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a ^istorp of Eegalia 







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JAN 1 2 1966 












VENTUKE to think that the 
present book is the first that 
contains a summary of corona- 
tions extending through various 
ages of the world's history. 

There are numerous books 
and tracts, in different lan- 
guages, relating to particular 
royal inaugurations, and some 
of the former — to which I have 
alluded in the following pages 
— are remarkable for their decorative and costly character, 
but I have not found in the catalogues of our great 
libraries, or in those abroad, any work specifically devoted 
to a general history of regalia. 

I claim no merit in providing, to the best of my 
ability, for what may possibly be considered a deficiency ; // A 
my chief difficulty has been to retain, as much as possible, / / o 
whatever might be thought singular and curious in 
these princely ceremonials, and to avoid tedious anti- * </ (^ 
quarian details that would fill several volumes of the 


compass of the present one, and prove wearisome to the 
general reader. 

It must be admitted that the present age is not 
favourable to the perpetuation of elaborate ceremonies, 
but the solemnities attending the coronation of sovereigns 
have a peculiar interest, and, however they may be 
simplified in minor details, should be retained in their 
integrity and symbolic character. As landmarks of 
history they have had a material influence on the 
destinies of mankind. 



Introduction ... ... ... ... ... xiii 

I. Ancient Crowns... ... ... ... ... 1 

II. The Crowns of England ... ... ... ... 28 

III. The Regalia of England and Scotland ... ... 49 

IV. The Coronation Chair and the Kingston Stone ... 94 
V. The Court of Claims ... ... ... ... 108 

VI. Coronation Processions from the Tower ... ... 141 

VII. Coronations of English Sovereigns ... ... 173 

VIII. The Coronation Oath ... ... ... ... 271 

IX. The Anointing ... ... ... ... ... 28.5 

X. Omens AND Incidents at Coronations ... ... ... 298 

XI. Crowns and Coronations in Various Ages and Countries 327 

XII. Fragmenta Regalia ... ... ... ... 455 

Index ... ... ... ... ... ... 543 



Inauguration of a king in past 
times . . Frontispiece 
State crown of England 


Head of the Empress Helena . 10 
The Emperor Justinian and 

his court 11 

The Empress Theodora and 

her attendants .... 12 
Crown of the Holy Roman 

Empire 18 

Iron Crown of Lombardy . . 22 

Crown of Hungary ... 24 

King Edgar 30 

Berengaria, queen of Richard I. 33 

Effigy of King John ... 35 

King I-Ienry III 35 

King Henry IV 37 

King Richard III. ... 40 
Anne, queen of Richard III. . 40 
Queen Elizabeth . . • . 42 
State crown of England . . 45 
Crown of England ... 48 
The regalia of England . . 50 
Jewel Room at the Tower . 68 
The crown of Scotland . . 90 
Sceptre of James V. . . .91 
Sword of state and scabbard . 91 
The rod of office .... 92 
Coronation chair in West- 
minster Abbey .... 95 
John of Gaunt .... 110 
Crowns of the nobility . .113 
Archbishop's mitre . . . 121 
Bishop's mitre .... 121 
Star of the Order of the Bath . 142 
Death of Harold . . . .191 
Coronation of King Edward I. 198 


King Henry V 209 

King Charles 1 315 

Roman emperor, armed . . 335 
Roman emperor in a military 

tunic 335 

Charlemagne 340 

Elector of Germany in state 

dress 343 

Ivory sceptre of Louis XII. . 345 
Royal crown of Prussia . . 351 
Crown of the German Empire 352 
Crown of the Empress of Ger- 
many 353 

Coronet of the Prince Imperial 

of Germany .... 353 
Charles V. of France . . .356 
Gold ornaments supposed to 

represent bees .... 365 
Crown of Napoleon I. . . . 366 
Crowns of the Bourbons in 

France 370 

Crown of France (Orleans 

branch) 371 

Crown of the Emperor of 

Russia 387 

Crown of the Empress of 

Russia 387 

Crov\n of Kiew .... 389 
Crowns of Russia .... 390 
Crown of the Austrian Empire 394 
Crown of Bohemia . . . 399 
Tiara of the popes . . . 405 

Pope Nicholas 1 406 

Pope Clement IV. ... 406 
Pope Gregory the Great . . 407 
Pope (from Cotton. MSS.) . 408 
Venetian Doges .... 410 
Biretta of the Doge of Venice. 411 




Venetian Doge • . . .412 
Doge of Venice in armour . 413 
Dogaresse of Venice . . . 414 
Crown of the Emperor of 

Brazil 422 

Indian commemoration medal 456 
Reverse of Indian commemora- 
tion medal 458 

Imperial Order of the Crown 

of India 459 

Coronet of the English prin- 
cesses 462 

Coronets {iemy. Henry VI.) . 463 
Coronet of Arthur, Prince of 

Wales 463 

Coronet of Alice, Duchess of 

Suffolk 463 

Royal arms of England . . 467 
Star of the Thistle . . .468 

Fleur-de-lys 471 

Silver cramp-ring . . . 475 


Lead cramp-ring .... 475 
Earliest portrait of a king-of- 

arms 479 

Crown of Sir William Dugdale 480 
Modern crown of a king-of- 

arms 480 

Star of the Garter . . . 480 

Sceptres 490 

Sceptres, from Sandford's 

" Coronation of James II." 491 
Coronation robes of James II. — 

The dalmatic .... 495 
The surcoat .... 497 
The mantle . . . .498 
The stole . . . . 499 
Colobium sindonis . . 500 

Royal sandal 501 

Coronation stone at Kingston- 
on-Thames 539 

Cottage of La Grace at Hon- 
fleur 541 


OME men," remarks Didron 
in his '' Iconographie Chre- 
tienne/' ^' are born to com- 
mand ; others to obey. The 
former wear distinctive signs 
— the king is recognized by 
his crown, the pope by his 
tiara, the bishop by his mitre. 
Crowns are much varied, but 
amongst all nations, whether 
highly civilized, or in the 
lowest state of barbarism, 
the crown has been, and still 
is, the insignia of supreme 
power. " 

As a symbol of authority 
the crown dates from the most ancient periods of the world's history. 
There are frequent allusions to it, both in a temporal and spiritual 
sense, in Holy Writ : ' ' Thou settest a crown of pure gold on his 
head." " Thou hast crowned him with glory and honour." Solomon 
says : '^ The fear of the Lord is a crown of wisdom." * 

The earliest monuments of Christian art represent either divine 
hands, extended from the highest heaven, proffering crowns to 
martyrs, or angels descending in like manner from heaven, bringing 
crowns, by command of God, to all who by their death had been 
witness to their faith. 

