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Full text of "A history of the George worn on the scaffold by Charles I"



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WHEN looking through some old family papers 
recently, I was greatly interested in reading 
a correspondence of 1788 between the Prince 
of Wales (subsequently George iv.) and my 
great-uncle, Sir Ralph Payne (afterwards Lord 
Lavington). The latter visited Italy shortly before 
the death of the Young Pretender. As that 
miserable and dissipated man was, at the time of 
Sir Ralph's visit to Rome, so broken in health 
that he was not likely to live, and as he was 
supposed to have in his possession the Lesser 
George worn by Charles i. on the scaffold, the 
Prince of Wales desired Sir Ralph to use his best 
endeavours to procure for him the historic jewel. 



The letters connected with Sir Ralph's mission 
suggested an endeavour on my part to identify 
this George of such sad associations. I now 
submit the result of my researches to the reader. 

R. P-G. 

THIRSK, September 1908. 






CARDINAL YORK . . . .40 








(Set Notes on "Plates, pp. 97-103) 


dyck, 1637 . . . . Frontispiece 


CHARLES i. By Gunst . . . . .13 

TRIAL OF CHARLES i. From Nalson . . .19 

CHARLES i. AT HIS TRIAL. From the original portrait 

by E. Bower in the collection of Sir R. Pole-Carew 20 

ARCHBISHOP JUXON. From the picture at St. John's 

College, Oxford . . . . .24 

EXECUTION OF CHARLES i. From a contemporary 

print ...... 27 


original in the House of Lords . . 36 

A LESSER GEORGE. From Hollar's drawing . . 42 




CARDINAL YORK. From a medallion of 1788 . 





CHARLES i. AND CROMWELL. After Vandyck . 71 

CHARLES i. By My tens, 1628 . .74 


Vandyck, 1634 . .... 84 

A LESSER GEORGE in the Royal Collection at Windsor 90 

CHARLES i. AT HIS TRIAL. From the picture at All 

Souls College, Oxford . . . 92 

CHARLES i. From Vandyck's Triple Picture . on Cover 


From a very rare print by Gunst. Original picture unknotctt. 


THIS famous Order was instituted by Edward in. about 
1350, as a reward for exceptional bravery or success 
in warfare on the part of his comrades in arms. 

The Order was founded in honour of The Holy 
Trinity, The Virgin Mary, St. George of Cappadocia, 
and St. Edward the Confessor. 

St. George was, however, as patron of England, the 
chief protector of the Order, and for this reason it has 
sometimes been called * The Order of St. George.' 

The original Knights of the Garter numbered twenty- 
five, exclusive of the King of England, the ex officio 
Sovereign of the Order. 

Though this number is still adhered to as regards the 
ordinary Knights, it has been decreed that descendants 
of George i., and foreign Sovereigns, may be admitted 
as extra Knights of the Order. 

King Edward vn., moreover, has admitted his Consort 
as a Lady of the Order, thus reviving a practice which 
had fallen into abeyance. 

There are now twenty-eight British and foreign Kings 
and Princes who are members of the Order, besides 
the twenty-five ordinary Knights. 

Down to the time of the death of Queen Elizabeth, 



foreign Sovereigns were frequently admitted as ordinary 
Knights, but from that time to 1814, this custom ceased, 
and it was only in the last century that it became usual to 
admit foreign Kings and Princes as extra Knights. 

Since the death of Elizabeth, the Order has been be- 
stowed on only four Commoners, and rarely on any 
peer below the rank of an English Earl. The whole 
number of Knights of the Garter elected in the five 
hundred and sixty years from the foundation of the 
Order by Edward in. down to the present day, is, as 
nearly as can be ascertained, about eight hundred and 

Though its military character has been relinquished, 
it still retains its position as the oldest and most dis- 
tinguished Order of Knighthood in Europe. Highly 
coveted as the Order is, its precedence is after the 
eldest sons of Barons and before Privy Councillors 
having no higher rank. 

The Insignia of the Order consist of The Garter, 
Mantle, Surcoat, Star, Hat, Collar and George. Of 
these, the Collar was added by Henry vn., and the Star 
by Charles i. 

The chief distinction of the Order is the Garter, now 
of dark blue velvet, though originally of light blue silk. 
It is about an inch in width, with the motto on it in 
gold letters, instead of, as formerly, in diamonds. 

The Garter which Charles i. wore at his execution 
was ornamented with over four hundred diamonds 
(p. 61). The Garter is, of course, only worn with 
knee-breeches and stockings, and encircles the left leg 
just below the knee ; in the case of a Lady Sovereign, 


or a lady member of the Order, it is fastened round 
the left arm, near the elbow. 

The Mantle is of dark blue velvet. The Surcoat is 
of crimson velvet. Both have an eight-pointed silver 
star embroidered on the left shoulder. The Hood is 
also of crimson velvet, and the Hat is of black velvet 
with white Ostrich and black Heron feathers. 

The Collar consists of twenty-six enamelled gold medals 
showing alternately a white and red rose, each encom- 
passed by a garter with the motto Honi soit qui maly pense. 
Between the medals are twenty-six true-lovers knots, 
also of gold and enamel. 

From the Collar hangs the Great George ; an open- 
cut figure in gold of St. George slaying the Dragon. 
The afore-mentioned insignia are only worn in great 
State ceremonies. 

On more ordinary occasions, a Knight of the Garter 
wears a silver Star on the left breast, the Garter on his 
left leg, if in court dress, and over his left shoulder a 
broad blue ribbon, which, passing across his breast, 
slopes down to his right side. From this ribbon, near 
the right hip, the Lesser George is suspended, called 
lesser in opposition to the Great George which is 
attached to the collar when full dress is worn. 

The Lesser George is of gold, in the form of a 
pendant medallion, and has in its centre, in relief, a 
representation of St. George killing the Dragon, sur- 
rounded with the Garter showing the motto on it. 

The Lesser George is first noticed in Statutes of 1519, 
when it was ordered to be worn at all times by Knights 
of the Order, suspended from the neck by a chain when 



they were in armour, at other times by a ribbon of silk ; 
so that in case of war, sickness, or long voyages they 
might be distinguished. The chain and the ribbon were 
so short that the Lesser George hung in front of the breast. 
They were exchanged for the broad ribbon in later times ; 
and the latter being of greater length, entailed the 
position of the George being near the right hip. 

It was a Lesser George that Charles i. had on at his 
trial and execution, and which, with its blue ribbon, he 
took from off his neck and handed to Bishop Juxon on 
the scaffold just before the axe fell. 

The history of this George that Charles i., in his 
dying moments, gave to Bishop Juxon, and its sad and 
romantic associations, I have endeavoured to trace in the 
following pages. 







WHEN Colonel Pride effected his famous 'Purge' 
in December 1648, he terrified the House of Lords 
into self-effacement, and by arrests, c seclusions/ l 
and intimidations, reduced the House of Commons 
(which then contained about five hundred 
members) to a miserable remnant of some eighty. 
This remnant arrogated to itself the sovereignty of 
the nation, and a majority, which probably did 
not exceed some twenty-seven men in all, actually 

1 The term ' seclusion ' was used for the exclusion of members of 
Parliament from the House of Commons. Ninety-six members were 
secluded and forty-seven others arrested by Pride ; others were intimi- 
dated. As a result, in the thirteen divisions taken in three months 
following the ' Purge,' the largest total vote was eighty-two, the smallest 


ordered the trial of the King, and appointed a 
Commission of a hundred and thirty-five persons 
to act as a tribunal for that purpose. Of these, 
forty-nine never sat or acted. 

This Court met in Westminster Hall on Satur- 
day, the 2Oth of January 1649; and Charles i. was 
brought before it. We have full accounts of the 
proceedings ; for not only was our Revolution 
almost as productive of pamphlets as was that of 
France in the following century, but it also caused 
the birth of many weekly newspapers, which for 
the most part declared that their object was not 
so much the dissemination of news as the preven- 
tion of false reports. 

Charles was charged with high treason. He 
declined to answer until he was informed by what 
authority he was arrested. He was, therefore, 
remanded until the 22nd ; and, as he then still 
refused to recognise his accusers in any way, he 
was again remanded until the 23rd, when, as 











From c a True Copy of the Journal of the High Court of 
Justice for the trial of King Charles I. Taken by J. Nalson, 
LL.D., Jan. 4th, 1683.' London, 1684. 

John Nalson lived 1638-1686. He was a clergyman, 
historian, and royalist pamphleteer. 

1 The King wat lodged in Sir R. Cotton's house during his trial. 


before, he adhered to his previous determination 
not to plead. On the 24th and 25th some thirty 
witnesses were heard in the King's absence, and 
on the 26th the Court (also in his absence) agreed 
upon the sentence. On Saturday, the 2/th of 
January, the King was once more brought before 
the Court, and received the sentence that, c as a 
tyrant, traitor and murderer/ he should be put 
to death c by severing his head from his body/ 

At no meeting of the Court had as many as half 
of the appointed Commissioners attended; only 
fifty-nine signed the death-sentence, though some 
seventy were present when it was pronounced. 
A secret fear of a terrible day of retribution was 
ever present in the minds of the rebels. Hence 
it was that so many of them were absent from 
the trial of the King, or declined to commit 
themselves by attaching their signatures to his 

Charles had slept during the week of his trial 


From the oriijinul picture />// K. itonvi; in the p<i**ex*tt>n of 
Sir Reginald 1'olf-Carnc, nt Antony, Coinunll. (Life Size). 


at Sir Robert Cotton's house in Old Palace Yard. 
The night of this fatal Saturday the ayth, and 
daylight of the Sunday following, he passed at 
Whitehall. On the Sunday evening he was 
removed to St. James's Palace, probably in 
order that his hours of prayer might not be dis- 
turbed by the noise of the carpenters building his 
scaffold. After his sentence the King constantly 
received the ministrations of Dr. Juxon, Bishop 
of London. In attendance was also Thomas 
Herbert, Gentleman of his Privy Chamber, who 
had been placed about the King by Parliament in 
1647, anc ^ wn na d become deeply attached to 
him. Another attendant was Colonel Thomlinson 
(of Whitby, Yorks.), the commander of the Parlia- 
mentary guard in charge of the King. We read l 
that the Colonel was ' so civil both towards his 

1 Memoirs of the Last Two Tears of the Reign of King Charles I. 
By Sir Thomas Herbert, Bt. London, 1702. Herbert was famous 
as an author and traveller. He was born 1606, created a baronet in 
1660, and died 1682. 



Majesty and such as attended him, that he gained 
the King's good opinion.' When at length the 
Colonel had to hand his prisoner over to the 
officers charged with his execution, the King gave 
him his gold toothpick-case, and begged him to 
remain near him until the end. 

