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As 1,000 boats prepare to take to the Thames for the Jubilee, a leading historian describes how the great royal river pageant was hijacked by the King's mistress

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  • terry foreman
    As 1,000 boats prepare to take to the Thames for the Jubilee, a leading historian describes how the great royal river pageant was hijacked by the King s
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 3, 2012
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      As 1,000 boats prepare to take to the Thames for the Jubilee, a leading historian describes how the great royal river pageant was hijacked by the King's mistress

      Three hundred and fifty years ago, on August 23, 1662, the River Thames disappeared.

      The extraordinary sight was witnessed by one of the greatest observers of all time, the diarist Samuel Pepys, who, with his gift of being in the right place at the right time, had secured himself a vantage point on the roof of the new Banqueting House at Whitehall, overlooking the river.

      Or rather, where the river should have been.

      Instead, it appeared boarded over, such was the mass of vessels great and small crowded on it. Pepys estimated there were ‘a thousand barges and boats, I think, for we could see no water for them’.


      Sorry to be a day late, but methinks the images are terrific!

      Terry Foreman


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