Party Pieces: Temporary Architecture of Celebration from the Restoration to the Regency
For reasons regarding image distribution (it’s a changing field at the moment) I won’t post the slides. However, if you are interested to see some images, open an additional window and google the words around where it says [SLIDE].
[[posterous-content:azEguxzvqhikusnwxhtm]]

Party Pieces: Temporary Architecture of Celebration from the Restoration to the Regency

For reasons regarding image distribution (it’s a changing field at the moment) I won’t post the slides. However, if you are interested to see some images, open an additional window and google the words around where it says [SLIDE].

[[posterous-content:azEguxzvqhikusnwxhtm]]

Tags: JustMigrated

The History of the Female Shipwright
In 1773 Mary Lacy, a married woman in Deptford published her autobiography, The History of the Female Shipwright.  It was an instant success, but soon forgotten.  Of its author there is no more trace and no image survives.  Of all the women who served in the Navy such as Hannah Snell and Mary Anne Talbot, it is Lacy’s account which is the most plausible and in many ways the most appealing, showing how many small lies ended up as one great big one, and depicting life at sea during the eighteenth century.
Mary had been born and grown up in Kent.  She was a bright child who liked to be constantly outdoors ‘at liberty’.  At the age of nineteen Mary was in love with an old friend who didn’t feel the same way.  She went into the room of her employer‘s brother and took an old coat, a pair of breeches and some old shoes and stockings.  She stole a hat from her father.  Then, ‘On the first day of May, 1759, about six o’clock in the morning, I set off, and when I had got out of town into the fields, I pulled off my clothes and put on the men’s, leaving my own in a hedge, some in one place and some in another’.     	 	The choice of donning male dress is crucial to the story.  Mary was small, at about five feet high, and flat-chested.  Dressing as a man gave her some protection on the road as she was unlikely to be able to fend off any would-be rapist.   	 	She arrived in Chatham later that night and had nowhere to sleep, and ended up lodging with some pigs.  The following morning Mary headed down to the dockyard, where some men on a coal-boat took pity on her and shared their breakfast with her.
As she was eating it, a hawk-eyed recruiter came up to Mary, and ‘asked me if I would go to sea, “for,” said he, “it is fine weather now at sea, and if you will go, I will get you a good master on board the Sandwich’’.  Mary replied, ‘Yes, sir’.  At that moment changed her life forever.   	 	The Sandwich was a ninety-gun shop of the line, waiting at Chatham for a crew.  The navy was short of men as it was fighting the Seven Years‘ War, as well as being active in North America, the Caribbean, Africa, India and the Channel.  The crew welcomed Mary on board, but despite them being short-handed, there was not a whiff of her being pressed to join them.  In fact, they asked her repeatedly if she wanted first to come aboard, and then to stay.  When asked for her name, Mary used her father’s Christian name and her mother’s maiden name, becoming William Chandler.   	 	She became the servant to the ship’s carpenter, Baker, who was a kindly man but a violent drunkard.
Although she does not reveal any regret over her decision to come on board, she does reveal how difficult it is to deal with such a man in close confines, both psychologically, when he drunkenly rants over her shortcomings for she couldn’t bear ‘to have my faults told me’, and physically, thinking ‘it very hard to be struck by a man’.     	 	For the first part of her autobiography Mary identifies herself as a woman taking on the role of a man, but soon her no-nonsense language makes it clear that her identity was smudging.  It begins with a fight.
William Severy was a young nobleman serving the Admiral who picked quarrels with Mary as she went about her duties for Baker.  On one occasion she was cooking her master a steak in the galley when Severy gave her a ‘slap in the face that made me reel’.  The ship’s cook, who had seen the altercation told Mary that she should call Severy out and that he would mind the steak.  ‘Upon which I went aft to the main hatchway and pulled off my jacket, but they wanted me to pull off my shirts, which I would not suffer for fear of it being discovered that I was a woman…Hereupon we instantly engaged and fought a great while…almost enough to dash my brains out, but I never gave out, for I knew that if I did I should have one or other of them continually upon me.’
Mary went back to the steak and took it down to Baker, who said, ‘you have been a long while about the steak, I hope it is well done now’, followed by looking her up and down and concluding, ‘I suppose you have been fighting?’  Mary told him yes, it was that or ‘be drubbed’.  Baker’s response was ‘I hope you have not been beat’.  It is then that Mary begins her curious fade into what became her male persona.    	She wrote to her parents in July, ending with ‘Shall be glad to hear from you as soon as you can.  So no more at present from, Your undutiful daughter, Mary Lacy. P.S. Please direct thus: For William Chandler on board the Sandwich at Brest’.  	Mary underwent many hardships onboard ship including a serious attack of rheumatic fever.  Worst of all, Baker had fallen into drink and stopped paying her, if he had ever paid her at all.  In the autumn of 1760 her rheumatic complaint was so bad that she ended up in hospital at Portsmouth, and was then assigned to the Royal Sovereign.  There she met again with William Severy, and formed a friendship with a young woman, living aboard as the companion of one of the sailors.  She also met the sailor Robert Dawkins, who became her mentor in her later years in the Navy, and went to a sort of school onboard, where she learned book-keeping.  In 1763, she was released from the Navy with the end of the Seven Years’ War.  Mary remember that, ‘On this occasion, my joy was so great that I ran up and down scarcely knowing how to contain myself’.  But she did not go home.  Instead Dawkins helped her get an apprenticeship as a shipwright at Chatham dockyard, and a place living on board the ship the Royal William.
Mary it seems, was now committed to her life as a man. 	 	Sadly for Mary her new master was another drunk, and again she had to made shift to earn money for herself by running errands.  Once she went for beer in the botswain’s canoe and her master said that if she could beat three men in a four-oared boat he would give her a sixpence.  She won, of course.  ‘I fell a-laughing at them and called out, “Where’s my money, where’s my money!”’  	Her master, of course, did not give her the money, but it shows how competent and confident Lacy had become in her role as both man and sailor.
She was by this stage sharing a bed with John Lyons, a fellow dockyard worker, but he found the work hard and so was always asleep by the time Mary came to bed, and still asleep when she got up.  Her best friend at the time was Edward Turner, and with him she went to parties where she met women ‘of the town’, although when she realised this, she stopped going to the parties.  There was, after all, no point throwing away her disguise just for an ineffectual engagement with a prostitute.   	 	It was at about this time that Mary met a ‘girlfriend’, Betsy.  Mary liked her very much but Dawkins discouraged her from continuing the relationship.  Instead Mary took up with a servant named Sarah Chase.
Their relationship is a model of eighteenth century tentative, rational courtship: ‘I had not yet served quite three years of my time; nevertheless it was agreed that neither of us should walk out with any other person without the mutual consent of each other.  Notwithstanding this agreement, if she saw me talking to any young woman, she was immediately fired with jealousy and could scarce command her temper.  This is did sometimes to try her.  However, we were very intimate together.’ 	   	What intimate means in this case isn’t quite clear, and not necessarily indicative of physical intimacy.  But it might well be, as they were living together under the same roof.  Furthermore, it seems that Mary was something of a Jack-the-Lad, and couldn’t help flirting with other women.  On returning from work one day and asking Sarah for something to eat, Mary could see that Sarah was annoyed.  ‘Whereupon I asked what was the matter with her.  She told me to go to the squint-eyed girl and inquire the matter there.  “Very well,” said I, “so I can”’.
In 1767 Mary visited her parents in Kent after an absence of almost eight years.  She went to them in male dress and maintained her male persona throughout the visit.  Her family played along.  The visit, whilst good for the family, was bad for Mary: a neighbour who knew of the situation then moved to Portsmouth and ‘outed’ Mary.  Some of her fellow workers got wind of the situation and came to speak to Mary about it.  She held her nerve, and although they searched her things, she was clever enough to have not made a habit of keeping things visible which might betray her.
In 1770, Mary Lacy was made free as a shipwright.  Then, she was again struck down by rheumatism.  By this time both her parents had died and she had no one to turn to for help until a family friend, a Mr Richardson in Kensington who was apparently aware of her situation invited her to stay with him and his wife, where he helped her apply for a Navy pension.  He applied under her real name, and the Admiralty minutes are worth reproducing at length.  ‘A Petition was read from Mary Lacy setting forth that in the Year 1759 she disguised herself in Men’s Cloaths and enter’d on board His Maj. Fleet, where having served til the end of the War, she bound herself apprentice to the Carpenter of the Royal William and having served Seven Years, then enter’d as a Shipwright in Portsmouth Yard where she had continued ever since; but that finding her health and constitution impaired by so laborious an employment, she is obliged to give it up for the future, and therefore, praying some Allowance for her Support during the remainder of her life: 	Resolved, in consideration of the particular Circumstances attending this Woman’s case, the truth of which has been attested by the Commissioner of the Yard at Portsmouth, that she be allowed a Pension equal to that granted to Superannuated Shipwrights.’
Mary was granted a pension without delay.  She collected her money in Deptford and there met a sailor named Slade whom she had known in Portsmouth.  She married him soon afterwards, moving to King Street in Deptford.  What happened to her after that is a mystery.

