1847: Pickpockets at work while locals enjoy circus entertainment

Updated: Mar 8


Brighton Gazette - Thursday 02 September 1847


CUCKFIELD.


Mr Batty’s circus made public entry into this town on Monday morning, and a very splendid tum-out it was. A first-rate brass band, clad in aristocratic scarlet, preceded the cavalcade; and the stud was excellent, particularly the six-in-hand concern and the “little loves of ponies,” as the ladies called them.


There were two camels that attracted considerable attention, but we did not see them in the after exhibition.


Batty's Circus Royal, Sheffield, Yorkshire, 1839

In the afternoon a performance took place, in a splendid booth erected in Mr Jenner's field adjoining the park. It was respectably but not very numerously attended, as not more than from 200 to 300 were present; but in the evening there was a bumper, for, on a moderate calculation, not less than 1000 persons attended. The docility of the ponies, who went through their parts entirely by themselves, was extreme.


The vaulters were excellent, and one of them threw successively 18 and afterwards 23 back summersets. The riding of Mr A. Powell was very good, and Mr G. Thompson astonished the beholders with his feats of strength, and with the single pole, on which, standing on his head, he performed a rotatory motion as fast as a horizontal mill wheel.


The Acrobats were superior performers in their line. Mr Bridges went through the part of the Wild Indian on horseback very successfully; and the clown made at least one very good hit with the apple and the plate. Several of the ladies present and some gentlemen had their pockets picked or cut off during the performance, and Inspector Flanagan, who was on the look out, succeeded in capturing one of the lower officials in the act, he taking the advantage of getting under the seat to carry on his trade.


We have heard this morning of missing filberts, and of a party being seen in the garden. Really persons who possess so large an establishment should enquire into the characters of the helpers they are obliged have about them. The fellow in custody had been with them only two days.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Batty


https://www.loc.gov/item/rbpe.05703200/


https://sheffield.printstoreonline.com/posters/battys-circus-royal-sheffield-1839-14086262.html