The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 2Allen, Thomas
In this room are large and lofty racks, furnished with the Spanish spoils, and ingeniously displayed, interspersed with a diversity of swords, bayonets, sword-blades, and pistols; Spanish brass musketoons, also a pair of brass wall pieces, with swivels--they are nearly feet long; very large serpents, ingeniously formed with the points of bayonets; military
|fans, and a variety of other remarkable devices, composed of sword-blades, &c.|
At each end of the above racks are fluted pillars, composed of pikes, feet in length, and over them are Highlanders' pistols, entirely manufactured of iron and steel, forming a cornice. Above these cornices, very ancient breast-plates and helmets are placed, as also curious figures affixed to the girders; they are composed of Spanish spears, heads of Maltese halberts, &c.
At the south end of the room is a fine representation of the sun, his rays being composed of sword and bayonet blades.
At the same part of the room is a figure representing queen Elizabeth, in the attitude of reviewing her troops at Tilbury camp. The figures, which are well executed, being nearly as large and as natural as life, represent the queen, her page, and her horse. The upper robe of the queen's dress is of rich crimson velvet, vandyked, trimmed with a broad gold lace, and lined with silk of the same colour; also a broad cape, which is edged round with gold lace, and has a neat crown at each corner. Her inner dress is green velvet, ingeniously embroidered and trimmed round with broad gold lace; her petticoat is rich white silk, ornamented with a profusion of flowers, spangles, pearls, &c., also trimmed with a broad gold lace and green velvet; her stomacher is superbly set with diamonds, pearls, &c. She has rich rings on her fingers, and ruffles round her wrists, also a large ruff round her neck; her head is adorned with a fine crown, pearls, spangles, &c. She wears white silk stockings, and green satin shoes on her feet, ornamented with gold lace, &c. Her majesty is standing a little without the entrance of an elegant tent, hung with purple drapery, fluted, together with curtains of the same colour, (and others of green) appearing in front, ornamented with a gilt cornice, handsome tassels, roses, and rich fringe.
At each side of the tent are standards, taken at St. Eustatia, by admiral Rodney and general Vaughan, in the American war; that with the Moor's head in the middle was the negroes' colours; the other was taken from the top of the fort.
The whole is enclosed with a fine representation of Tilbury Fort, in imitation of bricks and hewn stones, on which are placed pieces of brass cannon, neatly mounted on proper carriages. These cannon were presented to Charles II. when about years of age, to assist him in learning the art of war, by the brass foundry of London. The inscriptions on them are, C. P., a plume of feathers, , -, and the artists' names, John Brown and Thomas Pitt, which altogether has a very grand and striking effect.
A wooden cannon, called Policy, because, when Charles Brandon, duke of Suffolk, besieged Boulogne by the command of king Henry VIII. being aware that the roads were impassable for heavy cannon, he caused a number of wooden ones to be
|made, and mounted on proper batteries before the town in the night, as if real cannon; which so terrified the French commandant in the morning, that he gave up the place without firing a shot.|
An Indian suit of armour, sent as a present to king Charles II. from the great Mogul. It is made of iron quills about inches long, finely japanned and ranged in rows, row easily slipping over another; these are bound very strong together with silk twist, and are used in that country as a defence against darts and arrows.
The Spanish General's Shield, not worn by, but carried before him, as an ensign of honour. Upon it are depicted, in very curious workmanship, some of the labours of Hercules, and other expressive allegories, which seem to throw a shade upon the boasted skill of modern artists. This was made near an years before the art of printing was known in England; and upon it is the following inscription in Roman characters: , , alluding to Hercules killing of Cacus, for adultery with his wife Dejanira.
The Axe by which Queen Anne Boleyn, and many of the nobility, were beheaded.
Spanish Cravats and Bilboes; the are engines of torture made of iron, intended to lock the feet, arms, and hands together. The last are also made of iron, and were intended, as the warder informs you, to yoke the English prisoners, and .
Spanish Thumb-Screws; of which there were several chests full on board the Armada. The use they were intended for is said to have been to extort confession from the English where their money was kept, had they prevailed.
A Tomahawk, and clubs, brought from Copenhagen.
Pistols, fixed in the centre of shields, so contrived that the pistols might be fired, and the persons who used them covered at the same time. They were fired by match-locks, and the aim taken through a little grate in the shield, which was at that time pistol-proof.
A Danish and Saxon club, as also a Saxon Sword; said to have been used by those violent invaders, when they attempted to conquer this country. These are, perhaps, the greatest curiosities in the Tower.
Spanish Ranceurs; made in different forms, and intended either to kill men on horseback, to cut the horses' reins, or to pull men off their horses.
Spanish Spears and Lances, finely engraved; on of these are heads, supposed to be the pope's, Philip II.'s, and queen Mary's; and on another is fixed a piece of gold, representing the sun in full splendour; some of them are also ornamented with a silk fringe.
King Henry VII.'s Walking-Staff; which has match lock pistols in it, with coverings to keep the charges dry, and a short bayonet, or dagger, in the center of the barrels. With this staff, we are informed, the king walked sometimes round the city to see that the constables and watchmen did their duty.
A Spanish Boarding-Pike; it has spikes and a spear at end, and a match-lock pistol at the other.
Spanish Spadas, or long swords, poisoned at the points at that time; so that if a man received ever so slight a wound, it would prove certain death.
A piece of a Scythe, placed on a pole; being a specimen of weapons taken at the battle of Sedgmoor, in the reign of king James II.
The Spanish General's Halbert; covered with velvet: the nails were double gilt, and on the top is the pope's head, curiously engraven.
A Spanish Battle-axe; so contrived as to cut holes in a man's skull at once. It has also a pistol, with a match-lock at end, and a spear with a lance at the other.
Medusa's Head, commonly called the Witch of Endor; it is ornamented with Spanish pikes, &c. fixed to the ceiling, and several other devices similarly ornamented.
The Invincible Banner; so stiled by the pope, with a crucifix upon it; for his holiness, it is said, came to the water-side when the Spanish Armada was about to weigh anchor, viewed it, and sent his banner on board with his approbation and blessing, pronouncing the whole to be invincible.