Ring, with 12 Diamonds, one being out, with an Ametheist broke in the middle. One fine Medal of Cardinal Richelieu; one Smaller Gold Medal with two Heads. Several Stone and plain Lockets, and Gold Hearts, with Stones on the top to open. One Gold Chain with three links, links and end, 15 d. wt. and one Brilliant Diamond Ring, set round with 8 Diamonds in the middle; one longish Diamond weighing about 2 grains and a half, or 3 at most. One large Garnet set in Gold to hang to a Watch, and several Hoops and Joints markt T. S. Several Gold Rings set with Turky and Vermillions. Several Gold Buttons, some plain (p. 138) and some set with Moco Stones, and a Cornelian Ring Set. One pair of plain Gold Buttons link'd with a Chain nock fashion'd, 8. d. weight and half. Several false Stone Ear Rings, and Rings of several Colours, set in Gold. One pair of Ear Rings, Diamonds and Drops, value about 4l. 10s. Several right Garnet Ear Rings set in Gold with Drops. Two red Watch Bottles rib'd with Gold. Several gilt Watch Bottles and other Toys. One gilt Coral with a double branch. One Necklace with Pearls and Vermillions; one Moco Stone Bracelet, 1 large piece of Coral, weight 1 Ounce 8 p. wt., a plain gold Socket to it, 14 or 15 p. wt., 1 Cornelian set in Gold, and very finely enamelled, 3 or 4 Cornelian Seals set strong in Gold, several Gold Ear Rings with Tops and Drops to 'em, 1 little Padlock in Gold and Silver and a Gold Key, and several Corellionel Keys, &c.'

'Lost, &c. A Gold Watch made by Richards, with a Gold Seal and Cornelion set in it, a Griffin Rampant ingrav'd thereon, a pair of Drops hanging at the end of the Chain; a Rumphlet[243] of Diamonds set in Silver and gilt. 2 Necklaces of Pearl, 1 middling, the other small; 1 Diamond Ring containing 7 stones set in Gold. 1 Mourning Ring mark'd H. G. in a Silver Box.' 'A Bristow Stone[244] Necklace set in Silver.'

There was lost a very interesting memorial ring, to which, in those Jacobite days, no doubt a particular value was attached. 'A Gold ring with 7 Diamonds in the form of a Rose, which opens, and within the effigies of K. Charles I. Enamelled, next the finger is C. R. with a Death's Head in the middle.'

Diamonds were much worn, and frequently lost. For the following, a reward of 10 per cent. of their value was offered. 'Lost &c. 42 loose Diamonds, some of them large, belonging to a Necklace, and two with holes made behind for Screws to be put in, all strung on a white silk; and two Tags with 16 small Diamonds.' For the next 100l. was offered, or proportionate sums for portions. 'Lost by a Person of Quality, a Diamond Cross of 6 Brilliant Diamonds and a large Brilliant Stone loose in a Collet. The middle stone in the Cross weighs 10 grains, and the other 5 together 29 grains, and the Diamond in the Collet 15 grains or there abouts.'

The greatest loss of diamonds in this reign was the following, for which a reward of 1,000 guineas, and the Queen's pardon, was offered. 'Whereas there were brought from India in the Ship Albemarle (which was driven ashore at Pielpora near Plimouth about the 9th of this instant December) Five Bulses of Diamonds, which are pretending to be missing or lost.... Amongst which said Diamonds was one very uncommon, remarkable Diamond, viz. One cut Table Stone of the first Water, and in all Perfection, weighing about 26 Carrats and a Quarter, and one Pointed rough Stone weighing about 18 Carrats and a Quarter; and one other (p. 139) rough Stone weighing about 21 Carrats, a Point some thing fallen, Christalline, White and Clean.'[245] One is glad to read in 'Luttrel's Diary,' January 15, 1709, 'Part of the Diamonds missing out of the Ship Albemarle are found, and brought to the Secretary's Office.'

'Lost April 23 (1702) upon the day of Her Majesty's Coronation, in or near Westminster Hall, a Diamond Stomacher, with a Row of Rose Diamonds down the Middle, with knots of small Rose Diamonds on each side; in the setting there being a joint between each knot; they being all set in Silver, and sow'd upon black Ribbon. Lost also at the same time one large Rose Diamond set in Silver, and fastened to a Bodkin.'

The Queen herself lost some diamonds on this memorable occasion, but nothing of great value, as only ten guineas were offered as a reward. 'Whereas there was Ten Small Diamonds singly set in Silver, but made up together into a Sprig fastened by a Wire, which were lost from Her Majesty's Robes in the Procession upon the Coronation Day,' etc. This, however, was not the only loss the Queen suffered during her reign, some of her subjects conceiving a violent affection for her plate—vide the following advertisements. 'Whereas several pieces of Plate, as Dishes, Trencher Plates, Knives, forks, spoons and salts, together with Pewter of all Sorts, Table Linen and other Necessaries, which were provided and used in Westminster Hall at her Majesty's Coronation Feast on 23 Inst., have been taken away from thence, and are yet concealed,'[246] etc. 'Lost last night, being the 10th of this Instant, January, the following Pieces of Plate, viz, a large Monteith[247] with the Queen's Arms; a Salver, with the Royal Arms; 3 Salts Nurl'd; 4 Spoons, with W. R. in a Cypher, and a Crown over them; One Plate with the late King's Arms, and W. R.; the bottom of a Mustard Caster, with A. R. in a Cypher, and a Crown over it.'[248] 'Lost at Somerset House, at the Entertainment of the Venetian Ambassadors, one of Her Majesty's Knurl'd Dishes, weight 52 Ounces, and one Silver Mazerine, Weight 20 Ounces, both engrav'd with His late Majesty's Arms.'[249] 'Lost from Her Majesty's Palace at Windsor, on Sunday the 4th Instant, Two Silver Trencher Plates of Her Majesty's Engraven'd A. R. and the Arms of England before the Union.'

(p. 140) The plate of this reign was heavy and cumbrous, and of very little artistic merit. It was greatly in use, and was an outward and visible sign of its owner's wealth. To such an extent did its use obtain, that taverns were ordered not to have silver tankards, the temptation to steal them being so great.


Ladies occasionally wore chatelaines in the street, and lost them, whilst they seem only to have worn their watches for the sake of losing their outer case, judging by the numbers of advertisements. Being worn outside, there was nothing easier to steal. Not the whole watch; oh no! but gently to press the spring, and the gold case was in the thief's possession, with next door to no risk. They were absolutely asking to be stolen. Even the little children must needs be decked out with watches and chains. 'Whereas a Gold Watch, with a Gold Chain with 6 lockets, one of them with a Cypher L. T. set with Pearl and Green Stones, was lost from a Childe 11 years old.' 'Stop't, a Child's Gold Chain suppos'd to be stolen.' 'Cut off from a Child's neck yesterday, a Gold Chain, four times about her Neck.' 'Taken from a Child, a Gold Chain with this Motto, Memento Mori.' 'Lost from a Child's side, a Silver Scissor Case, Open Work, with Scissors in them; to it a Chain and flat Hook gilt with Gold.'

(p. 141) CHAPTER XV.

English fare — Time of dining — Pontack's — Other ordinaries — Books on Cookery — Receipts — Pudding — Fish — Oysters — Poultry — Assize of bread — Markets — Vegetables — Lambeth gardeners — Fruit — Dried fruit.

In the matter of food, people were not gourmets as a rule. The living was plentiful, but plain, and a dinner was never more than two courses; as Addison wrote, 'two plain dishes, with two or three good natured, chearful, ingenious friends, would make me more pleased and vain than all that pomp and luxury can bestow;' and this sentiment pervaded the whole of society. Dinner is almost the only meal ever mentioned, and one looks in vain for details of breakfast or supper. They were taken, of course, but men, then, did not sufficiently deify their stomachs, as to be always talking about them: dinner was the meal of the day, and there is no doubt that the most was made of that opportunity. Misson says: 'The English eat a great deal at dinner; they rest a while, and to it again, till they have quite stuff'd their Paunch. Their Supper is moderate: Gluttons at Noon, and abstinent at Night. I always heard they were great Flesh eaters, and I found it true. I have known several people in England that never eat any Bread, and universally they eat very little: they nibble a few crumbs, while they chew the Meat by whole Mouthfuls. Generally speaking, the English Tables are not delicately serv'd. There are some Noblemen that have both French and English Cooks, and these eat much after the French manner; but among the middling Sort of People they have ten or twelve Sorts of common Meats, which infallibly take their Turns at their Tables, and two Dishes are their Dinners: a Pudding, for instance, and a Piece of Roast Beef; another time they will have a piece of Boil'd Beef, and then they salt it some Days before hand, and besiege it with five or six Heaps of Cabbage, Carrots, Turnips, or some other Herbs or Roots, well pepper'd and salted, and swimming in Butter: A Leg of roast or boil'd Mutton, dish'd up with the same dainties, Fowls, Pigs, Ox Tripes, and Tongues, Rabbits, Pidgeons, all well moistened with Butter, without larding: Two of these Dishes, always serv'd up one after the other, make the usual Dinner of a Substantial Gentleman, or wealthy Citizen. When they have boil'd Meat, there is sometimes one of the Company that will have the Broth; this is a kind of Soup, with a little Oatmeal in it, and some Leaves of Thyme or Sage, or other such small Herbs. They bring up this in as many Porringers as there are People that desire it; those that (p. 142) please, crumble a little Bread into it, and this makes a kind of Potage.'

Here, then, we have a very graphic, and evidently unbiassed, account of the cuisine of this reign. Two o'clock seems to have been the middle-class time of dining, but people with any pretension to fashion dined later. 'Why does any Body Dine before Four a Clock in London? For my Part, I think it an ill bred Custom to make my Appetite Pendulum to the Twelfth Hour. Besides, 'tis out of Fashion to Dine by Day light.'[250] And Steele, writing about 'Rakes,' says: 'All the noise towards six in the evening is caused by his mimics and imitators;'[251] thus leading to the inference that, dinner being at four, and wine being plentifully drunk after it, they rose from table half drunk, and went noisily to the coffee-houses.

This, probably, was the case at such a place as Pontack's, which held the first rank among the restaurants of the time. It was situated in Abchurch Lane, and was said to have derived its name from Pontack, a president of the Parliament of Bordeaux, who gave his name to the best French clarets; but this could hardly be the case, as all contemporary writers call the proprietor Pontack. Misson speaks in high terms of the place. Swift writes to Stella: 'I was this day in the City, and dined at Pontack's with Stratford, and two other merchants. Pontack told us, although his wine was so good, he sold it cheaper than others, he took but seven shillings a flask;' and again, 'I dined in the City at Pontack's with Stratford; it Cost me Seven Shillings.' 'Would you think that little lap dog in Scarlet there, has Stomach enough to digest a Guinea's worth of Entertainment at Pontack's every Dinner Time?'[252] 'Mr. Montgomery said you had better go to Pontack's, Gentlemen, I think there is none here but knows Pontack's, it is one of the greatest Ordinaries in England.'[253] 'Your great Supper lies on my Stomach still, I defie Pontack to have prepar'd a better o' th' sudden.'[254]

There were others nearly as good.

At Locket's,[255] Brown's and at Pontack's enquire,
What modish Kick shaws the nice Beaus desire,
What famed Ragoust, what new invented Salate
Has best pretentions to regale the Palate.[256]

Ward describes a tavern ordinary well; he is in his element; but to give his description would take up too much room. On entering the bar, the principal person visible was the dame de comptoir, 'all Ribbons, Lace and Feathers.' Having passed her, and taken a seat at the table, he had 'a Whet of Old Hock' to sharpen his (p. 143) appetite for dinner, which consisted of two calves' heads, a couple of geese, and Cheshire cheese; after which they all fell to a-drinking wine.

There were cheaper places, or ordinaries, than these to dine at. 'I went afterwards to Robin's,[257] and saw People who had dined with me at the Five penny Ordinary just before, give Bills for the Value of large Estates;'[258] and twopenny ordinaries are mentioned, but they must have been for the very poor.

In spite of what Misson says, there was good cookery to be got, only it hardly came into ordinary life; and there are two cookery books[259] which give most excellent receipts, and show that there was plenty of variety, both in the material and cooking of food; nay, even in the elegances of the table, which were well cared for, as the following receipt of Howard's shows: 'How to dish up a Dish of Fruits with preserved Flowers.—Take a large Dish, cover it with another of the same bigness, and place the uppermost over with Paste of Almonds, inlaid with red, white, blue, and green Marmalade in the figure of Flowers and Banks; then take the branches of candied Flowers, and fix them upright in Order, and upon little Bushes erected, and covered with Paste: Fix your preserved and Candied Cherries, Plumbs, Pease, Apples, Goosberries, Currans, and the like, each in their proper place; and for Leaves, you may use Coloured Paste or Wax, Parchment, or Horn; and this, especially in Winter, will be very proper.' Some of the dishes he gives are hardly in vogue now; as for instance: 'Spinage Tarts.—Take Marrow, Spinage, hard Eggs, of each a handful, Cloves, Mace, Nutmeg, Limon-peel shred very fine; then put in as many Currans as you think fit, with Raisins stoned, and shred, candied, Orange and Citron peel; sweeten it to your taste, make Puff Paste, and make them into little square Pasties; bake or fry them.'

Perhaps few people now would care to make Mr. Lamb's 'Patty of Calves' Brains.—The Calves Brains being clean, scald them, then blanch some Asparagus, and put it in a Sauce pan, with a little Butter and Parsley; being Cold, put the Brains in the Patty, with the Asparagus, five or six Yolks of hard Eggs, and Forc'd Meat; season it with Pepper and Salt. When it is bak'd, add the Juce of a Lemon, drawn Butter and Gravy. So serve it.'

Listen to Misson's ecstasies over our national dish—the Pudding. 'The Pudding is a Dish very difficult to be describ'd, because of the several Sorts there are of it; Flower, Milk, Eggs, Butter, Sugar, Suet, Marrow, Raisins, &c., &c., are the most common Ingredients of a Pudding. They bake them in an Oven, they boil them with Meat, they make them fifty several Ways: Blessed be he that invented Pudding, for it is a Manna (p. 144) that hits the Palates of all Sorts of People: a Manna better than that of the Wilderness, because the People are never weary of it. Ah, what an excellent Thing is an English Pudding! To come in Pudding time, is as much as to say, to come in the most lucky Moment in the World.'[260]


Of fish he says: 'In Proportion Fish is dearer than any other Belly-timber at London;' and as a matter of fact we hear very little about it as an article of food. The country, inland, was of course entirely dependent upon fresh-water fish, such as carp, jack, perch, etc. The London market was at Billingsgate (which kept up its reputation for its peculiar vernacular), but that was also waterman's stairs, and a place of departure for boats; and here was sold whatever fish was brought to London. A little before every Lent came vessels loaded with salt cod, which were sold at 1s. 6d. to 2s. a couple, and sometimes at 1d. per lb. Mackerel, on account of its perishable nature, was allowed to be sold on Sunday, as Gay notes, 'Ev'n Sundays are prophan'd by Mackrell cries.'

From Billingsgate the fish was distributed to the various stalls throughout London:—

You'll see a draggled Damsel, here and there,
From Billingsgate her fishy Traffick bear.

And these stalls are thus described:—

When fishy Stalls with double Store are laid;
The golden belly'd Carp, the broad-finn'd Maid,
Red speckled Trouts, the Salmon's silver Soul,
The jointed Lobster, and unscaly Soale,
And luscious 'Scallops, to allure the Tastes
Of rigid Zealots to delicious Fasts;
Wednesdays and Fridays you'll observe from hence,
Days, when our Sires were doom'd to Abstinence.

Care was taken for the preservation of salmon, as the following (p. 145) notice shows: 'Whereas by divers ancient statutes made to prevent the Destruction of the Fry and Brood of Salmons, it is ordained, That none shall be taken in any of the Rivers or Waters, wherein Salmon is taken, between the 8th of September and the 11th of November; and that none shall be taken in the Waters in the County of Lancaster between the 29th of September and the 2d of February; and by a late Statute, That no Salmons shall be taken in the County of Southampton and the Southern Parts of Wiltshire between the 30th of June and the 11th of November, nor be exposed to Sale under the Penalties thereby provided: These are to give Notice that all Salmons taken out of their Seasons, and exposed to Sale in London, will be destroyed, as many lately have been, by the Rt. Hon. the Lord Mayor of the said City, as not fit to be sold for Victuals, being taken out of their Seasons, contrary to the Statutes afore mentioned: And that every Person bringing before the Lord Mayor such unseasonable Salmons, shall have a Reward for the same, to be paid by the Company of Fishmongers, London, as the Lord Mayor for the time being shall think fit.'[261]

Our River Thames, then, was really the habitat of good fish, for we read: 'A Sturgeon was taken the last Week in the River near Stepney, which the Lord Mayor sent as a Present to Her Majesty.'[262]

It causes a sigh of regret to read of the great plenty, and wonderful cheapness, of real native oysters. They were then, as now, only considered fit to eat during the months with R in them; and Gay, speaking of autumn, says, as a sign of its arrival, 'And Damsels first renew their Oyster Cries'; and in another part of 'Trivia' he gives the following sound advice:—

If where Fleet Ditch with muddy Current flows,
You chance to roam; where Oyster Tubs in Rows
Are rang'd beside the Posts; there stay thy Haste,
And with the sav'ry Fish indulge thy Taste:
The Damsel's Knife the gaping Shell commands,
While the salt Liquor streams between her Hands.

And they were wonderfully cheap, sold in the streets by the wheelbarrow men at 'Twelve Pence a Peck.' There was keen competition in them, and rival fishmongers advertised the superior excellence of their oysters. One will serve as a sample of the whole. 'Thomas West Fishmonger in Honey Lane Market near Blossom's Inn, gives notice, That all Persons who have occasion for the Choicest of Oysters called Colchester Oysters, may be supplied for this Season with the largest pick't Fat and Green for 3s. a Barrel; Those somewhat smaller at 2s. 6d. of the same sort; Fat and Green, of a lesser size for 2s. the Barrel: The large pickt, white, fat Oysters for 2s. 6d. The smaller white fat Oysters 1s. 8d. At all these Prizes I will sell the right Colchester Oysters, which, (p. 146) without considering their goodness beyond other sorts, are cheaper than the Town Wheel barrow Oysters: And that all Persons in City or Country, that send for them, may no ways be deceived of having the right sort, the prizes are all branded on the side of the Cask. Note, they are all branded at the Pits, where they are pickt, so that if there be any Cheat, it must be by the Oyster Man, which hath been too often practised to my Loss and their shameful Gain. My Oysters Comes in on Monday's, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays by Water Carriage. No Trader in the City or Suburbs having them come in so often, by reason of which, they will hold good the farthest Journey, to please the nicest Eater. Those that are not bought at my own Shop, will, by reason of the Extraordinary Charge be 2d. in a Barrel advanc'd; and all that are desirous to have them from my Shop, the same day that they come in of, they shall be delivered, if desired, as far as St. James for 2d. Temple Bar 1d. And all other places proportionable, and when all is said, I hope tryal will be your Satisfaction.'


Pickled oysters were also imported from Jersey, and sold at 1s. 8d. per hundred. Swift writes Stella[263] how 'Lord Masham made me go home with him to night to eat boiled oysters. Take Oysters, wash them clean, that is, wash their shells clean; then put your oysters in an earthen pot, with their hollow sides down, then put this pot covered, into a great Kettle with water, and so (p. 147) let them boil. Your oysters are boiled in their own liquor, and (do) not mix water.'

Poultry, with the exception of game, was the same as now; the only importation from foreign parts, seemingly, being ortolans, which were brought over in September of each year. The English ortolan, too, was keenly relished by epicures. 'You have a coarse stomach, and to such a one, a Surloin of Beef were better than a dish of Wheat ears.'[264]

For relishes, there were anchovies 8d. per lb., neats' tongues and York hams 6d. per lb.; but salt was somewhat dear. The home manufacture did not supply the whole demand, as now, and it was imported both from Portugal and France. Still, it was made at home. 'Whereas it hath been reported, that there was not a sufficient quantity of Salt made at Shirley wich, in the county of Stafford, to supply the customers that came for it. This is to give notice, that with the Additional Works, there is now twice the quantity made out of the new Pit, much better and stronger than was formerly.'[265]

Bread, as usual, was made the subject of legislation, and the following proclamation was issued:—

'London May 3.


'Martis 2 do die Maii 1710. Annoque Reginæ
'Annæ Magnæ Britanniæ &c. Nono.

By Virtue of an Act Passed in the last Session of Parliament, Intituled, An Act to Regulate the Price and Assize of Bread, This Court doth Order and Appoint, That the Assize of all White, Wheaten and Household Bread, to be made of Wheat for Sale within this City and Liberties thereof, shall for the future be Penny, Two Penny, Six Penny, Twelve Penny, and Eighteen Penny Loaves, and no other; and that on every Loaf be fairly Imprinted or Marked, several Letters for Knowing the Price and Sort thereof, as followeth, that is to say

  Finestor White. Wheaten. Houshold.
On every Penny Loaf I. F. I. W. I. H.
  Two Penny Loaf II. F. II. W. II. H.
  Six Penny Loaf   VI. W. VI. H.
  Twelve Penny Loaf   XII. W. XII. H.
  Eighteen Penny Loaf   XVIII. W. XVIII. H.

And in further Pursuance of the said Act, this Court doth appoint, That the Assize and Weight of the said Bread shall be as followeth.

(p. 148)   White. Wheaten. Houshold.
  Lb. Oz. Dr. Lb. Oz. Dr. Lb. Oz. Dr.
The Penny Loaf to Weigh by Avoirdepois or Common Weight 4. 3. 6. 5. 8. 7.
The Two Penny Loaf 8. 7. 12. 10. 1. 0. 14.
The Six Penny Loaf 2. 5. 15. 3. 2. 9.
The Twelve Penny Loaf 4. 11. 13. 6. 5. 2.
The Eighteen Penny Loaf 7. 1. 11. 9. 7. 11.

Whereof all Bakers and others concern'd are to take Notice, and to Observe the same under the Penalties in the said Act contained to be inflicted on all such who shall Neglect so to do.

'Note, That 16 Drams make One Ounce and 16 Ounces One Pound.


And so they continued to regulate the price, according to the fluctuations of the corn market.

Milk was produced from cows kept in London, and was carried round by women, or milkmaids, as they were called.

On Doors the sallow Milkmaid chalks her Gains;
Ah! how unlike the Milkmaid of the Plains!

And the milch-asses went their daily rounds. Asses' milk was in great request, and many were the advertisements of milch-asses for sale. Its price was 3s. 6d. per quart.

Before proud Gates attending Asses bray,
Or arrogate with solemn pace the Way;
These grave Physicians with their milky Chear,
The Love sick Maid, and dwindling Beau repair.

Butter was got from the surrounding villages, but already there was a trade in this article with Ireland, for on August 14, 1705, was sold at the Marine Coffee House thirty-eight casks of Irish butter and forty-nine casks of Irish beef.

There were several markets in London, each with its specialty.

Shall the large Mutton smoke upon your Boards?
Such Newgate's copious Market best affords;
Would'st thou with mighty Beef augment thy Meal?
Seek Leaden hall; Saint James's sends thee Veal.
Thames street gives Cheeses; Covent garden Fruits;
Moor fields old Books; and Monmouth Street old Suits.

Vegetables were principally supplied from the Lambeth market gardens, which are thus mentioned by Steele[266]: 'When we first put off from Shore, we soon fell in with a Fleet of Gardeners bound for the several Market Ports of London; and it was the most pleasing Scene imaginable to see the Chearfulness with which those industrious People ply'd their Way to a certain Sale of their Goods. The Banks on each Side are as well peopled, and beautified (p. 149) with as agreeable Plantations, as any Spot on the Earth; but the Thames itself, loaded with the Product of each Shore, added very much to the Landskip. It was very easie to observe by their Sailing, and the Countenances of the ruddy Virgins who were Supercargoes, the Parts of the Town to which they were bound. There was an air in the Purveyors for Covent Garden, who frequently converse with Morning Rakes, very unlike the seemly Sobriety of those bound for Stocks Market.'

Neither Ward nor Brown viewed the Lambeth gardeners in such a couleur-de-rose aspect; and haply they described the scene more accurately. The former says: 'A scoundrel crew of Lambeth Gardeners attacked us with such a Volley of saucy Nonsence, that it made my Eyes stare, my Head ake, my Tongue run, and my Ears tingle.' Brown tells us that 'the next diverting Scene that the River afforded us, was a very warm Engagement between a Western Barge, and a Boat full of Lambeth Gardeners, by whom Billingsgate was much outdone in stupendious Obscenity, tonitrous Verbosity, and malicious Scurrility, as if one side had been Daniel D—f—'s[267] Party, and the other the Observator's.' And they both give examples of this bargee slang, which, it is needless to say, are utterly unfit for reproduction.

From these market gardens came the 'Asparagrass' and 'Sallary,'[268] the 'Apricocks' and those melons which the Spectator noted were consigned by Mr. Cuffe of Nine Elms to Sarah Sewell and Company, at their stall in Covent Garden.

Misson says, 'Fruit is brought only to the Tables of the Great, and of a small number even among them. The Desert they never dream of, unless it be a Piece of Cheese.' That possibly was correct, but still a great deal of fruit was eaten. The Daily Courant of Feb. 20, 1714, mentions the following—Pears: 'Bon chrestien,' 'Mesir jean,' 'Beuré.' Apples: 'Pomme Royal,' 'Pomme Dâpy,' 'Reinette Grise,' and the 'Magdelaine' peach. We also see that

Wallnutts the Fruit'rer's Hand, in Autumn stain,
Blue Plumbs, and juicy Pears augment his Gain;
Next Oranges the longing Boys entice,
To trust their Copper Fortunes to the Dice.

'Lisbon, China Oranges, and Sower Oranges' were sold in Love Lane, near Billingsgate; as were also 'a Parcel of Pot China Oranges, of a pleasant taste and flavour, landed out of the Lisbon Fleet, now a delivering.' Oranges were favourite trees to grow here, and one advertisement mentions 7,000 of them for sale. The retail price of oranges was not excessive, considering the restricted commerce, and the small tonnage of the shipping. 'We have the finest oranges for two pence a piece,' writes Swift.

The foreign fruit market was, as now, near Billingsgate, and (p. 150) here were sold olives, raisins, currants, French 'Pruants,' and the choicer sorts of French dry fruits, 'Pears of Rousselet, of Champagne, Prunes of Tours, and Muscadine Grapes,' 'Candid Maderas Citrons, and Sweet Barbary Almonds.'


Beer — Hard drinking — 'Whetters' — Wines — List of French and Spanish wines — Wines of other countries — Duties on wines — Spirits — Liqueurs — Homemade wines — Prices of tea — Adulteration — Price of coffee — Chocolate — Its price — Duty on.

Beer always has been the alcoholic liquor most largely consumed in England, and, among the poorer and lower middle classes, it was so in Anne's reign; but it was looked down upon, and despised, by the upper classes. It was of different qualities, from the 'penny Nipperkin of Molassas Ale'[269] to 'a pint of Ale cost me fivepence.'[270] Not only were there the local brewers in London, but the excellence of 'right Darby' and 'Sleeford or Lincolnshire' ales was such that these breweries were represented. 'Right North Country Pale Ale ready bottled at 4s. per dozen' was also to be had; and pale ale was exported. 'Any Merchant that has occasion for Pale Ale and Stout, to send to the West Indies, may at any time be supplied at the Fountain Brewhouse, by the Hermitage, with Beer for Shipping at reasonable rates.' Dantzic Spruce was also imported. Beer was taxed then, as now, by the barrel. 'Yesterday the Commons, in a Committee of Ways and Means, resolved, That an additional duty of 3d. per barrel be laid upon all beer and ale above 6s. per barrel; and under 6s., 1d.; vinegar 9d.; cyder per hogshead 5d.; strong waters mead and matheglin 1d. per gallon.'[271]

But, for well-to-do people, wine was the drink, and the variety was nearly as great as in our time. It was a hard-drinking age, and the habit was universal. 'I look'd to have found you with your Head ake and your morning Qualms'[272] must have been a not unusual salutation; but it was not done for the same reason as by those gentlemen mentioned in the Guardian (No. 58), 'who drink vast quantities of ale and October to encourage our manufactures; and another who takes his three bottles of French claret every night because it brings a great custom to the Crown.'

Nightly on bended knees, the musty Putt,
Still Saints the Spigot, and Adores the Butt;
(p. 151) With fervent Zeal the flowing Liquor plies
But Damns the Moderate Bottel ... for its size.
The Tripe Club, Swift.

These evening potations rendered a morning's draught generally necessary; but, after that, drinking was again postponed till the day's work was over. The modern system of 'nipping' did obtain to a slight degree, but it was reprehended. 'Whereas Mr. Bickerstaff, by a letter bearing date this twenty fourth of February, has received information that there are in and about the Royal Exchange a sort of people commonly known by the name of Whetters, who drink themselves into an intermediate state of being neither drunk nor sober before the hours of Exchange, or business; and in that condition buy and sell stocks, discount notes, and do many other acts of well disposed citizens; this is to give notice, that from this day forward no Whetter shall be able to give or endorse any note, or execute any other point of Commerce, after the third half pint, before the hour of one; and whoever shall transact any matter or matters with a Whetter, not being himself of that order, shall be conducted to Moorfields[273] upon the first application of his next of kin.'[274]

The war with France made the French wines somewhat scarcer than they would otherwise have been, and opened a trade for wines from other countries; still the number of prizes taken, laden with clarets, etc., and the efforts of smugglers, kept the market pretty well supplied. The wines seem to have been good, although the Spanish and Portuguese wines were fortified with 'Stum,' a fact well known, especially as to its effects: 'get drunk with Stum'd wine.'[275] The French wines were very numerous—some even unknown to us by their names—comprising Champagne, Burgundy, Frontiniac, Muscat, Anjou, Bouvrie (? Vouvray), Bayonne, Obrian (Hautbrion), Pontack, Claret, Bomas (? Pomard), High Priniac (Preignac), La Fitt, Margouze (Margeaux), La Tour, Graves, Cahorze, Blacart, Monson, Hermitage, Langoon, Bosmes (? Beaumes), Macco (? Macon), Languedoc, and Cap Breton clarets. Their prices were various: ordinary clarets from the wood 4s. to 6s. per gallon; good bottled clarets from 3s. or 4s. to 10s. a bottle. Champagne came over in baskets or hampers containing ten dozen to two hundred bottles per basket, and was sold retail about 8s. a bottle. Good Burgundy cost 7s. a bottle, but these prices varied, as they do now, with the quality.

French wines, however, were not universal favourites. 'A Bottle or two of good solid Edifying Port, at honest George's, made a Night chearful, and threw off Reserve. But this plaguy French Claret will not only Cost us more Money, but do us less Good,' growls Steele.[276] Being at war with France, it was considered patriotic not to drink French wine, and Port became popular. Its introduction was owing (p. 152) to the treaty with Portugal in 1703, called the Methuen Treaty, from the name of our minister at Lisbon. It is famed as being the shortest treaty known, consisting of only two clauses, one that the Portuguese should take British cloths, and the other that Portuguese wines should be admitted here at one third less duty than the French wines paid. Red Viana seems to have been frequently substituted for port, and it was sold at about 5s. a gallon. Then there were White Viana, Lisbon, Passada, Annadea, Bende Carlo (Beni Carlos), Barrabar, Carcavella, and Ribidavia, whilst the Spanish wines were Sherry, Malaga, Tent, Saragusa, Villa Nova, Barcelona, Alicant, Re Gallicia, Sallo or Mattero, and White Muscadine. There were Florence wines, which came over in rush-covered flasks with oil in the neck of the flasks—Chiante, Multapulchana (? Montepulciano), Madeira, Canary, Tockay from Hungary, and also (verily, there is very little new under the sun) Carlowitz, from the same country; there were wines from Neuchatel, and a wine I cannot class, called Mount Allaguer. We hear very little of Rhenish wines. In 'Tunbridge Walks' an uncomplimentary reference is made, 'Dam rotgut Rhenish'; but fine old hock was selling in 1713 at 26s. a dozen, including bottles, or new Rhenish might be had for 1s. 8d. a quart, or 6s. a gallon. It is hardly worth going into the prices of these miscellaneous wines. One advertisement will be sufficient. 'Advertisement to Private Families of 33 Dozen Bottles of excellent rich Palm Canary Wine, a Flower; also 45 Dozen of Curious Red Zant, a most noble and scarce Wine, no Champaign or Burgundy drinks finer, and likewise 60 Dozen of Choice Florence Wine, true Flavour and Colour, all perfect Neat, and as good as ever was tasted, reserv'd by a Gentleman for his own drinking, but oblig'd to sell them: The Palm Wine at 30s. a Dozen, the Zant and Florence each 36s. Bottles and all (none less than 4 Bottles) which is but at the rate of 2s. 3d. a Quart for the Palm Wine, and 2s. 9d. for the Zant and Florence, tho' would fetch more if the Owner could Keep them, the like being scarcely to be had in Town, at leastwise not under 3s. a Quart the first, and 3s. 6d. the last, if for that, and will be dearer.'

Retailers had to take out a licence to sell wine; and of course there were customs duties. Luttrell says, Dec. 4, 1703: 'Yesterday the Commons, in a Committee upon the Supply, resolved, nemine contradicente, that 1s. per gallon be laid upon all Wines over and above the present Customs, to be paid by the retailer;' but, afterwards, he writes, Jan. 15, 1704, that the Commons rejected the bill for 1s. per gallon upon wines. On March 20, 1706, the Queen gave her royal assent to an Act 'for a further duty on low Wines'; and, in 1713, French wines paid a duty of 4s. 6d. per gallon!

The wine merchants of the time were an enterprising firm named Brooke & Hellier (mentioned in the Spectator more than once), who had several branch establishments in various parts of London, even brought wine by road from Bristol, and one year paid as much as 25,000l. customs duties; but they came to grief (p. 153) in 1712, and dissolved partnership. Brooke afterwards set up in business by himself.

There was Batavian arrack for those that liked it, usquebaugh (both green and golden), and brandy—especially Nants brandy—beloved of the poor in penny drams. Not but what there were other brandies—Gaudarella, Viana or Fial (? Fayal), Strasburg, Spanish, and even our familiar old friend British brandy. The average retail price of 'right Nants' seems to have been about 12s. per gallon, but Spanish could be got 2s. 6d. per gallon cheaper. In 1713 the customs duty on brandy was 6s. 8d. per gallon; freight and leakage came to 2s. 6d.; so that it did not leave much profit after paying for the brandy.

There were liqueurs and cordials; and they must have been very diversified, for the name of the 'Still room' was not then an empty sound; and scandal just whispered that it was sometimes possible that the dear creatures tasted their own manufactures. Are we to believe the following sketch? 'It would make a Man smile to behold her Figure in a front Box, where her twinkling Eyes, by her Afternoon's Drams of Ratifee and cold Tea, sparkle more than her Pendants.... Her Closet is always as well stor'd with Juleps, Restoratives, and Strong Waters, as an Apothecary's Shop, or a Distiller's Laboratory; and is herself so notable a Housewife in the Art of preparing them that she has a larger Collection of Chemical Receipts than a Dutch Mountebank.... As soon as she rises, she must have a Salutary Dram to keep her Stomach from the Cholick; a Whet before she eats, to procure Appetite; after eating, a plentiful Dose for Concoction; and to be sure a Bottle of Brandy under her Bed side for fear of fainting in the Night.'[277]

These cordials were not always palatable, if we can believe Addison's description of 'Widow Trueby's Water,' which Sir Roger 'always drank before he went abroad.' There were the 'Ratafia of Apricocks,' the 'Fenouillette of Rhé,' 'Millefleurs,' 'Orangiat,' 'Burgamot,' 'Pesciot,' and citron or cithern water, with many others. Elder and other home-made wines were in use. Let us see how they were appreciated. 'Her female Ancestors have always been fam'd for good Housewifry, one of whom is made immortal, by giving her Name to an Eye Water and two sorts of Puddings. I cannot undertake to recite all her Medicinal Preparations; as Salves, Sere cloths, Powders, Confects, Cordials, Ratifia, Persico, Orange Flower, and Cherry Brandy, together with innumerable sorts of Simple Waters. But there is nothing I lay so much to Heart, as that detestable Catalogue of Counterfeit Wines, which derive their Names from the Fruits, Herbs or trees of whose Juices they are chiefly compounded: They are loathsome to the taste and pernicious to the health; and as they seldom survive the Year, and then are thrown away, under a false Pretence of Frugality, I may (p. 154) affirm they stand me in more than if I entertain'd all our Visiters with the best Burgundy and Champaign.'[278]

Punch had begun to make its appearance, but it was a simple liquor to what afterwards became known by that name. Here is a receipt given by a noted brandy merchant of the time: 'Major Bird's Receipt to make Punch of his Brandy. Take 1 Quart of his Brandy, and it will bear 2 Quarts and a Pint of Spring Water; if you drink it very strong, then 2 Quarts of Water to a Quart of Brandy, with 6 or 8 Lisbon Lemmons, and half a Pound of fine Loaf Sugar: Then you will find it to have a curious fine scent and flavour, and Drink and Taste as clean as Burgundy Wine.'

There was also an intoxicating liquor, still in limited use, called 'Brunswick Mum,' whose price was '9s. the dozen without doors, and 10s. within.' The name of this compound is supposed to be derived from its power of making men speechlessly drunk.

The clamorous crowd is hush'd with mugs of mum,
Till all, turn'd equal, send a general hum.

Bottled cyder, too, could be obtained at 6s. per dozen.

The antidote to all these intoxicants was to be found in 'The Essence of Prunes, Chymically prepar'd by a Son of Monsieur Rochefort, a Sworn Chymist of France. It gives English Spirits the smell and taste of Nantz Brandy; it prevents any Liquor from intoxicating the Brain.'

We must not forget, however, that tea, coffee, and chocolate were in much demand, and that both the coffee and chocolate houses really supplied these beverages as their staple article. Tea was more of a home drink, and was very dear, reckoning the different values of money. Perhaps there were greater fluctuations in its price than in any other article of food. Black tea varied in 1704 from 12s. to 16s. per lb.; in 1706, 14s. to 16s.; in 1707, which seems to have been an exceptionally dear year, 16s., 20s., 22s., 24s., 30s., and 32s.; in 1709, it was from 14s. to 28s.; and in 1710, 12s. to 28s. Green tea in 1705 was 13s. 6d.; in 1707, 20s., 22s., 26s.; in 1709, 10s. to 15s.; and in 1710, 10s. to 16s. The difference between old and new is given once. The new tea is 14s., and the old 12s. and 10s.

The margins in price are not only accounted for by the difference in age, but it was well known that old leaves were redried, and used in the cheaper sorts; indeed, there is a very curious advertisement in the advertising portion of the Tatler, Aug. 26, 1710: 'Bohea Tea, made of the same Materials that Foreign Bohea is made of, 16s. a Pound. Sold by R. Fary only, at the Bell in Grace Church Street, Druggist. Note. The Natural Pecko Tea will remain, after Infusion, of a light grey Colour. All other Bohea Tea, tho' there be White in it, will Change Colour, and is artificial.'

Luttrell writes, Dec. 16, 1704: 'The Commons in a Committee (p. 155) of wayes and means, resolved to double the duties on Coffee, Tea, and Chocolate.'

The first noteworthy incident in the price of coffee in this reign is an advertisement.[279] 'Whereas Coffee was formerly sold at 2s. 6d. per pound, and is now already amounted to betwixt 6s. and 7s. per pound, the Majority of the Retailers have thought it reasonable to request their Customers to pay 3 half pence per Dish, and do assure that no person that sells Coffee for 1d. a Dish can make good Coffee.' It is rather interesting to watch the fluctuations in price. In 1706, from 6s. to 6s. 8d. per lb.; in 1707, from 7s. it fell to 5s. 10d. and 5s. 4d.; in 1708 it rose, either owing to speculation, or a failure in the crop, to 8s. 4d., 10s., and 11s. 6d., which was the highest price, when it fell to 9s. 10d. and 9s. In 1709 it still further fell—7s. 4d. and 6s. 8d.; and in 1710 it was 5s. 8d.

Attention was paid to its manufacture, for we find that 'Thomas Burges, Druggist, removed from Snow hill to the Blew Anchor in Fleet Street, near Serjeants Inn, sells the best of Coffee roasted after a new way, having a better flavour, and is a much sweeter way than the common method of roasting Coffee.'

As tea came into favour, chocolate-drinking fell into disuse, although it was generally taken as a drink the first thing in the morning, before taking tea and toast. It was of two kinds, Caracas or Caraco, and Martineco; and the former was the most esteemed. It was roasted and ground, and either sold plain or mixed with sugar. Its usual price was 3s. per lb. for the one, and 2s. 6d. for the other. Early in 1703, a man advertised a machine of his invention, for making chocolate of a far superior quality, at least 1s. per lb. under the then prices; and, as his advertisements are somewhat curious, an example is given: 'To the Nobility and Gentry. Whereas the Author of the new Invention for making Chocolate, hath given a general Satisfaction both for its fineness, goodness and Cheapness, to all those that ever yet drank of the same, besides the Satisfaction all persons have of its being cleanly made, upon sight of the Invention, which some Malicious persons, the better to impose upon the World to vend their foul broken Nuts does imitate; but for the working part are as Ignorant as a Natural Bull. But the Author of this Invention thinks himself oblig'd to declare to the World, after 10 Years improving the same with great charge and labour, as many honourable persons in London can testifie; and if any person can make it appear, that they were the first Inventers of this so great a conveniency, as does no ways exceed 12 Inches, before himself, the Author will lay it by, and Act no more, notwithstanding he is now actually petitioning Her Majesty for a Patten, and, till such time as he shall obtain the same, will continue to make and sell his Chocolate at these Rates following, viz. All Spanish Nut with Vanello at 4s. 8d. a pound, plain 4s. 2d. all Marteneco Nut with Vanello 3s. 8d.—plain 3s. 2d.—both (p. 156) sorts made up with Sugar answerable. If any Chocolate maker, or others, can make it appear he reserves above 8d. in selling a pound for labour and charges in making, a farther remittance shall be made in the price.' This gentleman subsequently advertised that he sold it at '2d. per Dish liquid—14d. a Quart without doors. Sundays excepted.'

The duty on the nuts was sufficiently high to induce smuggling. 'Last Week 6 Sacks of Cocoa Nuts were seiz'd by a Custom House Officer, being brought up to Town for so many sacks of Beans.'[280]


Habit of smoking — Women and children smoking — Prices of tobacco — Customs duty — Origin of snuff-taking — The Vigo Expedition — Snuff rasps — Ladies taking snuff — Proper use of the snuff-box — Use of a spoon — Prices of snuffs — List of ditto — Duty on snuff.

Allusion has been made to the prevalent use of tobacco, both in smoking and as snuff; and, perhaps, at no time in the century was there a larger consumption. The habit of meeting convivially at the coffee-houses, and taverns, favoured the practice of smoking among the men. Ward, who disliked smoking, gives the following account of a famous tobacco shop in Fleet Street. Speaking of the company assembled, he says: 'There was no Talking amongst 'em, but Puff was the Period of every Sentence; and what they said was as short as possible, for fear of losing the Pleasure of a Whiff, as How d'ye do? Puff. Thank ye. Puff. Is the Weed good? Puff. Excellent. Puff. It's fine Weather. Puff. G—d be thanked. Puff. What's a clock? Puff, &c. Behind the Counter stood a Complaisant Spark who I observ'd show'd as much Breeding in the Sale of a Pennyworth of Tobacco, and the Change of a Shilling, as a Courteous Footman when he meets his Brother Skip in the Middle of Covent Garden; and is so very Dexterous in Discharge of his Occupation, that he guesses from a Pound of Tobacco to an Ounce, to the certainty of one single Corn. And will serve more Pennyworths of Tobacco in half an Hour, than some Clouterly Mundungus Sellers shall be able to do in half Four and Twenty. He never makes a Man wait the Tenth part of a Minute for his Change, but will so readily fling you down all Sums, without Counting, from a Guinea to three Pennyworth of Farthings, that you would think he had it ready in his Hand for you before you ask'd him for it. He was very generous of his Small beer to a good Customer; and I am bound to say thus much in his behalf, That he will show a Man (p. 157) more Civility for the taking of a Penny than many Mechanicks will do for the taking a Pound.'

'Tobacco is very much used in England. The very Women take it in Abundance, particular'y in the Western Counties,' writes Misson, and Brown also mentions the practice; but, although Jorevin reports that in Charles the Second's time, in Worcestershire, it was not only usual for the women to join the men in smoking, but that the children were sent to school with pipes in their satchels, and the schoolmaster called a halt in their studies whilst they all smoked—he teaching the neophytes—yet Thoresby runs him very hard. '20 Jan. 1702. Evening with brother &c. at Garraway's[281] Coffee House; was surprised to see his sickly child of three years old fill its pipe of Tobacco and smoke it as audfarandly as a man of three score; after that, a second and a third pipe without the least concern, as it is said to have done above a year ago.'

The tobacco was twisted into rope and made up in rolls, more after the fashion of Varinas Knaster than of our other twisted tobaccos, and it generally had to be cut up before using. Its price may be learned from the following advertisements. 'Whereas there has been several Persons who have pretended to sell the true Spanish roll'd Tobacco; These are therefore to inform the World, that Jeremiah Stoaks at Garraway's Coffee House in Exchange Ally, bought the whole Parcel that was brought into England, as by Prize taken by Her Majesty's Fleet at Vigo, and that there is not a Nett Portacco in England but what he has in his Hands; These are therefore to advise all Gentlemen, that they may be furnish'd with the same tobacco at 8s. per Pound, at the above mentioned Place, and no where else.' This class of tobacco was evidently exceedingly choice, comparing it with the ordinary price. 'Benjamin Howes, Tobacconist, at the Corner of Shoe Lane in Fleet Street, London, who hath lived there 30 years and upwards; he was Partner with Mr. Montague, did sell his best old, mild, sweet-scented Virginia Tobacco for 2s. per Pound, does now, and will continue to sell the same for 20d., either Large Cut, Small or Long Cut, and Penny Papers for Taverns or Publick Houses, full half Ounces for 20d. a Pound (for present Money). He sells right Spanish in the Roll for 8s. a Pound, and Spanish and Virginia mixt for 3s. a pound, and Encouragement to Country Chapmen.'

There was a Customs duty on tobacco, of course; and we find, in 1707, the Irish Parliament increasing this tax, among many others, in order to vote a supply of 135,000l. to Her Majesty. 'Dublin, 5 Aug. Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee that the said Additional Duty be three pence halfpenny per Pound weight on all Tobacco which shall be so Imported into this Kingdom, from and after the said 29th day of September 1707 over and above the Hereditary Duty of two pence halfpenny per Pound, payable for the same.'

(p. 158) But it was the singular growth of the practice of taking snuff that specially marks the reign of Anne, before which time it was comparatively unknown. Lillie, the perfumer, previously mentioned, sold snuff, as all his craft did: and from him we get a very interesting account of its rise. He says: 'Before the year 1702, when we sent out a fleet of ships under the command of Sir George Rooke, with land forces commanded by the Duke of Ormond, in order to make a descent on Cadiz, snuff taking was very rare, and, indeed, little known in England; it being chiefly a luxurious habit among foreigners residing here, and a few of the English gentry who had travelled abroad. Among these, the mode of taking the snuff was with pipes of the size of quills, out of small spring boxes. These pipes let out a very small quantity of snuff, upon the back of the hand, and this was snuffed up the nostrils with the intention of producing the sensation of sneezing, which, I need not say, forms now no part of the design, or rather fashion of snuff taking.

'But to return to our expedition by sea. When the fleet arrived near Cadiz, our land forces were disembarked at a place called Port St. Mary, where, after some fruitless attempts, it was resolved to re-embark the troops, and set sail for England. But previous to this, Port St. Mary, and some adjacent places were plundered. Here, besides some very rich merchandize, plate, jewels, pictures, and a great quantity of cochineal, several thousand barrels and casks of fine snuffs were taken, which had been manufactured in different parts of Spain. Each of these contained four tin canisters of snuff of the best growth, and of the finest Spanish manufacture.

'With this plunder on board (which fell chiefly to the share of the land officers) the fleet was returning to England; but, on the way, it was resolved to pay a visit to Vigo, a considerable port in Spain, where the Admiral had advice that a number of galleons from the Havannah, richly laden, had put in. Here our fleet got in and destroyed most, or all of the Spanish shipping, and the plunder was exceedingly rich and valuable.

'It now came to the turn of the sea officers and sailors to be snuff proprietors and merchants; for, at Vigo, they became possessed of prodigious quantities of gross snuff, from the Havannah, in bales, bags, and scrows,[282] which were designed for manufacture in different parts of Spain. Thus, though snuff taking was very little known or practised in England, at that period, the quantities taken in this expedition, (which was estimated at fifty tons weight,) plainly shew that in the other countries of Europe, snuff was held in great estimation, and that the taking of it was considered not at all unfashionable.

'The fleet having returned to England, and the ships being ordered to be laid in their several ports, the sea officers and sailors brought their snuff (which was called, by way of victorious distinction, Vigo Snuff,) to a very quick and cheap market; waggonloads (p. 159) of it being sold at Portsmouth, Plymouth, and Chatham, for not more than three or four pence per pound.

'This sort of bale snuff had never been seen or known in England before, except through some Spanish Jews, who, in the present case, bought up almost the whole quantity at a considerable advantage.

'The land officers, who were possessed of the fine snuffs taken at Port St. Mary, sold some of them in the several ports at which they landed. Others of them, however, understood better the nature of the commodity which had fallen to their share, and kept it for several years, selling it off by degrees, for very high prices.

'From the above mentioned quantity of different snuffs, thus distributed throughout the kingdom, novelty being quickly embraced by us in England, arose the custom and fashion of snuff taking; and, growing upon the whole nation, by degrees, it is now almost as universal here, as in any other part of Europe.'

But snuff was not always sold ready made: people made their own, out of roll tobacco—by means of rasps, which were generally carried in the pocket. Specimens of these rasps may be seen at the South Kensington Museum, but, unless they are in some loan collection, they are very poor examples. In private collections, and especially on the Continent, are some of them, being exquisite specimens of ivory carving. 'Then there's the Miscellany, an apron for Stella, a pound of chocolate, without sugar, for Stella, a fine snuff rasp of ivory, given me by Mrs. St. John for Dingley, and a large roll of tobacco, which she must hide, or cut shorter out of modesty, and four pair of spectacles for the Lord knows who.'[283]

Here we see how customary it was for ladies to take snuff in 1711, although Steele seems to be shocked at it, as quite a new fashion in 1712. Vide his letter in Spectator (344): 'I have writ to you three or four times to desire you would take notice of an impertinent Custom the Women, the fine Women, have lately fallen into, of taking Snuff. This silly Trick is attended with such a Coquet Air in some Ladies, and such a sedate Masculine one in others, that I can not tell which to most complain of; but they are to me equally disagreeable. Mrs. Saunter is so impatient of being without it, that she takes it as often as she does Salt at meals; and as she affects a wonderful Ease and Negligence in all her manners, an upper Lip mixed with Snuff and the Sauce is what is presented to the Observation of all who have the honour to eat with her. The pretty Creature her Niece does all she can to be as disagreeable as her Aunt; and, if she is not so offensive to the Eye, she is quite as much to the Ear, and makes up all she wants in a confident Air, by a nauseous Rattle of the Nose, when the Snuff is delivered, and the Fingers make the Stops and Closes on the Nostrils.... But Flavilla is so far taken with her Behaviour in this kind, that she pulls out her Box (which is indeed full of good Brazile) in the (p. 160) middle of the Sermon;[284] and to shew she has the Audacity of a well bred Woman, she offers it to the Men, as well as to the Women who sit near her.... On Sunday was sennight, when they came about for the Offering, she gave her Charity with a very good Air, but at the same Time asked the Church warden if he would take a Pinch.'

But, if the ladies took snuff, how much more did the men? who were especially addicted to 'the humour of taking Snuff, and looking dirty about the mouth by way of ornament.' They took snuff 'with a very Jantee Air,'[285] as is well exemplified by Steele's humorous puff in Spectator (138): 'The Exercise of the Snuff Box, according to the most fashionable Airs and Motions, in opposition to the Exercise of the Fan, will be taught with the best plain or perfumed Snuff at Charles Lillie's, Perfumer, at the Corner of Beaufort Buildings in the Strand, and Attendance given for the Benefit of the young Merchants about the Exchange for two hours every day at Noon, except Sundays, at a Toy Shop near Garraway's Coffee House. There will likewise be Taught The Ceremony of the Snuff box, or Rules for offering Snuff to a Stranger, a Friend, or a Mistress, according to the Degrees of Familiarity or Distance; with an Explanation of the Careless, the Scornful, the Politick, and the Surly Pinch, and the Gestures proper to each of them.'

