A History of London, Vol. II

Loftie, W. J.
1883

CHAPTER XVI: THE CITY OF WESTMINSTER.

CHAPTER XVI: THE CITY OF WESTMINSTER.

 

IT is not easy to define exactly what is at the present day. There is the city, there is the parliamentary borough, there is the outlying division near Kensington-in short, has undergone many vicissitudes and changes, and has been influenced in turn by kings, by monks, by bishops, by parliaments, by courts of law, until we are compelled, if we would find the original , to commence our inquiries by going back more than a thousand years.

The name itself seems to tell us something. If we could be sure that it has always been " we might argue that the western monastery is later than St. Paul's, that St. Paul's was in existence as the eastern minster when St. Peter's was founded. But the first charter in which it is mentioned gives it three different names. Offa, of Mercia, in 785,[1]  making it a grant of land, calls it, first, St. Peter's; secondly, Thomey; thirdly, "Westminster." We cannot, therefore, found any argument or theory on this last form. St. Peter's speaks for itself. It is likely, on the whole, as we have seen in considering the dedications of city churches, that dedications to the apostles are older than dedications to

33

other saints. St. Peter's is an old dedication; in fact, it is difficult to understand how the cathedral church of St. Paul can have preceded it. This difficulty, no doubt, appeared insuperable to the medieval mind, and we have the legend of the superior antiquity of St. Peter's upon Cornhill, to account for it. It is evident, therefore, that while we cannot claim for St. Peter's an antiquity greater than that of St. Paul's, we must allow that it may be very old, as old as any other foundation of the kind.

The second name is , and Thorney is spoken of as a "locus terribilis," a venerable place.[2]  It must, therefore, have been considered sacred, perhaps by long custom, perhaps on account of association with some eminent person. A king Sebert[3]  was invented later to account for this veneration. Widmore is very unwilling to put Sebert aside, but is obliged to conclude that the monastery was founded

about the time when Bede died, or between the years

730

and

740

;

and he goes on to show that at first it was but a small place, and evidently altogether unconscious of its high destinies.

Although the name of Thorney tells us nothing about the abbey, it tells us much about its site. The word " terribilis" in Offa's charter has indeed sometimes been supposed to refer to the nature of the place, a thorny

34

island.[4]  We must remember that in the eighth century the greater part of what is now was a tidal estuary, a marsh, or mud-flat, covered twice a day with the brackish water of the Thames. In the midst of this wilderness of mud rose a slight eminence, upon which the old road, the Watling Street, ran to the water's edge. Thence travellers who wanted to cross the Thames had to wade as best they could-the first stepping-stone, so to speak, across the shallow river being the Thorney. Here, so far back as the time of the Romans, there stood some building, perhaps a post-house for the convenience of passengers, perhaps a villa. A portion of its pavement was recently discovered in the nave of the church. It is not unlikely that a causeway of some kind at a very early period connected Thorney and Tothill. When, by degrees, the river was banked out, and its channel narrowed and deepened, the ford gave place to a ferry, which is commemorated still in the name of Horseferry Road. The abbey which originally stood close by the water's edge was gradually separated from it by a narrow belt of land, foreshore at first, but afterwards wholly reclaimed, and now, as we shall see, the site of the palace of parliament. The marshes to the north were drained by what became in process of time the ornamental water in St. James's Park, and half the divided stream of Tyburn passed through it, and by a narrowed channel, south of the site of the future , into the Thames. On the southern side of the Thorn-ey, too, the low lying lands were slowly reclaimed, part of the Tyburn being conducted into and through the abbey itself, and part being applied to grind the abbot's corn before it ran out at , where there was a second mill and a slaughterhouse, belonging to the king's palace.

Thorney, according to a well qualified authority,[5]  was 470 yards long and 370 broad, and was washed by the Thames on the east; by a rivulet which ran down College Street on the south; by a streamlet which crossed King Street on the north; and by a moat called the Long Ditch, which united the two streams and ran along the line of Prince's and Delahay Streets. Stone walls defended the whole precinct, pierced by handsome gates, one of which was in King Street, one near New Palace Yard, one opening on Tothill Street,[6]  and one in College Street where stood the abbey mill. Bridges crossed the brooks, and are said to exist still, but far beneath the present streets, for Thorney has been raised about nine feet, on the average, above its ancient level.

How early our kings had a palace here we have no means of knowing. It may have preceded the monastery, as St. Margaret's may have preceded St. Peter's, but neither supposition is probable. The earliest reference to a palace is in the story of Canute's rebuking the tide, which some of the chroniclers have made to take place at .[7]  There is no contemporary evidence to go upon; and whatever of palace or monastery existed before the middle of the ninth century, disappeared later, and for many years lay in ruins, deserted even by the monks. The Danes were at large in Middlesex, and London Wall[8]  kept them out, but there was nothing to withstand them on Thorney, and when Dunstan became powerful under Edgar, the abbey was re-founded

36

and endowed with an estate, part of which is still in the possession of the monks' successors, the dean and chapter. The charter of Edgar contains at account of the boundaries of the great manor with which he endowed the abbey. They are the boundaries of the original parish of St. Margaret, and are of the highest interest to the topographer.[9]  I therefore quote them in full :-

First up from Temese, along Merfleotes, to pollene- stocce so to Bulunga fenn ; afterwards from the fenne along the old ditch to cuforde; from cuforde up along Teoburn to the wide herestreet; along the herestreet to the old stoccene of St. Andrew's Church, so into Lundene fenn; along south on Tamese in midstream; along the stream 'be lande and be strande' to Merfleote.

I have given the Saxon names in their original spelling. It is a question if we can identify the places mentioned. If we take a map which shows the undivided parish of St. Margaret, we find it bounded on the west and southwest by ; on the north by Oxford Street, as far as St. Giles's; on the east by St. Clement Danes. But from the evidence of this charter, there was apparently a time when all these boundaries were different. The Merfleet must, from its name, have been a tidal creek. Pollenstock speaks of an osier bed, or something like it. Bulunga Fen is a marshy place. All these conditions were fulfilled in the land which lies between Millbank and , though the old names are lost. From the reference to the Tyburn,

37

which we can here safely identify with the so-called King's Scholars' Pond Sewer, we may begin by placing the Merfleet at its outfall just east of Albion Terrace, on the Grosvenor Road. The word points to a tidal estuary. The mention of Pollenstock and Cowford points to places at which the boundary does not run quite straight. We shall not be far wrong therefore, if we place the pollard willow very near the Victoria Station. The second bend would be that marked by the mention of Bulunga Fen, which may be placed at Buckingham Palace in the Green Park. The Tyburn next crosses what must be a very ancient roadway, now represented by . Here, then, is the Cowford, as nearly as possible where Brick Street, formerly Engine Street,[10]  opens on . Thence to Oxford Street the brook winds, and the boundary is defined as being along it; and so we reach the wide herestreet,[11]  the military way which the Romans had made to bring the Watling Street into connection with London Bridge. Along this road it continued to of St. Andrew's Church, perhaps an ancient tree in what is now Holborn. Thence it ran to the Fleet, here called and The abbot, by this expression,

on midstream,

no doubt intended to guard himself against any future royal claim to foreshore, but, as we shall see, the precaution was eminently unsuccessful.

