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The Georgian Jubilee 1809

George III’s Golden Jubilee was a ‘spontaneous effusion of love’ according to one of its chroniclers. There was a national day of celebration on 25 October 1809. Yes, 1809 - the celebrations then were for the commencement of George III’s 50th year on the throne rather than it being 50 years since he had become King.

George III portrait initial

Portrait initial of George III from letters patent elavating
the Earl of Hillsborough to the mark of Marquess of Downshire, 1789.

Everywhere town and village folk feasted on roast ox, plum puddings and strong beer. Sermons were preached, God Save the King sung heartily and food and alms distributed to the poor.

In Reading they set free Danish prisoners of war; in Abingdon they threw cakes from the top of the Market House; in Easthampstead they had fireworks; at Hungerford there was a display of swordsmanship from the cavalry and in Wokingham muskets were fired in the Market Place.

The King and Queen were in Windsor where the Queen attended the ox-roasting in Bachelor’s Acre. A giant decorative arch had been constructed over the road by the Guildhall and the royal party passed underneath it as they went into the town.

Verses on the jubilee

Verses on the Jubilee. (D/EX225/Z4)


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