The Project Gutenberg eBook, Westminster Abbey, by Mrs. A. Murray Smith, Illustrated by John Fulleylove

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Title: Westminster Abbey

Author: Mrs. A. Murray Smith

Release Date: June 4, 2007 [eBook #21672]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


E-text prepared by Al Haines

Transcriber's notes:

Page numbers in this book are indicated by numbers enclosed in curly braces, e.g. {99}, in the left margin. They have been located where page breaks occurred in the original book. For its Index, a page number has been placed only at the start of that section.

The page numbers in the List of Illustrations are those in the original book. However, in this e-book, to avoid the splitting of paragraphs, the illustrations may have been moved one (or more) pages preceding or following.]

In the original book, each illustration was on its own leaf, prefaced by a separate onion-skin leaf containing the description of that illustration. In the HTML version of this e-book, each pair of illustrations and descriptions is set off from the text with horizontal rules.

The original book did not have a Table of Contents. One has been added for convenience.



The North Transept

The North Transept


Here is represented the north front as it appeared before the last restoration, i.e. we see the handiwork of the eighteenth century and the façade as remodelled under the superintendence of Sir Christopher Wren. The modern front was constructed about twenty years ago.










Published August 30, 1904
Reprinted, with corrections, March 1906



Introduction 4
A Walk Round Westminster Abbey 21
Index 141



1. The North Transept Frontispiece
2. View of the Abbey and St. Margaret's Church from Whitehall 10
3. The West Front 12
4. The Chapter House and East End of Henry VII.'s Chapel 16
5. The Interior of the Nave, looking East 24
6. St. Edmund's Chapel, showing the Tomb of the Duchess of Suffolk, Lady Jane Grey's mother 36
7. Interior of the South Transept 42
8. Chaucer's Tomb 52
9. View of the Choir and Nave, looking West from the High Altar 56
10. The South Ambulatory, looking West down the South Choir Aisle 62
11. Early Brasses and Picturesque Tombs in St. Edmund's Chapel 66
12. The West End of the Confessor's Shrine, with the Modern Altar 70
13. The Tomb of Henry III. from St. Edward's Chapel 76
14. St. Edward's Shrine and the Chantry Chapel of Henry V. 84
15. The Tomb of Queen Philippa and the Chantry Chapel of Henry V. from the South Ambulatory 88
16. The Chapel of Henry VII., looking East 90
17. The Coronation Chair 94
18. The North Ambulatory, showing the Steps which lead up to Henry VII.'s Chapel 106
19. Interior of the North Transept 112
20. The South Transept and Chapter House from Dean's Yard 122
21. The Abbot's Courtyard and the Entrance to the Jerusalem Chamber 136

The illustrations in this volume were engraved in England
by The Hentschel Colourtype Process



"Kings are thy nursing fathers and their queens thy nursing mothers." From the reign of Edward the Confessor, the last sovereign of the royal Saxon race, till the death of Elizabeth, the last Tudor queen, these words of the old Hebrew prophet were literally applicable to the great West Minster. When Edward knelt within the Benedictine chapel on Thorneye, which had so miraculously withstood the ravages of the Danes, and vowed to dedicate a new church on the same spot to the glory of God and in the name of St. Peter, even his prophetic soul cannot have foretold the high destiny of his beloved foundation. As the building slowly grew during the last years of his reign, he conceived the idea of its use as a sepulchre for himself and his successors. In his visions he may even have foreseen the coronations of the English sovereigns within its walls, his own canonisation, and the long connection {4} between the throne and the monastery. All that the words above imply would have appealed to the pious founder, but what of his feelings could he have looked on through the centuries? He would have seen much to vex, yet we venture to think he would have found consolation, even in these latter days when the monks are no longer here and the Roman Church has ceased to be the Church of his country. Three hundred years after Edward's death came the destruction of his church in the name of piety, but for this there was ample compensation in the beautiful and stately buildings which were raised upon the ruins of the old, and in the devotion to the first founder's memory shown by Henry III. and his descendants. During the ages of faith, when the Pope held sway over England, king after king gave liberally to the fabric, while their queens may also be counted amongst the benefactors to the West Minster. St. Peter, the patron saint to whom the church was dedicated, was practically lost sight of in the halo which surrounded the memory of the Saxon king, and it was to the English royal saint rather than to the Hebrew apostle that the Abbey owed its peculiar sanctity. From the first it was a royal foundation, a building consecrated to the memory of a king, yet none of {5} these considerations were weighed in the balance when the West Minster shared in the general downfall of the English monasteries. The sovereign himself laid violent hands upon the treasures presented by his pious forefathers in honour of St. Edward, and the saint's body must surely have turned in its coffin when, to save it from indignity, the monks were obliged to lift it from the feretory and hide it beneath the ground. The shrine which had been the pride of each king since the days of Henry III., and honoured no less by the first Tudor sovereign, was stripped of its glories: the shining golden top, which used to be seen from end to end of the church, was melted down; the jewels, which had been offered by royal worshipper and humble pilgrim alike, even the precious images of sainted king and saintly evangelist, were ruthlessly transferred to the palace treasury. None of these survive to-day, but the mosaic pillars and the basement were concealed by the brethren before they fled from the monastery, and the lower part of the shrine was reconstructed by the daughter of the sovereign to whom the devastation was due; to her also we owe the wooden top, which replaced the glorious golden feretory. The monastic community, who were restored to their home by the same {6} Queen, the "bloody" Mary of Protestant history, survived a few years longer into the days of Elizabeth, and the former intimate connection between the Crown and the convent, severed with the final dismissal of the Abbot and monks, found a pale reflection in the friendship which Elizabeth always showed to the Dean of her new foundation. But the Maiden Queen was in very deed the last royal person to whom Westminster Abbey owed substantial benefits. She refounded the collegiate church, which finally took the place of the monastery, and established Westminster School; before her reign the only boys taught within the precincts were the few scholars collected in the cloisters by the monks. She is, in fact, the foundress of St. Peter's College, which thus owes its status as a royal foundation to Queen Elizabeth.

Very rarely, however, in modern days has the church or the college been honoured with a visit from the reigning sovereign in propriâ personâ. At great functions, such as public funerals, the heir-apparent is occasionally present, but the Crown is usually represented by a Court official, and the Dean's stall, which is only vacated for the reigning king or queen, has been occupied on very rare occasions in the last hundred years. The Latin {7} play acted by the Westminster scholars every winter term, was formerly a gala occasion on which royalty used often to be present, but the old custom was gradually dropped. In the year 1903, for the first time within the memory of this generation, a royal person, H.R.H. the Duchess of Argyll, was present at the performance.

With the last of the Tudors there is no doubt that the strong and living bond between the palace and the Abbey was slackened, although it has never been altogether snapped, nor will it be as long as the coronation of our sovereigns continues to take place in Westminster Abbey. Then and then only does the king resume all his ancient rights, the collegiate body is practically deposed, and people realise that their national church is really a royal peculiar. For while the kings came less and less to St. Edward's shrine, their subjects in ever-increasing numbers, like the pilgrims in olden times, were and are drawn hither as by a magnet, till Westminster has become the sanctuary of a nation, and is no longer the sepulchre of the seed royal. A plain English squire, one of that "happy breed of men" to whom his native land—"this little world, this precious stone set in a silver sea"—was dearer than the blood of kings, was destined to inaugurate a new epoch in the {8} annals of the Abbey. To this man, Oliver Cromwell, it is that we owe the first conception of this church as a fitting burial-place for our national worthies. From the State obsequies of Admiral Blake, which were held here by Cromwell's command, has germinated the seed which has borne fruit in the public funerals and in the monuments, ordered and paid for by Parliament, of statesmen, soldiers and sailors. The nineteenth century has closed, and there is little space available in the Abbey for the worthies of the twentieth, but the national feeling still turns instinctively to Westminster on the death of a great man. For a long time past memorial services have been substituted for the grave or cenotaph, so lavishly granted to practically the first comer only a hundred years ago. Yet although the material fabric of this ancient foundation can no longer receive her sons within her bosom, her spirit is perhaps more alive than it has ever been since her altars were demolished and the images of her saints torn from their high places. No longer do the smoke of innumerable candles and the fumes of incense blacken and obscure her arches, but the spiritual breath of supplication and of thanksgiving still as of yore ascends to heaven from this ancient church, consecrated by the prayers of so many {9} past generations. The old order has changed, and a Protestant form of worship has long taken the place of the florid mass; what further changes the future has in store no man can prophesy. But at present churchmen of all shades of religious feeling may worship in this church with no extreme ritual to disturb their minds, and at the same time with none of that irreverent and jarring carelessness in the ordering of the services which vexed the souls of many in the days long ago, before any of the present generation were born. On one festival in the year, the Translation of St. Edward the Confessor, the 13th of October, Roman Catholics return in ever-increasing numbers to the West Minster, which was once their own, and pilgrims may be seen kneeling round the shrine, offering their devotions to the saint. On this historic day the Abbey clergy, mindful also of the founder's memory, keep his feast at their own service in the choir, by a sermon preached in his honour, Protestants and Catholics thus uniting in a common homage to the memory of the sainted English king.

There are several points of view whence the group of buildings formed by the Abbey, St. Margaret's Church, Westminster Hall, and the Houses of Parliament, can be seen above the {10} roofs of the houses, or without any intervening obstruction. The foreigner who arrives at Charing Cross first sees Westminster from the railway bridge, and gets another and a nearer aspect as he reaches the bottom of Whitehall. Now that passenger-steamers ply once again upon the river, many persons are familiar with the unrivalled water approach, but no longer does the wayfarer coming from the south or east hire a boat from the Lambeth side, and thus follow the traditional route taken by St. Peter, when he came to consecrate the original church on Thorneye. Although the Roman road, which led from north to south of England, and crossed the river here, is entirely lost sight of in London, the intending visitor will be well advised if he walk to the Abbey by the parks. From the bridge over the Serpentine he gets a distant view, and all the way, by Green Park and St. James's, there are glimpses of the Westminster Towers. At present, in the temporary absence of any building where the old aquarium used to be, he has but to cross Birdcage Walk, take the old Cockpit passage into Queen Anne's Gate, and from Dartmouth Street, just across the way, he will see a magnificent view of the Abbey Church with her small daughter, St Margaret, by her side. {11} As he approaches nearer, down Tothill Street, the ugly Western Towers, which we owe in the first instance to Wren's incapacity to understand Gothic architecture, in the second to his successor Hawkesmore's want of taste in the execution, become too prominent.

General View of the Abbey from Whitehall

View of the Abbey and St. Margaret's Church from Whitehall


The traveller who approaches Westminster from this direction has a fine view of the whole extent of the Abbey from east to west. St. Margaret's Church, while it certainly somewhat hides the more ancient building, adds to the impression of size. The statues of statesmen on the green in front prepare the minds of those who enter the north transept by the triple doorway, which we have already seen in the frontispiece, for the galaxy of politicians within, and when we stand beneath the lantern we can realise the plan of the whole far better after this general view than we could if we had entered immediately by the west door at the farther end.

Below the offending towers is the west front, which was finished as far as the roof in the first years of Henry VII.'s reign, under those two indefatigable abbots, Esteney and Islip. Tudor badges are visible in the last bays of the nave vaulting: the great west window with its fine Perpendicular tracery probably belongs to Esteney's time (the last few years of the fifteenth century); and to Islip, who is often credited with the whole, we now attribute only the finishing touches which completed the west end. Henry and Islip were so beguiled by their fascinating plans for a new chapel at the east end, that they could spare neither money nor attention to the fact that towers were a practical artistic necessity at the west, and those begun by Islip were left unfinished for two centuries, when Wren took the matter up. A central tower was also contemplated by Islip, who never carried out his project. Wren went so far as to design one, but the apparently massive thirteenth-century {12} piers were found too weak to support its weight, and the idea had to be abandoned. Outside the west front, in the richly canopied niches, were formerly the statues of such kings and abbots "as had been benefactors," headed by Edward the Confessor, to whose piety we owe the very existence of the West Minster, and including Henry III. and Edward I. Amongst them were the great builders, Esteney and Islip, with, no doubt, Henry VII. himself.

The exterior of the church has suffered much from the ravages of time and of smoke. Before entering, it is well to take a survey of the outside, and so prepare ourselves for a more exhaustive ramble round the interior.

The West Front

The West Front


The west front was not built till about one hundred and fifty years after Richard II. had added a porch to the north transept, and thus completed the thirteenth-century façade. The inside of the nave had been slowly growing all this time, and early in the reign of Henry VII. the vaultings were at last finished, and the exterior carried up as high as the basement of the towers, under the supervision of two successive abbots, Esteney and Islip. We scarcely see the upper part of the towers in the illustration, but we can well dispense with them, for they were added under the auspices of Wren and his followers in the eighteenth century, and are by no means a success. Owing to the crumbling state of the stone used for the fabric in former days, this façade and the towers themselves have recently been refaced, and the pinnacles strengthened. To the right of the picture are the windows of the Jerusalem Chamber, in which room Henry IV. died. To the left, appear St. Margaret's Church and a portion of the north transept, whilst in front is a monument erected to the memory of those "Old Westminsters" who were killed in the Crimean War.

Like the timbers of Nelson's old ship the Victory, the surface of the stone, often the very stones themselves have been completely renewed since monastic times. The whole church has been frequently restored, but the exterior has suffered from the vagaries of architects, who found less scope for their own ideas inside the building, where the original stone-work was in better preservation. Much of the damage was due also to neglect, for after the dispersal of the monks, most of whom were themselves capable of superintending the repairs, {13} the lesser brethren, in fact, working on the building with their own hands, a long period went by during which neither the authorities of the Church nor of the State took note of the decaying stone-work. At last, in the time of Charles I., Dean Williams—afterwards Archbishop of York—took Abbot Islip as his pattern, and spent much of his own private income, since there were no funds available, in repairing the most ruinous parts of the church, notably the north-west, the west end, and the south-east chapels. He also remodelled the monks' dormitory, which he made into a library. So ungrateful was the public for these benefits that the Dean was accused of paying for this necessary work "out of the diet and bellies of the Prebendaries," but he was completely exonerated by a chapter order in 1628, indignantly denying the truth of "this unjust report." Williams's own disgrace and then the long interregnum put a stop to these benefactions, and the ruin continued unchecked for the next score or more of years. Dolben, an energetic man who had fought for his king during the Civil War, was made Dean soon after the Restoration, and on the very day of his installation the first fabric fund was instituted out of the Abbey revenues, a very inadequate sum, as it proved, for the {14} expenses. With this money, however, Dolben was able to repair the roof and vaulting, then in danger of falling; and later, in the seventeenth century, the fund was augmented by a Parliamentary grant.

At that time, with the approval of Dean Atterbury, the decaying tracery of the north rose window was completely destroyed and remodelled. The south had already been tampered with, and Wren anathematises the little Doric passage, which in Atterbury's time was patched on before the northern window, and the "cropping of the pyramids." In the first years of the eighteenth century Wren was himself Surveyor of the fabric, and, while he saved much of the stone-work from irretrievable ruin, fresh havoc called by the name of restoration was wrought under his directions and after his time by his successors. The decaying stone all round the nave and both transepts was in urgent need of repair, if not actually in ruins, and, probably in order to save trouble and expense, the small Early English pilasters supporting the window tracery were remorselessly cut off, and an acorn was substituted in every case. These pilasters have since been restored again under Mr. Pearson's supervision. As we walk along the green to the north front, we see the whole north side of the {15} nave, but before leaving the west end we may note that repairs have recently been carried out, as one or two of the crockets were showing signs of immediate ruin, and even the eighteenth-century towers required new faces. The north façade was completely restored and, in fact, practically rebuilt about twenty years ago: the portico from designs left by Sir Gilbert Scott, who was Surveyor of the fabric for some time, and the upper part by his successor, Mr. Pearson, who carried out the whole work. Both north and west fronts recall Wren, who remodelled the north and restored the west. Whether he or Hawkesmore was guilty of finally sweeping away the last vestiges of Richard the Second's northern entrance and such of the figures which still remained intact at the west end, we do not know. In any case, Crull, writing in 1713, says that a few of the statues of the twelve apostles which adorned Richard's portico were still in a fair state of preservation, as were many of the "benefactors" on the west, "all undeniable witnesses of their former excellency." It is impossible to enter into the history of the fabric fund and the many restorations of the Abbey. Enough for our present purpose to call attention to the fact that the soft stone is constantly corroding, and {16} that frequent supervision is necessary. The saying that "the arch never sleeps" is only too true, and the Clerk of the Works has to keep a constant and vigilant eye over the church which he so dearly loves, ever ready to report any sign of change in stone-work or actual fabric to the Dean and to the architect.

The Chapter House and East End of Henry VII.'s Chapel

The Chapter House and East End of Henry VII.'s Chapel


In our walk round the Abbey we now enjoy an uninterrupted view of these fine buildings, which were formerly partly concealed by houses. The two are in striking contrast; the Chapter House, in the severe Early English style, with flying buttresses so characteristic of that period, belongs to the monastery which was built on the site of the Confessor's original foundation by Henry III. The Chapel of Henry VII., of the late Perpendicular style of architecture, replaced an Early English Lady Chapel, which had stood on this same spot since the first years of Henry III.'s reign.

We pass from the north front along the apse to the Chapel of Henry VII., and, as we turn the corner and have a clear view of the beautiful Early English Chapter House, with its flying buttresses, rejoice in the absence of the houses which were formerly close against it. The chapel itself was practically falling in the early nineteenth century, when, owing to the energy of Dean Vincent, and by the aid of a grant from Parliament amounting to 42,000 pounds, it was completely restored. The work was begun under Dean Vincent, but not finished until 1822, in the time of Dean Ireland; the whole was carried out with the help of a committee of taste, which instructed James Wyatt, the architect. Unfortunately, although Wyatt is honoured by a tablet in the nave, his name is not one of high standing architecturally, and the so-called committee of taste were guilty of many acts of sheer want of taste. Thus there is no doubt that {17} considerable damage was done to the original design of the chapel, statues were removed, bosses in the roof added, besides other alterations, but the healing hand of time has mellowed the stone, and the whole appears equally ancient and in sufficient harmony to the casual eye.



The most usual way to enter the church is by the north doorway, but the more convenient trysting-place is the west end of the nave. Our purpose in the following pages is to picture a morning spent in the Abbey with a party of tourists, who have been collected in a somewhat haphazard manner before a start is made, and are now assembled beneath the statue of the younger Pitt. Although the majority are probably of British and American nationality with a sprinkling no doubt of our colonial brothers, in the minority will very likely be found more than one stranger from the West or from the East, perchance even a coloured man. But as we pass along the aisles, now one, now another, whatever his nationality, is sure to be reminded by some grave or monument of his own country, and we shall hope to awaken {22} the interest of all alike. Before a start is made we would recall the memory of Dr. Bradley, who made it one of his chief duties and pleasures to show people round the church he loved so well, thus following a custom set by Stanley, and continued by the present Dean and his colleagues. Royal princes, distinguished foreigners, tourists from every part of the world, working men and women, and his own friends, all were equally welcome to Westminster Abbey. On every Saturday during the spring and early summer the late Dean made fixed engagements to take parties round, and on the Bank holidays was rarely absent from the Abbey, but held himself ever ready to help the chance sightseer and show him places which are not easily accessible to the public. His ground plans of the church and its precincts were hung up in the Jerusalem Chamber on the days when he expected parties, and here, before beginning their round, he would tell his eager listeners something of the general history of the foundation. After that the Dean used to lead the way into the building itself, by the little door beneath the Abbot's Pew, and show them all the most notable tombs and monuments. He now lies at rest beneath the very stones which his feet so often passed over on {23} these happy Saturday afternoons, close to the vault of an eighteenth-century Dean, whose heart was broken by his banishment from the Deanery, and of whom we shall have occasion to speak later.

The Interior of the Nave, Looking East

The Interior of the Nave, Looking East


Standing in the south-west corner of the nave, we get a view of the interior of the church in its full extent as far as the east window. Behind this we know, from our previous survey of the outside, is the Chapel of Henry VII., and below, hidden from sight by the organ screen, is the high altar, with the shrine of the founder, St. Edward the Confessor, beyond. Formerly the rood was suspended from the nave roof between us and the present wooden screen, which, although the stone below is of fourteenth-century workmanship, is only about a hundred years or so old. Just beyond the rood were also the Jesus altars, above and below, but no trace of these nor of the wall or screen upon which they stood is left. We see now only two large monuments on either side of the choir screen, which, as we approach nearer, prove to be those of the great philosopher, Sir Isaac Newton, and of a less renowned personality, Earl Stanhope.

