The Pageant of London

Pageant type


Researched and written by Guy Gardner and Tom Hulme.

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Place: Crystal Palace (Sydenham) (Sydenham, London, England)

Year: 1911

Indoors/outdoors: Indoors

Number of performances: 120


8 June–16 September 1911.

  • Mondays—4.30pm (Part I.)
  • Tuesdays— 8pm (Part II.)
  • Wednesdays—4.30pm (Part III.) 8pm (Part IV)
  • Thursdays—8pm (Part I.)
  • Fridays—4.30pm (Part II.) 8pm (Part III.)
  • Saturdays—4.30pm (Part IV.)

Originally, the pageant was planned to run between 8 June and 21 July, but the run was extended to 16 September. The pageant was held Indoors and Outdoors. 

Name of pageant master and other named staff

  • Pageant Master: Lascelles, Frank
  • Honorary advisers: Adviser on Heraldry: G. Ambrose Lee, York Herald of Arms
  • Decoration and Statuary: Sir Geo. Frampton, R.A., F.S.A
  • Amphitheatre: Sir Aston Webb, R.A.
  • Tickets and Seating: Geo. Ashton.
  • Secretary: Francis Hartman Markoe
  • Mistress of the Robes: Mrs. Colquhoun
  • General Arrangements: Ernest T. Jewell
  • Chief of the Men’s Costume Department: Leslie Moreton
  • Assistant Secretary: E. F. Alleyn
  • Assistant Stage Managers: Dennis Cleugh, E. Lytton, La Fane, G. Fitzgerald, W. Harcourt
  • Hon. Supervisor of Electrical Arrangements: D. S. Kennedy
  • Master of the Supernumeraries: Captain Osborne
  • Deputy Master of the Horse: F. W. Trott
  • Costume Designers and Artists: Miss Jennie Moore, T. Heslewood, M Kelley, H. Norris, J. M. Farquhar, L. Pippet, N. Forrestier, S. Valda, J. Napper
  • Assistant Mistresses of the Robes: Miss Peard, Mrs. Morison, and Mrs. Macintre.
  • Joint Borough Secretaries: Captain Macintire and Mr F. G. Harlow.
  • Secretary to the Overseas: H. G. Raikes
  • Secretary to the Masque: Miss Kastor
  • Secretary to the Mistresses of the Robes: Miss Wolston
  • Telephone Manager: N. Groom
  • Superintendent of Ground Props: Captain Reeves
  • Assistant Superintendent of Ground Props: W. Headley


Names of executive committee or equivalent


  • The Rt. Hon. The Earl of Plymouth, P.C., C.B. (Chairman)
  • The Rt. Hon. The Earl of Shaftesbury, K.C.V.O.
  • The Rt. Hon. The Viscount Hill, L.C.C.
  • The Rt. Hon. Lord Wolverton
  • The Rt. Hon. Lord Lamington, G.C.M.G., G.C.I.E.
  • Sir Godfrey Lagden, K.C.M.G.
  • Sir R. Melvill Beachcroft (Vice-Chairman)
  • Sir Clement Kinloch-Cooke, M.P.
  • Sir G. Laurence Gomme, F.S.A.
  • J. Murray Allison, Esq.
  • Geo. Ashton, Esq.
  • A.E. Forbes Dennis, Esq. (Deputy Chairman)
  • J.F.S. Gooday, Esq.
  • H. Handcock, Esq.
  • J. Geo. Head, Esq.
  • Col. T.H. Hendley, C.I.E.
  • Frank Lascelles, Esq.
  • C. Freeman Murray, Esq.
  • S.J. Sandle, Esq.
  • J. Johnstone, Esq. (Hon. Secretary)


  • H.R.H. Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll (Hon. President of the Ladies’ Committee)
  • His Grace The Duke of Norfolk, K.G., P.C., Earl Marshal of England
  • His Grace The Duke of Devonshire, P.C. (President British Empire League)
  • His Grace The Duke of Argyll, P.C., K.T., G.C.M.G. (President of the Hospitality Committee)
  • His Grace The Duke of Marlborough, K.G., P.C.
  • His Grace The Duke of Westminster, G.C.V.O.
  • His Grace The Duke of Fife, K.T., P.C., Lord-Lieutenant of the County of London
  • The Most Hon. The Marquess of Winchester
  • The Most Hon. The Marquess of Salisbury
  • The Most Hon. The Marquess of Anglesey
  • The Most Hon. The Marquess Londonderry, K.G., P.C.
  • The R.T. Hon. The Earl of Derby, P.C., G.C.V.O.
  • The R.T. Hon. The Earl of Shaftesbury, K.C.V.O. (Chairman of the Concerts Committee)
  • The R.T. Hon. The Earl of Bessborough C.B., C.V.O.
  • The R.T. Hon. The Earl of Lonsdale
  • The R.T. Hon. The Earl of Durham, K.G.
  • The R.T. Hon. The Earl Roberts, K.G., V.C., P.C.
  • The R.T. Hon. The Earl of Plymouth, P.C., C.B. (Chairman of the Council)
  • The Countess of Jersey (President Victoria League)
  • The R.T. Hon. The Viscount Hill
  • The R.T. Hon. Lord Arthur Hill, P.C.
  • The R.T. Hon. Lord Harris, G.C.S.I., G.C.I.E.
  • The R.T. Hon. Lord Wolverton
  • The R.T. Hon. Lord Lamington, G.C.M.G., G.C.I.E.
  • The R.T. Hon. Lord Ampthill, G.C.S.I., G.C.I.E.
  • The R.T. Hon. Lord Tennyson, P.C. G.C.M.G.
  • The R.T. Hon. Lord Brassey, G.C.B.
  • The R.T. Hon. Lord Strathcona & Mount Royal, G.C.V.O., G.C.M.G., High Commissioner for Canada
  • The R.T. Hon. Lord Farquhar, P.C., G.C.V.O.
  • The R.T. Hon. Lord Avebury, P.C., F.R.S., D.C.L., LL.D. (Chairman of the Lectures Committee)
  • The R.T. Hon. Lord Northcote, P.C., G.C.M.G.
  • The R.T. Hon. Lord Alverstone, P.C., G.C.M.G.
  • The R.T. Hon. Lord Burnham, K.C.V.O.
  • The R.T. Hon. Lord Northcliffe
  • The R.T. Hon. Lord Desborough, K.C.V.O., President of the London Chamber of Commerce (President of the Sports Committee)
  • The R.T. Hon. Lord Weardale
  • The Baron De Forest
  • The R.T. Hon. Sir Edgar Speyer, Bart., P.C.
  • The R.T. Hon. Sir Cecil Clementi-Smith, P.C., G.C.M.G.
  • The R.T. Hon. Sir George Reid, P.C., K.C.M.G., High Commissioner for Australia
  • Captain Sir Thomas H. C. Troubridge, Bart., C.B.
  • Sir Frederick Pollock, Bart., D.C.L., President League of the Empire
  • The R.T. Hon. The Lord Mayor of The City of London
  • Sir Edward Poynter, Bart., President of the Royal Academy
  • Sir Albert Spicer, Bart., M.P.
  • Sir Felix Schuster, Bart.
  • Sir George Wyatt Truscott, Bart
  • The Hon. Sir Richard Solomon, K.C.B., K.C.M.G.
  • The Hon. Sir W. Hall-Jones, K.C.M.G., High Commissioner for New Zealand
  • Gen. Sir John French, G.C.V.O., K.C.B., G.C.M.G., Inspector-General of the Forces.
  • LT.-General Sir J. Bevan Edwards, K.C.M.G., C.B.
  • Sir Abe Bailey, K.C.M.G.
  • Sir Walter Parratt, M.V.O., Mus. Doc., Master of the King’s Music
  • Sir R. Melvill Beachcroft, Ex-Chairman of the London County Council (Vice-Chairman)
  • Sir Aston Webb, R.A. (President of the Amphitheatre Committee)
  • Sir George Frampton, R.A., F.S.A. (President of the Decorations Committee)
  • Sir Clement Kinloch-Cooke, M.P.
  • Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree
  • Sir G. Laurence Gomme, F.S.A. (Chairman of the Historical Committee)
  • Sir Joseph Lyons.
  • Charles Johnstone, Esq. (Sheriff of London)
  • Henry C. Buckingham, Esq. (Sheriff of London)
  • Major-General Codrington, C.B., C.V.O.
  • Captain A. Muirhead Collins, R.N., C.M.G.
  • Edward White, Esq. (Chairman of the London County Council)
  • Arnold F. Hills, Esq.
  • F.G. Kenyon, Esq., Litt.D. (Director of the British Museum)
  • C. Hercules Read, Esq., LL.D. (President of the Society of Antiquaries of London)
  • Leopold Salomons, Esq.
  • Arthur H. Poyser, Esq. (Chairman of the Pageants Performers’ Committee)
  • A. E. Forbes Dennis, Esq. (Deputy Chairman)


  • Honorary president: H.R.H. Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll
  • The Marchioness of Londonderry
  • The Marchioness of Salisbury
  • The Countess of Plymouth
  • The Lady Northcote
  • Mrs. Lewis Harcourt


  • Sir R. Melvill Beachcroft
  • Sir Joseph Lyons
  • Geo. Ashton, Esq.
  • A.E. Forbes Dennis, Esq.
  • Fred Hall, Esq., M.P.
  • H. Handcock, Esq.
  • Frank Lascelles, Esq.
  • C. Freeman Murray, Esq.
  • S.J. Sandle, Esq.
  • J. Johnstone, Esq. (Hon. Secretary).


  • Herbert W. Matthews


  • The Hon. Alexander Nelson Hood, Duke of Bronte
  • Lt.-Col. Sir Richard Temple, Bart.
  • Sir Charles S. Lucas, K.C.M.G., C.B.
  • Sir John Knox Laughton
  • Sir Sidney Colvin
  • Sir G. Laurence Gomme, F.S.A., F.S.S.
  • Lady Gomme
  • The Hon. W. Pember Reeves
  • Prof. Beazeley
  • Egerton Beck, Esq.
  • Rev. F. E. Brightman
  • Prof. [W.G.] Collingwood
  • I.D. Colvin, Esq.
  • G.G. Coulton, Esq.
  • Miss Curran
  • T.E. Donne, Esq.
  • Prof. H.E. Egerton
  • G.W. Forrest, Esq.
  • W. Foster, Esq.
  • Frank Fox, Esq.
  • Dr James Gairdner, C.B.
  • Allan Gomme, Esq.
  • Mrs. Gordon
  • Hubert Hall, Esq., F.S.A.
  • Prof. Haverfield
  • Col. T. H. Hendley, C.I.E.
  • T.F. Hobson, Esq.
  • G.L. Kingsford, Esq.
  • I.S. Leadam, Esq.
  • Col. W.M. Lloyd, M.V.O.
  • L.G. Carr Laughton, Esq.
  • Dr. Sidney Lee
  • Col. Leetham
  • Mrs. Magnussen
  • A. F. Major, Esq.
  • Prof. [Charles] Oman.
  • Edward Owen, Esq.
  • A.W. Pollard, Esq.
  • Dr. J. Holland Rose
  • Thomas Seccombe, Esq.
  • C.J. Sharp, Esq.
  • S. Armitage Smith, Esq.
  • Prof. Tait.
  • G.J. Turner, Esq.
  • Henry B. Wheatley, Esq.
  • Rev. C.W. Whisker
  • Dr. J.H. Wylie
  • Mrs. S.C. Lomas, Honorary Secretary and Editor of the Book of the Pageant


  • Sir Walter Parratt, M.V.O., Mus. Doc.
  • Sir Hubert Parry, Bart., C.V.O., Mus. Doc.
  • W. H. Cummings, Esq., Mus. Doc., F.S.A.
  • F. H. Cowen, Esq., Mus. Doc.
  • Frederick Corder, Esq.
  • Sir Alfred Scott-Gatty, C.V.O., Garter Principal King-at-arms
  • Honorary Secretary: Philip Ashbrooke, Esq.


  • W. H. Bell, Esq.


  • The Rt. Hon. The Earl of Lonsdale
  • The Rt. Hon. Lord Willoughby de Broke, M.F.H.
  • The Rt. Hon. Lord Annaly, C.V.O.


Part I

  • Scene I. The Dawn of British History. Primitive London. [No Committee]
  • Scene II. Roman London. The Triumph of Carausius. Undertaken by Penge. Chairman—Bryce Grant, Esq. Hon. Sec—C. W. Dommett, Esq. Asst. Sec—H. S. Culver, Esq. Mistress of the Robes—Mrs. R. Wilkinson Master of the Robes—J. F. Thrower, Esq.
  • Scene III. King Alfred and London. Undertaken by the Borough of St. Pancras. Chairman—The Mayor (F. W. Avant, Esq.). Hon. Secs.—Stanley Leverton, Esq., and Mrs. Leverton. Mistress of the Robes—Mrs. G. Goodall.
  • Scene IV. Danish Invasion. The Breaking Down of London Bridge. [No Committee]
  • Scene V. The Norman Conquest. Undertaken by the Borough of Camberwell. Chairman—The Mayor (Whitworth St. Cedd, Esq.). Hon. Sec—C. W. Tagg, Esq. Asst. Sec.—C. Henning, Esq. Master of the Robes—C. Dalton, Esq.
  • Scene VI. Return of Richard I. from Captivity. Undertaken by the Borough of Shoreditch. Chairman—The Mayor (H. Busby Bird, Esq.). Hon. Sec.—H. V/. Wheatley, Esq. Mistress of the Robes—Miss H. Busby Bird.
  • Scene VII. Edward I. and Dreams of Unity. 
  • (a) Presentation of Edward of Carnarvon. Undertaken by the Borough of Hackney. Chairman—The Mayor (W. F. Jones, Esq.) Hon. Secs. — Moss Sterne, Esq., A. Fox, Esq., and Mrs. Fox. Mistress of the Robes— Mrs. Muriel Phillips.
  • (b) Translation of a Fragment of the Holy Cross and Bringing of the Coronation Stone. Undertaken by Westminster Cathedral. Chairman—The Right Rev. Bishop Butt. Hon. Sec.—V. M. Dunford, Esq. Mistress of the Robes— Miss C. Lynch.
  • (c) Investiture of the Prince of Wales. Undertaken by the Borough of Hackney. Chairman—The Mayor (W. F. Jones, Esq.). Hon. Secs.—Moss Sterne, Esq., A. Fox, Esq., and Mrs. Fox. Mistress of the Robes—Mrs. Muriel Phillips.
  • Scene VIII. Days of Chivalry. Tournament in Smithfield. Undertaken by the Borough of St. Marylebone. Hon. Secs.—J. Wilson, Esq., T. Kennett, Esq. Mistress of the Robes—Mrs. Bokenham.

Part II

  • Scene I. The Age of Chaucer.
  • (a) The Canterbury Pilgrims.
  • (b) Richard II. and Wat Tyler. Undertaken by London Hospital Students.
  • Scene II. Return of Henry V. after Agincourt. Undertaken by the City of Westminster. Chairman—S. Hoffnung Goldsmid, Esq. Hon. Sec.—Mrs. Kennedy. Mistresses of the Robes—Mrs. Hubert Hall, Mrs. Kingdon.
  • Scene III. The Passing of Medievalism. Undertaken by Wimbledon and Merton with Putney. Chairmen—J. Smith, Esq., Frank Taylor, Esq. Hon. Secs.—Mrs. B. M. Poole, Mrs. H. Saunders, Miss A. Wilson Charge. Mistresses of the Robes—Mrs. Tate, Mrs. Holden.
  • Scene IV. Early Discoveries. Reception of John Cabot. Undertaken by the Borough of Paddington. Chairman—Admiral Haddy. Hon. Secs.—Mrs. Burgess, Miss Malet Mistress of the Robes—Mrs. Palmer.
  • Scene V. Merrie England. May Day Revels. Undertaken by the Borough of Lewisham. Chairman—J. G. Webb, Esq. Hon. Secs.—R. Steeden, Esq., Miss Duggan, Miss Finch. Mistress of the Robes—Mrs. Perry.
  • Scene VI. Field of the Cloth of Gold. English side, undertaken by the Borough of Holborn. Chairman—The Mayor (Horatio Porter, Esq.). Hon. Secs. —L. J. Walford, Esq., A. Hawke, Esq. Mistress of the Robes—Mrs. Dibdin. French side, undertaken by Sydenham. Chairman—A. H, Poyser, Esq. Hon. Sec.—E. Davies, Esq. Mistress of the Robes—Mrs. Colegrave.
  • Scene VII. The Spacious Days of Queen Elizabeth.
  • (a) The Knighting of Drake. Undertaken by the Royal Borough of Kensington. Chairman—H. Harcourt Smith, Esq. Hon. Secs.—Miss Noel, Miss Staples Brown.  Mistress of the Robes—Miss Templer.
  • (b) Review at Tilbury. Undertaken by the Boroughs of Southwark and Ealing. Chairmen—the Mayor of Southwark (Albert Wilson, Esq.), and the Mayor of Ealing (J. Roose Francis, Esq.). Hon. Secs.—R. W. Mould, Esq., Miss Kenney Herbert. Mistresses of the Robes—Mrs. Smithers, Miss Pollock Hill.

