Social Life in Queen Anne's Reign, Volume I.

Ashton, John





BUT it must not be imagined that these fairs monopolised all the rarities and natural curiosities. On the contrary, there were plenty on exhibition elsewhere, as we shall see. 'This is to give Notice to all Gentlemen, Ladies, and Others, that the Great Ox that hath been so long talk'd of, and that hath been in the News so often, is now come to London, and is to be seen any Hour of the Day, at the White Horse Inn in , at the same place where the great Elephant was seen. This Large and Famous Beast, otherwise called the True Lincolnshier Ox, is Nineteen Hands High, and Four Yards Long, from his Face to his Rump, and never was Calv'd nor never Suckt, and two Years ago was no bigger than another Ox, but since is grown to this Prodigious Bigness. This Noble Beast was lately shown at the University of Cambridge, with great Satisfaction to all that saw him. The like Beast for Bigness was never seen in the World before. Vivat Reginae' (sic). Other dimensions are given when it was exhibited at May Fair. ' His shin being 36 inches round, and an Ell broad from Huckle Bone to Huckle Bone across the Back.' The following looks suspiciously like a newspaper puff: 'Yesterday the 17th Instant, was proffer'd for the Great Lincolnshire Ox, 350 Guineas.' [1] 

Then there was a 'Large Buckinghamshire Hog, above 10 Foot long; 13 Hands high; above 7 foot and a half round the Body; almost 5 Foot round the Neck, and 18 inches round the fore Leg, above the Joynt.' And 'At the White Horse in ' could be seen the 'Wonderful Worcestershire Mare 19 Hands high, curiously shaped, every way proportionable.'

These were native productions, and, although abnormal, could not compete with rarities from foreign lands-especially with the whale, , September 15, : 'There being last Week a Royal Parmacitty Whale taken in the , which is the noblest Fish ever seen in England, the same will for the curiosity of Gentlemen, &c., be exposed to view in a Barge near the Faulcon over against Black Fryers at 2d. a piece.' It got rather odoriferous by keeping, so we read in the of September 22, that 'the Royal Whale, supposed to be the Spermacete so much admired, will be exposed to Sale by Auction to-morrow at 4 o'clock.' Its purchaser is unknown, but we hear of it again: 'We called at the Isle of Dogs to see the Skeleton of a whale, forty-eight yards long, and thirty-five round.' [2] 

Of course there was no Zoological Society at that time, and the only way of seeing foreign animals was by small private collections, which, for want of capital, never contained any very rare specimens. Still, it was something even to get this, and we must not forget that our own Zoological collection is the work of the present century, and is an example followed by scarcely any other town in England, where still, as in the villages, people are dependent upon the travelling menageries for any practical knowledge they may possess of the natural history of any land other than their own. In London a permanent collection of wild beasts, or at all events lions and tigers, had existed at the Tower, where once was a white bear, which used, duly fastened by a cord, to fish in the ; and we have seen that these animals were one of the principal sights of the city.

'At the White Horse Inn in , any time of the Day or Evening,' were to be seen '1. A little Black Hairy


Pigmey, bred in the Desarts of Arabia, a Natural Ruff of Hair about his Face, two Foot high, walks upright, drinks a Glass of Ale or Wine, and does several other things to admiration. 2. A Hyenna. 3. A Murino dear, one of the seven Sleepers. 4. The Remark from the East Indies. 5. The Noble Histix from the West Indies. 6. The little Whifler, admired for his extraordinary Scent. 7. The Mock call, the Bird of Paradise.'


' To all Gentlemen and others that are lovers of Rarieties. Are to be seen divers sorts of Outlandish Beasts lately brought over, which, altho by Nature feirce and Savage, are here to be seen very gentle and tame, giving great Satisfaction to all the beholders. As first A Leopard, a beast of excellent beauty, presented to an English Merchant in Turkey by the king of the Arabs, as a particular mark of favour for eminent Services performed, who for the Maintenance of it in its voyage from Aleppo, gave One hundred and ninety


of the best and fattest fowls. Likewise two Dromedaries Male and Female, the Male being the largest that ever was in England, being seven foot high, and ten foot in length; his common burden is twelve hundredweight, with which he travels 40 miles a day; there is also to be seen a Civet Cat giveing a pleasant smell throughout the Room. Likewise a Wolf and other wild beasts are there to be seen at any time of the day (all being alive).'

A dromedary seems to have been considered a great curiosity, and the following advertisement gives a wonderful description of it. 'By Her Majesties Authority. Betwixt the Queen's Head and Crooked Billet near . This is to give notice to all Gentlemen, Ladies, and others, that there is here to be seen, two strange wonderful and remarkable monstrous Creatures, an old She Dromodary, being seven foot high, and ten foot long, lately arriv'd from Tartary, and her young One, being the greatest Rarity and Novelty that ever was seen in the three Kingdoms before. These Creatures is much admired above all other Creatures in their way of bringing forth their young, for they go fourteen Months with young; these Creatures resembles several sorts of Creatures, and yet but one at the last; they are headed like a Horse, ey'd like an Ox, nos'd like a Deer, cloven Lipt like a Hare, also neck'd like a Swan, and Tail'd like a Mule, and cloven footed like a Cow, also the young Creature shewing several Actions by the word of Command. Note also that natural Dromodarys (as these be) are the swiftest Creatures upon Earth: These Creatures are to be seen at any hour of the day from eight in the Morning till nine at night. Vivat Regina.'