Snuff was not always taken with the finger and thumb, but a spoon was used—as it is now, in some parts of Scotland, Lapland, Sweden, Norway, and China. In the prologue of a play called 'Hampstead Heath,' published in 1706, this habit is mentioned.

To Noddles cram'd with Dighton's musty Snuff
Whose nicer Tasts think Wit consists alone
In Tunbridge Wooden Box with Wooden Spoon.

And in the play (Act 3):—

Chum. Madam, I beg your Pardon, 'tis what the Jews take; but I carry sweet Snuff for the Ladies. (Shows another box.)

Arabella. A Spoon too, that's very gallant; for to see some People run their fat Fingers into a Box is as nauseous as eating without a Fork.

The prices of snuffs varied much in this reign: the following is the best list I can make out:—

  1705. 1706. 1707. 1711. 1713.
  s. d. s. d.   s. d. s. d. s. d.  
Lisbon p. oz. 1 6 1 8 and 1s. 2d. 2 p. lb. 26s. 1 6 or p. lb. 20s.
Tunquin " 1 6      
Spanish "   6 p. lb. 2s. 6d. & 4s. 3 6 to 5s. p. lb.
Havanna "   6   6 0 p. lb.
Seville "   6      
Italian " 1 6 and 1s.    
Burgamot " 1 6 and 1s.    
Musty "   6      
Brazile "   6   6s. p. lb. 84s. 2s. 6d. p. lb. 32s. 3s. p. oz.

(p. 161) A more exhaustive list could have been made, but enough is given to show the difference in price of the various sorts. These were more than have just been given, and included Oronoko, Barcelona, Portugal, Tonkar, Orangerie, Port St. Mary's, Alicant, Rancia, and Cabinet Havannah.

And there were snuffs which hardly came under the category of harmless sternutatories: as, 'The true Imperial Golden Snuff; which thousands of People have found to be the most effectual Remedy ever known, for all Distempers of the Head and Brain; It immediately cures the Headach, be the Pain ever so violent; instantly removes Drowsiness, Sleepiness, Giddiness and Vapours; it is most excellent against Deafness and Noise in the Ears; cures stoppages or cold in the Head, &c.; and far exceeds all other Snuff for all Humours in the Eyes and Dimness of sight, and certainly prevents Appoplexies and Falling Sickness.'

Snuff played its part in helping to pay for the long war with France.[286] '9 Feb. 1710. Yesterday the House of Commons, in a Committee on Ways and means, resolved, that ... a duty of 3s. per pound be laid upon Snuff above what it already pays, except that of Her Majesty's growth.'


Universal use of coffee-houses — Their convenience — Company — First coffee-house — Number of them — Anecdote of Bishop Trelawney — Description of interior — The news — Advance in price — Chocolate-houses — Famous coffee-houses — Button's Lion — Lloyd's — Sales by candle — Jenny Man — Don Saltero's collection — Taverns — Noblemen frequenting them — Drinking own wine — Purl houses — List of old taverns.


The coffee-house was not a new institution in Anne's reign, but then it reached the zenith of its popularity. It was the centre of news, the lounge of the idler, the rendezvous for appointments, the mart for business men. Men might have their letters left there, as did Swift;[287] 'Yet Presto[288] ben't angry, faith, not a bit, only he will begin to be in pain next Irish Post, except he sees M.D.'s little handwriting in the glass frame at the bar of St. James's Coffee House, where Presto would never go but for that purpose.' They were alike the haunt of the wit and the man of fashion—a neutral meeting-ground for all men, although they naturally assorted themselves, like to like, by degrees. There

The gentle Beau too, Joyns in wise Debate,
Adjusts his Cravat, and Reforms the State[289]

(p. 163) —and he might even rub shoulders with a highwayman, as Farquhar suggests, when he makes Aimwell say to Gibbet,[290] who is a highwayman, 'Pray Sir, ha'nt I seen your face at Will's Coffee House?' and he replies, 'Yes Sir, and at White's too.' But the excellent rules in force, and the good common sense of the frequenters, prevented any ill effects from this admixture of classes. All were equal, and took the first seat which came to hand. If a man swore, he was fined 1s., and if he began a quarrel he was fined 'dishes' round. Discussion on religion was prohibited, no card-playing or dicing allowed, and no wager might be made exceeding 5s. These were the simple rules generally used, and, if they were only complied with, all must have felt the benefit of such a mild despotism.

Wood mentions that the first coffee-house was at Oxford, and was kept, in 1650, by Jacobs, a Jew. The first in London seems to have been kept by a foreigner named Rosa Pasquee, in 1652, in St. Michael's Alley, Cornhill, whilst Hatton says[291]: 'I find it Recorded that one James Farr, a Barber, who kept the Coffee House which now is the Rainbow, by the Inner Temple Gate, (one of the first in England) was in the year 1657 presented by the Inquest of St. Dunstans in the W. for Making and Selling a sort of Liquor, called Coffee, as a great Nusance and Prejudice of the neighbourhood, &c. And who would then have thought London would ever have had near 3,000 such Nusances, and that Coffee should have been (as now) so much Drank by the best of Quality and Physicians.' Of these 'near 3,000' I have, in my searches through the newspapers, etc., of the period, found the names of over 500, which, to preserve them again from falling into oblivion, are to be found in the Appendix to this book.

These coffee-houses sold alcoholic liquors as well as coffee; a fact which is somewhat whimsically illustrated in the following extract from a letter of Bishop Trelawney to Bishop Sprat, July 20, 1702 or 3.[292] 'I had a particular obligation to Burnett, and will publicly thank him in print (among other matters I have to say to him, and to his Articles against our religion) for his causing it to be spread by his emissaries that I was drunk at Salisbury the 30th of January; whereas the Major General,[293] Captain Culleford, a very honest Clergyman, and the people of the Inn (which was a coffee house too) can swear I drank nothing but two dishes of Coffee; and, indeed I had not stopped at all, but to enable my children by a very slender bait, to hold out to Blandford, where I dined at 6 that night.'

Misson, speaking of coffee-houses, says: 'These Houses, which (p. 164) are very numerous in London, are extreamly convenient. You have all Manner of News there: You have a good Fire, which you may sit by as long as you please; You have a Dish of Coffee, you meet your Friends for the Transaction of Business, and all for a Penny, if you don't Care to spend more.' Yes, that was all—anybody, decently dressed, might have all this accommodation for One Penny. 'Laying down my Penny upon the Bar,' writes Addison,[294] and 'so briefly deposited my Copper at the Bar,' says Brown, show that the habitués spent no more; and Steele, in the first number of the Tatler, speaking of the expenses attending the production of the paper, says: 'I once more desire my readers to consider, that as I cannot keep an ingenious man to go daily to Will's under two pence each day, merely for his charges; to White's under sixpence; nor to the Grecian, without allowing him some plain Spanish (snuff) to be as able as others at the learned table,' etc.

A man with leisure got rid of some hours daily at the coffee-house, or houses, and such a one would spend from 10 A.M. till noon, and again, after his two-o'clock dinner, would be there from 4 to 6, when he would leave for the theatre, or his turn in the park.

The illustration gives us an excellent idea of the interior of a coffee-house, and its domestic economy—the dame de comptoir, the roaring fire with its perpetual supply of hot water, and its coffee and tea pots set close by, so as to be kept warm, and the very plain tables and stools, show the accommodation that was required, and accepted, by the very plain-living people of that day.

A coffee-house is necessarily a pièce de résistance with Ward. He describes it graphically, though somewhat roughly, and he brings the scene of the interior vividly before our eyes. 'Come, says my Friend, let us step into this Coffee House here; as you are a Stranger in the Town, it will afford you some Diversion. Accordingly in we went, where a parcel of Muddling Muckworms were as busy as so many Rats in an old Cheese Loft; some Going, some Coming, some Scribling, some Talking, some Drinking, some Smoaking, others Jangling; and the whole Room stinking of Tobacco, like a Dutch Scoot or a Boatswain's Cabbin. The Walls being hung with Gilt Frames, as a Farriers shop with Horse shooes; which contain'd abundance of Rarities, viz. Nectar and Ambrosia, May Dew, Golden Elixirs, Popular Pills, Liquid Snuff, Beautifying Waters, Dentifrisis, Drops, Lozenges, all as infallible as the Pope,

Where every one above the rest
Deservedly has gain'd the Name of Best

(as the famous Saffold has it).'

Brown, also, has plenty to say about them, but one short extract only will be borrowed: 'Every Coffee House is illuminated both without and within doors; without by a fine glass Lantern, and within by a Woman so light and splendid, you may see through (p. 165) her without the help of a Perspective. At the Bar the good Man always places a Charming Phillis or two, who invite you by their amorous glances into their smoaky Territories, to the loss of your sight.' These 'pretty barmaids' are spoken of by Steele[295]: 'Upon reading your late Dissertation concerning Idols, I cannot but complain to you that there are, in Six or Seven Places of this City, Coffee houses kept by Persons of that Sisterhood. These Idols sit and receive all Day long the adoration of the Youth within such and such Districts,' etc. Another contemporary[296] notices that 'A Handsom Bar keeper invites more than the Bush. She's the Loadstone that attracts Men of Steel, both those that wear it to some purpose, and those that wear it to none. No City Dame is demurer than she at first Greeting, nor draws in her Mouth with a Chaster Simper; but in a little time you may be more familiar, and she'll hear a double Entendre without blushing.'

Steele[297] gives a polished account of coffee-house frequenters and politicians: 'I, who am at the Coffee house at Six in a Morning, know that my friend Beaver the Haberdasher has a Levy of more undissembled Friends and Admirers, than most of the Courtiers or Generals of Great Britain. Every Man about him has, perhaps, a News Paper in his Hand; but none can pretend to guess what Step will be taken in any one Court of Europe, till Mr. Beaver has thrown down his Pipe, and declares what Measures the Allies must enter into upon this new Posture of Affairs. Our Coffee House is near one of the Inns of Court, and Beaver has the Audience and Admiration of his Neighbours from Six 'till within a Quarter of Eight, at which time he is interrupted by the Students of the House; some of whom are ready dress'd for Westminster, at Eight in a Morning, with Faces as busie as if they were retained in every Cause there; and others come in their Night Gowns to saunter away their Time, as if they never designed to go thither. I do not know that I meet in any of my Walks, Objects which move both my Spleen and laughter so effectually, as these young Fellows at the Grecian, Squire's, Searle's, and all other Coffee Houses adjacent to the Law, who rise early for no other purpose but to publish their Laziness. One would think these young Virtuosos take a gay Cap and Slippers, with a Scarf and Party Coloured Gown, to be Ensigns of Dignity, for the vain things approach each other with an Air, which shews they regard one another for their Vestments.... When the Day grows too busie for these Gentlemen to enjoy any longer the Pleasures of their Deshabille with any manner of Confidence, they give place to Men who have Business or Good Sense in their Faces, and come to the Coffee house, either to transact Affairs or enjoy Conversation.'

News was, of course, one of the prime objects of these gatherings. 'I love News extreamly, I have read Three News Letters to day. I go from Coffee House to Coffee House all day on (p. 166) Purpose,'[298] was literally true of some men. Not that their little newspapers gave them much—but of them hereafter. Yet there was a chance of hearing some news before it got into the papers; and the quidnuncs would go to the Windsor, where was to be had 'also the Translation of the Harlem Courant, soon after the Post is come,' or to Grigsby's, where 'all Foreign News is taken in, and Translated into English immediately after the arrival of any Mail,' or to Elford's, where 'is to be seen and read Gratis, the Journal of the famous Voyage of the Duke and Dutchess Privateer of Bristol that took the rich Aquiápulca Ship containing many remarkable Transactions. Also an Account of a Man living alone 4 Years and 4 Months in the Island of John Fernando, which they brought with them.' This was, of course, Alexander Selkirk, who was brought off the island on February 12, 1709; and this log, or the coffee-house gossip anent it, probably furnished the inspiration for 'Robinson Crusoe,' which Defoe published in 1719.

We have seen how the coffee-house keepers tried to advance their beverages from 1d. to 1-1/2d. because of the rise in coffee; but the effort was spasmodic, and did not last. They had a far better cry in 1712, as we find in the Daily Courant of August 8 in that year. 'These are to give Notice, That the Coffee Men by reason of the present Taxes on Coffee, Tea, Paper, Candles, and Stamps on all Newspapers, find themselves under a necessity of advancing some of their Liquors to the prices following; viz, Coffee 2d. per dish: Green Tea 3 halfpence; and all Drams 2d. per Dram: to commence from this day.' Let us hope when they got this huge advance they made their tea stronger, and did not give their customers 'that pall'd Stuff too often found in mean Coffee Houses.'[299]

No doubt, from the familiar abbreviations, such as Tom's, Ned's, Will's, John's, etc., some of the coffee-houses were kept by waiters who had saved a little money—such an one as 'Tom the Tyrant; who, as first Minister of the Coffee House, takes the Government upon him between the Hours of Eleven and Twelve at night, and gives his Orders in the most Arbitrary manner to the Servants below him as to the Disposition of Liquors, Coal and Cinders;'[300] while Kidney, the waiter at the St. James's Coffee House, immortalised in the Tatler as having 'the ear of the greatest politicians that come hither,' could not be spoken with 'without clean linen.'

The chocolate-houses seem to have been a specialty, and they were few in number. In the commencement of the reign, in 1702, chocolate was sold at 12d. the quart, 2d. the dish. I can only find the names of five chocolate-houses (describing themselves as such), and but two of them are of any note, White's and the Cocoa Tree. White's was started in 1698, and was, in Queen Anne's reign, (p. 167) situated five doors from the bottom of the west side of St. James's Street, ascending from St. James's Palace. It had a small garden attached to it. This house was burnt down in 1733, the King and Prince of Wales looking on. Hogarth has immortalised this event in Plate 6 of the 'Rake's Progress.' It was to all intents and purposes a gambling house. When White died is not known, but Mrs. White had it in March 1712. Afterwards it passed into the hands of Arthur, who had it when it was burnt down; and he removed next door to the St. James's Coffee House. It soon ceased to be a chocolate-house, and became a club. In 1755 it was removed to No. 38, on the opposite or east side of St. James's Street. White's Club is supposed to be political; but, apart from its members being Conservative, it takes no leading part, contenting itself with being extremely aristocratic.

The Cocoa Tree Chocolate House stood at the end of Pall Mall, on the site of what now is 87 St. James's Street. It was a Tory house; indeed, Defoe says, 'A Whig will no more go to the Cocoa Tree or Ozinda's, than a Tory will be seen at the Coffee house of St. James's.' The Cocoa Tree Club is now held at 64 St. James's Street.

As the coffee-houses occupied so prominent a part in the social economy of the time, a very brief notice of some of the best known will be of interest. Anderton's is still in Fleet Street, beloved of Freemasons and literary men. Batson's, in Cornhill, was a famous meeting-place for physicians. The Bay Tree still stands in St. Swithin's Lane. Button's, which was opposite Tom's, in Russell Street, Covent Garden, was a great resort of Addison's; and here contributions to the Guardian could be received. The lion's head which served as a letter-box has been immortalised in that paper. It was in imitation of the famous lion at Venice. The original is still in existence, but is not always accessible to the curious. It was removed from Button's when that coffee-house was taken down, and took refuge in the Shakespeare's Head Tavern, Covent Garden. For a time it was placed in the Bedford Coffee House, and was used as a letter box for contributions to The Inspector. It returned to the Shakespeare's Head in 1769, and remained there till 1804. It was then bought by Charles Richardson, the proprietor of Richardson's Hotel, and at his death it came into the possession of his son, who sold it to the Duke of Bedford, and it is now preserved in Woburn Abbey.

Child's was in St. Paul's Churchyard, and was famous for its learned frequenters. It was not far from the College of Physicians, which was then in Warwick Lane, so doctors came there, and, chief among them, Dr. Mead. Sir Hans Sloane and other members of the Royal Society dropped in, and the house was a noted resort of clergymen—so much so, that it is mentioned as such in the Spectator (No. 609): 'For that a young Divine, after his first Degree in the University, usually comes hither only to shew himself, and on that Occasion is apt to think he is but half equipp'd with a Gown and (p. 168) Cassock for his publick Appearance, if he hath not the additional Ornament of a Scarf of the first Magnitude to entitle him to the appellation of Doctor from his Landlady, and the Boy at Child's.'

The Camisards was in St. Martin's Lane, and took its name from the Camisars, who were French religious fanatics, who, being persecuted in their own country, came over here in 1707. They claimed the gifts of prophecy, and of working miracles. The sect soon died out. Dick's, in Fleet Street, still stands, and was so called from its first proprietor, Richard Turner, in 1680.

Garraway's is famous, and derived its name from its original proprietor, Thomas Garway, a tobacconist and coffeeman, who had it in the middle of the 17th century. He is said to have been the first to retail tea. It was always a mercantile resort, and here were sold wines, etc., by auction. The Grecian, in Devereux Court, Temple, was chiefly visited by learned men; it was from this place that Steele, in his scheme of the Tatler, said that all accounts of learning should appear under the title of Grecian. It was not, however, because of this proclivity that it obtained its classical name: it was kept by a Greek named Constantine. Apart from its being naturally frequented by the lawyers, the scientific élite went there, as we gather from Thoresby, June 12, 1712: 'Attended the Royal Society, where I found Dr. Douglas dissecting a dolphin, lately caught in the Thames, where were present the President, Sir Isaac Newton, both the Secretaries, the two Professors from Oxford, Dr. Halley and Keil, with others, whose company we afterwards enjoyed at the Grecian Coffee House.' The Guildhall Coffee House still survives.

Jonathan's was essentially a stockjobbers' house, and was in Exchange Alley, as was also Baker's, which had a similar clientèle. 'I have been taken for a Merchant upon the Exchange for above these Ten Years, and sometimes pass for a Jew in the assembly of Stock Jobbers at Jonathan's,' writes Addison in the first number of the Spectator. 'Stock Jobbers busie at Jonathan's from Twelve to Three,' says Ward. The St. James's was as thoroughly a Whig house as White's was Tory; and 'Foreign and Domestic News you will have from St. James's Coffee House' was part of the Tatler programme. We have seen how Swift used it, and how his letters used to be directed there; but what he wrote to Stella was hardly the reason of his frequenting the house. He seems to have got on very friendly terms with Elliot, the proprietor, rather early in his London career, for he writes: 'I dined to day with poor Lord Mountjoy, who is ill of the gout; and this evening I christened our Coffeeman Elliot's child; where the rogue had a most noble supper, and Steele and I sat among some scurvy company over a bowl of punch, so that I am come home late, young woman, and cannot stay to write to little rogues.'[301] The Jamaica is still in existence, although not where it was in Anne's reign. It was then in Cornhill, (p. 169) 'by the Ship and Castle.' The Jerusalem was then, as it used to be not so long since, 'near Garraway's.'


Servantur Magnis
Isti Cervicibus Ungues;
Non Nisi Delectâ Pascitur
Ille Ferâ.

Lloyd's was then in Lombard Street, and indeed to this day, on Lloyd's policies, is stated that this policy shall have the same effect as if issued in Lombard Street. 'And it is agreed by us the Insurers, that this Writing or Policy of Assurance shall be of as much Force and Effect as the surest Writing or Policy of Assurance heretofore made in Lombard Street, or in the Royal Exchange, or elsewhere in London.' Both Steele[302] and Addison[303] mention this coffee-house; and for mercantile purposes it shared, with the Marine in Birchin (p. 170) Lane, the reputation of being the busiest. Here were sales of wine and ships, and the latter business is still transacted there.

A curious custom obtained in this reign—that of selling goods, notably wines, by 'the Candle.' Pepys notes it in his diary as being new to him, so that it had not been long in vogue. Lloyd's and the Marine Coffee Houses were the principal places where these singular auctions were held.

When the custom died out I cannot learn, but probably it was during the first quarter of this century. The latest account I can find of its being practised is in The Saturday Bristol Times and Mirror of March 29, 1873. 'Sale by Candle. The practice of letting by inch of Candle still prevails in the County of Dorset. At the annual letting of the parish meadow of Broadway, near Weymouth, which occurred a few weeks ago, an inch of candle was placed on a piece of board nine inches square, and lighted by one of the parish officers. The biddings were taken down by one of the parish officers, and the chance of taking the meadow was open to all while the candle was burning. The last bidder before the candle went out was the incoming tenant. This year the candle was extinguished suddenly. The land, about two acres in extent, was in 1624 presented to the poor by William Gould, the object of the gift being to keep the poor from working on the highways.' The custom, for aught I know, may still exist in some out-of-the-way places.

Information on maritime matters was even then forwarded to Lloyd's (although his News was not published after Feb. 23, 1696, till 1726), as is shown by the following episode: 'London, August 4th. Yesterday Morning a Letter was sent by the Penny Post to Mr. Edward Lloyd, Coffee man, in Lombard Street; which letter was subscrib'd Jo. Browne, was dated from on Board the Little St. Lewis off Bantry Bay in Ireland. July. 22. and contain'd in Substance, That the said Browne coming in a Vessel of which he was Master, from the Bay of Campeachy for Ireland, was taken by the said little St. Lewis, a French Frigate of 30 Guns, the 14th of July.'[304] He then went on circumstantially to relate how an officer on board had told him that the French had taken the Island of St. Helena and fifteen English East India ships; and that their fleet intended to sail for the Cape, to intercept our outward-bound East India ships. The editorial comment on this news is: ''Tis very probable this Letter is a Forgery, but as we cannot possibly determine whether it be or not, and the Story having made a great Noise in Town, we found ourselves oblig'd to give an Account of it.' It turned out a hoax, for, next day, Lloyd received a letter saying that the rumour had served its turn. 'To which Mr. Lloyd thinks fit to Answer. Sir, Whoever you are that wrote these two letters to Mr. Lloyd, he makes it his Request to you, that you would please to Confirm your Willingness (p. 171) to take off the Amusement made by the first, by writing him a third Letter in the same Hand the first was, which the second is not.' Lloyd died on Feb. 15, 1713.

There were several coffee-houses kept by persons of the name of Man. There was Old Man's, Young Man's, Man's New Coffee House, Charing Cross, Man's in Birchin Lane, and Man's in Chancery Lane, opposite Lincoln's Inn Gate. Old Man's was in the Tilt Yard, Whitehall, and was the rendezvous for officers in the army. The Paymaster-General's office is now built upon its site. It was kept by the well-known Jenny Man, whom Brown describes as 'pledging an Irish Colonel in Usquebaugh.' The Postboy, June 3/5, 1712, notices her: 'Expect something Extraordinary[305] in our Next. In the mean time, we are inform'd, that Jenny — Man is indispos'd'; and in the Flying Post, Nov. 6/8, 1712, is a song, one verse of which refers to her:—

Alas! alas! for Jenny Man,
'Cause she don't love the Warming Pan,[306]
High Church will all her Actions Scan
Since she was an Inch long, Sirs;
She is no Friend to Right Divine,
Therefore she must not sell French Wine,
But Tea and Coffee, very fine,
And sure that is no Wrong, Sirs.

Young Man's was at Charing Cross, and was a fashionable lounge. It was also a gambling house, for Brown says of it: 'Young Man's Coffee House threw it self in my way, and very kindly offer'd its Protection. I acquiesced then, knowing myself secure from more Dangers than one, and immediately upon my entrance mounted the Stairs, and mingled my Person with the Knights of the Round Table, who hazard three Months Revenue at a single Cast.' Ward is disgusted with the superfine air of the place, and says of its frequenters, 'their whole Exercise being to Charge and Discharge their Nostrils; and keep the Curles of their Periwigs in proper Order.... They made a Humming, like so many Hornets in a Country Chimney, not with their talking, but with their Whispering over their New Minuets and Bories, with their Hands in their Pockets, if freed from their Snush Box.... Amongst them were abundance of Officers, or Men who by their Habit appear'd to be such; but look'd as tenderly, as if they Carried their Down beds with them into the Camp, and did not dare to come out of their Tents, in a cold morning, till they had Eat a Mess of Plum Panada for Breakfast, to defend their Stomachs from the Wind.... Having sat all this while looking about us, like a Couple of Minerva's Birds, among so many Juno's Peacocks, admiring their Gaiety; we began to be thoughtful of a Pipe of Tobacco, which (p. 172) we were not assur'd we could have the liberty of Smoaking, lest we should offend those Sweet Breath Gentlemen. But, however, we Ventur'd to call for some Instruments of Evaporation, which were accordingly brought us, but with such a Kind of unwillingness, as if they would much rather have been rid of our Company; for their Tables were so very Neat, and Shin'd with Rubbing, like the Upper Leathers of an Alderman's shoes. The floor as clean Swept, as a Sir Courtly's Dining Room, which made us look round, to see if there were no Orders hung up to impose the Forfeiture of so much Mop Money upon any Person that should spit out of the Chimney Corner.'

Nando's was in Fleet Street, at the corner of Inner Temple Gate, the house wrongly described as being formerly the palace of Cardinal Wolsey, and now a hairdresser's. It was not particularly famous for anything in Anne's time, only the name is familiar to students of that epoch, as being next door to the shop of Bernard Lintot the bookseller, and mentioned by him in all his advertisements.

Ozinda's was in St. James's Street, and ranked with White's as a Tory house. Robin's was in Exchange Alley. Swift dated some of his letters to Stella from this coffee-house, and Steele mentions it as a Stock Exchange house in the Spectator, No. 454. The Rainbow in Fleet Street is still in existence, and Ward[307] classes it thus: 'Coffee and Water Gruel to be had at the Rainbow and Nando's at Four.' It seems to have been a favourite sign, for I have seven on my list.

Squire's was in Fulwood's (now called Fuller's) Rents in Holborn, and has been rendered historical by Addison, who makes Sir Roger ask him[308] 'if I would smoak a Pipe with him over a Dish of Coffee at Squire's. As I love the old Man, I take delight in complying with everything that is agreeable to him, and accordingly waited on him to the Coffee House, where his venerable Figure drew upon us the Eyes of the whole Room. He had no sooner seated himself at the upper End of the high Table, but he called for a clean Pipe, a Paper of Tobacco, a Dish of Coffee, a Wax Candle, and the Supplement with such an Air of Cheerfulness and Goodhumour, that all the Boys in the Coffee room (who seemed to take pleasure in serving him) were at once employed on his several Errands, insomuch that no Body else could come at a Dish of Tea till the knight had got all his Conveniencies about him.' Squire died in 1717.

The following note on the Smyrna Coffee House is the best description possible to give of it.[309] 'This is to give notice to all ingenious gentlemen in and about the cities of London and Westminster, who have a mind to be instructed in the noble Sciences of Music, Poetry, and Politics, that they repair to the Smyrna (p. 173) Coffee in Pall Mall, betwixt the hours of eight and ten at night, where they may be instructed gratis, with elaborate Essays by word of mouth on all, or any of the above mentioned Arts. The disciples are to prepare their bodies with three dishes of bohea, and purge their brains with two pinches of snuff. If any young student gives indication of parts, by listening attentively, or asking a pertinent question, one of the professors shall distinguish him by taking snuff out of his box in the presence of the whole audience—

'N.B. The seat of learning is now removed from the corner of the chimney on the left hand towards the window, to the round table in the middle of the floor over against the fire; a revolution much lamented by the porters and chairmen, who were much edified through a pane of glass that remained broken all the last summer.'

John Salter's (or, as he was christened by Steele, or Rear Admiral Sir John Munden, 'Don Saltero') was situated in the middle of Cheyne Walk, Chelsea. He was originally a servant to Sir Hans Sloane, and, when he left his service to set up as barber and coffee-house keeper, Sir Hans gave him some odds and ends from his Museum. Other kind friends followed, and Don Saltero's became a place of note, the curiosities, natural and otherwise, taking up much of the space. Indeed, Steele, in recording a visit to the Don's, says,[310] 'When I came into the Coffee house, I had not time to salute the Company, before my eye was diverted by ten thousand jimcracks round the room and on the ceiling.' The first catalogue of his curiosities that he published, was in 1729, and in the preface he says, 'The first Donor was the Honourable Sir John Cope, bart., to whom and Family I am much obliged for several very valuable pieces, both of Nature and Art.' The list comprises 249 articles, which in the 12th edition, 1741, was increased to 420, so that, probably, in Anne's time there were not more than a couple of hundred. Apart from the natural curiosities, which were numerous, were many undoubtedly spurious, as '(2) Painted Ribbands from Jerusalem with the Pillar, to which our Saviour was tied when scourged, with a Motto on each.' '(40) The Queen of Sheba's Fan.' He seems to have invested largely in this royal lady's property, for we have '(53) Queen of Sheba's Cordial Bottle,' and '(55) The Queen of Sheba's Milk Maid's Hat.' No. 56 was 'Pontius Pilate's Wife's Chambermaid's Sister's Sister's Hat'—a relic which, Steele declares, was made within three miles of Bedford.

These rather detract from the possible authenticity of the historical relics, which were numerous, and, if genuine, were curious and valuable. '(15) A Wooden Shoe put under the Speaker's Chair in K. James IId's Time.' '(37) Gustavus Adolphus's Gloves.' '(38) Harry VIIIth's Coat of Mail.' '(39) Queen Elizabeth's Stirrup.' '(41) Katherine Q. Dowager's Coronation Shoes.' '(42) King Charles IId's Band, which he wore in Disguise in the Royal Oak.' (p. 174) '(43) William the Conqueror's Flaming Sword.' '(44) Oliver's Sword.' '(45) King James IId's Coronation Shoes.' '(46) King William the IIId's Coronation Sword.' '(47) King William's Coronation Shoes.' '(49) Queen Anne's Testament.' '(50) Henry the VIIIth's Gloves.' '(51) The Czar of Moscow's Gloves;' and last but not least—an undeniable forgery, '(242) Robinson Crusoe's and his Man Friday's Shirts.'

Steele describes the Don as 'a sage of a thin and meagre countenance; which aspect made me doubt whether reading or fretting had made it so philosophic; but I very soon perceived him to be of that sect which the ancients call Gingivistæ; in our language, tooth drawers.' Besides shaving and tooth drawing, he played on the violin: 'if he would wholly give himself up to the string, instead of playing twenty beginnings to tunes, he might, before he dies, play Roger de Caubly[311] quite out. I heard him go through his whole round, and indeed he does play the "Merry Christ Church Bells"[312] pretty justly;' and another authority says, 'There was no passing his house, if he was at home, without having one's ears grated with the sounds of his fiddle, on which he scraped most execrably.' Steele recommends some of his curiosities to be taken away, 'or else he may expect to have his letters patent for making punch superseded, be debarred wearing his Muff next winter, or ever coming to London without his wife.' Either of these would have punished Saltero severely, for he was known out of doors by his old grey muff, which he carried up to his nose; and Mrs. S. had a temper of her own, to escape which the Don sometimes slipped off to London by himself. His collection seems to have dwindled away, for when it was sold in 1799 there were only 121 lots, and the whole seem to have sold for a little over 50l.

Slaughter's Coffee House in St. Martin's Lane afterwards superseded Old Man's as a military meeting-place, and in the latter half of the century it was frequented by artists and sculptors. Searle's, or Serle's, was a legal coffee-house, and was situated at the corner of Lincoln's Inn Fields. Of Tom's—I have a list of six—perhaps the best known was that in St. Martin's Lane, where, as we have seen, was one of the first insurance offices. The Virginia, which was in St. Michael's Alley, and afterwards in Cornhill, has disappeared within the last few years.

'All accounts of Poetry, under Will's Coffee House,' says the Tatler; it was situated No. 1 Bow Street, at the corner of Russell Street, and took its name from its proprietor, William Urwin. If Ward can be trusted, gamblers as well as wits frequented it, for he says[313] there was 'great shaking of the Elbow at Will's about Ten.' Still it was, par excellence, the Wits coffee-house, a class who are very happily described by a contemporary writer:[314] 'All their words go for Jests, and all their Jests for nothing. They (p. 175) are quick in the Fancy of some ridiculous Thing, and reasonable good in the Expression. Nothing stops a Jest when it is coming; and they had rather lose their Friend than their Wit.' And they are also written of as being 'Conceited, if they had but once the Honour to dip a finger and thumb in Mr. D——'s[315] snush box, it was enough to inspire 'em with a true Genius of Poetry, and make 'em write Verse, as fast as a Taylor takes his stitches.' In fact, it was on Dryden's reputation that Will's coffee-house was then living; and his going there is noticed by Pepys, 'Feb. 3, 1664—In Covent Garden to-night, going to fetch my wife, I stopped at the great Coffee house there, where I never was before: where Dryden, the poet, I knew at Cambridge, and all the wits of the town, and Harris the player, and Mr. Hoole, of our College. And, had I time then, or could at other times, it will be good coming thither, for there, I perceive, is very witty and pleasant discourse. But I could not tarry, and, as it was late, they were all ready to go away.' Here also Pope saw the old man, whom he described as 'a plump man with a down look, and not very conversible.'

Such, then, were some of the principal coffee-houses. What were the taverns like? There were then no hotels proper, such as we know them: a man had to live in private apartments, and, when he wanted dinner, he had to betake himself to a tavern, or ordinary. As Misson remarks, 'At London they hardly so much as know what an Auberge is: There are indeed a thousand and a thousand Taverns, where you may have what you please got for you.' A tavern was a far more free-and-easy place than a coffee-house—in fact, it is a question whether the convenances of a coffee-house would admit of a man 'washing his teeth at a tavern window in Pall Mall';[316] indeed, the keeping of them was hardly considered reputable, for we find[317] that 'Her Majestie sign'd a warrant for continuing the salaries of the prince's servants during her life, provided they kept no publick houses.'

Ward describes[318] the freedom and jollity of these places: 'Accordingly we stept in, and in the Kitchen found half a dozen of my Friends Associates, in the height of their Jollitry, as Merry as so many Cantabridgians at Sturbridge Fair, or Coblers at a Crispins Feast. After a Friendly Salutation, free from all Foppish Ceremonies, down we sat; and when a Glass or two round had given fresh Motion to our drowsy Spirits, and abandon'd all those careful thoughts which makes Man's Life uneasie, Wit begot Wit, and Wine a Thirsty Appetite to each Succeeding Glass. Then open were our Hearts and unconfined our Fancies; my Friend and I contributed our Mites to add to the Treasure of our Felicity. Songs and Catches Crown'd the Night, and each Man in his Turn pleased his Ears with his own Harmony.'


The most singular thing was, that it was not at all derogatory (p. 177) for a nobleman or gentleman to go to a tavern for a carouse—and all clubs were held at taverns. Thoresby relates that, after his reception by the Queen, as one of a deputation from Leeds, on July 2, 1712, 'We left the Duke there, but returned in the High Sheriff's coach to Sir Arthur Kaye's, who, with Sir Bryan Stapleton, accompanied us; from Sir Arthur's we went to the Tavern to drink her Majesty's health, and stayed full late.' And Swift writes to Stella:[319] 'After dinner we went to a blind tavern, where Congreve, Sir Richard Temple, Eastcourt, and Charles Main were over a bowl of bad punch. The Knight sent for six flasks of his own wine for me, and we staid till twelve.' This sending for one's own wine was a peculiar arrangement, but doubtless the landlord was satisfied with a premium on 'corkage.' Swift frequently speaks of this custom: 'To-day I dined with Lewis and Prior at an eating house, but with Lewis's wine.' 'I dined in a Coffee house with Stratford upon Chops, and some of his Wine.' Again he was with Lords Harley and Dupplin, the son and son-in-law of the Earl of Oxford—and 'we were forced to go to a tavern, and send for wine from Lord Treasurer's.'

But the frequenters of taverns were not all so respectable as these examples; and Brown supplies particulars of another section of society. 'A Tavern is a little Sodom, where as many Vices are daily practised, as ever were known in the great one; Thither Libertines repair to drink away their Brains, Aldermen to talk Treason, and bewail the loss of Trade; Saints to elevate the Spirit, hatch Calumnies, coin false News, and reproach the Church; Gamesters to shake their Elbows; Thither Sober Knaves walk with Drunken Fools to make Cunning Bargains and overreach them in their Dealings; Thither Young Quality retire to spend their Tradesmens Money; Thither Bullies Coach it to Kick Drawers, and invent new Oaths and Curses; Thither run Sots purely to be drunk, Beaux to shew their Vanity, Cowards to make themselves valiant by the Strength of their Wine, Fools to make themselves witty in their own Conceits, and Spendthrifts to be made Miserable by a Ridiculous Consumption of their own Fortunes.'

There were lower depths yet: there were the purl houses, where 'Tradesmen flock in their Morning gowns, by Seven, to cool their Plucks,' and the mug houses,[320] which in George the First's time were made into political clubs. 'King George for Ever' was then the mug-house cry, which the coffee-houses countered with 'High Church and Ormonde; no Presbyterians; no Hanover; down with the Mug.'

The following is a list of the principal taverns then in existence, for some of which I am indebted to Timbs' 'Club Life of London.' (p. 178) 'The Bear,' at the foot of London Bridge, Southwark and west side, which was in existence in 1463, was not pulled down till 1761. The 'Boar's Head,' in Eastcheap; Pontack's, in Abchurch Lane; and the 'Pope's Head' tavern in Pope's Head Alley, were all standing; and the 'Cock,' in Threadneedle Street, was only destroyed in 1851. There was the 'Salutation' in Newgate Street, where Wren used to smoke his pipe, whilst St. Paul's was rebuilding. Dolly's chop-house, in Paternoster Row, was established in Queen Anne's reign. The 'White Hart' in Bishopsgate Without, which bore the date 1480, was not pulled down till 1829. The 'King's Head,' in Fenchurch Street, at the corner of Mark Lane, was the hostel at which Queen Elizabeth is said to have dined in May 1554. The 'Devil,' in Fleet Street, now occupied by Childs' bank, was flourishing, and Steele describes it[321] as 'a place sacred to mirth tempered with discretion, where Ben Jonson and his Sons used to make their liberal meetings,' and he says that in the Apollo room were the rules of Ben's Club, painted in gold letters over the chimney piece.

This tavern was so popular that a rival sprang up on the other side of the street, the 'Young Devil,' and here, for a year or so, from the beginning of 1708, till some time in or about 1709, the Society of Antiquaries held their meetings, afterwards at the 'Fountain' tavern, Inner Temple Gate. The 'Cock,' in Fleet Street, has only just been demolished. There was another famous tavern which was near St. Dunstan's Church, in Fleet Street, called 'The Hercules' Pillars,' which was visited by Pepys, as appears by four entries in his diary. Another tavern of this name, at Charing Cross, will be noted when treating of the amusements of the people. The 'Mitre' tavern must not be confounded with the coffee-house of that name in Mitre Court, but was the one frequented by Dr. Johnson, and so often referred to by Boswell.

The 'Palsgrave's Head,' on the south side of the Strand, near Temple Bar, was then a coffee-house, and was so named from the Palsgrave Frederick, afterwards King of Bohemia, who married the Princess Elizabeth, daughter of James I. The 'Crown and Anchor,' which stretched along the Strand from Arundel Street to Milford Lane, was famous as being the place where the Academy of Music was instituted in 1710. The 'Rose' tavern in Drury Lane is frequently mentioned in the literature of this time. It was afterwards absorbed into Drury Lane Theatre, when Garrick enlarged it in 1776. The 'Rummer Tavern,' at Charing Cross, near Locket's Ordinary, is often mentioned in advertisements, and Brown and Ward speak of 'Heaven' and 'Hell,' which were two ale-houses near Westminster Hall. Pepys notices one of them on January 28, 1660—'And so I returned, and went to Heaven, where Ludlin and I dined.' And last, not least, was the 'Bumper' tavern, which 'Dick Estcourt,' the actor, opened on January 1, 1712, and which (p. 179) Steele so kindly puffed in Spectator No. 264. An exhaustive catalogue of the taverns in the City is given by Ward in his 'Vade Mecum for Maltworms,' a very curious and now rare book; but it is hardly worth while to reproduce their names, even in an appendix.


Origin — October Club — Calves Head Club — Kit Cat Club — Other clubs — Suggested clubs.

The name of Club is undoubtedly taken from the practice of a jovial company to 'club,' or divide the whole expenses of the entertainment; and 'the payment of our Clubs'[322] is a frequently mentioned wind-up of any festivity. Naturally, such agreeable meetings were repeated until they became habitual, and the society, or club, was formed; and these humble beginnings laid the foundation of that great social organisation which nowhere flourishes better than in England.

The principal clubs of Queen Anne's time were the October Club, the Calves Head Club, and the Kit Cat Club. The October Club was a Political Club, of high Tory proclivities, and it was so called from the 'October Ale' which was supposed to be the drink of the members. It was held at the 'Bell Tavern,' in King Street, Westminster, and they succeeded in plaguing the Whigs to their hearts' content. Swift writes Stella of them:[323] 'We are plagued here with an October Club; that is, a set of above a hundred Parliament men of the Country, who drink October beer at home, and meet every evening at a tavern near the Parliament, to consult affairs, and drive things on to extremes against the Whigs, to call the old ministry to account, and get off five or six heads. The ministry seem not to regard them, yet one of them in confidence, told me that there must be something thought on to settle things better.' Swift wrote a little pamphlet called 'Some Advice Humbly Offered to the Members of the October Club, in a letter from a Person of Honour,' which met with varying fortunes; for he tells Stella, 'The little twopenny letter of "Advice to the October Club," does not sell: I know the reason; for it is finely written, I assure you; and like a true author, I grow fond of it, because it does not sell: you know that it is usual to writers to condemn the judgment of the world; if I had hinted it to be mine, every body would have bought it, but it is a great secret.'[324] A few days later, and he writes, February 1, that it 'begins now to sell; but I believe its (p. 180) fame will hardly reach Ireland.' There is no doubt but that it partially had the desired effect—of making these troublesome gentlemen less obstructive. Poor Swift was once nearly getting into a dilemma with regard to this club, and his story is as follows: 'Then Ford drew me to dine at a tavern, it happened to be the day and the house where the October Club dine. After we had dined, coming down, we called to inquire, whether our yarn business had been over that day, and I sent into the room for Sir George Beaumont. But I had like to be drawn into a difficulty; for in two minutes out comes Mr. Finch, Lord Guernsey's son, to let me know, that my Lord Compton, the steward of this feast, desired, in the name of the club, that I would do them the honour to dine with them. I sent my excuses, adorned with about thirty compliments, and got off as fast as I could. It would have been a most improper thing for me to dine there, considering my friendship for the Ministry. The Club is about a hundred and fifty, and near eighty of them were then going to dinner at two long tables in a great ground room.'[325] Afterwards the October Club was split, and the more Jacobite portion formed themselves into the March Club.

The Calves Head Club was decidedly an opposition one, and its history, true or not, is told in a little book which some people have attributed to Ward,[326] 'The Secret History of the Calves Head Club: or, the REPUBLICAN UNMASK'D. Wherein is fully shewn the religion of the Calves head Heroes in their Anniversary Thanksgiving Songs on the Thirtieth of January, by them called Anthems, for the years 1693, 1694, 1695, 1696, 1697. Now published to demonstrate the Restless, Implacable Spirit of a certain Party still among us, who are never to be satisfied till the present Establishment in Church and State is subverted. The Second Edition.

Discite justitiam moniti, & non temnere Divos. Virg.


Printed, And Sold by the Booksellers of London and Westminster. 1703.'

The author tells the history of the club as follows: 'Happening in the late Reign to be in the Company of a certain active Whigg, who in all other Respects was a Man of probity enough; he assured me, that to his Knowledge, 'twas true, That he knew most of the Members of that Club, and that he had been often invited to their Meetings, but that he had always avoided them: Adding, that according to the Principles he was bred up in, he wou'd have made no scruple to have met Charles the First, in the Field, and oppos'd him to the utmost of his Power; but that since he was Dead, he had no further Quarrel to him, and looked upon it (p. 181) as a cowardly piece of Villany, below any Man of Honour, to insult upon a Memory of a Prince, who had suffer'd enough in his Life Time.

'He farther told me, that Milton, and some other Creatures of the Commonwealth, had instituted this Club, as he was inform'd, in Opposition to Bp. Juxon, Dr. Sanderson, Dr. Hammond, and other Divines of the Church of England, who met privately every 30th of January; and, tho' it was under the Time of the Usurpation, had compil'd a private Form of Service for the Day, not much different from that we now find in the Liturgy....

'By another Gentleman, who, about Eight Years ago, went out of meer Curiosity to see their Club, and has since furnish'd me with the following Papers; I was inform'd that it was kept in no fix'd House, but that they remov'd as they saw convenient; that the place they met in when he was with 'em, was a blind Ally, about Morefields;[327] that the Company wholly consisted of Independents and Anabaptists (I am glad for the Honour of the Presbyterians to set down this Remark); that the Famous Jerry White, formerly Chaplain to Oliver Cromwell, who, no doubt on't, came to sanctify with his Pious Exhortations, the Ribbaldry of the Day, said Grace; that after the Table Cloth was removed, the Anniversary Anthem, as they impiously call'd it, was sung, and a Calves Scull filled with Wine or other Liquor, and then a Brimmer went about to the Pious Memory of those worthy Patriots that had kill'd the Tyrant, and deliver'd their Country from his Arbitrary Sway; and lastly, a Collection made for the Mercenary Scribler, to which every Man contributed according to his Zeal for the Cause, or the Ability of his Purse.'

The following 'Anthem,' if not the most refined of the series, is, at least, the most spirited and characteristic:—

An Anthem on the 30th of January 1696.

There was a King of Scottish Race, a Man of Muckle might a,
Was never seen in Battels Great, but greatly he would sh—— a;
This K. begot another K. which made the Nation sad a,
Was of the same Religion, an Atheist like his Dad a:
(p. 182) This Monarch wore a Picked Beard, and seem'd a Doughty Hero,
As Dioclesian Innocent, and Merciful as Nero.
The Churches darling Implement, but Scourge of all the People,
He Swore he'd make each Mother's Son Adore their Idol Steeple:
But they perceiving his designs, grew plagy shy and jealous,
☞ And timely Choppt his Calve's head off, and sent him to his fellows.
Old Rowly did succeed his Dad, such a King was never seen a,
He'd lye with every nasty Drab, but seldom with his Queen a.
His Dogs at Council Board wou'd sit, like Judges in their Furs a,
'Twas hard to say which had most Wit, the Monarch or his Curs a.
At last he died, we know not how, but most think by his Brother,
His Soul to Royal Tophet went to see his Dad and Mother.
The furious James Usurp'd the Throne, to pull Religion down a;
But by his Wife and Priest undone, he quickly lost his Crown a.
To France the wand'ring Monarch's trudg'd, in hopes relief to find a,
Which he is like to have from thence, even when the D——'s blind a.
Oh! how shou'd we Rejoyce and Pray, and never cease to Sing a,
☞ If Bishops too were Chac'd away, and Banished with their King a:
Then Peace and Plenty wou'd ensue, our Bellies wou'd be full a,
The enliven'd Isle wou'd Laugh and Smile, as in the days of Noll a.

Whether this 'Secret History' be true or not, it would almost appear that there was a Calves Head Club in George the Second's reign, for in the Monthly Intelligencer, which was a portion of the Gentleman's Magazine, we find[328]: 'Friday, January 30, 1735. Some young Noblemen and Gentlemen met in a Tavern in Suffolk Street,[329] called themselves the Calves Head Club; dress'd up a Calfs Head in a Napkin, and after some Huzzas threw it into a Bonfire, and dipt Napkins in their red Wine, and wav'd them out at Window. The Mob had strong beer given them, and for a time hallood as well as the best; but taking Disgust at some Healths propos'd, grew so outragious, that they broke all the Windows, and forc'd themselves into the House, but the Guards being sent for, prevented further Mischief.' Different accounts exist of this occurrence, variously modifying it, until they end in a total denial; but engravings exist professing to give the 'True Effigies' of the scene. Apropos of this, in the 1714 edition of the 'Secret History' is an engraving of 'the Westminster Calf's Head Club,' which is none other than the representation of a coffee-house already produced (see page 162), but altered somewhat to suit the occasion. For instance, the dame de comptoir is erased, and in her place is a huge axe.

Perhaps one of the now best-known clubs of Anne's time was the Kit Cat, which derived its peculiar cognomen (so Addison says) 'from a Mutton Pye.' Attempts have been made to attribute its origin to a political gathering of Whig noblemen and gentlemen, but contemporary authorities all agree that it was founded by Jacob Tonson, the bookseller; and Sir R. Blackmore (a member of the club), who wrote a poem called 'the Kitcats' in 1708, may be considered as knowing something about what he wrote. Whether the pieman's name was Christopher Cat, or Christopher, living at the (p. 183) sign of the Cat and Fiddle, does not much matter: certain it is that the pies from which the club was named were called Kit Cat's pies.

Various domiciles have been given to the club, but Sir R. Blackmore says it was held at the Fountain in the Strand, a site now occupied by the Cigar Divan, as is denoted by the name of Fountain Court.

On the fair Strand by which with graceful Pride,
Unrival'd Thamis rolls his alternate Tyde,
Between the Courts which most the People awe,
(In one the Monarch reigns, in one the Law.)
A Stately Building rear'd its lofty Head,
Which both the Thames and Town around survey'd.
Here crown'd with Clusters Bacchus kept his Court,
Where mighty Vats his chearful Throne support;
High o'er the Gate he hung his waving Sign,
A Fountain Red with ever-flowing Wine.
One Night, in Seven, at this convenient Seat,  
Indulgent BOCAJ[330] did the Muses treat,
Their Drink was generous Wine, and Kit Cat's Pyes their Meat.
Here he assembled his Poetic Tribe,
Past Labours to Reward, and new ones to prescribe;
Hence did th' Assembly's Title first arise,
And Kit-Cat Wits sprung first from Kit-Cat's Pyes.
BOCAJ the mighty Founder of the State  
Led by his Wisdom, or his happy Fate,
Chose proper Pillars to support its Weight
All the first Members for their Place were fit
Tho' not of Title, Men of Sense and Wit.

They showed they had sense at all events, for in the summer they went into the fresh air, and held their meetings at the Flask at Hampstead.

Or when Apollo like, thou'rt pleas'd to lead
Thy Sons to feast on Hampstead's airy Head;
Hampstead that now in name Parnassus shall exceed.

Another proof, if it were needed, that Tonson was the founder of the club, is that forty-two of its members presented him with their portraits, painted by Sir Godfrey Kneller, to adorn his house at Barn Elms. As the room was not lofty enough to admit of their being the regulation size, special canvases were had (36 × 28 in.), and this is still called Kit Cat size. These portraits are still in existence, and were all shown at the Art Treasures Exhibition at Manchester, and some at the International Exhibition of 1862. This club was famous for the toasts engraved on its drinking glasses, many of which have survived to this day; and this gave rise to Dr. Arbuthnot's epigram—

(p. 184) Whence deathless Kit-Cat took his name,
Few Critics can unriddle:
Some say from pastry cook it came
And some from Cat and Fiddle.
From no trim beaus its name it boasts,
Grey statesmen or green wits,
But from this pell mell pack of toasts
Of old Cats and young Kits.

There were numerous social clubs, the Beefsteak, and the Saturday Club, of which Swift makes frequent mention in his letters to Stella. Take one instance[331]: 'I dined with lord-treasurer, and shall again to-morrow, which is his day, when all the ministers dine with him. He calls it whipping day. It is always on Saturday, and we do indeed usually rally him about his faults on that day. I was of the original club, when only poor Lord Rivers, lord keeper, and Lord Bolinbroke came; but now Ormond, Anglesey, lord Steward, Dartmouth, and other rabble intrude, and I scold at it; but now they pretend as good a title as I; and, indeed, many Saturdays I am not there.[331] He also belonged to a club or society for social converse and the encouragement of literature, which was founded in the latter part of the year 1712. Its meetings were on Thursday, and it was the custom of the members to entertain their brethren in turns. He gave one dinner at the Thatched House[332]: 'it will cost me five or six pounds; yet the secretary says he will give me wine.' But they soon got extravagant, for their very next dinner is noted[333] as 'The Duke of Ormond's treat last week cost £20 though it was only four dishes, and four without a dessert; and I bespoke it in order to be cheap;' and this did not include wine. In this society, when money was raised for a benevolent purpose, the members were assessed according to their several estates: thus, the Duke of Ormond paid ten guineas, Swift half a guinea.

Steele, in Tatler No. 9, gives an amusing and graphic account of a club, held at a tavern called the Trumpet, in Shire Lane; and, to show how prevalent the establishment of clubs was in this reign, the following are some suggested ones (of course only in fun) to be found in the Spectator: The Amorous, Chit Chat, Everlasting, Fox hunters, Fringe glove, Hebdomadal, Henpecked, Lazy, Lawyers, Mohock, Moving, Rattling, The Romp, Sighing, Spectator's, Street, Twopenny, Ugly, Widows; and the Guardian supplies a list of supposed clubs of little men, and the Short, Silent, Tall, and Terrible Clubs.

