Concert Life in 19th-Century London
Database and Research Project



The 'Lockwood Harpists', 1848 (Illustrated London News)The fuzziness of the concert category has been an ongoing concern for the research team; its scope is best demonstrated by the following examples, all advertised in the London press, and all having some claim to being considered concerts:


Mr. Bologna[‘s ...] GRAND ANNUAL EXHIBITION [...] at the Theatre [Royal, Covent Garden ...] with various pieces of mechanism, particularly the learned swan, a mechanical French mill, two automaton figures as rope dancers, a Turkish juggler, a distiller and water server, the Ombres Chinois, the Phantasmagoria, and the whole to conclude with a brilliant display of fire-works. A self-acting grand piano forte will perform between the pieces.


(Times, 24 February 1815)


Commercial Travellers’ School, anniversary dinner at the London Tavern. ‘A body of vocalists enhanced the enjoyment of the evening with a number of standard songs and glees [...] Mr. Albert Smith [...] sang “Galignani’s Messenger,” with great applause.’


(Daily News, 1 January 1855)


Illustrative Gathering at St Martin’s Hall. Mr and Mrs T. German Reed presenting ‘their New Entertainment, consisting of Musical and Characteristic Illustrations introducing a variety of Amusing and Interesting Characters from Real Life, including English, French, and Italian songs.’


(Morning Chronicle, 25 April 1855)


Sunday Evenings For The People [...] Stanley Hall, Junction-road, Kentish Town, N. W., lecture by Mr. T. C. Hepworth, F. C. S. [...] with oxy-hydrogen lantern illustrations, followed by vocal and instrumental music.


(Daily Telegraph, 16 February 1895)


Niagara Hall: ‘Real Ice Skating. Ice always in Perfect Condition [...] Excellent Orchestra.’


(Athenaeum, 23 February 1895)

Contact Details:
Professor Rachel Cowgill