In the ladies’ gallery

There was an obvious hierarchy in the ladies’ gallery throughout the 1800s.

Silver Pen (pen name of Mrs Corlett), Parliamentary Skits and Sketches, 1872. Read by Paul Riley


Up in the ladies gallery

‘Tis curious quite to see

The difference shown by ladies

To ladies of different degree,

If you want a lesson in manners

And have half-an-hour to spare,

Go up to the ladies gallery,

There are patterns of all sorts there.


They sit in a row, pretty creatures,

From la dame to the raw girl down,

From the plain looped-up black lustre,

to the sable trimmed velvet gown,

When you enter they eye you coldly,

With a fixed supercilious stare,

You will scarcely believe it, but really

The best of manners grow there.