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armed with steel front and cantle. The horse-armour is also fluted, but of a different pattern to the man's; exhibiting all the pieces in a suit of plate, with the exception of the Flanchards, the piece worn over the flanks. At this period the use of fire-arms became prevalent amongst the soldiery.
Upon the marriage between Henry VII. and the Princess Elizabeth, which was to “unite the white rose with the red," the Tower again appears in its characte of a royal palace: for we learn, that two days before that appointed for her coro nation, (Nov. 25, 1487) “the queen with her ladies and other estates, came from Greenwich to the Tower of London, where she was received by the king," and led to state-apartments, where their majesties “kept open household and frank resort” for all the court: from thence they proceeded to Westminster, where her majesty was crowned with due solemnity. In May, 1501, the king held a grand tournament in the Tower; in little more than one year from this festivity, a scene of far different character ensued within these walls—the deathbed of a queen: during the royal residence in the Tower, the queen died, giving birth to a daughter, which did not long survive her. The unhappy consequences of a protracted civil contention were apparent during this reign: for although Henry kept a vigilant guard over the prerogatives of the crown,-yet the fierce struggles of a scarcely subdued party, and the extraordinary, though brief, success of a romantic impostor,afforded a constant supply of Tower prisoners; and often were the “prison lodgings" untenanted by an exchange for the scaffold. In this reign the Earl of Warwick, (son of the ill-fated Clarence) and Sir William Stanley, one of Henry's foremost supporters, fell victims to the cruel policy of the times; Perkin Warbeck also, the fruitful source of so much strife, closed his adventurous career upon the scaffold at Tyburn. In this reign, Sir James Tyrrel was executed upon Towerhill for treason: this individual has been immortalized as the infamous agent of Richard III. in his murder of the young princes while in the Tower: but the treason for which Tyrrel suffered, had no reference to that ruthless deed; nor does it appear that his last confession threw any additional light upon the subject.
HENRY V111. 1520.—We now come to a suit which actually belonged to the monarch whose name is placed over it. This armour is damasked, and consists of tilting-helmet, back and breast plates with placcate, garde-de-reins, pauldrons with passegardes, rere and vam-braces, gauntlets, (that on the right hand being fixed, the left for tilting) tessets, demi-cuisses with genouillères, jambs, and square-toed sollerets. A martel-de-fer is in the right hand; a short sword is worn at the saddle-bow, and long one from the waist. The horse-armour and body-arınour are not of the same pattern: the stirrups are remarkably large.
In the eighteenth year of his age, Henry VIII. was called to the sovereignty of this kingdom: at that time he manifested a generous temper with an elegant and munificent mind. Under the auspices of this youthful monarch, the hitherto frowning character of our ancient fortress appeared to be clearing off for a more cheerful aspect; as we are informed, that in the commencement of his reign be invested the Tower with a new degree of splendour. How fearfully those fair hopes were destroyed, history too faithfully records. Never had the Tower contained a greater number of illustrious names amongst its unhappy prisoners — never was the headsman's office more recklessly called into requisition, than during this reign of terror—the scaffold and
the block reeked with blood! Amongst the nobles who suffered in this reign, was Edward Bohun, Duke of Buckingham, Lord High Constable of England, who in consequence of his high descent, and some incau. tious expressions on his part, was charged with treason, tried and executed. We have also to name the intrepid Chancellor of England, Sir Thomas More who
refusing to acknowledge the king's supremacy,suffered imprisonment in the Tower, previous to his execution. Imprisonment and death appear to have had but little terror in them for the witty writer of Utopia: he endured one and went forth to meet the other, with a fearlessness that fully shewed the superiority of his na ture to all that earthly power could inflict. Upon his entrance to the Tower, he conversed with his accustomed pleasantry and humour; and it is related, that when the porter, according to custom, demanded his upper garment, “Marry, friend! here it is,” said the facetious prisoner, tendering his cap, “I am sorry it is not better for your sake." "Nay, sir,” said the porter, “I must have your gown." The grim functionary was satisfied with equal good humour. The lieutenant, who had formerly received some benefits from him, commenced an apology for the rigour he should be compelled to exercise towards him ; but was interrupted with“Mr. Lieutenant, whenever I find fault with the entertainment you provide for me, do
you turn me out of doors.” After an imprisonment of more than a year, during which he was even deprived of the intellectual solace of his books, he was brought to trial, declared guilty, and condemned to a traitor's death. He heard his sentence with manly composure, and expressed a Christian hope that himself and those consenting to his death, might “meet together in everlasting love and happiness." Much sharper to him must have been the trial that succeeded: on his return from Westminster to the Tower, his favorite daughter Margaret (Mrs. Roper) had stationed herself at the Tower-wharf, where he had to pass: but as
holy procession approached, the edge of the fatal axe turned towards the illustrious condemned, her feelings could not be controlled: regardless of all, she burst through the crowd and the guards who surrounded her heroic parentshe clung to his neck—and long must her agonized cry of “My father! O, my father!" have rung in the ears of those who heard it: he songht to comfort, and be blessed her. This great man met death as a friend, on the 6th of July, 1535.
