« ElőzőTovább »
indeed, is constantly reserved for the future regalement of the Master Wardens, and Court of Assistants, and not suffered to be shared by the common crew of Liverymen.
"As the ceremonies of swearing in the Lord Mayor at Westminster-Hall are so well known, and repeated annually, I did not stay to see them, but landed as soon as I could, in my return back, at the Temple-stairs. Here I found that some of the City Companies had disembarked from among their barges before me. All along Temple-lane, leading from the stairs, I saw them drawn up in order, between a row of the Trainbands on each side, who kept excellent discipline; the Templegate at the top of the lane, opening into Fleet Street, being kept shut, and barricaded from assailants; and only some small parties of the unorderly, undisciplined mob, on the forlorn hope, just reconnoitering them through the defiles of the by-courts and passages, and retreating as fast as they could, in order to make a stand in the high roads, through which these regulars were afterwards to force a passage. The barges belonging to some of the other Companies, had the prudence, as there was no danger of short allowance, not to land their men, who regaled themselves comfortably on board, while the others were cooling their heels in the lane some hours, waiting till the Royal Procession had passed by. The Lord Mayor, indeed, and his attendants, were invited by the Master and Benchers of the Temple to come on shore, and were refreshed in the Temple-Hall.
"I made my way, as well as I could, through the crowd, to the Queen's Arms Tavern, the corner of St. Paul's Church-yard, kept by honest Bates, so remarkable for his good wines and good treatment in every other respect. Here a party of us had secured a room which commanded a complete view of both the Royal and City Processions. Mrs. Hemings was at Messrs. Carr
and Ibbertson's, upon Ludgate-hill, who, as well as their neighbours, Palmers and Fleetwood, had not only filled every window in their houses, but built a large scaffolding before their doors, for the accommodation of their friends. Every house, indeed, from Temple-bar to Guildhall, was crowded from top to bottom, and many had scaffoldings besides. Carpets and rich hangings were hung out on the fronts all the way along. And for the honour of the city I must observe, that contrary to what was practised at the Coronation, instead of letting out places to hire, and making money of provisions at advanced prices, the inhabitants (some few excepted) generously accommodated their friends and customers gratis, and entertained them in a most elegant manner: so that, though the Citizens' shops were shut, they might be said to have kept open house. The same was also done in all the streets from St. James's through which the Royal Cavalcade was to pass.
"This set out from the Palace about 12 o'clock; but (would you believe it?) by the mismanagement of those who should have taken care to clear the way of hackneycoaches and other obstructions, such long and frequent stops were made, that it was near four hours before the Royal Family got to friend Barclay's house, opposite to Bow-church, from whence they were to see the City Procession, in a balcony hung with crimson silk damask; by which delay my Lord Mayor was enabled to return the compliment to his Majesty, who was just as much in the dark, at the coming back of the Procession at the Coronation. As the Royal Family passed by our window, I counted between twenty and thirty coaches, belonging to them and their attendants, besides those of the Foreign Ambassadors, Officers of State, and the principal Nobility.
"The Royal Family proceeded in the following order: :
"His Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland, in his coach drawn by six horses, preceded and followed by Guards.
"Her Royal Highness the Princess Amelia, in the
"His Royal Highness the Duke of York, in a new state-coach, in the same manner. His Royal Highness's coach was the most elegant of all, and instead of coronets at the corners, had a most superb gilt ducal coronet in the centre of the top.
"Their Royal Highnesses Prince William, Prince Henry, and Prince Frederick, in one coach, and in the
"Their Royal Highnesses the Princess Dowager of Wales, the Princess Augusta, and the Princess Caroline, in one coach, preceded by twelve footmen in black caps, and with guards, and a grand retinue.
"Their Majesties in their state-coaches, preceded by the Earl of Harcourt in his chariot, and the Dukes of Rutland and Devonshire in another chariot, the grenadier-guards and the yeomen of the guards, and followed by a corps of the horse-guards.
