The church on this site was built on the Isle of Thorns--
--an almost insulated peninsula of dry sand and gravel, girt on side by the Thames, and on the other by the marshes formed by the little stream Eye,[n.228.1] which gave its name to Tyburn, before it fell into the river. Here Sebert, King of the East Saxons, who died in , having been baptized by Mellitus, is said to have founded a church, which he dedicated to St. Peter, either from an association with the great church in Rome, from which Augustine had lately come, or to balance his rival foundation in honour of St. Paul upon a neighbouring hill. Sulcard, the historian of the Abbey, relates that on a Sunday night, being the eve of the day on which the church was to be consecrated by Bishop Mellitus, Edric the fisherman was watching his nets by the bank of the island. On the opposite shore he saw a gleaming light, and, when he approached it in his boat, he found a venerable man, who desired to be ferried across the stream. Upon their arrival at the island, the
| mysterious stranger landed, and proceeded to the church, calling up on his way springs of water, which still exist, by blows of his staff. Then a host of angels miraculously appeared, and held candles which lighted him as he went through all the usual forms of a church consecration, while throughout the service other angels were seen ascending and descending over the church, as in Jacob's vision. When the old man returned to the boat, he bade Edric tell Mellitus that the church was already consecrated by St. Peter, who held the keys of heaven, and promised that a plentiful supply of fish would never fail him as a fisherman if he ceased to work on a Sunday, and did not forget to bear a tithe of that which he caught to the Abbey of .
On the following day, when Mellitus came to consecrate the church, Edric presented himself and told his story, showing, in proof of it, the marks of consecration in the traces of the chrism, the crosses on the doors, and the droppings of the angelic candles. The bishop acknowledged that his work had been already done by saintly hands, and changed the name of the place from Thorney to , and in recollection of the story of Edric a tithe of fish was paid by the Thames fishermen to the Abbey till ,[n.229.1] the bearer having a right to sit that day at the prior's table, and to ask for bread and ale from the cellarman.
Beside the church of Sebert arose the palace of the Anglo-Saxon monarchs, to which it served as a chapel, as
| does to Windsor. It is connected with many of the legends of that picturesque age. Here, while he was attending mass with Leofric of Mercia and his wife, the famous Godiva, Edward the Confessor announced that he saw the Saviour appear as a luminous child. By the wayside between the palace and the chapel sate Michael, the crippled Irishman, who assured Hugolin, the chamberlain, that St. Peter had promised his cure if the king would himself bear him on his shoulders to the church, upon which Edward bore him to the altar, where he was received by Godric, the sacristan, and walked away whole.
Whilst he was an exile Edward had vowed that if he returned to England in safety he would make a pilgrimage to Rome. This promise, after his coronation, he was most anxious to perform, but his nobles refused to let him go, and the pope (Leo IX.) released him from his vow, on condition of his founding or restoring a church in honour of St. Peter. Then, to an ancient hermit near Worcester, St. Peter appeared,
and bade him tell the king that the church to which he must devote himself, and where he must establish a Benedictine monastery, was no other than the ancient minster of Thorney, which he knew so well.
bright and beautiful, like to a clerk,
Edward, henceforth devoting a of his whole substance to the work, destroyed the old church, and rebuilt it from the foundation, as the
It was the cruciform church erected in England,[n.230.1] and was of immense size for the age, covering the whole of the ground occupied by the present building. The foundation was laid in , and the
Collegiate Church of St. Peter at
| church was consecrated , days before the death of the king. Of this church and monastery of the Confessor nothing remains now but the Chapel of the Pyx, the lower part of the Refectory underlying the schoolroom, part of the Dormitory, and the whole of the lower walls of the South Cloister; but the Bayeux tapestry still shows us in outline the church of the Confessor as it existed in its glory.
The founder of the Abbey was Henry III., who pulled down most of the Confessor's work, and from to devoted himself to rebuilding. The material he employed was the green sandstone, which has given the name of God-stone to the place in Surrey whence it came, and afterwards Caen stone. The portions which remain to us from his time are the Confessor's Chapel, the side aisles and their chapels, and the choir and transepts. The work of Henry was continued by his son Edward I., who built the eastern portion of the nave, and it was carried on by different abbots till the great west window was erected by Abbot Estney in . Meantime, Abbot Littlington, in , had added the College Hall, the Abbot's House, Jerusalem Chamber, and part of the cloisters. In Henry VII. pulled down the Lady Chapel, and built his beautiful Perpendicular chapel instead. The western towers were only completed from designs of Sir Christopher Wren (), under whom much of the exterior was refaced with Oxfordshire stone, and its original details mercilessly defaced and pared down.
The Abbey Church formerly arose a magnificent apex to a royal palace, surrounded by its own greater and lesser sanctuaries and almonries; its bell-towers, chapels, prisons, gate-houses, boundary. walls, and a train of other buildings, of which at the present day we can scarcely form an idea. In addition to all the land around it, extending from the Thames to Oxford Street, and from Vauxhall Bridge Road to the church of St. Mary-le-Strand, the Abbey possessed 97 towns and villages, 7. hamlets, and 216 manors.-Bardwell's
Ancient and Modern Westminster.
At the dissolution Abbot Benson was rewarded for his facile resignation by being made dean of the college which was established in place of the monastery. In a bishopric of was formed, with Middlesex as a diocese, but it was of short existence, for Mary refounded the monastery, and Elizabeth turned her attention entirely to the college, which she re-established under a dean and secular canons.
No can understand , and few can realise its beauties, in a single visit. Too many tombs will produce the same satiety as too many pictures. There can be no advantage, and there will be less pleasure, in filling the brain with a hopeless jumble in which kings and statesmen, warriors, ecclesiastics, and poets, are tossing about together. Even those who give the shortest time to their London sight-seeing should not pay less than visits to the Abbey. On the , unwearied by detail, let them have the luxury of enjoying the architectural beauties of the place, with a general view of the interior, the chapter-house, cloisters, and their monastic surroundings. On the let them study the glorious chapels which surround the choir, and which contain nearly all the tombs of antiquarian or artistic interest. On the let them labour as far as they can through the mass of monuments which crowd the transepts and nave, which are often mere cenotaphs, and which almost always derive their only interest
| from those they commemorate. These visits may enable visitors to , but it will require many more to it-visits at all hours of the day to drink in the glories of the light and shadow in the great church of England which retains its beautiful ancient colouring undestroyed by so-called |
--visits employed in learning the way by which the minster has grown, arch upon arch, and monument upon monument; and other visits given to studying the epitaphs on the tombs, and considering the reminiscences they awaken.
Oft let me range the gloomy aisles alone-
Sad luxury! to vulgar minds unknown,
Along the walls where speaking marbles show
What worthies form the hallow'd mould below;
Proud names, who once the reins of empires held;
In arms who triumph'd, or in arts excell'd;
Chiefs, graced with scars, and prodigal of blood;
Stern patriots, who for sacred freedom stood;
Just men, by whom impartial laws were given;
And saints, who taught and led the way to heaven.
In approaching the Abbey from , the portion seen is the richly decorated buttresses of Henry VII.'s Chapel. Then we emerge into the open square which still bears the name of , and have the whole building rising before us.
That antique pile behold,
Where royal heads receive the sacred gold:
It gives them crowns, and does their ashes keep;
There made like gods, like mortals there they sleep,
Making the circle of their reign complete,
These suns of empire, where they rise they set.
The outline of the Abbey is beautifully varied and broken by , which is not only
| deeply interesting in itself, but is invaluable as presenting the greater edifice behind it in its true proportions. Facing us is the north transept, the front of which, with its statueless niches, beautiful rose-window, and its great triple entrance-imitated from French cathedrals- sometimes called |
is the richest part of the building externally, and a splendid example of the Pointed style.
|Beyond Wren's poor towers is the low line of grey wall which indicates the Jerusalem Chamber.
Facing the Abbey, on the left, are Hall and the Houses of Parliament, which occupy the site of the ancient palace of our sovereigns. Leaving these and for a later chapter, let us proceed at once to enter the Abbey.
The nave and transepts are open free; the chapels surrounding the choir are shown on payment of 6d.
Hours of Divine service, 7.45 A.M., 10 A.M., and 3 P.M. From the first Sunday after Easter till the last Sunday in July there is a special evening service with a sermon in the nave at 7 P.M. Vox quidem dissona, sed una religio has been the maxim of Dean Stanley in his choice of the preachers for the services.
Three miles of hot water completely warm the Abbey in winter.
Behind the rich lace-work of Henry VII.'s Chapel, and under of the grand flying buttresses of the Chapter- House, through a passage hard by which Chaucer lived, we reach the door of the Poets' Corner, where Queen Caroline vainly knocked for admission to share in the coronation of her husband George IV. This is the door by which visitors generally enter the Abbey.
The moment I entered Westminster Abbey I felt a kind of awe pervade my mind which I cannot describe; the very silence seemed sacred.-Edmund Burke.
On entering, the magnitude of the building breaks fully upon the mind. The eye gazes with wonder at clustered columns of gigantic dimensions, with arches springing from them to such an amazing height. It seems as if the awful nature of the place presses down upon the soul, and hushes the beholder into noiseless reverence. We feel that we are surrounded by the congregated bones of the great men of past times, who have filled history with their deeds, and earth with their renown.- Washington Irving.
How reverend is the face of this tall pile,
Whose ancient pillars rear their marble heads,
To bear aloft its arch'd and ponderous roof,
By its own weight made steadfast and immovable,
They dreamed not of a perishable home
Who thus could build. Be mine, in hours of fear
Or grovelling thought, to seek a refuge here,
And through the aisles of Westminster to roam,
Where bubbles burst, and folly's dancing foam
Melts, if it cross the threshold.-W. Wordsworth.
Here where the end of earthly things
Lays heroes, patriots, bards, and kings,
Where stiff the hand and still the tongue
Of those who fought, and spoke, and sung,
Here, where the fretted aisles prolong
The distant notes of holy song,
As if some angel spoke again,
All peace on earth, goodwill to man,
If ever from an English heart,
Oh, here let prejudice depart!-Walter Scott.
The name , as applied to the southern end of the south transept, is mentioned by Goldsmith. The attraction to the spot as the burial-place of the poets arose from its containing the grave of Chaucer,
whose tomb, though it was not erected till more than a years after his death ( ), is the only ancient monument in the transept. Here, as Addison says,
the father of English poets,
Though many of the later monuments are only cenotaphs, they are still for the most part interesting as portraying those they commemorate. That which strikes every is the wonderful beauty of the colouring in the interior. Architects will pause to admire the Purbeck marble columns with their moulded, not sculptured, capitals; the beauty of the triforium arcades, their richness so greatly enhanced by the wall-surface above being covered with a square diaper; the noble rose-windows; and, above all, the perfect proportions of the whole. But no knowledge of architecture is needed for the enjoyment of the colouring--of the radiant hues of the stained-glass, which enhances the depth of the shadows amid the time-stained arches, and floods the roof and its beautiful tracery with light.
there are many poets who have no monuments, and many monuments which have no poets.?
Few, however, among the hundreds who visit it daily are led to the Abbey by its intrinsic beauty, but rather because it is
--the burial-place of those of her sons whom, at different times of her taste and judgment, England has delighted to honour with sepulture in
the silent meeting-place of the great dead of
the great temple of silence and reconciliation, where the enmities of
generations lie buried.
Let us now praise famous men, and our fathers that begat us. The Lord hath wrought great glory by them through his great power from, the beginning. Such as did bear rule in their kingdoms, men renowned for their power, giving counsel by their understanding. Leaders of the people by their counsels, and by their knowledge of learning meet for the people, wise and eloquent in their instructions. Such as found out musical tunes, and recited verses in writing: rich men furnished with ability, living peaceably in their habitations. All these were honoured in their generation, and were the glory of their times .... Their bodies are buried m peace, but their name liveth for evermore.-Ecclesiasticus xliv. 1-7, 14.
When I am in a serious humour, I very often walk by myself in Westminster Abbey; where the gloominess of the place, and the use to which it is applied, with the solemnity of the building, and the condition of the people who lie in it, are apt to fill the mind with a kind of melancholy, or rather thoughtfulness that is not disagreeable.
When I look upon the tombs of the great, every notion of envy dies in me; when I read the epitaphs of the beautiful, every inordinate desire goes out; when I meet with grief of parents upon a tombstone, my heart melts with compassion; when I see the tombs of the parents themselves, I consider the vanity of grieving for those whom we must quickly follow. When I see kings lying by the side of those who deposed them, when I consider rival wits placed side by side, or the holy men that divided the world with their contests and disputes, I reflect with sorrow and astonishment on the little competitions, factions, and debates of mankind. When I read the several dates of the tombs, of some that died yesterday, and some six hundred years ago, I consider that great day when we shall all of us be contemporaries, and make our appearance together.-Addison, Spectator>, No. 26.
Death openeth the gate to good fame, and extinguisheth envy; above all, believe it, when a man hath obtained worthy ends and expectations, the sweetest canticle is Nunc Dimittis. -Lord Bacon.
O eloquent, just, and mighty Death! whom none could advise, thou hast persuaded; what none hath dared, thou hast done; and whom all the world hath flattered, thou only hast cast out of the world and despised; thou hast drawn together all the far-stretched greatness, all the pride, cruelty, and ambition of man, and covered it all over with these two words, Hic jacet.-Sir W. Raleigh. Hist. of the World.
The best of men are but men at the best.-General Lambert.
Those who look upon the tombs of the poets can scarcely fail to observe, with surprise, how very few are commemorated here whose works are read now, how many whose very existence is generally forgotten.[n.238.1]
I have always observed that the visitors to the Abbey remain longest about the simple memorials in Poets' Comer. A kinder and fonder feeling takes the place of that cold curiosity or vague admiration with which they gaze on the splendid monuments of the great and the heroic. They linger about these as about the tombs of friends and companions.-Washington Irving. The Sketch Book.
Beginning to the right from the entrance, we find the monuments of-
, author of the who
in . His bust was erected here by Anne Clifford,
exchanged his laurell for a crowne of glory
Dorset, Pembroke, and Montgomery.
Doe pious marble! let thy readers knowe
What they, and what their children owe
To Drayton's name, whose sacred dust
We recommend unto thy trust.
Protect his mem'ry, and preserve his storye,
Remaine a lastinge monument of his glorye;
And when thy ruines shall disclame
To be the treasrer of his name:
His name, that canot fade, shall be
An everlasting monument to thee.
Mr. Marshall, the stone-cutter of Fetter Lane, told me that these Verses were made by Mr. Francis Quarles, who was his great friend. Tis pity they should be lost. Mr. Quarles was a very good man.- Aubrey.
There is probably no poem of this kind in any other language comparable together in extent and excellence to the Poly-olbion. Yet perhaps no English poem, known as well by name, is so little known beyond its name.-Hallam. Intro. to Lit. Hist.
Barton Booth, the actor, 1733, with a medallion. Being educated at Westminster, where he was the favourite of Dr. Busby, he was first induced to take to the stage by the admiration he excited while acting in one of Terence's plays as a schoolboy. He was the original Cato
in Addison's play.
The Splendid Shilling,
, buried at Hereford, an author, whose once celebrated poem,
is now almost forgotten. Milton was his model, and
whatever there is in Milton which the reader wishes away, all that is obsolete, peculiar, or licentious, is accumulated with great care by Philips.
Johnson's Lives of the Poets.
The monument was erected by the poet's friend, Sir Simon Harcourt. The epitaph is attributed to Dr. Smalridge. The line,
Uni Miltono secundus, primoque pane par,
was effaced under Dean Sprat, not because of its almost profane arrogance, but because the royalist dean would not allow even the name of the regicide Milton to appear within the Abbey --it was
too detestable to be read on the wall of a building dedicated to devotion.
The line was restored under Dean Atterbury.
Philips's poem of
is commemorated in the bower of apple entwined with laurel which encircles his bust, and the inscription,
Honos erat huic quoque Pomo.
Geoffrey Chaucer, 1400. A grey marble altar-tomb with a canopy, erected by Nicholas Bingham in the reign of Edward VI. This
Maister Chaucer, the Flour of Poetes, is chiefly known from his
Canterbury Tales, by which a company of pilgrims, who meet at the Tabard Inn in Southwark on their way to the shrine of St. Thomas k Becket, are supposed to beguile their journey. The fortunes of Chaucer followed those of John of Gaunt, who married the sister of the poet's wife, Philippa de Rouet, and he was at one time imprisoned for his championship of the followers of Wickliff.. He was buried
in the Abbey of Westminster, before the chapel of St. Bennet.Caxton in his ed. of Chaucer's trans. of Boethius.
The window above the tomb was erected to the poet's memory in 1868.
Chaucer lies buried in the south aisle of St. Peter's, Westminster, and now hath got the company of Spenser and Drayton, a pair royal of poets, enough almost to make passengers' feet to move metrically, who go over the place where so much poetical dust is interred.-Fuller.
Abraham Cowley, 1667. The monument stands above the grave of the poet. and was erected by George Villiers, second Duke of Buckingham. Dean Swift wrote the inscription to the Pindar, Horace, and Virgil of England, and the delight, ornament, and admiration of his age. Cowley was zealously devoted to the cause of Charles L, but was cruelly neglected by Charles II., though, on hearing of his death, the king is reported to have said that he (Cowley) had not left a better man behind him. The popularity of Cowley had already waned in the days of Pope, who wrote-
Who now reads Cowley? If he pleases yet,
His moral pleases, not his pointed wit:
Forget his epic, nay, Pindaric, art,
But still I love the language of his heart.
(Above Chaucer) an epitaph to John Roberts, 1776, the very faithful secretary to Henry Pelham.
John Dryden, 1700. A bust by Scheemakers, erected by Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham. Pope wrote the couplet-
This Sheffield raised; the sacred dust below
Was Dryden once: the rest who does not know?
Dryden, who succeeded Sir William Davenant as poet-laureate, was educated at Westminster School. He shifted his politics with the Restoration, having previously been an ardent admirer of Cromwell. His twenty-seven plays are now almost forgotten, and so are his prose works, however admirable. His reputation chiefly rests on his Ode for St. Cecilia's Day, and the musical opening lines of his Hind and Panther, written after his secession to the Church of Rome, in the second part of which he represented the milk-white hind (Rome) and the spotted panther (the Church of England) as discussing theology. He was buried at the feet of Chaucer (see Ch. III.).
