Rope-dancers

Jacob Hall, in the reign of Charles II., greatly admired by the Duchess of Cleveland. Richer, the celebrated rope-dancer at Sadler's Wells (1658).

Signora Violante, in the reign of Queen Anne.

The Turk who astonished everyone who saw him, in the reign of George II. Froissart (vol. iv. chap. xxxviii. fol. 47) tells us of “a mayster from Ceane.” who either slid or walked down a rope suspended to the highest house on St. Michael's bridge and the tower of Our Lady's church, when Isabel of Bavaria made her public entry into Paris. Some say he descended dancing, placed a crown on Isabel's head, and then reascended.

A similar performance was exhibited in London, February 19th, 1546, before Edward VI. The rope was slung from the battlements of St. Paul's steeple. The performer of this feat was a man from Aragon.

The same trick was repeated when Felipe of Spain came to marry Queen Mary. (See Holinshed: Chronicle, iii. p. 1121.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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