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September 5.

St. Laurence Justinian, first Patriarch of Venice, A. D. 1455. St. Bertin, Abbot, A. D. 709. St. Alto, Abbot, 8th Cent.

Bartholomew Fair.

1825. On this day, Monday the 5th, the Fair was resumed, when the editor of the Every-Day Book accurately surveyed it throughout. From his notes made on the spot he reports the following particulars of what he there observed.


Bartholomew Fair.

At ten o'clock this morning I entered Smithfield from Giltspur-street. [Mem. This way towards Smithfield was anciently called Gilt Spurre, or Knight-Riders Street, because of the knights, who in quality of their honour wore gilt spurs, and who, with others, rode that way to the tournaments, justings, and other feats of arms used in Smithfield.* [1]

On this day there were small uncovered stalls, from the Skinner-street corner of Giltspur-street, beginning with the beginning of the churchyard, along the whole length of the churchyard. On the opposite side of Giltspur-street there were like stalls, uncovered, from the Newgate-street corner, in front of the Compter-prison, in Giltspur-street. At these stalls were sold oysters, fruit, inferior kinds of cheap toys, common gingerbread, small wicker-baskets, and other articles of trifling value. They seemed to be mere casual standings, taken up by petty dealers, and chapmen in small ware, who lacked means to purchase room, and furnish out a tempting display. Their stalls were set out from the channel into the roadway. One man occupied upwards of twenty feet of the road lengthwise, with discontinued wood-cut pamphlets, formerly published weekly at twopence, which he spread out on the ground, and sold at a halfpenny each in great quantities; he also had large folio bible prints, at a halfpenny each, and prints from magazines at four a penny. The fronts of these standings were towards the passengers in the carriage-way. They terminated, as before observed, with the northern ends of St. Sepulchre's churchyard on one side, and the Compter on the other. Then, with occasional distances of three or four feet for footways, from the road to the pavement, began lines of covered stalls, with their open fronts opposite the fronts of the house, and close to the curb stone, and their enclosed backs in the road. On the St. Sepulchre's side, they extended to Cock-lane, from Cock-lane to the house of Mr. Blacket, clothier and mercer, at the Smithfield corner of Giltspur-street; then, turning the corner of his house into Smithfield, they continued to Hosier-lane, and from thence all along the west side of Smithfield to the Cow-lane corner, where, on that side, they terminated at that corner, in a line with the opposite corner leading to St. John-street, where the line was resumed, and ran thitherward to Smithfield-bars, and there on the west side ended. Crossing over to the east side, and returning south, these covered stalls commenced opposite to their termination on the west, and ran towards Smithfield, turning into which they ran westerly towards the pig-market, and from thence to Long-lane; from Long-lane, they ran along the east side of Smithfield to the great gate of Cloth-fair, and so from Duke-street, went on the south side, to the great front gate of Bartholomew-hospital, and from thence to the carriage entrance of the hospital, from whence they were continued along Giltspur-street to the Compter, where they joined the uncovered stalls before described. These covered stalls, thus surrounding Smithfield, belonged to dealers in gingerbread, toys, hardware, garters, pocket-books, trinkets, and articles of all prices, from a halfpenny to a half sovereign. The gingerbread stalls varied in size, and were conspicuously fine, from the dutch gold on their different shaped ware. The largest stalls were the toy-seller's; some of these had a frontage of five and twenty feet, and many of eighteen. The usual frontage of the stalls was eight, ten, and twelve feet; they were six feet six inches, or seven feet, high in front, and from four feet six inches, to five feet, in height at the back, and all formed of canvass, tightly stretched across light poles and railing; the canvass roofings, declined pent-house-ways to the backs, which were enclosed by canvass to the ground. The fronts, as before mentioned, were entirely open to the thronging passengers, for whom a clear way was preserved on the pavements between the fronts of the stalls and the fronts of the houses, all of which necessarily had their shutters up and their doors closed.

The shows of all kinds had their fronts towards the area of Smithfield, and their backs close against the backs of the stalls, without any passage between them in any part. There not being any shows or booths, save as thus described, the area of Smithfield was entirely open. Thus, any one standing in the carriage-way might see all the shows at one view. They surrounded and bounded Smithfield entirely, except on the north side, which small part alone was without shows, for they were limited to the other three sides; namely, Cloth-fair side, Bartholomew-hospital side, and Hosier-lane side. Against the pens in the centre, there were not any shows, but the space between the pens and the shows quite free for spectators, and persons making their way to the exhibitions. Yet, although no coach, cart, or vehicle of any kind, was permitted to pass, this immense unobstructed carriage-way was so thronged, as to be wholly impassable. Officers were stationed at the entrance of Giltspur-street, Hosier-lane, and Duke-street, to prevent carriages and horsemen from entering. The only ways by which they were allowed ingress to Smithfield at all, were through Cow-lane, Chick-lane, Smithfield-bars, and Long-lane; and then they were to go on, and pass without stopping, through one or other of these entrances, and without turning into the body of the Fair, wherein were the shows. Thus the extent of carriage-way was bounded from Cow-lane to Long-lane, in a right line, nor were carriages or horses suffered to stand or linger, but the riders or drivers were compelled to go about their business, if business they had, or to alight for their pleasure, and enter the Fair, if they came thither in search of pleasure. So was order so far preserved; and the city officers, to whom was comitted the power of enforcing it, exercised their duty rigorously, and properly; because, to their credit, they swerved not from their instructions, and did not give just cause of offence to any whom the regulations displeased.

The sheep-pens occupying the area of Smithfield, heretofore the great public cookery at Fair times, was this day resorted to by boys and others in expectation of steaming abundance; nor were they disappointed. The pens immediately contiguous to the passage through them from Bartholomew-hospital-gate towards Smithfield-bars, were not, as of old, decked out and denominated, as they were within recollection, with boughs and inscriptions tempting hungry errand boys, sweeps, scavengers, dustmen, drovers, and bullock-hankers to the "princely pleasures" within the "Brighton Pavilion," the "Royal Eating Room," "Fair Rosamond's Bower," the "New London Tavern," and the "Imperial Hotel:" these names were not:—nor were there any denominations; but there was sound, and smell, and sight, from sausages almost as large as thumbs, fried in miniature dripping-pans by old women, over fires in saucepans; and there were oysters, which were called "fine and fat," because their shells were as large as tea saucers. Cloths were spread on tables or planks, with plates, knives and forks, pepper and salt, and, above all, those alluring condiments to persons of the rank described, mustard and vinegar. Here they came in crowds; each selecting his table-d'-hote, dined handsomely for threepence, and sumptuously for fourpence. The purveyors seemed aware of the growing demand for cleanliness of appearance, and whatever might be the quality of the viands, they were served up in a more decent way than many of the consumers were evidently accustomed to. Some of them seemed appalled by being in "good company," and handled their knives and forks in a manner which bespoke the embarrassment of "dining in public" with such implements.

My object in going to Bartholomew Fair was to observe its present state, and record it as I witnessed it in the Every-Day Book. I therefore first took a perambulatory view of the exterior, from Giltspur-street, and keeping to the left, went completely round Smithfield, on the pavement, till I returned to the same spot; from thence I ventured "to take the road" in the same direction, examined the promising show-cloths and inscriptions on each show, and shall now describe or mention every show in the Fair. It may be more interesting to read some years hence than now. Feeling that our ancestors have slenderly acquainted us with what was done here in their time, and presuming that our posterity may cultivate the "wisdom of looking backward" in some degree, as we do with the higher wisdom of "looking forward," I write as regards Bartholomew Fair, rather to amuse the future, than to inform the present, generation.


This was the first show, and stood at the corner of Hosier-lane. The inscription outside, painted in black letters, a little more than an inch in height, on a piece of white linen, was as follows:—

"Murder of Mr. Weare, and Probert's cottage.—The Execution of William Probert.

"A View to be seen here of the Visit of Queen Sheba to King Soloman on the Throne.—Daniel in the Den of Lions.—St. Paul's Conversion.—The Tower of Babel.—The Greenland Whale-Fishery.—The Battle of Waterloo.—A View of the City of Dublin.—Coronation of George IV."

This was what is commonly, but erroneously called a puppet-show; it consisted of scenes rudely painted, successively let down by strings pulled by the showman; and was viewed through eye-glasses of magnifying power, the spectators standing on the ground. A green curtain from a projecting rod was drawn round them while viewing. "Only a penny—only a penny," cried the showman; I paid my penny, and saw the first and the meanest show in the Fair.


"Only a penny—only a penny, walk up—pray walk up." So called out a man with a loud voice, on an elevated stage, while a long drum and hurdy-gurdy played away; I complied with the invitation, and went in to see what the show-cloths described, "MISS HIPSON, the Middlesex Wonder; the Largest Child in the Kingdom, when young the Handsomest Child in the World.—The Persian Giant.—The Fair Circassian with Silver Hair.—The Female Dwarf, Two Feet, Eleven Inches high.—Two Wild Indians from the Malay Islands in the East," and other wonders. One of these "Wild Indians" had figured outside the show, in the posture represented in the engraving; in that position he was sketched by an artist who accompanied me into the show, and who there drew the "little lady" and the "gigantic child," Miss Hipson.

Miss Hipson; the Female Dwarf; and the Malay.

Miss Hipson; the Female Dwarf; and the Malay.

When a company had collected, they were shown from the floor of a caravan on wheels, one side whereof was taken out, and replaced by a curtain, which was either drawn to, or thrown back as occasion required. After the audience had dispersed, I was permitted by the proprietor of the show, Nicholas Maughan, of Ipswich, Suffolk, to go "behind the curtain," where the artist completed his sketches, while I entered into conversation with the persons exhibited. Miss Hipson, only twelve years of age, is remarkably gigantic, or rather corpulent, for her age, pretty, well-behaved, and well-informed; she weighed sixteen stone a few months before, and has since increased in size; she has ten brothers and sisters, nowise remarkable in appearance: her father, who is dead, was a bargeman at Brentford. The name of the "little lady" is Lydia Walpole, she was born at Addiscombe, near Yarmouth, and is sociable, agreeable, and intelligent. The fair Circassian is of pleasing countenance and manners. The Persian giant is a good-natured, tall, stately negro. The two Malays could not speak English, except, however, three words, "drop o' rum," which they repeated with great glee. One of them, with long hair reaching below the waist, exhibited the posture of drawing a bow; Mr. Maughan described them as being passionate, and showed me a severe wound on his finger which the little one, in the engraving, had given him by biting, while he endeavoured to part him and his countryman , during a quarrel a few days ago. A "female giant" was one of the attractions to this exhibition, but she could not be shown for illness: Miss Hipson described her to be a very good young woman.

There was an appearance of ease and good condition, with content of mind, in the persons composing this show, which induced me to put several questions to them, and I gathered that I was not mistaken in my conjecture. They described themselves as being very comfortable, and that they were taken great care of, and well treated by the proprietor, Mr. Maughan, and his partner in the show. The "little lady" had a thorough good character from Miss Hipson as an affectionate creature; and it seems the females obtained exercise by rising early, and being carried into the country in a post-chaise, where they walked and thus maintained their health. This was to me the most pleasing show in the Fair.


The inscription outside was,

Ball's Theatre.

Here I saw a man who balanced chairs on his chin, and holding a knife in his mouth, balanced a sword on the edge of the knife; he then put a pewter plate on the hilt of the sword horizontally, and so balanced the sword with the plate on the edge of the knife as before, the plate having previously received a rotary motion, which it communicated to the sword and was preserved during the balancing. He then balanced the sword and plate in like manner, with a crown-piece placed edgewise between the point of the sword and the knife, and afterwards with two crown-pieces, and then with a key. These feats were accompanied by the grimaces of a clown, and succeeded by children tumbling, and a female who danced a horn-pipe. A learned horse found out a lady in the company who wished to be married; a gentleman who preferred a quart of beer to going to church to hear a good sermon; a lady who liked to lie abed in the morning; and made other discoveries which he was requested to undertake by his master in language not only "offensive to ears polite," but to common decency. The admission to this show was a penny.


Atkin's Menagerie.

This inscription was in lamps on one of the largest shows in the fair. The display of show-cloths representing some of the animals exhibited within, reached about forty feet in height, and extended probably the same width. The admission was sixpence. As a curiosity, and because it is a singularly descriptive list, the printed bill of the show is subjoined.


"Under the Patronage of HIS MAJESTY.

"Wonderful Phenomenon in Nature! The singular and hitherto deemed impossible occurrence of a LION and TIGRESS cohabiting and producing young, has actually taken place in this menagerie, at Windsor. The tigress, on Wednesday, the 27th of October last, produced three fine cubs; one of them strongly resembles the tigress; the other two are of a lighter colour, but striped. Mr. Atkins had the honour (through the kind intervention of the marquis of Conyngham,) of exhibiting the lion-tigers to his majesty, on the first of November, 1824, at the Royal Lodge, Windsor Great Park, when his majesty was pleased to observe, they were the greatest curiosity of the beast creation he ever witnessed.

"The royal striped Bengal Tigress has again whelped three fine cubs, (April 22,) two males and one female: the males are white, but striped; the female resembles the tigress, and singular to observe, she fondles them with all the care of an attentive mother. The sire of the young cubs is the noble male lion. This remarkable instance of subdued temper and association of animals to permit the keeper to enter their den, and introduce their young to the spectators, is the greatest phenomenon in natural philosophy.

"That truly singular and wonderful animal, the AUROCHOS. Words can only convey but a very confused idea of this animal's shape, for there are few so remarkably formed. Its head is furnished with two large horns, growing from the forehead, in a form peculiar to no other animal; from the nostrils to the forehead, is a stiff tuft of hair, and underneath the jaw to the neck is a similar brush of hair, and between the forelegs is hair growing about a foot and a half long. The mane is like that of a horse, white, tinged with black, with a beautiful long flowing white tail; the eye remarkably keen, and as large as the eye of the elephant: colour of the animal, dark chestnut; the appearance of the head, in some degree similar to the buffalo, and in some part formed like the goat, the hoof being divided; such is the general outline of this quadruped, which seems to partake of several species. This beautiful animal was brought over by captain White, from the south of Africa, and landed in England, September 20, 1823, and is the same animal so frequently mistaken by travellers for the unicorn: further to describe its peculiarities would occupy too much space in a handbill. The only one in England.

"That colossal animal, the wonderful performing


Upwards of ten feet high!!—Five tons weight!! His consumption of hay, corn, straw, carrots, water, &c., exceeds 800lbs. daily. The elephant, the human race excepted, is the most respectable of animals. In size, he surpasses all other terrestrial creatures, and by far exceeds any other travelling animal in England. He has ivory tusks, four feet long, one standing out on each side of his trunk. His trunk serves him instead of hands and arms, with which he can lift up and seize the smallest as well as the largest objects. He alone drags machines which six horses cannot move. To his prodigious strength, he adds courage, prudence, and an exact obedience. He remembers favours as long as injuries: in short, the sagacity and knowledge of this extraordinary animal are beyond any thing human imagination can possibly suggest. He will lie down and get up at the word of command, notwithstanding the many fabulous tales of their having no joints in their legs. He will take a sixpence from the floor, and place it in a box he has in the caravan; bolt and unbolt a door; take his keeper's hat off, and replace it; and by the command of his keeper will perform so many wonderful tricks, that he will not only astonish and entertain the audience, but justly prove himself the half-reasoning beast. He is the only elephant now travelling.

"A full grown LION and LIONESS, with four cubs, produced December 12, 1824, at Cheltenham.

"Male Bengal Tiger. Next to the lion, the tiger is the most tremendous of the carnivorous class; and whilst he possesses all the bad qualities of the former, seems to be a stranger to the good ones: to pride, to strength, to courage, the lion adds greatness, and sometimes, perhaps, clemency; while the tiger, without provocation, is fierce—without necessity, is cruel. Instead of instinct, he hath nothing but a uniform rage, a blind fury; so blind, indeed, so undistinguishing, that he frequently devours his own progeny; and if the tigress offers to defend them, he tears in pieces the dam herself.

"The Onagra, a native of the Levant, the eastern parts of Asia, and the northern parts of Africa. This race differs from the zebra by the size of the body, (which is larger,) slenderness of the legs, and lustre of the hair. The only one now alive in England.

"Two Zebras, one full grown, the other in its infant state, in which it seems as if the works of art had been combined with those of nature in this wonderful production. In symmetry of shape, and beauty of colour, it is the most elegant of all quadrupeds ever presented; uniting the graceful figure of a horse, with the fleetness of a stag: beautifully striped with regular lines, black and white.

"A Nepaul Bison, only twenty-four inches high.

"Panther, or spotted tiger of Buenos Ayres, the only one travelling.

"A pair of rattle-tail Porcupines.

"Striped untameable Hyæna, or tiger wolf.

"An elegant Leopard, the handsomest marked animal ever seen.

"Spotted Laughing Hyæna, the same kind of animal described never to be tamed; but singular to observe, it is perfectly tame, and its attachment to a dog in the same den is very remarkable.

"The spotted Cavy.

"Pair of Jackalls.

