The Sherborne Pageant

Other names

  • The St Ealdhelm Celebration

Pageant type

Jump to Summary

Performances

Place: Ruins of Sherborne Castle (Sherborne) (Sherborne, Dorset, England)

Year: 1905

Indoors/outdoors: Outdoors

Number of performances: 7

Notes

12–16 June 1905

  • 12 June, 12pm-2pm and 3pm-5pm
  • 13-16 June, 3pm-5pm

The pageant run was originally scheduled for 12-15 June, but an extra performance was staged on 16 June 16 due to audience demand.

Dress rehearsal on Wednesday 31 May.

Name of pageant master and other named staff

  • DPageant Master: Parker, Louis Napoleon
  • Master of the Music: Charles Herbert Hodgson
  • Bandmaster: Mr Cocking
  • Chairman: Mr J.K.D. Wingfield Digby1
  • President of the Local Festival Committee: Colonel John Roberts Phelips Goodden
  • Mistress of the Robes: Frances Elizabeth McAdam (née Monck) 
  • First Secretary: James Douglas
  • First Secretary: Herbert John Seymour
  • First Secretary: Rev. Arthur Field
  • Treasurer: Mr Drewe
  • Treasurer: Mr Jackson-Taylor

Names of executive committee or equivalent

n/a

Names of script-writer(s) and other credited author(s)

  • Parker, Louis Napoleon

Names of composers

  • Rhoades, James
  • Tester, Archibald F.
  • Carey, Francis Clive Savill
  • Parker, Louis Napoleon
  • Elgar, Edward
  • Beethoven, Ludwig van
  • Handel, George Frideric
  • Wagner, Richard

Numbers of performers

800 - 900

Over 90 speaking parts.

Financial information

Net profits were £1872

Object of any funds raised

A public garden was laid out a cost of £700 to memorialise the celebration, but there was no stated aim before the event.3

Linked occasion

In Celebration of the twelve-hundredth anniversary of the founding of the town of Sherborne, the Bishopric of Sherborne, and Sherborne School, by St. Ealdhelm, AD 705.


Audience information

  • Grandstand: Yes
  • Grandstand capacity: 2000
  • Total audience: 30000

Notes

‘Every one of the 5300 odd seats was booked always, while a good many hundreds were on the grass in front of the stand.’5

‘Fancy prices were readily paid for admission, and it was nothing unusual for belated arrivals to give twice or three times its value for a ticket…’6

Prices of admission and seats: highest–lowest

21s.–3s.

21s, 10s. 6d., 7s. 6d., 5s., 4s., and 3s.

‘Shilling tickets were issued for working-men on Thursday evening, and a great number of people who could not afford to pay a higher figure were thus enabled to witness the great spectacle.’7

A dress rehearsal on 31 May was attended by around 3000, half for free.8

Associated events

Services in the Abbey Church commenced on Whit-Sunday; on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday there were special morning services. On Monday the special hymns included that psalm of praise “All people that on earth do dwell,” and the National Anthem. The Bishop of Salisbury and the Bishop of Bristol both spoke, the latter on the life and character of Ealdhelm. Altogether 10000 people visited the Abbey Church, conducted in parties of 100 and 150 by the Verger.

  • The band of the Warwickshire Regiment played each morning on the Parade, and the band of the G Company, 1st V.B.D.R. performed on the bandstand in the evenings. The Abbey bells also rang at frequent intervals.
  • Adam Gosney’s Exhibition of Photographic Views of Sherborne—free admission on 12–16 June at the Fine Art Repository.

Pageant outline

Introduction

Upon the stroke of three o’clock four trumpeters habited as heralds issue from the turret and blow to the four points of the compass. The orchestra, concealed by a trellis, begins A Solemn March to which the Chorus enters to the centre, and divides itself among the two benches. The Chorus tells of how they have come to ‘chant the fame of Sherborne’ and tell of the town’s history.

First Episode. AD 705. The Coming of Ealdhelm

An armed English Chieftain dressed for the hunt comes through the chapel entrance followed three men, one with hounds. He shoots out of sight behind the ruins; his attendants bring back a dead deer, which he lays on the stone in the centre. The Chieftain and his attendants discuss how the stone was an altar of the old gods before the ‘wise men of Wales’ brought word of the ‘white Christ’. They light a fire. A procession enters, led by a young monk bearing a rough cross and followed by Ealdhelm and eleven Brethren; all are chanting the Twenty-third Psalm in English to an ancient tone. When they reach the centre, Ealdhelm addresses the Chieftain, asking him why he is making an offering to old gods. More Englishmen creep out of their hiding places, intrigued by Ealdhelm and his monks. Ealdhelm plants the cross by the side of the spring and explains to the Chieftain that he is going to build a city and a church to spread the word of God. Ealdhelm dips his hand in the spring and sprinkles the ground with the water before stating ‘it shall be known throughout all ages as the place of the clear streams, and unto the end of time its children shall call it—Sherborne.’ The crowd repeats the word ‘Sherborne’ with awe. Ealdhelm commands his disciples to lift the stone, as the local women look on and mock their weakness. As the rope begins to strain, Ealdhelm sprinkles it with water and it tightens, as the amazed English fall on their knees declaring a miracle. One of Ealdhelm disciples begins to carve the stone as Ealdhelm rests and takes food from the Sherborne residents. The stone is now fashioned into a rough cross. Ealdhelm beckons the children, who sit around and on him. He then declares that he shall teach them and that they shall then teach others, and he declares the School of Sherborne. A trumpet is heard before King Ine enters with his courtiers and Queen. They kneel to Ealdhelm. The King encourages Ealdhelm to take the Bishop’s staff and mitre to shepherd the western lands; Ealdhelm protests but then accepts, as he is cloaked in the garb. All kneel to Ealdhelm. Ealdhelm exits with the King and Queen. The Chorus sings of the events and Ealdhelm’s founding of the town, See and school, all of which remain.

Second Episode. AD 845. The Defeat of the Danes

Bishop Ealhstan enters, dressed in armour, followed by a couple of acolytes and monks. He shouts that the Danes have arrived, calls for the alarm to be sounded, and orders everyone to seize weapons. A mob of townsfolk rush in in confusion, the men armed with a variety of weapons—even the children have stones. Ealhstan forms them into a battle-array facing eastward. Danes rush in with war-cries; Ealhstan orders his men to fire the arrows, leading to considerable damage. He leads a charge crying ‘For God and Home’. The Danes are driven back in hand to hand combat, leaving their dead and wounded. Some Shirburnians lift Ealhstan onto their shoulders and take him triumphantly out of the quadrangle.