Although practically impossible to stand at the west end and discourse at any length on the history and architecture, it is well to get some idea of the shape of the building and the period of each portion before we start. On either side are the lower parts of the towers, behind us is the great west window, finished, as we heard before, in the reign of King Henry VII. The bells hang in the belfry, the south-west tower, and the north-west tower is still called the baptistery, because baptisms used to take place there. The font is now in Henry VII.'s Chapel. The glass of the window over our heads dates only from George II.'s time; the two smaller ones, left and right, are filled with fragments of ancient glass, as is also the east window, which we see at the other end of the church. The building itself is in the usual cruciform shape, and we stand now, as it were, at the foot of the cross, the nave and ritual choir forming the beam, the transepts the arms, and the apse, with its circle of small chapels, the head. Behind the apse, we know from our previous survey, {24} is the Chapel of Henry VII., which takes the place of the old Lady Chapel. The nave is divided into twelve bays, intersected at the eighth by the choir screen, upon which is placed the organ. At the twelfth bay, where the nave properly so called ends, the ritual choir begins, and we can see the sanctuary and high altar through the open gates. On either side of the nave beyond the screen are the aisles, now included, as is all this part at the present time, in the choir. Look first at the graceful arcading of the triforium, then higher still from the clerestory windows carry the eye to the roof, 100 feet above our heads, and thence along the clustered columns and arches straight in front. The whole resembles that magnificent and peculiarly English beauty, an ancient beech avenue with its arching and interlacing boughs reaching up to heaven. Except to the student of architecture, the church might have risen from the ground in a single night, so harmonious and perfectly proportioned are the lines, so carefully did the old builders follow out the ideas of the thirteenth-century designers. Henry the Third himself probably supervised the plans, and we know that the King had already seen and admired Salisbury Cathedral, then quite a new building, before {25} he arranged to rebuild Westminster in the same style. As a fact, no less than two and a half centuries passed from the year 1245, when Henry gave orders for the demolition of the whole of the eastern end—the same part which the Confessor had watched grow up and had caused to be consecrated before his death,—till the reign of his collateral descendant, the first Tudor king, when the last bay was quite finished. Only an observant eye can detect the slight differences, chiefly in the vaultings of the roof, which mark the different stages of the western part, and it is difficult to realise that the old Norman nave, divided by a wall from the new Gothic church, existed long after Henry's death, and was taken down bit by bit as the building slowly proceeded. Edward the First's period is marked by metal rings round the columns, and only extended one bay west of the present screen, where formerly the Jesus altars and rood loft stood, with a stone wall behind, which is now concealed by the wooden casing of the modern screen. Services for the ordinary worshippers, the parishioners so to speak, were held by the monks at these altars, above and below the rood screen, but the lesson, which was read from above, was the only part of the High Mass celebrated in the choir intended for {26} the congregation in the nave. With the early fourteenth century the beautiful diaper work which decorated the triforium arcades ceased, and this helps us to fix the date of the later part. During the century which followed, the building practically stood still for a long time. Edward II. gave the monks no help, and Edward III. was too poor and too busy with his numerous wars to occupy himself with pious donations. But at the end of his reign Archbishop Langham, formerly the Abbot here, left a large bequest, primarily intended for the completion of the nave, which was diverted by his successor Litlington to more pressing needs, such as the rebuilding of the monastery, enlarging the cloisters, and, with the help of gifts from Richard II., the addition of a rich porch outside the north front. Henry IV. died in the precincts, but we have no record of any generosity on his part; his son Henry V., however, gave an annual sum to the work on the nave, which during his short reign progressed well. The pious Henry VI., who loved the Abbey and often walked here with the Abbot and Prior, no doubt helped as long as he had the power, but the civil wars soon put a stop to his aid. We know that he presented the wrought-iron gates which divide his father's {27} mortuary chapel from the shrine, and the stone screen to the west of the shrine probably belongs to his time. His supplanter, Edward IV., when settled on the throne, granted oaks and lead for the roof, while his wife, and the little son who was born in the Abbot's house, gave thank-offerings of money. Another gap followed during the troublous reign of Richard III., but by the end of the fifteenth century, when Henry VII. felt his title absolutely secure, and his dynasty established, the west end was quite finished, within and without, while then, and then only, the last remains of the old nave were cleared away.

We have thus briefly sketched the building of the church in which we stand, and now must turn our attention to the historic names which are all around us on the walls and pavement. The very earliest monument, the only tolerably artistic one in the nave, was put up in 1631 to a certain Mistress Jane Hill, and till nearly the end of the seventeenth century few others were added. But unfortunately from that time the custom grew apace of covering the wall space, even the floor itself, with memorials of soldiers, sailors, statesmen, physicians, men of science, and, in fact, a truly miscellaneous collection of people, till not a vacant spot is left, and {28} the ancient arcading is completely or partially covered up, in some cases even cut away. The committee of taste appointed to assist the Chapter were of some use here, for by their advice the Dean moved one or two monuments from the centre to the wall, and the iron railings in front of all of them were taken away. Dean Stanley, more than a century later, curtailed some of the most aggressive memorials, but none have been removed, for there would be no end to such a difficult undertaking, and in any case the ancient arcading was already ruined.

Thus we start on our pilgrimage with some idea of the shape and the history of the church which lies before us. First let us look into the baptistery called Little Poets' Corner, where Wordsworth's seated statue and some memorials of literary men are to be seen, such as the great teacher, Dr. Arnold, who is close to his gifted son Matthew, in the company of three notable divines, Maurice, Kingsley, and Keble. The entrance is blocked by two huge eighteenth-century erections, the one to Cornewall, a valiant sea-captain, put up by Parliament, the other to Craggs, a young statesman, whose posthumous fame was sullied by his share in the South Sea Bubble. The elder Craggs committed suicide {29} when the Bubble burst, but the son died first, and Pope wrote a wordy epitaph and superintended the erection of the monument. From this side we turn to the other tower, but make no exhaustive survey of the "Whig Corner," for statesmen galore are to be found in the north transept, and we mention the chief of these in connection with their contemporaries there. The latest name here is that of General Charles Gordon, a bronze given by the Royal Engineers seven years after the fall of Khartoum, but before the fall of the Mahdi wiped out England's dishonour. It is not likely that a Chinaman has joined our party; were one with us we would point out Gordon's services to the Chinese government and the honours he received from the Emperor. There is only one other memorial connected with China (in the north choir aisle), put up a century ago to Sir George Staunton, who went as Secretary on our first embassy to China. His son, a boy of eleven, accompanied him, and actually learned enough Chinese on the voyage to interpret for the party; he afterwards became a learned Chinese scholar. We linger yet a moment to point out one of the few German names in the Abbey, William Horneck, whose father, a Westminster Prebendary, was a German {30} by birth; he was himself one of the earliest of our Engineers, and won honour in the Duke of Marlborough's campaigns. When we reach the south transept we shall see a more familiar German name on the bust of Grabe, the well-known Oriental scholar.

We pass out now by the statue of a modern philanthropist, Lord Shaftesbury, who fought as energetically for the freedom of the white slave as did Zachary Macaulay, whose tablet is behind us in the tower, for that of the black. Shaftesbury's efforts on behalf of the overworked women and of the children in mines and factories will never be forgotten, nor is the distinguished statesman Charles James Fox, whose connection with the abolition of slavery is marked by the tasteless monument before our eyes, in any danger of oblivion. The life-size group represents Fox's dying agony in the arms of Liberty; a negro slave is kneeling at his feet.

If there be any one interested in astronomy amongst us, he should turn round to the tablet at the extreme west end, which commemorates young Benjamin Horrocks, the first observer of the transit of Venus in 1639, who was praised by Sir John Herschel as the pride and boast of modern {31} astronomy. Herschel's own bust is on the north wall; he lies side by side with Charles Darwin, near the iron gate. We now leave the west end and progress up the centre of the nave, noticing on our way eastward the old wooden pulpit, which has been brought here from Henry VII.'s Chapel and replaces a heavy marble one given in Dean Trench's time to commemorate the opening of the nave for evening services. Trench himself passed from Westminster, as Archbishop of Dublin, to Ireland, his native country, whither the pulpit has gone, but his body was brought back to England, and his grave is beneath our feet. Behind it the name of the American philanthropist, George Peabody, whose mortal remains rested in the Abbey for a few days only, reminds all Londoners of the original Peabody buildings, the first working-class dwellings on the block system, which were founded by him and called after his name.

A few steps further and we stand above the grave of David Livingstone, another ardent worker for the black man's cause, a personality dear to white and black alike. Should some traveller from South Africa be with us, he will be familiar with Livingstone's work amongst the natives and the opposition he met with from the ignorant Boer {32} farmers, who could not understand his enthusiasm for the coloured race. He lost his life for their cause, and so greatly was he loved by his "boys" that two of them carried the body through hardships and dangers innumerable across the continent of Africa to the West Coast, where it was shipped for England and finally brought safely here. Immediately in front, to our left, we see the names of engineers and architects. To the engineers we allude later; of two architects, Scott and Pearson, we have already spoken, and may pass on to the men who crushed the Indian Mutiny, first, however, pointing out the brass of Barry, the designer of the present Houses of Parliament. Sir James Outram, Colin Campbell, Lord Clyde, and John, Lord Lawrence, rest in close proximity to one another, even as they worked together for a common object in India. On Outram's monument, which is against the right-hand wall, near Lawrence's bust, is represented the meeting of the three Generals, Outram, Havelock, and Campbell, when the latter finally relieved the Lucknow Residency, a task bravely attempted by the two former, who were themselves beleaguered after bringing in stores and ammunition to the garrison. Lord Wolseley's recent Autobiography has vividly recalled the whole scene, and {33} bears witness also to the valour of many a forgotten hero, with most of whom he had previously fought in the Crimea. Seven of these officers are commemorated by the very inharmonious painted glass below the rose window of the north transept; amongst them may be mentioned in this connection Lord Clyde's brigadier, Adrian Hope, who took a foremost part in the relief of Lucknow, and was killed during the subsequent reconquest of Oude. While Clyde may be styled the conqueror of Oude, Lord Lawrence, a civilian not a soldier by profession, performed the task of reducing the Punjab. In the north transept is the bust of Sir Herbert Edwardes, who co-operated with the Lawrence brothers at the outbreak of the Mutiny, and continued to support John in his arduous work after Henry's death at Lucknow. Ten years before the Mutiny, Edwardes had already won undying fame in the same district, the Punjab, when he stamped out the Multan rebellion, and prevented that dangerous conflagration from assuming serious proportions. A grave west of Clyde's, that of Sir George Pollock, is a reminder of another part of our Indian Empire—an ever-present source of anxiety—Afghanistan, where Pollock retrieved England's lost prestige after the Cabul disaster.


Buried, as he would have wished, amongst these men of action is a sailor, who resembled the free-booters and fighting seamen of the Elizabethan age. Cochrane's feats of valour when in our navy surpassed those of all his contemporaries, but a charge of betraying the country which he had served so well, drove him into exile in 1814. His activity found new scope abroad, and his memory is honoured by Brazil and Chili alike as the founder of their navies; for the past few years Chilian sailors have laid a wreath annually upon his tomb. The stain was removed from Lord Dundonald's name before his death, and he was laid, as was justly due, amongst his compeers; his banner and arms were long afterwards restored to their places with those of the other Knights of the Bath, in Henry VII.'s Chapel.

Immediately before us now, on either side of the choir screen, two eighteenth-century monuments attract attention. The one to the right commemorates several of the Earls Stanhope, notably the first Earl, whose dashing valour might well be compared with Dundonald's, but whose military career ended in disaster and imprisonment. The feat usually connected with his name is a brilliant charge of cavalry at Almenara, one of the battles in the Peninsular War, when he killed a Spanish general {35} in single combat. On the left is a man of peace, Sir Isaac Newton, whose discovery of the law of gravitation brought him world-wide fame, and whose reputation as a natural philosopher and mathematician was unrivalled in his generation. His funeral was attended by "the chief men of the nation," and many distinguished foreigners; amongst them was the French philosopher, Voltaire, who carried his enthusiasm for Newton to such a height that he placed the English scientist at the head of all the geniuses in the universe. Those who are familiar with Roubiliac's portrait-statue at Trinity College, Cambridge, will note the extreme inferiority of this one (Rysbrack's), which represents the great Newton reclining on a couch, wrapped in a dressing-gown, and surrounded by the allegorical figures and emblems so dear to eighteenth-century artists.

It is well now to shape our course towards the east, turning to the right aisle, but ere we reach the iron gate, one or two memorials call for some remark. Thus our long wars with the Moors are brought to mind by Sir Palmes Fairborne's tablet, upon which is inscribed a bombastic epitaph usually attributed to Dryden. Fairborne, as Governor of Tangier, fought valiantly for a losing cause, and {36} three years after his death, the place, which had passed into the possession of the English Crown as part of the dowry of Charles the Second's queen, Catherine of Braganza, was finally abandoned to the Moors. Fairborne is not the only Englishman in the Abbey whose prowess against these black races is worthy of remembrance, but while he bore a Turk's head for his crest as a proof of his early valour in Candia, the other knight, Sir Bernard Brocas, rests his head upon that of a crowned Moor. No record remains of the doughty deed which caused Edward III. to grant Brocas this special crest, but the vergers in Addison's time used to point out his tomb, which we shall see presently in St. Edmund's Chapel, as that of "the old Knight who cut off the King of the Moors's head."

St. Edmund's Chapel, showing the Tomb of the Duchess of Suffolk, Lady Jane Grey's mother

St. Edmund's Chapel, showing the Tomb of the Duchess of Suffolk, Lady Jane Grey's mother


This chapel is dedicated to St. Edmund, the martyred King of East Anglia. The illustration shows part of the Duchess of Suffolk's altar tomb with her recumbent effigy, while beyond, Prince John of Eltham's monument is partly visible against the screen; above the screen are the canopies over the tombs of Richard II. and his Queen, and Edward III. The red velvet pall over the shrine of Edward the Confessor shows between the canopy and tomb of Edward III.

Our friends from the States will certainly pause before the monument of that ill-fated young British officer, Major André, for upon it is a small figure of General Washington. André, caught within the American lines during our war with the colonies, dressed as a civilian, and with suspicious papers in his boots, was hanged as a spy and buried beneath the gallows. We see André here vainly petitioning Washington for a soldier's death, while in the background all is prepared for his ignominious {37} fate. The heads of both these statuettes were constantly stolen by tourists in old days, as far back in fact as the time of Lamb, and a fresh supply was always kept in stock by the Clerk of the Works. Andre's bones, brought back to his native country, forty-one years after his death, by a royal prince, were buried near the monument, which was erected earlier at the expense of George III.

Beyond the gate, to our left, another pictorial monument appeals to Londoner and countryman alike, for here is represented the assassination of Tom of the Ten Thousand, a younger member of that well-known Dorset family the Thynnes, Marquesses of Bath. His murderers were hired by a notorious foreign count who desired to gain Thynne's rich young bride for his own wife, but failed to persuade the lady to recognise his claims. The cockney gazes in wonder at Pall Mall as it appeared in 1682, when it was a lonely road between meadows, where highwaymen were apt to demand your money or your life. The Welshman, if one be here, is pleased to recognise a countryman in the coachman, whose descendants long boasted that their ancestor was to be seen in the Abbey, on the box of Squire Thynne's carriage. A little further is the recumbent tomb of one {38} of the same family, William Thynne, who was Receiver of the Marches for many years under the Tudor sovereigns. As yet we have been unable to single out one of the many sailors whose memorials surround us in the nave, but now we are brought up short, so to speak, by a monstrous figure with a huge periwig and lolling on cushions, which, we are almost ashamed to explain, is meant for one of our most noted eighteenth-century admirals, Sir Cloudesley Shovel to wit.

It is better to distract attention to the bas-relief of the wreck below, and relate the story of Shovel's youthful valour, when he swam from ship to ship under fire carrying despatches in his mouth, for all the world like a Newfoundland dog. The strange and tragic history of his end must also be retold, when the flagship was wrecked on the treacherous Scilly rocks, and the Admiral's unconscious body received the coup de grâce from a callous fishwife, who stole his signet ring, and after concealing it for thirty years, confessed her crime and returned the ring to Shovel's representatives on her deathbed. No less wanting in taste is the monument above to Sir Godfrey Kneller, the painter of simpering beauties at the Courts of five sovereigns, from Charles II. to George I., and the only memorial to {39} an artist, with the exception of Ruskin, in the whole Abbey. Kneller swore a mighty oath that he would not be buried at Westminster, "They do bury fools there," he grumbled, but he himself designed his most inartistic cenotaph, while his friend Pope wrote the epitaph, which begins with the extravagant line: "Kneller by Heaven and not a master taught."

While most of our party are attracted towards the last two conspicuous monuments, the Non-conformists, should any be amongst us, are sure to linger by the mural tablet, with medallion portrait heads, which Dean Stanley allowed the Wesleyans to put here in memory of the brothers John and Charles Wesley. Upon it are the appropriate words: "I look upon all the world as my parish," which John Wesley literally interpreted. Near by was already the memorial to Dr. Isaac Watts, the great dissenting minister of an earlier generation, whose hymns are still popular in church and chapel alike, as are to a greater degree those of Charles Wesley.

To a Frenchman or Italian a humbler tablet on the opposite side with a long inscription is of more interest, for it commemorates Pasquale de Paoli, the champion of Corsican independence, {40} who took refuge in England, the home of liberty, and died here in 1807. The ladies, leaving the men to their study of the seamen and soldiers, with whose names the walls are covered, ask for information about the bust of a young woman, just beyond Paoli. Grace Gethin, although the only authoress in the Abbey who has a monument to herself,—for the learned Margaret, Duchess of Newcastle, shares her husband's tomb in the north transept,—has no real claim to this distinction. Her immortal work, which she bequeathed to an admiring circle of blue-stockings, proved to be a mere book of extracts culled from popular writers. The playwright, Congreve, whose own medallion is below the Abbot's Pew in the nave, showed his want of literary cultivation by not only composing a poem in praise of the young writer, but allowing it to be published as a preface to the book, which went through several editions before the fraud was discovered. The annual sermon, which was long preached in the Abbey in memory of the youthful heiress (she was only twenty-one) who left a bequest for the purpose in her will, has become a thing of the past.

While the artistic persons with us have been bewailing the ruthless destruction of the wall {41} arcading and will have cause to lament still louder in the transepts, the student of heraldry is attracted to some defaced shields which repay a closer attention, and have helped antiquaries to fix the dates of the choir and nave. The Confessor's, with the familiar five birds, and Henry the Third's arms with three lions are easily identified in this aisle, and the learned in such matters point out many others, chiefly the coats of Henry's relations, such as his father-in-law, Raymond de Beranger, Count of Provence, and his brother Richard, King of the Romans, one of the royal princes selected to carry St. Edward's coffin from the palace to the new shrine.

We have now reached the crossing, and should all our party desire to make an exhaustive circuit of the church to-day, the south transept is our next goal. When time presses it is wisest for the guide to pause here, merely point out the Statesmen's Aisle and the Poets' Corner, and then pass on at once through the iron gates to the royal chapels.

Interior of the South Transept

Interior of the South Transept


The illustration shows the south transept proper, looking towards the great rose window. On our right we see the historical side, to our left is Poets' Corner; from here the statue of Shakespeare is the most conspicuous, standing out from the mass of other memorials which commemorate poets and literary men. The glass in the window above and the lights below it are quite modern, placed there as a memorial to the late Duke of Westminster in 1902.

Upon our right is the so-called "historical" side of the transept, where are collected the monuments of many distinguished literary men, not historians only, whose names are more familiar to us than {42} the majority of poetasters who were honoured with tributes in Poets' Corner proper. The busts of Grote and Thirlwall were placed here by Dean Stanley, in close proximity to other classical scholars. These two friends each compiled a history of Greece without the other's knowledge, till the publication of Thirlwall's surprised Grote, but made no change in their friendship. They are buried in the same grave, near Macaulay. We tread now upon the tombstone of Dean Ireland; with him rests the companion of his youth and the friend of his maturity, William Gifford, editor of the Quarterly Review at the time when its biting reviews cut many a rising poet, including Keats, to the heart. Ireland's name must ever be held dear by all visitors to the Abbey, for under his orders the nave and transepts, formerly accessible only on payment of a fee, were opened free to the general public. The quaint half-figure of William Camden claims our attention next. We see the famous antiquary and historian "in habit as he lived," with his hand upon his great work, the Britannia. Camden belongs to Westminster in every sense: as a boy he was a protégé of Goodman's, as a young man he became usher, and he ultimately rose to be headmaster of the school. {43} Later on he gave up teaching in order to devote himself to antiquarian research, encouraged by the approval of the Queen, and supported by the salary he received as Herald. He continued to dwell in Dean's Yard, and loved to wander in the Abbey, meditating amongst the tombs; the fruit of his solitary hours here was the first attempt at a guide-book, a list of the monuments, which was, however, written in Latin, and therefore of no use to the ordinary tourist. His own monument was sadly knocked about twenty-three years (1643) after his death by some rough fellows, probably Cavaliers, who broke into the Abbey one night, and on their way to deface Lord Essex's hearse took the nose off poor Camden; the damage they did was repaired in the eighteenth century at the expense of Oxford University. Next to Camden, upon a plain mural monument, is inscribed the name of Isaac Casaubon. We know him by repute only as a celebrated French scholar, who was tempted from his native land by King James I. with the offer of a fat canonry at Canterbury, but who only lived to enjoy the sinecure post—he was a layman—four years. Surely there must be fishermen amongst us: to them the initials I. W. scratched upon Casaubon's memorial may recall the great angler, Isaac [Transcriber's note: "Izaak" in Index] Walton, {44} even though we have no means of proving that these were actually his handiwork; but as a friend of Casaubon's son, and a namesake and admirer of the father, there is no incongruity in associating the two names.

The "burlesque" statue of the famous actor, David Garrick, with "a farrago of false thoughts and nonsense inscribed below," must ever be associated with Charles Lamb, who thus appropriately described it. With Garrick himself is indissolubly connected the memory of his lifelong friend, Dr. Samuel Johnson, whose familiar form, with its brown coat and tie wig, was conspicuous at the funeral, standing close to Shakespeare's monument, tears coursing down his cheeks for the loss of his dear Davy. Five years later, Mrs. Garrick herself, once a brilliant, graceful dancer, now a little shrivelled old woman, stood by the doctor's open grave in this same transept, bowed with age and overcome with grief.

