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'Fair cruel maid, recall thy wish,
Miss still continued pertinacious and positive.
'Your royal word's not worth a fig,
I claim your promise for my jig,
This satirical sally put the imperial butcher upon his mettle; he bit his thumbs, scratched his carroty pole, paused; and, thinking he had lighted on a loop-hole, grumbled out with stiff-necked profundity,
'A wicked oath, like sixpence crack'd,
The damsel, however, was 'down upon him' before he could articulate 'Jack Robinson,' with
'But not the promise of a King,
This polished off the rough edges of his Majesty's misgivings, and the decollation of John the Baptist followed; but the good people, resolving to make their martyr some small amends, permitted his representative to receive absolution from a portly priest who stood as a spectator at one corner of the stage; while the two soldiers who had decapitated him in effigy, with looks full of contrition, threw themselves into the confessional, and implored the ghostly father to assign them a stiff penance to expiate their guilt. Thus ended this tragedy of tragedies, which, with all due deference to Joe's veracity, we suspect to have had its origin in Bartholomew Fair.
Joe Haynes shuffled off his comical coil on Friday, the 4th of April, 1701. The Smithfield muses mourned his death in an elegy,* a rare broadside, with a black border, 'printed for J. B. near the Strand, 1701.'
An Elegy on the Death of Mr. Joseph Haines, the late Famous Actor in the King's Play-House,' &c. &c.
Lament, you Beaus and Players every one,
There's choice enough besides great Haines the beau!
In potent glasses, when the wine was clear,
To play (not work) was all thy chief delight:
Till Death appear'd, and smote him with his dart.'
Thomas Dogget, the last of our triumvirate, was a little lively sprat man.' He dressed neat, and something fine, in a plain cloth coat and a brocaded waistcoat. He sang in company very agreeably, and in public very comically. He was the Will Kempe of his day. He danced the Cheshire Round full as well as the famous Captain George, but with more nature and nimbleness." A writer in the Secret Mercury of September 9, 1702, says, At last all the childish parade shrunk off the stage by matter and motion, and enter a hobbledehoy of a dance, and Dogget, in old woman's petticoats and red waistcoat, as like Progue Cock as ever man saw. It would have made a stoic split his lungs if he had seen the temporary harlot sing and weep both at once; a true emblem of a woman's tears!' He was a faithful, pleasant actor. He never deceived his audience; because, while they gazed at him, he was working up the joke, which broke out suddenly into involuntary acclamations and laughter. He was a capital face-player and gesticulator, and a thorough master of the several dialects, except the Scotch; but was, for all that, an excellent Sawney. His great parts were Fondle wife, in the Old Bachelor; Ben, in Love for Love; Hob, in the Country Wake, &c. Colley Cibber's account of him is one glowing panegyric. Colley played Fondlewife so completely after the manner of Dogget, copying his voice, person, and dress with such scrupulous exactness, that the audience, mistaking him for the original, applauded vociferously. Of this Dogget himself was a witness, for he sat in the pit.
'Whoever would see him pictured,† may view him in the character of Sawney, at the Duke's head in Lynn-Regis, Norfolk.' Will the jovial spirit of Tony Aston revisit the pale glimpses of the moon,' and point out where this interesting memento hides its head? 'Go on, I'll follow thee.' He died at Eltham in Kent, 22d September, 1721.
How small an act of kindness will embalm a man's memory! Baddeley's Twelfth Cake‡ shall be eaten, and Dogget's coat and badge§ rowed for,
While Christmas frolics, and while Thames shall flow.
And shall not a bumper flow to the memory of our big-wigged merry satellites of St. Bartlemy, in spite of the "Sin of drinking
Dogget had a sable rival. 'In Bartholomew Fair, at the Coach House on the Pav'd Stones at Hosier-Lane-End, you shall see a Black that dances the Cheshire Rounds, to the admiration of all spectators.' Temp. William Third.
Here, too, is Dogget's own bill! At Parker's and Dogget's Booth, near HosierLane-End, during the time of Bartholomew Fair, will be presented a New Droll, called Fryar Bacon, or the Country Justice; with the Humours of Tollfree the Miller and his son Ralph, Acted by Mr. Dogget. With variety of Scenes, Machines, Songs, and Dances. Vivat Rex, 1691.'
