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In James II.'s coronation this order was observed, except that with the pallium the orb was delivered, and a rich glove given after the ring.
As far as can be made out in the absence of details concerning the delivery of the sacerdotal ornaments, in William and Mary the order would seem to be as follows: the colobium sindonis and coif, the tunicle, buskins, sandals and spurs; the sword; the armilla; the pallium and orb; the ring; the sceptre with the cross, and the rod with the dove ; the crown.
Perhaps no change was made with the linen and silk ornaments, but we know that the order of the delivery of the metal ornaments was considerably changed.
After the delivery of the crown in William and Mary, there follows a ceremony which I almost think may be particular to the English coronation since 1689; that is, the delivery of the bible to the new consecrated sovereign. It was introduced by Dr. Compton and has continued ever since. I have not met with any contemporary account of the motives which induced Dr. Compton to insert this ceremony after the coronation. A bible is delivered to the new consecrated bishop in the ordinal of the book of common prayer : and in the mediæval pontifical, of which this celivery of the bible is probably a reminiscence, the book of the gospels is delivered to the bishop when the episcopal ornaments have all been taken.' It is not likely that Dr. Compton had this in his mind. But a legend preserved by Bale, of Edward VI.'s coronation, may have been present to his memory, and determined the carrying of the bible in the procession and its gift afterwards. This pious young King, of the age of nine at the time of his coronation, seeing three swords prepared to be borne before him, doubtless the ancient curtana and its companions, but misunderstood by Bale, asked yet for a fourth, the sword of the Spirit, the word of God, that is the Bible.” Dr. Compton may have thought it would be a popular thing if in the coronation of a king who came to maintain the liberties of England and the Protestant succession a hint could be followed taken from the coronation of an early Protestant King of England, without being too scrupulous in the matter of the historical truth of the circumstance alleged.
Another precedent has been pointed out by our Secretary, Mr. H. A. Wilson, that is much nearer than Edward VI.'s coronation to the time of William and Mary. And that is the inauguration of Oliver Cromwell in Westminster Hall on June 26, 1657. The memory of this transaction might well have been present to the minds of middle-aged men in 1689. Part of this civil ceremony was the delivery of a bible to “ His Highness" with a robe of purple velvet lined with ermine, a
See Liber Pontificalis Chr. Bainbridge, Surtees Society, 1875. p. 230. 2 Iohn Bale, Scriptorum Illustrium maioris Brytanniae, Basileae, Ioann. Oporinus, 1559 p. 673. Edward VI. “ eo die quo coronabatur in regem, tres gladii, in signum quod esset trium potentissimorum regnorum, Angliae, Franciae, & Hyberniae monarcha : quod tandem dixerit, deesse adhuc unum. Et cum interrogassent principes, quis nam ille sit? Respondit, esse sacrorum Bibliorum uolumen. Ille liber, inquit, gladius spiritus est, & gladiis his omnibus longe anteferendus." &c. &c. sword, and a sceptre. But it may be thought that any borrowing from a ceremony of the commonwealth would have been carefully avoided by the advisers of William. Unwilling as they were to allow a king to rule according to his own pleasure, without law, yet they looked with horror on the times of the commonwealth.