We have already alluded to his fellow-sufferer, Bishop Fisher, who was executed on the 22nd of the preceding month.
It was on May-day in the year 1536, that the king, his queen, and the whole of the court were attending a tournament at Greenwich, when the king suddenly and unaccountably departed, with only six attendants, for Westminster. A council was convened that night, and on the following morning, the queen, (Ann Boleyn) her brother, Lord Rochford, together with others, were committed to the Towerthe scene, scarcely three years back, of all the splendour and triumph that could be devised to gratify that beautiful but now unhappy queen. The sequel needs no detail: two days after the headsman had released Henry from this tie, the brutal monarch married Jane Seymour.—The high court favor of Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, and promoter of the protestant cause, terminated in the Tower and on the scaffold.---We must not dismiss this period without allusion to the dreadful fate of the Countess of Salisbury, the last (of whole blood) of the royal line of Plantagenet, who after a close imprisonment in the Tower, under pretence of ha ving favored the popish party, was (1541) without trial, conducted to the fatal green -the place of execution. The venerable and spirited lady refused to place her head on the block, declaring that she was no traitress. The executioner actually followed her round the platform, striking at her hoary head until she fell—in the 70th year of her age !- -Henry married six wives: after living twenty years with the first, he put her away upon a pretended scruple of conscience. Upon the fate of his second, we have already touched: Jane Seymour, the third, died in childbed the year following that of her marriage: the fourth, Anne of Cleves, he di. vorced: Katherine Howard, the fifth, was beheaded on a charge of incontinency: but the sixth, Katherine Parr, outlived him; he died Jan. 28, 1547, in the 56th year of his age, and the 38th of his reign.
CHARLES BRANDON, DUKE OF SUFFOLK, 1520, and EDWARD Clinton, EARL OF LINCOLN, 1530.—These suits so closely resemble the preceding, as to need no particular description.
EDWARD VI. 1552.- This is a very beautiful suit of russet armour: the peculiarity of its appearance is produced by oxydising
the metal and then smoothing its surface. The horse-armour is a complete suit and worthy of attention: it is embossed, and embellished with the badges of Burgundy and Granada.
Edwarà VI. succeeded his father at the tender age of nine years. By the late monarch's will, sixteen executors were appointed for the government of the king and kingdom during Edward's minority, and the Duke of Somerset placed at their head as Protector. Somerset was possessed of good qualities, which rendered him deservedly popular: his zeal, however, for the protestant cause, and a station that made him an object of perpetual jealousy, raised him a host of enemies, to whose combined machinations he at length fell a victim. He was twice a Tower-prisoner: the first time he was unexpectedly liberated; but his second imprisonment termi nated on the scaffold. The principal of Somerset's enemies was Dudley, Earl of Warwick (afterwards Duke of Northumberland.) This ambitious and unprincipled man had long directed his views to the highest offices of the state, and the course of his ambition involved many in ruin. The most illustrious of these viatims will long excite interest and sympathy—the unfortunate Lady Jane Grey; who yielding to his selfish importunity, suffered herself, upon Edward's decease, to be proclaimed as queen; a measure which caused her death and that of her husband—both suffered in one day upon the fatal green! The “ill-weav'd ambition' of Northumberland led him to the same fate—he also perished on the scaffold.
FRANCIS HASTINGS, EARL OF HUNTINGDON, 1555, temp. Mary. This is a suit of plate armour richly gilt. The weight of the body armour is upwards of 100 lbs. of which the helmet weighs 14 lbs.
Upon the accession of Mary, the Bishops Gardiner, Day, and Tonstal, with the Dutchess of Somerset (all imprisoned in the preceding reign) were released from the Tower, but were too quickly succeeded by others. We have already alluded to the fate of Lady Jane Grey; indeed, it has been supposed that the queen
had originally no intention of extreme measures in this case; but that the Wyat rebellion was adduced as an argument in favor of the cruel policy ultimately adopted: Bishop Gardiner and Cardinal Pole are said to have been the principal advocates for those violent proceedings. The prisons in the Tower during this reign were occupied chiefly by those attached to the protestant cause: offences against the royal person appear to have been less regarded in Mary's time, than those which arose from differences upon religious points; and future martyrs tenanted these gloomy dungeons, and endured the sharp trials of the torture-chamber, preparatory to their final immolation. The fierce persecution in this reign needs no detail.
