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Contemporary events relevant to Vauxhall Gardens are listed in green

c.1615 Estate owned by John & Jane Vaux, vintners
1643/4 Civil War fortifications at Vauxhall
1660 Restoration of Charles II
1661 2 July: John Evelyn's first visit to 'the New Spring Garden at Lambeth, a pretty contrived plantation.'
1662 29 May: First of many visits by Samuel Pepys
1663 Balthazar Monconys visit
1688 Pontack's superior 'ordinary' or eating house opened, Christ Church Passage
1694 Pre 3 September: 'Great Spring Garden' put up for sale by Mrs. Elizabeth Plant
  Date on the old lead pump, with initials S. M. [?S. Masters]
1702 16 April: Birth of Jonathan Tyers
  Accession of Queen Anne
1707 Act of Union between England, Wales and Scotland
1710 Z. C. von Uffenbach visit—'avenues and covered walks . . . and green huts'
  Completion of the new St. Paul's Cathedral
  Formation of the English South Sea Trading Company
1712 20 May: Spectator article on New Spring Gardens
1717 Date on leadwork of the proprietor's house, with initials PHH for Philemon and Hannah Hill. [1859 drawings, Findlay & Barton, LMA Maps & Prints]
1722 Jonathan Tyers marries Elizabeth Fermor
1728 December, Frederick Louis (later Prince of Wales) arrives in England
  John Gay's Beggar's Opera

