London: volume 2

Knight, Charles.


XLI.-The Tower.-No. 4. (Continued from No. XL.): The Arsenal and Fortress.

XLI.-The Tower.-No. 4. (Continued from No. XL.): The Arsenal and Fortress.




Scarcely a years have elapsed since that long and lofty range of buildings which now presents to the eye of the spectator from such a melancholy picture of roofless walls and

window'd raggedness

--opened wide its doors to admit the brilliant assemblage which came thither to celebrate the final completion of the edifice. Amid the clang of martial music, and the people's shouts of welcome, the great defender of Protestantism, the able warrior and statesman who had so recently exchanged his principality and stadtholdership for the British monarchy, William III. arid his Queen, Mary, passed up the spacious staircase to the magnificent banquet that awaited them in a still more magnificent room. This was a scene calculated to arouse a long train of associations in the King's mind. Whilst others looked only on the picturesque features of the festivity, the military decorations of the place, the splendid dresses of the guests, and the white gloves and aprons of the attending workmen and


labourers, the badges of their masonic fraternity, he remembered that the man who was now wandering through Europe, seeking to recover by force the crown he had lost by his policy, had laid the foundation of the edifice in which he, the unfortunate, sat. Cold, too, as his temperament might be, it is hardly in nature to suppose that the memories of the entire locality swept across his mind without some quickening of the blood in his veins at finding himself, a foreigner, in that ancient palace of the sovereigns of England, surrounded by eminent Englishmen of all parties, whose presence he might justly have looked upon as representative of the national desire to honour him as the king of the national choice. But a still deeper emotion was no doubt awakened. by the scene. The Tower, the Arsenal, and the cheerful faces around, were types that it required no poetical nature to feel of the warfare he had so long waged for the maintenance of the religion which it seemed the object of his life to promote, and the eventual success of which he must now have felt was assured to him, by the mighty increase of power and influence which h: obtained when the British sceptre was placed in his hands. The scene, we repeat, here mentioned, took place but a century and a half ago. Well may the poet sing-

What great events from little causes spring!

A workman overlooks a few live embers in a stove on leaving it for the night, or a spark ignites the soot in its flue, and suddenly not only is this banquetting-room changed into the dreary-looking ruin before mentioned, but the fate of the entire Tower, its chapel, its council-room, its prison memorials, its records, its regalia, are all placed in imminent jeopardy. The event of the night of Saturday the , was indeed of no ordinary moment. The sentinel's warning musket, the sudden sounding of bugles, the prolonged roll of drums, and the hurrying of the startled soldiers of the garrison into their. respective ranks, which followed the alarm of danger, never announced in the Tower the presence of a more dangerous enemy. Scarcely had the flames passed from the Tower where they were seen, into the Armoury wherein William had been feasted, and began to appear through the windows opening upon the great area, endeavouring to snatch as it were into its embraces the White Tower immediately opposite, before it was remembered that immense quantities of gunpowder were stored in that tower. The scene at that moment presented were a subject for no common pencil. The dark night so terribly illuminated by the great central body of fire; the gushes of flames darting at intervals through the more distant windows; here the keepers of the priceless crowns, orbs, and sceptres of the Regalia, bearing them of, little heeding in what manner, to a more distant part of the Tower; there the train of soldiers hastening to throw into the moat the latent mischief, which needed but the touch of the smallest spark to sweep the Tower and all its inhabitants into indistinguishable ruin; lastly, the sea of human faces on the neighbouring hill; the anxious crowd at the entrance clamouring for admittance to their friends and relatives, and the solitary sentinel with his even tread marching to and fro, as though nothing but could concern him, whatever might be passing around. A few days and how striking a contrast to this scene appears in the same place. All is cold, dark, and dreary: the walls still stand, but no longer shut out the November storm. The beautiful sculpture


(the Royal Arms) placed by Gibbons over the main entrance is fortunately preserved uninjured. Within, vast heap of charred cannons, muskets, swords, the wreck of the late beautiful Armoury, is seen, with here and there some well-known trophy--the huge mortar used by William soon after his visit here, at the siege of Namur, the famous Camperdown anchor, or a Waterloo fieldpiece-- projecting from the mass, and to satisfy the anxious inquirer that they at least were safe. On the whole, however, we have much reason to congratulate ourselves that, such a calamity having happened, so few of those historical memorials which constitute the great wealth of the Tower have been involved in it. It has also done what perhaps no other influence could have accomplished in its stead,--enhanced our appreciation of those memorials, and we may hope thus prepared the way for measures that shall insure their permanent safety. If so, the nation will hardly begrudge the loss its has experienced. Before we inquire what was the nature and extent of this loss, it may be useful to glance back at the history of the Arsenal, of which the great storehouse; lately destroyed, constituted the principal modern feature.