The History of the Female Shipwright

In 1773 Mary Lacy, a married woman in Deptford published her autobiography, The History of the Female Shipwright. It was an instant success, but soon forgotten. Of its author there is no more trace and no image survives. Of all the women who served in the Navy such as Hannah Snell and Mary Anne Talbot, it is Lacy’s account which is the most plausible and in many ways the most appealing, showing how many small lies ended up as one great big one, and depicting life at sea during the eighteenth century.

Mary had been born and grown up in Kent. She was a bright child who liked to be constantly outdoors ‘at liberty’. At the age of nineteen Mary was in love with an old friend who didn’t feel the same way. She went into the room of her employer‘s brother and took an old coat, a pair of breeches and some old shoes and stockings. She stole a hat from her father. Then, ‘On the first day of May, 1759, about six o’clock in the morning, I set off, and when I had got out of town into the fields, I pulled off my clothes and put on the men’s, leaving my own in a hedge, some in one place and some in another’. The choice of donning male dress is crucial to the story. Mary was small, at about five feet high, and flat-chested. Dressing as a man gave her some protection on the road as she was unlikely to be able to fend off any would-be rapist. She arrived in Chatham later that night and had nowhere to sleep, and ended up lodging with some pigs. The following morning Mary headed down to the dockyard, where some men on a coal-boat took pity on her and shared their breakfast with her.

As she was eating it, a hawk-eyed recruiter came up to Mary, and ‘asked me if I would go to sea, “for,” said he, “it is fine weather now at sea, and if you will go, I will get you a good master on board the Sandwich’’. Mary replied, ‘Yes, sir’. At that moment changed her life forever. The Sandwich was a ninety-gun shop of the line, waiting at Chatham for a crew. The navy was short of men as it was fighting the Seven Years‘ War, as well as being active in North America, the Caribbean, Africa, India and the Channel. The crew welcomed Mary on board, but despite them being short-handed, there was not a whiff of her being pressed to join them. In fact, they asked her repeatedly if she wanted first to come aboard, and then to stay. When asked for her name, Mary used her father’s Christian name and her mother’s maiden name, becoming William Chandler. She became the servant to the ship’s carpenter, Baker, who was a kindly man but a violent drunkard.

Although she does not reveal any regret over her decision to come on board, she does reveal how difficult it is to deal with such a man in close confines, both psychologically, when he drunkenly rants over her shortcomings for she couldn’t bear ‘to have my faults told me’, and physically, thinking ‘it very hard to be struck by a man’. For the first part of her autobiography Mary identifies herself as a woman taking on the role of a man, but soon her no-nonsense language makes it clear that her identity was smudging. It begins with a fight.

William Severy was a young nobleman serving the Admiral who picked quarrels with Mary as she went about her duties for Baker. On one occasion she was cooking her master a steak in the galley when Severy gave her a ‘slap in the face that made me reel’. The ship’s cook, who had seen the altercation told Mary that she should call Severy out and that he would mind the steak. ‘Upon which I went aft to the main hatchway and pulled off my jacket, but they wanted me to pull off my shirts, which I would not suffer for fear of it being discovered that I was a woman…Hereupon we instantly engaged and fought a great while…almost enough to dash my brains out, but I never gave out, for I knew that if I did I should have one or other of them continually upon me.’

Mary went back to the steak and took it down to Baker, who said, ‘you have been a long while about the steak, I hope it is well done now’, followed by looking her up and down and concluding, ‘I suppose you have been fighting?’ Mary told him yes, it was that or ‘be drubbed’. Baker’s response was ‘I hope you have not been beat’. It is then that Mary begins her curious fade into what became her male persona. She wrote to her parents in July, ending with ‘Shall be glad to hear from you as soon as you can. So no more at present from, Your undutiful daughter, Mary Lacy. P.S. Please direct thus: For William Chandler on board the Sandwich at Brest’. Mary underwent many hardships onboard ship including a serious attack of rheumatic fever. Worst of all, Baker had fallen into drink and stopped paying her, if he had ever paid her at all. In the autumn of 1760 her rheumatic complaint was so bad that she ended up in hospital at Portsmouth, and was then assigned to the Royal Sovereign. There she met again with William Severy, and formed a friendship with a young woman, living aboard as the companion of one of the sailors. She also met the sailor Robert Dawkins, who became her mentor in her later years in the Navy, and went to a sort of school onboard, where she learned book-keeping. In 1763, she was released from the Navy with the end of the Seven Years’ War. Mary remember that, ‘On this occasion, my joy was so great that I ran up and down scarcely knowing how to contain myself’. But she did not go home. Instead Dawkins helped her get an apprenticeship as a shipwright at Chatham dockyard, and a place living on board the ship the Royal William.

Mary it seems, was now committed to her life as a man. Sadly for Mary her new master was another drunk, and again she had to made shift to earn money for herself by running errands. Once she went for beer in the botswain’s canoe and her master said that if she could beat three men in a four-oared boat he would give her a sixpence. She won, of course. ‘I fell a-laughing at them and called out, “Where’s my money, where’s my money!”’ Her master, of course, did not give her the money, but it shows how competent and confident Lacy had become in her role as both man and sailor.

She was by this stage sharing a bed with John Lyons, a fellow dockyard worker, but he found the work hard and so was always asleep by the time Mary came to bed, and still asleep when she got up. Her best friend at the time was Edward Turner, and with him she went to parties where she met women ‘of the town’, although when she realised this, she stopped going to the parties. There was, after all, no point throwing away her disguise just for an ineffectual engagement with a prostitute. It was at about this time that Mary met a ‘girlfriend’, Betsy. Mary liked her very much but Dawkins discouraged her from continuing the relationship. Instead Mary took up with a servant named Sarah Chase.

Their relationship is a model of eighteenth century tentative, rational courtship: ‘I had not yet served quite three years of my time; nevertheless it was agreed that neither of us should walk out with any other person without the mutual consent of each other. Notwithstanding this agreement, if she saw me talking to any young woman, she was immediately fired with jealousy and could scarce command her temper. This is did sometimes to try her. However, we were very intimate together.’ What intimate means in this case isn’t quite clear, and not necessarily indicative of physical intimacy. But it might well be, as they were living together under the same roof. Furthermore, it seems that Mary was something of a Jack-the-Lad, and couldn’t help flirting with other women. On returning from work one day and asking Sarah for something to eat, Mary could see that Sarah was annoyed. ‘Whereupon I asked what was the matter with her. She told me to go to the squint-eyed girl and inquire the matter there. “Very well,” said I, “so I can”’.

In 1767 Mary visited her parents in Kent after an absence of almost eight years. She went to them in male dress and maintained her male persona throughout the visit. Her family played along. The visit, whilst good for the family, was bad for Mary: a neighbour who knew of the situation then moved to Portsmouth and ‘outed’ Mary. Some of her fellow workers got wind of the situation and came to speak to Mary about it. She held her nerve, and although they searched her things, she was clever enough to have not made a habit of keeping things visible which might betray her.

In 1770, Mary Lacy was made free as a shipwright. Then, she was again struck down by rheumatism. By this time both her parents had died and she had no one to turn to for help until a family friend, a Mr Richardson in Kensington who was apparently aware of her situation invited her to stay with him and his wife, where he helped her apply for a Navy pension. He applied under her real name, and the Admiralty minutes are worth reproducing at length. ‘A Petition was read from Mary Lacy setting forth that in the Year 1759 she disguised herself in Men’s Cloaths and enter’d on board His Maj. Fleet, where having served til the end of the War, she bound herself apprentice to the Carpenter of the Royal William and having served Seven Years, then enter’d as a Shipwright in Portsmouth Yard where she had continued ever since; but that finding her health and constitution impaired by so laborious an employment, she is obliged to give it up for the future, and therefore, praying some Allowance for her Support during the remainder of her life: Resolved, in consideration of the particular Circumstances attending this Woman’s case, the truth of which has been attested by the Commissioner of the Yard at Portsmouth, that she be allowed a Pension equal to that granted to Superannuated Shipwrights.’

Mary was granted a pension without delay. She collected her money in Deptford and there met a sailor named Slade whom she had known in Portsmouth. She married him soon afterwards, moving to King Street in Deptford. What happened to her after that is a mystery.

Tags: JustMigrated

What folly is this?: Animal Welfare in Georgian London
The cruel treatment of animals is a sad constant even now, but dramatic changes during London’s Georgian period show the emergence of a modern sensibility towards animals and their welfare.
 
