Burnley Civic Trust Heritage Image Collection

Royal Visit - Part 2 (13 October 1886)

A continuation of the report published in the Burnley Express on Saturday 16 October 1886.

Victoria Hospital 1886

Wednesday's Proceedings


Presentation of Corporation and Masonic Addresses

Inside the Mechanics' Institution, where the Prince had arranged to receive addresses from the Corporation and Freemasons, the scene was one of unusual brilliance. The walls were hung with banners, emblematic designs being artistically introduced. Festoons of artificial roses were transversely hung from the centre of the room, and the floor was covered with crimson cloth, which was continued through the reading room and vestibule to the staircase leading to the assembly rooms.

At the arrival of the Prince, the band struck up the National Anthem; the audience rose, and as HRH, accompanied by Colonel Thursby, proceeded to the chair under the Royal ensign, the assemblage cheered with greatest heartiness, the scene at this point being one of unusual brilliance and calculated to produce a deep effect upon the minds of those by whom it was witnessed. No time was lost in preliminaries, for after the Prince had bowed his acknowledgements of the splendid greeting accorded to him, he was approached by the Mayor arrayed in his robes of velvet and ermine and waring the gold chain of his office.

Addressing HRH The Mayor said: May it please your Royal Highness to permit me, on behalf of the Corporation and inhabitants of Burnley, to give you a hearty welcome amongst us this morning.
After an elegant speech delivered by the mayor the town Clerk read, from a scroll, The Corporation address.

After graciously receiving the address and handing it to Capt. Greville, the Prince read the following reply:- to the Mayor, Aldermen and Burgesses of the Borough of Burnley. - Mr Mayor and gentlemen, - It gives me much pleasure to have the opportunity of visiting today the Borough of Burnley for the purpose of opening the Victoria Hospital, which has, by your public spirit and enterprise, been recently brought to so successfully and issue. It is gratifying to think that the inhabitants of this district have so excellent and expel set them by the Municipal Authority, and that they have with other towns during the 50 years of Her Majesty's most prosperous reign, shared in the development of the condition of the people. In so large an industrial and populous centre there could not have been erected a more suitable building or one more worthy the spirit and energy which you have displayed. I thank you most sincerely for the expression of loyalty to the Throne which I shall take care to convey to Her Majesty and looking back on the proceedings of this day it will always be a pleasurable recollection to me that so excellent an institution has been added to the community. I most heartily trust that the town of Burnley may long continue to prosper and enjoy to the fullest extent of the development of her industries. (Prolonged cheering).

There were then more, short, speeches; The Rev. HH Robinson led an address on behalf of all the lodges of Freemasons.

After the ceremony the procession regained their carriages and progressed through the town. The crowds thronged every street and showed individual demonstrations of loyalty. While passing the Westgate Congregational Chapel 1,000 children sang the National Anthem as the Royal carriage passed. The girls were dressed in white and wore blue sashes, while the boys were neatly attired. At the Mitre Hotel there was a large crowd, and on the stand erected by Mr. H Bracewell there were a large number of spectators, who cheered in the most hearty manner. The procession continued along Trafalgar street, down Manchester road and along Church street. Opposite to the Parish Church, the enthusiasm was great, and a merry peal was rung from the tower when the procession passed. Bank Hall was eventually reached, and after the visitors had adjourned to the marque, the majority of the carriages conveying the representatives of the local authorities returned to the town.

Luncheon at Bank Hall


After the royal progress through the main thoroughfares, those who had joined in the procession and who had received invitations from Colonel Thursby met the Prince at luncheon in a pavilion erected in the grounds at Bank Hall. The approaches had been decorated with plants, and the Royal Standard floated in front of the hall. The interior of the luncheon pavilion presented a very brilliant aspect. The newspaper article gave the names and position of everyone who attended, but, unfortunately, makes no mention of the meal.

The Afternoon Procession


This exceedingly interesting procession arranged to peregrinate the central portion of the route in the afternoon was one of the most attractive features of the pageantries of the Royal visit. The scene was not, however, deprived of that spontaneous Lancashire humour which is so refreshing to the Southerner. The quaint costumes by which the various orders of friendly societies were distinguished, notable the Shepherds, were productive of comments which caused the risible faculties of the spectators to be exercised, but the liveliest interest was manifested in the proceedings. The streets along which the processionists walked were thronged with thousands of spectators, who were well rewarded for their temerity in assembling in such large numbers within the limited space created by the barricades. The bright uniforms of the volunteers, the less brilliant habiliments of the police and fire brigades, and singular and interesting regalia and gay banners of the friendly societies, and the inspiriting music of the seven Bands, combined to invest the whole event with intense interest. Shortly after one o'clock a portion of the procession left the Cattle Market, and was marshalled by Superintendent Slater. The following organisations made up the procession.

