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JAMES I. 1605.-This monarch is represented in a plain suit of tilting armour: the burdon, or lance for running at the ring, with which the figure is armed, possesses a formidable appearance, being 14 feet long, and 2 feet 3 in circumference; but the handles of these lances were made hollow, and convey the idea of a weight which they do not in reality possess.
Shortly after the accession of James, Lord Cobham, George Brooke, his brother, Lord Thomas Grey, of Wilton, Sir Griffin Markham, Anthony Copley, and two Romish priests were charged with a plot against the king, in favor of the Lady Arabella Stuart. In this matter Sir Walter Rawleigh was involved, and with the rest he was committed to the Tower; but as the plague was then raging in London, (1603) the trial took place at Winchester. After the arraignment and conviction of Brooke, Markham, Copley, and the two priests, Sir Walter was placed at the bar: upon a trial in which even the appearance of justice was disregarded, and enduring from the attorney-general a torrent of low invective and abuse, disgraceful to the name of Sir Edward Coke the illustrious prisoner was declared guilty, and sentenced to die; but being left to the royal mercy, he was imprisoned in the Tower. After a confinement of upwards of twelve years, he was set at liberty, and placed at the head of an expedition to Guiana, which had for its object a search for mines: but the project failed, and James was at that time eagerly seeking an alliance between his son (Prince Charles) and a daughter of tbe king of Spain. These circumstances afforded Gondamor, the Spanish ambassador, opportunities for lowering Raleigh in the estimation of the king, and thus avenging those chastisements which had been inflicted by that warrior upon the insolence of Spain. This object succeeded too well; the king was weak and mean enough to issue a proclamation expressive of his disapproval of the Guiana expedition, and Sir Walter was seized immediately upon his landing, and again thrown into the Tower, where he was deprived of the privileges allowed in his former imprisonment, and placed in what was at that time one of the most wretched dungeons in the fortress. After two months confinement, he was abruptly informed that the king had ordered his execution: five days afterwards (29 Oct. 1618) he was beheaded at Westminster.
Such was the end of the once light-hearted knight of the cloak-celebrated as a warrior, statesman, and historian. His “History of the World" (or that portion of it extant) is a work of deep research for the age in which it was written, and has been deemed a literary phenomenon even by modern philosophers. The greatness of the undertaking, and the extensive variety of information which it unfolds, may be accounted for, in some measure, when we consider that it is the result of a captivity of nearly thirteen years duration-a noble monument of the independent freedom of mind amid the darkness of external circumstances—a work that inay justly rank amongst the sweetest fruits of adversity. But another, and somewhat curious fact may be adduced, in connection with the book we speak of: during his imprisonment, Rawleigh was surrounded by the elite of that age in lite rature and science. The Earl of Northumberland, a munificent patron of learning, suffered a long imprisonment in this reign; Thomas Allen, whose name will long be known in the “Bibliotheca Alleniana"; Dr. Doe, termed by D'Israeli “the Sir David Brewster of his day," whose labours, in that infant age of science, were as. sociated with necromancy; Dr. Harriot, the celebrated algebraist; Dr. Warner, who is supposed to have suggested to Harvey the circulation of the blood; Robert Hay, eminent for his treatise on the globes--with many other literati of that pe riod, were amongst the imprisoned acquaintance of Sir Walter, and probably enriched, from their respective intellectual treasures, the learned dissertations on History upon which he was at that time engaged.
On the 6th of November, 1605, a conspiracy was discovered with which all are acquainted—the Gunpowder Plot, and the Tower was the prison of those concerned in that desperate affair. They were tried at Westminster on the 27th Jan. 1606, found guilty, and executed with all the horrid barbarities attached to the sentence in treason. Implicated in this plot, we find amongst others, Henry, Earl of Northumberland, (named above) Lords Mordaunt and Stourton, with three Jesuit priests, Garnet. Oldcorn, and Garrard: the noblemen were heavily fined and imprisoned
during the king's pleasure. The priests were also imprisoned and subjected to revolting tortures: Garnet and Oldcorn were executed; Garrard escaped to Rome.