The use of the Tower as an arsenal would of course naturally follow its occupation as the chief place of kingly residence; and the same security which the Tower promised whenever necessary to the royal person, would be equally desired for that important part of the royal property in the middle ages, his military stores. The mention of matters of this kind occurs in the reign of John, when Geoffrey de Mandeville, being commanded to surrender the Tower to the Archdeacon of Durham, special attention is directed to the

arms and other stores.

The nature of such stores appears in the following reign, in a mandate issued to the Archdeacon of Durham, to transmit to the Tower


suits of armour,


iron cuirasses,


iron collar,


pairs of iron fetters, and


iron helmets,

which had been left in his charge. In subsequent notices referring to this and the following century, we find mentioned coat-armours, great engines, supposed to be battering-rams, espringalls, quarrells, hauberks, lances, arblasts, bows, arrows, and bow-strings. There were painted and plain bows, the price of the former being eighteenpence, of the latter a shilling. The arrows were a shilling per sheaf. But the most interesting document we possess in connexion with the ancient Arsenal, is an inventory of the reign of Henry VI., from which we transcribe a few





swords, and a long blade of a sword made in wafters (that is, with the flat of the blade placed in the usual direction of the edge, so as to strike or waft the wind at every blow), some, greater and some smaller, for to learn the King to play in his tender age.

Item; a little harness (or suit of armour) that the Earl of Warwick made for the King, or [before] that he went over the sea, garnished with gold,

&c. A great number of banners of satin woven with the arms of England and France, or of St. George, banners of the Trinity, banners of Our Lady, with pennons and feathers, are mentioned, with the accompanying marginal memorandum that most of them had been used at the interment of the


queens, that is to say, Queen Katherine, the Queen of France, and Queen Johan,

and of

my lord of Bedford, and my lady his wife,

and that the pennons were

set about the hearses of them, and where that it liked him that had the rule thereof.





little coat-armours, which be the sergeant's fee of the armoury, and so delivered by the King's commandment to him because that they were so little, and will serve no man, for they were made for him when he was but


years of age.

Some standards of worsted, with the arms of England and France, or France only (the latter no doubt trophies of many a

well-foughten field

), are next mentioned, with the accompanying curious observation,

the which standards be worn and spended in carrying of the King's harness in and out into his chamber for default of their stuffs.

We have here an amusing exhibition of the of the King's household! Annexed to the list of certain quantities of coarse red silk, and red velvet, gross of points, and arming nails, is the observation,

all expended, and much

more, to


of the King's harness.

Among the other miscellaneous articles noticed in the inventory, are old jousting saddles painted of divers works; other saddles of different kind, broken, and

old great coffers bound with iron, and lacking keys, which were cast out of an old house in the

Tower of London



they would serve for nothing.

The writer must have been some sly, satirical humourist, who having been called to account probably for things he looked upon as of little moment, or as stray waifs that should be left to his own proper use and advantage, revenged himself in the only safe way. He appears determined to enjoy his joke whatever becomes of the perquisite. The last item we shall quote seems to us peculiarly rich. It refers to

one bow--staff, worm-eaten, delivered by the King's commandment to my lord of Gloucester, when he went over to Calais

In the reign of Edward VI., an inventory was taken of the stores and habiliments of war in the different arsenals of the kingdom, the manuscript of which is in the possession of the Society of Antiquaries. We there find reference to brigandines, or military jackets, the sleeves of some of which were covered with cloth of gold, others with blue satin; targets, with small gun--barrels projecting from the centre instead of boss and spike; (in case a single target having of these



a target of the shell of tortoise ;

barbs of steel for horses, graven and enamelled blue; pole-axes with gun-barrels in the end; gilt poleaxes, with the handles or staves covered with crimson velvet, and fringed with

silk of gold ;

great and little

holly-water sprincles ;

which, according to Sir Samuel Meyrick, were staves with large cylindrical heads, and a spear point at the extremity, &c. Ye shall only add to these particulars that, in the time of Elizabeth, the Arsenal still included a large store of the popular old English weapons. There were, for instance, above bows, with staves and bowstrings for more, sheaves of arrows, also a considerable quantity of cross-bows,



long-bow arrows for fire-works.

