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

Ashton, John


CHAPTER XXIV: Sword-play and Other Sports. Garden, Etc.

CHAPTER XXIV: Sword-play and Other Sports. Garden, Etc.


IN those days, when everyone with any pretensions to gentility wore a sword, and duelling was rife, it is no wonder that exhibitions of skill in that weapon were favourites. Like modern prize fights, they drew together all the scum and riff-raff, as well as the gentry who were fond of so-called sport. They were disreputable affairs, and were decried by every class of contemporary. The preliminaries were swagger and bounce, as one or two out of a very large number will show [1] :-

'At the Bear Garden in Hockley in the Hole. A Tryal of Skill to be Performed between two Profound Masters of the Noble Science of Defence on Wednesday next, being this 13th of the instant July at Two of the Clock precisely. 'I, George Gray, born in the City of Norwich, who has Fought in most Parts of the West Indies viz. Jamaica, Barbadoes, and several other Parts of the World; in all Twenty five times, upon a Stage, and was never yet Worsted, and now lately come to London; do invite James Harris, to meet and Exercise at these following Weapons viz.:-

'I, James Harris, Master of the said Noble Science of Defence, who formerly rid in the Horse guards, and hath Fought a Hundred and Ten Prizes, and never left a Stage to any Man: will not fail (God Willing) to meet this brave and bold Inviter at the Time and Place appointed, desiring Sharp Swords, and from him no Favour.

'Note. No person to be upon the Stage but the Seconds. Vivat Regina.'

'At the Bear Garden in Hockley in the Hole. A Tryal of Skill to be Performed between these two following Masters of the Noble science of Defence, on Wednesday the Fifth of April, , at Three of the Clock precisely.

'I, John Parkes from Coventry, Master of the Noble Science of Defence, do Invite you Thomas Hesgate, to meet me and Exercise at these following Weapons, viz:-

'I, Thomas Hesgate a Barkshire Man, Master of the said Science, will not fail (God willing) to meet this brave and bold Inviter, at the Time and Place appointed; desiring Sharp Swords, and from him no Favour.

'Note. No Person to be upon the Stage but the Seconds. Vivat Regina.' [2] 

The challenger would wager some twenty or thirty pounds, and the stakes would be deposited and delivered to the challenged: the challenger receiving the money taken at the door,[3]  or, as we should term it, gate money; which, frequently, twice or thrice exceeded the value of the stakes.

There is one remarkable exception, I have found, to this monetary arrangement, but it is the only one in my experience. For, in an advertisement of the usual character, there comes: 'Note. That John Stokes fights James Harris, and Thomas Hesgate fights John Terriwest three Bouts each at Back Sword, for Love.'

Preliminaries arranged, handbills printed and distributed,


the combat duly advertised in at least one newspaper, and the day arrived: like the bull and bear, the combatants paraded the streets, preceded by a drum, having their sleeves tucked up and their swords in hand. All authorities agree that the fights were to a certain extent serious: 'The Edge of the Sword was a little blunted, and the Care of the Prize fighters was not so much to avoid wounding each other, as to avoid doing it dangerously: Nevertheless, as they were oblig'd to fight till some Blood was shed, without which no Body would give a Farthing for the Show, they were sometimes forc'd to play a little ruffly. I once saw a much deeper and longer Cut given than was intended.' [4] 

[5]  gives a short description of one of these fights: 'Great Preparations at the Bear Garden all Morning, for the noble Tryal of Skill that is to be play'd in the Afternoon. Seats fill'd and crowded by Two. Drums beat, Dogs yelp, Butchers and Foot soldiers clatter their Sticks; At last the two heroes, in their fine borrow'd Holland Shirts, mount the Stage about Three; Cut large Collops out of one another, to divert the Mob and Make Work for the Surgeons: Smoking, Swearing, Drinking, Thrusting, Justling, Elbowing, Sweating, Kicking, Cuffing all the while the Company stays.'

