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Full text of "Abbeys, castles, and ancient halls of England and Wales; their legendary lore and popular history"

4? 



Presented to the 
LIBRARY of the 

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO 

hy 

A. Huestis 



Digitized by tine Internet Arciiive 

in 2009 witii funding from 

University of Toronto 



Iittp://www.arcliive.org/details/abbeyscastlesa01timb 



ABBEYS, CASTLES, 



AND 



ANCIENT HALLS 

OF 

ENGLAND AND WALES; 

THEIR LEGENDARY LORE AND POPULAR HISTORY. 

BY 

JOHN TIMES. 

RE-EDITED, REVISED, AND ENLARGED i:v 

ALEXANDER GUNN. 

WITH PHOTOGRAPHS. 
SOUTH. 



LONDON : 
FREDERICK WARNE AND CO., 

BEDFORD STREET, STRAND. 



^ [ '^-r]^ 



JJH 



VI 







PUBLISHERS' PREFACE 

TO 

THE SECOND EDITION. 




HE reception accorded to the first edition of the present 
work has induced the Pubhshers, at considerable expense, 
to have it reproduced in a more complete and popular 



form. 



The present edition has, therefore, been carefully re-edited, re- 
vised, and enlarged to three volumes, by a gentleman acquainted 
with the subject ; the Appendix has been incorporated into the body 
of the book ; the Counties have all been re-arranged, and grouped, 
as nearly as may be, in each volume, into Southern, Midland, and 
Northern ; and all the added articles have as little of the merely 
archaeological and as much of the more interesting historical, bio- 
graphical, and traditionary elements m ihem as possible. 

With these changes, the Publishers tinist the work will be found 
more useful and attractive than before. 



BsOFOKO Street, Covent Gardkn^ 
Dtctmbtr, 1872. 



-r 





--a 




« 


V 






— - . -^.. . - 


1 -^3^^H0BMBI^^^^9mp 


•r JAMCs'i miAcc. London 



CONTENTS 

OF 

THE FIRST VOLUME. 



All those articles marked with an asterisk {•) are neto— those with an obelisk (t) have 
been altered or extended. 



LONDON AND ITS ENVIRONS. 

PACB 

Wonders of Old St. Paul's i 

The Building of Westminster Abbey 7 

A Legend of Kilburn Priory 13 

The Tower, Fortress, Palace, and Prison, and its Memories . 15 

tLegendary Stories, and Ballads of Old London Bridge . . 33 

Bermondsey Abbey, and its Memories 41 

Founding the Priory of St. Bartholomew the Great .... 47 

Romance of Baynard's Castle 52 

The Beggar's Daughter of Bethnal Green 56 

The Lollards at Lambeth Palace 58 

Stories of the Savoy 63 

Siege of Essex House. — Queen Elizabeth's Ring 70 

The Strange History of Lady Hatton 77 

Halliwell, or Holywell Priory, Shoreditch 83 

Stories of Old Somerset House 85 

Sir Edmond Berry Godfrey, his Mysterious Death .... 87 

Canonbury, and Lady Elizabeth Compton 90 

" The Lady Arabella's " Fatal Marriage 98 

Newcastle House, and its Eccentric Duchess 103 

The Field of Forty Footsteps 106 

Stories of Temple Bar 107 



viii Contents. 

PACK 

The Knights Templars in London 112 

The Knights Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem .... 117 
Queen Elizabeth, the Manor of Pleazaunce, and Greenwich 

Castle 120 

Kenningt on Palace, and the Princes of Wales 128 

Eltham Palace 129 

Shene, or Richmond Palace 133 

Hampton Court Palace 139 

The Palace of Nonsuch 144 

The Palace of Oatlands 146 

St. James's Palace 148 

Kensington Palace 151 

Carlton House 152 

The Archiepiscopal Palace, Croydon 153 

The Minories 155 

Sion House, Isleworth 157 

Ham House, Petersham 159 

Holland House, and its Memories 161 

Osterley Park, and Sir Thomas Gresham 165 

Enfield Palace 166 

The Palace of Whitehall 168 

♦Durham House 173 

*Campden House, Kensington 178 

♦Northumberland House 180 

♦The Priory or Monastery of the Black Friars 183 

The Palace of Theobalds, Cheshunt 188 

Canons, near Edgware, and " the Great Duke of Chandos" . 194 

Stories of the Star Chamber 201 

ESSEX. 

Colchester Castle 2H 

The Priory of St. Osyth 2i6 

The Priory of Little Dunmow, and the Flitch of Bacon 

Custom 222 

Hedingham Castle 229 

Saffron Walden Castle and Audlcy End 230 

Barking Abbey. — Bow Bridge 232 

I ngatcstonc Hall.— Hiding Places of Priests 235 

Wanstcad House 238 

Wavering Bower, or Havcring-attc-Bowcr 240 



Contents. ix 

PACK 

tTilbury Fort 241 

Waltham Abbey. — Burial Place of Harold 243 

The Burial of Harold 249 

Nell Gwynn's House, and Looking-glass 252 

*New Hall Manor, and the Fate of the First Duke of Bucking- 
ham 256 

SURREY. 

Guildford Castle 266 

Waverley Abbey 268 

Moor Park 271 

Farnnam Castle 273 

The Priory of Newark 276 

Reigate Castle 278 

Chertsey Abbey 281 

Merton Priory 284 

KENT. 

Rochester Castle 286 

Richborough Castle 290 

Reculver 291 

Stutfall Castle 292 

H ever Castle and Anne Boleyn 294 

Tunbridge Castle ,v^. . . ^ 301 

Penshurst Place and the Sydneys 303 

Knole Park and Buckhurst 308 

Lesnes Abbey 310 

Dartford Nunnery </. 312 

AUington Castle, and the Wyatts 313 

Leeds Castle 314 

Saltwood Castle 317 

Mailing Abbey 319 

Faversham Abbey 321 

Dover Castle .v 323 

Sandown Castle 326 

Sandgate Castle ' 327 

Folkestone Castle and Nunnery 327 

Walmer Castle 328 

The Monastery of St. Augustine at Canterbury 331 



^^tNXA/^'^**- ''^^ 



X Contents, 

I PAGB 

Canterbury Castle 333 

The Crispes of the Isle of Thanet 334 

The Ellington Murder 335 

Legends of Minster At oey 336 

Cobham Hall 340 

Thurnham Castle 342 

♦Canterbury Cathedral, and the Murder of Thomas k Becket 343 



SUSSEX. 

Pevensey Castle .•^. 355 

Hastings Castle 357 

Battle Abbey 360 

Bramber Castle 363 

Bodiam Castle 364 

Arundel Castle 367 

Hurstmonceux Castle 370 

Cowdray House 373 

Lewes Castle, and Priory V . . ► 378 

♦Chichester Cathedral .^ 380 

HAMPSHIRE. 

Winchester Castle and Palace . w 384 

King Arthur's Round Table at Winchester 386 

Wolvesey Castle 388 

Manor of Merdon, and the Cromwells 389 

The Hospital of St. Cross 390 

Winchester Cross. — St. Giles's Hill Fair 393 

Southampton Castle, and Ancient Houses 394 

King Canute. — Abbey of St. Bennet . y 396 

Netlcy Abbey . . . / 397 

Beaulicu Abbey . •^. 399 

The Castle of Odiham 400 

The Siege of Basing House 403 

The Roman City of Silchester / 407 

Strathficldsayc 410 

Porchcstcr Castle 413 

Christchurch Priory 415 

The Isle of Wight 417 

CarLsbrook Cabtlc . 419 



Contents, xi 

FAGK 

Osborne House 427 

*Winchester Cathedral .''...... 428 



. DORSET. 

Dorchester Castle and Priory 440 

The Abbey of Cerne > 440 

Wimborne Minster 442 

Wimborne St. Giles, and the Shaftesbury Family .... 444 

Shaftesbury Nunnery, and Prize Byzant .'^ 446 

Sherborne Abbey . ♦^ 448 

Sherborne Castle, and Sir Walter Raleigh 449 

Lullworth Castle 452 

tCorfe Castle . *^. 453 

*Smedmore House 465 

DEVONSHIRE. 

Exeter Castle 470 

Tavistock Abbey 471 

/ Berry Pomeroy Castle 473 

♦/Lydford Castle 474 

v' Compton Castle 475 

Combe Marten Celebrities 477 

>/Totnes Castle 478 

Buckfastleigh, and its Abbey . *^ • . 479 

Torrington and Appledore 480 

^Dartmouth Castle 481 

The Adventures of Sir Gawen 482 

The Piskies of Devon and Cornwall 484 

*Buckland Abbey, and Sir Francis Drake .*/, 488 

CORNWALL. 

Mount St. Michael 497 

■^ Tintagel Castle 499 

Memorials of King Arthur in Cornwall 500 

Bodmin, and its Monasteries 501 

>/ Launceston Castle 503 

The Priory of St. Germans .*^ 505 

^ Carn-brea Castle .'^ 505 



xii Contents. 

FACS 

bubterranean Chambers and Bee-hive Houses in Cornwall . 506 

Cornish Hill Castles 510 

The Great Tolmaen of Cornwall 5T2 

J Pendennis Castle « 514 

♦Mount Edgecumbe, and Cothele House 515 

V *Pengerswick Castle 521 

*Cornish Family Traditions 527 

*The Last of the Killigrews , i . . . » , 529 

CHANNEL ISLANDS. 

•'' Castle Cornet, Guernsey . •>, ^ »KC\ • .«Si 533 



Orgueil f*v2^) 



y Jersey.tr-Castles Elizabeth and- Mont Orgueil (^V ^"^^iJffjJi Ji 534 

The Isle of Alderney , 539 

SOMERSETSHIRE. 

The Isl« of Athelney and King Alfred's Monastery . • , . , 540 

The Tradition of Stanton Drew 541 

Bath Abbey 542 

•J Bristol : its Monastery and Castle . >K » 543 

^ Dunster Castle and Pripry 546 

^ Taunton Castle 547 

The Famous Abbey of Glastonbury ."^ 548 

-J ♦Bridgewater Castle and the Battle of Sedgemoor .... 558 

Canyngton Priory and Fair Rosamond ........ 567 



ABBEYS, CASTLES, AND 
ANCIENT HALLS 

OF 




(X 



LONDON AND ITS ENVIRONS. 

Wonders of Old Saint Paul's. 

HE high ground upon which the Cathedral stands— the 
loftiest in the metropolis — denotes it as the likeliest to be 
chosen, in any age, for the site of its chief edifice devoted to 
religious worship. That it was first dedicated to heathenism 
is sought to be proved by the finding of a stone altar sculptured with 
the image of Diana, during the excavations for the foundations of Gold- 
smiths' Hall, in 1830. Hence the idea that a temple to Diana first 
occupied the site. Next a Roman camp was fixed here : then a Saxon 
temple ; and then an episcopal see fixed in London by Mellitus, the 
companion of St. Augustine. Next, a cathedral was built here by 
Ethelbert, King of Kent, among whose gifts to the church was the 
estate of Tillingham, Essex, which even now contributes largely to the 
maintenance of the fabric. The fourth bishop was the famous St- 
Erkenwald, whose shrine stood at the back of the high altar. 

The tower and spire rose 520 feet, or higher than the Monument 
placed upon the cross of the present Cathedral. It had a copper gilt 
bowl, nine feet in compass (large enough to hold ten bushels of com), 
Jupporting a cross 15^ feet high, surmounted by an eagle-cock of 
copper gilt, 4 feet long. This steeple was taken down, and was never 
rebuilt. In 1561, the Cathedral was severely injured in a fire caused 
by the carelessness of the sexton ; and it happening in a tempestuous 
day, the catastrophe was by him confidently affirmed to be caused by 
lightning, and was generally believed to the hour of his death ; but he 

# 8 



2 Wonders of Old Saint PauTs. 

confessed the truth of it, after which " the burning of St. PauTs by 
lightning" was left out of our common almanacks. In the crypt below 
the choir, was the parish church of St. Faith, and at the Ludgate corner 
(towards the Thames) the parish church of St. Gregory. " St. Paul's,' 
says Fuller, " may be called the mother-church, indeed, having one 
babe in her body {St. Faith), and another in her arms {St. Gregory)." 
Out of this arose the popular story of there being a church under St. 
Paul's, and service in it once a year. On special saints' days it was 
customary for the choristers of the Cathedral to ascend the spire to a 
great height, and there to chant solemn prayers and anthems : the last 
observance of this custom was in the reign of Queen Mary, when, "after 
evensong, the quire of Paul's began to go about the steeple singing 
with lightes, after the old custome." A similar tenure custom is observed 
to this day at Oxford, on Magdalen College tower. 

Many and memorable were the scenes which occurred within the 
walls of the old Cathedral. For instance, it was there that Wickliffe 
appeared at the summons of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the 
Bishop of London to make answer for the publication of his new 
opinions; Wickliffe standing before that clerical tribunal in the Lady 
Chapel, accompanied by John of Gaunt and Lord Percy, and a host of 
enthusiastic and excited admirers. 

Dean Milman relates: — Henry Bolingbroke, not as yet known as 
King Henry IV., appeared in St. Paul's to offer his prayers — prayers 
for the dethronement of his ill-fated cousin ; prayers for his own 
successful usurpation of the Throne. Here he paused to shed tears 
over the grave of his father ; for early in that year " old John of Gaunt, 
time-honoured Lancaster," had been carrietl to his rest in the Cathedral, 
Perhaps the last time that John of Gaunt had appeared in St. Paul's, 
was in his armour, and in all his pride, to confront the proud Bishop 
Courtcnay. Some years elapsed ; and, after the silent and peaceful 
pomp of his funeral, he had been laid under the pavement of the church. 

Hither Richard II. was brought; but not to worship or to weep. 
His dead body, after the murder at Pontcfract Castle, was exposed for 
three days in the Cathedral before it was interred in Westminster Abbey. 
Here, too, the first martyr of Wickliflism, William Sawtree, was pub- 
licly degraded, his priestly robi-s, his paten, and his chasuble being taken 
from him, his alb and nuniple torn off, his tonsure wiped out, and a 
layman's cap put upon his head. 

*' At a somewhat later period (says Dean Milman), appeared before 
a convocation at St. Paul's one Richard Walker, chaplain in the dicx-ese 
ol Worccrtcr, charged with liaving in hi» possession two books of 



IVojiders of Old S-aint PauVs. 3 

•images with conjunction of figures,' and of having himself practised 
tliese diabolical arts. Walker pleaded guilty to both charges. On 
another day the said Richard Walker appeared at Paul's-cross, and, 
after an exhortation from the Bishop of Llandaff, solemnly abjured all 
magic. The two books were hung, wide open, one on his head, one 
on his back ; and with a fool's cap on his head, he was made to walk 
along Cheapside. On his return his books were burnt before his face, 
and Walker was released from his imprisonment." 

The Day of St. Paul, the patron saint of the city, was formerly ob- 
served here with picturesque ceremonies. " There was a general pro- 
cession with the children of all the schools in London, with all the 
clerks, curates, and parsons, and vicars, in copes, with their crosses ; 
also the choir of St. Paul's ; and divers bishops m their habits, and the 
Bishop of London, with his pontificals and cope, bearing the sacrament 
under a canopy, and four prebends bearing it in their gray amoi ; and 
so up into Leadenhall, with the mayor and aldermen in scarlet, with 
their cloaks, and all the crafts in their best array ; and so came down 
again on the other side, and so to St. Paul's again. And then the King, 
with my Lord Cardinal, came to St Paul's, and heard masse, and went 
home again ; and at night great bonfires were made through all London, 
for the joy of the people that were converted likewise as St. Paul was 
converted." 

Down to about this time there was observed, in connexion with 
the Cathedral, a custom arising from an obligation incurred by Sir 
William Baud in 1375, when he was permitted to enclose twenty acres 
of the Dean's land, in consideration of presenting the clergy of the 
Cathedral with a fat buck and doe yearly on the days of the Conversion 
and Commemoration of St. Paul. " On these days, the buck and the 
doe were brought by one or more servants at the hour of the proces- 
sion, and thmugh the midst thereof, and offered at the high altar of 
St. Paul's Cath>.dral : after which the persons that brought the buck 
recei%'ed of the Dean and Chapter, by the hands of their Chamberlain, 
twelve pence sterling for their entertainment ; but nothing when they 
brought the doe. The buck being brought to the steps of the altar, 
the Dean and C4iapter, apparelled in copes and proper vestments, with 
garlands of r( ses on their heads, sent the body of the buck to be baked, 
and had the he id and homs fixed on a pole before the cross, in tleir 
procession round about the church, till they issued at the west door, 
where the keeper that brought it blowed the death of the buck, and 
then the homs that were about the city answered him in like manner; 
for wh"€h they had each, of the Dean and Chapter, three and four- 



4 Wonders of Old Saint PauVs. 

pence in money, and their dinner: and the keeper, during his stay, 
meat, drink, and lodging, and five shillings in money at his going away; 
together with a loaf of bread, having in it the picture of St. Paul." 

Paul's Cross, from its imposing grandeur, was one of the chief oma- 
ments of London: it was raised on stone steps, with a canopy, on which 
was a cross. We fii-st read of it in 1 259, when by command of Henry 
HI., striplings were here sworn to be loyal; and in the same year the 
folkmote Common Hall assembled here by the tolling of St. Paul's 
great bell. At preaching, the commonalty sat in the open air; the 
king, his trron, and noblemen in covered galleries. All preachers coming 
from a distance had an allowance from the corporation, and were 
lodged during five days, " in sweete and convenient lodgings, with fire, 
candle, and necessary food." One of the Bishops lent small sums on 
pledge ; and if at the year's end the articles were not redeemed within 
fourteen days, the preacher at Paul's Cross declared that they would be 
sold. Ralph Bakloc, Dean of Paul's, cursed from the Cross all persona 
who had searched in the church of St. Martin's-le-Grand for a 
hoard of gold. In 1483, Jane Shore, with a taper in one hand, and 
arrayed in her " kirtle onlye," did open penance at the Cross; and in 
the same year Dr. Shaw and Prior Dinke aided the traitorous schemes 
of Duke Richard: the Doctor so repented his shameful sermon, that it 
struck him to the heart, and within a few days he " withered and con- 
sumed away." The Friar lost his voice whilst preaching, and was 
forced to leave the pulpit. 

The interior walls of the church were sumptuously adorned with 
pictures, shrines, and curiously wrought tabernacles ; gold and silver, 
rubies, emeralds, and pearls, glittered in splendid profusion ; and upon 
the high altar were heaped countless stores of gold and silver plate, and 
illuminated missals. The shrine of St. Erkenwald had among its jewels 
a sapphire believed to cure diseases of the eye. The mere enumeration 
of these treasures fills twenty-eight pages of Dugdale's folio History of 
the Cathedral. King John of France ottered at St. Erkenwald's shrine; 
King Henry III., on the feast of St. Paul's Conversion, gave 1500 tapers 
to the church, and fed 15.000 poor in the c.uth or close. 

Miracles were wrought at Paul's at "a tablet," or picture, set up by 
Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, who, after his execution at Pontcfract, was 
reckoned a martyr by the populace. At the base of one of the pillars 
was w.ulpturcd the foot of Algar (the first prebendary of Islington), as 
the standard measure for legal contracts in land ; just as Henry I., 
Richard I., and John, fumishcd the iron ell by their arms. On the 
north bide of the choir stood the stately tomb of John of Gaunt, and 



Wonders ef Old Saint PauVs. 5 

Blanche his first wife; on it hung his proper helmet and spear, and hit 
target covered with horn. In St. Dunstan's Chapel was the fine old 
tomb of Henry Lacy, Earl of Lincoln, from whom Lincoln's Inn de- 
rives its name. In the middle aisle of the nave stood the tomb of Sir 
John Beaiichamp, constable of Dover Castle. Between the choir and 
south aisle was a noble monument to Sir Nicholas Bacon, father of 
Lord Chancellor Bacon ; " higher than the fost and altar," between 
tovo columns of the choir, was the sumptuous monument of Sir 
Christopher Hatton ; and near it, a tablet to Sir Philip Sidney, and 
another to his father-in-law, Sir Francis Walsingham: hence tJie 

epigram:— 

" Philip and Francis have no tomb, 
For great bir Christopher takes all the room." 

Amongst the monuments preserved fi-om the fonner Cathedral is Dr. 
Donne, the poet of quaint conceits, standing in his stony shroud. 

The floor of the church was laid out in walks : " the south alley for 
usurye and poperye; the north for simony and the horse-fair; in the 
midst for all kinds of bargains, meetings, brawlings, murthers, conspira- 
cies, &c." The middle aisle was called Paul's Walk, and was a lounge 
for idlers and hunters after news, wits and gallants, cheats, usurers, and 
knights of the post; \hfifont itself being used as a counter. Ben Jonson 
h;is laid a scene of his Every Mun out of hh Humour in " the middle 
aisle of Paule's;" Captain Bobadil is a "Paul's man;" and FalstafF 
bought Bardolph in Paul's. Bishop Earle, 1629, says: " Paul's Walke is 
the Land's Epitome, or you may cal it the lesser He of Great Brittaine. 
* * * The noyse in it is like that of Bees, in strange hummings or 
buzze, mixt of walking, tongues, and feet ; it is a kind of still roare, or 
loud whisper." It was a common thoroughfare for porters and carriers, 
for ale, beer, bread, fish, flesh, fardels of stuff, and mules, horses, and 
other beasts; drunkards lay sleeping on the benches at the choir-door; 
within, dunghills were suffered to accumulate; and in the choir people 
walked " with their halts on their heddes." Dekker, in his Gull's Horti' 
book, tells us that the church was profaned by shops, not only of book- 
sellers, but of other trades, such as " the semsters' shops," and " the new 
tobacco office." He also mentions " Paul's Jac'ss," automaton figures 
"which struck the quarters on the clock. The first recorded lottery in 
England was drawn at the west door of the church, in 1569. 

The desecration of the exterior of the church was more abominable. 
The chantry and other chapels were usd for stones and lumber, as a 
school and a glazier's workshop; parts of the vaults were occupied by a 
cai-penter, and as a wine-cellar j and the cloisters were let out to trunk- 



6 Wcndcrs of Old Saint PauVs. 

makers, whose " knocking and noyse" greatly disturbed the church- 
service. Houses were built against the outer walls, in which closets 
and window-ways were made: one was used as a play-house, and 
in another the owner baked his bread and pies in an oven ex- 
cavated within a buttress; for a trifling fee, the bell-ringers allowed 
wights to ascend the tower, halloo, and throw stones at the passengers 
beneath. 

We read, too, of rope-dancing feats from the battlements of St. 
Paul's exhibited before Edward VI., and in the reign of Queen Mary, 
who, the day before her coronation, witnessed a Dutchman standing 
upon the weathercock of the steeple, waving a five- yard streamer ! 

()ld St. Paul's was famous (many of the old churches on the Con- 
tinent were the same) for a " Dance of Death," executed at the expense 
of John Carpenter, town-clerk of London in the reign of Henry V.: 
it was appropriately placed in a cloister adjoining a charnel-house. 
Stow describes it as " a monument of Death leading all Estates, curiously 
painted upon board, with the speeches of Death and answer of every 
Estate;" — a suggestive picture for the contemplation of mortals. 

There is an incident connected with old St. Paul's, remarkable in it- 
self, but made still more so by the many celebrated writers who allude 
to it. In the year 1600, "a middle-sized bay English gelding," the 
property of Bankes, a servant to the Earl of Essex, and a vintner in 
Cheapside, ascended to the top of St. Paul's, to the delight, it is said 
by Dekker, of " a number of asses," who brayed below. Bankes had 
taught his horse, which went by the name of Marocco, to count, and 
perform a variety of feats. " Certainly," says Sir "Walter Raleigh, in 
his History, "if liankcs had lived in elder times, he would have 
tliamed all the enchanters of the world ; for whosoever was most 
famous among them could never master or instruct any beast as he did 
his horse." When the novelty had somewhat lessened in London, 
Bankes took his wonderful horse first to Paris, and afterwards to Rome. 
He had better iiave stayed at home, for both he and his horse (which 
was shod with silver), were burnt for witchcraft. Siiakspeare alludes 
to "tiie dancing horse;" and in a tract, 159,'). there is a rude woodcut 
of the unfortunate juggler and his famous gelding. 

The Cathedral was entirely destroyed in the Great Fire. The lead 
over the altar at the cast end was untouched, and among the monu- 
ments the body of one bishop remained entire. This was the corjise of 
Bibliop Braybrookc, which had been inhumed 260 years, being "so dried 
up, the flcbh, sinews, and skin cleaving fast to the hones, that being set 
upon the feet it stood as b'JIl as a plank, the skin bein^ tough like lea 



Tlie Building of Westminster A bhty. 7 

thcr, and not at all inclined to putrefaction, which some attributed to 
the sanctity of the person offering much money T 

Burnet remarks that he never heard of any person being bunit or 
trodden to death at the Fire; but, in the Diary of Taswell, is recorded 
this singular testimony to the contrary : — 

" ' I forgot to mention that near the east end of S. Paul's (he must 
have got quite round the church), a human body presented itself to me, 
parched up as it were with tlie llames, white as to skin, meagre as to 
flesh, yellow as to colour. This was an old decrepit woman who fled 
here for safety, imagining the flames would not have reached her 
there; her clothes were burned, and every limb reduced to a coal. In 
my way home I saw several engines which were bringing up to its 
assistance, all on fire, and those engaged with them escaping with all 
eagerness from the flames, which spread instantaneous almost like a 
wildfire, and at last, accoutred zuith my sivord and Ixlmet, I traversed 
the ton-id zone back again.' Taswell relates that the papers from the 
books in S. Faith's were carried with the wind as tar as Eton. The 
Oxonians observed the rays of the sun tinged with an unusual kind of 
redness, a black darkness seemed to cover the whole hemisphere. To 
impress this more deeply on Taswell's memory, his father's house was 
burned and plundered, by officious persons offering to aid, of 40/." 



The Building of Westminster Abbey. 

Westminster Monastery and Palace were foundations ot great antiquity 
and interest, scai-cely exceeded by that of the Tower, with its chronicle 
of our history in stone. 

Westminster was originally called Thomey Island, from its having 
been " overgrown with thorns, and environed with water," substantiated 
by a charter granted in 785, by Offa, the Mercian king; but it is really a 
peninsula of the purest sand and gravel, as may be seen in the foundations 
of the Abbey. This edifice has not a basement story, like St. Paul's, but 
is built upon the fine close sand, secured only by its very broad, wide, 
and spreading foundations. Sebert, King of the East Saxons, having em- 
braced Christianity, and being baptized by Mellitus, bishop of London, 
pulled down a Pagan temple at Thomey, and founded upon the p ace a 
church to the honour of St. Peter, sometime previously to the year 616. 
It suffered much spoliation by the Danes, but was restored by King 
Edgar, at the intercession of Dunstan, who brought hither twelve monki 
of tlie Benedictine Order ypiobably from Glastonbury), to whoiv. bot2» 



8 The Building of Westminster Abbey. 

Punstan and the King made grants of landed property, as well as rich 
presents in gold. The dedication of the church to St. Peter (the tutelar 
saint of fishermen), led to their offerings of salmon upon the high altar; 
the donor on such occasions having the privilege of sitting at the convent 
table to dinner, and demanding ale and bread from the cellarer. 

Canute, in the year 1017, took the monastery under his special care, 
" it being so near the king's palace," which is somewhat corroborated 
by Norden, who states that " in the time of Edward the Confessor, a 
palace at Westminster was destroyed by fire, which had been inhabited 
by Canute, about the year 1035; and there occurs in King Edward's 
third charter to the Abbey, granted in 1065: — "The place where the 
said church and monastery were built was anciently the seat of kings ;" 
and " we grant that, hereafter, for ever, it be the place of the king's 
constitution and consecration, the repository of the imperial regalia, and 
a perpetual habitation of monks," &c. But this charter is of dubious 
authority ; and it is otherwise doubted whether there was a rofal palace 
at Westminster before the reign of the Confessor himself. Edric 
Streon, through whose repeated treachery to the Saxon cause Canute 
was alone beholden for dominion in England, was, as though in retribu- 
tion for his crimes, beheaded, by command of the monarch he had 
served, within the royal palace in London, and his body w^sjiiaig out of a 
<ivindow into the Thames, an event which could scarcely have occuiTed 
at Westminster. 

The earliest document fi"om which the existence of a palace at this 
spot may be inferred is a charter given by Edward the Confessor, to 
the Abbey of Ramsey, in 1052. King Edward was now proceeding 
with his reconstruction of St. Peter's Cliurch and Monastery at West- 
minster; and it may reasonably be surmised that he himself erected a 
palace there, to forward the splendid work by his own presence, as well 
as by " a tenth of his entire substance in gold, silver, cattle, and all other 
pc^sessions." Compared with the former edifice, it was a very magni- 
ficent fabric. King Edward gave to its treasury rich vestments, a golden 
crown and sceptre, a dalmatic, embroidered pall, spurs, &c., to be used 
on the day of the sovereign's coronation : here our kings and queens 
have been crowned from Edward the Confessor to Queen Victoria, and 
here very many of them arc buried, some with and others without monu- 
ments. 1'he Confessor lived just long enough to see his intention ful- 
filled. On the Festival of the Holy Innocents, Dec. 28, lofir,, the new 
Abbey was dedicated; and the King, who died eiglit days aftenvards, 
was buried by his own desire in front of the high altar in the church of 
whidi he had just witnessed the completion. 



'ihe Building of Westminster Abbey. 9 

Our early chroniclers have assigned the occun'ence of several of King 
Edward's recorded visions to this spot. Those of the drowning of a 
Danish king who had undertaken to invade England; of the Seven 
Sleepers of Ephesus ; and finally, of the grievous afHictions which his 
country would undergo after his own decease, were of this number; 
and tradition has even identified the chamber where he died, as that 
which after generations called the Painted Chambet. The monkish his- 
torians attribute numerous miracles to his sanctity. He was so much 
in love, they tell us, with retirement and devotional reflection, that being 
once disturbed at a country-seat by the singing of nightingales, he 
prayed that they might no more be heard in that place; which petition, 
continues the legend, was granted accordingly. Even the time of his 
death was made known to him by the delivery of a ring and message 
from St. John the Evangelist ; and within six years after his decease, the 
following miracle was performed at his tomb : 

In the time of William the Conqueror, when all English prelates 
were " sifted to the branne," a synod was held in the church at West- 
minster, by Archbishop Lanfranc (anno 1074), to examine avowedly 
into the qualifications and conduct of the clergy, *' yet with the covert 
design of making room for the new-come Normans," by ejecting such of 
the bishops and abbots as had but little learning and influence. At this 
synod, Wulstan, Bishop of Worcester, was charged with being " a 
most illiterate and foolish man, and unfit for the station he held ; a very 
idiot, unacquainted with the French language, and incapable either to 
instruct the church, or counsel the king." His pastoral staff and ring 
were, therefore, demanded of him by Lanfranc, in the King's name; but 
Wulstan, grasping his staff with an unmoved countenance, made this 
reply: " I know, my lord archbishop, that I am entirely unfit for, and 
unworthy so high a station, being inideserving of the honour, and un- 
equal to the task; however, I think it unreasonable that you should 
demand that staff which I never received from you, yet in some measure 
I submit to your sentence, and will resign it ; but consider it just to 
make that resignation to King Edward, who conferred it on me." 
Then ending, he left the synod, and crossing the church to Edward's 
tomb, said, whilst standing before it, " Thou knowest, O holy king . 
how unwillingly I undertook this office, and even by force, for neithe r 
the desire of the prelates, the petition of the monks, nor the voice of the 
nobility prevailed, till your commands obliged me; but see, a new king, 
new laws ; a new bishop pronounces a new sentence. Thee they accuse 
of a fault for making me a bishop, and me of assurance for accepting 
the charge." Then raising his ami, he placed the staff upon the tomb, 



10 The Building of Westminster Ahhey. 

which was of stone, and leaving it, went arrayed as a monk, and sat 
with them in the chapter-house. When this became known in the 
synod, a messenger was sent for the staff, but he found it adhere so 
firmly to the stone that it could by no means be removed; nor could 
either the king or the archbishop himself disengage it from the tomb. 
Wu'stan was then sent for, and the staff readily submitted to his touch ; 
which being considered as a consummation of the miracle, he was 
allowed to retain his episcopal dignity. Such implicit credence was 
given to this story, that, according to the annals of Burton Abbey, 
King John urged it to Pandulph, the pope's legate, as a proof of the 
right of the English kings to nominate a bishop. 

To return to the obsequies of the Confessor: — "Our kings in the 
castle of Windsor (says Palgrave), live on the brink of the grave, which 
opens to receive them. The throne of Edward was equally by the side 
of his sepulchre, for he dwelt in the palace of Westminster ; and on the 
festival of the Epiphany, the day after his decease, his obsequies were 
solemnized in the adjoining abbey, then connected with the royal abode 
by walls and towers, the foundations whereof are still existing. 
Beneath the lofty windows of the southern transept of the Abbey, you 
may see the deep and blackened arches, fragments of the edifice raised 
by Edward, supporting the chaste and florid tracery of a more recent 
age. Within stands the shrine, once rich in gems and gold, raised to 
the memory of the Confessor by the fond devotion of his successors, 
despoiled, indeed, of all its ornaments, neglected and cnimbling to ruin, 
but still surmounted by the massive iron-bound oaken coffin which 
contains the ashes of the last legitimate Anglo-Saxon king." 

After the decisive victory at Hastings over the brave but unfortunate 
Harold, William the Norman, on his arrival near London, made it one 
of his first cares to give thanks for his success at King Edward's tomb 
at Westminster; and as it would seem, in a passage in William of 
Malmcsbury, the " better to ingratiate himself with the English," by 
displaying a veneration for the Confessor's memory, he fixed on the 
new church for the scene of his own coronation; accordingly, on the 
Christmas-day following, he was crowned by the side of Edward's tomb. 
At a subsequent period he caused the remains of his predecessor to be 
re-interred, with " a curious and more costly tomb of stone." 

The Feast of Edward the Confessor was yearly observctl with great 
ceremony in the Abbey. Matthew Paris describes that of the year 
1247, when Henry III. walked from St. Paul's to Westminster Abbey, 
carrying as an offering a little vase, containing a portion of the alleged 
blood of Christ. Matthew, in his Chronicle, ijives a drawing of the 



Tlie Btdtding of Westminster Abbey. Ii 

Tcsser. The Bishop of Norwich preached on the occasion, when some 
ol the clergy went so far as to express some doubt as to the genuineness of 
the rdique ; and the Bishop of Lincoln undertaking to convince them, 
his discourse was noted down at the time. The scene in the abbey 
must have been very impressive : the King was seated on his throne, 
attired in his royal robes, and recognising Paris, caused him to sit on 
the middle step, between the throne and the floor, and expressly directed 
him to write an account of the proceedings. This, it is added, Paris did 
6o well that the king invited him to dinner. 

The Abbey, as it now exists, was for the most part rebuilt by Henry III., 
m veneration of the memory of the pious Confessor. " The Abbey 
Church," says Mr. Bardwell, the architect, *' formerly arose a mag- 
nificent apex to a royal palace, surrounded by its own greater and lesser 
sanctuaries and almonries: its bell-towers (the principal one 72 feet 
6 inches square, with walls 20 feet thick), chapels, prisons, gatehouses, 
boundary-walls, and a train of other buildings, of which we can at the 
present day scarcely form an idea. In addition to all the land around 
it, extending from the Thames to Oxford-street, and from Vauxhall- 
bridge-road to the church of St. Mary-le-Strand, the Abbey possessed 
97 towns and villages, 17 hamlets, and 216 manors! Its officers fed 
hundreds of persons daily ; and one of its priests (not the Abbot) enter- 
tained at his ' pavilion in Tothill' the King and Queen, with so large a 
party, that seven hundred dishes did not suflice for the first table ; the 
Abbey butler, in the reign of Edward III., rebuilt at his own private 
expense the stately gatehouse which gave entrance to Tothill-street." 

It has lately been brought to light that the nave of the Abbey was re- 
built in 1 4 13 by Richard Whittington and Richard Harrowden (a monk 
of the Abbey), to whom Henry V. issued a commission for the purpose. 
Now, it has been plausibly argued by Lysons, in his Memoir of Lord 
Mayor Whittington, that this personage was the very man named in 
the Royal Commission. 

As the place of sepulture of our sovereigns, the Abbey is of para- 
mount interest: — " The Chapel of the Kings (says an able critic), had 
been nearly filled before the accession of the House of Tudor. 
Henry VII. — partly, perhaps, to do honour to the holy shade of 
Henry VI., partly to mark the beginning of a new Royal line — deter- 
mined to add a mausoleum to Westminster not unworthy of the 
Majesty of England. The beautiful chapel called by his name dates 
from the first year of the sixteenth century ; and dull, indeed, the spirit 
must be which the scene does not waken to keen sympathy. The 
tombs and monuments within its precincts not only tell the ordinary 



12 The Building of Westminster Abbey. 

tale c>f the instability of human grandeur, but mark strikingly the 
strange vicissitudes and revolutions of our English history. The devices 
on Henry's monument record the day of Bosvvorth and his right ot 
conquest ; but they are prophetic of the union of these islands under 
Princes in whom the Celtic blood flowed mingled with that of Norman 
and Saxon. Henry VIII. rests with Jane Seymour at Windsor, far 
from the spot where he wedded Catherine, in nuptials accursed, as he 
thought, by Heaven ; or where their doomed and immature fruit lies 
unhonoured by memorial or epitaph. But his three children who 
attained the Crown were buried in their grandfather's chapel; 
Edward VI. without a royal monument; Mary and Elizabeth, made 
foes in life by a schism that rent the ties of kindred, and divided Europe 
into hostile camps, but in death mingled in a common sepulchre. Here, 
too, borne from that tragic spot where a tardy justice overtook her 
crimes, lies the siren schemer of that stirring age, Mary Stuart, in the 
reconciliation of the grave placed in honour among the chiefs of a 
nation whose high destinies she would have frustrated had her power 
equalled her will and ambition. James I. and Anne of Denmark are 
near; and here, too, for a brief space — until the frenzy of the Restora- 
tion did cruel and idle violence to the dead — were laid several of the 
great men of the Commonwealth, among whom Blake and Ireton were 
conspicuous, encircling the tomb of the mighty Protector. Charles II. 
rests unhonoured in the chapel ; his brother found a grave in his place 
of exile ; but Anne and Mary rejoined their ancestoi-s, and were laid 
there, by William III., strange to say, without a befitting monument. 
The first King of the House of Hanover sleeps far from the England he 
never loved ; George II., however, and Queen Caroline, with many of 
their progeny, claiming justly a burial-place among our native kings, fill 
a large space in the centre of the chapel. With theirs ends the line of 
the Royal tombs, George III. having shown a preference for Windsor, 
since followed by his immediate successoi-s. 'Ihe chapel, however, of 
Henry VII., like that in a certain degree of the Kings, covers other dust 
beside that of royalty. Passing by the near relations of the Tudors, of 
the houses of Richmond, Suflolk, and Lennox, we see there the graves 
of Stuart favourites ; of the great chiefs of the Restoration ; of statesmen 
of Anne and George I., among whom friendship has placed Addison, 
as if to show that even in that place, where man strives to prevent the 
ctjuality of death, the Monarchsof England are not separated by any im- 
passable line from their subjects, I'here, too, tossed by the storm of a re- 
volution that should leach a tremendous lesson to kings, rests one of the 
Princes uf thelluubc uf Orleans, a Royal exile in his last Enj^lish asylutu." 



n 



A Legend of Kilburn Prioiy, 

••A little lowly Hermitage it was, 

Downe in a dale, hard by a forest's side J 
Far from resort of people that did pass 

In traveiU to and fro ; a little wydc 

There was an holy chapelle edifyde, 
W/ierein the Hermite dewly wont to say 

His holy things, each niome and eventyde; 
Thereby a christall streame did gently play, 
Which from a sacred fountaine welled forth alway.** 

Sptnur, 

Kilburn, a hamlet of Hampstead, famed for its fine spring of mineral 
water, lies about two miles from London, north-westward, on the 
Edgware-road. It derived its origin from a hermit, named Godwyn, 
who, retiring hither in the reign of Henry I. for the purpose of seclusion, 
built a cell near a little rivulet, called Kilbourne, or Kilburn, on a site 
surrounded with wood. Whether Godwyn grew weary of his solitude, 
or from whatever cause, between the years 1138 and 11 34 he granted 
his hermitage, with the adjoining lands, to the conventual church of 
St. Peter, Westminster, " as an alms for the redemption of the whole 
convent of Brethren," under the same conditions and privileges which 
King Ethehed had granted Hamstede to the same church. 

Almost immediately after this grant the abbot, with the prior, and 
the whole convent of Westminster, at Godwyn's request, and with the 
consent of the Bishop of London, assigned the hermitage and its lands 
to three Virgins, by name Emma, Griselda, and Christina, who were 
maids of honour to Matilda, or Maude, the queen of Henry L Queen 
Maude was herself a Benedictine nun ; and it was, probably, to obtain 
her favour, that the cell of the anchorite was converted into a nunnery. 
It is recorded of this princess, that every day in Lent she went bare- 
footed and bare-legged, wearing a garment of hair, to pay her devotion* 
in Westminster Abbey ; and that she would, during that season, wash 
and kiss the feet of the poorest of her subjects. The hermit, Godwyn, 
was appointed master of the Nunnery, and guardian of the maidens, as 
long as he should live ; and after his death the nuns w^re to elect his 
successor. Abbot Herbert granted the nuns an estate held of the manor 
of Knightsbridge (which still belongs to Westminster), in the place 
called Gara, probably Kensington Gore. In return for vaiious gifts, 
the vestals were enjoined to pray for the repose of the soul of St. 
Edward the Confessor, and the souls of the abbots and brethren of the 
«liurdi at Westminster- In 1536 the Nunnery was surrendered to the 



14 A Legend of Kilburn Priory, 

Commissioners ; the inventory corrects some erroneous notions respect- 
ing the state of our English bedding in Henry the Eighth's reign: there 
was not such a difference between the chamber furniture of those days 
and our own time as is generally supposed. The site of the dissolved 
Priory was then assigned to the Prior of the Hospital of St. John of 
Jerusalem, in exchange for Paris Garden, in Suirey ; which proprietor- 
ship continued until the year 1773. The Abbey Farm at Klibum, 
and Priory site still belong to the March family, who were seated at 
Hendon in the reign of Edward IV. The conventual buildings have 
long been destroyed. Several relics, including pieces of pottery, a few 
coins, and a bronze vessel, all mediaeval, were found on the Priory site 
in 1852. 

There is a curious traditionary legend connected with Kilbum Priory, 
which states that at Saint John's-wood, not far distant, there was for- 
merly a stone of a dark-red colour, which was the stain of the blood of 
Sir Gervase de Mertoun, which flowed upon it a few centuries ago. 
Stephen de Mertoun, being enamoured of his brother's wife, fre- 
quently insulted her by the avowal of his passion, which she, at 
length, threatened to make known to Sir Gervase; to prevent which, 
Stephen resolved to waylay his brother, and slay him. This he effected 
by seizing him in a narrow lane, and stabbing him in the back, 
whereupon he fell upon a projecting rock, which became dyed with 
/lis blood. In his expiring moments Sir Gei^vase, recognising his 
brother, upbraided him with his cruelty, adding, " This stone shall be 
thy death-bed." 

Stephen returned to Kilbum, and his brothers lady still refusing to 
listen to his criminal proposals, he confined her in a dungeon, and strove 
to forget his many crimes by a dissolute enjoyment of his wealth and 
power. Oppressed, however, by his troubled conscience, he determined 
upon submitting to religious penance; and, ordering his brother's 
remains to be removed to Kiiburn, he gave directions for their re-inter- 
ment in a handsome mausoleum, erected with stone brought from the 
<iuarry where the murder was committed. The identical stone on 
which his murdered brother had expired formed a part of the tomb; 
and the eye of the murderer resting upon it, the legontl adds, blood <was 
seen to issue from it I Struck with horror, the murderer hastened to 
the Bishop of London, and, making confession of his guilt, demised 
his property to the Priory of Kiiburn. Having thus acted in atone- 
ment for his misdeeds, grief and remorse quickly consij^ned him to 
the grave* 



15 



The Tower, Fortress, Palace, and Prison, and iU 
Memories. 

It has long been customary to carry the antiquity of this celebrated 
fortress, by tradition, centuries earlier than our records, and ascribe its 
origin to Julius Caesar. Shakspeare has adopted this version, but in 
Richard III. only gives us Buckingham's assurance that it is founded 
• ' upon record ;" and Gray has embellished the idea of this antiquity : 

"Ye towers of Julius, London's lasting shame. 
With many a foul and midnight murder fed." 

May it not be what architects term a " J ulius Tower." 
The tradition that the site of the Tower was anciently a Roman strong- 
hold is, however, capable of explanation. We find a similar tradition in 
connexion with the keeps of Kenilworth and some others of Nonnar 
date ; but in connexion with the Tower of London there is no visible 
evidence of Roman construction. Near the basement, where some 
alterations have been made, there seems to be a mixture of Roman 
tiles and bricks ; and the same may be seen near the base of some of 
the other towers which defend the inner ward. These, however, may 
have been brought from the ruins of the Roman city, which stretched 
westward ; for we are not aware that any Roman remains exist which 
indicate that buildings of importance were here during the occupation 
of London by the Romans. 

The oldest portion of the fortress is the Keep, or Hlnte Toiver, so 
named from its having been originally ivhitewaibed, as appears from a 
Latin document of the year 1241. This Tower was built about 1078, 
for William the Conqueror, by Gundulf, bishop of Rochester, who 
also erected Rochester Castle ; and the two fortresses have points of 
resemblance. W^illiam Rufus greatly added to the Keep ;* Henry I . 
strengthened the fortress ; and Stephen, in 1 1 40, kept his court here, 
with all the rude splendour of the period. Fitzstephen describes it as 



• Gundulf reached the age of eighty-four, and lived till 1 108, that is, through 
the reigns of the Conqueror, and Rufus, and to the ninth of Henry I. Ralph 
Flambard, Bishop of Durham, the rapacious minister of Rufus, greatly assisted 
in completing the Tower, and, strangely enough, was the first person known 
to have been imprisoned there. He was sent to the Tower 15th August, iioo, 
and was lodged in the White Tower. Two shillings daily, then a large sura, 
was allowed for his subsistence. Making his keepers drunk, and obtaining a 
ry.e in a flagon, he let himself down from the window of the south gallery, 
February 4, iioi, taking his pastoral staff with him. The rope broke, and he 
was injured in falling, but he managed to escape to Normandy. He lived to 
Rcnvi^ his see, and was the architect of several remarkable buildinj;s. 



\t The Tower, Fortress, Palace, and Prison, 

"the Tower Palatine, very large and very strong, whose court and 
walls rise up from a deep foundation. The mortar is tempered <with 
the blood of beasts. On the west are two castles, well fenced." The 
mortar process we suspect to be less tenable than the Roman origin ; 
but vmters of history are loth to part with such attractive mettle. 

its greatest antiquity must be placed at eight centuries; and all that 
we shall attempt is a chronological record of the Tower in the several 
reigns. Thus, about 1190, the Regent Bishop Longchamp surrounded 
' the fortress with an embattled stone wall and " a broade and deepe 
ditch :" for breaking down part of the city wall he was deposed, and 
besieged in the Tower, but surrendered after one night. King John 
held his court here. Henry III. strengthened the White Tower, and 
founded the Lion Tower and other western bulwarks; and in this 
reign the palace-fortress was alternately held by the king and the insur- 
gent barons. Edward I. enlarged the moat, and on the west made the 
last additions of military importance prior to the invention of cannon. 
Edward II. retired here against his subjects; and here was bora his 
eldest daughter, Joan of the Tower. Edward III. imprisoned here 
many illustrious persons, including David king of Scotland, and John 
king of France with Philip his son. During the insurrection of Wat 
Tyler, King Richard II. took refuge here, with his court and nobles, 
six hundred persons : Richard was deposed whilst imprisoned here, in 
1399. Edward IV. kept a magnificent court here. In 1460 Lord 
Scales was besieged here by the Yorkists, and was taken and slain in 
endeavouring to escape by water. Henry VI., twice imprisoned in the 
fortress, was murdered by Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who crossed 
the Thames for that purpose in a small boat, at two in the afternoon of 
Tuesday, the 2 ist of May, 147 1 ; the weapon was a knife, and the wound 
was in the ribs. The beheading of Lord Hastings, in 1483, by order of 
the Protector Gloucester; the seizure of the crown by Richard; and the 
murder of his nephews, Edward V. and the Duke of York, — are the 
next events in the annals of the fortress. Henry VII. frecjuently resided 
In the Tower, where also his queen sought refuge from " the society of 
ber sullen and cold-hearted husband:" the king held a splendid touma- 
tnent herein 1501 , his queen died here in 1503. Henry VIII. often held 
his court in this fortress: here, in great pomp, Henry received all his 
wives previous to their espousals ; here were beheaded his queens Anne 
bolcyn and Catherine Howard. About this time (154S), an old clirU' 
nicle tells us that a great fne was caused in the Tower by a Frenchman 
•fitting on fire a barrel of gunpowder, *' and so was burned himself, and 
so more pcTsons." 



and its Memories. 1 7 

Edward VI. kept his court in the Tower prior to his coronation : 
here his uncle, the Protector Somerset, was twice imprisoned before his 
decapitation on Tower Hill, in 1552. Lady Jane Grey entered the 
fortress as queen of England, but in three wef ks became here a captive 
with her youthful husband : both were here beheaded. Queen Mar)*, 
at her court in the Tower, first showed her Romish resolves; 
her sister, the Princess Elizabeth, was imprisoned here on suspicion 
of favouring Sir Thomas Wyat's design ; she was compelled to enter 
at the Traitors' Gate. Queen Elizabeth did not keep her court in 
the Tower, but at no period was the state prison more '* constantly 
thronged with delinquents." James I. resided here, and delighted in 
combats of the wild beasts kept here. In Charles I.'s reign many 
leading partisans were imprisoned here ; and under the Government of 
Oliver Cromwell, and in the reigns of Charles II. and James II., the 
Tower was filled with prisoners, the victims of state policy, intrigue, 
tyranny, or crime. Almost from the Conquest, our sovereigns, at 
their coronations, went in great state and procession from the Tower, 
through the city, to Westminster ; the last obser\'ance being at the 
coronation of Charles II. All the domestic apartments of the ancient 
palace within the Tower were taken down during the reigns of 
James II. and William and Mary. In 1792 the garrison was increased. 
Several hundred men were employed in repairing the fortifications, 
opening the embrasures, and mounting cannon ; and on the western 
side of the fortress a strong barrier was formed with old casks filled 
with earth and rubble ; the gates were closed at an early hour, and no 
one but the military allowed to go on the ramparts. 

The Tower Palace occupied the south-eastern portion of the inner 
ward, as shown in a plan of the fortress in the reign of Elizabeth, 
within a century from which period much of its ancient character 
was obliterated. 

The IFi/ite Toiuer is a rare example of Norman architecture, hut 
externally it has been much disfigured by casing and restorations in 
the architectural style of the reign of James I. The interior has been 
little interfered with. The council-chamber and chapel are at a con- 
siderable height above the ground of Tower-green, and are reached 
by two circular staircases of curious construction; one of these is on 
the north and the other on the west side of the White Tower : these 
are formed in the thickness of the masonry. Here and there are 
loopholes, in which may be seen the great strength of the main 
walls of the Keep. The council-chamber is a large apartment, now 
Ptripped of its tapestry hangings and other fittings, it was in this 



1 8 TJic T tver, Fortress, Palace, and Prison, 

chamber that the Duke of Gloucester rose from the council-table and 
admitted a body of armed men, who, by the Duke's orders, arrested 
Lord Hastings and other partisans of his nephew. Lord Hastings was 
immediately taken down the stairs and beheaded on some beams of 
timber which had been brought into the Tower-green for the purpose 
of making some repairs in the adjoining buildings; others were com- 
mitted to close prisons, where they endured much suffering. 

From some of the deeply-recessed windows of the White Tower we 
have glimpses of the little Chapel of St. Peter, in which two headless 
Queens and a large number of persons of note who have sufferevi 
execution, lie buried. Beyond the outer walls and across the moat, 
northward, is the site of the scaffold which was often raised on 
Tower-hill. The last who were beheaded here were Lords Balmerino, 
Kilmarnock, and Lovat, for their share in the northern rebellion, in 
1745. Looking westward, within the walls of the fortress may still 
be seen at a short distance from the Chapel of St. Peter, the square 
space on which the scaffold was placed whereon were put to death 
two Queens of Henry VIII., Lady Jane Grey, and others. 

The Jrms and Armour in this tower have been re-arranged by Mr. 
Planchc, Somerset Herald, chronologically, in the several compartments 
appropriated to the successive periods of English history. The 
wall above the arches is painted with the livery colours of the royal 
families of England, from the Plantagenets to the Stuarts, and 
bearing the names and dates of the sovereigns, in gold, from Henry IL 
to James II. 

In the Bloody Tower, in a dark windowless room, in which one 
of the portcullises was worked, George Duke of Clarence is said to 
have been drowned in malmsey ; in the adjoining chamber, the two 
Princes are said to have been " smothered ;" whence the name of Bloody 
Tower. Thi? has been much disputed ; but in a tract temp. James I. 
we read that the above " turret our elders termed the Bloody Tower; 
for the bloodshed, as they say, of those infant princes of Edward IV., 
whom Richard III., of cursed memory (I shudder to mention it), 
savagely killed, two together at one time." In the latter chamber was 
imprisoned Colonel Hutchinson, whose wife, daughter of Sir Allen 
Apsley, lieutenant of the tower, where she was bovn, relates the above 
traditions. This portion was formerly called the Garden Tower ; it was 
built temp. Edward III., and is the only ancient place of security, as a 
state prison, in the Tower : it is entered through a small concealed door 
in the inner ballium ; it consists of a day-room and a bedroom, and 
the If^''" on which the prisoner was sonietiincs allowed to breathe the iur. 



and its Memories. 10 

By this concealed door tradition says, the murderers of tlie two Princes 
brought out the dead bodies of their royal victims. It will be re- 
collected that, in the commonly-received history of this transaction, in 
the reign of Charles II., at the bottom of the staircase on the west side 
of the White Tower, was found a wooden box, in which were a 
quantity of bones, supposed to have been those of the youthful Princes; 
by direction of King Charles, they were inclosed and buried in the north 
aisle of the chapel of Hcniy VII. in Westminster Abbey. Bailey, the 
Historian of the Tower, however, believed the murder to have been com- 
mitted in the White Tower, from the bones having been found there, 
near a door on the south side. Still, Sir Thomas More, who wrote a 
century and a half before these bones were found, says the bodies had 
been removed by a priest from the spot where they were tirst laid by 
Tyrrel, on the night of the murder, to a less dishonourable grave. This 
priest had removed them at the king's request ; and as priest and 
king died suddenly, the secret of tlieir new resting-place would account 
for Henry the Seventh being unable to find them, when it was of 
supreme importance for him to show that the Princes were dead. The 
discovery of bones (every way answering to those of Edward and 
Richard) under the old staircase leading into the Chapel of St. John 
the Evangelist, in the White Tower, agrees exactly with the narrative 
in More. Richard might well object to the burial of his nephews in a 
place so public as the gateway under the Bloody Tower. The stair- 
case of St. John's Chapel would offer him a spot which he might con- 
sider as at once secret and sacred. 

Some further light was thrown upon this question in 1868. Adjoining 
the Bloody Tower is the H'aktfield Toiver. An opinion had long tjeen 
entertained that a staircase existed in the wall between these two towers, 
but investigation had hitherto failed in detecting it. Between or in the 
thickness of the walls connecting the Bloody Tower with the Wake- 
field, was discovered a iiinall passage which leads past the chamber con- 
taining the windlass for raising the portcullis, and ascends in a spiral 
course to the top of the ballium-wall; thence it leads into a passage 
which connected the Bloody Tower with the Lieutenant's lodgings, and 
communicated immediately with the room in which the princes are tradi- 
tionally said to have been murdered. At the bottom of the staircase 
the stones of which were sharp and clean, was a small cell, with a 
chimney-flue, which (both cell and flue) were crammed with bones and 
earth. The bones were at first said to be human, as might be expected ; 
but upon careful examination, they were found to be entirely the bones 
of animals, principally deer and oxen. It has been conjectured that the 

c a 



i 



20 The Tower, Fortress, Palace, and Prison, 

staircisc may have been closed immediately after the murder ; that the 
bodies were concealed in the flue, so closely adjoining, in order to 
escape the notice that their removal and burial elsewhere would occa- 
sion ; and that both flue and stairs may have been at once closed up by 
Richard's own orders. The work is carefully executed, the openings 
oeing closed with stone, built up so as exactly to match the walls, and 
thus escape obsen'ation. At all events, it is very singular that a con- 
venient staircase already made should be closed, thereby necessitating 
the fomiation of another, on the further side of the tower, to reach the 
chambers above. Here is fresh subject for surmise, especially as to the 
animal bones. In front of the foot of the stairs is an arched opening, 
which has all the appearance of a doorway ; but there is nothing left to 
show how it communicated with any other building, as it is at a con- 
siderable height from the ground. The chamber in the basement of the 
Bloody Tower, entered by a small door immediately behind the gate on 
the east side, was evidently intended for the use of the guard. 

" In a chamber of the Bloody Tower," says Mr. Dixon, " occurred that 
strange scene when Sir Thomas Wyat, on his way to Tower Hill for execu- 
tion, was carried into Courtney's room, by Mary's command, in the hope 
that, on a chance of his own life being spared, he would implicate Eli7,a- 
beth and Courtney in the Kentish plot. The room was full of men ; 
many lords of the council, the lord mayor and sheriffs, gentlemen of the 
guard, officers of the tower, — all eager for the words on which Eliza- 
beth's life as well as Courtney's life then hung. But the undaunted 
poet— a man worthy to die for such a woman — would not win his 
pardon by a lie. Lord Chandos, his bitter enemy, says he implored 
Lord Courtney to confess the trutli ; the sheriffs of London declared 
that he asked Courtney to forgive him for having spoken of him and the 
Lady Elizabeth in connexion with his plot. A few minutes later, with 
the axe gleaming close besitle him, he told the people on Tower Hill 
•hat he had never accused either Elizabeth or Courtney ; that he could 
■tfot truly do it, as neither had known of his rising until the commotion 
/tad begun. In another moment his head was in the dust." 

The Bloody Tower gateway, built in the time of Edward III. opposite 
Traitor's Gate is the main entrance to the inner ward : it has massive 
gates and porfcullis complete, at the southern end ; the gates are genuine, 
and the portcullis is said to be the only one remaining in England fit for 
use. The late Duke of Wellington described this tower as the best, if 
not the only good place of security at the disposition of the oflicers of 
the Tower, in which state prisoners can be placed. 

Traitors' Gate was a small postern, with a drawbridge, fronting th« 



-Ts>- 



and lis Memories. 2 1 

Thames, as Stow tells us, " seldom let down but for the receipt of some ^^ 
great persons, prisoners." "Perhaps," says Mr. Ferrey, the architect, k \ 
" no part of this fortified enclosure has suffered more from improper use 
than the Traitors' Gate. Few people can be aw are of the solemn , 
grandeur which this water-gate must have presented in bygone times, 
wlien its architectural features were unmutilated. Gateways and barbi- 
cans to castles are usually bold and striking in their design; but a^/ 
water-gate of this kind, in its perfect state, must have been quite unique*' 
The structure consists in plan of an oblong block, each comer having 
an attached round turret of large dimensions. The south archway, 
which formed the water approach from the Thames, guarded by a 
portcullis, is now effectually closed by a wharf occupying the entire 
length of the tower. The water originally flowed through the base of 
the gate-house, and extended, probably, beyond the north side of it, to 
the traitors' steps, as they were called. Here the superincumbent mass 
of the gateway is supported by an archway, spanning the entire width L 
of the front, from turret to turret, a distance of more than sixty feet. |l\/ 
Such an arch, I think, is not to be found in any olTier gateway, and is a |l 
piece of masterly construction, A stajrcase in the north-west turret 
conducts to the galleries, or wall-passages, formed on a level with the 
top of the archway. These passages are lighted by loopholes through 
the outer walls ; and have a breastwork on the inner faces, pierced and 
crenellated, so that each side of the gateway could be guarded by 
soldiers, commanding the space below as well as on the outside. The 
four angular tuirets are approached by the wall passages ; each turret 
has two tiei-s of chambers. They are beautifully groined, having elegant 
vaulting shafts, with capitals and bases. A lancet window on each 
side (for the rooms are octangular within), lights the apartment. No 
stranger on looking at the Traitors' Gate as it is now encumbered, 
could possibly form an idea of its ancient dignity. The whole of the 
upper part is crammed with offices, and disfigured in every possible 
manner; and the gloom of the Traitors' Gate is now broken up by the 
blatant noise of steam machinery for hoisting and packing war-weapons." 
As this is one of the most ancient prisons in England, so it is the 
most honourable (says Hatton, 1708), few criminals having the favour 
of being here imprisoned but the nobility, or Members of the House of 
Commons, who are for high misdemeanour kept in safe custody, by 
order of their own house, and the governor or lieutenant have their fees, 
viz., for a duke, 200/., an inferior peer, 100/., and a commoner, 50/. 
The gentleman-porter hath for his fee such prisoners' upper garment, 
or compounds for it, which is commonly 30/. for a peer, and 5/. each 



il^^^ssttf^fe^^-^^-s^' 



22 



The Tozver, Fortress, Palace, and Prison. 



^ 



\y 



>^ 



for others. The yeomen-warders attend prisoners vvliose crimes or 
misdemeanours are something against the Queen (or government) who 
allow the prisoners, viz. to a duke, 4/., other lords, 2/. 4s. r^d., and to 
knights and gentlemen, 13J. 4^. per week while they are under con- 
finement. Notwithstanding the numerous landmarks of our history, 
which have been swept away within the Tower walls, here and there 
ancient features remain to keep in memory the many innocent victims 
murdered here in times of despotism and tyranny, and which " pass like 
dark phantoms before the wind." 

" On through that gate, through which before 
Went Sidney, Russell, Raleigh, Cranracr, More." 

Rogers's Human Life. 

The prisoners were conveyed to Westminster for trial, and througli 
the gate they were brought back accompanied by the headsman and the 
axe. " It would seem," says Mr. Ferrey, " that the enormous size of 
the north archway must have been for the admission of several barges 
or vessels to pass within the present boundary of the gateway-walls 
when the outer portcullis was closed, and that the Thames once pene- 
trated further to the north." 

Mr. Dixon reminds us that — "When it was found necessary, from any 
cause, to carry a prisoner through the streets, the sheriffs received him 
from the king's lieutenants at the entrance to the City, gave a receipt 
for him, and took another on delivering him up at the gates of the 
tower. The receipt of the governor for the body of the Duke of Mon- 
mouth — his living body — is still extant." 

The B^/ZToiu/^r, containing the alarm-bell of thegarrison, is next in order. 
The Rev. Thomas Hugo, F.S.A., thus picturesquely introduces two of 
ttic illustrious tenants of this historical prison house — this gloomy dun- 
geon, and the scarcely less gloomy chamber immediately above it. Of 
course, the identification of particular prisoners with particular spots 
is legendary, and we can rarely adduce precise historical proof of 
the correctness of such views. Assuming as a fact what tradition 
asserts, — these walls once looked • upon two faces, atnong, doubtless, 
many others, whose owners possess considerable attractions for the 
minds of Englishmen. The first of these two was the venerable Fisher, 
Bishop of Rochester, who fell under the headsman's axe for denying the 
spiritual supremacy of Henry VIII. 

' The Bishop of Roclicstcr was one of the foremost men of his age, and 
was for many years confessor to the king's grandmother, the Countess 
of Richmond ; and it is supposed that her munificence towards our two 
univcrsitica — by founding St. John's and Christ's Colleges at Cambridge^ 



and its Memories. 23 

arhl the professorships of divinity in botli Oxford and Cambridge — was 
mainly owin;^ to his pious advice and direction. He sided, as was 
Hkely, against the King in the matter of Qjjeen Katharine, whose cause 
he warmly advocated, and, as also was likely, drew down upon himself 
the displeasure of his unscrupulous sovereign. At length, when called 
before the Lambeth council, and commanded to acknowledge the King's 
supremacy, he resolutely refused to do so, and was forthwith committed 
to the Tower. 

" He had now reached his eightieth year, and the cold damp dungeon 
into which he was thrust was not calculated to prolong his days. Per- 
haps his enemies desired that death should naturally remove him, and 
remove from them also the odium which could not fail to attach to all 
who should be instrumental in his more direct and manifest destruction. 
His constitution, however, was proof against his position, and for many 
months he bore his privations as became a good soldier in a cause on 
which his heart and soul were set. Out of his painful dungeon he 
wrote to Mr. Secretary Cromwell in these words : — ' Furthermore, I . 
beseech you, to be good master to me in my necessity, for I have neither 
suit nor yet other clothes that are necessary for me to wear but that be 
ragged and rent shamefully. My diet also, God knoweth how slender 
it is at many times ; and now in mine age my stomack may not 
away with but a few kinds of meat, which, if 1 want, I decay forth- 
with, and fall into coughs and diseases of my body, and cannot keep 
myself in health. And as our Lord knoweth, I have nothing left unto 
me to provide any better, but as my brother of his own purse layeth 
out for me to his great hindrance. Therefore, good Master Secretary, 
I beseech you to have some pity upon me, and let me have such things as 
are necessary for me in mine age, and especially for my health. * * * * 
Then shall you bind me for ever to be your poor beadsman unto 
Almighty God, who ever have you in his protection and custody.* 

" I'his was written in the depth of a bitter winter, for the aged writer 
concludes: — 'This, I beseech you, to grant me of your charity. And 
thus our Lord send you a merry Christmas, and a comfortable, to your 
heart's desire. — At the Tower, the 22 day of December.' " < 

Condemned by his peers, and brought back to the Water-gate, he 
turned round and dismissed his escort, as though they had been a guard 
of honour, and he were only coming in from a feast, saying, that as he 
had nothing else left he should give them his hearty thanks. 

This Bell Tower, one of the safest dungeons in the stronghold, was 
considered as next in rank to the Bloody Tower. Elizabeth is said to 
have been first of all lodged in its stiong room, until the muimurs of all 



24 The Tozvcr, Fortress, Palace, and Prison, 

London md the threats of Lord Howard and the fleet persuaded Ixlasy 
to treat her with some show of justice. It was the prison, as we see, of 
Courtney and Lady Lennox, both of the royal race, of the blood of 
Edward IV. 

" The scene again changes, and this time a very different prisoner enters 
the portals of the Bell tower. It is now the fair and blooming face of 
a young and noble lady, afterwards the Queen of this great country, 
then known by the name of the Princess Elizabeth. Her sister, ever 
sullen and suspicious, had removed her, to the danger of her life, 
fi'om her home at Ashridge, in Hertfordshire, and after necessary delay 
at Redborne, St. Alban's, South Mimms, and Highgate, she at length, 
some days after the beginning of her journey, arrived at Whitehall. 
Within a fortnight she was lodged in her prison in the Tower. Doubt- 
less you know the story ; but her entrance into the fortress deserves a 
moment's mention. The barge was directed to enter by Traitors' 
Gate, much to the annoyance of the fair prisoner. It rained hard (an 
old chronicler says), and a certain unnamed lord offered her his 
cloak; but she put her hand back with a good dash, and then, as 
she set her foot on the dreaded stairs, she cried out aloud, ' Here 
landeth as good a subject, being a prisoner, as ever landed at these 
stairs ; and before Thee, O God, I speak it, having none other friend but 
Thee.' A few minutes afterwards found her a fast prisoner, and as tradi- 
tion tells us, in the very tuiret to which we have drawn attention." 

Walter Raleigh was thrice imprisoned in the Tower. Beauchamp 
Tower and the White Tower were his prison-houses; but his twelve 
long years of imprisonment were passed in the Bloody Tower. " It 
was hither that Prince Henry came to spend his hours with the great 
prisoner ; and where he one day said to his attendants, as he rode away, 
that no king save his father would keep such a bird in such a cage. It 
was to these narrow chambers that Lady Raleigh, the bright Bessie 
Throgmorton of his youth, leaving all the splendours of Sherborne 
Castle, came to reside with her hero. Here her son Carew was born."* 
Here Raleigh devoted much time to chemistry and pharmaceutical pre- 
parations. " He has converted," says Sir William Wade, Lieutenant 
of the Tower, " a little hen-house in the garden into a still-house, and 
h^rc he doth spend his time all the day in distillations ; .... he doth 
show himself upon the wall in his garden to the view of the people:" 
here Raleigh prepared his " Rare Cordiai,"t wrote his political discourses^ 



• Dixon, 
t Raleigh's " Rare Cordial," with otlu-r ingredients introduced by Sir KeneliQ 
Digby and bir A. l-'nuer, is the Cun/tctio atvmatica of the present clay. 



and its Memories. 25 

and commenced his famous " History of the World." He was at 
length liberated, but again committed to the Tower, about two months 
before his execution at Westminster. 

Raleigh's shifting imprisonments must have been very irksome. Thus, 
in 1603, in the course of a few months, Raleigh was first confined in his 
own house, then conveyed to the Tower, next sent to Winchester gaol, 
returned from thence to the Tower, imprisoned for between two and 
three months in the Fleet, and again removed to the Tower, where he 
remained until released thirteen years afterwards, to undertake his new 
expedition to Guiana. Mr. Payne Collier possesses a copy of that 
rare tract, "A Good Speed to Virginia," 4to, 1609, with the auto- 
graph on the title-page, " W. Ralegh, Turr. Lond. ;" showing that at 
the time this tract was published and read by Raleigh, he recorded him- 
self a prisoner in the Tower of London.* 

Raleigh's constant study was in the pages of that Divine Book, by 
which, as he told the clergyman who rebuked him for his seeming light- 
ness, on the eve of his beheadal, he had prepared himself to look fear 
lessly on death. His last hours were each an episode, and his acts and 
words have been carefully recorded. On the morning of his execution, 
his keeper brought a cup of sack to him, and inquired how he was 
pleased with it? "As well as he who drank of St. Giles's bowl as he 
rode to Tybume," answered the knight, " and said, ' it was a good drink, 
if a man might but tarry by it.' " " Prithee, never fear, Beeston," cried 
he to his old friend Sir Hugh, who was repulsed from the scaflbld by the 
sheriff, " I shall have a place !" A bald man, from extreme age, pressed 
forward "to see him," he said, "and pray God for him." Raleigh 
took a richly-embroidered cap from his own head, and placing it on that 
of the old man, said, " Take this, good friend, to remember me, 
for you have more need of it than 1." " Farewell, my lords," was 
his cheerful parting to a courtly group, who affectionately took tlieir 
sad leave of him, " I have a long journey before me, and I must e'en 
say good-bye." " Now, I am going to God," said that heroic spirit, as 
he trod the scaffold ; and, gently touchmg the axe, added, " This 
is a sharp medicine, but it will cure all diseases." The very heads- 
man slirank from beheading one so illustrious and brave, until the un- 



• Sir Richard Baker, in his "Chronicle," oddly says of Raleigh's first im- 
prisonment for treason, that " he was kept in the Tower, where, to his great 
noiiour, he spent his time in writing, and had been a happy man if he had never 
been released. But such is our state, that no man's fortune is understood 
whether it be good or bad, until it be discovered by the event." Baker 
had sad experiences of loss of liberty, many of which are shown in bis 
••Chronicle. " 



26 TJie Toivcr, Fortress, Palace, and Prison, 

quailing soldier addressed him, " What, dost thou fear? Strike, man !* 
In another moment, the mighty soul had fled from its mangled tenement. 

Sir Walter Raleigh perished in the sixty-sixth year of his age — a mourn- 
ful monument of the proverbial mutability of fortune, and a testimony 
that the most brilliant capacities, unless accompanied by moral recti- 
tude, are insufficient and unstable. However much we may be inchned 
to dissent from that sweeping sentence of Dr. Lingard, that, in this 
catastrophe, " the provocation was great, and the punishment not under- 
stood," we can, nevertheless, coincide with that eminent historian in 
looking with admiration upon the magnanimous self-possession of 
Raleigh. We can peruse vi^ith joy that splendid panegyric uttered by 
ihe Bishop of Salisbury, who attended Sir Walter on the scaffold, and 
who declared that " his was the most fearless of deaths that ever was 
known, and the most resolute and confident, yet with reverence and 
conscience ! " We can rejoice that the contemporary population were 
sufficiently dispassionate to regard that execution, according to Hume, 
as a deed of " cruelty and injustice, meanness and indiscretion !" We 
can rejoice to hear Macaulay asserting that that decollation, " under all 
the circumstances, must be considered as a dastardly murder !" We 
can almost rejoice at that dramatic incident at Whitehall, where, several 
years after this imperial assassination, James was startled by the intro- 
duction of Raleigh's only surviving son, Carew, at court, and turned 
from him with loathing, muttering that he resembled his father's ghost ! 
An anecdote which proves, as Miss Aikin keenly remarks, ' how loudly 
the conscience of the King upbraided him with the sacrifice of Sir 
Walter.' We can rejoice in these considerations, painful and lament- 
able as they are, because, in the indignation which they aroused against 
the murderer of Raleigh, we recognise the safeguard of the future 
illustrious. Because Sovereigns must tremble in their palaces, and 
Ambassadors swallow vengeance in their cabinets, before another sub- 
ject, however exalted or however base, shall suffer wrongfully for their 
satisfaction ; before another Raleigh can perish by an ignominious 
punishment, deriving an additional glory to Ins memoiy out of the very 
abjectness and degradation of his antagonists.* 

The Beauchamp Toiver has a most minute individual history written 
upon its sides. It has been fancifully said that " walls have cars." The 
walls of the prison-lodgings in the Tower, however, bear more direct 
testimony of their former occupants; for here the thoughts, sorrows, 
and sufi'crings of many a noble soul, crushed spirit, are literally cut 



VolmaHS Alagatittt, 



and its Memories. 2/ 

in stone. The Beauchamp Tower has many i-ecords presen-ed of 
noteworthy persons conlined upon its walls; but it is to be regretted 
that several of these records have been removed from the rooms where 
they were incised, so that the interest of the locality is marred. This 
towei- originally derived its name from Thomas de Beauchamp, Earl 
of Warwick, who was imprisoned here in 1397. It consists of three 
apartments, one above the other, besides a few small passages and cells; 
and in the ground-floor chamber have been discovered in the stonework 
secret passages for listening spies. This room is partly below the 
ground, and must have been a dismal place of imprisonment. A cir- 
cular staircase leads to the other apartments, in which have been con- 
fined so many eminent persons. Many of these have here endeavoured 
to shorten the tedious hours by records on the stone walls, of their 
names and sentiments ; and hard must be the heart which could look 
unmoved at many of the memorials : they have been cleansed by an in- 
genious chemical process from dirt and paint. During this operation 
many new names have been brought to light which have been for long 
hidden fiom plaster, &:c. Amongst these is a sculptured rebus — a bell 
inscribed TA. and Thomas above, the memorial of Dr. Abel, chaplain 
to Queen Catherine of Arragon. Thomas Abel was a man of learning,' 
a great master of instrumental music, and well skilled in modem lan- 
guages. He was introduced at Court, and he became domestic chaplain 
to Queen Catherine of Arragon, wife of Henry VIII. When the 
validity of their marriage became a question, the affection which Dr. 
Abel bore towards his mistress, led him into the controversy to which 
It gave rise, and he opposed the divorce both by words and writings. 
By giving in to the delusion of the " Holy Maid of Kent" he incurred 
a misprision, and was afterwards condemned and executrd in Smithfield, 
together with others, for denying the K'ng's supremacy, and affirming 
his marriage with Queen Catherine to be valid. Couplets, maxima, 
allegories, and spiritual truths are soinetimes added. 

Another sculptuiv, a kneeling figure, portrays Robert Bainbridge, 
who was imprisoned for writing a letter offensive to Queen Elizabeth. 
"Thomas Talbot, I462," is the oldest inscription which has been found 
in the prison: Talbot was here in 1464; he had kept Henry VI pri- 
soner at W^addington Hall, in Lancashire. 

In the State Prison room is lANE. lANE, cut in letters of Eliza- 
bethan character, which attract more attention from visitors than 
memorials of more elaborate design and execution. These letters 
are supposed to have been cut by Lord Guildford Dudley, as a 
solace, when he was confined in a separate prison from his unhappy 



28 The Tozi'cr, Fortress, Palace, and Prison, 

wife. This is the only memorial preserved of Lady Jane Grey in the 
Tower. 

One of the most elaborate devices is that of John Dvdle, Earl of 
"Warwick, tried and condemned in 1553 for endeavouring to deprive 
Mai-y of the crown ; but being reprieved, he died in his prison-room, 
where he had wrought upon the wall his family's cognizance, the lion, 
and bear and ragged staff, underneath which is his name ; the whole 
surrounded by oak-sprigs, roses, geraniums, honeysuckles, emblematic 
of the Chi'istian names of his four brothers, as appeal's from this un- 
finished inscription: — 

" Yow that these beasts do wel behold and se, 
May deme with ease wherefore here made they be 
Withe borders eke wherein (there may be found) 
4 brothers' names, who list to serche the grovnd." 

The names of the four brothers were Ambrose, Robert, Guildford, and 
Henry: thus, A, acorn; R, rose; G, geranium; H, honeysuckle: others 
think the rose indicates Ambrose, and the oak Robert (robur). In 
another part is carved an oak-tree bearing acorns, signed R.D. ; the 
work of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. 

The following apophthegms are curious : " I hs 1571, die 10 Aprilis, 
Wise men ought circumspectly to see what they do, to examine before 
they speake, to prove before thsy take in hand, to beware whose com- 
pany they use, and above all things, to whom they truste. Charles 
Bailly." Another of Bailly's apophthegms is : " The most vnhapy man 
in the world is he that is not pacient in adversities ; for men are not killed 
with the adversities they have, but with yc impacience which they svfl'cr." 

Here are several devices of the Pevcrils, on a crucifix bearing a 
heart, wheatshcaves, a portrait, initials, &c. A reference to Sir Walter 
Scott's novels of the Fortunes of Nigel and Peverll of the Peak, 
shows that their distinguished author had ntade himself acquainted with 
the various portions of the Tower. The lower right-hand inscription 
is one of several bearing the name of Peveril. The whcatsheaves are 
the armorial bearings of the Peverils of Derbyshire. Scott doubtless 
found these stones very suggestive. The room, above the entrance of 
the HIcody Tower, in which the young Princes are said to have been 
murdered by Richard IIL, agrees with the accoiuit of the place 
of meeting between George Heriot, his god- daughter, and Nigel. 
There is here a secret closet near the roof, of no arming use, except to 
conceal an observer from the prisoners, which may have aflbrdcd i\m 
idea of the " lug" in which James 1. ensconced himself 

Tbcac inscriptiuuB tell their own sad stmicii :— 



and its Memories. 29 

*' O . Lord . whic . art . of . heavn . King . Graunt . gras . and . lytc . 

everiaatig . to . Miagh . thy . servant . in . prison . alon . with « » * • 

Tomas Miagh." Again: — 

"Thomas Miagh, whiche lieth here alon, 
That fayne wovld from hens be gon, 
By tortyre straunge mi troth was 
tryed, yet of my libertie denied. 15S1, Thomas Myagh.'' 

He was a prisoner for treason, tortured with Skevington's irons and the 

rack.* 

" Thomas Willyngar, goldsmithe. My hart is yours tel dethe." By 

the side is a figure of a bleeding " hart," and another of " dethe ;" and 

"T. W." and "P. A." 

"Thomas Rose, 
Within this Tower strong 
Kept close 
By those to whom he did no wrong. May 8th, 1666." 

"J. C. 1538." " Leame to feare God." " Reprens . le . sage et . 
il . te . armera. — Take wisdom, and he shall arm you." 

The memorial of Thomas Salmon, 1623, now let into the wall of the 
middle room, was formerly in the upper prison-lodging : it records a 
long captivity, and consists of a shield suiTOunded by a circle ; above 
the circle the name " T. Salmon;" a crest formed of three salmons, and 
the date 1622 ; underneath the circle the motto Nee temere, nee timore 
•—" Neither rashly, nor with fear." Also a star containing the abbrevia- 



• Torture was never allowed by the laws of England, but it was inflicted in 
England from the reign of Henry VI. to the reign of Charles I., both inclusive, 
by virtue of what was then considered the royal prerogative, which at that period 
was also considered to be above the law. No earlier torture warrants have been 
discovered than the reign of Henry VHI. Mr. Jardine, the Recorder of Bath, 
has shown fifty instances of the infliction of torture. In 5Jcotland, torture was 
allowed by law until its abolition at the Union in the reign of Queen Anne ; and 
the last torture warrant, stated to be signed with the sign manual of King 
William III., is dated at Kensington Palace, and is for the torturing of Norvill 
Pain. With the form of that terrible instrument of torture — the Rack — we are 
familiar from the plates to the early editions of Foxe's " Book of Martyrs." 

Dr. Lingard, in his account of the different kinds of torture used in the Tower 
in the times of the Tudors, says: — "A fourth kind of torture was a cell called 
' Little Ease. ' It was of so small dimensions and so constructed that the prisoner 
could neither stand, sit, nor lie in it at full length. He was compelled to draw 
himself up in a squatting posture, and so remained during several days.' Randie 
Holme tells us there was a similar place ac Chester, where it was used for the 
punishment of petty offences. In the House of Correction is a place cut into a 
rock, with a grate-door before it ; into this place are put renegadoes, appren- 
tices, &c., that disobey their parents and masters, robbers of orchards, and such 
like rebellious youths ; in which they can neither stand, sit, kneel, nor lie down, 
tut be all in a ruck, or knit together, so and in such a lamentable condition, 
that half an hour will tame the stoutest and stubbomest stomach, and will make 
him have a desire to be freed from the place.' " 



^O The Tower, Fortress, Palace, and Prison, 

tioii of Christ in Greek, sun-ounded by the sentence, Sic vive vt vivas — 
" So live that thou mayst live." In the opposite comer arc the words, 
Et morire tie morieris — " And die that thou mayst die not." Surround- 
ing a representation of Death's head, above the device, is the enumera- 
tion of Salmon's confinement : " Close prisoner 8 moneths, 32 wekes — 
224 dayes, 5376 houres." 

On the ground-floor is " Robait Dudley." He was the third son of 
John Dudley Duke of Northumberland, who was beheaded on Tower 
Hill in 1553, for high treason. At his death his sons were still left in 
confinement ; Robert was, in 1554, airaigned in Guildhall for high 
treason, and condemned to be hanged, drawn, and quartered. He lay 
under this sentence till the following year, when he and his brothers were 
liberated by command of Queen Mary, and afterwards rose in high 
favour at Court. On the ground-floor, also, is this significant couplet: 

" The man whom this house cannot mend, 
Hath evil becom, and worse will end." 

Sir "Walter Raleigh's prison was the two upper chambers. 

One of the most striking personages amongst the foreign prisoners was 
Charles of Orleans, the brave soldier and poet-prince, who was captured 
at Agincourt, and remained prisoner in the Tower five-and-twenty 
years. Mr. Dixon, availing himself of a copy of the Prince's French 
Poems, nobly illuminated, in the MS. department of the British Museum, 
tates that one of the di-awings in this MS. is of peculiar interest: in the 
first place, as being the oldest -viriv of the Toiver extant ; in the second 
place, as fixing the exact chamber in the \\ hite Tower in which the 
poet was confined, and displaying dramatically the life which he led. 
Virst, we see the Prince at his desk, composing his poems, with his gen- 
tlemen in attendance, and his guards on duty. Next, we observe him 
on a window-sill, looking outwards into space. Then we have him at 
the foot of the White Tower, embracing the messenger who brings him 
the ransom. Again, we see him mounting his horse. Then we have 
him and his friendly messenger riding away from the Tower. Lastly, 
he is seated in a barge, which lusty rowers are pulling down the stream 
for the boat which is to carry hin\ to France. 
'^"^ It is coiimonly stated that the Beaucbamp Tow<rr was formeriy the 
place of confinement for state prisoners, and that Sir William Wallace 
and Queen Anne Holeynwcre amongst its inmates. Mr. Sidney Gibson, 
however, maintains there to be " no historical authority for saying that 
the Scottish hero was ever confined in tiie Tower of London ; and it 
seems certain that the unfortunate Queen was a prisoner in the royal 
apartments, which were in a different part of the iorUesa." Mr 



and its Memories. %\ 

Gibson proceeds to show that when Wallace was taken, and conducted 
to London, he was lodged in the house of a citizen in Fenchurch- 
street, and next brought on horseback to Westminster, and in tlie Great 
Hall was impeached ; and Plolinshed says, * condemed and thereupon 
hanged' at Smithfield ; so that ' he never was a prisoner in the Tower.' 
Queen Anne Boleyn occupied the royal apartments while she was 
prisoner here ; Speed states that she continued to occupy the same 
apartments after she was condemned to death ; and was beheaded on 
"the Green by the White Tower." 

The economy of the Tower as a state prison presents a strange con- 
trast with its magnificence as a royal palace. " The case of Sir Henry 
Wyat," says Mr. Hepworth Dixon, in a paper read by him to the 
Archaeological Institute, "father of the wit, poet, and courtier. Sir 
Thomas Wyat, takes us back to the latter days of the Red and White 
Roses. Wyat was a Lancastrian in politics, and under the reign of 
Richard the Third he spent not a little of his time in the Tower." The 
Wyat Papers say — " He was imprisoned often ; once in a cold and 
narrow tower, where he had neither bed to lie on, nor clothes suflicient 
to warm him, nor meat for his mouth. He had starved there had not 
God, who sent a crow to feed his prophet, sent this and his country's 
martyr a cat both to feed and to warm him. It was his own relation 
unto them from whom I had it. A cat came one day down into the 
dungeon unto him, and as it were offered herself unto him. He wat 
glad of her, laid her in his bosom to warm him, and, by making much 
of her won her love. After this she would come every day unto him 
divers times, and, when she could get one, brinj him a pigeon. He 
complained to his keeper of his cold and short fare. The answer was, 
• he durst not better it.' — ' But,' said Sir Henry, ' if I can provide any, 
will you promise to dress it for me ?' — ' I may well enough,' said he, 
the keeper, ' you arc safe for that matter ; and being urged again, pro- 
mised him, and kept his promise, dressed tor him, from time to time, 
such pigeons as his iccator the cat provided for him. Sir Henry Wyat 
in his prosperity foi this would ever make much of cats, as other men 
will of their spaniels or hounds ; and perhaps you shall not find his 
picture anywhere but, like Sir Christopher Hatton with his dog, with a 
cat beside him.' The prisoner had this faithful cat painted, with 
a pigeon in his paws, offering it through the grated window of his 
dungeon." 

By way of relief to our gloomy chronicle, we conclude with a nar- 
rative of a strange incident, which Samuel Pepys has recorded in his 
D'tan: "October 30, 1663. To my Lord Sandwich, who was ia 



33 The Tower, Fortress, Palace, and Prison. 

his chamber all alone, and did inform me that our oM acquaintance, 
Mr. Wade, hath discovered to him 7000/. hid in the Tower, of which 
he was to have two for the discovery, my Lord two, and the King the 
Dther three, when it was found ; and that the King's warrant to search, 
runs for me and one Mr. Lee. So we went, and the guard at the 
Tower-gate making me leave my sword, I was forced to stay so long at 
the alehouse close by, till my boy run home for my cloak. Then 
walked to Minchen Lane, and got from Sir H. Bonnet, the King's 
warrant, for the paying of 2000/, to my Lord, and other two of the 
discoverers. (This does not agree with the first statement as to sharing 
the money.) After dinner we broke the matter to the Lord Mayor, 
who did not, and durst not, appear the least averse to it. So Lee and I 
and Mr. Wade were joined by Evett, the guide, ^^''. Griffin, and a 
porter with pickaxes. Coming to the Tower, our guide demands a 
candle, and down into the cellars he goes. He went into several little 
cellars and then out of doors to view, but none did answer so well to 
the marks as one arched vault, where, after much talk, to digging wc 
went, till almost eight o'clock at night, but could find nothing ; yet the 
guides were not discouraged. Locking the door, we left for the night, 
and up to the Deputy-Governor, and he do undertake to keep the key, 
that none shall go down without his privity. November ist. To the 
Tower to make one triall more, where we staid several hours, and dug 
a great deal under the arches, but we missed of all, and so went away 
the second time like fools. To the Dolphin Tavern. Met Wade and 
Evett, who do say that they had it from Barkestead's own mouth. He 
did much to convince me that there is good ground for what he goes 
about. November 4th. Mr. Lee and I to the Tower to make our third 
attempt upon the cellar. A woman, Barkestead's confidante, was pri- 
vately brought, who do positively say that this is the place where the said 
money was hid, and where he and she did put up the 700c/. in butter 
firkins. We, full of hope, did resolve to dig all over the cellar, which, 
by seven o'clock at night we performed. At noon we sent for a dinner, 
di::ed mcnily on the head of a barrel, and to work again. But, at last, 
having dug the cellar quite through, removing the b.irrels from one side 
to the other, we were forced to pay our porters, and give over our ex- 
pectations, though, I do believe, there must be money hid somewhere." 
Under December 17th, we read: — "This morning come Lee, Wade, 
and Evett, intending to have gone upon our new design upon the 
Tower, but it raining, and the work being to be done in the open 
garden, we put it off to Friday next." Such is the last we hear of thia 
odd affair 



33 



Legendary Stories and Ballads of Old London Bridge! 

In a singularly curious, although probably fabulous tract, the building 
of St. Mary Overie's Church, in Southwark, and of the first London 
Bridge, is attributed to the daughter of John Overs, who rented of the 
City a ferry across the Thames at this spot, and thus grew rich, by 
which means his daughter was enabled to construct the church and the 
bridge, whilst Overs lost his life by his own covetousness. Though he 
kept several servants and apprentices, he was of so parsimonious a soul, 
that notwithstanding he possessed an estate equal to that of the best 
Aldennan of London, acquired by unceasing labour, frugality, and in- 
dustry, yet his habit and dwelling were both strangely expressive of the 
most miserable poverty. He had an only daughter, "of a beautiful 
aspect," says the tract, "and a pious disposition ; whom he had care to 
see well and liberally educated, though at the cheapest rate ; and yet so, 
that when she grew ripe and mature for mairiage, he would suffer no 
man of what condition or quality soever, by his goodwill, to have any 
sight of her, much less access to her." A young gallant, however, who 
seems to have thought more of being the Ferryman's heir than his son- 
in-law, took the opportunity, while he was engaged at the ferry, to be 
admitted into her company. " The first interview," says the story, 
" pleased well ; the second better ; the third concluded the match 
between them." 

" In all this long interim, the poor silly rich old FerryTnan, not 
dreaming of any such passages, but thinking all things to be as secure 
by land as he knew they were by water," continued his former wretched 
and penurious course of life. To save the expense of one day's food in 
his family, he formed a scheme to feign himself dead for twenty-four 
hours, in the vain expectation that his ser\'ants would, out of propriety, 
fast until after his funeral. Having procured his daughter to consent to 
this plot, even against her better nature, he was put into a sheet, and 
stretched out in his chamber, having one taper burning at his head and 
another at his feet, according to the custom of the time When, 
however, his servants were informed of his decease, instead of lamenting 
they were overjoyed, and, having danced round the body, they broke 
open his larder, and fell to banqueting. The Ferryman bore all this as 
long, and as much like a dead man, as he was able ; " but when he 
could endure it no longer," says the tract, " stirring and struggling in 
his sheet, like a ghost with a candle in each hand, he purposed to rise 
up, and rate 'em for their sauciness and boldness ; when one of them 



34 Legendary Stories and Ballads cf 

thinking that the Devil was about to rise in his Hkeness, being in a great 
amaze, catched hold of the butt-end of a broken oar, which was in the 
chamber, and being a sturdy knave, thinking to kill the Devil at the first 
blow, actually struck out his brains." It is added that the servant was 
acquitted, and the ferryman made accessary and cause of his own death. 

The estate of Overs then fell to his daughter, and her lover hearing 
of it, hastened up from the country ; but, in riding post, his horse 
stumbled, and he broke his neck on the highway. The young heiress 
was almost distracted at these events, and was recalled to her faculties 
only by having to provide for her father's interment ; for he was not 
permitted to have Christian burial, being considered as an excommuni- 
cated man, on account of his extortions, usury, and truly miserable life. 
The Friars of Bermondsey Abbey were, however, prevailed upon, by 
money, their Abbot being then away, to give a little earth to the remains 
of the wretched Ferryman. But, upon the Abbot's return, observing a 
grave which had been recently covered in, and learning who lay there, 
he was not only angry with his monks for having done such an injury 
to the Church for the sake of gain, but he also had the body taken up 
again, laid on the back of his own ass, and turning the animal out of 
the Abbey gates, desired of God that he might carry him to some place 
where he best deserved to be buried. The ass proceeded with a gentle 
and solemn pace through Kent-street, and along the highway, to the 
small pond once called St. Thomas-a- Waterings, then the common 
place of execution, and shook off the Ferryman's body directly under 
the gibbet, where it was put into the ground without any kind of 
ceremony. Mary Overs, extremely distressed by such a host of troubles, 
and desirous to be free from the numerous suitors for her hand and 
fortune, resolved to retire into a cloister, which she shortly afterwards 
did, having first provided for the building of the church of Saint Mary 
Overies, which commemorates her name. 

Stow attributes the building of the first Wooden Bridge over the 
Thames to the pious brothers of the Priory, and this on the authority 
of Linstcd, the last Prior of St. Marie Overies, who, on surrendering his 
Priory, at the Dissolution, had a pension assigned him of loo/. per 
annum, which he enjoyed until I5,r;3. Stow's words are: — " A Ferry 
being kept in the place where a Bridge is built, the Ferryman and his 
wife deceasing, left the said Ferry to their only Dauglitcr, a maiden 
named Mary ; which, with the goods left her by her Parents, as also 
with tlie profits rising out of the said Fcny, built a House of Sisters in 
the place where now standcth the east part of St. Mary Overie's church, 
above the Choir, where she wab buried. Unto which house she gave 



Old London Bridge. 35 

the oversight and profits of the Ferry. But after\vards, the said 
House of Sisters being converted into a College of Priests, the Priests 
built the Bridge of Timber; but this story is much opposed by 
antiquaries. " 

The nurse's ballad, with which we are all familiar, tells of the con- 
nexion of the River Lee and London Bridge. It is thought to be of 
some very ancient date, when London Bridge, lying in ruins, the office 
of Bridge-master was vacant ; and his power over the River Lee— for 
it is, doubtless, that river which is celebrated in the chorus to this song — 
was for a while at an end. 

" London Bridge is broken down. 
Dance o'er my Lady Lee ; 
London Bridge is broken down, 
With a gay lady. 

How shall we build it up again? 

Dance o'er my Lady Lee ; 
How shall we build it up again? 

With a gay lady. 

Silver and gold will be stolen away, 

Dance o'er my Lady Lee ; 
Silver and gold will be stolen away. 

With a gay lady. 

Build it up with iron and steel. 

Dance o'er my Lady Lee ; 
Build it up with iron and steel. 

With a gay lady. 

Iron and steel will bend and bow, 

Dance o'er my Lady Lee ; 
Iron and steel will bend and bow. 

With a gay lady. 

Build it up with wood and clay. 

Dance o'er my Lady Lee ; 
Build it up with wood and clay. 

With a gay lady. 

Wood and clay will wash away, 

Dance o'er my Lady Lee ; 
Wood and clay will wash away. 

With a gay lady. 

Build it up with stone so strong. 

Dance o'er my Lady Lee ; 
Huzza ! 'twill last for ages long, 

With a gay lady." 

Another copy of this ballad contains the following stanzas, coming in 
immediately after the third verse, "Silver and gold will be stolen 
away ;" though the propositions for building this bridge with iron and 

P 2 



2,6 Legendary Stories and Ballads of 

steel, and wood and stone, have, in this copy also, ah-eady been made 

and objected to. 

"Then we must set a man to watch, 
Dance o'er my Lady I^a ; 
Then we must set a man to watch, 
With a gay La-dee. 

Suppose the man should fall asleep, 

Dance o'er my Lady Lea ; 
Suppose the man should fall asleep, 

With a gay La-dee. 

Then we must put a pipe in his mouth, 

Dance o'er my Lady Lea ; 
Then we must put a pipe in his mouth. 

With a gay La-dee. 

Suppose the pipe should fall and break, 

Dance o'er my Lady Lea ; 
Suppose the pipe should fall and break. 

With a gay La-dee. 

Then we must set a dog to watch, 

Dance o'er my Lady I^ea; 
Then we must set a dog to watch 

With a gay La-dee. 

Suppose the dog should run away. 

Dance o'er my Lady Lea ; 
Suppose the dog should run away. 

With a gay La-dee. 

Then we must chain him to a post. 

Dance o'er my Lady Lea ; 
Then we must chain him to a post, 

With a gay La-dee." 

The Bridge of wood was succeeded by one of stone, begun about 
1 176, by Peter of Colechurch. This worthy ecclesiastic and architect 
was priest and chaplain of St. Mary Colechurch, in the Poultry, and 
London Bridge seems to have been the favourite object of his care ; for 
he is said to have built the new bridge of elm-timber, which was erected 
in 1 163, and to have begun, a little to the west of that structure, in 
1 176, the stone bridge above named ; but he dying in 120.:^, the bridge 
was completed five years after. King John was anxious for the com- 
pletion of the Bridge, and in 1201, recommended to the Mayor and 
citizens for that purpose, Isenbert, master of the schools of Saintes, 
who had built the bridges of Saintes and Rochelle. The sovereign granted 
that the profits of the edifices which Isenbeit intended to erect on the 
briilge should be for ever applied to its rejiair ; and the King exhorted 
the Mayor and citizens to receive Isenbert and his assistants courteously. 
Mr, Sidney Gibson remarks that " King John's desire for the comple« 



Old London Bridge. 37 

tion of London Bridge, and his recommendation of Isenbert for tliat 
purpose during the lifetime of Peter of Colechurch, are facts little known 
to general readers." ^Ve should add that the remains of Peter of Cole- 
church were buried in the crypt of the chapel of St. Thomas of Canter- 
bury, within a pier of the stone bridge, which lasted till our time ; and 
in 1832, when the last of the bridge was removed, the bones of the 
architect Peter were found beneath the masonry of the chapel, as if to 
complete the eventful history of the ancient structure. A portion of the 
stone was purchased by Alderman Hiimphery, and by him sold to 
Alderman Harmer, who employed it in building his seat, Ingress Abbey, 
at Greenhithe, in Kent. 

The old Bridge was the scene of many penances. In the year 
1440, the Bridge-street, by which is meant as well the passage over 
the Thames ae the main street beyond it on each side, was one 
scene of the public penances of Eleanor Cobham, Duchess of Glou- 
cester, on the very grave charge of having practised necromantic rites, 
in conjunction with other persons, in order to procure the death 
of the King. Being convicted, she was sentenced to a severe public 
penance, and banishment for life to the Isle of Man ; but was afterward* 
imprisoned in the castles of Chester and Kenilworth. One of the 
alleged accomplices of the Duchess was Thomas Southwell, a priest and 
canon of St. Stephen's, who died in the Tower on the night before 
his proposed arraignment. Roger Bolynbroke, "a priest and great 
astronomer," and Margery Jourdemaine, or Gardemaine, whom Stow 
calls " a witch of Eye, besides Westminster," was implicated with the 
Duchess in the charge of necromancy, and suffered death, the former 
being hanged and quartered at Tyburn, and the latter burnt in Smithfield.* 

On November 9, the Duchess was sentenced to perform penance at 
three open places in London. On Monday, the t3th, therefore, she 
came by water from Westminster, and, landing at the Temple Bridge, 
valked, at noon-day, through Fleet-street, bearing a waxen taper of 



* Shakspeare, in Henry IV., Part II., introduces the Duchess and Boling* 
broke at their diabolical work : — 

"Duchess. Well said, my masters; and welcome all 
To this geer ; the sooner the better. 

Bolin. Patience, good lady; wizards know their times: 
Deep night, dark night, the silent of the night, 
The time of night when Troy was set on fire ; 
The time when screech-owls cry, and ban-dogs howl. 
And spirits walk, and ghosts break up their graven,-— 
That time best fits the work we have in hand. 
Madam, sit you, and fear not; whom we raises 
We will make fast within a hallow d ver^je. 



38 Legendary Stories and Ballads of 

two pounds' weight to St. Paul's, where she offered at the high altar. 
On the Wednesday following she landed at the Old Swan, and 
passed through Bridge-street and Gracechurch-street to Leadenhall, 
and at Cree-church, near Aldgate, made her second offering ; and on 
the ensuing Friday, she w-as put on shore at Queen Hythe, whence 
she proceeded to St. Michael's Church, Cornhill, and so completed 
her penance. In each of these processions her head was covered 
only by a kerchief; her feet were bare ; scrolls containing a narrative 
of her crime were affixed to her white dress ; and she was received 
and attended by the Mayor, Sheriffs, and Companies of London. 

On St. George's Day, the 23rd of April, 1390, a solemn jousting 
of a most extraordinary character took place on the bridge. John 
de Wells, the English Ambassador in Scotland, having boasted at 
the Scottish Court of the prowess of his countrymen, a famous 
knight of that country, David Lindsay, Earl of Crawford, offered to 
put all questions on that point to a trial by combat on London 
Bridge. By a royal safe-conduct, he was enabled to travel to Lon- 
don with a retinue of twenty-nine persons. When the day of battle 
was come, both parties, being armed, were most honourably con- 
ducted to the bridge, which was splendidly decorated with rich 
hangings of tapestry and cloth of gold, and filled with noble spec- 
tators. King Richard IL himself being seated in the place of 

honour. 

" All furnish'd, all in arms I 
All plumed like estridges that wing the wind : 
Raited like eagles having lately bathed ; 
Glittering in golden coats, like images ; 
And gorgeous as the sun at midsummer, 

their horses 
Printing their proud hoofs i" the receiving earth T 

the combatants approach ; and, "the signal being given," says 
Hector Boece, " tearing their barbed steeds with their spurs, they 
rushed, with square-ground spears, and a mighty force, impetuously 
to the conflict. Neither party was moved by the vehement impulse 
or by the splintering of their spears ; so that the common people 
affected to cry out that David was bound to the saddle of his horse, 
contrary to the law of arms, because he sat unmoved amidst the 
splintering of lances on his helmet and visor. When Earl David 
heard this, he presently leapt off his charger, and then as quickly 
vaulted upon his back again without any assistance ; and, taking a 
second hasty course, their spears were a second time shivered by 
tlie shock thruugh their burning desire to conquer. And now 



Old London Bridge. j^ 

third time were the valorous enemies stretched out and running 
together ; but then the Enghsh knight was cast down breathless to 
the earth, with great sounds of mourning from his countrymen that 
he was killed ! Earl David, when victory appeared, leapt suddenly 
to the ground^for he had fought without anger, and but for glory, 
that he might show himself to be the strongest of the champions — 
and, casting himself upon Lord Wells, tenderly embraced him till 
he revived, and the surgeon came to attend him." 

Towards the end of the sixteenth century London Bridge was so 
completely covered with imposing buildings, that it resembled a 
palatial street rather than a bridge. The houses, as a rule, covered 
the whole of the bridge, and indeed in many cases projected to 
some distance over the pier heads. The carriage way of the bridge 
in those days had the appearance of a tunnel — an open thoroughfare, 
sometimes forty feet in width, running like an archway through the 
" ground " floor of the bridge houses. One striking peculiarity of 
these houses was that, unlike other ordinary buildings, each of their 
four sides was so to speak a " front ;" for the sides that fronted the 
river east and west were generally as highly decorated as those that 
looked to Southwark on the one side and the city on the other. 
Perhaps the most splendid and curious structure that adorned 
London Bridge at this time (i 580-1600) was the famous Nonsuch 
House ; so called because it was constructed in Holland entirely of 
wood, and being brought over in pieces, was erected in this place 
with wooden pegs only, not a single nail being used in the whole 
structure. Its situation is even yet pointed out by the seventh and 
eighth arches of the bridge from the Southwark end being still 
called the Draw Lock and the Nonsuch Lock. On the London 
side of the bridge, the Nonsuch House was partly joined to nu- 
merous small wooden buildings of about twenty-seven feet in depth 
which hung over the parapet on each side, leaving, however, a clear 
space of twenty feet in the centre ; but over all these humble dwel- 
lings the carved gables, cupolas, and gilded vanes of the Dutch 
edifice proudly towered. Two sun-dials crowned the top on the 
south side, and on one of them was painted the appropriate adage 
— " Time and tide stay for no man." 

Like most other buildings on London Bridge, this celebrated 
house overhung the east and west sides of the bridge, and presented 
to the Thames two fronts of scarcely less magnificence than those 
presented to the city and borough respectively — the columns, win- 
<iows, and carving being similarly splendid. Its southern front 



40 Old London Bridge. 

only, however, stood perfectly unconnected with other erections, and 
was entirely free and unobstructed for about fifty-six feet in front, 
and presenting the appearance of a large building projecting beyond 
the bridge on either side. At each extremity was a square tower 
crowned by short domes or Kremlin spires, whilst an antiquely 
carved gable arose on each centre. The whole of the front, too, 
was ornamented with a profusion of transom casement windows 
with car\'ed wooden galleries before them ; and richly sculptured 
panels and gilded columns were to be found in every part of it 
The thoroughfare was carried through this building in the form of 
an archway. 

The Bridge shops had signs, and were " furnished with all manner 
of trades." Holbein is said to have lived here ; as did also Herbert, 
the printscller, at the time the houses were taken down. On the 
first night Herbert spent here, a dreadful fire took place on the 
banks of the Thames, which suggested to him the plan of a floating 
fire-engine, soon after adopted. " As fine as London Bridge" was 
formerly a proverb in the City ; and many a serious, sensible trades- 
man used to believe that heap of enormities to be one of the seven 
wonders of the world, and, next to Solomon's temple, the finest 
thing that ever art produced. 

The street was also the abode of many artists : here lived Peter 
Monamy, the marine painter, who was taught drawing by a sign 
and house painter on London Bridge. Dominic Serres once kept 
shop here ; and Hogarth lived here when he engraved for old John 
Bowles, in Cornhill. Swift and Pope have left accounts of their visits 
to Crispin Tucker, a waggish bookseller and author-of-all-work, 
who lived under the southern gate. One Mr. Baldwin, haber- 
dasher, born in the house over the Chapel, at seventy-one could 
:iot sleep in the country for want of the noise of the roaring and rush- 
ing of the tide beneath, which " he had always been used to hear." 

A most terrific historic garniture of the Bridge was the setting 
up of heads on its gate-houses : among these ghastly spectacles was 
the head of Sir William Wallace, 1305 ; Simon Frisel, 1306; 
four traitor knights, 1397 ; Lord Bardolf, 1408 ; Bolingl)roke, 
1440; Jack Cade and his rebels, 1451; the Cornish traitors 
of 1497 ; and of Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, 1535, displaced 
in fourteen days by the head of Sir Thomas More. In 1577, 
the several heads were removed from the north end of the 
I)rawl)ridgc to the Southwark entrance, thence called Traitors 
Gate. In 1578, the head of a recusant priest was added to 



Bermondsey Abbey and its Memories. 41 

the sickening sight; and in 1605, that of Garnet the Jesuit, as well ai 
those of the Romish priests executed in the reigns of Elizabeth and 
James I. Hentzner counted above thirty heads on the Bridge in 1598. 
The display was transferred to Temple Bar in the reign of Charles II. 

The narrowness of the Bridge arches so contracted the channel of the 
river as to cause a rapid ; and to pass through them was termed to 
" shoot the bridge," a peril taken advantage of by suicides. Thus, in 
1689, Sir William Temple's only son, lately made Secretary at War, 
leaped into the river from a boat as it darted through an arch : he had 
filled his pockets with stones, and was drowned, leaving in the boat this 
note : " My folly in undertaking what I could not perform, whereby 
some misfortunes have befallen the King's service, is the cause of my 
putting myself to this sudden end ; I wish him success in all his under- 
takings, and a better servant." In 1737, Eustace Budgell, a soi-disant 
cousin of Addison, and who wrote in the Spectator and Guardian, when 
broken down in character and reduced to poverty, took a boat at 
Somerset Stairs ; and ordering the waterman to row down the river, 
Budgell threw himself into the stream as they shot London Bridge. He 
too had filled his pockets with stones, and rose no more : he left in his 
secretary a slip of paper, on which was written a broken distich: 
" What Cato did, and Addison approved, cannot be wrong." This is 
a wicked sophism ; there being as little resemblance between the cases 
of Budgell and Cato as there is reason for considering Addison's " Cato" 
written in defence of suicide. 

Of a healthier complexion is the anecdote of Edward Osborne, in 
1536, leaping into the Thames from the window of one of the Bridge- 
houses, and saving his master's infant daughter, dropped by a nursemaid 
into the stream. The father, Sir William Hewet, was Lord Mayor in 
1559, and gave this daughter in marriage to Osborne, whose great- 
grandson became the first Duke of Leeds. 



Bermondsey Abbey and its Memories. 

The Cluniac Abbey of Bermondsey, in the low-lying parish adjoining 
Southwark, had at different times two visitors, to whom we may be sure 
every possible honour was done. The first of these was Katherine, the 
wife of Henry V., the French Princess whom Shakspeare has made so 
familiar to us in connexion with the blunt wooing of her gallant lover, 
and who alone perhaps, of all her country's children, could have so 
quickly reconquered France from the concjucror as she now did by 



42 Bermondsey Abbey and its Memoriej. 

throwing around him the nuptial tie. Few marriages, promising so 
much of State convenience, have ended in giving so much individual 
happiness as Henry enjoyed with his young and beautiful bride. His 
early death was grieved by all ; his courtiers and his nobles wept and 
sobbed round his death-bed : what, then, must have been her feelings at 
his loss ? Fortunately, perhaps, Katherine was not present at the last 
moment, nor did she learn the dreadful tidings for some days afterwards. 
It was to receive this distinguished visitor that, some years later, the 
monks of Bermondsey were suddenly summoned from all parts of the 
monastery by the stroke on one of the great bells, twice repeated, who, 
suddenly huiTying into the church, robed themselves, and prepared for 
the reception of the newcomer. Upon the Queen's neai- approach, two 
of the great bells would ring out a peal of welcome, and then the Abbot 
would advance to meet her, saluting her with his blessing, and sprinkling 
holy water over her. The procession entered the church and made a 
stand before the crucifix, where the visitor prayed. Service in honour 
of the Saviour, as the patron Saint, followed ; the singing-boys in the 
choir sang, the organ played, and at the teiTnination the Queen found 
the best accommodation the Abbey could furnish provided for her use. 
She appears to have found all she desired, for she remained at Ber- 
mondsey till her death. One little incident has been recorded on the 
subject of her residence here, which is supposed to have been caused in 
some way by the dissatisfaction of the Court at her second marriage, 
with Owen Tudor, a gentleman of Wales, and, through this match, the 
founder of the Tudor dynasty. On the ist of January, 1437, her son, 
the young Henry VI., sent to her at Bermondsey a token of his affec- 
tionate remembrance, in the shape of a tablet of gold, weighing thirteen 
ounces, on which was a crucifix, set with sappliires and pearls. She was, 
no doubt, then very ill, for two days later she died. 

There is a striking connexion between this and the next distinguished 
visitor, Elizabeth of York, a lady who, if not one of the most interesting 
of female characters herself, is unquestionably so from tlie circum- 
stances of her strange and eventful history. She came to Bermondsey 
(juitc as much a prisoner as a visitor, and she owed that imprisonment 
to the man whom she herself had been to a considerable extent the 
means of placing on the throne, Henry VII., the grandson of the widow 
of Henry v., and of her second husband, Owen Tudor. That two 
such women should meet in the same place to spend the last years of 
their lives, forms no ordinary coincidence. The history of Elizabeth of 
York, though but an episode of that of Bermondsey, is so full of 
romance, and so closely coiuiccted with it, by her imprisonment and 



Bermondsey Abbey and its Memories. 43 

death within its walls, that the ancient priory may not improbably be 
remembered through these circumstances, when all others might else have 
failed to preserve more than the barest and driest recollections of the 
great house of the Cluniacs. It was on a visit to Jaquenetta, Duchess 
of Bedford, then married to a second husband, Sir Richard Woodville, 
that Edward IV., the handsomest, most accomplished, and most 
licentious man of his time, first beheld the Duchess' daughter, Elizabeth 
Gray, the widow of Sir John Gray, a Lancastrian, slain at the second 
battle of St. Alban's. The knight's estates had been forfeited to Edward, 
and the young widow, who is said to have been as eloquent as she was 
beautiful, availing herself of the opportunity, threw herself at the king's 
feet, and implored him, for the sake of her innocent and helpless children, 
to reverse the attainder. The irresistible petitioner rose with more than 
the grant of what she had asked — the king's heart was hers. Edward, 
perhaps for the first time, was seriously touched; and to the astonish- 
ment of the nation generally, and to the rage of no small portion of the 
king's partisans, the Yorkists, the king, some months after, at a solemn 
assembly of prelates and nobles in the ancient abbey of Reading, an- 
nounced his marriage with the widow of the fallen Lancastrian knight ; 
and amidst the surprise which prevailed throughout the assemblage, the 
king's brother, the Duke of Clarence, and the Earl of Warwick, led 
the Queen into the hall, and caused her in that character to be welcomed 
by all present. Thus ends one phase of her history. 

In the next we behold her again as a widow; but this time her widow- 
hood has brought her new and more anxious public duties : she is not 
merely a mother, but the mother of the young King Edward V. and 
of his brother, the Duke of York. Into the particulars of this mo- 
mentous period, which includes the death of the young Princes in the 
Tower, of course, we are not about to enter ; but it may be permitted 
to us to obsei-ve that few parents ever have endured keener agonies for 
their children than this unfortunate lady. The wild rumour that so 
quickly floated about as to the intentions of the Duke of Gloucester, the 
sudden shedding of the blood of her son and brother at Pomfret (Lords 
Gray and Rivers), the messages and deputations to and fro between the 
Protector and the Sanctuary at Westminster, where she had taken 
refuge with her youngest son, distracting her with conflicting thoughts — 
one moment giving the young Prince up to destruction, the next 
fearing to bring that destruction on him by indiscreet jealousy, or by 
thwarting Gloucester's views — all this must have been terrible to the 
lately made widow, had nothing remained behind. But when at last, 
calling for her child, she delivered him up to the Cardinal Archbishop, 



44 Berniondsey Abbey and its Alemories. 

and as soon as she had done so, burst into an uncontrollable ft of 
anguish, she but too rightly felt she had lost both her children. 