The crown was the symbol of victory and recompense. It 
was the emblem of martyrdom ; first, the cross was crowned, 
and then crowns of laurel, flowers, palm, or precious metal were 
suspended or carved over the tombs of martyrs and confessors. 
Sometimes two crowns are offered for a virgin martyr ; or doves 

* *' Corona sapientiae timor Domini." These words are inscribed within 
the cupola surmounting the centre of the transept in the chapel of Anet, in 
France. They surround a crown figured in relief. 


carry away crowns of olive, emblems of peace bought by the 
martyr's triumph ; or the palm and cross are associated to represent 
the merit, the labour, and the prize. Hence came the hanging 
crown of light, and the ' ' oblations, " the representations of the 
blessed offering their crowns to the Redeemer. The Christian 
emperors gave their soldiers crowns of laurel adorned with the 
monogram of Christ. * 

Jewish tradition ascribes a heavenly origin to the figure or 
shape of a crown. Nimrod, the mighty hunter, is said, like 
Constantine the Great, to have seen a prodigy in the skies, and had 
a representation of it made by his most skilful workers in gold, a 
crown so beautiful and brilliant as almost to blind the beholder. 

Whatever may have been the origin of this ensign of power, we 
know how it is associated with some of the saddest, as, also, the 
most glorious, events in the world's history. Men have waded 
through oceans of blood, and imperilled both soul and body to 
obtain the glittering bauble ; while others have, by their wisdom 
and magnanimity, rendered the crown they had worn worthily, 
illustrious and respected. 

How many sovereigns have experienced that — 

"A crown, 
Golden in show, is but a wreath of thorns ! " 

and been willing to renounce the pomp and cares of rule.f " For 
me," said King Robert of Taranto (who ascended the throne of 
Naples in 1309) to Petrarch, who has himself recorded the memo- 
rable words, ' ' I swear that letters are dearer to me than my crown, 

* In a French carving of the sixteenth century on the stalls of the 
cathedral of Amiens is a representation of the Holy Ghost, as man, assisting 
at the coronation of the Virgin. Such representations are common in the 
thirteenth and even the fourteenth centuries ; the Sou crowns His mother. 
In a manuscript at the Bibliothbque Nationale at Paris the Son blesses the 
mother, whom two angels are about to crown. 

In paintings of the Middle Ages in Franco, God the Father appears 
habited in the costume of a king, prior to His appearance as that of a pope. 
The Divine King wears a regal crown just as we see it worn by Philip of 
Valois, John the Good, and Charles V. Like the Emperor Charlemagne He 
grasps the golden orb, or sphere, and is arrayed in the long robe or mantle ; 
His head is encircled by a cruciform nimbus, and the feet are bare, because 
He is God. The nimbus, in the West especially, is regarded as an attribute 
of holiness ; a king is adorned with a crown, a nimbus marks the saint. It 
is not thus in the East ; it is there a characteristic of physical energy no less 
than of moral strength, of civil and political power as well as of religious 
authority. A king is equally entitled to a nimbus with a saint. In a Turkish 
manuscript preserved in the Bibliothoque Nationale at Paris is a figure of 
Aurungzebe, mounted on horseback and reading. The aged descendant of 
Timour is preceded and followed by an escort on foot. The Grand Mogul 
alone, among all the persons there, is represented wearing a circular, or 
radiating, nimbus on the head. It is an insignia borne by the mighty and 
powerful alone. 

■\ When Harrison reproached Cromwell for taking the crown from the 
head of Josus, and putting it on his own, Oliver replied, " You speak of a 
crowu of thorns ; as yet I have found uo other, and I expect no other." 


and were I obliged to renounce the one or the other, I should 
quickly tear the diadem from my brow." 

But even the laurel crown which King Kobert, in his burst of en- 
thusiasm, would have changed for the golden diadem of sovereignty, 
and which was so worthily bestowed on Petrarch, was a source of 
anxiety to the poet. " I blush," he said, on receiving it, ''at the 
applauses of the people, and the unmerited commendations with 
which I was overwhelmed." He said modestly afterwards, "These 
laurels which encircled my head were too green : had I been of 
riper age and understanding, I should not have sought them. Old 
men love only what is useful ; young men run after appearances 
without regarding their end. This crown rendered me neither 
more wise nor eloquent ; it only served to raise envy, and deprive 
me of the repose I enjoyed. From that time tongues and pens 
were sharpened against me ; my friends became my enemies, and I 
suffered the just efl'ects of my confidence and presumption." 

So Tasso, when he heard of the pope's intention publicly to 
confer upon him the laurel crown at the Capitol, two hundred years 
after the crowning of Petrarch, being convinced of his approaching 
dissolution, said, "You must order me a coffin and not a triumphal 
car. If you wish to give me a wreath, you must reserve it for my 
tomb. All this pomp and circumstance will add nothing to the 
value of my works, and cannot give me happiness." And thus the 
laurel crown, which was to have adorned his brow, was deposited on 
his coffin. 

One summer evening Mahomed (a king of Mahomedan Spain 
in the ninth century) was seated in his garden, conversing with 
several of his ministers and servants. " How happy is the condition 
of kings," exclaimed Haxem ben Abdelasis, the courtly wali of 
Jaen ; ' ' for them the pleasures are expressly made. Delightful 
gardens, splendid palaces, immense riches, the instruments and 
means of luxury — everything in short, has been granted to them 
by the decrees of fate!" "The path of kings," replied the 
more experienced monarch, " is, indeed, in appearance, strewed 
with flowers ; but thou seest not that these roses have their thorns. 
And is it not the destiny of the mightiest prince to leave the world 
as naked as the poorest peasant ? The term of our lives," he added, 
" is in the hands of God, but to the good that term is the com- 
mencement of everlasting bliss." While thus speaking, adds the 
Arabian chronicler, the king little thought that his own end was so 
near. He retired to rest, but woke no more on earth. 

