The Project Gutenberg EBook of Social England under the Regency, Vol. 2
(of 2), by John Ashton

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Title: Social England under the Regency, Vol. 2 (of 2)

Author: John Ashton

Release Date: April 24, 2015 [EBook #48780]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Chris Curnow, Christine P. Travers and the
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(p. v) Décoration




Anti-Corn Bill riots — Riots in the north — Ratification of the Treaty of Peace with America — Attempt to steal the Crown — Epithets applied to Napoleon — The Prince of Wales' debts 1


News of the Battle of Waterloo — Rejoicings — After career of Napoleon — His abdication and flight — Goes on board the Bellerophon — Arrives at Torbay — His habits on board — Ordered to Plymouth — Crowds try to get a glimpse of him — His protest against being sent to St. Helena — Transferred to the Northumberland — Opinion as to the Prince Regent's conduct towards him — Sails for St. Helena 23


Effects of Napoleon's capture — The Navy in 1815 — Margate and Ramsgate — French Prisoners of war — Treaty of Peace with France — Napoleon's house — A soldier's letter — A zealous Lord Mayor — Hotels and clubs in 1815 51


Day of Thanksgiving — "Battle for the Standard" — Return of the troops — Frozen game brought over by Esquimaux — The Regent's practical (p. vi) joke — Rejection of the Prince of Orange by the Princess Charlotte, and acceptance of Prince Leopold as her husband — Her marriage — "The R——l Whiskers" — The Regent's yacht 67


Riots and agrarian outrages — Colliers, &c., coming to London — "England in 1816" — Riots in Newgate — Marriage of the Duke of Gloucester — A chimney sweep's wedding — Cruelty to a "climbing boy" — The Mortar at St. James's Park — Lighting by means of Gas — The Coinage 89


Smuggling — "Resurrection Men" — More riots — Orator Hunt — Meetings at Spa Fields — Riots arising therefrom — Execution of one of the rioters — The King's health 109


Visit of the Grand Duke Nicholas of Russia — Stones thrown at the Regent — Issue of the new Silver Coinage — Riots and arrests for sedition — First issue of Sovereigns — The Case of Abraham Thornton and appeal by battle — The Queen at Bath — Death of the Princess Charlotte — Richard Owen and his scheme — "The Fortunate Youth" — "Caraboo" 133


Distress among discharged Seamen — Finding the Scotch Regalia — Strathfieldsaye bought for the Duke of Wellington — The Kyrle Society — Royal Marriages — Annoying the Queen — Riotous schoolboys — The Regent mobbed — Death of Queen Charlotte 161


Sale of the Queen's effects — Duke of York has custody of the King — The "Dandy horse" — Loss of, and finding the King's jewellery — A public dinner — A Royal freak — Unqualified medical practitioners — Emigration to America — "The fair Circassian" — Birth of Queen Victoria — Napoleon's carriage — An Irish witness 171

(p. vii) CHAPTER X.

Reform Meetings — Peterloo — Orator Hunt's entry into London — The King's last illness and death 203


A foreigner's view of England — The packets — Roads — People — Posting — Mail and Stage Coaches — Amateur coachmen — Fast driving — Perils of travelling — A lioness attacks the Mail — Dog-carts and donkey-riding — The Streets and Houses 215


London improvements — The Country — Gleaning — Dairying and out-door Washing — The Gipsy 245


Ladies' dresses — The Dandizette — Waltzing — The Quadrille — Almack's — Women's education — Women's work — Women Soldiers and Sailors — Female rowing match — Female pedestrian — Gretna Green Marriages — Some curious marriages 277


The Man of the period — Drinking habits — Dandies — Lord Petersham — A Dandy's diary — Gaming — Prize fighting — Country Sports 303


Eating and drinking — Recipe for Punch — The Stage — Baron Geramb — Romeo Coates — Actors and Actresses — Mrs. Jordan 327


The Italian Opera — An uproar — Catalani and her terms — Vauxhall — Musical prodigy — Painters, Sculptors, Art exhibitions — Literature and writers — Bibliomaniacs — George Bidder, the Calculating boy — Musicians — Medical men — The Clergy — Roman Catholic emancipation — Joanna Southcott 347


(p. ix) Décoration









"R——L WHISKERS," 1816 84




ROBERT OWEN, AUGUST 21, 1817 151


"MAKING MOST OF £10,000 PER AN." 177





















NO. 1 AND 2, 1811; NO. 3, 1812; NO. 4 AND 5, 1813 274

NO. 1 AND 2, 1814; NO. 3 AND 4, 1815 275



A DANDYESS, 1819 283







(p. xi) LORD PETERSHAM. 1815 312








(p. 1) Décoration



Anti-Corn Bill riots — Riots in the north — Ratification of the Treaty of Peace with America — Attempt to steal the Crown — Epithets applied to Napoleon — The Prince of Wales' debts.

At home our domestic peace was seriously interrupted at this time. Doubtless, with a view to assuage the agricultural distress, a measure was proposed, prohibiting the importation of corn, except when it had reached a price considered by the great body of the consumers as exorbitant. This, having once tasted comparatively cheap bread (the quartern loaf was then about 1s.), his Majesty's lieges did not like, and meetings against it were held all over the place, and Resolutions passed, the first of which is as follows, the others all hingeing upon it:—

(p. 2) "1. Resolved. That it is the opinion of the Committee, that any sort of Foreign Corn, Meal, or Flour, which may, by law, be imported into the United Kingdom, shall, at all times, be allowed to be brought to the United Kingdom, and to be warehoused there, without payment of any duty whatever."

The Mob, in those days, were even more unthinking than they are now, and, whilst the respectable portion of the community were agitating in a legitimate manner, they acted, according to their lights.

On the 6th of March many groups assembled near the Houses of Parliament, about the usual time of meeting, and the Lobby and avenues of the House were so crowded, that it was necessary to increase the force of constables, who ultimately cleared them. Those ejected stood on the steps, and cheered, or groaned, at the Members as they passed in; then they took to stopping Members' carriages, making them walk through a hissing and hooting crowd, and gradually went from bad to worse.

There were no police, as we know them, in those days—that is, there was no large body of stalwart, well-drilled men—consequently, whenever there was a riot, the Military had the task assigned to them of putting it down. They drove the people away from the House, but only to go elsewhere, and, no longer having the fear of the soldiery before their eyes, they gave unlimited scope to their powers of destruction.

(p. 3) They began at Lord Eldon's, in Bedford Square; tore down his railings, with which they forced an entrance into his house, smashed the windows, and all the furniture they could get at. At Mr. Robinson's, who introduced the Corn Regulations, they tore up his railings, got into his house, smashed some of his furniture, throwing the rest into the street, and destroyed many valuable pictures. At Lord Darnley's, Mr. Yorke's, and Mr. Wellesley Pole's, all the windows were smashed. Lord Hardwicke's house was attacked, but little mischief was done, owing to the arrival of the Military. They went to Lord Ellenborough's, but he behaved bravely; he opened the door, and, standing before them, inquired into the meaning of it all. They yelled at him that it was "No Corn Bill! No Corn Bill!" upon which he spoke a few words to them, and they cheered, and left him. There were the Horse Guards and three regiments of Foot Guards under orders; but they were scarcely made use of, and that only in the most pacific manner.

Next day (the 7th) they met, in the same manner, near the Houses of Parliament, and, when driven thence, went forth to seek what they could devour, but the Military were abroad, parading the streets, and guarding each house that had been wrecked. The rioters paid another visit to Mr. Robinson's, and seeing no signs of soldiers, thought they could throw stones at the shutters with impunity. They reckoned, however, without their (p. 4) host, for the soldiers were inside the house, from which seven shots were fired, one of the Mob falling dead, shot through the head. He was not identified, but was believed to have been a naval officer.

This was too warm to be pleasant, so they went to Baker Street, where the brave fellows smashed the doors and windows, and tore up the iron railings, at the house of Sam. Stephens, Esq., late M.P. for St. Ives, the said house being then under the solitary care of an elderly female. Then these heroes, animated by their last exploit, tried to wreck No. 38, Harley Street, the house of an inoffensive lady, named Sampson, broke the windows of two houses in Wimpole Street, and three in Mansfield Street, Portland Place. The excitement spread to the City, and a Mob collected in Finsbury, whence they valiantly marched to Chiswell Street, where they broke a few windows at Whitbread's Brewery.

The next night, the 8th, the riots were continued, but were rather worse. The Mob was charged once by the Military, and dispersed, only to form again in another place. It was time that something should be done, and le Roi fainéant at Carlton House woke up, and on the 9th issued a long proclamation all about the wickedness of rioting, and offering £100 reward on conviction of any of the rioters. But the thing was wearing itself out, and on this day nothing worthy the name of a riot took place, except when they broke the (p. 5) windows at the house of Mr. Davies Giddy, M.P. for Bodmin, who retaliated by firing on the Mob, whereby a boy was wounded in the neck. But there were more Military about this day, which may account for its comparative quiet, and Lord Sidmouth, as Home Secretary, had issued a Circular to every parish in the Metropolis, urging them to take individual action in suppressing the riots, each in its own locality. There was an attempt to get up a riot in Canterbury, but no mischief was done, except a few broken windows, and it was promptly quelled.

About the same time in March there were more serious riots occurring at the seaports at Durham and Northumberland, among the sailors employed in the Colliery trade. They wanted an increase of wages, and they did not like the introduction of machinery, fearing that it would interfere with their livelihood. Take one instance, as an example.

"March 20. A serious riot took place at Bishop Wearmouth, near Durham. It appears that Messrs. Neshams, the extensive coal-dealers of that place, have been for several years busily employed in erecting railways, and other conveniences, to save the labour of men and horses in conveying coals from the pit. The keel men, who are employed to convey the coals in boats or barges, had, it seems, taken offence at these improvements; and this afternoon, having first moored their barges opposite Messrs. Neshams' premises, they (p. 6) proceeded, in a riotous manner, to demolish their works. After completing the destruction of the most expensive and valuable part of the waggon road, which was the object of their animosity, they set fire to an immense pile of coals, which burned with great fury during the whole night, presenting a grand and awful spectacle for many miles round. The rioters previously overpowered all the proprietors, and their friends, who had assembled to repress the tumult. Mr. Robinson, the Collector of the Customs, Mr. Biss, and several other gentlemen of respectability, were repeatedly knocked down and bruised. It was three o'clock the next morning before the rioters were dispersed by the arrival of the military."[1]

On the Tyne, the sailors, and keel men took possession of the river, making a chain of boats right across it, and they would not allow a vessel to pass without a regular permit. The efforts of the local magistrates, and conciliatory propositions from the merchants, proving insufficient to restore obedience, whilst the sailors in other ports were also manifesting a disposition to combine for similar purposes, Government determined to interpose with effect, in order to quell this dangerous spirit. A strong force, both Naval and Military, was collected at the disturbed ports, which was so judiciously applied, that no resistance was attempted on the part (p. 7) of the sailors, and their coercive system was immediately broken up. Reasonable offers were then made to them, and tranquility was restored. Not a life was lost, and only a few of the ringleaders were apprehended.

The ratification of the Treaty of Peace with America arrived in London on the 13th of March, and created no comment. The main points in this treaty are contained in Article 1, of which the following is a portion:—"... All hostilities, both on sea and land, shall cease as soon as this Treaty shall have been ratified by both parties hereinafter mentioned. All territory, places, and possessions whatsoever, taken by either party from the other during the war, or which may be taken after the signing of this Treaty, excepting only the Islands hereinafter mentioned, shall be restored without delay, and without causing any destruction, or carrying away any of the artillery, or other public property, originally captured in the said forts or places, and which shall remain therein upon the exchange of the ratification of this Treaty, or any slaves, or other private property. And all archives, records, deeds, and papers, either of a public nature, or belonging to private persons, which, in the course of the war, may have fallen into the hands of the officers of either party, shall be, as far as practicable, forthwith restored, and delivered to the proper authorities and persons to whom they respectively belong."

(p. 8) Article 2 provides for cessation of hostilities.

Article 3 for the exchange of prisoners.

Article 4 deals with the Islands and boundaries in dispute, and appointed two Commissioners, one on each side, to settle them.

Articles 5, 6, 7, and 8 relate to the boundaries, and powers of the Commissioners.

Article 9 relates to making peace between the Indians, on both sides.

Article 10 provides for the joint abolition of the slave trade.

Why the American prisoners were not released, on receipt of the Ratification of the Treaty, I cannot say, but that they were not is evidenced by the fact that, on the 6th of April, those confined at Dartmoor attempted to escape; having armed themselves with knives, they attacked their guards, who in self-defence fired on them, killing seven of the prisoners, and wounding thirty-five. A coroner's jury brought in a verdict of "justifiable homicide."

The following story is best told by the Police Report:—


"Lambeth Police Office.[2] Yesterday (5th April) (p. 9) Margaret Moore was brought before Sir Daniel Williams, and underwent a second examination, charged with an attempt to steal the King's Crown from the Tower, on Friday, the 31st March last.

"Elizabeth Eloisa Stackling, Deputy Keeper of the regalia in the Tower, deposed, that about one o'clock in the afternoon mentioned, the prisoner came, and asked to see the regalia—the usual charge for such exhibition is eighteenpence, but the prisoner, having offered her a shilling, and she, supposing her, from her appearance, to be a soldier's wife, consented to take it. She proceeded to show her the regalia in the usual way, until she came to the last article, the Crown. This is contained in a case, and is never taken out; she opened the case, and held it with both hands, on the ledge of a table, except when she was obliged to disengage one hand, and point out particular jewels. She had just been describing the aqua-marine, a jewel of great value, when the prisoner stared, and in an instant thrust her hand through the centre bar of the railings, or grating placed there, and, seizing hold of the centre bow of the Crown, pulled, with great violence, to draw it forth.

"Witness put her hand at the top of the bow, and bottom of the Crown, to preserve it, while the prisoner kept struggling, with still greater violence, to get it away. The struggling continued for about five minutes, (p. 10) and she, at length, got the Crown from her grasp. She, then, put the Crown at a distance behind her, and instantly slipped the bolt of the entrance, secured the prisoner, and called for assistance. When help was obtained, she sent for the Governor, but the Ward-keeper having come in, a Constable was also sent for, who soon arrived, and took the prisoner into Custody. She was searched, and about £5 in money was found upon her; there were also some papers. In the struggle between the witness and the prisoner, there were two bows of the Crown broken from the socket; a string of pearls was also broken, which rolled upon the floor, some inside the railing, and some outside, where the prisoner was. They were subsequently picked up by the witness, assisted by the Governor.

"The prisoner, being called upon for her defence, said that she was a single woman, residing at No. 3, Union Street, Apollo Gardens; she was a milk woman, and had a girl of about thirteen years of age, her daughter, residing with her; she was a widow, her husband, who was a labouring man, had been dead about eleven years; is not acquainted with a soldier, nor was she ever in company with one, nor had she been to the Tower in her life before the day in question. Being asked by the magistrate why she came so far from home, she replied she very often went to Thames Street to buy salt herrings.

(p. 11) "Then, said the Magistrate, what induced you to go to the Tower?

"A. I went on Friday, purposely to see the lions, no one was with me—I then went to see the Crown.

"Q. How came you to snatch that article from the keeper?

"A. I thought it a pity that so valuable a thing should remain there, while half the nation was starving, for want of bread! I wished, also, at the time, to take the whole of what was there, and give it to the public!

"Q. Who told you to do this, or who was it put that good thought into your head?

"A. I had no adviser whatever.

"Jeremiah Brett, one of the Chief Constables, deposed to having taken the prisoner into custody. When he was conveying her away in the Coach, he asked her why she had made an attempt to seize, or lay hands on the Crown, and why she might not as well have laid hold of one of the lions? She replied—she was not such a fool, for she knew better than that.

"Upon being asked by the Magistrate to state a little more particularly who she was, she said she was a Welsh woman, from the county of Carmarthen, and had been brought up in the principles of the Church of England. About ten years ago she purchased some ground from Mr. Henry Hooper, of Apollo Gardens; and, about five years ago, built a small house, in which (p. 12) she lives, and which has already cost her £110. She was to have paid £150. Her other houses and property were stolen from her by ejectments, executions, &c., and her losses amounted, at least, to £500. She never had any idea of stealing the Crown, until she saw it, and was only impelled by the motive already stated. Does not recollect that she ever thought of providing for the poor until then.

"Mr. Swift, the Keeper of the Jewels in the Tower, was then called, but it was stated that he was out of town, and would not return before Saturday, or Monday.

"The evidence of this witness, however, being deemed necessary, the Prisoner was remanded for a final examination."

On Tuesday, April 11th, she was again examined, but a number of persons attended, who had known her for many years, and, as their unvarying testimony was that she was mentally deranged, she was discharged.

Whilst on the subject of the Regalia I may mention the following, which is taken from The Gentleman's Magazine, May 19, 1814: "An interesting discovery has lately been made by the Keeper of the Regalia in the Tower. In cleaning out some secret places in the Jewel Office, a Royal Sceptre was found, equalling in splendour, and in value, the others which are there exhibited. It is imagined, from the decayed state of its case, and the dust wherewith it was enveloped, that the Sceptre (p. 13) must have been thrown into that neglected corner, in the confusion of Blood's well-known attempt on the Crown Jewels, nearly a century and a half ago."

The war on the Continent was going on, but though it does not come within my province to narrate its progress, I may mention some bon mots, which being produced here, belong to the social life of the period.

On Louis le Désiré.

"The Paris folks, when I inquired
If Louis really was 'desired,'
'We had (said they), but one desire,
That Master Louis should—retire.'"

A Conversation between Two Gensdarmes, modelled on The Times.

"First Gensdarme. What is the news?"
"Second Gensdarme. Ma foi! the news is short.
The Tiger has broken out of his den.
The Monster was three days at sea.
The Wretch has landed at Frejus.
The Brigand has arrived at Grenoble.
The Invader has entered Lyons.
Napoleon slept last night at Fontainbleau.
The Emperor enters the Thuilleries this day."

Here are some of the names by which he was assailed by The Times:

This man of many names gave us much trouble just at this time. Lulled in false security, everything was being put on a peace footing, only to be brought again to its old dimensions, and Sergeant Kite was once more abroad, and active.

A few disjointed ana must fill up the time until we come to the next halting stage of history—the Battle of Waterloo.


Geo. Walter. del. Jan. 1, 1814.

Of course London has vastly increased in population since 1815, and Visitors come by rail, or steamboat, from all parts of the earth, but the difference in the number of visitors to the British Museum in one year, is very marked. In the year ending March 25, 1815, they amounted to 33,074; in that ending Dec. 31, 1889, to 504,537, and this does not include the visitors to the Natural History Department, at South Kensington, (p. 17) which, although removed from the parent building, is part of the Institution, and is governed by the same trustees.

The Prince of Wales was utterly reckless in his expenditure, he put no kind of curb to his extravagance, and left no whim ungratified. The consequence was he was again fearfully in debt.

"The Civil List.

"'John Bull,' exclaims old Nick, 'pray mind,
The Civil List is now behind:'
'Good Lord!' cried John, 'why, what a bore,
It was behind, you know, before.'"

Here is a list of the Prince of Wales's debts:

Debts 1787 £161,020
Debts 1795 640,080
Debts paid in three years to Feb., 1815, from Extraordinary Allowances to the Prince 150,000
Sum granted for outfit Feb., 1812, and applied to debts 100,000
Paid from Droits of Admiralty, 1813 39,000
Paid from Feb., 1815, to May, 1815, one qr of £50,000 12,500
Paid in three years from Duchy of Cornwall to Feb., 1815 39,000
Known to be remaining unpaid May, 1815 339,000
Total of debts contracted by the Prince £1,480,600

The Newspaper from which this is taken goes on to (p. 18) say: "The public will see, by this statement, how unavailing all engagements, and all Acts of Parliament hitherto passed, have been to prevent the system of incurring debts; but the distresses of the country now demand some effective prohibitory checks, and we trust Parliament will not separate without supplying them; although from the vote for the payment of the Russian debts, for the reduction of Guadaloupe, and the aids to Holland, there is too much reason to fear that the Senate, and the public, entertain different views as to the necessity of economy, and that the public must encounter the awful trial of a protracted system of profusion and prodigality."

"The statement of the debts was extracted from the Journals of Parliament, and when £339,000 was described as the known excess still due, the term known was certainly used to signify avowal, but not to embrace the total, for there is great reason to believe that treble £339,000, would not release the Prince Regent from his pecuniary embarrassments."


Needless to say, the satirical artists seized upon the occasion, and I reproduce one picture called "Answer to John Bull's Complaint." As may be perceived from his dress, poor John is reduced to a pitiable plight, and he has laid his case before the Regent. To him "the first Gentleman in Europe" replies, "Why! you unnatural Grumbler! after I have done all I could to get (p. 21) rid of your Money, you still grumble? Did I not give you a Fête? Did I not build you a Bridge? Did I not treat you to a smell of all the nice things at my Feast? Did I not sign the Corn Bill? Did I not refuse your Address? Have I not drunk whole Pipes of Wine, for fear it should be wasted? Have I not spent all your Money, because you should not spend it yourself? Have you not got the Income Tax to keep you sober? and, as for your Dress, the thinner the better for the summer season. So, Johnny, go home to work, 'tis all for the good of your Country."

(p. 23) Décoration


News of the Battle of Waterloo — Rejoicings — After career of Napoleon — His abdication and flight — Goes on board the Bellerophon — Arrives at Torbay — His habits on board — Ordered to Plymouth — Crowds try to get a glimpse of him — His protest against being sent to St. Helena — Transferred to the Northumberland — Opinion as to the Prince Regent's conduct towards him — Sails for St. Helena.

At a quarter past eleven on the night of the 21st of June, the Hon. Major Percy arrived at the office of Earl Bathurst, Secretary of State for War—bearing despatches from the Duke of Wellington dated the 19th, giving an account of the actions which had taken place since the 15th, and including the Battle of Waterloo. Earl Bathurst opened the despatches, and he and their bearer immediately waited, with them, upon the Prince Regent. The Lord Mayor had notification of the great Victory early in the morning of the 22nd, and the guns of the Tower, and St. James's Park thundered forth their salute of gratulation. The funds went up with a bound, Omnium vibrated between (p. 24) a rise of 8 to 10 per cent. and left off 81/8 per cent. higher.

The following placard was posted up:—

"Mansion House, Thursday, June 22, 1815.

"Notice having been given that the Public Offices will be illuminated Friday and Saturday evening next, in consequence of the late glorious Victory,

"The Lord Mayor recommends to the inhabitants of this City to defer illuminating their houses till that time."

And, accordingly, on the 23rd, all the Government, and City public offices lit up; but it does not seem to have been a very grand illumination, probably because the time for preparation was somewhat short.

After the battle of Waterloo,[3] Napoleon hastened to Paris; and, tired, and covered with dust as he was, he immediately met his Ministers, and told them the extent of his disasters. They laid the intelligence before the Houses of Legislature, and, on the morning of June 22nd, Napoleon received a deputation from the Chamber, who submitted to him, that "the state of war in which (p. 25) France was involved, concerned much less the nation than himself, and that the Assembly had the means at command, if he would act so disinterested a part, as to restore to it freedom of action, according as circumstances might dictate."

This was a pretty broad hint to Napoleon to abdicate, and he took it as such, and sent the following reply:—

"Frenchmen! When I began the war to uphold National Independence, I relied on the union of all efforts, all wills, and on the co-operation of all national authorities. I was justified in anticipating success, and I braved all the declarations of the Powers against my person. Circumstances seem to be changed. I offer myself as a sacrifice to the hatred against France. May your enemies prove sincere, and may it appear that they wage war against me alone! My political life is terminated. I proclaim my son, under the title of Napoleon II.,[4] Emperor of the French. The present Ministers will form the Council of the Provisional Government. The interest which I take in my son induces me to invite the Chambers to organize a Regency without delay, by a special law. Unite for the general safety, and to secure national independence.


"At the Palace of the Élysée, June 22, 1815."

(p. 26) But the Ministry did not see it in the same light, the building was rapidly crumbling, and it was sauve qui peut with the rats. Napoleon was politically dead, and even The Times must needs kick him.

"June 30. 1815.... The wretch, with the blood of so many thousands on his head, seemed to carry about with him all the coolness of that apathy which is part of his physical constitution; and, so degraded and demoralized are the Parisian populace, that they could see the butcher of their race without the least emotion. He is, however, spoken of in the journals, and in the debates, without any share of that respect which was but lately attached to his name. After his former abdication he was invariably termed the 'Emperor,' but now he is called nothing but 'Napoleon.'"

Abdication is a game that cannot be played more than twice, the result, then, being considered final, so Napoleon retired to Malmaison, virtually a prisoner, for he had not been there long ere General Becker came to him, and informed him that he was appointed by the Provisional Government to command the troops detailed for his protection. Napoleon knew the meaning of this message, but even being made a prisoner by his own soldiery did not quell his spirit.

The presence of Napoleon at Malmaison embarrassed (p. 27) the Government, and Becker had orders to convey Napoleon, with all speed, to the Isle of Aix. Accordingly, they set out, and reached Rochefort on the 3rd of July, where he remained until the 8th, when he embarked on board the Saale frigate, but without any hope of getting to sea, because of the blockade of the port by the Bellerophon and other English men-of-war. He occasionally landed on the Isle of Aix; but all hopes of reaching America seems to have been abandoned, as Las Cases and Savary were sent on board the Bellerophon to inquire of Captain Maitland whether he knew anything of the passports which Napoleon expected from the British Government, and whether any opposition would be offered to his sailing to the United States. Captain Maitland replied that he knew nothing of the intentions of his Government, but he, certainly, could not allow any ship of war to leave the port, and, in the course of conversation asked, "Why not seek an asylum in England?"

The hint, thus dropped, fructified; for, after another visit of Las Cases and General Lallemand on board the Bellerophon, on July 14th, avowedly to repeat their various questions, the matter was openly discussed, and, on mentioning the result of their interview to the Emperor, he agreed to this course, and desired Las Cases to tell Captain Maitland to prepare to receive him, and his suite, the next day. At the same time, he entrusted General Gourgaud with an autograph letter to the Prince (p. 28) Regent, directing him to take it to England, and deliver it into the Prince's hands.

From the date of this letter, which was the 13th, it would seem that Napoleon had, on the previous day, made up his mind what course to pursue. The following is the text of the letter:—

"Your Royal Highness,—Exposed to the factions which divide my Country, and to the enmity of the greatest Powers of Europe, I have terminated my political career; and I come, like Themistocles, to throw myself upon the hospitality of the British People. I place myself under the protection of their laws, which I claim from your Royal Highness, as the most powerful, the most constant, and the most generous of my enemies.


"Rochefort, July 13, 1815."

On the 15th, then, Napoleon and suite went on board the Bellerophon, where they were received by Captain Maitland and his officers; the Emperor saying, "I have come to throw myself on the protection of your Prince and Laws." He was treated on board the Bellerophon with every consideration by Captain Maitland. He was still looked upon as Emperor, and dined off his own gold plate, the dinner being ordered by his own maître d'hôtel; and, when he visited the Superb, he was received with all (p. 29) the honours accorded to royalty, with the exception of a salute being fired. On the 16th of July they set sail for England, and at daybreak on the 24th they were close to Dartmouth. Napoleon rose at six, and went on the poop, surveying the coast, which he much admired, exclaiming, "What a beautiful country! it very much resembles Porto Ferrajo at Elba."

About 8 a.m. they anchored at Torbay, and no sooner was it known that Napoleon was on board the Bellerophon, than the bay was covered with vessels and boats full of people. A neighbouring gentleman sent the Emperor a present of fruit. What a different reception from the language of The Times! (July 25, 1815):

"Our paper of this day will satisfy the sceptics, for such there were beginning to be, as to the capture of that bloody miscreant, who has so long tortured Europe, Napoleon Buonaparte. Savages are always found to unite the greatest degree of cunning to the ferocious part of their nature. The cruelty of this person is written in characters of blood in almost every country in Europe, and in the contiguous angles of Africa and Asia which he visited; and nothing can more strongly evince the universal conviction of his low, perfidious craft, than the opinion, which was beginning to get abroad, that, even after his capture had been officially announced, both in France and England, he might yet have found means to escape.

(p. 30) "However, all doubts upon this point are at an end, by his arrival off the British Coast, and, if he be not now placed beyond the possibility of again outraging the peace of Europe, England will certainly never again deserve to have heroes such as those who have fought, and bled, at Waterloo, for this, his present overthrow. The lives of the brave men who fell on that memorable day will have been absolutely thrown away by a thoughtless country, the grand object obtained by their valour will have been frustrated, and we shall do little less than insult over their remains, almost before they have ceased to bleed. But Fortune, seconding their undaunted efforts, has put it in our power to do far otherwise.

"Captain Sartorius, of the Slaney frigate, arrived yesterday with despatches from Captain Maitland of the Bellerophon, confirming all the antecedent accounts of Buonaparte's surrender, with various other details, and closing them by their natural catastrophe—his safe conveyance to England. He is, therefore, what we may call, here. Captain Sartorius delivered his despatches to Lord Melville, at Wimbledon, by whom their contents were communicated to Lord Liverpool, at his seat at Coombe Wood; summonses were immediately issued for a Cabinet Council to meet at 12 o'clock; what passed there was, of course, not suffered to transpire; our narrative must therefore revert to the Slaney frigate, and the accounts brought by her. She had been sent forward, by (p. 31) Captain Maitland, to Plymouth, with the despatches announcing that Buonaparte was on board the Bellerophon, with a numerous suite. But it was the intention of Captain Maitland himself, to proceed to Torbay, and not land his prisoners until he had received orders from Government.

"Buonaparte's suite, as it is called, consists of upwards of forty persons, among whom are Bertrand, Savary, Lallemand, Grogau,[5] and several women. He has been allowed to take on board carriages and horses, but admission was denied to about fifty cavalry, for whom he had the impudence to require accommodation. This wretch has really lived in the commission of every crime, so long, that he has lost all sight and knowledge of the difference that exists between good and evil, and hardly knows when he is doing wrong, except he be taught by proper chastisement. A creature—who ought to be greeted with a gallows as soon as he lands—to think of an attendance of fifty horsemen! He had, at first, wanted to make conditions with Captain Maitland, as to his treatment, but the British officer very properly declared that he must refer him, upon this subject, to his Government.

"When he had been some time on board, he asked the Captain what chance two large frigates, well manned, would have with a seventy-four. The answer, we understand, (p. 32) which he received to this inquiry, did not give him any cause to regret that he had not risked his fortune in a naval combat, with the relative forces in question. By the way, we should not have been surprised if he had come into an action with the two frigates, and then endeavoured to escape in his own, and leave the other to her fate. It has been the constant trick of this villain, whenever he has got his companions into a scrape, to leave them in it, and seek his own safety by flight. In Egypt, in the Moscow expedition, and at Waterloo, such was his conduct.

"He likewise had the assurance to address a letter to the Prince Regent, and M. Grogau, one of his party, was put on board the Slaney as the bearer of it; but, when the vessel reached Plymouth, the officer on duty there, with a decision that does him credit, refused Grogau permission to land: the letter is said to have been conveyed by Captain Sartorius, and its purport was understood, on board, to be a request for passports for America. We should have supposed that he had received too many checks before, for his presumption in addressing letters to the British Government, ever to have hazarded the experiment again; but all reproofs are thrown away upon his callous heart;—not that we should object to his humbly addressing the British throne for mercy, if he has anything to urge in extenuation of his crimes; but the time has not yet come; a momentary (p. 33) gleam of resolution on the part of his own government, indicated by the imprisonment of Labédoyère, and others, led us to hope that his trial might have been safely entrusted to those to whom it primarily, and of natural right, belongs; but, though this hope may have proved transitory, he is not, therefore, above the criminal justice of other countries, where established law, and a regular execution of it, prevails.

"The first procedure, we trust, will be a special Commission, or the appointment of a Court Martial to try him for the murder of Captain Wright. It is nonsense to say, as some have, that Courts Martial are instituted only to try offences committed by soldiers of the country to which they belong: it was an American Court Martial that tried and shot Major André as a spy; and Buonaparte himself appointed commissions of all kinds, and in all countries, to try offences committed against himself."

In a letter from on board the Bellerophon, Napoleon's personel is thus described:

"I observed his person particularly, and can describe him thus:—He is about 5 feet 7 inches in height, very strongly made, and well proportioned; very broad and deep chest; legs and thighs proportioned with great symmetry and strength, a small, round, and handsome foot. His countenance is sallow, and, as it were, deeply tinged by hot climates; but the most commanding air I ever saw. His eyes grey, and (p. 34) the most piercing you can imagine. His glance, you fancy, searches into your inmost thoughts. His hair dark brown, and no appearance of grey. His features are handsome now, and when younger, he must have been a very handsome man. He is rather fat, and his belly protuberant, but he appears active, notwithstanding. His step, and demeanour altogether commanding. He looks about 45 or 46 years of age. In fact, he is very like the picture exhibited of him in the Adelphi, and also several of the prints.


(Drawn during his passage to St. Helena. Published, January 1, 1816, by Thomas Palser, Westminster Bridge Road.)

"He is extremely curious, and never passes anything remarkable in the ship, without immediately demanding its use, and inquiring minutely into the manner thereof. He also stops and asks the officers divers questions relative to the time they have been in the service, what actions, &c.; and he caused all of us to be introduced to him, the first day he came on board. He also asked several questions about the marines, particularly those who appeared to have been some time in the service, and about the warrant officers, midshipmen, seamen, &c. He was but a very short time on board when he asked that the boatswain might be sent for, in order that he might look at him, and was very inquisitive as to the nature of his duty. He dresses in green uniform, with red facings and edged with red, two plain gold epaulettes, the lapels of the coat cut round and turned back, white waistcoat and breeches, and military boots and spurs, the Grand (p. 37) Cross of the Legion of Honour on his left breast. He professes his intention (if he is allowed to reside in England) to adopt the English customs and manners, and declares that he will never meddle with politics more. The Army, which left Paris, and united with others on the Loire, wanted him to rejoin them and resume his title, which he refused to do. He declares that not another 'goutte de sang' shall be shed on his account. Fortunate, indeed, it would have been if he had really been of this opinion some years back.

"His followers still treat him with the greatest respect, not one of them, not even the Duke of Rovigo himself, ever speaking to him, without being uncovered the whole time. He does not appear out until about half-past ten, though he rises about seven. He breakfasts in the French fashion at eleven, and dines at six. He spends most of the day alone in the after-cabin, and reads a great deal. He retires to bed about eight. He has not latterly been much upon the quarter-deck. His suite is composed of fifty people."

I give an illustration of "Bonaparte on the Quarter-deck of H.M.S. Northumberland, drawn during his passage to St. Helena," which fully bears out the above description.

On July 26th orders came for the Bellerophon to go to Plymouth, which being reached, two frigates, the Liffey, and Eurotas, were anchored, one on either side of her, and (p. 38) kept strict guard over her. No boat from the shore was allowed to come within a cable's length[6] of her, and ships' boats continually rowing round her, kept that space clear.

Visitors from London, and all parts of England, came to get a glimpse of him, and the sea was literally alive with boats of every description. The following is by an eye witness[7]:—

"There is nothing so dull as mere fact, you'll admit,
While you read my detail, unenlivened by wit.
My friends will believe, though they're told it in rhyme,
That I thought to return in a far shorter time.
When at once we're resolv'd, by half past on the move,
And by two, but a trio, we reach Mutton Cove;
When approaching the quay, such a rabble and rout,
That we ask, 'My good friend, what is all this about?'
'They are rowing a race, and some boats are come in,
While these people are waiting till t'others begin.'
Well aware of our folly, with risible lip,
The boatman we told to make haste to the ship;
On the colours of fish,[8] here by hampers-full landing,
We gaze for amuzement, while still we're kept standing;
At length to the Admiral's stairs we have got,
See his party on board, and hear tunes from his yacht.
The day is delightful, the gale just enough
For the sea to look lively, without being rough.
With those first at the ship, our sight costs the dearer,
(p. 39) As we've longer to wait, and not in the end, nearer;
For by land, and by water, so different the case is,
'Twas long before we were jam'd into our places;
But on further advice, we'll at present be dumb,
For half the spectators, you know, are now come.
In one boat, a bevy, all sarcenet and veil,
In the next some good fellows are toping their ale.
'Avast! here's the gun boat.' 'Aye, here it come smack.'
And the ladies cry, 'Captain, they'll drive us all back.'
Then some bully our men, with 'Skull out there, skull out.'
And others check these with, 'Mind what you're about.'
Here's a crazy old boat, laded dry with a shoe,
There, a gay painted barge is forced on our view;
In this, while Don Solus is jeered by the mob,
'See that empty boat, turn it out.' 'Here's a fine job.'
Cries one, of some dozens squeezed into the next,
'I've left the pork pie, Oh dear, I'm so vex'd.'
In the long boat, that shows a profusion of oar,
From the Captain bursts forth a most terrible roar
At his men; but the anger about whom, or what,
Though they may remember, we soon had forgot.
Here, infants were crying, mothers scolding outright,
While the next party laughs at some comical sight.
Now, watches and spy-glasses make their appearance,
And Impatience, that vixen, begins interference;
To beguile her, through portholes we eagerly stare,
For the nobles on deck are all taking the air.
'Hey-dey, what a bustle!' then 'All safe, all safe.'
The crowd is return'd to its chatter and laugh.
'Pray, what was the matter?' 'From the boat, near the ship,
A woman fell over, and so got a dip.'
But a hum of applause, yes, his triumph is full,
Yet this hum of applause has betrayed our John Bull,
'What hum of applause? come, I prithee, be brief.'
Why, John was delighted to see them ship beef.
With a smile 'tis observed by the Briton polite,
How the glee of the crowd was improv'd, by the sight,
For the rough, honest tar, had declared from his heart,
That he thought this a sight that would beat Bonaparte.
(p. 40) Some, again, with composure, predict peace and war,
Others look at the great folks, and fancy a star;
But we, much fatigued, six o'clock now approaching,
And on our good nature we thought them encroaching,
When boats are made bridges, nay, tempted to think
That through some of these freedoms, not strange we should sink.
But here I must mention, when all was most merry,
As here is each size, from the long-boat to wherry,
When the crowd should disperse, I was fearful, I own,
Lest your small boats, by barges, should then be run down.
But a truce with our hopes, our predictions and fears,
For now, yes, at last, our grand object appears;
And now, every eye to the ship is directed,
Though to see Bonaparte, I no longer expected;
For between us what number of men! and aghast
We stood, as still thicker and thicker the mast. [? mass]
But now see Napoleon, who seems in his figure,
What we call mediocre, nor smaller, nor bigger;
For, in spite of our fears, how it was, I can't tell,
What our distance allowed of, we saw very well.
But, in this we're full right, for now, hurry scurry,
Boat rows against boat, with the madness of fury;
The show was all over, but time was out staid
By some, and by others, attempts were still made
To get round the ship, in hopes Bonaparte might
At some place yet be seen, thus to perfect their sight."