Third Episode. AD 860. The Death of Ethelbald and the Coming of Alfred

The sound of the Dies Irae can be heard in the distance. A funeral procession bearing Ethelbald the King enters, led by Ethelbert and Queen Osburga, and nobles, ladies and pages. It is also made up of a cross-bearer; acolytes swinging incense; a warrior with a crown and sceptre on a cushion; and the dying Ethelbald wrapped in purple, carried by warriors. The Chorus sings of the feud between Ethelbald and Ethelbert, brothers, before singing of the boy in the procession, Alfred, who will become Alfred the Great. Ethelbald and Ethelbert embrace and kiss on the cheeks. Ethelbald stretches his hands out over Alfred’s head, before dying. The body is carried out, the monks chanting in a subdued manner. Ethelbert declares to Ealhstan that he has brought Alfred to be taught by him; Ealhstan declares that Aflred’s presence as a future King lifts Sherborne ‘on high as the Chief City of Wessex.’ As all begin to exit, the Townsfolk cry ‘Long live the King!’ The Chorus tells briefly of Alfred’s peaceful reign and then of the many bishops that held sway over Sherborne, before stating that the holy Brotherhood had been corrupted by wealth.

Fourth Episode. AD 998. The Benedictine Rule Introduced at Sherborne

As the Chorus sings, the stone cross is removed to be replaced with a rough table, complete with ancient three handled mugs. Monks enter and raucously eat meat, throwing the bones over their shoulders. Country folk bring food and presents, which they lay grumblingly at the feet of the monks. Some folk are scolded by the monks for the smallness of their gifts. The monks joke around, castigating a young monk for studying, tearing the pages out of his book. Wulfsy enters and scolds the monks, who react rudely and without deference. Wulfsy launches into a fearsome tirade about the impending doom for the unruly monks. They panic and begin to beg for mercy. He declares that they must now live in austerity as Benedictine monks. Black gowns and hoods are brought forward, as the monks stand motionless. The Chorus sings briefly of the coming of Aethelric, the second Aethelsy, Brightwy the first, Aelmer, Brightwy the Second, Aelfwold the saint, and finally Hermann. They also mention the iron grip of the Conqueror William.

Fifth Episode. AD 1075. William the Conqueror Removes the See to Sarum

William the Conqueror enters in a procession, in full armour, followed by armed knights. He goes to the table and draws his giant sword, bringing it crashing down on the table—so causing the Monks to jump to their feet in terror. He demands their Bishop, upon which Hermann is brought. Anxious townsmen watch on. William declares, to the horror of the townsfolk and monks, that ‘Sherborne is no longer a See. Your Church is no longer a Cathedral. Your town no longer the chief city of Wessex.’ He tells Hermann to follow him to the Hill of Sarum where he will transfer his bishopric. Hermann protests, but follows, taking the staff, mitre, and cope.

Sixth Episode. AD 1107. Roger of Caen Lays the Foundation Stone of the Castle

Roger of Caen, in his Abbot’s robes, enters from the Keep Turret. He tells the Monks and people not to grieve, since he will build up the greatness of their house again by constructing a great church and a stronghold, to the delight of the crowd. The Masons of Sherborne come forward in a procession, and then, with rites, set a cornerstone in its place, while singing old Masonic hymns. Roger declares that it will be Sherborne Abbey and Sherborne Castle. The Chorus sings of the years speeding on and how there were jealousies between the townsmen and Brotherhood and an ensuing conflict.

Seventh Episode. AD 1437. The Quarrel between the Town and the Monastery

Abbot Bradford enters surrounded by talking townsmen. He asks for patience. Bishop Neville, of Sarum, enters. Two opposing groups of townsmen quarrel. While the Bishop and Abbot try to calm the situation they fail, and it leads to a skirmish. Through the gatehouse the Earl of Huntingdon (Robin Hood) enters with Maid Marian, Friar Tuck, Little John and the dramatic chorus dressed in Lincoln green. The Abbot calls for the strong man Walter Gallor, who joins the second group of men with the Abbott, rushing off at the back. Robin Hood declares himself the leader of the first group of men, to cheers. Walter Gallor and Robin Hood have a quarter-staff bout. At the back of the ruins a cloud of smoke is seen rising, resulting from the first groups’ lighting of the abbey thatch. Tensions escalate. The Abbot decides to give one group the parish church to themselves, ‘so harmony and kindness dwell in Sherborne once more’.

A Morris Dance Takes Place

Eighth Episode. AD 1437. The Foundation of the Almshouse

Robert Neville, Sir Humphrey Stafford, Margaret Gough, John Fauntleroy and John Baret enter, the townsfolk dividing to make way for them. Each of them declare their intention to give money and timber for a new hospital, to cheers from the crowd. Robert declares it will be Saint John’s House and gives a triptych image (the now famous Almshouse altar-piece).

Ninth Episode. AD 1539. The Expulsion of the Monks

Sir John Horsey rides in followed by his servant, both heavily armed. He brings news of the King’s Writ stating that the monks and abbot must quit Sherborne Abbey. The crowd express sorrow and indignation, and one monk, Prior Dunster, circulates in the crowd trying to incite rebellion. Dunster declares that they have a higher calling than the King. A woman bursts in and encourages the crowd to stick up for the abbey that has done so much for them and their children. At the threat of hanging, the townsfolk lay down their weapons, and the monks surround the abbot and advise him to do as Sir John says. Sir John then calls each monk individually, who leave, finally followed by the Abbott. Sir John then sells the Abbey Church by auction to two lawyers.

Tenth Episode. AD 1550. The School Receives its Charter

A small group of horsemen enter carrying banners bearing Edward VI and the School arms, followed by trumpeters, a herald, an Oxford Doctor of Divinity, a Cambridge Master of Arts, and a few knights. The herald proclaims a new charter for the Sherborne School and delivers it to Sir John Horsey, who reads out the Charter, which acknowledges the importance of Sherborne and proclaims that there will be a Grammar school called the Free Grammar School of Edward the Sixth, appointing the Doctor of Divinity and the Master of Arts as Headmaster and Second Master. All celebrate, the boys throwing their caps in the air, before singing Fons Limpidus.

Eleventh Episode. AD 1593. Sir Walter Raleigh Comes to Sherborne

A heavily bejewelled Sir Walter Raleigh and his wife Elizabeth Throckmorton enter on horseback, followed by a small retinue of ladies and gentlemen. The centre of the arena is turned into a comfortably furnished apartment. Raleigh reads while his wife spins. They reminisce about the past and the nature of love, faith, and loyalty. He starts to smoke his pipe. Elizabeth goes to bed. Raleigh continues to reminisce about Edmund Spenser. His servant enters, sees his master smoking and, believing him to be burning, throws water over him. Raleigh chases the servant out. The chorus sings the Triumph Song, which details the ‘good ship Sherborne’ travelling through history, ending: ‘With the tribute of our praises, words of worship and of love, Though not half be said or sung for her that in our breast we bore, With twelve hundred years beneath her, and the bend of heaven above, Down the ocean of the ages lo! We launch her forth once more!’ During this song a Maypole is set up and, as the chorus sings ‘With a laugh as we go round’ from Sir Sterndale Bennett’s ‘May Queen’, the children dance around the Maypole.