In the churchyard of St. Anne's, Soho, is a tablet to the memory 
of Theodore, King of Corsica, who died in that parish (1756) soon 
after his liberation, by the Act of Insolvency, from the King's 
Bench prison. He was buried at the expense of an oilman in 
Compbon Street, Soho, of the name of Wright. Horace Walpole 
paid for the tablet and wrote the inscription : — 

"The grave, great teacher, to a level brings 
Heroes and beggars, galley-slaves and kings. 


But Theodore this moral learn' d ere dead ; 
Fate poured its lesson on his living head, 
Bestowed a kingdom, and denied him bread." 

'' Kings, princes, monarchs, and magistrates," says Burton, 
" seem to be most happy, but look into their estate, you shall lind 
them to be most encuml3ered with cares, in perpetual fear, agony, 
suspicion, jealousy." But, as Valerius said of a crown, if they 
knew all the discontents that accompany it, they would not stop 
to take it up. Flus aloes qiiam mellis hahet, it has more bitters than 
sweets belonging to it. Cowper says — 

" To be suspected, thwarted, and withstood. 
E'en when he labours for his country's good, 
To see a band called patriot for no cause, 
But that they catch at popular applause ; 
Careless of all the anxiety he feels, 
Hook disappointment on the public wheels, 
With all their flippant fluency of tongue, 
Most confident, when palpably most wrong. 
If this be kingly, then farewell for me 
All kingship ! and may I be poor and free." 

The transient splendour of the crown is finely moralized by 
Shirley : — 

" The glories of our birth and state 

Are shadows, not substantial things, 
There is no armour against fate : 

Death lays his very hands on kings. 
Sceptre and crown must tumble down, 
And in the dust be equal laid 
With the poor crooked scythe and spade." 

Shakspere, in matchless language, describes the cares of 
kings : — 

" What infinite heart's-ease must kings neglect, 
That private men enjoy ? and what have kings. 
That private have net too — save ceremony, save general ceremony ? 

* ***** 
What are thy rents ? What are thy comings in ? 

* ***** 
Art thou aught else but place, degree, and form ? — 
I am a king, that find thee, and I know 

'Tis not the balm, the sceptre, and the ball. 
The sword, the mace, the crown imperial, 
The intertissued robe of gold and pearl, 
The farcfed title running 'fore the king, 
The thione he sits on, nor the tide of pomp, 

* ***** 
No, not all these, thrice -gorgeous ceremony, 
Not all these, laid ii] bed majestical. 

Can sleep so soundly as the wretched slave : 
And (but for cernnony) such a wretch, 

« ***** 

Winding up days with toil, and nights with sleep, 
Hath the fore-hand and vantage of a king." 


We have, too, the affecting language of a royal sufferer, expressed 
by Charles I. in the time of his deep afflictions — lines dated " Caris- 
brook, 1648," and entitled ''Majesty in Misery." An imploration 
to the King of kings thus commences : — 

*' Great Monarch of the world, from whose power springs 
The potency and power of kings, 
Record the royal woe my suffering sings ; 
And teach my tongue, that ever did confine 
Its faculties in truth's seraphic line, 
To track the treasons of Thy foes and mine. 
Nature and law, by Thy divine decree 
(The only root of righteous royalty). 
With this dim diadem invested me : 
With it the sacred sceptre, purple robe, 
The holy unction, and the royal globe, 
Yet am 1 levelled with the life of Job. 
Felons obtain more privilege than I — 
They are allow'd to answer ere they die ; 
'Tis death for me to ask the reason why," etc. 

It is recorded of the Emperor Charles Y. that he became weary 
of his sovereign dignities, and felt his cares weigh heavily upon 
him. One day, passing through a village in Spain, he met a 
peasant with a tin crown on his head, and bearing a spit in his 
hand for a sceptre, as the '' Easter King," according to the custom 
of the people. The man, who did not know the king, ordered him 
peremptorily to take his hat off to him, which Charles did, good- 
humouredly observing at the same time, "My good friend, I. wish 
you joy of your new dignity ; you will find it a very troublesome 

History records the abdication of the Emperor Diocletian 
(a.d. 305). This sovereign acquired the glory of giving to the 
world the first example of a resignation, which has not been fre- 
quently imitated by j)otentates generally. The ceremony of his 
abdication was performed in a spacious plain, about three miles 
from Nicomedia. The emperor ascended a lofty throne, and in a 
speech full of reason and dignity declared his intention both to the 
people and the soldiers who were assembled on this extraordinary 
occasion. As soon as he had divested himself of the purple, he 
withdrew from the gaze of the multitude, and, traversing the city 
in a covered chariot, proceeded without delay to the favourite 
retirement he had chosen in his native country of Dalmatia. On 
the same day Maximian, as had been previously concerted, made 
his resignation of imperial dignity at Milan. Diocletian was so- 
licited by the latter, a restless old man, to re-assume the imperial 
purple. He rejected this temptation with a smile of pity, calmly 
observing that, if he could show Maximian the cabbages which he 
had planted with his own hands at Salona, he should be no longer 
urged to relinquish the enjoyment of happiness to the pursuit of 


The abdication of Diocletian resembles, in some respects, that 
of the Emperor Charles V. Both had not arrived at a very ad- 
vanced period of life, since the latter was only fifty-five, and the 
other was no more than fifty-nine years of age ; but the active life 
of those princes, their wars and journeys, the cares of royalty, and 
their apjilication to business, had already impaired their constitu- 
tions and brought on the infirmities of a premature old age. 