Near Dryden lies
, the dramatist,
Returning to the south entrance, and turning left, we find monuments to-
Ben Jonson, 1637, who was educated at Westminster School, but afterwards became a bricklayer, then a soldier, and then an actor. His comedies found such favour with James I. that he received a pension of a hundred marks, with the title of poet-laureate, in 1616. His pension was increased by Charles I., but he died in great poverty in the neighbourhood of the Abbey, where he was buried in the north aisle of the nave. Every Man in His Humour and The Alchymist are perhaps the best of his comedies; but there is hardly one of his pieces which, as it stands, would please on the stage in the present day, even as most of them failed to please in his own time.Schlegel's Lectures on Dramatic Art and Lit. His allegorical monument, by Rysbrack, was erected in 1737.
was incomparably more popular than no poem in our language rose at once to greater reputation.
Samuel Butler, 1680, buried at St. Paul's, Covent Garden; the author of Hudibras, a work which, when it came out,
Hallam, Introduct. to Lit. Hist.
By the first paragraph the reader is amused, by the next he is delighted, and by a few more constrained to astonishment. But astonishment is a tiresome pleasure; he is soon weary of wondering, and longs to be diverted.-Johnson.
The bust was erected by John Barber, Lord Mayor, that he who was destitute of all things when alive, might not want a monument when dead.
Here lyes expecting the comminge of our Saviour Christ Jesus, the body of Edmond Spencer, the Prince of Poets in his tyme, whose divine spirrit needs noe othir witnesse then the workes which he left behinde him.
Edmond Spenser, 1598, with the epitaph,
He died in
, and was buried here at the expense of Devereux, Earl of Essex, the spot being selected for his grave on account of its vicinity to Chaucer.
His hearse was attended by poets, and mournful elegies and poems, with the pens that wrote them, were thrown into his tomb. What a funeral was that at which Beaumont, Fletcher, Jonson, and, in all probability, Shakspeare, attended!-what a grave in which the pen of Shakspeare may be mouldering away! -Stanley, Memorials of Westminster.
It is by his that Spenser is chiefly known now, but his was so much admired by Dryden that he considered it
not to be matched in any modern language.
Our sage and serious Spenser, whom I dare be known to think a better teacher than Scotus or Aquinas.-Milton.
The grave and diligent Spenser.-Ben Jonson.
Here's that creates a poet.-Quarles.
, , buried at Stoke Pogis, chiefly known as the uthor of the which Byron
| justly calls |
The monument is by
. The Lyric Muse is represented as holding his medallion. portrait, and points to a bust of Milton. Beneath are the lines of Mason-
the corner-stone of his glory.
No more the Graecian muse unrival'd reigns;
To Britain let the nations homage pay:
She felt a Homer's fire in Milton's strains,
A Pindar's rapture in the lyre of Gray.
, , buried at , Cripplegate (see Vol. I. Ch. VII.). The monument, by , was erected in , when Dr. Gregory said to Dr. Johnson,
[n.243.1] It was set up at the expense of Auditor Benson, who
I have seen erected in the church a bust of that man whose name I once knew considered as a pollution of its walls.
[n.243.2] whence Pope's line in the Dunciad-
has bestowed more words upon himself than upon Milton,
On poets' tombs see Benson's titles writ.
, , buried at Aston in Yorkshire, of which he was rector. His dramatic poems of and are the least forgotten of his works. His monument, by the elder Bacon, bears a profile medallion, with an inscription by Bishop Hurd--
Poetae, si quis alius culto, casto, pio.
, , who died of opium, and is buried at . He was poet-laureate in the time of William III. He
endeavoured to make the stage as grossly immoral as his talents admitted,
[n.243.3] Rochester said of him that if he had burnt all he wrote, and printed all he spoke, he would have had more wit and humour than any other poet. His rivalry with Dryden excited the ill-natured lines-
was not destitute of humour.
The monument, erected by the poet's son, Sir John , bears his pert-looking bust crowned with laurel, by .
Mature in dulness from his tender years,
Shadwell alone, of all my sons, is he
Who stands confirm'd in full stupidity:
The rest to some faint meaning make pretence,
But Shadwell never deviates into sense.Mac Flecknoe.
, , educated at School, whence he was removed to serve as tapster in the public.house of an uncle at
|. His knowledge of the Odes of Horace here attracted the attention of Lord Dorset, who sent him to College at Cambridge, and under the same patronage he rose to be Gentleman of the Bedchamber to William III. and Under Secretary of State, &c.
and were considered his best works by his contemporaries; now no reads them. He died at Wimpole in Cambridgeshire, and was buried by his own desire at the feet of Spenser. His bust, by , was given by Louis XIV. His epitaph, by Dr. Freind, tells how, |
, while he was writing the History of his own Times, Death interfered, and broke the thread of his discourse.
, , buried at Fulham. His monument, with a profile medallion by , was erected by the African Institution, in gratitude for his philanthropic exertions for the abolition of slavery.
, , the witty and dissolute favourite of Charles II. A tablet and bust.
, , whose fame rests solely upon the which, however, made him of the most popular poets of his day!
, . The author of and
Beneath his statue by are engraved some striking lines from his which Byron considered
of the most beautiful didactic poems in our language.
, , the actress,
as she is described in her epitaph by Whitehead.
by Nature for the stage designed,
, poet-laureate, , buried at Crosthwaite. A bust . by . He left above published works, but is immortalised by his and the
, , buried at Stratford-on-Avon.
In poetry there is but one supreme,
Though there are other angels round his throne,
Mighty and beauteous, while his face is hid.
W. S. Landor.
The monument, by and , was erected by public subscription in . The lines from the inscribed on the scroll which the figure holds in his hand seem to have a peculiar application in the noble building where they are placed-
The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve;
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind.
, , buried at Richmond. His monument, designed by , is a figure leaning upon a pedestal, which bears in relief the Seasons, in commemoration of the work which has caused Thomson to rank amongst the best of our descriptive poets.
, , poet-laureate of George I., the translator of Lucan's and author of the and . His only daughter, Charlotte Fane, is commemorated with him in a monument by . The epitaph, by Pope, alludes to Rowe's widow in the lines-
But, to the poet's excessive annoyance, after the stone was put up, the widow married again.
To these so mourn'd in death, so lov'd in life,
The childless parent and the widow'd wife,
With tears inscribes this monumental stone,
That holds their ashes, and expects her own.
, , chiefly known by his and by the play called the , which was thought to do so much towards corrupting the morals of his time, and which gave its author the name of the
His monument, by
, was erected by the Duke and Duchess of Queensberry, who
Orpheus of Highwaymen.
The Duchess was the
loved this excellent person living, and regretted him dead.
of Prior's verse, when
Under a medallion portrait of the poet are his own strange lines-
C Gay was nursed in Queensberry's ducal halls.
And beneath is an epitaph by Pope, who was his intimate friend.
Life is a jest, and all things show it,
I thought so once, and now I know it.
, , buried at the Temple, author of the
and the Sir J. Reynolds chose the site for the monument, and Dr. Johnson wrote the inscription in Latin, flatly refusing to accede to the petition of all the other friends of Goldsmith (expressed in a round-robin), that he would celebrate the poet's fame in the language in which he wrote. The medallion is by
Beyond this, we may consider ourselves to pass from the Poets' Corner, and to enter upon the
historical and learned side of the south transept.
, , buried in Henry VII.'s Chapel. A Roman statue with allegorical figures, by
Canova considered the figure of Eloquence (deeply attentive to the Duke's oratory)
The epitaph is by Paul Whitehead.
of the noblest statues he had seen in England,
It is said that, through the influence of Sir Edward Walpole, the monument in memory of John, Duke of Argyle and Greenwich, was confided to the hands of Roubiliac. The design is a splendid conceit --the noble warrior and orator is stretched out and expiring at the foot of a pyramid, on which History is writing his actions, while Minerva looks mournfully on, and Eloquence deplores his fall. The common allegorical materials of other monuments are here. Even History is inscribing a conceit-she has written John, Duke of Argyle and Gr--there she pauses and weeps. There is a visible want of unity in the action, and in this work at least Roubiliac merits the reproach of Flaxman, that he did not know how to combine figures together so as to form an intelligible story. Yet no one, before or since, has shown finer skill in rendering his figures individually excellent. Argyle indeed seems reluctant to die, and History is a little too theatrical in her posture; but all defects are forgotten in looking at the figure of Eloquence, with her supplicating hand and earnest brow.-Allan Cunningham.
, . The tomb is the last work of
, who cast the face after death. The skill of Roubiliac is conspicuous in the ease which he has given to the unwieldy figure of the great musician.
, buried at Kensal Green, the honoured author of and A bust.
, , whose contributions to the and . have caused him to be regarded as the greatest of English essayists, and whose character stood equally high as an author, a man, and a Christian. His statue, by , stands on a pedestal
| surrounded by the Muses. As we look at it we may remember how he was accustomed to walk by himself in , and meditate on the condition of those who lay in it.
It represents him, as we can conceive him, clad in his dressing. gown, and freed from his wig. stepping from his parlour at Chelsea into his trim little garden, with the account of the Everlasting Club, or the Loves of Hilpa and Shalum, just finished for the next day's
Spectator, in his hand. Such a mark of national respect was due to the unsullied statesman, to the accomplished scholar, to the master of pure English eloquence, to the consummate painter of life and manners. It was due, above all, to the great satirist, who alone knew how to use ridicule without abusing it, who, without inflicting a wound, effected a great social reform, and who reconciled wit and virtue, after a long and disastrous separation, during which wit had been led astray by profligacy, and virtue by fanaticism.-Macaulay.
, the poet and historian, . A bust. On his gravestone is inscribed,
His body is buried in peace, but his name liveth evermore.
, , the wit, mathematician, and divine. He was the college tutor of Sir Isaac Newton, whose optical lectures were published at his expense. He died (being Master of Trinity, Cambridge) at of the canonical houses in the cloisters. In the words of his epitaph, he was
a man almost divine, and truly great, if greatness be comprised in piety, probity, and faith, the deepest learning, equal modesty, and morals in every respect sanctified and sweet.
, the architect, . A tablet.
(Above) , , philosopher and botanist. The monument, by , was erected by Augusta,
Religion stands on side of the monument lamenting the deceased, while Botany, on the other, holds his medallion, and, beneath, the Winds appear on a globe, in allusion to the invention of ventilation by Hales.
the mother of that best of kings, George III.
, , the famous critic and scholar, editor of Persius and Polybius, who received a canonry of WVestminster from James I. On the monument, erected by Bishop Morton, is to be seen the monogram of Izaak Walton, scratched by the angler himself, with the date .
, , the orientalist, buried at . He was induced to reside in England by his veneration for the Reformed Church, and was editor of a valuable edition of the Septuagint.
, (buried before St. Nicholas's Chapel), the antiquary-
who, a house-painter's son, became head-master of . The office of Clarencieux King at Arms, which was bestowed upon him in , gave him time to become the author of the which caused him to be looked upon as of the glories of the reign of Elizabeth: he was afterwards induced by Lord Burleigh to write the annals of that reign. The nose of the effigy was broken by some Cavaliers, who broke into the abbey to destroy the hearse of the Earl of Essex, but it was restored by the University of Oxford.
the British Pausanias,
It is most worthy to be observed with what diligence he (Camden) inquired after ancient places, making hue and cry after many a city which was run away, and by certain marks and tokens pursuing to find it; as by the situation on the Roman highways, by just distance from other ancient cities, by some affinity of name, by tradition of the inhabitants, by Roman coins digged up, and by some appearance of ruins. A broken urn is a whole evidence; or an old gate still surviving, out of which the city is run out. Besides, commonly some new spruce town not far off is grown out of the ashes thereof, which yet hath as much natural affection as dutifully to own these reverend ruins for her mother.-Fuller.
David Garrick, 1779, the actor. His figure, throwing aside a curtain and disclosing a medallion of Shakspeare, is intended to be allegorical of the way in which his theatrical performance unveiled the beauties of Shakspeare's works.
To paint fair nature, by divine command,
Her magic pencil in his glowing hand,
A Shakspeare rose,--then to expand his fame,
Wide o'er this breathing world, a Garrick came.
Though sunk in death the forms the Poet drew,
The Actor's genus bade them breathe anew:
Though, like the Bard himself in night they lay,
Immortal Garrick called them back to day.
Epitaph by Pratt.
George Grote, 1871, the historian of Greece. A bust by G. Bacon.
Amongst the illustrious dead who have tombstones in this transept, but no monuments upon the walls, are (beginning from the south wall)-
Sir John Denham, 1618, the poet of Cooper's Hill, deservedly considered as one of the fathers of English poetry.Dr. Johnson.
Dr. Samuel Johnson, 1784, the essayist, critic, and lexicographer. He was buried here by his friend Garrick, contrary to his desire that he might rest at Adderley in Shropshire, which belonged to his friend Lady Corbet, cousin of Mrs. Thrale. His monument is in St. Paul's.
Richard Brinsley Sheridan, 1816, the dramatist (author of the
Rivals, the Duenna, and the School for Scandal), who, being for many years in Parliament, obtained an extraordinary reputation as an orator by his Begum Charge before the House of Commons, in the proceedings Iagainst Warren Hastings. He was suffered to die in great poverty, yet his funeral was conducted with a magnificence which called forth the verses of Moore-
Oh! it sickens the heart to see bosoms so hollow,
And spirits so mean in the great and high-born,
To think what a long line of titles may follow
The relics of him who died-friendless and lorn!
How proud can they press to the funeral array
Of one whom they shunned in his sickness and sorrow:--
The bailiffs may seize his last blanket to-day,
Whose pall shall be held up by nobles to-morrow.
John Henderson, the actor, 1785-equally great in comedy and tragedy.
Mary Eleanor Bowes, 1800, the beautiful and unfortunate ninth Countess of Strathmore, buried amongst the poets on account of her brilliant wit and her extraordinary mental acquirements.
of ye county of Salop, born in A.D. . He lived in the reignes of princes, viz.-King Edward IV., King Edward V., King Richard III., King Henry VII., King Henry VIII., King Edward VI., Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, King James, King Charles; aged years, and was buryed here, .
Dr. Thomas Parr,
Charles Dickens, 1870 (the grave is near that of Thackeray), the illustrious author of many works, of which the Pickwick Papers,
Oliver Twist, Dombey and Son, and David Copperfield are the best known.
O Rare Sir William Davenant.
Sir William Davenant, 1668, who succeeded Ben Jonson as poet-laureate to Charles I., being son of a vintner at Oxford. He was buried in the grave of Thomas May, the poet (disinterred at the Restoration), with the inscription,
the wisest and worthiest man of his age.
Sir Richard Moray, 1673, one of the founders of the Royal Society, called by Bishop Burnet
James Macpherson, 1796, author of Ossian, brought hither from Inverness.
Robert Adam, 1792, architect of the Adelphi Terrace and Osterley Paik, &c.
Sir William Chambers, 1796, architect of Somerset House.
William Gifford, 1826, the eminent critic, best known as the editor of the Quarterly Review from its commencement in 1819 to 1824.
John Ireland, Dean of Westminster, 1842, founder of the Ireland scholarships at Oxford.
(By the grave of Grote) Connop Thirlwall, Bishop of St. David's, the rival historian of Greece, 1875.
Between the pillars opposite Dryden's tomb is a slab from which the brass has been torn away, covering the grave of Hawle, the knight murdered in the choir, , during the Abbey service, by a breach of the rights of sanctuary.
Against the screen of the choir, on the right of its entrance, are the tombs of-
Dr. Richard Busby, 1695, for fifty-five years head-master of Westminster School. His noble statue (by F. Bird) does not seem suggestive of the man who declared that the rod was his sieve, and that whoever could not pass through that, was no boy for him. He is celebrated for having persistently kept his hat on when Charles II. came to visit his school, saying that it would never do for the boys to think any one superior to himself.
As we stood before Dr. Busby's tomb, the knight (Sir Roger de Coverley) uttered himself again: Dr. Busby! a great man! he whipped my grandfather; a very great man! I should have gone to him myself, if I had not been a blockhead; a very great man! - Addison, in the Spectator.
Dr. William Vincent, 1815, head-master and dean. A tablet.
Dr. Robert South, 1716, Archdeacon of Westminster. As a Westminster boy, when leading the devotions of the school, he boldly prayed for Charles I. by name on the morning of his execution. He was afterwards chaplain to James, Duke of York; Canon of Christ Church, Oxford, and of Westminster, of which he refused the Deanery when it was offered to him on the death of Dean Sprat. He was equally famous for his learning and wit, and for his theological and political intolerance. Bishop Burnet speaks of him as this learned but ill-natured divine.
South had great qualifications for that popularity which attends the pulpit, and his manner was at that time original. Not diffuse, not learned, not formal in argument like Barrow, with a more natural structure of sentences, a more pointed, though by no means a more fair and satisfactory, turn of reasoning, with a style clear and English, free from all pedantry, but abounding with those colloquial novelties of idiom which, though now become vulgar and offensive, the age of Charles II. affected; sparing no personal or temporary sarcasm; but if he seems for a moment to tread on the verge of buffoonery, recovering himself by some stroke of vigorous sense and language; such was the witty Dr. South, whom the courtiers delighted to hear.-Hallam. Lit. Hist. of Europe.
South's sentences are gems, hard and shining: Voltaire's look like them, but are only French paste.-Guesses at Truth.
We may now enter
--the aisles surrounding the choir, outside which are a number of hexagonal chapels, which were probably built by Henry III. in imitation of those which he had himself seen in the course of construction in several of the northern cathedrals of France. These chapels contain all that is most precious in the Abbey. The gates of the choir-aisles are guarded by vergers.
the solemn by-ways of the Abbey
[The chapels are freely opened to the public on Mondays; on other days a fee of sixpence is deposited on entering, and visitors are shown round by a verger.
Visitors may, however, on application, obtain permission to linger in the chapels and to examine them by themselves, which will be imperative with all who are interested in the historic or art treasures they contain.
Permission to draw in the chapels may be obtained by personal or
| written application to the Dean; and no church in the world--not even St. Mark's at Venice, at Vienna, or the Mosque at Cordova-affords such picturesque subjects.