Final Picture

At the end of the Dance the dramatic chorus and the children take up a position at the left of the ruins. A stately female figure, symbolic of Sherborne, is raised on a Gothic pedestal in the centre of the Quadrangle, wearing a crown holding in her right hand a model of the abbey and in her left hand a shield with the School Arms emblazoned. On her right stands her daughter, the American Sherborn, bearing in her right hand a model of a caravel (a ship) and resting her left hand on the arms of the State of Massachusetts. On her head is a diadem of stars. While the bands play a solemn march, all the principal figures of the pageant collect round the pedestal, some on foot and others on horseback. From the left enters the Sherborne Brigade of Riflemen, with band and colours. Then from the right enters the School Cadet Corps with drum and fife. Suddenly, from the back, the boys of the School march in singing the Carmen. On the right a trolley is brought in with a Printing Press; over the trolley is a scroll bearing the words Sherborne Mercury and the date of its first number. From both ends of the arena the Yeomen gallop on at the charge. A deputation from the Men of Dorset in London advances and is followed by other deputations from towns and villages in the ancient See of Sherborne. Lastly, from either side of the arena, Children run on, bearing shields on which the arms of neighbouring towns and villages and of the principal county families are brightly emblazoned, and, forming a straight line right across the arena, suddenly kneel behind their shields. Everyone sings the first verse of the Hundredth Psalm, followed by the National Anthem. While the National Anthem is sung, the figure of Sherborne descends from her pedestal and leads a procession of the performers out of the arena.

Key historical figures mentioned

  • Aldhelm [St Aldhelm] (d. 709/10) abbot of Malmesbury, bishop of Sherborne, and scholar
  • Ine [Ini] (d. in or after 726) king of the West Saxons
  • AEthelbald (d. 860) king of the West Saxons [also known as Ethelbald]
  • AEthelberht (d. 865) king of the West Saxons [also known as Ethelbert]
  • Alfred [Ælfred] (848/9–899) king of the West Saxons and of the Anglo-Saxons
  • Osburh [Osburga] (fl. 839) consort of Æthelwulf, king of the West Saxons
  • Wulfsige [St Wulfsige] (d. 1002) abbot of Westminster and bishop of Sherborne
  • William I [known as William the Conqueror] (1027/8–1087) king of England and duke of Normandy
  • Hermann (d. 1078) bishop of Ramsbury and of Sherborne
  • Salisbury, Roger of (d. 1139) administrator and bishop of Salisbury
  • Stafford, Humphrey, first duke of Buckingham (1402–1460) soldier and magnate
  • Neville, Robert (1404–1457) bishop of Durham
  • Hood, Robin (supp. fl. late 12th–13th cent.) legendary outlaw hero
  • Tuck, Friar (fl. 15th cent.) legendary outlaw
  • Sir John [ii] Horsey (d. 1546) gentry
  • Ralegh, Sir Walter (1554–1618) courtier, explorer, and author

Musical production

‘Every Englishman who takes an intelligent interest in the historic events of his country will, by this time, have become familiar with the subject-matter of the now world-famous Sherborne Pageant… The instrumental music was performed by the band of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, in conjunction with a full string orchestra, while the choral parts were rendered by three distinct choirs, viz:
The Narrative Chorus, which consisted of the Abbey Choir slightly augmented to about fifty voices.
The Dramatic Chorus of about the same number, formed by ladies and gentlemen of the town.
The School Choir, numbering some sixty or seventy voices’.

Pieces included:
  • James Rhoades and Archibald F. Tester. Narrative chorus (Episode I).
  • James Rhoades (all narrative choruses, Episodes I-X].
  • F.C.S. Carey. ‘Fons Limpidus’.
  • Archibald F. Tester (Episode X).
  • Louis N. Parker. Triumph Song. 
  • Louis N. Parker. ‘Carmen Saeculare’. 
  • Dies Irae (Episode III).
  • Elgar. ‘Pomp and Circumstance’.
  • Beethoven. 3rd Symphony.
  • Handel. Marches.
  • Wagner, Tannhauser march
  • ‘God Save the King’.
  • Star Spangled Banner.

Newspaper coverage of pageant

The Athenaeum

The Spectator

The Manchester Guardian

The Observer

New York Times

The Organist and Choirmaster

Illustrated London News

The Antiquary

Macmillan’s Magazine

The Review of Reviews

Longman’s Magazine

The Speaker: the Liberal Review

Aberdeen Journal

Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette

Cheltenham Chronicle

Dover Express

Exeter and Plymouth Gazette

Gloucester Citizen

Gloucester Journal

Kent & Sussex Courier

Leamington Spa Courier

Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser

Nottingham Evening Post

Tamworth Herald

Taunton Courier, and Western Advertiser

Western Gazette

Western Morning News

Western Times

Book of words

The Sherborne Pageant: June 12th to 15th, 1905. Sherborne, 1905.

Other primary published materials

  • St Adhelm Celebration 705-1905: Sherborne Pageant Souvenir. Sherborne, 1905. Souvenir. Cost 1s. Dorset History Centre. PE/SH: PA2/9.
  • ‘The Pageant’. The Dorset and Somerset Standard, 22 June 1905. Special pageant supplement.

Despite printing 1000 extra copies the previous week, The Dorset and Somerset Standard special pageant supplement sold out, leading to a reprint.

