This image shows the lawn and Canal within St James’s Park, the Chinese Bridge and Pagoda erected for the Grand Jubilee, tents for refreshments and dancing and the ascent of Mr. Sadler in the car with his balloon. The scene, which shows the park just before dusk while preparations to illuminate the bridge and pagoda were still underway, was described in an article in ‘The Gentleman’s Magazine’ of August 1814:
‘Tents were pitched in rows along the sides of the Canal; and at regular intervals national flags were hoisted. A number of Thames watermen had permission to ply on the Canal, and many worthy citizens and their families enjoyed an aquatic diversion for the first, and perhaps the last time, on this Regal stream;… The time, til dark, was chiefly employed by the company in walking backwards and forwards, or getting their dinner. The only public amusement consisted in the ascent of the Balloon from the front of the Queen’s House…’
Map publisher and seller Richard Holmes Laurie was the son of Robert Laurie (c.1755–1836), a mezzotint engraver and printseller. He was apprenticed to his father, a member of the Stationers' Company, before launching his career as an engraver of mezzotints. Engraver Alexander Findlay the elder (1790–1870), who had an engraving business in Pentonville, London, did a considerable amount of work for Laurie, as did his son, Alexander George Findlay, who later took over the engraving business. Laurie died at 53 Fleet Street on 19 January 1858.
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