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Prime bang up at Hackney. Coloured engraving. Scenes of wild enthusiasm at the Mermaid Tavern on Monday 12 August 1811 when 3000 spectators reportedly gathered to cheer James Sadler's balloon ascent from the grounds to mark the Regent's birthday. Sadler was an ingenious inventor and became the first English aeronaut after his balloon ascent from Oxford on 4 October 1784. In the background is the square tower of Hackney church. The balloon, carrying Lt. Paget RN as a (100 guinea) paying passenger, came down 73 minutes later near Tilbury Fort.
© Museum of London