Appendix 5 Provincial Urban Assemblies, Assembly Rooms, and Balls 1660–177037 - Oxford Scholarship Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The English Urban RenaissanceCulture and Society in the Provincial Town 1660-1770$

Peter Borsay

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780198202554

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198202554.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy). Subscriber: null; date: 30 September 2016

(p.336) Appendix 5 Provincial Urban Assemblies, Assembly Rooms, and Balls 1660–177037

(p.336) Appendix 5 Provincial Urban Assemblies, Assembly Rooms, and Balls 1660–177037

Source:
The English Urban Renaissance
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

Place

Date

Type

Building or Location

ASTROP

c.1694

On the walks there is ‘a room for the music and a room for the company’.1

1740

On the walks a dancing room, and in the town an assembly room.2

BANBURY

June 1766

First of twelve monthly subscription concerts and balls advertised.

Meetings apparently held at the Three Tuns Inn.3

BARNSLEY

Early/mid-18th cent.

The Free School (completed 1738) contained an assembly room.4

BATH

1670s

Dancing.

On the bowling-green.5

1696, 1698

Balls.

In the town hall.6

1708

Harrison's assembly rooms built on the Terrace Walk.

1730

Lindsey's assembly rooms opened on the Terrace Walk.

1769–71

The Upper Rooms* built off Bennett Street. Cost c.£20,000.7

BECCLES

1733

Assembly each night of the races.

In the town hall.8

BEVERLEY

Early 18 cent.

Assemblies.9

1745

Assize judges to be invited to a collation at the assembly room or other public place.10

1761–3

New assembly room built.11

BIRMINGHAM

1703

The Old Cross built, containing a first-floor assembly room.12

c.1750

Appear to be three assembly rooms operating: (i) ‘Mr Sawyer's Great Room’, No. 11 The Square, formerly a school; (ii) No. 85 Bull Street; (iii) ‘Mrs Fulwood's Assembly House’, Colmore Row.13

BRISTOL: CITY

Early 18th cent.

Civic ball held in 1714. Winter assemblies were operating by at least the 1730s.

Assembly room in the Pithay.

Shortly before 1742

Playhouse in St Augustine's Back converted into an assembly room.

1754–5

Prince Street assembly rooms built. Opened 1756. Cost 120 x £30 shares = £3,600.14

BRISTOL: HOT WELLS

1722

Visitor ‘saw the great new-built room for dancing’.15

1725

The ‘long room’ described as a ‘noble large one, having seven arched windows in front, is built with brick, and handsomely wainscotted and painted’.16

mid-18th cent.

Balls twice a week from 1757.

A second long room opened 1768.17

BUCKINGHAM

c.1670

Assembly room built in Castle Street.18

BUNGAY

1736

Assembly room erected.

1737

Race assemblies.19

BURY ST EDMUNDS

Early 18th cent.

Regular assemblies during the fortnight of Bury Fair.20

1723,

Race assemblies at

1725

Mr Eastland's.21

1760s, 1770s

Private and public balls; subscription assemblies; and assemblies during the Fair, and the assizes.22

CANTERBURY

1750

Assembly room built.23

CHELTENHAM

c.1740

Small ballroom built near the wells, with billiard-room above.

1750s

Balls twice a week.

Apparently the Upper Rooms were built about this time.24

CHESTER

Early 18th cent.

Regular assemblies.25

1710

Ball as part of the Tory victory celebrations after the 1710 election.

In the town hall.26

1711

Assize balls.27

CHESTERFIELD

1757

Race assemblies.

In the assembly room.28

CIRENCESTER

Early Georgian

Assembly room* in the Fleece Inn.29

COLCHESTER

1730s

Quarterly assemblies.

In the King's Head Inn.

1750s

Monthly assemblies, with some additional balls.

In the King's Head Inn.30

CONGLETON

1752

Hunt ball.

In the Black Lion Inn.31

COVENTRY

Mid-18th cent.

