The Dais on which His Royal Highness received and replied to the Address presented by the Mayor on behalf of the inhabitants of the Town, was erected on the market square, in rear of the Town Hall. It was covered with crimson cloth, and otherwise tastefully decorated. From the dais to the track of the Lindsay Railway ran a platform about eight feet wide which was handsomely carpeted, and fringed with rows of evergreen. Along the platform, which is now known as the Prince’s walk. His Royal Highness passed to his car, when taking his departure.
THE BANQUETING HALL.
The Town Hall, which was converted into a dining room, was beautifully decorated. Against the centre of the east wall was placed a Crown of crimson and green and gold, in which glistened jewels in the shape of snow drops and berries of the mountain ash. It was an exquisite ornament. The walls were hung with wreaths of evergreen and festoons of flowers, and so gay and brilliant did the room appear that the citizens hardly recognized the hall in which they meet so often to listen to eloquence and song.
THE PRINCE’S ROOM.
The Mayor’s office was furnished as a dressing room for the Prince, and fit for any prince it was. The carpet and toilet set were supplied by Mr. Ralph Jones; the chairs by Mr. Fraser; a magnificent Conso Etagiere, and tables by Mr. W. F. Russell. Mr. Russell’s furniture is for sale, so any gentlemen desirous of placing in his house what was a few hours at the disposal of His Royal Highness has an opportunity of doing so.
Early Friday morning the inhabitants of the townships, north, east and west of Port Hope began to pour into town. The farmer left his field, wherein the harvest was ready, even unto the sickle, and harnessing up Dobbin, brought wife, sons and daughters to see a scion of Royalty, a Prince who in the order of events will in all probability rule over an Empire, on which it is alleged, and with truth, that the sun never sets. By ten o'clock the streets were thronged; and still they came. At twelve o'clock the side walks from Queen street to the Walton street railway crossing were densely packed; and the roofs of houses and every fence from which a view of the spot where the Prince was expected to alight from the cars could be obtained by the adventurous climber were taken possession of. There was great scrambling for 'good places.' The crowd generally "went on muscle" and the best man, or the most stalwart woman, had, of course, the best of it. Between the Market Building and the railway track a space had been enclosed by a fence. Inside this enclosure the public were informed they could stand at a quarter of a dollar a head; while for an extra twenty-five cents a comfortable seat, commanding a good view of the Dais on which His Royal Highness was to figure could be obtained. The fifty cent seats as well as a number of dollar chairs on the platform still nigher the Dais were soon filled, but the twenty-five cent standing places were a drug in the market. They wouldn't sell nohow. Somehow or other the people were foolish enough to believe that it was just as easy to stand outside the fence as inside. And we believe they were right. So several thousand persons of all ages, classes, creeds and nations, anxiously stood and waited, broiling in the hot sun, for the coming of the Prince.
About 11 o'clock Col. Jackson's field battery arrived in town. This is a Kingston Volunteer Artillery company. Every inch the soldier looks Col. Jackson. And a fine looking, well drilled, able bodied lot of men he commands. At twelve o'clock Col. Jackson got his company into marching order on the market square. The word given to "mount," and instantaneously, like "Clan Alpine warriors true," every man was in the saddle or on the guns. At the word "forward" the company dashed off up Queen street, at a rapid pace; the soldiers and officers in their uniforms of blue, red and gold, and the rumbling of the 9 and 24 pounders, reminding one forcibly that swords were not yet beaten into plough shares or spears into pruning hooks. This was something in the military line entirely new to Port Hope, and of course attracted great attention. Boys and young men fired with a sudden ardor to become heroes, charged after the flying brigade, until between horses, guns, boys and ardent young men, a cloud of dust was raised that choked those who stood open mouthed gazing at the unwonted sight, and played sad havoc with the ribbons and curls of many a rustic damsel.
ARRIVAL OF THE PRINCE.
