Friday, September 25, 2020

Sports & Games - 19C Women Playing Tennis

The modern form of tennis evolved in the 19C. Between 1859 & 1865, in Birmingham, England.
Max Liebermann (German Impressionist Painter, 1847-1935) Tennis Player by the Sea

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Monday, September 21, 2020

Sports & Games - 19C Women Playing Tennis

The modern form of tennis evolved in the 19C. Between 1859 & 1865, in Birmingham, England, Major Harry Gem, a solicitor, & his friend Augurio Perera, a Spanish merchant, combined elements of the game of rackets & the Spanish ball game Pelota playing it on a croquet lawn in Edgbaston. In 1872, both men moved to Leamington Spa; & in 1874, with 2 doctors from the Warneford Hospital, they founded the world's 1st tennis club, the Leamington Tennis Club.

In December 1873, Major Walter Clopton Wingfield designed & patented a similar game—which he called Sphairistikè (from ancient Greek meaning "skill at playing at ball" soon known simply as "sticky") for the amusement of his guests at a garden party on his estate of Nantclwyd, in Llanelidan, Wales. He likely based his game on the evolving sport of outdoor tennis including real tennis.

Much of modern tennis terminology also derives from this period, as Wingfield borrowed both the name and much of the French vocabulary of real tennis and applied them to his new game.   Tennis comes from the French tenez, the imperative form of the verb tenir, to hold. This was a cry used by the player serving in royal tennis, meaning "I am about to serve!"   Racquet comes from raquette, which derives from the Arabic rakhat, meaning the palm of the hand. Deuce comes from à deux le jeu, meaning "to both is the game" (that is, the two players have equal scores). The origin of the use of Love for zero is disputed. It is possible that it derives from "l'oeuf," the French word for "egg," representing the shape of a zero.


John Strickland Goodall (British artist, 1908–1996) A Game of Tennis

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Spas, Wells, & Baths for Health - Bagnigge Wells by C H Matthews

Bagnigge Wells C H Matthews 

In the Daily Advertisement for July, 1775: "The Royal Bagnigge Wells, between the Foundling Hospital & Islington.—Mr. Davis, the proprietor, takes this method to inform the publick, that both the chalybeate & purging waters are in the greatest perfection ever known, & may be drank at 3d. each person, or delivered at the pump-room at 8d. per gallon. They are recommended by the most eminent physicians for various disorders, as specified in the handbills. Likewise in a treatise written on those waters by the late Dr. Bevis, dedicated to the Royal Society, & may be had at the bar, price 1s., where ladies & gentlemen may depend upon having the best tea, coffee, hot loaves, &c." 

Thursday, September 17, 2020

19C Street Ballad about Bagingge Wells - Spas, Wells, & Baths for Health

Bagnigge Wells, View taken from Peace Water in the Bagnigge Wells Gardens, c 1750.



THE DOG'S-MEAT MAN

EVERY evening he was seen
In a jacket and shorts of velveteen;
And to Bagnigge Wells then in a bran
New gown she went with the dog's-meat man
She walked up and down with the dog's-meat man;
And the people all said that around did stan',
He was quite a dandy dog's-meat man.

- Popular Street Ballad, 1800


Cat's (and dog's) Meat Man London Characters drawn by Horace William Petherick Published in London Frederick Warne & Co. Published in New York Scribner, Welford, & Armstrong.

Cat's & dog's meat, consisting of horse flesh, bullocks’ livers, & tripe cuttings were sold throughout London.  These were sold by weight. Although this was thought to be the most disagreeable and offensive commodity cried for sale in London, the occupation seems to have employed both men and women.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Sports & Games - 19C Women Playing Tennis

Horace Henry Cauty (English genre painter, 1846-1909) The Tennis Match

The modern form of tennis evolved in the 19C. Between 1859 & 1865, in Birmingham, England, Major Harry Gem, a solicitor, & his friend Augurio Perera, a Spanish merchant, combined elements of the game of rackets & the Spanish ball game Pelota playing it on a croquet lawn in Edgbaston. In 1872, both men moved to Leamington Spa; & in 1874, with 2 doctors from the Warneford Hospital, they founded the world's 1st tennis club, the Leamington Tennis Club.