Part III

  • Scene I. Eastward and Westward Ho.
  • (a) Trade with the Indies. Undertaken by the Eastern Districts. Chairmen— The Mayor of East Ham (Ernest Edwards, Esq.), and Rev. W. T. Brown. Hon. Secs.—G. A. Webzell, Esq., E. Richardson, Esq., T. H. O. Justice, Esq. Mistresses of the Robes—Mrs. Stockwell, Mrs. Harrop, Mrs. Campbell
  • (b) The Pilgrim Fathers. Undertaken by the American Visitors.
  • Scene II. Meeting of the Old World and the New. Pocahontas at the Court of James I. Undertaken by Sydenham. Chairman— A. H. Poyser, Esq. Hon. Secs.—Miss E. Pearson, Miss Irene Poyser. Mistress of the Robes—Mrs. Colegrave. The Masque, undertaken by the Crystal Palace School of Art. Hon. Sec.—Miss Prosser. Mistress of the Robes—Miss M. Cull.
  • Scene III. The Fall of the Monarchy. Undertaken by the Borough of Battersea. Chairman—The Mayor (J. E. Astill, Esq.). Hon. Secs.—Miss Clarke, Miss Graveney. Mistresses of the Robes—Miss Brown, Mrs. Parker.
  • Scene IV. The Restoration. Undertaken by the Boroughs of Greenwich and Islington. Chairman for Greenwich—H. S. A. Foy, Esq. Hon. Sec.—C. A. Dingle, Esq. Mistresses of the Robes—Mrs. Willes, S. Fretwell. Chairman for Islington—C. W. French, Esq. Hon. Sec. — C. E. Shepherd, Esq. Mistress of the Robes—Mrs. Shepherd.
  • Scene V. A Mourning Triumph. Undertaken by the Borough of Woolwich. Chairman—Captain Moors. Hon. Secs.—R. G. Thomas, Esq., E. Roberts, Esq., Miss W. Richardson. Mistresses of the Robes—Mrs. Bryceson, the Misses O'Dwyer, Mrs. Griffith Thomas, Mrs. Cuff.
  • Scene VI. Old Customs and New Adventures
  • (a) Bartholomew Fair. Undertaken by Norwood. Chairman— F. J. Wall, Esq. Hon. Secs.—E. A. Weaire, Esq., C. S. Flanders, Esq., C. Cook, Esq. Mistresses of the Robes—Mrs. Shepherd, Mrs. Rutledge.
  • (b) Captain Cook Sails from the Thames. Undertaken by Norwood. Chairman—F. J. Wall, Esq. Hon. Secs.—E. A. Weaire, Esq., C. S. Flanders, Esq., C. Cook, Esq. Mistresses of the Robes—Mrs. Shepherd, Mrs. Rutledge.
  • Scene VII. The Great War. Undertaken by the Borough of Croydon. Chairman—The Mayor (Aid. James Trumble). Hon. Sec—S. Jacobs, Esq. Mistresses of the Robes—Miss Peard, Mrs. Handford.

Part IV

  • Scene I. Newfoundland. Landing of Sir Humphrey Gilbert. Undertaken by Newfoundland Visitors. Chairman—Lady Northcliffe Hon. Sec.—F. L. Marriott, Esq. Mistresses of the Robes—The Misses Beeton.
  • Scene II. Australia. Capt. Cook lands in Botany Bay. Undertaken by Australian Visitors. Chairman—Frank Gibson, Esq. Hon. Sec.—Frank Fox, Esq. Mistress of the Robes—Miss Baxter.
  • Scene III. South Africa
  • (a) The Landing of Van Ribbeeck.
  • (b) The Settlers of 1820. Undertaken by South African Visitors. Chairman—J. Rapaport, Esq. Hon. Sec.—H. A. Herbert, Esq. Mistress of the Robes—Miss Dorothy Curry.
  • Scene IV. New Zealand. The Treaty of Waitangi. Undertaken by New Zealand Visitors. Chairman—Sir Wm. Russell. Hon. Sec.—G. H. Scholefield, Esq. Mistress of the Robes—Mrs. Herbert Alington.
  • Scene V. Canada. Compiled by Beckles Willson, Esq. (a) The United Empire Loyalists. (b) The New North West. Chairman—P. F. Ridout, Esq. Hon. Sec.—W. T. Thorold, Esq. Mistress of the Robes—Mrs. Bruce Williams.
  • Scene VI. India. Compiled by Col. T. H. Hendley. Chairman—Col. Hendley. Hon. Secs.—M. S. Kaderbhoy, Esq., B. B. Kanga, Esq. Mistress of the Robes—Mrs. Hendley.
  • The Masque Imperial Undertaken by Representatives of the Overseas Dominions. Sec.—Miss Kestor.

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

  • Collingwood, W.G.
  • Colvin, Ian S.
  • Corbett, Julian S.
  • Coulton, G.G.
  • Donne, T.E.
  • Egerton, Professor
  • Fox, Frank
  • Gairdner, James
  • Gomme, Allan
  • Gomme, Alice Bertha
  • Gomme, Laurence
  • Hall, Hubert
  • Hendley, Col. T.H.
  • Laughton, J. G. Carr
  • Leadam, I.S.
  • Lomas, Sophie C.
  • Magnussen, Mrs Sigridr E.
  • Major, Albany F.
  • Markoe, F.H.
  • Oman, Charles
  • Pollard, A.W.
  • Rose, Dr J. Holland
  • Sharp, Cecil J.
  • Smith, S. Armitage
  • Tuner, G.J.
  • Wheatley, H.B.
  • Willson, Beckles
  • Wylie, J.H.


Details of writing/compilation responsibilities were as follows:

Part I

  • Scene I. The Dawn of British History. Primitive London. Compiled by Sir Laurence Gomme.
  • Scene II. Roman London. The Triumph of Carausius. Compiled by Prof. Oman.
  • Scene III. King Alfred and London. Compiled by Prof. Oman.
  • Scene IV. Danish Invasion. The Breaking Down of London Bridge. Compiled by Albany F. Major, Esq., Mrs. Sigridr E. Magnussen, and Prof. Collingwood.
  • Scene V. The Norman Conquest. Compiled by G. J. Turner, Esq.
  • Scene VI. Return of Richard I. from Captivity. Compiled by G. J. Turner, Esq.
  • Scene VII. Edward I. and Dreams of Unity. Compiled by G. J. Turner, Esq.
  • Scene VIII. Days of Chivalry. Tournament in Smithfield. Compiled by S. Armitage Smith, Esq.

Part II

  • Scene I. The Age of Chaucer.
  • (a) The Canterbury Pilgrims. Compiled by A. W. Pollard, Esq., and G. G. Coulton, Esq.
  • (b) Richard II. and Wat Tyler. Compiled by Prof. Oman.
  • Scene II. Return of Henry V. after Agincourt. Compiled by Dr. J. H. Wylie.
  • Scene III. The Passing of Medievalism. Compiled by Hubert Hall, Esq., F.S.A. Scene IV. Early Discoveries. Reception of John Cabot. Compiled by Prof. Egerton.
  • Scene V. Merrie England. May Day Revels. Compiled by Lady Gomme, Allan Gomme, Esq., and Cecil J. Sharp, Esq.
  • Scene VI. Field of the Cloth of Gold. Compiled by Dr. J. Gairdner, C.B., and Mrs. S. C. Lomas. Scene VII. The Spacious Days of Queen Elizabeth. Compiled by Julian S. Corbett, Esq.

Part III

  • Scene I. Eastward and Westward Ho.
  • (a) Trade with the Indies. Compiled by Sir Richard Temple and Mrs. S. C. Lomas. (b) The Pilgrim Fathers. Compiled by Mrs. S. C. Lomas.
  • Scene II. Meeting of the Old World and the New. Pocahontas at the Court of James I. Compiled by Mrs. S. C. Lomas.
  • Scene III. The Fall of the Monarchy. Compiled by Mrs. S. C. Lomas.
  • Scene IV. The Restoration. Compiled by H. B. Wheatley, Esq.
  • Scene V. A Mourning Triumph. Compiled by I. S. Leadam, Esq.
  • Scene VI. Old Customs and New Adventures
  • (a) Bartholomew Fair. Compiled by Mrs. S. C. Lomas. (b) Captain Cook Sails from the Thames. Compiled by J. G. Carr Laughton, Esq. Scene VII. The Great War. Compiled by Dr. J. Holland Rose.

Part IV

  • Scene I. Newfoundland. Landing of Sir Humphrey Gilbert. Compiled by Beckles Willson, Esq.
  • Scene II. Australia. Capt. Cook lands in Botany Bay. Compiled by Frank Fox, Esq.
  • Scene III. South Africa
  • (a) The Landing of Van Ribbeeck.
  • (b) The Settlers of 1820. Compiled by Ian S. Colvin, Esq. Scene IV. New Zealand. The Treaty of Waitangi. Compiled by T. E. Donne, Esq.
  • Scene V. Canada. Compiled by Beckles Willson, Esq.
  • Scene VI. India. Compiled by Col. T. H. Hendley.
  • The Masque Imperial. Written by F. H. Markoe, Esq.

Names of composers

  • Alexander, A.
  • Allen, A.
  • Austin, Frederic
  • Bath, Hubert
  • Bell, W.H.
  • Bridge, Frank
  • Byrd, William
  • Corder, Frederick
  • Corder, Paul
  • Dowland, John
  • Fletcher, Percy
  • Forsyth, Cecil
  • Gardiner, Balfour
  • German, Edward
  • Gibbons, Orlando
  • Handel, George Frideric
  • Holst, Gustav
  • MacEwen, J.B.
  • Mackenzie, Alexander
  • Macpherson, Charles
  • Pilkington, F.
  • Possiter, Philip
  • Rogan, Lieut. Dr Mackenzie
  • Tapp, Frank
  • Williams, Ralph Vaughan
  • Wood, Haydn

Numbers of performers


Financial information

Object of any funds raised

King Edward VII Hospital Fund

Linked occasion

The Festival of Empire and the Coronation of King George V.

Audience information

  • Grandstand: Yes
  • Grandstand capacity: 10000
  • Total audience: 1000000


Total audience exceeded 1 million.2

Prices of admission and seats: highest–lowest


Associated events


Pageant outline

Part I

Primitive London. The Dawn of British History. Scene I.

The opening scene shows London as a rough settlement of pile-dwellings at the junction of Fleet and Thames. There is a hill-top fortress in the rear, whilst in the foreground, a Druid temple dedicated to Ludd, the chief tribal god of the locality can be seen. This small Celtic community hears rumours of invading forces, and their fears are confirmed by a weary messenger. Celtic forces return, defeated, ready to make a final stand in the stronghold of their tribe. The great warrior Cassibelaunus returns, and halts on the water’s edge whilst a procession of Druids make a sacrifice to the gods to gain their blessing. Whilst this goes on, there is news of the invaders’ approach, and the chief is carried into the wall of the stronghold by his men. The Roman army enters the scene, in ordered array, company by company, with Julius Caesar marching at its head. The defending forces fire arrows and missiles as the Roman army advances to attack. At the entrance of the stronghold, Cassibelaunus stands foremost in a last effort against overwhelming odds. The remaining forces are defeated and Celtic London falls into the hands of Rome.

Roman London / The Triumph of Carausius. Scene II.

Roman walls can now be seen where the rough Celtic palisades once stood, with the Druid stones replaced with a temple to Diana. A solemn procession of priests enter, leading a victim to the sacrificial rites. However, the sacrifice now it is not to avert defeat but to celebrate the naval victories of Marcus Aurelius Carausius. Priestesses advance chanting a hymn to Diana, white-robed virgins’ do a sacred dance. In attendance are city magistrates, and all manner of citizens and peasants, showcasing an organised community, London now a city, a centre of Roman trade.

King Alfred and London. Scene III.

The Roman occupation is now a thing of the past, the scene now showing the succession of the great King Alfred to the throne. He has sent expeditions to explore the northern seas, and embassies to offer greetings and alms to Christians of the Far East. Standing in the city of London, he welcomes back these travellers, accepting the gifts they have brought for him. The explorers Othere and Wulfstan bring rich furs, tusks and furs, whilst monks and acolytes enter the scene, chanting the Psalm ‘The Earth is the Lord’s’, as the priest Aethelstan return from their embassy in the East, bringing ivory, apes and peacocks.

The Danish Invasion. Breaking down of London Bridge. Scene IV.

The scene shows the Danes holding London and the bridge, defending an attack from the English, spearheaded by Edmund Ironside, their leader, in alliance with Norsemen who are led by King Olaf as they attack both by river and by land. The defending forces pushes back the attacking fleet with a rain of arrows, whist land forces attack the stockade walls of Southwark in vain. In the foreground, Aethelred the Unready, surrounded by churchmen and counsellors, watches the fight anxiously. The Danes shout in triumph as they push back the disordered ranks of attacking forces. Aethelred calls a hasty council of war. After a new strategy has been devised, the attack on Southwark is renewed. The Norsemen attach cables to the central piles of the bridge and pull it down. This sends instant panic throughout the Danish forces, and the defenders are driven from their entrenchments, with their leaders either slain or taken prisoner. Their banner of the Danes is laid at Aethelred’s feet as an emblem of victory, as the citizens of London rise up in revolt and drive out the remaining Danish presence. The victorious forces chant in triumph and sing in praise of King Olaf, as the attacking forces, invited in by the population of London, enter the city unopposed.

The Norman Conquest. Scene V.

(a) The Going Out of Harold.

An English army enters the scene. Summoned by Harold Godwinson to repel the Norman invaders, it is split into contingents of men from different areas of the country. Men from London arrive, led by Esegar, the Staller. The men of Kent arrive with the White Horse ensign, several other counties also entering, all with their separate banners. Harold enters, accompanied by his brothers Gyrth, Leofric, Leofwine, as well as religious leaders, monks, canons, retainers, citizens, gatekeepers and banner bearers. Gyrth pleads with Harold to make peace; Gytha, Harold’s mother, does likewise. Harold refuses to hear this plea, as Gytha retires, crying. The separate banners are brought forward and blessed. As this ceremony ends, countrymen arrive, bearing the spoils of victory from the defeat of the Norsemen at Stamford Bridge. After dividing the booty and presenting a Norse sword to the Dean of the Church of Waltham, Harold gives a signal for the march to begin. He crosses the river by the bridge, his army behind him, moving southward. Trumpets play as the women and children watch them march away.

(b) The Entry of William.