"Pair of interesting Sledge Dogs, brought over by captain Parry from one of the northern expeditions: they are used by the Esquimaux to draw the sledges on the ice, which they accomplish with great velocity.

"A pair of Rackoons, from North America.

"The Oggouta, from Java.

"A pair of Jennetts, or wild cats.

"The Coatimondi, or ant-eater.

"A pair of those extraordinary and rare birds, PELICANS of the wilderness. The only two alive in the three kingdoms. — These birds have been represented on all crests and coats of arms, to cut their breasts open with the points of their bills, and feed their young with their own blood, and are justly allowed by all authors to be the greatest curiosity of the feathered tribe.

"Ardea Dubia, or adjutant of Bengal, gigantic emew, or Linnæus's southern ostrich. The peculiar characteristics that distinguish this bird from the rest of the feathered tribe;—it comes from Brazil, in the new continent; it stands from eight to nine feet high when full grown; it is too large to fly, but is capable o. [sic] out-running the fleetest horses of arabia; what is still more singular, every quill produces two feathers. The only one travelling.

"A pair of rapacious Condor-Minors, from the interior of South America, the largest birds of flight in the world when full grown; it is the same kind of bird the Indians have asserted to carry off a deer or young calf in their talons, and two of them are sufficient to destroy a buffalo, and the wings are as much as eighteen feet across.

"The great Horned Owl of Bohemia. Several species of gold and silver pheasants, of the most splendid plumage, from China and Peru. Yellow-crested cockatoo. Scarlet and buff macaws.—Admittance to see the whole menagerie, 1s.—Children, 6d.—Open from ten in the forenoon till feeding-time, half-past-nine, 2s."

Here ends Atkins's bill; which was plentifully stuck against the outside, and the people "tumbled up" in crowds, to the sound of clarionets, trombones, and a long drum, played by eight performers in scarlet beef-eater coats, with wild-skin caps, who sat fronting the crowd, while a stentorian showman called out "don't be deceived; the great performing elephant—the only lion and tigress in one den that are to be seen in the Fair, or the proprietor will forfeit a thousand guineas! Walk in! walk in!" I paid my sixpence, and certainly the idea of the exhibition raised by the invitation and the programme, was in no respect overcharged. The "menagerie" was thoroughly clean, and the condition of the assembled animals, told that they were well taken care of. The elephant, with his head through the bars of his cage, whisked his proboscis diligently in search of eatables from the spectators, who supplied him with fruit or biscuits, or handed him halfpence, which he uniformly conveyed by his trunk to a retailer of gingerbread, and got the money's-worth in return. Then he unbolted the door to let in his keeper, and bolted it after him; took up a six-pence with his trunk, lifted the lid of a little box fixed against the wall and deposited it within it, and some time afterwards relifted the lid, and taking out the sixpence with a single motion, returned it to the keeper; he knelt down when told, fired off a blunderbuss, took off the keeper's hat, and afterwards replaced it on his head with as fitting propriety as the man's own hand could have done; in short, he was perfectly docile, and performed various feats that justified the reputation of his species for high understanding. The keeper showed every animal in an intelligent manner, and answered the questions of the company readily and with civility. His conduct was rewarded by a good parcel of half-pence, when his hat went round with a hope, that "the ladies and gentlemen would not forget the keeper before he showed the lion and the tigress." The latter was a beautiful young animal, with two playful cubs about the size of bulldogs, but without the least fierceness. When the man entered the den, they frolicked and climbed about him like kittens; he took them up in his arms, bolted them in a back apartment, and after playing with the tigress a little, threw back a partition which separated her den from the lion's, and then took the lion by the beard. This was a noble animal; he was couching, and being inclined to take his rest, only answered the keeper's command to rise, by extending his whole length, and playfully putting up one of his magnificent paws, as a cat does when in a good humour. The man then took a short whip, and after a smart lash or two upon his back, the lion rose with a yawn, and fixed his eye on his keeper with a look that seemed to say — "Well, I suppose I must humour you." The man then sat down at the back of the den, with his back against the partition, and after some ordering and coaxing, the tigress sat on his right hand, and the lion on his left, and all three being thus seated, he threw his arms round their necks, played with their noses, and laid their heads in his lap. He arose and the animals with him; the lion stood in a fine majestic position, but the tigress reared, and putting one foot over his shoulder, and patting him with the other, as if she had been frolicking with one of her cubs, he was obliged to check her playfulness. Then by coaxing, and pushing him about, he caused the lion to sit down, and while in that position opened the animal's ponderous jaws with his hands, and thrust his face down into the lion's throat, wherein he shouted, and there held his head nearly a minute. After this he held up a common hoop for the tigress to leap through, and she did it frequently. The lion seemed more difficult to move to this sport. He did not appear to be excited by command or entreaty; at last, however, he went through the hoop, and having been once roused, repeated the action several times; the hoop was scarcely two feet in diameter. The exhibition of these two animals concluded by the lion lying down on his side, when the keeper stretched himself to his whole length upon him, and then calling to the tigress she jumped upon the man, extended herself with her paws upon his shoulders, placed her face sideways upon his, and the whole three lay quiescent till the keeper suddenly slipped himself off the lion's side, with the tigress on him, and the trio gambolled and rolled about on the floor of the den, like playful children on the floor of a nursery.

Of the beasts there is not room to say more, than that their number was surprising, considering that they formed a better selected collection and showed in higher condition from cleanliness and good feeding, than any assemblage I ever saw. Their variety and beauty, with the usual accessory of monkeys, made a splendid picture. The birds were equally admirable, especially the pelicans, and the emew. This sixpenny "show" would have furnished a dozen sixpenny "shows," at least, to a "Bartlemy Fair" twenty years ago.


This was a mare with seven feet, in a small temporary stable in the passage-way from the road to the foot-pavement, opposite the George Inn, and adjoining to the next show: the admission to this "sight" was threepence. The following is a copy of the printed bill:—

"To Sportsmen and Naturalists.—Now exhibiting, one of the greatest living natural curiosities in the world; namely, a thorough-bred chesnut MARE, with seven legs! four years of age, perfectly sound, free from blemish, and shod on six of her feet. She is very fleet in her paces, being descended from that famous hourse Julius Cæsar, out of a thorough-bred race mare descended from Eclipse, and is remarkably docile and temperate. She is the property of Mr. T. Checketts, of Balgrave-hall, Leicestershire; and will be exhibited for a few days as above."

This mare was well worth seeing. Each of her hind legs, besides its natural and well-formed foot, had another growing out from the fetlock joint: one of these additions was nearly the size of the natural foot; the third and least grew from the same joint of the fore-leg. Mr. Andrews, the proprietor, said, that they grew slowly, and that the new hoofs were, at first, very soft, and exuded during the process of growth. This individual, besides his notoriety from the possession of this extraordinary mare, attained further distinction by having prosecuted to conviction, at the Warwick assizes, in August, 1825, a person named Andrews, for swindling. He complained bitterly of the serious expense he had incurred in bringing the depredator to justice; his own costs, he said, amounted to the sum of one hundred and seventy pounds.


Richardson's Theatre.

The outside of this show was in height upwards of thirty feet, and occupied one hundred feet in width. The platform on the outside was very elevated; the back of it was lined with green baize, and festooned with deeply-fringed crimson curtains, except at two places where the money-takers sat, which were wide and roomy projections, fitted up like gothic shrine-work, with columns and pinnacles. There were fifteen hundred variegated illumination-lamps disposed over various parts of this platform, some of them depending from the top in the shape of chandeliers and lustres, and others in wreaths and festoons. A band of ten performers in scarlet dresses, similar to those worn by beef-eaters, continually played on clarionets, violins, trombones, and the long drum; while the performers paraded in their gayest "properties" before the gazing multitude. Audiences rapidly ascended on each performance being over, and paying their money to the receivers in their gothic seats, had tickets in return; which, being taken at the doors, admitted them to descend into the "theatre." The following "bill of the play" was obtained at the doors upon being requested:—

* * * Change of Performance each Day.



This Day will be performed, an entire New
Melo-Drama, called the

Or, the Hour of Retribution.

Gustavus, Elector of Saxony, Mr. Wright.
Orsina, Baron of Holstein, Mr. Cooper.
Ulric and Albert, Vassals to Orsina,
Messrs. Grove and Moore.
St. Clair, the Wandering Outlaw, Mr. Smith.
Rinalda, the Accusing Spirit, Mr. Darling.
Monks, Vassals, Hunters, &c.
Rosabella, Wife to the Outlaw, Mrs. Smith.
Nuns and Ladies.

The Piece concludes with the DEATH OF
ORSINA, and the Appearance of the

The Entertainments to conclude with a New
Comic Harlequinade, with New Scenery,
Tricks, Dresses, and Decorations, called,




Luciferno, Mr. Thomas.

Dæmon Amozor, afterwards Pantaloon, Mr. WILKINSON.—DæZiokos, afterwards Clown, Mr. HAYWARD.—Violencello Player, Mr. HARTEM.—Baker, Mr. THOMPSON.—Landlord, Mr. WILKINS.—Fisherman, Mr. RAE.—Doctor Faustus, afterwards Harlequin, Mr. SALTER.

Adelada, afterwards Columbine,

Attendant Dæmons, Sprites, Fairies, Bal-
lad Singers, Flower Girls, &c. &c.

The Pantomime will finish with


Painted by the First Artists.

BOXES, 2s. PIT, 1s. GALLERY, 6d.

The theatre was about one hundred feet long, and thirty feet wide, hung all round with green baize, and crimson festoons. "Ginger beer, apples, nuts, and a bill of the play," were cried; the charge for a bill to a person not provided with one was "a penny." The seats were rows of planks, rising gradually from the ground at the end, and facint the stage, without any distinction of "boxes, pit, or gallery." The stage was elevated, and there was a painted proscenium like that in a regular theatre, with a green curtain, and the king's arms above, and an orchestra lined with crimson cloth, and five violin-players in military dresses. Between the orchestra and the bottom row of seats, was a large space, which, after the seats were filled, and greatly to the discomfiture of the lower seat-holders, was nearly occupied by spectators. There were at least a thousand persons present.

The curtain drew up and presented the "Wandering Outlaw," with a forest scene and a cottage; the next scene was a castle; the third was another scene in the forest. The second act commenced with a scene of an old church and a marketplace. The second scene was a prison, and a ghost appeared to the tune of the "evening hymn." The third scene was the castle that formed the second scene in the first act, and the performance was here enlivened by a murder. The fourth scene was rocks, with a cascade, and there was a procession to an unexecuted execution; for a ghost appeared, and saved the "Wandering Outlaw" from a fierce-looking headsman, and the piece ended. Then a plump little woman sung, "He loves and he rides away," and the curtain drew up to "Harlequin Faustus," wherein, after columbine and a clown, the most flaming character was the devil, with a red face and hands, in a red Spanish mantle and vest, red "continuations," stockings and shoes ditto to follow, a red Spanish hat and plume above, and a red "brass bugle horn." As soon as the fate of "Faustus" was concluded, the sound of a gong announced the happy event, and these performances were, in a quarter of an hour, repreated to another equally intelligent and brilliant audience.



There never was such times, indeed!
The largest Lion in the Fair for a Hun-
dred Guineas!

These inscriptions, with figured show-clothes, were in front of a really good exhibition of a fine lion, with leopards, and various other "beasts of the forest." They were mostly docile and in good condition. One of the leopards was carried by his keeper a pick-a-back. Such a show for "only a penny" was astonishing.



Another penny show: "The Wonderful Children on the tight Rope, and Dancing Horse, Only a Penny!" I paid my penny to the money-taker, a slender "fine lady," with three feathers in a "jewelled turban," and a dress of blue and white muslin and silver; and withinside I saw the "fat, contented, easy" proprietor, who was arrayed in corresponding magnificence. If he loved leanness, it was in his "better half," for himself had none of it. Obesity had disqualified him for activity, and therefore in his immensely tight and large satin jacket, he was, as much as possible, the active commander of his active performers. He superintended the dancing of a young female on the tight rope. Then he announced, "A little boy will dance a hornpipe on the rope," and he ordered his "band" inside to play; this was obeyed without difficulty, for it merely consisted of one man, who blew a hornpipe tune on a Pan's-pipe; while it went on, the "little boy" danced on the tight rope; so far it was a hornpipe dance and no farther. "The little boy will stand on his head on the rope," said the manager, and the little boy stood on his head accordingly. Then another female danced on the slack-wire; and after her came a horse, not a "dancing horse," but a "learned" horse, quite as learned as the horse at Ball's theatre, in Show III. There was enough for "a penny."



This was a large show, with the back against the side of "Samwell's Company," and its front in a line with Hosier-lane, and therefore looking towards Smithfield-bars. Large placards were pasted at the side, with these words, "CLARKE'S FROM ASTELY'S, Lighted with Real Gas, In and Outside." The admission to this show was sixpence. The platform outside was at least ten feet high, and spacious above, and here there was plenty of light. The interior was very large, and lighted by only a single hoop, about two feet six inches in diameter, with little jets of gas about an inch and a half apart. A large circle or ride was formed on the ground. The entertainment commenced by a man dancing on the tight-rope. The rope was removed, and a light bay horse was mounted by a female in trowsers, with a pink gown fully frilled, flounced, and ribboned, with the shoulders in large puffs. While the horse circled the ring at full speed, she danced upon him, and skipped with a hoop like a skipping-rope; she performed other dexterous feats, and concluded by dancing on the saddle with a flag in each hand, while the horse flew round the ring with great velocity. These and the subsequent performances were enlivened by tunes from a clarionet and horn, and jokes from a clown, who, when she had concluded, said to an attendant, "Now, John, take the horse off, and whatever you do, rub him well down with a cabbage." Then a man rode and danced on another horse, a very fine animal, and leaped from him three times over garters, placed at a considerable height and width apart, alighting on the horse's back while he was going round. This rider was remarkably dexterous. In conclusion, the clown got up and rode with many antic tricks, till, on the sudden, an apparently drunken fellow rushed from the audience into the ring, and began to pull the clown from the horse. The manager interfered, and the people cried—"Turn him out;" but the man persisted, and the clown getting off, offered to help him up, and threw him over the horse's back to the ground. At length the intruder was seated, with his face to the tail, though he gradually assumed a proper position; and riding as a man thoroughly intoxicated would ride, fell off; he then threw off his hat and great coat, and threw off his waistcoat, and then an under-waistcoat, and a third, and a fourth, and more than a dozen waistcoats. Upon taking off the last, his trowsers fell down and he appeared in his shirt; whereupon he crouched, and drawing his shirt off in a twinkling, appeared in a handsome fancy dress, leaped into the saddle of the horse, rode standing with great grace, received great applause, made his bow, and so the performance concluded.

This show was the last in the line on the west side of Smithfield.


The line of shows on the east of Smithfield, commencing at Long-lane, began with "The Indian Woman—Chinese Lady and Dwarf," &c. A clown outside cried, "Be assured they're alive—only one penny each." The crowd was great, and the shows to be seen were many, I therefore did not go in.


On the outside was inscribed, "To be seen alive! The Prodigies of Nature!—The Wild Indian Woman and Child, with her Nurse from her own country.—The Silver-haired Lady and Dwarf. Only a Penny."—The showmaster made a speech: "Ladies and gentlemen, before I show you the wonderful prodigies of nature, let me introduce you to the wonderful works of art;" and then he drew a curain, where some wax-work figures stood. "This," said he, "ladies and gentlemen, is the famous old Mother Shipton; and here is the unfortunate Jane Shore, the beautiful mistress of king Edward the Second; next to her is his majesty king George the Fourth of most glorious memory; and this is queen Elizabeth in all her glory; then here you have the princess Amelia, the daughter of his late majesty, who is dead; this is Mary, queen of Scots, who had her head cut off; and this is O'Bryen, the famous Irish giant; this man, here, is Thornton, who was tried for the murder of Mary Ashford; and this is the exact resemblance of Othello, the moor of Venice, who was a jealous husband, and depend upon it every man who is jealous of his wife, will be as black as that negro. Now, ladies and gentlemen, the two next are a wonderful couple, John and Margaret Scott, natives of Dunkeld, in Scotland; they lived about ninety years ago; John Scott was a hundred and five years old when he died, and Margaret lived to be a hundred and twelve; and what is more remarkable, there is not a soul living can say he ever heard them quarrel." Here he closed the curtain, and while undrawing another, continued thus: "Having shown you the dead, I have now to exhibit to your two of the most extraordinary wonders of the living; this," said he, "is the widow of a New Zealand Chief, and this is the little old woman of Bagdad; she is thirty inches high, twenty-two years of age, and a native of Boston, in Lincolnshire." Each of these living subjects was quite as wonderful as the waxen ones: the exhibition, which lasted about five minutes, was ended by courteous thanks for the "approbation of the ladies and gentlemen present," and an evident desire to hurry them off, lest they might be more curious than his own curiosities.