Assemblies.

In the Draper's Hall and and St Mary's Hall.32

DERBY

Early 18th cent.

Assemblies.33

1763–4

Assembly rooms* built.34

DONCASTER

Mid-18th cent.

Race ball (1751).

The Mansion House, built 1745–8, contains a large ballroom, used for the race balls.35

EPSOM

c.1707

Ballroom built at the New Wells.

Early 18th cent.

Ballroom built at the Old Wells.36

EYE (Suffolk)

Mid-18th cent.

Assembly room* added to the White Lion Inn.

GLOUCESTER

1769

Ball on last evening of the Three Choirs Festival.38

HARLESTON (Norfolk)

Early 18th cent.

Assembly room* in the Swan Inn. The room was in existence and being used for balls by 1732.39

HEREFORD

1756, 1765, 1771

Ball on each night of the meeting of the Three Choirs Festival.

In the College Hall (1756).40

HITCHIN

1770

Assembly room* added to the Sun Inn.41

HULL

First half 18th cent.

Assemblies.

In the grammar school.

Mid-18th cent.

Assembly room built in Dogger Lane.42

KING'S LYNN

1766

Assembly room* built to the rear of the Guildhall.43

LEEDS

Before 1726

Assembly room built in in Kirkgate.44

LEICESTER

1741

Race ball.

c.1750

Building erected in Haymarket, with a first floor room used for assemblies.45

1760

County hunt ball.46

LEWES

1738

Weekly assemblies.

Held ‘in a handsome house and a large room’.47

1757

Race ball.48

LICHFIELD

1733, 1748, 1769

Race balls.49

Mid-18th cent.

Winter subscription assemblies; hunt balls.50

LINCOLN

Early 18th cent.

(i) Principal county assemblies.

In the Angel Inn.

(ii) Fortnightly city assemblies.

Agreed (1731) that the Guildhall could be used for these.

1744

Assembly room built.51

LIVERPOOL

1726

An assembly.52

1738

Assembly room let by the corporation.53

1754

The Exchange opened with a grand ball, followed by a week of concerts and balls.

The Exchange contained an assembly room on the first floor.54

MAIDSTONE

Early 18th cent.

Assemblies introduced but then declined.55

MANCHESTER

Early 18th cent.

Weekly subscription assemblies.

Construction of a building in King Street, with a first floor room used for assemblies.56

1729

The Exchange built in the Market-Place, with an upper room used for balls.

Mid-18th cent.

Balls.

Held in (i) the theatre built c.1753; (ii) the cockpit and assembly room, in use by 1754.57

MARGATE

1769

During the season the assemblies attracted 930 subscribers at 5s. each.

Assembly room opened.58

MATLOCK

1757

Evening balls for the visitors.

Held in the Long Room, built in 1734.59

NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE

Early 18th cent.

Bowling-green house used for assemblies.60

1736

Assembly room used for concerts.61

1766

Assize ball.62

1776

New assembly rooms opened. Cost c. £6,700. The old room became a coffee-house.63

NORTHAMPTON

Mid-18th cent.

Race balls; weekly subscription assemblies during the winter season.

Assemblies held in the leading local inns.64

NORWICH

1688, 1727

Dances and balls during sessions week.

Held in Chapel Field House.65

1717

Dancing and card assemblies inaugurated.

In Chapel Field House.66

1754

New assembly rooms* built near to Chapel Field, on the present day Theatre Street.67

NOTTINGHAM

Mid-18th cent.

Regular assemblies.68

PRESTON

1682

‘Balls and revellings’ during the meeting of the Guild.69

1728

Corporation agreed that the ‘ladies have the use of the town hall for the assembly till further order’.

1747

Public ball to mark Lord Strange ‘having lately brought his lady to town’.70

1762

During the month of the Guild there were five assemblies each week.

Held in the state-room of the Guildhall (opened 1762), and the adjoining town hall.71

ROTHERHAM

1739–43

Town hall and grammar school built (as one structure), in which the town hall was also used for assemblies.72

ST NEOTS

Mid-18th cent.