(p. 185) CHAPTER XX.

Royal visits to the City — Lord Mayor's show — The lions at the Tower — The Armoury — Tombs at Westminster — Bartholomew Fair — Description — Shows — Tight-rope dancing — Natural curiosities — Theatrical performances, etc. — Abolition — May Fair — Lady Mary — Pinkethman — Shows — Visit to — Abolition — Southwark Fair — Its shows.

But clubs were not the only social enjoyments. The populace had, during this reign, many free sights—and the numerous visits of the Queen to the City provided fine shows gratis. She dined at Guildhall on the Lord Mayor's day after her accession, and she visited the City again on November 12 the same year, accompanied by both Houses of Parliament, to return thanks for the successes at Vigo. Certainly January 19, 1704, was kept as a fast; but on September 7 of that year the Queen again went to St. Paul's, in commemoration of the victory at Blenheim and the capture of Gibraltar; and on January 3, 1705, the standards[334] taken at Blenheim were carried, by a detachment of horse and foot guards, from the Tower, and hung up in Westminster Hall. On the 6th of the same month the Duke of Marlborough dined, by invitation, with the Lord Mayor and Aldermen, at Goldsmiths' Hall. Once more the Queen visited St. Paul's, on August 23, 1705, to return thanks for the Duke's forcing the French lines in Brabant, and yet again for the victory at Ramilies on June 27, 1706. This time, the colours taken were deposited in the Guildhall, with great pomp, on December 19, 1706: the Queen, and Prince George, going into St. James's Park to see them pass. On this occasion the Duke dined with the Lord Mayor and Aldermen, in Vintners' Hall. On December 30 of the same year, the Queen gave thanks at St. Paul's for the successes of the last campaign in Spain and Italy; and, as the newspaper account informs us, 'the Night ended with Ringing of Bells, Bonfires, Illuminations, and other Rejoycings.'

Yet again was there another day of public rejoicing, on May 1, 1707, to celebrate the union with Scotland, and the Queen once more visited St. Paul's. But this was to be the last. On thanksgiving (p. 186) day, July 7, 1713, to celebrate the conclusion of peace, Anne was too unwell to play her accustomed part, and was reluctantly compelled to abandon it and remain at home. The fireworks on this occasion were splendid. 'Those in Smithfield began about Ten at Night, and ended about Eleven: when those upon the Thames, over against Whitehall, began, and lasted till after Midnight. Besides that these were in both Places Excellent in their kind, they were play'd off with the utmost Regularity and good Order; so that we have not heard of the least Mischief done either upon the River or in Smithfield;' and, as was observed in the Guardian, No. 103: 'In short, the artist did his part to admiration, and was so encompassed with fire and smoke that one would have thought nothing but a Salamander could have been safe in such a situation.' But these seem to have been eclipsed by a display at Dublin in honour of the Queen's last birthday, February 6, 1714, as is recorded in the Daily Courant of February 16, 1714.

The Londoner, too, had his Lord Mayor's Show, with its fun, perhaps just a trifle rougher than in our day. Owing to the difference of old and new style, Lord Mayor's day was on October 29 instead of November 9 as now. Ward naturally revels in it[335]: 'Tuesday 29. Windows in Cheapside stuck with more Faces at Ten, than the Balconies with Candles on an Illumination Night. Wicked havock of Neats-Tongues and Hamms in the Barges about Eleven. Artillery Men march by two and two, burlesqued in Buft and Bandileers. The Vintners and Brewers, the Butchers and Apothecaries justle about precedence; 'Tis pity they are not incorporated. The Ladies pelted with dead Cats instead of Squibs from Twelve to Three. Mob tumultuous. Boys starting to see that which, as the Old Woman said, they must all come to one Day.' And in the London Spy he gives a very long account of the show, its pageants, and the rough humour of the spectators.

'I took three lads, who are under my Guardianship, a rambling, in a hackney Coach, to shew them the town; as the lions, the tombs, Bedlam.'[336] These were the three great sights of London: the lions at the Tower, the tombs in Westminster Abbey, and the poor mad folk in Bedlam. 'To see the lions' is proverbial, and these had to be visited by every one new to the City. In 1703 there were four, two lions and two lionesses—one with a cub. In this reign three of the lions died almost at the same time, and it was looked upon by some as an event of dire portent. Addison laughingly alludes to the popular idea of something awful happening on the death of a 'Tower' lion, when, in the Freeholder, he makes the Jacobite squire ask the keeper whether any of the lions had fallen sick when Perth was taken, or on the flight of the Pretender. When dead they were sometimes stuffed, as Ward relates. He also says there was a leopard, three eagles, two owls, and a hyena. (p. 187) That was in 1703; and Thoresby, writing in 1709, went to see the 'lions, eagles, catamountains, leopards, &c.' He also relates[337] his experiences of a visit to the Tower itself: 'Walked with Mr. Dale to the Tower; was mightily pleased with the new and excellent method the Records[338] are put into (of which see a letter of the Bishop of Carlisle to me;) and viewed many great curiosities of that nature, and original letters from foreign kings and potentates, upon parchment, and paper as old (reckoned as great a rarity) to the Kings of England, very ancient tallies, Jewish stars, &c., which the obliging Mr. Holms showed me, who also gave me an autograph of Queen Elizabeth, that was his own property; then went to view the several armouries, as that more ancient of the weapons taken in the year 1588 from the pretended Invincible Armada, and those modern from Vigo, and in other memorable transactions of this age; the present armoury for use is put to a surprising method, in the form of shields, pyramids, trophies, &c. Some of the elder and later kings' armour are placed as though mounted on horseback.'

Ward also visited the Tower, after seeing the lions, and has left a most amusing account of what he saw, which is far too long for transcription. He first noted 'a parcel of Bulky Wardens, in old fashion'd Lac'd Jackets, and in Velvet Flat caps, hung round with divers colour'd Ribbonds, like a Fool's hat upon a Holiday.' Indeed, their costume was identical with their present state dress, only it was utterly marred by their wearing portentous periwigs. Under the guidance of one of these gentry he was shown Traitor's Gate, the White Tower, and St. Peter's Church; and afterwards, the Grand Armoury, where he was particularly delighted to see that 'at the corner of every Lobby, and turning of the Stairs, stood a Wooden Granadier as Sentinel, painted in his proper Colours, cut out with much exactness upon Board.' Arrived in the arsenal, he was handed over to one of the armourer's men, who had 'everything as ready at his fingers' ends, as the Fellow that shows the Tombs at Westminster. The first Figure at our Coming in, that most effected the Eye, by reason of its bigness, was a long Range of Muskets and Carbines, that ran the length of the Armory, which was distinguish'd by a Wilderness of Arms, whose Locks and Barrels were kept in that admirable Order, that they shone as bright as a Good Housewifes Spits and Pewter in the Christmas Holidays, on each side of which were Pistols, Baggonets, Scimiters, Hangers, Cutlaces, and the like Configurated into Shields, Triumphal Arches, Gates, Pillasters, Scollopshells, Mullets, Fans, Snakes, Serpents, Sun Beams, Gorgon's Heads, the Waves of the Ocean, Stars and Garters, and in the middle of all, Pillars of Pikes, and turn'd Pillars of Pistols; and at the end of the Wilderness, fire Arms plac'd in the Order of a great Organ.' Coming thence, (p. 188) he noticed the Tower rooks, as he called those men who asked 'Whether you will see the Crown, the whole Regalia or the King's Marching Train of Artillery?' He would have none of them, but went with a warder into the armoury proper, where he 'View'd the Princely Scare crows, and he told us to whom each Suit of Armour did belong Originally, adding some short Memorandums out of History, to every empty Iron side; some True, some False, supplying that with Invention, which he wanted in Memory.' He would not see the Regalia, but got a description of it from the warder, 'and so Cozened the Keeper of our Eighteen Pence a piece.' The warder told them 'there was a Royal Crown, and a new one made for the Coronation of the late Queen Mary, and three others wore by his Majesty with Distinct Robes, upon several occasions; also the Salt Spoons, Forks and Cups, us'd at the Coronation.' Altogether, a visit to the Tower then very much resembled one nowadays.

As to the tombs at Westminster, what more do we want to know about them, as they then were, than what is contained in Spectator No. 26, where Addison grumbles at Sir Cloudesley Shovel's monument, 'Instead of the brave rough English Admiral, which was the distinguishing Character of that plain gallant Man, he is represented on his Tomb, by the Figure of a Beau, dress'd in a long Perriwig, and reposing himself upon Velvet Cushions under a Canopy of State? 'And for all else in the grand old abbey, have we not the lifelike description of Sir Roger's visit?[339] how he saw Jacob's pillar, sat in the Coronation Chair, handled Edward the Third's sword, and afterwards wanted the Spectator to call on him 'at his Lodgings in Norfolk Buildings, and talk over these Matters with him more at leisure.' It would be a literary profanity to deal with them except in their entirety.

But the lions, the tombs, and Bedlam could never be sufficient recreative pabulum for a large city, so there were outlets for the exuberance of their spirits in the three fairs, Bartholomew, May fair, and Southwark. Bartholomew fair stands pre-eminent, both for its antiquity, its size, and length of duration. In Anne's time it was no longer the great mart for cloth it used to be—and the fair was given over to rioting and unlimited licence. This fair is a most congenial subject for Ward's pen, and he gives it free range—too free, alas! for many extracts. He describes the entrance to it as a 'Belfegor's Concert, the rumbling of Drums, mix'd with the intolerable Squalling of Cat Calls and Penny Trumpets,' so, to get out of the noise and smell, prominent in which latter was 'the Singeing of Pigs, and burnt Crackling of over Roasted Pork' (which was a specialty in the fair), he turned into an ale house, where he had doctored beer, and was so annoyed by a waiter, who would constantly inquire, 'Do you call, sirs?' that he threatened to kick him downstairs. From this upper room he could see the (p. 189) booths, and note the humours of the fair: the mock finery of the actors, who were 'strutting round their Balconies in their Tinsey Robes, and Golden Leather Buskins;' and the sorry buffoonery of the Merry Andrews. Having rested, he sallied forth into the fair, saw the rope-dancers, one of whom was a negress, who set a countryman near Ward into fits of laughter, which he explained: 'Master, says he, I have oftentimes heard of the Devil upon two Sticks, but never Zee it bevore in me Life. Bezide, Maister, who can forbear Laughing to see the Devil going to Dance?' He speaks in high terms of the German rope-dancer, of whom Lauron gives two portraits. He then went into a booth to see 'a Dwarf Comedy, Sir-nam'd a Droll,' but does not seem to have cared much about it. He and his friend then refreshed themselves with 'a Quart of Fill-birds, and Eat each of us two Penny worth of Burgamy Pears,' and witnessed another performance. They then needed solid food, so determined to have a quarter of a pig (sucking pig of course), and made their way to Pye Corner, 'where Cooks stood dripping at their Doors, like their Roasted Swine's Flesh,' but the total absence of cleanliness in the cookery was so repulsive, that they had to forego the luxury.

After undergoing the certain penalty of having his handkerchief stolen, he went to see another droll, the plot of which seems to have been perfectly inexplicable, and he came to the conclusion that 'Bartholomew Fair Drolls are like State Fire Works, they never do any Body good, but those that are concern'd in the Show.' The wax-work was then visited, and then they went to a music and dancing booth, in which they not only had a most discordant instrumental concert, but saw a woman 'Dance with Glasses full of Liquor upon the Backs of her Hands, to which she gave Variety of Motions, without Spilling,' and a youthful damsel perform a sword dance, which was succeeded by 'abundance of Insipid Stuff.' They got away, and passed by the 'Whirligigs,' went into a raffling shop, and the Groom Porter's, after which he went to an alehouse to rest himself and smoke a pipe, and finally went home, thoroughly tired.

This, then, was a true record of a visit to Bartholomew Fair, by the aid of which we shall thoroughly appreciate the following advertisements of the amusements there:—

'At the great Booth over against the Hospital Gate, during the time of Bartholomew Fair will be seen the Dancing on the Ropes, after the French and Italian Fashion, by a Company of the finest Performers that ever yet have been seen by the whole World. For in the same Booth will be seen the two Famous French Maidens, so much admired in all Places and Countries wherever they come (especially in May fair last), where they gain'd the highest Applause from all the Nobility and Gentry, for their wonderful Performance on the Rope, both with and without a Pole; so far out doing all others that have been seen of their Sex, as gives a general Satisfaction to all that ever yet beheld them. To which is (p. 190) added, Vaulting on the High Rope, and Tumbling on the Stage. As also Vaulting on two Horses, on the great Stage, at once. The Stage being built after the Italian manner, on which you will see the Famous Scaramouch and Harlequin. With several other Surprizing Entertainments, too tedious here to mention. Perform'd by the greatest Masters now in Europe. The like never seen before in England.'

Rope-dancing was evidently very popular, for there is another booth, in which Blondin is outdone. 'It is there you will see the Italian Scaramouch dancing on the Rope, with a Wheel Barrow before him with two Children and a Dog in it, and with a Duck on his Head; who sings to the Company, and causes much laughter.' And yet one more, for it introduces us to the most famous rope-dancer of the reign—'Lady Mary.' 'Her Majesty's Company of Rope Dancers. At Mr. Barnes and Finly's Booth, between the Hospital Gate and the Crown Tavern, opposite the Cross Daggers, during the usual time of Bartholomew Fair, are to be seen the most famous Rope dancers in Europe. And 1st. 2 young Maidens, lately arrived from France, Dance with and without a Pole to admiration. 2. The Famous Mr. Barnes, of whose performances this Kingdom is so sensible, Dances with 2 Children at his Feet, and with Boots and Spurs. 3. Mrs. Finly distinguished by the name of Lady Mary for her incomparable Dancing, has much improv'd herself since the last Fair.' Lady Mary is frequently mentioned in contemporary literature, and on one occasion is alluded to 'as little dressed as Lady Mary.' This probably arose from her dispensing with petticoats in dancing. The German rope-dancer, immortalised by Lauron, is dressed in a fine frilled Holland shirt, trunk hose, and tights—in fact, the usual acrobatic dress; and Ward notices two dancers, 'who, to show their Affection to the Breeches wor'em under their Petticoats; which, for decency's sake, they first Danc'd in; But they doft their Petticoats after a gentle breathing.' This probably accounts for the caustic remark in the Spectator (No. 51), 'The Pleasantry of stripping almost Naked has been since practised (where indeed it should have begun) very successfully at Bartholomew Fair.'

There were, also, natural curiosities to be seen. 'At the next Door to the Sign of the Greyhound in Smithfield, is to be shown (by Her Majesty's Order) a Wonderful and Miraculous Sight, a Male Child which was born in Garnsey of the body of Rebecca Secklin, and now sucks at her Breasts, being but Thirty Weeks old, with a prodigious big Head, being above a yard about, and hath been shown to several Persons of Quality.'

'By Her Majesties Authority. At the Hart's Horn's Inn in Pye Corner, during the time of Bartholomew Fair, will be seen these strange Rarities following, viz. A Little Farey Woman, lately come from Italy, being but Two Foot Two Inches high, the shortest that ever was seen in England, and no ways Deform'd, as the other two Women are, that are carried about the Streets in (p. 191) Boxes from House to House, for some years past, this being Thirteen Inches shorter than either of them; if any Person has a desire to see her at their own Houses, we are ready to wait upon them any Hour of the Day.

'Likewise a little Marmazet from Bengal that dances the Cheshire Rounds,[340] and Exercises at the Word of Command. Also a strange Cock from Hamborough, having Three proper Legs, Two Fundaments, and makes use of them both at one time. Vivat Reginæ' (sic).

'Next Door to the Golden Hart in West Smithfield, between the Hospital Gate and Pye Corner during the time of Bartholomew Fair, is to be seen the Admirable Work of Nature, a Woman having three Breasts; and each of them affording Milk at one time or differently, according as they are made use of. There is likewise to be seen the Daughter of the same Woman, which hath breasts of the like Nature, according to her Age; and there never hath been any extant of such sort, which is wonderful to all that ever did, or shall behold her.'

Theatrical performances naturally took a prominent part; for the two theatres shut up during Fair time, and Mills, Doggett, and Penkethman, all fair actors, and belonging to the regular stage, had booths here, and did well; in fact, Penkethman became wealthy. As Ward remarks[341]: 'After struggling with a Long See-Saw, between Pride and Profit; and having Prudently consider'd the weighty difference between the Honourable Title of one of His Majesties Servants, and that of a Bartholomew Fair Player, a Vagabond by the Statue, did at last, with much difficulty, conclude, That it was equally Reputable to Play the Fool in the Fair for Fifteen or Twenty Shillings a Day, as 'twas to please Fools in the Play House at so much a week.'

At Parker's Booth was played the Famous History of Dorastus and Fawnia, 'With very pleasant Dialogues and Antick Dances.'

'Never Acted before. At Miller's Booth, over against the Cross Daggers, near the Crown Tavern, during the time of Bartholomew Fair will be presented an Excellent new Droll call'd

'The Tempest, or the Distressed Lovers,

With the English Hero and the Highland Princess, with the Comical Humours of the Inchanted Scotchman, or Jockey and the three Witches. Shewing how a Nobleman of England was cast away upon the Indian Shore, and in his Travels found the Princess of the Country, with whom he fell in Love, and after many Dangers and Perils, was married to her; and his faithful Scotchman, who was saved with him, travelling thorow Woods, fell in among Witches, where between 'em is abundance of Comical Diversion. There in the Tempest, is Neptune with his Tritons in his Chariot drawn with Sea Horses and Mairmaids singing. With Variety of (p. 192) Entertainments, Performed by the best Masters; the Particulars would be too tedious to be inserted here. Vivat Regina.'

There seems to have been another version of this play, which, after all, was only a travesty of Shakespeare's 'Tempest.'

'At Doggett's Booth, Hosier Lane End, during the Time of Bartholomew Fair, will be presented a New Droll, called the Distress'd Virgin, or Unnatural Parents, Being a True History of the Fair Maid of the West; or The Loving Sisters. With the Comical Travels of Poor Trusty in search of his Master's Daughter, and his encounter with Three Witches.

'Also Variety of Comick Dances and Songs, with Scenes and Machines never seen before—Vivat Regina.'

In the next advertisement we see three of 'Her Majesty's Servants' combine in keeping a booth in the Fair.

'At Pinkeman's, Mills', and Bullock's Booth,

In the Old Place over against the Hospital Gate, During the time of Bartholomew Fair will be presented, A New Droll call'd

'The Siege of Barcelona, or the Soldier's Fortune,
With the taking of Fort Mount jouy,

Containing the Pleasant and Comical Exploits of that Renown'd Hero Captain Blunderbuss and his Man Squib; His Adventures with the Conjuror; and a Surprizing Scene of the Flying Machine, where he and his Man Squib are Enchanted; Also the Diverting Humour of Corporal Scare Devil.

'The Principal Parts Acted by the Comedians of the Theatre Royal,
Colonel Lovewell Mr. Mills.
Captain Blunderbuss Mr. Bullock.
Squib, his Man Mr. Norris, alias Jubilee Dicky.[342]
Corporal Scare Devil Mr. Bickerstaff.
Maria, the Governor's Daughter Mrs. Baxter.
The Dame of Honour Mrs. Willis.

'To which will be added the Wonderful Performance of the most celebrated Master, Mr. Simpson the famous Vaulter; Who has had the Honour to teach most of the Nobility in England; and at whose request he now performs with Mr. Pinkeman to let the World see what Vaulting is. Being lately arrived from Italy.

(p. 193) 'The Musick, Songs and Dances are all by the best Performers of their kind, whom Mr. Pinkeman has Entertained at extraordinary Charge, purely to give a full Satisfaction to the Town. Vivat Regina.'

'At Ben Johnson's Booth (by Mrs. Mynn's Company of Actors). In the Rounds in Smithfield, during the Fair, Will be presented an excellent Entertainment, being the Famous History of Whittington, Lord Mayor of London: Wherein besides the Variety of Songs and Dances, will be shown an extraordinary View of several stately and surprising Scenes; as a Rowling Sea, bearing a large Ship under Sayl, with Neptune, Mermaids, Dolphins, &c. Also a Prospect of a Moorish Country, so swarming with Rats and Mice, that they over run the King and Queen's Table at Dinner; Likewise a large diverting Scene of Tapestry, fill'd with all living Figures; and lastly, concluding with a Lord Mayor's Triumph, in which are presented nine several Pageants, being Six Elephants and Castles, a Magnificent Temple, and two Triumphal Chariots, one drawn by two Lyons, and the other by two Dolphins; in all which are seated above twenty Persons in various Dresses; with Flaggs, Scutcheons, Streamers, &c. The Preparation and Decoration of which infinitely exceed both in Expence and Grandeur, all that has ever been seen on a Stage in the Fair. The Chief Parts are performed by Actors from both Theatres. Vivat Regina.'

Here we see a departure from the old drolls, and a reliance on the part of the management on mechanical and spectacular effects: besides which, there was the puppet show, pure and simple. 'By Her Majesties Permission. At Heatly's Booth, Over against the Cross Daggers, next to Mr. Miller's Booth; During the time of Bartholomew Fair, will be presented a Little Opera, Call'd, The Old Creation of the World Newly Reviv'd, With the Addition of the Glorious Battle obtained over the French and Spaniards, by his Grace the Duke of Marlborough. The Contents are these—

This show seems to have been popular, for in another fair we have it again with variations: 'At Crawly's Booth, over against the Crown Tavern in Smithfield during the time of Bartholomew Fair, will be presented a little Opera call'd, The Old Creation of the World, yet newly reviv'd, with the addition of Noah's Flood; also several Fountains playing Water during the time of the Play.

'The last Scene does present Noah and his Family coming out of the Ark, with all the Beasts, two by two, and all the Fowls of the Air seen in a Prospect sitting upon the Trees. Likewise over the Ark is seen the Sun rising in a most glorious manner, moreover a multitude of Angels will be seen in a double rank, which presents a double prospect, one for the Sun, the other for a Palace, where will be seen six Angels, ringing six Bells.

'Likewise Machines descends from above, double and trible, with Dives rising out of Hell, and Lazarus seen in Abraham's bosom, besides several Figures dancing Jiggs, Sarabrands, and Country Dances, to the Admiration of all Spectators; with the merry Conceit of Squire Punch and Sir John Spendall.

'All this is compleated with an Entertainment of Singing and Dancing with several Naked Swords, Perform'd by a Child of Eight Years of Age, to the general Satisfaction of all Persons. Vivat Regina.'

As a specimen of the dancing booth Ward visited, take the following handbill: 'James Miles, From Sadler's Wells, at Islington; Now keeps the Gun Musick Booth, in Bartholomew Fair. Whereas Mr. Miles by his Care and Diligence to oblige the Gentry, and all others that are Lovers and Judges of good Musick, has put himself to an extraordinary Charge, in getting such Performers, as, no doubt, will give a general Satisfaction to all. This is also to give Notice to all Gentlemen, Ladies, and Others, That they may be accommodated with all Sorts of Wine, and other Liquors; with several extraordinary Entertainments of Singing and Dancing, which was never perform'd at the Fair, viz.:—

There was a famous Merry Andrew who used to act for Pinkethman, and who, at other times, followed the vocation of a Horse Doctor. There is a very curious elegy upon him, still extant[343]:—

That us'd to visit Smithfield or May Fair,
To pertake of the Lewdness that is acted there;
T' oblige the Mobb, that did some Pastime lack,
He'd Merry Andrew turn; and name of Quack
Forsake a Fortnight, then that time expir'd
The name of Doctor was again acquir'd.

Occasionally there were rather more refined exhibitions, but they were very rare. Here is one, 'In the first Booth on the left Hand from the Hospital Gate, over against the Royal Oak Lottery, in Bartholomew Fair, from 9 o'clock in the Morning till 9 at Night, will be exposed to publick View, all the most valuable wrought (p. 196) Plate taken by her Majesties Fleet at Vigo. Having been first Lodged in the Tower and never exposed before but in the Tower, viz., a fine large Altar Piece with 6 Angels at full proportion, standing round on Pedestals, 4 Apostles supporting the 4 pillars, and 4 Angels attending them, with each a lamp for Incence in their Hands, also a Crown set with Valuable Stones, a Holy Water Pot garnish'd with Curious Fillegrin Work, and a great many other extraordinary Curiosities of Gilt and Fillegrin Plate, all brought from Vigo. The like never seen in England before. Price 6d.'

Bartholomew Fair began on August 24 of each year, being St. Bartholomew's Day, and lasted fourteen days. In 1691 and 1694 it was reduced to the old term of three days, and in 1697, 1700, and 1702 stage plays were prohibited in the fair. The revenue derived from it formed part of the income of the Lord Mayor, and in 1697 a proposal was made to allow the Lord Mayor 4,000l. a year for the maintenance of his office, and abolish his perquisites; when Bartholomew Fair was valued at 100l. per annum.

On June 2, 1708, 'the Common Council of this City Mett, and the lease for holding Bartholomew Fair expiring the 11th of August, agreed, That for the future none should be kept for Stage Plays, raffling Shops &c. which tend to debauchery; but only 3 dayes for the sale of leather and Cattle, according to its antient custome.'[344] The raffling shops were clearly illegal, for the same writer says, October 11, 1705: 'Yesterday the grand jury found bills of indictment against all those persons who kept raffling shops in the Cloysters during Bartholomew fair.' But all the legislation in the world was impotent to put down this fair, until, in this century, public opinion as to the expedience of fairs was changed, and 'Bartlemy' fair was proclaimed for the last time in 1855.

May Fair, or, as it was originally called, St. James's Fair, was of old date, as Machyn mentions it in his 'Diary for 1560.' Pepys, also, calls it by the latter name when he speaks of it: its name of May fair was comparatively recent, and was, of course, owing to its being held in that month. It was held on the north side of Piccadilly, and seems to have had even a more evil repute than Bartholomew Fair. The Observator says: 'Can any rational men imagine that her Majesty would permit so much lewdness as is committed in May Fair, for so many days together, so near to her royal Palace, if she knew anything about the matter?' Anyhow the fair flourished during the major portion of Anne's reign.

The shows were very much like those at the larger fair. Here is one in 1702: 'At Miller's Booth in May Fair, the Second Booth on the Right Hand coming into the Fair, over against the Famous Mr. Barnes the Rope Dancer, will be presented an Excellent Droll, call'd Crispin and Crispianus; or a Shoemaker a Prince. With the Comical Humours of Barrady and the Shoemaker's Wife. With the best Machines, Singing and Dancing, (p. 197) ever yet in the Fair. Where the Famous Ladder Dancer performs those things upon the Ladder never before seen, to the Admiration of all Men. Vivat Regina.'

'Lady Mary' was at the same fair, and advertises herself by means of a disclaimer: 'Whereas it hath been maliciously reported that Mrs. Finley, who for her incomparable Dancing on the Rope, is unwillingly distinguish'd by the Name of the Lady Mary, was Dead; This is to inform all Persons, That the said Report is Notoriously false, she now being in Mr. Barnes's and Finley's Booth, over against Mr. Pinkethman and Mr. Simson's, next to Mr. Mills, and Mr. Bullock's in May Fair,' &c. And she was there again in 1704: 'At Mr. Finley and Mr. Barnes's Booth, During the time of May Fair, will be seen a Compleat Company of near 20 of the best Rope Dancers, Vaulters and Tumblers in Europe, who are all excellent in their several Performances, and do such wonderful and surprizing things, as the whole World cannot parallel; where Finley, who gave that extraordinary satisfaction before Charles III. King of Spain on Board the Royal Katherine, performs several new entertainments, and where the Lady Mary, likewise shows such additions to her former admirable perfections, as renders her the wonder of the whole world.' She was very popular, as Pinkethman somewhat bitterly remarks in the 'Epilogue to the Bath' (acted at Drury Lane, 1701), where he says he made grimaces to empty benches, while Lady Mary had carried all before her:—

Gadzooks, what signified my Face?

This, however, did not prevent Pinkethman from going there again; for in 1704 he issued the following advertisement: 'In Brookfield Marketplace at the East corner of Hide 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 Entertainment as at Bartholomew Fair, where there are shops to be Lett ready built, for all manner of Tradesmen that usually keep Fairs; and so to continue yearly at the same Time and place; being a Free Fair; and no person to be arrested or molested during the Time of this Fair by Virtue of Pye Powder Court. And at Mr. Pinkeman's Droll Booth will be performed several Entertainments which will be expressed at large upon the Bills, especially one very surprizing that the whole World never yet produced the like, viz, He speaks an Epilogue upon an Elephant between Nine and Ten Foot high arriv'd from Guinea, led upon the Stage by Six Blacks. The Booth is easily known by the Picture of the Elephant and Mr. Pinkethman sitting in State on his back, on the outside of his Booth. Any body that wants Ground for Shops or Booths, may hire it of Mr. Pinkeman, enquire at the Bull Head in Brookfield Market, alias May Fair.'

He was there again in 1707. 'At Pinkeman's Booth in May Fair, to entertain the Quality, Gentry, and others, he has got Eight Dancing Doggs, brought from Holland, which are Admir'd by all (p. 198) that see them: and they will dance upon Mr. Pinkeman's Stage in each Show. This Extraordinary Charge he's at (in procuring these Doggs) is purely to divert the Town. They are the Wonder of the World, The last Show beginning between 8 & 9 a Clock for the Entertainment of the Quality, as the Park breaks up.'

There was another theatrical company: 'At the New Play House in May Fair, During the time of the Fair will be play'd, the True and Ancient Story of Maudlin the Merchants Daughter of Bristol and her lover Antonio. How they were Cast away in a Tempest upon the Coast of Barbary; where the Mermaids were seen floating on the Seas, and Singing on the Rocks, foretelling their danger. The Droll intermingled with most delightful merry Comedy, after the manner of an Opera, with extraordinary variety of Singing and Dancing: By his Grace the Duke of Southampton's Servants. The Place will be Known by the Balcone adorn'd with Blue Pillars twisted with Flowers. Vivat Regina.'

May Fair boasted of its natural curiosities, as the two following advertisements testify: 'Near Hide Park Corner during the Time of May Fair, near the Sheep pens over against Mr. Penkethman's Booth; Is to be seen the Wonder of the World in Nature, being a Mail Child born with a Bear growing on its Back alive, to the great Admiration of all Spectators, having been shown before most of the Nobility of the Land.'

'By Her Majesties Permission. This is to give Notice to all Gentlemen, Ladies and others, that coming into May Fair, the first Booth on the left Hand, over against Mr. Pinkeman's Booth; During the usual time of the Fair, is to be seen, a great Collection of Strange and Wonderful Rarities, all Alive from several parts of the World.

'A little Black Man lately brought from the West Indies, being the Wonder of this Age, he being but 3 Foot high and 25 Years Old.

'Likewise 2 Wood Monsters from the East Indies, Male and Female, being the Admirablest Creaturs that ever was seen in this Kingdom; they differ from all Creaturs whatsoever, and are so Wonderful in Nature that it is too large to insert here.

'Also a little Marmoset from the East Indies, which by a great deal of Pains is now brought to that perfection, that no Creature of his Kind ever perform'd the like; he Exercises by Word of Command, he dances the Cheshire Rounds, he also dances with 2 Naked Swords, and performs several other Pretty Fancies. Likewise a Noble Civet Cat from Guiny which is admir'd for his Beauty, and that incomparable Scent, which Perfumes the whole Place. Also a Muntosh from Rushy, being very Wonderfully Marked.

'Also a Helliscope from Argier, being the Beautifuls Creature in all the World; specked like a Leopard. Vivat Regina.'

The 'London Spy' would be incomplete without an account of a scene so congenial as May Fair, so of course he visited it; but it (p. 199) does not appear to have vied in any degree with Bartholomew Fair. 'We ordered the Coach to drive thro' the Body of the Fair that we might have the better View of the Tinsey Heroes and the gazing Multitude; expecting to have seen several Corporations of Strolling Vagabonds, but there prov'd but one Company, amongst whom Merry Andrew was very busie in coaxing the attentive Crowd into a good Opinion of his Fraternitie's and his own Performances; and when with abundance of Labour, Sweat, and Nonsense he had drawn a great cluster of the Mob on his Parade, and was just beginning to encourage them to Walk in and take their Places; his unlucky opposite, whose boarded Theatre entertain'd the Publick with the wonderful activity of some little Indian Rope Dancers, brings out a couple of Chattering Homunculusses, drest up in Scaramouch Habit; and every thing that Merry Andrew and his Second did on the one side, was mimick'd by the little Flat nos'd Comedians on the other, till the two Diminutive Buffoons, by their Comical Gestures had so prevail'd upon the gaping Throng, that tho' Merry Andrew had taken pains, with all the wit he had to collect the Stragling Rabble into their proper order, yet like an unmannerly Audience, they turn'd their Backs upon the Players, and devoted themselves wholly to the Monkeys, to the great vexation of Tom Fool and all the Strutting train of imaginary Lords and Ladies. At last comes an Epitome of a Careful Nurse, drest up in a Country Jacket, and under her Arm a Kitten for a Nurslin, and in her contrary hand a piece of Cheese; down sits the little Matron with a very Motherly Countenance, and when her Youngster Mew'd, she Dandled him, and Rock'd him in her Arms, with as great signs of Affection as a loving Mother could well shew to a disorder'd Infant; then bites a piece of the Cheese, and after she had mumbled it about in her own Mouth, then thrust it with her Tongue into the Kitten's. Just as I have seen some Nasty Old Sluts feed their Grandchildren.'

The other shows in the fair seem to have been very poor: two or three dancing booths, a puppet show, 'a Turkey Ram, with as much Wooll upon his Tail as would load a Wheelbarrow,' and a couple of tigers, were all Ward could find worth recording.

The fair was disorderly, and in 1702 an incident occurred which materially assisted its downfall. 'Westminster, May 16. The Constables of this Liberty being more than ordinary vigilant in the discharge of their duty, since the coming forth of her Majesty's pious Proclamation again Vice and Debauchery, and having in pursuance thereof taken up several Lewd Women in May Fair, in order to bring them to Justice, were opposed therein by several rude Soldiers, one of whom is committed to Prison, and the rest are diligently enquired after.'[345] In fact among them they managed to kill a constable, named John Cooper—for which murder a fencing-master named Cook was afterwards hanged at Tyburn; and, (p. 200) although the fair lingered a few years longer, yet it became such a nuisance that in November 1708 the Grand Jury of Westminster 'did present as a publick Nuisance and Inconvenience, the yearly riotous and tumultuous Assembly in a place called Brook Field, in the Parish of St. Martins in the Fields, in this County, called May Fair.'[346]

This was the beginning of its end, and 1708 saw the last of the fair. 'Saturday 30 April 1709. Yesterday was published a proclamation by her Majestie, prohibiting the erecting or making use of any booths or stalls in Mayfair, for any plays, shows, gaming, musick meetings, or other disorderly assemblies.'[347] That this had been expected is shown by Steele, writing on April 18, 1709. 'Advices from the upper end of Piccadilly say, that May Fair is utterly abolished.'[348]

The Tatler (No. 21) makes merry over its downfall, and says, 'if any lady or gentleman have occasion for a tame elephant, let them enquire of Mr. Pinkethman, who has one to dispose of at a reasonable rate. The downfall of May-fair has quite sunk the price of this noble Creature, as well as of many other Curiosities of Nature. A tiger will sell almost as cheap as an ox; and I am Credibly informed, a man may purchase a cat with three legs, for very near the value of one with four. I hear likewise that there is a great desolation among the gentlemen and ladies who were the ornaments of the town, and used to shine in plumes and diadems; the heroes being most of them pressed, and the queens beating hemp.'

There was also a fair at Southwark, but of this very little mention is made in the newspapers or handbills. It was an old one, dating from 1492, and was founded by a Charter granted by Edward IV., to hold a fair 'for three days, that is to say, the 7th, 8th, 9th days of September to be holden, together with a Court of Pie Powders, and with all the liberties to such Fairs appertaining.' It used to be opened with some degree of state by the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs, and was generally called 'Our Lady's Fair.'

The indefatigable public caterer, Pinkethman, was there, in 1704, with 'the same Company that was at Bartholomew Fair over against the Hospital Gate, particularly the two famous French Maidens, and the Indian Woman; and also Italian Interludes of Scaramouch and Harlequin, by those two Great Masters of their kind Mr. Sorine and Mr. Baxter; and likewise extraordinary Performances on the Manag'd Horse by the famous Mr. Evans and Mr. Baxter, who both perform several new things in their Way. And also Mr. Evans walks on the Slack Rope, and throws himself a Somerset through a Hogshead hanging eight Foot high, with several other Entertainments too tedious to insert here.'

In 1705 'the two famous French Maidens the Lady Isabella and her Sister,' again attended the fair, accompanied by 'the (p. 201) Famous Mr. Luly, who walks on the Slack Rope without a Pole, and stands upon one Legg distinctly playing a tune on the violin; and likewise turns himself round on the Rope with as much freedom as if on the Ground.'

An old friend was also there, 'The Whole Story of the Creation of the World, or Paradise lost,' but seemingly its sole attraction was not sufficient, for it was accompanied by 'The Ball of Little Dogs come from Lovain, which performs, by their cunning tricks, Wonders in the World by Dancing. You shall see one of them named Marquis of Gaillardin, whose Dexterity is not to be compared; he dances with Mrs. Poncette his Mistress, and the rest of their Company at the sound of Instruments; observes so well the Cadance, that they amaze every Body. They have danced in most of the Courts of Europe, especially before the Queen and most of the Quality of England. They are carried to Persons of Qualities Houses if required. They stay but a little while in this Place. They give a General Satisfaction to all People that see them.'

Here also was to be seen the English Sampson, William Joyce, described by Ward as 'the Southwark Sampson, who breaks Carmens Ribs with a Hug, snaps Cables like Twine Thread, and throws Dray Horses upon their backs, with as much Ease as a Westphalia Hog can crack a Cocoa Nut.' When he exhibited before William III., he lifted 1 ton and 14-1/2 lbs. of lead, tied a very strong rope round him to which was attached a strong horse, which, although whipped, failed to move him: this rope he afterwards snapped like pack thread. 'We are credibly inform'd that the said Mr. Joyce pulled up a Tree of near a Yard and a half Circumference by the Roots at Hamstead on Tuesday last in the open View of some Hundreds of People, it being modestly computed to Weigh near 2000 weight.'


The Lincolnshire ox — The large hog — The whale — Monkeys and wild beasts — 'The Lest Man and Hors in the World' — Performing horse — Dwarfs and giants — Human curiosities — Helen and Judith — Conjurors — Posture masters — Mr. Clinch — Waxwork — Mrs. Salmon, etc. — Westminster Abbey wax-figures — Powell's puppets — Moving pictures — Glass-blowing — Miraculous fountain — Winstanley — His waterworks — The four Indian chiefs.

But it must not be imagined that these fairs monopolised all the rarities and natural curiosities. On the contrary, there were plenty on exhibition elsewhere, as we shall see. 'This is to give Notice to all Gentlemen, Ladies, and Others, that the Great Ox that hath been so long talk'd of, and that hath been in the News so often, is now come to London, and is to be seen any Hour of (p. 202) the Day, at the White Horse Inn in Fleet Street, at the same place where the great Elephant was seen. This Large and Famous Beast, otherwise called the True Lincolnshier Ox, is Nineteen Hands High, and Four Yards Long, from his Face to his Rump, and never was Calv'd nor never Suckt, and two Years ago was no bigger than another Ox, but since is grown to this Prodigious Bigness. This Noble Beast was lately shown at the University of Cambridge, with great Satisfaction to all that saw him. The like Beast for Bigness was never seen in the World before. Vivat Reginæ' (sic). Other dimensions are given when it was exhibited at May Fair. 'His shin being 36 inches round, and an Ell broad from Huckle Bone to Huckle Bone across the Back.' The following looks suspiciously like a newspaper puff: 'Yesterday the 17th Instant, was proffer'd for the Great Lincolnshire Ox, 350 Guineas.'[349]

Then there was a 'Large Buckinghamshire Hog, above 10 Foot long; 13 Hands high; above 7 foot and a half round the Body; almost 5 Foot round the Neck, and 18 inches round the fore Leg, above the Joynt.' And 'At the White Horse in Fleet Street' could be seen the 'Wonderful Worcestershire Mare 19 Hands high, curiously shaped, every way proportionable.'

These were native productions, and, although abnormal, could not compete with rarities from foreign lands—especially with the whale, Vide Daily Courant, September 15, 1712: 'There being last Week a Royal Parmacitty Whale taken in the Thames, which is the noblest Fish ever seen in England, the same will for the curiosity of Gentlemen, &c., be exposed to view in a Barge near the Faulcon over against Black Fryers at 2d. a piece.' It got rather odoriferous by keeping, so we read in the Daily Courant of September 22, that, 'the Royal Whale, supposed to be the Spermacete so much admired, will be exposed to Sale by Auction to-morrow at 4 o'clock.' Its purchaser is unknown, but we hear of it again: 'We called at the Isle of Dogs to see the Skeleton of a whale, forty-eight yards long, and thirty-five round.'[350]

Of course there was no Zoological Society at that time, and the only way of seeing foreign animals was by small private collections, which, for want of capital, never contained any very rare specimens. Still, it was something even to get this, and we must not forget that our own Zoological collection is the work of the present century, and is an example followed by scarcely any other town in England, where still, as in the villages, people are dependent upon the travelling menageries for any practical knowledge they may possess of the natural history of any land other than their own. In London a permanent collection of wild beasts, or at all events lions and tigers, had existed at the Tower, where once was a white bear, which used, duly fastened by a cord, to fish (p. 203) in the Thames; and we have seen that these animals were one of the principal sights of the City.

'At the White Horse Inn in Fleet Street, any time of the Day or Evening,' were to be seen '1. A little Black Hairy Pigmey, bred in the Desarts of Arabia, a Natural Ruff of Hair about his Face, two Foot high, walks upright, drinks a Glass of Ale or Wine, and does several other things to admiration. 2. A Hyenna. 3. A Murino dear, one of the seven Sleepers. 4. The Remark from the East Indies. 5. The Noble Histix from the West Indies. 6. The little Whifler, admired for his extraordinary Scent. 7. The Mock call, the Bird of Paradise.'


'To all Gentlemen and others, that are lovers of Rarieties. Are to be seen divers sorts of Outlandish Beasts lately brought over, which, altho by Nature feirce and Savage, are here to be seen very gentle and tame, giving great Satisfaction to all the beholders. As first A Leopard, a beast of excellent beauty, presented to an English Merchant in Turkey by the king of the Arabs, as a particular mark of favour for eminent Services performed, who for the Maintenance of it in its voyage from Aleppo, (p. 204) gave One hundred and ninety of the best and fattest fowls. Likewise two Dromedaries Male and Female, the Male being the largest that ever was in England, being seven foot high, and ten foot in length; his common burden is twelve hundredweight, with which he travels 40 miles a day; there is also to be seen a Civet Cat giveing a pleasant smell throughout the Room. Likewise a Wolf and other wild beasts are there to be seen at any time of the day (all being alive).'

A dromedary seems to have been considered a great curiosity, and the following advertisement gives a wonderful description of it. 'By Her Majesties Authority. Betwixt the Queen's Head and Crooked Billet near Fleet Bridge. This is to give notice to all Gentlemen, Ladies, and others, that there is here to be seen, two strange wonderful and remarkable monstrous Creatures, an old She Dromodary, being seven foot high and ten foot long, lately arriv'd from Tartary, and her young One, being the greatest Rarity and Novelty that ever was seen in the three Kingdoms before. These Creatures is much admired above all other Creatures in their way of bringing forth their young, for they go fourteen Months with young; these Creatures resemble several sorts of Creatures, and yet but one at the last; they are headed like a Horse, ey'd like an Ox, nos'd like a Deer, cloven Lipt like a Hare, also neck'd like a Swan, and Tail'd like a Mule, and cloven footed like a Cow, also the young Creature shewing several Actions by the word of Command. Note also that Natural Dromodarys (as these be) are the swiftest Creatures upon Earth: These Creatures are to be seen at any hour of the day from eight in the Morning till nine at night. Vivat Regina.'

'By Her Majesty's Authority. Is to be seen, the Hand of a Sea Monster which was lately taken on the Coasts of Denmark; the whole Creature was very large, and weigh'd (according to Computation) at least fifty Tuns, and was seventy foot in length: His upper part resembled a Man; from the middle downwards he was a Fish, &c. Likewise there is a Man Teger, lately brought from the East Indies, a most strange and wonderful Creature, the like never seen before in England, it being of Seven several Colours, from the Head downwards resembling a Man, its fore parts clear, and his hinder parts all Hairy; having a long Head of Hair, and Teeth 2 or 3 Inches long; taking a Glass of Ale in his hand like a Christian, Drinks it, also plays at Quarter Staff. There is also a famous Porcupine, a Martin Drill, a Pecari from the Deserts of Arabia, the Bone of a Giant above a Yard long, with several other Monstrous Creatures too difficult to describe, all alive. This is to give notice that the Man Teger is removed from Holborn Bars to the sign of the George against the steps of Upper More Fields. Vivat Regina.'

'This is to give Notice to all Gentlemen, Ladies, and Others, that are Lovers of Ra-arities, that over against the Muse Gate, near Chairing Cross, is to be seen the same Creature that was (p. 205) shown at Epsom and the Bath all this Summer. This Noble Creature, which much resembles a Wild Hairy Man, was lately taken in a Wood at Bengall in the East Indies, he Dances upon the strait Rope with a Pole in his hands, he cuts Capers upon the Rope, and Dances true to the Musick. Likewise this Creature walks the Steep Rope with a Pole in his hands. He walks upon a small Slack Rope Swinging, at the same time drinks a Glass of Ale, and all this is performed on a Rope no bigger than a penny Cord; and swings on it, to the great Admiration of all Spectators. He pulls off his Hat, and pays his Respects to the Company, and smoaks a Pipe of Tobacco as well as any Christian. This Noble Creature flings a Strapader, and hangs by his Hands and his Feet, and performs such Wonderful Things, that ne'er was done by any Rope Dancer whatever.' This was the rope-dancer spoken of by Addison: 'He is by birth a Monkey; but swings upon a Rope, takes a pipe of Tobacco, and drinks a glass of Ale, like any reasonable Creature.'[351]

Occasionally, but very rarely, the nobler beasts were shown. 'At the Duke of Marlborough's Head in Fleet Street, is to be seen these Rarities following. 1. The noble and majestick Lion, lately brought from Barbary, which for its most surprizing Largeness, and its being so wonderful tame, far exceeds any that ever was seen in the world. 2. A young Lion lately brought over from Algier, so wonderful tame that any Person may handle him as well as his keeper. 3. The noble Panther lately brought from Egypt, one of the beautifullest Creatures in the World for variety of Spots of divers Colours; a Creature much admired by all the Gentlemen, and Ladies that ever saw him. 4. The Noble Pelican or Vulture, lately arrived from America 3 foot high, 9 over. The Head like a Griffin, Neck like a Swan: the like never seen in this kingdom before.'

A rhinoceros could only be seen stuffed, and with its skeleton.

In the latter part of 1711 there was a show of 'the Lest Man and Hors in the World,' which Addison has immortalised in the Spectator (No. 271), saying that the man, his wife, and horse 'are so very light, that when they are put together into a Scale, an ordinary Man may weigh down the whole Family.' These were combined with some wild animals, which evidently would not pay to exhibit by themselves.

'By Her Majesty's Permission. This is to give Notice to all Gentlemen, Ladies, and Others, that Just over against the Mews Gate at Charing Cross, is to be seen a Collection of strange and wonderful Creatures from most Parts of the World, all alive.


'The First being a little Black Man, being but 3 Foot high, and 32 Years of Age, strait and proportionable every way, who is distinguished by the Name of the Black Prince, and has been shown before most Kings and Princes in Christendom. The next being (p. 206) his Wife, the Little Woman, Not 3 Foot high, and 30 Years of Age, strait and proportionable as any Woman in the Land, which is commonly call'd the Fairy Queen, she gives a General satisfaction to all that sees her, by Diverting them with Dancing, being big with Child. Likewise their little Turkey Horse, being but 2 Foot odd Inches High, and above 12 Years of Age, that shews several diverting and surprising Actions, at the Word of Command. The least Man, Woman and Horse that ever was seen in the World Alive. The Horse being kept in a Box. The next being a strange Monstrous Female Creature, that was taken in the Wood in the Desarts of Ætiopia in Prestor John's Country, in the remotest parts of Affrica, being brought over from Cape de Bon Esperance, alias Cape of Good Hope; from hir Head downwards she resembles Humane Nature, having Breasts, Belly, Navel, Nipples, Legs, and Arms like a Woman, with a long Monstrous Head, no such Creature was ever seen in this part of the World before, she showing many strange and wonderful Actions which gives great satisfaction to all that ever did see her. The next is the noble Picary which is very much admir'd by the Learned. The next being the Noble Jack-call, the Lion's provider, which hunts in the Forest for the Lion's Prey. Likewise a small Egyptian Panther, spotted like a Leopard. The next being a strange monstrous Creature, brought from the Coast of Brazil, having a Head like a Child, Legs and Arms very wonderful, with a long Tail like a Serpent, wherewith (p. 207) he feeds himself, as an Elephant doth with his Trunk. With several other Rarities too tedious to mention in this Bill.'

Before quitting the natural history shows we must notice

'The finest Taught Horse in the World.

These are to give Notice to all Gentlemen, Ladies, and Others, that are Lovers of Sport and Ingenuity, that at the Ship on Great Tower Hill will be shewn a Dancing Horse, which performs a great many Dexterous Actions at the Word of Command, Viz., He fetches and carries like a Spaniel Dog, if you hide a Glove, Handkerchief, Door Key, Pewter Bason, or so small a thing as a Silver Two Pence, he will seek about the Room till he finds it and brings it to his Master.

'Turn him loose in the Room without either Bridle or Halter on his Head, altho' there were a hundred People in the Room, some paying as they come in, and some not paying, yet let them sit and be mixed one amongst another, he will find them out that have not payd from the rest.

'Borrowing several pieces of Money of Persons in the Room, Blind fold this Horse whilst the Money is in Borrowing, yet giving him the Money, he will take it in his Mouth one piece after another and will give it where 'twas Borrowed, and will give account what Pieces they are when he delivers them. He tells all Numbers and findeth any one Person from another; he plays at Cards, at Putt, a thing much to be admired, he plays with as much readiness as any one that plays with him. Tell him that there is an Express Warrant come to press him, and that he must leave his Master to go and serve the French King, unless he can find some way to deceive the Press Masters, he presently falleth so Lame, that he can hardly set one Foot before another, but telling him if he is Alive he must go, he throweth himself on the Ground, and with his Legs stretched out stiff, and his Tongue lying out of his Mouth, as if he were Dead; but telling him that he must rise and Serve Queen Anne, he riseth up and is Extraordinary Brisk and Cheerful; he turns his Body round on one Foot, and will Leap through Hoops, and performs Sixty Actions at Command without Bridle on his Head; the like never seen by no dumb Creature in the World. Vivat Regina.'

Dwarfs always have been shown about, and the following advertisement is probably that of one of the rivals to that spiteful 'little Farey Woman' already noticed.

'At the Brandy Shop over against the Eagle and Child in Stocks Market, is to be seen any hour of the Day, from 8 in the Morning till 9 at Night, a little German Woman, the Dwarf of the World, being but 2 Foot 8 Inches in Height, and the Mother of 2 Children, as straight as any Woman in England; she sings and dances incomparable well, she has had the honour to be shown before Kings and Princes, and most of the Nobility of the Land, she is carried in a little Box to any Gentleman's House, if desir'd.'

(p. 208) 'In Bridges Street in Covent Garden, over against the Rose Tavern, is to be seen a Living Fairy, suppos'd to be a Hundred and Fifty Years Old; his Face being no bigger than a Child's of a Month: was found Sixty Years ago; Look'd as Old then as he does now. His head being a great piece of Curiosity, having no Scull, with several Imperfections worthy your Observation.'

'There were giants in the earth in those days,' and at the 'Hercules's Pillars at Charing Cross' might be seen a German giant, seven and a half feet high, and an Italian giantess 'above Seven foot high, and every way proportionable weighing 425 Pounds Weight.' This seems to have been the normal height of giants, for the Saxon giant[352] who was 'but Twenty Five Years of Age, he is Seven Foot and Five Inches in height, and every way Proportionable.' He was shown to the Queen and Prince George at Windsor; but, previously 'he had the Honour to be presented with a piece of Armour proportionable to his Bigness, by the King of the Romans.'

Germany, however, was not to have the monopoly of supplying us with giants—that, our patriotism could not stand—so a real live British giant was produced, warranted genuine. The only fault about him is that he does not state his height, so that we have no means of comparing him with the foreign importations.

