Historical references to London's sounds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 19th century

Sound category: Social > Sporting events

Title of work: Journal of a Tour and Residence in Great Britain during the Years 1810 and 1811 by a French Traveller

Type of publication: Travel diary

Author: Louis Simond

Year of publication: 1817

Page/volume number: 12 July 1810

A boat race near London Bridge

Below London Bridge [. . .] we soon found ourselves in a crowd of boats, very gaily attired, full of rowers, and in great activity. It was a rowing match, – they appeared ready to start, and we took our station among the spectators. A shot fired was the signal [. . .] In a few minutes there was a great cry of Foul! foul! answered equally loud with Fair! fair! The friends on both sides interfered and stopped the boats. What it was exactly we could not make out, some nice point no doubt, as there was much vehement argumentation on both sides; but, apparently, without abuse or quarrelling, things were adjusted and the race resumed. [. . .] Returning, they sooned passed us again, on the other side, followed by a fleet of boats, and were out of sight in a few minutes, down the river: – a band of music playing all the while.