The names of many of the former officers of the Tower, like those of the numerous old weapons we have mentioned, belong to a period, and a system which have entirely passed away. There was the Balitarius, or keeper and provider of cross-bows, whose income in the time of Henry III. was a shilling a day, to which were added yearly a doublet and surcoat furred with lamb-skin, and allowance for servants. The Attiliator Balistarum had the duty imposed on him of providing harness and other accoutrements for the cross-bows. He received sevenpence halfpenny a day, and a robe once a year. The Bowyer was intrusted with the care and provision of the ordinary long-bow; and the Fletcher


with all that pertained to the arrows required for them. Lastly, the Galeater attended to that important part of every complete suit of armour the helmet, or head-piece; whilst the Armourer took the remainder under his management. All these officers were, in the reign of Edward IV.,. subordinate to the Master of the King's Ordnance. A Master General remains still at the head of the establishment, which we need scarcely say is the chief Arsenal of the empire, from which issue all orders of direction for the disposal of military stores. Beside the large building opposite the southern side of the White Tower and the Great Storehouse, or its site, the Ordnance Office occupies various places as store-rooms, including the large rooms extending below the Council Chamber, which require no further notice.

The Great Storehouse consisted of stories, the lowest called the Train of Artillery, the the Small Arms Armoury, the the Tent Room. The building measured feet in length and in width. The Train of Artillery was so called from its having been at used as the place of deposit for field pieces intended for actual service; but many years ago these were all removed to Woolwich, and the place chiefly devoted to the collection and exhibition of such instruments or trophies of warfare as possessed some more than common interest. Wherever the visitor directed his eyes, he beheld pieces of ordnance, of all shapes, sizes, and periods, every of which recalled to the mind some or other of the great events of our naval or military history. As he passed along towards the right he beheld a large iron gun on its carriage, both decayed, and covered with marine products. That was of the cannons of the Royal George, which

went down

with brave Admiral Kempenfeldt, and was recovered from
the wreck in . Glancing as he passed at the singularly long and small brass Maltese cannon, measuring above feet in length, though only in technical language a -pounder, and another strange-looking piece of the reign of Charles II., his attention was next arrested by very elegant and large brass pieces taken from the walls of Vigo about . On the breeches were finely carved lions couchant, and near the muzzles of each an effigy of St. Barbara, to whom they had been dedicated. Among the other noticeable pieces were beautiful brass lichornes, taken from a Turkish frigate, but manufactured in St. Petersburgh; -pounder brass guns mounted, and most elaborately


carved and decorated, a present from the Earl of Gloucester to the short-lived son of Queen Anne; brass mortars of immense weight taken at Cherbourg, in , by Admiral Howe; a similar engine, constructed to throw shells at once, which was used at the great display of fireworks in to throw balloons up into the air; and a very interesting specimen of the casting of the James's reign, consisting of small brass pieces mounted, which were presented to Prince Charles, then a boy, by the brass-founders of London, for the purpose of assisting him in his military studies. The range on the left of the entrance possessed attraction of a still higher character; consisting of pieces of ordnance not only interesting separately, but forming in the whole a kind of visible history of the manufacture of these destructive implements, commencing with a wrought-iron piece of the time of Henry V., with the date , and ending with a magnificent-looking -pounder of the finest brass, feet long, which was brought from Java in . An inscription on it in the Persian language was thus translated by the Earl of Munster:

The work of the Sultan Ranafa Achmet Medigem-ed-Deen, of the country of Palembang the Sacred, on which be peace;


of the Hegira,

().-Among the-remainder of the cannons which form this very interesting series we may notice an octagon-shaped brass piece, and a brass piece with bores, both of Henry VIII.'s time; an exquisitely decorated cannon, manufactured for James I.'s accomplished son, Prince Henry; and a brass -pounder with bores, taken by Marlborough at the battle of Ramillies. On a raised platform in another part of the place stood a richly carved and gilded carriage, called the Drum Major's Chariot of State, occasionally used in processions, &c. A grate placed in a recess, for the heating of shot; a curious machine, something like a chevaux-de-frize, constructed at Lyon for the defence of narrow passes or breaches; and a curious wooden gun are the only other articles that our space will allow us to notice. The gun, appropriately named Policy, was of those used at the siege of Boulogne, in , by the Duke of Suffolk, to deceive the governor into the belief that the English army was fully prepared with artillery for the prosecution of the siege. Aided by the cowardice of the governor, the stratagem was successful, and Boulogne given up, contrary to the wishes of many of its gallant citizens.

The stranger looking in at the principal entrance into the Tower now sees opposite to him the remains of the Grand Staircase, which was considered of the finest in Europe. It formed in effect magnificent trophy of English bravery and skill in almost every part of the world, consisting of an endless variety of weapons and arms both ancient and modern. The upright pieces of cannon from Waterloo, seen in the background of the following engraving, are, we believe, the only remains.