Royal tombs, when given here in small type, with other tombs most important in the history of art, are marked with an asterisk.] On entering the aisles of the choir, we pass at once from the false taste of the last centuries, to find the surroundings in harmony with the architecture. The ancient altars are gone, very little of the old stained glass remains, several of the canopies and many of the brasses and statuettes have been torn from the tombs; but, with these exceptions, the hand of the worst of destroyers--the
- has been allowed to rest here more than any other of our great English churches, and, except in the introduction of the atrocious statue of Watt and the destruction of some ancient screens for the monuments of Lord Bath and General Wolfe, there is little which jars upon the exquisite colouring and harmonious beauty of the surroundings.
On the left is the Gothic
erected by Henry III. to , , and his
, when he moved their bodies from the chapter-house, where they were buried. Over this tomb, under glass, is a curious altar-decoration of the century.
tomb of touchstone
In the centre is a figure which appears to be intended for Christ, holding the globe and in the act of blessing; an angel with a palm branch is on each side. The single figure at the left hand of the whole decoration is St. Peter; the figure that should correspond on the right, and all the Scripture subject; on that side, are gone. In the compartments to the left, between the figure of St. Peter and the centre figures, portions of three subjects remain: one represents the Adoration of the Kings; another, apparently, the Raising of Lazarus; the subject of the third is doubtful, though some figures remain; the fourth is destroyed. These single figures and subjects are worthy of a good Italian artist of the fourteenth century. The remaining decorations were splendid and costly: the small compartments in the architectural enrichments are filled with variously coloured pieces of glass inlaid on tin-foil, and have still a brilliant effect. This interesting work of art is supposed to have originally formed part of the decorations of the high altar.-Eastlake. Hist. of Oil Painting, i. 176.
Beyond this, the eye, wearied with the pagan sculptures of the transept, rests in ecstasy upon the lovely details of the tombs of iRichard II. and Edward III.
In St. Peter's at Rome one is convinced that it was built by great princes. In Westminster Abbey one thinks not of the builder; the region of th: place makes the first impression, and, though stripped Of its shrines; and altars, it is nearer converting one to Popery than all the regular pageantry of Roman domes. One must have taste to be sensible of the beauties of Grecian architecture; one only wants passion to feel Gothic. Gothic churches infuse superstition, Grecian temples admiration. The Papal see amassed its wealth by Gothic cathedrals, and displays it in Grecian temples.-Walpole, i. 108.
We must now turn to the chapels.
I wandered among what once were chapels, but which are now occupied by the tombs and monuments of the great. At every turn I met with rare illustrious names, or the cognizance of some powerful house renowned in history. As the eye darts into these dusky chambers of death, it catches glimpses of quaint effigies; some kneeling in niches, as if in devotion; others stretched upon the tombs, with hands piously pressed together; warriors in armour, as if reposing after battle; prelates with croziers and mitres; and nobles in robes and coronets, lying as it were in state. In glancing over this scene, so strangely populous, yet where every form is so still and silent, it seems almost as if we were treading a mansion of that fabled city, where every being has been suddenly transmuted into stone.Washington Irving.
On the right is the , or , only separated by a screen of monuments from the south transept. fine tomb in the centre is that of Lionel
| Cranfield, Earl of Middlesex, , Lord High Treasurer in the time of James I., and Anne, his wife; it is of the latest instances of a monument in which the figures have animals at their feet.[n.254.1] His grave, with those of other members of his family, is beneath the pavement of the aisle. Other tombs are-
(South Wall) (), son of the Dean of .
Gabriel Goodman, Dean of Westminster (1601), of whom Fuller says, Goodman was his name, and goodness was his nature. It was under this dean that the Protestant services of the Abbey were reestablished.
(At the east end, on the site of the altar) Frances Howard, Countess of Hertford (1598), sister of Howard of Effingham, the Lord High Admiral who repulsed the Armada, daughter-in-law of the Protector Somerset, and cousin of Edward VI. She lived till the fortieth year of Elizabeth, greately favoured by her gratious sovereigne, and dearly beloved of her lord.
Abbot Curtlyngton (1334), the first person buried in the chapel. His brass is torn away.
* (East Wall) Abbot Simon Langham (1376). A noble alabaster statue in great preservation on an altar-tomb: it once had a canopy, and a statue of Mary Magdalen, on the eve of whose feast the abbot died, stood at his feet. He was in turn Bishop of Ely, Archbishop of Canterbury, Cardinal Bishop of Pieneste, Lord High Treasurer, and Lord Chancellor. He was brought back to be buried here from Avignon, where he died. His immense benefactions to the Abbey are recorded by Godwin, yet his unpopularity appears in the verses which commemorate his translation from Ely to Canterbury-
The Isle of Ely laught when Simon from her went,
But hundred thousand wept at his coming into Kent.Weaver's Funeral Monuments.
William Bill (1561), the first Elizabethan Dean of Westminster, Grand Almoner to the Queen, a good and learned man, and a friend to those that were so.
John Spottiswoode, Archbishop of Glasgow, is believed to be buried here. He wrote the History of the Scottish Church at the command of James I., who, being told that some passages in it might possibly bear too hard upon the memory of his Majesty's mother, bid him write the truth and spare not. Bishop Nicholson, Scot. Hist.
Between the Chapels of St. Benedict and, St. Edmund is a tomb of four of the Children of Henry III. (Richard, John, Henry, and Katharine), once adorned with mosaics. The State Records contain the king's order of its erection, and for allowing Simon de Wells five marks and a half for bringing a brass image from the City, and William de Gloucester seventy marks for a silver image-both being for the tomb of the king's little dumb daughter Katharine, of five years old, for whom mass was daily said in the hermitage of Charing.
Katharine, third daughter of King Henry III. and Queen Eleanor, was born at London, A.D. 1252, Nov. 25th, being St. Katharine's day, whose name was therefore given unto her at the Font, by Boniface, Archbishop of Canterbury, her uncle and godfather. She dyed in her very infancy, on whom we will presume to bestow this epitaph-
Wak't from the wombe, she on this world did peep,
Dislik't it, clos'd her eyes, fell fast asleep.
In the pavement of the aisle are the tombs of Robert Tounsen, Dean of Westminster and Bishop of Salisbury, 1621; of Cicely Ratclife, 1396; of Thomas Bilson, Bishop of Winchester, the deep and profound scholar; Fuller's Worthies. and of Sir John de Bewzerley and his wife, Anne Buxall, which once bore brasses. Beneath the tomb of Richard II. is believed to lie Queen Anne of Warwick, the unhappy Anne Nevile, who married first the Prince of Wales, Edward, son of Henry VI. After his murder at Tewkesbury she fled from the addresses of his cousin, the Duke of Gloucester, afterwards Richard III., but was discovered disguised as a kitchenmaid, and married to him against her will. She died in less than two years after her coronation, of grief for the loss of her only child, Edward, Prince of Wales.
St. Edmund's Chapel (the first of the hexagonal chapels), dedicated to the martyred Archbishop of Canterbury, is separated from the aisle by an ancient wooden screen. It is crowded with interesting monuments. In the centre are three tombs.
* That in the midst bears a glorious brass in memory of Eleanor de Bohun, Duchess of Gloucester, daughter of the Earl of Hertford, and wife of Thomas of Woodstock, youngest son of Edward III., buried in the Confessor's Chapel. After her husband's arrest and assassination,she became a nun of Barking Abbey, where she died in 1399. Her figure, in a widow's dress, lies under a triple canopy.
Beyond Eleanor, on the south, are the tomb and cross of Robert de Waldeby, Archbishop of York (1391), the friend of the Black Prince and tutor of Richard II. On the north is Mary Villiers, Countess of Stafford (1693), wife of William Howard, the Earl beheaded under Charles II. At her feet rests Henry Ferne, Bishop of Chester (1661), who attended Charles I. during his imprisonment, and whose only fault it was that he could not be angry. See Stanley, Memorials, 243.
Making the circuit of the chapel from the right, we find the tombs of-
* William de Valence, Earl of Pembroke (1296). He was halfbrother to Henry III., being the son of Queen Isabella, widow of John, by her second marriage with Hugh le Brune, Earl of March and Poictiers. William, surnamed from his birthplace, was sent to England with his brothers in 1247, and the distinction with which they were treated was one of the grievances which led to the war with the barons. He fought in the battle of Lewes, and flying the kingdom afterwards, was killed at Bayonne. An indulgence of a hundred days was granted to all who prayed by this tomb, which is very curious. It was erected by William's son, Aylmer, and is a stone altar-tomb, supporting a wooden sarcophagus, upon which lies the effigy, which is of wood covered with gilt copper. The belt and cushion, and, above all, the shield, are most beautiful examples of the use of enamelled metal as applied to monumental decoration. Many of the small shields upon the cushion and surcoat bear the arms of Valence, others those of England.
Edward Talbot, eighth Earl of Shrewsbury, and his wife, Jane Cuthbert (1617). A fine Elizabethan tomb, once richly gilt, with effigies in the costume of James I. A little daughter kneels at her mother's feet.
(In the pavement) Edward, Lord Herbert of Cherbury (1678), grandson of the famous Lord Herbert. A blue stone.
Sir Richard Pecksall (1571), Master of the Buckhounds to Elizabeth, kneeling with his two wives, under three Corinthian arches. Four daughters kneel beneath their father.
A great Gothic recess containing the effigy of Sir Bernard Brocas
(1399-1400), Chamberlain to the Queen of Richard II., beheaded on Tower Hill for joining in a conspiracy to reinstate him. He won the head of a crowned Moor, on which his helmet rests, and it was before this tomb that Sir Roger de Coverley listened particularly to the account of the lord who had cut off the King of Morocco's head. An inscription recording this feat formerly hung above the tomb. See Gough's Sepulchral Monuments.
The statue is in complete armour.
(In front) Humphrey Bourchier, son of Lord Berners, who died 1470, fighting for Edward IV. in the battle of Barnet. The brass figure is gone, but some shields and other ornaments remain.
John, Lord Russell (1548), second son of the second earl. He lies with his face towards the spectator. At his feet is his infant son Francis, who died in the same year. His widow, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Anthony Cooke, and sister of Lady Burleigh, who from Deathe would take his memorie, commemorates his virtues in Latin, Greek, and English. She was first married to Sir Thomas Hobby of Bisham Abbey, where she is supposed to have beaten her little boy to death for blotting his copy-book, and which is still haunted by her ghost.
Elizabeth Russell, daughter of the above John, seated asleep in her osier chair, with her foot upon a scroll, and the epitaph, Dormit, non mortua est. The pedestal is very richly decorated. This figure was formerly shown as that of a lady who died of the prick of a needle.
(Sir Roger de Coverley) was conducted to the figure which represents that martyr to good housewifery who died by the prick of a needle. Upon our interpreter's telling us that she was a maid of honour to Queen Elizabeth, the knight was very inquisitive into her name and family; and, after having regarded her finger for some time, I wonder, says he, that Sir Richard Baker has said nothing of her in his Chronicle. -Spectator, No. 329.
(In the pavement, most inappropriately placed here) Edward Bulwer Lytton, Lord Lytton (1866), the novelist, chiefly known as the author of
Rienzi, The Last Days of Pompeii, and The Caxtons.
Lady Jane Seymour, daughter of Edward, Duke of Somerset, and cousin of Edward VI. (1561). A tablet.
Katherine, Lady Knollys (1568), daughter of William Carey and his wife Mary Boleyn, and sister to Lord Hunsdon. She attended her aunt, Queen Anne Boleyn, upon the scaffold, and was afterwards Chief Lady of the Bedchamber to her cousin Elizabeth. A tablet.
On a pedestal, the seated figure of Francis Holles, third son of John Earl of Clare, 1622, who died at eighteen on his return from the Flemish war. He is represented (by Nicholas Stone) in Roman armour, with the epitaph-
Man's life is measured by the worke, not dayes,
No aged sloth, but active youth, hath prayse.
*Frances Grey, Duchess of Suffolk (1559), niece of Henry VIII.,
daughter of Charles Brandon, Duke of Southfolke, and Marie the French queen, first wife to Henrie, Duke of Southfolke, after to Adrian Stocke, Esq. By her second husband, married during the great poverty and distress into which she fell in the reign of Mary (after the death of her daughter, Lady Jane Grey), this tomb was erected, bearing a beautiful coroneted effigy. Her funeral service was the first English Protestant service after the accession of Elizabeth, by whom she was restored to favour.
Nicholas Monk, Bishop of Hereford (1661), brother of the famous Duke of Albemarle.
(In the corner) Tablet to John Paul Howard, Earl Stafford (1762), surrounded by the quarterings of the Stafford family, who descend by ten different marriages from the royal blood of France and England. The epitaph tells how his heart was entirely great and noble as his high descent; faithful to his God; a lover of his country; a relation to relations; a detestor of detraction; a friend to mankind.
* William of Windsor and Blanche of the Tower (1340); infant children of Edward III. A tiny altar-tomb bears their effigies-the boy in a short doublet, with flowing hair encircled by a band; the girl in studded bodice, petticoat, and mantle, with a horned head-dress.
It is interesting to remember that all the illustrious brothers and sisters of the little Princess Blanche stood around this her grave at her funeral-Edward the Black Prince, Lionel of Clarence, John of Gaunt, Edmund of Langley, Isabella de Coucy, and Joanna, afterwards Queen of Castile.
Tomb of the Children of Edward III.
* John of Eltham, Earl of Cornwall (1334), second son of Edward III. (named from his birthplace), who died in his nineteenth year, and was expressly ordered to be buried entre les royals. The effigy is of great antiquarian interest from the details of its plate armour. The effigy wears a surcoat, gorget, and a helmet, open in front to show the features, and surrounded by a coronet of large and small trefoil leaves alternated, being the earliest known representation of the ducal form of coronet.There were no Dukes in England until two years after his death. Two angels sit by the pillow, and around the tomb are mutilated figures of the royal relations of the dead. The statuettes of the French relations are towards the chapel, and have been cruelly mutilated, but the English relations facing St. Edward's Chapel have been protected by the strong oak screen, and are of the most intense interest. Edward II. is represented here, who is buried at Gloucester Cathedral. Here, on the left hand of the husband whose cruel murder she caused, is the only known portrait of the wicked Isabella the Fair, daughter of Philip le Bel, who died at Castle Rising, in 1358; she wears a crown at the top of her widow's hood, and holds a sceptre in her right hand. Here also alone can we become acquainted with the characteristics of her aunt, the stainless Marguerite of France, the granddaughter of St. Louis, who at the age of twenty became the second wife of Edward I., and dying at Marlborough Castle in 1317, was buried in the Grey Friars' Church in London; she wears a crown of fleur-de-lis over her widow's veil. This tomb of Prince John was once shaded by a canopy of exquisite beauty, supported on eight stone pillars--a forest of Gothic spires intermingled with statues; it was destroyed in a rush of spectators at the funeral of the Duchess of Northumberland in 1776. Fuller mentions John of Eltham as the last son of a King of England who died a plain earl; the title of Duke afterwards came into fashion.
Passing, on the right wall of the ambulatory, the monument of , brother of the Earl of Thanet (), who gave his name to , ; and treading on the grave of , the antiquary (), whose pennon formerly hung above his grave,[n.260.1]
we enter the (Bishop of Myra), separated from the aisle by a perpendicular stone screen adorned with a frieze of shields and roses. It is filled with Elizabethan tombs, and is still the especial burial-place of the Percys. In the centre is a noble altar-tomb by [n.260.2] to Sir George Villiers, , the Leicestershire squire, who was the father of the famous Duke of Buckingham, and his wife, Mary Beaumont. This Sir George Villiers was the subject of the famous ghost story given by Clarendon,[n.260.3] the
who thrice drew the curtains of
man of venerable aspect
| the bed of a humble friend at Windsor, and bade him go to his son the Duke of Buckingham, and warn him that, if he did not seek to ingratiate himself with the people, he would have but a short time to live. This Mary Beaumont it was who, as Countess of Buckingham, also so vividly foresaw her son's death, that though she had been |
after taking leave of him upon his last visit to her, yet, when she received the news of his murder,
overwhelmed in tears and in the highest agony imaginable,
seemed not in the least degree surprised.
Close beside this tomb now rests the body of , daughter of Charles VI. of France and Isabeau of Bavaria. After the close of her brief married life, in which, as the queen of Henry V., she was
[n.261.1] being widowed at , she sank at once into obscurity. Her son Henry VI. was taken from her guardianship and brought up by the Earl of Warwick, and falling in love with Owen Tudor, a handsome Welsh squire of her Windsor guard, and marrying him secretly, she became the mother of sons and a daughter; but the indignation excited by her
caused her children to be taken from her, her husband to be imprisoned in Newgate, and herself confined in Abbey, where she died in . She was buried in the Lady Chapel at the east end of the Abbey. When that chapel was destroyed by Henry VII., her coffin was placed by her husband's tomb, where her mummified body was exposed to view, and was kissed by Pepys on his birthday. It was buried here in . Making the circuit of the chapel from the right, we see the tombs of-
received in England as if she had beer an angel of God,
* Phllippa, Duchess of York, daughter of John, Lord Mohun, and wife of Lord Fitzwalter, Sir John Golofre, and lastly of Edmund Plantagenet (Edmund of Langley ), fifth son of Edward III., killed at the Battle of Agincourt. After his death she obtained the Lordship of the Isle of Wight, and resided in Carisbrook Castle, where she died, and whence she was brought with royal honours to Westminster. Her effigy (much injured) wears a long cloak and mantle, with a wimple and plaited veil. Her tomb is the earliest in this chapel, in the centre of which it formerly stood. It once had a canopy decorated with stars and a painting of the Passion.
Elizabeth Percy, Duchess of Northumberland (1776), in her own right Baroness Percy, Lucy, Poynings, Fitz Payne, Brian, and Latimer; sole heiress of Algernon, Duke of Somerset, and of the ancient Earls of Northumberland.
Winifred Brydges, Marchioness of Winchester (1581). Above this the effigy of Lady Ross, wife of the Earl of Exeter, grandson of Lord Burleigh.
Elizabeth Cecil, Countess of Exeter, 1591.
The Gothic canopied altar-tomb of William Dudley, first Dean of Windsor, and Bishop of Durham (1483), uncle of Henry VII.'s financier. His figure is gone. Lying upon the tomb is the effigy of Catherine, Lady St. John (1614), moved from the Chapel of St. Michael to make way for the Nightingale monument.
An obelisk of white marble on a black pedestal supports a vase containing the heart of Anne Sophia, the infant daughter of Count Bellamonte, ambassador from France to James I. She died in 1605.
