Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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286                Old Memories of East-Bourne. [Chap. XX.
Novel Experiences, Exciting or Otherwise.
This section deals with a few matters which are a little out of the common run of incidents, but illustrate an habitual thirst for knowledge on my part.
Chloroform as an anaesthetic was, I believe, intro­duced into the medical profession by Sir J. Simpson in 1847. The first dentist to use it in London was Mr. James Robinson of Gower Street. This gentleman was a friend of my father's, and as at a certain moment in either 1849 or 1850, it was deemed desirable that I should be relieved of 4 teeth all at once, I was taken to Gower Street to be experimented upon. The result was quite successful. I sat on my father's knee, inhaled the vile stuff from a silk handkerchief, and the next thing I was conscious of was 4 teeth in a row on the table, the Dentist proud of his achievement, my father content with it. Though I am not conscious of anything wrong with my heart yet, I do not think I shall ever try at my age another dose of chloroform as an anaesthetic.
Up to some period, which I am unable to specify, the civic festivities connected with the public life of the Lord Mayors of London, included water processions on the Thames ; two in particular : one on Michaelmas Day, and the other on the 9th of November. On Michaelmas Day the Sheriffs were conveyed from Blackfriars Bridge to Westminster Hall to be presented to the Barons of the Exchequer. In 1849 a cousin of mine, then Mr. R. W. Carden, was appointed one of the Sheriffs of London, and on the Michaelmas Day of that year, whilst the City Big-wigs were lunching at the Cutler's Hall, my mother and I were on board the Sheriffs' Barge, where light refreshments were served. I need hardly say that I enjoyed that day's trip, including the refreshments, as most boys of my age would no doubt have done.
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