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of the edifice; to the west it is of Norman architec. ture, and was probably built by Archbishop Lanfranc, in the latter end of the eleventh century; while the eastern part exhibits the style of Henry the Second's reign, and was doubtless reared after the great fire of 1174*. The western portion of the
* The following account of this conflagration is from the pen of Gervase, a monk of Christ Church, and an eye-witness of the scene which he describes:
“On the 5th day of September, in the year of grace 1174, about nine o'clock, the wind blowing from the south with a fury almost beyond conception, a fire broke out before the church gate, by which three small houses were almost burnt down. While the citizens were there employed in extinguishing the flames, the sparks and ashes, whirled aloft by the violence of the storm, were lodged on the church, and, by the force of the wind, insinuating themselves between the joints of the lead, settled on the planks, which were almost rotten; and thus, by degrees, the heat increasing, the decayed joists were set on fire; but the finely-painted ceiling underneath, and the lead covering above, concealed the flames. Meantime, the three small houses being pulled down, the people returned home.
“No one being yet apprized of the fire in the church, the sheets of lead began by degrees to melt; and, on a sudden, the flames just appearing, there was a great cry, Alas! alas! the church is on fire! Many of the laity ran, together with the monks, to draw water, to bring axes, to mount ladders, all eager to succour Christ Church, now just on the point of destruction. They reached the roof; but, behold! all was filled with a horrible smoke, and a scorching flame. In despair, therefore, they were obliged to consult their own safety by retiring.
“And now, the joints of the rafters being consumed, the half-burnt timbers fell into the choir; the seats of the monks were set on fire; and on all sides the calamity increased. In this conflagration, that glorious choir made a wonderful and awful appearance. The flames ascended to a great height, and the pillars of the church were damaged or destroyed.
“Great numbers applied to the ornaments of the church, and tore down the palls and hangings, some to steal, others to preserve them. The chests of relics, thrown from the lofty beams upon the pavement, were broken, and the relics scattered; but, lest they should be consumed, they were collected and laid up by the brethren. Some there were, who, inflamed with a wicked and diabolica! avarice, saved the goods of the church from the fire, but did not scruple to carry them away:
“ Thus the house of God, hitherto delightful like a paradise of pleasure, then lay contemptible in the ashes of the fire. The people, astonished, and in a manner frantic for grief, tore their hair, and uttered some enormous reproaches against the Lord and his saints, viz. the patrons of the church. There were laymen, as well as monks, who would rather have died than have seen the church of God so miserably perish ; for not only the choir, but also the infirmary, with St. Mary's chapel, and some other offices of the court, were reduced to ashes.
“The calamities of Canterbury were no less lamentable than those of Jerusalem of old under the tears and lamentations of Jeremiah. The grief and distress of the sons of the church were so great, that no one can conceive, relate, or write them; but, to relieve their miseries, they fixed the altar, such as it was, in the nave of the church, where they howled, rather than sung, matins and vespers. The patrons of the church, St. Dunstan and St. Élphege, were, with incredible grief and anguish, taken from their tombs, and placed, as decently as possible, in the nave of the church, at the altar of the Holy Cross."
Crypt was appropriated to the use of the foreign Protestants, who sought shelter in this city in the sixteenth century, and hence it is still called the French Church, although this part is no longer used for the celebration of divine worship.
In the Crypt are also the remains of several chapels, among which that of the Virgin is still elegant, although mouldering into ruin. Erasmus, who visited it before the Dissolution, says, “I never saw a thing more laden with riches; it was a more than royal spectacle; in beauty it far surpassed that of Walsingham *.”
From the multitude of monuments with which the Cathedral is adorned, our limits will only permit us to make a selection of the most remarkable for description.
Adjoining to each other, in the Martyrdom, are the beautiful tombs of Archbishop Peckham, who died in 1292, and Warham, in 1532; on the former, lies a full length figure, carved in oak, said to represent the Archbishop, but apparently of a date considerably previous to his death; the whole of this monument is richly ornamented. That of Archbishop Warham, which is so large that it might with propriety be termed a chapel, is still more splendidly adorned, and has a finely sculptured effigy of the deceased, in his pontifical robes.
In the Chapel of St. Michael is a very large tomb, erected by the Lady Margaret, daughter of Thomas Holland, Earl of Kent, to the memory of her two husbands, John, Earl of Somerset, who died in 1410, and Thomas, Duke of Clarence, the second son of Henry IV., who was slain in France, in 1421 ; the duchess died in 1440, and was also interred here; and very fine marble figures of all three are placed on the tomb. In this chapel is also a bust and long inscription to the memory of Admiral Sir George Rooke, who, however, was not buried here, but with his ancestors in St. Paul's Church, Canterbury.
