Written in stone: "Behond the Liquid Thames now frozen ore. Their lately Ships of mighty Burthen Bore."
Subject: Re: the origin of "Behold the Liquid Thames"???
Date: Fri, 6 Jun 2003 12:38:12 +0100
can't be sure, but it seems this may have been on a handbill,
actually printed on the ice on the River Thames when it froze over in
1739/40 Severe weather from 24 December 1739 for 9 weeks and cold weather
continued into the Spring. A Frost Fair was held on the frozen Thames from
Christmas 1739 till February 17. Souvenirs were printed on printing presses
on the ice. Snow fell in London on the night of 16/17 May. It was still cold
in July. A hurricane occurred in London on November 1. ("from 'Agricultural
Records AD220 - 1968' and other sources")
Possibly from a poem "The glory of old England".
White-Hall: printed upon the ice, on the River Thames, February the 18th,
1739-40 NOTE: Purchasers' names: John and Elizabeth Smelt.
An engraved plate printed and published by R. Walker, London, showing the
statue of Queen Anne erected at Blenheim, with the inscription placed on it
by Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, dated 1738.
Below, within an engraved border, is the letterpress imprint and verse with
first line as: "Behold the liquid Thames now frozen o]'er.", and above the
imprint is space for printing the purchaser's name.
NOTE: 840.m.27(2*) ESTCT40845 2. White-Hall: printed upon the ice, on the
River Thames, February the 4th, 1739-40 1739 ? London] 1 sheet; 1/20. Oxford
University Bodleian Library
A similar thing seems to have happened fifty years later...
BAILEY, William, printer and music seller, The little a 41, Leadenhall
Street c1770-85; The little a, 42 Bishopsgate Street within 1785P-1790U. S.
of Thomas B. printer q.v. App. his father 1758, free Sta. Co. 1767 1768-93
14 apps. 5 premiums average £7. Probable printer of the following keepsake:
The Silver Thames was frozen o'er,
No diffrence 'twixt the Stream and Shore:
The like no Man hath seen before,
Except he liv'd in Days of Yore.
On the Ice, at the Thames Printing Office, opposite St. Catherine's Stairs
in the severe Frost, January, 1789. Printed by Me, William Bailey.
Todd; Humphries and Smith.
The true author of the lines though I cannot discover. Possibly a Grub
street hack making a fast quid on the ice? Or someone better?