Regency Gentlemen Amusements

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Regency Gentlemen Amusements

The Regency Era, generally referring to the time period of 1800-1820,

was undeniably a time of pleasure seeking and over-indulgence. The

Regency era represented a time when the current ruler, mad King

George III, was incapable of performing his royal duties. Due to his

madness, the King’s son the Prince of Wales, a Regent and heir to the

throne, was appointed to govern. The Prince of Wales was designated

Regent in 1811 (Channel4). During this era people of the upper class

had a great deal of leisure time, and their major task seemed to be to

entertain themselves. Some of the more popular amusements of rich and

fashionable Regency gentlemen were boxing, cockfighting, and


During the reign of George I, fighting with swords became obsolete and

battles were settled with fists. Boxing began to improve and rise in

popularity in 1788 when the three eldest sons of George III began to

give their support to the sport (Georgian Index). Bare-knuckle boxing

was a favorite amongst the Regency gentlemen and was more than a

spectator sport, there was a large amount of betting, and many of the

gently born participated. In the mid-1700s, Jack Broughton completed

the first set of rules to be used at bouts in his club. Not counting

cock fighting, these rules were the first applied to sporting events

in modern history (GI).

Regency violence was personified by 'the Fancy', followers of the

bare-knuckle boxing championships. The fights captured the interest of

many, and were frequently viewed by crowds between 3,000 and 10,000

people (Channel4). The drawn-out fights of massive blood and even

bigger egos wer...

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... Bibliography

A Regency Buck. 2004. Channel 4. 18 Feb. 2005


Ewing, Jean. The Strangest Tongue. 1997. 18 Feb. 2005


Georgian Index. March 2003. Mimanet. 19 Feb. 2005


Micheletii, Ellen. Gambling in Historic England. 2005. 18 Feb. 2005


Pool, Daniel. What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew. New York:

Simon & Schuster, 1993.

Regency Lexicon. 23 Feb. 2001. Mimanet. 18 Feb. 2005


Stevens, Rosemary. The Regency Era. 19 Feb. 2005 < regency.html>.

Walvin, James. English Urban life 1776-1851. London: Hutchinson, 1984.
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