Citizens enter, awaiting the arrival of the victorious Normans. Esegar the Staller enters, wounded, accompanied by the Bishop of London, the Abbot of Westminster, and other civic and church dignitaries. Then, from the east advances the advance guard of the Norman invader. They come into the scene in three divisions—Bretons, Normans and Frenchmen. Trumpeters and banner banners follow them, William the Conqueror enters along with his half-brothers, Odo (Bishop of Bayeux), Robert (Count of Mortain), and Edgar the Atheling. Close behind, a captured standard of Harold Godwinson can be seen. Following are the Archbishop of York, and the Earls Edwin and Morkere. The troops halt and the Conqueror’s banner is presented by William to the Abbey of Westminster, while the banners of Harold are given to two monks, to be taken to Rome as tokens of fealty to the Holy See. The citizens make a formal submission to their new lord, offering gifts in proof of loyalty. The gatekeepers surrender the keys, and Esegar the Staller petitions William to grant the city of charter of right under the new government. The charter is read aloud, to the sound of grateful enthusiasm of the populace as he enters the capital.

Richard I Returns from Captivity. Scene VI.

In this scene, King Richard I arrives home from captivity to a high holiday being held by the City of London in celebration of his return. The Mayor, sheriff, aldermen, chief banner man and leading citizens gather in the open space outside a Guild Hall; church bells ring merrily as the king is met by civic authorities and escorted to a platform where the Mayor offers him a bowl filled with gold pieces. He pleads that Richard stay in England amongst his people and asks him to confirm the charter granted to them by his brother, Count John. The king says that he shall do this and the procession proceeds to St Paul’s. The end of the scene depicts people celebrating the joyous occasion in merriment. Young men practice in games of fighting, girls and boys dance together and elders recite stories for the amusement of the crowd.

Edward I. and Dreams of Unity. Scene VII.

(a) Presentation of Edward of Carnarvon (A.D. 1284).

A group of Welshmen wait expectantly at the entrance of the newly built Castle of Carnarvon with their wives and children, as well as some Englishmen. The gates open and King Edward appears, accompanied by Eleanor of Castile, his Queen, holding an infant child. Close behind come their other children, Alphonso and his sisters, led by Eleanor of Provence, the King’s mother. They are followed by a group of relatives and courtiers. The King and Queen come forward and he presents his infant son to the people. The crowd applauds, a Welsh child offers flowers to the Queen and the royal party withdraws, the crowd dispersing.


1. Translation of a fragment of the Holy Cross to Westminster (A.D. 1285).

2. Bringing of the Coronation Stone from Scotland.

Returning from his victorious campaign in Wales, King Edward goes to the Abbey Church of Westminster to offer there a relic of pre-eminent sanctity and fame; a fragment of the Holy Cross, originally offered to him by the Welsh people. At the entrance to the Abbey, cross-bearers and thurifers, acolytes with lights, representatives of various religious bodies of London, and Welsh soldiers and monks precede the Archbishop of Canterbury, who bears above his head the sacred relic. Attendant priests support his arms. He is followed by knights and nobles, and then the King and Queen, accompanied by their four daughters. They are met with a procession from the Abbey, where acolytes walk in due order to the sound of singing boys, as the Holy Relic is placed in its central shrine, watched by an adoring crowd. The procession halts at the doors of the Abbey; the king dismounts, accompanied by his son and they enter the sacred precinct to the sound of music and bells. Other belfries throughout the city play the same tune.

(c) The Investiture of the Prince of Wales (A.D. 1301).

A company of nobles, knights and ladies enter the courtyard of the Bishop of Lincoln’s Palace at Nettleham in attendance of the Investiture of King Edward and his second Queen (Margaret of France). The King and Queen are conducted to their royal chairs, their Court gathering in groups on either side. The young Prince Edward enters, escorted by his trumpeters and heralds, and attended by his boy companions. A king-of-arms bears the charter and letters that will invest him with new power. The Prince kneels before his father, who delivers to his son the counties of Ponthieu and Montreuil by hereditary right. A charter is read by a noble that grants the Prince the title of Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester. The King invests him with a robe, sword, coronet, ring and rod of silver, placing the charter in his hands, proclaiming the titles of the Prince, and the assembly withdraws.

The Days of Chivalry. Tournament in Smithfield. Scene VIII.

As the scene opens we see the preparations for a knightly combat tournament. Citizens gather in Smithfield, waiting for the upcoming show. Acrobats, dancers and jugglers perform until, to the sound of trumpets, the royal procession enters. Preceded by sheriffs and aldermen, squires, knights and peers, the royal princes and princesses with their attendants advance towards their stalls. The Lord Mayor enters, holding a civic sword, symbol of the state. Once everyone in the gallery is seated, a procession of knights enters. Lightly mounted, beside each knight is a lady who leads them by a silver chain. In front of them are squires, and behind are heavily armoured warchargers, led by grooms. Passing the royal box whilst saluting, the knights retire to don their suits of armour, and are given brightly painted shields and heavy weapon by their squires. The two parties of knights then divide to their side of the fighting grounds. Trumpeters sound a blast and the tournament begins. The first fight is single combat between three pairs, followed by a mimic battle where two companies of twelve men fight each other. Once a clear advantage is gained by one side, the marshal’s baton falls, and the conflict comes to an end. The victors of the fight advance to the Queen’s seat, and each in turn, receive from her a prize once they are named by the king.

Part II

The Age of Chaucer. Scene I.

(a) The Canterbury Pilgrims.

The scene is set in ‘Tabard Inn’ at Southwark as Pilgrims are preparing to start their journey to Canterbury. Chaucer’s famous group of travellers enter the scene. First, the knight’s yeoman enters giving a call to the ostlers, asking them to bring out the master’s horses. The landlord and his wife, summoned by his shouting, enter and drive the ostlers to do their work. The Inn-yard starts to bustle with life, as the master’s horses are brought out. Chaucer mounts his horse, along with the other travellers, the knight and the squire, the monk, the franklin, the priest, the wife of Bath and the nun. Last to enter and mount is the lady prioress. The word to start is given, and as they begin to ride off, a jovial miller at the front of the company begins playing his bagpipes. Chaucer however, quickly silences the miller, bidding his companions to begin telling tales to lighten the journey. The scene ends as the knight begins to tell his tale, the company riding off into the distance.

(b) Richard II and Wat Tyler.

Groups of citizens enter the scene in excitement, watching smoke across the river, where Kentish rebels are sacking and burning buildings. William Walworth, the mayor of London, enters in haste, ordering a guard to protect London Bridge, but is hooted by the bystanders. Two rebellious men, Thomas of Farringdon and Aldermen Sibley, harangue the mob of citizens, railing against civic jobbery and the decline of trade in the capital. At the call of the Kentish rebels, led by Wat Tyler and Jack Straw, they throw open the city gates and pour in. Tyler and Ball then preach to the mob about new doctrines of social freedom and equality. Roused by this rhetoric, the crowd rushes off to sack the Temple and set fire to the Savoy. Out from a tower comes King Richard, a boy of 14 years, surrounded by councillors ready to negotiate terms with the rioters. Tyler and his followers meet the king, and demand a charter of concessions. The bond of the charter, which he prepares to sign, is demanded by the crowd to be sealed in blood, and they present the heads of Sir Robert Hales, the King’s Treasurer, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, his Chancellor. In the face of this, the King and retinue retire, as the mob falls into a torrent of plunder and violence. The Mayor calls all law-abiding citizens to come his aid. The king returns, and Tyler attempts to take him hostage, however the Mayor strikes him down and the king’s guard start to fight back the rioters; with their ringleader dead, the rebellion is speedily quelled. The scene ends with the king’s declaration of amnesty and pardon for those involved—apart, of course, from the ringleaders. He withdraws to the tower with his retinue.

Henry V’s return from Agincourt. Scene II.

Henry V returns in triumph to London after his great victory in Agincourt. From Ludgate comes the civic procession of the Mayor, with sword and mace-bearers, aldermen, and citizens, who pass over the bridge and meet the king. The king enters the scene, surrounded by a small retinue, attended by French prisoners of noble rank. Followed by the city’s procession, he moves on towards the Bridge gate, where he meets the city’s champion bearing axes and keys, and accompanied by his dame brightly decked in a scarlet mantle and ornaments of gold. He proceeds onto a pavilion where a figure of St George is enthroned, crowned with a wreath of victory. As the king approaches boys dressed as angels sing lustily, and as the King proceeds through, other figures with emblems of divinity and triumph give him their tokens of homage and blessing. As he proceeds through the west entrance of Cheapside, the king is showered in gold by citizens dressed as angels, while twelve apostles, kings, martyrs and confessors of England’s royal line stand waiting, with offerings of wine and bread to symbolise the refreshment given by Melchizedek to Abraham on his return from the slaughter of kings. At the conduit on Cornhill, under a tent blazoned with the arms of patron saints, a company of prophets sets free a flight of sparrows in celebration of the victory. A mimic castle is reared up onto the stage, out of which a procession of dancing maidens appears. From the towers and arches of this castle, boys dressed as angles throw gold coins and branches of laurel as the King passes below. The royal procession is then met by a concourse of bishops and church dignitaries, amongst whom are the dean and chapter of St Paul’s, all bearing censers. The sound of bells greets the King as he advances to receive the blessing of Mother Church. He dismounts from his horse and passes into the cathedral, to the sound of solemn music as the people follow him.

The Passing of Medievalism. Scene III.

(a) Departure of Richard III from London.

This scene takes place in the same setting, shortly after the end of the reign of Henry V. Here we see Richard III, considered the last medieval king of England, riding through London on his way to the famous Battle of Bosworth. An atmosphere of discontent grips the scene as he rides through the streets, as treasonable whisperers can be heard discussing rumours of the fate of Queen Anne and the king’s plans for a political marriage with his niece. The king rides through the crowd, attended by his great officers and peers, including Lords Lovel and Stanley, and with them Sir R. Ratcliffe and William Catesby. Ladies of the court can be seen, of which are Queen Dowager, Elizabeth Wydville, her daughter, and the Lady Elizabeth of York. As the procession passes, the crowd does not cheer for them.

(b) Henry VII Crowned on Bosworth Field.

Set on Bosworth Field, we see The Stanleys and the Savages accompanying Richard into battle. However, when their king summons them to engage the enemy, they remain inactive, and betray him, presently attacking the Yorkist. Richard is slain whilst fighting bravely, the traitor Stanley presenting his battered crown to Henry VII on the battlefield.

(c) The entry of Henry VII.

Henry VII enters London to the sound of a triumphant and votive procession. The new king hangs three royal banners which waved over the victory at Bosworth Field. Citizens rejoice and cheer as he rides through the streets of London. He is followed by a strong contingent of Welshman who claim him as a prince of the house of Cadwallader, this being the banner they rallied under to his side at the Battle of Bosworth. The nature of this eventful victory is then described by the poet, historian and chronicler Bernard Andre in a Latin ode, recited to the crowd.

Early Discoveries. Scene IV.

In Westminster Palace, King Henry VII is holding his court, and he entertains high ambassadors of Venice and Spain through courtly ceremony and dance. Accompanied by his three sons, John Cabot, The Venetian merchant, who had previously reached the coasts of North America, is brought forward by the Lord Chamberlain for presentation to the king. The king receives him graciously and confirms a charter granted to him, adding a pension of £20. Cabot explains his discoveries to the king and shows him weapons used by natives in their homelands. After this, he leaves and the precession of courtly entertainment resumes, as the scene ends.

Merrie England. May Day Revels. Scene V.

The scene is set on a green in a village between Greenwich and London, in the early years of Henry VIII’s reign. It is the time of the May Day festival. Here, we see a game of football being played between two teams, one representing Winter, the other, Spring. Spring eventually wins, and with their drowning of the ball in water, they symbolise the new season, as youths rush out onto the green and chase ‘Winter’ back into the woods. The youths return with different plants and sprays of blossom, and they approach the houses of the village, signing a May Day song. At the sound of this, maidens appear from the houses, and they mingle with the youths. After this, the rest of the village emerges, men and women of all professions gathering in the village square. Morris dancers and children fill the square stage with excitement and merriment. The climax of the festival now approaches, with a maypole being brought in. We see the fictional characters Green Man, Wild Man, Robin Hood, Maid Marian, Friar Tuck and the rest of Robin Hood’s group. The tall maypole is brought in on a wagon, and as it enters, people wrap wreaths of ivy and laurel; then, as it stands tall, men with buckets shower it with water, as the central dance of the maypole begins. The King and Queen enter the scene, and they mingle with the people. Archery is called for and the King bends the first bow. He and his Queen take part in the common feast, dancing and falling in rank with the rest of the villagers. They then withdraw, and the scene ends as the villagers carry on with festivity.

The Field of the Cloth of Gold (June 7th, 1520).

This shows two young kings, Henry of England and Francis of France, meeting in a field. The English king is attended by an assembly of knights and gentlemen, barons, bishops, earls, ambassadors and dukes. A cardinal rides beside him on a mule, and behind him comes a mounted constable, bearing a sword. King Francis rides with a similar assembly. As the two kings meet they embrace each other on horseback, dismount and enter a tent where a banquet of sweets and wine is served to them while they talk tales of old. Barrels of wine are tapped and the kings toast to each other, and to friendship between the French and the English. As the kings leave the tent to the sound of trumpets as the arrival of the queens is announced. On the English side comes enters Queen Katherine, accompanied by Henry’s sister Mary, the Queen Dowager of France; on the French side enters Queen Claude with the Queen Mother, Louise of Savoy. With them on horseback are an assembly of fair ladies. Two young knights enter and offer symbolic trees to King Henry and King Francis. Amidst cries of goodwill between the French and English, both companies ride away and disappear.

The Spacious Days of Queen Elizabeth. Scene VII.

(a) The Knighting of Drake (April 4th, 1581).

In a garden at Deptford, a banquet is prepared for the knighting of Francis Drake. Amongst the cheers of the people attending the banquet, Drake enters the scene, with a black slave by his side, accompanied by Sir John Hawkins who is followed by his crew. Queen Elizabeth enters, carried in a canopied chair, and attended by the Earl of Leicester, Sir Francis Walsyngham (Secretary of State), Sir Christopher Hatton (Captain of the Guard), Lord Howard of Effingham (Lord High Admiral), Sir William Wynter, and the Duke of Anjou. Also entering are the Queen’s ladies in waiting, escorted by the Yeoman of the Guard. Drake then escorts the queen to her seat, a banquet is provided and as music plays, Neptune enters with tritons and sea nymphs, as well as a group of savage island kings and queens. Neptune lays a trident down before the great Gloriana, and all bow down to her. Elizabeth then knights Drake, handing the sword to the Duke of Anjou, who grants Drake the knighthood.

(b) The Review at Tilbury.

Queen Elizabeth reviews the army gathered at Tilbury to resist an invasion from the Duke of Parma. The army assembles, The Earl of Leicester riding as commander-in-chief, accompanied by Sir John Norreys, Lord Marshal, and the Earl of Essex. The Queen then enters on a war-horse, wearing a steel breastplate, with a truncheon in her hand, and accompanied by a page holding her helmet. She rides through the ranks and gives a stirring speech to the men, declaring her trust in her army and officers, and that nobody shall invade her borders. As the men cheer, she leads off the army as the scene ends.

Part III.

Eastward and Westward Ho. Scene I.

(a) The Trade with the Indies. (June, 1603).

This scene depicts the first ships returning from their first expeditions in the Far East, after the East India Trading Company had been formed. The ships are docking in London. Tabors and pipes can be heard in the background, as the governor of the East India Company, the Lord Mayor and several councillors enter, riding to the quay. Master Styles, chief factor of the ship Ascension, and Master Middleton, lieutenant in charge for its companion ship, are the first onto the quay and are greeted with cheers from the people watching. Four men carry a chest of lacquer, a gift of gold raiment inside, sent from King Acheen, intended for Queen Elizabeth. After these come men carrying precious spices, pepper ‘gum lacre’ and cinnamon in wicker baskets. One of these bag bursts, spilling its contents, and even though overseers attempt to shoo them away, citizens swarm over the contents and carry off precious samples of the spices. The wives and children of the sailors then come down to greet them on the landing-stage, and the scene closes as the families leave, happily reunited.

(b) Departure of the Pilgrim Fathers (September 6th, 1620).

