Accession of the House of Hanover

18th Century London

You can skip to subsequent pages using the links below or simply continue reading to start at the beginning.

Accession of the House of Hanover


THE death of Queen Anne on August 1st, 1714, at Kensington Palace, once more changed the scene of political affairs, but George Louis of Brunswick's accession to the throne and his reign of thirteen years had very little influence, either on the appearance of the city or that of the river.

There was still only the one bridge, and notwithstanding the loss of the riverside palace at Whitehall, and the removal of the Court to St. James's and Kensington, the watermen with their wherries and skiffs were still much in demand.

The Lord Mayor in his State barge and the twelve great Companies in theirs, with all the pomp and pageantry of civic splendour, accompanied by bands of music and innumerable other boats and barges, made their annual procession to the Law Courts at Westminster for the Lord Mayors Show on Lord Mayor's day, returning to Queenhithe or Blackfriars where they had embarked.

The Stationers' Company in their barge on the same occasion also paid an annual visit to their patron, the Archbishop of Canterbury, at Lambeth, and presented their almanacs to his Grace.

But very few other pageants were now seen on the river, and it was as dull as the Court, under a king who could not speak a word of English, and who disliked his new subjects every bit as much as they disliked him.

Next page: Processions on the Thames