Tuesday, 15 March 2011

‘Fools curious flock’d from ev’ry part’: the Crowds in Cock Lane, 1762. (an essay into the use of space in the early modern landscape)

‘We may exclude from our present consideration crowds that are casually drawn together like sight-seers’ wrote George Rudé in the opening pages of his influential study The Crowd in History of 1964.[1] Rudé, along with historians such as Georges Lefebvre, E.P. Thompson and Eric Hobsbawm, have restored the crowd to its rightful place in the early modern landscape but their analyses of collective behaviour forms only half of the picture.[2] These studies have largely taken the crowd as a synonym for social protest, motivated by religion, politics or social injustices.[3] The other side of crowd historiography, which is much less developed, has involved analysing the crowd as an essentially conservative force. These crowds appeared most frequently during annual celebratory holidays in the political calendar including the monarch’s birthday, May Day, Shrove Tuesday and the fifth-of-November amongst others.[4] Yet the picture is still incomplete; the ‘sight-seers’ that Rudé excluded from his work have largely avoided any systematic analysis.[5] Eliza Haywood, warning servant-maids in 1743, wrote: ‘a Croud gather’d about a Pickpocket, a Pedlar, a Mountebank, or a Ballad-singer, has the Power to detain too many of you’.[6] These crowds, which she put down to ‘impertinent Curiosity’ were, unfortunately, often too small and ephemeral to leave any significant traces.[7] In 1762 an event occurred at Cock Lane, London which resulted in an example of a large crowd in the eighteenth century which did not form to either protest against, or reinforce, the social order.

Death was ever-present in eighteenth-century London. Morbid news just from the relatively-small Cock Lane in 1760 included a man who ‘under some discontent of mind’ slit his throat and another who dropped dead in the street as a result of swallowing a coin.[8] Yet there would have been numerous people, unnoticed by the press, who slipped out of existence in this street from causes that were likely to have included childbirth, drink and disease.[9] One such un-newsworthy London death in 1760 was of Fanny Lynes, a former resident of Cock Lane, who died from smallpox.[10] But in early January 1762 news spread from Cock Lane around London that Fanny’s ghost was haunting Elizabeth Parsons, the daughter of Fanny’s previous landlord, Richard Parsons.[11] The ghost, which communicated by scratching and knocking, claimed she had been murdered by her lover, William Kent.[12] Fanny’s ghost was actually created by Parsons in order to discredit Kent, who was suing him for outstanding debt.[13] The fraud was uncovered on the 21 February by a committee of respected Londoners which included Dr. Samuel Johnson.[14] Nevertheless, for two months the Cock Lane house and street was packed with people, from all walks of life, eager to witness the spectacle. From contemporary accounts of the affair in newspapers, magazines, tracts, prints, journals, personal correspondence, poems, ballads and plays it is possible to gain an insight into how the use and perception of this previously inconsequential lane was so tangibly altered by something so seemingly ethereal.

First, however, it is necessary to place this ghost into its supernatural context. Figure 1, by Hogarth, is a pictorial representation of paranormal occurrences which were current in the collective memory. That the print is a social satire implies the level of hostility to these popular beliefs attracted – especially from the upper echelons of society.[15] Amongst Hogarth’s depictions here is the Boy of Bilson, who claimed he experienced fits of insanity and vomited pins due to a curse; the Tedworth Drummer, a 1660s ghost; Mary Toft, who gave birth to rabbits in 1726; and a small representation of the Cock Lane ghost above the thermometer on the right.[16] Yet the Cock Lane ghost captured public attention in 1762 on a much larger scale than its representation in this print suggests.[17] For about two months, people ‘from the highest to the most humble’ flocked to Cock Lane in their thousands.[18]

Figure 1. William Hogarth, Credulity, Superstition and Fanaticism. A Medley. London: 15 March 1762.