Diocletian, in his conversations with his friends, frequently 
acknowledged that, of all arts, the most difficult was the art of 
reigning. How often was it the interest of four or five ministers 
to combine together to deceive their sovereign ! Secluded from 
mankind by his exalted dignity, the truth was concealed from his 
knowledge ; he could only see with their eyes, and heard nothing 
but their misrepresentations. By such infamous arts the best and 
wisest princes were sold to the venal corruption of their courtiers. 

Justin II. , the nephew of Justinian I. , resigned his sovereignty 
to Tiberius, his captain of the guard. This ceremony was per- 
formed (a.d. 573) in the portico of a palace, in the midst of an 
illustrious assembly of priests, senators, and soldiers, and almost 
the entire city. The speech delivered by Justin on this occasion 
is said to have been literally reported, and we have his very words 
in the following translated form, as handed down by the sophist 
Theophylactus JSimocatta : — "You behold," said the deposed em- 
peror, "the ensigns of supreme power. You are about to receive 
them, not from my hands, but from the hand of God. Honour 
them, and from them you will derive honour. Respect the 
empress, your mother. You are now her son ; you were, before, 
her servant. Delight not in blood ; abstain from revenge ; avoid 
those actions by which I have incurred the public hatred ; and 
consult the experience rather than the example of your predecessor. 
As a man, I have sinned ; as a sinner, even in this life, I have been 
punished ; but these servants " — and he pointed to his ministers — 
" who have abused my confidence and influenced my passions, will 
appear with me before the tribunal of Christ. I have been dazzled 
by the splendour of the diadem : be thou wise and modest. 
Kemember what you have been ; remember what you .ore. You 
see around us your slaves and your children ; with the authority 
assume the tenderness of a parent. Love the people like yourself ; 
cultivate the affections ; maintain the discipline of the army ; pro- 
tect the fortunes of the rich ; relieve the necessities of the poor." 

When the prayers and gorgeous service of the Church had 
been concluded, Tiberius advanced to the seat Avhere Justin was 
enthroned, and which he was about to abdicate. The new Augustus 
knelt before the old emperor, who then placed the diadem, by which 
the latter had been so much dazzled, on his brow. 

One of many aliecting ei>is()des in the career of sovereigns was 
that attending the resignation of one of the most ilhistrious 
nionarclis that ever graced the pages of history, Gustavus Vasa, 
King of Sweden. After a singularly eventful life and reign, the 


grand old monarch, subdued by sickness and age, resolved to retire 
from power, the event taking place June 25, 1560. The king was 
supported into the hall of assembly, where his three sons and all 
the senators were present. Here he caused his last will and 
testament to be publicly read before him. This arranged, he took 
an affecting farewell of his states. '' I have passed," he remarked, 
" through many dangers during my forty years' reign, but by these 
grey locks, and the furrows time has planted in this countenance, I 
swear to you that the love of my people has been the end and aim 
of all my actions. If I have done aught acceptable in my govern- 
ment, be the glory to God ; for such faults as my human weakness 
may have fallen into, they are mine alone ; but you, my beloved 
subjects, will forgive me for them. My weakened body gives me 
many a proof that I am now speaking to you for the last time, and 
must shortly appear before the King of all kings, to give an account 
of my stewardship. Follow me with your prayers ; do not forget 
me in your assemblies, and when my eyes are closed in death, leave 
my dust uncensured and undisturbed to its repose." 

Having concluded his address with these words, Gustavus 
stretched out his hands and blessed his whole people. All present 
were in tears. The king departed, leaning on his two elder sons, 
but looking often backwards, renewing his farewells to his grieving 
senate. The members crowded around him, kissing his footsteps 
as he passed out among them, and invoking blessings with one 
voice on his honoured head. 

This was the last public act of Gustavus, who did not, indeed, 
make any formal resignation of the crown, but from that day all 
matters of government were made over to Eric. On the 29th of 
September in the same year, the great king breathed his last, at the 
age of seventy-one. 

Perhaps no sovereign ever quitted crown and state with greater 
satisfaction than that strange personage, Queen Christina of Sweden, 
who resigned the reins of power to her cousin, Charles Gustavus. 
This remarkable event hajDpened June 10, 1 654. As if to show her 
impatience for the coming of that day, the queen appeared before 
the senate at seven o'clock in the morning. In the presence of all 
assembled she signed the deed of resignation, and then arose, the 
crown on her brow and the royal mantle hanging from her shoulders. 
The sceptre was still grasped in one hand, and the symbolic orb 
was in the other. With a crowd of brilliant officials around her, 
and two ministers of state on either side bearing the sword and the 
golden key, Christina entered the great hall of the palace, and took 
her seat on a silver throne. The acts signed in the senate were 
then read aloud, and the hereditary prince, whose chair was a little 
in the rear of the massive low throne occupied by the queen, placed 
the deeds in her hands. Then feeling that all was over, Christina 
stood erect and beckoned Count Brake to approach and take the 
crown from her head. The high official drew back, unwilling to do 
so, turning aside to conceal his emotion. The queen then lifted the 


crown from her head and held it to the count, who received it 
kneeling. She then took off all her remaining royal adornments, 
which were placed on a table near the throne, and remained 
standing in a simple dress of white tatfeta. She advanced a few 
steps, and spoke during a full half-hour on the past struggles and 
glory of Sweden, and on its prospects. Christina was eloquent in 
her address, and the whole assembly were deeply moved.* 

While some monarchs have thus voluntarily laid aside their 
crowns, others have exulted in the possession of theirs to the latest 
hours of life. Thus the Emperor Frederick, who died in 1250, had 
in the course of his career secured seven crowns — of the Roman 
empire, Germany, Lombardy, Burgundy, Sicily, Sardinia, and 
Jerusalem. A short time before his death he had them placed 
before him. ''I still possess them all," he exclaimed, exultingly. 
' ' No pope shall deprive me of one of them ! " 

Our Henry IV. also clung with characteristic fondness to his 
splendid crown, although it was so indirectly obtained. He 
endeavoured to soothe his last hoiu's by ordering it to be placed 
on the pillow of his death-bed. Few monarchs could adhere to 
the outward display of power with greater pertinacity and more 
unfeigned delight than Henry. Under this influence he adopted 
for his motto the word " soverayne,'' frequently repeated on his 
tomb. Exquisite is the dialogue which Shaksi)ere puts into the 
mouth of Henry IV. and his son, who had taken the crown from 
his dying father's pillow. 

