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One water-wheel gives motion to the rest of the wheels and movements, of which any one may be stopt separately. One fire engine conveys warm air to every part of the machine, and one regulator governs the whole work,
Having entered the room, the first objects of attention are a great number of iron caps and breast-plates, mostly in use in the German war, during the reign of George II. but the only one wont to be shewn as a curiosity, hangs upon a beam on the left hand of the entry; it has had the lower edge of the left side carried away by the slant shot of a cannon ball.*
A large tilting lance of Charles Brandon, duke of Suffolk, king Henry the VIIIth's general in France. This nobleman excelled at the then fashionable diversion of tilting; and, engaging king Henry VIII. who was likewise passionately fond of that royal exercise, gave the king such a shock with his spear, that it had like to have cost him his life. The duke's valour had indeed been sufficiently tried in France, when he attended princess Mary of England on her marriage with Louis XII.E
A com. * An old warder used to tell the story, that the rim of the man's belly, that wore it, and part of his bowels, were carried away at the same time; notwithstanding which, being put under the care of a skilful surgeon, the man recovered, and lived ten years afterwards. This story the old warder constantly told to all strangers, till his royal highness prince Frederick, father of the present king, coming to see the curiosities in, the Tower, and it falling to the old man's lot to attend, when he came to this breast-plate, he repeated to him his accustomed tale : the prince, having listened to him with seeming pleasure, when he had done, looking at him with a smile, “and what friend,” says he, " is there so extraordinary in all this? I remember myself to have read in a book, of a soldier who had his head cleft in two so dexterously by the stroke of a. scymetar, that one half of it fell on one shoulder, and the other half of it on the opposite shoulder : and yet, on his comrade's clapping the two. sides nicely together again, and binding them close with his handkera chief, the man did well, drank his pot of ale at night, and scarcely re. collected that ever he was hurt.” This story, so seasonably applied, put all the company that attended his royal highness into a laugh, which so abashed the old warder, that he never had the courage to tell his story . again; so that the poor battered breast plate has lain unnoticed ever since. + On this occasion Francis de Valois, presumptive heir to the crown
A complete suit of tilting armour, such as the kings, nobility, and gentlemen at arms used to exercise in on horseback; at which diversion one of the kings of France is said to have been killed, by a shiver of a spear striking him in the eye.—Likewise the tilting lance, the rest for the tilting lance, with the grand guard, and the slits before the eye, through which they took the sight.
A complete suit of armour made for king Henry VIII. when he was but 18 years of age, rough from the hammer: it is at least six feet high, and the joints in the hands, arms, and thighs, knees and feet, play like the joints of a rattlesnake, and are moved with all the facility imaginable.—The method of learning the exercise of tilting, was upon wooden horses set on castors, which by the sway of the body could be moved every way; so that by frequent practice the rider could shift, parry, strike, unborse, and recover, with surprising dexterity. Some of the horses in this Armory had undoubtedly been made use of for this purpose ; and it is but lately that the castors have been taken from their feet.
A little suit of armour made for king Charles II. when he was prince of Wales, and about seven or eight years of age, with a piece of armour for his horse's head ; the whole wrought and inlaid with silver.
Lord De Courcy. This hero, agreeably to the warder's legend, was grand champion in Ireland, and, as a proof, they shew the very sword he took from the champion of France, for which valiant action he and all bis successors have the honour to wear their hats in the king's presence; which privilege, add they, is enjoyed by the lord Kinsale, as head of that antient and noble family, at this day. It is recorded of this De Courcy, that when a conspiracy was formed against him in Ireland by his own servants, at the instigation of Hugh de Lacy, who was jealous of his power, though he was betrayed at his devotions, he laid thirteen of the conspirators dead at his feet before he was overpowered. He was afterwards com. mitted prisoner to the Tower of London ; and it is no ime probable conjecture, that what is shewn is the very armour he brought with him to that prison. This nobleman lived in the turbulent times of king John.
of France, being willing to give some notable proof of his valour, caused justs to be proclaimed; these just continued three days, in which 305 men at arms were answered by their defendants; of whom some were so hurt, that they died soon after. Francis had chosen the duke and the marquis of Dorset, two of his aids ; and, being hurt himself at first, desired the duke and marquis to fight at barriers, who therefore took the first place against all comers. In the mean time Francis, as was thought, intending an affront to the duke, caused a German, the strongest about the court, to be armed secretly, and to present himself: they both fought valiantly; yet the duke at last, with the butt end of his spear, struck the German till he staggered; and then the rail was let fall : having breathed a while, they renewed the fight; when the duke so beat the German about the head, that the blood gushed out at his nose and ears, and he was secretly conveyed away.