1729 Jonathan Tyers the elder becomes Proprietor of Vauxhall Gardens

1729 17 March: Date on Jonathan Tyers's lease from Elizabeth Masters, widow, at £250 p.a. for 30 years. Tyers was already in occupation of the Old Spring Garden
1729 Gardens described by Pierre Jacques Fougeroux
1730 Date on Hogarth's supper-box painting Night
1731/2 12 March: Tyers's first known advertisement for brewers etc.
1732 Wednesday 7 June: The Ridotto al' Fresco helt to re-launch the gardens
21 June: Assembly Supper replaced by a second ridotto
1734 Mr. & Mrs. Tyers buy the Denbies estate, with 80 acres of land, also lease 250 acres nearby
1735 3 June: Orchestra building unveiled
Hogarth's Academy in St Martin's Lane founded. Rake's Progress
25 June: Engravers' Copyright Act passed
1736 Season runs from Wednesday 19 May to Saturday 21 August
  Ordinary tickets withdrawn, but one shilling entrance charge instituted (until 1792) doubling the previous charge
  First edition of the Vauxhall Fan by Moses Harris
1737 Monday 2 May: Season opens
  New Organ Building installed behind orchestra unveiled
  First recorded issue of season tickets at 1 guinea
  Second edition of the Vauxhall Fan
1738 Season runs from Monday 1 May until Saturday 19 August
26 April: Roubiliac's statue of Handel 'carried over the water, to be put up in Vaux-Hall Gardens'
  Third edition of the Vauxhall Fan
1739 1 May: Season opens
  Scots Magazine articles
  Hayman's Supper-box paintings mostly complete
28 June: Wedding party at Denbies for four of Tyers's servants
  Carillon added to organ
7 April: Execution of Dick Turpin
  Charter of Foundling Hospital
  War of Jenkins' Ear
November: Porto Bello captured by Admiral Vernon
1739-40 One of the three coldest winters on record
1740 Hayman group portrait of Tyers family
  Season tickets cost £1. 5s.
  Samuel Richardson's Pamela
  Arne & Thomson's Rule Britannia
  Handel's Water Music
1741/2 Turkish Tent built in Grove
  First London stage appearance of David Garrick, in Richard III
1742 5 April: Ranelagh Gardens opened in Chelsea
  First performance, in Dublin, of Handel's Messiah
1743 Engravings after supper-box paintings published
  First notices in the Gentleman's Magazine of the early excavations at Herculaneum
1745 Hayman's Shakespearean scenes installed in the Princes' Pavilion
  Dr. Arne appointed director of music
  Vocal music introduced as a regular part of the evening's programme
1746 Prosperous season at Vauxhall following the defeat of the Jacobites at Culloden (16 April)
4 August: Duke of Newcastle's Ball
1748 Season open on (or by) 18 May
  Season Tickets cost 2 guineas
  Rotunda building completed
  Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle—many soldiers return home to unemployment
1749 21 April: Rehearsal of Handel's Fireworks Music atttended by a huge cowd
  Henry Fielding's Tom Jones
  John Cleland's Fanny Hill
1750 Pillared Saloon built
  1 and 2nd June, Musician's Strike ('The Reinhold Affair')
  Horace Walpole first designs Strawberry Hill
February/March: Earthquakes in London. In Lambeth, on 8 March, the roof of a pothouse is destroyed
  William Chambers' 'House of Confucius' at Kew
1751 Extensive Rebuilding
  Monday 20 May: Season opens
  Series of topographical engravings of Vauxhall
  John Lockman, A Sketch of the Spring-Gardens, Vauxhall
20 March: Death of Frederick, Prince of Wales
  The Gin Act restricts the sale of spirits
  Hogarth's Gin Lane and Beer Street
1752 Jonathan Tyers purchases half of the estate of Vauxhall Gardens from George Dodington for £3,800
  The original 'Tin Cascade' is installed
  The Provisions of 25 Geo II, c.36 come into force, requiring the licensing of all places of public entertainment within 20 miles of the City and Westminster, in effect leaving Vauxhall, Ranelagh and Marylebone Gardens with a virtual monopoly
  The 'New Style' or Gregorian Calendar replaces the Julian: the year now starts on 1 January rather than 25 March, and the period 313 September is omitted
  Fielding's Amelia
1753 8 May: Season opens
1754 "Mr. Tyers has had the ruins of Palmyra painted in the manner of the scenes so as to deceive the eye and appear buildings" [Mrs Montague, 090-7-54]. Installed at the end of the Grand South Walk
  Thomas Chippendale's Director
  Robert Wood's Ruins of Palmyra
1756 Black Hole of Calcutta
May: Beginning of Seven Years' War with France
1757 Battle of Plassey
  English harvest fails; bad weather until 1760
1758 The new 'Gothick' orchestra unveiled
  Robert Adam commissioned to build a Temple of Venus at a cost of £5,000
  Tyers completes the purchase of the copyhold lease from Mr. Atkins and Mrs. Jennings
  Foundation of Magdalen Hospital for reformed prostitutes
1759 Battle of Minden, British and German allies under Lord George Sackville, beat the French. September: the British take Quebec
1760 September: British take Montreal
1761 First of Hayman's paintings for the Pillared Saloon.
11 September: Season closes
  William Chambers' Pagoda at Kew (1761/2)
December: Spain declares war on Britain
1762 Anon, A Description of Vaux-Hall Gardens, published by S. Hooper
  Ostenaco, a Cherokee chief, and a group of American Indians, visit Vauxhall with Henry Timberlake
20 April: Sign Painters Exhibition opened, Thornton's Chambers, Bow Street
1763 Thursday 19 May: Season opens
February: Treaty of Paris ends the Seven Years' War
1764 Completion of Hayman's four paintings for the Pillared Saloon
  Tyers fences the dark walks in an attempt to discourage immoral behaviour. Following destruction of the fences (and other extensive vandalism), he introduces lighting instead
26 October: Death of Hogarth
1765 Thursday 29 August: Season concludes with a masquerade, attended by up to 5,000 guests
12 February: Almacks Assembly Rooms, King Street, opens, with a 10 guinea subscription to a ball and supper once a week for 12 weeks
1766 Season of bad weather opens by 19 May. Tyers makes a £3,000 loss over the year
1767 26 June: Death of Jonathan Tyers at Vauxhall
  Royal Crescent built in Bath
December: Ice Fair on the Thames

1767 After death of Jonathan Tyers the elder, the ownership of Vauxhall Gardens passes to Elizabeth, his widow and management is passed to a family partnership with Jonathan Tyers the younger in charge

1768 Friday 13 May: Season opens under the management of Jonathan Tyers jr.
17 August: King Christian VII of Denmark visits Vauxhall
  Vauxhall Gardens on the market at £60,000
1769 Grand refurbishment of the gardens, at a cost of £5,000, including a canopy over the Grand walk (completed the year before)
  10 May: Ridotto al Fresco

17 May: Season opens

  Arkwright's first textile factory at Nottingham

1771 Death of Elizabeth Tyers, leaving the gardens to her four children, Thomas, Elizabeth,Margaret and Jonathan the younger. Management stays with Jonathan the younger.