Herbert has left us a most touching account of 
the King's last hours. As his narrative was 
written from memory, more than thirty years 
after the execution, it naturally has a few inaccu- 
racies about small details, but it is essentially a 
trustworthy document. On the Sunday, January 
the 28th, Herbert was ordered by the King to 
fetch from Lady Wheeler, the King's laundress, a 
sealed box, which contained some diamonds and 
jewels, mostly broken Georges and Garters. ' You 
see ' (said the King) c all the wealth now in my 
power to give to my two children.' He referred 
to those two of his children who were then in 
England; Princess Elizabeth, aged thirteen, and 


the Duke of Gloucester, who was eight. He 
received the children on the Monday at St. James's 
Palace, though he declined to see any other of his 
relatives. When * they came to take their sad 
farewell of the King, their Father, and ask his 
blessing ... he gave them all his jewels save 
the George he wore.' After talking with 
them for some time, he turned to the window as 
they departed, but * at the opening of the room- 
door, the King returned hastily from the window, 
and kissed them and blessed them again, and so 
parted.' He gave the Princess two seals set 
with diamonds, of which we shall hear again. 
Both of these children died young : the Princess 
at the age of fifteen, the Duke at the age of 

On the following morning, Tuesday the 3th 
January, about ten o'clock, the King, accompanied 
by Bishop Juxon, Mr. Herbert, Colonel Thomlin- 
son, and Colonel Hacker, the latter being the 

2 3 


officer charged with the execution, walked rapidly, 
for it was cold, 1 through the Park from St. James's 
Palace to Whitehall, following mainly the line of 
the present Mall. The Banqueting House (now 
the United Service Museum) was then, as now, 
one of the chief ornaments of London. On a 
level with its southern end a lofty and handsome 
gateway stood across the broad roadway; and it 
is generally accepted that the scaffold was placed 
in the angle formed by the Banqueting House 
and the north side of this gate. When the 
King reached Whitehall the scaffold was not 
completed ; he therefore retired for prayer with 
the Bishop, who read to him St. Matthew's 
account of the Crucifixion (ch. xxvii.). The 
King imagined that Juxon had purposely 
selected this as appropriate to the occasion, and 
was not a little affected when he learned that it 

1 Sir Philip Warwick writes that it was a very cold day, and in 
Evelyn's Diary we find it recorded that on January 2 2nd the Thames 
had been frozen over. 


thf picture at St. Jhn'. <V,//,y/r. O//o/ </. 

(He* iota MI plate* p. ion). 


happened to be the ordinary second lesson of that 
morning. At about two o'clock he was sum- 
moned to his doom. He passed to the scaffold 
through the Banqueting House, and out of a 
window, 1 either of the Banqueting House, or, as 
some historians affirm, of a small building attached 
to its northern end. 2 Herbert was so grief- 
stricken that he could not accompany his master 
beyond the window. On the scaffold were present, 
the Bishop, the two Colonels [Thomlinson and 
Hacker], and the executioner and his assistant, 
both masked, besides a few other persons, pro- 
bably soldiers. 

1 Sir Thomas Herbert writes ' a passage broken through the wall,' 
though he probably meant through an aperture caused by the removal of 
a window and the part of the wall between the window-sill and the floor. 
In any case, the opening was level with the scaffold and led directly on 
to it. 

2 If the King passed to the scaffold through the window of a small 
extension building at the northern end of the Banqueting Hall, then 
the scaffold would, of course, have been placed against its front, a 
little north of the position described above. Though there are 
many prints of the execution, which were produced shortly after the 
tragedy, they do not agree in details, and were most of them probably 
sketched from imagination or hearsay. 

D 25 


The late Mr. Inderwick, K.C., through a mis- 
reading of a contemporary newspaper, erroneously 
concluded that the King's cousin, the Duke of 
Richmond, was present. There is also an un- 
warranted tradition, favoured by Lord Macaulay, 
that Stephen Fox, ancestor of the Lords Holland 
and Ilchester, was likewise on the scaffold. 

Though many thousands of persons witnessed 
the tragedy, there are, curious to relate, only two 
or three brief accounts existing which purport to 
be those of eye-witnesses. 

Sir Philip Warwick l tells us that a friend of 
his, who viewed the scene from the roof of 
Wallingford House (on the site of the present 
Admiralty), 'saw the King come out of the 
Banqueting House on to the scaffold with the 
same unconcernedness and motion that he usually 
had when he entered into it on a masque-night.' 

1 Memoir et of the Reigne of King Charles I. London, 1701. 
Warwick, a royalist politician and historian, was born in 1609 and 
died in 1683. 


I .-* 

t ! 
I I 






From a contemporary foreign broadsheet. 

This print is of historical value, as it gives the names of 
persons who are known from other sources to have actually 
been on the scaffold. It will be observed that the Bishop holds 
some of the King's clothing, among which the George and its 
ribbon are clearly visible. 

It is the most trustworthy of the many prints of the kind that 
appeared very shortly after the execution. There is, however, 
one point in it that is open to question, and this is the block, 
which it is now generally admitted was much lower than 
usually portrayed, in fact so low that the King lay almost 
prone on the floor of the scaffold, his neck resting on a small 
log of wood. 

2 7 


Another of Sir Philip's friends, Dr. Farrar, a 
physician (' a man of pious heart but fanciful 
brain, for this was he that would have had the 
King and Parliament decide their business by 
lot*), gained such a place of vantage near the 
scaffold that he assured Sir Philip ' as he had 
observed the King before very majestic and 
steady, so when he had laid down his neck upon 
the block, he (Dr. Farrar), standing at some dis- 
tance from him in a right line, perceived his 
eye as quick and lively as ever he had 
seen it.' 

In Parr's Life of Archbishop Usher we read that 
this Prelate was also on the roof of Walling- 
ford House. ' When the Lord Primate came 
upon the leads the King was in his speech ; the 
Lord Primate stood still and said nothing, but 
sighing and lifting up his hands and eyes (full 
of tears) towards heaven, seemed to pray earnestly; 
but when His Majesty had done speaking, and 


had pulled off his cloak and doublet and stood 
stripped in his waistcoat, and when the villains in 
vizards began to put up his hair, the good Bishop, 
no longer able to endure so dismal a sight, and 
being full of grief and horror for that most 
wicked feat now ready to be executed, grew pale 
and began to faint.' 

Philip Henry, the celebrated nonconformist 
preacher (being then eighteen years of age), was 
also at Whitehall when the King was beheaded. 
In his Life we read that : 1 

* ... with a very sad heart he saw that tragical blow 
struck. Two things he used to speak of, that he took 
notice of himself that day, which 1 know not whether 
any of the historians mention. One was, that at the 
instant when the blow was given, there was such a dismal 
universal groan among the thousands of people that were 
within sight of it (as it were with one consent) as he 
never heard before, and desired he might never hear the 
like again, nor see such a cause for it. The other was, 

1 Account of the Life and Death of Philip Henry, Minister of the 
Gospel. London: 1712. 


that immediately after the stroke was struck, there was, 
according to order, one troop marching from Charing 
Cross towards King Street, and another from King 
Street towards Charing Cross, purposely to disperse and 
scatter the people, and to divert the dismal thoughts 
which they could not but be filled with by driving them 
to shift everyone for his own safety.' 

These records agree with all the newspapers 
and other contemporary reports, and with the 
noble lines of the republican Marvell, who, in 
his Ode in honour of Cromwell, writes of the 
King's death : 

* He nothing common did or mean 
Upon that memorable scene, 
But with his keener eye 
The axe's edge did try ; 

Nor called the gods with vulgar spite 
To vindicate his helpless right, 

But bowed his comely head 

Down, as upon a bed.' 

We may summarise what happened on the 


scaffold in a few words. The King made a 
speech of some length, in which he used the 
very modern-sounding phrase that he died ' a 
martyr of the people.' As the spectators were 
too far off to hear him, he addressed himself 
mainly to Colonel Thomlinson. There would 
seem, however, to have been persons near enough 
to the King to take down at least part of 
his speech. After he had concluded, he ex- 
changed a few spiritual words with the Bishop, to 
whom he gave several articles to be delivered to 
friends. Lastly he gave him his George l with 
the word ' Remember ' (one contemporary account 

1 In the year of the execution scores of books and pamphlets 
were published, at home and abroad, dealing with the life and death of 
Charles i. Many of these refer to the George, but I will quote only 
three extracts here : 

I. King Charlet' Speech, published by authority, and printed by Peter 

Cole at the Sign of the Printing press in Cornhill, 1649 : 

' The King said to the executioner " is my hair well ? " Then the King 
took off his cloak and his George, giving his George to Dr. Juxon, saying, 
" Remember."' 

II. Tragicum Tbeatrum, published at Amsterdam, 1649: 

4 He handed the likeness of St. George which was hung by a silken ribbon 



says ' Remember me to my son Charles,' which 
has a false ring about it) ; he then laid his head 
upon the block, gave presently a signal, and his 
neck was severed at one blow. The body was 
immediately handed over to four of the King's 
household Herbert, Mildmay, Preston, and 
Joyner ; and it was buried at Windsor, in a storm 
of snow, a few days later. 1 

Herbert tells us that immediately after the 
King's death he met Fairfax, then Lord General 
and Cromwell's superior officer, in Whitehall, 
who, to his surprise, asked him how the King 
did ? Though we know that Fairfax was opposed 

to his neck, and which he had taken off to Bishop Juxon, with the words 
" I wish you to give this to my son the Prince." ' 

III. B. Whitelock, 1605-1675. Memorials of English Affairs from 
1625 to 1660: 

'"I go from a corruptible to an incorruptible crown where no disturbance 
can be," said the King. 

' " You are exchanged from a temporal to an eternal crown, a good 
exchange" was the response of the Bishop ; and then the King took off 
his cloak, and gave the George to Dr. Juxon, saying "Remember."' 

1 There is a church at Tonbridge Wells dedicated to King Charles 
the Martyr. 

3 2 


to the King's execution, it is curious that he 
should have been kept in ignorance of the affair 
until after it had taken place ! Herbert also met 
Cromwell on the same afternoon. 

While the contemporary English, French and 
Dutch reports of the execution are, as has been 
stated, in general agreement, there were some 
strange inconsistencies in their accounts. For 
instance, a French narrative 1 makes a quaint 
blunder over one of our principal courts of law 
(King's Bench) in the statement that the King 
was brought before ' an inferior judge named 
Kingsbinch (un juge subalterne qui s'appelle Kings- 
binc/i)? It is, however, concerning the identifica- 
tion of the executioners, which was a constant 
topic of argument for many years after the event, 
that the greatest divergence of opinion exists. 
Before the execution, a London paper 2 wrote 

1 Relation veritable de la morte barbare du Roy d 1 Angletcrre. Paris, 1 649. 

2 The Perfect Weekly Account, from Wednesday 24th January to 
Wednesday 3131 January, 1648/9. 

E 33 


that ' as Gregory Brandon, the ordinary execu- 
tioner, was reluctant, many of those that were 
formerly in the King's army have offered them- 
selves.' We find in a book published in 1649,* 
that Gregory Brandon's son, Richard, performed 
the deed, and died of remorse within six months. 
The French account referred to has it that the 
two masked executioners ' were believed to be 
Fairfax and Cromwell, because they were not 
seen by any one all that day ' ; but this, we know, 
is false. At the trial of one Hulett after the 
Restoration, a soldier named Gittens testified that 
Colonel Hewson had sworn thirty-eight of his 
men Hulett among them to secrecy, and then 
offered 100 anc ^ promotion to any one who 
would kill the King. All refused, but Gittens 
believed that he recognised Hulett on the scaffold. 
Other witnesses confirmed this, and Hulett was 
convicted and sentenced to death ; but the autho- 

1 The Confession of Richard Brandon, the Hangman. London, 1649. 



rities seem to have distrusted the evidence against 
him, as he was reprieved. 

