John Wesley’s 1774 “Satirical Playbill Against Theatrical Amusements”

For Sale: $24.95: “A Satirical Playbill Against Theatrical Amusements”

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This is my reproduction of the 1774 Playbill that was printed in London by E. Palmer & Son, which now resides in the British Museum. This broadside was designed to be pasted up beside the various theatre playbills in popular theater districts all through the 18th century. Their intent was to “divert the minds of the dissipated and gay from the vain Amusements of the Theatre, and instead, to fix their attention to the awful Circumstances which shall usher in and succeed THE GREAT AND TERRIBLE DAY OF THE LORD.” The first time that this playbill was used was 4 June 1774 in Richmond (up the Thames from London). It was created by Rev. John Wesley and the printers, E. Palmer & Son, London, England. Similar playbills were printed and used in England and the United States for at least three decades (1774 – 1800). Records indicate that other editions were printed in 1774 in Baltimore, in Windsor, Vermont in 1789 and in New York in 1798. We own an original that was printed in New York City in 1800.

Historic documents such as these broadsides allow us a glimpse into the morality and social conventions of the era which we try to recreate. These playbills will be great conversation starters displayed at your next event. Be sure to hang them up around the entertainment area at all of your 18th century events.

This broadside measures about 11 inches by 17″ inches tall.  You playbill will be folded up and enclosed in an envelope, unless you pay more to have it shipped in a tube.

To purchase visit my Etsy page at the following link:

Purchase here