It will have been observed that with these boundaries the abbot had a larger tract eastward, and a smaller one westward than afterwards constituted the parish of St. Margaret. A great part of the city ward of Farringdon Without belonged to . There is no mention

38

of St. Bride's or St. Dunstan's and we may safely conclude that they did not exist. St. Bride's would, almost certainly, have been mentioned like St. Andrew's. St. Dunstan was himself alive in . When these two churches were built and long afterwards we find the abbey of presenting to them. Henry III. appropriated St. Dunstan's to his hospital for converted Jews,[12]  but St. Bride's is still in the gift of the dean and chapter.

The other end of the parish was extended. We saw[13]  that a second stream ran into the Thames to the westward of the Tyburn, the brook which is commemorated in the modern district of Westbourne. Shortly after the conquest Geoffrey de Mandeville gave the abbot of the land which lay between the Tyburn and the Westbourne, that is to say, all Hyde Park as far as the modern Serpentine and all the Thames bank between the modern King's Scholars' Pond Sewer, and the Ranelagh Sewer: and the northern and southern parts of this great accession of territory were divided into Ebury, or. Eybury and Hyde, both names being very likely derived from the same word Ey, or by which the manor is distinguished in Domesday. Furthermore the abbot acquired three other estates. Of and I shall speak in a subsequent chapter: but the manor of Neat, or Neyt, brought the boundary of St. Margaret's up to that of . This manor comprised all the land south and west of the Serpentine, most of Kensington Gardens, and the south side of the Kensington Road into High Street. Its boundaries are interesting. If we begin in the Uxbridge or Bayswater Road, we find the line runs down the ornamental water halfway to the bridge, thence passes westward through the

39

trees till it almost reaches the Orangery. There it slopes northward and taking in all but the first five houses of Kensington Palace Gardens, runs south in a straight line to High Street, and including all the houses on the left hand of the way as we go towards , crosses the road just after we pass what used to be called Gore Lane, but is now Queen's Gate or Prince Albert Road. Kensington Gore, the Albert Hall and the Horticultural Gardens are in , but the line runs so as to exclude the new Natural History and the South Kensington Museums, which are in Kensington, or rather in the Kensington hamlet of Brompton. Thence the boundary runs eastward, gradually approaching the main road, which is touched, just as we have passed the new Knightsbridge Barracks, where , and meet at the point at which the Westbourne used to cross the road. An old inn, the Fox & Bull, formerly stood by the bridge, and is mentioned as early as the reign of queen Elizabeth. The French Embassy in Albert Gate is on the site, and the brook runs under the roadway. A modern Fox & Bull close by is now in process of demolition.

The notice of in the Domesday Book is apparently very precise, yet from the difficulty involved in all attempts to estimate exactly the modern value of a hide of land, it has caused much controversy among those learned in such matters. The hide in , a holding fairly well defined, contained seventy-nine acres. But in which comprised sixteen hides and a half, it must, if our geography is right, have been only seventyhides. The discrepancy maybe partially resolved by remembering that in there was more land than in occasionally, if not constantly submerged. Of the sixteen hides and a half which constituted

40

the manor of , three were held by a tenant named Bainiard,or Baynard. It has usually been assumed that Baynard is the baron who built Castle Baynard in the city, and it has been conjectured that his three hides of land comprised the rising slope from the Fleet to Temple Bar which later on was the ward of Joce Fitz Peter, and was ultimately absorbed by the city as part of Farringdon Without. There would be little objection to this assignment if we had any further mention of Baynard in connection with Fleet Street: but we have none. Another place, Bayswater, equally claims to have been the holding of Baynard, but this cannot be, for the simple reason that, as we have seen above, the abbot had no estate westward of the Tyburn, till he received Geoffrey's bequest.[14]  Baynard's holding has also been identified with Lincoln's Inn, but this is almost certainly an error. I only mention the question, in fact, to show how little is known, and how easy it is to make and defend theories which seem always the more plausible the less we really know.

The abbot's manor contained all the elements of truly rural life. There were cottages and ploughs, cattle and hogs, meadow and woodland, but only twenty-five houses

of the abbot's knights and of other men.

[15] 

Such was the estate which belonged to the abbey of at the beginning of the twelfth century. But disintegration was already in progress. In the eleventh century, at what exact date is not known, the

41

king took up his abode either in the abbey, or close to it. Who was the first king to make a palace at we cannot tell. It may have been Canute or one of his unworthy sons: but it is more likely that Edward the Confessor, led by the strongly superstitious bent of his mind, fearing the Londoners more than he loved them, and thinking himself safer outside the walls than inside, considered the protection offered by the sacred character of the cloister of St. Peter sufficient. Certain it is that he passed the greater part of his reign at Westminster, and that he projected and built a church for the monks which in some respects was probably not inferior to what we see now. This is evident if we observe that the cloister still covers the same ground that it covered then. If there is one architectural feature of the church more familiar than another to Englishmen and all English- speaking people it is the The Poets' Corner is formed in the south transept by the projection into it of a corner of the cloister. When Henry III. rebuilt church and cloister alike he did not disturb the Saxon ground plan, and thus the south transept has no western aisle.[16]  The Confessor's church extended from the modern communion table westward to a door which opens into the western walk of the cloister.

Some fragments of his work may still be identified. Among them are the arches which lead from the cloister southward to the school, which have a series of very curious ancient chambers of the same period adjoining them. The passage into Little Dean's Yard is modern,

42

but many traces of old work are to be seen, including the break in the vaulting, where a staircase used to lead up to the dormitory. There is a description of the abbey in an old manuscript volume in the Harleian collection,[17]  which was written for queen Edith, therefore before , when she died. From it we gather that the church, which survived until a fire in the reign of Henry III., had an apse, a central tower, two towers at the western end, a cloister, a chapter house[18]  on the present site, a refectory and a dormitory, with surrounding offices. Of these the crypt of the chapter house, the basement of the dormitory and the north wall of the refectory are still in existence. The abbey absorbed the parish church. For a time, at least, the few parishioners worshipped in the north aisle of the nave, but the first erection of St. Margaret's is always attributed to the Confessor.[19]  Two theories may be held on this subject. It may be supposed that the parish church was dedicated to St. Margaret[20]  before the abbey was placed on Thorney, or it may be thought that the dedication was a new one. In favour of this second view must be put the absence of the name from early charters; but we have no better evidence either way, and no contemporary record of the building of the church.