At twenty minutes past two o’clock Col. Jackson’s Cannon opened their brazen mouths, and awoke the sleeping echoes of old “Fort Orton” and the Port Hope hills, generally. Again and again they thundered a welcome to the Heir Apparent. The cannon ceased, the train drew near the Walton Street crossing, passed under the Mechanic’s Arch, then stopped. The Prince stepped from his car to a small platform covered with crimson cloth when he was met by His Worship the Mayor of Port Hope, and several members of the Reception Committee. With several members of his suite, he then entered a carriage, and a procession was formed and amid the wildest cheering, waving of hats and handkerchiefs, moved off towards the Market Building.
Arriving at the entrance to the Market Building, His Royal Highness alighted from the carriage, and with his suite passed through the Hall, between the members of the Reception Committee to the Dais in the rear.
As soon as he made his appearance cheer after cheer burst from the assembled thousands. When the enthusiasm had subsided, seven hundred children sweetly sang the National Anthem.--
After the last echo of the youthful voices had died away, His Worship the Mayor, amid a silence the most profound
read and presented the following address: --
To His Royal Highness, Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, &c., &c., &c.,
May it please your Royal Highness:
We the inhabitants of the Municipality of the Town of Port Hope, in Upper Canada, beg leave to approach your Royal Highness, to offer the expression of our sincere congratulations upon your visit to this portion of the dominions of our Most Gracious Sovereign, and we heartily bid you welcome.
We tender you the assurance of our steadfast loyalty to the person and Crown of your Royal Mother, the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, and of our devoted attachment to the British Constitution.
We regret that the limited time at the disposal of your Royal Highness may prevent your making a sufficient stay in this Town and neighborhood to be able personally to judge of its beauties, and attractions; amongst which we might direct your attention to the Viaduct of the Grand Trunk Railway crossing tins place; being second in extent and importance in the line only to “Victoria Bridge,” and named after your Royal Father, the “Albert Bridge” We trust that your progress throughout the land may be one of unmingled gratification to your Royal Highness; as it must be of pride and pleasure to its inhabitants; most of whom, from their great distance from their Father-land, now behold for the first time, a member of the Royal Family of England;
We cannot take leave of your Royal Highness without the expression of our thanks to Her Majesty, our Most Gracious Sovereign, for this testimony of Her affection for Her people in this distant part of Her Dominions, in permitting your Royal Highness to visit us; and we pray that Her Majesty may long live to govern Her vast Empire with that wisdom and justice for which Her reign has been so preeminently distinguished.
Dated the first day of August, one thousand eight hundred and sixty.
Signed and sealed on behalf of the Municipality.
The Prince was pleased to reply as follows;—
I thank you sincerely for the address which you have presented to me. In the Queen's name I acknowledge the expressions of your loyalty to her crown and person, and for myself I am grateful to you for this welcome to your neighbourhood.
The Royal visitor was then conducted up stairs to the Town Hall, where he and suite, the members of the Counties Council, Col. Jackson and officers, the representatives of the press, Mr. Sheriff Fortune, and a number of Cobourg gentlemen, and nearly two hundred gentlemen of Port Hope and vicinity, partook of a luncheon that had been provided for the occasion. The Prince occupied a seat at an elevated table, and under the Crown alluded to in another place. On either side of him were the Duke of Newcastle, Earl St. Germains, the Governor General, Lord Lyons, Jas. Scott, Esq., Mayor of Port Hope, &c., &c. The lunch was an excellent one, got up in the best style, and the distinguished visitors evidently relished it amazingly. They were pleased to express their satisfaction in very flattering terms. The toasts proposed and drank with deafening cheers, were: “The Queen” and “His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.”
As soon as the cheers with which the toast of the Prince of wales was received had died away, His Royal Highness and suite rose and left the Hall.
The reception committee attended them, they passed down stairs, and out upon the Dais, and along the carpeted platform mentioned above to the Railway Train in waiting, The Ladies and Children strewed the pathway of the Prince with flowers; he walked to the car amid a shower of bouquets, one of which His Grace the Duke of Newcastle picked up and presented to His Royal Highness. The vast assembly made the welkin ring with hearty British cheers; Col. Jackson’s field battery thundered forth a Royal Salute; the Band discoursed appropriate music; and amid such enthusiasm as was never before manifested in Port Hope, the Prince, bowing his acknowledgments of the hearty expression of the peoples loyalty, was borne rapidly away to Toronto. “Long live the Prince,” was the sentiment of every heart.