The Small Arms Armoury, the scene of the banquet before mentioned, was perhaps unique in its peculiar magnificence. The reader will remember the immense length of the room: as to its other features, let him picture to himself this great room, lighted on each side by a close range of windows,--having racks extending down also on each side, and others across, for the support of the stand of arms kept ready for immediate service,--having, further, columns about the centre, and a rich-looking cornice round the ceiling. Let him further imagine the entire walls, pillars, cornice, and ceiling decorated with pistols, cuirasses


halberds, carbines, &c., arranged in manifold, curious, and generally beautiful forms, no compartments being alike. Such would be a general idea of the impression made on the mind of the visitor by the glimpse of the Small Arms Armoury. The columns were feet high, and were formed chiefly with pikes of the reign of Charles II. Around them were pistols twining upwards in a serpentine direction. Upon the ceiling was a large carved and gilded ornament decorated in a similar manner. But the cornice was perhaps of the most interesting and beautiful objects in the room. This was composed of drums, breastplates of old armour, pistols, and other weapons arranged in the manner here shown.
The fire has spared article in this room, and that not the least valuable of its contents, the Maltese gun which was placed in it. This was taken by Napoleon at Malta in , and sent by him to the French Directory in the frigate La Sensible. The latter was captured on its way by Captain Foote, of the Sea-horse frigate, with the banners which recently hung over it in the Armoury. This beautiful piece is of mixed metal, resembling gold, and bears a representation, in bas-relief, of the head of a Grand Master of Malta, supported by genii. It is also richly decorated all over with eagles and other ornamental figures. The carriage, of wood, has a very striking appearance, having carved figures of


Furies, arm of each entwined together and grasping a snake, and the other a blazing torch. The nave of the wheel represents the sun, the spokes his rays. The date is ]. Another representation of the sun occurred near the door, where on the- (the east) side he was exhibited in his rise, and on the other in}his decline. Around were checquered frames of bras-handled hangers. Among the miscellaneous historical memorials were the arms taken from Sir William Perkins and his associates, executed for their intended assassination of the founder of this room; those taken from the Scotch adherents of the Pretender in ; and the swords of Mercy and Justice carried before the Pretender himself, when he was proclaimed in Scotland in that year. The miscellaneous ornaments of the place are beyond enumeration. Ampong them were a pair of gates formed of halberds, attached to an arch composed of pistols; flounces and furbelows, such as our great-grandmothers wore, of carbines; and a figure of Jupiter riding in a fiery chariot, drawn by eagles and holding his thunderbolt ready in his hand, decorated with ancient bayonets, and military fans. A Medusa's head, with its snaky tresses, a figure of a Hydro with leads, an organ (of musquetoons with brass barrols), stars, church windows, &c. &c., also added to the picturesque character of the place.

As a fortress, the Tower, through all the changes of dynasties, or of the ministers who have so often made and marred dynasties, has ever been a place of the highest importance. To possess the Tower was to a great extent to possess London; .and a wiles of policy have been tried to that end in the many domestic broils and wars that characterise our history, even down to the period of Charles and the Commonwealth. Nor have bolder attempts been wanting, though certainly no very extraordinary exploits of this kind grace the Tower history. The Constable of the Tower, as its chief governor is still called, was Geoffrey de Mandeville, who received the hereditary appointment from William the Conqueror in reward for his great services at the battle of Hastings. It was during the Constableship of a descendant of this brave warrior, of the same name, that we find the notice of the Tower being besieged. The attacking party consisted of citizens of London, who endeavoured to seize it for Stephen, but without success. Mandeville's subsequent history is curie-. He was taken prisoner at St. Albans in , and compelled to surrender the Tower. From that time he supported himself by rapine and plunder, though on so large a scale, that, like other noble adventurers, he would perhaps have objected to the propriety of such epithets. Whilst attacking the royal castle at Burwell, his brain was pierced by an arrow. Having been excommunicated by the Pope, his followers were afraid to bury him in the usual manner. At last some Knights Templars removed the body to the Temple, London, and there suspended it in a leaden coffin from a tree in their garden; thus for the time avoiding direct opposition to the Vatican; whilst, with covert satire, which some of the less orthodox Knights no doubt relished amazingly, they made the proscribed of the Church appear only the nearer to Heaven. During the absence of the Lion Heart from England, Longchamp, Bishop of Ely, the builder of the ditch mentioned in a former paper, was left as chief guardian of the kingdom as well as of that small but not unimportant part of it, the Tower. He was a man of humble descent, who had made himself