References in secondary literature

  • Freeman, Mark. ‘“Splendid Display; Pompous Spectacle”: Historical Pageants in Twentieth-Century Britain’. Social History, 38, no. 4 (2013): 423-455.
  • Joannou, Maroula. Women’s Writing, Englishness and National and Cultural Identity: The Mobile Woman and the Migrant Voice, 1938-1962. Basingstoke, 2012. At 19-21.
  • Judge, Roy ‘The “Country Dancers” in the Cambridge Comus of 1908’. Folklore, 110 (1999): 25-38.
  • ___. ‘Merrie England and the Morris 1881-1910’. Folklore, 104, no. 1/2 (1993): 124-143.
  • Marshall, John. ‘Riding with Robin Hood: English Pageantry and the Making of a Legend’. In The Making of the Middle Ages: Liverpool Essays, edited by Marios Costambeys, Andrew Hamer and Martin Heale, 93-117. Liverpool, 2007.
  • McQueen, Humphrey. Tom Roberts. Sydney, 1996. At 504.
  • Nelles, H.V. The Art of Nation-Building: Pageantry and Spectacle at Quebec’s Tercentenary. Toronto, 1999. At 143.
  • Nicoll, Allardyce. English Drama 1900-1930: The Beginnings of the Modern Period. Cambridge, 1973. At 92.
  • Readman, Paul. ‘The Place of the Past in English Culture c.1890-1914’. Past and Present, 186 (2005): 147-199.
  • Rhoades, James. ‘In Remembrance of the Sherborne Pageant’. In Collected Poems. London, 1925. At 189.
  • Ryan, Deborah Sugg. ‘“Pageantitis”: Frank Lascelles’ 1907 Oxford Historical Pageant, Visual Spectacle and Popular Memory’. Visual Culture in Britain, 8, no. 2 (2007): 63-82.
  • Simpson, Roger. ‘Arthurian Pageants in Twentieth-Century Britain’. Arthuriana, 18, no. 1 (2008): 63-87.
  • Waller, Philip J. Writers, Readers, and Reputations: Literary Life in Britain. Oxford, 2006. At 286.
  • Wallis, Mick. ‘The Popular Front Pageant: Its Emergence and Decline’. New Theatre Quarterly, 11 (1996): 17-32.
  • Withington, Robert. ‘Louis Napoleon Parker’. The New England Quarterly, 12, no. 3 (1939): 510- 520.
  • Yoshino, Ayako. ‘‘‘Between the Acts” and Louis Napoleon Parker—the Creator of the Modern English Pageant’. Critical Survey, 15, no. 2 (2003): 49-60.

Note: as the first modern historical pageant, Sherborne has received a great deal of attention; the above is merely a selection of the historiography.

Archival holdings connected to pageant

Sources used in preparation of pageant

  • Wildman, W.B. A Short History of Sherborne. Sherborne, 1902.
  • ___. Life of Saint Ealdhelm. London, 1905.
  • Strutt, Joseph, A Complete View of the Dress & Habits of the People of England (London, 1796) – the Headmaster of Sherborne School borrowed this book for L.N. Parker from the School library from 21 December 1904-4 February 1905.

Wildman allowed Parker to consult the manuscript of Life of Saint Ealdhelm in the preparation of the pageant.

Summary

The Sherborne Pageant of 1905 truly was ‘the mother of all pageants’, its style, organization and themes consequently and consistently replicated when ‘pageant fever’ swept the nation. It was the brainchild of Louis Napoleon Parker, a French-born English/American composer and playwright who had previously worked at Sherborne School, 1877-1892. That it captured the attention of Britain and beyond is all the more incredible considering Sherborne’s status as a small sleepy town of about 6000 inhabitants, apparently bypassed by tourists heading for the coast at Cornwall and Devon.15 Indeed, the promotional material for the pageant drew attention to the impression that the town ‘seemed to be almost sinking into old age and decay’—as did Parker, too, in the initial organisational meetings.16 This narrative also made its way into the press—the Daily Express, for example, describing in 1905 that ‘A year ago Sherborne… was perhaps a dull enough place to live in… But from its slumbering-place a magic wand has called forth Sherborne’s soul, and the little town throbs with a new and quicker life.’17 According to Parker, in an interview with the Daily Mail, it was the publication of W.B. Wildman’s A Short History of Sherborne in 1902 that first ‘led to a revival of interest’ in the town; Parker then capitalised on this reassertion of place to bring Sherborne to the front of national consciousness with the first historical pageant of the modern era.18

The approaching 1200th anniversary of St. Ealdhelm’s founding of Sherborne was first brought to the attention of the town in the spring of 1904 by Canon Mayo of the nearby village of Longburton. After he informed the Council of the Abbey Church in Sherborne, the idea of a celebration was suggested. Rev. Arthur Field, present at the Council, was a former pupil of Sherborne School who recalled the local patriotic school songs written by Parker and James Rhoades in the 1880s. This memory led him to take the initiative to write to Parker, now a successful playwright and composer resident in London, who replied enthusiastically declaring that he had longed all his life to see a historical pageant of Sherborne.19 At the next committee of the Church Council, at which Parker was present, the idea was further discussed and tentatively settled upon.20 Following a public meeting hosted by the town council in July 1904, at which Parker forcefully orated, the idea of a historical pageant was met with great support, and preparations began in earnest.21 Bearing in mind the origins of the pageant and the central figure it celebrated, it was dominated by ecclesiastical imagery. Yet Parker was quick to point out to the first public meeting of the pageants’ organisation that he did not want it to be merely a solely ecclesiastical celebration; instead he wanted it to ‘be done by all churches, and by all the inhabitants, with no distinction whatever’—a suggestion that brought applause from the audience.22

H.V. Nelles has been less kind about Parker’s grand intentions, stating that he ‘made up the rules as he went along’, and only codified ‘his art in twelve imperious commandments’ later ‘with a sense of proprietorial amour propre.’23 This seems a bit unfair; in June 1904, well before the actual production of the pageant, Parker had already stated that there were ‘certain broad lines’ that were necessary: an entire absence of the professional element; all actors, singers, and instrumentalists to be drawn from the locality; each performer to pay for or make their own costume; and large provision for absolutely free admission.24 Apart from the provision of free admission, Parker maintained all these clauses in his production of pageants.

In terms of episodes, the pageant marked the course for those that followed—especially the pre-WWI pageants. As mentioned, there was an overt religiosity. Ealdhelm, in founding Sherborne and its school in the presence of a Chieftain who still worshipped older Gods, reflected the civilising power of Christianity. Commitment to God and Christian values was replicated in other scenes, such as the second episode, which showed the townsmen rallying to defend Sherborne from the Danes, ‘For God and Home’, and the introduction of Benedictine Rule as a corrective to impertinent and drunken monks in the fourth episode. Negative stories in the church’s history were also shown, however—such as the expulsion of the monks in 1539 in the ninth episode and the quarrel between the town and the monastery in 1437 in the seventh episode. The religious aspect was further reproduced in special church services that accompanied the pageant, in which Bishops from Salisbury and Bristol traced the spiritual succession from the founding of Sherborne 1200 years previously, as well as the ideals that Ealdhelm himself encapsulated, down to the inheritance of the present day.25

