The regattas near Keswick- early reports
The Regattas on Derwent Water have become a part of Lake-District legend, but, like so much else in the vicinity of Keswick, they were created in the late 18th century as a means to encourage tourism (on which topic, see also here). Most of the news articles on this page are take from the Cumberland Pacquet (CP), but we begin with a few introductory stories from its short-lived rival, the Cumberland Chronicle (CC):
CC 28 Jan 1777: [Last Thursday] the greatest hunt, near Ouze Bridge, ever known in that part of the county; John Spedding, Esq.; Miles Ponsonby, Esq; and many of the neighbouring Gentlemen were on the field with 60 couple of hounds, they ran 12 hares and killed 9 of them.- An elegant entertainment was provided at Mr. Birbeck's, in the afternoon, where near 100 persons dined, and concluded the evening 'With Joy and Friendship round the flowing Bowl'.
CC 24 May 1777: Matthew Brockbank of the Royal Oak Inn, Keswick, advises all that "he has, for their better Accommodation of pleasuring upon the LAKE, provided an elegant and safe PLEASURE BOAT, entirely new, which will at all times be ready for their Reception, with skillful Rowers, as also an intelligent Person, to describe the different Islands, Views, &c." Dated Keswick, 23 May.
CC 19 Jul 1777: A correspondent informs us that though Keswick hath, in the summer season, for some years past, been much frequented, such numbers of genteel company were never seen in it before.- The Nobility and Gentry from all parts have honoured it with their presence. They greatly admire its romantic beauties, and universally allow it to be the most agreeable place in the kingdom. Several ingenious gentlemen are engaged in taking draughts of the different views.- As several of the Nobility have expressed a desire of residing there in the Summer season, there is great reason to believe that Keswick, in a few years time will have a greater resort of company than any of the watering places in the North.
CC 28 Mar 1778: [Last week] ____ Pocklington, Esq; arrived at Keswick, from Yorkshire, who has lately purchased an Island, in the Lake near that place, commonly called Vicar's Island, upon which he is going to build and plant- The bells, at Crosthwaite Church, rung a peal upon his arrival.
CC 4 Apr 1778: We are informed, from Keswick, that Joseph Pocklington, Esq.; set out last Thursday morning for his seat at Charlton, near Newark, highly pleased with his late purchase, on Derwent Lake, which he has already begun to beautify from a plan laid out by himself; which will soon charm the eye of the curious, and display a taste which must do him great honour.
CC 27 Aug 1778: John Pocklington, Esq.; who lately purchased the Vicar's isle (now called Pocklington's isle) in the lake near Keswick, has erected a fort thereon for seven cannon- in digging the foundation, the ruins of a Druid's temple was discovered, which lay hid from the eye of the traveller, for ages, but will now be preserved, with the greatest care, for the inspection of the curious. Mr. Pocklington purposes, by other means, to beautify the isle, and render it an ornament to the lake. From the affability and public spirit of this Gentleman, it must, in a great measure, be owing that the Lake at Keswick has been so much visited, this summer, more than formerly.
CC 3 Sep 1778: A Correspondent, who lately visited the Lakes near Keswick, in this County, informs, that after leaving Mr. Brockbank's, the Royal Oak, in Keswick, he had an agreeable ride, of about eight miles, in view of Bassenthwaite Water, to Ouze-bridge, where he was much pleased at seeing a New Inn erecting there, joining to the road and near the Lake- for tho' there has usually been a house of public entertainment at that place, this building when finished will be more convenient- its situation is very pleasant, for from thence may be observed the whole expanse of the beautiful lake of Bassenthwaite, with a near view of Armathwaite, Scareness, and of many other places at a greater distance, well worth the attention of the traveller, for their improvements in building and agriculture, the whole surrounded and diversified with hills and mountains forming a most delightful and extensive prospect.
And here the story really begins, not with Joseph Pocklington and his allies, not even at Keswick, but at the north end of Bassenthwaite Lake, with its elegant new hostelry:
CP 3 Aug 1779: NEW INN, OUSE-BRIDGE.
RICHARD BIRBECK begs leave to inform the Ladies and Gentlemen, and the Public in general, that his House is now fit for the Reception of Company.
On Tuesday the 24th Day of August will be given gratis, a SILVER CUP of the Value of FIVE GUINEAS or upwards, to be Rowed for on Bassenthwaite Lake, by any Boats not exceeding one Pair of Oars.
CP 17 Aug 1779: We hear from good authority, that a great number of genteel company from different parts of this county intend to honour the regatta on Bassenthwaite Lake with their presence on Tuesday next, and that a subscription is entered into by the Ladies and Gentlemen of that neighbourhood for making the entertainment more compleat by the addition of a number of other rural amusements, that the company may be entertained with a Féte Champetre as well as a regatta in that truly romantic and beautiful part of the country, so finely calculated for amusements of that kind.
