The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 4
Tomb of Queen Elizabeth.
This is a sumptuous and lofty pile of the Corinthian order, though of far less grandeur than that of her rival and victim Mary queen of Scots in the south aisle. It consists of a low basement pannelled with projecting pedestals, on which stands columns of black marble, having bases of white marble and gilt capitals; these support an enriched entablature, crowned by a semicircular canopy. In the recess is a thick slab supported by couchant lions, on which is a recumbent figure of the queen finely executed in white marble. Her attire is regal, but the crown that originally adorned her brow is gone; and the sceptre and mound which she held in her hands have been broken. The point lace frill of her chemise is turned back upon a broad plaited ruff, below which was a collar of the order of the garter, cast in lead and gilt; but the last portion of this was stolen when the iron railing was removed in . This monument was erected in , and cost
The following are the inscriptions:--
On the base, west side:
The little recess where the altar stood in the north aisle contains a memorial erected by Charles II. to the bones of Edward V. and his brother, who were destroyed by the usurping Richard. They were found in , feet under ground, at the Tower, upon removing it for repairs. The monument was designed by sir C. Wren.
It should seem that this spot is peculiarly appropriated for children; for here lay Sophia and Mary, daughters of James I.; the former with a cradle, and the latter a pretty little altar-tomb, with an effigy of the infant. This aisle contains other tombs; an exceedingly heavy to George Saville, marquis of Halifax, who died in , aged , and that to Charles Montague, earl of Halifax, infinitely better imagined; and yet it is nothing more than a pedestal with vases and a pyramid. He died in , aged .
In the south aisle, the tomb of Margaret Tudor, mother of Henry VII. demands our notice; for the effigy of brass gilt is, without exception, of the best figures in the abbey. It is supposed to be the workmanship of Torrigiano; it is an altar-tomb of black marble; the front is divided into compartments by ornamented pilasters, between which are wreaths of flowers enclosing the royal arms. On the slab is her effigy, with her hands uplifted in prayer. The whole is of copper gilt. This lady died . The lady Margaret Lenox, grand-daughter to Henry VII. , lies farther west: she has an altar-tomb with her effigies of alabaster. The whole was formerly painted and gilt. She is in the robes of estate with a coronet, and at the sides of the tomb are kneeling figures of her children, viz. sons and daughters in the costume of the times. She died .
Scheemakers and Kent were employed to make a monument for the duke of Albemarle, which occupies the arch at the east end; it has a rostral column, with the duke in armour, a medallion, and weeping figure, turning her eyes upwards; her left elbow leaning on the medallion, sword, bullet, &c. arranged without taste, and poorly executed. On the pedestal is this inscription:--
This inscription occupies the base of the pedestals, and the circular front: it is not much mutilated.
Near it is a tall, but graceful musing statue (whose drapery is in too many small folds) on a pedestal.
If we except the numberless folds of the garment, and perhaps
|the fore-finger of her right hand, which appears to be just entering her ear, this is a most exquisite monument.
The principal object in this aisle is the monument of