' By Her Majesty's Authority. Is to be seen, the Hand of a Sea Monster which was lately taken on the Coasts of Denmark; the whole Creature was very large, and weigh'd (according to Computation) at least fifty Tuns, and was seventy foot in length: His upper part resembled a Man; from the middle downwards he was a Fish, &c. Likewise there is a Man Teger, lately brought from the East Indies, a most strange and wonderful Creature, the like never seen before in England, it being of Seven several Colours, from


the Head downwards resembling a Man, its fore parts clear, and his hinder parts all Hairy; having a long Head of Hair, and Teeth 2 or 3 Inches long; taking a Glass of Ale in his hand like a Christian, Drinks it, also plays at Quarter Staff. There is also a famous Porcupine, a Martin Drill, a Pecari from the Deserts of Arabia, the Bone of a Giant above a Yard long, with several other Monstrous Creatures too difficult to describe, all alive. This is to give notice that the Man Teger is removed from to the sign of the George against the steps of Upper More Fields. Vivat Regina.'

'This is to give Notice to all Gentlemen, Ladies, and Others, that are Lovers of Ra-arities, that over against the Muse Gate, near Chairing Cross, is to be seen the same Creature that was shown at Epsom and the Bath all this Summer. This Noble Creature, which much resembles a Wild Hairy Man, was lately taken in a Wood at Bengall in the East Indies, he Dances upon the strait Rope with a Pole in his hands, he cuts Capers upon the Rope, and Dances true to the Musick. Likewise this Creature walks the Steep Rope with a Pole in his hands. He walks upon a small Slack Rope Swinging, at the same time drinks a Glass of Ale, and all this is performed on a Rope no bigger than a penny Cord; and swings on it, to the great Admiration of all spectators. He pulls off his Hat, and pays his Respects to the Company, and smoaks a Pipe of Tobacco as well as any Christian. This Noble Creature flings a Strapader, and hangs by his Hands and his Feet, and performs such Wonderful Things, that ne'er was done by any Rope Dancer whatever.' This was the rope-dancer spoken of by : ' He is by birth a Monkey; but swings upon a Rope, takes a pipe of Tobacco, and drinks a glass of Ale, like any reasonable Creature.' [3] 

Occasionally, but very rarely, the nobler beasts were shown. 'At the Duke of Marlborough's Head in , is to be seen these Rarities following. 1. The noble and majestick Lion, lately brought from Barbary, which for its most surprizing Largeness, and its being so wonderful tame, far


exceeds any that ever was seen in the world. 2. A young Lion lately brought over from Algier, so wonderful tame that any Person may handle him as well as his keeper. 3. The noble Panther lately brought from Egypt, one of the beautifullest Creatures in the World for variety of Spots of divers Colours; a Creature much admired by all the Gentlemen, and Ladies that ever saw him. 4. The Noble Pelican or Vulture, lately arrived from America 3 foot high, 9 over. The Head like a Griffin, Neck like a Swan; the like never seen in this kingdom before.'


A rhinoceros could only be seen stuffed, and with its skeleton.

In the latter part of there was a show of which has immortalised in the (No. 271), saying that the man,. his wife, and horse 'are so very light, that when they are put together into a Scale, an ordinary Man may weigh down the whole Family.' These were combined with some wild animals, which evidently would not pay to exhibit by themselves.

'By Her Majesty's Permission. This is to give Notice to


all Gentlemen, Ladies, and Others, that JUST over against the Mews Gate at Charing Cross, is to be seen a Collection of strange and wonderful Creatures from most Parts of the World, all alive.

'The First being a little Black Man, being but 3 Foot high, and 32 Years of Age, strait and proportionable every way, who is distinguished by the Name of the Black Prince, and has been shown before most Kings and Princes in Christendom. The next being his Wife, the Little Woman, NOT 3 Foot high, and 30 Years of Age, strait and proportionable as any Woman in the Land, which is commonly call'd the Fairy Queen, she gives a General satisfaction to all that sees her, by Diverting them with Dancing, being big with Child. Likewise their little Turkey Horse, being but 2 Foot odd Inches High, and above 12 Years of Age, that shews several diverting and surprising Actions, at the Word of Command. The least Man, Woman and Horse that ever was seen in the World Alive. The Horse being kept in a Box. The next being a strange Monstrous Female Creature, that was taken in the Wood in the Desarts of AETIOPIA in Prestor John's Country, in the remotest parts of AFFRICA, being brought over from Cape de Bon Esperance alias Cape of Good Hope; from hir Head downwards she resembles Humane Nature, having Breasts, Belly, Navel, Nipples, Legs, and Arms like a Woman, with a long Monstrous Head, no such Creature was ever seen in this part of the World before, she showing many strange and wonderful Actions which gives great satisfaction to all that ever did see her. The next is the Noble Picary which is very much admir'd by the Learned. The next being the Noble Jack-call, the Lion's provider, which hunts in the Forest for the Lion's Prey. Likewise a small Egyptian Panther, spotted like a Leopard. The next being a strange monstrous Creature, brought from the Coast of Brazil, having a Head like a Child, Legs and Arms very wonderful, with a long Tail like a Serpent, wherewith he feeds himself, as an Elephant doth with his Trunk. With several other Rarities too tedious to mention in this Bill.'