CP 31 Aug 1779: [Letter to the editor, from one "Tremulous Last," a Wigton shoemaker, who has been married five weeks to a woman who "had resided, immediately previous to our union, nine months in the metropolis; whereby she has acquired such a taste for gentility, as I fear will in a short time utterly ruin as well my purse, as peace of mind." Here is his account of the fourth week (also featuring his Irish journeyman, Mr Connolly):] In the fourth week, Mr. Printer, appeared your plaguy paper, wherein you announce to the public the sports to be exhibited on Bassenthwaite-water. My wife espied the paragraph, and, clapping her hands together, exclaimed, "I'll be there by Juniper ! and Mr. Connolly ! you shall ride before me" - I was going to speak - "I'll not hear you, Mr. Last; I would not be absent from the Rowe-gatta, and the fit Sham Peter for all the shoes in your shop." She immediately fell to work, and took down a new scarlet cardinal to make cuffs and capes for Connolly's coat- the remaining part was converted into a pair of breeches for him. "Now, pray Mr. Last, don't he look like a servant in livery?" I shook my head. What shall I do Mr. printer? Should the Bassenthwaite trip take place, I shall most assuredly be qualified to keep company with any Lord G___r in the land.
For heaven's sake, insert a paragraph in your paper (I will pay you a crown for it) intimating that the above amusements are deferred till the frost sets in, and that the silver cup will then be run for by horses on Bassenthwaite-water. I shall, before then, contrive to dismiss Mr. Connolly, and (perhaps) preserve my brow from wearing the badge of Acteon. [i.e antlers- traditionally worn by men whose wives bear children of which they are clearly not the father]
CP 15 Aug 1780: BOAT-RACE ON BASSENTHWAITE WATER
THE Public are requested to observe, that the Annual BOAT RACE will be held at OUSE-BRIDGE on THURSDAY the 24th instant. The Diversions to begin at ELEVEN o'Clock, and Dinner to be served at Two. The Value of the Prizes, the Modes of rowing, &c. &c. will be settled previous to the starting of the Boats.
CP 24 Jul 1781: REGATTA on BASSENTHWAITE LAKE.
THE REGATTA on BASSENTHWAITE LAKE will be on Wednesday the 1st Day of AUGUST.- A prize of Ten Guineas will be given to the winning Boat. If more than three Boats shall start, the second shall be entitled to Three Guineas, and the third to Two Guineas.
The Owners of the several Boats to enter them at Ouse-Bridge on Tuesday the 31st Day of July, and to be conformable to such regulations as the Steward shall think proper. The Boats to start at 12 o'Clock.
Prizes will be give for other Diversions.
ANTHONY BENN, Esq. Steward.
CP 24 Jul 1781: Addition to the Regatta Advertisement.- It is expected that all the BOATS which enter for the REGATTA Prizes will have Colours to distinguish them.
CP 31 Jul 1781: Amongst the variety of entertainments to be presented to-morrow at the REGATTA, will be one amusement of a very singular species, viz. A Horse Race in Bassenthwaite Water.- For the authenticity of this paragraph, see the Advertisement in this paper. It is supposed there will be a very great meeting, and the peculiarity of this circumstance will probably, of itself, be the means of bringing several people together.
CP 31 Jul 1781: Regatta at Bassenthwaite. SWEEPSTAKES.
TEN GUINEAS each, play or pay, to be Swum for on Wednesday August 1st 1781, by Horses, Mares, or Geldings, in BASSENTHWAITE WATER, each Horse to be unshipped under the Direction of the Steward, as near as possible at the same Time and Place near the Centre of the Lake, the First who arrives on Land to be the Winner, no Boats to be on the Water during the Time of the Race, but such as the Steward shall permit. A Horse trained in Bassenthwaite, will not be permitted to Swim for the Prize. No Cork Jackets allowed, each Horse, &c. being to swim naked. To start after the Boat Race.
Penrith, July 27, 1781. SURREY, THOS. STOREY, WM. DACRE.
Any Person will be entitled to enter at the Hour of Starting, paying his Money to the Steward.
CP 7 Aug 1781: WEDNESDAY last, being the day appointed for the Regatta on Bassenthwaite water, the fineness of the day and variety of entertainments occasioned a very great resort of company. A larger concourse of genteel people is not remembered at any public time in this county, and if one may judge from the general report the amusements proved equal, at least, to the expectations formed of them. It would occupy more room than we can spare to particularize the different exhibitions of the day. - Our readers, who had not the opportunity of seeing them, will therefore, we hope, admit as sufficient, that we inform them that the boat-race, whoch was allowed to be a very beautiful one, was won by a boat from Allonby, and the horse-race in water was won by a horse engaged by Thomas Storey, Esq. the present High Sheriff of the county, after a hard struggle with a grey mare belonging to William Dacre, Esq. The Earl of Surrey's horse was distances.- We are apprehensive this description of the swimming race is liable to some animadversion, but hope it will be considered that the terms of the water-chase are not yet agreed on, like those of the turf; but probably against another Regatta (the continuation of which seems certain from the pleasure these have afforded) the phrases will be settled.