By studying accounts of the séances published in newspapers it is possible to reveal how different groups of people interacted with and within the space of the haunted bedroom. Fortunately fairly detailed accounts survive of the people who were permitted to attend the séances, although their names were often censored in the press. Aside from Richard Parsons, his daughter Elizabeth and her younger sister, the only person who attended every organised séance, from the first to the last, was the ‘the worthy’ Reverend Mr. Aldrich.[19] Present at the first séance on 11 January were four gentlemen and two ladies, one of whom was Aldrich’s wife.[20]  By the following night, however, the use of space inside the Cock Lane house had undergone a radical alteration. Pre-haunting it had been a very private space, a home; the small bedroom contained only one bed and a table with a chair.[21] Yet the practical purpose of the room changed overnight to a public space after ‘the Report was spread’, through word-of-mouth and the press, ‘that the House was haunted’.[22] From the following night, at least thirty people, of whom few knew Richard Parsons, would nightly cram themselves into the same space.[23] In fame, the room rivalled any attraction that London offered, although in design it was completely unsuited to this purpose:

The house ... is wretchedly small and miserable; when we opened the chamber, in which were fifty people, with no light but one tallow candle at the end, we tumbled over the bed of the child.[24]

As the house had become a sight for spectacle the social composition of the users of the space altered accordingly. The majority of the new visitors were of the gentry, although Parson’s maid, Richard Kent and ‘two negroes’ attended occasionally.[25] Additionally, there was usually at least one other member of the clergy present at the gatherings, but often there were more.[26] By late January it was still being reported that ‘the Clergy and the Laity, the Nobility and the Commonalty, continue their nightly attendance upon the invisible Agent.’[27] By this point the affair had begun to attract the attention of ‘many Gentlemen, eminent for their Rank and Character’, including Earls, Barons, Lords, Ladies and literary stars such as Dr. Johnson and Horace Walpole.[28] Those recognisable, amongst a number of clergymen, from Figure 2 are Sir John Fielding and Sir Samuel Fludyer.[29] Charles Churchill, who penned The Ghost to mock the distinguished visitors to Cock Lane, in reference to Fanny’s ghost remarked:

She, great in Reputation grown,
          Keeps the best Company in Town.[30]

Even Walpole had to rely on being with a social superior to gain entrance into the bedroom. He wrote to a friend that ‘the house was so full we could not get in; at last they discovered it was the duke of York, and the company squeezed themselves into one another’s pockets to make room for us.’[31] Dr. Johnson became part of a ‘select company’ who, at the expense of being thoroughly derided in poems, plays and satirical prints, took it on themselves to determine the reality of the ghost.[32] This company, which included ‘some of the Clergy, a Physician, Surgeon, Apothecary, and a Justice of the Peace’, attended regularly.[33] For most sightseers, though, one visit was sufficient to satisfy curiosity.[34] The space was not gendered; both sexes would put questions to the spirit and witness the knocked, scratched and fluttered responses:
          Whilst CURIOSITY, whose rage
          No Mercy shews to Sex or Age.[35]

So, in less than twenty-four hours any notion that the room was a private location had been obliterated, instead it was now a public space – open to all whose rank or fame permitted them to join the crush inside. The house, which was previously inhabited by a sexton’s family, became yet another space exclusively for ‘Nobility, Divines and City Sages’ as a result of the supposed haunting.[36]

As Walpole testified, the bedroom became one of the most exclusive in England and many callers would have been disappointed to not gain admittance. Yet most people who came to witness the spectacle would have had no expectations of entering the house, and were content to daily crowd the narrow confines of Cock Lane with thousands of others:
          Fools curious flock’d from ev’ry part.
          The Rich, the Poor, the Maid, the Married,
          And those who could not walk, were carried.[37]

Figures and details of the gathering of people in Cock Lane are, understandably, less precise than those of the company around Elizabeth Parson’s bed. Yet by analysing contemporary accounts, it is possible to attain a loose perspective of the social composition, size and nature of the crowds.
Primary sources draw attention to the identity of only one individual: ‘a noted Pick-Pocket, who is an Apprentice to a Brazier’ was sent to the Woodstreet compter after making ‘considerable Booty amongst the People who assembled there on Account of the Ghost’.[38] The Ghost provides a snapshot of the type of people who were likely to congregate in the lane; a butler, chamber-maid, cook-maid, parson and a whore. Like the crowds inside the house, both sexes were intrigued enough to visit to Cock Lane. ‘Nor are the Ladies less curious,’ one newspaper affirmed, ‘the narrow Avenue of Cock-Lane is become a sort of Midnight Rendezvous, occupied by a String of Coaches from one end to the other’.[39] The sources suggest, then, that the crowds were composed mainly, but not completely, of the labouring and lower-middling sorts.