distinguished by the exercise of his great worldly wisdom and powerful energies; and as soon as Prince, afterwards King, John began that series of movements by which he gradually, as it were, felt his way towards the throne during his brother's captivity, he set himself in earnest to oppose his measures, and prove himself in every way equal to the trust reposed in him. But he was unsupported by those on whom he most relied, and at the approach of John towards London in the citizens refused to obey his orders. The Bishop immediately shut himself up in the Tower, and the prince was admitted into the city. On the following day a meeting of the bishops, earls, and barons who were opposed to his regency, with the citizens of London, unanimously decreed that Longchamp should be deposed from his high office, and John proclaimed chief governor of the kingdom. When the former was informed of their decision, he fainted, and fell on the floor. By an early hour the next morning, as he looked forth from the Tower turrets, he beheld , then a large open grassy plain, covered with John's troops, whilst nearer still a mingled body of soldiers and citizens were closely blockading the Tower both by land and water. John, having objects of his own to serve, which rendered it unadvisable to proceed to extremities with so eminent a man, desired an audience. When Longchamp came, he offered to ratify his Bishopric of Ely, and give him the custody of of the royal castles. Longchamp immediately replied with great dignity that he decidedly refused to commit any of the King's rights, or to surrender any of the powers intrusted to him by the King.


added he,

you are stronger than I; and, Chancellor and Justiciary as I am, I yield to force.

He then handed the keys of the much-coveted Tower to John. A little time after, the tall figure of a woman, sitting on the sea-shore near Dover, with a web of cloth and a yard measure in her hand, attracted the attention of some fishermen's wives. Approaching nearer, the black face and new-shorn beard of a man appeared under the green hood. It was the famous Longchamp, thus driven to the unseemliest disguises to ensure his escape to Normandy. We must follow Longchamp's history a little further. As soon as the fact of Richard's imprisonment in the Tyrol became known through Europe, Longchamp was the to show his unwavering fidelity by immediately joining him and assisting in the measures necessary for his liberation; and when the ransom was fixed, Longchamp was the man who came over to England to collect it. Longchamp died Chancellor of England, and, we believe, Constable of the Tower.

The fluctuating course of events in the reigns of John and Henry III. caused the Tower-fortress to frequently exchange hands between the King and the barons, but none of the incidents are sufficiently interesting for us to dwell upon them. The commencement of the Richard's reign brings us to a new feature--the ransacking of the Tower by the populace, during Wat Tyler's insurrection in . Whilst this affair was at its height, the young King threw himself into the Tower, accompanied by his cousin Henry of Bolingbroke (the future scene in the Council Chamber was then little dreamt of), Simon, Archbishop of Canterbury and Chancellor, and Sir Robert Hales, Treasurer. On the Richard made an attempt at personal conciliation, but when he got to the vast multitude, assembled under the banners of St. George


and of their numerous pennons, when they perceived the King's barge,

set up,

says Froissart,

shouts and cries as if all the devils from hell had come into their company.

The royal party hurried quickly back. The riots and devastations at , the Savoy, the Temple, &c., followed. now began to be crowded with persons clamouring for the blood of the Chancellor and Treasurer, and provisions for the Tower inhabitants were stopped. Once more Richard went forth, to Mile End, followed by a large proportion of the besiegers, and subsequently to Smithfield, where Wat Tyler fell, and with him the insurrection in which he had played so conspicuous a part. But all the besiegers did not follow Richard from the Tower; though, whatever object those who remained had in view, the inmates of the great fortress could have seen little cause for fear. The persons in question were miserably armed;


says Holinshed,

were weaponed only with sticks.

In the Tower were men-at-arms, and as many archers. Yet scarcely was Richard out of sight before this mob were hurrying through every apartment of the palace, where, having obtained possession of the Chancellor and the Treasurer, who had vainly sought refuge in the Chapel, they cut off their heads, with those of several other persons. All kinds of licentiousness of course followed. Stow has noticed that many of them

went into the King's privy chamber, and played the wantons, in sitting, lying, and sporting them upon the King's bed.

The Princess of Wales, the King's mother, was at the time in the Tower, and placed completely at their mercy. She was allowed to depart, however, at the price of a few rude kisses. Still the horror of the scene completely overpowered her, and she was taken away by her ladies, in a boat, senseless, and rowed across to the other side of the Thames; where, at a house in , Richard rejoined her later in the day to hear the particulars of the horrid deeds which she had witnessed.