We have the following account of it from a correspondent.- The company at the Regatta on Bassenthwaite Lake last Wednesday, was very numerous, and by much the most genteel of any that has been assembled on the like occasion. Six boats were entered for the prize, but only four started- the contest was for a considerable time dubious- at last, however, the boat from Allonby took the lead, and keeping it, came in victorious:- two boats from Whitehaven came in second and third. At 3 o'clock, the genteel part of the company sat down to a very elegant cold entertainment at Mr Birbeck's, at Ouse-bridge, accompanied with an excellent band of music. At 5, the Steward, attended by a number of gentlemen, proceeded in his barge to the middle of the Lake; the horses that were entered to swim for the Sweepstakes were brought along side of him; by his directions the boat [carrying the horses] was then scuttled- the odds went first very high in favour of a horse belonging to William Dacre, Esq. of Kirklinton; but unfortunately, when it was almost in the arms of victory, a part of the company that was assembled on the shore, could not refrain from expressing their joy, in terms which so terrified the poor animal, that he wheeled about, and directed his course immediately back again. By this unlucky manoeuvre, a horse belonging to Thomas Storey, Esq. High Sheriff of this County, first set his feet on terra firma. A horse belonging to the Rt. Hon. the Earl of Surrey came out second. This new and uncommmon diversion afforded the company much entertainment. The day was remarkably fine, and the company expressed great satisfaction in their entertainment and accommodations. The Rt. Hon. the Earl of Surrey is chosen Steward for the next year. His Lordship, Sir Thomas Rumbold, and most of the first families in this county honoured the amusement with their attendance, and have subscribed very genteely to the next year's diversion.
CP 14 Aug 1781: There will be a REGATTA on Keswick Lake the 28th inst. with a great variety of entertainments, and amongst the rest the AQUACURRICULUM, or Swimming Sweepstakes: an amusement not known amongst the Choice Spirits of Greece, whose quinquennian meetings wanted that to make the plains of Elis as famous as the lakes of Cumberland. There are also to be illuminations, &c. See the advertisement in the next page.
CP 14 Aug 1781: REGATTA ON KESWICK LAKE.
THE REGATTA on the Matchless LAKE of KESWICK, will be on TUESDAY the 28th Day of AUGUST instant. A Prize of Seven Guineas will be given to the Winnning Boat. If more than three Boats shall start, the Second shall be entitled to Two Guineas, and the Third to One Guinea.
A Sweepstakes for SWIMMING HORSES of One Guinea each, the Subscription to continue open until the Hour of their being Launched into the Deep.
Pocklington's Island (late Vicar's Island) will be attacked with a formidable Fleet; when a stout Resistance is expected to be made, especially from the Half Moon Battery; and it is thought the circling Mountains will bear a Part in this Tremendous Uproar.
Magnificent Fire Works will be exhibited in the Evening, to the greatest Advantage, the sensible Horizon having a high Altitude: Old Derwent will now put on a New Face at intervals, and the Gems on the Sides of the aged Mountains receive some Lustre from Art.
A Range of Lamps will be lighted extending from the Coast of Derwent to the Centre of the Town of Keswick, and it is intended nothing shall be wanting to Recreate all Ranks of People.
The Proprietors of Boats, &c. to be conformable to such Regulations as the Steward shall think proper. The Boats to start at Twelve o'Clock.
JOSEPH POCKLINGTON, Esq. Steward.
No Person whatever will be allowed to land upon Pocklington's Island (on the above-mentioned Day) except they can produce a Ticket given them by the Owner of the said Island.
CP 4 Sep 1781: The REGATTA on Keswick water last Tuesday afforded great amusement to a numerous and genteel company, but fell far short of what it was calculated to exhibit, owing to the heavy and incessant rain that fell during the day. The attack upon Pocklington's island, (though ingeniously planned and well conducted by Capt. Crosthwaite) lost its principal effect by being unavoidably postponed till night.
CP 20 Aug 1782: It is with pleasure we can inform our readers that several new kinds of entertainment are in contemplation for the ensuing REGATTA at Bassenthwaite, where a numerous attendance from all parts of the county is expected. The day following a REGATTA will be held on Derwent-Water.- Lest any dispute should arise from the emulation of the friends to the two Lakes, the stewards would not fix the days of amusement, until the High Sheriff had settled the county court, which will be settled at the same time at Keswick.- See the Advertisements of both the Regattas.
CP 20 Aug 1782: THE REGATTA on Bassenthwaite Lake will be on WEDNESDAY the 4th of September 1782.- A Prize of Ten Guineas will be given to the First Boat, and a Reward will be given, by the Steward, to the Second Boat.