1771 17 May: Season opens
  Smollett's Humphry Clinker
1772 James Hook appointed principal keyboard player and composer
1773 20 May: Season opens
Friday, 23 July: The 'Vauxhall Affray'
1775 American War of Independence (to 1783)
1776 4 July: American Declaration of Independence
1777 A wet summer in London
1778 Mrs. Cornelys sets up her 'White House' with a colonnaded garden, supper rooms, a music room and a library, near Vauxhall, aimed at 'people of rank and fortune'
June: France declares war on Britain
  Fanny Burney's Evelina
  Closure of Marylebone Gardens
1779 17 May: Season opens Monday
1780 Gordon Riots in London
1781 Season Thursday 17 May–24 August
25 June: Sailing match for the Duke of Cumberland's Cup. Duke and Duchess dine afterwards at the gardens, attracting 11,000 visitors
1783 13 May: Season opens
  In an attempt to avoid the usual Last Night riots and damage, the proprietors close without notice in mid-August
1784 Rowlandson's watercolour of Vauxhall exhibited at the Royal Academy

1785 Thomas Tyers, Margaret Rogers and Bryant Barrett cede partnerhip to Jonathan Tyers the younger, Bryant Barrett (his son -in-law) and Elizabeth Wood (Jonathan's sister)



19 May: Season opens
  At this time, the Tyers/Rogers/Barrett family own over 45 acres in Vauxhall, including the 11 acres of the Gardens themselves, and up to ninety dwelling-houses, pubs and other buildings
1786 Mon 29 May: Vauxhall Jubilee
Tues 30 May: First military fete
  Season opens on 10 June and runs to Tuesday 29 August

1786 Bryant Barrett becomes the sole proprietor and manager of Vauxhall Gardens

1786 First regular advertisements of the music programme
  Construction of a new entrance in Kennington Lane, sometimes called the 'Coach Gate', with waiting rooms, cloakrooms etc. (first mentioned as an entrance in 1762)
  Poor weather initially
2 August: Margaret Nicholson attempts to assassinate the King by stabbing him
  Gainsborough's Market Cart
  Mozart's Marriage of Figaro
  Earliest attempts at gas lighting in England
1787 1 February: Thomas Tyers dies unmarried
  18 May: Season opens with a Subscription Masquerade
  Operating licence granted on condition that the gardens close at midnight on Saturday
  Newly-decorated Balloon-rooms opened
1788 Monday 9 June, 5 pm: Sailing cup race, Blackfriars Bridge to Putney and return to Vauxhall Stairs
  Sailing transparency shown in the new Promenade Room
  Friday 8 August: Rowing Match, (originally planned for Wednesday 9 July)
  'The Vauxhall Jubilee, or Harlequin in the Ball Room' performed at Astley's Amphitheatre
1789 Monday 31 August: Season closes
14 July: Storming of the Bastille, French Revolution
1790 Season Tuesday 18 May–Thursday 26 August
1791 Season Tuesday 17 May–Thursday 25 August
  New Supper Room
  By 12 August, a new Gothic Temple, decorated with coloured lamps in perpetual motion ('The Moving Temple'), designed by Martinelli
1792 21 March: Death of Jonathan Tyers the younger

1792 Ownership of Vauxhall Gardens passes to Bryant Barrett, manager and proprietor

1792 Season Thursday 31 May–Monday 27 August
  Prince's Gallery (400 ft. long) and Ante-Room built
4 June: Joseph Haydn visits Vauxhall
  Admission price raised to two shillings; profit of £5,000 for the season.
1793 Season Thursday 23 May–Thursday 15 August
  Britain declares war on revolutionary France
  Proprietors pay £1,000 'Admission fine' to the Duchy of Cornwall to continue lease of the gardens
1794 Decorated Vauxhall Barge on the Thames.
  Flockton's 'Drolleries' exhibited
1795 Monday 6 June: Season opens
  A Season of bad weather. Tea and coffee discontinued because of high cost
1796 19 May: Gardens opened with a grand Ridotto al Fresco; large temporary saloon for dancing; company in evening dress
1797 Mr. C. H. [Christopher] Simpson Master of Ceremonies (until his death in 1835)
1798 Fireworks first exhibited as a regular feature
1800 Wednesday 3 June: Season opens
Sunday June 29, 5.30 a.m.: Fire destroys part of the Prince's Gallery/Long Room/Masquerade Room, which was being used as a lumber room and scene painting studio. It was built entirely of wood, lath and canvas. A lot of scenery lost, as well as thirty trees damaged, together with the entrance portico and outside railings . £200 worth of damage caused.
  Triumphal arches erected in the Grand Walk, decorated with emblematical transparencies and coloured lamps, leading to a Grand Representation of a Magnificent Hymeneal Temple
July 24: First Oriental Gala
1801 Season Thursday 4 June–Monday 31 August