This scene is set in Plymouth harbour, wherefrom the famous Mayflower is set to depart. Pilgrims, their wives, children and servants, the governor-elect Deacon Carver, William Brewster, Edward Winslow, William Bradford, and Captain Miles Standish all gather on the quay. Last goodbyes are exchanged and Puritan ministers bless the pilgrims, who silently walk down to the waterside to embark upon the Mayflower.

The Meeting of the Old World and the New: Scene II.

At Whitehall a room is being prepared for one of Ben Jonson’s masques. Ladies and vavlaiers enter, escorted by high officials and foreign ambassadors. King James and his Queen enter with their son, Prince Charles, and other lords and ladies. Princess Pocahontas then enters, led by the Master of Ceremonies and Sir Thomas Dale, Governor of Virginia. She is followed by the Indian Chief Uttamatomakkin, sent by her father (Powhattan) to report on England. Soon after, Captain John Smith arrives. Pocahontas is greeted in a friendly manner by the king and queen and received into the royal circle. Songs and dancing take place. Father Christmas enters with children in mumming dress, who then perform Ben Jonson’s masque of Christmas—a comic and allegorical piece with young boys from London taking the parts such as Minced Pie, or Misrule.

The Fall of the Monarchy: Scene III.

King Charles is shown, in one panel, at home living a simple and happy life. In a second panel his life is coming to an end—accompanied by Dr Juxon (Bishop of London) and Thomas Hebert (his devoted follower), he is guarded by troops—and then led away for execution. The final act is not shown, but, when it is over, troops come marching back with some of the judges. Oliver Cromwell, riding slowly and alone, then rides in—‘a monarch in all but name’.

The Restoration: Scene IV.

(a) The Return of the King—29 May 1660

London is en fete and awaiting a procession. Horses ride in, with liverymen, aldermen and sheriffs, guards and heralds. The Lord Mayor rides by with General Monck and the Duke of Buckingham, before King Charles II comes, between his brothers, the Dukes of York and Gloucester. The people rejoice.

(b) The Plague and the Fire.

The streets are deserted, as a plague cart moves along the street calling out for the dead. Bodies are brought out from the houses. After the Plague came the fire. The King looks out from Whitehall Palace over the river, where there are barges with rescued goods and merchandise, and sees the fire steadily advancing. On a table in the foreground there are three large plans for the rebuilding of London. Eventually the fire burns itself out.

(c) The Lord Mayor’s Procession.

A new London has arisen from the ashes, better planned and more durable. The Lord Mayor processions from Cheapside to Guildhall. At different points there are mini-pageants—of civic virtues and the strength of government; of the Arts, Apollo with the Nine Muses; of Time, followed by seasons, days, and hours; and Labour, and the great national wool trade that brings the country its wealth. The people of London forget the recent trauma and look forward to the good times ahead.

A Mourning Triumph: Scene V.

The scene is Horse Guards Gate. Fashionable crowds go leisurely by. Lady Coventry and Lady Waldegrave enter unattended and are pestered by admirers. Music and drums announce the arrival of George II, accompanied by the Prince of Wales. The gateway is thrown open and they ride through. The King gallantly assists the pestered ladies, conducting them safely to Westminster—with the rough characters arrested by the novelist Henry Fielding in his capacity as city magistrate. The King is given a despatch, which he reads and announces: the capture of Quebec and the death of General Wolfe. A Dead March takes place.

Old Customs and New Adventures: Scene VI.

(a) St Bartholomew’s Fair—1762

The fair is in progress—ballad-singers, oyster-sellers, music, dancing, a travelling menagerie, fiddlers, merry-makers, soldier marching, and more.

(b) Captain Cook Sales from the Thames.

Captain Cook comes down from London to Longreach and takes boat to his ship the Resolution. The Earl of Sandwich, First Lord, and other members of the Board of Admiralty come down to inspect the ship.

The Great War: Scene VII.

(a)The Funeral of Nelson.

Rather than showing the great procession accompanying Nelson’s funeral, the scene depicts the touching procession of Captain Hardy bringing home the body of his chief, and the carrying of the corpse through lines of Greenwich pensioners down to the river, to be taken to Westminster

(b) The Allied Sovereigns in London

The Lord Mayor opens the hospitality of the city to the allies of Britain in the Napoleonic wars. They process in, including the Prince of Orange; the Duke of York with the two songs of the King of Prussia; the aldermen and Mayor of London; the Prince Regent with the King of Prussia; a group of famous generals (including Wellington, Blucher, Lord Hill, Platoff, and Beresford); the Emperor of Russia with his sister, the Duchess of Oldenburg. The Mayor dismounts and receives his guests into the Banquet Hall.

Part IV

Newfoundland—The Landing of Sir Humphrey Gilbert, 1583: Scene I.

The scene is Britain’s senior colony at St John’s. Sir Gilbert emerges from a tent, to be met by sea captains, masters, soldiers, and adventurers with heavy earrings, cutlasses and pistols. Merchants and sailors and fishermen of varied European nationality come in, followed by a group of Indians. Sir Gilbert reads out Queen Elizabeth’s commission to take possession of the land, before he digs up a sod of turf to symbolise England’s new ownership. The Royal Standard is unfurled, and a salute of guns of the fleet is heard. A party takes place, with only a few Spaniards protesting.

Australia—Captain Cook Lands at Botany Bay, 1770: Scene II

Natives of Botany Bay are at the shore—their chief gives a cry and looks towards the sea and a fast approaching ship. They shout and sing, threatening with their spears. A band of Englishmen come onto the shore, led by Captain Cook, accompanied by Mr Hicks, Mr Monkhouse of the Royal Navy, Dr Solander, Dr Joseph Banks, and others. Cook tries to throw beads and other goods towards the natives, but they are still threatening—so they let off a few rounds of musket fire. The natives run away, but leave their children; the English now fondle the children and give them presents. The British flag is hoisted, and God Save the King is sung. Gradually, the natives re-emerge and venture forward to receive the tempting presents which await them.

South Africa: Scene III.

(a) Landing of Van Riebeeck—1652

Three ships of the Dutch East India Company are at anchor in Table Bay. The ‘wild Hottentots’ of the beach watch their arrival with amazement and alarm. The Dutch bring ashore their sick men, who are tended to by Frau Van Riebeeck. Then there is the sound of cannon. Van Riebeeck leads a Dutch hymn, as the Hottentots venture forward to receive trinkets and other gifts. Calling his followers to come forward, Van Riebeeck leads his men into the new country to begin the colonisation of South Africa.

(b) The Settlers of 1820

South Africa has passed to the British, and is receiving many new emigrants following the upheavals of the recent War. They are met by Sir Rufane Donkin (acting-Governor), as well as soldiers of a Highland Regiment, Boer farmers, and others. All is excitement and happiness, tunes being played and dances given, as the colonists travel to their new homes—assisted by bare-chested natives.

New Zealand—The Treaty of Waitangi: Scene IV

A company of Maori men and women are seated smoking pipes and talking, having sought the protection of England (in turn accepting an English governor and ceding sovereignty of New Zealand to Queen Victoria). The firing of guns announces the arrival of HMS Herald, bringing Captain Hobson accompanied by Captain Nias, Lieutenants Shortland and Fisher, and other troopers of the New South Wales Mounted Police, as well as Rev. H. Williams and other missionaries. They are met by Mr Busby, a British resident, and are welcomed by the Maori with a chant. The treaty is placed on a table and Hobson gives a speech, offering the protection of Queen Victoria to the Maori. Some Maori remonstrate, whereas others welcome the treaty. The Captain assures the Maori that they shall remain free—leading to the acceptance of the treaty, and the hoisting of the Union Jack. The scene concludes with a Maori dance.

Canada: Scene V

(a) The United Empire Loyalists

The American War of Independence being over, the remaining Loyalists process into voluntary exile in British Canada—soldiers, clergy, lawyers, government officials, women and children, most now reduced to poverty. They do not despair, however, and stop to halt and prepare a feast for the birthday of their beloved sovereign King George. They sing God Save the King, before moving off again.

(b) The New North-West

A century later, and after the wars between different settlers, there is peace in the country. Navvies now begin to lay rails. Sir Donald Smith raises aloft a hammer, and ceremoniously hits in the last spike of the great transcontinental railway, to wild cheers and trumpets. The band strikes up the Maple Leaf, and from the train emerge farmers, traders, builders, missionaries, schoolmasters and sportsman. They march, in company with mounted police and Indians, watched by bystanders.

India: Scene VI.

(a) The Embassy of Sir Thomas Roe, 1616.

The Mogul Emperor Jahangir holds his court at Ajmere, his courtyard full of officials, citizens, strangers, and performers. The Emperor appears as music plays, and he is saluted by all present. Sir Thomas Roe, ambassador from King James, attends and is introduced to the Emperor. Roe delivers gifts from the King, which the Emperor graciously accepts, and communicates in English with the ambassador. Their meeting is interrupted by a man who rushes forward and demands justice against an official who has robbed him and ill-treated his family; the case is heard, the official condemned, and flogged. After this ‘example of summary justice’, the Mogul sovereign withdraws, and the assembly disperses.

(b) Procession of the Mogul Emperor Mohammed Akbar Shar II 1806-1837.

The emperor goes in procession along the banks of the Jumna river, before the great palaces of Delhi, accompanied by the British resident and his staff. The procession includes elephants bearing the emperors’ banner, horseman and camels, soldiers, musicians, and others.

(c) Interview at Rupar, on the Sutlej River, between Lord William Bentinck, Governor-General of Bengal, and Maharajah Ranjit Sinjh, Ruler of the Punjab.

The sides of the road are lined with troops selected to exhibit to the Indian Ruler the various arms and corps of the British forces. A deputation advances to the river to meet the Maharajah, who appears on an elephant, before passing slowly down the line examining the troops. As he approaches the centre of the line, the Governor-General advances to meet him on an elephant; they salute each other. They then proceed to the Governor-General’s tents, where Lord William Bentinck first dismounts and receives the Maharajah. They swap gifts, and speak, as British and Indian tunes are played in the background.

The Masque Imperial—An Allegory of the Advantages of Empire: Scene VII.

The scene is a pleasant meadow, leading down to a river, on one side of which there is a stately temple in the Grecian style. In the middle of the temple is a vast portal with dark doors. The Genius of the World announces the advent of a great new Power, and summons in the seven Queens of the World’s destiny—Queen Need of Need, Queen Need of Strength, Queen Need of Law, Queen Need of Knowledge, Queen Need of Truth, Queen Need of Brotherhood, and the Queen of Wisdom, who is the Need of God. The Genius of the World tells them that this new Power is to undergo an ordeal that will prove her right to the World’s Dominion. He then calls her (the Power’s) name: Britannia. She enters, attended by Nature Spirits who sing her welcome. She makes obeisance to the seven Queens. Britannia, being ready for her trial, is told by the Genius of the World that it is about to begin. Bands of weary people now appear from all sides—soldiers, sailors, scholars, workers, thinkers, women, children. Britannia, full of pity, is told that if she leads them to the temple, ‘which is the goal of all’, she shall have proved her worth. As she attempts this, the Damozels of Death block her passage. But made strong by the infinite need of her peoples, Britannia confronts Death—realising that the Death of Hope is absent (‘that can alone be the final Death’). All of a sudden the Damozels of Death are no longer dark and dreadful but resplendent and beautiful; the seven queens of Need are not old, but young and glorious; the bands of people are not weary but happy and triumphant. Trumpets sound from all directions, and are followed by the appearance of maidens and women in white bearing gifts of golden oak and laurel leaves. They are followed by three heralds in red and gold, with the arms of Scotland, Ireland, and Wales; a single herald with the arms of England, in red and blue and gold; Cyprus, Gibraltar, Malta. Then come many representatives of cities, states and regions from other territories. The North comes in the form of Canada and Newfoundland; the South in the form of Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Rhodesia, East and Central Africa, British Central Africa, and West Africa; the East in the form of India, Ceylon, Borneo, Burma, and Hong Kong; and the West in the form of British Guiana, Bermuda, Honduras, Jamaica, and others. They all pass into the temple as the sounds of a great Psalm are heard (‘The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof’). There is then silence, as the Genius of the World, who alone is left, kneels down and gradually sinks from sight as a prayer to the Lord is heard.