This doggerel helps us to realize the intense desire of the British public to get, at least, a glimpse at Boney, that great bugbear, who for so many years had been so great a terror to them, and whose existence, every one, from the highest to the lowest, had acutely felt in that tenderest place of our social economy—the breeches pocket. They all but carried out the threat, made twelve years previously, (p. 41) of putting him in Pidcock's Menagerie, vide the following extracts from a contemporary pamphlet[9]:—

"The desire of all ranks to see him was excessive; the guard boats were unable to prevent them from closing the ship, and it was amusement on board to look at the boats contending for places. Napoleon generally walked the quarter-deck about eleven in the forenoon and half-past six in the afternoon. He ate but two meals in the day, both alike, meat of every description, different wines, coffee, fruit, &c. Immediately after each meal, he rose first, and the others followed; he then either went on the quarter-deck, or in the after-cabin to study. The comedy of The Poor Gentleman[10] was performed before him. He was much pleased at it; it went off very well. The scenery was good, but somewhat better dresses were wanted for the female midshipmen.[11]

"The immense number of persons who daily flock from all parts of the country to take a view of the person of Napoleon, is incalculable. He generally gratified the public curiosity by making his appearance every afternoon for two hours.

"Upwards of one thousand boats were from morning to night round the Bellerophon. The seamen of the Bellerophon adopted a curious mode to give an account to (p. 42) the curious spectators in the boats of the movements of Napoleon. They wrote in chalk on a board, which they exhibited, a short account of his different occupations. 'At breakfast.'—'In the cabin with Captain Maitland.'—'Writing with his officers.'—'Going to dinner.'—'Coming upon deck,' &c."

Las Cases says: "It was known that he always appeared on deck towards five o'clock. A short time before this hour all the boats collected alongside of each other; there were thousands; and so closely were they connected that the water could no longer be seen between them. They looked more like a multitude assembled in a public square than anything else. When the Emperor came out, the noise and gestures of so many people presented a most striking spectacle; it was, at the same time, very easy to perceive that nothing hostile was meant, and that, if curiosity had brought them, they felt interested on going away. We could even see that the latter sentiment continued to increase; at first, people merely looked toward the ship, they ended by saluting: some remained uncovered, and, occasionally, went so far as to cheer. Even our symbols began to appear amongst them. Several individuals of both sexes came decorated with red carnations."

Napoleon knew that St. Helena had been fixed upon as the place of his future residence, and did not at all relish the idea; but it was not officially announced to (p. 43) him until July 30th or 31st, when Lord Keith went on board the Bellerophon, and presented him with the following despatch:—

"Communication made by Lord Keith in the name of the English Ministers.

"As it may, perhaps, be convenient for General Buonaparte to learn, without further delay, the intentions of the British Government with regard to him, your Lordship will communicate the following information.

"It would be inconsistent with our duty towards our country, and the Allies of his Majesty, if General Buonaparte possessed the means of again disturbing the repose of Europe. It is on this account that it becomes absolutely necessary he should be restrained in his personal liberty, so far as this is required by the foregoing important object.

"The island of St. Helena has been chosen as his future residence; its climate is healthy, and its local position will allow of his being treated with more indulgence than could be admitted in any other spot, owing to the indispensable precautions which it would be necessary to employ for the security of his person.

"General Buonaparte is allowed to select amongst those persons who accompanied him to England (with the exception of Generals Savary and Lallemand) three officers, who, together with his surgeon, will have permission (p. 44) to accompany him to St. Helena; these individuals will not be allowed to quit the island without the sanction of the British Government.

"Rear-Admiral Sir George Cockburn, who is named Commander-in-Chief at the Cape of Good Hope and seas adjacent, will convey General Buonaparte and his suite to St. Helena; and he will receive detailed instructions relative to the execution of this service.

"Sir G. Cockburn will, most probably, be ready to sail in a few days; for which reason it is desirable that General Buonaparte should make choice of the persons who are to accompany him without delay."

"Of this interview Las Cases says: "I was not called before the Emperor. The bearers of his sentence spoke, and understood French; they were admitted alone. I have since heard that he objected, and protested, with no less energy than logic, against the violence exercised on his person. 'He was the guest of England,' said Napoleon, 'and not its prisoner; he came of his own accord to place himself under the protection of its laws; the most sacred rights of hospitality were violated in his person; he would never submit voluntarily to the outrage they were preparing for him: violence, alone, should oblige him to do so,' &c."

That the Government was in earnest as to his departure was soon shown, for orders came on August 4th (p. 45) for the Bellerophon to weigh and join the Northumberland, which was the ship in which Napoleon was to take his passage to St. Helena. He issued a formal protest:—

"I hereby solemnly protest in the face of heaven and mankind against the violence that is done me; and the violation of my most sacred rights, in forcibly disposing of my person and liberty. I voluntarily came on board the Bellerophon—I am not the prisoner, I am the guest of England. I came at the instigation of the Captain himself, who said he had orders from the Government to receive, and convey me to England, together with my suite, if agreeable to me. I came forward, with confidence, to place myself under the protection of the laws of England. When once on board the Bellerophon, I was entitled to the hospitality of the British people. If the Government, in giving the Captain of the Bellerophon orders to receive me and my followers, only wished to lay a snare, it has forfeited its honour, and disgraced its flag.

"If this act be consummated, it will be in vain for the English henceforth to talk of their sincerity, their laws, and liberties. British faith will have been lost in the hospitality of the Bellerophon.

"I appeal to History; it will say that an enemy who made war for twenty years against the English people, came spontaneously, in the hour of misfortune, to seek an asylum under their laws. What more striking proof (p. 46) could he give of his esteem and confidence? But how did England reply to such an act of magnanimity? It pretended to hold out a hospitable hand to this enemy; and, on giving himself up with confidence, he was immolated!


"Bellerophon, at Sea, Friday, Aug. 4, 1815."

This might have been good logic had it not been for the little episode of Elba, which showed that neither honour, nor treaties, could bind him, and the contiguity of England to France was far too near. His residence here would be a fruitful source of intrigue and danger to both countries. Every reason of sound policy was for his complete isolation; but, whether that sentence was carried out either humanely, or with even a show of deference to Napoleon's feelings, is another question, which needs no discussion here.

On the 6th they anchored off Start Point, and were soon joined by the Northumberland and two frigates, full of soldiers, who were to form the garrison of St. Helena. By order, the arms of Napoleon's suite were taken from them, but the ex-Emperor was allowed to retain his sword. All their money, diamonds, and saleable effects were put under seal, but Napoleon kept his plate, baggage, wines, and provisions. The search of his personal effects greatly exasperated him.

(p. 48)


(Published by Mr. Jones, 5, Newgate Street, October 1, 1815.)

(p. 49) Between one and two o'clock p.m. of the 7th of August the transfer from the Bellerophon to the Northumberland was made, and then, as there was nothing else to wait for, "Cæsar and his fortunes" sailed from St. Helena.

There were but a very few satirical prints anent him published after his departure, and, I think, not one after the news of his safe arrival at St. Helena. There was a sense of relief that now he was powerless for mischief, and a revulsion of feeling set in. It was then the heyday of Boxing, and it was felt repugnant to all feelings of English manliness, to "hit a man when he was down." The Prince of Wales was severely remarked on for his conduct to his illustrious Captive, and the following poetry was exceedingly popular.

This illustration, which is separate from, but goes well with the song, is called "Boxiana, or the Fancy," and the poem is an "Epistle from Tom Cribb to Big Ben, containing some Foul Play in a Pugilistic Encounter," August, 1815:—

"What, Ben! my big hero, is this thy renown?
Is this the new Go—kick a man when he's down?
When the foe has knockt under, to tread on him then?
By the fist of my father, I blush for thee, Ben!
Foul! Foul! all the Lads of the Fancy exclaim—
Charley Shock is electrified—Belcher spits flame—
And Molyneux—aye, even Blackey, cries Shame!

Time was, when John Bull little difference spied,
'Twixt the foe at his feet, and the friend at his side;
(p. 50) When he found (such his humour in fighting and eating),
His foe, like his beefsteak, the better for beating!
But this comes, Master Ben, of your curst foreign notions,
Your trinkets, wigs, thingambobs, gold lace, and lotions;
Your Noyeau's Curacoa's, and the Devil knows what—
(One swig of Blue Ruin is worth the whole lot.)
Your great and small crosses (my eyes! what a brood!)
A cross buttock from me would do some of 'em good—
Which have spoil'd you, till hardly a drop, my old porpus,
Of pure English claret is left in your corpus.
And (as Jim says) the only one trick, good or bad,
Of the Fancy, you're up to, is fibbing, my lad!
Hence it comes, Boxiana, disgrace to thy page!—
Having floor'd, by good luck, the first Swell of the Age,
Having conquer'd the prime one that mill'd us all round,
You kick'd him, old Ben, as he gasp'd on the ground!—
Aye—just at the time to show spunk, if you'd any,
Kick'd him, and jaw'd, and lag'd[12] him to Botany!

Oh, shade of the Cheesemonger![13] you who, alas!
Doubled up, by the dozen, those Mounseers in brass,
On that great day of milling,[14] when blood lay in lakes,
When Kings held the bottle, and Europe the Stakes,
Look down upon Ben, see him, Dunghill all o'er,
Moult the fall'n foe that can harm him no more;
Out, cowardly Spooney! again and again.
By the fist of my father, I blush for thee, Ben!
To show the white feather[15] is many men's doom,
But what of one feather! Ben boasts a whole Plume!!"

And so Napoleon fades away.

(p. 51) Décoration


Effects of Napoleon's capture — The Navy in 1815 — Margate and Ramsgate — French Prisoners of war — Treaty of Peace with France — Napoleon's house — A soldier's letter — A zealous Lord Mayor — Hotels and clubs in 1815.

The effect of the capture and banishment of Napoleon was felt immediately, a great strain was taken off Europe, and it was known to all, that the peace, after so long a conflict, would be enduring. On the 17th of August we read, "The impressment of seamen is directed to be discontinued at all the seaports, as also the receiving of volunteers, except for the peace establishment. Orders have been issued at the different ports to pay off the Navy; and the seamen are to be sent to their respective homes, in small vessels, to be in readiness for that purpose."

The Navy was a rough school then, and the officers mainly came from a very different class to that from which they are now recruited. What a Midshipman's (p. 52) berth was like then, we may learn from the following extract from a letter:

"The Midshipman, whose Friends were not born before him, as the phrase goes, is easily distinguished amongst his more fortunate companions in arms; you generally see him attired like the prodigal son returning from his occupation of a swineherd, than a British officer. His perforated worsted hose, shoes which have a very great resemblance to sandals, threadbare pantaloons which were once blue, a tattered 'uniform!' coat, and a slouched hat, show that 'poverty, and not his will, consents.'

"A Midshipman's berth (in a dark cockpit under water) has long been proverbial for the convenience, and elegance of its comforts; a large deal table, abundantly ornamented with hieroglyphicks, a form, and some broken chairs, two beautiful brass candlesticks, well charged with grease, lights which seem to render darkness more visible, about ten plates and dishes, seven knives and forks, five pewter spoons, with cups and saucers in proportion, two old decanters without necks, and a very large stock of empty bottles, usually form the earthly stock of its utensils. To describe the valet, or attendant, would, indeed, be a difficult task; perhaps the reader can call to mind Le Sage's description of Domingo, whose vigilance prevented Gil Blas' escape from the Cavern? If so, I need not trouble you with anything further on the subject, except that the one is, generally, the counterpart of the other."

(p. 53) In the following, under date of October 3rd, we see the germ of our present steam navy: "We understand that a distinguished British Officer, who had an opportunity of viewing the steam frigate at New York, pronounced it to be the most formidable battery of defence ever invented (they are to be stationed at all their different seaports): and the Officer alluded to, has, we hear, strongly recommended their adoption, particularly for the Bay of Gibraltar."

Steam had already been introduced into our Mercantile marine, and we find (September), "A Margate hoy of large dimensions, propelled by steam, goes constantly to and fro from London to Margate. From its novelty, and the certainty of its arrival within a given time (about twelve hours), it is much thronged with passengers."

It was the fashionable month for those popular watering-places, Margate and Ramsgate, and how our grandparents took their holidays is thus described: "How very different is a watering-place from the rest of the world! In a commercial town every face you meet, carries the word 'business,' every one seems so absorbed in his own cares, as not even to be conscious of the existence of his fellow men. Life seems to have an object, you involuntarily quicken your pace, cast your eyes straight forward, and enumerate to yourself the several matters you have to transact. There is nothing of all this at a Watering-Place, there you find the (p. 54) inhabitants divided into two classes, gapers, and smilers. By the gapers must be understood, those who are here to spend their money, and be amused; and, by the smilers, those who are here to gain their money, and be maintained.

"Now the employment of the gapers is to lie in bed all the fore part of the day, 'the dewy hour of prime,' to wear a great coat, brown hat, brown shoes, bathe, and ride half a mile on a donkey, with a boy behind to whip it, read the newspapers during the middle of the day, and in the evening to dine, to go to a promenade in a ballroom, where during nine-tenths of the time every one sits still; or, to the theatre, where the pure air, and pure light of heaven are shut out, to make room for otto of roses and Argand lamps. Thus the amusements of the citizen are scarcely varied by his journey, or, rather, his voyage, for the packets bring the mass of visitors to Margate. The first effort the worthy Cit makes to get rid of the foul air of London, is to stow himself and family on board the hoy; here he finds eighty or a hundred amateurs of fresh air. Then if the wind be fair, and not too strong, they proceed tolerably well, but should the wind be foul, which Heaven in its great mercy forefend, such a scene opens, such qualms, and faintings,

'Such revisitings,
As make day hideous, and us poor fools of nature
Most horribly to shake our dispositions.'"

(p. 55) Although there was virtually peace throughout Europe, the Definitive Treaty of Peace, between the Allied Powers and France, was not signed until the 20th of November, at Paris: consequently the prisoners of war were not released. We can well understand the irritation of the poor fellows, who knew that it was only red tape that was preventing their return to their country and homes, and are, therefore, not surprised to hear (September 13th), that "the prisoners in confinement on board the prison ships at Cowes, meditated escape on the night of the 1st instant, but their plans were fortunately detected, through the perseverance and exertions of Lieutenant Whaley, 18th Regiment of Foot, Commanding Officer on board the ships. To show the length they intended to go, if necessary, to effect their purpose, they had actually sworn themselves to secrecy, by drinking their own blood mixed with cold water."

They were rather expensive acquaintances, for I find that the cost of them, during the greater part of the war, for provisions, clothing, and superintendence, was calculated in detail, to amount to £1000 per diem—and this was exclusive of building materials used for their prisons.

The text of the Treaty arrived here on the 27th of November. London was illuminated, Peace was proclaimed, as was also a Day of Thanksgiving.

Napoleon's House and furniture were manufactured (p. 56) here, and were ready for shipment by the end of October. I have but space to describe the house; suffice it to say, that the furniture was fitted for the use of an opulent gentleman, rather than for the quondam ruler of Europe. "The framework for the house is nearly completed at Woolwich. The front is in the Grecian style. It is about 120 feet in length, containing fourteen windows, and a fine open corridor. The depth of the building is about 100 feet, with a back corridor, almost making the whole structure square.—It is two stories high, and will have an elegant cottage appearance. The ground-floor of the right division of the house, contains Bonaparte's apartments. In the centre of this wing is his drawing-room, which, as well as the other apartments for his accommodation, is about 30 feet in length, by a breadth of 20. This proportion runs through the whole. Next, is his dining-room, with an adjoining library, behind which, is a capacious billiard-room. His bedroom, dressing-room, and bath, are of course connected. The left division of the edifice contains apartments for the officers of his suite. The rear comprises the servants' and store rooms. The kitchen is detached from the regular building, and yet perfectly convenient to the dining-room, without communicating any offensive fumes to the principal range of rooms. This is of no small value in a sultry climate. The Hall is plain, and merely furnished with seats. The Corridors will furnish a cool and shaded promenade."

(p. 57) China, stationery, and two fowling-pieces, one with percussion locks, and every necessary appertaining to them were sent out, as well as artisans to fit up the house; and the whole of this consignment, weighed nearly five hundred tons.

The following letter, which seems genuine, tells a tale of what our soldiers went through in the early part of this century:—

"Paris in france 5th Sept. 1815.

"Dear Mother and Sister,—I have taken the oppertunity of writing these lines to you hoping it will find you in good health, as it now leaves me at this present thank be to God for it. I am very sorry I did not anser your Letters as I had not opportunity for we was very busy fighting the french a long time every day in the Mountains in Spain and I always had good luck til one day I received two balls one hitt me right on my brest plate and knocked me downe and as soon as I got my wind agen I fired about ten rounds more and then another hitt me through my hip which was bad along time and one came through my Haversack and another throw my trowsers and shirt and that same night was very wet and no fires could be lighted and it was very cold on the Mountains but the Dockter was very good to me and after that we drove the french into their own Country and made them beg for (p. 58) peace and then we went into Ammerica into upper Kanndy where we had all the fighting with the Yankeys till we got a piece of them seven hundred miles up the Contrey nigh to the falls of Naygaray which you know is 1 of the 7 wonders of the world and there my Captain was so kind as to give me a pass without date and I workd for a large farmer all winter and had plenty of vittles and a good bed fit for any Gentleman and the Ridgment was then ling in Barns and when the men had to get up their hare was frose to their heads and they could not pull the Blankets from the floore and I thote myself well off and this farmer bid 100 Dollars for my discharge and we returned to Spithead and was 6 weeks on the Water which is 4 thousand 5 hundred milles and is colled a good passage[16] and wee could not get a shore after all this for we was ordered to french flanders and at last we have got to Paris and is in the Buss de bulling near to it which is a very fine place like a grove for a gateway and the french is very civil funny fellows to us now cause they know we can defend ourselves and they do not care for nothing but to get our Monney which theare is plenty way to spend and theare is shows and Montybanks every night and sundays and all and there is no Justesses or Methodys to stop them and there is all (p. 59) sorts of sights and Bartlemy fair is nothing to it and we are now agen commanded by brave Duke Wellington that always conqurs—and there is soldiers of all sorts here past all telling Rooshons Prooshons and Austrions and Jarmans of all kind and the Rooshons are verry good naturd cretures and will do anything for an Englishman and says their prayrs evry Morning and night and will fight their ennemis for ever for the Emperor and the Virgin Marey the same as we do for king George and old England, and the Prushons is very quiet men and smokes all day long and the Austrions is fine tall fellows and the foot is drest as handsome as our Horse Officers and all our Officers is very good Gentlemen and we think to stay in france two Years and I am very contented—dear mother I wish it was not so far off or you and Bet coud come for I have savd some Monney and I larnt a littel french in Kannday but it is not the same sort it is here give my kind love to all inquiring friends and pray God bless you all from your loving son til death,"——&c. &c.

What would the modern Patres Conscripti of the City say if a Lord Mayor were to appear like unto this? "We are happy to state that the Lord Mayor has commenced his Office with the most commendable alacrity. His lordship visited Billingsgate market, at five o'clock on Tuesday morning; and, yesterday morning, about the same hour, perambulated the streets, and visited the (p. 60) different watch-houses in the City. From a continuation of this conduct, at uncertain periods, we anticipate the most beneficial results." I have seen no more records of these visits, and thence judge that some judicious friend had whispered in his ear, the advice of Talleyrand to a young diplomat—"Sur tout, mon ami, pas trop de zèle."

A very few more odds and ends, and I must close the Chronicle of 1815. On the 5th of December, was hanged, at Newgate, John Binstead, convicted of forgery, and at his execution, a peculiar superstition is recorded: "While on the scaffold, Binstead, in conversation with the Rev. Mr. Cotton (the ordinary of Newgate) requested that his hands might not be applied to persons who came to be rubbed for the wen."

Of the Hotels and Clubs of this time Captain Gronow writes thus: "There was a class of men, of very high rank, such as Lords Wellington, Nelson, and Collingwood, Sir John Moore, and some few others, who never frequented the Clubs. The persons to whom I refer, and amongst whom were many members of the sporting world, used to congregate at a few hotels. The Clarendon, Limmer's, Ibbetson's, Fladong's, Stephens', and Grillon's, were the fashionable hotels. The Clarendon was then kept by a French cook, Jacquiers, who contrived to amass a large sum of money in the service of Louis the Eighteenth, in England, and, subsequently, with Lord Darnley. This was the only public hotel where you could get a genuine (p. 61) French dinner, and, for which, you seldom paid less than three or four pounds; your bottle of champagne, or of claret, in the year 1814, costing you a guinea.

"Limmer's was the evening resort for the sporting world; in fact, it was a midnight Tattersall's, where you heard nothing but the language of the turf, and where men, with not very clean hands, used to make up their books. Limmer's was the most dirty hotel in London; but, in the gloomy, comfortless coffee-room, might be seen many members of the rich squirearchy, who visited London during the sporting season. This hotel was frequently so crowded that a bed could not be obtained for any amount of money; but you could always get a very good plain English dinner, an excellent bottle of port, and some famous gin-punch.

"Ibbetson's Hotel was chiefly patronized by the clergy and young men from the universities. The Charges there were more economical than at similar establishments. Fladong's, in Oxford Street, was chiefly frequented by naval men; for, in those days, there was no club for sailors. Stephens', in Bond Street, was a fashionable hotel, supported by officers of the army, and men about town. If a stranger asked to dine there, he was stared at by the waiters, and very solemnly assured that there was no table vacant. It was not an uncommon thing to see thirty or forty saddle horses, and tilburys, waiting outside this hotel. I recollect two of my old Welsh friends, who (p. 62) used, each of them, to dispose of five bottles of wine, daily, residing here in 1815, when the familiar joints, boiled fish, and fried soles, were the only eatables you could order.

"The members of the clubs of London, many years since, were persons, almost without exception, belonging exclusively to the aristocratic world. 'My tradesmen,' as King Allen used to call the bankers and the merchants, had not then invaded White's, Boodle's, Brookes', or Wattiers' in Bolton Street, Piccadilly; which, with the Guards, Arthur's, and Graham's, were the only clubs at the west end of the town. White's was decidedly the most difficult of entry; its list of members comprised nearly all the noble names of Great Britain.

"The politics of White's Club were, then, decidedly Tory. It was here that play was carried on to an extent which made many ravages in large fortunes, the traces of which have not disappeared at the present day. General Scott, the father-in-law of George Canning, and the Duke of Portland, was known to have won at White's, £200,000, thanks to his notorious sobriety, and knowledge of the game of whist. The General possessed a great advantage over his companions by avoiding those indulgences at the table which used to muddle other men's brains. He confined himself to dining off something like a boiled chicken, with toast and water; by such a regimen he came to the whist table with a clear head, and, possessing, as he did, a remarkable memory, with great coolness and (p. 63) judgment, he was able honestly to win the enormous sum of £200,000.

"At Brookes', for nearly half a century, the play was of a more gambling character than at White's. Faro and Macao were indulged in to an extent which enabled a man to win, or to lose a considerable fortune in one night. It was here that Charles James Fox, Selwyn, Lord Carlisle, and other great Whigs, won and lost hundreds of thousands; frequently remaining at the table for many hours without rising.

"On one occasion, Lord Robert Spencer contrived to lose the last shilling of his considerable fortune, given him by his brother, the Duke of Marlborough; General Fitzpatrick being much in the same condition, they agreed to raise a sum of money, in order that they might keep a faro bank. The members of the club made no objection, and ere long, they carried out their design. As is generally the case, the bank was a winner, and Lord Robert bagged, as his share of the proceeds £100,000. He retired, strange to say, from the fœtid atmosphere of play, with the money in his pockets, and never again gambled. George Harley Drummond, of the famous banking house, Charing Cross, only played once in his whole life at White's Club, at whist, on which occasion he lost £20,000 to Brummell. This event caused him to retire from the banking house of which he was a partner.

"Lord Carlisle was one of the most remarkable victims (p. 64) amongst the players at Brookes', and Charles Fox, his friend, was not more fortunate, being, subsequently, always in pecuniary difficulties. Many a time, after a long night of hard play, the loser found himself at the Israelitish establishment of Howard and Gibbs, then the fashionable, and patronized, money-lenders. These gentlemen never failed to make hard terms with the borrower, although ample security was invariably demanded.

"The Guards Club was established for the three regiments of Foot Guards, and was conducted upon a military system. Billiards and low whist were the only games indulged in. The dinner was, perhaps, better than at most clubs, and considerably cheaper. I had the honour of being a member for several years, during which time I have nothing to remember, but the most agreeable incidents. Arthur's and Graham's were less aristocratic than those I have mentioned; it was at the latter, thirty years ago, that a most painful circumstance took place. A nobleman of the highest position, and influence in society, was detected in cheating at cards, and, after a trial, which did not terminate in his favour, he died of a broken heart.

"Upon one occasion, some gentlemen of both White's and Brookes' had the honour to dine with the Prince Regent, and during the conversation, the Prince inquired what sort of dinners they got at their clubs; upon which, (p. 65) Sir Thomas Stepney, one of the guests, observed that their dinners were always the same, 'the eternal joints, or beefsteaks, the boiled fowl with oyster sauce, and an apple tart—this is what we have, sir, at our clubs, and very monotonous fare it is.' The Prince, without further remark, rang the bell for his cook, Wattier, and, in the presence of those who dined at the Royal table, asked him whether he would take a house, and organize a dinner club. Wattier assented, and named Madeson, the Prince's page, manager, and Labourie, the cook, from the Royal kitchen. The Club flourished only a few years, owing to high play that was carried on there. The Duke of York patronized it, and was a member. I was a member in 1816, and frequently saw his Royal Highness there. The dinners were exquisite; the best Parisian cooks could not beat Labourie. The favourite game played was Macao."

(p. 67) Décoration


Day of Thanksgiving — "Battle for the Standard" — Return of the troops — Frozen game brought over by Esquimaux — The Regent's practical joke — Rejection of the Prince of Orange by the Princess Charlotte, and acceptance of Prince Leopold as her husband — Her marriage — "The R——l Whiskers" — The Regent's yacht.

This new year began well. The 18th of January was chosen as a solemn day of Thanksgiving to the Almighty for the blessings of Peace—a form, which one would have thought, would, out of the commonest sentiment of gratitude, have taken place six months previously, after Waterloo, and the submission of Napoleon; but, of course, gratitude to God must needs be subservient to diplomatic Red Tape; and He had to wait for the expression of the nation's thankfulness. This day was also the Queen's birthday, and the guns were fired, and the coloured lamps were lit at night, in token of the country's joy at having so gracious a (p. 68) person so long spared to them, so "Serve God and honour the Queen" was thoroughly, and properly, carried out at an economical rate. There was also, out of pure generosity, something thrown in. The French Colours, taken at Waterloo, two in number, were deposited in the Chapel at Whitehall. Country newspapers please copy the following: "The ceremony was conducted with perfect order; and, associated, as it was, with the duties of religious worship; the memory of the Contest in which the trophies were won, and the sight of the brave veterans who had survived its carnage, the influence it produced was not of an ordinary nature, but rather approached to a sentiment of sublimity" (Times). Perhaps a portion of the "sublimity" was owing to the fact that the Guards "were dressed in new clothing, with Caps on a new principle, and, as we are informed, far superior in comfort to the wearers."

This Military tailoring is a craze which seizes great minds at times. It has needed the colossal brains of the Duke of York, the Prince Regent (who, when he took to yachting, the Service prayed to be delivered from, in case he should alter their already too expensive uniform), of Albert the Good, whose hat is enshrined in the pages of Punch, and the Duke of Cambridge, whose attention to buttons, and facings, has won him world-wide renown—and everybody is so much better, and more efficient, from the outcome of their laborious study.

(p. 69) One of these Eagles was won after a stubborn fight, which would have entitled its Captor to the Victoria Cross, now-a-days. It was the metaphorical captive of the spear and bow of Sergeant Ewart, whose exploit, on his being gazetted Ensign in the 3rd Royal Veteran battalion, is thus contemporaneously chronicled. It was on the 18th of June, and on "the afternoon of that eventful day, the 92nd Regiment, reduced to two hundred, charged a column of the Enemy, from two thousand to three thousand strong; they broke into the centre of the column, and the moment they pierced it, the Scotch Greys dashed in to their support, when both these gallant Corps cheered, and huzzaed 'Scotland for ever!' The Enemy, to a man, were put to the sword, or made prisoners. The Greys, afterwards, charged the second line, which amounted to five thousand men; it was in the first that Sergeant Ewart captured the French eagle; the affair is thus modestly detailed by himself: 'I had a hard contest for it; the officer who carried it thrust for my groin; I parried it off, and cut him through the head; after which I was attacked by one of the lancers, who threw his lance at me, but missed the mark, by my throwing it off with my sword by my right side, then I cut him from the chin upwards, and went through his teeth. Next, I was attacked by a foot soldier, who, after firing, charged me with his bayonet, but I parried it off, and cut him through the head—so that finished the contest for (p. 70) the eagle.'" An incident which is well commemorated by Ansdell, in his picture (1848), the "Battle for the Standard."

The Medals for Waterloo and bars for the Campaign were now being distributed, but it took about forty years to thoroughly give them to their rightful owners;[17] their distribution being about as slow as is naval prize money, or the Banda and Kirwee booty.

The troops were not too quick in coming back from Paris, which they had occupied, and the Foot Guards only returned late in the year of 1815. In fact, in January of this year, they took up their old quarters at Windsor, in presence of the Queen, princesses, and the most puissant Duke of York. They wore laurels in their Caps on this occasion. I do not think they have worn them since.

Judging from our standpoint, one can hardly realize the first importation of frozen meat; and it was duly chronicled as a curiosity: "To such a pitch is mercantile speculation for the luxurious now arrived, that we understand (p. 71) three poor Laplanders have come over in the last packet from Gottenburg, and are on their way to London with five sledges, laden with Lapland Game, consisting of Tjadear (Cock of the Wood), Cappercally Orrar (black cock), Suö Ripor (Ptarmigan), Hjarpar (hazel hen), except the black cock all species of the grouse, but now extinct in this country. Those birds are considered the greatest delicacies of the North, and are, we are told, in the highest state of preservation."

This was written at the end of January, and, at the beginning of February, we find that our unfortunate Northern guests had landed on a somewhat inhospitable shore, for they had to pay over £50 duty for imported game, and £10 freight from Harwich to London. But this frozen game was quite novel, and it deserves a contemporary account of what they thought of it at the time. "The state of preservation in which these birds are, is really surprising, after travelling upwards of one thousand miles. They are preserved by being hung up to freeze as soon as killed, and, afterwards, being packed in cases, lined with skin to keep out the air. This process so effectually preserves them, that when the packages are opened, the birds are frozen quite hard; and those packages which are not opened, will continue in this state for some weeks. The mode in which the small birds are dressed in Sweden, is by stewing them in cream, with a little butter in it, after being larded, which, it is said, (p. 72) gives them an exquisite flavour: the large ones are roasted and basted with cream, which is, afterwards, served up with sauce. These Laplanders wear a kind of great coat, made of reindeer skin, with caps and gloves of the same, which gives them a very grotesque appearance: they are very shy of appearing in the streets in this attire, on account of their attracting so many people round them."

This absurdity of charging an import duty on game was enforced, not only in the case of these poor Laplanders, but, at other times: for instance, under date of 24th of February we read: "A greengrocer of Brighton imported twenty partridges and two hares from France, and paid the importation duty on them; he was, notwithstanding, convicted of exposing the said game for sale by the Magistrates at Uckfield, and fined £110, which, being unable to pay, he was committed for three months to Lewes House of Correction."

The Esquimaux stopped all the summer and autumn in England, and were a popular exhibition. They travelled all over the country, and we hear of one of them in the Caledonian Mercury, September same year: "His canoe is esteemed a very great curiosity, weighing only 16lbs., he rows it by one oar or paddle, and is so very dexterous in managing it, that he far outsails any boat with six oars. He is very expert in diving, and also in throwing his darts; he is so fastened to his seat, that he cannot fall out—as a drawer, like the mouth of a purse, girds him (p. 73) about the loins, so that, in an instant, he may be seen to dive under the water, head down, and keel uppermost; again, in the twinkling of an eye, he raises himself erect out of the water, and scuds along as if nothing had happened."

On February 8th the Alceste, sailed from Portsmouth for China, having on board Lord Amherst, appointed Ambassador to that Country, and a numerous suite, the ships also conveying numerous presents for the Emperor. Of this expedition we shall hear more in next year's Chronicle.

The Regent was always being satirized by the publication of some of his own puerilities, or those of his suite, who, of course, took their tone from him. The Brighton Herald is answerable for the following: "A gallant Admiral, residing at the Pavilion, was, a few days since, presented by a certain Great Personage, with a beautiful milk-white mare, which it was stated, had just arrived from Hanover. Nothing was talked of but this fine creature; and every one seemed anxious to have her merits put to the test. The Admiral mounted, tried her in all her paces, and though he could but approve, yet he pronounced her to be greatly inferior to a favourite black mare of his own. The present, however, coming from so high a quarter, was, of course, received with every expression of duty and thankfulness. The long switching tail of the animal, not exactly suiting the (p. 74) Admiral's taste, he sent her to a farrier to have it cropped,—when, lo! he speedily received intelligence that it was a false tail, and that, beneath it, appeared a short black, one. This curious fact led to a minuter inspection, when it was at length discovered that this beautiful white Hanoverian horse was no other than the good-humoured Admiral's own black mare, which had been painted in a manner to elude his detection." Thus it was that "le Roi s'amuse."

But the Regent was fit for better things. On the very same date that the above was recorded, we find that he ordered, at his own expense, a splendid monument to be erected at Rome, in memory of Cardinal York, the last legitimate descendant of the Stuarts.

Another serious event was preparing for him, the marriage of his daughter. We have seen that she would have none of the Prince of Orange—it is not quite certain whether, at this time, she was dotingly fond of him who was to be her partner in life for the brief portion of time allotted her. At all events, he came over here, in February, as the suitor for her hand—arriving on the 21st, and dutifully waited upon "papa" on the 23rd. That his suit would be a prosperous one, there could hardly be a doubt, for he was received by the Duke of Clarence, Sir R. Bloomfield (the Regent's Chamberlain), Count Hardenberg, and the Nobility then residing at the Pavilion.

"Happy's the wooing, that's not long a-doing," says (p. 75) the old rhyme, and this was speedily brought to a conclusion. The Prince paid his devoirs to his future bride, and her "stern parent," and then gracefully retired from the scene. In those days of no Telegraphs, the news of people's happiness, or misfortunes, was longer in reaching them than now, for a King's Messenger had to go to Paris, only to find Prince Leopold gone to Berlin, and to follow him there, in order to tell him that the English Princess Royal had been graciously pleased to accept him for her husband. On the Messenger's return, the consent of the Prince Regent was officially given, and the Lord Chancellor affixed the great Seal to the Marriage Contract.

On Thursday, the 14th of March, Lord Castlereagh appeared at the bar of the House of Commons with the following message from the Prince Regent:

"The Prince Regent, acting in the name, and on the behalf of his Majesty, having given the royal consent to a marriage between his daughter, her Royal Highness the Princess Charlotte Augusta, and his Serene Highness Leopold George Frederick, Prince of Cobourg of Saalfield, has thought fit to communicate the same to this House.

"His Royal Highness is fully persuaded that this alliance cannot but be acceptable to all his Majesty's faithful subjects; and the many proofs which his Highness has received of the affectionate attachment of this (p. 76) House to his Majesty's person and family, leave him no room to doubt of the concurrence and assistance of this House, in enabling him to make such a provision, with a view to the said marriage, as may be suitable to the honour and dignity of the Country.

G. P. R."

The reply to this piece of blarney was a dutiful, or, more properly speaking, "an humble," address, to the Regent "to return to his Royal Highness the thanks of this House for his most gracious communication of the intended marriage between," &c., &c., "and to express our entire satisfaction at the prospect of an alliance with a Protestant prince of so illustrious a family," &c. &c.—and, as a matter of course, next day the House of Commons did what was expected of them, and voted a grant of £60,000 a year for the young couple, with the addition of a year's income for outfits—£40,000 for furniture, plate, &c.; £10,000 for articles of dress for the princess; and £10,000 to increase her Highness's jewels.

A Bill for his naturalization was brought into the House of Lords on the 26th of March, and was speedily made law. For some reason or other, perhaps because she was the daughter of her mother, the Prince Regent did not like his daughter, and, at this time, his dislike was publicly spoken of. Among other things, she was not allowed to use the Royal livery (scarlet), a petty piece of spite, and the public feeling at this time is very well reflected (p. 77) by the following extract from the Morning Chronicle of the 13th of April:

"When the Prince of Coburg came up from Brighton to the Stud-house in Hampton Park, on Saturday last, he visited both Clermont and Bottleys. The first cannot be let, but may be sold; the second cannot be sold, but may be let. Clermont is a noble house, with a park of about 350 acres, well wooded. The value, including the timber, may be about £50,000. It is seventeen miles from town, and about the same distance from Windsor. But, again, we ask, why purchase such a place when there are so many palaces unoccupied?

"One reason, rather improbable indeed, is given in answer to this question; viz., that the Prince Regent may yet have a son; and that, to set up the Princess Charlotte in royal state as heir apparent to the throne, when, by such an event she might be disappointed of that elevation, would be highly improper. And this reason is given for all the proposed regulations—the revolting title of Kendal—the green livery—the private houses—the restriction of drawing rooms, &c., &c., &c. Is there lurking under this specious pretext of future probabilities any design of a measure[18] (which recent circumstances, we are told, have made practicable) by which they might be realized? But, granting even the event to happen, that, by a second (p. 78) marriage, the Prince Regent should have a son, surely it would then be the proper season to make the arrangements for the Princess Charlotte which are now establishing, and the Prince, her august Consort, might safely rely on the generosity and justice of the Nation for an adequate provision, in any change of circumstances that might affect his fortune, in the proposed union. The subject is too delicate to enlarge upon in a journal, but it is freely discussed in the upper circles, as if it were a matter actually contemplated at Court."

The Royal Marriage Act, which was rendered necessary by the social escapades of the sons of George III. left and still leaves a limited choice of husbands to the female scions of Royalty, and, as they must be Protestants, they are confined mainly to the petty princelets of Germany. Time does not change John Bull's feelings with regard to such marriages, and the satirist from that time to our own, has always ridiculed the comparative poverty of the husbands of our royal womanhood. It was so with Prince Albert, with the Duke of Teck, and the other German princes who have married into our Royal family. John Bull, doubtless from his insular prejudices, does not consider these marriages as equal, and, although he spends the money, he has the grumble thereon to which he considers himself to be entitled.


Hence the satirical print given herewith called "THE CONTRAST! or the Ci-devant German Captain in (p. 79) good Quarters!" May, 1816. One sketch is entitled, "A single life on the Continent, starving on Sour Krout!!" On the ground is a paper "Thoughts on a journey to Wales to seek my fortune, and better my condition." A mouse is nibbling at a "Map of the Principality of Coburg eight hundred square feet." The other is "Comes to England, is made a General,[19] and marries a lady of £60,000 per annum." On the wall is a picture of Camelford House, where the young couple spent their honeymoon; (p. 80) and, as a change from his former meagre fare, is shown a huge piece of roast beef, and Hock, Champagne, and Burgundy in abundance.


Tradesmen were as eager then, as now, to catch hold of anything new—and consequently we find the Kendal scarf being sold, and the Coburg hat and Kendal bonnet, which seem to have been ordinary straw work, but "for superior quality, and pearl-like colour, must, on inspection, have certain claim to universal patronage."