Tomb of Mildred Cecil, Lady Burleigh, one of the four learned daughters of Sir Anthony Coole, 1589, and Anne Vere, Countess of Oxford, 1588, the wife and daughter of the great Lord Burleigh. An enormous Corinthian tomb, twenty-four feet high. The figure of Lady Burleigh lies on a sarcophagus; at her head and feet are her only son Robert Cecil, and her three grand-daughters, Elizabeth, Bridget, and Susannah. In a recess is the recumbent figure of the Countess of Oxford. In the upper story Lord Burleigh is seen, kneeling in his robes--the effigy in which Sir Roger de Coverley was well pleased to see the statesman Cecil on his knees. The epitaphs are from his pen, and tell how his eyes were dim with tears for those who were dear to him beyond the whole race of womankind. Lord Burleigh himself lay in state here, but was buried at Stamford.
Sir G. Fane (1618), and his wife Elizabeth le Despencer. A mural monument, with kneeling statues.
Nicholas, Lord Carew (1470), the friend of Edward IV., and his wife. A plain altar-tomb.
Nicholas Bagnall, an infant of two months old, by his nvrs unfortvnately overlayed (1687-8). A pedestal with a black pyramid and urn.
*Anne Seymour, Duchess of Somerset (1587), widow of the great Protector, sister-in-law of Queen Jane, and aunt of Edward VI. She died aged ninety, far on in the reign of Elizabeth. The tomb was erected by her son, Lord Hertford, in this doleful dutie carefull and diligent.
Lay Jane Clifford, 1679. An odd square sarcophagus.
*Sir Humphry Stanley (1505), who fought for Henry VII. at the Battle of Bosworth, where he was knighted on the field of battle. A Brass of a figure in plate armour.
Elizabeth Brooke (1591), wife of Sir Robert Cecil, son of the great Lord Burleigh. An altar-tomb.
Returning to the aisle, on the left is the monument of , the poet, Secretary to James I., , with a noble bust. On the right is that of , Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, . Beneath the pavement lie , Lord High Treasurer, , and , , husband of Philippa, Duchess of York.
We now reach the glorious portico which overarches the aisle under the . Beneath it, in an awful gloom which is rendered more solemn by the play of golden light within, a grand flight of steps leads to the ., erected under the care of Bolton, the Architect-Prior of St. Bartholomew's, in the place of the Lady Chapel of Henry III.,[n.263.1] the burial-place of almost all the sovereigns from Henry VII. to George II., the finest
| Perpendicular building in England, called by Leland |
-far finer than its rival, at Cambridge.
the miracle of the world,
The Chapel of Henry VII. is indeed well called by his name, for it breathes of himself through every part. It is the most signal example of the contrast between his closeness in life, and his magnificence in the structures he hath left to posterity --King's College Chapel, the Savoy, Westminster. Its very style was a reminiscence of his exile, being learned in France by himself and his companion Fox. His pride in its grandeur was commemorated by the ship, vast for those times, which he built, of equal cost with his chapel, which afterwards, in the reign of Mary, sank in the sea, and vanished in a moment.
It was to be his chantry as well as his tomb, for he was determined not to be behind the Lancastrian princes in devotion; and this unusual anxiety for the sake of a soul not too heavenward in its affections expended itself in the immense apparatus of services which he provided. Almost a second abbey was needed to contain the new establishment of monks, who were to sing in their stalls as long as the world shall endure. Almost a second shrine, surrounded by its blazing tapers, and shining like gold with its glittering bronze, was to contain his remains.
To the Virgin Mary, to whom the Chapel was dedicated, he had a special devotion. Her in all his necessities he had made his continual refuge; and her figure, accordingly, looks down upon his grave from the east end, between the apostolic patrons of the Abbey, Peter and Paul, with the holy company of heaven--that is to say, angels, archangels, patriarchs, prophets, apostles, evangelists; martyrs, confessors, and virgins, to whose singular mediation and prayers he also trusted, including the royal saints of Britain, .St. Edward, St. Edmund, St. Oswald, St. Margaret of Scotland, who stand, as he directed, sculptured, tier above tier, on every side of the Chapel, some retained from the ancient Lady Chapel, the greater part the work of his own age. Round his tomb stand his nine accustomed avours or guardian saints, to whom he calls and cries -- St. Michael, St. John the Baptist, St. John the Evangelist, St. George, St. Anthony, St. Edward, St. Vincent, St. Anne, St. Mary Magdalene, and St. Barbara, each with their peculiar emblems,-- so to aid, succour, and defend him, that the ancient and ghostly enemy, nor none other evil or damnable spirit, have no power to invade him, nor with their wickedness to annoy him, but with holy prayers to be intercessors for him to his Maker and Redeemer. These were the adjurations of the last mediaeval king, as the Chapel was the climax of the latest medieval architecture. In the very urgency of the King's anxiety for the perpetuity of. those funeral ceremonies, we seem to discern an unconscious presentiment of terror lest their days were numbered.--Dean Stanley.
It is said that on looking back from the portico of Henry VII.'s Chapel, every phase of Gothic architecture, from Henry III. to Henry VII., may be seen. The glorious brass gates are adorned with all the badges of the founder--the fleur-de-lis, the portcullis and crown, the falcon and fetterlock, the thistle and crown, the united roses of York and Lancaster entwined with the crown, the initials R. H., the royal crown, and the lions of England.. The devices of Henry VII. are also borne by the angels sculptured on the frieze at the west end of the chapel. The windows have traces of the white roses of Lancaster and of the fleur-de-lis and H's with which they were once filled; from the end window the figure of Henry VII. looks down upon the whole. statues, whose
are greatly commended by Flaxman, surround the walls.
natural simplicity and grandeur of character and drapery
The very walls are wrought into universal ornament, encrusted with tracery, and scooped into niches, crowded with statues of saints and martyrs. Stone seems, by the cunning labour of the chisel, to have been robbed of its weight and density, suspended aloft, as if by magic, and the fretted roof achieved with the wonderful minuteness and airy security of a cobweb.-Washington Irving.
The stalls of the Knights of the Bath surround the chapel, with the seats for the esquires in front. The end stall on the right is decorated with a figure of Henry VII. The sculptures on the misereres are exceedingly quaint, chiefly monkish satires on the evil lives of their brethren. Amongst them are combats between monks and nuns, a monk seized
| and a monk carried off by the devil, boy whipping another, apes gathering nuts, and a fox in armour riding a goose. The best is the Judgment of Solomon; the cause of the contention--the substitution of the dead for the living child--is represented with ludicrous simplicity, repeated on either side of the bracket.
The centre of the chapel towards the east is occupied by the glorious tomb of . () and (),
[n.266.1] executed for by the famous ; the screen, which is no less beautiful, being the work of English artisans. The tomb is chiefly of black marble, but the figures and surrounding alto-relievos and pilasters are of gilt copper. The figures, wrapped in long mantles which descend to the feet, are most simple and
of the stateliest and daintiest monuments of Europe,
| beautiful. They once wore crowns, which have been stolen. Within the screen, Henry enjoined by his will that there. should be a small altar, enriched with relics- of the legs of St. George and a great piece of the Holy Cross.
Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV., by whose marriage the long feud between the houses of York and Lancaster was terminated, died in childbirth at the Tower, on her birthday, -. Her sister, Lady Katharine Courtenay, was chief mourner at her magnificent funeral in the Abbey. Henry survived his wife for years, and died at Richmond in . Bishop Fisher preached his funeral sermon, which was printed by Wynkyn de Worde, at the desire of the
In this chappel the founder thereof, with his queen, lieth interr'd, under a monument of solid brass, most richly gilded, and artificially carved. Some slight it for the cheapness, because it cost but a thousand pounds in the making thereof. Such do not consider it as the work of so thrifty a prince, who would make a little money go far; besides that it was just at the turning of the tide (as one may term it) of money, which flowed after the finding out of the West Indies, though ebbing before.-Fuller's Worthies.
Henry VII. was of a high mind, and loved his own will and his own way; as one that revered himself, and would reign indeed. Had he been a private man he would have been termed proud. But in a wise prince, it was but keeping of distance, which indeed he did towards all .... To his confederates he was constant and just, but not open .... He was a prince, sad, virtuous, and full of thoughts and secret observations, and full of notes and memorials of his own hand, especially touching persons ...... No doubt, in him, as in all men, and most of all in him, his fortune wrought upon his nature, and his nature upon his fortune. He attained to the crown, not only from a private fortune, which might endow him with moderation; but also from the fortune of an exiled man, which had quickened in him all seeds of observation and industry. And his times being rather prosperous than calm, had raised his confidence by success, but almost marred his nature by troubles.-Bacon's Life of Henry VI.
In the same vault with Henry and Elizabeth rests the huge coffin of . (). His funeral sermon was preached by Dean Williams, who compared him to Solomon in particulars I In front of the tomb of his grandparents is the restored altar which marks the burial-place of
(), who died at Greenwich in his year-the good and strangely learned prince of whom Hooker says that
The ancient altar--a splendid work of Torrigiano-was destroyed in the Civil Wars, but part of the frieze was found in in the young king's grave, and has been let into the modern altar. It is admirable carving of the Renaissance, and shows the Tudor roses and the lilies of France interwoven with a scroll-work pattern. On the coffin-plate of the young king is inscribed-after his royal titles-
though he died young, he lived long, for life is in
-having been evidently engraved during the days' reign of Lady Jane Grey. The revived altar was used in , on the strange occasion when Dean Stanley administered the Sacrament to the revisers of the New Testament-
On earth under Christ of the Church of England and Ireland supreme head
-before they commenced their labours.
representatives of almost every form of Christian belief in England
Inserted in this altar of toleration, by a quaint power of seeing threads of connection where they are not generally apparent, are--a fragment of an Abyssinian altar brought from Magdala in ; a fragment of a Greek Church in Damascus destroyed in the Christian massacre of ; a fragment of the high altar of Canterbury, destroyed when the cathedral was burnt in .
Making the circuit of the chapel from the right, we see in the pavement the inscribed graves of-
Henry Frederick, Duke of Cumberland (1790), fourth son of Frederick, Prince of Wales, the hero of Culloden.
Caroline (1757), third daughter, and Amelia (1786), second daughter, of George U.
Louisa (1768), third daughter of Frederick, Prince of Wales, and
Edward, Duke of York ( 1769), his second son, who died at Monaco.
Queen Caroline of Anspach (1737), buried here with Handel's newly composed anthem, When the ear heard her, then it blessed her, &c.
King George II. (1760), the last sovereign buried at Westminster, who desired that his dust might mingle with that of his beloved wife, in accordance with which one side of each of the coffins was withdrawn, and they rest together.
We now reach a chantry, separated from the chapel by a screen, of which only the basement remains, containing the gigantic monument of-
Ludovic Stuart, Duke of Richmond and Lennox (1623-4), cousin of James I., Lord Chamberlain, and Lord High Admiral of Scotland. Huge figures of Faith, Hope, Prudence, and Charity support the canopy. The monument was erected by the Duke's widow, who is buried here with all his family. Here also rest the natural son of Charles II. and the Duchess of Portsmouth, who was created Duke of Richmond on the extinction of the former family, and his widow, La belle Stuart of lax morality, whose effigy, by her own request, was placed by her tomb after death as well done in wax as could be, under crown glass and none other, wearing the robes which she bore at the coronation of Queen Anne, and accompanied by the parrot
which lived with her grace forty years and survived her only a few days. The black marble pyramid at the foot of the tomb commemorates the infant Esme, Duke of Richmond.
One curious feature in the tomb deserves notice. In the inscription the date of the year of the Duke's death is apparently omitted, though the month and day are mentioned. The year, however, is given in what is called a chronogram. The Latin translation of the verse in the Bible, Know ye not that a prince and a great man has this day fallen? (the words uttered by David in his lament over Abner,) contains fourteen Roman numeral letters, and these being elongated into capitals are MDCVVVIIIIIIII, which give the date 1623. It is remarkable that words so appropriate to this nobleman should contain the date for this identical year, and it shows much ingenuity on the part of the writer of the inscription that he should have discovered it.-The Builder, June 19, 1875.
We now come to the of the eastern chapels. On the left is the tomb, by , of Antoine, Duc de Montpensier, brother of Louis Philippe, who died in exile at Salthill, . The inscription is by General Dumouriez. This is the only monument placed in the Abbey for centuries which is in accordance with the taste in which it was built. In the same vault with the Duke lay for some time Louise of Savoy, queen of Louis XVIII., who died in exile at Hartwell in Buckinghamshire. Her remains were removed to Sardinia in .
In the centre of the chapel is the grave of Lady Augusta Stanley
(1876), for thirty years the devoted servant of Queen Victoria, and of the queen's mother and children.
The was the burial-place of the magnates of the Commonwealth, who, with few exceptions, were exhumed after the Restoration. The bodies of Cromwell, his son-in-law Ireton, and Bradshaw, the regicide judge, were hanged at Tyburn; the mother of Cromwell, with most of her kindred and friends, was buried in a pit near ; Elizabeth Claypole, the favourite daughter of the Protector, was left in peace. Here were once buried-
Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector, 1658.
General Henry Ireton, 1651.
Elizabeth Cromwell, mother of the Protector, 1654.
Jane Desborough, sister of the Protector, 1656.
Anne Fleetwood, daughter of the Protector.
Robert Deane, 1653.
Humphrey Mackworth, 1654.
Sir William Constable, 1655.
Admiral Robert Blake, 1657.
Dennis Bond, 1658.
John Bradshaw, 1659.
Mary Bradshaw, 1659.
The vault vacated when the rebels were exhumed w-as afterwards used as the burial-place of (), and all his family. Here also were interred many of the illegitimate descendants of Charles II., including-
The Earl of Doncaster, son of the Duke of Monmouth, 1673-4.
Charles Fitzroy, Duke of Cleveland, 1730.
Charles Fitz Charles, Earl of Plymouth, who died at Tangiers, 1680-81.
Here also the Duke of Portland, the friend of William III., was buried (1709), with the Duke of Schomberg and several of his family.
In the lie-
Right. Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham (1721), and his duchess
Catherine, who was so proud of being the illegitimate daughter of James II. and Catherine Sedley, and who kept the anniversary of the martyrdom of her royal grandfather Charles I. seated in a chair of state, attended by her women in weeds.Walpole'sReminiscences. The monument is by Scheemakers, who has represented the duchess in English dress, while the duke is in Roman armour. In the reign of Charles II. he was general of the Dutch troop of horse, Governor of Kingston Castle upon Hull, and First Gentleman of the Bedchamber; in that of James II., Lord Chamberlain; in that of Queen Anne, Lord Privy Seal, and President of the Council. The concluding lines of his self-composed epitaph are striking-Dubius sed non improbus vixi; incertus morior, non perturbatus. Humanum est nescire et errare. Deo confido omnipotenti, benevolentissimo. Ens entium. miserere mei. Before the words
Deo confido, Christum adveneror was originally inserted, but was effaced by Dean Atterbury, on the ground that adveneror
was not a sufficient expression as applied to Christ.
Opposite is preserved the wooden Pulpit from which Cranmer preached at the coronation and funeral of his royal godson, Edward VI.
Beneath it, alone, in a spacious vault, lies the body of Queen Anne of Denmark (1619-20), wife of James I., who died at Somerset House. She never had any monument, but her hearse stood over her grave till the Commonwealth.
Hard by is the grave of John Campbell, Duke of Argyle and Greenwich (1743), whose monument we have seen in the south transept. With him lies his daughter, Lady Mary Coke (1811), the lively little lady who, in the Heart of Midlothian, banters her father after the interview with Jeanie Deans. Stanley.
The next , with a low screen, has its western decorations ruined by the tomb of-
George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham (1628), the passionately loved favourite of James I., murdered by Felton, and his duchess. His children kneel at his head. Several of his sons, including Francis and George, whose handsome features are well known from Vandyke's noble picture, rest in their father's grave, together with the last duke, the George Villiers who was the Zimri of Dryden, and whose death-bed is described in the lines of Pope.
Had the Duke of Buckingham been blessed with a faithful friend, qualified with wisdom and integrity, the duke would have committed as few faults and done as transcendent worthy actions as any man in that age in Europe.-Clarendon.
After Buckingham's death, Charles the First cherished his memory warmly as his life, advanced his friends, and designed to raise a magnificent monument to his memory; and if any one accused the duke, the king always imputed the fault to himself. He very often said the world was much mistaken in the duke's character; for it was commonly thought the duke ruled his majesty; but it was much the contrary, having been his most faithful and obedient servant in all things, as the king said he would make sensibly appear to the world.Disraeli.
Curiosities of Literature.
Near the next pillar is the grave of , daughter of Oliver Cromwell, the only member of
| the Protector's family allowed to remain in the Abbey, as being both a royalist and a member of the Church of England. In descending the chapel on this side we pass the graves of-
Frederick, Prince of Wales, father of George III., 1751.
Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, Princess of Wales, 1772.
Elizabeth Caroline (1759), and Frederick William (1765), children of the Prince of Wales.
William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, third son of George II., 1765.
Entering the , we find, beneath the exquisite fan roof, noble tombs.
* Margaret Stuart, Countess of Lennox (1577), first cousin of Queen Elizabeth, being daughter of the Scottish queen, Margaret Tudor, by her second marriage with the Earl of Angus. Lord Thomas Howard was imprisoned for life, for venturing to fall in love with her at the Court of Anne Boleyn, and she was married, in her thirtieth year, to the Earl of Lennox. The epitaph tells how she had to her great. grandfather King Edward IV.; to her grandfather, King Henry VII.; to her uncle, King Henry VIII.; to her cousin-german, King Edward VI.; to her brother, King James V. of Scotland; to her son (Darnley), King Henry I. of Scotland; to her grandchild, King James VI. (of Scotland, and I. of England). The tomb is of alabaster. It bears the effigy of Margaret in robes of state, with a small ruff and a dose coif with a coronet over it. Below are the effigies of her four sons and four daughters (including that of Henry Darnley, King of Scotland, which once had a crown above its head, and that of Charles Lennox, father of the Ladie Arbele (Arabella Stuart). She died in poverty, but was buried here in great state by Elizabeth. An iron railing, decorated with all the armorial bearings of the family, once surrounded this monument.
* Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, 1587. After her execution at Fotheringay she was buried at Peterborough, but was brought thence in 1606 by her son James I., who desired that like honour might be done to the body of his dearest mother, and a like monument be extant of her, that had been done to his dear sister, the late Queen Elizabeth. In her second funeral she had a translucent passage in the night through the city of London, by multitudes of torches, with all the ceremonies and voices quires and copes could express, attended by many prelates and nobles.Wilson's Hist. of the Reign of James I. The tomb is a noble work of the period, with an effigy by Cornelius Cure. The queen is represented as in her pictures, with small and delicate features. She wears a close coif, a laced ruff, a mantle fastened at the breast by a jewelled brooch, and high-heeled shoes; at her feet the crowned lion of Scotland sits keeping guard.
* Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby, the great-granddaughter of John of Gaunt, allied, by blood or affinity, to thirty kings and queens. By her first husband, Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond (son of Queen Catherine de Valois, whom rather than the Duke of Suffolk, she espoused by the advice--in a vision-of St. Nicholas, patron of wavering maidens), she was the mother of Henry VII. She married secondly Sir Humphrey Stafford; and thirdly Thomas, Lord Stanley, who placed the crown of Richard III. on the head of her son after the Battle of Bosworth Field, and was created Earl of Derby by him. She died in 1578, at the time of the coronation of her grandson, Henry VIII. She was the foundress of St. John's and Christ's Colleges at Cambridge. Bishop Fisher (her chaplain), who preached her funeral sermon, told truly how Every one that knew her, loved her; and everything that she said or did became her.
She was so imbued with the spirit of mediaeval times, that Camden records she would often say that-on the condition that the princes of Christendom would combine and march against the common enemy, the Turk, she would willingly attend them, and be their laundress in the camp. Her effigy, the first work executed by the great Pietro Torrgiano in England, is nobly simple, but executed in a grand and expressive naturalistic manner. Lübke. Her hands are uplifted in prayer, and the aged features are evidently modelled from nature. Her epitaph, by John Skelton, the poet-laureate, ends with a quaint curse upon all who shall spoil or take it away-
Qui laceret, violatve, rapit, prasens epitoma.
Hunc laceretque voret, Cerberus, absque mora.
(On the left) Catherine Shorter, Lady Walpole ( 1737), the first wife of Sir Robert, afterwards Earl of Oxford. The figure is by talori, after a Roman statue of Modesty, and is beautiful, though injured by the too voluminous folds of its drapery. It was erected by her son, Horace Walpole. She had beauty and wit without vice or vanity, and cultivated the arts without affectation. She was devout, though without bigotry of any sect, and was without prejudice to any party; tho' the wife of a minister, whose power she esteemed but when she could employ it to benefit the miserable or reward the meritorious. She loved a private life, though born to shine in public, and was an ornament to courts, untainted by them.Epitaph, by Horace Walpole.
(Left) General George Monk, Duke of Albemarle, the hero of the Restoration, whose funeral was personally attended by Charles II. The monument, by Scheemakers and Kent, was erected, as the epitaph states, in compliance with the wish of Christopher, Duke of Albemarle, in 1720. The figure of General Monk is represented in armour, without a helmet: a mourning female figure leans upon the medallion of Duke Christopher.
In front of the step of the ancient altar are buried without monuments-
King Charles II. (1685), buried without any manner of pomp, and soon forgotten. Evelyn's Diary. He was probably thus quietly buried to evade diputes as to the religion in which he died. His waxen image stood on the grave as late as 1815.
Queen Mary II, 1694.
King William III., 1702.
Prince George of Denmark, 1708.
Queen Anne, 1714.
Thoresby, the antiquary, was present when the vault was opened to receive the remains of Queen Anne.
It was affecting to see the silent relics of the great monarchs, Charles II., William and Mary, and Prince George; next whom remains only one space to be filled with her late Majesty Queen Anne. This sight was. the more affecting to me, because, when young, I saw in one balcony six of them that were afterwards kings and queens of Great Britain, all brisk and hearty, but now entered on a boundless eternity! There were then present King Charles and his Queen Catherine, the Duke of York, the Prince and Princess of Orange, and the Princess Anne.-Thoresby's Diary.
Beneath the pavement in other parts of the chapel are buried the following members of the Stuart royal family:--
Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales (1612), son of James I.
A monument all of pure gold, says Stow, were too little for a prince of such high hope and merit.
The short life of Henry was passed in a school of prowess, and amidst an academy of literature.-Disraeli.
(), niece of James I.
, eldest son of Charles I. (), and (), the fat baby in the famous picture of the children of Charles I.
She was a very pregnant lady above her age, and died in her infancy when not full four years old. Being minded by those about her to call upon God even when the pangs of death were upon her; I am not able, saith she, to say my long prayer (meaning the Lord's Prayer); but I will say my short one, Lighten mine eyes, O Lord, lest I sleep the sleep of death. This done, this little lamb gave up the ghost.-Fuller's Worthies.
(), son of Charles I., the boy who on his father's knees at St. James's, the night before his execution, said that he would be torn in pieces rather than be made king while his brothers were alive. He died of the small-pox at .
(), eldest daughter of Charles I.
She came over to congratulate the happiness of her brother's miraculous restitution; when, behold, sickness arrests this royal princess, no bail being found by physick to defer the execution of her death. On the 31St of February following she was honourably (though privately) interred at Westminster, and no eye so dry but willingly afforded a tear to bemoan the loss of so worthy a princess.-Fuller's Worthies.
(), daughter of James I. . .
This night was buried in Westminster Abby the Queene of Bohemia, after all her sorrows and afflictions, being come to die in the arms of her nephew the King.-Evelyn's Diary.
Prince Rupert (1682), son of the Queen of Bohemia. The Prince
of the Cavaliers, who, after innumerable toils and variety of heroic actions both by land and sea, spent several years in sedate studies, and the prosecution of chemical and philosophical experiments. He died in his sixty-third year, at his house in Spring Gardens, and was honoured with a very magnificent public funeral.
Anne Hyde, daughter of Edward, Earl of Clarendon, married in 1659 to the Duke of York, afterwards James II., and ten of her children. She died in 1671, leaving two of her children living, Mary II. and Anne.
William, Duke of Gloucester, the precocious and last surviving child of Princess (afterwards Queen) Anne, who died at Windsor just after his eleventh birthday, and seventeen other of her children.
We may now turn to the . At its western extremity is an enclosure used as a vestry for the chanting priests, who were to say the masses enjoined by the will of Henry VII. for the repose of his soul. Here was formerly kept
The monuments include-
the effigies of General Monk.
(Right) (), the great patron of the literary men of his time,
In the vault of his patron rests , (his monument is in the south transept). The funeral of Addison gave rise to the noble lines of Tickell-
Can I forget the dismal night that gave
My soul's best part for ever to the grave?
How silent did his old companions tread,
By midnight lamps, the mansions of the dead,
Through breathing statues, then unheeded things,
Through rows of warriors and through walks of kings I
What awe did the slow solemn knell inspire;
The pealing organ and the pausing choir;
The duties by the lawn-rob'd prelate pay'd;
And the last words, that dust to dust convey'd I
While speechless o'er thy closing grave we bend;
Accept these tears, thou dear departed friend.
Oh, gone for ever! take this long adieu,
And sleep in peace next thy lov'd Montague.
Ne'er to these chambers, where the mighty rest,
Since their foundation came a nobler guest;
Nor e'er was to the bower of bliss conveyed
A fairer spirit or more welcome shade.Epistle to the Earl of Warwick.
His body lay in state in the Jerusalem Chamber, and was borne thence to the Abbey at dead of night. The choir sung a funeral hymn. Bishop Atterbury, one of those Tories who had loved and honoured the most accomplished of the Whigs, met the corpse, and led the procession by torchlight, round the shrine of St. Edward and the graves of the Plantagenets, to the Chapel of Henry the Seventh. On the north side of that chapel, in the vault of the house of Albemarle, the coffin of Addison lies next to the coffin of Montague. Yet a few months, and the same mourners passed again along the same aisle. The same sad anthem was again chanted. The same vault was again opened; and the coffin of Craggs was placed close to the coffin of Addison.-Macaulay.
, the Secretary of State, who has a monument at the west end of the Abbey, was present at Addison's funeral, and was immediately after buried in the same grave.
O! must I then (now fresh my bosom bleeds,
And Craggs in death to Addison succeeds)
The verse, begun to one lost friend, prolong,
And weep a second in th' unfinish'd song?
Blest pair, whose union future bards shall tell
In future tongues, each other's boast, farewell,
Farewell! whom, join'd in fame, in friendship try'd,
No chance could sever, nor the grave divide. Tickell.
(Right) (), the statesman.
He was a man of a very great and ready wit; full of life, and very pleasant; much turned to satire .... He confessed he could not swallow down everything that divines imposed on the world: he was a Christian in submission: he believed as much as he could, and he hoped that God would not lay it to his charge, if he could not digest iron, as an ostrich did, or tale into his belief things that must burst him .... But with relation to the public, he went backwards and forwards, and changed sides so often, that in conclusion no one trusted him ... W.. then he talked to me as a philosopher, of his contempt of the world, I asked him, what he meant by getting so many new titles, which I called the hanging himself about with bells and tinsel. He had no other excuse for it but this, that since the world were such fools as to value those matters, a man must be a fool for company.-Burnet. Hist. of His Own Time.
In the centre of the aisle is the noble tomb of--
* Queen Elizabeth (1602), who died at Richmond in the forty-fifth year of her reign, and the seventieth of her age. The monument is by
Maximilian Poultraine and John de Critz. Beneath a lofty canopy supported by ten Corinthian pillars, the figure of the queen who was
one day greater than man, the next less than woman, is lying upon the low basement on a slab supported by lions. The effigy represents her as an aged woman, wearing a close coif, from which the hair descends in curls: the crown has been stolen. The tomb was once surrounded by a richly wrought railing covered with fleurs-de-lis and roses, with the initials E R interspersed. This, with all the small standards and armorial bearings at the angles, forming as much a part of the monument itself as the stonework, was most unjustifiably removed by Dean Ireland.The almost adoration with which Elizabeth was regarded after her death caused her so-called monument, with a metrical epitaph, curiously varied, to be set up in all the principal London churches; notably so in St. Saviour's, Southwark; St. Mary Woolnoth; St. Lawrence Jewry; St. Mildred, Poultry; and St. Andrew Undershaft. Several of these monuments still exist.
Thys queene's speech did winne all affections, and hir subjects did trye to shew all love to hir commandes; for she would say, hir state did require hir to commande, what she knew hir people woude willingly do from their owne love to hir. Herein she did shewe her wisdome fullie; for who did chuse to lose her confidence; or who woude wytholde a shewe of love and obedience, when their Sovereign said it was their own choice, and not hir compulsion? . . . We did all love hir, for she said she loved us, and muche wysdome she shewed in thys matter. She did well temper herself towards all at home, and put at variance all abroad; by which means she had more quiet than hir neighbours. ... When she smiled, it was a pure sunshine, that everyone did chuse to baske in, if they could; but anon came a storm from a sudden gathering of clouds, and the thunder fell in wondrous manner on all alike. I never did fynde greater shew of understandinge and learninge, than she was blest wythe, and whoever liveth longer than I can, will look backe and become laudator temporis acti.-Sir John Harington's Letter to Robert Markham in 1606, three years after the death of Elizabeth.
In the same tomb is buried Mary . (1558). Her obsequies, conducted by Bishop Gardiner, were the last funeral service celebrated in the Abbey according to the Roman Catholic ritual, except the requiem ordered by Elizabeth for Charles V. The stones of the altars in Henry VII.'s Chapel destroyed at the Reformation were used in her vault. At her funeral all the people plucked down the hangings and the armorial bearings round about the abbey, and every one tore him a piece as large as he could catch it. James I. wrote the striking inscription upon the monument--Regno consortes et urnis, hic obdormimus Elizabetha et Maria sorores, in spe resurrectionis. In those words, says Dean Stanley, the long war of the English Reformation is closed.
*The eastern end of this aisle has been called the Innocents' Corner.
In its centre is the tomb erected in 1674 by Charles II. over the bones found at the foot of the staircase in the Tower, supposed to be those of the murdered boys, Edward V. and Richard, Duke of York.
* On the left is Princess Mary, third daughter of James I. (1607), who died at two years old, about whom her Protestant father was wont to say that he would not pray to the Virgin Mary, but for the Virgin Mary. Fuller's Worthies, i. 49.--Her epitaph tells how she, received into heaven in early infancy, found joy for herself, but left longings to her parents.
Such was the manner of her death, as bred a kind of admiration in us all that were present to behold it. For whereas the new-tuned organs of speech, by reason of her great and wearisome sickness, had been so greatly weakened, that for the space of twelve or fourteen hours at least, there was no sound of any word breaking from her lips; yet when it sensibly appeared that she would soon make a peaceable end of a troublesome life, she sighed out these words, I go, I go, and when, not long after, there was something to be ministered unto her by those that attended her in the time of her sickness, fastening her eye upon them with a constant look, she repeated, Away, I go! And yet a third time, almost immediately before she offered herself, a sweet virgin sacrifice, unto Him that made her, faintly cried, I go, I go. . . . And whereas she had used many other words in the time of her extremity, yet now, at the last, she did aptly utter these, and none but these.Funeral Sermon for the Princess Mary, by J. Leech, preached in Henry VI.'s Chapel, Sept. 23, 1607.
* On the right is Princess Sophia (1606), fourth daughter of James I., who died at Greenwich three days after her birth. It is a charming little monument of an infant in her cradle-a royal rose-bud, plucked by premature fate, and snatched away from her parents, that she might flourish again in the rosary of Christ.
This royal babe is represented sleeping in her cradle, wherewith vulgar eyes, especially of the weaker sex, are more affected (as level to their cognizance, more capable of what is pretty than what is pompous) than with all the magnificent monuments in Westminster.-Fuller's
At the foot of the steps leading to Henry VII.'s Chapel is the grave of (), grandfather of Queen Mary II. and Queen Anne, who died in exile at Rouen, having been impeached for high-treason. We must look back from the northern ambulatory upon the richly sculptured arch of Henry V.'s chantry. It is this arch
| which was so greatly admired by Flaxman. The Coronation of Henry V. is here represented as it was performed in this church by Thomas Arundel, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Henry Beaufort, the uncle of the king. Over the canopies which surmount the figures are the alternate badges of the Antelope and Swan (from the king's mother, co-heiress of the Bohuns, and the same animals appear on the cornices chained to a tree, on which is a flaming cresset, a badge which was borne by Henry V. alone, and which was intended as typical of the light by which he hoped to |
guide his people to follow him in all honour and virtue.
On the left are the beautiful tombs of Queen Eleanor and of Henry III., and beyond these the simple altar-tomb of Edward I. On the right are the tombs of-
William Pulteney, Earl of Bath (1767), by Wilton.
Admiral Holmes, 1761.
Entering the , we see before us the noble altar-tomb of-
* Sir Giles Daubeny (1507) and his wife Elizabeth. He was Lord Lieutenant of Calais and Chamberlain to Henry VII. His effigy, which is executed with the minutest care, is in plate armour, with the insignia of the Order of the Garter. Observe the kneeling and weeping monks in relief on the soles of his shoes.
Near this is the stupid colossus, whose introduction here is the most crying evidence of the want of taste in our generation: a monument wholly unsuited in its character to the place, and in its association with its surroundings-which, on its introduction, burst through the pavement by its immense weight, laid bare the honoured coffins beneath,
| and fell into the vaults below, but unfortunately was not broken to pieces.
who directing the force of an original genius early exercised in philosophic research to the improvement of the steam-engine, enlarged the resources of his country and increased the power of man, and rose to an eminent place among the most illustrious followers of science and the real benefactors of the world.
The inscription is by Lord Brougham, the statue by
Making the circuit of the chapel from the right, we see the monuments of-
* Lodowick Robsart (1431), and his wife Elizabeth, heiress of Bartholomew Bourchier, after his marriage with whom he was created Lord Bourchier. He was distinguished in the French wars under Henry V., and made the king's standard-bearer for the courage which he displayed upon the field of Agincourt. On the marriage of Henry V. to Katharine de Valois he was immediately presented to the queen, and appointed the especial guardian of her person. His tomb, which forms part of the screen of the chapel, is, architecturally, one of the most interesting in the Abbey. It has an oaken roof in the form called en dos d'âne,
and the whole was once richly gilt and coloured, the rest of the screen being powdered with gold Catherine-wheels.
Anne, Lady Cottington (1633), a bust greatly admired by Strype for its simplicity and beauty. Beneath is the reclining effigy of Francis, Lord Cottington (1652), ambassador for Charles I. in Spain, who for his faithfull adherence to ye crowne (ye usyrpers prevayling) was forc't to fly his country, and, during his exile, dyed at Valladolid.
Clarendon vi. 465, 467. describes him-
A very wise man, by the long and great experience he had in business of all kinds; and by his natural temper, which was not liable to any transport of anger, or any other passion, but could bear contradiction, and even reproach, without being moved, or put out of his way for he was very steady in pursuing what he proposed to himself, and had a courage not to be frighted with any opposition. . . . He was of an excellent humour, and very easy to live with; and, under a grave countenance, covered the most of mirth, and caused more than any man of the most pleasant disposition. He never used anybody ill, but used many very well for whom he had no regard; his greatest fault was, that he could dissemble, and make men believe that he loved them very well, when he cared not for them. He had not very tender affections, nor bowels apt to yearn at all objects which deserved compassion: he was heartily weary of the world, and no man was more willing to die; which is an argument that he had peace of conscience. He left behind him a greater esteem of his parts than love to his person.
Frances Sidney, Countess of Sussex (aunt of Sir Philip), 1589. She was the foundress of Sidney-Sussex College at Cambridge. Her recumbent statue affords a fine specimen of the rich costume of the period: at her feet is her crest, a porcupine, in wood.
Dudley Carleton, Viscount Dorchester (1631), Secretary of State under Charles I.There are fine portraits of Dudley Carleton and his wife, by Cornelius Jansen. in the National Portrait Gallery. This tomb was executed by Nicholas Stone for 4,200.
Sir Thomas Bromley (1587), who succeeded Sir Nicholas Bacon as Lord-Chancellor in the reign of Elizabeth, and presided at the trial of Mary, Queen of Scots. The alabaster statue represents the chancellor in his robes: the official purse appears at the back: his children, by Lady Elizabeth Fortescue, kneel at an altar beneath.
Sir James Fullerton (1630-3 ), and Mary his wife. He was first Gentleman of the Bedchamber to Charles I. He dyed fuller of faith than of feare, fuller of resolv'ion than of paiennes; fuller of honvr than of dayes.