Aside from the pickpocket there are few accounts of disorder or crime by the crowds; although one newspaper reported that ‘they behave in a very riotous Manner, and are a Terror to the Neighbourhood’ and another columnist believed that the crowd ‘should be despised by everyone who has a least regard to public peace’.[40] Most sources, however, contradict this notion. Walpole noticed that ‘all the taverns and ale-houses in the neighbourhood make fortunes’, while Rigdum Funnidos, writing to the London Chronicle, reasoned that ‘many hours of harmless mirth’ are spent by people assembled in Cock Lane ‘which otherwise might be turned to bad purposes’.[41] The terminology of contemporary reports affirms the amiable nature of this crowd. Although some described the people that packed the lane ‘vulgar’, they were not labelled mobile vulgus, (the excitable crowd, or ‘the mob’).[42] ‘The mob’ in the eighteenth century denoted crowds who created disorder, whether justified or not, and usually gathered to correct or avenge a social injustice.[43] Instead, the appellations used to describe these nameless faces grouped in Cock Lane were usually ‘crowds’, ‘great numbers of people’, ‘the Multitude’ or ‘an Abundance of Persons’.[44] These numbered in ‘thousands of people’, and were present throughout the day and night.[45] One sardonic report even stated that nineteen out of every twenty London inhabitants had been to Cock Lane, and while this was certainly an exaggeration for satiric effect it gives an impression of the hysteria which the ghost affected on the metropolitan population.[46] Yet the hysteria did not manifest itself into disorder, the crowds who assembled were lively but largely peaceful.

Historians have documented the decline in elite as well as demotic belief in witches, ghosts and magic that began in earnest at the end of the seventeenth century.[47] So it seems astonishing that a ghost in 1762 could attract the attention of all levels of society, to the degree that it did. The reasoning of why people behaved in this manner is, to some extent, explained by examining how these people perceived the spaces that they occupied. The level of belief in the supernatural of the guests in the room was contemporaneously analysed as such; the reality of the ghost was ‘credited by some, debated by more and examined by all’.[48] Undoubtedly, many people, especially those interested in the supernatural, did attend in ‘fearful Curiosity’ expecting to witness the ghost.[49]  Johnson’s company attended in order to debate its existence; he himself mused that it was ‘a question, which, after five thousand years, is yet undecided; a question, whether in theology or philosophy, one of the most important that can come before the human understanding.’[50]  Yet, most people were wont to link the ghost in Cock Lane to a theatrical performance.[51] ‘We might be indebted to Miss Fanny,’ perceived one observer, ‘to entertain the intervals betwixt dressing and cards’.[52] ‘A Puppet Show, an Auction, and the Cock-lane Ghost,’ criticised the pseudonymous Simon Thoughtful, ‘stand all upon the same Foot’.[53] Conveniently for many, including Horace Walpole, the séances began shortly after the opera finished.[54] Whilst Figure 2 depicts a man who bets ‘6 to 1 it runs more nights than The Coronation’.[55] Another company of visitors so ‘closely engaged with a Quantity of dried Beef and sound Port’ during one sitting that for ‘one or two of them it was found necessary to shew the Way out of the House’.[56] If a member of the audience professed too much incredulity the ghost would not make an appearance; the haunted atmosphere increased accordingly.[57] Witnesses not only talked of Cock Lane as a performance, and treated it as such; representations of the ghost and allusions to it actually appeared in a number of plays.[58]  A new prologue for a 1762 re-release of The Drummer by Joseph Addison reads:
          If in this credulous, believing Age,
          We bring a harmless Ghost upon the Stage,
          Some will perhaps conclude – in hopes of Gain,
          We’ve hired the Knocking Spirit from Cock-Lane.[59]

E.J. Clery has argued that the extent to which the Cock Lane ghost was ridiculed in this manner meant that after 1762 ‘all spirits ... [were] levelled to the status of spectacle’.[60] Elizabeth Parsons even revealed that her father intended to charge the audience an entrance fee, although this plan never transpired.[61] Therefore, for most visitors to the bedroom the space would have been perceived as a stage, where belief could be suspended and they could interact with the play, if they wished.