There continued, however, an altar, called the for the parishioners in the abbey church. There

43

has been some misapprehension as to its position though it remained till the abolition of chantries. In fact there were two such altars. One of them stood at the eastern end of the nave, where is now the entrance to the choir. It was elevated on steps and shut in with side screens. Above it was a large rood screen, extending across the whole church, and to the eastward, at the same level as the rood screen, was an upstairs oratory, called, like the altar below, after our Saviour. To these two places the parishioners obtained access, as well as to their own church in the churchyard.[21] 

Although St. Margaret's cannot compete with the abbey church in its interesting associations, there is yet much to record of it. Restoration after restoration has removed every trace of antiquity from its walls. Even the churchyard, with its venerable gravestones, has been desecrated, the inscriptions obliterated or covered, and much that was curious or interesting destroyed. It is sad to think that such vandalisms should have been carried out within the past two years, and under the name of improvements. The work, indeed, was begun at a time when there was, if possible, even less reverence than at present for antiquity, for one of the earliest parliamentary grants for the repair of St. Margaret's was made the year after the execution of Charles I.[22]  There were further repairs several times before , which is the date on the leaden spouting; and in there was a vote of

44

1200£ which produced most disastrous results. Since that time St. Margaret's has been a new church, and seven years ago it was still further . The House of Commons has, ever since the time of the great rebellion, looked on this church as its peculiar care, and when we see what has come of it, we cannot but rejoice that they extend their attention to no other London churches.

There are a few names connected with St. Margaret's, however, that even the omnipotence of an act of parliament, or the marauding hand of the restorer, cannot quite obscure. It requires an effort of mind to remember in the new church such ancient worthies as Chaucer, Caxton, and Sir . Until last year there remained also a tangible memorial to . There is now only a memory, and he is as unreal at St. Margaret's as the other three. It would be curious to know if Caxton when he wrote with such warm admiration of Chaucer. was aware that the great poet lived close to St. Margaret's, in a house on the site of Henry VII.'s chapel, while he was clerk of the works at the abbey. It was in St. Margaret's that the heralds held their inquiry as to the Scrope and Grosvenor arms in , when Chaucer gave the evidence before them which has proved of such importance to his biographers.[23]  Caxton lived near the western end of the abbey, in a house called the which may be translated, perhaps, by which stood very near the spot marked now by the Crimean memorial column-a of red granite. He probably died in , as, though registers had not yet been invented, the churchwarden's accounts record the expenditure, midway between and , of 6s. 8d. for torches, and 6d. for bell ringing at the

bureyng of

William Caxton.

[24]  He well deserved this favour from the parish, to which he had bequeathed some copies of his 'Golden Legend,' which were sold by the churchwardens for the benefit of the poor. In , for instance, we have the entry of the receipt of 6s. 8d. for " oone of thoo printed bokes that were bequothen to the churche behove by William Caxton." That Caxton was buried within and not without the church was a matter of faith with Dr. Dibdin and the bibliographers of his time; and in the Roxburgh Society put up a tablet to his memory in the south aisle, near the east end.

Although the probable site of his house is that which I have indicated, it must be remembered that before this quarter of the town was rased to the ground, the building which was locally called by his name, and which stood here, was not two hundred years old. It may, of course, have occupied an older site. The house of Caxton was in the Almonry. The Almonry was just here. Therefore, to put the matter in logical form, one of the houses on this site was his. Caxton was a member of the mercers' company, as we saw above.[25]  There were many houses in held by the company from the abbot, and he may, as Mr. Blades, his latest and best biographer asserts, have hired one of them. This is by no means certain.[26]  Nor is it as certain as Mr. Blades would wish us to believe that this was Caxton's only connection with the abbot. At the same time, in the absence of trustworthy information to the contrary, we had best withhold our final judgment, and agreeing that

46

Caxton lived very near the Crimean memorial, and that Stow is wrong in making abbot Islip his patron, since Caxton died before Islip was elected, we may accept the little that we do know and see how far it connects him with and Westminster Abbey. In one of his prologues he mentions the fact that abbot Esteney "did do shewe" him certain evidences: that is, abbot Esteney allowed them to be shown to him. There is nothing in this to. prove that the abbot and the printer ever came into personal contact. When we consider that the lord abbot of such an establishment not only held a high social rank, but also belonged to a society of monks, more or less recluse in their habits, it is possible that Caxton never so much as saw an abbot of in his life. He was, in fact, while he lived at the Red Pale, in the position of a retired wool stapler of moderate means, who had returned from the Low Countries, after long dealings with the merchants whom the commercially minded Edward IV. had established so near his own palace, and had naturally gravitated to the neighbourhood of the market place where his fortune had been founded. He had been thirty-five years abroad, and had imbibed at Bruges some of the artistic tastes which fostered the contemporary genius of Van Eyck and Memling. His literary ability had been stimulated by communication with Colard Mansion and other learned men, and when he came home and settled in the Almonry, he took to printing as he had learned it abroad, to fill up his leisure, to give himself an opportunity of publishing his own voluminous works, and, possibly, to add to the small savings he had brought home with him. He conducted the business, if, indeed, it can be called a business, which must have been much more of an amusement, with the same instinctive skill

47

and care which had characterised his mercantile work at Bruges: and the result leaves him in a high rank among the founders of the selection of words from various sources which we call the English language. Caxton, as Mr. Green[27]  well remarks, stood between two schools of translation, that of French affectation and that of English pedantry. He only took to printing as the employment of his declining years. He survived his return home only fifteen years. But during the time he lived in the Almonry he must have worked with prodigious energy, both at the press and in the study, and he certainly contrived before his death to make printing popular among his countrymen. He printed and published during that time about a hundred different volumes and tracts, of which some ninety-four have been identified. Several of them have been found made into pasteboard for bindings, the greatest discovery of the kind having been at St. Albans a few years ago. The British Museum preserves eighty volumes from his press. Thirty-three of his books are only known by a single example or by imperfect copies, and the greatest number of copies of any one work is only twenty-nine. The modern bibliomaniac thinks with longing of the time when a churchwarden of St. Margaret's could sell the 'Golden Legend' for 6s. 8d.