* Some idea of the general elegance of this Cathedral may be formed from a statement of the same author, who says that there were here nearly forty altars, in various parts, all very splendidly furnished;
66 the High Altar, especially, was ornamented as richly as gold, silver, jewellery, and costly art, could adorn it; the richest monarchs might be considered as mere beggars in comparison with the abundance of silver and gold which it exhibited.”
In the south aisle of the Choir are the splendid monuments of Cardinal Kemp, who died in 1454; Archbishops Stratford, 1348; Sudbury, 1381; and Meopham, 1333; all these are ornamented in the most elegant style, and that of Stratford has his effigy, in the robes proper to his order.
The north aisle of the Choir is adorned by the superb monument of Archbishop Chicheley, 1443; on the top is represented the deceased in full canonicals, his hands raised as in prayer; his head resting on a cushion, supported by angels. The lower part of the tomb exhibits an emaciated figure in a winding sheet, doubtlessly intended, by the contrast, to convey an impressive lesson on the transitoriness of human enjoyments. The monument is very elaborately and elegantly designed and sculptured, and exhibits many remains of its former rich painting and gilding. Near the tomb of Chicheley is that of Cardinal Bourchier, 1486; this is also very elegantly finished, and has a light and highly enriched canopy, surmounted by beautiful screen work.
Under the arches which surround the Trinity Chapel, among others, is a handsome tomb, but much mutilated, to the memory of Henry IV., 1413, and his second wife, Joan of Navarre, 1437. They are both represented by full-length figures, lying under richly-sculptured canopies. Beneath the opposite arch is erected
THE TOMB OF EDWARD THE BLACK PRINCE,
mail, and a cap of state, encireled by a 'coronet, formerly ornamented with jewels. His hands are in the attitude of prayer, his head supported by a helmet, and his feet resting on a lion. The tomb is ornamented with his arms and plume of feathers, in various compartments, and has long inscriptions, both in prose and verse, in old French. Above are suspended his tabard of arms, gauntlets, &c.
Adjoining to this tomb is the cenotaph of Archbishop Courtenay, 1396; consisting of a richly-ornamented tomb, on which lies his effigy, in his pontifical robes, with his pall and pastoral staff.
Immediately opposite is a very ancient tomb, supposed to be that of Archbishop Theobald, who died in 1160; and the only other monument which demands notice is a very plain ope, to the memory of Cardinal Pole, 1558; this is situated on the north side of Becket's Crown.
The whole interior of the Cathedral has recently undergone a complete reparation, and the manner in which this has been executed, does honour to the taste and liberality of the Dean and Chapter.
On the northern side of the Cathedral is the Library, a handsome apartment, containing a good collection of books, some valuable manuscripts, and a few ancient coins.
The Chapter House, which is connected with the same side of the Cathedral, is spacious and elegant, being 92 feet long, 37 wide, and 54 high. It was built about the year 1400 by Prior Chillenden, assisted by Archbishops Courtenay and Arundel.
The Cloisters are extensive and beautiful, enclosing a large area; the vaulting of the roof is particularly fine.
The Cathedral Precincts are nearly three quarters of a mile in circumference, and are still enclosed, in part, by a wall erected by Archbishop Lanfranc. The Deanery is built on the site of the Prior's lodgings, and the houses of the Prebendaries, &c., exhibit many remains of antiquity.
The Grammar School," founded by Henry VIII. for fifty boys, is under the patronage of the Dean and Chapter, and has several exhibitions at the Uni
versities; among those who have received their education here may be named, Dr. Harvey, the celebrated physician, and the late Lord Chancellor Thurlow.
The Archbishops had formerly a splendid Palace and gardens near this spot; and in its great Hall was celebrated the nuptial feast of Edward I. and Margaret of France, in 1299; many other grand éntertainments were also given here, particularly a most sumptuous ball and supper to the Emperor Charles V., the Queen of Arragon, Henry VIII., &c.
This noble Hall was pulled down, with the greater part of the Palace, by order of the Parliament, during the Civil War; and when, at the Restoration, the Archbishop obtained possession of the remainder, it was in too dilapidated a state to be repaired; the site was therefore let on lease (as it continues to be), and private dwellings were erected.
A little to the northward of the Palace is a small district known as the Borough of Stable-Gate, or Staple-Gate. This place, although situated within the city boundaries, has distinct privileges, and the enjoyment of freedom from the control of the civic authorities induces a great number of the lower orders to reside here. It is supposed to be the spot on which St. Augustine and his companions were first established by King Ethelbert. “At that time,” says Thorn, “it was an Oratory for the King's family, who there adored and sacrificed to their gods; but the King, desirous of enfranchising this spot, and to exempt it from every exaction, granted that the inhabitants should not answer to the citizens in any
or assessments, or contribute any subsidy to them, but be subject to the Archbishop in all things; 'and to enjoy, in like manner as his Palace, uncontradicted liberty, and the privilege of being a sanctuary, and place of refuge for criminals, even after they were indicted, should they flee into this place of Stable-Gate, where they should enjoy the
privilege equally as in a church.”