Determining the reasons why ‘the Multitude’ flocked to the streets, and their perception of the space, is less straightforward; the sources reveal their limitations, in this instance, more than they reveal reliable evidence of people’s motives.[62] The sources pertaining to the lower orders are written about them not by them. Accordingly, most reports argued along the lines that the crowd homogeneously believed in Fanny’s ghost; they wrote, ‘credulity steers its course easterly’ and that these ‘people are ripe for delusion’, ‘weak and superstitious’.[63] Yet while superstitious belief was probably more marked in popular rather than in polite culture, there is little to suggest that the Cock Lane crowd enthusiastically believed in the reality of this particular ghost.[64] Oliver Goldsmith, addressing the Cock Lane crowds specifically, argued that ‘very few partizans, even among the very lowest of people... are ready enough to believe any tale of this nature’, which to him was ‘a great instance of the good sense of the public upon the present occasion’.[65] While not denying that portions of this crowd did believe in the ghost, the purpose of the crowd is better understood in the context of popular eighteenth-century pastimes in London. People enjoyed activities ranging from puppet-shows, plays, public processions, fairs and executions, sports and blood-sports – all crowd drawing activities.[66] The crowds which collected in Cock Lane perfectly encapsulate ‘the frivolous pursuits of the people, their rage of novelty, their admiration of show and pageantry’.[67] As the visitors to Elizabeth’s bedside saw the séance as a show, those who congregated outside were likely have been ‘attracted by the hopes of amusement and pastime’ – which was all the more alluring, in this instance, because it was free.[68]

Figure 2. Anon, English Credulity or the Invisible Ghost in Cock Lane. London: c.1762.

The events at Cock Lane did much to alter the public perceptions of those who expressed even a miniscule possibility that the Fanny’s ghost was real. The Ghost, alongside less creative works, was a stinging attack on the reputations of elite visitors. To most critics, however, it was representative of the follies of society as a whole; ‘Mankind’ are, one pessimist warned, ‘relapsing into their original ignorance and barbarity’.[69] To a lot more, though, the Cock Lane ghost was turned to political satire: one fictional character asked ‘What is the amount of the national debt?’ to which Fanny responded with ‘Above a hundred and thirty million knocks’.[70] To other commentators the Cock Lane affair damaged not the reputation of people, but of a place. Cock Lane itself was seemingly exempt from this contempt; instead, the whole city of London attracted the bewilderment of the nation. The terms city and country in eighteenth-century England held very distinct connotations: the country was perceived as ‘a place of backwardness, ignorance, limitation’; the city as a centre of learning, rationality, communication and ambition.[71] People were astonished that so much hysteria surrounded a ghost in the metropolis: ‘I thought superstition had lived in the country; but it seems, it goes to town for the winter season’.[72] Others were more distressed than astounded at the credulity of Londoners: ‘Seriously, I am sorry there should be any Inhabitants of so enlightened a City weak enough to be imposed upon by so ridiculous an Artifice.’[73] The ghost served to blur the strongly-held distinctions between the city and the country.

Studies of the crowd have usually focused on plebeian crowds against patrician authorities, or patrician authority fostering plebeian crowds. The Cock Lane ghost in 1762, however, is an example of plebeians and patricians congregating for very similar reasons. Yet the crowd, or crowds, were still socially divided – only the upper echelons of society were able to gain entrance to the more exclusive space inside the house while members from the lower orders had to be content to congregate outside. The corporeal space of the Cock Lane and Parson’s house was not hugely altered as a consequence of the seemingly ethereal occurrences. Yet, for about two months in 1762, the use of these spaces altered significantly; crowds flocked, daily and nightly, to the street. The Cock Lane ghost and the furore surrounding it made very few physical marks on the landscape. No memorial existed. After the myth was exploded and crowds dispersed the original function of the street quickly returned. By May the only news from Cock Lane was, perhaps appropriately, that a man had been mortally gored by a runaway Ox.[74] Yet throughout January and February, and on into the nineteenth century, the perception of Cock Lane had irrevocably changed; for some it was haunted, but increasingly the space, and memory of the events which occurred in it, bore witness to the gullibility of humankind.[75] The crowds at Cock Lane are just one example of a crowd in the eighteenth century which was not motivated by politics or religion. Curiosity was a powerful force, like that of religion or politics, which was able to draw large crowds of people together in Georgian Britain. This was especially likely to occur in the metropolis; ‘the passion for crowds,’ witnessed Charles Lamb in 1810, ‘is nowhere feasted so full as in London’.[76]

