Eliza Deacon, although evidently much admired by her husband was not the sort of person the police wanted sleeping drunk in the street and packed her off accordingly. I love the terms used in this article. She is described as ‘a”dicky” looking specimen of feminine beauty’ and ‘an idle and disorderly bit of crinoline’. Nasty! Her drink of choice was apparently Tooth’s. Tooth’s were well-known brewers in New South Wales at the time and you can still buy a drink from the company if you can find a can of KB Lager in a bottle shop. I love the name of one of the overseers of her (supposed) happy union, the Rev Theoliphus Tightknot.
Billy Johnson with his sticky ‘bird-lime fingers’ could have picked a better place that in the police court to borrow a pongee fogle. A pongee is not, as its name suggests, a smelly hankie but a soft thin cloth woven from raw silk. Justice was meted out with startling rapidity in Billy’s case with a sentence of three months hard labour. He didn’t even get a chance to blow his nose.
I wouldn’t have liked to cross Anne Nantz. I think that putting her mistress in a headlock and pummeling her unmercifully while drunk was a bit of an overreaction. I wonder what the mistress did, if anything, to antagonize her. ‘If I come back may I be____.’ I would love to know exactly what the word was that they left out of that report!
Frederick McGillicuddy was sent off to learn manners after telling his master he would make him into pies if he didn’t shut up (clap a stopper on his muzzle, lovely stuff!), and that he would not be abused in such a style even if the master was a better man than him, suggesting that he thought the master certainly was not!
(The Sydney Herald 12 Nov 1832 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12845683)
Poor George Hayes would have been wishing he had a blunter knife shortly before he expired. I wonder if the string was normal practice in those days? Having an extremely sharp knife swinging around your legs at work sounds like a recipe for disaster to me.
Yet another bird’s-eye fogle, this time it is killingly twisted around a squeeze, not a weasen. That along with his pimple, the blue-buttoned mandarine, sassengers for a mag, seven fathoms deep in the stone jug, bullyrag, towrowing, calumnate, pure pelucid, a pink and a chaffing crib.
Hugh Sexey’s squeeze is his neck and his pimple is his head. The opium affected blue-buttoned mandarine he resembles is a chinese official, the blue button is on his hat denoting his rank. His sassengers were on sale for a half-penny a plateful and when he found himself in the cell he was seven fathoms deep in the stone jug.
To mistreat or persecute is to bullyrag, although a towrow is an altercation or to make an uproar so it sounds like Robertson and Ryan are both as bad as each other. Ryan says although Robertson is better dressed (better togged) she is being falsley accused (calumnate).
A tar of the first water is a first class sailor and the fair Ellen may have had her judgement clouded by the fact she was not really drinking pure pelucid (probably water) but suffering the effects of the rum she reeked of.
The highly fashionable (pink) Tom Jones was more annoyed about his broken rest than the fine incurred and James McKaig was found reeling out of an entertainment house (chaffing crib) with a fashionable companion who was hard a-weather (drunk) and possibly a prostitute (she cracks).
Some of these words are actually going to be used in my house. None of us can be described as pink, but if the man of the house is ever hard a-weather I am very tempted to squeeze his squeeze. Don’t bullyrag your brother, Stop that towrow!, Do not calumnate me. All things that I am aiming to add to the lexicon of the household. Not sure of my chances of success but it is always worth a try.
The Argus 25th Sep 1899 Article 9031621-3-001
Poor bugger. We have all had hiccups and they can vary from amusing to moderately annoying but this version is pretty extreme. After finding this article I had a bit of a search and found other people who had died of the same cause. I can imagine how an extreme case of the hics might make breathing difficult but to die from it….yikes…
I have said before that I love the way some of these police reports were written and this is a great example of why. John Catlin refusing the work aboard ship, preferring the handling of a knife and fork to that of a handspike and actor Bob Chopsticks replacing the boots of Bombastes with pipes after a few too many pots of heavy and then being silly enough to challenge a policeman. Theatrical but unsuccessful.
I also love the picture painted of Sarah Thompson in her birdseye fogle, slouched castor, breeches, polished boots and whip calling his worship ‘old cock-o’-wax’ and referring to herself as a second Lady Barrymore.
My loyal readers will know that a birdseye fogle has been seen previously twisted about a weasen. Fortunately it is not made out of birds eyes although a slouched castor is a type of hat made out of beaver fur (and qualifies as another buried word).
I hadn’t heard of Lady Barrymore before and it appears that both the Earl and Lady Barrymore were amateur boxers in the early 1820’s. While researching this I found the story of Elizabeth Stokes who was a well-know female fighter in the early 1700’s and was apparently also known as Lady Bare Knuckles. (Look on georgianlondon.com for an interesting article about her.) I can imagine that females stripped to the waist and fighting with a half-crown clutched in their fists might have been quite popular with the men of the times.
Sarah Thompson was sentenced to six weeks for playing Giovani. I can only imagine that, like Don Giovanni, she was a little too free (well, maybe not actually free) with her favours. Any other suggestions for this please let me know!