On the 2nd of the "merry month of May" they were (p. 81) married. The bridegroom's costume seems to have been somewhat scanty, but yet he appears to have been rather proud of it, for "Prince Leopold very frequently appeared at the balcony to gratify their curiosity, dressed in a blue coat and a star." "At two o'clock his Serene Highness went in a curricle to Carlton House, and paid a morning visit to his intended bride. He also rode round the exterior of Carlton House to view his new travelling carriage. His Serene Highness afterwards returned to Clarence House a little before half-past three, when the crowd was so numerous, and the anxiety to see him so great, that the footmen, in letting him out of the carriage had nearly been pushed under it. A number of women and children were forced into Clarence House against their will, by the extreme pressure. In a few minutes after, his Serene Highness walked across to York House, when the crowd behaved extremely orderly, and, at the request of a few attendants, formed a clear passage for them to pass through.... The Princess Charlotte of Wales, at four o'clock, went in a carriage to the Queen's Palace, and had the windows down to gratify the curiosity of the crowd in Pall Mall, but they were found to be so extremely numerous, that the coachman could not, with safety, drive through them, and went through the Park. On his coming out to get into his carriage he was assailed by a number of females patting him on the back, and giving him good wishes. This delay gave a number of (p. 82) men an opportunity to take off the traces of the horses, in order to draw the carriage. They were prevailed upon to desist, but they did so (sic) a second time, and the Prince, it is supposed, would have indulged them in their desire, had not accidents been feared, and by exertions of the sentinels the traces were put to the carriage again, and the carriage proceeded to Carlton House amidst the loud huzzas of the populace."

After all this mobbing they got properly married, and set off for Oatland's—the Duke of York's mansion.

The bride was dressed in white llama and silver, and, perhaps, some of my lady readers will be pleased to hear that her frock was "finished with a very brilliant rollio of lama," which must have been very comforting to her. The Queen of Sheba would (to use an Americanism) have to have taken a "back seat" compared to the dear old Queen Charlotte, who must have been "exceeding magnifical." She wore "a beautiful gold tissue, trimmed with a mixture of gold and silver, having two flounces of brilliant silver net-work, richly embossed with stripes of gold lamé, and a superb head to the flounces of silver lamé border. The whole had a most grand, novel, and magnificent appearance."

R——L WHISKERS, 1816.

The satirical prints may, generally, be taken as a reflex of popular opinion, be it right or wrong, and the Princess was soon credited with having the upper hand in the domestic arrangements of her new household. She is (p. 85) depicted as wearing her husband's breeches, and taking the reins when driving—but this was meant for good-humoured badinage—not like the satires on the Regent, who was lampooned without mercy. His clothes, his personal appearance, even his whiskers were not allowed to pass unscathed—as the following will show:




From a puissant Prince, to his cast-off whiskers, on leaving London to make an Excursion.

Adieu, my dear Whiskers! dear Whiskers, adieu!
I ne'er shall love Whiskers, as I have lov'd you.
So becoming your form, and so brilliant your hue,
I ne'er admir'd Whiskers, as I've admir'd you.
Your curve was so lovely, so like a horse shoe,
Not a whisker at Court was so lovely as you.
The Baron Geramb's[20] were immense it is true,
But they didn't sweep round half so tasty as you,
Y—— ——'s[21] Whiskers comprise hair enough for a head,
But odious the shape, and the colour is red.
Of beauty, 'tis known, that the line is a curve,
Then the prize of all beauty you surely deserve;
For in curve so enchanting you lay on my chin,
You completely eclipsed all the blubber within.
Not Ganymede's self, when he waited on Jove,
Looked the model so like of the young God of Love;
Not Apollo the bright, nor Adonis the fair,
Were like, my dear whiskers—adorn'd to a hair!
(p. 86) Not drooping Narcissus, reclin'd o'er the stream,
Himself the dear object, himself the dear theme,
Was more charm'd with his face, thus presented to view,
Than I've been with mine, when encircl'd with you.
... ..."

A life of indolence, and sensual gratification, brought with it its concomitant punishment, and he suffered much from gout. There is a peep at his inner life from a Newspaper paragraph of the 26th of March, dated Brighton: "It is true that the Prince has been on horseback, and has rode for some time about the Pavilion lawn. An inclined plane was constructed, rising to about the height of two feet and a half, at the upper end of which was a platform. His Royal Highness was placed in a chair on rollers, and so moved up the ascent, and placed on the platform, which was then raised by screws, high enough to pass the horse under; and, finally, his Royal Highness was let gently down into the saddle. By these means the Regent was, undoubtedly, enabled to enjoy in some degree the benefit of air and exercise; but the exercise implied little of spontaneous muscular power, and cannot, certainly, be considered as a criterion of renovated strength."

A short trip to sea was suggested as likely to be of benefit to his health, and a Royal Yacht of some three hundred or four hundred tons burden was hauled up and put on the slips at Deptford Dockyard to be entirely new coppered and re-fitted throughout. The estimated cost of doing this was over sixty thousand pounds! of which the gilding (p. 87) alone is supposed to have absorbed nearly thirteen thousand five hundred pounds!! Why! the very blocks to the shrouds and rigging were fully gilt, and the whole of the internal fittings were of the most gorgeous description. The Royal Sovereign was re-launched at Deptford on the 8th of August, 1816, and, when the workmen had done with her, she was ordered round to Brighton, to be at the Regent's disposal.

(p. 88) Décoration
(p. 89) Décoration


Riots and agrarian outrages — Colliers, &c., coming to London — "England in 1816" — Riots in Newgate — Marriage of the Duke of Gloucester — A chimney sweep's wedding — Cruelty to a "climbing boy" — The Mortar at St. James's Park — Lighting by means of Gas — The Coinage.

And what was the general state of the Country at this time? During the very celebration of the Princess's Wedding—the people, owing to high price of provisions, and the stagnations of trade, were in very evil case. In those days an empty stomach, and rioting, generally went together, and, consequently, about this time the newspapers had to chronicle riots of a more or less serious description. On the 6th of May, we hear of one at Bridport where the windows of the principal millers and bakers were smashed, and a few hogsheads of beer stolen from a local brewer. It was soon put down by the law-abiding inhabitants of the place, and was nothing like so serious as that which took place at Bury St. Edmunds a few days afterwards, which sent the Sheriff (p. 90) of Suffolk packing off at once to London, in order to consult with the Home Secretary, and to request his assistance in overcoming the rioters.

For some time there had been various agrarian outrages in the Eastern Counties, such as breaking thrashing machines, and firing barns and ricks, and these were supposed to have arisen because an increase of wages had not immediately followed on the rise in the price of bread. Impunity begat audacity, and they demanded that wheat should be sold at half a crown a bushel, and prime joints of meat at fourpence a pound. Some of the principal inhabitants, especially at one place, Brandon, near Bury, temporized with the Mob, and promised them that their demands should be complied with for a fortnight, which would give time for their grievances to be discussed.

This satisfied them for the moment, and they dispersed giving three cheers. But they again broke out, and, this time, destroyed some houses—and, moreover, demonstrated with bludgeons studded with short iron spikes, and, to shew their organization, they paraded a flag, having the legend, "Bread, or Blood!" They threw fire balls about, smashed the street lamps, made an attack on some mills, and stole therefrom a quantity of flour, some of which, in their unreason, they threw into the river, and some they carried away. Some of the West Norfolk Militia, and a party of the first Royal Dragoons, having arrived, they were supported by the (p. 91) respectable inhabitants, and for a time some kind of order was restored.

But the demon was abroad, and men began to be riotous in other places. In Norwich the mob smashed lamps, windows, &c., and threw fire balls about, besides stoning and wounding the Military, Yeomanry and Militia, who were there to keep the peace. At Bury, a Mob wanted a manufacturer to deliver over to their sweet will, a spinning jenny, swearing they would destroy his premises if he refused. This he had courage enough to do, and some two hundred special Constables being enrolled—peace was once more restored.

At Cambridge they feared an irruption of the rioters from the Fen districts, swore in three hundred special Constables, and the Vice Chancellor, and heads of Colleges, resolved to arm the students, if considered necessary. But the Fen Men were busy in their own district. They rendezvoused at Littleport, attacked the house of the Rev. Mr. Vachel, a magistrate resident there, and wrecked it, doing about £2,000 worth of damage. They extorted money from the inhabitants, they nearly emptied the publican's cellars, and they loaded a waggon with every gun they could find.

The decent people in those parts thought this was carrying a joke a little too far, and we read, "These riots have at length terminated by the exertions of the magistrates, aided by a number of the gentlemen, and (p. 92) inhabitants of Ely, and the Royston troop of Volunteer Cavalry, together with a small detachment of the 1st Royal Dragoons, consisting of eighteen, who had, in the first instance, been sent for from Bury. These proceeded in a body, on the 25th of May, to Littleport, and a very severe struggle ensued between them and the rioters, who had secreted themselves in different houses, and were armed with guns, with which they fired many shots at the military and civil power, and severely wounded one of the soldiers, but not dangerously. The military then received orders to fire, and the man who had wounded the soldier was instantly shot dead, and another fell, who, having lost the lower part of his face, and part of his tongue, is since dead. When this took place, the rioters were completely disconcerted, and fled in every direction; but, by the perseverance and activity of the military and civil power, no less than seventy-three of the rioters were taken, and are now lodged in Ely Gaol. Many more were also taken, who, appearing to have been forced to join the mob, have been liberated. Amongst those taken, and now under confinement, are several persons of some property, and apparent respectability of life; and it is very evident that rapine (not want) was the principal instigation of this unprecedented disturbance, as the parish of Littleport, on Wednesday and Thursday nights, resembled, in every respect, a town sacked by a besieging army, the principal inhabitants having been compelled to (p. 93) abandon their homes for the protection of their lives, and leave their properties to the mercy of this daring banditti of robbers.

At least fifty guns and nine or ten large fowling pieces, such as are used by gunners for the destruction of wild fowl, each carrying at least four or five pipes[22] of powder, and as many of shot, were taken from the rioters, and plate and other articles to the value of £300 or £400 have been recovered."

In those days the Isle of Ely had a Chief Justice of its own, an office which was only abolished by the Act 6-7 William IV. cap. 87, and to him the King sent two Justices to hold a Commission on these rioters, which terminated with the Capital Conviction of thirty-four persons on charges of burglary and robbery: five of them were left for death without hope of mercy, and, on the 28th of June, they were duly executed.

But these riots were not merely local—say in the Eastern Counties, they were in many parts of England.

At Bideford—there was a small riot which was soon suppressed, at Newcastle, and upon the Wear, disturbances among the "Geordies" about the high price of food, which wanted cavalry to suppress. More riots in Essex—another at Honiton, where they burnt a farm (p. 94) house, at Liverpool (but that was purely political). In very fact trade was very bad, and, to give one example, I take four consecutive paragraphs from The Morning Chronicle of July 3, 1816.

"As a proof of the unprecedented stagnation of trade, one day last week there was not a single entry for export or import at the Custom-house of London, a circumstance without parallel in the annals of that extensive establishment."

"In the neighbourhood of Bilston-moor, where there are many Collieries, and a number of iron works, the workmen, consisting of some thousands, have been thrown out of employ. They have solicited in vain for work in Warwickshire, Staffordshire, and the neighbourhood. With a view of drawing particular attention to their case, they have resorted to the experiment of presenting a petition to the Prince Regent in person, to be accompanied by a present of three waggon loads of Coals. About fifty men are yoked to each waggon to drag it to town. One of the waggons proceeds by the route of Worcester; another by Coventry and Birmingham; the route of the third is by Stourbridge. The men proceed at the rate of about twelve miles a day, and receive voluntary gifts of money, &c., on the road as they pass along, declining of themselves to ask alms: their motto, as placarded on the carts, being—'Rather work than beg.'"

"Upwards of ten thousand livery servants are said to be (p. 95) now out of place in different parts of England, owing to the prosperous state of the times, and the numerous emigrations to foreign parts."

"The state of the times has had a very singular effect upon livings—the threat now of taking the tithes in kind, no longer alarms the farmer, as it is what he wishes the Clergyman to do; and, on a Calculation, the value of Church preferment has diminished one half."

I may as well tell the sequel of the Bilston expedition, and cannot tell it better than in the words of the same newspaper.

"One body of the Colliers, with the waggon of coals from Staffordshire, had reached Nettlebed, near Henley. Report had mentioned two, nay, three such bodies, each with a waggon. One of them proceeded by the road that leads to London through St. Alban's. They reached that place, we understand, on Tuesday evening. The Home Department had sent down Magistrates to each of the three roads, by which the Colliers might approach the Capital. Sir Nathaniel Conant[23] was dispatched to the St. Alban's road. The men were found reposing on and about their waggon. The Magistrate stated to them the impropriety of the step they had either taken of their own accord, or by the advice of others—that this was not the mode to obtain relief—that it rather tended to prevent the accomplishment of their object, because it might lead to (p. 96) a breach of the peace. The Colliers listened with much interest and attention to the remonstrances of the Magistrate. It had not struck them, they said, in the light in which he had placed it. They confessed they had been ill-advised, and evinced a readiness to return immediately to their homes. In consequence of this declaration, the Magistrate purchased the coals of them, which were left to be distributed to the poor, and gave each man as much money as would carry him back to his home.

"Another waggon with a party of Colliers, the one which had come by way of Henley, was met by the Magistrate at Maidenhead. The same representations were made to the men, and with the same success as at St. Alban's. The coals were bought, and, the men agreeing to return home, received sufficient to carry them thither."

A few days later on, is a paragraph which shews that this method of "stumping the Country" was coming into fashion. "The example set by the Bilston Moor Colliers in dragging their waggons and petitions through the Country, is likely to have many imitators. Besides those that entered Birmingham on Wednesday and Thursday last, soliciting relief, and who, on Friday week, passed through Wolverhampton on their way to Liverpool, on Saturday week, a waggon load of coals, drawn by eighty men, with ropes, arrived in Leicester. A strong sensation of compunction for their sufferings was excited, and they collected a considerable sum of money. A second (p. 97) load arrived on Monday, but the Collection was, of course, for a smaller amount. The men behaved remarkably well. They had a certificate of their necessities, signed by the minister of their parish. Another team of Colliers passed through Leicester on Tuesday last, begging their way northwards."

A little piece of poetry very well sums up


In eighteen hundred ten and six
Old England's glory some would fix:
Peace throughout Europe; Royal Marriages,
New Streets, new Palaces, and Carriages.
New Stars, new Ribbons, and new Crosses,
A Coinage new, whate'er the loss is—
Splendid new Bridges, splendid Lights,
And Columns destined for our Knights!
Sounds not this well? Then who would think
We stood on ruin's very brink?
For, now the Picture but capsize
And view it with your proper eyes.
In London, flashy shops behold,
And new Bazaars, but nothing sold;
In every street, a carpet out,
That shews my Lady on her route,
To spend her poor remains in France,
And teach her children how to dance.
Then for the Country—Farmers breaking,
Clothiers half ruin'd, Landlords quaking,
A solemn gloom, no sun, no hay day
Between this very hour and Lady.
The Corn, too, laid, and some say rotting,
The Luddites up in arms, or plotting—
The panic general, and the Stocks
(p. 98) As flat, almost, as the New Docks—
Then a Subscription by the Great,
Lest all our poor should emigrate,
A boon that seems too sure a test
Of apprehension for the rest.
But last, and worst, a Ministry in doubt,
Too weak to stand, too strong to be turned out."

In August we had riots in Glasgow and Preston, and this in spite of the "Association for the Relief of the Manufacturing and Labouring poor." Nay, even the prisoners in Newgate caught the infection, and organized a riot of their own, which had a somewhat frivolous beginning. On the 25th of August a visitor to the prison had his watch stolen, and naturally complained of the matter to the Keeper, who ordered all the convicts and their visitors to be searched, and no more visitors allowed until the watch was found. The Convicts considered this as a breach of their privileges, and not only refused to be searched, but took possession of the Common Yard, and turned out, by force, all the officers, and turnkeys. Of course, this conduct could not be allowed, and the Convicts were ultimately driven into the upper wards—where, being armed with the iron railings of the staircase, they barricaded themselves as well as they could, and awaited results.

The Keeper, on his side, did not like the look of things; he did not want any of his force injured, as they probably would be, if they attempted to force the wards, (p. 99) held by these desperadoes—and he disposed his men, so as to watch them well, to see they did not escape, and then sent for instructions to the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs, but all three were out of town. However, the Lord Mayor arrived on the Scene about two in the morning, and waited till six to see if the malcontents would yield—but, as there seemed no chance of this, they were informed, when the usual time of calling them to breakfast arrived, that unless they surrendered, they would have no food that day. This was an argumentum ad hominem not to be denied. One soon gave in, and, within an hour, they were all secured.

Yet another Royal Marriage: which took place on the 22nd of July, between William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester, grandson of Frederick, Prince of Wales, to his cousin, the Princess Mary, fourth daughter of Geo. III., and, consequently, his cousin. It was a suitable marriage, for they were born in the same year (1776), and had long been attached to each other. There was nothing particular about the ceremony except that it was solemnized in the grand saloon in the Queen's palace, where an altar was erected—and transformed, according to the fashion of Royal Marriages, into an unmeaning buffet of plate. "The gold Communion plate was the most massive and costly that ever was displayed upon one occasion. It consisted of the Altar plate belonging to King William; from Whitehall (p. 100) Chapel, two uncommonly large dishes, richly chased with appropriate devices of our Lord's last supper with His disciples; the compartments round the dishes having also appropriate designs. Two immensely large flagons, from the Chapel Royal, beautifully chased; also a large number of ewers; several chalices, or cups of solid gold. Each corner had most superbly gilt tripods for six candles."

By way of contrast, and also to illustrate the manners, of the times, let us read the following account of a "Singular Wedding. Tuesday evening the neighbourhood of Drury Lane was thrown into the utmost confusion, in consequence of an extraordinary phenomenon very seldom witnessed. Some sweeps, residing in Charles Street, having been married, they resolved to celebrate the day, and, about eight o'clock in the evening, the bride and bridegroom, attended by eleven couples more, all mounted on asses, and followed by several hundreds of spectators, with tin pots, horns, dust bells, watchmen's rattles, flambeaux, etc., proceeded through Drury Lane, and made their grand entrance into Holborn up Newton Street to the Bank public-house, where they stopped to get some refreshment; but in forming the procession again, the bride's Arabian was unfortunately thrown down by the pressure of the mob, and the lady precipitated in the mud. This enraged the bridegroom, who immediately dismounted, and began by (p. 101) dealing several blows among his neighbours, with extreme fury. The consequence was, that a general battle ensued, and several heads were broken. Gardner, the beadle of that district, came up, backed by about a dozen Knights of the lanthorn, who succeeded in securing several of the sable warriors, which finally dispersed the merry group."

Apropos of chimney sweeps, we know that there was much legislation in behalf of the climbing boys, who were still much used, as a great deal of senseless prejudice and opposition prevailed against the use of Machines: and that these poor boys needed some protection from their brutal masters, the following case on the 10th of July, at the Middlesex Sessions will show.

"At ten o'clock yesterday morning, the trial of William Molys took place at Hick's Hall. Our readers will recollect that the prisoner was a master sweep, and lately stood his trial at the Old Bailey, on a charge of murder, for having, by brutal treatment, caused the death of John Hewlings, a child of five or six years of age, his apprentice. He was, however, acquitted of this charge, but retained on an indictment for an assault on the same child.

"To this charge the prisoner pleaded Not Guilty.

"Mr. Walford, for the prosecution, stated the case. He related several cases of atrocious violence on the (p. 102) part of the prisoner towards the deceased John Hewlings, who was little more than five years old, and had been for a few months his apprentice. The learned gentleman's statement was fully confirmed in evidence.

"Elizabeth Ware proved that she saw the prisoner striking at the child's legs with a brush, to force him up a chimney, which he was unable to ascend, and then dragging him down, and dashing him with violence against the floor. The child screamed bitterly.

"Sarah Reeves corroborated the last Witness's testimony, and added, that the Prisoner declared he would 'serve the boy out' when he got him home. The boy complained bitterly that his knees were hurt.

"Anne Chandler proved that the prisoner came to her house in Whitechapel on the 23rd of April, with the deceased boy and another, to sweep a chimney, into which he put up the former, who stuck in the flue for nearly an hour. The prisoner was, at length, prevailed upon to get to the top of the chimney, and extricate the child, which he did, with loud imprecations upon him. The moment he got him down, he knocked him against a chest of drawers in the room; and when the child, almost senseless from the blow, was endeavouring to recover himself, he kicked him across the chamber, and, in this case, as in the former, repeated his asseveration that he would serve him out when he got him home.

(p. 103) "Mary Craig, who lived next door to the prisoner, proved, that on helping the wife of the latter, who was drunk, into her own house, she saw the child on the ground near the prisoner, who desired him to get up, which he was unable to do without the assistance of a stick. Witness looked at the boy's leg, which she found greatly swollen. At her suggestion, the prisoner rubbed the wounded part with ointment, and when he found the boy still unable to walk, he dashed him on the ground.

"George Rose, and Esther Jacobs, proved their having, on the 23rd of April, while accidentally passing near the prisoner's house, been alarmed with screams and cries of Murder, and Mercy. Rose kicked in the door, and upbraided the prisoner and his wife with their unnatural conduct. The latter held a strap in her hand, with which she avowed she had been beating the child, and repeated that she would do so again.

"The prisoner, on being called upon for his defence, put in a written paper, containing a general denial of the charge, and stating that he was a victim of persecution. He did not call any witnesses.

"The Court then summed up the evidence, and the Jury instantaneously returned a verdict of Guilty. The Court, after severely animadverting on the atrocity of the prisoner's guilt, sentenced him to two years' imprisonment."

(p. 104) All Londoners know the Mortar on the Parade of the Horse Guards, which was taken from the French at the siege of Cadiz in 1812, and presented by the Cortes to the Prince of Wales. Its elaborate allegorical carriage makes it a notable feature. It was uncovered on the Prince Regent's birthday, August 12, 1816, and from that moment it was assailed with a storm of ridicule principally addressed at the Regent. Pictorially the satires would scarcely suit this fastidious age, but some rather smart things were written anent it both in prose and rhyme. Of the latter, the following caustic epigram is a good example:—

"On a Recent Embellishment of the Metropolis.

Useless, and hollow, and unsound,
And silly splendour all the plan,
With venom'd reptiles guarded round,
How like the Mortar to the Man!"

As the noble game of Cricket is now played, the stumps are drawn about sunset. In order to decide a match, would it not be practicable to take example by the following? "Cricket by Candle Light.—A match was played a few days ago, by night, on Sedley-green, near Bexhill, between Mr. S. Beaching, and Mr. J. Thomas, to be decided in one innings, which was won by the former. On this occasion, lanthorns were placed in different parts of the ground, and upwards of one hundred persons witnessed this nocturnal contest."

(p. 105) This use of lanthorns shows that gas had not reached country neighbourhoods, nor has it yet in too many cases. Yet it was making its way in the large towns. In August the town of Preston, in Lancashire, was partially lit by gas, and this daring feat is thus recorded: "The length of the main pipes already laid is one thousand yards; and in this space it is estimated that more than nine hundred lights, emitting flame equal to four thousand mould candles of six to the pound, will be attached to the main pipes in the ensuing winter. The plan of lighting a considerable space by means of a single burner, placed at an elevated situation, has been carried into effect at Preston. In the centre of the Marketplace, which is of considerable area, there happens to be a handsome Gothic Column 36 feet in height: on the top of this is placed a vase, in which is the burner; and it thus becomes the substitute of twenty-five common oil lamps, but with an effect which could not be equalled by double the number, placed in the most advantageous positions." The Chronicler's figures appear to be rather hazy, for with one flame of four and a half candle gas it is difficult to imagine a light given equal to fifty oil lamps.

The Silver Coinage was getting into a dreadfully worn condition (by the way, ours is nothing to boast of), and it had been settled that a new coinage of shillings and sixpences, to the extent of £2,500,000 should be minted; (p. 106) but, "as the period for the issue of the new coin approached, the fears of the retail dealers became general, lest the plain English shillings and sixpences should be confounded with the French ones, and the whole refused. It was at Hull, early in September, where the tradespeople first refused to receive at their normal value, all plain shillings, or, in other words, all not appearing to be clearly of our own legal currency. In the Metropolis, it was at Billingsgate market, on the 20th of September, where plain shillings and sixpences were first indiscriminately refused; from thence, the refusal of them spread through the Borough, and, in the evening, became general throughout the Metropolis. A great stagnation, in all retail trades suddenly, and naturally, ensued, and the lower orders were disposed to commit disturbances in almost every market. This embarrassing and dangerous state of things being made known to the Lord Mayor, his lordship took immediate measures to preserve the peace of the City, not by means of force, but by promptly communicating to the public, from the Mansion House, a notice, of which the following is a Copy:

"Silver Coin.Take Notice.—The Bank of England do not refuse any shillings or sixpences on account of their being plain, provided they are English.

"By order of the Lord Mayor,

"Francis Hobler.

"Saturday Morning, Sept. 21, 1816.

(p. 107) "In consequence of the above notice, people assembled in crowds to take their silver to the Bank, for which they received Bank of England Notes and tokens."

This somewhat palliated the small panic, but it was more allayed by another proclamation from "Wood, Mayor," that the Secretary of State for the Home Department gave notice, that "all shillings and sixpences that can be considered as of the Established Standard in fineness, will be exchanged for new silver coin when it is issued;" and a further notice, "that all kind of shillings, now, or lately in circulation, are taken at the Bank of England, with the exception of French, or base metal; they therefore recommend to all shopkeepers, dealers, and others, in order to prevent any breach of the peace, to take such silver above named, as usual," perfectly tranquilized the public mind.

We shall, next year, hear more about the new Coinage, which was being coined at the rate of nearly 300,000 coins per diem.

(p. 109) Décoration


Smuggling — "Resurrection Men" — More riots — Orator Hunt — Meetings at Spa Fields — Riots arising therefrom — Execution of one of the rioters — The King's health.

Smuggling, and illicit distilling, were reckoned among venial crimes, but both were practised to an extent unknown at the present time. Let us take a few examples in chronological order.

January 31st. "A band of twenty-eight smugglers were met with lately, loaded with bladders full of smuggled whiskey, supposed to amount to 140 gallons, on their way from the Highlands to Glasgow. The Excise Officers, who met them, being only two in number, dared not attack them, and they all got off."

The next reminds us somewhat forcibly of some late smuggling from one of Her Majesty's yachts: "February 23rd. The following singular occurrence, has, it is reported, taken place, very recently, at Woolwich. A transport, (p. 110) laden with Ordnance Stores unfit for further service, arrived from the French Coasts for the purpose of returning them, and remained some days before the unloading began: it at length took place, when, it is added, some inquisitive officers of the Customs requested to examine the Contents of the articles, and discovered that what was considered, and marked on the packages, as shot, shell, rockets, and other combustibles, consisted of Claret, Champagne, silks, lace, &c. The whole, it is said, were immediately seized, amounting to a considerable sum."

This plan seems to have been tried on again, for in the Annual Register, 30th March, is a similar case, in which it is said that there were goods to the value of £7,000, for one man, packed up as "Return Congreve Rockets."

The same Magazine, copying from a Glasgow paper, gives under date August 30th, the following: "How much soever the regular commerce of the Country is impaired by the present pressure, there is no question that the smuggling trade continues in extreme vivacity. This extraordinary traffic appears to be conducted with a publicity that could scarcely be credited but on the testimony of one's own sight. The Smugglers, or as they are styled from the manner of Conveying the Whiskey, Flaskers, go in large bands on the highroads in open day, and laugh at the traveller, who, by his looks, expresses wonder at contravention of the law so undisguised, and yet so undetected. On Monday night, for instance, a gang (p. 111) of twenty-four, with the order of so many soldiers, and under the directions of a leader who frequently called on those lagging behind 'to keep up,' marched through Springbank, and the neighbouring hamlets to Cowcaddens (in the suburbs of Glasgow), where, in the face of numbers of persons, some of whom bawled out 'Success to Smuggling,' they entered a house, and deposited their laden flasks, until the shades of night would enable them to penetrate in safety to their re-setters in Glasgow. We are informed that the places of distillation are nearly as notorious to the inhabitants of their vicinity, as the methods of conveyance; and whoever of the neighbours choose to make a visit to the popular distillers are regaled with undiluted spirit, wherewith to drink confusion to the Excise. Smuggled whiskey has, it is said, fallen recently 4s. or 5s. a gallon."

"November 28th. One night last week, some smugglers displaced the layer of a tomb in the Churchyard at Fareham, and deposited therein several large kegs of contraband Spirits; but certain officers being on the watch, they had an early resurrection."

This rifling the tomb was infinitely better than that of those ghouls, the body-snatchers, or resurrection men. In The Morning Chronicle of the 23rd of November is reported a "Riot and Combination amongst the Resurrection men. Tuesday evening (18th November) the inhabitants of Canterbury Square were extremely alarmed, (p. 112) in consequence of a riot, which assumed the most alarming aspect, having taken place at the house of Mr. Millard, beadle to the dissecting room of Guy's Hospital, whose family were attacked by a desperate gang of resurrection men, namely, Benjamin Crouch (Captain of the gang), James Hollis, William Naples, Patrick Garneth, Peter Hannagan, Israel Chapman, and several others, who were proceeding to acts of violence, and threatening destruction to the family of Mr. Millard, in consequence of his infringing on their profession, by employing men ignorant of their art in procuring subjects for the numerous students at the Hospital.

"Their vengeance, it appears, arose from the circumstance of two or three persons having been employed by the surgeons to procure subjects on one occasion, which came to their knowledge, and they were determined to be revenged on the beadle, who was not at all concerned. The inhabitants having collected, the rioters announced that their allowance must be raised from four guineas to six; that they would allow fourteen days for an answer, and, unless their demand was complied with, they would pay the beadle a more severe visit: at the same time wishing it to be made known that they could command trade, bad as the times were; and, in the Country, their payment was no less than £20, on some occasions. The mob became exasperated, and, but for the interference of Mr. Millard, would have torn them to pieces. They, (p. 113) however, got clear off, and Mr. Millard applied to the Magistrates at Union Hall, where he procured a warrant for their apprehension. Some of the party were held to bail, a few weeks ago, at the complaint of Mr. Ashley Cooper, for a similar offence."

"October 21st. Marlborough Street.—It was stated, yesterday, that a most extraordinary affair happened at Mr. Brooke's, The Theatre of Anatomy, Blenheim Street. On Sunday evening, a man having been delivered there as a subject (a technical name for a dead man for dissection), in a sack—who, when in the act of being rolled down the steps, to the vaults, turned out to be alive, and was conveyed, in a state of nudity to St. James's Watch-house.

"Curiosity had led many hundreds of persons to the watch-house, and it was with difficulty the subject could be conveyed to this Office, where there was also a great assemblage. The Subject at length arrived. He stated his name to be Robert Morgan, by trade a smith. John Bottomley, a hackney Coachman, was charged also with having delivered Morgan tied up in the Sack. The Subject appeared in the sack, in the same way in which he was taken, with this difference, that holes had been made to let his arms through.

"The evidence of Mr. Brookes afforded much merriment. He stated that on Sunday evening, soon after seven o'clock, his servant informed him, through the medium of a pupil, that a coachman had called to inquire if he wanted (p. 114) a subject, from Chapman, a notorious resurrection man. Mr. B. agreed to have it, and in about five minutes afterwards, a Coach was driven up to the door, and a man, answering to the description of Bottomley, brought Morgan in a sack, as a dead body, laid him in the passage, at the top of the kitchen stairs, and walked away without taking any further notice. On Harris, witness's servant, taking hold of the subject's feet, which protruded through the bottom of the sack, he felt them warm, and that the subject was alive.

"Here the prisoner Morgan, who seems to have enjoyed the narrative, with others, burst out into a fit of laughter.

"Mr. Burrowes—the Magistrate: Is it usual, Mr. Brookes, when you receive a subject, to have any conversation with the parties who deliver it?

"Mr. Brookes: Sometimes; but dead bodies are frequently left, and I recompense the procurers at my leisure.

"Mr. Brookes resumed his evidence, and stated that he put his foot upon the sack, upon being called by his servant, and kicked it down two steps, when the subject called out 'I'm alive,' and, forcing half his naked body out of the sack, threw the whole house into alarm. (Here the subject again laughed heartily.) Conceiving that the prisoner's intent was concealment, for the purpose of inducing others to commit felony, witness armed himself with the bar of a shutter, one of his pupils (p. 115) brought a poker, and gave his weapon to another man in the house, whilst he flew upstairs for his pistols, which were unloaded; but the prisoner seemed inclined to resist, and witness said to him, 'Resign, or else I'll shoot you like a bug, and then dissect you in five minutes.' A Constable was sent for, and the subject was taken to the watch-house. He denied any knowledge of how he came there, and said he had been made very drunk.

"After Mr. Brookes had returned from the watch-house to enter the charge against Morgan, he saw Bottomley loitering about the street, and, on scrutinizing his dress, it answered that of the person who had left Morgan there. There was another hackney Coachman with Bottomley.

"Mr. Brookes' testimony was corroborated by Mr. Salmon, one of his pupils, and by Henry Harris his servant. The latter was confronted with Bottomley, and he believed him to be the man who had left Morgan.

"In defence, Morgan said, that he had returned from Teddington, Middlesex, on Sunday, where he had been three days at work; that he had drunk freely on the road to London. He came through Westminster and the Park; and, in Oxford Street, a man picked him up, and made him so drunk, that he entirely lost his senses, and had no recollection until he awoke from his stupor at Mr. Brookes's. He had no wrong intention, and he had lost 5s. and some apparel.

"Mr. Brookes stated, and he was confirmed in it, that (p. 116) the man was not drunk, when at his house, and the manner of his extricating himself from the sack, clearly demonstrated it."

Bottomley, in his defence, denied all knowledge of Morgan, and the Magistrate remanded them; but the Newspaper does not tell the sequel.

Undoubtedly, there was great distress throughout the nation, and there were riots all over the country. On October 18th there was a Corn riot at Sunderland, where, at market, owing to an advance in price, the Mob took away the Corn from the farmers by force, and openly divided the spoil among themselves: but some of the ringleaders were arrested.

There were riots, and somewhat serious ones, too, in the iron districts of Wales, owing to a reduction of wages occurring simultaneously with a rise in provisions, and the Military had to be called out. A riot took place at Calder Ironworks, near Glasgow, and there the Military had to back up the Civil power. A Corn Riot about the same time at Walsall, where the windows of several bakers were smashed, and a New Mill gutted; here, too, the soldiers were called out—and, a little later in the year, food riots at Dundee.


"I well know the superiority of mental over physical force; while we have the power of exercising the former, we cannot be justified in resorting to the latter" (his speech, November 15, 1816).

It was scarcely to be expected that London would escape scot free, and we find that she came in for her share. There was at this time a violent Mob orator named Henry Hunt, who, after the manner of his kind, (p. 119) was very fond of hearing himself speak. He was born on the 6th of November, 1773, in Wiltshire, and was a farmer, but, having imbibed violent Radical ideas, farming was too unexciting an occupation for him, and, embarking on the troubled sea of politics, he became the darling of the Mob. It is not in the scope of this work to speak of him except in connection with the "Spa Fields Riots," but I may mention that in 1819 he was sentenced to two and a half years' imprisonment, to pay a fine of £1,000, and to find security for his future good behaviour. He died in 1835.

There was, unfortunately, a great deal of distress, but this was in the way of being met by giving employment on works for the general good, in the Country, and in London by very munificent donations, such as £5,000 from the Prince Regent. But public distress always has been the demagogue's opportunity; he has very little chance of being heard when working men are well employed and contented, and Henry Hunt was equal to the occasion.

On Friday, the 15th of November, about twenty thousand persons assembled in Spa Fields in consequence of a Requisition from a Committee in Shoreditch (which Requisition had been placarded all over the East End of London some days previously) addressed to distressed tradesmen, manufacturers, and mariners, calling upon them to meet for the purpose of adopting some measures with a view to their relief. The people began to assemble, (p. 120) and by half-past twelve many thousands were in the fields. But as no one came to address them, many were going away, when a Coach drove up, and from its window, an announcement was made that Mr. Hunt, of Bristol, was coming.

When the Coach stopped, a Rev. Mr. Parkes scrambled on to its top, whence he delivered a sensible introductory speech, in which he said: "The occasion was important and critical, and it behoved the people to conduct themselves with dignity and firmness. If they acted with due moderation—if they adhered to the Constitution—their present suffering, even severe as it was, might serve to approximate their complete salvation. But intemperance and riot must injure their cause. (Applause.)."

He kept on speaking until the arrival of Hunt, who, not satisfied with his predecessor's platform, retired to a public-house, "The Merlin's Cave" (still the same sign, 131, Rosoman Street, Clerkenwell), where he addressed the assembly, from a window. During his speech he frequently waved a tricolor flag, green, white, and red, which bore these inscriptions: "Bread to feed the Hungry"—"Truth to crush the Oppressors"—"Justice to punish Crimes."

He certainly began his speech with references to the general distress, but he soon drifted on to the subject of Reform, and tried to excite his audience by drawing attention to the Royal, and other Incomes. Here is a (p. 121) specimen of his oratory: "You have all heard of George Canning, that impudent dog, that vile, unprincipled, unmanly calumniator of the people—that miscreant, whose language failed him in applying disgraceful epithets to you: but you do not know his family; nay, I do not believe he knows his own grandfather. Yet Mother Hunn, who brought this hopeful cub into the world (without knowing who was his father), had £500 for the useful event, and her worthy daughters had also £500 each."[24] And in another part of his speech is reported to have said: "I know well the superiority of mental over physical force: while we have the power of exercising the former, we cannot be justified in resorting to the latter." This might be construed into a sort of "Don't nail his ear to the pump"—and was remembered as such on the 2nd of December.

Well, he made his Speech, and proposed some Resolutions which were cut and dried, and moved that they (p. 122) be embodied in a Petition to the Regent, which was to be personally presented to him. This Motion was carried by acclamation, and it was afterwards moved that Mr. Hunt, and Sir Francis Burdett, should present it. Hunt said he never had been to Court—that he never wished to go there, and, therefore, he requested that the meeting would not send him there.

The Meeting, however, adopted the proposition, and Hunt said "That, having good health, with a willing heart, he should comply with the wish of the Meeting. He should, to-morrow, in conjunction with Sir Francis Burdett, seek out the Regent wherever he was to be found, whether at Carlton House, the Stud House, the Brighton Pavilion, or Manchester Square[25] (laughter and applause); for, thank God, his horses had not yet been taken from him by the oppressive hands of the taxgatherer."

The meeting then broke up in a very orderly manner.

On the 2nd of December another meeting was convened at Spa Fields to hear Hunt's account of his stewardship. He duly arrived, and went into "The Merlin's Cave." Addressing the Mob, he said that having found that Sir Francis Burdett was at Brighton, he determined to do their will by himself. "I went, then, first of all, to Carlton House, where, being admitted, I inquired if I could have an audience of his (p. 123) Royal Highness the Prince Regent, for the purpose of presenting your Petition to him. I was told, there was no way of presenting that Petition, unless at the Prince's Levée, or by the Secretary of State for the Home Department, that is, Lord Sidmouth, you know. I then inquired when a Levée would take place, and was told it was quite uncertain, at least none would be for some time."

