A brilliant appearance of Genteel Company

In Eighteenth-Century Yorkshire all towns, large or small seem to have made royal birthdays or anniversaries an excuse for holding an Assembly, thereby demonstrating their patriotism. York being the county town,  was an important  centre  where  the assize  courts  for  Yorkshire were held and which had its own racecourse, as well as being a market town. This meant that the landed gentry and wealth farmers would bring their family to enjoy the pleasures of the town, among which were Assemblies.

John Macky writing in 1722 said that the Assemblies were ‘very convenient for young people; for formerly the Country Ladies were stewed up in their father’s old Mansions Houses, and seldom saw Company but at an Assize, a Horse-Race, or a Fair.

This paper illustrates the numerous occasions on which the society of Yorkshire gathered together for dancing at their local Assembly Rooms.



Madeleine Inglehearn
Symposium Title: 
Dancing for Anniversaries and Occasions: Chamber, Court, Theatre & Assembly 2015