Buckingham Pageant and Bazaar

Pageant type

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Place: Town Hall (Buckingham) (Buckingham, Buckinghamshire, England)

Year: 1946

Indoors/outdoors: Indoors

Number of performances: 1


21 November 1946, evening

Name of pageant master and other named staff

  • Stage Managers: Mr Webb and Mr Tew
  • Curtains: Mr Allen
  • Property Assistants: Mr Barratt and Mr Clayton
  • Wardrobe: Mrs Chilvers, Mrs Butler and Mrs Ireland

Names of executive committee or equivalent


Names of script-writer(s) and other credited author(s)

  • Taylor, Mrs

Names of composers


Numbers of performers

90 - 110

Financial information


Object of any funds raised

[Presumably in aid of the local Methodist Church]

Linked occasion


Audience information

Prices of admission and seats: highest–lowest


Associated events

The Pageant was preceded by a Bazaar

Pageant outline

Group 1.

Boadicea, St Augustine, Alfred the Great, William the Conqueror, Stephen and Matilda.

Group 2.

King John, Joan of Arc

Group 3.

Wars of the Roses. Princes in the Tower

Group 4.

The wives of Henry VIII. The founding of the Old Latin School

Group 5.

Elizabethan scenes. Including Drake’s game of bowls and Sir Walter Raleigh and Robin Hood and his Merry Men. Mary Queen of Scots.

Group 6.

Court of Charles II. The King is introduced to the beautiful Duchess of Portsmouth. Maypole Scene in the village green, c.1690. Queen Anne

Group 7.

Nelson, Wesley and Queen Victoria with Prince Albert

Key historical figures mentioned

  • Boudicca [Boadicea] (d. AD 60/61) queen of the Iceni [also known as Boudica]
  • Augustine [St Augustine] (d. 604) missionary and archbishop of Canterbury
  • Alfred [Ælfred] (848/9–899) king of the West Saxons and of the Anglo-Saxons [also known as Aelfred, the Great]
  • William I [known as William the Conqueror] (1027/8–1087) king of England and duke of Normandy
  • Matilda [Matilda of Boulogne] (c.1103–1152) queen of England, consort of King Stephen
  • Stephen (c.1092–1154) king of England
  • John (1167–1216) king of England, and lord of Ireland, duke of Normandy and of Aquitaine, and count of Anjou
  • Joan of Arc (1412–1431) Martyr, saint and military leader
  • Edward V (1470–1483) king of England and lord of Ireland
  • Richard, duke of York and duke of Norfolk (1473–1483) prince
  • Anne [Anne of Cleves] (1515–1557) queen of England, fourth consort of Henry VIII
  • Jane [née Jane Seymour] (1508/9–1537) queen of England, third consort of Henry VIII
  • Katherine [Kateryn, Catherine; née Katherine Parr] (1512–1548) queen of England and Ireland, sixth consort of Henry VIII
  • Katherine [Catherine; née Katherine Howard] (1518x24–1542) queen of England and Ireland, fifth consort of Henry VIII
  • Anne [Anne Boleyn] (c.1500–1536) queen of England, second consort of Henry VIII
  • Katherine [Catalina, Catherine, Katherine of Aragon] (1485–1536) queen of England, first consort of Henry VIII
  • Drake, Sir Francis (1540–1596) pirate, sea captain, and explorer
  • Ralegh, Sir Walter (1554–1618) courtier, explorer, and author [also known as Raleigh, Sir Walter]
  • Hood, Robin (supp. fl. late 12th–13th cent.) legendary outlaw hero
  • Mary [Mary Stewart] (1542–1587) queen of Scots
  • Charles II (1630–1685) king of England, Scotland, and Ireland
  • Kéroualle, Louise Renée de Penancoët de, suo jure duchess of Portsmouth and suo jure duchess of Aubigny in the French nobility (1649–1734) royal mistress
  • Anne (1665–1714) queen of Great Britain and Ireland
  • Nelson, Horatio, Viscount Nelson (1758–1805) naval officer
  • Wesley [Westley], John (1703–1791) Church of England clergyman and a founder of Methodism
  • Victoria (1819–1901) queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and empress of India
  • Albert [Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha] (1819–1861) prince consort, consort of Queen Victoria

Musical production

Pieces included:

  • ‘Lamb of God’, John Wesley
  • ‘From Oxford Gaol’
  • ‘Jerusalem’
  • ‘O Garland of Beauty’
  • ‘Here I sit now dreaming’
  • ‘The English Rose’

Newspaper coverage of pageant

Buckingham Advertiser and Free Press

Book of words

None known

Other primary published materials


References in secondary literature


Archival holdings connected to pageant


Sources used in preparation of pageant

  • German, Edward. Merrie England. London, 1902.

The Pageant included scenes from Edward German’s comic opera Merrie England


This was one of very few pageants held in the small rural county of Buckinghamshire. Despite the pageant being held under the auspices of the Buckingham Methodists, it seems to have involved many people from the town. Indeed, its opening was the first official duty performed by the Mayoress of Buckingham, Mrs P.J. Small, filling in for her husband, the Mayor, who was playing King John in the pageant. Whilst there is little information about the pageant, which had few ostensible connections to Buckingham, we do know that there were individually demarcated short scenes involving prominent historical persons. The Buckingham Advertiser and Free Press initially applauded the pageant, which it described as ‘brilliantly told’, with ‘some acting deserving high praise’: ‘It was undoubtedly at least one of the biggest and most impressive events of its kind staged in Buckingham and a great credit is due to producer and helpers and all concerned with its presentation.’1 A report the subsequent week was more circumspect, however. Despite commenting that ‘Much of the acting was of a high order and there was some good singing’, the newspaper went on to remark that ‘Audiences are inclined to have formed their own mental pictures as to the appearances and mannerisms of historical characters and when pageants are locally produced, they would inevitably be doomed to disappointment if they expected convincing presentations on every occasion.’2 Nonetheless, the report concluded, ‘At the same time the general effect was impressive and several of the individual characterizations were of exceptional merit, revealing the existence of much talent in Buckingham.’3 In all likelihood, then, the event was a moderate success—and indeed stands as an example of a pageant held in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War.


1. ^ Buckingham Advertiser and Free Press, 23 November 1946, 5.
2. ^ Buckingham Advertiser and Free Press, 30 November 1946, 7.
3. ^ Ibid.

How to cite this entry

Angela Bartie, Linda Fleming, Mark Freeman, Tom Hulme, Alex Hutton, Paul Readman, ‘Buckingham Pageant and Bazaar’, The Redress of the Past, http://www.historicalpageants.ac.uk/pageants/1399/