Coronation Feasts in the Archives

St. Edward’s Crown Worn
by James II & Elizabeth II

By Susan Irwin
University Archivist,

Doreen Simonsen
Humanities & Fine Arts Librarian,

Kings and Queens of England have celebrated their coronations with grand feasts, some only for the nobility and some held for the public at large.  In the Archives, we have evidence of two such feasts, separated by 268 years.  The oldest is from the coronation of King James II in 1685 and our most recent is from the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. 

James II was the younger brother of King Charles II, the Merry Monarch, famous for restoring the theatre and other pleasures of life after many years of Puritan rule by Oliver Cromwell; Cromwell was the man who lead the movement to behead King Charles I, the father of Charles II and James II.  When Charles II died without a legitimate child to inherit the crown, his brother James II became his heir.

Following the coronation of King James II and his second wife, Queen Mary of Modena, in Westminster Abbey on Thursday, April 23, 1685 there was a glorious Royal Feast in the adjacent Westminster Hall.   The King and Queen sat at the south table facing the long hall, lined with six long tables.  At the western tables sat Peers and Peeresses, namely seven Dukes, seven Duchesses, one Marchioness, forty-three Earls, twenty-nine Countesses, five Viscounts, three Viscountesses, thirty-eight Barons, and twenty-two Baronesses.  At the eastern tables sat Archbishops, Bishops, Judges, etc.  

Click on this link to see the full page chart of seating and of the positions of these dishes on the different tables.

These tables groaned with a total of 1,455 dishes, served both hot and cold, including:  pistachio cream, anchovies, stags tongues, partridges, marinated sole, puddings, and much, much more.

Here is a link to the first of several pages that list all of the dishes served at their Majesties and the other tables.

You can see images and read about this feast in our copy of The History of the Coronation of the Most High Most Mighty and Most Excellent Monarch James IIby Francis Sandford and Gregory King, printed in 1687, which is part of our Special Collections.  In this book, you will find large, beautiful lithographic images of the coronation ceremony, feast, and fireworks.

There is a wonderful high resolution image of this feast where you can see this entire feast in progress. (Click on the + sign to see all of the details)

The coronation of Queen Elizabeth took place on June 2, 1953 in Westminster Abbey. Food and recipes played a part beyond the coronation feast.  The oil used to anoint the new monarchs contains oils of roses, cinnamon, orange, musk and ambergris (produced by sperm whales). Queen Elizabeth II revealed in a documentary interview that some crafty guests hid “strong drink and sandwiches” in their coronets to sustain them through the three-hour long ceremony.  New recipes were created as in the case of Coronation Chicken.  Created by Constance Spry, the recipe of cold chicken in a curry cream sauce with dressed salad of rice, green peas and mixed herbs was one of the dishes served to foreign guests after the coronation.

Following the coronation ceremony, the Queen and Prince Philip traveled a 7.2 kilometer route from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace.  Designed so that the procession could be seen by as many of the people lining the streets as possible, the procession took two hours to complete.

Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation was the first to be televised, with an estimated twenty-seven million people in the U.K. turning in to watch.  That did not stop thousands from lining the streets to catch a glimpse of the new Queen, some camping out the night before.  Correspondence in the Stella Douglas archival collection (part of Willamette’s Archives) contains information on the availability of packed lunches, not for guests, but for people seated in the stands along the procession route. 

Stella, a Salem born artist, lived in London at the time of the coronation and was one of the lucky few to receive a seat voucher from The British Travel and Holidays Association.  The letter from the association explained how to exchange the voucher for a “seat ticket,” and included a brochure and order form for packed lunches.  Due to the length of the ceremony and procession, refreshments were an important consideration as “…it will be necessary for you to be in your seat by 6.0 a.m. on Coronation Day, and it is unlikely that you be able to leave the special area until around 4.0 p.m.” 

Buszards’ Limited supplied the packed lunches, offering three options.

It is not clear if Stella exchanged her voucher for a seat ticket, but she noted the historic event in a letter to her family, “And how the new Queen is loved! Her people love her and have faith in her– How young she is to inherit an empire- my age- and so untroubled by the world, yet so mature in character and devotion to her country.” 

On May 6, 2023, King Charles III of England will have his coronation ceremony.  On the following day, he and Queen Consort Camilla, have invited their subjects throughout the Commonwealth to celebrate by joining in the Coronation Big Lunch, which “aims to brings neighbours and communities together to celebrate the Coronation and share friendship, food and fun.”  The King and Queen have shared a recipe that everyone can make to share at their own Coronation Lunch, namely The Coronation Quiche

Bon Appetit!


