BARS Exchange

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Two Hundred Years Ago Today: The Lakers celebrate victory at Waterloo (and Wordsworth almost messes it up)

By Matthew Sangster

1280px-Skiddaw_engraving_by_William_Miller_after_Turner_R513

(This is part of a new series of On This Day posts edited by Anna Mercer. If you’re interested in contributing to the series, please contact her on anna.mercer@york.ac.uk.)

Skiddaw, engraved by William Miller after J.M.W. Turner (1833).

On the 22nd of August 1815, Robert Southey sent the following passage to his friend Grosvenor Bedford for insertion in the Courier:

On Monday the 21st of August, a bonfire was kindled on the summit of Skiddaw in honour of the Battle of Waterloo, the capture of Paris, & the surrender of Buonaparte. It is the first time that any public rejoicings had ever been held on so elevated a spot; & the effect was sublime to a degree which none can imagine but those who witnessed it. A great concourse of people were assembled; inhabitants of the country who had never performed the ascent before, going up on this occasion. {Large} Balls of tow & turpentine were set on fire & rolled down the steep {side of the} mountain. Rule Britannia, & God Save the King were sung in full chorus round the bonfire, accompanied by various wind instruments. The healths of the Prince Regent, the Duke of Wellington, & Prince …read more

Source:: http://www.bars.ac.uk/blog/?p=848