 Bankside had long been the site of London’s bear-baiting venues.  The Elizabeth court were particularly keen on this cruel sport.  Bankside was a popular destination on Sundays where crowds of both rich and poor spectators gathered to place wagers on the unfortunate contestants, though not everyone agreed it was an acceptable pastime. 
What folly is this, to keep with danger
A great mastive dog, and fowle ouglie bear;
And to this and end, to see them two fight,
With terrible tearings, a full ouglie sight.
 
Bear baiting was prohibited under the Puritans and only hare coursing remained as a dog-based sport that could be done on foot.  Upon the Restoration, the Bankside Bear-garden cranked back into life, but Charles did not encourage the sport.  Cock-throwing (stones or bottles at a cockerel tied to a stake), dog-fighting and dog versus rats matches abounded throughout.  Bandogs were a frightening pit-bull relative, bred in Clerkenwell and used specifically for baiting the larger animals.  But tastes were changing and soon spectators wanted to see bears perform rather than die.  The bandogs needed new targets, such as the elderly lion baited to death on Bankside in February 1675, and the Earl of Rochester’s ‘savage’ horse to be ‘baited to death, of a most vast strength and greatness’.  Approximately 19 hands high, the horse stood six feet three inches at the shoulders had destroyed ‘several horses and other cattel’, and had been responsible for human fatalities, allegedly.  Rochester had sold him to the Marquis of Dorchester, but the horse then hurt his keeper and was sold to a brewer, who put him to a dray.  Soon he was breaking his halter and carting the fully laden wagon off behind him in order to attack people in the street, ‘monstrously tearing at their flesh, and eating it, the like whereof hath hardly been seen’.  Realistically there was no option but to destroy this particular animal.  Baiting was not the humane way of doing it, but nevertheless, the horse was put to the dogs for ‘the divertisement of his Excellency the Embassadour from the Emperour of Fez and Morocco; many of the nobility and gentry that knew the horse, and several mischiefs done by him, designing to be present’.  
 
 The horse was put to the dogs in the ramshackle Hope Theatre, a Jacobean playhouse which was been taken over exclusively for bloodsports.  It killed or maimed them, all.  The owner decided to stop the contest, but the crowd became a mob, demanding to see the horse baited to the death and started to pull the tiles from the roof of the theatre and the dogs were ‘once more set upon him; but they not being able to overcome him, he was run through with a sword, and dyed’.  The ambassador failed to attend owing to inclement weather.
 
 By the turn of the eighteenth century, baiting was moving north of the river, to Hockley in the Hole in Clerkenwell, where in 1710 there was ‘a match to be fought by two dogs, one from Newgate-market, against one from Honey-lane market, at a bull…which goes fairest and fastest in, wins all. Likewise, a green bull to be baited, which was never baited before; and a bull to be turned loose with fireworks all over him. Also a mad ass to be baited. With a variety of bull-baiting and bear-baiting, and a dog to be drawn up with fireworks. To begin exactly at three of the clock.’  Hockley was the centre of bull terrier breeding in London, and so perhaps it is natural that the sport would move there.  In 1756 Hockley disappeared with the continuing Fleet development, and bull-baiting moved to Spitalfields.  It did not stay there for long as it became increasingly unpopular and was soon confined almost exclusively market towns.
 
 At the same time, Hogarth campaigning against the ‘barbarous treatment of animals, the very sight of which renders the streets of our metropolis so distressing to every feeling mind’.  His work the Four Stages of Cruelty connected the cruel treatment of animals with the degenerate mind, whilst sensitivity was to be applauded.  The first plate of the Four Stages features Tom Nero attempting to force an arrow into a dog’s anus, and another youth pleading with him not to.
 
Learn from this fair Example—You Whom savage Sports delight, How Cruelty disgusts the view, While Pity charms the sight.
 
Attitudes towards animals and animal cruelty were changing in London.  Pets had always been particularly popular in the city, with most households having a dog and at least one cat.  And surveys conducted in London between the 1730s and 1750s show that ownership of unusual pets was spread across the social classes, with around a third owned by the artisan classes, including Mr Bradbury the apothecary with his mongoose, Mr Scarlet the optician with his Jeroba, and Mrs Kennon the midwife with her ring-tailed lemur and marmoset.  
 
 The barbaric sports were becoming less popular.  In 1785 it was reported that ‘a fine horse, brought at great expense from Arabia, would be delightfully worried to death by dogs, in an inclosure near the Adam and Eve, in Tottenham-court-road; and to exclude low company, every admission-ticket was to cost half-a-guinea. But the interposition of the magistrates, who doubted of the innocence, or of the wisdom of training dogs and horses to mutual enmity, put a stop for once to that superfine exhibition’.  
 
 In 1822 the Act to Prevent the Cruel and Improper Treatment of Cattle was passed.  It was known as Martin’s Act.  Richard Martin was a politician and campaigner for animal rights who brought Bill Burns, a costermonger to trial for abusing his donkey.  Deploying shock tactics, Martin brought the donkey into the courtroom so its injuries could be seen.  Burns was subsequently the first man to be convicted for animal cruelty.   In 1824 in Old Slaughter’s coffeehouse on St Martin’s Lane, a group of men met with the idea of forming a new society concerned with enforcing Martin’s Act and heightening awareness of animal welfare.  They were headed by the Reverend Arthur Broome and included Richard Martin and William Wilberforce.  This society would soon have a new name: the RSPCA.  
 
  

What folly is this?: Animal Welfare in Georgian London

The cruel treatment of animals is a sad constant even now, but dramatic changes during London’s Georgian period show the emergence of a modern sensibility towards animals and their welfare.

 

Bankside had long been the site of London’s bear-baiting venues.  The Elizabeth court were particularly keen on this cruel sport.  Bankside was a popular destination on Sundays where crowds of both rich and poor spectators gathered to place wagers on the unfortunate contestants, though not everyone agreed it was an acceptable pastime. 

What folly is this, to keep with danger

A great mastive dog, and fowle ouglie bear;

And to this and end, to see them two fight,

With terrible tearings, a full ouglie sight.

 

Bear baiting was prohibited under the Puritans and only hare coursing remained as a dog-based sport that could be done on foot.  Upon the Restoration, the Bankside Bear-garden cranked back into life, but Charles did not encourage the sport.  Cock-throwing (stones or bottles at a cockerel tied to a stake), dog-fighting and dog versus rats matches abounded throughout.  Bandogs were a frightening pit-bull relative, bred in Clerkenwell and used specifically for baiting the larger animals.  But tastes were changing and soon spectators wanted to see bears perform rather than die.  The bandogs needed new targets, such as the elderly lion baited to death on Bankside in February 1675, and the Earl of Rochester’s ‘savage’ horse to be ‘baited to death, of a most vast strength and greatness’.  Approximately 19 hands high, the horse stood six feet three inches at the shoulders had destroyed ‘several horses and other cattel’, and had been responsible for human fatalities, allegedly.  Rochester had sold him to the Marquis of Dorchester, but the horse then hurt his keeper and was sold to a brewer, who put him to a dray.  Soon he was breaking his halter and carting the fully laden wagon off behind him in order to attack people in the street, ‘monstrously tearing at their flesh, and eating it, the like whereof hath hardly been seen’.  Realistically there was no option but to destroy this particular animal.  Baiting was not the humane way of doing it, but nevertheless, the horse was put to the dogs for ‘the divertisement of his Excellency the Embassadour from the Emperour of Fez and Morocco; many of the nobility and gentry that knew the horse, and several mischiefs done by him, designing to be present’. 

The horse was put to the dogs in the ramshackle Hope Theatre, a Jacobean playhouse which was been taken over exclusively for bloodsports.  It killed or maimed them, all.  The owner decided to stop the contest, but the crowd became a mob, demanding to see the horse baited to the death and started to pull the tiles from the roof of the theatre and the dogs were ‘once more set upon him; but they not being able to overcome him, he was run through with a sword, and dyed’.  The ambassador failed to attend owing to inclement weather.

 

By the turn of the eighteenth century, baiting was moving north of the river, to Hockley in the Hole in Clerkenwell, where in 1710 there was ‘a match to be fought by two dogs, one from Newgate-market, against one from Honey-lane market, at a bull…which goes fairest and fastest in, wins all. Likewise, a green bull to be baited, which was never baited before; and a bull to be turned loose with fireworks all over him. Also a mad ass to be baited. With a variety of bull-baiting and bear-baiting, and a dog to be drawn up with fireworks. To begin exactly at three of the clock.’  Hockley was the centre of bull terrier breeding in London, and so perhaps it is natural that the sport would move there.  In 1756 Hockley disappeared with the continuing Fleet development, and bull-baiting moved to Spitalfields.  It did not stay there for long as it became increasingly unpopular and was soon confined almost exclusively market towns.