The gloomy and bigoted Philip II. of Spain displayed in his last 
moments a strange contrast of feeling to that of the Emperor 
Frederick, just mentioned. He ordered his cofhn to be brought, 
and a dead man's skull, surmounted with the imperial crown, to be 
placed beside him. 

*' Within the hollow crown 
That rounds the mortal temples of a kinp^ 
Kee])S Death his court ; and there the antic sits, 
Scoffing his state, and grinning at his pomp." 

An instance of self-abnegation and modesty in the refusal of a 

* Horace Walpole has some severe, but not altogether unmerited, 
strictures on the character of this singular woman, and alludes to her abdi- 
cation as an affectation of spirit in one who quitted a crown to ramble over 
Europe in a motley kind of masquerade. When Dahl was painting her 
picture, she asked what he intended she should hold in her hand. He 
replied, " A fan." Her Majesty, whose ejaculations were rarely delicate, 
vented a very gross one, and added, "A fan! Give me a lion; that is 
fitter for a Queen of Sweden." 

Tlie ex-queen, when at Home after her conversion to the Romish faith, 
was said to have deposited in the church of Our Lady of Loretto a crown 
and sceptre, signs of a majesty she had ever abandoned. She was pre- 
viously heard to say, "So people will have it that I shall go to Loretto and 
deposit my crown and sceptre at the feet of the Virgin Mary. I gave up 
those symbols of royalty in Sweden, and if I had any other to disi)ose of, I 
would present them to the poor King of England ! " 


crown is exemplified in the case of Godefroy de Bouillon, when 
elected sovereign of Jerusalem, on the taking of the Holy City by 
the Crusaders, in 1099. He refused to wear a crown of jewels on 
the spot where the Saviour of the world had bled beneath one of 
thorns, * and would only accept the title of ' ' Defender of the Holy 

The Emperor Constantine had his principal standard, the 
''Labarum," surmounted by a gold crown, which enclosed the 
mysterious monogram at once expressive of the figure of the cross, 
and the initial letters of the name of Christ. 

At the coronation of the Emperor of Germany, E/udolph I. of 
Hapsburg, in 3273 (who had been elected unexpectedly to him), 

* In the church of St. Catherine of Sienna, at Sienna, is a mural painting 
representing the Saviour offering to the saint two crowns, one of diamonds 
and the other of thorns. She is choosing the latter and kissing it. 

On the degradation of Baldwin II., one of the Latin emperors of the 
house of Courtney, in the thirteenth century, great eiforts were made by 
him to raise money. In the imperial chapel at Constantinople was pre- 
served the crown of thorns which superstition declared had pressed the brow 
of Christ. In the absence of the emperor the barons of Roumania borrowed 
the sum of 13,134 pieces of gold on the credit of the holy crown, but they 
failed in the performance of their contract. A rich Venetian undertook to 
satisfy their impatient creditors, on condition that the relic should be lodged 
at Venice, to become his absolute property if it were not redeemed within a 
short term. The barons apprised their sovereign of the hard treaty and 
impending loss, and as the empire could not afford a ransom of £7000 
sterling, Baldwin was anxious to snatch the prize from the Venetians, and 
vest it with more honour and emolument in the hands of the Most Christian 
King Louis IX. His ambassadors, the Dominicans, were despatched to 
Venice to redeem and receive the holy crown, which had escaped the dangers 
of the sea and the gallies of Vataces. On opening a wooden box, they recog- 
nized the seals of the doge and the barons, which were applied on a shrine 
of silver, and within this shrine the monument of the Passion was enclosed 
in a golden vase. The reluctant Venetians yielded it, and the court of 
France advanced as far as Troyes, in Champagne, to meet with devotion 
this inestimable relic. It was borne in triumph through Paris by the king 
himself, barefoot and in his shirt, and a free gift of ten thousand marks 
of silver reconciled Baldwin to his loss. About the middle of the last 
century but one, an inveterate ulcer was said to be touched and cured by the 
power of the holy crown. It was performed, in 1656, on the niece of Pascal. 
The miracle confounded the Jesuits and saved Port Royal. 

Among the paintings in the church of St. Louis, at Versailles, is one by 
Frau(;;ois Lemoyne, of St. Louis adoring the cross and the crown of thorns. 
The king is represented on his knees on the steps of an altar, and appears in 
a profound ecstasy at the spectacle of the vivid light, which shines from the 
cross and tlie crown of thorns, which he is about to place in the holy chapel 
at Paris. 

Among the precious gifts sent to Athelstan, in 926, by Hugh le Grand, 
was a particle of the crown of thorns. Long after the Conquest the monks 
of Malmsbury (to which monastery it had been given) believed that this 
relic preserved their abbey from calamities and misfortunes. 

It is observable that representations in the catacombs at Rome show the 
soldiers crowning our Saviour, not with thorns, but with flowers, as if the 
early Christians regarded the triumphant, rather than the mournful, aspect 
of His great sacrifice. 


the crown jewels were disj^ersed. When the princes present, 
according to ancient custom, rendered homage to their new sove- 
reign, there was no sceptre at hand. Rudolph removed the diffi- 
culty by snatching up a crucifix, and employing that instead — 
'' for," he remarked, "a symbol by which the world was redeemed 
may well supply the place of a sceptre." 

The Emperor Lothaire retired to a monastery at Priim, between 
Aix and Treves, and took the cowl. He converted his crown into a 
crucifix, which was preserved down to the time of the French Revo- 
lution, when all the property of the monastery was confiscated. 

In the royal chapel of the castle of Frederichsberg, where the 
kings of Denmark were crowned, is a painting by Reinhold Timm, 
a drawing-master of Sorre, of Christian IV., who is represented 
clad in a shroud, praying before our Saviour, who appears in the 
clouds above. The artist had first pourtrayed the king in his robe 
of state, but Christian ordered it to be changed, and the crown and 
sceptre may still be discerned from beneath the paint. 

