I hope you don't tire of my newspaper reports, because I am enthralled with the wording and the points brought out in ages old papers. I make sure my kitchen counter is spotless and my hands are clean before I bring out my treasures- in this case, an 1819 London Times. Mind you, I also get out a magnifying glass as the print is miniaturized, apparently meant to be read by a grasshopper.
Just as magazines today report on the schedule of the Queen (and the Royal Family) and even inform us of what she had with her tea, there were reports in the old newspapers which were made of, back then, rags. Paper made from trees was yet a couple of decades away.
And now for the royal reports:
"Cowes, August 16.--The Duke of York will certainly be here to-day, and, with his Royal Highness the Prince-Regent, will honour the Earl of Cavan, at Eaglehurst, with their company at dinner. To-morrow, Lord Henry Seymour is to have the honour of entertaining his Royal Highness at his splendid mansion at East Cowes. His Lordship is universally beloved in the island, and his liberal and hospitable spirit has induced him to open his lawn and grounds to the public, who are to be treated with refreshments at his Lordship's entire expense. The Prince-Regent has directed Sir B. Bloomfield to look out for land whereupon he can build; and already the moorings for the Royal Yacht are fixed in our roadstead. He says he shall pay us an annual visit for a month together. The Prince at present intends to remain here a fortnight longer."
"Windor, Aug. 17.--Lord St. Helen's, as a Member of the Council, is in waiting here on the King. Saturday, the Duchess of Glocester, accompanied by the Princess Augusta, rode to Bagshot, to view the alterations, improvements, and repairs, which have been proceeding there for some months past. Their Royal Highnesses returned to the palace for dinner."
"THE DUCHESS OF KENT'S BIRTH-DAY.--Yesterday being the Duchess of Kent's birth-day, the Duke made arrangements for rejoicing on the occasion. In the morning, at half-past six o'clock, the Princess Feodor, attended by her music-master and the whole of the domestics, was in the room adjoining the Duke and Duchess's, to serenade her Royal mother with God Save the King. In the course of the day several distinguished characters called at the Palace, to leave their names and dutiful respects on the happy return of the day. Their Royal Highnesses had a dinner party in honour of the day. Among the company were, the Duke of Sussex, the Princess Augusta, the Duchess of Glocester, the Duchess of York, and the Princess Sophia Matilda. After dinner the company adjourned to the apartments of the Duke of Sussex, in the Palace, where his Royal Highness entertained them with tea, coffee &c. and a select concert, under the direction of Sir George Smart, who presided at the grand pianoforte."
That was it. Not enough? I could share with you some of the Theatre information.
THIS EVENING, THE FOUNDLING OF THE FOREST.
Count de Valmont, Mr. Warde.
After which, BLUE DEVILS.
To conclude with THE PRISONER AT LARGE.
THEATRE-ROYAL, ENGLISH OPERA-HOUSE.
THIS EVENING, THE PADLOCK.
After which, (11th time), an entirely new Operetta called
BELLES WITHOUT BEAUS!
or, The Ladies among themselves.
To which will be added, a new Entertainment, in one act, called
ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, FIVE, BY ADVERTISEMENT.
To conclude with WALK FOR A WAGER.
From the great approbation bestowed on the new
It will be repeated every evening till further notice.
THIS and three following EVENINGS
the entertainments will commence with a romantic melo-dramatic burletta, called THE BOLD BUCANIERS; Robinson Crusoe, Mr. Campbell; Friday, Mr. Grimaldi,
Iglou, Mr. Bologna; Paraboo, Mr. Hartland.
After which a new musical interlude,
called the CALIPH AND THE CADI;
or Rambles in Bagdad:
characters by Messrs. Campbell, Mears. Barnes, O'Rourke,
G. Crisp, and Miss Neville;
principle dancers, Mr. W. Kirby, and Mrs. Best.
To conclude with a new Aquatic Melodrama,
called THE IDIOT HEIR.
The whole of the last scene exhibited on real water, representing the overthrow of the usurper, and total destruction of the castle by fire.
Doors open at half-past 5; begin at half-past 6.
Under the Patronage of His Royal Highness the Prince Regent.
THIS EVENING, Aug. 18th, a GRAND GALA;
when Monsieur, Mademoiselle, and Madame Saqui, will go through their surprising evolutions. At the end of the concert, Madame Saqui will make an astonishing ascent on the Tight Rope, amidst a brilliant display of Fire-works by Signora Hengler.
Admission 3s. 6d. Doors open at 7; the concert to begin at 8 o'clock.
There you have it. A brief summary of what was going on in mid-August, 1819, and how it was written up in the newspapers.
Debra Brown is the author of The Companion of Lady Holmeshire, an early Victorian novel.