Sarah Lane
The “Queen” of Hoxton
ca.1822 – 1899

So, who was the real Queen of Hoxton, really? Discover the history of Sarah Lane, the “Queen” of Hoxton, circa 1822 – 1899.

Oh, hey there, gurl, were you looking for the Queen? You just missed her. In fact, you’re about 100 years too late. But not to worry, because tonight we dim the lights, howl at the sound system and party until we shake the rafters and raise the dead. Tonight, we conjure up some sticky, sweaty unholy happenings. Tonight is the invocation of East London’s sassiest spirit, the ghost of Sarah Lane, otherwise known as the Queen of Hoxton.

Sarah Lane was the manager of The Britannia Theatre in Hoxton from 1845 until her death in 1899.

She was a Jill of all Trades: performing, singing, and writing her own plays and showing sister solidarity by presenting plays of at least six female writers. Once every year, she threw an annual benefit night – a giant street party and festival – for the local underprivileged. Imagine, if you will: on this night, around six o’clock, The Britannia Theatre would open its doors to reveal colourful acrobatics, songs, and dances. Ushers staggered around the crowd carrying a mouth-watering selection of sandwiches, fried fish and hot saveloys, while others carried a wide belt around their waist, divided into compartments for porter and ale with actual taps for pouring. Who doesn’t love a good drink and dance with friends?

When the curtain finally went up, there was our gal, Sarah Lane, crowned affectionately by locals as “The Queen of Hoxton”, surrounded by her troupe of local indigent performers. She presented each of them with a gift, and the audience threw bouquets of meats, boots, and clothing (yup – basically, anything they needed). The audience then dispersed around midnight, tired but happy.

Legend has it that when Sarah Lane died, more than five thousand locals lined the streets of Hoxton to watch her coffin procession. But, some say her Queen of Hoxton spirit still haunts these streets.

So, grab your highest heels, biggest wigs, sparkliest eco-friendly-recyclable-vegan-generally-good glitter and raise a drink or seven to Sarah Lane, serving badass Queen of Hoxton realness since 1845.