PROCESSIONS, FROST FAIRS, AND FIRES
TIME and space, like the stream we are considering, are hastening on, and there is still much to say, and, indeed, much that must be left unsaid.
In their proper and chronological order many of the processions and pageants on the river have been described in the other sections, and those only which have taken place during the last century remain to be noticed.
The annual procession of the Lord Mayor by water was given up when the Conservancy of the Thames was taken away from the Corporation and vested in a Board. The barges belonging to the various City Companies were bought by the College boat clubs at Oxford, and are now moored in the river there.
The removal of the Law Courts from Westminster to the Strand renders it almost impossible to revive this most picturesque feature of old London; but, before its final extinction, with that also of the various civic State barges, it enjoyed a long popularity since the Mayoralty of Sir John Norman in 1453.
There have been other processions by water of not the same joyous character. Anne of Bohemia, first wife of Richard II., and Queen Elizabeth, both died in the palace at Richmond, and their bodies were conveyed to Westminster by water, to be laid in the Abbey.
The body of Nelson, the hero of Trafalgar, after lying in state at Greenwich Hospital, was brought, with all possible funereal pomp, up the river, through London to Westminster, and rested for a brief space at the Admiralty before the sad procession on January 2nd, 1806, finally wended its way to St. Paul's, where the hero sleeps his last sleep.Next page: The Opening of London Bridge