Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Recorded Bun Throwings in Abingdon 1761-2006

Abingdon County Hall Museum, Market Place Abingdon 2008, have kindly provided the following list of Recorded Bun Throwings in Abingdon since-1761.

1761 Coronation of King George III
1810 Golden Jubilee of King George III
1821 Coronation of King Georg IV
1831 Coronation of King William IV
1837 Coronation of Queen Victoria
1856 Declaration of Peace at the end of the Crimean War
1863 Marriage of the Prince of Wales to Princess Alexandra
1887 Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria
1897 Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria
1902 Coronation of King Edward VII
1911 Coronation of King George V
1935 Silver Jubilee of King George V
1937 Coronation of King George VI
1946 VE Day
1953 Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II
1956 Visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Abingdon
1966 Abingdon International Week
1974 End of the Borough of Abingdon
1977 Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II
1980 Queen Mother’s 80th Birthday
1981 Marriage of the Prince of Wales to Lady Diana Spencer
1986 Marriage of the Duke of York to Sarah Ferguson
1987 40th Wedding Anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II
1990 Queen Mother’s 90th Birthday
1995 50th Anniversary of VE Day
1997 50th Wedding Anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II
2000 Millennium
2000 Queen Mother’s 100th Birthday
2002 Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II
2006 450th Anniversary of Abingdon Charter/Queen Elizabeth II’s Official Birthday
2006 450th Anniversary of Abingdon Charter/Visit by Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal

Monday, July 28, 2008

Bun Throwing in ‘The English Year’

Bun Throwing is mentioned on Page 584 of Steve Roud’s Book ‘The English Year’, in the section on Occasional Customs.

The entry claims “The earliest documented instance took place in 1809 to celebrate King George III’s recovery from illness, but records before 1838 simply refer to the buns being ‘distributed’.”

Abingdon Bun Throwing Timeline

I have put together the following timeline using a number of sources and I hope to fill in the gaps and confirm the dates where possible.

There have been 30 Bun Throwing events since the tradition began in 1760 (19 are listed here).

First Bun Throwing
1760 – Accession of King George III
Or,
22 September 1761 – Marking King George III’s coronation

Loaves were distributed free in the market place - and the custom of throwing them from the roof of county hall seems to have developed from that.

1809 – Celebration of King George III’s recovery from illness

1819 – Celebration of King George III’s Golden Jubilee

1821 – George IV's coronation. The mayor and councillors threw 1000 buns

1831 – 500 cakes were thrown from the tops of houses

1837 – Abingdon Corporation accounts refer to buns being thrown 'according to ancient usage'.

1838 – A thousand buns were thrown to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Coronation

1946 – Celebration of Victory Day, 2500 buns are thrown

1956 – Fourth centenary of the borough

1956 – Queen Elizabeth II visited Abingdon to witness a special bun throwing

1977 – Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee, 2100 buns were thrown

Saturday 2 August or Monday 4 August (TBC) 1980 – 80th birthday of HRH Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother

1997 – 50th wedding anniversary of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh

Saturday 17 June 2000 (6.30pm) – Celebrating the Millennium, 3000 buns were thrown

4 August 2000 (7pm) – The 100th birthday of HRH Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother

Saturday 1 June 2002 (6pm) – The Queen's Golden Jubilee, 4000 buns were thrown (the buns were adorned with the letters 'EP')

10 June 2006 (5.30pm) – Abingdon celebrates the 450th Anniversary of the Charter of Incorporation granted by Queen Mary in 1556. June 10th is also Queen Elizabeth II’s Official Birthday. 4500 buns are thrown

15 September 2006 (11.30am – 12pm) – Abingdon continues the celebration of the 450th Anniversary of the Charter of Incorporation granted by Queen Mary in 1556 by holding the second bun throwing of the year in the presence of Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal. 450 buns are thrown