'This is to give Notice to all Gentlemen, Ladys and Others, that there is now to be seen in this Place, a Tall Britain, Born on a Mountain near Llanriost; from the Age of 16 Years he has Travelled abroad, and has been shown before all the Foreign Kings and Princes in Christendom; and is now lately come into England, and had the Honour to have been shown before Her Present Majesty of Great Brittain and her Royal Consort the Prince to the Great Satisfaction of all Spectators that have seen him, he being the Tallest Man that ever was show'd in this Kingdom.'

'There is lately brought to this place from America a Savage; being a Cannibal Indian or Man Eater who was taken in a Skirmish near South Carolina, between the Natives of that Place and some of the Wild Savage men. Likewise an Indian Woman, a Princess of that Country.'

Divers freaks of humanity were shown, but it requires some credulity to take in the following: 'At the Herculus Pillars at Charing Cross, is to be seen a Girl that was found on a Mountain, in the west of England; When an Eminent Gentlewoman observing her to be without Fingers or Toes; and without Speech in regard to her Distress, ordered her to be brought to her Habitation; this Gentlewoman for many Years, was troubled with Convulsions of a severe kind, was perfectly Cured in a very short time, by the (p. 209) Girls Stroaking. This Girl hath like Success in Pains that arise from the Spleen, Sores, and Swellings, and many other Distempers, and what is very Remarkable also in her; She never spoke one Word in Four Years, and then by a Prophetick Spirit, said, the Gentlewoman that preserved her, would Die by Two a Clock which happened accordingly. The Girl is Ingenious, and can Work at her Needle; and perform several other things worth Observation; Price for seeing her Six Pence a Piece. She Toucheth Gratis.'


'This young Man was Born in Hungary, and is about 18 years of Age, a Foot and a Half High: In the places where the Thighs, or Legs should be; hath Two Breasts in all points like a Woman's on which He Walks. The Natural parts are of the Male kind; Climes, or gets from the Ground upon a Table, and sits on a Corner of it, but 3 Quarters of an Inch broad, and shews more Artful Tricks, to the General Diversion, Satisfaction, and Admiration of all Spectators, and speaks several Languages. Vivat Regina.'

The following, although a curious, could hardly have been a pleasing exhibition. 'The Bold Grimace Spaniard. At the Ram's Head Inn in Fanchurch Street, is to be seen a Bold Grimace Spaniard, lately brought over, by David Cornwell, in the Bilboa Merchant: He liv'd 15 Years among wild Creatures in the Mountains, and is reasonably suppos'd to have been taken out of his Cradle, an Infant, by some Savage Beast, and wonderfuly preserv'd, till some Comedians accidentally pass'd thro' those Parts, and perceiving him to be of human Race, pursu'd him to his Cave, where they caught him in a Net. They found something wonderful in his Nature, and took him with 'em in their Travels thro' Spain (p. 210) and Italy. He performs the following surprising Grimaces, viz. He lolls out his Tongue a Foot long, turns his Eyes in and out at the same time; contracts his Face as small as an Apple; Extends his Mouth Six Inches, and turns it into the Shape of a Bird's Beak, and his Eyes like to an Owl's; turns his Mouth into the Form of a Hat cock'd up three ways; and also frames it in the manner of a four square Buckle; licks his Nose with his Tongue, like a Cow; rolls one Eye Brow two Inches up, the other two down; changes his face to such an astonishing Degree, as to appear like a Corpse long buried; Altho bred wild so long, yet by travelling with the aforesaid Comedians 18 years, he can sing wonderfully fine, and accompanies his Voice with a thorow Bass on the Lute. His former natural Estrangement from human Conversation obliged Mr. Cornwell to bring a Jackanapes over with him for his Companion, in whom he takes great Delight and Satisfaction.'

Queen Anne's time could also match our age with 'Two-Headed Nightingales,' 'Siamese Twins,' or 'Pygopagi.' 'At Mr. John Pratt's at the Angel in Cornhil ... are to be seen two Girls, who are one of the greatest Wonders in Nature that ever was seen, being Born with their Backs fasten'd to each other, and the Passages of their Bodies are both one way. These Children are very Handsome and Lusty, and Talk three different Languages; they are going into the 7th year of their Age. Those who see them, may very well say, they have seen a Miracle, which may pass for the 8th Wonder of the World.' These were Helen and Judith, who were born at Tzoni, in Hungary, October 26, 1701; lived to the age of twenty-one, and died in a convent at Petersburg February 23, 1723. They were well-shaped, very good-looking, and very fond of each other. They spoke Hungarian, high and low Dutch, French, and English.

There was also exhibited 'A young fresh country Lad just arriv'd from Suffolk; who is covered all over his Body, except the Face, Palms of the Hands, and Soles of his Feet, with Bristles like a Hedgehog, as hard as Horn, which shoots off yearly.'

'There is lately arrived a Person that was born without either Arms or Hands, and he does such miraculous things with his Feet, that the like never was known in the World.... He writes very fine with his Mouth, right and left Foot without discerning, which is the best, and in Five sorts of Languages, and makes his own Pens with a Pen Knive; he walks upon his two great Toes, and stands upon one Toe; he lays his Foot in his Neck, and hops upon the other, he stands upon the top of a little Stool, and reaches a Glass with his Mouth from under it; he threads a very fine and small Needle, and sows very prettily; and all Actions whatsoever is done by Hands, he does with his Feet: he Combs or dresses a Perriwig very well, shaves himself, dresses and undresses himself &c., and all with his feet, &c.'

There were conjurors, especially 'the incomparable German.... He makes pass through his Cups 60 Balls, without touching (p. 211) them, and they are turn'd into little live Birds, which whistle upon the Table. He takes a parcel of Cards, and throws them about the Room, and they are turn'd into little live Birds.' He was only equalled by 'An admirable Piece of Ingenuity in Hanging Sword Court, the Middle of Fleet Street,' where twice a day 'several Persons may be Entertained at Table, with various Dishes, and different kinds of Liquors, arising from Fountains on the Table to the drinking Glasses of the Entertained; of the which, when they are satisfied, a Serpent arising from a Box on the Middle of the Table, flyeth away with the Table and what's thereon remaining; and that very moment another Table of the same Dimensions, and furnished with another service, is in place where the former Table stood, without any visible Cause.'


Posture-masters, as the acrobats were then called, abounded, and one of the chief among them was Higgins, successor to the famous Clark, who could dislocate and deform himself at pleasure. But he must have found a worthy imitator in 'The young Posture Master from Exeter, who performs those Postures of Body, that none never yet did; he extends his Body into all deform'd Shapes of Stature; he makes his Hip and Shoulder Bones meet together; he stands upon one Leg and extends the other in a direct Line half a Yard above his Head; he drinks her Majesty's Health on his Head; he lays his Head on the Ground, and turns his Body round twenty Times, without stirring his Face from the Place; he sucks all his Bowels into his Breast, making a pack Saddle on his Back, that he will bear the lustiest Man that will be pleas'd to sit upon his Rump; he will sit in a Posture as if his Body was split, and so divides his Legs that his Toes are separated Six Foot ten Inches from Toe to Toe; he stands on a Table and turns his Head backwards below his Heels; he likewise dances any Dance upon his Knees with his Toes in his Hands, and dances true to the Musick.' But even all these accomplishments do not seem to have been sufficiently attractive of themselves, for with him was 'a Child of Five Years of Age, who does the Activity of Tumbling to the greatest Perfection. After which Mr. Cornwall takes an empty Bag, and turns it twenty times, and stamps on it, if requir'd, (p. 212) and then commands several Eggs out of it, and at last the live Hen.'

Children then, as now, had to go through acrobatic performances. There was 'a Boy that walks upon a Slack Rope no thicker than a Penny Cord, and a little Girl that vaults on the high Rope;' but, even in our time, we should hardly like to see 'a little Child about two Years and a half old perform such wonderful things on the Stiff Rope, as is surprising to all that behold him.' We hear more of this poor little thing. 'Whereas it has been industriously and falsely reported that the little Child that is under 3 years old, that danced on the Rope and tumbled, is dead; Mr. Francis thought it proper to certify all People, that the Child is living and well; and he challenges all Europe to produce a Child of his Age to perform what he does, both for Dancing and Tumbling. Likewise the little Girl about 7 Years old, that danced the Rope, vaulted the Slack Rope, and tumbled to the Admiration of all who saw her.'

There was a curious entertainment that lasted nearly the whole of Anne's reign; of which the first notice I can find is in the Daily Courant, November 27, 1704. By degrees Clench enlarged his répertoire until he did all described in the accompanying handbill. 'These are to give Notice to all Gentlemen, Ladies and Others, that Mr. Clench of Barnet who imitates the Horn, Huntsman and Pack of Hounds, the Sham Doctor, Old Woman, Drunken Man, the Bells, Flute, Double Curtell,[353] the Organ with three Voices, by his own Natural Voice, to the greatest Perfection; (being the only man that ever could Attain to so great an Art,) will perform,' etc. Clinch is mentioned in the Tatler (No. 51): 'A good company of us were this day to see, or rather to hear, an artful person do several feats of activity with his throat and windpipe. The first thing wherewith he presented us, was a ring of bells, which he imitated in a most miraculous manner; after that, he gave us all the different notes of a pack of hounds, to our great delight and astonishment.' Thoresby went to see him, and reports:[354] 'Evening to hear the memorable Mr. Clench, whose single voice, as he has learned to manage it, can admirably represent a number of persons, at sport and in hunting, and the very dogs and other animals, but none better than a quire of Choristers chanting an anthem, &c.'

Waxwork figures have always been a popular exhibition, and then was living a Mrs. Salmon, whose fame was as great as Madame Tussaud's. Her handbills were curiosities in their way, but they are so long that one only can be transcribed. The Royal Off Spring: Or, the Maid's Tragedy Represented in Wax Work, with many Moving Figures and these Histories Following. King Charles the First upon the Fatal Scaffold, attended by Dr. Juxon the Bishop of London, and the Lieutenant of the (p. 213) Tower, with the Executioner and Guards waiting upon our Royal Martyr. The Royal Seraglio, or the Life and Death of Mahomet the Third, with the Death of Ireniæ Princess of Persia, and the fair Sultaness Urania. The Overthrow of Queen Voaditia, and the Tragical Death of her two Princely Daughters. The Palace of Flora or the Roman superstition. The Rites of Moloch, or the Unhumane Cruelty, with the manner of the Canaanitish Ladies, Offering up their First-born Infants, in Sacrifice to that ugly Idol, in whose Belly was a burning Furnace, to destroy those Unhappy Children. Margaret Countess of Heningberg, Lying on a Bed of State, with her Three hundred and Sixty-Five Children, all born at one Birth, and baptized by the Names of Johns and Elizabeths, occasioned by the rash Wish of a poor beggar Woman. Hermonia a Roman Lady, whose Father offended the Emperor, was sentenced to be starved to Death, but was preserved by Sucking his Daughters Breast. Old Mother Shipton that Famous English Prophetess, which fortold the Death of the White King; All richly dress'd and composed with so much variety of Invention, that it is wonderfully Diverting to all Lovers of Art and Ingenuity. All made by Mrs. Salmon, and to be seen near the Horn Tavern in Fleet Street. Vivat Reginæ (sic).'

Of the miraculous accouchement of Margaret, Countess of Heningberg, Thoresby says[355]: 'After, walked to Gray's Inn to Mr. Smith, who most courteously entertained me, and gave me some inscriptions he had taken for me in his travels, particularly that for the memorable Countess who had 365 children at a birth; he saw the two basins they were baptized in.'

Nor was this the only exhibition of the kind; there was yet another similar show. 'The Effigies of his late Majesty King William III., of Glorious Memory, is Curiously done in Wax to the Life, Richly Drest in Coronation Robes, standing by the Effigies of his late Royal Consort, Queen Mary in the like Dress; likewise the late Duke of Gloucester in his Garter Robes. Together with the Effigies of several Persons of Quality and Others, all which are Alive, or have been so of late Years, whereby the Spectators may Judge of Likeness. They are to be seen every Day at Mr. Goldsmith's in Green Court in the Old Jury.'[356] This is the same artist who is spoken of in a newspaper paragraph. 'On Wednesday last Mrs. Goldsmith, the famous Woman for Waxwork, brought to Westminster Abbey the Effigies of that celebrated Beauty the late Duchess of Richmond, which is said to be the richest Figure that ever was set up in King Henry's Chapel.'[357]

'To be seen in Exeter Change in the Strand, as well in Christmas and other Holidays, as at all other times, tho' the Change be shut, only then you must go in at that end towards Charing Cross.

(p. 214) [Left-side sidenote: Note. The Prices are Six-pence, Four-pence, and Two-pence a-piece]

and to be
seen. The present
Court of England
in Wax, after (and as
big as) the Life, in the
Inner Walk of Exeter Change
in the Strand, much exceeding that
which was at the New Exchange tho'
both made by the most deservedly famous
Mrs. Mills, whom in that Art, all ingenuous
Persons own, had never yet an equal: The names
of the chief Persons are, The Queen, his Royal
Highness Prince George, the Princess Sophia, his Grace
The Duke of Marlborough, the Countess of Manchester,
the Countess of Kingstone, the Countess of Musgrave &c.
As likewise the Effigies of Mark Anthony, naturally
acting that which render'd him remarkable to
the World; Cleopatra his Queen, one of her
Egyptian Ladies, Oliver Cromwell in
Armour, the Count Tallard: with many
others too tedious here to mention.
To be seen from 9 in the
Morn, till 9 at Night. You
may go in at any of the
Doors in the Change,
and pass thro' the
Hatter's Shop in
the Outward

[Right-side sidenote: There is the Effigies of a Comedian walking behind the Queen]

Persons may have their Effigies made, or their deceased Friends on reasonable Terms.

The Westminster waxwork figures were then in a sadly dilapidated condition. Brown says[358]: 'As soon as we ascended half a Score Stone Steps in a dirty Cobweb hole, and in old Worm eaten Presses, whose Doors flew open on our approach; here stood Edward the Third, as they told us, which was a broken piece of Waxwork, a batter'd Head, and a Straw stuff'd Body, not one quarter cover'd with Rags; his beautiful Queen stood by, not better in Repair; and so to the number of half a score Kings and Queens, not near so good figures as the King of the Beggars make, and all the begging Crew would be ashamed of their Company. Their Rear was brought up with good Queen Bess, with the Remnants of an old dirty Ruff, and nothing to cover her Majesty's Nakedness.'

(p. 215) One of the most popular exhibitions was the puppet shows kept by Robert Powell, a dwarfish deformity. 'This is Mr. Powell—That's he—the little Crooked Gentleman, that holds a Staff in his Hand, without which he must fall.'[359] His 'Punch's Theatre' was in the little Piazza, Covent Garden—and Steele makes the under sexton of St. Paul's[360] Church grumble at his entertainment, because it took people away from him. Defoe says: 'Mr. Powell by Subscriptions and full Houses, has gathered such Wealth as is ten times sufficient to buy all the Poets in England; that he seldom goes out without his Chair, and thrives on this incredible Folly to that degree, that, were he a Freeman, he might hope that some future Puppet Show might celebrate his being Lord Mayor, as he has done Sir R. Whittington.'[361] Both in the Tatler and Spectator he is frequently referred to, especially in the former. In the season he took himself and his puppets to Bath, so that he always kept them employed.


His performances were very varied, one being 'The History of King Bladud, Founder of the Bath. The Figures being drest after the manner of the Ancient Britains. With the Walks, Groves, and Representation of the King's Bath and new Pump house. The Figures of Ladies and Gentlemen all moving in real Water.' He caught the passing folly as it flew, and depicted it as in 'The City Rake or Punch turn'd Quaker,' 'Poor Robins Dream or the Vices of the Age Exposed;' or, he had a puppet 'of a Rope Dancer, being an exact pattern of the present Lady Isabella.' He was for ever bringing out some novelty, even if it was such rubbish as 'a New Piece of Machinary after the British Manner, contrived and just finished by Powell, which represents a Paradice wonderful surprising. At the breaking of the clouds arise several Triumphal Arches, which form several most agreeable Prospects; beautify'd by her most Serene Majesty of Great Britain in her Royal Robes, attended by her Peers and Officers of State; under their Feet are represented the Trophies taken from the French and Bavarians by her Majesty's Arms this War.'

One of the last of Powell's advertisements, in Queen Anne's reign, was: 'Whereas it has been reported that Punch of the Bath and Covent Garden was dead, these are to inform the Publick that (p. 216) he was only in a small consumption, but by the long experienc'd Cordial of the Golden Elixir is recovered, and remov'd for the Air to the Great Masquerading House in Spring Garden, where he hopes once more to see his noble Benefactors.'

Pinkethman was far too keen to let Powell have the monopoly of this sort of entertainment, so we find a handbill: 'This is to give Notice, that Mr. Penkethman, who, by his Indefatigable Industry, has ever made it his Study to Invent Something New and Excellent to please the World, has, with the Greatest Diligence, Labour and Expence, set himself to contrive, which he has now, after Several Years Application, brought to Perfection, a most Surprising and Magnificent Machine, call'd the Pantheon, consisting of several Curious Pictures, and Moving Figures, representing the Fabulous History of the Heathen Gods.

'The Whole contains Fourteen several Entertainments, and near a Hundred Figures (besides Ships, Beasts, Fowl, and other Embellishments) some near a Foot in Height; all which have their respective and peculiar Motions, their very Heads, Legs, and Arms, Hands and Fingers, Artificially moving exactly to what they perform, and setting one Foot before another, as they go, like Living Creatures, in such a Manner that Nothing but Nature itself can exceed it. In short, the Painting is by the Finest Hands, and the Story and Contrivance so Admirable, that it justly deserves to be esteemed One of the Greatest Wonders of the Age.' This show is casually mentioned in Spectator (No. 31).

Pinkethman was also proprietor of a moving picture, for in an advertisement[362] he says: 'Mr. Pinkethman In order to divert and oblige the Gentry and others of Greenwich, Deptford, Woolwich, Lee, and other adjacent places thereabouts, has remov'd the most Famous Artificial and Wonderful Moving Picture that came from Germany and was to be seen at the Duke of Marlborough's Head in Fleet Street, is now to be seen at the Hospital Tavern in Greenwich,' etc. Thoresby[363] saw this picture when in London in 1709, and was highly delighted with it. He also says: 'I had some discourse with the German inventor of it, Mr. Jacobus Morian.' The following is its handbill:—

'To All Gentlemen, Ladies and others

Notice is hereby given, that here is arrived from Germany, a most artificial and Wonderful Original Picture, the like never seen in all Europe: Part of this fine Picture represents a Landskip, and the other part the Water on Sea: In the Landskip you see a Town, out of the Gates of which cometh a Coach Riding over a Bridge through the Country, behind, before, and between the Trees till out of sight; coming on the Bridge, a Gentleman sitting on the Coach, civilly salutes the Spectating Company, the turning of the Wheels and motion of the Horses are plainly seen as if natural (p. 217) and Alive. There Cometh also from the Town Gate a Hunter on Horseback, with his Doggs behind him, and his Horn at his side, coming to the Bridge he taketh up his Horn and Blows it that it is distinctly heard by all the Spectators. Another Hunter painted as if Sleeping, and by the said Blowing of the Horn awaking, riseth up his Head, looks about, and then lays down his Head again to Sleep, to the great Amazement and Diversion of the Company. There are also Painted and Represented, Country men and Women, Travellers, Cows and Pack horses going along the Road till out of sight. And at a seeming distance on the Hills are several Windmills continually Turning and Working. From a River or Sea port, you see several sorts of Ships and Vessels putting to Sea, which Ships by degrees lessen to the sight as they seem to Sail further off. Many more Varieties too long to be inserted here, are Painted and Represented in this Picture to the greatest Admiration, Diversion and Satisfaction of all Ingenious Spectators. The Artist Master of this Piece hath employed above 5 years in contriving, making and perfecting it. It was design'd for a present to a great Prince in Germany, to be put in his chiefest Cabinet of greatest Rarities, but that Prince Dying, the maker kept it to himself, and now presents it to the View and Diversion of all ingenious Persons.' This picture is just noticed in the Tatler (No. 129): 'and I doubt not but it will give as good content as the moving picture in Fleet Street.'

There was another of these mechanical toys, exhibited at the same place. 'Far exceeding the Original formerly shewn, and never publish'd before the beginning of the present Year 1710. Representing several stately ships and vessels sailing out of the Port of a City; a Coach, drawn by four Horses going over a bridge into the Town; a Cart with an Old Woman in it, drawn by two Horses, the Wheels moving: A Gentleman carry'd in a Chair, saluting the Company, A Windmill continually turning round; Swans swimming, which dip their Heads in the Water: A Man digging with a Pick Ax: All in lively Motion,' etc. And still one more appeared in 1713, which was a representation of the sky effects of morning, noon, and night, with ships sailing, and saluting the forts as they passed.

At the Duke of Marlborough's Head, too, was to be seen 'a true and very natural Representation of the most famous Antiquities and Stupendious Works commonly called the Seven Miracles of the World; All which cannot but be pleasant to the Eyes of all curious Beholders, and perhaps more agreeable than may by Words be expressed,' but there is no record of what this exhibition was like.

'In Bell Yard, over against the Middle Temple Gate, Fleet Street, next door to the Bell Inn, at the Arms of Amsterdam, will be shewn for the satisfaction of all persons of Quality and others most Curious and exact Model of the famous City of Amsterdam, being between 20 and 30 foot long, and near 20 foot broad; with (p. 218) all the Churches, Chappels, Stadt house, Hospitals, noble Buildings, Streets, Trees, Walks, Avenues, with the Sea, Shipping, Sluices, Rivers, Canals, &c., most exactly built to admiration; In short, the Situation and Representation of the whole City is performed with such Art and Ingenuity, to the wonderful satisfaction of the States General of the United Provinces, several Foreign Princes, our Nobility, Gentry, Artificers and others, that have seen it, that it is allowed to be one of the greatest curiosities ever yet seen in England. This great piece of Work was 12 years in finishing, and cost a vast sum of Money.'

The Glass of Dr. Faustus.

It is always interesting to watch glass-blowers at work, and see them turn out their pretty but fragile toys; and doubtless they yielded as much, or more, delight in Anne's time.

'By Her Majesties Authority.

This is to give Notice to all Gentlemen, Ladies, and Others, That there is lately arriv'd in this Place, a Rare and Curious Artist, which in the presence of all Spectators maketh all Sorts and Fashions of Indian, China, and all Sorts of Curious Figures &c. As Jars, Teapots, Coffee Dishes, Bottle and Flower Pots, as small as they please; being very dexteriously intermixed with red, blew, and other Colours, as Natural as the Indian painting: As also all sorts of Beasts, Birds, Fowls, Images, Figures of Men, Women, and Children, which he bloweth of all Colours in Glass, so curiously, the like was never seen in this Kingdom.

'Besides all this, he sheweth you a most wonderful and admirable Glass of Water, wherein are four or five Images, which he (p. 219) maketh every one to come up and down as he pleases, without any help or assistance, being very pleasant and delightful to all Spectators; with Several other Rarities too tedious to Mention.

'There is a Wheel that's turn'd by Humane power, which Spins Ten Thousand Yards of Glass in less than half an hour.

'He also maketh Artificial Eyes of Glass to admiration, they being so curiously made and colour'd, that they cannot be discerned from the Natural Eyes; Likewise he teacheth how they may fix them in their Heads themselves, to the great Satisfaction of all persons that make use of them.... Vivat Regina.'

There was another artist in glass who blew 'Swans, Ducks, Birds, Knives, Forks, and Scabbards, Decanters, Cruets, Bottles and Ladles, with pipes to smoke Tobacco, and Grenadoes to stick by the Snuff of a candle that gives a report like a Gun; blows Tea Pots and other fancies imitating China.'

A singular mechanical toy, too, deserves special mention: 'At the Black Horse in Hosier Lane, near West Smithfield, is to be seen a large piece of Water Work, 12 Foot long and 9 foot high, with a new Mathematical Fountain 8 foot high, made in white flint glass, in which is a Tavern, a Coffee house and a Brandy shop, which at your command runs at one Cock hot and Cold liquor, as Sack, Whitewine, Claret, Coffee, Tea, Content, plain, cherry and Rasberry Brandy, Geneva, Usquebaugh, and Punch. All these liquors of themselves rising much higher than their level, and each liquor drawn singly at one Cock; The like never performed in any Nation by any Person till Now, by Charles Butcher.

For satisfaction your own eyes believe,
Art cannot blind you, nor your Taste deceive;
Com and welcom my friends, and tast e're you pass,
It's but 6d. to see't and 2d. each glass.

But the man who did most with hydraulic power was Winstanley, the builder of the fantastic, semi-Chinese pagoda lighthouse on the Eddystone rock. Winstanley had been a mercer in London, and, having made some money, retired from business, and went to live at Littlebury in Essex. Here he constructed ingenious but useless hydraulic toys, and, from being locally famous, he opened an exhibition of them in London.

The first mention I can find of it in this reign, is in the Postman, May 1/4, 1703: 'Mr. Henry Winstanley's Water Works, will be Opened on Thursday being the 6th of May; And All Persons that please to see them, are desired to be there between 3 and 4 of the Clock. The House is at the lower end of Pickadilly, towards Hide Park.' In the Daily Courant, August 14, 1703, he notifies that: 'Mr. Henry Winstanley's Water Works being now open'd, and several Persons coming too late by reason of the days being shorter, this is to satisfie and give notice, that they will be shewn from Monday next at Four of the Clock. And therefore all Persons that are disposed to see them, are desired to be there (p. 220) before the time, or exactly at it. And also this is further to acquaint, that they will not be shewn this Season longer than 10 or 14 days, by reason of Mr. Winstanley's having extraordinary Occasions of going out of Town.'

It was a disastrous 'out of town' for him, for he had his wish gratified in being in his gimcrack lighthouse 'in the greatest storm ever known,' namely, that of November 27, 1703, which clean swept away the building, Winstanley, and five other persons.'


For some years after his sad death his exhibition was in abeyance, until we see by the Daily Courant, June 5, 1707: 'The famous Water Works of the late Ingenious Mr. Henry Winstanley are now open'd, and will continue to be shown this present June, and the ensuing Month of July (for the Benefit of his Widow) by his old Servants, with several Additions. And all Persons that please to see them, are desir'd to be at the House by 5 of the clock at the farthest, and they will not lose time in staying. The House (p. 221) is at the lower End of Picadilly towards Hide Park, and is known by the Wind Mill on the top of it. As also his famous House at Littlebury in Essex is kept up, and shewn as formerly, with several additions.' His widow continued to show them, with many variations, every summer during the remainder of the reign. In 1711 there were shown 'Sea Gods and Goddesses, Nymphs, Mermaids, and Satirs, all of them playing of water as suitable, and some Fire mingling with the water, and Sea Triumphs round the Barrel that plays so many Liquors; all which is taken away after it had perform'd its part, and the Barrel is broke in Pieces before the Spectators.' In 1712 there is the same entertainment, but fuller details are given: it was 'of 6 several sorts of Wine, and the best brandy and biskets, all coming out of the famous Barrel, and given to the Boxes and Pit; with Geneva, Cherry beer, and Cyder to the first Gallery, there is also Coffee and Tea as at all other times.'

In 1713 'the Curious Barril will be made a Spring Garden, entertaining the Boxes and Pit with Cool Tankards, Spaw Waters, Bisquits, Milk, Ale, Beer, Sullibubs, Cake, and Cheese Cakes, and Flowers Playing of Water: And a very delightful part will be added to the 3 Parts that are usually performed. There is Galuthetis's Flight from Polyheme, and as she is carried in State by Neptune attended by many Figures playing of Water, and some with Fire mingling with it; then will be a great Tempest of Thunder and Lightning and burning Flames rolling in great Cascades of Water, to the Expence of 300 Tun extraordinary.' In 1714, 'the Curious Barrel will be made a Dairy House, entertaining the Boxes and Pit with Curds, several sorts of Creams, Milk, Whey, Cakes, Cheese Cakes, Sullibubs, New Butter, Butter Milk, which a Woman will be seen to churn, and a flying Zepherus, a Flora presenting the Spectators with a Basket of Fruit.... There is Galathea's flight from Polypheme guided by two flying Boys, with a flaming Torch playing Water through the Flames: A flying fiery Dragon, out of whose Mouth comes great Fire Balls, flames of Fire, a large sheet of Water, with many Cascades of Water, to the expence of 800 Tuns extraordinary.' It was a very popular exhibition, and ranked, as we see,[364] with the opera and the play.

In 1710 the good folks of London were treated to a somewhat unusual spectacle—that of four real live Indian chiefs or kings, as they were called. They came over in April of that year, and were treated as guests of the nation; apartments being obtained for them at an upholsterer's in King Street, Covent Garden,[365] and they were taken in two of the royal carriages to visit the Queen. Luttrell says: '20 Aprill. Four Indian Sachems, or Kings of the 5 Indian Nations, lately arrived here, offering their services to assist her majestie against all her enemies in those parts, and secure her from the French in and about Canada in America, had yesterday audience of the queen, and accepted very graciously; her (p. 222) majestie ordered them presents, the lord Chamberlain to entertain them at her charge, and that they be shown what is remarkable here.' On the 21st they visited, in a royal barge, Greenwich Hospital and Woolwich Dockyard, and on the 22nd they saw the Banqueting Hall and Chapel at Whitehall. On the 26th they were present at a review of cavalry and infantry in Hyde Park. On the 28th the New England and New York merchants gave them a feast, and the Archbishop of Canterbury presented them each with an English Bible. On May 3 they had their audience of leave, and then went by way of Hampton Court to Windsor, from whence they travelled to Portsmouth, and, embarking on board the Dragon, sailed from Spithead on the 8th May, and landed safely at Boston July 15 of the same year.


The following handbill shows that at some period of their stay they went to see Powell's Marionettes.

'At PUNCH'S Theatre
For the Entertainment of the
Four Indian Kings, viz.

(A) The Emperor Tee Yee Neen Ho Ga Row.
(B) King Sa Ga Yeau Qua Rah Tow.
(C) King E Tow oh Koam.
(D) King Oh Nee Yeath Tow no Riow.

(p. 223) 'At the Upper End of St. Martin's Lane,[366] joyning to Litchfield Street, will be presented a NEW OPERA, performed by a Company of Artificial Actors, who will present you with an incomparable Entertainment call'd

'The Last Years Campaigne

With the Famous Battle fought between the Confederate Army (commanded by the Duke of Marlborough) and the French in the Woods near Blaguiers. With several Comical entertainments of Punch in the Camp. Also variety of Scenes; with a most Glorious Prospect of both Armies, the French in their Entrenchments, and the Confederates out; where will be seen several Regiments of Horse and Foot engaged in Forcing the French Lines. With the Admirable Entertainments of a Girl of Five Years Old Dancing with Swords.' The 50th Spectator gives an amusing account of their supposed description of this country.


Bear-baiting — Bear-gardens — Bull-baiting — Description — Extra ordinary bull bait — Cock-fighting — Cock-pits — Value of matches — Training.

But all amusements at this time were not so innocent as the foregoing: there were fiercer and more blood-stirring excitements for the men. Take bear and bull baiting. The former was dying out, and was no longer as popular as it was during the reigns of Elizabeth, James I., and Charles I.

Slender.[367] Why do your dogs bark so? be there bears i' the town?

Anne. I think there are, Sir; I have heard them talked of.

Slender. I love the sport well; but I shall as soon quarrel at it as any man in England. You are afraid, if you see the bear loose, are you not?

Anne. Ay, indeed, Sir.

Slender. That's meat and drink to me now: I have seen Sakerson[368] loose twenty times, and have taken him by the chain; but, I warrant you the women have so cried and shriek'd at it, that it pass'd; but women, indeed, cannot abide 'em; they are very ill-favoured rough things.

We learn something of a bear-baiting from Hudibras.

And round about the pole does make
A circle, like a bear at stake,
That at the chain's end wheels about,
And overturns the rabble rout.
For after solemn proclamation,
In the bear's name, as is the fashion,
(p. 224) According to the law of arms,
To keep men from inglorious harms,
That none presume to come so near
As forty feet of stake of bear;
If any yet be so fool hardy,
T' expose themselves to vain jeopardy,
If they come wounded off, and lame,
No honour's got by such a maim.

Indeed, in 1709, Christopher Preston, of Hockley-in-the-Hole, was attacked and partially devoured by one of his own bears. His funeral sermon was preached by the Rev. Dr. Pead, then incumbent of St. James's, Clerkenwell.

The animals destined for combat were paraded through the streets, as we learn from Gay ('Trivia,' Book 2).

Experienc'd Men, inur'd to City Ways,
Need not the Calendar to count their Days.
When through the Town, with slow and solemn Air,
Led by the Nostril walks the muzzled Bear;
Behind him moves majestically dull,
The Pride of Hockley Hole, the surly Bull;
Learn hence the Periods of the Week to Name.
Mondays and Thursdays are the Days of Game.

That these places of so-called sport were disorderly need not be said; indeed, to 'make a place a bear-garden' is proverbial. The rough element wanted some safe outlet for its energy, and found it in such exhibitions. Nor must we be too hasty to decry them when we recollect that it was only in 1835 that it absolutely became illegal to keep any house, pit, or other place for baiting or fighting any bull, bear, dog, or other animal. We have our dog-fights now—prize-fighting is not yet extinct, many a quiet main of cocks is fought, many a rat-pit exists, and badger-drawing is not altogether an unknown thing.

There were three bear-gardens—at Hockley-in-the-Hole (Clerkenwell), at Marrybone Fields (at the back of Soho Square), and at Tuttle (Tothill) Fields, Westminster, and at all these, baiting was carried on. Of the latter we find an advertisement promising plenty of sport:[369] 'At William Wells's Bear Garden, in Tuttle Fields, Westminster, this present Monday the 10th of April, will be a Green Bull Baited; and 20 Doggs fights for a Coller, and that Dogg that runs farthest and fairest wins the Coller; with other Diversion of Bull Baiting and Bear Baiting.

'Here follows the Manner of those Bull Baitings which are so much talk'd of: They tie a Rope to the Root of the Horns of the Ox or Bull, and fasten the other End of the Cord to an Iron Ring fix'd to a Stake driven into the Ground; so that this Cord being about 15 Foot long, the Bull is confin'd to a Sphere of about 30 Foot Diameter. Several Butchers, or other Gentlemen, that are (p. 225) desirous to exercise their Dogs,[370] stand round about, each holding his own by the Ears; and when the Sport begins, they let loose one of the Dogs: The Dog runs at the Bull: the Bull, immovable, looks down upon the Dog with an Eye of Scorn, and only turns a Horn to him to hinder him from coming near: The Dog is not daunted at this, he runs round him, and tries to get beneath his Belly, in order to seize him by the Muzzle, or the Dewlap, or the pendant Glands: The Bull then puts himself into a Posture of Defence; he beats the Ground with his Feet, which he joins together as close as possible, and his chief Aim is not to gore the Dog with the Point of his Horn,[371] but to slide one of them under the Dog's Belly (who creeps close to the Ground to hinder it) and to throw him so high in the Air that he may break his Neck in the Fall. This often happens: When the Dog thinks he is sure of fixing his Teeth, a Turn of the Horn, which seems to be done with all the Negligence in the World, gives him a Sprawl thirty Foot high, and puts him in danger of a damnable Squelch when he comes down. This Danger would be unavoidable, if the Dog's Friends were not ready beneath him, some with their Backs to give him a soft Reception, and others with long Poles which they offer him slant ways, to the Intent that, sliding down them, it may break the Force of his Fall. Notwithstanding all this care, a Toss generally makes him sing to a very scurvy Tune, and draw his Phiz into a pitiful Grimace: But, unless he is totally stunn'd with the Fall, he is sure to crawl again towards the Bull, with his old Antipathy, come on't what will. Sometimes a second Frisk into the Air disables him for ever from playing his old Tricks; But, sometimes, too, he fastens upon his Enemy, and when once he has seiz'd him with his Eye teeth, he sticks to him like a Leech, and would sooner die than leave his Hold. Then the Bull bellows, and bounds, and Kicks about to shake off the Dog; by his Leaping the Dog seems to be no Manner of Weight to him, tho' in all Appearance he puts him to great Pain. In the End, either the Dog tears out the Piece he has laid Hold on, and falls, or else remains fix'd to him, with an Obstinacy that would never end, if they did not pull him off. To call him away would be in vain; to give him a hundred blows would be as much so; you might cut him to Pieces Joint by Joint before he would let him loose. What is to be done then! While some hold the Bull, others thrust Staves into the Dog's Mouth, and open it by main Force. This is the only Way to part them.'[372]

This, however, was not always the case. Look at the other side:—

Curs'd dog, the bull reply'd, no more
I wonder at thy thirst of gore;
For thou (beneath a butcher train'd,
Whose hands with cruelty are stain'd,
(p. 226) His daily murders in thy view)
Must, like thy tutor, blood pursue.
Take then thy fate. With goring wound
At once he lifts him from the ground:
Aloft the sprawling hero flies,
Mangled he falls, he howls, and dies.[373]

Here is a refinement of cruelty: 'At the Bear Garden in Hockley in the Hole, 1710. This is to give notice to all Gentlemen, Gamsters, and Others, That on this present Monday is a Match to be fought by two Dogs, one from Newgate Market, against one of Honey Lane Market, at a Bull, for a Guinea to be spent. Five Let goes out off hand, which goes fairest and farthest in Wins all; like wise a Green Bull to be baited, which was never baited before, and a Bull to be turned lose with Fire works all over him; also a Mad Ass to be baited; With variety of Bull baiting and Bear baiting; and a Dog to be drawn up with Fire works.'[374] These novelties took, for a subsequent advertisement tells us that 'The Famous Bull of Fire works pleased the Gentry to Admiration.' Indeed, it must have been popular, for in an advertisement of the Tatler, Jan. 3/5, 1709 (1710), we find: 'This Day is published The Bull Baiting, or Sach——ll[375] dressed up in Fire works; lately brought over from the Bear Garden in Southwark, and exposed for the Diversion of the Citizens of London: at 6d. a piece.' This book, however, is very dreary fun.

But bears and bulls, though baited, were never allowed to be killed by their adversaries, which, however, was not the case with cock-fighting, a pastime passionately indulged in in this reign. There were many cock-pits—one historical one, the Council Chamber at Whitehall, where in 1710 Guiscard stabbed Harley with his penknife, and which went by the name of the Cockpit certainly till 1810. There was 'The Royal Cock Pit on the South Side of St. James Park,' where mains used to be fought for such prizes as '4 Guineas a Battel and 40 the odd Battel.' And there was a famous one near Gray's Inn Walks, or Gardens, where dear Sir Roger walked with the Spectator, and which Brown describes as 'The Lawyer's Garden of Contemplation, where I found (it being early in the Morning) none but a parcel of Superannuated Debauchees, huddled up in Cloaks, Frize Coats and Wadded Gowns, to preserve their old Carcases from the searching sharpness of Hampstead Air.' There had been one there previous to 1704, when we find 'At the New Cock pit at the Bowling Green, behind Grays Inn Walks, this present Tuesday being the 28th of March, will begin a great Match of Cock fighting, for Ten Guineas a Battle, and Two Hundred Guineas the odd Battle, between the Gentlemen of Essex and Cambridgeshire, against the Gentlemen of London and Surry.' In 1706 it was to let, and in 1708 it was burnt down under sad circumstances. 'There had been a great Match fought on Saturday, and the Weather being (p. 227) hard, two of the Feeders, Crompton and Day, would stay all Night with their Cocks; when by Negligence their Candle fell among the Straw, which took Fire. In the Morning one Mr. Newberry, a great Cocker, sent his two Sons to see his Cocks fed, who wonder'd they saw no Snow upon the Cock pit; when coming thither they saw a great Smoak, and before they cou'd make any Body hear, the place was all on Fire. One of the feeders was found burnt, only some part of his Body remaining, and the other is missing.'[376] It was repaired and re-opened 1709, but was again to be re-let in 1710. There were many others, even extending to the suburbs, such as Hampstead.

Misson's description of them is amusing, but it would hardly appear from it that he ever witnessed a fight. 'Cock fighting is one of the great English Diversions; they build Amphitheatres for this Purpose, and Persons of Quality sometimes appear at them. Great Wagers are laid; but I'm told, that a Man may be damnably bubbled, if he is not very sharp.'

County matches used to be arranged; but for a spice of arrogance little can beat this: 'At the New Cock Pit by the Bowling Green behind Gray's Inn Walks, next Tuesday, will begin a great Match of Cock Fighting which will continue all the Week; the Gentlemen of Essex against all the rest of Great Britain, for 10 Guineas a Battle and 500 Guineas the Odd Battle.' These were the highest stakes ever publicly advertised in Queen Anne's reign, whatever might have been done at private matches—as, for instance, in the Tatler's Club (Tatler, 132), Sir Jeoffrey Notch, their chairman, would talk about his favourite old game-cock Gauntlett, 'upon whose head, the Knight, in his youth, had won five hundred pounds, and lost two Thousand.'

The cocks sometimes fought in silver spurs, but generally with steel ones, and of these there were several kinds. 'Note that on Wednesday there will be a single battle fought with Sickles, after the East India manner. And on Thursday there will be a Battle Royal, one Cock with a Sickle, and four Cocks with fair Spurs. On Friday there will be a pair of Shake bags fight for 5l. And on Saturday there will be a Battle Royal, between a Shakebag with fair Spurs, and 4 Matchable Cocks which are to fight with Sickles, Launcet Spurs, and Penknife Spurs, the like never yet seen. For the Entertainment of the foreign Ambassadors and Gentlemen.'

Cock-fighting even had a literature of its own. In 1709 was published 'The Royal Pastime of Cock fighting &c. by R. H. a Lover of the Sport'; and in the same year was printed another edition of 'The Compleat Gamesters, by C. Cotton,' in which are full directions as to the breeding, feeding, and fighting of Cocks. As so little is now known of this cruel sport, a few short extracts from this latter work will make us more thoroughly comprehend it as it was then practised.

(p. 228) In shape, the cock must be neither too large nor too small; with a small head and strong legs; his spurs, though long and sharp, turning slightly inwards. He should walk very upright and stately; and if he crows frequently in his pen it is a sign of courage. The combs or wattles are to be cut as soon as they appear; and the cock chickens are to be separated as soon as they begin to peck each other. Fighting cocks should not begin their career as such until they are two years old; and before a battle they should be dieted—i.e. for four days they should be fed with stale bread three times a day; after which they may have a spar, or sham fight, with another cock, their spurs being carefully guarded with leather balls. They must then be stoved, which meant putting them in deep baskets filled with straw, covering them with straw and shutting down the lids; but before undergoing this 'sudatorium' they were to be fed with sugar candy, chopped rosemary, and butter. In the evening the cock was released, and fed with wheatmeal and oatmeal, ale, white of eggs, and butter. 'The second day after his sparring, take your Cock into a fair green Close, and having a Dunghill Cock in your arms, show it him, and then run from him, that thereby you may entice him to follow, you permitting him to have now and then a blow; when he begins to pant, being well heated, take him up and carry him home.' He was then to have a dose of pounded leaves of herb of grace, hyssop, and rosemary, mixed with butter, and then stoved till the evening. Next day he was to rest, and the day after to be sparred, which treatment was to be continued for a fortnight; but for the next month, by which time he was to be fit for fighting, he was merely to be fed and stoved. He was not to be fed before fighting.


The Queen's love of racing — Visit to Newmarket — Queen's plates — Value of matches — Race meetings — Tregonwell Frampton — His horse Dragon — The Queen's love of hunting — Sir Roger de Coverley — Fox-hunting — Stag-hunting — Hare-hunting — Coursing — Packs of hounds — Fishing — Hawking — Netting — The Game Act — Shooting, sitting and flying — Match shooting — Archery.

The horse, necessarily, in those days, when locomotion was only obtainable through its agency, was of prime importance: farriery was fairly understood, and some voluminous disquisitions on it were published, with the most curious receipts for the various ills horseflesh is heir to, and elaborate engraving of fleams, firing irons, bits (some of them very cruel), and all sorts of harness—even down to currycombs, dandy-brushes, and stable utensils. But it is not here that the hack or roadster is to be spoken of, but the horse (p. 229) kept for sport—the race horse—about which they had already found out the fact, 'Like Race Horses cost more in keeping them than they're worth.'[377] The Queen was fond of racing, and gave her 100l. gold cups to be run for, as now: nay more, she not only kept race horses, but ran them in her own name. Her six-year-old grey gelding Pepper ran for her gold cup at York (over Clifton and Rawcliffe Ings) on July 28, 1712. Over the same course, and for the same stake, on August 3, 1714, ran her grey horse Mustard, by the Taffolet Barb, which, according to the Daily Courant of May 14, 1714, was entered to run 'in Whitsun week at Guildford in Surrey for the 50l. plate'; and, sad to tell, her brown horse Star (afterwards called Jacob) ran at York for a plate of the value of 14l., and won it, on July 30, 1714, the very day on which the Queen was struck with apoplexy, expiring the next day.

She paid a visit to Newmarket in April 1705, going to Cambridge once or twice during her stay. Luttrell says: 'Aprill 26, 1705. The queen has ordered her house at Newmarket to be rebuilt, and gave 1000l. towards paving the town; and bought a running horse of Mr. Holloway, which cost a 1000 guineas, and gave it to the prince.' Prince George shared his august consort's love of horse-racing, and in the Gazette, June 18/21, 1705, we find: 'These are to give notice, That his Royal Highness the Prince is pleased to give a Gold Plate, value One Hundred Guineas to be run for at Black Hambleton in Yorkshire, over the four Miles old Beacon course, the last Thursday in July, by any Horse five years old last Foaling time: No Horse to be admitted to run but such as bring a Certificate from the Breeder of his Horses Age; and likewise to be judged and approved to be no older than aforesaid, by the Gentlemen whose Horses run for the said Plate; each horse to carry ten Stone weight, and start at the usual hours.

'And his Royal Highness is also pleased to give another Gold Plate, Value One Hundred Guineas, to be run for the Second Thursday in October next, one Heat, over the Heat's Course at Newmarket, ten Stone, by Horses five years old, whose Age must be certified as aforesaid, and likewise allowed by Gentlemen whose Horses run. This year no Mare will be admitted to run for either of those Plates: Although for the future his Royal Highness designs to give a Plate of the like Value, to be run for at each of the aforesaid Courses by Mares only, of the said Age.'

Indeed, in that year of 1705 the royal couple seemed mightily given to racing, for 'the queen has appointed horse races to be at Datchet after her return from Winchester to Windsor.'[378]

Her gold plates, as far as can be made out from newspaper advertisements, were, in 1703, 100l., at Stapleton Leys, Yorkshire, September 2; one at Newmarket on April 12, 1705; at Langton Wold, near Malton, Yorkshire, July 24, 1707; in 1709 at Black Hambleton, Yorkshire, July 26; one of 50l. at Datchet, August 24; (p. 230) one of 100l. at Newmarket, October 6; while the Prince's Cup of 100l. for mares four years old was run for on October 8 the same year; in 1711, at Clifton and Rawcliffe Ings; in 1712 at Black Hambleton, on July 26; and at Clifton Ings, on July 28; in 1713 at Hambleton, August 1; Clifton, August 3; and in the same year one was run for at Ascot Heath on August 12—the first mention that I can find of racing there; in 1714, Clifton Ings, on July 28.

A few racing mems of this time will illustrate to what an extent this passion for the turf was carried. 1702: 'They write from Newmarket, That the Lord Godolphin's and Mr. Harvy's Horses ran for 3,000l. His Lordship won; As also the Earl of Argile, and the Duke of Devonshire's; the latter's Horse won, by which Mr. Pheasant got a considerable sum.' 1703: 'The great horse race at Newmarket, run for 1000 guineas between the lord Treasurer and the Duke of Argyle, was won by the latter.' Perhaps the earliest sporting paper is 'News from New Market: or An Account of the Horses Match'd to Run there in March, April, and May 1704, The Weight, Miles, Wages and Forfeits. Printed for John Nutt near Stationer's Hall. Price 2d.' 1707: 'Last Monday was a horse race at Newmarket, between the lord Granby's Grantham and Mr. Young's Blundel, for 3000l.—the latter won.' On April 10, 1708, at Newmarket, the Duke of Bedford's bay horse (9 stone) had a match with Mr. Minchall's bay colt (8-1/2 stone) for 1,000 guineas; but there is no record of which won. These were the highest stakes recorded during the reign: they were generally for 200 or 300 guineas.

Luttrell records a somewhat singular match against time: '14 April 1709. Some days since, a baker at Clerkenwell Green, laid with a Vintner there, a wager of 400 guineas against 16 Guineas, that his horse could not run from Shoreditch Church to Ware and back again (being 40 miles) in 2 hours and 36 minutes, which race was last Tuesday, and performed in 2 hours and 28 minutes, but the horse since dead.'

The first mention, in this reign, of Epsom Races, as far as I can find, is in the London Gazette April and May 26/3, 1703, when three small plates were to be run for, of 30l., 10l., and 5l. value. On May 25, 1704, there was only one to be competed for, and that of 20l. They had very early 'Epsom Spring Meetings'; for, in the Daily Courant, February 15, 1709, it says: 'On Epsom Downes in Surrey, on the first Monday after the Frost, a Plate of 20l. will be run for,' etc.

Races for stakes of little value were common all over the country, and were deemed of sufficient importance to be advertised in the London papers. Take a few haphazard: Nottingham, Kerfall, Boston, Winchester, Croydon, Coventry, Quainton, Horsham, Woodstock, Mansfield; nay, there was even a 'Jockey Field betwixt Bedford Row and Gray's Inn, having a full Prospect of Hampstead and Highgate.'

(p. 231) What a vast difference there was between those old racecourses and ours! No grand stands, no howling ring, no carriages, no ladies; not even a special dress for the jockeys. According to a nearly contemporary print, there were very few spectators even—and but a sorry booth, or so, for the sale of liquor.

The most famous sporting man of his time was Tregonwell Frampton, Esq., of Moreton, Dorsetshire, 'the Father of the Turf,' who was keeper of her Majesty's running horses at Newmarket—a post he had filled in the time of William III., and which he continued to hold under Georges I. and II. He is described as being 'the oldest, and as they say the cunningest jockey in England; one day he lost 1,000 gs., the next he won 2,000, and so alternately. He made as light of throwing away 500l. or 1,000l. at a time, as other men do of their pocket money, and was perfectly calm, cheerful and unconcerned when he lost a thousand pounds as when he won it.' This may be true, but I find no record of his running for any such large sums in any match. 'April 6, 1708. Mr. Frampton's Monkey and Mr. Cotton's Snap, 100 Guineas. Ap. 27. Sir Cecil Bishop's Quaker and Mr. Frampton's Monkey 200 guineas. Ap. 28. Mr. Minchall's Cork and Mr. Frampton's Trumpeter 500 guineas. Oct. 1, 1709. Mr. Pullen's Slouch against Mr. Frampton's White Neck 200 g's. 5 Oct. Mr. Frampton's Teller against L'd Dorchester's Colt, 200 g's.' And even his sporting bid in Sept. 1713 was not for high stakes, although he challenged dukes to compete. 'Mr. Frampton that keeps the Queen's Running Horses, has made a Sporting Proposal to three Dukes, allowing them to joyn their Stables, and Name to him any 6 Horses or Mares (the Horse called Wyndham[379] excepted) against 6 of his now in his Stables ... they are to run for 100l. each horse,' etc.

Thus we see he owned many horses, but the most famous of all was one named Dragon, to whom it is alleged Frampton behaved with cruel barbarity. On Oct. 30, 1712, Dragon ran against Lord Dorchester's Wanton for three hundred guineas, and on April 22, 1713, encountered the redoubtable Wyndham for the same stakes. His alleged mutilation and death are told by Dr. John Hawkesworth in No. 37 of The Adventurer. There is no record of his death, but in an old song, called 'Newmarket Horse Race,' belonging to the early part of George the First's reign, it says—

For I'll have the brown Bay, if the blew bonnet ride,
And hold a thousand Pounds of his side, Sir;
Dragon would scow'r it, but Dragon Grows old;
He cannot endure it, he cannot, he wonnot now run it,
As lately he could:
Age, age, does hinder the Speed, Sir,

which would infer that Dragon was old and worthless as a racer before his death, and the other story falls to the ground.

(p. 232) When young, the Queen was very fond of hunting, and, in fact, pursued it after her accession to the throne, when, from her increasing size, she no longer mounted the saddle. 'The Queen came last Thursday to Hampton Court, and having assisted in council, and dined there, returned at night to Windsor, where she takes the divertisement of hunting almost every day in an open Calash in the forest,'[380] i.e. she drove down the long rides and saw what she could of the hunt. Again,[381] three years later: 'This morning her Majestie and the prince went for Winchester to take the diversion of hunting.' Still later[382]: 'The queen was hunting the stag till four this afternoon, and she drove in her chaise, above forty miles.'