50 Facts About The Queen’s Coronation, Accessed 3 May 2023.

Coke, Hope. Peers told they are allowed to wear crimson robes and coronets for King Charles’ Coronation. Tatler. Accessed 3 May 2023.

“Francis Sandford (1630-94) – The History of the Coronation of the Most High, Most Mighty, and Most Excellent Monarch, James II … and of His Royal Consort Queen Mary, Solemnized in the Collegiate Church of St Peter … on 23rd April, … 1685 / By…” Accessed May 3, 2023.

Sandford Francis and Gregory King. The History of the Coronation of the Most High Most Mighty and Most Excellent Monarch James II : By the Grace of God King of England Scotland France and Ireland Defender of the Faith &c. and of His Royal Consort Queen Mary : Solemnized in the Collegiate Church of St. Peter in the City of Westminster on Thursday the 23 of April Being the Festival of St. George in the Year of Our Lord 1685 : With an Exact Account of the Several Preparations in Order Thereunto Their Majesties Most Splendid Processions and Their Royal and Magnificent Feast in Westminster-Hall : The Whole Work Illustrated with Sculptures : By His Majesties Especial Command. Printed by T. Newcomb 1687.

Stella Douglas papers, WUA111, Archives and Special Collections, Mark O. Hatfield Library, Willamette University.

“The Coronation Quiche.” Accessed 3 May 2023.

 Wight, Colin. “Renaissance Festival Books: View 274 Historical Renaissance Books Online.” Text. The British Library. Accessed May 3, 2023.

Jane Austen, Royalty, and Works by Women Authors in our Vault

By Doreen Simonsen
Humanities & Fine Arts Librarian,

Thanks to Shonda Rhimes’ hit Netflix series, Bridgerton, Queen Charlotte (1744-1818), wife of King Georges III of England (1738 – 1820), and her court have been given new life in the public imagination.  In the library’s vault, we have three works by women authors who served in and wrote about this world, and inspired other authors and composers.

Fanny Burney (1784)
by Edward Francis Burney

Jane Austen (1775 – 1817) was born in Steventon, England in 1775 during the reign of King George III and his wife, Queen Charlotte.  It was in the court of Queen Charlotte that one of Jane’s favorite authors, Fanny Burney (1752 – 1840), served from 1786 to 1790 as “Keeper of the Robes” for the queen.  After leaving Queen Charlotte’s court, Burney decided to publish her third novel, Camilla, by subscription in 1796, and it is in this book that Jane Austen’s name appears in print for the first time.  In our library’s copy of Camilla you can see “Miss J. Austen, Steventon” in the list of subscribers.  Austen also mentions Camilla as one of the romantic novels, which the heroine of Austen’s first novel, Northanger Abbey, Catherine Morland, reads for thrills and escapism.

Subscriber List in Hatfield Library’s copy of Fanny Burney’s Camilla (1796)
First ever appearance of Jane Austin’s name in print.
Sophie Cottin, Lithograph
by Pierre Langlumé

Fanny Burney’s stepsister, Elizabeth Meeke, (1761 – 1826), was also an author, — and a translator. (MacDonald. Mandel.)  One of her translations that is in our collection is Elizabeth; or, the Exiles of Siberia, by the French author, Sophie Cottin. (1770 – 1807) Cottin’s family were supporters of the French monarchy, which forced them to flee to England during the French Revolution.  Sophie returned to Paris in 1798, published six novels, of which Elizabeth (1806) was her last before she died of cancer in 1807.  Elizabeth; or, the Exiles of Siberia was widely translated and published throughout the 19th century. (Cutt)  Our copy was published in New York in 1812.  This book was so popular that Gaetano Donizetti based an opera in three acts upon it in 1820 and titled it Otto mesi in due ore ossia Gli esiliati in Siberia (Eight Months in Two Hours or the Exiles in Siberia).

Image from the New York Public Library
Prince Regent George, son of
King George III, & future King George IV

Both Camilla and Elizabeth: or, the Exiles of Siberia were published during the reign of King George III, who suffered increasingly from mental illness.  Eventually his reprobate son, Prince George, took on the role of Regent, which gave rise to the Regency Era that lasted from 1811 until the death of his father in 1820, when he became King George IV.  Jane Austen was no fan of George IV, but he was a great fan of her novels.  Recently a bill of sale from 1811 was found in the Royal Archives, which was “from a London bookseller, charging the Prince Regent 15 shillings for a copy of Sense and Sensibility, Austen’s first novel.” (Schuessler) To understand Austen’s distaste for the Prince Regent, one should look at a third book in our collection.