 

At the same time, Hogarth campaigning against the ‘barbarous treatment of animals, the very sight of which renders the streets of our metropolis so distressing to every feeling mind’.  His work the Four Stages of Cruelty connected the cruel treatment of animals with the degenerate mind, whilst sensitivity was to be applauded.  The first plate of the Four Stages features Tom Nero attempting to force an arrow into a dog’s anus, and another youth pleading with him not to.

 

Learn from this fair Example—You
Whom savage Sports delight,
How Cruelty disgusts the view,
While Pity charms the sight.

 

Attitudes towards animals and animal cruelty were changing in London.  Pets had always been particularly popular in the city, with most households having a dog and at least one cat.  And surveys conducted in London between the 1730s and 1750s show that ownership of unusual pets was spread across the social classes, with around a third owned by the artisan classes, including Mr Bradbury the apothecary with his mongoose, Mr Scarlet the optician with his Jeroba, and Mrs Kennon the midwife with her ring-tailed lemur and marmoset.  

 

The barbaric sports were becoming less popular.  In 1785 it was reported that ‘a fine horse, brought at great expense from Arabia, would be delightfully worried to death by dogs, in an inclosure near the Adam and Eve, in Tottenham-court-road; and to exclude low company, every admission-ticket was to cost half-a-guinea. But the interposition of the magistrates, who doubted of the innocence, or of the wisdom of training dogs and horses to mutual enmity, put a stop for once to that superfine exhibition’.  

 

In 1822 the Act to Prevent the Cruel and Improper Treatment of Cattle was passed.  It was known as Martin’s Act.  Richard Martin was a politician and campaigner for animal rights who brought Bill Burns, a costermonger to trial for abusing his donkey.  Deploying shock tactics, Martin brought the donkey into the courtroom so its injuries could be seen.  Burns was subsequently the first man to be convicted for animal cruelty.   In 1824 in Old Slaughter’s coffeehouse on St Martin’s Lane, a group of men met with the idea of forming a new society concerned with enforcing Martin’s Act and heightening awareness of animal welfare.  They were headed by the Reverend Arthur Broome and included Richard Martin and William Wilberforce.  This society would soon have a new name: the RSPCA.  

 

  

Tags: JustMigrated

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and the Destroying Angel
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu would not only introduce London to innoculation against smallpox, but also her series of ‘Turkish Embassy Letters’ make up the first secular work on the Muslim Orient by a Western woman.  
 
 Her life of adventure began when she escaped an arranged married with the astonishingly named Clotworthy Skeffington by marrying Edward Wortley Montagu.  Mary bore him a son and her time in London was spent mixing in the highest circles, both social and intellectual as befitted the widely-educated daughter of a Duke.  In the winter of 1715 all of this was to change: Lady Mary contracted smallpox.  She survived, but she was ‘very severely markt’ in both appearance and temperament.  Although she did not love Edward, she was was forever grateful that he did not cast aside once her beauty was eradicated.  
 
 In August of 1716, Edward was made Ambassador to Istanbul and they set out on a long journey via land and sea.  In Vienna she was astonished to find that older women were very much in demand.  
‘A Woman till 5 and thirty is look’d upon as a raw Girl and can possibly make no noise in the World till about forty. I cannot help lamenting upon this Occassion the pittifull case of so many good English Ladys long since retir’d to pruderie and rattafia, who, if their stars had luckily conducted them hither, would still shine in the first rank of Beautys’ 
Arriving in Sofia she and Edward went sightseeing, then Lady Mary set out alone on a little mission of her own.  She hired a private coach, known as an araba and set out for a Turkish public bath, recording the experience in a letter to a friend dated 1st of April 1717 which opens, I am now got into a whole new World’.  The world of the bagnio.
 
 It was hard to tell the mistresses from their servants, Lady Mary remarked for they were all ‘in the state of nature, that is, in plain English, stark naked’.  Having observed the conversation and seeing ‘some working, others drinking Coffee or sherbet’ Lady Mary came to the conclusion that, ‘In short, tis the Women’s coffee house, where all the news of the Town is told, Scandal invented etc.‘  Amongst her other letters from Turkey is another, also written on the 1st of April 1717.  It tells of the inoculation of her son against smallpox, using an accepted Turkish method of ‘ripping’ a four or five veins with a large needle, applying pus from the sores of a smallpox victim, then covering the site with a ‘hollow bit of shell’ and binding them up.  She reported to her husband, ‘The Boy was engrafted last Tuesday, and is at this time singing and playing and very impatient for his supper’.  The success of this operation led her to ‘take pains to bring this usefull invention into fashion in England’.  
 
 Yet on her return to England she found both smallpox and arguments about its treatment raging.  During the epidemic of 1719 which saw many of her friends and acquaintances die of the disease, she was remarkably silent.  Then in the early part of 1721 it was so warm that roses bloomed in January and smallpox went ‘forth like a destroying Angel’.   Lady Mary called upon Charles Maitland, an English doctor she had met in Turkey, to inoculate her daughter but he hesitated.  It was one thing to perform the operation in Turkey, but another to do it in London.  He made sure he had two witnesses from the Royal College of Physicians before performing the operation.  One was James Keith, a friend of Maitland who had lost two of his sons to smallpox in 1717.  After seeing the operation he immediately inoculated his remaining son.  
 
 London’s aristocracy began to visit Mary to see if they should engraft their own children.  The visitors included Caroline, Princess of Wales who was then behind the testing of inoculation on condemned prisoners in Newgate.  The experiment was a success, securing royal approval for smallpox inoculation, but the press did not take to it so kindly, or to Lady Mary.  She was branded an ‘unnatural mother who had risked the lives of her own children’ and people began to ‘hoot’ at her in the street.  Yet, the list of parents taking early action to protect their children is extensively drawn from Lady Mary’s own friends and acquaintances and the people who came to visit her children.  She exploited the polite tea party circuit and took her children all over London to show that they had been unharmed by the operation.  
 
 The fact that she was well-known and her position in society contributed largely to the success of Maitland’s subsequent career in inoculation.  Their pioneering work would lay the bedrock built upon by Edward Jenner later in the century.  Jenner brought mass inoculation to England, but Lady Mary’s and Maitland’s early efforts laid the ground work, particularly amongst the charitable rich.

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and the Destroying Angel

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu would not only introduce London to innoculation against smallpox, but also her series of ‘Turkish Embassy Letters’ make up the first secular work on the Muslim Orient by a Western woman.  

Her life of adventure began when she escaped an arranged married with the astonishingly named Clotworthy Skeffington by marrying Edward Wortley Montagu.  Mary bore him a son and her time in London was spent mixing in the highest circles, both social and intellectual as befitted the widely-educated daughter of a Duke.  In the winter of 1715 all of this was to change: Lady Mary contracted smallpox.  She survived, but she was ‘very severely markt’ in both appearance and temperament.  Although she did not love Edward, she was was forever grateful that he did not cast aside once her beauty was eradicated.  

In August of 1716, Edward was made Ambassador to Istanbul and they set out on a long journey via land and sea.  In Vienna she was astonished to find that older women were very much in demand.  

‘A Woman till 5 and thirty is look’d upon as a raw Girl and can possibly make no noise in the World till about forty. I cannot help lamenting upon this Occassion the pittifull case of so many good English Ladys long since retir’d to pruderie and rattafia, who, if their stars had luckily conducted them hither, would still shine in the first rank of Beautys’ 

Arriving in Sofia she and Edward went sightseeing, then Lady Mary set out alone on a little mission of her own.  She hired a private coach, known as an araba and set out for a Turkish public bath, recording the experience in a letter to a friend dated 1st of April 1717 which opens, I am now got into a whole new World’.  The world of the bagnio.

It was hard to tell the mistresses from their servants, Lady Mary remarked for they were all ‘in the state of nature, that is, in plain English, stark naked’.  Having observed the conversation and seeing ‘some working, others drinking Coffee or sherbet’ Lady Mary came to the conclusion that, ‘In short, tis the Women’s coffee house, where all the news of the Town is told, Scandal invented etc.‘  Amongst her other letters from Turkey is another, also written on the 1st of April 1717.  It tells of the inoculation of her son against smallpox, using an accepted Turkish method of ‘ripping’ a four or five veins with a large needle, applying pus from the sores of a smallpox victim, then covering the site with a ‘hollow bit of shell’ and binding them up.  She reported to her husband, ‘The Boy was engrafted last Tuesday, and is at this time singing and playing and very impatient for his supper’.  The success of this operation led her to ‘take pains to bring this usefull invention into fashion in England’.  

Yet on her return to England she found both smallpox and arguments about its treatment raging.  During the epidemic of 1719 which saw many of her friends and acquaintances die of the disease, she was remarkably silent.  Then in the early part of 1721 it was so warm that roses bloomed in January and smallpox went ‘forth like a destroying Angel’.   Lady Mary called upon Charles Maitland, an English doctor she had met in Turkey, to inoculate her daughter but he hesitated.  It was one thing to perform the operation in Turkey, but another to do it in London.  He made sure he had two witnesses from the Royal College of Physicians before performing the operation.  One was James Keith, a friend of Maitland who had lost two of his sons to smallpox in 1717.  After seeing the operation he immediately inoculated his remaining son.  