"A scaffold was erected at the east end of St. Paul's Church-yard, for the children of ChristchurchHospital, being a Royal foundation, to pay their respects to their Majesties. As soon, therefore, as their Majesty's coach came opposite, it made a stop, and the senior scholar of the Grammar-School in the Hospital, stepping up to the side of it, most humbly addressed the King in the following manner:—
Most August and Gracious Sovereign,
From the condescension and goodness which your Majesty displays towards even the meanest of your subjects, we are emboldened to hope you will accept the tribute of obedience and duty which we poor orphans are permitted to present you.
Educated and supported by the munificence of a charity,
founded, enlarged, and protected by your Royal predecessors, with the warmest gratitude we acknowledge our inexpressible obligations to its bounty, and the distinguished happiness we have hitherto enjoyed under the constant patronage of former Princes. May this ever be our boast and our glory; Nor can we think we shall prefer our prayers in vain, whilst with earnest but humble supplications, we implore the patronage and protection of your Majesty.
To our ardent petition for your princely favours, may we presume, dread Sovereign, to add our most respectful congratulations on your auspicious marriage with your Royal Consort. Strangers to the disquietude which often dwells within the circle of a crown, long may your Majesties experience the heartfelt satisfaction of domestic life, in the uninterrupted possession of every endearment of the most tender union, every blessing of conjugal affection, every comfort of parental felicity. And may a race of Princes, your illustrious issue and descendants, formed by the example, and inheriting the virtues, of their great and good progenitors, continue to sway the British Sceptre to the latest posterity.
"As soon as he had finished, the boys, in a grand chorus, chaunted, God save the King, Amen. After which, the senior scholar delivered two copies of the speech to the King and Queen, who received them most graciously.
"But what was most remarkable were, the prodigious acclamations and tokens of affection shown by the populace to Mr. Pitt, who came in his chariot, accompanied by Earl Temple. At every stop, the mob clung about every part of the vehicle, hung upon the wheels, hugged his footmen, and even kissed his horses. There was an universal huzza; and the gentlemen at the windows, and in the balconies, waved their hats, and the ladies their handkerchiefs. The same, I am informed, was done all the way he passed along.
"I need not trouble you with an account of the City Procession (which was now left at liberty to show itself), as it differed very little from that which you and I saw together, and has been seen for many years the
"The Lord Mayor's state-coach was drawn by six
beautiful iron-gray horses, richly caparisoned, and adorned with ribands, and all the Companies made a very grand appearance. But the Armourers and Braziers, the Skinners, and the Fishmongers' Companies, were the only Companies that had something like the pageants exhibited of old on the occasion. The first was marked by an archer riding erect in his car, having his bow in his left hand, and his quiver and arrows hanging behind his left shoulder, and a man in complete armour. The Skinners were distinguished by seven of their Company being dressed in fur, having their skins painted in the form of Indian Princes. The Fishmongers' pageants consisted of a statue of St. Peter, finely gilt, a dolphin, two mermaids, and two sea-horses, which had a very pleasing effect.
“The Procession having passed me, I posted away along the back lanes, to avoid the crowd, and got to Guildhall some time before the Lord Mayor could reach thither. I had procured a ticket, through the interest of Mr. who was one of the Committee for managing the entertainment, and a Mazarine. You will wonder what this appellation can mean, and what new dignity our friend has arrived at. You must know it is a sort of nick-name given to the Common-councilmen, on account of their wearing mazarine blue silk gowns upon this occasion.* When I had got in, I soon found out my friend, who informed me of the following particulars: he told me, that the doors of the Hall were opened at nine o'clock, for the private admission of such Ladies into the galleries, who were favoured by
Sometime afterwards this dress was adopted instead of the black gowns which the members of the Common-Council formerly wore; and it was an allusion to the alteration, which was made in the Chorus to a political Song of 1766, (Vide Gentleman's Magazine, vol. xxxvi. p. 34), which was as follows:
O London is the Town of Towns! O how improv'd a City!
Since chang'd her Common- Council's gowns, from Black to Blue so pretty!