1683-84 Frost Fair

MASHBURN-Edward-Frost-FairA “Little Ice Age” occurred in Europe from about 1550 to 1850 and, as a result, the Thames River in London froze 23 times between 1408 and 1814. A frozen river provided an opportunity for a carnival or “Frost Fair.” The Frost Fair of 1683-84 was especially festive with bear-baiting, fox hunting, horse racing and puppet shows – all on the ice.

In the picture, one can see the Temple area in the center of the background, Whitefriars is on the right side. Since the 1685 marriage of Edward Mashborne, Sr. and Elizabeth Nash is recorded in St. Dunstan-in-the-West, the Mashbornes were probably residing in Whitefriars when the Frost Friar occurred. Although we have no proof, we would like to imagine a nine-year-old-Edward Mashborne at the Frost Fair.


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