gives a good account of a prize fight [6] : 'The Combatants met in the Middle of the Stage, and shaking Hands, as removing all malice, they retired with much Grace to the Extremities of it; from whence they immediately faced about, and approached each other, Miller with an Heart full of Resolution, Buck with a watchful untroubled Countenance; Buck regarding principally his own Defence, Miller chiefly thoughtful of annoying his Opponent. It is not easie to describe the many Escapes and imperceptible Defences between Two Men of quick Eyes, and ready Limbs; but Miller's Heat laid him open to the Rebuke of the calm Buck, by a large Cut on the Forehead. Much Effusion of Blood covered his Eyes in a Moment, and the Huzzas of the Crowd undoubtedly quickened his Anguish. The Assembly was divided into Parties upon their different ways of Fighting: while a poor Nymph


in one of the Galleries apparently suffered for Miller, and burst into a Flood of Tears. As soon as his Wound was wrapped up, he came on again in a little Rage, which still disabled him further. But what brave Man can be wounded with more Patience and Caution ? The next was a warm eager Onset, which ended in a decisive Stroke on the Left Leg of Miller. The Lady in the Gallery, during the second Strife, covered her Face; and for my Part, I could not keep my thoughts from being mostly employed on the Consideration of her unhappy Circumstance that Moment, hearing the Clash of Swords, and apprehending Life or Victory concerned her Lover in every Blow, but not daring to satisfie herself on whom they fell. The Wound was exposed to the View of all who could delight in it, and sowed up on the Stage. The surly Second of Miller declared at this Time, that he would that Day Fortnight fight Mr. Buck at the Same Weapons, declaring himself the Master of the renowned German; but Buck denied him the Honour of that Courageous Disciple, and asserting that he himself had taught that Champion accepted the Challenge.'

I have been, to my great regret, unable to find a contemporary print of one of these combats; the nearest approach to it being the fight between Dr. Sacheverel and Dr. Hoadley, which furnishes a graphic, though burlesque, representation of the scene.

Looking at the class from which these gladiators sprung, it is not surprising to hear that some of these prize fights were pre-arranged, or, to use modern slang, 'squared.' In 449 is a letter, from which the following is an extract: 'Being in a Box at an Alehouse, near that renowned Seat of Honour above mentioned, [7]  I overheard two Masters of the Science agreeing to quarrel on the next Opportunity. This was to happen in the Company of a Set of the Fraternity of Basket Hilts, who were to meet that Evening. When this was settled, one asked the other, Will you give Cuts or receive? the other answered, Receive. It was replied, Are you a Passionate Man ? No, provided you cut no more nor no deeper than we agree.'

The very children were bitten with the mania. 'Apprentices, and all Boys of that Degree, are never without their Cudgels, with which they fight something like the Fellows before mention'd, only that the Cudgel is nothing but a stick; and that a little Wicker Basket which covers the Handle of the Stick, like the Guard of a Spanish Sword, serves the combatants instead of defensive Arms.' [8] 

This sword-fighting, however, was seeing its last days, and was, in the next reign, to be superseded by pugilistic encounters. At present, boxing, although extensively practised, had not been reduced to a science. Whatever was it made everybody so pugnacious ? 'Anything that looks like fighting,' says , 'is delicious to an Englishman. If two little Boys quarrel in the Street, the Passengers stop, make a Ring round them in a Moment, and set them against one another, that they may come to Fisticuffs. When 'tis come to a Fight, each pulls off his Neckcloth and his Waistcoat, and give them to hold to some of the Standers by; then they begin to brandish their Fists in the Air; the Blows are aim'd all at the Face, they Kick one another's Shins, they tug one another by the Hair &c. He that has got the other down may give him one Blow or two before he rises, but no more; and let the Boy get up ever so often, the other is obliged to box him again as often as he requires it. During the Fight, the Ring of Bystanders encourage the Combatants with great Delight of Heart, and never part them while they fight according to the Rules. The Father and Mother of the Boys let them fight on as well as the rest, and hearten him that gives Ground or has the Worst.