[Near the foot of this monument Archbishop Usher was buried in state, March, 1655-56, at the cost of Oliver Cromwell. He died at Reigate. His chaplain, Nicholas Barnard, preached his funeral sermon in the Abbey on the text, And Samuel died, and all the Israelites were gathered together. ]
Sir John Puckering (1596), who prosecuted Mary, Queen of Scots, and became Keeper of the Great Seal under Elizabeth. The monument was erected by his widow, who added her own statue; their eight children kneel below.
Sir Henry Belasyse of Brancepeth (1717), linealy descended from Belasius, one of the Norman Generals who came into England with William the Conqueror and was knighted by him. The monument is by Scheemakers.
The entrance to the next chapel, or, more properly, the
, is of the most picturesque
in the Abbey, dating from the time of Richard II. It is a low arch supported by clustered pillars. The shield on the right bears the arms of old France and England quarterly,
| viz. semee of fleurs-de-lis and lions passant gardant, and that on the left the arms of Edward the Confessor. Above is |
in black (once golden) letters, and over this an exquisitely sculptured niche with a moulding of vine-leaves. The iron stanchion which held a lamp still remains by the entrance, and within are a holy-water
| basin and a bracket for the statue of St. Erasmus (a Bishop of Campania martyred under Diocletian), with the rays which once surrounded the head of the figure still remaining on the wall. Near the entrance is the little monument of
(), with a curious relief representing her death.
Through this shrine we enter the , of which the screen is formed by tombs of bishops and abbots. In the centre is the tomb of-
Thomas Cecil, Earl of Exeter (1622), eldest son of Lord Burleigh, and his first wife Dorothy Nevile. The vacant space on the earl's left side was intended for his second wife, Frances Brydges, but she indignantly refused to allow her effigy to lie on the left side, though she is buried with her husband.
Making the circuit of the chapel from the right, we see the monuments of-
Mrs. Mary Kendall (1709-10), who desired that her ashes might not be divided in death from those of her friend Lady Catharine Jones.The charitable daughter of the Earl of Ranelagh, who built a school at Chelsea for the education of the daughters of the Poor Chelsea Pensioners.
George Fascet, Abbot of Westminster (5000), an altar-tomb with a stone canopy. On it rests the stone coffin of Abbot Thomas Millyng, (1474), godfather of Edward V., who was made Bishop of Hereford by Edward IV. in reward for the services he had rendered to Elizabeth Woodville when she was in sanctuary at Westminster. His coffin was probably removed from the centre of the chapel when the tomb of the Earl of Exeter was placed there.
Thomas Ruthall, Bishop of Durham (1522), who died at Durham Place in the Strand, from grief at having sent the inventory of all his great riches to Henry. VIII. in mistake for the Breviate of the State of the Land, which he had been commissioned to draw up. He had been Secretary to Henry VII., and had made a good use of his immense wealth, having paid a third of the expense of building the great bridge of Newcastle-on-Tyne. The tomb once had a canopy.
Abbot William of Colchester (1420), who conspired, with the earls and dukes imprisoned in the abbot's house by Henry IV., in favour of the dethroned monarch, and swore to be faithful to death to King Richard.See Shakspeare's Richard II. The effigy is robed in rich vestments: there are two angels at the pillow, and a spaniel lies at the feet.
(On the site of the altar) Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon (1596), the first-cousinBeing son of Mary Boleyn, who married William Carey, a penniless but nobly born squire, without her father's consent. and most faithful friend and chamberlain of Queen Elizabeth. He is said to have died of disappointment at the long delay in his elevation. The queen visited him on his death-bed, and commanded the robes and patent of an earl to be placed before him.
It is too late, he said, and declined the offered dignity. The Corinthian tomb of alabaster and marble, erected by his son, is one of the loftiest in England (36 feet).
Thomas Carey (1649), second son of the Earl of Monmouth, a Gentleman of the Bedchamber to Charles I., who died of grief for the execution of his master. By this monument may be seen remains of the ancient lockers for the sacred vestments and plate.
* (Beneath) Hugh and Mary Bohun, children of Humphrey Bohun, Earl of Hereford, and the Princess Isabella, sixth daughter of Edward I. A grey marble monument close to the wall, removed by Richard II. from the Chapel of the Confessor to make room for Anne of Bohemia.
Colonel Edward Popham (1651), and Anne his wife. As he was a general in the Parliamentary army, his body was removed at the Restoration, but the monument was allowed to remain, on condition of the inscription being turned to the wall.
Sir Thomas Vaughan, Treasurer to Edward IV. The tomb has a beautiful but mutilated brass. Under the canopy is preserved a fragment of the canopy of Bishop Ruthall's tomb.
The banners which still wave in this chapel are those carried at the funerals of those members of the ancient Northumbrian family of Delaval who are buried beneath-Susannah, Lady Delaval, 1783; Sarah Hussey, Countess of Tyrconnel, 1800; John Hussey, Lord Delaval, 1806.
Opposite the Chapel of St. John is the staircase by which visitors usually ascend to the centre of interest in the Abbey-
| may say in England--the |
Mortality, behold, and feare,
What a change of flesh is here!
Think how many royall bones
Sleep within these heaps of stones;
Here they lye, had realmes, had lands,
Who now want strength to stir their hands;
Where from their pulpits seal'd with dust,
They preach, In greatnesse is no trust.
Here's an acre sown indeed,
With the richest, royall'st seed,
That the earth did ere suck in,
Since the first man died for sin:
Here the bones of birth have cry'd,
Though gods they were, as men they dy'd:
Here all souls, ignoble things,
Dropt from the ruin'd sides of kings.
Here's a world of pomp and state
Buried in dust, once dead by fate.
Francis Beaumont, 1586-1616.
A man may read a sermon, the best and most passionate that ever man preached, if he shall but enter into the sepulchres of kings .... Where our kings have been crowned, their ancestors lie interred, and they must walk over their grandsire's head to take his crown. There is an acre sown with royal seed, the copy of the greatest change, from rich to naked, from ceiled roofs to arched coffins, from living like gods to die like men. There is enough to cool the flames of lust, to abate the heights of pride, to appease the itch of covetous desires, to sully and dash out the dissembling colours of a lustful, artificial, and imaginary beauty. There the warlike and the peaceful, the fortunate and the miserable, the beloved and the despised princes mingle their dust, and pay down their symbol of mortality, and tell all the world, that, when we die, our ashes shall be equal to kings', and our accounts easier, and our pains or our crowns shall be less.-Jeremy Taylor's
Holy Dying, ch. i. sec. II.
This chapel, more than any other part of the Abbey, remains as it was left by its founder, Henry III. He made it a Holy of Holies to contain the shrine of his
| sainted predecessor. For this he moved the high altar westward, and made the choir project far down into the nave, like the of a Spanish cathedral; for this he raised behind the high altar a mound of earth, |
For this he imported from Rome
the last funeral tumulus in England.
(absurdly supposed by Walpole and Virtue to be the famous mosaicist Pietro Cavallini, who was not born till , years after the date of the shrine), who has left us the pavement glowing with peacock hues of Opus Alexandrinum, which recalls the pavements of the Roman basilicas, and the twisted pillars of the shrine itself, which are like. those of the cloisters in S. Paolo and S. Giovanni Laterano.
Peter, the Roman citizen
Edward the Confessor died in the opening days of , when his church at had just been consecrated in the presence of Edith his queen. He was buried before the high altar with his crown upon his head, a golden chain and crucifix around his neck, and his pilgrim's ring upon his finger. Thus he was seen when his coffin was opened by Henry I. in the presence of Bishop Gundulf, who tried to steal a hair from his white beard. Thus he was again seen by Henry II., in whose reign he was transferred by Archbishop Becket to a new and
just after his canonization () by Pope Alexander III., who enjoined
Henry III. also looked upon the
that his body be honoured here on earth, as his soul is glorified in heaven.
body, before its translation to its present resting-place, on the shoulders of the royal Plantagenet princes, whose own sepulchres were afterwards to gather around it. The body lies in a stone coffin, iron-bound, within the shrine of marble and mosaic. It appears from
| an illumination in the in the University Library at Cambridge that, after his canonization, end of the shrine was for some time left open, that sick persons might creep through and touch the coffin. The recesses at the sides of the shrine were intended for pilgrims to kneel under. The inlaid wooden wainscoting on the top was added by Abbot Feckenham in the reign of Mary I., by whom the shrine was restored, for it had been partially, if not wholly, displaced at the Dissolution. Before that it probably had a Gothic canopy. At the coronation of James II. both shrine and coffin were broken by the fall of some scaffolding. It was then robbed for the last time. Henry Keepe, who wrote the relates that he himself put in his hand and drew forth the chain and crucifix of the Confessor, which were accepted by the last of the Stuart kings. The shrine, which was of the most popular points of pilgrimage before the Reformation, is still the object of pilgrimages with Roman Catholics. Around the Confessor lie his nearest relations. On his left rests his wife, |
(), the daughter of Earl Godwin, and sister of Harold. On his right (moved from the old Chapter-house by Henry III.) lies his great-niece, another Edith (), whose Saxon name was changed to the Norman , the daughter of Malcolm Canmore of Scotland, granddaughter of Edward Atheling, and wife of Henry I. She had been accustomed frequently to. pass days and nights together; kneeling, bare-footed and dressed in haircloth, before her uncle's shrine, and had herself the reputation of a saint. She was
, of venerable memory
says Florence of
the very mirror of piety, humility, and princely bounty,
| Worcester. |
say the that
Her virtues were so great,
Before the shrine, as Pennant says, the were offered, the Scottish regalia, and the sacred stone from Scone; and here the little Alphonso, son of Edward I., offered the golden coronet of Llewelyn, Prince of Wales.[n.291.1] Here also the unfortunate Joanna, widow of Henry IV., was compelled to make a public thank-offering for the victory of Agincourt, in which her brother and sonin-law were killed and her son taken prisoner. Behind the shrine, where the chantry of Henry V. now stands, were preserved the relics given by St. Edward to the church--a tooth of St. Athanasius, a stone which was believed to have been marked by the last footprint of the Saviour at His Ascension, and a phial of the precious blood.
an entire day would not suffice to recount them.
The fantastic legend of the Confessor is told in the rude sculptures on the screen which divides the chapel from the choir. We see-
On the left of the steps by which we ascended is the tomb of the founder, . ().
Quiet King Henry m., our English Nestor (not for depth of brains, but for length of life), who reigned fifty-six years, in which term he buried all his contemporary princes in Christendom twice over. All the months in the year may be in a manner carved out of an April day; hot, cold, dry, moist, fair, foul weather being oft presented therein. Such the character of this king's life-certain only in uncertainty; sorrowful, successful; in plenty, in penury; in wealth, in want; conquered, conqueror.Fuller's Church History.
Henry died at Bury St. Edmunds on the day of St. Edmund of Canterbury. His body was brought to London in state by the Knights Templar,[n.292.2] whom he had introduced into England, and his effigy was so splendidly attired
On the day of St. Edmund, king and martyr, he was buried here before the high altar, in the coffin in which Henry . had laid the Confessor, and
he shone more magnificent when dead than he had appeared when living.
| whence he himself had removed him. His son Edward, then returning from Palestine, who had lately heard of the death of his sons Henry and John, broke into passionate grief on hearing the news of this bereavement-|
He brought from abroad the
God may give me more sons, but not another father.
diverse-coloured marbles and glittering stones,
[n.293.1] with which the tomb was constructed by
the twisted or serpentine columns of the same speckled marble,
and thither he transferred his father's body, at the same time fulfilling a promise which Henry had made to the abbess of Fontevault by delivering his heart to her, to be enshrined in the Norman abbey where his mother Isabella, his uncle Richard I., his grandfather Henry II., and his grandmother Eleanor were buried. The effigy of the king, by the English artist , is of gilt brass. The king wears a coronet, and a long mantle reaching to his feet.
Peter, the Roman citizen;
Lying at her father-in-law's feet is
the beautiful (), wife of Edward I., and daughter of Ferdinand III. of Castile. Married in her year to a husband of , she was separated from him till she was , and then won his intense affection by a life of heroic devotion, especially during the perils of the Crusades, through which she insisted upon accompanying him, saying in answer to all remonstrances,
the queen of good memory,
She was the mother of sons, of whom only (Edward II.) survived her, and of daughters, of whom only married.
Nothing ought to part those whom God has joined, and the way to heaven is as near from Palestine as from England.
To our nation,
| Walsingham, |
She was taken ill at Hardeby, near Grantham, while Edward was absent on his Scottish wars, and died before he could reach her. His passionate grief expended itself in the line of crosses, erected at the towns where her body rested on its progress to London. Every Abbot of , as he entered on his office, was bound by oath to see that a wax lights were burning round her grave on St. Andrew's Eve, the anniversary of her death. Her heart was given to the convent of Blackfriars.
she was a loving mother, the column and pillar of the whole realm. She was a godly, modest, and merciful princess.... The sorrow-stricken she consoled as became her dignity, and she made them friends that were at discord.
The Queen's tomb, of Petworth marble, is by , an English artist, who built the furnace in which the statue was cast, in Churchyard. The beautiful features of the dead queen are expressed in the most serene quietude: her long hair waves from beneath the circlet on her brow. can see the character which was always able to curb the wild temper of her husband--the wife, as he wrote to the Abbot of Cluny, whom
living he loved, and dead he should never cease to love.
. himself () lies on the same side of the chapel, near the screen. He died at Burgh on Solway Frith, after a reign of years, was buried for a time at Waltham, and then removed hither to a site between his father's tomb and that of his brother Edmund. His body was embalmed like a mummy, bound in cere-cloth, and robed in cloth of gold, with a crown on his head, a sceptre in hand, and the rod with the dove in the
| other. Thus he was seen when the tomb was opened in . A wooden canopy once overshadowed the tomb, but this was broken down in a tumult at the funeral of Pulteney, Earl of Bath. Now the monument of the greatest of the Plantagenets is of the plainest in the Abbey. slabs of grey marble compose it, and it bears the inscription, |
Edvardus Primus Scotorum malleus hic est.
. Pactum Serva.
Is the unfinished tomb a fulfilment of that famous pact, which the dying king required of his son, that his flesh should be boiled, his bones carried at the head of the English army till Scotland was subdued, and his heart sent to the Holy Land, which he had vainly tried in his youth to redeem from the Saracens? It is true that with the death of the king all thought of the conquest of Scotland ceased. But it may possibly have been to keep the pact that the tomb was left in this rude state, which would enable his successors at any moment to take out the corpse and carry off the heart;--and it may have been with a view to this that a singular provision was left and enforced. Once every two years the tomb was to be opened, and the wax of the king's cere-cloth renewed. The renewal constantly took place as long as his dynasty lasted, perhaps with a lingering hope that a time would come when a victorious English army would once more sweep through Scotland with the conqueror's skeleton, or another crusade embark for Palestine with that true English heart. The hour never came, and when the dynasty changed with the fall of Richard II., the renewal of the cerement ceased.-Dean Stanley.
At Edward's death he left his wife, Marguerite of France, a widow of . She kept a chronicler, John o' London, to record the valiant deeds of her husband, and when Edward died the people of England were edified by her breaking forth, through his pen, into a lamentation like that for Saul and Jonathan-
At the foot of Edward's monument with my little sons, I weep and call upon him. When Edward died all men died to me,
Near the tomb of Edward was preserved in a gold cup the heart of Henry d'Almayne, nephew of Henry III., murdered () by Simon de Montfort in the cathedral of Viterbo. On the other side of the shrine lie some children of his cousin, Aylmer de Valence.
The next tomb in point of date is that of
(), daughter of William, Earl of Hainault, and wife of Edward III., by whom she was the mother of children. In this she only fulfilled expectations, for we learn from Hardyng that when the king was sending to choose of the earl's daughters, an English bishop advised him to choose the lady of largest frame, as promising the most numerous progeny.[n.296.1] She was the foundress of Queen's College at Oxford. The figure which lies upon her tomb, executed by , a Flemish artist, is remarkable for its cushioned headdress, and is the attempt at a portrait. Around the tomb were placed the figures of royal persons to whom she was related.
The open-work of the niches over the head of the effigy itself has been filled in with blue glass. The magnificence of the entire work may be imagined when it is known that it contained, when perfect, more than
statues and statuettes, besides several brass figures on the surrounding railing.
When the good queen perceived her end approaching, she called to the king, and extending her right hand from under the bed-clothes, put it into the right hand of the king, who was very sorrowful at heart, and thus spoke: We have enjoyed our union in happiness, peace, and prosperity: I entreat, therefore, of you, that on our separation you will grant me three requests. The king, with sighs and tears, replied, Lady, ask: whatever you request shall be granted. My Lord, I beg you will acquit me of whatever engagements I may have entered into formerly with merchants for their wares, as well on this as on the other side the sea. I beseech you to fulfil whatever gifts or legacies I may have made. Thirdly, I entreat that, when it shall please God to call you hence, you will not choose any other sepulchre than mine and that you will lie beside me in the cloister of Westminster. The king, in tears, replied, Lady, I grant them. Soon after, the good lady made the sign of the cross on her breast, and having recommended to God the king and her youngest son, Thomas, who was present, gave up her spirit, which, I firmly believe, was caught by the holy angels, and carried to the glory of Heaven: for she had never done anything, by thought or deed, that could endanger her losing it.-Froissart.
, the son who was present at Philippa's death-bed, is the only buried beside her. At years old he had been left guardian of the kingdom while his parents were absent in French wars, and had represented his father by sitting on the throne before parliaments. He married a Bohun heiress, and was a great patron of literature, especially of Gower the poet. He was smothered at Calais in , by order of his nephew, Richard II., and rests under a large stone which once bore a brass, in front of his mother's tomb. Gower in his
has a Latin poem on the Duke of Gloucester, in which the following lines record his death-
In accordance with the promise made to the dying Philippa, the next tomb on the south is that of , -
Heu quam tortorum quidam de sorte maloram,
Sic Duds electi plumarum pondere lecti;
Corporis quassatum jugulantque necant jugulatum.
mentioned in Shakspeare's . He died at Sheen, was carried, with face uncovered, through the streets
The honourable tomb
That stands upon your royal grandsire's bones,
| of London, followed by his many children, and was laid in Philippa's grave. The features of the effigy which lies upon the tomb are believed to have been cast from the king's face as he lay in death, and |
the head is almost ideal in its beauty.
