‘The Coffeehous Mob’ (c. 1710), frontispiece to Edward Ward, The Fourth Part of Vulgus Britannicus: or the British Hudibras, (35.5 x 26.2 cm), British Museum [BM] Department of Prints and Drawings, Catalogue of English Cartoons and Satirical Prints, 1320–1832, [BM Sat.] 1539


Coffeehouses were key centres of sociability in eighteenth-century Britain. They played an important role both as real spaces for social interaction and as virtual places in which normative ideals of urban and polite sociability were imagined.
The Exhibition Room

Royal Academy of Arts

The Royal Academy of Arts, founded in 1768, was an example of restricted professional and cultural sociability. The statutes limited the number of members and imposed rules of good behavior to ensure that politeness prevailed within the institution.
OPera House

West End of London

The West End of London generated new forms of networking and sociability. This entry argues that the West End was shaped by both patrician society and a vigorous and often obscene popular culture that was evident in the pubs and brothels of Covent Garden.

A to Z entries

Institutions: A to Z entries