Remarkable painting shows how Wisbech enjoyed Queen Victoria’s coronation

THIS remarkable picture shows just how our 19th-century brethren celebrated their monarch of the day.

To mark the coronation of Queen Victoria on June 28, 1838, about 5,000 people descended on Wisbech Market Place for plum puddings, roast beef and ale.

Inscribed as “drawn on the spot by JAS. P. Hunter and J Graf, printer to Her Majesty”, the picture is owned by a Wisbech-born-and-bred Frances Button and is now hung in her London home.

The picture is also inscribed: “Thos. Dawbarn Esqre. Mayor, The Rev, H Fardell Vicar, and The Stewards, Presidents, Vice Presidents, and all who were concerned in promoting the festivites of the day, by their obedient and humble servant JAS. Pettreg Hunter.

Last weekend Wisbech celebrated Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee with a similar celebration in the market place - only with less plum pudding and more bouncy castles.

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“I suspect there is an element of artistic licence as I am not sure a photographer would have been able to get high enough for the overview - or even far enough back,” said Mrs Button.

“It is distinctly faded with age and could do with restoring which one day I will get round to. I was born and brought up in Wisbech and married in St Peter’s Church, the tower of which is visible in the print, and feel great affection for the town.”

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