In the interval, between the death of the Princes and that of the 
murderer, Richard, occurs the most unromantic part of the history of 
one whose misfortunes are unexampled for their severity. While at 
one period we find her eagerly engaging in the scheme proposed of 
marrying the Earl of Richmond to her daughter Elizabeth ; at the 
other, when the prospect appeared less bright, she appeal's to have 
listened to Richard's overtures, first of marrying her daughter Elizabeth 
to his son, and when that son died, of giving her to himself. Whatever 
her conduct at this period, there is no doubt as to her subsequent mis- 
fortunes. The king, Henry VIL, certainly did redeem the promise as to 
the marriage made by the Earl of Richmond, but it was done so tardily 
and so ungi-aciously, that the very people were disgusted at his conduct ; 
and by their sentiments we may judge of the mother's. But this was 
not all. In the month of November, i486, an extensive insurrection 
broke out in Ireland, at the head of which was, nominally, a youth who 
it was pretended was the Earl of Warwick (then in reality confined in 
the Tower), the son of the late Duke of C larence, brother to Edward I V. 
A great council was immediately held at the Charter House, at Shene, 
where first a general pardon was resolved on, free from all excep- 
tions, and the second resolution was (a curious commentary on the 
first) to arrest Elizabeth Woodvillc, the Queen Dowager. The Queen 
was immediately arrested, deprived of all her property, and placed a 
close prisoner in the monastery at Bcrmondscy. Henry's historian, 
Bacon, may well observe, " whereat there was much wondering that a 
weak woman, for the yielding to the menaces and promises of a tyrant 
[he is alluding to her transactions with Richard III.], after such a dis- 
tance of time wherein the king had shown no displeasure or alteration, 
but much more after so happy a marriage bctwcxMi tlie king and her 
daughter, blest with issue male [only two or three weeks before], should, 
upon a sudden mutability or disclosure of the king's mind, be so severely 
handled," for such it appears was the motive for this arrest set forth by 
the king. No one, however, believed in the truth of the allegation ; and 
Bacon, following the chronicler Hall, gives a remarkable explanation of 
the afi'air. Having observed that the prompter of the young counter- 
feit of tlie Earl of Warwick, a priest, had never seen the latter, he con- 
tinues, " So it cannot be, but that some great person, that knew par- 
ticularly and familiarly, Edward Plaiitagenet, had a hand in the business, 
from whom the priest might take aim. That wiiich is most probable, 
out of the precedent and subsequent acts, is, that it was the Queen 



Bcrmondsey Abbey and its Memories. 45 

Dowager from whom this action principally originated. For, certain it 
is that she was a busy, negotiating woman, and in her lulthdrarjj'mg 
chamber had the fortunate conspiracy for the king against King Richard III. 
been hatched, luhich the king kneiu, and remembered perhaps but too 
<well, and was at this time extremely discontent with the king, think- 
ing her daughter, as the king handled the matter, not advanced, but 
depressed ; and none could hold the book so well to prompt and in- 
struct this stage-play as sl^e could." Misfortunes never came singly to 
the unhappy queen ; the Marquis of Dorset, her son by her first hus- 
band, was arrested soon after and thrown into the Tower. At the 
coronation of the queen, his half-sister, in the following year, he was, 
however, released, and was, v\'e believe, present at the ceremony. The 
mother appears to have been still left to pine away in her enforced 
solitude at Bermondsey, where she lingered till 1493, when a fatal ilbess 
seized her. 

On her death-bed she dictated the following pathetic will, which is of 
itself a decisive answer as to the doubts that have been raised concerning 
the p>enury of her latest days. It is dated Bermondsey, April 10, 
1492 : — " I, Elizabeth, by the grace of God, Queen of England, late 
wife to the most victorious prince of blessed memory, Edward the 
Fourth, being of whole mind, seeing the world so transitory, and no 
creature certain when they shall depart from hence, having Almighty 
God fresh in mind, in whom is all mercy and grace, bequeath my 
soul into his hands, beseeching him of the same mercy to accept it 
graciously, and Our Blessed Lady Queen of Comfort, and all the holy 
company of heaven, to be good means (or mediators) for me. Item : I 
bequeath my body to be buried with the body of my lord at \\'^indsor, 
according to the will of my said lord and mine, without pomps entering 
or costly expenses done thereabout. Item : PVhereas I have no worldlj 
goods to do the Queen s Grace, my dearest daughter, a pleasure ivith, neither 
to reivard any of my children according to my heart and mind, I beseech 
Almighty God to bless her Grace, with all her noble issue; and with as 
good heart and mind as is to me possible, I give her Grace my blessing, 
and all the aforesaid my children. Item : I will that such small stujff^ 
and goods that I have be disposed truly in the contentation of my debts, 
and for the health of my soul, as far as they will extend. Item: If any 
of my blood will any of the said stuff or goods to me pertaining, I will 
that they have the preferment before any other. And of this my present 
testament I make and ordain mine executors, that is to say, John 
Ingleby, Prior of the Charter House at Shene; William Sulton and 
Thomas Brente, Doctors; and I beseech my dearest daughter, the 



46 Bermondsey A bbey and its Memories. 

Queen's Grace, and my son, Thomas, Marquis of Dorset, to put their 
good wills and help for the performance of this my testament." 

And thus closes the eventful life of Elizabeth of York. Some thirty* 
years ago, when the workmen were busy in the vaults of Windsor, 
preparing a place of sepulture for the family of George III., they lighted 
upon a stone coffin buried fifteen feet below the surface. It contained 
the remains of Queen Elizabeth Woodville. 

Bermondsey has yet another memory in connexion with this unfor- 
tunate queen's persecutor, Henry VII., and one that illustrates another 
remarkable trait of his character — his superstitious piety. His masterly 
policy was not often a very upright and honourable policy; so, this 
stroke was followed by the erection of a chapel, that, by founding 
masses to be said evermore for his soul, he might keep a tolerably fair 
reckoning in the great account-book of his conscience. He is not the 
only monarch who has endeavoured to keep an "even mind" by the 
adoption of a similar kind of offset. It appears that an indenture was 
executed between the king, the City of London, and the Abbots of 
Westminster and Bermondsey, sometime after the death of his 
queen, the daughter of Queen Elizabeth Woodville, by which the 
Abbot and monks of Westminster were to pay 3/. ds. 8d. annually to 
those of Bermondsey, for the holding of an anniversary in the church 
on the 6th of February in every year, to pray for the good and pros- 
perous estate of the king during his life, and the prosperity of his kingdom, 
also for the souls of his late queen and of their children, of his father, 
the Earl of Richmond, and his progenitors, and of his mother, the 
Countess of Richmond, after her decease. Full directions are contained 
in the indenture as to the mode of performing the ceremony. 

As a glimpse of what was sometnnes doing in the old church, as well 
as of the old custom itself, is the following : — " The Abbot and Convent 
of St. Saviour of Bermondsey shall provide at every such anniversary a 
hearse, to be set in the midst of the liigh chancel of the said monastery, 
before the high altar, covered and appareled with the best and most 
honourable stuff in the same monastery convenient for the same. And 
also four tapers of wax, each of them weighing eight pounds, to be 
set upon the same hearse, that is to say, on either side thereof one 
taper, and at either end of the same hearse another taper, and all the 
same four tapers to be lighted and burning continually during all the 
time of every such Placebo, Dirige, with nine lessons, lauds, and mass 
of Rccjuicm, with the prayers and obeisimces above rehearsed." 

At the Dissolution, the Abbot of Jk'rmondsey had no tender scruplei 
al>out conscience or principle, like »o many of his brethren, but arranged 



Founding the Priory of St. Bartholomew the Great. 47 

everything in the pleasantest possible manner for the King ; and he had 
his reward. The monastery itself, with the manor, demesne, &c., the 
•'court leet, the view of frank-pledge, and the free-warren" were 
granted by Henry VIII., to Sir Robert Southwell, Master of the Rolls, 
who sold them to Sir Thomas Hope, the founder of Trinity College, 
Oxford, who was the destroyer of the fine old Abbey of Bermondsey. 
He pulled down the conventual church and most of the other buildings, 
and erected a mansion on the site; and then, as if satisfied with what he 
had done, reconveyed the mansion, with the orchards, &c., to Sir Robert. 
The manor he subsequently sold to a citizen and goldsmith of London. 
Bermondsey Priory (converted into an Abbey late in the fourteenth 
century), was founded in 1082, by Alwin Child, a citizen of London, 
for Cluniac monks, from the monastery of La Charite de Dieu, on the 
Loire, which continued to supply its priors until 1372. It is worthy of 
note that between 1082 and 1372, the number of these priors was 
sixty-eight, nine of whom were promoted, and six resigned, leaving 
fifty-three to die while holding the office ; at times two or three within 
a single year. The average life in office of the priors of Bermondsey, 
during 290 years, was but four years, three months, and five days. 



Founding the Priory of St. Bartholomew the Great. 

Upon the south-eastern side of Smithfield stands a portion of the fine 
old church, which formed without doubt, part of the ancient Priory of 
St. Bartholomew the Great, supposed to have been founded at the com- 
mencement of the twelfth century, by Rahere, or Raherius, who became 
the first prior of the establishment. According to a manuscript in 
the British Museum, written, probably, soon after the death of Rahere, 
by a monk who inhabited the Priory, Rahere was a " man sprung 
and born from low kynage, but haunted the palace of the King Henry I., 
was a pleasant-witted gentleman, and called the king's minstrel ;" though 
he has been identified with one of the companions of the '• hardy outlaw," 
Hereward, " the last of the Saxons," who, at the bridge of Wrokesham, 
rescued four innocent persons from Norman executioners ; and they, 
owing to his ingenious disguise, mistook him for a heron, an honourable 
nickname which continued to cling to him through life. Disgusted, 
however, with his manner of living, and repenting him of his sins, he 
undertook a pilgrimage to Rome. " There, at the shrine of the blessed 
apostles, Peter and Paul, he weeping his deeds, prayed to our Lord for 
the remission of them, and avowed that if health God would him grant, 
Uiat he might return to his country, he would make an hospital 



4.3 Foimding the Priory of St. Bartkolomav the Great 

in recreation of poor men, and to them so there gathered, necessaries 
minister after his power. And not long after, the benign and merciful 
Lord beheld this weeping man, gave him his health, and approved his vow. 
" When he would perfect his way that he had begun, in a certain 
night he saw a vision full of dread and sweetness. It seemed him to be 
borne up on high of a certain beast, having four feet and two wings, and 
set him in an high place. And when he, from so great a height, would 
inflect and bend his eye to the lower part downward, he beheld a hor- 
rible pit, whose beholding him impressed with great dread: for the 
deepness of the same pit was deeper than any man might attain to see ; 
therefore, he (secret knower of his defaults) deemed himself to slide into 
that cruel a downcast. And therefore (as seemed him inwardly) he 
fremshid (quaked), and for dread trembled, and great cries of his mouth 
proceeded. To whom appeared a certain man, pretending in cheer the 
majesty of a king, of great beauty and imperial authority, and his eye on 
him fastened. ' O man,' he said, ' what and how much sei-vice shouldest 
thou give to him that in so great a peril hath brought help to thee ?' 
And he answered to this saint, ' Whatsoever might be of heart and of 
might, diligently should I given in recompense to my deliverer.' ' And 
then,' said he, ' I am Bartholomew, the apostle of Jesus Christ, that 
come to succour thee in thine anguish, and to open to thee the secret 
mysteries of Heaven. Know me truly, by the will and commandment 
of the Holy Trinity, and the common favour of the celestial court and 
council, to have chosen a place in the suburbs of London, at Smithfield, 
where, in mine name thou shalt found a church. This spiritual 
house Almighty God shall inhabit, and hallow it and glorify it. Where- 
fore, doubt thee nought ; only give thy diligence, and my part shall be 
to provide necessaries, direct, build, and end this work.' Rahere now 
came to London, and of his knowledge and friends with great joy was 
received ; with which also, with the barons of London he spake fami- 
liarly of these things that were turned and stirred in his heart, and of 
that was done about him in the way he told it out; and what should 
be done of this he counselled of them. He took this answer, that none 
of these might be perfected, but the King were first counselled ; namely, 
since the place godly to him showed was containetl within the King's 
market. In opportune time Rahere addressed him to the King; and 
nigh him was He in whose hands it was to what he would the King's 
heart incline: and .■f.cfTectual these prayers might not be whose author is 
the apostle, whose gracious hearer is God. Rahere's word tlierefore 
was pleasant and acceptable, and when tiie King had praised thr good 
%vit of the man (prudently, as be w«i witty), granted to the petitiona 
hia kin^jly favour. 



Founding the Priory of St. BartJiolomciv the Great. 49 

" Then Rahere omitting nothing of care and diligence, two works of 
piety hegan to make — one for the vow he had made, another as to him 
by precept was enjoined." The place where these great works were to 
be erected had been previously shown to King Edward the Confessor, 
in a revelation : — " the which, in a certain night, when he was bodily 
sleeping, his heart to God waking, he was warned of this place with an 
heavenly dream made to him, that God this place had chosen : there- 
upon, this holy King, early arising, came to this place that God had 
showed him ; and to them that about him stood, expressed the vision 
t jat night made to him, and prophesied this place to be great before 
God." It was also said that three men of Greece, who came to Lon- 
don, went to this place and worshipped God ; " and before them that 
were present (and beheld them as simple idiots), they began wonderful 
things to say and prophesy of this place, saying, ' Wonder not ; see us 
here to worship God, where a full and acceptable temple to him shall 
be builded ; and the fame of this place shall attain from the spring of 
the sun to the going down.' " 

The spot selected for the site of the church was a mere marsh, for 
the most part covered with water ; while on that portion which was 
not so, stood the common gallows. Rahere's power of rendering him- 
self agreeable, it appears, had not left him ; for it seems by assuming 
the manners of an idiot and consorting with the lower order of persons, 
he procured so much help, that notwithstanding the difficulties inter- 
posed by the badness of the situation, the great work was speedily 
finished. The church he made of comely stonework table-wise ; and an 
hospital-house, a little longer off from the church by himself he began 
to edify. The completion of the work evidently excited a large amount 
ot wonder and admiration, not unmixed with a kind of superstitious 
awe. People " were greatly astonied both of the novelty of the raised 
frame, and of the founder, who would trow this place with so sudden 
a dreaming could be purged, and there to be set up the token of the 
Cross ? And God there to be worshipped, where sometime stood the 
hoiTible hanging of thieves ?" Three Byzantine princes, whether mer- 
chants or monks does not appear, attended the consecration of the 
choir, by Beauvais, Bishop of London, and prophesied the prosperity of 
the Hospital. On the conventual seal of the 1 2th century, the original 
design of the church is shown with a low central tower, and two pair 
of towers, one at each of the angles of the church, all crowmcd with 
conical spires. 

\Vhen the Priory began to flourish and its fame spread, Rahere 
joined to him a certain old man, Alfun by name, who had not long be« 
* c 



50 Founding the Priory of St. Bartholomew the Great. 

fore built the church of St. Giles, at Cripplegate. Rahere, fi-om his 
counsel and help derived much encouragement. Alfiin, with ministers 
of the church, sought and provided necessaries for the jxjor men that 
lay in the hospital, and for them that were hired in building their church. 
To help Alfim, St. Bartholomew was believed to have wrought miracles, 
such as the following. Alfun having applied to a widow, she told him 
she had but seven measures of malt, and that indeed, it was no more 
than but absolutely necessary for her family's use. She was, however, pre- 
vailed on to give one measure. Alfun was no sooner gone than, casting 
her eyes on the remaining measures, she counted seven still. Thinking 
herself mistaken, she tried again, and found eight, and so on ad infi- 
nitum. No sooner was the receptacle ready than many " yearly with 
lights and oblations, peaceful vows, and prayers, visited this holy 
church ;" and the fame of cures performed was supported by magnifi- 
cent festivals ; " the year 1 148, after the obit of Harry the First, King 
of England, the twelfth year, when the golden path of the sun reduced 
to us the desired joys of feastful celebrity, then, with a new solemnity of 
the blessed Apostle, was illumined with new miracles this holy place. 
Languishing men, grieved with varying soitows, softly lay in the 
church ; prostrate beseeching the mercy of God, and the presence of 
St. Bartholomew." 

But, new troubles arose, and disturbed the last hours of Rahere. The 
reputation he had gained, created for him many enemies, who scrupled 
not to accuse him of hypocrisy, and sought all means to injure him : 
some even went so far as to conspire his death ; but being apprised of 
the plot, he contrived to elude them, and ultimately obtained the in- 
terference of Henry I. in his behalf: the King also granted to the 
priory, by charter, many immunities and privileges. According to the 
MS. referred to, numerous miracles were wrought in the Monastery 
during the life of Rahere ; and even after his death, the blind were re- 
stored to their sight, and the sick were made well by a visit to the spot. 
After the service of his prelacy, twenty-two years and six months, 
Rahere "the clay-house of this world forsook, and the house ever- 
lasting he entered." His memory was held in great veneration : and his 
remains rest beneath a sumptuous tomb in the church. He was suc- 
ceeded by Thomas, one of the canons of the church of St. Osyth, 
who was prelate about thirty years. " In age," says the MS., " an 
hundred winters, almost with whole wits, with all Christian solemnity, 
he deceased in 1 174. In this man's time grew the plant of the apostolic 
branch in glory and in grace before God and man. And with nrorc 
ample buildings were the skins of our tabernacle dilat*^ *' 



Founding the Priory of St. Bartholomew the Great. 5 1 

in 1410, the i^riory was rebuilt. It was entirely enclosed within 
waiis ; at first there were no houses in the immediate neighbourhood ; 
but the establishment of the Monastery, and the fair granted to it, 
speedily caused a considerable population to spring up all around and 
ultimately within. The fair, held annually at Bartholomew-tide, for 
three days, was granted to the Prior and canons, before the reign ot 
Henry I.; for a charter from this monarch conveys certain immunities 
to the Priory, and by which " free place is granted" to all persons fre- 
quenting the fair of St. Bartholomew. To this mart originally resorted 
clothiers and drapers, not merely of England, but of all countries, who 
there exposed their goods for sale. The stalls or booths were within 
the walls of the Priory churchyard, the gates of which were locked each 
night, and a watch was set in order to protect the various wares; 
the street on the north side of the church is still called Cloth Fair. 
During the fair a " Court of Pie-powder" was held, to do justice ex- 
peditiously among the numerous persons who resorted there. The fair 
was proclaimed ybr the last time in 1855: the sole existing vestige of it 
is the old fee of thrce-and-sixpence still paid by the City to the Rector 
of St. Bartholomew the Great, for a proclamation in his parish. Of 
Rahere's church nothing remains but the choir, with a procession path 
surrounding its east end. The modem tower of brick was built in 
1628. Still, the church is, beyond all question, the oldest in the City of 
London, having been erected nearly 750 years ; and its restoration has 
been commenced, and will, it is hoped, be completed. 

" We have few monuments of mediaeval art in London, (says the Rev. 
Mackenzie Walcott,) and with the exception of the unrivalled Church 
of Westminster, and the surviving portion of St. Mary Overye, there 
is not one among them to compete in size, importance, or archxological 
interest, with the old minster of St. Bartholomew, Smithfield. It is to 
be hoped that the wealthy citizens of London and other churchmen will 
not withhold their contributions, which might be made a memorial for 
the martyrs who suffered the baptism of fire on the adjoining ground 
for the doctrine of the Church of England, but will aid in the spirit of 
an ancient worthy : ' Revere founders, revere their names, revere that 
ancient glory and honourable age, which venerable in man, in cities are 
sacred.'"* 

Stow records having seen in his youth, on tht? eve of St. Bartholomew, 
the scholars of divers grammar-schools repair to the churchyard, and 
upon a bank under a tree, dispute with one another: on the Suppres- 



Plin. ad Max., Ep. viii. 24. 
£ 3 



52 Romance of Bay Hard's Ca^tU. 

sion, these opponences were removed for a few years to the cloisters f)f 
Christ's Hospital, in the time of Edward VI. ; and the conquerors in 
the wordy war were rewarded with bows and arrows of silver.* 



Romance of Baynard's Castle. 

On the north bank of the Thames, immediately below St. Paul's, and 
in the line of Upper Thames-street, stood two Castles — all traces of which 
nave long since disappeared, with the exception of the name of one of them, 
which is still preserved to the Ward of Castle Baynai'd, wherein it was 
situated. Of this fortress, especially, many are the romantic tales which 
might be told. It was so called of its founder, William Baynard, a 
nobleman, lord of Dunmow, who came in with William the Conqueror. 
Fitzstephen, who wrote in the reign of Henry II., describes it as a 
considerable building in his time ; and Gervasius of Tilbury, a contem- 
porary writer, speaks of two castles, built with walls and ramparts, 
whereof one is in right of possession Baynard's, the other is the Baron 
Montfichet's, Baynard, the founder of the foiTner, dying in the reign 
of William Rufus, left it to his son Geoffrey, from whom it came to 
William Baynard ; who, having forfeited his barony of Little Dunmow, 
and "honor of Baynard's Castle," both were conferred by Henry I. on 
Robert Fitzwalter, the son of Gilbert, Earl of Clare, in whose family it 
remained for three centuries. 

A love story is told of this family in the reign of King John. 
Robert, baron Fitzwalter, lord of Castle Baynard, had a lovely daugh- 
ter, Matilda the Fair. The " Chronicle of Dunmow" saith that discord 
a/ose between the King and his barons, because of the above Matilda, 
whom the king loved; but her father would not consent, and thereupon 
war ensued throughout England. " The King spoiled especially the 
castle of Baynard, in London, and other holds and houses of the barons. 
Fitzwalter, Fitzrobert, and Mountfichet passed over into France; some 
also went into Wales, and some into Scotland, and did great damage to 
the King. Whilst Maude the Fair remained at Duinuow, there came a 
messenger unto her from King John, about his suit in love ; but because 
she would not agree, the messenger poisoned a boiled or poached egg, 
against she was hungrie, whereof she died, and was buried in the choi\ 
at Dunmow." The name of Rolwrt Fitzwalter. the father of this un- 
happy maid, is placed by Matthew Paris at the head ot the Barons wha 



* Abridged from Knight's Liiidom, vol. ii., where tlic valuable manuscript i« 
more fully cjuoted. 



Romance of Baynard's Castle. 53 

came armed to King John in the Temple, and made those demands 
which finally resulted in the signing of Magna Charta. 

Another romantic story is related of his reconciliation with the King, 
which we would fain hope is not true ; and there is difficulty in believ- 
ing it, from the confusion of dates. If King John really poisoned his 
daughter, and acted throughout towards her as he is represented to 
have done, no true man, as Fitzwalter appears to have been, would have 
ever condescended to be taken into his favour. The following is the 
story: — King John being in France, after the flight of Fitzwalter from 
England, concluded a truce with the French king for five years. Whe^ 
the truce was proclaimed, an English knight invited any knight from 
the French to cross the stream that divided the two armies, and take a 
joust or two with him. The invitation or challenge was accepted, and 
a knight of the French plunged his horse into the river and swam across, 
and defeated the English knight in so masterly a manner, that King 
John, struck with admiration, is said to have exclaimed, " Happy is the 
king who has such a knight as this !" The words were reported to the 
victor, who was no other than Fitzwalter, who had joined the French 
aimy ; and he was so flattered with the praise that he came the next day, 
threw himself at the feet of John, and was pardoned for his defection. 
He then returned to England, rebuilt Castle Bayuard, which John had 
thrown down, and resided in it with great magnificence until his death. 

In 1428, being then, probably, by another forfeiture a part of the 
Royal possessions, the Castle was almost entirely destroyed by fire, but 
was soon after granted to and rebuilt by Humphrey, Duke of Glouces- 
ter, for his own residence. In this castle the Council assembled which 
proclaimed the Earl of March King, under the title of Edward IV,; 
and here also his luckless boy was proclaimed Edward V. 

But the castle acquired its greatest celebrity in connexion witli 
Richard, Duke of Gloucester, aftenvards Richard HI., who here 
assumed the regal dignity. Here Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, 
offered the crown to Richard, in the court of the castle ; and here 
Shakspeare has laid a scene of inimitable excellence. Buckingham, in 
veritable history, will be remembered as the seconder of Dr. Shaw's 
sermon at Paul's Cross, to establish the illegitimacy of the children ot 
Edward IV., and thus clear the way to the throne for the wily Richard, 
Duke of Gloucester. Two days afterwards, the Duke of Buckingham 
larangued the citizens in the same strain with Shaw; and on the 2-th 
of June tliat nobleman presented to Richard, in his mother's house at 
Baynard's Castle, a parchment purporting to be a declaration of the 
Tli-'W Estates in favour of Richard, as the only legitimate prince of the 



54 Romance of Baynard's Castle. 

House of York. Buckingham had been sent by Richard to Guildhall, 
to see his suit well urged, and bring the Lord Mayor and aldermen to 
him, saying, " If you thrive well, bring them to Baynard's Castle, where 
you shall find me well accompanied with reverend fathers, and well 
learned bishops;" then, with seeming reluctance, Richard repels the oftei 
of the glittering crown, but at length accepts. Buckingham then salutes 
Gloucester as " England's worthy king ;" the day of coronation is fixed ; 
Gloucester says to the two bishops, 

" Come, let us to our holy work again ;" 
and thus ends this usually well-acted scene of royal hypocrisy and 
blood-stained guilt. By the way, this was the incident which so de- 
lighted George II., that when Ganick asked his Majesty, on leaving 
the box, how he liked the play, the King replied seriously, " Fine lor 
mayor, capital lor mayor; where you get such lor mayor?" 

Baynard's Castle was the scene of many other historical events, prior 
to its destruction in the Great Fire. Henry VII. changed the castle 
from a fortress to a palace. He lodged in it occasionally, and from 
hence made several of his solemn processions. Here, in 1505, he lodged 
Philip of Austria, the matrimonial King of Castile, when he was driven 
to England by a tempest. 

The Castle was the residence of Sir William Sydney, who died 
chamberlain and steward to Edward VI. It next became the resi- 
dence of the Earls of Pembroke ; and in 1553, on the 9th of July, about 
a fortnight after the death of Edward VI., William Herbert, Earl of 
Pembroke, assembled there the council of the nobility and clergy, at 
which the determination was taken, on the motion of Lord Arundel, to 
abandon the cause of Lady Jane Grey, and to proclaim Queen Mary, 
which accordingly was instantly done in different parts of the city. 
It is recorded of this Earl, that " he rode on the 1 7th of February, 
1553, to his mansion of Baynard Castle, with 300 horse in his retinue, 
of which 100 of them were gentlemen in plain blue cloth, with chains 
of gold, and badges of a dragon on their sleeves." He died on the 1 7th 
of March, 1569-70, and was buried in tlie cathedral of St. Paul's with 
Buch magnificence, that the mourning given at his funeral, according to 
Stov.', cost the very large sum, at that perioil, of 200c/. 

Queen Elizabeth visited the Earl of Pembroke at liaynard's Castle, 
and t<xjk supper witli his lordship ; after wliicii the Queen showed her- 
self from a balcony to tlie people assembled in boats and barges upon 
the river ; and then entered her own barge amid a brilliant display of 
fircworkfl, and the acclamations of the |)eople. 

Here Philip, Eail of Pembroke and Montgomery, was (July 9, 1641) 



Romance of Baynard' s Castle. 55 

rr.stalled Chancellor of the University of Oxford ; and here his second 
Countess, the still more celebrated " Anne Pembroke, Dorset, and 
Montgomery," took up her abode, while her husband resided at the 
Cockpit, at Whitehall. She describes Baynard Castle in her Me- 
moirs, as " a house full of riches, and more secured by my lying 
there." On the 19th of June, 1660, King Charles II. went to supper 
here, as Pepys records : " My Lord [;>., Lord Sandwich] went at 
night with the King to Baynard's Castle to supper." 1 

The Earls of Shrewsbury were the last proprietors of this famous 
castle, and resided in it until its destruction by the Great Fire. It is 
represented in an old print as a square pile, surrounding two courts, and 
surmoimted with numerous towers. A large gateway in the middle of 
the south side, led to the river by a bridge of two arches and stairs. In 
Hollar's View of London after the Great Fire, we see the river front 
standing, with its numerous towers; but to the right and left of the 
Castle the ruins of the fire are very extensive, and we miss or see 
In ruins many a noble mansion. 

The principal front of the castle was in Thames-street. Two of the 
towers, incorporated with other buildings, remained till the present 
century, when they were pulled down to make way for the Carron Iron 
Company's premises. The ward in which stood the fortress-palace ia 
named Castle Baynard, as is also a wharf upon the site ; and a public-house 
in the neighbourhood long bore the sign of " Duke Humphrey's Head." 

In Notes and Queries, No. ii, it is shown that Bainiardus, who gave 
his name to Baynard's Castle, held land here of the Abbot of West- 
minster ; and in a grant as late as 1 653 is described " the common field 
at Paddington" (now Bayswater Field), as being, " near to a place com- 
monly called Baynard's Watering." Hence it is concluded " that this 
portion of ground, always remarkable for its springs of excellent water, 
once supplied water to Baynard, his household, or his castle ; that the 
memory of his name was preserved in the neighbourhood for six cen- 
turies ;" and that this watering-place is now Bayswater. 

There is a curious record of the failure of Lord Fitzwalter to place 
delinquents in the stocks, which he had set up at Castle Baynard at his 
own will. The citizens were in an uproar at this abuse ; and Fitz- 
walter being no longer in possession at Castle Baynard, he had to take 
down the stocks. The Fitzwalters had, however, a stranger privilege than 
even this : they had the privilege of drowning traitors in the Thames. 
The " patient" was made fast to a pillar at Wood Wharf, and left 
there for the tide to flow twice over, and ebb twice from him, while 
the crowd looked en, and enjoyed tlie barbarous spectacle I 



56 The Beggar's Daughter of Bethnal Green. 

Adjoining Bajmard's Castle was another tower, built by Edward II., 
which his son gave to William de Ross, of Hamlake, in Yorkshire, he 
having done sei-yice in the wars against Scotland and France ; for this 
tower he paid yearly a rose. 

The other castle, of which mention is made by Fitzstephen in his 
account of London, was called the Castle of Montfichet, and stood to 
the west of Castle Baynard. It was founded by Gilbert de Monfichet, 
a native of Rouen, and related to the Conqueror. He brought with 
\\TS\ a great force, and fought gallantly in his cause at the Battle of 
Hastings. This tower was demolished by King John in 12 13, after 
banishing Richard, successor to Gilbert, the actual owner: the mateiiala 
were applied, in 1276, towards building the monastery of Blackfriars. 



The Beggar's Daughter of Bethnal Green. 

The low-lying district, formerly a " Green," but now covered with 
masses of small houses, was once a hamlet of Stepney, but was made a 
parish in 1743. It is of long celebrity from the old English ballad of 
" The Beggar's Daughter of Bednall-Green," written in the reign of 
Queen Elizabeth. It is founded, though without the least appearance of 
truth, or even probability, on a legend of the time of Henry III. Henry 
de Montfort, son of the ambitious Earl of Leicester, who was slain with 
his father at the memorable battle of Evesham, is the hwo of the tale. 
He is supposed (according to the legend), to have been discovered 
among the bodies of the slain by a young lady, in an almost Ufeless 
state, and deprived of sight by a wound which he had received in the 
tattle. Under the fostering hand of this " faire damosel," he soon re- 
covered, and afterwards marrying her, she became the mother of " the 
comelyc and prettye Bessee." Fearing lest his rank and person should 
be discovered by his enemies, he disguised himself in the habit of a 
beggar, and took up his abode at Bethnal Green. The beauty of his 
daughter attracted many suitors, and she was at length married to a 
noble knight, who regardless of her supposed meanness and poverty, 
had the courage to make her his wife, her other lovers having deserted 
ner, on account of her low origin. In the ballad, the " Song of the 
Beggar" contains the whole of the legend concerning de Montfojt, as 

follows t 

" A poore beggar's dauglitcr did dwell on a grccne, 
Who for her fairnt-ssc might well be a qucenc: 
A bliihe bonny husc, and a ditintye wiu> shee, 
And many a oae called her pretty Uesjiec 



TJie Beggar s Daughter of Bethual Green. 57 

Her father hee had noe goods nor noe land, 
But begg'd for a penny all day with his hand ; 
And yett to her marriage he gave thousands three, 
And still he hath somewhat for pretty Bessce. 

And if any one her birth doe disdaine, 
Her father is ready, with might and with mainc. 
To prove shee is come of noble degree — 
Therefore never fiout att the prettye Bessee. 

• * • • « 

Then give me leave, nobles and gentles, each OM^ 
One song more to sing, and then I have done ; 
And if that itt may not winn good report, 
Then doe not give me a guoat for my sport. 

Sir Simon de Montfort my subject shall bee, 
Once chiefe of all the great barons was hee — 
Yet fortune so cruelle this lorde did abase, 
Now lost and forgotten are hee and his race. 

When the barons in armes did King Henr)'e oppcae* 
Sir Simon de Montfort tlieir leader they chose — 
A leader of courage undaunted was hee, 
And oft-times he made their enemyes flee. 

At length in the battle on Evesham's plaine 

The barons were routed, and Montfort was slaine ; 

Moste fatall that battel did prove unto thee, 

Thoughe thou wast not borne then, my prettye Besscc I 

Along with the nobles that fell at thy tyde. 
His eldest son Henrye, who fought by his side, 
Was f?llde by a blowe he receiv'd in the fighteJ 
A blowo that deoriv'd him for ever of sight. 

Among the dead bodyes all lifeless* he laye. 
Till evening drewe on of the following daye, 
Wher. Lj a young ladye discover'd was bee — 
And Ihis was thy mother, my pretty Bessee i 

A baron's faire daughter stept forth in the nighte, 
To search for her father, who fell in the fight. 
And seeing young Montfort, where gasping li;.- laye, 
Was moved with pitye, and broughte him awaye. 

In secrette she nurst him, and swaged his paine. 
While he throughe the realine was beleev'd to be slaino: 
At lengthe his faire bride she consented to bee. 
And made him glad father of prettye Bessee. 

And nowe, lest oure foes our lives shoulde betrayer 
We clotlied ourselves in beggar's arraye ; 
Her Jewells she solde, and hither came wee — 
All our comfort and care was our pretty Bessee. 

And here have wee lived in fortune's despite, 
Thoughe poore, yet contented with humble delighta. 
Full forty winters thus have I beene 
A silly blind beggar of Bednall Cicene. 



53 The Lollards at Lamhcth Palace. 

And here, noble lords, is ended the song 
Of one that once to your owne ranke did belong ; 
And thus have you learned a secrette from mee, 
That ne'er had beene knowne but for prettye liessec* 

Here is a portrait of the Blind Beggar: — 

" My father, shee said, is soone to be seene, 
The sicly blind beggar of Bednall-green, 
That daylye sits begging for charitie, 
lie is the good father of prettye Bessee. 

His markes and his tokens are known ver)' well ; 
He always is led with a dogg and a bell. 
A seely old man, God knoweth, is bee, 
Yet he is the father of prettye Bessee." 

Lysons tells us that " the story of the Blind Beggar seems to have 
gained much credit in the village, where it decorates not only the sign- 
posts of tb^ publicans, but the staflf of the parish-beadle." 

In 1570, there was a house at Bethnal Green, built by John Thorpe, 
the architect of Holland House, for John Kirby, of whom nothing is 
known; but the house was distinguished in rhyme as " Kirby 's Castle," 
and associated with other memorable follies in brick and mortar: 

" Kirkeby's Castell and Fisher's Follie, 
Spinila's pleasure and Megse's gloria." 

This house was inhabited in 1663 by Sir William Rider, to whom 
Pepys records a pleasant visit: " 26 June, 1663. By coach to Bednall- 
green to Sir W. Rider's to dinner. A fine merry walk with the ladies 
alone after dinner in the garden : the greatest quantities of strawberries 
I ever saw, and good." Pepys speaks with less authority of the man- 
sion: ''This very house," he says, "was built by the Blind Beggar of 
Bednall-green, so much talked of and sung in ballads ; but they say it 
was only some of the outhouses of it." 



The Lollards at Lambeth Palace. 

Few of the venerable edifices of this kingdom are more richly 
stored with historical associations than the archiepiscopal palace of 
Lambeth. Its origin, as stated by Matthew Paris, in the words of his 
translator Stow, is curious. •' Boniface," saith Matthew Paris, " Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, in his visitation came to this Priory [of St. 
Hirtliolomcw, in Smithficld], where being received in procession in the 
most solemn wise, he said that he passed not upon tlie honour, but came 
to visit thctR. To whom the canuns answered, that they, having a 



The Lollards at Lamhcth Palace. 59 

learned bishop, ought not, m contempt of him to be visited by any other. 
Which answer so much offended the Archbishop, that he forthwith 
fell on the Sub-Prior, and smote him on the face, saying ' Indeed! 
Indeed ! doth it become you English traitors so to answer me ?' Thus 
raging, with oaths not to be recited, he rent in pieces the rich cope of 
the Sub-Prior, and trod it under his foot, and thrust him against a 
pillar of the chancel with such violence that he had almost killed him. 
But the canons seeing their Sub-Prior thus almost slain, came and 
plucked off the Archbishop with such force that they overthrew him 
backwards, whereby they might see he was armed and prepared to fight. 
The Archbishop's men, seeing their master down, being all strangers, 
and their master's countrymen, bom at Provence, fell upon the canons, 
beat them, tore them, and trod them under foot. At length, the canons, 
getting away as well as they could, ran, bloody and miry, rent and 
torn, to the Bishop of London to complain, who bade them go to the 
King at Westminster, and tell him thereof. Whereupon four of them 
went thither ; the rest were not able, they were so sore hurt. But 
when they came to Westminster, the King would neither hear nor see 
them, so they retunied, without redress. In the mean season, the 
whole city was in an uproar, and ready to have rung the common bell, 
and to have hewed the Archbishop of Canterbury into small pieces ; 
who was secretly kept to Lambeth, where they sought him, and not 
knowing him by sight, said to themselves. Where is that ruffian, that 
cruel smiter ? He is no winner of souls, but an exactor of money, 
whom neither God nor any lawful or free election did bring to this pro- 
motion ; but the King did unlawfully intrude him ; being unlearned, a 
stranger born, having a wife, &c. But the Archbishop conveyed him- 
self over [to Westminster,] and went to the king, with a great com- 
plaint against the canons, whereas himself was guilty." So the Arch- 
bishop from Lambeth boldly issued a sentence of excommunication 
against his opposers, satisfied that the king would support him in his 
violent tyranny. Another tribunal, however, was appealed to, which 
had no particular prepossession for the Archbishop — the Pope; who 
commanded him, by way of expiation, to build a splendid mansion at 
Lambeth for the occupant of the see, in the room of the humble 
manor-house that is supposed to have existed previously. 

Such was the origin of the first building erected at Lambeth as 
the archiepiscopal seat. That portion of the pal?ce known as the 
Lollards' To-wer is more directly associated with history than any other 
part of the present edifice. The Lollards, named from their low- 
tone of singing, (in German lollen,) at interments, will be rememberea 



6o The Lollards at Lambeth Palace. 

in our history as a numerous sect, whose powerflil preaching produced 
an extensive refoiTnation in religious opinion in the fourteenth century. 
They endured severe persecutions with sincerity and firmness ; but in 
general we find an extravagant fanaticism among them. In their un- 
social qualities, as well as in their superior abilities, the Lollards beat 
a very close resemblance to the Puritans of Elizabeth's reign. The 
Lollards numbered among them many eminent followers of Wickliffe. 
Fostered by the general ill-will towards the Church, his principles made 
vast progress in England, and unlike those of earlier sectaines, were 
embraced by men of rank and civil infiuence. Notwithstanding the 
check they sustained by the sanguinary law of Henry IV., it is highly 
probable that multitudes secretly cherished them down to the Refor- 
mation. As the virulence of the Lollards was thus directed against the 
Church, we might expect to find its high seat the prime scene of 
defence. Accordingly, the Registers of Lambeth Palace, or rather the 
See of Canterbury, record several proceedings against this sect. Wick- 
liffe himself appeared here to defend his tenets. He had been previously 
cited to St. Paul's, whither he went, attended by the all-powerful John 
of Gaunt. A new and what was intended to be a more private council 
was held in the Archbishop's Chapel, at Lambeth, before which Wick- 
liffe appeared, "when not only the London citizens, but the mob, 
presumed to force themselves into the chapel, and to speak in Dr. 
Wickliffe's behalf, to the great terror of the delegates ; and that the 
Queen's mother sent Sir Lewis Clifford to them to forbid them to 
proceed to any definitive sentence ;" with which message the delegates 
are said to have been much confounded "As the reed of a wind 
shaken," says Walsingham, " their speech became as soft as oil, to the 
public loss of their own dignity, and the damage of the whole church. 
They were struck with such dread that you would think thorn to be as 
a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs." On 
this occasion, Wickliffe delivered in writing an elaborate statement of 
his views, but the delegates commanded him to repeat no more such 
propositions either in his schools or his a'l-mons. 

Foremost among the defenders of the Church was Archbishop 
Arundel, in the reigns of Richard II., Henry IV., and Henry V. ; and 
it is presumed that his influence much contributed to pass the horrible 
law referred to above; while he has the bad reputation of being the first 
head of the Church of England who brought in the argument t)f the 
fiery stake to convince heretics of their heresy. The statute coniletnned 
to be burnt all wlio were eonvictctl iKibre the diocesan of obstinate or 
relapsed hticsy, and commanded the sherilVor otiier local niiigistrate to 



The Lollards at Lambeth Palace. 6 1 

commit the oiTender against the Divine Majesty to the flames. In the 
reigns of both the Henries considerable numbers thus suffered death. 
The first sufferer, William Sawtre, was executed in 14 lo. But Sir 
John Oldcastle, Lord Cobham, was the most conspicuous of the first 
heretics ; or in other words, of the first who preferred death to insin- 
cerity, under the new law for burning heretics. His rank and military 
reputation enhanced, in some respects, his merit, and gave more efficacy 
to the example of his martyrdom. Hem y V. laboured to soften Cob- 
ham's determination ; and it was only after his courageous refusal that 
he was abandoned to Archbishop Arundel. Cobham was tried, con- 
victed, and condemned, but escaped from his prison ; he was retaken, 
and in 14 17, executed under the avowed authority of the Archbishop 
and his judicial synod, condemning Oldcastle as an incorrigible hei-etic. 
Soon after passing the sentence, an inflammation of the throat speedily 
put an end to Arundel's life. This incident, with a pardonable degree 
of superstition, considering the times, the Lollards transformed into a 
special judgment. 

If Arundel merits the stigma of " the fiercest persecutor of the Lol- 
lards," his successor. Archbishop Chicheley, has left a more substantial 
memorial of his conduct towards this sect, in the Lollards^ Toiver at 
Lambeth, which he built in the years 1434 and 1435. It is a large 
stone building, and derives its name fiom the Lollards' prison which it 
contains, the ascent to which is by a narrow newel stone staircase ; 
the steps are much worn, and fill the mind with gloomy retrospections 
of the many victims that must have contributed to this decay. It 
is entered by a small, pointed stone doorway, barely sufficient for one 
person to pass at a time; which doorway has an inner and outer door 
of strong oak, thickly studded with iron, and fastenings to correspond. 
Secured to the wainscot which lines the walls are eight large iron 
rings. The wainscot, the ceiling, and every part of this chamber is 
entirely lined with oak, nearly an inch and a half in thickness. It has 
two very small windows, narrowing outwards. A small chimney is on 
the north part ; and upon the sides are various scratches, half-sentences, 
initials, and in one or two places a crucifix, cut out with a knife, or 
some other sharp instrument, by the prisoners who are supposed to have 
been conlined here. 

Not only was Lambeth Palace thus employed for the punishment or 
ecclesiastical offenders, for Queen Elizabeth appropriated it as a state- 
prison : besides committing the two Popish prelates, Tunstall and Thirlby, 
to the custody of the Archbishop, her Majesty committed here 
Other persons of rank. The Earl of Essex was confined here before he 



62 TJie Lollards at Lambeth Palace. 

was sent to the Tower. It was usual for the prisoners to be kept in 
separate apartments, and to eat at the Archbishop 'a table. The '^ower 
appears to have cost building only 278/. 2s. ii\d.: the ironwork about 
the windows and doors amounted to 1322^ lb. in weight. There is a 
minute account of the cost of each item : a bricklayer and a tiler's wages 
were then, by the day, with victuals, ^d. ; a labourer's, with victuals, 
3^., without victuals, 3^^^. On the exterior is a niche, in which was 
the image of St. Thomas a Becket, which image cost 13J. ^d. There 
is also a small apartment adjoining the porter's lodge, and supposed to 
have been anciently used as a second prison for confining the overflowing 
of the Lollards' Tower. This room has three iron rings fastened in the 
wall ; it has a double door ; the windows are high and narrow, and the 
walls, which are lined with stone, are of prodigious thickness. An 
additional proof of the ancient appropriation of this room is, that here 
is the same description of writing as in the Lollards' Tower, cut in the 
wall. The name of Grafton, in the Old English character, is perfectly 
legible ; and near it are a cross and other figures rudely delineated. 

At the Gieat Gate of the Palace, built by Cardinal Morton, about 
1490, the Dole, immemorially given by the Archbishops of Canterbury 
to the indigent parishioners of Lambeth, is constantly distributed. Its 
recipients are 30 poor widows, from sixty to seventy years of age, each 
of whom, three days a week, has a loaf, meat, and 2\d. Soup is also 
given to them, and many other poor persons. The word dole signifies 
a share or portion, and is still used in that sense; but in foimer times it 
was more particularly applied to the alms (broken victuals, &c.), cus- 
tomarily distiibuted at the gates of great men. Stow, in his examples 
of housekeeping, laments the decline of this laudable custom in his day, 
" which before had been so general that almes-dhbes (into which certain 
portions of meat for the needy were carved), were to be seen at every 
nobleman and prelate's table." As the firet in place and dignity under 
the sovereign, the Archbishops of Canterbury appear to have exercised 
this ancient virtue of hospitality in a supercminent degree; and in 
Archbishop Parker's Regulations for the ofliccrs of his household at 
Lambeth, it was ordered that there should bo " no purloining of meat 
left upon the tables, but that it 1)c putt into the almes-tubb, and the 
tubbe to l)e kept swcete and cleane before it be used from time to time." 
The desuetude of wliich Stow complains may pi)ssibly be ascribed to 
the institution of the Poor-Laws in Queen Elizabtth'b rcigo. 



63 



Stories of the Savoy. 

The site in the Strand which bears this name, but is now paitly 
occupied by the northern approach to Waterloo Bridge, and the build- 
ings of Lancaster Place, is suggestive of a long train of historical 
memories. More than six centuries ago, the site was granted to Peter, 
Earl of Savoy and Richmond, uncle unto Eleanor, wife to King 
Henry III., and who, being on a visit to his niece, in the year 1245, 
obtained by means of her influence over the King, not only titles but 
possessions in England. Here he erected one of the most magnificent 
buildings on the banks of the Thames. There were houses standing 
upon the site at the time, which must have been pulled down when he 
built his palace. "In 30 Henry III. the king granted to Peter de 
Savoy the inheritance of those houses in the street called the Strand, in 
the suburbs of London, and adjoining to the river of Thames, formerly 
belonging to Brian de Lisle, paying yearly to the king's exchequer, at 
the Feast of St. Michael, three barbed arrows for all services." Peter 
de Savoy, not choosing to end his days in England, bestowed his 
palace on the fraternity of Mountjoy (or Priory de Cornuto by Haver- 
ing-at-the-Bower, in Essex), of whom it was bought by Queen Eleanor, 
for Edmund, Earl of Lancaster, second son of King Henry III, His 
son, Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, was beheaded during the reign of 
Edward II.; and the Savoy then became the property of his brother, 
Henry, who enlarged it, and made it so magnificent in 1328, at an 
expense of 52,000 marks (" which money," says Stow, " he had ga- 
thered together at the town of Bridgerike"), that there was, according 
to Knighton, no mansion in the realm to be compared with it in beauty 
and stateliness. After the decease of the Earl's son, the first Duke of 
Lancaster, in 1351, one of the daughters of the latter married the 
famous John of Gaunt, who became, in consequence, the possessor of 
the Savoy. Six years later occurred an event which has bequeathed 
to the locality one of its most interesting memories, — the residence of 
the captive King John of France. The battle of Poictiers took place on 
the 19th of September, 1356, and on the 24th of April following, the 
King, with his illustrious conqueror, the Black Prince, the darling of 
our old historians, entered London, by Kent-street, Southwark, then 
the only public road into London from the south. It was an obscure 
route. Yet, what long lines of conquest and devotion, of turmoil and 
rebellion, of victory, gorgeous pageantry, and grim death, have poured 
through this narrow inlet of old London I The Roman invader came 



64 Stories of tits Savoy. 

along the rich mai-shy ground now supporting " Kentish-stieet;" thou- 
sands of pious and weary pilgrims have passed along this causeway to 
St. Thomas of Canterbury ; and here the Black Prince rode with his royal 
captive from Poictiei^s, and the victor of Agincourt was carried in kingly 
state to his last earthly bourne. By this route, Cade advanced with his 
20,000 insurgents from Blackheath to Southwai-k ; and the ill-fated 
Wyat marched to discomfiture and death. The Black Prince was re- 
ceived with excessive joy, but constantly refused all honoui"s that were 
offered to him, being satisfied with those paid to the captive king. Lin- 
gard says: " His father had given the necessary directions for his entry 
into the capital, under pretence of doing honour to the King of Finance; 
an unwelcome honour, which served to remind that monarch of his 
captivity, and to make him the principal omament in the triumph of his 
conqueror." He was received by Henry Picard, the Mayor, and 
the AldeiTnen, in all their formalities, with the City pageants; and 
in the streets, as he passed to ^^^estminster, the citizens hung out all 
their plate, tapestry, and armour, so that the like had never been seen 
before in the memory of man. 

With the same touching delicacy of feeling which characterized all 
the proceedings of the Prince towards his prisoner, from the first supper 
after the battle, (when he served the French monarch kneeling, and re- 
fused to sit at table with him,) John was now mounted on a richly 
caparisoned cream-coloured charger, while the Prince rode by his side 
on a little black palfrey. The accompanying procession was most mag- 
nificent. The Savoy was appropriated to King John during the period of 
his stay; and "thither," says Froissart, " came to see him the King and 
Queen oftentimes, and made him great feast and cheer. The ne- 
gotiations as to John's ransom were long protracted, and it was not till 
October, 1 360, that the terms were settled ; when all the parties being 
at Calais, the French king and twenty-four of his barons on the one 
side, and Edward, with twenty-seven of his barons on the other, swore 
to observe the conditions, and John was liberated on the following day. 
He returned to France, but was unable to fulfil his portion of the 
treaty ; and to add to his mortification, his son, the Duke of Anjou, 
entered Paris from Calais, where he had been permitted by the English, 
whose prisoner he was, to reside, and which he had only been able to 
leave by breaking his parole. These, and it is said, various other and 
more doubtful circumstances, made him resolve upon a line of conduct 
which his courtiers vainly strove to drive him from by ridicule ; and to 
the astonishment of all parties, lie suddenly returned to London, whctp 
br was received with open arms by Edward, and took up his final resi- 



Stories of the Savoy. €■(, 

dencc at the Savoy. Under the date 1364, we tind in Stow's Chronicle 
the following passage: "The 9th day of April, died John, King of 
France, at the Savoy, beside Westminster ; his corpse was honoui-ably 
conveyed to St. Denis, in France." 

John of Gaunt lived at the Savoy in almost regal state, and here, 
which is a fact more interesting than his magnificence, Geoffrey 
Chaucer was his frequent guest. Here, under the protection of the 
Duke of Lancaster and his amiable J')uchc8s Blanche, Chaucer passed 
the happiest hours of his life ; and here also he found a wite in the 
person of Philippa, a lady of the Duchess' household, and sister to the 
Lady Catherine Swynford. The date of Chaucer's poem, the Assembly 
of Fowls, or the Parliament of Birds, may be referred to the year 1358, 
upon the supposition, which appears to be generally admitted, that it 
was composed with reference to the intended marriage between John 
of Gaunt and Blanche of Lancaster, which took place in 1359, and 
which the lady is represented in the poem as deferring for a twelve- 
month. From this circumstance, also, we gather the not unimportant 
fact, that at this time Chaucer was on terms of intimacy with John of 
Gaunt. The poem called The Dream is supposed to have been written 
on the occasion of the nuptials. Chaucer's own marriage with Philippa, 
the maid of honour in the royal household, subsequently brought him 
into the most intimate relations with John of Gaunt, and the Duke's 
regard for Chaucer and his wife was evinced by many substantial gifts. 
Some of Chaucer's finest poems were composed in the Savoy, and were 
on the subject of its inmates ; among which must be especially noticed 
the one entitled Clxiucers Dream, which is an allegorical history of the 
loves of John of Gaunt and Blanche of Lancaster, and of his own mar- 
riage with the Lady Philippa. Whether the poet was married in the 
Savoy, or in the neighbouring church, does not appear. 

During John of Gaunt's occupancy, the Savoy was twice pillaged by 
a mob. The first occasion was in the year 1376, when the Duke had 
made himself unpopular by his bold speech to the Bishop of London in 
St. Paul's church, at the citation of Wickliffe. Lord Percy, the fi-iend 
of John of Gaunt, had requested that Wicklifle might be allowed to 
sit ; but the Bishop of London replied that he must stand up and re- 
main uncovered, for he appeared there as a criminal, and no criminal 
could be allowed to sit in the presence of his judges. John of Gaunt, 
in great anger, turned to the Bishop, and exclaimed, loud enough tc be 
lieaid by the whole assembly, that " he would humble his pride, and 
the pride of every arrogant bishop in the kingdom." The prelate mad« 
some reply, which increased the anger of the Duke of LancasfcT yj 
* g 



(i6 Stories of the Savoy. 

much, that he turned pale in the face, and whispered in the ear of t>ie 
Bishop, that rather than sit there and be insulted by a priest, he would 
drag him out of the church by the hair of his head. The threat was 
heard by the nearest bystander, and was soon whispered from one to 
another till everybody in the church was aware of it. It then became 
rumoured among the populace, who, anxious for the condemnation of 
Wickliffe, had assembled in great numbers in the churchyard. A cry 
immediately arose among them, and it was proposed to break into the 
church, and pull John of Gaunt fi-om his judgment-seat. At his de- 
parture he was received with yells by the mob, who ran after him and 
pelted him with dirt. He was so exasperated against them, that he pro- 
ceeded immediately to Westminster, where the Parliament was sitting^ 
and in his place as President, introduced a motion that fiom that day 
forth all the privileges of the citizens of London should be annulled ; 
and that there should be no longer a lord mayor, sheriff, or other 
popular magistrates, and that the entire jurisdiction within tlw? City 
should be vested in Lord Percy, the Chief Marshal of England. When 
news of this proposal reached the citizens on the following day, they 
assembled in great numbers, swearing to have the life of the Duke 
After pillaging the Marshalsea, where Lord Percy resided, they pro- 
ceeded to the Savoy, and killed a priest whom they found in the house, 
and thought to be Lord Percy in disguise. They then broke all the 
valuable furniture, threw the fragments into the Thames, and left 
little more standing than the bare walls of the palace. John of Gaunt 
and Lord Percy were dining at the house of a wealthy merchant in the 
City, when this news reached them ; and from thence they escaped in 
disguise by rowing up the river in an open boat, passing the Savoy at 
the very moment while the mob were throwing the magnificent furni- 
ture from the windows. But for the Bishop of London, who, hearing 
of the riot, had hurried to the Savoy, the palace would no doubt have 
bcx'n destroyed, as it was a little later, under very similar circumstances. 
The people, to show their opinion of the Duke, reversed his arms, traitor- 
fashion. The civic authorities were obliged to exhibit a very diflcrent 
demeanour: one of the last audiences given by Edward II L was that 
to the lord mayor and aldermen, at Shene (Richmond), who came to 
crave pardon of the Duke, in his presence, for their grievous oflciice. 
Not thi- less, however, were they all ousted from oHicc by the powerful 
Duke, and creatures of his own substituted. 

Five years afterwards, a still more serious attack was maile upon the 
Savoy. John of Gaiuit being particularly obnoxious to the rebels under 
vVat 'i'ylcr, the whulc body of the inburj^ents, under the guidance of 



Stories of the Savoy, 6j 

that chief, marched to the Savoy with the intention of burning it to the 
ground. Proclamation was previously made by the leaders that, as 
their object was not plunder, all the rich jewels, furniture, pictures, 
plate, and other articles, should be burned, or thiovvn into the Thames; 
and that any one appropriating the property to his own uses, should 
suffer death. The Duke of Lancaster was then absent pursuing the war 
in Scotland, and the attack being sudden, no means of defence were 
taken by those in possession of the palace. It is not true, as stated in 
Hardyng's Chronicle, that the Duke was in the palace at the time, and 
fled into Scotland in consequence. John of Gaunt was no such craven ; 
and if he had been in London, and had fled, he would not have fled to 
such a distance. No palace in Christendom, at that time, contained 
greater wealth than the palace of the Savoy ; and the greater portion of 
it was destroyed. The rebels broke the vessels of gold and silver into 
small pieces, and threw them into the Thames ; they tore the rich hang- 
ings of velvet, silk, and embroidered drapery, together with an immense 
quantity of linen and wearing apparel into shreds, or burned it ; and 
the rings or jewels were broken in mortars, and the fragments thrown 
into the flames, or into the river. It is said that one of the mob being 
seen to hide a valuable piece of plate in his bosom, he was thrust into 
the fire with his booty, and burned to death, amidst the shouts of his 
fellows, who exclaimed that they were freemen and lovers of justice, 
not thieves or robbers. They were less scrupulous as regards wine : 
the rich citizens had set open their cellars, and they had drunk of the 
wines to such excess that they were maddened. Thirty-two of the 
rebels broke into a cellar of the Savoy, where they drank so much wine 
that they were prevented getting out in ti me, by masses of felling stones 
and rubbish from the burning palace, and they died of suffocation ; or, 
as Stow says, the door being walled-up, they were heard crying and 
calling seven days after, but none came to help them out till they 
were dead. Some of the rioters found a number of barrels, which they 
thought to contain gold and silver, and flung them into the flames. 
They contained gunpowder ; an awful explosion was the consequence, 
which blew up the great hall, and destroyed several houses. 

One of the scenes in Shakespeare's Richard II. is supposed to pass in 
a room of the Savoy, though at the date it was a heap of ruins. 
Thus it lay until 1505, when Henry VII. had the site cleared, and com- 
menced building thereon a Hospital of St. John the Baptist, " to receive 
and lodge nightly one hundred poor folks." The master and brethren 
were to stand alternately by day and night at the gate, and if they saw 
any poor distressed persons they were to ask them in and feed them. If 

F a 



6S Stories of the Savoy. 

such persons were travellers, they were to be lodged for the night, and 
dismissed on the following morning, with a letter of recommendation to 
the next Hospital, and as much money as would defray their expenses 
on the road. In the reign of Edward VI. part of the revenues of the 
Savoy Hospital was bestowed on Bridewell and Christchurch, on 
account of the abuses, for instead of the Savoy being a lodging for 
pilgrims and strangers, it became a noisome refuge for loiterers, vagabonds, 
and disreputable women ; they lay all day in the field, and were 
harboured there at night, so that the hospital was rather a maintenance 
of beggary, than any relief to the poor. It was re-endowed and re- 
fumished by Queen Mary, and maintained by Elizabeth ; but the 
buildings and revenues were shamefully perverted, and Fleetwood, 
the Recorder of London, describes the Savoy to Lord Burghley, as a 
nursery of rogues and masterless men : " the chief nurserie of all the 
evell people in the Savoy and the brick-kilnes near Islington." This 
state of things continued until the commencement of Queen Anne's 
reign, when the hospital was finally dissolved. Here, in 1658, the 
Independents met, and agreed upon their well-known Declaration of 
Faith ; three years later was held here the " Savoy Conference" for the 
revision of the Liturgy ; and Charles II. established here "the French 
Church in the Savoy." 

The Mastership of the Savoy was promised to the poet Cowley by 
Charles I., and afterwards by Charles II. The latter gave the oft'ce to 
Dr. Killigrew, "through certain persons, enemies of the Muses." 
Cowley's disappointment was great; and to add to his chagrin, his play 
oiihc Cutter of Colman Street, was unsuccessful at the same time. In 
his despondency, he wrote his poem of The Complaint ; and in an 
anonymous satire, published at the time, he is represented as " Savoy- 
missing Cowley making apologies for his bad play." In this reign also, 
during the Dutch war, the sick and wounded were lodged in the 
Hospital ; and great part of it was dilapidated by iire. On the demo- 
lition of the old church of St. Mary-lc-Strand, by the Protector Somer- 
set, the Hospital Chaptl was allotted to that parish. There is a tradi- 
tion that when the Lituigy in the vernacular tongue was restored by 
Queen Elizabeth, the chapel of the Savoy was the first place in which 
the service was performed. Several persons of note are binicd here, 
with figure monuments; among them was a memorial, ratlier sumptuous, 
t-rcctul about 1715, in honour of a merchant : the sole statement of the 
epitaph was, that he had bccjueathcd rj. to the poor of the Savoy 
Precinct, and a like smn to the poor of St. Mary-le-Strand ; while at 
the tide, and 0(xup)ing about half the brea<Uh of the marble, the 



Stories of the Savoy. 69 

money was expressed in figures, just as in a page of a ledger, with 
lines single and double, perpendicular, an.!, at the bottom, hori- 
zontal ; the whole being summed up, and in each line two ciphers for 
shillings and one for pence. The epitaph concluded with " which sum 
was duly paid by his executors." A strange custom prevails here to 
this day : on the Sunday following Christmas Day, a chair is placed 
near the chapel-door, covered with a cloth ; on the chair is, in a plate, 
an orange. The object of this custom is not recorded. 

Contemporary with the Fleet and Mayfair mairiages, the priest at 
the Savoy Chapel carried on a like traffic ; and in the Public Advertiser^ 
Jan. 2, 1754, marriages are advertised by authority, to be performed 
here " with the utmost privacy, decency, and regularity ;" also, registers 
from the time of the Reformation were kept here. While the Dutch, 
German, and French congregations met quietly within the pre- 
cinct, — a favour which was originally owing to Charles II., — all 
sorts of unseemly marriages were celebrated by the " Savoy parsons," 
there being five private ways by land to this chapel, and two by water. 
The Rev. Mr. Wilkinson, the father of Tate Wilkinson, the actor, 
tor performing the illicit ceremony, was informed against by Garrick, 
and the disreputable functionary was transported. The chapel 
also possessed the privilege of sanctuary; and in July, 1696, a 
creditor going into the Savoy to demand a debt of a person who 
had taken sanctuary there, was seized by the mob, according to 
their usual custom (says the Poitman, No, 180), and was tarred 
and feathered, and canied in a wheelbarrow to the Strand, there 
bound fast to the Maypole, and so he remained until he was rescued 
by constables. 

The Savoy was last used as banacks and a prison for deserters, im- 
pressed men, convict soldiers and offenders from the Guards: at one 
period their allowance was only fourpence a day. In 18 iQ, the pre- 
mises were taken down to form the road to Waterloo Bridge. The 
approach to the bridge from the Strand, or AV'ellington-street and 
Lancaster- place, covers the entire site of the old Duchy-lane and great 
part of the Hospital. We see the river front of the Savoy in Hollar's 
prints and Canaletti's pictures ; and Vertue's ground-plan shows the 
Middle Savoy Gate, where Savoy-street now is ; and the Little Savoy 
Gate, where now aie Savoy-steps. It was a massive brick, stone, and 
flint, fortress-like building, embattled throughout ; the outer walls 
abutted upon the Thames, where was a flight of steps to the water ; the 
principal or Strand front had large pointed windows, and parapets 
'ozenged with flints. Over the Great Gate were the aims of Henry VII., 



70 Siege of Essex Houst. 

and the badges ot the rose, flexir-de-lis, and portcullis; and this 
inscription (JVeever) : — 

" Hospitium hoc inopi turba Savoia vocatum 
Septimus Henricus fundavit ab imo Solo." 

The pulling down of the last of the ruins in i8r6, when the chapel was 
left isolated, was a work of immense labour, so massive was the 
masonry. Not the least amusing incident was that of the gamins pick- 
ing out the softest parts of the Royal palace and cutting them into 
hearthstones to clean hearths and the steps before doors ! 



Siege of Essex House. — Queen Elizabeth's Ring. 

The first of the magnificent mansions situated upon Thames bank, 
from Temple Bar, was Exeter House, an inn belonging to the Bishop of 
Exeter, afterwards called Paget House, Norfolk House, and Leicester 
House, bequeathed by Dudley, Earl of Leicester, to his son-in-law, 
the unhappy Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, the last favourite of 
Elizabeth. It was then called Essex House, and become more cele- 
brated than it ever was before. While still in the occupation of the 
Earl of Leicester, we should not forget to mention that the author of 
" The Fairy Queen," was a frequent visitor there, and that his visits did 
not altogether cease when the house came into new hands. Spenser had 
received assistance from Leicester, and thus writes in his Prothalamion ; 
he has been speaking of the Temple : — 

" Next whereunto there stands a stately place 
Where oft I jjayned giftos ami goodly grace 

Of that groat lord, which therein wont to dwell, 
Where want too well now feels my friendless case ; 

Hut, ah ! here fits not well 

Olde woes, but joycs, to tell 
Against the bridale daye, which is not long: 

Sweet Ihemmes ! runnc softly till I end my song. 

••Yet therein doth lodge a noble peer, 

Great England's glory, and the world's wide wonder, 
Whose dreadfull name late through all Spain did thunder, 

And Hercules' two pillars standing near 

Did niake to quake and feare. 

I'aire branch oi honour, llowcr of chevalrie ! 

'I'hou fillest England with thy triumph's fame, 

Joy have thou of thy noble victorie." 

The chief memory of this place is, of course, connected with Essex, and 
the rash act for which he was executed. I'lli/abeth and he had (juai- 
R'Hcd mure than once or twice before the last irrcconcileablc diirercnc& 



Siege of Essex House. 7 1 

She had been offended by his conduct in joining the expedition to Cadiz 
without her permission ; by his marriage with the daughter of r«ir 
Francis Walsingham ; and above all, by a dispute concerning tne 
appointment of an assistant in the affairs of Ireland, when he was about 
to visit that country as Lord Deputy. This last quarrel terminated in 
her boxing his ears, and bidding him " go and be hanged." The pro- 
vocation was, it is said, his turning his back upon her. The indignant 
noble clapped his hand to his sword, and swore he would not have put 
up with such an insult from Henry VIII. It was in Essex House that 
the high-spirited, hot-blooded, and ambitious Earl shut himself up after 
he had received the box on the ear. That hasty blow and its results k-d 
to his ruin. He might have curbed his pride a little when he reflected 
that it was but a woman's hand that indicted it ; and instead of resent- 
ing it, as he did, he might have affected to consider it as a proof that he 
was not altogether indifferent to her. In fact, it showed Elizabeth's 
tender regard for the man ; but Essex did not feel the tenderness for 
her that she felt for him. He then retired hastily from Court to Essex 
House, where he shut himself up for some days, refusing to see any but 
his most intimate friends. Sir Thomas Egerton, the Chancellor, wrote 
to him to make proper submission, but Essex stoutly refused. " If the 
vilest of all indignities is done me," he wrote to the Chancellor, in 
reply, " does religion enforce me to sue for pardon ? Doth God require 
it ? Is it not impiety to do it ? Why ? Cannot princes err? Cannot 
subjects receive wrong ? Is an earthly power infinite ? Pardon me, my 
Lord, I never can subscribe to these principles. Let Solomon's fool 
laugh when he is stricken ; let those that mean to make their price of 
princes show no sense of princes' injuries. As for me, I have received 
wrong — I feel it. My cause is good — I know it. And whatsoever 
happens, all the powers on earth can never exert more strength and 
constancy in oppressing, than I can show in suffering everything that 
can or shall be imposed upon me." 

When this letter, containing so many noble passages, was shown to 
Eliznbeth, she had good sense enough to perceive the fine manly feeling 
that pervaded it, and perhaps loved Essex all the more for his in- 
dependence and scorn of flattery. He was soon drawn from his retire- 
ment in the Strand, and sent as Lord Lieutenant to Ireland, surrounded 
by a brilliant staff, and was followed for some miles by crowds of 
Londoners, crying, " God bless your Lordship — God presei^ve you!'' 
His discontent and impatience, while in Ireland, are well known. He 
neither liked the service, nor the absence from Court, which it occa- 
sioned. He was afraid that his enemies at home were endeavouring to 



72 Siege of Essex House. 

supplant him ; and in all his letters to Elizabeth at this time, he ex- 
pressed a dissatisfaction which to her seemed anything but loyal. 
Essex -wished he could live like a hennit " in some unhaunted desart 
most obscure" — 

" From all society, from love and hate 
Of worldly folk ; then should he sleep secure, 
Then wake again, and yield God every praise. 

Content with hips and hawes, and bramble berry; 
In contemplation parting out his days. 

And change of holy thoughts to make him merry; 
Who, when he dies, his tomb may be a bush. 
Where harmless robin dwells with gentle thrush. 
Your Majesty's exiled servant, 

Robert Essex." 

He suddenly returned from his government, and without stopping at 
his own house, hastened to the palace before any one knew of his 
return, and besmeared with dirt and sweat, from hard riding, forced his 
way into Her Majesty's bedchamber. The Queen had just risen, and 
was sitting with her hair about her face. Essex fell on his knees, kissed 
her hand, and was so well received that he flattered himself he had made 
a masterstroke of policy: he left her, thanking God that, though he had 
suffered much trouble and stonns abroad, he found a sweet calm at 
home. The calm was but of short continuance ; the Cecils and others 
were at work, and that very evening he was ordered to consider himself 
a prisoner in his room. After eight months of restraint he wrote a 
touching appeal to the Queen, which was not answered for three months 
more, when he was released, but ordered not to appear at Court, or 
approach Her Majesty's person. 

But the patience of Essex could not endure for ever. In a few days 
a valuable patent he held for the monopoly of sweet wines expired, and 
he petitioned for a renewal to aid his shattered fortunes. It was re- 
ftised; and in a most mortifying manner. "In order to manage an 
ungovernable beast, he must be stinted in his provender," was the 
Queen's reply. Essex now became desper.ite. He was advised to 
remove Sir Robert Cecil, Raleigh, and others forcibly from Court, 
and so make the way clear lor the recovery of his ascendancy. Other 
men joined in this advice, and Essex, relying upon his popularity with 
the Lcndoners, determined to adopt it. A strong party of odicers who 
had served under him, took lodging about Essex House, and formed 
thcmcclvcs into a coiuicil. The gales of Essex House were thrown open 
to Hocks of Catholic priests, Puritan preachers, soldiers, sailors, young 
citi/.en8, and needy adventurers. These proceedings, of course, at- 
tracted the notice of the Govenuncnt, and Essex was suuunoned to 



Siege of Essex House. 73 

appcnr before the Privy Council. A note from an unknown writer, 
warning him to provide for his safety, was at the same moment put inta 
his hand, and he was informed that the guard at the palace had been 
doubled. On the following Sunday morning, Feb. 8, 1600-1, he 
marched into the City, during sermon-time at St. Paul's Cross, and 
called upon the people to join him, and force his way to the Queen. 
His dear fiiend, the Earl of Southampton, with the Earl of Rutland, 
Lords Sandys and Mounteagle, and about 300 gentlemen, were ready 
to accompany him, when the Lord Keeper Egerton, Sir William 
Knollys, the Lord Chief Justice Popham, and the Earl of \\'orcester 
arrived, and demanded the cause of the disturbance. They were 
admitted without their attendants ; when Egerton and Popham asked 
what all this meant. " There is a plot laid against my life," was the 
reply, uttered in a loud and impassioned tone: "letters have been forged 
in my name — men have been hired to murder me in my bed — mine 
enemies cannot be satisfied unless they suck my blood !" The Lord 
Chief Justice said he ought to explain his case to the Queen, who 
would do impartial justice. Some voices now cried out, " They abuse 
you, my lord — they betray you — you are losing time !" The Lord 
Keeper, then putting on his hat, commanded the assembly, in the 
Queen's name, to lay down their arms, and depart. Louder cries now 
broke out, " Kill them ! kill them ! — keep them for hostages ! — away 
with the Great Seal !" Essex immediately conducted them to an inner 
apartment, bolted the door, and placed a guard of musqueteers to watcn 
it. Drawing his sword, he rushed out, followed by most of the as- 
sembly. At St. Paul's Cross, to their surprise, they found no preach- 
ing — no congregation — the Queen having sent orders to that effect to 
the Lord Mayor and Aldermen. The Earl, addressing the citizens he 
met with, cried, " For the Queen, my mistress ! — a plot is laid for my 
life !" and entreated them to arm. But they contented themselves with 
crying, " God bless your Honour !" and left him to his fate. 

Uncertain what to do, Essex went to the house of one of the sheriffs, 
and remained for some time. About two in the afternoon, he again 
went forth, and passed to and fro though many streets, till, seeing that 
his followers were tast disappearing, he directed his footsteps to Essex 
House. Barricades had been formed in the meantime, and at Ludgate 
he was attacked by a large body of armed men whom the Bishop of 
London had placed there. Several persons were wounded in the affray, 
ilssex was twice shot through the hat, and his stepfather. Sir Christo- 
pher Blount, was severely wounded and taken prisoner. The Earl re- 
treated into Fi iday-sti-eet, where, being faint, drink was given him by 



74 Siege of Essex House. 

the citizens. At Queenhithe he obtained a boat, and so got back to 
Essex House, where he found that his last hope, the hostages, were 
gone. He now determined to retreat. He turned back for that pur- 
pose, but found that the streets had been barricaded against him by the 
citizens and a strong company under the command of Sir John Levison. 
He attempted, however, to force his way ; and in the skirmish which 
ensued, Tracy, a young man to whom he bore great friendship, was 
killed. The Earl then struck suddenly down into one of the narrow 
passages leading from Fleet- street to the river, at the bottom of which 
he and several of his company procured boats and rowed themselves to 
Essex House, the garden of which abutted on the Thames. Essex, re. 
duced to despair, now determined to fortify his house ; but a great 
force hemmed him in on all sides ; and several pieces of artillery were 
planted against the house, among the rest one on the tower of the 
church of St. Clement Danes. He stood a siege of four hours : about 
ten at night he demanded a parley, and surrendered to the Lord Ad- 
miral upon a promise of a hearing, and a speedy trial. It being very 
dark, and the tide not sei-ving to pass the cumbrous and dangerous 
London Bridge to the Tower, Essex and Lord Southampton were con- 
veyed up the river in a boat to Lambeth Palace, where they passed the 
night. On the following moming they were conducted to the Tower, 
together with the Earl of Rutland, Lords Sandys, Cromwell, and 
Mounteagle, Sir John Danvers, and Sir Henry Bromlty. Others, pri- 
soners of inferior note, were conveyed to Newgate. 

Ten days afterwards, Essex and Southampton were brought to trial, 
and found guilty of high treason. Essex was executed on Ash 
Wednesday, the 25th of February, about eight in the morning, in an 
inner court of the Tower — Sir Walter Raleigh looking on from the 
Annoury. It was said the execution was made thus private from the 
Queen's fear of what Essex might say touching her own virtue. He was 
only in his thirty-fourth year when he thus perished, universally regretted. 
So popular was he during his bright, brief, troubled career, that he 
scarcely ever quitted England, or even the metropolis, without a pas- 
toral or other song in his praise, which was sold and sung in the streets: 
but his rivals, enemies, and judges were insulted and hooted whenever 
they appeared ; even ihe Queen herself was looked on coldly. Several 
of Essex's principal followers, including the instigator, Cufle, were 
executed. Southampton was saved from the hlock and retained a close 
prisoner in the Tower during the Queen's life, which was fearfully cm- 
biltiTcd by these melancholy transactions. 

I'hc affecting story of the Riuij scut to the Queen by Essex alter his 



Qmccti ElizahetJis Ritig, 75 

condemnation, is one of the memories of Essex House. When Cathe- 
rine Countess of Nottingham was dying (about a fortnight before Queen 
Elizabeth), she sent to Her Majesty to desire that she might see her, 
in order to reveal to her something, without the discovery of which she 
could not die in peace. Upon the Queen's coming. Lady Nottingham 
told her that, while the Earl of Essex lay under sentence of death, he 
was desirous of asking Her Majesty's mercy in the manner prescribed 
by herself during the height of his favour ; the Queen having given him 
a ring, which being sent to her as a token of his distress might entitle 
him to her protection. But the Earl, jealous of those about him, and 
not caring to trust any of them with it, as he was looking out of his 
window one morning, saw a boy with whose appearance he was 
pleased ; and, engaging him by money and promises, directed him i<^ 
carry the ring, which he took from his finger and threw down, to Lady 
Scroope, a sister of the Countess of Nottingham, and a friend of his 
Lordship, who attended upon the Queen ; and to beg of her that she 
would present it to Her Majesty. The boy, by mistake, carried it to 
Lady Nottingham, who showed it to her husband, the admiral, an 
enemy of Lord Essex, in order to take his advice. The admiral forbid 
her to carry it, or return any answer to the message ; but insisted upon 
her keeping the ring. The Countess of Nottingham, having made this 
discovery, begged the Queen's forgiveness; but Her Majesty answered, 
"God may forgi've you, but I ne^jer can;" and left the room with great 
emotion. Her mind was so struck with the story that she never went 
to bed, nor took any sustenance from that instant ; for Camden is of 
opinion that her chief reason for suffering the Earl to be executed was 
mis supposed obstinacy in not applying to her for mercy. In confirma- 
tion of the time of the Countess' death, it now appears from the parish 
register of Chelsea, that she died at Arundel House, London, February 
25th, and was buried the 28th, 1603. Her funeral was kept at Chelsea, 
March 21, and Queen Elizabeth died three days afterwards ! An addi- 
tional confirmation is given by the recorded incidents of Elizabeth's 
conduct during her last illness. For ten days and nights together prior 
to her decease, she refused to go to bed, but lay upon the carpet, with 
cushions around her, buried in the profoundest melancholy. 

There are other versions of this anecdote ; the principal facts are the 
same in each. The whole of the evidence in support of the above is 
in Osborn's Memoirs of Queen Elizabeth, published fifty-five years 
after her death. Lord Clarendon mentioned it as a loose report which 
had crept into discourse. Again, " there is no contemporaneous account 
of the kind in either of the accounts of the Queen's last illness ; and that 



^6 Siege of Essex House — Queen ElizahetJis Ring. 

Dy the Earl of .Monmouth, an eye-witness, shows that so far from any- 
thing having occurred to disturb the Queen's friendly relations with 
Lord Nottingham, he was actually sent for as the only person whose 
influence would be oufficiently powerful to induce her to obey Jier 
physicians. 

" Now, whatever might be the supposed indignation of Elizabeth 
against her dying cousin. Lady Nottingham, it is clear that as the real 
offend(;r was Lord Nottingham, he would naturally have more than 
shared in her displcasui'e ; and it is very improbable that a fortnight 
after the Qyeen had shaken the helpless wife on her deathbed, the hus- 
band, by whose authority the offence was committed, should have con- 
tinued in undiminished favour. The existence of the ring would do 
but little to establish the truth of the story, even if but one had been 
preserved and cherished as the identical ring ; but as there are two, if 
not three, which lay claim to that distinction, they invalidate each 
other's claims. One is presened at Hawnes in Bedfordshire, the seat 
of the Rev. Lord John Thynne; another is the property of C. W. 
Warren, ICsq.; and we believe the third is deposited for safety at Messrs. 
Drummonds' bank. The ring at Hawnes is said to have descended in 
unbroken succession from Lady Frances Devereux (afterwards Duchess 
of Somerset) to the present owner. The stone in this ring is a sardonyx, 
on which is cut in relief a head of Elizabeth, the execution of which is 
of a high order. That the ring has descended from Lady Frances Deve- 
reux affords the strongest presumptive evidence that it was not the ring. 
According to the tradition, it had passed from her father into Lady 
Nottingham's hands. According to Lady Elizabeth Spelman, Lord 
Nottingham insisted upon her keeping it. In \vx interview with the 
Queen, the Countess might be supposed to iiave presented to her the 
token she had so fatally withheld ; or it might have remained in her 
family, or hav2 been destroyed ; but the most improbable circumstance 
would have been its restoration to the widow or daughter cf the much 
injured Essex by the offending Earl of Nottingham. The Duchess ot 
Somerset left * a long, curious, and minute will, and in it there is no 
mention of any such ring.' If tliere is good evidence for believing that 
the curious ring at Hawnes was ever in the possession of the Earl of 
Essex, one miglit be tempted to suppose that it was the likeness of the 
Queen, to which he alludes in his letters as iiis 'fair angel,' written from 
Portland road, and at the time of his disgrace, after the proceedings in 
the Star Chamber, and when still under restraint at Essex House. Had 
Essrx at this time possessed any ring, a token by presenting which he 
would have been entitled to restoialion to favour, it seems most im- 



The Strange History of Lady Hat ton. "Jf 

probable that he should have kept it back, and yet regarded this like- 
ness of the Queen, whose gracious eyes encouraged him to be a petitioner 
for himself. The whole tone of the letter is in fact almost conclusive 
against the possibility of his having in his possession any gift of hers 
endowed with such rights as that of the ring which the Countess of 
Nottingham is supposed to have withheld." We have abridged this 
investigation cf the whole story from a paper in the Edinburgh Revietu, 

No. 300. 



» 



The Strange History of Lady Hatton. 

This "strange lady," the widow of Sir Christopher Hatton's nephew, 
who had inherited his estates and title, resided in Ely Place, or rather 
in that portion of 't called Hatton House, upon Holbom Hill. At the 
decease of her first husband. Sir William Newport, who, on the death of 
his uncle, took the name of Hatton, she was young, very beautiful, of 
eccentric manner, and a most vixenish temper. She was rich withal, 
and wooers were numerous. Among them came two remarkable men, 
already rivals in their profession, and now to be rivals in a tenderer 
pursuit: these were Coke and Bacon. And some noticeable scenes 
must, no doubt, have taken place in Hatton House during the progress 
of this remarkable courtship. How Lady Hatton's two distinguished 
lovers hated each other we know, before this new fuel was added to 
the flame. Both were powerfully supported. Coke had already been 
appointed Attorney-General by the Qiieen, in spite of the most powerful 
efforts of the ill-fated Earl of Essex to obtain the appointment for 
Bacon, so that he was already on the high road to fortune; on the 
other hand. Bacon's ever-faithful friend — alas ! that it should have to 
be remembered how ungratefully he was rewarded! — Essex pleaded 
personally his cause with the beautiful widow and with her mother. 

Sir Edward Coke, or Cook, as now pronounced, was the " oracle 
of law," but, like too many great lawyers, he was so completely one, 
as to have been nothing else. Coke, already enriched by his first 
marriage, combined power with added wealth, in his union with the 
relict of Sir William Hatton, the sister of Thomas Lord Burghley. It 
was the greater titles that most probably at last decided Lady Hatton 
to accept Coke ; and, like many other clever people, she lived no doubt 
to repent of a choice formed on such considerations, when she found she 
had rejected a Chancellor ! 

It is a remarkable fact, connected with the character of Coke, that 
this great lawyer suffered his second marriage to take place in an illegal 



yS The Strange History of Lady Haiton. 

manner, and condescended to plead ignorance of the laws! He had 
been married in a private house, without banns or licence, at a moment 
when the Archbishop was vigilantly prosecuting informal and irregular 
marriages. 

In 1616, Coke, by his unbending judicial integrity, lost the favour 
of James, and with it the Chief Justiceship, which he then held : his 
mode of obtaining a restoration of the first, and an equivalent for the 
second, stands in strange contrast. This was the marriage of his 
daughter to Sir John Villiers, afterwards Viscount Purbeck, brother to 
the haughty favourite, then supreme at Court. It is to Lady Hatton's 
credit that she determinedly refused, as long as she could with any 
prospect of utility, to consent to this bargain and sale of her child, then 
only in her seventeenth year, and who had a great aversion to the 
match. There were, however, other personages than his Majesty, 
and his favourite, more deeply concerned in the business, and who 
had not hitherto been once consulted — the mother and the daughter ! 
Coke, who, in everyday concerns, issued his commands as he would 
his law-writs, and at times, boldly asserted the rights of the subject, 
had no other paternal notion of the duties of a wife and child than 
their obedience ! 

At first, the mother and daughter ran away, and secreted themselves 
at Oatlands, where Coke, having discovered their retreat, cameai-med with 
a warrant, and broke open door after door until he found the fugitives. 
The Privy Council were now inundated with appeals and counter- 
appeals, and disturbed with brawls when the paities were before them. 
Mr. Chamberlain, writing to Carleton (May 24, 1616), says, "The 
Lord Coke and his lady had great wai-s at the Council-table. The 
first time she came accompanied with the Lord Hurghley and his lady, 
the Lord Danvers, the Lord Denny, Sir Thomas Howard and his lady, 
with I know not how many more, and declaimed so bitterly against 
him, and so carried herself, that divers said Burbage (the player) could 
not have acted better." 

Lady Hatton, haughty to insolence, had been often forbidden both 
the courts of their Majesties, where Lady Compton, the mother of 
Buckingham, was the object of iier ladyship's persevering contempt. 
She retained her personal influence by the numerous estates which she 
enjoyed in right of her former husband. When Coke fell into disgrace, 
his lady abandoned him, and to avoid her imsband, frequently moved 
her residence in (own and country. We trace her with malicious 
activity disfurnishing his house in Holborn, and at Stoke Pogeis, in 
Buckinghamshire; seizing on all the plate and moveables, and in fact, 



The Strange History of Lady Hation. 79 

leaving the fallen statesman, and the late Lord Chief Justice, cinpty 
houses and no comforter ! 

It is extraordinary that Coke, able to defend any cause, bore himself 
60 simply. It is supposed that he had laid his domestic concerns too 
open to animadversion in the neglect of his daughter ; or that he was 
aware that he was standing before no friendly bar, at that moment being 
out of favour; whatever was the cause, our noble virago obtained a 
signal triumph, and the " oracle of law," with all his gravity, stood 
before the council-table henpecked. In June, 1616, Sir Edward appears 
to have yielded at discretion to his lady ; for in an unpublished letter 
we find that " his curst heart hath been forced to yield to more than he 
ever meant ; but upon this agreement he flatters himself that she will 
prove a very good wife." 

In the following year, 161 7, these domestic affairs totally changed. 
The political maniage of his daughter with Villiers being now resolved 
on, the business was to clip the wings of so fierce a bird as Coke had 
found in Lady Hatton, which led to an extraordinary contest. The 
mother and daughter hated the upstart Villiers, and Sir John, indeed, 
promised to be but a sickly bridegroom. They had contrived to make 
up a written contract of marriage with Lord Oxford, which they opi>osed 
against the proposal, or rather the order, of Coke. 

The violence to which the towering spirits of the conflicting parties 
proceeded is a piece of secret history, of which accident has preserved 
an able memorial. Coke, armed with law, and what was equally potent, 
with the King's favour, entered by force the barricaded houses of his 
lady, took possession of his daughter, on whom he appears never to have 
cast a thought till she became an instrument for his political purposes, 
confined her from her mother, and at length got the haughty mother 
imprisoned, and brought her to account for all her past misdoings. 
Quick was the change of scene, and the contrast was wonderful. Coke, 
who in the preceding year, to the world's surprise, proved so simple an 
advocate of his own cause in the presence of his wife, now, to employ 
his own words, " got upon his wings again," and went on, as Lady 
Hatton, when safely lodged in prison, describes, with " his high-handed 
tyrannical courses," till the furious lawyer occasioned a fit of sickness to 
the proud, crestfallen lady. " Law ! law ! law !" thundered from the 
lips of its '•oracle!" and Bacon, in his apologetical letter to the King 
for having opposed his " riot or violence," says, " I disliked it the moi-e, 
because he justified it to be Law, which was his old song." 

The memorial alluded to appears to have been confidentially com- 
posed by the legal fnend of I ady Hatton, to furnish her ladyship with 



So Tlic Strange History of Lady Ha ft on. 

answers when brought before the council-table. It opens several do- 
mestic scenes in the house of that great Lord Chief Justice ; the forcible 
simplicity of the style in domestic details shows that our language has 
not advanced in expression since the age of James I. The memorial 
opens as follows: 

"To Lady Hattox. ,. t i ,= 

rojuly, 1617. 
" Madam, — Seeing these people speak no language but thunder and 
lightning, accounting this their cheapest and best way to work upon 
you, I would with patience prepare myself to their extremities, and 
study to defend the breaches by which to their advantage they suppose 
to come in upon me, and henceforth quit the ways of pacification and 
composition heretofore, and unseasonably endeavoured, which, in my 
opinion, lie most open to trouble, scandal, and danger ; wherefore I will 
briefly set down their objections, and send answers to them as I con- 
ceive proper." [The details are too lengthy for us to quote.] 

Among other matters, it appears that Coke accused his lady of having 
"embezzled all his gilt and silver plate and vessell (he having little in 
any house of mine but that his marriage with me brought him), and 
instead thereof foisted in alkumy of the same sorte, fashion, and use, 
with the illusion to have cheated him of the other." Coke insists on the 
inventory by the schedule ! Her ladysiiip says : ** I made such plate for 
matter and form for my own use at Purbeck, that ser\ing well enough 
m the country ; and I was loth to trust such a substance in a place so 
remote, and in the guard of few ; but for the plate and vessell he saith 
it is wanting, they are every ounce within one of my three houses." She 
complains that Sir Edward Coke and his son Clement had threatened 
her servants so grievously, that the poor men ran away to hide them- 
selves from his fury, and dare not appear abroad. 

" Sir Edward broke into Hatton House, secured my coach and coach- 
horses, nay, my apparel, which he detains; thrusts all my servants out 
of doors without wages ; sent down his men to Corfe to inventory, 
seize, ship, and carry away all the goods, which being refused him by 
the castle-keeper, he threats to bring your lordship's warrant for the 
performance thereof. But your lordship established that he sliould 
have the use of the goods only during his life, in such houses as the same 
ap|X'rtained, without meaning, 1 hope, of depriving me of such use, 
being goods I brought at my marriage, or bought with the money I 
spared ft"om my allowances. Stop, then, his high tyrannical courses ; 
for I have suffered l)cyond the mcasiire of any wifc, mother, nay of 



The Strange History of Lady Hatton. Si 

my ordinary woman in this kingdom, withoiit respect to my father, my 
birth, my fortunes, with which I have so highly raised him." 

However, she at last consented to the match, which was the principal 
cause of these unseemly proceedings, although she continued to live at 
Hatton House, separated from her husband ; and this unpleasant busi- 
ness settled, she returned, with as great zest as ever, to the amusements 
she chiefly delighted in. Some years before, she had played a conspicu- 
ous part in the performance of Ben Jonson's Masque of Beauty, when 
fifteen of the choicest Court Beauties had been selected as actors 
for the solace of Royalty; and now again, in 162 1, we find her at the 
same vocation, in the representation of the Metamorphosed Gipsies, at 
Burley-on-the-Hill, James again being the chief spectator. In this 
piece, the fifth gipsy is made thus to address her : 

" Mistress of a fairer table 
Hath no history, no fable ; 
Others' fortunes may be shown — 
You are builder of your own ; 
And whatever Heaven hath given you. 
You preserve the state still in you. 
That which time would have depart. 
Youth without the help of art, 
You do keep still, and the glory 
Of your sex is but your story." 

As a specimen of the vixenish temper of Lady Hatton, we may relate 
that she had, for a considerable period, Gondomar, the noted Spanish 
Ambassador, for her next-door neighbour — he occupying, we presume, 
the palatial portion of the building. Howell, in a letter to Sir James 
Crofts, March 24, 1622, says: " Gondomar has ingratiated himself with 
divers persons of quality, ladies especially ; yet he could do no good 
upon the Lady Hatton, whom he desired lately, that in regard he was 
her next-door neighbour (at Ely House), he might have the benefit of 
the back-gate to go abroad into the fields, but she put him off with a 
compliment; whereupon, in a private audience lately with the King, 
among other passages of merriment he told him, that my Lady Hatton 
was a strange lady, for she would not suffer her husband, Sir Edward 
Coke, to come in at her fore-door, nor him to go out at her back-door, 
and so related the v\hole business." The last "Mystery" represented 
in England was that of Christ's Passion, in the reign of James L, which 
Prynne tells us, was " peiformed at Elie House, in Holborne, when 
Gundomar lay there, on Good Friday, at night, at which there vere 
thousands present." 

\^^hat availed the vexation of this sick, mortified, and proud woman, 
or the more tender feelings of the daughter, in this forced mairiage to 



82 The Strange History of Lady Hattofi. 

satisfy the political ambition of the father ? When Bacon wrote to thf. 
King respecting the strange behaviour of Coke, the King vindicated it, 
for the purpose of obtaining his daughter, blaming Bacon for some ex- 
pressions he had used ; and Bacon, with the servility of the courtier, 
when he found the wind in his teeth, tacked round, and promised 
Buckingham to promote the match he had abhorred. Villiers was 
married to the daughter of Coke, at Hampton Court, on Michaelmas- 
day, 1617 ; Coke was readmitted to the council-table. Lady Hatton 
was then reconciled to Lady Compton, and the Queen gave a grand 
entertainment on the occasion, to which, however, " the good man of 
the house was neither invited nor spoken of. He dined that day at the 
Temple; she is still bent to pull down her husband." 

The moral of the close remains to be told. Lady Villiers looked on 
her husband as the hateful object of a forced union, and nearly drove 
him mad ; while she, it is believed, at length obtained a divorce. 

Thus, a marriage promoted by ambition, and prosecuted by violent 
means, closed with that utter misery to the parties by which it had 
been commenced ; and served to show that when a lawyer, like Coke, 
holds his " high-handed tyrannical courses," the law of Nature, as well 
as the law of which he is " the oracle," will be alike violated under his 
roof. Wife and daughter were plaintiffs or defendants, on whom this 
Lord Chief Justice closed his ear; he had blocked up the avenues to 
his heart with " Law J law ! law !" his old song. 

No reconciliation took place between the parties. In June, 1634, we 
find in the Earl of Strafford's Letter, that on a strong report of his death, 
Lady Coke, accompanied by her brother. Lord Wimbledon, posted 
down to Stoke Pogeis, to take possession of his mansion ; but beyond 
Colnbrook fhey met with one of his physicians coming from him, who 
informed them of Sir Edward's amendment, which made them return. 
On the following September the venerable sage was no more. Beyond 
his eightieth year, in the last Parliament of Charles I., the extraordinary 
vigour of his intellect flamed clear under the snows of age. 

Lady Hatton was still flourishing at the period of the sitting of the 
Long Parliament, when Hatton House was decided to be her own 
Her daughter's marriage turned out as might have been expected. 
Viscount Purbeck went abroad only three years after, and she led a 
life of profligacy that had once naiTowly brought her to the chapel of 
the Savoy, to do penance in a white siieet. 

This •' strange lady," as Howell calls her, "dyed in Lomlon on the 
3rd of January, 1646,31 her house in I lolbounii.'," having ellectuallv 
repelled the entrance of her husband, and all the exetlions of succestiiv* 



ITolyivcll Priory, SJiorcditch. ^"^ 

Bishops of Ely to recover Ely House, in Holbom, to the see of Ely ; 
and the Bishops removed to a house built for them in Dovcr-stnvt, 
Piccadilly. Upon the site was built Ely-place, — a cul-de-sac — part ol 
wiiich has been taken down in the works for the Holbom Viaduct,* 



HalHwell, or Holywell Priory, Shoreditch. 

At a period long before the parish of Shoreditch contained scarcely 
an habitation, and while it consisted of fields chiefly devoted to spoils 
and recreations, there stood upon the present site of New Inn-yard 
and Holywell-lane a Priory dedicated to St. John the Baptist. It was 
founded about i loo, and by aid of several benefactors the extent of its 
buildings and the area of its grounds were considerably enlarged. It 
became, in fact, a resort of prelates and great people of the land, and even 
the sovereigns of England were proud to be reckoned among its patrons. 
It continued to flourish until it was suppressed in 1539, and was sur- 
rendered to the Crown. Its ecclesiastical edifices were then pulled 
down, and houses for the nobles and gentry were built upon its site. It 
was bounded on the one side by the present High-street, Shoreditch, 
but the extent of it in other directions it is not possible to trace. There 
exists upon the spot a very old wall, nearly 100 feet long, which is con- 
sidered to be the remains of the Priory Church. 

In the reign of Henry VII. lived Sir Thomas Lovel, a nobleman of 
wealth and renown, a Knight of the Garter, and a great benefactor to 
the City of London. He was knighted at the battle of Stoke, made 
Chancellor of the Exchequer for life, one of the executors of Henry Vll.'e 
will. Constable of the Tower, and afterwards Steward and Marshal to 
the House of Henry VIII. He was a great benefactor to the Priory of 
HalHwell, and built there " a beautiful chapel, wherein his body was 
aiterred." This he endowed with fair lands, and he also built him- 
eclf a large and handsome mansion. He married the daughter of 
Thomas Lord Ros of Hamlake, and in 1508, succeeded to the Manor 
of Worcester, in the parish of Enfield. In the mansion of that manor 
he was honoured with a visit from Margaret, Queen Dowager of Scot- 
land. He died there in 1524, but was buried in the chapel which he 
himself had tounded within the Priory of Halliwell, and it may be 
presumed that his lady was buried at Halliwell with him. A monu- 
ment representing a knight in a recumbent position was erected soon 



• Lady Hatton left a charitable benefaction to the poor of the parish of 
St. Andrew, Holbom. 

O 2 



84 Holywell Priory, Shoreditch. 

after his death, and on the death of his lady a figure in marble was placed 
at its side. In the windows of the chapel, which were of the richest 
stained glass, the following words, indicative of the high respect in 
which the memory of Sir Thomas was held, were afterwards inscribed : 

" Al the nunnes in Holywel 
Pray for the soul of Sir Thomas Lovel." 

They are also stated to be as follows, inscribed on a wall of the Priory ; 

" Al the nuns of Haliwell, 

Pray ye both day and night 
For the soul of Sir Thomas Lovel, 
Whom Harry the Seventh made knight." 

In the year 1513, Lord Ros, pursuant to his will, was buried nigh 
the altar in the chapel of this priory ; but other historians consider it 
probable that at the death of his lady, the body was removed to Wind- 
sor, as both figures lie upon one tomb in St. George's Chapel ; and 
upon the tomb is an inscription recording the fiict that this nobleman, 
who died 1513, and his lady, Anne, who died 1526, were there buried. 
There are no records of any other persons of note whatever having been 
buried within this chapel, or within the precincts of the priory. 

It is not, however, improbable that within the grounds of the priory 
was a burial-ground, in which the deceased inmates, and possibly other 
persons in favour with, or benefactors to, the establishment were buried, 
as many loose bones have been turned up. Sir Thomas and his lady 
died only a few years before the suppression of the convent in the time of 
Henry VIII., and were therefore probably the last persons of note who 
were interred within it ; and in the course of excavations in the neighbour- 
hood of New Inn-yard, have been found two leaden cofilns believed to have 
contained the remains of Sir Thomas Lovel and his lady. The shape of 
these coffins is peculiar, distinguished by having a head and shoulders, 
— a form in stone not uncommon in the reigns of Henry V. and VI, 
From the material of these coffins, it may be reasonably assumed that 
the persons interred within them were persons of station or quality. 
They were found resting upon the clay, enclosed in a grave formed of 
chalk, wiiicli fell in as the workmen disti:rt>cd It. Both of the leaden 
shells, when discovered, were somewhat decayed by time; especially 
round the joints securing the lids, whicli were easily taken off in 
several pieces. On removing the coffins from the ground, two skele- 
t»)n8 in perfect form were discovered, the heads occupying the upper 
circular cavity. There was neither sign of any flesh nor clothing, nor 
any relics whatever, which it might be supposed would be placed 
within the coffins of people of note, and who were buried in the 



Stories of Old Somerset House, 85 

Catholic faith. The only other remnants of decay, besides the bones, 
visible, were — a sort of brownish yellow dust which lay beneath the 
bones, and a sort of chalky deposit at the bottom of the shells. This 
deposit is common, and has frequently been found to consist of lime put 
into the coffin, most probably to hasten the destruction of the body. 

No inscription is discoverable on the leaden shells now found. It" 
llvere ever were any, the corrosion of the metal has quite obliterated it ; 
but it is just possible that, after the demolition of the Priory, the tomb 
may have been opened, and the outer shells, with their ornaments, 
rcmovitl ; and if so, the leaden shells themselves may have been opened, 
and any valuables that may have been inclosed also removed, and that at 
a period when decay had not sufficiently set in to allow the disturbance 
of the bones. 

The following are additional records of the interment here: Sir 
Thomas Lovel was buried there June 8, 1525, "in a tombe of whyte 
marbell, on the southe syde of the quyre of the saide churche." At his 
funeral there were present the IMshop of London, Lord St. John, Sir 
Richard Wyngfield, and many others, nobles and gentlemen. The Abbot 
ofWaltham, the Prior of St. INLiry Spital, four orders of friars, the 
Mayor and all the aldermen of London, gentlemen of the Inns of Coui't, 
the Lord Steward, and all the clerks of London attended. Part of the 
Chapel remains under the floor of the Old King John public-house, 
and the stone doorway into the porter's lodge of the Priory still exists. 



Stories of Old Somerset House. 

This celebrated palace, situated on the south side of the Strand, with 
gardens and water-gate reaching to the Thames, was commenced build- 
ing about i-,47, by the Protector Somerset, maternal uncle of 
Edward VI. To obtiin space and building materials, he demolished 
Strand or Chester's Inn, and the episcopal houses of Lichfield, Coventry, 
Worcester, and Llandaft", besides the church and tower of St. John of 
Jerusiilem : for the stone, also, he pulled down the great north cloister 
of St. Paul's ; St. Mary's church was also taken down, and the site 
became part of the garden. Stow describes it, in 1 603, as " a large and 
beautiful house, but yet unfinished." The Protector did not inhabit 
the palace ; for he was imprisoned in the Tower in 1549, ana beheaded 
in 1552. Somerset-place then devolved to the Crown, and was assigned 
by Edward VI. to his sister the Princess Elizabeth. Lord Burghley 
notcp : — " Feb, 1.^66-7, Cornelius de la Noye, an alchymist, wrought in 



86 Stories of Old Somerset House. 

Somerset House, and abused many in promising to convert any metall 
into gold." 

In 1570, Queen Elizabeth went to open the Royal Exchange, "from 
her house at tlie Strand, called Somerset House." The Queen lent the 
mansion to her kinsman, Lord Hunsdon, whose guest she occasionally 
became. At her death, the palace was settled as a jointure-house 
of the queen-consort ; and passed to Anne of Denmark, queen of 
James I., by whose command it was called Denmark House. Inigo 
Jones erected new buildings and enlargements. Here the remains of 
Anne and James I. lay in state. For Henrietta Maria, queen of Charles I., 
Inigo Jones built a chapel, with a rustic arcade and Corinthian columns, 
facing the Thames ; and here the Queen established a convent of 
Capuchin friars. In the passage leading from east to west, under the 
quadrangle of the present Somerset House, are five tombstones of the 
Queen's attendants. 

Inigo Jones died here in 1652. During the Protectorate, the altar 
and chapel were ordered to be burnt ; and in 1659 the palace was about 
to be sold for 10,000/.; but after the Restoration, the Queen-mother 
Henrietta, returned to Somerset House, which she repaired: hence she 
exclaims, in Cowley's courtly verse: — 

" Before my gate a street's broad clianncl goes, 
Which still with waves of crowding people flows; 
And every day there passes by my side, 
Up to its western reach, the London tide. 
The spring-tides of the term. My front looks down 
On all the pride and business of the town.' 

Waller's adulatory incense rises still higher : — 

*• Rut what new mine this work supplies? 
Can such a pile from ruin rise? 
This like the first creation shows, 
As if at your command it rose." 

Pepys gossips of " the Qiiccn-mother's court at Somerset House, 
above our own Queen's ; the mass in the chapel ; the garden ; and the 
new buildings, mighty magnificent and costly," " stately and nobly 
famished ;" and " the great stone stairs in the garden, with the brave 
echo." The Queen-mother died abroad in 1669. In 1669-70, the 
remains of Monk, Duke of Albemarle, "lay for many weeks in royal 
state" at Somerset House ; and thence he was buried with every honour 
short of regality. Tiiither the remains of Oliver Cromwell were re- 
moved from "Whitehall, in 1658, and were laid in state in the great hall 
of Sinnci set House, " and represented in efiigie, standing on a bed of 
crimson velvet." He was buried from hence with great pomp and 



Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey. 87 

pageantry, which provoked the people to throw dirt, in the night, on his 
escutcheon that was placed over the great gate of Somerset House: his 
pompous funeral cost 28,000/. On the death of Charles II. in 1685, 
the palace became the sole residence of the Queen Dowager, Catherine 
of Braganza; and in 1678, three of her household were charged with 
the murder of Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey, by decoying him into Somerset 
House, and there strangling him. 

Strype describes the palace about 1 720 : its front with stone pillars, 
its spacious square court, great hall or guard-room, large staircase, and 
rooms of state, larger courts, and " most pleasant garden ;" the water- 
gate, with figures of Thames and Isis ; and the water-garden, with 
fountain and statues. Early in the last century, court masquerades were 
given here. Addison, in the Freeholder, mentions one in 1716; and in 
1763, a splendid fete was given here by Government to the Venetian 
Ambassadors. In 1771, the Royal Academy had apartments in the 
palace, granted them by George III. In IT75, Parliament settled upon 
Queen Charlotte Buckingham House, in which she then resided, in lieu of 
Old Somerset House, which was given up to be demolished, for the erec- 
tion upon the site of certain public offices, the present Somerset House ; 
the produce of the sale of Ely House being applied towards the ex- 
penses. The chapel, which had been opened for the Protestant service 
by order of Queen Anne, in 1711, was not closed until 1777. The 
venerable court-way from the Strand, and the dark and winding steps 
which led down to the garden beneath the shade of ancient and lofty 
trees, were the last lingering features of Somerset Place, and were cha- 
racteristic of the gloomy lives and fortunes of its royal and noble inmates. 



Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey, his Mysterious Death. 

This tragical event originated in Titus Gates' Popish Plot in 1678 ; <rf 
this Gates drew up a narrative, to the truth of which he solemnly 
deposed before Sir Edmund Bciry Godfrey, who was an eminent Justice 
of the Peace. This seemed to be done in distrust of the Privy Council, 
as if they might stifle his evidence ; which to prevent he put into safe 
hands. Upon that Godfrey was chid for his presuming to meddle in 
so tender a matter, and, as appeared from subsequent events, a plan was 
immediately laid to murder him ; and this, within a few weeks, was 
but too fatally executed. In the meantime, various arrests of Jesuits ann 
Papists were made. 

About a fortnight afterwards, on Saturday, October \2, Godfrey was 
missing from his house in Green's-lane, in the Strand, near Hungerford- 



88' Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey. 

mai'ket, where he was a wood-merchant, his wood wharf being at the 
end of what is now Northumberland-street. Nor could the most sedu- 
lous search obtain any other tidings of Godfrey for some days, but that 
he was seen near St. Clement's Church, in the Strand, on the day above 
mentioned ; he left home at nine in the morning. Shortly after this, he 
was seen in Marylebone, and at noon of the same day, had an interview 
on business with one of the churchwardens of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields. 
From this time Godfiey was never seen again alive ; nor was any mes- 
sage received by his sei"vants at home. Sunday came, and no tidings of 
him; Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday followed with the 
like result. At six o'clock, on the evening of the last-mentioned day, 
the 17th, as two men were crossing a field on the south side of Prim- 
rose-hill, they observed a sword-belt, stick, and a pair of gloves, lying 
on the side of the hedge : they paid no attention to them at the time, 
and walked on to Chalk Farm, then called at the White House, where 
they mentioned to the master what they had seen, and he accompanied 
them to the spot where the articles lay ; one ot the men, stooping down, 
looked into the adjoining ditch, and there saw the body of a man lying 
on his face. It was Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey: " his sword was 
thrust through him, but no blood was on his clothes, or about him ; his 
shoes were clean ; his money was in his pocket, but nothing was about 
his neck [although when he went from home, he had a large lace band 
on] , and a mark was all aroimd it, an inch broad, which showed he 
had been strangled. His breast was likewise all over marked with 
bruises, and his neck was broken ; and it was visible he was first 
strangled, then carried to that place, where his sword was run through 
his dead body." It was conveyed to the White House, then the farm- 
house ot the estate of Chalcott's, abbreviated to Chalc's, and then cor- 
rupted to Chalk Farm, in our day a noted taveni. A jury was im- 
panelled, and the evidence of two surgeons showed that Godfrey's 
death must have been occasioned by strangulation. The ditch was dry, 
and there were no marks of blood in it, and his shoes were perfectly 
clean, as if, after being assassinated, he had been carried and deposited 
in the place where he was found. A large sum ot money and a diamond 
ring were found in his pockets ; but his pocket-book, in which, as a 
magistrate, he used to take notes of examinations, was missing. Spota 
of white wax, an article which he never usal himself, and which was 
only employed by persons of distinction, and by priests, were scattered 
over his clothes ; and from this circumstance persons were led to con- 
clude that the Roman Catholics were concerned in his death. Still, 
there appeared no proof of his being murdered ; but it was regarded as 



Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey. 89 

a direct testimony of the existence of the Popish Plot ; warrants were 
signed for twenty-six persons who had been implicated by Oates, and 
who were committed to the Tower. 

From the ^V'hite House, the corpse of Godfrey was conveyed home, 
and embalmed, and after lying in state for two days at Bridewell Hos- 
pital, was borne from thence, with great solemnity, to St. Martin's 
Church, to be interred. The p^U was supported by eight knights — all 
justices of the peace ; and in the procession were all the City aldermen, 
together with seventy-two clergymen, in full canonicals, who walked 
in couples before the body, and a great multitude followed after. The 
clergyman who preached a seniion on the occasion, was supported on 
each side by a brother divine. The body was interred in the church- 
yard ; and a tablet to the memory of Sir Edmund Berry was erected in 
Westminster Abbey. 

As yet, however, the perpetrators of this murder had not been dis- 
covered, though a reward of 500/. and the King's protection had been 
offered to any person making the disclosure ; but, within a few dayf 
afterwards, one William Bedloe, who had been a servant, was brought 
to London from Bristol, where he had been arrested by his own desire, 
on affirming that he was acquainted with some circumstances relating 
to Godfrey's death. He stated that he had seen the murdered body in 
Somerset House (then the Queen's residence), and had been offered a 
large sum of money to assist in removing it. It was remembered that 
at that time the Queen was for some days in so close confinement that 
no person was admitted. Prince Rupert came there to wait on her, 
but was denied access. This raised a strong suspicion of her ; but the 
King would not suffer that matter to go any further. Coleman, the 
Duke of York's secretary, who was soon afterwards convicted of high 
treason, when he lay in Newgate, confessed that he had spoken of the 
duke's designs to Godfrey ; " upon which the duke gave orders to kill 
him." 

Soon after, Miles Prance, a goldsmith, who had some time wrought 
in the Queen's Chapel, was taken up on suspicion of having been ccn- 
cerned in the death of Godfrey ; and on his subsequent confession and 
testimony, confirmed by Bedloe and others, Green, Hill, and Berry, all 
in subordinate situations at Somerset House, were convicted of the 
murder, which they had effected in conjunction with two Iribh Ji.'suits, 
who had absconded. It appeared that the unfortunate magistrate had 
been inveigled into Somerset House, at the water-gate, under the pre- 
tence of his assistance being wanted to allay a quarrel ; and that he was 
immediately strangled with a twisted handkerchief, after which Green, 



90 Canonbury, and Lady Elizabeth Compton. 

" with all his force, wrung his neck almost round." On the fourth 
night after, the assassins conveyed his body, first in a sedan chair, tr 
Soho, and then on a horse to the place where it was afterwards dis- 
covered, near Primrose-hill ; where one of the Jesuits ran his sword 
through the corpse, in the manner it was found. Green, Berry, and 
Hill were executed ; each of them affirming his innocence to the very 
last. 

This honible event is commemorated in a contemporary medal of 
Sir Edmund Berry, representing him, on the obverse, walking with a 
broken neck and a sword in his body ; and on the reverse, St. Denis, 
bearing his head in his hand, with this inscription : 

" Godfrey walks up-hill after he was dead, 
Denis walks down-hill carrying his head." 

There is also a medal with the head of Godfrey being strangled ; and 
the body being canned on horseback, with Primrose-hill in the dis- 
tance : likewise a large medallion, with the Pope and the devil ; the 
strangulation by two Jesuits ; Sir Godfrey borne in a sedan ; and the 
body, with the sword through it. 



Canonbury, and Lady Elizabeth Compton. 

Few of our suburban parishes possess such antiquarian and historic 
interest as large and populous Islington, where, whatever may be the 
Doast, the present has not effaced the glory of the past. The original 
hamlet of Iseldon was, in all probability, of British origin, lying within 
the forest of Middlesex, whither the conquering Roman came with 
camp, and station, and Ermine-street — all to be traced to the present 
hour. The village of huts, the Iseldon of the Britons, became a Saxon 
parish before the coming of the Normans ; and its winding ways are 
identified in the irregular features of the old village. Among its early 
landowners was the family of Beniors, who, in th<; thirteenth century, 
granted to the Priors of the canons of St. Hartliolomcw, in West Smith- 
'•ield, for a bury, or retiring-place, the manor, which took the name of 
Canonbury. The year of the gift is unknown, but the estate is enu- 
merated among the possessions of the priory, in a confirmation granted 
by Henry Ml., bearing date 1253. A silly notion once prevailed that 
there was formerly a snbtenani'an communication betwa-n the Priory 
of St. Bartholomew and Canonbury House. We have contemporary 
evidence of the general productiveness of the estate; its meadow for 
pasture; its fields of corn, and the excellent produce of its dairies; so 



Caiionbury, and Lady Eliaabeih Compton. 91 

that from the thirteenth century till the Reformation, Canonbury, and 
other large estates in Islington, were cultivated under the monks. 
Those of Canonbury even supplied the distant priory with water, much 
esteemed for its clearness and purity, from " the condyte hede of Saynt 
Barthilmewes, within the manor of Canbury," or Canonbury. To it a 
small piece of land called le Coteliers, or the Cutlers, was added, to 
benefit the soul of one John of Kentish Town, deceased. The manor 
retains its old boundaries to the present day — /.<?., from the Cock at 
Highbury, along the Upper-street, to the statue of Sir Hugh MyddeUon, 
on Islington-green ; thence -via Lower-road to St. Paul's Church, Ball's 
Pond ; and so by St. Paul's-road back to the starting-point. The 
waste of the manor exists in the triangular plot of land called 
Islington-green. 