The country gentry then, as now, were ardently fond of sport; but then the hunting field was a thoroughly neighbourly gathering, there were no subscription packs, and no fast trains to bring every snob that possesses, or can hire, a 'hunter.' The runs might not be so fast as now, nor were they ever recorded in any sporting paper—horrible disadvantages, doubtless, but still they brought neighbours together, engendered a kindly feeling, and gave legitimate occupation to people whose brains were not addled with too much reading. Where can there be a prettier picture of a thoroughbred old English sportsman than that which Addison draws of Sir Roger[383]: 'The Walls of his great Hall are covered with the Horns of several kinds of Deer that he has killed in the Chace, which he thinks the most valuable Furniture of his House, as they afford him frequent Topicks of Discourse, and shew that he has not been Idle. At the lower End of the Hall, is a large Otter's Skin stuffed with Hay, which his Mother ordered to be hung up in that manner, and the Knight looks upon it with great Satisfaction, because it seems he was but nine Years old when his Dog killed him. A little Room adjoining to the Hall is a kind of Arsenal filled with Guns of several Sizes and Inventions, with which the Knight has made great Havock in the Woods, and distroyed many thousands of Pheasants, Partridges, and Wood-cocks. His Stable Doors are patched with Noses that belonged to Foxes of the Knights own hunting down. Sir Roger shewed me one of them that for Distinction Sake has a Brass Nail struck through it, which cost him about fifteen Hours riding, carried him through half a dozen Counties, killed him a Brace of Geldings, and lost above half his Dogs. This the Knight looks upon as one of the greatest Exploits of his Life. The perverse Widow, whom I have given some Account of, was the Death of several Foxes; for Sir Roger has told me that in the course of his Amours he patched the Western Door of his Stable. Whenever the Widow was cruel, the Foxes were sure to pay for it. In proportion as his Passion for the Widow abated, and old Age came on, he left off (p. 233) Fox hunting; but a Hare is not yet Safe that Sits within ten Miles of his House.'

Hunting commenced both earlier in the season and in the day than now. 'It must be imagined it was near Day when we went to Bed and therefore could not be expected we should get out a Hunting at Five or Six in the Morning.'[384] From a set of nearly contemporary prints we gather that possibly little attention was paid to earth-stopping, when fox-hunting, for one part of the engraving shows a fox being dug out. In another part the hounds are breaking up the fox, which has not been denuded of his brush. Only the gentlemen are represented as being on horseback, the huntsmen having leaping poles. This was better for them than being mounted, for the country was nothing like as cultivated as now, and perfectly undrained, so that they could go straighter on foot, and with these poles leaps could be taken that no horseman would attempt.

Nor should the Fox shun the pursuing Hound
Nor the Tall Stag with branching Antlers crown'd.[385]

From the engravings referred to, we find that the stag was first found, or harboured, with a bloodhound—the staghounds were coupled, and let loose when wanted by the huntsmen, who were on foot. Its death was duly celebrated by a 'Mort,' or blowing of horns, when a hunting-knife was presented to the principal man present, to cut off its head, after everyone had passed his opinion as to its age, weight, etc.: the deer was then carted home. Guns were carried wherewith to shoot the stag, if necessary, when at bay.

Budgell, in Spectator No. 117, well describes a run after a hare, and the discipline of the hounds who were close upon the hare, when the huntsman threw his pole between them—this the well-tutored dogs would not pass, and the hare was rescued. Gay, too, tells the story of a run well:—

Now at a Fault the Dogs confus'dly stray,
And try t'unravel his perplexing Way;
They trace his artful Doubles o'er and o'er,
Smell every Shrub, and all the Plain explore,
'Till some stanch Hound summons the baffled Crew,
And strikes away his wily Steps anew.
Along the Fields they scow'r with jocund Voice,
The frighted Hare starts at the distant Noise;
New Stratagems and various Shifts he tries,
Oft' he looks back, and dreads a close Surprize;
Th' advancing Dogs still haunt his list'ning Ear,
And ev'ry breeze augments his growing Fear:
'Till tir'd at last, he pants, and heaves for Breath;
Then lays him down, and waits approaching death.[386]

(p. 234) Or what better description could we have of coursing a hare than the following:—

The Greyhound now pursues the tim'rous Hare,
And shoots along the Plain with swift Career;
While the sly Game escapes beneath his Paws,
He snaps deceitful Air with empty Jaws;
Enrag'd, upon his Foe he quickly gains,
And with wide Stretches measures o'er the Plains;
Again the Cunning Creature winds around,
While the fleet Dog o'ershoots, and loses Ground;
Now Speed he doubles to regain the Way,
And crushes in his Jaws the Screaming Prey.

Many packs of hounds were advertised for sale during Anne's reign—not such large packs as we now have, but small packs, with which a man could then show sport, and yet the keeping of which need not be costly. Two or three are given for example's sake: 'Any Gentleman that hath a mind to purchase a good pack of cloddy strong Hounds, fit for any Country, from 15 couple to 10, may be accommodated,' etc. 'There are to be dispos'd of 18 Couple of Hare Hounds, well siz'd and well mark'd, at reasonable rates.' 'There are 9 Couple of good Fox Hounds (with a Tarrier) (4 Couple being stanch finders) to be sold at a very reasonable Price. These Hounds are as proper for Deer as Fox.' 'Lost the 16th Instant from the Earl of Litchfield's Foxhounds in some Woods near Crawford in Kent, a small White Beagle, with Red Spots on her Ears, and a short Tail, (being a Tarrier),' etc.

There were cockney hunts, with deer, both at Hampstead and Muswell Hill, and live deer were bought and sold commonly; indeed there is one advertisement which has a touch of old Leadenhall Market about it. 'Any person who has Beagles, Foxes or Hares to dispose of, may hear of a Purchaser by giving Notice to the Porter at Sion Chappel near Hamsted.'

One sport then in vogue must not be omitted from the list—otter-hunting.

If you'd preserve a num'rous Finny Race,
Let your fierce Dogs the Rav'nous Otter chase;
Th' amphibious Creature ranges all the Shores,
Shoots through the Waves, and ev'ry haunt explores:
Or let the Gin his roving Steps betray,
And save from hostile Jaws the Scaly Prey.

Angling was extensively practised, with almost the same appliances and tackle as now, even down to the wicker creel at the side. Will Wimble 'makes a May fly to a Miracle; and furnishes the whole country with angle rods.' Isaac Walton had not long been dead (Dec. 15, 1683), and his disciples in the 'Contemplative Man's Recreation' were many and experienced. (p. 235) Hear what Gay says about making a fly to suit the water:—

Oft' have I seen a skillful Angler try
The various Colours of the treach'rous Fly;
When he with fruitless Pain hath skim'd the Brook,
And the coy Fish rejects the skipping Hook,
He shakes the Boughs that on the Margin grow,
Which o'er the Streams a waving Forrest throw;
When if an Insect falls (his certain Guide)
He gently takes him from the whirling Tide;
Examines well his Form with Curious Eyes,
His gaudy Colours, Wings, his Horns and Size.
Then round his Hook a proper Fur he winds,
And on the Back a speckled Feather binds.
So just the Properties in ev'ry part,
That even Nature's Hand revives in Art.

Hawking, too, was a sport not then extinct, the land not being so parcelled into fields, and fenced in, as now; so that the flight of the birds could be easily followed. The birds were startled by five or six spaniels trained to the work. Here is a description of one lost by the Earl of Abingdon: 'a small black and white Hawking Spaniel, his Hair not very long, more black than white, long Back, with a thick Head.' In brook-hawking, men used to beat the rushes with poles, and they also hawked partridges and pheasants. The latter are depicted in the engraving as being poked off their roosts with poles.

They went bat-fowling with the same nets as are now used, and they also netted partridges at night, with the aid of a lanthorn. In wild-fowl shooting they also used a horse for stalking. There were decoys for ducks, and we get an insight as to how they were managed. 'These are to give Notice, that if any Person that understands the management of a Decoy, wants a place, he may have one about 40 Miles from London provided he brings a Certificate from the last Master he served as to his ability ... he shall have as good Wages as is usually given, or a third Bird, as he shall agree when he seeth the Decoy.'

It was not every person that might shoot game: 'The first of them, says he, that has a Spaniel by his Side, is a Yeoman of about an hundred Pounds a Year, an honest Man; He is just within the Game Act and qualified to kill an Hare or a Pheasant; he knocks down a Dinner with his Gun twice or thrice a week; and by that means lives much cheaper than those who have not so good an Estate as himself. He would be a good Neighbour if he did not destroy so many Partridges; in short he is a very sensible man; shoots flying; and has been several times foreman of the Petty Jury.'[387] This Game Act, which he was just within, was the 3rd James I. cap. 14, clause 5, which says that no one not having forty pounds per annum, or 200l. worth of goods and chattels, may shoot game; and should they do so, 'then any person having lands, (p. 236) tenements or hereditaments, of the clear yearly value of one hundred pounds a year, may take from the person or possession of such malefactor or malefactors, and to his own use for ever keep, such guns, bows, cross-bows, &c. &c.' and this Act was in force till 1827, when it was repealed.

Shooting flying was not an ordinary accomplishment: it was but just coming in, and most people took 'pot shots,' and would not risk shooting at a bird on the wing.

The dreadful Sound the springing Pheasant hears
Leaves his Close Haunt, and to some Tree repairs;
The Dog, aloft the painted Fowl surveys,
Observes his Motions, and at distance Bays.
His noisie Foe the stooping Pheasant eyes,
Fear binds his Feet, and useless Pinions ties,
Till the sure Fowler, with a sudden Aim,
From the tall Bough, precipitates the Game.

Partridges, because they flew well, and strongly, were then not shot, but snared, by means of a trained dog.

Now the warm Scent assumes the Covey near,
He treads with Caution, and he points with Fear.
Then lest some Sentry Fowl his Fraud descry,
And bid his Fellows from the Danger fly,
Close to the Ground in Expectation lies,
Till in the Snare the flutt'ring Covey rise.

'But if I miss Sitting, I commonly hit 'em Flying,' says Bellair in Mrs. Centlivre's 'Love at a Venture,' which shows that it was only when the former failed, that he tried the latter plan. And, in an advertisement for a gamekeeper, it is noticed: 'Any one that is a very good Coach man, and can Shoot flying, perfectly well, may hear of a good Place.' If being a good coachman was useful to a gamekeeper, what can we say to this: 'Any Gentleman that wants a Man for Shooting, Hunting, Setting, or any Manner of Game, may hear of one well qualified. He is a good Scholar, and shaves well.'

Luttrell notes, Mar. 15, 1707: 'Yesterday the lords past the bill for the preservation of the game, in which is a clause, that if any poulterer, after the 1st of May next, sells hare, pheasant, partridge &c. shall forfeit 5l. for every offence, unless he has a certificate from the lord of the mannor that they were not taken by poachers.' The killing of game must have been earlier then than now, for, appended to Spectator No. 156, Aug. 29, 1711, is the following: 'Advertisement—Mr. Spectator gives his most humble service to Mr. R. M. of Chippenham in Wilts, and hath received the Partridges.'

There were rifle matches in those days. One was shot at the artillery ground, Finsbury, on July 16, 1703, for a cup value twenty-five guineas: 'No gun to exceed 4 foot and a half in the Barrel, the distance to be 200 yards, and but one Shot a piece, the nearest the Centre to win.' On July 7, 1709, was a match for (p. 237) four pieces of plate: 'to stand 100 yards distance from the Target.' A deer, value 50s., was to be shot for more than once—and the prize once sank as low as 'a pair of breeches.' There was one very singular prize: 'A very fine brass Gun, in the form of a Walking Cane, to be us'd as a Gun or Pistol, and in it a fine Prospect Glass, and a Perpetual Almanack engrav'd about the Head, and a Sun Dial in the Head, and several other ingenious Utensils.'

Archery was still kept up, as we see by the following advertisement[388]: 'All Gentlemen who are Lovers of the Ancient and Noble Exercise of Archery, are hereby Invited by the Stewards of the Annual Feast for the Clerkenwell Archers, to Dine with them at Mrs. Mary Barton's, at the Sign of Sir John Oldcastle, upon Friday the 18th Day of July 1707 at One of the Clock, and to pay the Bearer Thomas Beaumont, Marshal to the Regiment of Archers, Two Shillings and Sixpence; and to take a Sealed Ticket, that the certain Number may be known, and Provision made accordingly.


Challenges — The stakes — The combatants — Description of fights — General combativeness — Boxing — Cudgel-playing — Pedestrianism — Tennis — Cricket — Football — Skating — Billiards — Country wakes — Bowling — Bowling greens — Formal gardening — Clipping trees — Books on gardening — Trees and flowers — Town and country life — Country labourers.

In those days, when everyone with any pretensions to gentility wore a sword, and duelling was rife, it is no wonder that exhibitions of skill in that weapon were favourites. Like modern prize fights, they drew together all the scum and riff-raff, as well as the gentry who were fond of so-called sport. They were disreputable affairs, and were decried by every class of contemporary. The preliminaries were swagger and bounce, as one or two out of a very large number will show[389]:—

'At the Bear Garden in Hockley in the Hole.

A Tryal of Skill to be Performed between two Profound Masters of the Noble Science of Defence on Wednesday next, being this 13th of the instant July 1709 at Two of the Clock precisely.

'I, George Gray, born in the City of Norwich, who has Fought in most Parts of the West Indies viz. Jamaica, Barbadoes, and several other Parts of the World; in all Twenty-five times, upon a Stage, and was never yet Worsted, and now lately come to London; (p. 238) do invite James Harris, to meet and Exercise at these following Weapons viz.:—

Back Sword,       Single Falchon
Sword and Dagger, AND
Sword and Buckler, Case of Falchons.

'I, James Harris, Master of the said Noble Science of Defence, who formerly rid in the Horse guards, and hath Fought a Hundred and Ten Prizes, and never left a Stage to any Man: will not fail (God Willing) to meet this brave and bold Inviter at the Time and Place appointed, desiring Sharp Swords, and from him no Favour.

'☞ Note. No person to be upon the Stage but the Seconds. Vivat Regina.'

'At the Bear Garden in Hockley in the Hole.

A Tryal of Skill to be Performed between these two following Masters of the Noble science of Defence, on Wednesday the Fifth of April, 1710, at Three of the Clock precisely.

'I, John Parkes from Coventry, Master of the Noble Science of Defence, do Invite you Thomas Hesgate, to meet me and Exercise at these following Weapons, viz.:—

Back Sword,       Single Falchon,
Sword and Dagger, Case of Falchons,
Sword and Buckler, And Quarterstaff.

'I, Thomas Hesgate, a Barkshire Man, Master of the said Science, will not fail (God willing) to meet this brave and bold Inviter, at the Time and Place appointed; desiring Sharp Swords, and from him no Favour.

'☞ Note. No Person to be upon the Stage but the Seconds. Vivat Regina.'[390]

The challenger would wager some twenty or thirty pounds, and the stakes would be deposited and delivered to the challenged: the challenger receiving the money taken at the door,[391] or, as we should term it, gate money; which, frequently, twice or thrice exceeded the value of the stakes.

There is one remarkable exception, I have found, to this monetary arrangement, but it is the only one in my experience. For, in an advertisement of the usual character, there comes: 'Note. That John Stokes fights James Harris, and Thomas Hesgate fights John Terriwest three Bouts each at Back Sword, for Love.'

Preliminaries arranged, handbills printed and distributed, the combat duly advertised in at least one newspaper, and the day arrived: like the bull and bear, the combatants paraded the streets, preceded by a drum, having their sleeves tucked up and their (p. 239) swords in hand. All authorities agree that the fights were to a certain extent serious: 'The Edge of the Sword was a little blunted, and the Care of the Prize fighters was not so much to avoid wounding each other, as to avoid doing it dangerously: Nevertheless, as they were oblig'd to fight till some Blood was shed, without which no Body would give a Farthing for the Show, they were sometimes forc'd to play a little ruffly. I once saw a much deeper and longer Cut given than was intended.'[392]

Ward[393] gives a short description of one of these fights: 'Great Preparations at the Bear Garden all Morning, for the noble Tryal of Skill that is to be play'd in the Afternoon. Seats fill'd and crowded by Two. Drums beat, Dogs yelp, Butchers and Foot soldiers clatter their Sticks; At last the two heroes, in their fine borrow'd Holland Shirts, mount the Stage about Three; Cut large Collops out of one another, to divert the Mob and Make Work for the Surgeons: Smoking, Swearing, Drinking, Thrusting, Justling, Elbowing, Sweating, Kicking, Cuffing all the while the Company stays.'

Steele gives a good account of a prize fight[394]: 'The Combatants met in the Middle of the Stage, and shaking Hands, as removing all malice, they retired with much Grace to the Extremities of it; from whence they immediately faced about, and approached each other, Miller with an Heart full of Resolution, Buck with a watchful untroubled Countenance; Buck regarding principally his own Defence, Miller chiefly thoughtful of annoying his Opponent. It is not easie to describe the many Escapes and imperceptible Defences between Two Men of quick Eyes, and ready Limbs; but Miller's Heat laid him open to the Rebuke of the calm Buck, by a large Cut on the Forehead. Much Effusion of Blood covered his Eyes in a Moment, and the Huzzas of the Crowd undoubtedly quickened his Anguish. The Assembly was divided into Parties upon their different ways of Fighting: while a poor Nymph in one of the Galleries apparently suffered for Miller, and burst into a Flood of Tears. As soon as his Wound was wrapped up, he came on again in a little Rage, which still disabled him further. But what brave Man can be wounded with more Patience and Caution? The next was a warm eager Onset, which ended in a decisive Stroke on the Left Leg of Miller. The Lady in the Gallery, during the second Strife, covered her Face; and for my Part, I could not keep my thoughts from being mostly employed on the Consideration of her unhappy Circumstance that Moment, hearing the Clash of Swords, and apprehending Life or Victory concerned her Lover in every Blow, but not daring to satisfie herself on whom they fell. The Wound was exposed to the view of all who could delight in it, and sowed up on the Stage. The surly Second of Miller declared at this Time, that he would that Day Fortnight fight Mr. Buck at (p. 240) the Same Weapons, declaring himself the Master of the renowned German; but Buck denied him the Honour of that Courageous Disciple, and asserting that he himself had taught that Champion accepted the Challenge.'

I have been, to my great regret, unable to find a contemporary print of one of these combats; the nearest approach to it being the fight between Dr. Sacheverell and Dr. Hoadley, which furnishes a graphic, though burlesque, representation of the scene.

Looking at the class from which these gladiators sprang, it is not surprising to hear that some of these prize fights were prearranged, or, to use modern slang, 'squared.' In Spectator 449 is a letter, from which the following is an extract: 'Being in a Box at an Alehouse, near that renowned Seat of Honour above mentioned,[395] I overheard two Masters of the Science agreeing to quarrel on the next Opportunity. This was to happen in the Company of a Set of the Fraternity of Basket Hilts, who were to meet that Evening. When this was settled, one asked the other, Will you give Cuts or receive? the other answered, Receive. It was replied, Are you a Passionate Man? No, provided you cut no more nor no deeper than we agree.'

The very children were bitten with the mania. 'Apprentices, and all Boys of that Degree, are never without their Cudgels, with which they fight something like the Fellows before mention'd, only that the Cudgel is nothing but a stick; and that a little Wicker Basket which covers the Handle of the Stick, like the Guard of a Spanish Sword, serves the combatants instead of defensive Arms.'[396]

This sword-fighting, however, was seeing its last days, and was, in the next reign, to be superseded by pugilistic encounters. At present, boxing, although extensively practised, had not been reduced to a science. Whatever was it made everybody so pugnacious? 'Anything that looks like fighting,' says Misson, 'is delicious to an Englishman. If two little Boys quarrel in the Street, the Passengers stop, make a Ring round them in a Moment, and set them against one another, that they may come to Fisticuffs. When 'tis come to a Fight, each pulls off his Neckcloth and his Waistcoat, and give them to hold to some of the Standers by; then they begin to brandish their Fists in the Air; the Blows are aimed all at the Face, they Kick one another's Shins, they tug one another by the Hair &c. He that has got the other down may give him one Blow or two before he rises, but no more; and let the Boy get up ever so often, the other is obliged to box him again as often as he requires it. During the Fight, the Ring of Bystanders encourage the Combatants with great Delight of Heart, and never part them while they fight according to the Rules. The Father and Mother of the Boys let them fight on as well as the rest, and hearten him that gives Ground or has the Worst.

(p. 241) 'These Combats are less frequent among grown Men than Children, but they are not rare. If a Coachman has a Dispute about his Fare with a Gentleman that has hired him, and the Gentleman offers to fight him to decide the Quarrel, the Coachman consents with all his Heart: The Gentleman pulls off his Sword, lays it in some Shop, with his Cane, Gloves and Cravat, and boxes in the same Manner as I have describ'd above. If the Coachman is soundly drubb'd, which happens almost always, that goes for payment; but if he is the Beator, the Beatee must pay the Money about which they quarrell'd. I once saw the late Duke of Grafton at Fisticuffs in the open Street, with such a Fellow whom he lamb'd most horribly.'

There was cudgel-playing—for a new hat; 'he that breaks most Heads to have the Hat; he that plays puts in six-pence.' Quarterstaff was played, and there was a somewhat dangerous game—'there will be three bouts with threshing flails.' 'A Tryal of Skill is to be fought &c. between John Parkes[397] of Coventry, and John Terrewest. Note—They fight at the Ancient Weapon called the Threshing Flail.'

Mild athleticism seems to have obtained among a few of the upper middle class: for instance, Addison speaks[398] of the dumb-bell with which he used to practise every morning, and also of a kind of Indian club exercise, 'brandishing of two short Sticks grasped in each Hand, and loaden with Plugs of Lead at either End. This opens the Chest, exercises the Limbs, and gives a Man all the Pleasure of Boxing, without the Blows.'

There were foot races, but I can find but one or two notices of them, and there is very little like professional pedestrianism, except the following very mild feat: 'A Wager of 100l. was laid last week, that a German of 64 years old, should walk in Hyde Park 300 miles in 6 dayes, which he did within the time, and a mile over.'[399]

Tennis was a fashionable game, although I only find one public court mentioned, 'facing Oxenden Street near the Haymarket.' Ward gets quite moral on the subject of this game: 'Rightly considered, it's a good Emblem of the World. As thus: the Gamesters are the Great Men, the Rackets are the Laws, which they hold fast in their Hands, and the Balls are we little Mortals which they bandy backwards or forwards from one to t'other as their own Wills and Pleasure directs 'em.'

Cricket was played, and sufficient interest was felt in the matches: on one or two occasions they were advertised in the newspapers. In 1705: 'This is to give notice, That a Match at Cricket is to be plai'd between 11 Gentlemen of the West part of (p. 242) the County of Kent against as many of Chatham for 11 Guineas a man, at Mauldon in Kent on the 7th of August next.' And in 1707: 'There will be two great Matches at Cricket plaid, between London and Croydon; the first at Croydon on Tuesday July 1, and the other to be plaid in Lamb's Conduit Fields near Holborn, on the Thursday following, being the 3rd of July.'

On the approach of winter football came into vogue, and it was played in the streets.

When lo! from far
I spy the furies of the Foot ball war:
The 'prentice quits his Shop, to join the Crew,
Increasing Crowds the flying Game pursue,
Thus, as you roll the Ball o'er Snowy Ground,
The gathering Globe augments with every Round.
But whither shall I run? the Throng draws nigh,
The Ball now skims the Street, now soars on High
The dext'rous Glazier strong returns the bound,
And jingling sashes on the Penthouse sound.[400]

'In Winter Foot-balls is a useful and charming Exercise. It is a Leather Ball about as big as ones Head, fill'd with Wind: This is kick'd about from one to t'other in the Streets, by him that can get at it, and this is all the Art of it.'[401]

Skating, although practised here in the time of Fitz-Stephen, had fallen into desuetude, until it was reintroduced by the Cavaliers who had been with Charles II. in Holland. Pepys thought it was 'a very pretty art,' yet got very nervous over the Duke of York's skating. 'To the Duke, and followed him into the Parke, where, though the ice was broken and dangerous, yet he would go slide upon his scates, which I did not like, but he slides very well.' Skating was popular in London in Anne's reign, but it is doubtful whether it obtained in the remote parts of the country. Writes Swift to Stella, Jan. 31, 1711: 'The Canal and Rosamonds Pond full of the rabble sliding, and with skates, if you know what those are.'

'The Gentile, cleanly and most ingenious Game at Billiards' was a resource at home; and it was played on a table like ours—an oblong wooden table, covered with green cloth, and with pockets of netting, in precisely the same position as now, the cushions being stuffed with fine flax or cotton. The game was not played as we play it, but there were two balls, a port or archway at one end, and a king or cone at the other. The cues were not like ours, but more like maces, only much heavier. 'Your Sticks ought to be heavy, made of Brazile Lignum Vitæ, or some other weighty wood which at the broad end must be tipt with Ivory.' The game was not only played in private, but in coffee houses. 'At the Greyhound Coffee House near Monmouth Street in Soho, are to be sold two new Billiard Tables, and all other goods and conveniences fit for a Coffee House,' etc. And (p. 243) again: 'A very good French Billiard Table little the worse for wearing, full size, with all the Materials fit for French or English play &c. Enquire at Scot's Coffee House.' Indeed Cotton says there were few towns of note in England which had not a public billiard-table. He, however, warns people against 'those spunging Caterpillars, which swarm where any Billiard Tables are set up, who make that single room their Shop, Kitching and Bed Chamber.'


The rough sports, such as cudgel-playing, foot-ball, wrestling, throwing, boxing, leaping, and running, were kept alive by the country wakes, which took place on the dedication festival of the parish church. These were sometimes supplemented by a grinning match, such as that which drew down Addison's wrath,[403] and which was afterwards abandoned, in deference to his opinion.

Near London these wakes, like Hampstead or Deptford wakes, were well kept up; and there was my Lady Butterfield in Epping Forest, of whose entertainment and calf-roasting, we have already had a description through Ward's instrumentality. Here is one of her advertisements: 'My Lady Butterfield gives a Challenge to all England, to Ride a Horse, Leap a Horse, Run on Foot or Hallow with any Woman in England Ten years younger, but not a Day older, because she would not under value herself. Gentlemen and Ladies, whilst in the Spring 'tis worth your while to come to hear the Nightingal Sing in Wanstead within a Mile of the Green Man, in Essex, at my Lady Butterfield's at Nightingal Hall. This is to give notice to all Gentlemen and Ladies, and all the best of my Friends, that on the last Wednesday of April is my feast, where is very good Entertainment for that Day, and for all the Year after from my Lady Butterfield.'

Or another:—

To all Gentlemen and Ladies.

If Rare Good young Beans and Pease can Tempt Ye,
Pray pass not by my Hall with Bellies Empty;
For Kind Good Usage every one can tell,
My Lady Butterfield does al excell;
At Wanstead Town, a Mile of the Green Man,
Come if you dare and stay away if you can.

(p. 244) She had a rival later on, in 1713. 'This is to acquaint all Jolly Lads and Lasses. That on Monday the 28th Instant, there will be a Meeting of several Gentlemen and Ladies at the Opening of Mr. Tucker's new House upon Epping Forest, where the Company will be provided with good Music and Dancing, and be likewise entertain'd by Country People with the following Diversions, viz. A Beaver Hat to be Cudgell'd for, A Pair of Buckskin Breeches to be wrestled for; and a lac'd Holland Smock to be danced for, by 6 young Women. N.B. The Sport begins at 10 a Clock in the Morning; and such care is taken that the Company may not return a hungry, One Ox will then be roasted and given gratis.'

Women raced for smocks, silk stockings, or topknots; whilst one would surely have won Sir John Astley's heart. 'This is to give Notice, That there is a young Woman, born within 30 Miles of London, will run, for Fifty or a Hundred Pounds, a Mile and an half, with any other Woman that has liv'd a Year within the same Distance; upon any good Ground, as the Parties concern'd shall agree to.'

Even a woman's suspected infidelity was turned into sport. 'At Hammersmith near Kensington, to morrow, being Friday, will be rode a Skimmington Triumph, according to the Manner described in Hudibras,' which the reader will find, if he be curious in the matter, in Part. II. Canto II. of Butler's immortal poem.

One harmless diversion should not be passed over. 'At Epsom Old Wells ... on Whitsun Tuesday will be Moris Dancing Set against Set, for Lac'd Hats, at 10 a Clock, with other Diversions.'

But the game, par excellence, which combined out-of-door sport with the minimum of fatigue, suitable alike to the mercurial young, and the steady middle-aged, was bowling; and the bowling greens multiplied exceedingly in this reign, especially (judging by the advertisements) after 1706. We hear of them starting up in all the suburbs: at Putney, Hoxton, Maribone, Hampstead, Stoke Newington, Ham Lane, etc.

That the bowls were the same as are now played with we see by the following advertisement: 'Lost out of the Bowl House belonging to Pemlico Green in Hogsdon near Shoreditch two pair of Lignum Vitæ Bowls and one pair of a reddish Wood.' It was not an expensive recreation. 'The New Green over against Bunhill fields will be open'd on Saturday next, and the Old Green to be Bowled on for Six Pence and One Penny for taking up.' Sometimes there were prizes bowled for, as 'At the Black Gray hound Dog at Bristow Causey, will be a Silver Tobacco Box Bouled for, value 30s.'

It was essentially a sober cit's amusement. 'I wonder how so many Fat Gentlemen can endure the Green all Day, tho' tis pleasant enough to look out o' the window and observe em—To see a Tun o' Grease, with a broad fiery Face, and a little black (p. 245) cap, waddle after a Bowl, rub, rub, rub, rub, rub, and lose more Fat in getting a Shilling—Than wou'd yield him a Crown at the Tallow Chandler's.'[404] 'A Bowling Green is a Place where there are three Things thrown away besides Bowls, viz. Time, Money, and Curses; the last ten for one. The best Sport in it, is a sight of the Gamesters, and the looker on enjoys it more than him that Plays. It is the School of Wrangling, nay worse than the Schools, for Men will cavil here for a Hair's bredth, and make a Dispute, where a Straw might end the Controversie. No Antick screws his Body into such strange Postures; and you would think 'em mad, to hear 'em make Supplication to their Bowls, and exercise their Rhetorick to intreat a good Cast.'[405] A great nuisance in these public bowling-grounds were the people who betted on the players' skill. 'Cuff. Let's be sure to bet all we can. I have known a great Bowler whose Better's place was worth about 200l. a year, without venturing a farthing for himself.'[406]

'A Bowling Green is one of the most agreeable Compartments of a Garden, and, when 'tis rightly placed, nothing is more pleasant to the Eye. It's hollow Figure covered with a beautiful Carpet of Turf very Smooth, and of a lively green, most commonly encompassed with a Row of tall Trees with Flower bearing Shrubs, make a delightful composition; besides the Pleasure it affords us, of lying along upon its sloping Banks, in the Shade, during the hottest weather.'[407] It must have delighted a gardener's heart, in those days, to have had something which must, almost of necessity, be ornamented in a somewhat formal manner. There were no landscape gardeners then, they were all fettered by the precision style of elaborate parterres, terraces, cut trees, statuary; and although a more educated mind pined for a better state of things, as is evidenced throughout the Spectator whenever mention is made of a garden, the tyranny of custom and the gardeners prevailed. 'Our trees rise in Cones, Globes, and Pyramids. We see the Marks of the Scissors upon every Plant and Bush. I do not know whether I am singular in my Opinion, but, for my own part, I would rather look upon a Tree in all its Luxuriancy and Diffusion of Boughs and Branches, than when it is thus cut and trimmed into a Mathematical Figure; and cannot but fancy that an Orchard in flower looks infinitely more delightful than all the little Labyrinths of the most finished Parterre.'[408] These parterres were made in as elaborate devices as some of our specimens of leaf-gardening, and looked very formal.

In the Guardian (No. 173) this practice of clipping trees is ridiculed most unmercifully. 'I know an eminent cook, who beautified his Country seat with a Coronation dinner in greens; where you see the Champion flourishing on horseback at one end of the table, and the queen in perpetual youth at the other. For (p. 246) the benefit of all my loving Countrymen of this Curious taste, I shall here publish a Catalogue of greens to be disposed of by an eminent town gardener ... Adam and Eve in Yew; Adam a little Shattered by the fall of the Tree of Knowledge in the great Storm; Eve and the Serpent very flourishing.

'St. George in box; his arm scarce long enough, but will be in a Condition to Stick the dragon by next April.

'A Green dragon of the same with a tail of ground Ivy for the present.—N.B. These two not to be sold separately.

'A pair of Giants stunted, to be sold Cheap.

'A quickset hedge, shot up into a porcupine, by its being forgot a week in rainy weather,' etc.

There were many works on gardening published in this reign, notably that by James, which was a translation from the French. It is enriched with beautiful designs for parterres, etc., and is undoubtedly the handsomest work on the subject. Van Oosten's 'Dutch Gardener' is another translation, as is 'the Retir'd Gard'ner' of London and Wise. The latter is a book of about 800 pages, with several woodcuts and copperplate engravings, and consists of two parts—one a translation of 'Le Jardinier Solitaire,' and the other from the work of the Sieur Louis Ligers. This was edited by George London and Henry Wise, who are more than once mentioned in the Spectator. They were practical gardeners, and their nurseries far surpassed all others in England. London was chief gardener to William and Mary, and afterwards to Anne. During her reign the nurseries were let to a man named Swinburne, but the name of the original firm was still kept up.

There is, however, an excellent book in English called 'the Clergy Man's Recreation,' by John Laurence, A.M., 1714, but it is all about the cultivation of fruit trees.

Plants would even grow out of doors in the City then, and we find the fore courts of houses planted, or at all events the walls covered with jasmines, vines, etc. Whilst the newspapers advertise for sale, 'Yews, Hollys and all sorts of Fillbrea Laurell &c. with all sorts of Fine Flowering Trees as Honi suckles, Cittisus, Roses, Sævays both Headed and Pyramid, Orange Trees, and Spanish Jesemins, Gilded Hollys Pyramid and Headed, Filleroys, Lawrel Tines, and Arbour Vitæ,' and amongst the flowers were 'Double Emonies, Ranckilos, Tulips, Aurickelouses, Double Anemonies, Double Ranunculos and Double Junquils.' Ranunculus seems to have been a puzzling word, for once again we find it spelt 'Renunculices.'

Town and country were eminently antagonistic. The want of means of communication kept country people in a state of stagnation, compared to their brethren of the town, whose more fastidious taste could not brook the boorish behaviour, and coarse pleasures, of the countryman.

'Woodcock. No Londiner shall either ruin my Daughter, or (p. 247) waste my Estate—If he be a Gamester 'tis rattl'd away in two Nights—If a lewd fellow, 'tis divided into Settlements—If a nice Fop, then my Cherry trees are cut down to make Terras-Walks, my Ancient Mannor House, that's noted for good Eating, demolish'd to Build up a Modem Kickshaw, like my Lord Courtair's Seat about a Mile off, with Sashes, Pictures and China; but never any Victuals drest in the House, for fear the Smoke of the Chimney should Sully the New Furniture.

'Reynard. So that instead of providing her a Gentleman, you'd Sacrifice her to a Brute; who has neither Manners enough to be thought Rational, Education enough for a Justice of the Peace, nor wit enough to distinguish fine Conversation from the Yelping of Dogs; Hunts all the Morning, topes all the Afternoon, and then goes lovingly Drunk to Bed to his Wife.

'Woodcock. And pray, what are your Town Diversions? To hear a parcel of Italian Eunuchs, like so many Cats, squawll out somewhat you don't understand. The Song of my Lady's Birthday, by an honest Farmer, and a Merry Jig by a Country Wench that has Humour in her Buttocks, is worth Forty on't; Your Plays, your Park, and all your Town Diversions together, don't afford half so substantial a Joy as going home thoroughly wet and dirty after a fatiguing Fox Chace, and Shifting one's self by a good Fire. Neither are we Country Gentlemen such Ninnies as you make us; we have good Estates, therefore want not the Knavery and Cunning of the Town; but we are Loyal Subjects, true Friends, and never scruple to take our Bottle, because we are guilty of nothing which we are afraid of discovering in our Cups.'[409] A very pretty quarrel as it stood, and one on which, as Sir Roger remarked, 'much might be said on both sides,' for Addison[410] rather grumbles at the old-fashioned courtesy of the well-bred squire as opposed to the greater ease of manners then in vogue: 'If, after this, we look on the People of Mode in the Country, we find in them the Manners of the last Age. They have no sooner fetched themselves up to the Fashion of the polite World, but the town has dropped them, and are nearer to the first State of Nature than to those refinements which formerly reign'd in the Court and still prevail in the Country. One may now know a Man that never conversed in the World, by his Excess of Good Breeding. A polite Country Squire shall make you as many Bows in half an hour, as would serve a Courtier for a Week. There is infinitely more to do about Place and Precedency in a meeting of Justices Wives, than in an Assembly of Dutchesses.'

But if the country aristocracy were so behindhand, in what state were the labourers? Their lot was hard work and scant wage, only relieved by a village wake or a country fair; no education, no hope of any better position, of the earth, earthy; a man rose at early (p. 248) morning, worked hard all day, came home to sleep, and so on without intermission. Gay thus describes him and his labours:—

If in the Soil you guide the crooked Share,
Your early Breakfast is my Constant Care.
And when with even Hand you strow the Grain,
I fright the thievish Rooks from off the Plain.
In misling Days when I my Threasher heard,
With Nappy Beer I to the Barn repair'd;
Lost in the Musick of the whirling Flail,
To gaze on thee I left the smoaking Pail;
In Harvest, when the Sun was mounted high,
My Leather Bottle did thy Drought supply;
When e'er you mow'd I followed with the Rake,
And have full oft been Sun burnt for thy Sake;
When in the Welkin gath'ring Show'rs were seen,
I lagg'd the last with Colin on the Green;
And when at Eve returning with thy Carr,
Awaiting heard the gingling Bells from far;
Strait on the Fire the sooty Pot I plac't,
To warm thy Broth I burnt my Hands for Haste.
When hungry thou stood'st staring, like an Oaf,
I slic'd the Luncheon from the Barly Loaf,
With crumbled Bread I thicken'd well thy Mess,
Ah, love me more, or love thy Pottage less![411]

The dress of the labourer at this time was a broad-brimmed flap felt hat, a jerkin, or short coat, knee breeches and stockings; whilst the women wore their dresses very plainly made—necessarily without furbelows and hoops, and, for headgear, had a very sensible broad-brimmed straw hat, or, on holidays, the high-crowned felt hat.


The theatres — Dorset Gardens — Its demolition — Performances — Lincoln's Inn Fields — Theatre Royal, Drury Lane — Its company — Mrs. Tofts — The Queen's Theatre, Haymarket — Its foundation stone — Its operas — Pinkethman's theatre at Greenwich — The Queen and the Stage — Her reforms — Strolling players — Behaviour at the theatre — Orange wenches — Stage properties — Actors — Betterton — Verbruggen — Cave Underhill — Estcourt — Dogget — Colley Cibber — Wilks — Booth — Pinkethman — Minor actors — Actresses — Mrs. Barry — Mrs. Bracegirdle — Mrs. Oldfield — Mrs. Verbruggen — The ballet.

The drama was fairly supported in Queen Anne's time, although there were never more than three theatres open at once, and generally only two. It was not an age for either striking actors or immortal plays; but, as to the former, they were hard-working, (p. 249) and some of them have left a name behind them renowned in the history of the stage; and, for the latter, they were, although somewhat coarse in humour, not so licentious as the plays of the three preceding reigns. It is impossible, within the limits of this book, to do more than generalise on the drama of that day—its history has materials in it for a book to itself.

There were four theatres: Dorset Gardens, Lincoln's Inn Fields, Drury Lane, and the Queen's Theatre, Haymarket.

Dorset Gardens Theatre was in Salisbury Court, in Salisbury Square, Fleet Street, and was built, it is said, from designs by Sir Christopher Wren, and to have been decorated by Grinling Gibbons. It fronted the river one way, was consequently easy of access by 'the silent highway,' and its façade was very pretty, although not elaborately ornamented. It was opened on Nov. 9, 1671, by the Duke of York's Company, when they left the playhouse in Little Lincoln's Inn Fields. It gradually got disreputable, and in 1698 was used for the drawing of a penny lottery. Ward thus describes its condition in his time. 'By this time we were come to our propos'd landing Place, when a Stately Edifice (the Front supported by Lofty Columns) presented to our View. I enquired of my Friend what Magnanimous Don Cressus Resided in this Noble and Delightful Mansion? Who told me, No Body as he knew on, except Rats and Mice; and perhaps an old superannuated Jack Pudding, to look after it, and to take Care that no Decay'd Lover of the Drama should get in and steal away the Poet's Pictures, and sell 'em to some Upholsterers for Roman Emperours; I suppose there being little else to lose, except Scenes, Machines, or some such Jim Cracks. For this, says he, is one of the Theatres, but now wholly abandon'd by the Players; and 'tis thought, will in a little time be pull'd down.'[412] The neighbourhood around about he describes as something awful in its character, and he was not particular to a shade.

The following advertisement[413] will show the style of amusement it afforded its patrons:—

'Being the last time of Acting till after May Fair.

At the Theatre in Dorset Gardens, this day being Friday the 30th of April will be presented A Farce call'd, The Cheats of Scapin. And a Comedy of two Acts only, call'd, The Comical Rivals, or the School Boy. With several Italian Sonatas by Signior Gasperini and others. And the Devonshire Girl, being now upon her Return to the City of Exeter, will perform three several Dances, particularly her last new Entry in imitation of Mademoiselle Subligni, and the Whip of Dunboyne by Mr. Claxton her Master, being the last time of their Performance till Winter. And at the desire of several Persons of Quality (hearing that Mr. Pinkeman hath hired the two famous French Girls lately arriv'd from the (p. 250) Emperor's Court) They will perform several Dances on the Rope upon the Stage, being improv'd to that Degree, far exceeding all others in that Art. And their Father presents you with the Newest Humours of Harlequin as performed by him before the Grand Signior at Constantinople. Also the Famous Mr. Evans lately arriv'd from Vienna, will shew you Wonders of another kind, Vaulting on the Manag'd Horse, being the greatest Master of that Kind in the World. To begin at Five so that all may be done by Nine a Clock.'

In the Daily Courant May 13, 1703, there was an attempt to revive it, but it was unsuccessful. 'The Queen's Theatre in Dorset Garden is now fitting up for a new Opera; and the great Preparations that are made to forward it and bring it upon the Stage by the beginning of June, adds to every body's Expectation, who promise themselves mighty Satisfaction from so well order'd and regular an Undertaking as this is said to be, both in the Beauties of the Scenes, and Varieties of Entertainments in the Musick and Dances.'

It opened spasmodically, now and then: on July 9, 1706, with an opera called 'Arsinoe, Queen of Cyprus.' Mrs. Tofts as Arsinoe; a prologue spoken by Cibber, and an epilogue by Estcourt; and on Aug. 1 there was an opera called 'Camilla' played. And we hear the last of it in the autumn of this year.'[414] 'By the deserted Company of Comedians of the Theatre Royal. At the Queen's Theatre in Dorset Gardens, on Thursday next being the 24th of October, will be Acted a Comedy, call'd The Recruiting Officer.[415] In which they Pray there may be Singing by Mrs. Tofts in English and Italian. And some Dancing.' On the 30th they played 'Master Fido, or the Faithful Shepherd,' 'acted all by women'—a not absolute novelty, but which showed how hard up they were for something new to draw. And there were five more performances that year.

But all attempts to galvanise it into life failed, and in the Daily Courant of June 1, 1709, we read, 'The Play House at Dorset Stairs is now pulling down, where there is to be sold old Timber fit for Building or Repairs, Old Boards, Bricks, Glass'd Pantiles and Plain Tiles, also Fire Wood, at very reasonable rates.'

Lincoln's Inn Fields was another theatre which had very varying fortunes during this reign. In 1705, when the company left for their new home in the Haymarket, it was to let. Betterton took it for a night for his benefit on March 3 of that year, and Cave Underhill for his on March 31. It was not re-opened till Sept. 12, 1706, and was played in only six nights that year. It was rebuilt by Rich, but was not again acted in during Queen Anne's reign.

One advertisement of its performances may be given as (p. 251) exemplifying their variety.[416] 'At the Desire of several Persons of Quality. For the Benefit of Mrs. Prince. At the Theatre in Little Lincoln's Inn Fields, the present Tuesday being the 8th of June, will be presented the last New Tragedy call'd, The Fair Penitent.[417] With four Entertainments of Singing (entirely New) by the Famous Signiora Francisca Margarita de l'Epine; to which will be added the Nightingale Song[418]; it being the last time of her Singing whilst she stays in England. The Instrumental Musick composed by Signior Jacomo Greber. With a Country Wedding Dance by Monsieur Labbé, Mrs. Elford, and others. Also a new Entertainment of Dancing between Mazetin a Clown, and two Chairmen. With the Dance of Blouzabella by Mr. Prince, and Mrs. Elford. By reason of the Entertainments the Play will be shortened. Boxes 6s. Pit 4s. Gallery 2s. 6d.' These seem to have been the benefit prices at this theatre, the normal ones being 5s., 3s., and 2s.

Dorset Gardens and Lincoln's Inn Fields theatres were the dramatic failures; the 'Theatre Royal in Drury Lane,' as it was called, was an exception, and stood its ground fairly during the Queen's reign. It was built by Killigrew, at a cost of £1,500, on the site of a plot of ground called the 'Riding Yard,' which was obtained on lease from the Duke of Bedford, and opened in 1663. The actors there were called Her Majesty's servants, and had the right to dress in scarlet, the royal livery.

In the summer time, when the quality was dispersed at the various Spas, the dramatic company followed them to their fashionable resorts, as also did Powell and Clinch. This, at all events, was the case in the early days of Anne's rule. 'Her Majesty's Servants of the Theatre Royal being return'd from the Bath, do intend, to morrow being Wednesday the Sixth of this instant October to act a Comedy call'd Love makes a Man, or, the Fop's Fortune.[419] With Singing and Dancing. And whereas the Audiences have been incommoded by the Plays usually beginning too late, the Company of the said Theatre do therefore give Notice that they will constantly begin at Five a Clock without fail, and continue the same Hour all the Winter.'[420]

Later in this reign they stopped in London, but did not play every day. 'Not Acted these 15 years. By Her Majesty's Company of Comedians. At the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane, on Tuesday next, being the 1st of July, will be Reviv'd the 2nd Part of the Destruction of Jerusalem,[421] by Titus Vespasian. The Parts of Titus by Mr. Booth, Phraartes Mr. Mills, Tiberius Mr. Keen. John, Mr. Powell. Berenice Mrs. Rogers, Clarona Mrs. Bradshaw. N.B. The Company will continue to Act on every Tuesday and Friday during the Summer Season. By Her (p. 252) Majesty's Command[422] no Persons are to be admitted behind the Scenes.'[423] At one time, as Cibber narrates, it was even closed altogether.

The theatre was used occasionally for other than dramatic performances. Here is one: 'At the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane, this present Tuesday being the 14th of December will be perform'd, The Subscription Musick. Wherein Mrs. Tofts Sings several Songs in Italian and English. With a new piece of Vocal and Instrumental Musick never perform'd before, composed by Mr. Leveridge. And several new Entries and Entertainments of Dancing by Monsieur l'Abbé, Monsieur Du Ruell, Monsieur Charrier, Mrs. Campion, Mrs. Elford, the Devonshire Girl, and others. No Person to be admitted into the Pit or Boxes but by the Subscribers Tickets, which are deliver'd at Mr. White's Chocolate house. The Boxes on the Stage and the Galleries are for the Benefit of the Actors. The Stage Boxes 7s. 6d. the first Gallery 2s. 6d. the Upper Gallery 1s. 6d. To begin about Five a Clock. No Person to stand on the Stage.'[424]

That the ordinary prices, which they never advertised, were much lower than these, is shown by an advertisement in the following year. 'And by reason of the extraordinary Charge in the Decoration of it, the Prices will be rais'd. Boxes 5s. Pit 3s. First Gallery 2s. Upper Gallery 1s.'

Before quitting this short notice of Drury Lane Theatre reference must be made to an incident in which Mrs. Tofts the singer was interested. 'Ann Barwick having occasioned a Disturbance at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane on Saturday Night last the 5th of February, and being thereupon taken into Custody, Mrs. Tofts, in Vindication of her own Innocency, sent a Letter to Mr. Rich, Master of the said Theatre, which is as followeth.

Sir, I was very much surpriz'd when I was inform'd, that Ann Barwick, who was lately my Servant, had committed a Rudeness last night at the Play-house, by throwing of Oranges, and hissing when Mrs. l'Epine the Italian Gentlewoman Sung. I hope no one can think that it was in the least with my Privity, as I assure you it was not. I abhor such Practises, and I hope that you will cause her to be prosecuted, that she may be punish'd as she deserves.

I am, Sir, Your humble Servant,
Katharine Tofts.

To Christopher Rich Esq.; at the
Theatre Royal. Feb. 6. 1703.'[425]

Misson gives a description of its interior, which, from his invariable truthfulness, can be relied on. 'The Pit is an Amphitheater, (p. 253) fill'd with Benches without Back boards, and adorn'd and cover'd with green Cloth. Men of Quality, particularly the younger Sort, some Ladies of Reputation and Vertue, and abundance of Damsels that hunt for Prey, Sit all together in this place, Higgledy piggledy, chatter, toy, play, hear, hear not. Farther up, against the Wall, under the first Gallery, and just opposite to the Stage, rises another Amphitheater, which is taken up by Persons of the best Quality, among whom are generally very few Men. The Galleries, whereof there are only two rows, are filled with none but ordinary People, particularly the Upper One.'

Italian opera was coming mightily into vogue, but a new theatre was needed for its performance, so a company was formed, capital 3,000l. in 100l. shares, which covered a subscription for life; and Sir John Vanbrugh was entrusted with its building. The members of the Kitcat Club were large subscribers; and Cibber says, 'Of this Theatre I saw the first Stone laid, on which was inscrib'd The little Whig,[426] in Honour to a Lady of extraordinary Beauty, then the celebrated Toast and Pride of that Party.' But this seems an inaccuracy, for in a newspaper-cutting of March 19, 1825, it says, 'Removing that portion of the walls of the Italian Opera House, immediately adjoining the cellar of Mr. Wright, on Saturday last, the workmen discovered the first stone of the old building, laid in 1704. The stone was in a perfect state, and in the cavity formed for the purpose of receiving them were found several coins of the reign of Queen Anne; a brass plate which covered the cavity bore the following inscription: "April 18, 1704. In the third year of the happy reign of our Sovereign Lady Queen Anne, this corner stone of the Queen's Theatre was laid, by his Grace Charles Duke of Somerset, Master of the Horse to her most sacred Majesty."'

The outside was imposing: an arcade, as now, ran along the front of the building, the length of which was relieved by a dome in the centre, and on the balustraded parapet were eight statues on pedestals. But, if Cibber is to be trusted, the inside was so badly constructed acoustically that 'scarce one Word in ten could be distinctly heard in it,' and the consequence was that the roof had to be remodelled and made flat.

Vanbrugh and Congreve opened this theatre on Easter Monday, April 9, 1705, and Mrs. Bracegirdle spoke a prologue, written by Dr. Garth, in which are the lines, alluding to the Haymarket:—

Your own magnificence you here Survey,
Majestick Columns stand where Dunghills lay,
And Cars triumphal rise from Carts of Hay.

The play on this occasion was, according to Cibber, 'a translated Opera, to Italian Musick, called the Triumph of Love.' This, he says, only ran three days, and then Sir John Vanbrugh produced (p. 254) his comedy called 'The Confederacy.' Downes[427] says, 'It (i.e. the Italian Opera) lasted but 5 Days, and they being lik'd but indifferently by the Gentry; they in a little time marcht back to their own Country. The first play Acted there was The Gamester.'

It is singular that neither of these authorities are correct, and luckily we have the advertisements left to guide us. It is, however, somewhat strange that there should have been no public announcement in the newspapers of its opening; but the first advertisement published is in the Daily Courant, April 14, 1705: 'At the Queen's Theatre in the Haymarket, this present Saturday being the 14th of April, will be reviv'd, The Indian Emperor, or the Conquest of Mexico by the Spaniards. The Part of Cortez to be perform'd by Mr. Powel; with Entertainments of Dancing, as also Singing by the new Italian Boy. By Her Majesty's Sworn Servants.'

The next play was 'The Merry Wives of Windsor,' on April 23; on the 27th 'The Gamester'; and Downes says 'The Confederacy' was playing long after.

