William Godwin's Diary


Waterloo Bridge was opened by the Prince Regent and Duke of Wellington on the second anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. The reporter for The Times wrote that ‘this noble structure was opened yesterday for the public accommodation, with as much splendour and dignity as it is possible to give to a ceremony of this description’, as spectators lined the banks of the river from Blackfriars to Whitehall and ‘the Thames itself seemed covered with barges and boat of all kinds’. A fair was opened to the south-east of the bridge, where there ‘was a sufficient assortment of different swings, and other vehicles for popular amusement, together with a plentiful supply of cakes, gingerbread, beer, and gin.’

See The Times, 19 June 1817.