Abingdon Waites

Daily Post, 1722, 11th October

“On Tuesday last Robert Hucks, Esq; our Representative in Parliament, being lately return’d from his travels, came to this place: At Dorchester he was met by a considerable body of Horse from Wallingford … from thence they proceeded to Clifton [Hampden], near which Place they were met by a Party of 300 Horse from this Town, with all the Town Musick and Drums and two Colours belonging to this Corporation; this Body was drawn up in a very regular and handsome Manner on the Heath, where having join’d the other, they march’d in very good Order to this Town, preceded by the Servants and Musick; all the Street were strew’d with Rushes and Flowers, the houses cover’d with Garlands and Greens, the Windows crowded with People, the Morrice-Dancers and several young Maids dress’d in White with Garlands of Flowers, met them at the Foot of the Bridge, and went before them thro’ the Town, to the House of Clement Sexton, Esq; the later Mayor, all thye Bells in the Town ringing; where all the Company were hansdsomely and splendid entertain’d at Dinner, the Town Musick playing all the Time, and several Barrels of Strong Beer were given to the Populace in the Market-Place.”

Having ‘Googled’ Clifton [Hampden], the home of Robert Hucks MP, it is [and always has been] a tiny village between Abingdon and Wallingford, which are themselves only about seven miles apart. Although the above quote is somewhat ambiguous, there is no way that Clifton could have had Waits, so they were presumably from either from Abingdon or Wallingford.

Clement Sexton, the mayor in question, was Mayor of Abingdon.

Alan Radford.