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J is for Jubilee

J is for Jubilee

Sometimes a document seems to tie in so closely to current events that it cries out to be document of the month. That was the case with this month’s document. With the Queen’s jubilee on the horizon how could we resist a crime committed during the celebrations for another royal occasion?

In 1841 Queen Victoria visited Woburn Abbey. In the days that followed, John Haughton, one of the Queen’s escort, was accused of the theft of a pocket watch. Unusually the accused wrote a plea for mercy to the bench giving his excuse for his behaviour (QSR1841/4/5/11c). He says that ‘the various amusements got up on that occasion, together with the very liberal, generous manner in which the escort were treated, and which it was almost an impossibility to refrain from joining’ meant that he was too drunk to know what he was doing. ‘Had I been in my sober senses, I would never – no surely I would never have brought all this disgrace upon myself, and that Regiment in which I have served my country at home and abroad, for upwards of eleven years.’

June 1a QSR1841-4-5-11c page2

June 1b QSR1841-4-5-11c page3
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We, of course, have other references to royal visits, events and jubilees and these have been much sought after in recent months as communities prepare for this year’s events.

June 2 - Diamond jubilee
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Queen Victoria’s Diamond jubilee in 1897 was much celebrated. Bedford Borough decided that ‘in consideration of the general public convenience’ alehouse and beerhouse keepers should be let off the payment of fees for special licences.

June 3- LF1-27p159 25-3
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In 1935 the silver jubilee of George V was also the cause for festivities. Here we see the proposals for staff and patients of Three Counties Asylum (LF1/27) and frontispiece of the souvenir of Dunstable’s celebrations, which, it proudly proclaims were an ‘unbroken chain of events from Early Morn to Midnight’ (Z160/453).

June 4 -Z160-453small
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Harlington too celebrated in 1935 with fireworks, races and mugs for the children, perhaps there are still some of those mugs in Harlington today. They seem to have over ordered on sugar as in the organising committee minutes (P75/28/6) they report on the 17th May that ‘There were 34 lbs sugar and 3 ½ lbs of tea left over & it was discussed what was to be done with this’.

June 5 - P75-28-6
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The minute book, P75/28/6, was also used for the coronation celebrations in 1937 and includes this note.