Corpore fuit elegans, statura quae.ec Justum excederet nec nimis depressioni succumberet, vultum habens humana mortalitate magis venerabilem, similem angelo, in quo relucebat tam mirifica gratia ut si quis in ejus faciem palam respexisset vel nocte de illo somniasset eo proculdubio die sperabat sibi jocunda solatia proventura.--Walsingham.
In the words of his epitaph) he was
All his children were represented around the tomb in brass: only remain- Edward the Black Prince, Joan de la Tour, Lionel Duke of Clarence, Edward Duke of York, Henry of Brittany, and William of Hatfield. We have seen other children in the Chapel of St. Edmund.[n.298.2]
flos regum preteritorum, forma futurorum.
Mighty victor! mighty lord,
Low on his funeral couch he lies;
No pitying heart, no eye, afford
A tear to grace his obsequies.
Is the sable warrior fled?
Thy son is gone: he rests among the dead
The swarm that in thy noontide beam were born
Gone to salute the rising morn.-Gray.
The Black Prince was buried at Canterbury, but ., his son by the Fair Maid of Kent, who succeeded his grandfather, Edward III., in his year, removed
| the Bohun grandchildren of Edward I. that he might lie near him, and on the death of his beloved wife, (), sister of the Emperor Wenceslaus (who introduced the use of pins and side-saddles into England), in the year of her married life, he erected her tomb in its place. On it and , Citizens and Coppersmiths of London, were ordered to represent her effigy with his own, their right hands tenderly clasped together, so that they might always bear witness to his devotion to the wife whom he lamented with such extravagant grief, that he caused the palace of Sheen to be razed to the ground, because it had been the scene of her death. The effigies are partly of brass and partly of copper. That of the king is attired like an ecclesiastic% his hair curls, and he has a pointed beard, but not much trace of the |
The king's robe is decorated with the brooms-cods of the Plantagenets, and
surpassing beauty for which he was celebrated.
The arms of the loving couple have been stolen, with the pillows which supported the royal heads, the lions which once lay at Richard's feet, and the eagle and leopard which supported those of the queen. The canopy is decorated within with half-obliterated paintings of the Almighty and of the Virgin with the Saviour, on a diapered ground like that of the portrait of Richard II. Here also, when the feeble London light allows, may be seen the arms of Queen Anne--the -headed eagle of the empire, and the lion rampant of Bohemia. After the death (probably the murder) of . in Pomfret Castle in , his body was brought to London, by order of Henry IV,, and exposed in --
the sun rising through the dark clouds of Crecy.
and was then interred in the church of the Preaching Friars at Langley in Hertfordshire. There it lay till the accession of Henry V., who, soon after his coronation (being then suitor for the hand of Katherine, sister of Richard's widow), exhumed it, seated it in a chair of state, and, with his whole court, followed in the strange procession which bore it to , and laid it in the grave of Queen Anne. The king's epitaph is very curious as bearing witness to the commencement of the struggle with the early Reformers-
his visage left opyn, that men
myght see and knowe his personne,
The epitaph begins on the north side: the letter contains a feather with a scroll, the badge of Edward III.[n.300.1]
Corpore procerus, animo prudens ut Homerus,
Obruit haereticos, et eorum stravit amicos.
By especial desire of Richard II. his favourite (), Bishop of Salisbury, Keeper of the Privy Seal and Lord High Treasurer, was buried here amongst the kings, and lies under a large stone in front of the tomb of Edward I.
We must now turn to the eastern end of the chapel, where the grand tomb of (),
the hero of Agincourt, the greatest king England had known till that time, rises on a site, for which even the sacred relics collected by the Confessor were removed and placed in a chest between the shrine and the tomb of Henry III.
Henry of Monmouth,
Henry V. died at Vincennes in his year, and his funeral procession from thence to Calais, and from Dover to London, was the most magnificent ever known. Katherine
| de Valois, his widow, followed the corpse, with James I. of Scotland, as chief mourner. On reaching London the funeral rites were celebrated at and then at the Abbey. Here the king's chargers were led up to the altar behind the waxen effigy of the king, which was used in this instance. All England mourned.|
Hung be the heavens with black, yield day to night I
King Henry the Fifth, too famous to live long I
England ne'er lost a king of so much worth.
The tomb of Henry towers above the Plantagenet graves beneath, as his empire towered above their kingdom. As ruthlessly as any improvement of modern times, it devoured half the beautiful monuments of Eleanor and Philippa. Its structure is formed out of the letter of his name-H. Its statues represent not only the glories of , in the persons of its founders, but the glories of the kingdoms which he had united-St. George, the patron of England; St. Denys, the patron of France. The sculptures round the chapel break out in a vein altogether hew in the abbey. They describe the personal peculiarities of the man and his history--the scenes of his coronation, with all the grandees of his court around him, and his battles in France. Amongst the heraldic emblems--the swans and antelopes derived from the Bohuns--is the flaming beacon or cresset light which he took for his badge,
Aloft were hung his large emblazoned shield, his saddle, and his helmet, after the example of the like personal accoutrements of the Black Prince at Canterbury. The shield has lost its splendour, but is still there. The saddle is that on which he
showing thereby that, although his virtues and good parts had been formerly obscured, and lay as a dead coal seeking light to kindle it, by reason of tender years and evil company, notwithstanding, he being now come to his perfecter years and riper understanding, had shaken off his evil counsellors, and being now on his high imperial throne, that his virtues should now shine as the light of a cresset, which is no ordinary light.
The helmet--which from its elevated position has almost become a
Vaulted with such ease into his seat,
As if an angel dropped down from the clouds,
To witch the world with noble horsemanship.
| part of the architectural outline of the abbey, and on which many a .boy has wonderingly gazed from his place in the choir is in all probability |
which twice saved his life on that eventful day-still showing in its dints the marks of the ponderous sword of the Dule of Alencon -
that very casque that did affright the air at Agincourt,
which he refused to have borne in state before him on his triumphal entry into London,
the bruised helmet,
for that he would have the praise chiefly given to God;
Below is his tomb, which still bears some marks of the inscription which makes him the Hector of his age. Upon it lay his effigy stretched out, cut from the solid heart of an English oak, plated with silver-gilt,, with a head of solid silver. It has suffered more than any other monument in the abbey. teeth of gold were plundered in Edward IV.'s, reign.. The whole of the silver was carried off by some robbers. who had
Being free from vainness and self-glorious pride,
Giving full trophy, signal, and ostent,
Quite from himself, to God.
at the time of the Dissolution. But, even in its mutilated form, the tomb has always excited the keen interest of Englishmen. The robbery
broken in the night-season into the Church of
was immediately investigated by the Privy Council. Sir Philip Sidney felt, that
of the image of King Henry of Monmouth
and Sir Roger de Coverley's anger was roused at the sight of the lost head:
who goes but to
, in the church may see Harry the
Some Whig, I'll warrant you. You ought to lock up your kings better, they'll carry off the body too, if you don't take care.
From the above the tomb (only shown by special order), where Henry ordained that masses were to be for ever offered up for his soul by
can look down into the shrine of the Confessor, and see the chest it contains.
sad and solemn priests,
Queen Katherine. de Valois, who married the Welsh squire Owen Tudor after her husband's death, was buried at in the Lady Chapel (). When this was pulled down, to make room for the chapel of Henry VII., her
| coffin was placed by the side of her husband's tomb, where Pepys, writing -, says-
She now lies in the Chapel of St. Nicholas. Close to Edward III.'s monument is the little tomb of the infant
(), daughter of Edward IV. and Elizabeth Woodville; and opposite it that of
, daughter of Henry VII., who died at Eltham,, aged .
Here we did see, by particular favour, the body of Queen Katherine of Valois; and I had the upper part of her body in my hands, and I did kiss her.mouth, reflecting upon it that I did kiss a queene, and that this was my birthday, thirty-six years old, that I did kiss a queene.-Diary.
In front of the screen, facing the foot of St. Edward's shrine, stand the , which, at coronations, are moved to the middle of the chancel. That on the left, scratched and battered by irreverent visitors, as full of varied colour as a mountain landscape, is the chair decorated by
for Edward I. In it was enclosed by Edward III. () the famous
or of Scone, on which the Scottish kings were crowned,[n.303.1] and with which the destinies of the Scottish rule were believed to be enwoven, according to the old metrical prophecy-
William the Painter
The legend of the stone relates that it was the pillow on which the Patriarch Jacob slept at Bethel when he saw the
Ni fallit fatum, Scoti quocunque locatum
Invenient lapidem, regnare tenentur ibidem.
| Vision of the Ladder reaching to heaven. From Bethel the sons of Jacob carried the Stone into Egypt. Thither came Gathelus the Greek, the son of Cecrops, the builder of Athens, who married Scota,[n.304.1] the daughter of Pharaon, but being alarmed at the judgments pronounced against Egypt by Moses, who had not then crossed the Red Sea, he fled to Spain, where he built the city of Brigantia. With him he took the Stone of Bethel, seated upon which |
[n.304.2] In after days there was a king in Spain named Milo, of Scottish origin, and of his younger sons, named Simon Brek, beloved by his father beyond all his brothers, was sent--to conquer Ireland with an army, that he might reduce it to his dominion, which he did, and reigned there many years. His prosperity was due to a miracle, for when his ships lay off the coast of Ireland, as he drew in his anchors, the famous Stone was hauled up with the anchors into the ship. Received as a precious boon from heaven, it was placed upon the sacred hill of Tarah, where it was called , the
he gave lawes and administered justice unto his people, thereby to menteine them in wealth and quietnesse.
and gave the ancient name of , or
to the kingdom.[n.304.3] On the hill of Tarah, Irish antiquaries maintain that the real Stone still remains, but others assert that about years before Christ, Fergus, the founder of the Scottish monarchy, bore
the Island of Destiny,
| the Stone across the sea to Dunstaffnage, where an ancient sculpture has been found of a king with a book of the laws in his hand, seated in the ancient chair |
[n.305.1] But from Dunstaffnage the Stone was again removed and carried to Iona by Fergus, who
whose bottom was the Fatal Stone.
Broucht pis stane wythin Scotland
Fyrst qwlien he come and wane pat land,
And fyrst it set in Ikkolmkil.Wintownis Chroniki.
It was Kenneth II. who, in A.D. , brought the Stone to Scone, and there enclosed it in a chair of wood,
[n.305.3] At Scone all the succeeding kings of Scotland were inaugurated till the time of John Baliol, who, according to Hardynge, was crowned
endeavouringg to confirm his royal authority by.mean and trivial things, almost bordering on superstition itself.
In the Minster of Scone, within Scotlad grònd,
Sittyng vpon the regal stone full sound,
As all the Kynges there vsed had afore,
On Sainct Andrewes day, with al joye therefore.
After Edward I. had defeated Baliol near Dunbar in , he is said, before he left the country, to have been himself crowned King of Scotland upon the sacred Stone at Scone. However this may be, on his return to England he carried off as trophies of his conquest, not only the Scottish regalia, but the famous
[n.305.4] Placing the Stone in the Abbey of
to create in the Scots a belief that the time of the dissolution of their monarchy was come.
|, he ordered that it should be enclosed in a chair of wood, |
[n.306.1] Various applications were afterwards made for the restoration of the Stone to the northern kingdom, and the immense importance
for a masse priest to sit in.
| which the Scotch attached to it is shown by its having been the subject of a political conference between Edward III. and David II. King of Scots. In Edward III. actually agreed to deliver it up :[n.306.2] the Scottish regalia was sent back, but when it came to giving up the Stone, |
the people of
London would by no means allow it to depart from themselves.
The Stone (which, geologically; is of such sandy sienite as may be found on the western coast of Scotland) is inserted beneath the seat of the chair, with an iron handle on either side so that it may be lifted up. The chair is of oak and has once been entirely covered with gilding and painting, now worn away with time and injured by the nails which have been driven in when it has been covered with cloth of gold at the coronations. At the back a strong lens will still discover the figure of a king, seated on a cushion diapered with lozenges, his feet resting on a lion, and other ornaments.[n.307.1]
In this chair all the kings of England since the time of Edward I. have been crowned; even Cromwell was installed in it as Lord Protector in Hall, on the occasion on which it has been carried out of the church.
When Shakspeare depicts Eleanor, Duchess of Gloster, imparting her aspirations to her husband Humphrey, she says-
Methinks I sate in seat of majesty
In the Cathedral Church of Westminster,
And in that Chair where kings and queens are crowned.
2 Henry VI. Act i. Sc. 2.
The chair was made for the coronation of Mary II. and has been used ever since for the queen's consort.
Between the chairs, leaning against the screen, are preserved the state ., which
| were carried before him in France. This is |
mentioned by Dryden; it is feet long and weighs lbs.
the monumental sword that conquer'd France,
Sir Roger de Coverley laid his hand upon Edward the Third's sword, and leaning upon the pommel of it, gave us the whole history of the Black Prince; concluding, that in Sir Richard Baker's opinion Edward the Third was one of the greatest princes that ever sat upon the English throne.-Spectator, No. 329.
Before leaving the chapel we must glance at its upper window, filled with figures of saints, executed in stained glass, of the kind called
in the reign of Henry VI.
A feeling sad came o'er me as I trod the sacred ground
Where Tudors and Plantagenets were lying all around;
I stepp'd with noiseless foot, as though the sound of mortal tread,
Might burst the bands of the dreamless sleep that wraps the mighty dead.
Returning to the aisle, we may admire from beneath, where we see them at their full height, beautiful tombs of the family of Henry III.
* (), son of Henry VII., who fought in the Crusades. His name of Crouchback is believed to have had its origin in the cross or which he wore embroidered on his habit after he had engaged to join in a crusade in .
Edward above his menne was largely seen,
By his shoulders more hei and made full clene.
Edmond next hym the comeliest Prince alive,
Not croke-backed, ne in no wyse disfigured.
As some menne wrote, the right lyne to deprive,
Through great falsehed made it to be scriptured.--Hardynge.
He received an imaginary grant of the kingdom of Sicily and Apulia from Pope Innocent IV. when he was only eight years old, which led to the extortions of Henry for the support or his claim. On the death of Simon de Montfort, he was made Earl of Leicester and Seneschal of England by his father. At the base of the monument are figures of the gallant party who went together to the Crusades --Edmund, his brother Edward I., his uncle William de Valence, three other earls, and four knights. The effigy of Edmund himself is exceedingly noble and dignified. Sculptured on his tomb are the roses of the House of Lancaster, a badge first introduced from the roses which he brought over from Provins (Provence roses), where they had been planted by Crusaders. The House of Lancaster claimed the throne by descent from this prince, and his second wife, Blanche, Queen of Navarre.
Aylmer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke
son of William de Valence, and nephew of Henry III. He fought in the Scottish wars of Edward I. and Edward II. against the barons under Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, and connived at his sentence. This proved fatal to him. He went into France with Queen Isabel, and there died -
sodenly murdered by the vengeance of God, for he consented to the death of St. Thomas.
Leland, from a Chronicle in Peter House Library.
The sculpture of this tomb is decidedly French in character.
angels, at the head of the effigy, support the soul of Aylmer, which is ascending to heaven.
The monuments of Aylmer de Valence and Edmund Crouchback are specimens of the magnificence of our sculpture in the reigns of the two first Edwards. The loftiness of the work, the number of arches and pinnacles, the lightness of the spires, the richness and profusion of foliage and crockets, the solemn repose of the principal statue, the delicacy of thought in the group of angels bearing the soul, and the tender sentiment of concern variously expressed in the relations ranged in order round the basement, forcibly arrest the attention, and carry the thoughts not only to other ages, but to other states of existence.-Flaxman.
Aveline, Countess of Lancaster (1273). The tomb is concealed on this side by the ugly monument of
Field Marshal Lord Ligonier (1770), celebrated as a military commander in all the wars of Anne, George I.. and George II., and who died at ninety-two in the middle of the reign of George III. The Muse of History is represented as holding a scroll, with the names of his battles. This was the witty Irishman who, when George II. reviewed his regiment and remarked-Your men look like soldiers, but the horses are poor, answered-The men, Sire, are Irish, and gentlemen too; but the horses are English. The monument is by J. F. Moore.
(Below Ligonier) (), a low altar tomb with a brass effigy, its head resting on a greyhound, its feet on a lion. Sir John was a knight of Henry V., and the husband of the celebrated Joan de la Pole, Lady Cobham, whose husband was Sir John Oldcastle.
(In the pavement) the gravestone, which once bore brasses, of
Thomas Brown and Humphrey Roberts
, monks of
Facing the tomb of Edmund Crouchback is the beautiful perpendicular , , who laid the foundation stone of the greater perpendicular chapel of Henry VII. His name appears-twice repeated--in the frieze, on which we may also see the rebus of the abbot-an eye, and a hand holding a slip or branch. The acts of Islip and his magnificent funeral obsequies are pictured in the exceedingly curious
in the Library of the Society of Antiquaries. In the centre of the chapel, rich in exquisitely finished perpendicular carving, he was buried, but his curious tomb, which bore his skeleton in alabaster, is destroyed, as well as a fresco of the Crucifixion with abbot's figure in prayer beneath, and the words-
En cruce qui pendes Islip miserere Johannis,
Sanguine perfuso reparasti quem pretioso.
In this chapel, without a monument, is buried , the heiress who was betrothed to Richard, Duke of York, the murdered son of Edward IV. On the eastern wall is the monument of (), great nephew of the famous Lord Chancellor.
An especial order from the Dean is required to gain admittance by a winding stair to the chamber above the Islip Chapel, which contains the few remains of the exceedingly curious waxwork effigies, which were carried at the
| public funerals of great personages in the Abbey. The sovereign who was thus represented was Henry V., who died in France and was brought home in his coffin; previously the embalmed bodies of the kings and queens had been carried, with faces uncovered, at their funerals. Nevertheless, commemorative effigies of the Henrys and Edwards were made for the Abbey, but of these little remains beyond their wooden framework. When perfect they were exhibited in presses: thus Dryden saw them-
And now the presses open stand,
And you may see them all a-row.
Stow mentions the effigies of Edward III., Philippa, Henry V., Katherine de Valois, Henry VII., Elizabeth of York, Elizabeth, Henry Prince of Wales, James I., and Anne of Denmark. The exhibition of the waxwork figures was formerly found to produce a valuable addition for the small income of the minor canons, though it was much ridiculed as and [n.311.1] After the show the
used to be sent round for contributions.
cap of General Monk
I thought on Naseby, Marston Moor, and Worcester's crowning fight,
When on my ear a sound there fell; it filled me with affright;
As thus, in low unearthly tones, I heard a voice begin-
This here's the cap of General Monk I Sir, please put summut in.