London’s aristocracy began to visit Mary to see if they should engraft their own children.  The visitors included Caroline, Princess of Wales who was then behind the testing of inoculation on condemned prisoners in Newgate.  The experiment was a success, securing royal approval for smallpox inoculation, but the press did not take to it so kindly, or to Lady Mary.  She was branded an ‘unnatural mother who had risked the lives of her own children’ and people began to ‘hoot’ at her in the street.  Yet, the list of parents taking early action to protect their children is extensively drawn from Lady Mary’s own friends and acquaintances and the people who came to visit her children.  She exploited the polite tea party circuit and took her children all over London to show that they had been unharmed by the operation.  

The fact that she was well-known and her position in society contributed largely to the success of Maitland’s subsequent career in inoculation.  Their pioneering work would lay the bedrock built upon by Edward Jenner later in the century.  Jenner brought mass inoculation to England, but Lady Mary’s and Maitland’s early efforts laid the ground work, particularly amongst the charitable rich.

Tags: JustMigrated

William Freeman: A West Indian Englishman
At the turn of the eighteenth century, London was becoming increasingly diverse.  International trade meant that foreigners were a common sight on the streets, although not all of them would be obvious, at least not at first.
William Freeman was born on St Kitt’s in the West Indies in 1645.  His father was likely to have been a member of the Suffolk militia had gone out to the Caribbean to seek his fortune.  William was raised with his brothers and sisters on a plantation with two ‘sugar houses‘ which filled 260 sugar moulds, turning out large, cone-shaped pieces, which were then exported as part of the ‘triangular trade’ with Britain and Africa.  They also owned eight horses, two goats, eighteen cattle, three pigs sixty sheep, some chickens and twenty slaves.  His father grew mangoes and pimentos to supplement the children’s diets.
At 19 William moved to Nevis where he took his own wharf and warehouse, dealing in tobacco.  He then bought a half share in Montserrat, which in hindsight seems ambitious for a young man.  He got his big break when he was appointed a ‘factor‘ or agent for the Royal African Company, acting as the eyes and ears of the Company in the islands, seeing who needed how many slaves and when.
He married the sister of a London merchant and came to London, aged 30.  They set up home at the western limits of the City as was fashionable for merchants at the time and he and his brother-in-law rented the dilapidated Crosby Hall on Bishopsgate, once the lodgings of Richard III.  They used it as a warehouse for the sugar and also as a counting house, working beneath one of the City finest Gothic ceilings.   Freeman’s knowledge of how the Caribbean worked meant he was called to Westminster to advise the government on a regular basis.  His copybook, which survives, shows in minute detail the trouble he had managing his own Monserrat and Nevis plantations as an absentee landlord.  He wanted not only slaves to labour there, but ‘as many lusty men and youth servants’ as he could get hold of, and he even resorted to sifting through London’s prisons to try to find men who would take up the offer of a new life and plantation work.
‘Tradesmen are very scarce’ he would often write, and thus he took up training slaves into the trades he required on the plantations.  He bought a man named Valentine to have trained as a cooper (barrel-maker), but on discovering that Valentine worked left-handed, decided that he would never be able to train him up well enough and swapped him with a neighbour for the right-handed Bando.  The swap niggled Freeman, who had much preferred Valentine and lamented the fact that he would remain just a ‘plantation negroe’, rather than a master of his trade, all for being left-handed.  Freeman was also concerned for the diets of his plantation staff and had salt beef shipped from Ireland to the Caribbean so that they would have meat of what he imagined to be the best quality.
By the age of 38 Freeman was going blind and decided to retire on his profits to the house he had built near Henley, Fawley Court.  Crosby Hall was let out during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries as a tennis court, an indoor football venue, a chapel and then a warehouse until it fell into disrepair before famously being moved brick by brick to the riverside at Chelsea in 1910, where it stands today.  Freeman’s legacy in London is hardly a smudge on the fabric of the City’s official records yet he flourished here in his Gothic counting house, a curious English import.  He fathered an illegitimate son, his only child, also named William who grew up to be a dealer in antique porcelain on the Gray’s Inn Road and who died in the 1760s.  Out in Henley, Freeman continued to be a man of international correspondence and his library held many books printed in Paternoster Row especially for him, books he was no longer able to read.  Perhaps they were read to him, beneath the ceiling he had commissioned for his new home, which bears in one corner the figure of a white boy and the other corner a black boy, the rest festooned with exotic fruit reminiscent of the mangoes and pimentos of his youth.

William Freeman: A West Indian Englishman

At the turn of the eighteenth century, London was becoming increasingly diverse. International trade meant that foreigners were a common sight on the streets, although not all of them would be obvious, at least not at first.

William Freeman was born on St Kitt’s in the West Indies in 1645. His father was likely to have been a member of the Suffolk militia had gone out to the Caribbean to seek his fortune. William was raised with his brothers and sisters on a plantation with two ‘sugar houses‘ which filled 260 sugar moulds, turning out large, cone-shaped pieces, which were then exported as part of the ‘triangular trade’ with Britain and Africa. They also owned eight horses, two goats, eighteen cattle, three pigs sixty sheep, some chickens and twenty slaves. His father grew mangoes and pimentos to supplement the children’s diets.

At 19 William moved to Nevis where he took his own wharf and warehouse, dealing in tobacco. He then bought a half share in Montserrat, which in hindsight seems ambitious for a young man. He got his big break when he was appointed a ‘factor‘ or agent for the Royal African Company, acting as the eyes and ears of the Company in the islands, seeing who needed how many slaves and when.

He married the sister of a London merchant and came to London, aged 30. They set up home at the western limits of the City as was fashionable for merchants at the time and he and his brother-in-law rented the dilapidated Crosby Hall on Bishopsgate, once the lodgings of Richard III. They used it as a warehouse for the sugar and also as a counting house, working beneath one of the City finest Gothic ceilings. Freeman’s knowledge of how the Caribbean worked meant he was called to Westminster to advise the government on a regular basis. His copybook, which survives, shows in minute detail the trouble he had managing his own Monserrat and Nevis plantations as an absentee landlord. He wanted not only slaves to labour there, but ‘as many lusty men and youth servants’ as he could get hold of, and he even resorted to sifting through London’s prisons to try to find men who would take up the offer of a new life and plantation work.

‘Tradesmen are very scarce’ he would often write, and thus he took up training slaves into the trades he required on the plantations. He bought a man named Valentine to have trained as a cooper (barrel-maker), but on discovering that Valentine worked left-handed, decided that he would never be able to train him up well enough and swapped him with a neighbour for the right-handed Bando. The swap niggled Freeman, who had much preferred Valentine and lamented the fact that he would remain just a ‘plantation negroe’, rather than a master of his trade, all for being left-handed. Freeman was also concerned for the diets of his plantation staff and had salt beef shipped from Ireland to the Caribbean so that they would have meat of what he imagined to be the best quality.

By the age of 38 Freeman was going blind and decided to retire on his profits to the house he had built near Henley, Fawley Court. Crosby Hall was let out during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries as a tennis court, an indoor football venue, a chapel and then a warehouse until it fell into disrepair before famously being moved brick by brick to the riverside at Chelsea in 1910, where it stands today. Freeman’s legacy in London is hardly a smudge on the fabric of the City’s official records yet he flourished here in his Gothic counting house, a curious English import. He fathered an illegitimate son, his only child, also named William who grew up to be a dealer in antique porcelain on the Gray’s Inn Road and who died in the 1760s. Out in Henley, Freeman continued to be a man of international correspondence and his library held many books printed in Paternoster Row especially for him, books he was no longer able to read. Perhaps they were read to him, beneath the ceiling he had commissioned for his new home, which bears in one corner the figure of a white boy and the other corner a black boy, the rest festooned with exotic fruit reminiscent of the mangoes and pimentos of his youth.

Tags: JustMigrated

Saartjie Baartman, The Hottentot Venus

Throughout Georgian London there are many ‘freaks’, whose main source of income was displaying themselves: tall or strong women, tiny people, the prematurely aged (probably suffering from progeria), ‘mer-people’.  Sexual freaks such as bearded ladies or hermaphrodites were particularly popular.  Anything exotic or ‘other’ caused queues to form in the street outside the chosen venue of display.  All of these factors combined to make the exhibition of Saartjie (‘little Sara’ in Dutch) Baartman, also known as the Hottentot Venus, at 225 Piccadilly one of the sideshows of the age.  