Before quitting the natural history shows we must notice


'The finest Taught Horse in the World. These are to give Notice to all Gentlemen, Ladies, and Others, that are Lovers of Sport and Ingenuity, that at the Ship on Great Tower Hill will be shewn a Dancing Horse, which performs a great many Dexterous Actions at the Word of Command, Viz., He fetches and carries like a Spaniel Dog, if you hide a Glove Handkerchief, Door Key, Pewter Bason, or so small a thing as a Silver Two Pence, he will seek about the Room till he finds it and brings it to his Master. 'Turn him loose in the Room without either Bridle or Halter on his Head, altho' there were a hundred People in the Room, some paying as they come in, and some not paying, yet let them sit and be mixed one amongst another, he will find them out that have not payd from the rest. 'Borrowing several pieces of Money of Persons in the Room, Blind fold this Horse whilst the Money is in Borrowing, yet giving him the Money, he will take it in his Mouth one piece after another and will give it where 'twas Borrowed, and will give account what Pieces they are when he delivers them. He tells all Numbers and findeth any one Person from another; he plays at Cards, at Putt, a thing much to be admired, he plays with as much readiness as any one that plays with him. Tell him that there is an Express Warrant come to press him, and that he must leave his Master to go and serve the French King, unless he can find some way to deceive the Press Masters, he presently falleth so Lame, that he can hardly set one Foot before another, but telling him if he is Alive he must go, he throweth himself on the Ground, and with his Legs stretched out stiff, and his Tongue lying out of his Mouth, as if he were Dead; but telling him that he must rise and Serve Queen Anne, he riseth up and is Extraordinary Brisk and Cheerful; he turns his Body round on one Foot, and will Leap through Hoops, and performs Sixty Actions at Command without Bridle on his Head; the like never seen by no dumb Creature in the World. Vivat Regina.'

Dwarfs always have been shown about, and the following advertisement is probably that of one of the rivals to that spiteful already noticed.

'At the Brandy Shop over against the Eagel and Child in Stocks Market, is to be seen any hour of the Day, from 8 in the Morning till 9 at Night, a little German Woman, the Dwarf of the World, being but 2 Foot 8 Inches in Height, and the Mother of 2 Children, as straight as any Woman in England; she sings and dances incomperable well, she has had the honour to be shown before Kings and Princes, and most of the Nobility of the Land, she is carried in a little Box to any Gentleman's House, if desir'd.'

'In Bridges Street in , over against the Rose Tavern, is to be seen a Living FAIRY, suppos'd to be a Hundred and Fifty Years Old; his Face being no bigger than a Child's of a Month: was found Sixty Years ago; Look'd as Old then as He does now. His Head being a great piece of Curiosity, having no Scull, with several Imperfections worthy your Observation.'

' There were giants in the earth in those days,' and at the 'Hercules's Pillars at Charing Cross' might be seen a German giant, seven and a half feet high, and an Italian giantess 'above Seven foot high, and every way proportionable weighing 425 Pounds Weight.' This seems to have been the normal height of giants, for the Saxon giant [4] who was ' but Twenty Five Years of Age, he is Seven Foot and Five Inches in height, and every way Proportionable.' He was shown to the Queen and Prince George at Windsor; but, previously, 'he had the Honour to be presented with a piece of Armour proportionable to his Bigness, by the King of the Romans.'

Germany, however, was not to have the monopoly of supplying us with giants-that, our patriotism could not standso a real live British giant was produced, warranted genuine. The only fault about him is that he does not state his height, so that we have no means of comparing him with the foreign importations.

'This is to give Notice to all Gentlemen, Ladys and Others, that there is now to be seen in this Place, a Tall


BRITAIN, Born on a Mountain near Llanriost; from the Age of 16 Years he has Travelled abroad, and has been shown before all the Foreign Kings and Princes in Christendom; and is now lately come into England, and had the Honour to have been shown before Her Present Majesty of Great Brittain and her Royal Consort the Prince to the great Satisfaction of all spectators that have seen him, he being the Tallest Man that ever was show'd in this Kingdom.'

'There is lately brought to this Place from America a Savage; being a Cannibal Indian or Man Eater who was taken in a Skirmish near South Carolina, between the Natives of that Place and some of the Wild Savage Men. Likewise an Indian Woman, a Princess of that Country.'

Divers freaks of humanity were shown, but it requires

some credulity to take in the following: 'At the Herculus Pillars at Charring Cross, is to be seen a Girl that was found on a Mountain, in the west of England; When an Eminent Gentlewoman observing her to be without Fingers or Toes; and without Speech, in regard to her Distress, ordered her to be brought to her Habitation; this Gentlewoman for many Years, was troubled with Convulsions of a severe kind, was perfectly Cured in a very short time, by the Girls Stroaking. This Girl hath like Success in Pains that arise from the Spleen, Sores, and Swellings, and many other Distempers,


and what is very Remarkable also in her; She never spoke one Word in Four Years, and then by a Prophetick Spirit, said, the Gentlewoman that preserved her, would Die by Two a Clock which happened accordingly. The Girl is Ingenious, and can Work at her Needle; and perform several other things worth Observation; Price for seeing her Six Pence a Piece. She Toucheth Gratis.'

' This young Man was Born in Hungary, and is about 18 years of Age, a Foot and a Half High: In the places where the Thighs, or Legs should be; hath Two Breasts in all points like a Woman's on which He Walks. The Natural parts are of the Male kind; Climes, or gets from the Ground upon a Table, and sits on a Corner of it, but 3 Quarters of an Inch broad, and shews more Artful Tricks, to the General Diversion, Satisfaction, and Admiration of all spectators, and speaks several Languages. Vivat Regina.'

The following, although a curious, could hardly have been a pleasing, exhibition. 'The Bold Grimace Spaniard. At the Ram's Head Inn in Fanchurch Street, is to be seen a Bold Grimace Spaniard, lately brought over, by David Cornwell, in the Bilboa Merchant: He liv'd 15 Years among wild Creatures in the Mountains, and is reasonably suppos'd to have been taken out of his Cradle, an Infant, by some Savage Beast, and wonderfully preserv'd, 'till some Comedians accidently pass'd thro' those Parts, and perceiving him to be of human Race, pursu'd him to his Cave, where they caught him in a Net. They found something wonderful in his Nature, and took him with 'em in their Travels thro' Spain and Italy. He performs the following surprising Grimaces, viz. He lolls out his Tongue a Foot long, turns his Eyes in and out at the same time; contracts his Face as small as an Apple; extends his Mouth six Inches, and turns it into the Shape of a Bird's Beak, and his Eyes like to an Owl's; turns his Mouth into the Form of a Hat cock'd up three ways; and also frames it in the manner of a four square Buckle; licks his Nose with his Tongue, like a Cow; rolls one Eye Brow two Inches up, the other two down; changes his face to such an astonishing Degree, as to appear like a Corpse long buried; Altho bred wild so long, yet by travelling with


the aforesaid Comedians 18 years, he can sing wonderfully fine, and accompanies his Voice with a thorow Bass on the Lute. His former natural Estrangement from human Conversation obliged Mr. Cornwell to bring a Jackanapes over with him for his Companion, in whom he takes great Delight and Satisfaction.'