The only portrait of Dogget known is a small print, representing him dancing the Cheshire Round, with the motto Ne sutor ultra crepidam.'
Baddeley, the comedian, bequeathed a yearly sum for ever, to be laid out in the purchase of a Twelfth-cake and wine, for the entertainment of the ladies and gentlemen of Drury Lane theatre.
This day the Coat and Badge given by Mr. Dogget, will be rowed for by six young watermen, out of their apprenticeship this year, from the Old Swan at Chelsea,' -Daily Advertiser, July 31, 1753.
healths," the "Unloveliness of Love-locks," and the "Loathsomeness of Long Haire" of Praise-God-Barebones and Fear-the-Lord Barbottle?'
And Mr. Bosky answered his own question by a brimming libation of London particular,' calling upon us to follow my leader,' and take up the chorus of
IT would require a poetical imagination to paint the times when a gallant train of England's chivalry rode from the Tower Royal through Knight-rider Street and Giltspur Street (how significant are the names of these interesting localities, bearing record of their former glory!) to their splendid tournaments in Smithfield,—or proceeding down Long Lane, crossing the Barbican (the Specula or Watch-tower of Romanum Londinium), and skirting that far-famed street where, in ancient times, dwelt the Fletchers and Bowyers, but which has since become synonymous with poetry and poverty lulled by soft zephyrs through the broken pane,'-ambled gaily through daisy-dappled meads to Finsbury Fields,† to enjoy a more
In Grub Street resided John Fox, the Martyrologist, and Henry Welby, the English hermit, who, instigated by the ingratitude of a younger brother, shut himself up in his house for forty-four years, without being seen by any human being. Though an unsociable recluse, he was a man of the most exemplary charity.
In the days of Fitzstephen, Finsbury or Fensbury was one vast lake, and the citizens practised every variety of amusement on the ice. Some will make a large cake of ice, and, seating one of their companions upon it, they take hold of one's hand, and draw him along. Others place the leg-bones of animals under the soles of their feet, by tying them round their ancles, and then, taking a pole shod with iron into their hands, they push themselves forward with a velocity equal to a bolt discharged from a crossbow."
We learn from an old ballad called The Life and Death of the Two Ladies of Finsbury that gave Moorfields to the city, for the maidens of London to dry their cloaths,'
extended space for their martial exercises, and a purer air. Then was Osier Lane (the Smithfield end of which is immortalised in Bartholomew Fair annals) a long narrow slip of greensward, watered on both sides by a tributary streamlet from the river Fleet, on the margin of which grew a line of osiers, that hung gracefully over its banks. Smithfield, once a place for honourable jousts and triumphs,' became, in after times, a rendezvous for bravoes, and obtained the title of Ruffians' Hall.' Centuries have brought no improvement to it. The modern jockies and chanters are not a whit less rogues than the ancient horse coursers,' and the many odd traits of character that marked its former heroes, the swashbucklers, are deplorably wanting in the present race of irregulars, who are monotonous bullies, without one redeeming dash of eccentricity or humour. The stream of time, that is continually washing away the impurities of other murky neighbourhoods, passes, without irrigating, Smithfield's blind alleys and the squalid faces of their inhabitants. Yet was it Merryland in the olden time,—and, forgetting the days, when an unpaved and miry slough, the scene of autos da fé for both Catholics and Protestants, as the fury of the dominant party rode religiously rampant, as such let us consider it. Pleasant is the remembrance of the sports that are past, which
To all are delightful, except to the spiteful!
yet if the pensiveness be allied to a most humorous sadness,' the offence will be but small.
At the Old Elephant Ground over against Osier Lane, in Smithfield, during the time of the fair,' in 1682, were to be seen the Famous Indian Water-works, with masquerades, songs, and dances,' —and at the Plough-Music Booth (a red flag being hung out as a sign) the fair folks were entertained with antic-dances, jigs, and sarabands; an Indian dance by four blacks; a quarter-staff dance; the merry shoemakers; a chair dance; a dance by three milkmaids, with the comical capers of Kit the Cowwan; the Irish trot; the humours of Jack Tars and Scaramouches; together with good wine, cider, mead, music, and mum.
