Celebrating and entertaining a new king and his bride

George II died on 25 October 1760 and was succeeded by his 22-year-old grandson. After a three week closure of London’s theatres George III’s theatre visits were of a serious kind, for he showed a particular interest in Shakespeare’s history plays.  Celebrations were not appropriate for a king’s death, but the new king’s birthday in June 1761, was marked by a sung and danced serenata at the opera house.  It was with the arrival of Charlotte of Mecklenburg that September as the chosen bride and consort that festivities really began. This paper will look at the ways in which the wedding and coronation were celebrated with dancing and at the part dance played in the theatrical evenings that the young couple attended in the first  few  months  of  their married life.

Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson have written extensively on 17th and 18th century singers for musical periodicals and for New Grove. They were Research Associates for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, for which they wrote over 60 articles, and have edited facsimile editions of the complete songs of Richard Leveridge in Music for London Entertainment 1660-1800 (1997) and of The Monthly Mask of Vocal Music, 1702-1711 (2007). ‘The Harmonious Unfortunate; new light on Catherine Tofts’ appeared in the Cambridge Opera Journal, vol. 22 (2011) and ‘The Subscription Musick of 1703-04’ was in the Musical Times for Winter 2012. Their ‘Theatre Dancers at the Court of Queen Anne’ was published in Court Historian in December 2010 and, with Michael Burden, they compiled ‘Images of Dancers on the London Stage, 1699-1800’, published in Music in Art, vol. 36 (2011).


Olive Baldwin
Thelma Wilson Essex
Symposium Title: 
Dancing for Anniversaries and Occasions: Chamber, Court, Theatre & Assembly 2015