The Owners of the several Boats to enter them at Ouse-Bridge on Tuesday the 3d of September, and to be conformable to such Regulations as the Steward shall think proper.
Two Guineas will be given for DOGS to swim for.
Prizes will also be given for other Diversions.
The EARL of SURREY, Steward.
CP 20 Aug 1782: REGATTA on KESWICK LAKE.
THE REGATTA on the matchless Lake of Keswick will be on THURSDAY the 5th of September, being the Day after the Regatta at Ouse-Bridge. A prize of Seven Guineas will be given to the winning Boat. If more than Three Boats shall Start, the Second shall be entitled to Two Guineas and the Third to One Guinea.
N.B. The Naval Engagement upon Keswick Lake, Fireworks, &c. will be mentioned more particularly next Week.
ROWLAND STEPHENSON, Esq. Steward.
CP 27 Aug 1782: REGATTAS
The great pleasure afforded last year by the REGATTAS on the Cumberland Lakes, can scarce fail of drawing together a concourse of people at the ensuing amusements, which are conveniently appointed to be on the fourth and sixth [sic- see next entry] of September. The scenes of diversion lying so near each other, and the time of attending them being fixed for these two days, must be a very agreeable circumstance to the numbers of ladies and gentlemen who will doubtless embrace the opportunity of being present at a variety of entertainments which no part of the kingdom (Cumberland and Westmorland excepted) can have any pretensions to exhibit;- entertainments which must suit all dispositions, nature and art uniting to complete the design. The diversions are calculated to carry the charms of society into the bosom of Nature's solitary, though delightful scenes. The enchanting beauties of this vast amphitheatre (which includes the waters of Bassenthwaite and Keswick) are happily described in Mr. Cumberland's celebrated Ode to the Sun [extracts given: full text at the University of Portsmouth Geography Department Lakeland Guides site].
CP 27 Aug 1782: REGATTA on KESWICK LAKE.
THE REGATTA on the beautiful Lake of Keswick is now fixed for FRIDAY the Sixth of September, being the second Day after the Regatta at Ouse-Bridge.
A Prize of Seven Guineas will be given to the winning Boat. If more than three Boats shall start, the second shall be entitled to Two Guineas, and the Third to One Guinea. The Half Moon Battery on Pocklington's Island will be attacked with a powerful Fleet of Row-gallies, commanded by old and experienced Officers, and a stout resistance is expected to be made by Officers and men of equal Bravery; when the great Amphitheatre of lofty Mountains surrounding Keswick's matchless Vale, will bear a noble Part in this tremendous Uproar. There will also be a Naval Engagement (and a warm one perhaps) yard-arm and yard-arm.
- A Holland Smock for the Fair Ones to run for, and it is thought the Fell bred Lasses will out-trip those of the Plains. There will likewise be several other Diversions, and amongst the rest, magnificent Fire-works, to shew the Beauty and majestic Grandeur of Old DERWENT, and the aged Rocks by Night. - The Proprietors of Boats, &c. to be conformable to such Regulations as the Steward, or his deputy, shall think proper. The Boats to start at Twelve o'Clock, and all the Diversions, except the Fireworks, to be finished at Four. The Nobility, Gentry, and Others, to Dine at the Inns and Publick-Houses in Keswick, at Four. Immediately after Dinner, the Gay Company to assemble at the new Long Room, where all things necessary will be provided.
N.B. The Place for the Spectators this Year is the Crow Park; and the Maneuvres will be so contrived, as to recreate all Ranks of people.
ROWLAND STEPHENSON, Esq. Steward.
CP 10 Sep 1782: Friday last a vast concourse of people assembled on the side of the Derwent Lake, where tents were erected for their accommodation, extending many hundred yards. About two o'clock the ladies and gentlemen, invited by Mr Pocklington, passed over to his island, and, upon their landing, were saluted with a discharge of part of his artillery, afterwards conducted to his elegant house built upon the summit of the island, and regaled with a genteel cold collation, various wines, &c. Five boats then began the race, which was won by Mr Purdy's from Whitehaven; an Allonby boat came second. To a spectator from Pocklington's Island the sight was amazingly beautiful. The boats started from the part of the lake near Keswick, passed Pocklington's island, round St. Herbert's and Rampsholm, the outside of Lord's island, to the end of the race, almost an entire circle. About four o'clock preparations were made for the attack on Pocklington's island; the fleet retired behind Friar Crag, to prepare for action, previous to which a flag of truce was sent to the governor, with a summons to surrender upon honourable terms; a defiance was sent, upon which the fleet appeared advancing with great spirit before the batteries, when after forming in a curved line, a terrible cannonade begun on both sides, accompanied with a dreadful discharge of musquetry, which continued a considerable time, occasioning the most tremendous roar that can be conceived, which was frequently echoed back from hill to hill in a variety of sounds. After a severe conflict, the enemies were driven from the attack, &c. Every thing was conducted in the best manner-
The ladies and gentlemen were invited by Mr. Stephenson to an assembly in his long room, where nothing was to be seen but mirth and festivity. A large subscription was raised for next year's Regatta, and Edward Stephenson, Esq. appointed steward.
