Date: 20-04-18  Time: 06:03 AM

Author Topic: Saturday 08 Jan 1803 - Masked Ball at Brayton House  (Read 135 times)

Petra Mitchinson

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Saturday 08 Jan 1803 - Masked Ball at Brayton House
« on: January 13, 2018, 06:05:13 PM »
 Saturday 08 Jan 1803   (p. 4, col. 4)
This splendid Gala, which took place on Thursday se'nnight, was more numerously attended than last year; there was a much greater variety of characters, the dresses not only more superb, but more fanciful than on the former occasion; and, if possible, the whole of this motley entertainment carried on with more spirit.
Amongst a great diversity of characters, such as Indian Princesses, Virgins of the Sun, Highland Chiefs, groupes of Sailors and their Girls, Nuns, Negroes and Negresses, &c. &c. there were the following great, or whimsical personages, viz.
A Spanish Grandee; King Henry the Eighth, and Mary Queen of Scots; a Cherokee Chief; Harlequin, Columbine, Pierrot, and Buffo; a Dutch Burgher and his Frow; the God Pan, Mr. Punch, and Mother Shipton; a Maitre-de-Danse; a French Opera Girl, with Songs; a Dancing Bear and his Leader, a Witch, a Highlander, and his Fortune-telling Wife; two Hussars, several Turks; an Automaton Female Figure; a Lottery Office Keeper, with Tickets, Prizes, Blue Coat Boys, &c. — Two disabled Seamen, drawing the model of a ship, with an original Song in character. — Mother Bunsh; Mother Cole; a Jew Pedlar, with his box; a Hairdresser; two Nuns; two Chimney Sweeps; Robin Grey and Jenny; an Old Maid; two Flower Girls; the Devil; a discharged Soldier; a General; a Housemaid; Fruit Girls; a Haymaker; three Music Girls; a French Doctor; a Waggoner; a Coachman; Busybody; Village Lawyer; the Brayton Post;—several Watchmen, and a Bellman;—a Scotch Fidler,—Night,—Harmony, — and Nobody.
The music consisted of fifteen performers; amongst whom were the band of the Edenside Rangers, from this city.
The supper was composed of an immense variety of the choicest viands; the decorations of the tables were in the first style of fashion and elegance; — the fruits and wines of the choicest qualities, and in the greatest abundance; — whilst the affability of Sir Wilfrid and Lady LAWSON increased the pleasures of the entertainment, which was not ended till about eight o’clock on Friday morning.


By two Gentlemen, in the Character of two Distressed Seamen, drawing upon a Carriage, the Model of a Ship, full-rigged;—the Name, BRAYTON, painted upon her Stern.
AYR,—"A handkerchief held all the treasure I had."
In the good ship the BRAYTON, when first we set sail,
     With hearts full of courage and glee;
With our canvass all spread, and a brisk flowing gale—
     Oh! we gallantly dash'd through the sea.
But what of all that?—(though to whimper we scorn)
     There's foul weather,—shoals, rocks out of sight;
And, whoe'er has the the watch,—the trim vessel at morn,
     May become a sheer-hulk in the night!
My messmate and I,—why,—we're both crippled ships;—
     One starboard, one larboard, d'ye mind:—
But avast! — though we’re now on your LAND LUBBER trips,
     HEARTS of OAK in our bosoms you'll find.
Heave a head, ye good Gentlemen;—tip a kind wink
     On the Ship,—on the shipwreck’d and lame;—
Though our song may not tempt you to rouse out the CHINK,—
     Yet—do honour, at least, to the name.

[to be continued]

Reproduced with kind permission of British Newspaper Archives

Petra Mitchinson

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Re: Saturday 08 Jan 1803 - Masked Ball at Brayton House
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2018, 09:20:05 PM »
The following HAND-BILL was distributed by a FEMALE FIGURE, dressed agreeably to the Costume which was not only fashionable, but deemed highly becoming, about Twenty Years ago.

The Proprietor of this LITTLE FIGURE, which exhibits this Paper, begs Leave to inform the Public, that it is an AUTOMATON, which continues to move some Hours in a very natural Manner,—as may be seen.
It was found lately at Paris, in the House of a Merchande des Modes: thrown into a Corner, along with some other Lumber. On a Label, affixed to it, was found written—
          "Habillé felon la Mode de l'An 178--"
The last part of the Date was so obliterated as to afford no Pretence for Conjecture.
It is exhibited ONLY THIS EVENING;

And the Proprietor hopes it will meet with the PATRONAGE of the LADIES; as, on reviewing the striking Contrast in its Dress, a-la Parure of the present Time, they must congratulate themselves on the Freedom of this happy Epocha; when the CAPRICE of FASHION imposes not upon them the cumbrous HIPS, and scarcely less heavy Counterpoise of HEAD!
But, freed from all Restraint, suffer not, ye FAIR, your "LIBERTY to degenerate into LICENTIOUSNESS."—Unite Simplicity with Modesty; and form a temperate Medium between the Superfluity of the "TIME PAST" and the Scantiness of the "PRESENT DAY.”
N. B. This AUTOMATON does not possess the surprising Power (attributed to some Figures) of answering QUESTIONS by Words.—It can only reply by Nodding and Shaking the Head! — The Interpretation is, a tout evenement, left to the Pleasure of the INQUIRER.


’Tis now the laughing Session, and therefore can’t be wrong,
In praise of Masquerading for PUNCH to sing his Song.
                              And a masking we will go.
But some, I fear, who are not here, in masking most delight:
They wear a Mask at all Times, — [         ] for the night.
                              And a masking, &c.
A Mask conceals your beauty, Ma’am ; and pity ’tis—but hush,—
I'd rather mask a pretty face than put it to the blush.
                              And a masking, &c.
Each sighing youth, if such there be, who peeps with Lover's eyes,
will quickly find his Sweetheart out, through all her thin disguise.
                              And a masking, &c.
If my wife's among you, I'll know her ere 'tis long;
For PUNCH'S WIFE may hide her face,—but cannot hold her tongue.
                              And a masking, &c.
The Lady of the Mansion, I’m sure you’ll all agree,
Can in a mask hide her face,—but not her courtery.
                              And a masking, &c.
Tis all a joke for you to think of cheating Punchinello;
There is no mask, or dress, on earth,—to hide an honest fellow.
                              And a masking, &c.
Now—by the Lord, I know you all; — some few of you for Wit—
And some—(you must excuse me) I know—for want of IT.
                              And a masking, &c.
But—Bibere, bibere, bino, or else, in spite of Hunch,
The dulness of my Song must—discover Mister PUNCH.
                              And a masking we will go.
Reproduced with kind permission of British Newspaper Archives