Lady Ann Hamilton, (1815)
by James Lonsdale

The Secret History of the Court of England from the Accession of George the Third until the Death of George the Fourth (1832), was allegedly written by Lady Anne Hamilton (1766 – 1846), who was a loyal Lady-in-Waiting to Queen Caroline of Brunswick, the unhappy wife of George IV. According to the Dictionary of National Biography: “A person who had gained the confidence of Lady Anne and obtained from her a variety of private information, published, without her knowledge and much to her regret and indignation, a volume purporting to be written by her, entitled Secret History of the Court of England from the Accession of George III to the Death of George IV.”  The book created such a scandal that the publisher was forced to flee England. 

In a letter from 1813, Jane Austen wrote of Queen Caroline: “Poor woman, I shall support her as long as I can, because she is a Woman and because I hate her Husband.” (Robins, p. 42).  Two years later, Austen was invited to the Prince Regent’s library, where his “librarian, James Stanier Clarke, conveyed that the Prince Regent (who was not present) would not object if she dedicated her next book to him.” (Schuessler).  Austen worked with the publisher to create this tepid dedication in her novel Emma: “To his Royal Highness, the Prince Regent, this work is, by His Royal Highness’s Permission, most Respectfully Dedicated by his Royal Highness’s Dutiful and Obedient Humble Servant, the Author.”

Just as the world is currently reading Spare, the memoir by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, to discover the secrets of the most recent royal family, disclosing royal secrets is nothing new. Having worked for the Royal families, both Fanny Burney and Lady Ann Hamilton, could have shared similar tales of scandal. Similarly Fanny Burney and Sophie Cottin created tales depicting the emotional ups and downs of Romanticism, that were wildly popular in the 19th century, but did not reflect life in the royal courts. You can read these books online by following the links in this article, but you are welcome to come see our copies of all of these works in the Hatfield Library. If you would like to look at them in person, please contact Doreen Simonsen, to make an appointment.


Austen, Jane, 1775-1817. Emma: A Novel : In Three Volumes. London: Printed for John Murray, 1816.

Burney, Fanny, and Thomas Payne. Camilla, or, A Picture of Youth. [First edition]. London: Printed for T. Payne, at the Mews Gate, and T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies successors to Mr. Cadell in the Strand, 1796.

Cottin, (Sophie), Evert Duyckinck, and James Oram. Elizabeth, or, The Exiles of Siberia. A Tale, Founded Upon Facts. New-York: Published by Evert Duyckinck, 1812.

Cutt, M Nancy.  “Who Remembers ‘Elizabeth’?”  Signal: Approaches to Children’s Books Vol. 39,  (Sep 1, 1982): 153-162.

Hamilton, Anne. Secret History of the Court of England  from the Accession of George the Third to the Death of George the Fourth. London: Reynold’s Newspaper Office, 1832.

“Hamilton, Lady Ann.” The Dictionary of National Biography : from the Earliest Times to 1900. London: Oxford University Press, 1921.  Vol. 8, p. 1019.

Harry. Spare. First US edition., Random House, 2023.

MacDonald, Simon. “Identifying Mrs Meeke: Another Burney Family Novelist.” The Review of English Studies (2013): 367-385.

Mandal, Anthony. “Mrs. Meeke and Minerva: The Mystery of the Marketplace.” Eighteenth-Century Life 42.2 (2018): 131-151.

Robins, Jane. Rebel Queen: How the Trial of Caroline Brought England to the Brink of Revolution. London: Pocket, 2007.

Schuessler, Jennifer. “Jane Austen Detested Her First Buyer, the Prince: [the Arts/Cultural Desk].” New York Times, Late Edition (East Coast) ed., Jul 25 2018, ProQuest. Web. 15 Dec. 2022.

By the Numbers: Limited Edition Fine Press Gems in the Vault

Limited Edition books are a melding of fine literature and the art of fine printing.  Four books in our vault are lovely examples of an author’s and a publisher’s joint enthusiasm for a unique presentation of a text.

“A limited edition book is one where the number of copies in the print run has been strictly defined prior to its issue, and that number is substantially less than a standard print run, and then no further print runs are issued after the first printing has sold out… [These] books may also contain additional features such as better quality paper, extra illustrations, author signatures, different cover art, etc.” (“Limited Edition Books”).