Assembly room* of this period on the upper floor of the George Inn.73

SALISBURY

Early 18th cent.

Weekly assemblies.74

Mid-18th cent.

Assize balls (1763).

St Cecilia's day concert in the assembly room in New Street (1740). This establishment was replaced by a new room in High Street in 1750. The assembly room was used in 1765 to accommodate plays.75

SCARBOROUGH

1733

Balls every evening during the season.

Held in the Long Room, built by at least 1725.76

SHEFFIELD

1733

Assemblies.

In the dormitory of the boys' charity school.77

1762

Assembly room and theatre in Norfolk Street completed. Cost over £3,000.78

SHREWSBURY

Early 18th cent.

Weekly assemblies.79

c.1775–80

Ballroom* added to the Lion Inn.80

SOUTHAMPTON

1767

The old assembly room in High Street replaced by a new one near the West Quay.81

STAMFORD

Early 18th cent.

Monthly assemblies.

Held in a house in Barn Hill used for assemblies since before 1720. New assembly room* built c.1727 in St George's Square. Additions made in the 1790s.82

1755

Monthly dancing assemblies; charitable card assemblies three times a week.

In a ‘very large neat assembly room’.83

STRATFORD-UPON-AVON

1755

‘Stratford assembly’.84

SWAFFHAM

1737

Race assemblies.85

TOPSHAM

1720s

Salutation Inn* built containing an assembly room.86

TUNBRIDGE WELLS

Mid-17th cent.

Assembly room at Rusthall c. 1655–64. This was moved to Mount Ephraim c. 1665–70.87

Late 17th cent.

Dancing on the bowling-greens or in the rooms attached to them.88

1739

The public room on the Upper Walk enlarged as an assembly room.89

1760s

Public balls twice a week; private balls also mounted.

Two sets of assembly rooms.90

WAKEFIELD

1727

Two-storey assembly room completed, adjoining the White Hart Inn.91

1770s

Regular assemblies; private balls.92

warwick

Early 18th cent.

In 1726/7 the room over the market hall (built 1670) hired for use during the assizes and horse-races, probably for balls. The Court House,* built c. 1724–30, contains a first floor assembly room.93

1755, 1769

Race balls.94

WEYMOUTH

1769

Ad refers to a ‘large elegant assembly room, new built’, probably Delamotte's Public Rooms, an addition to an older coffee-house and tavern.95

WHITEHAVEN

1736

Plot taken in Howgill Street to build an assembly room.96

WINCHESTER

Early 18th cent.

Weekly assemblies.97

WOBURN

Early Georgian

Regular winter assemblies.

Held in the early Georgian Bedford Arms Inn, which contains an assembly room.*98

WORCESTER

Early 18th cent.

Assemblies.99

1721–3

Guildhall* built, with first floor assembly room.100

Mid-18th cent.

Balls during the Three Choirs Festival (1752, 1755, 1758, 1767, and 1770), and the races (1757).

Guildhall used for at least some of these.101

YORK

Mid-17th cent.

Suggested that assemblies occurred in a theatre (1630s) and at the Old Boar Inn (from 1653).102

Early 18th cent.

Weekly assemblies operating by at least 1710.

Held in (i) The King's Manor; (ii) Private house in Minster Yard.103

1732

Race balls.

At the ‘assembly house in Ogleforth’.104

1732

The weekly Monday assemblies and assize and race balls were all held in the new rooms.

Blake Street assembly rooms* opened. Cost over £5,000.105

(p.337) (p.338) (p.339) (p.340) (p.341) (p.342) (p.343) (p.344) (p.345) (p.346) (p.347) (p.348) (p.349)

Notes:

(1) Fiennes, Journeys, 31–2.

(2) Lennard, ‘Watering-Places’, 39.

(3) Gibson, ‘Three Tuns’, 5.