In December 1873, Major Walter Clopton Wingfield designed & patented a similar game—which he called Sphairistikè (from ancient Greek meaning "skill at playing at ball" soon known simply as "sticky") for the amusement of his guests at a garden party on his estate of Nantclwyd, in Llanelidan, Wales. He likely based his game on the evolving sport of outdoor tennis including real tennis.

Much of modern tennis terminology also derives from this period, as Wingfield borrowed both the name and much of the French vocabulary of real tennis and applied them to his new game.   Tennis comes from the French tenez, the imperative form of the verb tenir, to hold. This was a cry used by the player serving in royal tennis, meaning "I am about to serve!"   Racquet comes from raquette, which derives from the Arabic rakhat, meaning the palm of the hand. Deuce comes from à deux le jeu, meaning "to both is the game" (that is, the two players have equal scores). The origin of the use of Love for zero is disputed. It is possible that it derives from "l'oeuf," the French word for "egg," representing the shape of a zero.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Sports & Games - Women Fishing in 19C

1894 Armand Guillaumin (French Impressionist painter, 1841-1927) Artist's wife Madame Guillaumin Fishing

Monday, September 7, 2020

Sports & Games - Horse Racing - 19C British Women as jockeys on public race courses

1791 Journal des Luxus Riding Habit from fashion plate

1804 - Horse racing in England wasn't new in 1804, and neither were women in riding habits.  In his diary for June 12, 1666, Samuel Pepys wrote: "Walking in the galleries at White Hall, I find the Ladies of Honour dressed in their riding garbs, with coats and doublets with deep skirts, just, for all the world, like mine; and buttoned their doublets up to the breast, with periwigs under their hats; so that, only for a long petticoat dragging under their men's coats, nobody could take them for women in any point whatever; which was an odde sight, and a sight did not please me."


1793  Riding Habit from fashion plate

However, the first known woman jockey was Alicia Meynell of England. In 1804, she first competed at a public 4-mile race in York, England. 


1795 Riding Habit from Nicholas Heideloff's Gallery of Fashion, June, 1795, Fig. 55

As I was doing research on Alicia Meynell, I came upon the English blog Nineteen Teen & a great story of Alicia written by Regina Scott in 2010.  Regina Scott has written 25 historical romances in the last 15 years, and there is no way I could tell the story like she did.   I was hoping to show the riding habits of the late 18C & the early 19C along with a biography of Alicia.  And so, I will share much of the story written by Regina Scott along with a few riding costumes of the period.


1798 L'Inconvenient des Perruques. The Inconvenience of Wigs. C. Vernet (Carle Vernet 1758-1836) Engraving by F. Sansom (fl. 1788-1800) London Published by S.W. Fores, April 7, 1798

Regina Scott writes, "Alicia Meynell was born in 1782, the daughter of a watchmaker from Norwich. She was lovely, with blond hair, blue eyes, and a winning manner. We know that she had at least one sister, very likely older than her, who married William Flint of Yorkshire, a gentleman very keen for horses. Perhaps through the Flints, Alicia met & fell madly in love with their neighbor, Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Thornton of the Second Regiment of the York Militia." 



1801 Riding Habit, engraved plate from ''The Gallery of Fashion''

Thornton was 60 & Alicia was 18.  She became the latest in his long list of mistresses. 


1801 Riding Habit from fashion plate

"One of the things she & Thornton had in common was the ability to ride & ride well. Remember that this was a time when women were at least partly judged by their “seat” - how well they could handle a horse. Alicia was a dynamo. She too knew her horseflesh, & she owned no less than 3 hunters. She was pleased to ride to hounds, something that was still rather rare for a woman because of the difficulty in thundering over rough, unpredictable terrain in a side saddle." 


1804 Journal des Dames et des modes Riding Habit from fashion plate

"One day while she was visiting her sister, Alicia & her brother-in-law went riding. She was on Thornton's favorite horse, a brute named Vingarillo. Flint was riding his favorite, a brown hunter named Thornville. As they argued good naturedly about which horse was better, they decided to race to prove the point."


1806 Riding Habit from fashion plate

"Alicia won. Twice." 


1806 Riding Habit from fashion plate

"Nettled, Flint challenged her to a real race, at the Newmarket Race Track, & named a princely prize of 1,000 guineas (which would be equivalent to over $30,000 today!). I’m betting he thought she’d decline. Alicia accepted."