The connecting of royal figures to the small town was also prominent—again a theme that was consistently replicated in future events. In the first episode, King Ine visited Ealdhelm in Sherborne; in the third episode, Alfred was brought as a boy to Sherborne to be taught by Ealhstan, Alfred’s ‘presence as a future King’ lifting Sherborne ‘on high as the Chief City of Wessex’; and the fifth episode featured the stripping of the see from Sherborne by William the Conqueror. Place, however, was clearly the hero, with all the episodes contributing in some way to the growing importance of the town, whether it be in the founding of the castle, the abbey, the almshouse, or the school. Indeed, the whole town became a part of the celebration, decorated profusely with bunting, flowers, and advertising.26 While a context of nationally important events was always present, it was utilised in order to draw more importance to Sherborne’s place in the life of the nation. The celebration of place was most obvious in the final picture, when the symbolic female figure of Sherborne was raised on a platform, holding a model of the abbey in her right hand and a shield emblazoned with the school arms on the other, as the Sherborne Brigade of Riflemen marched in, followed from the other side by the School Cadet Corps, and, from the back, the whole of the Sherborne School. Finally the national anthem was sung, connecting Sherborne back again to the country. If the pageant was a locally focused project, however, its organisers were not hostile towards commercialising the event for greater reward, organising special fast cheap trains to the town, as well as large colourful posters.27

The local, then, was the main element of the pageant. There were still references to Sherborne’s place in the country, however, and even a few to its relationship to Empire. Lewis Morris, a popular poet and old Sherbornian schoolboy, wrote in Longman’s Magazine that:

It is well occasionally to go back thus, and to commemorate anniversaries centuries old. It is well to recall the unfailing river of our England’s history, broadening onward from age to age… it will be strange if some good does not come of such presentation as this of the days and the lives which, though they are long dead and gone, yet live within us their children, and of the little northern kingdom which has grown so slowly, yet surely, through long ages of strife and effort, to a giant Empire, evolving a substantial unity of national character, which survives in the England of to-day.28

Parker, too, saw local patriotism and national patriotism as being constitutive of each other, arguing that ‘out of local patriotism, I think, springs a far finer national patriotism than any founded merely on rifle-clubs and Morris tubes.’29 The Times, too, recognised this—stating that ‘Its historical interest is as much national as local’.30 This filtering down of events of national important through local contexts was to become the mainstay of the pageantry format throughout the century.

As part of a non-hierarchical approach, Parker instructed the press that the cast was to remain anonymous—though observers could not help to notice the performance of the famous actress Miss Mabel Terry Lewis as Elizabeth Throckmorton in the eleventh episode.31 The Manchester Guardian commented that there was no need for paid performers since ‘all were animated by a pious patriotism for their town, their church, and their school.’32 The press in general made much of the non-professional nature of the pageant and its organisation, drawing attention to the fact that everything (except the armour) was made in and around Sherborne, as well as noting the unpaid status of the performers.33 For Parker this was the point, as he told the town public meeting in 1904:

There must be no shadow of a shade of professionalism about the pageant, or its whole character will be changed, and instead of being the outburst of local enthusiasm which one hopes to make it, it will resolve itself into an ordinary and rather sordid show. Never mind if we don’t get great acting. We don’t want it. We want sincerity.34

The language of classless cooperation that became so common to pageants was especially prevalent in the Sherborne pageant, reflected in the statements of Parker and the other organisers as well as more generally in the press. The Manchester Guardian, for example, commented that ‘County and town, Church and Noncomformist, lawyer and shopkeeper have for once met on common ground’, doing away with the ‘bitter and sharp distinction between them all.’35 Similarly, the Athenaeum described how ‘the whole town and neighbourhood, without distinction of class, united in doing its best.’36 Indeed, it seems that this aspect of the pageant was commended so heavily because it was so surprising; as the Antiquary stated, it was ‘extraordinary in these days’ for ‘the inhabitants of the town of all classes’ to enter ‘into the spirit of the celebration, working earnestly and loyally together’.37 One could speculate that the growth of the power of labour and class politics was implicitly being posited as the cause of social instability. Beyond the press the notion of class transgression was cemented in the official pageant souvenir, which stated, in its introduction, how ‘On every side, amongst every class, there has been sounded but one universal note of unanimity’.38 Following the pageant Parker publically stated that he thought he had achieved this goal, stating ‘I am proud of having brought all classes together in one great outburst of local patriotism.’39

In commenting on the supposedly ‘classless’ nature of the pageant, however, some reports could not help but draw attention to economic and social categories anyway, often in a patronising tone; in the Review of Reviews, for example, the ‘zeal’ of ‘all the local people’ was given attention—‘from the great ladies to the girls in the shops and the mills, from the squires to the butchers, bakers and labourers’—though not without noting that ‘The Dorset peasant is said to take to acting naturally.’40 As Mick Wallis has more recently argued, Parker’s and others’ pageantry was a ‘clear ideological project’ which sought to mix the classes for a moment to create a lasting sympathy, while reasserting class lines following the final curtain; the ending of the pageant’s chronology in the early modern period was at a safely remote date that avoided thorny contemporary political issues.41 In this way, argues Wallis, Parkerian pageants were an example of Hobsbawm’s theory of ‘invented traditions’: the use of new customs that appear to be old and thus justified the essential rightness of their content.42

Indeed, in creating the pageant, Parker drew on a wide range of influences from both English and foreign traditions. From abroad, the Luther play in Worms, Schiller’s William Tell in Altdorf, Rothenburg’s annual pageant and, in what became the most frequently noted inspiration, the passion play of Oberammergau.43 The resurgence of the Morris was also clearly an influence, an important signifier of the image of Merry Old England.44 As Michael Robson has pointed out, Parker was also a leading disciple of Richard Wagner, his pageants sharing ‘something of Wagner’s grandiose dream of a total theatre capable of embodying the consciousness of a people’, as well as smaller details such as, during the conclusion, all the participants assembling to the strains of the march from Tannhauser and shouting ‘Hail’ in union. Robson has also described Parker’s pageants and the movement which they fostered as being ‘heavily indebted to Shakespeare’s histories.’45 Maroula Joannou has argued that the narrative of the pageant was also ‘imbued with the public school ethos of religion, monarchy and strong leadership’—implicitly referring to the dominance of the public school as a model for citizenship in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.46