At the Dissolution of the monasteries, under Henry VIII., the Priory 
of St. Bartholomew surrendered itself into the King's hands, and the 
manor of Canonbury, with other lands, was granted to Thomas 
Cromwell, Earl of Essex. In his hands it remained but one year; for 
in 1540, having assisted in palming off Anne of Cleves on Henry, as a 
marriageable beauty, he suffered attainder ; the manor again reverted to 
the King, who charged it with an annuity of twenty pounds, payable to 
Anne of Cleves, the innocent cause of Cromwell's disgrace and ruin, 
and she received this annuity until her decease in 1557. The manor 
remained in the hands of the crown till Edward VI., in the first year of 
his reign, granted it to John Dudley, Earl of Northumberland, father- 
in-law of Lady Jane Grey ; and he held possession till his attainder, in 
1553, put the place into the hands of Queen Mary, who, in 1557, granted 
the manor to Thomas Lord Wentworth; and he, in 1570, alienated 
it to the celebrated and affluent Sir John Spencer, Knight and Bait., 
commonly calleti " Rich Spencer," who so greatly distinguished him- 
self by his public spirit during his mayoralty in London in 1595, which 
he kept at Crosby-place, purchased by him in the previous year. 
Canonbury was his country house ; and in one of his journeys hither 
he had well nigh been carried off by a pirate, in the expectation of a 
heavy ransom. The pirate came over from Dunkirk with twelve 
musketeers, in a shallop ; he reached Barking Ci-cek in the night, and 
leaving his shallop in the custody of six of his men, with the other six 
he came as far as Islington, where they hid themselves in ditches, near 
the path by which Sir John usually came to Canonbury ; but by an 
accident he was detained in London, and thus escaped — the pirate and 
his mates returning to their shallop, and safe to Dunkirk again. 
Ten years before his death " Rich Spencer" had his soul crossed by 



92 Canonhury, and Lady Elizabeth Campion. 

a daughter, who insisted upon giving her hand to a slenderly endowed 
young nobleman, the Lord Compton. It seems to have been a rather 
perilous thing for a citizen in those times to thwart the matrimonial 
designs of a nobleman, even towards a member of his own family. On 
the 15th of March, 1598-9, John Chamberlain adverted, in one of his 
Letters, to the troubles connected with the love affairs of Eliza Spencer. 
" Our Sir John Spencer," says he, " was the last week committed to 
. the Fleet for a contempt, and hiding away his daughter, who, they say, 
is contracted to the Lord Compton ; but now he is out again, and by all 
means seeks to hinder the match, alleging a pre-contract to Sir Arthur 
Henningham's son. But upon his beating and misusing her, she was 
sequestered to one Barker's, a proctor, and from thence to Sir Henry 
Billingsley's, where she yet remains till the matter be tried. If the 
obstinate and self-willed fellow should persist in his doggedness (as he 
protests he will), and give her nothing, the poor lord should have a 
warm catch." 

Sir John having persisted in his self-willed course of desiring to have 
something to say in the disposition of his dau;,'hter in marriage, the 
young couple became united against his will. The lady is traditionally 
said to have contrived her elopement fi-om her father's house at Canon- 
bury in a baker's basket ! Sir John, for some time steadily refused to 
take Lady Compton back into his good graces. At length a recon- 
ciliation was effected by a pleasant stratagem of Queen Elizabeth. 
When Lady Compton had her first child, the Queen requested that 
Sir John would join her in standing as sponsor for the first ofispring of 
* young couple happy in their love, but discarded by their father. The 
Knight readily complied, and her Majesty dictated her own surname 
for the Christian name of the child. The ceremony being performed, 
Sir John assured the Queen that, having discarded his own daughter, he 
should adopt the boy as his son. The parents of the child being in- 
troduced, the knight, to his great surprise, discovered that he had 
adopted his own grandson ; who, in reality, became the ultimate in- 
heritor of his wealth. 

There is extant the following curious characteristic letter of Lady 
Compton to her husband, apparently written on the paternal wealth 
coming into their hands : — 

" My sweetk Liff,— Now I have declared to you my mind for the 
•cttling of your state, I suppose that it were best for me to bethink, or 
consider with myself, what allowance were meetest for me. For consi- 
derinjj what care I ever had of your estate, and how respectfully I dealt 



Canonhury, and Lady Elizabeth Compton. 93 

with lliose, which, by the laws of God, of nature, and civil polity, wit, 
religion, government, and honesty, you, my dear, are bound to, I pray 
and beseech you to grant to me, your most kind and loving wife, the 
6um of 1600/. per annum, quarterly to be paid. 

"Also for laundresses, when I travel, I will have them sent away 
with the carriages, to see all safe ; and the cham jermaids I will have go 
before with the grooms, that the chambers niay be ready, sweet, and 
clean. 

" Also, that it is indecent for me to crowd up myself with my gentle- 
man usher in my coach, I will have him to have a convenient horse to 
attend me either in city or country, and I must have two footmen ; and 
my desire is that you defray all the charges for me. 

" And for myself (besides my yearly allowance), I would have twenty 
gowns of apparel, six of them excellent good ones, eight of them for the 
country, and six others of them very excellent good ones. 

" Also, I would have put into my purse 20C0/., and 200/., and so 
you to pay my debts. 

" Also, I would have 6000/. to buy me jewels, and 400c/. to buy me 
a pearl chain. 

" Now, seeing I have been and am so reasonable unto you, I pray 
you do find my children apparel, and their schooling; and all my 
servants, men and women, their wages. 

" Also, I will have all my house furnished, and all my lodging- 
chambers to be suited with all such furniture as is fit ; as beds, stools, 
chairs, suitable cushions, carpets, silver warming-pans, cupboards of 
plate, fair hangings, and such like. So, for my drawing-chamber, in all 
houses I will have them delicately furnished, both with hangings, couch, 
canopy, glass, chairs, cushions, and all things thereto belonging. 

" i would also (besides the allowance for my apparel) have 600/. 
added yearly (quarterly to be paid), for the performance of charitable 
works, and those things I would not, neither will, be accountable for. 

•* Also, I will have three horses for my own saddle, that none shall 
dare to lend or borrow ; none lend but I ; none bon-ow but you. 

" Also, I would have two gentlewomen, lest one should be sick, or 
have some other lett. Also believe that it is an indecent thing for a 
gentlewoman to stand mumping alone, when God hath blessed their 
lord and lady with a great estate. 

" Also, when I ride a hunting, or hawking, or travel from one home 
to another, I will have them attending ; so, for either of these said 
women I must and will have a horse. 

"Also, I will have six or eight gentlemen; and I will have my two 



94 Canonbiirj', and Lady ElizabctJi Coinpton. 

coaches — one lined with velvet, to myself, with four very fair hoises, 
and a coach for my women, lined with cloth ; one laced with gold, 
the other with scarlet, and laced with watch-lace and silver, with four 
good horses. 

" Also, I will have two coachmen : one for my own coach, the other 
for my women's. 

" Also, at any time when I travel, I will be allowed not only carriages 
and spare horses for me and my women, but I will have such carriages 
as shall be fitting for all, orderly ; not pestering my things with my 
women's, nor theirs with chambermaids, or theirs with washmaids. 

" Also, my desire is, that you would pay your debts, build Ashby 
House, and purchase lands, and lend no money (as you love God) to 
the Lord Chamberlain,* which would have all, perhaps your life, from 
you. Remember his son, my Lord Waldon, what entertainment he 
gave me when you were at Tilt-yard. If you were dead, he said he 
would marry me. I pretest I j^rieve to see the poor man have so little 
wit and honesty to use his friends so vilely. Also, he fed me with 
untruths concerning the Charter-house ; but that is the least : he wished 
me much harm ; you know him. God keep you and me from him, 
and such as he is. 

" So, now that I have declared to you what I would have, and what 
that is I would not have, I pray, when you be an earl, to allow me 
looo/* more than now desired, and double attendance. 

" Your loving wife, 

"Eliza Compton." 

The above letter, it is thought, was written about 1617. It is con- 
cluded fi-om a lease, dated 1603, that Sir John Spencer was then 
resident at Canonbury ; and from his granddaughter being baptized at 
Islington, it is probable that Lord and Lady Compton were resident at 
the mansion in 1605. In 1618, the year after Lady Compton made the 
above stipulation for increase of income. Lord Compton was created 
Karl of Northampton ; whether the addition was made we are not in- 
formed. His Lordship died in 1630, in this strange manner, asd;"scribed 
in a letter dated July 2 : " Yesterday senight, the Earl of Northampton, 
lord-president of Wales (after he had waited on the King at supper, 
and had also supped), went into a boat, with others, to wash himself in 
the Thames ; and so soon as his legs were in the water but to the kiieet^ 
ae had the colic, and cried out, ' Have me into the bo;'t again, for I am 



* Thomas Howard, Earl of Suflblk, mode Lord Treasurer in 1613. 



Canoiibury, and its Tenants. 95 

n dead man !' " From the Earl is lineally descended the present 
owner of Canonbury, who is the eleventh Earl and third Marquis of 
Northampton. 

Canonbury has had many tenants of distinction. Soon after 1605, 
Thomas Egerton, both when Lord Keeper EUesmere, and when Lord 
Chancellor, resided here; as did Sir Francis Bacon, when Attorney- 
General, from February, 1616 ; as also, at the time of his receiving the 
Great Seal, Jan. 7, 1618, and for some time afterwards. From 1627 to 
1635, Canonbury was rented by Lord Keeper Coventry. In the Straf- 
ford Papers is a letter from the Earl of Derby, dated Jan. 29, 1635, 
from Canbury Park (as the place was then called), where he was staid 
from St. James's by the greatest snow he ever saw in England. In 164 1, 
commenced the Great Rebellion, in which James, Earl of Northampton, 
was slain at Hopton Heath, near Stafford, in 1642. The young Earl, 
together with his brother, were actively engaged on the King's side; 
and its noble and loyal owner, in 1650 and 1651, was comjxflled to 
mortgage Canonbury, to enable him to incur debts in the service of his 
sovereign. From this time Canonbury House was occupied separately ; 
for it is apparent from the mortgage of 1661, that the mansion-house 
was then on lease to Arthur Dove, and the Tower to Edward Elhs. 
The last nobleman who resided at Canonbury was \\'illiam. Viscount 
Fielding, Earl of Denbigh, who died here the 23rd of August, 1O85. 

To return to the mansion. The year 1362 has been assigned as 
the date of the original building, though two Arabic figures, or 
iiumerals found therein, imply a much later date. Previous to the Dis- 
solution, the last head was Prior Bolton, and in his days, which extended 
from 1509 to if,33, the old manor-house was rebuilt, and the adjacent 
lands, to the extent of about sixteen acres, enclosed. The central object 
is the red-brick Tower, seventeen feet square by fifty-eight high. In a 
wall, let into the brickwork, were several stone carvings, about sixteen 
inches square, of the Prior's rebus — a bird-bolt through a tun — 

" Old Prior Bolton with his bolt and tun ;" 

one of these sculptures is still ^<frfect. This rebus is also said to be still 
extant in three other parts of the building. 

Sir John Spencer, after his purchase of the manor, did not probably 
reside here till 1603. It must have been about this time, if at ail, that 
Sir Walter Raleigh resided here. It is true that he lived on the manor, 
in a house believed to be near the site of Islington Chapel. 

During the last century, Canonbury was occupied, says Tomlins, " by 
transitory visitants, who went thither for fresh air, or to pursue their 



96 Canonhivyy and its Tenants. 

literary labours in retirement ; indeed, a list of its occupants would 
comprise jaded statesmen, wearied encyclopaedists, busy citizens, and 
controversial nonconformists, who all seemed to regard Canonbury as a 
place of repose." It was let in separate apartments or suites, each 
door having a knocker on the outside, which puzzles occasional visitors 
at the present day. Prior Bolton's Tower, though its oak staircase is 
far from fine, is the most interesting portion of the whole place. It is, 
indeed, the staircase to the four-and-twenty rooms of the Spencer man- 
sion, which has been unsparingly modernized. Only two of the rooms 
contain the original oak panelling of Spencer's time. These chambers 
are large and lofty : in one the fireplace is surmounted with figures ot 
Faith and Hope, and above are the Spencer aiTns. 

Ephraim Chambers, the dictionary-maker, was one of the literary 
lodgers at Canonbury, where he died May i,r;, 1740; he was buried 
from thence in the cloisters of Westminster Abbey. Oliver Goldsmith 
came to lodge at the Tower at the close of 1762. Sir John Hawkins 
tells us that Newbery had apartments in the Tower, and induced Gold- 
smith to remove there, the publisher being Oliver's responsible pay- 
master, at 50/. a year — ecjual to twice the amount now. The landlady, 
Mrs. Elizabeth Fleming, stout and elderly, was, it is said, painted by 
Hogarth, one of Goldsmith's visitors. There were still green fields and 
lanes in Islington. Glimpses were discernible yet even of the old time, 
and the country all about was woodland. There were walks where 
houses were not, nor ten-aces, nor taverns; and where stolen hours 
might be given to precious thoughts in the intervals of toilsome labour. 
While here, Goldsmith wrote his History of England, " in a Series 
of Letters fiom a Nobleman to his Son." Oliver had several visitors 
here, as testified in Mrs. Fleming's incidental expenses: " four gentlemen 
have tea for eighteen pence;" wines and cakes are supplied for the same 
sum ; bottles of port are charged two shillings each ; rent for the reten- 
tion of Goldsmith's room in his absence, is charged at the rate of about 
three shillings a week. At Islington, Oliver continued a resident till 
towards the end of 1764. Sir John Hawkins has recorded Goldsmith's 
abode here as "concealment from his creditors," though the reverse may 
have been the case, his removal thence being occasioned by his an-est ; 
his landlady latterly narrowed the credit to sucli items as sixpence for 
" sassafras-tea," twopence for a pint of ale, and twopence for " opodeU 
dock." A number of literary acquaintances Goldsmith hail for fel- 
low-occupants of the Ccutle (as Canonbury Tower was called) ; they 
formed a temporary club, which held its meetings at the Crown 
tavern, on tiie Islington Lower Road, and here Oliver presided in hit 



Canonbury, and its Tenants, 97 

own genial style, and was the life and delight of the company- Here 
ends the literary tenancy : 

" See on the distant slope, majestic shows 
Old Canonbury's tower, an ancient pile 
To various fates assigned ; and where by turns 
Meanness and grandeur have alternate reigned ; 
Thither in later days hath genius fled 
From yonder city to repine and die. 
There the sweet bard of Auburn sat and tuned 
The plaintive murmurings of his village dirge ; 
There learned Chambers treasured lore for men. 
And Newbery there his A, B, Cs for babes." 

Canonbury, after this occupancy, was leased in 1770 to Mr. John 
Dawes, for sixty-one years, who converted the ancient mansion into 
three dwelling-houses ; Mr. Dawes also built other houses on the old 
site. Viewed from the Alwyne-road, that occupies the space between 
the New River and the old garden-wall, Canonbury House presents to 
the eye a lofty range of well-tiled buildings, with some gardens, that 
still present an air of seclusion. Nelson, in 181 1, described the pleasing 
appearance of these gardens, when the New River formed their boundary, 
and the neighbouring fields were unenclosed. From the leads of the 
Tower may be enjoyed, in fine clear weather, a delightful view ot 
London. In 18 17, it was described as including "a vast extent ot 
country, teeming with towns and villages, and finely diversified by hill 
and dale ; that over London is uncommonly grand ; on a clear day the 
whole course of the river Thames may be traced as far as Gravesend, 
with the hills of Kent rising beyond, and all the intervening tract spotted 
by buildings, and enriched by cultivation." This may have been correct 
fifty years ago, when it was written ; but the increase of cities is apt to 
spoil the prosj>ect of them. 

. Here, in the last century, rose from a small alehouse, Canonbury 
Tavern, started by a landlord who had been a private soldier ; but its 
celebrity was chiefly owing to the fame of an attractive widow, who 
resided here from 1785 to 1808; she added several new rooms, and 
laid out the bowling-green and tea-gardens ; and the ancient fish-pond 
was included in the premises, which occupied about four acres, within 
the old park wall of the priory of St. Bartholomew. Next were added 
Assembly-rooms, and the gay Assembly in 1810. But manners change 
with times, and the crowds who enjoyed themselves on the green, and 
were at home among the grotesquely costumed figures provided for 
their amusement, could not be expected to reach the higher delight? 
of the ball-room. The costly rooms were swept away, and upon part 
of the site has been erected a well-appointed tavern, nearly opposite to 



93 " The Lady Arabella's" Fatal Marriage. 

the ivy-clad Tower. The old glass-coach no longer brings its gay 
freight to Canonbury Tavern ; but there may be treasured up a few 
of the quaint artistic conceits — the grotesque tenants of the old grounds 
— for the gratification of the curious, and such as can " suck melancholy 
from a song." 



"The Lady Arabella's" Fatal Marriage. 

"Where London's towre its turrets show, 
So stately by the Thames's side, 
Faire Arabella, child of woe ! 
For many a day had sat and sighed. 

And as shee heard the waves arise, 

And as shee heard the bleake windes roare, 

As fast did heave her heartfelte sighes, 
And still so fast her teares did poure!" 

Ballad, probably written by MickU. 

Although the name of Arabella Stuai't is scarcely mentioned in 
history, — for her whole life seems to consist of secret history — how its 
slight domestic incidents could produce results so greatly disproportioned 
to their apparent cause, may always excite our curiosity. She was the 
daughter of Charles Stuart, Earl of Lennox, younger brother of Lord 
Darnley, and was by her affinity with J.imes L and our Elizabeth, 
placed near the throne ; too near, it seems, for her happiness and quiet. 
Her double relation to royalty was equally obnoxious to the jealousy 
of Elizabeth and the timidity of James, and they secretly dreaded the 
supposed danger of her having a legitimate offspring. The first thing 
we hear of " the Lady Arabella" concerns a marriage : marriages are the 
incidents of her life, and the fatal event which terminated it was marriage. 
Such was the secret spring on which her character and her misfortunes 
revolved. 

James proposed for the husband of the Lady Arabella one of he}- 
cousins, Lord Esmc Stuart, and designed her for his heir ; but Eliza- 
Iwth interposed to prevent the match ; she imprisoned the Lady Ara- 
bella, on licaring of her infention to marry a son of the Earl of North- 
uml>crland, and Elizabeth would not deliver her up to the King. Mean- 
time, the Pope, intending to put aside James on account of his 
religion, formed a chimerical scheme of uniting Arabella with a prince 
of the House of Savoy, and setting her upon the ICnglish throne; but 
tiiis project faileil. Sliorlly after tiie accession of James a clumsy 
coiii|)iracy, in which Sir Walter Raleigh is said to have been concerned. 



" The Lady Arabella's" Fatal Marriage. 99 

was formed of raising her to the throne, but it does not seem to 
have been shared in by Arabella herself. 

We now approach that event of the Lady Arabella's life, which reads 
like a romantic fiction ; and the misery, pathos, and terror of the cata- 
strophe, even romantic fiction has not exceeded. The revels of Christmas, 
1 608, had hardly closed, when she renewed a connexion, which had com- 
menced in childhood, with Mr. William Seymour, the second son of 
Eail Beauchamp, and a private marriage took place. The treaty ol 
marriage was detected in February, 1609, ^"'^ ^'^ parties were sum- 
moned before the Privy Council. Seymour was strongly censured for 
daring to ally himself with the royal blood, although that blood was 
running in his own veins. The secret marriage was discovered about 
July, in the following year. They were then separately confined, the 
Lady at the house of Sir Thomas Parry, at Lambeth, and Seymour in 
the Tower, for " his contempt in marrying a lady of the royal family 
without the King's leave." The mansion of Sir Thomas Parry, Chan- 
cellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, was named Copt Hall, and was de- 
scribed as bounded by the Thames, being a fair dwelling-house, strongly 
built, of three stories high, and a fair staircase breaking out from it of 
nineteen feet square. Sir Samuel Morland, in 1675, carried on his mechani- 
cal and philosophical experiments in this house. Copt Hall stood at 
Vauxhall, adjoining the premises of Burnett and Co., distillers. This, 
their first confinement, was not rigorous : the lady walked in her garden, 
and the husband was a prisoner at large in the Tower. Some inter- 
course they had by letters, which after a time was discovered. This 
was followed by a sad scene. The King had now resolved to con- 
sign this unhappy lady to the stricter care of the Bishop of Durham. 
Lady Arabella was so subdued at this distant separation, that she gave 
way to all the wildness of despair ; she fell suddenly ill, and could 
not travel but in a litter, and with a physician. In her way to Durham, 
she was so greatly disquieted in the first few miles of her uneasy and 
troublesome journey, that they could proceed no further than to 
Highgate. The physician returned to town, and reported her in no 
case fit for travel. The King's resolution, however, was, that " she 
should proceed to Durham, if he were King f " " We answered," re- 
plied the Doctor, " that we made no doubt of her obedience." " Obedi- 
ence is that required," replied the King ; " which being performed, I 
will do more for her than she expected." The King, however, consented 
that Lady Arabella should remain for a month at Highgate, in confine- 
ment, till she had sufficiently recovered to proceed to Durham. A 
second month's delay was granted. 

H 2 



100 " The Lady Arabellas" Fatal Marriage. 

But the day of her departure hastened. She and Seymour had con- 
certed a flight, as bold in its plot, and as beautifully wild as any recorded 
in romantic story. The day preceding her departure, Arabella per- 
suaded a female attendant to consent to her paying a last visit to her 
husband, and to wait for her return at an appointed hour. She then 
assisted the Lady Arabella in disguising herself: " She drew a pair of large 
French-fashioned hose or trousers over her petticoats ; put on a man's 
doublet or coat: a peruke, whose long locks covered her own ringlets; 
a black hat, a black cloak, russet boots with red tops, and a rapier by 
her side. Thus accoutred, the Lady Arabella stole out with a gentle- 
man about three o'clock in the afternoon. They had proceeded a mile 
and a half, when they stopped at a poor inn, where one of her con- 
federates was waiting with hoi-ses ; yet she was so sick and faint that the 
ostler obsen'ed, "the gentleman could hardly hold out to London.'' 
But at six o'clock she reached B!ackwall, where a boat and servants 
were waiting. Mr. Seymour, who was to have joined her here, had not 
yet arrived : and in opposition to her earnest entreaties, her attendants 
insisted on pushing off, saying he would be sure to follow them. The 
watermen were at first ordered to Woolwich ; there they were de- 
sired to push on to Gravcsend ; then to Tilbury, where, complaining of 
fatigue, they landed torefiesh ; but tempted by their freight, reached Lee, 

At the break of mora, a French vessel was descried, lying at 
anchor for them, about a mile beyond ; but as Seymour had not yet 
arrived, Arabella was desirous to lie at anchor for her lord, conscious 
that he would not fail to his appointment. If he, indeed, had been 
prevented in his escape, she herself cared not for the freedom she now 
possessed ; but her attendants, being awai"e of the danger of being over- 
taken by a king's ship, overruled her wishes, and hoisted sail, which 
occasioned so fatal a termination to this romantic adventure. Seymour, 
indeed, had escaped iiom the Tower. lie is said to have left his servant 
watching at iiis door to warn all visitors not to disturb liis master, who 
lay ill with a raging toothache. "In the meanwhile, .Mr. Seymour, 
with a PeiTuque and a Beard of blacke Hair, and in a tauny cloth suit, 
walked alone without suspition from his lodgng, out at the great 
Westc Doorc of the Tower, following a cart that had brought hinj 
billets (of firewood). From thence ho walked along by the Towei' 
W harf, by the Warders of the South Gate, and so to tlie Iron Gate, 
where Rodney was ready, with oarcs for to receive him." {Mr. John 
More to Hir Ralph Winivood, June 8th, 1611). He arrived at Lee. 
Time prctsed, Arabella was not there; but in tlie distance liedescriid a 
votfecl. Hiding a fibhcrmau 'or t'^cnty bhillingb to take him on board. 



" The Lady A rabellds " Fatal Marriage. i o i 

♦«i his grief, on hailing it, he discovered that it was not the French vessel 
charged with his Arabella ; but he found another ship from Newcastle, 
which for a good sum, altered its course, and landed him in Flanders. 
In the meanwhile, the escape of Arabella became known to the Govern- 
ment, and the hot alarm which spread may seem ludicrous to us. The poli- 
tical consequence attached to the union and flight of Arabella and Sey- 
mour shook the cabinet with consternation ; more particularly the Scotch 
party, who, in their terror, paralleled it with the Gunpowder Treason. 

Confusion and alarm prevailed at court. Couriers were despatched 
to the sea-ports. They sent to the Tower to warn the lieutenant to 
be doubly vigilant over Seymour, who, to his surprise had escaped. 
The family of the Seymours were in a state of distraction ; and a letter 
from Mr. Francis Seymour to his grandfather, the Earl of Hertford, 
residing then at his seat far remote from the capital, acquainting him of 
the escape of his brother and the lady, still bears to posterity a remark- 
able evidence of the trepidations and consternation of the old Earl : it 
arrived in the middle of the night, accompanied by a summons to attend 
the Privy Council. In the perusal of a letter written in a small hand, 
and filling more than two folio pages, such was his agitation, that in 
holding the taper, he must have burnt what he probably had not read ; 
the letter is scorched, and the flame has perforated it in so critical a 
part, that the poor old Earl journeyed to town in a state of uncertainty 
and confusion. I 

But we have left the Lady Arabella alone and mournful on the sea, 
not praying for favourable gales to convey her away, but still imploring 
her attendants to linger for her Seymour ; still straining her sight to the 
point of the horizon for some speck which might give a hope of the 
approach of the boat freighted with all her love. Alas ! never more was 
Arabella to cast a single look on her lover and her husband! She was 
overtaken by a pink in the King's service in Calais roads ; and then she 
declared that she cared not to be brought back again to her imprison- 
ment should Seymour escape, whose safety was dearest to her. 

The life of the unhappy, the melancholy, and the distracted Arabella | 
Stuart is now to close in an imprisonment, which lasted only four years; 
for her constitutional delicacy, her rooted sorrow, and the violence of 
her feelings, sunk beneath the hopelessness of her situation, and a secret 
resolution in her mind to refuse the aid of her physicians, and to wear 
away the faster if she could, the feeble remains of life. What passed 
in that dreadful imprisonment cannot, perhaps, be recovered for authentic 
history ; but enough is known, that her mind grew impaired, and that 
she finally lost her reason. That she had frequently meditated on 



102 " TJie Lady Arabellas'' Fatal Marriage. 

suicide appears in her letters ; and we find the following evidence of her 
utter wretchedness in a memorial to the King: " In all humility, the 
most wretched and unfortunate creature that ever lived, prostrates 
itselfe at the feet of the most merciful King that ever was, desiring no- 
thing but mercy and favour, not being more afflicted for anything than 
for the losse of that which hath binne this long time the onely comfort 
it had in the world, and which, if it weare to do again, I would not 
adventure the losse of for any other worldly comfort ; mercy it is I 
desire, and that for God's sake ! " 

Such is the history of the Lady Arabella, who, from some circum- 
stances not sufficiently opened to us, was an important personage, de- 
signed by others, at least, to play a high character in the political drama ; 
thrice selected as a queen ; but the consciousness of royalty was only 
felt in her veins, while she lived in the poverty of dependence. Many 
gallant spirits aspired after her hand, but when her heart secretly selected 
one beloved, it was for ever deprived of domestic happiness. She is 
said not to have been beautiful, and to have been beautiful ; and her 
very portrait, ambiguous as her life, is neither the one nor the other. 
She is said to have been a poetess, and not a single verse substantiates 
her claim to the laurel. She is said not to have been remarkable for her 
intellectual accomplishments, yet a Latin letter of her composition has 
been found in her handwriting. Acquainted rather with her conduct 
than with her character, for us the Lady Arabella has no palpable his- 
torical existence ; and we perceive rather her shadow than herself. A 
writer of romance might render her one of those interesting personages 
whose griefs have been deepened by their royalty, and whose adventures, 
touched with the warm hues of love and distraction, closed at the bars 
of her prison-grate — a sad example of a female victim to the State. 

"Through one dim lattice, fring'd with ivy round, 
Successive suns a languid radiance tlirew, 
To paint how fierce her angry guardian frown'd, 
To mark how fast her wanuig beauty flew." 

The Lady Arabella died in 161,?;, and was buried in the north aisle 
of the Chapel of }Ienry VIL, in Westminster Abbey. Tiie position is 
thus described by Cunningham: " Alabaster cradle, with the efligy of 
Sophia, daughter of James L, who died wlicii only three days old; 
King James L and Anne of Denmark, Henry Prince of Wales, the 
Queen of Bohemia, and Arabella Stuart are binied beneath." 

Seymour, who was afterwards permitted to rctimi, distinguished 
hims<lf by his loyalty through three successive reigns, and retained his 
rumantic pass: Jti for the lady uf his first alicctions \ for he called tlie 



I 



Neivcastle House, and its Eccentric Duchess. 105 

daughter he had by his second lady by the ever-beloved name ot 
Arabella Stuart.* 



Newcastle House, and its Eccentric Duchess. 

In Clerkenwell Close, upon the ruins of the once magnificent nunnery 
of St. Mary, which, at the Dissolution, became the property of the 
Cavendish family, was built the suburban residence of the Duke of 
Newcastle. Clerkenwell was then a sort of Court quarter of the town, 
and the most distinguished residents in this mansion were William 
Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle, and his wife, Margaret Lucas, both of 
whom are remembered by their literary eccentricities. The Duke, who 
was a devoted Royalist, after the defeat at Marston Moor, which was 
fought against the Duke's consent, through the precipitancy of Prince 
Rupert, quitted the King's service in disgust, and retired with his wife 
to the Continent ; and with many privations, owing to pecuniary em- 
barrassments, suffered an exile of eighteen years, chiefly in Antwerp, in 
a house which belonged to the widow of Rubens. Such was their ex- 
tremity that the Duke and Duchess were both forced at one time to 
pawn their clothes to purchase a dinner. The Duke beguiled his time 
by writing an eccentric book upon Horsemanship. During his absence 
from England, Cromwell's parliament levied upon his estate nearly 
three-quarters of a million of money. Upon the Restoration he re- 
turned to England, and was created Duke of Newcastle ; he then retired 
to his mansion in Clerkenwell ; he died there in 1676, aged eighty-four. 

The Duchess was a pedantic and voluminous writer, her collected 
works filling ten printed folios, for she wrote prose and verse in all their 
varieties. " The whole story," writes Pepys, " of this lady is a romance, 
and all she does is romantic. April 26th, 1667. — Met my Lady New- 
castle, with her coach and footmen all in velvet, herself, whom I never 
saw before, as I have heard her often described, for all the town talk is 
now-a-days of her extravagances, with her velvet cap, her hair about 
her ears, many black patches because of pimples about her mouth, 
naked-necked without anything about it, and a black just-au-corps. 
May ist, 1667. — She was in a black coach, adorned w-ith silver instead 
of gold, and snow-white curtains, and everything black and white. 
Stayed at home reading the ridiculous history of my Lord Newcastle, 
wrote by his wife, which shows her to be a mad, conceited, ridiculous 
woman, and he an asse to suffer her to write what she writes to him and 
of him." On the 10th of April, 1667, King Charles and his Queen 

• Abridged from D' Israeli's Curiosities of Literature ; with interpolations. 



1 04 Newcastle House, and its Eccentric Duchess, 

came to Clerkenwell, on a visit to the duchess. On the i8th John 
Evelyn went to make court to the noble pair, who received him with 
gi-eat kindness. Another time, he dined at Newcastle House, and was 
privileged to sit discoursing with her Grace in her bedchamber. 
The Duchess thus describes to a friend her literary employments: — • 
" You will find my works like infinite nature, that hath neither begin- 
ning nor end, and as confused as the chaos, wherein is neither method 
nor order, but all mixed together, without separation, like light and 
darkness." " But what gives one," says Walpole, " the best idea of her 
passion for scribbling, was her seldom revising the copies of her works, 
lest it should disturb her following conceptions. Her servant John was 
ordered to lie on a truckle-bed in a closet within her grace's bed- 
chamber ; and whenever, at any time, she gave the summons, by calling 
out ' John,' I conceive poor John was to get up, and commit to writing 
the offspring of his mistress' thoughts. Her grace's folios were usually 
enriched with gold, and had her coat-of-arms upon them." 

In her Poems atid Fancies, 1653, the copy now in the British 
Museum, on the margin of one page is the following note in the 
Duchess' own handwriting : — " Reader, let me intreat you to consider 
only the fancyes in this my book of poems, and not the language of the 
numbers, nor rimes, nor fals printing, for if you doe, you will be my 
condeming judg, which will grive me much." Of this book she says: 

"When I did write this book I took great paines, 
For I did walk, and thinke, and break my braines ; 
My thoughts run out of breath, then down woukl lye, 
And panting with short wind like those tliat dye; 
Wiien time had given ease, and lent them strength, 
Then up would got and run another length ; 
Sometimes I kept my thought with strict dyet, 
And made them fast with ease, rest, and quiet, 
liiat they might run with swifter speed, 
And by this course new fancies they could breed ; 
But I doe fearc they are no so good to please, . 
But now they're out my brain is more at ease." 

Among the epigrammatic oddities of this work is the following:— 

"The brain is like an oven, hot and dry, 
Wliich bakes all sorts of fancies, low and high ; 
The thoughts are wood, which motion sets on fire; 
The tongue a peel, which draws forth the desire; 
But thinking nuich, the brain too hot will grow, 
And burns it up; if cold, the thoughts arc dough." 

There is a story current that the Duke being once, when in a peevish 
humour, complimented by a friend on the great wisdom of his wife, 
made answer, " Sir, a very wise woman is a very fooliah thing." She 
died in 1676, and lies buried with her husband in Westminster Abbey, 



Nnvcastle House, and its Eccentric Duchess. 105 

beneath a handsome monumental tomb, having upon it their recumbent 
effigies. 

Another ecc^^ntrlc inhabitant of Newcastle House was the eldest 
daughter of William, Duke of Newcastle, — Elizabeth, Duchess of 
Albemarle, "the mad Duchess," who was married in the year 1669, 
to Christopher Monk, Duke of Albemarle (son of the famous General 
Monk), then only a youth of sixteen, whom the Duchess' excessive 
pride drove to the bottle, which brought his life prematurely to an end. 
At his decease, this capricious woman, whose vast estatesso inflated her 
vanity as to produce mental aberration, resolved never again to give her 
hand to any but a sovereign prince. She had many suitors, but she 
finnly rejected them all until Ralph, first Duke of Montague, achieved 
a conquest by courting her as the Emperor of China • and the anecdote 
has been dramatized by Colley Gibber, in his comedy of The Double 
Gallant, or Sick Ladj's Cure. Lord Montague married the lady as 
Emperor, and shared her wealth, but not her affections ; for he after- 
wards kept her in strict confinement at Montague House, and only by 
compulsion of the law did he produce her in open court to satisfy her 
relatives that she was alive ; she was, at length, found to be a lunatic. 
Richard Lord Ros, one of her rejected suitors, addressed to Lord 
Montague these lines on his match : — 

" Insulting rival, never boast 
'I'liy conquest lately won : 
No wonder that her heart was lost, — 
Her senses first were gone. 

From one that's under Bedlam's laws 

W'hat glory can be had ? 
For love of thee was not the cause : 

It proves that she was mad." 

The Duchess survived her second husband nearly thirty years, and at 
last " died of mere old age," at Newcastle House, August 28th, 1738, 
aged ninety-six years. Until her decease, she is said to have been con- 
stantly served on the knee as a sovereign. Lord Montague's wooing of 
her is thought to have been dramatized by another author besides 
Gibber. " In Burnaby's comedy of The Lady's Visiting Day, are the 
characters of Courtine, a gallant lover, and Lady Lovetoy, who would 
marry only a prince. Courtine wins her as Prince Alexander of Muscovy. 
At the first performance of the piece the audience laughed as they re- 
cognised therein the incident of the merry Lord Montague wooing the 
mad Duchess Dowager of Albemai-le."* 



• Doran's Their Majesties' Servants, vol. i. p. 258. 



io6 



The Field of Forty Footsteps. 

Long Fields, in the rear of Montague House, appear to have been a 
place of superstitious haunt. Aubrey tells us that on St. John 
Baptist's Day, he saw, " at midnight, twenty-three young women in 
the parterre behind Montague House, looking for a coal under the 
root of a plantam, to put under their heads that night, and they should 
dream who would be their husbands." But there is a more teirible 
story of the place. A legendary tale of the period of the Duke of 
Monmouth's Rebellion relates a mortal conflict here between two 
brothers, on account of a lady, who sat by ; the combatants fought so 
ferociously as to destroy each other ; after which, their footsteps, im- 
printed on the ground in the vengeful struggle, were said to remain, 
with the indentations produced by their advancii ig and receding ; nor 
would any grass or vegetation ever grow over these forty footsteps. 
Miss Porter and her sister, upon this fiction, founded their ingenious 
romance. Coming Out, or the Field of Forty Footsteps ; but they entirely 
depart from the local tradition. At the Tottenham-street Theatre was 
produced, many yeai's since, an effective melodrama, founded upon the 
same incident. 

Southey relates the same story, in his Commonplace Book, (Second 
Series, p. 21.) After quoting a letter from a friend, recommending him 
to " take a view of those wonderful marks of the Lord's hatred to 
duelling, called The Brothers' Steps," and describing the locality, Soutiiey 
thus narrates his own visit to the spot : " We sought for near half an 
hour in vain. We could find no steps at all within a quarter of a 
mile, no, nor half a mile, of Montague House. We were almost out 
of hope, when an honest man, who was at work, directed us to the 
next ground, adjoining to a pond. There we found what we sought. 
about three-quarters of a mile north of Montague House, and 500 
yards east of Tottenham Court Road. The steps are of the size of a 
large human foot, about three inches deep, and lie nearly from north- 
east to south-west. We counted only seventy-six ; but we were not 
exact in counting. The place where one or both the brothers arc sup- 
IX)sed to have fallen, is still bare of grass. The labourer also showed 
us the bank where (the tradition is) the wretched woman sat to see the 
combat." Southey adds his full confidence in the tradition of the in- 
datructibility of the steps, even after ploughing up, and of the conclu- 
•ioM to be drawn from the circumstance. 

J(Mq;>b Moaer, in one of bis Commonplace Books, gives tliis account of 



Stories of Temple Bar. 107 

^t footsteps, yw.%\. previous to their being built over: — "June 16, 1800. 
Went into the fields at the back of Montague House, and there saw, 
for the last time, the forty footsteps ; the building materials are there, 
ready to cover them from the sight of man. I counted more than 
forty, but they might be the footprints of the workmen." 

We agree with Dr. Rimbault that this evidence establishes the period 
of the final demolition of the footsteps, and also confirms the legend that 
forty was the original number. 

In the third edition of j4 Book for a Rainy Day we find this note upon 
the above mysterious spot : — " Of these steps there are many traditionary 
stories : the one generally believed is, that two brothers were in love 
with a lady, who would not declare a preference for either, but coolly 
sat down upon a bank to witness the termination of a duel, which 
proved fatal to both. The bank, it is said, on which she sat, and the 
footmarks of the brothers when passing the ground, never produced 
grass again. The fact is, that these steps were so often trodden that 
it was impossible for the grass to grow. I have frequently passed over 
them : they were in a field on the site of St. Martin's Chapel, or very 
nearly so, and not on the spot as communicated to Miss Porter, who ha« 
written an entertaining novel on the subject." 



Stories of Temple Bar. 

vVe find the earliest mention of a Bar in this locality in Stew's 
account of the pageant prepared to welcome Anne Boleyn, in her pro- 
cession from the Tower to Westminster, on Saturday, May 3r, 1534. 
On the following day (Sunday), her coronation took place. Temple 
Bar had been newly painted and repaired for the occasion, and there 
stood singing men and children. Next, at the coronation of the youtiiful 
Edward VI., February 19, 1546-7, the gate was painted and fashioned 
with battlements and buttresses of various colours, richly hung with 
cloth of arras, and garnished with fourteen standard of flags ; there 
were also eight French trumpeters, blowing their trumpets, after the 
fashion of the country, and a pair of regals with children singing to the 
•ame. Mary Tudor, Edward's half-sister, succeeded him ; and in accor- 
lilance with ancient custom, on September 27, 1553, the day prior to her 
coronation, she rode through the city, not as her predecessor had done, 
on horseback, but in a chariot of cloth of tissue, drawn by horses trapped 
with the same ; and Temple Bar was then " newly painted and hanged." 

This separation of Westminster from the liberty or freedom of the 



lo8 Stories of Tempte Bar. 

City was anciently only posts, rails, and a chain, such as were at Hol- 
bom, Smithfield, and Whitechapel Bars. Afterwards a house of timber 
was erected across the street, with a narrow gateway, and an entry, on 
tlie south side of it, under the house. This timber gateway is shown in 
Hollar's seven-sheet Map of London ; and it is also shown in a bird's- 
eye View of London in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, 1601. 

The first entry in the City records of any matter connected with the 
Bar is as follows: " 1554, i and 2 Phil, and Mary. Mr. Chamberlain 
shall commit the custody of the new gates at Temple Bar to the Cittie's 
tenants, dwelling nigh unto the said gates ; taking, nevertheless, especial 
order with them for the shutting and opening the same gates at con- 
venient hours." Sir Thomas Wyat and his followers had, probably, a 
tew months previously, in his ill-contrived rebellion, destroyed, or st) 
damaged the old gates in forcing his way into the City, that the civic 
authorities were compelled to erect new ones, the care of which devolved 
on such of the City's tenants as were living adjacent to them. 

The City had often been pressed to rebuild the Bar, and had been 
offered by the Commissioners of Sewers 1005/. towards the cost, which, 
however, they considered inadequate. Thereupon, the King sent for the 
Lord Mayor, when " the Citty's weak state of inability," on account of 
the great expense of the rebuilding public works consumed in the Great 
Fire, was pleaded ; but the King insisted on the Bar being taken down, 
and he promised, if the 100,1^/. proved insufficient, to supply other funds 
to complete the work. The destruction was accordingly commenced 
in 1670, and the present Bar, arter the designs of Wren, was erected ; 
but the royal promise was not performed. The Bar is of Portland 
stone, with statues of Charles \. and II., and James I. and his cjueen, 
Anne of Denmark, by John Bushnell ; the interior is an apartment, held 
by Messrs. Child, the bankers, as a depository for their account books. 

We now come to the criminal records of the liar. Upon the centre 
of the pediment, on iron spikes, were fonncrly placed the head and 
limbs of persona executed for treason. The first of these revolting dis- 
plays was one of the quarters of Sir Thomas Armstrong, implicated in 
the Rye House Plot. He was arrested at Lcyden, and for a present ot 
al)out 500/. was delivered to the King's minister, who placal iiim on 
board a royal yacht, and sent him to England. He neglected, probably 
owing to his confusion, to plead being a native of Holland ; which, had 
he done, would probably iiave insured his 8.ifety. He was sentenced 
without trial, but upon an award of execution on the outlawry, by 
Chief Justice Jeffreys, when Sir Tliomas Armstrong urged that 
be should have the bcneiit of the law, " That you Kliall have," jccringly 



Storks of Temple Bar, 109 

exclaimed the Chief Justice, " by the grace of God ; see that execution 
be done on Friday next, according to laiu ; you shall have the full 
benefit 0/ the laiv." He was executed at Tyburn ; and after hanging 
half-an-hour, he was cut down, and pursuant to his sentence, his heart 
and bowels were taken out, and committed to the flames ; his body 
divided into four parts, which, with his head, were conveyed back to 
Newgate, and then set up on Westminster Hall, between those of 
Cromwell and Bradshaw; one of the quarters upon Temple Bar, two 
others on Aldersgate and Aldgate; the fourth was sent to Stafford, 
which borough he had represented in Parliament. Shortly after this 
event, when Jeffreys had an inter\'iew with the King at Windsor, 
Charles took from his finger a diamond ring of great value, and gave 
it to him ; this ring was ever after called " the blood-stone." 

Next, the quarters of Sir William Perkins and Sir John Friend, to- 
gether with the head of the former, were placed on the Bar. They had 
conspired to assassinate William HI. 

" The head of Sir John Friend was set up on Aldgate, on account, 
it is presumed, of that gate being in the proximity of his brewery, 
which, after the death of Friend, was taken by the notorious swindler 
Joseph Crook, alias Sir Peter Stranger, Bart. He was the last person 
tried and convicted under the stitute of the 5th Elizabeth, c. 14, 
entitled ' An Act against Forgers of false Deeds and Writings.' The 
instrument he had forged was the will of a Mr. Thomas Hawkins, 
and having been found guilty, the sentence provided by the statute 
was carried into effect. On June 10, 1731, he stood in the pillory at 
Charing Cross, and the common hangman cut off his ears, and slit up 
his nostrils and seared them ; he was then in his seventieth year. 
The 2nd George H. c. 25, recently passed, made this offence felony; 
and Richard Cooper, a victualler at Stepney, was the first person in 
London to suffer the new penalty, for the forgery of a bond of 2.-/. in 
the name of Holme, a grocer in the neighbourhood of Hanover-square. 
This execution took place at Tyburn, on Wednesday, June 16, 17,^1." 
(From Temple Bar, the City Golgotha, by a Member of the Inner 
Temple, 1 853 ; an authentic and very interesting brochure.') 

Next, Colonel Henry Oxburgh, in the Pretender's army, was, on 
May 9th, 1 7 15, found guilty of high treason, and on the 14th of the 
same month executed at Tyburn ; his body was buried in the church- 
yard of St. Giles's-in-thc-Fields, and his head placed upon Temple 
Bar ; " which," says a writer of the day, " we choose to mention, that 
the rebels may place it among their other saints' days." 

Counsellor Layer, who had conspired to assassinate King William on 



I lo Stories of Temple Bar, 

his return from Kensington, was the next victim ; after sixteen hours, ha 
was found guilty. Seven months after, he was conducted from the 
Tower to Tyburn, seated in a sledge, habited in a full-dress suit and 
a tie-wig. The streets were never more crowded than on this occasion, 
and many fatal accidents occurred from the breaking down of the stands 
erected to accommodate the spectators. The day subsequent to Layer's 
execution, his head was placed on Temple Bar ; there it lemained, 
blackened and weather-beaten with the storms of many successive 
years, until it became its oldest occupant ; it repulsively looked down 
from the summit of the arch ; it seemed part of the arch itself. For 
upwards of thirty years the head remained, when one stormy night it was 
blown from its long resting-place into the Strand. It was picked up by 
a gentleman in the neighbourhood, Mr. John Pearce, an attorney, who 
showed it to some persons at a public-house, under the floor of which 
it was buried. Dr. Rawlinson, the antiquary, having made inquiries 
after the head, wishing to purchase it, was imposed upon with another 
instead of Layer's, which he preserved as a relic, and directed to be 
buried in his right hand, and this request was complied with. 

The heads last set up here were those of Townley and Fletcher, the 
rebels, in 1746. Walpole writes, August 16, 1746: " I have been this 
morning at the Tower, and passed under the new heads at Temple Bar, 
where people make a trade of letting spying-glasses at a halfpenny a 
look ;" and, in 1825, a person, aged eighty-seven, remembered the above 
heads being seen with a telescope from Leicester-fields, the ground be- 
tween which and Temple Bar being then thinly built over. These two 
grim tenants of the Bar remained until the 31st of March, 1772, when 
one of them fell down ; and very shortly afterwards, during a high 
wind, the remaining head was swept away from its position, and Temple 
Bar was left untenantotl ; but the last of the iron poles was not re- 
moved from the Bar until the commencement of the present century. 
Mrs. Black, the wife of the learned editor of the Morning Chronicle 
newspaper, had seen, when a girl, human heads fixed on spikes on 
Temple Bar. Mr. Peter Cunningham used to relate her account of 
this strange sight, as told to him and his brother. " She took us aside, 
and said, ' Don't ask me, boys. Why do you ask me ?* We then told 
her, and told her all. (Mrs. Black could not bear being thought old.) 
She said, collectedly, and as usual with her, without any parade of tell- 
ing ihc Hiory she had to relate, ' ]Joy8, I remember the scene well ! I 
have seen on that Temple Bar, about which you ask, two human liends 
—men's heads — traitors' heads — spiked on iron poles. There were two. 
I taw one fall. Women shrieked as it fell : men, I have heard, shrieked} 



Stories of Temple Bar. 1 1 1 

one woman n^ar me, fainted. Yes, I recollect seeing human heads on 
Temple Bar.' " Another person who remembered to have seen the 
spiked heads was Samuel Rogers, the banker poet, who died in Decem- 
ber, 1855, at the age of ninety-three. " I remember well," (he said,) " one 
of the heads of the rebels upon a pole at Temple Bar — a black shape- 
less lump. Another pole was bare, the head having dropped from it." 

We find in the Annual Register for 1766, the following strange anec- 
dote connected with the heads. " This morning (Jan. 20th), between 
two and three o'clock, a person was observed to watch his opportunity 
of discharging musket-balls, from a steel cross-bow, at the two remain- 
ing heads upon Temple Bar. On his examination he affected a disorder 
cf his senses, and said his reason for so doing was his strong attachment 
to the present Government, and that he thought it was not sufficient 
that a ti-aitor should only suffer death, and that this provoked his indig- 
nation ; and that it had been his constant practice, for three nights past, 
to amuse himself in the same manner ; but it is much to be feared that 
he is a near relation to one of the unhappy sufferers." The account 
given in the Gentleman j Magazine further states, *' Upon searching liim, 
above fifty musket-balls were found wrapped in paper, with this motto, 
Eriptiit ille 'vitam." 

The gate was originally shut at night and guarded by watchmen ; 
and, in our time, it has been closed in cases of apprehended tumulL 
Upon the visit of the Sovereign to the City, or upon the proclamation 
of a new Sovereign, or of Peace, it was formerly customary to keep the 
gate closed until admission was formally demanded ; the gate was then 
opened ; and upon the royal visit the Lord Mayor surrendered the city 
sword to the Sovereign, who re-delivered it to the Mayor. 

At the old Bar, when Queen Elizabeth went to St. Paul's to return 
thanks for the defeat of the Armada, the Lord Mayor delivered to her 
hands the sceptre (sword), which her highness re-delivered to the 
Mayor; and he, again taking his horse, bore the same before her. 
When Cromwell and the Parliament dined in the City in state oa 
June 7, 1649, the same ceremony was observed; the Mayor (say* 
VVhitelock) delivering up the sword to the Speaker, " as he used to do 
to the King." 

The gate has been opened to receive Charles II., James II., 
William III., and every English monarch since. 

In Baker's Chronicle is thus described the ceremony on the Proclama- 
tion of Charles II.: "At Temple Bar, the gates being shut, the Kiiig- 
at-Arms, with trumpets before him, knocked and demanded entrance. 
Thv Lord Mayor appointed some [one] to ask who it ivas that knoikid. 



112 TJie Knights Templars in London. 

The King-at-Arms replied, that if they 'would open the ivicket, and lei 
the Lord Mayor come thither, he ivould to him deliver his tnessage. The 
Lord Mayor came then on horseback, richly habited in a crimson-velvet 
gown, to the gate ; and tlien the trumpets sounded, and, after silence 
being made, Alderman Bateman, by order of the Lord Mayor, de- 
manded of the herald nvho he luas, and ivhat nvas his message. To 
which he answered, with his hat on, If'e are the Her ald-at- Arms, ap- 
pointed and commanded by the Lords and Commons assembled in Parlia- 
ment to demand entrance into the famous City of London, to proclaim 
Charles the Second King of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland ; and 
we expect your speedy ans^uier to this demand. To which, after a little 
consultation among themselves, Alderman Bateman answered, This mes- 
sage avas accepted, and the gates should be opened immediately ; which 
was done accordingly." Sir Richard Baker, it will be recollected, died 
in 1644-5, leaving his Chronicle only brought down to the commence- 
ment of the reign of Charles I. ; and the above extract is from the con- 
tinuation by Edward Phillips, nephew of Milton, who brought down the 
Chronicle to the coronation of Charles IL ; so that the above may be 
the description of an eye-witness, whereas Baker wrote his Chronicle 
in the Fleet Prison. This was the last ceremony of the kind at the 
old Bar. 



The Knights Templars in London. 

The origin and history of the celebrated Order of Templars are too 
well known to need recapitulation in connexion with some account of 
their chief establishment in England, of which the famous Round 
Church in the Temple marks the culminating period cf the Knight 
Templars in England. In the year 11 28, the head of this new and 
strange society, which had excited much notice among the pious and 
warlike of England, arrived in London to explain its objects. He nar- 
rated to King Henry I. and his Court the origin and progress of the 
Order, — how he himself and eight other Knights, calling themselves 
" \)OOY fellow-soldiers of Jesus Christ," entered into a solemn compact 
to devote their lives and fortunes to the Christian pilgrims to Jerusalim, 
by the defence of the highway from the inroads of the Mussulmans, and 
the ravages of the numerous robbers who infested it. They enlarged 
their object to the defence of the Christian Kingdom of Jcrus;ilcm it- 
Bclf. Hugh de Payens was made Master, and set out from Jerusalem 
with four brethren; he returned after his visit to England, with 
300, chosen prin'.ipally from the noblest families of France aiij 



The Knights Templars in London. 113 

F.ngland. But Matthew Paris tells us that they at first lived upon alms, 
and were so poor that one horse served tivo of them (Hugh de Payens 
and a companion), as we see in their seal ; yet they suddenly waxed so 
insolent, that they disdained other orders, and sorted themselves with 
noblemen. Before Hugh de Payens left England, he placed a Knight 
Templar, called the Prior of the Temple, at the head of the Society in 
this country, to manage the estates and affairs of the Order. Numerous 
Templar establishments now sprang up, the chiel of which was in 
Holborn, where Southampton House was afterwards erected, and a hall 
of which existed to our day, with traces of an ancient circular chapel. 
As the English Knights increased in number and wealth, they purchased 
the site of the present Temple, in the rear of the south side of Fleet- 
street, and set about erecting their mrfgnificent round church, after the 
model of that at Jerusalem. Meanwnile, the misfortunes of the Tem- 
plars in Palestine brought to Europe for assistance Heraclius, the 
Patriarch, the Master of the Temple, and the Master of St. John's. 
Now, Henry II. promised them assistance, on receiving absolution for 
the murder of Becket. The Master of the Temple died on the way, 
the other two reached England in 11 85. King Henry met them at 
Reading ; in tears he heard their supplications for assistance, and pro- 
mised to grant it. 

The English Templars brought Heraclius to their church, and re- 
quested him to consecrate it. To this he consented, as recorded in an 
inscription ; and at the same time consecrated the church of the rival 
Society of Hospitallers, or Knights of St. John, at Clerkenwell. Hera- 
clius's demands for succour were, however, evaded by the King and 
his Parliament, and the Patriarch's mission altogether failed. 

The Temple church is one of the four circular churches in England; the 
other three existing at Cambridge, Northampton, and Maplestead in Essex. 
The architecture is midway between Romanesque and Early English 
Gothic ; the western entrance, semicircular arches and capitals, are richly 
sculptured and deeply recessed ; within, Purbcck marble columns, with 
boldly-sculptured capitals, support a gallery or triforium of interlaced 
Norman arches ; and the clerestory has six Romanesque windows, one 
filled with stained glass, bright ruby ground, with a representation ot 
Christ, and emblems of the Evangelists ; and the ceiling, of Saracenic 
character, is coloured. On the gallery well-staircase is a " penitential 
cell." Upon the pavement are figures of Crusaders, " in cross-legged 
elligy devoutly stretched," but originally placed upon altar-tom.bs and 
pedestals. These effigies of feudal warriors are sculptured out of free- 
stone. The attitudes of all are difierent, but they are all recumbent 
* I 



114 The Knights Templars in Lofidon. 

with the legs crossed. They are in complete mail with siircoats ; one 
only is bare-headed, and has the cowl of a monk. The shields are of 
the heater or Norman shape, but the size is not the same in all ; one of 
them is very long, and reaches from the shoulder to the middle of the 
leg. Their heads, with one exception, repose on cushions, and have 
hoods of mail. Three of them have flattish helmets over the armour, 
and one has a sort of casque. The best authorities assign five of them 
as follow : to Geoffry de Magnaville, Earl of Essex, a.d. i 144, (rightarm 
on his breast and large sword at his right) — he is not mentioned by 
Weever ; William Mareschall, Earl of Pembroke, a.d. 1219 (sculptured 
in Sussex marble, with his sword through a lion's head) ; Robert Lord 
de Ros, A.D. 1245 (head uncovered, with long flowing hair), whose 
effigy is said to have been brought from Helmsley Church, Yorkshire ; 
William Mareschall, jun.. Earl of Pembroke, 1231 (with lion ram- 
pant on shield, and sheathing his sword). Gilbert Mareschall, Earl of 
Pembroke, 1281 (drawing his sword, winged dragon at feet). In 1841 
were discovered the ancient lead coffins containing the bodies of these 
knights, who did not appear to have been buried in their aiTnour ; and 
none of the coffin ornaments were of earlier date than the beginning of 
the thirteenth century. The ancient hostels existed until 1346 (20th 
Edward III.), when the Knights Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem 
(to whom the forfeited estates of the rival brotherhood of the Templars 
had been granted by the Pope) demised the magnificent buildings, 
church, gardens, "and aH the appurtenances that belonged to the 
Templars in London," to certain students said to have removed thither 
from Holbom, in which part of the town the Knights 'I'cmplars them- 
selves had resided before the erection of their palace on the Thames. 

In this New Temple, " out of the City and the noise thereof, and 
in the suburbs," between the King's Court at Westminster and the 
City of London, the studious lawyers lived in quiet, increasing in 
number and importance ; so that although the mob of Wat Tyler's 
rebellion plundered tlie students, and destroyed almost all their books 
and records ("To the Inns of Court ! down with than all!" — Jtick 
Cade), it became necessary to divide the Inn into two separate bodies, 
the Hon. Societies of tlie Inner and Middle Temple ; having separate 
halls, but using the same church, and holding their houses as tenants of 
the Knights Hospitallers until the dissolution by Henry VIII., and 
thenceforth of the Crown by lease. This was done in the sixth year of 
James I. ; and the two Temples were granted as the Inner and Middle. 
Thus, for nearly five centuries, some of tlie leading practisers of the 
law have been Mttlcd upon the spot where the lawless Knights 



The Knights Templars in London. 115 

Templars long held sway. The circular church and its appurte- 
nances, were then leased for an annual fee-farm rent of 10/. to the 
students. The preacher is styled Master of the Temple, as was 
the lord paramount of the Templars: the early lawyers had their 
pillars in the church and cloisters — a falling off from their spiritual pre- 
decessors ; and the Middle Temple still bears the arms of the Knights 
Templars — Arg. on a cross gu., a paschal lamb or, carrying a banner 
of the first, charged with a cross of the second, such as we see in 
university towns lowered to the Lamb and Flag public-house sign ; 
whilst Pegasus salient of the Inner Temple long enjoyed a similar dis- 
tinction in becoming a popular London sign. This winged horse, with 
the motto " Volat ad aethera virtus," was substituted by the Inner 
Temple for the Holy Lamb early in the reign of Elizabeth. There 
has been much amusing speculation upon the cause of the change : it 
is thought to have been intended to signify — in allusion to the fable of 
Pegasus forming the fountain of Hippocrene by striking the rock — that 
the lawyers aspired to become poets. In tlie Temple Round, lawyers 
received clients as merchants on 'Change : — 

" Retain all sorts of witnesses, 
That ply i' the Temple under trees ; 
Or walk the Round with Knights o' the Posts, 
About the cross-legg'd knights, their hosts." 

Hudibras, pt. iii. c. 3. 

Dugdale says : " Item, they (the lawyers) have no place to walk in and 
confer their learnings but tht church; which place all the term-times 
hath in it no more quietness than the Pervise of Paules, by occasion of 
the conlluence and concourse of such as are suitors in the law." " The 
Round" is the nave or vestibule to the oblong portion of the church, 
the Choir, in pure Lancet style, and almost rebuilt in our time. It is 
divided into three aisles, by clustered marble columns, the groined 
roof being richly coloured in arabesque, and ornamented with holy 
emblems: while triple lancet-headed windows let in floods of light. 

It is mentioned in Dugdale's Monasticon that both King Henry II. 
and his Queen Eleanor directed that their bodies should be interred 
within the walls of the Temple Church, and that the above monarch by 
his Will left 500 marks for that purpose. The walls are inscribed with 
Scripture texts in Latin ; and between the top of the stalls and the 
string-course beneath the windows, is the Hymn of St. Ambrose. The 
windows, by Willement, are among the finest specimens of modem 
stained glass : the altar subjects are from the life of Christ, the inter- 
spaces being deep-blue and ruby mosaic, with glittering borders. 



Ii6 The Knights Templars in London. 

Knights Templar fill the aisle windows ; but that opposite the organ 
has figures of angels playing musical instruments. 

' A brief history of the Templars in England and of this church may 
be read in the rude eflfigies of the successive kings during whose reigns 
they flourished, now painted on the west end of the chancel. At the 
south comer sits Henry I., holding the first banner of the Crusaders, 
half black, half white, entitled " Beauseant ;" white typifying fairness 
towaids friends ; black, terror to foes. This banner was changed 
during the reign of Stephen for the red cross : 

" And on his brest a bloodie crosse he bore, 
The deare remembrance of his dying Lord." 

Henr}' II. and the Round Church are represented by the third figure. 
Richard I. with the sword which he wielded as Crusader, and John, his 
brother, are the next kings; and in the north aisle is portrayed 
Henry III., holding the two churches; the chancel, or square part, 
having been added in his reign, and consecrated on Ascension-day, 
1240. 

Among the rules for the government of the Order of Templars was 
that of obedience, for breach of which was the penitential cell, already 
mentioned ; it was formed in the wall of the church, and measured only 
four and a half feet in length, and two and a half in breadth, so that the 
unhappy prisoner could not lie down, except by drawing his limbs to- 
gether. Others were fettered by order of the Master, and left till they 
died by severity of the punishment. Besides imprisonment, they were 
scourged on the bare shoulders by the Master's hands in the hall, or 
whipped in the church on Sundays before the congregation. The Order 
became highly popular for their piety, bravery, and humility, and great 
men desired to be buried among them. This was insured by lands, 
manors, and privileges, and sometimes money. King John deposited 
himself in the community, and numerous documents of this King's are 
dated from the Temple. Martin, the Pope's nuncio, made unheard-of 
extortions of money and valuables. The abbots and priors were told 
that they must send him rich presents, desirable palfreys, sumptuous 
8ci-viccs for the table, and rich clothing. The treasure deposited in the 
Temple must often have been immense, and here were brought all the 
moneys collcctetl for the Christian service in Palestine. The great Earl 
ot Kait, Hubert de Burgh, on his disgrace and committal to the Tower, 
was suspected by the King to have no small amount of treasure de- 
pofiitcd in the Temple; the King demanded of tlie Master of the Temple, 
tf It was so; wlicQ he confessed that he had money of the said Hubert, 



The Knights Hospitallers of St. John. 1 17 

adding that he could not give it up without the consent of the owner. 
Then the King sent the Treasurer of his court, with his Justices of the 
Exchequer, to Hubert, who was in fetters in the Tower, that they might 
exact from him an assignment of the entire sum to the King. Hubert 
submitted, and sent to the King the keys of his treasure in the Temple, 
which the King ordered to be counted, and placed in his treasury, and 
the amount reduced into writing and exhibited to him. And there 
were " found deposited in the Temple gold and silver vases of inestimable 
price, and money, and many precious gems, an enumeration whereof 
would, in truth, astonish the hearers." — Addison's History of Knights 
Templars. 



The Knights Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem. 

This renowned military and religious Order, for upwards of four 
hundred years, had its chef lieu in Clerkenwell. Its origin has been 
referred to in a previous page (113). Their magnificent Priory was 
founded in the year iioo, by Jordan Briset, a baron of the Kingdom, 
and Muriel, his wife, near unto " Clarke's Well," (now Clerkenwell,) 
in the reign of Henry I. This was the period of the first Crusade. 
Forty years later, the servants of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 
became " a military order of monks, the first body of men united by 
religious vows, who wielded the temporal sword against the enemies of 
the faith." They triumphed over the great rival Order of the Templars. 
Their greatest conquest was the island of Rhodes, whence they became 
the Knights of Rhodes, which island, in two centuries, they rendc-ed 
one of the strongest places in the world ; and, during its six months' 
siege by the Turks, they are said to have lost upwards of one hundred 
thousand men. After this conquest, the Knights of St. John dwelt 
within their Priory at Clerkenwell, which was of almost palatial extent, 
employing their great possessions for the maintenance of the poor. 
But, before the end of the fourteenth century, they incurred the hatred 
of the common people by their tyranny and licentiousness. 

The year 1381 was one of dire calamity to the Knights Hospitallers, 
who had incurred the displeasure of the populace. The rebels under 
Wat Tyler directed their fury against the houses and possessions of the 
Knights of St. John, their rancour having been greatly excited by the 
haughty conduct of Sir Robert Hales, the Pi-ior, and Lord Treasurer 
of England, who, when the mob, led by Wat Tyler, sought a con- 
ference with the King (Richard H.), counselled their punishment. 
On their demands being told to the King, Simon de Sudbury, thf 



I iS The Knights Hospitallers of St. John. 

Archbishop of Canterbury, and Sir Robert Hales, "spake earnestly 
agamst their advice, and would not, by any means, that the King 
should go to such sort of bare-legged ribalds, but rather he wished that 
they should take some order to abate the pride of such vile rascals." The 
rebels of Essex had previously displayed their animosity to this Prior, 
who, " having a goodly and delectable manor in Essex, wherein was 
ordained victuals and other necessaries for the use of a chapter general 
and a great abundance of fair stuffs — of wines, arras cloths, and other 
provisions for the Knights Brethren, — the commons entered this manor, 
ate up all the victuals, and spoiled the manor and ground with great 
damage." 

This riotous mob, emboldened by their successes, on Thursday, the 
T3th of June, the feast of Corpus Christi, divided themselves into three 
bodies ; those that were in the City, the " commons of Kent," broke 
open the Fleet, and let the prisoners go where they would. From 
thence they went to the Temple, to destroy it, and pulled down the 
houses, took off the tiles from the other buildings left, went to the 
church, took out all the books and remembrances that were in the 
hutches of the prentices of the law, carried them into the high street, 
and there burnt them. " This house," says Stow, " they spoiled for 
wrath they bare the Lord Prior of St. John's, to whom it belonged." 
Their vengeance was not satisfied, for after " the destruction of the 
Savoy, the rebels," says Froissart, " went straight to the faire hos- 
pitalle of the Rodes, called aiynte Johans, and there they brent (burnt) 
house, hospitalle, mynster, and all ; then they went from streete to 
strecte, and slew all the flemmyngcs that they could fynde in churche 
or in any other place ; there was none respyted fro death." The fire, 
the account says, burnt for the space of seven days after, and none was 
suffered to (juench it. These conflagrations filled the minds of the 
peaceful citizens with terror; and the King was dismayed when he saw 
from a distance the city illumined by the flames. Stow tells us that " the 
King, being in a tunxt of the 1'ower [of Lontlon], and seeing the 
mansion of Savoy, the Priory of St. John's Hospital, and other houses 
on fire, demanded of his counsel! what was best to be done in that 
extremitie ; but none could counseille in that case." 

Whilst the rebels of Kent were making tins havoc in the metropolis, 
•o that, in this disorder, *' London looked like a city taken by storm," 
the commons of Essex, twenty thousand strong, \vA on by one Jack 
Straw, " took in hantl to ruinate" the Lord Prior's country-seat at his 
manor of Highbury, which they ditl eflcctually, pulling down by main 
furcc all tltubc mahi paxta uf the building which the firu could not con- 



TJie Knigiits Hospitallers of St. Joiirt. 1 19 

8ume. The Tower was successfully assaulted by another body of the 
rioters; and several of the nobility, who had fled hither for refuge, 
came to an untimely end. Sir Robert Hales, the Prior, was beheaded 
in the courtyard of the Prioiy, the site of St. John's-square. Sudbury, 
Archbishop of Canterbury, and others, were dragged out and beheaded 
on Tower-hill. Such a strong repugnance had the riotous commons to 
the Hospitallers, that Jack Straw, in a subsequent confession, speaking 
of the intentions of his partisans, declared, with bitter emphasis, 
" specially we would have destroyed the Knights of St. John." 

Thus was the magnificent Priory swept away. During the next 
century it was restored. The conventual church was rebuilt, the old 
site again covered with buildings. Prior Docwra completed the church 
and rebuilt St. John's-gate, originally erected at the foundation of the 
Priory in iioo. Docwra was the immediate predecessor of the last 
superior of the house, who died of grief on Ascension day, 1540, when 
the Priory was suppressed. Five years subsequently, the site and pre- 
cincts were granted to Lord John Lisle, for his service as high admiral ; 
the church becoming a kind of storehouse " for the King's toyles and 
tents for hunting, and for the warres." At the Suppression, yearly 
pensions were granted to the knights by the King, and to the Lord Prior 
during his life, looc/.; but he never received a penny: the King took 
into his hands all the lands that belonged to the House and the Order 
in England and Ireland, " for the augmentation of his Crown." In the 
reign of King Edward VI., the church, with the great bell-tower (a 
most curious piece of workmanship, graven, gilt, and enamelled, to the 
great beautifying of the city) was undermined and blown up with gun- 
powder, and the materials were employed by the Lord Protector to 
King Edward VI. in building Somerset Place; the Gate would, pro- 
bably, have been destroyed, but from its serving to define the property. 
The Priory was partly restored upon the accession of Mary, but again 
suppressed by Elizabeth. 

Hollar's etchings show the castellated Hospital, with the old front, about 
1640 ; and the Gate-house, the southern entrance, and the church, both 
in St. John's-square, which was the Priory court. The church is built upon 
the chancel and side aisles of the old Priory church, and upon its crypt. 
The Gate-house, which in 1604, was granted to Sir Roger Wilbraham 
for his life, subsequently became the printing-office of Edward Cave, 
who, in 1731, published here the first number of the Gentkmans 
Magazine. Dr. Johnson was first engaged here by Cave, in 1737: 
here Johnson first met Savage ; Ganick frequently called upon Johnson, 
as did Goldsmith ; and when Cave grew rich, he had St. John's Gate 



1 20 Queen Elizabeth, the Manor of Pleazaimce, 

painted, instead of his arms, on his carriage, and engraved on his plata 
The Gate, a good specimen of the groining of the 15th century, orna- 
mented with shields of the arms of France and England, and those of 
the Priory and Docwra, has been saved from removal, and restored. 



Queen Elizabeth, the Manor of Pleazaunce, and 
Greenwich Castle. 

Greenwich was called by the Romans Grenovkum, and in Saxon 
Grenaiuic, or the Green Town. Lambarde gives this curious account 
of its early history : "In ancient evidences. East Greenwiche for dit 
ference sake from Deptford, which in olde instruments is called West- 
greenewiche. In the time of the turmoiled King Ethelred, the whole 
fleete of the Danish army lay at roade two or three yeres together be- 
fore Greenwich : and the souldours for the most part were encamped 
upon the hill above the towne now called Blackheath. During this 
time (loii) they pierced the whole countrie, sacked and spoiled the 
citie of Canterburie, and brought from thence in to their ships, Alepheg 
[Alphege] the Archbishop. And here a Dane (called Thrum) whome 
the Archbishop had confirmed in Christianitie the day before, strake 
him on the head behinde, and slew him, because he would not con- 
descend to redeeme his life with three thousand pounds, whicii the 
people of the citie and diocesse were contented to have given for his 
ransome ; neither would the rest of the souldiors suffer his body to be 
committed to the earth, after the manner of Chribtian docencie, till 
such time, (said William of Malmcsbury,) as they perceived that a dead 
sticke, being anointed with his bloud, waxed suddenly grecne againe, 
and began the next day to blossome. Which by all likelihood was 
gathered in the wood of Dia Feronia ; for she was a goddcsse, whom 
the Poets do phantasie to have caused a whole woodc (that was on fire) 
to wax grecne again." Tiie present clnirch of St. Alphege, in Green- 
wich, stands on the spot where he suffered martyrdom. 

A royal residence is noticed at Greenwich as early as the reign of 
King Edward the First, when that Monarch made an offering of seven 
shillings at each of the iioly crosses in the chapel of the Virgin Maxy, 
and the Prince an ofllTing of half that sum: though by whom the 
Palace was erected is not known. 

King Henry IV. dates his will from his Manor of Greenwich Ian. 
»2, 1408 ; which appeal's to have been his favourite residence. 



and Greenwich Castle. I2i 

King Henry V. (in wliose time Greenwich was still a sniall fishing- 
town), granted the Manor for life to his kinsman, Thomas Beaufoit, 
Duke of Exeter; soon after whose decease in 141 7, it passed to Hum- 
phrey, Duke of Gloucester, who, in i433,obLiined a grant of 200 acres 
of land in Greenwich, for the purpose of enclosing it as a Park. In 1437 
he obtained a similar grant, and in it license was given to the Duke, and 
Eleanor his wife, " their Manor of Greenwich to embattle and build 
with stone, and to enclose and make a tower and ditch within the same, 
and a certain tower within his park to build and edify." Accordingly, 
soon after this, he commenced building the Tower within the park, now 
the site of the Royal Observatory, which was then called Green^jjlcb 
Castle; and likewise newly erected the Palace on the spot where the 
West wing of the Royal Hospital now stands, which palace he named, 
from its agreeable situation, L' Pleazaunce, or Placentia; this name, 
however, was not commonly made use of until the reign of Henry VUI. 

Duke Humphrey was Regent of England during the minority of 
King Hairy VI., and for his many virtues was styled the '■ Father of 
his Country." He excited the envy of Queen Margaret from his strong 
opposition to her marriage with Henry, which induced her to enter into 
a confederacy with the Cardinal of Winchester and the Earl of Suftblk ; 
who, strengthened by her assistance, and incited by their common hatred 
of the patriotic Duk?, basely assassinated him at St. Edmondsbury, 
Suffolk, Feb. 28th, 1447. He was a generous patron of men of science, 
and the most learned person of his age: he founded at Oxford one of 
the first public libraries in England. Leland, in his Laboryeuse 
Journey, says, " Humfrey, the good Duke of Glocestre, from the faver 
he bare to good letters, purchased a wonderful! iiombre of bokes in all 
scyences, whereof he frely gave to a lybrary in Oxforde a hondi-ed and 
xxix fayre volumes." He was buried in the Abbey church of St. 
Alban, where a handsome monument was erected to his memory. 

At Duke Humphrey's death, in 1447, the Manor reverted to the 
Crown. King Edward IV. expended considerable sums in enlarging 
and beautifying the Palace, which he granted, with the Manor and 
Town of Greenwich and the Park there, to Elizabeth his Queen. In 
this reign, a royal joust was performed at Greenwich, on the mamage 
of Richard, Duke of York, with Anne Mowbray. In 1482, Mary, the 
King's daughter, died here ; she was betrothed to the King of Denmark, 
jut died before the solemnization of the marriage. 

The Manor with the appurtenances came into the possession of 
Henry VII. by the imprisonment of Elizabeth, Queen of Edward IV. 
Henry on some frivolous pretence, committed her in close confinement 



122 Queen Elizabeth, Pleazattnce, 

to the nunnery of Bermondsey, where, some years after, she ended her 
life in poverty and solitude. Henry enlarged the Palace, and added a 
brick front towards the water-side; finished the Tower in the Park 
begun by Duke Humphrey ; and built a convent adjoining the Palace 
for the Observant or Grey Friars, who came to Greenwich about the 
latter end of the reign of Edward IV, This convent, after its dissolu- 
tion in the reign of Henry VHI., was re-founded by Queen Mary, but 
finally suppressed by Elizabeth in i fjj^p. 

In 1487, on the second day preceding the coronation of Heniy VII., 
the Queen came from Greenwich by water, royally attended ; and 
among the barges of the City Companies which accompanied the pro- 
cession was " in especial, a barge called the Bachelors' barge, garnished 
and apparelled passing all others ; wherein was ordeyned a gi-eat rcdde 
dragon, spouting flames of fyer into the Thames, and many gentlemanlie 
pagiaunts, well and curiously devised to do her highnesse sporte and plea- 
soure with." 

King Henry VIII. was born at Greenwich, June 28, 1491, and bap- 
tized in the parish church, by the Bishop of Exeter, Lord Privy Seal. 
This monarch exceeded all his predecessors in the grandeur of his build- 
ings, and rendered the Palace magnificent; and, perhaps, from par- 
tiality for the place of his birth, resided chiefly at Greenwich, neglecting 
the Palace of Eltham, which had been the favor lite residence of his an- 
cestors. Many sumptuous banquets, revels, and solemn jousts, for 
which his reign was celebrated, were held at his Manor of Pleazaunce. 
In 1509, June 3, Henry's marriage with Catherine of Aragon, was 
solemnized here. In ii^ii, on May-day, "The Xing lying at Green- 
wich, rode to the wodde to fetch May ; and after, on the same day, 
and two days next ensuing, the King, Sir Edward Howard, Charles 
Brandon, and Sir Edward Nevill, as challengers, held justcs against all 
romers. On the other part, the Manjuis Dorset, the Earls of Essex 
and Devonshire, with others, as defcndauntcs, ramie againste them, so 
that many a sore stripe was given, and many a stafte broken." 

In 1 513, the King gave a festival "with great solemnity, dancing, 
disguisings, and mummeries, in a most princely manner." At this en- 
tertainment was introduced the first Mascjuerade ever seen in I'-ngland : 
the following account of it and the other festivities of this Christmas may 
nut prove uninteresting, as it is very cliaracteristic of the splendours 
of tliat periml : — "The Kyng this yere kept the feast of Christ- 
mas at Grenewith, wher was such abundance of viandcs served to all 
romers of any honest behaviours, as hatli been few timi-s seen ; and 
against Nt^-yere's night was made, in the hall, a castle, gates, towers^ 



and Greenwich Castle. 123 

and dungeon, garnished with artilerie and weapon, after the most war- 
like fashion ; and on the frount of the castle was written, Le Fartresse 
dangerus ; and within the castle wer six ladies clothed in russet satin laide 
all over with leves of golde, and every owde knit with laces of blewe silke 
and golde; on ther heddes coyfes and cappes all of gold. After this 
castle had been caried about the hal, and the Queue had behelde it, in 
came the Kyng with five other appareled in coates, the one halfe of 
russet satyn spangled with spangels of fine gold, the other halfe rich 
clothe of gold ; on ther heddes caps of russet satin, embroudered with 
workes of fine gold bullion. These six assaulted the castle, the ladies 
seyng them so lustie and coragious wer content to solace with them, 
and upon further communicacion to yeld the castle, and so thei came 
down and daunced a long space. And after the ladies led the knightes 
into the castle, and then the castle sodainly vanished out of ther sightes. 
On the daie of the Epiphanie at night, the Kyng with xi other wer dis- 
guised after the manner of Italie, called a maske, a thing not seen afore 
in Englande ; thei wer appareled in garmentes long and brode, wrought 
all with gold, with visers and cappes of gold ; and after the banket doen, 
these maskers came in with six gentlemen disguised in silke, bearing 
staffc torches, and desired the ladies to daunce ; some were content, and 
some that knewe the fashion of it refused, because it was not a thing 
commonly seen. And after thei daunced and commoned together, as 
the fashion of the maske is, thei tooke their leave and departed, and so 
<\id the Queue and all the ladies." — Hall's CbronicU. 

Other joustes were held, as also in 1516, 151 7, and 1526. In 1512, 
the King kept his Christmas at Greenwich " with great and plentiful 
cheer," in a most princely manner ; also in 1521, 1525, 1527, 1533, 
1537, and 1543. On Feb. 8th, 1515, Princess Mary, afterwards 
Queen, was born here; and on fvlay 13th, the marriage of Mary, 
Queen Dowager of France (Henry's sister), with Charles Brandon, 
Duke of Suffolk, was publicly solemnized in the parish church. In 
1527, the embassy from the French King to Henry VHI. was received 
here. This embassy, that it might correspond with the English Court 
in magnificence, consisted of eight persons of high quality, attended by 
six hundred horse; they were received with the greatest honours, 
" and entertained after a more sumptuous manner than had ever been 
seen before." In 1533, Sept. 7th, the Princess Elizabeth, afterwards 
Queen, was bom here. In 1536, on May-day, after a tournament, 
Anne Boleyn, the mother of the Princess Elizabeth, was arrested here 
by the King's order. She was beheaded on the 19th of the same month 
in the Tower of London. In 1540, Jan. 6, Henry's marriage with 



124 Qiiccn Elisabeth, Pleazatince, 

Anne of Cleves was solemnized here ; " and aboute her marying ring 
was written, ' God send me wel to kepe.' " This was a most un- 
propitious alliance, for Henry took a dislike to Anne of Cleves imme- 
diately after their marriage. Cromwell Earl of Essex, the wise and 
faithful minister of this ungrateful king, was beheaded in the Tower, in 
1540, because he had been the principal promoter of this marriage. 

A procession from Greenwich to Westminster, immediately after the 
nuptials of Henry VIII. and Anne of Cleves, is thus chronicled by 
Holinshed: — "The fourth of Feburarie (1540), the King and she re- 
moucd to Westminster by water, on whom the Lord Maior and his 
brethren, with tweluc of the cheefe companies of the citie, all in barges 
gorgeously garnished with baners, penons, and targets, richlie couered, 
and furnished with instruments sweetly sounding, gaue their attendance: 
and by their waie, all the ships shot off; and likewise from the tower, a 
great peal of ordnance went off lustilie." " The King, after Parliament was 
ended, kept a solempe Christmas at Grenewiche to chere his nobles, and on 
the twelfe day at night, came in the hall a mount, called the riche mount. 
The mount was set full of riche flowers of silke ; the braunches wer 
grene sattin, and the flowers flat gold of damaske, which signified Plan- 
tagenet. On the top stode a godly bekon gcvyng light ; rounde about 
the bekon sat the Kyng and five other, al in coates and cappes of right 
crimosin velvet, enbroudered with flat golde of damaske ; the coates set 
full of spangelles of gold. And four woodhouses drewe the mount till 
it came before the Queue, and then the Kyng and his compaignie dis- 
cended and daunced ; then sodainly the mount opened and out came 
fiixe ladies, all in crimosin satin and plunket enbroudered with gold and 
perle, and French hoddes on their hcddes, and thei daunced alone. 
Then the lordes of the mount took tiie ladies and daunced together; 
and the ladies re-cntred, and the mount closed, and so was convcighed 
out of the hall. Then the Kyng shifted hym and came to the Queue, 
and Kit at the banqute whiche was very sumpteous." — Hall. 

The fortunes of Duke Humphrey's Tower were very changeful. It 
was sometimes the habitation of the younger branches of the royal 
family ; sometimes the residence of a favourite mistress ; sometimes a 
prison, and sometimes a place of defence. Mary of York, fifth 
daughter of I'.d ward I V., died at the Tower in Greenwich Park, in 1 482. 
In 1 -j43, the King entertained twenty-one of the Scottisii nobility here, 
whom he had taken prisoners at Salem Moss, and gave them liberty 
without nmsom. 

King Edward VI. resided at this Manor, where ho kept his 
Cbiistma* in 1553 j be died here July Cth, 1553. 



and Greenwich Castle. 125 

' Queen Elizabeth made several additions to the Palace, where she 
kept a regular Court. In 1559, July 2, she was entertained by the 
citizens of London with a muster of 1400 men, and a mock fight in 
Greenwich Park ; and on the loth of the same month she gave a joust, 
mask, and sumptuous banquet in the Park, to several Ambassadors, 
Lords, and Ladies. At a Council held at Greenwich the same year, it 
was determined to be contraiy to law for any Nuncio from the Pope to 
enter this realm. 

In 1585, June 29th, she received here the Deputies of the United 
Provinces, who offered her the sovereignty of the Low Countries, 
which, from motives of state policy, she declined to accept. In 1586, 
she received the Danish Ambassador at Greenwich ; and in 1597, 
July 25th, the Ambassador from the King of Poland. 

A curious picture of the Queen and her Court at Greenwich 
appears in Paul Hentzner's Journey into England, in 1598, and the ac- 
count of his reception by Elizabeth is minute and characteristic. " It 
was here," says Hentzner, " Elizabeth, the present queen, was bom, and 
here she generally resides, particularly in summer, for the delightfulness 
of its situation. We were admitted by an order Mr. Rogers had pro- 
cured for us from the Lord Chamberlain into the presence-chamber, 
hung with rich tapestry, and the floor, after the English fashion, covered 
with hay (rushes), through which the Queen passes in her way to 
chapel. At the door stood a gentleman dressed in velvet, with a gold 
chain, whose office was to introduce to the Queen any persons of dis- 
tinction that came to wait on her. It was Sunday, when there is 
usually the greatest attendance of nobility. In the same hall were the 
Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishop of London, a great number of 
counsellors of state, officers of the crown, and gentlemen, who waited 
the Queen's coming out, which she did from her own apartment, when 
it was time to go to prayers, attended in the following manner: 

" First went gentlemen, barons, earls, knights of the garter, all richly 
dressed, and bare-headed ; next came the Chancellor, bearing the seals 
in a red silk purse, between two, one of which carried the royal sceptre, 
the other the sword of state, in a red scabbard, studded with golden 
fleurs-de-lis, the points upwards. 

" Next came the Queen, in the sixty-fifth year of her age, as we are 
told, very majestic ; her face oblong, fair, but wrinkled ; her eyes small, 
yet black and pleasant ; a nose a little hooked ; her lips naiTOw, and her 
teeth black (a defect the English seem subject to, from their too great 
use of sugar); she had in the ears two pearls with very rich drops; 
she wore false hair, and that red ; upon her head she had a small crown« 



126 Qiiccn Elizabeth, Pleazatmce, 

reputed to be made of some of the gold of the celebrated Lunedurg 
table. Her bosom was uncovered, as all English ladies have it till 
they marry ; and she had on a necklace of exceeding fine jewels ; her 
hands were small, her fingers long, and her stature neither tall nor low ; 
her air was stately, her manner of speaking mild and obliging. That 
day she was dressed in white silk, bordered with pearls of the size of 
beans, and over it a mantle of black silk, shot with silver threads ; her 
train was very long, the end of it borne by a marchioness ; instcid of 
a chain, she had an oblong collar of gold and jewels. 

" As she went along in all this state and magnificence, she spoke 
very graciously, first to one, then to another, whether foreign ministers, 
or those who attended for different reasons, in English, French, or 
Italian ; for, besides being well skilled in Greek, Latin, and the languages 
I have mentioned, she is a mistress of Spanish, Scotch, and Dutch. 
W. Slawata, a Bohemian baron, had letters to present to her; and she, 
after pulling off her glove, gave him her right hand to kiss, sparkling 
with rings and jewels, a mark of particular favour. Whenever she 
turned her face, as she was going along, everybody fell down on their 
knees. The ladies of the Court followed next to her, very handsome and 
well-shaped, and for the most part, dressed in white. She was guarded 
on each side by the gentlemen pensioners, fifty in number, with gilt 
battle-axes. In the ante-chapel, where we were, petitions were pre- 
sented to her, and she received them most graciously, which occasioned 
the acclamation of. Long Ifve Queen Elizabeth. She answered it with, 
1 thank you, my good people. In the chapel was excellent music; as 
soon as it and the service were over, which scarce exceeded half-an- 
hour, the Queen returned in the same state and order, and prepared to 
go to dinner. But while she was still at prayers, we saw her table set 
out with the following solemnity : — 

" A gentleman entered the room, bearing a rod, and along with him 
another, who had a table-cloth, which, after they had botii kneeled 
three times, with the utmost veneration, he spread upon the table ; and 
after kneeling again they both retired. Then came two others, one with 
the rod again, the other with a aalt-seller, a plate, and bread ; when 
they had kneeled, as the others had done, and placed what was brought 
upon the table, they too retired with the same ceremonies performed 
by the first. At last came an unmarried lady (we were told she was a 
countess), and along' with her a married one, bearing a tasting-knife ; 
the former was dressed in white silk, who, when she had prepared her- 
self three times, in the most graceful manner, approached the table, 
rubbed the plates with bread and salt, with as much awe as if the 



and Greenwich Castle. 127 

Queen had been present. When they had waited there a little while, 
the yeoman of the guard entered, bare-headed, clothed in scarlet, with 
a golden rose upon their backs, bringing in at each turn a course of 
twenty-four dishes, served in plates, most of them gilt ; these dishes 
were received by gentlemen in the same order they were brought, and 
placed upon the table, while the lady-taster gave to each of the guard 
a mouthful to eat, of the particular dish he had brought, for fear ol 
any poison. 

" During the time that this guard, which consists of the tallest and 
stoutest men that can be found in all England, being carefully selected 
for this service, were bringing dinner, twelve trumpets and two kettle 
drums made the hall ring for half-an-hour together. 

" At the end of all this ceremonial, a number of unmarried ladies 
appeared, who, with particular solemnity, lifted the meat off the table, 
and conveyed it into the Qiieen's inner and more private chamber, 
where, after she had chosen for herself, the rest goes to the ladies of 
the Court. The Queen dines and sups alone, with very few attendants ; 
and it is very seldom that anybody, foreigner or native, is admitted at 
that time, and then only at the intercession of somebody in power." 

To return to the history of the royal abode. King James I. erected a 
new brick front to the Palace towards the gardens ; and his Queen, 
Anne of Denmark, laid the foundation of the " House of Delight," 
near the Park ; in this house the Governor of Greenwich Hospital after- 
wards resided, and it is now the centre building of the Naval Asylum. 
In 1606, the Princess Mary, daughter of James I., was christened at 
Greenwich with great solemnity. 

King Charles I. resided much at the Palace previous to the breaking 
out of the Parliamentary War; and Henrietta Maria, his Queen, 
finished the House near the Park begun by Anne of Denmark. Inigo 
Jones was employed as the architect, and it was completed in [635, as 
appears by a date still to be seen on the front of the building ; it was 
furnished so magnificently that it far surpassed all other houses of the 
kind in England. King Charles left the Palace with the fatal reso- 
lution of taking his journey northward, and the turbulent state of the 
times prevented him from again visiting it. Greenwich Castle was con- 
sidered a place of some strength and consequence by the Parliament, 
in the time of the Commonwealth. On the restoration of King 
Charles H., in 1660, this Manor, with the Pailc, and other royal 
demesnes, again reverted to the crown. The King, finding the old 
palace greatly decayed by time, and the want of necessary repaii-s 
during the Commonwealth, ordered it to be taken down, and coiP' 



128 Kamhigton Palace. 

menced the erection of a most magnificent palace of fi'eestone, one wing 
of which was completed (now forming, with additions, the west wing 
of the Royal Hospital), where he occasionally resided, but made no 
further progress in the work. The Architect he employed was Webb, 
6on-in-law of Inigo Jones, from whose papers the designs were made. 

In 1685 it was made part of the jointure of Queen Mary, consort of 
King James II., but remained in the same state till the reign of William 
and Mary, whence its history merges in that of the Royal Hospital.* 

At the entrance to Queen Elizabeth's Armoury in the Tower of 
London, are two grotesque figures, of the time of Edward VI., called 
•' Gin" and " Beer," which Meyrick supposes to have been originally 
placed in the great Hall of the Palace at Greenwich, over the doors 
which led to the buttery and larder. 



Kennington Palace, and the Princes of Wales. 

Upon the triangular plot of ground near Kennington Cross, may be 
traced to this day fragments of a royal palace, the retreat of our ancient 
Kings, dating firom Norman times. The site or manor belonged to thi^ 
Crown in the Saxon times, its name Chenltune, in Domesday, signifying 
the place or tozun of the Khig. King Richard CcEur de Lion, in 1189, 
granted to Sir Robert Percy the custody of this manor ; and appointed 
him steward, with wages of fourpence a day. At Christmas, 1231, 
Henry III. held his court here, when Hubert de Burgh, justiciary of 
England, provided everything requisite for the regal festival. Next year 
Hubert was removed from his office, having been charged with high 
crimes and misdemeanours, but refused to attend the summons of the 
court. The custody of the manor was granted to various persons by 
Heniy III., Edward II., and Edward III. The latter was at Kenning- 
ton in 1340, attended by his eldest son, the Black Prince, then only 
ten years of age. He died in 1376, soon after which his son Richard 
was created Prince of Wales; and in the same year the citizcnn 
of London made a Show, or Mummery, "for the disport of the 
young Prince," who remained at Kennington, with his mother, his uncle 
the Duke of Lancaster, the Earls of Cambridge, Hertford, Warwick, 
and Suflolk. This Show took place in the night, when 130 citizens, 
disguised and well liorsed, in a Mummery, willi sound of trumpets, 
sackhuts, cornets, shalmes, and other minstrels, and innumerable torch- 
lights of wax, rode from Newgate, through Cheap over tlie Bridge, 

• See GrttHwich : its History, Antiqvitits, b'c Dy II, S. Richnidson. 1834. 



Eltham Palace. 1 29 

fhro'jgh Southwark, to Kennington. First rode 48 Esquires, in red 
coats, and gowns of Say or Sendall, with vizors on their faces. Then 
came 48 Knights, in the same livery. Then one, richly arrayed Uke an 
Emperor ; then one Hke a Pope, and 24 Cardinals. These Maskers 
were received at the palace by the Prince, his Mother, and the Lords. 
The Mummers played with a pair of dice with the Prince, who always 
won the stakes, among which was a Boule, Cup, and Ring of Gold. 
The Mummers were feasted, the Music sounded, and the Prince and 
Lords and Mummers danced ; and the jollity ended with their drinking 
and departure. Hither came a deputation of the chiefest citizens to 
Richard II., "before the old king was departed," "to accept him for 
their true and lawfull king and gouemor." Kennington was the occa- 
sional residence of Henry IV. and VI. Henry VII. was here on 
the Eve of St. Simon and St. Jude, when he went to dine with the 
Archbishop of Canterbury, at Lambeth Palace; after dinner, with a 
goodly company of lords, he went by land towards London, his nobles 
riding after the guise of France upon small hackenies, tiuo and tivo upon 
a horse ; and at London Bridge, the Mayor and his brethren, and the 
crafts, received the King, who proceeded to Grace-Church comer, and 
80 to the Tower. 

Katherine of Aragon was here for a few days. James I. settled the 
manor on Henry, Prince of Wales, his eldest son, and next on Prince 
Charles (afterwards Charles I.), and it has ever since been held as part 
of the estate of the Princes of Wales. In 161 7, Prince Charles leased 
the manor of Kennington, but retained the site of the palace and its 
garden, until he came to the crown in 1625; after which the palace 
was taken down, and there was built on the site a manor-house, de- 
scribed in 1656 as an old, low, timber building ; but of the palace offices 
there remained the stable, a long building of flint and stone, used as A 
barn: this was taken down in 1795. 



Eltham Palace. 

Eight miles south of London, on the Maidstone road, lies the town 
of Eltham ; and hard by, are the remains of a royal palace, which was, 
for centuries, a favourite abode of English monarchs. The approach is 
through an avenue of noble forest trees. East of the palace, and extend- 
ing over five acres, are the original garden, massive walls, and a lofty 
archway ; and the entrance to the palace on the north is across an ivy- 
tnantled bridge of four groined nrches, of massive yet beautiful design, 
* K 



130 E It ham Palace. 

which probably replaced the drawbridge in the reign of Edward IV. 
The manor was held by the soldier-bishop, Odo of Bayeux, by De 
Vescis, and de Mandevilles, and de Scropes ; but the Crown long pre- 
served a moiety, and now holds its entire extent. The manor was 
granted, in 1663, to Sir John Shaw, Knight, whose family derive them- 
selves from the county palatine of Chester. Hugo de Shaw, of that 
county, having distinguished himself, under the Earl of Chester, in an 
enterprise against Llewellyn, Prince of Wales, in the Castle of Ruthin, 
had several manors, and the daughter of the Earl given him in marriage. 
One of the titles of the Prince of Wales is Earl of Eltham. 

The palace was built, most probably, on part of those premises which 
were granted by King Edward I., in his ninth year (1281), to John de 
Vesci, and perhaps on the very site of the house where Henry HI., in 
his fifty-fifth year (1279), kept his Christmas publicly, according to the 
^stom of the old time •, being accompanied by the Queen and all the 
great men of the realm. Speaking of these festivities, Lambarde remarks, 
" And this (belike) was the first ivarming of the house (as I may call 
it), after that Bishop Beke had finished his work. For I do not hereby 
gather that hitherto the King had any property in it, forasmuch as the 
princes in those dales used commonly both to sojourn for their plea- 
lures, and to pass their set solemnities in abbaies and bishops' houses." 
Edward II. resided at Eltham Palace, where in 1315, his queen (Isabel), 
was delivered of a son, who, at twelve years of age, was created Earl ot 
Cornwall, but was commonly called John of Eltham, from the place of 
his birth ; from hence the hall probably derives its local name, '• King 
John's Barn." 

Ihe Statutes of Eltham, containing precedents for the government 
of the King's house, were made at this palace. King Edward III., in 
the fourth year of his reign, held a parliament here ; and thirty-four 
years afterwards, gave a princely reception to John, King of France 
(who had formerly been his prisoner), entertaining him with great mag- 
nificence. The same monarch held another parliament here in 1375; 
when the Lords and Commons attended with a petition, praying him 
to create his grandson, Richard of Bordeaux (son of the Black Prince 
and heir apparent to the realm), Prince of Wales. Lionel, his third son 
(guardian of the realm), kept his Christmas here when the King was in 
France in 1347. Richard II., wlio " rc&ided much at Eltham, and took 
great delight in the pleasantness of the place," entertained Leo, King of 
Armenia, a fugitive from the Turks, at Christmas, 1386. Froissart, 
here a frctiuent guest, records how on a Sunday afternoon, in 1364, 
Edward and Piiilippa waited at the gates, to receive the fallen monarch ; 



Eltham Palace. 13 1 

and how, between that time and supper, in his honour were many 
grand dances and carols, at which the young Lord de Courcy distin- 
guished himself by singing and dancing. This fascinating young noble- 
man contrived to win and wed the Princess Royal of England. 
Froissart mentions a secret parliament, or rather council, which was 
held during his stay at the palace. It was while wasting his time at 
Eltham, that the Parliament sent Richard II. a bold message and re- 
monstrance on his arbitrary conduct. Parliament met here to arrange 
the King's second marriage with Isabella of Valois, who was brought 
here after her bridal, and set out fi'om the gates to her coronation 
Henry IV. kept his last Christmas here in 14 12, when he feasted in fear, 
for the Duke of York, so report ran, designed to scale the walls, and 
rob him of life and crown together; and here he actually sickened in 
death-like trances of his mortal disease. Two years afterwards, 
Henry V. made great prep;u-ations for feasting at Christmas, but sud- 
denly left the palace in consequence of an idle report of a conspiracy to 
assassinate him, in which Sir John Oldham was said to be implicated. 
Henry VI. made Eltham his principal residence, keeping his Christmas 
here with splendour and feasting in 1429. Yet, in this palace un- 
happy Henry, unconscious of his critical position, forsook his studies to 
hunt and follow field sports, under the watchful eye of his keeper, the 
Earl of March, while his wife and son, for whom he had restored the 
palace, were sheltered :n Harlech Castle. Edward IV., to his great 
cost, repaired his house at Eltham, and in 1482 kept a splendid 
Christmas here, wikh great feastings, two thousand guests feeding at his 
expense every day. His fourth daughter, the Princess Bridget Planta- 
genet, was born at this palace, in 1480: she was consigned, when little 
more than eight years of age, to the care of the Abbess of Dartford 
Nunnery, of which she afterwards became the Superior. Edward IV. 
is the first So-vereign on record who built any part of Eltham Palace, 
and the Hall is attributed to him. Henry VII. built a handsome front 
to the palace towards the moat, and was usually resident here ; and, as 
appears by a record in the Office of Arms, most commonly dined in the 
great hall, and all his officers kept their tables in it. 

Henry VIII., in 1515 and 1527, kept his Whitsuntide and Christmas 
at Eltham ; where, in the former year, he created Sir Edward Stanley, 
banneret. Lord Monteagle, for his services against the Scots at Flodden 
Field. Some contagious disorder raging at that time in London, none 
were permitted to dine in the King's hall but the officers of arms, who 
at the serving of the King's second course of meat, according to custom, 
came and proclaimed the King's style and title, and also that of the new 

K 9 



132 Elthain Palace. 

lord. His residence, however, was only occasional, Greenwich l)eing 
preferred, where " the emparked groundes" could as well be enjoyed as 
at Eltham. The bricks which had been provided for the repair of 
Eltham Palace were taken from the kilns there, and used in the im- 
provement and extension of the royal residence of Placentia, at Green- 
wich. Queen Elizabeth, who was born at Greenwich, was frequently 
carried thence to Eltham, when an infant, for the benefit of the air ; 
and she visited this palace, in a summer excursion round the country, in 
1559. Sir Christopher Hatton was Keeper of Eltham palace in her 
reign ; and after him Lord Cobham, who had a grant of that office in 
1592. The palace was then long neglected, but it was not finally de- 
serted by royalty until the seventeenth century, James I. having re- 
mained a short time at Eltham, in 161 2, which is the last authentic 
record of his having visited it. At the commencement of the Civil 
War, the palace was in the occupation of Robert, Earl of Essex, the 
Parliamentary General, who died there, September 13, 1646, but was 
buried in Westminster Abbey. In 1649, '^^^'' ^'^ death of Charles I., 
Eltham, being much out of repair, was sold for the materials, valued at 
2753/. ; and the manor and entire property sold to different persons, the 
whole of which reverted to the Crown, at the Restoration in 1660. 

Eltham Palace was quadrangular in plan, and surrounded by a moat, 
and external wall. The entrance was on the north, but there was a 
drawbridge on the south side, where is now a bank of earth. The 
hall, its principal feature, rose above the other edifices ; it is a perfect 
specimen of the great Banqueting Halls of the 15th century, and was 
at once an audience chamber and refectory of grand dimensions, 100 
feet in length, 55 feet in height, and 36 feet broad. The high-pitched 
roof is of oak, with hammer-beams, carved pendants and braces, sup- 
ported on corbels of hewn stone ; the hearth and louvre have disappeared, 
out there arc still remains of the minstrels' gallery, and the oak screer. 
below it, with doorways leading to the kitchen, butteries, and cellars. 
More than a century ago, tlie hall was converted into a barn. Through 
the influence of the Princess Sophia of Gloucester, who frequently visited 
the palace, some substantial repairs were effcctal at a cost of 700/. 
Over the chief entrances, are the falcon, the fetterlock, and the rose-en- 
tokil, the badges of tlie royal builder, Edvvai-d IV., who is represented 
by Skelton, as saying : 

" I made Nottingham a palace royal, 
Windsor, Eltham, and many otlicr mo'." 

The elegant pointed windows have been much injured from being 
bricked up, to exclude the weatlicr ; delicate tracery is mutilated, and 



Skene, or Richmond Palace. 133 

the parapets and enrichments have disappeared. The framework which 
supported the louvre has long been destroyed ; but, as the hearth was 
not substituted by a recessed fire-place in the side wall, it is probable thac 
the old method of warming the room was adhered to till its desecration, 
and that afterwards the louvre was removed as useless. 

The situation of Eltham Palace upon an elevated site, in some 
measure protected it from any sudden attack, whilst a series of subter- 
ranean passages evinces the care that was bestowed in providing 
means for the security of the royal inmates, in case of treason or 
other emergency. The existence of a series of underground pas- 
sages running in the direction of Blackheath to Greenwich had long been 
popularly believed ; but nothing certiin was known on the subject 
until 1834, since which Messrs. Clayton and King have explored these 
military stratagems of the Middle Ages, and have cleared about 700 
feet of the passages, which were partially filled with rubbish. They 
descended a ladder below a trap-door in the yard on the south front of 
the hail, and entered a subterranean room, whence a narrow-arched pas- 
sage, about 10 feet in length, conducted them to " a series of passages, 
with decoys, staii-s, and shafts, some vertical, and others on an in- 
clined plane, which were once used for admitting air, and for hurling 
down missiles or pitch-balls," with deadly effect in case of attack, ac- 
cording to the mode of defence practised in the old time. The remains 
of two iron gates, completely carbonized, were found in the passage 
under the moat. There is a tradition that at Middle Park, through 
which the passages are believed to run, there are underground apartments 
of sufficient extent to accommodate sixty horses. The date of these 
passages is assigned to that of the reign of Edward II.. at the com- 
mencement of the fourteenth century. 



Shene, or Richmond Palace. 

This celebrated palace was anciently named Sbene or Sheen (Saxon 
resplendent), from its delightful situation. It was subsequently styled 
Rkhmotid, by command of King Heniy VII., who inherited the earl- 
dom of Richmond in Yorkshire from his father, Edmund Tudor, on 
whom it was bestowed by his half-brother, Henry VI. The manor 
was given by Henry I. to one of the family of Belet, to hold by the 
service, or serjeantry, of officiating as chief butler to the King. A 
palace is said to have been erected on his manor at Shene by 
Edwai-d III., where deatli terminated his long and victorious reign on 



134 Skene, or Richmond Palace, 

the 2ist of June, 1377. His grandson and successor, Richard 11^ 
passed most of his time at this place during the hfe of his first Queen, 
Anne of Bohemia ; and, on her death, which happened at Shene, in 
1394, he was so violently afflicted " that he beside cursing the place where 
she died, did also for anger throwe downe the buildings, unto which 
the former kings being wearied of the citie were wont for pleasure to 
resort." The palace remained in ruins during the reign of Henry IV. ; 
but Henry V., soon after he ascended the throne, restored the edifice to 
its former magnificence. Thomas Elmham says it was " a delightful 
mansion, of curious and costly workmanship, and befitting the cha- 
racter and condition of a king." In the sixth year of Edward IV., his 
Queen, Elizabeth Woodville, had a grant of the manor for her life. In 
1492, Henry VII. held a grand tournament at this place, when in a 
combat between Sir James Parker, Knight, and Hugh Vaughan, Gentle- 
man Usher, Sir James was slain at the first course, by a false helmet 
being stricken into his mouth. 

On the 2ist of December, 1498, the King being at Shene, a fire broke 
out in his lodging in the palace, and burnt from nine o'clock till mid- 
night, destroying a great part of the old buildings, together with hang- 
ings, beds, apparel, plate, and many jewels. The restoration of the 
palace was forthwith commenced. Another fire occurred in the King's 
chamber in January, 1506-7, when much rich furniture was consumed; 
and in July following, a new galleiy, in which the King and his son, 
Prince Arthur, had been walking a short time previously, fell down, but 
without injuring any person. In the same year, Philip I. of Spain, who 
had been driven on the coast of England by a storm, was entertained by 
King Henry at Richmond, " where many notable feates of armes were 
proved, of tylte, tourney, and bamers." Henry VII. probably had a 
picture gallery and libraiy at Richmond. A painting of Henry V. and 
his family ; the Marriage of Henry VI., and that of Henry VII. ; which 
were at Strawberry Hill, are supposed to have been painted at this time 
as decorations for the palace. Henry VII. died here, 21st of April, 
1509. Henry VIII. celebrated his Christmas at Richmond in the year 
of his accession to the throne; and on January 19 following, a tourna- 
ment was held here, when the King, for the first time, publicly engaged 
in chivalrous exercises. On New Year's day, if,ii, Queen Katherine, 
at Richmond was delivered of a son, who was baptized 1 Icnry, after his 
father; but on February 23 he died at his birth-place, and was interred 
at Westminster. Hall, in his Chronicle, says that the Kmpcror 
Charles V., who visited ICngland in 1532, was lodged at Richmond. 
In a curious account of this visit, provision was made at " Rychemount" 



Skene J or Richmond Palcue, 135 

for " X mealys," " with Gascon wyne and Rhenyssh wyne, plentye." 
In 1526, the King having received from Cardinal Wolsey the magnifi- 
cent present of his newly-erected palace oi Hampton Court, he obtained 
in return permission to reside at Richmond. This excited the spleen of 
Wolsey 's enemies ; when the common people, and especially such as 
had been servants to Henry VH., saw the Cardinal keep house in the 
manor royal of Richmond, which that monarch so highly esteemed, it 
was a marvel to hear how they grudged, saying — " So, a butcher's dogge 
doth lie in the manor of Richmond." In 1541, the royal demesnes here 
were granted to Anne of Cleves (after her voluntary divorce from King 
Henry), so long as she should reside in this country. In August, 1554, 
Queen Mary, with her newly-wedded consort, Philip of Spain, removed 
from M'^indsor (where he had been installed a Knight of the Garter), to 
this palace ; and some of the State Papers show that she was here at 
other times. Richmond was also a favourite place of residence with her 
successor Elizabeth, who here entertained Eric the Fourth, King of 
Sweden, when he visited England to make her a proposal of marriage. 
It was in this palace that, in 1596, Anthony Rudd, Bishop of St. 
David's, incurred Elizabeth's displeasure, by preaching before the Court 
on the infirmities of old age ; and at the same time applying his re- 
marks personally to her Majesty, and showing how time had " furrowed 
her face, and besprinkled her hair with the meal." But a few years 
before, being then at Richmond, she was so fond of youthful amuse- 
ments that " six or seven gallyards of a mominge, besides musycke and 
Bynginge, were her ordinary exercise." 

Of the last hours of Elizabeth, who died here, we find these very inte- 
resting records in the Diary ofjohn Manninghamjafiu-student, 1602-3: 
— On the 23rd March, the rumours respecting her Majesty's health 
were most alarming. The public were even doubtful whether she was 
actually alive. In satisfaction of his curiosity our Diarist proceeded to 
the palace at Richmond, where the great business was in progress. He 
found assembled there the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lord Keeper, 
and others of the highest official dignitaries. The Queen still lived, and 
the ordinary daily religious services were still kept up within the sombre 
palace. Dr. Parry preached before the assembled visitors, and our 
Diarist was permitted to be one of the audience. The sermon was as 
little connected as could be with the urgent circumstances which must 
have drawn off the thoughts of his congregation, but in the preacher's 
prayers both before and after his discourse he interceded for her Majesty 
so fei-vently and pathetically, that few eyes were dry." 

Service over, Manningham dined in the privy chamber with Dr. 



136 Skene, or Richmond Palace. 

Parry and a select clerical company, who recounted to him the particu- 
lars of the Queen's illness ; how for a fortnight she had been over- 
whelmed with melancholy, sitting for hours with eyes fixed upon one 
object, unable to sleep, refusing food and medicine, and until within the 
last two or three days declining even to go to bed. It was the opinion 
of her physicians that if at an early period she could have been per- 
suaded to use means she would unquestionably have recovered ; but she 
would not, "and princes," our Diarist remarks, "must not be forced." 
Her fatal obstinacy brought her at length into a condition which was 
irremediable. For two days she had lain " in a manner speechless, very 
pensive and silent," — dying of her own perverseness. When roused, she 
shewed by signs that she still retained her faculties and memory, but the 
inevitable hour was fast approaching. The day before, at the instance 
of Dr. Parry, she had testified by gestures her constancy in the Protes- 
tantism " which she had caused to be professed," and had hugged the 
hand of the archbishop when he urged upon her a hopeful consideration 
of the joys of a future life. In these particulars our Diarist takes us 
nearer to the dying bed of the illustrious Queen than any other writer 
with whom we are acquainted. Dr. Parry remained with the Queen to 
the last. It was amidst his prayers that about three o'clock in the morning 
which followed Manningham's visit to the palace she ceased to breathe. 

Not an instant was lost ; at the very earliest moment, in less than 
four hours after the Queen had expired at Richmond, a meeting of the 
Council was held at Whitehall. A prcKlamation already prepared by 
Cecil, and settled by the anxious King of Scotland, was produced and 
signed. At ten o'clock the gates of Whitehall were thrown open. 
Cecil, with a roll of paper in his hand, issued forth at the head of a 
throng of gentlemen, and with the customary formalities proclaimal the 
accession of King James. 

The Plague raged greatly in London at the time of the accession of 
James I. ; in consecjuence of which the Excheiiuer and other Courts of 
Law were removed to Richmond ; as they were again, on the same 
account in 1625. In 1610, the manor, with the palace and park was 
settled on Henry, Prince of Wales, his heirs and successors, Kings of 
England, for ever. The Prince resided at Richmond in 1605, and he 
kept house here in 161 2, in which year his death took place. In the 
accounth' of his expenses are payments to De Caus, tlie French engi- 
neer, who apfK'ars to have been employal by the Prince upon works 
at Richmond House and S\:cne. 

In 1617, the royal estate at Richmond was granted to Charles, Prince 
of Wales, who often resided here after he became King { and had here 



S/tene, or Richmond Palace. 1 37 

a large collection of pictures. In 1627, the estate was settled on the 
Queen, Henrietta Maria, as part of her dower. In 1636, a masque 
was performed before the King and Qiieen at Richmond, by Lord 
Buckhurst, and Edward Sackville, afterwards Earl of Dorset. After 
the execution of the King in 1649, a survey of the palace was taken, 
and showed thei-e to be a spacious hall, with clock-turret ; privy lodg- 
ings, three storeys high, ornamented with fourteen turrets ; a chapel, 
with cathedral seats and pews ; the privy garden, with open and covered 
galleries, &c. The palace was sold to Sir Gregory Norton, a member 
of the High Court of Justice, who signed the warrant for the execution 
of Charles I. ; and who, probably, resided in some part of the palace 
buildings. Shortly after the Restoration, several boats, laden with 
rich and curious effigies, formerly belonging to Charles I., were brought 
from Richmond to Whitehall. On the restoration of the Richmond 
estate to the Queen-mother, Sir Edward Villiers, father of the first 
Earl of Jersey, had a grant of the royal house and manor, which he 
afterwards re-leased to King James II.; whose son, known in history 
as the Pretender, was (according to Burnet), nursed at Richmond. 

