I like this one, it’s got a great, great grandfather , and a first cousin four times removed (by marriage) in it, and an A-list cast of luvvies.
A Requiem Mass for Madame Sarah Bernhardt, the famous French tragedienne, was celebrated on Tuesday, at Westminster Cathedral, in the presence of a congregation that filled the building to the doors. The occasion was organized as a London tribute to the memory of the dead actress, and brought to the Cathedral a very representative gathering. Although the Mass did not begin until half-past eleven, many who wished to be present were in their seats as early as nine o’clock, whilst a large number of those who came later to assist at the ordinary half-past ten Mass remained for the Requiem an hour later. In the absence of the Cardinal Archbishop, who was presiding at the Bishop’s Low Week meeting, the Bishop of Cambysopolis presided. The King was represented by the Hon. Henry Stonor and Queen Alexandra by Major Edward Seymour, whilst Colonel Waterhouse was present as representing the Prime Minister.
The Royal representatives and the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs, who attended in state, were received at the entrance to the Cathedral by the Administrator, Mgr. Howlett, and conducted to specially reserved places.. The French Ambassador was not able to attend personally, but was represented by his wife, the Comtesse de St. Aulaire, who was accompanied by a number of members of the staff of the Embassy. The Belgian Ambassador ; the Polish Minister ; the French Military Attaché ; Sir Edward Elgar ; Mr. T. P. O’Connor, M.P.; the Hon. Maurice Baring; Madame Verneuil and Madame Gross (grand-daughter of Sarah Bernhardt) ; Sir Charles Russell ; Col. Sir Roper Parkington, and Sir Aston Webb (representing the Royal Academy) were also present. Sir Gerald Du Maurier and Sir George Arthur officiated as stewards.
Among the many notable members of the theatrical and musical professions who attended the Requiem were Madame Albani, Lady Tree, Miss Ellen Terry, Mrs. Kendal, Sir Charles and Lady Hawtrey, Miss Viola Tree, Dame Clara Butt, Dame Nellie Melba, Miss Marie Lahr, Sir Charles and Lady Hawtrey, Mr. Allan Aynesworth, and Mr. George Grossmith.
The Mass was sung unaccompanied to a setting by Palestrina, and the ” Dead March “ was played as the congregation left the building.
The above text was found on p.28,14th April 1923 in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at http://www.thetablet.co.uk .
Two Roper-Parkington grandsons died during the First War. Leonard’s was an accident caused by a soldier’s rucksack leant against a train door, which managed to turn the door-handle so when he leant against it, the door opened and he fell from the moving train. Wilfrid died at the Battle of Bourlon Wood in France on the 27th of November 1917, thirty-four days after arriving in France. He has no known grave.
MIDSHIPMAN LEONARD JOHN BIDWELL, R.N.
Midshipman Leonard Bidwell, whose death is announced, was accidentally killed on the 17th instant. He was the eldest son of Mrs. Bidwell, of 15, Upper Wimpole Street, and the late Leonard A. Bidwell, F.R.C.S., and grandson of Sir J. Roper Parkington. Mr. Bidwell was born in August, 1897, joined the Royal Naval College, Osborne, at the Easter term, 1910, and at the outbreak of war was in H.M.S. ” Cumberland ” and saw service in the Cameroons where he was severely wounded. At the time of his death he had not completely recovered, but was employed on special service by the Admiralty. A Requiem Mass was said at St. James’s, Spanish Place, and the burial took place at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Kensal Green. Amongst those present at the funeral service were :—Mrs. Bidwell (mother), the Misses Bidwell (sisters), Master T Bidwell (brother), Fleet Surgeon L. Bidwell, R.N , Miss Edith and Miss Agnes Bidwell, Mr. E. W. Farnall, C.B., Mrs. Farnall, Sir J. Roper Parkington, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Cary-Elwes, Mr. Wilfrid & Miss Lilian Cary-Elwes, Mrs. Sherston Baker, Monsignor Bidwell, Mr. Harry Lawrence. Amongst the naval officers present was Captain Fuller, C.M.G., who was in command of H.M.S. “Cumberland ” during operations in the Cameroons. The Admiralty provided a firing party at the grave, the coffin being carried by men of the R.N.V.R.—R.I.P.