In this transept there are monuments to another actor and an actress, celebrated in their own day. Barton Booth, a Westminster scholar under Dr. Busby, rose to a high place in his profession; his wife, once like Mrs. Garrick a popular dancer, put up the tablet. His memory still survives in two {45} Westminster streets, called Barton Street and Cowley Street, after his name and the place where he was buried. Mrs. Pritchard was honoured by a memorial near Shakespeare's statue, upon which the poet-laureate of the day wrote a florid inscription. She began her professional career after Booth's death, but lived long enough to tread the same boards as Garrick, whose grave is just below; she predeceased the younger actor by ten years. Only one actress, Ann Oldfield, who belonged to an earlier generation (she flourished in the beginning of the eighteenth century), was buried actually within the Abbey; a woman of no character but of some talent, she lies near the Deanery door in the nave. We must not forget, when we reach St. Andrew's Chapel, to point out the colossal statues of Mrs. Siddons and her brother, John Kemble, upon whose shoulders fell the mantles of Mrs. Barry and Garrick, and who carried on the old traditions at Drury Lane and Covent Garden during the first quarter of the nineteenth century.

We have digressed from our beaten path to follow after the lights of the theatrical profession, and shall afterwards find other well-known players in the cloisters. A glance round, as we stand in the western part of the transept, shows that we are {46} literally surrounded by familiar faces and much-loved authors. Of Addison we speak later, so may pass over his very inferior statue (by Westmacott), but just beyond we see the busts of Lord Macaulay and of Thackeray, and the medallion heads of Sir Walter Scott and of John Ruskin; below them is the grave of Charles Dickens. The lovers of music raise their eyes meantime to the unwieldy figure of Handel, whose personality remained essentially German although the greater part of his life was spent in England, at the Court of the first three Georges. Beneath his monument is the medallion of that gifted singer Jenny Lind Goldschmidt, placed there as a record of the many occasions when the Swedish nightingale interpreted Handel's beautiful music to the British public in a manner never excelled before or since. Close to us now is a reminder of the old monastic days—the door which leads into an ancient chapel used by the brethren as a vestry, and in the floor before it is the grave of Abbot Litlington, to whom we have alluded before and of whom we shall speak again. Near his is that of a humble monk, one Owen Tudor, who took sanctuary during the Wars of the Roses, and probably lived to see his nephew, Henry Tudor, on the English throne. Above the {47} door Oliver Goldsmith's name recalls the early days of the English novel, when the Vicar of Wakefield was one of the very few in existence. Many of us have enjoyed his inimitable comedy, She Stoops to Conquer, on the stage, as well as those popular plays, The Rivals and The School for Scandal, by the other eighteenth-century Irish dramatist, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, whose tombstone is beneath our feet. That great portrait painter Sir Joshua Reynolds is responsible for the position and design of Goldsmith's medallion, which spoils the architecture, and is so high that even classical scholars rarely attempt to decipher Dr. Johnson's pompous inscription. The cynical English lines, which the poet Gay wrote for his own tablet close by, are far more often noticed:—

Life is a jest and all things show it;
I thought so once and now I know it.

A preposterous and affected statue to our left, with the immortal name of Shakespeare below it, has distracted the eyes of our friends, and comments are freely made when we tell them how nearly the bones of the sweet Swan of Avon were brought from Stratford to this burial-place of poets. The monument itself was erected by subscription more than a century after Shakespeare's {48} death, but the removal of the body had been averted long before by Ben Jonson's protest and the dramatist's posthumous curse. The Scotchmen with us, who have just gazed with much appreciation at Chantrey's bust of their national novelist, a replica of the one at Abbotsford, now look up to the heavy-featured face of Burns, their national poet. We pause to tell them that this memorial was placed here twenty-one years ago, and was paid for with shilling subscriptions, which were voluntarily contributed by all classes in Scotland, from the highest to the lowest. Southey and Coleridge are the next on the eastern wall, and we find their names familiar to all those who have toured in the Lake country, although few of their works are read now by the generality, save possibly Southey's Life of Nelson. Campbell's bust is at the angle where we turn into the original Poets' Corner, and several of those around us call to mind his still popular poems, notably "Hohenlinden" and the "Battle of the Baltic." A few steps further and we stand upon the vault of Edmund Spenser, that prince of poets, who was buried in close proximity to the tomb of Geoffrey Chaucer, the father of English poetry. Within this vault moulder not only the dust of Spenser, {49} but the funeral odes and the pens wherewith they were writ, which his friends, the poets and literary men of the day, threw old Camden tells us upon his coffin. Elizabeth herself, according to a contemporary writer, mindful of the tribute paid to her in the Fairie Queen, ordered a monument to be erected in honour of her poet, but this was never done: she died three years later, and some said that a greedy courtier embezzled the money intended for this purpose. Whatever the truth, a literary Countess, Lady Dorset, repaired the omission twenty years afterwards, but by the following century her memorial had crumbled away, and was replaced by a copy, for which Gray's friend Mason collected a sum of money. After Spenser's burial this part of the transept was dedicated to the memory of poets, and amongst many forgotten names are others of undying fame. Before us, for instance, are Ben Jonson and Milton. Jonson, who knew Shakespeare and owed much to his friendship with Lord Bacon, died as did so many of his literary contemporaries, in poor circumstances: like Chaucer and Spenser, he ended his life in a house close to the Abbey, in King Street, which was recently demolished. His body was buried in the nave, {50} standing upright on its feet; the words "O rare Ben Jonson," which are repeated on the monument, were cut upon the stone at the charge of a certain Sir Jack Young, who happened to be passing when the mason was fixing the gravestone. The ancient inscription has been placed against the wall to preserve the lettering, and a modern paving stone marks the place of the vault. The buttons of the poet's coat, which are on the wrong side in his bust, gave rise to the couplet:—

O rare Ben Jonson, what a turncoat grown,
Thou ne'er wast such till thou wast carved in stone.

While roystering Ben waited a hundred years before his literary distinction was recognised by this memorial in Poets' Corner, the strength of Royalist feeling kept Milton's name out of the Abbey altogether for the same period after his death. Thus, although both men died in the seventeenth century, their monuments date from the middle of the eighteenth. Milton's name was regarded as anathema by the loyal Chapter, and it was not till long after the Jacobite Atterbury's exile, that a Dean (Wilcocks) was broad-minded enough to acknowledge Milton's genius, and allow an admirer of his, one Benson, to put up a monument. The lyric muse above Gray's medallion {51} close by, points to the bust of that master of poetry and prose, to whom he and all the poets ever since Milton's time owe so much. Gray himself must always be remembered in the Abbey, for who can stand amongst the kings and look upon the "mighty conquerors, mighty lords," who made this island kingdom, without recalling the words of his historic ode?

Nowadays, when by common consent Chaucer is regarded as the patriarch of English poets, visitors to this transept naturally consider that he was buried here on account of his literary reputation. But this was not the case. At one time a favourite of kings, Chaucer was also a connection by marriage with his powerful patron John of Gaunt, yet he seems to have died in comparative poverty. He was Clerk of the Works at the royal palace hard by, and a dweller beneath the shadow of the old Lady Chapel; his burial in the adjoining church followed as a matter of course, simply because he resided within the precincts. For nearly a hundred and fifty years the only record of his grave was a leaden plate, with a Latin inscription by an Italian poet, which hung upon the pillar near. At last one Brigham, himself with a turn for verse-making, procured an ancient marble {52} tomb, and got permission to put it up against this wall. It has been called by Chaucer's name ever since; but whether the poet's bones still lie in the original grave, where Dryden's coffin was afterwards placed, or were transferred here, is still a moot-point. The modern window above, the gift of an American admirer, contains portraits of Chaucer and his contemporary John Gower. Quite lately another painted glass window, dedicated to the Confessor, has been inserted beside it. John Dryden, whose reputation equalled Spenser's in his own day, died, like Chaucer (1400) and Spenser (1599), at the end of a century, in his case the eighteenth, and his burial in Chaucer's grave, near the entrance to St. Benedict's Chapel, was a mark of special honour. To reach his beautiful bust, a copy by Scheemakers of an earlier one, we must pass over the gravestones of two well-known modern poets, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and Robert Browning. On a pillar close by is Woolner's bust of Tennyson, which represents the laureate in middle life. The name of Abraham Cowley on a stone beside them conveys little to us now, but his contemporary reputation was very great, and Dryden owed much to Cowley, his immediate predecessor in the circle of poets. Before we move on there are two busts {53} which are artistically very inferior to Dryden's. I refer first to that of Longfellow, whose name is a household word on either side of the Atlantic, and of whom Americans are justly proud. On the other column is that of the Scotch Archbishop of Canterbury, Archibald Tait, placed here with intent, because in the vicinity lies another Primate also of Scotch birth, Spottiswoode, Archbishop of St. Andrews, a favourite with King James I., and by his command historian of the Scottish Church.

Chaucer's Tomb

Chaucer's Tomb


Before us is the monument, put up one hundred and fifty years after his death, to Geoffrey Chaucer, the father of English poetry, and we see upon the pavement wreaths which mark the graves of our two most distinguished modern poets, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and Robert Browning, and were placed there no doubt by some visitor to the Abbey, who desired thus to show honour to their memory. This spot is the very centre of the famous Poets' Corner, and close by is the vault where lie the bones of Spenser, and the pens and funeral odes of the poets who attended his funeral.

Close together on the left are the monuments of three men, all of whom were old Westminsters, two of them headmasters of the school. Busby and Vincent were strict disciplinarians, whose belief in the efficacy of the rod was afterwards equalled if not excelled by Dr. Keate at Eton. Busby flogged impartially the boy with brains and the boy with none, but prided himself in later life on having schooled many a budding genius, including the future laureate, Dryden himself. Amongst those who smarted under his discipline was the eloquent preacher, Dr. South, who reclines in marble so peacefully by his side. For fifty-five years Busby ruled supreme at Westminster School; he remained a Loyalist to the core throughout the disturbing changes of the Commonwealth, and {54} continued faithful to the Stuarts even under the disquieting régime which followed the Restoration. South, who was a Prebendary, is remembered here for his refusal of the Deanery, a post which Dr. Vincent, whose medallion is between these monuments, accepted (1816) a century after South's death. So excessive was his use of the rod that Southey, a schoolboy at the time, raised an energetic protest against the headmaster's tyranny, and was forthwith expelled from Westminster. When he became Dean, however, Vincent turned his superfluous energy to more practical uses, and, as we have already said, carried out the restoration and preservation of Henry VII.'s Chapel, besides many useful repairs to the Abbey fabric.

Before we pass within the iron gate and thus approach the head of the cross, i.e. the apse with its surrounding chapels, we must stand awhile in the centre of the church beneath the lantern. On either side stretch the arms of the cross: the southern one we have just visited, the northern we leave for our return. From here we can observe the architectural features, and point out that the west aisle of the south cross is cut off by the eastern walk of the cloister, a singular arrangement, due probably to the fact that the ancient Norman {55} cloister, which stood long after the building of Henry the Third's church, was already in this position. Between the triforium and the roof of this cloister is a vaulted chamber, called the Muniment Room, where some of the Abbey documents are still kept, and the ancient chests contain archives, which are gradually being sorted and rearranged. Upon the wall the traces of Richard the Second's badge, the White Hart, can be seen from below on sunny mornings. We have already noticed the doorway of St. Faith's Chapel at the extreme south end, and there also are the ruins of a little stone stair, which used to lead below the triforium level above the chapel into the monks' dormitory beyond. The large rose window, the tracery of which has been remodelled more than once since the thirteenth century, was refilled with painted glass two years ago in memory of the late Duke of Westminster. We look the other way, down the north transept, and see the statues of statesmen in the distance, which we shall examine later on. The northern rose window was also restored several times in the eighteenth century, when it entirely lost its original character under Dean Atterbury's energetic supervision. We are told that he actually watched the workmen hewing {56} smooth the old sculptures. Before his exile the Dean chose the subjects for the painted glass, the colours of which, mellowed by time, compare favourably with the modern lights below. From where we stand we can see one of the few existing stone angels blowing trumpets, which formerly filled the spandrels of the arches, and were part of the angelic choir all round the church. The arcading immediately under the window still remains, but lower down the architecture is completely ruined by two monstrous naval monuments. The eastern aisle is cut off from the rest of the transept and divided into three small chapels. The western is partially severed from the main aisle by large cenotaphs.

We turn to the west and see the present choir, which stretches to the organ screen. The stalls are of no artistic merit, and were designed in part by Wyatt, early in the nineteenth century; later on they were added to by Blore, who was also responsible, in 1848, for the wooden casing of the ancient stone wall between choir and nave. Beneath the black-and-white pavement, his own gift, lie the remains of Dr. Busby.

View of the Choir and Nave, Looking West from the High Altar

View of the Choir and Nave, Looking West from the High Altar


From the high altar we look down to the west end, and see above the choir screen the painted glass of the west window which was inserted in the reign of George II. To our right is the tomb of Aymer de Valence, and the smaller contemporary monument of the first bride ever married in the Abbey, Aveline, Countess of Lancaster. In the foreground is the ancient mosaic pavement, which was laid in the thirteenth century, when this part of the church was built; and beyond the altar rails we see the comparatively modern stalls of the choir and the still more recent organ case. The pulpit marks the intersection of the sanctuary with the north transept.

Facing east we look directly towards the Holy of Holies, the Sanctuary, where, raised high on a {57} mound of sacred earth, brought from Palestine, is the shrine of Edward the Confessor, girdled by a half circle of royal tombs. Between us and the saint's feretory is a fifteenth-century screen, which is faced on this side by a modern reredos, designed by Sir G. Scott. In front of this is the high altar. Some way below the level of the floor, on either side of the altar, are the bases of two pillars, which formed part of the original Norman church, and have helped the experts to fix the exact proportions of the Confessor's building.

Edward the Confessor was not canonised for nearly a hundred years after his death, in spite of the repeated appeals made to Rome by the Westminster abbots. In the meantime his coffin lay before this altar in a plain stone tomb, which was adorned by a rich pall, the gift of William the Conqueror. When at last our founder's name was added to the roll of saints, the body was transferred (October 13, 1163) to an elaborate shrine, in the presence of Henry II. and his then friend the Archbishop, Thomas à Becket. When this part of the old church was destroyed to make way for Henry the Third's new building, the old shrine was removed to a temporary chapel, while a new and more magnificent one, which we shall examine more {58} closely presently, was prepared by the same Italian workmen who were employed on the pavement, and afterwards to decorate the tombs of Henry III. and Queen Eleanor of Castile. The materials—the mosaic, the coloured marbles, and the porphyry—used for this beautiful pavement, which was put down in 1268, as well as for the royal tombs, were, like the designers and craftsmen themselves, brought from Rome by Abbot Ware, who, with his successor, Abbot Wenlock, lies beneath the mosaic work which Ware had supervised. The whole design, now partly covered by an ancient Persian carpet, represents the probable duration of the world according to the Ptolemaic system. To our left are three artistic tombs, which belong to a later date, the early fourteenth century, and are no doubt by the same unknown artist. In shape they resemble the hearses which used to stand in the church before and for a time after the burial of all distinguished persons. The recumbent figures take the place of the effigies of the deceased, which were usually made of wood, in the likeness of the dead person. These were first carried at the funeral, and afterwards laid upon the hearse. The little statuettes all round the sides are intended for the mourners, and above are represented the lighted {59} torches and wax tapers, which covered the hearse. In the small tomb nearest to us lies Aveline, wife of Edmund Crouchback, Henry the Third's second son, whose own far more elaborate sepulchre is nearest the altar. Edmund and Aveline were the first couple ever married in the present church. Their wedding, in fact, took place only a few months—in the spring of 1270—after the choir and transepts had been opened for service. But the north aisle of the choir was certainly completed before this marriage took place, for upon the wall are the arms of Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester and King of the Barons, in close juxtaposition with the fleurs-de-lis of France. In 1263 a grand temporary reconciliation was patched up between Henry III. and the proud Earl, which was ratified at Boulogne in the presence of the French King, St. Louis the peacemaker. These shields must therefore have been carved here at about that time—in any case before Simon's fall; he was killed in 1265 at the battle of Evesham. The arms of Aveline's rich and powerful father, William de Fortibus, are in this same aisle. The heiress herself died young, leaving no children, and her husband inherited her vast wealth, with which he endowed the powerful house of Lancaster. Edmund took {60} a foreign bride after Aveline's death, and resided much with her in Provins, whence he brought the red roses which became the Lancastrian badge. His eldest son, Thomas, the second Earl of Lancaster, met his death on the scaffold through the machinations of Aymer de Valence—a tragic sequel to the friendship between their fathers, Edmund Crouchback and his uncle William de Valence, who were brothers at arms, and had often fought side by side in the Holy Land.

A defaced painting on the ambulatory side of Edmund's tomb once showed the figures of ten Crusaders; amongst them may have been portraits of the uncle and his nephew; they died (1296) within a week of one another, on an ill-fated expedition to Gascony, which ended in defeat and disaster to the English force. All these three monuments—Aymer's is between those of the Earl and Countess of Lancaster—repay a close study, but we can only glance at them now. Notice the noble and dignified recumbent effigy on Aveline's tomb, which is dressed in the simple costume of a grand dame of the thirteenth century; it was formerly painted and gilt; some traces of the red and white paint, also the green vine leaves, still remain beneath the canopy. At the feet two dogs are snapping at {61} one another in play. The two warriors are depicted in life and in death: above each is an armed equestrian figure with visor up, while below lie their quiet images in the sleep of death. The royal prince has a finer monument with a triple canopy, otherwise there is little difference between the two. The picture of Richard II. in his brilliant youth hangs opposite his relatives. The King, whose destiny seemed so fair, but whose tragic fate must move our pity, is here represented in the coronation robes holding the orb and sceptre, and seated in St. Edward's chair upon the ancient stone of Scone, which his ancestor, Edward I., wrested from the Scots. Behind the portrait a piece of tapestry, which used to be in the great schoolroom, recalls the fact that the whole sanctuary was hung with arras and also wainscoted in Queen Anne's time. The remains of the sedilia south of the altar date from Edward the First's time, and were for long believed to form the canopy of an ancient Saxon tomb, which the monks moved here from the Norman Chapter House and called by the name of King Sebert, their traditional founder. We can see this better from the ambulatory, also the curious skull and cross-bone ornament which is all that is left of the tomb of Anne of Cleves, Henry {62} the Eighth's repudiated wife, the only one of all his wives who was buried in the Abbey. She was interred here with a pompous funeral service by order of her friend and step-daughter Queen Mary.

Let us return now to the iron gate which divides the south ambulatory from the transept. Just inside is a small chapel, called after St. Benedict, the founder of the Benedictines, to which order the Westminster monks belonged, and where his head was long kept. The chapel is not open, but easily seen from outside. Within is the fine altar tomb of Simon Langham, first Abbot of Westminster, then Archbishop of Canterbury, through whose munificent bequest his energetic successor, Litlington, was able to add to the monastic buildings and cloisters. Other burials of interest took place in this chapel. The tomb which usurps the place of the altar is that of Frances, Countess of Hertford, daughter-in-law to the Protector Somerset, by whose orders these altars were destroyed, and sister to that famous Admiral, Lord Howard of Effingham, whose fleet drove the Spanish Armada from our shores. A well-preserved seventeenth-century brass, raised a few inches above the floor, gives us the portrait of Dr. Bill, the first Dean after Elizabeth reconstituted the {63} collegiate body, which had been originally founded by her father, Henry VIII., but was suppressed by her sister Mary. Bill lived only a year at the Deanery, but during that short period he drafted the statutes, the nucleus of which remains unaltered to the present day, although the details have been considerably changed. His successor, Gabriel Goodman, whose kneeling statue is against the south wall, was in office throughout nearly the whole long reign of Queen Elizabeth, dying only two years before his friend and patroness. We must not linger in this little chapel, for voices from the past are calling us to hasten onwards toward the burial-place of kings.

The South Ambulatory, looking west down the South Choir Aisle

The South Ambulatory, looking west down the South Choir Aisle


In the immediate foreground on the left is the entrance to St. Edmund's Chapel, while the iron gates just beyond the back of the sedilia mark the junction of the south ambulatory with the south transept. Close behind the verger's desk is a pointed arch with a small tomb below, in which are buried the remains of various princes and princesses, and upon it used to be a golden statue of St. Catherine, the patron saint of Henry III.'s dumb daughter Catherine, the first little one interred in this place. At the back of the arch are still traces of the mural painting which Edward I. caused to be done here to commemorate his children, no less than six of whom were buried near their aunt. On the opposite side we see the plain Saxon tomb called by the name of King Sebert, whom the monks believed to be their founder. Part of Richard II.'s monument is visible behind the oak seat.

Close at hand in the ambulatory is a dark arch, beneath which several royal children were laid to rest when the church was still quite new. The founder's dearly loved dumb daughter Catherine, a beautiful child of five, was the first of all the royal family who was thus honoured, and in ancient times we should have seen a tiny gilt brass statuette of St. Catherine, her patron saint, kneeling here, with a silver portrait image of the princess herself. Two of her brethren and four of her nephews and nieces, the children of her brother Edward I., were buried beside her, and Edward {64} caused the arch to be richly adorned and gilt, while a painting of his own little ones was added in the background. The eldest boy, Alfonzo, a lad of twelve, was sent shortly before his death from Wales to Westminster, where, by his war-like father's command, he offered the coronet of Llewellyn, the last native Prince of Wales, to St. Edward's shrine. His brother Edward afterwards became the first English Prince of Wales.