6 August: The Splendid Gala, a Grand Oriental Car richly decorated with trophies etc. drawn by elephants

  Successful season
1802 Monday 31 May: Season opens
20 June: Grand Gala with an unmanned fire balloon with fireworks, by Garnerin; attracts 6000 visitors. Balloon flight is followed by firework display by Ruggieri
  Mr. Garnerin makes a balloon journey of 300 miles, starting from Vauxhall
  'Among the demonstrations of loyalty, in celebration of the peace concluded between this country and France, none were more splendid than those at Vauxhall Gardens, on the 26th of July, which were honoured by the presence of his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.' [W.T. Parke,Vol. I, (1830), p.309]
1803 Closure of Ranelagh Gardens
1804 3 September: Season closes
1805 Grand Rural Festival, under the patronage of the Marchioness of Hertford, with fireworks
October: Nelson defeats French fleet at Trafalgar
1807 Season opened on 15 June: 'This charming place opened last night with restored splendour, and such was the anxiety of the fashionable world to again enjoy this terrestrial Paradise, that above 5000 persons of the first fashion attended' [The Globe, June 16 1807]
1808 Monday 6 June: Season opens
1809 15 February: Death of Bryant Barrett

1809 On the death of Bryant Barrett, Vauxhall Gardens bequeathed to his two sons, the Revd. Jonathan Tyers Barrett (17841851) and George Rogers Barrett (1787– 1860)

1810 Monday 4 June: Season opens
  Rumours of the demolition of Vauxhall [H.S.L. Dewar, ed, The Thomas Rackett Papers. Dorset Record Soc. 1965, No.3, Bundle 104, Mrs. E. Pulteney to Dorothea Rackett, November 19, 1810]
  Covered walks completely rebuilt with a new 'vaulted colonade' with about 200 cast iron pillars
  11 June, a Grand Fete 'in compliment to the Persian ambassador', the illuminations of which were 'truly superb'. [W.T. Parke, Vol. II, (1830,) p.58]
1812 26 August: Grand Masquerade in honour of the victories in the Peninsular War - Outdoor transparency of a Chinese Temple. Illuminations; bands of Turkish and military music.
1813 20 July: Vittoria Fete celebrating the victories of Wellington
  Foundation stone of Vauxhall Bridge laid by Prince Charles, son of the Duke of Brunswick
  Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
1814 Season 15 June– Friday 26 August
  Double display of fireworks on the last night, by Mons. Bologna and Signor D. Mortram
1815 18 June: Battle of Waterloo
1816 Season Monday 3 June–Friday 6 September
  Rope-dancer Madame Saqui's first appearance at Vauxhall
  Vauxhall Bridge open to foot passengers. 24 July also opened for horses and carriages.
  A season 'unprecedented for cold and rain' —the 'year without summer' as a result of the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia
  Proprietors lost at least £3,000
Wednesday 27 June: No paying visitors at all attended, due to bad weather
1817 18 June: First fete to mark the anniversary of the victory at Waterloo (1815)
1818 G. R. Barrett offers the gardens for sale, but no purchaser found
  Monday 8 June: Season opens
14 August: Fete for the Prince Regent's birthday, with Mme. Saqui among fireworks
1819 28 August: Season closes
1820 Wednesday 30 August: Season closes
1821 Season Monday 11 June–Wednesday 29 August