1807 La Belle Assemblée March 1807 A French Lady on Horseback Riding Habit from fashion plate

"Immediately word spread far & wide. A woman? Racing? Who wouldn’t want to see that! They met on the last day of the York meet in August 1804. The York Herald reported that 100,000 people crowded the race track to watch, more than ten times the number that had assembled for the last “big” race between more famous horses. Even the military in the form of the 6th Light Dragoons was called in for crowd control. The total amount betted ran over 200,000 pounds (over $6M)! "


1810 Hyde Park Walking Dress (Riding Habit) March 1810

"Alicia was in rare form. She wore a dress spotted like leopard skin, with a buff waistcoat & blue sleeves & cap. The crowd adored her. She must have been quite a contrast to Flint, who rode all in white. But his heavenly apparel didn’t reflect his attitude. He refused anyone to ride alongside Alicia to help her if her side-saddle slipped (a common courtesy for women riders), & he ordered her to ride on a side of the track that deprived her of her whip hand." 


1812 La Belle Assemblée, May 1812 Riding Habit from fashion plate

"Neither trip handicapped Alicia. She was ahead from the start & stayed that way for nearly 3/4 of the 4-mile circuit. Reported the Herald, “Never surely did a woman ride in better style. It is difficult to say whether her horsemanship, her dress, or her beauty were more admired.” But something happened to Vingarillo in the last mile, causing him to falter, & Flint nipped ahead & won." 


1812 La Belle Assemblee, Riding Costume, August 1812.

"Alicia wasn’t pleased. After hearing people go on & on about how gentlemanly Flint had been to race with a woman to begin with, she wrote a letter to the editor of the Herald denouncing him & demanding a rematch. But it was a Mr. Bromford who next challenged her to ride the following year, with the prize a 2,000 pounds & a great quantity of French wine. She agreed, but on the day of the race Bromford decamped & the lady won by default." 


1815 La Belle Assemblée October 1815 Ladies Riding Habit

"Alicia, in a new outfit with purple cap & waistcoat, buff-colored skirts, & purple shoes with embroidered stockings (I shudder to think how the reporter figured that out!), was not about to be sent to the sidelines. That same day, she raced 2 miles on a mare named Louisa against Buckle, one of the premier paid jockeys of the day. The Annual Register records that “Mrs. Thornton, by the most excellent horsemanship, pushed forward & came in in a style far superior to anything of the kind we have ever witnessed, gaining her race by half a neck.” 


1816 Journal des Dames et des Mode, Paris, April 15, 1816 Amazone

"Unfortunately...Colonel Thornton turned out to be something of a scoundrel. When Flint won the first race, the colonel refused to honor the bet he & Alicia had made, insisting it had all been a joke. An outraged Flint showed up at the second race & literally horsewhipped the colonel in public before being confined to jail for assault. Several years of court battles led to a decision for the colonel."  


1817 Glengary Habit-Ackerman-Ackermann's Repository of Arts, Literature, Fashions, Manufactures, &c., The Second Series, Vol. IV. September 1,  1817.  No. XXI

Thornton left Alicia in 1814, headed for France, where he took a new mistress.  Alicia had a son Thomas to raise alone. When Thornton died 1823, he left the bulk of his estate to his most recent French mistress, Priscilla Duins & his natural daughter by her.  He left nothing to Alicia, although their son Thomas received a bequest of 100 pounds. "But in the end it was Alicia who triumphed. Until 1943, she was the only woman listed in the records of England’s Jockey Club as having raced & won against a man."


Thursday, September 3, 2020

1790s Spas, Wells, & Baths for Health - Bagnigge Wells Organist

Bagnigge Organist; print; Anonymous 1790s
Bagnigge Wells had an organ in the long room, on which Charles Griffith performed. The name of Davis on the music books, is that of the then proprietor, and the lines below the image on the print are parodied from [Pg 92]Dryden's "Song for St. Cecilia's day, 1687."
"What passion cannot music raise and quell!
When Jubal struck the corded shell,
His listening brethren stood around,
And, wondering, on their faces fell."

