Royal Censorship

The grand annual fairs were generally seen as places beyond official control, but it depends on who the audience was, and insulting the dead is never going to win friends. This is from John Evelyn’s diary of 1692:

“15 Sep. there happen’d an Earthquake, which tho’ not so great as to do any harm in England, was universal in all these parts of Europe. It shook the house at Wotton, but was not perceiv’d by any save a servant or two, who were making my bed, and another in a garret. I and the rest being at dinner below in the parlour were not sensible of it. The dreadful one in Jamaica this Summer was profanely and ludicrously represented in a puppet-play, or some such lewd pastime, in the Fair at Southwark, which caus’d the Queene to put downe that idle and vicious mock shew.”


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