(4) Grady, ‘Public Buildings in the West Riding’, 35, and Gazetteer.

(5) Barbeau, Bath, 19 n. 5.

(6) HMC, Hastings MSS, ii. 279; Fiennes, Journeys, 236.

(7) Wood, Bath, 225, 245, 319–20; Ison, Bath, 49–54.

(8) Suffolk Mercury, xxiv, No. 71, 7 May 1733.

(9) Macky, Journey, ii. 216.

(10) Macmahon, Beverley Corporation Minute-Books, 27.

(11) Hall, Beverley, 3.

(12) Gill, Birmingham, 68.

(13) Hutton, History of Birmingham, 131; Hill and Dent, Old Square, 84–5; Smith, Music in Birmingham, 15.

(14) Ison, Bristol, 108–14, 123; Barry, ‘Cultural Life of Bristol’, 186, 324.

(15) Hobhouse, Diary of a West Country Physician, 93.

(16) Students Diary, fo. 128.

(17) Barry, ‘Cultural Life of Bristol,’ 168; Powys, Diaries, 49; Little, ‘Gloucestershire Spas’, 174–6.

(18) Clark and Slack, Crisis and Order, 15.

(19) Suffolk Mercury, xxiv, No. 280, 18 July 1737.

(20) Macky, Journey, i. 6; Hervey, Letter-Books, ii. 92.

(21) Suffolk Mercury, x, No. 9, 19 Aug. 1723; xvi, No. 4, 24 May 1725.

(22) Suffolk RO, E2/25/1, fos. 60A, 63, 67, 71, 93, 134A, 153, 212; Suffolk RO, E2/25/2, fos. 116, 124, 131.

(23) Chalklin, ‘Building for Cultural Purposes’, 55.

(24) Hart, Cheltenham, 125, 127, 134–5.

(25) Macky, Journey, ii. 42, 214.

(26) Post-Boy, No. 2415, 2–4 Nov. 1710. I owe this reference to Geoffrey Holmes.

(27) Warwickshire CRO, CR.1368, i. fo. 75.

(28) Powys, Diaries, 24–5.

(29) Keverne, Old Inns, 108.

(30) Brown, ‘Colchester in the Eighteenth Century’, 163.

(31) Crossley, Cheshire, 75–6.

(32) VCH Warwickshire, viii. 224.

(33) Macky, Journey, ii. 176.

(34) BE Derbyshire, 118.

(35) Fairfax-Blakeborough, Northern Turf History, iii. 198–9; BE Yorkshire: The West Riding, 183–4.

(36) Fiennes,Journeys, 337–8, 349–50; Clark, ‘Epsom Spa’, 18–22.

(37) Keverne, Old Inns, 52.

(38) Shaw, Three Choirs Festival, 14.

(39) Keverne, Old Inns, 50; HMC, Portland MSS, vi. 151–2.

(40) Gloucester Jnl., xxxv, No. 1789, 7 Sept. 1756; Shaw, Three Choirs Festival, 14.

(41) BE Hertfordshire (London, 1953), 136.

(42) VCH Yorkshire: East Riding, i. 209.

(43) BE North-West and South Norfolk (Harmondsworth, 1962), 230.

(44) Grady, ‘Public Buildings in the West Riding’, Gazetteer.

(45) Simmons, Leicester, 85, 119, 121.

(46) Suffolk RO, E2/20/1A, fo. 10.

(47) HMC, Portland MSS, vi. 68.

(48) Turner, Diary, 108.

(49) HMC, Hastings MSS, iii. 18; Kettle, ‘Lichfield Races’, 41; Hopkins, Johnson's Lichfield, 56.

(50) Hopkins, Johnson's Lichfield, 54–5.

(51) Hill, Stuart Lincoln, 202; Hill, Georgian Lincoln, 15, 58.

(52) Blundell, Diurnal, iii. 19.

(53) Picton, Liverpool Municipal Archives, 134.