The woollen market, or wool staple, at was looked upon with jealous eyes by the neighbouring citizens of . The market house stood just where the modern Westminster Bridge springs from its abutments. It was destroyed in , being then surrounded by other buildings, for all of which the sum of £840 was paid by authority of an act of parliament.[28]  A new place on which to hold a market was obtained from the dean

48

and chapter in the Broad Sanctuary, but the only building of a civic character that remains is the so-called It stands on the site of a tower in which, before the western end of the abbey church was completed, the bells were hung. The staple owed its origin to one of the periodical fits of anger against the Londoners in which Henry III. used to indulge. He ordered the city shops to be closed for fifteen days in October, , and held a fair in . This fair became an annual occurrence, and was under the immediate control of the abbot, who appointed a vacant space in Tothill Fields for its celebration. The privilege of holding it was one among the many causes of the quarrel between the abbot and the citizens which Simon de Montfort in vain endeavoured to settle.[29]  A more regular market was established by statute in , when, to encourage the trade in wool, its headquarters were fixed at , and a "mayor of the staple" was appointed to superintend it. Edward IV. had extensive dealings in wool, and the staple flourished for many generations. It is possibly owing to its existence on this spot that the mercers' company rented houses from the dean and chapter. The principal scene of operations was north of Bridge Street, then the Weighhouse Lane, at the foot of which was a floating pier, or , marked in many old maps and views. In the eighteenth century an attempt was also made to set up a fish market, but it failed, owing as was said to the opposition of the city fishmongers and the merchants of .

Although Raleigh's headless body was laid in the chancel more than a century after Caxton's death, the appearance of had not, in spite of the suppression

49

of the monasteries, undergone a very great change. The alterations of the last two hundred years have been far greater. Hollar, who, according to one account, was himself buried near the north-western corner of the tower, has preserved for us much of the look of the place fifty years later. When the wide roadway which now passes between the east ends of the two churches and the condemned law courts, was known as St. Margaret's Lane, and was full of houses; when a gateway stood where lord Derby's statue stands now, and another close to the chapel of Henry VII.; when other gateways marked the end of King Street, and the entrance of the Sanctuary; when the busy corner where Parliament Street now opens into Bridge Street was part of a continuous row of houses reaching to the water gate at the river's edge, presented an aspect very different from that open expanse of grass and flower beds which we now see, and the ungraceful tower of St. Margaret's came into no competition, either with the abbey towers, which were not built till , or with the clock tower or the other ornamental features of the new palace of parliament. A network of government offices, narrow gardens, canons' houses, gothic archways, almonries, and chapels filled all the space now cleared and green. The buildings encroached on the churchyard and even on the abbey. Many of us can easily remember, before Victoria Street was thought of, that the Dean's yard was only one of a number of miserable little squares and narrow lanes of squalid houses, a nest of fever and vice, the despair of reformers and the delight of antiquaries.[30]  Now only the hall and

50

some minor parts of the old palace can be found. King Street has nearly disappeared and is no longer a principal thoroughfare. The clock tower near the hall, the abbot's prison and the conduit, close to which Raleigh's scaffold stood, have all departed, and left not a "rack behind." The time of William Cowper seems now, so far as is concerned, equally remote as that of Raleigh. It was in the churchyard of St. Margaret's, while he was a scholar at , that he received one of those impressions which had so strong an effect on his after life. Crossing the burial ground one dark evening towards his home in the school, he saw the glimmering lantern of a grave-digger at work. He approached to look on, with a boyish craving for horrors, and was struck by a skull heedlessly thrown out of the crowded earth. To the mind of such an accident had an extraordinary significance. In after life he remembered it as the occasion of religious emotions not readily suppressed. On the south side of the church, until the recent "restoration," there was a stone, the inscription on which suggests the less gloomy view of Cowper's character. It marked "The Burial Place of Mr. John Gilpin"; the date was not to be made out, but it must have been fresh when Cowper was at school: and it would be absurd to doubt that the future poet had seen it, and perhaps unconsciously adopted from it the name of his hero.

The domestic buildings of Abbey have been so effectually disguised and altered that it is almost if not quite impossible to make any complete plan of what they were. Mr. Middleton's map gives the results of the latest investigations. Though, as I have said, there is not much in proportion of the Confessor's work still to be seen its remains are in reality more extensive than is generally supposed. Many people were

51

lately anxious as to the fate of a building standing in the so-called a square on the south side of the cloister. Ashburnham House, which is reasonably believed to have been built by , has, like a kind of backbone running along the whole building from end to end, a thick wall of very ancient masonry, pierced here and there with modern doorways, in which its immense solidity is apparent. This was the southern side of the , or place of indulgence, an adjunct to the refectory, where the monks who, for any special reason had obtained leave, ate and drank the cakes and beer provided out of some charitable fund for their benefit. Across the garden of the house is seen another great wall, pierced with round arched openings. Here stood the refectory. The dormitory has suffered even more; it is now in part a school-room, and has been so much altered and defaced that its very form is made out with difficulty. All these buildings are survivals, more or less complete, of the Confessor's work. His own palace stood eastward of the monastery, yet in places connected with it. So completely has everything been changed by the building of the houses of parliament, that it is difficult to identify even the ground on which the older buildings stood. But after the disastrous fire of , it was found that the Confessor's work was greater than had been supposed, and that very little of Henry III.'s palace took up fresh ground.

Two buildings stood at right angles to each other, the chapel of St. Stephen and the so-called Painted Chamber. The house of commons sat in the chapel, the house of lords in the painted chamber, which was also sometimes described as the white hall[31]  and the court of requests.

52

This was the principal feature of Edward's palace, and if we could replace it as it was, we should find it covering the statue of Richard I., which now stands in the angle formed by the south front of Westminster Hall and the modern buildings. The windows to the east of the great hall window light St. Stephen's Gallery, which occupies the site of the chapel. It is believed that Sir Charles Barry might have saved and restored the chapel[32]  badly as it was damaged by the fire; but, to judge by the of its crypt, we should not have been much the better.

There is evidence that the southern end, at least, of Westminster Hall is of very early work. But the present hall is due to Richard II., and the previous building was that of , and must have been smaller. We can therefore say nothing of what the Confessor built here. When the cloister court was formed on the east side, the buildings came to the river's edge, and the site afterwards occupied by the Speaker's Garden, and now by the principal buildings of the houses of parliament, was under water. The Speaker's house stood almost where the lobby of the House of Commons is now, having been formed out of a row of lodgings for the priests connected with the collegiate chapel of St. Stephen.