Sara was of the Khoikhoi people of South Africa.  They had proved of particular interest to missionaries and early travelling scientists for numerous reasons, not least their distinctive features, often termed simian, and their clicking language.  However, the greatest attraction for the ‘collectors’ of natural phenomena of the day was the appearance of Khoikhoi females: predisposed to carrying large amounts of fat on their breasts and high on their buttocks (called steatopygia).  In addition to these distinctive features, the women of the tribe wore little or no clothing when in their natural environment, making their super-developed labia minora (which could hang down by some number of inches) objects of great curiosity for the white male visitors.
 
Sara’s origin is unknown.  She may not have grown up with the Khoikhoi, but been the child of enslaved parents.  Alexander Dunlop was a ship’s surgeon and also acquired ‘specimens’ of all kinds for museums from the African Cape.  In 1810, he brought Sara to England through Liverpool.  She had been working in the Cape for a man named Peter Cezar, who had likely named her Saartjie Baartman, but Dunlop had promised her fame and fortune before the English public.  

Upon her arrival in England, Dunlop sold Sara to a showman, Henrik Cezar (apparently coincidental).  She was brought to London, and soon a flyer was produced advertising her presence, and the invitation to view, at 2 shillings a go.  Charles Matthews was a keen ‘viewer’ of all London freakery, and he recorded his visit to the Hottentot Venus:
 
‘He found her surrounded by many persons, some females! One pinched her; one 
gentleman poked her with his cane; one lady employed her parasol to ascertain 
that all was, as she called it, ‘nattral.’ This inhuman baiting the poor creature 
bore with sullen indifference, except upon some provocation, when she seemed 
inclined to resent brutality.’

Matthews also referred to Sara being restrained by her ‘keeper’, making the whole idea by turns both grim and dismal in modern eyes.  Sara was however, fully clothes during her exhibition, although the dress was tight in order to show her curves.  Her naturally small waist was bound by African beads and ornaments for emphasis.
 
Sara’s exhibition caused an uproar, both by those rushing to see it, and amongst the more sensitive and also amongst the abolitionists who saw her condition as slavery. The Morning Chronicle, a liberal newspaper featured a letter on the 12th of October 1810 declaring, ‘It was contrary to every principle of morality and good order,’ but Cezar soon responded, argued that it was Sara’s right to exhibit herself and thus earn her living, just as if she were a giant or a dwarf.  Sarah, however, was not like the other exhibits, she was all of them combined: female, black, physically unique and sexually intriguing.

Sara’s situation prompted a court case, with her would-be protectors stating that she was held against her will and pressing for her repatriation to Africa.  The case failed, the court finding for Cezar but it soured the exhibition in London and Sara and Cezar moved on to Manchester (where she was baptised) and probably, Ireland.  In 1814, Sara was in Paris, being exhibited by an animal trainer and the following year would be studied by professors from the Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle.  She was finally studied nude, having taken a great deal of persuading, and the resulting images of her were presented in a book about exotic animals.  Prurience continued to masquerade as science and upon her death in 1815, she was anatomized in Paris by Georges Cuvier, with particular and particularly distasteful attention given to her genitalia.  A cast of Sara’s body and her skeleton remained on show in Paris until the late 1970s, when she was finally able to take a break from exhibiting, it having taken only one hundred and seventy years for people to understand, as the reader of The Morning Chronicle had done in 1810, that it was an ‘offence to public decency’.
 

Saartjie Baartman, The Hottentot Venus

Throughout Georgian London there are many ‘freaks’, whose main source of income was displaying themselves: tall or strong women, tiny people, the prematurely aged (probably suffering from progeria), ‘mer-people’.  Sexual freaks such as bearded ladies or hermaphrodites were particularly popular.  Anything exotic or ‘other’ caused queues to form in the street outside the chosen venue of display.  All of these factors combined to make the exhibition of Saartjie (‘little Sara’ in Dutch) Baartman, also known as the Hottentot Venus, at 225 Piccadilly one of the sideshows of the age.  
Sara was of the Khoikhoi people of South Africa.  They had proved of particular interest to missionaries and early travelling scientists for numerous reasons, not least their distinctive features, often termed simian, and their clicking language.  However, the greatest attraction for the ‘collectors’ of natural phenomena of the day was the appearance of Khoikhoi females: predisposed to carrying large amounts of fat on their breasts and high on their buttocks (called steatopygia).  In addition to these distinctive features, the women of the tribe wore little or no clothing when in their natural environment, making their super-developed labia minora (which could hang down by some number of inches) objects of great curiosity for the white male visitors.

 

Sara’s origin is unknown.  She may not have grown up with the Khoikhoi, but been the child of enslaved parents.  Alexander Dunlop was a ship’s surgeon and also acquired ‘specimens’ of all kinds for museums from the African Cape.  In 1810, he brought Sara to England through Liverpool.  She had been working in the Cape for a man named Peter Cezar, who had likely named her Saartjie Baartman, but Dunlop had promised her fame and fortune before the English public.  
Upon her arrival in England, Dunlop sold Sara to a showman, Henrik Cezar (apparently coincidental).  She was brought to London, and soon a flyer was produced advertising her presence, and the invitation to view, at 2 shillings a go.  Charles Matthews was a keen ‘viewer’ of all London freakery, and he recorded his visit to the Hottentot Venus:

 

‘He found her surrounded by many persons, some females! One pinched her; one 
gentleman poked her with his cane; one lady employed her parasol to ascertain 
that all was, as she called it, ‘nattral.’ This inhuman baiting the poor creature 
bore with sullen indifference, except upon some provocation, when she seemed 
inclined to resent brutality.’
Matthews also referred to Sara being restrained by her ‘keeper’, making the whole idea by turns both grim and dismal in modern eyes.  Sara was however, fully clothes during her exhibition, although the dress was tight in order to show her curves.  Her naturally small waist was bound by African beads and ornaments for emphasis.

 

Sara’s exhibition caused an uproar, both by those rushing to see it, and amongst the more sensitive and also amongst the abolitionists who saw her condition as slavery. The Morning Chronicle, a liberal newspaper featured a letter on the 12th of October 1810 declaring, ‘It was contrary to every principle of morality and good order,’ but Cezar soon responded, argued that it was Sara’s right to exhibit herself and thus earn her living, just as if she were a giant or a dwarf.  Sarah, however, was not like the other exhibits, she was all of them combined: female, black, physically unique and sexually intriguing.
Sara’s situation prompted a court case, with her would-be protectors stating that she was held against her will and pressing for her repatriation to Africa.  The case failed, the court finding for Cezar but it soured the exhibition in London and Sara and Cezar moved on to Manchester (where she was baptised) and probably, Ireland.  In 1814, Sara was in Paris, being exhibited by an animal trainer and the following year would be studied by professors from the Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle.  She was finally studied nude, having taken a great deal of persuading, and the resulting images of her were presented in a book about exotic animals.  Prurience continued to masquerade as science and upon her death in 1815, she was anatomized in Paris by Georges Cuvier, with particular and particularly distasteful attention given to her genitalia.  A cast of Sara’s body and her skeleton remained on show in Paris until the late 1970s, when she was finally able to take a break from exhibiting, it having taken only one hundred and seventy years for people to understand, as the reader of The Morning Chronicle had done in 1810, that it was an ‘offence to public decency’.

 

Event: A Coffeehouse Tour
Dr Matthew Green is rather passionate about coffeehouses, and coffee history.  So passionate, in fact he wrote his PhD on the subject.  On Saturday, he’ll be leading a very unusual tour of the City seeking out Georgian London’s coffeehouses.  It starts at 2.30pm in St Michael’s Churchyard, Cornhill and lasts 90 minutes.  I don’t think I can reveal much more without giving the game away, but it’s ‘interactive’ and promises to be both interesting and exciting.  It costs £8 and includes at least one shot of coffee brewed in the eighteenth century fashion.  You can hear a sample of the dashing Dr Green warming to his subject here, take a peep at the route here (wrap up warm, for Heaven’s sake), read a summary of the tour here, and book here.  Great subject, great host, and something a little bit different from the usual City walking tours.  

Event: A Coffeehouse Tour

Dr Matthew Green is rather passionate about coffeehouses, and coffee history.  So passionate, in fact he wrote his PhD on the subject.  On Saturday, he’ll be leading a very unusual tour of the City seeking out Georgian London’s coffeehouses.  It starts at 2.30pm in St Michael’s Churchyard, Cornhill and lasts 90 minutes.  I don’t think I can reveal much more without giving the game away, but it’s ‘interactive’ and promises to be both interesting and exciting.  It costs £8 and includes at least one shot of coffee brewed in the eighteenth century fashion.  You can hear a sample of the dashing Dr Green warming to his subject here, take a peep at the route here (wrap up warm, for Heaven’s sake), read a summary of the tour here, and book here.  Great subject, great host, and something a little bit different from the usual City walking tours.  

