The Proclamation of King George IV in Sudbury

Moot Hall, the Market Hill, Sudbury; C P Leggett

The Proclamation of King George IV took place in Sudbury on Monday February 7th, 1820.

A procession formed up at the Moot Hall and moved off in the following order: Two trumpeters of the Babergh Troop of Yeomanry; Captain of the Troop; Babergh Troop of Cavalry in files; A band of music; The Town Beadle on horseback, carrying a white silk flag with a loyal inscription; The Clergymen of the town in an open carriage; The Town Cryer, flanked by the Sergeants at Mace; The Mayor, Recorder, and Justices; Aldermen and Common Councilmen, all on horseback; A number of other clergy, gentry and principal inhabitants of the town and neighbourhood, with white cockades.

The Proclamation was received with every demonstration of loyalty, the band playing God save the King, and various other national airs. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the children of the National Schools were assembled on the Market Hill and given plum cake, and wine to drink the King’s health. The Rev. H. W. Wilkinson, in an animated and impressive speech, addressed them upon the duty of obedience to their Sovereign. The whole concluded with the children singing God Save the King, and heartily cheering. The Corporation and other gentlemen repaired to the Rose and Crown to drink His Majesty’s health.

Blue plaque on the site of the Rose and Crown at ‘Townrow’ Sudbury.

Meanwhile, a small boy aged just five left his home in Stour Street and accompanied his father to the Market Hill to witness the Proclamation of King George IV. It “was made by the Mayor with all solemnity to the sound of trumpet and drum, much people looking on. In my delight at this unusual display, I said I should like there to be a Proclamation every week. This exclamation caused some merriment and was denounced as disloyal and even treasonable.” (The Boyhood of William Gilson Humphry by himself.)

Hardwicke House, Stour Street Sudbury, home of William Gilson Humphry, son of Freemen William Wood Humphry and brother of Honorary Freeman of Sudbury, Sir George Murray Humphry