Next, in the year 1770, the manor was granted to Queen Charlotte, 
George III.'s consort ; from which grant was excepted the site of the 
palace, then held under lease from the Crown ; nor did it include the 
royal park, inclosed in the reign of Charles I. VVolsey occasionally re- 
sided in the lodge, described as " a pleasant residence for a private gentle- 
man." In 1 707, Queen Anne demised it to James, Duke of Ormond, who 
rebuilt the lodge, and resided there until 1 7 15, when having been impeached 
as an adherent of the Pretender, he privately withdrew from his hous 
at Richmond, and went to Paris. In 1721, the property was sold to the 
Prince of Wales, afterwards George II., who frequently retired to Rich- 
mond ; and his Queen, Caroline, built here a menagerie, a hermitage, 
and a mystic " Merlin's Cave." George III. occasionally resided here. 
Some time afterwards, the Lodge was taken down, and the foundations 
were laid for a new palace; but the building was not proceeded with. 
In the grounds of one of the Lodges in the Park is a small Mount, 
whereon Henry VIII. is reported to have stood, when watching the 
ascent of a rocket from the Tower, to announce the execution of Anne 
Boleyn ; on the day after which, Henry was wedded to Jane Seymour. 
In 1834, some labourers, when digging near Oliver's Mound (where 
Cromwell is said to have had a camp), discovered the skeletons of three 
pei-sons, buried about three feet from the surface. There is no lack of deer 
at Richmond ; the venison is stated to be the finest belonging to the Crown • 
and about sixty brace of bucks are annually supplied from this park. 



138 Skene, or RicJunond Palace. 

Different religious communities were founded at Shone ,- as a Convent 
of Carmelite Friars, by Edward II. ; a Priory of Carthusian Monks, by 
Henry V.; and a Convent of Observant Friars, by Henry VII 
Within the walls of the Carthusian convent, Perkin Warbeck sought 
an asylum, entreating the prior to beg his life of the King : he was after- 
wards executed for attempting to break out of the Tower. 

On Richmond green remains the entrance gateway to the Wardrobe 
Court of the old palace; near which long grew a noble elm, said to have 
been planted by Queen Elizabeth. In the upper chamber of the gateway, 
it is absurdly stated, the Countess of Nottingham, when on her deathbed, 
revealed to her royal mistress the treachery of which she had been 
guilty in respect of the Earl of Essex's ring. Whether there be or be 
not any truth in the main incident (of which Hume has made such 
pathetic use, in his account of the last days of Elizabeth), this was cer- 
tainly not the place of the Countess of Nottingham's decease. That 
event took place at Arundel House, London, February 20, 1603 ; as 
appears from the register of Chelsea parish, where she was buried three 
days afterwards. 

Elizabeth was deeply lamented by her people ; indeed, some of their 
expressions of regret were strangely exaggerated. A poet of that day 
asserts even that, at the funeral procession, when the royal corpse was 
rowed from Richmond, to lie in state at Whitehall, 

" Fish wept their eyes ol pearl quite out. 
And swam blind after ;' 

doubtlessly intending, most loyally, to provide the departed sovereign 
with a fresh and posthumous supply of her favourite gems ! Elizabeth 
seems to have been particularly fond of pearls, from youth even to her 
death. The now faded waxwork efligy preserved in \\'^cstminster 
Abbey (and which lay on her cofiin, arrayed in royal robes, at her 
funeral, and caused, as Stow relates, " such a general sighing, groaning, 
and weeping as the like hath not been seen or known in the memory of 
man,") exhibits large round Roman pearls in the stomacher; a carcanet 
of large round pearls, Sec, about the throat ; her neck ornamented with 
long strings of pearls ; her high-heeled slioc-bows having in the centre 
large pearl medallions. Her car-rings are circular pearl and ruby me- 
diillions, with large pear-shaped pearl pendants. This, of course, repre- 
sents her as slic was dressed towards tiie close of her life. At Ham 
House is a miniature of her, however, when about twenty, which shows 
the same tistc as existing at that age. She is there portrayed in a 
black dress, trimmed with a double row of pearls ; her point-lace ruffles 



Hampton Court Palace. 1 39 

are looped with pearls, &c. Her head-dress is decoiated in front with 
a jewel set with pearls, from which three pear-shaped pearls depend. 
And finally, she has large pearl-tasselled ear-rings. In the Henham- 
hall portrait, the ruff is confined by a collar of pearls, rubies, &c., set in 
a gold filigree pattern, with large pear-shaped pearls depending from 
each lozenge. The sleeves are wreathed with pearls and bullion. The 
lappets of her head-dress also are adorned at every crossing with a large 
round white pearl. Her gloves, moreover, were always of white kid, 
richly embroidered with pearls, &c., on the backs of the hands. 

To conclude, a view of the Thames front of Richmond Palace repre- 
sents a long line of iiTegular buildings, with projecting towers, octagonal 
and circular, crowned by ill-shaped turrets, intemiixed with small 
chimneys, having somewhat the shape of inverted pears. 



Hampton Court Palace. 

The Manor of Hampton was, about the beginning of the thirteenth 
century, vested in the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem ; and early in 
the reign of Henry VHI. Cardinal Wolsey became lessee of the manor, 
under the Prior of that foundation. The lease is followed by an inven- 
tory of the furniture left in the ancient mansion on the estate when 
Wolsey took possession: his name is spelt Wulcy in the lease, which is 
dated Jan. nth, 1514. The manorial chase was of vast extent; and 
here, in the height of his greatness, Wolsey built his sumptuous palace, 
consisting of five courts, two of which only remain. The apaitments 
which were left were principally domestic ofhces; so that we can 
have but an inadequate conception of the former splendour of Hamp- 
ton Court, except from prints. The Cardinal employed the Warden 
and certain members of the Freemasons as his architects in building his 
palace ; and the accounts of the expenses are presei'ved in our public 
records. In removing, in 1838, one of the old towers built by Wolsey, 
a number of glass bottles were dug out of the foundation : they were, 
probably, buried to denote the date of the building ; and bottles, simi- 
larly placed, have been found in comers of old buildings, both at 
Windsor and Kingston-upon-Thames. 

The grandeur of the edifice, or some other cause, of which we have no 
certain account, induced Wolsey to resign his palace to Henry VIII., 
in the year 15 16, although he occasionally resided in it afterwards. This 
was the last instance, in this country, of the magnificence of the house- 
hold establishment of a priest, w ho held the highest offices in church and 



140 Hampton Court Palace. 

state. Here Wolsey lived in more than regal splendour, and had nearly 
one thousand persons in his suite. Henry proceeded with the building 
for several years, and it subsequently became a favourite royal residence. 

The best idea that can be formed of the extent of the old palace is by 
passing along the Tennis-court lane, and inepecting the north front, fiom 
the gateway to the Tennis-court. This is all Wolseyan, except the mo- 
dem windows. The chimneys — windpipes of hospitality— are charac- 
teristic of the Cardinal's housekeeping. Each of the fireplaces is large 
enough to roast an ox whole. The attendants were not allowed to enter 
the kitchens, as each of them has a large square opening, communicating 
with the several passages, which were closed until the dinners were 
dressed, when a large wooden flat was let down and upon it were placed 
the dishes, which were then removed by servants on the outside. When 
we consider that Wolsey's palace is stated to have contained 1500 
rooms, we shall find that these enormous kitchens and fireplaces were 
not out of proportion to the number of his attendants and guests. 

The springs, locally termed the Coombe Water, three miles distant 
from Hampton Court, were first collected into a conduit, or reservoir, 
and then conveyed in double pipes for the supply of the palace, by 
Wolsey ; and, as the top of that building is considerably below the 
level of Coombe Hill, whence the springs issue, the entire palace is 
amply supplied with the most salubrious water by little aid from arti- 
ficial hydraulic agency. It is entirely free from all calcareous admix- 
ture ; and for its efficiency in cases of stone (under which painful disease 
Wolsey himself is well known to have suffered), by preventing the 
formation of lithic acid, we have the authority of Dr. William Roots, 
under whose house at Surbiton the spring passes just prior to its transit 
beneath the Thames. 

In 1527, when some Fi-ench ambassadors were in England, the King 
sent them to be entertained by Wolsey at Hampton Court. Cavendish 
tells us of the preparations: "expert cookcs, anil connyng persons in 
the art of cookerie ; the cookes wrought both by day and nigiit with 
subtleties and many crafty devices, whei-e lacked neither gold, silver, nor 
other costly things;" and " 280 Iwds furnished with all manner of ur- 
niture." Wolsey's arrival is described thus quaintly: "Before th; 
second course, my lord Cardinal came in all booted and spurred ; at 
whose coming there was great joy, with rising every man from his 
place, whom my lord caused to sit still, and keep their roomes, and 
being in his apparel as he rinle, called for a ciiayre, and sat down in the 
middle of the high paradise, laughing ami being as merry as ever Caven- 
dish saw him in all his life." The whole party drank long and strong, 



Hampton Court Palace. 141 

and some of the Frenchmen were led off to bed, and in the chambers of 
all was placed " abundance of wine and beere." 

Edward VI. was born at Hampton Court, and his mother, Queen 
Jane Seymour, died in two days after ;* her corpse was conveyed by 
water to Windsor for burial. Edward VI. resided here, but in such 
fear of his person being seized, that the inhabitants of Hampton armed 
themselves for the protection of the young King. Catherine Howard 
was openly shown as Queen at Hampton Court. Catherine Parr was 
here married to Henry. Philip and Mary kept Christmas here, 1557, 
when the large hall was illuminated with 1000 lamps. It was from this 
place that passports, signed by Queen Mary, but not filled up, were in 
readiness to be sent off to announce the birth of a son or daughter, as 
the case might be, when she fancied herself with child ; some of these 
passports are preserved in the State Paper Office. Queen Elizabeth fi-e- 
quently resided here, and gave many splendid entertainments. The 
celebrated Conference between Presbyterians and the Established 
Church was held here before James I. as moderator, in a withdrawing- 
room within the privy chamber, on the subject of Conformity : all the 
Lords of the Council were present, and the Conference lasted three 
days ; a new translation of the Bible was ordered, and alterations were 
made in the Liturgy. Charles I. retired here on account of the Plague, 
1625, when all communication between London, Southwark, or Lam- 
beth was prohibited by proclamation. 

Charles passed his honeymoon here ; and here he displayed some of 
the latest external appearances of being a king. The latter period ic 
thus described : " The King was now come to Hampton Court, with 
the Parliament Commissioners, at this time attending upon him, and 
some of the army for his guard. He dines abroad in the piesence- 
chamber, with the same duty and ceremonies as heretofore, where any 
of the gentry are admitted to kiss his hand. After dinner he retires to his 
chamber, then he walks into the park, or plays at Tennis. Yesterday he 
killed a stag, or a buck, and dined with his children at Sion, where they 
remain as yet ; and he returned." Charles was fond of Tennis : he played 
at Hampton Court the day before he made his escape to the Isle of Wight. 

There is a singular anecdote of the King, traditional at Hampton 
Court. He was one day standing at a window of the palace, sur- 
rounded by his children, when a gipsy came up and asked for charity. 
Her appearance excited ridicule, and probably threats, which so enraged 
the gipsy, that she took out of her basket a looking-glass, and presented 



• Hentzner, in 1598, was shown the bed in which Queen Jane died. 



142 Hampton Court Palace. 

it to the King : he saw in it his own head decollated. Probably, with a 
natural wish to propitiate so prophetical a beggar, or for some other 
reason, money was given her. She then said that the death of a dog, in 
the room the King was then in, would precede the restoration of the king- 
dom to his family ; which the King was about to lose. It is supposed 
that Oliver Cromwell afterwards slept in the room referred to. He was 
constantly attended by a faithful dog, who guarded his bedchamber door. 
On awakening one morning he found the dog dead, on which he exclaimed, 
in allusion to the gipsy's prophecy, which he had previously heard, "The 
kingdom is departed from me." Cromwell died soon afterwards. 

In 1651, the Honour and Palace of Hampton Court were sold to the 
State creditors ; but previously to 16.57 it came into the possession of 
Cromwell, who made it one of his chief residences : he used frequently 
to hunt in the neighbourhood, and a part of Bushy Park was formed by 
him into a preserve for hares. Cromwell is said to have built the old 
Toy inn, as a dormitory for his roundhead soldiers, not liking to admit 
them into the palace. Elizabeth, his daughter, was here publicly 
married to the Lord Falconberg ; and the Protector's favourite child, 
Mrs. Claypole, died here, and was conveyed with great pomp to West- 
minster Abbey, for burial. On the Restoration of Charles H., the 
palace was given to George Monk, Duke of Albemarle, who had 
brought about that event without bloodshed or confusion. He accepted 
a sum of money in lieu of the grant, and Charles afterwards occupied 
the palace. James II. occasionally resided here, and the canopy is still 
to be seen there, under which he received the Pope's nuncio. King 
William lived much at Hampton Court: he had it enlarged and the 
pleasure-gardens laid out in the Dutch style. In July, 1689, the 
Duke of Gloucester, son of the Princess, afterwards Queen Anne, was 
bom here. The Queen sojourned at Hampton Court occasionally; as 
did her successors, George I., .ind II., and occasionally, Frederick Prince 
of Wales; but George III. never resided here. When William V., 
Stadtholder of the United Provinces, was condemned to quit his country 
by the French, this palace was appropriated to his use, and he resided 
here several years. 

In the bird's-eye view, by Kipp, the palace and its several courts are 
shown, in the time of Qiieen Anne, with its gardens laid out in the geo- 
metrical style and decorated witli fountains and statues, its kitchen- 
gardens, Tennis-court, &c. ; the chief front of the i)alace facing the 
Thames ; the formal avenues, radiating from the centre, with the canal 
formctl by Wolscy through the middle avenue. King William pulled 
duwu much of the old palace, and employed Wren to build the Foun- 



Hampton Court Palace. 143 

tain Court, which contains on the south the State Apartments, and the 
King's Staircase, painted by Verrio ; and on the north the King's 
Gallery, originally fitted up for the cartoons of Raphael. On the east 
is the room in which George I. and George II. frequently dined in 
public. Northwestward of the Fountain Court is the Chapel, part of 
Henry VIII.'s building, but fitted up in its present state by Queen Anne, 
with cai-ving by Gibbons. 

Hampton Court in its present state consists of three principal courts, 
and exceeds in plan any of the royal palaces. The first court is 
Wolsey's, and is occupied by persons who have grants for life from the 
Crown. In the Middle or Clock Court is an astronomical clock put 
up in 1540. On the north is the Great Hall, with a rich timber- 
framed roof, screen, and part of the gallery. As this hall is not men- 
tioned by Cavendish, it was probably part of Henry's building; it 
certainly was not finished till 1536 or 1537, as appears from the initials 
of Henry and Jane Seymour, joined in a true lover's knot, among the 
decorations. Queen Caroline had a theatre erected here, but only eight 
plays were performed in it. The walls are hung with tapestry, and the 
windows have armorial painted glass. Adjoining the hall, at the east 
end, is " Wolsey's Withdrawing-room," also hung with tapestry ; and 
the round Kitchen Court is of Wolsey's time. An unusually large 
spider is found in the palace, and called " the Cardinal Spider," from 
the superstitious notion that the spirits of Wolsey and his retinue still 
haunt the palace in the shape of spiders ! 

On the south side of the palace is the Privy Garden, which was sunk 
ten feet to open a view from the apartments to the Thames, On the 
northern side is the Tennis-court, and beyond this the Wilderness or 
Maze. In the Privy Garden is a grape-house, seventy feet in length 
and fourteen in breadth ; the interior is wholly occupied by one vine of 
the black Hamburgh kind ; it was planted in the year 1769, and has m 
a single year produced 2200 bunches of grapes, averaging one pound 
each. Here too is the orange-myrtle, said to have been brought to thig 
coimtry by King William III. 

The large bay window in the Hall has a strange history. It was upon 
a pane of this window that, during one of the festivals given there by 
Henry VIII., the ill-fated Earl of Surrey wrote with a diamond the 
name of "fair Geraldine," and in quaint verse commemorated her 
beauty ; a license which is said to have excited the jealousy of the King, 
and to have been one among many other causes of Surrey's end on the 
scaffold. So runs the romantic episode in his unfortunate life; but 
Uiere is better evidence to show that Surrey's attachment or rather ad- 



144 The Palace of Nonsuch. 

miration, was only encouraged for the sake of rhyming — that it wan, 
indeed, a poetical conceit, and that other circumstances lessened the 
soldier-poet in his sovereign's opinion, although the real cause of his 
condemnation and death has not been very clearly ascertained. 
Surrey, describing Geraldine, says : 

" Fosfer'd she was with milk of Irish breast, 
Her sire an earl, her dame of prince's blood, 

From tender years in Britain doth she rest 
With kynge's child, where tasteth costly food. 

Hundsdon did first present her to my eyes ; 
Bright is her hue, and Geraldine she hight ; 

Hampton me taught to wish her first for mine." 

Walpole considers Geraldine to have been the Lady Elizabeth Fitz- 
gerald, daughter of that Earl of Kildare vi\\o died a prisoner in the 
Tower in the year 1535, and one of the maids of honour to the Princess 
Mary. When Surrey first saw her he was married, living affectionately 
with his wife, and the fair Geraldine was a mere child, thirteen years 
of age ; Surrey himself was in his twenty-fourth year. The lady was 
married in her fifteenth year to Sir Anthony Browne ; but Sun-ey con- 
tinued to rhyme, without offending either his own wife or the lady's 
husband, a circumstance which serves to show that the persons most 
concerned were fully aware of the real state of the case. 



The Palace of Nonsuch. 

This royal house, which Henry VIII. began building in a village 
called Codintonc, that no longer exists, obtained its name from its un- 
paralleled beauty ; Leland sings, in Latin, thus translated : 

" This, because it has no equal, Britons are accustomed to 
praise, and call by name the Matchless, or Nonsuch." 

The works were not completed at the death of Henry VIII., in 
January, 1547, and they remained unfinished during the reign of Philip 
and Mary. Henry, Earl of Amndel, " for the love and honour he bare 
to his olde maister," purchased the estate of Queen Mary. Queen 
Eli/abeth, in the second year of her reign, gave Nonsuch Great Park to 
the Karl of Arundel in exchange for other estates, and he comjilcted the 
buildings. Nonsuch was in the Earl's time freijucntly visited by Eliza- 
iK-tl), and subsequent to his de.itij, Her Majesty purchased the palace and 
Little Park; and in tlie latter part of her reign she passed much of her 
tiau: there. It was at Nonsuch tlut tlie Eml of Essex, the Queen's un* 



The Palace of Nonsuch. 145 

fortunate favourite, had the remarkable inter\'iew with Her Majesty on 
his return from Ireland in September, 1599, as already referred to at 
page 72. 

Camden describes Nonsuch as " built with so much splendour and 
elegance that it stands a monument of art, and you would think the 
whole science of architecture exhausted on this building. It has such a 
profusion of animated statues and finished pieces of art, rivalling the 
monuments of ancient Rome itself, that it justly receives and maintains 
its name from them. The house is so surrounded by parks so full of 
deer, delicious gardens, artificial arbours, parterres, and shady walks, 
that it seems to be the spot where Pleasure chose to dwell with Health." 
Hentzner, who visited England in 1598, adds: "in the pleasure and 
aj'tificial gardens are many columns and pyramids of marble, with two 
fountains that spout water one round the other like a pyramid, upon 
which ai'e perched small birds that stream water out of their bills. In 
the Grove of Diana is a fountain with Actaeon turned into a Stag, as 
he was sprinkled by the Goddess and her Nymphs, with inscriptions. 
There is besidea another pyramid of marble fiill of concealed pipes, 
which spirt upon all who come within their reach." In 1650, Nonsuch 
was described as a large freestone building, two stories high, em- 
battled and slated, and surrounding a paved court, with a gatehouse, 
battled and turreted at every comer; also a curious structure, two 
stories high, richly adorned and garnished with statues, pictures, and 
" other antick forms." On the east and west corners were two large 
turrets of five storeys high, with lanthoms, commanding prospects of 
the parks of Nonsuch, and most of the country round. The decorations 
of the gardens and fountains, banqueting-house, &c., are likewise de- 
scribed in this survey. 

James I. settled Nonsuch Palace and Parks on Anne of Denmark. 
Next they were held by the consort of Charles I. After the execution 
of the King, in 1649, a lease of Nonsuch was granted to Algernon 
Sidney. At the Restoration, the Queen Dowager, Henrietta Maria, re- 
covered possession. In the Plague year, 1665, the Exchequer was 
removed to the "Queen's House" at Nonsuch; and next year it was 
visited by Evelyn, who describes the plaster statues and bas-relievos 
inserted twixt the timbers and punchions of the outside walls of the court ; 
which were the work of some celebrated Italian, and had lasted well and 
entire since the time of Henry VIII.: some were as big as the life; the 
story of the Heathen Gods, emblems, &c. The palace consists of two 
courts — one stone, castle-like ; the other timber, Gothic, covered with 
"cales of slate fastened on the timber in pretty figures. There stand ia 



146 The Palace of Oatlands. 

the garden two handsome stone pyramids, and avenues of fair elms ; 
but the rest of the trees were felled " by those destructive and avaricious 
rebells in the late warr, w'^'' defaced one of the stateliest Seates his Ma*^ 
had." 

Pepys says of Nonsuch : " A fine place it hath heretofore been, all 
the house on the outside being filled with figures of stories, and good 
paintings of Rubens' or Holbein's doing. (?) And most of the house 
is covered, I mean between the post and quarters in the walls, with lead 
and gilded." 

On the death of the Queen Dowager, Aug. 10, 1669, this estate 
reverted to the Crown ; and in 1670, Charles II. demised it to Sir Robert 
Long, who had been Secretary to the King during his exile. The King 
conveyed it in trust to his mistress, Barbara, Countess of Castlcmaine, 
now created Baroness of Nonsuch, Countess of Southampton, and 
Duchess of Cleveland, who pulled down the palace, sold the materials, 
with which the Earl of Berkshire built Durdans, and disparked the 
land. Among the noble trees of the domain is " Queen Elizabeth's 
Elm," beneath whose shade she is said to have taken her stand when 
shooting with the cross-bow at the deer in the park : the height is 
eighty feet. Upon part of the estate is built a large castellated edifice, 
in the Elizabethan style, which bears the name of Nonsuch. 



The Palace of Oatlands. 

This "royal pleasure-house," built by Henry VIII., lay but a short 
distance from Cowey Stakes, the point at which, about eighteen centuries 
previously, Cxsar crossed the Thames to the territories of Cassibelaunus. 
King Henry had obtained possession of Hampton Court, and obtained 
in exchange Oatlands to annex to the chace. A drawing made in the 
time of Elizabeth shows Oatlands palace to have comprised two quad- 
rangular courts, and three enclosures, with a garden beyond. The 
second or principal quadrangle has at each end a machicoiated gate- 
house, with angle turrets and fine bay-windows. Queen Elizabeth was 
here in 1599 and 1602, when she is said to have shot with a cross-bow 
in the paddock. Anne of Denmark, consort of James I., was also 
sometime resident at Oatlands, and built here " the Silkworm Room," 
which may have been ilesigned by Inigo Jones. Charles I. granted 
the estate for life, to the Queen (Henrietta Maria) ; their youngest 
son, Henry, created Duke i)f Gloucester, was born here in 1640, and 
was hence styled llcnry ofOatland* Most of the palace buildings wenr 



TJie Palace of Oatlands, 147 

destroyed (the foundations and vaults may yet be traced), and the land 
was disparked, during the interregnum ; but, after the Restoration of 
Charles II., the Queen Dowager regained possession of Oatlands, in the 
dilapidated state to which it had been reduced. In 166 1, it was leased 
to Henry Jermyn, Earl of St. Alban's, the favourite, and afterwards the 
second husband of the said Queen (see Diary of Samuel Pepys, 2nd 
edit.) In 17 16, it became the property of Henry, Earl of L-icoln, 
whose son and heir formed the gardens, about 1725 ; and he most pro- 
bably erected the house on the terrace. On the side of the park next 
Walton-on-Thames is an arched gateway, which was built by Inigo 
Jones. The estate next became the property of the Duke of Newcastle, 
who had constructed here a grotto, at a considerable expense, by three 
persons, a father and two sons, who are reported to have been employed 
on the work several years ; the sides and roof of the apartments are 
incrusted with satin-spar, sparkling ores, shells, crystals, and stalactites. 
Oatlands was next sold to the Duke of York ; in 1 793, the house 
was destroyed by fire, while the Duke was in Flanders ; when the 
Duchess and her servants escaped with difficulty. A new house was 
built, and the estate enlarged : after the Duke's death, the estate was 
sold, and eventually disparked. 

In the upper chamber of the grotto the Duchess of York passed 
much of her time when the Duke was in Flanders. Her Royal High- 
ness had an eccentric taste for keeping pet-dogs, and near the grotto 
there were between sixty and seventy small upright stones, inscribed 
with the names of an equal number of dogs, which were buried here by 
direction of the Duchess: she extended her kindness even to the rooks, 
which, when driven from the neighbouring fields, experienced a marked 
protection on this demesne, where, finding themselves in security, they 
soon established a flourishing rookery. This humane trait in the cha- 
racter of the Duchess was thus commemorated by Lord Erskiust 

••At Oatlands, where the buoyant air 
Vast crowds of Rooks can scarcely bear* 
What verdure paints returning spring ! 
What crops surrounding harvests bring I 
Yet swarms on every tree are found, 
Nor hear the Fowler's dreaded sound. 
And when the Kite's resistless blow 
Dashes their scattered nests below, 
Alarmed, they quit the distant field, 
To seek the Park's indulgent shield ; 
Where close in the o'ershadowing wood 
They build new castles for ^eir brood. 
Secure, their fair Protectress nigh, 
Whose bosom swells with sympathy." 

L Z 



148 Sf. James's Palace. 

Henry of Oatlands, so Fuller had heard him called in his cradle, 
has been described as a prince of promising hopes, who, at the last 
interview which the ill-fated King (Charles I.) had with his children, 
"displayed an understanding and sensibility far beyond his years." 
Fuller quaintly remarks, that " he had a great appetite for learning, and 
a quick digestion, able to take as much as his tutors could teach him. 
He fluently could speak many, undei-stand more modem tongues; 
and was able to express himself in matters of importance presently, 
troperly, solidly, to the admiration of such who trebled his age." Dr. 
South relates that " a certain Lawyer, a great confidant of the rebels 
in the time of their reign, upon a consult held amongst them, how to 
dispose of the Duke of Gloucester, then in their hands, with great 
gravity (forsooth) declared it for his opinion, ' that they should bind 
him out to some good Trade, so that he might eat his bread honestly.' " 
He was, however, " permitted to depart the land, with scarce tolerable 
accommodations, and the promise of a (never-performed) Pension for 
his future support." South adds: "Those were his words, and very 
extraordinary they were indeed. Nevertheless they could not hinder him 
from being made a Judge in the reign of King Charles II. — A Practice 
not unusual in the Courts of some Princes, to encourage and prefer their 
mortal enemies before their honest Friends." On the Restoration, in 
1660, Henry returned to England with his brothers; but he died at 
Whitehall on September 13th, following, of the small-pox, " by the 
great negligence of the doctors." Pcpys saw the King in Whitehall 
gardens, in purple mourning for his brother." He was interred in 
Henry VII.'s Chapel at Westminster, whither his remains were con- 
Tcyed by water from Somerset House. 



St. James's Palace. 

This Palace, more remarkable for its historical associations than for its 
architectural character, is situate on the north side St. James's Park, and 
occupies the site of a hospital, founded prior to the Norman Conquest, 
for leprous females, and dedicated to St. James ; it was endowed by 
the citi/cns with lands, and Edward I. granted to the foundation the 
privilege of an annual Fair, to be held on the eve of St. James and six 
following days. The house was relniilt by lierkynge, abbot of West- 
minHtcr, in Henry Ill.'sreign: and its perpetual custody was granted 
by Henry VI. to Eton College. Henry VIII. obtained tiie hospital in 
exchange fur Chatlishani and other lands in Sullolk : he then dismissed 



St. Jameses Palace. 149 

the inmates, pensioned the sisterhood ; and having pulled down the 
ancient structure, " purchased all the meadows about St. James's, for a 
parke." "The Manor House," as it was then called, is believed to have 
been planned by Holbein, and built under the direction of Cromwell, 
Earl of Essex. Henry's gatehouse and tuiTcts face St. James's-street. 
It was occasionally occupied by Henry as a semi-rural residence, down 
to the period when Wolsey surrendered Whitehall to the Crown. 
Edward and Elizabeth rarely resided at St. James's : but Mary made it 
the place of her gloomy retirement during the absence of her husband, 
Philip of Spain : here she expired. The Manor House, with all its 
appurtenances, except the park and the mews, were granted by James I. 
to his son Henry in 1610 ; at whose death, in 161 2, they reverted to 
the Crown. Charles I. enlarged the palace, and most of his children 
(including Charles H.) were born in it. In the chapel of the hospital, 
Charles I. attended divine service on the morning of his execution, 
and " from hence the king walked through the Park, guarded with 
a regiment of foot and partisans, to Whitehall." The Queens Chapel 
was built for Catherine of Braganza, who first heard mass there on 
Sunday, September 21st, 1662, when Lady Castlemaine, though a Pro- 
testant, and the King's avowed mistress, attended her as one of her 
maids of honour. Pepys describes " the fine altar ornaments, the fiyers 
in their habits, and the priests with their fine crosses." 

At " St. James's House" Monk resided while planning the Restora- 
tion. In the old bedchamber, now the ante-chamber to the levee- 
room, was born James (the old Pretender), the son of James II. by 
Mary of Modena : the bed stood close to the back stairs, and favoured 
the scandal of the child being conveyed in a warmin|-pan to the Queen's 
bed. During the Civil Wars, St. James's became the prison-house, for 
nearly three years, of the Duke of York and Duke of Gloucester and 
the Princess Elizabeth: on April 20, 1648, the Duke of York escaped 
from the palace-garden in the Park, through the Spring Garden, to a 
hackney-coach in waiting for him ; and in female disguise, he reached a 
Dutch vessel below Gravesend. After the Restoration, the Duke 
occupied St. James's ; here the Duke slept the night before his coro- 
nation, and next morning proceeded to Whitehall. On December 
18, 16S8, William Prince of Orange came to St. James's, where, 
three days afterwards, the peers assembled, and the household and 
other officers of the abdicated sovereign laid down their badges. Evelyn 
says : " All the world goes to see the Prince at St. James's, where 
there is a greate court. There I saw him : he is very stately, serious, 
and reserved." King William occasionally held councils here : but it 



I5C St. Jameis Palace. 

»ras not until after the burning of Whitehall, in 1697, that this Palace 
became used for state ceremonies, whence dates the Court of St. James's. 

One of the most interesting apartments is the Tapestry Room, hung 
with gorgeous tapestry made for Charles II., and representing the 
amours of Venus and Mars. The stone Tudor arch of the fire- 
place is sculptured with the letters H. A. (Henry and Anne Boleyn), 
united by a true lover's knot, surmounted by a regal crown ; also the 
lily of France, the Tudor portcullis, and the rose of Lancaster. 

Scandalous stories are related of the conduct of the mistresses of 
George I. and II. in St. James's Palace. The Duchess of Kendal, the 
German mistress of King George I., and Miss Brett, the English 
mistress of the same King, had apartments there; the Duchess of 
Kendal's rooms were on the ground-floor towards the garden. Three 
of the King's grand-daughters were lodged in the palace at the same 
time; and Anne, the eldest, a woman of most imperious and ambitious 
nature, soon came to words with the English mistress of her grand- 
father. When the King set out for Hanover, Miss Brett, it appears, 
ordered a door to be broken out of her apartment into the palace 
garden. The Princess Anne, offended at her freedom, and not choos- 
ing such a companion in her walks, ordered the door to be walled up 
again. Miss Brett as promptly reversed that command; and while 
bricks and words were bandied about, the King died suddenly, and 
the empire of the imperious mistresses was at an end. 

Mrs. Howard (afterwards Countess of Suffolk), the mistress of 
George II., had apartments here, the same formerly occupied by the 
Duchess of Kendal. The King was not allowed to retain undisturbed 
possession of his mistress. Mr. Howard went one night into the quad- 
rangle of St. James's, and before the Guards and other audience voci- 
ferously demanded his wife to be restored to him. He was, however, 
Boon thrust out, and just as soon soothed — selling (as Walpole had 
heard) his noisy honour and the possession of his wife for a pension of 
1 20c/. a year. 

Sometimes these strange doings were checked. The Queen had an 
obscure window at St. James's, that looked into a dark passage, lighted 
only by a single lamp .it night, which looked upon Mrs. Howard's 
apartment. Lord Chesterfield, one Twelfth Night at Court, had won 
so large a sum of money, that he thought it imprudent to carry it 
home in the dark, and deposited it with the mistress. Thence the 
Queen inferred great intimacy ; and afterwards, Lt)rd Chesterfield 
could obtain no favour at Court j and finding himself desperate, went 
into uppositiun. 



151 



Kensington Palace, 

Though named from the adjoining town, is situated in the parish of St. 
Margaret, Westminster. The original mansion was purchased (with the 
grounds, six acres) by King William III., in 1691, of Daniel Finch, 
second Earl of Nottingham. In the following November the house was 
nearly destroyed by fire, and the King narrowly escaped being burned 
in his bed. After Sir Heneage Finch's advancement to the peerage, the 
mansion was called " Nottingham House," of which the north wing is 
part. King William held councils in this palace ; its decoration was the 
favourite amusement of Queen Mary ; and it was next fitted up for 
Queen Anne, for whom was built the Banqueting House, in the gar- 
dens. George II. and Queen Caroline passed most of their time here. 
In the palace died Queen Mary and King William ; Queen Anne and 
Prince George; and George II. Some of the State Apartments are 
hung with tapestry, and have painted ceilings, and carvings by Gibbons. 
The closet of William III. contained his writing-table and escritoire; 
and the Patchwork Closet had its walls and chairs covered with ta- 
pestry, worked by Queen Mary, During the reign of George III. the 
palace was forsaken by the Sovereign, The Princess of Wales and her 
aged mother resided here. Queen Victoria was bom here, and held 
here her first Council. 

At Kensington Palace the Princess Victoria received the intelligence 
of the death of William IV., as described in the Diaries of a Lady of 
Quality: "June, 1837. On the 20th, at 2 A.M., the scene closed, and 
in a very short time the Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Conyng- 
ham, the Chamberlain, set out to announce the event to their young 
Sovereign. They reached Kensington Palace at about five ; they knocked, 
they rang, they thumped for a considerable time before they could rouse 
the porter at the gates ; they were again kept waiting in the courtyard, 
then turned into one of the lower rooms, where they seemed forgotten 
by everybody. They rang the bell, desired that the attendant of the 
Princess Victoria might be sent to inform H.R.H. that they requested 
an audience on business of importance. After another delay, and 
another ringing to inquire the cause, the attendant was summoned, who 
stated that the Princess was in such a sweet sleep she could not venture 
to disturb her. Then they said, ' We are come to the Queen on business 
of State, and even her sleep must give way to that.' It did : and to 
prove that she did not keep them waiting, in a few minutes she came 
into the room in a loose white nightgown and shawl, her nightcap 



152 Carlton House. 

thrown off, and her hair falling upon her shoulders — her feet in slippert, 
tears in her eyes, but perfectly collected and dignified. 

" The first act of the reign was of course the summoning of the 
Council, and most of the summonses were not received till after the 
early hour fixed for its meeting. The Queen was, upon the opening of 
the doors, found sitting at the head of the table. She received first the 
homage of the Duke of Cumberland, who, I suppose, was not King of 
Hanover when he knelt to her ; the Duke of Sussex rose to perform the 
same ceremony, but the Queen, with admirable grace, stood up, and, 
preventing him from kneeling, kissed him on the forehead. The crowd 
was so great, the an-angements were so ill-made, that my brothei-s told 
me the scene of swearing allegiance to their young Sovereign was more 
like that of the bidding at an auction than anything else." 

Kensington Gardens, "not exhilarating, yet alive and pleasant," 
contain some interesting memorials: the old sun-dial, attributed to 
Gibbons, was stolen in 1855. 

Carlton House. 

This royal mansion, which existed little more than a century, occupied 
that portion of Waterloo-place which is south of Pall Mall. It was 
originally built for Lord Carlton, in 1 709 : bequeathed by him to his 
nephew. Lord Burlington, the architect, and purchased, in 1732, by 
Frederic Prince of Wales, father of George IIL: here the Princess of 
Wales died in 1772. Kent laid out the grounds for Lord Burlington : 
they extended along the south side of Pall Mall, and are said to have 
been in imitation of Pope's garden at Twickenham, with numerous 
bowers, grottoes, and terminal busts. The property was assigned as 
the residence of the Prince— afterwards George IV. — in 1783, when 
great alterations were made under Holland. 

Horace Walpole writes, Sept. 17, 1785: "We went to see the 
Prince's new palace in Pall Mall, and were channed. It will be the 
most perfect in Europe. There is an august simplicity that astonished 
me. You cannot call it magnificent ; it is the taste and propriety that 
strike. Every ornament is at a proper distance, and not one too large, 
but all delicate .'uid new, with more freedom and variety than Greek 
ornaments [designed by Gobert] . . . and there are three most spacious 
apartments, all looking on the lovely garden, a terreno, a state apart- 
ment, and an attic. The portico, vestibule, hall, and staircase will 
Ik- hupnb, and, to my taste, full of perspectives: the jewel of all is a 
•ouU music-room, that opens into a green r'-vuss, and winding walk of 



Archiepiscopal Palace, Croydon. 153 

the gardens. In all the fairy tales you have seen, you never v?as in 
so pretty a scene, Madam [Countess of Ossory]. I forgot to tell you 
how admirably all the carving, stucco, and ornaments are executed; 
but whence the money is to come I conceive not, all the tin mines in 
Cornwall could not pay a quarter. How sick one shall be after this 
chaste palace of Mr. Adam's gingerbread and sippets of embroidery !" 

The main front had a central Corinthian portico. The most impor- 
tant point for notice as to the interior of Carlton House, is the absence 
of the Louis Quinze style. The Carlton House chair and table are re- 
membered. The conservatory, said to be in imitation of a cathedral, or 
Henry VII.'s chapel, was equally suggestive of Roslyn Chapel : the ribs of 
the fan-tracery filled in with stained glass. 

Here was a remarkably fine collection of arms and costumes, includ- 
ing two swords of Charles I. ; swords of Columbus and Marlborough, 
and a couteau-de-chasse used by Charles XH. of Sweden. Carlton 
House was sumptuously furnished for the Prince's ill-starred marriage: 
here was born the Princess Charlotte. The ceremonial of conferring 
the Regency was enacted at Carlton House with great pomp in 181 1, 
and on June 19 following, the Prince Regent gave here a superb supper 
to 2000 guests ; a stream with gold and silver fish flowing through a 
marble canal down the centre table. In 1827 the palace was removed. 



The Archiepiscopal Palace, Croydon. 

The manor of Croydon is stated to have been given by William the 
Conqueror to Archbishop Lanfranc, who is supposed to have founded 
the archiepiscopal palace; though Robert Kilwardby is the first prelate 
who is certainly known to have resided at Croydon, whence he dated, 
September 4th, 1273, a mandate for holding a convocation at the New 
Temple, ir London. Several succeeding prelates, in the same and the 
following century, were occasionally resident here; and among them 
Archbishop Courtney, who received the pall with great solemnity in 
the principal chamber, or great hall, of his manor of Croydon, May 14, 
1382. Thomas Arundel, the next archbishop, probably built the 
guard-chamber, which bears his arms: in his custody King James I. of 
Scotland was detained here. Cardinal Stafford, who obtained the see 
in 1443, either rebuilt or repaired the great hall. Archbishop Cranmer 
also repaired the palace. During his prelacy, Croydon became the 
scene of the trial or judicial examination of John Frith, accused of 
heresy before Cromwell, Cranmer, and others, for maintaining certain 
doctrines which the archbishop himselt^ secretly, and afterwards openly. 



154 Archiepiscopal Palace, Croydon. 

professed. Frith, refusing to recant, was burnt in Smithfield, July 22, 
1534. Cranmer is said to have had no hand in the Bill of Attainder 
against the Duke of Norfolk; but recent historians prove that Cranmer, 
after being present in the House of Lords on the three several days on 
which the iniquitous Bill against the Duke was read, had retreated for 
quiet to Croydon, where he was when he received a summons to attend 
his royal master in his last agonies. 

Archbishop Parker entertained Queen Elizabeth at his palace of 
Croydon for seven days in July, 1573. In April 1587, Sir Christopher 
Hatton was appointed Lord Chancellor, through the recommendation 
of Archbishop Whitgift, and the Great Seal was delivered to him ii 
the gallery of the palace at Croydon. During the interregnum, the 
palace and lands were let, for forty pounds a year, to Charles, Earl of 
Nottingham. In 1652, the estate was granted to Sir William Brereton, 
Bart., who died 1661 : while he held the palace, it was said that he was 
'•a notable man at a thanksgiving-dinner, having terrible long teeth, 
and a prodigious stomach, to turn the Archbishop's chapel into a kit- 
chen, and to swallow up that palace and lands at a morsel." 

After the Restoration, Archbishop Juxon repaired and restored the 
palace. Archbishop Herring vastly improved and adorned it : he was 
the last prelate who resided at Croydon ; and the palace having been 
deserted for more than twenty years, became greatly dilapidated, was 
sold in 1780, and the mansion and estate of Addington Park were pur- 
chased in lieu of it. 

Croydon Park was held by the Archbishops of Canterbury : among 
the Keepers was William Walworth, Mayor of London, who contri- 
buted greatly to the extinction of the rebellion of Wat Tyler, in the 
reign of Richard II. Walworth was appointed to the Kecpership by 
Archbishop Courtney in 1382. In Croydon church, founded in the 
Saxon era, are monuments to several Archbishops of Canterbury. The 
present church was commenced by Archbishop Courtney, and com- 
pleted by Archbishop Chicheley. It had originally very fine painted 
windows, which, in the time of the Rebellion, one lilepe was hired for 
half-a-crown per day to break ! In the church are the effigies of these 
archbishops: Grindal, in his scarlet robes; Sheldon, in his robes and 
mitre, designed and executed by the City mason and his English work- 
men: the tombs of Wake, Potter, and Herring ; and Whitgift, in the 
act of prayer. Here lies Dr. Richard Phillips, the vicar, who, preaching 
at St. Paul's, against printhti^, exclaimed: " \Vc [the Roman Catholics] 
must root out Printing, or Printing will root out us!" Dr. Clewcr, 
collated in 1680, by Charles IL, w<i8 of criminal character, and had 



The Minories. 155 

been tried once, and burnt in the hand at the Old Bailey, for stealing a 
silver cup : he was robbed on the Acton road, when the Doctor, not 
having a farthing about him, lost his gown at a game of all-fours with 
the footpad, and had to go home without his canonicals. Barkley, who 
wrote the Ship of Fools, and was successively a Benedictine monk at 
Ely, and a Franciscan at Canterbury, was buried in the churchyard, 
where lay one William Burnet, with this inscription : 

"What is Man? 
To-day he's drest in Gold and Silver bright ; 
Wrapt in a Shroud before to-morrow night : 
To-day he's feasting on delicious food ; 
To-morrow, nothing eat can do him good ; 
To-day he's nice, and scorns to feed on crumbs, 
In a few days himself a dish for worms : 
To-day he's honour'd, and in great esteem ; 
To-morrow not a beggar values him : 
To-day he rises from a velvet bed ; 
To-morrow lies in one that's made of lead : 
To-day his house, tho" large, he thinks too small; 
To-morrow can command no house at all : 
To-day he's twenty servants at his gate ; 
To-morrow scarcely one will deign to wait : 
To-day perfumed, and sweet as is the rose ; 
To-morrow stinks in everybody's nose : 
To-day he's grand, majestic, all delight ; 
Ghastly and pale before to-morrow night. 
Now, when you've wrote and said whate'er you can. 
This is the best that you can say of Man." 



The Minories. 

The street which extends from Aldgate to the Tower has the name of 
Minories, derived from Sorores Minores (Minoresses), a convent of 
nuns, denominated Clares, from their foundress, St. Clara. It was 
founded by Blanche, widow of Henry le Gros, King of Navarre, married 
to Edmund, Earl of Lancaster, Leicester, and Derby, brother to King 
Edward I. In the year 1515, we are informed by Stow, that a pesti- 
lence being in the city and suburbs, there died in this convent twenty- 
seven nuns, besides lay sisters and servants of the monastery. There 
were interred in its church the Queen Dowager Isabella, wife of 
Edward IL ; as also Bishop Clerke, who in 1521, presented that re- 
markable copy of the King's book against Luther to the Pope, which 
obtained for Henry VIII. the name of " Defender of the Faith." This 
embassy, it is supposed, paved the way to a bishopric, as another seems 
to have occasioned his death. For when, in 1533, it was debated in 



156 The Minories, 

convocation whether a marriage with a brother's widow was contrary 
to the divine law, and indispensable by the Pope, supposing no issue, 
and, again, whether the marriage between Prince Arthur and Katharine 
had been properly consummated ; he was one of the few of the council 
who, on the first question, refused to vote against the Queen, and the 
only one who, on the second point, actually voted in her behalf. Not- 
withstanding his opposition to the wishes of Henry VI II., this King 
gave him the monastery in the " Minories," then recently become vested 
in the Crown. This prelate was supposed to have been poisoned in 
Germany, as he was journeying towards Cleves, and having returned 
with great difficulty to London, died the following year, 1544, and was 
buried in the abbey of the " Sorores Minores," before its actual suppres- 
sion and surrender. The land belonging to the abbey reverted to the 
Crown ; and in the following reign, Edward VI., it was again given to 
Henry Grey, the father of Lady Jane Grey, who was created Duke of 
Suffolk in 1 55 1, and beheaded in 1553. "In place of this house of 
nuns," says Stow, "is now built divers fair and large storehouses for 
armour and habiliments of wai', with divers workhouses working for the 
same purpose." There was built also on the site of the monastery the 
parish church of Holy Trinity, on the east side of the Minories : the 
parish, which was formerly the close of a religious house, is without the 
walls of London, although in the Liberty of the Tower of London. It 
contains a handsome monument, supposed of alabaster, with the figures 
of Sir John Pelham and his wife, together with their son, all kneeling ; 
It bears the following inscription : 

" Deathe first did strike Sir John, here tombd in claye. 
And then enforst his sonne to follow faste ; 
Of Pelham 's line, this Knyghte was chicfe and stay, 
By this, behold ! all fleshe must dye at laste. 
But Blctsowe's lord, thy sister most may moane 
Both mate and sonne liathe left her here alone. 
Sir John Pelham, dyed Oct. 13, 1580. 
Oliver Pelham, his sonne, dyed Jan. 19, 1584." 

There is a supposition that Sir Isaac Newton, who was Warden of 
the Mint in 1704, and afterwards Master Worker of the same place, 
lived for a short period in Haydon-sciuare, which is in the parish ; and 
there is also in this stjuare a spring of pure water of the most admirable 
purity and brilliancy, which was the convent fountain. Some bones, 
taken from the plains of Cullodon, are deposited in the churchyard, 
bearing the date 174,'J; and in the church is placed a head, taken 
from a body which evidently had suflcred decapitation, although it ia 
impossible to discover now the name of its possessor. 



Sion House, Isleworth. 157 

In 1853, during excavations in the square, was found a stone sarco- 
phagus of the late Roman period, sculptured with fruit, a medallic bust, 
and foliage, and containing a leaden coffin with the remains of a child: 
the sarcophagus is now in the British Museum. 

Francis Osborne records (1701), that he heard William, Earl of 
Pembroke, relate, with much regret, that Sir Walter Raleigh's Lord 
Gobham, died in a room ascended by a ladder, at a poor woman's house 
in the Minories, formerly his laundress, rather of hunger than any more 
natural disease. 

The Minories weapons do not appear to have ranked very high, to 
judge by the following comparison, in one of Dryden's prefaces: " He 
who works dully on a story, without moving laughter in a comedy, or 
raising concernments in a serious play, is no more to be counted a good 
poet, than a gunsmith of the Minories is to be compared with the best 
workmen of the town ;" so that, when the Spa Fields rioters, in 1816, 
plundered the shops of the gunsmiths on their way to " summon the 
Tower," they reckoned without their host. 



Sion House, Isleworth. 

Upon the north bank of the Thames, opposite Richmond Gardens, is 
the seat of the Duke of Northumberland, called Sion, from a nunnery 
of Bridgetines, of the same name, originally founded at Twickenham by 
Henry V., in 1414, and removed to this spot in 1432. The conventual 
association consisted of sixty nuns, exclusive of the abbess, thirteen 
priests, four deacons, and eight lay-brethren ; the whole thus corre- 
sponding, in point of number, with the apostles and seventy-two dis- 
ciples of Christ. Many irregularities existed in this foundation; on 
which account it was among the earliest of the larger monastic institu- 
tions that was suppressed in the time of Henry VIII. 

After the Dissolution of the convent, in 1533, it continued in the 
Crown during the remainder of Henry's reign ; and the King confined 
here his unfortunate Queen, Catherine Howard, from Nov. 14, 1541, 
to her being examined by the Archbishop of Canterbury and confessing 
the looseness of her life: she was executed with Lady Rochford, 
Feb. 12, 1542 Edward VI. granted the estate to his uncle, the Duke 
of Somerset, who, in 1547, began to build this magnificent structure, 
and finished the shell of it nearly as it now remains. It is of white 
Btone, quadrangular form, with a square turret at each angle, the roof 
Bat and embattled. In the centre is an inclosed area, eighty feet square^ 



158 Sion House, Isleworth. 

now laid out as a flower-garden. The gardens were inclosed by high 
walls before the east and west fronts, and were laid out in a grand 
manner, but so as to insure stately privacy, thus depriving the house ot 
all prospect. To remedy this inconvenience, the Protector built a high 
triangular terrace in the angle between the walls of the two gardens : 
this, by his enemies, was afterwards called a fortification, and adduced 
as one proof among others, of his having formed a design dangerous to 
the liberties of the King and people. The Duke was executed, Jan. 22, 
1552. The King gives, in his Journal, several particulars of the charges 
against his uncle, but dismisses his death in the most heartless mannei . 
"The Duke of Somerset had his head cut off upon Tower Hill, be- 
tween 8 and 9 o'clock in the morning." 

Sion was now forfeited, and the house, which was given to John, 
Duke of Northumberland, then became the residence of his son, Lord 
Guildford Dudley, and of his daughter-in-law, the unfortunate Lady 
Jane Grey: she resided at Sion when the Dukes of Northumberland 
and Suffolk, and her husband, came to prevail upon her to accept the 
fatal present of the Crown ; and hence she was conducted, as then usual 
on the accession of the Sovereign, to reside some time in the Tower. 

The Duke being beheaded in 1553, Sion House reverted to the 
Crown. Queen Mary restored it to the Bridgctines, who possessed it 
till they were finally expelled by Elizabeth. In 1604, Sion House was 
granted to Henry Percy, ninth Earl of Northumberland, in considera- 
tion of his eminent services. His son, Algernon, employed Inigo Jones 
to new face the inner court and finish the Great Hall. In 1682, 
Charles, Duke of Somerset, having married the only child of Joceline, 
Earl of Northumberland, Sion House became his property. He lent 
the house to the Princess Anne, who resided here during her misunder- 
standing with Queen Mary. Upon the Duke's death, in 1748, his son, 
Algernon, gave Sion House to Sir Hugh and Lady Elizabeth Smithson, 
his son-in-law and daughter, afterwards Duke and Duchess of Northum- 
berland. 

The house has a magnificent interior, with treasures of ancient 
and modem sculpture ; and a fine collection of royal and noble por- 
traits. Those of the Stuart family are placed in the apartments 
in which the ill-fated Charles had so many tender interviews with 
his children, after the latter were committed to the charge of 
Lord Algernon Percy, and removed to Sion House in August, 1646. 
The Earl treated them with parental attention, and obtained a grant of 
Parliament for the King to Ik' allowed to see them; and in consequence 
of Uiu indulgence, Ctiarles, wiiu wa3 then under restraint at Huniptun 



Ham House, Petersham^ 159 

Court, often dined with his family at Sion House. The Duke of York 
was, at that period, about fourteen years of age ; the Princess Elizabeth, 
twelve; and the Duke of Gloucester, seven. The portrait of the 
Princess, in the Sion collection, is believed to be the only picture extant 
of this lady. 



Ham House, Petersham. 

One of the finest historic houses in the environs of London is Ham 
House, in the possession of the Dysart family, situated upon low ground, 
near the banks of the Thames, and opposite to the classic shore of Ted- 
dington. This mansion is a very curious specimen of the domestic 
architecture of the time of James I. It was erected by Sir Thomas 
Vavasor, Knt., who, in 161 1, was appointed judge of the then newly- 
constituted Marshal's court, conjointly with Sir Francis Bacon, the 
solicitor-general, and afterwards lord chancellor. The date of the 
house, 1610, and vivat rex, are carved on the principal entrance- 
door. The house is surrounded with majestic elms and groves of 
Scotch firs. The mansion is built of red brick, with stone finishings. 
The gardens have been but little altered since they were originally 
formed ; terrace above terrace slope towards the river ; and Ham W^alks 
have been celebrated by several of our poets. On the principal facade 
of the house, and the garden walls, is a series of well-sculptured busts 
in niches. In the centre is a large hall, surrounded by an open gallery; 
the balustrades of the grand staircase are of walnut tree, ornamented with 
military trophies. The great statesman and general, John, Duke of 
Argyll and Greenwich, was bom here. James II. was ordered to retire 
to Ham House, on the arrival of the Prince of Orange in London, but 
thinking himself too near the metropolis, he retired precipitately into 
France. Some of the apartments are lined with tapestry and rich 
hangings ; and are left nearly in the same state as when they were in- 
habited by the Countess of Dysart, who refurnished the house at a 
great expense in the reign of Charles the Second. Many things, indeed, 
remind us of those times; the Stuart arms form the back of several of 
the fireplaces ; the paintings are mostly of that era, and the inlaid floors 
and tables still bear the cypher of the countess. Adjoining the entrance 
hall is a small chapel, in which is a folio prayer-book, with the royal 
aiTOS, presented by Charles II. Within a small picture-closet, the 
coved ceiling painted by Verrio, are miniatures, cabinet pictures, and 
articles of 'virtu. Here are two miniatures of Queen Elizabeth, one 
with astonishing elaborateness of di-^'-s, embroidery, and pearls. In 4 



i6o Ham House, Petersham. 

little glazed cabinet are miniatures of Charles XII. of Sweden ; Marj 
d'Este, second wife of James II. ; Louis XIV. when a child, on enamel, 
by Petitot ; together with a small lock of hair fi-om the decapitated Earl 
of Essex, which is attached to one ear-ring that was originally worn 
by the Duchess of Somerset, the Earl's daughter. 

The hangings of the Tapestry-room comprise four copies of Raphael's 
Cartoons, possibly wrought at Moitlake, where Sir Francis Crane 
established a tapestry manufacture, imder the patronage of James I. 
The Queen's Audience Chamber is likewise hung with tapestrj' resem 
bling the Gobelin manufacture — the subjects from Watteau. This 
room is called the Cabal Chamber, from the meetings held there by the 
despotic ministers of Charles II., whose initials form " Cabal." In the 
China closet is an original picture of King James I., seated in an aiTO- 
chair. The prayer-book of the celebrated Lady Rachel Russell is kept 
in one of the drawing-rooms. 

In the Duchess of Lauderdale's Apartments almost everything re- 
mains in the same order as when tenanted by that lady. Besides the 
choice portraits, in the adjoining room is the arm-chair (beneath a silken 
canopy, now pendent in tatters), in which she was accustomed to sit; 
her writing-desk, tall cane, and shorter walking-stick are preserved here. 
The Picture Gallery is hung with portraits, mostly by Sir Peter Lely 
and Vandyck. The curious old Library, called by Dibdin a " wonderful 
book paradise," contains fourteen of Caxton's works. Here are many 
documents and originalletters of the reigns of Charles II. and James II. ; 
also, the first known edition of the Pastime of Pleasure, by Stephen 
Hawes, printed by De Worde, in 1509 ; and from the same press is 
another amatory poem, entitled The Comfort of Lovers, by Hawes, of 
which no other copy is known to be extant. 

The Countess of Dysart, of whom here is a most lovely portrait by 
Vandyck, came to have so much power over the Lord Lauderdale, 
that it lessened him much in the esteem of the world ; for he delivered 
himself up to ail iier humours and passions. She sold all places, and was 
wanting in no methods that could bring her money, which she lavislied 
out in a most profused vanity. She is supposed to have been the 
mistress of the Protector : she made a boast to her husband, that when 
he was taken prisoner at the battle of Worcester, she saved him from 
the block by submitting to the familiarities of Ciomwell. Buniet says 
that " he was certainly fond of her, and she took good care to entertain 
him in it," and that " his intrigues with her were not a little taken notice 
of." This intimacy subsequently gave so much offence to the Puritana, 
that he was compelled to relinquish Ills visits. 



I6i 



Holland House and its Memories. 

This celebrated mansion is chai mingly placed upon high ground, about 
two miles west of the town, in a beautiful park, between the Kensing- 
ton and Uxbridge roads. The upper apartments are on a level with the 
stone gallery of St. Paul's Cathedral. It was the manor-house of Abbots 
Kensington, built in 1607, for Sir Walter Cope, from wn^m it de- 
scended to his son-in-law, Henry Rich, first Earl of Holland, whence 
it was named Holland Home. The Earl was twice made prisoner here — 
by Charles I., in 1633, for his challenging Lord Weston — and by the 
command of the Parliament, after his attempt to restore the King, for 
which he was beheaded in 1649. Holland House was next occupied 
by Fairfax, as his head-quarters. The mansion was, however, soon re- 
stored to the Countess of Holland. During the Protectorate, " in 
Oliver's time," the players used to act privately here. In 17 16, the 
estate passed to Addison, the Essayist, by his marriage with Charlotte, 
Dowager Countess of Holland and Wanvick ; here Addison died, June 
17, 1719: having, as stated by Dr. Edward Young, addressed to the 
dissolute Earl of Warwick these solemn words: " I have sent for yoii 
that you may see how a Christian can die !" he shortly after expired: 

"There taught us how to live, and — oh, too high 
The price of knowledge ! — taught us how to die." 

The young Earl himself died in 1721. Lord Holland died here July i, 
1774 : during his last illness, George Selwyn called and left his card; 
Selwyn had a fondness for seeing dead bodies, and the dying lord, fully 
comprehending his feeling, is said to have remarked, " If Mr. Selwyn 
calls again, show him up ; if I am alive, I shall be delighted to see him, 
and if I am dead, he would like to see me." Lord Holland (the 
famous Whig), called on Lord Lansdowne a little before his death, and 
showed him his epitaph of his own composition. " Here lies Henry 
Vassall Fox, Lord Holland, &c., who was drowned while sitting in 
his elbow-chair :" he died in Holland House, in his elbow-chair, of 
water in the chest. — Cunningham. 

About the year 1762, the estate was sold to Henry Fox, the first 
Baron Holland of that name, whose second son, Charles James Fox, 
passed his early years at Holland House ; and here lived his nephew, 
the accomplished peer, at whose death, in 1840, the estate descended 
to his only son, by whom the olden character of the mansion and 
its appmtenances was studiously maintained. 
* Jtl 



1 62 Holland House and its Memories. 

It has been commonly stated and believed that Addison's mani<i}?e 
with the Countess of Warwick was a most unhappy match; and that, 
to drown his sorrow and escape from his termagant wife, he would 
often slip away from Holland House to the AVhite Horse Inn, which 
stood on the site of the present Holland Arms Inn. Here Addison 
would enjoy his favourite dish of fillet of veal, his bottle, and perhaps 
a friend. Moreover, Addison is accused of having taught Dryden to 
drink, so as to hasten his end. Pope also states that Addison kept such 
late hours that he was compelled to quit his company. But both these 
anecdotes are from Spence's medley volume, and are doubted ; and 
they have done much injury to Addison's character. Miss Aikin (in 
her Life of Addison), endeavours to invalidate these imputations, by 
reference to the sobriety of Addison's early life. He had a remark- 
ably sound constitution, and could, probably, sit out his companions, 
and stop short of actual intoxication ; indeed, it was said that he was 
only warmed into the utmost brillancy of table conversation by the 
time that Steele had rendered himself neariy unfit for it. The idea that 
domestic unhappiness led him to contract intoxication, is then repu- 
diated ; and the opposite conclusion supported by the bequest of his 
whole property to his lady. " Is it conceivable," asks Miss Aikin, 
" that any man would thus ' give and hazard all he had,' even to his 
precious only child, in compliment to a woman who should have rendered 
his last years miserable by her pride and petulance, and have driven him 
out from his home, to pass his comfortless evenings in the gross indul- 
gence of a tavern ?" 

There is a story told of Sheridan, which has more the semblance of 
truth. Nearly opposite, in the Kensington road, was the Adam and 
Eve public house, where Sheridan, on his way to and from Holland 
House, regularly stopped for a dram ; and there he ran up a long bill, 
which Lord Holland had to pay. 

The House, designed by Thorpe, is in plan half the letter H, of deep 
red brick, with stone finishings, and Elizabethan character, but it has lost 
many of its original features. The Great Staircase and the Gilt Room, are 
of the time of James I.; the latter is mostly by Francis Clcyn, who was 
mucli employed by James I. and Charles I.: the ceiling " in grotesque," 
by Clcyn, fell down during the minority of the late Lord Holland; the 
wainscot-panels have alternately gold llcurs-de-lis on blue, within palm 
branches ; and gold crosslets on red, encircled with laurel ; with tlie arms 
of the Rich and Cope families, and the punning motto, Ditior est qui 
uf — who more rich than he ? The entablature has a painted leaf en- 
richment, with jj'ilt acorns between ; the compartments of the two fire- 



Holland House and its Memories. 163 

places are painted with female figures and bas-reliefs from the antique 
fresco of the Aldobrandini Man-iage, executed by Cleyn, and not un- 
worthy of Parmegiano : among the furniture are carved and gilt shell- 
back chairs, also by Cleyn, and a table from the Charter-house halL 
The Library, or Long Gallery, forms the eastern wing of the mansion ; 
the collection exceeds 18,000, besides MSS. and autographs, including 
three plays of Lope de Vega. In the other apartments are valuable 
pictures, miniatures, drawings, sculptures; with enriched cabinets, 
vases, carvings in ivory, china, filigree-work, time-pieces, &c. In the 
Ante-room is the celebrated collection of miniatures. 

Aubrey relates two supernatural appearances at Holland House; the 
first to " the beautiful Lady Diana Rich, daughter to the Earl of 
Holland, as she was walking in her father's garden at Kensington,' 
when she " met with her own apparition, habit and everything, as in a 
looking-glass About a month after, she died of the small-pox." 
Aubrey's second story is that the third daughter of Lord Holland, not 
long after her marriage with the first Earl of Breadalbane, " had some 
such warning of approaching dissolution." 

Holland House has been for nearly two centuries and a half the favourite 
resort of wits and beauties, of painters and poets, of scholars, philo- 
sophers, and statesmen. In the lifetime of Vassall Lord Holland it was 
the meeting-place of " the Whig Party ;" and his liberal hospitality made 
it " the resort not only of the most interesting persons composing 
English society, literary, philosophical, and political, but also to all be- 
longing to those classes who ever visited this country from abroad." 
{JLord Broug/jam.) " Holland House" (says Macaulay) " can boast 
of a greater number of inmates distinguished in political and literary 
history than any other private dwelling in England." 

Tickell has thus elegantly apostrophised the brave old house :— 



-)(^ 



"Thou hill, whose brow the antique structures grace. 
Reared by bold chiefs of Warwick's noble race ; 
Why, once so loved, whene'er thy bower appears, 
O'er my dim eye-balls glance the sudden tears ? 
How sweet were once thy prospects fresh and fair, 
/ Thy sloping walks and unpolluted air ; 

/ \ How sweet the glooms beneath thine aged trees, ^ 
N I Thy noontide shadow, and thine evening breeze I I 
• His image thy forsaken bowers restore ; 

Thy walks and airy prospects charm no more ; 
No more the summer in thy gloom's allay 'd. 
Thine evening breezes, and thy noonday shade." 

Mr. John Fisher Murray, in his Environs of London, quotes the fol- 
lowing pleasing tribute, at once considerate and just, to the memory 
of the social and conversational excellences of Lord Holland : it is fronx 

M 2 



164 Holland House and its Memories. 

the pen of one well calculated to do justice to his memory; while it is 
an agreeable picture of manners in high literary life, especially that 
portion of it more particularly associated with Holland House : — 

"Speaking of the mansion, the writer eloquently, and we fear /ro- 
pbeticallj, says : ' Yet a few years, and the shades and structures may 
follow their illustrious masters. The wonderful city which, ancient 
and gigantic as it is, still continues to grow as a young town of log- 
wood by a water privilege in Michigan, may soon displace those turrets 
and gardens, which are assoi:iated with so much that is interesting and 
noble; with the courtly magnificence of Rich, with the loves of 
Ormond, with the counsels of Cromwell, with the death of Addison. 
The time is coming when perhaps a few old men, the last survivors of 
our generation, will in vain seek, amid new streets, and squares, and 
rail tvay stations, for the site of that dwelling, which in their youth was 
the favourite resort of wits and beauties, of painters and poets, of 
scholars, philosophers, and statesmen ; they will then remember with 
strange tenderness many objects familiar to them — the avenue and ter- 
race, the busts and the paintings, the carving, the grotesque gilding, and 
the enigmatical mottoes. With peculiar tenderness they will recall that 
venerable chamber, in which all the antique gravity of a college library 
was so singularly blended with all tliat female grace and wit could de~ 
vise to embellish a drawing-room. They will recollect, not unmoved, 
those shelves loaded with the varied learning of many lands and many 
ages ; those portraits, in which were preserved the features of the best 
and wisest Englishmen of two generations : they will recollect how 
many men, who have guided the politics of Europe, who have moved 
great assemblies by reason and eloquence, who have put life into bronze 
or canvas, or who have left to posterity things so written that it will 
not willingly let them die, were there mixed with all that is loveliest and 
gayest in the society of the most splendid of capitals. They will re- 
member the singular character which belonged to that circle, in which 
every talent and accomplishment, every art and science, had its place. 
They will remember how the last debate was discussed in one corner, 
and the last comedy of Scribe in another; while Wilkie gazed with 
modest admiration on Reynolds' Haretti ; while Mackintosh turned 
over Thomas Acjuinas to verify a quotation ; while I'alleyrand related 
his conversations with Barras at the Luxembourg, or his ride with 
Lanncs over the field of Austerlit/. 'I'hey will remember, above all, 
the grace, and the kindness far more admirable than grace, with which 
the princely liospitality of that ancient mansion was dispensed ; they 
will remember Uic venerable and beni^'nant cuuntenauce and the curdia.' 



Osterley Park and Sir Thomas Grcsham. 165 

voice of him who bade them welcome ; they will remember that temper. 
which years of sickness, of lameness, of confinement, seemed only to 
make sweeter and sweeter ; and that frank politeness, which at once 
relieved all the embarrassment of the youngest and most timid writer or 
artist who found himself for the first time among ambassadors and earls. 
They will remember that, in the last lines which he traced, he expressed 
his joy that he had done nothing unworthy of the friend of Fox and 
Grey ; and they will have reason to feel similar joy, if, in looking back 
on many troubled years, they cannot accuse themselves of having done 
anything unworthy of men who weix; distinguished by the friendship of 
Lord Holland." " 

We regard this as a very graceful as well as truthful piece of writing, 
each as we rarely find in the journals of home tourists. 



Osterley Park and Sir Thomas Gresham. 

Osterley, the noble seat of the Jersey family, near Hounslow, belonged 
to the Convent of Sion, on the suppression of which it was granted to 
Henry, Marquis of Exeter ; and reverting to the Crown on his attainder, 
Edward VI. granted it to the Duke of Somerset. Being again forfeited 
by his attainder, it was granted, in 1557, to Augustine Thaier. Be- 
tween this period and 1570, it came into the possession of Sir Thomas 
Gresham, by whom a noble edifice was erected. Here the great mer- 
chant magnificently entertained Queen Elizabeth, before whom the 
Devises of fVarre, and a play, were performed. On this visit hei 
Majesty found fault with the court of Gresham's house, affirming it 
would appear more handsome, if divided with a court in the middle. 
What does Sir Thomas, but in the night time sends for workmen to 
London, who so speedily and silently apply their business, that the next 
morning discovered the court double, which the night had left single 
before. It is questionable whether the Queen next day, was more con- 
tented with the conformity to her fancy, or more pleased with the sur- 
prise and sudden performance thereof. Her courtiers, some avowed it 
was no wonder he could so soon change a building, who could build a 
"change;" others, reflecting on some known difference in the knight's 
family, affirmed that a house is easier divided than united. 

In 1596, Osterley was in the possession of the " Ladie Gresham;" it 
was a fair and stately building of brick, standing in a park, well wooded, 
and garnished with many fair ponds, which afforded not only fish and 
fowl, as swans and other waterfowl, but also great use for mills, ai 



1 66 Enfield Palace. 

paper-mills, oil-mills, and corn-mills, all which were then decayed except 
a corn-mill. In the park, too, was a heronry, for the increase and pre- 
servation of which " sundrie allurements were devised and set up," now 
fallen all to ruin. The mansion afterwards was the seat of Sir William 
Waller, the celebrated Parliamentary General. It then passed by mort- 
gage, to Sir Francis Child, who commenced the present mansion, on 
the site of the more ancient structure, about the year 1750. " It had a 
magnificent interior," Walpole describes, " and a drawing-room worthy 
of Eve before the fall. Mrs. Child's dressing-room is full of pictures, 
gold, filigree, China, and Japan. So is all the house ; the chairs are 
taken from antique lyres, and make charming harmony. There ai'c 
Salvators, Caspar Poussins, a beautiful staircase, a ceiling by Rubens, 
not to mention a kitchen garden that costs 1 400/. a year ; a menagerie 
full of birds which came from a thousand islands which Mr. Banks has 
not discovered ; and there in the drawing-room which I mentioned ; 
there are door-cases and a crimson and gold fiieze, that I believe were 
borrowed from the Palace of the Sun ; and then the park is the richest 
spot of ground in the universe." 



Enfield Palace. 

Enfield, ten miles east of London, was anciently famed for its 
Chace, a large tract of Woodland, filled with deer ; granted by the 
Conqueror to an ancestor of the Mandevillcs, Earls of Essex, from 
whom it came to the Bohuns, Earls of Hereford ; but it has belonged 
to the Duchy of Lancaster ever since King Henry IV. manied a 
daughter and co-heir of the last Humphrey Bohun. When King 
James resided at Theobalds, this Chace was well stocked with deer ; 
but in the Civil Wars, it was stripped of game and timber, and let 
out in farms. At the Restoration, it was again laid open, and stocked 
with deer; but in 1779, it was disafforested. Almost in the middle of the 
Chace are still the ruins of an ancient house, which tradition affirms to 
have belonged to the Mandevillcs, Earls of Essex, 

In tlic town of Enfield is a small part of an ancient royal palace, 
which was the manor-house of Enfield; and either in this, or another 
ancient house, called Elsynge Hall, (now demolished,) Edwaril VI. on 
his succession to the throne, kept his ct)Uit lor live months, before he 
removed to London. Mrs. Boscawen, writing to Mrs. Delany, thus 
descrilK'S the palace: — " I had a mind to explore an old house, which is 
callol here Queen Elizabetir» House. 1 went in, and doubtless arrived 



Enfield Palace. 1 67 

in Her Majesty's eating parlour — a large room, fretwork, mosaic ceiling of 
old form. A chimney-piece, ditto E. R., carved and corniced, portcullises, 
roses and other marks of Plantagenets ; also a Latin distich over the 
chimney-piece, which I believe was her Majesty's own composing." A 
letter of Queen Elizabeth's, dated from Enfield, is yet extant ; and there 
is in the Bodleian Library a sermon which her Royal Highness translated 
at Enfield and presented, as a new year's present to her brother, King 
Edward. Elizabeth kept her court here early in her reign ; but the 
palace was alienated from the Crown by Charles L Dr. Uvedale, who 
lived here, planted in the garden a cedar of Libanus, which in 1793, was 
twelve feet in girth. Tradition says that the tree, when a plant, was 
brought fi-om Mount Libanus in a portmanteau. In one of the rooms 
of the palace were two chimney-pieces, with architectural and heraldic 
enrichments. The building was taken down in 1 792. 

We read of the Princess Elizabeth, in 1557, being escorted from 
Hatfield to Enfield Chace, attended by twelve ladies in white satin, 
on ambling palfreys, twenty yeomen in green, all on horseback, that 
her grace might hunt the hart. She was met on the Chace by fifty 
archers, armed with gilded bows, each of whom presented her with 
a silver-headed arrow winged with peacocks' feathers. At the conclu- 
sion of the hunt, the Princess cut the throat of the buck. 

Over Enfield Wash a mysterious tradition yet lives. It appears that 
Elizabeth Canning, a servant girl, having been to visit a relation on New 
Year's-day, 1753, did not return to her master's house that night, nor 
was she heard of for a month afterwards, when she came to her mother 
in a very emaciated and deplorable condition, and affirmed that on the 
night she disappeared she had been attacked in Moorfields by two men, 
who robbed her, and carried her by force to the house of one Mother 
Wells, at Enfield Wash. Another person who ill-treated her at the 
time, she said, was Mary Squires, a gipsy. In consequence of these 
charges, both Squires and Wells were apprehended and tried at the Old 
Bailey. The former was condemned to be hanged, and the latter to be 
burned in the hand and imprisoned. Subsequent inquiry established the 
falsehood of the whole story. The gipsy and Wells were set free, and 
Canning, in her turn, was sentenced to seven years' transportation. 
Elizabeth Canning was the popular heroine of the day. The mob 
warmly took up her side. They proceeded to the most violent out- 
rages, breaking the coach-windows of the Lord Mayor, and even threat- 
ening his life. 



i(i8 



The Palace of Whitehall. 

That part of Westminster which extends from near Charing Crons 
to Canon-row, and from the Thames to St. James's Park, was the site 
of the royal Palace of Whitehall, from 1530 to 1697. Its historical 
associations are very interesting. It was formerly called York Place, 
from having been the town residence of the Archbishops of York: 
Wolscy being the last by whom it was inhabited. It was taken fi'om 
him by Henry VIII., and the broken-hearted prelate left in his barge on 
the Thames for Esher. The name of the palace was then changed to 
White Hall, possibly from some new buildings having been constructed of 
white stone. Here Henry and Anne Boleyn were married; and here her 
coronation was kept. Henry built a noble stone gallery, from which, 
in 1539, he reviewed 15,000 armed citizens : and the Court and nobility 
witnessed the jousts and tournaments in the Tilt-yard, now the parade- 
ground of the Horse Guards. Holbein built, opposite the entrance to 
the Tilt-yard, a magnificent Gate-house, of small squared stones and 
flint boulders, glazed and tessellated : on each front were four terra-cotta 
busts, naturally coloured, and gilt. The gate was removed m 1 750. 
Three of the busts, Henry VII. and VIII. and Bishop Fisher, are now 
at Hatfield Priory, Essex. The Gate-house was used as a State-paper 
Office many years before its removal, and was known as the Cockpit 
Gate. Bishop Latimer preached before the Court in the Privy Garden, 
the King sitting at one of the palace windows. Queen Mary went from 
Whitehall by water to her coronation at Westminster, Elizabeth bear- 
ing the crown before her. Whitehall Palace was attacked by Sir 
Thomas Wyat's rebels, who " shotte divers arrowes into the courte, 
the gate bcying open ;" and looking out over the gate, the Queen par- 
doned the Kent men, with halters about their necks. From the palace 
the Princess Elizabeth was taken captive to the Tower on Palm Sunday, 
1554. Bishop Gardiner died here at midnight, exclaiming: "I have 
sinned ; I have not wept with Peter." 

Elizabeth revived the pageants at Whiteliall,and built " the Fortress or 
Castell of perfect Beautie," a large wooden bancjueting-house. Late in life 
she enjoyed other recreations : in her sixty-fifth year we find her appoint- 
ing a Frenchman to do feats upon a rope in tlie conduit-court ; coin- 
minding the bear, the bull, and the ape, to be baited in the Tilt-yard ; 
and wjlemn dancing next day. In the Orchard of Whitehall, the Lords 
in Council met ; and in the Garden James I. knighted 300 or 400 judges, 
fcTJcants, docturs-at-law, &c. Here the Lord Monteagle imparted to 



The Palace of Whitehall ^69 

the Earl of Salisbury, the warning letter of the Gunpowder Plot ; Guy 
Fawkes was examined in the King's bedchamber, and earned hence to 
the Tower. In this reign were produced many " most glorious masques" 
by Inigo Jones and Ben Jonson. Inigo designed a new palace, which 
would have exceeded that of the palace of Diocletian, and would have 
covered nearly twenty-four acres : there are engraved views. 

Of Jones's magnificent design, only the Banqueting-house was com- 
pleted. Charles I. commissioned Rubens to paint the ceiling, and oy 
his agency obtained the Cartoons of Raphael. In the Cabinet-room of 
the palace, built also by Inigo Jones, Charles assembled pictures of 
almost incalculable value. Upon the Civil War breaking out, White- 
hall was seized by the Parliament, who, in 1645, had the masque-house 
pulled down, sold great part of the paintings and statues, and burnt the 
"superstitious pictures." Here, Jan. 29, 1649, in the Cabinet-room 
Charles last prayed; in the Horn-chamber he was delivered to the 
officers, and thence led out to execution upon a scaffold in front of the 
Banqueting-house. 

The King was taken on the first morning of his trial, Jan. 20, 1649, 
in a sedan-chair, from Whitehall to Cotton House, where he slept 
pending his trial in Westminster Hall ; after which the King returned 
to Whitehall; but on the night before his execution he slept at St. 
James's. On Jan. 30 he was " most barbarously murthered at his own 
door, about two o'clock in the afternoon." Lord Leicester and Dug- 
dale state that Charles was beheaded at Whitehall gate. The scaffold 
was erected in front of the Banqueting-house, in the street now White- 
hall ; and Herbert states that the King was led out by a " passage 
broken through the wall," on to the scaffold ; but Ludlow states that 
it was out of a window, according to Vertue, of a small building north 
of the Banqueting-house, whence the King stepped upon the scaflbld. 
A picture of the sad scene, painted by Weesop in the manner of Van- 
dyke, shows the platform, extending only in length, before two of the 
windows, to the commencement of the third casement. Weesop visited 
England from Holland in 1641, and quitted England in 1649, saying, 
" he would never i-eside in a country where they cut off their king's 
head, and were not ashamed of the action." 

To Whitehall, in 1653, April 20th, Cromwell returned from the 
House of Commons, with the keys in his pocket, after dissolving the 
Long Parliament, which he subsequently explained to the Little or 
Barebones Parliament. Here the Parliament desired Cromwell to 
"magnify himself with the title of King." Milton was Cromwell's 
Latin Secretary, Andrew Marvell his frequent guest, with Waller hid 



170 The Palace of WJiiichaU. 

friend and kinsman, and sometimes the youthful Diyden. Cromwell 
expired here Sept. 3, 1658, "the double day of victory and death." 
Richard Cromwell resided here. Charles II., at the Restoration, 
came in grand procession of seven hours' duration from the City to 
Whitehall. To the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury Charles 
assigned the Cockpit; and in this locality their chambers have ever 
since remained. Hence the phrase at the foot of proclamations — 
" Given at the Cockpit at Westminster." Charles collected by pro- 
clamation the plate, hangings, and paintings, which had been pillaged 
from the palace. Evelyn describes the Duchess of Portsmouth's apart- 
ment, " twice or thrice pulled down and rebuilt to satisfy her prodiga' 
and expensive pleasures ;" its French tapestry, " Japan cabinets, screens, 
pendule clocks, great vases of v^rought plate, table-stands, chimney- 
furniture, sconces, branches, brasenas, &c., all of massive silver, and out 
of number." Evelyn also sketches a Sunday evening in the palace: — 
" The King sitting and toying with his concubines, Portsmouth, Cleve- 
land, and Mazarine, &c. ; a French boy singing love-songs in those 
glorious galleries ; whilst about twenty of the great courtiers and other 
dissolute persons were at Basset round a large table, a bank of at least 
2000/. in gold before them. Six days after was all in dust." 

Charles II. died at Whitehall; his last hours have been thus gra- 
phically narrated : — During the night Charles earnestly recommended 
the Duchess of Portsmouth and her boy to the care of James. " And 
do not," he good-naturedly added, " let poor Nelly starve." The Queen 
sent excuses for her absence by Halifax ; she said she was too much 
disordered to resume her post by the couch, and implored pardon for 
any offence which she might unwittingly have given. " She ask my 
pardon, poor woman I" cried the repentant King ; " I ask hers with all 
my heart." 

The morning light began to peep through the windows of White- 
hall, and Charles desired the attendants to pull aside the curtains, that 
he might once more look at the day. He remarked tiiat it was time to 
wind up a clock which stood near his bed. These little circumstances 
were long remembered, because they proved beyond dispute that, when 
he declared himself a Roman Catliolic, he was in full possession of his 
faculties. He apologised to tliose who stood round him all niglit foi 
the trouble which he had caused. He had lurn, lie saiil, a most un- 
conscionable time dying, but he hoped they woukl excuse it. This was 
the last glimpse of that excjuisite urbanity so oftin found potent to 
charm away the resentment of a justly incenseil nation. Soon after 
dawn the speech of Uie dying man failed. Before ten his senses were 



The Palace of Whitehall. 171 

gone. Great numbers had repaired to the churches at the hour of 
morning service. When the prayer for the King was read, loud groans 
and sobs showed how deeply his people felt for him. At noon, on 
Friday, the 6th February, 1 685, he passed away without a struggle. — 
Macaulay. 

The palace was twice greatly damaged by fire: April 10, 1691, when, 
to save the trouble of cutting a candle from a pound, a kitchenmaid burnt 
it off, and threw the rest aside before the flame was out. The fire began 
at the fine lodgings of the Duchess of Portsmouth, and burnt the long 
gallery, &c. ; 150 houses were burnt, and 20 blown up with gunpowder. 
But the great fire, which finally destroyed Whitehall, broke out on 
Tuesday, Jan. 4, 1697-8, about four in the afternoon, through the 
neglect of a Dutchwoman who had left some linen to dry before the 
fire in Colonel Stanley's lodgings. This fire lasted seventeen hours ; 
twelve persons perished. 

Owing to its low level, Whitehall was liable to floods from the Thames. 

Pepys tells a story of the Countess of Castlemaine, when the King was 

to sup with her soon after the birth of her son, the Duke of Grafton. 

The cook came and told the imperious countess that the water had 

flooded the kitchen, and the chine of beef for the supper could not be 

roasted. " Zounds !" was her reply, " she must set the house on fire 

but it should be roasted." So it was carried, adds Pepys, to Mrs. 

Sarah's husband, and there roasted. Another picture of the water 

rising at Whitehall is contained in a Speech of Charles II. to the House 

of Commons, in the Banqueting Hall, March i, 1661 [2], in which he 

desires them so to amend the ways, " that she (my wife) may not find 

Whitehall surrounded with water." Lord Doreet alludes to these 

periodical inundations in his well-known song, " To all you ladies now 

at land": — 

"The King, with wonder and surprize, 
Will swear the seas grow bold ; 
Because the tides stili higher rise 

Than e'er they did of old ; 
But let them know it is our tears 

Bring floods of grief to Whitehall Stairs. 

With a fa la, la, la, la." 

Charles's successor was immediately proclaimed at the palace-gate. 
James II. resided here: he washed the feet of the poor with his own 
hands on Maundy Thursday in the Chapel Royal : here he admitted 
Penn, the Quaker, to his private closet ; and he rebuilt the chapel for 
Romish worship, with marble statues by Gibbons, and a fresco by 
Verrio. The King also erected upon the Banqueting-house a large 



1^2 The Palace of Whitehall. 

weathercock, that he might calculate by the wind the probable arrival of 
the Dutch fleet. On Dec. i8, 1688, King James left Whitehall in the 
state-barge, never to return. 

Remains of ancient Whitehall have been from time to time dis- 
covered. In 1831, Mr. Sydney Smirke, F.S.A., in the basement of 
• Cromwell House," Whitehall-yard, found a stone-built and groined 
Tudor apartment — undoubtedly a relic of Wolsey's palace. Mr. Smirke 
also found a Tudor arched doorway, with remains of the arms of 
Wolsey and the see of York in the spandrels; and in 1847 were re- 
moved the last remains of York House, a Tudor embattled doorway, 
which had been built into a later fa9ade of the Treasury. The Ban- 
queting Hall is now a chapel ; but it has never been consecrated. 

Among the relics, comparatively but little known, is a range of cham- 
bers, with groined roofings of stone, at the Rolls Offices in Whitehall 
Gardens ; which, probably, are a portion of the ancient Palace of White- 
hall. Part of the external wall of these remains is still visible opposite 
the statue of James H. In Privy Garden was a dial set up by Edward 
Gunter, by command of James I., in 1624. A large stone pedestal bore 
four dials at the four comers, and "the great horizontal concave" in 
the centre ; besides four others at the sides. In the reign of Charles II. 
this dial was defaced by an intoxicated nobleman of the Court : 

" This place for a dial was too unsecure, 

Since a guard and a garden could not defend ; 
For so near to the Court they will never endure 
Any witness to show how their time they misspend." 

Marvel I. 

In the court-yard facing the Banqueting-house was another curious 
dial, set up in 1669 by order of Charles II., by one Francis Hall, alias 
Lyne, a Jesuit. It consisted of five stages rising in a pyramidal form, 
and bearing several vertical and reclining dials, globes cut into planes, 
and glass bowls ; showing " besides the houres of all kinds," " many 
things also belonging to geography, astrology, and astronomy, by the 
sun's shadow." Among the pictures were portraits of the King, the 
two Queens, the Duke of York, and Prince Rupert. Father Lyne 
published a long description of this dial, which consisted of seventy- 
three parts, 

A curious instance of the punishmenv generally inflicted for strikhifrin 
the King's Court was the F.arl of Devonshire' being fined in 1687 in the 
•urn of 30,000/. for striking Culpepper with his cane in the Vane Chamber 
at WhitctuU. 



173 



Durham House, 

All that part of the Strand now known as the Adelphi was 
I'ormerly occupied by one of the most interesting of the old Strand 
palaces — Durham House. 

Pennant says the original founder was Anthony de Beck, Patriarch 
of Jerusalem and Bishop of Durham, in the reign of Edward 
I. ; and that Bishop Hatfield, to whom Stow ascribes the founda- 
tion, merely rebuilt the place. The latter historian describes a 
great feast that was held here in the reign of Henry VHI., on the 
occasion of a jousting or tournament which was held at West- 
minster, in 1540, when the challengers not only feasted the King, 
Queen, ladies, and all the Court at Durham House, but also all the 
knights and burgesses of the Commons House of Parliament, and 
entertained the Mayor of London, with the Aldermen and their wives, 
at a dinner. 

In the reign of Edward VI. the Royal Mint was established here, 
under the direction of the Lord Admiral Seymour, who placed a 
creature of his own, Sir William Sharrington, in it as master. He 
calculated on thus obtaining great assistance in his ambitious pro- 
jects ; but, as is well known, they were frustrated, and his lordship 
was brought to the scaffold. After his execution, Durham House 
passed into the hands of the Duke of Northumberland, the uncle of 
the unfortunate Lady Jane Grey ; and it was here, in the beginning 
of May, 1553, that scheming and ambitious noble beheld the first 
part of his plan, in reference to the throne, accomplished, by the 
marriage of his fourth son. Lord Guildford Dudley, to Lady Jane. To 
strengthen himself as much as possible by other powerful alliances, 
his daughter, Lady Catherine Dudley, at the same time married 
the eldest son of the Earl of Huntingdon, and a sister of Lady 
Jane's the son of the Earl of Pembroke. The end of all these 
arrangements was soon to be known. The young king died on 
the 6th of July following ; and Northumberland, after two days' 
delay, exhibited the will of the deceased monarch declaring Lady 
Jane Grey his successor, to the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of 
London, and obtained their oaths of allegiance. Two days after- 
wards Lady Jane was conducted from Durham House to the 
Tower, and openly received as queen, much, however, to the sorrow 
of the amiable victim herself, who had been reluctantly induced to 



1/4 Durham House. 

enter into the schemes of her ambitious and calculating relative. 
Seldom indeed has a more pitiable sacrifice been offered up on the 
altar of ambition ! Young, brilliant, learned, and amiable, she at th( 
same time possessed all those womanly qualities that would havd 
cheered, adorned, or elevated the domestic hearth. The people of 
England, however, resented the unscrupulous conduct of Nor- 
thumberland, and, with the true English instinct of loyalty, rallied 
round Mary ; and a numerous body of adherents having been got 
together, the duke collected all his retinue at Durham House, and 
set out at the head of 6000 men to attack them. In his absence, 
the council went over in a body to Mary ; his troops deserted ; and, 
at last, to save his life, he endeavoured to make a virtue of necessity 
by proclaiming Queen Mary at Cambridge. To all readers of 
English history the result is but too well known. The innocent and 
the guilty fell together. The duke was beheaded on the 22nd of 
August, 1553 ; and in the following November Lady Jane and her 
husband were condemned. For a time Mary hesitated, however, 
to pronounce sentence of death against the young couple ; but at 
length, on the 8th of February, she issued the fatal warrant, and 
four days after both were executed. 

The annals of Greece and Rome show nothing equal to the calm 
heroism and grandeur of soul displayed by this innocent girl in the 
last scenes of her unhappy prison life. " The twclfe of Februarie," 
we quote the quaint, touching language of the old chronicler, 
Hollinshcd, "being Mondaie, about ten of the clocke, there went 
out of the Tower, to the scaffold on Tower Hill, the Lord Gilford 
Dudlie, Sonne to the Duke of Northumberland, husband to the 
Ladie Jane Greie .... and without the bulwarke gate, Master 
Thomas Offlie, one of the Sheriffes of London, received him, and 
brought him to the scaffold, where, after a small declaration, he 
kneiled doune and said his praiers. Then holding up his eyes and 
hands to Heaven, with tears he desired the people to praie for him, 
and after that he was beheaded. His bodic being laid in a carte, 
and his head into a cloth, was brought into the chapcll within the 
Tower, where the Ladie Jane, whose lodging was in Maister Par- 
tridge's house, did sec his dead carcasse taken out of the carte, as 
well as she did see him before while living, and going to his death, 
a sight, as may be supposed, to her worse than death. 

"IJy this time there was a scaffold made upon the Greene, over 
against the white tower, for the Ladie Jane to die upon ; and being 
nothing at all abashed, neither with the fcarc of her owne death, 



Durham House. 175 

which then approached, neither with the sight of the dead carcasse 
of her husband when he was brought into the chapell, came forth, 
the heutenant leading her, with countenance nothing abashed, 
neither her eies anything moistened with teares, with a booke in 
hir hand, wherein she praied untill she came to the scaffold. 
Whereon, when she was mounted, this noble young ladie, as she 
was indued with singular gifts both of learning and knowledge, so 
was she patient and mild as anie lamb, at her execution, and a 
little before hir death, uttered these words : — ' Good people, I come 
hether to die, and by a lawe I am condemned to the same. My 
offense against the Queene's Highnesse was onlie in consent to the 
advice of others, which is now deemed treason, but it was never of 
my seeking, but by counscll of those who should seeme to have 
further understanding than I, which knewe little of the lawe, and 
much less of the titles to the crowne. Touching the procurement 
and desyre thereof by mc, or on my halfe, I do wash my hands 
thereof, in innocency before God and before you, good Christian 
people, this day.' And thirwith she wrung hir handes in which she 
had hir booke. Then she sayd, ' I pray you all, good Christian 
people, to bere me witnesse that I die a true Christian woman, and 
that I looke to be saved by none other men but onlie by the mcrcie 
of God, in the meritcs of the blood of his onlie Sonne Jesus Christe : 
and I confesse that when I knewe the worde of God, I neglected 
t le same, and loved myselfe and the world, and therefore this 
plague and punishment is happily and worthily happened unto me 
for my sinnes. And yet I thanke God that he has thus given me a 
tyme and respet to repent. And now, good people, while I am alive, 
I praie you assist me with your praiers.' 

" And then, kneeling down, she turned to Fecknam, saying, ' Shall 
I say this Psalm i" and he said, ' Yea ;' then she said Miserere met 
Dens in English, most devoutly to the ende. Then she stode up, 
and gave hir mayde. Mistress Tylney, hir gloves and hir hand- 
kercher, and hir booke to Maister Thomas Brydges, the Lyvetenanl's 
brother. Forthwith she untied hir goune. The headsman went to 
hir to have helped hir off therewith ; but she desyred him to let hir 
alone, turning towards hir two gentlewomen who helped hir off 
therewith, and also hir neckcrcher, giving to hir a fayre handkercher 
to knyt about hir eyes. Then the headsman kneeled down and 
asked hir forgiveness, whome she forgave most willingly. Then 
she said, ' I pray you despatche me quickly.' Then she kneeled 
down, saying, ' Will you take it off before I lay me down ?' And 



iy6 Durham House, 

the headsman answered her, ' No, Madame.' She tied the Icercher 
about hir eyes. Then, feeling for the blocke, said, ' What shall I 
do? Where is it?' One of the standers-by guiding hir thereunto, 
she layd hir head upon the blocke, and stretched forth hir body and 
said, ' Lord, into thy hands I commende my spirit' — and so she 
ended." 

Well might another chronicler, on concluding his own account 
of this cruel deed, exclaim — 

" Though with dry eyes this story may be read, 
A flood of tears the pitying writer shed." 

The next eminent inhabitant was Sir Walter Raleigh, to whora 
the house was granted by Queen Elizabeth ; but the grant appears 
to have been made without sufficient legal right in the maker, for 
Sir Walter was ultimately dispossessed of it by the Bishops of 
Durham. With the house, however. Sir Walter appears to have 
inherited the fate of his unfortunate predecessors ; for he also, as is 
well known, died by the hands of the headsman ! As the last dis- 
tinguished occupant of the house, and as one of the most 
remarkable men of his age, every incident in whose romantic and 
chequered career reads like that of a romance, the following 
account of some of the later circumstances of his life cannot fail 
to be interesting: — With the death of Elizabeth, in 1603, the 
brilliant and prosperous portion of Raleigh's career terminated. 
Her mean and pusillanimous successor, James, from the first re- 
garded him with a suspicion and dislike which he never cared to 
conceal. And as he had besides made some powerful enemies, his 
ruin was resolved on, and means were soon found to compass it. 
Having been accused of participating in a plot against the king, 
though not a particle of evidence of his having been in any way 
connected with it was produced at his trial, a verdict finding him 
guilty of high treason was readily procured, and sentence of death 
was passed on him. As James, however, did not venture to exe- 
cute him, he remained for thirteen years a prisoner in the Tower, 
his estates being confiscated and assigned to the king's favourite, 
the upstart Carr, afterwards Earl of Somerset. In 16 15, he pro- 
cured his release, and sailed for tniiana. The expedition, from 
which great results were anticipated, was, however, a miserable 
failure ; and, to add to his grief and mortification, his eldest and 
favourite son was killed in the storming of the Spanish town of St. 
Thomas. Broken in spirit and ruined in fortunes, therefore, 
Raleigh returned to England to die. 



Durham House. lyj 

Having landed in his native county of Devon, he was summoned 
to appear in London ; and on repairing thither, was immediately- 
seized, and committed to the Tower. After having been confined 
for some time, he was one morning taken out of his bed in a fit of 
fever, and unexpectedly hurried before his judges to hear sentence 
of death pronounced upon him. This was done, it is alleged, at 
the desire of James, for the purpose of appeasing the wrath of 
Spain, against whose colonies Raleigh's last expedition had been 
directed. 

But though fallen, he was not conquered by fate. Death he 
resolved to meet after " the high Roman fashion !" The bishop 
who attended him, and the lords about him, were astonished to 
witness his serenity of demeanour. On the very last night of his 
existence, when some of his friends were lamenting his fate, he 
calmly observed that the world itself was but a larger prison, out 
of which some were daily selected for death. His lady visited him 
that night, and amidst her tears she told him she had obtained the 
favour of disposing of his body ; to v hich he answered, smiling, 
" It is well, Bess, that thou mayst dispose of that dead which thou 
hadst not always the disposing of when alive !"' At midnight she 
left him ; and it is then that Sir Walter is supposed to have written 
the well-known lines on his death, which were found next morning 
in his Bible :— 

" Even such is Time, that takes on trust 
Our youth, our joys, our all we have, 
And pays us but with age and dust ; 
Who in the dark and silent grave, 
When we have wandered all our ways, 
Shuts up the story of our days ! 
And from which grave, and earth, and dust. 
The lyord will raise me up, I trust." 

On the morning of his death he smoked as usual his favourite 
tobacco ; and when they brought him a cup of sack, and asked him 
how he liked it, he answered, " As the fellow that, drinking of St. 
Giles's bowl as he went to Tyburn, said, ' That is good drink, if a 
man might tarry by it.'" On the scafTold he preserved the same 
cheerfulness of manner. Having requested the headsman to show 
him the axe, he passed the edge lightly over his fingers, and, 
smiling, observed to the sheriff, " This is a sharp medicine, but a 
sound cure for all diseases !" He then laid his head on the block 
with these words, " So the heart be right, it is no matter how the 
head lies." 

♦ N 



178 Cavipden House, Kensington. 

Thus nobly died the last distinguished occupant of Durham 
House. 



Campden House, Kensington. 

Campden House was built on the high ground of Kensington, 
over two centuries and a half ago. It belonged to a more pic- 
turesque age of architecture than the present ; and though yielding 
in extent and beauty to its more noble neighbour, Holland House, 
built within five years of the same date, and which in many re- 
spects it resembled, was still a very interesting structure. 

The Campden House estate was purchased by Sir Baptist Hicks 
from Sir Walter Cope, or, according to a popular tradition, was 
won of him at some game of chance ; and the house was built for 
Sir Baptist about the year 161 2. His arms, with that date, and 
those of his sons-in-law, Edward Lord Noel, and Sir Charles 
Morison, were emblazoned on a large bay window of the house. 

Baptist Hicks was the youngest son of a wealthy silk-mercer in 
Cheapside. He was brought up to his father's business, in which 
he amassed a large fortune. In 1603, he was knighted by James 
I. He was created a baronet in July, 1620 ; and was further 
advanced to the peerage as Baron Hicks of Ilmington, in the 
county of Warwick, and Viscount Campden, in Gloucestershire, in 
May, 1628. He died at his house in the Old Jewry on the i8th of 
October, 1629, and was buried at Campden. He had two 
daughters, coheiresses, who are reputed to have had 100,000/. each 
for their fortune. The eldest, Juliana, married Lord Noel, to whom 
the title fell at the first Viscount's death; Mary, the youngest 
daughter, married Sir Charles Morison, of Cassiobury, Herts. 
Baptist, the third Lord Campden, who was a zealous royalist, lost a 
large amount of property during the Civil War ; but was allowed 
to retain his estates on paying the sum of 9000/. as a composition, 
and settling 150/. per annum on the Commonwealth Ministry. 

At the Restoration, the King honoured Lord Campden with 
special notice ; and it is recorded in one of the journals of the day, 
that, on the 8th of June, 1666, " His Majesty was pleased to sup 
with Lord Campden at Kensington." In 1662, an act was passed 
for settling Campden House on this nobleman and his heirs for 
ever; and in 1667, his son-in-law, Montague Bertie, Earl of 
Lind»ey, who so nobly distinguished himself by his filial piety at 



Campden House, Kensington, 179 

the battle of Edge Hill, and who was wounded at Naseby, died in 
this house. 

In 1691, Anne, Princess of Denmark, hired Campden House 
from the Noel family, and resided there for about five years with 
her son, William, Duke of Gloucester, then heir-presumptive to the 
throne. The young duke's amusements were chiefly of a military 
cast ; and at a very early age he formed a regiment of boys, chiefly 
from Kensington, who were on constant duty here. King William 
placed him under the care of the Duke of Marlborough and Bishop 
Burnet. In giving him into the hands of the former, the King 
said, " Teach him to be what you are, and my nephew cannot want 
accon>plishments." The bishop, who had superintended his edu- 
cation for some years, describes him as an amiable and accom- 
plished prince, but of weak constitution. " We hoped the dangerous 
time was over, however," says the bishop. " His birthday was on 
the 24th of July, 1700, and he was then eleven years old ; he com- 
plained the next day, but we imputed that to the fatigue of a birth- 
day, so that he was too much neglected ; the day after he grew 
much worse, and it proved to be a malignant fever. He died on 
^he fourth day of his illness ; he was the only remaining child of 
seventeen that the Princess had borne." 

In 1704, Campden House was in the occupation of the Dov/ager 
Countess of Burlington, and of her son, the architect Earl, then in 
his ninth year. In the latter part of Queen Anne's reign, Campden 
House was sold to Nicholas Lechmere, an eminent lawyer, who 
became successively Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and 
Attorney-General. In 1721 he was created a peer, and Swift'? 
ballad of " Duke upon Duke," in which the following lines occur, 
had its origin in a quarrel between his lordship, who then occupied 
the mansion, and Sir John Guise : — 

" Back in the dark, by Brompton Park, 

Ke turned up through the Gore, 
So slunk to Campden House so high, 

All in his coach and four. 
The Duke in wrath called for his steeds. 

And fiercely drove them on ; 
Lord ! Lord ! how rattled then thy stones, 

O kingly Kensington !" 

The house was built of brick, with stone finishings ; and Bowack, 
in his "Antiquities of Middlesex," describes it as a "very noble 
pile, and finished with all the art the architects of that time were 
masters of." The principal or southern front of three stories con* 

N 2 



I So Northumberland House, 

sisted of three bays, flanked by two square turrets surmounted with 
cupolas ; the central bay having an enriched Jacobean entrance 
porch, with the Campden arms sculptured above the first-floor bay 
windows ; a pierced parapet above, and dormer windows in the 
roof. Towards the latter end of the last century the house under- 
went considerable external alterations ; but the interior remained 
to the last pretty much as at first. Faulkner, in his " Histoiy and 
Antiquities of Kensington," describes the entrance hall as lined 
with oak panelling, and as having a great archway leading to the 
grand staircase. The great dining-room, in which Charles II. 
supped with Lord Campden, was richly carved in oak, the ceiling 
being stuccoed, and ornamented with the arms of the Campden 
family. The chief attraction of this room, however, was the 
tabernacle oak mantel-piece, consisting of six Corinthian columns 
supporting a pediment, the intercolumniations being filled with 
grotesque devices, and the whole supported by two car>'atidal 
figures finely carved. The state apartments consisted of three 
large rooms facing the south ; that on the cast, " Queen Anne's 
bedchamber," had an enriched plaster ceiling, with pendants, and 
the walls were hung with red damask tapestry in imitation of foliage. 
The central apartment had its laige bay window filled with painted 
glass, showing the arms of Sir Baptist Hicks, Lord Noel, and Sir 
Charles Morison, and the date of the erection of the mansion, 1612. 
The apartment adjoining had its plaster ceiling enriched with arms* 
and a mantel-piece of various marbles. 

This fine old mansion, and fitting ornament of the old court 
suburb, was destroyed by fire on the morning of Sunday, the 23rd 
of Maich, 1862. — Abridged from the Book of Days. 



Northumberland House. 

Northumberland House, the last of the grand old palaces of the 
Strand, stands on the site of an hospital or chapel dedicated to 
St. Mary, and which was founded in the reign of Henry III. by 
William, Earl of Pembroke, on a piece of ground which he had 
given to the Priory of Rouncivallc in Navarre. In the reign cf 
Henry V. the hospital was suppressed, as belonging to an alien 
monastery, with all the other houses of that kind in tho kingdom, 
but was again restored by Edward IV., to be linally dibsolved at 



Nortliinnbcrland House. l8l 

the Rerormation. About the beginning of the seventeenth century 
the site passed into the possession of Henry Howard, Earl of 
Northampton, son of the poet Surrey, who erected a magnificent 
mansion, and who died here in 1614. Descending then to the Earl 
of Suffolk the name was changed from Northampton to Suffolk 
House, and again to the present title, Northumberland House, on 
the marriage of the daughter of the second Earl of Suffolk with 
Algernon Percy, tenth Earl of Northumberland. 

The edifice originally consisted of three sides of a spacious 
quadrangle, the fourth, facing the Thames, being open. Bernard 
Jansen is said to have been the architect ; but the front is supposed 
to be from the designs of Gerard Christmas, who rebuilt Aldersgate 
in the reign of James I. The principal apartments were originally 
on the Strand side, but Earl Algernon, who disliked the noise of 
that crowded thoroughfare, had the quadrangle completed by a 
fourth side, containing the state rooms towards the river, under the 
direction of Inigo Jones. About the end of the eighteenth century 
two new wings were attached to the garden front, and all but the 
central division (including the gateway, the work of Christmas,) o^ 
the front next the Strand was rebuilt. 

Immediately behind that long front, with its conspicuous lion, 
the famous badge of the Percies, extends a spacious courtyard 
surrounded by the buildings just mentioned. From the principal 
entrance, a magnificent staircase, lighted by a beautiful lantern, 
leads to the principal apartments ; the stairs and landings of white 
marble contrasting finely with the rich carpets which partially cover 
them, and with the gilt-bronzed balusters and chandeliers. The 
mansion is rich in works of art. Evelyn visited the house in June, 
1658, and has recorded an account of it in his Diary, and given an 
inventory of the pictures. The collection has been greatly increased 
since his time, and is now of very great value. In the dining-room 
is Titian's celebrated picture of the Cornaro family, said to be one 
of the painter's masterpieces ; a Sebastian bound, by Guercino ; a 
small Adoration of the Shepherds, by Giacomo Bassano ; a Fox 
and Deer Hunt by Snyders ; a Holy Family by Jordaens, and a 
picture containing three portraits by Vandyke. In the long and lofty 
gallery, a most splendidly orrwimented place, are copies of several 
great pictures by Raphael, Annibale Carracci, and Guido Reni, of 
more than ordinary excellence. The drawing-room is richly deco- 
rated with arabesques intermingled with paintings. There is also 
a suite of three magnificently-decorated apartments used for the 



iS2 NorthiLviberland House. 

reception of evening parties. From the windows are seen the beau, 
tiful gardens extending down towards the Thames, and forming a 
noble background to the picture. 

It was in this grand old mansion, in 1660, that General Monk, 
afterwards Duke of Albemarle, and many of the principal nobility 
and gentry of the kingdom who agreed in his views, met, by invita- 
tion of Earl Algernon, to concert measures for the restoration of 
Charles 1 1. Here, too, cluster many social and political associations. 
Horace Walpole, in his amusing correspondence, makes frequent 
mention of the social doings here in his time. It was from Nor- 
thumberland House that Horace sallied with a gay party to pay a 
visit to the Cock Lane ghost ! And, as a characteristic sketch of 
the frivolous manners of the upper classes of the period, his account 
of it is really worth recording. " We set out," he says, " from the 
opera, changed our clothes at Northumberland House, the Duke 
of York, Lady Northumberland, Lady Mary Coke, Lord Hertford, 
and I, all in one hackney coach, and drove to the spot. It rained 
torrents ; yet the Lane was full of mob, and the house so full, we 
could not get in. At last they discovered ii: was the Duke of York, 
and the company squeezed themselves into one another's pockets 
to make room for us. When we opened the chamber, in whiclr, 
were fifty people, with no light but one tallow candle at the end, 
we tumbled over the bed of the child to whom the ghost comes, and 
whom they are murdering by inches in such insufferable heat and 
stench. At the top of the room are ropes to dry clothes. I asked 
if we were to have rope-dancing between the acts. We had nothing. 
They told us, as they would at a puppet-show, that it would not come 
that night till seven in the morning ; that is, when there are only 
'prentices and old women. We stayed, however, till half an hour 
after one !" 

What a commentary on the past !— a prince of the blood, two 
noble ladies, a peer, and the son of a prime minister, packing in 
one hackney coach from Northumberland House on a winter's 
night, and, in a dirty lane in the neighbourhood of Smithfield, 
watching till half-past one by the light of a tallow candle, amidst 
fifty of the " unwashed" for the arrival of a ghost I 



183 



The Priory or Monastery of the Black Friars. 

A little to the south of Ludgate Hill, and overlooking the Thames, 
there formerly stood one of the most magnificent of the great 
religious establishments which formed at one period so marked a 
feature of London, and which has left to the locality a long train of 
the most interesting recollections, of which the name given to the 
district, the bridge, and the neighbouring road is now the only 
existing memorial. 

The order of the Black friars came into England in 1221. Their 
first house was at Oxford ; their second in London, at Holborn, or 
Oldbourne, on the site now occupied by Lincoln's Inn. The cause of 
their removal from thence is not now known ; but it appears that in 
1276 Gregory Rocksley, then mayor, in conjunction with the barons 
of the city, gave to Robert Kilwarby, Archbishop of Canterbury, a 
cardinal of Rome and an ecclesiastic of more than ordinary ability, 
a grant of " two lanes or ways next the street of Baynard's Castle, 
and also the tower of Montfichet, to be destroyed," for the erection 
of a house and church for the Black friars, and there they finally 
settled. Out of the materials of the Castle of Montfichet, which 
had been founded by a follower of the Conqueror's, Kilwarby reared 
a magnificent church. Here the order grew and prospered. A 
striking instance of the favour shown to the brotherhood was given 
in the permission of Edward I. for the taking down of the city wall 
from Ludgate (just above the end of the Old Bailey) to the Thames 
for their accommodation, which was then rebuilt, so as to include 
their buildings within its shelter. The expenses of this rebuilding, 
and of a " certain good and comely tower at the bend of the said 
wall," wherein the king might be " received, and tarry with honour" 
to his ease and satisfaction in his comings there, were defrayed by 
a toll granted for three years on various articles of merchandise. 
Nor did the king's liberality end here. All kinds of special privi- 
leges and exemptions were granted to the house and its precincts. 
Shops could be opened here without being free of the city ; felons 
flying from justice found refuge within its walls ; and the inhabi- 
tants were governed by the prior and their own justices. 

The estimation in which the order was held is shown by the long 
list of names of eminent persons given by our historians as having 
been buried in the church of the Black friars. Here lay the ashes 



1 84 The Priory or Monastery of 

of Hubert de Burgh, the great Earl of Kent, translated from the 
church at Oldbourne, and his wife Margaret, daughter of the King 
of Scotland ; Queen Eleanor, whose heart alone was interred here, 
with that of Alphonso her son ; John of Eltham, Duke of Cornwall, 
brother of Edward III. ; Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester, so distin- 
guished for his intellectual accomplishments, who was beheaded in 
1470, one of the victims to the wars of the Roses ; Sir Thomas 
Brandon, 1509, the uncle of the Duke of Suffolk, who took Henry 
VIII. 's beautiful sister Mary into France, as the bride of the French 
king, and after the death of the latter, brought her back as his own ; 
Sir Thomas and Dame Parr, the parents of Henry VIII.'s last 
wife ; and earls, knights, ladies, and other persons of rank too nu- 
merous to mention. 

But other and more interesting historical recollections belong to 
the Church of the Black friars. Here, in 1450, met that famous 
Parliament of Henry VI., in which his queen's favourite, William 
de la Pole, first Duke of Suffolk, was impeached, and was about to 
be tried, when, by a previously arranged manoeuvre, he placed him- 
self in the hands of the weak king, who banished him for five years. 
At an earlier period of his career he had been warned by a wizard 
to beware of water, and to avoid the tower. So when his fall came, 
and he was ordered to leave England in three days, he made all 
haste from London on his way to France, naturally supposing that 
the Tower of London, to which traitors were conveyed by water, 
was the place of danger indicated. On his passage across the 
Channel, however, he was captured by a ship named Nicholas oj 
the Tower, commanded by a person named Walter. The duke, 
asking the captain to be held to ransom, says : — 

•* Look on my George ; I am a gentleman ; 
Rate me at what thou wilt, thou shalt be paid. 

Captain. And so am I ; my name is Walter Whitmore — 
How now? why start'st thou? What, dotl> death atTn.<;ht? 
Suffolk. Thy name .aflfrights me, in whose sound is dieath 1 
A cunning one did calculate my birth, 
And told me that by water I should die 1" 

Three days aftervards, as is well known, he was beheaded in a 
cockboat by the ship's side. 

Here also another Parliament rendered itself noticeable by daring 
to dcty Henry ViII. when that monarch, in 1524. demanded a sub- 
sidy of some 800,000/. to carry on his useless wars m France, but 
who was oblii;cd to content himself with a much less sum. The 



the Black Friars. 1S5 

Chancellor, Cardinal Wolsey, thinking to overawe the refractory 
members by his presence, came into the house with his maces, 
poleaxes, cross, hat, and great seal, and with a body of followers 
which filled every vacant part of the place. But when Wolsey, 
after explaining his business, remained silent, expecting the house 
to proceed, he v/as surprised to find the assemblage silent also. 
He addressed one of the members by name, who politely rose in 
acknowledgment, but sat down again without speaking ; another 
was addressed, but with no better success. At last he became im- 
patient, and, looking on the speaker, Sir Thomas More, who was to 
be his still greater successor, he said : — " Masters, as I am sent 
here immediately from the king, it is not unreasonable to expect an 
answer ; yet there is a surprising and most obstinate silence, unless 
indeed it may be the manner of your house to express your mind 
by your speaker only." More immediately rose, and with equal 
tact and courage said, the members were abashed at the sight of 
so great a personage, whose presence was sufficient to overwhelm 
the wisest and most learned men in the realm ; but that his pre- 
sence was neither expedient nor in accordance with the ancient 
liberties of the house. They were not bound to return any answer ; 
and as to a reply from him individually, that was impossible, as he 
could only act on instructions from the house. And so at last 
Wolsey found it necessary to depart. 

It was in this church, also, on the 21st of June, 1529, that Wolsey, 
and his fellow cardinal, Campeggio, whom the Pope had appointed 
to act with him, in the matter of the proposed divorce of Henry 
and Catherine, held their court, and sat in judgment, with the King 
on their right, and the queen accompanied by four bishops on their 
left. Henry, when his name was called, answered, " Here !" but 
the queen, when hers was pronounced, remained silent. The cita- 
tion having been repeated, Catherine rose, ran to her husband, and 
throwing herself at his feet, appealed to him in language that 
would have deterred any less cruel and sensual nature from the 
infamous path he was pursuing. But in vain. The tyrant was 
deaf to reason and insensible to shame. At last, tormented with 
their questions, in a passionate out-burst of grief, she exclaimed, 

" They vex me past my patience ! Pray you pass on : \To her attendants 
I will not tarry ; no, nor ever more 

Upon this business my appearance make / 

In any of their courts. " 

She rose, left the court, and never entered it again. She died at 



1 86 The Priory or Monastery of 

Kimbolton in 1536, broken-hearted, but refusing to the last to re- 
nounce her regal rights or royal title. 