Tags: JustMigrated

Review: A Grim Almanac of Georgian London
The History Press were kind enough to send me A Grim Almanac of Georgian London by Graham Jackson and Cate Ludlow.  Cate’s obsession with the darker side of history is evident in the large collection of horrific crimes and painful deaths she and Graham have put together in this excellent book.
Some of these tales were familiar, but there are plenty of new ones and I found myself reaching for a notebook and pen as I went along.  The book is well-produced and illustrated with rare images from the authors’ collections.  This is not cosy reading, and the tales of domestic violence, infanticide, beatings, drownings and gory unsolved mysteries means it’s best tackled piecemeal, but that is also one of the best things about it.  The authors have also put each case in context, and brought the characters to life as far as the details of the cases allow.  Because it’s an almanac, sources are cited only rarely, so it’s a ‘reading book’ not a reference book, but none the worse for that.
From the man who cut out his wife’s tongue for ‘telling lies’ about him to children falling under wagons to pub brawls, the pace is relentless and reflects the authors’ enthusiasm for their subject.  I was going to write more about this book, but there really isn’t any need to: it’s fun (really!), fascinating, and will tell even the most ardent Georgian London enthusiast something new.  I loved it.

Review: A Grim Almanac of Georgian London

The History Press were kind enough to send me A Grim Almanac of Georgian London by Graham Jackson and Cate Ludlow.  Cate’s obsession with the darker side of history is evident in the large collection of horrific crimes and painful deaths she and Graham have put together in this excellent book.

Some of these tales were familiar, but there are plenty of new ones and I found myself reaching for a notebook and pen as I went along.  The book is well-produced and illustrated with rare images from the authors’ collections.  This is not cosy reading, and the tales of domestic violence, infanticide, beatings, drownings and gory unsolved mysteries means it’s best tackled piecemeal, but that is also one of the best things about it.  The authors have also put each case in context, and brought the characters to life as far as the details of the cases allow.  Because it’s an almanac, sources are cited only rarely, so it’s a ‘reading book’ not a reference book, but none the worse for that.

From the man who cut out his wife’s tongue for ‘telling lies’ about him to children falling under wagons to pub brawls, the pace is relentless and reflects the authors’ enthusiasm for their subject.  I was going to write more about this book, but there really isn’t any need to: it’s fun (really!), fascinating, and will tell even the most ardent Georgian London enthusiast something new.  I loved it.

Tags: JustMigrated

At the Harp and Hoboy: John Walsh, Music Publisher 
Where has the time gone?  First there was Christmas, then these book thingys which seem to keep you very busy indeed.  Then, as some of you know I ended up in hospital this month for a brief, if unexpected engagement with a morphine drip.  Also, gas + air, useless or what?  So it’s been a rather topsy turvy month and I have neglected poor Georgian London.  However, no longer, as the blog will now be the recipient of the things which couldn’t be crammed into the book.  It’s not second rate, oh no! - most of these characters will still be in there, but they will have smaller parts than the extrapolated versions you’ll see here.  I hope they will give you a taste of things to come later this year. 




Whilst there can be no doubt George Frederick Handel defined popular music in London in the early part of the eighteenth century in London, the secret of his success was not confined to his patrons or his charitable leanings.  
 
Immediately upon his arrival in London, Handel formed a relationship with John Walsh who had risen to prominence as music-maker-in-ordinary to William and Mary but was a man with an eye to the future.  Since 1647, John Playford had been publishing sheet music and the company had passed to his son Henry.  Henry was old-fashioned, focussing on traditional pieces, often for large-scale entertainments and Playford’s was in decline.

John Walsh saw that there was a demand for the new music people heard at parties and events not only to be circulated to professional musicians who would then play it at other events, but for people to play at home.  This catered for a large group of amateur musicians amongst all classes of Londoners.  From the lady in her drawing room to the fiddler on the street, Walsh imagined there was a demand for this new music, not just the traditional or folk compositions.  He was right.  
 
Walsh started publishing in 1695 and was soon innovating: using cheap and quick-to-work pewter instead of copper and punches for notes to speed things up.  He had instant success, but his real opportunity presented itself when Handel appeared on the scene.

Handel came to London in 1711 with the ink still wet on his opera Rinaldo, which he had been engaged to write for performance in the 1710-11 season at the Queen’s Theatre, Haymarket.  Aaron Hill, the manager, had decided upon an ‘Italian’ season, and Handel was the man to deliver, his reputation already known in the city.  Opera was relatively new to London’s sophisticated set and attempts to establish an English style were damp squibs in the main.  Rinaldo - a consciously Italianate opera written by a German - was an instant hit.
 
Rinaldo was played by Nicolo Grimaldi, the Neapolitan castrato who would enjoy such a productive relationship with Handel - between them they established Italian opera in the popular taste.  Debuting on February 24th, 1711 it was a sell-out, with two extra dates being added on at the end.  Addison and Steele attacked it in The Spectator, pouring scorn on the idea of a foreign language performance and the clumsiness of the production yet the very appearance of an Italian opera in The Spectator, the journal of the thinking man on the street, meant opera had arrived in popular culture.  

Handel’s success was assured in many ways but his relationship with Walsh, who quickly published Rinaldo, cemented his accessibility with all levels of Londoner.  They tapped into a ready market and by 1716 Walsh was importing and exporting music through Amsterdam in partnership with the Huguenot Estienne Roger.  Walsh even launched two music periodicals aimed at competent and interested musicians:The Monthly Mask of Vocal Music and Harmonium Anglicana.  
 
Despite their success, Walsh and Handel would quarrel and the flow of his sheet music was sometimes sporadic, but when Walsh’s son, also John took over the business as a twenty-one year old he had the advantage of having known the composer since he was a tot and was probably young and deferential enough for a great artist now in his heyday.  In 1739, Handel granted John the monopoly on his sheet music for the next fourteen years, ensuring a steady and good quality supply of his compositions.

Handel is the iconic composer of the first half of the eighteenth century in London, but it was the Walsh family who made him beloved of the common man, and ensured his works were heard constantly in homes across the city, the country and Europe.

At the Harp and Hoboy: John Walsh, Music Publisher

Where has the time gone?  First there was Christmas, then these book thingys which seem to keep you very busy indeed.  Then, as some of you know I ended up in hospital this month for a brief, if unexpected engagement with a morphine drip.  Also, gas + air, useless or what?  So it’s been a rather topsy turvy month and I have neglected poor Georgian London.  However, no longer, as the blog will now be the recipient of the things which couldn’t be crammed into the book.  It’s not second rate, oh no! - most of these characters will still be in there, but they will have smaller parts than the extrapolated versions you’ll see here.  I hope they will give you a taste of things to come later this year. 

Whilst there can be no doubt George Frederick Handel defined popular music in London in the early part of the eighteenth century in London, the secret of his success was not confined to his patrons or his charitable leanings.  

 

Immediately upon his arrival in London, Handel formed a relationship with John Walsh who had risen to prominence as music-maker-in-ordinary to William and Mary but was a man with an eye to the future.  Since 1647, John Playford had been publishing sheet music and the company had passed to his son Henry.  Henry was old-fashioned, focussing on traditional pieces, often for large-scale entertainments and Playford’s was in decline.
John Walsh saw that there was a demand for the new music people heard at parties and events not only to be circulated to professional musicians who would then play it at other events, but for people to play at home.  This catered for a large group of amateur musicians amongst all classes of Londoners.  From the lady in her drawing room to the fiddler on the street, Walsh imagined there was a demand for this new music, not just the traditional or folk compositions.  He was right.  

 

Walsh started publishing in 1695 and was soon innovating: using cheap and quick-to-work pewter instead of copper and punches for notes to speed things up.  He had instant success, but his real opportunity presented itself when Handel appeared on the scene.
Handel came to London in 1711 with the ink still wet on his opera Rinaldo, which he had been engaged to write for performance in the 1710-11 season at the Queen’s Theatre, Haymarket.  Aaron Hill, the manager, had decided upon an ‘Italian’ season, and Handel was the man to deliver, his reputation already known in the city.  Opera was relatively new to London’s sophisticated set and attempts to establish an English style were damp squibs in the main.  Rinaldo - a consciously Italianate opera written by a German - was an instant hit.

 

Rinaldo was played by Nicolo Grimaldi, the Neapolitan castrato who would enjoy such a productive relationship with Handel - between them they established Italian opera in the popular taste.  Debuting on February 24th, 1711 it was a sell-out, with two extra dates being added on at the end.  Addison and Steele attacked it in The Spectator, pouring scorn on the idea of a foreign language performance and the clumsiness of the production yet the very appearance of an Italian opera in The Spectator, the journal of the thinking man on the street, meant opera had arrived in popular culture.  
Handel’s success was assured in many ways but his relationship with Walsh, who quickly published Rinaldo, cemented his accessibility with all levels of Londoner.  They tapped into a ready market and by 1716 Walsh was importing and exporting music through Amsterdam in partnership with the Huguenot Estienne Roger.  Walsh even launched two music periodicals aimed at competent and interested musicians:The Monthly Mask of Vocal Music and Harmonium Anglicana.  