He then thought he was entitled to use his own discretion, and waited upon Lord Sidmouth, which he did, having first written his lordship a letter, and enclosing the Petition. He was received by Lord Sidmouth most courteously, and afterwards spoke of his reception in terms of eulogy. His lordship assured him that what had been told him at Carlton House was perfectly true, and that he would present the petition to his Royal Highness without delay; adding (to quote Hunt's speech), "that since the present family had come to the throne, no answer had ever been given to any Petition, unless presented by the Corporation of London, or by the two Universities, that, when he, himself, as Secretary of State, presented a Petition, he made his bow, and went on, and if I went to the Levée, I could only do the same.—Ah! Gentlemen, this is the Court Fashion. I told you I did not wish to go there."

But, either the fact of his going to Court, or his subsequent (p. 124) knowledge of popular feeling, made him far quieter in his after speech; and, although the Resolutions proposed were far too advanced to be accepted by the moderate Reformers, there was not the same rancour in his speech, or the Resolutions, as in his previous speeches, and the meeting, as a whole, was very orderly.

But, as we have the unfortunate example in our own times—not so very long ago, in Trafalgar Square—the calling together of a Mass meeting does not always guarantee that the gathering shall consist entirely of persons interested in the object of the meeting—the thing is impossible. The gathering of a crowd is the rough's opportunity, and the greater the Crowd, the greater his chance. If, to this, are added the thousands of fools who go to look on, get mixed up in the mob, and occasionally get a cracked head, broken arm, or are trampled on, as reward for their folly, we have the same mob to-day as there was in 1816.

I cannot believe that Hunt, or any of those who were absolutely around him, ever for a moment foresaw, or could have conceived, the outcome of this Meeting. The former one, on November 15th, was marked by its order; their petition had been courteously received, and presented to the Regent; but the roughs only want a Cry and a Crowd, and both were afforded them; hence the subsequent riot.

In fact, it was before the business commenced that a (p. 125) waggon drove up bedecked with tricolor flags and mottoes—the same sort of thing that we could, if we were foolish enough to go and look, see two or three Sundays in the year in Hyde Park—where the leather-lunged patriots belch forth their opinions—and in it was the typical Mob-orator, "a young man," named Watson. He was something in the Medical profession, and not being successful in that branch of industry, tried, as needy patriots will do, to turn instructor of the people. He is reported to have made a very inflammatory speech, and "at the close he asked them if they would accompany him? There was a Cry on the part of some that they would, to any place. 'And, will you protect me?' he said.—They replied, 'As long as life remained.'

"He jumped off the waggon, and headed the Mob, which went from Spa Fields to Skinner Street, and whose disgraceful conduct is detailed below; but who appeared to have had no other connection with the Meeting in Spa Fields than being on the spot where it was held. There is, indeed, no doubt, from the circumstances that occurred, that the greater number of those men who behaved so outrageously in the City, came to Spa Fields with a premeditated design not to take any part in the business of the Meeting, but to commit riot, as it appears that about two hundred men, chiefly dressed like sailors, had no sooner arrived there, than they found the man above mentioned ready to lead them, and they immediately (p. 126) followed him. These formed the chief part of the Mob in the City. It is evident, therefore, that all this was the result of some previously concerted plan, but it is equally evident that the plan had no connection with the Spa Fields meeting, the people who came to attend it remaining perfectly quiet, and taking no part in these outrageous proceedings....

"The Lord Mayor, as on the former day of meeting at Spa Fields, took every precaution for the purpose of preserving the public peace; but, serious apprehensions being entertained that on the present occasion mischief and outrage were contemplated by the misguided populace, additional measures were adopted. The Ward Constables, who had been considerably augmented, assembled at an early hour, and the following notice was posted on large boards, and not only fixed in conspicuous places, but carried about various parts of the City, by order of his Lordship:—

"'Our Sovereign Lord the King

Chargeth and commandeth all persons being assembled, immediately to disperse themselves, and peaceably depart to their habitations, or to their lawful business, upon the pains contained in the Acts of the first year of King George—for preventing Tumults and Riotous Assemblies.

'God save the King.'

(p. 127) "The Lord Mayor, who was actively engaged all the morning in devising his arrangements, suddenly received information that a body of rioters, headed by a young man (whose name was said to be Watson), and who addressed the multitude at an early hour in Spa Fields, was on its way, by Clerkenwell, to the City. They had, in fact, already reached Snow Hill, and it was impossible, at the moment, to stop their career. Upon their arrival at Snow Hill, three of the rioters, marching some distance before the multitude, entered the shop of Mr. Beckwith, the gunmaker, and demanded arms. Their companions were not in sight, and their demand was opposed. This, however, so exasperated these desperate wretches, that one of them, dressed in a sailor's habit, drew forth a pistol, and shot a Mr. Platt in the groin.

"Mr. Platt is a young man of respectability, and resides in Cateaton Street. He was a mere casual visitant at the shop, and the ruffians escaped, the mob coming up at the moment, and the former intermixing with it.

"After rifling the shop of all the arms it contained, they formed a new procession, and bent their way towards Cheapside, not forgetting, however, to lodge a few balls in the windows of a house in Newgate Street, on the way, where they fired for the purpose of annoying a gentleman who had retreated from the displeasure of the mob.

"The Lord Mayor, being apprized of their movements, (p. 128) set out, accompanied by a few officers, and came up with the party at the Royal Exchange. They were about three hundred in number, and fifty appeared armed with all kinds of weapons, viz., swords, pistols, musquets, blunderbusses, &c. Their leader (as we understand, Mr. Watson) carried before him a large tricoloured flag, on which were written the following sentiments:—

"'Nature—Feed the Hungry.
Truth—Protect the Distressed.
Justice—Punish Crime.'

"Upon their arrival at the Exchange, the name of the Lord Mayor was mentioned, as being very active, when he was instantly greeted with the shouts of the multitude. This ill-timed approbation had no effect upon his Lordship's conduct, and, seeing the mob turn into Sweeting's Alley, close to the Royal Exchange, he entered that place at the southern side, and, the mob not being able to retreat through so narrow a lane, they entered, of necessity, the Exchange by the eastern door. They were instantly summoned to surrender, and, after discharging a few pieces of musquetry, were overcome, and their arms seized. The leader only, and two others, were kept in custody.

"A proper force was then stationed at the Exchange, it being apprehended that the party would return to seek (p. 129) their arms, and to rescue their companions. At the Bank there was also a military guard, consisting of about two hundred of the Guards ready accoutred. Independently of this, the East London Militia were under arms, and numbers of persons, contiguously resident, applied to offer themselves to serve the temporary office of Constable, and were accordingly sworn in.

"About half-past two o'clock, an account reached the Mansion House, that the mob had risen in considerable numbers, in and about the Minories, had broken open the houses of two gunsmiths there (Messrs. Ray's and Brandon's), and robbed the place of every piece of firearms that could be found. With these, they again rallied a force, and commenced an attack on the soldiery at the top of the Minories, in Aldgate High Street. After a short delay here, however, they were completely beaten, and retired towards the Tower, where, to render the scene more ridiculous, some of the party actually proposed the surrender of that place. In the struggle between the soldiery and the mob, in the Minories, it was said that one of the Guards fell, but we could not trace the account to any authentic source."

After doing this, the Mob dispersed in every direction, whooping and yelling, breaking a few windows, rifling a few butchers' stalls, robbing a few people of their purses and watches, and then the riot was all over.

(p. 130) Mr. Platt, the Gentleman who was shot, lingered some time, but eventually died of his wound, and, on the 12th of March, 1817, his murderer, Cashman, was hanged in front of Mr. Beckwith's shop. His end was not edifying. The Mob was howling at him, "and Cashman joined his voice to the shouts, crying out, 'Hurrah! my Boys, I'll die like a man.' On his quitting the Cart, and mounting the Scaffold, the groans were redoubled; he seemed to enter into the spirit of the Spectators, and joined in their exclamations with a terrific shout.... He now turned towards Mr. Beckwith's house, in an angry manner, and, shaking his head, said: 'I'll be with you,—— there'; meaning that he would haunt the house after his death. The executioner having quitted the platform, the unfortunate wretch addressed the crowd nearest them, and exclaimed: 'Now, you——, give me three cheers when I trip.' And then, calling to the executioner, he cried out: 'Come, Jack, you——, let go the jib-boom.' He was cheering at the instant the fatal board fell."

The fullest details of the King's life and illness are given us in January. After the usual bulletin, dated January 5th, The Gentleman's Magazine gives us as follows:—"The public bulletins which have been issued for some months past, have all stated that his Majesty's disorder remains undiminished; and we understand that it is the opinion of the medical gentlemen attending him, that nothing far short of a miracle can (p. 131) bring about a recovery from his afflicting malady. At times, we are happy to learn, he is tolerably composed. The number of persons specially appointed by the doctors is reduced from six to two, and his principal pages are admitted, and have been for some time, to attend upon him, as when he enjoyed good health.—His Majesty dines at half-past one o'clock, and, in general, orders his dinner: he invariably has roast beef upon the tables on Sundays. He dresses for dinner, wears his orders, &c.

"He occupies a suite of thirteen rooms (at least he, and his attendants) which are situated on the North side of Windsor Castle, under the State rooms. Five of the thirteen rooms are wholly devoted to the personal use of the King. Dr. John Willis sleeps in the sixth room, adjoining, to be in readiness to attend his Majesty. Dr. John attends the Queen every morning after breakfast, about half-past ten o'clock, and reports to her the state of the afflicted monarch; the Doctor, afterwards, proceeds to the Princesses, and other branches of the Royal family, who may happen to be at Windsor, and makes a similar report to them. In general the Queen returns with Dr. Willis, through the state rooms, down a private staircase, leading into the King's suite of rooms, appropriated to this special purpose. Sometimes she converses with her Royal husband. The Queen is the only person who is admitted to this peculiar privilege, except the medical gentlemen, and his Majesty's personal (p. 132) attendants. In case of Dr. John Willis's absence, Dr. Robert Willis, his brother, takes his place. The other medical gentlemen take it in rotation to be in close attendance upon the King.

"The suite of rooms which his Majesty and his attendants occupy, have the advantage of very pure and excellent air, being on the North side of the terrace round the Castle; and he used, occasionally, to walk on the terrace; but, we understand, he now declines it, owing to the bad state of his eyes, not being able to enjoy the view.—The Lords and Grooms of the King's Bedchamber, his Equerries, and other attendants, are occasionally in attendance at Windsor Castle, the same as if the King enjoyed good health. Two King's messengers go from the Secretary of State's Office daily to Windsor, and return to London, as they have been accustomed to do for a number of years past. The messenger who arrives at noon brings a daily account of the King's health to the Prince Regent, and the Members of the Queen's Council.—His Majesty has never been left since his afflicting malady, without one of the Royal Family being in the Castle, and a member of the Queen's Council, appointed under the Regency Act."

The monthly bulletins for the remainder of the year all tell the same story, that the King enjoyed good health, and was tranquil, but that his malady remained unaltered.

(p. 133) Décoration


Visit of the Grand Duke Nicholas of Russia — Stones thrown at the Regent — Issue of the new Silver Coinage — Riots and arrests for sedition — First issue of Sovereigns — The Case of Abraham Thornton and appeal by battle — The Queen at Bath — Death of the Princess Charlotte — Richard Owen and his scheme — "The Fortunate Youth" — "Caraboo."

The Chronicle of this year opens with the record of a luckily rare visitation, namely, that a slight shock of earthquake was felt on January 8th at Mansfield, in Nottinghamshire. In 1816 a shock had been felt in several places in Scotland.

The Grand Duke Nicholas of Russia, afterwards Czar, was over here, and spent some months in this country, and those of us who remember the last war we had with Russia, will scarcely recognize the stern Nicholas of the Crimea, under the guise of the light-hearted Grand Duke, as exemplified in the following anecdote, which occurred early in January:—

"A Little Frolic of the Grand Duke Nicholas.—On (p. 134) his Imperial Highness leaving Chester for Montgomeryshire, he perceived one of the outriders to be mounted on a good horse; being a fine morning, his Highness felt disposed to take a ride, and requested to change place with the Courier; it was a fourteen-mile stage, and, on descending a very long and steep hill, his Highness did not like to crawl down so slow as the others, and told his suite that he would ride on, and order some refreshment and horses for them. On his Highness arriving at the Inn, he desired the landlady to prepare some beefsteaks and mutton chops for the Grand Duke and his suite.

"The landlady observed that they should immediately be got ready, and, taking his Highness for the Courier, asked him to accept of something, which he politely declined, observing that he would wait until the company arrived. She then showed him the room she had prepared for the Grand Duke, and asked him if he thought it would do? His Highness told her that it would do extremely well. The carriages shortly after arrived, and the hostess begged him to have the goodness to point out to her the Grand Duke; his Highness smiled, and said she would be sure to see him." When Generals Kutusoff and Mansel alighted and saluted him, one can picture the landlady's astonishment. Nicholas was so pleased with the horse that he bought it. He left England at the end of March.

(p. 135) Far less popular was another Royal Highness, far nearer home. The Prince Regent went on the 28th of January to open the Session of Parliament, and was met with a storm of yells and opprobious epithets, but he got safely to the House of Lords, and delivered his speech; on his return, the clamour and insults had vastly increased. It is true that some few cried "God save the King," but the majority hissed and hooted at, and called his Royal Highness naughty names; the climax was reached when the Regent's carriage was about the middle of the Mall. Some evilly disposed person threw a stone, or stones, at the Royal equipage, and made a hole in one of the windows. This hole remains a mystery, for the window on the opposite side was not broken, and no stone, nor other missile, was found in the carriage.

Lord James Murray, who was Lord of the Bedchamber to the Regent, was in the carriage with him, and was examined shortly afterwards at the bar of the House of Commons, and he was of opinion that the hole in the window was made by two small bullets, about a quarter of an inch apart—but this must have been pure conjecture on his lordship's part. He went on to say that "about a minute after the glass was broken, as I have described, a large stone was thrown against the glass of the carriage, which broke it, and three or four other small stones were thrown, which (p. 136) struck the glass, and the other part of the carriage." And this is all that was found out about it.

The Lords and Commons united in an Address conveying their Abhorrence of this attack upon his Royal Highness—the Guards at the Palaces, the Parks, the Bank, and elsewhere were doubled; the Lord Mayor was informed of the awful occurrence, and requested, if he thought necessary, to call in the aid of the Military power, and despatches were sent by the Mail Coaches to every part of the kingdom, to put the Magistrates in every place on their guard. But there was no occasion for all this fuss: the event did not produce a ferment in the public mind, and we learn in next morning's paper, "that by five o'clock in the afternoon the streets were perfectly clear of all mob, and no disposition to riot appeared in any part of the town."


(February 13, 1817.)

A man named James Scott was the only one arrested, although £1,000 reward was offered for the Criminals, and as somebody was wanted to be hanged, they accused him of high treason in throwing stones at the Vicegerent of the Lord's Anointed. But, although they tried very hard for a conviction, it only wanted three examinations by a Magistrate to acquit the man of the charge of treason, but he was committed for a misdemeanour in aiding and abetting of the Riot. He was admitted to bail in two Sureties of £100 each, and himself in £200. Reading the evidence, I can see nothing to incriminate (p. 139) him, and as I can find nothing about his conviction, or acquittal, from any source, I presume he was never called upon to appear. Peter Pindar satirised this event in "R—lty Beset."

On the 18th of January, a proclamation was issued "from our Court at Brighton," announcing the issue of a new Silver Coinage, which might be changed for old, at the Mint, between the 3rd and 17th of February: and another proclamation of the 12th of February, "from our Court at Carlton House," gave the date of the 13th of February as that of general issue, after which they were to be taken as lawful money. On this date was published a Satirical print, called "The New Coinage, or John Bull's visit to Mat of the Mint!!"[26] in which Wellesley Pole, "Master and Worker of his Majesty's Mint," is shovelling money into a sack, saying "There, Johnny! see how I have been working for you for months past; you can't say I get my money for nothing." John Bull replies, "You be a very industrious man, Master Mat, and the prettiest Cole[27] merchant I have dealt with for many a day." The room, and the street, seen through an open door, are crowded with men, women, and children, anxious to get the new silver. (p. 140) That advantage was taken of promptly changing old worn silver for bright new coin, is shown that by the 19th the large Hall of the Bank, which was given up to its issue, was nearly empty, and the old coinage had disappeared from circulation. They were counterfeited immediately, which was a natural sequence, and there were squabbles about their artistic merits, which was also natural. Regarding the latter, as there are plenty of this issue now in circulation, my readers can judge for themselves. There was the usual epigram upon it.


It is allow'd, throughout the town,
The head upon the new Half-Crown,
Is not the George we so much prize—
The Chin's not like—the Nose—the Eyes.
This may be true—yet, on the whole,
The fault lies chiefly in the Pole!"

Reform was being violently agitated all over the country, and, without wishing to give this book any political character, yet as a phase of social life it must be mentioned. There were riots late in February in Somersetshire, among the Colliers, who struck against a deduction of 10 per cent. in their wages. They did not do much damage, but a dangerous spirit was abroad, and the cry of "Bread or Blood; Hunt for ever!" was ominous of mischief. They were soon put down by a troop of the (p. 141) 22nd Lancers, from Bristol, and the North Somerset Yeomanry, without bloodshed.

On the 28th of February, the operation of the Act of Habeas Corpus was suspended, and was not resumed until the 31st of January, 1818.

Of the Spa Fields rioters, two others besides Cashman, whose execution has already been recorded, were hanged—and the others in custody respited during pleasure: but no severity could quell the unhappy feeling all over England. The people were restless and suffering, and were determined to make themselves heard: as, for instance, on the 10th of March, a meeting took place at Manchester for the avowed purpose of petitioning the Prince Regent for a redress of grievances, and a Reform in Parliament. It was recommended for the Reformers to proceed in a large body to London, which was attempted to be carried into effect by some hundreds, who had provided themselves with blankets and bundles; but, by the activity of the Magistrates, aided by the military, their purpose was defeated, and several of the leaders were committed to prison.

On the 18th of March numerous arrests took place at Manchester, of persons charged with seditious practices; and on the 25th of March the Bill to prevent seditious meetings passed the House of Commons by a large majority. High treason had become so familiar that new regulations had to be adopted in the Tower, as to prisoners (p. 142) contained there. "Each prisoner is kept in a separate apartment, and night and day, two yeomen, or warders, continue in the room, the door of which is locked, and on the outside a sentinel is placed to prevent the approach of any one, except those in the Governor's establishment. Their beds and board are provided by the Government. No person is allowed to see the prisoners, unless a special order is sent to the Lieutenant-Governor by the Clerk of the Council, and then they are restricted from holding any communication except in the presence and hearing of some persons appointed by the lieutenant, or his deputy."

Let us pass to something pleasanter. The Custom House was opened for business on the 12th of May without ceremony, and as one newspaper says: "This structure is, in fact, perfect in everything, as its inmates confess, and wants nothing but business." But the building was not finished until the 2nd of August.

The only Social News between this date and July is the account of mere riots at Nottingham and Leeds—together with State trials—which we will skip.

On the 1st of July were issued the new gold Coin "the Sovereign," and from that date the old Guinea was doomed, and only now survives in professional fees, and wherever any one can stick on an extra shilling to a Sovereign. They were taken very kindly to, only some exception was taken to the name, many thinking they (p. 143) ought to have been called a "George." The half-sovereigns soon got a nickname, that of "Regents." This is what a wicked wag thought of the "New Sovereign":

"The Horse on the Coin is more fit for a Waggon,
Than meet for St. George to encounter the Dragon!
And, as for the Effigy, meant for the Saint,
He appears like a Sans Culotte, ready to faint;
With his head hanging down o'er a lean hungry paunch,
He has struck, with his spear, his poor horse, on the haunch;
While the Dragon in pity, looks at the incision,
And cocks up his nose, at St. George in derision!!!"

One of the most famous Criminal Cases of modern times occurred this year—singular for the fact that it revived the old Ordeal, "Appeal by battle," which had been in obeyance since 1771, and which no one ever dreamed would be revived. One Abraham Thornton had been accused of murdering Mary Ashford by drowning her on the 27th of May. He was tried, and acquitted, but was subsequently arrested in October on an appeal. This was heard in the King's Bench on the 17th of November, and both Appellant and Appellee answered to their names. The first, William Ashford, brother of the deceased, is described as being a slight made lad, about seventeen years of age, and short in stature. Thornton stood about five feet four inches high, very stout and robust.

After the preliminary formalities were over, Mr. Leblanc, (p. 144) clerk to the Crown, read over the record against him, and asked him whether he was guilty or not." "His Counsel, Mr. Reader, then put a piece of paper in his hand from which the prisoner read:

"'Not guilty; and I am ready to defend the same with my body.'

"Mr. Reader had likewise handed a pair of large gauntlets, or gloves, to the prisoner, one of which he put on, and the other, in pursuance of the old form, he threw down for the appellant to take up. It was not taken up, and

"Mr. Reader moved that it should be kept in the custody of the officer of the Court.

Mr. Leblanc: Your plea is that you are not Guilty, and that you are ready to defend the said plea with your body?

"The Prisoner: It is.

"Lord Ellenborough: Is the Appellant in Court?

"Mr. Clarke (his Counsel): He is, my Lord."

He appeared, but said nothing, and then Mr. Clarke addressed the Court with a counter plea for the Appellant. In the course of his speech, he said, "It would appear to me extraordinary indeed, if the person who murdered the sister, should, as the law exists in these enlightened times, be allowed to prove his innocence by murdering the brother also, or at least, by an attempt to do so.

(p. 145) "Lord Ellenborough: It is the law of England, Mr. Clarke. We must not call it murder."

Mr. Clarke then went on arguing that, surely the appeal must be discretionary with the Court, and urged the inferiority of his client's physique.

The Case was adjourned until the 22nd of November, when the Appellant pleaded that Thornton ought not to be admitted to wage battle with him, because both before and after the appeal there had been, and still were, proofs that he had murdered the Appellant's sister. Case adjourned.

On the 16th of April, 1818, Abraham Thornton was discharged, without bail, the appellant declining the Challenge to combat, according to ancient usage. But such a scandal could not long continue, and the law was repealed in 1819 (59 George III. cap. 46).

What became of him, I know not, but I find mention of him in The Morning Chronicle of the 26th of October, 1818. The Liverpool Courier says: "We stated a few weeks ago, that the celebrated Abraham Thornton had arrived in this town for the purpose of emigrating to the United States. He has experienced more difficulty than he anticipated in getting a passage thither. It appears that he had engaged one in the Independence, but, when the other passengers became acquainted with his name and character, they unanimously refused to go in the same vessel with him; and a new Muster (p. 146) roll was, in consequence, made out, in which his name was omitted."

The Chinese Embassy sent out under Lord Amherst had returned, having failed in its object, his lordship refusing to kotoo to the Emperor: his ship, the Alceste, being fired into by the Chinese.

The health of that tough old lady, Queen Charlotte, was beginning to fail, and her physicians recommended her to go to Bath, for the waters, and, in November, thither repaired, accompanied by the Duke of Clarence.

The illustration gives an extremely graphic idea of the effects of the Water upon the afflicted Queen. It is called "A Peep into the Pump Room, or the Zomersetshire folk in A Maze."

The following anecdote of her sojourn is dated "Bath, November 28th.—The Queen wishing to ride through Prior Park, the property of John Thomas, a very rich Quaker, a footman was sent forward to the house to ask leave for the gates to be opened. Mr. Thomas received the Queen very respectfully at the park gate, and addressed her as follows: "Charlotte, I hope thee is very well: I am glad to see thee in my park; thou art very welcome at any time, and I shall feel proud in opening my gates for thy pleasure. I hope thou receives benefit from the Bath waters. I wish thee well."


(Published, February, 1818.)

Early in the morning of the 6th of November, died the Princess Charlotte. On the day before she had (p. 149) been delivered of a stillborn child, and was reported to be going on well, but within twelve hours she was a corpse. There really was sorrow when she died. Her husband was inconsolable, and her father, bereft of his only, though somewhat wayward child, stayed at home and was ill. She was buried, with all pomp, at Windsor, on the 19th of November. There was no Lord Mayor's Show this year.

Before the end of the year there were more riots at Brighton and Worcester, and a Commission sat at Derby, upon thirty-five persons charged with high treason. Three of them, Brandreth, Ludlam, and Turner were found guilty, and afterwards hanged and beheaded. The others, on withdrawing their plea of not guilty, were dealt with mercifully.

The Chronicle of this year must not be closed without mention of Robert Owen, a Cotton Spinner at Lanark, who was a Social Reformer of somewhat peculiar views. He had a Plan for the better support and government of the poor, the outlines of which are as follows:—He proposed to make the poor National, and to raise funds by mortgaging the poor's rate to the amount of five or six years of its annual value. The money so raised, in sums as required, he would have applied in purchase of land, in portions of different magnitudes, and erect establishments thereon for the accommodation of from five hundred to fifteen hundred (p. 150) people. Of these buildings he furnished a plan, on a scale for twelve hundred persons—men, women, and children. The buildings were to be surrounded by a regulated quantity of land for spade cultivation—say an acre for each person, including the site of erection—and they were designed for a pauper community, which was to supply everything for itself; and to be superintended on the principle of combining moral culture, and reformation, with industry and frugality.


The occupants were both to farm and manufacture, and, consequently, to employ the faculties of each description of poor. Besides comfortable lodging rooms, the buildings were intended to contain a public kitchen, mess rooms, and all requisite accommodation attached to comfortable cookery and eating; a chapel, infant schools, schools for adults, grounds for exercise and recreation, planted and beautified with trees. The lodgings for the married poor, each to be sufficient to accommodate two children with their father and mother: dormitories for children above three years of age; manufactories and gardens; a complete farming establishment; malting, and brewing-houses, corn-mill, dairy, and, in short, all the constituents for self-support. To the men were assigned the labours of agriculture, and the heaviest part of the manufactures. To the women the care of their children and houses, the cultivation of vegetables, the making of clothes, and an attendance, (p. 153) in rotation, on the kitchen, mess-room, and dormitories. The children were to be trained in the lighter occupations until fit for manly or womanly employment, &c. The expense of such an establishment for twelve hundred people, Owen estimated at £96,000.

In the latter part of this year, a great deal was heard of "The Fortunate Youth." The story told about whom was, that a young gentleman met with a very rich old one, who took a violent fancy to the youth, used often to have him at his house, without the knowledge of his parents, and finally, dying, left "The Fortunate Youth" an immense fortune. This lad succeeded in humbugging people to an unlimited extent, and in obtaining money from them, until, in a Newspaper of the 6th of December, appeared: "Soi-disant Fortunate Youth.—We lament to wound the feelings of the friends of this young man, but we are bound by a painful duty to caution the public against an impostor, whose detected falsehoods, and disingenuous acts, authorize the assertion, that there is not one word of truth in his whole story."

This was pretty plain speaking, and brought forth a disclaimer from "The Solicitor and Confidential Friend of 'The Fortunate Youth' and his family," in which he says, "I will venture to assert that this Youth has never defrauded, nor attempted to defraud, any one; and that if any person has any just pecuniary claim upon him, the liquidation of it will be immediately (p. 154) provided for, on such claim being made known to me." Once again he wrote defending his client; but alack, and well-a-day, a little time afterwards, in a letter to the same Newspaper, he writes (giving his own name, Weatherby): "I feel it now a duty I owe to the public to declare, that circumstances have since occurred, which induce me to think that I have been grossly deceived in my opinion of him, and that his pretensions to a large property are without foundation."

The editor then gives the impostor's real story.

"This young man's name is Abraham W. Cawston. His father is a farmer at Chippenham, near Newmarket. The early promise of shining talents induced his father to send him to school, under the tuition of the eminent Dr. Butler, of Shrewsbury, and there his attainments and abilities gained him universal admiration. He was not seventeen years of age when he paid his addresses to a young lady of fortune in that place, and from that time the strange artifice or imagination of this enormous fortune that had dropped to him, as it were, from the clouds, had birth. He first opened his wonderful secret to his father; and the story which he told was, that an aged gentleman had, at one of his journeys from home to school, fallen in with him in a stage coach going to Birmingham, and that he afterwards made him a deed of gift of his whole fortune! It did not, in the first disclosure, swell to the magnitude which it afterwards attained; but the first feeling that he (p. 155) manifested was to settle a part of his wealth on his parents and brother. For this purpose he was introduced to Mr. Weatherby, to whom he gave instructions to make a will; and, as his fortune was stated to be all personal, Mr. Weatherby saw no objection to the deed. His distribution of wealth, though uncommon, did not strike Mr. Weatherby as improbable, so clear and consistent were the boy's statements in their different interviews, and so filial, and brotherly, were the bequests.

"From this time, nothing could equal the romance of his story, the unblushing effrontery with which he maintained it, and the ingenious stratagems he devised to keep up the delusion. It would fill a volume to recount the history of the youth for the last two months; and we are possessed of so many curious anecdotes, that we shall entertain our readers with the relation of a few of them, since the affair has afforded a striking example of the courtesy which is shown to appearance, and the eagerness with which a meteor is contemplated in the hemisphere of rank and fashion. That tradesmen of all descriptions should crowd round his doors for the advantage of his orders, was natural; but that Bankers should contend for his account—Duchesses for the honour of his acquaintance—and Ministers for his Parliamentary support—prove how much all conditions of Society are on the alert for gold and power.

"He prevailed on his father to enter his elder brother, (p. 156) who is twenty-four years of age, and had been brought up in the line of farming, as a fellow commoner of Emanuel College, Cambridge.

"He instructed one solicitor to enter into a negociation for the purchase of several estates, and surveys had actually been made.

"He applied to Government for a grant to take the name and bear the arms of Devereux, and the Herald's College had begun to take steps to exemplify the arms, and waited only for information as to which branch of the house of Devereux his benefactor belonged.

"He instructed another Solicitor to insert an advertisement in the public papers, calling on the Creditors, if any, of Don Gaspar de Quintilla, deceased, to bring vouchers of their demands, in order that they might be immediately liquidated. (Meaning to couple him with Don Joachim de Quintilla, a rich Portuguese diamond Merchant.)

"He stated that it was his determination to purchase ten Boroughs, that he might have twenty Members of Parliament in the House of Commons, to procure him an Earldom.

"He said that his half-year's dividend, due on the 5th of January next, was £92,000, and that he held annuities from several of the crowned heads of Europe to the amount of millions.

"He was in the habit of suffering drafts on bankers (p. 157) for thousands, nay, at times for tens, and hundreds of thousands, to drop from his pocket-book, as if by accident, that they might be seen; and he talked of loans to persons of the highest distinction, on whose estate he had mortgages.

"When strongly pressed for an explanation as to the Deed of Gift by which the Legacy Tax had been evaded, he said that it was a secret which he was bound to conceal for a time, but it was in an iron chest, buried in the garden of his benefactor.

"So entire was the conviction of his friends, as to the certainty, and extent, of his wealth, that a consultation was held with two eminent Lawyers, to devise the means of making him a Ward of Chancery; and, as his wealth was all his own, and, consequently, there was no ground for the interference of the Lord Chancellor, it was settled that he should present £30,000 to his father, and file a friendly bill, upon which application might be made to constitute him a ward."

This is only a slight portion of the revelations made respecting him; but, although highly amusing, the relation of them would occupy too much space. I have not taken the trouble to try and find out what became of him.

It is curious that this should have been the year of two notorious and historical impostors. One we have just heard of: the other was a hussey named Wilcox or (p. 158) Baker—who tried to ape the rôle of George Psalmanazar. Her story is on this wise. On the evening of 3rd April, 1817, the guardian of the poor brought a female, aged about twenty-five, clothed in ordinary costume, although it was somewhat fantastically put on, to Mrs. Worrall, of Knole Park, for advice. She had been found in the neighbouring village of Almondsbury (Gloucestershire), and had gone into a cottage, making signs that she wished to rest and sleep there: but as there was something uncanny about her, and she spoke no language they understood, she was taken to the Great House. Mrs. Worrall very kindly sent a maid with her to the village inn, where she slept that night. Next day she was interviewed, but all that could be got out of her was some gibberish no one could understand, and she kept pointing to herself, saying "Caraboo," by which it was inferred that such was her name. She was taken to Bristol and examined: many persons versed in Eastern languages trying to converse with her, but failing—her language being utterly unknown to them.

Mrs. Worrall then took her to her house at Knole, and afterwards, a Portuguese Malay appeared on the scene, undoubtedly a confederate, who could talk to her, and then it came out that she was a Malayan princess, of Chinese origin, and that she came from Javasu (wherever that may be). One day she was walking in her garden attended by her women, when the crew of a pirate (p. 159) prahu landed, scaled the walls, gagged her, bound her and carried her off! (Red fire. Curtain falls).—Act II. She is now discovered in a state of slavery—having been sold by the pirates to the captain of a brig, from which ship she was transferred to another, where she found company in the society of a few more female captives, who, after five weeks' cruise, were landed at another port. Caraboo, however, continues sailing the wild ocean for nearly three months, till, nearing land, and preferring death to slavery, she jumps overboard! (Soft music. Curtain falls).—Act III. A merciful Providence watches over her, and she swims ashore, borne to a land to which she is an utter stranger, wanders about for six weeks, and at last finds herself in this village of Almondsbury, clad like a respectable working woman, in stuff dress, bonnet, woollen socks, leather boots, a piece of soap, and other necessaries in a bundle, and a few halfpence and a bad sixpence in her pocket. Kind people befriended her, she composed a new language, and wrote some of it. Suspicion is aroused, other kind people take an interest in her, who trace different antecedents for her; she is confronted with the friends of her youth, and (counterpart of Rider Haggard's "She") the Princess Caraboo of Javasu crumbles into Mary Baker, or Wilcox, of Witheridge, in the county of Devon!!! (Tableau. Curtain falls, hisses and catcalls.)

She afterwards went, still in 1817, to America, but a (p. 160) New York paper noticing her arrival at Philadelphia, remarked, "That her personal charms will have their due weight here, we should be sorry in this age of gallantry, to doubt; but as to any prospect of success which the fair adventuress may promise herself in the way of hoaxing, she will shortly discover, from the number of our banking institutions, our stones in cotton, and wooden nutmegs, that we are already adepts in her profession."

In the year 1824 she returned from America, and took apartments in New Bond Street, where she publicly showed herself at a shilling a head. She finally settled down at Bristol, where she sold leeches, and died at the close of 1864.

(p. 161) Décoration


Distress among discharged Seamen — Finding the Scotch Regalia — Strathfieldsaye bought for the Duke of Wellington — The Kyrle Society — Royal Marriages — Annoying the Queen — Riotous schoolboys — The Regent mobbed — Death of Queen Charlotte.

This year did not open as one of national prosperity. There was one subject that especially appealed to the country's benevolence. Of course, when the long, long war was over, the Navy was reduced to a peace footing, and thousands of men-of-war's men were paid off; and those who were obtained with such difficulty, who, in spite of being pressed, and forcibly taken from all that was dear to them, bullied by their officers, flogged nearly to death for comparative trifles, yet fought like lions, and laid the foundation of England's present prosperity, were cast adrift to shift for themselves as best they might. They were wanted no longer. Had trade been good, nothing more would have been heard (p. 162) of it, they would have been absorbed into the merchant navy, and the Government would have had all the credit of retrenchment, and dutifully administering the funds of the Nation.

As it was, people could see for themselves, the streets teeming with old sailors, unable to obtain employment, and walking about almost in a state of nudity, and with empty stomachs. I am not exaggerating. I go upon contemporary authority. But, I need scarcely say, that Englishmen then, as they ever do now, as soon as the distress was manifest to them, met together and tried to alleviate the sufferings of their fellow countrymen. On the 5th of January, a meeting of gentlemen was convened at the London Tavern, and Wm. Wilberforce, Esq., M.P., was elected chairman, and by the 14th of January nearly £7,000 had been collected, besides a quantity of clothing, and gifts in kind. In a Newspaper of January 10th, we find the following: "We can confidently inform our readers that the 'Society for the Aid of Destitute Seamen,' are proceeding with much energy: Officers in the Royal Navy are, with much patience, and unwearied assiduity, examining the various objects as they present themselves. The greater number are men-of-war's men. Near two hundred and fifty seamen have been housed in a temporary lodging. Yesterday morning they breakfasted on wholesome porridge. It was a pleasant sight, and, already, these sons of distress have an improved (p. 163) appearance, which is highly gratifying. Many have been enabled to remove part of the filth which had accumulated about them, and their sense of gratitude is continually expressed by the pleasure they evince in their greater comforts. The Abundance store-ship is now off the Tower, and the utmost activity is engaged in victualling, and other preparations; so that, when the other ships shall be up, which Government have promptly granted (and they are daily expected), the Seamen may, it is hoped, be all taken from the Streets, and on board, by the end of next week. Thus, the humane purposes of the benefactors to these deserving men are, with astonishing celerity, carrying into effect, by those who have from morning till night, devoted their valuable time, and their best energies to relieve distress, which had nearly reached their highest pitch of endurance. The applications were so numerous, yesterday, that the Committee, with much regret, have been obliged to suspend granting temporary relief for a day or two, to give time for investigation of the cases already before them." Thanks to private Charity, this scandal was ended, and we hear no more of distressed seamen.

This year's Chronicle is not so full of public interest as its forerunners, and I am fain to be content with small things, such as the finding of the Scottish Regalia—which had been lost since the time of Queen Anne. It seems that some years before 1818 a Commission had (p. 164) been issued to open the "Crown Room" at Holyrood, and search for certain records. They found dust about six inches deep lying evenly spread over everything, a sign that nothing had been disturbed; and they searched in all the places, for which they had a Commission to search, and did not find what they wanted. There was one chest left unopened, and in January this year, a Commission was appointed to open it, examine its contents, and report upon them. Another account points to a different room, in which was only one chest—but this is immaterial. No keys being forthcoming, the Chest was forced on Wednesday, February 4th (some say 5th), and it was found to contain the Crown, Sceptre, and Sword of State of Scotland, completely answering to their description in the Instrument of Deposition, March 26, 1707. With them was also found a silver rod of office, of which the peculiar use was not then known. I believe they are all now religiously preserved, and guarded, in Holyrood Palace.

In February the purchase of Strathfieldsaye was completed, being a National gift to the Duke of Wellington.

In turning to one of my sources of information for the above, I find the next paragraph to be: "A Society is about to be formed at Ross, under the designation of the Kyrlean, and Philanthropic, the object of which is to celebrate the birthday of Mr. John Kyrle (already immortalized by Pope, as the 'Man of Ross'), and to raise (p. 165) a fund for the improvement of the walks, and those public buildings which he erected, and, in imitation of that amiable philanthropist, to relieve honest merit in distress. The Members are to be elected by ballot, but not confined to distance."

