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well neere to sixteene hundred day. Concerning this annual wrastling," pounds." This improvement, it will be it is further noticed by Stow in another remembered, was effected in the year place, that about the feast of St. Barthowherein : Ben Jonson's “Bartholomew lomew, wrestling was exhibited before the Fair” was written.
lord mayor and aldermen, at Skinnerswell near Clerkenwell, where they had a large tent for their accommodation. He
speaks of it as having been a practice "of In “ The Order observed by the lord old time;" and affirms that “divers days maior, the aldermen, and sheriffes for were spent in the pastime, and that the their meetings, and wearing of their ap- officers of the citie, namely the sheriffes, parell throughout the whole yeere," it is serjeants, and yeomen, the porters of the ordained, That
king's beame, or weigh-house, (now no “On Bartholomew Eve for the Fayre in such men,” says Stow,)." and other of Smithfield :
the citie were challengers of all men in “ The aldermen meete the lord maior the suburbs, to wrestle for games appointand the sheriffes at the Guildhall chap- ed : and on other days, before the said pel, at two of the clocke' after dinner, mayor, aldermen, and sheriffes, in Fenshaving on their violet gownes lined, and bury-field, to shoot the standard, broad their horses, but without their cloakes, arrow, and flight, for games. But now of and there they heare evening prayer. late yeeres," Stow adds, “the wrestling Which being done, they mount on their is only practiced on Bartholomew-day in horses, and riding to Newgate, passe the afternoone, and the shooting some forth of the gate. Then entring into the three or foure days after, in one afterCloth-fayre, there they make a procla- noone and no more.” Finally, the old mation, which proclamation being ended, chronicler laments, that “ by the means of they ride thorow the Cloth-fayre, and so closing in of common grounds, our archreturne backe againe thorow the church- ers, for want of roome to shoot abroad, yard of great Saint Bartholomewes to creepe into bowling-alleys, and ordinarie Aldersgate: and then ride home againe dicing houses, neerer home, where they to the lord maior's house."
have roome enough to hazzard their moIn the same collection of ordinances:- ney at unlawful games, and there I leave
“ On Bartholomew Day for the them to take their pleasures.”. Another IV rastling:
narrator tells of the wrestlers before the “ So many aldermen as doe dine with lord mayor, aldermen, &c. on Bartholothe lord maior, and the sheriffes, are ap- mew's-day that they wrestled “ two at parelled in their scarlet gownes lined ; and a time;" he says “the conquerors are reafter dinner, their horses are brought to warded by them by money thrown from them where they dined. And those the tent; after this a parcel of wild rabaldermen which dine with the sheriffes, bits are turned loose in the crowd, and ride with them to the lord maior's house hunted by boys with great noise, at for accompanying him to the wrastlings. which the mayor and aldermen do much When as the wrastling is done, they besport themselves."* mount their horses, and ride backe againe thorow the Fayre, and so in at Alders- It was on St. Bartholomew's-eve that gate, and then home againe to the lord the London scholars held logical disputamaior's house."
tions about the principles of grammar. “ The Shooting Day.
“I myself," says Stow, "have yeerely
seen the scholars of divers grammar“ The next day, (if it be not Sunday,) schools, repaire unto the churchyard of is appointed for the shooting, and the St. Bartholomew, the priory in Smithservice performed as upon Bartholomew- field, where, upon a banke boorded about day; but if it bee Sunday, the Sabbath- under a tree, some one scholler hath day, it is referred to the Munday then stepped up, and there hath opposed and following."
answered, till he were by some better Ben Jonson's mention, in his “Bartho- scholler overcome and put downe; and lomew Fair,” of “the western man who is then the overcommer taking the place, come to wrestle before the lord mayor did like as the first; and in the end, the anon,” is clearly of one who came up to best opposers and answerers had rem the annual wrestling, on Bartholomew's
wards." These disputations ceased at best scholars received bows, and arrows the suppression of the priory, but were of silver, for their prizes. revived, though, “only for a yeare or twaine," under Edward VI., where the The Bartholomew Fair of 1655, is the
An Ancient Song of Bartholomew Fair.
In fifty-five, may I never thrive,
If I tell you any more than is true,
Of a Fair they call Bartholomew.
As easie as squirrels crack filberds;
But those we suppose to be ill birds.
And for two-pence a rare piece of art;
May put zix of 'em into a quart.
The heart of a very fine man-a;
And the history of Susanna.
'Tis a very fine dirty place;
Than was handld at Chivy Chase.