The above text was found on p.24, 29th July 1916 in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at http://www.thetablet.co.uk .
Wilfrid Gervase Cary-Elwes,
Second-Lieut. Wilfrid Gervase Cary-Elwes, Irish Guards, officially reported ” missing, believed killed,” but of whose survival no hopes are entertained, was the eldest son of Mr. Charles Cary-Elwes, of Courtlands, Eltham, Kent, and grandson of Sir J. Roper Parkington. Born nineteen years ago, he was educated at Downside, where he was distinguished as an athlete. On receiving a nomination in the Irish Guards, he went to Sandhurst in 1916, and was gazetted in the August of that year. He was anxious to go to the front, and made repeated efforts to be sent there, but only received marching orders on the eve of his nineteenth birthday. He left for the front on October 25, and fell on November 27.
The above text was found on p.28,15th December 1917, in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at http://www.thetablet.co.uk .
PARKINGTON, J. R., & CO., Wine Shippers, Merchants, and Agents, 24, Crutched Friars, London, E.C. Hours of Business: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays, 9 a.m. to , 2 p.m. Established in 1868 by present senior partner, Colonel Sir. J. Roper Parkington, J.P., D.L., with whom are associated in partnership Messrs. Harry Bennett and Charles Cary-Elwes. Specialities: Champagnes, Brandies, Clarets, Burgundies, Ports, and Sherries, of which the firm are large shippers and exporters, holding important agencies. Connection: United Kingdom, Africa, India, Australasia, Canada, West Indies. Telephone: National No. 1477 Avenue. Telegraphic and Cable Address: “Mambrino, London.” Bankers: Glyn, Mills, Currie & Co.
Parkington’s Guide to Fine Wine Lists: Golden Guinea Sparkling Muscatel. Look out for this series. It gives a brief account of a few outstanding wines of modest price. Discover them with pleasure on good wine lists everywhere. Character: naturally bubbly (methode champenoise) but with more body than a champagne. Grape: muscatel. Colour: pale gold. Bouquet: light but confident. Background: bottled and cased in France, famous for 50 years. The most distinguished, and much the best wine of its class. Use: favoured by seasoned diners-out for celebrations- anniversaries, clients’ birth- days-or as a complement to all good food, simple or pretentious. Sole Importers: J R PARKINGTON & CO LTD (EST. 1868) 161 NEW BOND STREET W1
FRANCE’S DAY : REQUIEM AT THE CATHEDRAL.—France’s Day was celebrated with much rejoicing in London on Friday, and the tricolour was sold in the streets for the benefit of the Red Cross Society of France. For the gallant soldiers of our Ally who have made the supreme sacrifice since the commencement of the war, a Requiem Mass was celebrated in Westminster Cathedral in the presence of the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster. Representatives of the Allies engaged in the war were present, including M. Paul Cambon, the French Ambassador, and the Embassy Staff, the Italian Ambassador and the Marchioness Imperiali the Russian Ambassador, the Portuguese Minister, and Lieut General Orth, of the Belgian Legation. There were also present the Greek Minister, the Serbian Minister, Mr. and Mrs. Asquith, the Duke of Norfolk, the Mayor of Westminster, the Duke of Somerset, the Speaker of the House of Commons, Lord Edmund Talbot, Sir Peter and Lady McBride, Major-General Sir Francis Lloyd, Sir Roper Parkington, and Lord Claud Hamilton. His Majesty the King, was represented by Lord Sandhurst, and Queen Alexandra by Colonel Sir Henry Streatfeild. The Catholic Women’s League was represented by the president, Mrs. James Hope, and the hon. organizing secretary, Mrs St. George Saunders. The League also placed a wreath of lillies and laurel before the mosaic of Joan of Arc, with the inscription ” Aux Heros de la France morts pour la Patrie, la Gloire et la Victoire, Hommage de la Ligue des Femmes Catholiques d’Angleterre.”Various religious, orders were also represented including the Sisters of Charity, many of whom are engaged in the military hospitals in France.
