It happened in December - 1839

20th November 2020

A digest from the Evening Press, December 7, 1940


  • A subscription ball was held at the Royal Yacht Club Hotel - then conducted by Mrs Harris and later by Mr Marshall. It began at 10.30, refreshments were served at 1 a.m. and concluded at 4.30. It was reported to be a great success.
  • It was revealed that Mr Maillard, the proprietor-editor of the Comet, was originally a ship-builder.
  • There was a respectable, though not crowded, audience at the Theatre Royal on the 3rd, when the tragedy of Hamlet 'went off briskly', with Mr Warde in the name part. On the following Friday, Signor Plimeri took his benefit. His specialities were a strongman act, winding up with the impersonation of a monkey and its tricks.
  • A violin player came in for some criticism in a Guernsey paper because he played in the choir of Zion Chapel on Sundays and in the Theatre Orchestra on other days.
  • Gas had not yet entirely superceded candles for shop window lighting, even in Market Street.
  • John Hawkins announced that he had a number of Stars and Drops (whatever they were) for sale at Mrs Sullock's, No 48, Pollet Street.
  • Two ships were in collision in the Russell. They were named, by curious coincidence, British Queen and Victoria. One was loaded with coal and the other with stone. The former had its stern damamged while the latter lost its figure-head.
  • Mount Row was described as a residential road of lugubrious gentility.
  • Public houses were open on Sundays and there were complaints that some of them on Saturday and Sunday nights went beyond the lawful closing hour.
  • Somebody wrote: 'It is not true that H de J—, boot and shoe maker, has been advised by many ladies to cut off his whiskers and convert them into blacking brushes.'
  • Several choirs were out carol singing on Christmas Eve.
  • Readers were reminded by a poem that the approaching New Year, 1840, would be a Leap Year.
  • [Our available records for 1840 are few and of little interest.]