1821 Gardens leased by Thomas Bish and Frederick Gye in March

1821 13 July: First Juvenile Fete in modern times (then, initially, once a year)
  'Heptaplasiesoptron', or Fancy Reflective Proscenium, installed, designed by Mr. Bradwell, mechanist of Covent Garden Theatre. Replaced in 1823 with the Grand Musical Temple costing £2,000 and 40 ft. high.
  Completion of John Nash's remodelling of the Royal Pavilion, Brighton, for the Prince Regent
  Gas Light Company being established for the Lambeth/Vauxhall area
1822 12 March: Whole property offered for sale, including 118 Supper tables, and paintings
28 May: Designated 'The Royal Gardens, Vauxhall' by Royal Warrant
  Season Monday 3 June–Friday 30 August, 40 nights' profit —£79
  Total of 137,279 visitors during the season (compared to 19,000 in 1820)
  Royal Arms over the colonnade designed and executed by Messrs. Coades and Croggan
  Emblematic Illuminations with 11,328 lamps by Robert Duffel
  Licence granted to the proprietors to allow dancing performances
Saturday 15 July: Juvenile Fete
16 August: Grand Military Fete for the Duke of York's birthday
  New fountain; new cloak rooms added, 'with respectable female attendants'
  Other new features included the French (mechanical) Theatre and the Submarine Cavern
1823 Season, 9 May–12 September
  Plan of Vauxhall Gardens shows 118 supper-boxes
  Grand re-furbishment, including the building of a Ballet Stage (by Mr. Saul) and the Moorish Tower, by Mr. Shaw (late of Covent Garden, now head carpenter at Vauxhall Gardens)
  Revolving Star by Mr. Saul
  First Ballet productions by Mons. Hullin
  19 May: The first Vauxhall Observer published
  A profitable season for the new proprietors—receipts of £29,590, from 133,279 visitors, including £3,665 for liquor sales. The best attended evening was the King's Birthday on 12 August, with 8,600 guests
18 June: The Chinese Entrance opened for the first time; this could easily be transformed into dining space for 200 people, if required
18 June: Grand Military Fete in honour of the victory of Waterloo
  A season of bad weather ('the most unfavourable weather ever remembered'—farewell address at close of season, spoken by Mr. Mallinson), so the season was extended beyond the end of August, when the weather improved
  Over 53 evenings, the proprietors made a profit of £3,333
1824 Tuesday 1 June: Season opens
  New sounding board added to the orchestra, in the form of a large shell, supported by lyres Work done by T. Lowe
  The most profitable season on record (£26,957 income, £5,793 profit, from 43 open evenings)
10 July: Juvenile Fete

1825 March, Frederick Gye the elder & Richard Hughes raise a mortgage of £22,000 from Mr Reynal et al. to buy the property outright from Jonathan Tyers Barrett: Thomas Bish resigns the partnership on 30 July