A letter from one Kent, 1 written at Venice a 
few weeks after the King's death, states that ' a 
colonel, formerly a brazier, with his servant, both 
masked, were those who cut the thread of His 
Majesty's life.' This theory is to some extent 
confirmed by a story of Lilly the astrologer, 2 who 
tells us that on the next Sunday but one after the 
execution, Spavin, Secretary to Lieutenant-General 
Cromwell, with some other friends, came to dine 
with him, and various opinions were given with 
regard to the person who had slain the King. 
Spavin called Lilly aside, and told him that to 
his knowledge it was Lieutenant-Colonel Joyce 
who had done the deed. ' There is no man 
knows this but my master, Cromwell, Commis- 
sary Ireton, and myself This story got abroad 

1 Printed in Ellis's Original Letters, series u. vol. iii. London, 

2 W. Lilly's Hittory of Hit Life and Timet. London, 1715. 



after the Restoration ; and the Journals of the 
House of Commons record that on the 2nd June 
1660, Lilly was sent for, 'with a view to his 
discovering the person employed in putting to 
death his late Majesty, King Charles.' After 
the examination of Lilly, the Commons at once 
ordered Colonel Joyce and Hugh Peters, the 
fanatic preacher, 1 to be brought before them, 
but Joyce had fled to the Continent, and Peters 
was in hiding. The latter was, however, ar- 

1 A contemporary broadsheet of Strasburg asserts that the execu- 
tioners were ' Peter, formerly a preacher at Rotterdam, and Fox a 
colonel.' Now, Hugh Peters, who was in Anglican orders, always 
signed his name ' Peter,' and had been for some years a chaplain at 
Rotterdam. Though there is no direct evidence to identify Peters as 
one of the headsmen, the above extract is curious when taken in connec- 
tion with the examination of Lilly by the Commons, and the immediate 
order to arrest Peters as a result. Owing to his wild clamouring for the 
King's death, Peters was especially obnoxious to the Royalists. At 
his trial he said that he did not leave his chamber on the day of the 
execution ! One witness, however, swore that he saw two masked men 
go into a room after the death of the King, and that out of the room 
came Peters and the hangman ! 

It would have been better for Peters if he could have proved that he 
was publicly seen on the fatal day ! See also reference to Peters, p. 98. 




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rested, and executed on the i6th October. He 
denied all share in the execution of the King. 
It seems probable that Joyce was the heads- 
man, and if not Joyce, then Brandon. In the 
Sloane MSS. (185), at the British Museum, is a 
letter, dated 1741, from a missionary in South 
Carolina named Pigott, who writes, that when he 
resided in New England, one John Davis, who 
came there soon after the Restoration, was said 
to have been implicated in the Rebellion ; and 
on his deathbed confessed that he was John Dix- 
well, one of the regicide judges, and, further, ' that 
he was the very person who did sever the King's 
head from his shoulders.' John Dixwell was one 
of the regicides, and undoubtedly died in 1689, at 
Newhaven, Connecticut, where his tomb is, and 
where his descendants still flourish ; but the story 
of his having executed the King may be rejected. 
Bishop Juxon, as we shall see (p. 38), was kept 
in 'restraint' from the 27th to the 3ist January. 



He was questioned by the Parliamentary autho- 
rities immediately he left the scaffold on the 3Oth. 
They took from him the George, and the other 
articles given to him by the King, and also sundry 
papers which the King had entrusted to his care. 
Being asked to explain the mysterious word 
* Remember,' uttered by the King on the scaffold 
just previous to his death, the Bishop answered 
that it referred to previous conversations, and was 
merely to remind him to give to the Prince of 
Wales the George, 1 and to also beg the Prince 
to forgive his father's murderers. After the 
execution, the Garter was at once removed from 
the King's knee, and even the young Princess 
Elizabeth was in heartless fashion deprived of the 
two seals which her father had given her when 
he bade her farewell ; for we read in the 
Commons' Journals of the 3151 January, the day 
after the King's death : 

1 In corroboration of this, see letter from Charles u. to Mrs. Twisden, 
p. 63. 



c Commissary-General Ireton reports a paper of divers 
particulars touching the late King's body, his George, 
his Diamond and two seals. 

The Question being put, That the Diamond be sent 
to Charles Stuart, son of the late King, commonly 
called Prince of Wales ; it passed with the Negative. 

The Question being put, that the Garter be sent to 
him ; it passed with the Negative. 

The Question being put, that the George be sent to 
him ; it passed with the Negative. 

The Question being put that the seals be sent to 
him ; it passed with the Negative. 

Colonel Harrison, Sir John Danvers, etc. etc., or 
any three of them, are to consider of the Particulars 
presented concerning the King's body, and other things 
contained in that Paper presented by Commissary- 
General Ireton . . . and make Report to the House, etc. 

Ordered. That Dr. Juxon be discharged from any 
restraint, by any former order of the House.' l 

And thus ends the historical portion of my 
chronicle of the George worn by King Charles i. 
at his execution. 

1 On Saturday, zyth January, the House had 'ordered That Dr. 
Juxon have leave to go to, and continue with, the King in private, 
under the same restraint that the King is.' 










A GOOD deal was written and generally accepted 
on the subject of this George of scaffold fame in 
the generations which followed upon the King's 
death ; but we soon find ourselves on ground that 
is hardly firm. 

In the year 1672, Ashmole, 1 Windsor Herald, 
and founder of the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford, 
published his Institution of the Garter in which he 

* The George which his late Majesty wore at the time 
of his martyrdom was curiously cut in an Onyx, set 

1 Elias Ashmole was born in 1617 and died in 1692. 


about with 2 1 large Table Diamonds, in the fashion of a 
Garter : On the back of the George was the picture of 
his Queen, rarely well limned, set in a case of gold, 
the lid neatly enamelled with goldsmith's work and sur- 
rounded with another Garter adorned with a like number 
of equal sized Diamonds, as was the foreside.' 

Ashmole's book contains three illustrations of 
this George by the famous engraver Hollar, 
which I reproduce (p. 42) : One is a view of the 
front of the ornament, showing the Saint killing 
the Dragon ; another is a view of the back, open 
and displaying the Queen's portrait ; the third is 
a view of the back with a hinged lid closed over 
the portrait. No. I, the front view, shows 
twenty-one diamonds ; No. 2, the portrait view, 
twenty-two ; and No. 3, the one with the hinged 
lid closed over the portrait, twenty-one, though 
the last two illustrations are intended to be from 
the same aspect. Hollar's engraving is dated I666. 1 

1 Wenceslaus Hollar was born at Prague in 1607. He became a 
skilful engraver on copper ; and, owing to the patronage of the Earl of 

F 41 


In 1 68 1 Sir Thomas Herbert, aforementioned, 
then seventy-five years old, wrote his memoirs of 
the King's closing days ; and in them he stated 
that the George which the King wore at his 

* was cut in an onyx with great curiosity, and set 
about with twenty-one fair diamonds, and the reverse 
side with the like number.' 

The next noteworthy mention of the George 
occurs in the Letters of the famous Madame de 
Sevigne. A jewel with such a sad and personal 
history would naturally be for ever sacred to the 
Stuarts; and it was generally supposed that 
James n. took this precious relic with him when 
he fled to France in 1688. Madame de Sevigne 
writes, under date of the 28th of February 

* The King of England (the exiled James n.) started 

Arundel, famed for his acquisition of inscribed marbles now at Oxford, 
settled in England about 1637, where he resided, except for the period 
1645-52, until his death in 1677. See also note, p. 77. 



o .-x: 

5 1 


S l 



this morning to go to Ireland. He yesterday gave the 
Order of the Garter to M. de Lauzun l in the Church of 
our Lady. They there read a sort of oath, which 
constitutes the ceremony ; the King put on him the 
ribbon on the other shoulder 2 from our Order, and a 
"George" which came from the late King, his father, 
and which is enriched with diamonds. It is worth quite 
ten thousand crowns.' 

We may be sure that the lady is mistaken here. 
King James in exile, was not in a position to give 
away jewels worth ten thousand crowns ; and it is 
certain that if the George in question was the 
one that was handed by his father, Charles i., 
to Bishop Juxon on the scaffold, he would not 
have presented it to de Lauzun or any one else. 
What the King did, was to use the George 
he was wearing at the time for the mere 
purpose of ' investing * the Duke, receiving it 

1 The Duke de Lauzun had assisted the Queen in her escape from 

2 The ribbon of the Garter is worn over the left shoulder ; that of 
the French Order of the Saint Esprit was worn over the right one. 



back again after the ceremony. In the Marquis 
de Ruvigny's "Jacobite Peerage we read ' that 
the infant Prince of Wales, the Duke of Powis, 
the Duke of Melfort and the Duke de Lauzun all 
received the Garter from James on the 1 9th April, 
1692.' Doubtless the King, before his departure 
for Ireland in 1689, invested the Duke with the 
Order; and in 1692, after his return, made 
some announcement or registration of the 

The sacred George so intimately connected 
with the martyrdom of Charles i. would naturally 
be supposed to have passed from James n. to his 
son the Old Pretender, and again, from the latter 
to his son the Young Pretender, who had adopted 
the title of Count of Albany. It is, therefore, 
quite what we should expect when we read in 
Notes and Queries (ser. ix. vol. ii. p. 264) an 
extract from a letter written at Rome in December 
1785, which describes the Count of Albany as 



wearing the George and Garter, 1 ' which is 
interesting as being the one King Charles had on 
when he was beheaded, and that he desired to be 
sent to his son/ 

These passages show that there was a general 
belief that the scaffold George had been recovered, 
that James n. had carried it with him into exile, 
and that from him it had passed to his son and 
grandson. This theory was, indeed, a plausible 
one, and it was held by the Prince of Wales, 
afterwards George iv. This Prince was naturally 
greatly interested in the jewel ; and, as the Young 
Pretender was old and broken in health, and his 
heir was a Cardinal, the Prince thought some 
arrangement for its return to England might be 
possible. Accordingly, as Sir Ralph Payne, 2 who 

1 The Garter the King wore at his execution was sold to Ireton, 
and was not recovered at the Restoration (p. 61), so that the Young 
Pretender could not have had it. The statement as to the George is, 
in my opinion, equally inaccurate. 

