How did Wenman Wynniatt get to London, anyway?
Why, he arrived with the 83rd Regiment of Foot, of course! They came to town on May 30th, 1841.
With little entertainment, many Londoners were stoked to learn the British garrison and the touring regiments were going to lay roots nearby, arriving to pour cash into the shops and ale into their bellies.
A lack of military action, after the initial rebellion in 1838, motivated British military gents to figure out ways to pass the time in an attempt to remain civilized in the face of total boredom. Attending balls, plays, concerts & horse races were just a few ways the redcoats & early London well-to-dos unwound when they weren’t fixing their wagons or marching around in circles at the barracks.
As for London ladies, nineteenth-century chicks thought those red jackets looked pretty snug in all the right places… even Sarah Harris, who initially rolled her eyes at the prospect of catching “scarlet fever” thought differently after a summer or two of shiny buttons and shouts of “tally-ho”.
Photos in video courtesy of Archives Canada and
the University of Western Ontario Archives.