1825 Season closes Friday 2 September after 44 nights, producing a profit of £2,635
1826 Rotunda altered for concerts, with boxes, stalls, pit, and gallery, capable of holding an audience of 2,000
July: Charles Green makes his first balloon flights from the gardens
  Annual profit £2,546
1827 June 13: Charles Farley of Covent Garden produces the representation of the Battle of Waterloo. Income of £2,203 for the night.
  First vaudevilles at Vauxhall, written by William Thomas Moncrieff
  It is reckoned that, for a middling family of six, an evening at Vauxhall could cost £2.14s.
  Season 4 June to 31 August. £362 seasonal profit
1828 5 September: Season closes
  Lottery Wheel introduced at Vauxhall by Gye and Hughes
8 July: Spanish Fete in aid of Spanish and Italian refugees
Monday 18 August: Grand Military Fete for the birthday of the Duke of York
1829 Rainhill Trials for steam locomotives, won by Stephenson's Rocket
1830 28 April: Christie's sale of the pictures etc. of the late Jonathan Tyers the younger
  Henry Rowley Bishop appointed Director of Music
  The Grand Moving Hydropyric Panorama exhibited
  Act of Parliament to de-regulate beer sales. Beer duty abolished
1831 8 September: Coronation day of William IV. The Government gives the proprietors £750, to open free, and 40,000 visitors attended
1832 Friday 7 September: Season closes
  First flower shows. Grand Floral Fete given by the Metropolitan Society of Florists and amateurs—principally dahlias
  Good weather
  First gas works built at Vauxhall Gardens.
1833 Season of 49 nights, closing on Friday 27 September
8 July: Benefit evening for the Polish Exiles
15 July: Paganini performs at Vauxhall
19 August: Simpson's Benefit Night
Monday 26 August: Centenary Jubilee celebrated. Price reduced to 1s for the week (extended to Friday 6 September). 20,000 people attended on the first Wednesday
  London Gas Light Company formed, with the Vauxhall Gardens works, on the east side of the gardens, and a new works on the west
1834 The Vauxhall 'company' —singers, musicians, fireworks & illuminations— perform at the Sydney Gardens, Bath, when not required at Vauxhall
  East range of supper-boxes removed to make way for a semi-circular bar for refreshments, in the mode of a Parisian Café
21 July: A second benefit for Simpson
  Representation of Captain Ross's Expedition to the North Pole
  New gasworks built on west side of Vauxhall, with a telescopic gas-holder
1835 13 August: Daytime fete for the birthday of Queen Adelaide
  September, French 'aerial ship' first seen
  The 'Fete of Versailles' repeated throughout the season
25 December: Death of C. H. Simpson
1836 Dickens: 'Vauxhall by Day' in Sketches by Boz
  Italian Walk, 800 feet long, with 300 trees created from the old Druids' Walk by George Stevens
  Edward Fisher Longshawe takes on Simpson's role of Master of Ceremonies
  Diorama of the new Houses of Parliament, from Barry's designs, 48ft long by 30ft high, painted by Cocks
11 August: Daytime Horticultural Exhibition & Fete Champetre. 2 p.m.
Friday 9 September: First ascent of Green's Vauxhall Royal Balloon, 80 feet high, made of 2000 yards of crimson and white Spitalfields silk. Becomes known as the Nassau Balloon that autumn (7/8 November), after an 18 hour record-breaking 500 mile flight to Weilburg in Nassau, Germany; renamed the Royal Nassau Balloon with the patronage of the Duke of Nassau in July 1838
  Darwin returns from 'Beagle' voyage
1837 5 June: L'Atelier de Canova presented for the first time, including a Venus, a Murder of the Innocents, a Mars and Venus, and a Three Graces by Canova, a Hercules and Cacus by Bandinelli, and several antique groups, all illuminated by the Phoshelioulamproteron. All the figures are living men and women. Some of the groups were shown on revolving platforms.
30 June–1 July: Fire destroys the Firework tower early on Saturday morning. The fireworks back in operation by the following Monday
24 July: Robert Cocking's fatal parachute descent
  The season of 82 nights and 16 day fetes produced an income of £12,626
  Queen Victoria confirms the right to use the name 'The Royal Gardens'
1838 Frederick Gye the Younger, Director of Lighting, invents the hydro-oxygen light for the living statues
1838 13 June: Season opens
  Gasworks installed at the gardens for balloon ascents
  One shilling admission re-introduced. (One shilling and sixpence for Balloon ascent evenings)
  Neptune Fountain installed at the end of the Grand Walk
  A 'Balloon Hall' erected, to allow for the inflation of the Nassau Balloon under cover, with an open proscenium in front, 200 feet wide
8 August: A Grand Naval Fete
  73 'Entertainments' (days and evenings) produced £12,103. The expenses for that year were £14,461, including £1,100 for the gasworks, producing a loss of well over £2,000.
  Nine Elms terminus of the London and Southampton Railway.
1839 Mr. Ducrow's Curriculum shown for the first time, on a new race course '129 yards longer than the original at Rome' opposite the balloon gallery. Visitors were admitted on horseback at 5s instead of 1s 6d
  Mr Bloodworth opens the Vauxhall Tap, Concert and Assembly rooms, Vauxhall Gardens
12 August: Grand Masquerade, the first for 20 years.
  Vauxhall Gardens not open regularly during the season
  F. Gye the younger's last full-time employment at Vauxhall
  Friday 6 September: Season closes after an extension of a week with five Grand Galas

Gye & Hughes declared bankrupt. Encumbrances on the property, including mortgages, came to £23,000. Property offered for sale by the Assignees of Messrs. Gye & Hughes whose management had ceased in 1839. No Purchaser found.

26, 27, 28 May: Auction sales by Hoggart. (Furniture from the gardens, stages , garden stuff).
15, 16 June: Sale of Machinery, paintings, organ, statues, Hogarth, Hayman pictures
28, 29 July: Sale of Furniture, books, china, glass, linen, prints etc.from the house

1841 The whole property bought by Thomas Fowler, son-in-law of Thomas Bish and leased to John Mitchell and John Andrews of Bond Street



