Early Eighteenth-Century Newspaper Reports: A Sourcebook compiled by Rictor Norton

Bartholomew Fair & Southwark Fair

30 January-1 February 1707

The large Buckinghamshire Hog that was shewn in May, Bartholomew and Southwark Fairs, now computed to be 100l. in Weight more than when publickly shewn; will be killed in publick on Thursday next the 6th instant at 12 of the Clock at Noon, at the lower end of Gray’s Inn Lane. If any Persons are desirous to gratify their Curiosity of being Eye-witnesses of the weight thereof, or further, to be accommodated with a Chine or Ham of the said Hog, let them send their intentions to John Holder at the place aforesaid, and they shall be accommodated therewith. There are several Wagers laid on the weight of him. [The Post Man]

Monday 24 August 1724   On Saturday in the afternoon, the Lord Mayor came with great state and solemnity to Smithfield, and proclaimed Bartholomew Fair. His Lordship’s coach stopp’d at the Lodge door of Newgate, where Mr Reuse, the Chief Turnkey appear’d in the absence of Mr Pitt the Keeper, (who is indisposed) and treated his Lordship, the Sheriffs and Aldermen with a lemonade, after a very handsome and pleasing manner, which custom is observ’d to all the Lord Mayors, at the proclaming of Bartholomew Fair. (The Daily Journal)

Saturday, 30 September 1727   A Merry-Andrew belonging to a puppet show in Southwark Fair, was last week committed to the new Gaol for the County of Surrey, for running a tobacco pipe into a man’s eye that serv’d drink at a publick house there, which threw him into a fever, of which he soon died, the Coroner’s Jury having brought in their verdict, Murther. (Weekly Journal, or British Gazetteer)

24 August 1728   Yesterday the Lord-Mayor, Sheriffs, and several Aldermen of this City went in the usual state and solemnity to West-Smithfield, to proclaim Bartholomew-Fiar. At their passing under Newgate, the Keeper of that Prison drank to his Lordship in a lemonade, according to an antient custom. (Weekly Journal, or the British Gazetteer)

14 April 1739
A few days since the noted Mr. Yeates, Master of the Puppit-Shews and Slight of Hand, was married to Mrs. Lee, so well known for her agreeably entertaining the Town with Drolls at Bartholomew and Southwark Fairs, &c. on which occasion a considerable Fortune in South-Sea Stock was made over to the Bridegroom. (Read's Weekly Journal)

[See also Contortionists and Other Performers.]

(Texts have been modernized with regard to capitalization, italicization, and punctuation, but original spelling has been retained. This edition copyright Rictor Norton. All rights reserved. Reproduction for sale or profit prohibited. These extracts may not be archived, republished or redistributed without the permission of the compiler.)

CITATION: Rictor Norton, Early Eighteenth-Century Newspaper Reports: A Sourcebook, "Bartholomew Fair", 25 February 2005, updated 1 January 2006 <http://grubstreet.rictornorton.co.uk/fair.htm>

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