A catafalque draped with the French colours was erected in front of the high altar, and was provided with a guard of honour of Irish Guards. In the gallery at the western end of the Cathedral were the massed bands of the Brigade of Guards and previous to the commencement of the Mass they played Bizet’s overture ” Patrie,” and later Sullivan’s overture ” In Memoriam.”
High Mass coram Cardinali was celebrated by Bishop Butt, the assistant priest being Father Edwin Burton, Vice-President of ,St. Edmund’s. The absolutions were pronounced by his Eminence, and the military band gave a splendid rendering of the Dead March in ” Saul,” preceded by a roll of muffled drums. Then came the “Marseillaise” At the conclusion of the Mass the “Last Post” sounded by the buglers of the Coldstream Guards followed the National Anthem, and a fitting termination to the impressive service was given by the band playing Gounod’s “Marche Solennelle”.
The above text was found on p.27, 22nd July 1916, in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at http://www.thetablet.co.uk .
The Benevolent Society for the Relief of the Aged and Infirm Poor. was the oldest Catholic charity in London founded in 1761 by Richard Challoner, the Vicar Apostolic of the London District [ the forerunner of the Archbishop of Westminster] between 1758 and 1781. It’s a nice worthy Catholic, and City cause, and it’s nice seeing eight members of the family all there. Having said that, only five were related at the time, another two came from a marriage twenty years later, and the final connection from a marriage fifty two years later.
At least at this one, Lieut.-General Sir William Butler’s speech is rather better than John Roper Parkington’s the following year.
The Annual Dinner in aid of the funds of this excellent charity was held on Monday last, and brought together a large number of the friends and supporters of the society.
Lieut.-General Sir William Butler, K.C.B., presided, and among the company present were the Hon. Charles Russell, Colonel Sir Roper Parkington, Colonel Maguire, Major J. H. White, V.D., Commendatore Hicks, C.C.S.G. ; the Very Revv. Canon Fleming, Canon Keatinge, Canon Murnane, Canon Pycke ; the Very Revv. J. P. Bannin, P.S.M., M. Kelly, O.S.A., D.D., P. J. Murphy, S.M. ; the Revv. Manuel J.Bidwell, D.D., Robert Bracey, 0.P., T. Carey, H. W. Casserly, Alexander Charnley, S.J., W. J. Condon, D. Corkery, G. B. Cox, J. Crowley, E. du Plerny, J. Egan, W. J. Hogan, S. E. Jarvis, I.C., W. Lewis Keatinge, Hugh Kelly, Mark A. Kelly, A. Muller, D.D., J. Musgrave T. F. Norris, J. O’Doherty, M. O’Sullivan, T. J. Ring, P. Riordan, C. A. Shepherd, E. Smith, C. J. Moncrieff Smyth, Francis Stanfield, J. G. Storey, W. 0. Sutcliffe, M.A., J. S. Tasker, E. A. P. Theed, Leo Thomas, S.M., A. E. Whereat, D.D. ; and Messrs. P. M. Albrecht, Frank Beer, Edmund J. Bellord, John G. Bellord, Harry Booth, James Carroll, J. H. Caudell, John Christie, A. K. Connolly, James W. Connolly, John A. Connolly, S. F. Connolly, P. F. Dorte, LL.B., Victor I. Feeny, H. Malins Fisher, A. C. Fowler, W. B. Hallett, Anthony Hasslacher,Charles Hasslacher, Jerome S. Hegarty, J. D. Hodgson, . Skelton Hodgson, S. Taprell Holland (Hon. Treasurer), J. M. Hopewell, John Hurst, John Hussey, R. H. N. Johnson, J. Virtue Kelly, C. Temple Layton, C.C., Charles E. Lewis, Bernard J. McAdam, James P. McAdam (Hon. Secretary), J. M. McGrath, C. A. Mackenzie, Herbert J. T. Measures, E. H. Meyer, A. C. O’Bryen, M.I.E.E., Ernest A. O’Bryen, Wilfrid W. Parker, Louis Perry, Joseph J. Perry, R. J. Phillips, Henry Schiller, J. H. Sherwin, Robert Shield, Eugene Simona, Joseph Simona, Joseph Sperati, James Stone, J. S. R. Towsey, William Towsey, C. H. Walker, Augustine E. White, Basil J. White, C. B. Wildsmith, P. G. Winter, H. Witte, C. J. Woollett, M.D., &c., &c.
