|London coffee-house interior, 17th c. (via Wikimedia)|
- Tom Standage, Writing on the Wall: Social media - the first 2000 years, London, 2013, p.111-2.
In 'Covent Garden, the Bedford Coffeehouse had a ‘theatrical thermometer‘ with temperatures ranging from ‘excellent‘ to ‘execrable’. Playwrights dreaded walking into the Bedford after the opening night of their latest play to receive judgement' (Telegraph, 20 March 2012). Extracts from the Memoirs of the Bedford Coffee-house (1763), citing the journal of the establishment, in which esteemed customers left messages for one another:
- 'Lord Terrible's compliments to Jack Firebrace, intends to be very jolly to night, and get damned drunk at Weatherby's, with Bet. Saunders and Nancy Davison. - Hopes to have his company'.
- 'Jack Firebrace is engaged till twelve; but will certainly spend the evening according to Lord Terrible's desire, and bring with him Tom Tearall, and Ned. Crackpole, who have heads like rocks, and have been hell-fired drunk these ten days'.
- 'Dr Gonnorrhoea's compliments to Sir Timothy Whiffle, is very sorry he was not in the way when he called upon him - He may take the pills and use the injection as before, if he finds no alteration. Will be at home to-morrow until twelve'.
- 'This is to acquaint Mr Didlius, that he is a puppy and a rascal'.
An article in The Times of Monday, 11 June 1792, reporting an avian invader at Lloyd's Coffee-House, or conceivably an elaborate pun on a trader named Drake:
Lloyd's coffee-house in an uproar
On Saturday, about one o'clock, the neighbourhood of the Royal Exchange was highly entertained by a Duck-hunt: it seems that a Duck of uncommon size had waddled from the Stock Exchange the last settling-day, though evidently in full plumage.
Information being received at the Stock Exchange that the duck had very unexpectedly made it's appearance at Lloyd's, a large detachment of the alley-brokers sallied up stairs to take a view of it. They poured in such a torrent into the coffee-room, and made such hideous cries, that it was thought all the bulls and bears in Christendom had been let loose. No bull was ever more cruelly baited. The wretched duck at last thought fit to fly off, but was pursued with unabated vengeance down Bartholomew-lane and Lothbury; the alley gentry calling out wing the duck - stop the bull, etc. The poor animal harassed and fatigued, at length eluded its pursuers, and took shelter in a house in Lincoln's-inn-fields, where it found safe habitation.
History: 'Drunk, by Jove!', 22 February 2013
History: An old Wandle snuff mill, 13 January 2011
History: The last grand night ascent at Vauxhall, 30 September 2010