Зображення сторінки
[ocr errors]

corporations, and religious houses; and licences of lands in mortmain from 1 Edward I. to the last of Edward IV. alphabetically arranged.

Collection of perfect rolls of all presentations to churches, prebends, or chapels, whether by the king or others, from Edward I. to Edward III.

Two books of taxations; one of the spiritual livings; the other of the temporalities, in England.

Antient perambulations of forests.
Several concerning parliament, and foreign businesses.

Here is also preserved the Book of COMMON PRAYER, under the Great Seal. This was printed and authorised to be used in the church of England, upon the restoration of Charles II. The signatures of the several divines at that convocation are added to authenticate the book.

The rolls preserved in the Tower were accompanied by those of Scotland; for Oliver Cromwell, after he had beaten the Scots, seized all the public records, and lodged them here, where they were preserved till the restoration ; but being sent back by order of Charles II. to be laid up in Edinburgh castle, the ship was cast away near Holy Island, and those valuable documents irrevocably losť.

The Jewel OFFICE is a dark stone room of small dimensions, a few yards eastward of the grand store-house. In this place are preserved the following costly curiosities, which are shewn by candle light; and between the exhibitor and spectator is a strong iron railing to the top of the ceiling ag a prevention of similar attempts to steal the crown, &c. as was effected by a desperado called Blood, in the reign of Charles II.*

The Imperial Crown of England. It is of gold, enriched

* The result was as extraordinary as the attempt; for, while all men thought that some new punishment would be devised to torture so daring an offender, his Majesty thought proper not only to pardon him and his accomplices, but to grant Blood a pension of 5001. a year during his life: What the motives were that induced his Majesty to shew so much lenity to a man, who had engaged in so many plots and conspiracies, is yet a secret, and ever must remain so. Lyttleton's Hift. of England.

with diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, and pearls.The cap within is of purple velvet, lined with white taffaty, turned up with three rows of ermine. The antient imperial diadem of St. Edward, with the other antient regalia of this kingdom, were kept in the arched room in the Cloisters of Westminster-abbey, till the grand rebellion, when in 1642, Harry Martin, by order of the then parliament, broke open the iron chest in which it was secured, took it thence, and sold it, together with the robes, sword, and sceptre of St. Edward. After the restoration, Charles II. had that made, which is now shewn.

The Golden Orb or Globe, put into the king's right hand before he is crowned, and borne in his left, with the sceptre in his right, upon his return into Westminster-ball after he is crowned. It is about six inches in diameter, edged with pearl, and enriched with precious stones. On the top is an amethyst of a violet colour, near an inch and a half in height, set upon a rich cross of gold, adorned with diamonds, pearls, and precious stones. The whole height of the globe, cross, &c. is eleven inches.

The Golden Sceptre, with its Cross, set upon a large amethyst of great value, garnished round with table diamonds. The handle of the sceptre is plain, but the pummel is set round with rubies, emeralds, and small diamonds. The top rises into a fleur de lis of six leaves, all enriched with precious stones, whence issues the mound or ball. The cross is quite covered with precious stones.

The Sceptre with the Dove, perched on the top of a small Jerusalem cross, finely ornamented with table diamonds and jewels of great value. This emblem was first used by Ed. ward the Confessor, as appears by bis seal. The antient sceptre was sold with the rest. This now in the Tower was made after the Restoration.

St. Edward's Staff, in length four feet seven inches and a half, and three inches and three quarters in circumference, all of beaten gold, carried before the king at his coronation.

A rich Sall-cellar of state, forined like the square White Tower, exquisitely wrought. It is of gold, and used only on the king's table at his coronation.


The Curtana, 'or Sword of Mercy, the blade thirty-two inches long, and near two broad, without a point, is borne naked before the king at his coronation, between the two swords of justice, spiritual and temporal.

A noble Silver Font, double gilt with gold, and elegantly wrought, in which the royal family are christened.

A large Silver Fountain, presented to King Charles II. by the town of Plymouth, very curiously wrought.

The Rich Crown of State that his majesty wears in parliament, enriched with a large emerald seven inches round; a pearl, the finest in the world ; and a ruby of inestimable value,

His royal highness the Prince of Wales's crown. These last named crowns, when his majesty goes to the Parliament House, are carried by the keeper of the Jewel-office, attended by the warder, privately in a coach to Whitehall, where they are delivered to officers appointed to receive them, who, with some yeomen of the guard, carry them to the robing rooms, where his majesty and the prince robe themselves. The king wears his crown upon his head as he sits upon the throne; but that of the prince of Wales is placed before him. As soon as the king is disrobed, the two crowns are reconducted to the Tower by the same person that brought them.

