Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Thomas takes His Sisters Out & About

11th May 1743 Went with Sisters to See Earl of Essex with Mock Doctor 2/6

There seem to have been several plays based on the story of Thomas Cromwell, the first Earl of Essex, and I can't establish which one Thomas, Dorothy, Mary and Ann saw, yet. The Mock Doctor has been discussed in this blog before. The Earl of Essex was, of course, the tragedy which preceded the comedy making for a balanced evening's entertainment. Here is a poster for a performance of the Mock Doctor which was a few years later at the same theatre.

12th May
Spent 6d and went with Sisters & Mr Fox to Ranelagh & Spt. 2/6
15th May
Went with Sisters to Kensington Gardens and Dined & Supt at Kensington & Spent 18d
28th May
Went with Sisters & Mr Ashton to Vaux Hall & Cost me their & Boat Hire 3/-

Thomas is showing his sisters the sights of London. He has visited the two pleasure gardens and the Royal gardens at Kensington before. Using a boat to get to Vauxhall, which was, of course, on the Surrey side of the Thames, was part of the event and a great deal of the cost. There are 18th century poems about Vauxhall here.
This map shows the location of the gardens and something of their layout.

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