Today, we’re highlighting one of many events that have occurred over the years on 31 May.
On 31 May 1837, the Clown Laureate of the Regency era, Joseph ‘Joey’ Grimaldi, died.
Grimaldi was considered the best clown of the nineteenth century. His work was influential in the role and appearance of clowns — he expanded the clown’s role in pantomimes and the harlequinade. He worked on several famous stages, including Drury Lane, Sadler’s Wells, and Covent Garden. Over the years, he and his legacy have received mention in the newspapers:
In the 27 December 1930 issue of The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News, they ran an article titled ‘The Greatest of All Clowns: Recollections of Grimaldi’:
The Tatler printed several illustrations featuring Grimaldi in their ‘Pantomime in the Past’ piece on 6 December 1905: