G – Dancing reported by Police

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GAOL breakers tripping it on the light fantastic toe

1828 Sydney

Next day it happened that the nimble pair … were trapped whilst carousing and tripping it “on the light fantastic toe,” in a house of no creditable character, situated in an obscure part of “the Rocks”.

GAOL-BREAKING. (1828, February 13). The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), p. 3. Retrieved January 2, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article37073324


GILES, Jonas

Twirling round in the soft mazes of the waltz, 1833 Sydney

Jonas Giles arrayed in a very poetical suit of black, and his whiskers which were very luxuriant, trimmed nicely and scientifically to a point, lounged to the bar to show cause why he, the said Jonas Giles, had cut his stick from his master’s domicile three days previous, and why he should have been found doing the amiable to a little hit of womanhood, whom he was found twirling round in the soft mazes of the waltz, apparently forgetful of every thing but his charmer, until the ruthless hand of the trap awoke him from his reverie, and made him alive to the horrors of his situation; in consideration, of his character being tol lol, he was ordered to cut capers on Bell’s spring board for fourteen days.

POLICE INCIDENTS. (1833, August 22). The Sydney Herald (NSW : 1831 – 1842), p. 2. Retrieved January 31, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12847531

Specimens of waltzing. George Cruikshank (1817) London. Courtesy New York Public Library.


Tastefully dressed for a hop, 1832 Sydney

Sarah Goodberry, tastefully dressed for a hop, was placed at the bar all tears, having been defeated in her intention of paying a visit to a select party to which she had been invited, in the neighbourhood of the Rocks; when the constable took her into custody, she kicked in a manner completely assinine, and reduced the shins of the guardian of the peace to a jelly, she now tried all the arguments which females know so well how to bring to their aid, but the Bench sent her to the Factory for 1 mo. 3 C.

POLICE INCIDENTS. (1832, July 30). The Sydney Herald (NSW : 1831 – 1842), p. 1 (Supplement to the Sydney Herald.). Retrieved January 30, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article28654109

Offending women were sent to the Female Factory in Parramatta.
Female penitentiary or factory, Parramata [i.e. Parramatta], N.S. Wales. Augustus Earle (1826) 
National Library of Australia



A three-handed reel, 1836 Sydney

Kate Hoy, Maria Hely, and Ellen Gorman, were charged with bolting and becoming remarkably funny, which caused them to dance a three-handed reel in George-street, to the amazement of folks returning from Church, after a little trouble and a short chase they were secured. In defence they all commenced, chattering at once with the greatest volubility, expatiating upon their respective merits- better servants never lived- they were quite the thing – always did as ordered – couldn’t think how it occurred. This harangue was cut short by each of them being sent to the Factory for a month. They left the Court jabbering like so many talkative magpies.

POLICE INCIDENTS. (1836, November 8). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), p. 3. Retrieved May 23, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2207626



Songs and dancing before a murder, 1811 Sydney

[Trial transcript], R. vs John Gould, C.C.J., 6 March 1811, evidence of John Limeburner, in Byrne 1993, 247

She began to play with the prisoner and pull him about. She sat upon his knee. My wife made answer “Mrs. Finney do not make so free with that man for he will not stand it.” She got up from his knee but did not say anything … After this Catherine Devereaux sung a song, after that my wife sung one. After that the deceased said she never saw two old women so comfortable in her life “Now old Betty, I’ll give you a jig first to please.” The deceased was quite sober. This was her usual mode of behaviour.

“SYDNEY”, The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (7 March 1812), 2 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article628435

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