2 Sir Ralph Payne, born in 1738, was son of a Governor of St. 
Christopher's. He was many years in Parliament, was created K.B. 



was a close personal friend of the Prince, was 
contemplating a journey to Italy, the latter re- 
quested Sir Ralph to see if there was any chance 
of procuring the iewel. Sir Ralph arrived at 
Genoa at the end of 1787 ; and on the 3Oth or 
3ist of January I788, 1 the Young Pretender died 
at Rome, having with him his natural daughter 
whom he had styled Duchess of Albany, and who 
had resided with him for some years. A letter 
from Sir Ralph to the Prince of Wales 2 will 
continue the story most effectively 

' ROME, May 28//;, 1788. 

SIR, My very anxious desire of bringing to some 
state of decision, the event of the commission with 
which your Royal Highness honoured me previously to 
my departure from England, respecting the George of 
the Order of the Garter, which King Charles the First, in 
his dying moments, delivered into the hands of Bishop 

in 1771, and Lord Lavington in 1795. ^ e wa8 tw ' ce Governor of 
the Leeward Islands, where he died, childless, in 1807. 

1 Both dates are given. Probably some writers affected the 3Oth as 
being the anniversary of his great-grandfather's execution. 

2 In my possession. 

4 6 


Juxon, and which descended to the late Count of 
Albany, has detained me at Rome some weeks. . . . On 
hearing of the death of the Count of Albany, I lost no 
time in procuring an introduction to the Duchess of 
Albany, daughter to the late Count, and heiress to all 
his jewels. ... I look upon this business to be accom- 
plished, provided your Royal Highness shall approve of 
the two conditions which have been exacted of me. . . . 
The first of them is your Royal High ness's royal 
word that, your Royal Highness being put in possession 
of the desired object, the transaction shall remain a 
profound secret in your Royal Highness's breast. The 
Duchess's whole dependence (or very nearly the whole 
of it) is upon her uncle the Cardinal York, who allows 
her 12,000 Roman crowns a year, and the bulk of 
whose fortune she will probably inherit at his death. . . . 
As the Cardinal considers himself, at present, successor 
to all his brother's rights and dignities (imaginary as 
they are), he has withdrawn from the Duchess all the 
badges and distinctions of the different British Orders 
which belonged to the late Count of Albany, and which 
the late Count constantly wore. Fortunately the George 
which belonged to Charles i., was at the time of the 
Count's death at his palace at Florence ; and, not having 
been delivered by the Duchess to the Cardinal among 



the other ensigns of the different Orders, it has escaped 
his attention. ... If ever, by any unfortunate accident, 
the Cardinal should arrive at the knowledge that she had 
not only reserved from him this memorable badge, but 
had parted with it, particularly to a Prince whose House 
he considers as inimical to his Family ; his temper, which 
is naturally impetuous, would certainly be exasperated to 
a degree most fatal to his niece, whom he would probably 
in the first instance turn out of doors, after stripping her 
of every comfort, as well as circumstance of magnificence 
in which she has been supported since the death of her 
Father. . . . Your Royal Highness will probably agree 
that the Duchess has some colour of reason for desiring 
that formal pledge of secrecy which is the preliminary 
condition of her cession of the George. . . . 

I am now to state to your Royal Highness the second 
preliminary. . . . Your Royal Highness is to be informed 
that a certain settlement on Queen Mary, Consort of 
James n., which was in every respect properly recorded, 
and explicitly recognised by several subsequent Acts of 
Parliament, was due to her, with interest, at the period 
of the Revolution. . . . The late Count of Albany had 
begun to institute a renewal of this claim, but did not 
live to make any material progress in it. The Duchess, 
his daughter, succeeds to the claim as heiress to her 


Father's moiety of the debt, and assignee to that of her 
uncle the Cardinal, who has made it over to her. She 
means to revive the application which had formerly been 
preferred to the Court of Great Britain. . . . All that 
is desirable to be done at present (and this is the sub- 
stance of the second condition which has been proposed 
to me) is, that it should be made to appear to the 
Duchess that whenever she may hereafter think proper 
to revive the subject, she may reasonably advert to your 
Royal Highness as a friend and auxiliary in the prosecu- 
tion of her claim. . . . 

The Duchess, a few days ago, in showing me a variety 
of the family jewels which have devolved to her by the 
will of her father, the late Count of Albany, put into my 
hands the George in question, which belonged to King 
Charles i. The St. George and Dragon are cut upon an 
onyx which is encircled by a single row of ten diamonds 
and rubies, set alternately, and, as well as I could measure 
the size of it by my eye, the length of the oval may be 
about two inches and a half: the breadth proportionable.' 

The settlement on Queen Mary (wife of James n.) 

alluded to in my kinsman's letter provided that she 

should receive 50,000 a year during widowhood. 

In the negotiations for the Treaty of Ryswick of 

G 49 


1697, tne King of France, on behalf of the exiled 
Stuarts, claimed that this payment was due to 
Queen Mary from 1688, in which year her 
husband was deposed. William in. was inclined 
to admit the liability, but nothing was paid to the 
ex-Queen. James n. died in 1701, and his widow 
survived until 1718. The attempts of the Pre- 
tenders in 1715 and 1745 made it hopeless for any 
Stuart to expect favours from the British Govern- 
ment ; though the Count of Albany persisted in 
his claim that payment of Queen Mary's income 
for at least the seventeen years of her widow- 
hood, if not for the thirty years after her deposi- 
tion, was due to him as her heir. Late in his life 
he petitioned Louis xvi. to allow his ambassador 
in London to move, but the French King refused. 
Then the Earl of Pembroke, who had lived much in 
Italy, was induced to approach the British Ministry; 
but this effort was also unsuccessful. English 
lawyers were next consulted, and advice to apply 



to the Court of King's Bench was given. The 
Stuart princes, however, would not hear of this. 
Such was the state of the case when Sir Ralph 
Payne saw the Duchess of Albany. As she had 
been declared legitimate by her royal father, she 
considered that she was heiress of his share of his 
grandmother's property; and the Cardinal of York 
had, on the 8th May 1788, assigned to her, by a 
document now in my possession, 'all his rights in 
the arrears of the dowry of the late Queen Mary, 
his grandmother, widow of the said James n., 
King of Great Britain.' On the 3oth May, two 
days after Sir Ralph Payne's letter, before the 
Consul of France at Rome (in a paper also in my 
possession), 'milady Charlotte Stuart, Duchesse 
d'Albanie, par ces presentes, donne plein pouvoir 
a M. le Chevalier Ralph Payne, d'agir en son nom, 
pour le recouvrement des arrierages du douaire de 
la feu Reine Marie,' etc. This was the claim in 
support of which the influence of the Prince of 



Wales was solicited by the Duchess of Albany as 
a return compliment to her for parting with the 
George owned by her late father, the Young 

The reply 1 of the Prince of Wales to Sir Ralph 
Payne's letter runs 

'CARLTON HOUSE, June 28^, 1788. 
MY DEAR SIR RALPH, I return you many thanks 
for the trouble you have had on my account on the sub- 
ject of the George, and I feel very sensibly the obliging 
conduct of the Duchess of Albany on this occasion. 

I am much indebted to you for letting me into the 
delicate situation in which the Duchess stands, and the 
risque (sic) she incurs in parting with the article in 
question ; and, as it serves to heighten the favour to be 
conferred in the greatest degree, so will it be an additional 
tie, if any such could be wanting, to the most punctual 
observance of my sacred word that the transaction shall 
remain a profound secret. . . . 

From your statement of the Duchess of Albany's 
claims in right of her father, without any other considera- 
tion than what is suggested to me by my own honour, I 
feel myself bound to give every assistance in my power 

1 In my possession. 


towards the accomplishment of her wishes whenever her 
claims shall be transmitted hither. I am, my dear 
Payne, yours sincerely, GEORGE P.' 

Sir Ralph Payne's papers contain no further 
information as to whether his negotiations were 
finally successful ; but it is more than probable 
that they were, because there are signs which 
indicate that the Prince of Wales assisted the 
Duchess in her claims. I possess a letter from Mr. 
Dundas, afterwards Viscount Melville, to Lord 
Loughborough, afterwards Lord High Chancellor 
and Earl of Rosslyn, in which the former recom- 
mends that the Prince should refrain from aiding 
the Duchess. However that may be, the Duchess 
died in November 1789, and with her all her 
shadowy pretensions. From various sources we learn 
that, on the death of her father, she delivered to her 
uncle, the Cardinal, the Crown jewels of James n., 
a sceptre, the Order of the Garter, and the Cross 
of St. Andrew worn by Prince Charles Edward. 



The following note, dated March 1790, is 
written on a fly-leaf in the British Museum copy 
of a book called Correspondance Intercept^ 

c King James, when he left England, carried some of 
the jewels of the Crown with him. All the jewels he 
had, and which still remain in his family, were : A collar 
of St. George set with diamonds ; Two medals of that 
Order, one of them set with diamonds and the other 
with rubies and diamonds. These jewels are now in the 
possession of the Cardinal Duke of York.' 

The writer adds ' that these jewels had been in 
the possession of the Duchess of Albany.' The 
two ' medals ' here mentioned were obviously two 
Lesser Georges; and the second is evidently the 
one seen by Sir Ralph Payne in the hands of the 
Duchess. But the writer of the note, whoever 
he was, could hardly have known whether all 
these jewels were in the actual possession of the 
Cardinal. He had probably seen them in the 
hands of the Young Pretender or his daughter, 
and had taken it for granted that they passed to 




O. Humphrry 11. A. J77G. 

p. 1*1 > 


the Cardinal after the death of his elder brother. 
By the Treaty of Tolentino, in 1797, Bonaparte 
exacted a very large payment from the Pope ; and 
it is known that the Cardinal sacrificed most of his 
valuables in order to assist His Holiness. A few 
years later, King George in., learning that the 
Cardinal was in great poverty, asked him to accept 
a reasonable allowance, which he did ; and, in 
gratitude, the Cardinal requested his executors to 
offer to the Prince of Wales any objects of historical 
value that he might possess at his death. He died 
in 1807, when his executors found only two or 
three articles worthy of being sent to the Prince : a 
ruby ring, a Cross of St. Andrew which had been 
worn by Charles i., and a Greater George and 
Collar of the Garter, all of which are now pre- 
served in Edinburgh Castle. It is, therefore, pro- 
bable that the George set with rubies and diamonds 
which Sir Ralph Payne saw in the possession of the 
Duchess of Albany, did not pass to the Cardinal. 





FEELING satisfied that the George set with dia- 
monds and rubies which Sir Ralph Payne pro- 
bably recovered from the Duchess of Albany, was 
not the jewel described by Ashmole and Herbert 
(pp. 40-42), and suspecting that the sacred emblem 
was not carried from England by James n., I pro- 
ceeded to further investigations. I now place 
before the reader some facts which, I consider, 
prove that the scaffold George was recovered by 
Charles n. in the year following the execution of 
his father, and which also form a basis for a 
reasonable identification of the genuine relic. 

