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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Regina

Queen Victoria’s Journal - Her visit to Bristol, 15th November 1899

Queen Victoria Knighting Herbert Ashman Esq. First Lord Mayor of Bristol at the Council House by Richard Caton Woodville Source: Pinterest

“Foggy early, but the sun came out later. — There was rather an alarming telegram from Sir R. Buller, asking for more ships. In the meantime troops keep arriving daily. — At 20 m past 11 drove down to the Gt Western Station with Beatrice & Arthur, meeting Lenchen at the station, & started for Bristol. Passed through fog & sunshine. Lunched in the train, & reached Bristol at 2. All the ladies came with us, as well Ld Hopetoun, the Lord in Waiting, the 2 Equerries (Sir J. McNeill & Col. Carington) & Sir J. Reid. There were a great many presentations at the station, including the Ld Lieut: of Gloucestershire, Ld Ducie, & the Ld & Ly Mayoress, who gave me a splendid bouquet. We at once entered the carriage & proceeded at footspace through the principal streets, which were very beautiful & richly decorated with flags, bunting & many loyal inscriptions. I had an escort of the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars. We stopped at the Mansion House, where my Royal Escort of Household Cavalry joined me. Here the Ld Mayor presented on Address in a handsome casket, which the Recorder read. I handed him my answer & expressed in a few words my gratification at the very loyal reception given, me & at revisiting this city, after so many years. The Ld Mayor then presented the principal members of the Corporation, after which I knighted him, the door after the carriage being opened, & he kneeling on the step, Arthur handing me the sword. Just before going on an old man of 86, of the name of Maby was brought up, who had been a soldier, & whose father, also a soldier, had sounded the Charge at Waterloo. He himself played in a Band, when I came with Mama to Bristol in 1830!, & he asked to be allowed to play again today, which he did! After this proceeded to new Convalescent Hospital, built to commemorate my Diamond Jubilee, passing close to the Harbour, where H.M.S. “Antelope” was moored.

The Queen’s visit to Bristol: the Lord Mayor knighted, 15 November 1899’ by Robert Taylor Pritchett, dated the same day © Royal Collection Trust / HM King Charles III

-Further on was a large stand holding 30,00 school children, who all sang “God save the Queen” which I stopped to listen to. Here were also assembled close to my status, the Crimean & Indian, Meeting Veterans. The Convalescent Hospital is At Clifton, a district of Bristol, & stands on a high piece of ground. In front of it were drawn up the Band of the 1rst Life Guards & a Guard of Honour of the Clifton College Cadet Corps. Stopped at a great covered stand, where the President of the Hospital, Mr Wills, read and Address, the Bishop of Bristol offered up some Prayers & the Jubilee Hymn was sung. I again handed my answer & said a few words, after which there were more presentations. We then drove to the entrance, on the other side, where I performed the Opening Ceremony, by pressing an electric button let in to a very handsome ornament, & amid a flourish of trumpets, the doors flew open. The ornament was offered to be as remembrance. Returned to the station through the poorer parts of the town, all the streets being lived by troops. Great crowds everywhere, & all most enthusiastic. Before leaving thanked the Ld Mayor once more & expressed my satisfaction that all had gone off so well. — Found in the train a telegram with had accounts of dear Marie Leiningen. – Got home at ¼ to 7. Arthur left me at the station & Lenchen drove with me to stay till tomorrow drove up with me to stay till tomorrow, as Beatrice went from Bristol to Cirencester to stay with the Bathursts, for a function she has at Cheltenham. — A ladies dinner.”

© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2012

© Bodleian Libraries © ProQuest

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