I do not know whether this Society was started, or whether it had a long life, but I do know that there is now a very praiseworthy "Kyrle Society," whose power of doing good might be largely increased, by their possessing a larger income. Their object is to bring beauty home to the people. The means employed are (1) The decoration of working men's clubs, hospitals, &c., by mural paintings, pictures, &c.; (2) By laying out, as gardens, or recreation grounds, any available strips of waste land; (3) By a voluntary choir of singers, who give oratorios and concerts to the poor, singing in hospitals, workhouses, and carrying out a scheme for providing Choral Classes for the people.[28]

This year, there was quite an epidemic of Royal Marriages. The Princess Elizabeth was married to the Prince of Hesse Homburg, the Duke of Clarence to the Princess of Saxe Meiningen, the Duke of Cambridge to the Princess of Hesse, and the Duke of Kent to the Princess Victoria of Saxe Cobourg, the mother of our present Queen, and as "Sons and Daughters of England," they were all dutifully provided for.

(p. 166) From Fetters Matrimonial to those of a baser, yet not more material kind, is an easy transition, and it is pleasing, to record, as an advance in humanity, and civilization, that in April of this year, the disuse of fetters on the prisoners was commenced at Clerkenwell prison, and immediately followed by Newgate.

In May, a woman was arrested for trying to annoy the Queen, and she seems to have had a peculiar penchant for keys. "On the sentinels being placed on duty on Tuesday night, in the Garden at the back of the Queen's Palace, the key of the garden, belonging to the watch house, could not be found, and it was ascertained she had stolen it. She had been at Carlton House, York House, most of the Courts of Justice, and, in all the places where she gained admittance, she stole keys, or trifling articles. She had stolen, in the whole, 146 keys."

Schoolboys, now that grown-up men had ceased from rioting, took to it. First of all the Winchester boys caught the disease, and on May 7th, on returning from a ramble on the hills, "they suddenly attacked the porters, forced from them the keys of the College, and locked out all the Masters. Having thus obtained full possession of the building, they proceeded to take up, with pickaxes, &c., the large stones with which the Court was paved, and soon conveyed upwards of a cart-load of them to the top of the building, threatening any one who approached the gates. In this barricaded state, they kept possession (p. 167) all the night, deaf to the remonstrances of their friends, and bidding defiance to their Masters. On the following morning, after many admonitions were in vain given them to return to their duty, it was found necessary to call out a party of Military, some Constables, &c., who procured crowbars and other instruments to force the gates. Upon observing these preparations, the young gentlemen opened the gates, came out in a body, and many of them went to their respective homes. Twelve ringleaders were expelled; and about forty of the Gentlemen Commoners have been allowed to resign. There were only six out of 230 who did not join in the revolt."

Again we read, "Nov. 14.—During the last week, the boys at Eton College were in a state of rebellion, and offered the grossest indignities to Dr. Keate, the head of the College. By his firm and judicious conduct, however, aided by the other masters, peace was restored on Saturday. Seven of the boys have been expelled."

The poor Prince Regent could not get popular. On the 7th of July his carriage broke down in South Audley Street, on his way to, or from, the Marquis of Hertford's. A mob instantly collected, as the carriage was known to be the Prince's. The blinds were all drawn up and he could not be seen, but they called him naughty names, and said naughty things about him, begging him, not very politely, to show himself. He endured this for some time, but, afterwards, emerged, and, making his (p. 168) way through a Mews, he took shelter in General Cradock's house, followed, and grossly insulted by the populace.

In October, this year, was issued the Noble Crown piece by Pistrucci, which completed the series of the Silver Coinage. It is remarkable, not only for its beauty, but for the fact that it was the only Crown-piece coined during the long reign of George III. It had on the reverse St. George and the Dragon, surrounded by the Garter, and excited much controversy, because the Moneyer had introduced his name on the Coin. It was classed with Cardinal Wolsey's famous "Ego et Rex meus."

On 10th of November, Capt. Ross and Lieut. Parry returned from their voyage of discovery in the Northern Seas, after a fruitless attempt to pass through Behring's Straits. They brought home some live Esquimaux dogs, sledges, &c., with specimens of mineralogy, botany, &c., which were deposited in the British Museum for public inspection.

On 17th of November, at Kew Palace, died her Majesty Queen Charlotte; she had been ailing ever since the previous year, when we have seen her at Bath, latterly she got much worse, but she bore up well against her fatal illness. She was buried, with great pomp, at Windsor, 2nd of December.

The Queen's Income, latterly, was very good; by 52 Geo. (p. 169) III., it was settled (independent of the King's establishment at Windsor) at £58,000 a year, with an allowance of £10,000 a year for travelling and other contingent expenses. She had other pickings besides, so that we can scarcely understand her only having left behind her personal property valued at £140,000, of which the greater part consisted of jewels given her by Geo. III. and the Nawab of Arcot. Those given by the King she left to the House of Hanover as an heir loom.

The Nawab's jewels were to be sold, and the proceeds divided between her four daughters, the Queen of Wurtemburg being excepted, as being sufficiently well provided for. Her other jewels she desired should be valued, and equally distributed between the said four daughters.

Her landed property she gave away, and directed that her books, plate, house linen, china, pictures, drawings, prints, all articles of ornamental furniture, and all other valuables and personals, should be divided in equal shares among her four youngest daughters. These are the principal heads of her will.

Of her death, the King, of course, knew nothing, and it was lucky for him that it was so, for he dearly loved his wife, and the homeliness of their natures eminently fitted them for each other.

The last bulletin for this year will as well describe his Majesty's state for the whole twelve months, as if I (p. 170) transcribed every one. "Windsor Castle, December 5. His Majesty's tranquility has been undisturbed throughout the last month, and his Majesty's health has been, good; but his disorder continues in the same state."

(p. 171) Décoration


Sale of the Queen's effects — Duke of York has custody of the King — The "Dandy horse" — Loss of, and finding the King's jewellery — A public dinner — A Royal freak — Unqualified medical practitioners — Emigration to America — "The fair Circassian" — Birth of Queen Victoria — Napoleon's carriage — An Irish witness.

"They of the household divided the spoil "very shortly after the old Queen's death. On the 4th of January, her horses and carriages were sold at Tattersall's. Several of the old horses were shot to prevent them going into abject slavery, and the fifty-five that remained, sold for £4,544, and eighteen carriages fetched £1,077. Messrs. Rundle and Bridge, the Royal Goldsmiths, apportioned the jewels into four equal lots.

"January 12.—Part of the Queen's property, consisting of pieces of silk and satin, gold and silver, figured and plain, not made up, were measured on Friday, at the Queen's House, St. James's Park, amounting to 2,140 (p. 172) yards. They were presents to her Majesty, or purchases made by her for the encouragement of the manufactures. They are of various prices, from one guinea to five guineas per yard, and many of them of the most beautiful workmanship—one of them, a piece of green silk shot with gold, is of the most exquisite beauty. This valuable collection the Princesses have, with their characteristic kindness and generosity, presented to Madame Beckendorff, as a mark of their esteem for the favourite of their deceased Royal Parent. In another apartment was a large store of the most superb shawls, Oriental presents to her Majesty, but many of them nearly consumed by moths."

A great many things were sold privately, but her Oriental curiosities, &c., were sold at Christie's early in May. Among the other things that were to be sold on the 25th of May were:—

1. 44 Shillings and 66 Sixpences, chiefly of the present reign, 5 Crown-pieces, a well-preserved Half-Crown of 1817, ditto 6 Sixpences 1816, and 11 Bank Tokens.

2. 170 Silver Groats.

3. 170 Threepences.

4. 200 Twopences.

5. 18 English and foreign Dollars, Crowns, and Bank Tokens, and 8 English Half-Crowns, 28 Smooth Shillings, 22 English and foreign Sixpences.

6. 209 Provincial Tokens.

(p. 174)


(p. 175) These items bear witness to the Queen's saving qualities, and also to the meanness which prompted the sale of such comparative trifles—only those were sold which were not Current Coin—because it was an offence against the law to sell money that was in use. Her veriest trifles were sold. "Among the articles of vertu in the last sale of her late Majesty's Curiosities, were a number of paper portraits cut in profile of the members of the illustrious Houses of Brunswick and of Mecklenburgh Strelitz, both male and female: the ladies in the costume of 1770, with the head-dresses three stories high, and with elegant flowing lappets. Of the same subjects, the most remarkable was the Lord's Prayer, cut in paper with a pair of scissors, by an artist born without hands."[29]

A Satirist brought out an Engraving, "Sales by Auction! or Provident Children disposing of their deceased Mother's effects for the benefit of their Creditors!" The Regent, gouty as usual, is the Auctioneer, and his remarks upon the lot he has for sale, an Indian Shawl, are: "Here are some genuine Articles, a present from an Indian Prince to the deceased owner, and saved entirely for the Moths, as they were never worn, given away all her money in Charity. So, pray, good people, Bid liberally, or the Children will be destitute." The Princesses are pleading in the same strain, and the Duke of York is sale Clerk. A short time previously he had a fall, caused by (p. 176) one of his spurs catching in a carpet, at Windsor, and he broke his arm; he sits comfortably on £10,000 which was the sum paid him annually, for paying a monthly visit to his father, to whom he acted as Custodian, after his mother's death. In January a Bill was brought in, with this provision, but it met with strenuous opposition, as far as the monetary portion went, as it was felt that no son, with any remnant of filial affection left, would, or ought to, take such a sum for occasionally visiting an aged and sorely afflicted parent; but it finally passed into law. Of course, the Duke of York must have expected, and he certainly got, censure for his greed, and we find him pictorially satirised as using one of the then newly invented, and fashionable "Dandy," or "Hobby" horses—by means of which he could visit his poor old father at Windsor. This engraving is called "Making Most of £10,000 per An., by saving Travelling Expenses (that is) going on Monthly visits to Windsor! as appointed by.... having only the small sum of Ten Thousand Pounds per year, granted for that arduous task, has wisely procured a pedestrian Hobby Horse." The Duke comforts himself by saying, "Every Man has his Hobby Horse, mine is worth Ten Thousand!!!"



This parent of the bi-and tri-cycles was only introduced into England early this year. It is said to have been the invention of the Baron Charles de Drais, Master of Woods and Forests to H. R. H. the Grand Duke of Baden. (p. 181) In English it was called the "Dandy Horse," because the word Dandy as applied to a fashionably dressed man, had only just been coined; and Hobby Horse, although it had nothing in common with the barded horse with which jesters used to caracole in mimic jousts with one another. The Germans called it either the German horse, or Drais Laufmashin; The French, Drais ena. They were obtainable at Johnson's Repository in Long Acre, and cost about eight pounds each, weight about fifty pounds each, and it was reckoned that, by their means, a man could travel at a speed of eight to ten miles an hour.[30] The pedestrian sat astride, leaning against a pad in front, and holding the steering cross-bar with his hands, then with his feet alternately, he spurned the ground. For a short time they were very popular, and there are many specimens of them now in existence. The Police were very opposed to them, and gave as a reason that the crowded state of the Metropolis did not admit of this novel method of travelling, and they put a stop to their use.

We get an excellent view of one in "The hobby Horse Dealer." Here we see the poor starved horses looking hungrily out of the Stable windows, and the groom in rags, his occupation gone. Of the Dandies, one critically examines it, and says, "It seems to me, Jack, not to have (p. 182) quite barrel enough." His quizzical friend, thinks it has a "Fine fore-hand, by Jove." The dealer, of course, vaunts his goods. "I'll warrant him sound, and free from vice." But the would-be purchaser decries it, saying, "I can see he has been down, once or twice, though, my lad."

I don't think "the Lady's Accelerator" ever came into vogue, even among the "Dandizettes."

It was a lucky thing that there was a regular clear out of the old Queen's things; for many of the poor old King's jewels had been missing for a long time, and their disappearance had caused much uneasiness. Messrs. Rundle and Bridge had been for several days examining and estimating the value of the Queen's jewels, preparatory to their being divided between the four princesses. When this was satisfactorily accomplished, the Prince Regent came to see the division, and the Princess Augusta also was present. On the jewels being apportioned into four several heaps of equal value, a question arose about the manner in which they were to be packed, until it should be necessary to reproduce them.


One of the female attendants suggested that, in a lumber room, not very far distant from her late Majesty's apartments, a number of empty boxes were stowed, which had been used on former occasions, as cases, in which the Royal Jewels had been carried to and from the Bank of England (where they are usually deposited) to Buckingham (p. 185) House; and "perhaps," said she, "these may serve the purpose for which they are wanted, without troubling Messrs. Rundle and Bridge to send for fresh packages from their house in town." The suggestion was thought good; and the boxes were accordingly ordered to be produced before the Royal Company. In examining one of them, which at first sight appeared to be filled with nothing more than the lawn, or silver paper, in which jewellery is usually enveloped, the King's sword handle, star, loop, garter, and other jewels were unexpectedly discovered.

It is well, sometimes, to read what other nations think of us, and our customs, even if it be Max O'Rell and water, and we find in a Newspaper of Feb. 13th, the following. It will create a smile to read the account of English Manners given by a Frenchman, who, on the authority of a short residence, takes upon himself to describe, and expose our peculiarities. A little volume, entitled "A Year in London," gives the following account of a public Tavern Dinner:—

"Few days pass in London without public Dinners. Our traveller acquainted a Portuguese Jew, long resident in London, with the desire he had to make one at this kind of entertainment. 'Nothing is so easy. How do you go to the play?' 'I pay for a ticket at the door.' 'How do you see Westminster Abbey?' 'I pay a shilling at every door they open for me.' 'How do you see St. Paul's, the Tower, the Crown Jewels?' 'The same way, (p. 186) I pay.' 'You see, then, in London, you have only to pay; you must, however, take care to have your name put down two days before, for decency's sake, that you may not have the appearance of going to a Table d'Hôte; but I will put you down for one that is to take place to-morrow.'

"Each having paid 15s. entrance," says our traveller, "we were introduced into a large dining-room, surrounded by tables, where, already, were seated about two hundred guests, though the tables were only covered with a cloth; there were, at the top of the room, about six vacant places, but we were told they were for the singers; twelve or fifteen persons, who, like ourselves, had arrived a little too late, walked about in the middle of the room. At length we were invited into another room, much less than the first, and where tables were set in the same manner to accommodate about forty persons. A waiter brought soup, and a heap of plates; he who was nearest took possession, and distributed it to those nearest him, before a second tureen was placed at the other end of the table, and that, also, disappeared, before the arrival of a third. This soup is called mock turtle, that is, pieces of Calves' head, and Oxtails floating in the water in which they are dressed, and has no flavour but pepper, which had not been spared.

"Soon afterwards, the table was covered with a profusion of roast and boiled meat, that everybody began to (p. 187) hack at the same time—and vegetables, boiled in water, the only sauce given to them in this country. I had hardly finished my plate of mock turtle, when it was loaded with a wing of boiled fowl, an enormous piece of roast beef, a slice of hot ham, a potato, two carrots, and leaves of boiled, not chopped spinach, completed the pyramid. No one thought of drinking, for the English, in general, are not thirsty till no longer hungry; in about a quarter of an hour, they cleared away, and put down apple tarts, in comparison with which, our village pastry are models of excellence, some salads eaten without seasoning, and cheese, to which some added mustard and salt: they then placed before each guest a bottle of red wine, or sherry, as he preferred; hardly was this done, when five or six persons rose from the table, carrying in one hand their glass, in the other, their bottle: every one imitated them; I followed and did as the others, and we found ourselves in the great room, standing between the tables, shoved by a crowd of waiters, who were clearing away. Oranges and nuts were brought, which my companions below often pillaged before they arrived at their destination. At last, after having been squeezed, pushed, and elbowed, for half an hour, we succeeded in obtaining some seats in the middle of the room, each having his bottle between his knees, and glass in his hand. After every health, one of the singers amused the Company with a song; a pause of some minutes ensued, and the same thing was repeated."

(p. 188) Doubtless, but for the finding of oxtails in Mock Turtle Soup, this is a very accurate sketch of a Charity dinner of the time, and it bears the impress of truth upon it.

Apropos of feeding, we may read the following travesty of the "mad young prince" afterwards the wise Henry V. "Brighton, March 13, Royal Freak.—We are assured, that a few nights ago, the Regent, in a merry mood, determined to sup in the kitchen of the Pavilion. A scarlet cloth was thrown over the pavement, a splendid repast was provided, and the good-humoured Prince sat down, with a select party of his friends, and spent a joyous hour. The whole of the servants, particularly the female part, were, of course, delighted with this mark of Royal condescension." Of this supper there were numerous Satirical prints, and I have chosen the least offensive of them, which is really laughable, the Prince being so "royally drunk." It is called "High life below Stairs!! a new Farce, as lately performed at the Theatre Royal, Brighton, for the edification and amusement of the Cooks, Scullions, Dish-Washers, Lick-Trenchers, Shoe-Blacks, Cinder-Sifters, Candle-Snuffers, &c., &c., of that Theatre, but which was unfortunately Damn'd the first night, by Common Sense!"


When ill, the good folks of that time, must, especially in the country, have been very much at the mercy of quack practitioners. It is true that both the Apothecaries Company, and the College of Surgeons were in existence, (p. 191) and had been, the former since 1670, the latter since 1745, but their diplomas were not considered absolutely necessary in order to practise Medicine. I give an instance early in April. "At the Stafford Assizes a cause was brought on at the suit of the Apothecaries Company, against the son of a man who had been originally a gardener, but who had long exercised the business of a cow-leech, and quack doctor; the son claiming a right of following the profession of an apothecary, through having studied under his renowned father.

"In the cross-examination of the father by Mr. Dauncey, he was asked if he had always been a surgeon? The witness appealed to the Judge, if this was a proper answer! and whether he must reply to it; and, at last, said: 'I am a surgent' Mr. Dauncey asked him to spell this word, which he did at several times, viz., 'Syurgunt, surgend, surgunt, sergund.' Mr. Dauncey said, 'I am afraid, Sir, you do not often take so much time to study the cases which come before you, as you do to answer my question.'—'I do not, Sir.'—Witness said he never employed himself as a gardener, but was a farmer until he learnt his present business. Mr. Dauncey asked, 'Who did you learn it of?'—'I learnt it of Dr. Holme, my brother-in-law; he practised the same as the Whitworth doctors, and they were regular physicians.'—Mr. Dauncey: 'Where did they take their degrees?'—Witness: 'I don't believe they ever took a degree.'—'Then were (p. 192) they regular physicians?'—'No, I believe they were not; they were only doctors.'—'Only doctors! were they doctors in law, physic, or divinity?'—'They doctored cows, and other things, and humans as well.'—Judge to witness: 'Did you ever make up any medicine by the prescriptions of a physician?'—'I never did.'—'Do you understand the characters they use for ounces, scruples, and drachms?'—'I do not.'—'Then you cannot make up their prescriptions from reading them?'—'I cannot, but I can make up as good medicines in my way, as they can in theirs.'—'What proportion does an ounce bear to a pound?' (a pause)—'There are sixteen ounces to the pound; but we do not go by any regular weight; we mix ours by the hand.'—'Do you bleed?'—'Yes.'—'With a fleam, or with a lancet?'—'With a lancet.'—'Do you bleed from the vein, or from the artery?'—'From the vein.'—'There is an artery somewhere about the temples; what is the name of that artery?'—'I do not pretend to have as much learning as some have.'—'Can you tell me the name of that artery?'—'I do not know which you mean.'—'Suppose, then, I was to direct you to bleed my servant, or my horse (which God forbid), in a vein, say, for instance, the jugular vein, where should you bleed him?'—'In the neck, to be sure.'—The Jury, almost instantly returned a verdict for the plaintiffs!"

Over-population, coupled with distress, was beginning to be felt; and the tide of emigration began to flow, (p. 193) naturally to America, because of its proximity, and consequent cheapness of Carriage: but Australia and New Zealand, also had their attractions—the flax (Phormium tenax) of the latter place having already been experimented upon at Portsmouth Dockyard, and favourably reported on as a good material for rope-making, and its cost, delivered here, was put down at £8 a ton, or a seventh of the then price of Hemp.

Yet America was the favourite place of emigration, and we read, under date of April 14th: "The spirit of emigration from Portsmouth continues unabated. Every packet for Havre, conveys numerous passengers destined for America; and not less than five hundred Englishmen are supposed to be now at Havre, waiting for a fair wind, many of whom have been there upwards of a month. About seventy persons, chiefly artisans and mechanics, with women and children, amounting in the whole to at least two hundred, have embarked during last week, intending to proceed from Havre in an American brig belonging to Baltimore, which has been taken up expressly for the purpose. The expenses of the voyage are to be defrayed out of a fund which has been accumulating for some time past, by a small weekly subscription, and the total charge for each passenger, is said to be less than £4."

A foreign Embassy was something unusual in those days, and when they came two at a time, it gave people (p. 194) something to talk about. First to arrive was an Ambassador from Algiers; and then came the Persian Ambassador, who created almost as great a sensation as did the Shah when he came here in 1873. This ambassador was accompanied by a "fair Circassian," whom people raved about, although no one ever saw her face. Here is the contemporary account of their arrival:—

"Dover, April 25th.—About three this afternoon, his Majesty's schooner Pioneer arrived in the roads, and very shortly after, the boat belonging to the Customs put off under a salute. She had on board the Persian Ambassador and suite, who, on landing, were greeted with another salute from the guns on the heights. As the schooner had been seen for some time before her arrival, there was an amazing concourse of people assembled on the beach, and the novel nature of the arrival of ten or a dozen persons, habited in silks and turbans, with daggers, and long beards, in no small degree attracted the attention of the inhabitants, whose curiosity had been raised to the highest pitch by the different accounts of the beauty of the fair Circassian; and, had not a coach been provided at the water's edge, I much doubt if his Excellency and suite would have reached the Inn without considerable difficulty.

"The crowd followed to Wright's Hotel nearly as fast as the Carriage, it being reported by some, that the fair female was in a mask, under the habit of a male (p. 195) attendant, whilst others stated she would not be landed till the middle of the night. In about half an hour, however, from the arrival of the first boat, a second boat came into the harbour, and landed the Circassian Beauty! She was attended from the schooner by Lieutenant Graham of the Preventive service, and two black eunuchs. She was scarcely seen; for the instant she landed, she was put into a Coach which conveyed her to the Inn. She had on a hood, which covered the upper part of her head, and a large silk shawl screened the lower part of her face, across the nose, from observation; therefore her eyes, which are truly beautiful, and part of her forehead, were the only parts of her beauties that could be seen. She is of middle stature, and appeared very interesting. Her look was languid from illness, arising from a rough passage. She was conducted to a bedroom on reaching the inn, but no one was allowed to attend her but the eunuchs."

They gave the Ambassador plenty of time to recover from his sea voyage, for he did not have an audience of the Regent, until the 20th of May, when he had a magnificent reception. All the Royal Servants put off their mourning for the Queen, and appeared in their State liveries. The thing was done in style. "The procession of his Excellency was preceded by a numerous detachment from the Corps of Lancers, followed by six of the Prince Regent's Carriages, with servants in their State (p. 196) liveries, five of them drawn by six bays, and the sixth by six superior black horses, surrounded by a numerous detachment of the Royal Horse Guards. The Arabian horses brought by his Excellency to England, as a present to the Prince Regent were drawn up in the front of Carlton House in the Courtyard at the time of the arrival of his Excellency. In five of the Carriages, were four of his Excellency's attendants dressed in the Costume of their Country, Mr. Morier, the Mehmander, and Captain Willock; two of the Carriages contained presents brought for the Regent; among them were a most magnificent, costly sword, the sheath ornamented with emeralds, rubies, and diamonds, also two large silver salvers, on one of which was a splendid Cabinet, and on the other, a numerous collection of large pearls, besides other valuable articles.

"His Excellency was attended in his Carriage by the Marquess of Headfort, who was specially appointed, with Sir Robert Chester, to conduct the Ambassador into the presence of the Regent. His Excellency was dressed in a rich embroidered robe; his turban ornamented with jewels, carrying a silver stick or staff, his Excellency leaning on the arm of Sir Robert Chester, being a little lame from a kick he received on Tuesday from one of his horses....

"At half-past three the Algerine Ambassador, attended by Mr. Salame, his Excellency's interpreter, arrived at (p. 197) Carlton House in one of the Regent's Carriages, the servants in their State liveries, with the six beautiful horses brought by his Excellency as a present to the Regent; three of them light greys, one iron grey, one black; one of the light greys had been ridden by the Dey of Algiers, and was most richly, and costly caparisoned, with a saddle, shabrac, bridle, winkers, and holsters most richly embroidered with gold, with wide silver stirrups, made according to, the fashion of that Country, with filagree ornaments. The other numerous and costly presents were sent to Carlton House in the course of the morning."

"The fair Circassian" was once, if not oftener, interviewed by some ladies of "the upper ten." "May 13. The Fair Circassian.—The above much-talked of female, was, by permission of her keeper, his Excellency the Persian Ambassador, introduced on Monday last to upwards of twenty ladies of fashionable distinction, friends of his Excellency. The introduction took place between one and two o'clock, in the front drawing-room at his Excellency's residence in Charles Street, Berkeley Square. The fair stranger was elegantly attired in the costume of her country; her dress was a rich white satin, fringed with gold, with a bandeau round her head, and wreaths of diamonds. She received her visitors with graceful affability, and they were highly pleased with her person and manners. She is not, as has been represented, (p. 198) short and slender, she is of the middle stature, of exquisite symmetry, rather en bon point: her complexion is of a brownish cast, her hair of a jet black, with beautiful arched black eyebrows, handsome black, penetrating eyes, her features regular, and strikingly handsome. The Ladies were highly gratified, and passed great encomiums on the elegance of her person. Lady Augusta Murray presented the fair Circassian with a beautiful nosegay, with which she seemed highly pleased."

She returned before the Ambassador, who stayed in England about a year, going through England, Ireland, and Scotland. She sailed for Constantinople on the 31st of August.

On the 1st of May Lieutenant Parry sailed from England, having under his command the Hecla and Griper, being bound for another voyage of discovery in the Arctic regions.

On the 24th of May was born our beloved Sovereign Lady, Queen Victoria. About that time, her father, the Duke of Kent, who, like all his brothers, was deeply in debt, although he claimed to have reduced his liabilities down to £60,000, applied to Parliament (July 2nd) for leave to dispose of his house at Castlebar Hill, and its furniture, by lottery, for a sum of £50,000. His case was warmly pleaded by Alderman Wood, who said that out of an income of £24,000, he put by £17,000 for liquidation of his debts. This assertion was, however, traversed by (p. 199) Sir Charles Burrell, who showed that his Royal Highness at that moment had an income of above £31,000, made up thus—Out of the Consolidated Fund £18,000; £7,000 from the Government of Gibraltar; £6,000 on his late marriage; and the revenue of the Colonelcy of the Scots Royals, with the usual allowance for clothing that regiment. In the face of these facts, it was no use going on with the motion, and it was withdrawn.

Both Queen and Princess Charlotte being dead, and the Princess of Wales not being received at Court, and, besides, being abroad, the holding of a Drawing-room, so necessary for launching Society young ladies into life, and for their admission into Foreign Courts in after-life, seemed rather problematical; but the Board of Green Cloth, or whatever other authority had it in hand, was equal to the occasion, and a precedent was found in the case of George II., who was accustomed to hold drawing-rooms after the death of Queen Caroline. Therefore the Regent held a Drawing-room all by himself, and we read that "the Court was a very crowded one, and the presentations were very numerous."

The following paragraph may interest some of the millions of people who have visited the ever-popular exhibition of Madame Tussaud: "July 16. Bonaparte's Carriage, &c.—At the late sale of the contents of Mr. Bullock's Museum, the articles brought a much higher price than was originally expected. Bonaparte's (p. 200) Carriage, and the different dressing materials it contained, and which were taken by the Prussians at Waterloo, were sought with great avidity. The following are the prices they brought:—

"For the Carriage, which had been exhibited in every town of the Empire, and was quite worn out in the service, there were several bidders. It was originally built at Brussels, and had been used by Bonaparte in the last Russian Campaign, and subsequently at Elba, and finally in Flanders—

It was knocked down for   £168 0 0  
The Opera Glass   5 5 0  
Tooth brush   3 13 6  
Snuffbox   166 19 6  
Military Stock or Collar   1 17 0  
Old Slippers   1 0 0  
Common Razor   4 4 0  
Piece of Sponge   0 17 6  
Shaving-brush   3 14 0  
Shirt   2 5 0  
Comb   1 0 0  
Shaving box   7 7 0  
Pair of Gloves—   1 0 0  
Pocket Handkerchief   1 11 6 ."

In my search through newspapers of this time I came (p. 201) across the following—which belongs to no section of this book, and yet is too good to leave out: "Irish Evidence.—During a trial at the Carlow Assizes, on the 29th ult. (July, 1819), on an indictment for stealing 30 lbs. of tobacco, the following confessions were extracted from an accomplice in the robbery, who was admitted King's evidence—

"Q. How many robberies have you been at altogether?

"A. Together! (laughter.) Why, sure I could not be at more than one at a time.

"Q. You certainly have knocked me down by that answer (loud laughter in Court). Come, now, tell us how many you have been at?

"A. I never put them down, for I never thought it would come to my turn to give an account of them.

"Q. By virtue of your oath, Sir, will you swear you have not been at fifteen?

"A. I would not (witness laughing).

"Q. Would you swear that you have not been at twenty?

"A. I would not (still laughing).

"Q. Do you recollect robbing the Widow Byrne in the County of Wicklow?

"A. The Widow Byrne—who is she? May be it is big Nell you mean? Oh! I only took a trifle of whiskey from her, that's all.

"Q. Was it day or night?

(p. 202) "A. (laughing). Why it was night to be sure.

"Q. Did you not rob the poor woman of every article in the house; even her bed-clothes, and the clothes off her back?

"A. I took clothes, but they were not on her back.

"Q. Do you recollect stealing two flitches of bacon from Dovan, the Wexford Carman?

"A. Faith! I do, and a pig's head beside! (loud laughter in Court).

"Q. Do you recollect robbing John Keogh, in the County of Wicklow, and taking every article in his house?

"A. You're wrong there; I did not take everything; I only took his money, and a few other things! (Witness and the Auditory laughing immoderately.)

"Q. Why, you're a mighty good-humoured fellow?

"A. There isn't a better-humoured fellow in the County—there may be honester."

(p. 203) Décoration


Reform Meetings — Peterloo — Orator Hunt's entry into London — The King's last illness and death.

But I must return to my Chronicle. There were Reform Meetings everywhere. The evils in the Representation of the people were patent to every body who would see, but the Regent was not gifted with that perspicuity of vision that is suitable to a Ruler of Men, and his blindness led to deplorable results, which, after all, were probable benefits, inasmuch as they hastened the passing of the Reform Bill. Things were beginning to look ugly. In some districts the people were beginning to drill, and they were not of the best class. Vide the following—

"Manchester, Aug. 15.—The circumstances of parties going out to drill, having been much talked about here, viz., John Shawcross, of Blossom Street, Salford, and James Murray, of Withy Grove, Manchester, set out this morning, about one o'clock, (p. 204) for the purpose of ascertaining this fact. On their way towards Middleton, these two persons passed several squads who were in regular Marching Order, and they heard a great many more parties calling to each other, and, from the answers being more distant, every time they were repeated, supposed the fields for some extent, contained different parties.

"The place appointed for a general muster was Whitemoss, betwixt Middleton and Oldham. When Murray and Shawcross arrived at this spot, there were at least five hundred men at drill; the greater part were drilled in a body; there were also detached squads of fifteen or twenty each."

The two men were found, pounced upon as spies, and nearly kicked to death.

I give this passage, as it shows that armed men were preparing themselves for a conflict with the civil power, which they certainly thought imminent, yet like all cowardly English Mobs, they howled most valiantly, and complained of the butchery, when they came into conflict with even Citizen Soldiery. There are some people still who regard "Peterloo" as a massacre of the innocents: they must be either very wrong-headed, or very badly informed. Let me give the shortest, and most succinct, contemporaneous account of that memorable day.

"Aug. 16. A meeting of Reformers took place at Manchester, on a vacant piece of ground, on the north side of (p. 205) St. Peter's. The number of persons from Oldham, Saddleworth, Royton, and other places, were supposed to be at least 50,000, bearing banners inscribed 'Hunt and Liberty'—'Universal Suffrage'—'Annual Parliaments,' &c., and a Club of female Reformers also joined the group. Mr. Henry Hunt was called to the Chair, and commenced an harangue on the usual topics of public grievances, during which, the Manchester Yeomanry Cavalry, aided by the Cheshire Yeomanry Cavalry, and the 15th Hussars, advanced to the crowd, and rode through them, sword in hand; and having arrived at the waggon, from which the orator was declaiming, Mr. Nadin, the police officer, arrested Hunt and Johnson, on a warrant. They submitted quietly and were taken to gaol. The Cavalry then rode through the mob, and seized their banners, in doing which, several persons were killed and wounded; bricks and other missiles were thrown at the Cavalry, who, however, succeeded in dispersing the mob: several other persons were taken into custody in the course of the day."

Such is an unvarnished tale of Peterloo, and the student of history must ever bear in mind, that at this period, there were no police, as we know them, and that in case of riot the Military were always called out, and that they had but to obey orders.

The Radical papers held it, of course, to be a brutal massacre, and I give one print which takes a highly (p. 206) poetical view of it. It is called "The Massacre at St. Peter's, or Britons, strike home!" The officer on extreme left calls out to his corps of butchers, "Down with 'em! Chop 'em down! my brave boys! give them no quarter. They want to take our Beef and Pudding from us! And, remember, the more you kill, the less poor's rates you'll have to pay; so, go it, lads, show your Courage, and your Loyalty! "This is about as truthful as nine-tenths of what has been written about "Peterloo."

This was the occasion, of which I have written, that Hunt got fined. When he was bailed, he made a "triumphal entry" into London. Of course, like all his class, he was nothing except he was en evidence. It was well organized: there was the young man from Manchester, who had got hurt at "Peterloo," there was a huge dog with a large white collar, bearing thereon, "No dog tax," and, at last came the procession itself.


There! does not that read like a modern Irish Procession to the Reformer's tree in Hyde Park? It had the same value and the same result—somebody got paid (p. 210) something. There were also riots in Scotland, both in Paisley and Glasgow.

I am approaching the end of my Chronicle of the Regency. In November, it could not be concealed that the poor old King was very bad; in fact, now and then it was rumoured that he was dead. And so he was to himself, and to the world. Nature was having its grand and final fight; and in a few weeks the mortal life of George III. would be closed. How well the following description of the old King tallies with the portrait, which is scarce: "His Majesty.—A gentleman who has been in his presence a short time ago, states, that the appearance of our aged Monarch, is the most venerable imaginable. His hair and beard are white as the drifted Snow, and the latter flows gracefully over a breast which now feels neither the pleasures nor the pains of life. When the gentleman saw him, he was dressed in a loose Satin robe, lined with fur, sitting in an apparently pensive mood, with his elbows on a table, and his head resting on his hands, and seemed perfectly regardless of all external objects" (Bath Journal).


Still they hoped when there was no hope, for, under date November 26th is the following: "The examination of his Majesty's Physicians by the Members of the Council, at Lambeth Palace, has made a strong sensation on the public mind, as they conceive that it could only be occasioned by the conviction in the breast of (p. 213) his Royal Highness the Duke of York, that the inquiry became necessary. The result of the examination has not transpired. Report says that his Majesty has shown symptoms of decay, by the wasting of his person, and general weakness, which, at the advanced age of eighty-two, are signs not to be overlooked: but we believe, that immediate danger is not apprehended."

On the 23rd of January death claimed the Duke of Kent, the father of our present Queen; and on the 29th God took to Himself the poor old King—which event necessarily brings to a close my Chronicles of the


(p. 215) Décoration


A foreigner's view of England — The packets — Roads — People — Posting — Mail and Stage Coaches — Amateur coachmen — Fast driving — Perils of travelling — A lioness attacks the Mail — Dog-carts and donkey-riding — The Streets and Houses.

What was England like at this time? I have notes enough, and to spare, de omnibus rebus, for a volume upon it; but I withdraw, and allow a foreigner to give his impressions, and we shall have the advantage of viewing England with other spectacles.[31] I extract from a book by "M. de Levis, Duke and Peer of France," an English translation of which was published in 1815.

Of course steamboats were not, and that "silver streak" between France and England, was even more of a bugbear than it is at present. "Foreigners who visit England in time of peace, usually pass through (p. 216) Dover; this port being the nearest point of land to the Continent of Europe. The distance is only seven leagues, but the passage is not the less uncertain; it varies from two hours to thirty-six, when it becomes excessively fatiguing; obliged to struggle against the wind in a narrow sea, and in which it is impossible to make long tacks.... The cabin is so low that you cannot stand upright; it usually contains eight beds placed two by two upon one another, like drawers, in a bureau. The disagreeable smell of the bedding, and of the whole furniture, increase the sickness which the horizontal position would tend to alleviate. This sickness is not dangerous, but it is very severe, and sometimes persons of a delicate habit experience the effects of it for several days. However, if this passage be often painful, and always disagreeable, it is, at least, very safe. In times of peace, few days pass without packet boats crossing the Channel,[32] and we never hear of shipwrecks. The usual price for the passage is one guinea for gentlemen, and half for servants; the hire of the whole vessel costs from five to ten guineas, according to the condition of the travellers."



On landing, next to the comeliness of the women and children, the men's dress seems to have struck him. "Their dress is equally remarkable for its fulness, uniformity, and neatness. Those scanty clothes, so (p. 221) mean, and strangely absurd, which we meet with, on the Continent, are never found in Britain, still less are the worn-out and dirty clothes, which, preserving the traces of a luxury, unsuitable to the condition of those who wear them, appear to be the livery of wretchedness: on the contrary, all the apparel here seems at first sight fresh from the manufactory, and the same taylor appears to have cut the Coats of the whole nation....

"Large scarlet cloaks, black silk bonnets, which preserve and heighten the fairness of their Complexion, distinguish the country women who come to market. When a class, so inferior, is so well dressed, we cannot doubt of the prosperity and comfort of the nation to which it belongs."

Of course there were no railroads, and people had the choice of three conveyances, as they now have the choice of three classes. For people of very slender purses, there was the Waggon—very slow, but bound to get to its destination safely—with many horses, having bells, and yokes to the hames of their Collars; broad-tyred wheels, which could not even sink in the mud of a country lane. But M. le Duc de Levis could not patronize such a vehicle—he, of course, must go post. "The Post is not, as on the Continent, an establishment dependent upon the Government; individuals undertake this business; most of the inns keep Post Chaises; they are good Carriages with four wheels, shut close, the same kind (p. 222) as we call in France 'diligences de ville.' They hold three persons in the back with ease; are narrow, extremely light; well hung, and appear the more easy, because the roads are not paved with stone. The postillions wear a jacket with sleeves, tight boots, and, altogether, their dress is light, and extremely neat; and they are not only civil, but even respectful.