The inaugural address of Yarahan III., king of the Neo-Persian 
empire (a.d. 292), is reported in these noble words: "I ascend 
this throne by right, as the issue of your kings ; but the sole end 
which I propose to myself in ruling, is to obtain for the people 
who shall be subject to me, a happy and quiet life. I place all 
my trust in the goodness of God, through whose help all may end 
happily. If God i)reserves my life, I will conduct myself towards 
you in such a way that all who hear me spoken of will load me 
with blessings. J/", on the contrary the Angel of Death comes and 
carries me away, I hope that God will not forsake you or sufter you 
to perish." 

The dignity and the virtues which should distinguish the wearer 
of a crown were well put forth by Lord Chancellor John Staflbrd, 
who in 143C, before King Henry VI., who was seated in his chair 
in the Painted Chamber, delivered a discourse from the words 
" Corona regni in manu Dei," in which he demonstrated that ' ' three 
sorts of men are crowned, viz. all Christians in their baptism, in 
token whereof they are anointed ; all clerks in their orders, in 
token whereof they are shaven ; and all kings in their coronation, 
who in token thereof wear a crown of gold set about with flowers 
and precious stones. The erecting and standing of the flowers in 
the upper i)art of the crown denoted the king's prc-eminency over 
his subjects ; which ought to be garnished with four cardinal 
virtues. That is to say, in the forepart ought to be wisdom, adorned 
with three precious stones ; namely, memory of things past, circum- 
spection of things present, and prudence in all things to come. On 
tlie riglit hand ought to be fortitude, accomi)aniod with courage 
in attempting, patience in suflering, and perseverance in well- 
meaning. On the left side ought to be justice distributing her 
arms three ways to the best mean, lowest. On the hinder part 
ought to be temperance, with her trinity : viz. restraint of sensu- 
ality in fear, silence in speech, and mortification in will ; all which, 


proceeding from God, fully proved that the crown of the king was 
in the hand of God." 

When Niels Kaas, the virtuons chancellor of Frederick II. of 
Denmark, was dying, the young King Christian, who esteemed 
him greatly, visited him some hours previous to his decease. The 
chancellor told him he had promised his father, when on his death- 
bed, that he would do his best to see the crown firmly seated on 
his son's head, " but death," he said, " prevents me from satisfying 
my desire. I am, however, proud before I leave to give to your 
Majesty the key of the cabinet where, since the death of your 
father, the crown, orb, and sceptre are preserved. As I am about 
to quit the world I will hand them over to your Majesty alone. 
Receive them as from God. Wear the crown with honour and 
glory ; hold the sceptre with wisdom ; bear the sword with justice ; 
and preserve the orb with judgment." 

Christian was greatly affected at the time, but, later, forgot the 
good advice of the young chancellor. 

At the burial of Charles IX., Axel Oxenstjerna, taking the 
crown from the hand of Magnus Brahe, exclaimed. " As this crown 
is of the best gold, set with precious stones and beautiful pearls, 
which the sovereign has worn in his lifetime, so should a king 
be firm and sensible, pure and unalloyed as gold." He then made 
an address to the sceptre before placing it in the dead king's hand ; 
a third to the orb, symbolic of perfection and rotundity. 

In the royal vaults of Strengnas Cathedral, Sweden, it had been 
the custom to place regalia in the coflins of the deceased. It was 
Ulrika Eleanora, the gentle queen of Charles XI. , who first put an 
end to the practice. In his "Dagbok" her king notes down : 
"July 26, 1693. To-day have I lost my dear wife, thirty-six years 
ten months old. H. M. lay in state at Carlberg ; and as she bore 
no liking for a worldly, only caring for an eternal crown, by her 
order no regalia was placed in her cofiin, which was simply lined 
with fine white linen. " 

Let us admire the noble generosity of a crowned head in the 
person of Timour, the great Mogul emperor, who after overcoming 
Bajazet, the Ottoman j)rince, instead of putting him to death, 
or subjecting him to torture and imprisonment, as was the usual 
custom in those times, invited him to a feast, and placed a crown 
on the head of the royal captive, and a sceptre in his hand, with 
a solemn assurance of restoring him with an increase of glory to 
the throne of his ancestors. But the effect of this promise was 
disappointed by the sultan's untimely death. 

The crown, so often typical of ^^ overweighing cares and sorrows " 
lias, in a real sense, seared the brows of unanointed victims ; thus, 
Henry VI., of Germany, in trying to secure to his house Naples 
and Sicily (1192), was guilty of fearful cruelty. He not only took 
away the gold and silver, jewels, and costly ornaments of the 
Norman kings, to such an extent that one hundred and fifty animals 


were loaded therewith, but he caused the eyes of the grandees who 
had rebelled to be put out, and, as an insult to their misfortune, 
and in mockery of their efforts to get possession of the throne, he 
placed them on seats of red-hot iron, and fastened on their heads 
crowns of burning iron. Shakspere's allusion in "Richard III." 
(Act iv. sc. 1), "Were red-hot steel to sear me to the brain," 
was probably derived from an incident that occurred in the com- 
mencement of the sixteenth century, and of which mention is 
made in Goulart's '' Admirable and Memorable Histories " (1607) — 
how John, the son of the Vaivode Stephen, having defeated an 
army of Hungarian peasants in 1514, caused their general, 
" George," to be stripped naked, and upon his head the 
executioner set a crown of hot burning iron. This is the '' Luke's 
iron crown " of Goldsmith. In Wyntown's "Chronicle" we have 
the like punishment assigned to Jak Bouhowne. 

A spirit of piety has actuated some wearers of an earthly 
crown to acknowledge, in a spiritual devotion, their allegiance to 
the one Power supreme over all. Canute, after the rebuke he 
gave to his followers, refused, thenceforth, to wear any symbol of 
royalty : — 

" Canute (truth worthy to be known) 
rroni that time forth did for his brow disown 
The osteutatious symbol of a crown, 

Esteeminj^ earthly royalty 
Presumptuous and vain." 