THE LOYAL TOASTS.
The Chairman, in proposing the toast “The Pope and the King,” said : Catholics need no explanation of the toast I have now the high honour of proposing. By coupling together the name of Pope and King we reaffirm and maintain and continue that old tradition of Church and State which has existed in all civilised Christian communities for so many hundreds of years. I give you the healths of his Holiness the Pope and of his Majesty the King, and when we drink this toast with all loyalty and all honour, it would be well to remember the words of the old cavalier. Speaking to his son in the days of the Civil War, he said : “Son, if the crown should come so low that thou seest it hanging upon a bush, still stick to it.” (Loud cheers.)
The Chairman : The next toast I have to propose is that of the Queen, the Prince and Princess of Wales, and other members of the Royal Family. This toast meets with an enthusiastic greeting wherever it is proposed, but I venture to think there is no place where it can strike a deeper and truer note of harmony and devotion than when it is proposed at the gathering of a Society which has for its object the relief of the poor and the suffering. (Cheers.) The prerogatives of the Crown and the privileges of Parliament have oftentimes been the cause of civil disturbances in this country, but to-day the prerogative of Royalty is to lessen in every possible way the sufferings of the poor and of those who toil and labour for a livelihood. (Hear, hear.) Into the privileges of Parliament I will not enter, but it is our special privilege to-night to recognise in a special manner all that we owe to the Queen, to the Prince and Princess of Wales, and other members of the Royal Family.
SIR W. BUTLER AND THE SOCIETY.
After these two toasts had been acknowledged with musical honours, the Chairman proposed the toast of the evening, ” The Benevolent Society for the Relief of the Aged and Infirm Poor.” He said : I have now to propose to you a toast which brings very vividly before my mind the fact of my own un-worthiness in being the medium through which this toast is to be offered to the gathering tonight. (No, no.) And when I look back to the names of those who in former years fulfilled this duty, my feelings approach those of absolute dismay, because I find the toast has been submitted by some of the most revered, the most honoured amongst the Catholic body of this country, both clerical and lay. I can only plead for myself and ask you to accept the fact of my unworthiness as an excuse for being unable to do adequate justice to my task. (No, no.) This charity goes back a long way. It suggests many thoughts to even the most superficial amongst us. It has had, I believe, now well-nigh I50 years of existence. (Hear, hear.) The people who founded it were very different to what we are to-day. They had a great deal more of the world’s kicks and a great deal less of the world’s happiness. One hundred and fifty years ago the clouds of the penal laws hung darkly over the country. I will not refer to them further beyond saying that the remembrance of that period should deepen and intensify our desire to do good to the poor, to those whom the abrogation or even the existence of penal laws matters little, and whose social life is set so far below those of happier circumstances. We take a great interest in politics, but how little we would care for the most sensational paragraph in The Daily Mail if we had no breakfast-table to spread it upon, and more, if we had no breakfast to enable us to digest its amazing contents. (Loud laughter.) I see in the newspapers a great deal about free food, the big loaf and the little loaf. I wonder what our poorer brethren think of all these things—the big loaf, the little loaf, and the three acres and a cow. