Friday, April 5, 2013

An Almanac of the Exhibitions and Amusements of London:

Today, we are returning to The Picture of London for 1809; (being a Correct Guide to all the Curiosities, Amusements, Exhibits, Public Establishments, and Remarkable Objects, in and near London; with a Collection of Appropriate Tables; Two Large Maps, and several other engravings.)

On February 22 of this year, we looked at The Picture for January and February. Now we'll see what March held, and what delights April will bring.

March seemed to be the month for anniversary dinners:
1   Saint David's-day, Anniversary of the Welch Charity, which after service at St. Andrew's church, Holborn, dines at the Crown and Anchor.

1   Anniversary of the Westmoreland Society

4   Ditto of the Marine Society, at the London Tavern.

17 Ditto of the Benevolent Society of St. Patrick at the Crown and Anchor.

30 Ditto of the Asylum, for Female Orphans, at the Freemason's Tavern.
Three notes accompanied the March listings:
 Maunday Thursday. His Majesty's bounty is distributed to the poor at Whitehall-chapel, by His Majesty's Almoner.
 Towards the end of this month, and during most of the spring and summer, are to be seen reviews, and other military spectacles, in Hyde Park, generally two or three mornings in the week. Notice of these may be had at the offices of the Commander-in-Chief, or of the Adjutant-general, at the Horse-guards, Whitehall.
Every morning a pleasing spectacle is displayed on the Parade, behind the Horse-guards, about ten o'clock, where the stranger will likewise be entertained with a charming concert of martial music.
 from Walks Through London 1817
April shows the beginnings of the social season, and hints of the spring and summer activities to come. There are still anniversary dinners:
1   Anniversary Dinner of the Literary Fund for the relief of authors in distress, at the Freemasons Tavern.
7   Ditto of the Freemason's Charity, for educating Female Children, at the Crown and Anchor.
5   Ditto of the Society for the Refuge of the Destitute.
10 Ditto of the Institution at Bermondsey, for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb, where they are taught to speak and read articulately, write, etc., held at the London tavern.
27 Anniversary of the Society of Friends of Foreigners in Distress, City of London Tavern.
Easter, with its variable dates, brings a variety of events.

Easter Monday and Tuesday, are days of great frolic and revelry, in Greenwich-park, and there are scenes deserving of notice.

On Easter Monday and Tuesday, the Lord-mayor, Aldermen, etc. go in state to Christ-church, and attend divine service; after which on Monday, a grand dinner is given at the Mansion-house, and a splendid and numerously attended ball in the evening Tickets to be had of the Lord-mayor.
"Easter Term begins the third Wednesday after Easter Sunday, and lasts twenty-six days." and again there is celebration:

In the first Sunday of Easter Term, the Lord-mayor, Sheriffs, and Judges, go in state to St. Paul's Church, and afterwards partake of a grand dinner.
But the arts are stirring:
Easter Monday, the following Summer Theatres open: Sadler's Wells, Ampitheatre of Arts (Astley's), The Royal Circus.
From the 18th of April:
Exhibition of the Painters in Water Colours, Old Bond-street.
Ditto of the Associated Artists in Water Colours, No. 20, Lower Brook-street.
And finally, the great display of the Beau Monde is underway:
In this month, and during the summer, every day, but particularly on Sunday, from two o'clock till five, Hyde Park is a great resort of persons on foot, on horse-back, and in carriages. Kensington-gardens form also, during the same time, a great fashionable promenade, unequalled in any part of the world.
Kensington Garden Promenade Dresses June 1806

Happy Spring!
'Til next time,



Anne Gallagher said...

I love the description of Maundy Thursday. The King's almoner. You don't hear words like that anymore.

And I wonder why Sunday was such a good day to promenade in the Park? You would think that Sunday after church was a family day. Or maybe it's just my family that believes that.

Lesley-Anne McLeod said...

I just love the Almanac of events. It gives such life to the Regency world. I too was surprised about the Sunday promenade. Perhaps our impressions are too coloured by Victorian information?