Accession of Edward VII


EADT – 25th January 1901


The proclamation will be read by the Mayor from the Town Hall steps at noon to-day (Friday).
A special meeting of the Ipswich Town Council has been summoned by the Mayor for Tuesday next, at 11 a.m., the objects being-
(1) To approve of an address of condolence to be presented to His Majesty King Edward VII upon the demise of her late Majesty Queen Victoria;
(2) To approve of an address of congratulations to be presented to His Majesty on his accession to the



EADT – 26th January 1901

The accession of King Edward VII, was officially proclaimed at Ipswich on Friday by the Mayor (W.F. Paul, Esq.), before an assembly comprising thousands of his fellow-townspeople, and many visitors from other places in the neighborhood. Up to the last moment almost there was some doubt as to the manner in which this important function would be discharged. The instructions received from the Crown were appended in the following words to the formal notice – “which you are hereby directed and required to proclaim and publish at the accustomed place or places in your jurisdictions, with all the forms, ceremonies, and solemnities usual on the like occasion.” Seeing that there had been no “like occasion” for sixty years, however, the required precedent was somewhat hard to find.

The minutes of the Corporation doubtless contain full particulars upon this point, but it may be more interesting to turn for a moment to the newspaper accounts of what took place when the late lamented Queen came to the Throne. In the Suffolk Chronicle of June, 1837, it was announced that “Her Majesty was proclaimed at the Town Hall in due form, in the presence of the Mayor, Aldermen, Justices, and Town Council; and afterwards in front of the building, in the portico of the Corn Exchange, at the Post Office, Custom House, and New Market, amidst the cheers of the populace.” But the Chronicle of that day added, more in sorrow than in anger, this comment –

Owing perhaps to the peculiar situation in which our Corporation is placed, and likewise to the state of parochial chances, the bells gave forth no merry peals and no salutes were fired. Thus, whilst national events are passed by without suitable commemoration, the most paltry local party triumphs have occasioned the most outrageous and unseemly demonstrations of rejoicing.

– Party feeling ran high in those days, and it might be presumed, from these words, that the Chronicle was just then suffering from a severe attack of the “Blues”; but this will not form a sufficient explanation, for the Journal made a complaint in the same vein. The civic fathers, it was said, set no worthy official example; not only were there no peals upon the bells, but, saddest thing of all, “the good old custom of drinking the health of the Sovereign in the Corporation “flagon” was suffered to fail into desuetude.”

Under these circumstances, the Mayor and his advisors had practically no guide with regard to the arrangement of a programme suitable to a great historic occasion. There was little time for the purpose either, and having regard to this fact, the ceremony was most successfully organised. Prompt to take occasion by the hand, his Worship availed himself of what was really a fortunate accident, in order to invest the celebration at Ipswich with quite a unique distinction among the many others that were simultaneously taking place all over the country. The Lord Chief Justice (Lord Alverstone), the presiding Judge at the Suffolk Winter Assizes, was hastily summoned to London on Wednesday morning, to attend a meeting of the Privy Council, but he returned on Thursday night to try the one civil cause which comprised the remainder of the business, and disposed of it next morning. Through the Under-Sheriff (G.F. Josselyn, Esq.), the Mayor asked his Lordship, as he was thus happily present in the town to attend the ceremony of proclamation. To this the Lord Chief Justice readily assented, thereby conferring an honour upon the Chief Magistrate of Ipswich such as never happened before, perhaps, in connection with any public observance. Another happy thought was probably inspired by Alderman Cowell, who wrote a letter to the East Anglian, in which he recalled with pride and pleasure his memories of the Queen’s accession. His memory, however, played him false in regard to the Mayor of that time, for it was Mr. F.F. Seekamp, and not Mr. P. Bartholomew Long who was the Mayor on the accession of the late Queen.

It was arranged to bring together the children of Ipswich, so that they might carry forward the remembrances that this country draws” from out the storied past”; the idea was warmly taken up by Mr. Walton Turner (Chairman of the School Board), assisted by Mr. Hepburn Hume, the Clerk, and it was one that contributed largely to the success of the demonstration.

The ceremony was most remarkable in every way. Up to nearly half-past eleven o’clock, the Cornhill presented a quiet appearance, and very few people were about. The Mayor, attired in his robes and chain of office, was in the Library at the Town Hall, and was presently joined by the Mayoress and Miss Ida Paul, who were driven down in a pair-borne carriage. The Lord Chief Justice came from the Shirehall in the High Sheriff’s carriage, accompanied by the Under-Sheriff (Mr. Geo. F. Josselyn ) and was received by his Worship. Still, there was little sign of a great popular manifestation. Within a few minutes, however, the Town Councillors began to arrive in quick succession, followed by other leading townsmen; schoolboys came upon the space outside, running helter-skelter, and preceding the organised bodies of pupils from Board and Voluntary Schools, of whom St. Matthew’s were first on the scene; and long before twelve o’clock the Cornhill was densely crowded, while hundreds of spectators found special accommodation in the windows, on the balconies, and even the roofs of the shops and houses around.

