Inebriation and debauchery on Sydney streets

Take care lest you should be found spinning in the streets like a Pathegorian (sic) Priestess as was Edward Kennedy or like James Hansard be caught under the influence of Lamb’s Wool.  Though the scanned text is a little difficult to read, it’s worth persisting with this Police Incidents excerpt for the language itself.

Sydney Herald – 27 December 1832

Bridget Leon – a girl with attitude – “tossing her head from right to left with majestic indifference”

Pat Riley – “a broth of a boy” (outstanding person) expressing disdain at his master laying a charge of stealing a chair when the master was enjoying himself at a cock and hen club.  British History Online – Bethnal Green: Social and Other Activities provides a concise description of such a club.  “Other alehouses which he wanted suppressed included the Sun in Sclater Street, where boys and girls at a ‘cock and hen club . . . get drunk and debauch each other’.”

You’ll find a recipe for Lamb’s wool (cider) here.

Re Pathagorean Princess – I think the derivation is Pythagorean.  Over to any historians of mathematics to explain the spinning reference please.


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