There's a place they call Shoemaker Row,
Or go barefoot all the year I tro'.*
In 1699, Ned Ward relates his visit to looking with great contempt from their the Fair:
slit deal thrones, upon the admiring mo“We ordered the coachman to set us bility gazing in the dirt at our ostentadown at the Hospital-gate, near which we tious heroes, and their most supercilious went into a convenient house to smoke a doxies, who looked as aukward and unpipe, and overlook the follies of the in- gainly in their gorgeous accoutrements, numerable throng, whose impatient de- as an alderman's lady in her stiffen-bosires of seeing Merry Andrew's grimaces, died gown upon a lord mayor's festival.”+ had led them ancle deep into filth and nastiness. The first objects, when we At the Fair of 1701, there was exhibitwere seated at the window that lay with- ed a tiger which had been taught to pluck in our observation, were the quality of a fowl's feathers from its body. the Fair, strutting round their balconies In the reign of queen Anne the followin their tinsey robes, and golden leather ing curious bill relates part of the enterbuckskins, expressing such pride in their tainment at one of the shows :buffoonery stateliness, that I could but “ By her majesty's permission, at reasonably believe they were as much Heatly's booth, over against the Cross elevated with the thought of their fort- Daggers, next to Mr. Miller's booth, night's pageantry, as ever Alexander was with the thought of a new conquest;
7 Ward's London Spy.
* Old Ballads.
during the time of Bartholomew Fair, will were set straight again. All the secret be presented a little opera, called The I could for iny life discover in the Old Creation of the World new Kevived, whole grotesque, was the consistency or with the addition of the glorious battle drift of the piece, which I could never obtained over the French and Spaniards demonstrate to this hour. At last, all the by his grace the duke of Marlborough. childish parade shrunk off the stage by The contents are these, 1. The creation matter and motion, and enter a hobleteof Adam and Eve. 2. The intrigues of hoy of a dance, and Dogget, in old woLucifer in the garden of Eden. 3. Adam man's petticoats and red waistcoat, as and Eve driven out of Paradise. 4. Cain like Progue Cock as ever man saw; it going to plow; Abel driving sheep. 5. would have made a stoic split his lungs, Cain killeih his brother Abel. 6. Abra. if he had seen the temporary harlot sing ham offereth up his son Isaac. 7. Three and weep both at once; a true emblem wise men of the east, guided by a star, of a woman's tears. When these Christ. come and worship Christ. 8. Joseph mas carols were over, enter a wooden and Mary fee away by night upon an ass. horse; now I concluded we should have 9. King Herod's cruelty; his men's spears the ballad of Troy-town, but I was disapladen with children. 10. Rich Dives pointed in the scene, for a dancing-master invites his friends, and orders his porter comes in, begins complimenting the horse, to keep the beggars from his gate. 11. and fetching me three or four run-bars Poor Lazarus comes a begging at rich with his arm, (as if he would have mortiDives' gate, the dogs lick his sores. 12. fied the ox at one blow,) takes a frolic The good angel and Death contend for upon the back of it, and translates him. Lazarus's life. 13. Rich Dives is taken self into cavalry at one bound; all I could sick, and dieth; he is buried in great so- clap was the patience of the beast. Howlemnity. 14. Rich Dives in hell, and ever, having played upon him about half Lazarus in Abraham's bosom, seen in a a quarter, the conqueror was pursued with most glorious object, all in machines de- such a clangor from the crusted clutches scending in a throne, guarded with mul- of the mob in the sixpenny place, that for titudes of angels; with the breaking of five minutes together I was tossed on this the clouds, discovering the palace of the dilemma, that either a man had not five sun, in double and treble prospects, to senses, or I was no man. The stage was the admiration of all the spectators. Like- overrun with nothing but merry. wise several rich and large figures, which andrews and pickle-herrings. This moundance jiggs, sarabands,anticks,and country tebank scene was removed at last, and I dances, between every act; compleated was full of expectations that the successor with the merry humours of Sir Jno. would be pills, pots of balsam, and orviSpendall and Punchinello, with several etan; but, alas, they were half empirics, other things never exposed. Performed and therefore exeunt omnes.” by Matt. Heatly. Vivat Regina.”