"Only a penny" was the price of admission to "The Black Wild Indian Woman.—The White Indian Youth—and the welsh Dwarf.—All Alive!" There was this further announcement on the outside, "The Young American will Perform after the Manner of the French Jugglers at Vauxhall Gardens, with Balls, Rings, Daggers," &c. When the "Welsh dwarf" came on he was represented to be Mr. William Phillips, of Denbigh, fifteen years of age. The "white Indian youth" was an Esquimaux, and the exhibitor assured the visitors upon his veracity, that "the black wild Indian woman" was "a court lady of the island of Madagascar." The exhibitor himself was "the young American," an intelligent and clever youth in a loose striped jacket or frock tied round the middle. He commenced his performances by throwing up three balls, which he kept constantly in the air, as he afterwards did four, and then five, with great dexterity, using his hands, shoulders, and elbows, apparently with equal ease. He afterwards threw up three rings, each about four inches in diameter, and then four, which he kept in motion with similar success. To end his performance he produced three knives, which, by throwing up and down, he contrived to preserve in the air altogether. These feats reminded me of the Anglo-Saxon Glee-man, who "threw three balls and three knives alternately in the air, and caught them, one by one, as they fell; returning them again in regular rotation."* [2] The young American's dress and knives were very similar to the Glee-man's, as Strutt has figured them from a MS. in the Cotton collection. This youth's was one of the best exhibitions in the Fair, perhaps the very best. The admission it will be remembered was "only a penny."


The inscriptions and paintings on the outside of this show were, "The White Negro, who was rescued from her Black Parents by the bravery of a British Officer—the only White Negro Girl Alive.—the Great Giantess and Dwarf.—Six Curiosities Alive!—only a Penny to see them All Alive!" While waiting a few minutes till the place filled, I had leisure to observe that one side of the place was covered by a criminal attempt to represent a tread-mill, in oil colours, and the operators at work upon it, superintended by gaolers, &c. On the other side were live monkies in cages; an old bear in a jacket, and sundry other animals. Underneath the wheels of the machine, other living creatures were moving about, and these turned out to be the poor neglected children of the showman and his wife. The miserable condition of these infants, who were puddling in the mud, while their parents outside were turning a bit of music, and squalling and bawling with all their might, "walk in—only a penny," to get spectators of the objects that were as yet concealed on their "proud eminence," the caravan, by a thin curtain, raised a gloom in the mind. I was in a reverie concerning these beings when the curtain was withdrawn, and there stood confessed to sight, she whom the showman called "the tall lady," and "the white negro, the greatest curiosity ever seen—the first that has been exhibited since the reign of George the Second—look at her head and hair, ladies and gentlemen, and feel it; there's no deception, it's like ropes of wool." There certainly was not any deception. The girl herself, who had the flat nose, thick lips, and peculiarly shaped scull of the negro, stooped to have her head examined, and being close to her I felt it. Her hair, if it could be called hair, was of a dirtyish flaxen hue; it hung in ropes, of a clothy texture, the thickness of a quill, and from four to six inches in length. Her skin was the colour of an European's. Afterwards stepped forth a little personage about three feet high, in a military dress, with top boots, who strutted his tiny legs, and held his head aloft with not less importance than the proudest general officer could assume upon his promotion to the rank of field-martial. Mr. Samuel Williams, whose versatile and able pencil has frequently enriched this work, visited the Fair after me, and was equally struck by his appearance. He favours me with the subjoined engraving of this

Little Man.

Little Man.

I took my leave of this show pondering on "the different ends our fates assign," but the jostling of a crowd in Smithfield, and the clash of instruments, were not favourable to musing, and I walked into the next.



This was "only a penny" exhibition, notwithstanding that it elevated the king's arms, and bore a fine-sounding name. The performance began by a clown going round and whipping a ring; that is, making a circular space amongst the spectators with a whip in his hand to force the refractory. This being effected, a conjurer walked up to a table and executed several tricks with cups and balls; giving a boy beer to drink out of a funnel, making him blow through it to show that it was empty, and afterwards applying it to each of the boy's ears, from whence, through the funnel, the beer appeared to reflow, and poured on the ground. Afterwards girls danced on the single and double slack wire, and a melancholy looking clown, among other things, said they were "as clever as the barber and blacksmith who shaved magpies at twopence a dozen." The show concluded with a learned horse.


Another, and a very good menagerie—the admission "only a penny!" It was "GEORGE BALLARD'S Caravan," with "The Lioness that attacked the Exeter mail.—The great Lion.—Royal Tiger.—Large White Bear.—Tiger Owls," with monkies, and other animals, the usual accessories to the interior of a managerie [sic].

The chief attraction was "The Lioness." Her attack on the Exeter Mail was on a Sunday evening, in the year 1816. The coach had arrived at Winderslow-hut, seven miles on the London side of Salisbury. In a most extraordinary manner, at the moment when the coachman pulled up to deliver his bags, one of the leaders was suddenly seized by some ferocious animal. This produced a great confusion and alarm; two passengers who were inside the mail got out, ran into the house, and locked themselves up in a room above stairs; the horses kicked and plunged violently, and it was with difficulty the coachman could prevent the carriage from being overturned. It was soon perceived by the coachman and guard, by the light of the lamps, that the animal which had seized the horse was a huge lioness. A large mastiff dog came up and attacked her fiercely, on which she quitted the horse and turned upon him. The dog fled, but was pursued and killed by the lioness, within forty yards of the place. It appears that the beast had escaped from its caravan which was standing on the road side with others belonging to the proprietors of the menagerie, on their way to Salisbury Fair. An alarm being given, the keepers pursued and hunted the lioness into a hovel under a granary, which served for keeping agricultural implements. About half-past eight they had secured her so effectually, by barricading the place, as to prevent her escape. The horse, when first attacked, fought with great spirit, and if at liberty, would probably have beaten down his antagonist with his fore feet, but in plunging he embarrassed himself in the harness. The lioness attacked him in the front, and springing at his throat, fastened the talons of her fore feet on each side of his neck, close to the head, while the talons of her hind feet were forced into his chest. In this situation she hung, while the blood was seen flowing as if a vein had been opened by a fleam. He was a capital horse, the off-leader, the best in the set. The expressions of agony in his tears and moans were most pitious and affecting. A fresh horse having been procured, the mail drove on, after having been detained three quarters of an hour. As the mail drew up it stood exactly abreast of the caravan from which the lioness made the assault. The coachman at first proposed to alight and stab the lioness with a knife, but was prevented by the remonstrance of the guard; who observed, that he would expose himself to certain destruction, as the animal if attacked would naturally turn upon him and tear him to pieces. The prudence of the advice was clearly proved by the fate of the dog. It was the engagement between him and the lioness that afforded time for the keepers to rally. After she had disengaged herself from the horse, she did not seem to be in any immediate hurry to move; for, whether she had carried off with her, as prey, the dog she had killed, or from some other cause, she continued growling and howling in so loud a tone, as to be heard for nearly half a mile. All had called out loudly to the guard to despatch her with his blunderbuss, which he appeared disposed to do, but the owner cried out to him, "For God's sake do not kill her—she cost me 500l., and she will be as quiet as a limb if not irritated." This arrested his hand, and he did not fire. She was afterwards easily enticed by the keepers, and placed in her usual confinement.

The collection of animals in Ballard's menagerie is altogether highly interesting, but it seems impossible that the proprietor could exhibit them for "only a penny" in any other place than "Bartholomew Fair," where the people assemble in great multitudes, and the shows are thronged the whole day.


"Exhibition of Real Wonders."

This announcement, designed to astonish, was inscribed over the show with the usual notice, "Only a Penny!"—the "Wonders of the Deep!" the "Prodigies of the Age!" and "the Learned Pig!" in large letters. The printed bill is a curiosity:—

To be Seen in a Commodious Pavilion in
this Place.



The Beautiful Dolphin

Have you seen


The Performing Pig & the Mermaid?

If not, pray do! as the exhibition contains more variety than any other in England. Those ladies and gentlemen who may be pleased to honour it with a visit will be truly gratified.


The Swinish Philosopher, and Ladies' Fortune Teller.

That beautiful animal appears to be endowed with the natural sense of the human being. He is in colour the most beautiful of his race; in symmetry the most perfect; in temper the most docile; and far exceeds any thing yet seen for his intelligent performances. He is beyond all conception: he has a perfect knowledge of the alphabet, understands arithmetic, and will spell and cast accounts, tell the points of the globe, the dice-box, the hour by any person's watch, &c.

the Real Head of



At the same time, the public will have an opportunity of seeing what was exhibited so long in London, under the title of


The wonder of the deep! not a fac-simile
or copy, but the same curiosity.

Admission Moderate.

* * * Open from Eleven in the Morning till
Nine in the Evening.

The great "prodigies" of this show were the "performing pig," and the performing show-woman. She drew forth the learning of the "swinish philosopher" admirably. He told his letters, and "got into spelling" with his nose; and could do a sum of two figures "in addition." Then, at her desire, he routed out those of the company who were in love, or addicted to indulgence; and peremptorily grunted, that a "round, fat, oily"-faced personage at my elbow, "loved good eating, and a pipe, and a jug of good ale, better than the sight of the Living Skeleton!" The beautiful dolphin was a fish-skin stuffed. The mermaid was the last manufactured imposture of that name, exhibited for half-a-crown in Piccadilly, about a year before. The real head of Mahowra, the cannibal chief, was a skull that might have been some English clodpole's, with a dried skin over it, and bewigged; but it looked sufficiently terrific, when the lady show-woman put the candle in at the neck, and the flame illuminated the yellow integument over the holes where eyes, nose, and a tongue had been. There was enough for "a penny!"


Another "Only a penny!" with pictures "large as life" on the show-cloths outside of the "living wonders within," and the following inscription:—


No False Paintings!




And the


Never here before,


Mr. Thomas Day was the reputed father of the dwarf family, and exhibited himself as small enough for a great wonder; as he was. He was also proprietor of the show; and said he was thirty-five years of age, and only thirty-five inches high. He fittingly descanted on the living personages in whom he had a vested interest. There was a boy six years old, only twenty-seven inches high. The Wild Indian was a civil-looking man of colour. The Giant Boy, William Wilkinson Whitehead, was fourteen years of age on the 26th of March last, stood five feet two inches high, measured five feet around the body, twenty-seven inches across the shoulders, twenty inches round the arm, twenty-four inches round the calf, thirty-one inches round the thigh, and weighed twenty-two stone. His father and mother were "travelling merchants" of Manchester; he was born at Glasgow during one of their journies, and was as fine a youth as I ever saw, handsomely formed, of fair complexion, and intelligent countenance, active in motion, and of sensible speech. He was lightly dressed in plaid to show his limbs, with a bonnet of the same. The artist with me sketched his appearance exactly as we saw him, and as the present engraving now represents him; it is a good likeness of his features, as well as of his form.

The Giant Boy.

The Giant Boy.


"Holden's Glass Working and Blowing."

This was the last show on the east-side of Smithfield. It was limited to a single caravan; having seen exhibitions of the same kind, and the evening getting late, I declined entering, though "Only a penny!"


This was the first show on the south-side of Smithfield. It stood, therefore, with its side towards Cloth-fair, and the back towards the corner of Duke-street. The admission was "Only a penny!" and the paintings flared on the show-cloths with this inscription, "They're all Alive Inside! Be assured They're All Alive!—The Yorkshire Giantess.—Waterloo Giant.—Indian Chief.—Only a Penny!"

An overgrown girl was the Yorkshire Giantess. A large man with a tail, and his hair frizzed and powdered, aided by a sort of uniform coat and a plaid rocquelaire, made the Waterloo Giant. The abdication of such an Indian Chief as this, in favour of Bartholomew Fair, was probably forced upon him by his tribe.


The "Greatest of all Wonders! — Giantess and Two Dwarfs. — Only a Penny!" They were painted on the show-cloths quite as little, and quite as large, as life. The dwarfs inside were dwarfish, and the "Somerset girl, taller than any man in England," (for so said the show-cloth,) arose from a chair, wherein she was seated, to the height of six feet nine inches and three quarters, with, "ladies and gentlemen, your most obedient." She was good looking and affable, and obliged the "ladies and gentlemen" by taking off her tight-fitting slipper and handing it round. It was of such dimension, that the largest man present could have put his booted foot into it. She said that her name was Elizabeth Stock, and that she was only sixteen years old.



This was a very large show, without any show-cloths or other announcement outside to intimate the performances, except a clown and several male and female performers, who strutted the platform in their exhibiting dresses, and in dignified silence; but the clown grimaced, and, assisted by others, bawled "Only a penny," till the place filled, and then the show commenced. There was slack-rope dancing, tumbling, and other representations as at Ball's theatre, but better executed.



The back of this man's menagerie abutted on the side of the last show, and ran the remaining length of the north-side of Smithfield, with the front looking towards Giltspur-street; at that entrance into the Fair it was the first show. This front was entirely covered by painted show-cloths representing the animals, with the proprietor's name in immense letters above, and the words "The Conquering Lion" very conspicuous. There were other show-cloths along the whole length of the side, surmounted by this inscription, stretching out in one line of large capital letters, "NERO AND WALLACE; THE SAME LIONS THAT FOUGHT AT WARWICK." One of the front show-cloths represented one of the fights; a lion stood up with a dog in his mouth, crunched between his grinders; the blood ran from his jaws; his left leg stood upon another dog squelched by his weight. A third dog was in the act of flying at him ferociously, and one, wounded and bleeding, was fearfully retreating. There were seven other show-cloths on this front, with the words "NERO AND WALLACE" between them. One of these show-cloths, whereon the monarch of the forest was painted, was inscribed, "Nero, the Great Lion, from Caffraria!"

The printed bill described the whole collection to be in "fine order." Six-pence was the entrance money demanded, which having paid, I entered the show early in the afternoon, although it is now mentioned last, in conformity to its position in the Fair. I had experienced some inconvenience, and witnessed some irregularities incident to a mixed multitude filling so large a space as Smithfield; yet no disorder without, was equal to the disorder within Wombwell's. There was no passage at the end, through which persons might make their way out: perhaps this was part of the proprietor's policy, for he might imagine that the universal disgust that prevailed in London, while he was manifesting his brutal cupidity at Warwick, had not subsided; and that it was necessary his show-place here should appear to fill well on the first day of the Fair, lest a report of general indifference to it, should induce many persons to forego the gratification of their curiosity, in accommodation to the natural and right feeling that induced a determination not to enter the exhibition of a man who had freely submitted his animals to be tortured. Be that as it may, his show, when I saw it, was a shameful scene. There was no person in attendance to exhibit or point out the animals[.] They were arranged on one side only, and I made my way with difficulty towards the end, where a loutish fellow with a broomstick, stood against one of the dens, from whom I could only obtain this information, that it was not his business to show the beasts, and that the showman would begin at a proper time. I patiently waited, expecting some announcement of this person's arrival; but no intimation of it was given; at length I discovered over the heads of the unconscious crowd around, that the showman, who was evidently under the influence of drink, had already made his way one third along the show. With great difficulty I forced myself through the sweltering press somewhat nearer to him, and managed to get opposite Nero's den, which he had by that time reached and clambered into, and into which he invited any of the spectators who chose to pay him sixpence each, as many of them did, for the sake of saying that they had been in the den with the noble animal, that Wombwell, his master, had exposed to be baited by bull-dogs. The man was as greedy of gain as his master, and therefore without the least regard to those who wished for general information concerning the different animals, he maintained his post as long as there was a prospect of getting the sixpences. Pressure and heat were now so excessive, that I was compelled to struggle my way, as many others did, towards the door at the front end, for the sake of getting into the air. Unquestionably I should not have entered Wombwell's, but for the purpose of describing his exhibition in common with others. As I had failed in obtaining the information I sought, and could not get a printed bill when I entered, I re-ascended to endeavour for one again; here I saw Wombwell, to whom I civilly stated the great inconvenience within, which a little alteration would have obviated; he affected to know nothing about it, refused to be convinced, and exhibited himself, to my judgment of him, with an understanding and feelings perverted by avarice. He is undersized in mind as well as form, "a weazen, sharp-faced man," with a skin reddened by more than natural spirits, and he speaks in a voice and language that accord with his feelings and propensities. His bill mentions, "A remarkably fine tigress in the same den with a noble British lion!!" I looked for this companionship in his menagerie, without being able to discover it.

Here ends my account of the various shows in the Fair. In passing the stalls, the following bill was slipped into my hand, by a man stationed to give them away.



The following extraordinary comic performances at

Sadler's Wells,

Can only be given during the present week; the proprietors, therefore, most respectfully inform that fascinating sex, so properly distinguished by the appropriate appellation of


And all those well inclined gentlemen who are happy enough to protect them, that the amusements will consist of a romantic tale, of mysterious horror and broad grin, never acted, called the





And the Ladies of Samarcand.

A most whimsical burletta, which sends
people home perfectly exhausted from
uninterrupted risibility, called




With, by request of 75 distinguished families, and a party of 5, that never-to-be-sufficiently-praised pantomime, called

Magic in Two Colours;



Or, Harlequin and the Marble Rock.