The jewels received from the King on the 
scaffold, or taken from his body, and the seals 



which he gave to his daughter, the Princess 
Elizabeth, the day before his execution, were, 
as we have seen, seized by order of the Commons, 
who forbade their being forwarded to the King's 
son. They would, therefore, doubtless remain in 
the hands of the Parliamentary officers, pending 
the passing of an Act appointing a Board of 
Trustees to collect, appraise, and sell all the 
personal property of the late King, the Queen, 
and the Prince. This Act was passed on July 
4, 1649. 

In the MSS. of Bowyer, the learned printer, 
quoted in Nichol's Literary Anecdotes (i. 526), 
occurs the following passage 

* Mrs. Fotherly of Rickmansworth, daughter of Sir 
Ralph Whitfield, first Serjeant-at-law to Charles i. and 
grand-daughter to Sir Henry Spelman, 1 declared to Mr. 
Wagstaffe 2 that within two days of the King's death, 

1 This famous antiquary and historian was born in 1 564, and died in 

* Thomas WagstafFe was born in 1645. He was the first rector of 

H 57 


she saw, in a Spanish leather case, three of these prayers 
said to be delivered to the Bishop of London at his 
death, from whom they were taken away by the officers 
of the Army ; and it was from one of those officers, in 
whose custody they then were, that she had the favour 
to see them ; l and that the person who showed her those 
prayers, showed her also the " George," with the Queen's 
picture in it, and two seals which were the King's.' 

Now what officer of the Army would be more 
likely to have in his custody the George and 
the other articles taken from Bishop Juxon than 
Colonel Thomlinson, who had actually seen them 
handed to the Bishop by the King on the scaffold ? 
If Juxon had the choice, he would doubtless have 
given them to the Colonel, whom he knew had 
been so considerate to the King in his affliction. 

the united parishes of St. Margaret Pattens and St. Gabriel Fenchurch, 
and was consecrated (non-juring) Bishop of Ipswich in 1694. He 
died in 1712. His son was Anglican chaplain to the Old Pretender. 

1 Three prayers are printed in Works of King Charles /., civil and 
sacred, published by Sam 1 . Browne, Hague, 1650, which this book 
tells us were taken from Bishop Juxon as he left the scaffold. A 
curious confirmation of Mrs. Fotherly's statement. 



The next step in the history of the George 
would be its sale among the King's goods. In 
the Harleian Papers at the British Museum are 
two (duplicate) lists (Harleian 4898 and 7352) 
of these goods, with the appraisements, the 
prices realised, and the names of the purchasers. 
Many thousands of lots are enumerated in the 
sales-lists of the goods of Charles I., and some of 
them are amusingly interesting. Thus, the 
famous ' cartoons of Raphaell ' were appraised at 
300, but found no purchaser. The picture on 
which the highest value was placed was ' The 
Madonna done by Raphaell,' which was appraised 
at 2000, and * sold in a dividend as appraised.' 
This probably means that it was sold to a 

The Puritans, though they ordered the King's 
statue to be broken up (p. 69), were quite alive to 
the commercial value of the nude in art ; and 
4 a sleeping Venus by Corregio ' was * sold in 



a dividend' for 1000, its appraisement; and 
'the great Venus and Parde done by Tytsian,' 
valued at ^5> was so ^ to Col. Hutchins for 
jT6oo. The ' unicorn's horn from Windsor ' was 
valued at 5 I but was not sold. It was 
returned to Windsor at the Restoration, and is, 
perhaps, still there. The Act authorising these 
sales prescribed the reservation of goods useful for 
State purposes to a fixed amount, and we find in 
the lists 

c Ten pieces of Arras hangings ... of Abraham/ 
appraised at ^8,260 . . . 'now in the use of ye Lord 


'Sold 1649, Aug. i, to Mr. Jno. Leigh, goods for 
109, 55., which were for the use of ye then Lieut.- 
Gen r11 Cromwell. 

Aug. 15. To the Rt. Honble. ye late Lady Crom- 
well, goods for 200.' 

In these sale lists of the property of Charles i. 
I also find the following items : 


* Reed, from A Garter of blew vellvett sett with 
Captain Preston 412 small dyamonds valued at 160 

Sold Mr. Ireton ye jrd Jany. 
1650, for 205.' 

* Reed, from A George of gold sett with 

Coll. Thomlins dyamonds, valued at . . ^70 
Sold Mr. W. Widmor ye 17 
May 1650 for 70.' 

As Preston was one of the officers of his 
household (p. 32) to whom the King's body was 
entrusted, and was also Keeper of the Robes, we 
may be sure that the Garter above-mentioned 
was that worn by the King on the scaffold. The 
purchaser was a brother of Cromwell's son-in-law 
Ireton, who reported on the King's jewels, his 
body, etc. (p. 38). This brother was Lord Mayor 
of London in 1658. At the Restoration he 
was ordered to return the Garter, but he had 
probably broken it up and disposed of the 
diamonds. However this may be, he could not 
produce it; and he was accordingly sued in an 



action of Trover and Conversion in the King's 
Bench, in Trinity Term, 1664, and condemned 
to pay 205 and 10 costs. 

In connection with the George mentioned 
in the sale list as having been sold to Mr. 
Widmor, there is no doubt that ' Coll. Thomlins * 
is a clerical error, or abbreviation, for c Colonel 
Thomlinson.' As one of the chief Parliamentary 
officers who had been on the scaffold, it is, as we 
have already said, highly probable that Colonel 
Thomlinson was entrusted with the objects taken 
from Juxon pending the appointment of con- 
tractors for the sale of the late King's goods ; and 
that he was also the officer of the Army in whose 
custody Mrs. Fotherly saw the George just after 
the King's death. If, therefore, this George did 
come from Colonel Thomlinson, of which there 
is small doubt, it is practically certain that it was 
the famous George of the scaffold. 

But there is even stronger evidence to this 


effect. Among the papers preserved by the 
Evelyn family with their celebrated ancestor's 
Diary, is a copy of the following remarkable 
letter, written by Charles n. twenty months after 
his father's death (printed in Bray's edition of 
Evelyn, 1851, vol. iv. p. 196) : 

< MRIS. TWISDEN, Having assurance of your readiness 
to perform what I desired of you by my letter of the 
yth February from Jersey according to your Brother's 
promise, in order to the conveying to me the George 
and Seals left me by my blessed Father, I have again 
employed this bearer (in whom I have very much con- 
fidence) to desire you to deliver the said George and 
Seals into his hand for me, assuring you that, as I shall 
have great reason thereby to acknowledge your own and 
your Brother's civilities and good affections in a particular 
so dearly valued by me, so I will not be wanting, when 
by God's blessing I shall be enabled, deservedly to 
recompense you both for so acceptable a service done to 
Your loving Friend, CHARLES R. 

ST. JoHNsroN, 1 2 O'ter 1650.' 

1 St. Johnstone is another name for Perth. The letter is dated a 
month after the battle of Dunbar. 

6 3 


Now, this Mrs. Twisden was a sister of Colonel 
Thomlinson, and the letter proves that her brother 
was in negotiation, through her, with the young 
King, Charles n., for the return of the scaffold 
George before February 1650. There can be 
no doubt that these negotiations did result in 
the return of the George to the King, because 
Mrs. Twisden's husband, and her brother Colonel 
Thomlinson, were both markedly favoured at the 
Restoration. Mr. Twisden, though he had been 
made a Serjeant-at-law under Cromwell, was not 
only confirmed in that rank when Charles n. 
returned in 1660, but was made a Judge and 
knighted in that year. Colonel Thomlinson had 
served the Commonwealth until the end ; yet he 
alone of the persons connected with the late 
King's death was not prosecuted at the Restora- 
tion ; and in the Act of Free and General Pardon 
(xii. Car. n., cap. xi. s. 44), he was excepted by 
name from those declared incapable of bearing 

6 4 


any civil or military office for having given 
sentence of death in any of the late illegal Courts. 

It may, therefore, be taken as certain that 
Colonel Thomlinson had possession of the scaffold 
George and the two seals of Charles I. ; that when 
he handed them in to the contractors for the 
sales, he kept a close watch on them, and through 
his sister, Mrs. Twisden, corresponded with 
Charles n. with a view to recovering them for 
him ; that he induced an agent, Widmor, to buy 
the articles in for him at the sales, so that he, 
the Colonel, might eventually restore them to the 
King ; and that he did so restore them. 

In the MS. accounts of the 'Trustees for the 
sales of the late King's goods ' at the Public Record 
Office, Widmor appears in a position which much 
strengthens the suggestion that he purchased the 
George from Colonel Thomlinson with a view to 
its eventual return to Charles n. 

In the Act authorising these sales, Cromwell's 



Parliament very properly ordered that the debts 
of the late King were to be the first charge on 
the receipts, and among these debts were included 
wages of his servants, and grants to such of these 
as were 'necessitous.' On May the 24th, 1650, 
the Trustees for the sales, in consideration of his 
name appearing ' in the Necessitous List of the 
late King's servants/ authorise the Treasurers to 
' make payment unto Wm. Widmor of eighty-one 
pounds in part of what was allowed him in the 
first list.' This document is receipted on the 
same day by 'Will. Widmor.' On the i8th 
June, 1650, Widmor acknowledges the receipt of 
a similar payment of one hundred and thirteen 
pounds ' in part of what was allowed/ etc., to 
which, however, is added the limitation that the 
sum ' is to be discounted in consideration of the 
contract by him made ye 28th May, 1650.' 
Again, on the 5th August, he acknowledges a 
similar payment of 32, 5$. 3d., ' to be discounted 


for and in consideration of his contract dated 
2 July, 1650.' 

Returning to the sales lists in the British 
Museum, we find, in the summary of accounts, 
these three entries : 

'1650 sold, 

May 14. To Mr. Wm. Widmor goods for 81. 
* * * * * 

May 28. To Mr. Wm. Widmor goods for i 13. 

July 2. To Mr. Wm. Widmor goods for 45, ys. 8d.' 

What is proved by these documents ? First 
and foremost that Widmor had been a servant of 
the King, and was, therefore, just the person to 
whom Thomlinson would apply for assistance in 
recovering the jewels for that King's son. From 
a comparison of the documents it appears that the 
Trustees granted Widmor, as a necessitous servant 
of the late King, a sum of 226, 55. jd. (the total 
of the three items which they authorised their 


Treasurers to pay him). 1 He then expressed his 
wish to take this sum out in what we may term ' a 
contra account/ in the form of goods at the sales. 
The Trustees therefore paid him the amount (or 
probably debited him with it, without any passing 
of money) of his first purchase (81) on account ; 
and so with that of his second purchase ; but 
when it came to his third purchase (45, 75. 8d.) 
there was only 32, 55. 3d. left to his credit. 
They therefore paid him that sum, and he had to 
make up the balance of 13, 2S - 5^. out of his 
pocket. The George was apparently paid for out . 
of his first or second grant. It is to be noted that 
it is not always possible to trace goods in the sales 
list, as many small articles were put together as a 
' parcel of plate,' etc. Moreover, the items were 
entered in the lists as they came into the hands of 

1 If this seems to be a large sum to grant to a servant, it may be 
observed that the term ' servant ' in the King's household might imply 
an officer of almost any rank. It was applied to Sir Thomas Herbert, 
who was a cousin of Lord Pembroke. 



the Trustees, the names of purchaser and price 
being added when they were sold, perhaps two or 
three years later. I am, for instance, unable to 
trace the ' seals ' ; nor can I find particulars of the 
sale of several Georges which T. Beauchamp is 
stated by Ashmole to have bought for i 36 (p. 87), 
though the summary of the sales records 

* 1651, Nov. 3. To Thos. Beauchamp goods for 136.' 

