A provincial frost fair:urban space sociability and spectacle in Shrewsbury during the great frost of 1739

Bowen, James Paul (2018) A provincial frost fair:urban space sociability and spectacle in Shrewsbury during the great frost of 1739. Midland History, 43 (1). pp. 43-61. ISSN 0047-729X

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Abstract

This article uses a contemporary print, antiquarian histories and newspapers to examine the frost fair that took place on the River Severn at Shrewsbury during the great frost of 1739. By comparing the Shrewsbury frost fair with others that were organised on the Rivers Thames, Ouse and Tyne (for which printed handbills survive), it demonstrates how Shrewsbury’s mirrored other frost fairs held during the seventeenth, eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. It included printing activities, promenading and sociability, as well as spectacles, notably Robert Cadman a ‘flying man’ who entertained the crowds, before plummeting to his death. The paper highlights an aspect of eighteenth-century culture by showing the transient nature of entertainments, urban spaces and forms of sociability and spectacle and argues that historians should consider frost fairs in localities outside London as events which provide insights into provincial urban culture.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Midland History
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1200
Subjects:
ID Code:
125144
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
15 May 2018 10:14
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
01 Apr 2020 06:22