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) I can fancy some of these poor people, who have waited many years for the fulfilment of some of these marvellous promises, exclaiming ” If you cannot give us three acres, give us at least the cow.” (Cheers.) If we cannot give them the cow we can at least put some milk into their tea. (Loud and continued cheers.) They have claims upon us,.these old veterans of the poor. We may ask ourselves who are they ? I think I am right in saying they are the survivors, the few survivors, of a great army. (Hear, hear.) They are the scattered survivors of tens of thousands of a great army of workpeople out of whose sweat we are living. (Hear, hear.) These old veterans become eligible as candidates for this Society only when they have reached the ripe old age of 60 years. Think for a moment how many of their comrades must have fallen on that long road which they have travelled for half a century, or even longer. I look at the list of pensioners and I see their ages reach from 60 to 90. Two facts come home to me when I read the report of the Society. The first is the liberal gifts and benefactions of many of the large merchant princes of this city. (Cheers.) The second fact is that so many who respond to the appeal of the Society are from my own country—Ireland. (Loud cheers.) You remember the story of the boat’s-crew cast adrift on the ocean. Believing their last hour had come they thought they should do something appropriate to the occasion. Unfortunately there was no one amongst them who remembered the prayers of their youth, so they decided upon making a collection. (Loud laughter.) I do not for a moment suppose that any of my brethren who were unfortunate enough to find themselves in a similar position would have to resort to making a contribution to the seals and the seagulls, but I do venture to say that the most prayerful man amongst us could not offer any truer praise to his Creator, or do a more charitable act to his fellow creature than to contribute generously and unstintingly to a Society such as that which we have met to honour this evening. (Cheers.) There are few names come down from the remote past more identified with this great city of London than the name of Martin the apostle, the Roman soldier before he was Roman Bishop. The speaker, after relating the story of Martin dividing his coat to protect a poor beggar from the ravages of the weather, and the vision which he afterwards saw, said London was still, outwardly at least, largely Martin. Perhaps some portion of his mantle, said the speaker in conclusion, has descended upon this great city, still keeping alive his name and the spirit of charity to the poor. (Cheers.) 3rd December 1904, Page 23
The funeral of Sir John Roper Parkington took place yesterday at Mortlake Cemetery. Before the interment Solemn Requiem Mass was sung at the Church of the Sacred Heart, Edge-hill, Wimbledon, to which the body had been removed from Broadwater Lodge over- night. The celebrant was the Rev. Father Ignatius O’Gorman, assisted by the Rev. Father R. Dalrymple, as deacon, and Mr. Rogers, as sub-deacon. Lady Parkington was unable to be present owing to ill-health, and the chief mourners were Lady Sherston Baker | (daughter), Miss Sherston Baker (grand- daughter), Mrs. Bidwell (daughter), the Misses Bidwell (granddaughters), Mr. Thomas and Mr. Edward Bidwell (grandsons), Mr. and Mrs. Cary-Elwes (son-in-law and daughter), the Misses Cary-Elwes (granddaughters), and Mr. Evelyn, Mr. Eustace, and Mr. Oswald Cary- Elwes (grandsons). Others present included Bishop Bidwell. Miss Faudel-Phillips. Mr. G. H. Barton,, Mr. W. N. Osborne Miss Hardy, Mr. C ffennell. Mr. L. Constable. Father Bampton. S..J.. representatives of City Companies and organizations with which Sir Roper Parkington was connected. and of the 3rd Battalion East Surrey Regiment and the 7th (V.B.) Essex Regiment, of which he had been a maJor and honorary colonel respectively.
I like the fact that this one has two great,great grandfathers at it even though neither of them would have known it, and by the time they were interlinked, one [Alfred Purssell] had been dead twenty seven years, and the other [John Roper Parkington] dead four months. This is from The Times, on Tuesday, September 29, 1896.
Admission of Sheriffs
Yesterday Mr. Alderman James Thompson Ritchie and Mr. Deputy Robert Hargreaves Rogers, who were elected by the Livery at midsummer as Sheriffs of the City of London for the year ensuing, were formally admitted to office at Guildhall. The proceedings were conducted with all the ancient and quaint ceremonial customary on the occasion. The Lord Mayor, accompanied by Mr. Alderman and Sheriff Pound and Mr. Sheriff Cooper, the retiring Sheriffs, and attended by the Sword and Mace Bearers and the City Marshal, went in state from the Mansion-house, and on arriving at Guildhall were escorted to the Aldermen’s Chamber, where the Aldermen, the Recorder, the Chamberlain, and the other high officers had assembled.
