T – Dancing reported by Police

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THOMAS, Isabella

Tripped off to the stocks… as though leading down a country dance.

Isabella Thomas, a dashing looking commodity, with a cat skin Boa encircling the column of alabaster that supported a head formed on the Medusa style of beauty, was charged with being emphatically drunk, and while thus inspired, astonishing the passersby with a train of ideas that were not quite the thing. In consequence she was locked up : in spite of her protestations, and an attempt to raise the wind on the cat skin, which the clerk of the exchequer did not appear to admire, she tripped off to the stocks with an air, as though leading down a country dance.

POLICE INCIDENTS. (1836, November 22). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), p. 3. Retrieved December 16, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2207868



Curvetting and dancing a pas seul in George-street, 1837 Sydney

A woman named Mary Thomas, as-signed to Mr. Jones of Sydney, was found by assistant chief constable Mitchell, curvetting and dancing a pas seul in George-street; as it was not quite after the style of Taglioni, he marched her to the watch-house : when there, she pretended to go into a fainting fit, but upon searching her person for a smelling bottle to revive her exhusted nature, a bottle was found certainly, containing not exactly the Arabian sweets, but the Sydney antidote Jamaica rum. This cordial she observed, was a bottle of medicine pre-scribed by the faculty by whom she had been given over, and had had a blister applied to her back. She has been returned to government. The Bench directed that the bottle should be broken, but one of the inspectors thought it more prudent to discharge the contents, and accordingly retired mysteriously from the office for that purpose.

Police Incidents. (1837, December 16). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), p. 2. Retrieved December 16, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2214503



Tripping at secluded hop, 1832 Sydney

FRIDAY.-Sarah Thomas appeared at the bar a Niobe, all tears, charged with tripping it on the light fantastic toe at a secluded hop the previous evening, to the subversion of all feminine modesty. One month’s rural seclusion at Paramatta.

POLICE INCIDENTS. (1832, February 20). The Sydney Herald (NSW : 1831 – 1842), p. 3. Retrieved January 2, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12844130


THOMPSON, Julietta

Sailors Hornpipe and Quadrilles, 1834 Sydney

Miss Emily Vaughan, and Miss Julietta Thompson, (two small packages of goods, part of an investment received per Layton,) were charged with kicking up a bit of a” shindy” in Harrington-street, on Tuesday last, about half-past one in the morning, contrary to the Police Act, and to the annoyance of the ” Charleys” in that neighbourhood, who had, according to ancient usage, turned into their weary night-caps, about three hours previous to the aforesaid ” Shindy.”

Constable Orr (who by-the-by is always “awake,” and therefore never asleep), in his usual droll manner stated, that early on Tuesday, between one and two o’clock, he heard a deuce of a noise in his district, and following the ” cry,” came within a short distance to the disturbance, which was created by about forty sailors, several Rockite ladies, with Misses V. and T. in the midst. Being inclined to the inquisitive, (as what constable is not ?) he grounded his arms, and stuck his staff in the earth, and there sat like “Patience on a Monument smiling at” mirth.

The party had just turned out from the ” Finish”-some of the ladies proposed a game of “leap-frog,” others ” Bull in the Pound,” when a rusty old Jack-Tar, (who from the length of time he had been in oil, smelt like a cask of red herrings,) sung out from the bottom of his voice, ” Stand out for a bend !” ” A hornpipe” resounded through the mob ; a ring was formed, and ” fishey” started ; but before it was finished the ladies and gentlemen had formed themselves into gallop-hard, and quadrille parties,-and the scene had become too much for a constable’s description. As soon as the ” Rock-band’ ‘ struck up, Orr determined to stop their whistles, and take the foremost of the ceremonies under his protection. Miss V. was rather the worse for negus, and her companion Miss T., having taken lemonade, maintained | her sensibility. Emily was ordered to pay five shillings, or two hours in the dernier resort, and Julietta discharged, with an admonition.

POLICE INCIDENTS. (1834, September 8). The Sydney Herald (NSW : 1831 – 1842), p. 1 (Supplement to the Sydney Herald.). Retrieved January 31, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12850369


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Sailors and their women dancing and carousing, George Cruikshank. An illustration for Dibdin’s Songs Naval and National (1841). Reproduced by permission of the artist. © The Trustees of the British Museum



Could foot a dance, with anybody

William Tompkins appeared to complain of his duck-legged spouse, Mary, for being the pest end torment of his life. William acknowledged that Mary in se, was well enough ; she could wash clothes or sing a song-make a pudding or read poetry–mend a stocking or foot a dance, with anybody. She had a good pair of eyes, a fine set of teeth, and an hour-glass waist ; but then her tongue–ah ! there lay the source of all his sorrows–her tongue was not all in proportion to her other members. In possessing that, he assuredly possessed the long-sought long itude ; but Old Nick himself, could never fix its latitude. He had tried every means of amending her without avail, and he, therefore, hoped the Bench would take her, as he had done, for better or for worse. This was, however declined, and instead thereof, transferred the vixen to to Mrs. Gordon.

POLICE INCIDENTS. (1834, March 1). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), p. 2. Retrieved December 16, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2215525



Shuffle the brogue with rude harmony, 1826 Sydney

It seemed that the company, after exhausting not a few pots of “heavy wet” and a tolerable portion of the old “Jimakey,” to keep every thing snug and warm, prepared to “shuffle the brogue”, in the proper jig style, while a half blind fiddler scraped away at some discordant measure, ‘”in concert and rude harmony.” The party continued to ‘”foot it on the light fantastic toe,” until between dancing and drinking, they kicked up such a row, as to reach the ears of some passers by.

OFFENCES, CHARGES, &c. (1826, April 5). The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), p. 3. Retrieved January 21, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article37071502



Dancing in disorderly house,  1823 Sydney

On Tuesday last the Police was occupied for a considerable time in consequence of sixteen low and disorderly persons, of both sexes, having been apprehended the preceding night; at a house of ill-fame in O’Connell-street, by the Assistant Superintendent of Police and a party of constables, and brought up for examination.

It appeared that the Assistant Superintendent of Police, Mr. Middleton, accompanied by constables, had surrounded the house, where they heard music and dancing, outcries and confusion, at the hour of 11 at night, and demanded admittance, which was refused; there they waited till 2 o’clock before the doors were opened, and that, during the time they waited, they heard dreadful threats and imprecations denounced against the Police by some of the company within; and when the Peace Officers got admittance they found the house in a state of darkness, the lights having been blown out, and the wretched group in various parts of the house in a most disgraceful state, and presenting a scene of the most shocking depravity. After some feeble resistance they were at length secured, and lodged in the watch-house.

John Turner, as the master of the house, was convicted under the Police Regulations as a rogue and vagabond, and keeping a loose and disorderly house, and sentenced to be confined to hard labour, in the house of correction (the county goal) for 3 calender [sic] months. His visitors, consisting of 3 free men, were in like manner convicted and sentenced; under the Police Regulations, to 28 days hard labour in the house of correction; one man James Kelly, holding a ticket of leave, together with seven others, prisoners of the crown, were sentenced, Kelly to have his ticket of leave cancelled, and with the rest, to be sent to Emu Plains, there to work in the goal gang for the term of 3 calender months; and the four women, all common and notorious prostitutes, were sent to the, factory, under the Police Regulations, for 28 days. This salutary measure, following the conviction of such a disgraceful party, will, it be hoped, operate to prevent a repetition of such gross and disgraceful outrages.

MAGISTRATE FOR THE WEEK, E. WOLLSTONECRAFT, Esq. (1823, 12 June 1823). Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2181944

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