U-Z – Dancing reported by Police

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VAUGHAN, Emily

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

Sailors and women dancing. (1808) London
© The Trustees of the British Museum

VIVID excitation of animal spirits

1827 Rocks, Sydney

A complaint, for breach of the peace, was made on Wednesday last, before Captain Rossi, eliciting some circumstances respecting the state of a number of houses upon the Rocks, which imperatively call upon us, as guardians of the public morals, to make a few remarks concerning them.

…the extreme degree of immorality which characterizes these unlicenced houses.

But with respect to the inferior constables, I have to remark, that numerous instances of their drinking liquor in unlicensed houses have come to our knowledge

The youth of both sexes are attracted to these dens of destruction, by the vivid excitation of animal spirits, which music and dancing, and unrestrained mirth produces. In licenced houses these, amusements might be allowed, because they arc so much more under the control of the Police. That which in some houses would be au innocent amusement, would in others degenerate into that kind of loose pleasure which is the root of every thing infamous and abhorrent. We hope this subject, once brought forward, will not escape the attention of the Superintendent of Police.

Shipping Intelligence. (1827, March 31). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), p. 2. Retrieved December 11, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2187958

 

WAINWRIGHT, Sarah

Fuddling, skipping, dancing. Sydney 1827

Sarah Wainwright, free, was brought forward at the suit of her husband for absconding from him, carrying off his property, running him in debt, going into fuddling houses, skipping, dancing, and getting her living by prostitution, so that this Adam and Eve must have lived but a queer sort of cat and dog life. Sentenced to the 2d class in the Factory for two months, as the House of Correction,

Police Report. (1827, July 13). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), p. 3. Retrieved January 30, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2188581

A fuddling cup from North Devon, England. (1705). Courtesy of Woolley and Wallis. Although fuddling in this case may simply mean being befuddled by alcohol, it is also possible it referred to a drinking game. A fuddling cup is a three-dimensional puzzle in the form of a drinking vessel, made of three or more cups or jugs all linked together by holes and tubes. The challenge of the puzzle is to drink from the vessel in such a way that the beverage does not spill. To do this successfully, the cups must be drunk from in a specific order.  Such games can lead to riotous nights for even the most reserved…

WAINWRIGHT, Sarah

Dancing a pas de zephyr, 1838 Sydney

Sarah Wainwright appeared at the bar with one eye elegantly surrounded by a purple hue, and the other peeping from underneath her grizly locks, the whole of her elegant headpiece surmounted by a cap the color of which bespoke the long odds between it and the washing tub. This lady stood charged with displaying her elegant accomplishments in Market street, and dancing a pas de zephyr to the infinite amusement of a crowd who had collected to witness her exertions upon the constables endeavouring to take her in charge, she soon convinced them that ” she was famed for deeds of arms.” In her defence she observed that she was at the time merely taking a little innocent recreation, the Colonel remarked he would not deprive her of her favorite predilection, and accordingly sent her to the 3rd class of the factory, thereto be kept to hard labour for the space of three calendar months.

Police Incidents. (1838, January 6). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), p. 2. Retrieved January 26, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2549530

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WALSH, David

Upper floors of the house were fitted up with a ball room for midnight revels

Disorderly Houses. — David Walsh, joint-proprietor with a Mrs Brown in an apparent eating house, in Castlereagh-street, at which some of the most profligate of both sexes have for about two years past held their midnight revels, was convicted before the Court of Quarter Sessions on Monday last, and sentenced to be, worked on the treadmill, at Carter’s Barracks, for six months. The conviction was effected through the instrumentality of Police Sergeant Price, through whose active exertions the defendant and Mrs Brown had been previously convicted within the same period on no less than three distinct in-formations for sly-grog selling. The two upper floors of the house were fitted up with a ball room, private supper room, and bed rooms, all elegantly furnished, but unoccupied by any of the family, so as to leave no doubt as to the uses, or rather abuses to which they were put. The house has long borne a most notorious character, and the ruin of many a promising youth, of respectable connections, has been effected within its unhallowed walls. Much praise is due to the Police for having, after many unsuccessful attempt, succeeded in putting down this intolerable nuisance.

SUPREME COURT—(CIVIL SIDE) (1840, July 9). The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), p. 2. Retrieved December 17, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article36849371

A lower class public ball. George Cruikshank (1846) London. © The Trustees of the British Museum

WARD, James

Dancing and singing in George-street, 1833 Sydney

James Ward and Henry Wheeley were charged with rehearsing the farce of the ” Devil to Pay,” in open daylight, in George-street, by dancing, singing, and breaking the heads of those who thought fit to desire them to be quiet, for which the Bench gave them a lounge in Skinner’s easy chair for three hours each.