In the next chapel, that dedicated to St. Edmund, king and martyr, we find other members of Henry the Third's family. To the right, forming part of the screen, is the tomb of his half-brother, that William de Valence to whom we referred in connection with his own son Aymer and Henry's son, Edmund Crouchback. De Valence was a Frenchman, and not only as a foreigner, but from his haughty overbearing character, was very unpopular in England. Yet his friend and cousin Edward I., unheeding the popular voice, caused this beautiful and costly tomb to be made for his remains. It was originally covered with that rare and excellent enamel work which was then made at Limoges in De Valence's native province, but only a few fragments, notably on the shield, the {65} pillow, and the girdle, remain intact. Formerly, besides the enamel and filigree decorations, there were no less than 31 gilt images of mourners, each with an enamelled coat of arms above it, in the shallow arcades round the tomb. Practically nothing is left of all this splendour, and the wooden chest which contained the body, for it was the custom to bury the dead above ground in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, is stripped bare of ornament. On the other side of the entrance lies a royal Prince of English birth, John of Eltham, the second son of Edward II., and thus grandson to Henry III. To the student of armour the alabaster effigy is of special interest as a specimen of the military costume of the fourteenth century; while the coronet is the earliest known example of ducal form—the title of Duke was not introduced into England till rather later. The small crowned images of royal personages, John's relations, round the base of the altar tomb are all mutilated, while the triple canopy has long disappeared, broken down by the pressure of the crowds which used to throng into the church at all large funerals in the eighteenth century. John was only nineteen at the time of his death, but had already won his spurs at the battle of Halidon Hill, and was {66} so trusted by his incapable father that in spite of his youth he was given the command of the whole English army in Scotland. On a small altar tomb close to that of John of Eltham are two tiny alabaster images, twenty inches long, in the stiff costume of the period; these represent his nephew and niece, William of Windsor and Blanche of the Tower, infant children of Edward III. In the centre of the floor are two admirable fourteenth-century brasses, which have fortunately escaped the despoiler's hand. The one commemorates the Black Prince's friend, Archbishop Waldeby; the other Richard the Second's aunt, Eleanor, Duchess of Gloucester. The grave of a modern novelist and diplomatist, Edward Bulwer, Earl of Lytton, is close by; the place was selected by Dean Stanley on account of its proximity to the tomb of Sir Humphrey Bourchier, a knight who was killed at Barnet Field, the victory which established Edward the Fourth's claim to the crown. Lord Lytton described this and other fights during the Wars of the Roses in his well-known novel, The Last of the Barons. We have not time to-day to study all the interesting monuments in this and the adjoining chapel,—that dedicated to St. Nicholas, the children's patron saint, where, amongst the tombs of {67} grown-up people of high rank, are the funeral urns of two tiny infants,—but we may notice the number of ladies who are buried or commemorated in both these little chapels. Most of them were prominent at Court in the time of the Tudors, and some of them were near relatives of Queen Elizabeth's. The place of St. Nicholas's altar is again covered by a woman's tomb; this time the intruder is the widow of the Protector Somerset, that proud Duchess whose temper made the life of those about her well-nigh unendurable.

St. Edmund's Chapel

Early Brasses and Picturesque Tombs in St. Edmund's Chapel


We have already seen part of this chapel. On the floor in the foreground are two fine fourteenth-century brasses, raised on low altar tombs; against the screen behind is a dilapidated monument, which was once one of the most beautiful in the Abbey. In the wooden coffer above the stone base are the bones of William de Valence, Henry III.'s half-brother, and upon it lies his effigy, which was originally covered with Limoges enamel, but a few pieces only remain intact, notably in the shield and the sword belt. Facing us is a large Jacobean monument, which commemorates Edward Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, and was put up by his widowed Countess, whose own effigy lies beside that of her husband. Through the pillars beyond the wooden screen of the Chapel appears the stone screen between Edward the Confessor's Chapel and the high altar, while beyond, above the south arches of the Confessor's Chapel, are the openings of the triforium.

A large mural monument close by recalls a happy marriage and records the grief of the heart-broken husband. Elizabeth's trusted Minister, the great Lord Burleigh, is here depicted in his robes of state, kneeling above the recumbent effigies of his wife, a lady noted for her learning and for her active benevolence, and of their unhappy daughter, Anne, Countess of Oxford. At his mother's feet is the figure of Robert Cecil, the first Lord Salisbury of that name, who succeeded his father as confidential adviser to their sovereign. Neither father nor son is buried here. Lord Burleigh lies at Stamford, his country place, and on the day of the funeral a stately service was held in the Abbey, a mark of respect repeated recently (August 1903) {68} when his descendant, the late Lord Salisbury, was laid to rest at Hatfield.

Returning into the ambulatory we should look at this side of the royal tombs before passing round the corner into the chapel itself. From here the nearest is that of Richard II., which is raised too high above us to see well. The lower part was formerly in a very bad state of repair, and through the holes in the wooden chest which contained the royal remains the bones of Richard and his wife Anne could be clearly seen. Indeed, the schoolboys used to amuse themselves by flipping marbles into the sepulchre. The jawbone of the King is said to have been picked out by one bold youth; smaller bones and such-like curiosities were the easy prey of the less venturesome. Edward the Third's, on the other hand, which comes next, has never been thus tampered with, although a few shields have been carried off. But we can still see the six gilt brass images of his children on this side, those on the other have been stolen long ago; these are headed by Richard's father, the warlike Black Prince, whose tomb some of us know at Canterbury Cathedral. Queen Philippa's monument, the third in order, has been stripped bare of all the "sweetly carved niches" and little alabaster {69} figures, not to speak of the gilt angels and other beautiful decorations, which once adorned it. The same sad tale of spoliation and vanished splendour must be repeated when we reach the top of the wooden steps which lead up into St. Edward's Chapel. The battered oak effigy of Henry V. need not detain us now, we speak of that great monarch later. Standing before the shrine itself the oft-told tale of our Saxon founder must not be omitted—the fascinating legend of his strange visions, one of which led him to select Thorneye as the favoured site of his monastic foundation. The story of his life and death are illustrated by the stone pictures on the screen, which divides the chapel from the high altar, and was probably put up by the pious Henry VI. One of the favourite scenes is the remission of the Dane-gelt, which may have taken place in the old Treasury, the Pyx Chapel; here we see the King pointing to the casks which contain his people's hard-earned money; upon them formerly danced a demon Dane, thus thwarted of his due. Edward lies upon his bed in another, calmly watching the scullion who rifles his treasure-chest, and escapes with a mild admonition from the gentle King. Further on we see him seated at dinner between his wife {70} and her father, Earl Godwin, while in front her brothers Tostig and Harold are disputing, as they quarrelled years afterwards over the crown, and Edward is roused to a prophetical burst of wrath. The most significant are the last ones, which recall the famous legend of the ring and the consecration of the Abbey. St. John, who, disguised as a beggar, received the ring from Edward, is shown delivering it into the hands of two pilgrims, who are bidden to return with it to England and deliver it back to the King, with a message intimating his approaching end. This ring, taken from the incorruptible finger of the royal saint a century after his death by Abbot Laurence, was deposited amongst the relics, and no doubt the wedding ring of England, which is still placed upon the finger of the sovereign after he has received the insignia of royalty, had its origin in this sacred ring. We turn to the shrine itself, and try to picture it in all its pristine beauty before the sacrilegious hand of the despoiler had touched it. West of the shrine is a modern altar, the ancient one was destroyed long since, but hitherto a wooden table was temporarily placed here at coronations, for which this marble altar was substituted on the last occasion. The modern gilt {71} group over it and the gilded cornice sorely afflict the eye, and are sadly out of keeping with the artistic work of the Roman artisans, Odericus and Peter. The wooden top, of no merit in itself, but dating from Mary Tudor's reign, is now covered by a velvet pall, which unfortunately conceals the saint's coffin, formerly visible from the chantry. On either side of St. Edward's altar were once golden pillars presented by Edward II.; the golden image of St. John the Evangelist stood upon one, that of the Confessor himself upon the other. The stone basement was entirely covered with elaborate decorations, glass mosaic, precious stones, and enamels; and the twisted pillars, also richly decorated, remind the Italian traveller of those in the cloister at St. John Lateran. Within the niches sick persons used to crouch all the long night, believing that this mere proximity to the dead saint would cure their diseases. The coffin itself is above, raised high, as the old writers tell us, "on a candlestick, to enlighten the world." It was originally encased in a wonderful feretory, made of pure gold and decorated with golden and jewelled images of kings and queens, of saints and angels. This was melted down, and all the valuable ornaments were sold, when Henry VIII. suppressed the {72} monastery. The last Abbot, John Feckenham, did his best to restore some of its former glory to St. Edward's Chapel. He rebuilt the basement of the shrine, which the monks had concealed before they fled, and painted over the gaps left by the theft of the mosaic work. He also rewrote the inscriptions on all the royal tombs, probably in most cases restoring the ancient words.

The West End of the Confessor's Shrine, with the Modern Altar

The West End of the Confessor's Shrine, with the Modern Altar


A small portion of the ancient shrine is given in this illustration, but we can see the only twisted pillar which retains any of its original Italian mosaic decoration, and behind the candlesticks is more of this beautiful work. The altar and the gilded group and cornice over it are of recent date, i.e. the Coronation of King Edward VII. and Queen Alexandra; the red velvet pall with its blue linen cover were placed over the tomb of the saint at the same time. A portion of the tombs of Edward III. and Richard II. show on the south side of the chapel, with the windows of that of St. Edmund above.

Neither Feckenham nor Queen Mary could afford to pay for a new golden top, and the present plain wooden one was perforce substituted. The only wonder is that the royal chapel was not stripped entirely bare of its treasures long before our time. The relics, no doubt, were taken at the suppression of the monastery. The silver head and armour of Henry V. were stolen in the reign of Henry VIII., after the monks, those careful custodians of the Abbey, had been dispersed. The silver cradle on the tomb of Edward IV.'s little daughter vanished later. We look around and see the empty places on Henry III.'s tomb whence the mosaics and jewels have been picked out; the arms of Richard II. and his queen are missing; that once wonderful work of art, Philippa's monument, so well described by Sir Gilbert Scott, is a ruin. The Coronation Chair, now raised safely out of {73} harm's way, is actually covered with the names of tourists. Yet neither Henry VIII. nor the Protestant Protector Somerset, not even those scapegoats the Puritan soldiers, are altogether to blame for these and other acts of vandalism. During the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries people seem to have roamed about the Abbey, occasionally accompanied by a verger, usually free to write their names or to break off relics. The glass cases of the wax effigies, which are covered with such records, bear witness to the careless guardianship of the church in former days.

The Tomb of Henry III. from St. Edward's Chapel, looking east

The Tomb of Henry III. from St. Edward's Chapel


The tomb of our second founder, the builder of this portion of the Abbey Church, has, like the shrine of St. Edward, suffered much from the despoiler's hand. The tomb was made by the same Italian workmen who were employed upon the shrine, but the effigies, both of Henry and his daughter-in-law, Eleanor of Castile, who is buried at his feet, are by an Englishman, one William Torel. We see on this side one of the porphyry slabs which Edward I. brought with him from the Continent, when he returned from the Crusades a year after his father's death. In the niches below, some of the most precious relics were kept. Beyond the small black marble tomb of Elizabeth Tudor is that of Queen Eleanor, first wife of Edward I., flanked by one of the entrance turrets to the Chantry of Henry V.

Fortunately there is still much left, and nothing can touch the historical interest even of these mutilated tombs. One little pillar on the shrine itself is practically intact, and from the north ambulatory, above the reach of a man's arm, we shall see some of the mosaic decoration which once adorned the whole of the tomb of Henry III. Thanks to their grilles, the silver-gilt effigies of Henry and his daughter-in-law, Eleanor of Castile, were secure from the despoiler's hand, and remain as examples of the skill of an English artist, one William Torel. The exceedingly interesting iron grille which guards Eleanor's image is also by an English hand, that of Master Thomas of Lewes, a {74} Sussex smith, and we inform our friends that Sussex was in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, probably till much later, an iron-smelting county—a fact which is recalled by the hammer ponds at the present day. Beneath our feet, protected by the linoleum, are fragments of the ancient pavement, and north and south of the shrine lie two Saxon queens whose bodies were removed here from the Confessor's church, when it was pulled down by Henry III. Both were called by the old English name of Editha. The elder is connected with the first historic foundation of the Abbey, for she, the Confessor's wife, was present at the consecration (Innocents' Day, 1066) of the choir and transepts, when her husband lay helpless on his deathbed. Her niece changed the Saxon name of Editha for the Norman Matilda or Maud when, by her marriage with Henry I., the two rival races were united in one family. It is pleasant here to turn to the foreigners amongst us and remind them that while we speak of English sovereigns who were continually at war with their ancestors, yet the discord was more apparent than real. For these very men, the sworn enemies of France and of Spain for many a long generation, were the husbands or {75} the sons of French, Spanish, and other foreign princesses. Not only were they blood relations, but the language of their courts and of their legal documents was French, and when they wasted the fair lands of France, or fought against Spain, Flanders, and Holland, they believed themselves to be striving to regain their lost heritages and the dowries brought them by their brides. Long after England and France were completely severed, Mary Tudor, herself the daughter of a Spanish mother, and the wife of a Spanish king, clung so fiercely to the last link which gave the English kings a claim to the fleurs-de-lis in their quarterings that her heart broke when Calais fell. We have already referred to the central tomb on the north of the shrine, which contains the body of our second founder, Henry III., himself by the way the husband of a French wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine. To him we owe the present beautiful church, and not even the memory of the money ground out of the oppressed Jews, or gathered in the form of unjust taxes from his wretched subjects, can damp our enthusiastic gratitude. The slabs of porphyry and jasper upon both sides were brought by Henry's son, Edward I., from Italy or France, when he returned across the Continent from the Crusades a year after {76} his father's death. The coffin itself is, like that of the Confessor, in the upper part of the tomb, and, unlike those of Edward himself and Richard II., has never been tampered with; there is no doubt that the embalmed body of the King still rests here, untouched by the ravages of eight centuries. As we look upon the lovely face of Henry's daughter-in-law, who lies at his feet, we forget that this is no portrait but a conventional and ideal queen. We think only of the young Spanish princess in the early days of her married life, before the birth of thirteen children in quick succession, the loss of many of these little ones, and the privations she suffered in the Holy Land had marred her beauty. Vainly did the old King try to keep Eleanor at home when his son, Prince Edward, went off to the Crusade. She continued to urge her wifely duty in answer to his fatherly solicitations, and to repeat that the way to heaven is as near from Palestine as from England. By the time she returned her kind father-in-law was dead, and her restless warlike husband was henceforth rarely by her side. Years afterwards when the Queen died, Edward seems to have remembered her wifely devotion with remorse, for never did any former English queen-consort have so magnificent a burial {77} nor so costly a tomb. Two other monuments (which no longer exist), containing her viscera and her heart, were put up at Lincoln and Blackfriars. At every stage where the funeral procession rested between Lincolnshire and Westminster the King raised a memorial cross in his wife's honour. All have been destroyed save three, but the last was at one time a conspicuous object in Charing village, and a modern copy of it has been placed in the station-yard at "Charing Cross." Eleanor herself bequeathed money towards the expenses of her funeral, and Edward gave large sums to the three convents, chiefly to Westminster, in order to provide for anniversary services at his wife's tombs, where wax tapers were always to be kept burning, and prayers constantly offered to Heaven for the repose of her soul. Edward's son and successor was strangely lacking in filial obedience. With his dying breath the warrior King, who had hammered the Scots and harassed the Turks, gave orders that his body was to remain unburied till Scotland was subdued, the flesh boiled, and the bones borne at the head of the victorious English army. His heart was to be taken out and confided to a band of knights, who were to fight for the Holy Sepulchre, carrying the casket in their {78} midst. These commands were disobeyed, and the plain tomb, without effigy or monument, is a silent witness to the second Edward's failure to "keep troth." The embalmed corpse was buried here soon after the King's death, but the upper slab remained loose, and for many a long year the cere-cloth was kept waxed, perhaps with the idea of carrying out the dead sovereign's behests at some future time. In any case the cover was left as it was till the eighteenth century, when some antiquaries were allowed to raise it, and looking in they beheld the body of Longshanks lying there in royal state, wrapped in the coronation robes, with orb and sceptre in either hand, a linen cloth concealing the features. We cannot forgive the wanton destruction which ensued. Boiling pitch was poured in, and the lid hermetically sealed after these vandals had satisfied their curiosity and taken notes of every detail. Havoc also was wrought to the outside about the same period, when the canopy was destroyed during a riot which broke out at the patriot Pulteney's burial in the ambulatory below, and the iron grille, upon which were two little heads of the King, disappeared at the same time. The words "Scotorum Malleus" and "Pactum Serva" were painted by Abbot Feckenham's orders, but may have formed {79} part of the original inscription. The most important trophy which the English conqueror brought from Scotland was the stone of Scone, a reminder now of the union of the two kingdoms, but then a constant source of irritation to the Scots, who tried in vain to get it back. The chair which encloses the stone was made in Edward's time, and has ever since been used as the seat of our sovereigns at their coronations. Once and once only a man not of royal birth was privileged to receive the insignia of government seated in the Coronation Chair, when Oliver Cromwell was installed Lord Protector in Westminster Hall. The huge sword behind the chair, carried before Edward III. on his warlike expeditions into France and Scotland, was probably used on the memorable occasion when he entered Calais in state after the siege, and his wife Philippa begged her stern lord for the lives of the twelve burgesses who brought him the keys of the captured town. We turn to the left round the shrine and approach the despoiled tomb of that good Flemish lady, who endeared herself to the hearts of her English subjects by her wise and kindly rule during Edward's frequent absences abroad and in Scotland. The face, a portrait this time, shows us a homely countenance with full cheeks and rather prominent eyes, {80} but pleasant withal and full of character. The design of the whole was by a Flemish artist, but English stone-masons worked on the details, and a certain John Orchard, the artist of the copper-gilt angels, which formerly adorned the canopy, and probably also of the figures on the King's tomb, made the little alabaster figures of Philippa's two children in St. Edmund's Chapel for the sum of twenty shillings. The white stone canopy with the wrought-metal tabernacle work and gilt angels was actually removed as insecure in the eighteenth century. The thirty alabaster niches, each containing the statuette of a royal mourner, and the alabaster angels with gilt wings have all gone, except the fragments of one, which was put together by Sir Gilbert Scott, and is in a safe but dark corner. No trace remains of the iron grille which Edward bought for his queen from a bishop's monument in St. Paul's Cathedral. The King's own tomb is next to that of his wife: he thus kept the promise which he made to her as she lay dying, and lies beside her in the "Cloister" at Westminster. Froissart tells a touching story of the scene between the royal couple, when Philippa held the hand of the husband who had so often been faithless to her, and asked this, her last boon. {81} Near her bed stood Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester, the only one of her fourteen children able to be present at his mother's deathbed; he is buried close to her tomb. Thomas was murdered by order of his nephew, Richard II.—who was himself destined to come to an untimely end at the hands of a relative—and the grave of the victim is not far from Richard's own monument. We saw in St. Edmund's Chapel the fourteenth-century brass which marks the last resting-place of the Duke's widow, Eleanor de Bohun, who retired to a nunnery after her husband's tragic fate. We have looked at the tombs of Edward III. and of Richard II. from the ambulatory side; both are of English workmanship. That of the elder monarch is finer and more elaborate than the other, which Richard raised in his own lifetime to receive the remains of his beloved first wife, Anne of Bohemia, and destined for his own corpse. Edward's effigy is purely a conventional one, but the long hair and beard have often been pointed out as a mark of his neglected lonely deathbed. True enough this once powerful King died alone save for the ministrations of an old priest, saddened in his last hours by the loss of his heir, the Black Prince. But his end was less tragic than that of his successor and grandson {82} twenty years later, over the details of which a veil of mystery still hangs. We only know that his cousin, Henry of Bolingbroke, Duke of Lancaster, usurped the throne, and that the deposed Richard died in prison; his body was obscurely buried at King's Langley, and re-interred here long afterwards, with the honour due to a king, by his supplanter's own son, Henry V.

We see here the portrait effigy of the effeminate young King, whose hand used to be clasped in that of his young foreign bride, but the arms are both gone. The robes are stamped with Richard's badges, the rising sun of Crecy and Poictiers, which was his father's favourite emblem, the broomscods of the Plantagenets, the fleurs-de-lis of France, symbolic of the constant claim of our sovereigns to the French crown, and many others. Beneath the canopy are traces of the two-headed eagle, the arms of Bohemia, and also of the imperial eagle, for Anne was a sister of Wenceslaus, the good King of Bohemia, and a daughter of the Emperor Charles IV.; at her feet is the Austrian leopard. As we look at this royal couple, that fateful day of Anne's funeral is recalled to our memory, when her bereaved husband in a fit of ungovernable rage struck one of the powerful {83} nobles, who came late for the ceremony, such a fierce blow that for the second time in Richard's unfortunate reign the pavement was stained with blood. On the first occasion a knight, who had taken sanctuary here, was slain by John of Gaunt's servants. And in each case the Abbey was placed under an interdict for a time, till by priest and bell the church was cleansed from pollution. There is another brass, hidden beneath the linoleum near Edward the First's tomb, which connects Richard with the Abbey, and marks the burial of a commoner within the chapel of the kings—the only person not of royal blood ever interred here. A storm of popular indignation burst out when Richard commanded the Abbot to grant a grave for his favourite, John of Waltham, Bishop of Salisbury, within these sacred precincts, and the King was forced to resort to bribery before he could gain his point.