Queen Anne's time could also match our age with 'Two Headed Nightingales,' 'Siamese Twins,' or 'Pygopagi.' 'At Mr. John Pratt's, at the Angel in Cornhil . . . are to be seen two Girls, who are one of the greatest Wonders in Nature that ever was seen, being Born with their Backs fasten'd to each other, and the Passages of their Bodies are both one way. These Children are very Handsome and Lusty, and Talk three different Languages; they are going into the 7th year of their Age. Those who see them, may very well say, they have seen a Miracle, which may pass for the 8th Wonder of the World.' These were Helen and Judith, who were born at Tzoni, in Hungary, October 26, ; lived to the age of twenty-one, and died in a convent at Petersburg February 23, . They were well shaped, very good looking, and very fond of each other. They spoke Hungarian, high and low Dutch, French, and English.

There was also exhibited 'A young fresh country Lad just arriv'd from Suffolk; who is covered all over his Body, except the Face, Palms of the Hands, and Soles of his Feet, with Bristles like a Hedgehog, as hard as Horn, which shoots off yearly.'

'There is lately arrived a Person that was born without either Arms or Hands, and he does such miraculous things with his Feet, that the like never was known in the World. .... He writes very fine with his Mouth, right and left Foot without discerning, which is the best, and in five sorts of Languages, and makes his own Pens with a Pen Knive; he walks upon his two great Toes, and stands upon one Toe; he lays his Foot in his Neck, and hops upon the other, he stands upon the top of a little Stool, and reaches a Glass with his Mouth from under it; he threads a very fine and small Needle, and sows very prettily; and all Actions whatsoever is done by Hands, he does with his Feet: he Combs


or dresses a Perriwig very well, shaves himself, dresses and undresses himself &c., and all with his feet, &c.'

There were conjurors, especially 'the incomparable German. ... He makes pass through his Cups 60 Balls, without touching them, and they are turn'd into little live Birds, which whistle upon the Table. He takes a parcel of Cards, and throws them about the Room, and they are turn'd into little live Birds.' He was only equalled by 'An admirable Piece of Ingenuity in Hanging Sword Court, the Middle of ,' where twice a day 'several Persons may be Entertained at Table, with

various Dishes, and different kinds of Liquors, arising from Fountains on the Table to the drinking Glasses of the Entertained; of the which, when they are satisfied, a Serpent arising from a Box on the Middle of the Table, flyeth away with the Table and what's thereon remaining; and that very moment another Table of the same Dimensions, and furnished with another service, is in place where the former Table stood, without any visible Cause.'

Posture masters, as the acrobats were then called, abounded, and one of the chief among them was Higgins, successor to the famous Clark, who could dislocate and deform himself at pleasure. But he must have found a worthy imitator in 'The young Posture Master from Exeter, who performs those Postures of Body, that none never yet did; he extends his Body into all deform'd Shapes of Stature; he makes his Hip and Shoulder Bones meet together; he stands upon one Leg and extends the other in a direct Line half a Yard above his Head; he drinks her Majesty's Health on his Head; he lays his Head on the Ground, and turns his Body round twenty Times, without stirring his Face from the Place; he sucks all


his Bowels into his Breast, making a pack Saddle on his Back, that he will bear the lustiest Man that will be pleas'd to sit upon his Rump; he will sit in a Posture as if his Body was split, and so divides his Legs that his Toes are separated Six Foot ten Inches from Toe to Toe; he stands on a Table and turns his Head backwards below his Heels; he likewise dances any Dance upon his Knees with his Toes in his Hands, and dances true to the Musick.' But even all these accomplishments do not seem to have been sufficiently attractive of themselves, for with him was 'a Child of five Years of Age, who does the Activity of Tumbling to the greatest Perfection. After which, Mr. Cornwall takes an empty Bag, and turns it twenty times, and stamps on it, if requir'd, and then commands several Eggs out of it, and at last the live Hen.'

Children then, as now, had to go through acrobatic performances. There was 'a Boy that walks upon a Slack Rope no thicker than a Penny Cord, and a little Girl that vaults on the high Rope;' but, even in our time, we should hardly like to see ' a little Child about two Years and a half old, perform such wonderful things on the Stiff Rope, as is surprising to all that behold him.' We hear more of this poor little thing. 'Whereas it has been industriously and falsly reported that the little Child that is under 3 years old, that danced on the Rope and tumbled, is dead; Mr. Francis thought it proper to certify all People, that the Child is living and well; and he challenges all Europe to produce a Child of his Age to perform what he does, both for Dancing and Tumbling. Likewise the little Girl about 7 Years old, that danced the Rope, vaulted the Slack Rope, and tumbled to the Admiration of all who saw her.'