There they were joined by the new Sheriffs, with whom were the masters, wardens, and courts of the Bakers’, Ship-wrights’, and Loriners’ Companies, to which they belong. The Sheriffs-Elect were formally introduced to the Aldermen by Alderman Sir Stuart Knill and Alderman and Colonel Davies, M.P. A procession was then formed and the civic dignitaries passed to the hustings in the great hall, where a considerable number of persons, including many ladies, had gathered to witness the ceremony.
The Common Cryer (Colonel Eustace Burnaby) having called upon Mr. Alderman Ritchie and Mr. Deputy Rogers to come forward and take upon themselves the office of Sheriff, these gentlemen presented themselves amid cheers. The Town Clerk (Sir John Monckton) then administered to each the declarations prescribed by the Promissory Oaths Act and couched in the quaint language of former times. In these they promised loyalty to the Sovereign and protection to the franchise of the City of London.
They would well and lawfully keep the Shire of the City “ and right they would do, as well to poor as rich, and good custom they would none break, nor evil custom arrere.”They would not tarry the judgments and executions of the Sheriffs’ Court without reasonable cause ” nor right would they none disturb.” They would promote the Queen’s profit in all things that belonged to their office as far as they legally could or might, and they would not respite or delay to levy the Queen’s debts for any gift, promise, reward, or favour where they might raise the same without great grievance to the debtor. They would do no wrong to any man for any gift, reward, or promise, nor for favour nor hatred. Finally, they would truly and diligently execute the good laws and statutes of the realm, and in all things well and truly behave themselves in their office for the honour of the Queen and the good of her subjects and discharge the same according to the best of their skill and power.
Tho Sheriffs-Elect having signed the declarations, the late Sheriffs took off their official robes and chains and placed the chains of office upon each of the new Sheriffs- Mr. Alderman Pound investing Mr. Alderman and Sheriff Bitchie and Mr. Cooper discharging a similar function for Mr. Sheriff Rogers. The ceremony then ended and the civic authorities left the hall.
Mr. Alderman and Sheriff Ritchie, who is an elder brother of the President of the Board of Trade, is the head of the firm of Messrs. W. Ritchie and Sons, jute spinners and merchants, of Lime-street and Silver- town, and has been Alderman of the Ward of Tower since 1892, when he succeeded the late Mr. Alderman Gray. His colleague Mr. Sheriff Rogers is a member of the firm of Messrs. R. H. and S. Rogers, linen manufacturers, of Addle-street, City, and Coleraine, in Ireland, and has been a Common Councilman for Cripplegate Ward since 1886 and Deputy-Alderman since 1890. Their Under-Sheriffs are Mr. Webster Glynes, solicitor, of 29, Mark-lane, and Mr. Clarence Richard Halse, solicitor, of 61, Cheapside, and their chaplains are the Rev. C. J. Ridgeway, vicar of Christ Church, Paddington, and the Rev. J. S. Barrass, rector of St. Michael Bassishaw.