Key historical figures mentioned

  • Cassivellaunus (fl. 54 BC) king in Britain
  • Caesar [Gaius Julius Caesar] (100–44 BC) politician, author, and military commander
  • arausius [Marcus Aurelius Mausaeus Carausius] (d. 293) Roman emperor in Britain and Gaul
  • Alfred [Ælfred] (848/9–899) king of the West Saxons and of the Anglo-Saxons [also known as Aelfred, the Great]
  • Ealhswith (d. 902) consort of Alfred, king of the West Saxons from 871 and of the Anglo-Saxons from 886
  • Æthelflæd [Ethelfleda] (d. 918) ruler of the Mercians
  • Grimbald [St Grimbald] (d. 901?) Benedictine monk
  • John the Old Saxon (fl. c.885–904) scholar and abbot of Athelney
  • Wulfstan (fl. 880) traveller,
  • Edmund II [known as Edmund Ironside] (d. 1016) king of England
  • Æthelred II [Ethelred; known as Ethelred the Unready] (c.966x8–1016) king of England
  • Óláf [Óláfr] Tryggvason (d. 999) king of Norway
  • Thorkell the Tall [Þorkill inn Hávi], earl of East Anglia (fl. 1009–1023) viking leader, magnate, and regent [also known as Thorkelthe Tall]
  • Harold II [Harold Godwineson] (1022/3?–1066) king of England
  • Gyrth, earl of East Anglia (d. 1066) magnate
  • Leofwine, earl (d. 1066) magnate
  • Leofric (fl. 1070–1071) priest
  • Ælfwig (d. 1066) abbot of New Minster, Winchester
  • Gytha (fl. c.1022–1068)
  • William I [known as William the Conqueror] (1027/8–1087) king of England and duke of Normandy
  • Odo, earl of Kent (d. 1097) bishop of Bayeux and magnate
  • Robert, count of Mortain (d. 1095) magnate
  • Edgar Ætheling (b. 1052?, d. in or after 1125) prince [also known as Eadgar, Atheling]
  • Ealdred [Aldred] (d. 1069) archbishop of York
  • Edward I (1239–1307) king of England and lord of Ireland, and duke of Aquitaine
  • Eleanor [Eleanor of Castile] (1241–1290) queen of England, consort of Edward I
  • Eleanor [Eleanor of Provence] (c.1223–1291), queen of England, consort of Henry III
  • Gilbert of Clare, Earl of Gloucester and Hertford
  • Lacy, Henry de, fifth earl of Lincoln (1249–1311) magnate
  • Burgh, Richard de, second earl of Ulster [called Red Earl] (b. in or after 1259, d. 1326) magnate, lord of Connacht
  • Richard de Burgh, Earl of Ulster
  • Edmund [called Edmund Crouchback] first earl of Lancaster and first earl of Leicester (1245–1296), prince
  • Edmund of Almain, second earl of Cornwall (1249–1300) magnate
  • Edward II [Edward of Caernarfon] (1284–1327) king of England and lord of Ireland, and duke of Aquitaine
  • Langton, John (d. 1337) administrator and bishop of Chichester
  • Joan [Joan of Acre], countess of Hertford and Gloucester (1272–1307) princess
  • Droxford [Drokensford], John (d. 1329)
  • Joan, suo jure countess of Kent, and princess of Wales and of Aquitaine [called the Fair Maid of Kent] (c.1328–1385)
  • Clare, Elizabeth de [Elizabeth de Burgh; known as lady of Clare] (1294/5–1360) magnate and founder of Clare College, Cambridge
  • Edmund [Edmund of Langley], first duke of York (1341–1402) prince
  • John [John of Gaunt], duke of Aquitaine and duke of Lancaster, styled king of Castile and León (1340–1399) prince and steward of England
  • Brittany, John of, earl of Richmond (1266?–1334) magnate and administrator
  • Lionel [Lionel of Antwerp], duke of Clarence (1338–1368), prince
  • Edward [Edward of Woodstock; known as the Black Prince], prince of Wales and of Aquitaine (1330–1376) heir to the English throne and military commander Click here to see image
  • David II (1324–1371) king of Scots
  • Edward III (1312–1377) king of England and lord of Ireland, and duke of Aquitaine
  • Chaucer, Geoffrey (c.1340–1400) poet and administrator Click here to see image
  • Whittington, Richard [Dick] (c.1350–1423) merchant and mayor of London
  • Tyler, Walter [Wat] (d. 1381) leader of the peasants' revolt
  • Ball, John (d. 1381) chaplain and leader of the peasants' revolt
  • Sudbury, Simon (c.1316–1381) administrator and archbishop of Canterbury Click here to see image
  • Hales, Sir Robert (d. 1381) administrator and prior of the hospital of St John of Jerusalem in England
  • Montagu, William [William de Montacute], second earl of Salisbury (1328–1397) lord of Man and the Isle of Wight
  • Beauchamp, Thomas, twelfth earl of Warwick (1337x9–1401) magnate
  • Walworth, Sir William (d. 1386?) merchant and mayor of London
  • Henry V (1386–1422) king of England and lord of Ireland, and duke of Aquitaine
  • Barowe [Barrow], Thomas (d. 1499) lawyer and administrator
  • Hussey [Huse], Sir William (d. 1495) justice
  • Starkey, Sir Humphrey (d. 1486) justice
  • Bryan, Sir Thomas (d. 1500) judge
  • Ashton, Sir Ralph (c.1425–1487x90) soldier
  • Catesby, Sir John (d. 1487) justice
  • Hungerford, Sir Walter (b. in or after 1441, d. 1516) landowner
  • Howard, Thomas, second duke of Norfolk (1443–1524) magnate and soldier
  • Percy, Henry, fourth earl of Northumberland (c.1449–1489) magnate
  • Elizabeth [Elizabeth of York] (1466–1503) queen of England, consort of Henry VII
  • Brackenbury, Sir Robert (d. 1485) knight
  • Lovell, Francis, Viscount Lovell (b. c.1457, d. in or after 1488) administrator and rebel
  • Ratcliffe, Sir Richard (d. 1485) royal councillor
  • Catesby, William (b. in or before 1446, d. 1485) royal councillor and speaker of the House of Commons
  • Richard III (1452–1485) king of England and lord of Ireland
  • The Earl of Warwick
  • The Earl of Oxford
  • Urswick, Christopher (1448?–1522) courtier, diplomat, and ecclesiastic
  • Fox [Foxe], Richard (1447/8–1528) administrator, bishop of Winchester, and founder of Corpus Christi College, Oxford
  • Stanley, Sir William (c.1435–1495) administrator and landowner
  • Stanley, Edward, first Baron Monteagle (c.1460–1523) soldier
  • Sir John (VI) Savage (d. 1527)
  • Sir John (VII) Savage (d. 1528)
  • Nanfan, Sir Richard (1445–1507) diplomat and administrator
  • Poynings, Sir Edward (1459–1521) administrator, soldier, and diplomat
  • Blount, Sir James (d. 1492) soldier
  • Guildford, Sir Richard (c.1450–1506) administrator
  • Henry VIII (1491–1547) king of England and Ireland
  • Tudor, Jasper [Jasper of Hatfield], duke of Bedford (c.1431–1495), magnate
  • Percy, Henry, fourth earl of Northumberland (c.1449–1489) magnate
  • Stanley, Thomas, first earl of Derby (c.1433–1504) magnate
  • Brandon, Sir Thomas (d. 1510) courtier and diplomat
  • Morton, John (d. 1500) administrator and archbishop of Canterbury
  • Margaret [Margaret Tudor] (1489–1541) queen of Scots, consort of James IV
  • Arthur, prince of Wales (1486–1502)
  • Beaufort, Margaret [known as Lady Margaret Beaufort], countess of Richmond and Derby (1443–1509) royal matriarch
  • Cabot, John [Zuan Caboto] (c.1451–1498) navigator
  • Cabot, Sebastian (c.1481/2–1557) explorer and cartographer
  • Hood, Robin (supp. fl. late 12th–13th cent.) legendary outlaw hero
  • Tuck, Friar (fl. 15th cent.) legendary outlaw
  • Katherine [Catalina, Catherine, Katherine of Aragon] (1485–1536) queen of England, first consort of Henry VIII
  • Hastings, George, first earl of Huntingdon (1486/7–1544) magnate
  • Bourchier, John, second Baron Berners (c.1467–1533) soldier, diplomat, and translator
  • Grey, Leonard [known as Lord Leonard Grey], Viscount Graney (c.1490–1541) lord deputy of Ireland
  • Darcy, Thomas, Baron Darcy of Darcy (b. in or before 1467, d. 1537) soldier and rebel
  • Lumley, John, fifth Baron Lumley (b. in or before 1492, d. 1545) landowner and rebel
  • Dacre, Thomas, second Baron Dacre of Gilsland (1467–1525) magnate and soldier [also known as Dacres, Thomas]
  • Docwra, Sir Thomas (d. 1527) prior of the hospital of St John of Jerusalem in England and diplomat
  • West, Nicholas (d. 1533) bishop of Ely and diplomat
  • Kite, John (d. 1537) archbishop of Armagh and bishop of Carlisle
  • Poynings, Sir Edward (1459–1521) administrator, soldier, and diplomat
  • Tunstal [Tunstall], Cuthbert (1474–1559) bishop of Durham and diplomat
  • Brandon, Charles, first duke of Suffolk (c.1484–1545) magnate, courtier, and soldier
  • Stafford, Edward, third duke of Buckingham (1478–1521) magnate
  • Howard, Thomas, second duke of Norfolk (1443–1524) magnate and soldier
  • Warham, William (1450?–1532) administrator and archbishop of Canterbury
  • Grey, Thomas, second marquess of Dorset (1477–1530) magnate and courtier
  • Wolsey, Thomas (1470/71–1530) royal minister, archbishop of York, and cardinal
  • Guildford, Sir Henry (1489–1532) courtier
  • Wyatt, Sir Henry (c.1460–1536) politician and courtier
  • Longland, John (1473–1547) bishop of Lincoln
  • Tuke, Sir Brian (d. 1545) administrator
  • Francis I (1494–1547) king of France
  • Drake, Sir Francis (1540–1596) pirate, sea captain, and explorer
  • Hawkins, Sir John (1532–1595) merchant and naval commander
  • Elizabeth I (1533–1603) queen of England and Ireland
  • Dudley, Robert, earl of Leicester (1532/3–1588) courtier and magnate
  • Walsingham, Sir Francis (c.1532–1590) principal secretary
  • Hatton, Sir Christopher (c.1540–1591) courtier and politician
  • Howard, Charles, second Baron Howard of Effingham and first earl of Nottingham (1536–1624) naval commander
  • Winter, Sir William (c.1525–1589) naval administrator
  • Williams, Sir Roger (1539/40–1595) soldier and author
  • Norris [Norreys], Sir John (c.1547x50–1597) military commander
  • Devereux, Robert, second earl of Essex (1565–1601) soldier and politician
  • Smith, Sir Thomas (c.1556–1609) secretary to Robert Devereux, second earl of Essex [also known as Smith, Sir]
  • Bayning, Paul (c.1539–1616) merchant
  • Spencer, Sir John (d. 1610) merchant and lord mayor of London
  • Middleton, Sir Henry (d. 1613) East India Company sea captain
  • Brewster, William (1566/7–1644) separatist leader
  • Winslow, Edward (1595–1655) colonial governor
  • Bradford, William (1590–1657) a founder of Plymouth Colony
  • Standish, Myles (c.1584–1656) soldier and colonist [also known as Standish, Miles]
  • James VI and I (1566–1625) king of Scotland, England, and Ireland
  • Anne [Anna, Anne of Denmark] (1574–1619) queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland, consort of James VI and I
  • Pocahontas [Matoaka, Amonute; married name Rebecca Rolfe] (c.1596–1617) Algonquian Indian princess
  • Danvers, Henry, earl of Danby (1573–1644) army officer and administrator,
  • Somerset, Edward, fourth earl of Worcester (c.1550–1628) nobleman and courtier
  • Howard, Theophilus, second earl of Suffolk (1584–1640) courtier and politician
  • Stuart, Esmé, third duke of Lennox (1579?–1624) nobleman
  • Cecil [née Brydges; other married name Smith], Frances, countess of Exeter (1580–1663) noblewoman
  • Russell [née Harington], Lucy, countess of Bedford (bap. 1581, d. 1627) courtier and patron of the arts
  • Howard, Aletheia [née Talbot], countess of Arundel, of Surrey, and of Norfolk, and suo jure Baroness Furnivall, Baroness Talbot, and Baroness Strange of Blackmere (d. 1654) patron and collector of art
  • Charles I (1600–1649) king of England, Scotland, and Ireland
  • Dale, Sir Thomas (d. 1619) soldier and administrator
  • Smith, John (bap. 1580, d. 1631) soldier and colonial governor
  • West, Thomas, third Baron De La Warr (1577–1618) colonial governor,
  • Cromwell, Oliver (1599–1658) lord protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland
  • MacDonnell [née Manners; other married name Villiers], Katherine, duchess of Buckingham and marchioness of Antrim (1603?–1649) noblewoman
  • Villiers [married name Stuart], Mary, duchess of Lennox and Richmond (1622–1685) courtier
  • Henrietta Maria [Princess Henrietta Maria of France] (1609–1669) queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland, consort of Charles I
  • Mary, princess royal (1631–1660) princess of Orange, consort of William II
  • Elizabeth, Princess [Elizabeth Stuart] (1596–1662) queen of Bohemia and electress palatine, consort of Frederick V
  • Jermyn [Germain], Henry, earl of St Albans (bap. 1605, d. 1684) courtier and government official
  • Hudson, Jeffery (1619–1682) dwarf
  • Hay [née Percy], Lucy, countess of Carlisle (1599–1660) courtier
  • Charles II (1630–1685) king of England, Scotland, and Ireland
  • James II and VII (1633–1701) king of England, Scotland, and Ireland
  • Cavendish, William, first duke of Newcastle upon Tyne (bap. 1593, d. 1676) writer, patron, and royalist army officer
  • Charles Lewis [Karl Ludwig] (1618–1680) elector palatine of the Rhine
  • Villiers, George, second duke of Buckingham (1628–1687) politician and wit
  • Juxon, William (bap. 1582, d. 1663) archbishop of Canterbury
  • Tomlinson [Thomlinson], Matthew, appointed Lord Tomlinson under the protectorate (bap. 1617, d. 1681) parliamentarian army officer and politician
  • Henry, Prince, duke of Gloucester (1640–1660)
  • Wren, Sir Christopher (1632–1723) architect, mathematician, and astronomer [also known as Wren]
  • Evelyn, John (1620–1706) diarist and writer
  • Hooke, Robert (1635–1703) natural philosopher
  • Pepys, Samuel (1633–1703) naval official and diarist
  • George II (1683–1760) king of Great Britain and Ireland, and elector of Hanover
  • Campbell [née Gunning], Elizabeth, duchess of Argyll and suo jure Baroness Hamilton of Hameldon [other married name Elizabeth Hamilton, duchess of Hamilton and Brandon] (bap. 1733, d. 1790) courtier
  • Coventry [née Gunning], Maria, countess of Coventry (bap. 1732, d. 1760) figure of scandal
  • Herbert, Henry, tenth earl of Pembroke and seventh earl of Montgomery (1734–1794) army officer
  • George III (1738–1820) king of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and king of Hanover
  • William Augustus, Prince, duke of Cumberland (1721–1765) army officer
  • Holles, Thomas Pelham-, duke of Newcastle upon Tyne and first duke of Newcastle under Lyme (1693–1768) prime minister
  • Anson, George, Baron Anson (1697–1762) naval officer and politician
  • Boscawen, Edward (1711–1761) naval officer and politician
  • Ligonier, Edward [Francis Edward], Earl Ligonier of Clonmell (1740?–1782) army officer
  • Pitt, William, first earl of Chatham [known as Pitt the elder] (1708–1778) prime minister
  • Walpole, Horatio [Horace], fourth earl of Orford (1717–1797) author, politician, and patron of the arts
  • Cook, James (1728–1779) explorer
  • Laforey, Sir Francis (1767–1835)
  • Moorsom, Sir Robert (1760–1835) naval officer
  • Hardy, Sir Thomas Masterman, baronet (1769–1839) naval officer
  • Whitshed, Sir James Hawkins, first baronet (1762–1849) naval officer
  • Orde, Sir John, first baronet (1751–1824) naval officer and politician
  • Harvey, Sir Eliab (1758–1830) naval officer and politician
  • Coffin, Sir Isaac, baronet (1759–1839) naval officer and inventor of a mechanized oven
  • Hood, Samuel, first Viscount Hood (1724–1816) naval officer
  • Parker, Sir Peter, first baronet (1721–1811) naval officer
  • Waldegrave, William, first Baron Radstock (1753–1825) naval officer
  • Blackwood, Sir Henry, first baronet (1770–1832) naval officer
  • Caldwell, Sir Benjamin (1739–1820) naval officer and politician
  • Hamilton, Sir Charles, second baronet (1767–1849) naval officer
  • Nugent, Sir Charles Edmund (bap. 1759, d. 1844) naval officer
  • Bligh, Sir Richard Rodney (1737–1821) naval officer
  • Curtis, Sir Roger, first baronet (1746–1816) naval officer
  • Pole, Sir Charles Morice (1757–1830) naval officer and politician
  • George IV (1762–1830) king of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and king of Hanover
  • Frederick William III (1770–1840) king of Prussia
  • Wellesley [formerly Wesley], Arthur, first duke of Wellington (1769–1852) army officer and prime minister
  • Beresford, William Carr, Viscount Beresford (1768–1854) army officer
  • Hill, Rowland, first Viscount Hill (1772–1842) army officer
  • Alexander I (1777–1825) emperor of Russia
  • Gilbert, Sir Humphrey (1537–1583) explorer and soldier
  • Solander, Daniel (1733–1782) botanist
  • Banks, Sir Joseph, baronet (1743–1820) naturalist and patron of science
  • Hobson, William (1792–1842) naval officer and colonial governor
  • Nias, Sir Joseph (1793–1879) naval officer
  • Shortland, John (1769–1810), naval officer
  • Fisher, William (1780–1852) naval officer
  • Donkin, Sir Rufane Shaw (1773–1841) army officer
  • Smith, Donald Alexander, first Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal (1820–1914) businessman and politician in Canada
  • Roe, Sir Thomas (1581–1644) diplomat
  • Jahangir (1569–1627) Mughal Emperor Mogul

Musical production

Performed by a band of fifty performers, and a chorus of five hundred voices, under the direction of W.H. Bell.