There was a curious entertainment that lasted nearly the whole of Anne's reign; of which the first notice I can find is in the , November 27, . By degrees Clench enlarged his repertoire until he did all described in the accompanying handbill. 'These are to give Notice to all Gentlemen, Ladies and Others, that Mr. Clench of Barnet who imitates the Horn, Huntsman and Pack of Hounds, the Sham Doctor, Old Woman, Drunken Man, the Bells, Flute, Double


Curtell, [5]  the Organ with three Voices, by his own Natural Voice, to the greatest Perfection; (being the only man that ever could Attain to so great an Art,) will perform,' etc. Clinch is mentioned in the (No. 51): 'A good company of us were this day to see, or rather to hear, an artful person do several feats of activity with his throat and windpipe. The first thing wherewith he presented us, was a ring of bells, which he imitated in a most miraculous manner; after that, he gave us all the different notes of a pack of hounds, to our great delight and astonishment.' went to see him, and reports: [6]  'Evening to hear the memorable Mr. Clench, whose single voice, as he has learned to manage it, can admirably represent a number of persons, at sport and in hunting, and the very dogs and other animals, but none better than a quire of Choristers chanting an anthem, &c.'

Waxwork figures have always been a popular exhibition, and then was living a Mrs. , whose fame was as great as Madame Tussaud's. Her handbills were curiosities in their way, but they are so long that one only can be transcribed. 'The Royal Off Spring: Or, the Maid's Tragedy Represented in Wax Work, with many Moving Figures and these Histories Following. King Charles the First upon the Fatal Scaffold, attended by Dr. Juxon the Bishop of London, and the Lieutenant of the Tower, with the Executioner and Guards waiting upon our Royal Martyr. The Royal Seraglio, or the Life and Death of Mahomet the Third, with the Death of Ireniae Princess of Persia, and the fair Sultaness Urania. The Overthrow of Queen Voaditia, and the Tragical Death of her two Princely Daughters. The Palace of Flora or the Roman Superstition. The Rites of Moloch, or the Unhumane Cruelty, with the manner of the Canaanitish Ladies, Offering up their First-born Infants, in Sacrifice to that ugly Idol, in whose Belly was a burning Furnace, to destroy those Unhappy Children. Margaret Countess of Heningbergh, Lying on a Bed of State, with her Three hundred and Sixty Five Children, all born at one Birth, and Baptized by the Names of Johns and Elizabeths, occasioned by the rash Wish of a poor beggar


Woman. Hermonia a Roman Lady, whose Father offended the Emperor, was sentenced to be starved to Death, but was preserved by Sucking his Daughter's Breast. Old Mother Shipton that Famous English Prophetess, which fortold the Death of the White King; All richly dress'd and composed with so much variety of Invention, that it is wonderfully Diverting to all Lovers of Art and Ingenuity. All made by Mrs. Salmon, and to be seen near the Horn Tavern in . Vivat Reginae (sic).'

Of the miraculous accouchement of Margaret, Countess of Heningberg, says [7] : 'After, walked to Gray's Inn to Mr. Smith, who most courteously entertained me, and gave me some inscriptions he had taken for me in his travels, particularly that for the memorable Countess who had 365 children at a birth; he saw the two basins they were baptized in.'

Nor was this the only exhibition of the kind; there was yet another similar show. 'The Effigies of his late Majesty King William III. of Glorious Memory, is Curiously done in Wax to the Life, Richly Drest in Coronation Robes, standing by the Effigies of his late Royal Consort, Queen Mary in the like Dress; likewise the late Duke of Gloucester in his Garter Robes. Together with the Effigies of several Persons of Quality and Others, all which are Alive, or have been so of late Years, whereby the spectators may Judge of Likeness. They are to be seen every Day at Mr. Goldsmith's in Green Court in the Old Jury.' [8]  This is the same artist who is spoken of in a newspaper paragraph. 'On Wednesday last Mrs. Goldsmith, the famous Woman for Waxwork, brought to the Effigies of that celebrated Beauty the late Duchess of Richmond, which is said to be the richest Figure that ever was set up in King Henry's Chapel.' [9] 

'To be seen in Exeter Change in , as well in Christmas and other Holidays, as at all other times, tho' the Change be shut, only then you must go in at that end towards Charing Cross.



The waxwork figures were then in a sadly dilapidated condition. says[11]  : 'As soon as we ascended half a Score Stone Steps in a dirty Cobweb hole, and in old Worm eaten Presses, whose Doors flew open on our


approach; here stood Edward the Third, as they told us, which was a broken piece of Waxwork, a batter'd Head, and a Straw stuff'd Body, not one quarter cover'd with Rags; his beautiful Queen stood by, not better in Repair; and so to the number of half a score Kings and Queens, not near so good figures as the King of the Beggars make, and all the begging Crew would be ashamed of their Company. Their Rear was brought up with good Queen Bess, with the Remnants of an old dirty Ruff, and nothing to cover her Majesty's Nakedness.'

One of the most popular exhibitions was the puppet shows kept by Robert Powell, a dwarfish deformity. 'This is Mr. Powell- That's he-the little Crooked Gentleman, that holds a Staff in his Hand,

without which he must fall.' [12]  His 'Punch's Theatre' was in the little Piazza, -and makes the under sexton of [13]  Church grumble at his entertainment, because it took people away from him. says : ' Mr. Powell by Subscriptions and full Houses, has gathered such Wealth as is ten times sufficient to buy all the Poets in England; that he seldom goes out without his Chair, and thrives on this incredible Folly to that degree, that, were he a Freeman, he might hope that some future Puppet Show might celebrate his being Lord Mayor, as he has done Sir R. Whittington.' [14]  Both in the and he is frequently referred to, especially in the former. In the season he took himself and his puppets to Bath, so that he always kept them employed.

