Historical references to London's sounds

A database of several hundred historical descriptions and references to London's sounds. They're drawn mainly from primary sources such as autobiographies, diaries and statutes, as well as novels written around the times they depict.

11th to
16th to
18th Early
 Pub life, music and song   1 3     1 5 3
 City-wide celebrations     3 2   3 3  
 Toasts, dinners and feasts     2 1       1
 Theatre and cinema audiences     2 1 1 1    
 Music and song in theatres     2 2   2    
 Public music and song outdoors     3   1 4    
 Education: Oratory and debate   1            
 Gambling and fairs     1 1 1 2 1  
 Sporting events   1 1 1 1      
 Families at leisure             1  
 Dancing             1  
 Local celebrations           1   1

Period referred to: Early 18th century

Sound category: Social > Gambling

Title of work: London in 1710

Type of publication: Published travel account

Author: Zacharias Conrad von Uffenbach

Year of publication: 1710

Page/volume number: Not known

A German traveller witnesses a London cockfight

The people, gentlefolk as well as commoners (they all sit together), act like madmen and go on raising the odds to twenty guineas and more. As soon as one of the bidders calls 'done', the other is held to his bargain.

As soon as the cocks appear, the shouts grown even louder and the betting is continued. [. . .] There is nothing so amusing as when one cock seems quite exhausted and there are great shouts of joy and terrific bets and then, though he seems quite done for, he suddenly recovers and masters the other. When one of the two is dead, the victor never fails to start crowing and jumping on the other and it often happens that they sing their song of triumph before victory is assured and the other wins after all.

[. . .]

If a man has made a bet and is unable to pay he is made, as a punishment, to sit in a busker tied to the ceiling and is drawn up in it amidst mighty laughter.