Henry III., of Germany, never placed the crown upon his head 
without having previously confessed, and received from his con- 
fessor permission to wear it. So, in our own country, we have 
the instance of George III. , who at the coronation would not wear 
his crown at the Communion service. 

The last days, we are told, of the illustrious Fernando I., 
King of Leon and Castile (1005), were occupied in extraordinary 
devotional exercises. On the morning of his death he caused 
himself to be arrayed in his royal vestments, and carried to the 
church of St. Isidore, in Leon, accompanied by his bishops and 
abbots, and the inferior clergy. Kneeling before the altar of 
St. John, and raising his eyes to heaven, he said, "Thine, O Lord, 
is the power, Thine the dominion ! Thou art the King of kings, 
the Supreme alike in heaven and earth ! I return unto Thee the 
crown which Thou hast given me, and which I have worn during 
Thy good pleasure. And, now, I only ask that when my soul 
leaves this body. Thou wilt receive it in Thy celestial mansions ! " 
His royal crown and mantle were then removed, the penitential 
habit was tlirown over him, and ashes were scattered on his head. 
On the day following he died. 

In a spirit of superstitious zeal in former times we have in- 
stances of sovereigns making votive oflerings of their crowns to the 


Virgin.* In 1636 Louis XIII. of France, a monarch sad and morose 
of manner and habit, before the siege of Corbie, made an offering to 
Our Lady of a large silver lamp for the cathedral of Notre Dame 
at Paris. The retaking of Corbie appearing to him a special 
interposition of the Virgin, he determined on j^lacing his crown 
and kingdom under the protection of the mother of God. By 
letters patent, under the royal seal, he " consecrated our 
person, our state, our crown, and our subjects " to the Virgin, 
decreeing an annual procession in memory of the act. This com- 
memoration, called the "Vow of Louis," continued during one 
hundred and eighty years. It was suppressed in 1792, re-established 
in 1814, and was finally abolished in 1830. On one of the sides of 
the grand altar of the cathedral of Notre Dame may still be seen 
the statue of Louis XIII. ofiering his crown and sceptre, and 

* In the early ages of Christianity it was by no means unusual for 
sovereigns and other royal personages to dedicate their crowns to the use of 
the Church. The gifts thus devoted -were known as donaria, and were 
suspended by chains attached to their upper rim, above an altar or shrine, 
or in some conspicuous part of the church. Other chains were attached to 
the lower rim, supporting a lamp, from which usually depended a jewelled 
cross. The crowned cross thus suspended above the altar, was felt to be an 
appropriate symbol of the triumph of Christianity, and its use became almost 
universal. In this manner the crowns of Theodelinda, queen of the Lombards, 
and of her second husband, Agilulf, at the beginning of the seventh century 
(see chapter on "Ancient Crowns"), were dedicated to St. John the Baptist 
in the cathedral of Monza, as stated in the inscription borne by the latter 
before its destruction, and there is little reasonable doubt that the celebrated 
Iron Crown of Lombardy, preserved in the same cathedral, was at one time 
employed for the same purpose. At a much earlier period, Coustantine the 
Great had dedicated his crown to the service of the Church, according to 
Constantine Porphj^rogenitus and Nicetas. In the time of these writers a 
crown of remarkable beauty, " prse casteris et operis elegantia et lapillorum 
pretio conspicua," hanging above the Holy Table, with others, was pointed 
out as having been offered to God by the first Christian emperor. Tradition 
asserted that he had received it by the hands of an angel as a present from, 
heaven. With one of these votive crowns, the lamp and chains being 
removed, in the time of Constantine Porphyrogenitus, the new emperor of 
the East received his inauguration. 

Clovis, at the instance of St. Remigius, early in the sixth century, sent 
to St. Peter's " coronam auream cum gemmis quae reguum appellari solet." 
The crowns discovered near Toledo (see chapter on "Ancient Crowns") 
were of the same votive character. 

The custom for sovereigns to dedicate their actual crowns to the Church 
led to the construction of imitative crowns, formed for votive purposes only. 
A bas-relief now in the south transept of Monza Cathedral, representing a 
coronation, exhibits several crowns suspended over the altar. 

The convenience of the form of these donative crowns for the suspension 
of lamps doubtless gave rise to the custom of constructing large chandeliers 
after the same model. 

In September, 1852, we find the Duke and Duchess of Montpensier 
celebrated in the Ta^^e^, not only for their charity " in giving three thousand 
reals in alms to the poor," but especially, and above all, "for their piety 
in presenting the Virgin with a magnificent dress of tissue of gold, with 
white lace, and a silver crown." 


on the other side the statue of Louis XIY. kneeling and joining 
liis prayers and vows to those of liis father. 

This action, at any rate, was consonant with the religious 
practices of former times, and different to the conduct of our own 
King John, w^ho, with a baseness unparalleled, resigned his crown in 
St. Paul's Cathedral, into the hands of the papal legate, receiving 
it back as a donation from the pope ! 

Baronius regards the death of Leo IV., Emperor of the East 
(780), as an example of divine retribution. There was a splendid 
crown, which had been j^laced above the high altar of the cathedral 
by the Emperor Maurice. It blazed with fiery carbuncles, and Leo 
so admired the precious stones, that he seized on the votive crown 
and wore it. The imperial thief, adds Baronius, died of an eruption 
of carbuncles : " amans isfitur carhwiculos ex sacrilei^is carbuncnJos 
paritur passus est, et his coronatus est mortuis. " 

Saints had the privilege of votive offerings of crowms ; thus 
Edward L caused the golden crown of the last Prince of Wales to 
be hung up on the shrine of Edward the Confessor. 

In our day we have the devotional spirit of sovereigns exem- 
plified in the instance of the Empress Eugenie, who, before leaving 
for Zululand (March, 1880), on her sad mission to the death-place 
of her son, the late Prince Imperial, gave her crown to the church 
of Kotre Dame des Victoires at Paris. It is of great value, both 
from its artistic composition, and the number of precious stones it 

Superstition, crime, lust of power, and broken faith have, 
indeed, in all ages and countries, dimmed the attributes of sove- 
reignty, but in many instances the real nobility of worth has 
impressed the crown with an undying brilliancy. 