His performances were very varied, one being 'The History of King Bladud, Founder of the Bath. The Figures being drest after the manner of the Ancient Britains. With the Walks, Groves, and Representation of the King's Bath


and new Pump house. The Figures of Ladies and Gentlemen all moving in real Water.' He caught the passing folly as it flew, and depicted it as in 'The City Rake or Punch turn'd Quaker,' 'Poor Robins Dream or the Vices of the Age Exposed;' or, he had a puppet 'of a Rope Dancer, being an exact Pattern of the present Lady Isabella.' He was for ever bringing out some novelty, even if it was such rubbish as 'a New Piece of Machinary after the British Manner, contrived and just finished by Powell, which represents a Paradice wonderful surprising. At the breaking of the clouds arise several Triumphal Arches, which form several most agreeable Prospects; beautify'd by her most Serene Majesty of Great Britain in her Royal Robes, attended by her Peers and Officers of State; under their Feet are represented the Trophies taken from the French and Bavarians by her Majesty's Arms this War.'

One of the last of Powell's advertisements, in Queen Anne's reign, was: 'Whereas it has been reported that Punch of the Bath and was dead, these are to inform the Publick that he was only in a small consumption, but by the long experienc'd Cordial of the Golden Elixir is recovered, and remov'd for the Air to the Great Masquerading House in Spring Garden, where he hopes once more to see his noble Benefactors.'

was far too keen to let Powell have the monopoly of this sort of entertainment, so we find a handbill: 'This is to give Notice, that , who, by his Indefatigable Industry, has ever made it his Study to Invent Something New and Excellent to please the World, has, with the Greatest Diligence, Labour and Expence, set himself to contrive, which he has now, after Several Years Application, brought to Perfection, a most Surprising and Magnificent Machine, call'd the PANTHEON, consisting of several Curious Pictures, and Moving Figures, representing the Fabulous History of the HEATHEN GODS.

'The Whole contains Fourteen several Entertainments, and near a Hundred Figures (besides Ships, Beasts, Fowl, and other Embellishments) some near a Foot in Height; all which have their respective and peculiar Motions, their very


Heads, Legs, and Arms, Hands and Fingers, Artificially moving exactly to what they perform, and setting one Foot before another, as they go, like Living Creatures, in such a Manner that Nothing but Nature itself can exceed it. In short, the PAINTING is by the Finest Hands, and the Story and Contrivance so Admirable, that it justly deserves to be esteemed One of the Greatest Wonders of the Age.' This show is casually mentioned in (No. 31).

was also proprietor of a moving picture, for in an advertisements [15]  he says: 'Mr. In order to divert and oblige the Gentry and others of , Deptford, Woolwich, Lee, and other adjacent places thereabouts, has remov'd the most Famous Artificial and Wonderful Moving Picture that came from Germany, and was to be seen at the Duke of Marlborough's Head in , is now to be seen at the Hospital Tavern in ,' etc. [16]  saw this picture when in London in , and was highly delighted with it. He also says: 'I had some discourse with the German inventor of it, Mr. Jacobus Morian. ' The following is its handbill:-

' To All Gentlemen, Ladies and others Notice is hereby given, that here is arrived from Germany, a most artificial and Wonderful Original Picture, the like never seen in all Europe: Part of this fine Picture represents a Landskip, and the other part the Water on Sea: In the Landskip you see a Town, out of the Gates of which cometh a Coach Riding over a Bridge through the Country, behind, before, and between the Trees till out of sight; coming on the Bridge, a Gentleman sitting on the Coach, civilly salutes the Spectating Company, the turning of the Wheels and motion of the Horses are plainly seen as if natural and Alive. There Cometh also from the Town Gate a Hunter on Horseback, with his Doggs behind him, and his Horn at his side, coming to the Bridge he taketh up his Horn and Blows it that it is distinctly heard by all the spectators. Another Hunter painted as if Sleeping, and by the said Blowing of the Horn awaking, riseth up his Head, looks about, and then lays


down his Head again to Sleep, to the great Amazement and Diversion of the Company. There are also Painted and Represented, Country men and Women, Travellers, Cows and Pack horses going along the Road till out of sight. And at a seeming distance on the Hills are several Windmills continually Turning and Working. From a River or Sea port, you see several sorts of Ships and Vessels putting to Sea, which Ships by degrees lessen to the sight as they seem to Sail further off. Many more Varieties too long to be inserted here, are Painted and Represented in this Picture to the greatest Admiration, Diversion and Satisfaction of all Ingenious Spectators. The Artist Master of this Piece hath employed above 5 years in contriving, making and perfecting it. It was design'd for a present to a great Prince in Germany, to be put in his chiefest Cabinet of greatest Rarities, but that Prince Dying, the maker kept it to himself, and now presents it to the View and Diversion of all ingenious Persons.' This picture is just noticed in the (No. 129): 'and I doubt not but it will give as good content as the moving picture in .'

There was another of these mechanical toys, exhibited at the same place. 'Far exceeding the Original formerly shewn, and never publish'd before the beginning of the present Year 171O. Representing several stately ships and vessels sailing out of the Port of a City; a Coach, drawn by four Horses going over a bridge into the Town; a Cart with an Old Woman in it, drawn by two Horses, the Wheels moving: A Gentleman carry'd in a Chair, saluting the Company, A Windmill continually turning round; Swans swimming, which dip their Heads in the Water: A Man digging with a Pick Ax: All in lively Motion,' etc. And still one more appeared in , which was a representation of the sky effects of morning, moon, and night, with ships sailing, and saluting the forts as they passed.

At the Duke of Marlborough's Head, too, was to be seen 'a true and very natural Representation of the most famous Antiquities and Stupendious Works commonly called the Seven Miracles of the World; All which cannot but be pleasant to the Eyes of all curious Beholders, and perhaps


more agreeable than may by Words be expressed,' but there is no record of what this exhibition was like.

