I-J – Dancing reported by Police

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IRISH dancing master

Convicted 1829 Sydney

An Irish dancing-master, carrying on his profession in Kent-street, was, on Thursday last, sent to the tread-mill for ten days for getting drunk, and keeping a disorderly house.

“Fibs and Facts.” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842) 8 Aug 1829: 2. Web. 18 Jul 2013 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2193109>

A number of Irish dancing masters were transported to the colony. Illustration from Tales and sketches, illustrating the character, usages, traditions, sports and pastimes of the Irish peasantry  William Carleton (1845) Dublin.



Dancing, sent to Parramatta Almacks, 1832 Sydney

Ellen Jackson was charged with being found a few hours before as merry as a crow in a gutter, in a house in Kent-street, dancing, singing, eating, and drinking, and all that sort of thing, to the no small scandal of the charley who captured her, who utterly deprecated such proceedings.

Charley, “Your Worship, such doings are scandalous and immoral; time it was put a stop to; dancing and a fiddle ; jorums of punch, oh dear.”
The Bench, ” As Ellen could not account for these nightly orgies, ordered that should spend the ensuing month at the Parramatta Almacks*.”

*Almacks was the most fashionable dancing venue in London. Parramatta Almacks was a satirical reference to the Parramatta Female Factory.

POLICE INCIDENTS. (1832, November 8). The Sydney Herald (NSW : 1831 – 1842), p. 3. Retrieved January 26, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12845675



Dancing near the theatre

Mary Jackson, one of the stamp from whose phiz a vast deal of intelligence might be gathered, stood charged with disturbing the vicinity of the theatre the other night by shouting, laughing, dancing, &c., and when called upon to refrain from such exercises, by giving the conservator of the public peace clearly to understand and be informed that she, Mary Jackson, who was up to a thing or two, was not to be had upon such terms, her innocent amusements were not to be curtailed by any Jack in office, he had better therefore, if he had any respect for himself, stand on one side, and leave her to her amusements. As she still continued kicking up n row, she was immediately shopped.

Bench: Were you drunk ?
Mary:  Arrah now aasy jewel, aisy, is it drunk you would be after asking me. Why sure now I was only mellow.
Bench: Then you must pay five shillings.
Mary: Divil a tinpenny have I, my honey.
Bench: Stocks one hour.
Mary (to the constable): Och then bad lack to ye, ye spalpeen.

Here Mary put herself into attitude for a regular jawing match, which being perceived, she was ordered to march to the stocks instantor, for fear she should commit herself, and thereby obtain something additional.

POLICE INCIDENTS. (1837, May 13). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), p. 3. Retrieved January 26, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2210882



Practising the Highland fling in George-street, 1837 Sydney

Ann Johnstone, a good-looking, rosy cheeked dame, who came smiling to the scratch before their worships, was charged with practising the Highland fling in George-street, and whooping in true Gallic, at the witching hour.

Bench: “You must pay five shillings to the poor.”
Ann: ” I cry you mercy, fair sir ; ’tis quite impossible.”
Bench: ” Stocks one hour.”

POLICE INCIDENTS. (1837, February 4). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), p. 3. Retrieved January 30, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2209175

Scottish dances such as the Fling and Reel were popular at all levels of society.
William Heath (1823) London. © The Trustees of the British Museum

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