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

Allen, Thomas

1827

Tomb of Richard II.

Richard II. and his consort, Anne, daughter of Wincelaus, king of Bohemia. They repose side by side in the next intercolumniation westward. The king's face is well wrought; but his cushion is stolen. The robing is decorated with peascod shells, open, and the peas out, emblematical of his former sovereignty.

Underneath the wooden canopy are the remains of some exquisitely fine paintings. This canopy is divided into compartments: those over the heads and feet contain representations of angels supporting the monarch's arms and those of his queen; but they are nearly obliterated by age and damps: the shields are all that remain visible. The compartment from the heads of effigies has a tolerably perfect representation of the Almighty, habited as a venerable old man in a close garment; his hand in the act of blessing; but this is hardly discernible. In the next division is Jesus Christ, seated by the Virgin mother, in the same attitude. With her hands across her breast, and leaning towards the Saviour, in the most graceful and expressive manner, is the Virgin. This part of the painting seems to have suffered the least from the ravages of time: the countenances, when examined minutely, are still very beautiful; but to see them to advantage, it is necessary to climb upon the dusty tomb beneath, and view them in an inclined position, with the face opposite the south aisle.

It is not known to what master we are indebted for these exquisite productions; but, even in their present neglected and rapidly declining state, they clearly shew the hand of an artist enthusiastically alive to his subject. Though the outline remains, the colours are disappearing: it is not, however, yet too late to preserve and perhaps restore them: if they are neglected much longer, it is probable this work will be the last, of any magnitude, to preserve the remembrance of them. Mr. Malcolm thinks it highly probable that they were executed by the same artist who drew the paintings some years ago brought to light on the walls of chapel.

The ground work, round the figures, was once richly gilt; but it is now a dingy yellow, in some places nearly black. It is of fine plaister, and has been embossed with multitudes of small quatrefoils, and other ornaments; some parts still retain traces of its former beauty and richness.

The following rhyming inscription in raised letters runs round the ledge of the brass table beginning at the foot of the north side.

66

 

Within the letter is a feather with a scroll, his father's badge.

North.
Prudens et mundus : Ricardus jure secundus: per fatum pictus : facet hic sub marmore juctus. verax sermone : fuit ei plenus ratione. Corpore procerus : animo prudens ut omerus. Ecclesie favit: elatos suppeditavit. Quem vis prostavit: regalia qui violavit.
West.
Ohru't hereticos : & cerum stravit amicos. O clemens Xte: cui devotus ruit iste votis Baptiste : salves quem protulit iste.

On the south and east sides this for his queen:--

South.
Sub petra lata: nunc Anna jacet tumulata. Dum vivit mundo : Ricardo nupta secunda. xpo devota: fuit hec futus bene nota pauperibus prona : semper sua reddere dona. Jurgia sedavit : et pregnantes relevavit corpore formosa vultu mitis speciosa.
East.
Prebens solamen : viduis egris medicamen. Anno milleno : ter C quarto nonageno, Junii septeno : mensis migravit ameno.

 
 
Footnotes:

[] Sandford, 203; Gough, I, 163, Tab. lxi. lxii.

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 Title Page
 Dedication
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
 Postscript