The waxwork figures have not been publicly exhibited since , though they are of the deepest interest, being effigies of the time of those whom they represent, robed by the hands of those who knew them and their characteristic
| habits of dress. The most interesting of the existing figures is that of , a restoration by the chapter, in , of the original figure carried at her funeral, which had fallen to pieces a few years before. She looks half witch and half ghoul. Her weird old head is crowned by a diadem, and she wears the huge ruff laden with a century of dust, the long stomacher covered with jewels, the velvet robe embroidered with gold and supported on paniers, and the pointed high-heeled shoes with rosettes, familiar from her pictures. The effigy was carried from at her funeral, .
At which time, the whole city of Westminster was surcharged with multitudes of all sorts of people, in the streets, houses, windows, leads, and gutters, who came to see the obsequy. And when they beheld her statue, or effigy, lying on the coffin, set forth in royal robes, having a crown upon the head thereof, and a ball and a sceptre in either hand, there was such a general sighing, groaning, and weeping, as the like hath not been seen or known in the memory of man; neither doth any history mention any people, time, or state, to make like lamentation for the death of their sovereign.-Stow.
Next in point of date of the royal effigies is that of
., robed in red velvet, with lace collar and ruffles. It long stood over his grave in Henry VII.'s Chapel, and served as his monument. By his side once stood the now ruined effigy of General Monk, dressed in armour. . and
. stand together in an oblong case, on either side of a pedestal. Mary, who died at , is a large woman nearly feet high. The effigy was cast from her dead face. She wears a purple velvet bodice, brooches of diamonds decorate her breast, and she has pearl earrings and a pearl necklace . The headdress is not well preserved. but it was recorded as curious that the
| effigy of Mary was originally represented as wearing a
, a streaming riband on the top of a high headdress (just introduced by the Duchesse de Fontange, the short-lived mistress of Louis XIV.), as it was an article of dress which the queen, who set up as a reformer of female attire, especially inveighed against. William III. is represented as much shorter than his wife, which was the case. Next comes the figure of , fat, with hair flowing on her shoulders, wearing the crown and holding the orb and sceptre. This figure, which was carried on her coffin, is still the only sepulchral memorial to this great queen-regnant. There is no figure of her husband.
A cloud of remembrances come to mind as we gaze upon the kindly pale face and somewhat homely form, set out with its brocaded silk robes and pearl ornaments. We know that this is the figure that lay upon the funeral car of the royal lady, and that the dress is such as she was known to wear, and would be recognised as part of her presentment by the silent crowds that gazed upon the solemn procession; the same, too, that her numerous little children, all lying in a vault close by, would have recognised had they lived to grow to an age of recognition. . . . We think of the Augustan age over which she presided, her friendships, her tenderness, her bounty, with peculiar interest, and turn from it with lingering regret.The Builder, July 7, 1877.
The (La Belle Stuart) is represented with her favourite parrot by her side, dressed in the robes which she wore at Queen Anne's coronation. Her effigy used to stand near her grave in Henry VII's Chapel, and is of the most artistic of the figures, yet, as we look at it, we can scarcely realise that this was the lady who was persuaded to sit as for the effigy on our pence in the reign of Charles II. (), prepared for her own funeral in her
| lifetime, and her anxiety on her death-bed was to see its pomps prepared before she passed away out of the world, her last request being that the canopy of her hearse might be sent home for her death-bed admiration. |
Her effigy, with that of her young son, long stood by her grave in Henry VII's Chapel. Near these reclines the sleeping effigy of her son, , who died at Rome in . This was the figure Duchess Catherine asked her friends to visit, saying that, if they had a mind to see it, she could
Let them send it, even though the tassels are not all finished.
[n.314.1] The figure of
is unimportant, having been only made in () to increase the attraction of the waxworks; but the figure of , made as a counter-attraction to his tomb in the rival church of , is interesting, since, with the exception of the coat, the dress was actually his.
let them in conveniently by a back door.
A ghastly cupboard, which recalls the
of the Escurial, between the figures of Anne and Lord Chatham, contains the remains of the earlier effigies, crowded together. In some of these the wooden framework is entire, with the features, from which the wax has peeled off, rudely blocked out. of them, supposed to be Philippa, wears a crown. Of others merely the mutilated limbs remain.
The in which the remains of Major André were brought from America to England in is preserved in this chamber.
As we descend the staircase, the ghoul-like face of Elizabeth in her corner stares at us over the intervening cases, and will probably leave a more distinct impression
| upon those who have looked upon her than anything else in the Abbey, especially when they consider it as representing who only a year before had allowed the Scottish ambassador (as if by accident) to see her |
that he might disappoint the hopes of his master by his report of her health and spirits.
dancing high and containedly,
Opposite the Islip Chapel we find-
The gravestone of
), the tutor to Charles II. who visited him on his death-bed, and the friend of Charles I. who, when imprisoned in Carisbrooke, thought himself happy in the society of so good a man. He was in turn Bishop of Chichester, Salisbury, and Winchester.
Beyond the chapel is the monument of-
), who fell in the defeat of the French at Quebec, to which we owe the subjugation of Canada.
The fall of Wolfe was noble indeed. He received a wound in the head, but covered it from his soldiers with his handkerchief. A second ball struck him in the belly: but that too he dissembled. A third hitting him in the breast, he sank under the anguish, and was carried behind the ranks. Yet, fast as life ebbed out, his whole anxiety centred on the fortune of the day. He begged to be borne nearer to the action; but his sight being dimmed by the approach of death, he entreated to be told what they who supported him saw: he was answered, that the enemy gave ground. He eagerly repeated the question, heard the enemy was totally routed, cried I am satisfied --and expired.Walpole's Memoirs.
Wolfe was buried at Greenwich, but so great was the enthusiasm for him, that Dean Zachary Pearce had actually consented to remove the glorious tomb of Aylmer de Valence to make room for his monument, and was only prevented by the remonstrances of Horace Walpole, sacrificing instead the screen of St. Michael's Chapel and most of the tomb of Abbot Esteney. The monument is the public work of
, and presents the ludicrous figure of a half-naked man (in shirt and stockings) in the arms of a full equipped Grenadier, receiving a wreath and palm-branch from Victory. On the basement is a bronze relief by , representing the landing of the British troops and the ascent of the heights of Abraham.
It is full of truth, and gives a lively image of one of the most daring exploits that any warriors ever performed. Veterans, who had fought on that memorable day, have been observed lingering for hours, following with the end of their staff the march of their comrades up the shaggy precipice, and discussing the merits of the different leaders.-Allan Cunningham.
(In front of Wolfe) the brass of
), moved from the tomb which formed part of the screen he erected for St. Michael's Chapel. He is represented in his abbatical vestments, under a threefold canopy. His right hand is raised in benediction, his left holds a crozier, and proceeding from his mouth are the words
Exultabo in Deo Jhu' meo.
The tomb was opened in
, and the abbot was found entire, in a crimson silk gown and white silk stockings, lying in a coffin quilted with yellow satin.
We now enter a chapel formed by the ,[n.316.1] once divided by screens, and entered from the north transept, but mutilated and thrown together for the convenience of the monuments, many of which are most unworthy of their position. In examining the tombs we can only regard the chapels as a whole. great monuments break the lines of the centre.
* Sir Francis Vere (1609), who commanded the troops in Holland in the wars of Elizabeth, and gained the Battle of Nieuport. This noble tomb was erected by his widow, and is supposed to be copied from that of Count Engelbrecht II. of Nassau at Breda. Sir Francis is represented in a loose gown, lying low upon a mat, while four knights bear as canopy a slab supporting his armour, in allusion to his having fallen a victim in sickness to the death he had vainly courted on the battle-field-
When Vere sought death arm'd with the sword and shield,
Death was afraid to meet him in the field;
But when his weapons he had laid aside,
Death like a coward struck him and he died.Epitaph on Sir Franci Vere given in lord Pettigrew's collection.
The supporting knights are noble figures. One day Gayfere, the Abbey mason, found Roubiliac, who was superintending the erection of the Nightingale monument, standing with folded arms, and eyes fixed upon one of them, unconscious of all around. Hush, he will speak presently, said the sculptor, deprecating the interruption. This tomb is one of the last works executed in the spirit of our Gothic monuments, and the best.Allan Cunningham's Life of Roubiliac.
Henry, Lord Norris (1601), and his wife Margaret, the heiress of Rycote in Oxfordshire. He was the son of Sir Henry Norris, the gallant friend of Anne Boleyn, who maintained her innocence to the scaffold. Hence Elizabeth, daughter of the murdered queen, regarded him with peculiar favour, and, in her eighth year, knighted him in his own house at Rycote, where she was placed under his guardianship. She nicknamed Lady Norris my own crow from her swarthy complexion, and wrote to condole with her on the death of one of her sons by this designation. The tomb is Corinthian, with eight columns supporting a canopy, beneath which lie the figures of Lord Norris (created a baron for his services as ambassador in France) and his wife. Around the base kneel their eight sons, a brood of martial-spirited men, as the Netherlands, Portugal, Little Bretagne, and Ireland can testify.Camden's Brittania. William, the eldest, was Marshal of Berwick. Sir John had three horses shot under him while fighting against the Spaniards in the Netherlands. Sir Thomas, Lord Justice of Ireland, died of a slight wound not well looked after. Sir Henry died of a wound about the same time. Maximilian was killed in the wars in Brittany, and Edward, Governor of Ostend, was the only survivor of his parents. See Fuller's Worthies.
Thus, while the others are represented as engaged in prayer, he is cheerfully looking upwards. All the brothers are in plate-armour, but unhelmeted, and with trunk breeches. They were men of a haughty courage, and of great experience in the conduct of military affairs; and, to speak in the character of their merit, they were persons of such renown and worth, as future times must, out of duty, owe them the debt of honourable memory.
The Norrises were all martis pulli, men of the sword, and never out of military employment. Queen Elizabeth loved the Norrises for themselves and herself, being sensible that she needed such martial men for her service.-Fuller's Worthies.
Making the round of the walls from the right, we see the monuments of--
Captain Edward Cooke, 1790, who captured the French frigate
La Forte in the bay of Bengal, and died of his wounds,--with a relief by Bacon.
General Sir Georgle Holles (1626), a figure in Roman armour, executed for £ 100 by Nicholas Stone, for the general's brother, John, Earl of Clare. On the base is represented in relief the Battle of Nieuport, in which Sir George was distinguished. The advent of classical art may be recognised in this statue, as the tomb of Sir F. Vere was the expiring effort of gothic.
Sir George Pocock (1792), the hero of Chandernagore. The tomb,
by John Bacon, supports an awkward figure of Britannia defiant.
* Lady Elizabeth Nightingale (1734), daughter of Earl Ferrers; sister of Selina, the famous Countess of Huntingdon; and wife of Joseph Gascoigne Nightingale of Mamhead in Devonshire. This tomb, more theatrical than sepulchral,Walpole, Anecdotes of Painting. is the last and greatest work of Roubiliac. The skeleton figure of Death has burst open the iron doors of the grave and is aiming his dart at the lady, who shrinks back into the arms of her horror-stricken husband, who is eagerly but vainly trying to defend her. In his fury, Death has grasped the dart at the end by the feathers.
The dying woman would do honour to any artist. Her right arm and hand are considered by sculptors as the perfection of fine workmanship. Life seems slowly receding from her tapering fingers and her quivering wrist. Even Death himself-dry and sapless though he be the very fleshless cheeks and eyeless sockets seem flashing with malignant joy.-Allan Cunningham.
It was whilst engaged on the figure of Death, that Roubiliac one day, at dinner, suddenly dropped his knife and fork on his plate, fell back in his chair, and then darted forwards, and threw his features into the strongest possible expression of fear-fixing his eye so expressively on the country lad who waited, as to fill him with astonishment. A tradition of the abbey records that a robber, coming into the abbey by moonlight, was so startled by the same figure as to have fled in dismay, and left his crowbar on the pavement.-Dean Stanley.
Sarah, Duchess of Somerset (1692), daughter of Sir Edward Alston, afterwards married to Henry Hare, second Lord Coleraine. Her figure half reclines upon a sarcophagus. The two weeping charity boys at the sides typify her beneficence in founding the Froxfield alms-houses in Wiltshire. Behind this tomb are the remains of three out of the seven arches which formed the ancient reredos of St. Michael's altar. The ancient altar stone has also been discovered. At the entrance of St. Andrew's Chapel, one of the pillars (left) retains the original polish of the thirteenth century having been long enclosed in a screen), and may be taken as an example of what all the Purbeck marble pillars were originally.
Theodore Phaliologus (644), descended from the last Christian emperors of Greece, whose name was Palaeologus.
John Philip Kemble (1823), represented as Cato in a statue by
Dr. Thomas Young (1829), learned in Egyptian hieroglyphics-a tablet by Chantrey.
Sarah Siddons (1831), the great tragedian--a poor statue by
Thomas Campbell, which rises like a white discordant ghost behind the Norris tomb.
Sir Humphry Davy (1829), celebrated for his discoveries in physical science. Buried at Geneva. A tablet.
Matthew Badlie, the anatomist (1823)-a bust by Chantrey.
Thomas Telford (1834), who, the son of a shepherd, rose to eminence as an engineer, and constructed the Menai Bridge and the Bridgwater Canal, but is scarcely entitled to the space so unsuitably occupied by his huge ugly monument by Baily.
Rear Admiral Thomas Totty (1702)-a monument by the younger
Anastasia, Countess of Kerry (1799). The monument bears an affecting inscription by her husband, whom she rendered during thirty-one years the happiest of mankind. He was laid by her side in 1818. By Buckham.
Abbot Kyrton (1466), a slab in the pavement, which once bore a brass from his tomb, destroyed under Anne. Kyrton erected the screen of St. Andrew's Chapel.
Admiral Richard Kempenfelt (1782), who perished in the sinking of the Royal George at Spithead-
When Kempenfelt went down
With twice four hundred men.
His body was washed ashore and buried at Alverstoke, near Gospoit. The sinking ship and the apotheosis of its admiral are represented on a column, by the younger Bacon.
Algernon, Earl of Mountrath, and his Countess, Diana. The monument is by Joseph Wilton, the sculptor of Wolfe's memorial; but few will understand now the tumult of applause with which it was received -the grandeur and originality of the design being equally praised by contemporary critics, with the feathering of the angels' wines
which has a lightness nature only can surpass.
Sir John Franklin (1847), the Arctic explorer. A bust.
[n.228.1] The Eye, now a sewer, still passes under New Bond Street, the Green Park, and Buckingham Palace, to join the Thames near Vauxhall Bridge,
[n.229.1] In 1231 the monks of Westminster went to law with the vicar of Rotherhithe for the tithe of salmon caught in his parish, protesting that it had been granted by St. Peter to their Abbey at its consecration.-Flete.
[n.230.1] Novo compositionis genere.--Matthew Paris.
[n.238.1] We look in vain for any monuments to Sir Philip Sidney, Christopher Marlowe, Robert Southwell, John Donne, Thomas Carew, Philip Massinger, Sir John Suckling, George Sandys, Francis Quarles, Thomas Heywood, Richard Lovelace, Robert Herrick, George Withers, Henry Vaughan, Andrew Marvell, Thomas Otway, Izaak Walton, Thomas Parnell, Edmund Waller, William Somerville, William Collins, Edward Moore, Allan Ramsay, William Shenstone, William Falconer, Mark Akenside, Thomas Chatterton, Tobias Smollett, Thomas Wharton, Robert Burns, James Beattie, James Hogg, George Crabbe, Felicia Hemans, L. E. Landon, and John Keats. Even the far greater memories of Walter Scott, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Walter Savage Landor are unrepresented. Stained windows are supposed to commemorate George Herbert and William Cowper.
[n.243.1] Johnson's Lives of the Poets.
[n.243.3] Hallam, Lit. Hist. of Europe.
[n.254.1] Gough, Sepulchral Effigies.
[n.260.2] At a cost of £ 560.
[n.260.3] History of the Rebellion, i. 74-77
[n.263.1] Found, by the excavations made at a recent funeral, to have been nearly of the same dimensions as the present Chapel.
[n.266.1] Lord Bacon.
[n.277.1] Dr. Sewell to Addison. British Poets.
[n.282.1] See Brooke in Gough's Sepulchral Monuments, cut xv.
[n.291.1] Gough. Sepulchral Effgies, i. L.
[n.292.2] See Gough, i. 58.
[n.295.1] See Strickland's Life of Marguerite of France.
[n.296.1] See Hardyng, cap. 178.
[n.296.2] Sir G. Scott's Gleanings.
[n.298.1] Lord Lindsay, Christian Art, iii.
[n.298.2] Professor Westmacott in his lecture on the Sculpture of Westminster Abbey remarks on the shoes of this effigy being left and right, erroneously supposed to be a modern fashion of shoemaking.
[n.300.1] Londiniana, vol. i
[n.303.1] The custom of inaugurating a king upon a stone was of eastern origin and became general among Celtic and Scandinavian nations. Seven of the Anglo. Saxon kings were crowned on the King's Stone which still remains in the street of Kingston-on-Thames.
[n.304.1] According to the Chronicle of Robert of Gloucester Scotland was named from Scota. The Scottes yclupped were
After a woman that Scote hyght, the dawter of Pharaon,
Yat broghte into Scotlond a whyte marble ston,
Yat was ordered for thare King, whan he coroned wer,
And for a grete Jewyll long hit was yhold their
[n.304.3] Sir Jamer Ware
[n.305.1] Pennant's Tour to the Hebrides.
[n.305.3] Buchanan's History of Scotland.
[n.305.4] See Rapin's History of England, i. 375.
[n.306.1] Hardyng's Chronicle.
[n.306.2] Ayliffe's Calendars, p. 58.
[n.307.1] Nearly all these and many other particulars concerning the Coronation Chair will be found in an article in Brayley's Londiniana, vol 2.
[n.311.1] See Pope's Life of Seth Ward.
[n.314.1] Walpole's Reminiscences, i. 234.
[n.316.1] Relics of St. Andrew are said to have been given to the Abbey by King Athelstan, relics of St. John the Evangelist by good Queen Maude, wife of Henry .