'In Bell Yard, over against the , , next door to the Bell Inn, at the Arms of Amsterdam, will be shewn for the satisfaction of all persons of Quality and others, most Curious and exact Model of the famous City of Amsterdam, being between 20 and 30 foot long, and near 20 foot broad; with all the Churches, Chappels, Stadt house, Hospitals, noble Buildings, Streets, Trees, Walks, Avenues, with the Sea, Shipping, Sluices, Rivers, Canals, &c., most exactly built to admiration; In short, the Situation and Representation of the whole City is performed with such Art and Ingenuity, to the wonderful satisfaction of the States General of the United Provinces, several Foreign Princes, our Nobility, Gentry, Artificers and others, that have seen it, that it is allowed to be one of the greatest curiosities ever yet seen in England. This great piece of Work was 12 years in finishing, and cost a vast sum of Money.'

It is always interesting to watch glass-blowers at work, and see them turn out their pretty but fragile toys; and doubtless they yielded as much, or more, delight in Anne's time. 'By Her Majesties Authority. This is to give Notice to all Gentlemen, Ladies, and Others, That there is lately arriv'd in this Place, a Rare and Curious ARTIST, which in the presence of all Spectators maketh all Sorts and Fashions of Indian, China, and all Sorts of Curious Figures &c. As Jars Teapots, Coffee Dishes, Bottle and Flower Pots, as small as they please; being very dexteriously intermixed with red, blew, and other Colours, as Natural as the Indian painting: As also all sorts of Beasts, Birds, Fowls, Images, Figures of Men, Women, and Children, which he bloweth of all Colours in Glass, so curiously, the like was never seen in this Kingdom.

'Besides all this, he sheweth you a most wonderful and admirable Glass of Water, wherein are four or five Images, which he maketh every one to come up and down as he pleases, without any help or assistance, being very pleasant


and delightful to all spectators; with several other Rarities too tedious to Mention.

'There is a Wheel that's turn'd by Humane power, which Spins Ten Thousand Yards of Glass in less than half an hour.

'He also maketh Artificial Eyes of Glass to admiration, they being so curiously made and colour'd, that they cannot be discerned from the Natural Eyes; Likewise he teacheth how they may fix them in their Heads themselves, to the great Satisfaction of all persons that make use of them, . . Vivat Regina.'


There was another artist in glass who blew ' Swans, Ducks, Birds, Knives, Forks, and Scabbards, Decanters, Cruets, Bottles and Ladles, with pipes to smoke Tobacco, and Grenadoes to stick by the Snuff of a candle that gives a report like a Gun; blows Tea Pots and other fancies imitating China.'

A singular mechanical toy, too, deserves special mention: ' At the Black Horse in Hosier Lane, near is to be seen a large piece of Water Work, 12 Foot long and 9 foot high, with a new Mathematical Fountain 8 foot high, made in white flint glass, in which is a Tavern, a Coffee house and a Brandy shop, which at your command runs at one Cock hot and Cold liquor, as Sack,


Whitewine, Claret Coffee, Tea, Content, plain, cherry and Rasberry Brandy, Geneva, Usquebaugh, and Punch. All these liquors of themselves rising much higher than their levil, and each liquor drawn singly at one Cock; The like never performed in any Nation by any Person till Now, by CHARLES BUTCHER.

For satisfaction your own eyes believe, Art cannot blind you, nor your Taste deceive; Com and welcom my friends, and tast e're you pass, It's but 6d. to see't and 2d. each glass.'

But the man who did most with hydraulic power was Winstanley, the builder of the fantastic, semi-Chinese pagoda lighthouse on the Eddystone rock. Winstanley had been a mercer in London, and, having made some money, retired from business, and went to live at Littlebury in . Here


he constructed ingenious but useless hydraulic toys, and, from being locally famous, he opened an exhibition of them in London.

The first mention I can find of it in this reign, is in the , May 1/4, : 'Mr. Henry Winstanley's Water Works, will be Opened on Thursday being the 6th of May; And All Persons that please to see them, are desired to be there between 3 and 4 of the Clock. The House is at the lower end of Pickadilly, towards Hide Park.' In the Daily Courant, August 14, , he notifies that: 'Mr. Henry Winstanley's Water Works being now open'd, and several Persons coming too late, by reason of the days being shorter, this is to satisfie and give notice, that they will be shewn from Monday next at Four of the Clock. And therefore all Persons that are disposed to see them, are desired to be there before the time, or exactly at it. And also this is further to acquaint, that they will not be shewn this Season longer than 10 or 14 days, by reason of Mr. Winstanly's having extraordinary Occasions of going out of Town.'

It was a disastrous 'out of town' for him, for he had his wish gratified in being in his gimcrack lighthouse 'in the greatest storm ever known,' namely, that of November 27, , which clean swept away the building, Winstanley, and five other persons.

For some years after his sad death his exhibition was in abeyance, until we see by the , June 5, : ' The famous Water Works of the late Ingenious Mr. Henry Winstanley are now open'd, and will continue to be shown this present June, and the ensuing Month of July (for the Benefit of his Widow) by his old Servants, with several Additions. And all Persons that please to see them, are desir'd to be at the House by 5 of the clock at the farthest, and they will not lose time in staying. The House is at the lower End of Picadilly towards Hide Park, and is known by the Wind Mill on the top of it. As also his famous House at Littlebury in is kept up, and shewn as formerly, with several additions.' His widow continued to show them, with many variations, every summer during the remainder of the reign. In there were shown 'Sea Gods and Goddesses,


Nymphs, Mermaids, and Satirs, all of them playing of water as suitable, and some Fire mingling with the water, and Sea Triumphs round the Barrel that plays so many Liquors; all which is taken away after it had perform'd its part, and the Barrel is broke in Pieces before the spectators.' In there is the same entertainment, but fuller details are given: it was 'of 6 several sorts of Wine, and the best brandy and biskets, all coming out of the famous Barrel, and given to the Boxes and Pit; with Geneva, Cherry beer, and Cyder to the first Gallery, there is also Coffee and Tea as at all other times.'

