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Illuminations for the occasion of George III's recovery from illness, 1789, and jubilee, 1809 (7)

In celebration of national and royal events, the Bank's Threadneedle Street fa├žade was adorned with transparent paintings, garlands, stars, wreaths, and thousands of yellow lamps strung along the roofline and between the windows. In the 1790s and early nineteenth century over a dozen events were commemorated in such a way, celebrating peace and victory, the coronations of William IV in 1821 and 1831, the recovery of George III in 1789 and his Golden Jubilee in 1809. On October 4th 1809 the Bank directed Soane to prepare an illumination for the 25th of the month, to illuminate the front of the bank and the gateways on each side.

Literature: L. Brown, A catalogue of British history, 3 vols, 1980-95; D. Abramson, Building the Bank of England, 2005, pp. 141-2.

Madeleine Helmer, 2010
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