Victorian London - Childhood - Toys, Parties and Play - A Juvenile Ball

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The hospitalities of the Mansion-House of the Chief Magistrate of the City of London have just been extended to a class of citizens who are not usually included in the Mayoralty invitations . . . the Lord Mayor has decided that the children of his fellow-citizens shall no longer be excluded from the Mansion House festivities.
    The occasion has been well chosen for such an extension: and this was Monday last, or New Year's Eve, when the Lady Mayoress gave what is termed a "Juvenile Entertainment" to which were invited several hundreds of the sons and daughters of the citizens, between the ages of seven and fifteen. The company began to assemble at seven o'clock in one of the ante-rooms, whence they proceeded to the Egyptian Hall. which was beautifully illuminated and embellished for the occasion. The ball was opened by the Lord Mayor who led off an old-fashioned country dance, with Miss Stanley as his partner . . . Dancing was continued with much spirit until ten o'clock, refreshments being most liberally served to the company during the evening in the Long Parlour.
    At eleven o'clock the polyphonist, Mr. Love, commenced his popular entertainment, upon a stage erected for the purpose . . . At about eleven o'clock the parents and friends of the children joined them and supper was served. After supper dancing was resumed till twelve o'clock when the band played softly the chimes : a deep-toned bell struck the hour, during which the gasl-lights in the Hall were gradually dimmed, in signification of the old year going out . . .

Illustrated London News, January 5, 1850