In 1614, finding the commons hostile to his son's marriage with a popish prigo cess, James abruptly dissolved the parliament, called several of its members before the lords of the council, and committed Sir Walter Chute, John Hoskins, Wentworth and Christopher Nevill to the Tower.-Amongst other persons of note committed in this reign, were Sir Thomas Overbury and the wretches concerned in his murder; also Lord Clifton, Sir Thomas Lake, the Earland Countess of Suffolk, the Earl of Arundel, the great Lord Chancellor Bacon, and Sir Edward Coke.
We cannot conclude our notes upon this reign without a word or two concern. ing the Lady Arabella Stuart, whose name we have before mentioned in connexion with an alledged plot (by Raleigh and others) to place her on the throne. She was so far identified in the matter as to incur thereby a short imprisonment; her innocence, however, of any participation in such a conspiracy, was apparent to all parties. “She enjoyed afterwards (says Hallam) a pension from the king, and might have died in peace and obscurity, had she not conceived an unhappy attachment for Mr. Seymour-grandson of that Earl of Hertford, himself so memorable an example of the perils of ambitious love. They were privately married; but on the fact transpiring, the council, who saw with jealous eyes the possible union of two dormant pretensions to the crown, committed them to the Tower. They both made their escape, but Arabella was arrested, and brought back. Long and byopeless calamity broke down her mind; imploring in vain the just privileges of an Englishwoman, and nearly in want of necessaries, she died in prison and in a state of lunacy, some years afterwards!"
SIR HORACE VERE, Captain General, 1606, and THOMAS HOWARD, EARL OF ARUNDEL, 1608.-Two suits of cap-a-pie armour: each figure is armed with a mace.
HENRY, PRINCE OF WALES, 1612.- This is a richly engraved and gilt suit of armour made for this prince, (the son of James I.) It is adorned with representations of battles, sieges, and other military subjects. A rapier is placed in the right hand.
GEORGE VILLIERS, DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM, 1618.- A full suit of plate armour.
In the left hand of this figure is placed a wheel-lock petronel, and in its right the spanner, or instrument to wind up the spring.
CHARLES, PRINCE OF WALES, (son of James I.) 1602.—This suit was made for the prince when apparently about twelve years of age. In the right hand is a rapier, with a beautifully perforated steel hilt.
THOMAS WENTWORTH, EARL OF STRAFFORD, 1635.-In this suit, the armour is continued no lower than the knees: the place of the jambs and sollerets are supplied with boots of buff leather.
CHARLES I. 1640.—This magnificent suit of armour was presented to the monarch whose name is placed over it, by the Armourers' Company of the City of London: it is richly gilt, and its entire surface ornamented with arabesque work. At this period, the use of armour was rapidly giving way to the advance of fire-arms.
We now approach a period of peculiar turbulence, attended by circumstances which cannot be reflected upon without pain-torrents of blood poured forth in civil strife, and the violent death of an English monarch at the hands of his subjects
Although this uuhappy reign abounded in Tower committals, we must be brief: for if our limits would allow a catalogue of those who suffered in that protracted struggle, it would be but of an uninteresting nature to general readers; and to attempt a recital of principal events connected with such a list, would involve much matter and remark foreign to the purpose and character of our task: it must suffice, therefore, for us to observe, that during this great political tempest the Tower became alternately a prison for leaders both of the royal and parliamentary party : for detail upon this subject, we refer our readers to English history.
In 1628, the Duke of Buckingham was assassinated, and the Tower was the prison of Felton, the murderer. He was examined by the privy council, but could not be brought to implicate others in the crime; the council then, by the king's direction, sent to the judges for their opinion upon the legality of putting the prisoner to the rack: an answer was returned in the negative—the first iDstance we have had to relate, of the interference of the Law between the prisoner and the torture-chamber.* He was condemned to be hung in chains.
Amongst those who suffered in this turbulent period, was Henry Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, who after about five months imprisonment, was taken from this fortress to Tower-hill, where he met his death with Christian heroism.