June/July/August/September: Stage Manager Alfred Bunn, assisted by Ducrow
  Monday 5 July: Season opens
  July 14 and 21: Juvenile Fetes
31 August: First shilling night - 6,000 paying visitors
Monday September 6, billed as 'The last evening for ever', but season continued until Wednesday 8 September
  Very wet month from 15 July (St. Swithun's day)—Second Juvenile Fete washed out (the first had been very grey and threatening rain)
  First mention of the Hall of Mirrors (open for dinner parties)
  Liefchild sale, 9 September (the whole property and 11 Acre site). Public Sale directed by the court of Review following bankruptcy of Gye & Hughes. Bought by Mr. Reynal on behalf of Mr. Thomas Fowler, Gent, at £20,200 plus £1,100 for the fixtures [Fowler was son-in-law of Bish]. The vendors are the mortgagees, Mrs. Webb and Mrs. Hughes, sisters of Thomas Bish Esq., MP.
12 October: Ventom and Hughes sale. (Moveable Property, incl. the Temple of the Arts, and 24 original paintings)
1842 27 January: Death of Andrew Ducrow
28 February: Explosion at D'Ernst's firework factory in Lambeth
  Henry Widdicomb appointed Master of Ceremonies
  Opened 22 August, closed 19 Sept : Bad season, £3,000 loss
26 August: Grand Summer Fete in honour of the birthday of H.R.H. Prince Albert
27 December: Death of Thomas Bish
  Frederick Gye the younger mentions 'Railway' in his diary during a visit to the gardens

1843 Under Thomas Fowler, George Stevens, head gardener, assumes control as proprietor with Robert Wardell as lessee manager for the season. From now on until their closure in 1859 a succession of more or less successful managers run the gardens under Fowler's ownership

1843 Gardens closed all year; George Stevens moves into the gardens in September, and stays in the Proprietor's House until October 1859
  Tivoli Gardens open in Copenhagen
1844 2,000 shares of £25 advertised in three classes, under Managing Director, Mr. Brion
  9 September: Gardens opened for one month to exhibit the Ioway Indians. Sundays closed.
11 October: Closed
1845 Season 12 May–Wednesday 8 October
  Gardens re-let to Robert Wardell for £850 p.a.
  24 July: Musgrave and Gadsden sale, (11 acre site, Pavilion, Supper Room, 118 supper tables, Orchestra & Organ, Rotunda, Picture Room, Ballet Theatre, Firework Gallery). No buyer found.
  Atrocious weather during the season
  Italian Walk renovated
  Golden Temple of Honan, or Hall of the Celestial Kings, with fireworks on the Waterloo Ground
  New scenery—Pirates' Cave with a Sea View, and a Panoramic Swiss Landscape
  Mr. Breckell, late of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, becomes chief Machinist, and re-models the Grand Orchestra, decorated 'in the most costly style' by Mr. Hurwitz
  London Gas Light Company becomes a statutory company by Act of Parliament.

Open on Monday 1 June, then five days a week, not Saturdays or Sundays

  The best season of weather for some years. Open for 85 nights.
23 June: General Tom Thumb reviews his troops in the Rotunda, for a Juvenile Fete.
Friday 2 October: Wardell's Benefit night, 2s admission
1847 Wilkie Collins calls the gardens 'an awful wilderness of mud and rubbish; the deserted dead body of Vauxhall Gardens mouldering in the open air' [in No Name]
  Thursday 23 September: Season closes
1848 First mention of The American Bowling Saloon, decorated with a Panorama of America, and 'the only place in London where the Real American Drinks are made' i.e. Mint Juleps, Cobblers etc. prepared entirely by Americans
12 June: First appearance of Juba at Vauxhall
11 July: Vauxhall Station opens on the London and South Western Railway
August: Animal trainer, Isaac van Amburgh, appears with his lions
1849 Monday 4 June: Season opens, under 'an entirely new proprietorship.'
  Introduction of some electric lighting, on the Italian Walk
  Shooting Gallery constructed
12 August: 'Asteroid Rockets' exhibited by Henry Mortram
  Italian Walk continued all around the garden
  The Bowling Saloon is enlarged to create the American Grand Saloon, on the Italian Walk, with four bowling alleys, the largest in England
  Bad Season. £2,000 losses.
1850 Vauxhall calls itself "The Only Public Aristocratic Suburban Retreat in England!"
  Vauxhall is visited twelve times by the 'Nepaulese Princes'
4 July: First Annual 'Grand American Fete', to celebrate 'the great day of Independence' (then celebrated annually)
  Tudor Pageant and Tourney held
1851 Vauxhall posters begin to appear also in French
  Many improvements in preparation for the expected millions coming to the World's Fair, but the scale of the gardens is reduced to just 6 acres
  Rare and exotic plants and shrubs planted on raised mounds and floral slopes
  The Italian Walk becomes the Avenue of All Nations
1 May: A Royal Box built at the Equestrian Arena.
  Masqued ball on the opening night, to coincide with the opening of the Crystal Palace. Vauxhall opens at 7 p.m., following closure of Crystal Palace at 6 p.m.
18 June: The first competitive flower shows
  Appearances of the Algerine Family, and the equestrian Mlle. Palmyra Annato
15 July: Scottish Fete and Highland Ball, for the relief of famine in the West Highlands and Islands; including Highland Games
1851/2 John Ruskin's Stones of Venice
1852 Improvements for the season include 'trelliced alcoves' on the approaches to the Gardens, with groves of palm trees; new garlanded chandeliers on the main walk, with illuminated floral displays; pilasters and compartments of the Grand Walk decorated white and gold.
  Two new cafés erected: The Hall of the Golden Lilies, in Chinese style, and The Vintage Bower in which chocolate, coffee, tea, ices, jellies and confectionery are served. The Italian Walk further embellished with classical statuary, floral decorations and 'Architectural Auxiliaries'
  Equestrian Arena transformed into a Ballet Theatre for an audience of 5,000. Equestrians, rope dancers and clowns absent for a year. Rotunda floored and turned into a ballroom