The circle of kingly tombs, which include those of two small princesses, is completed at the eastern end by the memorial of Henry V. The chantry chapel above is apparently in the shape of the King's initial, but this proves to be a mere coincidence, as the letter H was made after a different pattern in the fifteenth century. Henry IV. was {84} taken ill when saying his prayers before the shrine, and died in the Abbot's withdrawing-room, the Jerusalem Chamber; but the son erected no tomb here for his father's remains, rather the first act of his reign after the coronation was, as we have already pointed out, to bring his murdered cousin's body from King's Langley, and to inter it with royal pomp in the tomb which Richard had prepared for himself years before. In the Jerusalem Chamber we shall see the busts of the two Lancastrian kings. Here is only a bare and headless effigy to recall the victor of Agincourt, and a dilapidated helmet, saddle, and shield, on the bar above, all of which were carried at Henry's funeral. Henry's own will provided for the erection of this large memorial, which encroaches on the eastern part of both Eleanor and Philippa's monuments. We reach the chantry chapel above his tomb by stone steps worn by countless pilgrims, who painfully climbed them on their knees when they came here to pray for the dead hero's soul. Looking down from this chapel before the pall covered the shrine we used to see the Confessor's coffin, and can still enjoy the most striking view that exists of the church from east to west. On either side just below are the apsidal chapels. Facing the north {85} ambulatory and forming part of the screen to St. Paul's Chapel is the monument of Henry's standard-bearer, Lord Robsert, who received this coveted post as a reward for his valour at Agincourt. Amongst the now defaced shields round the tomb ancient students of heraldry believed that they discovered the quarterings of Chaucer's father-in-law, Sir Payne Roet of Hainault, and Robsert's crest was even identified with his. Inside, the chapel itself is blocked up by the huge statue of James Watt, one of the inventors of the steam-engine, but there are many fine old monuments against the walls. From here we have a good view of an altar tomb in the centre of the same chapel, the alabaster effigies upon which are in the costume of the early Tudor period, and represent Sir Giles Daubeney, the friend and Lord Chamberlain of Henry VII., with his wife Magdalen. Above them are suspended the banners of the Delavel family, which are over two hundred years old.

St. Edward's Shrine and the Chantry Chapel of Henry V.

St. Edward's Shrine and the Chantry Chapel of Henry V.


In this illustration we see the niches in the shrine, where sick persons used to crouch all night in order to be cured of their diseases by contact with the saint's coffin, which is above, covered by the pall. Beyond is the Chantry Chapel of Henry V. with a bar across the top, upon which are fixed the dead King's helmet, sword, and shield, all of which were carried at his funeral. The tomb itself, with its headless and battered oaken effigy, is seen through the open gate; stone steps, worn by the knees of many pilgrims, ascend the turret to the right and lead into a little chapel, where now reposes the mummified body of Henry's queen, Katherine of Valois. It was buried here by Dean Stanley after it had been unburied for two centuries and then hidden away in one of the vaults. From here we see the effigy and tomb of Queen Philippa, the latter stripped bare of all its original splendour, including the alabaster angels and gilt statuettes of mourners.

Standing on the south side we are now directly above the tomb of that masterful Countess of Buckingham, mother of Charles the First's favourite, whose own pompous monument will be found in Henry VII.'s Chapel. In the vault {86} beneath lay for more than a century the withered mummy of a French princess, the coquettish Kate, whom Henry V. courts so ardently in Shakespeare's play. Katherine lost her prestige at her son Henry VI.'s Court by her second marriage with a Welsh gentleman of no rank, but she thus became the ancestress of the great Tudor dynasty, which was destined to supplant both her royal husband's line, the Lancastrians, and their rivals, the house of York. Yet it was in the reign of her own Tudor grandson that Katherine's original sepulchre in the old Lady Chapel was destroyed, and her embalmed body in its broken wooden coffin placed by the side of Henry V.'s effigy. Possibly Henry VII. intended to suitably re-inter his noble grandame's corpse in his new chapel, but after his death nobody stirred in the matter, and there the remains lay, a curiosity for all visitors to the Abbey to stare at, till at last Dean Zachary Pearce buried them under the Countess of Buckingham's tomb. Dean Stanley removed the coffin and placed it in this chantry chapel against the east wall, where an altar dedicated to the Virgin used to stand. The ancient altar slab, found concealed beneath the step, now forms the cover of the Queen's tomb. On the wall behind are the {87} badges of Henry V. The antelope and the swan, which he inherited from his mother's family, the de Bohuns, are each chained to a tree, between them is burning the cresset light, an emblem taken by the young King at his coronation as a proof of his desire to be "a light and a guide to his people to follow him in all virtue and honour." The badges are repeated all over the stone-work inside and out, while the niches are filled with numerous statues, representing royal personages, mitred abbots, and saints, notably the patron saints of England and France, St. George and St. Denis—the latter carries his head in his hand. Upon the arch over the ambulatory is depicted Henry's coronation in the Abbey. His figure armed cap-à-pié is shown on the eastern side, crossing a raging torrent, while a castle, with troops drawn up in front of it, is carved in the background. The shields of England and France, to which kingdom Henry was, as son-in-law to the French king and by right of conquest, the acknowledged heir, are also prominent. We return below the chantry arch and descend into the ambulatory, whence we have a good view of the carvings alluded to, besides many others. Before us is a flight of stone steps which leads directly up to the other royal chapel, the mausoleum {88} of the Tudors and Stuarts. Beneath our feet is the family vault of the Royalist historian of the civil wars, Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, who was closely connected with the Stuarts, and shared the exile of his young master, afterwards Charles II. In later days the powerful Lord Chancellor fell from his high position at Court, and was sentenced to lifelong banishment by that same prince whom he had served so faithfully in his youth. Clarendon's daughter married James II., then Duke of York, and thus by the irony of fate the disgraced favourite was destined to be the grandfather of two Stuart queens, Mary and Anne.

The Tomb of Queen Philippa and the Chantry Chapel of Henry V. from the South Ambulatory

The Tomb of Queen Philippa and the Chantry Chapel of Henry V. from the South Ambulatory


We see again the ruined tomb of Queen Philippa and the southern side of the Chantry Chapel. Here the coronation of King Henry V. is represented above the arch, and numerous little statuettes of kings, ecclesiastics, saints, and angels are carved above and below it. In the spandrels of the arch are the arms of England and France, while along the cornice are some of the royal badges. Beneath it are the steps leading up to the Chapel of Henry VII.

At the top of the steps a triple portico leads into the centre of Henry VII.'s Chapel; on each side narrow doorways admit to the north and south aisles. The arch overhead is most elaborately carved and decorated with the same badges which we see on the bronze gates, and all over the inside of the chapel. Chief amongst these are the Tudor rose, the flower of York and Lancaster alike, and the portcullis, which was the emblem of Henry's maternal relations, the Beauforts, who traced their descent from John of Gaunt. This badge, originally a castle protected by a portcullis, was a symbol of Henry's undisputed (although not really {89} flawless) title to the throne, and he added the proud motto "Altera securitas." A crowned fleur-de-lis is constantly repeated on the walls, and on the gates the shield of France is to be seen next to the lions of England; for our English sovereigns continued to assert their right to the French succession. The other badges on the gates include the crown on a bush, which recalls Bosworth Field, when Lord Derby took the golden circlet from the hawthorn bush, where it fell when Richard was slain, and placed it on his step-son's head. The daisy root belongs to Derby's wife and Henry's mother, Lady Margaret, whose tomb we shall see in the south aisle. The falcon with a fetter-lock was a badge of Edward IV., which his daughter Elizabeth adopted after her marriage to the young Tudor king.

We pass through the middle gate and emerge into that beautiful chapel so extravagantly praised by old writers as the "orbis miraculum," the miracle of the world, so unfairly decried since by narrow-minded adherents of the Gothic style. Here, a contrast to the rest of the church, is pure Perpendicular of the Tudor period. The stone-work is decorated in every corner, and the details are elaborately carved, leaving no vacant space anywhere; {90} no less than 130 stone figures, 95 of which remain, contributed to the rich effect of the whole. Angels and archangels, saints and martyrs, apostles and evangelists, the hierarchy of heaven and the sainted ones of earth, all had places on these walls. Above our heads the fan tracery of the stone roof seems literally to hang from the sky, so delicate and light is the workmanship. The Cambridge graduate in our party, and those indefatigable sightseers our American friends, compare it with King's College Chapel, which was built about this period by the same King's munificence, and probably by the same architect. The windows were once all filled with painted glass, only a few fragments of which, notably the founder's figure at the east end, are left. The altar was dedicated to the Virgin, and had upon it her statue made of pure gold, but both were destroyed in the time of Henry's grandson, Edward VI., by order of the Protector Somerset, when the side altars were also swept away and the glass broken in a fury of Protestant zeal. Long afterwards the tomb of Edward VI. himself, which then took the place of the high altar, was broken in pieces by the Puritan zealots, who were unaware that they thus desecrated the monument of the first Protestant king.

The Chapel of Henry VII., looking east

The Chapel of Henry VII., looking east


This unique and beautiful chapel was built by King Henry VII., and stands at the east end of the Abbey, raised above the level of the older church. The whole is a marvel of delicate carving and rich ornament. We see in the illustration the hanging pendants of the stone roof known as fan tracery, and the walls are covered with statues, the space between them filled up by Tudor roses, French fleur-de-lis, and other appropriate decorations. Behind the altar is the tomb of the founder himself; it is protected by a finely-worked grille, within which we see the gilt bronze effigies of Henry and his wife, fashioned by the master hand of Torrigiano, lying upon an altar tomb of black marble. Above are the banners of the Knights of the Bath, which date from the eighteenth century, and at the back of the stalls below are their coats of arms. George I. reconstructed the Order, and for a brief period afterwards the knights used to be installed here.


The present altar was reconstructed, under Dean Stanley's supervision, from such pieces of the old Italian pilasters and frieze as could be found; one was actually discovered at Oxford in the Ashmolean Museum. Upon it stands the cross which was presented by the Ras Makonnen, Envoy from Abyssinia, as a votive offering for the present King's recovery from his sudden illness, when the Coronation was postponed in the summer of 1902. The stalls next claim our attention, and it must be pointed out that only part of these date from the sixteenth century, but the ancient seats are easily distinguished from the later ones by their quaintly carved misereres. The rest were added when the Order of the Knights of the Bath was reconstituted by George I. in 1725, and the banners above, as well as the coats of arms at the back of the top stalls, belong to the Knights. The Dean was made Chaplain of the Order, a post which he has held ex officio ever since. At that time, and for a long period, the installations of the Knights were held here. Upon one of the original stalls at the west end is a crowned figure of the founder, Henry VII., his face turned towards the east. So familiar has the name of this chapel become to us, that we are apt to forget that it was dedicated to the {92} Virgin Mary, and replaced the Early English Lady Chapel, which had stood on the same spot ever since the beginning of Henry the Third's reign. Henry VII. first intended to consecrate his new chapel to the memory of Henry VI., and arrangements were made for removing the saintly King's bones to Westminster from Windsor, but, owing partly to quarrels between the two convents, the scheme fell through and was abandoned by the royal founder. The stone was laid in 1503, and, although the building was not completed till 1519, before he died Henry had practically settled every detail with the Abbot as to the endowment. His wife's body already lay at the east end, and Henry arranged for his own interment in the same place, and for the memorial services, which were afterwards to be held in their honour. Some of the indentures between the King and Convent can be seen at the Record Office, others are in the custody of the Dean and Chapter. Sir Reginald Bray, head of the royal masons, is often spoken of as if he were the architect, but his death took place soon after the laying of the foundation stone, and the chapel was not finished for another sixteen years, long after Henry VIII.'s accession, when the monasteries were tottering to their fall. Abbot Islip supervised {93} the building, and it is more than likely that Sir Thomas Lovell, whose bust has lately been placed near Lady Margaret's tomb, had, as executor to both the King and his mother, a share in designing their monuments. In any case, Lovell was a patron of Torrigiano, the famous Italian sculptor, who was employed to make the beautiful effigies of the King, his wife, and his mother, as well as the rich altar tombs upon which the figures lie. A fine bronze grille, which is, like the gates, of English workmanship, preserves the founder's tomb from injury. The whole is decorated with roses and fleurs-de-lis, while upon the screen itself are the Welsh dragon of Cadwallador, the last British king, from whom the Tudors claimed descent, and the greyhound, a crest belonging to the Nevilles, who were relatives of Henry's wife. Nearly all the statuettes upon the outside have been stolen; but within, round the black marble altar tomb, are still intact twelve medallions, six on either side, each of which encloses two silver-gilt images. The saints represented are St. George of England, St. Denis of France, St. Edward and St. Peter, the patrons of the Abbey, as well as the King's own special guardians. Amongst these perhaps the most charming are the burly form of St. Christopher, with {94} the tiny infant Christ upon his shoulder, and the very graceful figure of St. Barbara with her tower in her hand, who is thus easily distinguishable from the conventional Mary Magdalene beside whom she stands. Finely moulded cherubs, also in gilt brass, support the royal arms, and we may trace the master hand of Michael Angelo's great rival in these as in all the other accessories. The effigies themselves are unique specimens of Torrigiano's art, equalled only by his other masterpiece, the recumbent figure of Lady Margaret in the adjacent aisle. The King's thin face and strongly marked features bear a striking resemblance to the ascetic lined countenance of his mother, but are in strong contrast with those of the youthful wife by his side, whose long flowing hair escapes under her close head-dress. In the vacant space to the east, within the grille, an altar used to stand, where precious relics, which included the leg of St. George, were kept. In the vaults below, Dean Stanley found the coffins of James I. and of Anne, his Danish queen. Close at hand is the altar tomb, with a white marble effigy by Boehm, of the Dean himself; behind it is the memorial window which he dedicated to his wife, Lady Augusta, whose own portrait is delineated there {95} as well as various familiar scenes from the life of her famous ancestor, Robert Bruce, including the well-known story of the spider. The coronation chair at the extreme east end of the chapel was made for Mary II., a queen regnant in her own right. Her husband, William III., whose claim to the crown was considered equal to his wife's, sat in St. Edward's chair. The vault in front of it is now filled up with a miscellaneous collection of bodies, including some of Charles the Second's illegitimate descendants, whose names were cut upon the pavement, as were those of the other persons interred in this chapel, by Dean Stanley's care. Within this vault once rested some of "the chief men of the Parliament by land and sea," notably the regicides Cromwell, Ireton, Bradshaw, a few of Cromwell's relatives, and the famous Admiral, Robert Blake. These, as well as all the other persons buried in the Abbey during the Commonwealth who were in any way connected with the republican party, were disinterred by order of Charles II., shortly after his restoration, and thrown into a pit in St. Margaret's churchyard, with the exception, that is, of the three arch offenders, the regicides. Charles wreaked a futile vengeance upon their mouldering corpses, which {96} received the treatment usually meted out to living traitors, and were hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn; the heads were chopped off and fixed up, as a warning to their admirers, outside Westminster Hall. A few steps to the left we see the stone which marks the grave of Cromwell's charming daughter, Elizabeth Claypole, whose untimely death broke her father's heart. The body was left undisturbed, probably out of respect for the memory of a woman who had been a favourite with Royalist and Roundhead alike. In the reign of Queen Anne a great General, the Duke of Marlborough, was temporarily buried in the Cromwell vault, but after many years the body was removed to his own mausoleum at Blenheim. Amongst the many soldiers' memorials in the nave and choir aisles will be found two, those of Creed and Bringfield, which recall Marlborough's famous victories, Ramillies and Blenheim. The right-hand chapel is filled up by the heavy monuments of the Richmond and Lennox family, and here, close to the old Duke's tomb, used to stand the wax figure of Frances, Duchess of Richmond and Lennox, now removed to the Islip Chapel. This lady was a noted beauty, and is said to have been the model for the figure of Britannia on the coins. Her {97} cousin, Charles II., much admired her, and might even have made her his queen had not "La belle Stuart" eloped with her other relative, the young Duke. On the opposite side is the costly monument which was raised by his widowed Duchess over the body of Charles the First's unpopular favourite, George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, who was cut off in his prime by an assassin's knife. The white marble effigies of the Duke and Duchess, and the group of their children above, are not without merit. The elder of these chubby boys succeeded to his father's dukedom and was notorious at the Restoration Court, while the younger was slain, bravely fighting for his king, in a skirmish with the Parliamentary troopers at Hampton, and buried below this tomb. Close by, a later and most unattractive monument records the name of a patron of poets, a literary man himself, Sheffield, Duke of Buckinghamshire. He built Buckingham House, where is now the palace, and there his wife, who was a left-handed descendant of the Stuart king, used to sit dressed in weeds on the anniversary of Charles the First's execution, and thus call attention to the royal blot upon her escutcheon. In the choir aisle another ugly memorial perpetuates her want of taste and the {98} forgotten fame of her pet doctor, one Chamberlain. Near his is a tablet to her other medical friend, the really notable royal physician, Dr. Mead, one of the first inoculators for smallpox.

The Coronation Chair

The Coronation Chair


This chair, the ancient seat of kings, stands in the royal chapel of St. Edward, backed by the fifteenth-century stone screen which closes the west end of the Chapel; within the wooden frame, which was constructed purposely to enclose it, is the famous stone called the Stone of Scone. This piece of Scotch granite was brought from Scotland in the early fourteenth century by the conquering English King, Edward I., and given over to the safe custody of the Westminster monks. In the Abbey it has remained ever since, and all our sovereigns from that time until the present day have received the insignia of royalty seated in the chair upon the historic stone. The latter has been the subject of many an old-world legend: it is said to have been Jacob's pillow when he saw the vision of the angels ascending and descending between heaven and earth; after which it became the seat of kings in Spain, in Ireland, and finally in Scotland, where there is no doubt that the Scottish sovereigns used it as a coronation throne. The chair itself bears little trace of its former splendour; it was originally decorated with paintings. The lions were regilded at the last coronation.

Cut on the stones as we walk away down the chapel is the name of George II., the first Hanoverian king who was buried in England. With him lies his wife Caroline, a queen of good memory, and other members of their numerous family are in close vicinity. The later sovereigns of the Hanoverian stock gradually lost all sentiment for Westminster, and are interred at Windsor. Through the gates and round abruptly to the left is the southern aisle, where we find three royal ladies' tombs, and the names of many Stuart princes and princesses who were interred in the vaults. Margaret, Countess of Lennox, niece of Henry VIII., is the first we come to. Her marble altar tomb, with its recumbent effigy and the figures of her children round the sides, is a fair specimen of late Tudor art, but not comparable to the earlier ones by the Italian artist. Her elder son, Darnley, a broken crown above his head, kneels with his face turned towards the monument of his wife, Mary, Queen of Scots, whose fair fame must ever be blackened by her suspected complicity in his {99} murder. Of the second son, Charles, and his unhappy daughter Arabella, we cannot speak at length to-day. Arabella's coffin is next to that of Prince Henry, her cousin and fair-weather friend, but he made no effort to save her from the consequences of his royal father, James the First's wrath. The young Prince died three years before the distracted lady, who lost her reason and pined to death in the Tower. The body of their aunt, Mary Stuart, with its severed head, was already in this vault, brought here by her son's filial piety soon after his accession to the English throne. With these are other kinsfolk. Henry's sister Elizabeth, Queen nominally of Bohemia, but in her last days she was the sovereign of no tangible realm, only of the fragile kingdom of hearts. With his mother lies Prince Rupert, the dashing Cavalier and daring seaman; beside them are the coffins of Henry, Duke of Gloucester, and Mary, Princess of Orange, both the victims of smallpox—that terrible scourge which devastated rich and poor alike before the discovery of vaccination. They died at Whitehall Palace, where they had come to congratulate their brother, Charles II., whose troubles they had shared, on his peaceful restoration to the English realm. The heavy monument which James I. erected {100} above this vault to the memory of his "dearest mother" closely resembles that of her rival Elizabeth in the opposite aisle. This one cost about 100 pounds more than the other, and is therefore somewhat more elaborately decorated. The white marble portrait effigy represents the Queen in her middle age, and gives no idea of her youthful beauty; at her feet is the Scotch lion, much mutilated. Against the wall is the original warrant, signed by James himself, ordering the removal of Mary's coffin from Peterborough to Westminster. We have already referred more than once to the tomb of Margaret, Countess of Richmond and Derby, mother of Henry VII., the foundress of two colleges at Cambridge and of a chair of divinity at both Universities. Now let us stand beside it for a few moments and look upon the face of this cultured, religious woman, who, after many trials in early life, ended her days in a holy peace, secluded from the world by her own choice, yet ever ready to return to her son's Court when he desired her presence. Notice especially the moulding of the delicate yet capable hands. Torrigiano's head of Lovell just above is worthy also of the closest attention, but we can pass by the inartistic statue of Horace Walpole's mother, and the ugly {101} monument of General Monck against the wall. Monck himself deserves far more recognition than he usually receives. His share in the restoration of Charles II. was by no means his sole achievement, and he had, although a landsman and a soldier by training, previously distinguished himself on the sea in company with Admiral Blake, and later on he co-operated with his former foe, Prince Rupert, in many an action with the Dutch fleet. He died standing upright in his tent, refusing to be conquered even by death itself, and was buried with military honours. Charles II., who hated funerals and rarely attended one, walked behind the bier as chief mourner. Upon the step below are carved the names of Charles, of his nieces, Mary and Anne, and of their respective husbands. Their wax effigies, now in the Islip Chapel, used to stand here, and were the only monuments raised to the Stuart sovereigns—a fact which called forth much jesting comment from their political opponents. From this small chapel we pass to the one opposite, crossing once more the top of the steps. At the entrance is a stone which immediately arrests attention, for upon it is the touching epitaph dedicated by his admirer Tickell to the memory of Joseph Addison. We have seen Addison's statue {102} in Poets' Corner, where it was ultimately placed, after a proposal to put it up beside St. Edward's shrine had met with the contumely it deserved. Here the great master of English prose "rests in peace," with his friend James Craggs, whose memorial we have already pointed out at the entrance to the nave. Close to the grave is the mural monument of his "loved Montagu," the first Earl of Halifax, who was, like Sheffield, a patron of literature and literary men. Addison's memory must ever be dear to all who love the Abbey, for the sake of his reflections upon the church and its mighty dead; in connection notably with his creation of that genial knight, Sir Roger de Coverley. Buried beside Charles Montagu is his great-nephew, George Montagu Dunk, Earl of Halifax, who is chiefly remembered nowadays as the founder of the Colony of Nova Scotia; the capital, Halifax, was called after him. His monument is in the north transept. Beneath our feet, in General Monck's vault, lies their collateral ancestor, Admiral Edward Montagu, who was created Earl of Sandwich by Charles II. when Monck was made Duke of Albemarle, as a reward to the two Generals for their share in promoting the Restoration. Sandwich's tragic end and the battle {103} of Sole Bay are referred to on a double tablet, which we passed near the entrance to the south choir aisle. For some real or fancied slight put upon him by Prince James, Duke of York, who was then in supreme command of the fleet. Sandwich refused to leave his ship when she was blown up by the Dutch, and involved two naval lieutenants in his own fate. The fidelity of the young men to their doomed chief, and their faithful friendship for one another, is commemorated upon this memorial, which was put up by the two bereaved fathers.