'These Combats are less frequent among grown Men than Children, but they are not rare. If a Coachman has a Dispute about his Fare with a Gentleman that has hired him, and the Gentleman offers to fight him to decide the Quarrel, the Coachman consents with all his Heart: The Gentleman pulls off his Sword, lays it in some Shop, with his Cane, Gloves and Cravat, and boxes in the same Manner as I have describ'd above. If the Coachman is soundly drubb'd, which happens almost always, that goes for payment; but if he is


the Beator, the Beatee must pay the Money about which they quarrelled. I once saw the late Duke of Grafton at Fisticuffs in the open Street, with such a Fellow whom he lamb'd most horribly.'

There was cudgel playing-for a new hat; 'he that breaks most Heads to have the Hat; he that plays puts in six-pence.' Quarterstaff was played, and there was a somewhat dangerous game- ' there will be three bouts with threshing flails.' ' A Tryal of Skill is to be fought &c. between John Parkes[9]  of Coventry, and John Terrewest. Note -They fight at the Ancient Weapon called the Threshing Flail.'

Mild athleticism seems to have obtained among a few of the upper middle class: for instance, speaks [10] of the dumb-bell with which he used to practise every morning, and also of a kind of Indian club exercise, ' brandishing of two short Sticks grasped in each Hand, and loaden with Plugs of Lead at either End. This opens the Chest, exercises the Limbs, and gives a Man all the Pleasure of Boxing, without the Blows.'

There were foot races, but I can find but one or two notices of them, and there is very little like professional pedestrianism, except the following very mild feat: 'A Wager of 100l. was laid last week, that a German of 64 years old, should walk in Hyde Park 300 miles in 6 dayes, which he did within the time, and a mile over.' [11] 

Tennis was a fashionable game, although I only find one public court mentioned, 'facing Oxenden Street near the Haymarket.' gets quite moral on the subject of this game: 'Rightly considered, it's a good Emblem of the World. As thus: the Gamesters are the Great Men, the Rackets are the Laws, which they hold fast in their Hands, and the Balls are we little Mortals which they bandy backwards or forwards from one to t'other as their own Wills and Pleasure directs 'em.'

Cricket was played, and sufficient interest was felt in the matches: on one or two occasions they were advertised in the newspapers. In : 'This is to give notice, That a Match at Cricket is to be plai'd between 11 Gentlemen of the West part of the County of Kent against as many of Chatham for 11 Guineas a man, at Mauldon in Kent on the 7th of August next.' And in : 'There will be two great Matches at Cricket plaid, between London and Croydon; the first at Croydon on Tuesday July 1, and the other to be plaid in Lamb's Conduit Fields near , on the Thursday following, being the 3rd of July.'

On the approach of winter football came into vogue, and it was played in the streets.

When lo ! from far I spy the furies of the Foot ball war: The 'prentice quits his Shop, to join the Crew, Increasing Crowds the flying Game pursue, Thus, as you roll the Ball o'er Snowy Ground, The gathering Globe augments with every Round. But whither shall I run? the Throng draws nigh, The Ball now skims the Street, now soars on High; The dext'rous Glazier strong returns the bound, And jingling sashes on the Penthouse sound.


'In Winter Foot-balls is a useful and charming Exercise. It is a Leather Ball about as big as ones Head, fill'd with Wind: This is kick'd about from one to t'other in the Streets, by him that can get at it, and this is all the Art of it.' [13] 

Skating, although practised here in the time of Fitz-Stephen, had fallen into desuetude, until it was reintroduced by the Cavaliers who had been with Charles II. in Holland. thought it was 'a very pretty art,' yet got very nervous over the Duke of York's skating. ' To the Duke, and followed him into the Parke, where, though the ice was broken and dangerous, yet he would go slide upon his scates, which I did not like, but he slides very well.' Skating was popular in London in Anne's reign, but it is doubtful whether it obtained in the remote parts of the country. Writes to Stella, Jan. 31, : 'The Canal and Rosamonds Pond


full of the rabble sliding, and with skates, if you know what those are.'