Diorama of the Golden Temple of Guadma, the Great Pagoda of Dagon, Rangoon.

4–8 July: 'Entertainments and the Burmese Empire'
1854 Summer of bad weather
  Robert Wardell closes the gardens after the magistrates ban the Italian Brothers' balloon ascent
Friday 2 June: Grand Ball of all Nations
October: The Charge of the Light Brigade
1855 The Gardens re-open for six nights only (between 17-29 September) for the Victory of Sebastopol, the last 3 nights at 6d., and refreshments free—'No Go' according to Stevens; and on Monday 1 October for a Benefit Night for Robert Wardell
1856 30 Juen–4 July: Cirque Imperial
July 14: Robert Wardell's annual Benefit Night
  Ascent of Mr. Green in the Nassau Balloon
Friday 26 September: Season closes
1857 Closed all year
  Vauxhall Iron Works opened (later to become Vauxhall Motors)
  The Art Treasures Exhibition at the Old Trafford Crystal Palace, Manchester.
1858 'A New Leviathan Platform for Dancing! Erected on a Novel Principle by Mr MACEY, of the Royal Alhambra Palace, Leicester Square'
13 September: Grand Illumination Gala, for the benefit of Mr. Duffell
1859 25 July: 'Positively The Last Night Forever', after a season of six nights from 18 July
Tuesday 26 July: Final demolition begins
  Tennyson, The Idylls of the King
  November. Darwin's On the Origin of Species published
22 August: Drivers' sale, (Fixtures, fittings and building materials, incl the Orchestra, which sold for £99. A 1754 table sold for 9s.) The remaining pictures were bought by Edward Tyrrell Smith for the Banqueting Hall at Cremorne. Total receipts about £800.
29 August: Drivers' sale, (second portion of the building materials, fixtures and fittings, furniture, china & glass, lamps, artworks)
27 June: Edward, Prince of Wales lays the foundation stone for the new Vauxhall School of Art.The site is laid out with over 300 building plots for 'artisans' housing'
1862 Goodwin, Williams & Co., purchase lease on the property, and secure the freehold
1863 16 April: Foundation stone of St. Peter's Church, Kennington Lane laid by the Archbishop of Canterbury
1864 28 June: Church of St. Peter (by John Loughborough Pearson) consecrated. Cost £7,800 to build
  Monet, The Breakwater at Honfleur.
1865 According to John Timbs (Walks and Talks about London, London: Lockwood & Co., 1865, p.16), there is no trace of the gardens left on site.
Population of Vauxhall at this time around 8,000
1888 June 7, 8 & 9: Vauxhall Revival at the 'Old Vauxhall Bazaar' in the Horns Assembly Rooms, Kennington Park Road, by the Kennington Liberal and Radical Association, and the Women's Liberal Association. Under the patronage of Mrs. W.E. Gladstone, and sixteen other distinguished ladies and gentlemen. The Handel statue, and some of the supper-box pictures were shown
1890 12 July: Vauxhall Park opened by the Prince of Wales, after a campaign by Octavia Hill

Warwick Wroth's The London Pleasure Gardens of the Eighteenth Century published by Macmillan.

Full Chronology
Return to: Contemporary Sources
Return to: Contemporary Sources