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Visitors to Matlock Bath - Queen Mary, 1913
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Smith's Royal Museum



In December 1913 King George V and his wife, Queen Mary, visited the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire at Chatsworth House. On Wednesday 10th December the Queen was to visit the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary[1]. The route chosen for the Royal party passed through through Beeley, Rowsley, Whitworth Institute [Darley Dale], Matlock Bridge, Matlock Bath, Cromford, Ambergate, Belper, Milford and Duffield. The Duchess of Devonshire accompanied the Queen in the first car, a second vehicle carried Lord Charles Fitzmaurice and Mr. Manners Sutton, whilst the Chief Constable (Captain Holland) was at the rear in a third car[2]. At both Matlock and Matlock Bath the buildings were decorated with flags and crowds assembled to cheer as the Queen passed by.

As the royal party approached Matlock's Crown Square there was a Royal Salute from the Smarts quarries, representing twenty-one guns[3]. In Matlock Bath her car was photographed as it passed the Kursaal or Grand Pavilion. Not only was the Pavilion festooned with garlands but there were also two large banners, proclaiming "Grand Pavilion" and "World Famed Matlock Bath". The banner across the road is harder to read, but says "Welcome ---".

The Queen was to accept, as a souvenir of her visit, a rare Blue John vase of local workmanship from the inhabitants of Matlock Bath. It had been specially made for her by Samuel Smith of Smith's Royal Museum. A deputation from the village went to Chatsworth to present the gift and on receiving it the Queen's lady in waiting, Lady Mary Trefusis, wrote: "I write to assure you of the great pleasure with which Her Majesty accepts the beautiful vase of Blue John which you and two other members of the deputation kindly brought here [to Chatsworth]. Please express to the inhabitants of Matlock Bath the Queen's thanks for their kind thought in offering so charming a gift"[4].


Blue John gift
The card reads:
Presented to
Her Majesty The Queen
as a Souvenir of her visit
December 10th 1913
.


The top photograph was probably taken by Thomas Meredith Henshall; the handwriting of the card's title is the same as on other TMH photos.


Top photograph in the collection of and provided by and © Glynn Waite.
Photograph of the Blue John Vase in the collection of and provided by and © Kenneth Smith.
Written and researched by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

References (coloured links are to information elsewhere on this website):

[1] "The Times", 5 Dec, 1913. Royal Visit.
[2] "Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser", 11 December 1913.
[3] "The Times", 11 Dec, 1913.
[4] "Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser", 15 December 1913.