Henry III. added much to the palace. When we consider the magnitude of this king's architectural schemes, we need not seek further for any explanation of his constant want of money, and the endless demands he made upon the citizens of . In a future chapter I shall have something to say of his buildings at the Tower. At he not only almost rebuilt the Confessor's church, but spent lavish sums on his own palace. Some of his chambers were fancifully named, perhaps from the

53

character of their decorations : as the Antioch chamber, from a picture of the siege of Antioch by the crusaders. In the deanery to this day there is a now generally misnamed the Jerusalem chamber, and another called Jericho. In the old palace there was Heaven, Paradise, Purgatory, and even Hell.[33]  The last named was as nearly as possible the judges' retiring room in the modern Court of Queen's Bench, now condemned to destruction. This corner, in Tudor times, was the royal nursery.[34] 

Of the law courts at we have heard much in late years. The king's judges used to travel with him, but many of our early sovereigns sat as a matter of course to hear cases. Henry III. sat in the Court of Exchequer in and . James I. is the last king who Westminster Hall very gradually became the head quarters of the law courts, but that they were at least occasionally fixed here appears from a report of pleas as early as . They were not, however, absolved from travelling after the king till , when the judges commenced to sit in the hall, as they have, nominally at least, sat ever since until now. There are some curious views extant of the different courts,[35]  and various chambers were at different times appropriated to them. Edward I., however, took the judges to Shrewsbury in to assist in trying Llewellyn, Prince of Wales. In he made inquiries into the administration of justice at Westminster and punished nearly all his judges for taking bribes. It is said that a bell tower,

54

opposite the entrance of Westminster Hall was erected with the proceeds of the fines, but, if so, it was completely rebuilt by Edward III., and subsequently became a clock tower, and as such is figured in some of Hollar's views. There was also a bell tower within the palace, and it is not easy to unravel the intricacy of the accounts as to which of them is meant by the record.

Of the modern houses of parliament much might be said did space and time permit. The new palace is the result of a long series of more or less stupid mistakes, and more or less ignorant experiments. That it is so satisfactory can only be accounted for by the enormous amount of money spent. Seen from the river the front has a symmetry not wholly unpleasing; but marred by the comparative lowness of the central part of the facade, which deprives it of dignity. The landward side is wanting in unity and seems to straggle. Much the most picturesque parts of the building are the little known courts, where no attempt at ornament or symmetry was made, and where the irregular beauties of the style assert themselves rather in spite of the architect than with his help. The ground plan looks well on paper. The way in which Westminster Hall was worked into the design, the octagon, with the four passages leading to it and the simplicity of the lobby arrangements, account for the ease with which a stranger can find his way about. The royal entrance under the southern tower, by an archway sixty feet high, and a wide staircase leading to the splendid but meaningless royal gallery, is very fine and grand. It is but too easy to find fault. The decorations are oppressive in their number and monotony. The architect knew little about the Tudor style, and could give no variety. On the exterior the pannelling is simply tiresome, while only the central tower can be considered beautiful. The

55

great Victoria tower might have been one of Wren's gothic efforts, and differs chiefly in size from the tower of St. Mary Aldermary. Of the clock tower it is more than sufficient condemnation to say one is constantly tempted to call it the so exactly does it resemble a common or domestic article of furniture. It still bears the mark of recent completion ; for Barry hoped to have been allowed to make New Palace Yard a quadrangle, and to have erected a great gateway, the design of which with its high pitched roof is well known, and more nearly approaches picturesqueness than anything else he did in this style. In short, the palace is what might have been expected when we forced the greatest master of the Italian style we had in England to build in gothic; just as, a little later we compelled our greatest gothic architect to build the new government offices in an Italian style. The offices in St. James's Park are, however, among Sir Gilbert Scott's most picturesque works, while it cannot be said that anything except the ground plan at the palace of is worthy of the artist who designed Bridgewater House and the Reform Club in Pall Mall.

Westminster hall was, practically, renewed by Barry, who removed the southern end, placed the window a few feet back, and made room for a broad platform or landing for the staircase which opens from the western side, facing Henry VII.'s chapel. It is difficult to realise now the old appearance of the hall.[36]  The little shops, as archbishop Laud notes in his diary,[37]  took fire in , but the damage was insignificant: and the noble oak roof was spared. It was found to be in a very rickety

56

state in , and forty loads of old ship's timbers were brought from Portsmouth to repair it, and to complete the northern end, which had never been quite finished. A somewhat similar restoration had been made of the curious frieze of the badges and crests of Richard II. which surrounds the whole building, a few years earlier. Some relics of Norman work were obliterated under Barry[38] ; and as the whole has been refaced, a great arch erected in the eastern wall to form a members' entrance to the cloisters, a wide flight of steps built at the southern end, and some not very interesting statues of English kings and queens set up on the east side, it would not be easy, but for the roof, to find anything in the Westminster hall of to-day which was there when the estates of the realm met here to choose a new king. The walls

were hung and trimmed sumptuously,

and a vacant throne stood in the midst. Near it sat the duke of Lancaster, ready to ascend it as soon as the voice of the assembly had declared him Richard's successor. This was the first great pageant in the new hall. Since then it has seen many another. Here Oldcastle was tried and condemned. , duke of Somerset, and sometime lord protector of the realm, was tried in Westminster Hall, before his peers, the marquis of Winchester, lord treasurer, sitting as high steward.[39]  Not long after, his great enemy, , duke of Northumberland, was sentenced to death in the same hall. The duke of Norfolk, under queen Elizabeth, was tried in Westminster hall, the earl of Shrewsbury being high steward. Here Strafford and his unhappy master met for the last time, when Charles and his queen attended the trial. Here Charles himself encountered

57

Bradshaw and his assessors, and bore himself in more royal wise than at any other conjuncture of his reign. Here the seven bishops were acquitted, and the Scots lords condemned. The trial of Warren Hastings was opened in Westminster hall, a trial which is rendered the more memorable by lord Macaulay's eloquent description of its commencement.[40] 

The palace of was occasionally inhabited by Henry VIII.: but after he had taken Whitehall from Wolsey, and St. James's from the nuns of the hospital, it ceased to be a royal residence. It had been much damaged by fire in the early part of Henry's reign, and when he obtained or seized Whitehall, he must have been very poorly lodged at , which may account for his love of Bridewell. When the papal ascendancy had been thrown off, and the monks had been banished from St. Peter's abbey, the king can have had little object in residing among some ruinous buildings, disendowed chapels, desecrated shrines, and-if Henry had anything like sentiment or superstition left in his selfish mind-the graves of his father and his mother, which he had deprived of the services they had thought so needful to their repose, and had tried to secure by so many safeguards. It was but a few years before the final suppression that Henry VIII. received the renewed oath of an abbot of , to provide the accustomed masses in the chapel of Henry VII.[41]  Some of the ancient observances continued to be celebrated in the chapel of Henry VII. till the end of his son's reign: but ceased immediately on

58

the accession of Edward VI.: who was himself buried under the altar of the chapel, an altar of beautiful renascence work, portions of which have lately been recovered and replaced.[42] Mr. Middleton obtained the restitution of a portion of the altar from a museum at Oxford in .