'The Gentile, cleanly and most ingenious Game at Billiards' was a resource at home; and it was played on a table like ours-an oblong wooden table, covered with green cloth, and with pockets of netting, in precisely the same position as now, the cushions being stuffed with fine flax or cotton. The game was not played as we play it, but there were two balls, a port or archway at one end, and a king or cone at the other. The cues were not like ours, but more like maces, only much heavier. 'Your Sticks ought to be heavy, made of Brazile Lignum Vitae, or some other weighty

wood which at the broad end must be tipt with Ivory.' The game was not only played in private, but in coffee, houses. 'At the Greyhound Coffee House near Monmouth Street in Soho, are to be sold two new Billiard Tables, and all other goods and conveniences fit for a Coffee House,' etc. And again: 'A very good French Billiard Table little the worse for wearing, full size, with all the Materials fit for French or English play &c. Enquire at Scot's Coffee House.' Indeed Cotton says there were few towns of note in England which had not a public billiard-table. He, however, warns people against ' those spunging Caterpillars, which swarm where any Billiard Tables are set up, who make that single room their Shop, Kitching and Bed Chamber.'

The rough sports, such as cudgel-playing, football, wrestling, throwing, boxing, leaping, and running, were kept alive by the country wakes, which took place on the dedication festival of the parish church. These were sometimes supplemented by a grinning match, such as that which drew down


's wrath,[15]  and which was afterwards abandoned, in deference to his opinion.

Near London these wakes, like or Deptford wakes, were well kept up; and there was my Lady Butterfield in Epping Forest, of whose entertainment and calfroasting we have already had a description through 's instrumentality. Here is one of her advertisements: 'My Lady Butterfield gives a Challenge to all England, to Ride a Horse, Leap a Horse, Run on Foot or Hallow with any Woman in England Ten years younger, but not a Day older, because she would not under value herself. Gentlemen and Ladies, whilst in the Spring 'tis worth your while to come to hear the Nightingal Sing in Wanstead within a Mile of the Green Man, in , at my Lady Butterfields at Nightingal Hall. This is to give notice to all Gentlemen and Ladies, and all the best of my Friends, that on the last Wednesday of April is my feast, where is very good Entertainment for that Day, and for all the Year after from my Lady Butterfield.'

Or another:-

TO ALL GENTLEMEN AND LADIES. If Rare Good young Beans and Pease can Tempt Ye, Pray pass not by my Hall with Bellies Empty; For Kind Good Usage every one can tell, My Lady Butterfield does al excell; At Wanstead Town, a Mile of the Green Man, Come if you dare and stay away if you can.

She had a rival later on, in . 'This is to acquaint all Jolly Lads and Lasses. That on Monday the 28th Instant, there will be a Meeting of several Gentlemen and Ladies at the Opening of Mr. Tucker's new House upon Epping Forest, where the Company will be provided with good Music and Dancing, and be likewise entertain'd by Country People with the following Diversions, viz. A Beaver Hat to be Cudgell'd for, A Pair of Buckskin Breeches to be wrestled for; and a lac'd Holland Smock to be danced for, by 6 young Women. N.B. The Sport begins at 10 a Clock


in the Morning; and such care is taken that the Company may not return a hungry, One Ox will then be roasted and given gratis.'

Women raced for smocks, silk stockings, or topknots; whilst one would surely have won Sir John Astley's heart. 'This is to give Notice, That there is a young Woman, born within 30 Miles of London, will run, for Fifty or a Hundred Pounds, a Mile and an half, with any other Woman that has liv'd a Year within the same Distance; upon any good Ground, as the Parties concern'd shall agree to.'

Even a woman's suspected infidelity was turned into sport. 'At Hammersmith near , to morrow, being Friday, will be rode a SKIMMINGTON TRIUMPH, according to the Manner described in Hudibras,' which the reader will find, if he be curious in the matter, in Part. II. Canto II. of Butler's immortal poem.