Cross we over from Osier Lane-end' (the modern H is an in
that Sir John Fines, a noble gallant knight,' went to Jerusalem to hunt the Saracen through fire and flood; but before his departure, he charged his two daughters unmarried' to remain,' till he returned from blessed Palestine. The eldest of the two built a holy cross at Bedlam-gate, adjoining to Moorfield; and the younger framed a pleasant well,' where wives and maidens daily came to wash.' Old Sir John Fines was slain; but his heart was brought over to England from the Holy Land, and after a lamentation of three hundred days,' solemnly buried in the place to which they gave the name of Finesbury. When the maidens died they gave those pleasant fields unto the London citizens,
'Where lovingly both man and wife
And London dames to dry their cloaths
May hither still repair!'
* In ancient times a serving-man carried a buckler, or shield, at his back, which hung by the hilt or pommel of his sword hanging before him. A swash-buckler▾ was so called, from the noise he made with his sword and buckler to frighten an. antagonist.
terpolation) to the King's Head and Mitre Music Booth, 'over against Long Lane-end.' Beshrew me, Michael Root, thou hast an enticing bill of fare-a dish of all sorts-and how gravely looketh that apathetic Magnifico William, by any grace but his own, Sovereign Lord,' at the head and front of thy Scaramouches and Tumblers! To thy merry memory, honest Michael! and may St. Bartlemy, root and branch, flourish for ever!
Michael Root, from the King's-head at Ratcliff-cross, and Elnathan Root, from the Mitre in Wapping, now keep the King's-head and Mitre Musick-Booth in Smithfield Rounds, where will be exhibited A dance between four Tinkers in their proper working habits, with a song in character; Four Satyrs in their Savage Habits present you with a dance; Two Tumblers tumble to admiration; A new Song, called A hearty Welcome to Bartholomew Fair; Four Indians dance with Castinets; A Girl dances with naked rapiers at her throat, eyes, and mouth; a Spaniard dances a saraband incomparably well; a country-man and a country-woman dance Billy and Joan; a young lad dances the Cheshire rounds to admiration; a dance between two Scaramouches and two Irishmen; a woman dances with sixteen glasses on the backs and palms of her hands, turning round several thousand times; an entry, saraband, jig, and hornpipe; an Italian posture-dance; two Tartarians dance in their furious habits; three antick dances and a Roman dance; with another excellent new song, never before performed at any musical entertainment.'
John Sleep, or Sleepe, was a wide-awake man in mirth and pastime; famous for his mummeries and mum; of a locomotive turn, and emulating the zodiac in the number of his signs. He kept the Gun, in Salisbury Court, and the King William and Queen Mary in Bartholomew Fair; the Rose, in Turnmill Street (the scene, under the rose! of Falstaff's early gallantries; and the Whelp and Bacon in Smithfield Rounds. That he was a formidable rival to the Messrs. Root; a 'positive' fellow, and a polite one; teaching his Scaramouches civility (one, it seems, had made a hole in his manners!), and selling good wines, &c.' let his comically descriptive advertisement to all gentlemen and ladies' pleasantly testify.
John Sleepe keepeth the sign of the King William and Queen Mary, in Smithfield Rounds, where all gentlemen and ladies will be accommodated with good wines, &c. and a variety of musick, vocal and instrumental; besides all other mirth and pastime that wit and ingenuity can produce.
A little boy dances the Cheshire rounds; a young gentlewoman dances the saraband and jigg extraordinary fine, with French dances, that are now in fashion; a Scotch dance, composed by four Italian dancing-masters, for three men and a woman; a young gentlewoman dances with six naked rapiers, so fast, that it would amaze all beholders; a young lad dances an antick dance extraordinary finely; another Scotch dance by two men and one woman, with a Scotch song by the woman, so very droll and diverting, that I am positive did people know the comick humour of it, they would forsake all other booths for the sight of them.'
In the following bill Mr. Sleep becomes still more 'wonderful and extraordinary :
John Sleep now keeps the whelp and Bacon in Smithfield Rounds, where are to be seen, a young lad that dances a Cheshire