22nd June 1887 - Salisbury celebrates Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee - Day 1

Queen Victoria tinted On 22nd June 1887 Salisbury celebrated Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee - the 50th anniversary of her coming to the throne[1].

19th Century historian TJ Northey relates:

The Jubilee festival took place in Salisbury on the 22nd June, the day after the great ceremonies in London were carried out, but the ‘21st was by no means uneventful, so far as this city was concerned.

The latter, of course, looked picturesque and gay with the decorations of the streets, shops, and houses, whilst at night there were illuminations on what a chronicler of the time described as a “ fairly extensive scale.” A large bonfire was also erected on Harnham Hill, to which shortly after ten o’clock, after a few words had been spoken by the Mayor and Mr. Hulse, M.P., a torch was set and the pile blazed up, amid the cheers of the large crowd assembled.

Early on the Wednesday Jubilee morning many of the inhabitants were astir, and as the day grew older the streets became more and more filled with people in holiday attire, bent on the enjoyment which fell to their lot, and with which only the too potent rays of the brilliant Midsummer sun lent anything like inconvenience.

At nine o’clock merry music clanged forth from the belfries of the parish churches, and at the same hour a procession began to move forward.

The route to the Cathedral was as follows : The procession started from the West-end of the Blue Boar Bow, and proceeded via Castle-street, Chipper Lane, Endless Street, Bedwyn Street, to London Koad, along the top of the Green Croft, through Winchester Street, Queen Street, New Canal, part of High Street, Bridge Street, Fisherton Street, Dew’s Road, West Street, South Street, to Harcourt Terrace, Crane Bridge Road, Crane Street, into High Street, through High Street Close Gate to the West Front of the Cathedral.

On arriving at the Cathedral the members of the procession were conducted to seats set apart for their use.

The service was the “Special Form of Thanksgiving and Prayer to Almighty God, upon the completion of 50 years of Her Majesty’s reign;” the devotions commencing with the singing of the National Anthem by the choir and the immense congregation.

Among the clergy who took part in the service were the Lord Bishop of the Diocese, the Dean, the Sub-Dean of Salisbury, Archdeacon Lear, Chancellor Swayne, Rev. G. H. Fowler, Canon Hutchings, Rev. H. W. Carpenter and Rev. H. J. Morton.

The Mayoress (Miss Griffin) and Mrs. Wordsworth (wife of the Bishop) occupied seats in the front stalls.

The Bishop preached a powerful and impressively appropriate sermon from 17th chapter of Samuel, the 18th and 14th verses.

After the discourse the hymn, “All people that on earth do dwell” (to the tune of “ The Old Hundreth “) was sung, his lordship concluding the service with four short special prayers from the pulpit, whilst Mr. South played Handel’s Coronation Anthem as an out-voluntary.

Those constituting the procession having in an orderly and decorous fashion moved out of the Cathedral, re-formed outside the West-front entrance, and returned to the city by the following route : Through the Broad Walk and St. Ann’s Gate, to St. Ann’s Street, through Love Lane, Gigant Street, Milford Street, Catherine Street, New Street, High Street, Silver Street, Minster Street, to the Market Place, which was reached about 1.30 p.m.

Here dinner was served at long tables, placed in the open square.

Between 3,000 and 4,000 men sat down, and their wants were ministered to by a staff of no less than 400 carvers. Grace was said by the Dean, and then the great company “set to,” and the grand old Market Place echoed with the sound of cutlery, the chinking of glasses, and the merry chatter of the diners.

The Mayor and Corporation, with the member for the city (Mr. Hulse), the Bishop, the Dean, and several magistrates occupied a raised table near the Council Chamber. Dinner over, and grace said, the Mayor mounted the table and addressed to the assembled people a few remarks appropriate to the occasion. On the proposal of his worship the Queen’s health was drunk with much enthusiasm, and when the band afterwards struck up the air of the National Anthem, the strain was heartily sung by nearly 4,000 throats.

