Royal visit to Castle Howard

Extract from Newspaper Article

Publication: The Illustrated London News

Date: 31 August 1850

ON Tuesday morning, according to arrangement, her Majesty and Prince Albert came to town, in order to proceed, by the London and North-Western Railway, to Castle Howard, to visit the Earl of Carlisle, on their way to Scotland. It had been arranged that the train should start from Euston-square at half-past eleven o'clock; and soon after ten o'clock, a number of persons, mostly ladies, who were admitted by the politeness of the directors of the Railway, allowed to wItness the Royal departure from the opposite platform, began to assemble.

It was not, however, till near twelve o'clock, that the Royal carriages, escorted by a detachment of the Lancers, drew up in front of the Parcels Office, from the platform of which the train was to start. The cause of this delay was, that her Majesty, on her way to town by the South-Western Railway, had stopped the train for a few minutes at Esher, when his Royal Highness Prince AIbert paid a visit of condolence to the ex-Queen of the French, on the occasion of the melancholy event that took place on Monday at Claremont. Sir George Grey, who is the only Minister accompanying her Majesty to the north, had arrived at Euston-square some time before the Queen, as did the Marchioness of Douro, who was to proceed to the north with her Majesty, relieving in attendance the Viscountess Canning. About twelve o'clock the Royal carriages drew up, when the Queen, Prince Albert, the Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal, Prince Alfred, and the Princess Alice alighted, and were received by Mr. Carr GIyn, the chairman, and several of the directors of the railway. The Royal party were conducted into the waiting-rooms, tastefully fitted up for their reception, where they remained a few minutes while the packages were being stowed away in the luggage van. Here Lady Canning, who had just come up with her Majesty from Osborne, took leave, and the Marchioness of Douro took her place. Everything being in readiness, the Royal family took their places in the Royal carriage, which then drew slowly away from the station, amid cheers. The sides of the railway were lined with spectators almost all the way to Camden-town, and all along the cheers and salutations were repeated.

On the slopes of the Primrose-hill tunnel a large concourse had also assembled, whose cheers followed her Majesty. At all the stations there were groups of persons anxious to catch the most passing glimpse of the Royal party; but the train dashed past them all, and did not stop till it reached Wolverton, accomplishing the distance of 52 miles in about an hour and five minutes. Her Majesty was here again received by Mr. Glyn, Mr. Creed, and Mr. Stewart (the secretary of the railway), who had accompanied the train from Euston-Square. A large concourse of people had assembled; and as the train stopped, a musical band, composed of the Wolverton workmen, played the National Anthem. The bridge thrown over the line here was elegantly festooned with evergreens. The Royal party, having alighted, were conducted to an apartment, and partook of luncheon. After a delay of twenty minutes, they returned to the carriage; and the train left the station amidst loud cheers, and did not stop again until it reached Rugby, where it appeared as if the whole population of the adjoining town had turned out to receive her Majesty. Here Mr. Glyn and the other officials of the North-Western took leave of the Queen; and Mr. Ellis (the chairman), Mr. Paxton (of Chatsworth), and several other directors of the Midland, took their places to escort the Royal train over their line. Here, also, Mr. M'Connell, the superintendent of the locomotive department on the North-Western, who had driven the engine from Euston-square to Rugby, resigned his place to Mr. Kirtley, who holds a similar place on the Midland. The run from Euston-square to Rugby, including the stay at Wolverton, occupied only two hours and ten minutes. The train then proceeded at a pace quite as rapid as before, and did not stop till it reached Leicester, where there was again an immense concourse of people, extending for upwards of a mile and a half; and their loyalty manifested itself in deafening cheers. After slowly passing the crowd, the train proceeded as rapidly as ever, and arrived at Derby at a quarter past three o'clock, where the reception was equally enthusiastic.

The train stopped for a few minutes at the curve which leads to Derby, to take in water, during which time the officials of the line–consisting of Mr. Ellis, M.P., chairman; Mr. Paxton, Mr Taylor, Mr. Smith, Mr. Yarwell, Alderman Garbutt (of Leeds), Mr. Beverley, and Mr. Mercer, directors; and Mr. Bell, the secretary–were introduced to Prince Albert.

Water having been obtained; the train once more started at a rapid pace to Normanton, where the Midland line ends. Here Mr. Ellis and his brother directors took leave of the Royal party, and Mr. Thompson, of Moat Hall, the chairman of the York and North Midland (on which the train was now about to enter), and some of the directors, took their places. Before leaving the Midland line, it ought to be mentioned, as a proof of the great care that was taken respecting tho safety of the train, that at every half-mile a plate-layer was stationed by the contractor with a small flag in his hand; and this succession of sentinels continued all the way from Rugby to Normanton; so that if any obstruction had occurred on any part of the line, a series of telegraphic signals would have conveyed it in a few minutes up to the point where the Royal carriages were passing.

The train did not enter York; but its population poured out along the lines of the trunk and its branch, and the people cheered vehemently as the Royal party, passing from one line to another, skirted the walls of the city. The Ouse once crossed, the train set off again at speed, and, soon traversing the thirteen miles which intervene between York and Castle Howard station, stopped there precisely at six o'clock.

Royal visit to Yorkshire

The arrival of the Royal Train at Castle Howard Station
Source: The London Illustrated News

The early part of the day was wet, cold, and disagreeable; a mist worthy of the Grampian Hills enveloping the landscape, and a drizzling rain descending. Notwithstanding the unfavorable state of the weather, however, numbers of people flocked in from the surrounding district to witness her Majesty's arrival. Trains laden with loyal subjects arrived from Scarborough; and we encountered one indefatigable lady who had come all the way from Bath to have a good view of her Majesty and the Royal family. At the Castle Howard railway station, which is about three miles distant from the Earl of Carlisle's seat, a few very simple preparations were made for her Majesty's reception. An awning, decorated with flowers and evergreen, was erected in communication with the station, through which the Royal party might pass, protected from the weather, to their carriages. The road thence to the Castle is exceedingly hilly, and at many points reminds one of Devonshire. From it fine views of the surrounding country are occasionally obtained, and glimpses of cultivated fields and harvest labours appearing amidst the deep woods. The wayside presents at first a very rural aspect; a small village and an extensive quarry, the working of which has been discontinued for some time, being the princIpal objects. Then the road passes under all old-fashioned archway, flanked by battlemented walls, terminating at either end in small turrets. Another equally old-fashioned archway, crowned by a pyramidal ornament, is passed through, and then the road, turning to the right by the obelisk, is carried forward to the north front of the Castle. A few ornaments of flowers and evergreens decorated these archways, and completed the preparations for her Majesty's reception.

In a few minutes, the Queen, with Prince Albert, the Prince of Wales, and the Princess Royal, entered a carriage, and advanced to Castle Howard, preceded by the Earl of Carlisle, on horseback. The remainder of the party followed in other carriages. At the most convenient points along the route the peasantry were collected to see their Queen, who acknowledged very graciously their simple-hearted demonstrations of loyalty. Arrived, at length, at Castle Howard, the Earl was in readiness to receive the Queen; and, in the entrance ball, presented to her Majesty his venerable mother, the Countess of Carlisle. The Queen saluted her Ladyship with great cordiality; and then turning to her daughters, the Duchess of Sutherland, Mistress of the Robes, Lady Dover, Lady Caroline Lascelles, and the juvenile members of their respective families, her Majesty courteously greeted them, and was then conducted to the suite of rooms prepared for herself and family.