History Of Brighton And Environs - Online Book

From The Earliest Known Period To The Present Time.

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notably those of Batty, Franconi, Cooke, Sanger, and Bell. Batty's Circus was situate in Mighell Street, and much frequented. Franconi converted the Biding School of the Pavilion into a Cirque, and certainly presented the best artistes of the day, both English and Continental. Cooke and Franconi's troupes had, respectively, the honour of performing in the Biding School, in an impromptu ring, before their Majesties King William and Queen Adelaide; also, a few years after, Queen Victoria, the Prince Consort, and royal family,—the gallery on the eastern side being converted into "the royal box" on each occasion. The school was admirably adapted for a Circus, but local requirements were paramount, and it has now been converted into a Corn Exchange, the want of a suitable building for that purpose having for long been seriously felt.
In 1818, posts and rails were erected around thc Northern Enclosure, opposite the King and Queen, and shrubs and trees planted therein,—a vast improvement upon its prior appearance and condition,—it having been, previously, the resort of all comers, and the receptacle of filth and refuse. Here Brighton Fair was celebrated, at which showmen, toy vendors, pedlars, and "Cheap Jacks " mustered numerously, and at that time the fair was one of the festivals of the inhabitants,—held annually on Holy Thursday and succeeding day, and on the 4th and 5th September. Numerous have been its locus in quo: for many years it was held on the Cliff, between Black Lion Street and Ship Street, afterwards in Belle Vue Field,—now covered by the Begency Square property, —from thence transferred to the Northern Enclosure; next held on St. Peter's Green, whereon St. Peter's Church stands ; then upon the Level; afterwards upon the Royal Cricket Ground, known as Ireland's Tea Gardens, where it was established for several years ; sub­sequently recovered its old quarters, the Level; again was
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