‘Wherever possible contemporary music has been made use of by the composers for the various scenes, sometimes employed in the general texture of the music, sometimes performed in its original form and under as nearly as possible its original conditions.’1

Part I

  • Scene I
  • W.H. Bell, Short Pastoral Opening
  • Frank Tapp, Gorsedd Prayer
  • Frank Tapp, Druids’ March

Scene II

  • Frank Tapp, Prelude
  • Frank Tapp, Song to Diana
  • Frank Tapp, Soldiers’ Song
  • Frank Tapp, Finale
  • Edward German, Dance

Scene III

  • Cecil Forsyth, Incidental Music
  • Psalm XXIV to a Gregorian tone
  • Scene IV
  • Gustav Holst, Battle Music
  • Gustav Holst, Raven Song
  • Gustav Holst, Biarkmal Song in Praise of Olaf

Scene V

  • Paul Corder, Harold’s March to Hastings
  • Paul Corder, William the Conqueror’s Entry
  • Scene VI
  • Haydn Wood, Incidental Music
  • Summer is I’ cumen in

Scene VII

  • W.H. Bell, Music founded on old Welsh tune (‘Ar Hyd y Nos’)
  • W.H. Bell, ‘Vexilla Regis’ (Ancient)
  • W.H. Bell, Choral March on ‘Vexilla Regis’
  • W.H. Bell, Incidental music
  • W.H. Bell, Finale

Scene VIII

  • W.H. Bell, Prelude
  • W.H. Bell, King’s Entry
  • W.H. Bell, Knights’ Entry
  • W.H. Bell, Chorale Finale

Part II

Scene I

  • J.B. MacEwen, Canterbury Pilgrims
  • J.B. MacEwen, Social Upheaval, with Loyalist Anthem and Rebels’ Song

Scene II

  • J.B. MacEwen, March
  • Dixit Dominus (Gregorian)
  • Cantate Domino (founded on old antiphon ‘Montes et Colles’)
  • J.B. MacEwen, Nowell (Virgins)
  • Finale founded on old Agincourt Song, ‘Oure Kynge Went Forth’

Scene III

  • Frank Bridge, March for Richard III
  • Frank Bridge, March for Henry VII

Scene IV

  • Frank Bridge, Prelude and Setting of lines from Seneca
  • Pavane and Galliard, arranged from ancient sources

Scene V

  • Ralph Vaughan Williams (orchestrated by Cecil Forsyth), Music harmonised and arranged from folk songs

Scene VI

  • Charles Macpherson, Incidental Music

Scene VII

  • Hubert Bath, Incidental Music
  • Edward German, March and Chorus

Part III

Scene I

  • Sir Alexander Mackenzie, Britannia Overture
  • W.H. Bell, Incidental Music, introducing ‘Golden Vanity’ and ‘Angels Song’ (Orlando Gibbons)

Scene II

  • From contemporary sources, and arranged by W.H. Bell: ‘When Laura Smiles’ by Philip Possiter (1601); Diaphenia (F. Pilkington, 1605); Coranto (Orlando Gibbons); La Volta (William Byrd)
  • Edward German, Prelude: Pastoral Dance

Scene III

  • John Dowland (1601), Pavane: ‘A Shepherd in the Shade

Scene IV

  • Hubert Bath, Music founded on ‘The King shall enjoy his own again’ and ‘Old Sir Simon the King’
  • Balfour Gardiner, Plague of London
  • Balfour Gardiner, Music for Fire of London
  • Balfour Gardiner, Music for Lord Mayor’s Show, introducing 'Cloth-Workers’ Song'

Scene V

  • Handel, Dettingen Te Deum
  • Handel, March in Saul

Scene VI

  • Frederick Austin, Incidental Music

Scene VII

  • Percy Fletcher, March: ‘The Spirit of Pageantry’

Part IV

  • Music was composed especially by composers from the Colonies represented or arranged from already existing works.
  • Lieutenant Dr Mackenzie Rogan, ‘Rhapsody on Indian Airs’
  • A. Alexander
  • A. Allen
  • The Masque was set to music by Frederick Corder:
  • Overture: ‘The Golden Dawn’
  • Full Chorus: ‘Mothers of Men’s Desire’
  • Boys’ Chorus: ‘See, She comes’
  • Chorus of Nymphs: ‘Water Reeds’
  • Full Chorus: ‘Come, ye Heather-mantled Hills’
  • Incidental Music and March
  • Finale: ‘The Earth is the Lord’s’

Newspaper coverage of pageant

Every major newspaper covered this pageant, and it is likely that the vast majority of the local press did as well.

Book of words


Other primary published materials

Festival of Empire Imperial Exhibition and Pageant of London, Official Guide and Catalogue including the Fair of Fashions, etc. London, 1911.

Festival of Empire Imperial Exhibition and Pageant of London, Pageant Programme. London, 1911.

Lomas Sophie C., Souvenir of the Pageant London, containing 29 coloured pictures. London, 1911.

The Festival of Empire and the Pageant of London: May, June, July 1910, at the Crystal Palace. Bristol, 1911.

Other primary published materials


References in secondary literature

  • Gorman, Daniel.The Emergence of International Society in the 1920s. Cambridge, 2012.
  • Hoffenberg, Peter H., An Empire on Display: English, Indian, and Australian Exhibitions from the Crystal Palace to the Great War. Berkeley, 2001.
  • Lew, Nathaniel G., Tonic to the Nation: Making English Music in the Festival of Britain. Abingdon, 2016.
  • Nichols, Kate, Greece and Rome at the Crystal Palace: Classical Sculpture and Modern Britain, 1854-1936. Oxford, 2015.
  • Richards, Jeffrey, Imperialism and Music: Britain, 1876-1953. Manchester, 2001.
  • Ryan, Deborah S., ‘Staging the imperial city: the Pageant of London, 1911’ in Felix Driver and David Gilbert (eds), Imperial Cities. Manchester, 1999.
  • Savage, Roger, Masques, Mayings and Music-Dramas: Vaughan Williams and the Early Twentieth-Century Stage. Woodbridge, 2014.

Archival holdings connected to pageant

  • National Art Library, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 86.HH.16, M.P. Noel, ‘Scrapbook containing material relating to the Pageant of London which was given as part of the Festival of Empire, 1911’,
  • The Crystal Palace Foundation (UK Registered Charity 285563) holds a large collection of programmes, images, postcards and souvenirs from the pageant.

Sources used in preparation of pageant

  • [Where possible bibliographic details from the catalogue of the British Library have been given; where not possible, the citation has been recorded as given in the souvenir programme]
  • A Lord Mayor’s Show. Performed October 29th 1677 for the Inauguration of the Right Hon Sir Francis Chaplin Knight, being the sole undertaking the ancient Right Worshipful Society of Clothworkers. Designed and Composed by Thomas Jordan, Gent.
  • Ames, Azel. The Mayflower and her Log
  • Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, trans. B. Thorpe p. 168 [Scene V].
  • Annales Londonienses, No. 76 in the Rolls Series, Vol. I., p. 93 [Scene VII].
  • Annates Londonienses, No. 76 in the Rolls Series, Vol. I., p. 91 [Scene VII].
  • Annates Paulini, in Chronicles of Edward I and Edward II (Rolls Series), Vol. I., p. 354 (translated by Dr Wylie) [Scene VIII].
  • Annual Register, Vol 11
  • Bourne, Henry. Antiquitates Vulgares, ch. 25.
  • Bradford, William. History of the Plymouth Plantation
  • Brewer, J.S. Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domesteric, of the Reign of Henry VIII., Vol. II., Part I.
  • Cal. Venetian State Papers, 1617-19
  • Calendar of Venetian State Papers, Vol. I., pp. 260-3.
  • Chaucer, Geoffrey, Canterbury Tales.
  • Chronicle of Calais
  • Chronicle of Lanercost, trans. Sir Herbert Maxwell, Scottish Historical Review, Vol. VI., p. 180 [Scene VII].
  • Cotton, Bartholomew. Historia Anglicana, No. 16 in the Rolls Series, p. 166 [Scene VII].
  • Court Minutes of the East India Company, Vol. 1, fols 101-104
  • Ecclesia de Bernewdle Liber Memorandorum, p. 62 [Scene VII].
  • Evelyn, John. Diary
  • Fabyan, Robert. Chronicles, p. 467, ed. 1811 [Scene VII]I.
  • Fitzstephen, William. Preface to his biography of St Thomas Becket, entitled 'A Description of the very noble City of London.’ [Scene VI].
  • Flores Historiarum, No. 95 in the Rolls Series, Vol. III., p. 101 [Scene VII].
  • Hall's Chronicle [on Henry VIII]
  • Historia Regis Henrici VII a Bernardo Andrea (ed. James Gairdner, Rolls Series, 1858).
  • Hon. J. West to Lord Nuneham, 26th June 1759
  • Johnson, Ben. Christmas his Masque, as it was presented at court, Jan 6 1616-17
  • Journal of the City of London. [Memorials of Henry VII. (Rolls), i, 5.]
  • King Henry's entry into London, written by one of his chaplains, translated from the original Latin in Henrici quinti Anglice Regis Gesta, ed. Benjamin Williams, London, 1859, pp. 61-8.
  • Nicolas, Sir Nicholas Harris. History of the Battle of Agincourt. London, 1832. At 329.
  • Letter dated August 24th, I497.
  • Letter from Lorenzo Pasqualigo, October 11th, 1497.
  • Letter from the Venetian Ambassador, Andrea Trevisano, dated October 11th, 1497, giving an account of a reception by Henry VII in this same year.
  • Letter of Nicolo Sagudino, Secretary of Sebastian Giustinian, Ambassador in England, to Alvise Foscari, in Calendar of State Papers (Venetian), Vol. II. (1509-1519)
  • Letter of Samuel Pepys to Lady Carteret, September 4 1665
  • Letter of Sir Thomas Dale to a friend in London, June 18th 1614 (Pruchas His Pilgrimes, 1906 ed., xix, 106
  • Mr Chamberlain to Sir Dudley Carleton, Jan 18th 1616-17, Birch MS 4173, British Museum
  • Mr Jenkinson to George Grenville, 26th June 1759
  • Mr. Payne's chapter on "Renaissance Exploration" in Vol. 50 of the Cambridge Modern History.
  • Oman, Charles. The Great Revolt of 1381. London, 1906. At 200-2.
  • Orderici Vitalis Historia Ecclesiastica, in Jacques-Paul Migne, Patrologia Latina, Vol. 188, p. 296 [Scene V].
  • Pepys, Samuel. Diary
  • Ralph of Coggeshall. Chronicon Anglicanum, No. 66 in the Rolls Series, p. 63 [Scene VI].
  • Rishanger, Willelmi. Chronica et Annates, No. 28 in the Rolls Series, Vol. IL, p. 104 [Scene VII].
  • Rishanger, Willelmi. Gesta Edwardi, No. 28 in Rolls Series, p. 464 [Scene VII].
  • Rugge, Thomas. Diurnal
  • Rutland Papers
  • Sharpe, Reginald R. London and the Kingdom, Vol II. London, 1894.
  • Smith, Captain John. History of Virginia
  • Spectator, v. No. 365.
  • State Papers
  • Stevens, George Alexander. Description of Bartholomew Fair in London 1762
  • Stow's Survey of London
  • Strype's Eccles., Mem. iii., cap. 49, page 377.
  • Sturluson, Snorri. The Heimskringla, written early in the thirteenth century. The translation is by W. Morris and Eirikr Magniisson, in ‘The Saga Library’ vol. IV, pp. 12-15 [Scene IV].
  • The Brut Chronicle (Early English Text Society), p. 308 [Scene VIII].
  • The Dispatches and Letters of Vice-Admiral Lord Viscount Nelson, ed. Sir Harris Nicolas, Vol VIII
  • Trivet, Nicholai. Annales, in English Historical Society Publications, p. 349 [Scene VII].
  • Vita Edwardi Secundi, No. 76 in the Rolls Series, Vol. II., p. 277 [Scene VII].
  • Wace. Roman de Rou, trans. Edgar Taylor, p. 142 [Scene V].
  • Walpole, Horace. Letters. Vol III, p. 233
  • Walsingham's Chronicle (Rolls Series), I., 285 [Scene VIII].
  • William of Poitiers, Gesta Willelmi, in Jacques-Paul Migne, Patrologia Latina, Vol. 149, p. 1260 [Scene V].
  • William the Conqueror’s speech: translated from a Saxon document preserved at the Guildhall and printed in Lihef Custumarum (Rolls Series), p. 504 [Scene V].


The Pageant of London was the main attraction of the Festival of Empire at Crystal Palace in 1911. Undoubtedly the largest and most ambitious pageant of the Edwardian period, if not the whole twentieth century, it stands alone as a seminal moment in the growing popular appeal of pageantry. A gargantuan cast of 15000 performers took part; it was split into four parts of about 3 hours each; there were 120 performances over a period of several months; it apparently cost £66,000 (£3,765,960 in today’s money); and over 1 million people saw a performance.3 In some respects it was an obvious descendant of the Parkerian pageantry that had emerged just six years earlier. As an early version of the pageant programme (1910) pointed out, a pageant that took London and the Empire as its focus would be ‘a fitting culmination to the many recent representations of scenes from the history of other ancient English cities.’4 But it was also something of a departure—owing largely to the distinctive vision of the pageant’s master, Frank Lascelles. He took the pageantry of small-towns such as Sherborne and Warwick, and the ethos of the ‘first’ pageant-master Louis Napoleon Parker, and adapted it to suit the scale desired for a massive state-sponsored ‘Festival of Empire’. If, after the First World War, pageantry evolved in many different directions, the large-scale civic pageants of the 1920s and 1930s owed a great deal to the vision that Lascelles set out at Crystal Palace.5 While serving as a key indicator of the current state and future of historical pageantry in 1911, the Pageant of London also epitomised the shifts in notions of Empire, and imperial education, which characterised the Edwardian period more broadly.

The idea for a ‘Pageant of London’ was, to a great extent, the brainchild of the ambitious and inventive Lascelles himself. He first started working on its creation in 1907 while staging the Oxford Pageant, setting up an office for the London Pageant at the Savoy Hotel by the end of the year.6 Civic elites quickly latched onto the idea of a great pageant that put the capital at the centre of its spectacle, and committees were put into place to organise and propagandise for the event. But its production was continually delayed. Lascelles envisioned it taking place in 1908—but King Edward VII did not want any distractions from the Franco-British Exhibition that year (and Lascelles, anyway, was also busy staging his first imperial pageant in Quebec).7 Then, in 1909, Lascelles decided to put it off until 1910 (for reasons unknown—possibly due to troubles he was having with the English Church Pageant).8 As the year went on, the pageant became envisioned as part of the Festival of Empire plans—a decision that came to shape the very purpose, production, and reception of the entire performance. But, with the death of Edward in 1910, the whole event was postponed.9 Finally, it was decided to stage the pageant and Festival jointly as not just a celebration of Empire, but also a fundamental part of the coronation of King George V in 1911. As the Times accurately predicted, ‘Beyond all question the dominant note of the whole Coronation period will be the Imperial note.’10

Lascelles was well qualified to sound this ‘imperial note’. As well as his successful pageant in Oxford, he had already staged ‘full-blooded imperial pageants’ in Quebec (1908) and Cape Town (1909), and would go on to stage a pageant in Calcutta in 1924.11 His crowning achievement was arguably the Pageant of Empire (part of the Empire Exhibition) in 1924. It was these imperial spectacles that rightly earned him the popular title of ‘the Man who Staged the Empire’.12 As with most, indeed if not all, of the pre-1914 pageants, there was a strong emphasis on education as delivered through entertainment. But, in contrast to the civic pageants that preceded the Pageant of London, the ambition here was much greater. This posed risks. As one of the vice-chairmen of the Historical Committee put it in 1908, the pageant could ‘be made either the most far-reaching and widest instrument of national culture and unity’ or could ‘fizzle out into a mere spectacular series of scenes and processions, according as the magnificent opportunity is used or neglected.’13 An advert in the press tried to balance the desire for entertainment and education by declaring ‘If you do not see the Pageant of London you will miss the greatest lesson in Empire’, as well as ‘the most vivid picture of the past, and the most wonderful aggregation of scenes, settings, and costumes that have ever been placed before an audience.’14

Certainly, the pageant had sufficient intellectual support for an educational agenda. Already in 1908, the University of London was taking ‘care’ of the ‘historical and intellectual aspects’ of the pageant.15 Though Frank Lascelles’s style was spectacular, and focused on messages that did not necessarily need dialogue to be successful, historical accuracy was still important to the Pageant of London organisers. The vast majority of scenes thus had historical advisors, many of whom were leading academics of the day—R.G. Collingwood, Charles Oman, John Knox Laughton, G.G. Coulton, to name just a few. The depth of research that informed the pageant was impressive, with diaries, chronicles, letters, manuscripts, newspapers and other sources used to reconstruct the historicity of the scenes portrayed. Informing the audience that the Pageant was based on expertise and research was evidently felt important: the Souvenir, for example, was larded with footnotes and bibliographical references, and contained promises such as ‘Prof. H.E. Egerton (Beit Professor of Colonial History in Oxford University) has kindly read and “passed” the scenes in Part IV.’16

The music of the pageant was arguably as important as its historical legitimacy. The score was directed by W.H. Bell, an Englishman who later moved to Cape Town to act as the Principal of the South African College of Music.17 Other composers who worked on the pageant read as a Who’s Who of both established and emerging British talent—Holst, Elgar, McEwan, Tapp, to name but a few. As the Musical Times observed, the pageant had given ‘an opportunity for seventeen of our many able musicians to distinguish themselves’.18 There was also an attempt to recruit colonial composers, but this proved more difficult than expected, and only two were found—A. Allen, the organ player of St John’s Cathedral, Newfoundland, and Arthur Alexander, a New Zealand student at the Royal Academy of Music.19 The pageant was, then, what historian Nathaniel G. Lew has called ‘a sort of historical review of English music, albeit heavily filtered through the taste and understanding of the period and arranged for contemporary performing forces.’20 Overall the music received good reviews, though a critic from The Times complained that while musical patriotism had hardly existed a few decades before, it now saturated musical culture—raising a cautionary note about native composers being taken overtaken by jingoism and becoming parochial in outlook.21

Children, as usual, were a particular target for pageant-borne education. This also reflected the wider growth in imperial education as expressed in movements such as Empire Day or the Boy Scouts (see, for example, Batley Empire Day Pageant (1907)).22 As part of the King’s Coronation, George threw open the festival grounds to one hundred thousand children under 12, with five performances of the Imperial scene of the pageant being given in one day so as many as possible could witness a performance.23 According to The Times this day was a great success—and the pageant element was especially successful. The children’s ‘enthusiasm’, the reporter claimed, ‘never flagged, [and] was increased tenfold when Britannia [stood] triumphant at the steps of the temple [receiving] the dutiful homage of her subjects’ at the close of the pageant.24 It was necessary, as the Lord Mayor of London said, that ‘in the interests of those who had not the opportunities by travelling to observe for themselves all the conditions of Empire, that somebody, or some association, should undertake to bring before them representations of that vast Empire which they could see and comprehend’—‘What can they know of England who only England know’?25 On one level, then, the Pageant of London was an attempt to bring home to the people of England, in an educational and spectacular form, the history and future of the Empire.

