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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 1

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0012-0010

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-11-11

Tuesday Novr. 11th.

This day the Parliament met for the first Time; the Prince of Wales1 took his seat in the House of Peers, as duke of Cornwall, the King also made his most gracious speech from the Throne: All the Peers were in their Robes which are scarlet and white; the Kings, and the Prince of Wales's were of purple velvet.
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1. George Augustus Frederick (1762–1830), Prince Regent, 1811–1820, and afterward King George IV.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0012-0011

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-11-12

Wednesday Novr. 12th. 1783.

Went to the Drury Lane Theatre; the pieces represented were, the West Indian and Fortunatus.1
1. The West Indian, London, 1771, by Richard Cumberland; Fortunatus, an unpublished pantomime, by Henry Woodward, originally produced in 1753 (Biographia Dramatica).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0012-0012

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-11-13

Thursday Novr. 13th.

Dined at Mr. J. Johnson.1 In the evening we went to see the Transactions of the Royal Society; but unluckily we happened to come on a very barren Night: nothing was read, except a dry, unphilosophical account of the late Earthquake in Calabria:2 after which we went and supp'd with the Club at the London Coffee House.3
1. Joshua Johnson (1742–1802), Maryland merchant, who undertook various commissions for the congress and his native state during and after the Revolution, and eventually served as U.S. consul in London, 1790–1797. He was the father of Louisa Catherine, JQA's future wife, who was eight years old at this time. On JQA's first trip to Europe he had met Johnson in Nantes, where the Johnsons were then living (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:300).
2. “Account of the Earthquake in Calabria, March 28, 1783, In a Letter from Count Francesco Ippolito to Sir W[illiam] Hamilton. From the Italian,” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London . . ., abridged edn., ed. Charles Hutton and others, 15 (1809):373, 383–386.
3. Styled by Franklin, “the Club of Honest Whigs,” it met fortnightly on Thursdays at the London Coffeehouse, Ludgate Hill. Its members were primarily dissenting clergymen and men of scientific interests, and it was frequented by visiting Americans (Verner W. Crane, “The Club of Honest Whigs: Friends of Science and Liberty,” WMQ, 3d ser., 23:210–233 [April 1966]).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0012-0013

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-11-14

Friday Novr. 14th.

Dined with Mr. Grierson. In the evening; we went to see Hughes's Royal Circus, or exercises of equitation, which are not equal to those performed by Astley at Paris which I saw some time agone.1
1. Both Charles Hughes and Philip Astley were English equestrian performers who set up rival shows (Raymond Toole-Scott, Circus and Allied Arts: A World Bibliography, 1500–1970, 4 vols., Derby, England, 1958–1971, 4:95; DNB).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0012-0014

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-11-15

Saturday Novr. 15th.

Dined at Mr. West's. In the evening I went to the Covent Garden Theatre, and saw Douglas, and the Poor Soldier:1 Mrs. { 204 } Crawford2 appeared in the Character of Lady Randolph in Douglas.
1. Douglas, London, 1757, by John Home; The Poor Soldier, a comic opera by John O'Keeffe, first produced on 4 Nov. (Biographia Dramatica; Hogan, ed., London Stage, 1660–1800).
2. That is, Mrs. Ann Spranger Barry, née Street, whose Lady Randolph in Douglas was regarded as one of her two greatest characterizations. At this time she was known by her stage name, Mrs. Crawford (DNB).
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2018.