People, Society & Culture of Tunbridge Wells in the 18th Century & later.

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Royal Tunbndge Wells
Bath, when Nash first went there, was already on the way to become a popular resort. A few years before, the Duke of Beaufort, whose Somersetshire seat, Badminton, was about fourteen miles away, had interested himself in the city, and, amongst other things, induced the Corporation to grant the use of the Town Hall for balls, which hitherto had been held on the bowling-green. A great nobleman, however, could not be expected: to— devote his time to the organisation of amuse­ments, and the Corporation thought it well to appoint for that purpose a Master of the Ceremonies, an office that had been long in abeyance. The choice fell upon a Captain Webster, who may have been the man of that name introduced by Theophilus Lucas in his Lives of the Gamblers. Webster, of whom little is known, was described as " a man of spirit and address," with a thirst for gaming, which he encouraged in the city over which he ruled. In the absence of any contemporary portrait of social Bath at this time, it is, perhaps, permissible to give, for what it is worth, the fancy picture presented by Peach in his interesting article on Bath in the Days of Fielding and Smollett— 138
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