Since Henry III. had consecrated the mound of holy earth he had obtained from Palestine, by the translation of the body of Edward the Confessor, most of his descendants had chosen the chapel behind the high altar for their tombs. Many of Henry VII.'s descendants were buried in his chapel, but the body of George III. was laid beside those of Charles I., Henry VIII., Edward IV., and Henry VI. in the chapel of St. George, adjoining the royal palace at Windsor. Henry III. reserved the Confessor's ancient coffin for himself and the bones of the saint were laid in a magnificent shrine, the mere remains of which are all we can now see. It is even doubtful, if any of the are still in the tomb, which was renewed by queen Mary and again by James II. At the north side is the monument with its effigy of Henry III., completed ten years after his death by the piety of Edward I., whose own tomb is as plain and solid as if it had been hewn out of one of the Welsh or Scottish hills among which he wrought his mighty deeds. The plainness of Edward's tomb is the more remarkable because of the magnificence he bestowed on the tombs of his father and of his wife, whose figure, if it be indeed a portrait, is the first we have of any English sovereign, since it was completed before that of her father-in-law, Henry III. The cross Edward made in her honour at Charing remains there still in name, though the statue of Charles I. occupies the site; but the modern cross which so unmeaningly decorates the approach to the neighbouring

59

railway station, is probably as faithful a reproduction as can be expected in the nineteenth century of the sculpture and architecture of the thirteenth. Edward also completed his father's design for rebuilding the abbey church, and added the four westernmost bays to the nave. When Edward himself was dying in , at Burgh-on-the- Sands in Cumberland, he desired them to boil down his body in a cauldron, and to carry the bones against the rebels to

the very extremity of Scotland.

But Edward II. was not the man to fulfil such directions. The body was embalmed and brought to , wrapped in cerecloth, and at intervals the tomb was opened, and a fresh winding sheet placed about it. The last of these renewals took place as late as the time of Henry V. In the tomb was again opened. A black marble coffin was found within the rough sarcophagus. The cerecloth was intact, and showed how carefully it had been applied for even each finger had its bandage. The body wore over its shroud the royal robes, with gilt crown and sceptre, and in this state it still lies.

It has several times been found easy to fill a volume with accounts of the tombs and monuments of Westminster Abbey. I shall notice here only a few. Edward III. rests near his grandfather, and close to him his wife. Near them is their unfortunate grandson Richard II. and his first wife, Anne of Bohemia. The effigy of the king was placed beside that of his consort in his own lifetime his hand clasping hers. Below was formerly the touching inscription,

I have been most happy and most miserable,

the effect of which must have been somewhat marred by other lines of the epitaph, and in particular by the rhyming hexameters.[43] 

One more royal tomb must be mentioned. The chantry

60

of Henry V. is not open to the public, and is seldom fully described. It consists of a kind of stone platform erected over the tomb, which is well known, with its headless oaken effigy. The western side of the screen consists of two slender staircases, so arranged that with the floor of the platform they assume the shape of the letter H. Over it is a cross beam on which were suspended the helmet, saddle, and shield, supplied by the undertakers for his state funeral.[44]  The shield, according to the engraving of it by Sandford, represented France. There may have been another for England, but it has disappeared. The chantry itself is a wide space surrounded by low walls from which excellent bird's eye views may be obtained all over the church. No doubt, the people, far down in the nave at the Jesus altar were able to see the elevation of the host as the daily mass was performed in the chantry above.

Scarcely less important than the tombs of kings are those of their greatest ministers. Though lord Beaconsfield, who knew how the mighty dead jostle each other, so to speak, in Westminster Abbey, and how one's feelings of reverence at seeing the grave of one remarkable man, are immediately diverted to see another, chose rather to be buried in a country churchyard, yet few of his predecessors escaped the questionable honour. It comes to pass from their number, that one overlooks even the tombs of such men as the Pitts, whereas the solitary monument of lord Melbourne, in St. Paul's, is always conspicuous. But it may be safely said that of the thousands of altar tombs, tablets, cenotaphs, statues, busts, and other memorials, in the abbey, there is not one so simple, so mournful, so beautiful that it is not excelled by the black doorway in

61

St. Paul's, and the pale angels that guard it.[45]  The citizens of would fain have buried Chatham in their cathedral. We have seen how he was loved in the city,[46]  and are not surprised that they would, as Walpole sneeringly observes, " have robbed Peter to pay Paul." The statue, which was eventually placed in the abbey, would unquestionably have looked better in the cathedral. Bacon set an example in modelling the figure in modern dress and parliamentary robes, and, strange to say, not only designed the monument, but wrote the inscription. No inscription was ever placed on the monument of Perceval.

Of late years, with a view to economising space and fees, it has been the custom to put up little busts on brackets in all sorts of corners. The effect is intolerable. We talk of the incongruous monuments of General Wolfe or Mrs. Nightingale, but at least they are fine works of art. A naked quarter length of the late Mr. John Keble on a Greek pedestal, is fifty times more incongruous, and bad, besides, in itself. It is impossible not to regret that Dickens's dying wish was disregarded and that his body does not rest among the scenes he loved best, and where it would have been in a sense, an honour to the place. Here it is lost. In fact, the monuments[47]  have become so numerous and so often commemorate people whom futurity will consider entitled to be called eminent chiefly because they have their memorials here, that a visit to the church is not what it was in the days of Addison and Sir Roger de Coverley, or Johnson and Goldsmith.

The triforium of Westminster Abbey is just as full of objects of interest as every other part of the church. Yet it is not altogether a pleasant place to visit. One does not always wish to get behind, or, as in this case, above, the scenes. Even ancient abbeys have their seamy side. It is not at first possible to realise the value of every little heap of dust and rubbish which has accumulated here during so many centuries. A bundle of broken boards was once the canopy of a great king's tomb, removed to make way for the tomb of a greater than he. A heap of red fragments of terra-cotta were once the priceless images with which Torregiano decorated the high altar of Henry's sumptous chapel. A magnificently modelled worthy of Michael Angelo, is among them, and some pedestals which still bear the of little angels. Tied up into faggots are the iron rails that bore the pall which concealed the plainness of the tomb of Edward I. In one corner is the sole remaining cope chest. In another are the curious little wooden obelisks which stood at either side of the choir gate when Dart made his view. Perched high up on beams are more than a hundred helmets, some of them still bearing their crests, which like that of Henry V. have come into the abbey with funerals. At the western end of the south side is a room which Bradshaw occupied in the days of the commonwealth. It communicates with the deanery which was granted to him, and here it is said by tradition he died. His ghost haunts the gloomy chamber still, and walks the triforium on the nights of the 30th January and the 22nd November.