It would be perfectly superfluous for any man in his sense to attempt any thing more than the mere announcement in recommendation of the above unparalleled representations, so attractive in themselves as to threaten a complete monopoly of the qualities of the magnet; and though the proprietors were to talk nonsense for an hour, they could not assert a more important truth than that they possess

The only Wells from which you may draw

A full Quart.

Those whose important avocations prevent their coming at the commencement,
will be admitted for


Ladies and gentlemen who are not judges of superior entertainments announced, are respectfully requested to bring as many as possible with them who are.

N. B. A full Moon during the Week.

This bill is here inserted as a curious specimen of the method adopted to draw an audience to the superior entertainments of a pleasant little summer theatre, which, to its credit, discourages the nuisances that annoy every parent who takes his family to the boxes at the other theatres.

Before mentioning other particulars concerning the Fair here described, I present a lively representation of it in former times.


Bartholomew Fair in 1614.

"O, rare Ben Jonson!" To him we are indebted for the only picture of Smithfield at "Barthol'me'-tide" in his time.

In his play of "Bartholomew Fair," we have John Littlewit, a proctor "o' the Archdeacon's-court," and "one of the pretty wits o' Paul's" persuading his wife, Win-the-fight, to go to the Fair. He says "I have an affair i' the Fair, Win, a puppet-play of mine own making.—I writ for the motion-man." She tells him that her mother, dame Purecraft, will never consent; whereupon he says, "Tut, we'll have a device, a dainty one: long to eat of a pig, Sweet Win, i' the Fair; do you see? i' the heart o' the Fair; not at Pye-corner. Your mother will do any thing to satisfie your longing." Upon this hint, Win prevails with her mother, to consult Zeal-of-the-land Busy, a Banbury man "of a most lunatick conscience and spleen;" who is of opinion that pig "is a meat, and a meat that is nourishing, and may be eaten; very exceeding well eaten; but in the Fair, and as a Bartholomew pig, it cannot be eaten; for the very calling it a Bartholomew pig, and to eat it so, is a spice of idolatry." After much deliberation, however, he allows that so that the offence "be shadowed, as it were, it may be eaten, and in the Fair, I take it—in a booth." He says "there may be a good use made of it too, now I think on't, by the public eating of swine's flesh, to profess our hate and loathing of Judaism;" and therefore he goes with them.

In the Fair a quarrel falls out between Lanthorn Leatherhead, "a hobby-horse seller," and Joan Trash, "a gingerbread woman."

"Leatherhead. Do you hear, sister Trash, lady o' the basket? sit farther with your gingerbread progeny there, and hinder not the prospect of my shop, or I'll ha' it proclaim'd i' the Fair, what stuff they are made on.

"Trash. Why, what stuff are they made on, brother Leatherhead? nothing but what's wholesome, I assure you.

"Leatherhead. Yes; stale bread, rotten eggs, musty ginger, and dead honey, you know.

"Trash. Thou too proud pedlar, do thy worst: I defy thee, I, and thy stable of hobby-horses. I pay for my ground, as well as thou dost, and thou wrongs't me, for all thou art parcel-poet, and an ingineer. I'll find a friend shall right me, and make a ballad of thee, and thy cattle all over. Are you puft up with the pride of your wares? your arsedine?

"Leatherhead. Go too, old Joan, I'll talk with you anon; and take you down too—I'll ha' you i' the Pie-pouldres."

They drop their abuse and pursue their vocation. Leatherhead calls, "What do you lack? what is't you buy? what do you lack? rattles, drums, halberts, horses, babies o' the best? fiddles o' the finest?" Trash cries, "Buy my gingerbread, gilt gingerbread!" A "costard-monger" bawls out, "buy any pears, pears! fine, very fine pears!" Nightingale, another character, sings,

"Hey, now the Fair's a filling
O, for a tune to startle
The birds o' the booths, here billing,
Yearly with old Saint Barthle!
The drunkards they are wading,
The punks and chapmen trading,
Who 'ld see the Fair without his lading?
    Buy my ballads! new ballads!"

Ursula, "a pig-woman," laments her vocation: — "Who would wear out their youth and prime thus, in roasting of pigs, that had any cooler occupation? I am all fire and fat; I shall e'en melt away—a poor vex'd thing I am; I feel myselft dropping already as fast as I can: two stone of sewet a-day is my proportion: I can but hold life and soul together." Then she soliloquizes concerning Mooncalf, her tapster, and her other vocations: "How can I hope that ever he'll discharge his place of trust, tapster, a man of reckoning under me, that remembers nothing I say to him? but look to't, sirrah, you were best; threepence a pipe-full I will ha' made of all my whole half pound of tobacco, and a quarter of a pound of colts-foot, mixt with it to, to eech it out. Then six-and-twenty shillings a barrel I will advance o' my beer, and fifty shillings a hundred o' my bottle ale; I ha' told you the ways how to raise it. (a knock.) Look who's there, sirrah! five shillings a pig is my price at least; if it be a sow-pig sixpence more." Jordan Knockhum, "a horse-courser and a ranger of Turnbull," calls for "a fresh bottle of ale, and a pipe of tobacco." Passengers enter, and Leatherhead says, "What do you lack, gentlemen? Maid, see a fine hobby-horse for your young master." A corn-cutter cries, "Ha' you any corns i' your feet and toes?" Then "a tinder-box man" calls, "Buy a mouse-trap, a mouse-trap, or a tormentor for a flea!" Trash cries, "Buy some ginger-bread!" Nightingale bawls, "Ballads, ballads, fine new ballads!" Leatherhead repeats, "What do you lack, gentlemen, what is't you lack? a fine horse? a lion? a bull? a bear? a dog? or a cat? an excellent fine Bartholomew bird? or an instrument? what is't you lack?" The pig-woman quarrels with her guests and falls foul on her tapster: "In, you rogue, and wipe the pigs, and mend the fire, that they fall not; or I'll both baste and wast you till your eyes drop out, like 'em." Knockhum says to the female passengers, "Gentlewomen, the weather's hot! whither walk you? Have a care o' your fine velvet caps, the Fair is dusty. Take a sweet delicate booth, with boughs, here, i' the way, and cool yourselves i' the shade; you and your friends. The best pig and bottle ale i' the Fair, sir, old Urs'la is cook; there, you may read; the pig's head speaks it." Knockhum adds, that she roasted her pigs "with fire o' juniper, and rosemary branches." Littlewit, the proctor, and his wife, Win-the-fight, with her mother, dame Purecroft, and Zeal-of-the-land enter. Busy Knockhum suggests to Ursula that they are customers of the right sort, "In, and set a couple o' pigs o' the board, and half a dozen of the bygist bottles afore 'em—two to a pig, away!" In another scene Leatherhead cries, "Fine purses, pouches, pincases, pipes; what is't you lack? a pair o' smiths to wake you i' the morning? or a fine whistling bird?" Bartholomew Cokes, a silly "esquire of Harrow," stops at Leatherhead's to purchase: "Those six horses, friend, I'll have; and the three Jews trumps; and a half a dozen o' birds; and that drum; and your smiths (I like that device o' your smiths,)—and four halberts; and, let me see, that fine painted great leady, and her three women for state, I'll have. A set of those violins I would buy too, for a delicate young noise I have i' the country, that are every one a size less than another, just like your fiddles." Trash invites him to buy her gingerbread, and he turns to her basket, whereupon Leatherhead says, "Is this well, Goody Joan, to interrupt my market in the midst, and call away my customers? can you answer this at the Pie-pouldres?" whereto Trash replies, "Why, if his master-ship have a mind to buy, I hope my ware lies as open as anothers; I may shew my ware as well as you yours." Nightingale begins to sing,

"My masters and friends, and good
                 people draw near."

Cokes hears this, and says, "Ballads! hark, hark! pray thee, fellow, stay a little! What ballads hast thou? let me see, let me see myself—How dost thou call it? 'A Caveat against Cut-purses!' — a good jest, i' faith; I would fain see that demon, your cut-purse, you talk of." He then shows his purse boastingly, and inquires, "Ballad-man, do any cut-purses haunt hereabout? pray thee raise me one or two: begin and shew me one." Nightingale answers, "Sir, this is a spell against 'em, spick and span new: and 'tis made as 'twere in mine own person, and I sing it in mine own defence. But 'twill cost a penny alone if you buy it." Cokes replies, "No matter for the price; thou dost not know me I see, I am an odd Bartholmew." The ballad has "pictures," and Nightingale tells him, "It was intended, sir, as if a purse should chance to be cut in my presence, now; I may be blameless though; as by the sequel will more plainly appear." He adds, it is "to the tune of 'Paggington's Pound,' sir," and he finally sings—

A Caveat against Cut-purses.

My masters, and friends, and good people draw near,
And look to your purses, for that I do say;
And though little money, in them you do bear,
It cost more to get, than to lose in a day,
      You oft' have been told,
      Both the young and the old,
And bidden beware of the cut-purse so bold:
Then if you take heed not, free me from the curse,
Who both give you warning, for, and the cut-purse,
Youth, youth, thou hadst better been starved by thy nurse,
Than live to be hanged for cutting a purse.

It hath been upbraided to men of my trade,
That oftentimes we are the cause of this crime:
Alack, and for pity, why should it be said?
As if they regarded or places, or time.
      Examples have been
      Of some that were seen
In Westminster-hall, yea, the pleaders between;
They why should the judges be free from this curse
More than my poor self, for cutting the purse?
Youth, youth, thou hadst better been starved by thy nurse,
Than live to be hanged for cutting a purse.

At Worc'ter 'tis known well, and even i' the jail,
A knight of good worship did there shew his face,
Against the foul sinners in zeal for to rail,
And lost, ipso facto, his purse in the place,
      Nay, once from the seat
      Of judgment so great,
A judge there did lose a fair pouch of velvet;
O, Lord for thy mercy, how wicked, or worse,
Are those that so venture their necks for a purse.
Youth, youth, thou hadst better been starved by thy nurse,
Than live to be hanged for stealing a purse.

At plays, and at sermons, and at the sessions,
'Tis daily their practice such booty to make;
Yea, under the gallows, at executions,
They stick not the stare-abouts' purses to take.
      Nay, one without grace,
      At a better place,
At court, and in Christmas, before the king's face.
Alack! then, for pity, must I bear the curse,
That only belongs to the cunning cut-purse.
Youth, youth, thou hadst better been starved by thy nurse,
Than live to be hanged for stealing a purse.

But O, you vile nation of cut-purses all,
Relent, and repent, and amend, and be sound,
And know that you ought not by honest men's fall,
Advance your own fortunes to die above ground.
      And though you go gay
      In silks as you may,
It is not the highway to heaven (as they say.)
Repent then, repent you, for better, for worse;
And kiss not the gallows for cutting a purse.
Youth, youth, thou hadst better been starved by thy nurse,
Than live to be hanged for cutting a purse.

While Nightingale sings this ballad, a fellow tickles Cokes's ear with a straw, to make him withdraw his hand from his pocket, and privately robs him of his purse, which, at the end of the song, he secretly conveys to the ballad-singer; who, notwithstanding his "Caveat against Cut-purses," is their principal confederate, and, in that quality, becomes the unsuspected depository of the plunder.

Littlewit tells his wife, Win, of the great hog, and of a bull with five legs, in the Fair. Zeal-of-the-land loudly declaims against the Fair, and against Trash's commodities:—"Hence with thy basket of popery, thy nest of images, and whole legend of ginger-work." He rails against "the prophane pipes, the tinkling timbrels;" and Adam Overdoo, a reforming justice of peace, one of "the court of Pie-powders," who wears a disguise for the better observation of disorder, gets into the stocks himself. Then "a western man, that's come to wrestle before my lord mayor anon," gets drunk, and is cried by "the clerk o' the market all the Fair over here, for my lord's service." Zeal-of-the-land Busy, too, is put with others into the stocks, and being asked, "what are you, sir?" he answers, "One that rejoiceth in his affliction, and sitteth here to prophesy the destruction of fairs and may-games, wakes and whitsun-ales, and doth sigh and groan for the reformation of these abuses." During a scuffle, the keepers of the stocks leave them open, and those who are confined withdraw their legs and walk away.

From a speech by Leatherhead, preparatory to exhibiting his "motion," or puppet-show, we become acquainted with the subjects, and the manner of the performance. He says, "Out with the sign of our invention, in the name of wit; all the fowl i' the Fair, I mean all the dirt in Smithfield, will be thrown at our banner to-day, if the matter does not please the people. O! the motions that I, Lanthorn Leatherhead, have given light to, i' my time, since my master, Pod, died! Jerusalem was a stately thing; and so was Nineveh and The City of Norwich, and Sodom and Gomorrah; with the Rising o' the Prentices, and pulling down the houses there upon Shrove-Tuesday; but the Gunpowder Plot, there was a get-penny! I have presented that to an eighteen or twenty pence audience nine times in an afternoon. Look to your gathering there, good master Filcher—and when there come any gentlefolks take twopence a-piece." He has a bill of his motion which reads thus: "The Ancient Modern History of Hero and Leander, otherwise called, the Touchstone of True Love, with as true a Trial of Friendship between Damon and Pythias, two faithful Friends o' the Bank-side." This was the motion written by Littlewit. Cokes arrives, and inquires, "What do we pay for coming in, fellow?" Filcher answers, "Twopence, sir."

"Cokes. What manner of matter is this, Mr. Littlewit? What kind of actors ha' you? are they good actors?

"Littlewit. Pretty youths, sir, all children both old and young, here's the master of 'em, Master Lantern, that gives light to the business.

"Cokes. In good time, sir, I would fain see 'em; I would be glad to drink with the young company; which is the tiring-house?

"Leatherhead. Troth, sir, our tiring-house is somewhat little; we are but beginners yet, pray pardon us; you cannot go upright in't.

"Cokes. No? not now my hat is off? what would you have done with me, if you had had me feather and all, as I was once to-day? Ha' you none of your pretty impudent boys now, to bring stools, fill tobacco, fetch ale, and beg money, as they have at other houses? let me see some o' your actors.

"Littlewit. Shew him 'em, shew him 'em. Master Lantern; this is a gentleman that is a favourer of the quality.

[Leatherhead brings the puppets out in a basket.]

"Cokes. What! do they live in baskets?

"Leatherhead. They do lie in a basket, sir: they are o' the small players.

"Cokes. These be players minor indeed. Do you call these play;rs? [sic]

"Leatherhead. They are actors, sir, and as good as any, none dispraised, for dumb shows: Indeed I am the mouth of 'em all.—This is he that acts young Leander, sir; and this is lovely Hero; this, with the beard, Damon; and this, pretty Pythias: this is the ghost of king Dionysius, in the habit of a scrivener: as you shall see anon, at large.

"Cokes. But do you play it according to the printed book? I have read that.

"Leatherhead. By no means, sir.

"Cokes. No? How then?

"Leatherhead. A better way, sir; that is too learned and poetical for our audience: what do they know what Hellespont is? guilty of true love's blood? or what Abydos is? or the other Sestos height?—No; I have entreated master Littlewit to take a little pains to reduce it to a more familiar strain for our people.

"Littlewit. I have only made it a little easy and modern for the times, sir, that's all: as for Hellespont, I imagine our Thames here; and then Leander, I make a dyer's son about Puddlewharf; and Hero, a wench o' the Bankside, who going over one morning to Old Fish-street, Leander spies her land at Trig's-stairs, and falls in love with her: now do I introduce Cupid, having metamorphosed himself into a drawer, and he strikes Hero in love with a pint of sherry."

While "Cokes is handling the puppets" the doorkeepers call out "Twopence apiece, gentlemen; and excellent motion." Other visitors enter and take their seats, and Cokes, while waiting with some of his acquaintance, employs the time at the "game of vapours, which is nonsense; every man to oppose the last man that spoke, whether it concerned him or no." The audience become impatient, and one calls out, "Do you hear puppet-master, these are tedious vapours; when begin you?" Filcher, Leatherhead's man, with the other doorkeepers, continue to bawl, "Twopence a-piece, sir; the best motion in the Fair." Meanwhile the company talk, and one relates that he has already seen in the Fair, the eagle; the black wolf; the bull with five legs, which "was a calf at Uxbridge Fair two years agone;" the dogs that dance the morrice; and "the hare o' the taber."

Ben Jonson's mention of the hare that beat the tabor at Bartholomew Fair in his time, is noticed by the indefatigable and accurate Strutt; who gives the following representation of the feat itself, which he affirms, when he copied it from a drawing in the Harleian collection, (6563,) to have been upwards of four hundred years old.

Hare and Tabor.

Hare and Tabor.

For an idea of Leatherhead's motion take as follows: it commences thus:—


Gentiles, that no longer your expectations may wander,
Behold our chief actor, amorous Leander;
With a great deal of cloth, lapp'd about him like a scarf,
For he yet serves his father, a dyer at Puddle-wharf.
Which place we'll make bold with to call it our Abidus,
As the Bank-side is our Sestos; and let it not be denied us
Now as he is beating, to make the dye take the fuller,
Who chances to come by, but fair Hero in a sculler;
And seeing Leander's naked leg, and goodly calf,
Cast at him from the boat a sheep's eye and an half,
Now she is landed, and the sculler come back,
By and by you shall see what Leander doth lack.