How these men could have got into the Tower so readily as they did, without the aid of the grossest negligence or treachery on the part of the garrison, is difficult to understand. That the Tower was not always guarded with the jealous care that would expect is evident from a curious circumstance that happened some years before Wat Tyler's outbreak, and which is the more remarkable on account of the previous warning. When Edward III. was busy in the Tower preparing for his French expedition, about , he issued a mandate that,

on account of certain news which had lately come to his ears, and which sat heavy at his heart, the gates, walls, and bulwarks should be kept with all diligence, lest they should be surprised by the cunning of his enemies.

The news that was referred to in such terms by Edward III. must indeed have been important. It was most probably from France; whence, about this period, Edward received intelligence that the French King had given an asylum to David Bruce of Scotland, and was preparing to aid the Scottish patriots with men, arms, and money. Minute directions were now given respecting the safe custody of the Tower. Whether Edward received any secret intimation whilst abroad that led him to appear so suddenly and unexpectedly as he did at the Tower gates in , when it was, not even known to the garrison that he was in England, is uncertain; but, to the alarm of the negligent inmates, there he was, at midnight on the , accompanied by the Earl of Northampton, Sir Walter Manny, and other


eminent companions in arms, and discovered but too plainly the culpable looseness with which his chief palace, prison, fortress, and arsenal were guarded. No particulars of the scene seem to have been recorded, but the carelessness must have been of a very marked character, for Edward imprisoned the Governor and other officers, and treated them with great rigour.

The success of Wat Tyler's followers in surprising the Tower was in every way an unfortunate circumstance. It broke the spell that hung over its frowning walls, investing them to the popular eye with a mysterious terrors. Its inmost recesses were no longer unknown: they became mixed up with licentious stories, with many a humorous prank that had been played in them by its wild, grotesque visitors. And whilst the people thus grew less and less afraid of the Tower, the Tower, on the contrary, seems to have imbibed a growing dread of them. The effect was but too evident when the next great popular insurrection, under Jack Cade, in , frighted the isle from its propriety. Although, on the approach of the insurgents, Lord Saye, who was particularly obnoxious to them, with some other persons, were immediately placed in the Tower, which Lord Scales engaged to maintain for the King, yet the hapless peer seems to have been given up without any attempt at defence, hurried to , and thence to the Standard in , where he was beheaded.

We shall only notice other period of the history of the fortress,--the period of Charles I. At that critical moment, when the famous Parliamentary Remonstrance of had passed the House by a considerable majority, and it became evident that the King must either bend to the storm or prepare for a violent resistance, and the nation was anxiously awaiting Charles's answer,--it was at this critical moment that it became noised abroad that the Lieutenant of the Tower, Sir William Balfour, a sturdy parliamentarian, was to be removed. days later the rumour was confirmed, and made still more alarming by the addition of the name of the new officer. This was Colonel Lunsford, a man, according to a petition immediately presented to Parliament by the common-councilmen and others of the city,

of a decayed and desperate fortune,


who might be tempted to undertake any ill design.

The petition was presented to the Lords by the Commons in a conference demanded by the latter for the purpose, who desired their Lordships to concur in a remonstrance to the King. The Lords declined to interfere with the royal prerogative. Subsequent proceedings show the high importance attached to the matter. The Commons immediately passed a unanimous vote that they held

Colonel Lunsford unfit to be, or to continue, Lieutenant of the Tower, as being a person whom the Commons of England could not confide in.

This done, a conference was desired with the Peers, and Hollis, Pym, Strode, Martin, and other eminent men, were appointed as managers. It was now stated that merchants had already withdrawn their bullion from the Mint, and that strangers who had lately come up the Thames with great store of bullion forbore to bring it to the same place, because Colonel Lunsford held the Tower. The Lords still refusing to interfere, the Commons, that very Christmas-eve, sent of their members to the Constable of the Tower, the Earl of Newport, desiring him to lodge and reside within the citadel, and take its entire care and custody into his hands. The Earl, however, could not be found. This was


on the Friday. On Sunday the Lord Mayor waited upon Charles to say that the apprentices of London were actually preparing to rise and carry the Tower by storm, unless he should be pleased to remove Colonel Lunsford. Charles took back the keys that same evening. Still the affair was far from being ended. On Monday the Commons received intelligence that the Earl of Newport had been removed from the office of Constable; and, to add to the general confusion, Colonel Lunsford the same day made a public appearance in Hall, with a number of friends and attendants, and provoked a scuffle which ended in bloodshed. On the information reached the House that Colonel Lunsford and Lord Digby were collecting troops. The Colonel was immediately arrested, and committed as prisoner to the scene of his short-lived honours; Lord Digby fled:--The new Lieutenant, Sir John Biron, was summoned to attend the House, to be questioned concerning arms he had sent to . He refused, showing a warrant from the King commanding him not to leave the Tower; but he ultimately felt himself compelled to succumb to the new and portentous power which, to ordinary eyes, seemed to have grown up so suddenly, to the wonder and dread of kings, as well as of their loyal adherents. The same day the sheriffs of London were directed to

place a sufficient guard by land and water about the Tower, under the command of Major-General Skippon, commander of the guards of Parliament, to hinder the carrying in of any provisions, and the sending out of any ordnance, arms, or ammunition.