In this same church, too, singularly enough, where Wolsey had 
endeavoured to browbeat one Parliament, the sentence of pre- 
mtinire was passed against himself by another ; and he who had 
there sat in judgment on Catherine, and who had acted throughout 
as an instrument in Henry's hands to doom a noble, virtuous, and 
innocent lady to a lingering life of agony, found that day's pro- 
ceedings the immediate cause of his own downfall and death. 

At the dissolution of the religious houses, Bishop Fisher, who 
held it in commendam, resigned it to the King. The revenues were 
then valued at the very moderate sum of 100/. 15^. 5^/. The prior's 
lodgings and the great hall were granted to Sir Francis Bryan in 
1547 ; but these, with the church, and all the old buildings, it need 
scarcely be said, have long since been swept away. 

But long after the monks had been scattered and the buildings 
themselves had disappeared, the special privileges of sanctuary 
which they had for centuries enjoyed continued to be claimed by 
the inhabitants of the district in which they were situated. In the 
course of time, however, these privileges developed into the most 
monstrous abuses, and at last became so intolerable that all the 
legislative and executive powers of the state were put in force to 
suppress them. Since then, historians, novelists, and poets have 
rendered the district and its somewhat singular inhabitants so 
famous, that some little account of them cannot fail to be ac- 
ceptable. 

Between Blackfriars and the Temple there had been founded in 
the thirteenth century a house of Cannelite Friars, distinguished 
by their white hoods. The precincts of this house, and of that of 
the Blackfriars, had, says Macaulay, " before the Reformation, been 
a sanctuary for criminals, and still retained the privileges of pro- 
tecting debtors from arrest. Insolvents consequently were to be 
found in every dwelling from cellar to garret. Of these a large 
proportion were knaves and libertines, and were followed to their 
asylum by women more abandoned than themselves. The civil 
power was unable to keep order in a district swarming with such 
inhabitants ; and thus Whitcfriars became the favourite resort of 
all who wished to be emancipated from the restraint of the law. 
Though the immunities belonging to the place extended only to 
cases of debt, cheats, false witnesses, forgers, and highwaymen 
found refuge there. For amidst a rabble so desperate no peace 



the Black Friars. 187 

officer's life was in safety. At the cry of ' Rescue !' bullies with 
swords and cudgels, and termagant hags with spits and broom- 
sticlcs, poured forth by hundreds ; and the intruder was fortunate 
if he escaped back into Fleet-street, hustled, stripped, and pumped 
upon. Even the warrant of the Chief Justice of England could 
not be executed without the help of a company of musketeers . . . 
. . The Templars on one side of Alsatia, and the citizens on 
the other, had long been calling on the Government and the legis- 
lature to put down so monstrous a nuisance. Yet still, bounded on 
the west by the great school of English jurisprudence, and on the east 
by the great mart of English trade, stood this labyrinth of squalid, 
tottering houses, close packed every one, from cellar to cockloft, 
with outcasts whose life was one long war with society. The most 
respectable part of the population consisted of debtors who were 
in fear of bailiffs. The rest were attorneys struck off the roll, 
witnesses who carried straw in their shoes as a sign to inform the 
public where a false oath might be procured for half a crown, 
sharpers, receivers of stolen goods, chppers of coin, forgers of 
bank-notes, tawdry women blooming with paint and brandy, who, 
in their anger, made free use of their nails and their scissors, yet 
whose anger was less to be dreaded than their kindness. With 
these wretches the narrow alleys of the sanctuary swarmed. The 
rattling of dice, the call for more punch and more wine, and the noise 
of blasphemy and ribald song never ceased during the whole night. 
The benchers of the Inner Temple could bear the scandal and 
the annoyance no longer. They ordered the gate leading into White- 
friars to be bricked up. The Alsatians mustered in great force, 
attacked the workmen, killed one of them, pulled down the wall, 
knocked down the sheriff who came to keep the peace and carried 
off his gold chain, which no doubt was soon in the melting pot. 
The tumult was not suppressed till a company of the Foot Guards 
arrived. This riot excited general indignation. The City, indig- 
nant at the outrage done to the sheriff, cried loudly for justice. . . . 
At length, in 1697, a bill for abolishing the franchises of these 
places passed both Houses and received the royal assent. The 
Alsatians were furious. Anonymous letters, containing menaces of 
assassination, were received by members of Parliament who had 
made themselves conspicuous by the zeal with which they had 
supported the bill ; but such threats only strengthened the general 
conviction that it was high time to destroy these nests of knaves 
and ruffians. A fortnight's grace was allowed ; and it was made 



1 88 The Palace of Theobalds. 

known that when that time had expired, the vermin who had been 
the curse of London would be unearthed and hunted without 
mercy. There was a tumultuous flight to Ireland, to France, to the 
colonies, to vaults and garrets in less notorious parts of the 
capital ; and when, on the prescribed day, the sheriffs' officers 
ventured to cross the boundary, they found those streets, where a 
few weeks before the cry of ' A writ !' would have drawn together 
a thousand raging bullies and vixens, as quiet as the cloister of a 
cathedral." 

Every reader of the Waverley Novels will remember Scott's 
graphic account, in " The Fortunes of Nigel," of the old 
sanctuary, with the reckless habits and wretched life of the bullies 
and bravoes that swarmed and swaggered about it in the days of 
James I. " But here come two of the male inhabitants, smoking 
like moving volcanoes ! Shaggy uncombed ruffians they were ; 
their enormous moustaches were turned back over their ears, and 
mingled with the wild elf-locks of their hair, much of which was 
seen under the old beavers which they wore aside upon their heads, 
while some straggling portion escaped through the rents of the 
hats aforesaid. Their tarnished plush jerkins, large slops, or 
trunk-breeches, their broad greasy shoulder-belts, and discoloured 
scarves, and above all, the ostentatious manner in which the one 
wore a broadsword, and the other an extravagantly long rapier and 
poniard, marked the true Alsatian bully, then, and for a hundred 
years afterwards, a well-known character." Here some of the most 
stirring scenes and one of the most tragic incidents in the novel 
take place. 



The Palace of Theobalds, Cheshunt. 

" The house itselfe doth showe the owner's wit, 
And may for bewtie, state, and every thing, 
Compared be with most within the land." — Old Poet. 

This sumptuous Palace rose and disappeared within a protracted 
life-time — fourscore years and ten. It was built by a favourite 
minister, ostensibly as a home for his son, though its splendour 
made it resemble the lure of a courtier ; it became the resort of a 
gay queen, and the abode of two kings, whence it fell into the hands 
of crafty men, who levelled its magnificence, and scattered its trea- 
sures to aid them in carr)'ing on their scheme of desolation, and to 
furnish them with the sinews of civil war. 



TJu Palace of Theobalds. 1 89 

Hence, Theobalds has for many years been known but by name ; for, 
as if to erase its existence, representations of it have been desiderata 
among the collectors of such records. When Mr. Lysons wrote his 
Ewvirons of London, he lamented that he " had not been able to find 
any print or painting which conveys any adequate idea of this palace." 
We have participated in his regret, seeing that Theobalds was a fair 
specimen of a style of architecture again become popular ; and the 
gardens, though quaint and odd in their way, were designed by one of 
the earliest patrons of botany in this country. Besides, the mansion 
was the home of that good and great man, Lord Burghley, who here 
closed his brilliant and useful career. The history of the whole place, 
too, is pointed with a moral, presenting as it does a memorial of the 
instability of kingly state, and the vanity of human grandeur. 

This magnificent Palace stood in the parish of Cheshunt at the dis- 
tance of twelve miles from London, and a little to the north of the road 
to Ware. The origin of the name is uncertain ; but it is probable 
that Theobald was the name of an owner, though at what period earlier 
than the reign of Henry VL does not appear. 

The manor probably reverted to the Crown at the Suppression of 
religious foundations ; and, after passing through the families of Bcdyl, 
Burbage, and Elliott, on June 10, 1563, it was purchased by Sir 
William Cecil, afterwards the great Lord Burghley. 

The original manor house is supposed to have been on a small 
moated site, which is to be traced to this day. In 1570, Sir William 
increased the estate by an important addition, which is thus mentioned 
in his Diary: — "May 15, I purchased Cheshunt Park of Mr. Har- 
ryngton." Cecil now, if not before, must have been proceeding in 
earnest with his new mansion, as in September of the following year. 
Queen Elizabeth honoured it with a visit ; when she was presented with 
" a portrait of the house." 

Lord Burghley was not the least sumptuous in architecture among 
a nobility which produced many magnificent palaces. The author 
of his contemporary biography (printed in Peck's Desiderata Curiosa), 
says, " He buylt three houses : one in London, for necessity ; another 
at Burghley, of computency for the mansion of his Barony ; and 
another at Waltham [this of Theobalds,] for his younger Sonne; 
which, at the first, he meant but for a little pile, as I have hard him sale, 
but, after he came to enterteyne the Queue so often there, he was in- 
forced to enlarge it, rather for the Queue and her greate traine, and to sett 
poore on worke, than for pompe or ^lory ; for he ever said it wold be 
to big for the small living he cold leave his sonne. The other two arc 



190 The Palace of Theobalds. 

but convenient, and no bigger than will serve for a nobleman ; all of 
them perfected, convenient, and to better purpose for habitation than 
many others buylt by greate noblemen ; being all bevvtiful, uniform, 
necessary, and well seated ; which are greate arguments of his wisdom 
and judgment. He greatly delighted in making gardens, fountains, and 
walkes ; which at Theobalds were perfected most costly, bewtyfully, 
and pleasantly ; where one might walk twoe myle in the walks before 
he came to their ends." 

As Lord Burghley had built this mansion expressly for his younger 
son, he was evidently inclined, some years before his death, to give pos- 
session to Sir Robert Cecil ; but some opposition was made to this 
proposal by the Queen, as appears from some humorous sallies both on 
the part of her Majesty and of her ' Hermit,' as the Secretary was pleased 
to style himself, and it is clear that the longer purse of the Lord 
Treasurer was requisite to maintain the house and the establishment 
which had both been increased for her Majesty's pleasure. 

Just at the period of Lord Bui-ghley's death, in 1598, Theobalds 
was visited by the tourist Hentzner, who thus describes it in his journey, 
as translated by Horace Walpole :— 

"Theobalds belongs to Lord Burghley, the Treasurer. In the 
Gallery is painted the genealogy of the Kings of England. From this 
place one goes into the garden, encompassed with water, large enough 
for one to have the pleasure of going in a boat, and rowing between 
the shrubs. Here are a great variety of trees and plants, labyrinths made 
with a great deal of labour, a. jet d'eau, with its basin of white marble, 
and columns and pyramids of wood and other materials up and down 
the garden. After seeing these, we are led by the gardener into the 
summer-house ; in the lower part of which, built semicircularly, are the 
twelve Roman Emperors in white marble, and a table of touchstone ; 
the upper part of it is set round with cisterns of lead, into which the 
water is conveyed through pipes, so that fish may be kept in them ; 
and, in summer time, they are very convenient for bathing. In another 
room foi entertainment, very near this, and joined to it by a little 
bridge, was a noble table of red marble. We were not admitted to see 
the apartments of this palace, there being nobody to show them, as the 
family was in town attending the funeral of their lord."* 

On the decease of Lord Burghley, August 4, 1598, his son, Sir 
Robert Cecil, became the possessor of Theobalds and the neighbouring 
estates, pursuant to indenture dated i6th June, 29 Eliz. (1577).! 

• TraMlalion of Paul Ileitlzner's Journey. Strawberry Hill, 1758, p. 54. 
t Lord Burghley '5 Will, in I'ccks Dtudcrata, p, 193. 



The Palace of TJicobalds. 191 

The Earl of Salisbury (as he shortly became after fhe accession of 
James I.), having captivated his royal master with the charms of Theo- 
balds, particularly in two sumptuous entertainments given to his 
majesty, on his first an'ival in England, and on the visit of his brother- 
in-law the King of Denmark, was very shortly after the latter festivity 
induced to exchange it for the palace of Hatfield ; where (being now 
himself Lord Treasurer, and thus in possession, like his father, of the 
strings of the royal purse), he commenced building a mansion of perhaps 
still greater magnificence ; and which stood unaltered, except by a 
partial fire, to our own days. 

The Earl of Salisbury gave up possession on the 22nd of May, 
1607, with a poetical entertainment written by Ben Jonson. In this, 
*' the Queen" was supposed to receive the Palace, perhaps with the view 
of its becoming her dowager-house had she survived King James. How- 
ever, Theobalds became his principal country residence throughout the 
whole of his reign, and it was here that he breathed his last, on the 
27th of March, 1625. Windsor was at that period never visited except 
to hold the feasts of the Order of the Garter ; Richmond, which had 
been a favourite palace of Elizabeth, was given up to the Prince of 
Wales ; Hampton Court was occasionally resorted to ; but the attrac- 
tions of Waltham Forest gave Theobalds by far the preference in the 
eyes of the sylvan monarch. 

After taking possession. King James enlarged the park, by inclosing 
part of the adjoining chase, and surrounded it with a wall of brick 
measuring ten -miles in circumference; part of which, on the north, 
containing the eighth milestone, remains in the gardens of Albury 
House. 

King Charles I. continued to reside here; and there is an interest- 
ing picture, representing an interior view of the Gallery in perspective, 
into which the King and Henrietta Maria are entering at a door, 
ushered by the brother Earls of Pembroke and Montgomery, each 
with his wand of office, the former as Lord Steward, and the latter as 
Lord Chamberlain, of the King's household. Waiting in the gallery, 
stands the dwarf Jeflfery Hudson, with three of King Charles's 
favourite spaniels ; and a parroquet is perched on a balustrade.* 

When the sale of Crown lands was in agitation in 1649, it was at 



• This curious picture is at Hinton St. George, the seat of Earl Poulett, in 
Somersetshire. Horace Walpole sujiposed the architecture to have been 
painted by Steenwyck, and the figures copied from Vandyck by Polenburg or 
Van Bassen. There is a folio engraving by S. Sparrow, jun., published by 
Edward Harding in 1800, and a small copy by Aug. Fox in Pickering's editioB 
.if Waltou and Cottons Angler, p, ^. 



192 The Palace of Theobalds. 

first resolved that Theobalds should be excepted, but it was afterwards 
determined that it should be sold. In the following year, the sur- 
veyors reported that the palace was an excellent building, in very good 
repair, by no means fit to be demolished, and that it was worth 200/. 
per annum, exclusive of the park ; yet, lest the Parliament should 
think proper to have it taken down, they had estimated the materials, 
and found them to be worth 8275/. ^ ^^' The calculations of the sur- 
veyors vsrere more acceptable than their advice ; and consequently, the 
greater part of the Palace was taken down to the ground, and the 
money arising from the sale of the materials was divided among the 
army. 

The Survey affords a circumstantial description of the several por- 
tions and apartments of the Palace. It consisted of two principal 
quadrangles, besides the Dial-court, the Buttery-court, and the Dove- 
house-court, in which the offices were situated. The Fountain-court, 
so called from a fountain of black and white marble in the centre, was 
a quadrangle of 86 feet square, on the east side of which was a cloister, 
8 feet wide, with seven arches. On the ground-floor of this quad- 
rangle was a spacious hall, paved with Purbeck marble ; the roof 
" arched over the top with carved timbers of curious workmanship, and 
of great worth, being a goodlie ornament to the same ;" at the upper 
end was " a very large picture of the bignesse of a paire of stagges horns 
scene in France." 

On the second floor was the Presence Chamber, with cai-ved wainscot 
of oak, richly gilt, the ceiling being enriched with gilt pendents ; and 
coats of arms were set in the large windows. These windows opened 
south on the walk in the Great Garden, leading to the green gates into 
the Park, where was a double avenue of trees a mile long. On the 
same floor were also the Privy Chamber, the Withdrawing Chamber, 
the King's Bedchamber, and a Gallery 123 feet by 21, wainscoted with 
oak ; also with paintings of cities, a frettetl ceiling, with pendents and 
flowers, richly painted and gilt ; also large stags' heads : the win- 
dows of tliis Gallery looking north into the Park, and so to 
Cheshunt. 
I On an upper floor were the Lord Chamberlain's lodgings, my Lord's 
Withdrawing Chamber, and several other apartments. Near the 
Chamberlain's lodgings on the cast was a leaded walk, 62 feet in length 
and 1 1 in breadth, with an arch of freestone over it ; " which said arch 
and walk," says tiie Sur\ey, " looking eastward into the middle court, 
and into the highway Irading from London to Ware, standcth high, 
and may easily be discerned by passengers and travellers to their 



The Palace of Theobalds. 193 

delight." On the west of the Lord Chamberlain's lodgings was another 
walk of the same dimensions, looking westward into the Fountain- 
court. At each corner of these walks stood four lofty towers, with 
lions and vanes ; and in the walk over the hall, in the midst of the 
four corners, was a lantern-tower, with pinnacles at each corner, wherein 
were twelve bells and a clock with chimes. 

The Park contained 2508 acres, valued, together with six lodges, 
one of which was in the occupation of Colonel Cecil, at 1545/. 15J. 4^. 
per annum. The deer were valued at 1000/.; the rabbits at 15/.; the 
timber at 7259/. 13J. 2d. ; exclusive of 15,608 trees marked for the use 
of the Navy, and others already cut down for that purpose; the 
materials of the barns and walls were valued at 1570/. i6j. 3^/. 

The gardens were large, and ornamented with labyrinths, canals, and 
fountains. The great garden contained several acres, and there was, 
besides, a pheasant, privy, and laundry garden. In the former were nine 
knots, artificially and exquisitely made, one of them in imitation of the 
King's arms. 

After the Restoration, the Manor of Theobalds was granted, in 
13 Car. II., to George, Duke of Albemarle; and it subsequently 
descended to the late Oliver Cromwell, Esq. The park and ruins re- 
mained in the Crown, until granted in i and 2 William and Mary, to 
William, Duke of Portland, to whose heirs they descended, until 
Bold in 1763 to George Prescott, Esq., the grandfather of Su- George 
Beeston Prescott, of Cheshunt Park. 

The last stages of the decay of Theobalds were recorded by Mr 
Gough, first in his Catalogue of British Topography, and afterwards in 
his Additions to Camden's Britannia. The room said to have been that 
in which King James I. died, and the parlour under it, with a cloister 
or portico having the Cecil pedigree painted on the walls, were standing 
until 1765, when George Prescott, Esq., cleared out the site for build- 
ing. " It is now," adds Mr. Gough, " covered with gentlemen's houses; 
and the only remains of its ancient grandeur are a walk of abeles, 
between two walls, a circular summer-house, and the traces of the park 
wall, nine or ten miles round, built by James I." Mr. Gough pur- 
chased so much of the chimney-piece of the parlour as had survived 
the demolition. It is two-thirds of a group of figures in alto relievo, 
representing in the centre Minerva, driving away Discord, overthrow- 
ing Idolatry, and restoring true Religion. The architecture is orna- 
mented with garbs of wheat-sheaves, from the Cecil crest. It is carved 
in clunch, or soft stone, probably by Florentine artists. Mr. Gough 
placed it over the chimney-piece of his library at Fortyhill, EnfieW, 



194 Canons, near Edgivare. 

where it remained until the year 1834, when it was presente<i 
by his representative, John Farran, Esq., to J. B. Nichols, Esq., 
F.S.A., who removed it to his house, the Chancellors, Ham- 
mersmith. 

The Stables of Theobalds were situated on the opposite side 
of the road leading from Waltham Cross to Cheshunt : and 
in immediate proximity to them there was a large building called 
the Almshouse. It is mentioned in the Life of the Earl of Salisbury, 
which was printed on his death in 161 2, that it was occupied by 
"aged and overworn Captaines, gentlemen by birth and calling." 
This building, which had the arms of Cecil displayed in front, and 
which was furnished with a hall and chapel, was standing till about 
the year 18 12. 



Canons, near Edgware, and "the Great Duke of 

Chandos." 

The following interesting account of the celebrated property of 
Canons Park, and its noble owner, was written by the late IVIr. Till, 
the well-known Medallist, who, in his visit to the locality, took 
much pains to insure the accuracy of his narrative. The paper was 
written in the year 1840 : — 

"James, the ninth Baron of Chandos, was, in 17 14, created Vis- 
count Wilton and Earl of Caernarvon; in April, 1719, Marquis 
of Caernarvon and Duke of Chandos : he died in 1744, and was 
succeeded by his second son, Henry (the eldest having died be- 
fore him). The first nobleman, styled, in his time, * the Great 
Duke,' was celebrated for the regal style of splendour and magni- 
ficence in whicli he lived ; and for being the object of the un- 
grateful and cutting sarcasms which Pope thought fit to publish in 
his Moral Essays. 

*"The Great Duke' erected, in the domains of Canons Park, 
near Edgware, a superb palace, and with it connected every 
attribute that could charm the senses or afford gratification 
to his numerous visitors : he tl-.erc assembled vc\,z\\ of every 
country as well as his own, who were celebrated for literary 
attainments, amongst whom was Pope, who had rcjK'atcdly par- 
taken of tho Duke's splendid hospitality, and who, in return, satj- 



Canons, near Edgrvare, i95 

rizcd his host and friend. The poet, however, lived to repent his 
ingratitude, for he openly denied the identity of the person intended ; 
but it was too palpable: his contemporaries blamed, and posterity 
condemns alike, his satire and his subterfuge. The site of the ground, 
to this day, bears out the accuracy of his offensive description. 

" The palatial home built by ' the Great Duke,' with the improve- 
ments in the park, is stated to have cost from 200,000/. to 300,000/. 
The mansion was in the form of a square, and of stone ; the four side* 
being very similar, surmounted with statues of heathen deities, aa 
Jupiter, Apollo, &c. ; and at their sides were vases in imitation of the 
antique: each front had two rows of eleven windows, over each of 
which was a sculptured head, and above these were eleven smaller 
windows, each with a sculptured ornament. In the centre of the 
principal front were six fluted marble columns, with an ascent of steps. 
The cornice of this front was highly decorated with trophies, musical 
instruments, groups of fruit, the ducal coat-of-arms and coronet, with 
the initials of his Grace, &c. The walls at the base were twelve feet 
thick ; above, nine feet. 

"The house was built in the year 1712, when three of the most 
celebrated architects of the day were employed in the design — viz., 
Gibbs, James, and Sheppard. It was erected at the end of a long and 
spacious avenue of trees, and being placed diagonally it gave, at a dis- 
tance, a front and appearance of prodigious extent. The hall was 
richly decorated with marble statues, busts, &c. ; the ceiiing of the 
staircase was painted by Sir James Thornhill ; the grand apartments 
were finely adorned with sculpture, paintings, &c. ; the staircase was 
of marble, each step being one entire block, exceeding twenty-two feet 
in length ; the locks and hinges of the doors were said to be of solid 
silver, if not of ' gold,' as some writers have affirmed. The demesne at 
this time contained 400 acres. 

*' The Duke had accumulated vast wealth as paymaster of the army, 
in the reign of Queen Anne. His fortune, however, suffered three 
successive shocks by his concerns in the African Company, the Mis- 
sissippi, and the South Sea speculations, in 1718, 1719, and 1720; 
notwithstanding which he continued to reside at Canons, though with 
diminished splendour, until his death in 1744. As no purchaser of the 
entire property could then be found, in 1747 the mansion was taken 
down, and the materials produced, when disposed of in separate lots, 
the sum of 11,000/. Among the most costly items were, an eques- 
trian statue of George I., which was placed in Leicester- square ; a 
superb marble staircase, now in Chesterfield House, May Fair ; and 



19^ Canons, near Edgware, 

the fine marble columns of the front, which were employed in building 
Wanstead House, which mansion was taken down in 1822. The site 
of Canons House, with part of the materials, were purchased by Mr. 
Hallett, a cabinet-maker, who erected the present elegant little villa ; 
which, in 1786, came by purchase into the possession of Colonel 
O'Kelly, the owner of the celebrated horse Eclipse. The Colonel died, 
and was interred at Whitchurch, in 1788 ; and his favourite steed was 
buried in the paddock fronting the house. 

"Pope was not only ungrateful, but unjust in his satire, when speak- 
ing of a fine ornamental piece of water, and of the lawn ; the former 
he assimilates to an ocean, the latter to a down: with more justice, 
however, he condemns the then prevailing formal fashion of 

'Trees cut to statues — statues thick as trees." 

Although Dr. Blackwell, author of a Treatise on Agriculture, was em- 
ployed in laying out the pleasure-grounds ; still, a formality, doubtless, 
was substituted for simple nature, and was much to be censured. In 
his allusion to the musical service performed at Whitchurch, Pope 
says: 

' Light quirks of music, broken and uneven, 
Make the soul dance upon a jig to heaven.' 

These light quirks of music were not only composed, but performed, by 
the immortal Handel, who was here employed as ' maestro di cappella ' 
to his Grace ; and, as the author of the Re>7iimscences of Handel* 
states, the cathedral service was performed by a choir of voices, 
accompanied by instruments, superior at that time in number and ex- 
cellence to those of any sovereign prince in Europe. Here that celebrated 
composer produced his Chandos Anthems ; and the chief part of his 
hautboy concertos, sonatas, lessons, and organ fugues. 

"On the organ, at Whitchurch, a plate t states that ' Handel was 
organist at this church, from the year 1718 to 1721, and composed his 
Oratorio of Esther on tiiis organ.' 

" On entering Canons Park, the visitor must be struck with the 
fulfilment of Pope's prophetic lines : 

' Another age sliall sec the golden ear 
Imbrown the slope, — and nod on the parterre.' 

"This is, indeed, figuratively the case; for the enclosure, which was 
once so beautiful and boasted of every plant that the most distant clime 

• Richard Clarke, Esq., one of the gentlemen of Her Majesty's choir. 
♦ The plate was fixed by Julius Plumcr, son of Sir Thomas and Lady 
Plumer. 



Cations, near Edgivare. 197 

could produce, assisted by the highest art of the day, ts now little 
better thati a common field, though stocked with noble timber. It it 
partly let to the farmer and grazier. 

" One spot, one little spot, however, remains entire to convey to 
posterity an idea of the princely grandeur of 'the Great Duke of 
Chandos.* A beautiful little church, rendered more interesting by the 
absence of tliat high cultivation with which it was formerly sur- 
roundsd, attests the taste and liberality of this munificent nobleman. 

" Whitchurch, formerly called Stanmore Parva or the less, from the 
neighbouring parish of Stanmore Magna, formerly having contained 
more inhabitants, though one hundred acres less of land, than at pre- 
sent. The church is a plain brick edifice, rebuilt in 1 7 15, by the Duke 
of Chandos ; e>:cept the tower, which is part of the original structure, 
and was dedicated to St. Lawrence. It is situated within half a mile 
of the mansion of Canons, and contiguous to the village of Edgware.* 
The exterior is singularly unattractive; but on entering it you are 
struck with the beauty and splendour of the little edifice ; its walls and 
ceiling are decorated with paintings by Laguerre, the subjects being 
taken from the miracles performed by our Saviour ; as well as the 
figures of St. Matthew, Mark, and other of the Evangelists, and of 
Faith, Hope, and Charity, which are on each side of the chapel. In 
the seat used by Lady Plumer, is a splendid painting ot the 
Transfiguration, in which the portrait of the Redeemer is pre-eminently 
beautiful. In a recess, supported by columns elaborately carved by 
Gibbons, is the organ, rendered sacred by its association with Handel, 
for whose choir beneath was erected a large orchestra, which still re- 
mains, and is used as a pew for a neighbouring school. On each side 
of the altar are paintings by Belluchi, on canvas, of Moses receiving 
the Tablets of the Commandments; of the NatiWty, the Sermon on 
the Mount, and the Crucifixion ; all which are finely executed. The 
cnurch consists of a chancel and nave, to which you ascend by a step. 
In the nave are the tombs of M. Mosely, Esq., Lady Frankland, and 
others. Opposite the organ, on the west side, is a superb pew, formerly 
appropriated to the Duke and his family; and on each side there is 
one for his domestics. Adjoining the body of the church, on the north 
side, is what is termed the Monument-room, paved with black and 
white marble, in which are monuments of the family of the Brydges, 
Dukes of Chandos; one of which, in white marble, represents 'the 



• This church, at that period styled the Duke of Chandos's, was opened 
for service, the first time, on Monday, 29th of August, 17 j6. 



19^ Canons, near Edgware, 

Great Duke,' in the costume of a Roman, with long, flowing hair. 
Beside him are his two wives, Mary and Cassandra, in a kneeling pos- 
ture ; these figures, at first sight, appear mythological ; but as an inscrip- 
tion beneath records their names, it is but fair to appropriate them to 
these ladies : some iconoclast has mutilated the fingers of the statues. A 
florid inscription enumerates the virtues of his Grace, who, it appears 
from its tenor, forbad the act thus consummated — that of praise. 
Beneath these figures is a tomb, in which are the remains of Duke 
Henry, and James, the last Duke, and their Duchesses,*Anne excepted, 
the consort of the former, who lies in the vault beneath. On the same 
side of the apartment is the monument of a daughter of Lord Bruce, 
and consort of Henry, Marquis and afterwards Duke of Chandos, and 
others: one especially deserves attention from the heart-rending cir- 
cumstance which dictated its erection : it is to the memory of a child 
of the house of Chandos ; who, the clerk states, died as it was about 
to be christened, and in the arms of its nurse; King George HI. and 
Queen Charlotte being sponsors. Still, the ceremony was performed, 
and the body, enclosed in a silver coffin, reposes within the sarcophagus 
here erected. The domestics of the family stated the infant's death to 
have been caused by the weight of gold and gems pressing on its breast 
at the time of baptism. It is said that the Duke, its father, never i-e- 
covered the blow, and that the Duchess retired into seclusion. There 
is no inscription to this child's memory, nor is any record ot its birth to 
be found in the English peerage. 

" From the Monument-room you are led, by a flight of steps, to the 
ante-chamber, in which are monuments to the memory of the Marquia 
of Caernarvon, 1727; also of Frances, and the Rev. Henry Brydges. 
Here you observe the escutcheon of Chandos, with the coronet, and 
tattered banner of this all but regal nobleman, ' the Great Duke,' fall- 
ing piecemeal to the earth, without a friendly hand to arrest its rapid 
decay. A few years hence and its office will be accomplished, and not 
a vestige of it will remain. 

" On descending, you are shown the vault of the Brydges ; wherein 
are heaped tlie rcmiins of this once powerful and illustrious family. 
Here, likewise, the descendants of the i'lantagenets and Tudors lie in 
melancholy confusion. Much faith canutft, however, be placed on the 

• A curious anecdote is extant of James, Duke of Chandos, having purchased 
his lost wife of licr husband, an ostler :U an inn. However incredible this story 
may appear, the fact is indubitable; the clever niithor of \.\v.\ Reminiscences cf 
Handtl (\n his account of the ' Hartnonioiis lllacksniith,' over whose remains 
he, in conjunction with another K''i"l''"iii". has erected a memento in VVhjt- 
cburch churdi>iud), gives part of the particulars, fiuni an authentic source. 



Canons, near Edgivare. 1 99 

appropriation of the names on the coffins ; as a miscreant broke into 
this vault some time since, and wrenched the plates fi-om off" them, 
presuming they were silver ; but on finding himself mistaken, manv 
were left behind and replaced. In connexion with this sacrilege a 
story is told which partakes of the marvellous and tragic, but which, as 
it came from a ' high authority ' still in the parish, may be here re- 
lated. A person was set to watch, after this robbery, in the expecta- 
tion that the thieves would return on the following evening: by some 
accident a sow, in her midnight perambulations, strayed into the church, 
the door of which had been left open, and making her road up the steps 
leading to the Monument-room, mistook her way and fell headlong to 
the bottom. The foil caused her death almost immediately, but not 
before the young man who was there placed, but who had fallen asleep, 
was awakened by the noise and caught a glimpse of her. That glimpse 
was, however, enough : to his eyes she appeared of monstrous dimen- 
sions ; and the place a. id circumstances together conspired so to shock 
his mind, that the sight of the dead sow did not satisfy hnn, and the 
poor fellow took to his bed, and died in three days ! 

'• Some of the coffins are very fresh, and from the purity of the 
country air admitted into the tomb, the materials of which it is com- 
posed are nearly as fresh as when fii-st erected. 

" ' The Great Duke of Ghandos ' appears to have been peculiarly 
unfortunate in his offspring, as from the parish register we find, in 
six years he lost five children, four sons and a daughter, whose coffins 
are here seen ; as are also those of the Duchess Anne, who died in 
1759, before noticed, and the Marchioness of Caernarvon, with many of 
the younger branches of the family, as well as collateral relatives of the 
first Duke. In this vault, likewise, is seen a coffin of colossal dimen- 
sions, being four feet eight inches across, containing the body of a 
mother and daughter of the name of Inwood. 

" Many of the family of the Lakes, who possessed the mansion from 
1604 until the marriage of Mary, daughter and heiress of Sir Thomas 
Lake, with James the first Duke, lie interred in this church. A capa- 
cious parish vault likewise contains a great number of gentry, formerly 
residents of the adjoining village. The late proprietor of Canons, Mr. 
Hallett, with his family, lie under the orchestra. 

"To this church it was the custom of 'the Grand Duke,' to repair 
attended, if not by a superb, at least an interesting retinue : eight old 
sergeants of the army, who had fought in the battles of their country, 
were selected and dressed in the Chandos livery; these formed his 
escort on the Sunday, and at night were guardians of his property, eacb 



20O Canons, near Edgware. 

of them having appropriated to his use a neat and comfortable resi- 
dence, which was erected at the termination of the principal avenue of 
trees. 

" This ostentation may, perhaps, be spared censure when it is consi- 
dered that it gave employment to the aged, and an extension of those 
comforts they would otherwise have in vain sought for. Pope himself, 
in his satire, confessed that from this harmless vanity were derived 
health and blessings to the poor, and food for the hungry. 

"In the present mansion, which is built nearly on the site of the 
farmer one, is a beautiful chimney-piece originally in the Duke's palace : 
it IS most exquisitely sculptured in white marble, and is, I believe, the 
only part which can be recognised as belonging to that once princely 
edifice. In the park are two sphinxes, evidently from the old palace ; 
they are stationed on what is termed the boat-house. 

" On September 25, 1 790, a grand miscellaneous concert of sacred 
music was performed at Whitchurch : the pieces were selections from 
the compositions of Handel ; and the profits were appropriated to the 
benefit of the Sunday-schools in the neighbourhood. 

" Reverting once more to the family of the Brydges, genealogists 
inform us that they are descended from the Montgomeries, Earls of 
Arundel, and lords of the castle of Brugge, in Shropshire, from whence 
their name; and from Sir Simon de Brugge, who lived in the reigns of 
Henry III. and Edward I.; as well as from Robert de Chandos, a 
powerful warrior, who came over with the Conqueror. James, the 
last Duke of Chandos, until the restoration of the title in the person of 
the Duke of Buckingham, died in 1789, without male issue, leaving an 
only daughter and heiress, the Lady Anna Eliza Brydges, who man-ied 
B^rl Temple ; he was in 1822 created Duke of Buckingham and Chan- 
dos, since dead ; and was succeeded by his son, Richard Plantagenet, 
Marquis of Chandos, subsequently Duke of Buckingham and Chandos. 

" The illustrious house of Chandos derives its descent from the royal 
houses of Plantagenet and Tudor; and the above Duke from that of 
Bruce, in Scotland; his maternal ancestress being the Lady Mary 
Tudor, the favourite sister of Henry VIII., and the youthful widow of 
Louis XII. of France, afterwards married to Charles Brandon, Duke 
of Suflbik, whose daughter, the Lady Eleanor, married with the Clifford 
family ; from whom, and from the royal house of Scotland, before- 
named, the late Duchess sprang. 

"Whitchurch, although only eight miles from the metropolis, ap- 
pears almost unknown to Londoners ; but it will be found well worth 
their attcntioiu" 



SOI 



Stones of the Star Chamber. 

Every person at all acquainted with the localities of the late Houses 
of Parliament must recollect in New Palace- yard the last line of build- 
ings on the riverside, which, to those who were familiar with the historical 
associations of the spot, told afflicting tales of other times. Indeed, 
it was scarcely possible for any one to pass this dilapidated pile with.iut 
some inquiry as to its appropriation — its history, and its aspect of 
neglect and decay. 

These buildings stood on the eastern side of New Palace- 
yard, near the bank of the Thames: adjoining them, northward, 
was an arched gateway, apparently of Henry the Third's time, 
which communicated with a boarded passage and stairs leading 
to the water. At different times, since 1807, the whole of this range 
of building was pulled down ; the last remaining part, included 
the offices where the trials of the Pyx took place, and the printing of 
Exchequer bills was carried on. There was also an apartment in the 
same edifice, in which that despotic tribunal, the Star Chamber, 
held its sittings during the most obnoxious period of its career — namely, 
from the end of Queen Elizabeth's reign until the final abolition of the 
Court by Parliament, in 1641. This, however, could not have been 
the " Chambre des Estoilles" or " Camera Stellata," in which the Court 
originally sat ; for, the building itself was evidently of the Elizabethan 
age, and the date 1602, with the initials E. R. separated by an open 
rose on a star, was carved over one of the doorways. But it may be 
inferred from various records, that the original Stai" Chamber occupied 
the same site, or nearly so, as the late buildings. 

Having thus premised a general outline of the buildings, we propose 
glancing at the origin of the infamous Court which was held in one of 
the principal apartments ; an inquiry which bespeaks the attention of 
the reader from the prominent mention of the Star Chamber in the 
history of our country. In this task, advantage has been taken of two 
letters from John Bruce, Esq., F.S.A., to Thomas Amyot, Esq., 
F.S.A., and Treasurer to the Society of Antiquaries ; both which are 
printed in the Archaologia, vol. xxv. pt. 2, 1834, pp. 342, 393. 

It seems agreed that all superior courts of justice originated in the 
ancient Royal Court held in the King's Palace, before the King him- 
self, and the members of his " Consilium ordinarium," commonly called 
" the Council." The Courts of King's Bench, Common Pleas, and 
Exchequer, arose from time to time out of the King's Court, and 



202 Stories of the Star Chamber. 

assumed independent jurisdiction overparticular descriptions of causes. 
Hence a considerable portion of the business of the King's Court was 
diverted into other channels; but the court itself subsisted, and exer- 
cised a judicial discretion, which it is difficult to define. 

In the exercise of their judicial authority, the Council held their 
sittings in a chamber of the Palace at Westminster, known as " the 
Council Chamber near the Exchequer," and the " Chambre des 
Estoyers," or " Estoilles," near the Receipt of the Exchequer. This 
chamber is said to have been situated in tlie outermost quadrangle of 
the Palace, next the bank of the river, and was consequently easily 
accessible to the suitors. The occupation of the " Chambre des 
Estoilles," or Star Chamber, by the Council, can be traced to the reign 
of Edward III.; but no specific mention of the Star Chamber, as a 
Court of Justice, can be found, Mr. Bruce believes, earlier than the 
reign of Henry VII., about which time the old titles of "the Lords 
sitting in the Star Chamber," and "the Council in the Star Chamber," 
seem to have merged in this one distinguishing appellation.* 

The origin of the name " Star Chamber," has been a subject of dis- 
pute which has given occasion to several ingenious guesses. The most 
satisfactory explanation appears to be that supported by Mr. Caley, in 
the eighth volume of the Arcbaologia, p. 404 ; that the ceiling of the 
chamber was anciently ornamented with gilded stars. 

The course of the proceedings before the Council was twofold ; one, 
ore tenus, or by mouth ; the other by bill and answer. The proceeding 
ore tenus was that which was usually adopted in political cases, and 
consequently, was the most abused. It originated either in"soden 
reporte," which Mr. Bruce thinks means private, and probably secret 
information given to the Council. The person accused, or suspected, 
was immediately apprehended and privately examined. If he confessed 
any offence, or, if the cunning of his examiners drew Irom him, or his 
own simplicity let fall, any expressions which suited tlieir purpose, he 
was at once brought to the bar, his confession or examination was read, 
he was convicted ex ore suo (out of his own mouth), and judgment was 
immediately pronouced against him. Imagination can scarcely con- 
ceive a more terrible judicature. Draggetl from home in the custody 
of a pursuivant, ignorant of the charge or suspicion entertained against 



• The Judges before and subsequent to this nlteration were the same — viz., 
the members of the King's onlinary council, — " tiie Ldrds of tlu; Council," as 
they are still tcnncd in the Litany of the Church service, although many of 
them have generally been under the degree of u I3aron. 



Stories of the Star Chamber. 203 

him, without friend or counsellor, the foredoomed victim was subjected 
to a searching examination before the members of a tribunal which was 
bound by no law, and which itself created and defined the offences it 
punished. His judges were, in point of fact, his prosecutors, and every 
mixture of these two characters is inconsistent with impartial justice. 

Besides the mode of proceeding ore teims, the Council might be ap- 
plied to in another manner, in all cases of libel, conspiracy, and matters 
arising out of force or fraud. Crimes of the greatest magnitude, even 
treason and murder, were treated of in this Court, but solely punished 
as trespasses, the Council not having dared to usurp the power of in- 
flicting death. Causes of a capital nature could originate only in the 
King, who by prosecuting in this Court for any treasonable or felonious 
offence, showed his desire to remit the sentence against the life which 
would have been awarded in the Courts of Law. In these cases, a 
Bill of Complaint was filed with the Clerk of the Council, who then 
granted a warrant, and subpoenas were issued to the defendant. Strictly, 
no subpoena could be issued until a bill was filed ; but it seems that 
this practice was at one time relaxed ; and the consequence was, that 
in the time of Queen Elizabeth, " many solicitors who lived in Wales, 
Cornwall, or the furthest parts of the North, did make a trade to sue 
forth a multitude of subpoenas to vex their neighbours ; who rather 
than they would travel to London, would give them any composition, 
although there were no colour of complaint against them." 

The process of the Star Chamber might anciently be served in any 
place. In Catholic times, the market, or the church, seems to have 
been the usual place for service. We find a corroboration of this 
practice in the mention of a case which occurred in the second year of 
Henry VIII., in which one Cheesman was committed to prison for 
contempt of Court, in drawing his sword upon a messenger who 
served process upon him in the church of Esterford, in Essex. The 
practice of wearing swords during divine service is ancient ; and, in 
Poland, so late as the beginning of the seventeenth century, it was the 
custom for gentlemen to draw their swords at church, during the re- 
petition of the Creed, by way of testifying their zeal for the faith.* 

In the time of Henry VII., the person summoned appeared per- 
sonally before the Chancellor, or President, of the Council. In the 
reign of James I., the defendant appeared before the Clerk of the 
Council, who took from him a bond not to depart without licence of 



• Howel's Letters, p. 268, ed. 1737. 



204 Stories of the Starchamber. 

the Court ; by which bond he was anciently conditioned to appeat 
from day to day, or confess the offence. In the time of Edward III., 
we find a petitioner summoned to appear on a certain day, when his 
opponent not being present, he was ordered to follow the Court from 
day to day until the complainant should appear, and thus he was keptj 
"as in a prison," upwards of a year. If the defendant refused to 
answer upon oath, the plaintiff's bill, he was imprisoned for a certain 
time ; when, if he still refused, cither the bill was taken as his con- 
fession, or he was retained in custody and kept upon bread and water 
until he answered. When he had put in his answer, the plaintiff 
examined him upon written inteiTogatories, when if he refused to 
answer them, he was committed until he consented to do so ; and some 
persons who persisted in refusing, were continued in confinement during 
their lives. The examination was secret, and the defendant was neither 
allowed advice nor notice ; but, having passed his examination, he was 
allowed to depart, upon securities being given for his reappearance 
The witnesses were then similarly examined ; but the defendant was 
not allowed to cross-examine them. When the cause was ready, it 
was entered in a list, and the defendant was summoned to hear the 
judgment of the Court. 

The Court sat for the hearing of causes, during term time, twice 
and sometimes thrice in a week. After the sitting, the Lords, with the 
Clerk of the Council, dined in the Inner Star Chamber, at the public 
expense. The cost of these dinners rose to an extravagant sum : from 
1509 to 1590, the charge for each dinner varying from 2/. \s. 2d. to 
17/. or 18/., though the number of persons dining considerably decreased 
during that time. 

The number of the Council who attended the Court, is said in 
the reigns of Henry VII. and Henry VIII., to have been nearly forty, 
of whom seven or eight were prelates : in tiie reign of Elizabeth the 
number was nearly thirty ; but it subsequently declined. 

The Chancellor proceeded to the sittings of the Court in great state ; 
his mace and seal being carried before him. He was the supreme 
Judge, and alone sat with his head uncovered ; and was attended by 
his own servants in the Court. Upon important occasions, persons 
who wished " to get convenient places and standing," went tiierc by 
three o'clock in the morning. The privileges of the Chancellor were 
much abused : he appointed his own kinsmen and favourites to be 
Counsel to the suit, and he made orders upon private petitions, which 
were a source of profit fo his attendants : he could sit when he chose, 
md command the attendance of the other Juilj^ea. 



Sidries of the Starchamlcr. 205 

Upon the trial of causes, the parties were heard by their Counsel, 
who were confined to a " laconical brevity ;" the examinations of the 
witnesses were read, and the members of the Court proceeded in 
silence to deliver their opinions. They spoke in order from the inferior 
upwards, the Archbishop always preceding the Chancellor. In the 
case of equality of voices, that of the Chancellor was decisive. He 
alone had the power of assessing damages and awarding costs, and 
he alone could discharge persons sentenced to imprisonment during 
pleasure. 

Every punishment, except death, was assumed to be within the power 
of the Court. If the complaint were founded upon a precise statute 
(which was very seldom the case), the Court awarded the punishment 
inflicted by the statute ; but if the offence was against the statute, but 
the bill not grounded upon the statute, they usually imposed a heavier 
punishment than the statute. The following is an instance of this 
practice: — "The statute of the 5th Elizabeth, c. 14, punisheth the 
forging of false deeds with double damages to the partie grieved ; im- 
prisonment during life, pillory, cutting off both ears, slitting nostrils, 
and forfeiture of all his goods and profits of all his lands during his 
life ; and the publisher of such deedes (knowing the same to be forged), 
with like double damages, pillory, cutting off one ear, and imprison- 
ment for a year. The Starre Chamber will adde, upon the forger, a 
fine to the value of all his estates, whipping, wearing of papers through 
Westminster Hall, letters to bt; seared in his face with bote irons ; 
and to the publisher likewise a great fine and longer imprisonment, 
not to be released until hee find sureties for good behaviour, and the 
like." 

This catalogue of judicial terrors comprehends, at one view, all the 
ordinary punishments of the Star Chamber. In John Lilburne's case 
gagging was had recourse to, in order to stop his outcries in the pillory. 
In other cases, a savage and cold-blooded ingenuity was exercised in 
the discovery of novel inflictions. Thus, one Traske, a poor fanatic 
who taught the unlawfulness of eating swine's flesh, was sentenced to 
be imprisoned and fed upon pork. 

Mr. Bruce thinks it might be shown that most of these infamous 
punishments were introduced during the reigns of Henry VII. and 
Henry VIII., and grew into common practice under Elizabeth. 
Whipping seems to have been introduced by Lord Keeper Pickering, 
m the later reign. In the early instances, there was a moderation in 
fines ; but latterly, they were excessive, not according to the estate of 
the delinquent, but in proportion tp the supposed character of the 



2o6 Stories of the Starchatnher. 

offence, "the ransom of a beggar and a gentleman being all one ;" or, 
as it is elsewhere expressed, " the Lord Chancellor useth to say often, 
that the King hath committed his justice to them, and that he hath 
reserx'ed his mercy to himself; wherefore that they ought to look only 
upon the offence, and not upon the person, but leave him to his Majesty 
for mercy, if there be cause." In the reigns of Henrys VII. and VIII. 
it was not so. The clergy were then in the habit of attending the Court, 
and their " song was of mercy." 

We have explained that the Chamber, as it appeared shortly before 
its demolition, was not the original one in which the Court sat. The 
ceiling was of oak, ornamented with roses, pomegranates, portcullises, 
and fleurs-de-lis ; but of Tudor-Gothic design, which raised a dispute 
as to its identity. This was, however, set at rest on its being taken down, 
by finding some of the enriched Gothic panelling of the old Chamber 
behind the Elizabethan panelling. There were also four arched door- 
ways of the Tudor style, within the modern square headed door- 
frames. These discoveries prove that the ancient building was not 
destroyed, but was merely new-fronted and fitted up z^-cording to the 
style prevailing in the time of Elizabeth. Under the principal staircase 
was a wood-hole with a stone Gothic entrance, having spandrels orna- 
mented with roses, which confimied the originality of the building. 

Mr. Bruce commences his Second Letter by observing, that the causes 
determined by the Council during the reigns of Henry VI., 
Edward IV., and Richard III., although important and interesting in 
themselves, are not of such a character as can well be brought within 
the limits of a rapid sketch like the present ; the object of which is not 
to enumerate all, or even many, of the cases determined in the Star 
Chamber, but to give a general notion of the practices which prevailed 
there, and the spirit which pervaded its decisions, during the several 
periods of its existence. 

The reign of Henry VII. is an epoch in the history of the Star 
Chamber. That monarch appears to have had a fondness for sitting 
in person with his Council upon judicial occasions; and, during the 
first and second years of his reign, held " twelve several stately sessions " 
in the Star Chamber: but Mr. Bruce has not found any instances of 
his Majesty's judicial wisdom, though he had collected around him a 
learned council. 

During the reign of Henry VII., our attention is not so much drawn 
to the particular cases determined in the Star Chamber, as to the gene- 
ral system which prevailed thi-re. This Court w;is the nisirumcnt by 
which the politic rapacity of the Sovereign, and the subtlety of his 



Stories of the StarcJiamler. 207 

favourite "promoters of suits" accomplished thnr nefarious purpost.s. 
I f a man were descended from a stock that had favoured the White 
Rose ; if he were suspected of sympathizing with the misfortunes of 
the Earl of Warwick ; if his behaviour indicated a lofty spirit ; or even 
if he were merely thought to be moderately rich; neither a dignified 
station in society, nor purity of life, nor cautiousness of conduct, could 
afford him any protection. Some obsolete law was put in force against 
him by the King's receivers of forfeitures. If his purse were found to 
be empty, the prejudged culprit was committed to prison, until a 
pardon was purchased by the compassion of his friends ; if full, just 
enough was left for a second plunder. The King's agents, or as Hall 
calls them, " ravenynge wolves," in these transactions, were Empson 
and Dudley, who filled the royal coffers and enriched themselves. 
" At this unreasonable and extort doynge," says Hall, " noble men 
grudged, meane men kycked, poore men lamented, preachers openlie at 
Paules crosse and other places exclaimed, rebuked, and detested, but 
tliey would never amend." 

Mr. Bruce next refers to two papers among the MSS. in the British 
Museum, and selects from one an account of sums received for cases 
in which persons, who had been prosecuted for breaches of the law, 
either real or pretended, had compounded with the King, and paid 
fines, through Dudley, to be discharged. Among the persons named 
in this paper, are many of the chief nobility of the time : — The unhappy 
Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, stands at the head of the list 
for 500 marks. At a little distance follow " Sir William Capel, alder- 
man of London, and Giles Capel, his son, for their pardons, loooA ; 
besides 2615/. 6j. 8^. for other troubles. Sir William was again sued, 
for " things done by him in the time of his mayoraltie;" when either 
his purse or his patience was exhausted, and he refused all composition, 
"and after prysonment in the Countour, and sheriff's house, was by the 
Kinge's counsell commanded to the Tower, where he remayned until 
the King died, and shortly ai'ter was delivered with many other." It 
seems to have been scarcely possible to fill any of the civil offices with- 
out giving occasion of advantage to these watchful informers. 
Escheators, customers, controllers, sheriffs, are to be found in the MSS. 
referred to, and the King seems to have taken double advantage of 
these officers, by first selling them their appointments, and afterwards 
scrutinizing their conduct by the most vigilant severity. Amongst the 
items quoted from this account are: — 

" For the pardon of murther of Sir John Fines, Kt., 25 lib." 
(pounds). 



2o8 Stories of the Starchamher. 

" From the Earl of Derby, for his pardon, 6000 lib." 
" For the pardon of the Earl of Northumberland, 10,000 lib.'' 
From these and many other similar items, it would seem that the 
King assumed the power of withdrawing causes from the jurisdiction of 
all the courts, upon the accused party making a pecuniary arrangement 
with his receivers; or, as the phrase ran in the Star Chamber, the 
"King took the matter into his own hands," and the prisoner was dis- 
charged upon his Majesty certifying that fact to the Court. 

Bacon has made us acquainted with the traditional story of the 
King's conduct to the Earl of Oxford, whose retainers, dressed in 
liveries, came around him upon occasion of a visit from his Majesty. 
Henry expressed his thanks for the good cheer he received, but added, 
" I may not endure to have my laws broken in my sighte — my attorney 
must speak with you ;" which words were the prelude to a fine of 
15,000 marks. Tradition has probably exaggerated the amount of 
the fine ; but the anecdote is perfectly in character with the practices 
evidenced in the MSS. referred to. 

The accession of Heiwy VIII. produced an extraordinary change in 
the Star Chamber. The Council no longer listened approvingly to the 
accusations of the late King's Commissioners of Forfeitures, but im- 
mediately proceeded to sit in judgment upon the accusers. They were 
committed to the Tower the very day after the new King was pro- 
claimed. All offences, except murder, felony, and treason, were par- 
doned ; and it was added, that if any man had wrongfully sustained 
injury or loss of goods, through Empson and Dudley, that he would 
receive satisfaction upon petition to the King. A crowd of applicants 
immediately besieged the Council, and due restitution was made ; but 
fraudulent claims being afterwards put forth, the Council soon 
desisted. 

The Promoters,* " notwithstanding the general pardon, were sen- 
tenced by the Council, some of them to pay fines, and others to ride 
about the City on horseback, with their faces towards the horses' tails, 
and afterwards to stand in the pillory in Cornhill, and wear papers in- 
dicative of their offences. Such a punishment was, in truth, an invita- 
tion to the people to revenge themselves upon their persecutors, and 
the opportunity it afforded was not lost. Three of the ringleaders, 
upon whom this sentence was carried into effect on June 6, 1509, died 
in Newgate, within a few days afterwards ; * for very shame,' say some 



• These informers were so called, because they "promoted many lion<^ 
men's vexations." 



Stories of the Starc/iafnber. 209 

of the authorities, but more probably, as assigned by others, fi-om ill- 
usage in the pillory." 

The fate of Empson and Dudley is well known. To satisfy public 
clamour, they were convicted, and sentenced to death, but probably 
without any intention of can"ying the sentence into execution. It 
happened, however, that Heiny set out at that time upon his first pro- 
gress ; finding himself annoyed, wherever he went, by outcries for 
vengeance against the unpopular ministers, he at once despatched a 
waiTant for their execution, and they were accordingly sent to the 
block, to add to the enjoyment of a royal progress. Empson's for- 
feited mansion, with its orchard and twelve gardens, situate in St. 
Bride's, Fleet-street, and occupying the ground now known as 
Salisbury-square and Dorset-street, were granted to Wolsey on the 
30th of January, 1510. 

For the honour of Wolsey let it be noticed that, during his ad- 
ministration, there prevailed in the Star Chamber, neither the pecuniary 
meanness which was its prominent vice under his immediate predecessors, 
nor the cruelty which distinguished it at a later period. The Council 
frequently investigated alleged offences, and occasionally committed to 
the Tower ; but there are no traces of the long imprisonments, the 
degrading and barbarous punishments, or the oppressive fines, which it 
inflicted at other periods. Perhaps this circumstance may be explained 
by the sanguinary disposition of the monarch, and the obsequiousnesi 
of juries. Offences which were formerly thought fit subjects for the 
Star Chamber, were now punished with death ; the boundaries of 
treason were enlarged so as to enclose words, and even wishes, as well 
as acts ; but treason was a crime not cognizable before the Council, 
and death a punishment which they never dared to inflict. To carry 
these new laws into effect, it was therefore necessary to resort to the 
ordinary tribunals. 

Wolsey, always delighted with magnificence, made a great show d 
It in the Star Chamber. In his time, " the presence that sat with him 
was always great ;" and Cavendish has detailed the pompous " order of 
his going to Westminster Hall, surrounded by noblemen, and preceded 
by cross-bearers and pillar-bearers." 

Wolsey 's administration of justice in private causes has often been 
praised. In the Star Chamber, " he spared neither high nor low, but 
judged every estate according to their merits and deserts." In political 
cases, the object of the Cardinal's Star Chamber prosecutions doef 
not seem to have been the punishment of oflenders so much as the pro- 
curing a general submission to the authority of the King. Those who 
* J, 



210 Stories of the Starchambcr. 

submitted were usually pardoned, whilst the obstinate were, in most 
cases, turned over to the common law. 

After the time of W olsey, there occurred during the remainder of 
the reign of Henry VIII., but few public cases of sufficient interest to 
be noticed in a sketch like the present. Wolsey stamped his individual 
character upon the Court ; he made it subservient to the furtherance of 
political and personal purposes ; and, when he fell, the Court seems, 
for a time, to have lost the use to which he applied it. His successors, 
who were fully, and probably, more usefully occupied in private causes, 
brought before it but little business ; so that, with the exception of 
occasional interference in religious matters, '"nd matters of police, we 
icldora hear of the Star Chamber 



211 



ESSEX. 

Colchester Castle. 

Colchester, the town of Essex, tliere is strong evidence to 

show, was originally both a British and Roman city, being most 
probably on the site of the Camalodunum of the Romans, which was 
burnt in the insurrection under Bop.dicea. There are few places in 
England where more Roman antiquities have been found. Morant, in 
his History of Essex, mentions " bushels " of coins of Claudius, 
Vespasian, Titus, Domitian, and their several successors. The town 
walls, the Castle, and many of the churches and other ancient buildings, 
are chiefly built of the Roman brick ; and vases, urns, lamps, rings, 
bracelets, and tessellated pavements have been found here in great 
numbers. 

There is a tradition to the effect that Coel, the second of that name, 
a British prince, who was invested by the Romans with the government 
cf the district of which Camalodunum was the chief station, taking 
advantage of the distracted state of the Roman empire, assumed inde- 
pendence, and gave to his capital the name of Caer-Coel ; and he is 
supposed to have become tributary to Carausius and other usurpers of 
the Imperial dominion, to which they threw off their allegiance in 
Britain. Constantius Chlorus, afterwards Emperor, who had been 
associated in the purple, under Diocletian and Maximian, then embarked 
at Boulogne, to chastise the rebels and reduce Britain to its former 
state of dependence. Having landed, he commenced the siege of Caer- 
Coel, as being the focus of the insurrection. The resistance opposed to 
his arms was so determined that the siege was protracted to the unusual 
period of three years, and even then seemed very distant fi-om a success- 
ful termination. In this state of affairs Constantius beheld Helena, 
Coel's daughter, who was born in Caer-Coel, and who possessed the most 
fascinating charms, as well as uncommon endowments of mind. Stnick 
with her beauty, and interested by her acquirements, Constantius 
became enamoured of the British Princess, and hesitated not to make 
peace with Coel, on condition of receiving the accomplished Helena as 
his bride. At this point, the tradition branches off in different direc- 
tions; one account asserting that the marriage was immediately 



212 Colchester Castle. 

celeb'-ated willi becoming splendour; another, that Helena was the 
mistress of Constantiiis before she became his wife. Both, however, 
affirm that Constantine, sumamed the Great, was the issue of this in- 
tercourse, whom Henry of Huntingdon styles King of Colecestre ; and 
that he also was bom at Caer-Coel, about 275. Gibbon denies that 
a British king was the father of Helena, and gives that honour to an 
innkeeper; and U'illiam of Malmesbury, on what ground is not 
known, asserts that Helena was a " tender of cattle." At the same time 
the historian observes, the legality of her mairiage may be defended 
against those who have represented her as the concubine of Gonstantius. 
The real birthplace of Constantine, the first Roman emperor that 
openly avowed Christianity, is supposed to have been at Naissus, in 
Dacia. After her departure from Britain, Helena made a journey to 
Jerusalem, where she is said to have discovered the Cross on which the 
Saviour was crucified : and to this circumstance the arms of Colchester, 
which display a cross between three coronets, are attributed. 

The history of the Castle was very ably illustrated by the Rev. 
C. H. Hartshome, at the Congress of the British Archaeological Asso- 
ciation, held at Colchester in the year 1865, from which we quote the 
most interesting points of the construction ot the Castle and its history. 
Although its position " presents nothing remarkable in a defensive view, 
yet it has some peculiarities of an architectural nature that entitle it to a 
careful examination. The keep, and there remains nothing besides, was 
formerly surrounded by a fosse and palisade, the usual method of for- 
tification at the time these military buildings were erected. The tosse 
may have either been the work of the Romans or of a very much later 
period, as it would equally suit their system of castrametation, or the 
practice of the Normans. Viewed by itself it has very little evidence in 
the inquiry as to when the Castle itself was built. If traditionary 
accounts are of any value, what has been written about the extent of 
the fosse would make it appear more probable that it was executed by 
the Romans than their successors. 

" The admixture of Roman biick with flints and cement stone imparts 
to the Castle a rugged effect. The keep, which is rectangular, is 171 feet 
8 inches from north to south, and 128 feet S inches from cast to west 
in its widest dimensions, thus exhibiting a greater size and larger area 
within its extreme outward walls than the White Tower of London, 
Castle Rising, Bamborough, Rochester, or any other castle in England. 
Its altitude is below all of them, and was never much more than is seen 
at present. 

*• The angles of the butti-csses throuj;l»out arc built with Roman biick, 



Colchester Castle. 213 

or an Imitation of it, nearly half their height. They are generally used 
horizontally, but sometimes endwise and hening-bone fashion. This 
irregularity of construction, together with the disfigurements made by 
an ignorant owner, who purchased the Castle in 1683, for the sake of 
pulling it down and selling the materials, give the whole building a 
rough and dilapidated appearance. The best material employed 
throughout the entire district, when bricks are not used, consists of 
flint and Harwich cement stone. In this Castle they are used with 
some of the dressings of Caen stone, or of the shelly oolite from 
Barnack, near Stamford. 

"It is clear that the Castle was erected before 1130, since in this 
year there is a payment entered on the Great Roll of the Pipe, of one 
marc of silver being paid to Eraddus the mason. There being no other 
building in Colchester then in the hands of the Crown, this outlay must 
consequently have been expended upon the Castle. No further mention 
of it occurs until 1 1 70 ; when there appears an entry on the same 
records for works which cost forty-seven shillings. Again in 1 180 
the turris, as it is termed, being the keep, was repaired at an outlay of 
upwards of ten pounds. These entries upon the accounts of the 
sheriff of the county make it conclusive that the whole building had, by 
this time, been finished, but began to require reparation. 

" The gateway of the keep, ornamented with roll mouldings and their 
nebule ornament, has a portcullis. It is the principal feature of archi- 
tecture in the building, and is of the period at which we have arrived 
A large gateway at St. Osyth Priory is very like it in mouldings and 
proportions, though the one at Colchester is earlier. 

" There does not appear any entry of importance during the reign 
of King John either on the Pipe or Close Rolls. However, in 12 19, 
tlie Bishop of London, who was then farmer of the town, received a 
precept from Henry II I . to select two legal and discreet men, who should 
erect a palisade round the Castle in lieu of the one recently blown down, 

*' This building is historically memorable for two assaults that it un- 
derwent in the thirteenth century. The first was made by Saher de 
Quincy, Earl of Winchester, in 12 15, by whom it was captured. After 
a few days' siege, it was, however, retaken by King John. In the fol- 
lowing year it fell into the hands of Louis, son of Philip II. of France. 
At this time the Dauphin, partly on the invitation of the English 
nobility, in consequence of their hatred of John, landed at Dover, and 
ultimately succeeded in obtaining possession of Rochester, Guildford, 
Heveningham, and Colchester. His tenure was, however, but brief. 
The barons gained their liberties without foreign assistance, and the 



214 Colchester Castle. 

Dauphin was driven out of the Castles he had taken with so little 
difficulty. 

" Colchester Castle was never of the same altitude as other Norman 
fortresses met with in England and elsewhere. This is another feature 
of its peculiarity. Though the keep is the largest, it is also the lowest 
that now exists. Its vaulting, too, is more extensive than is met with 
in other castles. This gives it internally a degree of apparent spacious- 
ness and of real solidity that is not of frequent occurrence. In fact, 
this species of waggon vaulting is rarely seen, except in the basements 
of military buildings. The walls average 12 feet in thickness. 

" In a document printed by Dugdale, in his Monasticon, thei-e occurs a 
passage which must for ever set a controverted question at rest. The 
writer of the Genealogy of Tmtem Abbey speaks of Rohcsia, the 
daughter of Hasoul de Harcourt. She manied for her first husband, 
Richard, the son of Eai'l Gilbert, who was amongst the most 
leading of the Conqueror's followers. Her second husbanil was 
Eudo le Dapifer, who is here spoken of as the builder of the Castle of 
Colchester and the founder of the Abbey of St. John. Between the 
accession of Henry I. in hoc, and the death of Eudo Dapifer in 1120, 
there was ample time for him to construct the Castle. Still more time 
if the reign of William Rufus is included, which would widen the con- 
jectural period of its erection nearly thirteen years more, and extend 
the interval during which the building must be confined between 1087 
and 1120. It is not improbable that it was built in his reign. 

" It is recorded in the history of the foundation of St. John's Abbey, 
that it was set out in the presence of Maurice Bishop of London in 
1096, or the ninth year of the reign of William II.; that the first stone 
was laid by Eudo Dapifer after Easter the following year, the second 
by Rohesia his wife, and the third by Earl Gilbert her brother. The 
same account that furnishes these particulars also states how Eudo 
became invested with the honour of dapifer or seneschal, or, as the 
oflice may perhaps now be termed, royal chamberlain. William Fitz 
Osborn, who had previously held it, placed before the king on a parti- 
cular feast day, in virtue of his duty, a goose which was so baiUy roasted 
that the blood came out when it was pressed. Being very deservedly 
reprobated by the King for such an act of negligence, with diHiculty 
•comaching the royal abuse, and unwillingly shedding tears, he stretched 
forth his hand for punishment, when immediately Eudo thrust out his 
own, and in his steatl received the monarch's angry blow. Eitz Osborn, 
exa8|Hrratcd, retired from oflice ; but he, however, askeil that he should 
be Bticcccdc'J by Eudo; and thus, it iii said, in consequence of his 



Colchester Castle. 215 

father's deserts as well as his own, with the request of Fitz Osbom, 
Elide received the appointment. 

" When the Conqueror was lying under his last sickness at Caen, 
Eudo, though promoted, was not unmindful that upon William's decease 
another person might succeed as dapifer ; therefore, he passed over 
into Normandy, and applied to the future king to be confirmed in his 
office at his father's death. He really deserved it from his hands ; for 
he promptly supported him, when the event happened, by preparing 
the English nobility for his succession to the throne. Nor in his eleva- 
tion did he forget the people of Colchester. After his visit to Nor- 
mandy he returned to the town at the earliest moment, and devoted 
himself to their service. He both fully inquired into and relieved their 
grievances. They, in turn, confessed their obligation, and solicited the 
King that they might be placed under the protection of such a bene- 
factor. Had William II. granted a charter during his reign, undoubt- 
edly Eudo's influence would have obtained the fullest privileges for th« 
men of Colchester. His name ought for ever to be enshrined in the 
grateful memories of the inhabitants, since it is associated with the 
brightest period of the town." 

His remains were carried, after his decease, from the Castle of Preux, 
in Normandy, and honourably interred, 1 1 20, in the Abbey founded by 
his piety. Of that monument of his devotion, little belonging to his 
time exists ; but the Castle he built testifies his former power, and a 
most interesting building must always appeal, not more forcibly for 
preservation to the people of Colchester than to England itself, as an 
ancient landmark of history. 

A recent writer has made the startling assertion that Colchester 
Castle was once a temple of Claudius, that the vaulted room, commonly 
called a Chapel, was the podium in fi-ont of the adytum of the temple, 
whilst the building itself is the oldest and the noblest monument of the 
Romans in Great Britain. Mr. Hartshome does not, however, assent 
to these ideas. There is abundant evidence to show the Roman occu- 
pation in the reign of Claudius ; but there is none to prove its 
antiquity as a settlement earlier than the nation made on the southern 
coast at Pevensey, Lymne, Dover, and Richborough. Roman settlement 
in Colchester is shown not by its name alone. It is visible in some of the 
materials of which the Castle is built ; but no portion whatever of the 
present structure can be attributed to a period before the Conquest, 
nor can it be assigned to any other than the Norman period, or con- 
sidered otherwise than a Norman castle. 

When the Catholic religion regained a temporary predominance over 



2i6 The Priory of St. OsytJu 

the Reformation under Mary I., the persecution was very severe in 
Essex, twenty-one persons (five of them women) were burnt at 
Colchester, and one died in prison ; and two persons (one a woman) 
were burnt at Stratford. 



The Priory of St. Osyth. 

The county of Essex, at the Reformation, possessed several religious 
houses, of which there are some remains. At the time of the 
Suppression there were seven of the greatest monasteries, of which that 
at Chich, ten miles south-east of Colchester, was the third in 
rank. It was a noble foundation for Augustine Canons, and lay 
near the sea-coast, opposite to Mersey Island, the parish being anciently 
part of the royal domains. Canute granted it to Godwin, and the 
great Earl gave it to Christ Church, in Canterbury, with the licence of 
Edward the Confessor. It must have been taken from that Church at 
or soon after the Conquest, for, at the time of the Domesday survey, 
the Manor belonged to the Bishop of London, and formed part of the 
endowment of the monastery. 

St. Osyth was very celebrated in Essex. There are many histories 
of her life, but the most voluminous is that in Latin, by Capgrave, 
printed by Wyn-kyn de Worde, in 151 6. St. Osyth, according to 
this life, was the daughter of Frithwald or Redwald, the first Christian 
King of the East Angles, and of Wilburga, his wife, daughter of Penda, 
King of the Mercians. She was, when very young, entrusted to the 
care of St. Modwen, at Pollesworth, in Warwickshire. While there 
she was sent with a book from St. Edith, sister of King Alfred, to St. 
Modwen, and fell off a bridge into a river and was drowned. She 
remained in the river three days, and was restored to life by the prayers 
of St. Modwen. 

St. Osyth having returned to her parents, was betrothed by them to 
Sighere, King of Essex ; but before the man-iage was consummated 
she took the veil, and Sighere gave her his village of Chich, and built a 
nunnery there, of which she was abbess. The house was of the order 
of Maturines. In the month of October, 653, a band of Danes landed 
in the neiglibourhood of Chich, and ravaged tlie country. St. Osyth 
refused to worship their gods, and the leader of the Danes ordered 
her head to be cut off. Tlic saint took up lier head in hoi hands, and 
proceeded to the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, about one-third ol 
a mile, stopping at the door of the Church, which was closed. She 



The Priory of St Osytk. 217 

stnick it with her blood-stained hand, and fell prostrate. On the spot 
where the saint suffered, a fountain of clear water gushed forth, said to 
DC a cure for many diseases. There is no reason to doubt the legend, — 
which is confirmed by Essex tradition — that the scene of St. Osyth's 
martyrdom was in the Nun's Wood, and that the old fountain which 
still remains there, and takes its name from the murdered nun, is the 
stream which ran in the days of the Heptarchy, and is probably 
destined to flow on to the end of time. 

The body of St. Osyth was at first buried in the Church of Chich, 
which was founded by her, but soon removed by her father and mothei 
to Aylesbury. Many miracles were performed at her shrine, and after 
forty-six years, by miraculous interposition, the body was translated to 
Chich, and deposited in the Church therewith great solemnity. A long 
account of the miracles performed at the shrine of the saint, or through 
her interposition, is given in the life in the Legenda. 

The Nunnery founded by St. Osyth is supposed to have been the 
most ancient monastic establishment in Essex. It was no doubt 
destroyed by the Danes at the time of St. Osyth's death, for no trace 
of it appears in the records extant before the Conquest or in Domesday 
Book. The Church founded at Chich by St. Osyth in honour of 
St. Peter and St. Paul was on the site of the Church now standing. 

St. Osyth was held in great veneration. Matthew Paris has a story 
how a certain husbandman, named Thurcillus, who lived at Tidstude, 
a village in Essex, was taken into purgatory, hell, and paradise, by St. 
James and other saints ; and when he had come to the most holy and 
pleasant place in all paradise, he saw St. Catherine, St. Margaret, and 
St. Osyth. This is said to have happened in the reign of King John, 
A.». 1206. 

In those days (says Aubrey), when they went to bed, they did 
rake up the fire and make a x in the ashes, and pray to God and 
St. Sythe to deliver them from fire and from water, and from all 
misadventure. 

According to a local tradition, on one night in every year St. Osyth 
revisits the scene of her martyrdom, walking with her head in her 
hands. This legend probably gave rise to the sign of the Good 
Woman at Widford, of whom it used to be said that she was the 
only good woman in Essex. 

In the reign of Henry I. the Bishop of London, Richard de Beimels, 
or Beauvays, built a religious house of regular canons of St. Augustine 
at Chich, in honour of the two great Apostles St. Peter and St. 
Paul, and of St. Osyth. Virgin and Martyr; and in the year 1120 ob- 



2 T ^ The Priory of St. Osyth. 

tained the Manor of Chich, which then belonged to the see of London, 
from the Church of St. Paul, giving in exchange for it fourteen pounds 
of land in Lodeswoode, and six pounds of land in Southminster. By 
this charter the Bishop granted to the canons several extraordinary pri- 
vileges and immunities. 

Bishop Belmeis caused the arm of St. Osyth to be translated to the 
church with great solemnity in the presence of William de Corbill, 
the first Prior of the house, who was afterwards Archbishop of Can- 
terbury, and other Bishops, remitting twenty days' penance to all that 
came to worship it ; and relaxing every year seven days' penance to all 
who should devoutly come thither to celebrate her festival, which was 
held on the 7th August. 

It is said by William of Malmesbury that it was the wish and in- 
tention of the Bishop to have thrown aside the dignity and splendour 
of the episcopal see, and to have retired as a brother into the Priory. 
He died, however, before canying his intention into effect, and the 
monks or canons of St. Osyth buried his body within the walls of the 
monastery, under a marble monument. 

The first Abbot of St. Osyth was William de Corbill or Corboise, 
who was consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury in the year 1123, and 
soon after built Christ Church, Canterbury. At the death of 
Henry I., he espoused the cause of Stephen, Earl of Blois, and 
crowned him King. 

Among the benefactions, King Henry II.'s charter, in addition to 
confirming previous charters, confirmed the right of the canons to 
elect their own Abbot, and gave tliem free warren in the lands of 
Chich, Birche, and Stowmarket, with the liberty to keep two hamers 
and four foxhounds, for hunting the hare and fox. He also granted to 
them a free market at Chich, which was held down to the year [317 ; 
for in that year a presentment was made at Colchester that the Abbot 
of St. Osyth held a market in the village of St. Osyth, every Sunday, 
to the great injury of the town of Colchester. 

The Clunch of St. Osyth having been given to the canons by 
Bishop Ik'Imeis, and the tithes having been appropriated to them, they 
served the cure by one of themselves. On 9th February, 1401, temp. 
Henry IV., Sir William Savvtre, priest of St. Osyth, was burnt alive 
for licrcsy. 

The Priory was surrendered to the King in 1(539 ^'7 P'^or Col- 
chester and sixteen monks. It was granted to Tliomas Cromwell, 
one of the most eminent statesmen under Henry VIII. The King rc- 
i»';ir(lcd the ztal of liis minister by the t'ft of about thirty monactic 



The Priory of St. Osyth 2 19 

manors and valuable estates in Efsex and other counties ; and ainonjj 
others by patent of the 3i8t Henry VIII. he obtained the grant of the 
dissolved Monastery of St. Osyth, and all the houses, buildings, church, 
and other appurtenances thereunto belonging, and also the manors or 
lordships. On the attainder of Cromwell, however, his pussessiont 
again reverted to the Crown. 

U'^illiam Barlow, who was very active in promoting the tlestruc- 
tion of monasteries, was originally a canon of St. Osyth. He fled 
liom England on tiie accession of Mary; but when Elizabeth came 
to the throne he was promoted to the see of Chichester. The 
Priory with other considerable estates was, in the 5th Edward VI., 
granted to Sir Thomas Darcy, who was in the same year created Baron 
Darcy of Chich, and made K.G. He paid to the King for the grant 
3974/. 9J. 4|^. Lord Darcy is said to have been descended from the 
ancient family of the same name. 

John, his son and successor, entertained Queen Elizabeth at St. 
Osyth, when the royal festivity was inteiTupted by " as great thunder 
and lightning as any man had ever heard, fi-om about eight or nine 
till past ten, then great rain till midnight, insomuch that the people 
thought that the world was at an end and the day of doom come, it 
was so ten-ible." 

From the Dissolution until the death of Darcy Earl Rivers, the 
Priory was the principal seat and residence of the Darcy family. The 
Priory estates passed by the Earl's death into the Savage family ; but 
the house was not inhabited until the time of the Earl of Rochford, 
about eighty years after this period. It is from this time probably that 
the Priory began to fall into decay. The third Earl is supposed to have 
pulled down part of the ruins of the Priory, and to have built with 
the materials the modern mansion, part of which is still standing. The 
third and fourth Earls made the Prior)' their ordinary residence. 

Lord Rochford is said to have brought, in 1768, from Lombardy, 
some Lombardy poplar-trees, of which four or five are still standing in 
the park. They are supposed to have been the first planted in England. 

George III., on two occasions, when he went to inspect the camp at 
Colchester, stayed at St. Osyth as the guest of the fourth Earl. The 
King presented two fine portraits of himself and Queen Charlotte to 
Lord Rochford in their coronation robes, by Allan Ramsay. Lord 
Rochford was one of the only men of note mentioned by Junius in his 
letters with commendation. If we may believe the statements of au 
anonymous writer in the Gentleman s Magazine, he was privy to the 
authcrship of those Ictteis. The wTiter says that an intimate friend of 



220 The Priory of St. Osyth. 

his lordship was kept waiting outside by him one evening, and that 
when Lord Rochford came in he apologized for his absence, saying that 
it had been caused by an affair of the utmost importance, adding that 
he would hear no more of Junius. The writer gives no date, but says 
that after that time no letters were published. 

This Earl was a personal friend of George II. and III., and was for 
many years in their sei-vice. In 1 738 he was appointed Lord of the Bed- 
chamber to George II. ; in 1748, Vice-Admiral of the Coast of Essex ; 
in 1756, Lord-Lieutenant and Gustos Rotulorum of the County; and 
at George II.'s death he was Groom of the Stole, and as such was 
entitled to the furniture of the room in which the King died. Some 
pictures of which the Earl became thus possessed are still at the Priory, 
and the bed-quilt until recently did auty as an altar-cloth in the parish 
church. 

The estate some years ago passed into the hands of the present owner, 
Mr. Johnson. The ancient buildings covered a great extent. The ruins 
are scattered in rich profusion in all directions round the modern dwell- 
ing-house — arches, towers, and picturesque remains meet the eye in 
every direction. During the last hundred years the ruins are said to 
have furnished materials for repairing houses in the village, and even for 
mending the roads. Fortunately, the noble gate tower and the Abbot's 
Tower are still in very good preservation. 

The greater part of the existing remains were built by Abbot John 
Vyntoner, the last Abbot but one, in tlie early part of the sixteenth 
century. Erom the fact that Cromwell chose it for himself out of all 
the spoils of the monasteries, which he had at his entire disposal, it is 
evident that the Priory must have been a magnificent building at the 
time of its dissolution. There is very little of an earlier date. The 
Norman archway on the Bury, part of another Norman arch at the 
back of the existing house, some old walls, and the crypt or chapel, are 
the only remains of the first building. There is no trace of an abbey 
church, so that probably the monks used the parish chinch. The gate- 
house, the abbot's tower, the clock tower, and the beautiful oriel window 
in front of the house, were evidently erected at the commencement ot 
the sixteenth century. 

The window is filled with heraldic and other devices, and at the top 
are two dates — a.d. mcccccxxvii., and a.d. 1527. The initials and 
rebus of Abbot Vyntoner are many times repeated in tlie window. The 
two shields before the dates are curious examples of the monograms ot 
that early date. A vine growing out of a tun is on several shiclils, but 
Uie most curious rebus of the Abbot is on the east side of tlie window. 



The Priory of St. Osyih. 23 1 

A vine sun'ounds a shield, on which is a crosier passed through a mitre, 
and issuing out of a tun, with the initials I.V. on either side of the 
cros'er. The portcullis, the royal arms, the three crowns, the arms of 
the Priory — in one instance with a sword — the head of St. Osyth, the 
cross keys and sword, to designate the apostles Peter and Paul, the Papal 
arms, the five wounds of our Saviour, and the monogram of the Virgin 
Mary, occur frequently, while other shields, such as those charged with a 
white heart, with three combs, with four water bougets for Bourchier, 
with a mullet for De Vere, may represent the arms of benefactors to 
the Abbey. Some very handsome old oak panels, which evidently came 
from the old Priory, are of the same time and the work of the same 
abbot. His rebus, more elaborate, a grape vine growing from a tun, is 
very often repeated, and the vine is carved on nearly every panel. 

We have condensed the foregoing details of this important religious 
house from a paper read by Mr. Watney to the Essex Archaeological 
Society, at their meeting at Colchester, in July, 1869. The materials 
for this paper have evidently been assembled with great discrimination 
and appreciative acquaintance with the history of the Priory and its 
locality. 

Mr. C. F. Haywood, at the above-named meeting of the Essex 
Archaeological Society, made these supplemental descriptive notes: — 

Among the remains there are none of the Saxon period, but some of 
the Nonnan date, and some beautiful Early English near the large tower. 
The tower gateway, which is the principal entrance to the Priory, is a 
noble structure, covered with rich tracery, niches, and ornaments, and is 
one of the most interesting portions of the remaining ancient buildings. 
To the east of the gateway are three lofty towers, commanding ex- 
tensive views of the surrounding country. The quadrangle of the 
Priory is almost entire, but some of the buildings are of modern date. 
On one side of the quadrangle is a range of old buildings in the Tudor 
style, and having several sharp pointed gables and an octagonal obser- 
vatory rising from the centre. Among the ruins in the garden, on the 
north side of the present mansion, is a pier — evidently a portion of the 
ancient buildings — with a Latin inscription upon it, of which the follow- 
ing is the translation : — 

" This ancient wall which you see, is preserved to declare the bounds 
of this reverend monastery ; and you may rejoice at the happiness of 
your time between the mirth and pleasantness of this place, now that 
superstition has been banished from this stately mansion, which was 
consecrated to barrenness and sloth. 1760." 

The parish church is situate near the Priory, on the south side, and 



222 The Priory of Little Dunmow^ 

is dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul. It is a large and stately building, 
having a nave and lofty north and south aisles and chancel, with a north 
aisle or chapel, a/'d a large square tower containing six bells. The 
principal objects of interest in the building are several defaced monu- 
ments belonging to the Darcy family. 



The Priory of Little Dunmow, and the Flitch of Bacon 
Custom. 

In a corn-field, about four miles distant from the town of Dunmow, 
are the venerable remains of the Priory Church of Little Dunmow. It 
was formerly the eastern end of the south aisle of a magnificent 
collegiate church, erected for the joint use of the parish, and of 
a religious house, founded a.d. 1104, by Juga, sister of Ralph Bayard, 
for a Prior of eleven canons of the order of St. Augustine, and con- 
secrated by Maurice, Bishop of London. At the Suppression, this 
monastery was given to Robert, Earl of Sussex, by Henry VIII. ; but 
it was subsequently in the possession of several different families. Here 
the fair Matilda lies buried, who, better known as Maid Marian, shared 
the fortunes of Robin Hood. According to Mr. Steevens, Bishop Percy, 
and Drayton, the name of Marian was originally assumed by " a lady 
of high degree," who was murdered at Dunmow Priory. 

In this Priory was a custom which is believed to have originated with 
Robert Fit/.-Walter, in thereign of Henry III., that " he which repenteth 
him not of his marriage, sleeping or waking, in a yeere and a day, might 
lawfully fetch a gammon of bacon." To this custom we shall presently 
return. 

In the chancel, upon an altar-tomb, is the fair alabaster effis'ies of the 
celebrated Matilda. On the head, which reposes upon a cushion, is a 
covering like a woollen nightcap. She has a collar of SS ; a necklace 
of pendants falling from a richly-embroidered neckerchief, a i-ich girdle 
and long robes, the sleeves close to the wrists, and slit there. Her 
fingers are loaded with rings. At the head were two angels, now mu- 
tilated, and a dog on each side of her feet. According to the (Chronicle 
of Dugdale, in the Monaiticon, she was buried across two columns, in 
the south part of the choir; but her edigy, with its slab, is now placed 
upon a grey altar-tomb, decorated with shields with quatrefoils. 

The lady's history has been already related at pages 52 and r,^ ; 
out the following account of her death ditlers from that given in 



The Priory of Little Dunmow. 223 

the foiTner of these pages. When her husband was again outlawed 
by King John, she shared his misfortune, and at his death took refuge 
in Dunmow Priory (which appears to have been enriched by some 
member of her family), trusting to spend the residue of her days in peace. 

The tyrant, however, who had never forgotten her bravery in Sher- 
wood Forest, despatched a gallant knight, one Robert de Medewe (the 
common ancestor of the present Earl Manvers), with a token to the 
fair recluse — a poisoned bracelet. Ignorant of the accursed deed he 
went to perform. Sir Robert arrived at the Priory, and was respectfully 
and cordially received. Matilda had lost the bloom and vivacity ot 
youth, but her mien was stately, and her person still imposing. The 
rough warrior felt the flame of love kindling in his bosom, but he 
strove to stifle it, and bidding the lady a hasty adieu, speedily 
departed. Whilst on the road to London, his fond feelings waxed 
stronger and stronger the farther he proceeded from the object of them ; 
and at length, being unable any longer to curb his passion, he turned 
his horse's head, and retraced his way. It was night when he reached 
the Priory, but the light of many topers streamed through the windows 
of the adjoining church on the weary soldier, and the solemn dirge of 
dsath awoke the slumbering echoes. With fearful forebodings, he 
entered the house of prayer, and there, in the chancel, on a bier and 
covered with flowers, was stretched the lifeless body of the unfortunate 
Matilda. The bracelet was on her wrist, it had eaten its way to 
the bone, and the fiery poison had dried her life-blood. The flesh 
was very pale, but a heavenly smile irradiated her countenance: the 
priests were standing around, weeping, and the " Dies irae " died away 
on their quivering lips when the warrior entered. He flung himself on 
the lady's corpse, invoking a thousand maledictions upon his own 
head. No persuasions could induce him to return to the camp and 
Court, but, resigning his mail for the cowl and gown, he became a faith- 
ful brother of the order of St. Augustine. 

Facing the monument of this hapless lady, is another erected to the 
memory of Walter, first of the name, who died a.d. 1198, and was 
buried with Matilda Bohun, his second wife, in the choir. Sir Walter 
is clad in plate armour, beneath which is a leathern shirt ; the legs are 
broken olf at the knees ; the lady wears a tiara decorated with lace, 
eanings, and a necklace; their heads repose on cushions, and their 
hands are raised in the supplicatory attitude. On the north side of the 
chancel is a mural monument to the memory of Sir James Hallet, 
Knight ; and near it stands the Chair, in which the happy couple who 
obtamed the flitch of bacon, were carried on men's shoulders round 



2 -'J TJie Prioty of Little Dnnnio'W. 

the site of the Priory. Probably, it was the usual seat of the old 
Abbots: it is in good rondition, considering that several centuries have 
glided away since it assumed its present form.* 

The last Prior of Dunmow, Geoffrey Shether, was confirmed in 
1518. A memorial of him is preserved in the British Museum, in his 
book of household expenses, from tlie 23rd to 26th of Henry VIII. 
That he was a thrifty farmer is evident from many payments for the 
" sowing of Lente corne," " thresshyng of whete," " mendyng of the 
plowys," " spreddyng of dung," " mowynge," &c. Nor did Geoffrey 
forget the conventual beer; he pays twelve pence to " ij men tor kepyng 
of roky 8 fro my barley," and three shillings to " a woman for dryying 
of malt." At harvest-time he employed a large number of the labour- 
ing poor, both men and women. The Priory land yielded a goodl) 
crop ; and Prior Geoffrey expended in harvest wages seven pounds 
eight shillings and fourpence, which seems to have so rejoiced his heart 
that he bought new " harvest bowlys," and expended fourteenpence 
for " harvest dysshes," for the merry feast. Perhaps, to do honour to 
his higher guests, he also purchased " iiij botteles of wyn xvid." He 
delighted in the songs and music of the minstrels, and found pleasure 
in the disport and jests of fools and players. Sometimes they carne 
singly, but ofcen in little companies, to the Prior's hall, where they 
were well received and always dismissed with " a rewarde." Nor 
must we overlook the payments to " the Lorde of Mysrulle ot 
Dunmow." 

If Prior Geoffrey loved mirth, he was not neglectful of the poor: 
he gave constantly " almes," " maundy money," &c. What became of 
the Prior after the Dissolution is doubtful ; perhaps, like many others, 
he sank into obscurity and indigence, and instead of his " venyson," his 
*• botelle of red wyn," and his " creem and strawberries," which his 
household book tells us he sometimes enjoyed, he had to learn the 
rigour of a more monastic but less agreeable regimen. — Notes and 
Queries, 1855. 

The history of the Bacon Custom is thus briefly told:- -The Flitch 
of Bacon is one of those numerous old local customs of which the origin 
seems to be entirely forgotten. All we really know is, that at an early 
pcrioti the custom existed, in tlie Priory of Little Dunmow, of deli- 
vering a Flitch or a Gammon of Bacon to any couple who claimed it, 
and could swear, a year ami a day after their marriage, tliat during that 
time they had never offended each other in deed or word, or ever wished 

• Contribution to the Graphic Illustrator, 1834. 



The Priory of Little Dunmdw. 225 

tnemselves unmarried again. It was probably a custom attached to the 
tenure of the manor, and it was continued after the Priory was dis- 
solved, and the land had passed into secular hands. Three cases of the 
gift of the flitch are recorded as having occurred before the Dissolution 
of the Priory ; but we probably owe the knowledge of these to mere 
accident or caprice, and they do not prove, as some seem to think, that 
it was not given much more frequently. On the contrary, we can only 
account for the great celebrity which the custom at this place enjoyed 
throughout England at a very early period, by assuming that the prize 
was frequently claimed and adjudicated. So early, indeed, as the 
middle of the fourteenth century, the author of the celebrated satirical 
poem of P'tcrs Ploughman, who lived on the borders of Wales, mentions 
the custom in a manner that implies a general knowledge of it among 
his readers ; and most readers of the present time will remember how, 
about half a century later, Chaucer put an allusion to it in the mouth 
of his " Wife of Bath," implying that it was then a matter of common 
notoriety in the West of England. About the middle of the Kfteenth 
century — that is, in the reign of Henry VI. — we have another curious 
allusion to this custom in an English theological poem. The writer, 
speaking of the general corruptions of the time, which affected even 
domestic life, says quaintly : 

" I can fynd no man now that wille enquire 
The parfyte wais unto Dunmow ; 
For they repent hem within a yere, 
And many within a weke, and sooner, men trow; 
That cawsith the wais to be rough and over-grow, 
That no man may fynd either path or gap; 
The world is turnyd to another shape. 

" Beef and moton wylle serve welle enow ; 
And for to fetch so ferre a lytil bacon flyk, 
Which hath long hanggid, rusty, and tow ; 
And the way, I telle you, is combrous and thyk ; 
And thou might stomble, and take the cryke.* 
Therefore bide at home, whatsoever hap, 
Tylle the world be turnyd into another shape." 

It was about the date of this poem, in the 23rd Henry VI. (i44_(;), 
that the first recorded award of the Flitch of Bacon took place: 
it was then delivered to Richard Wright, yeoman, of Bradbourghe, 
in Norfolk. In the 7th Edward IV. (1467), Stephen Samuel, a 
husbandman, of Little Easton, in Essex, received a gammon of bacon ; 
and a gammon was similarly given, in 1510, to Thomas Fuller, of 
Coggeshall. __^_ 

• Break thy neck. 

a 



226 The Priory of Little Dimmow 

According to the old ceremonial at Dunmow, the party claim.ng 
the bacon — who was styled the Pilgrim — was to take the oath in rhyme, 
kneeling on two sharp stones in the churchyard, the Convent attending, 
and using a variety of ceremonies. The oath is as follows : — 

" Wc do swear by custom of confession 
That we ne'er made nuptial transgression ; 
Nor since we were married man and wife, 
'Sy household brawls or contentious strife, 
Or otherwise — bed or at board, 
Offended each other in deed or word ; 
Or since the parish clerk said amen, 
Wished ourselves unmarried again ; 
Or in a twelvemonth and a day 
Repented in thought or any way. 
But continued true and in desire, 
As when we joined in holy quire." 

When this oath was taken by each couple, it was the duty of the 
officer who administered it to reply : — 

" Since to these conditions, without any fear, 
Of your own accord you do freely swear, 
A whole flitch of bacon you shall receive, 
And bear it hence with love and good leave ; 
For this our custom at Dunmow well known, 
Though the pleasure be ours, the bacon's your own." 

Then the Pilgrim was taken on men's shoulders, and carried, first, 
about the Priory churchyard, and afterwards through the village, ati 
tended by the monks of the Convent, the bacon being borne in triumph 
before them. The ceremonial was continued with ^little alteration 
after the Dissolut'ion of the monastery, but the adjudication then took 
place in the court-baron of the lord of the manor. A case occurred in 
1 70 1, when two couples obtained each a gammon of bacon. The first 
claimants on this occasion were William Parsley, butcher, of Mucli 
Easton, in Essex, and his wife ; and the second, John Reynolds, 
steward to Sir Charles Barrington, of Hatfield Broad Oak, and his 
wife. They took the usual oath, kneeling on two stones, in the 
churchyard ; but the jury consisted only of five maidens, without any of 
the other sex, and four of the maidens appear by their names to Iiave 
been sisters. In 1761, the bacon was claimed by Thomas Shakeshaft, 
weaver, of Wcathersfield, in Essex, and his wife. A special court- 
baron was held for the investigation of the case, a widow being the 
lady of the manor ; and six maidens and six bachelors were duly enrolled 
as the jury. The claimants had been mairicd seven years, and no oh- 
jectlou having been found to their claims, they went through the uuuui 



The Pricry of Little Diinmow. 227 

formalities, and received a gammon of bacon. This case appears to 
have made great noise in the country, and no less than five thousand 
persons are said to have been present, the road being literally blocked 
up by the various vehicles from the town of Great Dunmow to the 
Priory. It is said that on this occasion the successful candidates rea^ 
lized a considerable sum of money by selling slices of the bacon to those 
who had come to witness the celebration. This procession was repre- 
sented in a large print, engraved by C. Mosley, after a painting taken on 
the spot by David Osborne: this print — a Hogarthian scene — is now 
scarce, and fetches a high price. 

From this time the custom appears to have become obsolete ; even 
the stones on which the claimants knelt on taking the oath, were carried 
away; and the old Chair, of carved oak, in which the successful couple 
were borne, alone remains in the Priory church. The '^ohn Bull news- 
paper, Oct. 8, 1837, speaks of the renewal of the observance at a meet- 
ing of the Saffron Walden and Dunmow Agricultural Society. It is 
reported in the neighbourhood that when our excellent Qiieen had been 
man-led a year and a day, the then lord of the manor privately offered 
the flitch of bacon to her Majesty, who declined the compliment ; but 
be this true or not, the same generosity was not extended to the less 
elevated claimants. In 1855, on July 15th, the custom was observed at 
the instigation of Mr. Harrison Ainsworth, the novelist, who subscribed 
handsomely towards the expenses, besides providing the flitch, and 
eventually gave a second. The honour fell upon Mr. Barlow, a builder, 
of Chipping Ongar ; and the second flitch was adjudged to a couple from 
London — the Chevalier de Chatelain and his wife. As the lord of the 
manor of Little Dunmow refused to allow the revival of the custom 
there, it was held at Great Dunmow. But it met with great opposition 
even there, headed by the clergy of the neighbourhood ; though it was 
very popular generally. The weather proved wet ; but the adjudication 
took place in the Town-hall. The jury consisted of six maidens and six 
bachelors ; Mr. Ainsworth presided ; there were two sets of claimants 
and their witnesses, and counsel for claimants and opposition ; but they 
were declared worthy of the prize. In 1861, just a century after the last 
gift of the bacon at the Manorial Court, a claim was made by a Mr. and 
Mrs. Hurrell, owners and occupiers of a farm at Felsted, adjoining Little 
Dunmow ; but the lord of the manor refused to revive the custom. 
This caused much discontent in the parish, which was only appeased by 
an intimation that if the claimants would drive over to Easton Park, on 
the 1 6th of July, where a rural fete was to take place, they would there 
receive a gammon of bacon, on going through the old ceremonial On 



228 The Priory of Little Dunmow. 

the day appointed, a multitude of pei-sons assembled before the Town 
Hall in Great Dunmow, with music, and when the two claimants 
ippeared, they were escorted in triumph to the Park, and the gammon 
of bacon was carried before them. About three thousand persons wit- 
nessed the proceeding, which consisted in taking the old Oath and re- 
ceiving the bacon, without the jury or trial. The opposition of the 
lord of the manor to any revival of the old custom in Little Dunmow 
continued until the year 1869, when it was i-evived on Aug. 16, the 
court being held in a marquee ; but this was not strictly a revival of an 
ancient and interesting usage. 

Such is an outline of the general history of this "jocular tenure," 
the course of which has not always run smoothly. Thus, it appears 
that in 1772, June 12, an Essex couple made their pubHc entry into 
Dunmow, escorted by a great concourse of persons, and demanded 
the gammon of bacon, declaring themselves ready to take the usual 
oath ; but the Priory gates were found fast nailed, and all admittance 
refused, by order of the lord of the manor ; and Gough, writing in 
1809, mentioned the custom as abolished, " on account of the abuse 
of it in these loose principled times." 

The Oath was sometimes in prose, and less strict than that at 
Dunmow: this was certainly done as early as the loth year of King 
Edward III., when the manor was held by Sir Philip de Somerville. 
The Oath was taken on a book laid above the bacon, and was as 
follows: " Here ye. Sir Philippe de Somervile, Lord of "Whichenovre, 
maynteyner andgyver of this Baconne, that I, A, sithe I wedded iJ, my 
wife, and sythe 1 hadd hyr in my kepyng, and at my wylle, by a yere 
and a day, after our marriage, I would not have cliaungcd for none 
other, farer ne fowler, rycher ne pourer, ne for none descended of 
greater lynage, slepyng ne waking, at noo tyme. And yf the seyd 
B wer sole, and I sole, I would take her to be my wyfe, before all 
the wymen of the worlde of what condiciones soever they be, good 
or evylle, as helpe me God and his Seyntys, and the flesh and all 
fleshes." 

It is observable that this Whichenovre Flitch was to be hanging in the 
hall of the manor, " redy arrayed all times of the yere, butt in Lent." 
It was to be given to every man or woman married, " after the day and 
the yere of their maniage be past : and to be given to everyche mane of 
religion, archbishop, bishop, prior, or other religious, and to everyche 
preest, after the year and day of their profession fuiished, or of their 
dignity rescyvcd." 

Tbi» observance was not, however, confmed entirely to Dunmovs' and 



Hedingham Castle. 229 

Wjichenoure, for it prevailed in Bretagne, at the Abbey of St. Melaine, 
near Rennes, where, for six hundred years, a flitch of bacon was given 
to the first couple who had been married a year and a day without 
having quarrelled or grumbled at each other, or repented of theit 



Hedingham Castle. 

This Anglo-Norman fortress, which gives name to the parish in which 
it stands, was built by the De Veres, to which family the lordship of 
Hedingham was given by the Conqueror. The architecture, which is 
very similar to that of Rochester Castle, leads to the supposition that 
it was erected about the same time as that fortress — viz., towards the 
close of the eleventh, or the beginning of the twelfth century. Maud, 
wife of King Stephen, is said to have died here. In the Civil Wars ot 
the reign of King John, the Castle was held by Robert de Vere, Earl of 
Oxford, for the Barons, but was taken A.u. 12 16 by the King. It was 
retaken in the beginning of the reign of Henry III. by Louis, Dauphin 
of France, but recovered by the Earl of Pembroke for the young King. 
In the reign of Henry VII. that prince was sumptuously entertained 
here by John de Vere, Earl of Oxford, who had suffered severely for his 
attachment to the Lancastrian cause, and had been one of the chief 
instruments in placing the crown on Henry's head. As the King was 
departing, he observed that the Earl, to do him honour, had put 
liveries on his retainers ; and in return for his hospitality, the King com- 
pelled him to compound by a fine of 15,000 marks for breaking a 
statute recently passed, forbidding such a practice. 

The De Veres retained the Castle until a.d. 1625. It has since 
passed through various hands. The Keep is the only part remaining ; 
it is one of the finest and best preserved Norman Keeps in the king- 
dom. The walls are above 100 feet high, from 11^ to \2\ feet 
thick at the bottom, and from y.V to 10 feet thick at the top; the 
eastern wall is at least a foot thicker than the others, having been so 
built, it is conjectured, to withstand the violent easterly winds. The 
building is a parallelogram of 55 feet on the east and west sides, and 
62 feet on the north and south. At each angle, on the top, there was 
formerly an embattled turret; two of the turrets remain ; the parapet, 
now destroyed, was also embattled. The Castle is built with irregular 
flints, or stones, embedded in grouting or fluid mortar, and is cased on 
the outside with squared stone, very neatly and regularly put together. 



230 Saffron Walden Castle and Atidley End. 

It has five storeys, including the ground-floor and platform. The prin- 
cipal entrance is on the first storey, and on the west side, with a flight 
of stairs leading up to it. Entrances to the ground-floor were made 
with great labour in 1720. The whole building is worthy of inspection ; 
it has some fine Norman enrichments in the interior. 



Saffron Walden Castle and Audley End. 

Walden, or Saffron Walden, lies near the north-eastern extremity of 
Essex, and is named from Weald, a wood and den, or valley ; its prefix 
Saffron is derived from the great quantity of that plant formerly cul- 
tivated in the neighbourhood ; but this culture has been long aban- 
doned. At the period of the Domesday Survey, the lordship of 
Walden was possessed by a Norman, Geoffrey de Magnaville, one of 
the companions of the Conqueror. This nobleman erected at Walden 
a Castle, which, judging from the remains of it, must have been of great 
strength. These remains occupy the highest part of the town, and con- 
sist of some parts of the walls and towers, built with flint boiuid to- 
gether by a very hard cement. Geoffrey, the grandson of the founder 
of the Castle, having deserted the party of Stephen for that of the 
Empress Maud, obtained of her permission to remove the market from 
the neighbouring town of Newport (now a village) to Walden. 
Having been, however, seized by Stephen, he could only obtain his 
freedom by the delivery of his castles, Walden being one of them, to 
the King. 

The same nobleman founded here in 1136 a Benedictine Priory, 
which was, some years later, raised to the rank of an Abbey, and 
obtained se\'eral valuable benefactions. AttheDissoIution, the site was 
granted to Sir Thomas Audley, I..ord Chancellor, and the title of Lord 
Audley of Walden was conferred upon him. On the site and grounds 
of the monastery, enlarged by a subseciueiit addition of 200 acres, 
stand the present mansion and park of Audley End. 

"Lord Audley is a singular instance," says Lord Campbell, in his 
Lives of the Keepers of the Great Seal, "of a statesman, in the reign of 
Henry VI IL, remaining long in favour and in ofllce, and dying a 
natural death. Reckoning from the time when he was made Speaker 
of the House of Commons, he had been employed by Henry constantly 
fincc the fall of Wolsey— under six Queens — avoiding the peril of 
acknowledging the Pope on the one hand, or offending against the Six 



Saffron Walden Castle and Atidley End, 2jt 

Articles on the other. He enjoyed great power, amassed immense 
wealth, was raised to the highest honours and dignities, and reaped 
what he considered a full recompence. According to a desire ex- 
pressed in his will, he was buried in a chapel he had erected at Saffron 
Walden, where a splendid monument was raised to him, with a poetical 
epitaph, which there is some reason to suppose that, in imitation of his 
immediate predecessor, he had himself composed. He was highly con- 
nected by marriage, having for his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas 
Grey, Marquis of Dorset ; and his daughter and heiress, after having 
been mairied to a younger son of Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, 
becoming the second wife of Thomas Duke of Norfolk ; their son 
being the ancestor of the Howards, Earls of Suffolk and Berkshire; 
'famous in his day,' says Dugdale, 'for building on the ruins of the 
Abbey of Walden that stately fabric, now known by the name of 
Audley End (in memory of this Lord Audley), not to be equalled 
excepting Hampton Court, by any in this realm.' " 

Audley End is the seat of Lord Braybrooke, whose father, 3rd 
Baron of Braybrooke, edited the Diary of Samuel Pepys, F.R.S., Secre- 
tary to the Admiralty in the reign of Charles H., and the Private Cor- 
respondence nf Jane Lady Cornivallis, 1 6 [3 to 1644. The mansion, 
originally more extensive than at present, is still one of the finest in the 
county; it is said to have cost at its erection 190,000/. The house 
contains some interesting historical portraits, and other pictures. 

On a green, near the town, is a singular relic of other times, called 
the Maze ; it consists of concentric circles, with four outworks cut in 
chalk, which here rises to the surface ; its origin and use are unknown. 
Dr. Stukeley conjectures it to have been a British cursus or place of 
exercise for the soldiery. A short distance from the town are the re- 
mains of an ancient encampment, of an oblong form, called Pell Ditches, 
or Rope Ditches. 

We have referred to the extensive culture of Saffron at Walden, in 
former times. Hakluyt, when he visited the place, was told that a 
pilgrim brought Saffron from the Levant into England in the reign 
of Edward HL The first root of Saffron he had found means to 
conceal in his staff, made hollow for that purpose ; and so, continues 
Hakluyt, " he brought the root into this realm with venture of life ; for 
if he had been taken, by the law of the country from whence it came, 
he had died for the fact." It was a costly plant at Walden, for we find 
the Corporation {>aying five guineas for a pound of Saffron to present to 
Queen Elizabeth, upon her visit to the town. It is a curious old place, 
which Stukeley thus describes: " A narrow tongue of land shook itself 



232 Barking A bbey. — Boiv Bridge. 

out like a promontory, encompassed with a valley in the form of a 
horse-shoe, enclosed by distant and most delightful hills. On the 
bottom of the tongue stand the ruins of a Castle, and on the top or 
extremity the church, round which, and on the side of the hill and in 
the valley, is the town built, so that the bottom of the church is as 
high as the town, and seen above the tops of the houses." Many of 
these are of quaint forms, with gabled fronts, and old customs linger 
here. May Day is kept with garlands of flowers, in the centre of 
which is placed a doll, dressed in white, according to certain traditional 
regulations. The doll represents the Virgin Mary, and is a relic of the 
ages of Romanism. 

Barking Abbey. — Bow Bridge. 

Barking, seven miles east of London, on the river Roding, running 
into the Thames, had a magnificent Abbey, one of the earliest of our, 
monastic institutions; but it is erroneously said to have been the first 
convent for females established in the kingdom. It was founded about 
675, by St. Erkenvvold, Bishop of London, in honour of Christ and the 
Blessed Virgin, his mother, for Benedictine nuns. St. Ethelburgh, the 
founder's sister, and first Abbess, after\vards became the patron saint of 
the convent. The day dedicated to her service was October 1 1, and in 
the Abbey accounts mention occurs of the annual store of provision 
of "wheat and milk for Frimite upon St. Alburg's Day." The site of 
the conventual buildings, with the demesne lands of the Abbey, were 
granted by King Edward VL in 1551, to Edward Fyncs, Lord Clinton. 
Scarcely any remains of the Abbey exist, except fragments of walls. At 
the entrance of Barking Churchyard is an embattled gatehouse, called 
Fire-Bell Gate, from its having once contained a bell, which Mr. 
Lysons imagines to have been used as a curfew-l>oll. 

St. Erkenwold died at the Abbey of Barking, and upon the removal 
of his body to London for interment, the procession was stopped at 
liford and Stratford ferry by the river Hood theiv ; but the Chronicles 
record the intervention of a miracle, by which a safe and easy passage 
was procured for the corpse of the holy man and its attendants. 

The passage, however, became dangerous and dillicult to other pcr- 
aons, many losing their lives, or being thoroughly welted, which hap- 
pened to be the case of Qiieen Maud, who turned tlic road, and caused 
the bridge and causeway to be built at her own charge. Such was the 
origin of the first "Bow Bridge:' it is described as a " rare piece of 
workc, for before the time the like had never bcene scene in England," 



Barking A bbey. — Bow Bridge. 133 

Matilda gave manors and a mill to the Abbess of Barking tor the 
repair of this bridge and highway : the bridge had originally on it a 
chapel erected by order of the pious Matilda. 

After Gilbert de Montfichet built the Abbey of Stratford-in-the- 
Marshes, the Abbot bought the " manors and mil," and covenanted for 
the repairs, which he entrusted to one Godfrey Pratt for " certaine 
loaves of bread daily ;" but at length he neglected his charge, and the 
bridges fell into decay. Lysons, however, states that Hugh, not 
Godfrey Pratt, in the reign of King John, by aid of passengers, kept 
the bridge in repair ; and at his death his son did the same, and ob- 
tained a toll, stated by Morant to have been " for every cart carrying 
corn, wood, coal, &c., one penny; of one can-ying tasel, twopence; 
and of one carrying a dead Jew, eightpence." But our law records 
show that in the reign of Edward II. the Abbot of Stratford, the 
Master of London Bridge, and the Master of St. Thomas of Acre, are 
charged with the repair of the Bridges {t.e.. Bow-bridge, and the 
Chanelse-bridge), as holding the mills and other property originally 
given by Queen Matilda to the Abbess of Barking, for their support 
and maintenance. It was finally agreed between the Abbess of 
Barking and the Abbot of West Ham, that the latter should repair the 
Bridges ever after, upon receiving a sum of money from the former. 
Pratt's claim for toll was rigidly enforced ; for " he put staples and 
bars upon the bridges, &c., and refused to permit carts or horse even to 
pass, unless they were nobility, whom, through fear, he quietly per- 
mitted to pass." The remainder of these proceedings was occasioned 
by the refusal of the Abbot of Stratford to repair this great work of 
the pious Queen ; and he did not acknowledge his liability till 8th 
Edward II. The question was finally settled in 1690, from which 
period the landownei"s " continued the charge of the bridge and cause- 
way at Stratford for the free and uninterrupted use of the public, as 
was originally intended by the royal founder." [The old bridge has 
been removed, and a new one erected in its place in 1835-9.] 

The adjoining village of Stratford, on the London side of the bridge, 
appears to have received the addition of the word atte-Boghe, or atte- 
Bowe, to its name, in consequence of the erection of this bridge ; and 
to distinguish it from a place of the same name on the opposite side 
of the river. Chaucer, in his description of Dame Eglantine, the 
Prioress, has : 

" Frenche she spake full fayre and fetisly, 
After the scole of Stratford-atte-Bowe, 
For Frenche of Paris was to her unknow." 



234 Barking Abbey. — Boiv Bridge. 

Among the many miracles wrought in Barking monastery, Bede relates 
the following during a plague : — " When the mortality, ravaging all 
around, had also seized on that part of this monastery where the m.en 
resided, and they were daily hurried away to meet their God, the 
careful mother of the Society often inquired in the convent of the 
sisters, where they would have their bodies buried, and where a church- 
yard should be made when the same pestilence should fall upon that 
part of the monastery in which God's female servants were divided 
from the men, and they should be snatched away out of the world by 
the same destruction. Receiving no certain reply, though she often 
put the question to the sisters, she and all of them received a mosi 
certain answer from heaven. For one night, when the morning psalm 
was ended, and those servants of Christ were gone out of the oratory to 
the tombs of the brothers who had departed this life before them, and 
were singing the usual praises to the Lord, on a sudden a light from 
heaven, like a gi-eat sheet, came down upon them all, and struck them 
with so much terror that they, in consternation, left off singing. But 
that resplendent light, which seemed to exceed the sun at noon-day, soon 
aft«r rising from that place, removed to the south side of the monastery — 
that is, to the westward of the oratory — and having continued there 
some time, and scattered those parts in the sight of them all, withdrew 
itself again up to heaven, leaving conviction in the minds of all that the 
same light, which was to lead or to receive the souls of those servants of 
God into heaven, was intended to show the place in which their bodies 
were to rest, and await the day of the resurrection. This light was so 
great, that one of the eldest of the brothers, who at the same time was 
in their oratory with another younger than himself, related in the morn- 
ing, that the rays of light which came in at the crannies of the doors and 
windows seemed to exceed the utmost brightness of daylight itself. 

" There was in the same monastery a boy, not above three years old, 
called Esion, who, by reason of his infant years, was bred up among 
the virgins dedicated to God, and there to pursue his studies. The 
child iK'ing seized by the pestilence, when he was at the last gasp, callcxl 
three times upon one of the virgins consecrated to Gi)d, directing his 
words to her by her own name, as if she had been present — " Eadgith ! 
Eadgith ! Eadgith !" and thus ending his temporal life, entered into 
that which is eternal. The virgin whom he called was immediately 
leized, where she was, with the Kime distemper, and departing this life 
the same day on which she had been called, followed him tjjat called her 
into the heavenly country. 

** Likewise, one of tliose same servants of God, being ill of the same 



Ingatestone Hall. — Hiding-places of Priests. 235 

disease, and reduced to extremity, began on a sudden, about midnight, 
to cry out to them that attended her, desiring that they would put out 
the candle that was lighted there ; which, when she had often repeated, 
and yet no one did it, at last she said • ' I know you think I speak this 
in a raving fit, but let me inform you that it is not so ; for I tell you that 
I see this house filled with so much light, that your candle there seems 
to me to be dark.' And when still no one regarded what she said, or 
returned any answer, she added : ' Let the candle burn as long as you 
will, but take notice that it is not my light, for my light will come to 
me at the dawn of the day.' Then she began to tell that a certain man 
of God, who had died that same year, had appeared to her, telling her 
that at the break of day she should depart to the heavenly light. The 
truth of which was made out by the virgin's dying as soon as the day 
appeared." 

