Callington Celebrates Victory at Waterloo

By: Callington Heritage Centre
Added: 24 October 2014

Lawrence Maker, correspondent for various local papers, kept a collection of newscuttings about Callington. These are now held by the Heritage Centre. There are also transcriptions of articles he himself found and he typed the following in February 1949:-

"A sham fight in Callington is recalled in Flindell's Western Luminary... an Exeter newspaper dated June 28th 1814 which has just been found in Callington. The paper, published at 8d for "the Nobility and Gentry, Farmers and Traders of the Counties of Devon, Cornwall, Dorset and Somerset" and bearing a 31/2d Government stamp, records ... rejoicing at Callington on 16th June 1814 on the cessation of war with France and in celebration of Peace" 

It tells us "the morning was ushered in by repeated peals from the merry-toned bells" and "almost every house was tastefully ornamented with green boughs and flowers, forming arches before the doors and windows which, in addition to several very large arches formed of similar materials in different parts of the town, had a most pleasing and delightful appearance". 

"About 70 young men formed themselves into two parties, one to represent the Allies and the other the French army". A sham fight lasted for three hours, terminating in the success of the Allies and the total defeat of the French. After the fatigues of the campaign, they sat down to a good dinner provided for them at the public houses".   The article informs us that the "principal inhabitants" sat down to an excellent dinner at the New Inn (later  called the Blue Cap, and now the remnant of this hostelry is Goldings Flats),  The King's health was drunk "three times three".  The Military, stationed in front of the house, fired three volleys, whereupon the windows of the house were thrown open and all sang "God Save the King". Dancing in the streets then commenced.  In the evening there was a superb display of fireworks, with China Flowerpots and Rockets. 

The poor were not forgotten, a subscription raised by the town enabled the Committee to give every man and his wife 3/- each and 1/6d to each of their children. Large families collected as much as 18/-.

The celebrations continued the next day and the whole "went off with good humour and gave general satisfaction to rich and poor".

We wish we could have been there to witness the fun!

Latest news