28th June 1837 - Salisbury celebrates Victoria becoming Queen

Winterhalter_-_Queen_Victoria_1843.jpgOn 28th June 1837 Salisbury celebrated the accession to the throne of Queen Victoria[1]. Her father, William IV, had died just over a week earlier, on the 20th June, so the festivities were presumably organized fairly quickly.

TJ Northey describes them:

The great event of 1837, was, of course, the accession of our good Queen Victoria to the Throne. The Town Clerk, on June ‘i-lth, read the proclamation at the Council House, in the middle of the Market Square, at the Poultry Cross, near the Sun Inn (Fisherton), in the Close, and at the top of St. Ann Street.

Her Majesty’s coronation was celebrated in Salisbury in a manner that testified both to the loyalty of the citizens, and their aptitude for keeping great holidays in a fashion that was adequate and pleasing.

It is needless to say that the decision come to at meetings previously held to make the 28th of June, 1838, one of fitting festivity was heartily endorsed by the inhabitants. The day was not allowed to grow very old before the spirit of gaiety was abroad in the ancient streets, and by ten o’clock the carrying out of the prearranged programme was begun.

At that hour there was a parade of 300 Sunday School children, and shortly afterwards the strains of martial music were heard, and the Salisbury troop of Yeomanry marched through the town en route to their training ground on the Race Plain. Sometime subsequently the Yeomanry returned and joined the Volunteers in a parade through the streets, through which also wended a procession of which our familiar friends the Giant and Hobnob were conspicuous figures.

Such an auspicious event could not, of course, pass off without the feasting so dear still to the heart of an Englishman worthy the name. Accordingly the Mayor and Corporation, with the magistrates, charitable trustees, and officers of Yeomanry and Volunteers, sat down at the Council Chamber to a sumptuous Banquet to which Mr. Sidney Herbert contributed a fine buck supplied by Clapperton of tlu ??; Three Swans.

The members of the volunteer corps dined at their head quarters; meals of a less formal kind were held at many of the inns, whilst there were also feasting and rejoicing in most of the homes in the old city.

Mr. J. Naish, of the White Horse Inn, in Castle Street, roasted a sheep whole outside his premises, and a similar event also took place in Fisherton Street.

The poor were not forgotten, and each necessitous family was visited and supplied with a certain sum of money to provide comforts which would help to make their hearts glad at a time when all should be merry.

Lastly the Earl of Radnor signalised the event by allowing double wages to the whole of the workmen on his estate.

During the day various amusements were provided in the Green Croft, where in the night a brilliant display of fireworks was given, which, with the illuminations of the city, fittingly brought the rejoicings to a close[2].

Footnotes

[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.

Image:Franz Xaver Winterhalter [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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