Puppet Leander. Cole, Cole, old Cole.

Leatherhead. That is the sculler's name without controul.

Pup. Leander. Cole, Cole, I say, Cole.

Leatherhead. We do hear you.

Pup. Leander. Old Cole.

Leatherhead. Old Cole? is the dyer turn'd collier?—

Pup. Leander. Why Cole, I say, Cole.

Leatherhead. It's the sculler you need.

Pup. Leander. Aye, and be hang'd.

Leatherhead. Be hang'd! look you yonder,
Old Cole, you must go hang with master Leander.

Puppet Cole. Where is he?

Puppet Leander. Here Cole. What fairest of fairs
Was that fare that thou landest but now at Trig's-stairs?

Puppet Cole. It is lovely Hero.

Puppet Leander. Nero?

Puppet Cole. No, Hero.

Leatherhead. It is Hero
Of the Bank-side, he saith, to tell you truth, without erring,
Is come over into Fish-street to eat some fresh herring.
Leander says no more but as fast as he can,
Gets on all his best clothes, and will after to the swan.

In this way Leatherhead proceeds with his motion; he relates part of the story himself, in a ribald manner, and making the puppets quarrel, "the puppet Cole strikes him over the pate." He performs Damon and Pythias in the same way, and renders the "gallimaufry" more ridiculous, by a battle between the puppets in Hero and Leander, and those of Damon and Pythias. Zeal-of-the-land Busy interferes with the puppet Dionysius, who had been raised up by Leatherhead—

"Not like a monarch
      but the master of a school,
In a scrivener's furr'd gown
      which shows he is no fool;
For, therein he hath wit enough
      to keep himself warm:
O Damon! he cries,
      and Pythias what harm
Hath poor Dionysius done you
      in his grave,
That after his death, you should
      fall out thus and rave," &c

Zeal-of-the-land contends that Dionysius hath not a "lawful calling." That puppet retorts by saying he hath; and inquires—"What say you to the feather makers i' the Fryers, with their peruques and their puffs, their fans and their huffs? what say you? Is a bugle-maker a lawful calling? or the confect-makers? such as you have there? or your French fashioner? Is a puppet worse than these?"—Whereto Zeal-of-the-land answers—"Yes, and my main argument against you is, that you are an abomination; for the male among you putteth on the apparel of the female, and the female of the male." The puppet Dionysius trimphantly replies, "You lie, you lie, you lie abominably. It's your old stale argument against the players; but it will not hold against the puppets: for we have neither male nor female amongst us." Upon this point, which persons versed in dramatic history are familiar with, Zeal-of-the-land says, "I am confuted, the cause hath failed me—I am changed, and will become a beholder."

These selections which are here carefully brought together may, so far as they extend, be regarded as a picture of Bartholomew Fair in 1614, when Jonson wrote his comedy for representation before king James I. We learn too from this play that there was a tooth-drawer, and "a jugler with a well educated ape, to come over the chain for the king of England, and back again for the prince, and to sit still on his hind quarters for the pope and the king of Spain;" that there was a whipping-post in the Fair, and that Smithfield was dirty and stinking. Beside particulars, which a mere historiographer of the scene would have recorded, there are some that are essentially illustrative of popular manners, which no other than an imaginative mind would have seized, and only a poet penned.

A little digression may be requisite in explanation of the term arsedine, used by Trash to Leatherhead in Jonson's play; the denomination costermonger; the tune Paggington's-pound; and the Pie-pouldres, or Pie Powder Court.


This is also called arsadine, and sometimes orsden, and is said to be a colour. Mr. Archdeacon Nares says, that according to Mr. Lysons, in his "Environs of London," and Mr. Gifford in his note on this passage, it means orpiment or yellow arsenic. The archdeacon in giving these two authorities, calls the word a "vulgar corruption" of "arsenic:" but arsenic yields red, as well as yellow orpiment, and both these colours are used in the getting up of shows. Possibly it is an Anglo-Saxon word for certain pigments, obtained from minerals and metals: the ore o[r]e or o[r]a is pure Saxon, and pluralizes ores; to die in the sense of dying, or colouring, is derived from the Saxon [d]ea[z] or [d]eah. The conjecture may be worth a thought perhaps, for dramatic exhibitions were in use when the Anglo-Saxon was used.


This is a corruption of costard-monger; Ben Jonson uses it both ways, and it is noticed of his costermonger by Mr. Archdeacon Nares, that "he cries only pears." That gentleman rightly defines a costard-monger, or coster-monger, to be "a seller of apples;" he adds, "one generally who kept a stall." He says of costard, that, "as a species of apple, it is enumerated with others, but it must have been a very common sort, as it gave a name to the dealers in apples." In this supposition Mr. Nares is correct; for it was not only a very common sort, but perhaps, after the crab, it was our oldest sort: there were three kinds of it, the white, red, and grey costard. That the costard-monger, according to Mr. Nares, "generally kept a stall;" "and that they were general fruit-sellers," he unluckily has not corroborated by an authority; although from his constant desire to be accurate, and his general accuracy, the assertions are to be regarded with respect. Randle Holme gives this figure of

A Huxter

A Huxter

Holme, in his heraldic language, says of this representation, "He beareth gules, a man passant, his shirt or shift turned up to his shoulder, breeches and hose azure, cap and shoes sable, bearing on his back a bread basket full of fruits and herbs, and a staff in his left hand, or. This may be termed either a huxter or a gardiner, having his fruits and herbs on his back from the market. This was a fit crest for the company of Fruiterers or Huxters." This man is a costard-monger in Mr. Archdeacon Nares's view of the term; for doubtless the huckster pitched his load in the market and sold it there; yet Holme does not give him that denomination, as he would have done if he had so regarded him; he merely calls him "the hutler or huxter."

Packington's Pound.

Concerning the air of this old song, "Hawkins's History of Music" may be consulted. The tune may also be found in the "Beggar's Opera," adapted to the words—"The gamesters united in friendship are found."* [3]

Court of Pie Powder.

This is the lowest, and at the same time the most expeditious, court of justice known to the law of England. It is a court of record incident to every fair and market; its jurisdiction extends to administer justice for all commercial injuries done in that very fair or market, and not in any preceding one; and to every fair and market, the steward of him who owns the toll is the judge. The injury, therefore, must be done, complained of, and redressed, within the compass of one and the same day, unless the fair continues longer. It has cognizance of all matters of contract that can possibly arise within the precinct of that fair or market; and the plaintiff must make oath that the cause of an action arose there. This court seems to have arisen from the necessity of doing justice expeditiously, among persons resorting from distant places to a fair or market, without leaving them to the remedy of an inferior court, which might not be able to serve its process, or execute its judgments on both, or perhaps either of the parties; and therefore without such a court as this, the complaint must necessarily have resorted to, in the first instance, some superior judicature. It is said to be called the court of pie-poudre, curia pedis pulverizati, from the dusty feet of the suitors; or, as sir Edward Coke says, because justice is there done as speedily as dust can fall from the feet: but Blackstone, who says thus much of this court, inclines to the opinion of Daines Barrington, who, derives it from pied puldreaux, (a pedlar, in old French,) and says, it signifies, therefore, the court of such petty chapmen as resort to fairs or markets.

Courts similar to pie-powder courst were usual both with Greeks and Romans, who introduced fairs into Germany and the north.* [4]

The Pedlar

The Pedlar.

This is his figure from Randle Holme, who describes him thus:—"He beareth argent, a crate carrier, with a crate upon his back, or; cloathed in russed, with a staffe in his left hand; hat and shoes sable." He observes, that "this is also termed a pedlar and his pack," and he carefully notes that the difference between a porter and a pedlar consists in this, that "the porter's pack reacheth over his head and so answerable below; but the pedlar's is a small truss, bundle, or fardel, not exceeding the middle of his head as in this figure." Every reader of Shakspeare knows the word "fardel:"—

———"Who would fardels bear
To groan and sweat under a weary life," &c.

Fardel means a burden, or bundle, or pack, and so Holme has called the pedlar's pack. The word is well known in that sense to those acquainted with our earlier language. An Act of common council of the first of August, 1554, against "Abuses offered to Pauls," recites, that the inhabitants of London, and others, were accustomed to make their common carriage of "fardels of stuffe, and other grosse wares and things thorow the cathedrall church of Saint Pauls," and prohibits the abuse. There is an old book entitled, "a Fardel of Fancies;" that is, a variety of fancies fardelled or packed together in a bundle or burthen.

"Fancies" was a name for pleasant ballads, or poetical effusions;—and hence, because Orlando "hangs odes upon hawthorns, and elegies on brambles, all, forsooth, deifying the name of Rosalind," she calls him a "fancy monger.["]

The Porter.

It is to be noted too, that a porter is clearly described by Holme. "He beareth vert, a porter carrying of a pack, argent, corked, sable; cloathed in tawney, cap and shoes sable. This is the badge and cognizance of all porters and carriers of burthens;" but that there may be no mistake, he adds, "they have ever a leather girdle about them, with a strong rope of two or three fouldings hanging thereat, which they have in readiness to bind the burdens to their backs whensoever called thereunto."

The Porter's Knot

The Porter's Knot, now used,

did not exist in Randle Holme's time. This subsequent invention consists of a strong fillet to encircle the head, attached to a curiously stuffed cushion of the width of the shoulders, whereon it rests, and is of height sufficient to bear thereon a box, or heavy load of any kind, which, by means of this knot, is carried on the head and shoulders; the weight thereof being borne equally by the various powers of the body capable of sustaining pressure, no muscles are distressed, but the whole are brought to the porter's service in his labour of carrying.

"Bartholomew Faire," a rare quarto tract printed in 1641, under that title states, that "Bartholomew Faire begins on the twenty-fourth day of August, and is then of so vast an extent, that it is contained in no lesse than four several parishes, namely, Christ Church, Great and Little St. Bartholomewes, and St. Sepulchres. Hither resort people of all sorts and conditions. Christ Church cloisters are now hung full of pictures. It is remarkable and worth your observation to beholde and heare the strange sights and confused noise in the Faire. Here, a knave in a foole's coate, with a trumpet sounding, or on a drumme beating, invites you to see his puppets: there, a rogue like a wild woodman, or in an antick shape like an Incubus, desires your company to view his motion: on the other side, Hocus Pocus, with three yards of tape, or ribbin, in's hand, shewing his art of legerdemaine, to the admiration and astonishment of a company of cockoloaches. Amongst these, you shall see a gray Goose-cap, (as wise as the rest,) with a what do ye lacke in his mouth, stand in his boothe, shaking a rattle, or scraping on a fiddle, with which children are so taken, that they presentlie cry out for these fopperies: and all these together make such a distracted noise, that you would thinck Babell were not comparable to it. Here there are also your gamesters in action: some turning of a whimsey, others throwing for pewter, who can quickly dissolve a round shilling into a three halfepeny saucer. Long-lane at this time looks very faire, and puts out her best cloaths, with the wrong side outward, so turn'd for their better turning off: and Cloth Faire is now in great request: well fare the ale-houses therein, yet better may a man fare, (but at a dearer rate,) in the pig-market, alias Pasty-Nooke, or Pye-Corner, where pigges are al houres of the day on the stalls piping hot, and would cry, (if they could speak,) 'come eate me.'"

Pye Corner.

This is the place wherein Ben Jonson's Littlewit, the proctor, willed that his wife Win-the-fight should not eat Bartholomew pig:—"Long to eat of a pig, sweet Win, i'the Fair; do you see? i' the heart o' the Fair; not at, Pye-corner."

"Pye-corner was so called" says Dr. (James) Howel, "of such a sign, sometimes a fair Inne, for receipt of travellers, but now devided into tenements." It was at Pye-corner as observed before, that the Fire of London ended: the houses that escaped were taken down in October, 1809, and upon their site other dwelling-houses have been erected, together with an engine-house, belonging to the Hope Fire Assurance company,* [5] where it stands at present (in 1825). It was estimated in the year 1732, that "the number of sucking pigs then annually consumed in this city, (of London) amounted to fifty-two thousand†." [6]

Roast Pig.

"A flower—cropped in its prime.

ELIA, author of the incomparable volume of "Essays," published "under that name," by Messrs. Taylor and Hessey, indulges in a "Dissertation upon Roast Pig." He cites a Chinese MS. to establish its origin, when flesh was eaten uncooked, and affirms that "the period is not obscurely hinted at by the great Confucius, in the second chapter of his 'Mundane Mutations,' where he designates a kind of golden age by the term Chofang, literally the cooks' holiday." He premises "broiling to be the elder brother of roasting," and relates on the authority of the aforesaid MS. that "roast pig" "was accidentally discovered in the manner following"—viz.

"The swine-herd, Ho-ti, having gone out into the woods one morning, as his manner was, to collect mast for his hogs, left his cottage in the care of his eldest son Bo-bo, a great lubberly boy, who, being fond of playing with fire, as younkers of his age commonly are, let some sparks escape into a bundle of straw, which, kindling quickly, spread the conflagration over every part of their poor mansion, till it was reduced to ashes. Together with the cottage (a sorry antediluvian make-shift of a building, you may think it), what was of much more importance, a fine litter of new-farrowed pigs, no less than nine in number, perished. China pigs have been esteemed a luxury all over the east from the remostest periods that we read of. Bo-bo was in the utmost consternation, as you may think, not so much for the sake of the tenement, which his father and he could easily build up again with a few dry branches, and the labour of an hour or two, at any time, as for the loss of the pigs. While he was thinking what he should say to his father, and wringing his hands over the smoking remnants of one of those untimely sufferers, an odour assailed his nostrils, unlike any scent which he had before experienced. What could it proceed from?—not from the burnt cottage — he had smelt that smell before—indeed this was by no means the first accident of the kind which had occurred through the negligence of this unlucky young fire-brand. Much less did it resemble that of any known herb, weed, or flower. A premonitory moistening at the same time overflowed his nether lip. He know not what to think. He next stooped down to feel the pig, if there were any signs of life in it. He burnt his fingers, and to cool them he applied them in his booby fashion to his mouth. Some of the crums of the scorched skin had come away with his fingers, and for the first time in his life (in the world's life indeed, for before him no man had known it), he tasted—crackling! Again he felt and fumbled at the pig. It did not burn him so much now, still he licked his fingers from a sort of habit. The truth at length broke into his slow understanding, that it was the pig that smelt so, and the pig that tasted so delicious; and, surrendering himself up to the newborn pleasure, he fell to tearing up whole handfuls of the scorched skin with the flesh next it, and was cramming it down his throat in his beastly fashion, when his sire entered amid the smoking rafters, armed with a retributory cudgel, and finding how affairs stood, began to rain blows upon the young rogue's shoulders as thick as hailstones, which Bo-bo heeded not any more than if they had been flies. The tickling pleasure, which he experienced in his lower regions, had rendered him quite callous to any inconveniences he might feel in those remote quarters. His father might lay on, but he could not beat him from his pig."

Bo-bo in the afternoon, regardless of his father's wrath, and with his "scent wonderfully sharpened since morning, soon raked out another pig, and fairly rending it asunder, thrust the lesser half by main force into the fists of Ho-ti, still shouting out, 'Eat, eat, eat, the burnt pig, father; only taste—O Lord!'—with such like barbarous ejaculations, cramming all the while as if he would choke." The narrative relates, that "Ho-ti trembled every joint while he grasped the abominable thing, wavering whether he should not put his son to death for an unnatural young monster, when the crackling scorching his fingers, as it had done his son's, and applying the same remedy to them, he in his turn tasted some of its flavour, which, make what sour mouths he would for a pretence, proved not altogether displeasing to him. In conclusion, (for the manuscript here is a little tedious,) both father and son fairly set down to the mess, and never left off till they had despatched all that remained of the little.

"Bo-bo was strictly enjoined not to let the secret escape, for the neighbours would certainly have stoned them for a couple of abominable wretches, who could think of improving upon the good meat which God had sent them. Nevertheless, strange stories got about. It was observed that Ho-ti's cottage was burnt down now more frequently than ever. Nothing but fires from this time forward. Some would break out in broad day, others in the night-time. As often as the sow was farrowed, so sure was the house of Ho-ti-to be in a blaze; and Ho-ti himself, which was the more remarkable, instead of chastising his son, seemed to grow more indulgent to him than ever. At length they were watched, the terrible mystery discovered, and father and son summoned to take their trial at Pekin, then an incosiderable assize town. Evidence was given, the obnoxious food itself produced in court, and verdict about to be pronounced, when the foreman of the jury begged that some of the burnt pig, of which the culprits stood accused, might be handed into the box. He handled it, and they all handled it, and burning their fingers, as Bo-bo and his father had done before them, and nautre prompting to each of them the same remedy, against the face of all the facts, and the clearest charge which judge had ever given,—to the surprise of the whole court, townsfolk, strangers, reporters, and all present—without leaving the box, or any manner of consultation whatever, they brought in a simultaneous verdict of Not Guilty.

