Early Celebrations

1789, March 26 - The recovery of King George III from his illness (madness).

(This item was included in a notebook used by Harvey Neck for his transcript of Treleaven's diary. It seems probable that it was recorded originally by either Silvester Treleaven or another member of his family. The other items are from Treleaven's Diary).

This being the day fixed on by the principal inhabitants for celebrating the happy recovery of his Majesty, the morning was ushered in with the ringing of bells. A bullock was roasted whole in the Centry while two hogsheads of cyder was distributed to the populace. These were bought by subscription. A sheep was roasted whole by the Weavers. In the afternoon there was a grand procession of Woolcombers. Several of the masters walked before with cockades made with different colored wool. Next followed the General on horse-back (Mr George Comin) dressed in blue with a cap made of different coloured wool. Anthony Tallamy on horseback in the character of Bishop Blaze, John Browne and Ann Matthews shepherds, Mr George Mardon, Ensign with Union Flag with about 100 men & boys with holland shirts & caps made of different coloured wools. They walked two & two & made a very martial appearance. They marched through the different streets & then to the Centry where they performed several military manouvres to the satisfaction of a great number of Spectators.

1802, October 5th and 12th. Celebration of the news of Peace with France

Mon. Oct 5th The morning was ushered in with a Song, applicable to the long wished for and happy tidings of Peace, about 2 in the morning the different choirs united, accompanied with several Instruments, and a better and more pleasing performance perhaps was never heard in Moreton at 8 o'clock the post arrived, some hundreds of Men, Women, and Children, assembled in the Street before the post-office to hear the glad tidings, on its being announced in the Gazette, one general shout of huzzas were powered forth, that the air resounded again, and 'tis impossible to express the sensation felt on the occasion, the day was one scene of mirth.

Mon. Oct. 12th. on the news arriving of the Preliminaries being ratified, the Bells were rung the whole day, collection made to purchase a Hogshead of Cyder to give to the poor. Men, Women, and Children decorated themselves with Gilded Laurel and blue Ribbands, parading the streets, congratulating each other on the happy event, in the evening there was the largest Bonfire ever seen here, and a general illumination. The Bonfire was lighted, half after 6 o'clock amidst the acclamations of many Hundred?s Spectators, who were assembled to testify their approbation of an event, that they hoped to derive the greatest benefits from, and if it had not taken place, they looked forward to the greatest calamity that ever befel the human race, (viz) Starvation. While the Bonfire was consuming the Populace were supplied with Cyder. Half after 7 the Illumination commenced scarce a window, but had light, several had sentences. At the post office was the following "Peace and Plenty" with "G.R." over. Mr. Pinsents "Britons Rejoice" Mr. Ponsfords "Success to Trade". Some of the Illumination were done with great taste, such as Pyramids Arches, Ovals and Circles ornamented with wreaths of Laurel, the Shambles was likewise illuminated with several Hundred lights, the whole from the darkness and stillness of the night had a very pleasing effects. (from Treleaven's diary)

1810, October 25th King George III's golden jubilee

Wed. Oct. 25th. This being the day on which his Majesty enters the 50th year of his Reign, was observed here with every demonstration of joy - The morning was ushered in with the Ringing of Bells. The Volunteers paraded & marched to Church, where a sermon was preached by the Rev Mr Hole, Minister of North Bovey, Text 97th Psalm Verse - after the service was over the Volunteers assembled in the Century and fired a "Feu de joie", they then repaired to different Public Houses, where dinners were provided for them by their Officers - In the afternoon the Money subscribed to the amout of £20 was divided and given to the poor of this Town & Parish. In the evening there was a Ball, and supper at the White Hart which was attended by all the Ladies and Gentlemen of this Town and Neighbourhood and the day concluded with every mark of loyalty.

1814, July 25th-26th Celebration of peace with France

Mon. July 25th. Festivity in honour of the happy return of Peace with France. The Inhabitants endeavoured to outvie each other in decorating the fronts of their houses with laurel, oak &c &c and several arches were erected in the Street tastefully decorated which altogether gave the town the appearance of a Grove.

Tue. July 26th. The morning was ushered in at a very early hour by ringing of Bells, and a choir of singers accompanied with a good band of music sang a song through the different streets suitable to the long wished for day. About 10 o'clock in the morning, the streets were thronged by people who flocked in, in great numbers from the neighbouring parishes, and at 12 o'clock a grand procession, consisting of Farmers, Husbandmen, the different trades, School, &c &c the whole comprising about 800 Men Women and Children, took place which from its judicious arrangement, correct and chaste taste of dress decorations &c the steady manner in which they marched, the orderly and highly praise worthy behaviour of an immense number of spectators during the procession formed one of the most delightful and enchanting scenes ever witnessed this town or its neighbourhood, the procession proceeded through the different streets, and on passing the parsonage house, a Hogshead of Beer was given them by the worthy rector the Revd. William Charles Clack. After the procession closed, in the Sentry the populace were regaled in a square of 200 feet, with plenty of old English fare, Beef, Plum puddings, Beer and cider, during dinner a band of music, on an elevated stand in the centre of the square played several national airs, after dinner the merry dance commenced which continued 'till night when the company parted highly delighted with the amusements of the day. (from Treleaven's diary)