From Leicester House to St James’s Palace: Anthony L’Abbé’s dances to honour the Hanoverian royal family

This paper looks at the dances created by Anthony L’Abbé for the birthdays and other court celebrations of members of the Hanoverian royal family between 1715 and 1737, against the background of court culture at the time. A dozen or so such dances for the ballroom survive, all named after members of the royal family; most are designated as being for King George I’s birthday, others are dedicated to the Princess of Wales (later Queen Caroline), while one dedicated to the Prince of Wales during the troubled 1720s was designated not as a birthday dance but as a dance ‘for the year’. Given the nature of the Hanoverian family feuds in London during this period, L’Abbé’s work as dancing-master to the three daughters of the Prince and Princess of Wales must have involved him in treading very carefully between the rival courts of St James’s and Leicester House.

Jennifer Thorp
Symposium Title: 
Dancing in Royal Palaces – 2008
Author affiliation: 
New College, University of Oxford