"On your arrival at the Inn, you are shown into a good room, where a fire is kept in winter, and tea is ready every hour of the day. In five minutes at most, another Chaise is ready for your departure. If we compare these customs with those of Germany, or particularly in the North, where you must often wait whole hours to change horses, in a dirty room, heated by an iron stove, the smell of which is suffocating; or even those of France, where the most part of the post-houses, not being Inns, have no accommodation for travellers, it is evident that the advantage is not in favour of the Continent. The only inconvenience attached to the manner which I am describing, is being obliged at almost every stage to untie and pack up baggage and parcels; but English gentlemen (which will appear very extraordinary to French ladies) and English ladies carry so little with them, that this inconvenience is little felt. By this manner of travelling we avoid ennui, and immense expense, and delays caused by frequent mending of Carriages, which sometimes occasion the loss of rest on the road.

(p. 223)


(p. 226)


(p. 227) "Competition is, of course, established, and the interest of the postmasters oblige them to keep good carriages: there are many that for their neatness may excite the envy of the foreigner. The price of travelling is the same throughout England, one shilling a mile for horses and carriage, without reckoning what is given to the postillion; this is extremely cheap, considering the high price of every article, and even in proportion to other Countries; at those times when forage is dear, a few pence are added, but this is never done without the concurrence of the principal postmasters of the Country. When quick travelling is desired, four horses are provided, driven by two postillions, and then travelling is performed with a rapidity known only in Russia and Sweden in the winter season.

"The Mail Coaches also afford means of travelling with great celerity into all parts of England. These are Berlins, firm and light, holding four persons; they carry only letters, and do not take charge of any luggage. They are drawn by four horses, and driven by one Coachman; they travel never less than seven to eight miles an hour.

"Stage Coaches are very numerous, they are kept in every City, and even in small towns; all these Carriages have small wheels, and hold six persons, without reckoning the outside passengers. About twenty years ago a carriage was invented in the form of a gondola; it is (p. 228) long, and will hold sixteen persons, sitting face to face; the door is behind, and this plan ought to be generally adopted, as the only means of escaping a great danger when the horses run away. What adds to the singularity of these carriages is, that they have eight wheels; thus dividing equally the weight, they are less liable to be overturned, or cut up the roads; they are, besides, very low and easy.

"When these long coaches first appeared at Southampton, a City much frequented in summer by the rich inhabitants of London, who go there to enjoy sea bathing; they had (as every new thing has) a great run, so that it was nearly impossible to get a place in them.

"One of the principal Innkeepers, jealous of this success, set up another, and, to obtain the preference, he reduced the fare to half-price, at that time a guinea. In order to defeat this manœuvre, the first proprietor made a still greater reduction, so that, at last, the receipts did not cover the expenses. But the two rivals did not stop here; for one of them announced that he would take nothing of gentlemen who might honour him by choosing his Coach, but he would beg them to accept a bottle of Port before their departure."

After this, I think I must, for a while, leave my French Duke, and follow my own Notes, on the road.

This was a transition age. Sedan Chairs were still used, especially for State occasions. March 26, 1814: (p. 229) "The Queen and Princesses went in Sedan Chairs on Thursday evening, in the same order as on Wednesday evening, to dine with the Prince Regent at Carlton House." Nor is this the only example that could be adduced.

Then, as now, there was among a certain class, an ambition to do something, if only to drive a Coach. By the way there is no ambition among "Noble Swells" to drive Omnibuses. Like "Tommy Onslow," who could not only drive a Coach and two, but a Coach and four, the gilded youths of that time sought a cheap renown, as do our modern bankers and linendrapers, by driving public coaches!! Chacun à son gout. As Artemus Ward said: "It isn't my fort," but it gives pleasure to somebody else, and nobody ought to grumble at it. It may give amusement to some noble lords, or otherwise, to ape the fashion of the late James Selby, or some other professional Jehu, or for a barber's Clerk to pay a trifle extra to sit on the box seat by the side of My Lord; but, in the old days they took things at a better value, and pointed out its folly. January 26, 1811: "The education of our youth of fashion is improving daily; several of them now drive Stage Coaches to town, and open the door of the Carriage for passengers, while the Coachman remains on the box. They farm the perquisites from the Coachman on the road, and generally pocket something into the bargain."

(p. 230) January 30, 1811: "The prominent figure cut by our young men of fashion on the Coach box makes them a fit subject for ridicule on any stage."

They used to drive fast in those days. "Mr. Milton, the Horse-dealer, has made a match for seven hundred guineas to drive four-in-hand, 15 miles in 48 minutes, to start the week before the Epsom races commence, and to be done within 20 miles of London. Betting is against the undertaking." One more Newspaper cutting re fast driving, and I have done. May 16, 1815: "We have been much shocked by reading in some papers accounts of the extraordinary expedition of the several Leeds Coaches, occasioned, we suppose, by opposition among themselves. One Coach boasts of having reached Newark from London in 12 hours, a distance of 124 miles, and which takes the Edinburgh Mail 17 hours to perform. Another is said regularly to reach Leeds from London (194 miles) in less than 21 hours! This is certainly most astonishing velocity, but how great must be the sufferings of the poor horses thus unnaturally urged."

Brighton was not only the abode of the Regent, but, naturally, every one who wanted to be somebody, went there, to pay their Court. As we know it now, it is the promised land of the Hebrew, and the delight of 'Arry and 'Arriette, shrimps, winkles, and the small half-quartern glass bottle. But, dear me! (p. 231) Brighton had fast Coaches then, as now—when fools and professionals drive them, and are cheap heroes; and they gloried in publishing the fact that a horse could go quicker than a man! A noble Ambition! Put this and that of our times together, and how do we—in Australian language—"pan out." We, nationally, do not seem to get wiser as we get older.

Under date October 17, 1816, we read: "A new coach was started by some Jews in the Spring to run to Brighton, a distance of 52 miles, in six hours, with a pledge, that if they did not accomplish the journey in that time, they would carry the passengers gratis; to accomplish which the horses were kept upon a gallop all the way; and, notwithstanding this great risk, the coach was always filled with passengers. In one of the journeys the Coachman broke three whips. In one week 15 horses died." The authorities had, however, to interfere, as they considered this speed both dangerous and cruel. On July 14, 1888, a professional coachman, named James Selby, who had accepted a bet of £1,000 that he could not drive from White Horse Cellars, Piccadilly, to Brighton and back to the same place, within eight hours, did it, and had ten minutes to spare. In 1818 there were thirty-seven coaches which left and returned to Brighton daily.

There were perils in travelling then, as now, only perhaps for the percentage of travellers, rather more (p. 232) so. There were highwaymen, though they were getting somewhat scarce. But the wheels came off, horses kicked over the traces, reins broke; and there are a thousand and one little accidents arising from man's subjugation of the horse, which are almost inseparable from their mutual positions; but we hardly expect to hear that on October 27, 1812, one of the Hampstead stages got blown over by the wind. We have already heard that passengers were occasionally frozen to death outside a Coach. But there is one peril one would scarcely have discounted. In Railway travelling, if a cow gets on the line, and tilts with dire onslaught at the train, Stephenson's grim speech, "So much the worse for the Coo," is verified; but when a lioness breaks loose, and attacks the horses of a Stage Coach, it strikes me that the "Coo" is the passenger thereby.

This was a little item of news which enlivened the good folks of 1816, for on October 20th of that year the Exeter Mail Coach, on its way to London, was attacked, at Winterslow-hut, seven miles from Salisbury, by a lioness who had escaped from a travelling menagerie; she sprang at one of the leaders, and for some time things were rather mixed. Two inside passengers hurriedly got out, rushed into a house close by, and locked themselves in. The driver wanted to get down and emulate the old Roman gladiatorial (p. 233) feats, by attacking the lioness with his pocket-knife, but the wiser counsels of his Guard restrained him. Then appeared a Deus ex Machina, in the shape of a large Mastiff dog, who "went for" Madame la Lionne, and made her retreat, her keepers afterwards capturing her. I believe the horse attacked afterwards died. But the incident, although ending fairly happily, created a great sensation at the time.

Among the minor scenes of the road, with which people were then familiar, were little carts drawn by dogs, as are the milk carts at Brussels at this day. I even recollect them, and their being put down. There is no doubt but it was in the power of a Costermonger (for they even existed in those days) to overload and ill treat his dog; but I believe the same liberty is even now accorded to him with respect to his donkey.

Apropos of these useful animals, my readers may not be aware of a highly important historical fact, which my researches have unearthed. "August 21, 1817: Donkey-riding is introduced on Hampstead Heath, and the Ladies of the neighbourhood, notwithstanding the vicinity of the Metropolis, enjoy the mode of taking the air without interruption. About a dozen donkies stand for hire on the Heath every morning, most of them with side-saddles. There are also donkey carts, and whiskies with ponies."

From the Road to the Streets, and from the Streets (p. 234) to the Houses, are only graceful and legitimate transitions, and here we can again learn something from the Duc de Levis, by using his eyes, and he thus writes of the general aspect of London, as he saw, and judged it. It may not be flattering to us, but we must remember, that in the Georgian era, especially in the long reign of George III., domestic architecture had reached its lowest depth. Mean frontages to houses, oblong windows, small panes of bad glass; no sanitary arrangements to speak of; a bath almost unknown; it was a time of the dullest mediocrity. It has been reserved to the last twenty-five years of our time to make things architectural more truly beautiful, and to restore, with some degree of knowledge, the legacies which our veritable art-loving ancestors left to our care.

M. le Duc says, "At length arrived in London, I should like to be able to give an idea of this immense city, by comparing it with other great capitals, a method which I prefer to all others; on this occasion, unfortunately it is not. In vain have we visited Paris, Vienna, Rome, Venice. Should you have even been at St. Petersburg or Moscow, none of these cities can give you a just idea of the English Capital. The greater part of large cities offer a collection of irregular hotels, palaces, and buildings; others, like Turin, are distinguished by long arcades. Amsterdam, Dantzic, contain a multitude of Canals; but nothing of all this (p. 235) resembles London. I must therefore have recourse to a particular description of it.

"First of all, represent to yourself wide streets running in a straight line, with good foot-paths; iron rails, upwards of five feet in height, are placed the whole length, which separate the houses from the footway, by an area, narrow, and of little depth, which lights the under stories; there are the kitchens, and the offices; a flight of steps serves at the same time for a communication out of doors. Over this kind of under storey is the ground floor, then the first and the second floor, but seldom a third, and never an elevated roof; neither is there any architectural decoration.

But every house, which has seldom more than three windows in front, has the door ornamented with two wooden pillars, painted white, surmounted by a heavy pediment; a small glass window gives light to the passage; in the front is the dining parlour; underneath a room, almost dark, because it looks only into a small opening, a few feet wide, which does not deserve the name of a court-yard. The staircase is sometimes of stone, but mostly of wood, and always covered with a Carpet.

"The first storey contains the drawing-room, and a tolerably large closet behind, where sometimes a bed is placed, but the proper bed-chambers are in the second floor. Under the roof are garrets for the servants. The (p. 236) furniture agrees with the simplicity of the building; it is much the same among all the opulent classes. The mantelpieces are usually of wood; no time-pieces; vases, candelabras, brackets, bronzes, are hardly known; and of all the arts, gilding is the least advanced. The only thing which shines is the Grate, in which Sea coal is used; the front is polished steel, and kept extremely bright; the tables, and the rest of the furniture being mahogany, take a fine polish. The paper-hangings are of an insipid colour, and insignificant design; the dining parlour and the halls are painted in fresco, mostly of a pale blue colour.

"The bed-chambers are still more plainly furnished than the drawing-room; true it is that they are made use of only for sleeping in, as they never use them for sitting-rooms; and the bed-chambers of the women are as inaccessible to the men as the Harems of the East. The beds are of white dimity or calico, with mahogany posts; and their form is simple, and does not vary. The beds, in the best houses, are but indifferent, especially the feather beds, which they usually cover with a blanket, and which, being placed immediately under the sheet, is not agreeable to foreigners, particularly in the summer season. The boudoir is unknown in England. This is, however, the manner of living even among the most wealthy. The progress of luxury has only lately induced them to adopt chimney-pieces of marble, and mirrors have become more frequent....

(p. 237) "It is impossible to invent anything better adapted for walking the streets of a great city than the footpaths of London; too seldom imitated elsewhere, and always imperfectly. They are paved with broad flag-stones, brought more than a hundred miles, and with a magnificence that reminds us of antiquity. If the whole were put together, they would cover the space of several square miles. They are so even, that you walk without fatigue; and we endeavour to forget the rough and slippery pavement on the Continent. These footpaths are kept constantly swept, and free from dust and dirt; and, as they are on a gentle slope, the wind and the sun soon dry them.

"Neither is here experienced the inconvenience of gutters, which, elsewhere, inundate passengers; and in storms, heavy rains, and floods, stop the way. The English have an ingenious method of getting rid of these rainy torrents; their roofs are almost flat, and the front wall, rising above the upper floor, forms a double slope like our terraces. The waters, being thus collected, descend by a spout into the drains, and are lost in the great common sewer under the middle of the streets. Sometimes they are led into cisterns. It is not that London is destitute of this precious element; a small river, brought at an immense expense, from a great distance; and immense engines, worked by the Thames, distribute the water in all quarters.

(p. 238) "Sea coal, whose black dust attaches so easily to furniture and clothes, is kept in cellars under the footway. In a word, Stables, and, with them, dunghills, with the smells inseparable from them, occupy back streets, and have no communication with the inhabited houses. The lamps are placed on both sides of the street, upon posts a little elevated; they are very numerous, and are always lighted before sunset....

"They have even gone so far as to pave, with flat stones, those places where you cross the street, to make an easier communication from one side to the other, and these paths are swept. Carriages are not driven at a dangerous pace in the interior of the city; lighter equipages go the same pace as the humblest coach. The horses—so swift on the road, that they seem to fly rather than run, forgetting their rapid pace—only go a gentle trot; and we never see Coachmen endeavouring to pass by and break the line at the peril of the passenger."

If I want to give a living touch to this book, I must still quote, because, to be honest, I must do it. Others assimilate bodily, or paraphrase facts: then, they are "men of genius," and they call me, in reviews, "a mere compiler." Granted; I take the latter as a compliment, for I give the very living age, and sink myself; because the quotations are better than can now be written—they are of the time. We have novels—we have plays—mostly (p. 239) imaginative, because of the ignorance of the writer; but an honest historian ought only to give the history of the times as he has found it, and, to any one who has conscientiously worked, the crass ignorance, and superficial knowledge, of the present time is stupendous.

The suburbs of London were still being built, and it is pleasant to read an outside criticism upon them.

"Scarcely a year passes without hundreds of houses being built; and even thousands, on the North East side of London; the most healthy part of the City, on account of its elevation: besides, the parks hinder any increase on the west. Many of the new houses are inhabited by bankers, and rich merchants, who establish themselves there, with their families; they, however, keep their counting houses in the city, where they transact business till Change-time. These daily journeys (for the distance is sometimes several miles) would appear insupportable in any other country; but it agrees very well with the active habits so common to all classes of the English nation. Besides, the women, who possess, here, more influence than is generally imagined, and who are as much afraid of damps as they dislike noise and dirt, persuade their husbands to keep these separate establishments, as soon as their circumstances will permit.

"The shops are regularly distributed in all parts of London, yet without being anywhere en masse, as they are at Petersburg, and at Moscow. The finest are in the (p. 240) environs of St. James's, because it is here that the most money is spent. The English are unrivalled in the art of displaying their goods to the greatest advantage; they dispose their various kinds of merchandise with the most fascinating effect; and, even, with an elegance quite uncommon; they thus find means to give them an appearance far beyond their value.... The English ladies often tax the patience of shopkeepers by making them take down a multitude of goods, without even intending to buy anything. Without being obsequious, these tradesmen are civilly officious, and an air of urbanity is visible in their manners. One might suppose, from their grave and serious deportment, that they had determined to abate nothing from the price demanded. They are, however, like their fellows in other countries: it is, therefore, necessary to bargain with them.

"Foreigners act very imprudently when they speak French to each other in shops. There are, perhaps, ten thousand shops in London, where the French language is understood; and this number increases daily. This is not suspected. Instead of the officious eagerness, always blended with vanity, with which the people of the south of Europe begin to speak a foreign language, as soon as they know a few words of it; English sensibility is afraid of committing itself, in the use of a language which is not their own: necessity only forces it upon them. It is as much owing to the curiosity continually excited by the (p. 241) novelties of these shops, which, each in their way, are taking to the eye, as well as to the conveniences afforded by the foot-paths, that we are to attribute the preference given by the idlers of London to certain streets, instead of the public walks and parks.

"That which has been the most fashionable, for a long time, is called Bond Street, and communicates with St. James's Street and Pall Mall, by Piccadilly on one side; and Oxford Street on the other. When the weather is fine, it is the rendezvous of good company; thus, in novels, and in plays, coxcombs are all called Bond Street Loungers. This latter appellation comes from the pastry cook's shops, where they find means to wait with some patience for dinner; by taking some slight refreshment, which the English call a lunch. This happens between one and two o'clock. These shops are always supplied with a great variety of pastry, in which currants are most used. The refreshments consist of lemonade, or orgeat; and, in summer, very inferior ices. At other shops forced fruit is sold at a high price.

"The public squares are almost all regularly built; their form is oblong, from whence they take their name (?). The centre of the greater part of the squares is laid down in grass, planted with shrubs, and divided by gravel walks; these grounds are surrounded by iron rails, like the 'Palais Royal' at Paris; they are always kept shut. The neighbouring houses only, have keys, which they (p. 242) make use of for an airing for children and sick persons."

Speaking of St. James's Park he says that "In the centre is a meadow, with cattle grazing, watered by a canal, and surrounded with wooden rails." The Green Park he dismisses in a few words, and of Hyde Park he says that it is "the general rendezvous of all classes, who parade here in great numbers, on foot, on horseback, and in carriages. It is supposed that sometimes a hundred thousand persons assemble there. This assertion seems, at first, spoken at random; but it is grounded on probability, and even on calculation."

Then, after treating of Kensington Gardens, he says: "There are no other gardens in London that deserve notice, except those at Buckingham House, the usual residence of the Queen; and a few, attached to the houses of the great. There are two or three other gardens in the City, the access to which is not difficult, belonging to public bodies, but they are neither large nor pleasant: besides, the streets are so convenient and straight, that this deficiency is less felt than elsewhere. In the suburbs, on every side, are numerous tea gardens, where tea and other refreshments are provided. Here bowls are played on a green as level as a billiard table; indeed they are called bowling-greens; from whence we get our word boulin grin. These public places are frequented by citizens, and their families, on Sundays; the tranquillity, (p. 243) and decency, which is observed at these places is surprising to foreigners, who recollect the turbulent gaiety of the Ginguettes of Paris, and other capitals of Europe." I may be wrong, but, personally, I lament over the loss of the London "Tea Gardens": they were places of innocent enjoyment, and their popularity may be estimated, by this generation, by the open-air gatherings at the various exhibitions at South Kensington.

(p. 245) Décoration


London improvements — The Country — Gleaning — Dairying and out-door Washing — The Gipsy.

In writing a book like this, it is manifestly impossible to give an account of all the public works and improvements all over the country—perforce, they must needs be confined to the national heart—the Metropolis. And we, who have reaped the benefit of the large-hearted, and open-handed policy which was then just being inaugurated, may just as well be reminded of what our grandfathers did for us.

In January, 1811, the New Kent Road was suggested, and afterwards carried out, which was the means of purifying a not particularly savoury neighbourhood, called St. George's Fields. In the same year, was a proposition to convert certain dairy farm lands at Mary le bone, into a park for public recreation. We now reap the benefit of it in Regent's Park, or, as it was first named, Mary le bone Park. The first stone of the Strand Bridge, (p. 246) "Waterloo Bridge," as it was afterwards called, was laid in this year. Perhaps the first cast-iron bridge ever built was, in this year, an aqueduct over the Ouse, at Wolverton.

In 1812 the Regent's Canal was commenced, and the first stone of Plymouth Breakwater was laid. Vauxhall Bridge was also begun. Millbank Prison was also started this year, and in 1813 Whitecross Street Prison was commenced. Both these have ended their existence. To show how far in advance of their times they were, there was a proposition in 1814 to remove Smithfield Market to Islington, which has come to pass. In 1815, when Napoleon was supposed to be chained at Elba, home affairs again attracted attention, and we find Burlington Arcade in contemplation, Bethlehem Hospital, as we now know it, opened, and the first stones of Southwark Bridge and the London Institution were laid. So, also, the Post Office in Aldersgate Street was inaugurated.

In 1816 Regent Street was being built, and "Mr. Nash's Positive Order" was duly discussed, and, I am afraid, a wee bit ridiculed.

"Nash draws designs; but, honest Master Nash,
Tho' you may draw—who answers with the cash?"

Perhaps it might have been that he was architect to the Prince of Wales, and was thought very much of by the Regent.

(p. 247) "Master Nash, Master Nash,
You merit the lash,
For debauching the taste of our Heir to the Throne,
Then cross not the Seas,
To rob the Chinese,
But learn to grow wise from Vitruvius and Soane."

We, who are accustomed to our modern London, will read, almost with astonishment, that in October, 1816, "It is said that Oxford Road is to be continued as far as Bayswater Brook, which, when completed, will make the longest street in Europe. When the New Post Office is finished, the Western Mails are to go out direct, along Holborn, instead of through the narrow streets, Charing Cross, Piccadilly, &c.; and it is said that a short cut is to be made into the other western road, angular from Shepherd's Bush to Hammersmith, which, certainly, would save a mile of ground." This "Bayswater brook" was that which now feeds the Serpentine, running from Hampstead, by Kilburn, and entering Hyde Park at its Northern part.

On the 18th of June, 1817, the anniversary of the battle of Waterloo, the new Bridge over the Thames, previously called the Strand Bridge, was opened as Waterloo Bridge, which name it now bears. In this year there is a little bit of gossip anent Marlborough House which may be interesting to some readers, especially as its use was foreshadowed: "The tenure of the magnificent house near St. James's Palace, which was granted to the first Duke (p. 248) of Marlborough, about a hundred years ago, expired, it is said, with the death of the last Duke; and now reverts to the Crown. This was the house in which Queen Anne resided before she ascended the throne, and it has been observed, that it would scarcely be possible to find a town mansion more suitable to the Heiress of the British Throne."

In 1818, Regent Street was still being built, and we also learn—"Dec. 7. The new street from Carlton House to the Regent's Park is making rapid strides to its completion, almost the whole of the ground on the intended line of it, being now let. The part of it which forms a square, in front of Carlton House, is called 'Waterloo Place'; from thence to Piccadilly, it is called Waterloo Street, and, from Piccadilly, the street, which will form a grand approach to the Regent's Park, is to be called the Regent's Parade."

On the 20th of March, 1819, Burlington Arcade was opened, and on the 24th of March, Southwark Bridge followed suit. On the 10th of August the first stone of Telford's bridge across the Menai Straits was laid: and in November the arrangements for rebuilding Buckingham Palace were completed, Carlton House being too small for "George the Magnificent."



In the Country, things were somewhat primitive, to our thinking, see, for instance, this heavy cumbrous plough drawn by four long legged hairy-hocked horses, with (p. 251) their fringed leather yokes, attached to the hames (which, by the way were very useful, as they let down, backward, in wet weather, and protected the horse's withers).

There were no drilling machines, so wheat, and other crops had to be sown broadcast, an operation which required a peculiar, and deft turn of the hand, and, as thrashing machines were only just being dreamed of (a few having been made), we see the old flail at work.


The agricultural labourer did not receive so much nominal pay as now, but he had much more in kind, and was strong and healthy, although dressed in a more homely fashion than at present. In those days a man was not ashamed of showing himself to be what he was, a farm labourer, and he wore that most seemly of garments, now dying out fast—a smock frock—good home-made stockings, and strong ancle jacks.

In those days, it was like the times of Boaz and Ruth, and women went gleaning in the fields: a sight we seldom see now, in these days of machinery, when the plough follows (p. 252) swiftly after the reaping machine. The practice of gleaning was a kindly privilege granted by the farmer to his labourers' wives and children, and to the poor women of the parish; one which he had no need to give, but had been so practised from early ages, that it was looked upon as a right, and consequently abused: see the following: "Oct. 18, 1813. At the Nottingham County Sessions, William Pearson and John Sprey were convicted of felony, in stealing wheat in the ear, from shocks standing in the field, and sentenced to fourteen days' imprisonment, in the county gaol. The Chairman told them the Court would not have been so lenient, but for their youth, and having been already five weeks[33] in prison. He remarked, 'that this species of depredation was become so prevalent, as to be loudly, and justly, complained of. He wished it, therefore, to be understood, that no person has a right to enter the field of another, for the purposes of gleaning, without the owner's permission.'"

Old phases of English country life are dying out very fast, and it is as well that some one should record them, and that needs both pen and pencil. Take, for instance, the pictures of dairying. In these days of cheese factories and thermometers versus dairy maid's thumbs, these rough out-door dairy arrangements, although they do exist, are not particularly scientific, and do not yield the most paying results.

(p. 259)





(p. 262)


(p. 263) Even now may be seen in some parts of Scotland, and, possibly, of Wales, the "Clapping of claes in the burn"—a process of destruction to the linen which may be, perhaps, on a par with the chemicals of a London laundress.

Take another type, fast dying out, absolutely gone in London, the mounted butcher boy, who had but one stirrup, and who used all ways to ride at racing pace: here we have him perfect; his peculiar saddle, and the way his tray was strapped on.


Then there is a race of people rapidly dying out—the gipsies; it is impossible they can exist much longer, in their old nomadic life, and the Lees, Coopers, &c., will be quietly absorbed into the general population. County police and school boards are bound to improve them out of the land.

(p. 264) But at the time of which I write Addison's description[34] of them would answer very well. "If a stray piece of linen hangs upon a hedge," says Sir Roger, "they are sure to have it; if a hog loses his way in the fields, it is ten to one but he becomes their prey; our geese cannot live in peace for them; if a man prosecutes them with severity, his hen roost is sure to pay for it. They generally straggle into these parts about this time of the year; and set the heads of our servant maids so agog for husbands, that we do not expect to have any business done as it should be whilst they are in the Country. I have an honest dairy maid who crosses their hands with a piece of silver every summer, and never fails being promised the handsomest young fellow in the parish for her pains. Your friend the butler has been fool enough to be seduced by them; and, though he is sure to lose a knife, a fork, or a spoon every time his fortune is told him, generally shuts himself up in the pantry with an old gipsy for above half an hour once in a twelvemonth. Sweethearts are the things they live upon, which they bestow very plentifully upon all those that apply themselves to them. You see now and then some handsome young jades among them; the sluts have very often white teeth and black eyes."

There are one or two stories told of gipsies about the time of the Regency, which will show what manner of men they then were. "May 17, 1815. The Hereford (p. 265) Journal of last week states, that early in March, a gang of gipsies pitched their tent on a waste piece of ground in the parish of Stretton Sugwas in Herefordshire, and an old woman, one of the party, persuaded a man of the name of Gritton, that an immense quantity of gold coin lay concealed on the premises he occupied, and that it was necessary that a large sum of money should be made into a parcel, and, after being endowed with a charm, it was to be sewed into the side-pocket of his coat, and the more money the parcel contained, the more considerable would be the treasure he should find. A sum of £70 in gold, bills, and silver, was, accordingly, made up in a parcel, and, after some preparations, sewed by the Sybil into the pocket of Gritton's coat, where it was to remain nine days; at the end of which time she promised to return, and a coffer of guineas was to arise from the ground. When the day arrived, she, of course, did not make her appearance, and, on his opening the parcel she had sewn up, he discovered that the witch had managed to turn gold, silver, and bills into halfpence, stones, and waste paper; leaving them in exchange for his cash, and as a reward for his folly."

"July 18, 1816. The Gipsies.—Of late years some attempts have been made to reduce the numbers, or at any rate to civilize the habits, of that vagabond and useless race, the gipsies. In pursuance of such purpose, a society of gentlemen have been making all the preliminary (p. 266) inquiries requisite to a proper understanding of the subject. A series of questions have been proposed to competent persons in the different counties in England and Scotland. Reports in answer to these questions have been received, and their contents are thus briefly stated.

"1. All Gipsies supposed the first of them came from Egypt.

"2. They cannot form any idea of the number in England.

"3. The Gipsies of Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, parts of Buckinghamshire, Cambridge, and Huntingdonshire, are continually making revolutions within the range of those counties.

"4. They are either ignorant of the number of Gipsies in the counties through which they travel, or unwilling, to disclose their knowledge.

"5. The most common names are Smith, Cowper, Draper, Bosswell, Lovell, Loversedge, Allen, Mansfield, Glover, Williams, Carew, Martin, Stanley, Buckley, Plunkett, and Corrie.

"6 and 7. The gangs in different towns have not any regular connection or organization; but those who take up their winter quarters in the same city or town, appear to have some knowledge of the different routes each horde will pursue; probably with a design to prevent interference.

(p. 267) "8. In the county of Herts it is computed there may be sixty families, having many Children. Whether they are quite so numerous in Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, and Northamptonshire, the answers are not sufficiently definite to determine. In Cambridgeshire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire, and Dorsetshire, great numbers are calculated upon. In various counties, the attention has not been competent to the procuring data for any estimate of families or individuals.

"9. More than half their number follow no business; others are dealers in horses and asses; farriers, smiths, tinkers, braziers, grinders of cutlery, basket-makers, chair-bottomers, and musicians.

"10. Children are brought up in the habits of their parents, particularly to music and dancing, and are of dissolute conduct.

"11. The Women mostly carry baskets with trinkets and small wares; and tell fortunes.

"12. Too ignorant to have acquired accounts of genealogy, and, perhaps, indisposed to it by the irregularity of their habits.

"13. In most counties there are particular situations to which they are partial. In Berkshire is a marsh, near Newbury, much frequented by them; and Dr. Clarke states, that in Cambridgeshire, their principal rendezvous is near the western villages.

"14. It cannot be ascertained, whether, from their first (p. 268) coming into the nation, attachment to particular places has prevailed.

"15, 16, and 17. When among strangers they elude inquiries respecting their peculiar language, calling it gibberish. Don't know of any person that can write it, or of any written specimen of it.

"18. Their habits and customs in all places are peculiar.

"19. Those who profess any religion represent it to be that of the Country in which they reside; but their description of it seldom goes beyond repeating the Lord's prayer; and, only few of them are capable of that. Instances of their attending any place for worship are very rare.

"20. They marry, for the most part, by pledging to each other, without any ceremony. A few exceptions have occurred, when money was plentiful.

"21. They do not teach their Children religion.

"22 and 23. Not one in a thousand can read.

"24 and 25. Some go into lodgings in London, Cambridge, &c., during the winter; but it is calculated three-fourths of them live out of doors in winter as in summer."

(p. 270)


(p. 271)


(p. 274)

NOS. 1 AND 2, 1811; NO. 3, 1812; NOS. 4 AND 5, 1813.

(p. 275)

NOS. 1 AND 2, 1814; NOS. 3 AND 4, 1815.

(p. 277) Décoration


Ladies' dresses — The Dandizette — Waltzing — The Quadrille — Almack's — Women's education — Women's work — Women Soldiers and Sailors — Female rowing match — Female pedestrian — Gretna Green Marriages — Some curious marriages.

For the limits of a book like this, I have spent enough time on the Roads, Streets, Country, and even Gipsies, so let me turn to the men and women of the time. Place aux dames of course—so we will begin with the ladies first. And in the next few engravings which I give are culled specimens of women's dresses from 1811 to 1820.

Of course there would be caricatures—some rather outrée, others very moderate—I give two of the Dandizette or Dandyess as she was indifferently called, one true, the other, as with her concomitants, perhaps, a trifle exaggerated—but not a great deal. Perhaps it is most so in "the Fashionables of 1816," where, I must own, the feathers in the bonnets, the large Muffs, and the short (p. 278) skirts are, doubtless, slightly in advance of the fashion, but it is an amusing picture, with no harm in it, and I give it. Of course, I cannot vouch for its truth, but the following little story is as I find it: "June 8, 1812. A young lady of rank and high Condition, in the warmth of her dancing heart, thus addressed her partner at the late Lord Mayor's ball.—'God bless you—take care and don't tread upon my muslin gown, for you see that I have nothing under it.'"

And, when we look at a really sensible picture of a dance (Waltzing), I do not think it is very much exaggerated. Waltzing was considered by some as awfully wicked. It may be. Personally, my dancing days are over, but I never felt particularly sinful when waltzing—Mrs. Grundy is another name for nastiness. For instance, take two separate verses in the same paper:—

"What! the girl of my heart by another embrac'd?
What! the balm of her lips shall another man taste?
What! touch'd in the twirl by another man's knee?
What! panting recline on another than me?"

Very properly rebuked thus:—

"Sir H. E. thinks each waltzing Miss
From every partner takes a kiss;
Then O! how natural the whim
That makes them loath to dance with him."

(p. 279)


(p. 282)


(p. 283)


(p. 286)


(p. 287) Read "The Waltz," by Lord Byron, and see what was thought of this dance. On June 9, 1817, we read: "Quadrilles have had but a short run. They have now had a lamentable descent, not from the drawing-room to the kitchen, to supersede the Contre Danse, but from Almack's to Hockley in the Hole. Though they have not yet fallen into the kitchen, the kitchen has risen to them. Some days ago the Lady of a Noble Admiral, lately returned from the Mediterranean, happened to come home from a Ball unexpectedly, when her Ladyship found all her domestics busily employed in a quadrille in the drawing-room, with the chandeliers lighted up, and a regular band of two violins, a bass, and a harp. Her Ladyship owns that they danced them with as much grace and spirit as is visible elsewhere." And they did dance in those days—there was no languid walking through a quadrille. All the steps were properly and accurately performed. I have before me engravings of a set of all the figures—1 Le Pantalon, 2 L'Été, 3 La Poule, 4 La Trenise, or 4 La Pastorale and La Finale, which are delicious, but are too large for reproduction in this book.

Of course, the Crême de la crême went to Almack's, but numberless were the Peris who sighed to enter that Paradise, and could not. Capt. Gronow, writing of 1814, says: "At the present time one can hardly conceive the importance which was attached to getting admission to Almack's, the seventh heaven of the fashionable world. (p. 288) Of the three hundred officers of the Foot Guards, not more than half a dozen were honoured with vouchers of admission to this exclusive temple of the beau monde; the gates of which were guarded by lady patronesses, whose smiles or frowns consigned men and women to happiness or despair. These lady patronesses were the Ladies Castlereagh, Jersey, Cowper, and Sefton, Mrs. Drummond Burrell, the Princess Esterhazy, and the Countess Lieven."

In a Newspaper of May 12, 1817, we read—"The rigorous rule of entry established at Almack's Rooms produced a curious incident at the last Ball. The Marquis and Marchioness of W——r, the Marchioness of T——, Lady Charlotte C——, and her daughter, had all been so imprudent as to come to the rooms without tickets; and, though so intimately known to the Lady Managers, and so perfectly unexceptionable, they were politely requested to withdraw, and accordingly they all submitted to the injunction."

Again, at the beginning of the season of 1819 we find these female tyrants issuing the following ukase: "An order has been issued, we understand, by the Lady Patronesses of Almack's, to prevent the admission of Gentlemen in Trowsers and Cossacks to the balls on Wednesdays—at the same time allowing an exception to those Gentlemen who may be knock-kneed, or otherwise deformed." But the male sex were equal to the occasion, as we find in the following lines:—


Tired of our trousers are ye grown?
But, since to them your anger reaches,
Is it because 'tis so well known,
You always love to wear the breeches?"

I have collected a quantity of ana respecting ladies' dress of this period, but some would take too long to explain their point, and others are too risqué for the modern Mrs. Grundy. However, here is one which can offend no one: "August, 1814. The Wife of a respectable citizen has excited a good deal of curiosity at Margate. She bathes in a green dress, without a cap; and, attached to the shoulders of the dress is something resembling fins. She swims remarkably well, and the peculiarity of her paraphernalia, together with her long black hair, have occasioned many to believe that she was a mermaid."

Women were not, as a rule, what we should now term, highly educated: they knew very little of the "ologies," but they were good women, and true. Their music had not reached the sublime height of the weird discord of Wagner, and they knew nothing of the "Higher Cult;" but they had as pretty ballads to sing as ever were sung, from which we are glad to borrow, and which are refreshing to hear. They did beautiful needlework, and vied with each other in this respect, they painted a little on velvet and satin—sometimes did a little mild water colour (p. 290) on paper—but their efforts were hardly commendable as works of art, according to our modern standard. But they were notable house wives, and there were female servants in those days who were not above their position, but knew their work, and did it. There were no five o'clock teas, no reception days; all had their circle of acquaintances, who were welcome to call whenever they chose, and were received without fuss: in fact, as a rule, the women were helps-meet for their spouses—thrifty, caring for their husbands and children, and were, essentially, home makers.

In the Country, the whir of the spinning-wheel might be heard—but such a thing is not to be seen in use now except in dilletante hands, like those of Her Most gracious Majesty. Then, too, at a Cottage door might be seen a woman making pillow lace, now getting rarer and rarer, and it is not an occupation much taken up by the higher classes, as it shows small results for much hand-and-brain work. Straw-plaiting in some districts, glove sewing in others. Now we get straw plait from China, and the gloves are machine sewn. Then all the milk carrying, especially in London, was done by a hardy race of women, principally Welsh, carrying yokes and pails, now the Milk Cart and Perambulator have superseded them.




And there must have been women of thews and muscle, with plenty of pluck, or we should not hear of so many female sailors, and soldiers, during this period. In May, (p. 297) 1813, one was taken on board an American prize, and her sex was only discovered on her being sent to prison. In September of the same year, the master of a Collier, belonging to Ipswich, had reason to believe that one of his apprentices who had made two voyages, was a girl, and so it proved, and, as in the former case, the girl appeared to be a respectable, steady, young man, so in this latter, whilst she was on board, she conducted herself with great propriety, and was considered a very active clever lad. Again, in September, 1815, when the Crew of the Queen Charlotte, 110 guns, was paid off, one of the Crew, an African, was discovered to be a woman. She "had served as a seaman in the Royal Navy for upwards of eleven years, during several of which she had been rated able on the books of the above ship, by the name of William Brown, and had served for sometime as Captain of the foretop, highly to the satisfaction of the officers."

But the ladies did not confine themselves to "ploughing the main." We know what an attraction a red coat has for them, and therefore no surprise need be manifested, if some of them tried the Army. In January, 1813, was a rather romantic case: a girl, in man's clothes, was enlisted in the 53rd Regiment. Her sex was afterwards discovered when she said her lover was in the 43rd Regiment on foreign service, and she wanted to be near him. In 1814, Old Phœbe Hassel was alive, and at Brighton, aged 99. She had served in the army for seven years. (p. 298) I do not know when she died, but there is a portrait and biography of her in Hone's "Year Book," ed. 1838, pp. 209, 210, 211, 212, in which she is spoken of as being 106 in 1821. The Regent, after seeing her in 1814, allowed her half a guinea a week, and at her death ordered a stone to be put up to her memory. Another woman who had served five years in the German army, applied for relief to the German Committee at Baker's Coffee-house—she had been several times wounded, but was so badly hit at Leipsig, that she had to be taken to hospital, where her sex was discovered.

