|Top: The Ballroom, Assembly Rooms, Bath (2012)|
Bottom left: Top left: Assembly Rooms, Bath (2012)
Bottom right: Dancers from La Belle Assemblée (1820)
While researching my posts about the Bath Assembly Rooms, I found a list of subscription rates in a contemporary guide. (1) I discovered that a season’s entry to the 28 dress balls being held in the 1815 season cost 14 shillings per person, a gentleman’s annual subscription to the reading and card room cost a guinea and a lady’s subscription to the card assemblies cost five shillings. Tea on ball nights cost an additional sixpence.
A crown was worth five shillings; a half-crown, two shillings and sixpence.
What would it cost today?
The cost-of-living index
What was the real cost?
So how much did a Regency ball really cost?
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(1) From Feltham, John, Editor of the Picture of London, A Guide to all the Watering and Sea-bathing Places (1815).
(2) All calculations from MeasuringWorth.com.
(3) Salary details from Jeffrey G. Williamson, "The Structure of Pay in Britain, 1710-1911", Research in Economic History, 7 (1982), 1-54.
(4) Teacher salaries from Department of Education website.
Sources used include:
Feltham, John, Editor of the Picture of London, A Guide to all the Watering and Sea-bathing Places (1815)
Williamson, Jeffrey G, "The Structure of Pay in Britain, 1710-1911", Research in Economic History, 7 (1982)
MeasuringWorth website - for calculators of relative worth
The Old Bailey website - for details of coinage
Photographs © RegencyHistory