The May Fair, London c. 18th century
The May Fair Riots:
Just to inform you my friends, a word of
warning, as the May Fair became particularly brutal in the early part
of the century. Here is an actual account from an eighteenth century
newspaper of the madness that became the May Fair:
26-28 May 1702, St. James's,
"Whereas on Tuesday the 12th of this instant May, a riot was committed
in May Fair, in which (amongst other disorders) John Cooper of St. James
Parish, Constable, being with other Constables and Officers, employed
in putting in execution Her Majesty's Proclomation for the Encouragement
of Piety and Virtue, and for the Preventing and Puniching of Vice, Prophaneness,
and Immorality, he (amongst others) was dangerously wounded, whereof he
is since dead" .
First Stop: The
Our fist stop is Greenwich for
the annual May Fair. The May Fair originally beganas a fertility
celebration on May Day .
Traditionally this fair is to be held during the Easter season.
And being that the weather is so pleasant, who would not enjoy a
Greenwich jaunt on the sunny first day of May!
Keep in mind, my friends that this fair originated as a religious celebration,
when we observe some of the more lewd and scandalous aspects of the May
I should warn all of you this fair is not for the faint of heart. In fact,
many contend it is not for ladies like myself at all. A local newspaper
publication recently stated, "can any rational men imagine that her
Majesty would permit so much lewdness as is committed in May Fair"
To the left are the rope
dancers, it is even said that a dancer died at the fair after a horrific
accident. Yet, I find myself enthralled by their acrobatic acts, albeit
dangerous. Although the May Fair has some of the same entertainment and
delicacies as the Bartholomew Fair, which we will visit later, many are
appalled by the prostitution evident by the whores dotting the landscape.
Often, I have been scared for my own life because of the riots at the
fair, and usually what sparks the riots is the lewd women. I would not
be surprised if the Queen Anne attempted to rid the Fair of all the whores.
Oh, look just ahead is Barrady,
a comedian. He is one of the best entertainers at the Fair, and we will
probably see him throughout our journey because he performs at numerous
fairs. I am getting hungry--let us find a bite to
eat!!!!! Fairs, especially the May Fair and the Bartholomew Fair have
the best food in the land.