We hear that the Regatta on Bassenthwaite also afforded great entertainment to a numerous and genteel company. The prize was won by a boat belonging to messrs. Faulders of Allonby.- The Earl of Surrey was unexpectedly absent.
CP 27 May 1783: We hear that Mr. Pocklington, the proprietor of Paradise Island, in Keswick Lake, is at present building a pile of ruins, on a most romantic and beautiful plan, upon that island, which will add greatly to the picturesque view of that place, and render more delightful (is possible) the appearance of that spot, which already forms a considerable part in the profusion of natural grandeur and pleasure which has so much excited the cuiosity of strangers.
CP 17 Jun 1783: Last week, the Rt. Rev. the Bishop of Clonfert, the Rev. Archdeacon Paley, Dr. Heytham, and several other gentlemen, visited Keswick lakes; they were highly delighted with the beautiful prospects which so magnificently grand a variety afforded, and expressed the greatest satisfaction of the late very judicious improvements made by Mr. Pocklington, which adds greatly to the grandeur of those romantic dales.- A very great company of ladies and gentlemen are shortly expected.
CP 5 Aug 1783: The Lakes at Keswick, and the other curiosities in its neighbourhood, continue to be resorted to this summer, by great numbers of ladies and gentlemen from different parts of the kingdom. The beauties of that romantic situation (which were little known till within these few years) will, it is probable, be visited in future by all who have pretensions to that national kind of taste which delights in contemplating the stupendous works of nature.
CP 19 Aug 1783: We hear from Keswick that last week that place had the honour of a visit from the following Russian Nobility, viz. the Prince of Wiasemskoy, M. de Rokosposky, and M. de Flavianow; as also M. Le Marquis de Biencourt, from France, and M. de Coindent, from Geneva.- They were accommodated on the Lakes with His Grace the Duke of Portland's barge, in which Mr. Hodgson of the Queen's Head Inn attended them to the different islands, bays, &c. on that delightful water; and afterwards accompanied them to the places where the various beauties of that enchanting amphitheatre are seen to the greatest advantage; at which these foreign visitors expressed the highest admiration and delight.
CP 2 Sep 1783: REGATTA on KESWICK LAKE.
THE Regatta and Great Engagement on the Grand Lake of Keswick, will be on TUESDAY the 16th of September, 1783, a Prize of S E V E N GUINEAS will be given to the winning Boat.- If more than Three Boats shall start, the Second shall be intitled to Two Guineas, and the Third to One Guinea. Fort Joseph, or some other Grand Battery, on Pocklington's Island, will be attacked with a Formidable Fleet of Row-gallies, commanded by old and experienced Officers; and a stout Resistance is expected to be made, by Officers and Men of Equal Bravery, when the great Amphitheatre of the World will bear a noble Part in this tremendous Uproar.- Loud mock the Thundering Guns, and stand unmoved.- There will also be several other most Curious Diversions; and, amongst the rest, Magnificent Fireworks, to light this little Concave World, a pleasing, aweful, solemn Scene!- The Proprietors of Boats, &c. to be conformable to such Regulations as the Steward or His Deputy shall think proper.
The Boats to start at Eleven o'Clock, and all the Diversions except the Fireworks to be finished at Three. The Nobility and Gentry, to Dine at the New Long Room in Keswick, immediately after; where all things necessary will be provided. And to the Intent the WAR may be conducted so as to please, it is particularly desired by the Leaders, that no one will Enter, either into the Gallies, or Army, who cannot obey Orders; and pay a Due Regard to Signals; or who are unaccustomed to Arms and Oars, as too much Live Lumber on Board, in the Time of Action, always proves of the worst Consequence.
EDWARD STEPHENSON, Esq. Steward.
JOSEPH POCKLINGTON, Esq. Governor and Commander in Chief of the Island.
P. CROSTHWAITE, Admiral and Commander in Chief of the Fleet.
CP 9 Sep 1783: The REGATTA on Keswick Lake, which begins next Tuesday, is intended (from the great preparations making) to be the most splendid piece of entertainment ever provided for the public in this part of the kingdom. The peculiar advantages of its situation have suggested a variety of hints, which, under the management of thegentlemen who have interested themselves in the execution, cannot fail of producing an effect at once astonishing and delightful. Several boats are expected to enter for the prize (mentioned in the advertisement) and the naval engagement and attack on Pocklington's Island promises much amusement, the plan being already fixed in such a manner as cannot fail of affording it. Most of the genteel families in this and the neighbouring counties have signified their intention of being present at this rural fête, and all suitable accommodations are made for their reception.
