George Frederic Handel in London

Posted by Hazel Baker, Director of London Guided Walks on Tuesday, July 20, 2021 Under: Music

George Frederic Handel in London

Handel came over to London in 1710, initially. There was the question of the succession looming over the country, and it was pretty clear by this stage that the kings of Hanover were going to be coming in. George, who was going to become George I, was Elector of Hanover at this time and Handel already worked with him. He came over to England on a bit of a sabbatical almost for working with George I, a bit of a cultural scout here for that incoming Royal family. 

He comes in 1710 and it's not meant to be a permanent stay, or at least we don't think it was meant to be a sort of permanent thing when he first comes over.

But I think London at the time was such a place of opportunity. It's the place where you go, if you want to make money in almost anything, and that's especially true if you want to make money in the arts, then you come to London because you're not having to rely on the patronage of one Monarch or court.

So these sorts of things, you can go make your fortune yourself. There is this much more open marketplace for these sorts of things. So yeah, he comes over and starts to yell. It starts to really do well and become part of British culture. In a big way. There's a huge appetite for continental art at the time.

So for music and art and opera and all these sorts of things, there's a huge upside. You have this sort of the beginnings of the grand tour, these middle upper class gentlemen going across the country and seeing all of the things that are contained within that grand tour and the ideas. So when they return home they have this idea that they're really sort of cultured. And a lot of that's tied up with an Italian opera and Handel's obviously really able to capitalize on that because that's his, that's his background. He's able to really draw on his previous experiences working in.

He makes a lot of connections, a lot of money and becomes part of British culture at the time. By the time George I came over in 1714, he's already happened, he had pretty much established himself. And also it's like, what you're saying, that a sort of cultural scout for the Hanoverians they've got some people are aware of them.

Probably because of Handel that they're more aware of the culture that they can bring and these sorts of things. So, yeah, it's a really interesting environment that he finds himself in. And there is some, obviously there is some anti German sentiment at the time as well, which he has to deal with.

There are some similarities there, I think, with Hendrix as well, the idea of being an outsider and different and that being some discrimination because of that. So yeah, a really unique sort of time to come to London. 

Hear more of what John Donegan from Hendrix and Handel House has to say about Handel in London in episode 63 of our London History podcast. Listen now:

In : Music 

Tags: handel  18thcentury  londonhistory 
comments powered by Disqus


"online bookings' cpd #earthrise 17th 1830s 18thcentury 1930s 20th 50th a abbey adele afternoon afternoon tea age ages alastair ancient and animals annie anniversary apps architecture arsenal art arts attack autumn awards baker bank bankside barbican barrier bathhouses battersea bazalgette bear beasts becket bells bexley bishopsgate black blackfriars blackout blitz bloomsbury bombers book books borough bowie breakfast brewery brick bridge britain british bronze bronze age brunch buckingham burger burlesque buses cab cabaret cake canal canary captain care carl carol caroline carols cathedral cemetery cenotaph century chapman charles charlton cheap cheapside cheese childhood chips chiswick chocolate christmas church city city of london clapham clerkenwell cocktails coffee coffeehouses common company concert corporate covent covent garden covid-19 cream crime cross crown cruise crystal danson david davy day december dental deptford dick dickens dinner dinosaurs do dock dockland museum dragons dreamtime druitt earth east eat eating eats ecommerce edward edwardians edwin egypt elizabethan end engineering era ernst event events exhibition exhibitions facebook fair fairytale fall family fantastic farringdon fashion february festival film finance fire first fiscus florence folklore food for francis free friars frost gallery galliard garden george georgian georgians german germany gibb gift girls globe grade great greenhithe greenwich group guided guides gun half hall halsk handel harle harry potter hats havering havering hoard hawksmoor hazel heroes hidden highbury hill hilton history holloway homes hooke hot hotel house housing how humphry i ian ianmcd ice ice cream icelandic ii iii in india inigo isaac islington italian iv jack jack the ripper jack's james jenny jewels john johns jones joseph katharines kelly kenneth kew gardens kids kidstours killer kim king kings kingston lambeth lane lewis lights limestone literature liverpool locations londinium london london bridge london's londoners londonhistory lunch lutyens macaulay magnus management maritime market markets martyr mary match matilda maufe mayfair mcdiarmid measure medical medieval memorial middle military millennium mock-tudor modern modernist montague month monument moorgate mosaic murder murderers museum museum of london docklands music musicals mystery n7 national gallery national history museum ned new newcomen news newton nhs nichols night nightingale nurse of old street oliver open opera paddington palace palaces pancakes pandemic panoramic park parties path pauls people philip photo photograhy photography photos pizza places plague plantation plays plumstead podcast poetry pokemon polly poor pop poplar port poverty prince priory private tours pub public pubs purbeck qe2 queen queenhithe quirky railways recording regency reid religion rembrandt renaissance restoration ripper river road rob robert roman romans roundhouse royal saga saints salute saxon school. science sculpture scupture seacole second serial servants sewers shakespeare shoreditch siemens sir slave slavery small smartphone smith smithfield smithfields soap soho somme south southbank southwark spitalfields spy squirrels ss st statue stories stow street strike stuart stuarts studios subscription suffragettes sugar summer susan sydenham tate taxi tea ten term terror thames thamesmeade the theatre thiepval things things to do thrifty thriftytheatre to toothbrush tour tours tower trade travel truman tudor tudors tumblety twelfth twentieth twist und underground update v&a ve victims victoria victorian victorian london victorians viking virtual vouchers wales walk walking walks wall war water werner west westend westminster wharf wheeler whitechapel wilde wildlife willelm william windrush wine winter women wood woodland woolwich world wyatt york zachary 1666 1888 2019 2020





Site by Hazel  |  Photographs by Hazel or Ian