POLICE INCIDENTS. (1833, September 26). The Sydney Herald (NSW : 1831 – 1842), p. 1 (Supplement to the Sydney Herald.). Retrieved December 16, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12847802

 

WHEELEY, Henry

Dancing and singing in George-street, 1833 Sydney

James Ward and Henry Wheeley were charged with rehearsing the farce of the ” Devil to Pay,” in open daylight, in George-street, by dancing, singing, and breaking the heads of those who thought fit to desire them to be quiet, for which the Bench gave them a lounge in Skinner’s easy chair for three hours each.

POLICE INCIDENTS. (1833, September 26). The Sydney Herald (NSW : 1831 – 1842), p. 1 (Supplement to the Sydney Herald.). Retrieved December 16, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12847802

 

WHITTAKER, Mary

At a hop, fight or masquerade. 1833 Sydney

THURSDAY.-Mary Whittaker, a very passable sort of customer at a hop, a fight, or a masquerade, to each of which she was attached, and at which she liked to figure, was charged with rigging her-self in her best togs, and flitting overnight; when found, which was about two o’clock in the morning, she was three-quarters sprung, and hiccupping out, ” oh that vornan should put an enemy in her mug to steal away her brains.” The only defence Mary had to this conduct, was that, ” when the liquor was in the wit was out. One month third class.

POLICE INCIDENTS. (1833, March 11). The Sydney Herald (NSW : 1831 – 1842), p. 2. Retrieved January 2, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12846398

Masquerading. Thomas Rowlandson (1811) London.  MetMuseum: The Elisha Whittelsey Collection

WILSON, John

Dancing in public house 1840 Hobart

John Wilson and William Cole, assigned to Mr. Nuttall, were charged with being in a public-house amusing themselves on the light fantastic toe;  fourteen days treadmill.

HOBART TOWN POLICE REPORT. (1840, May 15). The Hobart Town Courier and Van Diemen’s Land Gazette (Tas. : 1839 – 1840), p. 4. Retrieved January 2, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8747866

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WOODHOUSE, Mary

At an evening dancing academy…let’s have a ball, 1833 Sydney

Mary Woodhouse was charged with absconding, and being found doing it heavy in Sussex-street, at an evening dancing academy. When taken, she was bouncing up and down the room, hanging on the arm of as dapper a little costermonger as Sydney can , produce, who was whiffing a short pipe, and doing other little elegancies, and endeavouring to insinivate himself into the good graces of Miss Mary Woodhouse, by softly whispering to her,
“I say, Polly, this is vot I calls prime ; ain’t we doing it rummy?”
“Yes, my chicken,” replied Mary, tapping him on the check, ” this is quite genteelish like; it puts one in mind of old times, but let’s have a ball.”
“By all means,” said the complying man of esculants, an 1 a dram of the right thing was duly administered to Miss, who pitched it into her mouth in a manner quite refreshing, but while debating whether another should, or should not follow, the charleys pinned and bore her away. Having no defence, except that the mistress of the house had invited her to commemorate Master Jackey’s having cut his first teeth, the Bench sent her to learn Gordon’s morals for 6 weeks.

POLICE INCIDENTS. (1833, February 7). The Sydney Herald (NSW : 1831 – 1842), p. 3. Retrieved December 16, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12846203

 

WRGHT, George

Two escaped prisoners dancing

Ann Sneid, alias Puckeridge, was charged with harbouring two men, named George Wright and John Abbott, two prisoners of the Crown illegally at large in her house. On the evening of the fourth instant, Sutland, the informer, stated, that hearing some noisy fracas at the defendant’s house, he was induced to go in, when seeing the two prisoners, dancing, and the door being on the jar, he popped in, and tapping the pair of customers on the shoulder, brought them out, and walked off both to the watch-house. Proof of the conviction of these men was then gone into.

In defence to this information, the defendant urged that she was not the occupant of the house in question, and in support of this tendered in proof an affidavit to that effect, backed by another from the individual to whom she had let it. The Bench, however, could not be brought to believe but that the defendant was the bona fide occupier of the house — as she lived in it with her daughter, the house belonged to her, and the individual whom she named as being the person she had let it to, not being in a situation of life to make it at all likely he could be in want of a place of the description. The fact, they thought, was, that one had money, and the other none. Sentenced to pay a fine of 25 dollars to the King, and two dollars for each prisoner so harboured, with cost of summons, &c. —or in default of payment, within three days, to stand committed to gaol for two calendar months.

POLICE INCIDENTS. (1829, February 13). The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), p. 3. Retrieved December 16, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article36865952

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