Mr. Geo. F. Josselyn

As the Town Hall clock struck twelve, Supt. Wheeler “broke” the flag on the topmost roof – in other words, hoisted the National Standard; the sword and mace bearers came on to the steps, bearing the insignia of office; and then the Mayor appeared, with the Lord Chief Justice by his side. The groups immediately around included the Deputy-Mayor (W.A. Churchman), Esq.), the Mayoress, Miss Ida Paul, Mr. Hugh Paul, Miss Marjorie and Miss Audrey Paul – little girls dressed all in white, with touches of mourning – and Master Cyril Paul; Mrs. W.A. Elliston, Miss Elliston, Mrs. A. Wrinch, Mrs. W.A. Churchman, Mrs. Rands, Mrs. Bartlet, Miss Anness, Miss Watson (from London), the Town Clerk and Mrs. Bantoft, the Chief Constable (Col. Russell), and others; and close behind were the Aldermen and Councillors. A Royal Salute was sounded by Trumpeters Lister and Brown, beside whom stood Sergt.-Major Sparkles, and then the Mayor, standing with hand uncovered, read the following proclamation:-


“Whereas, it has pleased Almighty God to call to His mercy our late Sovereign Lady Queen Victoria, of blessed and glorious memory, by whose decease the Imperial Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland is solely and rightfully come to the High and Mighty Prince Albert Edward, we, therefore, the Lord’s Spiritual and Temporal of the Realm, being here associated with these of her late Majesty’s Privy Council, with numbers of other principal Gentleman of Quality, with the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Citizens of London, do now hereby, with one voice and consent of tongue and heart, publish and proclaim that the High and Mighty Albert Edward, is now, by the death of our late Sovereign, of happy memory, become our only lawful and rightful liege Lord Edward VII., by the Grace of God, King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India, to whom we do acknowledge all faith and constant obedience, with all hearty and humble affection, beseeching God, by whom Kings and Queens do reign, to bless the Royal Prince Edward the Seventh with long and happy years to reign over us.

Given at the Court of Saint James’s, the twenty-third day of January, in this year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and one. The Mayor read this address admirably, in a loud and clear voice; but at the end he made a mistake which can hardly remain unnoticed, seeing that it was heard by thousands. The old, familiar phase still ran in his mind – as with most of those present, no doubt – and he said “God save the Queen.”

The word “King” was almost instantly substituted, however, and “Three cheers to the King” were most heartily given, followed by the singing of “God save the King,” led by the band of the 1st V.B.S.R., conducted by Mr. B. Dunt. Amidst renewed cheering, and the firing of guns, the crowd quickly dispersed.

The good old custom of filling the Corporation “flagon” was not now allowed to fall into desuetude. Up in the Council Chamber, after a photograph of the Mayor and the assembly had been taken by Mr. Adolphus Tear, his Worship entertained the members and officials of the Council and other guests. When glasses were filled with champagne, the Mayor said “Gentlemen, – I ask you to drink to the health of His Majesty the King,” and the toast was received with three cheers. The Mayor expressed a hope that the ceremony had been performed to the satisfaction of those present, and the town at large, and the response, at the call of Alderman Cowell, was given in “three times three” for the King again, and also for the Mayor and Mayoress and their family.