[1] George Rudé, The Crowd in History, a Study of Popular Disturbances in France and England, 1730-1848. London: Wiley, 1964 cited in Mark Harrison, Crowds and History: Mass Phenomena in English Towns, 1790-1835. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988, p.4.
[2] Robert J. Holton, ‘The Crowd in History: Some Problems of Theory and Method’, Social History, vol.3, no.2 (May, 1978), pp.226-7. (Holton cites: George Lefebvre, ‘Foules Revolutionnaires’, in G. Bohn, G.Hardy and G. Lefebvre, La Foule. Paris: 1934; E.P. Thompson, ‘The Moral Economy of the English Crowd in the Eighteenth Century’, Past & Present, no.50 (1971), pp.76-136; Eric Hobsbawm, Primitive Rebels: Studies in Archaic Forms of Social Movement in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Manchester: 1959 as the most influential studies.)
[3] Holton, ‘The Crowd in History: Some Problems of Theory and Method’, p.219.
[4] Nicholas Rogers, Whigs and Cities: Popular Politics in the Age of Walpole and Pitt. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989, pp.347-89; Nicholas Rogers, Crowds, Culture and Politics in Georgian Britain. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998, pp.13-4; John Brewer, ‘The number 45: A Wilkite popular symbol’, Stephen B. Baxter (ed.), England’s Rise to Greatness 1660-1763. London: University of California Press Ltd, 1983, pp.362-75.
[5] Spectators for executions are the major exception to this. See, Andrea McKenzie, Tyburn’s Martyrs: Execution in England 1675-1775. London: Hambledon Continuum, 2007, pp.7-29; V. A. C. Gatrell, The Hanging Tree: Execution and the English People 1770-1868. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994, pp.90-110, 127-32, 242-58, 325-446, 589-61.
[6] Eliza Haywood, A present for a servant-maid: or, the sure means of gaining love and esteem. London: 1743, p.8 cited in Emily Cockayne, Hubbub: Filth, Noise & Stench in England, 1600-1770. London: Yale University Press, 2007, p.160.
[7] Haywood, A present for a servant-maid, p.9.
[8] Lloyd’s Evening Post and British Chronicle, Issue 520. (London: Wednesday, 12 November 1760); Universal Chronicle and Westminster Journal, Issue 95. (London: Saturday, 19 January 1760).
[9] Liza Picard, Dr. Johnson’s London: Coffee-Houses and Climbing Boys, Medicine, Toothpaste and Gin, Poverty and Press-Gangs, Freakshows and Female Education. London: Weidenfield and Nicolson, 2000, pp.156-7
[10] E.J. Clery, The Rise of Supernatural Fiction, 1762-1800. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999, p.1.
[11] Thomas Seccombe, ‘Parsons, Elizabeth (1749–1807)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [Online] Available from: http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/21456  [Accessed 13 March 2010]
[12] Clery, The Rise of Supernatural Fiction, pp.1-2.
[13] Paul Chambers, The Cock Lane Ghost: Murder, Sex and Haunting in Dr. Johnson’s London. Stroud: Sutton Publishing, 2006, p.30.
[14] Seccombe, ‘Parsons, Elizabeth (1749–1807)’ [Accessed 13 March 2010]
[15] Bernd Krysmanski, ‘We See a Ghost: Hogarth’s Satire on Methodists and Connoisseurs’, The Art Bulletin, vol.80, no.2 (June 1998), pp.292-310.
[16] Frederic George Stephens, Catalogue of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum. Division I: Political and Personal Satires, vol. IV. London: British Museum, 1870, pp.644-8.
[17] The Cock Lane ghost is arguably only a small representation for two reasons: firstly, the image is not as captivating as the Boy of Bilson and Mary Tofts; secondly, and more importantly, the copper printing-plate was altered from a 1726 design – the process permitted only minor alterations to the design. Stephens, Catalogue of Prints and Drawings, vol. IV, pp.644-8.
