Click here for the Glossary page
Click here for the main index of the Burton Latimer Heritage Society site
Click here to return to the previous page
John Meads 2017 - From the Northampton Mercury 7 June 1856
Celebrating the Peace

How the end of the Crimea War was celebrated

Burton Latimer Hall
How Burton Latimer Hall would have looked when the peace
celebrations were held on the lawn in 1856

BURTON LATIMER - By the suggestion of the Rev. L. Harper, a subscription, by the ladies and gentlemen, tradespeople, and all who could lend a helping hand, was entered into with a zeal unparalleled. the Rev. S. Edwards, curate, with the assistance of two young ladies, canvassed the village, and in a short time there was plenty of money in the funds to raise a feast for the people. It was finally agreed that a tea should be provided for the women, and children under ten years of age, and the men and boys above that age to have a supper.

At an early hour on Thursday morning the merry bells were ringing a peal to arouse the inhabitants, and to inform them that the day had arrived for their holiday. Although some slight showers of rain came in the morning, still by nine flags might be seen waving from the windows throughout the village. By ten the village band was playing lively airs through the streets, and joy and delight beamed on the countenances of the young. At the same time, on the lawn infront of the hall occupied by the Rev. L. Harpur, you might see men erecting tables and seats, with two large booths for refuge in case the weather should prove unfavourable. While this bustle was going on the ladies were not forgettful of their duty in providing for the coming feast. In the Free School might be seen plenty of them with spoon in hand making puddings for supper, and great credit is due to them for the excellent way they accomplished their work. At three in the afternoon you might see women and children wending their way to the lawn, and the ladies busily engaged in arranging the tables. By half past, tea had commenced in earnest.

A large booth was erected in a close adjoining the church, which was kindly lent by Mr. J. Gaudern for the occasion. The booth was decorated with evergreens, wreaths and garlands of flowers, and the flags of England, France and Turkey. Tea was provided free to all the children under 14, and to all persons 50 and upwards; the remainder were admitted by tickets 4d. and 6d. each. About 1,600 persons sat down to tea. By half-past-four all the tables were cleared for supper, and by five the lawn was covered with men in their Sunday attire. By twenty minutes past five smoking joints of beef and mutton were placed on the tables. Then began a knife and fork war in true British style and with true British ardour:

Dinner's the place for the hottest of services;

There's the array and the ardour to win.

The clashing and splashing, and crashing and din,

With fierce intercepting of convoys of butter,

And phrases and outcries tremendous to utter.

There were two pints of ale for each man, and one for the boys. At this time Mr. Wm. Abbott was amusing the youngsters of the company by scrambling and running for oranges, nuts, &c., and great praise is due to that gentleman for his exertions during the pastimes of the evening. supper ending, and everyone having had a plentiful repast, the joints left untouched were removed to Mr. L. Harper's, and were given away the next day to the afflicted and to those who could not attend by the Rev. S. Edwards and Mr. Edmund Eady, jun., to the satisfaction of the whole village. Now commenced the sports of the evening - dancing, cricket, playing, running for tea, &c., &c., jumping in sacks, and all manner of amusements, every one vieing with each other to carry it out in the best manner. Soon after eight the principle part of the people were in front of the hall, giving a vote of thanks to Mr. L. Harper, with three cheers. Then to the Rev. S. Edwards for the untiring zeal and energy which he displayed in getting up the feast; likewise to the Rev. Wm. May, the Baptist minister, for his exertions on the occasion, and, lastly to the subscribers to the bountiful repast. After this, Rule Britannia was sung in solo by Mr. Edward Gurney, in excellent style, the people joining in chorus; Then Cheer Boys, Cheer, and A Good Time Coming, by Mr. T. Quincey, the people joining in chorus. The people then returned to their sports, and pipes and ale, which were supplied in abundance, and at tenthey re-assembled to sing the National Anthem, the males uncovering. And now the lawn was cleared; the youngsters finishing their day's sport by dancing in the village till a late hour. We are sorry to add that a very serious accident happened to one of the ringers, Joseph White, who has rung more than 30 midnight peals. Whilst ringing, the rope got under his feet and he was taken up some feet and then thrown down head foremost, injuring his shoulder and back; he is however in a fair way of recovery. He was perfectly sober at the time. The money raised on the occasion was £26. 9s. 8d; the expenditure was £22. 4s. 1d., leaving a surplus fund of £4. 5s. 7d. A meeting was held on Tuesday evening last to pass the accounts, when a resolution was carried that the surplus fund be expended in providing tea and cake for the poor, sick, and infirm of this parish.

Click here to return to the Main Index
Click here to return to the Sport & Leisure Index