We know that many pictures and jewels were 
bought at these sales by Stuart sympathisers with 
the intention of eventually returning them to 
Charles n. For instance, this T. Beauchamp, 
who was clerk to the contractors, purchased 
many hundreds of pounds' worth of jewels that 
had belonged to Charles i. ; and after the Restora- 
tion he received large sums from the Treasury for 
discovering and effecting their return. So, too, 
the brass statue of Charles i., which is now at 
Charing Cross, was sold by Cromwell's Parliament 


to one Rivett, a brazier in Holborn, under strict 
conditions that he should break it up. Rivett, 
however, buried it and produced it after the 
Restoration, probably to his great advantage. If 
Colonel Thomlinson restored the jewel, it is only 
fair to him, as a Cromwellian, to say that there 
was no disloyalty to the Commonwealth in his 
action. The restoration of the George to 
Charles n. was of no political effect ; the Com- 
monwealth had received its value in money ; and 
as Colonel Thomlinson had learned to respect 
Charles i. in his last days, and had earned his 
regard, it was merely an act of humanity to restore 
to the bereaved son a relic that had received 
so awful a consecration. 

I consider, therefore, it is proved that Charles n., 
in 1650 or 1651, recovered the George which 
his father wore on the scaffold. 



an adapted from VattdycVt picture of Chart en I now at Windsor. 

(8ee uoiw plate* p. 102). 

nr of Charles I after the Rrttoratio*. 

(8* BOto. Ml plUM I 




So far, we have mentioned three definite theories 
touching the George worn by Charles i. on the 
scaffold : 

(1) That it was the George drawn by Hollar 

and described by Ashmole in his book, 
to which I shall presently refer again 
more fully. 

(2) That it was the George, set with diamonds 

and rubies, shown to Sir Ralph Payne 
by the Duchess of Albany, which, it is 
evident, was not the one drawn by 
Hollar and described by Ashmole. It 
is also certain this one could not have 



been the George set with diamonds only 
that was bought by Widmor. 
(3) That it was the George purchased by 
Widmor in the sales of the King's 
goods, in support of which theory, and 
in the subsequent return of the jewel to 
Charles n., I have offered very strong 

Now, as to the George drawn by Hollar and 
described by Ashmole in his book on the Garter 
(p. 40), I have come to the conclusion that this 
cannot be taken to represent the one worn by 
the King at his martyrdom. 

At first sight, indeed, the evidence in its favour 
appears strong: Hollar's engraving dated 1666, 
Ashmole's description (p. 40) published in 1672, 
and Sir Thomas Herbert's account of it (p. 42) 
written in 1681, are all in perfect agreement as to 
the number of diamonds it contained. But it is 
this very agreement which gives cause for suspicion. 

7 2 


Herbert's description, as given in his Memoirs, 
was written when he was seventy-five years old, 
thirty-two years after the King's death ; and he 
accompanied it with a letter to Dugdale l con- 
taining this passage 

* Seeing it is your further desire I should recollect 
what I can well remember upon that sad subject more at 
large, I am willing to satisfy you therein so far forth as 
my memory will assist. Some short notes of occurrences 
I then took which in their long interval of time and 
several removes with my family are either lost or mislaid, 
so as at present I cannot find them.' 

Now how could this septuagenarian remember 
with such accuracy the number of stones in a 
jewel which he may have seen a few times thirty- 
two years before ? And to whom were his letter 
and memoir addressed ? To Dugdale, the father- 
in-law of Ashmole, the latter being the author of 
that Institution of the Garter which contains Hollar's 

1 Sir William Dugdale, the celebrated antiquarian and author, 1605 
1686, was Garter principal King of Arms under Charles it. 

K 73 


engraving. Ashmole's book had been published 
nine years before Herbert wrote, and Herbert was 
doubtless familiar with it as being a work written 
by his friend's son-in-law. If Herbert's account 
of the scaffold George be compared with Ash- 
mole's (pp. 40, 42), the verbal coincidences 
suffice to prove that he merely repeated Ashmole's 
description. It is equally demonstrable that Ash- 
mole's description, published in 1672, was written 
' up to ' Hollar's engraving of 1666. If this view 
be accepted, then these three witnesses are reduced 
to one : Hollar or rather Ashmole, for it is the 
latter who asserts that the illustration by Hollar 
represented the scaffold George. 

And what was Hollar's position ? He was 
employed, not to reproduce this particular George 
of the scaffold, but to illustrate Ashmole's large 
book, which contains several plates by him, in 
which all the insignia of the Garter are repre- 
sented. In no list, in no collection, is there now 



to be found a George at all resembling the one in 
Hollar's drawing. 

It is, however, certain that Charles i. at one time 
did possess a George more or less resembling the 
one drawn by Hollar for Ashmole's book. Hollar 
came to London about 1634, and for ten years 
was largely employed by Charles i., and was also 
drawing-master to the Prince of Wales (Charles n.). 
Several engraved portraits of the King by this 
artist are extant that are excellent likenesses. 
These portraits were no doubt taken from life, 
and in all of them the King wears a George more 
or less similar to the one depicted in Ashmole's 
book. In the very fine engraving, after a 
portrait by Mytens (p. 74), the George which 
the King is wearing resembles the one drawn 
by Hollar for Ashmole, even to the exceptional 
peculiarity of the horse, on which the saint is 
mounted, galloping to the left, instead of to the 
right, as is its usual position. 



The most probable theory is that Hollar being 
asked by Ashmole to illustrate his book, and 
recollecting a George with the Queen's portrait 
in it, which he had seen the King wearing some 
years before his execution, described it to the 
author as being the one worn on the scaffold. 
Ashmole would naturally appropriate a sug- 
gestion which would add so much interest 
to his book, and so Hollar sketched a 
George for him from memory. It is most 
unlikely that the artist could have recalled 
so accurately the exact number of the stones 
with which the George he recollected the 
King wearing was ornamented, for he drew 
it in 1666, seventeen years after the King's 
death, and a still longer period since he had 
last seen it, for Hollar was abroad for some years 
before the tragedy of Whitehall. In any case it 
is clear that he did not draw his sketch from a 
George that was before him, for he blunders over 


the number of stones in the back of the jewel 
(illustration, p. 42). l - 

For these reasons it is evident that Hollar 
drew from memory a George he had seen Charles i. 
wearing many years previously ; that he added 
the portrait of the Queen to it because he knew 
that the King formerly wore a George con- 
taining one; and that he assumed, without any 
real grounds for doing so, that the jewel he re- 
membered was the one the King wore at his execu- 
tion. 2 Further, there is in the Royal Collection at 
Windsor a miniature of Queen Henrietta Maria, by 
P. Oliver, which I have been graciously permitted 
to inspect. This miniature of the Queen and the 

1 Hollar even omits the scroll or Garter and its motto. The motto 
alone makes the Lesser George a Garter decoration, and every such 
George shows one as a matter of course. 

2 Hollar served as a Royalist soldier, was taken prisoner by the 
Parliamentarians in 1645, allowed to return to the Continent soon after, 
and returned to England in 1652. He was abroad, therefore, from 
four years before the King's death till three years after, and, except 
from hearsay, would know nothing of the scaffold George. 



likeness of her given by Hollar in his drawing (p. 42) , 
resemble each other so closely as to suggest that 
the latter was drawn from or ' after ' the miniature 
at Windsor, and, therefore, not from a portrait in 
any George, either the famous one or another. 

Ashmole, in his book, is very full and accurate 
as to the history and location of the jewels he de- 
scribes. He gives us, for instance, all the particu- 
lars of the recovery by Charles n. of the George 
which that King was forced to abandon after the 
battle of Worcester, as well as of several Georges 
that were sold by the Trustees for the late King's 
goods. Yet he has not a word to say concerning 
this all-important George drawn for his book by 
Hollar, except that it was worn by Charles I. on 
the scaffold, twenty-three years before ! Though 
he writes that it contained forty-two diamonds 
and a portrait, he apparently had no idea where it 
was, or even if it was in existence when he wrote. 1 

1 I have shown that Charles u. recovered the scaffold George, but 



This silence on his part is the more noticeable 
because not only does he record (as we shall see 
presently) the history in full of various other 
Georges, but he had, in May 1662, been appointed 
one of the 'Commissioners' for recovering the late 
King's goods. If Ashmole had been able to do so, 
he would naturally have traced the history of the 
sacred and historic jewel of the scaffold which 
had been officially referred to the House of Com- 
mons on the day after the King's execution. 

The inference is that the George drawn for 
Ashmole by Hollar was not the one worn by 
Charles i. at his execution ; that Ashmole was 
not cognisant of the fact that, at the time he 
wrote, the genuine ornament had been restored to 
Charles n., through the negotiation of Colonel 
Thomlinson and his sister, Mrs. Twisden (p. 63) ; 

Ashmole was evidently ignorant of the fact. If he had known this, 
or knew where the relic was, he would assuredly have said so in his 



and that, in fact, he knew nothing about the 
scaffold George beyond the suggestion of Hollar. 

There can be small doubt that Hollar drew 
from memory a George he had seen the King 
wearing some twenty years before, long before, 
that is, the execution at Whitehall, and that 
Ashmole then wrote a description of it as being 
the one Charles wore at his martyrdom, though 
neither artist nor author could have known what 
the jewel was really like which the King gave 
to Bishop Juxon on the scaffold. But they, 
perhaps, naturally imagined that the King went to 
his death wearing over his heart the badge which 
Hollar remembered as containing a portrait of the 
Queen, whom her husband had not seen since 
her flight to France in 1644. 

It is, on the other hand, very likely that Charles's 

notably fine taste led him to discard the inartistic 

George, depicted by Hollar in Ashmole's book, 

for the much more elegant jewel I shall presently 



describe, and that he had the portrait transferred 
from the former to the latter, or a new one 
inserted in it. The older George would then 
probably be dismantled, and may have been 
among the ' broken ' ones l that Charles described 
to Herbert as being all that was left to him of 
his worldly goods (p. 22). 