[18] Tobias Smollet & Anon, A Continuation of the Complete History of England by T. Smollett, vol.5. London: 1763, p.21.
[19]Clery, The Rise of Supernatural Fiction, p.32. St. James’s Chronicle or The British Evening Post, Issue 134 (London: Tuesday, 19 January 1762)
[20] St. James’s Chronicle (19 January 1762); Lloyd’s Evening Post and British Chronicle, Issue 706 (London: Wednesday, 20 January 1762).
[21] Oliver Goldsmith, The Mystery of the Supposed Cock-Lane Ghost Revealed &c. London: 1762, pp.19-20.
[22] St. James’s Chronicle (19 January 1762)
[23] St. James’s Chronicle or The British Evening Post, Issue 135 (London: Thursday, 21 January 1762).
[24] Horace Walpole, ‘Letter CLXV’, Letters from the Hon. Horace Walpole to George Montagu: from the year 1736 to the year 1770. London: Rodwell and Martin, 1818, p.278.
[25] St. James’s Chronicle (19 January 1762)
[26] London Evening Post, Issue 5337 (London: Saturday, 16 January 1762); St. James’s Chronicle or The British Evening Post, Issue 133 (London: Saturday, 16 January 1762); Lloyd’s Evening Post and British Chronicle, Issue 705 (London: Monday, 18 January 1762); St. James’s Chronicle (19 January 1762); Lloyd’s Evening Post (20 January 1762); General Evening Post, Issue 4412 (London: Thursday, 21 January 1762); St. James’s Chronicle (21 January 1762); London Evening Post, Issue 5340 (London: Saturday, 23 January 1762); St. James’s Chronicle or The British Evening Post, Issue 137 (London: Saturday, 23 January 1762); St. James’s Chronicle or The British Evening Post, Issue 139 (London: Thursday, 28 January 1762); Lloyd’s Evening Post and British Chronicle, Issue 711 (London: Monday, 1 February 1762); The London Chronicle, Issue 805 (London: Thursday, 18 February 1762).
[27] St. James’s Chronicle (28 January 1762)
[28] St. James’s Chronicle (19 January 1762); St. James’s Chronicle (23 January 1762); London Evening Post (23 January 1762); Lloyd’s Evening Post and British Chronicle, Issue 709 (London: Wednesday, 27 January 1762); London Evening Post, Issue 5343 (London: Saturday, 30 January 1762).
[29] Stephens, Catalogue of Prints and Drawings, vol. IV, pp.45-6.
[30] Charles Churchill, The Ghost. London: William Flexney, 1762, p.32.
[31] Walpole, ‘Letter CLXV’, pp.277-8.
[32] St. James’s Chronicle (23 January 1762)
[33] General Evening Post (21 January 1762)
[34] Goldsmith, The Mystery Revealed, p.19.
[35] Churchill, The Ghost, p.17.
[36] St. James’s Chronicle (23 January 1762); Lloyd’s Evening Post (27 January 1762).
[37] Churchill, The Ghost, p.9.
[38] London Evening Post, Issue 5339 (London: Thursday, 21 January 1762)
[39] St. James’s Chronicle (28 January 1762)
[40] London Evening Post (21 January 1762); A.B., ‘Life: By the Observer. Number XI’, The Library: -or, Moral and Critical Magazine for the Year 1762. London: 1762, p.78.
[41] The London Chronicle, Issue 808 (London: Thursday, 25 February 1762).
[42] Robert Shoemaker, The London Mob: Violence and Disorder in Eighteenth-Century England. London: Hambledon Continuum, 2007, p.xi. The only reference to the crowd as a mob comes from a poem composed by the son of a country gentleman, who had not visited Cock Lane. The London Chronicle, Issue 816 (London: Tuesday, 16 March 1762).
[43] Shoemaker, The London Mob, pp.xi-xiii.
[44] St. James’s Chronicle (16 January 1762); Lloyd’s Evening Post (18 January 1762); General Evening Post (Thursday, 21 January 1762); London Evening Post (21 January 1762); St. James’s Chronicle (21 January 1762).
[45] A.B., ‘Life: By the Observer. Number XI’, p.78; Goldsmith, The Mystery Revealed, p.19; Churchill, The Ghost, p.32:
