Fifth Viscount Torrington in Biggleswade - 15 June, 1791

from Tour into Lincolnshire, 1791, pages 308-310:

After tea, at seven o’clock, I set off home, in a dull dripping evening, and was return’d, going my best speed, in 50 minutes.  I then bethought me of the playhouse; and to it I went; more barnish misery exists not; the company seem starving: one fiddleand 13 candles composed our music and lights.  I could not laugh; I could not cry; or stay more than two acts.  Except the pronunciation the acting was of the nature of the lordly theatres.  Three acts, only, were finish'd at 9 o'clock.

cite as

John Byng, Tour into Lincolnshire, 1791. In C. Bruyn Andrews (ed.), The Torrington Diaries Containing the Tours Throughout England and Wales of the Hon. John Byng (Later Fifth Viscount Torrington) Between the Years 1781 and 1794, volume 2 (London, 1935), p. 308-310. accessed: 29 May, 2024

location of experience: Biggleswade


Fifth Viscount Torrington
Army officer, civil servant, diarist

Listening to

hide composers
incidental music to 'Romeo and Juliet'

Experience Information

Date/Time 15 June, 1791
Medium live
Listening Environment in the company of others, indoors, in public


The handbill advertising the evening of theatre is reproduced in the book (p. 309). The programme included 'Romeo and Juliet'; 'The Waterman', a ballad opera by Charles Dibdin; and comic songs sung by Mr. Hobson and Master Crisp. It appears that John Byng arrived late for the performance, which began at seven o'clock, hence missing the first act of the play. He remained for two further acts, and left the theatre at about nine o'clock.

Originally submitted by lcc5 on Thu, 03 Jan 2019 17:09:59 +0000
Approved on Mon, 11 Mar 2019 10:33:30 +0000