With regard to the George shown to Sir Ralph 
Payne by the Duchess of Albany at Rome in 1788, 
I am equally incredulous. Sir Ralph makes no 
mention of its containing a portrait, which he 
could not well have failed to notice had it been 
present ; and even if he did handle it without 
detecting this feature, we may be sure that, if it 
existed, the Duchess, with her woman's senti- 
mentality, would have pointed out to him this 
historic proof of the identity of the jewel with 
the one of scaffold fame. The row of ten diamonds 

1 Broken ' Georges, I take to mean cast-off Georges from which 
the jewels had been removed ; for such badges especially the King's 
would not have been liable to accidental damage. 

L 8l 


and rubies set alternately round its margin shows, 
moreover, that it could not have been the George 
drawn for Ashmole by Hollar, or the one pur- 
chased in the sales of the King's goods by Widmor. 

Though from the letter of Dundas to Lord 
Loughborough (p. 53) we may assume that the 
jewel negotiated for by Sir Ralph Payne was 
received by the Prince of Wales from the Duchess 
of Albany, it is curious that nothing like it is to 
be found among King Edward's many Georges at 

I rather feel that in the account of the transac- 
tions between the Prince of Wales and Sir Ralph 
Payne I have raised a theory merely to destroy it, 
but as the notes and letters quoted under this head 
contain matters of considerable historic interest 
regarding the exiled Stuarts, I have retained them. 

The legend that the Stuarts had the sacred relic 
of the scaffold with them in exile is, indeed, 
specious ; but it is just one of those legends that 


would be sure to grow up round a banished Royal 
House. If, however, we consider the matter 
practically, we must come to the conclusion that 
the jewel could hardly have been taken out of 
England. It was then the custom of our Princes 
(as, indeed, it is the duty of every knight under 
the Statutes of the Garter) to wear the George 
always. Charles n. certainly had a George before 
he received back from Mrs. Twisden the one 
which his father wore on the scaffold ; and Ash- 
mole gives an account of the one he wore at the 
battle of Worcester, which shows very clearly 
that it was not the scaffold George of Charles I. 
James n. would also have worn a George from 
boyhood, and would have had one about his neck 
when he fled abroad in 1688. The George of 
Charles i. would doubtless be stored away in some 
safe treasure-house, perhaps in the Tower ; and, 
in flying from his kingdom, James n. would have 
had little time for collecting family heirlooms to 



take with him in his flight, however precious 
they might have been as sentimental relics of his 

There can be no doubt that Charles i. wore on 
the scaffold a George set with diamonds and con- 
taining a portrait of his Queen, 1 and I am confident 
that this George was recovered by Charles n. 2 It 
is, however, curious that Charles u., if he had 
the real George in his possession, did not direct 
Ashmole to alter the drawing of it in his book, if 
it was incorrectly represented therein. To that I 
answer that the King may have considered the 
matter unimportant, or he may have thought it 
beneath his dignity to correct a book written by 
one of his heralds. Or it might be he did not 
care to let it be known that during the Com- 
monwealth he had been in secret negotiations with 
the rebel, Colonel Thomlinson, especially as this 

1 Vide statement by Mrs. Fotherly, p. 57. 

2 Vide letter from Charles u. to Mrs. Twisden, and comments, 
pp. 63, 64. 

8 4 


would have explained the favour with which the 
Colonel, and his relative Sir Thomas Twisden, 
were treated at the Restoration. 

In this chapter I have shown objections to 
either the Hollar or the Albany George being 
accepted as that worn by the King on the scaffold. 
I will now endeavour to identify an existing 
George with the historic ornament. 



WE are not without information as to the Lesser 
Georges in the possession of the Stuart Kings. 
I have already quoted (p. 61), from the book of 
sales of the property of Charles i., the description 
of the George which was bought by Mr. Wid- 
mor, and which I believe to have been the 
one that the King wore on the scaffold. 1 Ash- 
mole enumerates five others, which were pur- 
chased at these sales by Thomas Beauchamp, on 
the 1 5th October, 1651, in the following 
terms : 

1 For evidence of this consult pp. 62-68. 



Valued at Sold for 

*(i) A George containing 161 dia- 
monds, which came from the 
Countess of Leicester and 
was discovered by Cornelius 
Holland . . . 60 71 

(2) A George cut in an Onyx with 

41 diamonds in the Garnish . 35 37 

(3) A small George set with a few 

diamonds .... 8 9 

(4) A George with 5 Rubies and 3 

diamonds and 1 1 diamonds 

in a box . . . . 10 1 1 

(5) A George cut in a Garnet . 7 8 

These Georges are not mentioned in the book of 
sales; but there are several lots therein, representing 
parcels of jewellery, which are not described in 
detail ; and there is also an entry that on the 
3rd November 1651 or nineteen days after 
Beauchamp's purchase 'goods for 136' were 
delivered to him. Now, as Beauchamp either 


retained these jewels, or would know to whom he 
had parted with them, and as he subsequently 
received several grants from Charles n. for dis- 
covering and effecting the return of the late King's 
jewels, we may safely infer that most of these 
Georges were returned into the new King's hands. 
This theory is strengthened by the fact that Ash- 
mole, who describes them in his book written in 
1672, had in May 1662 been appointed one of the 
Commissioners for recovering the late King's goods. 
Again, among the MSS. in the British 
Museum (Harleian 1890) is a list of the jewels of 
James n. which is dated the I9th March, 1687. 
In this list we find 

* 6. One Onyx George adorned and set with 16 large 
diamonds and 25 less. 

7. One lesser Onyx George adorned and set with 16 

great diamonds and 19 lesser. 

8. One George set with several sparks of diamonds. 

9. One Onyx George set and adorned with 38 larger 

rose diamonds and 4 smaller in the loupe.' 


It also mentions c forty Georges,' not more fully 
described, as in the King's possession. 

Of the Georges in these two lists (which I 
have numbered consecutively for the reader's con- 
venience) Nos. 2 and 6 are probably the same, by 
reason of the identical number of diamonds they 
contained. No. 4 is, presumedly, the George 
which Sir Ralph Payne saw in the hands of the 
Duchess of Albany with its ' ten diamonds and 
rubies set alternately,' as (assuming his number to 
be quite accurate) in the rapid seizure, transport, 
and sale of the royal property a couple of diamonds 
may easily have been lost, and others substituted 
later. No. 7 I believe to be the George purchased 
by Widmor, and the one worn by Charles i. on 
the scaffold. 

If the scaffold George was not carried abroad 
by James n., then it is doubtless in existence to- 
day, and Windsor Castle, as the great storehouse 
of the more ancient and historic treasures of the 
M 89 


reigning monarch, is the place in which we should 
naturally expect to find it. 

In the Royal Collection in that venerable 
palace is an old and, if I may use the term, dis- 
mantled George of which I am graciously per- 
mitted to give a representation. As will be seen, 
it is quite unlike Hollar's drawing in Ashmole's 
book. In this George, the Garter, with the 
motto which surrounds the Onyx carving of St. 
George and the Dragon, was at one time encircled 
by an edging of sixteen large gems. All are now 
gone, but it is clear that they were rose, and not 
table diamonds. 1 It has at its back a space for a 
portrait which has long since vanished. It is 
(and this is very strong evidence in its favour) 
the only existing George known to have been fitted 
with a portrait, though the St. Andrew's Cross, 
now at Edinburgh, which was bequeathed to 
George iv. by the Cardinal of York, has a portrait 

1 In Hollar's drawing, and in Ashmole's text, they are table 



5 * 

o . 


K -, 

iii e 


of his mother, placed similarly under a lid at its 
back. We may be sure that no one except a real 
or claimant Sovereign of the Order would presume 
to place his wife's portrait at the back of his 
George. Now this, I have very little doubt, 
is the George worn by Charles i. on the scaffold. 
The absence of the portrait and stones in the 
George at Windsor is not remarkable, as they 
were probably extracted in the period of at least 
five months between its sale to Widmor and its 
return to Charles n. by Colonel Thomlinson, a 
probability which is increased if it was not in the 
possession of the Colonel all this time. If the 
diamonds were not removed during this interval, 
they may have been taken out at some later date, 
perhaps under a King who was unaware of the 
associations of the badge, when stones were re- 
quired for decorating other ornaments. 

It is true the Windsor George agrees to some 
extent with Nos. 2 and 6 of my lists (pp. 87, 



but if, as is very probable, and as I have suggested, 
Nos. 2 and 6, by reason of the identical number of 
diamonds they contain, refer to the same jewel, 
then, of course, this jewel cannot be the one of 
scaffold associations, because No. 2 was sold to 
Beauchamp, not to Widmor. 

The Windsor George corresponds very nearly 
with No. 7 in the Harleian list (p. 88), or the one 
described as a 'lesser Onyx George adorned and 
set with sixteen great diamonds and nineteen 
lesser ' which we know from that list was in the 
possession of James n. in 1687. The number of 
the larger stones, as given in No. 7, agrees with 
the spaces now vacant in the ornament at Windsor, 
and as to the nineteen lesser diamonds, a glance 
at my reproduction will show that sixteen of these 
might have been inserted in the spaces between the 
larger stones, while the loupe would probably 
hold three more. Further, in the central portrait 
in Vandyke's famous threefold picture of Charles i., 


affrt- thi fuctinr af AH >'<>/'.* (Wleyr, 

!Se KKJ OB pIKM p. 103). 


the King appears to be wearing a George con- 
taining the motto inside the gems, as it is in the 
jewel at Windsor. 1 (See frontispiece.) 

Again, in the life-sized original of one of the 
illustrations given of King Charles at his trial 
(p. 20), a George may be seen suspended from his 
neck that closely resembles in its size and oval 
shape, and in the number of its larger stones, the 
one at Windsor (p. 90). 

This in itself is strong evidence of its identity, 
as there can be no doubt that the George the 
King wore at his trial was the one he wore on the 
scaffold a few days afterwards. Lastly, this George 
at Windsor has long been traditionally known as 
the Juxon George. 

If it is objected that the sale-list contains no 

1 This picture gives a curious proof of the genuineness of another relic 
of Charles i. The Duke of Portland possesses a pearl which Queen 
Mary n. stated had been taken from her grandfather's ear after death. 
One would have expected that there would be a pair of these pearls ; 
but Vandyck's triple portrait shows the pearl in his left ear, while the 
right one is unadorned. 



mention of the portrait of the Queen, I reply that 
it might have been removed, or that the appraisers 
might easily have handled the George when 
closed without noticing its hinged lid. 