This theatre was, undoubtedly, the most fashionable; and its prices, at times, were far above its rivals. Take, for example[428]: 'At the Desire of several Persons of Quality. At the Queen's Theatre in the Hay Market, on Saturday next, being the 7th of February, will be presented an Opera call'd Camilla. The Part of Metius (to which are added several new Select Songs) to be perform'd by the famous Signior Gioseppe Cassani, lately arrived from Italy. With several new Entertainments of Dancing by Monsieur Cherrier, Monsieur Debargues, Mrs. Santlow, Mrs. Evans, and others. The Boxes to be open'd to the Pit, and no Person to be admitted but by Tickets, which will be deliver'd out on Friday and Saturday Morning at White's Chocolate House, at a Guinea each Ticket. The number of Tickets not to exceed 450.' On the 6th same month the performance was lowered to half a guinea. Stage boxes, half a guinea; first gallery, 5s.; upper gallery, 2s.; and on Feb. 10 admission was still further lowered.

Congreve soon gave up his share, and Sir John Vanbrugh was also glad to get rid of this 'bad egg': so after Jan. 10, 1708, it was transferred to Owen MacSwiney for operatic performances, one of which we have just mentioned.

Pinkethman, the indefatigable, had a theatre at Greenwich, which he worked during the summer months, though the exact time is unknown. In an advertisement of his moving picture (Daily Courant, May 9, 1709) he says it may be seen 'next Door to his New Play House, where variety of Plays are Acted every Day as in London.' He could not long have started, as in the Tatler (No. 4, April 18, 1709) it says, 'We hear Mr. Penkethman has removed his ingenious Company of Strollers to Greenwich. But other letters from Deptford say, the company is only making (p. 255) thither, and not yet settled; but that several Heathen Gods and Goddesses, which are to descend in machines, landed at the King's Head Stairs last Saturday. Venus and Cupid went on foot from thence to Greenwich; Mars got drunk in the town, and broke his Landlord's head, for which he sat in the Stocks the whole Evening; but Mr. Penkethman giving Security that he should do nothing this ensuing Summer, he was set at liberty. The most melancholy part of all was, that Diana was taken, and committed by Justice Wrathful; which has, it seems, put a stop to the Diversions of the Theatre at Blackheath. But there goes down another Diana and a Patient Grissel next tide from Billingsgate.'

Queen Anne was not a patron of the drama. She never went to the theatre, and, as far as I can learn, seldom had dramatic performances at court. 'On Sunday, being the Queen's Birth Day, her Majesty receiv'd the usual Compliments on that occasion, and yesterday there was an extraordinary appearance of the Nobility and Gentry of both Sexes at St. James's upon the same account. The Play call'd, All for Love,[429] was Acted in the presence of the Court.'[430] And this was such an extraordinary event that even another newspaper informed its readers of the astounding fact. Downes remarks on this: 'Note From Candlemas 1704 to the 22d of April 1706. There were 4 Plays commanded to be Acted at Court at St. James', by the Actors of both Houses viz. First All for Love. The Second was Sir Solomon or the Cautious Coxcomb.[431] The next was The Merry Wives of Windsor, Acted the 23rd of April, the Queen's Coronation Day. The last was The Anatomist or Sham Doctor;[432] it was perform'd on Shrove Tuesday, the Queen's Birthday.'

But though she would not go to the theatres, she heartily took their reformation in hand, as the following proclamation shows:—

'Anne R.

'Whereas. We have already given Orders to the Master of Our Revels, and also to Both the Companies of Comedians, Acting in Drury Lane, and Lincolns Inn Fields, to take Special Care, that Nothing be Acted in either of the Theatres contrary to Religion or Good Manners, upon Pain of our High Displeasure, and of being Silenc'd from further Acting; And being further desirous to Reform all other Indecencies, and Abuses of the Stage, which have Occasion'd great Disorders, and Justly give Offence; Our Will and Pleasure therefore is, and We do hereby strictly Command, That no Person of what Quality soever, Presume to go Behind the Scenes, or come upon the Stage, either before, or during the Acting of any Play. That no Woman be Allow'd or Presume to wear a Vizard Mask in either of the Theatres. And that no Person come (p. 256) into either House without Paying the Prices Establish'd for their Respective Places.

'All which Orders We strictly Command all Managers, Sharers, and Actors of the said Companies, to see exactly Observ'd, and Obey'd. And We Require and Command all Our Constables, and others appointed to Attend the Theatres, to be Aiding and Assisting to them therein. 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 Publick Peace.

'Given at our Court at St. James's the 17th Day of January.

'In the Second Year of our Reign.'

Luttrell, writing on January 20, 1704, says: 'This day, the lords ordered thanks to the Queen for restraining the play houses from immorality.'

This proclamation, however, did not have the desired effect, for another appeared in March the same year: 'Whereas great Complaints have been made to Her Majesty, of many indecent, prophane and immoral Expressions that are usually spoken by Players and Mountebanks contrary to Religion and Good Manners. And thereupon Her Majesty has lately given Order to Charles Killigrew, Esqre.; Her Majesty's Master of the Revels, to take especial care to correct all such Abuses. The said Master of the Revels does therefore hereby require all Stage Players, Mountebanks, and all other Persons, mounting Stages, or otherwise, to bring their Several Plays, Drolls, Farces, Interludes, Dialogues, Prologues, and other Entertainments, fairly written, to him at his Office in Somerset House, to be by him perused, corrected and allow'd under his hand, pursuant to Her Majesty's Commands, upon pain of being proceeded against for contempt of Her Majesty's said Order,'[433] etc. Another proclamation appeared in the Gazette, Nov. 13/15, 1711, forbidding anybody to stand upon the stage or go behind the scenes.

That these proclamations were not strictly attended to is evidenced by the notices scattered over the newspaper advertisements, till 1712, that no Persons were allowed on the stage, or behind the scenes, by her Majesty's command; but, after this last proclamation, the practice seems to have been stopped.

Anne was determined that her orders should be carried out, and looked after the small fry as well as the big fish. 'Whereas the Master of the Revels has received Information, That several Companies of Strolling Actors pretend to have Licenses from Noblemen, and presume under that pretence to avoid the Master of the Revels, his Correcting their Plays, Drolls, Farces, and Interludes: which being against Her Majesty's Intentions and Directions to the said Master: These are to signifie. That such Licenses are not of any Force or authority. There are likewise several Mountebanks Acting upon Stages, and Mountebanks on Horseback, Persons that keep Poppets, and others that make Shew (p. 257) of Monsters, and strange Sights of living Creatures, who presume to Travel without the said Master of the Revels' Licence,'[434] etc., and goes on to say that their exhibitions must be licensed by him, under penalty.

These strolling actors seem to have been poor enough, and might fairly come under the category of 'vagabonds by Act of Parliament' if the account Steele[435] gives of them be in any way correct: 'We have now at this Place a Company of Strolers, who are very far from offending in the impertinent Splendour of the Drama. They are so far from falling into these false Gallantries, that the Stage is here in its Original Situation of a Cart. Alexander the Great was acted by a Fellow in a Paper Cravat; The next Day the Earl of Essex seemed to have no Distress but his Poverty: and my Lord Foppington the same Morning wanted any better means to shew himself a Fop Man by wearing Stockings of different Colours. In a Word tho' they have had a full Barn for many Days together, our Itinerants are still so wretchedly poor, that without you can prevail to send us the Furniture you forbid at the Play House, the Heroes appear only like sturdy Beggars, and the Heroines Gipsies.'

'No person to be admitted to keep Places in the Pit' seems a singular order, were it not explicable by the fact that people used to send their footmen to keep places for them until their arrival, and that the manners of these gentry gave great offence to the habitués of the pit. The proper place for the footmen was the upper gallery, which was allowed to them free, supposing they were in attendance on their masters. We have seen Pinkethman's power over them, but their behaviour generally was rough and noisy. In the Female Tatler, Dec. 9, 1709, is this notice: 'Dropt near the Play house, in the Haymarket, a bundle of Horsewhips, designed to belabour the Footmen in the Upper Gallery, who almost every Night this Winter, have made such an intolerable Disturbance, that the Players could not be heard, and their Masters were obliged to hiss them into silence. Whoever has taken up the said Whips, is desired to leave 'em with my Lord Rake's Porter, several Noblemen resolving to exercise 'em on their Backs, the next Frosty Morning.'

The bad behaviour was not wholly confined to the lackeys, for Addison[436] alludes to that of some ladies whilst at the Theatre: 'A little before the rising of the Curtain, she broke out into a loud Soliloquy, When will the Dear Witches enter? and immediately upon their first Appearance, asked a Lady that sat three Boxes from her, on her Right Hand, if those Witches were not charming Creatures. A little after, as Betterton was in one of the finest Speeches of the Play, she shook her Fan at another Lady, who sat as far on the Left Hand, and told her with a Whisper that might be heard all over the Pit, We must not expect to see Ballon (p. 258) to-night. Not long after, calling out to a young Baronet by his Name, who sat three seats before me, she asked him whether Macbeth's wife was still alive: and before he could give an Answer, fell a talking of the Ghost of Banquo.'

Steele,[437] too, tells of the bad conduct of a beau, which curiously illustrates the necessity of Anne's proclamations: 'This was a very lusty Fellow, but withal a sort of Beau, who getting into one of the Side boxes on the Stage before the Curtain drew, was disposed to show the whole Audience his Activity by leaping over the Spikes; he pass'd from thence to one of the Entering Doors, where he took Snuff with a tolerable good Grace, display'd his fine Cloaths, made two or three feint Passes at the Curtain with his Cane, then faced about and appear'd at t'other Door: Here he affected to survey the whole House, bow'd and smil'd at random, and then shew'd his Teeth, which were some of them indeed very white: After this he retired behind the Curtain, and obliged us with several Views of his Person from every Opening.'

And, again, take this short sketch: 'And our rakely young Fellows live as much by their Wits as ever; and to avoid the clinking Dun of a Boxkeeper, at the End of one Act, they sneak to the opposite Side 'till the End of another; then call the Boxkeeper saucy Rascal, ridicule the Poet, laugh at the Actors, march to the Opera, and spunge away the rest of the Evening. The Women of the Town take their Places in the Pit with their wonted Assurance. The middle Gallery is fill'd with the middle Part of the City: and your high exalted Galleries are grac'd with handsome Footmen, that wear their Master's Linen.'[438]

Such then was the appearance in front of the stage; and, to thoroughly realise the scene, we must remember, en passant, that necessary individual the 'Candle Snuffer,' and those bold young women, whose class Nell Gwynne made famous, the 'Orange Wenches.'

Four or five hours in such theatres were almost insupportable without some slight refreshment, and this was supplied by these girls, who continually circulated throughout the audience. Their class is sufficiently alluded to in a passage in the Spectator, No. 141: 'A Poet sacrifices the best Part of his Audience to the Worst; and as one would think neglects the Boxes, to write to the Orange Wenches.' They seem to have fulfilled other duties besides supplying refreshment:—

Now turn, and see where loaden with her Freight,
A Damsel Stands, and Orange-wench is hight;
See! how her Charge hangs dangling by the Rim,
See! how the Balls blush o'er the Basket-brim;
But little those she minds, the cunning Belle
Has other Fish to Fry, and other Fruit to sell;
(p. 259) See! how she whispers yonder youthful Peer,
See! how he smiles, and lends a greedy Ear.
At length 'tis done, the Note o'er Orange wrapt
Has reach'd the Box, and lays in Lady's Lap.[439]

Bad weather occasionally militated against the poor players. 'Her Majesty's Servants at the Theatre Royal (the weather being chang'd) intend to act on Wednesdays and Fridays till Bartholomew Fair.'[440] This and bad trade made them look out for novelties, such as acting a play the characters in which were sustained entirely by women, or having amateurs on the stage. 'At the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane, to morrow being Friday the 7th of July, will be reviv'd a Play call'd, The Orphan, or, the Unhappy Marriage.[441] All the Men's parts to be perform'd by young Gentlemen for their Diversion.'[442] Or they would try the effect of 'a New Prologue by a Child of 4 years of Age,' or 'a New Epilogue by Mrs. Pack in a Riding Habit, upon a Pad-Nagg representing a Town Miss Travelling to Tunbridge.'

The properties of a theatre have always been a fair whetstone for men to sharpen their humour on, and the writers of the time of Queen Anne were not behindhand in this respect. When Drury Lane was closed by order, in 1709, the Tatler (No. 42) made very merry over the miscellaneous effects:—

'Three Bottles and a half of lightning.

'One Shower of Snow in the whitest French Paper.

'Two Showers of a browner sort.

'A Sea, consisting of a dozen large waves; the tenth bigger than ordinary, and a little damaged.

'A dozen and a half of Clouds, trimmed with black, and well conditioned.

'A Mustard bowl to make Thunder with.

'The Complexion of a Murderer in a Bandbox; consisting of a large piece of burnt Cork, and a Coal black Peruke,' etc.

At the death of Peer, the property man at this theatre, the Guardian extracted much fun from a catalogue of articles under his care.

Rowe goes into poetry on the same subject—thus:—

Hung on the selfsame Peg, in Union rest
Young Tarquin's Trowsers, and Lucretia's Vest,
Whilst without pulling Quoives Roxana lays
Close by Statira's Petticoat her Stays
Near these sets up a Dragon drawn Calash,
There a Ghost's Doublet delicately slash'd,
Bleeds from the mangled Breast, and gapes a frightful Gash.
In Crimson wrought the sanguine Floods abound,
And seem to gutter from the streaming Wound.
(p. 260) Here Iris bends her various painted Arch,
There artificial Clouds in sullen Order march,
Here stands a Crown upon a Rack, and there
A Witch's Broomstick by great Hector's Spear;
Here stands a Throne, and there the Cynick's Tub,
Here Bullock's Cudgel, there Alcida's Club:
Beads, Plumes, and Spangles, in Confusion rise,
Whilst Rocks of Cornish Diamonds reach the Skies.
Crests, Corslets, all the Pomp of Battle join,
In one Effulgence, one promiscuous shine.

The actors of this reign, with a few exceptions, were not people of much genius. After these few, some were respectable, the rest bad; but, although the play was the proper place of amusement to go to, and there were seldom more than two theatres open at once, yet we find it comparatively languishing, the companies frequently playing only twice a week, or the theatre closed altogether. Doubtless the tragedy was stilted, and the comedy was akin to buffoonery. As witness to the latter let Addison[443] testify: 'It would be an Endless Task to consider Comedy in the same Light, and to mention the innumerable Shifts that small Wits put in practice to raise a Laugh. Bullock in a short Coat, and Norris in a long one, seldom fail of this Effect. In ordinary Comedies, a broad and a narrow Brim'd Hat are different characters. Sometimes the Wit of the Scene lies in a Shoulder belt, and sometimes in a Pair of whiskers.'

The 'Phœnix of the Stage,' as Anthony, or Tony, Aston calls Betterton, stands pre-eminent among the actors. Born in 1635, he was an old man when Queen Anne came to the throne; and he died on April 28, 1710, from the effects of gout, which he aggravated by acting when the fit was on. His last performance was on April 13, 1710, and it is thus described in the Daily Courant of that date: 'At the Desire of several Persons of Quality. For the Benefit of Mr. Betterton. At the Queen's Theatre in the Hay market this present Thursday being the 13th April will be Reviv'd, The Maid's Tragedy.[444] The part of Melantius by Mr. Betterton, Amintor by Mr. Wilks, Calianax by Mr. Pinkethman, Evadne by Mrs. Barry, and all the other parts to the best Advantage. To which will be added Three Designs, Representing the Three Principal Actions of the Play, in Imitation of so many great Pieces of History Painting, where all the real Persons concern'd in those Actions will be Plac'd at proper distances, in different Postures peculiar to the Passion of each Character.'

Totally unfit, from illness, to act, he had resort to violent remedies to enable him to go through his part, which he did, with his gouty foot in a slipper, but the exertion killed him. A great favourite of Charles II., that king not only sent him to Paris, to see and report on the French theatres, but appointed him to teach the nobility for court theatricals, whilst his wife tutored the future (p. 261) queens Mary and Anne—in fact, the latter settled a pension of 100l. per annum upon her, after her husband's death. Pepys describes him as 'the best actor in the world,' and so he undoubtedly was—in his age. Aston[445] describes him thus: 'He had little Eyes, and a broad Face, a little Pock fretten, a Corpulent Body, and thick Legs, with large Feet.... His Voice was low and grumbling; yet he could Tune it by an artful Climax, which enforc'd universal Attention, even from the Fops and Orange Girls. He was incapable of dancing even in a Country Dance.'

Room must be found for one little anecdote which Aston tells of him. 'Mr. Betterton had a small Farm near Reading, in the County of Berks; and a Countryman came, in the Time of Bartholomew Fair, to pay his Rent. Mr. Betterton took him to the Fair, and going to one Crawley's Puppet Shew, offer'd Two Shillings for himself and Roger, his Tenant.—No, no, Sir, said Crawley; we never take Money of one Another. This affronted Mr. Betterton, who threw down the Money, and they entered.'

Among the actors of the time he was looked up to as a king. Downes[446] says: 'I must not Omit Praises due to Mr. Betterton. The first and now only remains of the old Stock, of the Company of Sir William Davenant in Lincolns Inn Fields; he like an old Stately Spreading Oak now stands Fixt, Environ'd round with brave Young Growing Flourishing Plants.... Mr. Dryden a little before his Death in a Prologue, rendring him this Praise:—

He like the Setting Sun, still shows a Glimmery Ray
Like Antient Rome Majestick in decay.'

He was buried in Westminster Abbey on May 2, 1710, and Steele[447] wrote a long panegyric upon him, saying he 'ought to be recorded with the same respect as Roscius among the Romans.'

He died, not in want, but in comparatively poor circumstances, and he must have been a man of some culture, as the following advertisement, soon after his death, shows:[448] 'This Day will be Continued the Sale by Auction of the Prints, and Books of Prints and Drawings, of Mr. Tho. Betterton, deceased, &c.'

Verbruggen, although he died in 1708, played in Queen Anne's reign. But little is known of him, except that he was a tragedian, and was the original Oronooko. A contemporary character of him is 'A fellow with a crackt voice, he clangs his words, as if he spoke out of a broken drum.'[449] Downes says, 'his Person being tall, well built and clean, only he was a little In Kneed, which gave him a shambling Gate;' and he adds, 'Verbruggen was Nature (p. 262) without Extravagance—Freedom without Licentiousness—and vociferous without bellowing.'

Cave Underhill was another veteran, of whom Steele writes[450] when making an appeal to the public to support him: 'he has been a comic for three generations; my father admired him extremely when he was a boy.' He took a benefit at Drury Lane on June 3, 1709, when 'Hamlet' was played, and he took his favourite part of the gravedigger.

Leigh was another old actor who died in this reign.

Estcourt deserves notice. He was born in 1668, and, at the age of 15, ran away from his father's house, and joined a company of strollers at Worcester. He was recovered, and apprenticed to an apothecary in London; again ran away, and led a wandering life for some years, till we find him engaged at Drury Lane. Downes describes him as 'Histrio Natus; he has the Honour (Nature enduing him with an easy, free, unaffected Mode of Elocution) in Comedy always to Lœtificate his Audience, especially Quality.' He was a pet of the Duke of Marlborough, and was Providore of the famous Beefsteak Club, where he wore a small gold gridiron suspended from his neck by a green ribbon. He retired from the stage some time before his death, and took the 'Bumper' in St. James Street, where he Lœtificated his customers in another manner. Steele puffed him in the Spectator, and wept over his decease in the same periodical.[451]

The name of Dogget is, perhaps, as well known to us as any actor of the time. An Irishman by birth, he came to England and joined a travelling troupe; afterwards being good enough to play at both Drury Lane and Lincoln's Inn Fields. In fact, he was joint manager of the former with Wilks and Cibber, but gave it up in 1713, because Booth was forced on him as a co-partner; and he never returned to the theatre, either as a regular actor or as manager. It must have been a blow to him, for he was fond of money, and was then reputed to have been worth £1,000 per annum. He was not particular: he put his pride in his pocket, and had a booth at Bartholomew Fair, the same as Pinkethman or Mills. He died at Eltham, in Kent, Sept. 22, 1721, and left in his will the memorable Coat and Badge to be raced for, annually, on the anniversary of the accession of George the First, to show his attachment to the Whig party and the House of Brunswick. Downes says of him, 'On the Stage, he's very Aspectabund, wearing Farce in his Face; his Thoughts deliberately framing his Utterance Congruous to his Looks; He is the only Comick Original now extant.' Tony Aston says 'he was a little, lively spract Man.... a Man of very good Sense, but illiterate; for he wrote me Word thus—Sir, I will give you a hole, instead of (whole) Share. He dress'd neat, and something fine, in a plain Cloth Coat, and a Brocaded Waistcoat.'

(p. 263) Colley Cibber was born in London Nov. 6, 1671, and is known as much, or more, as a playwright, or poet as an actor. In his boyhood he tried for a scholarship at Winchester, but failed; afterwards he meditated going to the University, but the Revolution of 1688 broke out, and he was for a short time in the army as his father's substitute. He saw no service, and soon became an actor, i.e. in 1690, and did not quit the stage till 1730, in which year he was made Poet Laureate to George II. He died Dec. 12, 1757. Downes tells us he was 'A Gentleman of his time who has Arriv'd to an exceeding Perfection, in hitting justly the Humour of a starcht Beau or Fop; as the Lord Fopington; Sir Fopling and Sir Courtly, equalling in the last the late eminent Mr. Mountfort, not much Inferior in Tragedy, had Nature given him Lungs, Strenuous to his finisht Judgment.' Gildon,[452] however, falls foul of him; but then, the only good words he had were for Betterton and Barry.

Ramble. But prithee look on this side; there's Cibber, a poet and fine Actor.

Critick. And one that's always repining at the success of others, and upon the stage makes all his fellow actors uneasy.

Wilks, the best tragedian of the age, came of a good Worcestershire family, and, from his association with actors, drifted into the profession. He was remarkable for the carefulness of his acting, and for the ease and good breeding he displayed upon the stage. He died in 1732 at the age of 76. What do his contemporaries say of him? Downes says, 'Proper and Comely in Person, of Graceful Port, Mein and Air; void of Affectation; his Elevations and Cadences just, Congruent to Elocution.' The author of 'The Comparison between the two Stages' can say nothing ill-natured of him, and Steele[453] speaks highly of him.

Ramble. Ay, but Powell——

Critick. Is an idle fellow, that neither minds his business, nor lives quietly in any community—

is a fair criticism on that actor, who, had he been but as steady or painstaking, might have rivalled Wilks; but he was a drunken, dissipated dog, a careless study, with a bad memory; pursued by bailiffs, he sometimes walked with his sword drawn—once making an unfortunate 'officer' retreat to the other side of the road, where he called out, 'We don't want you now, Mr. Powel.' Died Dec. 14, 1715.

Booth was the Aristo of the profession. He was not only nearly related to the Earl of Warrington, but in 1704 he married a daughter of Sir William Barkham, Bart., of Norfolk. A scholar of the great and terrible Dr. Busby, he shone in acting in the Latin plays at Westminster. He was intended for the Church, but he caught stage fever, ran away from school at the age of 17, (p. 264) and joined the theatre at Dublin. When he came to London he became a pupil of Betterton's, and profited by his master's instructions. He was joint patentee in Drury Lane, but he left the stage at the early age of 46. Died 1733.

Of the minor actors Pinkethman stands first. He was low comedy, and his great ambition was to please the gods. We have heard a good deal about him in this book in his various characters as caterer for the amusement of the public. Gildon, of course, can say nothing good of him.

Sullen. But Penkethman the flower of——

Critick. Bartholomew Fair, and the idol of the rabble; a fellow that over does everything, and spoils many a part with his own stuff.

Be this as it may, he is very honourably mentioned throughout the Spectator, although Steele[454] gives him a good-humoured rap over the knuckles. 'Mr. William Bullock and Mr. William Penkethman are of the same Age, Profession, and Sex. They both distinguish themselves in a very particular Manner under the discipline of the Crab-tree, with this only difference, that Mr. Bullock has the more agreeable Squall, and Mr. Penkethman the more graceful Shrug. Penkethman devours a cold Chick with great Applause; Bullock's talent lies chiefly in Asparagus. Penkethman is very dexterous at conveying himself under a Table; Bullock is no less active in jumping over a Stick. Penkethman has a great deal of money; but Mr. Bullock is the taller man.'

The mention of Crab-tree seems to suggest that Pinkethman had been thrashed at some period of his career, as does a passage in another Tatler (No. 42), describing the theatrical properties at Drury Lane: 'Three oak Cudgels, with one of Crab-tree; all bought for the Use of Mr. Pinkethman.'

That he must have been a fair actor is testified by the fact that he played in two out of the four performances at St. James's.

As far as I can find out, he seems first to have acted at the Theatre Royal in 1692, in the play of 'Volunteers, or the Stock Jobbers,'[455] when he played the part of Taylor (six lines only). He rose gradually, and was a painstaking actor, ever on the alert to court popular favour. He became rich. Downes says of him, 'He's the darling of Fortunatus, he has gain'd more in Theatres and Fairs in Twelve Years than those that have Tugg'd at the Oar of Acting these 50.' To realise this fortune he probably was saving in his habits, and not so lavish as some of his compeers—a fact which is exaggerated into a charge of meanness: see an Elegy on his Merry Andrew, John Edwards.[456]

Dull sneaking Pinkeman this loss bewail,
And sing his Dirge o're half a pint of Ale,
For if thou more didst spend at once, your Note
You'd Change, and for your Charges cut your throat.

(p. 265) He seems to have retired from the stage after his benefit on May 23, 1724, and he died in 1740.

The other actors, Bullock,[457] Mills, Norris, alias Jubilee Dickey, Pack Johnson, etc., are unworthy any notice except to chronicle their names as actors of the time.

It is singular that the ladies of the stage of this period stand out so prominently for their talents. It must have been by natural genius, for they could have had little enough tradition to guide them, it being only forty or fifty years since the first woman ever trod the boards. Who she was seems to be somewhat obscure, but it probably was Mrs. Coleman, who played Ianthe in the first part of the 'Siege of Rhodes' in 1656, but she did not speak. We know Kynaston, who kept Charles II. waiting whilst he was being shaved to play his part; he of whom Pepys writes[458] thus: 'Kynaston, the boy, had the good turn to appear in three shapes; first as a poor woman in ordinary clothes to please Morose; then in fine clothes, as a gallant; and in them was the prettiest woman in the whole house; and lastly, as a man; and then likewise did appear the handsomest man in the house.' Of him Betterton writes,[459] 'that it has been disputed among the Judicious, whether any Woman could have more sensibly touched the Passions.' He seems to have been the last of the male actors who took female parts, although in 1661 a woman actor was still a novelty. 'There saw the "Scornfull Lady,"[460] now done by a woman, which makes the play much better than ever it did to me.'[461] A Mrs. Sanderson is traditionally said to have been the first woman actress, and she played Desdemona at the theatre in Clare Market on Dec. 8, 1660. Betterton says the mother of Norris, or Jubilee Dickey, 'was the first Woman who ever appeared on the Stage as an Actress.'

Anyhow, never was there a period that could show four such actresses as Mrs. Barry, Mrs. Bracegirdle, Mrs. Oldfield, and Mrs. Verbruggen.

(p. 266) Elizabeth Barry, the daughter of a barrister of good birth, was born 1658; so that she was not in her first youth at the accession of Anne. Her father so encumbered his estate that it became necessary for his children to seek their fortunes as best they might. She chose the stage, and Sir Wm. Davenant took her in hand, but gave her up as hopeless. The Earl of Rochester, however, having wagered that by proper instruction she should be the finest actress on the stage in less than six months, she took such pains that when, in 1677, she played the Hungarian Queen in the tragedy of 'Mustapha,'[462] before Charles the Second and the Duke and Duchess of York, she created an absolute furore: so much so that the Duchess took lessons from her, and not only gave her her wedding suit, but her coronation robes when she became queen. She died on November 7, 1713, and was buried at Acton, where her daughter, by the Earl of Rochester, was already interred. Aston, speaking of her personal appearance, says: 'And yet this fine creature was not handsome, her Mouth op'ning most on the Right Side, which she strove to draw t'other way, and, at Times, composing her Face, as if sitting to have her Picture drawn. Mrs. Barry was middle siz'd, and had darkish Hair, light Eyes, dark Eye-brows, and was indifferently plump: Her Face somewhat preceded her Action, as the latter did her Words; her Face ever expressing the Passions; not like the Actresses of late Times, who are afraid of putting their Faces out of the Form of Non-meaning, lest they should crack the Cerum, White-Wash, or other Cosmetic, trowel'd on.'

Betterton says Mrs. Bracegirdle was the daughter of Justinian Bracegirdle of Northamptonshire, Esq., whilst Aston, who calls her 'the Diana of the Stage,' says 'The most received Opinion is, that she was the Daughter of a Coach Man, Coach maker, or Letter out of Coaches in the Town of Northampton, but I am inclinable to my Father's Opinion, (who had a great Value for her reported Virtue) that she was a distant Relation, and came out of Staffordshire from about Wallsal or Wolverhampton.' She is believed to have been born about the year 1674, and somehow came to be placed, when an infant, under the care of Betterton and his Wife, who naturally brought her up to the stage. So young did she enter her future profession that she acted as a page in 'The Orphan,'[463] at the Dorset Garden Theatre in 1680, when only six years old. She was not only remarkable for her magnificent acting, but for the exceeding purity of her life, which no breath of scandal could sully; although it could not be said it was from want of temptation. Congreve writes of her:—

Pious Celinda goes to Pray'rs,
Whene'er I ask the Favour;
Yet, the tender Fool's in Tears,
When she believes I'll leave her.

(p. 267) Wou'd I were free from this Restraint,
Or else had Power to win her!
Wou'd she cou'd make of me a Saint,
Or I of her a Sinner!

And D'Urfey, in his 'Don Quixote,' sings of her:—

Since that our Fate intends
Our Amity shall be no dearer,
Still let us kiss and be Friends,
And sigh we can never come nearer.

She was wonderfully charitable, and would go daily about the slums of Clare Market relieving the necessitous; and woe be to anyone who should have dared to molest her—his fate would have been speedy. She retired from the stage in 1707, but did not die till 1748. Her personal description is: 'She was of a lovely Height, with dark-brown Hair and Eye brows, black sparkling Eyes, and a fresh blushy Complexion; and, whenever she exerted herself, had an involuntary Flushing in her Breast, Neck and Face, having continually a chearful Aspect, and a fine Set of even White Teeth; never making an Exit, but that she left the Audience in an Imitation of her pleasant Countenance. Genteel Comedy was her chief Essay, and that too when in Men's Cloaths, in which she far surmounted all the Actresses of that Age' (Aston).

Her great rival was Mrs. Anne Oldfield, who was born in Pall Mall in 1683. Her father was in the Horse Guards, and on his death left his wife and daughter in very straitened circumstances. Tradition says that she was living with her aunt, who kept the Mitre Tavern in St. James's Market, when Sir John Vanbrugh heard her read some plays: certain it is, he introduced her to Rich in 1699, when she played Candiope, in 'Secret Love, or The Maiden Queen.'[464] Mrs. Oldfield was far from being as immaculate in character as her rival. Her last performance was on April 28, 1730; she died October 23, 1730, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. Allusion has been made to her mode of burial at the commencement of this book (p. 38).

Steele[465] gives her portrait thus: 'Flavia is ever well dressed, and always the genteelest woman you meet; but the make of her mind very much contributes to the ornament of her body. She has the greatest simplicity of manners of any of her sex. This makes everything look native about her, and her clothes are so exactly fitted, that they appear, as it were, part of her person,' etc.

Ramble. There's Mrs. Rogers, Mrs. Oldfield, Mrs. Verbruggen——

Critick. The last is a miracle, but the others mere rubbish, that ought to be swept off the stage with the filth and dust.

Hers was a romantic history. Her maiden name was Percival, and she married Mountford the actor, who was killed by Lord (p. 268) Mohun for protecting Mrs. Bracegirdle. Betterton says, 'Her Father Mr. Percival had the Misfortune to be drawn into the Assassination Plot against King William; for this he lay under Sentence of Death, which he received on the same Night that Lord Mohun killed her husband, Mr. Mountfort. Under this, almost insuperable Affliction, she was introduced to the good Queen Mary, who being, as she was pleased to say, Struck to the Heart upon receiving Mrs. Mountfort's Petition, immediately granted all that was in her Power, a Remission of her Father's Execution for that of Transportation. But Fate had so ordered it that poor Mrs. Mountfort was to lose both Father and Husband. For as Mr. Percival was going abroad, he was so weakened by his Imprisonment, that he was taken Sick on the Road, and died at Portsmouth.' She afterwards married Jack Verbruggen, and their married life is thus described by Aston: 'She was the best Conversation possible; never Captious, or displeas'd at any Thing but what was gross or indecent; for she was cautious lest fiery Jack shou'd so resent it as to breed a Quarrel; for he would often say Dammee! tho' I don't much value my Wife yet no Body shall affront her, by G—d; and his Sword was drawn on the least occasion, which was much the fashion in the latter End of King William's Reign.' She is described as being 'a fine fair Woman, plump, full featured, her Face of a fine smooth Oval.'

The theatre never solely depended upon the drama for its attractions, and there was generally a ballet of some description; not, of course, such elaborate affairs as we have now, but performances by one or two artists, such as M. L'Abbé and Mrs. Elford. The dances were such as chacones, minuets, allmands, corantos, jigs, sarabands, etc., and we have already seen the pains taken with this art, and the elaborate instructions of its professors.


Introduction of Italian opera — Its rapid popularity — Mixture of languages — Handel — His operas, and visit here — Singers — Abel — Hughs — Leveridge — Lawrence — Ramondon — Mrs. Tofts — Her madness — Foreign singers — Margherita de l'Epine — Nicolino Grimaldi — Isabella Girardeau — Composers — Dr. Blow — Jeremiah Clarke — Dean Aldrich — Tom D'Urfey — Henry Carey — Britton, the small coal man — His concerts — His death — Concerts and concert rooms — Gasparini, the violinist — Musical instruments — Musical scores.

'1673.4. 5 Jan. I saw an Italian opera in Music, the first that had been in England of this Kind,' writes Evelyn; but Pepys mentions it even earlier: '1667.8. Jan. 12. With my Lord Brouncker to (p. 269) his house, there to hear some Italian musique, and here we met Tom Killigrew, Sir Robert Murray, and the Italian, Signor Baptista,[466] who hath prepared a play in Italian for the Opera, which Sir T. Killigrew do intend to have up; and here he did sing one of the Acts.' There is, however, no record of either of these being acted. The first opera of which we have any record is a translation of 'Arsinoë,' an Italian opera written by Stanzani of Bologna, for the theatre of that town, in 1677, and here is the premier advertisement of opera in England.

'At the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane, this present Tuesday being the 16th of January, will be presented a New Opera never perform'd before, call'd Arsinoe Queen of Cyprus, After the Italian manner, All Sung, being set to Musick by Mr. Clayton. With several Entertainments of Dancing by Monsieur l'Abbee, Monsieur du Ruel, Monsieur Cherrier, Mrs. Elford, Mrs. du Ruel, Mrs. Moss and others. And the famous Signiora Francisca Margaretta de l'Epine will, before the Beginning and after the Ending of the Opera, perform several Entertainments of singing in Italian and English. No person to be admitted into the Boxes or Pitt but by the Subscribers Tickets, to be delivered at Mrs. White's Chocolate House. The Boxes on the Stage and the Galleries are for the benefit of the Actors.'[467] The singers were all English; and here we have the commencement of the subscription opera.

In the next two years there were but very few operas, although Addison wrote one called 'Rosamond.' During this period, too, the Queen's Theatre in the Haymarket was opened for Opera, with what success we have seen.

The thin edge of the wedge, as regards Italian singing, was introduced in 1707, when Valentini Urbani, a Castrato, and a female singer called 'The Baroness,' came over here. They made their first appearance 'At the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane, this present Saturday, being the 6th of December, will be presented an Opera called "Camilla." All to be sung after the Italian manner. The Parts of Latinus by Mr. Turner, Prenesto by Signiora Margarita, part in Italian, Turnus by Signior Valentino, in Italian, Metius by Mr. Ramondon, Linco by Mr. Leveridge, Camilla by Mrs. Tofts, Lavinia by the Baroness, most in Italian, Tullia by Mrs. Lindsey.'[468]

What a curious mixture it must have been, some singing in Italian and some in English! but it was not the sole example, for when Italian opera was introduced into Germany the recitative was given in German and the airs sung in Italian.

Of course an innovation, and coming from a foreign source, roused the insular prejudices of John Bull. It was un-English. As Dennis, the critic, wrote[469]: 'And yet tho' the Reformation and Liberty and the Drama were establish'd among us together, and (p. 270) have flourish'd among us together, and have still been like to have fall'n together, notwithstanding all this, at this present Juncture, when Liberty and the Reformation are in the utmost Danger, we are going very bravely to oppress the Drama, in order to establish the luxurious Diversions of those very Nations, from whose Attempts and Designs, both Liberty and the Reformation are in the utmost Danger.'

With far greater sense and show of reason he says: 'If that is truly the most Gothick, which is the most oppos'd to Antick, nothing can be more Gothick than an Opera, since nothing can be more oppos'd to the ancient Tragedy, than the modern Tragedy in Musick, because the one is reasonable, the other ridiculous; the one is artful, the other absurd; the one beneficial, the other pernicious; in short, the one natural, and the other monstrous. And the modern Tragedy in Musick, is as much oppos'd to the Chorus, which is the Musical part of the Ancient Tragedy, as it is in the Episodique; because, in the Chorus, the Musick is always great and solemn, in the Opera 'tis often most trifling and most effeminate; in the Chorus the Music is only for the sake of the Sense, in the Opera the Sense is most apparently for the sake of the Music.'

This mongrel style of performance, half Italian, half English, lasted till 1710. 'Pyrrhus and Demetrius' (a translation of 'Pirro e Demetrio' of Adriano Morselli) was the last opera thus played. On Jan. 3, 1709, the prices of admission were considerably reduced: stage boxes from 15s. to 8s., first gallery from 5s. to 2s. 6d., and upper gallery from 2s. to 1s. 6d., and the pit was 5s.

Steele laughingly criticises[470] the performance of 'Pyrrhus and Demetrius.' 'That the understanding has no part in the pleasure is evident, from what these letters very positively assert, to wit, that a great part of the performance was done in Italian; and a great Critic fell into fits in the Gallery, at seeing not only Time and Place, but Languages and Nations confused in the most incorrigible manner.'

The opera of 'Almahide' (composer unknown, supposed to be Buononcini) was brought out at the Hay market on Jan. 10, 1710, and was the first opera ever played entirely in Italian and by Italian singers. These were Nicolini, Valentini, Cassani, Margarita, and Isabella Girardeau. Still John Bull must assert himself, and between the acts intermezzi were sung in English by Dogget, Mrs. Lindsey, and Mrs. Cross.

Another opera was that of 'Hydaspes' (by Francesco Mancini), which Addison[471] made terrible fun of, especially of a fight that took place between Nicolini and a lion. He had previously[472] unmercifully ridiculed 'Nicolini exposed to a Tempest in Robes of Ermine, and sailing in an Open Boat upon a Sea of Pasteboard,' 'the painted Dragons Spitting Wildfire, enchanted Chariots drawn by Flanders Mares, and real Cascades in artificial Landskips;' (p. 271) but then he might have been sore at the fate of his own opera, 'Rosamond,' which was not a success.

Towards the end of 1710 Handel, who was then twenty-seven years of age, came over to England upon the invitation of several noblemen, whose acquaintance he had made at the Court of Hanover; and here he wrote, for Aaron Hill, who then managed the Haymarket Theatre, his opera of 'Rinaldo,' the first advertisement of which contains a silly blunder as to dates. 'By Subscription. At the Queen's Theatre in the Hay Market, this present Saturday being the 24th day of February, will be perform'd a new Opera, call'd Rinaldo. Tickets and Books will be delivered out at Mr. White's Chocolate House in St. James's Street, to Morrow and Saturday next.'[473] In 1712 appeared another of Handel's operas, 'Il Pastor Fido,' which was only performed four times.

On Jan. 21, 1713, was performed his opera of 'Theseus,' about which performance, however, there seems to have been some hitch, for we read[474]: 'Advertisement from the Queen's Theatre in the Hay Market.—This present Saturday the 24th of January, the Opera of Theseus composed by Mr. Hendel will be represented in its Perfection, that is to say with all the Scenes, Decorations, Flights and Machines. The Performers are much concerned that they did not give the Nobility and Gentry all the Satisfaction they could have wished, when they represented it on Wednesday last, having been hindered by some unforeseen Accidents, at that time insurmountable. The Boxes on the Stage Half a Guinea, the other Boxes 8s. The Pit 5s., the first Gallery 2s. 6d.' On Handel's first visit, in 1710, the Queen gave him a most flattering reception, and would fain have him remain here, offering him a pension; but he excused himself, as being already engaged to the Elector George of Hanover.

A few short notes about the singers will be interesting. Very early in Anne's reign mention is made of a singer of whom the only record I can find, is in the following advertisement, and some few others: 'To all the Nobility and Gentry, Whereas Mr. Abel, having been Honoured with the Commands of the Nobility and Gentry, to sing in Drury Lane 4 times; this is to give notice that the said Mr. Abel has not engaged to sing in any other Consort, till that Noble Performance be ended.'[475]

Hughes was a favourite concert singer, with a good countertenor voice; and, when opera first came in, he always played the best parts, until Valentini came over, after which he either died, or left the stage, for no more is heard of him.

Richard Leveridge had a fine and powerful bass voice, and stuck to the stage till he was more than eighty years old, singing in the pantomime at Covent Garden. He was not only an actor and singer, but a composer, having taken part in the composition of (p. 272) an English opera, called the 'Island Princess,' in 1699, and he also wrote and composed many Bacchanalian songs. Died 1758, aged 88.

Of Lawrence little is known, except that when the opera of 'Hydaspes' was brought out on May 23, 1710, he was able to take a part in it, although an inferior one, and sing it in Italian. He had a tenor voice, and continued in Italian opera till 1717, when trace is lost of him.

Ramondon seems to have come upon the stage in 1705, and to have had a bass voice, as he took Leveridge's part in 'Arsinoë.' He seems to have left the stage with the opera of 'Pyrrhus and Demetrius,' but he published some songs in 1716, and set the song tunes in 'Camilla' for the harpsichord or spinet.

Mrs. Tofts was our English prima donna, and she too possessed the then rare accomplishment of being able to sing in Italian. She was the daughter of a person in the family of Bishop Burnet, and when she appeared on the stage, she won all hearts by her voice, figure, and performance. Her voice was more soprano than contralto.

We have seen her disclaimer when her servant insulted Madame de l'Epine; and doubtless it was sincere, as she was an equal, if not a greater, favourite with the public. She retired from the stage, with a competence amassed by her exertions, in 1709. If we may believe the Tatler (No. 20), she had sad cause for leaving the stage, having lost her reason. 'The great revolutions of this nature bring to my mind the distresses of the unfortunate Camilla, who has had the ill luck to break before her voice, and to disappear at a time when her beauty was in the height of its bloom. This lady entered so thoroughly into the great characters she acted, that when she had finished her part she could not think of retrenching her equipage, but would appear in her own lodgings with the same magnificence that she did upon the stage. This greatness of soul had reduced that unhappy princess to an involuntary retirement, where she now passes her time among the Woods and Forests, thinking on the Crowns and sceptres she has lost, and often humming over in her solitude,

I was born of royal race,
Yet must wander in disgrace.[476]

etc. But for fear of being over heard, and her quality known, she usually sings it in Italian,

Nacqui al regno, nacqui al trono
E per sono
I ventura pastorella.'[477]

A sad, very sad picture, if a true one.

(p. 273) At all events she must have got better, for she married a rich gentleman named Joseph Smith, a virtuoso, and patron of art; and when he went to Venice, as English consul, she accompanied him.

In Spectator 443 is a letter, supposed to be written by her, from Venice.

Her mental malady, however, again seized her, and she lived in retirement, in a remote part of her own house, occasionally roaming about her garden, singing. She is supposed to have died about 1760.

She and her rival are thus celebrated in a song by Hughes (author of the 'Siege of Damascus'), called 'Tofts and Margaretta.'

Music has learn'd the discords of the State,
And concerts jar with Whig and Tory Hate.
Here Somerset and Devonshire attend
The British Tofts, and every note commend;
To native merit just, and pleas'd to see
We've Roman arts, from Roman bondage free:
There fam'd l'Epine does equal skill employ,
Whilst listening peers crow'd to th' ecstatic joy:
Bedford, to hear her song, his dice forsakes,
And Nottingham is raptur'd when she shakes:
Lull'd statesmen melt away their drowsy cares
Of England's safety, in Italian Airs.
Who would not send each year blank passes o'er,
Rather than keep such strangers from our shore?

Francesca Margherita de l'Epine came over here with a German musician named Greber, and was sometimes irreverently called 'Greber's Peg.' There is no doubt but that she sang very beautifully, and was without a rival on the stage, or in the concert room, after the retirement of Mrs. Tofts. She herself retired in 1718, and married Dr. Pepusch, the celebrated musician, who gave her another nickname, that of 'Hecate,' because of her swarthy complexion and unprepossessing countenance. However, she came well dowered, for she brought him a fortune of £10,000, a very large sum in those days. Swift, who evidently had a John Bull's dislike for everything foreign, writes from Windsor to Stella,[478] 'We have a music meeting in our town to-night. I went to a rehearsal of it, and there was Margarita, and her sister, with another drab, and a parcel of fiddlers; I was weary, and would not go to the meeting, which I am sorry for, because I heard it was a great assembly.' She died about the year 1740.

The Cavaliere Nicolino Grimaldi,[479] commonly called Nicolini, was a Neapolitan, and came over to England in 1708, entirely on his own responsibility, hearing we were passionately fond of foreign operas. He had achieved a high reputation in Italy, and sustained it here, although foreigners were only tolerated, not liked. He first played in 'Pyrrhus and Demetrius,' and he left (p. 274) England June 14, 1712. His departure is thus chronicled by Addison[480]: 'I am very sorry to find, by the Opera Bills for this Day, that we are likely to lose the greatest Performer in Dramatick Musick that is now living, or that perhaps ever appeared upon a Stage. I need not acquaint my Reader, that I am speaking of Signior Nicolini.'

Of Isabella Girardeau we know little, save that her maiden name was Calliari, that she married a Frenchman, and sang from 1700 to 1720.

Of the musical composers living in Anne's reign, perhaps the oldest was Dr. Blow, who died in 1708. Then there was Tudway, who composed an anthem[481] on the occasion of Queen Anne visiting the University of Cambridge, in 1705, which gained him his doctor's degree, and he was afterwards made public Professor of Music to that university, where he was longer remembered for his punning proclivities than for his musical talents.

Jeremiah Clarke, who was coadjutor with Dr. Blow as organist at the King's Chapel, composed the beautiful anthem 'Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem.' He shot himself in 1707 when about forty years of age. There is a curious story told about his suicidal mania. Some weeks before he finally committed the rash act, he was riding to town, accompanied by a servant, returning from a visit to a friend in the country, when the fit seized him, and, dismounting by a field in which was a pond surrounded by trees, he tossed up whether he should hang or drown. The coin fell on its edge in the clay, and saved his life for that time.

Dean Aldrich was then alive (he did not die till 1710), and he will be long remembered, not only for his 'Artis Logicæ Rudimenta,' but for his skill as a musical composer[482]; whilst no one at all conversant with Church music will forget the names of Drs. Crofts and Greene.

Among the secular composers was Tom D'Urfey, whose 'Pills to purge Melancholy' is a storehouse of song; but, with the exception of Henry Carey, whose 'Sally in our Alley' and 'Black-Eyed Susan' are immortal, the opera and ballad composers of Anne's reign were of no great mark.

A most curious outcome of musical brotherhood was Thomas Britton, the small-coal man, already casually mentioned. He must not be passed over under any circumstances, as it is perhaps the only instance of fraternity, absolute and equal, recorded in this reign, between the upper and lower ranks of society. It was of him that Prior wrote:—

Though doom'd to small coal, yet to arts allied;
Rich without wealth, and famous without pride,
Music's best patron, judge of books and men;
Belov'd and honour'd by Apollo's train.
(p. 275) In Greece or Rome sure never did appear,
So bright a genius, in so dark a sphere!
More of the man had probably been sav'd
Had Kneller painted, and had Virtue grav'd.

This singular man had a small coal shop in Aylesbury Street, Clerkenwell; and his room, which was over his coal stores, could only be reached by a breakneck ladder, as Ward remarks—

Upon Thursdays repair
To my palace, and there
Hobble up stair by stair;
But I pray ye take Care
That you break not your shins by a Stumble.

Somehow, he had a soul above his vocation. He was a fair chemist, and a collector (with some knowledge) of old books and manuscripts. But the most curious part of all his surroundings was the fact that he was able to gather round him in his dirty little den, not only all the musical talent available, but titled dilettanti, and even elegant ladies came to his réunions. It was quite the proper place to go to. Hear what old Thoresby says,[483] 'In our way home called at Mr. Britton's, the noted small coal man, where we heard a noble concert of music, vocal and instrumental, the best in town, which for many years past he has had weekly for his own entertainment, and of the gentry &c. gratis, to which most foreigners and many persons of distinction, for the fancy of it, occasionally resort.' And no wonder, when the learned musical Dr. Pepusch might be present, or Handel played the harpsichord, whilst Banister would take first violin. Still, it was a peculiar place to meet in, and only shows what inconveniences people will suffer for fashion's sake.

His death was almost as remarkable as his life. One of his performers was injudicious enough to introduce to him a friend of his who was a ventriloquist, who, without seeming to speak, bade him, as from a far-off, sepulchral voice, fall down on his knees at once and say the Lord's Prayer, for that he should die within a few hours. Poor Britton did as he was bid—then went home, took to his bed, and died in a few days of sheer fright, a victim to practical joking.

There was a vast amount of musical taste at that time, but of course it was not so highly developed as now. We have seen that a dramatic performance was generally accompanied by a musical one, and the concerts, or consorts, as they were then called, were numerous.

Owing probably to the mourning consequent on the decease of William III., the first announcement of a concert in Anne's reign that I can find is one postponed from April 30, 1702, to May 7, and this was to take place at Stationers' Hall, a very usual place (p. 276) for such entertainments. In the same newspaper is a notice that 'The Queen's Coronation Song, compos'd and Sung by Mr. Abell is to be perform'd at Stationers Hall near Ludgate, to Morrow, being the First of May 1702 at 8 of the Clock at Night precisely, with other Songs in Several Languages, and accompanied by the greatest Masters of Instrumental Musick; Each Ticket 5s.'

York Buildings was another favourite concert room, as was also Hickford's Dancing Room. This latter place, being at the extreme West End of London, bid for aristocratic patrons, and the prices were high; indeed, the tickets for the following concert were the highest priced of any I have ever met with: '1707 To Morrow being Wednesday the 2nd of April, Signior Fr. Conti will cause to be perform'd at Mr. Hickford's Dancing Room in James Street, in the Hay Market over against the Tennis Court, the Consort of Musick compos'd by him for her Majesty, and which he had the Honour to have perform'd at Court the Day after the Act for the Union[484] pass'd. Signiora Margarita, the Baroness, and Signior Valentino will sing in it accompanied with several Instruments, and the Signior Conti will play upon his great Theorbo, and on the Mandoline, an instrument not known yet. The Consort will begin at 7 a Clock at Night. Tickets to be had only at White's Chocolate House, and at the Smyrna Coffee House at a Guinea a ticket.' A high price—but consider the attractions. All the available talent, together with a Monstre Instrument, and an entirely novel one!

Nowadays we should hardly expect concerts to be given at Chelsea Hospital, but it was different then, and 'Ladies of Quality' probably had as much influence then as they have now, and could get pretty well what they liked: '1702 In Honour of the Queens Coronation; The Ladies Consort of Musick; by Subscription of several Ladies of Quality (by permission) at the Royal College of Chelsea, on Monday the 25th of the present May, is to be performed once, a new Consort of Musick, by Mr. Abel and other voices; with Instrumental Musick of all sorts; To be placed in two several Quires on each side of the Hall; a manner never yet performed in England. The Hall to be well illuminated; the said Consort to begin exactly at five a Clock, and to hold 3 full hours. Each Ticket 5s. Notice that the Moon will shine, the Tide serve, and a Guard placed from the College to St. James's Park, for the safe return of the Ladies.'

The moon and tide were important factors then, as we find in a notice of 'a Consort of Musick' at Richmond Wells, Aug. 12, 1703: 'This Consort to be perform'd but once, because of the Queen's going to the Bath. Note. The Tide serves at 11 o'clock in the Morning and Light Nights.' So that the visitors were evidently expected to spend the whole day there.