One harmless diversion should not be passed over. 'At Epsom Old Wells . . . on Whitsun Tuesday will be Moris Dancing Set against Set, for Lac'd Hats, at 10 a Clock, with other Diversions.'

But the game, par excellence, which combined out-of-door sport with the minimum of fatigue, suitable alike to the mercurial young, and the steady middle-aged, was bowling; and the bowling greens multiplied exceedingly in this reign, especially (judging by the advertisements) after . We hear of them starting up in all the suburbs: at Putney, Hoxton, Maribone, , Stoke Newington, Ham Lane, etc.

That the bowls were the same as are now played with we see by the following advertisement: ' Lost out of the Bowl House belonging to Pemlico Green in Hogsdon near Shoreditch two pair of Lignum Vitae Bowls and one pair of a reddish Wood.' It was not an expensive recreation. 'The New Green over against Bunhill fields will be open'd on Saturday next, and the Old Green to be Bowled on for Six Pence and One Penny for taking up.' Sometimes there were prizes bowled for, as 'At the Black Gray hound Dog at Bristow Causey, will be a Silver Tobacco Box Bouled for, value 30s.'

It was essentially a sober cit's amusement. ' I wonder how so many Fat Gentlemen can endure the Green all Day, tho' tis pleasant enough to look out o' the window and observe 'em-To see a Tun o' Grease, with a broad fiery Face, and a little black cap, waddle after a Bowl, rub, rub, rub, rub, rub, and lose more Fat in getting a Shilling-Than wou'd yield him a Crown at the Tallow Chandler's.' [16]  'A Bowling Green is a Place where there are three Things thrown away besides Bowls, viz. Time, Money, and Curses; the last ten for one. The best Sport in it, is a sight of the Gamesters, and the looker on enjoys it more than him that Plays. It is the School of Wrangling, nay worse than the Schools, for Men will cavil here for a Hair's bredth, and make a Dispute, where a Straw might end the Controversie. No Antick screws his Body into such strange Postures; and you would think 'em mad, to hear 'em make Supplication to their Bowls, and exercise their Rhetorick to intreat a good Cast.' [17]  A great nuisance in these public bowling-grounds were the people who betted on the players' skill. 'Cuff. Let's be sure to bet all we can. I have known a great Bowler whose Better's place was worth above 200l. a year, without venturing a farthing for himself.' [18] 

'A Bowling Green is one of the most agreeable Compartments of a Garden, and, when 'tis rightly placed, nothing is more pleasant to the Eye. It's hollow Figure covered with a beautiful Carpet of Turf very Smooth, and of a lively green, most commonly encompassed with a Row of tall Trees with Flower bearing Shrubs, make a delightful composition; besides the Pleasure it affords us, of lying along upon its sloping Banks, in the Shade, during the hottest weather.' [19]  It must have delighted a gardener's heart, in those days, to have had something which must, almost of necessity, be ornamented in a somewhat formal manner. There were no landscape gardeners then, they were all fettered by the precision style of elaborate parterres, terraces, cut trees, statuary; and although a more educated mind pined for a better state of things, as is evidenced throughout the


whenever mention is made of a garden, the tyranny of custom and the gardeners prevailed. 'Our trees rise in Cones, Globes, and Pyramids. We see the Marks of the Scissors upon every Plant and Bush. I do not know whether I am singular in my Opinion, but, for my own part, I would rather look upon a Tree in all its Luxuriancy and Diffusion of Boughs and Branches, than when it is thus cut and trimmed into a Mathematical Figure; and cannot but fancy that an Orchard in flower looks infinitely more delightful than all the little Labyrinths of the most finished Parterre.' [20]  These parterres were made in as elaborate devices as some of our specimens of leaf-gardening, and looked very formal.

