The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 4

Allen, Thomas


Tomb of Edward I.


Between the western pillar next to the tomb of Henry III. lies his son, Edward I. the husband of the above queen. It is a very plain tomb; and has sustained very little injury.

Rymer's Foedera discovered to the society of Antiquaries that this renowned monarch, surnamed Longshanks, was interred in a stone coffin, enclosed in a tomb, in this chapel, and that he was enclosed with wax, and a sum of money allowed to preserve the tomb. The society determined to gratify their curiosity, and accordingly applied to Dr. Thomas, dean of , for leave to have the tomb opened. The dean being desirous to give all encouragement to curious researches, readily complied with their request. In the month of , the time appointed for opening the tomb, the dean, with about of the society, attended, when, to their great gratification, they found the royal corpse as represented by that faithful annalist.

Sir Joseph Ayloffe, bart. whom Mr. Pennant very justly calls an able and worthy antiquary, has furnished almost every particular of this business.

On lifting up the lid of the tomb, the royal body was found wrapped in a strong thick linen cloth, waxed on the inside: the head and face were covered with a sudarium, or face cloth of crimson sarcenet, wrapped into folds, conformable to the napkin


used by our Savior in his way to his crucifixion, as we are told by the church of Rome. On flinging open the external mantle, the corpse was discovered in all the ensigns of majesty, richly habited. The body was wrapped in a fine cere-cloth, closely fitted to every part, even to the very fingers and face.

The writs being extant, gave rise to this search. Over the cere-cloth was a tunic of red silk damask; above that a stole of thick white tissue crossed the breast; and on this, at inches distant from each other, quatrefoils of filligree-work, of gilt metal, set with false stones, imitating rubies, sapphires, amethysts, &c.; and the intervals between the quatrefoils on the stole, powdered with minute white beads, tacked down in a most elegant embroidery, in form not unlike what is called the true-lovers' knot. Above these habits was the royal mantle of rich crimson satin, fastened on the left shoulder with a magnificent fibula of gilt metal, richly chased, and ornamented with pieces of red, and of blue, transparent paste, and more pearls.

The corpse from the waist downwards, was covered with a rich cloth of figured gold, which falls down to the feet, and was tacked beneath them. On the back of each hand was a quatrefoil like those on the stole. In the king's right hand was a sceptre, with a cross of copper gilt, and of elegant workmanship, reaching to the right shoulders. In the left hand was the rod and dove, which passed over the shoulder and reached his ear. The dove stood on a ball placed on ranges of oak leaves of enamelled green; the dove, white enamel. On the head was a crown charged with trefoils made of gilt metal.

The head was lodged in a cavity of the stone coffin, always observable in those receptacles of the dead.


[] Archaelogia. iii, 376, 398, 399. Similar writs were issued on account of Edward III. Richard II. and Henry IV. A search of the same nature lately took place on account of Charles I. but without the authority of such a writ; a simple exercise of the royal authority being deemed sufficient.

[] Archaeologia, vol. iii. p. 402.

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 Title Page
CHAPTER I: Site, local divisions, and government of the City of Westminster; history of the Abbey; Coronation Ceremonies; and lists of the Abbots and Deans
CHAPTER II: Westminster Abbey, and Description of the Tombs and Monuments
CHAPTER III: History and Topography of St. Margaret's Parish
CHAPTER IV: History and Topography of St. John's Parish, Westminster
CHAPTER V: History and Topography of the parish of St. Martin's in the Fields, Westminster
CHAPTER VI: History and Topogrpahy of the parish of St. James, Westminster
CHAPTER VII: History and Topography of the Parish of St. Anne, Westminster
CHAPTER VIII: History and Topography of the parish of St. Paul, Covent Garden
CHAPTER IX: History and Topography of the Parish of St. Mary-le-strand
CHAPTER X: History and Topogrpahy of the parish of St. Clement Danes
CHAPTER XI: History and Topography of the parish of st. George, Hanover Square
CHAPTER XII: History and Topography of the Precinct of the Savoy
CHAPTER XIII: History and Topography of the Inns of Court
CHAPTER XIV: History and Topography of the Precincts of the Charter-house and Ely Place, and the Liberty of the Rolls
 CHAPTER XV: Historical Notices of the Borough of Southwark
CHAPTER XVI: History and Topography of the Parish of St. Olave, Southwark
CHAPTER XVII: History and Topography of the parish of St. John, Southwark
CHAPTER XVIII: History and Topography of the parish of St. Thomas, Southwark
CHAPTER XIX: History and Topogrpahy of the parish of St. George's, Southwark
CHAPTER XX: History and Topography of St. Saviour's Parish
CHAPTER XXI: History and Topography of the parist of Christ-church in the County of Surrey
 CHAPTER XXII: A List of the Principal Books, &c that have been published in Illustration of the Antiquities, History, Topography, and other subjects treated of in this Work
 Addenda et Corrigienda