ROBERT DUDLEY, EARL OF LEICESTER, 1560, temp. ElizThis splendid tournament suit is allowed, beyond doubt, to have belonged to the celebrated court favourite whose name is attached to it; originally it was gilt: the square-toed solleret is abandoned, and the round-toed is adopted. This suit weighs about 87 lbs.
Sir HENRY LEA, 1570.—He was Champion to queen Elizabeth and Master of the Armories. The suit in which he is represented has nothing to distinguish it from others already noticed.
Robert DEVEREUX, EARL OF Essex, 1581, temp. Eliz.This suit is richly engraved and gilt, and was worn by the champion at the coronation of George II. The bridle is remarkable for the length of the cheeks of the bit.
The period now represented is one of peculiar interest in connexion with the Tower. Its annals have hitherto been chiefly characteristic of the frailty of hunian greatness—striking illustrations of absolute monarchy, which occasioned an almos. certain transition from the court to the prison from the prison to the scatfold
Different is the mutability that now presents itself: a former captive in this gloomy fortress is called to the sovereignty of these realms; and ELIZABETH, over whose head the fatal sword had been so long suspended, on the 17th of Nov. 1558, amid the unfeigned acclamations of a people exhausted with religious persecution, com menced her long and glorious, although not unsullied, reign.
This princess had been somewhat roughly trained in the school of adversity. Upon the Wyat rebellion, (the cause and pretext of a torrent of disgrace and ruin) Elizabeth was compelled by court messengers to rise from a bed of sickness at 10 o'clock at night, and accompany them from her residence at Ashbridge, in Hertfordshire, to London. Upon arriving at Whitehall, she was shut up a close prisoner for nearly a fortnight: she was then informed by Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, that it was the queen's will and pleasure that she should go to the Tower, under suspicion of having been concerned in the Wyat rebellion. In vain did the unhappy princess protest her innocence; the order was irrevocable, and all hope seemed to be excluded. When she arrived at that dismal entrance called the Traitor's Gate, Elizabeth recoiled at the idea of such a landing-place; but upon a rough intimation that she had no power to choose, she exclaimed, placing her foot upon the step, “Here landeth as true a subject, being a prisoner, as ever landed at these stairs; and before thee, O God, I speak it, having none other friends than thee!" Her imprisonment was of a severe description; for a whole month she was shut up, without the liberty of passing the threshold of her prison; and even when this rigor was abated, and she was permitted to take the air in the queen's gardens, a guard regularly attended her; she was also subjected to a disgraceful system of espionage, and the celebration of mass frequently obtruded upon her.
These circumstances were remembered by Elizabeth upon her first visit to the Tower after her accession; and she is said to have raised her voice in thanksgiving to the Almighty for his interference in her behalf—a deliverance that she compared to that of Daniel from the lions' den. Alas! that the historian should have to re cord, " that the RACK seldom stood idle in the Tower for all the latter part of Elizabeth's reign."* Although on Mary's death, the protestants were freed from the hot persecution to which they had been subjected, yet we cannot but regret to learn, that severities equally unjustifiable were in turn retaliated upon the Roman catholics, whose determined opposition to the reformed religion filled the dunge. ons of this fortress with prisoners; and it is recorded that tortures of the most revolting character were resorted to: "some persons were confined in a dungeon twenty feet below the surface of the earth; others in the 'Litel-ease,' where they had neither room to stand upright nor to lie down at full length. Some were put to the rack, or placed in the Scavenger's daughter,' (Scavingeri filia) an iron instrument, by which their head, hands, and feet were bound together. Many were chained and fettered, whilst others, still more unfortunate, had their hands forced into iron gloves, which were much too small, or were subjected to the hor. rid torture of the boot."'+ The persecuting spirit of the age evidences too well the justice of this charge. It is true, that printed Declarations were issued at the time, denying the immoderate use of torture in state examinations; but the misera ble excuses contained in these documents, feebly advocate the humanity of the age. Religious persecution, the actual and alleged conspiracies against the government and life of Elizabeth, together with the unhappy affairs of Mary, queen of Scots, swell the dark catalogue of those who pined and bled, to an extent which our limits forbid us to enumerate. The innocence or guilt of the ill-fated Mary of Scotland, is a question which does not come within our province to discuss; but it must be generally agreed, that Elizabeth would have acted with greater royalty had she been more merciful in that case. Taught, however, as she had been, in the school of affliction, it seldom appears that “the sorrowful sighing of the pri. soner" melted her heart. The natural firmness of her disposition certainly added dignity to the queenly character, and is remembered with respect when the glories of her reign are recorded;—but on the other hand, to those who incurred her wrath or excited her jealousy, she manifested an obduracy which shut out all hope of mercy-a feature in Elizabeth's character which dimmed the lustre of her name.