The Veevers, Conservative Sick and Burial Society, Order of Oddfellows, Order of Rechabites, Order of Druids, Ancient Order of Shepherds, The Masons, The Foresters and The Buffaloes. Altogether 2,031 members of these friendly societies. Then there were the different arms of the Corporation and Local Boards of the district. At the Cannons the Volunteers, numbering about 800, took the lead in the procession, and were followed by the mounted police.

The procession, on its arrival at Bank Hall, was joined by the Hospital Committee, the Architects, the visitors at Bank Hall, and many others. These all walked, but the Royal party rode in carriages. The procession, which numbered upwards of 4,000 persons, proceeded along Colne road and Briercliffe road to the hospital.

The Opening Ceremony


At the entrance to the administrative department, HRH and royal party were received by the Hospital committee. Mr John Butterworth, J.P., then presented the Prince with a golden key, with which to open the Hospital. The key was of 18 carat gold and designed in a style of harmonise with the character of the building. As being associated with Royalty and presented to HRH Prince Albert Victor, K.G., it was surmounted by a Royal Coronet. Beneath this, in the obverse, were the crest and motto of Burnley, beside which on one side was a wreath of laurel, and on the other a serpent-turned staff of Aesculapius, as an emblem of the art of healing. A rich scroll terminated the handle of the key, and barrel relieved the rich mouldings. The arms of Burnley were emblazoned in correct enamelled colours, the velvet cap, ermine and jewels of the Crown were also in enamel, while the reverse of the key bore the inscription "This key was presented HRH Prince Albert Victor, on his opening the Victoria Hospital, Burnley, October 13, 1886."

HRH was then conducted over the building, the distinctive features of which were pointed out to him.

He also took time to listen to the staff, Dr. Brown informed HRH that in furnishing the wards, as also in building, the Hospital Committee have aimed at securing, above all things, efficiency. They have considered that in this, rather than in cheapness, was to be found the truest economy. The bedsteads have india-rubber tyres on their castors, and are provided with the Dominion spring mattresses, whilst the horse-hair mattresses, blankets, and other furnishings are of a very excellent description. The lockers for the patients can also be moved noiselessly, having leather tyres on their castors, and are furnished with a marble shelf, easily cleaned, and placed at such a height as to be available for meals.

The floors of the wards are of hard polished oak, not for the sake of elegant appearance they present, but because in this way all washing of the floors is rendered unnecessary, for they can be kept cleaner and less likely to become a source of mischief than if they had been made of softer, cheaper, wood.

The Express article of 16 October 1886 reproduces all the speeches given on the day by the Mayor, the Hospital committee, the Architect who explained the advantages of the layout and many other important people of the time.

The final speech was made by The Right Hon. Sir Ughtred Kay-Shuttleworth, M.P. who was heartily cheered, then proposed a vote of thanks to HRH for his attendance at the Hospital and his visit to Burnley. He went on to say "I believe that foremost amongst the reasons which have prompted the warm welcome which has today been given to your Royal Highness in the streets of Burnley and in this place, is the desire to recognise the constant sympathy shown by the various members of the Royal Family in acts and works of charity and mercy. (Hear, hear). Foremost in these great acts has ever been Her Majesty the Queen (Hear, hear) after whom we are proud to name this Hospital of ours."

When the speeches were finished HRH led by Colonel Thursby, was conducted to the front of the Hospital where he planted a tree, the incident being watched with interest by numerous spectators.



Whilst newspapers did not publish photographs in 1886, some photographs were taken.
One such photo was printed in the Burnley Express of 10 October 1936 on the occasion of the 50 year of the Hospital's opening ceremony. Although the original of this photograph was in monochrome modern technology has enabled us to reproduce it here in colour.

From L-R: J.O.S.Thursby, A.B. Walker (Higher Sheriff of Lancashire), Capt. Greville, (Equerry to the Prince) J.P.C. Starkie, Prince Albert Victor, Col. Thursby and Lord Ughtred Kay-Shuttleworth M.P.

From L-R: J.O.S.Thursby, A.B. Walker (Higher Sheriff of Lancashire), Capt. Greville, (Equerry to the Prince) J.P.C. Starkie, Prince Albert Victor, Col. Thursby and Lord Ughtred Kay-Shuttleworth M.P.

To Turf Moor - Football


Immediately after planting the tree, the Prince again accompanied by Colonel Thursby, Captain Greville, and the Lord Lieutenant, re-entered his carriage and was driven through the streets, his passage through which was marked with the most gratifying demonstrations of loyalty. From the Hospital to Turf Moor the cheering was enthusiastic and continuous, culminating in a deafening outburst as he stepped on to the grand stand in sight of the ten thousand persons assembled to witness the match between Burnley and Bolton Wanderers' first teams, to which HRH had graciously consented to give his patronage and presence.

