Cache-Control: public, max-age=1024000 About Boyle's Court and Country Guide

About Boyle's Court Guide

Patrick Boyle first published his The fashionable court guide, or the town visit directory in 1792 and it was issued annually, with variants, until 1925.

Eliza Boyle succeeded to the editorship following the death of Patrick Boyle in 1808.

It sold for the solid price of 5 shillings which, given there were more than 8,000 entries all of whom needed a copy, would have been a nice little earner.

As well as providing Gentry with contact details for each other, it also, as Boyle advertises, provided an essential guide for the menials who do delivery work.

All information on this site comes from Eliza Boyle's 1817 edition.

Keeping it up-to-date

Boyle relied on her customers to tell her when things changed, or needed correcting. It was in everyone's interest to have an accurate Guide.


E. BOYLE most respectfully solicits from the NOBILITY and GENTRY,who are pleased to patronize the Court Guide (the utility of which is so universally acknowledged) communication respecting change of residence,names mis-spelt, or country-seats. No effort is neglected on her part to avoid error; but, in a work,in every edition of which from THREE to FOUR THOUSAND alterations are made,itis impossible to be absolutely free from mistakes. Many Servants are unable to give the necessary information to the people employed in collecting cor- rections,and who make enquiry at every house. E. B. therefore, most earnestly requests the favour of a line from any Lady or Gentleman whose name may not be properly inserted.

On change of residence to a house already in the Court Guide, it will be necessary to state whether the occupier, whose name is printed in the work,is to remain or not.


Watch out for Rogues!

Plus ça change...


E. B. cautions the NOBILITY and GENTRY against Impostors, who, under the pretence, that they are employed by her, make a demand of money , for alterations or insertions in the COURT GUIDE. The men employed by E B. are forbidden, under pain of prosecution, to makeany such demand.


Delivery Service

In addition to producing the Guide, Boyle also ran a service to deliver visiting cards and invitations for his clients. For the modest amount of 2 guineas for the season, she would take away a lot of tedious trudging around.

  Office for the delivery of Cards,
For a Lady orGentleman, head ofa Family, and all unmarried daughters, residing in One House, for delivering Visiting Cards, Cards of Invitation, Thanks, &c .for One Season, from the date of the Receipt, which will expire at August next 2 2 0
To Non-Subscribers, for once delivering Cards of Thanks, Visits, Routs, Masks, Balls, Concerts, &c. under 300, the whole to be sent to the Office at once, directed and ready for delivery 1 1 0
And if above 300 1 11 0
For arranging & writing a Visiting Book in Alphabetical order,not above 300 names 1 11 0
Exceeding that number 2 2 0
  If the Cards are sent by the Subscribers, with their own Visiting Books, or List of Visits, and the name intended for Invitation or Thanks marked in the margin of the book, or list of names that cards are to be directed for, a small extra charge will be made for such writing and directing for a clerk's time, who will be kept on purpose : but to prevent any mistake on her part, such Lists if for Visiting, or such Cards, if for Invitation, when written or directed, to be sent to the Subscribers for their approval before the delivery.