March appears to be a somber month in the social calendar. It is generally Lent, after all. Frivolity does not become a young lady or gentleman during Lent. And of course the Season does not start in earnest until after Easter. So if you were about town and inclined to take some enjoyment from the coming spring, what were you to do?
March begins a series of anniversary dinners. These were ticketed events celebrating the inauguration of some charitable or benevolent institution. The dinner was often held the Sunday before the anniversary, or on the anniversary itself. The morning papers would announce the day, location, price, from whom tickets might be purchased, and which eminent preacher would be giving the address before the dinner, which was generally held at one of the taverns with large receiving rooms.
In March and early April, you have your choice of anniversaries for the Welch Charity (for schools in Wales), the Marine Society (recruiting of sailors and training young poor lads of good character for careers at sea), the Benevolent Society of St. Patrick (providing charitable relief to the poor and distressed Irish living in London), the Asylum for Female Orphans, the Society for the Refuge of the Destitute, the Freemasons’ Charity for Educating Female Children, and the Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb.
Dinner not to your taste? Perhaps you’d prefer a rousing military spectacle! Beginning in March, every morning at 10 there is drilling on the Horse Guards Parade as well as a concert of military music. Those stirring trumpet calls, that shiny brass, those handsome officers! Well, I guess you know where to find me. Shall we march?