In looking back over the changes made in the coronation of William and Mary it cannot be said that in the rites used there has been any return to antiquity, conscious or unconscious. But in the ceremonial the following changes were a return to early practices : the insertion of the coronation service into the celebration of the Eucharist between the missa catechumenorum and the missa fidelium, according to the order in Egbert's pontifical; the diminution to three of the number of places to be anointed which correspond with the number and places (caput, pectus, brachia) of the anointing of Richard I. and spoken of by St. Thomas of Canterbury : the delivery of the sceptres before the crown was according to the order in Egbert's Pontifical, instead of a delivery first of the crown and then of the sceptres. The first and the third of these changes may have been due more to accident than to learning ; but the second may possibly have been inspired by the reading of John Selden's
1 See the description of this affair in a tract with this general title : A Further Narrative of the Passages of these times in the Common-Wealth of England An exact relation of the
of his Highness the Lord Protector at Westminster, June 26, 1657. printed by M.S. for Thomas Jenner, a ! the South entrance of the Royall Exchange. [British Museum press mark : E. 1954) p. 30. “His Highness being entred on the place, and standing under the Cloth of Estate, Master Speaker did in the name of the Parliament, present severall things (ready laid upon the Table) to his Highness, viz. A Robe of purple Velvet, lined with Ermine, being the habit anciently used at the solemn investiture of Princes. Next a larg Bible richly guilt and boss'd; next a Sword; and lastly, a Scepter, being of Massy Gold : which being so presented, Mr Speaker came from his Chair, took the Robe, and therewith vested his Highnesse, being assisted therein by the Earle of Warwick, the Lord Whitelock, and others. Which being done, the Bible was. delivered unto his Highnesse ; after that, Mr Speaker girt about him the Sword ; and lastly, delivered his Highnesse the Scepter.
“These things being performed, Mr Speaker returned unto his Chair, and administred the Oath to his Highnesse, prepared by the Parliament, the form whereof is as followeth."
The Speaker was commanded “to make oblation” of the four things spoken of above: of the Bible he speaks in terms to which I do not think Dr. Compton is much indebted ; his words were as follows: p. 32. “The Next thing is a Bible, a Booke that contains the holy Scriptures ; in which you have the honour and happinesse to be well versed. This is the Book of life, consisting of two Testaments, the Old and New. In the first we have Christum velatum Christ in Types, shadows, and Figures ; in the latter, we have Christum revelatum, Christ revealed. This Book carries in it the Grounds of the true Christian Protestant Religion ; its a Book of Books, ii contains in it both Precepts and Examples for good Government.
Alexander so highly valued the Books of his Master Aristotle, and other great Princes other Books, that they have laid them every night under their Pillows. These are all but legends and Romances to this one Book; a Book to be had always in Remembrance ; I find it said in a part of this Book, which I shall desire to read, and it is this. Deut. 17 And it shall be when he setteth upon the Throne of his Kingdome
midst of Israel ” [Deuteron. xvii. 18, 19, 20.]
Titles of Honor. The setting of the litany early in the service, a change made by Dr. Sancroft, and then adopted by Dr. Compton, is also, it may be noted, in accordance with the precedent of the third recension of the coronation order.
It may be pointed out once more that the order of William and Mary is the source of all the subsequent coronation orders ; they have followed its structure with considerable exactness. The changes caused by the revision made at each coronation have been pointed out in the notes as far as seemed profitable ; but it may be remarked that of all the orders, that of George III. abounds in verbal changes. More important changes were made in the orders of William IV. and Victoria : of which the gravest was the omission of the liturgical procession from Westminster Hall to the Church. Less important in these orders was the omission of the girding of the sword and its redemption with a hundred shillings; so also the kissing of the bishops by the sovereign before Te Deum, and the use of the houseling cloth at the time of communion.
1 See below, p. 144. in the notes to cap. 8.
INTRODUCTION TO THE ANGLO-FRENCH VERSION OF
THE ENGLISH CORONATION ORDER.
It has been said by Dr. Stubbs, the present Bishop of Oxford, that “the Norman-French of Westminster is unintelligible beyond the Channel and beyond the border ”;l so that it needs courage, or a lower quality of the mind, for an attempt to edit an order written in this strange tongue without special qualifications for the task. Indeed had I not had the assistance of Mr. Francis B. Bickley in my efforts to reproduce the text, I could not have hoped, single-handed, to be able to deal with the Norman-French. But a Norman-French version of Liber regalis is sufficiently curious to be printed, even in an edition for which apology must of necessity be made. By it, light is thrown upon points which are left obscure in the Latin, and it is thus useful to the student, even if, as I fear, the editing leaves something to be desired. This Norman-French version has been made from that Liber regalis which has the shorter recension of rubrics, to be found under the symbol O in the second fasciculus of the Westminster Missal, or in the Coronation Order ascribed to Edward II. printed by Rymer, which again is almost identical with a manuscript of the early fourteenth century in the British Museum, Harl. 2901.