The front of the grandstand had been painted and royal permission had been given to the use of the Royal Arms, of which there were two excellent permanent paintings in front of the grand stand. The Burnley Club will, therefore, have the privilege of using the Royall Arms in future, and will undoubtedly be proud of the distinction obtained for them in being able to use the honourable phrase "Under Royal Patronage."

It had originally been intended that the Prince should leave after witnessing the play for about 20 minutes, but so interested were the party that they remained until half time whn the score was 3-1 in favour of the Wanderers. The report goes on to say that Burnley did most of the pressing, but the final score was still 4-2 to the Wanderers although Burnley had 2 goals disallowed.

Over 9,000 specatators paid for admission, and there are about 700 members. The Nett receipts were 209 pounds, and after all expenses of about 100 pounds the balance was handed to the Hospital Fund.

Dinner Party at Ormerod


After leaving the football match the Royal party, who had a splendid greeting by the crowd in Brunshaw Road, were driven to Ormerod House, where, in the evening, dinner was partaken of by His Royal Highness, Col. Thursby, Lord Sefton (Lord Lieutenant), Sir A. Barclay Walker (High Sheriff), Capt. Greville, the Right Hon. Sir Ughtred Kay-Shuttleworth, Bart., Major-General Fielden, Mr. J. P. Chamberlain Starkie/Mr. J. O. S. Thursby, J.P. (the Ormerod party) ; and the following guests : Rev. Canon Parker, M. A., rector of Burnley ; Lord C. R. Pratt, Colonel Starkie, J.P., Colonel Cook and Major Lawlor.

Departure of Prince Albert Victor.


His Royal Highness left Ormered House at 11-30 on Thursday morning, being accompanied by Colonel Thursby, Captain Greville, and Mr, J. O. S. Thursby, J.P. The mounted police escorted the Royal party to Holmes Chapel Railway Station. Both at Mereclough, where there was a fair display of bunting, and Cliviger large numbers of people congregated, and gave the Prince a parting salute. At Holme Railway Station Superintendent Wright was introduced to His Royal Highness, who personally thanked him for the admirable police arrangements for which he paid him high compliment.

At five minutes past twelve the special train (the same used for the Prince of Wales on his visit to the Royal Agricultural Show at Preston in July, 1885), left Holme station amid the cheers of the assembled spectators, heartily joined in by Colonel, and Mr. J. O. S. Thursby. The train conveying the Prince and Captain Greville, consisted of a splendidly upholstered saloon carriage, a first class, and two brake vans. It was charge of Mr. Maddock (passenger superintendent), with whom were Mr. Attock (carriage and waggon superintendent), Mr. Mackay (locomotive superintendent), and Mr. C. M. Foden (district goods superintendent). After capital run the train reached Normanton at 1-5, and the Prince and his Private Secretary here joined the Midland Express, which stopped specially to take up the Royal passenger, who journeyed thence to London. The rest of the guests who had been invited to meet the Prince left Ormerod House during Thursday. A Royal Compliment to the Volunteers. Prince Albert Victor was evidently much pleased with his reception, and the conduct of all who had charge of the arrangements. his instructions, Capt. Greville sent the following complimentary letter to Major Harrison, who, as well as the whole of the members of the Battalion, will doubtless treasure it as a pleasing indication of the high appreciation of their services by His Royal Highness:

"Ormerod House, Burnley, Lancashire, October 18th, 1886. Dear Major Harrison, Prince Albert Victor desires me to express to you his thanks for the assistance which has been rendered on the occasion of his visit to Burnley by the 3rd Battalion Lancashire Volunteers, who contributed so much to the success of the day. Believe me, yours truly, A. Greville."

Colonel Dugdale, J.P., commandant of the 3rd L.R.V., has issued an order thanking the officers, non-commissioned officers, and men for the readiness with which they responded to his request that they would attend the parade on the occasion of the recent visit of Prince Albert Victor. Col. Dugdale states that he is requested by Colonel H. Cook, commanding the 30th Regimental District, to notify to the Battalion his great approbation of the appearance and soldier-like bearing of all ranks on parade, and also of the steadiness and smartness of the different guards of honour furnished for 3 Royal Highness, Prince Albert Victor of Wales.

Subscribing the Visitors Book at the Hospital. His Royal Highness and party attached their signatures to the visitors' book at the Hospital. The name "Albert Victor," with the date October 13, 1886, appears alone on the first page, and on the second are the following in the order given: Sefton, A. Barclay Walker, Alwyne H. F. Greville, Ughtred J. Kay-Shuttleworth, John Hardy Thursby, Randle J. Fielden, Le Gendre N. Starkie, A. Townley Parker, J. P. C. Starkie, C. E. Every-Halsted, B. M. Moorsom, Studley Martin, John Butterworth.