In 'the Curious Barril will be made a Spring Garden, entertaining the Boxes and Pit with Cool Tankards, Spaw Waters, Bisquits, Milk, Ale, Beer, Sullibubs, Cake, and Cheese Cakes, and Flowers playing of Water: And a very delightful part will be added to the 3 Parts that are usually performed. There is Galuthetis's Flight from Polyheme, and as she is carried in State by Neptune attended by many Figures playing of Water, and some with Fire mingling with it; then will be a great Tempest of Thunder and Lightning and burning Flames rolling in great Cascades of Water, to the Expence of 300 Tun extraordinary.' In , 'the Curious Barrel will be made a Dairy House, entertaining the Boxes and Pit with Curds, several sorts of Creams, Milk, Whey, Cakes, Cheese Cakes, Sullibubs, New Butter, Butter Milk, which a Woman will be seen to churn, and a flying Zepherus, a Flora presenting the spectators with a Basket of Fruit ... There is Galathea's flight from Polypheme guided by two flying Boys, with a flaming Torch playing Water through the Flames: A flying fiery Dragon, out of whose Mouth comes great Fire Balls, flames of Fire, a large sheet of Water, with many Cascades of Water, to the expence of 800 Tuns extraordinary.' It was a very popular exhibition, and ranked, as we see, [17]  with the opera and the play.

In the good folks of London were treated to a somewhat unusual spectacle-that of four real live Indian chiefs, or kings, as they were called. They came over in April of that year, and were treated as guests of the nation;


apartments being obtained for them at an upholsterer's in King Street, , [18]  and they were taken in two of the royal carriages to visit the Queen. says: '20 Aprill. Four Indian Sachems, or Kings of the 5 Indian Nations, lately arrived here, offering their services to assist her majestie against all her enemies in those parts, and secure her from the French in and about Canada in America, had yesterday audience of the queen, and accepted very graciously; her majestie ordered them presents, the lord Chamberlain to entertain them at her charge, and that they be shown what is remarkable here.' On
the 21st they visited, in a royal barge, and Woolwich Dockyard, and on the 22nd they saw the Banqueting Hall and Chapel at . On the 26th they were present at a review of cavalry and infantry in Hyde Park. On the 28th the New England and New York merchants gave them a feast, and the Archbishop of Canterbury presented them each with an English Bible. On May 3 they had their audience of leave, and then went by way of


Hampton Court to Windsor, from whence they travelled to Portsmouth, and, embarking on board the Dragon, sailed from Spithead on the 8th May, and landed safely at Boston July 15 of the same year.

The following handbill shows that at some period of their stay they went to see Powell's Marionettes. 'At PUNCH'S Theatre 'For the Entertainment of the 'FOUR INDIAN KINGS, viz. '(A) The Emperor Tee Yee Neen Ho Ga Row. '(B) King Sa Ga Yeau Qua Rah Tow. '(c) King E Tow oh Koam. '(D) King Oh Nee Yeath Tow no Riow. 'At the Upper End of , [19]  joyning to Litchfield Street, will be presented a NEW OPERA, performed by a Company of Artificial Actors, who will present you with an incomparable Entertainment call'd 'The Last Years CAMPAIGNE With the Famous Battle fought between the Confederate Army (commanded by the Duke of Marlborough) and the French in the Woods near Blaguiers. With several Comical entertainments of Punch in the Camp. Also variety of Scenes; with a most Glorious Prospect of both Armies, the French in their Entrenchments, and the Confederates out; where will be seen several Regiments of Horse and Foot engaged in Forcing the French Lines. With the Admirable Entertainments of a Girl of Five Years Old Dancing with Swords.' The 50th gives an amusing account of their supposed description of this country.


[1] Daily Courant, Nov. 28, 1703.

[2] Diary of Ralph Thoresby, July 14; 1714.

[3] Spectator, No. 28.

[4] 'This is to satisfie all People that have been inform'd that the High German Tall Man, had kill'd a Man, and was to be hang'd; that it is all false, and has been given out by other Show Keepers, on purpose to take away his Credit and Good Name. ' -The Post boy, April 12/14, 1709.

[5] Sort of bassoon.

[6] Diary, Jan. 14, 1709.

[7] Diary, July 14, 1712.

[8] The English Post, March 23/25, 1702.

[9] Daily Courant, Aug. 6,1703.

[10] NOTE: The prices are six-pence, four-pence, and two-pence a-piece. There is the effigies of a Comedian walking behind the QUEEN. Just finish'd and to be seen. The present Court of England in Wax, after (and as big as) the Life, in the Inner Walk of Exeter Change in the Strand, much exceeding that which was at the New Exchange tho' both made by the most deservedly famous Mrs. Mills, whom in that Art, all ingenuous Persons own, had never yet an Equal: The names of the chief Persons, are, The QUEEN, his Royal Highness Prince George, the Princess Sophia, his Grace The Duke of Marlborough, the Countess of Manchester, the Countess of Kingstone, the Countess of Musgrave &c. As likewise the Effigies of Mark Anthony, naturally acting that which render'd him remarkable to the World; Cleopatra his Queen, one of her Egyptian Ladies, Oliver Cromwell in Armour, the Count Tallard: with mahy others too tedious here to mention. To be seen'from 9 in the Morn, till 9 at Night. You may go in at any of the Doors in the Change, and pass thro' the Hatter's Shop in the Outward Walk. Persons may have their Effigies made, or their deceas'd Friends on reasonable Terms.'

[11] A Walk round London and Westminster.

[12] Introduction to A Second Tale of a Tub, ed. 1715.

[13] Spectator, No. 14.

[14] Groans of Great Britain.

[15] Daily Courant, May 9, 1709.

[16] Diary, Feb. 11, 1709.

[17] Spectator, No. 168.

[18] Tatler, 171.

[19] This was before Powell removed to the Piazza, Covent Garden.