After the ceremony of their inauguration, Mr. Alderman and Sheriff Ritchie and Mr. Sheriff and Deputy Rogers proceeded to Clothworkers’-hall, in Mincing- lane, where they entertained a large company at breakfast. Mr. Alderman and Sheriff Ritchie presided, and his colleague in the shrievalty occupied the seat on his left. The guests included Mr. C. T. Ritchie, M.P., Alderman Sir Stuart Knill, Alderman Lieutenant- Colonel Davies, M.P.. Mr. Alderman Newton, Alderman Sir J. C. Dimsdale, Mr. Alderman Truscott, Alderman Sir J. V. Moore, Mr. Alderman Green, Mr. Alderman Samuel, Mr. Alderman Bell, Mr. Aldelman Alliston, Mr. Alderman Halse, Sir W. J. R. Cotton (the Chamberlain), Sir Forrest Fulton, Q.C. (the Common Serjeant), Mr. Alfred Lyon, Mr. Matthew Wallace (the Chief Commoner), Mr. Walter H. Harris, Mr. T. K. Freeman, Mr. J. S. Phené (warden of the Clothworkers’ Company).Mr.W. M. Bickerstaff, the Rev. R. H. Hadden (Lord Mayor’s chaplain), the Rev. C. J. Ridgway, the Rev. J. S. Barrass, Mr. Under-Sheriff Glynes, Mr. Under-Sheriff Halse, Dr. R. T. Pigott, Mr. Deputy Pepler, Mr. Deputy Cox, Mr. Deputy Pimm, Mr. Deputy Atkins, Mr. Deputy Baddelley, Mr. Deputy Edmeston, Mr. Deputy Dowling, Lieutenant-Colonel Milman, Major Roper Parkington, Mr. W. H. Collingridge. Colonel Browne, V.C., Mr. A. Purssell, Mr. W. J. Johnston, Colonel Davies Sewell, Mr. A. B. Hudson, Mr. J. A. Britton, Mr. J. H. Lile, and Mr. Graham King .
Mr. Alderman and Sheriff Ritchie, who was warmly received, in proposing ” The Health of the Queen,” after reminding them that if her Majesty were spared until next June she would have reigned over them for 60 years, remarked that the historian of the future, when describing the events of the Victorian era. would write it down as the most glorious in the annals of history. (Cheers.)
Mr. Sheriff and Deputy Rogers, who also received a cordial greeting, afterwards proposed ” The Prince and Princess of Wales and the other Members of the Royal Family.”
Mr. Alderman and Sheriff Ritchie, in proposing ”The Houses of Parliament, “ remarked that Englishmen were proud of their ancient institutions – institutions which had come down to them through the ages, and which had been moulded and fashioned by successive generations to meet the requirements of the people and of the times. They had at the present time a House of Lords and a House of Commons – and he might add, by way of parenthesis, a Corporation of the City of London (Cheers) – which at once excited the envy and the admiration of the world. (Cheers.) The House of Lords, as they were all aware, was composed of a body of men of high culture, marked ability, and great patriotism, and he believed that the verdict of the public was generally in its favour. With regard to the House of Commons, it was elected by the people themselves, and it was good or bad as the people themselves made it. Opinions differed, no doubt, with respect to the quality of the present House, but they all had an instance not long since that it considered the country superior to party. (Cheers.)
Mr. Ritchie, M.P., in responding to the toast, observed that the House of Lords differed in one essential respect from the House of Commons. The House of Commons came and went, while the House of Lords went on for ever; and he confessed that that was one of the characteristics of the House of Lords which members of the House of Commons envied most. (Laughter.) Reference had been made to the peculiar position of the House of Lords with respect to its constitution, and he had no doubt that the constitution of the House of Lords was what was usually called an anomaly. As far, however, as he was concerned, he was not frightened at the word ” anomaly.” Our constitution was full of anomalies, which, as the proposer of the toast had said, had grown up from year to year in order to meet the times; and it was a remarkable fact that, anomalous as was the position of the House of Lords, there was not a country in the world which did not regard it as the very embodiment of excellence for a second Chamber. (Cheers.)
There was this other anomaly in connexion with the House of Lords-that although the House of Commons was an elected body and the House of Lords was not – it so happened that the latter sometimes more adequately represented the opinion of the people than the elected Chamber. (Hear, hear.)
That, however, was an anomaly which had been of great service sometimes to the people of this country. Again and again the House of Lords had saved the country from unreflecting legislation by the House of Commons which might have had disastrous consequences; and he ventured to think that if they were to look back to the last occasion on which this had taken place it would be found that members of the party to which he belonged were not the only men in the kingdom who said “Thank God, we have a House of Lords.” (Cheers.)