Soon after this, we find the statesman succeeded in fate by a churchman equally celebrated, Archbishop Laud. After a long and painful imprisonment of nearly three years, this prelate was placed at the bar of the House of Lords: the articles of his impeachment charged him generally with treason, and other crimes and misdemeanors. Serjeant Wilde, wbo opened the proceedings against him, was compelled to acknowledge that no one crime of the Archbishop's amounted to treason or felony; but argued that his accumulated offences “did make many grand treasons." To which Mr. Hearne, the archbishop's counsel, replied—“I crave your mercy, good Mr. Serjeant, I never understood before this, that two hundred couple of rabbits make one black horse.” After a trial which lasted twenty days, during which no evidence could be elicited to prove him guilty, the opinion of the judges was taken, who declared "that nothing charged against him was treason by any known and established law of the land." The commons now changed their impeachment into an ordinance for his execution—an ordinance finally passed on the 4th of January, 1644, and by authority of which the unfortunate prelate was beheaded on the 10th of the same month. Thus died Archbishop Laud whose faults can never extenuate the disgrace that attaches itself to the party by whose injustice he fell.
Nothing occurs to us requiring particular detail during the period of the Pro tectorate: the apartments of this dreadful prison, however, were thickly tenanted by those who remained faithful to the royal cause.
On the morning of the 23rd of April, 1661, the Tower presented an appearance of unusual splendour-it was the day appointed for the coronation of the restored monarch, Charles II.; and at an early hour, “the merry monarch" came thither by water, making this ancient palace the starting point of his coronation procession:
*“The trial by rack (says Blackstone in his Commentaries) is utterly unknown to the law of England, though once, when the Dukes of Exeter and Suffolk, and other ministers of Henry VI. had laid a design to introduce the civil law into this kingdom as the rule of government; for a beginning thereof, they erected a rack for torture, which was called in derision the Duke of Exeter's Daughter, and still remains in the Tower of London, where it was occasionally used as an engine of state,
not of law, more than once, in the reign of queen Elizabeth.” After quoting the case of Felton, the learned judge wisely observes—“It seems astonishing, tha this
usage of administering the torture, should be said to arise from a tenderness to the lives of men; and yet this is the reason given for its introduction in the civil law, and its subsequent adoption by the French and other foreign nations-viz. because the laws cannot endure that any man should die upon the evidence of a false, or even a single witness; and therefore contrived this method, that innocence should manifest itself by a stout denial, or guilt by a plain confession. Thus rating a man's virtue by the hardiness of his constitution, and his guilt by the sensibility of his nerves!" (Vol. iv. p. 328–8vo. ed. 1791.)
it seemed, indeed, a day of revived glory with the old fortress-that day past, and its character as a palace appears to have faded for ever. Not so, however, with its occupation as a prison. The royalists pow retaliated the persecution under which they had formerly groaned upon the fallen leaders of the parliamentary party; and the Tower dungeons became crowded with those who had either been employed by the Commonwealth, implicated in the death of Charles I. or actively opposed to the restoration of his son.—Sir John Elliott, whose stormy eloquence and sternness of purpose well qualified him to be the leader of a powerful party, was in this reign heavily fined and committed to the Tower during the king's pleasure: in a loftiness of spirit consistent with the genius of his character, he disdained a submission that might have procured his liberty, and consequently ended his days in imprisonment.
We must not dismiss this period without reference to an atrocious attempt that was made upon the Regalia ; but our notice must brief.—It appears that in this reign the Regalia was first opened to public inspection; an arrangement whick suggested to the mind of a disbanded parliamentarian named Blood, the strangely desperate enterprise of seizing upon a portion of its contents. With this object in view, he proceeded, disguised as a clergyman, on a visit to the Tower, accompanied by a female who passed as his wife: they desired to see the regalia; and just as their wish had been gratified, the lady feigned sudden illness, during which every kindness was shewn to her by Mrs. Edwards, the wife of the keeper of the Jewel-office. This circumstance, which took place about three weeks prior to the intended robbery, led to an intimacy between the parties; and the disguised ruffian having gained the friendship of the family, proposed the introduction of a pretended nephew as a suitor to the daughter of his credulous host and hostess: the artful villain made so plausible a statement of advantages to arise from an alliance, that the proposal was eagerly accepted, and a day fixed for the meeting, Blood having arranged to bring also with him two friends, who wished, as he stated, to see the Regalia. With this understanding, he departed—not forgetting a “ canonical benediction of the good company."