"The judge, who was a shrewd fellow, winked at the manifest iniquity of the decision; and, when the court was dismissed, went privily, and bought up all the pigs that could be had for love or money. In a few days his lordship's town house was observed to be on fire. The thing took wing, and now there was nothing to be seen but fires in every direction. Fuel and pigs grew enormously dear all over the district. The insurance offices one and all shut up shop. People built slighter and slighter every day, until it was feared that the very science of architecture would in no long time be lost to the world. Thus this custom of firing houses continued, till in process of time, says my manuscript, a sage arose, like our Locke, who made a discovery, that the flesh of swine, or indeed of any other animal, might be cooked (burnt, as they called it,) without the necessity of consuming a whole house to dress it. They first began the rude form of a gridiron. Roasting by the string, or spit, came in a century or two later, I forget in whose dynasty. By such slow degrees, concludes the manuscript, do the most useful, and seemingly the most obvious arts, make their way among mankind.

ELIA maintains, that of all the delicacies in the whole eatable world, "roast pig" is the most delicate.—"I speak," he says, "not of your grown porkers—things between pig and pork—those hobbydehoys—but a young and tender suckling—under a moon old—guiltless as yet of the sty," with "his voice as yet not broken, but something between a childish treble and a grumble—the mild forerunner, or præludium, of a grunt.

"He must be roasted. I am not ignorant that our ancestors ate them seethed, or boiled—but what a sacrifice of the exterior tegument!

"There is no flavour comparable, I will contend, to that of the crisp, tawny, well-watched, not over-roasted crackling, as it is well called—the very teeth are invited to their share of the pleasure at this banquet in overcoming the coy, brittle resistance—with the adhesive oleaginous—O call it not fat—but an indefinable sweetness growing up to it—the tender blossoming of fat—fat cropped in the bud—takin in the shoot—in the first innocence—the cream and quintessence of the child-pig's yet pure food——the lean, no[t] lean, but a kind of animal manna—or, rather fat and lean (if it must be so) blended and running into each other, that both together make but one ambrosial result, or common substance.

"Behold him while he is doing—it seemeth rather a refreshing warmth, than a scorching heat, that he is so passive to. How equally he twirleth round the string! —Now he is just done. To see the extreme sensibility of that tender age, he hath wept out his pretty eyes—radiant jellies—shooting stars.

"See him in the dish, his second cradle, how meek he lieth! —wouldst thou have had this inocent grow up to the grossness and indocility which too often accompany maturer swinehood? Ten to one he would have proved a glutton, a sloven, and obstinate, disagreeable animal—wallowing in all manner of filthy conversation — from these sins he is happily snatched away—

Ere sin could blight, or sorrow fade,
Death came with timely care—

his memory is odoriferous — no clown curseth, while his stomach half rejecteth, the rank bacon—no coalheaver bolteth him in reeking sausages—he hath a fair sepulchre in the grateful stomach of the judicious epicure—and for such a tomb might be content to die."

ELIA further allegeth of "pig," that "the strong man may batten on him, and the weakling refuseth not his mild juices. He is—good throughout. No part of him is better or worse than another. He helpeth, as far as his little means extend, all around. He is the least envious of banquets. He is all neighbours' fare."

"I am one of those," continueth ELIA, "who freely and ungrudgingly impart a share of the good things of this life which fall to their lot (few as mine are in this kind) to a friend. I protest, I take as great an interest in my friend's pleasures, his relishes, and proper satisfactions, as in mine own. 'Presents,' I often say, 'endear absents.' Hares, pheasants, partridges, snipes, barn-door chickens (those 'tame villatic fowl'), capons, plovers, brawn, barrels of oysters, I dispense as freely as I receive them. I love to taste them, as it were, upon the tongue of my friend. But a stop must be put somewhere. One would not, like Lear, 'give every thing.' I make my stand upon pig. * * *

"I remember an hypothesis, argued upon by the young students, when I was at St. Omer's, and maintained with much learning and pleasantry on both sides, 'Whether, supposing that the flavour of a pig who obtained his death by whipping (per flagellationem extremam) superadded a pleasure upon the palate of a man more intense than any possible suffering we can conceive in the animal, is man justified in using that method of putting the animal to death?' I forget the decision.

"His sauce should be considered. Decidedly, a few bread crums, done up with his liver and brains, and a dash of mild sage. But banish, dear Mrs. Cook, I beseech you, the whole onion tribe. Barbecue your whole hogs to your palate, steep them in shalots, stuff them out with plantations of the rank and guilty garlic; you cannot poison them, or make them stronger than they are—but consider, he is a weakling—a flower."

Part of Bartholomew Fair, 1721.

Part of Bartholomew Fair, 1721.

The two engravings whereon the reader now looks, are from a very curious scenic print of this Fair, as represented on an old fan, recently published by Mr. Setchel, of King-street, Covent-garden. The letter-press account subjoined to Mr. Setchel's print says, that "about the year 1721, when the present interesting view of this popular Fair was taken, the drama was considered of some importance, and a series of minor, although regular, pieces, were acted in its various booths. At Lee and Harper's, the 'Siege of Berthulia' is performing, in which is introduced the tragedy of 'Holophernes.'"

Mr. Setchel's account further represents, that "Persons of rank were also its occasional visitors, and the figure on the right (with the star) is also supposed to be that of sir Robert Walpole, then prime minister. Fawkes, the famous conjuror, forms a conspicuous feature, and is the only portrait of him known to exist.

Another Part in the same Fair.

Another Part in the Same Fair.

There is however, another portrait of Fawkes, the conjuror: it is a sheet, engraved by Sutton Nichols, representing him in the midst of his performances. Hogarth's frontispiece to a scarce tract on "Taste," wherein he bespatters Burlington-gate, further tends to perpetuate Fawkes's fame, by an inscription announcing his celebrated feats. It is recorded, too, in the first volume of the "Gentleman's Magazine," that on the 15th of February, 1731, the Algerine ambassadors went to see Mr. Fawkes, who, at their request, showed them a prospect of Algiers, "and raised up an apple-tree, which bore ripe apples in less than a minute's time, which several of the company tasted of." This was one of his last performances, for, in the same volume, his name is in the list of "Deaths," on the 15th of May, that year, thus: "Mr. Fawkes, noted for his dexterity of hand, said to die worth 10,000l." The newspapers of the period relate, that "he had honestly acquired" it, by his "dexterity," and add, that it was "no more than he really deserved for his great ingenuity, by which he had surpassed all that ever pretended to that art. It will be observed from the show-cloth of the tumblers, that Fawkes was also a "famous posture-master:"—

The tumbler whirls the flip-flap round,
With sommersets he shakes the ground;
The cord beneath the dancer springs;
Aloft in air the vaulter swings,
Distorted now, now prone depends,
Now through his twisted arms descends;
The crowd in wonder and delight,
With clapping hands applaud the sight.


On the platform of Lee and Harper's show, with "Judith and Holophernes," in Mr. Setchel's print, which is handsomely coloured in the manner of the fan, the clown, behind the trumpeter, is dressed in black. The lady who represents Judith, as she is painted on the show-cloth, is herself on the platform, with feathers on her head; the middle feather is blue, the others red. She wears a laced stomacher, white hanging sleeves with rosettes, and a crimson petticoat with white resettes in triangles, and suitably flounced. Holophernes, in a rich robe lined with crimson and edged with gold lace, wears light brown buskins, the colour of untanned leather; Harlequin, instead of the little flat three-corner flexible cap, wherein he appears at our present theatres, has a round beaver of the same light colour. Two females entering at the door below are, apparently, a lady and her maid; the first is in green, and wears a cap with lappets falling behind, and white laced ruffles; the other, with a fan in her hand, is in a tawny gown, striped with red, and cuffs of the same; the lady and gentleman in mourning are evidently about to follow them. From hence we see the costume of the quality, and that at that time Bartholomew Fair was honoured with such visitors.

The boy picking the gentleman's pocket is removed from another part of Mr. Setchel's print, which could not be included in the present engraving, to show that the artist had not forgotten to represent that the picking of pockets succeeded to the cutting of purses. The person in black, whose gaze the baker, or man with the apron, is directing with his finger, looks wonderfully like old Tom Hearne. Indeed, this fan-print is exceedingly curious, and indespensable to every "illustrator of Pennant," and collector of manners. In that print to the right of Lee and Harper's is another show, with "Rope-dancing is here," on a show-cloth, representing a female with a pole on the tight-rope; a stout middle-aged man, in a green coat, and leather breeches, walks the platform and blows a trumpet; the door below is kept by a woman, and the figures on the printed posting-bills against the boards exhibit a man on the tight-rope, and two slack-ropes; a figure is seated and swinging on one rope, and on the other a man swings by the hams, with his head downward: the bills state this to be "At the great booth over against the hospital-gate in Smithfield." Near to where the hospital-gate may be supposed to stand is a cook, or landlord, at the door of a house, with "Right Redstreak Cyder, at     per quart," on the jamb; on the other jab, a skittle is painted standing on a ball, and an inscription "Sketle ground;" above his head, on a red portcullis-work, is the sign of a punch-bowl and ladle, inscribed "Fine punch;" at the window-way of the house hang two Bartholomew "pigs with curly tails," and a side of large pork.

There is an "up and down," or swing, of massive wood-work, with two children in three of the boxes, and one empty box waiting for another pair. Then there is a spacious sausage-stall; a toy-stall, kept by a female, with bows, halberts, rattles, long whistles, dolls, and other knick-knackeries: a little boy in a cocked hat is in possession of a large halbert, and his older sister is looking wistfully at a Chinese doll on the counter; a showman exhibits the "Siege of Gibraltar" to two girls looking through the glasses. These are part of the amusements which are alluded to, in the inscription on the print now describing, as "not unlike those of our day, except in the articles of Hollands and gin, with which the lower orders were then accustomed to indulge, unfettered by licence or excise." A man with tubs of "Right Hollands Geneva, and Anniseed," having a cock in each, is serving a bearded beggar with a wooden-leg to a glass, much nearer to the capacity of half a pint, than one of "three outs" of the present day; while a woman, with a pipe in one hand, holds up a full spirit-measure, of at least half a pint, to her own share; there is toping from a barrel of "Geneva" at another stall; and the postures of a couple of oyster-women denote that the uncivil provocative has raised the retort uncourteous. The visit of sir Robert Walpole to this scene might have suggested to him, that his licence and excise scheme, afterwards so unpopular, though ultimately carried, would aid a reformation of manners.

Lady Holland's Mob.

On the night before the day whereon the lord mayor proclaims the Fair, a riotous assemblage of persons heretofore disturbed Smithfield and its environs, under the denomination of "Lady Holland's mob." This multitude, composed of the most degraded characters of the metropolis, was accustomed to knock at the doors and ring the bells, with loud shouting and vociferation; and they often committed gross outrages on persons and property. The year 1822, was the last year wherein they appeared in any alarming force, and then the inmates of the houses they assailed, or before which they paraded, were aroused and kept in terror by their violence. In Skinner-street, especially, they rioted undisturbed until between three and four in the morning: at one period that morning their number was not less than five thousand, but it varied as parties went off, or came in, to and from the assault of other places. Their force was so overwhelming, that the patrol and watchmen feared to interfere, and the riot continued till they had exhausted their fury.

It has been supposed that this mob first arose, and has been continued, in celebration of a verdict obtained by a Mr. Holland, which freed the Fair from toll; but this is erroneous. "Lady Holland's mob" may be traced so far back as the times of the commonwealth, when the ruling powers made considerable efforts to suppress the Fair altogether; and when, without going into particulars to corroborate the conjecture, it may be presumed that the populace determined to support what they called their "charter," under the colour of the "Holland" interest, in opposition to the civic authorities. The scene of uproar always commenced in Cloth-fair, and the present existence of an annual custom there, throws some light on the matter. At "the Hand and Shears," a public-house in that place, it is the usage, at this time, for tailors to assemble the night before the Fair is proclaimed by the lord mayor. They appoint a chairman, and exactly as the clock strikes twelve, he and his companions, each with a pair of shears in his hand, leave the house, and, in the open street of Cloth-fair, the chairman makes a speech and proclaims "Bartholomew Fair." As soon as he concludes, every tailor holds up and snaps his shears with a shout, and they retire, shears in hand, snapping and shouting, to the "Hand and Shears," from whence they came forth; but the mob, who await without, to witness the ceremony, immediately upon its being ended, run out into Smithfield, and being joined by others there shout again. This second assemblage and shouting is called "the mob proclaiming the Fair;" and so begins the annual mob, called "Lady Holland's mob." Since 1822, the great body have confined their noise to Smithfield itself, and their number and disorder annually decrease.



Bartholomew Fair.

About the year 1102, in the reign of Henry I., the priory, hospital, and church of St. Bartholomew, in Smithfield, were founded by one Rahere, a minstrel of the king, and "a pleasant witted gentleman." It seems that Rahere was determined to this pious work in a fit of sickness, during a pilgrimage he made to Rome agreeably to the fashion of the times, when St. Bartholomew appeared to him, and required him to undertake the work and perform it in Smithfield.*[7] Before that time Smithfield, or the greater part of it, was called "the Elms," because it was covered with elm trees; "since the which time," saith Stow, "building there hath so increased that now remaineth not one tree growing." Smithfield derives its name from its being "a plain or smooth field."* [8] Regarding Rahere's occupation as a minstrel, it may be observed, that minstrels were reciters of poems, story tellers, performers upon musical instruments, and sometimes jugglers and buffoons. Rahere "ofte hawnted the kyng's palice, and amo'ge the noysefull presse of that tumultuous courte, enforsed hymselfe with jolite and carnal suavite: ther yn spectaclis, yn metys, yn playes, and other courtely mokkys, and trifyllis intrudyng, he lede forthe bestynesse of alle the day."† [9] It is related of a person in this capacity, that he was employed by a king as a story teller, on purpose to lull him to sleep every night; and that the king's requiring him to tell longer stories, the romancer began one of so great length, that he himself fell asleep in the midst of it. ‡ [10] Racine, the French poet, was scarcely higher employed when he was engaged in reading Louis XIV. to sleep with "Plutarch's Lives:" to such a king the narratives of the philosophical biographer were fables.

Rahere was the first prior of his monastery. There was a remarkable visitation of it by Boniface, archbishop of Canterbury, who being received with a procession in a solemn manner, said he did not require that honour, but came to visit them; whereto the canons answered, that to submit to the visitation of any other than their own prelate, the bishop of London, would be in contempt of his authority; whereupon the archbishop conceiving great offence, struck the sub-prior in the face, and "raging, with oathes not to be recited, hee rent in peeces the rich cope of the sub-prior, and trode it under his feete, and thrust him against a pillar of the chancell, with such violence that hee had almost killed him." Then the canons dragged off the archbishop with so great force that they threw him backwards, and thus perceived that he was armed, and prepared to fight; and the archbishop's followers falling upon the canons, beat and tore them, and trod them under foot; who thereupon ran bleeding with complaints of the violence to the bishop of London, who sent four of them to the king at Westminster, but he would neither hear nor see them. In the mean time, the city was in an uproar, and the people would "have hewed the archbishop into small peeces," if he had not secretly withdrawn to Lambeth, from whence he went over to the king, "with a great complaint against the canons, whereas himself was guilty."* [11] How the affair ended does not appear.

Stow says, that "to this priory king Henry the second granted the priviledge of a Faire to bee kept yeerly at Bartholomew-tide, for three daies, to wit, the eve, the day, and the next morrow, to the which the clothiers of England, and drapers of London repaired, and had their boothes and standings within the churchyard of this priory, closed in with wals and gates locked every night, and watched for safety of mens goods and wares; a court of piepowders was daily during the Faire holden, for debts and coutracts [sic]. But," continues Stow, "notwithstanding all proclamations of the prince, and also the act of parliament, in place of booths within this church-yard (only letten out in the Faire time, and closed up all the yeere after) bee many large houses builded, and the north wall towards Long-lane taken downe, a number of tenements are there erected, for such as will give great rents. The forrainers," he adds, "were licensed for three days, the freemen so long as they would, which was sixe or seven daies." This was the origin of Bartholomew Fair, over which the charter of Henry II. gave the mayor and aldermen criminal jurisdiction during its continuance.

Bolton was the last prior of this house, to which he added many buildings, and built "the manor of Canonbury, at Islington, which belonged to the canons." In 1554, on the dissolution of the religious houses, Henry VIII., in consideration of 1064l. 11s. 3d. granted to Richard Rich, knt. attorney-general, and chancellor of the court of augmentations of the revenues of the crown, the dissolved monastery or priory of St. Bartholomew, and the Close with the messuages and buildings therein appertaining to the monastery. He also granted to the said Richard Rich, knt. and to the inhabitants of the parish of St. Bartholomew, and the church of St. Bartholomew, all the void ground eighty seven feet in length, and sixty in breadth, adjoining the church westward, for a church-yard. In the first year of Edward VI. that king confirmed the grant to sir Richard Rich, who was created lord Rich, and appointed lord chancellor of England; but under Mary the ejected monks were restored to the priory, where they remained till the accession of queen Elizabeth, who renewed the grant to lord Rich and his heirs; and lord Rich took up his residence in Cloth-fair. The lord Rich ultimately became earl of Warwick and Holland, and the property regularly descended to the present lord Kensington, through William Edwards, who was son of the lady Elizabeth Rich, and created, in 1776, baron of Kensington of the kingdom of Ireland.