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

1780s Spas, Wells, & Baths for Health - Deputy Dumoling & Family + a Song about Bagingge Wells

Bagnigge Wells Mr. Deputy Dumpling & Family enjoying a Summer Afternoon by Robert Dighton 1781.  One of the lower projecting windows of Bagnigge Wells Tavern, with the western side-entrance to the gardens, is represented. Over the gate, on a board, are the words "Bagnigge Wells." Mr. Deputy Dumpling is a very short, portly man, wearing a wig, perspiring freely, & carrying a child. His wife, who is also short & overweight, is walking behind him, with an open fan & his walking-stick. Beside them is a boy, dragging a perambulator of the period, in which is a girl with a doll.
THE PRENTICE TO HIS MISTRESS

COME, come, Miss Prissy, make it up, and we will lovers be,
And we will go to Bagnigge Wells, and there will have some tea;
It's there you'll see the lady-birds upon the stinging-nettles,
And there you'll see the waiters, ma'am, with all their shining kettles.
Oh la! Oh dear! Oh dash my vig, how funny.


It's there you'll see the waiters, ma'am, will serve you in a trice,
With rolls all hot and butter pats serv'd up so neat and nice;
And there you'll see the fishes, ma'am, more curioser than whales,
Oh! they're made of gold and silver, ma'am, and they wag their little tails.
Oh la! Oh dear! &c.


And there you'll hear the organ, ma'am, and see the water-spout,
Oh, we'll have some rum and water, ma'am, before that we go out,
We'll coach it into town, ma'am, we won't return to shop,
But we'll go to Thingimy hall, ma'am, and there we'll have a drop.
Oh la! Oh dear! &c.

- An Old Song

Friday, August 28, 2020

1839 Spas, Wells, & Baths for Health - Bagnigge Wells Ballad

Bagnigge Wells Gardens


LET US GO AND TAKE A WALK


AIR- "Let us haste to Kelvin Grove."

WILL you go to Bagnigge Wells, Bonnet builder, O!
Where the Fleet-ditch fragrant smells, Bonnet builder, O!
Where the fishes used to swim, So nice and sleek and trim,
But the pond's now covered in, Bonnet builder, O!


Will you toddle with your Bill, Bonnet builder, O!
To the Crown at Pentonville, Bonnet builder, O!
Where the cove sells Kennett ale, Which, like you, looks very pale;
I like it best when stale, Bonnet builder, O!


Then we'll to the Conduit go, Bonnet builder, O!
You're fond of it, I know, Bonnet builder, O!
Where the songsters sing so sweet, And the garden looks so neat,
As the stockings on your feet, Bonnet builder, O!



Oh! I must cut my stick, Bonnet builder, O!
For here there's no pon tick, Bonnet builder, O!
Now sorely do I fear We must pass the Belvidere,
Unless you can stand a tear, Bonnet builder, O!


Poverty on me frowns, Bonnet builder, O!
I've now left but three browns, Bonnet builder, O!
Ere six o'clock to-morrow, Five shillings I will borrow
Till when I leave in sorrow, Bonnet builder, O!


And when I'm gone to bed, Bonnet builder, O!
With my night-cap on my head, Bonnet builder, O!
Will you, builder, if you hear The pot-boy crying "Beer!"
Take a pint for me, my dear, Bonnet builder, O!

-The Little Melodist, 1839.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

1807 Poem The Fall of Ranelagh

THE FALL OF RANELAGH

YON see where clouds of dust ascend the sky,
See where the scatter'd ruins load the plain,
See where the pois'nous snake its offspring rears,
And where the weeds spontaneous grow around -
On that same spot once stood fam'd Ranelagh!
That haunt of fashion, and once gay resort
Of England's beauteous dames, who swept the ground
With their long flowing robes, while Music's pow'r
Rais'd their enraptured souls from earth to Heav'n!
Here often too, the youth first felt the dart
Of Love, when walking by the side of her
Who caus'd at once his pleasure and his pain,
Whose glances rais'd in him celestial fires
Unfelt before, and made him burn to clasp
·The willing fair one in his eager arms!
Scenes such as these for evermore are fled,
And Ranelagh's proud dome now sinks to earth!
Such fate attends each gorgeous pile uprais'd
By human hands; thus too both wealth and pow'r,
Wisdom and beauty, and th' whole world's contents,
When the appointed day arrives, shall stoop,
And kiss the dust like once proud Ranelagh!