But, as Lascelles expanded, the basis of the Festival was not just for the people of Britain to ‘learn a little more about the various parts of the Empire’, but also so they ‘might welcome their brethren from overseas at a great social “at home”’.26 He later stretched this point

Britons from east and west and from north and south, whose homes lay so far distant, might come together in the very heart of the Empire and feel that we of the old country wanted to welcome them, that we loved them and were proud of the work that they were doing in carrying out the old ideals of English government out there in those new lands.27

‘They all realized’, Lascelles felt, ‘that what was needed above all else to cement the British Empire together was… knowledge of its different parts.’28 Though Lascelles was undeniably the artistic vision behind the pageant, he was likely simply vocalising the beliefs and motives of the top brass behind the Festival’s organisation. The Souvenir of the Royal Visit to the Festival of Empire, for example, waxed lyrical about how

Men and women who left the old roof years ago to found new homes and forge new links of empire across the seas will gather together under the family tree to renew past associations and to relate to the old people at home the wonders of those new-found lands that lie beyond the seas… each of our great Dominions… are sending over their children in thousands to join in this great ‘family gathering’.29

As Ryan points out, this family metaphor was as much about the reinvention of the royal family as it was the evolution of the Empire.30 Colonial citizens were accordingly encouraged to attend, with around 3000 of the 15000 cast hailing from the Dominions.31 Notably, however, some were more welcome than others—parts were taken by ‘men and women of Colonial birth, with the exception of the characters representative of the dark-skinned races’, who were played by performers in black-face.32

The first three parts of the pageant (each performed as three-hour-long parts on different days) ostensibly told the story of London. Part one began with a sort of prehistory of the capital as a small Celtic community, which was quickly invaded and taken over by Rome—at which point London became a proper (and civilized) city. As Kate Nichols has argued, the manner in which the Roman scene was portrayed had striking relevancy to contemporary Britain. Ancient Britons were civilized by the invading Romans, enjoying their new status under their beneficent leaders. At the same time, the taking on of Roman ideals in this distant past ‘suggested a continuity and longevity of British imperial spirit, counteracting the anxieties held by contemporary statesmen regarding Britain’s imperial future.’33 Of course, as Nicholas acknowledges, ‘It is another matter as to whether the audience and the men and women from Penge who enacted this section of the pageant were particularly swayed by national pride as they danced about Crystal Palace Park in togas.’34 Following scenes would have been standard fare to pageant-enthusiasts of the period. In the first part especially, a great variety of kings and queens were connected to the city, through either heroic exploits or moments of great importance. Including the citizens of London, as well, these scenes portrayed the importance of the city to England and its governance. Thus Alfred the Great greets ambitious travellers to the city in scene III; Aethelred the Unready, with the help of brave London citizens, drives out the Danes in Scene IV; Harold is supported by men from London and Kent before his fateful fall at the hands of William the Conqueror (who, in turn, is portrayed fairly positively when he grants the city a charter of rights under his new government) in scene V; and Richard I enjoys a celebration day in the city in scene VI. But although this was a tale of London and England, there was also a short attempt to connect this metropolitan-national story to the other countries of Britain. In scene VII, for example, Edward I dreamed of unity—the scene being set at the newly built Castle of Carnarvon in Wales—and then an important Coronation Stone for Edward was brought from Scotland.

Part II continued in much the same vein. After an ‘Age of Chaucer’ scene, which injected some romance, there was a portrayal of Richard II and the Peasant’s Revolt of 1381—a topic on which historical advisor professor Charles Oman (of Oxford University) had just published a book. There was no place here for a sympathetic portrayal of the revolutionary Wat Tyler. As retold in the foreword, ‘calm is soon broken by hurly-burly and riot as the followers of Wat Tyler rush about the city, slaying and burning, until their leader is himself slain by London’s valiant Mayor.’35 Perhaps wisely—given the portentous context of strikes and class conflict in 1910—Richard II ended the scene by declaring amnesty and pardon for those involved (apart from the ringleaders, naturally). Following this there were several other scenes connecting royalty to the city—Henry V’s return from Agincourt, the departure of Richard III from London, the entry of Henry VII, and the days of Queen Elizabeth—including her most famous of speeches (which perhaps had especial currency given the widespread suffrage debates taking place). It was also during this second part, however, that a second narrative in the pageant emerged—one that explicitly connected London to the wider world. In scene IV, for example, King Henry VII welcomed ambassadors of Venice and Spain to his Westminster court, and was shown discoveries of far-off North American lands by John Cabot. Part III continued this emphasis. Scene I showed the first ships of the East India Trading Company docking in London, bringing in their exciting goods and wares. Scene II (‘the Meeting of the Old World and the New’) featured the moment when a regal Princess Pocahontas visited the Court, the programme synopsis noting that her presence symbolised ‘the beginning of British dominions beyond the seas… for the first time a princess of royal blood, the last representative of an ancient line [had] come to bring greetings from the New World to the Old’36. Scene V took as its subject the announcement of the death of General Wolfe in Quebec, while Scene VI showed Captain Cook sailing out for ‘New Adventures’ from the Thames. Still, there were also plenty of scenes that focused on London’s role in the nation—such as the fall of King Charles (Scene III) and the Restoration (Scene IV).

If the civic pageants of pre-1914 Britain made a narrative case for considering the history of the small town as being vital to the history of the nation, the pageant of London went even further, connecting the capital city to the Empire and the world. In the pageant as originally planned these first parts showed the role of the Empire as important, but mostly the emphasis was implicit. When it became clear that the pageant was going to form an element of the Festival of Empire, however, rather than being a stand-alone event, the final section was devised. In this part the audience was treated to a series of episodes set in far off lands. First, Newfoundland and the landing of Sir Humphrey Gilbert in 1583—with Gilbert reading out Elizabeth’s commission to take possession of the land (complete with the Royal Standard being unfurled, and only a few Spaniards protesting); next, Captain Cook landing at Botany Bay and subduing some unsympathetically portrayed ‘natives’ (the British, of course, giving presents and gallantly looking after the ‘native’ children); the settlement of South Africa, all ‘excitement and happiness’ and more helpful ‘natives’; New Zealand, and a company of Maori men and women happily accepting the protection (and thus sovereignty) of Queen Victoria (the King and Queen, when inspecting the costumed pageant performers, were so taken with the thirty Maoris that they made an impromptu stop—upon which the delighted Maoris danced and burst into national song).37 Then came Canada, and loyal colonialists following the American War of Independence in one scene, followed by a peaceful scene celebrating a happily colonial sense of citizenship a century later, with Maple Leaf tunes and culture; and last of all came a scene focused on the ‘jewel in the crown’, India, which portrayed extremely cordial relations between ‘mother’ Empire and conquered territories—first through Sir Thomas Roe and the Mogul Emperor Jahangir in 1616, and then the Governor-General of Bengal and Mogul Emperor Mohammed Akbar Shar II in the early nineteenth century. In this part there was some recycling of scenes from past events. The South African section was shown at the end of 1910 on the shores of Table Bay, while the Indian scene was a reproduction from the Delhi Durbar of 1877.38

These colonial scenes, according to Daniel Gorman, ‘served to reify multiple identities rather than a single one’, by showing how ‘the Edwardian Empire constituted a palimpsest, with multiple meanings overlapping and multiple interpretations present’.39 But, as Jeffrey Richards has pointed out, the new final part of the pageant meant that the ‘dramatic thrust was to suggest that the whole of the previous 2000 years of British history had been leading up inevitably to the grandeur of the British Empire.’40 Though Parker may have shied away, in his civic pageants at least, from directly depicting the Empire, he often included a final scene that allegorically portrayed the ‘mother’ English town with her ‘daughter’ colonial towns. This was about as far as he went. The Pageant of London, by comparison, offered a different level of imperial emphasis (though not one that was as overwhelming as might have been expected, given the focus on nation and metropole in the first parts of the pageant). Important here, of course, was the sort of imperial history that the authors chose, as well as the English origins and ‘spirit’ they hoped the pageant demonstrated. It was, naturally, a ‘selective vision of imperial history… Treaties and trade marked the relations between England and her subjects in contrast to the [actual] history of violence.’41

The final scene of the pageant was titled ‘The Masque Imperial—An Allegory of the Advantages of Empire’, and joined this sense of the beneficent Empire together with a sense of the English spirit at its heart. It began with a Grecian-style temple in the middle of a meadow, with a Genius of the World announcing ‘a great new Power in the world’: Britannia. The scene then revolved around the trials and tribulations of Britannia—and her attempt to lead ‘bands of weary people’ into the temple. Blocking Britannia’s path were ‘Damozels of Death’, but Britannia succeeded through the power of ‘hope’. Representatives of the people of Britain and of the dominions then happily pass into the Temple, along with the ‘weary people’—who are now joyous and triumphant. The scene ended with a prayer to the Lord. Francis Hartman Markoe, an Anglophile American lyricist and composer, was responsible for writing this final scene. As Daniel Gorman suggests, Markoe ‘presented the Empire quite transparently as an extension of the English nation.’ The setting of the Masque of Empire scene in a ‘bucolic meadow’, a ‘secularized version of Providence’, epitomised this approach.42 The nuance of the narrative also had the effect of producing a sense of the Empire being at its ‘apotheosis… both powerful and humble, established yet still dynamic’.43 This scene, however, did contain a warning of the tendency of great Empires to fall when, as the Genius of Wisdom told Britannia, ‘old Empires forgot, The virtue that established them, And drunk with power, with pride besot, Tinselled their tarnished diadem’. As Hoffenberg reads it, this scene showed that ‘old Empires’ had lost their way by being obsessed with power; as the masque showed, ‘something more than brute content’ would be a surer way to ensuring control of colonial subjects and thus the security of the Empire.44 The neo-Classical ornamentation of the Temple, Hoffenburg has argued, further ‘constructed sites and links for weaving together individual events’, such as those portrayed in the pageant storyline, ‘with an overarching sense of continuity and tradition’.45

Unsurprisingly, given the scale of the pageant, many of the ‘great and good’ of British society were involved in its organisation. Princess Louise, an indefatigable enthusiast of historical pageantry was president of the Ladies Committee. A variety of notable nobility took plum roles—the Duke of Westminster was Henry V, Lady Plymouth was Queen Elizabeth, Lord Howard de Walden was the Black Prince, Sir Melvill and Lady Beachcroft played the Priest and Priestess of Lud.46 But Lascelles’s pageant followed the Parkerian tradition by aiming to recruit cast members from ‘all classes of society, from the very highest to the very lowest’—this was ‘unpaid work upon a common object’ and a ‘genuine democratic movement’, as The Times put it.47 Some did seemingly miss this message of shared co-operation, however. Indeed, three hundred of the supernumeraries in the Pageant actually went out on strike, demanding 25 shillings per week for eight performances of two hours each, declining an offer by the employers of a 3s. increase on the 18s. previously paid.48 This small episode in a sense epitomised the tensions that pageantry operated within—a desire to bracket class and labour tensions through civic or patriotic loyalties that occasionally were thwarted by alternative loyalties.

Following on from this inclusive spirit, there was also an attempt to interest religious groups in taking part. Around 350 Roman Catholics were enlisted in the production of a scene that portrayed ‘the Translation of a Relic of the Holy Cross from Wales to Westminster’. For James Moyes, a writer, theologian, priest and former-member of a Papal Commission in Rome on Anglican matters, ‘The Pageant of London appealed specially to Catholics, because they had always deep down in their hearts an unforgettable conviction that they above all had a large heritage in the past history of our country.’ He went on, hyperbolically: ‘The life of the nation, and notably the life of London, its capital, before the Reformation was naturally saturated with Catholicism.’49 Some Protestants were less excited, however. Walter Limbrick, acting Honorary Secretary of the London Council of United Protestant Societies, complained to the Historical Committee that there was no adequate reference to the Reformation. When the Committee replied that ‘the Protestant point of view had not been lost sight of but it had been the desire of the committee not unduly to emphasize points on which different sections of the community were still at variance’, Limbrick, in reply, somewhat pettily pointed out that ‘the Roman Catholics of London had been specially requested to furnish one scene by themselves.’50 The Church Times took a more balanced view:

Throughout the whole of this elaborate pageant the golden thread of the Church’s part in the national drama comes continuously to the surface. It would, of course, be altogether false to history were it otherwise. On the whole, though occasionally the flame of the true Faith might burn brighter, the Church and her constant influence is worthily represented… There might with advantage have been more distinct Church references in the post-Reformation scenes, though happily she finds no place in the somewhat pagan closing masque.51

If religious loyalties could cause friction, so could geographical ones. The pageant did attempt to balance a metropolitan sense of belonging, naturally invoked by a spectacle dubbed ‘a pageant of London’, with the much wider national and imperial sense of citizenship of the Festival. At an inauguration luncheon in 1910 the chairman of the Historical Committee, Sir Laurence Gomme (a leading folklorist and founder of the Victoria County History) proposed a toast to ‘London, the Heart of the Empire’, while the Duke of Marlborough, a member of the General Council of the pageant, said that ‘they all rejoiced to think that this great festival would bring into true relationship the influence which London had upon the Empire and the influence which the Empire exerted upon London.’52 Others, however, had stronger feelings about the relative weight given to London and non-London scenes. One ‘Onlooker’ wrote to the Times in early 1911 to suggest changing the name to the Pageant of Empire, since the pageant was not held in ‘London proper’, and 9 scenes of the first 21 did not belonging to ‘London itself’ (such as the departure of the Pilgrim Fathers in 1620). As the correspondent concluded, ‘to drag in London seems unfair, and, with all deference, rather ridiculous. What should we say to a Pageant of Paris that contained the death of Roland at Roncesvalles, the crowning of Charles VII at Rheims, and Napoleon’s victory at Austerliz?’53 The Lord Mayor, perhaps surprisingly, agreed. At yet another civic luncheon related to the pageant a day later, he referenced the words of ‘Onlooker’ and admitted that the suggestion was ‘worthy of their attention’—those gathered responded with ‘hear hear’.54 After the pageant had been performed the press also picked up on this seeming incongruity. The Manchester Guardian, for example, pointed out that ‘it needs ingenuity to connect London with many of the incidents… again and again the line of the picturesque’ was ‘far away from our civic annals.’55