Queen Mary's Crown, Globe, and Sceptre, with the diadem her majesty wore in proceeding to her coronation with her royal consort King William.

An Ivory Sceptre, with a dove on the top, made for King James the Second's queen, the garniture of which is gold, and the dove on the top gold, enamelled with white.

The golden Spurs and the Armillas, or bracelets for the wrists, are very antique.

The Ampulla, or Eagle of Gold, finely engraved, which holds the holy oil at the coronation. The golden Spoon, into which the archbishop pours the oil. These are pieces of great antiquity. The golden eagle, including the pedestal, is about nine inches high, and the wings expand about seven inches; the whole weighs about ten ounces.


The head of the eagle screws off about the middle of the neck, which is made hollow for holding the holy oil; and when the king is anointed, the oil is poured into the spoon out of the bird's beak *.

There are in the Jewel-office, besides those commonly shewn, all the crown jewels worn by the princes and princesses at the coronations, and a vast variety of curious old plate. .: The Grand Storehouse is a noble building to the northward of the White Tower, and extends in length two hun. dred and forty-five feet, in breadth sixty. It was begun by King James II. and by that prince built to the first floor; but finished by King William, who erected that magnificent room called the Small Armory, in which he, with Queen Mary his consort dined in great form, having all the warrant workmen and labourers to attend them, dressed in white gloves, and aprons, the usual badge of the order of Free Masonry. This noble structure is of brick and stone, and on the north side is a stately door-case, adorned with four columns, an entablature, and triangular pediment of the Doric order. Under the pediment is sculptured in an admirable stile the King's Arms, with enrichments of ornamental trophy-work; the work of the celebrated Gibbons.

The upper part of this building is appropriated for the SMALL ARMORY, to which spectators are introduced by a grand stair-case of forty-nine steps. The entrance into this apartment is awful, interesting, and grand. The appearance of bright instruments of destruction, whether for defence or opposition, is an object at which humanity re

* of this eagle take the following legend.-St. Thomas Becket being in disgrace at Sens in France, the Holy Virgin appeared to him, and gave him a stone vessel of oil, enclosed in a golden eagle, and bid him give it to William, a monk, to carry to Pictavia, and there hide it in St. Gregory's church, under a great stone, where it should be found for the use of pious and prosperous kings : accordingly, Henry III. when Duke of Lancaster, received it from a holy man in France, and Richard Il. finding it among other riches, endeavoured to be anointed with it; but was supplanted by archbishop Arundel, who afterwards anointed Henry IV. Such is the fabulous history of the ampulla.


coils; coils; and even when necessity is urged, the feeling mind must shudder, when it is considered that the room contains implements of destruction for at least one hundred thousand men-all bright and clean-and fit for service at a moment's notice !--The length of this armory is three hundred and forty-five feet. The arms are disposed in a very ingenious manner by Mr. Harris, who had been a common gun-smith; but having exhibited such proofs of taste and igenuity in this place, as well as at the royal palaces, he was allowed a pension for life.

The centre of the room seems to be supported by four beautiful columns, entwined with pistols, and on the top pistols representing gilded cornices ; and between them a dropping star of pistols, under which King William and Queen Mary dined.

Opposite the door, on the south side of the room, is a very curious small cannon, a two pounder, taken by the French at Malta, in June 1798, which, with the eight flags that are hanging in this room, were sent with other trophies to the French Directory, by La Sensible frigate, which ship was taken by the Seahorse, Capt. Foote. The cannon is made of a mixture of metal, resembling gold. On it is the head of the Grand Master of Malta, supported by two genii of that place, in bas-relief: it is also highly ornamented with eagles, &c. all of very excellent workmanship. The carriage is a great curiosity; it is of wood, and decorated with the carved figures of two furies, whose features are strongly expressive of rage. One arm of each being en. twined together, grasps a large snake, whilst the other hand holds a torch. From the head of one issues a cluster of small snakes; those which were on the other are broken off. The centre of the wheels represent the face of the sun, and the spokes its rays. The whole is executed in a masterly manner. Four of the Maltese colours hang over the entrance, and four others at the corners of the room.

A beautiful rising and setting sun, at the east and west sides of the door, in a square of brass bilted hangers. At the corners the heads of Julius Cæsar and Titus Vespasian. VOL. II. No. 37.

H h


« НазадПродовжити »