By Warwick Wroth F.S.A. (auth.)
A mine of knowledge on not just how Londoners of all sessions spent their rest hours at those institutions, but additionally what they and the literati of the day considered them. For the following used to be contained, for greater than a century, the leisure lifetime of a complete humans - from the modern, if a bit uninteresting, assemblies in Ranelagh's nice rotunda, to the extra democratic nightly festivities amid the embellished supper containers and leafy avenues of Vauxhall Gardens, to the loose and straightforward surroundings of such center- and working-class excitement haunts as Bagnigge Wells, Dobney's Bowling eco-friendly, and the ill-famed puppy and Duck in St. Georges Fields. in addition to the amusements strange to the gardens themselves, there have been the embryonic stirrings of a few different entertainments that have been destined to flourish within the moment half the eighteenth and the arriving century. therefore, as well as the song, dancing, bowling, occasional playing, and intake of tea, wine, truffles, and different comestibles for which the gardens have been justly celebrated, and extra bold ventures equivalent to fireworks and illuminations, transparencies, masquerades, and balloon ascensions, there have been usually lively exhibitions of trick horsemanship, juggling, and ropedancing (eventually a speciality of Sadler's Wells), including extra evidently dramatic fare akin to puppets and burlettas. because the inhabitants of better London persisted to extend and the outlying areas during which a number of the gardens lay have been progressively equipped over, a number of of those final have been integrated into newly confirmed circuses, summer time theatres, and track halls, the place the company of consuming and consuming was once additionally endured. For someone learning the origins of those later entertainments, for that reason, the background of the eighteenth-century excitement gardens kinds crucial interpreting. - from the Foreword by way of A.H. Saxon
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Extra resources for The London Pleasure Gardens of the Eighteenth Century
Pinks's Clerkenwel/, p. 168. z. Engraving of the Spa garden, T. ; S. ; frontispiece to May Day, or Ihe Origin of Gar/andJ, 17zo. THE NEW WELLS, NEAR THE LONDON SPA HOUSES in Lower Rosoman Street,l Clerkenwell, west side, about one hundred yards from the London Spaw public-house, now occupy the si te of this place of amusement. The New Wells commanded a pleasant prospect of the fields and country beyond; but nothing is known of the medicinal waters, and the prominent feature of the place was a theatre, probably intended to riyal Sadler's Wells, in which entertainments, consisting ofdancing, tumbling, music and pantomime were giyen from 1737 (or earlier 2 ) till 1750.
A dance of Indians in character conc1uded an entertainment witnessed by a crowded and h polite" audience of over seven hundred persons. In August of the same year a Mr. Dominique jumped over the heads of twenty-four men with drawn swords; Madam Kerman performed on the tight-rope, danced on stilts, and (according to the advertisements) jumped over a garter ten feet high. 1 DIlIIy Post, 3 July, 1Hz (quoted in Gent. Mllg. 1813, pt. ii. P·5 61 ). THE NEW WELLS, NEAR THE LONDON SPA 35 Next came to the Wells (1745) a youthful gian t seven feet four inches high, though under sixteen years of age, who occasionally exhibited his proportions on the rope.
Mrs. Jenkins of the Three Blue Balls, Mrs. Rummer and family from the King's Arms; and several other people of condition, to be there this season! And then Eliza's wedding, you know, was owing to the Spa. Oh, the watering-places are the only places to get young women lovers and husbands ! " In 1777, Holland became bankrupt, and next year a Mr. John Howard opened the gardens in the morning and afternoon, charging the water-drinkers sixpence or threepence, or a guinea subscription. He enriched the place with a bowling-green 1 and with.
The London Pleasure Gardens of the Eighteenth Century by Warwick Wroth F.S.A. (auth.)