Raising our eyes from the floor we see at the end of this chapel the large monument, which was put up by her successor, James I., in honour of Queen Elizabeth. The white marble effigy rests under a heavy canopy; the face was moulded from a mask taken of the features after death and is therefore a likeness, but those who desire to see a more realistic portraiture of the great Tudor sovereign in her old age should visit the Islip Chapel, where is her wax figure. The touching Latin inscription, thus translated, "Consorts both in throne and grave, here rest we two sisters, Elizabeth and Mary, in hope of one resurrection," reminds us that Mary Tudor lies {104} beneath her sister's tomb. For nearly half a century only a heap of stones from the broken altars marked the place of Mary's grave; beside the coffin is still a red velvet box, which contains the unfortunate woman's dried-up withered heart, which was broken at last, after many sorrows, with a final blow—the loss of our last piece of French territory. Perchance the word "Calais" is written upon it still in invisible ink. The children's tombs behind were made by the sculptor who was then (1607) at work on Elizabeth's monument. They mark the grief of James I. and his wife for the loss of their two daughters: the baby Sophia only lived three days, but her sister Mary had reached the fascinating age of two years when a slow fever carried her off. Between the two little sisters, his own aunts, Charles II. placed a heavy stone sarcophagus, containing some bones found in the Tower, near the room where the boy princes, Edward V. and Richard of York, are said to have been smothered, and which are most probably their remains. Edward was born in the precincts, where his mother took sanctuary from her husband's Lancastrian opponents, and was christened in the Abbey, the Abbot and the Prior standing as his sponsors. In later days the young {105} Prince marked his gratitude to the monks by contributing small sums of money, supplemented by gifts from the Queen, towards the building of the nave.

The North Ambulatory, showing the Steps which lead up to Henry VII.'s Chapel

The North Ambulatory, showing the Steps which lead up to Henry VII.'s Chapel


This view shows the carvings upon the north side of the Chantry Chapel of Henry V., where the King's coronation is repeated, and those upon the arch which connects Henry VII.'s Chapel with the rest of the church. Above this arch we see the figure of Henry V. on horseback, fording a stream, and to the left below is the tomb of Ludovick Robsert, a gallant soldier who carried the King's standard at Agincourt and was knighted after the battle. The banners hanging inside St. Paul's Chapel belong to the old family of Delavel, and the metal bust which is seen over the screen is that of Lady Cottington, the wife of Charles I.'s treasurer, whose tomb is underneath it; the bust is the work of the well-known sculptor Hubert le Soeur. The Dean and his verger are here seen descending the steps from Henry VII.'s Chapel, where baptisms, weddings, and other special services take place.

We have lingered long amongst the royal tombs; it is time to complete our circle of the church by passing back along the north ambulatory. Just beyond the bottom of the steps upon the right we see the Chapel of St. Paul, into which we looked before from the chantry above. A tiny stone image, believed to be that of St. Anne, may be pointed out, as it is part of the ancient wall arcading; it is now almost concealed by the huge renaissance tomb of Sir John Puckering. Puckering was Keeper of the Great Seal in Elizabeth's reign, and the figures of the purse and mace-bearer standing above it are particularly noteworthy, for they are good examples of the costume of the period. We spoke of Pulteney, whose ugly monument takes the place of the screen on one side, in connection with his burial in the Islip Chapel, when Edward the First's canopy was destroyed. Sixteen years later a similar disgraceful scene took place at the funeral of a Duchess of Northumberland (the family vault is in St. Nicholas's Chapel), when the crowd, climbing {106} upon the screen in order to get a better view of the great lady's interment, smashed to pieces John of Eltham's beautiful canopy, not without some damage to their own heads and limbs. From here we get a good view of the grille which protects Eleanor's effigy, and on sunny mornings the outlines of an ancient picture can be traced on the stone panel below. The painting was done by Master Walter of Durham, the same artist who decorated the Coronation Chair, and represented, it is thought, one of the miracles attributed to the Virgin. In the eighteenth century a knight, a woman with a child in her arms, and a sepulchre were still clearly visible. From this side also one gets a better idea of Henry the Third's tomb in its original state than from the royal chapel, for the mosaic work has remained untouched on the upper part, where the arm of the relic hunter could not reach. We turn from the King's monument to a stone in the floor which marks the place where a very different sovereign, Pym, the King of the Commons, lay for a brief while. The coffin was buried under the brass of a famous warrior, Sir John Windsore, who fought for Henry IV. at Shrewsbury, a battle familiar to us in Shakespeare's historic play. The bodies of Pym {107} and of his friend Strode, the "Parliament driver," were disinterred and ejected with those of the other Commonwealth magnates after the Restoration. On our right is the Chapel of St. John the Baptist, called the Abbots' Chapel, for here are buried four of our mitred abbots, two of whose tombs form the screen. The original doorway is closed by that of Ruthall, Bishop of Durham, sometime private secretary to Henry VII.; a wealthy man ruined by his riches, which drew down upon him the cupidity of Henry VIII. and Wolsey,—not, however, before Ruthall had spent part of his vast wealth in the public service by building many bridges, notably one at Newcastle-on-Tyne. The present entrance was cut through a little chapel, where were once an altar and an image of St. Erasmus, which were originally given by Queen Elizabeth Woodville, and removed here when the old Lady Chapel was destroyed. Next to this is the chapel where Abbot Islip used to lie in solitary splendour, before the vaults were invaded by other coffins. A black marble table tomb, with an alabaster figure of the Abbot on the lower slab, stood formerly in the centre. Above, in the chamber where prayers were offered for the dead man's soul, are now the wax effigies. We {108} have referred before to most of these, except to the more modern ones of Nelson, a particularly attractive representation of the hero, and of Lord Chatham. In a locked cupboard are remains of the so-called ragged regiment, the earlier effigies, which were carried at the funerals of our kings and queens, or other exalted persons. Outside, the chapel is decorated with Islip's quaint device, a play upon his name Islip: an eye with a hand holding a slip or branch, and a man slipping from a tree. In the ambulatory, not far from his successor Islip, lies another Abbot, Esteney, to whom we have referred in connection with the completion of the nave. His altar tomb has been lowered, and the fine brass is now only slightly raised from the floor; it was originally in the adjacent chapel of St. John the Baptist, but was moved, and thus mutilated, in the eighteenth century to make way for the colossal monument of General Wolfe. We avert our eyes with a shudder from the marble group which represents Wolfe's death above, and divert our party's attention to the bronze bas-relief below, where the British troops are depicted landing on the river bank, then scaling the heights of Abraham, and finally drawn up on the plain before Quebec. {109} In an unmarked grave near this lies the Admiral, Sir Charles Saunders, without whose co-operation even the young hero, James Wolfe himself, could not have taken the city, for the sailors not only transported the soldiers to the foot of the cliffs, but protected their base and also cut off the supplies from the besieged town above. Just inside the first of these three little chapels, which technically belong to the north transept, a beautiful renaissance tomb attracts attention. Four kneeling warriors support a slab of black marble, upon which are the armour and accoutrements of the dead General, whose alabaster figure sleeps below. Sir Francis Vere was a member of a famous family, "the fighting Veres," and himself did good service for his queen and country in the Netherlands. The effigy without armour marks the fact that Vere died in his bed, not upon the field of battle. At the extreme end of St. Andrew's Chapel a large and somewhat heavy monument, after the pattern of a four-post bed with a canopy, commemorates "a brood of martial-spirited men," the Norrises, who, like Vere, spent their lives in the service of the Maiden Queen. All, father and sons, were famed in war or distinguished at the council board; four were killed {110} in battle, one died of a broken heart, and the youngest only survived his parents. While all the rest bow their heads in prayer, he alone looks cheerfully upwards. Behind this are the statues of Mrs. Siddons and her brother, John Kemble, to whom we alluded before in connection with the earlier actors and actresses, and other comparatively modern memorials of more or less interest. In the middle chapel, that dedicated to St. Michael, the theatrical monument to Lady Elizabeth Nightingale, a grotesque tour de force of Roubiliac's, is sure to call forth some remarks, but we prefer to pass to a curious tablet on the wall beyond it, which commemorates a certain Mrs. Ann Kirton, with a large eye above it (presumably that of the widower), whence tears pour over the inscription. Hidden away, at the back of another monument on the opposite side, is a tablet in the worst style of the eighteenth century. Above a small sinking ship the large and material soul of a gallant seaman is seen ascending to heaven, and we remind our party of Cowper's well-known poem on the wreck of the Royal George and Admiral Kempenfelt's untimely end.

His sword was in its sheath,
His fingers held the pen,
When Kempenfelt went down,
With twice four hundred men.


To the right as we pass back again is a mural memorial to Sir John Franklin, the discoverer of the North-West Passage. The loss of himself and of his brave crew amidst impenetrable walls of snow and ice is portrayed upon it; beneath is an oft-quoted epitaph by Tennyson—lines which stir the hearts of all who pause to read them.

The circle of the apse has now been completed, and we pass through the iron gate into the Statesmen's Aisle. Around us on every side are the graves and statues of British politicians, whose names are for the most part household words at home and still remembered abroad. With these are also the memorials of soldiers, sailors, lawyers, and a few others, to some of which we shall allude in passing. Conspicuous against the first column is Sir Robert Peel's statue, inappropriately draped in a Roman toga. Beyond his was placed in 1903 Brock's figure of William Ewart Gladstone, who is represented in an attitude familiar to those who have heard him speak, when addressing the House of Commons, or at a political meeting. Gladstone's Life has already been in the hands of the reading public, but the official biography of Benjamin Disraeli, Lord Beaconsfield, the leader of the opposite party, is only now being written, although {112} twenty-five years have elapsed since his death. Beaconsfield's statue stands by the next pillar, and, if it be a day in late April, we should see primrose wreaths arranged around the feet, a homage from those who cherish the imperialist ideas which were inaugurated by Disraeli. Before very long a memorial, also voted by Parliament, to Robert Cecil, Marquess of Salisbury, Beaconsfield's successor as head of the Tory party, is also to be placed with his compeers in this temple of silence and reconciliation.

Interior of the North Transept

Interior of the North Transept


The north transept is called the Statesman's Aisle, and is filled with the statues of ministers of State and of other politicians; besides these we find lawyers, soldiers, and sailors. From this point there is a good view of Sir Robert Peel's statue in the right foreground, with Gladstone and Beaconsfield prominent behind him. We look down the aisle and see the rose window, which was filled with painted glass in the eighteenth century under Dean Atterbury's rule, and the fine early wall arcadings below. In the spandrels are two beautiful stone angels, which are just visible in the illustration.

Beyond are the tombs of the first and third Dukes of Newcastle. The first, William Cavendish, was a loyal supporter of Charles I., in whose service he lost his estates and fortune, but he returned to prosperity after the Restoration. His wife shared his troubles and his rewards. Her reputation as a literary woman and an authoress is marked by the pen and inkhorn beside her effigy; in her hands is an open book. The third Duke, John Holles, married their grand-daughter, and was reputed the richest subject in the kingdom by his contemporaries. He lived in the reign of Queen Anne, when the standard of wealth was far less high than it is in these days. One of the slender columns in St. Michael's Chapel behind still {113} retains the original polish, and gives us some idea what the whole church looked like before our London atmosphere had corroded and blurred the surface of the Purbeck marble. Statues of the three Cannings stand between these two tombs. The nearest to our generation, he died in 1880, is Stratford Canning, better known by his title of the Viscount de Redcliffe, who was for fifty years British Ambassador in the East. His cousin, Earl Canning, Viceroy of India during the Mutiny, was succeeded in that post, after the outbreak was quelled, by Lord Lawrence, whose grave and bust we saw in the nave. From the third statue, that of George Canning, Prime Minister in 1827, we look across the transept to his colleague in his last Cabinet, Lord Palmerston, a statesman who must ever be associated with our foreign policy for the first half of Queen Victoria's reign. Further to the left we see another Tory politician, Viscount Castlereagh, with whom George Canning once actually fought a duel; but the two men made up their quarrel, and Canning afterwards succeeded his former foe at the Foreign Office. Castlereagh was unfortunate in his end and unpopular during his life. He committed suicide while temporarily insane, and his burial here was the {114} occasion of a great outburst of feeling, when the indignant mob outside hammered on the doors of the church while the funeral service proceeded inside. The huge monument, which fills up the last arch on the western side, was erected by Parliament, at the cost of 6000 pounds, as a tribute to the fame of William Pitt, Earl of Chatham. Bacon was guilty of this enormity, while Westmacott perpetrated the equally tasteless allegorical group over the west door, which commemorates the younger Pitt. Father and son lie together in this aisle. Not far from theirs are the graves of two other statesmen, Henry Grattan, the eloquent Irish orator, and his dear friend, Charles James Fox, "near whom in death it would have been his pride to lie." We saw the monuments of Pitt and Fox on our first entrance into the nave. Chatham's name must ever recall the severance of the United States from the Mother Country, while his son, "the great Commoner," is associated with our struggle to break the power of Napoleon, whose downfall Pitt did not live to see. Between the last columns further south is the statue of Chatham's brilliant legal adversary, Lord Mansfield. Behind him stands another distinguished lawyer, who belonged to a later generation, Sir William Webb Follett, {115} Attorney-General in Peel's last Ministry. Before turning the corner into the western aisle it is impossible not to notice the two Admirals, Vernon and Wager, whose memorials unfortunately cover the wall arcading on either side of the north door. Their very names are unknown to the average person nowadays, but they did good service on the high seas for England's glory in their own time, the eighteenth century. Vernon owes a posthumous fame amongst sea-faring men to the fact that the sailor's drink, a mixture of rum and water first introduced by the Admiral, was called grog in his honour; he was familiarly known as "Old Grog" on board ship, a nickname inspired by his grogram boat-cloak.

In another place we have already dwelt at some length upon these makers of our Empire in war and peace alike, whose names may be seen upon the walls on every side. While the tariff question is the topic of the hour, and Cobden, the original champion of free trade, is constantly appealed to by our modern politicians, we must not omit to look at that statesman's bust, which will be found, with a number of other interesting memorials, at the back of Chatham's monument. Near this the tablet to Warren Hastings records a page in the history of {116} our Indian Empire which it is best to leave unturned, for it is stained with the life-blood of a man's broken heart, a heart broken by a trial dragged out interminably till the culprit, whether he were innocent or guilty, was punished far beyond his deserts. Macaulay's famous description of Hastings's trial is well known, and we are reminded of his no less familiar essay on Lord Clive by the monuments of two men, a soldier and a sailor, who co-operated with Clive in the foundation of our Indian Empire. The East India Company is responsible for the inartistic, grotesque erections which traduce the memory of these gallant men, Admiral Watson and Sir Eyre Coote, while they also perpetrated the scarcely less offensive, although smaller monument which commemorates Major Stringer Lawrence, Clive's intimate friend and valued comrade, the hero of Trichinopoly, which is near the west end of the nave. The Admiral sits unclothed, save for a Roman toga, amongst palm-trees and allegorical figures above the ancient doorway, while his chief achievements are recorded in the inscriptions "Calcutta freed," "Ghereah," and "Chandernagore taken," with the dates 1756 and 1757. Coote expelled the French from the Coromandel coast in 1761, and twenty years later {117} defeated them again with their ally, Hyder Ali, in the Carnatic. The General masquerades as a Roman warrior, with a native captive and a figure of Victory on either hand. Such was, in fact, the taste of the period when these preposterous groups were all the fashion. We turn from this with pleasure to the fine bust of Richard Kane, which is against the opposite wall, and single him out for a passing mention on account of his connection, as Governor, with the Island of Minorca, one of "the lost possessions" of England.

Facing us now, as we make our way westward, is the seated figure of Sir Fowell Buxton, and a little further to the left Joseph's extraordinarily vivid but unpleasing figure of William Wilberforce. Both men are indissolubly connected in our minds with the abolition of Slavery. With them are associated the pioneer of the anti-slavery agitation, Granville Sharp, and their fellow-worker, Zachary, father of Lord Macaulay. Sharp's tablet is not far from the latter's bust in the south transept, and we have already noticed the elder Macaulay in the Whigs' Corner. Between the philanthropists is Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore, a man no less zealous than they in the struggle for the suppression of slavery. To us Londoners his name {118} must ever be dear, for we owe the Zoological Gardens to his initiative.

We are standing now in the aisle dedicated to the memory of that great English composer, Henry Purcell, and thus often called the "Musicians' Aisle," although the memorials to musicians are comparatively few. Purcell's modest tablet with the well-known epitaph, "Here lyes Henry Purcell, Esq., who left this life, and is gone to that blessed place, where only his harmony can be exceeded," hangs against the pillar near Raffles. We passed a modern one hard by to Balfe, a composer of many popular ballads; while on the north wall are the monuments of Purcell's master, Dr. Blow, who first preceded and then succeeded his young pupil at the Abbey organ, and Dr. Croft, who followed after Blow. Stones in the floor mark the graves of Dr. Samuel Arnold, another Abbey organist, and Sterndale Bennett, who is considered by some authorities worthy to rank with Purcell as a musical composer. A tablet to Dr. Burney detains us for a moment, while we remind the lovers of literature in our party of his daughter, the novelist, Fanny Burney, and of their friendship with Dr. Johnson, whose grave we saw in Poets' Corner. Other memorials, chiefly those to sailors, are upon this {119} wall, but we cannot tarry much longer, our friends are craving mercy for tired brains and aching limbs. Just before the iron gate the portrait medallion of Charles Darwin, which is closely companioned by tablets to three other modern scientists, Joule, Adams, and Stokes, attracts notice, and the next moment we tread upon the graves of Darwin and Herschel, all placed purposely in the vicinity of Sir Isaac Newton. Doctors of medicine as well as men of science will be found in the nave. We have already referred to the fashionable Dr. Mead, and his no less popular intimate, Dr. Freind, is also here. Freind's brother was headmaster of Westminster School, and many of the Latin inscriptions on contemporary monuments were written by him, including the one under his brother's bust; so many in fact that Pope, whose own pen was ever busy commemorating his cronies with fulsome laudations, such as those on Kneller and Craggs, wrote the following mocking lines:—

Freind, for your epitaphs I'm grieved
Where still so much is said,
One half will never be believed,
The other never read.

The jibing prophecy has been literally fulfilled, for these Latin epitaphs are most certainly never read, {120} while Pope's verses, which are usually in English, stand a better chance. Close to us on the right-hand wall is the bust of a great modern geologist, Sir Charles Lyell, which stands above the monument of his distinguished forerunner, Woodward, who is often called the founder of English geology. Opposite is that of Dean Buckland, who was twice President of the Geological Society and a distinguished authority in that science. The windows along the north side commemorate celebrated civil engineers, Stephenson, Locke, Brunel, and Trevithick. To the genius of these men and to James Watt, whose statue we saw in St. Paul's Chapel, the wonderful railway and steamship system of modern days was, in the first instance, due. Few, indeed, are the arts, crafts, and sciences of the last two centuries which cannot claim some representative in the Abbey. Thus, as we cross over to the west cloister door on our way out, we tread upon the graves of the father of English watchmakers, Thomas Tompion, and his clever apprentice, George Graham; near them lies Telford, the builder of the Menai Bridge; close to him is Robert Stephenson, the designer of the tubular bridge across the Menai Straits, who was buried beside Telford, twenty-five years later, at his own request.


