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!