These contemporary reports were perhaps a little harsh in their critique. As Ryan has outlined, the Pageant of London cemented the metropole as the ‘imperial city’ in three ways. Firstly, as the heart of the Empire where inhabitants from the colonies and dominions came ‘home’; secondly, as the administrative and political centre, demonstrated by its ability to organise the pageant and draw together the performers; thirdly, by educating both pageanteers and audience in the role that the city had played in the acquisition of overseas territories; and fourthly, by invoking a sense of local, national and imperial pride as being irrevocably linked.56 She further makes the point that the siting of the Festival and Pageant on the outskirts of London, in the suburbs and ‘juncture between country and city’, was key, since it joined the great urban centre of London to the idealised rural England of the south-east—identity thus worked on multiple levels.57 As Jeffrey Richards points out, a love of Empire as an objective of pageantry was a natural next step of the usual love of town, country, and England.58 The foreword to the pageant programme then, quite simply, stated that ‘The aim of the Pageant of London is to show forth the gradual growth and development of the English people as shown in the history of this, the Empire City.’59 Indeed, the ability to balance these different levels of identity or belonging was a common aspect of geography and citizenship education in the first half of the twentieth century; there was no necessary conflict between these ‘expanding addresses’.60 It is worth noting that diary entries from a performer at the time suggest that the system of having boroughs responsible for different scenes led to a casual sense of local rivalry.61 Yet for all that there were examples of such rivalry, much of it (one supposes) was relatively friendly, and there was also, overall, a great deal of camaraderie. One outcome of the pageant, for example, was a new association for performers dubbed ‘The Merrie England Club’.62

London with ‘iconic figures of romantic nationalism’, such as Alfred, Edward I, Henry V, and Elizabeth I was clearly connected as well with ‘hero-worshipping imperialism’, as manifested in the exploits of Drake, Wolfe, and Cook.63 The pageant, then, had a serious, complex and reflective message—incorporating worries about the safeguarding and propagating of the Empire at a time when competition from other imperial nations, such as Germany, was clearly growing; cementing a notion of London as being the ‘heart of the Empire’; and more generally—after the fashion of so many other pageants—providing fun, community, and stability in a time of tension. Other scenes of note could also be interpreted as having even wider messages, framed around geopolitical shifts. One scene, for example, included Henry of England and Francis of France meeting and cementing goodwill between the French and English; this was likely of particular symbolic importance given the fairly recent Entente Cordiale in 1904. Perhaps for a similar reason, the departure of the Pilgrim Fathers to the New World in 1620 was depicted—a growing symbol in this period of the warming of the relationship between the USA and Britain in the context of imperial instability.64 That said, being a spectacular pageant, there were also many scenes that concentrated on humour, entertainment, and popular ‘romantic’ history. Thus scenes portrayed ‘the Days of Chivalry’, ‘Merrie England’ May Day revels, and pageants-within-a-pageant—such as a masque based on Neptune and other tales. As Deborah Ryan has rightly pointed out, we should be wary of concentrating overmuch on the political or social message of pageant narratives. As she says, the pageant—as with all historical pageants— was ‘not simply state propaganda’; it also provided opportunities for people to ‘make their own entertainment’ and ‘meanings’, and these could subvert the ‘organisers’ educational and imperial intentions’ in favour of ‘escapism’, ‘fantasy’, ‘sociability’, and ‘friendships’—not to mention the possibility of meeting eligible young folk of the opposite sex.65

Still, some eyewitness accounts do demonstrate that the purpose of the pageant could be obvious. Ryan quotes one account that declared:

Imposing processions… [teach] boys more about the past, artistically, historically, and personally, than miles of museums and tons of schoolbooks. Magnificent conceptions of the great episodes of history; centuries sweep before one’s eyes with multi-coloured realism. A living epic of the ages… a gorgeous spectacle… surely the biggest piece of theatrical performance ever attempted in any age whatever.66

Historical pageants in general, but especially in the case of Frank Lascelles-led events, should, Ryan argues, be ‘seen in the context of other spectacular forms of popular entertainment’ in this period—the spectacle plays of Max Reinhardt, ‘toga plays’, huge exhibitions, and the cinema epics of D.W. Griffith and Cecil B De Mille.67 Believing that dialogue was ‘often tedious in the open air’, Lascelles instead concentrated on the movement of the masses in huge blocks of colour (this being informed by his practice as a painter).68 In contrast to Parker, who had a tendency to downplay the importance of scenery—arguing that more often than not it was a distraction—Lascelles encouraged the creation of a whole historical landscape. Replicas of ‘Old London’, old London Bridge, the Tower of London, St Paul’s, and Westminster Abbey featured in the pageant.69

Press reception ranged from the highly complimentary to the surprisingly critical. The Times, witnessing one of the first performances, approved of the processional effects, the size of the crowds on the stage, the elaborate and realistic scenery in the shape of cathedrals and houses, and the good horsemanship. But the newspaper’s report also concluded that ‘the net result was not particularly thrilling’ with the audience, at least on this showing, not being ‘moved to any great display of enthusiasm’. Interestingly, the paper argued that this was due to the inability of the audience to suspend their belief. With this particular performance being in the daytime, the ‘sceneshifters’ were ‘far more mercilessly exposed’, and there was an ‘unmistakable 20th century tree growing in the middle of the [Westminster Palace] hall beside the throne.’70 The Manchester Guardian, too, had its reservations, beginning its review by saying ‘One’s first thought about the Pageant of London is that it is a little too much of a very good thing. The most stalwart historical imagination must toil in vain after a panorama so long that it must be seen in four sections, each lasting about three hours’. The Guardian went on to criticise the stage for being ‘rather too extensive’, and the stage entrances for being ‘so far apart that monarchs must now and then bustle in unkingly fashion to get there in time’. But the newspaper did compliment Lascelles because he ‘spared the stilted diction of pageant “books”’ with his minimal dialogue, pointing out that ‘The only person whose voice carried this afternoon was Wat Tyler, and he was killed before he bored us.’71

These negative reports, however, were mostly crowded out by over-the-top proclamations of success. The Daily Telegraph, for example, said ‘A lesson in history could never have been presented in a more fascinating fashion… From an educational point of view the Pageant will be of great service, and, as a spectacle, nothing produced in London has ever approached it’; the Standard declared the pageant ‘the greatest entertainment of its kind that has ever been produced, the most carefully elaborated, the most gorgeously dressed’; while the Morning Post admitted that ‘It would be difficult to conceive of a finer effect than was given by the mingling of theatrical art with the natural beauty of the arena.’72 Certainly, the audience seemed to appreciate the spectacle—and the mind boggles at the sheer popularity of the event. It was originally fixed to run from 8 June to 21 July, but was extended due to its success to 16 September. There were 120 performances held, with an average attendance of 8000 people per showing. Given the attendance of huge numbers of school children to private rehearsals, too, the London Daily News estimate of a total audience of ‘well over a million people’ does not seem unrealistic.73

To conclude, the Pageant of London was significant for the pageantry movement. Certainly, in many respects, it continued the ethos of the vision Parker had laid out in 1905. The cast was voluntary; the emphasis was on bracketing societal tensions while acknowledging hierarchy; folk culture and Merrie Old England was given an important role; the narrative ended before the present day (though closer than Parker would have allowed); and historical accuracy, of a sort, was still essential to the framing of the narrative. In the pageants of Parker, and indeed the vast majority of the civic pageants that followed in a similar vein in the 1920s and 1930s, the past was put to work for the power it held in shaping the future of the towns in which pageants were staged. In this sense the Pageant of London was no different; it just had a larger frame of reference. Thus, as the chairman of the Executive Committee of the pageant, Lord Plymouth, stated: ‘the past and the present, gathered up in visible form’ would ‘afford the foundation for those hopes for the future of the Empire which are animating the King’s loving subjects throughout the world in this year of his crowning.’74 But Lascelles’s vision also represented a clear evolution of the pageant form as conceived by Parker. Firstly, and perhaps most obviously, Empire and imperial education played a significant role, even if refracted through a sense of the metropolitan and the national. Secondly, the pageant marked a shift in terms of style and production—from dialogue to movement, from more faithful re-enactment to spectacle. As pageantry continued to evolve in the interwar period, it was this style and sense of pageantry that came to dominate—though the ethos of Parker was never fully lost.

Researched and written by Guy Gardner and Tom Hulme


  1. ^ Festival of Empire Imperial Exhibition and Pageant of London, Pageant Programme (London, 1911), 10.
  2. ^ ‘London’s Famous Exhibitions’, London Daily News (18th October 1911), 2;
  3. ^ ‘London’s Famous Exhibitions’, Daily News, 18 October 1911, 2; ‘Cost of the Pageant of London’, Times, 14 June 1911, 9. Figure calculated by using the National Archives Currency Converter at
  4. ^ Festival of Empire: The Pageant of London (second edition, uncorrected proof, 1910), 15, quoted in Deborah S. Ryan, ‘Staging the imperial city: the Pageant of London, 1911’ in Felix Driver and David Gilbert (eds), Imperial Cities (Manchester, 1999), 117.
  5. ^ See, for example, the Peace Pageants in 1919; Co-Operative Pageants; and Women’s Institute Pageants.
  6. ^ Ryan, ‘Staging the imperial city’, 124.
  7. ^ For which, see H.V. Nelles, The Art of Nation-building: Pageantry and Spectacle at Quebec’s Tercentenary (Toronto, 1999)
  8. ^ See entry for English Church Pageant.
  9. ^ Ryan, ‘Staging the imperial city’.
  10. ^ The Times, quoted in Jeffrey Richards, Imperialism and Music: Britain, 1876-1953 (Manchester, 2001), 186.
  11. ^ Richards, Imperialism and Music, 187.
  12. ^ Ryan, ‘Staging the imperial city’, 119.
  13. ^ Letter from one of the vice-chairmen of the Historical Committee of the London Pageant: Times, 3 July 1908, 15.
  14. ^ Pageant of London advert: Times, 8 June 1911, 7.
  15. ^ Letter from one of the vice-chairmen of the Historical Committee of the London Pageant: Times, 3 July 1908, 15.
  16. ^ Sophie C. Lomas, Souvenir of the Pageant London (London, 1911), 132.
  17. ^ Richards, Imperialism and Music, 190.
  18. ^ Musical Times, quoted in ibid., 193.
  19. ^ Ibid., 192.
  20. ^ Nathaniel G. Lew, Tonic to the Nation: Making English Music in the Festival of Britain (Abingdon, 2016), 16.
  21. ^ Richards, Imperialism and Music, 194. For a complex and interesting discussion of the role of the folk as expressed through music especially at the pageant, see Roger Savage, Masques, Mayings and Music-Dramas: Vaughan Williams and the Early Twentieth-Century Stage (Woodbridge, 2014), 284-289.
  22. ^ See, e.g., J. English, ‘Empire Day in Britain, 1904-1958’, Historical Journal, 49 (2006).
  23. ^ ‘The King’s Fete to London Children’, Times, 21 March 1911, 10.
  24. ^ ‘Their Majesties and the Children’, Times, 1 July 1911, 9.
  25. ^ ‘Festival of Empire’, Times, 12 January 1911, 6.
  26. ^ ‘The Festival of Empire’, Times, 24 February 1910, 6.
  27. ^ ‘Festival of Empire’, Times, 12 January 1911, 6.
  28. ^ ‘Luncheon to the Press’, Times, 11 May 1911, 8.
  29. ^ Souvenir of Royal Visit to the Festival of Empire, Imperial Exhibition and Pageant of London Crystal Palace, Coronation Year 1911 (London, 1911), 5 quoted in Ryan, ‘Staging the imperial city’, 119.
  30. ^ Ryan, ‘Staging the imperial city’, 119.
  31. ^ ‘The Festival of Empire’, Times, 10 January 1911, 4.
  32. ^ ‘Prince Arthur and the Pageant of London’, Times, 9 June 1911, 7.
  33. ^ Kate Nichols, Greece and Rome at the Crystal Palace: Classical Sculpture and Modern Britain, 1854-1936 (Oxford, 2015), 239.
  34. ^ Ibid.
  35. ^ S.C. Lomas, ‘Foreword’ in Festival of Empire: The Pageant of London: Pageant Programme Part I (London, 1911), ix.
  36. ^ Festival of Empire: The Pageant of London: Pageant Programme Part III (London, 1911), 2.
  37. ^ Richards, Imperialism and Music, 185.
  38. ^ ‘The Festival of Empire’, Times, 25 January 1911, 12.
  39. ^ Daniel Gorman, The Emergence of International Society in the 1920s (Cambridge, 2012), 155.
  40. ^ Richards, Imperialism and Music, 187.
  41. ^ Peter H. Hoffenberg, An Empire on Display: English, Indian, and Australian Exhibitions from the Crystal Palace to the Great War (Berkeley, 2001), 268.
  42. ^ Gorman, Emergence of International Society, 151-2.
  43. ^ Ibid., 152.
  44. ^ Hoffenberg, An Empire on Display, 268.
  45. ^ Ibid. Even the grandstand was imbued with meaning - designed by Sir Aston Webb, the architect of many important imperial landmarks, it was essentially in the style of Ancient Greek amphitheatre: Ryan, ‘Staging the imperial city’, 120.
  46. ^ ‘The Pageant of London’, Times, 25 April 1911, 10.
  47. ^ Letter from one of the vice-chairmen of the Historical Committee of the London Pageant: Times, 3 July 1908, 15.
  48. ^ ‘Strike of Pageant “Supers”’, Manchester Guardian, 5 July 1911, 16.
  49. ^ ‘The Festival of Empire’, Times, 11 April 1911, 6.
  50. ^ ‘Protestants and the Pageant of London’, Times, 15 May 1911, 8.
  51. ^ The Church Times, 9 June 1911, 799.
  52. ^ ‘The Festival of Empire’, Times, 24 February 1910, 6.
  53. ^ ‘The Pageant of London’, Times, 11 January 1911, 11.
  54. ^ ‘Festival of Empire’, Times, 12 January 1911, 6.
  55. ^ ‘The Pageant of London’, Manchester Guardian, 10 June 1911, 7.
  56. ^ Ryan, ‘Staging the imperial city’, 131.
  57. ^ Ibid., 120.
  58. ^ Richards, Imperialism and Music, 189.
  59. ^ Festival of Empire: The Pageant of London: Pageant Programme Part I, foreword, ix.
  60. ^ John Ahier, Industry, Children and the Nation: An Analysis of National Identity in School Textbooks (Lewes, 1988), 125.
  61. ^ Ryan, ‘Staging the imperial city’, 130.
  62. ^ Savage, Masques, Mayings and Music-Dramas, 277.
  63. ^ Richards, Imperialism and Music, 190.
  64. ^ See entries for Plymouth (1920) and Southampton (1920).
  65. ^ Ryan, ‘Staging the imperial city’, 117-118 and 130-1.
  66. ^ National Art Library, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 86.HH.16, M.P. Noel, ‘Scrapbook containing material relating to the Pageant of London which was given as part of the Festival of Empire, 1911’, 13 July 1911 quoted in Ryan, ‘Staging the imperial city’, 132.
  67. ^ Ryan, ‘Staging the imperial city’, 118.
  68. ^ Ibid., 126.
  69. ^ Ibid., 120.
  70. ^ ‘The Pageant of London’, Times, 10 June 1911, 9.
  71. ^ ‘The Pageant of London’, Manchester Guardian, 10 June 1911, 7.
  72. ^ Collated in ‘Festival Of Empire’, Times, 19 June 1911, 20 and ‘Pageant Of London’, Times, 15 June 1911, 12.
  73. ^ ‘London’s Famous Exhibitions’, Daily News, 18 October 1911, 2.
  74. ^ ‘Festival of Empire’, Times, 12 May 1911, 7.  

How to cite this entry

Angela Bartie, Linda Fleming, Mark Freeman, Tom Hulme, Alex Hutton, Paul Readman, ‘The Pageant of London’, The Redress of the Past,