The Friends of Hylands House

Registered Charity No 1059969

Arthur Vickris marries in September 1886 and brings his bride to Hylands
' The happy event was favoured with brilliant weather – just the kind of day a man would have chosen for his wedding. '
Arthur Vickris marries in September 1886 and brings his bride to Hylands
The wedding of Arthur Vickris Pryor to Elizabeth, Countess of Wilton at St. George’s, Hanover Square in London was an exceptionally quiet one. It was the ‘season’ so many people were away, including the bridegroom’s parents!
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After the wedding breakfast ‘the newly married pair left Liverpool Street by the 5.30 p.m. train for Chelmsford.’ [This was the bride’s first visit to Hylands.]
Mr. Pryor and his bride arrived at Chelmsford by the 6.12 p.m. train’. [Please note that even in 1886 the journey from Liverpool Street to Chelmsford only took 42 minutes!]
It was when they reached Chelmsford that people here became involved
Along the route to Hylands there were many signs of the welcome in store for them at the journey’s end. The decorations commenced at the Rising Sun Inn at the top of the New London Road, where a tricolour festooned with greenery and flowers was displayed. At the Widford side of the railway bridge there was an arch of greenery gaily decorated with parti-coloured flags, the word ”Welcome” being worked in large letters in the centre with an evergreen border. On the reverse of the arch were a number of wreaths of evergreens and flowers. A number of flags were also displayed from the windows at the Sir Evelyn Wood public-house, and by the proprietors of the Good Woman and White Horse Inns. A line of streamers crossed the road from the premises of the two last-mentioned houses. The road from the Rev. W. Buswell’s gate to Mr. Claver’s gate was spanned by a streamer of bannerets with the Union Jack hanging from the centre. The next decorations were at the cottages just outside the Widford entrance to Hylands Park, where several flags were displayed.
The pillars of the entrance gates were bedecked with ivy and other evergreens, and were surmounted by a triumphal arch decorated with flags and bearing the words “Welcome to Hylands” in white letters on a red ground. The most elaborate decorations were, however, reserved for the portico of the house. The pillars were spirally entwined and festooned with bands of ivy. The pediments and lions were also decorated with greenery and flags, and a fine specimen of Norfolk Island pine formed a centre-piece between the lions. The lamps were also entwined with green leaves and hung with trophies of flags. On the entrance side of the porch was the inscription in white letters on a scarlet ground, “God bless the bride and bridegroom”. The top of the portico was marked out with evergreens, a splendid specimen of the black America spruce forming a very effective centre-piece. The decorations were spontaneously carried out by Mr. W. Bowman, the steward, and his assistants
The happy event was favoured with brilliant weather – just the kind of day a man would have chosen for his wedding.
During the afternoon and evening merry peals were rung on the Church bells.
On arriving at Chelmsford railway station, the bride and bridegroom got into an open carriage drawn by two horses, which was awaiting them. The Countess, who carried a large bouquet of beautiful flowers in her hand, presented a most charming appearance.
At several points on the route to Hylands the newly-married pair were loudly cheered. They were met at the park gates by the employees on the estate, who had been granted a half-day’s holiday in honour of the event, and who greeted them with hearty cheers. The carriage was preceded up the drive by two outriders, each carrying a Union Jack, and was followed by the employees who were cheering lustily, Mr. Pryor and the Countess repeatedly bowing their acknowledgements.
About midway between the park gates and the mansion, the horses were taken from the carriage, ropes were attached, and scores of willing hands drew the vehicle the remaining part of the way at a very rapid rate. When the carriage reached the house, Mr. Pryor handed his bride out, and then in response to the cheers, said; Gentlemen, Lady Wilton wishes to thank you very much for the kind way in which you have brought us up here, and for the reception you have given us. She says she would rather not have any horses in her carriage again, because you go faster than they do. Thank you very much.’

Linda Knock