 

Despite their success, Walsh and Handel would quarrel and the flow of his sheet music was sometimes sporadic, but when Walsh’s son, also John took over the business as a twenty-one year old he had the advantage of having known the composer since he was a tot and was probably young and deferential enough for a great artist now in his heyday.  In 1739, Handel granted John the monopoly on his sheet music for the next fourteen years, ensuring a steady and good quality supply of his compositions.
Handel is the iconic composer of the first half of the eighteenth century in London, but it was the Walsh family who made him beloved of the common man, and ensured his works were heard constantly in homes across the city, the country and Europe.

Tags: JustMigrated

Guest Post: The Gin Lane Gazette
 
That mischievous cartoonist and scribe Ade Teal is featured on pioneering publishing project Unbound at the moment with his most excellent Georgian miscellany The Gin Lane Gazette.  It’s all very exciting and today Ade is guest posting on what the Gazette is about and why he’s so in love with the Georgians.
In his declining, debt-ridden years, Beau Nash, the Master of Ceremonies at Bath, was looked after by his devoted mistress, the feisty and improbably-named Juliana Popjoy. When he eventually hopped the twig, she was so distraught that she lived for the rest of her days in a hollow tree. And there, in a nutshell, is what I love about the 1700s: everything was done with a great deal of commitment and panache. Today, a C-lister will leave her cage-fighter boyfriend, and inevitably it is splashed across the cover of a glossy rag: ‘So-and-So Tells of Her Pain.’ However much ‘pain’ they claim to be suffering, they don’t often renounce the world and live in a tree. 
 
The Georgians make today’s hell-raisers look like teetotal milksops. The eighteenth century gave us boozy Prime Ministers and party leaders who settled their political differences with duels in Hyde Park (when they weren’t gambling, or writing essays about farting); peers of the realm who had the unburied corpses of their cherished mistresses sat at their dinner tables; and celebrity courtesans who ate 1,000-guinea banknotes stuffed into sandwiches, simply to make a point. Before it was dashed from their lips by Victorian party-poopers, our Georgian forebears drank deep from the cup of life. 
 
So, how best to recapture some of the spirit of this gloriously dissipated and star-studded epoch? This question dogged me for some time, after it was suggested to me by John Mitchinson – co-creator of the BBC’s hit panel show, QI, the book spin-offs of which I have supplied with cartoons – that I should write and illustrate an historical tome. A lovely thought, but there is so much to enjoy about the 1700s that tying it all together in an original and exciting format seemed an impossible task.
 
Then, one day, I was reading a biography of William Cobbett, the Regency-period newspaper editor and author, when it struck me that a journalistic approach would be just the ticket. Why not illustrate and write about these disparate events as if they have just happened? The eighteenth century was both the first great age of newspapers and the golden age of caricature, after all. And books are still the best kind of virtual reality that we have, to my way of thinking. Could I generate virtual Georgian reality with words and pictures? An idea was born.
 
John was in the process of setting up his crowd-funded publishing venture, Unbound, and given the quirky, esoteric nature of the project I had in mind, it seemed the obvious road down which to push my newspaper cart. An accord was reached, and Unbound is now the book’s kindly and encouraging Fairy Godmother.
 
The GIN LANE GAZETTE will be a compendium of illustrated highlights from a fictional newspaper of the latter 1700s: a kind of Georgian Heat magazine, if you like. It will contain some of the most sensational headlines and true stories of the period, generated by many familiar figures from history during their more unguarded moments. The presses will be presided over by inky-fingered hack, Mr. Nathaniel Crowquill, the editor and proprietor, whose premises are located in Hogarth’s chaotic Gin Lane, and who has devoted fifty long years to sniffing out bawdy scandal and intrigue with which to titillate his London readership. His drunken acolyte, the rascally Mr. Jakes, supplies merciless caricatures and engravings, which disport themselves across every page. Sports reports, obituaries, fashion news, courtesans of the month, and advertisements for bizarre - and often alarming - goods and services will also feature in a riotous mélange of metropolitan mayhem. 
 
I have spent fifteen years producing cartoons for clients as diverse as The Sunday Telegraph, Jongleurs, and History Today, and have set out to combine my experience in journalistic caricature with my deep love of history in this – I believe - unique and evocative way. In the process, I hope to give readers an authentic flavour of the exuberance, self-confidence, debauchery, bravery, villainy, inventiveness, and eccentricity which characterize the Georgian world. 
 
Prithee honour this beguiling Endeavour, apt to adorn any ATHENAEUM of the Annals of Ages, with YOUR WORSHIPS’ most gracious Patronage. Or alternatively, buy it here.
 

Guest Post: The Gin Lane Gazette

 

That mischievous cartoonist and scribe Ade Teal is featured on pioneering publishing project Unbound at the moment with his most excellent Georgian miscellany The Gin Lane Gazette.  It’s all very exciting and today Ade is guest posting on what the Gazette is about and why he’s so in love with the Georgians.

In his declining, debt-ridden years, Beau Nash, the Master of Ceremonies at Bath, was looked after by his devoted mistress, the feisty and improbably-named Juliana Popjoy. When he eventually hopped the twig, she was so distraught that she lived for the rest of her days in a hollow tree. And there, in a nutshell, is what I love about the 1700s: everything was done with a great deal of commitment and panache. Today, a C-lister will leave her cage-fighter boyfriend, and inevitably it is splashed across the cover of a glossy rag: ‘So-and-So Tells of Her Pain.’ However much ‘pain’ they claim to be suffering, they don’t often renounce the world and live in a tree. 

 

The Georgians make today’s hell-raisers look like teetotal milksops. The eighteenth century gave us boozy Prime Ministers and party leaders who settled their political differences with duels in Hyde Park (when they weren’t gambling, or writing essays about farting); peers of the realm who had the unburied corpses of their cherished mistresses sat at their dinner tables; and celebrity courtesans who ate 1,000-guinea banknotes stuffed into sandwiches, simply to make a point. Before it was dashed from their lips by Victorian party-poopers, our Georgian forebears drank deep from the cup of life. 

 

So, how best to recapture some of the spirit of this gloriously dissipated and star-studded epoch? This question dogged me for some time, after it was suggested to me by John Mitchinson – co-creator of the BBC’s hit panel show, QI, the book spin-offs of which I have supplied with cartoons – that I should write and illustrate an historical tome. A lovely thought, but there is so much to enjoy about the 1700s that tying it all together in an original and exciting format seemed an impossible task.

 

Then, one day, I was reading a biography of William Cobbett, the Regency-period newspaper editor and author, when it struck me that a journalistic approach would be just the ticket. Why not illustrate and write about these disparate events as if they have just happened? The eighteenth century was both the first great age of newspapers and the golden age of caricature, after all. And books are still the best kind of virtual reality that we have, to my way of thinking. Could I generate virtual Georgian reality with words and pictures? An idea was born.

 

John was in the process of setting up his crowd-funded publishing venture, Unbound, and given the quirky, esoteric nature of the project I had in mind, it seemed the obvious road down which to push my newspaper cart. An accord was reached, and Unbound is now the book’s kindly and encouraging Fairy Godmother.

 

The GIN LANE GAZETTE will be a compendium of illustrated highlights from a fictional newspaper of the latter 1700s: a kind of Georgian Heat magazine, if you like. It will contain some of the most sensational headlines and true stories of the period, generated by many familiar figures from history during their more unguarded moments. The presses will be presided over by inky-fingered hack, Mr. Nathaniel Crowquill, the editor and proprietor, whose premises are located in Hogarth’s chaotic Gin Lane, and who has devoted fifty long years to sniffing out bawdy scandal and intrigue with which to titillate his London readership. His drunken acolyte, the rascally Mr. Jakes, supplies merciless caricatures and engravings, which disport themselves across every page. Sports reports, obituaries, fashion news, courtesans of the month, and advertisements for bizarre - and often alarming - goods and services will also feature in a riotous mélange of metropolitan mayhem. 

 

I have spent fifteen years producing cartoons for clients as diverse as The Sunday Telegraph, Jongleurs, and History Today, and have set out to combine my experience in journalistic caricature with my deep love of history in this – I believe - unique and evocative way. In the process, I hope to give readers an authentic flavour of the exuberance, self-confidence, debauchery, bravery, villainy, inventiveness, and eccentricity which characterize the Georgian world. 

 

Prithee honour this beguiling Endeavour, apt to adorn any ATHENAEUM of the Annals of Ages, with YOUR WORSHIPS’ most gracious Patronage. Or alternatively, buy it here.

 


Tags: JustMigrated