Royal coronation fireworks, 17th century

Royal coronation fireworks, 17th century

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Credit: GENERAL RESEARCH DIVISION/NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY/ SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Royal coronation fireworks. 17th-century artwork of the fireworks display that took place upon the River Thames at Whitehall in April 1685 to mark the coronation of King James II of England and his Queen consort Mary of Modena. The letters 'JR' and 'MR' represent the two royals, with a combined 'JMR 2' at centre. Fireworks, originally from China, had become popular in England in the Elizabethan era (second half of the 16th century). The position of 'Fire Master' was created, and this display so pleased James II that he knighted his Fire Master Martin Beckman. Artwork from 'The History of the Coronation' (1687) by Francis Sandford.

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