In a talk given to the Society of Arts six months later, Parker also elaborated in detail on the conservative message of the pageant. Describing the things that had been lost to modern society, such as churches, houses and other ‘lovely and venerable things the first half of the nineteenth century sent to limbo’, he lamented the things that it had gained in replacement, such as advertising and ‘hideous outrages on the English language in the shape of new words’, like ‘quicklite’ for a match. According to Parker, that people saw such changes as ‘a symptom that their town is moving with the times’ was ‘precisely the kind of spirit which a properly organised and properly conducted pageant is designed to kill. This modernising spirit, which destroys all loveliness and has no loveliness of its own to put in its place, is the negation of poetry, the negation of romance.’47 For Parker, a pageant dragged a man out of the present and back into the past, so he could understand the origin of the liberties he received in the present. This anti-modern perspective was also shared by The Athenaeum, which rejoiced in the

happy omen that in days when the blight of riches and vulgar ostentation on all sides appears to menace the higher interests of mankind, a community should be found so full of the historical sense—or sentimentalism—as to go to the vast labour and almost general sacrifice involved in the production of a piece which had no pecuniary end to serve and will bring none of the performers fame or fortune.48

If Parker highlighted the conservatism of his vision, this did not mean that the pageant was only backwards looking. Indeed the past was harnessed as a means of providing lessons for the modern period, the ‘reverence for past achievements’ which could provide ‘the best augury for future splendours.’49 As the final ‘triumph song’ stated, ‘With twelve hundred years beneath her, and the bend of heaven above, Down the ocean of the ages lo! We launch her forth once more.’50 In the promotion of the event it was religion that was seen to secure this future. On several of the shops were shields bearing the Abbey arms and in one street there was a triumphal arch, surmounted on one side with the words ‘1200 Years Behind Us’ and, on the reverse side, ‘And God Before’.51 Although the episodes ended well before the present, the fact that Sherborne had lasted for 1200 years was an important part of the commemoration and promotion.

Future memory of the pageant was also important. The Story of the Sherborne Pageant, published in 1906, would, he argued, ‘help us to remember what it was… I see many an old man and many an old woman, too, for that matter, years and years hence, opening its battered covers and calling the children, and crooning: “This is what we did in the year 1905 to show honour to our dear town and to the dear school which is the glory of the town.’’’52 Recalling the event continued to be important to the town in the first half of the twentieth century. In 1925 a memorial block of granite, with an inscription commemorating the pageant, was unveiled in Sherborne by Parker, whereat he maintained that ‘the memorial would be a reminder to coming generations of how a handful of enthusiasts helped to restore to the country the ancient title of “Merry England” and showed some of its buried treasures of history, song, and romance.’53 This twentieth anniversary was also an occasion for the Rev. Arthur Field, one of the original secretaries, to give a lecture on ‘Thoughts on the Sherborne Pageant’ to the members of the Congregational Brotherhood, where he put across his opinion that the ‘delightful spirit of harmony… lingered amongst them still.’54 In this same year James Rhoades, one of the original writers of the pageant, published ‘In remembrance of the Sherborne pageant’ as part of a volume of collected poems.55 When Parker died in 1946 the event was again evoked, with the former Bishop of Salisbury, Dr Neville Lovett (no stranger to pageantry), unveiling a brass plaque to the memory of the pageant master in the Sherborne School Chapel, followed by a screening of the old pageant film in the Carlton Theatre to a full house.56 The pageant gardens, costing £700 and opened in 1906, were paid for and maintained using the £1872 profits of the pageant and provided a lasting memorial to the event.57

Coverage of the pageant was extensive, ranging across newspapers, magazines and periodicals both in England and abroad. Parker in particular was picked out for praise, likely cementing his position as the originator of the modern historical pageant, and ensuring the long-lasting nature of his model. In an issue of Macmillan’s Magazine, published even before the pageant took place, it was speculated that the reason Sherbourne’s event was going to be so successful, as compared to traditions that had died out, was due to the ‘distinguished Mr Parker’ and his ‘masterly handing of the material’—though they also blamed the ‘decay of farming’ and ‘the important part that the beer-can always seemed to have played in the proceedings.’58 During the pageant itself Parker was portrayed as a hero, responsible for reawakening the communal spirit in Sherborne, and creating a direct link back to the founding of the town. One shop, for example, was decorated with fairy lights and the motto ‘St Aldhelm 705, L.N. Parker 1905’. Parker’s success in this respect is not surprising, since he was a master of self-promotion; his speech to the public preliminary meeting for the pageant organisation in July 1904 was rousing and played to the emotions and ego of the small-town audience, and was consequently punctuated by applause, laughter and cheers.59 As Cecil P. Gooden, author of The Story of the Sherborne Pageant, remembered: ‘Mr Parker roused his numerous hearers to a pitch of almost hysterical enthusiasm.’60

Unsurprisingly interesting to American readers and newspapers like the New York Times was the final ‘splendid’ tableau, which had a particularly interesting back story.61 Raised on a pedestal was a female figure symbolic of Sherborne, holding a model of the abbey in one hand and a shield emblazoned with the school arms on the other. Alongside her was a young girl, representing the American town of Sherborn, holding a model of a caravel (a type of sailing ship) and resting her left hand on the arms of the State of Massachusetts. This episode was the outcome of an exchange of letters and goodwill between Sherborne, Dorset, and Sherborn, USA, in the months leading up to the pageant. The town clerk of the American town, Francis Bardwell, made first contact, requesting from the Church any possible information about Sherborne, Dorset —which he considered as the Mother Town due to it being the original home of English emigrants who created Sherborn, Massachusetts, in the seventeenth century. Arthur Field replied with answers to Bardwell’s questions, as well as informing him of the upcoming anniversary and pageant. This elicited great excitement in Sherborn, which sent official greetings to the Mother Town, as well as announcing the pageant to the press in America. At least one resident from the American town visited the pageant and, at the end of the pageant, a Herald stepped forward and read the official message of greeting as the strains of the Star Spangled Banner burst forth from the Orchestra. Parker’s daughter played Sherborn the daughter, since she was an American descendant through Parker’s American father. By a strange turn of fate it just so happened that it was also an early-modern descendant of Parker who had originally sold the land to the Dorsetshire emigrants. As he summarised:

So that, by a sequence of events stretching over more than three hundred years, in the Sherborne which I had never heard of until 1873, Sherborn, Mass., which I had not heard of until 1905, was represented by my daughter, who was born in Sherborne, Dorsetshire, and is a lineal descendant of the owner of the land on which Sherborn, Mass., now flourishes.62

This final scene was described by the Review of Reviews as ‘truly a graceful compliment to the American people.’63

