Activities and Sports

Victorian Era Ragged Schools

Victorian era Ragged Schools were charitable organizations established around the 1840s and dedicated to the free education of society’s most destitute children in Britain. The schools combined a free education, food, clothing, lodging, religious instruction, and other home missionary services as required for poor children. The idea of ragged schools was to educate children and…

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Saturday Night in London in 1824

For most of the people of London, Saturday nights meant the work week was behind them. Saturday night was an evening where Londoners could relax, carouse, or enjoy themselves by visiting the market, the theatre, or their local ale house. Moreover, on Saturday nights, London was filled with all sorts of interesting people. Because Saturday…

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Nine Singing Rules for 18th Century Singers

Singing was a popular activity in the 1700s. One writer noted that when there was a large group of singers, the worst singer was often the person who got the greatest pleasure from the activity. To ensure people got the most pleasure out of singing, numerous song books were published. Among them was one that…

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Fortune-Telling with Moles in the Georgian Era

One person wrote, “Ever since the world began, a laudable curiosity has excited all ranks of people in all countries, to know the events, vicissitudes, the turns of good or bad fortune.”[1] Among those intrigued by the turns of good or bad fortunes were people living in the eighteenth century and nineteenth centuries. Their fortunes…

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Kite Carriages or Charvolants

George Pocock was an English schoolteacher who became interested in kites and began experimenting with them. His interest gradually progressed to him using kites to lift small items and then light loads. By the 1820s, Pocock was experimenting with kites that could lift people. This resulted in Pocock rigging a chair in 1824 that lifted…

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Irish Dueling Code or the Irish Code Duello

Firearm duels became popular in the eighteenth century and even more so after the adoption of what became known as the Irish Code Duello. The Irish Code Duello was a set of rules adopted at the Clonmel Summer Assizes in 1777 by gentlemen from the counties of Tipperary, Galway, Mayo, Sligo and Roscommon. These rules…

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How Georgians Trapped Foxes

The cunning fox has had a long history in England, and everyone from squires to dukes to kings have hunted the omnivorous animal. In fact, it was practically a standard amusement for the landed gentry to be yelling, “Tally-ho!” as they hunted the fox with its pointed, slightly upturned snout, upright triangular ears, and long…

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Foster Powell – The Celebrated Pedestrian

Foster Powell was born in 1734, and when he left his little Yorkshire village of Horseforth, near Leeds, at the age of 26 and headed to London, village inhabitants thought little of him in respect to either his mental or physical capabilities. In fact, he had a reputation “of being a quiet inoffensive lad, shy,…

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Road Etiquette for Victorian Bicyclists

The first real bicycle — a two-wheeled machine, operated by crank-action on a rotating axle — did not appear until the early 1860s, and cycling did not become a widely popular activity until the 1870s. However, once it did become popular it was touted as a way for a person to achieve independence, and, in…

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