Henry VIII. having in this way disposed of the priory and church of St. Bartholomew, he gave the hospital, with certain messuages and appurtenances, to the city of London. When connected with the priory, it had been governed by a master, brethren, and eight sisters.

On the 13th of January, 1546, the bishop of Rochester (Holbetch,) preaching at Paul's-cross, declared the gift of St. Bartholomew's hospital to the citizens "for relieving of the poore;" and thereupon the inhabitants of the city were called together in their parish churches, where sir Richard Dobbs the lord mayor, the several aldermen, and other principal citizens, showing the great good of taking the poor from their miserable habitations, and providing for them in hospitals abroad, men were moved liberally to contribute what they would towards such hospitals, and so weekly, towards their maintenance for a time, until they were fully endowed; and in July 1552 the reparation of the St. Bartholomew's hospital commenced, and it was endowed and furnished at the charges of the citizens.* [12] The number of the poor and sick to be maintained therein, was limited under the foundation of Henry VIII. to one hundred: but, at this time, several thousands of persons who need surgical aid are annually received and relieved, and under the management of the most eminent surgeons of our age.

Smithfield, whereon the Fair was held, was likewise a market-place for cattle, hay, straw, and other necessary provisions; and also, saith Stow, "it hath been a place for honourable justs and triumphs, by reason it was unpaid." After it had ceased to be a place of recreative exercise with the gentry, loose serving men and quarrelsome persons resorted thither, and made uproars; and thus becoming the rendezvous of bullies and bravoes, it obtained the name of "Ruffians'-hall." The "sword and buckler" were at that time in use, and a serving-man carried a buckler, or shield, at his back, which hung by the hilt of pommel of his sword hanging before him.* [13] Fellows of this sort who hectored and blustered were called "Swash-bucklers," from the noise they made with the "sword and buckler" to frighten an antagonist: "a bully," or fellow all noise and no courage, was called a "swasher."[14]

With the disuse of pageants, the necessity for Smithfield remaining a "soft ground" ceased; and, accordingly, as "it was continually subject to the iniquity of weather, and being a place of such goodly extendure, deserved to be much better respected, it pleased the king's majesty, (James I.) with the advice of his honourable lords of the counsell, to write graciously to the lord maior and the aldermen his brethren, that Smithfield might be sufficiently paved, which would bee the onely meanes, whereby to have it kept in far cleaner condition: And" says Stow, "as no motion (to any good end and intent) can be made to the city, but they as gladly embrace and willingly pursue it; even so this honourable motion found as acceptable entertainment, and it was very speedily proceeded withall. Some voluntary contribution in the severall parishes (what each man willingly would give) was bestowed on the worke; but, (indeed,) hardly deserving any report. Notwithstanding, on the fourth day of February, in An. 1614, the city began the intended labour, and before Bartholomew-tide then next ensuing, to the credit aud [sic] honour of the city for ever, it was fully finished, and Bartholomew Faire there kept, without breaking any of the paved ground, but the boothes discreetly ordered, to stand fast upon the pavement. The citizens charge thereof (as I have been credibly told by Master Arther Strangwaies,) amounting well neere to sixteene hundred pounds." This improvement, it will be remembered, was effected in the year wherein Ben Jonson's "Bartholomew Fair" was written.

In "The Order observed by the lord maior, the aldermen, and sheriffes for their meetings, and wearing of their apparell throughout the whole yeere," it is ordained, That

"On Bartholomew Eve for the Fayre in Smithfield:—

"The aldermen meete the lord maior and the sheriffes at the Guildhall chappel, at two of the clocke after dinner, having on their violet gownes lined, and their horses, but without their cloakes, and there they heare evening prayer. Which being done, they mount on their horses, and riding to Newgate, passe forth of the gate. Then entring into the Cloth-fayre, there they make a proclamation, which proclamation being ended, they ride thorow the Cloth-fayre, and so returne backe againe thorow the churchyard of great Saint Bartholomewes to Aldersgate: and then ride home againe to the lord maior's house."

In the same collection of ordinances:—

" On Bartholomew Day for the Wrastling.

"So many aldermen as doe dine with the lord maior, and the sheriffes, are apparelled in their scarlet gownes lined; and after dinner, their horses are brought to them where they dined. And those aldermen which dine with the sheriffes, ride with them to the lord maior's house for accompanying him to the wrastlings. When as the wrastling is done, they mount their horses, and ride backe againe thorow the Fayre, and so in at Aldersgate, and then home againe to the lord maior's house."

"The Shooting Day.

"The next day, (if it be not Sunday,) is appointed for the shooting, and the service performed as upon Bartholomew-day; but if it bee Sunday, the Sabbath-day, it is referred to the Munday then following."

Ben Jonson's mention, in his "Bartholomew Fair," of "the western man who is come to wrestle before the lord mayor anon," is clearly of one who came up to the annual wrestling on Bartholomew's-day. Concerning this "annual wrastling," it is further noticed by Stow in another place, that about the feast of St. Bartholomew, wrestling was exhibited before the lord mayor and aldermen, at Skinners-well near Clerkenwell, where they had a large tent for their accommodation. He speaks of it as having been a practice "of old time;" and affirms that "divers days were spent in the pastime, and that the officers of the citie, namely the sheriffes, serjeants, and yeomen, the porters of the king's beame, or weigh-house, (now no such men," says Stow,) "and other of the citie were challengers of all men in the suburbs, to wrestle for games appointed: and on other days, before the said mayor, aldermen, and sheriffes, in Fensbury-field, to shoot the standard, broad arrow, and flight, for games. But now of late yeeres," Stow adds, "the wrestling is only practiced on Bartholomew-day in the afternoone, and the shooting some three or foure days after, in one afternoone and no more." Finally, the old chronicler laments, that "by the means of closing in of common grounds, our archers, for want of roome to shoot abroad, creepe into bowling-alleys, and ordinarie dicing houses, neerer home, where they have roome enough to hazzard their money at unlawful games, and there I leave them to take their pleasures." Another narrator tells of the wrestlers before the lord mayor, aldermen, &c. on Barholomew's-day that they wrestled "two at a time;" he says "the conquerors are rewarded by them by money thrown from the tent; after this a parcel of wild rabbits are turned loose in the crowd, and hunted by boys with great noise, at which the mayor and aldermen do much besport themselves."* [15]

It was on St. Barholomew's-eve that the London scholars held logical disputations about the principles of grammar. "I myself," says Stow, "have yeerely seen the scholars of divers grammar-schools, repaire unto the churchyard of St. Bartholomew, the priory in Smithfield, where, upon a banke boorded about under a tree, some one scholler hath stepped up, and there hath opposed and answered, till he were by some better scholler overcome and put downe; and then the overcommer taking the place, did like as the first; and in the end, the best opposers and answerers had rewards." These disputations ceased at the suppression of the priory, but were revived, though, "only for a yeare or waine," under Edward VI., where the best scholars received bows, and arrows of silver, for their prizes.

The Bartholomew Fair of 1655, is the subject of

An Ancient Song of Bartholomew Fair.

In fifty-five, may I never thrive,
    If I tell you any more than is true,
To London che came, hearing of the fame
    Of a Fair they call Bartholomew.

In houses of boards, men walk upon cords,
    As easie as squirrels crack filberds;
But the cut-purses they do lite, and rub away,
    But those we suppose to be ill birds.

For a penny you may zee a fine puppet play,
    And for two-pence a rare piece of art;
And a penny a cann, I dare swear a man,
    May put zix of 'em into a quart.

Their zights are so rich, is able to bewitch
    The heart of a very fine man-a;
Here's patient Grizel here, and Fair Rosamond there,
    And the history of Susanna.

At Pye-corner end, mark well, my good friend,
    'Tis a very fine dirty place;
Where there's more arrows and bows, the Lord above knows,
    Than was handl'd at Chivy Chase.

Then at Smithfield Bars, betwixt the ground and the stars,
    There's a place they call Shoemaker Row,
Where that you may buy shoes every day,
    Or go barefoot all the year I tro'.* [16]

In 1699, Ned Ward relates his visit to the Fair:—

"We ordered the coachman to set us down at the Hospital-gate, near which we went into a convenient house to smoke a pipe, and overlook the follies of the innumerable throng, whose impatient desires of seeing Merry Andrew's grimaces, had led them ancle deep into filth and nastiness.—The first objects, when we were seated at the window that lay within our observation, were the quality of the Fair, strutting round their balconies in their tinsey robes, and golden leather buckskins, expressing such pride in their buffoonery stateliness, that I could but reasonably believe they were as much elevated with the thought of their fortnight's pageantry, as ever Alexander was with the thought of a new conquest looking with great contempt from their slit deal thrones, upon the admiring mobility gazing in the dirt at our ostentatious heroes, and their most supercilious doxies, who looked as aukward and ungainly in their gorgeous accoutrements, as an alderman's lady in her stiffen-bodied gown upon a lord mayor's festival."† [17]

At the Fair of 1701, there was exhibited a tiger which had been taught to pluck a fowl's feathers from its body.

In the reign of queen Anne the following curious bill relates part of the entertainment at one of the shows:—

"By her majesty's permission, at Heatly's booth, over against the Cross Daggers, next to Mr. Miller's booth, during the time of Bartholomew Fair, will be presented a little opera, called The Old Creation of the World new Revived, with the addition of the glorious battle obtained over the French and Spaniards by his grace the duke of Marlborough. The contents are these, 1. The creation of Adam and Eve. 2. The intrigues of Lucifer in the garden of Eden. 3. Adam and Eve driven out of Paradise. 4. Cain going to plow; Abel driving sheep. 5. Cain killeth his brother Abel. 6. Abraham offereth up his son Isaac. 7. Three wise men of the east, guided by a star, come and worship Christ. 8. Joseph and Mary flee away by night upon an ass. 9. King Herod's cruelty; his men's spears laden with children. 10. Rich Dives invites his friends, and orders his porter to keep the beggars from his gate. 11. Poor Lazarus comes a beggin at rich Dives' gate, the dogs lick his sores. 12. The good angel and Death contend for Lazarus's life. 13. Rich Dives is taken sick, and dieth; he is buried in great solemnity. 14. Rich Dives in hell, and Lazarus in Abraham's bosom, seen in a most glorious object, all in machines descending in a throne, guarded with multitudes of angels; with the breaking of the clouds, discovering the palace of the sun, in double and treble prospects, to the admiration of all the spectators. Likewise several rich and large figures, which dance jiggs, sarabands, anticks, and country dances, between every act; compleated with the merry humours of Sir Jno. Spendall and Punchinello, with several other things never exposed. Performed by Matt. Heatly. Vivat Regina."

A writer in the "Secret Mercury," of September 9, 1702, says, "Wednesday, September 3, having padlocked my pockets, and trimmed myself with Hudibras from head to foot, I set out about six for Bartholomew Fair; and having thrown away substantial silver for visionary theatrical entertainment, I made myself ready for the farce; but I had scarce composed myself, when bolts me into the pit a bully beau, &c. The curtain drew, and discovered a nation of beauish machines; their motions were so starched, that I began to question whether I had mistaken myself, and Dogget's booth for a puppet-show. As I was debating the matter, they advanced towards the front of the stage, and making a halt, began a singing so miserably, that I was forced to tune my own whistle in romance ere my brains were set straight again. All the secret I could for my life discover in the whole grotesque, was the consistency or drift of the piece, which I could never demonstrate to this hour. At last, all the childish parade shrunk off the stage by matter and motion, and enter a hobletehoy of a dance, and Dogget, in old woman's petticoats and red waistcoat, as like Progue Cock as ever man saw; it would have made a stoic split his lungs, if he had seen the temporary harlot sing and weep both at once; a true emblem of a woman's tears. When these Christmas carols were over, enter a wooden horse; now I concluded we should have the ballad of Troy-town, but I was disappointed in the scene, for a dancing-master comes in, begins complimenting the horse, and fetching me three or four run-bars with his arm, (as if he would have mortified the ox at one blow,) takes a frolic upon the back of it, and translates himself into cavalry at one bound; all I could clap was the patience of the beast. However, having played upon him about half a quarter, the conqueror was pursued with such a clangor from the crusted clutches of the mob in the sixpenny place, that for five minutes together I was tossed on this dilemma, that either a man had not five senses, or I was no man. The stage was now overrun with nothing but merry-andrews and pickle-herrings. This mountebank scene was removed at last, and I was full of expectations that the successor would be pills, pots of balsam, and orvietan; but, alas, they were half empirics, and therefore exeunt omnes."

We learn something of the excesses at the Fair from "The Observator," of August 21, 1703:—"Does this market of lewdness tend to any thing else but the ruin of the bodies, souls, and estates of the young men and women of the city of London, who here meet with all the temptations to destruction? The lotteries, to ruin their estates; the drolls, comedies, interludes, and farces, to poison their minds, &c. and in the cloisters what strange medley of lewdness has that place not long since afforded! Lords and ladies, aldermen and their wives, 'squires and fiddlers, citizens and rope-dancers, jack-puddings and lawyers, mistresses and maids, masters and 'prentices! This is not an ark, like Noah's which received the clean and unclean; only the unclean beasts enter this ark, and such as have the devil's livery on their backs."

An advertisement in "The Postman," of August 19, 1703, by "Barnes and Finley," invites the reader to "see my lady Mary perform such curious steps on the dancing-rope," &c. &c. Lady Mary is noticed in "Heraclitus Ridens," No. 7. "Look upon the old gentleman; his eyes are fixed upon my lady Mary: Cupid has shot him as dead as a robin. Poor Heraclitus! he has cried away all his moisture, and is such a dotard to entertain himself with a prospect of what is meat for his betters; wake him out of his lethargy, and tell him the young noblemen and senators will take it amiss if a man of his years makes pretensions to what is more than a match for their youth. Those roguish eyes have brought her more admirers than ever Jenny Bolton had."

Lady Mary was the daughter of noble parents, inhabitants of Florence, who immured her in a nunnery; but she accidentally saw a merry-andrew, with whom she formed a clandestine intercourse; and elopement followed, and finally, he taught her his infamous tricks, which she exhibited for his profit, till vice had made her his own, as Herclitus proves. The catastrophe of "the lady Mary" was dreadful: her husband, impatient of delays or impediments to profit, either permitted or commanded her to exhibit on the rope, when her situation required compassionate consideration; she fell never to rise again, nor to open her eyes on her untimely infant, which perished in a few minutes after her.

In 1715, Dawk's "News Letter," says, "on Wednesday, Bartholomew Fair began, to which we hear, the greatest number of black cattle was brought, that was ever known.—There is one great playhouse erected in the middle of Smithfield for the king's players.—The booth is the largest that was ever built." Actors of celebrity performed in the Fair at that time, and in many succeeding years.