+ Britton and Brayley's Memoirs of the Tower, p. 119.
Amongst those confined within this fortress during the reign we speak of, were the Archbishop of York, the Bishops of Ely, Lincoln, Worcester, Exeter, and Bath, with Dr. Fecknam, the former Abbot of Westminster, and other church dignitaries, who were deprived, and endured a protracted imprisonment on account of their refusal to acknowledge the queen's supremacy.
We also find the name of Lady Catherine Grey (sister of the ill-fated Lady Jane) in the list of Tower prisoners. Under pretext of having married without the royal assent, this lady and her husband, the Earl of Hertford, were committed to the Tower, and placed in separate apartments. The unhappy Catherine, after a long illness, during which her hus band was forbidden to see her, died in captivity; and the earl was not only heavily fined, but endnred nine years imprisonment: the severity exercised in this case is attributed to Lady Catherine's affinity to the crown-a circumstance which is said to have kept up a spirit of jealousy and apprehension in Elizabeth's mind. We can but mention the names of the Earl of Lenox with his Countess, Arthur and Edmund Pole, Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, the Earls of Arundel and Southampton, Lords Lumley and Cobham, who with a multitude of others suf: fered in this reign. In 1592, Sir Walter Rawleigh, who had long basked in the sunshine of court favour, incurred the royal displeasure by an amour with the beautiful Elizabeth Throckmorton, and was consequently committed to the Tower: his imprisonment, however, was but of short duration, and subsequently the church consecrated the love for which he had suffered: but the means through which he regained his liberty are strangely at variance with the great character of one so justly celebrated. Seeing from his prison-window the queen's barge pass by, he burst forth into a well feigned fit of madness: in his ravings he intreated of the governor that he might be allowed to go forth in disguise and to ease his mind with but a sight of his royal mistress-a request of course too extraordinary to be granted. A struggle ensued—the jailor's new perriwig was torn from his head and daggers were drawn; at which critical point the belligerents were separated, without further injury than a smart rap of the knuckles sustained by the goodnatured Sir Arthur Gorges who had thus seasonably interfered. Due care was taken that this entertaining piece of Tower theatricals should find its way to the royal ear; which, followed up by a characteristic epistle, procured his pardon from Elizabeth, to whom the grossest adulation was acceptable. “My heart (writes Sir Walter) was never broken till this day, that I hear the queen goes away so far off, whom I have followed so many years with so great love and desire in so many journeys, and am now left behind her in a dark prison, all alone. While she was yet near at hand, that I might hear of her once in two or three days, my sorrows were the less, but even now my heart is cast into the depth of all misery. I-that was wont to behold her riding like Alexander, hunting like Diana, walking like Venus, the gentle wind blowing her fair hair about her pure face like a nymph, sometime sitting in the shade like a goddess, sometime singing like an angel, sometime playing like Orpheus. Behold the sorrow of this world! once amiss hath bereaved me of all!&c." Modern and less courtly lovers may smile at this glowing rhapsody upon
" the bright Angelica"—the virgin queen of sixty. The whole of the bove event stands as a scene of comedy amid the general gloom of Tower history.
The fate of Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, and the romantic circumstances m connection with it, are too generally known to require recital in the present case. The execution of this once favored nobleman, which took place in Feb. 1601, is commonly supposed to have darkened the remaining days of Elizabeth—in March, 1603, she departed in sorrow to the grave.
The progress of our task has naturally led to the darker shades of Britain's ajinals; for the chronicles of the Tower of London have but a gloomy affinity to the brilliancy of courts,and refer but little to those points of the huinan character which constitute the true nobility of man: and it is a humiliating fact, that the events we have just touched upon should have been contemporary with a ministry unrivalled in Europe for its wisdom; a court celebrated for its magnificence; and an age which has handed down to posterity a rich treasure of undying intellect. But the English court in this and preceding reigns, was a truly perilous position to accupy: the wrath of kings and the conflicting interests of the ambitious, in too many instances hurled the hapless court luminary from his sphere,—and the course which was begun in the palace, led to the Tower, and ended on the scaffold.