We have brought our walk round the inside of the church to a conclusion, but in order to complete the circuit of the outside, such of the monastic buildings which are still extant must be visited on the way out. A narrow doorway opposite Telford's grave leads immediately into the cloisters, which formed the central part of the monastery. Here it was that the busy daily life of a Benedictine brotherhood was carried on: in this, the west walk, the monks kept a school, where the novices and boys from the neighbourhood received the only education obtainable in England before the grammar schools were founded. The adjacent north walk was used as a library in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and divided off by screens at either end. In this part used to be the Prior's seat, and around him were bookcases containing parchment rolls and illuminated missals, to which, after Caxton's time, printed volumes were added. The Consuetudines of Abbot Ware, the Litlington Missal, the Liber Regalis, and the Islip Roll are still extant, but most of the precious manuscripts which the Westminster brethren illuminated and copied with such loving care in this library, each scribe seated in his own alcove, were destroyed or carelessly lost after the Dissolution, when the monks had all been {122} dispersed, and printed books were rapidly superseding the written folios. In the eastern walk beyond this the Abbot sat enthroned on special days, in order to hear complaints and redress grievances. There also it was that he held his Maundy on the Thursday before Good Friday, and washed the feet of beggars. Towards the west in the southern part, which completes the square and was used as a passage-way, is the entrance to the great refectory where the brethren dined. Nothing of the hall is left save the ancient wall, but outside the door are remains of the niches which were used for towels; the lavatory itself was round the corner in the west cloister. The cloisters, and the monastic buildings which surround them, were built at different periods, chiefly by the generosity and energy of the Abbots. The Norman monastery remained intact long after Henry the Third's time, but the new cloister, which was begun by Abbot Byrcheston, was gradually built as the church progressed, and the north end of the eastern arm was practically part of the south transept. Both the east and north walks were completed under Edward I. in the same style, the Early English; but the other two were not begun till Langham's abbacy in the fourteenth century, {123} and the cloister was not entirely finished till the fifteenth. To Langham's generous bequest and Litlington's talent for architectural design the monks owed the completion of this most important part of their monastery. We shall see as we go out the head of Litlington, carved on the archway in Dean's Yard after his death, for he did not live to see the whole work which he had planned carried out. In walking round the cloisters it must be remembered, however, that successive restorations and remodellings of the window traceries have in many instances destroyed all traces of the earlier style, and the more ancient portions are now in so decayed a state that a fresh restoration must soon be undertaken.

The South Transept and Chapter House

The South Transept and Chapter House from Dean's Yard


From Dean's Yard we get the best view of the south transept and the group of buildings which surround it. Thus we see the Chapter House behind the roof of the ancient dormitory, now the Chapter library and the great school, while at the back of the old houses to the left are the leads which cover the cloisters. To the right is the small arch which leads into Little Dean's Yard, and the immediate foreground is filled by the green, where the Westminster boys are allowed to play football between school in winter. The elm trees, themselves of some antiquity, are interesting, for their forerunners were planted by Feckenham, the last Abbot of Westminster, and gave the name of the Elms to the whole square which is now called Dean's Yard.

From the west door we pass down the north walk, pausing to observe a modern tablet which recalls the Boer War: it commemorates seven of the Queen's Westminster Volunteers who fell in South Africa, fighting side by side with their civic comrades the C.I.V.'s. Some round holes in the stone bench below are said to be the marks of an old English game, called "nine men's morris," which was popular in mediaeval times; and if this be so, we can only suppose that even the more studious brethren in the library had their lighter {124} moments, or that the novices were allowed to play here. The lover of quaint epitaphs in our party is sure to stop a little further on in order to decipher an almost obliterated rhyming inscription, which tells how faithfully William Lawrence served a Prebendary, and "gained this remembrance at his master's cost." Our feet are treading now upon the graves of Garrick's contemporaries, Spranger Barry, his wife Ann Crawford, and Mrs. Cibber. As we turn into the east walk we see the names of two other lights of the eighteenth-century stage, Betterton and Mrs. Bracegirdle, cut in the pavement; the mural tablet close by to "Jane Lister, deare child," by its very simplicity is sure to attract the child-lover. Before moving on, let us look up at the east cloister door with its delicate thirteenth-century moulding, which is far more beautiful than the later Perpendicular work of Abbot Litlington's time above the west door. Lower down a grand portal with a double doorway, of the same earlier date, leads through a dark vestibule into that incomparable specimen of Early English architecture, the Chapter House. In one of the outer arches are fragments of figures and foliage representing a tree of Jesse, and in the tympanum above we see two decaying but still beautiful {125} stone angels. The centre was once filled by a group of the Virgin with the infant Saviour in her arms, no trace of which now remains. The Chapter House, which was built at the same time as Henry the Third's church, ranks as one of the finest in England, but it has suffered much damage at various periods from the hands of careless guardians and from the well-meaning efforts of successive restorers. It was originally designed for the use of the convent, but ever since the dissolution of the monastery it has been in the possession of the Government, and has never been under the jurisdiction of the Dean and Chapter. Here it was that the monks used to assemble in conclave, under the presidency of the Abbot, about once a week, to discuss their affairs, and summary justice was administered to such of the elder brethren who had broken the rules of the Order. These were flogged near the central pillar, under the eyes of the other monks, who sat round on the stone benches against the wall; the younger offenders were chastised in the cloisters. Quite early in the reign of the first Edward, however, the kings began to use this council chamber of the monastery for their own purposes, and would often hold synods of the clergy within its walls, usually with the purpose of {126} extorting subsidies. About the middle of the fourteenth century the Abbot lent the Chapter House to the Crown for the use of the Commons, who met henceforth in the monastic precincts till they were removed by an edict of Edward VI.'s to the old chapel of St. Stephen's. The wise head of the monastery, Abbot Henley, made a stipulation at the same time that the Government should bear the expense of all future repairs. Whether this compact was faithfully carried out at first we do not know, but after the Dissolution, when the building lapsed finally to the Crown, it fell into a shocking state of ruin, and was used as a kind of lumber-room for State documents. In the eighteenth century it was fitted up as a record office, and the architecture ruthlessly maltreated. The original roof, which was in a ruinous condition, was removed altogether; wooden shelves, galleries, and staircases concealed the painted walls; a boarded floor was added half-way up, and rolls of dusty and inflammable parchments increased the constant risk of fire. In 1834 when the houses of Parliament hard by were burnt, watchers were stationed on the roof of the Chapter House, ready to remove the Doomsday Book and other valuable records should the conflagration spread and the safety of {127} this historic building be seriously threatened. So urgent did the danger from fire appear long afterwards to Sir Gilbert Scott, when he was Surveyor of the Abbey fabric, that he prevailed on the Government of 1865 to remove the records, and obtained a grant of money from Parliament for the purpose of restoring the place as far as possible to its original aspect. Altered as it must have been by this restoration, yet Scott did his work well, and as we look around us we see traces of its ancient splendour, although irreparable damage from neglect and misguided attempts to repair the ravages of former generations has been wrought at various times. The very interesting mural paintings, for instance, which date from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, have been slowly yet surely fading ever since the wooden panelling was removed forty years ago, and well-meant modern experiments, which were intended to preserve the colour, seem only to have added to their destruction. Above the inner door are two graceful stone figures, one of which is said to represent St. John the Baptist; the central medallion of Christ is by Sir Gilbert Scott, but does not compare favourably with the thirteenth-century sculptures. The tracery of the windows was restored after the pattern of {128} the only one which Scott found intact, but the ancient painted glass had long disappeared, and the present glass, the work of Messrs. Clayton and Bell, was inserted at the end of the last century as a memorial to Dean Stanley. Part of one window is still unfinished, waiting until sufficient funds are forthcoming, but the remainder have now been filled up. The east window was given by the generosity of Queen Victoria as a token of her admiration for her old friend, while the cost of the one next to it was defrayed entirely by American subscribers. Historical scenes closely connected with the Abbey are here represented; above them are figures of those sovereigns and abbots who rank as benefactors to the foundation. We passed just now in the vestibule a small medallion portrait with a modern window above it, both of which were put there as a memorial to James Russell Lowell, who was for many years the United States Minister in London, and whose brilliant speech in this very place, when he supported Dean Bradley's appeal for funds to worthily commemorate Dean Stanley, will never be forgotten by those present on that occasion. Railed off in the centre of the floor are remnants of the ancient encaustic tiles, with which the whole was once paved, and {129} round about them are glass cases containing many interesting documents, seals, and other relics, which should be studied at leisure by the antiquarian members of our party. These are already admiring the famous Litlington Missal and the Liber Regalis, an illuminated book containing the order of the Coronation Service, which was prepared for the use of Richard II., and is probably the actual volume which the boy King held in his hands during the long and, to a child, tedious ceremony. There is also a fine manuscript containing an agreement between Henry VII. and the Bermondsey convent. Others are attracted to the skeletons of rats, mice, and sparrows which were found when cleaning out the old organ pipes. In the vestibule as we go out we see a curious old doorway, which was originally the entrance to the royal treasury, now called the Pyx Chapel. Upon the other side hang strips of the human skin with which it was once entirely covered, like the door which used to divide the chapels of St. Faith and St. Blaise, in the south transept. The latter was taken down long ago, but in Scott's time the frame, which still had some skin adhering to it, was extant, but it was then carried off by the Abbey master-mason and has been since entirely lost sight {130} of. The gruesome relics on the south transept door were traditionally supposed to be the skins of the Danes, but the one here was said to be that of a man flayed alive for robbing the royal treasury in the time of Edward I., which was fixed upon the treasury entrance as a warning to the monks, who were implicated in the crime. Sir Gilbert Scott, however, believed the skins to have been those of men who were executed for sacrilege. Beneath the Chapter House itself is a crypt, which was also used as a depository for treasure, and formed part of the King's wardrobe in Edward the First's reign. It is still a moot-point as to which strong room was broken into by the robbers, but this need not detain us now. The door leads nowhere at present; but in the Confessor's day, when the chamber was built, and for long afterwards, it admitted at once into the treasury chamber. Behind it now there is only an empty space beneath the library stairs, within which, late in the eighteenth and early in the nineteenth century, one of the Chapter officials seems to have kept his wine, for the names of different wines and the dates are written upon the stones. Beyond the fourteenth-century staircase, which led up to the monks' dormitory, a wall, probably of the same period, divides this part of {131} the treasury from the rest, and one of the Norman columns has been built into the middle of it. In Scott's day a modern door led to the Chapter library from the vestibule, but he restored the original staircase with the entrance into the east cloister, which is on our left when we emerge. The spacious chamber above was originally the dormitory, whence the monks passed to and fro into the church over this vestibule by a covered passage-way, which crossed the end of St. Faith's Chapel and descended by stone steps, some of which remain, into the chapel of St. Blaise in the south transept. After having been occasionally used as a library under different Deans, part of this dormitory (the rest is incorporated in the schoolroom) was restored and fitted up by Dean Vincent in the seventeenth century, and is now the Chapter library. In the cloister beyond the library entrance a heavy oak door, clamped with iron bars, leads into the chamber or chapel of the Pyx. Behind this is another equally formidable-looking door, and upon each are three complicated locks, only two of which are used at the present time. There is little doubt that these locks date from the seventeenth century and are not the original ones belonging to the Treasury, of which the Keeper of the Royal {132} Wardrobe and the Abbot had duplicate keys; for we know that when Parliament sent Sir Robert Harley to seize the regalia in 1643, no keys were produced by the Dean, the locks were therefore broken, and new ones were put on by order of the House. The whole question of the Pyx Chapel is one of vast interest, and much of its history is still an insoluble riddle. It is enough to tell our party that the regalia and Crown jewels were kept here for many centuries, and that in later times the pyx, a box containing the standard pieces of gold and silver money, took the place of the ancient treasure. The pyx is now in the Mint, and quite recently the treasury chamber, which is at present under the control of the Board of Works, has been cleared out after centuries of neglect, and most of the old chests have been temporarily removed. Now that the chapel is empty, it is possible to appreciate the fine proportions of its architecture. This vaulted chamber and a few other substructures beyond it, including the dark cloister, belong to the Norman monastery, and were built during and after the Confessor's time. In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries most of the old monastic buildings were gradually pulled down to make way for more airy and convenient {133} new structures, but these remained untouched when the rest were destroyed. The Pyx Chamber appears to have been a chapel at one time, there are traces of an altar and a thirteenth-century holy-water basin at the east end, as there are also in the Chapter-House crypt, but both were used as royal treasuries, and the regalia was kept in the former until the Commonwealth. After the Restoration the new regalia was deposited in the Tower, and ever since it has been brought to the Abbey the night before the coronation. The Romanesque round arches and plain short pillars with fluted mouldings date from the eleventh century, while on the floor are ancient tiles of various periods, some of which have been identified as Roman. Two large and solid chests on which are written the names of different countries, such, for instance, as Scotland, Burgundy, and Navarre, seem to have held treaties and possibly tribute money. We cannot visit either the Library or the Pyx Chapel to-day, nor the small vaulted chamber which leads into the school gymnasium, but we must spare a few moments to see the only portion of the original Norman cloister which is still standing, a dark round arch, beneath which we pass into a modernised court called the Little Cloister. The {134} monks' infirmary, an Early English building, was formerly here, and a few arches of the infirmary chapel, which was dedicated to St. Catherine, are still to be seen behind one of the Canon's houses; a small locked door in the other corner leads into the "College Garden," where the sick brethren used to take the air. We stop to notice a tablet against the wall, near the choir boys' practice-room, which is a favourite with all our parties, on account of the quaint conceit about the man who, "through the spotted veil of the smallpox, rendered a pure and unspotted soul to God." Returning by the dark arch we look into Little Dean's Yard, around which are the school buildings, but Westminster School is too vast a subject to be tackled at the end of a long morning, so we merely point out the gateway leading to the great schoolroom, where are carved the names of many a distinguished old Westminster, and advise our friends to visit Ashburnham House and see Inigo Jones's famous staircase on another occasion. The south walk is the direct way to Dean's Yard. The wall all along the side most probably formed part of the Norman cloister, and was utilised by Litlington for the new one; behind it was the great refectory, to which we have referred before. So closely connected in {135} style is the late Decorated and early Perpendicular that it is impossible to define the exact date of this part of the monastery, but, roughly speaking, we may attribute the rest of the buildings which we are now about to visit to the energy of Abbot Litlington, although some were finished after his death. The tombs of the early Abbots against this wall were probably originally inside the Norman church; in any case they have certainly been brought here from elsewhere. The names we see now were cut in the eighteenth century, and are so strangely transposed that scarcely one tomb is correctly inscribed. A large blue stone called Long Meg was long believed to cover the remains of twenty-eight monks stricken by the plague, but like many another Abbey legend this is scarcely credible when we recall the busy monastic life which went on in these cloisters, and the fact that the cemetery was outside the Lady Chapel. Our goal at present is the famous Jerusalem Chamber, where the Abbots used to entertain their guests. To reach this we pass beneath another archway after leaving the cloisters, and enter a picturesque courtyard; on one side is the College Hall, which was formerly the Abbot's dining-room, and was used for the same purpose by the earlier Deans; on {136} the other three sides of the court are the Abbot's lodgings, now the Deanery. The Hall was built by Litlington at the same time as the Chamber, and although it was remodelled in the Elizabethan period, when the roof was restored and the minstrels' gallery added, much of the fourteenth-century work remains. The Abbot's initials, N. L., with his arms are seen on pieces of painted glass and on the bosses of the roof, while the primitive fireplace in the centre of the floor, with a hole above for the smoke to escape, was in use until the middle of last century. On the dais, raised two steps above the rest of the Hall, the Abbot, and afterwards his successor the Dean, had his place of honour; the ancient oak tables are supposed to have been made out of the wrecks of the Spanish Armada, and undoubtedly date from Elizabeth's reign, when the newly founded Queen's scholars used to dine with the Dean and Prebendaries. A small door in the corner admits us, by a passage-way, into the Jerusalem Chamber, but here we look round in vain for traces of our friend Litlington, for the room has been so modernised and restored that practically only the cedar wood and the architectural details belong to his time. More fragments of ancient glass, dating from the fourteenth to the sixteenth centuries, {137} remind us that once not only these but the church windows were filled with painted glass, most of which was destroyed by the early Protestants, and all that was left was broken by the Puritans. The tapestry was brought here from the choir and from the great school in 1821, when the Chamber was restored. The tiles and fireplace were added in Queen Victoria's reign, while the overmantel was put up by Dean Williams, to commemorate the marriage of Charles I. to Henrietta Maria—on either side are grotesque heads of the bride and bridegroom; Williams entertained the French Ambassador at a banquet in this room while the negotiations were proceeding. Dean Stanley placed the busts of Henry IV. and Henry V. against the wall, and thus all who visit this historic chamber are reminded that a king died on the spot before the hearth where we now stand. Shakespeare has made the scene of Henry the Fourth's death very familiar, and we remember the King's words when he recovered consciousness after his swoon. Henry was taken ill when praying at St. Edward's shrine, before starting for the Holy Land; the dying man asked the name of the room into which he was carried from the church, and receiving the reply "Hierusalem," he broke out into thanksgiving:—


Laud be to God! even there my life must end.
It hath been prophesied to me many years
I should not die but in Jerusalem;
Which vainly I suppos'd the Holy Land.
But bear me to that chamber; there I'll lie;
In that Jerusalem shall Harry die.

The Abbot's Courtyard and the Entrance to the Jerusalem Chamber

The Abbot's Courtyard and the Entrance to the Jerusalem Chamber


This little paved yard has borne its present name ever since the days of the Westminster abbots, for the buildings all round belonged to the Abbot's lodgings. Here, for instance, is the fine hall where the Abbot used to dine, and where the Westminster scholars still have their meals. We cannot see this in the picture, but immediately facing us is the entrance to the Jerusalem Chamber and Jericho parlour, the Abbot's guest-rooms. The old bedrooms above also formed part of the Abbot's house, and are now used by the Dean. The whole of this, including the Jericho parlour, the windows of which we can see below, was probably built, in the reign of King Henry VII., by Abbot Islip. The Jerusalem Chamber dates from an earlier period, the fourteenth century.

Many and diverse are the purposes for which the Abbot's withdrawing-room has been utilised since the dissolution of the monastery. More than one coffin has rested here before the interment; the most notable was that of Sir Isaac Newton, when the Chamber was thronged with distinguished men from all parts of Europe. The least reputable was the famous occasion when the painted, bedizened body of a notorious actress, whose charms were extolled by Horace Walpole and sneered at by Alexander Pope, was brought into these monastic precincts, and afterwards buried inside the church itself. Wedding as well as funeral parties assemble in this room from time to time, and the Chamber is occasionally lent by the Dean for special meetings. Thus the revisers of the Old Testament carried out their onerous task, the work of several years, seated round this table. Long before, in the seventeenth century, a very different body of men had met here, when the Westminster Assembly, driven from Henry VII.'s Chapel by {139} the freezing cold, moved into the warmer atmosphere of the Dean's house, and held many a stormy debate in this peaceful old-world place.

From Jerusalem we pass into the Jericho parlour; this room, and the bedrooms above it, were built in the sixteenth century, probably by Abbot Islip, who was like Litlington a great builder; the fine linen scroll panelling round the walls dates from an earlier period, and in the window hang more remains of ancient glass. A door leads from the Deanery into the lobby outside, and at the end of a dark passage is the Dean's private entrance to the Abbey, which opens into the nave beneath the "Abbot's Pew." We have referred once or twice to the Commonwealth era, when Presbyterian ministers preached in the church, and the Deanery was leased for a while to the Lord President of the Council, John Bradshaw. We seem even now, after the lapse of over two hundred years, to see the striking figure of the regicide, his stern features concealed by his favourite broad-brimmed hat, stride across the darkness to the little door in the wall, whence he ascended to the secluded study in the triforium, where he loved to meditate amongst his books. But enough of these fascinating memories. Our own pilgrimage is drawing to {140} a close; we retrace our steps through the Abbot's courtyard and emerge from the twilight of the cloisters into the sunshine of Dean's Yard, turning for a moment before we part to look up at the window of the "long room," which, with his private chapel behind it, was built by our friend Litlington. On each side of the gateway below it are the heads of the Abbot himself and of his sovereign, Richard II. Part of the ancient refectory wall is concealed behind bookcases in the Abbot's long room, and there are other remains of monastic times in the Deanery, which is a rambling old house, added to by successive Deans, with many a picturesque corner and secret chamber. Let us take leave of one another standing under the old elm-trees, some of which were planted in Elizabeth's reign by Feckenham, the last Abbot, and here complete our morning's walk round the church and precincts of St. Peter's, Westminster.