A recent writer, evidently well acquainted with the manners of the period, introduces us to a character mentioned in a former sheet. "In the midst of all, the public attention was attracted to a tall, well-made, and handsome-looking man, who was dressed in a very fashionable suit of white, trimmed with gold lace, a laced ruffled shirt, rolled white silk stockings, a white apron, and a large cocked hat, formed of gingerbread, fringed and garnished with Dutch gold. He carried on his arm a basket filled with gingerbread cakes, one of which he held up in the air; while the other hand was stuck with an easy and fashionable manner into his bosom. For this singular vendor of confectionary every one made way, and numbers followed in his train, shouting after him, 'there goes Tiddy Doll!' the name by which that remarkable character was known. He himself did not pass silently through the crowd, but as he went along, he poured forth a multiplicity of praises of his ware, occasionally enlivened by that song which first procured him his name." This was at the Fair of the year 1740 concerning which the same illustrator thus continues: "The multitude behind was impelled violently forwards, a broad blaze of red light, issuing from a score of flambeaux, streemed into the air; several voices were loudly shouting, 'room there for prince George! make way for the prince!' and there was that long sweep heard to pass over the ground, which indicates the approach of a grand and ceremonious train. Presently the pressure became much greater, the voices louder, the light stronger, and as the train came onward, it might be seen that it consisted, firstly, of a party of yeomen of the guards clearing the way; then several more of them bearing flambeaux, and flanking the procession; while in the midst of all appeared a tall, fair, and handsome young man, having something of a plump foreign visage, seemingly about four and thirty years of age, dressed in a ruby-coloured frock coat, very richly guarded with gold lace, and having his long flowing hair curiously curled over his forehead and at the sides, and finished with a very large bag and courtly queue behind. The air of dignity with which he walked, the blue ribbon, and star and garter with which he was decorated, the small three-cornered silk court hat which he wore, whilst all around him were uncovered; the numerous suite, as well of gentlemen as of guards, which marshalled him along, the obsequious attention of a short stout person, who by his flourishing manner seemed to be a player,—all these particulars indicated that the amiable Frederick, prince of Wales was visiting Bartholomew Fair by torchlight, and that manager Rich was introducing his royal guest to all the entertainments of the place. However strange this circumstance may appear to the present generation, yet it is nevertheless strictly true; for about 1740, when the drolls in Smithfield were extended to Three weeks and a month, it was not considered as derogatory to persons of the first rank and fashion, to partake in the broad humour and theatrical amusements of the place. It should also be remembered, that many an eminent performer of the last century, unfolded his abilities in a booth; and that it was once considered, as an important and excellent preparative to their treading the boards of a theatre-royal." One of the players is thus represented as informing a spectator concerning the occupation of an itinerant actor:—"I will, as we say, take you behind the scenes. First then, a valuable actor must sleep in the pit, and wake early to sweep the theatre, and throw fresh sawdust into the boxes; he must shake out the dresses, and wind up and dust the motion-jacks; he must teach the dull ones how to act, rout up the idlers from the straw, and redeem those that happen to get into the watch-house. Then, sir, when the Fair begins, he should sometimes walk about the stage grandly and show his dress: sometimes he should dance with his fellows; sometimes he should sing; sometimes he should blow the trumpet; sometimes he should laugh and joke with the crowd, and give them a kind of a touch-and-go speech, which keep them merry, and makes them come in. Then, sir, he should sometimes cover his state robe with a great coat, and go into the crowd, and shout opposite his own booth, like a stranger who is struck with its magnificence: by the way, sir, that's a good trick, I never knew it fail to make an audience; and then he has only to steal away, mount his stage, and strut, and dance, and sing, and trumpet, and roar over again."* [18]

An advertisement in the "London Gazette" of April the 13th, 1682, shows under what authority showmen and similar persons "labour in their vocation:"—

"Whereas Mr. John Clarke, of London, bookseller, did rent of Charles Killigrew, Esq. the licensing of all ballad-singers for five years; which time is expired at Lady-day next. These are, therefore, to give notice to all ballad-singers, that they take out licences at the office of the revels, at Whitehall, for singing and selling of ballads, and small books, according to an ancient custom. And all persons concerned are hereby desired to take notice of, and to suppress all mountebanks, rope-dancers, prize-layers, ballad-singers, and such as make show of motions and strange sights, that have not a licence in red and black letters, under the hand and seal of the said Charles Killigrrew, Esq. master of the revels to his majesty;" and in particular it requires them to suppress two, one of them being "Thomas Teats mountebank," who have no licence "that they may be proceeded against according to law."

The late John Charles Crowle, Esq. who bequeathed his illustrated copy of "Pennant's London" to the British Museum, which he valued at 5000l. was master of the revels. In that quality he claimed a seat in any part of the theatres, and being opposed by the manager of the little theatre in the Haymarket, maintained his right. He was also trumpet-major of England, to whom every one who blows a trumpet publicly (excepting those of the theatres-royal) must pay a certain sum, and therefore the office has jurisdiction of all the merry-andrews and jack-puddings of every Fair throughout England. The office of master of the revels was created under Henry VIII. in 1546. The identical seal of the office used under five sovereigns, was engraved on wood, and is in the possession of Francis Douce, Esq. F.S.A., who permitted impressions of it to be inserted first by Mr. Chalmers in his "Apology for the believers in the Shakspeare MSS.," and next by Mr. J. T. Smith, of the British Museum, in his "Ancient Topography of London:" the legend on it is "Sigill: Offic: Jocor: Mascar: et Revell: Dnis. Reg." Mr. Chalmers's work also contains the "arms of the revels."* [19]

Mr. J. T. Smith was informed by Mr. Thomas Batrich, an ancient barber of Drury-lane, that Mr. Garrick shortly after his marriage conducted Mrs. Garrick to Yates and Shuter's booth; Garrick being rudely pushed called upon his bill-sticker, old Palmer, who had been engaged to receive the money at the entrance of the booth, for protection. Palmer, though a very strong man, professed himself sorry he could not serve him in Smithfield; alleging that few people there knew Garrick off the stage. One of the merry-andrews who attended on the quack doctors was so much superior to the rest of his profession for wit and gesture, that he was noticed by all ranks of people. Between the seasons he sold gingerbread nuts about Covent-garden, and was the most polite and quiet vendor of the article in London; for to keep up his value at fairs, where he had a guinea a day for his performance besides presents from the multitude, he would never laugh or notice a joke when a dealer in nuts.

Mr. Edward Oram, who died at Hampstead in his seventy-third year, and was buried at Hendon, was intimate with Hogarth in his youth, and introduced him, soon after he left his master, to the proprietors of Drury-lane theatre, where he and Oram painted scenes conjointly, for several years, and were employed by a famous woman, who kept a droll in Bartholomew Fair to paint a splendid set of scenes. The agreement particularly specified that the scenes were to be gilt; but instead of leaf gold being used, they were covered in the usual way with Dutch metal: the mistress of the drolls declared the contract to be broken, and refused to pay for the scenes.* [20]

Without going into a history of Bartholomew Fair, it may be remarked that in 1778 it was attended by a foreigner, who exhibited serpents that danced on silk ropes to the sound of music. In 1782, the late Mrs. Baker, proprietor of the Rochester theatre, brought here her company of comedians as "show-folk." In four successive years, from 1779 to 1789, Mr. Hall of the City-road, eminent for his skill in the preservation of deceased animals, exhibited at the Fair his fine collection of stuffed birds and beasts, which he exhibited for many years before and afterwards at his own house. To obtain notice to it in Smithfield, he engaged sir Jeffery Dunstan to give his imitations in crying "old wigs;" but the mob were no admirers of "still life:" at Hall's last visit they drew his fine zebra round the Fair; from thenceforth sir Jeffery's imitations ceased to draw, and Hall came no more.

The exhibitions of living animals at this Fair have been always attractive. Hither came the "illustrious" Pidcock, with his wild beasts, and to him succeeded the "not less illustrious" Polito.

Hither also came the formerly famous, and still well-remembered Astley, with his "equestrian troop," and his learned horse. These feats were the admiration of never-ceasing audiences, and to him succeeded Saunders with like success.

Puppet Shows.

Flockton was the last eminent "motion-master" at Bartholomew Fair. He was himself a good performer, and about 1790 his wooden puppets were in high vogue. He brought them every year till his death, which happened at Peckham, where he resided in a respectable way, upon a handsome competence realized by their exhibition at this and the principal fairs in the country. Flockton's "Punch" was a very superior one to the present street show. He had trained a Newfoundland dog to fight his puppet, representing the devil, whom he always conquered in due time, and then ran away with him.

A puppet-show, or play performed by puppets, was anciently called a "motion;" and sometimes, in common talk, a single puppet was called "a motion." These were very favourite spectacles. In the times of the papacy, the priests at Witney, in Oxfordshire, annually exhibited a show of The Resurrection, &c. by garnishing out certain small puppets representing the persons of Christ, Mary, and others. Amongst them, one in the character of a waking watchman, espying Christ to arise, made a continual noise, like the sound caused by the meeting of two sticks, and was therefore commonly called Jack Snacker of Wytney. Lambarde, when a child, saw a like puppet in St. Paul's cathedral, London, at the feast of Whitsuntide; where the descent of the Holy Ghost was performed by a white pigeon being let fly out of a hole in the midst of the roof of the great aisle, with a long censer, which descending from the same place almost to the ground, was swung up and down at such a length, that it reached with one sweep almost to the west-gate of the church, and with the other to the choir stairs, breathing out over the whole church and the assembled multitude a most pleasant perfume, from the sweet things that burnt within it. Lambarde says, that they every where used the like dumb-shows, to furnish sundry parts of the church service with spectacles of the nativity, passion, and ascension.

There may be added to the particulars of a former exhibition, a puppet-showman's bill at the British Museum, which announces scriptural subjects in the reign of Anne, as follows: "At Crawley's booth, over against the Crown Tavern, in Smithfield, during the time of Bartholomew Fair, will be presented a little opera, called the Old Creation of the World, yet newly revived; with the addition of Noah's Flood; also several fountains playing water during the time of the play. The last scene does present Noah and his family coming out of the ark, with all the beasts two by two, and all the fowls of the air seen in a prospect sitting upon trees; likewise over the ark is seen the sun rising in a glorious manner: moreover a multitude of angels will be seen in a double rank which presents a double prospect, one for the sun, the other for a palace, where will be seen six angels ringing of bells. Likewise machines descend from above, double and treble, with Dives rising out of hell, and Lazarus seen in Abraham's bosom, besides several figures dancing jigs, sarabands, and country dances, to the admiration of the spectators; with the merry conceits of Squire Punch, and Sir John Spendall."

These "motions" or puppet-shows were fashionable at this period in other places, and among fashionable people.

In the "Tatler" of May 14, 1709, there is an account of a puppet-show in a letter from Bath, describing the rivalry of Prudentia and Florimel, two ladies at that watering-place. Florimel bespoke the play of "Alexander the Great," to be acted by the company of strollers on Thursday evening, and the letter-writer accepted the lady's invitation to be of her party; but he says, "Prudentia had counter-plotted us, and had bespoke on the same evening, the puppet-show of the Creation of the World. She had engaged every body to be there; and to turn our leader into ridicule, had secretly let them know that the puppet Eve was made the most like Florimel that ever was seen. On Thursday morning the puppet-drummer, with Adam and Eve, and several others that lived before the flood, passed through the streets on horseback to invite us all to the pastime; and Mr. Mayor was so wise as to prefer these innocent people, the puppets, who he said were to represent christians, before the wicked players who were to show Alexander an heathen philosopher. When we came to Noah's flood in the show, Punch and his wife were introduced dancing in the ark[.] Old Mrs. Petulant desired both her daughters to mind the moral; then whispered to Mrs. Mayoress, 'this is very proper for young people to see.' Punch at the end of the play made Madame Prudentia a bow, and was very civil to the whole company, making bows till his buttons touched the ground." Sir Richard Steele in the "Spectator" of March 16, 1711, intimates that Powell, the puppet-showman, exhibited religious subjects with his puppets, under the little piazza in Covent-garden; and talks of "his next opera of Susannah, or Innocence Betrayed, which will be exhibited next week with a pair of new elders."

It is observed in a small pamphlet,* [21] that "music forms one of the grand attractions of the Fair, and a number of itinerant musicians meet with constant employment at this time." A band at the west-end of the town, well known for playing on winter evenings before the Spring-garden coffee-house, and opposite Wigley's great exhibition-room, consisted of a double drum, a Dutch organ, the tambourine, violin pipes, and the Turkish jingle, used in the army. This band was generally hired at one of the first booths in the Fair; but the universal noise arising from so many other discordant instruments, with the cry of "show them in! just going to begin!" prevented their being attended to.

The pamphlet referred to mentions the performances by a family of tumblers, who went about with a large caravan, and attended all the Fairs near town; and that at the beginning of the last century, Clarke and Higgins made themselves famous for their wonderful exertions in this way. They would extend the body into all deformed shapes, stand upon one leg, and extend the other in a perpendicular line, half a yard above the head. The tumblers of the present day do not attempt such wonderful exploits, but they put their bodies into a variety of singular postures, and leap with remarkable facility.

Lane was a celebrated performer at this Fair, and had several pupils who succeeded him in practising the grand and sublime art of legerdemain, and various tricks with cards and balls. The secrets of fortune were disclosed; unmarried damsels were told when and to whom they were to be married; and the widow when she should strip herself of her weeds, and enter anew into matrimony; knives were run through the hand without producing blood; knives and forks swallowed as of easy digestion; and fire and sparks proceeded out of a man's mouth as from a blacksmith's forge.

During Bartholomew Fair there were swings without number, besides round-abouts and up-and-downs. In the latter, the "young gentleman," with his fair partner, were elated by the undulating motion, or rather vertical rotation of the machine; and while thus in motion, could survey the busy scene around, and hear its roar. The effect cannot be described which a stranger experienced upon entering Smithfield, and beholding the immense number of these vehicles, which appeared as if soaring into the clouds.

Then too, about the year 1815, a well-known eccentric character might be seen with plum-pudding on a board, which he sold in slices. He possessed as much drollery as any mountebank in the Fair, and had as various characteristic traits of oddity. He always walked without his hat, and his hair powdered and tied a la queue, in a neat dress, with a clean apron: his voice, strong and forcible, made many a humorous appeal in behalf of his pudding, large quantities of which he dealt out for "ready money," and provoked a deal of mirth by his pleasantry.

George Alexander Stevens be-rhymes the Fair in his day thus:—

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

Before the commencement of the last century, Bartholomew Fair had become an intolerable nuisance, and the lord mayor and aldermen, to abate its depravity, issued a prohibition on the 25th of June, 1700, against its lotteries and interludes. Subsequent feints of resistance were made to its shows, music, and other exhibitions, without further advantage than occasional cessation of gross violations against the public peace.

In sir Samuel Fludyer's mayoralty, interludes were prohibited by a resolution of the court of aldermen. This resolution has been annually put forth, and annually broken by the court itself. When alderman Bull filled the civic chair, he determined to carry the resolution into effect, and so far accomplished his purpose as not to allow any booths to be erected; but want of firmness in his predecessors had inspirited the mob, and they broke the windows of the houses in Smithfield. Alderman Sawbridge in his mayoralty was equally determined against shows, and the mob was equally determined for them; he persisted, and they committed similar excesses. Yet we find that in the year 1743, the resolution had been complied with. The city would not permit booths to be erected, and "the Fair terminated in a more peaceable manner than it had done in the memory of man."* [22] This quiet, however, was only temporary, for on the 23rd of August, 1749, a gallery in Phillips's booth broke down, and four persons were killed; a silversmith, a plasterer, a woman, and a child, and many others were dangerously bruised; one of the maimed had his leg cut off the next morning.† [23] This accident seems to have aroused the citizens: on the 10th of July, 1750, a petition was presented to the lord mayor and court of aldermen, signed by above one hundred graziers, salesmen, and inhabitants in and near Smithfield, against erecting booths for exhibiting shows and entertainments there, during Bartholomew Fair, as not only annoying to them in their callings, but as giving the profligate and abandoned opportunity to debauch the innocent, defraud the unwary, and endanger the public peace. ‡[24]

On the 17th of July, 1798, the court of common council referred it to the committee of city lands, to consider the necessity and expediency of abolishing Bartholomew Fair: in the course of the previous debate it was proposed to shorten the period to one day, but this was objected to on the ground that the immense crowd from all parts of the metropolis would endanger life. §[25]

In September, 1825, Mr. Alderman Joshua Jonathan Smith, previous to entering on an examination of forty-five prisoners charged with felonies, misdemeanours, assaults, &c. committed in Smithfield during the Fair of that year, stated, that its ancient limits had been extended into several adjoining streets beyond Smithfield; he said he had particularly noticed this infringement in St. John-street, Clerkenwell on the north side, and nearly half-way down the Old Bailey, on the south; and he was determined, with the aid of his coadjutors, to take such further steps as would in future "lessen the criminal extension which had arisen, if not abolish the degrading scene altogether." [26]

At other periods besides these, there were loud complaints against Bartholomew Fair; and as in 1825, the corporation of London appears seriously to have been engaged in considering the nuisance, its end may be contemplated as near at hand. It is to the credit of the civic authorities, that though shows and interludes were permitted, the Fair of that year was more orderly than any other within memory. Yet even these regulations are inefficient to the maintenance of the reputation the city ought to hold in the estimation of other corporations. The Fair was instituted for the sale of cloth, cattle, and other necessary commodities: as these have, for many years past, wholly disappeared from it, the use of the Fair has wholly ceased; its abuse alone remains, and that abuse can only be destroyed by the utter extinction of the Fair. To do this is not to "interfere with the amusements of the people," for the people of the metropolis do not require such amusements; they are beyond the power of deriving recreation from them. The well-being of their apprentices and servants, and the young and the illiterate, require protection from the vicious contamination of an annual scene of debauchery, which contributes nothing to the city funds, and nothing to the city's character but a shameful stain.

Bartholomew Fair must and will be put down. It is for this reason that so much has been said of its former and present state. No person of respectability now visits it, but as a curious spectator of an annual congregation of ignorance and depravity.


Mushroom. Agaricus Campestris.
Dedicated to St. Laurence Justinian.

Notes [all notes are Hone's unless otherwise indicated]:

1. Stowe. [return]

2. Strutt. [return]

3. Mr. Nares's Glossary. [return]

4. Fosbroke Dict. Antiq. [return]

5. Smith's Anc. Top. of London. [return]

6. Maitland. [return]

7. Stow. [return]

8. Fitz Stephen. [return]

9. Cotton MS. [return]

10. Harl. MS. Strutt. [return]

11. Stow. [return]

12. Stow. [return]

13. Maitland. [return]

14. Nares. [return]

15. Hentzner. [return]

16. Old Ballads. [return]

17. Ward's London Spy. [return]

18. New European Magazine, 1822-3. [return]

19. Smith's Anc. Topog. Lond. [return]

20. Smith's Anc. Top. Lond. [return]

21. 12mo., "published by Jahn Arliss, No. 87, Bartholomew Close," about 1819.[return]

22. Gentleman's Magazine. [return]

23. Ibid. [return]

24. Ibid. [return]

25. Ibid. [return]

26. Ibid. [return]