Women were then even as now, they aped the manners of the stronger sex. Now as we know, they invade the Smoking and Billiard Rooms, which used to be considered Man's strongholds; they won't let him alone even when shooting—for, so solicitous are they after his welfare, that they will bring him lunch: they run him hard in School Board, and County Council, and his last refuge is his Club, where, in some instances, he is not safe. We have seen how (vol. i. p. 86) they played Cricket publicly—a practice lately revived by "Actresses" and others. We know them well on the river, but I do not know of a revival of professional boat racing by them, so I give the following:

"Female Rowing Match.—A rowing match took place on Monday (September 29, 1817), on the river, between Chelsea and Battersea, which excited great interest. Six watermen's wives started in six scullers, to row a given (p. 299) distance for a wherry. The ladies were dressed in appropriate trimmings, and the boats were discriminated by different colours waving gracefully in the wind, at the stern. In the first heat two of the Candidates were distanced. The remaining four then started, and the prize was won, at two heats, by a strapping woman, the mother of four children. At the moment of her arrival at the goal, her victory was proclaimed by the discharge of a pistol by the Judge on shore, and she was carried in triumph into a public-house on the beach. No jolly young waterman could handle his oar with more becoming dexterity than this dashing female. Her numerous friends crowded after her, and drank her health in copious libations."

They were equal to us even in "Female Pedestrianism. Esther Crozier, who commenced on Wednesday (29th of October, 1817) morning, on the Croydon road, to walk 1000 miles in 20 days, completed 50 miles that evening, at 35 minutes past 9. She commenced her second day's journey yesterday morning (October 30th) at a quarter before 7 o'clock, and, at a quarter past 4 she had gone 32¾ miles." She is mentioned again and again in the papers as going on with her task; but I do not think she accomplished it, as I find no triumphal record of it.

I suppose the proudest day of a woman's life is her Marriage day, and so we will talk about Marriage in these (p. 300) times. A trip over the border was a common event, but the smith who forged the matrimonial fetters at Gretna Green, was not always a common individual. Early in January, 1811, one of them, Joseph Paisley, died, at the ripe age of seventy-nine. He was by vocation a salmon-fisher, and a brandy drinker of such capacity, that he could drink a pint of brandy at a draught, without its having any appreciable effect upon him: he and a brother toper, between them, drank ten gallons of brandy in three days. He was a foul-mouthed blackguard, but he served his purpose of marrying runaway couples, as well as a better man, and his marriages were just as valid. He obtained the honour of an obituary notice in the London Daily Papers, the Annual Register, and the Lady's Magazine, in which he is also perpetuated by a copper-plate portrait—so that he must have been considered somebody.

These were not the only curious marriages of that time; take this as a sample (August 23, 1815): "The Naked Truth.—A scene of a singular and disgraceful nature took place a few days ago at Grimsby. A widow, under the impression of indemnifying her second, from the debts of her first husband, proceeded out of the window, in a state of nudity, where she was received into the arms of her intended, in the presence of two substantial witnesses." This is a curious old tradition—the origin of which I must quote from myself.[35] "This is not uncommon, (p. 301) 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, because it is laid down (Bacon's Abridgement, Tit. Baron and Feme) that 'the husband is liable for the wife's debts, because he acquires an absolute interest in the personal estate of the wife,' &c. An unlearned person, from this, might conclude, and not unreasonably, that, if his wife had no estate whatever, he could not incur any liability."

One more little story about Matrimony in those times, and I have done. "A young man, having long wooed a buxom damsel, at last found a moment so favourable, that he persuaded her to accompany him to a Scotch Justice of the Peace, to have the ceremony performed between them. They stood very meekly under the operation until the Magistrate was laying the damsel under obligations to obey her husband. 'Say no more about that, Sir,' said the half-made husband, 'if this hand remains upon this body, I'll make her obey me!'—'Are we married yet?' said the exasperated maiden to the ratifier of Covenants between man and woman. 'No,' said the wondering Justice. 'Ah! very well,' cried she, enraptured, 'we will finish the remainder to-morrow!' and away skipped the damsel, congratulating herself on her narrow escape.

(p. 303) Décoration


The Man of the period — Drinking habits — Dandies — Lord Petersham — A Dandy's diary — Gaming — Prize fighting — Country Sports.

And what was the man of the period like? Well! there is no concealing the fact that he was narrow-minded—because he had no opportunity of mixing much with his other fellow creatures either abroad or at home—war stopping the former, and means of communication the latter, and so, the necessary rubbing off of his angles did not take place. The Middle Class gentleman was not too well read. Latin, of course, he knew, or had learnt. Perhaps a little Greek—his French was very "Stratforde at ye Bowe," and German was to him "unknowe." His English, too, was shaky. The Peninsular War over, the Officers brought back with them a smattering of Spanish, the Guitar, and the Cigar. Personally, he had plenty of Courage which found its vent in the Army and Navy, and, in Civil life, in duelling and (p. 304) boxing. As to duelling, it was so common that you can scarcely take up a London Newspaper of the time without some "affair of honour" being chronicled; and, as to boxing, every man learnt it, put his teaching into practice, and talked it. It was, except pedestrianism, the only athletic sport known. Rowing was not; of riding there was plenty, with a good breed of horses fit to carry a man. Cricket was played—but there was no football, nor cycling, if we except the short-lived dandy horse.

They worked longer hours at their divers businesses than we do, but they did far less work; they dined early, and had suppers, and, for evening amusements there were the theatre, and the social meeting at the Inn, where much Rum Punch and Brown Brandy was drunk, and the affairs of the Nation duly discussed, among a select Coterie. Those old boys could drink, too. A three-or four-bottle man, then common, would now be a phenomenon—and, mind you, it was not Claret or other light wines they drank—the war with France made that too great a luxury; but it was the stronger wines of Portugal and Spain, well fortified with brandy. I wonder how many died in "making their heads," and whether it was always "the survival of the fittest"!

They were of Convivial habits, and did not "join the ladies" after dinner, or, if they did, they were slightly inebriate, and the accompanying illustrations are no caricature of an advanced stage of a symposium. No. 1 is, (p. 307) "Are you all charged, Gentlemen?" No. 2 is, "A Song, Gentlemen, if you please." No. 3 is, "Sing Old Rose and burn the bellows."[36] No. 4 says, "I humbly move to throw the waiter out of the window, and charge him in the bill!"

Very little need be said about their dress, the illustrations throughout the book show its different phases. The Regent, of course, set the fashions, for tailoring, and building, were his hobbies; but even he could not do anything against the dictum of George Bryan Brummell. When he retired in poverty to Calais, in 1816, he left the field entirely to the Regent. There were some who gained a nickname from some eccentricity in costume (p. 308) as "Blue Hanger" (Lord Coleraine), or "Pea-green Haynes"—but they were not many.

The principal variation in men's attire, at this period, was the way in which they clothed their legs. Breeches and boots were now eschewed by fashionable men, and their place was taken by the pantaloon, made of some elastic stuff, generally "stockinette," fitting tightly to the leg, and after 1814 by the Cossack trouser: an example of both being given in two pictures of Lord Petersham, a distinguished leader of fashion, who married Miss Foote, the actress, and afterwards became Earl of Harrington. Over the trousered picture are these lines:—

"I'll prove these Cossack pantaloons
(To one that's not a Goose)
Are like two Continental towns
Called Too-long and Too-loose."


(Published January 10, 1812, by H. Humphrey.)



(November 2, 1818.)


(December 8, 1818.)

This was that Lord Petersham who never went out of doors till six p.m., and whose horses, carriage, and harness, were all of the same shade of brown. He had other foibles which are amusingly told by Capt. Gronow. "The room into which we were ushered was more like a shop than a gentleman's sitting room; all round the walls were shelves, upon which were placed the canisters, containing Congou, Pekoe, Souchong, Bohea, Gunpowder, Russian, and many other teas, all the best of their kind; on the other side of the room were beautiful jars, with (p. 317) names, in gilt letters, of innumerable kinds of snuff, and all the necessary apparatus for moistening and mixing. Lord Petersham's mixture is still well known to all tobacconists. Other shelves, and many of the tables were covered with a great number of magnificent snuff-boxes; for Lord Petersham had, perhaps, the finest collection in England, and was supposed to have a fresh box for every day in the year. I heard him, on the occasion of a delightful old light blue Sèvres box he was using, being admired, say, in his lisping way—'Yes, it is a nice summer box, but would not do for winter wear.' In this museum there were also innumerable canes of very great value. The Viscount was likewise a great Mæcenas among the tailors, and a particular kind of great coat, when I was a young man, was called a Petersham."

These trousers later on (see illustration, Nov., 1818) were worn, instead of breeches and boots, on horseback, but this was only affected by the "Dandy," a term which came into vogue two or three years before this time, and which, according to Webster, is derived from the French dandin, "a ninny, a silly fellow." The Dandy at his toilet is of the same date, and here we see him in his evening dress. The huge cocked hat is exaggerated, but it was the shape of the chapeau bras, which folded flat, and was carried as we now do a Gibus. The looking-glass, wash-stand, &c., are very meagre according to our ideas, but much ornament was not lavished on bedroom furniture.

(p. 318) Here is the Diary of a Dandy (Sept., 1818):—

"Saturday.—Rose at twelve, with a d——d headache. Mem. Not to drink the Regent's Punch after supper.—The green tea keeps one awake.

"Breakfasted at one.—Read the Morning Post—the best Paper after all—always full of wit, fine writing, and good news.

"Sent for the tailor and staymaker—ordered a morning demi surtout of the last Parisian cut, with the collar à la Guillotine, to show the neck behind—a pair of Petersham Pantaloons, with striped flounces at bottom—and a pair of Cumberland corsets with a whale-bone back.—A caution to the unwary. The last pair gave way in stooping to pick up Lady B.'s glove.—The Duke of C——e vulgar enough to laugh, and asked me in the sea slang, if I had not missed stays in tacking. Find this is an old joke stolen from the Fudge Family.—Query. Who is this Tom Brown? Not known at Long's or the Clarendon.

"Three o'clock.—Drove out in the Dennet—took a few turns in Pall Mall, St. James's Street, and Piccadilly.—Got out at Grange's—was told the thermometer in the ice cellar was at 80. Prodigious! Had three glasses of pine and one of Curaçoa—the Prince's Fancy, as P—— calls it.—P. is a wag in his way.

"Five to seven. Dressed for the evening—dined at half-past eight, 'nobody with me but myself,' as the old Duke of Cumberland said—a neat dinner, in Long's best (p. 319) style, viz., A tureen of turtle, a small turbot, a dish of Carlton House Cutlets.—Remove—a turkey poult, and an apricot tart.—Dessert—Pine apple and brandy cherries.

"Drank two tumblers of the Regent's Punch, iced, and a pint of Madeira.—Went to the Opera in high spirits—just over—forgot the curtain drops on Saturdays before twelve.—Mem. To dine at seven on Saturdays.

"Supped at the Clarendon with the Dandy Club—cold collation—played a few rounds of Chicken Hazard, and went to bed quite cool.

"Sunday. Breakfasted at three—ordered the Tilbury—took a round of Rotten Row, and the Squeeze, in Hyde Park—cursedly annoyed with dust in all directions—dined soberly with P——m and went to the Marchioness of S——y's Conversatione in the evening—dull but genteel—P. calls it the Sunday School.

"N.B. P——m, who is curious in his snuff as well as in his snuff boxes, has invented a new mixture, Wellington's and Blücher's, which he has named, in honour of the meeting of the two heroes, after the battle of Waterloo—La belle Alliance—a good hit—not to be sneezed at."


I do remember me in Hertford streets
Walking at noon, I met an exquisite,
A thing, whose neck in Oriental tie,
Where not a crease is seen, so stiff withal
The powers of starch had rendered it, tho' made
(p. 320) Of finest muslin, that to my wondering gaze,
(Unlike the ease of Nature's masterpiece),
It seem'd as 'twere a mere automaton;
And then its shape, so all unlike a man,
So tightly laced that 'twas self-evident
He walk'd in pain, if walking 't could be call'd,
Since from the earth to raise his languid foot,
It seem'd a labour too Herculean;
But, still, thus mincingly, he reached the Bell—
There stopped. I, being anxious to o'erhear
The sounds this creature, nicknam'd man, would utter,
Entered the room apologizing to it;
No answer I receiv'd, save a low murmur,
For too fatiguing 'twas to articulate.
Finding it useless farther to intrude,
I asked the waiter who and whence he was?
'One of our College[37] Dandies,' he replied.
No longer wondering, straight I left the Inn."

Naturally, the tight-fitting pantaloon required a well-made leg, so those gentlemen to whom Nature had not been bountiful, used false calves, and thus passed muster. They took snuff in quantities, but very rarely smoked. When Lord Petersham's Collection of Snuff was sold, it took one of the partners in the firm of Fribourg and Treyer, of the Haymarket, and two assistants three days to weigh it—and the same firm, when they bought George IV.'s collection, at his death, set a room apart, entirely for its sale.

They gambled terribly, not perhaps as much as now, (p. 321) but still large sums were won, and lost, on the cast of a die. March 28, 1811: "The brother of a Noble Marquis, is said to have lately won at hazard upwards of £30,000, all in one night!" April 3, 1811: "A young gentleman of family and fortune lost £7,000 on Sunday Morning at a gaming house in the neighbourhood of Pall Mall." But, although the Turf was an Institution of the day, there was but very little betting, compared to what goes on in that gigantic Cancer which so grievously afflicts England in the present day. Nor had they such a stupendous gamble as our Stock Exchange. There was plenty of betting on Cock fighting, which was a very fashionable amusement, even patronized by our Imperial Guest, the Grand Duke Nicholas, who, on February 10, 1817, accompanied by the Duke of Devonshire, the Russian Ambassador, Sir William Congreve, Baron Nichola, General Kutusoff, &c., &c., went to the Cockpit and saw five Cock fights. "His Imperial Highness remained an hour and a half, and appeared much amused, never having seen Cock fighting before."

But then he was here to study our manners and customs, and even went to a prize fight. February 14, 1817: "An Imperial Boxing Match, to use the general term of the ring, took place yesterday at Coombe Warren, for a subscription purse of twenty guineas, between Croxey the Sailor, a bustling second rater, and a candidate for milling notoriety.... The Grand Duke Nicholas (p. 322) desirous of viewing the British character throughout, signified his wish to see the method of English boxing.... His Imperial Highness arrived at the ring in a carriage and four, at one o'clock, accompanied by his own suite, and some English Noblemen, admirers of gymnastics. A waggon was reserved for the Grand Duke's reception, and he ascended it with a hearty laugh. Under it were placed the bull dogs and bull hankers for the last sports of the day. Bill Gibbons introduced his trusty bitch to the Patricians in the waggon as the favourite for the Bull prize."

The fight, or rather the fights, for there were two of them, took place, but they were stigmatized as very poor and tame affairs. "The Bull was the next object of attack, for a silver collar, and all the fancy buffers the town could produce were let go from the Royal waggon, which was decorated with purple flags. Gibbons' fancy dog was lamed early, but the best of the fun was, after the bull had broken a horn, he began to snort up on end, and went and got loose. Helter skelter was the consequence, and the bull, as regardless of men as dogs, made play through the ground, reclining his head, and tossing mortals before him, until he got clear off, upsetting carts, &c., that impeded his way. The fun concluded just before dark, and the whole sport went off with éclat."


Apropos of prize fighting the last sentence in the following paragraph is worthy of note. Feb. 28, 1817: "Carter (p. 325) next asked to be backed to fight any man, when Cribb mounted the table, and challenged to fight any thing in being, from three to twelve hundred, observing he had fought so often that he should not again prostitute his talent for a trifle. Carter said he thought the Carlisle people would back him for £300, and he would ask them. After devouring about twenty dozen of wine, the lads departed to spend the evening, and amuse themselves at the expense of lamp contractors and watchmen's rattles."

Although we may think all this very brutal, yet, with the exception of the bull baiting, which was only made illegal in 1835, I fancy that things go on very much now, as they did then, only they are done more quietly. In the country, men had their hunting, shooting, and fishing to amuse them, and they were as keen then as in our time. True, they did not rent deer forests in Scotland, at fabulous prices, nor did they take salmon rivers in Norway; but although they did not enjoy breechloaders, with spare gun ready loaded handed as soon as the other is discharged, and though they were innocent of the cruel slaughter of a battue, yet they had good sport both in wood and stubble, and the old flint gun, if held straight, would make a respectable bag to carry home. Then they played cricket, but they did not armour themselves, because there was no necessity for so doing, the ball then being bowled and not hurled as if from a cannon. Then (p. 326) for the quieter and middle-aged there were the healthy out-door games of bowls or quoits.

Among the younger men the manly sports of wrestling, quarter-staff, and back-sword, had not died out, but then they had not the advantage that we have of football and Rugby rules.

(p. 327) Décoration


Eating and drinking — Recipe for Punch — The Stage — Baron Geramb — Romeo Coates — Actors and Actresses — Mrs. Jordan.

Perhaps they ate more solid food than we do, and it was a point of honour, at a dinner, to provide and display vastly more food than could possibly be eaten. As an example. On Jan. 1, 1811, General Grosvenor, Mayor of Chester, gave a dinner to his friends and two hundred sat down. Here is the bill of fare: "Sixteen tureens of turtle, eight boiled turkeys, three hams, four dishes of à la mode beef, five pigeon pies, three saddles of mutton, thirteen plum puddings, six dishes of murinade pork, eight French pies, four roasted turkeys, eight dishes of rabbits, three legs of mutton, four geese, two fillets of veal, ten dishes of chickens, four dishes of veal surprise, three beef-steak pies, three dishes of sweetbreads, six hares, six venison pasties, eight dishes of ducks, six oyster patties, six dishes of mutton casserole, (p. 328) six dishes of pig, six lemon puddings, eight dishes of haricoed mutton, four neat's tongues, three dishes of collared veal, and a round of beef.

"Removes—Ten haunches of venison, ten necks of venison.

"Sweets—Thirty salvers of whips and jellies, twenty moulds of jelly, forty moulds of blanc mange, tarts, cheese cakes, mince pies, puffs, &c., &c."

The guests must have needed appetites such as were possessed by the gentlemen chronicled in the two following paragraphs. Sept. 9, 1812: "On Wednesday last, two gentlemen, in the neighbourhood of Ratcliffe Highway, had a wager of £5 upon a man named Leurnen, a coal-heaver, that he should devour, in the space of three-quarters of an hour, nine pounds of bullock's heart roasted, three pounds of potatoes, half a quartern loaf, and drink a pot of porter. The parties met at the Queen's Head public-house, Broad Street, Ratcliffe Highway, and the spectators, of whom there were a considerable number, paid sixpence each to be admitted. He completed his task, and drank three or four glasses of rum besides, within the time allowed him, without producing the smallest apparent inconvenience."

Aug. 2, 1816: "Yesterday morning a young man, of the name of Robert Hunt, better known by the name of Rob-the-Grinder, he being a knifegrinder by trade, undertook, for a wager, to eat three quarts of peas, three pounds (p. 329) of fat bacon, half a quartern loaf of bread, and drink two quarts of porter, and a pint of gin in the space of one hour. He sat down to his meal at eleven o'clock in the forenoon, and he devoured the whole in fifty-two minutes, with seeming ease saying it was only a good lunch, as his appetite would serve to a good dinner by two o'clock."

But there was luxury in eating, as well as gross feeding. Green peas sometimes fetched several guineas a quart—the following is very mild. May 22, 1811: "This is the earliest season known for many years. In Covent Garden Market, green peas were sold at eight shillings per quart on Saturday last, and moss roses which had blown in the open air at one shilling each."

And, being connoisseurs, those old gentlemen knew good wine, and would pay a long price for it. At the sale of the Duke of Queensberry's effects, in 1811, some Tokay fetched £84 a dozen quarts, or £7 a bottle! The prices fetched at the sale of the Duke of Cumberland's wine pale into insignificance before this, but then he had no Tokay for sale.

Champagne 11 to 12 guineas the dozen
Hock about 11 " "
Hermitage " 14 " "
Madeira " 7 " "
Claret " 7 " "
Port from £4 10s. to £5 5s. "

(p. 330) A sale is chronicled May 13, 1817: "Friday, the cellars of Alexander Davison, Esq., were emptied to the best bidders. The prices, at which the several lots were knocked down, were unusually high. Three dozen of red Madeira, bottled in 1801, were knocked down at eighteen guineas per dozen, it was supposed, for a distinguished member of the Royal Family. One lot of Hock, a hundred and seventeen years old, sold at ten guineas per dozen, and very little of the Sherry went at less than five and six guineas per dozen."

The middle classes could not, of course, afford these wines, but they drank sound Port, Sherry, and Madeira, brown Brandy and Gin—Whiskey was almost unknown. But for conviviality, Punch, in bowls, was the drink. Green tea was introduced into the manufacture of Rum Punch—and may be now, for aught I know, if there is anybody living who knows how to make it—but here is a metrical recipe for Milk Punch, of the year 1815, which reads remarkably well.

"Take seven large lemons, and pare them as thin
As a wafer, or, what is yet thinner, your skin;
A quart of French Brandy, or Rum is still better,
(For you ne'er, in Receipts, should stick to the letter.)
Six ounces of sugar next take, and pray mind,
The sugar must be the best double refin'd;
Boil the sugar in as near half a pint of spring water,
In the neat silver saucepan you bought for your daughter;
But be sure that the syrup you carefully skim,
When the scum, as 'tis call'd, rises up to the brim.
(p. 331) The fourth part of a pint you next must allow
Of New Milk, made as warm as it comes from the Cow.
Put the rinds of the lemons, the milk, and the syrup,
With the rum in a jar and give them a stir up:
And, if you approve it, you may put some perfume,
Goatstone, or whatever you like in its room.
Let it stand thus three days, but remember to shake it,
And the closer you stop it the richer you make it.
Then, filtered through paper, 'twill sparkle and rise,
Be as soft as your lips, and as bright as your eyes.
Last bottle it up...."

It seems wrong to chronicle good living when bread was so dear—especially in the early years of the Regency where receipts for rice bread, and cheap adulterants of wheaten bread, were pressed upon the notice of the middle classes. One article of food they had which we should like at the same price—the very finest Native Oysters at 9s. and 10s. a barrel.

It was a brilliant period for the Stage. Kean was to make his appearance on the boards, but then Mrs. Siddons and Kemble retired. Death, too, was busy with some old dramatic favourites, and people connected with the Stage. In these nine years were called away—R. Cumberland, W. T. Lewis, Malone, G. F. Cooke, Chas. Dibbin, Chas. Burney, Mrs. Abingdon, H. Siddons, Mrs. Jordan, Sheridan, Signora Storace, and Miss Pope.

In 1811 there were but three regular theatres in London—Drury Lane, Covent Garden, and "The Little Theatre" (p. 332) in the Haymarket—and they all did a good business, although the prices charged their audiences were very moderate, so were the salaries of the actors. The pit was all pit, and the pittites were a discriminating audience, who were neither ashamed nor afraid to applaud, or censure, as their judgment led them. The plays were frequently changed. There were no runs of hundreds of nights, and the consequence was that the actor, "playing many parts," could not acquire mannerism, and gained greater experience in his profession.

In 1811 there were two persons, amateurs, who mightily affected theatrical company, namely, the Baron Geramb and Romeo Coates. The Baron was principally known for his enormously long whiskers—so feelingly alluded to by the Regent (vol. ii. p. 85), and there is a very good account of him in The Annual Register, April 6, 1812:—

"The much talked of Baron Geramb, who has, for a year or two past, made so conspicuous a figure in this metropolis, is, at last, ordered out of the country. This singular person ushered himself into public notice by publishing a most inflated and ridiculous letter, which he dedicated to the Earl of Moira; in which he described himself as a Hungarian baron who had headed a corps of volunteers in the cause of Austria against France, and stated that, after the peace, he went to Spain to give the benefit of his courage and profound military experience to the oppressed patriots of the Peninsula. He accompanied (p. 333) this production with every other mode of obtaining notoriety, such as filling print-shop windows with three or four different engravings of his person, which few fools bought, in various costumes; a star, a death's head and cross-bones, and other terrific emblems, adorned the person of the baron. Nobody has walked the public streets for some time past who does not know this redoubtable nobleman.

"Wherever notoriety could be acquired, there was the Baron Geramb. At the funeral of the late Duke of Albuquerque he exhibited himself in all the parade of grief, in a jet black uniform. Where money alone could not gain admittance, the magnificent exterior of this seeming magnate of Hungary was sure of procuring an introduction. At the Opera, at the Theatres, and the Park, his furred mantle and resplendent stars were seldom missed. When that wonderful master of histrionic art, Mr. Coates, played, or rather attempted to play, Lothario, last winter, at the Haymarket, the Hungarian baron sat with indescribable dignity in the stage box, and appeared the patron of the absurdities of the night, consoling the white-plumed Lothario with his nods, and bows, and cheers, for all the coarse and severe, but justly merited, raillery which was unsparingly dealt out to him from the pit and galleries.

"But the baron was formed to embellish a Court as well as to dignify a playhouse. He was frequent in his inquiries (p. 334) after the health of the British Sovereign at St. James's; and appeared with more than usual splendour at the celebrated fête of the Prince Regent at Carlton House. The fascinations of that scene of courtly festivity and princely elegance became the subject of the Baron's pen; and he accordingly published a letter to 'Sophie' describing, in the most romantic language, all the splendid objects of the night.... The baron, it is reported, has had uncommon success in certain gaming houses. He is now at Harwich, on his way to the Continent. He is said to be a German Jew, who, having married the widow of a Hungarian baron, assumed the title by which he passed."

Robert Coates, generally known as Romeo, was the son of a merchant and sugar planter at Antigua; he was educated in England, and then returned to his father. At his death, in 1807, young Coates came back to England not only very wealthy, but with a large collection of splendid diamonds. He settled at Bath, which town he soon made lively by his vagaries. He drove about, drawn by white horses, his curricle being shaped like a kettledrum, in front of which was a large gilt cock, and its motto was, "While I live I'll crow." He developed a curious craze for theatricals, and on the 9th of February, 1810, he appeared at the Bath Theatre as Romeo. Let Capt. Gronow tell the story of that night:—

"His dress was outré in the extreme; whether Spanish, Italian, or English, no one could say; it was like nothing (p. 335) ever worn. In a cloak of sky blue silk, profusely spangled, red pantaloons, a vest of white muslin, surmounted by an enormously thick cravat, and a wig à la Charles II., capped by an Opera hat, he presented one of the most grotesque spectacles ever witnessed upon the stage. The whole of his garments were evidently too tight for him; and his movements appeared so incongruous that every time he raised his arm, or moved a limb, it was impossible to refrain from laughter.

"But what chiefly convulsed the audience, was the bursting of a seam in an inexpressible part of his dress, and the sudden extrusion through the red rents, of a quantity of white linen, sufficient to make a Bourbon flag, which was visible whenever he turned round. This was at first supposed to be a wilful offence against common decency, and some disapprobation was evinced; but the utter unconsciousness of the odd creature was soon apparent, and then unrestrained mirth reigned throughout the boxes, pit, and gallery....

"In the midst of one of Juliet's impassioned exclamations, Romeo quietly took out his snuff-box, and applied a pinch to his nose; on this a wag in the gallery bawled out, 'I say, Romeo, give us a pinch,' when the impassioned lover, in the most affected manner, walked to the side boxes, and offered the contents of his box, first to the gentleman, and then, with great gallantry, to the ladies....

(p. 336) "But how shall I describe his death? Out came a dirty silk handkerchief from his pocket, with which he carefully swept the ground; then his Opera hat was carefully placed for a pillow, and down he laid himself. After various tossings about, he seemed reconciled to the position; but the house vociferously bawled out, 'Die again, Romeo!' and, obedient to the command, he rose up, and went through the ceremony again. Scarcely had he lain quietly down when the call was again heard, and the well-pleased amateur was evidently prepared to enact a third death; but Juliet now rose from her tomb, and gracefully put an end to this ludicrous scene by advancing to the front of the stage and aptly applying a quotation from Shakespeare—

'Dying is such sweet sorrow,
That he will die again to-morrow.'"

He came before a London audience, and played Lothario at the Haymarket on the 9th of December, 1811, and I give an illustration of him in that character. He ran through all his money, and had to go to Boulogne: there he married, came over to England, and lived in Montague Square. He met with an accident, and died, aged seventy-six, in 1848.


On the 29th of June, 1812, Mrs. Siddons took her leave of the public. The scene was Covent Garden Theatre, and the play "Macbeth," in which, of course, she played (p. 339) Lady Macbeth. After the sleep scene, she came forward and recited a farewell address written for her by Horace Twiss. She then retired amid a storm of applause. Kemble afterwards came forward to ask the sense of the house whether they would hear the remainder of the play, but the universal consensus was that they could not, and the audience retired.

On the 30th of September the new Drury Lane Theatre was ready for opening. The building cost £112,000; the fittings, £13,000; wardrobes, scenery, &c., £25,000; in all, £150,000. It was honoured next day with a visit from the Queen, the Princesses Augusta and Mary, the Princess Charlotte of Wales, the Prince Regent, and the Dukes of Sussex, Kent, and Clarence. On this occasion the theatre was darkened, and the interior brilliantly lit up, in order to show it at its best to its distinguished visitors. Elliston opened it on the 10th of October with "Hamlet."

In November Betty, better known as the "young Roscius," reappeared on the Stage at Covent Garden. But his boyhood's charm was broken, and, as a man (he was 22) he was a failure as an actor.

In 1813 Miss Stevens made her début, and so did Kean, at Drury Lane on January 26, 1814, and by his acting Shylock took the town by storm. "For voice, eye, action, and expression, no actor has come out at all equal to him. The applause, from the first scene to the last, (p. 340) was general, loud, and uninterrupted." Next month he appeared as Richard III., and, if possible, his acting was more belauded. People, including Coutts the banker, sent him cheques, one for £50, and the Managers of Drury Lane increased his salary.

The first mention I can find of Miss O'Neil, is March 24, 1812: "A Miss O'Neille, of whom report speaks very highly, at the Dublin Theatre, is engaged for Covent Garden Theatre the next season. She is said to be a good actress, a very great beauty, and a Roman Catholic, so there is something for all tastes."

August 18, 1815: "Among the improvements making at Covent Garden Theatre, preparatory to opening for the ensuing season, backs are fixing to the seats in the pit, so that each person will sit at ease as in a chair."

September 1, 1815: "The Managers of the Winter Theatres have already, it seems, received no less than Ninety-seven Tragedies, Comedies, Operas, Farces, Melodramas, and Pantomimes, intended by the Authors, for representation, during the ensuing season."

We sometimes see very realistic effects produced on the Stage, but we have not yet arrived at this pitch. August 30, 1815: "A strolling company of Comedians in the County of York, in performing the tragedy of 'George Barnwell,' advertised that 'Milwood would be hanged upon the Stage'; and, in consequence, the curtain dropped on a figure of Milwood suspended from a gibbet, (p. 341) to the great entertainment of the audience assembled." By the way, every theatre at these times, invariably played "George Barnwell" on Boxing Night, a practice which has not so very long been discontinued at some of the minor London Theatres.

Charles Bannister, who had been before the public upwards of thirty years, took his leave of them, June 1, 1815.

On February 17, 1816, the audience at Drury Lane were startled by a pistol shot. A farce called the "Merry Mourners" was being played, a young man in the third row of the pit produced a pistol, and deliberately shot at Miss Kelly—luckily without hurting her. He was, of course, at once captured and locked up. He had been pestering her with his addresses.

Mrs. Jordan, wife of William IV., died July 5, 1816. She had been acting this year, but had grown stout, and had lost much of her vivacity. Here is the last record of her. July 13, 1816: "Our correspondent from Paris informs us that Mrs. Jordan was buried in the cemetery of St. Cloud. She had resided in the village for some time with great privacy, under the name of Mrs. James. She was buried in a thin shell, stained black, but uncovered with cloth or ornament of any kind. Mr. Thomas Greatorex, an hotel-keeper in Paris, and Mr. William Henshall, statuary, of Mortimer Street, Cavendish Square, were by accident passing, and saw her interred. They were (p. 342) the only Englishmen present." This account was afterwards confirmed in the same newspaper, date the 22nd of July. Such was her sad fate, after having borne the Duke of Clarence ten children, of whom those that survived came to great honour on his accession to the throne.

How different was Sheridan's funeral on the 15th of the same month! His mortal remains were interred in Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey, with all honour, the pall-bearers being the Duke of Bedford, Earls Mulgrave and Lauderdale, Lords Holland and Robert Spencer, and the Bishop of London. The Dukes of York and Sussex, the Duke of Argyle, the Marquess of Anglesea, and many other noblemen, all followed to do honour to his corpse.

The Lyceum Theatre, which had sheltered the Drury Lane Company after that theatre was burnt down, was again opened on the 15th of June for English Opera.

The following anecdote will show how sometimes the audience thoroughly enter into the play. August 13, 1816: "Mrs. Mardyn and Mr. Oxberry have been performing at the Windsor Theatre. Oxberry, as the Jew, instead of taking the pound of flesh from the Merchant, by accident cut off the top of his own finger in placing the knife in his belt. This, however, did not prevent him from finishing the scene, although his blood dyed that part of the stage he occupied. When Portia requests (p. 343) Shylock 'To have some surgeon lest Antonio do bleed to death,' a man in the pit, thinking she alluded to the accident, exclaimed, 'Here, mate, take my handkerchief, and I'll go for the Doctor.'"

Kemble took his farewell of the stage on June 23, 1817, playing Coriolanus at Covent Garden. He spoke a short valedictory address, and of course was rapturously cheered. As he hurried off the stage, a gentleman in the pit handed Talma, the celebrated French actor, who was in the orchestra, a white satin scarf, embroidered with a laurel wreath, begging that he would throw it on the stage, which he did. The manager was called for, and came, went through the farce of asking whether it was intended for Mr. Kemble, and assured the audience that he would give it to the great tragedian "with heartfelt gratification."

Clowns are not responsible beings, at least on the stage, or, according to the following anecdote, off it. July 2, 1818: "Usher, the Clown of the Coburg Theatre (opened on the 9th of May), in consequence of a wager, set off in a machine like a washing-tub, drawn by four geese, at half-past twelve o'clock, from below Southwark Bridge, and passed under four bridges, and arrived at half-past two at Cumberland Gardens. A pole extended from the machine in which he sat, to which the geese were harnessed. For some time they were quite tractable, and he went on swimmingly, but, at times, they were quite (p. 344) restive, and not easily managed. A great number of persons accompanied him in boats, and several viewed the whimsical expedition from the bridges. After completing it he offered, for a wager of one hundred guineas, to return thence through the centre arch of London Bridge; but no person would accept the challenge." A Clown named Barry did the same about thirty-five or forty years ago, I think.

Clowns did not dress then as they do now, as we see in the illustration of a Clown and a Grasshopper in the pantomime of "Jack and Jill," performed at the Lyceum in 1812.

(p. 345)


(p. 347) Décoration


The Italian Opera — An uproar — Catalani and her terms — Vauxhall — Musical prodigy — Painters, Sculptors, Art exhibitions — Literature and writers — Bibliomaniacs — George Bidder, the Calculating boy — Musicians — Medical men — The Clergy — Roman Catholic emancipation — Joanna Southcott.

The Italian Opera flourished. Madame Catalani, undeterred by her reception by the public, at the time of the O. P. Riots, was prima donna; for Mrs. Billington retired from the stage in May, 1811.

There was a pretty little riot on 2nd of May, 1813, at the Opera at the King's Theatre.

"We are indebted to a correspondent for the following particulars of what, we are told, for we were not present, was, in its progress, one of the most disgraceful scenes that the walls of that, or any other Theatre, ever witnessed.

"Much disapprobation had prevailed throughout the performance of the Opera on Saturday night, and, at its conclusion, cries for the Manager, and Catalani, resounded (p. 348) throughout the house. The Ballet was, however, suffered to commence, but had not proceeded many minutes, when, from behind the scenes—'a band of fierce barbarians rushed upon the stage; the dancers flying for safety and for succour.' The drop-scene in vain descended, for an irruption was made through the body of it, and, on its being drawn up, there was discovered a motley group of men and women, the latter shrieking and the former shouting, and most destructively active in the demolition of all that came within reach of their canes.

"Mr. Masterson, Secretary to the Theatre, made his appearance, to the interruption of the pleasing interchange of shouts, which alternately rang out from the audience before the stage, and the company of new performers upon it. The Secretary bowed, and silence ensued—when a gentleman, from the front of the pit, and not long from Ireland, made a speech on the occasion demanding the Manager. The Secretary expressed himself ready to convey their pleasure to Mr. Taylor, but said he, himself, was unauthorised to answer any questions. Catalani's name was immediately vociferated in one quarter, that of Angiolini in another; and, in a third, a rise of salary was demanded for them as well as Tramezzani; but the sums were so large, being £10,000 for one, £5,000 for another, that, whether intended, or not, it had the effect of changing the tone of this clamour, and the Secretary was not honoured with any further commands.

(p. 349) "The audience appeared now to be satisfied; no further noise was heard, and the multitude on the stage were beginning to disperse, when, unfortunately, an order for the soldiers to clear the stage as usual, produced a most alarming scene. Three or four soldiers, and a sergeant, were most manfully assailed, and disarmed by the disappointed lovers of music and Catalani. The firelocks were brought as trophies to the front of the stage, and precipitated into the Orchestra. The pit, which contained the sober and orderly part, only, of its former contents, gave strong signs of disgust, which were received and returned by one of the disarming heroes in a manner only to be described as the utmost stretch of blackguardism. Our Correspondent says that he dares not describe the impudent species of insult which he offered to the spectators.

"The officer of the guard, the moment that he saw the unbecoming attack made on his small party, hurried to the spot, with the avowed intention of drawing them off; but the moment he appeared, he also was hustled, his sword violently seized, and his person insulted, until Major Mellish came forward, and assured the house that his friend Lieutenant White, had only presented himself to call off his party from the scene. The vengeance of the whole house was now directed against the man who had acted in so brutal a manner in face of the Ladies assembled in the Boxes. He was collared, dragged to the front of the stage, tweaked by the nose, and called on, (p. 350) after many other ingenious indignities, to make an apology to the house. But he was most stubborn, and fought about him; till, at last, it was discovered that he was too inebriated for utterance. This was satisfactorily explained to the audience by a gentleman near him.

Peace would have been now restored, but Mr. Coates—the at all Mr. Coates—made his appearance, and insisted on making a speech. He was almost equally impetuous, but he also was manœuvred off the stage. Much mischief was done, both to the musical instruments in the Orchestra, and to the scenery. It was most providential that a scene of bloodshed had not been the result; for the detachment of Guards in the street, hearing that their comrades had been assailed, and their officer insulted, rushed into the Theatre, and it was by a miracle that they were stopped from making their way to the stage. In fact, the practice of employing soldiers to clear the stage is most unbecoming. It puts the troops in a most embarrassing position, and is sure to raise the indignation of the spectators. It was intimated, we hear, that, in consequence of the dreadful scene of Saturday night, the Lord Chamberlain has issued an order, that no person shall be admitted behind the scenes, under the penalty of withdrawing the License from the Theatre."

