Friday, September 24, 2010

Hare Townsend, ladies' man of the early 19th C

Friday, September 24, 2010
Loretta reports:

From The Rambler's magazine: or, Fashionable emporium of polite literature, Volume 2, 1823

ANECDOTES OF HARE T—N—D—MR.HARE T—N—D the M.P. is celebrated for his gallantry, and there are many anecdotes related of his amours, which shew him to be a very singular lover, and always a liberal one.

At a meeting of governors, to consider the funds of the Liverpool Lying-in Hospital, Mr. Hare sent a donation of £50; upon which, a governor remarked : " This is very liberal, for, if I mistake not, Mr. Hare is an annual subscriber." That I do not know, said the attendant accoucheur,* but I am certain he is an annual supplyer, and furnishes us with more practice than all the room besides.

A cockney who had long wished for a family, and had a wife more inclined to breed mischief than any thing else, removed her into Lancashire, not many miles from W—l—n, the seat of Mr. Hare T—n—d. There, to his great joy, she conceived and brought forth twins. The Reverend and witty Jack Pigot was in company with the citizen, when a friend remarked how extraordinary it was that the lady should bear children when she had been ten years married, without ever giving signs if such a happy event before. I think, said the husband, it is all owing to this country air.—No doubt, replied Jack Pigot, we are blessed with a fine Hare in this country that makes every woman breed like a rabbit. ——

Meeting once a little ragged urchin begging, he stopt to relieve him, and remarked: You are a fine boy, where is your mother — In the workhouse, please your worship. And who was your father, my little fellow !—I never had a father, said the child. Ah! muttered T—n—d as he walked away: 'Tis the first time I ever knew a child to be fatherless, and me in the parish.

A man and a woman were brought before him and some other magistrates. The woman was very great with child, and the bench suggested the man's commitment to gaol. Let me question them first, said Mr. Hare T—n—d. A pretty pair you are, said he, to get children without being married, how comes this ? Please your worship, replied the trembling sinners: We could'nt help it. Ah! observed he, and it were a sin to punish people for what they can't help; and as for once I did not help to get this child, I'll help you to get through the world with it. I have a fellow-feeling for you, as God knows I myself am often condemned for what I could not help.

*obstetrician

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm thinking this Mr. Hare is more Mr. Man-Whore. Not every gentleman in Jane Austen's England was a Gentleman, that's for sure.

LaDonna said...

Can't tell if this is a real "gentleman" or not (Loretta you keep me guessing!) but he's so outrageous that it's quite funny. I'd bet all the ladies in his county must have run for cover whenever he showed up!

LorettaChase said...

The fact that they didn't spell out his full name (this was customary, to avoid libel suits)tells me he's real, but I have not been able to track him down online, at least in the obvious places.

Susan Holloway Scott said...

I wonder if the M.P. is real, or just a stand-in for every other randy English country gentleman? It's the "Hare" given name (or nickname) that makes me wonder, since hares were considered notoriously, um, eager to reproduce. Though as Loretta says, the dashes in his name to avoid libel make him sound genuine - unless they're part of the joke? Historical mysteries!

Cecilia Grant said...

Oh dear, that cartoon. You know, when I picture Rowlandson, Cruikshank, et al, all I can see is Beavis and Butt-head in Regency dress.

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