Next the Bishop proposed the health of the Mayor, and after referring to Mr. Griffin’s energy and public enterprise, concluded with these remarks:

“I will only say that though his mayoralty will pass away and I have already, in the short time I have been with you, seen two mayors retire yet he will leave behind him an enduring monument in the shape of the Recreation Ground. That, I believe, was wholly his idea from the first, and we at once saw it was a right thing. We shall, I hope, adjourn thither very soon, and see with our own eyes what it will be for Salisbury on days of holiday like this, which, I trust, may be many in the future. I believe it is a very great blessing to a town and neighbourhood that happy, wholesome, and innocent holidays of this kind should recur with some frequency, and if that is to be the case it will be through the help of the Recreation Ground, which we shall owe to the present Mayor.”

Needless to say the toast was drunk with every cordiality, and Mr. Griffin made a reply, in the course of which he showed signs of emotion, concluding his address in the subjoined language: “I hope my friends here and especially the young that you will always recollect this as a red-letter day in your lives. It is not very likely there will be many amongst us here who will, perhaps, live to see another jubilee day.

There are but a few amongst us at the present moment who can recollect a jubilee day ; but amongst those, I am happy and proud to say, my good old father who is here present recollects well the last jubilee, that of George III. May God grant that many of you young ones may live as long and as good a life as he has. And may I emulate such a man who has brought up a son, I hope, to be worthy of him, and I am sure to-day he is proud to see me here.”

A number of sturdy young fellows near then “ chaired ” the Mayor, and amid the ringing plaudits of the crowd bore him to the Council Chamber.

After dinner, the Mayor and Corporation, accompanied by the City Member, and followed by the bands and large numbers of citizens, proceeded to the Recreation Ground. Mr. Griffin ??? formally declared it open, his worship being thanked in the name of the citizens by Mr. Hulse ; and Mr. G. Fullford, who, from the very inception of the movement down to the present time has taken great interest in this public acquisition, also added some observations.

Rustic sports, witnessed by some 10,000 people, were carried out in the grounds by a Sports Committee, of which Mr. W. Leach was chairman, and Mr. J. E. Adams, hon. sec, while Mr. F. Carey acted as starter, and Mr. W. G. Knight as judge.

At five o’clock 3,560 women sat down to tea in the Market Place, their wants being ministered to by a number of ladies, who had the advantage as secretary of the services of Mrs. Brown, a lady who worked zealously and hard to secure the pleasure of all. Here, as at the dinner, the band played the “National Anthem,” which the women joined in singing.

In the evening there were illuminations, the principal being at the Council Chamber, the Mayor’s residence in Fisherton Street, and the White Hart Hotel. A torch light procession, with about 300 torch bearers, many of the processionists being in grotesque costumes, started from the yard of the “ Three Swans ” (now no longer a licensed house) in Winchester Street, and after a parade of the principal streets reached the Green Croft, where the day’s rejoicings were wound up with a grand pyrotechnic display.

Several thousands of persons were present, and the Rector of St. Edmund’s (Rev. W. J. Tait) kindly placed the rectory grounds at the disposal of ladies.

Among the “set pieces” was one in honour of the mayor, and, as a finale, a portrait of the Queen, during the exhibition of which the Volunteer Band played the National Anthem, in the singing of which the assembled people joined[2]

Tags: #northey

Image Credit

Alexander Bassano [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

On the Wikimedia page it says the following:

Description: English: False color image of Queen Victoria: black and white photograph taken near the time of her golden jubilee over-painted with inaccurate colors. Note that the dress should be black with white lace trimmings, not purple. The jewelry, which is of diamonds, has been painted gold by mistake. She is wearing the w:small diamond crown which is almost entirely diamonds: it contains very little gold. The orders on her left shoulder are also wrong: the most visible is the badge of the Order of Victoria and Albert, which has a white ribbon not a blue one, and should be surrounded by diamonds not gold. Date: 1887 (1882) Source: Postcard Photo


[1] The Popular History Of Old & New Sarum. T. J. Northy, Published by the Wiltshire County Mirror & Express Co. Ltd., 1897. Available digitally on the Internet Archive - URL: https://archive.org/stream/popularhistoryof00nort/popularhistoryof00nort_djvu.txt.

[2] The Popular History Of Old & New Sarum. T. J. Northy, Published by the Wiltshire County Mirror & Express Co. Ltd., 1897. Available digitally on the Internet Archive - URL: https://archive.org/stream/popularhistoryof00nort/popularhistoryof00nort_djvu.txt.