FROM THOMAS PICKEN’S PAPERS

A Note about oxen and celebrations in Newport written c. 1911

Picken writes:

Roasting  (is) an ancient custom but one that could be dispensed with in these enlightened times … the whole proceedings being gone by without a hitch.

On the Queen’s accession to the throne he noted that, “on Queen Victoria’s marriage,  4 sheep were roasted. Since then,” he says, “we have had many rejoicings for our neighbours of Woodcote, Aqualate, Chetwynd and Longford, for the Diamond Jubilee (of the) late Queen and our present  King’s accession to the throne. Those rejoicings have given many a poor family wholesome meals for days. Since the roastings of the four sheep at the late queen’s marriage, a different coronation of the king, and a more reasonable way of disposing of the oxen in decorated wagons drawn through the town interspersed with loads of four loaves of bread. The beasts were cut up into portions of 4 to 7 lbs and give to the recipients in weight with bread according to the members of the family.