“Gwilan’s Harp” is a story by Ursula Le Guin that was published by the Lord John Press in Northridge, California in 1981.  In the back of this book, you will find a page with a limitation statement, which in this case states that this book is number 298 of 300 copies printed.

Details about the paper used for printing this book, what type font was used, who designed the book, who printed the book, and who published the book may be listed.  In addition, the author’s autograph may be found on this page, too.
Herb Jellen of Boston, an avid collector of autographs and first editions, started the Lord John Press, which published Le Guin’s story.  From 1976-2006 Jellen published limited editions in printing runs of 150 or 300 copies, that were signed by the authors.  The name “Lord John Press” came from Jellen’s “love of [the] authors: John Barth, John Cheever, John Fowles, John Gardner, John Hawkes and John Updike. “Lord” is said to have come from his desire “to marry” Great Britain and America.”

Sometimes these texts travel widely before being published as a limited edition book, such as Place in Fiction, an essay by Eudora Welty.  Originally, it was a lecture she presented at Cambridge University in 1954, and was then published in The Archive (Duke University) in April 1955, the South Atlantic Quarterly in January 1956, and elsewhere.

Mrs. Marguerite Cohn heard Miss Welty read the essay on the Poetry Series of the Young Man’s Hebrew Association in New York and asked the author for permission to publish her essay as a limited edition book by her company, the House of Books, in 1957.  This is the edition that we have in our collection, which is number 63 of 300 copies printed.

In Dallas, Texas, Hank Coleman founded Pressworks, a small literary fine press publishing company. When Anne Dickson purchased Pressworks in 1981, she inherited short works and poetry by such famous authors as Robert Penn Warren, Joyce Carol Oates, and Donald Barthelme.

We own a copy of Barthelme’s work, Presents, (1980).  Its text consists of numerous brief sketches, most of which involve two naked women, and has four plates of collages done by the author. Our copy is number 150 out of 350 copies printed for sale.

Finally, we have a book of poetry by Oregon’s former Poet Laureate, William Stafford.  His book, You and Some Other Characters (1989) was illustrated by his daughter Barbara Stafford and published by Donnell Hunter of the Honeybrook Press.  Hunter was a prolific and significant Mormon poet, who ran the Honeybrook Press in Rexburg, Idaho.  Our copy of Stafford’s You and Some Other Characters, is one of 328 copies, but it is not numbered nor autographed by the author.  What makes this book special is that it was “designed & printed letterpress on Lana Laid paper by Donnell Hunter with hand-set Deepdene type & hand-sewn in Fabriano covers.” 
The loving workmanship of hand-set type on fine paper makes Hunter’s physical copy of Stafford’s poetry a tactile pleasure that complements Stafford’s words.

Limited Edition fine press books are works of art created jointly by the author and the publisher / printer.  Although these four books are recent publications, their scarcity and / or artistic nature classifies them as rare books, worthy of being shelved next to Shakespeare’s Second Folio, Medieval Books of Hours, and other treasures in the vault at the Mark O. Hatfield Library.  If you would like to see them for yourself, please contact Doreen Simonsen,




Barthelme, Donald. Presents. Pressworks, 1980.

Berryhill, Michael. “Booking Dallas.” D Magazine, January 1, 1982,

Book of the Week — Turkeys and Trees | J. Willard Marriott Library Blog. 19 Nov. 2018,

Davis, Mary Margaret. “Ex-El Pasoan Binds ‘Fine’ Books.” El Paso Times, 29 Aug. 1982, p. 71.

Dickson, Anne. “Letters.” D Magazine, March 1, 1982,

Donnell Hunter | Mormon Literature & Creative Arts Database | HBLL.

It Came from Beyond Pulp. Ursula K. Le Guin Reads “Gwilan’s Harp.” 2021. YouTube,

Le Guin, Ursula K. Gwilan’s Harp. Lord John Press, 1981.

“Limited Edition Books.” AbeBooks, 3 June 2021,

“Lord John Press.” Worlds Without End, .

Newman, Lisa. “Collector Established Lord John Press.” The Clarion-Ledger, 20 Jun. 2015.

Polk, Noel. “A Eudora Welty Checklist.” The Mississippi Quarterly, vol. 26, no. 4, 1973, pp. 663–93.

Stafford, William. You and Some Other Characters: Poems. Honeybrook Press, 1987.

“The House-of-Books Edition of ‘Place in Fiction.’” Eudora Welty Newsletter, vol. 1, no. 1, 1977, pp. 5–5.

Welty, Eudora. Place in Fiction. House of Books, 1957.