In the (No. 173) this practice of clipping trees is ridiculed most unmercifully. 'I know an eminent cook, who beautified his Country seat with a Coronation dinner in greens; where you see the Champion flourishing on horseback at one end of the table, and the queen in perpetual youth at the other. For the benefit of all my loving Countrymen of this Curious taste, I shall here publish a Catalogue of greens to be disposed of by an eminent town gardener.... Adam and Eve in Yew; Adam a little Shattered by the fall of the Tree of Knowledge in the great Storm; Eve and the Serpent very flourishing.

'St. George in box; his arm scarce long enough, but will be in a Condition to Stick the dragon by next April.

'A Green dragon of the same with a tail of ground Ivy or the present.-N.B. These two not to be sold separately.

'A pair of Giants stunted, to be sold Cheap.

'A quickset hedge, shot up into a porcupine, by its being forgot a week in rainy weather,' etc.

There were many works on gardening published in this reign, notably that by James, which was a translation from the French. It is enriched with beautiful designs for parterres, etc., and is undoubtedly the handsomest work on the subject. Van Oosten's 'Dutch Gardener' is another translation, as is 'the Retir'd Gard'ner' of London and Wise. The latter is a book of about 800 pages, with several woodcuts


and copperplate engravings, and consists of two parts-one a translation of 'Le Jardinier Solitaire,' and the other from the work of the Sieur Louis Ligers. This was edited by George London and Henry Wise, who are more than once mentioned in the . They were practical gardeners, and their nurseries far surpassed all others in England. London was chief gardener to William and Mary, and afterwards to Anne. During her reign the nurseries were let to a man named Swinburne, but the name of the original firm was still kept up.

There is, however, an excellent book in English called 'the Clergy Man's Recreation,' by John Laurence, A.M., , but it is all about the cultivation of fruit trees.

Plants would even grow out of doors in the City then, and we find the fore courts of houses planted, or at all events the walls covered, with jasmines, vines, etc. Whilst the newspapers advertise for sale, 'Yews, Hollys and all sorts of Fillbrea Laurell &c. with all sorts of Fine Flowering Trees as Honi suckles, Cittisus, Roses, Saevays both Headed and Pyramid, Orange Trees, and Spanish Jesemins, Gilded Hollys Pyramid and Headed, Filleroys, Lawrel Tines, and Arbour Vitae,' and amongst the flowers were 'Double Emonies, Ranckilos, Tulips, Aurickelouses, Double Anemonies, Double Ranunculos and Double Junquils.' Ranunculus seems to have been a puzzling word, for once again we find it spelt ' Renunculices.'

Town and country were eminently antagonistic. The want of means of communication kept country people in a state of stagnation, compared to their brethren of the town, whose more fastidious taste could not brook the boorish behaviour, and coarse pleasures, of the countryman.

' . No Londiner shall either ruin my Daughter, or waste my Estate-If he be a Gamester 'tis rattl'd away in two Nights-If a lewd fellow, 'tis divided into Settlements-If a nice Fop, then my Cherry trees are cut down to make Terras-Walks, my Ancient Mannor House, that's noted for good Eating, demolish'd to Build up a Modern Kickshaw, like my Lord Courtair's Seat about a Mile off, with Sashes, Pictures and China; but never any Victuals


drest in the House, for fear the Smoke of the Chimney should Sully the New Furniture.

'. So that instead of providing her a Gentleman, you'd Sacrifice her to a Brute; who has neither Manners enough to be thought Rational, Education enough for a Justice of the Peace, nor wit enough to distinguish fine Conversation from the Yelping of Dogs; Hunts all the Morning, topes all the Afternoon, and then goes lovingly Drunk to Bed to his Wife.