About two miles from Barking, on the road to Dagenham, is East- 
bury House, built about the reign of Edward VI.: it is a very fine 
specimen of the Tudor style of domestic architecture ; the whole is of 
brick, unmixed with stone, and the chimney-stacks and pinnacles at 
the corners of the gables are fine examples of moulded brickwork. It 
is supposed to have been built by Sir W. Denham, to whom Edward VI. 
granted the estate. An unfounded tradition formerly prevailed in the 
neighbourhood, that the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot was owing 
to a mistake in delivering a letter which was designed for Lord Mont- 
eagle to an inhabitant of Eastbury House, named Montague. 



Ingatestone Hall. — Hiding-places of Priests. 

This curious old place, with a strange history, is twenty-four miles 
from London, and was anciently a grange or summer residence belonging 
to the Abbey of Barking. It came with the estate into possession of the 
noble family of Pctre, in the reign of Henry VIII., and continued to be 
occupied as their family seat from that period until the middle of the 
last century. The Hall, originally built on the plan of a double square, 
had outer and inner courts, with a stately towered entrance to the main 
building. This gateway and the entire outer court have been destroyed, 
leaving only three sides of the inner court : yet this fragment of the 
original mansion affords ample residence for seveml families. It is in 
plan the form of the lower half of the letter H, and formed a portion 
of the piincipal part of the house ; the family and domestics occupying 
the right or south wing, and the guests and visitors the left or north 



236 higatestone Hall. — Hiding-places of Priests. 

wing; the great hall being the centre. The south front is broken up 
by picturesque gables, and the north presents a nearly unbroken front, 
and opens to a spacious lawn and garden, with gravel-walks a quarter Oi 
a mile in length. 

Few persons may be aware of the existence of " secret chambers " in 
any of the old mansions of this country, particularly in those erected or 
occupied by the followers of the old faith, which were intended for priests' 
hiding-places, which the state of the law formerly rendered necessary. 
It appears that late in the sixteenth and early in the seventeenth centuries, 
the celebration of mass in this country was strictly forbidden ; indeed, 
on the discovery of an offender the penalty was death. The Rev. E. 
Genings was hanged, drawn, and quartered on the loth December, 1591, 
before the door of Mr. Wells's house, in Gray's Inn Fields, for having 
said mass in a chamber of the said house on the previous 8th of Novem- 
ber. Hence the necessity for great privacy. It was illegal to use the 
chapel; the priest, therefore, celebrated mass secretly "in a chamber" 
opening fiom which was a hiding-place to which he could retreat, and 
where, in a trunk, the vestments, altar-furniture, missal, crucifix, and 
sacred vessels were kept. In Challoner's Memoirs of Missionary 
Priests, it is said that " Father S. J. was forced to be concealed all day 
under so close a confinement that he scarce durst for months together 
walk out so much as into the garden of the house where he was har- 
boured." 

The " secret chamber " at Ingatestone Hall was entered from a small 
room in the middle floor over one of the projections of the south front. 
It is a small room attached to what was probably the host's bedroom ; 
or, at all events, to this day, the apartment, hung with some fine 
tapestry, is in good preservation. In the south-cast corner of this small 
room, on taking up a carpet, the floor-boards were found to be decayed, 
and under them was found a second layer of boards, about a foot lower 
down. When these boards were removed, a hole, or trap-door, about 
two feet square, and a twelve-step ladder to dcvScend into a room be- 
neath, was disclosed. The ladder can scarcely be original : the con- 
struction does not carry one back more than a century ; the age of the 
chamber itself g(H's back to the reign of James 1. Hy comparison with 
ladders of the sixteenth and even the seventeenth centuries, this ladder 
Is slightly made ; the sides only are of oak, notched to receive the steps, 
which are nailed. The steps are more worn than the use of the chamber, 
at the assumed period would warrant. The existence of this retreat 
must have U-cn familiar to the heads of the family f\)r several genera- 
tions: indeed, evidence of this was afforded by a packing-caae directed 



Ingatestojie Hall. — Hiding-places of Priests. 237 

" For the Right Honble. the Lady Petre, at Ingatestone Hall, in Essex:" 
the wood was very much decayed, and the writing was in a formal and 
antiquated style. The Petre family left Ingatestone Hall between the 
years 1770 and 1780. 

The " hiding-place " measures fourteen feet in length, two feet one 
inch in width, and ten feet in height. Its floor-level is the natural 
ground line : the floor is composed of nine inches of remarkably diy 
sand, so as to exclude damp or moisture. The Hall itself is of the age 
of Henry VII. ; but it is difficult to determine whether the chamber is 
coeval therewith, or the work of the next century. The style of the 
brickwork of the party-wall is very similar to that of the main walls, 
with this difference, that the bricks in the latter, with few exceptions, 
are two and a quarter inches in thickness ; while those in the former 
agree only in this respect to the height of four feet, above which the 
majority of them are two and a half inches in thickness. The top of 
the party-wall gathered over in six courses, receives a "double-floor" 
i'lxteen inches thick over the " hiding-place ;" while the rest of the room 
above is a single floor measuring only se-ven inches— a circumstance 
affording strong evidence that the " secret chamber " is an addition to 
the original structure. A cursory examination of the sand composing 
the floor brought to light a few bones, small enough to be those of a 
bird, and in all probability the remains of food supplied to some un- 
fortunate occupant during confinement. 

The most interesting relic is the chest, in which no doubt were de- 
posited the vestments, crucifix, altar-furniture, and sacred vessels. Care 
was taken that the apartment should be perfectly dry ; the chest was, 
moreover, kept oft" the floor by two pieces of oak for bearers. The 
wood of the chest appears to be yew, and is only three quarters of an 
inch in thickness, very carefully put together, and entirely covered with 
kather, turned over the edge inside and glued down. The chest was 
further lined with strong linen, securely nailed, and the outside edges 
ironbound ; five iron bands pass round the skirt-way, two others length- 
wise, and two girt it horizontally. The metal is thin, hard hammered, 
one and one eighth and one and quarter inches in breadth, and, as it 
were, woven alternately under and over, and thickly nailed. The nails 
are clenched at the back, and each of the cross-bands is made into a 
hinge, so that the lid hangs upon five hinges. There are two hasped 
locks, each riveted on by three long staples, made ornamental by 
chisel-cuts on the face; a projecting rib, formed like the letter S, 
encircles the keyholes ; and there is a third means of fastening adapted 
for a padlock in the centre. At the ends are long thin handles of quaint 



238 Wanstead House. 

character, like the rest. Against the end wall is firmly stuck a small, 
rudely modelled clay candle-holder. 

We have abridged these details from a communication to 'Notes ami 
Queries, No. 293, by Mr. Henry Tuck, who some time resided at the 
Hall, and took especial interest in its history and contents. At Ingate- 
stone, too, is The Hyde, late the seat of Mr. John Disney, who here 
assembled a most interesting collection of antiquities, principally 
mediaeval, known as the Museum Disneianum, an illustrated account of 
which, in folio, has been published. 



Wanstead House. 

The ancient manor of Wanstead, granted by Edward VI. to Robert, 
Lord Rich, was sold by him to the Earl of Leicester, who, in 1568, 
entertained Queen Elizabeth at the manor-house for several days ; and 
also solemnized his marriage here with the Countess of Essex. The 
estate reverting to the Crown, King James gave it to Sir Henry Mild- 
may, who, having been one of the judges of King Charles I., the 
property was again forfeited. King Charles H. gave it to the Duke of 
York, who sold it to Sir Robert Brooke. Of his representatives it was 
purchased by Sir Jcsiah Child, whose son Richard, Earl of Tylney, built 
here a magnificent mansion about 17 15, from designs by Colin 
Campbell.* It was cased with Portland stone, was 260 feet in length, 
and 70 feet in depth, and was one of the noblest houses in all Europe. 
It had a noble portico of six Corinthian columns, with a double (light 
of steps. The great Hall was fifty-three feet by forty-five, the ceiling 
painted by Kent with representations of Morning, Noon, Evening, and 
Night. In this Hall were antique statues of Agrippina and Domitian ; 
and four statues of Poetry, Painting, Music, and Architecture. The 
principal apartments were right and left of the Hall ; the back room, 
extending the whole length of the house, was hung with tapestry of 
Telemachus and Calypso, and the Battles of Alexander. The back 
front contained some noble apartments, including a saloon thirty feet 
square, in which were antique statues of Apollo and Bacchus, and a 



• About this time (17x7) the "tall Maypole," which "once o'erlooked the 
Strand," was taktrn down, when it was Ibund to measure 100 feet. It was 
obtained by Sir Isaac Newton, and borne on a carriage, for timber, to Wan- 
•tead, the seat of the Earl of Sidney, where, under tlie direction of the Rev. 
Mr, Pound Breton, it was placed in the I'ark, for the erection of a hwgc 
telescope, the largest then in »hc world, presented by a French gentleman tg 
Ibe Ro/al Society.— A'c/fx and Qutriu, No. 9. 



Wans t cad House. 239 

•utue of Flora by Wilton. The principal apartments were hung 
with pictures ; and a breakfast-room contained fine prints pasted ori 
A straw-coloured paper, with engraved borders. 

The gardens and grounds were ornamented with fine sculptures; a 
circular piece of water, seemingly equal to the length of the house; the 
river Roding, formed into canals ; walks and wildernesses, and a curious 
grotto. In the Park were abundance of deer, and some fine timber. 

Wanstead House was for several years, during the minority of Miss 
Long, occupied by the emigrants of the Royal House of Bourbon. It 
was afterwards repaired, and became the residence of its rich heiress. 
Miss Long, who in 18x2 was mairied to William Tylney Pole Long 
Wellesley, Esq. Within ten years the magnificent mansion was dis- 
mantled, and the sale of its splendid furniture was commenced June 10, 
1822 ; and the house was taken down and the materials sold. 

Mrs. Long Wellesley died in 1825, and Mr. Pole Wellesley (who 
succeeded his father as Earl of Mornington in 1845) married secondly, 
in 1825, the third daughter of Colonel Thomas Paterson. The death 
of this lady in the year 1869 was thus commented on in the Jthenxum 
journal : — 

" The Countess of Mornington, widow of the notorious William 
Pole Tylney Long Wellesley, Earl of Mornington, who died recently 
In her 76th year, adds an incident to the Romance of the Peerage. 
After the ruin into which the reckless Earl's affairs fell, some forty 
years ago, this lady was for a brief time an inmate of St. George's 
Workhouse, and more than once had to apply at police courts for tem- 
porary relief. Yet she might have called monarchs " couiins." She was 
descended from the grandest and greatest of all the Plantagenets. Her 
mother (wife of Col. Paterson), Ann Porterfield of that ilk, came 
through Boyd, Cunningham, Glencairn, and Hamilton, from Mary 
Stuart, daughter of King James the Second of Scotland, and seventh in 
descent from Edward the First of England. The earldom of Morn- 
ington, extinct in the elder line ot the Wellesleys, has lapsed to tH? 
Duke of Wellington," 



2^0 



Havering Bower, or Haverlng-atte-Bower. 

Th"s small Essex village, three miles north of Romford, is famous iti 
royal records from a remote period. It was a seat of some of our Saxon 
kings, and a favourite one of Edward the Confessor, who took great 
delight in the place, as being woody, solitary, and fit for devotion. 
•' It so abounded," says the old legend, " with warbling nightingales, 
that they disturbed him in his devotions. He, therefore, earnestly 
prayed for their absence ; since which time never nightingale was heard 
to sing in the Park, but many without the pales, as in other places." 
The little parish, though near London, has abundance of parks and 
woodlands, and is as quiet and peaceful as any in Old England ; and 
the sweet notes of the nightingale are still heard at Havering, 
chattering their Maker's praise amid tlie shady groves of this pretty 
village. Some portion of the walls of the Confessor's palace was 
standing in our time. The Park, containing about looo acres, is now 
let on lease by the Crown. 

Havering was named the Bower, from some fine bower or shady 
place, like Rosamond's Bower at Woodstock. It is a chaiTning spot, 
having an extensive prospect over a great part of Essex, Herts, Kent, 
Middlesex, and Surrey, and of the river Thames. 

Besides the Confessor's Palace, there was another called Pergo, 
that seems to have been always the jointure-house of a Queen-consort. 
Here died Joan, Queen of Henry IV. It was certainly one of the 
royal seats in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, for during her progress 
into Suffolk in 1570, she sojourned here some days. The Palace was 
some time the seat of Lord Archer, and was pulled down in 1770. 

In the parish register of Havering, is an entry which exhibits a 
curious fact, showing the common and ordinary use of the word 
Sack. In November 1717, was voted by vestry, that "a pint of Sack 
be allowed to y« Minister y» officiates y« Lord's Day y'* AV inter 
Seascn." Yet, in the last century, the editors of Shakspeai'e were 
full cf conjcctuic as to what this word sack applied. 



34.1 



Tilbury Fort. 

Of this noted place, in the parish of West Tilbury, an ancient towm 
in Essex, opposite Gravesend, we hear more than of the Roman origin 
of the locality. Here the four Roman proconsular ways crossed each 
other ; and in the year 620, this was the see of Bishop Ceadda, or St. 
Chad, who converted the East Saxons. 

Tilbury is a regular fortification, constructed for the purpose of 
commanding tiie navigation of the river Thames, and it has been termed 
" the Key of London." It was originally formed as a mere block-house 
in the time of Henry VIII.; but, after the Dutch fleet, under De 
Ruyter, had advanced into the Thames and Medway in 1667, Charles II. 
converted it into a regular fortification, to which considerable addi- 
tions have since been made. It is surrounded by a deep and wide fosse, 
which may be filled with water when necessary ; and its ramparts pre- 
sent formidable batteries of heavy cannon towards the river. Its chief 
strength on the land side consists in its being able to lay the whole 
tract under water. On the side next the river is a strong curtain, with 
a noble Water-gate in the middle. The Fort has been dismantled, and 
some parts are to be rebuilt. 

But the historic renown of Tilbury culminates in the chivalrous visit 
of Queen Elizabeth to the Fort, in the year 1588, when the Spaniards were 
expected to attack England with their "Invincible Armada;" and a 
camp was formed here, where a body of more than 18,000 men under 
the Earl of Leicester, was posted ; and a bridge of boats was established, 
both as a means of communication, and also, if necessary, to block up 
the river. 

At the camp, which was on the spot wheie a windmill subsequently 
stood, Queen Elizabeth addressed the army commanded by her favourite 
Leicester, in the following celebrated speech : — " We have been per- 
suaded by some, that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we 
commit ourselves to armed multitudes, for fear of treachery; but I 
assure you, I do not live to distrust my faithful and loving people. Let 
tyrants fear ! I have always so behaved myself that, under God, I have 
placed my choicest strength and safeguard in the loyal hearts and good 
will of my subjects. And therefore I am come amongst you, as you see 
at this time, not for any recreation and disport, but being resolved in 
the midst and heat of battaile, to live or die amongst you all ; to lay 
down, for my God, and for my Kingdom, and for my people, my 
honour and my blood even in the dust. I know I have the bodie but 
of a weak and feeble woman, but I have tjie heart and stomach of a 



242 Tilbury Fort. 

King — and of a King of England, too ! and think foul scorn that Parma 
or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of 
my realm, to which, rather than any dishonour shall grow by me, I my- 
self will take up arms ; I myself will be your general, judge, and re- 
corder of everie of your virtues in the field. I know, alreadie, for your 
forwardness, you have deserved crowns ; and we do assure you, on the 
word of a prince, they shall be duly paid you. In the meantime, my 
Lieutenant-General (Leicester) shall be in my stead, than whom prince 
never commanded more noble or worthie subject ; not doubting, but, 
by your obedience to my General, by your concord in the camp, and 
your valour in the field, -we shall shortly have a famous victory over 
those enemies of my God, of my Kingdoms, and my people." The 
loyalty of the Roman Catholic party in England at this period has been 
much doubted ; h\x\. it has been observed that "as to any general impu- 
tation of disloyalty, the English Catholic nobles cleared themselves 
from such a charge in the day of the Spanish Armada, when Catholics 
and Protestants stood shoulder to shoulder in the ranks at Tilbury ; and a 
Catholic commanded the fleet which sent Philip's galleys to the bottom." 

We may readily understand how such speeches, at such a time, from 
such a commander, must have excited the enthusiasm of the armetl 
listeners ; how every man must have felt himself a citizen of a country 
that would surely prove to be what its opponents denominated their 
Armada — invincible. Altogether, the men of England under arms at 
the time amounted to 130,000, exclusive of the levies of the city of 
London, which sent forth a body of picked men 10,000 strong, an army 
in themselves of the first order for courage, skill, and equipments, and 
who were honoured, as they deserved, by the care of the Queen's own per- 
son. The English naval force amounted to 181 ships, with 17,472 sailors. 

Philip had a pompous account of his " most unhappy Armada" 
printed in Latin and other languages; and Cardinal Allen wrote in 
English, an " Admonition to the Nobility and People of England and 
Ireland," exhorting them to rise in aid of tlie Spaniards, and denouncing 
the Queen as the most infamous of human beings. On the failure of 
the Expedition, every effort was made to suppress this pamphlet 

" It was a pleasant sight," says old Stow, " to behold the soldiers as 
they marched towards Tilbury, their cheerful countenances, courageous 
words and gestures, dancing and leaping wheresoever they came ; and in 
the camp their utmost felicity was hope of fight with the enemy ; where 
ofttimes divers rumours rose of their foes' approach, and that present 
battles would be given them ; then were they joyful at such news, at if 
lusty giants were to run a race." 



WaltJiam Abbey, 243 

I'he so-called " Invincible Armada," as most English readers 
are aware, did not afford an opportunity for Elizabeth's land forces 
to show their valour. Its destruction was due to other causes. 
When this formidable armament — destined by the bigoted and vin- 
dictive Philip to extinguish for ever the religion and liberties of 
Protestant Europe — left the shores of Spain, it consisted of 130 
vessels, of larger size than any that had hitherto been seen in Europe, 
with 20,000 land forces on board. Of all these, fifty-three ships 
only returned to Spain, and these in a most wretched condition. 
The seamen and soldiers who remained were so overcome by 
hardships and fatigue, and so dispirited by their failure, that they 
filled all Spain with accounts of the desperate valour of the English, 
and of the tempestuous violence of the ocean by which they were 
surrounded. 



Waltham Abbey. — Burial-place of Harold. ^jj^.^X}f 

Waltham Abbey, or Waltham Holy Cross, is a large irregular 
town, situated near the River Lea (which is here separated into 
divers streams), and skirted by low-lying meadows. The Convent 
of Waltham appears to have been originally founded by Tovi, ^, 
Standard-bearer to Canute the Dane, King of England. This^ 
officer built a hunting seat in the Forest, near which he formed a 
village, placing in it " threescore and six dwellers," and it was, 
probably, after he had completed this settlement that he founded 
the Church. This place was called Waltham from the Saxon 
Weald-ham, a dwelling on the forest or wild ; and from a Cross 
vvTth the figure of the Saviour upon it, said to have been found at 
Montacute, and brought hither, was derived the adjunct name of 
Holy Cross. In the hands of the priests of Waltham, this crucifix 
manifested miraculous power ; and among the wonders told, one is 
that Harold, son of Earl Godwin, in consequence of a visit to it was ', w)>^ 

cured of palsy, whereupon he rebuilt the church, increased the \ j ^ 
number of canons to twelve, settled on them ample estates, and ; 
provided for the establishment of a school of learning at Waltham. D^ 

Farmer, in his History of Waltham, gives an account of the foun- ^^ • 

dation of the Convent somewhat different from the preceding, which V. kxv^ 
is fromDugdale'sil/t'/mj'/'/tw/. Farmer states that "Tovi, the original 
fo\mdcr of Waltham Abbey, had a son named Athelstan, who proved 
a prodigal, and quickly spent all the good -"nd gi eat estates which his 



\K 



2'44 Waltham Abbey. 

father had got together ; so that by some transaction this place returned 
to the CrowTi." — " Edward the Confessor then bestowed Waltham, 
with the lands thereabouts, on Harold, his brother-in-law, who was 
then only an Earl, and son to Earl Godwin, who immediately built 
and endowed there a monastery." It is further stated by Farmer, that 
each of the canons had one manor appropriated for his support, and 
that the Dean had six ; making in all seventeen. " All these manors 
the King granted them with sac, sol, tol, and team, &c., free from all 
gelds and payments, in the most full and ample manner, as appears by 
the charter among the records of the Tower." Harold is commonly 
stated by historians to have been killed at the battle of Hastings, and 
intened in Waltham Abbey ; but there are so many versions of this 
event, that we shall for the present, reserve an account of the trans- 
action. 

From a treatise among the Harleian MSS., entitled the Life and 
Miracles of Harold, we learn that William the Norman, as might be 
expected, showed no favour to the religious foundation of his van- 
quished rival. He forcibly took away from the Church of Holy 
• Cross a quantity of valuable" plate, gems, and rich vestments ; but, 
fortunately for the canons, he left them in possession of all their 
estates and revenues, or nearly so. Henry \\. entirely dissolved the 
foundation of dean and eleven canons at Waltham (as is stated in his 
charter), on account of the lewdness and debauchery of their lives. Guido 
or Wido Rufus, who was the last Dean of Waltham, having previously 
been suspended from his office, resigned in 1177, to the King's Com- 
missioners. This preliminary proceeding having taken place, the King 
visited Waltham on the eve of Pentecost, when regular canons were 
substituted for secular, the number enlarged to sixteen, the endow, 
ments of the establishment augmented, and Walter de Gaunt, a canon 
of Oscney, was constituted the first Abbot of the new foundation. 
The Church, thus settled, was dedicated first to the Holy Cross, and 
afterwards to St. Lawrence. The Church was then declared exempt 
from episcopal jurisdiction, and at the same time the use of the 
/*ow///ira/j— namely the mitre, crosier, ring, &c.— were granted to the 
Abbot. Waltiiam is still exempt from the Archdeacon's visitation. 

Henry U., by his charter, not only confirmed to the newly-established 
Auguslinian canons their right to the lands given by Harold and others, 
but he also added to their possessions the manors of Siwardston and 
Epping ; using the remarkable expression, that it was fit that " Christ's 
tpouit, ihould have a new dowry." Richard 1. confirmed former grants, 
And bestowed on the canons his whole manor of Waltham, with th» 



Walt ham Abbey. 2AX 

preat wood and park, called Harold's Park; 300 acres of assart laml, the 
'^ market of Waltham ; the vil lage ot JNasing, a member of A\'^altham ; and 
s/ i^o^acres of assart land there — the canons paying yearly to his exchequer 
60/. in lieu of all services. Further additions by charter and valuab'e 
grants were made to their property in the same reign. Henry III. fre- 
quently took up his residence at Waltham Abbey, and in requital of 
the hospitality of his entertainers, he granted them the right to hold a 
fair annually for seven days. At a subsecjuent period, two fairs were 
kept here, each continuing one day, the first on the 3rd of May, o.s., 
the Invention of the Cross; and the other on the 14th of Septembe-, 
O.S., the Exaltation of the Cross. 

Henry III. not only greatly augmented the privileges of Waltham 
Church, but also bestowed on it many rich gifts ; and from this time 
it became so distinguished by royal and noble benefactors, as to rank 
with the most opulent establishments in the kingdom. It was to avoid 
the expenses of a Court that this monarch so frequently made the 
Abbey his place of residence. Matthew Paris informs us that, in 1242, 
the Church of Waltham was again solemnly dedicated, the King and 
many nobles being present, most probably when Our Lady's Chapel 
(now a school-room) was added. 

When Simon de Seham was Abbot, in 1245, ^ dispute arose between 
the Abbot and the townsmen of Waltham about the common land, foi 
the details of which we have not space. The townsmen, fearing they 
should be prosecuted by the Abbot for injuries and outrage, they 
desired a " law-day," and offered to pay damages ; but instead of doing 
so, they went to London, and accused the Abbot to the King of having 
wrongfully taken away their common land, and bringing up new cus- 
toms, adding that he would " eat them up to the bone." The Abbot 
then excommunicated the men of Waltham ; and they impleaded him 
at common law, for appropriating the common land to himself. They 
were unsuccessful, and after a long suit in the King's Bench, were glad 
to confess that they had done wrong, and they were amerced twenty 
marks, which were, however, remitted. 

The same Abbot had a lawsuit with Peter, Duke of Savoy, the 
King's uncle, lord of the manor of Cheshunt, about boundaries, which 
was eventually settled ; but a dispute about land was not decided when 
the last Abbot resigned the convent to Henry VIII. During these un- 
pleasant altercations, the monks were charged by their enemies with 
resorting for consolation to the holy sisters in the nunnery at Cheshunt. 
Fuller relates that Sir Henry Colt, of Nether Hall, who was a great 
fevourite with Henry VIII. for his merry conceits, went late one n:gUt 



246 Waltham Abbey. 

to Waltham Abbey, where, being duly informed by his spies that some of 
the monks were indulging in female converse at Cheshunt Nunnery, lie 
determined to intercept their return. With this intent, he had a buck- 
stall pitched in the narrowest part of the meadow, or marsh, which they 
had to cross in their way home ; and the monks getting into it in the 
dark, were inclosed (or trapped) by his servants. The next morning 
Sir Henry presented them to the King, who, heartily laughing, declared 
that he had often seen sweeter, but never fatter venison. 

Stow, in his account of Wat Tyler's Rebellion, says that King 
Richard II., while it lasted, was " now at London, now at Waltham." 
In 1444, the campanile of the Abbey was struck with lightning. The 
last event of any importance recorded of Waltham, prior to the Refor- 
mation, was the accidental meeting of Thomas Cranmer (afterwards 
Archbishop of Canterbury) with Fox and Gardiner, which ended so 
remarkably in the advancement of the former, and produced such im- 
portant consequences in the affairs both of Church and State. Cranmer, 
when Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge, retired to Waltham (on 
account of the plague at his university), to the house of a Mr. Cressy, 
whose wife was his relation. Whilst there, Edward Fox, the King's 
almoner, and Stephen Gardiner, his secretary, went fortuitously to the 
same house, and in conversation with them on the much-disputed 
point of the King's divorce, Cranmer said that " it would be much 
better to have this question, ' Whether a man may marry his brother's 
wife or no ?' discussed and decided by the divines, and the authority of 
the Word of God, than thus from year to year prolong the time, by 
having recourse to the Pope." This opinion being reported by Dr. Fox 
to the King, the latter, in his occasional coarse language, vociferated 
that Cranmer " had the sow by the right ear," and ordering him to 
Court, he commanded him to write on the subject of the divorce, and 
afterwards rapidly promoted him. 

The following pleasant anecdote is related of this Monarch ; but the 
Abbot, who enjoyed the benefit of his prescribed regimen is not named. 
Henry, having disguised himself in the dress of one of his Guards, 
contrived to visit, about dinner-time, the Abbey of Waltham, where he 
was immediately invited to the Abbot's table ; a sirloin of beef being 
set before him, he played so good a part, that the Abbot exclaimed, 
" Well fare thy heart, and here's a cup of sack to the health of thy 
master. I would give a hundred pounds could I feed so heartily on beef 
at thou dost ; but my poor queasy stomach can hardly digest the 
breast of a chicken." The King pledged him in return, and having 
dined heartily, and thanked him for his good cheer, he departed. A few 



IVaWiam Abbey. 247 

days after, the Abbot was sent for to London, and lodged in the Tower, 
wliere he was kept a close prisoner, and for some time fed upon bread 
and water. At length a sirloin of beef was set before hi. 1, on which 
he fed as heartily as one of his own ploughmen. In the midst of his 
meal the King burst into the room from a private closet, and demanded 
his hundred pounds, which the Abbot gave with no small pleasure ; and 
on being released, returned to his monastery with a heart and pocket 
much lighter than when he left it a few days before. 

On the sunender of Waltham Abbey to the King's Commissioners 
in 1539, the clear income, according to Dugdale, was pco/. \s. yi. Its 
superiors were mitred parliamentary Barons, and its Abbots held the 
twentieth place among them in parliament ; the number of Abbots was 
thirty-two. The last Abbot was Robert Fuller, who was afterwards 
elected Prior of St. Bartholomew's, Smithtield. He may be reckoned 
among the literati of Waltham; and from his " History," written in 
460 pages folio, the fair manuscript of which was in the possession of 
the Earl of Carlisle, Fuller, his namesake (made curate of Waltham 
by that nobleman in 1648), professes faithfully to have compiled 
almost all the materials for his account of Waltham Abbey, subjoined 
to his Church History, published in a thick folio in 1656.* 

The site was granted for thirty-one years to Sir Anthony Denny, 
wno, dying about the second year of Edward VI., his widow bought 
the reversion in fee from that monarch, for somewhat more than 
3000/. Sir Edward Denny, grandchild to Sir Anthony, created Earl 
of Norwich by Charles I., was the next possessor ; from him it passed 
by the marriage of his daughter to the celebrated James Hay, Earl of 
Carlisle, and next to the family of Sir William Wake, Bart., D.C.L. 

Though the buildings of Waltham Abbey were once so extensive as 
to include a space of many acres, scarcely any part of it remains but 
the na-ve of the Abbey Church, now the parochial church ; the Lady 
Chapel on the south side ; some ruinous walls ; a small bridge and 
a gateway, near the Abbey mills ; and a dark, vaulted structure con- 
nected with the Convent Garden, and which adjoined the Abbey House 
(inhabited by the Dennys) ; of this no remains exist. In the convent 
garden is an aged tulip-tree, reported to be the largest in England. 

Originally, the Abbey Church was a very magnificent edifice, and its 
remains must be regarded as the earliest undoubted specimen of the 
Norman style of architecture now existing in England. Though erected 

• Among the natives of this parish of some degree of literary merit, are re- 
corded Roger de Waltham, canon of St. Pauls, a writer in the thirteenth 
century; and John de Waiiham, keeper of the privy seal to King Richard II. 



-t- 



^ 



V^ 248 



Walt ham Abbey. 



by Earl Harold in the Anglo-Saxon period, it cannot be justly referred 
to any other style than that which the Normans permanently inti'O- 
duced after the Conquest. 

The original form of the Church was that of a cross ; and a square 
tower, which contained " a ring of five great tuneable bells," arose from 
the intei-section of the nave and transept ; the two great western sup- 
porters of which are partly wrought into the east end. Some part of 
the tower fell from mere decay; the remainder was purposely de- 
stroyed in 1556. The Lady Chapel is probably of Henry HI.'s time, 
and is supported by graduated buttresses, ornamented with elegantly 
formed arches. Beneath it is a crypt, " the fairest," says Fuller, " that 
ever I saw." The superstructure, or schoolroom, has been much 
modernized. In the contiguous burial-ground is a very fine widely- 
spreading elm, the trunk of which, at several feet above the earth, is 
17I feet in circumference. 

The crypt, the roof of which is sustained by groined arches, was 
formerly used as a place of worship, and it had its regular priest and 
other attendants : the reading-desk was covered with plates of silver. 
In the Churchwardens' accounts we read of six annual Obits, to defiay 
the expenses of which various lands were bequeathed, and a stock ot 
eighteen conus was let out to farm for i8j. The sum allotted for each 
obit was thus expended : to the parish priest, 4//. ; to our Lady's priest, 
r^d.; to the charnel priest, ^d. ; to the two clerks, ^d. ; to the children 
(choristers), 3^. ; to the sexton, 2d. ; to the bellman, 2d. : for twc 
tapers, 2d. ; for oblations, 2d., &c. 

The present stone tower, at the west end of the Church, rises about 
eighty-six feet, and was erected about iflfjS, but the bells from the old 
steeple were sold to raise money for its completion ; so that Waltham, 
" which formerly had steeple-less bells, now had a bell-less steeple." The 
defect was remedied when a tuneable set of bells was hung in the pre- 
sent tower. The Church is new in course of repair. 

Many persons of eminent rank were buried in the church in the mo- 
nastic times. Among the memorials is a brass plate to tlie memory 
of an aged couple, with these lines: 

•• This tyme we have desired, Ivord, 
VViicii wee might come to ihce, 
That from this state of siiifvll life 
Dissolved wee niight lie. 
Hut thou, O Lord, didst time prolonjfQ 
Our lives for to amende, 
That so in tvmc wee niighle rui-ente 
Of All did tlicc oflcudc 



The Burial of Harold. 249 

And now, here Lord in clay we lyoi 
Thy meroy to expect, 
Hopinjj that thow hast cliosen vs 
To rest with thine elect." 

Near the Abbey Mill, which is still occupied in grinding corn, is a wide 
space of ground, surrounded by small dwellings, called the Bramblings, 
but formerly Rome-land, it is conjectured, from its rents being, in former 
times, appropriated to the use of the Holy See. On this spot King 
Henry VIII. is reported to have had a small house, to which he fre- 
quently retired for his private pleasures ; as may be inferred from Fuller, 
who says, " Waltham bells told no tales when the King came there." 
The statute fair is held on this piece of land. 

The various streams of the river Lea, in this neighbourhood, are tra- 
ditionally said to flow in the same channels that were made by the great 
King Alfred, when he diverted the current of the river, and left the 
Danish fleet on shore. They are now partly occupied by Government, 
for the use of the Gunpowder Mills and other works which have been 
erected here ; and which, in detached branches, extend for a distance of 
nearly four miles towards Epping. 

The Burial of Harold. 

The exact spot where Harold was buried is one of the most doubtful 
points in English history. The unfortunate King offered up his vows 
and prayers for victory in Waltham Church, previous to his engage- 
ment near Hastings with the Norman invader, where he was slam, on 
Saturday, the 14th of October, 1066, having reigned nine months and a 
few days. His body, by the mediation of his mother Githa, and two re- 
ligious men of Waltham Abbey, called Osgood and Ailric, having been 
obtained of the Conqueror (who, for some time, denied it burial, aflSrm- 
ing that it was not fit for him who had caused so many funerals), was. 
with the bodies of his two brothers, slain at the same time, brought 
hither, attended by a small dejected remainder of the English nobility, 
and with great lamentation solemnly interred. 

Harold's tomb was situated at the end of the Church, at the distance 
of about forty feet from the termination of what forms the present 
structure : it was plain, but of rich grey marble, and had on it a sort of 
cross fleury, and was supported by " pillarets," one pedestal of which 
Fuller seems to have had in his possession at the time of writing his 
History. The inscription is said to have been only these two expressive 
words, Harold infelix ; but Weever gives half-a-dozen lines of barbarous 
Latin, which are probably genuine, as they are preserved in a very ancient 



250 The Burial of Harold. 

manuscript once belonging to the Abbey. In the reign of Queen Eliza- 
beth, a gardener belonging to Sir Edward Denny, discovered, in digging, 
a large stone coffin, which, from the spot where it lay, was supposed to 
contain the royal corpse : the remains, on being touched, fell into dust. 
A second coffinwas found near the same place, containingan entire skeleton 
enclosed in lead, which conjecture identified as one of Harold's brothers. 

Florence is thought to tell us the true tale in words speaking straight 
from the heart of England's grief — " Heu, ipsemet occidit crepusculi 
tempore." The son of Godwin died, as such king and hero should die, 
helm on head and battle-axe in hand, striking the last blow for his crown 
and people, with the Holy Rood of Waltham the last cry rising from 
his lips and ringing in his ears. Disabled by the Norman arrow, cut 
down by the Norman sword, he died beneath the standard of England, 
side by side with his brothers in blood and valour. What then was the 
fiateof the lifeless relics which alone came into the power of the Conqueror? 

There is, however, strong contemporary, or nearly contemporary, 
evidence in favour of the burial on the sea-shore, and at Waltham ; and 
Mr. Freeman, in his account of Waltham Abbey (Trans. Essex 
Archieological Society), makes an ingenious attempt to reconcile them. 
" The contemporary Norman evidence seems certainly in favour of the 
belief that Harold was buried on the sea-shore," to " guard the land 
and sea," as the Conqueror is reported to have said in mockery. But 
there is also strong evidence in favour of his burial at Waltham. Even 
the Vita Haroldi, which adopts the story of his survival, acknow- 
ledges that he was supposed to be buried at Waltham immediately after 
the battle ; and, in order to reconcile these two conflicting statements, 
conceives that a wrong body was buried there in his stead. 

William of Malmesbury is the first writer who speaks of Harold's 

burial at Waltham. A modern poet would thus call up tlie scene in 

the Abbey to the imagination : — 

" A stately corpse lay stretched upon a bier, — 
The arms were crossed above the breast ; the face, 
Uncovered, by the taper's trembling light, 
Showed dimly tlie pale majesty severe 
Of him whom death, and not the Norman Duke, 
Had conquered. " 

Some annalists narrate details of his burial there, with regal honours, 
in the presence of many Norman nobles and gentlemen. The suppo- 
sition that a disinterment took place after Harold had been buried 
in Sussex is one wliicli tlicre appears no reason for discrediting, 
although some are of opinion that the story is merely traditionary, and 
that it originated in the desire of the monks of Waltham to attract 



The Burial of Harold, 251 

visitors to their shrine. That Haroicl was first interred in Sussex 
immediately after the battle is attested by contemporary authority. 

Sir Francis Palgrave asks the question, " Was not the tomb at 
Waltham an empty one?" On the Bayeux tapestry we see Harold 
falling to the ground, and read the words, " Hie Harold interfcctus est." 
In history his burial succeeds, and then there is usually an account of 
his living long afterwards. Aelred of Rievaulx hints at Harold's sur- 
viving Senlac or Hastings ; and Giraldus Cambrensis, in his It'nierary, 
mentions that the Saxons long cherished a belief that their king was 
alive. According to him, a hermit, deeply scan-ed and blinded in hii 
left eye, long dwelt in a cell near the Abbey of St. John at Chester. 
He was visited by Henry I., who had a protracted private discourse 
with him. On his deathbed the King declared that the recluse waj 
Harold. The tradition that he was dragged from among the slain, and 
carried off alive, is repeated by Bromton and Knyghton. Sir F. Pal- 
grave obsei*ves : — " If we compare the different narratives concerning 
the inhumation of Harold, we shall find the most remarkable discre- 
pancies. The escape of Harold would solve the difficulty ; the tale, 
though romantic, is not incredible, and the circumstances may easily be 
reconciled with probability. But of this story it may be asked, in the 
wordo of Fuller, where is the grain of probability to season it ? It is 
well known how fondly a vanquished people will embrace any suppo- 
sition of escape for a popular and native king : 

" View not that corpse mistrustfully, 
Defaced and manijled though it be, 
Nor cherish hope in vain." 

After Flodden the idea was long entertained that James IV. sunived. 
So was it with respect to Don Sebastian of Portugal ; Frederick, 
Emperor of Germany, and the Greek Emperor, Baldwin of Flanders ; 
and with such delusions may be classed the supposed escape of Harold." 
It has, however, remained for Mr. Freeman, in the Transactions oj 
the Essex Archa:ological Society, to reconcile two different statements, 
totally rejecting the account of the escape from Hastings. He sup- 
poses that Harold's body was buried under a heap of stones on the 
Sussex coast, nearly in the same manner as Charles of Anjou buried 
the body of Manfred in 1266 ; and that a few months afterwards it was 
conveyed to Waltham, and there solemnly interred, most probably in 
the apse of the church. It was, in all likelihood, moved to the centre 
of the new choir of Henry I., and, perhaps, again placed in a new 
tomb when the choir was rebuilt in 1242. 



252 



Nell Gwynn's House, and Looking-glass. 

At Newport, a straggling village, near the Great Eastern Railway, 
42 miles fi-om London, was once a Castle, and the village is at least as 
old as the time of the Conqueror. Near the end a fine old house is 
visible from the railway, possessing some quaint gable ends and windows^ 
and in this house it is said that one of the " merry Monarch's " many 
mistresses resided some time, to wit, Nell Gwynn, ancestress of the 
Hereditary Grand Falconer of England, the Duke of St. Albans, who 
enjoys 1 200/. a year from the State. Nelly, however, has left behind 
her reminiscences that may reconcile us to the absurd pension of her 
descendants. To the influence of the poor orange-girl over the regal 
lover we owe the erection of Chelsea Hospital. Incidents inher strange 
life have inspired many a dramatist — amongst the number, Douglas 
Jerrold, with one of his happiest dramas; and her biography, con- 
tributed to the Gentleman i Magazine by Mr. Peter Cunningham, F.S.A., 
has been republished. Of Nelly herself it may be as well to recount 
a few leading particulars. 

I Nell Gwynn — pretty, witty, merry, open hearted Nelly — has much 
more than her own fiailties to answer for ; and they (alas, that we must 
say it !) are enough in all conscience. Her very virtues have proved 
mischievous, inasmuch as they have given occasion to certain scoffers to 
blaspheme " the sun-clad power of Chastity." It is worth while to 
imagine in what consists that strange fascination which, after the lapse 
of a century and a half, still hangs round the memory of this singular 
woman. Why is her name still familiar and dear in the mouths of the 
people ? Why hath no man condemned her ? W hy has satire spared 
her ? Why is there in her remembrance a charm so far beyond, and so 
diflerent from, mere celebrity ? Other women have become famous and 
interesting in spite of their lapses from virtue, and some fiom that cause. 
The course of her life, which had begun in the puddle and sink of 
obscurity and profligacy, as it flowed, refined. For the humorous and 
scandalous stories of which she is the subject, some excuse may bo 
found in her plebeian education, and the coarseness of the age in which 
she lived : when ladies of quality gambled and swore, what could be ex- 
pected from the orange-girl ! Her earliest days were spent in London, and 
in the very lowest haunts of vulgar profligacy. While yet a mere child, 
she was an attendant in a tavern, where the sweetness of her voice and 
net sprightly address retonimendcd her to notice. She was afterwards. 



Nell Giuynns House, and Looking-glass. 



^:i:i 



Btill in extreme youth, a servant to a fruiterer, and in this capacity em- 
ployed to sell oranges at the theatres. Here her beauty and vivacity 
attracted the notice of Lacy, the comedian, her first lover, who was 
soon rivalled in her good graces by Hart, the handsomest man and most 
accomplished actor of that day. 

Nell Gwynn was prepared for the stage, for which she had a natural 
penchant; and, in 1667, we find her enrolled in the King's company of 
comedians, who were then acting under Killigrew's patent, at the new 
theatre in Drury-lane. Before the Restoration no woman had appeared 
on any English stage, the female parts being all acted by the men. The 
novelty and attraction of seeing beautiful women in such characters as 
Desdemona, Ophelia, Aspasia, &c., was undoubtedly one cause of that 
mania for theatrical amusements which was one of the characteristics 
of the time. Nell Gwynn at once became popular, and the same year 
that she first appeared on the stage, she attracted the notice of the witty 
Lord Buckhurst (afterwards the Earl of Dorset), who took her from 
the theatre, and allowed her loc/. a year. This absence, however, was 
not long ; she returned to the stage in 1668. The King openly distin- 
guished her ; and after the first performance went behind the scenes, 
and took her away in his carriage to sup with him. Soon after, Lord 
Buckhurst resigned her for the consideration of an earldom and a pen- 
sion. After this elevation (as the contemporary writers express it, and 
no doubt very sincerely thought it), we find Nelly dignified in the play- 
bills with the title of " Madam Ellen," by which name she was popu- 
larly known. She appeared on the stage once or twice after the birth 
of her eldest son, but retired altogether in 1671. About this time she 
was created one of the ladies of the Queen's privy-chamber, under 
which title she was lodged in Whitehall. Madam Ellen lost none of 
her popularity by her elevation. Nell had a natural tuni for goodness, 
which survived all her excesses. She was wild and extravagant, but 
not rapacious or selfish, — frail but not vicious ; she never meddled with 
politics, nor made herself the tool of ambitious courtiers. At the time 
the King's mistresses were everywhere execrated for their avarice and 
arrogance, it was remarked that Nell Gwynn never asked anything for 
herself, never gave herself unbecoming airs, as if she deemed her un- 
nappy situation a subject of pride : there is not a single instance of her 
using her influence over Charles for an unworthy purpose ; but on the 
contrary, the presents which the King's love or bounty lavished upon 
her, she gave and spent freely ; and misfortune, deserved or undeserved 
never approached her in vain. 

After the Kind's death, Nell Gwynn continued to reside in Pall mall, 



254 Nell Gwynyts House, and Looking-glass. 

where she lived on a small pension and some presents the King had 
made her. She survived him about seven years, conducting herself with 
the strictest decorum, and spending her time in devotion, and her small 
allowance in acts of beneficence : she died in 1691. Dr. Tenison, then 
vicar of St. Maitin's, and afterwards /Archbishop of Canterbury, preached 
her funeral sermon. The secret of Nell Gwynn's popularity seems to 
have consisted in what is generally called heart, in a kindness and can- 
dour of disposition which the errors and abject miseries of her youth 
could not harden, nor her acquaintance with a corrupt court entirely 
vitiate. On comparing and combining the scattered traits and personal 
allusions found in contemporary writers, it appears she was in person 
considerably below the middle size, but formed with perfect elegance; 
the contour of her face was round, her features delicate, her eyes bright 
and intelligent, and so small as to be almost concealed when she laughed; 
her cheek was usually dimpled with smiles, and her countenance radiant 
with hilarity, but when at rest it was soft and even pensive in its ex- 
pression ; her voice was sweet and well modulated, her hair glossy, 
abundant, and of light auburn ; her hands were singularly small and 
beautiful, and her pretty foot so very diminutive, as to afford occasion 
for mirth as well as admiration. — Condensed from Mrs. famesons 
Beauties of the Court of Charles the Second. 

There is in existence a looking-glass which beare the likeness of Nell 
Gwynn and King Charles, modelled in wax; and also the supporters 
or crest which Nell .issumed, namely, the lion and leopard. The whole 
is curiously worked in variously coloured glass beads, and the figures 
with the dresses made to project in very high relief; indeed, they are 
merely attached to the ground-work. In the upper part is Charles 
in his state dress, and in the bottom one Nell Gwynn in her court 
dress — the pattern of which is very tasteful. On the right is Charles 
in his hunting dress, and on the left is Nell in her neg/igte dress. The 
beads have retained their colours, which are very appropriate to the sub- 
ject, and must have been a work of considerable time and patience ; 
but whether done by Nell or not, there is no record. To this relic 
Laman Blanchard addressed these graceful stan/as: 

" Glass antique, "twixt thre and Nell 
Dr.iw \vc here a parallel, 
hlic, like thee, ww forced to bear 
All refltxtions, foul or fair ; 

Thou art deep and briRht within, 

Depths xs bright b«!lonK<"'I to Gwynn; 

Thou art very frail as well, 

Frail as ficbh is— so wub NelL 



Nell Gwynn's House, and Looking-glass. 255 



" Thou, her glass, art silver-lined. 
She too had a silver mind ; 
Thine is fresh to this far day, 
Hers till death ne'er wore away ; 
Thou dost to thy surface win 
Wandering glances, so did Gwynn ; 
Eyes on thee long love to dwell. 
So men's eyes would do on Nell. 

" Life-like forms in thee are sought, 
Such the forms the actress wrought ; 
Truth unfailing rests in you, 
Nell, whate'er she was, was true ; 
Clear as virtue, dull as sin. 
Thou art oft, as oft was Gwynn ; 
Breathe on thee, and drops will swell- 
Bright tears dimmed ths eyes of Nell. 

•• Thine s a irame to charm the sight, 
Framed was she, ?o give delight. 
Waxen forms here i.v'v show 
Charles above and Nell tR,-;^-." : 

But between them, chin witn CTira, 
Stuart stands as low as Gwynn, — 
Paired, yet parted — meant to tell 
Charles was opponte to Nell.* 

** Round the glass wherein her face 
Smiled so oft, her 'arms' we trace; 
Thou, her mirror, hast the pair, 
Lion here, and leopard there. 

She had part in these ; — akin 
To the lion-heart was Gwynn ; 
And the leopard's beauty fell, 
With its spots, to bounding Nell. 

•* Oft inspected, ne'er seen through, 

Thou art firm, if brittle too; 

So her will, on good intent, 

Might be broken, never bent. 

What the glass was, when therein 
Beamed the face of glad Nell Gwynn, 
Was that face, by beauty's spell. 
To the honest soul of Nell !" 



♦ Charles, in spite of every attempt made to detach him from her, lowd her 
\o the last, and his last thought was for her — " Let not poor Nelly starve X" 



2^0 



New Hall Manor. 

This ancient and historically-famous Hall is situated about three 
miles to the north of Chelmsford, and about one mile from the 
main road. Its park affords many glimpses of rich and picturesque 
scenery, and the avenue of limes by which it is approached is one 
of the finest in the kingdom. 

This noble and extensive lordship, the possession successively of 
knights, dukes, and monarchs, formed in early times a part of the 
possessions of Waltham Abbey, but by whom it was bequeathed to 
that ancient foundation is not known. It has been named New 
Hall to distinguish it from the neighbouring but less interesting 
manor of Old Hall. 

The independent history of this famous house dates from the 
twenty-fourth year of Henry IV., when the Convent of Waltham 
passed it, in exchange for the manors of Copped Hall and Shingled 
Hall in Epping, into the hands of Sir John Shardilow. Three years 
later it was transferred to Sir Henry de Coggeshall and his brother 
Thomas. The latter died in the tenth year of Henry V., leaving 
New Hall to Richard, his son and heir, and a youth of thirteen 
years of age. After passing into the possession of a number of 
different families New Hall was forfeited to the crown, probably 
from the part which its owners had taken in the desperate Wars of 
the Roses. 

The estate is next found in the possession of the noble family of 
Boteler, Earl of Ormonde. The Botelcrs or Butlers — the family 
name of the carls of Ormonde — were faithful adherents of the 
House of Lancaster. James Boteler, Earl of Wiltshire, who at his 
father's death inherited the earldom of Ormonde, was an earnest 
and able partizan of Henry VI. He fought by the King's side at 
the battle of St. Alban's, and also maintained his cause on the fields 
of Wakefield, Mortimer's Cross, and Towton. But at the last en- 
gagement his career of loyalty and service was brought to a close. 
He was taken prisoner, and was beheaded in 1461, in the reign of 
Edward IV. But with the return of the House of Lancaster to the 
throne of England fortune smiled once more upon the Botelers. 
Thomas, the third brother of the carl who had suffered death on 
the block, lived long enough to see a Lancastrian, in the person of 
Henry VII., again King of I'.ngland, and to receive the manor of 
New Hall as some reward for the labours and the sufferings of his 



Neiv Hall Manor. 257 

family in the cause of the Red Rose. A further token of royal 
favour was granted to the new proprietor when the King signified 
his complete reliance upon the fidelity of Boteler by according him 
liberty to strengthen and fortify the manor by building walls and 
towers upon it. 

It is very probable that when Thomas, Earl of Ormonde, 
obtained licence thus to convert his manor into a castle or fortress, 
he seized the opportunity to entirely rebuild, or at least to com- 
pletely repair it. But for all his labours he had not the satisfaction of 
knowing that the old manorial seat would be in future maintained in 
connexion with the name of Ormonde. He had no heirs male, and of 
his two daughters, one, named Margaret, was married to Sir William 
Boleyn, the son and heir of that Sir Geoffrey Boleyn " who was 
citizen and mercer of London, and Lord Mayor of that city in 
1458." The issue of this marriage between Margaret, daughter of 
Thomas, Earl of Ormonde, and Sir William Boleyn was Thomas 
Boleyn, who, possessing a beautiful daughter upon whom the reign- 
ing king, Henry VIII., was desirous of showering his attentions, and 
whom he soon afterwards married, was rapidly advanced from that 
middle-class station of life in which he had been bom to one of the 
first honour and preferment. The knight of New Hall was created 
Viscount Rochfort in 1525, and was soon afterwards made Knight 
of the Garter. In 1529 he was created Earl of Wiltshire and 
Ormonde, and in the following year he was appointed Lord Privy 
Seal. 

Meantime not only had King Henry VIII. obtained the Earl of 
Ormonde's daughter in marriage, but he had also acquired the 
estate of the family by exchange. So highly pleased was Henry 
with the position of his new estate that he named it Beaulieu (or 
Beautiful Place) — a name which, as may be imagined from its 
artificial and un-English form, never became popular among the 
common people. He also adorned and improved the place with 
all the taste for lordly luxury for which he was famous, erected it 
into an honour, and included it in the list of his royal residences. 
Here the King kept the royal feast of St. George in 1524, and here 
his daughter, the Princess Mary, resided for several years. 

New Hall continued in the possession of the C.own till 1573, 
when Queen Elizabeth granted it, together v/ith all the manors of 
Boreham, Walkfare, Old Hall, and their dependencies, commonly 
called the " honour " of Beaulieu, to Thomas Radcliffe, Earl of 
Sussex, The grant may be considered a most munificent one, 

S 



258 New Hall Manor. 

coming us it did from a princess usually sparing of her favours when 
these favours affected her purse ; but the services of Sir Thomas in 
Scotland and in Ireland had been so important to his Queen and 
his country that Elizabeth felt constrained by the exceptional circum- 
stances of the case to be unusually generous. The career of this 
I'ortunate Earl, who had on several occasions filled the offices of 
Lord Deputy and Lieutenant of Ireland, was brought to a close in 
1583. He died without issue, and his estates passing into the hands 
of his nearest of kin, the lordship of New Hall was sold to George 
Villiers, the famous, if not notorious, Duke of Buckingham, and the 
favourite of James I, of England, for the sum of 30,000/. 

Among all the illustrious and noble proprietors who had in turn 
become masters of New Hall few won the attention of their con- 
temporaries more completely, or have more thoroughly awakened 
the interest of posterity, than George Villiers, first Duke of Buck- 
ingham. So singularly rapid were the steps by which he rose in 
eighteen months from the rank of a humble gentleman to that of 
the first courtier in England and the most potent adviser of the 
King, and so dark are the colours in which his tragic death has been 
painted — a death foretold, as we are asked on the authority of 
family legend to believe, by a supernatural visitant — that a few of 
those incidents in the life of this remarkable character which his- 
torians have not yet seen fit to select from the annals of conspicuous 
families, but which have nevertheless been established on the best 
authority, may here be given. 

The Villiers family had long been a noteworthy one before George 
Villiers saw the light Beauty was their inheritance; and they were 
further distinguished by a grace of manner, an affability of address, 
and a gaiety and liveliness of wit, which rendered the spell of per- 
sonal charms irresistible everywhere. It was in the old family hall 
of the village of Brooksby that George — the second son of Sir George 
Villiers and that extraordinary lady whom personal or mental 
attractions enabled to rise from the rank of a serving-maid to 
be Lady Villiers and Lady Compton by marriage and Countess of 
Buckingham by creation — was born. The early youth of the lad, 
who was destined soon to distinguish himself as the most ardent 
and successful votary of gaiety and pleasure, was spent amid rural 
quiet, the sluggish pace of an inactive life, and the unromantic 
associations connected with life at a weekly boarding-school. 

Withdrawn from school at thirteen years of age, Villiers remained 
for the following three years under his mother's training. Even at 



Nezv Hall Manor. 259 

this early age so handsome was the youth in person, and so bright 
ind pleasing in mental gifts, that his mother resolved upon sending 
dim for the completion of his education to France, in order that 
the advantages which had been so lavishly bestowed upon him by 
nature should be touched to their finest issues by art. 

On his return from France, Vihiers became the intimate friend of 
Sir John Graham, a gentleman of the King's privy chamber. This 
Graham having in the first instance rescued Villiers from the awful 
crime of engaging himself to a young lady of good birth, but almost 
as poor as himself, turned the face of his young proicg^ to the 
Court. "Look higher," said Sir John, "woo fortune at the Court, 
and cease to think of a girl who, though a very Hebe, has not por- 
tion enough to buy her own pocket-handkerchiefs." 

Graham followed up this advice by introducing Villiers to Court. 
The season for such an introduction was most opportune. King 
James was a man that could hardly exist without a favourite, and 
at this special moment he had quarrelled with Somerset, the courtier 
who had last held the place of favour in the royal heart. Being 
thus destitute of an object on which to bestow the honours at his 
disposal, he welcomed the singularly handsome and captivating 
Villiers to his Court with a love passing the love of women, and 
installing him at once as his chief favourite, began to shower dis- 
tinctions upon him. There was a charm in the conversational 
powers of Villiers, and a fascination in his manner which James 
had never yet found equalled in his Scottish, and seldom in his 
English courtiers, and these exercised such an effect upon the "wisest 
fool in Christendom " that he became completely infatuated. 

The King created Villiers Knight Commander of the Garter^ 
Justice in Eyre, Earl, Marquis, and, subsequently, without any 
ceremony but the delivery of the patent, Duke of Buckingham, 
Lord High Admiral, Master of the King's Bench, High Steward of 
"Westminster, and Constable of Windsor Castle. And all these 
honours and titles, with the exception of one (the dukedom), the 
King of England conferred upon this stranger and adventurer 
within the very brief period of eighteen months. 

Nor did the King lavish on him merely titles and lucrative af>- 
pointments ; he enriched him with magnificent grants from the 
royal domains ; thus placing him, not only among the highest, but 
among the wealthiest noblemen in the land. The royal lordship of 
Whaddon alone, from which the duke derived his first title, con- 
tained four thousand acres, and a chase sufficient for a thousand 



26o New Hall Manor. 

deer. To gratify his favourite still more, the King extended his 
patronage to his whole family. His mother was, in 1618, created 
Countess of Buckingham ; his elder brother, John, was made Baron 
Villiers and Viscount Purbeck ; his younger brother, Christopher, 
was in 1623, created Earl of Anglesey and Baron of Daventry; his 
half-brother, William, was, in 1619, created a baronet ; and his 
other half-brother, Edward, was knighted in 1616, and in 1622 was 
appointed President of Munster in Ireland — a lucrative post of 
great honour, which had previously always been held by a noble- 
man. In short, the duke's influence was unbounded. So much so, 
indeed, that Clarendon asserts, that " all preferments in Church and 
State were given by him ; all his kindred and friends promoted to 
the degree in honour, or riches, or offices that he thought fit, and 
all his enemies and enviers discountenanced as he appointed." 

" To him the church, the realm, their powers consign ; 
Through him the rays of regal bounty shine ; 
Turned by his nod the stream of honour flows ; 
His smile alone security bestows : 
Still to new heights his restless wishes tower, 
Claim leads to claim, and power advances power, 
Till conquest, unresisted, ceased to please. 
And rights submitted left him none to seize." 

Having been thus hoisted by the credulity and silly partiality of 
a king into a position next the throne itself, there was only one 
other favour that the most fastidious and exacting courtier could 
desire, and that was the hand, in marriage, of the loveliest and the 
wealthiest woman in the land. This lady was found in Catharine 
Manners. " the Rose of the Vale," the only daughter of Francis, 
Earl of Rutland, and the wedding was celebrated in 1620— the fair 
bridegroom being then in his twenty-eighth year. 

But the wooing which preceded this marriage seems to have been 
very singular. It is described by Arthur Wilson, and his account 
of it is appended in his own words : — " The marquis having tempted 
her, and carried her to his lodgings in Whitehall, kept her there for 
some time, and then returned her to her father. Upon which the 
stout old earl sent him this threatening message — * That he was too 
much of a gentleman to suffer such indignity, and if he did not 
marry bis daughter to repair her honour, no greatness should pro- 
tect him from his justice.' Buckingham, who perhaps made it his 
design to get her father's goodwill this way, she being the greatest 
heir in the kingdom, had no reason to mislike the union, and there 
fore he quickly salved up the wound before it grew into a quarrel" 



New Hall Manor. 261 

With that elaborate practical joke of this age — the incognito visit 
of Prince Charles and Buckingham to Spain, to escort the betrothed 
Infanta home to England, all are acquainted. Taken up in a spirit 
of reckless adventure, imprudence and mismanagement were the 
characteristics of the expedition, and misfortune and disaster were 
its legitimate results. The two youths with their escort visited 
Paris on their route to Madrid, and attending a Court ball in the 
capital of France, Prince Charles had an opportunity of seeing the 
Princess Henrietta, whom he afterwards married, and who was 
then in the bloom of youth and beauty. Falling in love with this 
princess, Prince Charles resolved to marry her and give up the 
Infanta of Spain — with such results as were to be full of conse- 
quence to himself, his companion, and the country. 

The declaration ot King Charles I. after his accession, to the 
effect that " wee have found him (Buckingham) a faithful servante 
to our deere father ol blessed memory and ourselves," is sufficient 
testimony that " Steenie," as this courtier was fondly called, enjoyed 
no less favour at the court of Charles than he did at that of his 
father. But the very eminence to which he had risen, the splendour 
with which he shone in that " fierce light which beats upon a 
throne," seemed to be cause sufficient to rouse the jealousy of his 
rivals, and to awaken the apprehension of the people. The break- 
ing off of the Spanish match led immediately to a war with Spain, 
and for this calamity the nation somewhat unfairly blamed Buck- 
ingham. A war with France followed ; and this misfortune, with 
more show of justice, was also laid at Buckingham's door. Having 
taken command of the forces in this war with France, Buckingham 
showed in the most conspicuous manner that, though by no means 
wanting in personal bravery, he was utterly destitute of military 
genius. On his inglorious return from an expedition to the French 
coast, in which he lost the flower of his army, plots were formed to 
assassinate him. But this awful act; to the performance of which 
many men had bound themselves by solemn oaths, was destined to , 
be carried out by a single individual, who had never declared his 
intention to a human being, nor received the slightest assistance 
from any of the swarming enemies of the Court favourite. A 
certain John Felton, who is styled gentleman, and who certainly 
was a political fanatic as well as a religious enthusiast, conceived 
himself selected by Providence as the instrument for the destruc- 
tion of Buckingham, 

The duke was engaged at Portsmouth in preparing an expedition 



262 Nrd) Hall Majtor. 

for the relief and revictualling of Rochelle, which the French had 
besieged both by sea and land, when, on the morning of Saturday, 
August 23rd, 1628, while passing from the breakfast-room to the 
parlour, Felton struck him on the left breast with " a long knife 
with a white hafte." The assassin's blade is said to have pierced 
the heart, and in a quarter of an hour after receiving the wound the 
duke expired. 

There is a singular tradition connected with the death of the 
duke. About the time this event happened, a dependent of the 
Villiers family, an honest, reputable gentleman of fifty years of age, 
was engaged as an officer in the king's wardrobe in Windsor Castle. 
This officer had in his youth known Sir George Villiers, the father 
" Steenie," intimately. 

About six months before the assassination of the duke, this officer 
had retired to rest. He was in excellent health at the time, and 
was indeed specially fortified by the soundness of his mind and 
body against any liability to visions, delusions, or phantoms of any 
kind. At midnight a man of a very venerable aspect appeared at 
»he bedside, drew aside the curtains, and fixing his eyes upon the 
officer, asked him if he knew him. 

The affrighted man, half dead with fear and apprehension, after 
a moment, recognised in his midnight visitor the likeness, the cos- 
tume, and the general habit and bearing of the Sir George Villiers 
whom he had known in his youth ; and, after having recovered his 
presence of mind, he expressed himself to that effect. 

" You are right," answered the visitor ; who then proceeded to 
infonn the officer that he expected a service from him, which was, 
that he should " go to his son, the Duke of Buckingham, and tell 
him if he did not somewhat to ingratiate himself with the people, 
or at least to abate the extreme malice which they had against him, 
he would be suffered to live but a short time." 

This message having been delivered, the mysterious visitor 
disappeared. 

Next night, in the same place and at the same time, the " vene- 
rable man," looking in all respects the same as on the previous 
night, save that his countenance wore a somewhat severer aspect 
rcaj)pcarcd at the bedside of the officer. 

" Have you done as I required you ?" he asked. Then perceiving 
that his instructions had not been carried out, the visitor told the 
officer that he had expected more compliance from him, and that 
nf he did not perform his commands, he should enjoy no peace o^ 



Kew Hail Manor. 263 

mind, but should always be pursued by him. Upon this, obedience 
was promised. Next morning, waking out of a good sleep, though 
he was exceedingly perplexed with the strikingly life-like character 
of all the particulars, the officer was still willing, as on the previous 
day, to consider that he had only dreamed. 

On the third night the same personage appeared at the bedside. 
His face was dark with anger and resentment, and he bitterly 
reproached the officer for not fulfilling the given promise. 

In the midst of his distress, the poor man so far recovered his 
presence of mind as to say that in truth he had been unable to 
carry out the instructions given him, chiefly from the difficulty, to a 
man of humble station, of obtaining access to the duke. And even 
if, through the influence of some gentleman attending the great 
Villiers, he should gain admission to him, he should never be able 
to convince him that he had been sent in this extraordinary manner ; 
but that he should be thought to be mad, or at least to be desirous 
of working some evil purpose upon the duke. 

The visitor, threatening as before, never again to give the office^ 
rest unless the mission were carried out, stated that access to hii 
son was always easy ; and, in order to secure credit for the message 
sent, stated two or three particulars which he charged the officer to 
breathe to no mortal living but to the duke alone, and added that 
he should no sooner hear those particulars than he should credit 
the message sent to him. 

Somewhat confirmed by this midnight visit, the dependent of the 
house of Villiers made his way to London, where the Court was then 
held, and meeting with Sir Ralph Freeman, to whom he was well 
known, and who was allied by marriage to the duke, he acquainted 
him with his desire to have a private interview with Buckingham; 
but while he explained enough to make it clear that his message 
was a special and extraordinary one, he took care not to divulge 
those particulars which were intended for the duke's ear alone. Sir 
Ralph promised that he would speak to the duke about the man, 
informing him of his honesty and reputation, and then making 
known the request for a private interview. 

A meeting was accordingly arranged. The duke received the 
officer with his usual courtesy, and walking aside with him near 
Lambeth Bridge, where it was appointed a royal party was to 
assemble for the hunt, gave him an audience of nearly an hour. 
During the conference the duke was observed to speak with much 
excitement and commotion, though, owing to the distance, no word 



264 New Hall Manor. 

of the discourse was heard by Sir Ralph and the servants, who were 
there observing the behaviour of the two who were in conversation. 

The officer reported that when he mentioned tliose particulars 
which were to gain him credit, the duke changed colour, and swore 
that that knowledge could have been obtained only through the 
devil ; for that the facts were known only to himself and to one 
other person, who, he was sure, could never have disclosed them. 

The hunt proceeded ; but all that morning the duke was ob- 
served to ride in great abstraction. The excitement of the chase 
was not sufficient to rouse him from his deep thought, nor could 
the merry jests of his companions scatter the perverseness that 
had overcome him. Before the morning was spent, Buckingham 
left the field and repaired to his mother's lodgings in Whitehall, 
where he remained shut up with her for two or three hours. 
During the conference loud voices were heard by the attendants in 
the next room, and when the duke left the house his face was dark 
with trouble and disturbed with anger. This was remarked as 
strange, for his countenance was usually so placid, and even more 
than mortally composed, that it had obtained for him the name ot 
"Steenie,' the form which the pedantic James had used for the 
scriptural Stephen, whose face, on the occasion of his martyrdom, 
is said to have shone "rtJ the face of an an/^el." His mother also, 
when the duke left her, was found overwhelmed with an agony of 
grief and bathed in tears. 

Whatever were the particulars communicated to the duke in so 
strange a manner — whatever were the subjects of discussion, or 
remonstrance, or reproach which caused the only stormy con- 
ference that ever took place between him and the mother he so 
deeply revered — it is a notorious truth that a few months after- 
wards, the death by assassination, which had been foretold by the 
midnight visitant at Windsor, overtook the duke. But the strangest 
part of the legend is that when the news of Buckingham's murder 
was announced to his mother, she received the intelligence with 
composure — almost with indifference — as if she had been already 
aware of it, and had long foreseen it ; or, to use the words of the 
old chronicler, " the countess seemed to be so forewarned of the 
misliap that she was nothing troubled or amazed at the act that all 
Christendom wondered at" 

George Villicrs, son of the murdered duke and heir to his title 
and estates, became master of New Hall in 1628 ; but uniting with 
the Earl of Holland and others to rise on behalf of Charlr:s I. 



New Hall Manor. 265 

against the Parliament, he shared some of the misfortunes of his 
royal master. After the defeat of the Royalists at Kingston-upon- 
Thames, Parliament resolved to proceed against the duke and to 
sequester his estates. This line of conduct was pursued, New Hall 
was sold, and we find that its next possessor was no less a per- 
sonage than Oliver Cromwell himself, the Lord Protector of 
England. 

But Cromwell does not appear to have identified himself in any 
special way with this ancient manor ; indeed two years after he 
purchased it he exchanged it (paying the difference in value) for 
Hampton Court, the situation of which he found more to his liking. 

After the Restoration, New Hall reverted to the successor of the 
first Duke of Buckingham. 

But, as if the destiny of this noble lordship was to ally itself 
always with the history of the country, we next find it in the hands 
of General Monk, who brought about the Restoration, and who was 
created Duke of Albemarle for that service. At New Hall the 
duke lived in great pomp and splendour; at such an extravagance 
of expense, indeed, as materially to impoverish the estate. The 
manor passed to the second duke ; but he dying, and his widow 
afterwards marrying the Duke of Montague, another name illus- 
trious in the history of England comes to be connected with this 
ancient Hall. Sir Richard Hoare, banker and Lord Mayor of 
London, was the next owner; but in 1737 he sold the property 
to John Olmins, afterwards Baron of Waltham, who demolished a 
great part of the old building, reserving, however, a portion suffi- 
cient to form a noble and commodious country-seat. 

New Hall, as it appears at the present day, is a red brick build- 
ing of the Tudor style, with bay windows and pillared chimneys. 
For some years it has been used as a Roman Catholic nunnery. 
It was first occupied by nuns driven from Liege during the French 
Revolution. Here a large number of young ladies belonging to the 
chief Roman Catholic families of England and Ireland are now 
educated. 



aocf 



SURREY. 

Guildford Castle. 

It is a remarkable fact that the first mention of a Castle at Guildford, 
in SuiTey, in our historical records, is of the time of King John ; although 
the masonry of the Keep, which is the principal part now remaining, ap« 
pears to indicate a. far more remote origin than the era of that reign. 
From this evidence it has been inferred that " this was one of the iden- 
tical Palaces and Castles of the earliest Saxon Kings;" and that 
" Alfred the Great sometimes dwelt here." Again, the statement that 
Prince Alfred, after his courteous reception at Guildown by Earl God- 
win, was conducted to Guildford Castle, under pretence of refreshment, 
prior to his seizure,* is apparently as erroneous as the above deductions 
from some features of the architecture of the fortress ; for neither of 
our ancient chroniclers makes any mention of a Castle in Guildford in 
their accounts of the above transaction ; nor is it mentioned in Domes- 
day record, so that we may reasonably conclude that the Castle had not 
been erected at the time of the survey. 

There can be little doubt, however, that from the Castle assimi- 
lating with most of the Norman fortresses in this country, it was built 
either at the end of the eleventh century or soon afterwards. It is first 
mentioned in history under the year 1216; when, as Matthew Puis 
states, Guildford Castle was taken by Prince Louis of France, who had 
invaded England on the invitation of the Barons in arms against King 
John. In the Annah of Waverlej it is stated that the Prince having 
landed at Sandwich on the 3i8t of May, in the above year, possessed 
himself of this fortress on the lyth of June following. 

In the fifty-first year of the reign of Henry III. the custody of this 
fortress was entrusted to William de Aguillon, then Sheriff of Surrey ; 



• Guildford is mentioned first in the will of Alfred the Great, by whom, as 
bcinR a. royal demesne, it was bcfinenilied to his nephew, ICthelwalil, on whose 
fpljellion or death, a tew years after, it reverted to the Crown. It was here 
that Alfred, the son of Ethelrcd U., was treacherously seized in the reign of 
Harold I. (A.u. 1066), and bcrc his Norman attendants were massacred to the 
number of nearly 600. 



Guildford Castle. 267 

probably in order that it might be used as a prison. In the second year 
of Edward I., an inquiry was made into the encroachments upon the 
fosse of the Castle; and in the twenty-seventh of the same reign, the 
issues and profits of the fortress, with those of the town and part ot 
Guildford (being then of the annual value of 13/. 6s. Sd.), were assigned 
to Margaret of France, second wife of King Edward, as part of her 
dowry. At or about this period the fortress became the common gaol 
of the county ; for Henry de Sey, keeper of the King's prisoners here, 
petitioned for a gaol delivery, or that the prisoners might be transferred 
to more secure custody, the Castle not being strong enough. In answer 
to which the keeper was informed that he might strengthen or enlarge 
the Castle ; but he must, at all events, keep the prisoners securely, as 
the King did not see fit to provide any other place for their detention. 
Probably this was a feint of the keeper ; for in the fifteenth of Edward 
II., during the insuirection of the Earl of Lancaster and others, a writ 
was addressed to Oliver de Bourdeaux, the Constable of the Castle, di- 
recting him to furnish it with provisions and other requisites for the 
King's service, the costs of which were to be allowed in the account of 
the Sheriff. In the 41st year of Edward III. the custody of this 
fortress was given to the Sheriff of Surrey and Sussex for a common 
gaol, and also for his own residence. In the beginning of the reign of 
Richard II., Sir Simon Burley, K.G., who had been tutor to that 
Prince, held the office of Constable here. The fortress continued to be 
used as the common gaol of Surrey and Sussex until the reign of Henry 
VII., when the inhabitants of the latter county petitioned Parliament 
that the gaol of Lewes should be the common prison, on account of 
escapes and rescues being common, and the removal was made. The 
Castle was granted by James I. to Francis Carter, of Guildford, whose 
descendants retained it until, in 18x3, it was piachased by Charles Duke 
of Norfolk, and was, by his successor, alienated to Fletcher, Lord 
Grantley. 

Guildford Castle originally consisted of an inner and outer ballium, 
occupying between four and five acres of ground, on the south side nf 
the town, on the acclivity of a considerable height, and in former ages 
a station of importance, as it fully commanded the ancient ford of the 
river Wey. The outer walls of the Castle may yet be traced; the 
Keep still remains, but in much dilapidation. Its form is quadrangular 
height about 70 feet, lower walls 10 feet thick; the exterior casing 
of chalk, flint, sandstone, and ragstone, the middle filled with coarse 
rubble and strong cement. The courses of hemng-bone work 
are striking. The Tower h of three stories, and probably a vault 



2C8 Waverley Abbey. 

or dungeon in the basement below the ground ; the floor and the roof 
have long been destroyed. The Norman arches and columns of the 
interior are very characteristic. There are galleries in the thickness of 
the walls, as at Rochester, for the more speedy conveyance of orders 
in the case of a siege. On the south side is a mock entrance, or sally- 
port, to mislead the besiegers, with machicolations over it, as if to 
defend it from attacks. Over the door of the dungeon are two over- 
hanging machicolations designed to guard it, either by means of stones 
cast down or molten lead, arrows, or lances, should any escape from 
the dungeon, or any attack on its door be attempted. On the wall 
of a room in the second story of the Castle are several rude figures cut 
in the chalk, as St. Christopher, with the infant Jesus ; a Bishop with 
his mitre, and over him an antique crown; the Crucifixion; 
a square pillar, the capital with Saxon ornaments. Tradition makes 
these figures the work of some captive. Here are the remains of the 
ancient gate of the fortress, which was defended by a portcullis, as 
appears by the grooves. 

In the chalky ridge on which the Castle stands there is a series ot 
caverns or excavations, which have been vaguely supposed to have had 
a communication with this fortress. In 1869 this notion was revived, 
with traditional tales of horrible cruelties practised in the so-called 
dungeons, suspected to communicate with the Castle, where six 
chambers were discovered in the chalk, at about 220 yards from the 
fortress, in a direct line with the arch of a passage communicating with 
a vaulted chamber 75 feet long, 60 wide, and 15 in height, at about 
100 feet deep from the surface. On the walls are inscribed many 
ancient dates ; curious bottles, shoe-buckles, and pieces of old iron 
have been discovered ; but the connexion of these excavations with 
the Castle has not been traced. 



Waverley Abbey. 

About two miles south-east of Farnham, on the borders of Moor 
Park, are the remains of the celebrated Waverley Abbey, still interest- 
ing from the associations connected with them, although the fragments 
which that *' very valiant trencherman Time " is wont, as old Fuller 
tells U8, to leave in the dish for manners sake, are in this instance but 
slender. They stand on a broad green meadow, round which the 
river Wey, overlooked by low wooded hills, winds on three sides, thus 
completely forming one of those valleys which the ft>llovvcr8 of the 
"divus Bernardus " arc said to have preferred to the rocky heights loved 



Waverley Abbey, 269 

of their Benedictine brothers. Waverley was the first house of the 
White Monks, the Cistercians, founded in England, and was established 
in T128 (29th of Henry I.) by William Giffard, Bishop of Winchester, 
who brought twelve monks (the proper number, with their Abbot, for 
a new settlement, — " for thirteen is a convent, as I guess," says Chaucer) 
from the Abbey of Eleemosyna, in Normandy, itself an offshoot from 
Citeaux. One after another, granges and manors were bestowed on the 
new-comers. In 1187 the Abbey contained seventy monks, 120 "con- 
versi " or lay brethren, often troublesome enough, and kept about thirty 
ploughs constantly at work. But during the troubles of John's reign, 
who at no time hesitated " to shake the bags of hoarding abbots," and 
who kept an especial eye on the wool-trading Cistercians, monks and 
lay brethren were all dispersed, and Abbot John himself " fled away 
secretly by night." They returned, however, as the times became more 
favourable, and their buildings increased in stateliness, until on St. 
Thomas's Day, 1230, with solemn procession et magnx devotionii 
gaudio, they entered their new church, which had been thirty years in 
building, under the auspices of their benefactor, Nicholas, parson of 
Broadwater, in Sussex, who, however, had not lived to see its comple- 
tion. The Atmales PVaverlienses, one of those chronicles which were 
kept with more or less minuteness in every great Abbey, were published 
by Gale in the second volume of his Hist. Anglican^ Scriptores. They 
begin in 1066 (the portion before the foundation of Waverley being a 
compilation), and end in 1291. There can be no doubt but that it was 
in turning over their pages that the graceful name of the Abbey ap- 
proved itself to the ear of Sir Walter Scott. Little did the good monk 
think, as he laboriously filled his sheet of parchment, what a " house- 
hold word " Waverley was hereafter destined to become. 

Waverley, although the " mother of the Cistercians " in Southern 
England, where she colonized numerous Abbeys, from Kent to Devon- 
shire, was exceeded in worldly advantages by many of her daughters. 
The clear income of the Abbey at the suppression was 1 74/. 8j. ^\d. 
It was then granted to Sir W. Fitzwilliam, the King's Treasurer, and, 
after passing through many hands, was sold in 1796 to W. Thomson, 
Esq., whose son, C. E. Poulett Thomson, created Lord Sydenham, was 
born here; from his family the estate was purchased by G. T. 
Nicholson, Esq. (^Murray's Handbook of Surrey ; abridged.^ 

In the Annales we find a remarkable instance of the assertion of the 
privilege of sanctuary in this convent. It was during the Abbacy of 
Bishop Giffard that, in 1240, about Easter, a young man was received 
Snto the house as shoemaker to the fraternity ; and in August following, 



2/0 Waver ley Abbey. 

olficers of justice, with the King's warrant, were sent to Waverley tr 
■•uTCst this person on a charge of murder. Notwithstanding the re- 
monstrances and threats of the Religious, they secured their prisoner. 
The monks, astonished at this violation of their privileges, and foresee- 
ing that if such proceedings were permitted, there would be an end of 
all distinction between religious and secular persons, first agreed to 
suspend divine sei-vices in the Abbey until they obtained satisfaction, 
and then despatch their Abbot to the Pope's legate, then in England, 
with a representation of their case. The legate listened, but declined to 
interfere. The Abbot then addressed himself to the King, Henry III., 
demanding, in strong terms, vengeance on his officers for having thus in- 
sulted God and the Holy Church ; and craved the immediate restora- 
tion of the prisoner. The King would, probably', have complied, but 
his lords and councillors interfered, and the Abbot only obtained a 
promise that he should be heard and receive satisfaction on his petition, 
if he would remove the interdict which he had laid upon his convent. 
Accordingly the charters and muniments of the order having been ex- 
hibited before the King and Council, and it appearing that the precincts 
of the Abbey and the estates were to be considered as sanctuaries as 
inviolable as the altars of churches, the Abbot's petition was granted in 
its full extent. The shoemaker was sent back to the Abbey ; and the 
officers who had taken him were condemned to ask pardon of God and 
of the monks at the gate of the convent, and afterwards to be publicly 
whipped. This sentence was duly executed by the Dean of the house 
and the Vicar of Farnham. The offenders were then fomially absolved, 
and due penance having been enjoined on them, they were dismissed. 

The situation of Waverley Abbey, on the bank of the Wcy, is very 
delightful. Aubrey describes the monastic buildings as they existed 
in 1673: a fine rivulet running under the house; 60 acres within the 
walls, which were ten feet high ; walls of a fine church, and of the 
cloisters ; a handsome chapel (now a stable) ; in the parlour and 
chamber over it (built not long since) are some roundels of painted 
glass — one, St. Michael fighting with the Devi! ; St. Dunstan holding 
the Devil by the nose with his pinci-rs ; his retorts, crucibles, and 
chemical instruments about him. The Hall was very spacious and 
noble, with a row of pillars in the middle, and vaultctl overhead. The 
remains were greatly mutilated by Sir Robert Rich, who chiefly 
employed the materials in annexing wings to Waverley House, of 
which the central part was built in the reign of George U. 

Of the existing remains, the most perfect is a vaulted crypt, which, 
iccording to an old print of the ruins (about 1736), formed the under 



Moor Park. 271 

story of the dormitory. Like the rest of the ruins, it is of Early 
English character. Adjoining is the east wall of an apartment with 
three good lancet windows, perhaps the refectory. Of the church 
nothing is traceable but portions of the walls, and those but in- 
distinctly. Oaks, thorns, and ivy overshadow and mingle with the 
ruins, which are so close to the river that we cannot wonder to find 
the annalist complaining of disastrous inundations and floods sweeping 
from time to time through the buildings, to the infinite loss and terror 
of the brethren. Traditions of concealed wealth linger about the ruins. 
Figures of the twelve Apostles in massive silver are said to be concealed 
at Waverley, and have sometimes displayed themselves to the chance 
passenger; but only, like all " fairy gold," to vanish again instantly. 

Cobbett, in his English Gardener, has described the ancient kitchen- 
garden of the monks, which he says : " was the spot where 
I first began to learn to work, or, rather, where I first began to eat 
fine fruit in a garden ; and though I have now seen and observed upon 
as many fine gardens as any man in England, I have never seen a 
garden equal to that of Waverley. Ten families, large as they might 
be, including troops of servants (who are no churls in this way), could 
not have consumed the fruit produced in that garden. The peaches, 
nectarines, apricots, and plums never failed ; and, if the workmen had 
not lent a hand, a fourth part of the produce could never have beai 
got rid of." 



Moor Park. 

Moor Park and House lie at the base of the hills which bound the 
heaths towards Farnham, and near to Waverley Abbey. This house 
is a spacious mansion of three stories : and near its east end is the sun- 
dial, beneath which was buried the heart of Sir William Temple, who 
died here in 1698: his body was interred in Westminster Abbey. 
The park and gardens were much altered early in the present century : 
the latter were in the formal Dutch style, and were the great delight of 
William Cobbett, who when a boy many a time walked over from 
Farnham to see the stately gardens. At the entrance of the Park, near 
the Waverley Gate, is a cottage, where Swift is said to have first seen 
Stella ; and where, the people in the neighbourhood tell you. Swift 
used to sleep when he resided at Moor Park with Sir William Temple. 
The age of the cottage, however, scarcely supports this fame; and 
were it old enough, Switt is not likely to have slept there. 



27^ Moor Park. 

When Swift first solicited the patronage of Sir William Temple, he 
hired Jonathan to read to him, and sometimes to be his amanuensis, at 
the rate of 20/. a year and his board. At first he was neither treated 
with confidence nor affection ; neither did Sir William favour him 
with his conversation, nor allow him to sit at table with him. Temple, 
an accomplished statesman and polite scholar, could scarcely tolerate 
the irritable habits and imperfect bearing of the new inmate ; but Sir 
William's prejudices became gradually weaker as Swift's careless and 
idle habits were abandoned ; he studied eight hours a day, and became 
useful to his patron as his private secretary. To a surfeit of stone fruit 
(it is also stated to have been twelve Shene pippins), Swift ascribed the 
giddiness with which he was so severely afflicted ; and it brought on an 
ill state of health, for the removal of which, after he had been about 
two years with Sir William Temple, he went to Ireland, but soon re- 
turned to Moor Park. He was now treated with greater kindness thaii 
before. Temple permitted him to be present at his confidential inter- 
views with King William, who was a frequent guest at Moor Park ; 
and when Temple was laid up with gout, the duty of attending the 
King devolved upon Swift, who won so much on his Majesty's fiivour, 
that he not only taught him to eat asparagus in the Dutch manner 
(stalks as well as heads), but oflfered to make him captain of a troop of 
horse, which Swift, however, declined. There were long at Moor Park 
portraits of King William and Queen Mary, which were presented to 
Sir William Temple by the King. 

Cobbett had a great predilection for Temple, whom he appears to have 
liked a great deal better than Bacon ; he adds : — " Sir \\'illiam Temple, 
while he was a man of the soundest judgment, employed in some of the 
greatest concerns of his country, so ardently and yet so rationally and 
unaffectedly praises the pursuits of Gardening, in whicii he delighted 
from his youth to his old age ; and of his taste, in which he gave such 
delightful proofs in those gardens and grounds at Moor Park, in Surrey, 
beneath the turf of one spot of which he caused, by his will, his heart 
to be buried ; and which spot, together with all the rest of the beautiful 
drrangement, has been torn about and disfigured within the last fifty 
years by a succession of wine merchants, spirit merchants. West 
Indians, and God knows what besides; I like a great deal better the 
sentiments of this really wise and excellent man." 

Sir William Temple had a canal of his own constructing in Moor 
Park. On the outsides of the grass walks on the sides were borders of 
beautiful flowers. " I have stood for hours," says Cobbett, " to look at 
this canal, which the good-natured manners of tliose days had led the 



/ 



Farnham Castle. 273 

proprietor to make an opening in the outer wall, in order that his 
neighbours might enjoy the sight as well as himself. I have stood for 
hours, when a little boy, looking at this object ; I have travelled far 
since, and have seen a great deal ; but 1 have never seen anything of 
the gardening kind so beautiful in the whole course of my life." 

In the abrupt sand-rock that bounds the Park is the old cavern 
/ulgarly called Mother Ludlam's Hole. Here, as traditionally stated, 
Mother Ludlam, a friendly witch, long took up her abode. Along the 
bottom of the cavern flows a small current from a hidden spring ; the 
water is transparent and pure, and it was, doubtless, from this place 
that in ancient times, and under its name of Ludeiuell, or Ludwell, the 
monks of Waverley, as stated in the Annales, obtained their supply of 
water for domestic purposes. Above this cave is a deep fox-hole in the 
sand ; within which a person named Foote, when soured by the world, 
sought a last retreat. He continued here until nearly starved to death ; 
when, in the extremity ot his thirst, he crawled down to the rivulet at the 
bottom of the hill, and was found upon its banks in a dying state. He 
was carried to the nearest cottage, and next to the poor-house of Farn- 
ham, where he died, January, 1 840 ; his last words were, " Do take 
me to the cave again." 



Farnham Castle. 

The manor of Farnham was given by Ethelbald, King of the West 
Saxons, to the see of Winchester, to which it has ever since belonged. 
One of the bishops, Henry de Blois, brother to King Stephen, built 
himself, on the brow of a hill which rises rapidly from the northern 
side of the town of Farnham, a Castle as the palatial residence of the 
see, at the time when King Stephen was contending for the throne 
with the Empress Maud, and had granted leave to all his partisans 
" to build Castles." Becoming a "retreat for rebels," says Camden, 
"this Castle was razed by Henry HI., but afterwards rebuilt by the 
Bishop of Winchester, to whom it still belongs." This allusion to ■ 
rebels probably refers to the previous seizure of the Castle by Louis, 
the Dauphin of France, and the associated Barons, in June, 12 16, ^ 
during the contest with King John. It had, however, together with 
Guildford and other Castles of which Prince Louis had obtained 
possession, been removed in the following year. 

About the year 1267, there was a certain outlawed knight of the 
neighbourhood of Winchester, named Adam Gurdun, who, with hif 



274 FarnJiam Castle, 

adherents, withdrew to a woody height near the road between Ih^ 

town of Alton and the Castle of Farnham, and there " infested the 

country with rapine," and especially preying on the lands of those who 

adhered to the King. The fame of his strength and courage reaching 

Prince Edward, he was desirous to make trial of him ; and coming 

upon the outlaw with a strong body of men, the Prince commanded 

that no one should interfere to prevent a single combat. Meeting, 

they encountered each other, and, with redoubled blows and equal 

strength, fought a long time without either giving ground. At length, 

Edward, admiring the valour of the knight, and the fierceness with 

. ftjC^ which he fought, advised him to yield, promising him his life and 

O^^ jts^ fortune. To this^the knight agreed, and surrendered, having his inhe- 

^^^^ ritance restored ; and Edward always esteemed him a dear and faithfiil 

\^i^J/^ subject. 

Scarcely anything of historical interest is recorded of Farnham 
Castle until the reign of Elizabeth, when it is several times men- 
tioned as having been visited by that Queen in her summer progresses. 
Thus, during the episcopate of Bishop Horn, she was at Farnham in 
1567 and 1569. On the latter occasion, the Duke of Norfolk dined 
here with the Queen at her own invitation, and on rising from the 
table she "pleasantly' (as Camden informs us) advised him to be 
" careful on what pillow he laid his head." This ominous warning was 
spoken in reference to the Duke's projected marriage with Mary Queen 
of Scots ; but, unfortunately, Norfolk's " ill-weaved ambition" induced 
him secretly to persist in his scheme, until his plans became treasonable; 
and within two years aftei"wards, he was decapitated on Tower Hill. 

Elizabeth was again at Farnham in September, 1 591, when Bishop 
Thomas Cooper had the honour of her company : at the time of the 
threatened invasion in 1588, this prelate addressed a letter to the Clergy 
of Surrey relative to the raising of troops for the defence of the king- 
dom, which possibly may have been written at the Castle. In i6oi| 
Elizabeth once more visited the Castle, when Montagu held the Sec. 

In the Civil War between King Charles I. and his Parliament, this 
Castle was garrisoned for the King by Sir John Denham, high sheriff 
of the county in 1642, who was appointed governor. He soon quitted 
it, and shortly afterwards the fortress surrendcied to the Parliamentary 
General, Sir William Waller, by whom it is saiil to have been blown 
up, on Decemlwr 29 in the same year. In tlie following year, however, 
it was again held as a stronghold, and its garrison comprised several 
companies of soldiers, which, in November, 1643, joined with Waller'* 
Aimy and its London auxiliaries in the fruitless attack on Basing House. 




Farnham Castle. 275 

After keeping the field some days, Waller tcx)k up his head-quarters at {_ \JiAj^ 
Farnham, and began to fortify the town, and his forces were twice 
drawn up in Farnham Park, on a rumour of the King's approach to U-Jal>i 
attack the Castle. They showed themselves, but made no assault, though 
they came so near that the ordnance fi-om the Castle and Park killed 
about fifteen men and seventeen horses. Some slight skirmishes fol- 
lowed ; and on December 13 Sir William Waller marched with the 
Londoners from Farnham to Alton, and attacking the Royalists under 
Lord Craford, took between 800 and 900 prisoners, who were brought 
into the town and secured in the Church and Castle. GeorgeJWjtlier, \ s/ 
the poet, was afterwards constituted Governor of Farnham Castle for 
the Parliament ; but his office was rendered inefficient, and he had to ' 
leave the fortress to the possession of the enemy. In ^6^8 the fortifica'^''''^ 
tions were demolished by order of the then existing Government. 

After the Restoration of Charles II., the remains of the Castle, with 
the manor of Farnham, were restored to the See of Winchester ; and 
Bishop Morley, who presided over it ft-om 1662 to 1684, is said to have 
expended 8000/. in the renovation and improvement of the Episcopal 
Palace erected within the precincts of the fortress, and Including some 
portions of the original structure. There were fonnerly two parks* 
attached to the Castle. The Bishops had here various officers: as a 
constable of the fortress ; keepei-s of the parks and chases ; and of the 
Frensham ponds, with the swans in them ; which offices were held by 
persons of distinction in the county. 

The latter years of Bishop Richard Fox, who had been long afflicted 
with blindness, were chiefly spent in Farnham Castle; and from the 
initials of his name, and other memorials yet traceable among the ruins 
of the Keep, it is surmised that this division of the fortress was par- 
tially restored or built during his retirement here : he died in 1528. 
The lowest and oldest part of the Keep is, however, of an age long 
prior to the time of Bishop Fox. 

The Castle buildings approach the quadrangular form, and enclose a 
large court, in connexion with the Keep. The outer walls still 
retain some square bastions, and are surrounded by a wide and deep 
fosse, in which, on the Park side, oak and beech trees are flourishing 
' The State apartments are elegantly fitted up, and there is a handsome 
chapel. The library is extensive, and there are some portraits. The 



• From a document preserved at Losely, it appears that the Templars, in 
EHzabeth's reign, drank their ale or wine out of grun pots manufactured from 
the clay dug in Farnham Park. 




2^6 The Priory of Neivark. 

servants' hall formed a portion of the original structure, its round 
columns and pointed arches corresponding with the age of the fortress. 
The shattered Keep, apparently hexagonal in form, is entered from a 
high flight of steps, leading up an arched avenue of strong masonry. 
The Keep is entirely unroofed, and the enclosed ground has long been a 
uit garden. On the eastem side of the great court was anothei 
avenue, leading down to the ancient sally-port. The kitchen and 
flower gardens, occupy a considerable space. Bishop the Hon. Brownlow 
North greatly improved the Park, through which the little river Lodden 
flows. Here is an avenue of elms, terminating at the distance of three- 
quarters of a mile in two noble trees, the bole of one being 19 feet in 
circumference, at three teet from the ground; the other 18 feet 6 inches. 
It is most important that the people of Surrey should be reminded 
that Farnham has belonged to the church of Winchester for more than 
a thousand years. It is rumoured that, at the next vacancy of the See, 
the manor is to be sold by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. But it 
will be a disgrace to the churchmen of Surrey and Hampshire if they 
allow this deeply interesting place to be alienated from the See, after a 
connexion with it which has lasted more than ten centuries. Such 
associations are far too precious to be lightly broken ; and we are quite 
sure that if Farnham Castle is suffered to pass into other hands, the 
time will come when it will be deeply but unavailingly regretted. The 
place itself is full of ecclesiastical interest, and is quite unsuitable, as it 
stands, for a lay occupant. If the estate and house are of necessity to 
be sold, it will surely be easy for so wealthy a diocese to purchase it, 
and to hold it in trust for the use of the bishop for the time being.* 



The Priory of Newark. 

On a pleasant site, near the borders of the VVey, in Send parish, a 
Priory of the Canons regular of the Order of St. Augustine was 
founded in or before the reign of Richard Cocur de Lion, by Ruald de 
Calva and his wife Beatrice de Sandcs. They gave to the Canons land 
in Ockham, with its appurtenances of woods, waters, &c., to build a 
church to the Blessed Virgin and St. Thomas of Canterbury, and 



• Saturday Review, August 94, i86i. Bishop Sumner, who was tianslated 
to the See of Winchester in 1827, rcsJKncd in 1869 ; but it has been arranged 
that his lordship shall continue to occupy I-'arnham Castle. His prelacy ha5 
rendered him very popular among all classes ; and the park forms a dclightfuJ 
ploccol rcctca'.ion for the inliabiiunts of ihu town and neighbourhood. 



The Priory of Netvarh 277 

endowed it the Ka;ne as did Godfrey de Lacy, Bishop of Winchester, 
who died in 1204. In 12-20, the Canons obtained from Henry III. the 
privilege of holding a fair at Ripley, on the eve of the day of St. Mary 
Magdalene ; for which the Prior gave to the King a palfrey. 

The remains appear to have formed part of the Priory Church, and 
the adjoining refectory ; in the Early Pointed style, with lancet win- 
dows ; the walls are roofless. Most of the Priory buildings, with great 
portions of the church, were pulled down, and the materials used in 
repairing the roads ! In 1840, fragments of a tessellated pavement, with 
devices of animals, flowers, buildings, &c., with human bones and an 
entire skeleton, were excavated here. 

Aubrey relates a tradition at Ockham Court, told him by the clerk, 
that his father remembered to have gone into a vault at Newark Abbey, 
which went under the river to a nunnery here ; by which the poor 
deluded people would insinuate malpractices between the monks and 
nuns, a common slander thrown upon the Religious at the time of the 
Reformation, Upon this tale, Dr. Charles Mackay has founded the 
following cleverly humorous ballad : — 

" The monks of the Wey seldom sung any psalms. 
And little they thought of religious qualms ; 
Ranting, rollicking, frolicksome, gay. 
Jolly old boys were the monks of the Wey. 

Tralalala ! lara la ! 

" To the sweet nuns of Ockham devoting their cares, 
They had but short time for their beads and their prayeis ; 
For the love of the maidens, they sighed night and day, 
And neglected devotion, these monks of the Wey. 
Trala. &c. 

" And happy, i' faith, might these monks have beeu, 
If the river had not rolled between 
Their abbey dark and their convent grey. 
That stood on the opposite side of the Wey. 
Trala, &c. 

" For daily they sighed and nightly they pined, 
Little to anchorite rules inclined ; 
So smitten with beauty's charms were they. 
These rollicking, frolicksome monks of the Wey, 
Trala, &c. 

' But the scandal was great in the county near— 
They dared not row across for fear ; 
And they could not swim, so fat were they. 
These oily, amorous monks of the Wey. 
Trala, &c. 

" Loudly they groaned for their fate so hard. 
From the smiles of these beautiful maids debarred, 
Till a brother hit on a plan to stay 
The love of these heart-broken monks of the Wey 
Trala. &c 



27 ii Reigate Castle. 



" ' Nothing,' quoth he, 'should true love sunder; 
Since we cannot go over, let us go under ; 
Boats and bridges shall yield to-day — 
We'll dig a tunnel beneath the Wey. 
Trala, &c. 

" To it they went with right good will, 
With spade and shovel, pike and bill ; 
And from evening's close to the dawn of day 
They worked like miners all under the Wey. 

Trala. &c. 
" And every night as this work begun, 
Each sang of the charms of their favourite nun ; 
' How surprised they will be, and how happy,' said they, 
' WTien we pop in upon them from under the Wey.' 

Trala, &c. 

" And for months they kept grubbing and making no sound, 
Like other black moles, darkly under the ground ; 
And no one suspected such going astray, 
So sly were these amorous monks of the Wey. 
Trala, &c. 

" At last, this fine work was brought near to a close, 
And early one morn from their pallets they rose, 
And met in their tunnel with lights to survey. 
If they'd scooped a free passage right under the Wey. 
Trala, &c. 

•* But, alas for their fate ! as they smirked and they smiled. 
To think how completely the world was beguiled, 
The river broke in, and it grieves me to say. 
It drowned all the frolicksome monks of the Wey. 
Trala. &c. 

*• O, Churchmen, beware of the lures of the flesli, 
The net of the devil hath many a mesh ; 
And remember, whenever you're tempted to stray, 
The fate that befel the poor monks of the Wey. 
Trala, &c." 



Reigate Castle, 

On the north side of the town of Reigate are the earthworks of an 
ancient Castle, of the foundation and history of which Httle is posi- 
tively known. It is ascribed to the Earls of Warren and Surrey, who, 
on acquiring estates in this county, made Reigate their principal resi- 
dence. The ground-plot suggests the idea of its having been the site of 
a Roman fort ; and Brayley considers it not improbable that, in later 
times, it may have l)een one of a chain of forts commanding the vicinal 
or cross road which may be traced from Ightham, in Kent, to Farn- 
ham, in Surrey, and still known, in parts, by the name of the Pilgrims' 
Road. If the inhabitants of the district were so successful in repelling 



Reigate Castle. 279 

the Danish plunderers. as to have given rise to the proverbial distich 

attributed to them by Camden — 

' ' The vale of Holmesdale, 
Never wonne, never shall," 

it is not unlikely, considering the importance of the situation, that their 
leaders had a strong fortress here. Be this as it may, it is certain that 
under the Earls of Warren, Reigate Castle was one of the capital seats 
of their barony in England. It is supposed to have been founded before 
the Norman Conquest: others (from the pointed character of the 
remaining subterraneous vaults), refuse to assign to it an earlier date 
than the termination of the twelfth or commencement of the 
thirteenth century. William, Earl of Wairen, by whom it was 
held in the time of King John, is the first of his family mentioned 
by Diigdale as its owner, his title to it being derived from his earliest 
ancestors. The wavering policy of this nobleman, in the contest between 
King John and his Barons, is thought to have occasioned him the 
temporary loss of the Castle ; which is also said to have been for a time 
(12 1 6) in possession of Louis, Dauphin of France. Jettons, or French 
coins have been found among the ruins ; and a spur of extraordinary 
size was, in 1802, found in the Castle butts, at the depth of three feet 
in the ground. 

There is a tradition current that the insurgent Barons held their 
councils, previously to the congress at Runnimede, in the Castle of 
Reigate; and Gough, in his edition of Camden's Britannia, when 
speaking of a caveni there, under the Castle court, says : " It is called 
the Barons' Cave ; and it is pretended that the Barons conferred here 
before they met King John, in Runnymede." This is thought un- 
worthy of credence; because William, Earl of Surrey, was one of those 
lords who were most firmly attached to the King ; and as he did not! 
join the Barons till all resistance to their claims appeared hopeless, it 
cannot be supposed that his Castle would be chosen as the place for 
their deliberation. It is not unlikely, however, that the Earl of Suirey 
and a few other loi'ds, who, like him, for a while endeavoured to pre- 
serve their neutrality in the grand contest, may have held secret con- 
sultations in Reigate Castle, and even in the cavern to which the tradi- 
tion refers ; and which, hence, probably obtained the appellation of the 
Barons' Cave. 

In 1265, John de Warren, Earl of Surrey, sullied his reputation by 
an act of violence in a private feud. He had a lawsuit with Alan, 
Baron de la Zouche, respecting a title to a certain manor. It was de- 
cided against the Earl, who became so highly exasperated that an 



28o Reigate Castle. 

aUercation arising between him and nis competitor, from abusive lan- 
guage they proceeded to personal violence. Some of Surrey's domestics, 
or retainers, were on the spot, who were privately armed ; and with his 
assent, if not by his order, they drew their swords, and assaulted the 
unarmed Baron and his son, who was with him. Thinking their lives 
in danger, they fled towards the King's chamber in the palace of West- 
minster ; the assailants followed, and wounded both De la Zouche and 
his son ; the former so severely that he never recovered. The Earl, 
becoming alarmed for the consequences of his violence, and fleeing with 
his servants to the river-side, where he had a boat waiting, they crossed 
the Thames, and took refuge in the Castle of Reigate. The King and 
Prince Edward, considering it impossible to overlook the conduct of 
the Earl (though they owed him so many obligations), had an order 
issued to compel the appearance of Sun-ey before the Court, to answer 
for his offence. The Earl refused obedience to the mandate, where- 
upon Prince Edward, accompanied by the Archbishop of York and 
other persons of rank, with an armed force, proceeded to Reigate, 
to take the culprit into custody. At first he seemed determined to 
defend the fortress, but he was induced to surrender himself. He 
was fined ic.ooo marks to the King, and 2000 marks damages to the 
injured Baron ; and having declared that the offence was not of malice- 
aforethought, but of sudden anger, on these terms the Earl received 
pardon. In the third year of Edward 1. the Earl of Surrey enter- 
tained that sovereign at his Castle of Reigate, in a style of great splen- 
dour ; and received the deduction of 1000 marks from the amount of 
the above fine then unliquidated. 

The Castle was in a decayed state in the reign of King James, and in 
1648 it was demolished; but some remains of the outer walls were 
standing within the last half century. 

The site of the Castle comprises an eminence of about fifty feet above 
the level of the town, and nearly surrounded by a dry fosse of consi- 
derable breadth and depth ; at some distance northward is a moat. The 
area, a lawn of very fine turf, is an oblong with rounded angles, about 
•160 paces from east to west, and ico from north to south. Over a 
bold escarpment at the east end it is entered by a stone gateway, erected 
in the year 1777. On the lawn was formerly a summer apartment, 
corresponding with the ancient design of the fortress. In the centre of 
the area is the entrance to the caves by a flight of steps hewn out of the 
sandstone rock to the depth of 1 8 feet, and thence by a regular slope 
36 fix't more. The entire descent of 335 feet terminates in a cavern, 
or w.amber, probably a 'lungcon for prisoners. A gallery, nearly 150 



Chert sey A bbey. 2 8 1 

feet long, with a semicircular end, has a seat all round ; this is the 
Barons' Cave, already mentioned. The pointed roof is 1 2 feet in height, 
and springs from a ledge. An arch, supposed to have foirned a private 
communication with the town, fell in many years ago. An apartment 
near the entrance is supposed to have been occupied by the guard. The 
vaultings throughout the caverns assume the figure of the pointed arch, 
hewn out of the solid rock, which, however, is soft and of fine texture. 
William de Warren, who died in 1240, is said to have founded a 
Priory at the southern extremity of Reigate, dedicated to the Virgin 
Mary and the Holy Cross, and to have endowed it for the support of a 
Prior and Canon of the order of St. Augustine. The mansion now 
called Reigate Priory, which occupies part of the old site and precincts, 
is the seat of Earl Somers. 



Chertsey Abbey. 

Shortly after the conversion of the Saxons to Christianity, a small 
monasteiy was founded at Chertsey, on the western side of the Thames, 
by Erkenwald, an ecclesiastic, afterwards Bishop of London, and 
Frithwald, Viceroy of Surrey, under Wulpher, King of Mercia, who, 
in confirmation of the foundation charter, " laid his hand on the altar, 
and made the sign of the cross.'' The charter is dated 727, probably 
several years after the death of those whose deed it purports to be ; a 
forgery thought to be to frustrate the severe inquisition of the Norman 
Conqueror and his agents as to the mode of acquisition and tenure of 
monastic estates. Late in the ninth century, the Abbot of Chertsey, 
Beorca, a priest, and all the monks, 90 in number, were slaughtered ; the 
church and conventual buildings were burnt, and the surrounding terri- 
tory laid waste by the Danes. The monastery was not fully restored 
till the reign of Edgar, who, in 964, expelled the secular clerks, and 
placed Benedictine monks in their room.* About a century and a half 
later, the rebuilding of the Abbey was commenced ; for we read in the 
Saxon Chronicle, mo, "This year men first began to work at the new 
monastery of Chertsey." 

The body of Henry VL, who died in the Tower of London, was 
buried in Chertsey Abbey, as Grafton asserts, " without priest or clerk. 



• In the Transactions of the Surrey Archccological Society, vol. i. pt. i., is a 
valuable paper by W. G. R. Corner, F.S.A., " On the Anglo-Saxon Charters 
of Fridwald, Alfred, and Edward the Confessor, to Chertsey Abbey." 



2S2 Chertsey Abbey. 

torch or taper, singing or saying;" but, in an Issue Roll, nth Ed- 
ward IV., there are disbursements for wax, linen, spices, &c., incurred 
for Henry's burial, and for wages and rewards to the men carrying the 
torches from the Tower to St. Paul's ; and from thence, accompanying 
the body to Chertsey ; also, for a reward to soldiers from Calais, guard- 
ing the body, and for the hire of barges with rowers on the river 
Thames to Chertsey ; likewise payments to Brethren and Friars, and 
for obsequies and masses said at Chertsey on the burial. 

The Abbots of Chertsey retained an uninterrupted possession of the 
manor from the time of the Domesday Survey until the Dissolution ; 
when, in the deed of Surrender it is stated that the King, for the honour 
of God, and the health of his soul, purposed to refound the dissolved 
Priory of Bisham, in Berkshire, and to establish there the Abbot and 
Brethren of Chertsey, and endow them with the manors, &c., of Bisham, 
as well as the Chertsey estates. This was done, but in less than a year 
the newly-formed monastery was surrendered to the Crown. 

The superior of Chertsey monastery was one of the Mitred Abbots, 
or those who were privileged to wear episcopal ornaments ; and he was 
a baron, or military tenant of the Crown, doing duty by his knights. 
In a bull, dated 1258, there is reference to vineyards belonging to the 
monks. By charter the Abbot kept dogs for hunting hares and foxes. 
The Exchequer Leiger, which is of vellum, is a general plan of the 
demesne of the Abbey ; the Leiger itself being a ponderous volume, 
19 inches in length, and 13 in breadth. It exhibits the monastic church, 
an hospitium, two mills, a bridge, and a few buildings beyond the 
Thames, called the vill of Laleham. By the writing it seems to have 
been depicted about the reign of Henry VI. ; parts of the original are 
coloured. The Abbey, though a large establishment, was completely 
destroyed; yet by whom commenced, or how carried on, nothing 
appears to be recorded. In Aubrey's time (1673), the out-walls only 
remained ; the street-roads of Chertsey were made with the ruins. Dr. 
Stukeley visited the site in 1 7,152; he writes: "So total a dissolution 
I scarcely ever saw. Of that noble and splendid pile, which took up 
four acres of ground, and looked like a town, nothing remains." At the 
entrance of the kitchen-garden stood the church. " Human bones of 
the abbots, monks, and great personages, who were buried in great 
numbers in the church and cloisters, were spread thick all over the 
garden ; so that one may pick up handfuls of bits of bones at a time 
everywhere among the garden stuft". Foundations of the religious 
building have been dug up, carved stones, hlcnder pillars of Sapex 
marble, monumental (.tones, cfligies, crosses, inscriptions, everywhere." 



CJiertsey Abbe}'. 2S3 

Dr. Stukeley mentions the large orchard, many and long canals, or fish- 
ponds and preserves, and the great moat round the Abbey. " I left the 
ruins of this place," he adds, which had been consecrated to Religion 
ever since the year 666, " with a sigh for the loss of so much national 
magnificence and national history. Dreadful was that storm which 
spared not, at least, the churches, libraries, painted glass, monuments, 
manuscripts ; that spared not a little out of the abundant spoil to sup- 
port them for the public honour and emolument." Figured tiles bearing 
crowned heads, abbots wearing mitres, grotesque heads, and fragments 
of tessellated pavements have been dug up in the Abbey-house garden 
and orchard. The walls of a large bam, an arched gateway, and adjoin-' 
ing wall, are nearly all that remains of this once venerated and extensive 
foundation of Chertsey Abbey. 

Almners* Barns, near St. Anne's Hill, formerly belonged to the 
Almoners of Chertsey Abbey, and was for a long period occupied by 
the Wapshott family, who, it is said, " have continued to cultivate the 
same spot of earth from generation to generation ever since the reign of 
Alfred, by whom the farm in which they have lived was granted to 
Reginald Wapshott, their ancestor." That the Wapshotts were resi- 
dents here some centuries ago is traditionally acknowledged; and a 
deed proves their occupation of Almners' Bams upwards of five hundred 
years since. Yet these worthy tenants were expelled the farm by the 
Duke of York exorbitantly increasing the rent — an act of much 
injustice. 

In the old church of Chertsey the Curfew is still regularly tolled 
every evening in the winter months upon the Abbey bell, which bears 
a motto in Saxon characters. The late Albert Smith, who was a native 
of Chertsey, at his outset in literary life, wrote a pleasing drama, the 
action of which was laid in the town of Chertsey and its neighbour- 
hood ; and the climax of the piece is brought about by the agency of 
the bell. The performance proved very popular. In the opening chapter 
of the story, the bell is referred to as one of the few records extant of the 
noble monastery. " Its motto and quaint Saxon letters prove its anti- 
quity. It probably swung, and clanged, and echoed from the turrets 
of the monastery centuries before the honest Abbot Rutherwick's time 
— it might have assisted to chime for his birth, and it ushered him to 
the grave in company with the other prelates who went before or suc- 
ceeded him. The kingdom changed its rulers ; usurpers rose and fell ; 
war followed inaction, and peace transplants war ; yet still the old bell 
kept on its unchanging song, and rang for the conqueror as bravely and 
lustily as it had beiore welcomed the vanquished. The morning sounds 



284 Merton Priory. 

roused the hind from slumber to his daily toils ; and at evening it pealed 
out the sol ;mn curfew, which carried its voice of rest far over the broad 
expanse of wooded hill and rich pasture that then surrounded the 
monastery." There is homely pathos in tuis passage. 



Merton Priory. 

In the village of Merton, seated on the river Wandle, a Priory 
was erected of timber by Gilbert Norman. This was in 1115; but 
about two years aftenvards the founder was induced by its Prior, 
Bayle, to remove the establishment to another site, and when the new 
house was finished, the Prior and his brethren (fifteen in number) went 
thither in procession, singing " Sal-ve dies" In 1 121, in consideration of 
one hundred pounds in silver, and six marks of gold, given by Gilbert 
Norman, the King granted the entire manor of Meretotie, with all its 
customs and privileges, to the canons here, to enable them to construct 
a church in honour of the Virgin Mary, &c. About 1130, the Priory 
was first built of stone, the foundation being laid with great solemnity 
by Gilbert himself, the Prior, and 36 brethren : the buildings were 
completed in 11 36. 

When Hubert de Burgh, the principal minister of Henry III., lost 
the favour of his weak and prodigal master, and had been accused of 
high crimes and misdemeanours, he fled for sanctuary to Merton 
Abbey; and having refused to quit his place of refuge, the church, 
after being ordered to attend at a great council or parliament held at 
Lambeth, the King sent letters to the Mayor of London, commanding 
him to proceed to Merton, with the armed citizens, and bring Hubert 
before him either alive or dead ; but Henry i-ecalled the mandate, and 
n the sequel restored him to favour. Eventually, however, he was de- 
prived of a considerable portion of his accumulated wealth, and passed 
the concluding years of his life at his manor of Hanstead, in Surrey. 

\bout four years after, in 1236, a Parliament or National Council 
was held at Merton Abbey, when the famous " Statutes of Merton " 
(the most ancient body of laws after Magna Charta) were enacted ; and 
the Prelacy having proposed to introduce the c mon law, to supersede 
the common law of the realm, the Barons made the memorable reply, 
•• Nolumuj leget AtigUa mutare," — " We will not alter the laws of 
England." 