(p. 277) Another suburban Spa (Hampstead) was famous for its concerts, and continued in favour during the whole of the reign.

'1705 On Saturday August 4th In the great Room at the Ship Tavern Greenwich will be an extraordinary Consort of Vocal and Instrumental Musick, viz., Several Songs set by the best Masters; Particularly a Song of two parts by Mr. Henry Purcel, never performed but once before in Publick,' etc.

Towards the latter end of the reign the character of some of these concerts seems to be altering. Take one at Stationers' Hall, Feb. 22, 1713, for instance: 'Among other choice Compositions, a celebrated Song of Mr. Hendel's by a Gentlewoman from Abroad, who hath never before exposed her Voice publickly in this kingdom. To which will be added an uncommon piece of Musick by Bassoons only. Country Dances when the Consort is over; and such a Decorum kept that the most innocent may be present without the danger of an Affront.'

Concerts, as we see, were both vocal and instrumental. Of the vocal performers much has already been said; of the instrumental, none are worth notice, except Gasparini, an Italian, who was an excellent violinist. The last and perhaps the least of them was: 'A Boy of about Eight Years of Age will perform an Italian Sonata on the Trumpet, who never yet perform'd in publick.' This musical treat took place at York Buildings, Feb. 24, 1703.

The instruments in domestic use were the chamber or house organ, many of which were frequently advertised for sale, the spinet, and harpsichord, or harpsicalls, which we know so well, thanks to the South Kensington Museum. Here, however, is a rare one: 'To be disposed of, a most excellent Harpsicord made by the famous Sign. Gieronimo Senti, at Pesaro in Italy, having 2 Extraordinary fine Keys of Ivory, several Stops and Alterations besides the 2 Principals, and one Octave, or the Spinet, which may by plaid seperately or together, imitating most exactly the Theorbo, and most curiously the Arch Lute.' The flute was played, as were also the lute, and the theorbo, a lute-like instrument. The other stringed instruments were the bass viol and the violin, Cremonas being then, as now, highly prized.

It was essentially an age for chamber music, with nice little social gatherings, at which were played duets on the flute, etc., or catches, rounds, and three-part songs were sung. What we should call good music was thoroughly appreciated, and Corelli, perhaps, was then the favourite composer. The following advertisement will show the class of music then in vogue (1706): 'To all Lovers of Musick. This day are published, and to be sold at Isaac Vaillant's Book and Map-seller in the Strand near Catherine Street, Per.[485] Opera 2 da, Sonata di Camera for 2 Flutes and Bass, Marini Opera 6 ta, 12 Sonatas for 2 Violins, a Viol and double Basses, 6 (p. 278) Sonatas and Solos transposed for the Flute, pr 5s. Mr Novel's 12 Sonatas for 2 Violins and double Basses, pr 6s., Six new Sonatas for 2 Flutes and a Bass by Mr. Keller. Albicestilo, Opera Nona, 12 Solos for the Violin, a new Book for the Harpsichord by Mr. Anglebert, with several Overtures, Minuets, Jigs, &c. of Mr. Lully transposed for that instrument. These books are printed by Steph Roger, most of them on Royal Paper. At the abovesaid Vaillant's may be had the new Edition of Corelli printed on Imperial Paper pr 32s. 6d.'

But all music was not as dear as this—for instance: 'The Monthly Mask of Vocal Musick: the newest Songs, made for the Theatres and other occasions Compos'd by Mr. John Welden and Mr. Dan Purcel. Publish'd for November, which collections will be continued monthly for the year 1703 pr. 6d. Also a Set of Lessons for the Harpsicord or Spinnet. Composed by Mr. John Eccles, Master of Her Majesties Musick pr 6d.'

Music was printed either from engraved copper plates, as in the case of 'The Nightingale,' which was engraved by Thomas Cross, who worked in the very early part of the century, or by movable types, as is the case with all music taken from 'The Dancing Master.' But the Dutch hit upon a cheaper plan, and made use of pewter plates, which they stamped, and so were able to undersell the engraved music. It is said they got 1,500l. by printing the opera of 'Rinaldo.' One Richard Mears also engraved music, but he, finding his trade interfered with by the Dutchmen, took to stamping. At his death in 1743 almost the whole of the music-printing in the country was done by the son of the following advertiser:[486] 'Twenty four New Country Dances for the year 1710, with proper Tunes, and New Figures, or direction to each Dance, composed by Mr. Kynaston, all fairly Engraven, price 6d. Note The New Country Dancing Master is published, containing the Country dances for the three last years. Printed for John Walsh. Servant in Ordinary to her Majesty.'


Wollaston — Murray — Hugh Howard — Lewis Crosse — Luke Cradock — Charles Jervas — Richardson — Sir James Thornhill — Sir Godfrey Kneller — Closterman — Pelegrini — Sebastian Ricci — Vander Vaart — Laguerre — Dahl — Boit — Class of pictures in vogue — Water colours — Drawings — Engravings — Sculpture — Grinling Gibbons — Architects — Sir C. Wren — Vanbrugh.

The sister art of painting was not well represented in this reign—by native talent, at all events, except by Thornhill. There was Wollaston, a portrait painter, who could only command five guineas for a three-quarters canvas: he was one of Britton's amateurs, and played both violin and flute. He died at an old age in the Charter House. Thomas Murray was another portrait painter.

There was Hugh Howard, to whom Prior indited an ode commencing,

Dear Howard, from the soft assaults of love,
Poets and painters never are secure;
Can I untouch'd the fair one's passions move,
Or thou draw beauty, and not feel its power?

He was lucky, for through his acquaintances of high rank he obtained the situation of Keeper of the State Papers, and Paymaster of His Majesty's Palaces, when he still followed the pursuit of art, by collecting prints and medals.

Lewis Crosse was a painter in water colours, and executed miniatures. He also collected them, and his very valuable collection was sold in 1722, two years before his death. Luke Cradock, who was but a house painter, rose by his own exertions to be an excellent painter of birds, and, like H. S. Marks, Esq., R.A., his works were highly prized for house decorations. According to Vertue, his pictures, soon after his death, fetched three or four times the prices paid for them.

Charles Jervas, who lived in this reign, and had been a pupil of Kneller, was a very good painter. He taught Pope to draw and paint, and Pope wrote an 'Epistle to Mr. Jervas,' in which he belauded him, as did also Steele[487] when he called him 'the last great painter Italy has sent us, Mr. Jervas'—alluding to his return from studying in Italy. He married a widow worth 20,000l., and the praise he received with the affluence of his circumstances rendered him inordinately vain, as the two following anecdotes will show. He made a good copy of a Titian, and he thought he had actually outdone that master; for, looking from one to the other, (p. 280) he complacently observed, 'Poor little Tit! how he would stare!' The Duchess of Bridgewater sat to him for her portrait, that picture of which Pope says—

With Zeuxis' Helen thy Bridgewater vie

—and he remarked that she had not a handsome ear. Her ladyship asked him his opinion of what was a handsome ear, to which his answer was—showing her one of his own.

Jonathan Richardson was, perhaps, the best English portrait painter of his time; and, after the deaths of Kneller and Dahl, stood prominent in that branch of his profession. Aikman and Alexander were also contemporary artists.

But perhaps the English artist of that time best known to us is Sir James Thornhill; not only by his painting in the dome of St. Paul's, but by his masterpiece in the Hall of Greenwich Hospital. Indeed he was a worthy rival both of Verrio and Laguerre. Forty shillings per square yard was all he got for painting St. Paul's, and probably no more for Greenwich. For his decorations at Blenheim he only received twenty-five shillings per square yard; and the Directors of the South Sea Company would pay him no more for the work he did on their staircase and hall. There are a few other English painters, but they were of no note.

Of foreign artists in England, doubtless the greatest was Kneller, who was born at Lubeck in 1648. He came over here in 1674, without the least intention of stopping; but, having painted Charles II. and established a reputation, he made this country his home. Knighted by William, petted by Anne, baroneted by George I., he could scarcely expect greater honours. His principal works in Anne's reign were a bad portrait of the King of Spain, who paid a visit to the Queen, and was kept some time longer than he expected, by stress of weather; seven portraits of admirals at Hampton Court, and the portraits of the Kit Cat Club, which have already been noticed. He was as vain as Jervas, if not more so. Pope tried to see to what extent his vanity would go. 'Sir Godfrey, I believe if God Almighty had had your assistance, the world would have been formed more perfect.' ''Fore Gad, Sir, I believe so too,' was the self-satisfied reply. He, however, was not devoid of wit, as his little encounter with Dr. Ratcliffe proves. They lived next to each other, and there was a door between the two gardens. Through this door Ratcliffe's servants used to come and pick Kneller's flowers; so the painter sent word that he would have the door shut. A message came from the doctor that 'he might do anything with it but paint it,' to which the artist replied that 'he would take anything from him but his physic.' Kneller was painting the portrait of James II., which was to be a present to Pepys, when the King received the news of the landing of the Prince of Orange. He ordered the painter to proceed with his work, so that 'his good friend Pepys should not be disappointed.'

When Sir Godfrey moved from his house in Covent Garden, (p. 281) he had a sale of pictures, probably of little artistic value, or only copies.[488] 'At the late Dwelling House of Sir Godfrey Kneller, in the Piazza's, Covent Garden, will be sold a Collection of Original Paintings, fit for Stair Cases, Chimneys, Doors or Closets. Some of the Masters they were done by are as follows: viz. Holben, Ruben, Van Dyke, Sr. Peter Lely, Antonio de Cortona, Solveta, Rosa, Snider, Vander Velde, Rostraten, Bombodes, Verelst and several other great Masters.' This auction was a failure: 'This is to give notice, That the Collection, &c., will be Sold out of hand at very reasonable Rates at the above-mentioned place, beginning this present Monday being the 27th of March, the badness and uncertainty of the Weather having put a stop to the Auction.[489]

John Closterman was the artist who painted the whole-length portrait of Queen Anne, now in the Guildhall. We get several notices of him from the newspapers: 'Mr. Closterman being obliged at Christmas next to go to Hanover, and afterwards to several Courts of Germany; so that it is uncertain whether he will ever return to England. Such Persons of Quality and others, as have lately sate to him, are desired to take notice, that their Pictures will be finished out of hand, and deliver'd as they shall best please to order them.'[490]

In April of the next year he advertised that 'being oblig'd to leave England very suddenly, will sell all his pictures by Auction.' Another sale of pictures took place on Feb. 28, 1711, which was probably after his death, the date of which is somewhat uncertain. He had married a worthless girl, who robbed him of all he possessed, and then ran away: this sent him mad, and he soon afterwards died.

Antonio Pelegrini made several designs for painting the dome of St. Paul's, and was paid for them. He painted staircases, etc., for the Dukes of Manchester and Portland, and for other noblemen. He died abroad.

His master, Sebastian Ricci, came over here, and painted the altarpiece in the chapel of Chelsea College; but he, too, did not stop. Not so James Bogdani, a native of Hungary, who lived here between forty and fifty years. He painted fruit, flowers, and birds, and our royal palaces still possess examples of this master, which were purchased by Queen Anne.

John Vander Vaart,[491] of Haarlem, lived for over fifty years in Covent Garden, and died there. His forte was game. He painted a piece of still life—a violin—on a door at Devonshire House, Piccadilly, that deceived everybody. This is now at Chatsworth.

Pope's line, 'Where sprawl the Saints of Verrio and Laguerre,' (p. 282) naturally makes us think of these two masters, and many were the ceilings which the latter painted in England. He enjoyed royal patronage under both William and Anne, designing for the latter some tapestry, illustrative of the union between England and Scotland, in which were portraits of the Queen and her ministers. He did the drawings, but the tapestry was not made. His end was sudden: he died of apoplexy in Drury Lane Theatre, whither he had gone to attend the benefit of his son, who sang there in 'The Island Princess.'[492]

Michael Dahl was a Swede, and a mighty portrait painter. He was Kneller's rival, and yet they must have been friends, for Sir Godfrey painted his portrait. He was a great pet of Prince George of Denmark, and was also patronised by the Queen.

Any account of the artists of this reign would be sadly incomplete without mention of Boit, the enameller, who was certainly the best, up to that time, after Petitot or Zincke. He got large sums for his miniatures. Several now exist, and one, especially good, of Queen Anne sitting, and Prince George standing beside her, is at Kensington Palace. The most important work on which he was engaged during his stay in England was a large plate, about 24 in. by 18, for which Laguerre painted the design in oil. It represented the Queen, Prince George, and the principal members of the Court, with Victory introducing the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene; France and Bavaria were prostrate, and there were the usual military accompaniment of standards and trophies of arms. He got an advance of £1,000, and spent £700 or £800 of it in erecting furnaces able to fire so large a plate; and, when he began to lay on colour, he got another advance of £700. Then came the memorable disgrace of Marlborough, and he was ordered to change Marlborough into Ormonde, and Victory into Peace. Prince Eugene would not sit, and no further progress was ever made with the picture. Boit ran away, on the Queen's death, much in debt, and got to France, where they were only too glad to receive him. There he died in 1726.

Those were not, as now, golden days for artists, who never dreamed of living in luxuriously furnished mansions of their own building. There were no exhibitions of art, nor did the middle class indulge much in oil paintings, which were principally confined to originals, or copies, of the Italian or Dutch and Flemish schools. Of course every gentleman who made the 'grand tour' brought some home with him, if only to show his taste in such matters; and, through the fluctuations of fortune, there was generally a good supply of them in the market. The following extract from Swift's Journal to Stella will give some idea of the price of a copy, for it is scarcely likely to have been an original. '6 Mar. 1713. I was to day at an auction of pictures with Pratt, and laid out two pounds five Shillings for a picture of Titian, and (p. 283) if it were a Titian it would be worth twice as many pounds. If I am cheated, I'll part with it to Lord Masham; if it be a bargain, I'll keep it to myself. That's my conscience.'

To give an idea of the range of art which these pictures occupied, let us take the names of the masters, with their spellings, as they appear in the advertisements. Italian. Giorgione-da Castle Franco, Titian, Palma, Tintoret, Bassan, Cavalieri, Gioseppi d'Arpino, Paulo Faranati, Camillo Procacino, Spaniolette, Bartolemeo, Pordenone, Andrea del Sarto, Leonardo da Vinci, Paulo Veronese, Gaspar Poussin, Julio Romano, Pollydore, Parmigiano, Baptista Franca, Corregio, Primaticcio, Schiavone, Claud Lorain, Fran, Bolognese, Mola, the Borgognon, Luca Jordano, Bourdon, Perosini, Scacciati, Daudini, Tempesto, and Guido Guavini.

Among the Dutch and Flemish Masters were: Van Dyke, Quentin Messias, Ostervelt, Vander Werff, Van de Velde, Cornelius Johnson, Vander Meer, Brayuinx, Griffiere, Backhuysen, De Wit, Brawer, Wyck, Ostade, Hondecoeter, Saftleven, Boc, Percellus, Ryzeberg, Blœmœrt, Youngfranc, Bramer, Varelst, Palamedus, Levintz, Ruysdail, Hemskirk, Breughel, Holben, Rubens, Berchem, and Teniers.

And we have one advertisement where 'Among them are Portraits a half length of the Queen of England[493] by Ryly: Sir Tho More; Lord Cicil in Queen Elizabeth's time, and the Lord Francis Bacon.'

People who could not afford oil paintings might buy water colours, and the following gives us the names of two famous artists: 'A choice collection of Limnings, by Mr. Cooper and old Mr. Hoskins now in the possession of his Son John Hoskins of Chelsea, will be sold by Auction. Likewise several Boxes of Limning Colours,' etc. These were, in all probability, miniatures.

Drawings, both in crayon and black lead, line engravings, and etchings were within the compass of most people's purses, and here is an advertisement which would create some interest even now at Christie's. 'At the Eagle and Child in Bedford Street, Covent Garden, &c. will be continued the Sale by Auction of a collection of Paintings, Drawings, and Prints, by the most famous Italian, and other great Masters. The Drawings are of the most celebrated Masters of the several Schools of Italy. A great number of them in Frames and Glasses. The Prints are in great perfection, a great many Etcht by the Masters themselves, others graved by the most eminent Gravers. There are a great many extraordinary rare Wood Cuts, they have been collecting these 30 Years with great industry and expense, most out of the chiefest Auctions in England, and others bought in Holland and France, by Mr. William Gibson,[494] Limner.'

(p. 284) We know the engravings of that time were very good: they were also very cheap, and of good subjects. 'You may have the Right Originals after the greatest Masters, as Raphael, Michael Angelo, Ruben, Julij Romana, all well graven, and 30 sorts of Altarpieces and Prints ready framed;' or one might buy 'A complea. Sett of the Prints of the Royal Palaces and Noblemen's Seats in England, neatly bound up together, or sold Singly for 1s. apiece; and likewise a curious Collection of Italian and French prints, particularly the Original Battles of Alexander; the Galleries of Luxemburgh; Poussin's Landskips, and many others.' Good English Engravers were then very scarce: nearly all the illustrations to books were engraved by foreigners, and very frequently in Holland.

Take the following for example—engraved in England, but by a foreigner: The Seven Cartons of Raphael d'Urbin drawn and engraved from the Originals in the Gallery at Hampton Court by S. Gribelin, are sold by C. Mather near Temple Bar in Fleet Street &c.—price 15s.' There was another set of these engraved in 1711 and 1712, by Michael Dorigny, who offered eight plates 19 in. by 25 to 30 for four guineas. Steele gives this venture a kindly puff in Spectator 226.

Sculpture was not at a premium, there being but one sculptor at all worthy of the name (of course except Gibbons), and he was Francis Bud, to whom, among other works, we owe the statue of Queen Anne in St. Paul's Churchyard, and the Conversion of St. Paul in the pediment of the cathedral.

The virtuosi got their statuary from Italy, and of course these classical gentlemen would be satisfied with nothing less than 'right Antiques.' 'Four Marble Figures lately come from Italy, with 2 half bodies. The Figures are Jupiter and Venus, Bacchus and his Mistress.'

There was a demand for plaster and leaden casts for garden ornamentation, and this was met by one Van Nost, who lived in 'Hide Park Road, near the Queen's Mead House,' who had a fine collection, which was sold after his death, in 1712. His widow also sold, at a great reduction in price, 'the fine Marble Figures and Bustos, curious inlaid Marble Tables, Brass and Leaden Figures and very rich Vauses.'

Grinling Gibbons, of course, bears the palm in the matter of carving in this age, and we must not forget that he carved in stone and marble as well as in wood. The statue of Charles II. in the old Royal Exchange, the base of Charles the First's statue at Charing Cross, and the marble pedestal of the equestrian statue of Charles II. at Windsor, together with the magnificent tomb of Baptist Noel, Viscount Camden, in the church of Exton, Rutlandshire, all testify to his ability when dealing with the more obdurate materials. As to his wood carvings, they are most numerous and widely spread. In the choir of St. Paul's, at Chatsworth, at Burleigh, at Petworth, etc., are triumphs of his skill.

(p. 285) From sculpture to architecture is but a step; and a reign that can boast of two such architects as Wren and Vanbrugh must of necessity rank high as favouring this art. If Wren had built nothing else but St. Paul's, his fame would have been immortal, and the other buildings with which he beautified London, thanks to the great fire, cannot add lustre to his name. In the architecture of his churches he was very uneven; but it must not be forgotten that he had at that time so much work on hand, that thorough originality could not be expected in every case, and also, in very many instances he was hampered as to the expense. Not that he was an extravagant architect. The man who could build (even taking money at its different value then and now) St. Mary Aldermary for a little over 5,000l., or St. Mary-le-Bow for 8,000l.—exclusive of the steeple, which cost nearly 1,400l. more—could not be accused of extravagance. We owe to him the Monument, Greenwich and Chelsea Hospitals, the Theatre and Ashmolean Museum at Oxford, and the library of Trinity College, Cambridge, besides a large number of churches, all still existing, and the Royal Exchange and Temple Bar, destroyed. In this reign he was thoroughly appreciated and honoured; was knighted by Anne, was President of the Royal Society, and sat twice in Parliament; and it was reserved to the Whigs in George the First's reign to deprive him of his places, and leave him uncared for in his old age.

The versatile Vanbrugh, who could be playwright or architect, poet, theatrical manager, or king-at-arms, adds much to the lustre of Anne's reign.

We have seen how Swift lampooned him on the building of his own house at Whitehall (p. 47), and we all know Dr. Evans' epitaph upon him:—

Lie heavy on him, earth, for he
Laid many a heavy load on thee.

That he was as great an architect as Wren, cannot be for a moment entertained; but that he was not without good taste and scientific knowledge, his two best works, Blenheim and Castle Howard, testify.


Its infancy — Virtuosi — Gresham College — Visit to the Royal Society's Museum — Their curiosities — Their new house — Geology — Experimental philosophy — Courses of chemistry — Mathematics — List of patents — Hydraulic machinery — Savery's steam engine — Description.

Exact science, as we understand the term, hardly existed. Sir Isaac Newton was just lighting the spark which has been fanned by succeeding generations into such a mighty flame. The Royal Society was an absolute laughing-stock, and men called virtuosi pottered about, looking (and doubtless thinking they were) mighty wise.

Any man who investigated nature after his lights, and with the imperfect materials which were at his command, was looked upon as a fool.

'The Will of a Virtuoso.[495]

'I Nicholas Gimcrack being in sound health of mind, but in great weakness of body, do by this my last Will and Testament bestow my worldly Goods and Chattels in manner following.

'Imprimis. To my dear wife, One box of butterflies, One drawer of Shells, A female Skeleton, A dried Cockatrice.

'Item. To my Daughter Elizabeth. My Receipt for preserving dead Caterpillars. Also my preparations of winter May dew, and Embryo-Pickle.

'Item. To my little daughter Fanny, Three Crocodile's Eggs. And upon the birth of her first Child if she marries with her mother's consent, the Nest of a Humming Bird.

'Item. To my eldest Brother, as an acknowledgment for the Lands he has vested in my Son Charles, I bequeath my last Year's Collection of Grasshoppers.

'Item. To his Daughter Susanna, being his only Child, I bequeath my English Weeds pasted on Royal paper, with my large Folio of Indian Cabbage.

'Having fully provided for my nephew Isaac by making over to him, some years since, a Horned Scarabæus, the Skin of a Rattle snake, and the Mummy of an Egyptian King, I make no further Provision for him in this my Will.

'My eldest Son John having spoken disrespectfully of his little Sister, whom I keep by me in Spirits of Wine, and in many other instances behaved himself undutifully towards me, I do disinherit, and wholly Cut off from any part of this my personal estate, by giving him a single Cockle shell.

(p. 287) 'To my second Son Charles, I give and bequeath all my Flowers, Plants, Minerals, Mosses, Shells, Pebbles, Fossils, Beetles, Butterflies, Caterpillars, Grasshoppers, and Vermin, not above specified; as also my Monsters, both wet and dry; making the said Charles whole and sole Executor of this my last Will and Testament; He paying or causing to be paid, the aforesaid Legacies within the space of six Months after my Decease. And I do hereby revoke all other Wills whatsoever by me formerly made.'

Clarinda. A Sot, that has spent £2000 in Microscopes, to find out the Nature of Eals in Vinegar, Mites in a Cheese, and the blue of Plums which he has subtilly found out to be living Creatures.

Miranda. One who has broken his brains about the nature of Magots, who has studied these twenty years to find out the several sorts of Spiders, and never cares for understanding Mankind.[496]

It is needless to say that Gresham College, then the home of the Royal Society, affords a wealth of merriment to Ward. It is 'Wise Acres Hall,' or 'Maggot Mongers' Hall'; but his description,[497] although whimsical, is truthful, and shows the puerility (as we might term it) of science in those days. 'My Friend conducted me up a pair of Stairs, to the Elaboratory-Keeper's Apartment and desir'd him to oblige us with a Sight of his Rarities; who very curteously granted us the Liberty; opening his Warehouse of Egyptian Mummies, old musty Skeletons, and other antiquated Trumpery: The first thing he thought most worthy of our Notice, was the Magnet, with which he show'd some notable Experiments, it made a Paper of Steel Filings Prick up themselves one upon the back of another, that they stood pointing like the Bristles of a Hedge Hog; and gave such Life and Merriment to a parcel of Needles, they danced the Hay, by the motion of the Stone, as if the Devil were in 'em; the next things he presented to our view, were a parcel of Shell Flies almost as big as Lobsters, arm'd with Beaks as big as Jack-Daws: then he commended to our observation that Wonderful Curiosity, the Unicorn's Horn; made, I suppose, by an Ingenious Turner, of the Tusks of an Elephant; it is of an excellent Virtue; and, by report of those that know nothing of the matter, will expel Poison beyond the Mountebanks Orvieton; Then he carry'd us to another part of the Room, where there was an Aviary of Dead Birds, Collected from the extream parts of Europe, Asia, Africa, and America; amongst which were an East India Owl, a West India Bat, and a Bird of Paradise, the last being Beautified with variety of Colours, having no discernable Body, but all Feathers, Feeding, when alive, upon nothing but Air, and tho' 'tis as big as a Parrot, 'tis as light as a Cobweb. Then he usher'd us among sundry sorts of Serpents, as the Noy, Pelongy, Rattle Snake, Aligator, Crocodile &c. That looking round me, I thought (p. 288) myself hem'd in amongst a legion of Devils; When we had taken a survey of these pin-cushion Monsters, we turn'd towards the Skeletons of Men, Women, and Monkeys, Birds, Beasts and Fishes; Abortives put up in Pickle, and abundance of other Memorandums of Mortality; that they look'd as Ghostly as the Picture of Michael Angelo's Resurrection; as if they had Collected their Scatter'd Bones into their Original Order, and were about to March in search after the rest of the Appurtenances.'

That this account is not exaggerated is shown by an extract or two of Dr. Green's catalogue of these curiosities.

'Tortoises, when turned on their backs, will sometimes fetch deep sighs and shed abundance of tears.

'A bone, said to be taken out of a Mermaid's head.

'A stag-beetle, whose horns, worn in a ring, are good against Cramp, &c.'

The Royal Society, however, under Newton's presidency, woke up wonderfully in Anne's reign, although they still pottered after such things as dissecting dolphins,[498] etc. In 1705 the Mercers' Company gave them notice to quit Gresham College, and they petitioned the Queen for a grant of land near Westminster, but the petition was refused. Then they applied to the trustees of the Cotton Library for permission to meet at Cotton House, Westminster, but could not obtain it. And so they tried for six years to get their own premises, and at last succeeded in buying the house (really two houses) of Dr. Brown, in Crane Court, Fleet Street, which house, but little altered, is now standing, and is in the occupation of the Scottish Corporation. This cost them 1,450l., 550l. of which they paid out of their own funds, and borrowed the remainder at six per cent.; but it also required 1,800l. to fit these houses for the requirements of the Society: yet somehow they managed to hold their first meeting there on Nov. 8, 1710.

Addison, in the Tatler,[499] cannot resist the temptation of making fun of this Society: 'When I married this Gentleman he had a very handsome estate, but upon buying a set of Microscopes he was chosen a Fellow of the Royal Society, from which time I do not remember ever to have heard him speak as other people did, or talk in a manner that any of his family could understand.' Steele,[500] too, must needs give a little stab: 'When I meet with a young fellow that is an humble admirer of these Sciences, but more dull than the rest of the Company, I conclude him to be a Fellow of the Royal Society.'

The science of geology was very little known, although Dr. Woodward, in his 'Natural History of the Earth,' notes its division into strata, but in that, as in all other sciences, they were but in a very elementary stage. They had only got as far as this: 'An Account of the Origin and Formation of Fossil-Shells, &c., wherein (p. 289) is proposed a Way to reconcile the two different Opinions, of those who affirm them to be the Exuviæ of real Animals, and those who fancy them to be Lusus Naturæ.'

But science was making such steps that men were willing to be taught, and consequently teachers were found. The stage physical science had reached in 1706 is shown by the following advertisement: 'For the Advancement of Experimental Philosophy, and for the Benefit of all such Gentlemen as are willing to lay the best and surest Foundation for all useful Knowledge: There are provided Engines for rarefying and condensing Air, with all the Appurtenances thereunto belonging; also Barometers, Thermometers, and such other Instruments as are Necessary for a Course of Experiments, in order to prove the Weight and Spring of the Air, its usefulness in the propagation of Sounds and Conversation of Life, &c., with several new and surprising Experiments concerning the production of Light in Vacuo: Likewise Utensils proper for making the Hydrostatical Experiments to determine the Laws of Fluids Gravitating upon each other. By J. Hodgson and F. Hawksbee, Fellows of the Royal Society. This Course will begin &c.... at which times Lectures will be Read for the better understanding the Experiments, and for the drawing of such Conclusions and Uses as flow from them. Those Gentlemen that are desirous to be present must pay 2 Guineas, one at the time of Subscription, and the other on the 3rd Night after the Course begins.' Hawksbee continued these lectures till his death, about 1710 or 1711.

Courses of chemistry had existed ever since the commencement of the reign: vide 'A Course of Chimistry, commencing the 27th of April, 1702, containing above 100 Operations, will be performed by George Willson at his Elaboratory in Well Yard, by St. Bartholomew's Hospital in Smithfield.' His fee was two and a half guineas.

What was meant by this course we cannot tell, but there is another advertisement in 1712 which may throw some light upon it: 'A Compleat Course of Chymistry containing about 100 Operations, illustrated with the proper Scholia, has been perform'd at the Laboratory of Mr. Edward Bright, Chymist, in White Friars near Fleet Street, to the entire Satisfaction of the Gentlemen that attended it, &c.... In these Courses Endeavours are used to demonstrate the Constituent Parts of each Medicine, their Virtues and Doses; to which will be added many useful Observations applicable to the Practice of Physick.

The higher branches of mathematics were also publicly taught in 1705: 'On Tuesday next being the 2nd Day of October, at the Marine Coffee house in Birchin Lane, Mr. Harris will go on with the Public Mathematic Lecture; beginning them with Geometry anew; and he will explain largely the Uses of all the Propositions as he goes along: with a particular regard to the principles of true Mechanick Philosophy.' This latter was highly necessary, for mechanics were in an exceedingly elementary state: even such a (p. 290) common thing as a wind dial was new, and wonderful, in 1706. 'The Wind Dial, lately set up at Grigsby's Coffee and Chocolate House, behind the Royal Exchange, being the first and only one in any publick House in England, and having given great Satisfaction to all that have seen it, and being of Constant use to those that are in any wise Concerned in Navigation: We think it may not be improper to describe it to the Publick, viz. The Dial Board is fixed to the Ceiling of the Publick Ground room, upon which are all the points of the Compass in Gold Letters, and a Hand Points to each of them, continually as the Wind varies. The Hand is directed by an Iron work, which is turned by a Fan placed 90 foot high, to prevent the effects of Eddy Winds.'

Condensing sea water, in order to make it potable, is, if an old invention, quite a modern practice; yet we see it in use in 1705. 'Mr. Walcot's Engines for making Sea Water Fresh and Wholesome, are sold by him at his Warehouse in Woolpack Alley in Houndsditch at reasonable rates being of great use and advantage for all Ships, especially such as go long voyages.'

Perhaps the best method of gauging the mechanical genius of the age is to examine the patents granted, and, as they are very few in this reign, a short list of them will fulfil this condition, and yet not be wearisome.

Jan. 1, 1703. A grant to George Sorocold, gent., of a new invention by him contrived and found out, for cutting and sawing all kinds of boards, timber, and stone, and twisting all kinds of ropes, cords, and cables, by the strength of horses or water.

April 8, 1704. A grant to Benjamin Jackson, gent., of the sole use and exercise of a new invention for ordinary coaches, calashes, shazes, waggons, and other carriages and machines of that nature, that though the wheels or carriages may be overset, yet the bodies of them shall remain upright.

May 1, 1704. A grant to Nicholas Fain, gent., Peter Defaubre, and Jacob Defaubre, watchmakers, for making use of precious or more common stones, crystal or glass, as an internal and useful part of watches and other engines.

July 29, 1704. A grant unto Richard Cole, gent., of his invention of forming glasses into conical figures, and lamps for the better dispersing and casting of light.

April 12, 1706. A grant unto Henry Mill, gent., of his new invention of a mathematical instrument, consisting of several new sorts of springs for the ease of persons riding in coaches, chariots, calashes, and chaises.

June 6, 1706. A grant unto Robert Aldersey of his new invention in contriving a floating dam to carry lighters and other vessels over the greatest flats and shallows in any navigable river.

1706. A grant unto Thomas Savery, Esq., of his new invention for making double hand-bellows, which by the power of springs and screws will produce a continual blast.

July 26, 1709. A grant unto Jeremiah Wieschamer of his new (p. 291) invention of a mill or engine for the more easy grinding or pressing of sugar-canes with a less number of oxen, horses, or cattle than by those mills formerly used.

April 3, 1712. A grant unto Israel Pownoll of his new invented engine or machine for taking up ballast, sullage, sand, etc., of very great use in cleansing rivers, harbours, etc.

June 17, 1712. A grant unto Nicholas Lewis Mandell, Esq., and John Grey, carpenters, of their two new invented engines; the one of a small size for the weighing and raising up any weight far beyond what can be performed by any crane or capstone; and the other for raising water in a new and surprising manner, of great use in extinguishing fire.

April 2, 1714. A grant unto John Wilks of his new invented engine or mill for grinding all sorts of wood dry for the use of dying.

May 27, 1714. A grant unto John Coster, gent., and John Coster, jun., gent., of their new invented engine for drawing water out of deep mines.


These are all the mechanical patents worthy of notice during Anne's reign. Hydraulic machinery was particularly useful, and attention was specially paid to its perfection. Here is the record[501] of a draining feat happily completed: 'The Lands in Havering and Dagenham Levels in Essex, having lain these 6 Years under Water, were, after a great deal of Industry and Expence happily recovered on the 29th Day of October past, being the same Day 6 years that that Breach happened. The Gentlemen concerned in that Undertaking have given to the Artificers and Labourers an Ox and a Sheep to be Roasted whole, and a Hog to be barbicui'd, with large Puddings in their Bellies, on the 13th of this present Instant, on the said Works.'

But few people remember that the steam engine was a living (p. 292) and working fact, and a commercial commodity, in Queen Anne's time, and this owed its being to the general utility of hydraulic machinery. Salamon de Caus and the Marquis of Worcester are rivals as to the invention of a working steam engine, and Papin came very near to being successful, even going so far as to propel a ship with revolving oars or paddles, which could in speed beat the king's barge manned by sixteen rowers. But it was reserved to Savery to make it commercially valuable. In 1698 he took out a patent. 'A grant to Thomas Savery gentl, of the sole exercise of a new invenc̃on by him invented, for raising of water, and occasioning moc̃on to all sorts of Mill Works, by the impellent force of fire, which will be of great use for draining mines, serving towns wth water, and for the working of all sorts of Mills where they have not the benefit of water nor Constant winds, to hold for 14 years; with usual clauses. Testibus apud Westm̃ 25o die Julij anno supradc̃o.'

He could not have wasted much time in perfecting his invention and putting it on a sound commercial basis, for we find an advertisement in the Postman, March 28/31, 1702: 'Captain Savery's Engines which raise Water by the force of Fire in any reasonable quantities and to any height, being now brought to perfection, and ready for publick use; These are to give notice to all Proprietors of Mines and Collieries which are encumbered with Water, that they may be furnished with Engines to drain the same at his Work house in Salisbury Court, London, against the Old Play house, where it may be seen working on Wednesdays and Saturdays in every week from 3 to 6 in the afternoon; where they may be satisfied of the performance thereof, with less expence than any other force of Horse or Hands, and less subject to repair.'

He must, even then, have had some at work, for he says in the preface to his little work,[502] dated Sept. 22, 1701: 'That the attending and working the Engine is so far from being so,[503] that it is familiar and easie to be learned by those of the meanest Capacity, in a very little time; insomuch, that I have Boys of 13 or 14 years of Age, who now attend and work it to perfection, and were taught to do it in a few days; and I have known some learn to work the Engine in half-an-hour.'

He had visions of its future power, and knew somewhat of its vast capabilities: 'Whereas this Engine may be made large enough to do the work required in employing eight, ten, fifteen, or twenty horses to be constantly maintained and kept for doing such a work; it will be improper to stint or confine its Uses and Operation in respect of Water Mills.' He then suggests that it would pump water to the top of a house, for domestic supply, for fountains, and in case of fire—or supply towns with water, draining fens, mines, and coal pits, nay, he even suggests their use through the furnace and shaft, as ventilators. More than all, he says, 'I believe (p. 293) it may be made very useful to Ships, but I dare not meddle with that matter; and leave it to the Judgement of those who are the best Judges of Maritain Affairs.'

His engine was as ingenious as it was simple. Two boilers with furnaces supplied the steam. This was admitted alternately, by means of a handle worked by a man or boy, into one of two elliptical receivers, where it condensed, formed a vacuum, and the water rushed in and filled its place—the same principle which is the foundation of that invaluable feed-pump, Giffard's injector. When full, the application of steam ejected it from the receiver, and forced it up the pipe, and so de novo. His idea was to utilise the water thus raised to turn a water-wheel, and thus get effective power for working machinery in mills.


Authors — Public libraries — Their condition — George Psalmanazar — Hack writers — Poverty of authors — Their punishment — The press — Daily Courant — List of newspapers — London GazettePostboyPostman — Dawk's News Letter — Dyer's — Evening papers — Dearth of domestic news — Amenities of the press — Roper and Redpath — Tutchin — His trial — Press remuneration — Mrs. Manley — The Essay papers — The halfpenny stamp — Its effect — Advertising — Almanacs — List of them — Moore's — The Ladies' DiaryPoor Robin's Almanack — Merlinus Liberatus — The Essayists and Partridge — His false death — His elegy and epitaph — An amateur magazine.

Well might the time of Anne be called the Augustan age of literature. The writers of that day have lived till ours, and will live and be quoted as models of purity of style, as long as, and wherever, the English language is spoken. In what other age can such a wealth of literary names be found as Addison, Steele, Swift, Pope, Warburton, Gay, Prior, Parnell, Defoe, Vanbrugh, Congreve, Rowe! It was the grand awakening of letters; and, having good food provided for them, the people appreciated it, and it undoubtedly laid the foundation of the present reading age. Before this time there had been no books, i.e. adapted to the general public, to read. Truly, there were scholars here and there, and the Universities were ever fountains of learning; but literature had not entered into every-day life, and we have to thank Steele and Addison, who charmed the public taste by their social and moral essays, into becoming first a reading, and then a thinking people.

There were men who loved their books—veritable bibliophiles—and what choice editions they must have possessed! Look at the huge volumes of title-pages which Bagford collected as materials for his history of printing—which never was written—look at the (p. 294) treasures that have come down to us in the Cotton, Harleian Royal, and Lambeth libraries! A sale like that of the Sunderland library[504] convulses the literary world, and buyers come from all parts of the globe. Then, however, an advertisement like this was not uncommon: 'A curious Collection of Books, which was Collected by a great Antiquarian, in Greek, Latin, Spanish, French, Italian, and English, in all Faculties and Sciences, many of them very scarce, of the best Authors and Editions, as Aldus, Stevens, Elzevir and others,' etc.

We learn from Misson the state of our public libraries. He says: 'At present I know but three publick ones in this City; those of the Chapter at Westminster, and Sion College (which are very much neglected, and in a sorry Condition in all Respects) and that which Dr. Tenison, Archbishop of Canterbury, has lately founded. The two former are going to Decay, and the latter is not yet quite form'd. Neither the one nor the other are much frequented. The King's Library at St. James's is also in a miserable state; I am told that Dr. Bentley, who has the keeping of it, in the room of Mr. Instel, does all he can to restore it; but his Endeavours will be to no purpose, unless the Master of it has Leisure and Will to have an Eye to it himself. There have been Books in Pawn in the Hands of the Binders, I know not how many Years. King Charles II. did but laugh at it. It is, nevertheless, a Pity that so many good Books, and so well bound, should be given up to the Mould and Moisture of the Air, to Moths and to Dust. The Library of Sir Robert Cotton is particularly famous for Manuscripts. The Royal Society have begun to Collect a pretty good one: the late Duke of Norfolk, who was of it, left them his. There are a great many Noble men in England that love Books, and have good Collections of them.'

A literary curiosity of this reign deserves to be, and must be, noticed. It is George Psalmanazar, the impostor who, for a while, deceived the majority of the English literati. He seems to have been born in France in 1679, and to have received a good education. He wandered about as a pilgrim, and that either not paying, or else being dissatisfied with the life, he hit upon the extraordinary idea of passing himself off as a Formosan, and to do this he actually had to invent a new language and grammar. Accompanied by a clergyman named Innes, he came over to England, where he translated the Church Catechism into pretended Formosan, and he published a History of Formosa, and of his own adventures; but the suspicions of the learned were aroused, and he was unmasked. He tried to fight against it for some time, and issued advertisements in the papers, that he could be seen, spoken with, and catechised, but to no purpose. He afterwards lived by doing hack work for the booksellers, and at his death he thoroughly confessed his imposture.

The hack writers of the time are thus humorously described in (p. 295) the Guardian (No. 58): 'According as my necessities suggest it to me, I hereby provide for my being. The last summer I paid a large debt for brandy and tobacco, by a wonderful description of a fiery dragon, and lived for ten days together upon a whale and a mermaid. When winter draws near, I generally conjure up my spirits, and have my apparition ready against long dark evenings. From November last to January I lived solely upon murders; and have since that time, had a comfortable subsistence from a plague and a famine. I made the Pope pay for my Beef and Mutton last Lent, out of pure spite to the Romish Religion; and at present my good friend the King of Sweden finds me in clean linen, and the Mufti gets me credit at the Tavern.'

Literary men had their money troubles then as now—probably not more so—as many a melancholy tale of modern Grub Street could tell. Swift's society did some good. Take his Journal to Stella, Feb. 12 and 13, 1713, as an example: 'I gave an account of Sixty guineas I had collected, and am to give them away to two Authors to-morrow, and lord Treasurer has promised me a hundred pounds to reward some others.... I found a letter on my table last night to tell me that poor little Harrison ... was ill, and desired to see me at night.... I went in the morning, and found him mighty ill, and got thirty guineas for him from Lord Bolinbroke, and an order for a hundred pounds from the treasury to be paid him to-morrow.... I was to see a poor poet, one Mr. Diaper, in a nasty garret, very sick. I gave him twenty guineas from Lord Bolinbroke, and disposed the other sixty to two other authors.' This was practical benevolence, but its record only shows the sad necessity there was for its exercise.

Other troubles they had, and perhaps not the least of them was the fear of personal violence. They hit hard in those days, and people did not always take their castigation meekly. Sometimes they took the law into their own hands, and then woe be to the unfortunate author. Samuel Johnson (author of Julian) in Charles the Second's reign was not only publicly whipped, but was nearly murdered in his own house. Tutchin, too, who wrote a poem on the death of James II., was waylaid, and so frightfully beaten that he died from its effects. Defoe also frequently mentions attempts to injure him. So Swift wrote to Stella,[505] 'No, no, I'll walk late no more; I ought to venture it less than other people, and so I was told.'

In what condition was the press of that day? Let Pope's bitter pen answer—

Next plunged a feeble, but a desperate, pack,
With each a sickly brother at his back;
Sons of a day; just buoyant on the flood,
Then numbered with the puppies in the mud.
(p. 296) Ask ye their names? I could as soon disclose
The names of these blind puppies as of those.
And monumental brass this record bears,
These are—ah—no—these were—the gazetteers.[506]


When Anne succeeded to the throne on March 8, 1702, the following newspapers were in existence: The London Post, English Post, Postman, Postboy, Flying Post, London Gazette, Post Angel, New State of Europe, and Dawks's and Dyer's News Letter (the former of which was printed in script letters, to look as much as possible like writing). The whole of these were issued three times a week; but three days after Anne's accession came out the first daily paper in England. The Daily Courant was born March 11, 1702, and this little fledgling, the precursor of the mighty daily press, measures but 14 in. by 8 in. It is printed only on one side of the sheet: the reason given for which is, to say the least, peculiar, reminding one of the lines:—

My wound is great, because it is so small,
Then were it greater, were it none at all.

'This Courant (as the Title shews) will be Publish'd Daily; being (p. 297) design'd to give all the Material News as soon as every Post arrives; and is confin'd to half the Compass, to save the Publick at least half the Impertinences of Ordinary News Papers.' Probably the correct reason was that, being a new venture, it could not obtain advertisements. These, however, speedily came when it passed into the hands of Samuel Buckley (printer of the Spectator), and, in May, it was in a most flourishing state, the other side being entirely taken up with them, and it continued to have its fair share during the whole of the reign. There is nothing very striking about its news, but, as it is such a wonderful infant, I have reproduced this first number in its entirety[507] here—it will serve as a model to show the kind of news contained in these newspapers. There now exist but two newspapers which were in being in Queen Anne's reign, namely, the London Gazette (but that has been kept alive through its official nursing), and—but one due to private enterprise—Berrow's Worcester Journal, which was established in 1700.

The other papers born in this reign, including the Satirical and Essay papers, are The Observator, Gazette de Londres, Monthly Register, Letter Writer, Whitehall, Rehearsal, Diverting Post, A Weekly Review of the Affairs of France, by Daniel De Foe, Whipping Post, News Letter, General Remarks on Trade, Mercurius Politicus, St. James's, Kensington, Evening Post, A Review of the State of the British Nation, The Weekly Comedy, Generous Advertiser, Humours of a Coffee House, The British Apollo, Tatler, Athenian News, Examiner, Medley, Moderator, Evening Courant, British Mercury, Protestant Postboy, Hermit, Useful Intelligencer, Night Post, Spectator, Plain Dealer, Guardian, The Reconciler, The Mercator, Englishman, Britain, The Lover, The Patriot, Controller, Weekly Packet, Monitor.

It would be a waste of time to follow the fortunes of all these papers; suffice it to say, that the majority of them had but a brief existence, and let us note only a few of the prominent ones. First of all the London Gazette, of which Misson says 'it is the truest and most Cautious of all the Gazettes that I know. It inserts no news but what is Certain, and often waits for the Confirmation of it, before it publishes it.' It was first published on Feb. 1, 1666, and still continues to this day as the official newspaper. It was first printed by Thomas Newcomb, of the Savoy, then by Edward Jones, who died in 1705. From Feb. 18 of that year to Feb. 26, 1708, it was printed by his widow, M. Jones. At the latter date, it appears as printed by J. Tonson, at Gray's Inn Gate, who, although he moved into the Strand, continued to print it during the remainder of the reign. It was somewhat smaller than the other papers, and its normal price was 1d., but, if of extra size, owing to addresses to the Queen, etc., it was 2d. It was published twice weekly, and was the only one of the newspapers that kept up the (p. 298) old style of reckoning time. It did not begin the new year till after March 25; thus, for the year 1702, all the Gazettes would be 1701 till March 25, after which they would be 1702 till that same date in 1703.

When Samuel Buckley took the Daily Courant in hand, he at once filled it with advertisements. He then lived at the Dolphin, in Little Britain; afterwards at Amen Corner. Either he sold the Courant, or gave up printing it, for on Sept. 25, 1714, it was 'Printed by S. Gray, sold by Ferd. Burleigh in Amen Corner.' Perhaps he could not attend to two papers at once, for, on the copy of the London Gazette for Sept. 25/28, 1714, in the British Museum, is written 'first Gazette by Mr. Buckley.' Dunton[508] says of him: 'He was Originally a Bookseller, but follows Printing. He is an excellent Linguist, understands the Latin, French, Dutch and Italian Tongues; and is Master of a great Deal of Wit. He prints the Daily Courant and Monthly Register (which, I hear, he Translates out of the Foreign Papers himself).' Its usual price was 1d., but there was a special edition published. The news of every Post Day's Courant, is Constantly Printed with the News of the Day before, on a Sheet of Writing Paper, a Blank being left for the Conveniency of sending it by the Post. And may be had for 2d.'[509]


Dunton thought the Postboy was the best for English and Spanish news, but the Postman was the best for everything. A French Protestant, named Fonvive, wrote the latter, and in the early part of Anne's reign the Postboy was written by Thomas, afterwards by Boyer, also a foreigner, who had been tutor to the young Duke of Gloucester. Swift writes of him: 'One Boyer, a French dog, has abused me in a pamphlet, and I have got him up in a Messenger's hands. The secretary promised me to swinge him. I must make that rogue an example to others.'

In the early days of the reign both these papers had manuscript postscripts, or supplements, when any fresh news arrived that was not in their last edition, they being published thrice weekly. 'This is to give Notice, that the Post Boy, with a Written Postscript, containing all the Domestick Occurrences, with the (p. 299) Translations of the Foreign News that arrives after the Printing of the said Post Boy, is to be had only of Mr. John Shank, at Nandoe's Coffee house, between the two Temple Gates; and at Mr. Abel Roper's at the Black Boy, over against St. Dunstan's Church in Fleet Street.' 'The Author of this Paper having several times declared in Print that he is no ways directly nor indirectly concerned in the Written Postscripts to the Post Man, nor any other News but what is printed therein; he thinks he has reason to complain of several People, who write to him from the Country about faults and mistakes contained in those Written Postscripts, putting him thereby to unnecessary Charges. He desires those Persons to forbear the same for the future, but if they are not satisfied with their written News (seeing they are not Contented with what is Printed), they may be furnished with written Postscripts at Tom's Coffee House in St. Martin's Lane, by a Person, who the Author hopes, will give them entire satisfaction.'

Later on in the century they printed these postscripts, but they were not safe even then. 'There being a Sham Postscript published last night, with an Advertisement, intending to impose the same upon people as a Postscript to the Postman, We think fit to desire again our readers to buy no Postscripts to the Postman, but from the Hawkers they know, as the only means to stop that Villanous practice; and when there is any material New, we shall take care to publish a Postscript, provided it be a Post Day, and not too Late.' The Post Boy had two rough woodcuts, one on each side of the title: one of a Post boy on horseback, blowing his horn; the other a Fame, blowing a trumpet, on the banner of which is inscribed Viresque acquirit eundo; whilst the Postman has two woodcuts occupying the same position: one of a ship in full sail; the other of a post boy on horseback, blowing his horn. They are the same size as the Daily Courant.

'Dawks's News Letter, For Thirty Shillings a Year, paying a Quarter before Hand to J. Dawks at the West End of Thames Street by Wardrobe Stairs, near Puddle Dock,' was, as before said, printed in imitation of writing. It generally contained a little more domestic news than the other papers, and may be said to be the first evening paper. 'This News Letter continues to be published every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, in the Evening, and contains what is most Remarkable, in any (or all) of the other News Papers; to which is added the Occurrences of the Day, and the Heads of the Foreign Mails, which come in many times after the publication of the Printed Papers; and is so contrived, that a Blank Space is left for any Gentleman, or others, to write their private Business to their Friends in the Country, so that they may have therewith the Chiefest News stirring.' Ichabod Dawks started his News Letter on Aug. 4, 1696. Steele mentions it more than once in the Tatler, notably No. 178, where he says: 'But Mr. Dawkes concluded his paper with a courteous sentence, which was very well taken, and applauded by the whole company. "We (p. 300) wish," says he, "all our Customers a merry Whitsuntide, and many of them." Honest Ichabod is as extraordinary a man as any of our fraternity, and as particular.'

The proprietor of the other news-letter, Dyer, got into trouble more than once. In 1694 he was summoned before the Parliament, and reprimanded by the Speaker 'for his great presumption' in printing the proceedings of the House. And once again, in 1702, he was ordered to attend the House to answer for his presuming to misrepresent the proceedings. He did not attend, and the attorney-general was instructed 'to find out and prosecute him.'