Abbot, 6, 12, 26, 27, 122, 125, 135

Abbot's courtyard, 135, 140
long room, 140
Pew, 22, 40, 139

Abbots' Chapel, 107
tombs, 135

Abbotsford, 48

Abraham, heights of, 108

Adams, J. C., 119

Addison, Joseph, 36, 46, 101

Afghanistan, 33

Agincourt, battle of, 84

Albemarle, William de Fortibus, Earl of, 59

Alfonzo, Prince, 64

Almenara, battle of, 34

Altar, Jesus, 25
high, 24, 57

Ambulatory, north, 105
south, 62

André, Major, 36

Andrew, St., Chapel of, 45, 109

Andrews, St., Archbishop of, 53

Angelo, Michael, 94

Anne, Queen, 61, 88, 96, 112
grave, and wax effigy, 101

Anne of Bohemia, 68, 72, 81, 82

Anne of Cleves, 61

Anne of Denmark, 94

Anne, St., 105

Anne's Gate, Queen, 10

Argyll, Duchess of, 7

Armada, Spanish, 136

Arnold, Matthew, 28

Arnold, Dr. Samuel, 118

Arnold, Dr. Thomas, 28

Ashburnham House, 134

Atterbury, Dean, 14, 23, 50, 55

Aveline, Countess of Lancaster, 59

Bacon, John, sculptor, 114

Balfe, Michael, 118

Baptistery, 23, 28

Barnet, battle of, 66

Barton Street, 45

Barry, Sir Charles, 32

Barry, Mrs., 45

Barry, Spranger, 124

Bath, Knights of the, 34, 91

Beaufort family, 88

Becket, Archbishop Thomas à, 57

Belfry, 23

Benedict, St., Chapel of, 52, 62

Benedictines, 3, 62, 121

Bennett, Sir W. Sterndale, 118

Benson, auditor, 50

Beranger, Raymond de, Count of Provence, 41

Bermondsey convent, 129

Betterton, Thomas, 124

Bill, Dean, 62

Blackfriars, 77

Blaise, St., Chapel of, 129, 131

Blake, Admiral, 8, 95, 101

Blanche of the Tower, 66

Blenheim, battle of, 96

Blore, 56

Blow, Dr., 118

Boehm, sculptor, 94

Boer War, 123

Bohemia, arms of, 82
King of, 82

Bohun, family of de, 87

Booth, Barton, 44

Bosworth, battle of, 89

Bourchier, Sir Humphrey, 66

Bracegirdle, Mrs., 124

Bradley, Dean, 22, 128

Bradshaw, John, regicide, 95, 139

Bray, Sir Reginald, 92

Brazilian Navy, 34

Brigham, Nicholas, 51

Bringfield, Colonel, 96

Brocas, Sir Bernard, 36

Brock, sculptor, 111

Browning, Robert, 52

Brunel, Isamberd, 120

Buckingham, Countess of, 85

Buckingham, Duke and Duchess of, 97

Buckland, Dean, 120

Burgundy, 133

Burleigh, Lord, 67

Burney, Dr., 118

Burney, Fanny, Madame d'Arblay, 118

Burns, Robert, 48

Busby, Dr., 44, 53, 56

Buxton, Sir T. Fowell, 117

Byrcheston, Abbot, 122

Cabul, 33

Calais, 75, 79, 104

Calcutta, 116

Campbell, Sir Colin, Lord Clyde, 32

Campbell, Thomas, 48

Canning, Earl, 113

Canning, George, 113

Canning, Stratford, Viscount de Redcliffe, 113

Canterbury, Archbishop of, 57, 62
Cathedral, 68

Carnatic, 117

Caroline, Queen, 98

Casaubon, Isaac, 43

Castlereagh, Viscount, 113

Catherine of Braganza, Queen, 36

Catherine, Princess, 63

Catherine, St., 63
Chapel of, 134

Cavendish, William, first Duke of Newcastle, 112

Caxton, William, 121

Cecil, Anne, Countess of Oxford, 67

Cecil, Mildred, Lady Burleigh, 67

Cecil, Sir Robert, Earl of Salisbury, 67

Cecil, Robert, Marquess of Salisbury, 68, 112

Cecil, William, Lord Burleigh, 67

Chamberlain, Dr., 98

Chandernagore, 116

Chapter House, 16, 61, 124-130
crypt, 130, 133
library, 13, 131, 133

Charing Cross, 77

Charles I., King, 13, 85, 97, 112, 137

Charles II., King, 36, 38, 88, 95, 97, 99, 101, 102, 104

Charles IV., Emperor, 82

Chaucer, Geoffrey, 48, 49, 51, 52, 85

Chilian Navy, 34

Choir, 23, 24
boys, 134
north aisle, 118
south aisle, 37
screen, 25

Cibber, Mrs., 124

Claypole, Elizabeth, Lady, 96

Clayton and Bell, 128

Clive, Lord, 116

Cloisters, 26, 54, 121, 122, 123, 134, 135
Little, 133

Cobden, Richard, 115

Cochrane, Thomas, Earl of Dundonald, 34

Coleridge, S. T., 48

College Garden, 134
Hall, 135

Colt, Maximilian, sculptor, 104

Commons, House of, 111, 126

Commonwealth, 95, 107, 133, 139

Congreve, William, 40

Coote, Sir Eyre, 116

Coromandel, 116

Coronation, 7
chairs, 72, 79, 95, 106
service, 129, 133

Coverley, Sir Roger de, 102

Cowley, Abraham, 52

Cowley Street, 45

Cowper, William, 110

Craggs, James, 28, 102, 119

Crawford, Ann, 124

Crecy, battle of, 82

Creed, Major, 96

Crimean War, 33

Croft, Dr., 118

Cromwell, Oliver, 8, 79, 95, 96

Crull, 15

Crusaders, 60

Crusades, 75, 76

Danes, 3, 69, 129, 130

Darnley, Henry Stuart, Earl of, 98

Darwin, Charles, 31, 119

Daubeney, Sir Giles and Lady, 85

Dean, 22, 135, 136, 139
and Chapter, 13, 28, 50, 125

Dean's Yard, 43, 123, 134, 140
Little, 134

Deanery, 23, 27, 136, 139, 140

Delavel family, 85

Derby, Earl of, 89

Dickens, Charles, 46

Disraeli, Benjamin, Earl of Beaconsfield, 111

Dolben, Dean, 13, 14

Doomsday Book, 126

Dorset, Anne, Countess of, 49

Dryden, John, 35, 52

Dunk, G. Montagu, Earl of Halifax, 102

Editha, Lady, 74

Edmund Crouchback, Earl of Lancaster, 59, 60

Edmund, St., Chapel of, 36, 64, 80, 81

Edward, St., the Confessor, 3, 4, 5, 9, 12, 25, 69, 130, 132
altar of, 70, 71
arms of, 41
chapel of, 68-83
shrine of, 5, 27, 57, 64, 70, 71, 74, 84, 102, 137

Edward I., 12, 25, 61, 63, 75, 77, 122, 125, 130
tomb of, 78, 83, 105

Edward II., 26, 64, 65, 71, 78

Edward III., 26, 36, 66, 79
tomb of, 68, 80, 81

Edward IV., 26, 27, 72, 89

Edward V., 27, 104

Edward VI., 90, 126

Edward, the Black Prince, 66, 68, 81

Edwardes, Sir Herbert, 33

Eleanor of Aquitaine, 75

Eleanor de Bohun, Duchess of Gloucester, 66, 81

Eleanor of Castile, 76
tomb of, 58, 73, 77, 84, 106

Elizabeth, Queen, 3, 6, 49, 62, 63, 67, 105, 109, 136, 140
tomb of, 100, 103
wax effigy, 103

Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia, 99

Elizabeth Woodville, 17, 104, 107

Elizabeth of York, 89

Erasmus, St., Chapel of, 107

Essex, Earl of, 43

Esteney, Abbot, 11, 12, 108

Evesham, battle of, 59

Fairborne, Sir Palmes, 35

Faith, St., Chapel of, 46, 55, 129-131

Feckenham, Abbot, 72, 78, 140

Flanders, 75

Follett, Sir W., 114

Font, 23

Fox, Charles James, 30, 114

France, 74, 75, 87, 89

Franklin, Sir John, 111

Freind, Dr. John, 119

Freind, Robert, 119

Froissart, John, 80

Front, north, 14, 15, 26
west, 12, 15, 27

Garrick, David and Mrs., 44, 45

Gay, John, 47

George I., 38, 91

George II., 98

George III., 23, 37

George, Royal, wreck of the, 110

Gethin, Lady Grace, 40

Ghereah, 116

Gifford, William, 42

Gladstone, W. E., 111

Godwin, Earl, 70

Goldschmidt, Jenny Lind, 46

Goldsmith, Oliver, 47

Goodman, Dean, 42, 63

Gordon, Charles, General, 29

Gower, John, 52

Grabe, George, 30

Graham, George, 120

Grattan, Henry, 114

Gray, Thomas, 49, 50, 51

Grey Frances, Duchess of Suffolk, tomb of. See illustration

Grote, George, 42

Hainault, 85

Halidon Hill, battle of, 65

Halifax, 102
Earls of, 102

Handel, G. F., 46

Hanoverian family, 98

Harbord and Cottrell monument, 103

Harold, King, 70

Hastings, Warren, 115

Hatfield, 68

Havelock, General, 32

Hawkesmore, 11, 14, 15

Henley, Abbot, 126

Henrietta Maria, Queen, 137

Henry I., 74

Henry II., 57

Henry III., 4, 5, 12, 24, 25, 41, 55, 57, 59, 64, 65, 74, 92, 122
tomb of, 58, 72, 73, 75, 106

Henry IV., 26, 82, 83, 84, 106, 137

Henry V., 26, 69, 72, 82, 84, 86, 87, 137
Chantry Chapel of, 83, 87

Henry VI., 26, 69, 86, 92

Henry VII., 11, 12, 23, 27, 85, 86, 91, 92, 107, 129
Chapel of, 16, 23, 24, 31, 34, 54, 85, 88, 89, 100, 138

Henry VIII., 5, 62, 63, 71, 72, 73, 92, 98, 107

Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, 99

Henry, Duke of Gloucester, 99

Herschel, Sir John, 30, 31, 119

Hertford, Frances, Countess of, 62

Hill, Mrs. Jane, 27

Holland, 75

Holles, John, third Duke of Newcastle, 112

Holy Land, 60, 76, 137

Hope, Adrian, brigadier, 33

Horneck, William, 29

Horrocks, Benjamin, 30

Howard, Lord, of Effingham, 62

Hyde, Edward, Earl of Clarendon, 88

Hyder Ali, 117

India Company, East, 116

Infirmary, monks', 134

Inigo Jones, 134

Ireland, Dean, 42

Ireton, Henry, General, 95

Islip, Abbot, 11, 12, 13, 108, 139

Islip Chapel, 101, 103, 105, 107

Islip Roll, 121

Italy, 58, 75

James I., 43, 53, 94, 99, 100, 103

James II., 88

James, Duke of York, 103

Jericho parlour, 139

Jerusalem Chamber, 22, 84, 135, 137, 138, 139

John of Gaunt, 51, 83, 88

John, Prince, of Eltham, 65
canopy of tomb, 106

John, St., the Baptist, 127
Chapel of, 107, 108

John, St., the Evangelist, 70, 71
Chapel of, 109

John, St., Lateran, 71

Johnson, Dr. Samuel, 44, 47, 118

Jonson, Ben, 48, 49, 50

Joseph, sculptor, 117

Joule, James Prescott, 119

Kane, Richard, 117

Katherine of Valois, Queen, 86

Keate, Dr., 53

Keats, John, 42

Keble, John, 28

Kemble, John, 45, 110

Kempenfelt, Admiral, 110

King's College Chapel, Cambridge, 90

King's Langley, 82

King Street, 49

Kingsley, Charles, 28

Kirton, Ann, 110

Kneller, Sir Godfrey, 38, 119

Lady Chapel, 24, 51, 86, 92, 107

Lamb, Charles, 37, 44

Lambeth, 10

Lancaster, Earls of, 60
family badge, 60, 88

Langham, Archbishop, 26, 62, 122, 123

Laurence, Abbot, 70

Lawrence, John, Lord, 32, 33, 113

Lawrence, Sir Henry, 33

Lawrence, Major Stringer, 116

Lawrence, William, 124

Lennox, Dukes and Duchesses of, 96

Lennox, Earl and Countess of, 98, 99

Liber Regalis, 121, 129

Limoges, 64

Lincoln, 77

Lister, Jane, 124

Litlington, Abbot, 26, 46, 62, 123, 124, 134, 135, 136, 139, 140

Litlington Missal, 121, 129

Livingstone, David, 31

Llewellyn, Prince of Wales, 64

Locke, Joseph, 120

Longfellow, H. W., 53

Louis, St., King of France, 59

Lovell, Sir Thomas, 93, 100

Lowell, J. R., 128

Lucas, Margaret, Duchess of Newcastle, 40, 112

Lucknow, 32, 33

Lyell, Sir Charles, 120

Lytton, Edward Bulwer, Earl of, 66

Macaulay, Lord, 46, 116, 117

Macaulay, Zachary, 30, 117

Makonnen, Ras, 91

Mansfield, William Murray, Earl of, 114

Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby, 89, 93, 94, 100

Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox, 98

Margaret, St., Church of, 9, 10, 95

Marlborough, Duke of, 30, 96

Mary, Princess of Orange, 99

Mary, Princess, 104

Mary Tudor, Queen, 6, 62, 63, 71, 72, 75
tomb of, 103

Mary II., Queen, 94, 101

Mary, Queen of Scots, 98, 99, 100

Mason, William, 49

Matilda, Queen, 74

Maundy, 122

Maurice, F. D., 28

Mead, Dr., 98, 119

Meg, Long, 135

Menai Bridge, 120

Michael, St., Chapel of, 110, 112

Milton, John, 49, 50, 51

Minorca, 117

Mint, the, 132

Monastery, Westminster, 4, 62, 121, 122, 125, 132
Dissolution of the, 5, 121, 126, 138

Monck, General, Duke of Albemarle, 101, 102

Montagu, Charles, first Earl of Halifax, 102

Montagu, Edward, Admiral, Earl of Sandwich, 102

Montague, Captain, 28

Montfort, Simon de, Earl of Leicester, 59

Moors, 35, 36

Muniment Room, 55

Musicians' Aisle, 118

Mutiny, Indian, 32, 33, 113

Napoleon, 114

Navarre, 133

Nave, 11, 14, 15, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 37, 49, 105, 139

Nelson, Admiral, 12, 48
wax effigy, 108

Neville family, 93

Newcastle tombs, 112

Newcastle-on-Tyne, bridge, 107

Newton, Sir Isaac, 35, 119, 138

Nicholas, St., Chapel of, 66, 67, 105

Nightingale, Lady Elizabeth, 110

Norman church and cloister, 61, 74, 122, 131, 133, 134, 135

Norris family tomb, 109

Northumberland, Duchess of, 105

Nova Scotia, 102

Odericus, 71

Oldfield, Ann, 45, 138

Orchard, John, 80

Organ screen, 24, 56

pipes, 129

Oude, 33

Outram, Sir James, 32

Pall Mall, 37

Palmerston, Lord, 113

Paoli, Pasquale de, 39

Parliament, Houses of, 9, 16, 32, 112, 114, 126, 127

Paul, St., Chapel of, 85, 105, 120

Paul's, St., Cathedral, 80

Peabody, George, 31

Pearce, Dean Zachary, 86

Pearson, John, 14, 15, 32

Peel, Sir Robert, 111

Peninsular War, 34

Peter, St., 3, 4, 10

Peter, the Roman, 71

Peter's, St., College, 134

Philippa, Queen, 66, 68, 72, 79, 80
tomb of, 80, 84

Pitt, William, Earl of Chatham, monument, 114, 115
wax effigy, 108

Pitt, William, the younger, 21, 114

Plantagenets, 82

Poets' Corner, 41, 48, 50, 102, 118

Poictiers, battle of, 82

Pollock, Sir George, 33

Pope, Alexander, 29, 39, 119, 120, 138

Presbyterians, 139

Prior, the, 26, 121

Pritchard, Hannah, 45

Protestants, 137

Puckering, Sir John and Lady, 105

Pulteney, William, Earl of Bath, 78, 105

Punjaub, 33

Purcell, Henry, 118

Puritans, 137

Pym, John, 106

Pyx, Chapel of the, 69, 129, 131, 132, 133

Quebec, 108

Raffles, Sir Stamford, 117

Ramillies, battle of, 96

Refectory, 134, 140

Regalia, 133

Reredos, 57

Restoration, 95, 101, 107, 112, 133

Reynolds, Sir Joshua, 47

Richard II., King, 15, 26, 55, 66, 68, 72, 81, 82, 83, 84, 129, 140
picture of, 61
tomb of, 76, 81

Richard III., 89

Richard, King of the Romans, 41

Richard, Duke of York, 104

Richmond, Duke of, and Lennox, 96

Robsert, Ludovick, Lord, 85

Roet, Sir Payne, 85

Rood screen, 25

Roubiliac, sculptor, 35, 110

Rupert, Prince, 99, 101

Ruskin, John, 39, 46

Ruthall, John, Bishop of Durham, 107

Rysbrack, sculptor, 35

Sanctuary, 24, 56, 83

Sandwich, Earl of, 102

Saunders, Sir Clement, 109

Scilly Isles, 38

Scone, stone of, 61, 79

Scotland, 77, 79, 133

Scott, Sir Gilbert, 14, 32, 57, 72, 80, 127, 128, 129, 131

Scott, Sir Walter, 46

Sebert, King, 61

Shaftesbury, Earl of, 30

Shakespeare, William, monument of, 44, 45, 47
plays of, 7, 106, 137, 138

Sharp, Granville, 117

Sheffield, John, Duke of Buckinghamshire, and Duchess, 97, 102

Sheridan, R. B., 47

Shovel, Sir Cloudesley, 38

Shrewsbury, battle of, 106

Siddons, Mrs., 45, 110

Singapore, 117

Somerset, Duke of, the Protector, 62, 67, 73, 90

Somerset, Duchess of, 67

Sophia, Princess, 104

South, Dr. R., 53, 54

Southey, Robert, 48

Spain, 74, 75

Spenser, Edmund, 48, 49, 52

Spottiswoode, Archbishop, 53

Stamford, 67

Stanhope, Earls, 34

Stanley, Dean, 28, 39, 42, 66, 86, 91, 94, 95, 128, 137

Stanley, Lady Augusta, 94

Statesmen's Aisle, 41, 111

Staunton, Sir George, 29

Stephenson, Robert, 120

Stokes, Sir William, 119

Strode, William, 107

Stuart, Arabella, 99

Stuart, Charles, Earl of Lennox, 99

Stuart, Frances, Duchess of Richmond and Lennox, 96

Stuarts, 54, 88, 98, 101

Sussex, county of, 74

Tait, Archbishop, 53

Tangier, 35

Telford, Thomas, 120, 121

Tennyson, Alfred, Lord, 111
grave of, 52

Testament, Old, revisers of, 138

Thackeray, W. M., 46

Thirlwall, Bishop, 42

Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, 60

Thomas of Lewes, 73

Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester, 81

Thorneye, 3, 10, 69

Thynne, Thomas, 37

Thynne, William, 38

Tickell, 101

Tompion, Thomas, 120

Torel, William, 73

Torrigiano, Pietro, 93, 100

Tory, 112, 113

Tostig, 70

Tothill Street, 11

Tower, the, 104

Towers, West, 11, 15

Transept, north, 14, 15, 54, 109, 111
south, 14, 41, 54, 129

Treasury, Royal, 129, 130, 131

Trench, Archbishop, 31

Trevithick, Richard, 120

Trichinopoly, 116

Triforium, 24, 26, 139

Tudor, Owen, 46

Tudors, 3, 5, 7, 25, 38, 67, 88, 89

Turks, 36, 77

Tyburn, 96

Valence, Aymer de, 60

Valence, William de, 60, 64

Vere, Sir Francis, 109

Vernon, Admiral, 115

Victoria, Queen, 113, 128, 137

Villiers, Francis, 97

Villiers, George, first Duke of Buckingham, 97

Villiers, Catherine, Duchess of, 97

Villiers, George, second Duke of Buckingham, 97

Vincent, Dean, 16, 53, 54, 131

Voltaire, 35

Wager, Admiral, 115

Waldeby, Archbishop, 66

Walpole, Horace, 100, 138
Lady, 100

Walter, Master, of Durham, 106

Waltham, John of, 83

Walton, Izaak, 43

Wardrobe, Royal, 130, 132

Ware, Abbot, 58, 121

Washington, General, 36

Watson, Admiral, 116

Watt, James, 85, 120

Watts, Dr. Isaac, 39

Wax effigies, 101, 107

Wenceslaus, King of Bohemia, 82

Wenlock, Abbot, 58

Wesley, John and Charles, 39

Westmacott, sculptor, 46, 114

West Minster, the, 3, 4, 9, 12

Westminster Abbey, passim
Assembly, 138
Duke of, 55
Hall, 9, 79, 96
School, 8, 53, 119, 134, 137
Volunteers, Queen's, 123

Whigs' Corner, 29, 117

Whitehall, 10, 99

Wilberforce, William, 117

Wilcocks, Dean, 50

William the Conqueror, 57

William III., 94

William of Windsor, 66

Williams, Dean, 13, 137

Window, north, 14, 33, 55
south, 55
west, 11, 23

Windows, Chapter House, 128

Windsor, 92, 98

Windsore, Sir John, 106

Wolfe, General, 108

Wolseley, General, 32

Wolsey, Cardinal, 107

Woodward, Dr. John, 120

Woolner, 52

Wordsworth, William, 28

Works, Clerk of the, 16, 36, 51
Board of, 132

Wren, Sir Christopher, 11, 14, 15

Wyatt, James, 16, 56

York family badge, 88

Young, Sir Jack, 50

Zoological Gardens, 118


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