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Cruikshank’s London Almanack, 1838

August 13, 2013
by the gentle author

This set of engravings is the fourth in a series of calendars illustrating the seasons and festivals of the London year, drawn annually by George Cruikshank for The Comic Almanack published by Henry Tilt of Fleet St. 1838 was the year of Victoria’s coronation and I had no idea that frost fairs persisted until this era, equally the ‘Flying Showers’ of July provide evidence – should we ever need it – of the constant volatility of English summer weather. (Click on any of  these images to enlarge)

JANUARY - New Year’s Eve, 1837 departs and 1838 arrives

FEBRUARY - Frost Fair on the Thames

MARCH - St Patrick’s Day  at Seven Dials

APRIL - Street market on Low Sunday

MAY - Street plant sellers ‘All a growing!’

JUNE - The Coronation of Queen Victoria

JULY - Flying Showers in Battersea Fields

AUGUST‘Sic Omnes,’ on board the steamer from London Bridge to Boulogne

SEPTEMBER - The Michaelmas Gander, ‘De goostibus non est disputandum.’

OCTOBER - Battle of A-gin-court in Petty France

NOVEMBER - The Gunpowder Plot or Guys in Council

DECEMBER - Christmas Eve

You may also like to take a look at

Cruikshank’s London Almanack, 1835

Cruikshank’s London Almanack, 1836

Cruikshank’s London Almanack, 1837

Cruikshank’s Comic Alphabet

Tom & Jerry’s Life in London

More of Tom & Jerry’s Life in London

The Microcosm of London

The Microcosm of London II

4 Responses leave one →
  1. August 13, 2013

    The gunpowder plot is excellent

  2. Peter Holford permalink
    August 13, 2013

    You are quite correct in believing that frost fairs were a thing of the past by 1838. They were an infrequent event only occurring 26 times between 1400 and the the last fair in 1814. The last one was known as the ‘Great Frost Fair’ and lasted several days. The ice was so thick that an elephant was led across it. The demolition of the old London Bridge in 1831 had the effect that the water became tidal and moved faster.

    Not even a cold winter like 1962-63 could freeze the Thames sufficiently for a latter day frost fair. But they live long in the folk memory and these images were a mere 17 years after the event.

    Great images!

  3. mary moulder permalink
    August 13, 2013

    Thank you! I enjoy these pctures so much. I save them to my Rondeau family research. I am from the line of Rev. William Rondeau who immigrated to Rondeau Island, Livingston Co, Kentucky, and whose sister Phoebe Rondeau Baker immigrated to the States, and from there went to Oakville, Ontario. The Baker farm is now an Ontario Heritage Farm.
    To make a long story short, my Canadian Rondeau cousins placed a Rondeau plaque in Christ Church,Spitalfields,and took family photos—AND to our delight we see our Gentle Author walking through the background. Thanks again from the Rondeau family all over North America.

  4. August 14, 2013

    Good to see that St Patrick’s Day was a riot 175 years ago – Seven Dials, of course, and the St Giles/Covent Garden/Soho area, would have been a big centre for Irish immigrants still, as it had been for several decades: my own Irtish ancestor, Maurice Donno, pops up in Soho in the 1810s.

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