Victorian London - Publications - History - Views of the Pleasure Gardens of London, by H.A.Rogers, 1896

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Dobney's Tea Gardens and Bowling-green



NOT long ago, as folks well know,
At Dobney's was a whale,
Which measured quite, if I am right,
From head unto the tail,
Just three score feet - it was a treat
For those who loved such sights,
And paid their pence, like men of sense,
When such a maggot bites.

-Public Advertiser, May 24, 1769.


JUNE 20TH, 1772

AT the Jubilee Gardens, late Dobney's, this evening, and every evening until further notice (wet evenings excepted), the celebrated Mr. Daniel Wildman will exhibit several new and amazing experiments, never attempted by any man in this or any other kingdom before. He rides standing upright, one foot on the saddle and the other on the horse's neck, with a curious mask of bees on his head and face. He also rides standing upright on the saddle with the bridle in his mouth, and, by firing a pistol, makes one part of the bees march over a table, and the other part swarm in the air and return to their proper hive again. With other performances. The doors open at six, begins at a quarter before seven. Admittance in the boxes and gallery Two Shillings, other seats One Shilling.


HE with uncommon art and matchless skill,
Commands those insects, who obey his will;
With bees others cruel means employ,
They take the honey and the bees destroy;
Wildman humanely, with ingenious ease,
He takes the honey, but preserves the bees.

- Mirror, vol. xxxiv. 1772.

ON Sabbath day who has not seen,
In colours of the rainbow dizened,
The prentice beaux and belles I ween,
Fatigued with heat, with dust half poisened,
To Dobney's strolling or Pantheon,
Their tea to sip or else regale,
As on the way they shall agree on,
With syllabubs or bottled ale.

-London Evening Post, Aug. 1776.