CP 23 Sep 1783: Notwithstanding the severe weather continued till the morning of the Regatta, there was a most brilliant concourse of ladies and gentlemen, on whom the day shined with uncommon splendour.- The behaviour of Mr. Stephenson and Mr. Pocklington was highly pleasing to all ranks, and every part of the entertainment was conducted in a manner that afforded the greatest satisfaction to the numbers who attended at this rural festival.- The engagement, which constituted a considerable part of the amusement, was heard to the distance of ten leagues to leeward, through the eastern opening of that vast mountainous amphitheatre, as far as Appleby; and surpassed even the most sanguine expectations that had been formed of it. The REGATTA consisted of five swift-sailing boats, which contended hard for the golden prize, which was at length won by Mr Purdy's boat, from this town. After an elegant and plentiful entertainment, "up sprung the dance along the lighted dome;" the long-room exhibited such an assemblage of beauties as does credit to the two counties; and, to their honour it is recorded, not a tint of the French colours was displayed amongst them. Conscious of the force of their native charms, they disclaim the aids of those foreign ornaments, which have seduced the British Fair in some of the more southern counties. It must also be acknowledged that several ladies, from other parts of the kingdom, contributed largely to furnish out this brilliant assembly, which was conducted throughout with the greatest politeness and harmony. A large subscription was raised for next year's Regatta, and Sir MICHAEL LE FLEMING, Bart. was chosen steward.
A little faux pas (we are informed) happened in the capture of Pocklington's Island. The two people who were appointed to negotiate the capitulation, had unfortunately sacrificed so liberally to Bacchus (imploring, no doubt, his assistance in the business) that they were not able to speak,- which retarded the capitulation a little; but it was at length finished,- and, in the opinion of some, was no bad representation of some real scenes of the same nature.
The company speak highly of the entertainment provided in the tents and houses;- there was every delicacy which the season and the country could afford, and the charges very moderate.- Such a conduct certainly bids the fairest for securing a good resort to the future amusements in that delightful place.
CP 14 Oct 1783: The London theatres, in the course of the winter, are expected to display several views taken from the Vale of Keswick, and other parts of this county. Two scene painters from the metropolis spent part of the summer in taking landscapes, &c. from the places most admired by the visitos of the lakes.
CP 21 Oct 1783: We hear from Keswick that, on Tuesday last, a person came to that town, pretending to be a captain of a vessel from Christiana, which had arrived in this port [i.e. Whitehaven] with timber; a considerable quantity was bargained for, by different tradesmen, &c. in Keswick, and one of them had engaged a carpenter to come down here and take it up. But the supposed captain, being very desirous to have a guinea, as earnest of the purchase, occasioned some suspicions, which (being not unobserved) the adventurer suddenly withdrew to avoid any impertinent questions. Since then, it is conjectured that the imposter is a woman, seemingly about eighteen years of age; had on a mixture coat, striped cotton waistcoat, and boots.- She was seen at Cockermouth on Wednesday, but we have not heard of any further swindling attempts made by her.- This much may serve to put the public upon their guard.
CP 11 May 1784: We mentioned some time ago, a celebated artist from London having employed a great part of the last summer, in taking views of several romantic and beautiful scenes in the neighbourhood of the lakes of Cumberland and Westmorland.- A few of them have appeared in the exhibition of pictures at the Royal Academy, in London.- They are the productions of Mr. Loutherbourgh, and are thus described in the London prints.
"No. 63. A cottage in Patterdale, Westmorland.- No. 78. Skiddaw in Cumberland. A Summer evening, with a stage coach.
These pictures form a very beautiful pair of landscapes, the latter of which is fully equal to anything of that master. The warm tinge of the departing sun is very successfully touched, and the descent of the stage is finished with remarkable adroitness.
No. 71. Brathey Bridge, which divides Westmorland from Cumberland.- A more magnificent landscape than this never invited the notice of the critic. It is executed with such fire of genius, such a splendour of colouring, and such striking variety in point of situation, as must render it the object of universal admiration. The figures, in the fore-ground, of the infirm soldier and his family, form an interesting narration, and impress the heart as strongly as the whole of this admirable performance enchants the eye.
No. 125. View of Gobarrow Ulswater, Cumberland.
169. View of a lake in Westmorland.- A summer's evening.
No. 212. View of Loweswater in Cumberland.- Mr Loutherbourgh can scarcely venture upon any subject without rendering it interesting; these little efforts of his pencil are accompanied with his usual claims to admiration.
No. 346. Lakes in Westmorland.- A very beautiful upright oval picture in the best manner of the artist, and fully entitled to rank with his happiest productions."
CP 8 Jun 1784 [introduction to a report about the hard winter]: There is a lake on the very top of Conniston fell, in Westmorland, which is sldom viewed even by those who visit its neighbourhood for the professed purpose of entertaining themselves with a sight of these waters, for which this northern part of the kingdom is celebrated.- This lake, which is positively the highest piece of water in the country, is called LOW WATER, for what reason we know not, nor shall we hazard any conjecture as to its appellation
CP 27 JUl 1784: We hear there is the greatest resort of genteel company at Guilsland Wells, this season, that has been known for many years.