Real coats of mail, called brigandine jackets; consisting of small bits of steel, so artfully quilted one over another, as to resist the point of a sword, or even, it is believed, a musket-ball; yet as flexible as ordinary clothing.
An Indian suit of armour, sent as a present to Charles II. from the Great Mogul: this is indeed a great curiosity ; being composed of iron quills about two inches long, finely japanned and ranged in rows, one row slipping over another very artificially: they are strongly bound together with silk twist, and are used in that country as a defence against darts and arrows, poisoned or otherwise.
A neat little suit of armour, in which is a carved figure representing Richard duke of York, king Edward IVth's youngest son, who with his brother Edward V. was smothered in the Tower by order of Richard III.
The armour of John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, who was the son of a king, the father of a king, and the uncle of a king, but never king himself. Dugdale says, that more kings and sovereign princes sprung from his loins, than from any prince in Christendom. The armour here shewn is seven feet high; and the sword and lance are of an enormous size,
The droll figure of Will Somers, who, as the warders relate, was king Henry VIIIth's jester; an honest man, but had a handsome woman to his wife, who made hina Vol. II. No. 38.
a cuckold; and he wears his horns on his head, because they should not wear holes in his pocket. He would believe neither king, queen, nor any one about the court that he was a cuckold, till he put on his spectacles to see, being a little dim-sighted, as all cuckolds should be; in which antic manner he is here represented.
Reversing the order of their chronology, in returning up the room, the first in the line of kings is his late majesty, king George II. in a complete suit of armour richly gilt, sitting with a sword in his hand on a white horse, richly caparisoned, with a fine Turkey bridle, gilt with gold, with globes, crescents and stars, velvet furniture laced with gold, gold fringe, and gold trappings.
King George I. in a complete suit of armour, sitting with a truncheon in his hand, on a white horse, richly caparisoned, having a fine Turkey bridle, gilt with gold, with a globe, crescent and star; velvet furniture laced with gold, and gold trappings.
King William III. dressed in the very suit of armour worn by Edward the Black Prince. He is mounted on a sorrel horse, whose furniture is green velvet embroidered with sil. ver, and he holds in his right hand a flaming sword.
King Charles II. dressed in the armour worn by the champion of England at the coronation of his late majesty. He sits with a truncheon in his hand, on a fine horse richly caparisoned, with crimson velvet laced with gold.
King Charles I. in a rich suit of his own proper armour, gilt with gold and curiously wrought, presented to him by the city of London when he was Prince of Wales; and the same that was laid on the coffin at the funeral procession of the great Duke of Marlborough; on which occasion a collar of SS's was added to it, with which it is now surrounded.
James I. of England, and VIth of Scotland. He sits on horseback, with a truncheon in his right hand, dressed in a complete suit of figured armour.
King Edward VI. Dressed in a most curious suit of steel armour, whereon are depicted, iu different compartments, a vast variety of Scripture histories, alluding to battles, and other memorable passages. He sits on horseback, like the rest, with a truncheon in his right hand.
King Henry VIII. in his own proper armour, of polished steel, the foliages of which are gilt, or inlaid with gold. In his right hand he bears a sword.
Henry VII. This prince holds likewise a sword in his hand, and sits on horeback, in a complete suit of armour, finely wrought and washed with silver.
Edward V, in a rich suit of armour finely decorated; he holds in his right hand a lance.
King Edward IV. father to the unhappy prince above mentioned. He is here distinguished by a suit of bright armour studded; he holds also in his right hand a drawn sword.
Henry VI. who, though crowned king of France at Paris, lost all that kingdom, and was afterwards murdered in the Tower by Richard Duke of Gloucester.
The warlike and victorious Henry V. and his father Henry IV.
Edward III. represented here with a venerable grey beard, and in a suit of plain bright armour, with two crowns on his sword, allading to the two kingdoms of France and England. This monarch was the first who quartered the arms of France with bis own; adding the motto, Dieu et mon Droit-God and my Right.
Edward I. in a very curious suit of gilt armour, with this peculiarity, that the shoes thereof are of mail. He is represented with a battle-axe in his hand, perhaps to distinguish him from the rest, he being the only king in the line who had employed his arms against the Turks and Infidels, by an ex: pedition to the Holy Land.
William the Conqueror, in a suit of plain armour. Each of these have their attendant knights in full armour.
Over the door of this armory is a target, on which are engraved, by a masterly hand, the figures of Fortune, Fortitude, and Justice; and round the room, the walls are every where lined with various old uncommon pieces of armour, such as targets, caps, horses heads, and breast plates of various sorts.