In a chantry over the Islip chapel is the very curious and interesting collection of waxworks. For some reason the later deans have not been anxious that the public should see these characteristic figures, and some of the

63

more ancient are believed to have been locked away out of sight.[48]  The commanding figure of Chatham in his robes, the imperious face of Elizabeth, the dingy image of Charles II. in its splendid point lace, the ghastly duke of Buckingham lying dead on his bier, but above all little William III. propped on a footstool beside his tall wife, both evidently portraits, and by no mean artist, should be visible to all who care to see them.

The transfer of Westminster from the abbot and his monks to the dean and his canons was made gentle by two circumstances. There were only 17 monks in the house at the suppression: and the last abbot became the first dean. The short-lived bishopric which made a city, and the or royal chapel, a cathedral, helped also to keep alive the old feeling of the greatness of the place, for though a dean was nothing in comparison with a lord abbot, controlling an income which would now be reckoned at about 6o,oool. a year, a bishop was a peer of Parliament, and bishop Thurlby turned the late abbot, now dean, out of the abbot's house and made it his palace. The dean made a house of the old Misericorde, already mentioned. Dean Benson, who had reigned for a brief period as abbot Boston, a name he derived from his birthplace, was one of these implements which kings like Henry, and ministers like , always find ready to hand. He lived to repent of his misdeeds, and died, it was reported of In , the lord abbot's chair being vacant by the death of Islip, [49]  Boston was

64

brought from Burton-upon-Trent, to fill it. About the same time three manors which belonged to the abbey were pledged, or mortgaged, for 500£, a large sum of money in those days. It was paid to Sir William Pawlet and to one , not yet so well known to fame as he afterwards became. The new abbot was the first for three centuries who had not belonged to the house, and he played to perfection the part of the hireling shepherd. At the suppression he descended from his lofty station and became, as we have seen, the first dean, and Thurlby became first and last bishop of . Meanwhile Benson exerted himself to save some of the abbey estates for the new chapter, and partially succeeded, his exertions, it is probable, rather than his conscience, causing his death in . He could not save the abbot's house, which on the suppression of the new see was given to the omnivorous lord Wentworth, who died in it immediately afterwards and was buried among the abbots. A second dean, Cox, inhabited the altered Misericorde, and on his flight a third, Weston, who had to make way for queen Mary's restored abbot. It was this Feckenham, so called from his birthplace in Suffolk, his family name being Howman, to whom the modern deans should be grateful for having obtained the abbot's house for them, as he effected an exchange with the new lord Wentworth, giving up to him instead the manor of Canonbury. It was this second lord Wentworth whose loss of Calais so deeply grieved queen Mary, and with Mary's life practically ended the rule of the last abbot. But the new deanery house was never again inhabited by a dean, and its subsequent history, which has been the subject of so much controversy of late, ends by disconnecting it from the abbey.

Queen Elizabeth founded Westminster School, and it

65

has often, without foundation, been asserted that was among the early scholars. The queen is said, at one of her visits, to have asked him how often he had been flogged, on which the precocious boy replied in a line from Virgil-

Infandum, regina, jubes renovare dolorem.

[50]  At first the school and the abbey were very closely connected. Dean Goodman was a kind of headmaster, and even took boarders into the deanery. This connection subsists no longer. The encroachments of the school have long been viewed with disfavour by the chapter; and when just before the death of the lamented dean Stanley, the unwilling fulfilment of a deprived them of the original deanery, which had long been a canon's residence, under the name of Ashburnham House, it was felt that the circumstances delicately described by the dean had been reversed. He spoke of the interests of the school having been occasionally overshadowed by those of the chapter. If so the cession of Ashburnham House, in , and since then that of the organist's house close by show that it is now the turn of the school.

Ashburnham House requires more than a passing mention. It stands as I have said, across the very wall of the Misericorde, and its garden looked on the little that is left of the Refectory. How far the school will injure it I know not, but visitors who remember its delicate carved panelling and the fragile stucco work, will tremble for its fate. There seems to be no authentic proof that it was designed by : but the negative proof that he only could have designed it is very

66

strong. It was unquestionably built in his time for the lessee or grantee whose name it has since borne, and with an ordinary but not unpleasing exterior, is arranged and decorated within in a style which justifies what was said of it by one of the objectors to the transfer :-it stands to modern domestic architecture as St. Stephen's Wallbrook stands to ecclesiastical, as showing the power of a master to produce in a moderate space and with ordinary materials an effect perfectly satisfactory.[51]  I have already spoken of the beautiful dormitory of Westminster School, built by Lord Burlington, which is usually said to be slightly modified from a drawing by Inigo Jones, and which is certainly well worthy of that great man.

In is described in an act of parliament as a When the short lived bishopric was established in , the town became a and after the suppression of the see ten years later, the title still stuck to it. In an act passed in it is called the

manor and city of

Westminster

.

Whether between and it was really a city may be questioned. It stands now alone among cities in possessing only the humbler attributes of a manor. Just as completely as if it was situated in a rural part of Wiltshire or Kent, it has its manorial officers, its lord, its steward, its bailiff: and it differs from London in having neither mayor, nor corporation, nor cathedral. It stands alone too among the manors which have been absorbed into , in the wider sense of that name, for not only does it preserve its manor house, but the lord of the

67

manor lives in it. The manor houses of Rugmere and Stepney, of Tyburn and , of Finsbury and St. Pancras have disappeared. The manor house of Lylleston is a hospital. Of the manor house of the very site is disputed. But at the lord of the manor of the church of St. Peter resides in his manor house in the reign of queen Victoria as he resided

tempore Regis Edwardi

.

The modern government of remains very much as it was when first organised by dean Goodman.

He was the virtual founder of the corporation of

Westminster

, of which the shadow still remains in the twelve burgesses and the high steward of

Westminster

-the last relic of the 'temporal power' of the ancient abbots His high steward was no less a person than lord Burleigh.

[52]  It may be added that the present high bailiff is the duke of Buccleugh, and that the burgesses and assistants are appointed annually on Thursday in Easter Week by the high steward or his deputy. The high bailiff is a kind of sheriff, performs the duties of returning officer, and executes warrants issued by the court of the burgesses.

