SOCIETY AT ROYAL TUNBRIDGE WELLS - Online Book

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

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Royal Tunbridge Wells
A few went further afield for their repast, probably to the High Rocks, after that natural curiosity had been popularised by the interest shown in it by James II. " Here," said Samuel Derrick, who paid his first visit to "The Wells" in 1762, "is a cottager, who has a wife and a large family, supplies you with excellent cheer at a very reasonable rate; and you can imagine hardly anything more de­lightful than a few select friends, seated in the midst of these rocks, with horns and clarionets; the music of which is enchantingly echoed and re-echoed on every hand." Those who did not venture so far away, went to the Church, where a short service was performed, not probably impelled thereto by any devotional fervour, but because it was the fashion. " Pos­sibly there was as little religion in the chapel," said a resident, " as in the ball-room."
" And now, all this while, it is forty to one But some Friend or other you've happen'd upon : You all go to Church upon hearing the Bell,— Whether out of Devotion, yourselves can best tell;— From thence to the Tavern to toast pretty Nancy, TV aforesaid bright Nymph, that had smitten your
Fancy : Where Wine and good Victuals attend your Commands, And Wheatears, far better than French Ortolans."
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