In No. 18 of the Tatler, the joint production of Steele and Addison, is an excellent résumé of the foregoing newspapers. 'There is another sort of gentlemen whom I am much more concerned for, and that is the ingenious fraternity of which I have the honour to be an unworthy member; I mean the News Writers of Great Britain, whether Post Men or Post Boys, or by what other name or title soever dignified, or distinguished. The case of these gentlemen is, I think more hard than that of the Soldiers, considering they have taken more towns, and fought more battles. They have been upon parties and skirmishes, when our armies have lain still; and given the general assault to many a place, when the besiegers were quiet in their trenches. They have made us masters of several strong towns many weeks before our generals could do it; and completed victories, when our greatest captains have been glad to come off with a drawn battle. Where Prince Eugene has slain his thousands, Boyer has slain his ten thousands. This gentleman can indeed be never enough commended for his courage and intrepidity during the whole war: he has laid about him with an inexpressible fury; and, like the offended Marius of ancient Rome, made such havoc among his countrymen, as must be the work of two or three ages to repair. It must be confessed, the redoubted Mr. Buckley has shed as much blood as the former; but I cannot forbear saying (and I hope it will not look like envy) that we regard our brother Buckley as a kind of Drawcansir,[510] who spares neither friend nor foe; but generally kills as many of his own side as the enemies. It is impossible for this ingenious sort of men to subsist after a peace; everyone remembers the shifts they were driven to in the reign of King Charles the Second, when they could not furnish out a single paper of News, without lighting up a comet in Germany, or a fire in Moscow. There scarce appeared a letter without a paragraph on an earthquake. Prodigies were grown so familiar, that they had lost their name, as a great Poet of that age has it. I remember Mr. Dyer, who is justly looked upon by all Fox hunters in the nation as the greatest statesman our country has produced, was particularly famous for dealing in whales; insomuch, that in five months' time (for I had the (p. 301) Curiosity to examine his letters on that occasion) he brought three into the mouth of the River Thames, besides two porpoises and a Sturgeon. The judicious and wary Mr. Ichabod Dawks hath all along been the rival of this great writer, and got himself a reputation from plagues and famines; by which, in those days, he destroyed as great multitudes, as he has lately done by the sword. In every dearth of news, Grand Cairo was sure to be unpeopled.'


The Evening Post came out in Aug. 1706, and was 'Published by John Morphew near Stationers' Hall.' It seems to have been then a failure, but it was started again in 1709. The Evening Courant, which started July 1711, seems also to have had a very brief existence, as did also the Night Post, which was born the same year, but this latter seems to have had a longer life than its sister the Courant.

The domestic news in them was nearly nil—principally of the sailing of ships or bringing in of prizes. Foreign news was taken bodily from the foreign papers, as we see in the Daily Courant, in the Appendix; and the home news was left to take care of itself. The Gazette generally had the Queen's Speech to Parliament, and sometimes the other newspapers would also have it, if on very special occasions, say on June 6, 1712, when the Queen communicated to Parliament the terms on which a peace might be made; yet the only reference the Flying Post of June 5/7 has on the subject (p. 302) is, 'Yesterday Her Majesty went to the House of Peers, and made a long speech to both Houses.'

In fact, in all the twelve years of this reign, I only remember meeting with one long account of any piece of home news, and I cannot help thinking that was manufactured, as it is decidedly of the catchpenny and chapbook order. It was 'An Account of the Apprehending and taking of Thomas Wallis, alias Whipping Tom,' a wicked villain who got hold of unprotected females, when crossing the unfrequented fields near Hackney, and administered a fearful thrashing to them, 'with a great Rodd of Birch, that the Blood ran down their tender Bodies in a sad and dreadful manner.' His only excuse was his 'being resolved to be Revenged on all the Women he could come at after that manner, for the sake of one Perjur'd Female, who had been Barbarously False to him.' He 'believed that he had Whip'd from the 10th of October last to the 1st of December, about Three Score and Ten, including Widdows, Wives and Maids, and did intend, if he had not been taken, to have made them up to a Hundred betwixt this and Christmas, at which time he then intended to keep Hollyday till after Twelfday, and then began his Whipping Work.' And once, too, the Postboy (Jan. 27/29, 1713) broke out in a sarcastically humorous vein: 'On Monday last that Facetious and Merry Gentleman in the Pulpit, Mr. Daniel Burgess, departed this Life to the great Mortification of his Female Auditors.'

'Esq: Thomas Burnet (S-n of that vertuous, orthodox, pious, forgiving, impartial, sincere, never wav-ri-g (always standing to his T-x-t) modest, conscientious Di—ne, and by the Gr— of G—d in the fere of the L—d) was on Saturday last taken up, and carried to the Lord Viscount Bolinbroke's Office, for being the Author of that seditious and scandalous Pamphlet, call'd A certain Information of a certain Discourse, &c. (of which Libel Mr. Baker the Publisher lately swore he was the Author) and gave sureties to appear the last Day of this Term; his Bail were Guy Neville and Geo Trenchard Esqs: What's bred in the B-ne will never be out of the Fl-sh.'

Talk about the amenities of the press! Here are one or two samples:—

Titus detected the Tory Popish Plot, and Abel's [511] inveterating a Whiggish One.

Titus was a Foul Mouth Slanderer,—so is Abel.

Titus openly traduced the next Heir to this Crown—So has Abel.

Titus deserv'd to be Hang'd—So does Abel.

Titus was low in Stature, but of Outrageous Principles—So is Abel.

Titus was protected in his Impudence—So is Abel.

But the Time's coming to change, Titus was call'd to Account for it—so will Abel.

Titus was flogg'd and Pilloried—So will Abel.

Titus was despised by both Parties—So will Abel.

(p. 303) Titus died unpittied;—So will Abel.

In fine,—Titus was both Knave and Dunce;—So is Abel.[512]

One would imagine that after this flagellation Roper would not be the first to assault a brother journalist, but he fell foul of Ridpath, who conducted the Flying Post, and this is how he did it: 'Yesterday, one George Ridpath, a Cameronian, who formerly (as it is credibly reported) was banished Scotland, for putting on Lawn Sleves, and administering —— to a Dog, in derision of the Church and Bishops, was committed to Newgate for several scandalous Reflections writ by him in a Paper formerly publish'd call'd the Observator; and for being the Author of several notorious Falshoods and scandalous Reflections on the Queen and Government, in a paper call'd The Flying Post.'[513]

Ridpath,[514] of whom Dunton says 'His Humility and His Honesty have establish'd his Reputation,' hit back by means of an anonymous correspondent in the Flying Post:—

'Lynn Regis in Norfolk, Sept 22.


'Having observ'd the false Account which that Scandalous Wretch Abel Roper gave some time ago in his Post Boy, about the Reception of Mr. Walpole here; This is to inform you 'tis a notorious Lye; for that worthy Gentleman had a very honourable Reception, answerable to the just Esteem which this Corporation has for him.'

A notice of one more sparring match must close this subject—the same two papers. Says friend Abel[515]: 'In the Flying Post of last Tuesday, we have a very unusual Specimen of the Author's Modesty, in Owning and Recanting the Lye he had so impudently fix'd on Dr. S——l in his former Paper. But 'tis very remarkable, That by endeavouring to excuse this Lye, he unluckily falls into his Habitual Sin again, no less than three times in this single Paragraph.... So little Credit is to be given to this Infamous Weekly Libel, fill'd always with Lies of the Author's own Invention, or such as are taken up at second-hand, and vouch'd by him without the least Regard to Truth, Common Sense, or Common Honesty.'

After this, who can wonder if some editors had rather a rough time of it, especially Roper. He gives us[516] one glimpse of his condition: 'Last night William Thompson Esq., came to the Proprietor of this Paper, and told him, That if he did not insert the following Paragraph in his Paper of this Day, God Damn him, he would cut his Throat, and he had a Penknife in his Pocket for that purpose; for which the Proprietor of this Paper designs to (p. 304) prosecute him according to Law, but thought fit to publish this, that the Nation may be Judges, whether a Person of such a Character is proper to be employ'd in his Station in the Law? or, Whether our Constitution ought to be entrusted in such Hands as will not scruple to commit Murder whenever it may serve their Purpose.'

In 1704 the House of Commons took umbrage at some remarks which John Tutchin, the conductor of the Observator, had made on some mismanagement of public affairs (and they were undoubted libels), and cited him, the printer, and publisher before their Bar, to be brought in custody of the Serjeant-at-Arms. Tutchin gave bail for his appearance: and his trial came on on Nov. 4, 1704.[517] He got off somehow, and was never tried again. Earlier in life he had been tried at the Bloody Assizes, where he had the brutal Jeffreys for his judge, and he was sentenced 'to be imprisoned for Seven Years; that once every year he should be whipt through all the Market Towns in Dorsetshire; that he should pay a fine of one hundred marks to the King, and find security for his good behaviour during life.... Upon passing the Sentence, the Clerk of the Arraigns stood up, and said, My lord, there are a great many market towns in this County; the sentence reaches to a whipping about once a fortnight, and he is a very young man. Aye, says Jeffreys, he is a young man but an old rougue; and all the interest in England shall not reverse the sentence I have past upon him.' So poor Tutchin's heart died within him, and he petitioned the King that he 'will be mercifully pleased to grant him the favour of being hanged with those of his fellow prisoners, that are condemned to die.' But to no avail.

His friends tried to buy him a pardon, but Jeffreys frustrated all their efforts. At length Tutchin fell ill of the smallpox, and nearly died of it, being only tended by his fellow-prisoners. During his illness his mother bought his pardon of Jeffreys[518]; then she fell sick of the smallpox, and died.

Of Tutchin's trial in 1704 we have the following contemporary evidence from Luttrell: '18 May. Mr. Tutchin, author of the Observator, against whom a proclamation was out at the desire of the House of Commons, has given 1000l. bail to answer what shall be objected against him'; and on May 29 he gave fresh bail. His trial began, as we know, on Nov. 4, and he was found guilty, but sentence was deferred. On the 14th we hear 'Yesterday, Mr. Tutchin, found guilty of publishing the Observator, appeared at the (p. 305) Queen's bench Court, when his council inform'd the Court of an error in the information, and the Attorney General desiring time to consider of it, Tutchin is to attend again on Saturday.' The point was the false dating of the writ; and he attended on the 20th and 23rd, when it was argued; and on Nov. 28 judgment was given in Tutchin's favour, 'the Attorney General at liberty to try him again,' which he never did.

This trial is interesting, as it furnishes us with evidence as to the pay of an editor, or rather author (for Tutchin wrote the whole paper), of that time. John How was the proprietor of the paper, which appeared first on April 1, 1702. In his evidence is the following:—

How. About the latter end of March, 1702, I treated with Mr. Tutchin about writing an Observator, to be published weekly: the first of which was published in April 1702. And all that have been printed since, I had from him to this year.

Att. Gen. You looked on these papers here: were those printed by the direction of Mr. Tutchin?

How. To the best of my knowledge, they were. They were always brought from him to me.

Att. Gen. Was there any agreement made between you about the writing of it?

How. Yes, it was agreed at first to write once a week; and I was to give him half a guinea for it.[519] ...

Sir T. Powis. Did you pay him for the Preface?

How. Yes, and for the Index.[520] ...

L. C. Justice. What did you give him for that Preface and Index?

How. I think it was ten shillings.

At the same time there were other libels afloat. '30 May 1704. Yesterday came out a proclamation by her Majestie for discovering and apprehending the author, printer, and publisher of a scandalous libel, intituled, Legions Humble Addresse to the Lords; offering the reward of £100 for the author thereof, and fifty pounds for the printer thereof.'[521]

Was not Steele turned out of Parliament for libel? 'Resolved that Richard Steele, Esqre, for his offence in writing and publishing the said scandalous and seditious libels, be expelled the House;'[522] and the resolution was adopted by 245 votes against 152.

In 1709 Luttrell tells us: '15 Oct. The Authors of the Review and Female Tatler were presented by the grand jury as scandalous and a publick nuisance, and were ordered to be prosecuted. 1 Nov. This day the printer and publisher of the New Atlantis were examined touching the author Mrs. Manley; they were discharged, but she remains in custody. 5 Nov. One Ball is taken up for writing scandalous papers on persons of quality; but Mrs. Manley, the author of the New Atlantis, is admitted to Bayl.'

Few would be inclined to pity the profligate Mrs. Manley for (p. 306) any punishment she might have received for her scandalous libels in both the Female Tatler and the New Atlantis; but she was not punished. On the contrary, the Ministry gave her employment for her pen.

The Tatler commenced the series of Essay papers. Steele is almost apologetic, in its first number, for having to make any charge. He elaborately calls attention to the expenses incurred in getting up such a paper, and adds 'these considerations will I hope make all persons willing to comply with my humble request (when my gratis stock is exhausted) of a penny a piece.' And an advertisement at the end of No. 4 says, 'Upon the humble petition of Running Stationers &c. this Paper may be had of them, for the future, at the price of one penny.' But there was a more expensive edition, whole-sheet Tatlers, having a double quantity of paper, with one half-sheet blank 'to write business on, and for the convenience of the post,' and they, of course, were more expensive. The Tatler, Spectator, and Guardian were all of Steele's creation; they were born, and died, at his discretion; and the Spectator, at least, was always laid on the Royal breakfast table. Their imitators were numerous, but short-lived; in fact, the imposition of a halfpenny stamp massacred the innocents of the press in a wholesale manner.

This tax was evidently in contemplation some time before it became law. Swift writes to Stella, Jan. 31, 1711: 'They are here intending to tax all little printed penny papers a halfpenny every half sheet, which will utterly ruin Grub Street, and I am endeavouring to prevent it.' It slept for a little, but it was smuggled at last into the 10th Anne,[523] cap. 19, and fairly hidden among duties (p. 307) on soap, paper, silk, linens, hackney chairs, cards, marriage licences, etc. It came into operation on Aug. 1, 1712, and Swift makes merry over the effect it will have on the struggling periodical literature. '19 July 1712. Grub Street has but ten days to live; then an act of parliament takes place that ruins it, by taxing every half sheet at a halfpenny.' '17 Aug. 1712. Do you know that Grub Street is dead and gone last week? No more ghosts or murders now for love or money. I plied it pretty close the last fortnight, and published at least seven penny papers of my own, besides some of other people's: but now every single half sheet pays a halfpenny to the Queen. The Observator is fallen; the Medleys are jumbled together with the Flying Post; the Examiner is deadly sick; the Spectator keeps up, and doubles its price; I know not how long it will hold. Have you seen the red stamp the papers are marked with? Methinks the stamping is worth a halfpenny.'


The Spectator does not chuckle over the fall of its humbler brethren. Addison says[524]: 'This is the Day on which many eminent Authors will probably Publish their Last Words. I am afraid that few of our Weekly Historians, who are Men that above others delight in War, will be able to subsist under the Weight of a Stamp, and an approaching Peace. A Sheet of Blank Paper that must have this new Imprimatur clapt upon it, before it is qualified to Communicate any thing to the Publick, will make its Way in the World but very heavily. In short, the Necessity of carrying a Stamp, and the Improbability of Notifying a Bloody Battel, will, I am afraid, both concur to the sinking of those thin Folios, which have every other Day retailed to us the History of Europe for several Years last past. A Facetious Friend of mine who loves a Punn, calls this present Mortality among Authors, The Fall of the Leaf.'

All the papers, except the Spectator, rose their price just the value of the stamps; but that 'Society Journal' charged 1d. extra—a fact which caused no little grumbling—and which made Addison put forth all his powers of special pleading to vindicate (see No. 488).

The imposition of 1s. duty on advertisements had no deterrent effect upon them; this 'backbone of the paper' continued as before. There is nothing that I have found to guide us as to the prices of advertisements, except in one case—and I hardly think that can be called a representative one. It is that of a short-lived paper called 'THE GENEROUS ADVERTISER OR Weekly Information of TRADE and BUSINESS. To be published every Tuesday, and Friday, and 4000 of them always carefully Distributed and Given away Gratis each Day, in and about the City's (p. 308) of London and Westminster.' It enjoyed its brief existence in 1707. The terms were not excessive under the circumstances; 'Advertisements ... will be taken by the Men who carry this Paper about; Who will take them in very Carefully and Cheap viz. after the Rate of 3d. for every Fifty letters.'

Advertisements, with the exception of those of quack doctors and their medicines, were very much as now. Booksellers, public amusements, things lost, things for sale, etc., give those old sheets a strange similarity to those we are so familiar with.

Even the poor almanacs were taxed. The Protestant Post Boy, Nov. 15/17, 1711, says, 'Whereas, by an Act made last Sessions of Parliament, a Duty was laid on all Almanacks, and a Penalty of Ten Pounds is for any one that shall Sell any Almanacks without being first Stampt as the Law directs; and whereas the said Tax &c. has made a great Attraction in the Price, this is to give Notice to all Retale Buyers, or others that the Prices are as follows.

'An Almanack Bound in Red Leather, with Paper to Write on of any Sort. Ninepence.

'An Almanack of any Sort Sticht. Six Pence.

'Any Sheet Almanack Four Pence.'

It is hardly worth while to give an exhaustive list of the almanacs then in vogue. One advertisement[525] will be ample for the purpose: 'On Thursday next (15 Nov.) will be published the following Almanacks for the year 1706. viz. Andrews, Chapman, Coley, Dove, Gadbury, Ladies Diary, Moor, Partridge, Pond, Poor Robin, Salmon, Saunders, Tanner, Wing, Colepepper, Dade, Fly, Fowl, Perkins, Rose, Swallow, Trigge, Turner, White, Wood-house.'

Out of which, that by Francis Moore, physician, the 'Vox Stellarum,' is still published. Doubts have been thrown on the reality of this gentleman, but it is certain that he did live, and Lysons speaks of him as having lived in Calcotts Alley, High Street (then called Back Lane), Lambeth, where he practised the combined professions of astrologer, physician, and schoolmaster. He also lived in Southwark and in Westminster. There is an engraving of him extant, evidently done in Queen Anne's reign, by Drapentier, who also engraved the portrait of Dr. Burgess. Moore is represented as a fat-faced man in a full-bottomed wig. The legend is 'Francis Moore, born in Bridgenorth, in the County of Salop, the 29th of January 1656/7.' His almanac was first published in 1698.

The Ladies' Diary, which commenced in 1704, was only suspended in 1841, when it was incorporated in the Gentleman's Diary.

'Poor Robin, an Almanack of the Old and New Fashion; or an Ephemeris of the best and newest Edition; wherein the Reader may find (that is to say if he reads over the Almanack) (p. 309) many most excellent remarkable things worthy his and others choicest Observation. Containing a Two-fold Calendar, viz., The Old, Honest, Julian, or English Account, and the Round head's, Whimzey heads, Maggot heads, Paper-scull'd, Slender-witted, Muggletonian, or Fanatick Account, with their several Saints Days, and Observations upon every Month. Being the Bissextile or Leap Year. Written by Poor Robin Knight of the Burnt Island, a Well-wisher to the Mathematicks.'

The Two and Fortieth Impression.

Reader, this is the two and Fortieth Year,
Since first our Book did to the World appear:
And we do think 'tis stored with more knacks
Than may be found in other Almanacks.
Laugh if you will, but yet this always mind,
If you your Eyes laugh out, you will be blind.

 London: Printed by W. Bowyer for the Company of Stationers, 1704.

Such is a title-page of this almanac, which, when first started, is thought to have been written by Herrick. It only ceased its publication in 1828. As this was a genuinely humorous book, in a time when pure fun was hardly understood, a very brief description may be permitted. It had a comic chronology, such as:—

  Years since
Geese without or Hose or Shoes went bare. 5603  
Maids did Plackets in their Coats first wear. 4805  
Plumbs were first put into Christmas Pies. 1472  
The Hangman did the riding Knot devise. 3999  
Coffee came first to be us'd in London. 0049  
By Rebellion many a Man was undone. 0050  
Women did at Billingsgate first scold. 0973  
Summer was hot Weather, Winter cold. 5782 &c. &c.

And every month had its appropriate poem, thus:—

This is the merry Month of May,
When as the Fields are fresh and gay;
And in each Place where 'ere you go
Are people walking to and fro.
On every Place you cast your Eye,
Hundreds of people you may Spy,
The Fields bestrewed all about,
Some pacing home, some passing out;
Some woo their Lovers in the Shadows,
Some stragling to and fro the Meadows.
Some of this Chat, some of that Talk,
Some Coacht, some horst, some afoot Walk.
Some by Thames Bank their Pleasure taking,
Some Silabubs 'mong Milkmaids making;
With Musick some on Waters rowing;
Some to the adjoining Towns are going.
To Hogsdon, Islington, Tottenham Court,
For Cakes and Cream is great Resort, &c.

(p. 310) Also each month has its appropriate prose.

'Observations on January. Now a good Fire, and a Glass of brisk Canary is as Comfortable as the thing called Matrimony. Cold Weather makes hungry Stomachs, so that now a piece of powder'd Beef lin'd with Brews,[526] vociferating Veal, and a Neat's Tongue, that never told a Lye, is excellent good food; but to feed on hope, is but a poor Dish of Meat to dine and sup with after a two Days Fast. If thou art minded to go a Wooing this Cold Weather, do it with Discretion, for he that doth make a Goddess of a Puppet, merits no Recompense but mere Contempt.'

Besides these, there was plenty of proverbial philosophy, interspersed with divers merry tales, and eccentric receipts, the whole going to form a compilation perfectly unique for its time.


Perhaps the chief among the serious astrological, and predicting, almanacs was 'Merlinus Liberatus, by John Partridge, Student in Physick and Astrology, at the Blue Ball in Salisbury Street, in the Strand, London.' Not, perhaps, that he would have lived in story, much more than his fellows, had it not been for the fun that Swift, Steele, and Addison made of him. Swift set the ball rolling, in his sham 'Predictions for the year 1708, by Isaac Bickerstaff' (his pseudonym), in which he says: 'My first prediction is but a trifle, and yet I will mention it to show how ignorant those sottish pretenders to astronomy are in their own concerns. It relates to Partridge the Almanack maker. I have consulted (p. 311) the star of his nativity by my own rules, and find he will infallibly die on the 29th of March next, about eleven at night, of a raging fever; therefore, I advise him to consider of it, and settle his affairs in time.' This was a happy thought, born of the fact that Partridge had prophesied the downfall and death of Louis XIV. Early in April 1708 Swift published 'The accomplishment of the first part of Mr. Bickerstaff's predictions, being an account of the death of Mr. Partridge, the Almanac maker, on the 29th of March, 1708, in a letter to a person of honour.'

From that moment Partridge was dead. It was no use his publicly stating that he was alive. The wits had decreed his fate, and dead he was. His elegy and epitaph were printed, in the grisly manner common to those productions. They are too long for reproduction, but are too good not to quote from.

Well, 'tis as Bickerstaff has guest,
Tho' we all took it for a Jest;
Patrige is Dead, nay more, he dy'd
E'er he could prove the good Squire ly'd.
Strange, an Astrologer should Die,
Without one Wonder in the Sky;
Not one of all his Crony Stars,
To pay their Duty at his Hearse!
No Meteor, no Eclipse appear'd!
No Comet with a flaming Beard!
The Sun has rose, and gone to Bed,
Just as if Patrige were not Dead;
Not hid himself behind the Moon,
To make a dreadful Night at Noon:
He at fit Periods walks through Aries,
Howe'er our Earthly Motion varies,
And twice a Year he'll cut th' Æquator,
As if there had been no such Matter.
Some Wits have wondered what Analogy
There is 'twixt Cobling and Astrology;
How Patrige made his Opticks rise
From a Shoe Sole to reach the Skies;
Besides, that slow pac'd Sign Bootes
As 'tis miscall'd, we know not who 'tis;
But Patrige ended all Disputes,
He knew his Trade, and call'd it Boots.
The Horned Moon which heretofore
Upon their Shoes the Romans wore,
Whose wideness kept their Toes from Corns
And whence we claim our Shoeing Horns,
Shews how the Art of Cobling bears
A near Resemblance to the Spheres, &c.

The Epitaph.

Here Five Foot deep lyes on his Back
A Cobler, Starmonger, and Quack,
Who to the Stars in pure Good will,
Does to his best look upward still.
Weep all you Customers that use
His Pills, his Almanacks, or Shoes.
(p. 312) And you that did your Fortunes seek,
Step to this Grave but once a Week.
This Earth which bears his Body's Print,
You'll find has so much Virtue in't,
That I durst Pawn my Ears, 'twill tell
What 'eer concerns you full as well,
In Physick, Stolen Goods, or Love,
As he himself could, when above.[527]

Congreve, or Rowe, took up cudgels for the poor man, and wrote and published 'Squire Bickerstaff detected, or the astrological impostor convicted, by John Partridge, student in Physick, and Astrology.' What was the use? Not only were the above squibs being sold about the streets for a halfpenny, but Swift had to annihilate his opponents by his 'Vindication of Isaac Bickerstaff Esq. against what is objected to him by Mr. Partridge, in his Almanack for the present year, 1709.'

Steele, even in the very first Tatler, could not forbear poking fun at Partridge. 'I have, in another place, and in a paper by itself, sufficiently convinced this man that he is dead, and, if he has any shame, I do not doubt but that by this time he owns it to all his acquaintance; for though the legs and arms and whole body of that man may still appear, and perform their animal functions; yet since, as I have elsewhere observed, his art is gone, the man is gone.' And so the banter was kept up, at intervals, all through the Tatler.

As an almanac writer he, in fact, did die in 1709, for that was the last he really published—although an almanac is still sold bearing the same title. He really, and corporeally, died in 1715, and was buried in Mortlake Churchyard, where, on a flat black marble stone, was the following inscription:—

'Johannes Partridge Astrologus,
et Medicinæ Doctor.
Natus est apud East Sheen,
in Comitatu Surrey,
18 Januarii, 1641,
et mortuus est Londini 24 Junii, 1715.
Medicinam fecit duobus regibus, unæque Reginæ;
Carolo scilicet secundo, Willielmo Tertio,
Reginæque Mariæ.
Creatus est Medicinæ Doctor
Luguduni Batavorum.'

The almanac stamps seem to have prompted crime and forgery, owing to their price; for the London Gazette, Feb. 7/10, 1713 has, 'Whereas divers Almanacks, or Papers serving the purpose of an Almanack, with false Stamps, have been lately Printed and Sold in several Parts of England, contrary to a late Act of Parliament, and prejudicial to Her Majesty's Revenue; and others, tho' (p. 313) with the true Stamps, have been Printed and Sold Contrary to the Right of the Company of Stationers, for which Divers Persons are now under Prosecution, and all others will be Prosecuted when discover'd: This notice is given to prevent all Persons incurring the like Trouble and Penalties.'

It seems strange, and somewhat in advance of the time, to hear of an amateur magazine being started—but, at all events, such a thing was proposed. 'Any Gentleman or Lady that is desirous of having any short Poem, Epigram, Satyr &c. (published?) if they please to communicate the Subjects to the Authors of the Diverting Muse, or the Universal Medley, now in the Press and will be continued Monthly; or, if they have any Song or other Poem of their own that is New and Entertaining, if they please to direct them for Mr. George Daggastaff, to be left at Mr. Hogarth's Coffee House in St. John's Gateway near Clerkenwell, the former shall be done Gratis, and inserted in the Miscellany abovemention'd, as also the latter, both paying the Postage or Messenger.'[528] This liberal offer does not seem to have met with the anticipated response, for I have looked in vain, in the Catalogues of the British Museum and elsewhere, and can find no mention of the 'Diverting Muse.'


List of diseases — Quackery — Bleeding, etc. — Physicians — Surgeons — Apothecaries — Dissension between the physicians and apothecaries — The dispensary — Pharmacopœias — Some nostrums — Prescriptions — Cupping — Treatment of lunatics — Physicians' carriages — Dr. Radcliffe — Sir Samuel Garth — Sir Hans Sloane — Dr. Mead — His duel with Woodward — Study of Anatomy — Surgical instruments — Oculists — Sir William Read — Roger Grant — The Queen touching for the evil — Description of the ceremony — Quacks' remedies — Quack harangues.

People got ill then as now, and, judging by the following list, there were just about as many diseases, only scientific names had not taken the place of the old homely nomenclature. This is taken from a list of deaths from all causes: 'Age. Ague and Fever, Appoplex and Suddenly, Bleach, Blasted, Bloody Flux, Scouring and Flux. Burns and Scalds. Bleeding, Calenture, Cancer, Gangrene and Fistula, Wolf, Canker, Soremouth and Thrush, Colick and Wind, Cough and Cold, Consumption and Cough, Convulsion, Cramp, Dropsie and Tympany, Excessive drinking, Falling Sickness, Flox and Small Pox, French pox, Gout, Grief, Head Ach, Jaundice, Jaw-faln, Impostume, Itch, King's Evil, Lethargy, Leprosie, Liver-grown, Spleen and Rickets, Lunatick, Meagrom, Measles, Mother, Palsie, Plague, Plague in the Guts, (p. 314) Pleurisie, Purples and Spotted Fever, Quinsie and Sore Throat, Rising of the Lights, Rupture, Scal'd head, Scurvy, Sores and Ulcers, Spleen, Shingles, Stitch, Stone and Strangury, Sciatica, Stopping of the Stomach, Surfet. Swine Pox. Teeth and Worms, Tissick, Vomiting, Wen.'

Of these, the most deaths resulted from consumption and cough, next ague and fever, then flox and smallpox. The infant mortality was terrible—the great cause of death being put down as teeth and worms. Consumption even now baffles the skill of our physicians. Quinine was then used for ague and fever, not as the crystal alkaloid, but in the rough bark, which was sold as 'Jesuits Bark,' at prices ranging from 4s. to 10s. per lb. Smallpox, inoculation or vaccination being unknown, was a fearful scourge, and spared no one—helped, as it was, by the all but utter ignorance of sanitary science, to the value of which we, in this generation, are only awaking.

Quackery was rampant, probably because people did not have much belief in the healing powers of the regular practitioners. Herbs and simples were much in use; and not only were there fearful remedies concocted by fair hands in the still-room, but naturally every old woman had faith in the traditional medicaments handed down to her by her forefathers. Also the empiricism of the alchemists still lingered—see the following advertisement: 'Whereas the Viper hath been a Medicine approv'd by the Physicians of all Nations; there is now prepar'd the Volatile Spirit compound of it, a Preparation altogether new, not only exceeding all Volatiles and Cordials whatsoever, but all the Preparations of the Viper itself, being the Receipt of a late Eminent Physician, and prepar'd only by a Relation. It is the most Sovereign Remedy against all Faintings, Sweatings, Lowness of Spirits, Vapours &c.—As also in all Habits of Body or Disorders proceeding from Intemperance, eating of Fruit, drinking of bad Wine, or any other poysonous or crude Liquors, and is good to take off the ill Effects or Remains of the Bark or Jesuits Powder.'

Bleeding and purging—these were the main remedies relied on in those old days; something to make the patient remember his illness by, as he did his doctor's bill, by the quantity of medicine he had swallowed. Brown, satirist as he was, was truthful, even to coarseness, and neither he nor Ward told lies in order to round a sentence, or point an epigram. This is how Brown[529] makes a fashionable physician describe his practice: 'He pays well, and takes Physick freely; besides I particularly know his Constitution; after Bleeding, he must take a Purge or two, then some Cordial Powders, Dulcifiers of the Blood, and two or three odd things more.... I tell you 'tis an easie thing for a Man of Parts to be a Surgeon; do but buy a Lancet, Forceps, Saw; talk a little of Contusions, Fractures, Compress and Bandage; you'll presently, by (p. 315) most People, be thought an excellent Surgeon.... I myself have turn'd out several Doctors out of Families because they would not prescribe Physick plentifully, and in large Quantities. I have perswaded my Patients, that they did not well understand their Distemper; so have brought in another who has swingingly dos'd 'um. I could tell you of a Sir Harry that paid an £100 for Physick in six Weeks, and I accepted it, being a Friend, without requiring one Penny for my own Fees.'

The profession then, as now, was divided among Physicians, Surgeons, and Apothecaries; and the relative position of two of them is mentioned by Addison[530]: 'An Operator of this Nature might act under me with the same regard as a Surgeon to a Physician; the one might be employ'd in healing those Blotches and Tumours which break out in the Body, while the other is sweetening the Blood and rectifying the Constitution.' The Apothecaries, of course, kept shops for the supply of drugs.

In the great fire of 1666 the College of Physicians, which was at Amen Corner, was burnt down, and a new one built, which was used till 1825, in Warwick Lane:—

Not far from that most celebrated Place,
Where angry Justice shews her awful Face;
Where little Villains must submit to Fate,
That great ones may enjoy the World in State;
There stands a Dome, majestick to the sight,
And sumptuous Arches bear its oval height;
A golden Globe plac'd high with artful skill,
Seems, to the distant sight, a gilded Pill.

 The Dispensary, by Dr. Garth, Canto 1, ed. 1699.

This was the building that the profession thought was mainly built by the munificence of Sir John Cutler; but after his death his executors demanded 7,000l. for money lent, and were eventually repaid 2,000l. Pope wrote of Cutler:—

His Grace's fate sage Cutler could foresee
And well (he thought,) advis'd him, 'Live like Me.'
As well his Grace replied, 'Like you, Sir John?
That I can do, when all I have is gone.'

Ward[531] sums up the physician's privileges: 'What Priviledges, said I, extraordinary are Granted to them in their Charter, above what are held by other Physicians who are not of their Society? Many, replied my friend, and these in particular, viz. No Person, tho' a Graduate in Physick of Oxford or Cambridge, and a Man of more Learning, Judgment and Experience than one half of their Members, shall have the liberty of practising in, or within Seven Miles of London, without License under the Colledge Seal; Or in any other part of England, if they have not taken some Degree at one of the Universities; They have also power to administer an Oath, which they know by Experience is as (p. 316) practicable to be broke the next Day, as 'tis to be taken; They can likewise Fine and Imprison Offenders, in the Science of Physick, and all such who presume to Cure a Patient, when they have given 'em over, by more excellent Measures than ever were known by their Ignorance; They have also the Priviledge of making By Laws, for the Interest of themselves, and Injury of the Publick, and can purchase Lands in Right of the Corporation, if they could but find Money to pay for 'em; they have authority to examine the Medicines in all Apothecaries Shops, to Judge of the wholesomeness and Goodness of many Drugs and Compositions they never yet understood; They are likewise exempt from troublesome Offices, as Jury men, Constables, &c.'

A visiting physician's fee was a guinea, but a consulting one's less. 'The Worshipful Graduate in the noble Art of Man slaughter, receiv'd us with a Civility that was peculiar to him at the sight of four Half Crowns.' A suit of black (velvet if possible), a full-bottomed wig, a muff, and a gold- or silver-headed cane formed the outward adornment of the physician.

The surgeons, not being incorporated till 1800, had no special meeting-place; but the apothecaries had their Hall in Water Lane, Blackfriars, which had been built in 1670, and is thus described by Garth:—

Nigh where Fleet Ditch descends in sable Streams,
To wash his sooty Naiads in the Thames;
There stands a Structure on a Rising Hill,

Where Tyro's take their Freedom out to kill.

 The Dispensary, Canto 3, ed. 1699.

Professional etiquette was, as a rule, strictly adhered to, and these divisions did not interfere with each other, although Brown[532] intimates that it was done occasionally: 'Gallypot.... "For tho' I am an Old Apothecary, I am but a Young Doctor. For I visit in either Capacity, either as an Old Apothecary, which is as good as a Young Doctor, or as a Young Doctor, and that's as good as t'other again." Trueman. "But I thought you had left off Shop, and stuck only to your Doctorship?" Gallypot. "So I do openly, but privately I keep a Shop, and side in all things with the Apothecaries against the Doctors."'

This allusion refers to a curious dissension which had arisen in the profession. The physicians at the latter end of the seventeenth century were undoubtedly an ignorant and unscientific race; and the apothecaries, finding that if they did not know as much, they could soon do so, began to prescribe on their own responsibility, as Pope[533] says:—

So modern 'pothecaries taught the art
By Doctor's bills, to play the Doctor's part;
Bold in the practice of mistaken rules,
Prescribe, apply, and calls their Masters fools.

(p. 317) The physicians naturally resented this, and making a pretext that the apothecary's charges were so enormous as to render their prescriptions useless to the poor, they eventually set up a Dispensary of their own at the College, where they sold medicines to the poor at cost price. And this accusation was warranted, if we can believe Brown. 'Pray how do ye at your end of the Town prize a Dose of common Purging Pills?' 'Why, Brother, about Eighteenpence, sometimes Two Shillings, with an Haustus after them of Three and Sixpence.' 'And can you live so? I believe all the things cost you at least a Shilling out of Pocket.' 'No, God forbid! How could I live then? Indeed they cost me about Sixpence, and I take but Five Shillings and Sixpence, sometimes less, and I think that's honest Gains.'

This Dispensary was the cause of great disturbance, and split the profession into Dispensarians and anti-Dispensarians, and a naturally acrimonious feeling sprang up, which was only allayed by the obnoxious Dispensary being given up, when things fell back into their old groove.

The Pharmacopœias then in use were 'Lasher's,' 'Bate's Dispensary,' 'Hartman's Family Physitian,' and 'Salmon's Collectanea Medica'[534]; and very curious indeed were some of the medicines prescribed, as 'Live Hog Lice,' 'Burnt Cork quenched in Aqua Vitæ,' 'Red Coral,' 'New Gathered Earth Worms,' 'Live Toads,' 'Black tips of Crabs Claws,' 'Man's Skull,' 'Elk's hoofs,' 'Leaves of Gold,' 'Man's bones calcined,' 'Inward skin of a Capon's Gizzard,' 'Goose dung, gather'd in the Spring time, dry'd in the Sun,' 'Stone of a Carp's head,' 'Unicorn's horn,' 'Boar's tooth,' 'Jaw of a Pike,' 'Wind pipes of Sheep cleansed and dryed in an Oven, Wind pipes of Capons in like manner prepared,' 'Sea Horse tooth rasped,' 'Frog's livers,' 'White dung of a Peacock dryed,' 'Toads and Vipers flesh,' 'Cuttle fish bone,' and many others even more repulsive than these.

How would one like to take this medicine for smallpox? 'Pulvis Æthiopicus, the Black Powder. ℞. Live Toads, No. 30 or 40, burn them in a new Pot, to black Cinders or Ashes, and make a fine pouder. Dose ʒss. or more in the Small Pox &c. and is a certain help for such as are ready to die: some also commend it as a wonderful thing for the cure of the Dropsie.'

'Pulvis Ictericus, A Pouder against the Yellow Jaundice. ℞. Goose dung gather'd in the Spring time, dry'd in the Sun, and finely pouder'd ℥ij., the best Saffron ʒi., white Sugar candy ℥ij., mix and make a pouder. Dose ʒij. twice a day in Rhenish wine, for six days together. Or thus—℞. Roots of Turmerick, white Tartar, Mars prepared. A ℥ss. Earthworms, Choice Rhubarb ʒij., mix and make a powder. Dose ʒj. in a little Glass of White (p. 318) Wine. An Acquaintance of mine, a Learned Physician, usually makes both the Compositions into One, and assures me that he never found it once to fail.'

'Ranarum Hepata, Livers of Frogs. ℞. They are prepared by drying them upon Colewort Leaves in a Closed Vessel, and then poudring them. S.A. Dose ʒss. against the Epilepsie, Quartan Ague &c. If they be dried and preserved with the galls adjoyning, the medicine will be stronger and better; and may then be given Morning and Evening à ℈j. ad ℈ij. in any fit Vehicle.'

'Corrus Epilepticus. The Antepileptic Crow or Raven. ℞. The greater Crow, deplumate, and eviscerate it, casting away its Feet and Bill; put into its Belly the Heart, Liver, Lungs, Bladder of the Gall, with Galangal and Aniseeds, A ℥iv. bake it in a new Earthen Vessel well shut or closed in an Oven with Household Bread; after it is cooled, separate the Flesh from the Sides or Bones, and repeat this Operation of baking the second or third time, but taking great care that it may not be burnt, then reduce it into a fine pouder. S.A. Dose ʒj. every day, to such as are afflicted with the Falling Sickness; it is a famous remedy. That there may be a more excellent Composition than this, we doubt not, and are confident it may be improv'd to a greater advantage; the Composition in our Seplasium. lib. 6. cap. 21. sect. 11. seems to excel it, which is this. ℞. Of Ravens Flesh in pouder (as the former Prescript advises) ʒiij. Viper pouder, ʒj. native Cinnamon ʒj. (ad ʒss.) mix and make a subtile Pouder for two Doses, to be given at Night going to Bed.'

The above are all from one book, published 1706, and could be multiplied to almost any extent, from this and the other Pharmacopœias, were it necessary; but enough has been quoted to show the ignorance and empiricism of the medical practitioners of that day.

All remedies, however, were not of the foregoing description, and many receipts seem admirably fitted to effect their desired purpose, the great fault with them being that they were overloaded with extraneous compounds, which could not possibly do the patient any good, and must necessarily add greatly to the cost, if only the extra time taken in their preparation be counted. Bleeding and purging, as before said, were the remedies really relied on, and bleeding took place on the slightest occasion. Not only the lancet, but cupping, was employed; indeed, cuppers attended nearly every Bagnio or bath, as Ward says: 'I'll carry you to see the Hummuns, where I have an honest old Acquaintance that is a Cupper.' He describes the operation thus: 'By the Perswasions of my Friend, and my Friend's Friend, I at last consented; upon which the Operator fetch'd in his Instruments, and fixes three Glasses at my Back, which by drawing out the Air, stuck to me as close as a Cantharides Plaister to the Head of a Lunatick, and Sucked as hard as so many Leeches, till I thought they would have crept into me, and have come out on t'other side. When by Virtue of this (p. 319) Hocus Pocus Stratagem, he had conjur'd all the ill blood out of my Body, under his glass Juggling Cups, he plucks out an ill favour'd Instrument, at which I was as much frighted, as an absconding Debtor is at the sight of a Bill of Middlesex, takes off his Glasses, which had made my Shoulders as weary as a Porter's Back under a heavy Burthen, and begins to Scarifie my Skin, as a Cook does a Loin of Pork to be Roasted; but with such Ease and Dexterity, that I could have suffer'd him to have Pink'd me all over as full of Eyelet holes, as the Taylor did the Shoemakers Cloak, had any Malady requir'd it, without Flinching; when he had drawn away as much Blood as he thought Necessary, for the removal of my pain, he cover'd the Places he had Carbonaded, with a new Skin, provided for that purpose, and healed the Scarifications he had made, in an Instant.'

'A Cantharides Plaister to the Head of a Lunatick' shows us somewhat how those poor unfortunates who were bereft of their senses were treated. Of Bethlehem Hospital I will speak in another place, regarding it more as a prison for the safe keeping of mad people than as an hospital, where, by any means, those cloudy intellects could be brightened up and cleared.

If the relatives or friends could afford it, they were put under the charge of some one, as now, who would pretend to try and cure them; but then, unlike the present time, there was not even the form of a visitation to hear complaints, or to report on ill-treatment. 'At the Pestle and Mortar on Snow Hill, is a Person who has had great Experience and success in curing Lunaticks, he has also conveniences for Persons of both Sexes, good and diligent Attendance for the best ranks of People, and having for several years past, perform'd it to the satisfaction of many Families: He therefore makes this Publick, to inform, where on very reasonable rates the same Cure shall be industriously endeavour'd, and (with God's Blessing) effected.' Does it not look like a model for a modern advertisement? How Dr. So and So, assisted by a large staff of well-trained domestics, etc.

Here is an advertisement of a private Mad House. 'It being industriously given out by some malicious Persons, That the House of the Late Claudius Gillat at Hoxton, for the Accommodation of Lunaticks, is shut up; These are to Certify, that the said House is still kept by William Prowting, Apothecary, who has all Conveniences fitting for such persons; as a large House, pleasant Gardens, &c., and gives Liberty to any Physician, Surgeon or Apothecary, of administering Physick to those that are recommended by them.'

Another Advertisement, however, lets a little light into the treatment of the mentally afflicted: 'A Dumb young Man broke his Chain last Wednesday Night, and left his Friends from their House in Compton Street, next door to the Golden Ball Alehouse, Soho, and those that will take Care to bring him Home, shall be Rewarded. He has been Mad these 23 Years.'

(p. 320) Garth thus describes a prosperous physician:—

Triumphant Plenty, with a chearful grace
Basks in their Eyes, and sparkles in their Face.
How sleik their looks, how goodly is their Mien,
When big they strut behind a double Chin.
Each Faculty in blandishments they lull,
Aspiring to be venerably dull.

Like his descendant of modern times, who cannot possibly be clever in his profession unless he drives two horses to his brougham, the physician of Queen Anne's reign had to have his coach; but then it must have at least four horses—of course he must be vastly cleverer if he could drive six—but still, his equipage must be well appointed, and in the fashion. Of course he need not go to the extent Radcliffe did; but Radcliffe made himself the laughing-stock of the town, both by the gaiety of his turn-out and by a rumour getting abroad that he had started it with the idea of favourably impressing a young and wealthy lady, to whom this old Adonis of sixty would needs pay his addresses—in which scheme, alas for the doctor! he was not successful. Steele could not resist having a bit of fun over it. 'This day, passing through Covent garden, I was stopped in the piazza by Pacolet, to observe what he called the Triumph of Love and Youth. I turned to the object he pointed at, and there I saw a gay gilt Chariot, drawn by fresh prancing horses; the Coachman with a new Cockade, and the lacqueys with insolence and plenty in their countenances. I asked immediately, "What young heir or lover owned that glittering equipage?" But my companion interrupted: "Do you not see there the mourning Æsculapius?" "The mourning?" said I. "Yes, Isaac," said Pacolet, "he's in deep mourning, and is the languishing, hopeless lover of the divine Hebe,[535] the emblem of youth and beauty."'[536]

His rival Hannes set up a beautiful carriage, etc., and it excited universal attention. Some friend told him that Hannes' horses were the finest he had seen. 'Ah,' snarled old Radcliffe, 'then he'll he able to sell 'em for all the more.'

The principal physicians of Anne's reign were Dr. Radcliffe, Sir Samuel Garth, Sir Hans Sloane, and Dr. Mead.

The first was born in 1650, took his M.D. degree in 1682, came to London in 1684, and, somehow, at once got into good practice. He was called in to the poor little Duke of Gloucester, when too late to be of any service, and consoled himself by soundly rating the two physicians, Sir E. Hannes and Sir Rd. Blackmore, for their previous conduct of the case. But he was not the court physician, for which he had himself to thank. The Queen, when the Princess Anne, got somewhat hypochondriac, after the death of her sister Queen Mary, and sent for Radcliffe to come at once to see her. (p. 321) He was at a tavern in St. James's, enjoying his bottle. He knew there was nothing the matter, and physicians were not so smooth-tongued as they are now: so he very rudely refused to go, and sent back a message that it was all fancy, and that her Royal Highness was as well as anyone else. Next morning he presented himself at the palace, only to be informed that he had been dismissed, and that Dr. Gibbons had already received his appointment. The Queen would never forgive him; but, on her death-bed, he was sent for to attend her, when he returned as answer that 'he had taken physic and could not come.' The Queen died, and great was the popular wrath against the doctor for his refusal. He might have saved her life, said the people; and after the manner of their kind, they sent him threatening letters; nay, a friend of his moved that he might be summoned to attend in his place in Parliament (he was member for the town of Buckingham) in order to be censured for not attending her Majesty. He did not long survive her, dying on Nov. 1, 1714.

One anecdote told of him is too good not to be repeated. He would never even pay a tradesman without squabbling over the account. A paviour had been repairing the pavement in front of his house, and when he applied for his money was told he had spoiled it, and then covered it with earth to hide his bad work. 'Doctor,' replied the man, 'mine is not the only bad work the earth hides.'

Sir Samuel Garth took his degree of M.D. in 1691, was elected a Fellow of the College in 1692, and took a prominent part in the famous dispute as to the Dispensary—writing in 1699 his poem of that name, which had at once a large sale. Garth wrote many poems, translated Ovid, and it was to him that Dryden owed his public funeral, for, as Ward says, 'they had like to let him pass in private to his Grave, without those Funeral Obsequies suitable to his Greatness, had it not been for that true British Worthy, who, Meeting with the Venerable Remains of the neglected Bard passing silently in a Coach, unregarded, to his last Home, ordered the Corps, by the consent of his few Friends that Attended him to be Respited from so obscure an Interment; and most Generously undertook at his own Expence, to revive his Worth in the Minds of a forgetful People, by bestowing on his peaceful Dust a Solemn Funeral Answerable to his Merit.' He had the body removed to the College of Physicians, where it lay in state previous to its removal, with great pomp, to Westminster Abbey.

He was a member of the Kit Cat Club, and the story is told of him that one day at a meeting of that club he sat so long over his wine that Steele reminded him of his duty to his patients. Garth replied that 'it was no matter whether he saw them that night or next morning, for nine had such bad constitutions that no physician could save them, and the other six had such good ones that all the physicians in the world could not kill them.' He died Jan. 18, 1719.

(p. 322) The name of Sir Hans Sloane is undoubtedly the most familiar to the ears of this generation of all the doctors of that time; especially to Londoners, Sloane Street and Square, and Hans Place, being all reminiscences of him, through the marriage of his daughter Elizabeth with the second Baron Cadogan.

He was of Scotch extraction, but born in Ireland, in 1660. Already a Fellow of the College of Physicians and Royal Society, he accompanied as physician the Duke of Albemarle (who had been appointed Governor of the West Indies) to Jamaica. The Duke soon died out there, and Sloane returned to England with a large collection of the flora and fauna of the countries he had visited. To this voyage may be attributed the foundation of the British Museum, for it gave him the taste for collecting rarities of every description, and, to prevent his museum from being dispersed after his death, he bequeathed it to the nation, on condition of the payment of 20,000l. to his family. Montague House was purchased to contain the curiosities; and from this small beginning has arisen that marvellous national collection, the finest in the world. Honours flowed in upon him, and after a very busy life, he died at a good old age in 1752.

Dr. Rd. Mead was born in 1673. Clever in his profession, and the author of many medical treatises, undoubtedly he owed much of his position to Radcliffe, whose patronage he secured by the most unblushing adulation. He took advantage of every opportunity, such as moving into the larger house of a physician recently dead; and should have amassed a large fortune, as for many years he was earning between 5,000l. and 6,000l. per annum. Although his consulting fee was one guinea and his visiting fee two, he would attend either Batson's, or Tom's, Coffee Houses (the former being a noted place of resort for medical men), and thither would come the apothecaries, for whom he would write prescriptions, without seeing the patient, at half a guinea each. He is remarkable as the doctor who fought a duel. It was with Woodward, who had not only attacked him in his 'State of Physick and Diseases,' but insulted him in public. Matters came to a climax one day when they were leaving Gresham College, and, under the arch leading from the outer to the Green Court, Mead's patience gave way. He drew, and called upon Woodward to defend himself or beg his pardon. Whether they ever actually fought or not is not known, although there is a bon-mot about Mead disarming Woodward and telling him to beg for his life. 'Never till I am your patient,' was his reply. Certain it is that Woodward gave in, and Mead lived in peace.

Mead was called in consultation when the Queen was in her last illness, and he plainly gave his opinion that she would not survive, but he did not attend her. He died Feb. 16, 1754, and was buried in the Temple Church.

There must have been some hot blood in the profession in (p. 323) those days, for Luttrell says: '6 July, 1704. Mr. Coatsworth, an apothecary in St. Martin's Lane, convicted in Easter term, upon an information in the Queen's bench, for assaulting Dr. Ratcliffe, at Tom's Coffee House, by spitting in his face, upon some words that arose between them, was upon Monday fined 100 marks, which he paid into Court.'

The practice of surgery was attended with some difficulties, for there were no public schools of anatomy as now: nay, it was as late as 1667 that Evelyn presented to the Royal Society, as a wonderful curiosity, the Table of Veins, Arteries, and Nerves which he had caused to be made in Italy.

We see that anatomy had to be taught privately, but still that there were professors who were capable of teaching. 'On Monday the 13th Instant, Mr. Rolfe Surgeon in Chancery Lane intends to begin at his House a compleat Course of Anatomy on Human Bodies, viz. Osteology, Myology, and Enterology, to be continued Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.' The knife was freely used, and the instruments were far from clumsy; but conservative surgery was also practised, and many orthopædic mechanical appliances were in use. 'Charles Roberts, who makes Steel Stays, Strait Stockings, Steel Boots, Collars, Cheiques and Swings, and by many years practice, having brought the same to great perfection, is perswaded to give this publick notice for the benefit of such who suffer by Deformity.'

The barbers also bled and drew teeth, as many now do.

The oculists of that day were particularly pushing, and puffed and lied themselves into notoriety with vigour. Chief of them was Sir William Read, oculist to her most gracious majesty; and if anybody wishes to see how much that tender organ the eye can be abused by an oculist, let him read his 'Short but Exact Account of all the Diseases Incident to the Eyes.' Originally a tailor in a small way of business, he managed, somehow, to rise so as to become the Queen's sworn oculist, and to be knighted; nor only so, but was able to keep up a good establishment and a magnificent equipage. One thing is certain—he thoroughly knew the value of advertising; and the accompanying illustration is taken from one of his handbills, probably about 1696. In it he gives a list of wonderful cures he has wrought, how he has cured wry necks, harelips, cut out cancers, trepanned skulls, operated on wens and polypuses, cured dropsy, cut off a man's leg, and given sight to numerous people who were born blind.

His knighthood is thus recorded in the Gazette of July 30/Aug. 1, 1705: 'Windsor 27 July. Her Majesty was this day Graciously pleased to confer the Honour of Knighthood upon William Read Esq. Her Majesty's Oculist in Ordinary, as a Mark of her Royal Favour for his great Services done in Curing great Numbers of Seamen and Sold