MANSION HOUSE STORIES
After nearly 300 years the Mansion House has seen many grand and extravagant occasions with visits by royalty and all manner of important persons, but it has also been home to some very poignant and heart warming occasions.
The heyday for extravagance was in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when the lord mayors certainly ate and drank for the good of the city.
In 1869 guests sat down to devour 53 separate dishes, with exotic names like Dindon, a sauce aux Huitres, Kromeskys a la Russe and Jambons du York. The guest had to endure 21 toasts and no doubt left the building full to the brim and in a jolly mood!
During the troubled times of World War One, the Lord Mayor at the time held entertainment for the wounded soldiers in York. This proved to be a huge success and spurred on by applause and positive press coverage it was decided that the Mansion House would only be used to entertain the soldiers while the war lasted.
When war came again a generation later the goodwill of mankind also triumphed when on Christmas Eve 1944, the French airmen stationed near York, had made 200 handcrafted toys. The toys were then taken to the Mansion House and were distributed to the sick and needy children in the City of York hospitals and institutions.
The last Royal visit to the house took place in 2012, when the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited the city. Along with all the pomp and circumstance of such a visit the Queen had lunch in the stateroom of the house and was presented with a box of chocolate, very fitting for the chocolate city!
It was not all banquets and feasts and some domestic aspects of life peep through the records, such as, the baker who made all the pies and fetched and carried for £2 per year in the 1780s.The city however, did budget for £4 per year....what happened to the other £2?