We learn something of the excesses at A writer in the “ Secret Mercury," of the Fair from "The Observator," of August September 9, 1702, says, Wednesday, 21, 1703 :-“ Does this market of lewdSeptember 3, having padlocked my poc- ness tend to any thing else but the ruin kets, and trimmed myself with Hudibras of the bodies, souls, and estates of the from head to foot, I set out about six for young men and women of the city of Bartholomew Fair; and having thrown London, who here meet with all the away substantial silver for visionary the temptations to destruction ? The lotteries, atrical entertainment, I made myself ready to ruin their estates; the drolls, comedies, for the farce; but I had scarce composed interludes, and farces, to poison their myself, when bolts me into the pit a bully minds, &c. and in the cloisters what beau, &c. The curtain drew, and dis- strange medley of lewdness has that place covered a nation of beauish machines; not long since afforded ! Lords and ladies, their motions were so starched, that I aldermen and their wives, 'squires and began to question whether I had mistaken fiddlers, citizens and rope-dancers, jack. myself, and Dogger's booth for a puppet- puddings and lawyers, mistresses and show. As I was debating the matter, maids, masters and 'prentices! This is they advanced towards the front of the not an ark, like Noah's which received stage, and making a halt, began a singing the clean and unclean ; only the unclean so miserably, that I was forced to tune beasts enter this ark, and such as have the my own whistle in romance ere my brains devil's livery on their backs."
An advertisement in “ The Postman,” cakes, one of which he held up in the air; of August 19, 1703, by “ Barnes and while the other hand was stuck with an Finley,” invites the reader to “ see my easy and fashionable manner into his lady Mary perform such curious steps on bosom. For this singular vendor of conthe dancing-rope,” &c. &c. Lady Mary fectionary every one made way, and numis noticed in “ Heraclitus Ridens," No.7. bers followed in his train, shouting after “Look upon the old gentleman; his eyes him, there goes Tiddy Doll !' the name are fixed upon my lady Mary: Cupid has by which that remarkable character was shot him as dead as a robin. Poor Hera- known. He himself did not pass silently clitus! he has cried away all his moisture, through the crowd, but as he went along, and is such a dotard to entertain himself he poured forth a multiplicity of praises with a prospect of what is meat for his of his ware, occasionally enlivened by that betters; wake him out of his lethargy, song which first procured him his name." and tell him the young noblemen and This was at the Fair of the year 1740 senators will take it amiss if a man of his concerning which the same illustrator thus years makes pretensions to what is more continues : « The multitude behind was than a match for their youth. Those impelled violently forwards, a broad blaze roguish eyes have brought her more ad- of red light, issuing from a score of Alammirers than ever Jenny Bolton had." beaux, streamed into the air; several
Lady Mary was the daughter of noble voices were loudly shouting, "room there parents, inhabitants of Florence, who im- for prince George! make way for the mured her in a nunnery; but she acci- prince ! and there was that long sweep dentally saw a merry-andrew, with whom heard to pass over the ground, which inshe formed a clandestine intercourse ; an dicates the approach of a grand and ceelopement followed, and finally, he taught remonious train. Presently the pressure her his infamous tricks, which she exhi- became much greater, the voices louder, bited for his profit, till vice had made her the light stronger, and as the train came his own, as Heraclitus proves. The catas- onward, it might be seen that it consisted, trophe of “the lady Mary” was dreadful: firstly, of a party of yeomen of the guards her husband, impatient of delays or im- clearing the way; then several more of pediments to profit, either permitted or them bearing flambeaux, and flanking the commanded her to exhibit on the rope, procession ; while in the midst of all when her situation required compassionate appeared a tall, fair, and handsome young consideration ; she fell never to rise again, man, having something of a plump foreign nor to open her eyes on her untimely visage, seemingly about four and thirty infant, which perished in a few minutes years of age, dressed in a ruby-coloured after her.