A petition was also presented to Charles, insisting upon Biron's removal, and the appointment of an officer recommended by themselves. The answer defended Sir John as


of known fortune and unblemished reputation,

and stated that, as the nomination of the Keeper of the Tower

was a principal and inseparable flower of his crown, vested in him and derived to him from his ancestors by the fundamental laws of the realm, he would reserve it to himself.

But the merchants with the bullion were still obdurate; the Mint stood still; and Charles, no doubt with feelings of the deepest mortification, at last reluctantly accepted Sir John Coniers, the officer named by the Parliament. From that time the interest of the great struggle shifts to other and more exciting scenes; not, however, before the

coming events

had thrown their

shadows before

in the incidents we have narrated.

Among the eminent personages who have filled the office of Constable of the Tower we find, in addition to the names already mentioned, those of Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury; Hubert de Burgh, who was, as already noticed, also a prisoner in of its deepest dungeons; Hugh le Bigod, a nobleman of such power, that when Henry III., exasperated at his refusal to head a foreign expedition, angrily exclaimed,

»Fore God, Sir Earl, you shall either go or hang!

he replied as angrily and uncourteously,

»Fore God, Sir King, I will neither go nor hang!

the good Sir Hugh le Despenser, killed with Montfort at the battle of Evesham ; Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester; Fairfax, the Parliamentary general; Lord Cornwallis, &c., down to their living successor, the Duke of Wellington.

Beside the honours attached to the Constableship, the incidental powers and emoluments of the office have been by no means unworthy of consideration. From records of the date of Richard II.'s reign, and.of other periods, it appears the Constable


received, in addition to his salary of per annum, of every Duke committed to the Tower, ; of every Earl, for the suit of his irons, ; of every Baron, for the suit of his irons, ; of every Knight, for the suit of his irons, ;g and also weekly allowances for the table of himself and prisoners. His next source of profit was the merchandise newly brought up the river: from every wine-vessel he received gallons; from every , ae much as a man could hold between his arms; from every fisherman's smack laden with oysters, mussels, and cockles, a maund; and, in short, from quarter and another,

of all manner of dainties a great quantity.

Lastly comes a long enumeration of miscellaneous perquisites, such as the receipts arising from the sale of herbage growing on , and from persons who dried skins in , from boats fishing in the Thames, and from boats passing to and from the port with herrings, from persons going in pilgrimage to St. James's shrine, and from those who were fined for any of the multitudinous cases of trespass that were constantly occurring in connexion with the Tower precincts, both by water and land. If a ship was forsaken by the crew, the owners were obliged to compound with the Constable; if a lighter in bad weather was obliged to throw her lading overboard, it became the property of the Constable; if goods were brought ashore without the custom-dues having been previously paid, half of them were forfeited to the Constable; if a swan came through the bridge, or a horse, an ox, a cow, a pig, or a sheep fell from it, the Constable still was the ever-ready recipient. Even the prisoners' diet often became a matter of profit. Holinshed gives an amusing description of a quarrel between the Constable of the Tower and the attendants of the Princess, afterwards Queen Elizabeth, during her confinement. The attendants, it appears, were accustomed to bring her daily provision to the outer gate of the Tower, where they were compelled to deliver it to the care of the

common rascal soldiers.

They endeavoured to obtain permission to take it personally to their young mistress, but the Constable decidedly refused, on the ground that she was a prisoner, and should be treated accordingly; and when they remonstrated with him, he told them,

If they did either frown or shrug at him, he would set them where they should see neither sun nor moon.

The Lords of the Council were now appealed to, who decided against the Constable. The attendants were, however, for some time annoyed in various ways in passing to and fro. The reader may be curious to know the meaning of the Constable's anixiety for the maintenance of the arrangement. Holinshed explains.

Good cause why,

says he,

for he had good cheer, and fared of the best;

and her Grace paid for it


Or, in other words, the Constable helped himself from the provisions that came for her use. The Lieutenant, or officer next in nominal rank, but virtually the acting Governor of the Tower, had also fees to receive

for the suit of his irons,

as well as

roundlets of wine, and of dainties a certain quantity,

from the ships in the Thames.