On the morning appointed, (May 9,1671) old Mr. Edwards had got all in readi ness for the reception of his guests, and the young lady was in her “best dress to entertain the expected lover, when Blood arrived, accompanied by three others two of these companions entered with him, but the third stationed himself at the door, under pretence of waiting for Miss Edwards, (who had modestly kept out of the way) but in reality to act as a watch; all the conspirators were secretly armed. Blood then told Mr. Edwards that they would not go up stairs until his wife arrived, and requested that the crown might be shewn to his friends in the inean time: in compliance with this wish, they proceeded to the room, but imme diately upon closing the door, Edwards was gagged and a cloak thrown over his head: having thus secured him, they told him that they were resolved to have the crown, the globe, and the sceptre, adding violent threats in case of resistance Faithful to his trust and regardless of their threats, the old man boldly struggled to raise an alarm; but in vain-the villains by repeated blows on his head and a stab in the body, at length reduced the unfortunate keeper to a state of insensi. bility. They then proceeded to secure the booty; one of them secreted the orb, Blood placed the crown under his cloak, and a third proceeded to file the sceptre in two for greater convenience in carrying it away: but whilst thus engaged, they were fortunately interrupted by the timely arrival of the son of Mr. Edwards, who had just landed from Flanders, and little expected to encounter such a scene: the old man now revived, and forcing the gag from his mouth, cried out “Treason ! Murder!" The villains rushed out with the crown and orb, leaving the sceptre behind; the alarm having become general, a chase ensued; and after a stout resistance, the desperadoes were secured, and the costly plunder restored to its proper quarter, without sustaining any important injury-Blood coolly remarking, as his prey was wrested from him, “It was a gallant attempt, however unsuccessful it was for a crown."
But extraordinary as this incident appears, the sequel is equally strange. Blood apon his examination before the king, conducted himself with daring effrontery; he spoke of plots against the royal life, in which he had been engaged; and
even held out threats of vengeance from a powerful band of conspirators who were in league with him, should he be brought to justice. What could have led to such a result-whether the king was really intimidated, or sought to purchase popularity by an ostentatious shew of magnanimity, is still a mystery-but the bold and crafty traitor not only escaped the punishment he so richly deserved, but had property granted to him to the annual amount of £500, and became an influen tial court follower. Talbot Edwards, however, the venerable keeper who gave such proof of fidelity to his important trust, met with far different treatment: through the great intercession of his friends, a grant was at length obtained from the E chequer of £200 for himself and £100 for his son: but the payment was so tardy, and the expenses attendant on his wounds so great, that he was obliged to raise ready money by the disposal of bis orders at half their usual price. He survived his injuries between three and four years, and died in the 81st year of his age.
Historical associations connected with the Tower, appear to decline in generas interest from this period; and our limits will not allow us to extend our notes upon subsequent events; we therefore pass on to the remainder of our task.
James II. 1685.—This suit belonged to the monarch here represented. The figure (last in the line) is habited in a velvet coat with long skirts, over which is a cuirass: on the head is a casque with oreillettes and pierced visor, ornamented with the royal arms and initials “I. R.” On the bridle arm is a long gauntlet, and a buff glove on the right: this strange equipment is completed by a large pair of jack boots with gilt spurs, gether this suit presents a ludicrous contrast to the preceding.
Other suits of armour with ancient weapons, placed on figures or formed into trophies, are ranged along the wall. We commence from the door-way at the west end.
1. A Swordsman in a suit of fluted globose armour, 1508.
2. A Trophy of Cuirasses, taken at Waterloo. Pikeman's Armour, &c. surmounted by a Pot-helmet.
3. A Man at Arms, 1530.
“Armour cap-a-pe (according to old inventories) rough from the workman's hammer, said to be King Henry the 8th's.” On the wall behind this figure are several ancient suits of chain mail, hauberks, hoods, and chausses.
6. Suit of armour, about 1512. On the wall behind this figure, are several Brigantine Jackets, of about 1530; and by the side of it are two Mantelets, anciently used by sappers and miners when working before a besieged fortress.
7, 8. A Knight, temp.James I. Two Cavaliers, temp. Charles I. 9. A Trophy similar to No. 2.
10. An Officer of Pikemen, 1635. Behind this figure, are several portions of Horse-armour.
11. A Demi-Launcer, about 1555; by the side of which is a Trophy formed of sword-blades, &c. surrounding a cuirass.
12. A magnificent suit of Italian armour, engraved and gilt, about 1620. Purchased by Messrs. Pratt of Count Oddi, of Padua;