very richly guarded with gold In 1715, Dawks's “News Letter,” says, lace, and having his long flowing hair “ on Wednesday, Bartholomew Fair began, curiously curled over his forehead and at to which we hear, the greatest number of the sides, and finished with a very large black cattle was brought, that was ever bag and courtly queue behind. The air known. There is one great playhouse of dignity with which he walked, the blue erected in the middle of Smithfield for ribbon, and star and garter with which he the king's players.—The booth is the was decorated, the small three-cornered largest that was ever built.” Actors of silk court hat which he wore, whilst all celebrity performed in the Fair at that around him were uncovered; the numetime, and in many succeeding years. rous suite, as well of gentlemen as of
A recent writer, evidently well ac- guards, which marshalled him along, the quainted with the manners of the period, obsequious attention of a short stout perintroduces us to a character mentioned in son, who by his flourishing manner seemed a former sheet. “In the midst of all, the to be a player,-all these particulars inpublic attention was attracted to a tall, dicated that the amiable Frederick, prince well-made, and handsome-looking man, of Wales was visiting Bartholomew Fair who was dressed in a very fashionable by torchlight, and that manager Rich was suit of white, trimmed with gold lace, a introducing his royal guest to all the enlaced ruffled shirt, rolled white silk stock- tertainments of the place. However ings, a white apron, and a large cocked strange this circumstance may appear to hat, formed of gingerbread, fringed and the present generation, yet it is neverthegarnished with Ďutch gold. He carried less strictly true; for about 1740, when on his arm a basket filled with gingerbread the drolls in Smithfield were extended to
three weeks and a month, it was not con- cerned are hereby desired to take notice sidered as derogatory to persons of the of, and to suppress all mountebanks, ropefirst rank and fashion, to partake in the dancers, prize-players, ballad-singers, and broad humour and theatrical amusements such as make show of motions and strange of the place. It should also be remem- sights, that have not a licence in red and bered, that many an eminent performer black letters, under the hand and seal of of the last century, unfolded his abilities the said Charles Killigrew, Esq. master in a booth; and that it was once consi- of the revels to his majesty;" and in pardered, as an important and excellent pre- ticular it requires them to suppress two, parative to their treading the boards of a one of them being “ Thomas Teats mountheatre-royal.” One of the players is thus tebank,” who have no licence “ that they represented as informing a spectator con- may be proceeded against according to cerning the occupation of an itinerant law.” actor :-“I will, as we say, take you be
The late John Charles Crowle, Esq. hind the scenes.
First then, a valuable who bequeathed his illustrated copy actor must sleep in the pit, and wake of“ Pennant's London" to the British Muearly to sweep the theatre, and throw seum, which he valued at 50001. was masfresh sawdust into the boxes; he must ter of the revels. In that quality he shake out the dresses, and wind up and claimed a seat in any part of the theatres, dust the motion-jacks; he must teach the and being opposed by the manager of the dull ones how to act, rout up the idlers little theatre in the Haymarket, mainfrom the straw, and redeem those that tained his right. He was also trumpethappen to get into the watch-house. Then, major of England, to whom every one sir, when the Fair begins, he should who blows a trumpet publicly (excepting sometimes walk about the stage grandly,
those of the theatres-royal) must pay a and show his dress : sometimes he should certain sum, and therefore the office has dance with his fellows; sometimes he jurisdiction of all the merry-andrews and hould sing; sometimes he should blow jack-puddings of every Fair throughout the trumpet ; sometimes he should laugh England. The office of master of the and joke with the crowd, and give them revels was created under Henry VIII. in a kind of a touch-and-go speech, which
1546. The identical seal of the office used keep them merry, and makes them come under five sovereigns, was engraved on in. Then, sir, he should sometimes cover wood, and is in the possession of Francis his state robe with a great coat, and go Douce, Esq. F.S.A., who permitted iminto the crowd, and shout opposite his pressions of it to be inserted first by Mr. own booth, like a stranger who is struck Chalmers in his “ Apology for the bewith its magnificence : by the way, sir,
lievers in the Shakspeare MSS.," and next that's a good trick, I never knew it fail to by Mr.J.T.Smith, of the British Museum, make an audience; and then he has only in his “ Ancient Topography of London :" to steal away, mount his stage, and strut, the legend on it is “ Sigill: Offic: Joand dance, and sing, and trumpet, and
cor: Mascar : et Revell: Dnis. Reg." roar over again."*
Mr. Chalmers's work also contains the
arms of the revels."*
An advertisement in the “ London Ga
Mr. J. T. Smith was informed by Mr. zette" of April the 13th, 1682, shows under what authority showmen and similar
Thomas Batrich, an ancient barber of Dru
persons “ labour in their vocation :"
ry-lane, that Mr. Garrick shortly after his “Whereas Mr. John Clarke, of London,
marriage conducted Mrs. Garrick to Yates bookseller, did rent of Charles Killigrew,
and Shuter's booth ; Garrick being rudely Esq. the licensing of all ballad-singers
pushed called upon his bill-sticker, old for five years ; which time is expired at
Palmer, who had been engaged to receive Lady-day next. These are, therefore, to
the money at the entrance of the booth, give notice to all ballad-singers, that they
for protection. Palmer, though a very take out licences at the office of the revels, could not serve him in Smithfield; alleg.
strong man, professed himself sorry he at Whitehall, for singing and selling of ballads, and small books, according to an
ing that few people there knew Garrick ancient custom. And all persons con
off the stage. One of the merry-andrews
# New European Magazine, 1822-3.
* Smith's Anc. Topog. Lond.