The people of this country were satisfied with the patriotism of the House of Lords, believing that no unselfish aims, no pledges to constituents, warped the judgement of its members when matters of importance came before them,but that their decision was given in an unbiased way, and in a manner which they thought would best serve the interests of the country. (Cheers.) There had been times when the House of Lords had been attacked,but he had not of late heard very much said against it, nor did he think they were likely to for some time to come. So far as the House of Commons was concerned, he believed that some of them were quite satisfied with its present composition, while, no doubt, there were others who were not so satisfied ; but he assumed that the toast had been drunk so heartily because they believed that the House of Commons, however it might be constituted, deserved well of the country as a rule. (Hear, hear.)
The present House of Commons had already done some good work, and it would do more in time ; and he believed the probabilities were that when it came to its end it would have reaped as many laurels as any House of Commons that had preceded it. (Cheers.) There was one thing which the House of Commons and the country were fully aware of – that the House had not been elected for the purpose of carrying out revolutionary or sensational legislation or to pass into law all the fads of the various sections of the community. (Cheers.)
They had had a clear mandate from the country that the days of legislation of that kind – at least for the present – were over, and that the people expected the present House of Commons to devote itself to legislation which would be for the benefit and the interest of all classes of the community. (Hear, hear.)
He believed that that was the legislation which the House of Commons would devote itself to, and that this would meet with the approval of the people of this country. He was returning thanks for the toast in circumstances somewhat peculiar. It had been proposed by one of the Sheriffs, who was a very near relative of his (Cheers), and he need hardly say, therefore, that he responded to it with special pleasure. Some of them who desired to take part in public life took one path and some of them took another. Some chose the path of municipal life, others the path of Imperial work. Both paths were equally honourable, and both led to the same end, but he believed that if there was a choice between the one and the other, it would be found that municipal work, well and honestly done, did more for the welfare and happiness of the community than Parliamentary work did. (Hear, hear, and cheers.)
Mr. Sheriff and Deputy Rogers, afterwards proposed“ The Lord Mayor and the Corporation of the London.”Having referred to the dignified manner in which the present Lord Mayor (Sir Walter Wilkin) had discharged the duties of his high office, the speaker observed that the Corporation of London was the oldest and most Democratic body in the world. It had always been to the front in protecting the interests and the freedom of the citizens of London, while in quite recent times the Corporation had proved its usefulness in such works as the Holborn Viaduct and the Tower Bridge.
Alderman Sir Stuart Knill, in responding to the toast, said they all felt that the atmosphere had of late cleared, and the great benefit which had been rendered by Lord Mayors and the Corporation in ancient times as well as in the present day was now acknowledged. He felt it a special privilege to respond to the toast, because the present Lord Mayor honoured him during his term of office by being one of his sheriffs. (Cheers.)
Mr. Alderman and Sheriff Ritchie, next proposed ” The Livery Companies.” They were assembled, he said, in the hall of one of the greatest of the City guilds –a company which stood high in the ranks of the livery companies, and which was also one of the greatest in its charities. (Hear, hear.) The Cloth-workers’ Company spent large sums yearly on technical education, but he believed that all the City companies were doing what they could in their different ways to promote the education of the people. He was convinced that if another commission investigated their affairs the conclusion it would arrive at would be that the funds which were at the disposal of the City companies could not be better dealt with than they were at the present time. (Hear, hear.)
Captain James Watson (Master of the Bakers’ Company) responded to the toast.
Alderman Lieutenant-Colonel Davies, M.P., in proposing ” The Sheriffs, “ referred to the antiquity of their office, and wished them a pleasant and agreeable year.
Mr. Alderman and Sheriff Ritchie, in acknowledging the toast, said that, as those present were aware, his colleague and himself did not play the principal parts in “ this Corporation annual.” The chief role was to be taken by another, who had not yet been chosen; but as he was somewhat behind the scenes, he might tell them a secret -the gentleman who was to be chosen was Mr. Alderman Faudel Philips (Cheers), to assist whom his colleague and himself would do their very best.
Mr. Sheriff and Deputy Rogers, also responded, and subsequently proposed ” The Retiring Sheriffs,”warmly testifying to the able way in which Mr. Alderman Pound and Mr. Cooper had discharged their duties.
Mr. Alderman and Ex-Sheriff Pound responded. The company shortly afterwards separated.