worthing history


Coronation shopping list

IF you feel today’s local administrators are obsessed with finance, consider the following detailed statement of accounts issued by the committee formed to run Worthing’s celebrations for the coronation of Queen Victoria in 1838.

It listed all 239 of the fund’s subscribers, together with their individual donations, which totalled £109 4s 6d.
Later, another £3 1s.6d was added, this being raised by selling 369 yards of calico used during the celebrations “to the ladies of the Clothing Society's Committee at 2d a yard”.
     Familiar Worthing names among the subscribers included William Patching, James Patching, Henry John Gore, Richard Penfold, Mr Snewin and Mrs Snewin. People in the list with what irreverent Victorians called “a handle” to their name included a Lady Macgregor, Sir Patrick Ross, Lady Whitshed and the Hon. Mrs Wodehouse.
 Items on the expenditure side of the accounts make fascinating reading. These consisted of:
 • 1,200lb of beef £41 8s 9d

 • 350 gallons of beer £15 0s 9d

 • 150 loaves of bread and

 • 10 bushels of flour £11 12s 2d

 • 160lb of currants and raisins 80lb of moist sugar, spice, etc., £8 8s 7d

 • Milk 14s 11d

 • Messrs Hide & Patching (for providing and fitting up tables) £6 5s

 • 369 yards of stout calico at 5d a yard, £9 9s 4d

 • Military band for the day £5 5s

 • Refreshments for the band and other men employed £2 2s 9d

 • Fitting pipes for gas illuminations at the Town Hall £1 12s 5d

 • A violinist for the Field, 5s

 • Glazed cambric and stretching frames, 9s 11d

 • White and satin favours for the Beadles, 5s

All of which left a credit balance of 9s 2d. But nobody recorded what happened to that!