CP 31 Aug 1784: The REGATTA on Keswick Lake will be next Tuesday.- See the advertisement
CP 31 Aug 1784 (advertisement): REGATTA on KESWICK LAKE.
THE REGATTA will begin at Eleven o'Clock on TUESDAY next the 7th of September. The PRIZES for the Boats as usual.- Dinner on Table at Three, and the BALL will open at Nine.
Sir MICHAEL LE FLEMING, Bart.
CP 7 Sep 1784: We hear from Keswick, that great preparations have been made for the reception and entertainment of the company at the REGATTA, which is to be this day.
CP 14 Sep 1784: The REGATTA last Tuesday, on Keswick Lake, was honoured with a very brilliant company; and the politeness of the Steward, the conduct of the managers, and the fineness of the day, rendered the whole highly agreeable.
CP 21 Sep 1784: Five boats started at the late Regatta on Keswick lake; and the prize was won by the RODNEY, belonging to Mr. William Purdy, boat builder in this town.- This is the fourth time this incomparable boat has carried off the prize at this annual jubilee. She is twenty feet long, bradth in proportion, and weighs only eight stone.
CP 12 Oct 1784: Several of the first characters in the kingdom have visited the lakes of Cumberland and Westmorland, in the course of last summer. Mr. Wilberforce was several days with Lord Muncaster, at Muncaster house, and has, we are informed, taken a neat box in the neighbourhood of the lakes, near Rayrigg, in Westmorland.
CP 19 Oct 1784: Every additional information respecting that favourite scene of amusement, the Lakes of Cumberland and Westmorland, will be read with pleasure. Some gentlemen lately on a visit to those pleasing wonders of nature, give the following description of a most curious WATER FALL, called Scale Force, in the parish of Lowswater. The situation is about two miles south-east of Lowswater church, and near a mile from Crummock Lake: the approach to it is a most curious chasm, between perpendicular rocks, from thirty to fifty yards high on each side, and from eight to ten yards a-part. At the distance of about fifty yards up the chasm is a fall of water One Hundred and Sixty-two feet perpendicular, which apears an entire white sheet of water from top to bottom, and is perhaps the most curious and beautiful cataract in the three kingdoms. On the tops of the neighbouring mountains, which hide this phoenomenon, it is probable
"The foot of man has never trod."
At about a mile from the water fall, close by the side of the lake, we had the curiosity to fire a gun, the report of which made a most tremendous noise amongst the adjacent mountains. The day was remarkably fine, and the sky perfectly serene.- The neighbouring inhabitants, (as we afterwards learned) who were at their harvest in the fields, supposed it to have been thunder beyond the mountains, and many of them left off reaping, to bind the corn, expecting a thunder-storm.
CP 31 May 1785: Mr. Gilpin is preparing, as fast as he can, his second beautiful work on the landscape scenery of this county. The lakes of Windermere, Ullswater, &c. &c. are the subjects.
CP 26 Jul 1785: Gilsland Wells, in this county, are more frequented at present, than in any former season. In the course of the last fortnight, this town [i.e. Whitehaven] has been visited by a great number of genteel people from different parts of the three kingdoms; it has become customary to extend the tour of the lakes to this place.
A great resort of genteel company is expected at the ensuing assizes, at Carlisle, which begin on Friday next.
CP 9 Aug 1785: The REGATTA on Keswick Lake will be on Tuesday the 6th of September.- See the advertisement.
CP 9 Aug 1785 (advert): REGATTA ON KESWICK LAKE
THE REGATTA and GREAT ENGAGEMENT, on the Grand Lake of Derwent, will be on TUESDAY the 6th of September, 1785, and Particulars respecting the whole Day's Recreation will appear in this Paper in due Time.
WILLIAM DACRE, Esq. STEWARD.
Keswick, 5th August, 1785.
CP 23 Aug 1785: For the particulars of the ensuing Regatta, at Keswick,- See the advertisement.
CP 23 Aug 1785: Regatta on Keswick Lake.
THE REGATTA and Great ENGAGEMENT on the Grand LAKE of Derwent, will be on TUESDAY the 6th of September, 1785.
A Prize of SEVEN GUINEAS will be given to the Winning BOAT. If more than Three Boats start, the Second shall be entitled to TWO GUINEAS, and the Third to ONE GUINEA.
FORT JOSEPH, or some other Grand Battery on Pocklington's Island, will be attacked by a formidable Fleet of ROW GALLIES, commanded by old and experienced Officers; and a stout Resistance is expected to be made by Officers and Men of equal Bravery, when the great AMPHITHEATRE of the World will bear a noble Part in this tremendous Uproar.- loud mock the largest Guns, and fill the Ear with Rapture and Astonishment.