There were still, however, some minor criticisms; the same publication wondered ‘whether picturesque history abruptly stopped at 1593’ since no later scenes were depicted.64 The Manchester Guardian regretted that there was no scene from the Stuart period, such as Cromwell spending time in Sherborne, also noting that the pageant was ‘ecclesiastical and royalist to such a degree that it finds no place for William of Orange.’65 Overall, though, Sherborne’s pageant was obviously a tremendous success and, unsurprisingly, much of the press suggested and indeed hoped that the example would ‘be imitated in other places with a history.’66 Newspapers gushed about the overflowing attendances, suggesting that some visitors had paid 2 or 3 times the asking price for tickets to guarantee a seat.67 The Times praised ‘the beauty of the spectacle, the smoothness of the working, and the vividness of the effects’.68 The Speaker declared the pageant ‘a thing of such beauty’ that would ‘remain a joy in the memory of all who saw it.’69 The Western Gazette, a champion of Dorset pageantry throughout the first half of the century (see other proformas on Dorset pageants), described the event as a ‘Gorgeous and unparalleled spectacle.’70 Thrilled spectators wrote to the local press and the pageant secretaries to express their pleasure—Mr Edwin Arrowsmith, for example, saw the pageant three times, adding ‘I have witnessed many striking spectacles, including the last Delhi Durbar, but nothing has ever pleased me more than the beautiful scene I witnessed with much grateful appreciation for all your splendid labours.’71 The Dorset and Somerset Standard said that ‘the grandeur and impressiveness of it exceeded the expectations of all’.72 Indeed, such was its success, an extra performance was given, again to ‘an enormous number of spectators’.73 Although the pageant was financially successful, this was not, to Parker at least, really the point; indeed, making money ‘ought not really to come into consideration at all… Even if a pageant were a dead loss, I say the gain to any town giving it would be incalculable; the gain in added brightness, in re-awakened civic pride, in increased self respect.’74 On the surface, at least, the Sherborne Pageant of 1905 was successful in all these aims.

The spectators were equally grateful to Parker, calling him back into the arena following the final performance to ‘deafening applause’, accompanied by Ealdhelm and the little girl who led the saint away from the pedestal at the end of the pageant.75 Sherborne school boys tore the rosettes from their caps, throwing them onto Parker as he went past; he was carried around the arena in a chair, and he shook hands with the performers as the band played ‘For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow.’76 When it came for Parker to leave for London by train, a ‘tremendous crowd’ went to see him off, presenting him with a bouquet of flowers as there was more singing of ‘He’s a Jolly Good Fellow’ accompanied by handkerchief and flag waving.77 Following the pageant, the residents of Sherborne were intent on further showing their gratitude, invited him back for a public presentation of two massive richly bound albums consisting of photos of the pageant and the autographs of all the performers.78 Parker, for his part, thanked the performers of Sherborne in the Dorset and Somerset Standard, stating he could not ‘even begin to describe the enthusiasm and zeal with which they have carried out every small hint or wish of mine. When one realises that here were eight hundred people, not six of whom had trodden the boards, even as amateurs, the result is little short of marvellous.’79

In summary, the Sherborne pageant clearly deserves its status as the first modern historical pageant. While it drew on previous forms of ritual and local theatre, drawing on Parker’s knowledge of continental traditions especially, it nonetheless created a distinctive format that was replicated throughout Britain and, indeed, North America. While certain aspects of pageant narratives became increasingly open to interpretation, such as the chronological spread of the episodes and the mixture of real and mythical history, certain aspects were dominant: pageants were voluntary, with the vast majority of performers being unpaid; episodes depicted historical events in a linear fashion; episodes also connected the history of the local with that of the nation; pageants were seen as a way to bracket class tension and create a sense of local community; and, while they were in a sense conservative in the way they looked back, they also projected values into the future—and were not above using modern methods of advertising and production. With a total attendance of 30000 and ‘only’ around 800-900 performers, the Sherborne pageant was by no means the biggest, but it was a trailblazer, effecting a massive change in how twentieth-century Britons engaged with the past in the present.