 
 
Footnotes:

[1] This charter (Kemble, i. No. 149) is marked with a star, and is not, therefore, existing except in a copy which may not be genuine. At the same time there is nothing in it inconsistent with the fidelity of the copy, and Widmore (' Enquiry,' p. 7) accepts it.

[2] This interpretation has been suggested by Mr. Henry Middleton,F.S.A., and commends itself to our common sense. The reader will recall the expression of Jacob (Genesis, xxviii. 17) "How dreadful is this place! This is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven." Quam terribilis est locus iste, are the words of the Vulgate. In a poem on the life of Edward the Confessor, published in the Rolls Series, there is a similar reference to Jacob's dream. "King Edward calls this holy place the gate of heaven."-P. 198.

[3] There was a king called Sebert or Seberht, as already mentioned (chap. iii.), but his connection with Westminster was not thought of till after the Conquest, when the place had become important.

[4] See Stanley, 'Memorials,' p. 9.

[5] William Bardwell, 'Westminster Improvements,' p. 8, and Smith's ' Westminster,' p. 27.

[6] Built in the reign of Edward III., by Walter Warfield, the Abbot's butler.-Bardwell, p. 11.

[7] Southampton is usually the scene of this legend. See Stanley, 'Memorials,' p. 7.

[8] See above, chap. iii.

[9] Widmore, p. 21.; Saunders, 'Archaeologia,' xxvi. 223; Kemble, ' Codex Diplomaticus,' No. 569. There are many marks about this charter to show that it is a copy, but an early one. The date, 951, should, as Kemble thinks, be 971 ; and there is a mistaken reference to Wulfred as being archbishop in the time of Offa. But the definition of boundaries is in Anglo-Saxon, and even if it does not belong to Edgar's time is of antiquity before the Conquest, and in every way valuable.

[10] See above, chap. i.

[11] Here, an army, expedition, host, legion, multitude, troop, chiefly of enemies, any number of men above thirty-five.-Bosworth's Dictionary.

[12] Now the Rolls.

[13] Chapter i.

[14] I am inclined to think another and much later Baynard will be found to have been the abbot's tenant, and to have given his name to Bayswater.

[15] It seems to me quite plain from this that either Fleet Street was no longer in the manor, a theory no one has ever started, or it was still unbuilt, which latter hypothesis will best square with known facts. For an opposite view, however, the reader is referred to Mr. Saunders's paper in Archaeologia, xxvi., already mentioned.

[16] A glance at the accompanying plan will explain this. I have to thank Mr. J. Henry Middleton, F.S.A., for leave to use it. In conjunction with Mr. Micklethwaite, he has been engaged in researches in the abbey for many years, and it is probable that this plan will prove to be the most accurate hitherto published.

[17] Printed in 'Lives of Edward,' Rolls Series, p. 417.

[18] See full account in Scott's 'Gleanings,' p. 3.

[19] Widmore, p. 12.

[20] There are five saints of the name in Husenbeth's ' Emblems,' p. 109. Of these the dates exclude St. Margaret of Cortona, St. Margaret of Scotland, and B. Margaret of Hungary. B. Margaret of Castello is the fourth; and the fifth, who must be identified with the church of Westminster, is St. Margaret, a virgin martyr in the fourth century. She is frequently represented in local sculpture as rising from a dragon which has her robe in his mouth.

[21] I am much indebted to Mr. Middleton for this information.

[22] Walcott, ' Westminster,' a compilation which must be referred to with caution, though it is the most accessible book on the subject. It is somewhat unfortunate that both the modern historians of the abbey and of the adjacent church should have been so little characterised by historical accuracy that none of their assertions can be received without proof. I have avoided in this chapter as far as possible references to Dean Stanley's and Precentor Walcott's books.

[23] It is noticed above, chap. ix. p. 257.

[24] The volume in which the entry occurs was shown in the Caxton Exhibition at South Kensington in 1877.

[25] Chap. ix. p. 267.

[26] The mercers have a good many houses in and about Long Acre, adjoining the Convent, or Covent Garden. Their badge is still to be seen in St. Martin's Lane and Long Acre.

[27] ii. 56.

[28] Smith, p. 261.

[29] See above, vol. i. chap. v.

[30] Smith, in his 'Antiquities of Westminster,' and Archer in his 'Old London,' have preserved many of the picturesque features left standing in the present century.

[31] A name which misled Brayley into confounding it with Whitehall, otherwise York Place, 'Ancient Palace,' p. 357. There was a white chamber in the palace, as well.

[32] Fergusson.

[33] In one of the canons' houses at Canterbury there is still an ancient room called Paradise.

[34] The reader is referred to Smith's ' Westminster,' and to Brayley and Britton's 'Ancient Palace of Parliament,' for full and accurate accounts of the old buildings.

[35] See some fine plates in 'Archaeologia,' vol. xxxix.

[36] A copy of a view made early in the eighteenth century is among the accompanying plates.

[37] Quoted by Timbs, p. 829.

[38] See view in Brayley and Britton, plate viii.

[39] See several of these trials in Mr. Bell's ' Chapel in the Tower.'

[40] It is often asserted that queen Anne Boleyn was tried in Westminster hall. Mr. Bell has shown that the high steward and his court sat in the "King's hall " in the White Tower, p. 101.

[41] Syllabus of Rymer's' Foedera,' p. 773, 12 May, 1533. Abbot Benson, or Boston, surrendered on the 16th January, 1540, and was appointed first dean.

[42]

[43] Noticed above, vol. i. p. 251.

[44] Dean Stanley seems to have thought they were his veritable arms, p. 149.

[45] Had Marochetti never executed any work but this he would have been reckoned a great sculptor. But he also made the statue of Richard I. in Old Palace Yard.

[46] Chapter xiv.

[47] The best account of the illustrious dead here interred is in the lamented Colonel Chester's book on the ' Registers of Westminster Abbey.'

[48] Dean Stanley is careful to say very little about them, and excludes the word " waxwork" from his index.

[49] One of Newcourt's very rare mistakes is in his list of abbots, i. 717, where he says Islip was abbot from 1483 to 1510: thus wholly omitting Fascet. Islip became abbot in 1500, and died in May 1532. (Stanley, 355.)

[50] It is the opening of the speech of Æneas to Dido. Thou dost desire me, O queen, to recall unspeakable woe. Book ii., line 3.

[51] Ashburnham House is figured in Smith's 'Additional Plates,' and in Edifices of London' by Britton and Pugin, ii. 90, where there are two engravings showing the staircase, from drawings by Gwilt. Sir John Soane made a series of drawings of it, which are, presumably, in his Museum in Lincoln's Inn Fields.

[52] Stanley, p. 422.