' . And pray, what are your Town Diversions ? To hear a parcel of Italian Eunuchs, like so many Cats, squawll out somewhat you don't understand. The Song of my Lady's Birthday, by an honest Farmer, and a Merry Jig by a Country Wench that has Humour in her Buttocks, is worth Forty on't; Your Plays, your Park, and all your Town Diversions together, don't afford half so substantial a Joy as going home thoroughly wet and dirty after a fatiguing Fox Chace, and Shifting one's self by a good Fire. Neither are we Country Gentlemen such Ninnies as you make us; we have good Estates, therefore want not the Knavery and Cunning of the Town; but we are Loyal Subjects, true Friends, and never scruple to take our Bottle, because we are guilty of nothing which we are afraid of discovering in our Cups.' [21]  A very pretty quarrel as it stood, and one on which, as Sir Roger remarked, ' much might be said on both sides,' for rather grumbles at the old-fashioned courtesy of the well-bred squire, as opposed to the greater ease of manners then in vogue: 'If, after this, we look on the People of Mode in the Country, we find in them the Manners of the last Age. They have no sooner fetched themselves up to the Fashion of the polite World, but the Town has dropped them, and are nearer to the first State of Nature than to those refinements which formerly reign'd in the Court, and still prevail in the Country. One may now know a Man that never conversed in the World, by his Excess of Good Breeding. A polite Country Squire shall make you as many Bows in half an hour, as would serve a Courtier for a Week. There is infinitely more to


do about Place and Precedency in a meeting of Justices Wives, than in an Assembly of Dutchesses.'

But if the country aristocracy were so behindhand, in what state were the labourers? Their lot was hard work and scant wage, only relieved by a village wake or a country fair; no education, no hope of any better position, of the earth, earthy; a man rose at early morning, worked hard all day, came home to sleep, and so on without intermission. thus describes him and his labours:-

If in the Soil you guide the crooked Share,

Your early Breakfast is my Constant Care.

And when with even Hand you strow the Grain,

I fright the thievish Rooks from off the Plain.

In misling Days when I my Threasher heard,

With Nappy Beer I to the Barn repair'd;

Lost in the Musick of the whirling Flail,

To gaze on thee I left the smoaking Pail;

In Harvest, when the Sun was mounted high,

My Leather Bottle did thy Drought supply;

When e'er you mow'd I follow'd with the Rake,

And have full oft been Sun burnt for thy Sake;

When in the Welkin gath'ring Show'rs were seen,

I lagg'd the last with Colin on the Green;

And when at Eve returning with thy Carr,

Awaiting heard the gingling Bells from far;

Strait on the Fire the sooty Pot I plac't,

To warm thy Broth I burnt my Hands for Haste.

When hungry thou stood'st staring, like an Oaf,

I slic'd the Luncheon from the Barly Loaf,

With crumbled Bread I thicken'd well thy Mess,

Ah, love me more, or love thy Pottage less !The Shepherd's Week-The Ditty, ed. 1714.

The dress of the labourer at this time was a broadbrimmed flap felt hat, a jerkin, or short coat, knee breeches and stockings; whilst the women wore their dresses very plainly made-necessarily without furbelows and hoops, and, for headgear, had a very sensible broad-brimmed straw hat, or, on holidays, the high-crowned felt hat.



[1] Harl. MSS. 5931, 50.

[2] Harl. MSS. 5931, 277.

[3] De Sorbiere.

[4] Misson.

[5] Comical View of London and Westminster.

[6] Spectator, No. 436.

[7] Hockley in the Hole.

[8] Misson.

[9] John Parkes or Sparkes was buried at Coventry, and on his tombstone was inscribed, inter alia, that he was a man of mild disposition, a gladiator by profession, who fought 350 battles in different parts of Europe, when he retired. He died, 1733.

[10] Spectator, No. 115.

[11] Luttrell, Sept. 13, 1709.

[12] Trivia, book 2.

[13] Misson.

[14] This illustration, although from the 1709 edition of Cotton's Compleat Gamester, is of older date; indeed, it is identical with the first edition of 1674. The fact of its being a text-book in Anne's reign shows that the game had not then been modified.

[15] Specator, No. 173.

[16] Tunbridge Walks.

[17] Hickelty Pickelty.

[18] Epsom Wells.

[19] The Theory and Practice of Gardening, by J. James, 1712.

[20] Spectator, No. 414.

[21] Tunbridge Walks.

[] Spectator, No. 119.