Union Anniversary marked in Berwick

Ringing World   9th May 2003

  It is March 24th 1603, and a lone horseman hurries north from London with the news that Queen Elizabeth I has just died after more than half a century on the throne. Her nearest relative is King James VI of Scotland, son of Mary, Queen of Scots, and the Crown of England has passed into his hands. A few days after receiving the news in Edinburgh, he rides south to claim the throne as King James I. On April 6th he crosses the border three miles north of Berwick-upon-Tweed and enters his first English town to a tumultuous welcome. This Union of the Crowns finally brought to an end centuries of warfare between the two kingdoms, and allowed Berwick and the neighbouring borderlands to flourish in peace and security. Even though Berwick had been in England since 1482, tensions remained; but now its people had every reason to breathe easily.

Picture: Berwick - Union 
  The peal band (l-r): Barbara Davies, Christine Richardson,
Karen Dickinson, Jessica Lansberry, Ronald Warford,
Mary Holden, Rosemary Ross, Frederick Ross

  Exactly 400 years later, the people of Berwick marked this important historical occasion with a splendid re-enactment of King James' triumphal entry into the town with a grand parade of horsemen dressed in fine lace, columns of soldiers bearing pikes and muskets, royal minstrels, trumpets and drums, cannonades and beacons. To add to the 'grete noyse' the bells of the Town Hall rang out to welcome the King. In the morning the bells were rung by ringers from Berwick, Bamburgh, Embleton and Rothbury and during the afternoon an excellent peal of Cambridge rounded off the day's celebrations in fine style.


Northumb, Town Hall

Sun Apr 6 2003
3h9 (21)
5056 Cambridge S Major
Comp. C Middleton
1 Christine Richardson
2 Barbara Davies
3 Mary E Holden
4 Karen Dickinson
5 G Jessica Lansberry
6 Rosemary R A Ross
7 Canon Frederick Ross
8 Ronald R Warford (C)

First peal of Cambridge on the bells.

  Rung to mark the 400th Anniversary of the Union of the Crowns of Scotland and England, and the entry of King James VI/I into Berwick-upon-Tweed, his first English town.

  Also a compliment to Barbara and John Davies, who celebrated their 40th Wedding Anniversary on this day.

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