Saturday, July 4, 2015

The English Social Scene ~ January, 1809

It seems odd to think of January in the middle of the heat and drought that we are enduring where I live. I don't like January, but cold air and precipitation don't seem totally repulsive at the moment!

Adverse weather aside, the January of 1809 was one full of assemblies, balls, concerts and parties. At least it was according to the newspapers I have been reading.

The Hampshire Telegraph and Sussex Chronicle of Monday, January 2, 1809 was particularly full of notices:

The Salisbury and Winchester Journal of the same day, advertises the Southampton Winter ball at the Dolphins Inn as did the Hampshire Telegraph, but adds other events as well.

The Bath Chronicle of the same week has, not unexpectedly, a large advertisment for its Assembly Rooms:
The Derby Assembly Rooms meanwhile were looking for sponsors to help with renovation:
It is not clear if winter balls were taking place while this process was going on.
In The Northampton Mercury there were notices of two upcoming entertainments:
And The Bury and Norwich Post was also advertising balls:
On considering the matter, I would have thought that the prospect of driving in an unheated carriage, to an ill-heated ballroom, in inadequate clothing (particularly in the case of women) would dull many people's interest in the parties and balls advertised. But perhaps Regency folk, like us, sought diversion from the dreary winter weather. There was certainly a social whirl underway in January of 1809 all across England!

'Til next time,


N.B. Newspapers from the British Newspaper Archive