The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 4
Earl of Lancaster's Tomb.
The duke of Lancaster's had a painting on its basement, which has been nearly destroyed through age, want of cleaning, and other causes. In many places the stone is bare; and it is nearly impossible to make out the figures, or distinguish what the colours leave been. They appear to be knights conquerors leading their prisoners, from the triumphant attitudes of some, and the downcast looks of others. They are paired, and there is a general similarity of expression in the figures. The effigies of the duke lie
|crosslegged under a grand canopy of great and smaller arches, enriched in a manner even more magnificent than that of Valence's. Upon the pediment were angels on brackets, and a knight on horseback within a trefoil, and niches on the side of the tomb. This and the preceding monument have been recently repaired, and the broken parts restored.
Near this monument is a plain slab removed from St. John the Baptist's chapel, with a brass effigy of sir John Herpeden, who died .
In the north aisle, opposite to Henry III.'s tomb, is a brass figure, representing John Windsor, a parasite of the court of Edward III. and who married that king's mistress, Alice Perrers; he died on Easter eve, . The inscription still remains.
It has caused some dispute whether the small burial place of abbot slip, and the chapel of St. Erasmus were not the same. would almost imagine the writers who confound them had never been in the church. Whatever may have been the original state of the abbot's chapel, as it is called, it certainly is separate, and always has been from that of St. Erasmus. On examining the ichnography, the former will be found to answer the square chapel of St. Benedict directly opposite, in the south aisle. The place just mentioned is nearly open to the transept, and on the north side. It is therefore plain that Islip did no more than build the present screen, and make a floor for a chantry, to which there is now a flight of wooden steps, and at the entrance a small door leading to the place where he lies. Dart says, he cannot find the site of chapels dedicated to St. Catherine and St. Anne.
The door was surmounted by a statue, but only its bracket remains, and .
The basement of the screen is composed of quatrefoils containing roses and fleurs de lis, and over them a row of arches. The next division is divided by buttresses into windows of mullions, with ranges of arches in height. The frieze contains or reliefs of his rebus, most absurdly conceived, being an eye, and a slip, or branch of a tree, and his name at length. The most beautiful part is niches above, with canopies of great taste and delicate workmanship.
Farther to the east is another specimen of those exquisite performances of niches, and triple canopies, with their minute ribs; foliages, &c. and a row of quatrefoils at the base. That this was the abbot's work we have a proof at the sides in a rebus of a hand holding a slip.
The recess is filled, without injury to it, by a neat tablet, inscribed,
of the small pillars on a great column having been cut away for the alterations made by Islip, it has been supported by a bracket carved into his rebus, which we find repeated in the window of the chantry in panes of coloured glass. And round this place, once used only for prayers for the deceased, stand clumsy presses faced with glass, through which the curious may view the stiff waxen figures of king William, queen Mary, and queen Anne, duchess of Richmond and Buckingham, Nelson and lord Chatham.
The robes and other parts of the dress of the late lord Chatham are preserved on a well-executed effigy by Mrs. Wright. The face is probably as well done as wax will permit; but such representations are never pleasing; there is something particularly disagreeable in the glass eyes. Fragments of portraits on the sides of the site of the altar were hid by these presses, but they have been recently removed with other ancient remains and framed and glazed near Poets' Corner.
The inside of the chapel or burial-place is hid from view by a fence of rough boards nailed across the arches.