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A poster for Astley's Royal Amphitheatre; 1840

J.W. Peel

A poster for Astley's Royal Amphitheatre; 1840
4 0 c m
actual image size: 16cm x 32cm

Full image caption

A poster for Astley's advertising amongst other attractions, a balloon ascent with a 'living leopard' by the famous animal trainer 'Carter the Lion King'. 'The Times' of 11 October 1839 described Mr Carter as "a perfect autocrat, and the lions and tigers no better than slaves of his will and pleasure".
Astley's Royal Amphitheatre in Westminster Bridge Road was renowned for its spectacular reconstructions of great battles involving hundreds of actors and scores of trained horses. Philip Astley (1742-1814) opened his first theatre on the site in 1770. His shows contained a mix of trick horse-riding displays, clowns, musicians and acrobats and he is credited with creating the modern circus. Jane Austen referred to Astley's in her 1815 novel 'Emma'. The final theatre building on the site was demolished in 1893.

Image Details

1840 AD - 1840 AD
Image Number

© Museum of London

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