1784 Demonstration in Berkeley Square

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Berkeley Square was to be startled by another political demonstration - more important even than that connected with Sir Francis Burdett - when Charles James Fox, after his return to Parliament for Westminster in 1784, was the chief figure in a procession as remarkable as any that had ever walked the streets of London.

Besides the Dukes of Devonshire and Portland (each in a coach and six horses), trumpeters on foot and on horseback, bands, bodies of electors, emblematical banners, etc. and the "select committee, splendidly mounted, composed of the first men of rank and fortune," the "hero of the hour" (or "sights self," as Browning phrased it) was in the midst "in a simple and elegantly adorned chair, interwoven with laurel, myrtle, and flowers, with a relief of thirty-two men in white."

After proceeding round Covent Garden, this procession entered The Strand by Catherine Street and headed westward past Charing Cross. Then after going to Parliament Street it returned to Pall Mall, where it paused at Carlton House, then continued from there up St. James's Street to Piccadilly, where the Prince of Wales was awaiting it at Devonshire House.

The cavalcade then paraded Berkeley Square and returned to Devonshire House, "the gates of which were thrown open, and discovered upon the balustrades the heir apparent surrounded by the first Whig families in the kingdom."

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