If I am right, the history of the George at 
Windsor is as follows 

It was given to Bishop Juxon on the scaffold 
by King Charles i. on the 3oth of January, 1649, 
and taken from Juxon by the Parliamentary autho- 
rities, probably by Colonel Thomlinson, on the 
same day. On the 3ist, Parliament refused to 
send it to Charles n. On the ist or 2nd of 
February it was seen in the possession of an officer 
of the Army by Mrs. Fotherly, and it probably 
remained with that officer until after the 4th July, 
when the Act for the sale of the King's goods 
was passed, and when it would have been handed 
over to the official contractors. It was then 
purchased from the contractors by Widmor, on 
the 1 7th May, 1650. If the Army officer, in 



whose hands Mrs. Fotherly saw it, and who 
handed it over to the contractors, was Colonel 
Thomlinson which is practically certain from 
the marginal note in the book of sales then the 
Colonel had certainly arranged with Widmor 
a former servant of Charles i. first to buy it and 
then to sell it back to him (the Colonel), with 
the special intent of returning it to Charles n. 
It was so returned to Charles n. (either with or 
without the diamonds and portrait) by the 
Colonel's sister, Mrs. Twisden, some time after 
the and of October, 1650 ; and from that 
monarch it has passed through his heirs and 
successors to King Edward vn., in whose keeping 
may it long remain 1 

In the MSS. of the well-known antiquary Joseph 
Hunter, in the British Museum, are quoted 
(about 1850) several original 'certificates of the 
Contractors for the sale of the goods of the late 
King Charles i., to the Treasurers of the said 



sale.' These documents, which refer to pictures 
only, give particulars of the works sold and of 
the purchasers. If the certificates for the jewels 
could also be found, they would no doubt throw 
some further light on the matter of Mr. Widmor's 
George. Unfortunately, Hunter does not tell us 
where he saw the certificates he quotes, and it 
has not been possible to find them ; though the 
courteous officers of the British Museum and the 
Public Record Office have given me unstinted 
help. Possibly, this publication may lead to the 
revelation of their present resting-place. 

I venture to hope that if I have not proved 
my case indisputably, I have made out a very 
strong one. I see no evidence to controvert it, 
except Ashmole's description of Hollar's draw- 
ing; and even that agrees with my deductions 
in the main, differing only in minor details, as 
would be natural on the simple and not in- 
criminating theory that Hollar made his sketch of 
the scaffold George from memory or tradition. 



FROM the original picture at Windsor Castle. Painted by 
Vandyck in 1637, in three aspects, to assist Bernini the 
Sculptor who was engaged on a bust of the King. 

After the Restoration, this bust by Bernini was returned to 
Whitehall, where it remained till the reign of William in., 
when it is supposed to have perished in the fire that destroyed 
the Palace, with the exception of the Banqueting Hall. 

Cardinal Richelieu had previously had a triple portrait of him- 
self done with a view to assisting a sculptor, and this probably 
suggested a similar expedient on the part of Charles i. 

When Bernini first saw Vandyck's picture of Charles, he is 
said to have exclaimed ' that it represented the face of a man 
who was likely to suffer some great affliction.' 


BOWER pinxit. 

From the original picture, life-size, in the possession of 
General Sir Reginald Pole-Carew, of Antony, Cornwall, 
where it has remained since it was painted. 

There are replicas at Oxford, St. Andrews University, 
Badminton, Belvoir, and Peniarth, which were produced for the 
more prominent adherents of the King, as, for instance, the 
picture at Badminton, which was done for the Lord Worcester 
who defended Raglan Castle with such gallantry. 

Edward Bower is chiefly known as the painter of this portrait 

N 97 


at Antony, though he also did pictures of Lord Fairfax and 
a few other celebrated men, some of these having been engraved 
by Hollar. 

There are two points connected with the portrait at Antony 
that are curiously corroborative of its authenticity. 

(i) The King is shown with a staff in his left hand. 1 We 
know he had a staff at his Trial, for we read in Herbert's 
Memoirs, Tuesday, 23rd January : ' The King was the third 
time summoned, and, as before, guarded to the Court. . . . 
The Solicitor began to offer something to the President of the 
Court, but was interrupted by the King gently laying his staff 
upon the Solicitor's arm, the head of which happened to fall oft", 
which Mr. Herbert [who, as his Majesty appointed, waited near 
his chair] stooped to take up, but the head falling on the contrary 
side, to which he could not reach, the King took it up himself. 
This incident by some was looked upon as a bad omen.' 

Sir Philip Warwick in his Memoirs also gives an account of 
the incident of the staff and its head, though he differs slightly 
from Sir Thomas Herbert in details. Sir Philip writes 

* The King's deportment was very majestic . . . and yet, as 
he confessed himself to the Bishop of London, who attended 
him, one action shocked him very much ; for whilst he was 
leaning in the Court upon his staff, which had an head of 
gold, the head broke off on a sudden ; he took it up but seemed 
unconcerned, yet told the Bishop "it really made a great 
impression upon him, and to this hour (says he) I know not 
possibly how it should come." It was an accident, writes Sir 
Philip, "I confess I myself have often thought on, and cannot 
imagine how it came about, unless Hugh Peters [who was truly 
and really the King's gaoler, for at St. James' nobody went to 
him but by Peter's leave] had artificially tampered upon his 
staff; but such conjectures are of no use.' 

1 In the replica at Belvoir, the King also has a staff, but in his right 


The staff was inherited by Colonel Dugald Stuart of Terns- 
ford Hall, Bedfordshire, to whom it descended through an 
ancestor who lived in the time of Charles i. Temsford was 
burnt down in 1898, and the staff" perished in the fire that 
destroyed the house. 

This staff was used by Charles i. in his walk from St. James' 
to Whitehall on the day of his execution, and was given by 
the King, together with a gold coin he had in his pocket, to 
Bishop Juxon. It had had a gold head with a cornelian set in 
it, was of cane, and had a silk tassel. The staff shown in the 
picture at Antony is precisely similar to the one formerly 
at Temsford. As to the gold coin, it is supposed to be the one 
which the authorities of the British Museum recently purchased 
for ^770, and which is said to have been given to Bishop Juxon 
on the scaffold by Charles i. The King having handed his 
George to the Bishop to give to the Prince of Wales, perhaps 
bethought him of the coin as a memento for the Prelate to 
retain for himself. It was exhibited by H. Montague, Esq., 
in the collection of Stuart relics held in 1889, and was then 
described as * a pattern five broad piece that was given to Juxon 
by Charles i. on the scaffold.' On one side of this coin are the 
Royal Arms, on the other * Florent Concordia Regna.' 

(2) The King is represented with a full beard, which suggests 
that the artist did actually draw his picture, or at all events the 
sketch for it, from life, as Charles sat at his trial ; for no painter 
would add a beard to his face unless he had actually seen it. The 
beard was no doubt allowed to grow during the King's close 
confinement at Hurst Castle and Windsor during the last two 
months of his life. A strange corroboration of this is that when 
the coffin of Charles was opened at Windsor in 1813, the 
head of the King had a short but full beard attached to it, 
as is to be seen in a careful drawing that was made at the 
time for Sir H. Vaughan's account of the disinterment. 

As further confirmation that Charles i. wore a beard at his 
trial and execution, I will quote from one of the original MSS. 



of Sir Thomas Herbert's Memoirs [vide Allan Fea's M artyr King, 
London, 1905: p. 130]. 

4 Mr. Babbington was barber, but His Majesty made little use 
of a barber, save at Hampton Court and Newport, where 
Mr. Davis was barber, for His Majesty neither let his hair 
(which was darkish and long and curly at the ends) nor his beard 
be cut during his affliction.' 

In the picture at Antony, and in the replicas of it, Charles 
wears a hat and sits in a chair, precisely similar to those shown 
in Nalson's print (p. 19). The chair is now the property of 
the Cottage Hospital, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, to 
which it descended through Juxon's representatives. It is 
identical in shape and ornamentation with the one to be seen in 
the print and in the pictures above referred to. 

WILLIAM JUXON (1582-1663) (p. 24) 


From an original picture at St. John's College, Oxford. 

Juxon, though intimately associated in business and politics 
with all parties of Church and State for many troublous years, 
was generally beloved for his tolerance and amiable character. 
He was in close attendance on Charles after his trial and at his 
execution, nor would the King suffer any other minister of 
religion to approach him after he received his sentence. 


The careful observer will notice some erasures and correc- 
tions in this important document. In line 2, * uppon Saturday 



last was ' is a correction. In line 4, c Thirtieth ' has been 
written in a blank space evidently intended for a longer word. 
The address 4 To Collonell Francis Hacker, etc.' is also a 
correction over an erasure. These alterations suggest doubts as 
to the date when the warrant was drawn up, and the time 
originally fixed for the execution ! 


From a medallion of 1788, the year of his accession on the death 
of his brother , the Toung Pretender. 

Obverse : HENRY ix., King of Great Britain and Ireland, 
Defender of the Faith, Cardinal Bishop of 

Reverse : Not by the desire of men, but by the will of 
God. In the year 1788. 

It is noticeable that the word ' France ' is omitted after 
* Great Britain ' and before * and Ireland ' in the inscription on 
the obverse of the medal. Though the Kings of England 
claimed the throne of France until 1801, the Pretender, and 
his brother the Cardinal, naturajly did not put any such claim 
forward, as they hoped that the French King would assist their 
cause in England. 


This portrait, attributed to Mytens, was exhibited by T. E. 
Twisden, Esq., at the first Loan Exhibition of National Portraits 
at South Kensington. Colonel Thomlinson had charge of the 
King^s person during the progress of the trial, and delivered 



him up to Colonel Hacker on the day of execution, but at the 
King's request accompanied him to the scaffold. 

Though Thomlinson attended the trial of the King on two 
days, one of which was the day of sentence, he did not sign the 
warrant (p. 36), and was pardoned after the Restoration. 

At the Restoration he lost Ampthill Park, which he had 
acquired during the Commonwealth. 


From a picture at Thornton-le-strcet, the property of Earl Cathcart. 

Colonel Hacker was the officer in charge on the scaffold and 
was responsible for carrying out the sentence of execution. 

He was tried after the Restoration as a Regicide, October 15, 
1660, and hanged October 19. 

He made no defence, other than that he was a soldier and as 
such merely obeyed the orders of his superiors in carrying out 
the death-sentence on the King. 


The history of these very curious prints, now in the British 
Museum, is unknown. 

The plate from which they were both taken is obviously an 
impudent copy of Vandyck's great painting at Windsor Castle 
of Charles I. on a white horse. 

The accessories are, however, changed, notably the scenery 
and the attendant figure. 

The print of Cromwell is the earlier one, and in this the 
head of the Protector is shown in the place of that of the King. 

After the Restoration, the head of Cromwell was erased and 
the likeness of Charles i. substituted, as shown in the illustration 
(p. 71), and as it is depicted in Vandyck's picture. 




In the Royal Collection at Windsor. 

The large rose diamonds and the smaller ones are now all 
absent ; as are also the portrait and the lid that covered it. 


After the picture at All Souls College, Oxford. 

Incorrectly attributed to Vandyck, who died seven years 
before the trial of Charles I. It is interesting as so plainly 
showing the Lesser George, which was doubtless the one worn 
by the King on the scaffold a few days after his trial. 

It will be noticed that the jewel closely resembles the one 
shown in the Antony picture (p. 20) as well as the one now at 
Windsor (p. 90), and that in it the effigy of the saint is to 
be seen riding to the right, and not, as in Hollar's illustration 
(p. 42), to the left. 

Printed by T. and A. CONSTABLE, Printers to His Majesty 
at the Edinburgh University Press 


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