The chronicles of Merton Abbey, which are in the Bodleian Library, 
at Oxford, ci^^iin the Ordination of W illiam of Wykeham, fur the 



Merton Priory. 285 

government of this convent. One of the statutes prohibits the canons 
from hunting, or keeping dogs for that sport, within the walls of the 
Priory, " on pain of being restricted to a diet of bread and ale, during 
six holidays." The punishments are, in general, of a similar descrip- 
tion ; the severest being a compulsory abstinence from all food but 
bread and water ; and the slightest, confinement to an allowance of 
bread, ale, and pulse. In a visitation of the Priory by Henry de Wood- 
lock, Bishop of Winchester, the canons are censured for not attending 
mass, and for going about with bows and arrows; and they are 
menaced with punishment by restriction of food. 

Charters of new donations, confirmations of grants of lands and 
privileges, were obtained by the canons of Merton from eleven sove- 
reigns; the Prior sat in Parliament as a mitred Abbot. Thomas 
a Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, was educated in the Priory school ; 
as was also Walter de Merton, Bishop of Rochester, and Chancellor of 
England, the illustrious founder of Merton College, Oxford, who was 
born in this village, and, dying in 1277, was buried in Rochester 
Cathedral. 

During the Civil Wars, the Priory was used as a garrison ; for the 
Derby House Committee, in July, 1648, were ordered by Parliament, 
" to make Farnham Castle indefensible, and to secure Merton Abbey, 
and other places of strength in the same county." Part of the outer 
walls, and the east window of the Abbey chapel remain ; and several of 
its stalls are preserved in Beddington Church.* 



• Merton became the residence of Lord Nelson, in compliance with whose 
wishes a small estate here was purchased by Lady Hamilton, in 1801, about 
which time the hero contemplated a final retirement from command. Nelson 
lived here from October, i8or, until May, 1803, when he quitted it to resume 
his command in the Mediterranean : prior to which he devised his capital 
messuage at Merton, with its gardens, pleasure-grounds, shrubbery, canal, 
mote, &c., to Lady Hamilton, who was then a widow. After the .\dmiral fell at 
Trafalgar, in 1805, Lady Hamilton continued to reside here, with Nelson's 
daughter, Horatia, until about 1808, when she was compelled by her necessities 
to dispose of the estate ; subsequently the house was pulled down, and the site 
was bail '. upon. 



286 



KENT. 

Rochester Castle. 

Rochester, which took its name after one " Hroffe," a Saxon, who 
built his " ceaster," or city, here, abolishing in the process the more 
expressive and appropriate British name of " Dourbryf," or " Swift 
Stream." The most important natural feature of the place is the 
Medway, which flows with great swiftness. The British name was 
Latinised by the Romans calling it Durobri-vis, or Durobri-vum. The 
extent of the old walls may be traced, and they remain picturesque 
ruins in many places, making flower gardens and walks for the adjoin- 
ing houses. Its natural advantages made Rochester a great fighting 
place, giving it the name of " the Kentishmen's Castle," under all its 
masters — Romans, Saxons, Danes, Nonnans. Until the time of 
Edward IV., its Castle and walls were constantly in need of repair, 
all his royal predecessors besieging or defending the city by turns. 

Rochester Castle, one of the finest examples of Anglo-Norman 
architecture in the kingdom, stands on the banks of the Medway, 
being built on the brow of a hill with its principal tower so situated 
as to command both the river and adjacent country. It is attributed 
to Cassar, but erroneously ; but it is highly probable that the Britons, 
from their experience of the importance of this passage over the Med- 
way, might erect some fortification to secure it after the Romans had 
retired to the Continent ; and when the legions again arrived, in the 
time of Claudius, under tke command of A. Plautius, they mright im- 
prove it to a regular fort or Castle ; for such a jilace there certainly 
was, since both Durobj'ivis (or Rochester) is mentioned as a Roman 
rtation, and the Roman way certainly led across the river Medway, 
near this place. 

This appears more certain from the great variety of Roman coins 
which have fretjiiently been found here — vi/.., of the Emperors Ves- 
pasian, Trajan, Adrianus, Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius, Maximus, 
AurelianuB, Constantius, Conslantine the Great, and others. All 
these have l)o<*n found in the ruins of the Castle. 

This fort or Castle might also have been rebuilt in the time of Uske, 



Rochester Castle. 2'&j 

King of Kent, about the year 480 ; for it is certain there was a fortress 
here in 765, when Egbert, King of Kent, gave a certain portion of 
land to the church lying within the walls of the Castle of Rochester ; 
and in the year 855, Ethelwulf, King of the West Saxons, gave a 
house and lands to one Dunne (his minister), that were situate to the 
south of the Castle. 

The Castle, of which there are fine remains, was built about the 
year 1088, by Gundulph, a monk of Bee, in Normandy, Bishop of 
Rochester, and the most celebrated architect of his age. The prin- 
cipal entrance was on the north-east, which was defended by a tower 
gateway, probably designed to command the passage of Rochester 
Bridge, with outworks at the sides, a remaining part of which has 
fallen. From this entrance is an easy descent into the city, formed of 
two arches turned over the Castle ditch. But the chief attraction is 
the noble tower which stands in the south-east angle of the Castle, 
and is so lofty as to be seen distinctly at twenty miles distance. This 
tower was rebuilt in the place of the original square one destroyed 
when King John besieged and took the fortress. 

In the reign of William Rufus, Kent was the scene of Civil War, in 
which Rochester and its Castle were defended on behalf of Odo, 
Bishop of Baieux, to whom the fortress belonged. King Rufus, who 
was not deficient in courage, finding his subjects lukewarm in his 
support, proclaimed that whosoever would not be reported a n'lding 
(ninny, or fool), should repair to the siege of Rochester. This ex- 
pedient had the desired effect ; for the youth, abhorring the above 
reproachful name, flocked to the King's standard, and he soon took 
the town and closely besieged the Castle for six weeks, without 
making much progress, but a contagious distemper breaking out, the 
besieged offered to capitulate. Rufus, however, would grant them no 
terms for a time ; at length, through the persuasion and entreaties of 
his nobles, he permitted the besieged to march out with their horses 
and arms, and to leave the kingdom with the forfeiture of their 
estates ; but Odo he sent a prisoner to Tunbridge Castle, and after- 
wards, on condition of his leaving the country, gave him his liberty. 

The Castle received considerable damage by this siege ; and perhaps 
the Prior and Bishop Gundulph might have been somewhat tardy in 
their allegiance to Rufus ; at least the King entertained suspicions of 
that nature, and made it a pretence to extort money from them, for he 
refused to confirm a grant of the manor of Hadenham, in Buckingham- 
shire, given to the see of Rochester by the then archbishop, Lanfranc ; 
but being entreated by Robert Fitz Hamon and Henry Earl of Warwick, 



*S8 Rocfiester Castle. 

the King consented, on condition that Gundulph should expend 60/. in 
repairing the injuries which the Castle had suffered by the siege, and 
make other necessary additions. 

Gundulph accordingly repaired the walls, and laid the foundation of 
the great square tower. He died about twelve years after it was begun, 
leaving it unfinished; but it has ever since been called Gundulph's Tower. 
It is quadrangular, about seventy feet square at the base ; the walls are 
in general twelve feet thick. Adjoining to the east angle of this tower 
is a small one, about two-thirds the height of the large tower, and about 
twenty-eight feet square. The grand entiance was into this small tower 
by a noble flight of steps, through an arched gateway, adorned with 
curious fretwork. At this entrance was a drawbridge, under which 
was the common entrance into the lower apartments of the great tower. 
These lower apartments are dark and gloomy. They are divided by 
a partition wall five feet thick, which partition is continued to the top. 
In the lower part of the walls are several nan-ow openings for light and 
air ; there are also arches in the partition wall by which one room com- 
municated with the other. These apartments were designed for store- 
rooms. 

In the partition wall, in the centre of the building, is a well, neatly 
wrought in the walls ; which well ascends through all the stories to the 
top of the tower, and has a communication with every floor. 

On the north-east side within the tower is a small arched doorway, 
through which is a descent by steps into a vault under the small tower: 
here seems to have been the prison and melancholy abode of the state 
criminals confined in the fortress. 

Tlie top of the great tower is about ninety-three feet fiom the ground, 
round which is a battlement seven feet high, with embrasures. At each 
angle is a tower about twelve feet square, with floors and battlements 
above them : the whole height of these towers is about one huntlrcd and 
twelve feet from the ground. There is in the tower of the Castle wall 
near the bridge a funnel or space in the wall, open from the bottom 
to the top, supposed to have been used for the secret conveyance ot 
provisions from the river into the Castle. 

There are fire-places to the rooms, which have scmicnxular chimney- 
pieces; the arches of which, in the principal rooms, arc ornamented 
similarly. The smoke was not conveyed off through funnels ascending 
to the top of the tower, but through small holes left for that purpose in 
the outer wall near to each fire-place About mid-way as you ascend 
to the next floor, there is a narrow arched passage or gallery in the main 
wall, qtiitc round the tower. 



Rochester Castle. 209 

The lower being finished, the first circumstance on record is tht; 
imprisonment of Robert Earl of Gloucester, natural son of Henry I . 
This great man was general and counsellor to Matilda in her opposition 
to King Stephen; and in the year 114 1 was taken prisoner at Win- 
chester, after he had by his gallantry effected the escape of his sister 
Matilda. He was committed to the custody of William de Ypre, who 
probably was castellan of Rochester Castle at that time, for he sent him 
a close prisoner to this fortress. King Stephen, at the same time, was 
in confinement by Matilda : and very soon after the captivity of the 
Earl, the King was exchanged for him. 

The Castle was given in custody to the Archbishops of Canterbury 
by Henry I. in 1 126, but the clergy did not keep it long ; for about 
the year 1163, Thomas Becket, among the many insults with which he 
treated his sovereign King Henry H., accused him with having unjustly 
deprived him of the Castle of Rochester, which had been formerly an- 
nexed to the archbishopric. 

In the troubled reign of King John, William de Albini bravely de- 
fended Rochester Castle for three months against him : during the siege 
the garrison in the Castle were reduced to such extremities that they 
ate all their horses. At length the fortress surrendered, when all the 
soldiers, except the cross-bow men, were ordered by King John to be 
hung. In 1 216, Louis, Dauphin of France, landed in the Isle of Thanet, 
near Sandwich, in order to assist the Barons, and took the Castle of 
Rochester, after a short siege ; but after his retreat, and the death of 
King John, it again submitted to the Crown. 

In the contest between Henry III. and his Barons, in 1264, Simon de 
Montfort, Earl of Leicester, made a furious assault on the Castle ; 
after a siege of seven days he retired, leaving a few forces to continue 
the siege, but these were soon slain or put to flight. 

Edward IV. repaired the walls of this Castle ; from that period they 
were left to decay. In the next century, the fortress rested among the 
manors of the Crown, until James I., 1610, granted it with all its ser- 
vices annexed, to Sir Anthony Weldon, whose descendants demolished 
the interior for the sake of the timber ; the walls defy destruction. It 
is now the property of the Earl of Jersey. 

The points most observable are, the well, and its contrivances for 
supplying every floor; the ornamented arched gateway ; the semicir- 
cular fire-places in almost every story; the columns and arches of th. 
chapel on the second story ; and the Titanesque massiveness of the 
walls, generally twelve feet in thickness, which make modern buildin;^ 
mere doll-houses of pigmy children. From the floor, at one vietv, the 
* 17 



290 RicJiboroiigh Castle. 

whole height of the interior, with its five stories, appears. The space 
enclosed by the walls of the Castle was about 300 feet square. A ditch, 
broad and deep, suirounded three sides, the Medway protecting the 
fourth. An ancient Castle was a sort of armed town on a small scale, 
with all kinds of provision for feasting, residence, fighting, praying ; and 
Rochester still retains enough of its characteristic features to enable us 
to identify many of its parts. 

In the venerable ruins of this fortress the inhabitants of Roches- 
ter have long felt an interest, in which the whole country may now 
be said to participate ; since, under the shadow of those walls, in 
a house situate in the garden on which the tower abuts, was born a 
successor of Lanfranc, whose praise is now in all the churches. 

Much land in Kent and other counties is held of this Castle, whose 
tenure is perfect Castle guard ; for on St. Andrew's day, old style, a 
banner is hung out at the house of the receiver of the rents ; and every 
tenant who does not then discharge his proper rent, is liable to have it 
doubled on the turn of every tide in the adjacent river, during the time 

it remains unpaid. 

♦ 

Richborough Castle. 

This ancient maritime station, supposed to be the first that was 
formed in the island, is situate near Sandwich. It is one of the noblest 
Roman remains in the country. It was the usual place of communica- 
tion with the Continent, and guarded one mouth of the Channel 
which then insulated Thanet. The site of the Castle is a kind of pro- 
montory of high ground, projecting into the marshes. " Time," says 
Camden, " has devoured every trace of it, and to teach us that cities 
arc as perishable as men, it is now a corn-field, where, when the com 
is grown up, one may see the traces of the streets intersecting each 
other; for, wherever the streets have run the com grows thin. The 
site of the city discovers evidences of its antiquity in Roman coins of 
gold and silver." 

The area within the walls is five acres. The walls (that eastward 
has disappeared) are flanked with projecting round towers at tiie angles, 
and by intermediate circular towers. There is a large opening in the 
west wall, and a narrower one in the north wall. The walls were 
built of blocks of chalk and stone, and faced on botii sides with 
square blocks of stone, banded at intei-vals with double rows of 
large flat tiles. The walls, to the height of six feet, are 1 1 feet 3 inches 
thick, above U>at heiglit they are 10 iect y inches. Tlie greatest 



Rcculvcr. 291 

height of the wall is 23 feet. Near the Castle are the remains ot a 
Roman circular amphitheatre, of about 70 yards diameter. Such was 
part of the system adopted by our conquerors for the defence of the 
seaboard. 

It is stated that there has been discovered under Richborough Castle 
a subterraneous passage, which has been cleared to a considerable 
distance, some six feet high and three feet broad, besides passages 
leading therefrom in other directions. The walls and roof of the ex- 
cavated portion are described as lined with rough stones and flint«. 



k 



Reculver. 

The wide estuary which formerly separated the Isle of Thanet from 
the main land was, in the Roman times, an important haven, as well 
as the general passage for shipping between the Downs and the mouth 
of the Thames. The two stations, or Castles, which guarded the 
opposite entrances to this port were named Regulbium, now Reculver, 
and Rutupium, or Richborough (just described), near Sandwich. 
Reculver must have been the first watch-tower seen on the Kentish 
coast by ships sailing out of the Thames. The Castle also commands 
a view, not only of the open sea, but of the mouths of the Thames 
and Medway, on which account it was used as a watch-tower and a 
lighthouse. The antiquity of Reculver is attested by the variety and 
abundance of Roman remains discovered there. The northern 
station has been partly washed away by the sea. The Church 
of Reculver, which forms a well known sea-mark, occupied the 
centre of the station. Richborough, on the contrary, has been de- 
serted by the waves, and is now considerably within the land. 

On the subjugation of Kent by the Saxons, Regulbium (Racu/f-cestre) 
became a principal seat of the Saxon Kings ; and hither King Ethel- 
bert retired with his Court after his conversion to Christianity by 
St. Augustine, when he granted his Palace at Canterbuiy to the monks 
for the site of the Priory of Christchurch. In the next centuiy it 
obtained the name of Raculf-minstre, from a Benedictine Abbey, 
founded here by Bapa, a priest and noble, to whom some lands were 
given for the purpose by King Egbert, in atonement for the murder 
of his two nephews. Afterwards, in the year 949, Reculver wai 
granted by King Edred, in the presence of Qiieen Edgiva, his mother, 
and Archbishop Odo, to the Monastery of Christchurch, Canterbury; 
but before the Nonnan Conquest the Society was dissolved or removed 



2-92 Stuff all Castle. 

As the sea continued to encroach upon the shore, and tne estuary to 
be filled up, there can be little doubt but that the once extensive and 
populous town, Reculver, was gi-adually deserted ; and all that remain 
are the ruins of the Roman station, and the desecrated walls of the church. 
This was thought to have belonged to the Abbey, but the architecture 
is of a much earlier period. The spires, 136 feet high, were poeti- 
cally termed "sisters," fi-om a popular tradition of their having been 
built at the expense of two sisters. They are now deplorably dila- 
pidated. The remains of Ethelbert, the first Christian King of Kent, 
were interred in the first church erected on the spot. 

Of late yeai-s, Reculver Castle has been explored by Mr. Roach 
Smith, whose investigations have thrown a new light upon the inquiry 
The work is manifestly Roman : the chancel arch was triple, resting 
upon two columns, and they were of Roman brick. It has been asked 
by an able critical writer, "Is it a church built out of some Roman 
building, which, even in its ruined state, was capable of being adapted 
to such a purpose ; or was it simply a church built, after the conversion 
of the Kentishmen, by the Roman missionaries in the Roman manner ? 
The work, though Roman, cannot be called classic. It may be work 
of the very latest Roman days, or even of Welshmen left to their own 
skill after Honorius had withdrawn his legions. Or it may be the 
work of the earliest Christian Englishmen and their instructors. In 
either case it bears witness to no continuous Roman traditions, such as 
meet the inquirer at every step of a jouniey through a Romance- 
speaking land." 



Stutfall Castle. 

This is the modem appellation of the remains, at Stutfall, of the 
Roman fortress Lemanis, between AN'cst Hythe and the village of 
Lymne, and having an area of about five acres. The high road, which 
appears to follow the Roman road from Canterbury, goes almost straight 
to Lyninc. Suddenly you see the vast champaign of tiie Romncy Marshes, 
the British Channel, and the coast of France. This tract of land in 
times past has been subject to many geological changes, but is now 
thoroughly subjugated by the hand of man j and is computed to contain 
about 56,000 acres, including the shingle banks at Dengeness and Hythe, 
which may l)c estimated at 10,000 acres. It is intersected with dykes 
and roads, and every part is in liigh cultivation as pasture or arable land, 
chiefly the former, upon which at least goo.ooo sheep arc f ustaincd^ and 



Stntfall Castle. 203 

mimei oiis herds of cattle. The ocean itself is curbed by a strong mural 
defence, called the Dymchurch Wall. Immediately beneath the spot 
where the visitor is supposed to stand was the Portus Lemanis, one oi 
the great harbours of Roman Britain ; but the name and position are 
all that history has left us of a place through which for some centuries 
poured a stream of communication between Britain and Gaul, and which 
shared with Rutupix the honour of sheltering the Roman fleet. The 
port is now no more ; but from the elevation of Lymne the eye can 
still trace the line of its sea margin. It is remarkable, that at the time 
of the former panic, at the apprehended invasion by Napoleon, when the 
military canal was cut, and Martello towers at an incredible expense 
were erected along the coast, the surveyors considered the site of the 
entrance of the Portus Lemanis as by far the most advantageous point 
for the enemy's landing. Opposite, and to the south-west of Lymne, at 
the time when the Portus Lemanis existed, the land must have stretched 
to a very considerable distance beyond the present sea boundary, pro- 
bably a mile at least ; and there is every reason to believe that the tract 
now submerged, as well as the entire district now known as theRomncy 
Marshes, was cultivated and peopled by the Romans. 

The destruction of the fortress has been assigned to land-slips, such as 
the coast of Kent is subject to, and subsidences of the earth, occasioned 
by land-springs acting upon the clay, which, being forced out from its 
bed, leaves the overlying sandstone without support, and, inconsequence, 
it gives way, and slides down. Some attribute its overthrow to the 
Saxons; but it is more likely attributable to an earthquake. In 1728, 
a piece of land to the west of the castrum sank 40 feet. The subsidence 
took place in the night-time, and it was so imperceptible, that the 
inmates of a farm-house situate upon the sunken ground did not know 
what had happened until the morning. A penny of Fadgar, found at 
the depth of two feet, and also some iron prick-spurs, suggest that the 
castrum may have been partially tenanted for some centuries after the 
Romans had abandoned it. There is no record of the period when the 
great land-slip took place, but it has been suggested before the Con- 
quest, since Lanfranc used the facing stones of the castrum for building 
the Castle and Church which stand upon the brow of the cliff. 

The excavations of these curious remains were commenced in 1850, 
by Mr. Roach Smith, who has presented to the subscribers to the exca- 
vations a very interesting Report, with explanatory engravings, showing 
how portions of the wall, and tower, and gates fell, or overtoppled, and 
showing the house in the area of the fortress; also, fragments ot 
inscribed tiles, an altar, bronze bracelet, fine red pottery, a Saxon pin. 



294 Hevcr Castle and Aime Bolcyn. 

ring, and chain, jewellery, variegated glass, and coins of Carausius 
and Allectus. 



Hever Castle and Anne Boleyn. ^ 

At the distance of a tourist's walk fiom Edenbridge and Penshiirst, ' 7^ 
in a pleasant nook of the county of Kent, stands Hever Castle — oflittl^ 
architectural extent or pretension, but in its associations one of the most 
popular and interesting of our historical houses. It was anciently the 
seat of a family of the same name, but is more endeared to memory as 
the paternal abode of the ill-fated Anne Boleyn. It is acurious specimen 
of the domestic fortress, and was erected by William de Hever, a 
Norman baron, who, under Edward III., obtained the King's licence to 
embattle his manor-house, and to have liberty of fi'ee warren within 
this demesne. His two daughters and co-heiresses conveyed it in mar- 
riage to the families of Cobham and Brocas ; the former, who had 
acquired the whole by purchase, afterwards sold the entire estate to 
Sir Geoffrey Boleyn, a wealthy mercer of London, Lord Mayor of that 
city in the thirty-seventh of Henry VI., and great-grandfather to Anne 
Boleyn, a Queen of Henry VIII., and mother of Queen Elizabeth. 

The family of Boleyn, or Bullen, originally of French extraction, was 
transplanted to England soon after the Norman Conquest, and settled in 
Norfolk, where they resided for three centuries, maintaining their rank 
and influence among the provincial gentry, till Sir Geofl'rey Boleyn, 
amidst the conflicts of York and Lancaster, exchanged the pastimes of 
hawking and hunting for the pursuits of commerce, amassed gre.it 
wealth, and was invested with the knighthood, whilst his children inter- 
mamcd with noble families. Sir Geoffrey also purchased the manor 
of Blickling from Sir John Falstaff. His son, Sir William Boleyn, was 
equally fortunate with his father, and more aspiring : he proved a suc- 
cessful courtier, and his most sanguine expectations were more than 
realized by the subsequent union of his son Thomas with ICli/abeth, 
daughter of the Earl of Surrey, a nobleman in whom high 'Mnk was 
exalted by chivalrous valour, munificent liberality, and refinea taste. 
Sir Thomas did not, however, obtain preferment till the end of the reign 
of Henry VII. ; and he appears to have passed that intei-val at Roch- 
ford Hall, in Essex, wheic, in 1507, his wife gave birth to the celebrated 
Anne, the scene of whose infancy is still shown to the curious incjuirer, 
and many traditional stories are related. Such is Miss Benger's state- 
ment ; but Jilitkling Hall, in Norfolk, also the seat of Sir Thomas 
Uoieyn, iit stated to have been the birthplace of Anne. A tndition was 



Hever Castle and Anne Boleyn. 295 

related in the neighbourhood, that Sir Thomas Boleyn was believed by 
the vulgar to be doomed annually, on a certain night in the year, to 
drive for a period of 1000 years, a coach draw^n by four headless horses, 
over a circuit of tw^elve bridges in that vicinity. These are Aylsham, 
Burgh, Oxnead, Buxton, Coltishall, the two Meyton bridges, Wrex- 
ham, and four others. Sir Thomas carries his head under his arm, 
and flames issue from his mouth. Few rustics were hardy enough to 
be found loitering on or near these bridges on that night ; and an infor- 
mant averred, that he himself was, on one occasion, hailed by this 
fiendish apparition, and asked to open a gate, but " he warn't such a 
fool as to turn his head ; and well a' didn't, for Sir Thomas passed him 
full gallop like;" and he heard a voice which told him that he (Sir 
Thomas) had no power to hurt such as turned a deaf ear to his re- 
quests, but that had he stopped he would have carried him off. The 
informant adds, that he had never found but one person who had ever 
actually seen the phantom. — 'Notes and Queries, No. 29. 

To return to Hever. On the death of Sir Thomas Boleyn, K.G., 
Earl of Wiltshire and Ormond, and father of Anne, Henry seized this 
estate in right of his own wife ; and aftei-wards enlarged it by pur- 
chases from others of her family ; or, as Miss Benger states, " Henry, 
with matchless cupidity, claimed it in right of a wife, for whom, 
previous to her wedding, he had been divorced." The next possessor 
was Lady Anne of Cleves, who, after her divorce, had settled on her 
this and other manors for life, so long as she should remain in the 
kingdom. She made Hever Castle her general place of residence, and died 
here in 1557, 3 and 4 year of the reign of Philip and Mary, at which time 
the estate was sold by Commissioners authorized by the Crown to Sir 
Edward Waldegrave, chamberlain to the Queen's household ; who on 
the accession of Elizabeth was divested of all his employments and com- 
mitted to the Tower, where he died in 1561. From his family the 
manors passed to the Humphreys, and finally, to the Malleys, in 
Sussex.* 

The Castle, as we now see it, is a mass of buildings, with buttresses, 



• Much of the property left by Alderman Boleviie (the Queen's grandfather), 
was situated in Kent, in the neighbourhood of wliich estates a worthy inn- 
keeper, indignant at the treatment of his old master's relative, altered his sign 
from "The Boleyne Arms" to "The Boleyne Butchered." Queen Elizabeth, 
they say, who took every means to hush up her mother's sorrows and end, in- 
duced the host to amend it into the "Bull and Butcher," which henceforth 
became a popular sign throughout all England. — Historical Reminiscences oj 
the City of London and its Livery Companies. By Thomas Arundell, BkD, 
1869. 



296 Hevcr Castle and Anne Bolcyn. 

square towers, embrasures, square headed windows, and a watered moar, 
the latter being supplied by the river Eden. The principal front consists 
of an entrance flanked by towers: it is embattled and strongly maehi- 
colated, and defended by a portcullis and two thick oaken doors, im- 
mediately behind which are two guard-rooms. A broad avenue of 
solid masonry leads straight to a second portcullis, and this again to a 
third, occupying altogether the whole depth of the Castle. These 
gates lead into a spacious courtyard formed of three sides of the house 
built in the early Tudor style, and on the fourth by the Castle. The 
great dining-room, now used as a kitchen, contains a portion of the 
original Boleyn furniture ; but the room visited with the greatest 
curiosity is that known as Anne Boleyn's bedchamber, beautifully 
panelled, and containing the original furniture, as chairs, tables, muni- 
ment-chest, and Anne's bed. Here, too, is a pair of elegant and- 
irons, bearing the royal initials H.A., and surmounted with a royal 
crown. A door in one of the corners of the room opens into a strong 
dark cell. The great staircase communicates with various chambers, 
wainscoted with small oaken panelling, and a gallery the whole length 
of the building, with three recesses : in one of them it is said Henry, on 
one of his visits, received the congratulations of his gentry ; and he 
is said to have used it as a council-chamber. This gallery has a curiously 
ornamented ceiling in stucco. The windows of the staircase display 
several heraldic shields in painted glass, collected from different parts of 
the Castle, charged with the arms and alliances of the Boleyns, &c. 
At the upper end of the gallery, part of the floor lifts up and discover* 
a narrow, gloomy descent, leading as far as the moat, and called the 
dungeon. 

Presuming the reader to be familiar with the outline of the ti'agical 
story of Anne Boleyn, we may proceed to detail that period of her 
life which she passed at Hever. Her father. Sir Thomas Boleyn, was 
the representative of an ancient line in Norfolk, which had in three des- 
cents been allied to the noblest families in England ; he was afterwards 
created Viscount Rochford and Earl of Wiltshire. Anne's mother 
was Lady Elizabeth Howard, daughter of the Duke of Norfolk. Anne 
was born in the year i-,07, and in her childhood accompanied Mary, 
the sister of Henry VIH., to France, where she remained in the court 
of that Queen and of her successor, the wife of Francis I., for many- 
years. She was afterwards attached to the household of the Duchess 
of Alcn^on. Anne, to English beauty added the lively charms of foreign 
manner. Viscount Chateaubriand describes her as " rivalling V\mius." 
It is most probable that she was present at the Field of the Cloth of 



Ilever Castle and A nne Boleyn. 2C)y 

Gold, where Henry might have been smitten by her charms. The time 
of her return from France is doubtful, but is placed in 1527, when her 
father was sent in an embassy to France. At that time she became a 
maid of honour to Qiieen Katherine, the wife of Henry VHI., and was 
receiving the addresses of Lord Percy, the eldest son of the Duke of 
Northumberland. If the assertion of Plenry VHI. is to be credited, he 
had long entertained scruples concerning the lawfulness of his marriage 
with his brother's widow ; and had attributed to the violation of God's 
law the premature death of all his children by Katherine, excepting the 
Princess Mary. The most charitable and credulous, however, cannot 
abstain from remarking that the moment of his proceeding openly to 
annul the marriage was identical with the commencement of his addresses 
to Anne Boleyn, and that a similar coincidence marks the catastrophe 
of this unhappy woman. A letter from the King to her in 1528 alludes 
to his having been one whole year struck with the dart of love, and her 
engagement with Lord Percy was at this time broken off by the inter- 
vention of Vv"olsey, in whose household that nobleman was brought up. 
After this malicious interference Anne retired to Hever, but she kept 
up a correspondence with Henry by letters : some of the King's letters 
to her are still extant in the library of the Vatican. Although not con- 
si stent with the delicacy of expression usual in these days, they show 
unquestionably that Anne Boleyn was the beloved, not the mistress of the 
King. The crafty Cardinal having first prevailed on the Earl of North- 
umberland to forbid his son's marriage with Anne, succeeded in per- 
suading Sir Thomas Boleyn to withdraw her from the Court. Anne 
was little aware of the real source of her disappointment, which was, in 
truth, the unholy passion of Henry. She, on the other hand, attributed 
it exclusively to Wolsey's malice; and she protested, with an im- 
petuosity which fatally for herself she never learnt to control, that she 
would some day find the means to recjuite the injury. 

From the diary of Margaret, Sir Thomas More's eldest daughter, we, 
gain a glimpse of Henry, as he was to be seen in 1524. A largaret M o re '^ *" — 
says her mother " calls him a fine man ; he is, indeed, big enough, and ^ « ^ \X ( 
like to become too big, with long slits of eyes that gaze freelie on all, j 
as who rhould say, ' Who dare let or hinder us ? ' His brow betokens 1 ^ 
sense and frankness, his eyebrows are supercilious, and his cheeks puffy ; 1 \ Vr^>K/ 

a rolling, straddling gait, and abrupt speech." And, in 1528, " Mistiess 1 .. 

Anne is not there (at Court) at present; indeed,sheis now always hang- 
ing about Court, and followeth somewhat too literallie the Scripture 
injunction to Solomon's spouse — to forget her father's house. The King 
likes well enow to be compared with Solomon ; but Mistress Anne it 



298 H ever Castle and Anne Bolcyn. 

not his spouse yet, nor ever will be, I hope. Flattery and Frenchified 
habits have spoilt her, I trow." 

Mistress Anne, however, drew the King deeper into danger by judicious 
encouragement, and keeping him in suspense. Here are two letters, ia 
which her arts are plainly visible : — 

Henry VIII. to Anne Boleyn, 

" My Mistress and my Friend, — My heart and I surrender 
themselves into your handvS, and we supplicate to be commended to your 
good graces, and that by absence your affection may not be diminished 
to us, for that would be to augment our pain, which would be a great 
pity, since absence gives enough, and more than I ever thought could be 
felt. This brings to my mind a fact in astronomy, which is, that the 
further the poles are from the sun, notwithstanding, the more searching 
is the heat. Thus it is with our love ; absence has placed distance 
between us, nevertheless, fenour increases, at least on my part. I hope 
the same from you, assuring you that in my case the anguish of absence 
is so great that it would be intolerable, were it not for the Jirm hope 
I have of your indissoluble affection towards me. In order to re- 
mind you of it, and because I cannot in person be in your presence, I 
send you the thing that comes nearest that is possible — that is to say, 
my picture, and the whole device, which you already know of, set in 
bracelets, wishing myself in their place when it pleases you. This is 
the hand of 

'• Your servant and friend, 

"H. R." 

jinne Boleyn to Henry VIII. 

" Sir, — It belongs only to the august mind of a great king to whom 
nature has given a heart full of generosity towards the sex, to repay by 
favours so extraordinary an artless and short conversation with a girl. 
Inexhaustible as is the treasury of your Majesty's bounties, I pray you 
to consider that it cannot be sufficient to your generosity ; for if you 
recompense so slight a conversation by gifts so great, what will you be 
able to do for those who are ready to consecrate their entire obedience to 
jour desires f How great soever may be the bounties I have received, 
the joy that I feel in being loved by a king whom I adore, and to ivhom 
I <would avith pleasure make a sacrifice of my heart, if fortune had ren- 
dered it nvorthy of being offered to him, will cvei be infinitely greater. 

"The warrant of maid of honour to the Queen induces me to think 



Hever Castle and A nne Bohyn. 299 

that your Majesty has some regard for me, since it gives me the means 
of seeing you oftener, and of assuring you, by my own lips (which I 
ehall do on the first opportunity), that I am 

" Your Majesty's very obhged and very obedient 
"Servant, luithout any reserve, 

" Anne Boleyn." 

Anne's seclusion at Hever Castle is touchingly referred to by Miss 
Benger: " The long gallery she so often traversed with impatience, still 
seems to re-echo her steps ; and after the vicissitudes of three centuries, 
the impression of her youth, her beauty, and singular destiny, is still 
fresh and vivid to the imagination." 

While Anne Boleyn was repining in exile, Henry contrived the 
marriage of her lover, Lord Percy, to the daughter of the Earl of 
Shrewsbury. At this moment there is no reason to believe her aware of 
the true source of her disappointment; even her father's sagacity appears 
not to have penetrated the mystery; and he probably attributed the 
royal interposition solely to that spirit of domination which he had 
long remarked in his sovereign, of whom it was too justly predicted 
that he would not scrupb to stx-ike off even a favourite's head if it 
obstructed his views of advantage. 

According to tradition, however, the mist vanished from his eyes 
when he suddenly saw the King arrive by stealth at Hever on some 
frivolous pretext, which ill disguised his real errand, that he came 
but to steal a glimpse of the lovely Anne Boleyn. Alarmed by his 
delicate attention. Sir Thomas is said to have sedulously withdrawn his 
daughter from the King's view, and during his visit, on the plea of 
mdisposition, to have kept her confined to her chamber. Whatever 
credit be attached to this story, it is certain that a considerable time 
intervened before Anne received her place at Court ; and that during- 
her absence her ^ner, created Lord Viscount Rochford, was advanced 
to the office of Treasurer of the Royal household. 

In the meantime the King's divorce from Katherine was retarded 
by various delays ; and at the beginning of the year 1533 Henry 
married Anne Boleyn secretly, in the presence of her uncle, the Duke 
of Norfolk, and of her father and mother — first secretly, in a garret of 
Whitehall Palace, and then publicly. A handsome little clock of brass 
(by mistake sometimes described as silver-gilt) was presented by Henry 
to Anne upon the day of the marriage. This clock fell into the posses- 
sion of Lady Elizabeth Germaine, who gave it to Horace Walpole. At 
the Strawberry Hill sale, this famous clock was purchased for Queen 



i'^ Hcver Castle and Anne Bolcyn. 

Victoria for no/. 5J., and it is now in Windsor Castle, and in going 
order. It is richly chased and engraved, and ornamented with fleurs- 
de-lis, SiC, and surmounted with the arms of England. The weights 
are chased with the initials of Henry and Anne within true lovers' 
knots. One bears the inscription " The most happye," the other the 
Royal motto. Queen Anne was crowned at Whitehall with great 
pomp, on the 1st of June, and on the 13th of the following September 
the Princess Elizabeth was bom. Poor unhappy Katherine, after 
having served Henry fiiithfully eighteen years, he willingly turned 
adrift, " and all," says Margaret More, " for love of a brown girl with 
a wen, or perthroat, and an extra finger." Henry was more con- 
cerned about the iven than any scruples of conscience, and in 1536 
was pleased to prefer Lady Jane Seymour to either, upon which there 
followed a base accusation, a mockery of a trial, and the gleam of a 
bright axe. 

There is a mysterious uncertainty about Anne's burial-place. There 
is a tradition at Salle, in Norfolk, that her remains were removed from 
the Tower and interred at midnight, with the rites of Christian burial, 
in Salle Church ; and a plain black stone, without any inscription, was 
long supposed to indicate the spot where she was buried. The stone 
has been raised, but no remains were found underneath it. Holinshed, 
Stow, and Speed say that the body, with the head, was buried in the 
choir of the Chapel in the Tower ; and Sandford that she was buried 
in the Chapel of St. Peter, in the Tower. Burnet, who is followed by 
Hume, Henry, and Lingard, says that Anne's body was thrown into 
an elm chest to put arrows in, and was buried in the Chapel in the 
Tower before twelve o'clock. In Crispin's description of the execution, 
written fourteen days after, is the following passage, cited by Mr. Sharon 
Turner: — "Her ladies immediately took up her head and the body. 
They seemed to be without souls, they were &o languid and ex- 
tremely weak ; but fearing that their mistress miglit be handled mj\- 
worthily by inhuman men, they forced themselves to do this duty, jncl 
though almost dead, at last carried off her dead body wrapt in a white 
covering." 

A Correspondent of the Gentleman s Magazine, Oct. 181 r;, describes 
" the headless remains of the departed queen as deposited in the arrow- 
chest, and buried in the Tower chapel, before the Higli Altar. Where 
that stood, the most sagacious antic) uary, after a lapse of more than 
three hundred years, cannot now determine ; nor is the circumstance, 
though related by eminent writers, clearly ascertained. In a cellar, 
the body of a person of short Gtature, without a head, not many yeara 



Timhridge Castle, 301 

since was found, and supposed to be the reliques of poor Anne; but 
Joon after reinterred in the same place, and covered with earth."* 

The fall of the Boleyns must have been signally sudden ; for Lam- 
bard, in his Perambulations in Kent, published about the middle of 
the seventeenth century, does not refer to the family. To the Boleyns 
no motto could have been so appropriate as that assumed by the House 
ofCourteney: Ubi lapsus f Quid feci f (Where have I fallen ? What 
have I done ?) Their rise had been slow and gradual — their fall was 
rapid and irretrievable; and after the death of Anne, they never 
recovered dignity and importance. The Earl of Wiltshire survived 
his ill-fated daughter but two years, and died in 1538, at Hever, in 
whose parochial church his tomb is pointed out. For the Countess, 
contrary to her daughter's predictions, was reser%'ed a longer term of 
existence ; and eventually she lived to witness the death or disgrace oi 
those peers who sat in judgment on her daughter. The Earl oi 
Northumberland had soon followed the object of his juvenile affection 
to the grave, overwhelmed with shame and sorrow by the execution 
of his brother, Sir Thomas Percy, who had been involved in Aske's 
rebellion. Cromwell and Suirey perished on the scaffold, and the 
Duke of Norfolk was immured in the Tower ere the remains of Anne's 
mother were consigned to the tomb of her ancestors in the chapel at 
Lambeth, with this brief monumental inscription : " Elizabeth Howard, 
sometime Countess of Wiltshire." Mary Boleyn, her younger daughter, 
died in 1546, at Rochford Hall, Essex, leaving two children, a 
daughter, afterwards married to Sir Francis KnoUys ; and a son, Henry 
Carey, created Baron Hunsdon by Queen Elizabeth, in whose bril- 
liant circle he was distinguished as the honest courtier. His son 
enjoyed favour and consideration by James L, but the fortunes of their 
House declined, and the collateral branches of the Boleyns in Kent and 
Norfolk sank into quiet obscurity. 



Tunbridge Castle. 

Close to the railway station of " Tunbridge Town," there exists an 
architectural fragment.vvhich may be often mistaken for an entire Castle, 
but was merely the entrance gateway to a fortress of very gi-eat extent. 
At the time of the Domesday Survey, lands were held here by Richard 
de Tonebridge, a Norman follower and uncle of the Conqueror, who 
created him Earl of Clare, and settled several lordships upon liim. De 
Tonebridge exchanged his lands at Byon, in Normandy, with the 



302 Timbridge Castle. 

Archbishop of Canterbury for a tract of equal extent at Tunbridge^ 
Here he erected a Castle, and assembled his retainers and vassals. 
These were called into active service soon after the death of William I., 
for Earl Richard espoused the cause of Robert Curtoise, in oppo- 
sition to William Rufus, who had seized the crown. The latter im- 
mediately marched an army to Tunbridge, to compel obedience and 
allegiance to his relative ; and the Earl, after a short struggle, was com- 
pelled to submit. Frequent contests occurred between the lords of 
this Castle and the prelates of Canterbury, till the reign of Henry III., 
when it was agreed that the Earls of Clare should hold " Tunbridge and 
its Lowy," />., liberty or certain district which had grown up under 
the protection of the Castle — " by the grand sergeantcy of being chief 
butlers and high stewards at the instalments of the metropolitans, and 
grant them wardship of their children." On such occasions the butler was 
to receive seven robes of scarlet, 30 gallons of wine, 50 pounds of wax for 
his own lights at the feast, the livery of hay and corn for So horses for 
two nights, and the dishes and salts placed before the prelates at the first 
course of the feast, &c. These sei-vices and conditions remained in 
force till the fourteenth century, when they were compounded for by 
a sum of money, generally 200 marks. At the tim.e of Henry VIII. 
this office was held by Edward Duke of Buckingham. The history of 
the fortress embraces accounts of sieges, burnings, sappings, and 
slaughter too numerous to relate. In the Civil troubles of Hemy III. 
the Castle was besieged and taken from its owner, the Earl of 
Clare, by Prince Edward ; and during the siege, the garrison burnt 
the town. There was also a Priory at Tunbridge, founded by Earl 
Richard, in the time of Henry I. for canons of St. Augustine, of 
which structure only a small fi-agment remains. King Edward I. was 
entertained at this Castle in a magnificent style for several days, in the 
second year of his reign. In the reign of Henry VIII. the Castle, toge- 
ther with the town, was forfeited to the Crown by the Duke of Huck- 
ingham ; after which time, the fortress was suffered to fall into decay. 

The remains of the Castle arc on the northern bank of the Mcdvvay, 
which formerly was made to How not only around the whole Castle 
in a broad moat, but also around the base of the keep. The exterior 
walls enclosed about six acres.- Part of the outer walls remain ; also 
the lower portion of the water-tower, t!ic mound of the Keep, and 
the entrance gatehouse. The latter is flanked by two circular towers, 
and had a drawbridge in front, of the time of King John or 1 lenry III, 
This Anglo Norman fortress, by the side of the railway of our times, 
is a very suggestive scene. 



Penshicrst Place and the Sydncys. iq-^ 

T jnbridge Wells, at a short distance from Tunbridge Town, dates 
from early in the i6th century, when persons of fashion began to " drink 
Tunbridge waters." Among the papers of Richardson, the novelist, 
was found a water-colour drawing by Loggan showing the principal 
walk at "The Wells," with portraits of Dr. Johnson, Gibber, Garrick, 
Mr. Pitt (the Earl of Chatham), Beau Nash, Miss Chudleigh (after- 
wards Duchess of Kingston), and Richardson himself. The date of the 
drawing is 1748 ; it was engraved and coloured as the frontispiece to 
Richardson's Correspondence, published in 1804. 



Penshurst Place and the Sydneys. 

About six miles north-west of Tunbridge Wells, in a picturesque 
district, towards the western verge of the county of Kent, lies Pens- 
hurst Place, the memorable and once splendid mansion of the Sydneys. 
In the Norman times, there was a building here occupied by a family 
named Penchester. One of this race. Sir Stephen de Penchester, was a 
famous Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports and Constable of Dover Castle 
Jin the reigns of Henry III. and Edward I. In the 15th of Edward II., N «' 

I Sir John de Poultney, then possessor of Penshurst, obtained a \ V^p^ 
\licence to embattle his mansion : he was four times Lord Mavor of Lon- \ \ ,»* 
don, and was noted for his public charities, magnificent housekeeping, 
and splendid buildings. In course of time the lands of Penshurst, as 
the place is now called, fell into the possession of females, one of whose 
descendants sold the property to the Regent, the Duke of Bedford. 
On his decease at Paris, in the 14th Henry VI., Penshurst came to 
his next brother, the good Duke of Gloucester, after whose death, m 
1447, it descended to the King, and was in the same year granted to the 
Staffords. On the attainder of Edward Duke of Buckingham the pos- 
sessions of this family fell to the Crown. Hen ry VI II. long kept the] 
property, and greatly extended the park ; and it has been presumed tha* 
during one of his visits here Jie first became acquainted with Anpe 
Bolejn, then living with her father at Hever Castle, in the nei-ghbourhood. ' 
King~Edward VI. granted Penshurst to Sir Ralph Fane, who within 
two years afterwards was executed as an accomplice to the Protector 
Somerset. The property was then given by the youthful Sovereign to 
Sir William Sydney, one of the heroes of Flodden Field, whose connexioi 
with the King is in part explained by the inscription on the square 
massive entrance-tower — " The most religious and renowned Prince 
Edward the Sixth, King of England, France, and Ireland, gave tliis 



304 PcnsJinrst Place and the Sydncys. 

nouse of Penchester, with the manors, lands, and appurtenances there- 
unto belonging, unto his trustye and well-beloved servant, Syr William 
Sydney, Knight Banneret, serving him from the time of his birth unto 
his coronation in the offices of Chamberlayne and Stewarde of his 
Household, in commemoration of which most woithy and famous 
King, Sir Henry Sydney, Knight of the most noble Order of the 
Garter, Lord President of the Council established in the Marches of 
Wales, son and heyre of the aforenamed Sir William, caused this tower 
to be erected, anno Domini 1585." Near this inscription is a hatch- 
ment, quartering the Royal arms with those of the Sydneys ; below is 
carved the Royal arms of the period. 

Dying in 1553, at the age of 70, Sir William's property descended 
to his son and heir. Sir Henry Sydney, a learned and accomplished 
knight, in whose arms the youthful King Edward VI. expired. Grieved 
at this sad event, Sir Henry retired to Penshurst, where he sheltered 
and protected his father-in-law, " the great and miserable " John Dud- 
ley, Duke of Northumberland, and his tamily. Sir Henry enjoyed the 
[confidence of Queen Elizabeth, and died at Ludlow Castle, while 
I President of the Welsh Marches. His body was conveyed to Pens- 
hurst and by the Queen's order there buried. He left three sons and a 
daughter, of whom Sir Philip, Sir Robert, and Mary, are distinguished 
in our historic and poetic annals. 

The great light of Penshurst was Sir Philip Sydney, one of the 
brightest gems of Queen Elizabeth's Court, — the eloquent poet, able 
statesman, and noble soldier. The house, the woods, gardens, and 
terraces around are full of delightful associations connected with this 
worthy and accomplished gentleman, the author of Arcadia, the Defence 
of Poesy, and Astrophis and Stella. Oldys could muster up 200 authors 
who had spoken in praise of Sir Philip Sydney. It is said of this 
famous Sydney that •' Royalty would be honoural by his acceptance of 
it." Notwithstanding his high qualities, Sir Philip Sydney, in conse- 
quence of expressing a plain and honest objection to the proposed 
French marriage of Queen Elizabeth and certain State intrigues, be- 
came for a time under the Royal disfavour, and retired for a period to 
Wilton, and there wrote his most famous work. The following 
extract, so characteristic of the man, is worth quoting here: — "Let 
calamities be the exercise but not the overt Inow of my virtue. Let the 
power of my enemies prevail, but prevail not to my destruction. Let 
my greatness he tlieir pretext, my pain be the sweetness of their 
revenge. Let them, if so it seems good unto thee, vex me with more 



Pcnshurst Place and the Sydney's. 305 

and more punishment ; but, O Lord, let never their wickedness have 
such a bead but that I may carry a pure mind in a pure body." These 
words were in years after repeated by Charles I. shortly before his 
execution. 

When only thirty-two years of age, Sir Philip Sydney was wounded 
at the battle of Zutphen. It was on this field that, being offered water, 
he desired that it might be given to a soldier, whose wants, said Sir 
Philip, were greater than his own. This happened on Sept. 22, 1576. 
He died twenty-five days after, and was buried with great pomp in St. 
Paul's Cathedral. Robert, the brother of Sir Philip, afterwards became 
Earl of Leicester ; and his sister, to whom the Arcadia is dedicated, 
Countess of Pembroke. The character of Sir Philip Sydney is one of 
the finest in the long line of English chivalry. He was " a gentleman 
finished and complete, in whom mildness was associated with courage, 
erudition mollified by refinement, and courtliness dignified by truth. 
He is a specimen of what the English character is capable of producing, 
when foreign admixtures had not destroyed its simplicity, or politeness 
debased its honour. Of such a stamp was Sir Philip Sydney ; and as 
such every Englishman has reason to be proud of him." Sir Walter' 
Raleigh styled him " the English Petrarch." The chivalry of his cha- 
racter, his learning, generous patronage of talent, and his untimely fate,' 
contribute to make him an object of great interest. " He trod," says 
the author of the Effigies Poeticx, " from his cradle to the grave, amidst 
incense and flowers, and died in a dream of glory." Dr. Thornton, of 
Oxford, had it recorded on his tomb that he was " Tutor to Sir Philip 
Sydney :" and Lord Brooke in like manner commemorated his affection 
and esteem for his early friend by causing the following inscription to 
be placed upon his own monument : — " Fulke Greville, servant to 
Queen Elizabeth, Counsellor to King James, and friend to Sir Philip 
Sydney." 

Sir Robert Sydney succeeded to the Penshurst property; he was 
succeeded by his son and heir, in 1626, and after spending some time a^ 
foreign courts, settled at Penshurst, where he died in 1677, in his 8;!nd 
year. Among his fourteen children was the celebrated Algernon 
Sydney, who, through the iniquitous Jeffreys, was implicated in the 
Rye House plot, and illegally put to death in 1683 ; for one of the first 
acts of the Revolution was to reverse his attainder. One of Algernon's 
sisters, afterwards Countess of Sunderland, was the famed Saccharissa 
of the poet Waller. 

Penshurst continued to be inhabited by tlie Sydneys to July, 17/3, 
* X 



306 Penshnrst Place and the Sydncys. 

when Jocelyn, the last Earl of Leicester of this family, died without 
legitimate issue, and disputes and litigation followed. The next pos- 
sessor was William Perryng, by marriage with Elizabeth Sydney, niece 
of the above Earl of Leicester, and who left the estate in the hands of 
trustees for her grandson, the yoimger brother of Sir John Shelley, 
of Castle Goring, Sussex, who has since taken the ancient family name 
of Sydney. His only surviving son was Sir Philip Charles Sydney, son- 
in-law of King William IV., who, in 1835, conferred on him the barony 
of De Lisle and Dudley, not a new creation, but the revival of a title 
which had long been claimed by the Sydneys of Penshurst. His lord- 
ship, who man-ied Lady Sophia Fitzclarence, became the occupier of 
Penshurst ; and is understood to have been liberally aided by King 
William IV. in the reparation of the mansion. Kings had already con- 
tributed to its embellishment ; and much beautiful tapestry and furniture 
were presented by Queen Elizabeth to its distinguished possessor. 
Lord De Lisle and Dudley died in 1851, and was succeeded by the 
present peer and possessor of Penshurst Place. 

The house, originally a fine specimen of the embattled mansion of 
the 14th century, or, possibly, a castle, in later times expanded into a 
mixture of the castle and mansion, with its towers, courts, and spacious 
hall, retained much of its olden state until the middle of the last century. 
Inscriptions and armorial bearings on different parts of the building, 
point out their respective ages. In 1S03, John Carter could recognise 
the architectural characteristics of the reigns of Henry II., Richard 1 1 1., 
Henry VIII., Elizabeth, James I., and Georges I. and II.; so that a 
portion of Penshurst Place is nearly seven centuries old. The fine old 
baronial hall 60 feet by 40 feet, and 60 in height, is open to the roof, 
where was originally an open lowvre. Beneath it, on the floor, is the 
fire-hearth with large and-irons upwards of 3 feet 6 inches high ; near 
the top of each is the double broad arrow of the Sydney arms ; the 
" dogs " are connected by a massive bar of iron, which served the pur- 
pose of a rest for the fuel. This is nearly a yard and a half wide, and 
would allow the trunks and large portions of trees to blaze; the ribs of 
tlie roof and the walls are much discoloured by the wood-smoke. Near 
the entrance to the hall is the dinner-bell, of considerable size, and 
inscribed with the words : " Robert, Earl of Leicester, at Penshurst, 
1649." The sills of the side windows arc very near the fitjor, an 
unusunl arrangement in such halls. The floor is composed of small bricks 
and tiles, and beneath is a very fine crypt or vault. Communicating 
with the hall is a state room, 70 feel lung, with an EUzabcthan 



Penshnrst Place and the Sydney s. '^oj 

ceiling, and crimson velvet and gold screen, embroidered with mother- 
of-pearl by Elizabeth, who was here entertained with a masque. Next 
is the Qiieen's drawing-room, said to have been furnished by that 
monarch, and the embroidered satin which covers part of the walls to 
be the work of Elizabeth and her maidens. Amongst the most valu- 
able of the portraits are those of Sir Philip, Algernon (another famed 
head of this house), and Mary Sydney (Countess of Pembroke), in the 
tapestry-room picture-closet ; in the gallery there are choice portraits, 
landscapes and various subjects by Rubens and other great masters, 
cabinets, &c., presents from Royal and distinguished personages ; in- 
cluding a large cabinet, with paintings and brass and gilt ornaments, 
said to be a present from James I. Among the curiosities is the black 
wooden cradle of the profligate Duke of Buckingham ; with the date, 
1583. Preserved at Penshurst also, are several family and historical 
records, amongst them one of much curiosity, — an inventory of furni- 
ture, &c., at Kenilv/orth Castle, belonging to Robert Dudley, Earl ot 
Leicester. Another MS., of the date 1625, shows the sumptuous 
scale on which hospitality was dispensed in the hall at Penshurst. In 
this household book are the expenses in kitchens, larders, buttes, cellars, 
brewehouse, laundries, fuel, &c. In one week, the expenses are as 
under : — Kitchen — for flesh, poultry, butter, eggs, and grocery, 
29/. 17J. \Qd. ; pantry and cellar — in bread, beer, sack, claret, &c., 
14/. 13J. \od.\ laundry — soap and starch, u. \\d.\ fuel, in charcoal 
and billets, 3J. 9^/. : this is at the rate of upwards of 2200/. a year. 
In the book mentioned the number and names of the guests assembled 
on each day are given ; and it seems not unusual, in addition to the 
certain party, to have a small company of thirty or forty neighbours 
dropping in. From each corner of the dais staircases lead to the state 
apartments, and another passage conveniently to the cellar. 

The grounds at Penshurst are very extensive, and were originally laid 
out in the formal taste of the trim hedge, the evergreen wall and arch, 
and geometrical bed ; the basin and its fountain, the straight walk and 
pleasant green. In the outer park to this day is a heronry. Here too 
is the fine large oak tree said to have been planted at Sir Philip Sydney's 
birth. Its bole measures about 28 feet in circumference. Waller thin 
refers to the planting of this tree: — 

" Go, boy, and carve this passion on the bark 
Of yonder tree, which stands the sacred mark 
Of noble Sydney's birth ; when such benign — 
Such more than mortal-making stars did shine; 
That there it cannot but for ever prove 
The monument and pledge of humble love. " 



2oS Knole Park, and Buckhiirst. 

Ben Jonson thus alludes to this tree, in his Forest: — 

" Thou hast thy walks for health as well as sport, 
Thy mount to which the Driads do resort, 
When Pan and Bacchus their high feasts have made 
Beneath the broad beech and the chesnut shade. 
That tall tree, too, which of a nut was set, 
At his great birth, where all the muses met." 

In a poem by E. Coventry are these lines: — 

" What genius points to yonder oak ! 
What raptures does thy soul invoke i 
There let me hang a garland high, 
There let my muse her accents try ; 
Be there my earliest homage paid, 
Be there my latest vigils made : 
For thou wast planted in the earth 
The day that shone on Sydney's birth." 

The identity of this tree if, however, questionable; Collins, the poet, 
who died in 1756, tellb us that this tree was remaining in the park in 
his time, and called Bean Oak. There is no well ascertained tradition 
relating to it. In another part of the park there was an ancient 
oak, hollow, within wliich six persons could stand with ease. 

Of more special interest is the chair, which is said to have been the 
accustomed seat of Sir Philip Sydney. This piece of old-fashioned 
furniture, now in the possession of James Sedgwick, Esq., came 
originally from the mansion at Penshurst, having been bought at a sale 
of old moveables there by an inhabitant of the neighbourhood upwards 
of a century ago. It is not remarkable for costliness of material or 
beauty of design or workmanship ; its only, or at least its main, value 
being dependent upon the tradition which associates it with tlie author 
of the Arcadia. 



Knole Park, and Buckhurst. 

The mansion and demesne of Knole, near Scvenoaks, was possessed in 
the reign of King John by Falcatin de Hrent, and in its manorial descent 
was successively transferred to William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke; 
Roger Bigod, Earl of Norfolk ; Otho de Grandison, temp, Edward I. ; Sir 
GcoflVey de Say, temp. Edward III.; Rauft: Lcghe, temp. Henry VI., 
who sold the property to the Eicnneses, Lords Say and Sele, the 
second of whom again disposed of it for 400 marks to Thomas 
Bourchier, Archbishop of Canterbury, who rebuilt the mansion. Hence- 
forth it continued for some years the chief seat of the Archbishops, 
and was visited by Henries VII. and VIII. Cranmer relinc^uished thiA 



Kiiole Park, and BtickJiurst. 309 

with other property belonging to the metropolitan see to the monarch ; 
and Knole was subsequently granted to the Protector Somerset. John 
Dudley, Earl of Warwick, was the next possessor. Queen Mary 
granted it to her kinsman, Cardinal Pole ; and Queen Elizabeth ccm- 
ferred it on Robert, Earl of Leicester. Thomas Sackville, Baron Buck- 
hurst, afterwards Earl of Dorset, became proprietor of Knole in 1603? 
he was a statesman as well as poet, and died whilst sitting at the council 
board in 1608. He had previously greatly improved Knole; hciss<'iid 
to have constantly employed 200 workmen there; the bead-work and 
carved screen in the hall bear his arms and the dates 1605 and 1607. 
His grandson, Richard, the third Earl, who married the celebrated 
Anne Clifford, wasted his fortune, and parted with Knole. Richard, 
the fifth Earl of Dorset, repurchased the estate, which has ever since 
continued in the same illustrious family. 

The mansion of Knole, seated on high ground, in a noble park, is an 
immense pile of buildings, stated to cover an area of five acres. It 
surrounds three square courts. The greatest part is of Archbishop 
Bourchicr's time, about 1480 ; the latest of the time of King Jamc? I., 
by the first Earl of Dorset. Knole has long been famed for its fine 
collection of pictures by Italian, Venetian, Flemish, and Dutch painters. 
The dining or poet's parlour has portraits of the most eminent English 
poets, some by Sir Joshua Reynolds and Gainsborough. The hall 
has in the fire-place a pair of and-irons brought from Hever Castle, 
and supposed to have belonged to Henry VIII., as they bear the Tudor 
crown and H.R. The Brown Gallery contains a series of old portraits 
of eminent persons. The Great Gallery contains copies from the 
cartoons of Raphael, by D. My tens. The Colonnade contains several 
busts. 

Of Buckhurst, the magnificent seat of the Sackvilles, a solitary 
gatehouse remains, indicating the style of the house. A ground-plan of 
the whole is preserved among a collection of drawings by John Thorpe 
m the museum of Sir John Soane, in Lincoln's Inn Fields. Buckhurst 
•was a large quadrangular mansion 250 by 200 feet; it was placed at | 
the edge of a steep hill, having a moat with a bridge and a broad 
terrace on one side. The seat attained its zenith and decline in the 
time of the first Earl of Dorset, Lord Treasurer to Queen Elizabeth, 
who, according to Camden, being "equally eminent for prudence and 
nobility," found it incompatible with his public duties to travel so far 
from London as twenty-eight miles, through " fowle ways," and 
therefore obtained from his royal mistress a grant of Knole in Kent. 
Buckhurst being deserted, was taken down and its materials conveyed 



310 Lesnes Abbey. 

to East Grinstead, where a college or hospital was built by Richard, 
the third Earl of Dorset, with them. 



Lesnes Abbey. 

The Abbey Wood Station of the North Kent Railway is named 
from the adjoining wood which belonged to the Abbey of Lesnes, ruins 
of which still remain. In the wood are vast quantities of chestnuts, 
one of the many instances of that tree having been the indigenous 
growth of England. Lesnes Abbey, first called from its situation the 
Abbey of West Wood, was founded in the year 1178, for canons 
regular of the Order of St. Augustine, by Richard de Lucy, in the 
reign of Henry IL The hill at the back of the Priory garden, which 
stood due south in a line with the refectory and cloisters, was covered 
with a dense forest. The bams in which the Prior stowed his sheaves 
rest on their original foundation ; and the stews or fish-ponds remain 
on the east side of the Priory. The area of the church, cloisters, and 
lodgings of the monks is a market garden. A doorway, apparently of 
the time of Edward L, exists at the south-western corner of the garden, 
and seems to have been the principal entrance into the Abbey, opening 
into the cloisters beneath the refectory, which stood on the southern 
side of the quadrangle opposite the church, the kitchen adjoining. The 
dormitory surmounted the cloisters, and the rest of the buildings con- 
tained the chapter-house and the conventual offices. The convent 
garden still remains, enclosed within its ancient boundary-wall. 

The Abbey was suppressed in 1524, and in 1630 became the pro- 
perty of Sir John Hippcslcy, Knight. He, according to the account 
transmitted by VVecver in his Funeral Monuments, appointed in 1630 
workmen to dig amongst the rubbish of the decayed fiibric of the 
church, which had lain a long time buried in ruins, when there was 
discovered a monument, the full proportion of a man, in his coat of 
armour, his sword hanging at his side by a broad belt, upon which the 
fleur-de-lis was engraven in many places, being, as the writer imagines, 
a rebus or device of the Lesnes. The representation lay upon a flat 
marble stone, over a trough or coflin of smooth hewn ashlar stones, 
while in a sheet of lead were the remains of an "ashie-dry carcase,' 
whole and undisjointcd, and upon the head some hair. There is little 
doubt that these were the remains of Richard de Lucy, the founder 
of Lesnes Abbey. They were burieil, we are told, by ordrr of Sir 
John Hippcslcy, who caused a bay tree to be planted near the spot. 



Lesnes Abbey. JII 

The reinterment may be questioned, since the figures could not be 
found when searched for some years since, on behalf of Mr. Charles 
Stothard, who proposed to engrave the figure of Richard de Lucy in 
his valuable work, Monumental Effigies. 

Weever, compiler of the Funeral Monuments, was the rector of 
Erith parish in the reign of Elizabeth. The Monastery of Lesnes, 
with the church belonging thereto, was dedicated to Saints Mary and 
Thomas the Martyr, for so Archbishop Becket was called within eight 
years after his death. Godfrey de Lucy, a near relation of the founder, 
proved a great benefactor to this house in the reign of Edward \. 
The Abbey of Lesnes was one of the first lopped off at the Reforma- 
tion, and its revenues of nearly 260/. per annum went to endow 
Wolsey's new college at Oxford. After the Cardinal's fall, the King 
granted the Abbey estates to William Brereton, a gentleman of the Privy 
Chamber, who, like other sharers of Henry's favours, had better have 
been quit of his royal generosity, for two years afterwards he wa? 
executed on some false charge. 

Henry VI IL granted to Ralph Sadler, gentleman, the Monastery of 
Lesnes, and the Manors of Lesnes and Fant, with all appurtenances. 
These manors, and the site of the Abbey, after passing through different 
hands, were conveyed, in 16 19, to Sir John Leman, who was Lord 
Mayor of London in r6i6, remembered by the splendid pageant 
exhibited by the Fishmongers' Company at his inauguration. Sir 
John Leman sold the estates to Sir John Hippesley, who was a 
courtier of the reign of Charles L, and the bearer of the news of 
Buckingham's assassination at Portsmouth to the King. By Sir John 
Hippesley the estates were alienated to Sir Thomas Gainsford, of 
Crowhurst, in Surrey, who, in the reign of Charles L, sold them to 
Mr. Hans, of London, when he, dying without issue, settled them by 
will for ever on the Mayor and Commonalty of London, as governors 
of the hospitals of Bridewell, Christ Church, and St. Thomas, in 
whose possession they continue. 

A portion of the wall of the Abbey is still to be seen, and now 
belongs to a farmhouse ; there is also an old thorn which has no 
doubt existed for centuries ; it retains the name of " the Abbot's 
Thorn," and now stands alone, a solitary memorial of past ages.* 
This Thorn may possibly be derived from the more celebrated 
Glastonbury thorn, described at page 163 of the present volume. 



* Abridg:ed from an interesting Account of Erith and its Neighbourhood^ 
published in 1855. 



3=^2 



Dartford Nunnery, 

Near the town of Dartford, on the river Darent, are the rem^iis of a 
Nunnery, founded A.D. 1371, by King Edward III., for Augustine nuns, 
but afterwards occupied by Dominicans. Here retired early in life the 
fourth daughter of King Edward IV,, Bridget of York, who became 
Prioress here. At the Dissolution, this Prioress and several of the 
nuns were of some of the best and most ancient families of the county. 
The buildings were then fitted up as a royal palace for Henry VIII,, 
the keepership being granted to Sir Edward Long. On his death, 
Edward VI. granted the same office to Lord Seymour, the unfortunate 
brother of the ill-fated Duke of Somerset, It was granted, the next 
year, to Anne of Cleves, the divorced wife of Henry VIII.; and on 
her death, Queen Mary granted it to the Friars Preachers, of Langley, 
in Herts. Elizabeth kept it in her own hands, and, during her progress 
in Kent, sojourned here. James I. granted it to the Earl of Salisbury, 
who conveyed it to Sir Robert Darcy, who named it Dartford Place. 
The present remains of the Nunnery are of brick, and consist of a large 
embattled gateway, with some adjacent buildings occupied as a farm- 
house. The nunnery gardens and orchards occupied twelve acre^ 
and were surrounded by a stone wall yet entire. 

There is a legendary account of an earlier Nunnery at Dartford. 
The Danes, in their piratical incursions, frequently ravaged the coast 
of Kent, and sometimes carried their depredations up the country. 
Dartford, where was a seminary of noble virgins, which might pro- 
bably have been founded by Ethclbert, was ravaged and burnt ; and 
the tradition adds that among the inmates, who were barbarously 
murdered, was Editha, the daughter of a Saxon King, as told in the 

ballad: 

" ' Revenge ! revenge !' in accents hoarse, 
The Saxon OfTa cried, 
As he pursued his anxious course, 
Along the Darent's side. 

•' Bet ray 'd by friendship and by love, 

Wliile blood bounds through my veins. 
I vow, 'fore all the powers above, 
Kierce vengeance on the Danes. 

" Revenge ! revenge ! my soul inspire*— 
To loved lulitha's manes, 
I vow, till fleeting breath expires, 
I'cU vengeance on the Danes," 

Ptipe celebrates the Darent, in allusion to a battle fought upon it» 

bankH, at 

•' Silent Darent, staln"d v/ith Danish blood I" 



x^ 






I 



D^ 



313 



Allington Castle, and the Wyatts. 

This ivy-mantled pile is all that remains of Allington Castle, on luC 
eft bank of the Medway, just below Maidstone; but, with the fatality 
which often attends places of historical renown, this Castle is now 
occupied as two tenements. It was built by William de Columbariis, 
in the reign of King Stephen. Here lived Sir Henry Wyatt, the father 
of the Poet, a man of high principles and strict conduct, of whom his 
son states that he was deeply impressed with reverence for religion ; 
that there was no man more pitiful ; no man more true of his word ; 
no man faster to his friend ; no man diligenter nor more circumspect ; 
which thing both the Kings, his masters, noted in him greatly. His 
attachment to the House of Lancaster brought him under the dis- 
pleasure of Richard HI., who sent him into prison in Scotland, where 
he was kept " in irons and stocks" for upwards of two years, and put 
to the rack under the eyes of the tyrant. 

As soon, however, as Henry VH. succeeded to the throne, Sir Henry 
was restored to liberty, appointed to high offices, and at the coronation 
of Henry VUI., he was created a Knight of the Bath. Having dis- 
tinguished himself at the battle of the Spurs, he was made a Knight 
Banneret on the field. He held the office of Keeper of the King's 
Jewels and King's Ewerer; and in 1527, entertained the King at 
Allington Castle, which he had purchased in 1493. Here Thomas 
W\att, the poet, was bom in 1503. As an elegant courtier, and a 
statesman of greit sagacity and integrity, he takes a prominent position 
in the history of the reign of Henry VHI., who, in 1542, created him 
steward of the King's manor of Maidstone. The brief remainder of his 
life he passed in retirement at Allington ; hunting, and hawking, and 
shooting with the bow, and in bad weather devoting himself to the study 
and composition of verses ; but he died October 1 1. 1542, of fever, 
brought on by his zeal in attending an unexpected summons from his 
sovereign. Wyatt has left us writings both in prose and verse; but 
taking into account the time at which he wrote, his prose is the more 
remarkable. How meanly Wyatt estimated the courtier'g lifi^ be 
thus sings : — 

" In court to serve decked with fresh array, 

Of sugar'd meats feeling the sweet repast, 
The hfe in banquets and sundry kinds of play ; 

Amid the press the worldly looks to waste ; 

Hath with it join'd ofttimes such bitter taste 
That whoso joys such kind of life to hold, 
In prison joys, fetter'd with chains of gold," 



314 Leeds Castle. 

\^'^yatt's satires are curious and valuable, as pictures of the habits of 
a country gentleman of the sixteenth century, who divided his leisure 
between the sports of the field and the delights of his library. Between 
his domestic affairs, his poetry, and the improvements he made upon 
his estates, there was no lack of active occupation during his residence 
at AUington Castle. 



Leeds Castle. 

Near Maidstone, in the middle of the county of Kent, rising out of 
a broad sheet of water, stands a large Castle that was once the residence 
and property of the good Queen Eleanor. It was then either a Nonnan 
building, or a Saxon fortress with Norman extensions ; but Eleanor's 
gallant husband's additions give it an Edwardian character. It first 
passed into the hands of Eleanor's successor, Margaret, the second queen 
of Edward I. "William of Wykeham possessed the Castle. Froissart 
visited it, in company with Sir Thomas Percy and Sir William de 
Lisle, and has recorded his stay at the " beautiful palace," and his kind 
reception by King Richard II. Then we find Henry VIII. building 
more accommodation for one of his wives and her maids of honour. 
Next it was in the possession of the famous Lord Colepepper, the 
friend of Charles II. ; and Evelyn arranged for the keeping here of some 
six hundred Dutch prisoners entrusted to his care. Next it passed into 
the possession of the Fairfax ftimily ; and finally George III. and 
Queen Charlotte visited the Castle, and recorded the event in the 
family Bible. 

The Castle stands on two islands, in a sheet of water about fifteen 
acres in extent, these islands being connected by a double drawbridge. 
It consists, therefore, of two huge piles of buildings, which, with a 
strong gatehouse and barbican, form four distinct forts or divisions, 
capable of separate defence after cither fell into the hands of an enemy ; 
and the water was so managed as to pass between these several build- 
ings in three places. 

The first outwork, or barbican, contained the mill ; then an outer 
ditch, called the inner barbican. These two, taken together, not only 
formed the dam which kept the water in the moat, but they were 
strengthened with a ditch round the inner barbican, over and above 
the wide moat which yawned between this outwork and the entrance 
to the Castle. At the end of the bridge giving access to the main 
portion of the fortress, stands the gatehouse, which is attributed to 
the reign of Henry III. 



Leeds Castle. 31^ 

The area of the island was divided into an inner and outer bailey. 
The massive inner wall has disappeared, but the foundations remain ; 
the outer bailey was surrounded by a lower wall, strengthened with 
bastions and towers, believed to be the work of Edward I. There are 
traces of several ancient buildings, besides the residence of the lord of 
the place on this island, but the only one standing within the inner 
bailey is the Maiden's Tower. 

The entrance-tower, called in old records the Tower of the Gloriette, 
has a curious old bell, with the Virgin and Child, St. George and the 
Dragon, and the Crucifixion depicted upon it, which is used as a 
curfew ; that custom having been maintained from the days of the 
Crevecoeurs, the owners of the Castle before it became the property of 
Queen Eleanor. And there is also a very ancient clock which strikes 
on this bell, supposed to be of the same age. Then, passing through 
the flat-headed trefoikd archway of this tower, you come upon the 
chapel built or improved by Edward I. 

Most of the rest of the work forming the old Castle, save the outer 
shell, was the work of Henry VIII., and consisted of timber and 
plaster, with large oak or chestnut windows and handsome cornices. 
But the prisoners whom Evelyn lodged here, either accidentally or 
intentionally, set fire to this part of the fabric. Lord Fairfax rebuilt 
some of the injured parts, especially the banqueting-hall, leaving the 
original doorway, and fireplace, with the Royal arms and supporters of 
the House of York on the spandrels and windows. The banqueting-hall 
is now a kitchen. In this kitchen, wherein the dinner for the ban- 
queting-hall was prepared when King Harry feasted in it, there is a 
fireplace with its chimney divided into two flues with a window 
between them, that appears to have been made by him. In the Castle 
was found a pair of fire-dogs which formerly belonged to Henry VIII., 
and bear the Tudor crown, &c. There were also a buttery and pantry, 
besides accommodation for the stowage of provisions in the event of a 
gan'ison occupying it during a siege. There was a sally-port, too, 
opening on to the moat from the foot of a newel staircase, which is 
still there, with its flight of steps descending below the present level of 
the water. 

The Maiden's Tower is built upon the wall of the outer bailey, and 
thence projects into the inner bailey. It is a large quadrangular three- 
storied tower finished with battlements ; but a drawing of it on an old 
plan of the estate shows that the roof was once gabled. The ground- 
floor contains the brewhouse, in which is a very wide chimney, thought 
to have been required for the heating of many large cauldrons of water 



3i6 Leeds Castle. 

at a time, before the introduction of coppers with flues. There appear 
to have been two staircases and two sets of rooms above ; and two 
garderobes still exist, from which circumstance it is concluded it was 
occupied by several persons, probably guests, though not necessarily 
the maids of honour, with whom tradition has associated it. 

There were vineyards attached to Leeds Castle in the days of Queen 
Eleanor, and wine made from them. The expense-rolls of that lady's 
executors mention various sums paid to a vine-dresser. No vines are 
now grown for wines. But at the cottages in the locality are still to 
be seen vines bearing " black cluster" grapes, clusters thought to be 
descendants of those with which Queen Eleanor made wine in 1290. 
The expense-rolls show that on the anniversary of the Queen's death 
a sum equal to between 300/. and 400/. of our money was spent in 
memorial ceremonies at this Castle.* 

The present fortress was either built or rebuilt by Sir Hugh, or 
Hamo, de Crevecoeur, one of the eight Captains of Dover Castle, in the 
y^r 1071 : his son forfeited the estate by his siding with the rebellious 

Tons. The Castle was then bestowed by King Henry HI. on 

obert de Leyboume, in exchange for other lands. It was next 
ranted by King Edvvard II. to Bartholomew, Lord Badlesmere, who 
had been at the wars in the Holy Land, but he died on the scaffold 
at home. The cause of his ruin is differently related ; the following 
relation is by a contemporary noble person : " Queen Isabel came to the 
Castle at Leeds, about Michaelmas, 1321, where she had designed to 
lodge all night, but was not suffered to enter. The King, highly 
resenting this, as done in contempt of him, called together some neigh- 
bouring inhabitants out of Essex and London, and gave them orders 
to besiege the Castle. Bartholomew de Badlesmere, who had left his 
wife and sons there, was gone, with other barons, to spoil the estate 
of Hugh de Spenser. The besieged, in the meantime, despairing of 
succour, the barons and their associates came as far as Kingston, and 
with the mediation of the Bishop of London and tlie Earl of Pembroke, 
petitioned the King to raise the siege, promising to surrender the 
Castle into his hands after the next Parliament. But the K'ng, con- 
sidering that the besieged could not hold out long, and moreover 
incensed at this their contumacy (and, doubtless, provoked at what 
was done against Spenser), would not listen to the petition of the 

• The above details of this extraordinary Castle are quoted in the Builder 
rrviow of The History itnd Description of Leeds Castle, Kent. By C'.luirles 
\V)ktl);im Miiriin, l's(|., M.!'., I.S.A., ilu; present proprietor, wlio is de- 
■ccudcd fruin tlie fuinily uf William of Wykelioiik 




Saltwood Castle, 



317 



Barons. After they had dispersed themselves to other parts, he gained 
the Castle (though with no small difficulty), and sending Badlesmere's 
wife and sons to the Tower of London, hanged the rest that were in 
the place." This lord being taken prisoner next year, was beheaded 
at Canterbury. But, this is told with a difference. 

Among the memorable events at Leeds Castle were the follow- 
ing: In 132 1, Queen Isabella being refused admission into the Castle 
when on a pilgrim:ige to Canterbury, the King (Edward II.) took the 
place by siege, and hung the Governor, Thomas de Colepepper, oy the 
chain of the Castle drawbridge. In 1406, Henry IV. retired here on 
account of the plague in London ; and within these walls Joan of 
Navarre, second consort of Henry IV., was held in captivity for having 
conspired against her son-in-law's life, until conveyed to Pevensey 
Castle. In 1441, at Leeds Castle, Chichele, Archbishop of Canter- 
bury, presided at the process against Eleanor, wife of Humphrey, the j "V^ 
good Duke of Gloucester, for sorcery and witchcraft. 



Saltwood Castle. 

This famous fortress, situate about one mile north-west from Hythe, 
has been attributed to the Romans, though on insufficient authority ; 
but there is a paved way " made after the Roman manner, and 
carried not only as far as the Castle, but a mile further. Kilburn says 
that it was erected by Oesc, son of Hengist; and Grose states that " on 
examining these ruins every one of them evidently appears to have been 
laid by the Normans." The principal buildings now standing are, 
however, of a much later date, and in a different style of architecture 
to what was in use among that people. Hugo de Montfort, who pos- 
sessed this manor at the time of the Domesday Survey, is said to have 
repaired the Castle ; yet, as it is not noticed in Domesday Book, though 
the church itself is mentioned, which comparatively must have been of 
much less importance, the probability is that the Castle was not then 
built ; therefore, if Hugo de Montfort had any concern in the build- 
ings here, he must himself have been the founder. Hasted states that 
it was rebuilt by Henry de Essex, Baron of Ralegh, and standard-bearer 
to Henry II., in right of inheritance, who held it of the Archbishop ot 
Canterbury, yet his authority for this assertion does not appeal 
" Henry de Essex," says Philpot, from Matthew Paris, " having, in a 
light skirmish against the Welsh in Flintshire, not only cast away his 
courage but his standard also, was appealed of hii^h treason (by Robert 



3i8 Saltivood Castle. 

de Montfort), and in a legal duel or combat was vanquished by his 
challenger (but his life being preserved by the clemency of the King) 
and being possessed with great regret and shame contracted from his 
defeat, shrouded himself in a cloistery (at Reading) and put on a 
monk's cowl, forfeiting a good patrimony and livelihood, which 
escheated to Henry II. But Thomas Becket acquainting the King that 
this manor belonged to his church and see, that prince being beyond 
the seas, directed a writ to King Henry, his son, for restitution ; yet, 
in regard of new emergent contests between the King and that in- 
solent prelate it was not restored unto the Church until the time of 
Richard II." 

Tiiough, from what has been said, it is evident that the exact era of 
the foundation of this Castle is extremely questionable, it is equally 
clear that it must have been built before the contumacy of Becket 
obliged the King to exert his authority against that ambitious priest ; 
and it was this fortress tliat the conspirators against the life of Becket 
made their point of rendezvous immediately previous to his assassina- 
tion. Philpot mistook in asserting that Saltwood was retained by the 
Crown till the time of Richard II., for King John in his first year 
restored it to the See of Canterbury, to be held of him in capite ; and it 
afterwards became an occasional abode or palace of the Archbishops 
till the period of the Dissolution. 

Archbishop Courteney, who was promoted to the See of Canterbury 
in the 5th of Richard II., expended great sums in the buildings of this 
Castle, to which he annexed a park, and made it his usual place of 
residence. His arms are still remaining over the principal entrance on 
two shields, namely, three torteaux with a label of three points, and 
the same arms impaled with those of the See of Canterbury. 

It is related of Archbishop Courteney, while he held possession of 
Saltwood Castle and Manor, some country people having offended him 
by bringing straw in a slovenly manner in sacks instead of carting it, 
that proud prelate sent for the ofl'enders to Saltwood, and after reprov- 
ing them for their negligence, he compelled them to swear obedience to 
his injunctions. This being done he commanded them all to march in 
solemn procession with their heads and legs bare, each carrying a sack 
oT straw, which ajipcared at the mouth of the sack, but not so as to be 
scattered, by way of penance for the offence they had committed against 
his high dignity. "Thus," says the account, " did the Archbishop 
think proper to set an example to his flock of the meekness and disposi- 
tion to forgive offences so strongly enforced by that religion which l«j 
was bound to inculcate." 



Mailing A bhcy. 3 f 9 

In the 31st of Henry VIII. Archbishop Cranmer exchanged this 
Castle, park, and manor, with the King ; and in the ist of Queen Mary 
they were finally granted from the Crown to Edward Fynes, Lord 
Clinton, soon after which the park appears to have been thrown open ; 
and the Manor and Castle have since passed through various families 
by purchase and otherwise to William Deeds, Esq., of Sandling, who 
obtained them in exchange from Sir Brooke Bridges, Bart., of Good- 
neston. 

The site of the Castle is well chosen : the walls encircle an extensive 
area of an elliptical form, surrounded by a very broad and deep moat 
partly natural and partly artificial. The entrance into the first court 
was by a gateway, now in ruins, defended by a portcullis ; the outer 
walls were strengthened by several circular and square towers, all of 
which are dilapidated. In this court are several barns, &c., built out of 
the ruins, the estate being tenanted as a farm. The Keep or gatehouse, 
which seems to have been almost wholly rebuilt by Archbishop 
Courteney, is a noble pile, having two lofty round towers flanking the 
entrance, over which, on the summit of the building, are machicolations. 
The entrance-hall has been continued through to the rear, which 
opened into the inner court, but is now divided into two apartments 
by fire-places and chimneys. The front division is vaulted and strongly 
groined. The principal ornament is the Tudor Rose, which was, 
probably, put up on some addition being made to Courteney's works. 
In each of the round towers is a hexagon chamber and upper chamber ; 
the deep grooves of the portcullis are still in good repair. The summit 
of the roof commands a most extensive view, to which the white cliffs of 
Boulogne and the intermediate space of water, constantly animated by 
shipping, give a strong interest. On the southern side of the inner 
court are the ruins of the chapel and several other buildings; the 
former has been a large and handsonL? structure, probably of the time 
of Henry III. The walls of this court, !'ke the outer walls, are de- 
fended by towers at different distances, and near the middle of the area 
is an ancient well. 



Mailing Abbey. 

At the east end of the town of West Mailing are the remains of a 
Monastery for nuns and a Church built by Bishop Gundulph, of 
Rochester, soon after his consecration. A part of this Nunnery was 
destroyed by fire half a century after Gundulph 's death, but large por- 
tions undoubtedly remain of his work. The Abbey is approached by 



3 20 Mailing A bhey. 

a venerable gateway, through which may be seen the lofty tower ot the 
church. This church was evidently built at the same period as 
Rochester Cathedral, as it is decorated with intersected arches and 
zigzag ornaments, similar to those in the west front of that Cathedral ; 
the west end of the church is a beautiful specimen of Norman archi- 
tecture. The Abbey was originally built in 1090 for a community of 
Benedictine nuns, in whose possession it remained until the Dissolution 
A very singular fact in the history of this Convent was that when it was 
first founded there was scarcely an inhabitant living near it, but its 
erection soon attracted so many people that the little village increased 
in size very rapidly, so much so that it soon lost its ancient name of 
Millinges Parva. The Abbey buildings formerly consisted of two 
quadrangles with cloisters and a spacious hall, but only one quadrangle 
is at present to be seen. The chapel or oratory is now used as a dwell- 
ing-house; the Abbey itself was rebuilt in the Gothic style in 1738 
by the then lord of the manor and possessor of the Abbey lands. On 
the south side of the church evidences of an ancient burial-ground have 
from time to time been turned up in the shape of human bones, rings, 
and old coins. Two stone coffins were also found which contained 
skeletons, the lids (on which no inscriptions were discovered) were 
ornamented with a cross. The Abbey now forms a commodious and 
picturesque residence. 

It is worth while here to note an instance of the supernaturalism 
related as a judgment upon the murderers of Becket, at Canterbury, and 
known as a popular tradition at South Mailing as late as the fourteenth 
century. It is thus concisely narrated by Dean Stanley in his Memorials 
of Canterbury : — " They (the murderers) rode to Saltwood the night of 
the deed ; the next day (thirty miles by the coast) to South Mailing. 
On entering the house they threw off their arms and trappings on the 
dining-table, which stood in the hall, and after supper gathered round 
the blazing hearth. Suddenly the table startctl back and threw its 
burthen to the ground. The attendants, roused by the crash, rushed 
in with lights, and replaced the arms. But a second and still louder 
crash was heard, and the various articles were thrown still further off. 
Soldiers and servants with torches scrambled in vain under the solid 
table to find the cause of its convulsions, till one of the conscience- 
itricken knights suggested that it was indignantly refusing to bear the 
sacrilegious burthen of their arms — the earliest and nK)st memorable 
awtance," says Dr. Stanley, " of a rapping, leaping, and moving tabl«i.'* 



321 



Faversliam Abbey. 

The town of Faversham, which is a member of the Cinque Port of 
Dover, is situated in a navigable inlet of the Thames, called the Swale, 
which forms the southern boundary of the Isle of Sheppey. It was of 
Saxon origin, and was granted to the see of Canterbury by Cenulph, 
King of Mercia, in 812. Here, about 630, King Athelstan assembled 
a Wittenagemot, or Council of wise men. It is probable that the 
Saxon Kings had a palace here long prior to the Conquest. The 
manor and hundred were granted by King Stephen to William de 
Ipres, whom that monarch created Earl of Kent for his faithful services 
against the Empress Maud. Sometime afterwards, King Stephen 
built and endowed here an Abbey for Cluniac monks. At the Disso- 
lution, the greater part of the monastic buildings were pulled down. 
The site of the Abbey, with some adjoining lands, was then granted to 
Sir Thomas Cheyney, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports. That noble- 
man about five years afterwards alienated his grant to Thomas Ardem, 
gent., who was Mayor of Faversham in 1548, and on February 15, 
ir^fyO, was basely murdered in his own house by the contrivance of his 
wife, Alice (an adulterous wanton), who was afterwards burnt at 
Canterbury for the crime; six of her accomplices, including two 
females, were also punished with death for the same offence, but two 
others, one of whom had been brought from Calais to execute the 
murder, escaped. The play of Ardern of Fa'versham, which was 
written by Lillo, and first printed in 1592, was founded on this murder, 
which is fully described in the Wardmote Book of Faversham. The 
house in which Ardem was murdered adjoined the entrance gateway 
of the Abbey. 

In the Abbey Church were deposited many worthy persons; in- 
cluding those of the founder. King Stephen, Maud, his Queen, a liberal 
benefactor, and Eustace, their eldest son ; but at the Dissolution, for 
the sake of the lead wherein the King's body was incoftined, his sacred 
remains were dislodged and thrown into the neighbouring river. The 
latter circumstance is somewhat doubtful, for the King's body is said to 
have been reinterred in the parish church. Robert of Gloucester says 
that " a peece of ye Holy Cross" was preserved in this Monastery, 
" which Godfi-ey Boylen for kyndred had sent to King Stephen." 

Favei-sham has been visited by many of our sovereigns. Mary, 
Queen of France, and sister of Henry VIII., passed through the town 
in May, 1515, when ihe expenses of the " brede and wine" given to 



322 Favcrskam Abbey. 

her are stated at ^j. dd. Henry VIII. and his Queen, Catherine of 
Aragon, were here in 1519, with Cardinal Wolsey, and Warham, 
Archbishop of Canterbury, when " the spiced brede and wine" for the 
latter came to 5J. a,d.\ "the spiced brede, wine, and capons," for my 
Lord Cardinal, to j 8j. (^d. ; and " the spiced brede, wine, beer, and 
ale," for the King and Queen, to i/. ds. r^\d. Henry was again in this 
town in the year 1522, with the Emperor Charles V., whom he was 
conducting to Greenwich, with a numerous retinue, on which occasion 
the expenses of his entertainment were charged at i/. 3J. 3^., exclusive 
of a gallon of wine to the Lord Archoishop, which cost one shilling. In 
1545, Henry slept one night at Favei-sham, and was presented with 
•' two dozen of capons, two dozen of chekins, and a sieve of cherries," 
all which are recorded at i/. 15J. ^d. Queen Elizabeth came here in 
1573, "and lay two nights in the town," which cost the town 
44/. 1 9 J. 8^., including a silver cup presented to her, which cost 
27/. 2s. Charles II. dined with the Mayor here in 1660, and the 
expense was 56/. 6j. In the following year the Corporation presented 
the King with 50/. 

In the year 1688, James XL was detained a prisoner three days in 
Faversham, on his first attempt to quit the kingdom after the landing 
of the Prince of Orange. The nation was then in a ferment, and all 
were on the alert to secure suspicious characters, or those who were 
considered more particularly in the interest of the King. Hence it 
was that the vessel in which James had embarked was observed taking 
in ballast at Shell-ness, and was boarded by the Faversham sailors, 
who seized three persons of quality in the cabin and conveyed them 
on the following morning (December 12) to the Queen's Arms in this 
town, where the King's person was first recognised. He was after- 
wards detained in the Mayor's house, in Court-street, under a strong 
guard, till Saturday, the i6th, when he was set at liberty, the Lords ot 
the Council having invited him to return to Whitehall, and despatched 
a guard of horse to conduct him thither. There is great reason to 
believe that if James's apprehension of personal safety had not over- 
powered his better judgment, neither himself nor his family would 
have been expelled the throne; though proper restraints must have 
been devised for the preservation of the Protestant Religion, and the 
rights of civil libe:-ty. James finally quitted England, under a pass 
granted by the Prince of Orange, on Saturday, December 23, with 
his natural son, the Duke of Berwick. He departed from Sir Richard 
Head's house at Rocliestcr by a back door about 3 o'clock in the 
morning, and was carried in a barge to a small vessel at Shell-ness, 



Dover Castle. 323 

the master of which landed him in France (whither the Queen had 
previously gone) between Calais and Boulogne, on the second day 
afterwards. 



Dover Castle. 

The famous town and Castle of Dover was formerly a place of the ^ 
greatest importance, and accounted the key and barrier of the island. 
The name of Dover is from the British D-vfyrrha, signifying a steep 
place. The Saxons called it Dorfa and Dofris, which, in Domesday 
Book, is softened into Dover. Its situation, in respect to the Continent, 
must have rendered it a port of consequence from the very earliest 
period of our history, and it was a hill fort long prior to the invasion 
of Julius Caesar. There is a tradition that here Arviragus, the British 
chief, fortified himself when he refused to pay the tribute imposed by 
Caesar ; and that here, afterwards. King Arthur also held his residence. 
Another tradition assigns the foundations of the fortress to Caesar him- 
ot-'f, but this is considered devoid of truth, though the ancient Pharos, 
or watch-tower, which still remains in the upper part of the Castle 
Hill, is unquestionably of Roman workmanship, and it must have been 
one of the first places fortified by the Romans. The present height 
of the Pharos is nearly forty feet, but the upper part is of more modem 
origin, most probably of the time of Sir Thomas Erpingham, who 
repaired it when Constable of Dover Castle, in the reign of Henry V., 
his arms being sculptured on the north front. Immediately contiguous 
to the Pharos is an ancient Church, generally stated to have been builf. 
by King Lucius in the second century ; but the walls are of a much 
later period, though Roman materials have been worked up therein. 
The church has been recently restored by Government for the garrison, 
under the direction of Mr. Gilbert Scott. 

The situation of the Castle, on the summit of a cliff more than 
300 feet in height, was not overlooked by William, Duke of Nor- 
mandy, who, immediately after the bittle of Hastings, took possession 
of it. He assigned the custody of it to Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, his 
half-brother, whom he created Earl of Kent. The Kentishmen did 
not, however, like their new masters, and made an attempt to surprise 
)(^he fortress, with Eustace, Earl of Boulogne, who had crossed the sea 
in the night, to lead"^hem, well furnished with scaling ladders. But 
the watch descried them: the soldiers within the Castle allowed 
them to approach the wall, and while they were attempting to scale it, the 
soldiers opened the gates and sallied out, setting upon tlie assailants with 



y 



"HM^^' 



324 Dover Castle. 

such fury that they compelled Eustace and a few others to return to hh 
'ship, the rest being either slain by the sword, destroyed by falling from the 
cliffs, or " devoured by the sea." After this, Odo falling under the King's 
displeasure, was sent prisoner into Normandy ; his possessions were 
confiscated, and the King seized the Castle into his own hands, and 
fortified it anew, appointing nine trusty knights for its defence, each of 
whom, by tenure of lands, was bound to maintain one hundred and 
twelve soldiers, performing watch and ward, each in particular towers, 
turrets, and bulwarks, which bore the names of their respective 
captains. 

Henry II. rebuilt the Keep on the Norman plan, and otherwise 
fortified the Castle. Louis the Dauphin besieged it to assist the discon- 
tented Barons ; but Hubtrt de Burgh, then Governor, so strenuously 
defended it with one hundred and forty soldiers only, exclusively of his 
own servants, that the enemy retired after much loss. The Dauphin 
again besieged the fortress, temp. Henry III., when, failing to induce 
Hubert, by promises of great honours, to deliver up the fortress, Louis 
raised the siege, and returned to London. Hubert, for his eminent 
services, received grants of the Castle and Port of Dover, and the 
Castles of Canteibury and Rochester, during life, with 1000 marks 
per annum for the custody of them. At this time the Regulations for 
the ordering of the Castle set forth that the drawbridge should be 
drawn at sunset. 

Many alterations were made in the fortifications and apartments ot 
Dover Castle by different sovereigns till the time of the Civil War, temp. 
Charles I., when it was wrested from the King's power by a merchant 
named Drake, a partisan of the Parliament ; and on the night of August 
X, 1642, he took it by surprise with the aid of twelve men only. By 
ropes and scaling ladders, he ascended with his party to the top of the 
cliff on the sea-side, which being considered inaccessible, had been left 
unguarded. He instantly advanced, seized the sentinel, and threw 
open the gates, when the officer on duty, concluding that Drake had a 
strong party and that all was lost, surrendered at discretion. Next 
Drake immediately despatched messengers to Canterbury, whence the 
Earl of Warwick sent him 1 20 men to assist in retaining possession. 
The King on receiving advice of the loss of his fortress sent a general 
officer to reduce it, but the Parliament sent a superior force to its relief, 
and the Royalists were compelled to raise the siege. The fortress was 
then left for upwards of a century, when the threats of invasion thrown 
out after the French Revolution, led the Government to put Dover 
Castle into a state of strength sufBciciit to withstand a regular siege* 



y 



Dover Castle. 325 

The works constructed for its defence consist of different batteries 
furnished with a very formidable train of artillery; casemates dug in the 
solid chalk rock, magazines, covered ways, and various subterranean 
communications, and apartments for 2000 soldiers; light and air being 
conveyed by shafts and lateral opiMiings through the rock to the face of 
the cliffs. Within the Keep is the ancient well mentioned in the docu- 
ment by which Harold surrendered the Castle to William the Con- -> 
queror. This well is said to be 370 feet in depth ; and at no great dis- : fsl uj^ 
tmce, all within the Saxon works, are three other wells, reported to be ! \jr 
nearly as deep. The Castle consists of two wards, an upper and \ /^ 
lower, and occupies about 35 acres of ground. The lower ward is sur- ^ 
rounded by an irregular wall or curtain, flanked at unequal distances 
by towers of different forms, semicircular, square, polygonal, &c. The 
oldest is said to have been built by Earl Godwin, and bears his name. 
Nine of the other towers were built in the Norman times, and named 
from Sir John de Fiennes and the eight approved warriors whom he 
selected for the defence of this fortress. The Constable's Tower is thei ^ 
principal entrance to the Lower Court : this entrance has a deep ditch, \ 
crossed by a drawbridge, massive gates, portcullis, &c. 

The Keep, or Palace Tower, rebuilt by Henry II., is nearly similar 
to that built at Rochester by Gundulph ; it is in fine preservation, and 
is used as a magazine. In the thic kness of the wall — from eighteen to \ 
tvventy feet — run the galleries, so contrived as to render it nearly im"- \ ^ 
possible for the arrows or missive weapons of an enemy to do any 
execution within them. The summit of the Keep is embattled, and at 
each angle is a turret ; the whole height above low-water-mark. spring 
tide, is 465 feet 8 inches. During the last .war the summit was made 
bomb-proof, and several sixty-four pounders were mounted on the top. 

Near the edge of the cliff is a beautiful piece of brass ordnance twenty- 
four feet long, cast at Utrecht in the ye:ir 15 14, and generally called 
Queen Elizabeth's Pocket Pistol, it having been presented by the States of 
Holland to that sovereign ; it carries a twelve-pound shot, but is 
entirely unfit for use. There are several very curious devices upon it, 
and some lines in old Dutch, which have been thus translated: — 

" O'er hill and dale I throw my Ball ; 
Breaker, my name, of mound and wall." 

Among the events in the history of the Castle are the following: 

1156. Henry II. at Dover, in his way to Normandy. 1189. Richard I. 
8;iiled from Dover for Jerusalem with 100 large ships and eighty '' 
galleys. 1255. Henry III., after concluding a peace with Spain, re- 



3^6 Sundown Castle. 

turned through France, and landed at Dover. 1259. Richard, King of 
the Romans, landed at Dover, and swore to assist the Barons in tbeii 
reformation. 1293. Dover Castle greatly damaged by the French. 
1491. Henry VII. embarked at Dover to besiege Boulogne. 1513. 
Henry VIII. embarked at Dover on board the Cinque Ports fleet, and 
left his Queen, Catherine of Aragon, in the Castle. 1575. Queen v 
Elizabeth stopped some days at Dover Castle, and ordered the repair 
of the walls and towers. 1660. At Dover, May 25, Restoration ofv 
Charles II., who landed with his brothers, the Dukes of York and 
Gloucester. 



Sandown Castle. 

On the seashore, a little distance northward fi-om Deal, is Sandown 
Castle, built on a similar plan to that of the Castles of Deal, Walmer, 
and others, which the policy of Henry VIII. occasioned him to erect on 
the different points of the English coast subsequent to the Reformation. 
Lambard, in his Perambulations in Kent, tells their history in his quaint 
way: " Having shaken off the intollerable yoke of the Popish tyrannic, 
and espying that the Emperor was offended for the divorce of Queen 
Katherine, his wife, and that the French King had coupled tiie Dol- 
phine, his sonne, to the Pope's niece, and married his daughter to the 
King of Scots, so that he might more justly suspect them all, than 
safely trust any one, Henry determined, by the aide of God, to stand 
upon his owne guardes and defence, and therefore, without sparing any 
cost, he builded Castles, Platforms, and Block Houses, in all needefull 
places of the realme ; and amongst the other, fearing lest the ease and 
advantage of descending on land, in this part, would give occasion 
and hardinesse to the enemies to invade him, he erected (neare to- 
gether) three fortifications, wiiich he might at all times keepe and be at 
the landing place ; that is to say, Sandowne, Sandgate, Deal, and 
Walmere." 

This fortress consists of an immense round tower in the centre, con- 
nected with four lunettes, or semicircular outworks ; the whole 
being surrounded by a deep fosse, and having additional defences and 
batteries towards the sea. The entrance is by a drawbridge and gate 
on the land side. In the lower part of the central tower is a large 
vaulted apartment, bomb-proof, for the garrison. The Castle is under 
the command of a Captain and Lieutenant, who are subordinate to the 
Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports. 

In this Castle the celebrated Colonel John Hutchinson died, aftei 



Folkestone Castle and Nunnery. 327 

eleven months* imprisonment, in 1663. He had been a member of the 
Long Parliament, and Governor of Nottingham Castle in the time of 
the Civil Wars. Latterly, Colonel Hutchinson's friends obtained per- 
mission from the Secretary of State for him to take a walk daily upon 
the beach. Mrs. Hutchinson appears to have overcoloured the hard- 
ships endured by the Colonel. Such overcolouring is, however, ex- 
cusable in a devoted, idolising wife mourning over the loss of a husband 
— and such a husband as Colonel John Hutchinson. 



Sandgate Castle. 

In the village of Sandgate, near the seaside, is a snull Castle, built 
by Henry VIH., about the year 1539, on a plan similar to those of 
Deal and Walmer. It was most probably erected on the site of a 
more ancient fortress which existed in the time of Richard II., who, 
in his twenty-second year, " directed his writ to the Captain of his Castle 
of Sandgate, commanding him to admit his Kinsman, Henry de Lan- 
caster, Duke of Hereford, with the family, horses, &c., to tarry there 
for six weeks to refresh himself." Queen Elizabeth lodged in this 
Castle in the year 1588 when on her progress through Kent to see the 
coast put into a proper state of defence against the projected Spanish 
invasion. This edifice was greatly altered about 1806, when a large 
Martello Tower was built up in the centre of it in order to combine 
with other Martello Towers (erected on the contiguous hills) in 
defending this part of the shore against the landing of an enemy. 
During the American war several frigates were built here. 



Folkestone Castle and Nunnery. 

Folkestone, a short distance from Sandgate, was early a place of 
some importance. The Romans had a tower here on a high hill, of 
the earthworks or entrenchments of which there are yet some remains. 
Here was also a Castle built by the Saxon Kings of Kent, and rebuilt 
by the Normans, which has been in later times nearly all destroyed, 
tvith the cliff on which it stood, by the encroachments of the sea. 

The "solemn old Nunnery" mentioned by Leland, was founded 
by King Eadbald at the request of his pious daughter, Eanswitha, 
and is supposed by Bishop Tanner to have been the first nunnery ever 
established in England. This building was despoiled b) the Danes, 



32S W aimer Castle. 

and continued in ruins till after the Norman Conquest, when Nigell de 
Munde\'ille, Lord of Folkestone, about the year 1095, refounded it as 
a Priory, or Cell, for Benedictine Monks, and granted it to the Abbey 
of Lallege, or Lolley, in Normandy. Before the middle of the ensuii^g 
century, the sea had so far washed the cliff on which the Priory stood 
(though that had originally been one mile from the shore), that 
William de Averanche erected a new Church and Prioiy about the 
year 1 137. On the suppression of the Alien Priories by Henry V., 
this at Folkestone was made denizen, and so continued till it was 
finally dissolved by Henry VIII. 

The ancient Church connected with the Nunnery, and in which 
St. Eanswith, the first Abbess was interred, was dedicated to St. Peter. 
On the rebuilding of the Church and Priory in the Norman times, 
St. Mary and St. Eanswith were made its patrons, the I'elics of the 
latter being, at the same period, solemnly translated into the new fabric. 
" The author of New Legends of England," says Lambard, " reporteth 
many wonders of this woman ; as that she lengthened the beame of a 
building three foote, when the carpenters, missing in their measure, had 
made it so much too short ; that she baled and drew water over the 
hills and rocks against nature from Swecton, a mile off, to her oratorie 
at the seaside ; that she forbade certaine rav«ious birdes the country, 
which before did much harm thereabouts ; that she restored the blinde, 
cast out the divell, and healed innumerable folkes of their infirmities ; 
and therefore, after her death, she was, by the policy of the Popish 
priestes, and follie of the common people, honoured for a saint." 
Hasted, in his History of Kent, states that the " stone coffin" of St. 
Eanswith was discovered about the middle of the seventeenth century, 
jind that, on opening it " the corpse lay in its perfect form ; and by it, 
on each side, were hour-glasses, and several medals with obliterated 
letters on them." 



* 



Walmer Castle. 

About a mile southward from Deal is the manor and parish of 
Walmer, which was anciently held of Hamo de Crevequa- by the 
De Aubervillcs, by the tenure of knight's service. From that family 
the property was conveyed by marriage to the Criols, or Keriells, the last 
of whom, Sir Thomas Keriell, was killed at the battle of St. Albans. 

The Castle at Walmer, at some distance from the village, is one of 
the seaside fortresses erected by command of Henry VIII It consists 



W aimer Castle. ^29 

of a large central round tower, surrounded by a wall of considerable 
strength. There are clear remains of a Roman entrenchment close to 
the Castle. 

This fortress is appropriated to the Lord Warden of the Cinque 
Ports; and here Mr. Pitt, who held that office, and that of Colonel ol 
the Cinque Ports Cavalry, used frequently to pass some of the summer 
months. The Castle was the official residence of Arthur, first Duke 
of Wellington, during his Wardenship, or from January 29, 1829, to 
the hour of his lamented death, at twenty-five minutes past three o'clock, 
P.M., September 14, 1852. Walmer was a favourite retirement of the 
Duke many years before he took possession of the Castle, as Lord 
Warden. A house of the better class in Castle-street, Walmer, is to 
this day known as "the Duke's House," and was for some time 
tenanted by him before entering on his Peninsular campaigns. 

Walmer Castle, according to some authorities, occupies the identical 
spot whereon Cassar landed nineteen centuries since ; that our modern 
Caesar should breathe his last upon this spot is one of those strange 
coincidences that fill men's minds with special wonder. The fortress 
has been well described as "just the sort of residence that would have 
been pointed out by an imaginative mind as appropriate to such an 
event. Placed behind the high shingly beach, which the incessant 
action of the waves has formed on this part of the coast, and surrounded 
on the landward side by lofty trees, it does not arrest notice by any 
pretentious prominence, and the modern windows in the old thick 
walls denote that warlike uses had been laid aside for the milder and 
more peaceful influences of the times in which we live. There are, 
however, some heavy guns upon the upper walls pointed towards the 
Downs, and below a battery of smaller pieces, that seemed to include 
foreign invasion among the contingencies to which we are still exposed. 
It was a place of strength built for rough work in sttirmy times. It has 
become a quiet seaside residence, within ear-shot of the surf as it 
breaks upon the beach, and within sight of those essentially English 
objects, the chalk cliflTs of Dover, the Goodwin sands, and the shipping 
in the Downs. This was no unsuitable place for the Duke of Welling- 
ton to die in — that man in whose eventful history the largest experiences 
of military and civil life are so marvellously united." 

The interior of the Castle is fitted up in a remarkably plain manner, 
yet possessing every comfort. When the Queen visited Walmer in 
1842 her Majesty was so charmed with the simplicity of the place, that 
she requested to be allowed to extend her visit a week longer than she 
at first intended. When intimation was received that the Queen in* 



33C> IValmcr Castle. 

tended to honour the Duke with a visit, the only preparation made at 
Walmer Castle was to provide a plate-glass window, to enable her 
Majesty to have a better view of the sea. A stand for a time-piece was 
required for Prince Albert, and the Duke sent for a village carpenter 
who made it of common deal wocd, and it became a fixture in the bed- 
room. Her Majesty is stated to have been much delighted at this 
simplicity of the Duke. 

The Duke regularly resided at "Walmer Castle in September and 
October in each year. He occupied only one room, which was his 
library, study, or bedchamber. This was " the Duke's Room." It is 
in one of the smaller towers, of moderate size, and plainly furnished, 
methodically arranged, something like an officer's room in a garrison. 
On the right hand side stood an ordinary iron camp-bedstead, three 
feet wide, with a horsehair mattress about three inches thick, and a 
horsehair pillow, covered with chamois leather, which the Duke usually 
carried with him, and used in town ; it was indeed part of his luggage. 
Summer or winter the little camp bedstead was without curtains ; and 
the German quilt (no blankets) was the covering. Near the bedstead 
was a small collection of books — recent histories and biographies, some 
French memoirs, military reports, parliamentary papers — the last which 
occupied the Duke's attention being a voluminous Report of the Oxford 
University Commission. In the centre of the room was a mahogany 
table covered with papers ; and here for some hours every day the 
Duke sat and wrote. Near this was a portable table, contrived to be 
used for reading and writing while in bed. These, with two or three 
chairs, comprised the furniture ; a few common engravings hung upon 
the neatly-papered walls ; and on the mantel-piece was a small ivory 
statuette of Napoleon, and a common plaster cast of Jenny Lind. The 
windows look out upon the sea, and one of the doors of the room opens 
opon the ramparts. Until his illness, a few years before his death, the 
Duke never failed to be there at six o'clock in the morning, and walked 
for an hour or more. The view from the ramparts is very extensive. 

The details of the last hours of the great Duke are very touching. 
On Monday afternoon, September 13, it was remarked that when the 
Duke was returning fi-om a short walk he looked much better than for 
eome days previously. He dined heartily at seven o'clock, and instead 
of retiring at ten, his usual hour, he sat up till ne.irly half-past eleven, 
conversing with Lord Charles and Lady Wellesley. He did not awake 
until after his usual time next morning, when he awoke breathing 
rather heavily, which continued to be laboured, irom the accumuiat'on 
of m'lcus in the bronchial passages. This continuing, the apothecary 



The Monastery of St. Augustine, at Canterbury. 331 

fiom Deal was sent for, and arrived in about an hour. The Duke com- 
plained of uneasiness about the chest and stomach ; medicine was 
ordered ; during its preparation the Duke took some tea and toast He 
then grew much worse, and had fits similar to those he was subject to. 
The valet had applied a mustard poultice to the Duke's chest, such as 
on former occasions had given relief. Three physicians were tele- 
graphed for. A mustard emetic was given, but this and other measures 
were of no avail. His Grace grew very restless, tried to turn on his left 
side, and there were slight twitchings of the left arm. When raised in 
bed his breathing was much more free, and he was placed in an easy 
chair ; his pulse sank, and he was now placed more horizontally ; the 
pulse rallied for a little time, and then gradually declined ; the breath- 
ing became more feeble; and at twenty-five minutes past three o'clock 
the Duke breathed his last. So easy and gentle was the transition, that 
for a moment it was doubted. A mirror was held before his Grace's 
mouth ; its brightness was undimmed, and he was no more I 



The Monastery of St. Augustine, at Canterbury. 

The city of Canterbury, distinguished as the metropolitan see of 
all England, acquired that honour in consequence of the mission from 
Pope Gregory I. in 596 of a body of Benedictine monks, with Augus- 
tine at their head, to Ethelbert King of Kent, for the purpose of con- 
verting to Christianity the King, who was still a Pagan. In the follow- 
ing year, Ethelbert was baptized at Canterbury by Augustine, who 
in one day baptized 10,000 Anglo-Saxons in the river Swale. 

Bede relates, in his Ecclesiastical History : " Augustine having his 
episcopal see granted him in the royal city, as has been said, and being 
supported by the King, recovered therein a church, which he was in- 
formed had been built by the ancient Roman Christians, and conse- 
crated it in the name of our Holy Saviour, God and Lord, Jesus Christ, 
and there established a residence for himself and his successors* He 
also built a monastery not far from the city to the eastward, in which, 
by his advice, Ethelbert erected from the foundation the church of the 
blessed Apostles Peter and Paul (afterwards called St. Augustine's 
Abbey), and enriched it with several donations ; wherein the bodies of 



• This church is now the Cathedral of Canterbury ; but the present struc- 
ture, although ancient, is of date long subsequent to the age of St. Augustine. 



332 The Monastery of St. Augustine, at Canterbury. 

the same Augustine, and of all the Bishops of Canterbury, and of the 
Kings of Kent, might be buried. However, Augustine did not conse- 
crate that church, but Laurentius, his successor. 

" The first Abbot of that Monastery was the priest Peter, who, being 
sent ambassador into France, was drowned in a bay of the sea which is 
called Amfleat,* and privately buried by the inhabitants of the place ; 
but Almighty God, to show how deserving a man he was, caused a light 
to be seen over his grave every night, till the neighbours who saw it, per- 
ceiving that he had been a holy man that was buried there, inquiring who 
and from whence he was, carried away the body, and interred it in the 
church, in the city of Boulogne, with the honour due to so great a person." 

The Monastery is commonly believed to have been founded origi- 
nally by the Saint whose name it bears : and in a work in the library of 
Canterbury Cathedral, it is stated that " the ground thereon to build 
was given by grant to Augustine by King Ethelbert, for dedication to 
St. Peter and St. Paul." By later records we find that St. Dunstan, in 
the year 978, renewed that dedication, adding to those of the Apostles 
above-named that of St. Augustine. In 1173, at Canterbury, Henry II. 
walked barefoot to the shrine of Thomas a Becket, and was scourged 
by the monks of St. Augustine; and in 11 79, Louis, King of France, 
landed at Dover as a pilgrim, and was met by King Henry, whence 
they both proceeded in great state to Becket's shrine at Canterbury. 
In 1389, Richard II., his Queen and Court, were entertained at St. 
Augustine's by Abbot Welde, from the octave of the Ascension to the 
morrow of the Holy Trinity. 

In the library of Trinity College, Cambridge, is a MS. styled Liber 
Cantuarkmis, which is the history of the foundation of the Augustine 
Monastery at Canterbury, written on vellum, and beautifully illumi- 
nated. At the Dissolution of the Monastery, temp. Henry VIII., it 
fell into the hands of the donors to the College, who, in presenting it, 
added a proviso that, in case the monks should be again restored to 
their possessions, the book should return to their hands. The passage 
appears to have been written by some after-reader and commentator, 
and the date might, probably, be somewhere at the end of the twelfth 
century. 

After the Dissolution, St, Augustine's Abbey was converted to a 
palace by King Henry VIII. Queen Mary next granted it to Cardinal 
Pole for life. Having reverted to the Crown, at the death of Pole, 



* Now, probably, Ambleteuse, a small seaport village about two miles to thn 
oortb of Boulogne. 



Canterbury Castle. 333 

Queen Elizabeth kept her Court here in 1573. It was afterwards 
granted to Lord Gobham, who was attainted in 1603. King James 
granted it to Robert Cecil, Lord Essenden ; and soon afterwards it 
became the property of Thomas, Lord Walton. King Charles \. was 
married here, 13th June, 1625 ; and King Charles IL lodged here on 
his passage at the Restoration. In the Abbey had sepulture Ethelbert 
and his Queen Bertha ; most of his successors in the kingdom of Kent, 
Gt. Augustine, and the nine succeeding Archbishops of Canterbury. 