Gentleman's Magazine, June 1807.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Sports & Games - 19C Women Bowling & Playing Nine Pins

Women Playing Nine Pins & Bowling in 1822

Here only women were bowling. Historically, Bowls-like many other games-had been outlawed in a British act of 1541 known as the Unlawful Games Act (33 Hen. VIII, c.9), which enacted that:
"no manner of artificer, or craftsman of any handicraft or occupation, husbandman, apprentice, labourer, servant at husbandry, journeyman, or servant of artificer, mariners, fishermen, watermen, or any serving man, shall from the said feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, play at the tables, tennis, dice, cards, bowls, clash, coyting, logating, or any unlawful game."

Anyone found playing unlawful games, except at Christmas, was subject to a 20 shilling fine, and innkeepers were also forbidden from "maintaining" these games. The principle motivation behind the act seems to have been concerns over the state of the nation’s archery skills; as the act was formally titled "An Act for Maintenance of Artillery and Debarring of Unlawful Games," and the fear was that such men were playing games rather than practicing their bowmanship. There were fears at the time that, in the wake of the break with Rome, England could be invaded by Catholic powers in Europe, but that the skill with the bow of the English had badly declined since the glory days of Agincourt; and they could be ill-prepared to repel an attack.

Local authorities–in some places–continued to try and enforce the Unlawful Games Act across the early modern period as many of these games had become closely associated with gambling. When they took place on the grounds of alehouses, they were seen as a potential source of both conflict between gamblers, but also another means by which poor men were wasting money at the local tavern.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

1802 Poem on Ranelagh Gardens

A VISIT TO RANELAGH

To Ranelagh, once in my life,
By good-natured force I was driven;
The nations had ceased their long strife,
And Peace beamed her radiance from Heaven.
What wonders were here to be found,
That a clown might enjoy or disdain?
First, we traced the gay circle all round,
Ay - and then we went round it again.


A thousand feet rustled on mats-
A carpet that once had been green;
Men bowed with their outlandish hats,
With corners so fearfully thin.
Fair maids, who at home in their haste
Had left all clothing else but a train
Swept the floor clean as slowly they paced,
Then - walked round and swept it again.


The music was truly enchanting,
Right glad was I when I came near it;
But in fashion I found I was wanting -
'Twas the fashion to walk, and not hear it.

A fine youth, as beauty beset him,
Look'd smilingly round on the train,
The King's nephew,they cried, as they met him.
Then - we wentround and met him again.

Huge paintings of heroes and peace
Seem'd to smile at the sound of the fiddle,
Proud to fill up each tall shining space,
Round the lantern that stood in the middle.

And George's head too; Heaven screen him;
May he finish in peace his long reign:
And what did we when we had seen him?
Why - went round and saw him again.

 Suffolk village poet, Robert Bloomfield (1766-1823)  1802

Friday, August 14, 2020

1835 Cruikshank's Comic Almanack on Vauxhall

Cruikshank's Comic Almanack for 1835, p.24.

VAUXHALL.

"Dear Jane, will you go to Vauxhall?

We want just to make up a dozen;
Papa will stand treat for us all,
And, be sure, give a hint to your cousin.

There's something so charming about him,

(I've got a new bonnet and shawl)—
I should be quite unhappy without him,
And careless of even VAUXHALL.

My confession you'll never betray,

For I'm sure you can manage it all;
When you ask him, don't tell what I say,
But speak of the charms of VAUXHALL.

You can talk of the songs and the singers,

The orchestra, ballet, and ball;
I shall think that time spitefully lingers
Till when we all meet at VAUXHALL.

Say, there's Simpson the brave, who commanded

Our troops in the year forty-five;
Who killed Count de Grasse single-handed,
And took the French army alive.

And remember the lamps, - how they're clustered,

By thousands and thousands of dozens;
And then the dark walks - how I'm fluster'd
To think of your dearest cousins!

You can talk of the fireworks so gay,

And just mention the ham and the chicken—
We'll contrive to get out of the way,
While papa makes an end of his picking.

I should grieve to think drinking could charm him—

But ere all my project should fall,
If nothing in nature can warm him,
Then speak of the punch at VAUXHALL.

If all that you say don't avail,

I must die with vexation and anguish;
But I'm sure that your friendship won't fail
Your affectionate

                              LYDIA LANGUISH"