History of the State Coach
It was built in 1830 for the 5th Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry by Samuel Hobbs of Barker & Co in 1830 (apparently in 1907 they built the first Silver Ghost for Rolls-Royce). The Duke was Controller of the Household of Queen Victoria and escorted newly appointed Ambassadors in this coach to Buckingham Palace to meet the Monarch.
The coach was also used for Dress occasions such as assemblies and balls, and by the 6th Duke of Buccleuch for the Coronation of King Edward VII. Following its years of service, it went on display in the Maidstone Museum from 1968-1983 when it returned to Boughton House.
The Distinctive Coach
The coach is in two colours – yellow and black – the yellow being the Queensberry colour and locals may recall the 9th Duke having his Subaru estate coloured to match.
Seating four people, it is lined with oyster silk with the trim around the doors Sheffield silver run on copper. The wheels have iron tyres, the outer rim being made of oak – the ‘fellies’ – and the spokes are made of ash, with the hub being made of elm.
The coach was drawn by a pair of Cleveland Bays, brown horses, standing 15 hands 2 inches high, bred as Carriage Horses with very quiet temperaments. This vehicle was only suitable for use in towns as there were no brakes on the coach; the horses having breeching which acts as a brake.
The uniforms of the coachmen are currently displayed in the Armoury.
Anecdotes About The Coach
Sir David Scott (1887-1986) late of the Dower House, the nephew of the 5th Duke of Buccleuch said:
“I was only a boy when I acted as page to the 6th Duke of Buccleuch at the Coronation of King Edward VII th and Queen Alexandria on 9th August 1902. I escorted the Duchess of Buccleuch and helped her with her robes which filled the coach. During the service the Page Boys were taken behind the High Altar and given wine and cakes to ‘keep us quiet’.”
Lord George Scott, late of The Almshouse in Weekley says:
“I was a little boy of three years old when I was lifted by my nurse to say ‘Goodbye’ to my grandfather, the 6th Duke of Buccleuch, who was attending the Opening of Parliament in 1914. This was at Montagu House, London, which after the First World War became the Ministry of Labour. I believe that this was the last occasion on which the coach was used.”
The uniforms of the coachmen are currently displayed in the Armoury