The managers of Theatres used to make large sums by allowing people behind the scenes, and it was said that the Lord Chamberlain's prohibition meant a loss of (p. 351) £3,000 a year to the Opera. I cannot, exactly, trace the cause of this riot. I know that Catalani broke her engagement, and can only suppose that it was something about Money, for she was as greedy as a certain modern Prima Donna. She had already received £1,275 for ten weeks, and would be paid at the same rate for the remaining twenty weeks of her engagement. Take a newspaper paragraph, 25th of March, 1814: "Madam Catalani has been offered two thousand guineas, and a free benefit, for thirty nights' performance at the Opera, which offer she has declined, asking three thousand." So she did not sing that year.

Here is another little story. May 23, 1814: "Dr. Busby intends giving two Concerts at the Opera House. The Doctor consulted Mr. Braham in the first instance, requesting his advice what vocal performers he should engage. Mr. Braham immediately recommended Catalani, Dickons, Salmon, &c., &c. The Doctor, in consequence, waited on Monsieur Vallabrique, and begged to know Madame Catalani's terms. The answer was, 500 guineas each day; or half the gross receipts; and Monsieur said, if the Doctor would agree to the latter proposal, that he, himself, would engage the singers at a great expense, and pay them liberally out of his own portion. 'Well,' says the Doctor, 'what would you offer them?' 'Why,' says Monsieur, 'my wife 500 guineas each morning; Mrs. Dickons ten guineas each morning; Mrs. (p. 352) Salmon ditto, and Mr. Braham'—— 'Stop!' says the Doctor, 'I have already engaged that gentleman. He is to have thirty guineas each morning; or if——' 'Ha! ha!' interrupted the astonished Frenchman, with a long tragic groan. 'Thirty guineas every morning? He is a Jew!!!' On which the Doctor made his bow and engaged Grassini."

People were very fond of music, and there were plenty of good Concerts, and singers, with oratorios for the more seriously disposed. Did you object to the heat of a Concert room, you could have a very good vocal music, with an excellent band, al fresco, at Vauxhall, with the very best of company to rub shoulders against. Take, for instance, only one day—and from my notes I could give many—July 12, 1819: "Vauxhall. A more brilliant scene has scarcely ever presented itself than that which these gardens exhibited on Friday evening last. The walks were thronged with company of the first description, among whom we noticed the Duke of Argyle, the Duchess of Richmond, Bedford, and Rutland; the Marquess of Worcester, the Marquess and Marchioness of Tavistock; their Excellencies the French and Spanish Ambassadors, Viscount and Lady Castlereagh; Lords George Cavendish, Petersham, Foley, Clare, Grantham, Harrington, Forbes, Clifford, and Kier; Ladies Brownlow, Warburton, and Otway; Sir Harry Hotham, Sir William Elliot, and Mr. Holme Sumner, M.P."

(p. 353) Of course there was the usual musical prodigy, no age could do without that, and here it is, 10th of September, 1814: "The Plymouth Chronicle of Tuesday last (September 6th) contains the following singular statement, respecting a boy, living in Plymouth, only eleven years and a half old. Of Master Whitcomb, for such is the name of this prodigy, it is asserted that 'unassisted in musical composition, this child has produced to the musical world several pieces in score, dedicated, by permission, to the inimitable Catalani'; but what we chiefly allude to, is, a challenge he received a few days since, viz., to compose a full orchestra, musical parts to accord in harmony with a given bass!! Thus taken by surprise, he accepted the challenge, and was locked up in a room, with only pen, ink, and paper, the given bass was produced, and, without any assistance, this child of nature produced, in about an hour, a complete musical score, viz., two violin parts, two flute parts, two horn parts, a tenor part, and oboe part!"

From Music to Art is but a short, and legitimate transition, and that period was no mean one in the history of Art, which could produce such a list of names as the following, which does not pretend to be exhaustive: Sir George Beaumont, Sir William Beechey, R.A., Henry Bone, R.A., the celebrated enameller, A. W. Callcott, R.A., A. W. Chalon, R.A., R. Cosway, R.A., I. Constable, P. de Wint, W. Etty, W. Finden, the engraver, Henry (p. 354) Fuseli, R.A., G. Hayter, W. Hilton, R.A., E. Landseer, Sir Thomas Lawrence, R.A., C. R. Leslie, J. Linnell, P. I. de Loutherbourg, R.A., W. Mulready, R.A., P. Nasmyth, J. Northcote, R.A., H. W. Pickersgill, W. H. Pyne, P. Reinagle, R.A., H. Raeburn, R.A., R. R. Ramsay, A.R.A., M. A. Shee, R.A., H. Sass, T. Stothard, R.A., J. M. W. Turner, R.A., W. Varley, C. H. Weigall, B. West, R.A., D. Wilkie, R.A. and W. Wyon the medallist.

Then among Sculptors were some glorious names—W. Behnes, F. Chantrey, R.A., J. Flaxman, R.A., J. Nollekens, R.A., W. Theed, P. Turnerelli, and R. Westmacott, R.A.

There were, besides the Exhibition of Pictures of the Royal Academy, which was held at Somerset House, or Somerset Place, as it was then called, two Water Colour Exhibitions—"The Society of Painters in Water Colours," and the "Associated Painters in Water Colours." And, occasionally, there were, as now, collections of the works of some one artist to be seen, as, for instance, in March, 1811, West's pictures were shown; in May, 1812, Wilkie's pictures were exhibited; and in May, 1813, a collection of Sir Joshua Reynolds' works was made, and there was a supplementary exhibition for the sale of pictures, called "the European Museum."

There was a craze for large Panoramas, and they generally followed the progress of the war: thus in 1811 (p. 355) we find them of Malta, of Cadiz, the Siege of Flushing, and a Panorama of Messina. In 1812 we have one of Lisbon, and in 1815 we are treated to a view of Elba.

Miss Linwood ought to rank as an artist, and her exhibition of Needlework was most popular, as may be judged by the fact that it was on show at Saville House, Leicester Square, from 1800 till 1844, when she died. It then filled up the place in public amusement now occupied by Madame Tussaud's Exhibition. (By the way, Mrs. Salmon was the wax-work woman of those days.)

Miss Linwood's work, although done with coloured wools, was as like that awful Berlin wool-work of our day, as a picture by the President of the Royal Academy would resemble a coloured wall-poster. They were large and most faithful copies of some of the finest specimens of art, both British and foreign. The South Kensington Museum possesses some of them, notably a portrait of Napoleon. For one of her pictures, the Salvator Mundi, after Carlo Dolci, she refused three thousand guineas, and at her death left it as a legacy to the Queen; but, when her collection was sold, it fetched very little, somewhere about £1,000.

There was very little done in public statuary at this time, but the monument to the memory of Nelson, in the Guildhall, was uncovered on April 27, 1811 (Sheridan composed the inscription); and on March 27, 1813, that (p. 356) to Pitt, in the same building, was inaugurated, Canning being responsible for the inscription.

In literature we have a strong list of names, but in the one I give I do not pretend that it includes every one laying claim to literary merit, but it is merely a representative catalogue:—Joanna Baillie, Mrs. Barbauld, Robert Bloomfield, Lord Byron, Thomas Campbell, Thomas Carlyle, G. Chalmers, S. T. Coleridge, George Crabbe, Alan Cunningham, Madame D'Arblay, Isaac D'Israeli, Sir Philip Francis, William Godwin, George Grote, Henry Hallam, William Hazlitt, Mrs. Hemans, James Hogg, Thomas Hood, Theodore Hooke, Leigh Hunt, Mrs. Inchbald, Mrs. Jameson, J. Keats, Charles Lamb, W. S. Landor, J. Lemprière, M. G. (or Monk) Lewis, Lord Lytton, Edward Malone, Miss Mitford, James Montgomery, Hannah Moore, Thomas Moore, Lady Morgan, Lindley Murray, Mrs. Norton, Mrs. Opie, Jane Porter, Anne Radcliffe, Samuel Rogers, Sir Walter Scott, R. B. Sheridan, Percy Bysshe Shelley, John and Horace Smith, Robert Southey, J. Horne Tooke, Henry Kirke White, William Wordsworth.

Death claimed, during these nine years, some of the older littérateurs, as the Right Rev. Thomas Percy, D.D., Bishop of Dromore, whose "Reliques of Antient English Poetry" is well known. He died Sept. 30, 1811. On March 18, 1812, died John Horne Tooke, who will always be remembered by "The Diversions of Purley." John (p. 357) Philpot Curran, the celebrated Irish lawyer and orator, died at Brompton, October 14, 1817; and Samuel Lysons, the eminent Antiquary, who was Keeper of the Records when they were in the Tower of London, whose "Environs of London" is still a standard book of reference, expired June 29, 1819. On August 25th of the same year, died James Watt, whose name is so well known in connection with the steam engine.

It was a dilletante age for books. It was the first wake up after a long, long sleep. Men were only just beginning to understand the value of the treasures they possessed, and the mysteries of first editions, tall copies, &c., were just coming to light. Old libraries were searched, and their secrets were exposed. I think they over-valued their old books; as a proof, they do not fetch so much now. For instance, take the "Valdarfer Boccaccio," printed in 1471. This book was in the library of the Duke of Roxburghe, and at the sale thereof fetched, on June 17, 1812, the enormous sum of £2,260. It was purchased by the Marquis of Blandford. He afterwards sold it, on June 16, 1819, to Messrs. Longman and Co., at the reduced price of £875, and on December 7, 1881, Mr. Quaritch bought it for £585. At the same sale the Duke of Devonshire bought a Caxton, "The Recuyell of the historyes of Troye," for £1,060. People other than those infatuated called it bibliomania, and so I think it was.

(p. 358) The foundation of the celebrated Roxburghe Club took place on that dies mirabilis, the 17th of June, when the number was limited to twenty-four, and they dined annually afterwards, the great toast of the evening being always, "The memory of the immortal Valdarfer."

Here is a curious Advertisement, May 11, 1814: "A Shabby Old Manuscript, to be seen at No. 15, Noel Street, Berwick Street, Soho, is, perhaps, one of the greatest Curiosities now existing; not so much for its Antiquity, though conjectured to be of the 13th or 14th Century, for it has no date, or any striking peculiarity either in the Character or spelling, as on account of the subject, and the extraordinary nature of its contents. The Proprietor of this singularly curious and interesting document, a gentleman of high literary attainments, would, under certain limitations and restrictions, dispose of a Correct Copy for 200 guineas. Mere curiosity may, however, be gratified with a sight of the original, and of the heads of its principal contents, for a One Pound Bank of England Note, or twenty shillings good and current money."

In Science great strides were being made; they were emerging from the slough of ignorance, and treading the right path at last; and, although they cannot boast either of the scientists, or the discoveries, of the Victorian era, yet an age that could produce a Humphrey Davy and a David Brewster brought forth two famous men.

(p. 359) About this time there was a wonderful boy, who, since, developed into a good Civil Engineer. The earliest notice I can find of him is in a Newspaper of March 4, 1814. "There is now at Moretonhamstead, Devonshire, a boy only seven and a half years old, of a most astonishing genius; indeed, as a Calculator, quite a prodigy. A gentleman asked him how many eyes and toes six score of bullocks had, and how many minutes in a year, each of which questions he answered with the same ease and quickness. Another person put many difficult questions to him in arithmetic, to the whole of which he immediately replied correctly. The boy cannot account how he does it, and, till within a few weeks, did not know a figure. His name is Bidder, and his father is a mason at the above place."

We hear of him again in October, 1819. "A singular phenomenon appeared in the metropolis this month, a boy of the name of George Bidder, solved the most difficult questions in arithmetic by mental calculation, in less time than could be accomplished by the most skilful by the ordinary operation; and what was more remarkable he did not work by common arithmetical rules, but by a process entirely his own."

Among the musical composers who were then living may be named Sir Henry R. Bishop, Dr. Calcott, Muzio Clementi, Dr. Crotch, Charles Dibdin, Thomas Greatorex, Thomas Kelly, Vincent Novello, John Parry, Cipriani Potter, and Samuel Wesley.

(p. 360) Medical Science had emerged from the empiricism in which it had so long been shrouded: and to this era belong some great names, both in Medicine and Surgery. Still, the Pharmacopœia was a great deal too redundant, and the family doctor was pompous, and not too learned. Doctors and Clergymen still stuck to their wigs—Barristers and Judges still do to theirs—and he could not be worth his salt as a physician, unless he carried a gold-headed cane, often with a round ball a-top, which was a relic of the time when it contained some aromatic mixture, which he smelt, in order to guard himself against contagion.

Among eminent medical men and surgeons of those days, first in alphabetical order is that clever old bear, John Abernethy, whose brusque sayings have been so often quoted. Joseph Constantine Carpue, who distinguished himself by making false flesh noses, which he covered with skin let down from the forehead. Sir Richard Croft, who attended the Princess Charlotte in her confinement, and whose death so preyed upon his mind that, about three months afterwards, he committed suicide by shooting himself. Sir Henry Halford, who was physician in ordinary to George IV., and whom we have seen, in conjunction with that illustrious monarch, examining the bodies of Henry VIII. and Charles I.; and Dr. Jenner, whose connection with Vaccination every one knows.


"I shall endeavour in a short, but eloquent, discourse, to remove the vulgar prejudices imbibed by a narrow education."

"With all the diffidence natural to my situation, I shall, for the first time, venture to address this polite and discerning audience."

In the Church of England there were no particular luminaries. No doubt every Clergyman, from a Curate to (p. 365) an Archbishop, worked sincerely, according to their lights; but there was not the zeal, hard work, and self-abnegation which are now the characteristics of our Anglican Clergy. Nor of them only; all sects are striving hard to win souls, and it would be invidious, in this matter, to make a distinction. I give an illustration of two opposite characters, the dear, suave old Bishop, and the Charles Honeyman of the period, of the diamond ring and pocket-handkerchief religion. Says the Bishop, "I shall endeavour, in a short, but elegant discourse, to remove the vulgar prejudices imbibed by a narrow education." The other commences his sermon thus: "With all the diffidence natural to my situation, I shall, for the first time venture to address this polite and discerning audience."

In matters religious, men had not the breadth of thought which we, now, happily possess. For instance, on May 5, 1813, was introduced into the House of Commons a Bill, which, afterwards, became law, "For the further relief of persons impugning the doctrine of the Trinity." The Acts of 9 and 10 William III. had not been repealed, and by them, persons who, in writing or in conversation, denied the existence of any of the persons of the Trinity, were disabled, in law, from holding any office, civil, ecclesiastical, or military, on conviction; and, if a second time convicted, they were disabled to sue or prosecute in any action or information, or to be the guardian of any child, and liable to be imprisoned for three years.

(p. 366) This may appear extremely intolerant, but it must be borne in mind that, well within every one's memory, an atheist, avowing himself to be such, could not give testimony in a Court of Justice, nor sit in the House of Commons. Tardily, nous avons changé tout cela.

The Roman Catholics, too, felt the yoke that galled them, and made strenuous efforts to obtain its removal. On April 30, 1813, Mr. Grattan presented to the House of Commons his Bill "to provide for the removal of the Civil and Military Disqualifications, under which his Majesty's Roman Catholic Subjects now labour." At that time a Roman Catholic had no vote for Members of Parliament, nor could he sit in the House, and he could not hold any office, either civil or military.

On May 24th, the House of Commons having resolved itself into a Committee on Mr. Grattan's Bill, the Speaker protested against the admittance of Roman Catholics into Parliament, the Privy Council, and the Judicial Bench; and concluded with moving that the words, "to sit and vote in either House of Parliament," in the first clause, be left out of the Bill. After a long debate, a division took place, the voting being, for the clause 247, against it 251, so that was lost only by the small majority of four. Mr. Ponsonby then said that, as the Bill, without this clause, was neither worthy of the Catholics, nor of the further support of the friends of concession, he would move that the Chairman do now leave the Chair, which (p. 367) was carried without a division, and thus the Bill was lost.

The Catholic Emancipation Bill did not receive the Royal Assent until April 13, 1829. Cardinal Wiseman was made Archbishop of Westminster, September 30, 1850. Roman Catholic Chaplains were permitted in gaols July, 1863. The first Roman Catholic Judge that sat on the Bench since the Reformation, was Sergeant Shee, who was made a justice of the Queen's Bench, December, 1863. We have even had a Roman Catholic Lord Mayor, Sir Polydore de Keyser; and on November 3, 1884, Lord Petre, a Roman Catholic priest, took his seat in the House of Lords, so that justice seems to have been done at last.

Of the strength of the Nonconformists we gather something in the following, August 28, 1815: "At the annual conference of the Wesleyan Methodists, held at Manchester, it appears that the number of persons in the Connection amounted to nearly One hundred and ninety thousand."

On December 29, 1814, died a remarkable religious impostor, one Joanna Southcott, who was born, of humble parents, in Devonshire, somewhere about 1750. In the year 1790, she was employed as a work-woman at an upholsterer's shop in Exeter. The shopkeeper being a Methodist, his shop was frequently visited by Ministers of the same persuasion, and Joanna, possessing what is (p. 368) termed "a serious turn of mind," did not pass unnoticed. She had frequent discussions in the shop with these Ministers, and was regarded as a prodigy. Indeed, so sensible was she of her own importance and superiority, that, with the aid of a few dreams, and some extraordinary visions, she began to think herself inspired.

But what confirmed her in this belief, was the realization of a circumstance which she had been forewarned of, in a dream—it was finding the Miraculous seal. One morning, in sweeping out the shop, she found a seal, with the initials I.S., which could mean nought else but Joanna Southcott. From this moment she bid adieu to the upholstering trade, and set up in business for herself as Prophetess. In her first prophecies she states that in 1792 she was visited by the Lord, who promised to enter into an everlasting covenant with her, and told her that a vision would be shown her in the night. It accordingly appeared, sometimes in the shape of a cup, then like a cat, which she kicked to pieces, but was very uneasy, until she was told that it was nothing more than a trick of Satan, with a view to torment her.

On the appearance of her first prophecies, the Methodist preachers, already adverted to, endeavoured to convince her of the diabolical nature of her doings, and attributed them to Satan himself. She then appointed an interview with as many as might choose to attend, in order to put the question at rest. The discussion was warm, (p. 369) but it ended in all present signing the following document:—

"I, Joanna Southcott, am clearly convinced that my calling is of God, and my writings are indited by His Spirit, as it is impossible for any Spirit, but an All-wise God, that is wondrous in working, wondrous in power, wondrous in truth, could have brought round such mysteries, so full of truth, as is in my writings; so I am clear in whom I have believed, that my writings came from the Spirit of the most high God.

"Joanna Southcott."

From this time her converts increased surprisingly, so that she could not furnish seals sufficient to answer all demands. The sealed papers contained a text of Scripture (not uniformly the same), promissory of beatitude hereafter, and the envelope was stamped with the seal found in the upholsterer's shop. The sealed person was forbidden to open the paper lest the charm should be destroyed.

She came to London, at the invitation of Sharp the engraver, and then she began deluding her followers that she was the destined mother of the Messiah, who would be born on October 19, 1814. Her personal appearance favoured the appearance that she was in an "interesting condition," but after her death it was found she was suffering from dropsy. Large sums of money were subscribed (p. 370) towards the expense of her accouchement, and a most expensive cradle was provided. The time passed by, but no Shiloh, and she died on December 29, 1814, and was buried in the churchyard attached to St. John's Chapel, St. John's Wood; her deluded followers believing for long after that she would rise again, and come among them.

There are many satirical prints respecting this impostor, but I do not care to reproduce any of them, as they are either too silly or too coarse.

(p. 371) Décoration



Act of Regency, vol. i., 26

" to prevent sale of guineas, vol. i., 72

Actors, vol. ii., 340

Allies, The, vol. i., 188, 277

" before Paris, vol. i., 241

Almacks, vol. ii., 287

Amazons, vol. ii., 297

Amelia, Death of Princess, vol. i., 4

American war, vol. i., 169, 191

" " Declaration of, vol. i., 140

American war, exchange of prisoners, vol. i., 366

American war, treaty of peace, vol. ii., 7

Appeal by battle, vol. ii., 143

Art, vol. ii., 353


Ballooning, vol. i., 88, 342, 351

Banquet at Guildhall, vol. i., 288

Baron Geramb, vol. ii., 332

Bartholomew Fair, vol. i., 136

Bath, Order of the, vol. i., 372

Battle, Appeal by, vol. ii., 143

Battle for the Standard, vol. ii., 69

Bellingham, John, vol. i., 113

" " execution of, vol. i., 117

Belvoir, The Regent at, vol. i., 213

Birth of Queen Victoria, vol. ii., 198

Blucher a gambler, vol. i., 273

" and the ladies, vol. i., 271

" arrival of, vol. i., 266

" at Oxford, vol. i., 273

Body-snatchers, vol. i., 147; vol. ii., 111

Boy, The calculating, vol. ii., 359

Brooke's Club, vol. ii., 63

Brougham, Lord, vol. i., 325

Bull-baiting, Suppression of, vol. i., 80

Bullion, Scarcity of, vol. i., 43, 67, 110

Burdett, Sir Francis, vol. i., 65

"Burking," vol. i., 147


Calculating boy, vol. ii., 359

Caporal Violette, vol. i., 250

Caraboo, vol. ii., 158

Caravats and Shanavests, vol. i., 40

Carlton House, vol. i., 49

Caroline, Princess, leaves England, vol. i., 358

Caroline, Princess, letter to Regent, vol. i., 193

Catalini, Madame, vol. ii., 351

Catholic soldiers, treatment of, vol. i., 23

Cat in a conflagration, vol. i., 191

Census, The, vol. i., 91

Charles I., exhumation of, vol. i., 159

Charles I., Relics of, vol. i., 163

Charlotte, Princess, vol. i., 192

" " and the Regent, vol. i., 316

Charlotte, Princess, and Prince of Orange, vol. i., 311

Charlotte, Princess, Betrothal of, vol. ii., 74

Charlotte, Princess, coming of age, vol. i., 216

Charlotte, Princess, death of, vol. ii., 148

Charlotte, Princess, flight of, vol. i., 323

Charlotte, Princess, presentation at Court, vol. i., 306

Charlotte, Princess, wedding of, vol. ii., 81

Chesapeake and Shannon, vol. i., 169

Circassian, The fair, vol. ii., 194

Chimney sweep, Bill to regulate, vol. i., 133

Chimney sweep, Marriage of a, vol. ii., 100

Chimney sweep, Trial of a, vol. ii., 101

Clown's wager, vol. ii., 343

Clubs, vol. ii., 60

Coaches, vol. ii., 227

Coates, Robert, vol. ii., 334

Cobourg, Prince Leopold of, vol. i., 312; vol. ii., 75

Cochrane, Lord, vol. i., 236

Cock fighting, vol. ii., 321

Comet, The, vol. i., 83

Costumes of period, vol. i., 57, 365

Coinage, New, vol. ii., 106, 139, 142, 168

Cossack, A, vol. i., 155

Cricket by candlelight, vol. i., 104

Cricket match of women, vol. i., 87

Crown, Attempt to steal the, vol. ii., 8

Cumberland, The, vol. i., 15

Custom House, burning of, vol. i., 233


Dandisette, vol. ii., 277

Dandy, A, vol. ii., 317

Dandy Horse, vol. ii., 176

Death of George III., vol. ii., 213

" Princess Charlotte, vol. ii., 149

Death of Queen, vol. ii., 168

Debtors' prisons, vol. i., 11, 202

Dinner, A public, vol. ii., 185

" A volunteer's, vol. i., 203

" party, An enormous, vol. i., 51

Dining, vol. i., 302; vol. ii. 327

Doctors, vol. ii., 191, 360

Donkey riding, vol. ii., 233

Drury Lane Theatre, vol. ii., 339

Duelling, vol. i., 137


Earthquake, Shock of, vol. ii., 133

Eating extraordinary, vol. i., 42; vol. ii., 328

Emigration, vol. ii., 193

Emperor of Russia, arrival of, vol. i., 262

Emperor of Russia at Oxford, vol. i., 281

England in 1816, vol. ii., 97

English prisoners in France, vol. i., 21, 331

Esquimaux in London, vol. ii., 72

Evans, Rev. John, vol. i., 5

Exchequer Bills, vol. i., 200

"Excursion to Windsor," vol. i., 5


Fair, Bartholomew, vol. i., 136

" in the parks, vol. i., 256

" on the Thames, vol. i., 219

Fasting woman, vol. i., 168

Female cricketers, vol. i., 87

" pedestrian, vol. ii., 299

" sailors and soldiers, vol. ii., 297

Female sports, vol. ii., 298

Fête at Carlton House, vol. i., 49

Fireworks, vol. i., 346

Fog-extraordinary, vol. i., 209

Footpads, vol. i., 77

Fortunate Youth, The, vol. ii., 153

Fraud on Stock Exchange, vol. i., 235

French fiddler, vol. i., 384

" prisoners, vol. i., 119, 124, 182, 363; vol. ii., 55

Frost, fair, vol. i., 219

" severe, vol. i., 217

Frozen meat, vol. ii., 70

Fruit, Scarcity of, vol. i., 237


Gambling, vol. ii., 62, 321

" with Napoleon's life, vol. i., 208

Garter, Order of, vol. i., 179

Gas, Introduction of, vol. i., 208; vol. ii., 105

George III., custody of person, vol. i., 36; vol. ii., 176

George III., Death of, vol. ii., 213

" Health of, vol. i., 2, 4, 93, 197, 372; vol. ii., 131, 210

George III., love of music, vol. i., 9

Gilray, Death of, vol. i., 76

Gipsies, vol. ii., 263

Grand Duke Nicholas, vol. ii., 133

Gretna Green, vol. ii., 300

Guard's Club, vol. ii., 64

Guildhall, Banquet at, vol. i., 286

Guineas, vol. i., 67, 72, 110, 360


Habeas Corpus suspended, vol. ii., 141

Hamilton, Lady, vol. i., 376

Hanger, Colonel, vol. i., 29

Hedgehog and man fight, vol. i., 203

Highwayman, vol. i., 77

Hobby Horse, vol. ii., 176

Houses of London, vol. ii., 234

Hunt, H., Saved Sinner, vol. ii., 116

Huntingdon, William, vol. i., 175


Ibbetson's hotel, vol. ii., 61

Ireland, State of, vol. i., 209, 329

Irish witness, An, vol. ii., 201


Jews, cruelty to, vol. i., 25

Jordan, Mrs., vol. ii., 341

Jubilee of George III., vol. i., 342


Kean, vol. ii., 339

Kemble, vol. ii., 343

King of Prussia, and prize-fighters, vol. i., 287

King of Prussia, Arrival of, vol. i., 205

King of Prussia, bed of, vol. i., 287

King, Lord, vol. i., 68

Kyrle Society, vol. ii., 164


Ladies' costumes, vol. i., 57, 365; vol. ii., 277, 289

Lady Parachutist, vol. i., 89

" Pig-faced, The, vol. i., 377

Leipsic, Battle of, vol. i., 185

Leopold, Prince of Cobourg, vol. i., 312; vol. ii., 75

Letter of a soldier, vol. ii., 57

Limmer's Club, vol. ii., 61

Linwood, Miss, vol. ii., 355

Lioness attacks coach, vol. ii., 232

Literature, vol. ii., 356

Louis XVIII., welcome to, vol. i., 253

Lucien Buonaparte, vol. i., 11

Luddite Riots, vol. i., 91, 108, 150


Mackerel, Price of, vol. i., 201

Man and hedgehog fight, vol. i., 203

Margate, vol. i., 143; vol. ii., 54

Marlborough House, vol. ii., 247

Marriage, A chimney sweep's, vol. ii., 100

Marriage Act, Royal, vol. ii., 78

" curious, vol. ii., 300

" of Duke of Gloucester, vol. ii., 99

Marriage of Princess Charlotte, vol. ii., 81

McMahon, Colonel, vol. i., 103

Meat, Frozen, vol. ii., 70

Medical men, vol. ii., 191, 360

Men of the period, vol. ii., 303

Men's dress, vol. ii., 307

Midshipmen, vol. ii., 52

Museum, British, vol. ii., 14

Musical Prodigy, vol. ii., 353


Napoleon, abdication, vol. ii., 25

" attempts suicide, vol. i., 248

Napoleon, Bon mots about, vol. ii., 13

Napoleon, Carriage of, vol. ii., 199

" escape from Elba, vol. i., 386

Napoleon, Fall of, vol. i., 246

" letter to Regent, vol. ii., 28

Napoleon on Bellerophon, vol. ii., 36

Napoleon, personal appearance, vol. ii., 33

Napoleon sent to St. Helena, vol. ii., 43

Navy, Strength of, vol. i., 211

New Coinage, vol. ii., 106, 139, 142, 168


Oldenburgh, Duchess of, vol. i., 238

Opera, Italian, vol. ii., 347

"Orange Boven," vol. i., 187

Orange, Prince of, vol. i., 187, 261, 311

Order of Bath, vol. i., 372

Owen, Robert, vol. ii., 149

Oysters, vol. ii., 331


Parachutes, vol. i., 88

Paris, Capitulation of, vol. i., 243

Parish Registers, vol. i., 147

Percival, Rt. Hon. S., vol. i., 112

" " murder of, vol. i., 115

Percussion cap, vol. i., 76

Peterloo, vol. ii., 205

Petersham, Lord, vol. ii., 308

Pig-faced Lady, vol. i., 377

Platoff, Mdlle., vol. i., 159

Population, vol. i., 91

Post-chaises, vol. ii., 221

Prince of Orange, vol. i., 187, 261, 311

Printing on the ice, vol. i., 223

Prisoners in France, vol. i., 21, 331

Prisoners of war, American, vol. i., 363, 366; vol. ii., 8

Prisoners of war, French, vol. i., 89, 119, 124, 182, 363; vol. ii., 55

Prize-fighting, vol. ii., 322, 371


Prodigy, Musical, vol. ii., 353

Provisions, Price of, vol. i., 149, 237

Punch, Recipe for, vol. ii., 330

Pye, Death of, vol. i., 181


Queen, The, and madwoman, vol. i., 166

Queen, The, and Quaker, vol. ii., 146

Queen, The, at Bath, vol. ii., 146

" " Death of, vol. ii., 168

" " practical joke, vol. i., 84

Queen, The, sale of effects, vol. ii., 173

Queen, The, Wealth of, vol. ii., 169


Reform meeting, vol. ii., 203

Regalia, Finding of Scottish, vol. ii., 163

Regency, vol. i., 2, 19

Regent, The, at Belvoir, vol. i., 213

" at Oxford, vol. i., 282

" and Freedom of London, vol. i., 44

Regent, The, and Napoleon, vol. ii., 49

Regent, The, companions of, vol. i., 29

Regent, The, debts of, vol. ii., 17

" hissed, vol. i., 307

" in the kitchen, vol. ii., 188

Regent, The, public worship, vol. i., 26

Regent, The, sprained ankle, vol. i., 98

Regent, The, stoned, vol. ii., 135

" sworn in, vol. i., 30

Regent's Canal, vol. ii., 246

" The, joke, vol. ii., 73

" Street, vol. ii., 246

" The, remonstrance, vol. i., 352

Regent's, The, yacht, vol. ii., 86

Registers, Parish, vol. i., 147

Religion, vol. ii., 365

Resurrection men, vol. i., 147; vol. ii., 111

Riots, vol. i., 89, 116; vol. ii., 5

" Anti-Corn Bill, vol. ii., 1

" at a theatre, vol. ii., 348

" in public schools, vol. ii., 166

" The Luddite, vol. i., 91, 108, 150

Riots, The Spa Fields, vol. ii., 125

Royal sceptre discovered, vol. ii., 12

Royal milling match, vol. i., 99

" whiskers, vol. ii., 85


Sailors, distressed, vol. ii., 161

Sailor's frolics, vol. i., 43, 376

Salamanca, vol. i., 129

Sceptre, Discovery of Royal, vol. ii., 12

Shanavests and Caravats, vol. i., 40

Shannon and Chesapeake, vol. i., 169

Sheridan, Funeral of, vol. ii., 342

Shops, vol. ii., 240

Siddons, Mrs., vol. ii., 336

Slave trade, vol. i., 207

Smuggling, vol. i., 68, 75, 151; vol. ii., 109

Snowstorm, vol. i., 217

Soldier, Letter of a, vol. ii., 57

Southcott, Joanna, vol. ii., 367

Southey, Robt., vol. i., 182

Spinning, vol. ii., 290

Stage, The, vol. ii., 331

Steamboats vol. ii., 215

Steam locomotives, vol. i., 142

Stock Exchange fraud, vol. i., 235

Strawberry, Large, vol. i., 203

Streets, The, vol. ii., 237

Suspension of Habeas Corpus, vol. ii., 141


Tea Gardens, vol. ii., 242

Theatres, vol. ii., 331

Thames frozen, vol. i., 219

Times, The, and Napoleon, vol. ii., 13, 26, 29

Torpedoes, vol. i., 204

Trade, Stagnation of, vol. ii., 94

" reopened with France, vol. i., 128

Treaty of Peace with America, vol. ii., 7

Treaty of Peace with France, vol. i., 293


Vauxhall Gardens, vol. i., 174

Vegetables, price of, vol. i., 237

Vittoria, Battle of, vol. i., 174

Volunteers' dinner, vol. i., 203


Waltzing, vol. ii., 278

War, American, vol. i., 140, 169, 191, 366; vol. ii., 7

Washington, Burning of, vol. i., 369

Waterloo, Battle of, vol. ii., 23

" Bridge, vol. ii., 247

" medals, vol. ii., 70

" thanksgiving day, vol. ii., 67

Wellington, Duke of, vol. i., 257, 300, 331

Whiskers, Royal, vol. ii., 85

White's Club, vol. ii., 62

Wife selling, vol. i., 374

Wines, vol. ii., 329

Witchcraft, vol. i., 78

Witness, Irish, vol. ii., 201

Woman, The Fasting, vol. i., 168

Women cricketers, vol. i., 87

Women of the period, vol. ii., 278


York, Duke of, vol. i., 45; vol. ii., 176

Youth, The Fortunate, vol. i., 153



1: The Corn Bill passed the Commons on the 10th of March, and the Lords on the 20th.

2: Lambeth Street, Whitechapel, removed to Arbour Square, Stepney, and now called the Thames Police Office.

3: From this time until Napoleon sailed for St. Helena, I quote, sometimes at length, from my book, "English Caricature and Satire on Napoleon I.," because I then wrote, thoroughly imbued with the subject, and with every authority at hand—I can do no more now, than to add a little to it.—J. A.

4: This title was never recognized by the French Nation until the assumption of Imperial dignity by Louis—under the title of Napoleon III.

5: General Gourgaud.

6: A measure of about one hundred fathoms. In all marine charts a Cable is deemed 607.56 feet, or one-tenth of a Sea Mile.

7: "A Visit to Bonaparte in Plymouth Sound," by a Lady. Plymouth, 1815.

8: Mackerel.

9: "Interesting Particulars of Napoleon's Deportation for Life to St. Helena," &c. London, 1816. Printed for W. Hone.

10: By George Colman the Younger.

11: I.e., the midshipmen who took female parts.

12: Transported.

13: Shaw the Lifeguardsman.

14: Battle of Waterloo.

15: Cowardice.

16: Of course, now-a-days we can hardly understand this; but the old tubs used to take their time then.—It is recorded in the "Annual Register" of 1815, as follows: "16 December.—A vessel is arrived in the Thames from New South Wales after an extraordinarily short passage of less than five months."

17: It took longer, vide this extract from The Globe, March 18, 1889:—"A Tardy Honour.—Captain Gammell is 92. It is only within the last ten days that he has received an honour which he won nearly three-quarters of a century ago. As Ensign James Gammell he was present at the sortie of Bayonne, and leaving the army shortly afterwards never applied for the medal. At last Captain Gammell has found himself decorated with two—one the Jubilee medal, accompanied by a letter from Sir Henry Ponsonby on behalf of the Queen; the other the Peninsular medal, with the clasp for the Nive, forwarded by the Duke of Cambridge. It is never too late to decorate a gallant man, and Colonel Balguy, who has been active in this matter, is to be congratulated upon the success which his efforts have attained."

18: The Regent was then meditating taking proceedings for a divorce from his wife.

19: In May, 1816, he was made a General in the British army, and afterwards Field Marshal.

20: This gentleman will be noticed in matters theatrical.

21: Lord Yarmouth.

22: A rough-and-ready way of loading guns, before Cartridges and Breech loaders were introduced, was by measuring out so many bowls of a Tobacco pipe full of powder and shot.

23: From Bow Street.

24: Hunt must have known he was lying, for George Canning was born in London in 1770. His family was originally of Foxcote, in Warwickshire, and one of his ancestors had emigrated to Ireland, at the commencement of the seventeenth century, as agent of a company of Londoners in the plantation of Ulster, and settled at Garvagh, in the county of Londonderry. His father, George Canning, who had been educated for the bar, to which he was called by the Society of the Middle Temple, having offended his parents by marrying a lady inferior to him both in rank and fortune, was cut off by them with a pittance of £150 per annum. Finding himself thus discarded by his family, who possessed considerable property in Ireland, he left that country, and removed with his wife to London, where, after unavailing efforts to enlarge the means of subsistence, he died broken-hearted, in a year after the birth of his son.

25: Hereford House.

26: Mat o' the Mint was a character in Gay's Beggar's Opera.

27: Cole or Coal is thieves' slang for money, and many people carry a piece of Coal in their pocket, under the belief that so long as they have Cole in their pocket they will never want for money.

28: Hon. Sec., Miss M. Lyall, 14, Nottingham Place, W.

29: Probably Matthew Buchinger, who died 1722.

30: A trip to Brighton, say a little over fifty miles, is recorded to have been done in nine hours.


"O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us,
To see oursels as others see us!"

Burns, "To a Louse, on seeing one on a Lady's bonnet, at Church."

32: My italics.—J. A.

33: Italics are mine.—J. A.

34: Spectator, No. 130.

35: "Social Life in the Reign of Queen Anne," by John Ashton.

36: Isaac Walton says, "Now let's go to an honest alehouse where we may have a cup of good barley wine, and sing 'Old Rose,' and all of us rejoice together." And we get a presumed explanation of the Song in The British Apollo (1708-9).

"In good King Stephen's days, the Ram,
An ancient inn at Nottingham,
Was kept, as our wise father knows,
By a brisk female call'd Old Rose;
Many, like you, who hated thinking,
Or any other theme than drinking,
Met there, d'ye see, in sanguine hope
To kiss their landlady, and tope;
But one cross night, 'mongst twenty other,
The fire burnt not, without great pother,
Till Rose, at last, began to sing,
And the cold blades to dance and spring;
So, by their exercise and kisses,
They grew as warm as were their wishes;
When, scorning fire, the jolly fellows
Cry'd, 'Sing Old Rose, and burn the bellows.'"

37: The East India College.

Transcriber's notes: Obvious printer's errors have been silently corrected, all other inconsistencies are as in the original. The author's spelling has been maintained.

Other changes made:

—Page 43: "Generals Savary and Tallemand" changed to "Generals Savary and Lallemand".

—Page 54: "Argaud lamps" changed to "Argand lamps".

—Page 125: "'And, will you protect me!" changed to "'And, will you protect me?"

—The books' advertisements have been moved from the front to the back of the e-book.

In the index, the links in bold green are external links leading to the 1. volume at They will open in a new browser tab.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Social England under the Regency, Vol.
2 (of 2), by John Ashton


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