            She dares the Sun’s most piercing light,
            And knocks by Day as well as Night.
[46] Anon, The BEAUTIES of all the MAGAZINES Selected, 1762, vol.1. London: 1762, p.11.
[47] Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic. London: Penguin Books, 1971, pp.701-34.
[48] A.B., ‘Life: By the Observer. Number XI’, p.75.
[49] St. James’s Chronicle or The British Evening Post, Issue 143 (London: Saturday, 6 February 1762)
[50] James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson, v.1, Oxford: 1934-50, p.235 cited in Clery, The Rise of Supernatural Fiction, p.18.
[51] Lloyd’s Evening Post and British Chronicle, Issue 713 (London: Friday, 5 February 1762); The London Chronicle (18 Feb 1762); The London Chronicle (25 February 1762); St. James’s Chronicle or The British Evening Post, Issue 172 (London: Thursday, 15 April 1762); Goldsmith, The Mystery Revealed, p.25. A.B., ‘Life: By the Observer. Number XI’, pp.75-6.
[52] A.B., ‘Life: By the Observer. Number XI’, p.75.
[53] London Evening Post (30 January 1762)
[54] Walpole, ‘Letter CLXV’, p.278. He also says in this letter that ‘this pantomime cannot last much longer’.
[55] The Coronation was a successful play that was running at the same time. A short comedy dialogue in The London Chronicle (18 February 1762) makes the same comparison.
[56] St James’s Chronicle (21 January 1762)
[57] Goldsmith, The Mystery Revealed, p.20; London Evening Post (30 January 1962)
[58] Samuel Foote, The Orators. A Comedy of Three Acts. London: 1762, pp.36-45. The Public Advertiser, Issue 8530 (London: Tuesday, 9 March 1762) advertises a concert ‘for one night only’, with a dance representing the Cock Lane Ghost affair, complete with Chinese fireworks.
[59] Advertised in The London Evening Post, Issue 5344 (London: Tuesday, 2 February 1762).
[60] Clery, The Rise of Supernatural Fiction, p.17.
[61] London Evening Post (30 January 1762)
[62] Tim Harris, ‘Problematising Popular Culture’ in Tim Harris (ed.), Popular Culture in England, c.1500-1850. London: MacMillan Press, 1995, pp.6-10.
[63] Anon, The Beauties of all the Magazines Selected, p.11. The London Chronicle (25 February 1762); St. James’s Chronicle (28 January 1762); Lloyd’s Evening Post (20 January 1762)
[64] Paul Langford, A Polite and Commercial People: England 1727-1783. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989, pp.281-7.
[65] My italics. Goldsmith, The Mystery Revealed, p.3.
[66] Duncan Taylor, Fielding’s England. London: Dennis Dobson, 1966, pp.173-208; Roy Porter, London: A Social History. London: Penguin Books, 2000, pp.194-224; Richard D. Altick, The Shows of London: a Panoramic History of Exhibitions, 1600-1862. London: Harvard University Press, 1978, pp.87-98.
[67] Tobias Smollett & Anon, A Continuation of the Complete History of England by T. Smollett, vol.5. London: 1763, p.19.
[68] ibid, p.21; James Walvin, English Urban Life, 1776-1851. London: Hutchinson, 1984, p.142.
[69] Smollett, A Continuation of the Complete History of England, p.19.
[70] Lloyd’s Evening Post and British Chronicle, Issue 716 (London: Friday, 12 February 1762).
[71] Raymond Williams, The Country and the City. London: The Hogarth Press, 1993, p.1.
[72] A.B., ‘Life: By the Observer. Number XI’, p.78.
[73] St James’s Chronicle or British Evening Post, Issue 140 (London: Saturday, 30 January 1762)
[74] The Public Advertiser, Issue 8598 (London: Tuesday, 25 May 1762)
[75] Chambers, The Cock Lane Ghost, pp.205-14.
[76] Cited in Stephen Inwood, A History of London. London: Papermac, 2000, p.298.

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