Several light BALLOON VESSELS will also weigh from Pocklington's Island (on the firing of a Gun) and sail into the Upper Regions, in Order to fill up Intervals betwixt the Scenes below;- try the different Currents of Air above, and anchor upon Skiddaw, or elsewhere.
***There will also be several other most curious Pieces of Entertainment,- and, in the Evening, MAGNIFICENT FIRE WORKS, to light the little Concave World.
*The Proprietors of BOATS, &c. to be conformable to such Rgulations as the STEWARD, or his DEPUTY, shall think proper.
The BOATS to start at Eleven o'Clock, and all Diversions excpt the BALL and FIRE WORKS, to be finished by Three in the Afternoon. The NOBILITY and GENTRY to dine at the New Long Room in Keswick, immediately after; where all Things necessary will be provided.
To the Intent that the WAR may be conducted so as to please, it is particularly desired by the Leaders, that no Boats will come near the GRAND FLEET, in the Time of the Engagement; nor any Person enter either into the FLEET or ARMY, but such as will readily obey Orders, and pay a due Regard to Signals.- And be it remembered, That too much Live Lumber upon the Deck of any Ship, in the Time of Action, always proves of the worst Consequences.
WILLIAM DACRE, Esq. Steward
JOSEPH POCKLINGTON, Esq. Governor and Commander in Chief of the Island.
P. CROSTHWAITE, Admiral and Commander in Chief of the Fleet.
CP 30 Aug 1785: We hear from Keswick, that they have had a great succession of genteel company, visiting the lakes, during the whole of his summer, and that a very splendid meeting is expected at the ensuing Regatta, which will be next Tuesday.
CP 6 Sep 1785: An eminent physician in the neighbourhood of Keswick once paid a visit to a foreign physician, then residing in Westmorland. In the course of conversation, he asked him how he liked his situation? "As a gentleman, (replied he) it is true I am very well situated; I am in a social, chearful, neighbourhood; the country is not deficient in natural beauties; there are fish in its waters; and game on its plains;- but as a physician, it appears to me no ways alluring;- the natives have got the art of prolonging life without the aid of bolusses or electuaries; by a plaister taken inwardly, called thick pottage, they preserve themselves from the various diseases which shake the human fabric, and slide into the grave by the gradual decays of nature."
CP 13 Sep 1785: We hear from Keswick, that there was a most brilliant, and by far the most numerous concourse of ladies and gentlemen at the Regatta, on Tuesday last, ever known on any former occasion; notwithstanding the very tempestuous weather. The polite behaviour of Mr. Dacre, Mr. Stephenson, and Mr. Pocklington, was highly pleasing to all ranks, and every thing was so well conducted as to give the highest entertainment. The engagement was heard at a vast distanc to the eastward of the stupendous amphitheatre; and, within, was an incessant roar of peals, like the loudest thunder, echoed from rock to rock, in swift succession. The conflict was furious on boh sides; and all behaved nobly, except the crew of one galley, too intent upon the plunder. The boat-race was excellent; and the golden prize was won by Mr. Pocklington's Rodney. The first balloon vessel which weighed, struck against a large timber before she got clear of the harbour, and was so staved, that he upper works fell in immediately, and here she sunk: but the rest made a very fine appearance, and steered for Holland, with a light breeze at W.N.W. and were reconnoitred in their passage by the Falcon, but whether on account of being out of their element, or latitude, or both, is not yet known. After dining on the produce of the Cumbrian Alps and Lakes, the new Long Room was decked with the most splendid and most respectable company which ever honoured Keswick; who spent the night most agreeably, being highly entertained with a noble band of music, dancing, and very beautiful fire works played off at intervals; and here they raised a large subscription against the next year's Regatta, and appointed the Right Hon. Charles (Howard) EARL of SURREY, steward. P.C. [i.e. Peter Crosthwaite?]
CP 28 Sep 1785: The account of a person dying near Keswick, at the age of 132, (in several papers) is of equal authenticity with the conflagration which happened there a few weeks ago. We are happy to add, that none of the ruins occasioned by the fire are now to be seen.
CP 14 Dec 1785: We can, from good authority, inform the public that by order of the humane and charitable Joseph Pocklington, Esq. one hundred sixpenny and one hundred penny loaves, of fine wheaten bread, were baked yesterday at Keswick, to be distributed among the poor of Keswick and the village of Portinscale; an action which reflects great credit on the worthy donor, and will afford a seasonable relief to many poor families in that neighbourhood.
CP 12 Jul 1786: We hear that the REGATTA, &c. on Keswick Lake, will be on Monday the 7th of August, this year;- the particulars of which will appear in this paper in due time;- and as the Right Honourable the Earl of Surrey is steward, we make no doubt it will, if pssible, be more splendid and entertaining than any of the former.
CP 26 Jul 1786 (advert):