The Council Chamber and Chapel of the Royal Palace yet exist in all their essential features, but no sovereign is ever again likely to sit in high debate in the , or to kneel at his devotions i n the other; the prison lodgings are yet secure As there is no mention of

the suit of his irons


every Duke,

we presume they were not subjected to the indignity. The title was yet new, and only given to nobles of the royal blood.


enough, though there is little probability of their safety ever again being tried; but the fortress, which is anything but a place of strength, remains still a fortress, with its garrison, and its artillery bristling from the different parts of the walls. In walking along the narrow edge of the rampart, which affords an almost uninterrupted communication round the Tower, it is difficult to repress a smile at the utter uselessness of those formidable engines which there meet the eye. It is evident that they could knock Docks to pieces if they were so minded; and, what perhaps comes nearer to the possible exercise of their duties, they might sink any suspicious-looking cock-boat that had got into the moat; but it is difficult to see to what better use they can be put. The inmates of the Tower are evidently of the same opinion, for many of them have built their houses against thy inner side of the rampart, not at all alarmed at the consideration that the balls of a besieging force would send them toppling down on the heads of their neighbours below. The sole enemy,--indeed, these fine old towers and walls have to fear is Time; and their best defence against him must be the peculiar care which every Englishman desires to see bestowed on them, as the visible memorial of many of the most illustrious men of his country, and of the events in which they have been the actors.


weeks after the fire, namely on the , the public were again admitted to the Tower. The Horse Armoury, and Queen Elizabeth's Armoury, contained the most valuable objects which were shown to visitors, and these will remain a sufficient attraction until the other departments of the building are re-edified and re-arranged. From Queen Elizabeth's Armoury the visitor is conducted over the ruins of the Great Storehouse--a scene which for some time will prove almost as interesting as the building in its perfect state. Some of the most valuable relics which the fire has spared are still within the ruins, but the whole area, at the time we write (), has been nearly cleared from the mass of gun-barrels, swords, bayonets, and arms of all kinds with which it was covered; and being now piled into or large stacks many feet square, and probably about feet in height, form striking monuments of the recent devastation. A room in the Arsenal which was used as a storehouse for gun-flints has been appropriated, by order of the Master-General and Board of Ordnance, as a sale-room for the relics of the fire, which, owing to this arrangement, will be distributed from end of the kingdom to the other, and preserved as curiosities in themselves, from the manner in which they are frequently found acted upon by the fire, and also as interesting memorials of an event which strongly excited the English popular mind. The Board of Ordnance was induced to make the above arrangement in consequence of being requested by a great number of persons to be allowed to purchase these relics; but as such a favour would have operated very partially, and have deprived others equally curious in such matters of the opportunity of securing a relic of the event, the Board determined to allow of their being sold at moderate prices to any visitor who might choose to purchase them. They are, therefore, arranged in the room above mentioned, and sold at the affixed prices, which vary from sixpence to . The room is roofless, and a rough temporary counter, sheltered by a canvas awning, displays flints calcined into whiteness, gun-barrels, bayonets, sword-blades, sword-handles, some fused by the heat into an almost undistinguishable mass, in which their original form can scarcely be traced. A police constable is stationed in the room, and the sale is conducted at the counter by attendants. This novel bazaar owes nothing of its interest to the attractions usually connected with those temporary sales, at which youth, beauty, and rank so gracefully preside. The reader will indulge his own reflections upon the scene, and upon the diversion of these relics- from the purposes for which they were originally intended. The handle of that sword might (but for the fire) have been grasped by some gallant spirit as he led a storming party into the breach. Those bayonets, in nervous hands animated by brave hearts, might have turned the tide of battle, and liberated a people from oppression. During the next months the number of visitors at the Armoury will, probably, not be far short of a , and if only in made a purchase, there would be persons from all parts of the country possessed of relics of the fire. There is scarcely a single event which will, in this way, be so extensively recorded; for we have little doubt that a feeling, partly of curiosity and of an undefined reverence for a great emporium of the national power and strength, will render the purchasers as numerous as we have


supposed, if the sale be continued so long as a twelvemonth. The feeling in which this originates is at once creditable, and more than might be expected, considering the manner in which the popular mind is usually closed against the influence of historical recollections. Since the admission-fee to the Armoury has been reduced from to sixpence (the former extravagant sum having been charged little more than years ago), the poorest class of persons who now visit London, if they are animated by the least spark of curiosity or intelligence, had begun to regard the Armouries and Storehouse as of the sights which they would feel ashamed of having left London without having seen.

(To be concluded in No. XLII.)