(54) Baines, County Palatine of Lancaster, i. 164; Enfield, Liverpool, 59; HMC, Verulam MSS, 210.

(55) Defoe, Tour, i. 115.

(56) Aikin, Manchester, 187.

(57) Hodgkinson and Pogson, Early Manchester Theatre, 6, 11–14, 22, 35.

(58) Whyman, ‘Margate before the Railway’, 142.

(59) Powys, Diaries, 30–1.

(60) Macky, Journey, ii. 217.

(61) Young, History of British Music, 312.

(62) Warwickshire CRO, CR.1368, v, fo. 36.

(63) Brand, Newcastle, i. 121–2.

(64) Everitt, ‘Urban Inn’, 116–17.

(65) R. W. Ketton-Cremer, ‘Assize Week in Norwich in 1688’, Norfolk Archaeology, xxiv (1932), 15; Cranfield, Development of Provincial Newspaper, 217.

(66) Fawcett, Music in Eighteenth-Century Norwich, 3.

(67) BE North-East Norfolk and Norwich, 261.

(68) Chalklin, ‘Building for Cultural Purposes’, 54.

(69) [Kuerden], Preston, 80–1.

(70) Council Minutes, 20 Sept. 1728, 8 Aug. 1747, PCMSS.

(71) Guild Merchant of Preston, 16–17.

(72) Grady, ‘Public Buildings in the West Riding’, Gazetteer.

(73) Tebbutt, St Neots, 125–6, 244–5.

(74) Macky, Journey, ii. 41–2.

(75) Unidentified correspondent to Dolly Long, 29 July 1763, Wiltshire RO, 947; New Grove, xvi. 421; Hare, Georgian Theatre, 62.

(76) Journey from London to Scarborough, 38; Students Diary, fo. 40.

(77) Walton, Sheffield, 104.

(78) Grady, ‘Public Buildings in the West Riding’, Gazetteer.

(79) Macky, Journey, ii. 140–1.

(80) BE Shropshire, 284.

(81) A. T. Patterson, A History of Southampton 1700–1914, vol. 1, Southampton Record Set., xi (1966), 41.

(82) RCHM, Stamford, 49–50.

(83) Gentleman's Magazine, xxv (1755), 163.

(84) Warwickshire CRO, L6/1375.

(85) Suffolk Mercury, xxiv, No. 274, 6 June 1737.

(86) Hoskins, Devon, 498; BE South Devon, 288.

(87) Burr, Tunbridge Wells, 38, 44–5.

(88) Lennard, ‘Watering-Places’, 54; Fiennes, Journeys, 135.

(89) Savidge, Tunbridge Wells, 63.

(90) Burr, Tunbridge Wells, 120–3; Barton, Tunbridge Wells, 342.

(91) Grady, ‘Public Buildings in the West Riding’, Gazetteer.

(92) Suffolk RO, E2/25/1, fos. 162A, 176, 183A, 246; Suffolk RO, E2/25/2, fo. 1.

(93) Kemp, History of Warwick, 173–7, 190.

(94) Newdigate Diaries, 27 Aug. 1755; printed Bill for Warwick Races (1769), Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, PR.64.

(95) McIntyre, ‘Health and Pleasure Resorts’, 310, 314.

(96) Beckett, Coal and Tobacco, 188.

(97) Macky, Journey, ii. 41–2; Defoe, Tour, i. 186.

(98) Keverne, Old Inns, 136.

(99) Macky, Journey, ii. 42.

(100) BE Worcestershire, 323.

(101) Shaw, Three Choirs Festival, 13–14; Gill, Racecourses, 230.

(102) Wittkower, York Assembly Rooms, 2; Defoe, Tour, ii. 230.

(103) McInnes, English Town, 21; Drake, Eboracum, 240; VCH York, 245; Macky, Journey, ii. 211.

(104) Fairfax-Blakeborough, Northern Turf History, iii. 51.

(105) Assembly Rooms Minute Book, passim, YCA.