The Abbey and its precincts occupied sixteen acres of ground, 
which were enclosed by a wall. The fine gateway of St. Augustine, 
which formed the chief entrance, was long in a dilapidated state, but 
has been restored. It is a very elegant and highly enriched specimen 
of this description of ancient architecture, and now almost the only 
remains of the once celebrated Abbey. James Wyatt adopted the 
general design of this gatehouse in the eastern towers of Fonthill 
Abbey : its general merit is the simplicity as well as elegance of its 
design ; and the enrichments are beautiful mouldings rather than 
sculptured ornaments. Another gatehouse formed the opposite ex- 
tremity of the western front of the Abbey precinct. St. Ethelbert's 
tower, part of the western front of the Abbey church, recorded to 
have been built in 1087, having been undermined for the sake of the 
very fine stone, fell down in 1822. The other remains, after being 
shamefully desecrated, were purchased in 1844 by Mr. Beresford Hope, 
M.P., who has restored St. Augustine's gateway and built a Missionary 
College, which was incorporated June 28, 1848. At the north-east 
angle of the Cemetery adjoining is the ruined Chapel of St. Pancras, 
rebuilt 1387 ; stated to have been originally built before Augustine 
came on his mission to England. They said it had formerly been the 
place of the King of Kent's idol worship, but was purified by the Saint 
and converted into a chapel, and was duly consecrated. They add that 
the devil was so much displeased at this change that he assaulted the 
chapel with all his violence, but was not able to overthrow it ; yet he 
left the print of his talons sticking in the walls of the south porch. 
That there are some marks there, Somner says, cannot be denied ; and 
they are probably occasioned by the ivy having eaten into the materials 
of that part of the building. 



Canterbury Castle. 
Among the ruins of ancient buildings at Canterbury, on the south- 
west side of the City, near the entrance from Ashford, are the walls of 



334 I^J''^ Crispes of the Isle of Thanet. 

a Castle, supposed to have been built by William the Conqueror; 
larger than that of Rochester, being 88 feet by 80 in dimensions. 
These remains appear to have been the keep, or donjon of a fortress, 
within which it stood, and of which the bounds may still be traced, like 
those of the Castles at Dover, Rochester, and the White Tower of 
London, the building being much in the same style with those just 
mentioned. The original portal was on the north side, and the state 
chambers on the third story, where alone are found large windows. 
The principal room in the centre of the edifice was 60 feet by 30 ; 
two others on the southern side were each 28 feet by 15 ; and one on 
the northern side was 20 feet by 15. In the latter end of the reign of 
James I. the Castle was granted away from the Crown, and became 
private property. 



The Crispes of the Isle of Thanet. 

About half a mile south-eastward from Birchington, is Quekes, Quek, 
or, as it is now called, Quex, anciently the seat of a family of that 
name, who were in possession of the estate as far back as the year 1449. 
Several of this family have been Sheriffs of Kent, of whom, Henry 
Crispe, Esq., held that office in the thirty-eighth of Henry VIII., and 
was afterwards knighted. He was so eminent here as to be called " A 
little King of all the Isle of Thanet." Another of the family, Henry 
Crispe, Esq., was Sheriff of Kent part of the year 1649 and 1650; but 
being aged and infirm, his office was executed by his son, Sir Nicholas 
Crispe, Knight, who died in the year i6r,7. In the same year his 
father was seized at his house at Quex in the night-time and conveyed 
to Bruges, in Flanders, where he was detained a prisoner eight months, 
until the sum of 300c/. was paid for his ransom. This enterprise is 
said to have been planned by Captain Golding, of Ramsgate, a sanguine 
Royalist, who had for some time taken refuge with Charles II., in 
France, and was thus conducted : The party landed at Grove End, 
near Birchington, and, proceeding immediately to Quex, took Mr. 
Crispe out of his bed without the least resistance ; and having con- 
veyed him in his own coach to the water-side, he was there forced 
into an open boat without any of his domestics being sufTercd to attend 
bin; although that favour was earnestly requested. He was carried 
first to Ostcnd, and thence to Bruges, both which places then belonged 
to Spain, at that time at war with England. 

Considerable difficulty was experienced by hii family in raising the 



The Ellington Murder. 335 

money for his ransom, as the Protector, Oliver Cromwell, suspecting 
that it was only a plan by which they might assist the fugitive Prince, 
made an order in Council that he should not be ransomed ; and the 
licence for so doing was at last procured only after great solicitations 
and much embarrassment. On the other hand, it is said that Mr 
Crispe had been for some time apprehensive of such an attack, and 
had made loop-holes for the discharge of musketry in different parts 
of the house, the better to defend himself; yet all his precautions 
were rendered ineffectual by the spirit and management of Captain 
Golding. 

In this mansion King William III. occasionally resided till the winds 
favoured his embarkation to Holland. His bedroom used to be shown, 
and an adjacent enclosure pointed out in which his guards encamped. 



The Ellington Murder. 

At a short distance westward from Ramsgate is Ellington, which 
gave name to an ancient family that resided here previously to the 
time of Edward VI., towards the end of whose reign they were suc- 
ceeded by the Thatchers, another family of considerable antiquity in 
this part of Kent. About the middle of Queen Elizabeth's reign it 
passed from them to the Spracklyns, of whom Adam Spracklyn, who 
resided here in the time of George II., and had married Katherine, 
daughter of Sir Robert Leuknor, of Acrise Place, was executed for the 
murder of his wife. This unfortunate man having wasted his estate 
by riotous living, and considerably involved himself in debt, was com- 
pelled to lock himself up in his own house to avoid being arrested ; 
and while there he conceived a rooted antipathy against his lady, 
through supposing her to be in league with his creditors. Occasionally, 
too, he was afflicted with outrageous fits of passion, mingled with 
insanity, and in one of these paroxysms he committed the horrid deed 
for which he suffered. 

From the many appearances of design, however, which accompanied 
the sanguinary act, the jury were led to declare him guilty of pre- 
meditated murder. The unfortunate victim to his rage was highly 
esteemed for her piety and virtue. Her death was very dreadful. He 
first struck her on the face with a dagger whilst she was endeavouring 
to soothe his passion, and then, on her attempting to open the door to 
leave the room, he struck her wrist so forcibly with an iron cleaver or 
chopping-knife, " that the bone was cut asunder, and her hand hung 



336 " Legends of Minster Abbey. 

down only by the sinews and skin." An interval elapsed (during 
which the wounded limb was bound up by an aged servant) ; he 
felled her to the ground, bleeding, by a blow on the forehead with the 
same weapon, and on her raising herself upon her knees, as she prayed to 
God to forgive her murderer, he " cleft her head in two, so that she 
immediately fell down stark dead." He afterwards killed six dogs and 
threw four of them beside the dead body of his wife, in order, accord- 
ing to his own words, given in evidence, " that he might be reckoned 
mad." 

This murder was committed on the night of Saturday, December 
II, 1752, at which time Spracklyn had been married nineteen years. 
Before morning he was apprehended, and soon afterwards lodged in 
the gaol at Sandwich, where he was tried and found guilty at the 
Sessions held on April 22, 1753. He was hanged on the following 
day, and on the second night after his body was interred neai- the 
remains of his wife in St. Lawrence's Church. 



Legends of Minster Abbey. 

Minster lies on the south side of the Isle of Thanet, about a mile and 
a half from the river Stour ; a branch of which formerly flowed up to 
the church, under the appellation of Mynstre Fleet. This place derived 
its origin from the nunnery and church founded here in the Saxori times 
by the Princess Domneva, who was daughter to Ermenred, eldest son 
to Eadbald, King of Kent, and wife to Merwodd, the son of Pcnda, 
King of Mercia. In the early part of her life she had been left with her 
sister Ermengitha, and her brothers Ethelbert and Ethclbright, 
under the guardianship of her uncle Erwinbert, who had usurped his 
brother's throne, and whose son and successor, Egbert, through the 
counsels of Thumor or Timor, his lieutenant, was induced to consent to 
the murder of both the princes, in order that he might retain secure pos- 
session of the kingdom. In expiation of the murtlcr, whicii Thumor is 
said to have perpetrated in the King's palace at Eastry, and which the 
monkish legends state to have been discovered by " a light from heaven 
seen pointing to the very spot where the bodies were interred," Egbert, 
by the advice of Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Adrian, 
Abbot of St. Augustine's, promised (in accordance with the customs of 
the age) to give to Domneva " whatever she should ask," besides 
oficring her many rich presents. 

Domneva, who had borne one son and two daughters to her husband, 



Legends of Minster A bbey. 337 

and with him had afterwards taken a vow of chastity, refused the pre- 
sents, but at the same time requested that the King would grant her as 
much land as her tame deer *' could run over at one course," on which 
she might found a Nunnery in memory of her deceased brothers ; and 
with her virgin train solicit the Almighty to pardon him for his parti- 
cipation in the murder. The King readily complied, and in the 
presence of many of his nobles and people the deer was turned loose at 
West-gate, on the sea-coast in Birchington parish ; and after running 
in a circuitous track eastward, proceeded towards the south-west, 
though every endeavour was made by Thumor to obstruct its course, 
the "envious murderer," as he is called by Thome (from whose Annals 
of St. Augustine's Monastery these particulars are gathered), crying 
out that •' Domneva was a witch, and the King a fool, in yielding so 
far to her art as to suffer so noble and fruitful a soil to be taken from 
him by the decision of a buck." "This impiety," continues the 
Annalist, "so offended heaven, that the earth opened and swallowed 
him up," whilst riding across and checking the deer, and he went with 
Dathan and Abiram into hell, leaving the name of Thumor-his-lepe, or 
Thumor's Leap, to the field and place where he fell, to perpetuate the 
memory of his punishment." 

Meanwhile the deer, continuing its progress, stopped not till it came 
to the estuary of the Stour, now called Sheriff's Hope, near Monkton, 
having completely crossed the isle, and cut off a tract of land compre- 
hending upwards of ten thousand acres. This was immediately given 
by the King to Domneva, and afterwards confirmed to her by his 
charters, which contained a most fearful curse against all infringers ot 
the gift. Egbert, whom the fate of Thumor had affected " with great 
fear and trembling," assisted Domneva with wealth to enable her to 
build the Nunnery, which she soon afterwards founded on the spot 
" where the present Church now stands." When completed, which 
was about the year 680, it was consecrated by Archbishop Theodore, 
in honour of the Virgin Mary ; and Domneva, having endowed it for 
seventy nuns with the lands granted for the purpose, became the first 
Abbes J ; on her decease she was buried here " on the glebe." 

Such is the monkish account of the famous Minster Abbey, which 
was afterwards called St. Mildred's Abbey, from St. Mildred, one of 
the daughters of Domneva, and her successor to the government ot 
this foundation. The princess was held in very high repute for her great 
holiness, both in that and in succeeding ages. Lambard says she was 
" lk) mightily defended with Divine Power, that lying in a hote oven 
tor three hours together, she suffered not of the flame. She was also 
* /. 



33^ Legends of Minster Abbey. 

lendovved with the God-lyke virtue, that coming out ot Fraunce, the 
very stone on which she first stepped, at Ippedsflete, in this Isle, 
received the impression of her foote, and retained it for ever ; having, 
^besides, this propertie, that whether-soever you removed the same, it 
would within a short time, and without helpe of man's hande, returne 
to the former place againe." Many other miracles are related by the 
rnonks of this lady, who, on her decease, was buried in St. Mary's 
Church, which formed part of the Nunnery her mother had founded. 

Edburga, the third Abbess, is said to have been a daughter of King 
.Ethelbert, and to have built a " new, larger, and more stately 
temple," with convenient offices and dwellings, contiguous to that erected 
by Domneva, which had been too small for the number of virgins 
which were there associated. The new Church was dedicated by 
Archbishop Cuthbert to St. Peter and St. Paul ; and hither, about the 
year 750, Edburga translated the body of St. Mildred, who, though 
she had now been interred nearly forty-five years, was so pure and 
incorrupt, that " she seemed more like a lady in her bed, than one 
resting in a sepulchre or grave ;" and even " her garments had continued 
unchanged." Sigeburga, the next Abbess, was doomed to witness the 
commencement of those devastations which eventually proved the total 
destruction of the Convent ; for in her time the Danes began their 
depredations in this Isle, and plundered the nuns and ravaged their 
possessions. A still more hapless fate attended some of the succeeding 
Abbesses, who, during a course of two centuries, were frequently sub- 
^.ected to the cruelties of their infidel invaders; and at length the whole 
of the religious edifices were destroyed by fire, together with all the 
nuns and attending priests, as well as many of the neighbouring inhabi- 
tants who had fled hither for safety. "Whether this event took place in 
the year 978, 988, or loii is uncertain, as historians differ with respect 
to the precise time. Those who fix it in the latter year say that nearly 
the whole Isle was then destroyed by the Danish army, under Swein, 
ihe father to King Canute. 

If the legends of the monks may be credited, the remains of the 
body of St. Mildred were preserved by miraculous interposition during 
all these ravages ; and were afterwards, in 1027 or 1030, given by Canute 
to the Abbey of St. Auirustinc, at Canterbury, on the earnest solici- 
tation of Abbot Elstan, together with all the lands and possessions of 
the foundation. The great veneration in which the saint was held 
obliged the Abbot and his brethren to proceed with considerable 
caution, in procuring the removal of the venerated reliques, which thay 
&t last effected in the night time, though not so secretly but that the 



Legends of Minster A bhey. 339 

inhabitants were alarmed, and pursued the Abbot and h!s comrades 
"with swords and dubs, and a great force of arms." The monks, 
however, having got the start, secured the ferry-boat, and had almost 
crossed the river before the men of Thanct. could reach it, who, having 
no means to cross the stream, were therefore obliged to give up the 
pursuit. 

In Domesday Book this manor, which is therefore called Thanet 
IManor (from its comprehending the greater part of the Isle), is stated 
to have one hundred and fifty villeins, with forty borderers, having 
sixty-three carucates. There is a " Church," continues the record, 
"one priest, one salt-pit, and two fisheries of three pence, and one 
mill." 

The most remarkable monument in the Church is that of Sir Robert 
de Shurland, who resided at Shurland, in the Isle of Sheppey. It is of 
Gothic design. The Knight is represented recumbent, cross-legged, 
and his head resting on his helmet ; close to the wall appears a horse's 
head, as if emerging from the waves ; on his left arm is a shield like 
that of a Knight Templar, and a page stands at his feet. He was 
created a Knight Banneret by Edward I., for his gallant services at the 
siege of Caerlaverock, in Scotland, in the thirteenth century. The 
vane on the tower of the church is in the figure of a horse's head, the 
meaning of which is veiy conjectural. Some pretend (says Grose, in 
his Antiquities) it was to an excellency he possessed in the art of 
training hoi'ses to swim ; others suppose it alludes to a grant of " wrecks 
of the sea" bestowed on him by Edward I., extending as far as he 
could reach with his lance when mounted on his horse ; '' which grant 
or right is evermore esteemed to reach as far into the water, upon a 
low ebb, as man can ride in and touch anything with the point of his 
lance." Then we are told that the vulgar have digged out of his 
vault many wild legends and romances, as, namely : " that he buried a 
priest alive ; that he swam on his horse two miles to the King, who 
was then near this isle, on shipboard, to purchase his pardon, and, 
having obtained it, swam back to the shore, where, being arrived, he 
cut off the head of the said horse because it affirmed that he had acted 
this by magic ; and that riding a hunting a twelvemonth after, his 
horse stumbled and threw him on the skull ot his former horse, which 
blow so bruised him, that from the contusion he contracted an inward 
imposthumation of which he died." But these legends are more populaiiy 
sung as follows: — 

" Of monuments that here they show, 
Within the Church, we sketch'd but t*o: 



340 Cob ham Hall. 

One an ambassador of Spain's, 
T'other Lord Shurland's dust contairs, 
Of whom a story strange they tell, 
And seemingly beheve it well: 
The Lord of Shurland, on a day, 
Happ'ning to take a ride this way. 
About a corpse observed a crowd 
Against their priest complaining loud, 
That he would not the service say 
Till somebody his fees should pay; 
On this his Lordship too did rave. 
And threw the priest into the grave. 

• Make haste and fill it up," said he, 

• We'll bury both without a fee." 

But when he cooler grew and thought 
To what a scrape himself he'd brought, 
Away he gallop'd to the bay, 
Where at the time a ship did lay, 
With Edward, England's King, on board •. 
When, strange to tell, this hair-brained lord 
The horseback swam to the ship's side. 
There told his tale and pardon cry'd ! 
The grant with many thanks he takes. 
And swimming still, to land he makes; 
But on ])is riding up the beach 
He an old woman meets, a witch! 

• The horse which now your life doth save,' 
Says she, ' will bring you to your grave.' 

' You'll prove a liar," saith my lord, 

'You wild hag !' Then with his sword. 

Acting a most ungrateful part. 

The gen'rous beast stabb'd to the heai-t. 

It happened after many a day. 

That with some friends he stroU'd that way, 

And the strange story, as they walk, 

Became the subject of their talk : 

When on the beach, by the seaside, 

'Yonder the carcase lies,' he cried. 

As 'twas not far, he led them to't, 

And kick'd the skull up with his foot. 

When a sharp bone pierced through his shoo. 

And wounded grievously liis toe, 

Which mortified : so he was kill'd. 

And the iiag's prophecy fulfilled. 

See there his cross-legged figure laid. 

And at his feet his horse's head." 



Cobham Hall. 

This brave hoMse, five miles west from Rochester, was the ancient 
scat and head of the barony of the ilhistrioiis and far-spreadinp family 
of Cobham, which became extinct in the time of the Commonwealth, and 
with whom, perhaps, the ancient nobilitv of Kent may be said to have 



Cobham Hah. 



341 



expired. The estate is now the property of the Darnley family, whose 
pieJecessor acquired it in the reigns of Queen Anne and George I. Cob- 
ham Hall is built in the form of a half H, and the extremities of the wings 
are terminated with octagonal towers. The central part was designed by 
Inigo Jones in 1672 ; the wings, chiefly built by Brook, Lord Cobham, 
in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, exhibit the dates 1582 and 1594, and 
have the later Tudor projecting mullioned windows, quaintly carved, 
cornices, and ornamental doorways ; but Jones's portion is a plaii, 
facade, with Corinthian pilasters. The southern front is eminently 
Elizabethan in character, and tjie rich tones of the red brick, contrasted 
with the variously tinted foliage surrounding the house, offer the finest 
studies of colour. The interior is elegantly fitted up, and has a very 
fine collection of pictures, mostly collected by the fourth Earl of 
Darnley ; several belonged to the Orleans collection, and others came 
from the Venetian collection of Vetturi : they are admirably described 
in Felix Summerly's Excursions, 1843, to which is appended a full 
catalogue. The park is nearly seven miles in circumference, and 
abundantly wooded : the oaks are very large and ancient ; and here is 
a noble avenue of lime-trees, in four rows, extending more than 1000 
yards. Of the chestnuts Strutt has published " The Four Sisters," which 
trees measured upwards of thirty feet in circumference. Near the 
south-eastern extremity of the park is a mausoleum chapel, erected at 
the expense of 9000/. Near the stabling is shown a richly painted 
and gilt state-coach, said to be that in which Mary Queen of Scots rode 
after her marriage with the Earl of Darnley. 

The Church of Cobham is noticeable for its antiquity— its Perpendi- 
cular and lancet-windows — but, above all, for its magnificent brasses: 
side by side in the chancel are thirteen brasses, life size, recording the 
Cobhams and Brookes. The earliest is to the memory of Joan de 
Cobham, a.d. 1354; the latest to Thomas Broke, Dominus de Cob- 
ham, 1522. Among them is the monument of John, Lord Cobham, 
founder of the adjoining College. In addition to the above thirteen 
there are eleven other brasses in the Church to the memory of the 
masters of Cobham College. Felix Summerly has reprinted Weever's 
readings of the legends, corrected on the spot. On the chancel walls 
hang rust-eaten pieces of armour, including a helmet surmounted with 
a representation of a human head, which, according to village tradition, 
belonged to one of the lords of Cobham, who settled a pending dispute 
with some neighbouring noble in a trial by battle. The result was 
favourable to Cobham, who, as stated, at one blow struck off his ad- 
versary's head, and to signalize this feat adopted ever after a bleeding 



342 Thurnham Castle. 

human head for his crest. The recumbent figure, on a splendid marble 
tomb adjoining, with hands upraised in prayer, is pointed out as the 
effigy of the victorious noble. This is Sir George Brooke, Lord Cobham, 
governor of Calais in the reigns of Edward VI. and Mary ; who, in the 
first year of the latter sovereign, was disgraced, and sent to the Tower, 
charged with participating in the treasonable attempt of Sir Thomas 
Wyat. Cobham suffered himself to forego the claims of kindred, and 
of common principles with his grandson, and gave the rebel so warm a 
reception when he essayed the seizure of Cowling Castle, that though 
the entrance gate had been forced by the cannon of the besiegers, they 
were yet compelled to retire the next night to Gravesend. When the 
excitement of the plot had blown over, and the axe had performed its 
office, then was the old Lord Cobham liberated, and suffered to return 
home to his favourite seat in this gai-den county of Kent. 



Thurnham Castle. 

Thurnham, called also, from the hill on which it stands, " Godard's" 
Castle, near Maidstone, is a curious example of a Norman Castle, 
placed upon what is evidently a British camp. The camp crowned 
the high point of a very steep spur, which juts out between a depression 
on the one side, and a small deep combe on the other, in the great 
escarpment of the lower chalk, about four miles east-north-east of 
Maidstone. 

The Norman Castle occupied a platfonn close west of the mound, 
and probably included within the British camp. Here stand the 
remains of the gateway and court, but as a trace of masonry is still 
seen upon the mound, it may be tliat it was included in the enceinte j : J ^' 
wall, or that upon it stood one of the circular or polygonal shell keeps ) ; 3 / 
which sometimes, with the Normans, took the place of the ordinary 
square keep, especially where there was an earlier mound to be fortilicd. 

Thurnham, or Tiirnham, occurs in Domesday, and was one of the 
numerous manors given by the Conqueror to Bishop Odo. On Odo'a 
fall, it was granted to Gilbert Maminot by the tenure of castle guard 
under Dover Castle. The holders inider Maminot were a knightly 
family, who took their name from the place. Robert de Turnhani 
held it /<•;;;/>. Henry IL, and founded Comhwcll Priory. Possibly he 
built the Castle, which is thought tu have been dismantled at au early 
periuiL 



343 



Canterbury Cathedral. 

After Westminster Abbey no ecclesiastical edifice in England is 
so conspicuous at once for its beauty, its antiquity, and the 
innumerable historical associations and almost immemorial tra- 
ditions which cluster around it, as Canterbury Cathedral. In 
general interest it must ever hold the first place in the esteem of 
TJritish nations. Here the first Christian church in England arose, 
and the advanced position achieved by Canterbury in the early 
times is still maintained. The earliest episcopal city in England, 
it is at the present day the metropolis or " mother city," upon which 
the other episcopal cities are in some sense dependent. Its arch- 
bishop, besides being " metropolitan," and having suffragan bishops 
subject to him — a privilege which is also enjoyed by the Archbishop 
of York — has the special distinction of being primate of all Eng- 
land, and first peer of the realm. No English cathedral so com- 
pletely dominates over the surrounding town as that of Canterbury; 
and no religious house in Britain can assert a superiority over all 
other establishments of the same kind with the same claim of 
right. 

The interest of this splendid foundation being thus of the highest 
order, it is with confidence that a brief sketch of its history, and a 
rapid survey of its historic associations and traditions, are offered to 
the reader. 

Whoever was the actual founder of the church in Canterbury it 
has, at least, been well attested that two churches had been built 
by the Christianized Roman legionaries who occupied this part of 
\he country, and had been used by them for the purposes of 
Christian worship. These structures were still standing at the 
time of Augustine's mission into Britain for the conversion of the 
British Saxons in 596, though many years before, the last of the 
Romans had left our shores to aid in defending their own country 
against the Goths. 

But the celebration of the Christian worship was not extinct 
merely because the faithful Romans had departed. Ethelbert, 
King of Kent, had married Bertha, daughter of Cherebert, King of 
France. The Saxon King adhered to the heathen superstitions of 
h's ancestors — the Fre.ich Princess, like all the other members 
0' the French royal family from Clovis downwards, remained a 
Christian. On the marriage of Bertha with Ethelbert, she stipulated 



344 Canterhiiry Cathedral. 

for the free exercise of her religion, and was accompanied by a 
chaplain and a nunioer of minor ecclesiastics, who performed their 
devotions in one of the Roman churches referred to. It will thus 
be seen, that though the gloom of Norse superstitions still hung 
over the country, there was one spot in which a steady light still 
shone — one fold in which a " little flock " kept together by the 
Queen of Kent still assembled. The entire honour of having con- 
verted the whole of the inhabitants of Britain cannot therefore be 
awarded to Augustine, although all active and effective measures 
towards this end date from the period of his mission. 

The story of the visit of Augustine to Britain, so picturesque ana 
surprising in its incidents that it would read like a romance, did not 
the sacred character of the expedition itself, and the stupendous 
results which flowed from it, compel us to regard it in the gravest 
of lights, is too intimately connected with the history of the See ol 
Canterbury to be passed over here without some notice. Pope 
Gregory the Great, prompted by his zeal for the propagation of 
Christianity, and compassionating the state of the Anglo-Saxons, 
then dwelling in the outer darkness of heathendom, resolved to 
attempt their conversion, and for this purpose commissioned 
Augustine and forty other monks to visit Britain, and carry with 
them the gospel of Christ. The monks landed in the Isle of Thanet, 
and a messenger having informed King Ethelbert of their arrival 
and of their purpose, that prince received them favourably — here 
we may trace the winning influence of the gentle Queen Bertha — 
and assigned them a residence in Canterbury, "the metropolis of 
all his dominions." Ethelbert was soon converted to the new faith, 
and subsequently manifested his piety and zeal by extending the 
privileges of the monks, securing to them their possessions in per- 
petuity by a charter, and giving them liberty " freely to preach and 
build and repair churches in all places." The Pope addressed a 
letter to the Kentish King, and accompanied it with presents. 
Augustine was directed to ordain twelve bishops in his own pro- 
vince, and to send one to York. At the same time the church at 
Canterbury was made metropolitan, and Pope Gregory declared it 
to be paramount to all others in the kingdom ; " for," said he, 
" where the Christian failh was first received, there also should be 
a primacy of dignity." The ecclesiastical rank of the See is further 
confirmed by Boniface the Fifth, who, in a communication to 
Jtistus, the fifth in succession from Augustine, writes : — " We will 
and command you that the mctropolitical sec of all Britain be ever 



Canterbury Cathedral. 345 

hereafter in the city of Canterbury ; and we make a perpetual and 
unchangeable decree, that all provinces of this kingdom of England 
be for ever subject to the metropolitical church of that place," 

Having given to Augustine and his followers the Christian church 
in which Queen Bertha worshipped, Ethelbert enjoined the clergy 
to continue in their monastic mode of life ; hence this establish- 
ment became what is called a " cathedral monastery," where the 
bishop was practically abbot, though the duties attached to the 
office were performed by a subordinate person, presiding more 
immediately over the monks. This monastery was governed ac- 
cording to the rules of St. Benedict, and was the first settlement ot 
that order in Britain. 

On the death of Ethelbert, and the succession of Eadbald, his 
pagan son, Christianity in England was threatened with almost 
total ruin. The reigning King of Kent had sunk into heathenism, 
pagan enemies raged on all sides ; the Bishops of London and 
Rochester, who had been appointed by Augustine, abandoned 
their charge and left the country, and Bishop Lawrence, Augustine's 
successor, was preparing to follow their example and forsake 
Canterbury. This catastrophe, however, was prevented by the 
occurrence of a miracle — real or pretended. In the light of 
legend the storj- of the miracle runs thus : — On the night before 
the day of his intended flight from Canterbury, Bishop Lawrence 
slept in the church. While he slept the Apostle Peter appeared, 
and after upbraiding him in no measured terms for his intention of 
deserting his flock, the vigorous vision proceeded to administer a 
most severe castigation to the prelate. Even this very active form 
of impressing advice upon an unwilling ear might have been dis- 
regarded by Lawrence had he not, on awaking, found that the 
dream which had been acting in his mind had been also dra. 
matically performed upon his body. His shoulders he discovered 
to be rigid with weals, and severely lacerated. Much astonished, 
and not a little pained at what had occurred, the bishop repaired to 
the apostate king, Eadbald, and, laying bare his lacerated 
shoulders, he told the story of his vision. The King's doubts of 
the Christian religion vanished at the sight of the stripes, which 
could not be accounted for except as having been inflicted by mi- 
raculous agency, and he now gave that countenance and support to 
the infant church which he had formerly withheld from it. 

The church of Canterbury had suffered much during the sack of 
the town by the Danes, on which occasion the Archbishop and 



34^ Canterbury Cathedral. 

monks were all massacred. In expiation of this ruthless deed the 
Danish Canute caused the sacred edifice to be repaired, restored to 
the monks the body of their murdered Archbishop, and hung up his 
own crown as an offering in the nave. But this edifice was fated 
to undergo many vicissitudes, and in the troublous times of the 
Conquest it was completely burned down — its entire collection of 
the bulls and privileges that had been granted to it by successive 
Popes and Kings, being destroyed by the flames. 

Of this first church, which may be named Augustine's Church, 
no fragment remains ; but certain memorials of the ancient Saxon 
building are traceable, as for instance in the name Christ's Church, 
(the old building consecrated by Augustine being named St. 
Saviour's) in the crypt, which occupies the site of the earlier one, 
and in the southern porch, which was the principal entrance of the 
former, as it is of the present edifice. 

From its antiquity Canterbury Cathedral may be taken as an 
illustration of all the styles of architecture that have flourished in 
England, from the Saxon period to our own Victorian age. The 
diversity of the architectural features is naturally due to the 
successive restorations of the structure rendered necessary from 
decay, the accidents of war, fire, &c. Lanfranc (1070-1089) the 
first archbishop after the Conquest, finding his cathedral church com- 
pletely in ruins, pulled down the few remains of his monastic 
building and reconstructed both church and monastery from their 
foundations. Under Anselm, the next archbishop, the choir was 
rebuilt in such a style of splendour that, according to William of 
Malmesbury, " it surpassed every other choir in England," particu- 
larly in the transparency of its glass windows, the beauty of its 
marble pavements, and the curious paintings of the roof. Under 
the next superior, Prior Conrad, the chancel was finished and 
decorated with so much magnificence as to warrant the name by 
which it was thenceforth known as " the glorious Choir of Conrad." 
With this latter restoration the church was considered finished, and 
it was dedicated, in 1 130, in the presence of " King Henry of Eng- 
land, David King of Scotland, and all the bishops of England," the 
next famous dedication, says Gervase, " that had ever been heard 
of on the earth since that of the temple of Solomon." 

It was in this church that licckct was murdered (1170) ; and it 
was in Conrad's choir that his body was watched by the monks on 
the night following. 

In 1 174, the church again suffered by fire, when the whole of the 



Canterbury Cathedral. 347 

choir was destroyed. In the restoration both French and English 
architects were consulted — the plans of William of Sens being 
eventually approved, and the work put into his hands. A fall from 
a scaffold, fifty feet high, interrupted the bold and artistic improve- 
ments projected, and in part carried out, by this architect, who was 
succeeded by William Anglus, or English William, under whom the 
choir and eastern buildings beyond it were completed in 1184. 

Later improvements were carried out by Prior Challenden, who 
took down Lanfranc's nave and erected a new one with transepts 
( 1 378-1410), and by Prior Goldstone, who added the great central 
tower about 1495. 

The Canterbury Cathedral of the present day consists either of 
portions or of the whole of the different structures erected by the 
architects just named, and the edifice thus exhibits specimens 
of nearly all the classes — ranging over an era of nearly four cen- 
turies — of pointed architecture, the principal being Transition, Nor- 
man, and Perpendicular. The continual enlargements and additions 
made to the main building arose principally from the circumstance 
that the church was continually acquiring valuable relics, for the 
display of which sufificient shrine-room had to be provided. But 
with all the alterations, it is to be remarked that the existing 
cathedral, although of such various dates, covers, as nearly as can 
be ascertained, the same ground as the original building of Lan- 
franc, with the exception of the nave, which projects to a greater 
length westward. 

The southern side of the church presents various and diversified 
features, forms, and styles. It is of great length and height, and is 
divided into several dissimilar parts. The north side of the cathe- 
dral very nearly resembles the south in general arrangement. 

The interior, however, will be found to be much more impressive 
and interesting than tlie exterior. It is in the form of a double 
cross, and consists of a nave and aisles, a short transept with two 
chapels, a choir and aisles elevated above the level of the nave by a 
flight of steps, another transept of larger dimensions, with two 
semicircular recesses on the east side of each, and two square 
towers to the west. East of the choir is the Trinity Chapel, with 
Becket's shrine, and the corona, with the monument of Cardinal 
Pole. 

Canterbury stands alone among English and foreign cathedrals 
from the circumstance that the choir rises to a very unusual height 
above the crypt, and is reached by a stately and imposing flight of 



348 Canterbury Cathedral. 

steps. This magnificent and lofty approach, combined with the 
tall and massive piers breaking up from the pavement, like some 
natural forest of stone, has in every age elicited the admiration 
of visitors. 

Among the lists of those who have done much to add interest to 
the cathedral of Canterbury must not be forgotten the name of the 
poet Chaucer. The " Canterbury Tales" have sent as many pil- 
grims to visit the ancient shrines of this edifice as the most sacred 
of its relics. But Chaucer, whose mind was in an artistic sense so 
subtle, and at the same time so singularly candid and direct, 
dealt with the materials which he had to hand with justice and 
fairness. 

The shrine of Thomas k Becket was the chief attraction of pil- 
grims to Canterbury Cathedral during the middle ages ; and but 
for the accident of the murder of the great archbishop here in 1 170, 
this church would never have acquired its fame or its wealth or its 
lavish artistic decoration. It never would have become the Mecca 
of the English pilgrims but for this circumstance, nor probably 
would it have suggested the series of " Tales " in which so many 
generations have delighted. The murder of Becket was the most 
momentous and important event that ever occurred in connexion 
with the cathedral ; and it is a notorious fact that the monks of 
Christ's Church converted the ghastly incident into a source of vast 
revenue and extended popularity. It is no wonder that the shrine 
and chapel were adorned with splendour, pomp, and parade ; nor can 
we wonder much, considering the customs and the superstitions ot 
the age, that " Canterbury Pilgrimages" were frequent and numerous. 
The paving stones round the shrine of " St. Thomas the Martyr" 
are said to bear evidences of the frequency of devotional kneeling, 
by being nearly worn through. 

The immense value and ostentatious splendour of Backet's 
shrine are thus described by Erasmus, who saw it shortly after the 
dissolution. In a chest or case of wood was " a coffin of gold, 
together with inestimable riches, gold being the meanest thing to 
be seen there ; it shone all over, and sparkled and glittered with 
jewels of the most rare and precious kinds and of an extraordinary 
size, some of them being larger than a goose's egg— most of them 
being the gifts of monarchs." Stow, in his annals of Henry VIII., 
describes it more minutely. He states : " It was buildcd a man's 
height, all of stone ; then, upwards of timber, plain ; within the 
which was a chest of yrun, containing the bones of Thomas Becket, 



Canterbury Cathedral. 349 

scull and all, with the wound of his death, and the piece cut out of 
his scull layde in the same wounde. These bones (by the com- 
mandment of the Lord Cromwell) were then and there burnt. The 
timber-work of this shrine on the outside was covered with plates 
of gold ; damasked with gold weir, which grounde of gold was again 
covered with jewels of golde, as rings ten or twelve cramptd with 
gold wyre into the sayde ground of gold, many of those ringes hav- 
ing stones in them ; broaches, images, angels, pretious stones, and 
great orient pearles. The spoil of which shrine in gold and pretious 
stones filled two great chests, such as six or seaven strong men could 
doe no more than convey one of them at once out of the church." 

Among the illustrious persons who made pilgrimages to Canter- 
bury may be noted Philip, Earl of Flanders, who visited the 
cathedral with a numerous retinue, and was met by Henry II. of 
England. Louis the Seventh of France visited the shrine in 1179, 
in a pilgrim's garb, and was also met by the superstitious English 
monarch. The French king presented a cup of gold, with the 
famous jewel called the Regal of France, which was seized by 
Henry VIII., and set in a thumb-ring. Perhaps the most memo- 
rable event connected with this place was the silly and dis- 
gustingly degrading penance which Henry II. voluntarily sub- 
jected himself to at Becket's shrine. The king, on approaching 
Canterbury, alighted from his horse, and walked barefoot about 
three miles over rough stones. He prostrated himself before the 
tomb, and remained some time in prayer, directing the Bishop of 
London to declare to the people that he was not accessory to the 
death of Becket. He then commanded all the monks to scourge 
him ; and he afterwards continued his prayers at the tomb, where 
he remained all day and night on the bare stones, and without 
food. He also had himself clad in sackcloth, and after paying his 
devotions, &c., to all the altars of the church, he bequeathed a reve- 
nue of forty pounds ayear for wax candles to be always burning about 
the tomb. He then returned to London exhausted and ill, naturally. 

Contrary to the received notion, Becket was not killed in front of 
the altar of Canterbury Cathedral ; he was slain in the choir confront- 
ing his pursuers, when they succeeded in arresting his flight upwards 
to the sacrosanct chapel of St. Blaise, in the roof of the Cathedral 
The assassins had challenged him, on the part of Henry, in the course 
of the afternoon, and a long-continued angry altercation had passed 
between them in the presence of the monks, who surrounded their 
Archbishop, in his private chamber. When the murderers left to get 



350 Canterbury Cathedral. 

their arms, the monks hurried Becket by the cloisters into the church, 
in the vain hope of sanctuary. When Tracy, one of the assassins, 
attacked Becket, the latter grappled with and flung him on the floor of 
the choir. Fitzurse then struck at the Archbishop with his sw^ord, out 
only wounded him slightly in the head ; breaking, however, the arm of 
Grim, a German monk, which was raised to ward off the blow. 
Another sword-cut prostrated Becket, and then, as he lay, Tracy smote 
him with such force that he cut off the crown of his head, cleaving 
through brain and bone, and breaking his sword on the stone pavement. 
So ended the career of the Archbishop. 

Tiic Dean of Chichester (Dr. Hook) gives this picturesque 
description of the terrific scene, founded on a close study of autho- 
rities : — 

" His friends had more fear for Becket than Becket for himself. The 
gates were closed and barred, but presently sounds were heard of those 
without, striving to break in. The lawless Robert de Broc was hewing 
at the door with an axe. All around Becket was the confusion of 
terror: he only was calm. Again spoke John of Salisbury with his 
cold prudence — ' Thou wilt never take counsel : they seek thy life.' — 
' I am prepared to die.' — ' We who are sinners are not so weary of 
life.' — • God's will be done.' The sounds without grew wilder. All 
around him entreated Becket to seek sanctuary in the church. He 
refused, whether from religious reluctance that the holy place should be 
stained with his blood, or from the nobler motive of sparing his a!^sassin8 
this deep aggravation of their crime. They urged that the bell was 
already tolling for vespers. He seemed to give a reluctant consent ; but 
he would not move without the dignity of his crosier carried before 
him. With gentle compulsion they half drew, half carried him 
through a private chamber, they in all the hasty agony of terror, he 
striving to maintain his solemn state, into the church. The din of the 
armed men was ringing in the cloister. The affrighted monks broke 
off the service ; some hastened to close the doors ; Becket commanded 
them to desist — ' No one should be debarred from entering the house 
of God.' John of Salisbury and the rest fTed and hid themselves 
behind the altars and in other dark places. The Archbishop might 
have escaped iuto the dark and intricate crypt, or into a chapel in the 
roof. There remained only the Canon Robert (of Merton), Fitz- 
Stcphen, and the faithful Kdward Grim. Becket stood between the 
altar of St. Benedict and that of the Virgin. It was thought that 
Becket contemplated taking his seat on his archiepiscopal throne near 
the high altar. 



Canterbury Cathedral. 351 

" Through the open door of the cloister came rushing in the four, 
fiiUy armed, some with axes in their hands, with two or three wild 
followers, through the dim and bewildering twilight. The knights 
shouted aloud, ' Where is the traitor ?' No answer came back. ' Where 
is the Archbishop ?' — 'Behold me, no traitor, but a priest of God!' 
Another fierce and rapid altercation followed: they demanded the 
absolution of the bishops, his own surrender to the King's justice. 
They strove to seize him and to drag him forth from the church (even 
they had awe of the holy place), either to kill him without, or carry 
him in bonds to the King. He clung to the pillar. In the struggle he 
grappled with De Tracy, and with desperate strength dashed him on 
the pavement. His passion rose ; he called Fitzurse by a foul name — a 
pander. These were almost his last words. (How unlike those of Stephen 
and the greater than Stephen !) He taunted Fitzurse with his fealty 
sworn to himself. ' I owe no fealty but to my King !' returned the 
maddened soldier, and struck the first blow. Edward Grim interposed 
his arm, which was almost severed off. The sword struck Becket, 
but slightly, on the head. Becket received it in an attitude of prayer — 
' Lord, receive my spirit,' with an ejaculation to the saints of the 
church. Blow followed blow (Tracy seems to have dealt the first 
mortal wound), till all, unless perhaps De Morville, had wreaked 
their vengeance. The last, that of Richard de Brito, smote off a 
piece of his skull. Hugh of Horsea, their follower, a renegade priest 
surnamed Mauclerk, set his heel upon his neck, and crushed out 
the blood and brains. 'Away!' said the brutal ruffian, ' it is time 
that we were gone.' They rushed out to plunder the archiepiscopal palace. 

" The mangled body was left on the pavement ; and when his 
affrighted followers ventured to approach to perform the last offices, an 
incident occurred which, however incongruous, is too characteristic to 
be suppressed. Amid their adoring awe at his courage and constancy, 
their profound sorrow for his loss, they broke out into a rapture of 
wonder and delight on discovering not merely that his whole body was 
swathed in the coarsest sackcloth, but that his lower garments were 
swarming with vermin. From that moment miracles began. Even the 
populace had before been divided ; voices had been heard among the 
crowd denying him to be a martyr ; he was but the victim of his own 
obstinacy. The Archbishop of York even after this dared to preach 
that it was a judgment of God against Becket — that ' he perished, like 
Pharaoh, in his pride.' But the torrent swept away at once all this 
resistance. The Government inhibited the miracles, but faith in 
miracles scorns obedience to human laws. The Passion of the Mart)^ 



352 Canterbury CatJiedral. 

'I'homas was saddened and glorified every day with new incidents of its 
atrocity, of his holy firmness, of wonders wrought by his remains." — 
Lives of the Archbishops of Canterbury. 

The well-known legend has it that evil befel the murderers by sea 
and land, and that no one of them ever after throve or prospered, and 
such was, indeed, the popular belief for nearly seven centui'ies. But the 
facts are totally different. Moreville, who kept back the crowd at the 
door of the choir, while the associate assassins were doing the King's 
will on Becket, lived and died Chief Justice in Eyre, north of Trent — 
that is to say, one of the principal judges of England. Tracy was 
created Grand Justiciary of Normandy, by Henry, within four years of 
the assassination. Fitzurse went to Ireland and founded the Celto- 
Norman sept, known as the Macmahons of the county of Wexford , 
and Bret, the fourth murderer, died in his bed in due course, after 
spending a long life in the enjoyment of his estates, in Devonshire, thus 
negativing the historical justice. 

The views of the character of Thomas a Becket have changed with 
the times. From the period of his death to the Reformation, his shrine 
in Canterbury Cathedral continued to be visited by crowds of pilgrims, 
whose offerings proved a valuable source of revenue. At the Reforma- 
tion, the shrine was dismantled and plundered, and the name of the 
saint himself excluded from the calendar in the reformed liturgy. An 
entire revulsion of feeling now took place regarding him, and from the 
rank of a holy man and a martyr he descended, in general estimation, 
to the level of a presumptuous priest, and audacious rebel. This view 
of his character prevailed generally up to the present day, when a second 
revolution in public opinion took place ; and a Becket has found several 
able eulogists, not only as an ecclesiastic, but in reference to principles 
of a different nature: motives of patriotism and resistance to feudal 
tyranny. These last mentioned views are advocated by M. Thierry and 
Mr. Froude, the former of whom regards a Becket in the same aspect 
that he does Robin Hood, as the vindicator of Saxon rights and liberties 
against Norman oppression ; the latter sees in him a bulwark to the 
people against monarchical and baronial outrages, such as the power ot 
the church often was in mediaeval times. M. Thierry's view seems to 
be entirely fanciful ; and neither in this light, nor in the view taken by 
Mr. Froude, is it possible to attribute to a Becket the character of a 
hero or a martyr ; though as the former he must ever appear to parties 
who consider it impossible to exalt too highly the power of the church. 

Archbishop Manning has declared that " St. Thomas died in defence 
of the law of England As an Englishman he stood up for the law of 



Canterbury Cathedral. 353 

the land against the most atrocious, corrupt, and oppressive exercise of 
-oyal prerogative by one whom no English historian would venture to 
defend. The first article of Magna Charta is ' The Church shall enjoy 
its liberty.' That embodies and expresses the very cause for which St. 
Thomas laid down his life. That St. Thomas resisted the excess ot 
royal power, interfering with the freedom of religion and conscience. 
Take one great example : the King claimed that no one should be put 
out ot the church, by spiritual authority, without his leave. Another 
point was that in the election of bishops the persons should be chosen 
by his recommendation. The truth is that we have come to a time 
when the pctjple of England and of Scotland have literally vindicated 
for themselves the very principle of spiritual liberty for which St. Thomas 
eufFered." 

In Canterbury Cathedral, which is considered the most monumental 
Odifice of English history, are these memorials of the assassination of 
Becket. There is the Transept of the Martyrdom. There is the 
actual door by which Becket and the knights entered the church; 
next, the wall in front of which the Archbishop fell; and lastly, there 
is reason to believe that the pavement immediately in front of the wall 
is that existing at the time of the murder. It is a hard Caen stone, 
and from the centre of one of the flags a small square piece has 
been cut out, possibly as a relic. In front of the wall, and a portion 
of the pavement, was erected a wooden altar to the Virgin, called 
" Altare ad punctum ensis," where a portion of the brains was shown 
imder a piece of rock crystal, and where were exhibited and kissed by 
the pilgrims the fragments of Le Bret's sword, which had been broken 
on the floor. The steps up which the pilgrims to the shrine of St. 
Thomas climbed on their knees, and the indentations on the stones, yet 
tell of the long train of worshippers by which they have been mounted 
age after age. 

In 1643, stately Canterbury lost much of the great window of the 
north transept, the gift of Edward II. and his Queen. In the centre of 
the window was Becket himself at full lengtli, robed and mitred. This 
part was demolished in 1692 by Richard Culmer, called " Blue Dick," 
the great Iconoclast of Canterbury, who " rattled down proud Becket's 
glassy bones," with a pike ; and who.whilethus engaged, narrowly escapea 
martyrdom himself at the hands of a malignant fellow-townsman, who 
" threw a stone with so good a will that, if St. Richard Culmer had 
not ducked, he might have laid his own bones among the rubbish." 

There is in existence a beautiful Grace Cup, believed to have once 
belonged to a Becket, and the legends and initials upon it vouch for the 
tradition. Round the lid is the motto, " Sobrii Estate," with the letters 

* A A 



354 Canterbury Cathedral 

T. B. supporting a mitre. Upon the body the cup is chased •' Finttm 
tuum bibe cum gaudio." Round the neck of the top is the name " God 
Ferare," probably the name of the goldsmith. The Ivory Cup itsell is 
very probably a relic of the great Archbishop himself ; but the mount- 
ings are certainly of not earlier date than the latter part of the fifteenth 
century, if so early. The cup was presented by the valiant Admiral 
Sir Edward Howard to Catherine of Aragon. At the Queen's death 
it reverted to the Earl of Arundel, and can be traced in the family ever 
since. 



355 



SUSSEX. 
Pevensey Castle. 

The town of Pevensey, once formidable for its Castle and successful 
for its harbour, has dwindled to a village of some 200 inhabitants. It 
is situated upon a headland, about half a mile from the sea, in the level 
called the Marsh of Pevensey, about ten miles to the west of Hastings, 
and five from Eastbourne. It is surrounded by rich pastures and 
meadows, and is united to the village of West Ham by the remains of 
the great Roman castrum, the ancient Anderida, which, filled with 
Britons and Romano-Britons, held out for a long time against the Saxon 
invaders. It was the last stronghold of the Britons after the Roman 
legions had been withdrawn. The old chroniclers represent the place 
as utterly ruined, and its site not to be traced ; therefore, some have 
doubted Pevensey to be Anderida, but it is well known that an- 
cient writers, living some centuries after the events they wrote about, 
were not always correct in their statements ; and the destruction of the 
inhabitants of a place, and its consequent desolation, were quite enough 
to qualify the exaggerated terms in which the overthrow of Anderida is 
spoken of. Antiquaries, from existing remains, and from earlier his- 
torical evidence, seem now, with one or two exceptions, to concur in 
identifying the Roman castrum with the station Anderida placed by 
the itineraries next to the west of the Portus Lemanis. 

The Saxon name of this brave old place was Pevensea, and the Norman 
Peovensale. Its first authentic mention in history is 792, when it was 
given, together with Hastings, by Berodaldus, one of the generals of 
King Offa, to the Abbey of St. Denis, near Paris. In the reign of King 
Edward the Confessor it had only twenty-two burgesses, and yet the 
port was of sufficient importance to be ravaged by Earl Godwin and 
his son Harold, in 1043, when many ships were taken. In the bay of 
Pevensey, William the Norman, in 1066, landed with his army, a fleet 
of 900 ships, with 6c,ooo men, including cavalry, from Normandy, 
prior to the decisive battle of Hastings ; and it was this port which 
Swaine, son of Earl Godwin, entered with eight ships on his return to 
England, after the abduction of the Abbess of Leominster. In the 
reign of Henry III. the port was still available, but it soon afterwardi 
fell into decay, owing to the withdrawal of the sea. 



y 



H 



f^ 



35^ Pevensey das tie. 

Of the Castle, the outer work contains many Roman bricks, and 
much hemng-bone work. The fortress was of great strength : it with- 
stood the attacks of William Rufus's army for six days, protecting 
Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, who ultimately yielded only from want of 
provisions ; and it afterwards successfully resisted the siege of King 
Stephen, who personally superintended the attack, but met with so 
gallant an opposition from Gilbert, Earl of Clare, that he was obliged 
to withdraw his forces, leaving only a small body to block it by sea and 
land. It once more resisted hostile attacks, when it was fruitlessly 
assailed, in 1265, by Simon de Montfort, son of the renowned Earl of 
* Leicester. Again, when Sir John Pelham was in Yorkshire, in 1399, 
assisting Henry, Duke of Lancaster, to gain the crown, Pevensey Castle, 
left under the command of Lady Jane Pelham, was attacked by large ^^ 
bodies of the yeomen of Kent, Surrey, and Sussex, who iayoui:ed the ^^^ 
JMeposed King Richard, and was bravely and successfully defended by 



\ 5'^'^ Lady Jane. The Castle remained as a fortress till the reign of Queen 
^W|\.»*' J £lizabeth; two ancient culverins, one of which bears her initials, are 
\ ^i^ >^'ct preserved. In the Parliamentary Survey of 1655, the fortress was 
^Y^ in ruins, and the ground within the walls was cultivated as a garden. 
lA'V^ ^Ve have seen that Pevensey was the first scene of the Norman Con- 



<(^ 



Sy ... 

quest ; the most momentous event in English history, perhaps the most 
^ momentous in the Middle Ages. Soutliey, upon the conjoint autho- 
"^ rities of Turner, Palgrave, and Thierry, gives such a version of the 
Normans landing at Pevensey, as to decide its having been a Roman 
station. They landed, he says, at a place called Pulverhithe. William 
occupied the Roman Castle at Pevensey ; erected the wooden fort, the 
materials of which he had brought with him ready for construction ; 
threw up works to protect part of his fleet, and burnt, it is said, or 
otherwise rendered them unserviceable. 

It Although Mr. Hussey prefers the tradition that Caesar effected both 
I his dcbarcations, in the two successive years of his invasions in Kent, 
I as t!ie most likely to be the brevhsiniui in Britamiium trajectus, 
mentioned by him, Professor Airy concludes them to have taken place 
at Pevensey. If we adopt the Astronomer Royal's theory, it will 
increase our interest, as we stand beneath the herring-boned masonry 
of that gigantic ruin, to reflect that the two great conijuerors of 
England here first leaped on English shore. Be this as it may, tliere 
arc few places in England where the antiquary may spend a pleasanter 
day than Pevensey. The Castle of tlie " Eagle Honour," as it w^s called, 
from its long possession by the great Norman family of De Aquila, rises, 
k jfTcat medixval fortress, in the midst of tlie walls of a Romano 



Hastings Castle. 357 

British city: for Anderida, the great city of the Andred's Wood, that 
covered much of ancient Sussex, was (there can no longer be much 
doubt) situated here. Courses of Roman tile remain in these ancient 
walls ; upon which the Conqueror must have looked before he gathered 
his forces together and advanced along the coast to Hastings.* 

The exploration of these remains was undertaken in the year 1852 
by the two able antiquaries, Mr. Roach Smith and Mr. Mark Antony 
Lower, the leading result of which is as follows : The castrum, which 
encloses some dozen acres, is by far the most perfect Roman building 
in this country. Nearly two-thirds of the great wall, twenty-five feet 
in height, and nine in width, with huge solid towers, remains almost as 
perfect as ever, in defiance of time, of the ancient invaders, and ot 
modem spoilers. On the side facing the sea there is a bank of con- 
siderable elevation, looking over a second of about half the height. It 
was inferred that these natural advantages were considered by the 
Romans a sufficient substitute for stone walls, especially if, as it is 
supposed, the sea flowed up to this side of the fortress. The excava- 
tions have, however, shown that the outer bank is, in fact, nothing 
more than an overtunied wall, now buried many feet under the soil 
and herbage. On this side a small postern-gate was discovered, and 
one opposite to it in the north wall ; the chief entrance is proved to 
have been the only one for carriages. The castrum includes a fine 
Norman Castle partly formed out of the Roman walls, the adaptation 
of which has been well developed by these researches. 



Hastings Castle. 

Hastings, the second in rank of the Cinque Ports, is a town of great 
antiquity; and, though vouched by tradition to have been built by 
y Hastings, the Danish pirate, was most probably in existence long before 
his time. Arviragus, the British King, is said to have constructed a 
fortress at Hastings when he threw off the Roman yoke in the lattei 
part of the first century. In the Saxon times it became a flourishing 
town, for King Athelstan, between 925 and 942, estabhshcd here a 
royal Mint. 

Standing on a rocky cliff upwards of 400 feet above the sea -level 
to the westward of the town, is the Castle ; its site commanded the 
subjacent country, and was admirably situated for defence of Hastings, 
but it seems extremely probable, from the situation of the spot, it was 



• Saturday Rciiitw, 



41 U_,'^^^^^ ^-^-^b^A^^K^t ^^<^<^j>^('^^a/a (^^ 



35 o Hastings Castle. 

a fortress in very early times, long before the coming of the Normans, 
The mortar used appears precisely similar to what may be seen in the 
old Roman walls still existing in the county, being composed of small 
flints and pebbles. 
*>/ Who was the founder of the Castle has not been satisfactorily ascer- 

tained. It must have been a place of very high importance, as we find 
that, in the reign subsequent to the Conquest, that of William Rufus, 
1090, almost all the bishops and nobles of England were assembled, by 
I Royal Authority, at the Castle of Hastings, to pay personal homage to 
J the King before his departure for Normandy. Although little is known 
of its first origin, its successive owners can be clearly traced, fi-om the 
time of William the Conqueror, who bestowed it on the Earl of Eu, 
by one of whose descendants it was forfeited to the Crown, in the 
reign of Henry HI. After several changes it was granted by Henry IV. 
to the Earl of W'^estmorland, with a reversion to Sir John Pelham. 
By Sir John Pelham it was conveyed to Sir Thomas Hoo, of Hoo, 
in Bedfordshire, afterwards created Baron Hastings by Henry VI.; 
and his descendants became Earls of Huntingdon. Henry, the last 
descendant of this family, afterwards sold it in the year 1591 for 
25,00c/. to Thomas Pelham, amongst whose descendants it has ever 
since remained. 

The area included is about one acre and one-fifth. The walls, which 
are nowhere entire, average about eiglit feet thick. The gateway, now 
destroyed, was on the north side. Not far from it, to the westward, 
are the remains of a small tower, enclosing a circular (light of stairs ; 
and on the same side, further westward, are a sallyport, and ruins ot / "ilfltv^i 
another tower. ^ 

As a fortress, the south, or sea-side, judging from its present appear- 
ance, would appear not to have had any otiicr defence than what the 
height ot the cliff afforded. As the cliff has been considerably removed, 
^ ^Kthe Castl e has doubtless gone with it. On the western side the forti- 
^"^■^ fications consist of a high wall, with lofty towers, one scjuare, the 
^ other circular. Part of the interior of the latter is constructed of 
herring-bone work. The square tower which is further south, has 
openings deeply splayed from within, with the remains of a sallyport. 
j^^j^ix The eastern jide, however, appears to have been rendered the most 
"^ "secure, for in addition , to the towered gallery, portcullis, and semi- 

circular tower, there is'a ditch sixty feet in depth and one hundred feet 
in width. 

The north has, besides a gate, a sallyport and two towers, one round, 
W'Ui a circular (light of Htairs, tlie other square. This gate had always 



',V,f.^?K 



\ 



Hastings Castle. 359 

oeen supposed to be the site of the original gate ; but on proceeding 

with the excavations along the north side, a gateway was discovered, 

about eight or nine feet in width and nineteen in depth. This is con- 1 \ "^MJ ^ 

sidercd to have been the Keep gate, and there is still remaining the ' 4AX-<Jt* 

groove for the portcullis, and the hooks on which the hinges of the l^ 7J_ 

gates were hung. ^ iaXJ 

The Church of St. Mary, in the Castle, was also founded by Count 
tobert of Eu, as proved by one of the Records of the Court ot 
Chancery, of the time of Henry I. or Stephen. St. Mary's was 
removed from its original position to another spot, where only a few 
nins now remain to indicate what it once was. Rouse tells us that ^^1 /\ A. 
1094, King Williarri^lield'a great council in the Castle of Hasting^ [ | \ 
wiich stood below the cliff, upon a site which the sea afterwards over- - ^ 
'■ flcwed; for the comparatively modem fort or Castle erected by ^ 
Milliam the Conqueror, was a distinct building fi-om the Saxon 
Catle upon the cliff, and stood below the b^rief'. which was then, for 
the greater part, destioyed by the sea. In the fifth year of this King, 
,/\'~-\ thcrefore^hey obtained the well known charter empowering them to 
^~i^ indose the Castle and its precincts with walls, /so as to secure the 
Church fi-om the irruptions of the sea. 

The Church appears to have consisted of a chancel, side chapel, nave, / 
anc aisle, the total length being one hundred and ten feet. The bases, !> 
capitals, and other ornaments found amongst the fragments are of Norman \ 
arckitecture. 

On the occasion of the interior of the Castle being excavated in the 
yea- 1824, the Chapel, with the chapter house, deanery, and other 
offices were discovered, also several stone coffins with skeletons. ] 

These ruins are interesting as marking the site of a chapel in which 
Thomas a Becket, somewhere about 1157, and William of Wykeham, 
.ai about 1363, once conducted the services of the Church of Rome, and 
which once echoed to the voice of Anselm of Canterbury.* 

Of the details of the great event which has given Hastings a world- 
wide fame, it may suffice to say that, on Edward's death and Harold's 
accession to the throne, William assembled a fomnidable expedition 
in the vast estuary of the Somme, overlooked by the old town of 
St. Valeri, that weighed anchor from Noyelles-sur-Mer; he crossed 
to Pevensey Bay and disembarked at Pulverhythe. The stone on 
which tradition says he dined is still preserved in the Subscription 
Gardens of St. Leonard's. Hastings, it may be influenced by Remigius 



• Mr. Gant : Proceedings of the British Archjeological Association, 1867. 



36a 



Battle Abbey. 




of Fecamp, opened its gates, though it would appear that there were 
some isolated attempts at resistance and consequent devastation, as we 
see in the Bayeux tapestry a burning house close to the Castle hill,, 
which it is natural to suppose was set on fire by the invaders, and no^ 
the work of an incendiary. The lines of his camp can still be trace</ 1 
in the field to the north of Lady Jocelyn's villa, immediately adjoining 
St. Michael's parish. He ordered — to quote the words on the tapestijr ' 
• — that a Castle should be dug at Hastings Chester, and underneath tie 
words is the picture of the Castle on the summit of the hill wherqit/ 
stands. The Castle in the picture may have been, as Mr. Planc^ej 
suggests, one of the wooden Castles the Conqueror brought with hi^ ; 
but it was, of course, only temporary, and was soon replaced by Ihe 
massive walls of the present structure, which, as the composition of ihe. 
mortar and other details show, must have been commenced about |his 
period. As at Pevensey, the Norman Castle was placed within the 
area of the older works. — "Journal of the British Archaolog'ical A 

elation, 1867. 

» 

Battle Abbey. 

Battle derives its name from the memorable fight in 1066 betveen 
■\Villiam, Duke of Normandy and Harold, King of England, aiti is 
built upon the actual spot where the battle was fought. In the i'ear 
succeeding the victory, a Benedictine Abbey was founded here by 
William the Conqueror in commemoration of his triumph, who en- 
dowed it with extraordinary exemptions and privileges, and is sad to 
have oflTered up at the altar his sword and royal robe which he woiv on 
the day of his coronation. He founded the Abbey with the double jiew 
of atoning for the slaughter of the field, and of evincing his gratitude 
to heaven for his success. Motives of superstition appear to have cpm- 
bincd with piety in inducing him to this measure ; for a Sanguelac, as 
the Normans termed it, or bloody fountain, is affirmed to have spiung 
up here after every shower, crying to the Lord for vengeance for the 
immense efflux of Christian blood that had been shed upon the sjiot. 
Remigius, one of the monks of Fecamp, actually accompaiied 
William on the battle-field, encouraged him to build Battle Abbey, and 
*'as made Bishop of Lincoln as a reward for his great services. j 

The establishment was designed on a vast scale ; the immediate prc- 
cmcts of the Abbey being a mile in circuit, and the buildings them- 
selves of corresponding magnificence. King William iutendeil it lor 
140 monks, but his death prevented the completion of iiis design. I le 



\'^ 



Battle Abbey. 361 

•ettleJ here, however, a considerable body from the Benedictine 
Monastery of Marmontier, in Normandy, and was himself present at 
the consecration of the Abbey Church, which is reported by some 
writers to have been built on the very spot where Harold was slain , 
or, according to others, where his gorgeous standard was taken. This 
splendid prize, displaying the figure of a fighting wairior, sumptuously 
wrought with gold and precious stones, the Conqueror sent to Rome, 
as a present to the Pope. It is related that the Duke, as he reposed 
after the battle, dreamed that he heard a voice which said to him — • 
" Thou hast conquered ; seize upon the crown and transmit it to a 
long posterity." 

Among the privileges and immunities granted by the Conqueror to 
the Abbey was the right given to the Abbot of pardoning any con- 
demned thief whom he should casually pass by or meet going to execu- 
tion. The Conqueror granted the monks all the land within the 
compass of three miles round the Abbey, together with the manor and 
royal customs of various places. The Abbots of Battle, holding their 
lands of the King per baronium, were privileged to sit in Parliament. 

The site of the Abbey at the Dissolution was granted to one Gilmer, 
who, after pulling down many of the buildings for the materials, sold 
the remainder, with the estate, to Sir Anthony Browne, K.G., whose 
descendants converted a portion of the edifice into a dwelling house. 
This was afterwards enlarged by the Webstere, who, early in the last 
century purchased the estate of Anthony Browne, Viscount Montague, 
and made it their chief seat. At the Surrender, the State sword of the 
Abbey, fabricated for Abbot Lodelow, in the reign of Henry VI., was 
delivered to Sir John Gage, K.G., one of the Commissioners: it is now 
in the Meyrick collection of armour. 

Some of the remains of the Monastery are preserved in the mansion 
of the Websters, which is placed on a gentle rise, bounded by woody 
hills, saving in front a valley winding towards the sea at Hastings. The 
Abbey was mostly rebuilt in the times af the later Henries, and formed 
a vast quadrangle. The grand entrance gateway is the most perfect 
part now remaining : it is square, embattled, with octagonal turrets at 
each angle, and has in front a series of pointed arches and pilasters ; the 
roof has been destroyed. Some remains of the monastic offices, with 
square windows and embattled parapets, adjoin the entrance. The 
Abbey Church has been destroyed. Parts of the cloister arches remain, 
as do the ruins of the monk's refectory, with a detached hall, now used 
as a barn, of great extent, in which, it is supposed, the tenants of the 
Abbey were entertained. The hall has twelve long Pointed windowi 



362 Battle Abbey. 

on one side, and six on the other. Beneath is a crypt curiously vaulted, 
with elegant pillars and arches. Several great vaults remain, in which 
the provision and fuel of this splendid foundation were once stored. 
Here was formerly preserved the so-called Roll of Battle Abbey, 
believed to be a Hst of those eminent persons who accompanied the 
Conqueror to England, with other lords and men of account, and 
which list was prepared by the monks, that perpetual prayers might 
be offered for them, and especially for those who were slain in the 
battle. Others believed it to be a list o^ families who became settled 
in England at the Conquest. Holinshed and Stow have both printed 
copies of the Roll, but very different from each other. Camden says ; 
" Whosoever considers this Roll well shall find it always to be forged, 
and those names to be inserted, which the time in every age favoured, 
and were never mentioned in the notable record of Domesday." 
Camden, however, seems to have entertained a notion that there was 
some primitive list made at Battle, but lost. 

The Rev. Joseph Hunter, F.S.A., has examined this suspected docu- 
ment very minutely, and he concludes that no bede roll of the army- 
was ever prepared ; nor was any list of the Duke's host prepared for 
purposes less formal and important than to be used in the devout 
solemnities of the place ; and that if such a roll ever did exist it has 
long ago perished, as well as all copies of it or extracts fi-om it. Still, 
Mr. Hunter does not deny there are several lists of persons or families 
who are said to have come in with the Conqueror, descended to us from 
Vimes long before the Reformation, though not according to him near 
the time of the Conquest ; nor does he affirm that one or more of those 
may not have been the work of some private monk of the monastery ; 
though there is no possibility of determining which of several lists is the 
work of a monk of Battle. Mr. Hunter has examined the ten reputed 
lists, which differ in many respects from eacii other, are merely con- 
jectural, and come to us without any authority worthy of regard. It 
ha. Seen the good fortune of Battle Abbey to have afforded ever since 
the Dissolution a place of residence to persons of distinction ; and the 
remains have been valued almost as a sacred possession, and never more 
than in our time ; so that Professor Lappenburg has jeopardized his 
high historical reputation in writing " All the visible monuments of the 
battle of Senlac and the Con(|uest of England are no more; crumbled 
and fallen are the once lofty halls of Battle Abbey, and by a few 
foundation stones in the midst of a swamp are we alone able to deter- 
mine the spot wlierc it once reaird its towers and pinnacles." How much 
there is tba^ is mere rhetoric in this, hundreds of tourists can testify. 



Bramher Castle. I'S^ 

There is some traditional account of the Roll which it may be inte- 
resting to add. The original Roll compiled by the monks ol Battle 
was hung up in their Monastery beneath some Latin verses, of which 
the following English version W3'5 formerly inscribed on a tablet in the 
parish church of Battle: — 

" This place of war is Battle called, because in battle here, 
Quite conquered and overthrown the English nation were ; 
This slaughter happened to them upon St. CeHct's Day, 
The year thereof (1066) this number doth array." 

When the Montague family sold Battle Abbey they went to reside at 
their other seat, Gowdray near Midhurst, and thither the Roll is 
thought to have been carried. Gowdray was destroyed by fire in 1793, 
when the Roll is presumed to have perished, with everything else cA 
value which that lordly edifice contained. It must, however, also be 
surmised that the purchaser of the Abbey would oart with so precious 
a document as " the Roll " — if such ever existed. 



Bramber Castle. 

Bramber is a decayed village in Sussex, which contains no other mark 
of its ancient importance than its ruined Gastle, the history of which is 
strangely chequered by fatalities. At the period of the General Sur- 
vey in William the Norman's time, the Gastle was the property of 
William de Breose, who besides was possessed of forty manors in the 
county. The family held their estates by the service of ten knights' 
fees for some generations. But in the year 1208 the loyalty of several 
of the nobility being suspected. King John sent to require hostages of 
them, and William de Breose's children were demanded. These were 
not only refused, but his wife added this remark, that " she would not 
trust her children with the King who had so basely murdered Prince 
Arthur, his own kinsman." John, irritated at this reply, attempted to 
have the family seized, but they withdrew themselves to Ireland. They 
were afterwards taken prisoners there, from whence they were sent over 
to England and starved to death in Windsor Gastle by the tyrant's 
orders, all but William, who escaped to France, but did not long 
survive the above catastrophe. The insatiate King, seizing the estates of 
the fugitive, gave them to his own son, Richard, but restored a portion 
to William de Breose's son, Reginald. John, his heir, dying by a fall 
from his horse, in Henry the Third's reign, that prince's brother took 
charge of the Gastle again ; but this was only during the mmority of 



364 Bodiam Castle. 

the son of the deceased, to whom it was surrendered when he became 
of age. At length it devolved to the family of Mowbray, but was 
forfeited by John de Mowbray together with his hfe to Edward II., 
when he joined the nobles against the Spensers ; it was restored by 
Edward III. to his son, who attended him to France. By the death of 
John, Duke of Norfolk, who fell fighting for Richard III. in Bosworth 
Field, the Castle and manor being forfeited again to the Grown, were 
given to Thomas Lord Delaware and his heirs. 



Bodiam Castle.* 

This Castle v.'as founded by Sir John Dalyngrudge, of East Grin- 
Btcad, a gallant soldier in the wars of Edward III., and of a company 
of Free Companions ; he having manied the daughter and heiress of 
John de Wardiew, who had brought him in dowry the manor of 
Bodiam. In 1380 he was appointed one of a great commission to inquire 
r\ into the estates of the realm, and the expenses of the household of the 
youthful King; and in 1385 he obtained permission from Richard II. to 
erect the Castle on the estate of his wife ; he was also made Governor 
of the Tower and Custos of London ; but, being suspected of being 
too lenient to the Londoners, he was soon superseded. 

The licence to fortify the Castle bears date 1385, and is the first and 
1 almost only instance of leave being given to make a Castle. The term, 
I " for resistance a^iinst our enemjes," was no idle one ; for the French 
\ hacH within the last twenty years, repeatedly ravaged the neighbourhood 

I of Hastings, Fairlight, and Winchelsea ; eight years previously had 
besieged the valiant Abbot of Battle in that town; and in 1380 they 
' burnt Rye, Winchelsea, Hastings, and Portsmouth. 

The Castle, then, is situated on the north bank of the river Rother, 
and is surrounded by a perfect moat, which is crossed on the nortl) 
side by a causeway : on this was formerly placed a barbican, of whicli 
some ruins still remain. This was an advanced work strengthened 
.with a portcullis, .ind was of such size as to contain a suflicient numher 
x/ lof men to prevent a surprise. It was also commanded by the entrance 
towers. Between the barbican and the Castle was the drawbridge. 



• Abridged from an able paper, by J. C. Savery, Esq.. in the Journal of the 
British Arrhirological Association, Dec. 31, 1868, Hodiam is interesting as a 
Castle combininR at once the p.ilace of the feudal lord and tlie fortress of the 
kniijht. The founder, who hacl passed most of his best years in France, had, no 
doubt, there learned the art of making his house comfortable as well as secure, 



Bodiam Castle. 365 

The Castle itaelt, which we now approach, is nearly square, with - 
circular towers sirty-five feet high at the four corners, connected by 
embattled curtains^ in the centre of each of which square towers rise 
to an equal height with the circular. 

The gateway is a majestic structure, composed of two flanking \/, 
towers, defended by numerous oilctts for arrows, embattled parapets, 
and deep machicolations, whence stones and other missiles could be 
hurled on the heads of an attacking force. Immedifltely over the gate- 
way are three shields (recently covered by ivy), bearing the arms of 
Bodiam, Dalyngrudge, and Wardieu. The ancestral arms were often 
placed over the principal entrance of a Castle, to denote the descent of 
the owner. Above this was the crest of the Dalyngrudges— a unicorn's 
head. A huge portcullis still frowns grimly over us as we enter a ^ 
vaulted chamber, about thirty feet by ten, at the intersections of the , 
groinings of which are openings into chambers above, through which 
melted lead, pitch, oil, or water could be showered down on assailants 
below; for, the first door and portcullis being passed, there was 
another, half way through the passage, and yet a third, to be overcome ', 
before entrance could be obtained into the court-yard. Mr. Lower — J 
no mean authority — says, " I do not recollect any other instance of 
such multiplied defences in the gateway of a Castle of this period." ^ ^ 

Having passed through the gateway we perceive that the latter half of 

the passage supported a balcony. The southern side of the quadrangle, < ^ h< \y 

opposite, is occupied by the windows of the great hall, with oriel, ^y' ..-— *^ 
passage, and the still remaining elegant windows of the buttery*^ 
and kitchen. "The whole couityard^war^irrdunded by buildings, 
usually oTtw'O stories in height. Turning l ^a the left as we enter the "ni • 

quadrangle we find a fine series of chamber s, which were probably the Xj^"^"^ 

apartments of the officers of the fortress, and one smaller on the corner 
which communicated with the north-east tower. These towers had 
each three stories of hex agonal-shap ed charnbers. 
"Proceeding southward, we next come to the chapel, which was lighted 
by a window of three lights over the altar (which still remains in a 
dilapidated condition), and probably by a larger one, looking on to the 
courtyard. Next the chapel comes the residence of the owner of the 
Castle ; the first apartments we enter have been termed the bower, and 
such was probably the application. They were probably the rooms 
in which Dame Elizabeth Dalyngrudge received her lady guests {circa 
1390), and in which she spent her spare time, surrounded by her 
maidens, engaged in embroidery or other household employment, which, , 

with the lute and song, whiled away the hours. The principal sleeping v-/ 



r^ 



^ 






^A>c^'^ 



\ 



/ 



365 Bodiain Castle, 

apartments were on the first story, or in the square tower, in one room 
of which are two curious stone cupboards, which were probably used 
for depositing deeds, jewels, or other valuables. Yet more south was 
the presence-chamber, in which the guests assembled previous to enter- 
ing the banqueting-hall. This was always adorned with the richest 
tapestry, and embroidered cushions, the work of the ladies of the 
family ; it, as well as the hall, had usually an oriel or bay window. 
Beyond this was a room, probably the private apartment of the Lord of 
the Castle, and at the south-east angle we find the principal round tower, 
with a groined basement. The hall \vas a noble room, 40 feet by 24 
feet, at the upper end of which was a raised platform or dais, on which 
the lord and his principal guests dined. At one end of the dais was a 
window, and in a comer behind the bay-window was the buffet, where 
the plate used at table was kept. Other tables and benches were placed 
on the floor of the hall, which was covered by rushes, for the retainers 
and guests of a lower degree. The roof was of oak, or chestnut, and 
in the centre was a small turret or aperture to carry off the smoke from 
the fire which was placed in the centre of the floor on a raised hearth. 
The walls were covered with tapestry, to about five feet from the 
ground. The principal entrance to the hall was at the lower end, where 
a space was parted off by a screen, extending the whole width of the 
hall, and supporting a gallery in which minstrels played during the feast. 
In the centre of the screen were double doors, communicating with the 
kitchen, buttery, &c. The butteiy-hatch consisted here of three 
arches, through which the viands passed from the kitchen to the hall 
The buttery was so called, because the butts and bottles of wine which 
were required for the table were kept there, not because butter was 
made there, as absurdly stated in one Dictionary of Architecture. The 
minor divisions of the buttery, pantry, and cellar which probably existed 
here are just traceable. We now pass on to the kitchen, a fine room 
18 feet scjuare, w'th two huge fireplaces, which no doubt blazed 
merrily on many a festive occasion. Our forefathers enjoyed good 
living, and though their dishes varied much from those we are in tho 
habit of seeing, their mode of cookery did not differ much. Chaucer 
sayi 

" A Cook they hadden with them for the nonce, 

To boil the chikencs and tho marric bones ; 

And Foudrc marchant, tart, and galingalc: 

Wcl coudc he knowe a draught of London Ale. 

He coudc rostc, and scthc, and broil, and frie, 

Mukcn tnortrcwcs, and wcl bak a pie." 

Such, then, was Bodiam in the day of its power, although now there 



Arundel Castle. 367 

18 little more presented to our view than the outer walls, covered with 
ivy. In the first century of its existence it passed into the hands of Sir 
Thomas Lewknor, who, having opposed the usurpation of Richard III., 
was attainted of high treason, and the Castle was besieged by the 
royal forces, under Thomas, Earl of Sun-ey. The earthworks in the 
field north of the Castle are probably due to this period. After the 
overthrow of Richard at Bosworth, Sir Thomas's attainder was of 
course reversed, but it was not until 1542 that his son obtained full 
possession. From that time till 1643 the Castle remained in the hands 
of the Lewknors, who, however, never resided there ; and in that year 
it was destroyed by the Parliamentary forces, under Waller, who, after 
he had taken Arundel Castle, despatched soldiers to take away and sell 
all the materials of the castles of the Royalists of Sussex. Since that 
period Bodiam has gradually crumbled before the power of rain, frost, 
and storm ; still, even now, above two hundred years after its ruin, 
enough remains to show the substantial manner in which the feudal 
lords of the time of the Black Prince raised their mansions. 



O 



Arundel Castle. 

Of the town of Arundel, on the river Arun, a short distance from 
the sea, the most striking feature is the ancient Castle, which gives to 
its possessor (now the Duke of Norfolk) the title of Earl of Arundel. 
This instance of a peerage attached to the tenure of a house is now an 
anomaly. Mr. Planche, Somerset Herald, in his paper on the Earls of 
Sussex, says, "in 1067, the Conqueror having established himself on 
the English throne, passed over to Normandy, whence he returned, 
after a short stay, with his queen, Matilda; and it was on this occasion 
that he was accompanied by Roger de Montgomery, whom he is said 
to have made first Earl of Arundel, and subsequently Earl of Shrews- 
bury. Here, then, we have one of the most early instances of the title 
of Earl being derived from, or attached to, a small town, not even the 
principal city in the county ; and what is more remarkable, although 
we find him occasionally styled Earl of Chichester, the title of Arundel . 
appears to be the one originally conferred upon him ; and the name 
and dignity of Earl of Arundel was solemnly decided, in the reign of 
Henry VI., to belong to the possession of the Castle of Arundel, the 
tenure of which was determined to constitute the earldom without 
any other form, patent, or creation whatsoever." 

From Domesday Survey we gather that the Castle of Arundel, in 



368 Arundel Castle. 

the time of King Edward the Confessor, yielded forty shillings for a 
mill, twenty shillings for three entertainments, and twenty shillings for 
a " pasty," which was suggested to mean a herring-pie, as Yarmouth 
paid for a thousand herrings for the see of Chichester in the time of 
Henry II. We see, therefore, that there was a Castle at Arundel in 
Saxon times ; and it is asserted that the gift of this Castle and the 
honours to Roger de Montgomery constituted him Earl thereof. Of 
his successors we have only space to notice that Brooke, the York 
Herald, relates an absurd legend, invented, no doubt, to account for 
the lion rampant in the arms of William de Albini, Earl of Arundel 
and Sussex. In a joust held at Paris he behaved himself so valiantly 
that the Queen Dowager of France fell in love with him, and desired 
him in marriage, which he refused, saying that he had already given his 
word and faith unto another lady in England. This denial the Queen 
took in evil part, and contrived to get him into a cave in her garden 
where she had caused a lion to be put to devour him, which, when he 
saw, he furiously set upon him, thrusting his arm into the lion's mouth, 
pulling out his tongue; which done, he conveyed himself into England 
and performed his promise to Queen j^lidis. In token of this valiant 
and noble act, William assumed to have for his amis a lion gold, in a 
field gules, which his successoi-s ever since have continued. To this 
story, Vincent replied, tauntingly, that he had heard of a similar tale 
of one that, thrusting his arm in at the mouth (of the lion) took him 
by the tail and turned him the wrong side outwards. Mr. Planch^, 
Somerset Herald, believes the lion to have been assumed in consequence 
of the marriage of the Earl with the widow of King Henry I., in whose 
reign we have the earliest authentic evidence of golden lions being 
adopted as a personal decoration, if not strictly an heraldic bearing. 

In 1 139, the Empress Maud was hospitably received at Arundel 
Castle, after her landing at Little Hampton, by Adeli/.a, relict of 
Henry I. King Stephen, apprised of her movements, appeared sud- 
denly before the Castle with a well-appointed army. The Queen 
Dowager sent him this spirited message: "She had received the 
Empress as her friend, not as his enemy ; she had no intention of inter- 
fering in their quarrels, and therefore begged the King to allow her 
royal guest to quit Arundel, and try her fortune in some other part of 
England. But," added she, " if you are determined to besiege her 
here, I will endure the last extremity of war rather than give her up, 
or Bufl'er the laws of hospitality to be violated." Her reqiest was 
granted, and the Empress retired to Bristol. 

In 1397, at Arundel Castle, Richard, Ear) of Arundel, with his 



Arundel Castle. 369 

brother, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Duke of Gloucester, the 
Earls of Derby and Warwick, the Earl Marshal, his son-in-law, the 
Abbot of St. Albans, and Prior of Westminster, were accused of 
plotting to seize the person of Richard II., and to put to death all the 
Lords of his Council. The Earl of Arundel, on the evidence of the 
Earl Marshal, was executed. 

Arundel Castle stands high, upon a steep circular knoll, partially 
artificial, and commands a sea-view as far as the Isle of Wight. The 
entrance gateway, with drawbridge and portcullis, was originally built 
in the reign of Edward I., and some of the walls and the Keep are of the 
ancient Castle. In the Civil War between Charles and his Parliament, 
the fortress was held and garrisoned by the latter. It was, however, taken 
by Lord Hopton, in 1643, surrendering to him at the first summons; 
and two months after it was suddenly retaken by Sir William Waller. 
From that time it continued in ruins until its restoration was completed 
by Charles Howard, eleventh Duke of Norfolk, in 1815, at the cost of 
more than half a million of money. The Keep is a circular stone 
tower, sixty-eight feet in diameter, with a dungeon in the middle, a 
vault about ten feet high, accessible by a fliglit of steps. We have 
described several Keeps in this work, but we believe that of Arundel to 
be the most perfect in England. Its stately owls must ever command 
respect, and are better known than the Arundel tenure. 

" Barony by tenure implied that the owner had got it by the sword, 
or in reward for bravery, and that what he had got by the sword he 
would hold by the sword. Title went with lands ; but the last time 
this fact was recognised was in 1433, when Sir John Fitz-Alan, holding 
the town and Castle of Arundel, claimed to be Earl of Arundel by 
such tenure, and the claim was admitted, although only, it seems, 
through a special Act of Parliament. Sir John was one of our soldiers 
in France, where the Regent Bedford made him Duke of Touraine; he 
lost a leg in the wars, and he was first buried at Beauvais, in 143.3. 
One Elton, an Englishman, brought the body home, at an expense of 
1400 mai'ks. As the family refused to reimburse that sum, Elton kept 
the body in pawn for about a score of years till it was at last redeemed 
and ceremoniously buried in the chapel at Arundel. The tomb wa-i 
opened in 1859, and then bystanders saw the old warrior, without his 
leg, the losing of which had helped him to a French dukedom." — Fin- 
laiont Hereditary Dignities. 



B B 



370 



Hurstmonceux Castle. 

Hurstmonceux, or the Wood of the Monceaux (a Norman family), 
never since the Conquest changed owners by purchase till 1708. It ii 
about fi\e miles distant fi-om Pevensey, and seven miles south-east of 
Battle, the site of the Conquest. A higher antiquity is, however, 
claimed for the site of Hurstmonceux ; for, beneath a print of the 
Castle, engraved in 1737, we find it described as ne^r the Caer Pt;n- 
savel Coit of the Britons, whence we infer Pevensey. The former place 
was called Hyrst by the Saxons, from its situation among woods ; and 
Sussex having been, from the earliest times, one of the most luxuriantly 
wooded districts of England, we find the name of bursi given to other 
places in the county besides Hurstmonceux ; as Billing^Mrj/, Buck- 
burst, CodUjurst, Crowburst, Daneburst, Hurst Perpoint, hsLmherburst, 
Medburjt, Outburst, Ticeburst, and Wakeburst ; and Hurst is the 
name of one of the old Sussex families. 

Soon after the arrival of the Normans, the present Hurstmonceux 
became the seat of a family, who, from the place, took the name of 
De Hyrst, or Herst From the posterity of Walleran de Herst, who 
assumed the name of Monceaux, (which name also has from that 
time been annexed to the place,) it came by marriage to the Fiennes, 
by one of whom the Castle was erected. 

One of the possessors of Hurstmonceux came to a mournful end in 
1524, in a heedless night fray, in stealing a neighbour's deer. The Castle 
was built by Sir Roger Fiennes in 1440. He was summoned to Parlia- 
ment, and declared Baron Dacre in 1458. In 1484 he died, leaving his 
grandson,Thomas, only twelve years old, his heir. He seems to have been 
a disreputable character, for he was committed to the Fleet Prison on 
the charge of harbouring suspected felont y\d for negligence in punish- 
ment of them. The next Lord Dacre, his grandson, in 1525, succeeded 
to his grandfather's great wealth at the age of seventeen. His education 
appears to have been much neglected, and although he was introduced 
at Court, and mamcd at an early age a lady of noble birth, a Neville, 
daughter of the Earl of Abergavenny, he was evidently a reckless, if 
not a profligate young man. Holinshed, the chronicler, describes how 
" three gentlemen, John Mantell, John Froude, and George Roidon, and 
others, accompanied by Lord Dacre, passed from his house at Hurst- 
monceux to the park of Niciiolas Pelham, Esq., at Laughton, in the 
same county of Sussex, in the night, where they intended to hunt ; and 
«t a place called Pikhaie, tliey found three men qu;frrelling ; ?. fray 



Hurstmonceux Castle. yj\ 

ensued, between Lord Dacre and his three companions, and the three 
others, one of whom received such hurt that he died thereof in two 
days (May 2). Whereupon, Lord Dacre, and his three companions, 
and divers others, were indicted for murder. Lord Dacre was tried by 
his Peers, and found guilty, and sentenced to be hanged. On the eighth 
of June, the sheriffs of London were ready at the Tower to receive the 
prisoner and lead him to execution on Tower-hill ; but a gentleman of 
the Lord Chancellor's house came, and in the King's name commanded 
to stay the execution till 2 o'clock in the afternoon, which caused 
many to think that the King would have granted his pardon. Never- 
theless, at 3 o'clock in the same afternoon, he was brought out of the 
Tower, and delivered to the Sheriffs, who led him on foot betwixt 
them unto St. Thomas Waterings (near the second mile-stone, or what 
is now called the Old Kent Road), where he died, as did the other 
three gentlemen, Mantell, Frowdys, and Roydon. Lord Dacre was not 
past four and twenty years old, and " being a right towardlie gentleman, 
and such a one a manie had conceived great hope of better proofe, no 
small amount of lamentation was made ; the more, indeed, for that it 
was thought he was induced to attempt such follie which occasioned 
his death, by some light heads that were then about him." 

Archdeacon Hare asserts that it is difficult to make out the 
extent of Lord Dacre's criminality, and thinks " the law was strained 
in order to convert him into an accomplice ;" but Mr. M. A. Lower, 
xwihQ Sussex Archaeological Collections, vol. xix. 170-279, has shown 
by documents and illustrations that " this young nobleman, of ancient 
and illustrious ancestry, perished ignobly, the victim of his own follies." 
That he was put to death at the instance of certain courtiers who 
gaped after his estate, is a statement utterly destitute of proof, and the 
record shows no evidence of unfairness or injustice in the pro- 
ceedings. 

Mr. Lower notes how many persons of station in the neighbourhood 
were unjustly sought to be involved in this foul transaction. Sir Nicholas 
Pelham, a man of high county reputation, was thus aggrieved. The scene 
of the tragedy was not at Laughton ; for Sir Nicholas kept his herd of 
deer seven miles distant. There is no evidence whatever (says Mr. Lower) 
of any personal ill-feeling between the Knight of Laughton and the Lord 
of Hurstmonceux. But the young peer, reckless of reputation and the 
future, ventured upon this expedition without the slightest desire of 
slaying his neighbour's gamekeeper. The affair must, however, have 
been premeditated, since ten days intervened between the meeting at 
which this attack upon Sir Nicholas Pelham's deer was arranged and 



3/2 Hurstmoiiceux Castle. 

the accomplishment of the purpose.* "Mrs. Gore, in her tragedy, Dacre 
cfthe South, has made him the victim of the tyranny and jealousy of the 
high-spirited knights whom he had undoubtedly wronged. It must have 
been a painful position for Sir John Gage, who hved at Firle, within a 
few miles of Lord Dacre, and who must have known the young noble- 
man intimately, to be the instrument, among others, in the execution of 
his office as Constable of the Tower, in bringing him to justice and to 
death." 

Hurstmonceux Castle was of brick, with window and door-cases, 
copings and water-tables, of stone ; and as bricks did not come into 
general use until the fifteenth century, this must have been one of the 
earliest brick buildings (after the Roman period) in the country, and 
described by Horace Walpole as having remained to his time in its 
" native brickhood, without the luxury of whitewash." Cowdray, 
towards the north-west corner of the same county, also of brick, was 
built in the reign of Henry VIII.; but this rather resembles an em- 
battled mansion than a Castle. This employment of bricks is singular, 
seeing that good stone is found in the county. Hurstmonceux ('astle 
continued in the Fiennes, till with Margaret, granddaughter of Thomas 
Lord Dacre, it passed to Sampson Lennard, Esq., whose descendant, 
Thomas Lennard, Earl of Sussex, lived much here; but a few years 
before his death he sold it, and about 1777, all except the principal 
entrance was taken down, and the best materials used in building a 
mansion in the neighbourhood. 

Two towers, eighty-four feet high, flank the principal doorway, over 
which was formerly, within a compartment, the alant or wolf-dog 
sejant, holding the banner of Fiennes. The corbels of the parapet are 
tolerably perfect ; but the machicolations have disappeared, except from 
the wall of the wing to the left. Judging from this fragment, the entire 
Castle must have impressed the traveller with the magnificence of 
feudal state, in which "safe bind" seems to have been the leading 
maxim. The age of the Castle is less than four centuries ; but, from 
its substantial materials, (for brick is much more lasting than is com- 
monly supposed,) it would have remained for ages a characteristic of 
the wealth of the early lords of Sussex, had it not been dismantled. 

Gough, in his additions to Camden, describes the Castle and its 
three courts: the hall and chapel and kitchen, which reached to the 
upper story ; and its oven in the bakehouse, fourteen feet in diameter. 
Under the eastern comer was an octigonai room, formerly a prison. 



• The locus in quo of this murder is well known,— at 'Jrs bottom of two 
Acids, and near the River Cuckmcre, in Hcllingly Wood. 



Coivdray House. ^^-^ 

having in the middle a stone post with an iron chain. Staircases 
curiously constructed of bricks, without any wood work, led to the 
galleries, in each window of which was painted the alant or wolf-dog, 
the ancient supporter of the Fiennes anns. The grand staircase 
occupied an area forty feet square. 

The style is Perpendicular, or Tudor ; and this was probably one of 
our latest built Castles, properly so called ; for about this time, or 
earlier, embattled manor-houses became common, and the fortress gave 
place to the castellated mansion ; which was, in its turn, rendered 
better adapted to the wants and conveniences of more peaceful times. 



Cowdray House. 

Very near to Midhurst, in Sussex, which probably received its name 
from being m the^ midst of woods {hurst being a Saxon word for a i . 
wood), are the remains of Cowdray House, once the splendid seat of 1 r\ • i) 
the family of Montague. Reduced to its present state by the accident ' 
of fire, and not by the hand of time, it still presents a fair front, and 
might be mistaken for a habitable mansion, standing in a noble park 
of 800 acres, abounding in fine old trees, particularly Spanish chestnuts. 

There was anciently a manor-house at Cowdray, belonging to the 
Bohuns ; but it aftenvards became the property of the Crown, and was 
granted by Henry VII. to John Lord Montague. On the division 
of his property it passed to Lucy, his third daughter, whose second 
husband was Sir Anthony Brown, a person of ancient family and 
Grand Standard Bearer of England. William Fitzwilliam, Earl of 
Southampton, the son of this lady by a former husband, was the founder 
of Cowdray ; and W.S., the initials of this nobleman, may be seen 
carved in stone on the ceiling of the entrance porch. On his dying 
without issue the estate went to his half-brother, Sir Anthony Brown, 
whose son, the first Viscount Montague, greatly improved and enlarged 
the house. 1 

This noble residence was twice honoured by a visit from royalty. 
King Edward VI., in 1547, in a letter to a friend, speaks of Cowdray 
as " a goodly house of Sir A. Brown's," where he was " marvellously, 
yea rather excessively, banketted." And there is an old printed descrip- 
tion of the " honourable entertainment" given to Queen Elizabeth, at 
Cowdray, by Lord Montague in 159 1, when she was addressed as "The 
Miracle of Time," "Nature's Glory," "Fortune's Empress," "The 
World's Wonder !" — and stepping from the sublime to the ridiculous 



374 Cowdray House. 

it states that on the following day she was " most royallie feasted ; the 
proportion ot breakfast was three oxen, and one hundred and fortie 
geese." During the week of the Queen's stay, she killed three or four 
deer with a crossbow in the park, and received addresses from per- 
sons disguised as " pilgrims, with their russet coats and scallop shells," 
and " wild men clad in ivie," and "anglers at goodlie fish-ponds." On 
going through the arbour to take horse for Chichester, Her Majesty 
knighted six gentlemen, including my lord's second son, Sir George 
Brown. It may appear remarkable, that, though a determined Papist, 
he should have received such marks of esteem and confidence from 
Elizabeth as are implied by his being appointed as her ambassador to 
Spain, and by her gracious visit at his family mansion. 

Lord Montague also brought a troop of two hundred horse to the 
Queen at Tilbury, commanded by himself, his son and grandson, "when 
Europe stood by in perfect suspense to behold what the craft of Rome, 
the power of Philip, and the genius of Farnese could achieve" by the 
invincible Armada " against the Island Queen, with her Drakes and 
Cecils." 

In wandering over the park at this day, we can scarcely imagine that 
we look upon the very trees under which sat the lion-hearted Queen. 
Cowdray was built in the form of a square, in the centre of which was 
the gate, flanked by two towers. There were throughout the mansion 
ten bucks, life size, each bearing a shield with the aiTns of England, and 
under it the arms of Brown ; besides others with small banners of arms 
supported by their feet. The hall and staircase were pictured with the 
story of Tancred and Clorinda from Tasso. 

The parlour was adorned by Holbein, or his pupils. There were 
two long galleries, in which were, coloured in stucco, the twelve 
Apostles, life-size; and many family pictures, and sacred and historical 
pieces, some brought from Battle Abbey. The paintings on the walls 
were saved during the Civil Wars in the time of Charles I., by a coat 
of plaster laid over the stucco ; but one of the officers quartered here, 
exercising his weapon against the wall, broke out of one of the groups 
the head of Henr^ VIII., which was afterw.irds replaced. 

This beautiful and massive structure was destroyed by fire, September 
24, 1793, through a charcoal fire left by a workman, when no individual 
member of the building escaped injury except the kitchen. Thft 
ruins of the west side of this magnificent mansion contain the most 
perfect traces of the general architecture, and exhibit proof of its 
amazing strength. Within the quadrangle, and about the prcmipes, 
lie several fragments of sculpture and broken columns, presenting to 



Cowdray House. 375 

the reflective mind fit emblems not only of human glory departed, 
but of the fate which, even at the time of the lamentable loss, yet im- 
pended over the family, by a sad coincidence exemplifying that 

' ' When sorrows come, they come not single spies. 
But in battahons !" 

A few weeks after this stately pile was destroyed, the noble owner, 
the young Viscount Montague, during the life of his mother, and 
before the intelligence of the fire could reach him, was drowned, 
together with his fellow-traveller, Mr. Sediey Burdett, brother of Sir 
Francis Burdett, in rashly venturing to navigate the falls of the Rhine, 
at SchafFhausen, in October, 1793. The present family residence is at 
Cowdray Lodge, a small but elegant house in the park, about a mile 
from the ruins. 

Sir Anthony Brown was a gallant soldier of fortune, who experienced 
more of the favour of Henry VIII. than fell to the lot of any other 
subject. In the fourteenth year of Henry VIII. (1523), he was 
knighted for his valour in the assault and taking of the town of Morlaix 
in Brittany, when, with the Earl of Surrey, Lord High Admiral, he 
conveyed from Southampton the Emperor Charles to the port of 
Bi&cay, and this seems to have been the commencement of the good 
and great fortune he enjoyed in his lifetime. We also find through 
Holinshed, that two years after, being one of the esquires of the King's 
body, he was one of the challengers during the feast of Christmas 
before the King and his Court assembled at the Palace of Greenwich 
for jousts and tournaments and other feats of arms ; the following 
year he was made Lieutenant of the Isle of Man and the other islands 
belonging thereto, during the minority of the Earl of Derby, whose 
family continued to hold sovereign rights in Mona till the Civil War 
ended them by the fall of the island into the hands of the Cromwellians, 
after Lady Derby's heroic defence. 

In 1539, King Henry made Sir Anthony Master of the Horse, a 
post considered of a very high character in those days ; this office was not 
a permanent one, but the King, lavishing great favour on Sir Anthony, 
made him Master of the Horse for life. We have elsewhere spoken of 
King Henry's grant to Sir Anthony of " the house and suite of the late 
monastery of Battle in com. Sussex, to him and his heirs and assigns 
for ever," the greatest evidence yet offered to him of his sovereign's 
continued regard. 

Another instance of the attachment exhibited by Henry towards Sir 
Anlbony Brown may be found in the fact, that in 11^40, four yearg 



37° Cowdray House. 

after his marriage with Jane Seymour, who died in childbirth, lie 
entrusted to Sir Anthony the somewhat dehcate task of representing 
him at the Court of John of Cleves, whose sister Anne, Henry had 
agreed to marry, as she was a Protestant princess, and it suited Henry's 
views at that time to con-sider himself one also. At Cowdray Castle, 
before the fatal fire which destroyed that palatial residence many yeai-s 
afterwards, there used to be a portrait of Sir Anthony Brown, in the 
court suit which he had donned for the occasion of personating his 
master as bridegroom when he was acting as proxy for him after the 
marriage ceremony had been performed, one leg being arrayed in white 
satin for the purpose of being thrust into the bed of the princess, in 
token of the real husband's rights over his wife. 

Horace Walpole, who was at Cowdray Castle in 1749, describing 
the portrait of Anthony Brown in his wedding proxy suit, thus 
remarks after his quaint and satirical fashion. " He is in blue and white ; 
only the right leg is entirely white, which was robed for the act of 
putting into bed to her. But when the King came to marry her, he only 
put his leg into bed to kick her out," using, by the way, expressions of 
a most unkingly character, which Walpole discreetly omits. 

Sir Anthony died on May 6, 1548, at Byfleet House, Surrey, which 
he had built for himself. He was buried in the ancient family vault at 
Battle Abbey, where, in the chancel, is the noble tomb of white 
marble, once oniamented with gold and colour, although little of 
either now remains. Two recumbent figures are on the top of the 
tomb, which is of an altar character. Sir Anthony in his mantle, with 
collar and star, as a Knight of the Garter, is in full armour, his head 
resting on a helmet, and at his feet a greyhound, chained and gorged with 
a coronet of gold. His first wife, Alice, daughter of Sir John Gage, is 
by his side in robes and coif, her head resting on a cushion, beneath a 
handsome and very rare canopy, which to this day attests the full beauty 
of its design and execution. At her feet is a small dog with a collar. 
Underneath, in compartments, are coats of aiTns of the families of 
Brown and Gage, ornamented with several cherubs curiously cut in 
marble and painted ; and around and about the upper edge of the tomb 
is an inscription recording the date of the death of Lady Alice, but oddly 
enough leaving out the date of his own, which has led many to believe 
the tomb was ordered in Sir Anthony's life-time. 

I>l()yd thus sums up the character of this great man, of whose inte- 
resting exploits and romantic history a considerable volume might be 
written. "Three things facilitate all things; i. knowledge, 2. temper, 
3. lime. Knowledge our kniglit had, cither of his own or olhera 



Cowdray House. 377 

whom he commanded; in whatever he went about, laying the ground of 
matters down in writing, and debating them with his friends before he 
declared himself in council. A temperance he had that kept him out of 
the reach of others, and brought others within his. Time he took, 
always driving, never being driven by his business, which is rather a 
huddle than a performance when in haste ; there was something that 
all admired, and which was more, something that all were pleased with 
in this man's actions. The times were dark, his carriage so too ; the 
waves were boisterous, but he the solid rock or the well guided ship 
that could go with the tide. He mastered his own passions, and others 
too, and both by time and opportunity ; therefore he died with that 
peace the State wanted, and with that universal repute the statesmen of 
these troublesome times enjoyed not." 

From a Booke of Order and Rules, preserved in MS. at Easebourne 
Priory, and, no doubt, saved from the fire at Cowdray, we gain a 
curious insight into the mode of life of a nobleman of position and 
power in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Here is a most 
amusing scene: — 

" Ten o'clock has just struck, and the household is mustering in the 
magnificent Buck Hall, it being ' covering time,' or the hour for pre- 
paring the tables for dinner. The steward, in his gown, is standing at 
the uppermost part of the hall, over against his appointed table, sur- 
rounded by most of the chief officers and some visitors ; occasionally 
also travellers, who had availed themselves of the hospitality of those 
days. The tables are neatly covered with white cloths, salt-cellars, and 
trenchers, under the supervision of the usher of the hall. The yeomen 
of the ewry and pantry, conducted by the yeoman usher, pass through 
to the great dining chamber. When they arrive at the middle of that 
room they bow reverentially (although no one else be present), anA 
they do the same upon approaching the table. The usher, kissing his 
hand, places it on the centre of the dining-table, to indicate to his sub- 
ordinate of the ewry, who kisses the table, where the cloth is to be 
laid. The yeoman ot the pantry then steps forth, and places the salt, 
trenchers for my lord and lady, rolls, knives " hafted with silver," and 
spoons, making a little obeisance, or inclination of the head, as each 
article is laid down, and a low bow when he has finished. The trio 
then severally make solemn reverences, and retire in the same order as 
they arrived. Next in succession comes the yeoman of the cellar, who 
dresses the sideboard or buffet (cup-borde) with wines, flagons, 
drinking cups, and such vessels as are consigned to his charge. 
The yeoman of the buttery follows him, and brings up beer and 



37 S Laves Castle, and Priory. 

ale, and an-anges the pewter pots, jugs, and so forth, on the sideboard 
or buffet." 

The dinner-time has now fully come, and the lord's commands 
being taken by a gentleman usher, who knocks respectfully at the door 
of his lord's apartments, the dishes, with great state and careful 
watching, are carried forward, and placed upon the table in the dining 
chamber, where, soon after, the viscount leading the viscountess, and 
followed by their gentlemen and gentlewomen, proceed to their seats 
at the table, and the banquet begins. 



Lewes Castle, and Priory. 

Sussex is thickly studded with objects of antiquity, few of which are 
better known than the remains of the ancient Castle of Lewes. Of the 
town, the records commence with the Roman sway, when Lewes is 
thought to have been a station ; and large quantities of Roman coins 
have been found here at different times. 

The origin of the Castle is said to have been a considerable time 
before the Conquest, and has been attributed to Alfred. Athelstan esta- 
blished two Mints at Lewes, considered to be an indication of great 
consequence at that period. The town and its suburbs had formerly 
thirteen churches, which are now reduced to six. 

The Castle is chiefly remarkable for having had tnuo keeps raised on 
mounds, and enclosed within its walls: one at the western extremity 
remains tolerably perfect, and hangs, clothed with ivy, over a street of 
the town. Very little of the original architecture of the fortress is, how- 
ever, to be seen, the building having been modernized in its repairs. A 
large square tower at the entrance, probably of the fourteenth or fif- 
teenth century, with machicolations, is probably the most ornamental 
feature of the structure. The great gateway is still entire. 

"Mount Harry" perpetuates the discomfiture of Henry \\\. by the in- 
surgent barons, under De Montfort, at the battle of Lewes, on the 14th 
of May, 1 264. Mr. Blaauw has given us a minute account of it : how 
Prince Edward, with his division of the Royal army, was victorious in 
the early part of the day, but lost it by pursuing too far the Londoners 
to whom he was opposed, and bore an especial gruiigc, for having " in- 
sulted the Queen his mother on her way by water one day from the 
Tower to Windsor, and thrown stones ami tlirt at her;" how the 
Barons were ordered to wear white crosses on their backs and breasts, 
to show Ihcy fought for justice; how the King was routed and fled to 



Lewes Castle, and Priory. 379 

the Priory, and the Prince remained with the Barons as an hostage for 
the performance of the treaty they agreed on; how the "Mise" of 
Lewes was carried out, and how Prince Edward afterwards escaped by 
the swiftness of his horse, and avenged his father at Evesham. 

" Here stood for many ages the wealthy and magnificent Priory of 
Lewes, founded by William of Warren, to whom the Conqueror had 
given his daughter Gundreda in marriage. The noble patrons had set 
out in a spirit of religious fervour on a pilgrimage to Rome, but were 
diverted from their purpose by the wars then raging between the 
Emperor and the Pope. So they turned aside to the famed monastery 
of Cluny, and prevailed on the good Abbot there to send them over a 
bevy ot monks to take charge of their new institution. Straight the 
stately structure arose, and for five centuries received countless treasures 
into its coffers, so that it became the wealthiest foundation in the south. 
Then came the great reverse— the Dissolution; and all its greatness 
passed away and was forgotten,— all but a slab forming Gundreda's 
marble tombstone, richly sculptured in bas-relief .which was found about 
a century ago in the chancel of a neighbouring church. The discovery 
of its most interesting monument was reserved, as in so many other /^ 
cases, for humble instruments. The land had passed through the com- ^ vui^O^^ 
pulsory clauses of a Railway Act into the unromantic clutches of the 
London, Brighton, and South-Coast Company, and the navvies scraped 
their pickaxes by chance one day against the veritable leaden coffins of 
the noble founders. Lewes, ever the head-quarters of Sussex archaeo- 
logy, was in a ferment, and so was the county. A fitting receptacle 
was soon devised for the bodies. They had been found in the parish of 
Southover (and certainly may be said to have gained a legal settlement 
there, if anywhere), — in S outhover the y should remain. A small Norman >/ 

chapel was accordingly built — ' Gundreda's Chapel ' — adjoining the ^ 
mother-church ; and there lie the cottins "sTdS tjy Side, open to any one 
to inspect. The beautiful black tombstone is reclaimed, and laic 
decently on four encaustic tiles." — M. A. Loiver, 

Twenty years after the recovery of the bones of Gundreda from the 
Priory remains, the coffin of the ynntlifMl^Hanf^htpr nf the r)aniR|i T^jng 
Canute was discovered at the Saxon church of Rosham, near Chichester, "^ d-a-*-^^ 
ffiirlng some excavations in front of the chancel arch. Bcneatli a slab 
of stone was found a small stone coffin On the lid, 7 in. thick, being 
raised, the form of the child could be distinctly seen. The figure was 
3 ft. 9 in. in height ; the bones, although reduced to a white dust, 
could be traced. No jewellery was found. Tradition had long pointed 
to this spot as the burial-place of the youthful Princess. 




^ 



a-^f^ 



380 



Chichester Cathedral. 

** Chichester Cathedral," says Southey, " is a very interesting pile 
on many accounts, and a much finer building than books or 
common report had led me to expect." The original edifice was 
founded about the middle of the eleventh century, and finished 
before the close of it. It was burnt down in 1 1 14, and after being 
restored was a second time partially destroyed by fire in 1186. 
The greater part of the original building, however, remained unin- 
jured, so far at least as the walls and. arcades were concerned. 
SefTrid II., who was bishop m 1199, resolved to engraft a new 
superstructure on the old walls, and to give to that superstructure 
the architectural character in style and ornament which prevailed 
at the time. The result was that in Sefi"rid's additions there is 
much more lightness and symmetry than in the original structure. 
The work was completed about the year 1204, at which time 
Chichester Cathedral may be described as consisting of the nave 
with its single aisles ; the centre arcade with its low tower and 
transept ; and the choir. To these many additions, including that 
of a spire, were made during the three succeeding centuries. 

Occupying a confined area in the middle of a parish churchyard, 
and surrounded by buildings, this cathedral is peculiarly unfortu- 
nate in site and elevation. The tower with its spire, which ex- 
hibited both magnificence and beauty in a more or less distant view 
of the city, produced but a tame effect when viewed from the im- 
mediate precincts. So great also was the demolition of the exter- 
nal architecture o* the cathedral by Cromwell's Ironsides during 
their occupation, and so careless and inartistic the manner in which 
the restoration was conducted, that the general appearance of the 
edifice has suffered more than that of most cathedrals with a simi- 
lar history. 

The nave, which in its original simplicity must have had a fine 
effect, has suffered in modern times by restorations. Its propor- 
tions have been dwarfed and its tone deteriorated by the scrolls and 
flowers in fresco and gaudy colours with which Bishop Sherborne 
(16th century) caused it to be " adorned." Here are also to be seen 
a number of escutcheons with legends in the Gothic character, such 
as — " Manners makyth Man, Quoth William Wykeham." This 
cathedral is, after York, the broadest in England — its nave being 
91 feet broad, while that of York is 103 feet. 



Chichester Cathedral. 381 

It is to be presumed that this cathedral remained in a perfect 
state, as to repair and embellishment, until the middle of the seven- 
teenth century. But its glory was then destined to depart from it 
— at least for many generations. On the 29th December, 1642, the 
Parliamentary forces under Sir William Waller gained possession 
of the city. Respecting the injury done to the cathedral by the 
inithless soldiery on this occasion, an eye-witness, then Dean of 
Chichester, gives the following statement : — " Sir William Waller 
entered the church on St Innocents Day, 1642. The marshal! 
and some other officers having entered the cathedral-church, went 
into the vestry; there they seized on the vestments and ornaments 
of the Church, together with the consecrated plate, Src. ; they left 
not so much as a cushion for the pulpit or a chalice for the sacra- 
ment. Having in person executed the covetous parts of the sacri- 
lege, they leave the destructive and spoiling part to be finished by 
the common soldiers. These breaking down the organ and dash- 
ing the pipes with their pole-axes, scofifingly said, ' Hark ! how the 
organs goe .'" They break down the railes of the altar and the 
tables of the commandments ; and no wonder that they should 
break the commandments in representation, who had before broken 
them all over in their substance and sanction. They then stole the 
surplices and tore the prayer-books ; defaced and mangled the 
kings and bishops as high as they could reach. One of them 
picked out the eyes of King Edward the Sixth, saying that all this 
mischief came from him when he established the Book of Common 
Prayer. After the public Thanksgiving on the Sunday following, 
the sermon being ended, they ran up and down the church with 
their swords drawn, defacing the monuments of the dead, hacking 
and hewing the seats and stalls, and scratching the painted walls : 
Sir W. Waller and the rest of their commanders standing by as 
spectators and approvers of these barbarous impieties. Sir W. 
Waller, wary man as he is, and well known not to be too apt to 
expose himself to danger, stood all the while with his sword drawn, 
and being asked by one of his troopers, what he meant by standing 
in that posture, answered, * To defend himself !' . . . Sir Arthur 
Hazlerigge demanded the keys of the Chapter House ; and having 
received intelligence from a treacherous servant of the church, 
where the remainder of the church plate was, he commanded the 
soldiers to take down the wainscot, they having crowes for that 
purpose. Which, when they were doing, Sir Arthur's tongue was 
not enough to express his joy ; it was operative at his very heels 



282 Chichester Cathedral. 

by dancing and skipping ! Marke ! what musicke it is lawful for 
a Puritan to dance to !" 

Between 1677 and 1680, 1680/. having been contributed for the 
purpose, the restoration of Chichester Cathedral was begun. 

Among the monumental remains of this edifice are to be noted a 
number of exquisite tablets by Flaxman. One of these, in memory 
of Collins, a native of Chichester, represents the poet sitting pen- 
sively, in one of those intervals of relief from the malady that 
darkened his later years, and bending over the pages of the Bible, 
while his lyre and his manuscripts lie neglected by his side. The 
design is no less happy and appropriate than the execution is 
perfect in its broad simplicity and Grecian grace. To the beautiful 
tablet is appended Hayley's fine epitaph, concluding with the lines— 

" Who joined pure faith to strong poetic powers, 
Who, in reviving reason's lucid hours 
Sought on one book his troubled mind to rest, 
And rightly deemed the Book of God the best." 

The allusion in the last line is to the anecdote related by Doctor 
Johnson, who, in his biography of Collins, states that the poet, 
toward the evening of his day, withdrew from study, and retained 
no other book, as a constant companion, but the English Testa- 
ment. When Johnson took up the book, out of curiosity to see 
what " guide, philosopher, and friend" a man of letters adhered to 
so exclusively, Collins remarked, " I have but one book ; but that 
is the best." 

The " restorations" of Bishop Sherborne, of which mention has 
already been made, resulted in something much more serious than 
the burlesquing of a nave, solemn in tone and massive in propor- 
tions, by a scries of feeble scrolls and " lively" paintings. The 
spire of the cathedral, which was added toward the end of the four- 
teenth century, sprang from the central tower, resting upon the 
usual piers. But Bishop Sherborne, finding occasion to construct 
a number of choir stalls, cut away the lower portions of the north- 
west and south-west piers supporting the central tower, for the 
purpose of obtaining additional space. The whole superincumbent 
mass of the tower and spire were now supported partly by piers and 
partly, where the piers had been tampered with, by mere wooden 
props. When the recent restoration of the cathedral was com- 
menced in 1859, it was consequently found that the piers of the 
central tower were very insecure. During the following year the 
piers were still further weakened by the unavoidable strain of the 



Chichester Cathedral. 383 

ivorks of restoration. Cracks began to appear in them, the arches 
above were disturbed, and finally, during the gale of the 21st 
February, 1861, "the rubble which formed the core of