The Norman-French version of the Liber regalis now printed is contained in a manuscript, No. 20, belonging to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. This book contains the Apocalypse of St. John the Divine; the Apocryphal Vision of St. Paul; and, following these two, this Norman-French version of the order for the coronation of a King. It is adorned by a beautiful picture of the coronation, some of the details of which have not yet been explained, but which will be spoken of immediately. It has been reproduced for this volume in collotype. (See Plate I.)
Dr. Montague R. James has spoken of this manuscript as "a very fine book, a folio of perhaps the early xivth century, and of Norman work. There are several interesting points about it. In the first place, the fly-leaves are, as we so often find, waste leaves from another MS. What is odd about these in particular is that they are taken from a precisely similar copy of the Apocalypse written by the same hand, ending the page with the same words, and having spaces of corresponding
1 W. Stubbs, Seventeen Lectures on the study of Medieval and Modern History, Oxford, 1886. No. xiii. p. 310.
2 T. Rymer, Foedera, London, 1818, Vol. II. pars i. p. 33.
size left for pictures, which were never filled in. Now we find precisely the same phenomenon in a xiiith century Apocalypse at Trinity. We gather that there must have been an extensive manufacture of illustrated Apocalypses about that time, as indeed we should have guessed from the number of extant specimens, and further, that they were made as nearly uniform as possible, the pictures agreeing in number, size, position, and, no doubt, design. A further examination of Apocalypses would lead to the discovery of other copies illustrated with the same pictures that occur in the Trinity and Corpus specimens.
“We know more about the history of the Corpus copy, however. It was given by Lady Juliana de Leybourne, Countess of Huntingdon, to the Monastery of St. Augustine at Canterbury, and it stood in the 1st class in the library there—which was no doubt devoted to theologyand on the 3rd shelf (Distinctione ima Gradu 11°.) The pictures in this copy number 106 and they are for the most part of very fine work, though not the finest in Cambridge. The text is in Latin and French
Following the Apocalypse of St. John is the apocryphal Vision of St. Paul (first in French verse, then in Latin prose), and this too is illustrated with pictures, 14 in number
“Following the vision of St. Paul in our MS. is the order for the Coronation of a King, illustrated by a fine painting of the ceremony."
This picture of the coronation is 776 inches broad and 91 inches high. (189 mm. x 230 mm.). Four lines of the preceding Vision of St. Paul are carried on from the foregoing leaf in double columns at the head of the picture of the coronation, and this picture fills up the rest of the page. The coronation order in Norman-French begins on the verso of the leaf that has the picture, and the whole coronation order takes up five leaves, written in two columns, of 32 lines each. The leaves of the manuscript are not numbered. They measure 144 inches by 10 inches. The written part measures 104 inches by 73. A portion of the script has been reproduced. (See Plate II.)
The prince to be crowned is repeatedly named Edward. If this be not a common name for the King, like John or Mary in some baptismal or marriage service, it would point in some degree to a time when Edward had been a name for our kings for many years. There were King Edwards without a break for over a hundred years, between A.D. 1272 and 1377. Judging from a photograph of the writing, Mr. Warner tells me that he considers it to be about 1325, rather later than earlier. The version, then, would have been made earlier than this, but not before 1272.
It will be noticed that none of the writers who have spoken of the picture of the coronation in this manuscript have gone into the details
1 M. R. James,
on Fine Art as applied to the illustration of the Bible" &c. iu Proceedings of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society, Oct. 29, 1888, to May, 1889. Cambridge 1891. No. xxxi. Vol. vii
. pp. 47–49. Lady Juliana was wife of William de Clinton, Earl of Huntingdon. (ob. 1354.)
2 The picture was reproduced in J. Strutt's Horda Angel-cynnan, London, 1776, Vol. iii. plate xxvii. and again more recently in colours by Mrs. Green in J. R. Green's Short History of the English People, Illustrated edition, London 1892. Vol. i. against p. 414.