Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee Service, Westminster Abbey, 21 June 1887 by William Ewart Lockhart

From a report taken from the ‘Bath Herald & North Wilts Guardian dated June 25th 1887.

On Sunday 13th June, a jubilee sermon was preached by the Rev. F.J. Steward at the Baptist Chapel. Referring to Victoria’s reign, he said there was much in her conduct to rouse the gratitude of her subjects.; her purity of life, the purity of her Court – not without blemish, but yet, with such temptations, such sorrows, and such a position, it was wonderful so little could be said against her. He dwelt upon her sympathy with others’ grief, manifested in so many ways, her true womanly heart, and best of all the signs of true piety in her character. They must remember the individual share in this national morality, and that each citizen was personally responsible for the well being of his country, particularly at the present time, when the extension of the franchise gave to the people a voice in all matters affecting the nation.


Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee Service, Westminster Abbey, 21 June 1887 by William Ewart Lockhart

Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee Service, Westminster Abbey, 21 June 1887 by William Ewart Lockhart (Wikipedia)

On Monday the youthful population of Corsham had a very enjoyable day at the Court at the kind invitation of Lord Methuen. The place of meeting was in Mr. Dinham’s field, near Bences Lane, where they mustered 900 strong. Before starting the procession, the National Jubilee Hymn was sung and every child was presented with a medal.

Then, headed by the Chippenham Brass Band, the procession made its way through the town and down the Avenue, presenting an imposing sight, and reaching nearly the whole length of the High Street. The following schools were represented, each having its banner carried at the head :- the parish church schools, including Pickwick and Chapel Knapp, the Baptist Sunday schools, the Independents, the Wesleyans, Mrs. Milne’s Ladies College and also the pupils of Mr. F.W. Joyner (Corsham School). On reaching the front of the Court, the procession divided, boys going one side and girls the other, and Lord Methuen accompanied by Lady Methuen, Colonel and Mrs. Cotton, Canon Awdry, and the Rev. R. Mayo appeared on the steps and briefly addressed them. The Rev. G. Linton (Vicar) thanked his lordship for his kindness, cheers for the Queen and Lord and Lady Methuen were given. Various amusements were provided, and tea was laid in the Riding School. Lord Methuen entertained the teachers in a tent after the children had been attended to. Hearty cheers were given for the Queen and Lord and Lady Methuen as the children were leaving.


The town presented a very gay appearance on Tuesday morning, flags and banners being displayed from nearly every house. Shortly after 11am a procession, composed of members of the Hearts of Oak, Patriots, Oddfellows and Wilts Friendly Societies, carrying their respective banners, and the members of the Corsham ‘Gleaner’ Lodge of Good Templars, headed by the Stratton St Margaret Brass Band, marched through the town to the parish church, where a special thanksgiving service was held, the members of the Choral society and Chapel Knapp Choir assisting the church choir in the singing. The Te Deum, which was sung on the occasion of the Choral Festival, was again given the National Anthem, Psalm xx, and hymns, ‘All people that on earth do dwell’, and ‘O God our help in ages past’, were sung, Canon Awdry assisting the vicar in the service. A short address was given by the vicar ( Rev. G Linton).

After the service a procession was formed at the Town Hall, and proceeded to the cricket field, where the dinner was laid in a large marquee (220ft long and 40 wide).

There were 72 joints of meat, 42 of beef, 5 hams, 8 veal, 8 quarters of lamb, 9 mutton, everything in all 1,319 lbs.; 123 plum puddings were provided weighing 500lbs.

The following gentlemen acted on the ‘dinner committee’:- Messrs. Cannon, T. White, W.H. Bezant, S. Aust, R. Balch, J. Ayliffe, and Dr. Crisp, while the Rev. G. Linton and Messrs. C.T. Mayo & W.H. Bromley were useful members of the ‘general committee’.

Mr. Bezant supplied the meat, Messrs. Dinham and Flint the puddings, and Lord Methuen kindly gave a variety of salads. Beer etc was sent by Messrs. Kingsford (Lacock), Stevens (Pickwick), Little and Dawkins (Slaughterford), Cannon (Shaw) and Wadsworth (Devizes). Messrs. W.H. Bromley and Wakely superintended the fitting up and covering of the tables respectively, the sum of £175 was collected, including that subscribed to the children’s tea. Nearly 1,400 partook of dinner, at which Mr. D.H. Clutterbuck presided, and in appropriate terms proposed the toast of the day, the health of the Queen, which was responded to with cheers and the National Anthem was sung.

In the afternoon the following sports took place:
240 YARDS FLAT RACE (BOYS UNDER 15) – Hall 1, Joles 2, Emery 3.

120 YARDS (GIRLS UNDER 12) – S. Emery 1, C. Merrett 2, F. Gardner 3.

240 YARDS THREE LEGGED RACE (BOYS UNDER 16) – Hayward & Handley 1, Hemming & Lyne 2, Emery & Emery 3.

LONG JUMP – There were 10 entries for this event Messrs. E. & C. Spackman led off well and Mr. Bryant ran them close. Mr. Fletcher made the best jump, but took no prize, and Bryant in the final trial beat C. Spackman by 1⁄2 inch.

QUARTER MILE FLAT RACE (Men) – Bryant 1, Jones 2.

SACK RACE – E. Wootten 1., G. Lodge 2. A. Lyne 3.

ONE MILE BICYCLE RACE – Six entered for this race but at the very moment of commencement Messrs. Frankham, Carter & Dobson had a spill owing to the confined space, while Milsom, Hall & King had a good start. F. Carter picked up well however and very nearly secured second prize, H. King coming in a little before him. Milsom took the lead all the way.

TWO MILES BICYCLE RACE—The same competitors entered as for the last and a fairer start was made. At the 14th and last lap Carter shot ahead of Frankham, who rode well, and secured second prize. Milsom again took first. H. Hall was thrown from his machine on the last round through some foolish person getting on the course, but received no serious injury.

120 YARDS RACE (BOYS UNDER 12) – G. Ryall 1, F. Barton 2, F. Minett 3.

DISAPPOINTMENT WHEELBARROW RACE – G. Robbins 1, H. Hemmings 2, F. Mallard 3.

80 YARDS (GIRLS UNDER 8) – E. Harris 1, A. Hemmings 2 , A. Bowden 3.

HIGH JUMP – This was an interesting event, as W. Bryant and C. Spackman were well matched. C. Spackman eventually won.

TUG OF WAR—After some hard pulling Mr. J. Balls team secured first place, Mr. G. Emery’s team second. HALF MILE FLAT RACE – H. Sheppard 1, H. Hall 2.
DONKEY RACE – A. Archer 1, H. Smith 2.

Mrs. Clutterbuck gave away the prizes on the bandstand, and cheers were given for her at the close. Dancing to the strains of the band, and other amusements brought a very pleasant day to termination. The following gentlemen deserve mention for their efforts in connection with the sports:- Mr. John Brown, starter; Messrs. J. Crosse and Kinnier, judges; Mr. C. Osborne, referee; Mr. Lewin Spackman (clerk of the course).

The coming together of a town in celebration.

Pat Whalley 

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