It may well be imagined that all who were present would desire to see their names formally associated with the event, but that is, of course, quite out of the question. The members of the Town Council included Alderman Walton Turner, E.R. Turner, N. Catchpole, J.H. Josselyn, John May, Edward Packard, C. H. Cowell, A. Winch, and S.R. Anness – Mr. D. Ford Goddard, M.P., is absent from England; Councillors George Butcher, J.H. Grimwade, F. Bennett, A. Ranson, W. Grayston, F.H. Rands, T.R. Elkington, F. Turner, W.J. Catchpole, W.S. Cowell, T. Alderton, Sydney Brand, C.E. Tempest, Owen Turner, H.W. Raffe, E. Catchpole, E.P. Ridley, W.O. White, R.S. Paul, Geo. Fenn, R.D. Fraser, and John Pratt; the Magistrates were represented by Mr. W. Alexander, Mr. R.M. Miller, Mr. H.M. Jackaman (Borough Coroner), Dr. J.H. Bartlet, Mr. William Pretty, and Mr. H.W. Packard, with Mr. J.W. Rouse (Clerk to the Justices); amongst others noticed were Mr. J.E. Ransome, Mr. E. Fison, Mr. H.W. Cullum, Mr. E.T. Read, Mr. Alfred Cattermole, Mr. S. Alexander, Mr. D.O. Wellaston, Mr. T. Edgar Mayhew, Mr. W.T. Griffiths, sir. Ernest Pretty, Mr. Guy Bantoft, Mr. F. Corder, Rev, Ythil A. Barrington, Rev. Canon Tompson, Mr. S.A. Notcutt, Mr. R.L. Everett, Rev. W.S. King, Mr. C.H. Malden, Mr. Ernest E. Wild (Norwich), Mr. C.E. Jones, Dr. Eades, Dr. Geo. Vincent, Major Mellor, Mr. J.F. Titchmarsh, Mr. Alan Turner, Major F.G. Bond, Mr. W.M. Fison, Mr. Geo. Watson, Mr. T. Harrison, Rev. W.E. Fletcher, Mr. Cyril Tuck; the officials of the Council – Mr. E. Buckham (Surveyor), Mr. H.W. Menhuir (Assistant), Dr. Rowe (Medical Superintendent of the Asylum), Mr. G.A. Aylward (Building Inspector), Mr. W.W. Barham (Road Inspector), Mr. Hamlet Roberts (Manager of Waterworks), Mr. Frank Woolnough (Secretary to Museum and Technical Instruction Committee), Mr. A. Hicks, Mr. W. Barnes, Mr. Edwn. C. Sayer (Gas Inspector) together with Mr. H.W. Parker, Mr. J.W. Beart.


The traffic over the Cornhill was closed for the time being, and order was maintained by a body of the borough police, under Superintendent Pearson and Inspector Grimwood. Right in front of the Town Hall steps, a stand was erected, and Mr. A. Tear took a photograph from this point, which afforded an admirable view of the scene.

EADT – Friday, 25th January 1901.




Tributes to the sterling worth and high character of Queen Victoria, the well-beloved Monarch of Great Britain for more than 63 years, and expressions of poignant grief, gather in volume as the days pass. From all parts of the globe these tributes are cabled to England. The following can only be given as a summary of the messages:-



On taking his seat at the Ipswich Borough Petty Sessions on Thursday morning – the other Magistrate present being Col. J.H. Josselyn, J. May, H.M. Jackaman, W.O. White, and S.R. Anness, Esqs. – the Mayor (W.F. Paul, Esq.), said:- “Gentlemen, – As Chief Magistrate of the borough, I desire to take this opportunity to express on behalf of my fellow-townsmen, our profound grief at the great loss we have sustained in the death of her Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria. Although our beloved Monarch is dead, yet the memory of her pure and noble life will ever be ours. We have known her as a Queen, devoted to the welfare of a local and loving people; many of us can remember her as the fond and devoted wife of the late Prince Consort, but in no capacity has she so endeared herself to us, her subjects, as in her example as a Christian mother. In our sorrow, we would still express our thankfulness to the Almighty that she has been spared so long to reign over us, and trust the influence of her godly life will ever continue to surround the Throne of the nation. While we mourn the loss of our departed Queen, we have every reason to look forward with confidence to the future. He who has now to wear the Crown is well known to us all, and has already gained our affection. For many years we have learnt to admire his loving devotion to his Royal mother; his interest in the welfare of the nation has shown itself in an ever willingness to obey the call of duty; these qualities coupled with an unusual degree of tact, may well justify our confidence in hailing him as our King. May his life be prolonged for many years to reign over a loyal and contented people.”


The Mayor has received a telegram from Mr. D. Ford Goddard, M.P., who is in Egypt, expressing his desire to join in the national sorrow on the death of the Queen.


On taking his seat at an inquest held on Thursday evening, the Ipswich Borough Coroner observed that he should like to refer very briefly to the great loss sustained by the death of our beloved Queen. That was not the place or the time to indulge in emotional language or dwell upon her various virtues and great ability. That she was a type and model of all a constitutional Sovereign should be was beyond doubt; and that she was admired and esteemed for her life and character as a mother and a woman was likewise beyond doubt. It was only fitting that that Court, in which justice had been administered for so many years in her name, should express its grief for her great loss, and reverence for her memory. He little thought when he held his last inquest that the jury would never again be summoned in the name of Her Most Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria. The jury would probably have observed the alteration in the form of their summons, and they would presently note a like change in the form of oath of the witnesses, who would not give their evidence on behalf of “Our Sovereign Lady the Queen,” but on behalf of “Our Sovereign Lord the King,” and although deploring the loss sustained it must be a great satisfaction for us to know that she was succeeded on the Throne by a Prince who had the welfare of the people and nation so much at heart.

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