Footnotes

  1. ^ Digby died on Christmas Day, 1904, but his family allowed the Pageant to still use the Castle grounds that they owned. See Cecil P Goodden, The Story of the Sherborne Pageant (Sherborne, 1906), 12.
  2. ^ Louis N. Parker, ‘Historical Pageants’, Journal of the Society of Arts, 22 December 1905, 142.
  3. ^ Cecil P Goodden, The Story of the Sherborne Pageant (Sherborne, 1906), 33.
  4. ^ ‘The Sherborne Pageant’, Taunton Courier and Western Advertiser, 21 June 1905, 2.
  5. ^ ‘The Historical Drama at Sherborne’, The Review of Reviews, July 1905, 33.
  6. ^ ‘The Sherborne Pageant’, Taunton Courier and Western Advertiser, 21 June 1905, 2.
  7. ^ ‘The Sherborne Pageant’, Taunton Courier and Western Advertiser, 21 June 1905, 2.
  8. ^ ‘Sherborne’s Historical Folk Play’, Western Gazette, 2 June 1905, 2.
  9. ^ ‘The Sherborne Pageant’, The Church Times, 16 June 1905, 778.
  10. ^ Joseph W. Burt, ‘Music at the Sherborne Pageant’, The Organist and Choirmaster, July 1905, 47-48.
  11. ^ ‘The Sherborne Pageant’, Taunton Courier and Western Advertiser, 21 June 1905, 2.
  12. ^ ‘The Pageant’, Dorset and Somerset Standard, 15 June 1905, 1/
  13. ^ Joseph W. Burt, ‘Music at the Sherborne Pageant’, The Organist and Choirmaster, July 1905, 47-48.
  14. ^ See The Complete Choral Music in the Sherborne Pageant (Sherborne, 1905) and Joseph W. Burt, ‘Music at the Sherborne Pageant’, The Organist and Choirmaster, July 1905, 47-48.
  15. ^ Chalmer Roberts, ‘The Sherborne Pageant’, The World’s Work and Play, VI, no. 31 (June 1905), 12; The Sherborne Pageant: Full Report of the Preliminary Meeting, Held in the Digby Assembly Rooms, on Thursday, July 14th, 1904 (Sherborne, 1904). PE/SH: PA1/1.
  16. ^ Sherborne Pageant: An Unique Historical Spectacle or Folk Play (Sherborne, 1905), 1-2. PE/SH: PA2/3-2/4.
  17. ^ ‘The Sherborne Pageant’, Daily Express, 20 June 1905, 4.
  18. ^ ‘St. Aldhelm Celebration: The Daily Mail’s Interview with Mr Louis Parker’. Newspaper cutting, presumably from the Daily Mail. PE/SH: PA3/1.
  19. ^ Cecil P. Goodden, The Story of the Sherborne Pageant (Sherborne, 1906), 9-10.
  20. ^ The Sherborne Pageant: Full Report of the Preliminary Meeting.
  21. ^ Ibid.
  22. ^ Ibid.
  23. ^ H.V. Nelles, The Art of Nation-Building: Pageantry and Spectacle at Quebec’s Tercentenary (Toronto, 1999), 143.
  24. ^ Goodden, The Story of the Sherborne Pageant, 11.
  25. ^ ‘The Sherborne Pageant’, The Church Times, 16 June 1905, 778. PE/SH: PA3/6.
  26. ^ ‘The Sherborne Pageant’, The Times, 13 June 1905, 4.
  27. ^ Sherborne Pageant: An Unique Historical Spectacle or Folk Play. Publicity poster, PE/SH/PA2/2.
  28. ^ Lewis Morris, ‘The Sherborne Pageant’, Longman’s Magazine, September 1905, 437-442.
  29. ^ Louis N. Parker, ‘Historical Pageants’, Journal of the Society of Arts, 22 December 1905, 142.
  30. ^ ‘The Sherborne Pageant’, The Times, 13 June 1905, 4.
  31. ^ ‘Our London Correspondence’, Manchester Guardian, 14 June 1905, 4.
  32. ^ ‘The Sherborne Pageant: History of Twelve Hundred Years in Tableau’, Manchester Guardian, 13 June 1905, 5.
  33. ^ For example, ‘The Sherborne Celebration’, The Antiquary, August 1905, 303.
  34. ^ The Sherborne Pageant: Full Report of the Preliminary Meeting.
  35. ^ ‘The Sherborne Pageant: History of Twelve Hundred Years in Tableau’, 5.
  36. ^ ‘The Sherborne Pageant’, The Athenaeum, 4051, 17 June 1905, 754.
  37. ^ ‘The Sherborne Celebration’, 303-309.
  38. ^ St Adhelm Celebration 705-1905: Sherborne Pageant Souvenir (Sherborne, 1905), 3. PE/SH: PA2/9.
  39. ^ ‘The Pageant’, Dorset and Somerset Standard, 15 June 1905, 3.
  40. ^ ‘Historic Pageant at Sherborne’, The Review of Reviews, June 1905, 631.
  41. ^ Mick Wallis, ‘The Popular Front Pageant: Its Emergence and Decline’, New Theatre Quarterly, 11 (1996), 18-9.
  42. ^ Ibid. 20. See Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger, ed., The Invention of Tradition (Cambridge, 1983).
  43. ^ Goodden, The Story of the Sherborne Pageant, 11; ‘Historic Pageant at Sherborne’, 631.
  44. ^ Roy Judge, ‘Merrie England and the Morris 1881-1910’, Folklore, 104, no. 1/2 (1993): 135.
  45. ^ M. Dobson, Shakespeare and Amateur Performance: A Cultural History (Cambridge, 2011), 168-169.
  46. ^ Maroula Joannou, Women’s Writing, Englishness and National and Cultural Identity: The Mobile Woman and the Migrant Voice, 1938-1962 (Basingstoke, 2012). See, for example, Jon Savage, Teenage: The Creation of Youth 1875-1914 (London, 2007), 89-90 and Kevin Boyd, Manliness and the Boys’ Story Paper in Britain: A Cultural History, 1855-1940 (Basingstoke, 2003), 76.
  47. ^ Parker, ‘Historical Pageants’, 142-143.
  48. ^ ‘The Sherborne Pageant’, The Athenaeum, 4051, 17 June 1905, 754.
  49. ^ Ibid., 754.
  50. ^ The Complete Choral Music in the Sherborne Pageant (Sherborne, 1905), 45-46.
  51. ^ ‘The Pageant’, Dorset and Somerset Standard, 15 June 1905, 2.
  52. ^ Louis N. Parker, ‘Introduction’ to Goodden, The Story of the Sherborne Pageant.
  53. ^ ‘Sherborne Pageant Memorial’, The Times, 23 July 1925, 16.
  54. ^ ‘Sherborne Pageant Memories Recalled’, Western Gazette, 3 July 1925, 8.
  55. ^ James Rhoades, Collected Poems (London, 1925), 189.
  56. ^ ‘Memorial to L.N. Parker’, Western Gazette, 28 June 1946, 2.
  57. ^ Goodden, The Story of the Sherborne Pageant, 32.
  58. ^ ‘Pageants’, Macmillan’s Magazine, 92, 1 May 1905, 452-56.
  59. ^ The Sherborne Pageant: Full Report of the Preliminary Meeting. PE/SH: PA1/1
  60. ^ Goodden, The Story of the Sherborne Pageant, 12.
  61. ^ ‘The Stage Abroad’, New York Times, 23 April 1905, 7; ‘Celebrates 1,200th Year: English Town of Sherborne Holds a Historic Pageant’, New York Times, 13 June 1905, 5.
  62. ^ Goodden, The Story of the Sherborne Pageant, 16.
  63. ^ ‘The Historical Drama at Sherborne’, The Review of Reviews, July 1905, 33.
  64. ^ ‘Historic Pageant at Sherborne’, 631.
  65. ^ ‘The Sherborne Pageant: History of Twelve Hundred Years in Tableau’, 5
  66. ^ The Speaker: The Liberal Review, 17 June 1905, 269. The Daily Express too stated: ‘…if Sherborne has produced a pageant which has won the admiration of people from all parts of England, why should not all England share the pleasures of pageantry, or folk-plays?’ ‘The Sherborne Pageant’, Daily Express, 20 June 1905, 4.
  67. ^ ‘The Sherborne Pageant’, Taunton Courier and Western Advertiser, 21 June 1905, 2.
  68. ^ ‘The Sherborne Pageant’, The Times, 13 June 1905, 4.
  69. ^ ‘A Notable Experiment’, The Speaker: the Liberal Review, 8 July 1905, 342.
  70. ^ ‘The Sherborne Pageant’, Western Gazette, 16 June 1905, 2.
  71. ^ ‘The Pageant’, The Dorset and Somerset Standard, 22 June 1905, 2.
  72. ^ ‘The Pageant’, The Dorset and Somerset Standard, 15 June 1905, 2.
  73. ^ ‘Court Circular’, The Times, 17 June 1905, 11.
  74. ^ Parker, ‘Historical Pageants’, 145.
  75. ^ ‘The Sherborne Pageant’, Taunton Courier and Western Advertiser, 21 June 1905, 2.
  76. ^ ‘The Pageant’, The Dorset and Somerset Standard, 22 June 1905, 2.
  77. ^ Ibid., 2.
  78. ^ ‘Court Circular’, The Times, 25 October 1905, 7.
  79. ^ ‘The Pageant’, Dorset and Somerset Standard, 15 June 1905, 3.

How to cite this entry

Angela Bartie, Linda Fleming, Mark Freeman, Tom Hulme, Alex Hutton, Paul Readman, ‘The Sherborne Pageant’, The Redress of the Past, http://www.historicalpageants.ac.uk/pageants/1193/