Nothing is clearer in our early history than the personal agency 
of the king in everything that is done, and the unspeakable difference 
between a good and a bad king. The truth is that, in an early state 
of society, almost everything dejjends on the jDersonal character of 
the sovereign. 

Confucius gives a definiti(m of the true worth of a king. He 
held tliat the government of a country is a test of the virtue of 
its sovereign. Let but his virtue be daily renewed, and not only 
the people of the empire, but the subjects of all the neighbouring 
states, will love him ; but, on the other hand, should he be full of 
his own will, he will be abandoned by even the nine classes of his 
kindred. Thus the prince who rules by means of it is like the 
north jiolar star, which keeps its place, and all the stars turn towards 
it. Tlie wild tribes on all sides willingly acknowledge their sub- 
jection to him, and his throne will be established in wisdom ; for he 
who practises virtue is not left to stand alone, but has always at his 
command the services of the wisest men in the empire. 

In some fragmentary papers in the archiepiscopal palace at 
Lambeth are moralistic lines on kings and their duties ; thus: — 


" Al kynges therfore ought muche y* more 
To loke vpon ther charge, 
For al tlie land lieth on ther hande 
Be it ueuer so large." 

A lesson is given against royal pride and ambition : — 

'' King Solomon saith al is one 
A poore man and a kynge 
Are first gotten and the boren 
And differ yet nothynge. 
The ar they fed Wt milcke and bread 
Boeth licke, boeth wayle and wepe 
Alike, boeth crie a like, boeth lie 
A lyk, boeth wake an slepe. 
The myghtie Kynge is found nothynge 
Better than the bftggar 
For by hys byrth he is but erthe 
The beste is no better." 

King Alfred's notion of sovereign power was this : '^ If then it 
should ever happen, as it very seldom happens, that power and 
dignity come to good men, and to wise ones, what is there then 
worthy of pleasing is the goodness and dignity of those persons : of 
the good king, not of the power. Hence power is never a good, 
unless he be good that has it, and that is the good of the man, not 
of the power. If power be goodness, why then is it that no man, 
by his dominion, can come to the virtues, and to merit ; but by his 
virtues and merit he comes to dominion and power ? Thus no man 
is better for his power ; but if he be good, it is from his virtues that 
he is good. From his virtues he becomes worthy of power, if he be 
worthy of it." * 

* The Egyptians were the first people who rightly understood the rules 
of government. The kingdom was hereditary ; but, according to Diodorus, 
the Egyptian princes conducted themselves in a different manner from what 
is usually seen in other monarchies, where the prince acknowledges no other 
rule of his actions than his own arbitrary will and pleasure. Here kings 
were under greater restraints from the laws than their subjects. They had 
some particular ones digested by a former monarch, that composed part of 
what the Egyptians called the sacred books. In the morning, at daybreak, 
when the head is clearest, and the thoughts most unperplexed, they read the 
several letters they received. As soon as they were dressed they went to the 
daily sacrifice in the temple, where, surrounded by the whole court, and 
the victims placed before the altar, they assisted at the prayer pronounced 
aloud by the high priest, in which he asked of the gods health and all other 
blessings for the king, because he governed his people with clemency and 
justice, and made the laws of his kingdom the rule and standard of his 
actions. The high priest entered into a long detail of his virtues, and spoke 
next of the faults he might be guilty of ; but supposed, at the same time, 
that he never committed any, except by surprise or ignorance, and loaded 
with imprecations such of his ministers as gave evil counsel and suppressed 
or disguised the truth. After the prayers and sacrifices were ended, the 
counsels and actions of great men were read to the king, out of the sacred 
books, in order that he might govern his kingdom according to their maxims, 
and maintain the laws. 


The poet Kerner, in his fine ballad of '' The Richest Prince/' has 
illustrated the true value of a crown : — 

" At ancient Worms' imperial diet 
Prince and peer opponent stand, 
Hiffh in speech, and flus^h'd with riot, 
Boasting each his native land. 

" 'Rich and glorious are my mountains,' 
Cried the Saxon prince, ' where shines 
Silver bright as sparkUng fountains 
Bosom'd deep in pregnant mines.' 

" 'Luscious hills, luxuriant valleys, 
Golden corn and rosy wine 
Burst my garners, brim my chalice,' 
Cried the Palzgrave of the Rhine. 

* ' Louis of Bavaria vaunted : 

' Mine are domes and turrets high ; 
Minsters where the mass is chaunted, 
Munich's might and majesty.' 

" Bearded Everard spake : * Behold me 
Wiirtemberg's well-loved lord ; 
No proud city's walls enfold me. 
No bright ore my lands afford. 

** * Yet there flames a jewel treasured 
In my father-land, where I, 
Safe 'mid woods and wilds unraeasur'd, 
On each subject's lap might lie.' 

" Then Bavaria's lord all-glorious, 
Saxon proud, and palatine 
Cry, ' Thou bearded chief victorious ! 
Yea, the gem of gems is thine ! ' " 

Arsaces, upon ascending the Persian throne, had assumed the 
name of Artaxerxes, and received the surname of Mnemon, from 
his great memory. Being near his father's deathbed when he was 
dying, he asked him what had been the rule of his conduct during 
so long and hapjiy a reign as his, that he might follow his example. 
" It has been," he replied, '' to do always what justice and religion 
required of me." Memorable words, and worthy of being set in 
letters of gold in king's palaces. 

A strange story is related of Charles VII. of France. Our Henry 
V. had slirunk his kingdom into the town of Bourges. Charles 
having told a shoemaker, after trying on a pair of boots, that he 
had no money to pay for them, Crisi)in had such callous feelings 
that he refused to let the king have them. '^ It is for this reason," 
says Connnines, ' ' I praise those princes who are on good terms with 
the lowest of their people, for they know not at what hour they may 
want them." 

Queen Elizabeth, in her speech to the last Parliament (November 
30, IGOl), said, ** To be a king and weare a crown, is a thing more 


glorious to them that see it, than it is pleasant to them that bears 
it ; for myselfe I never was so much inticed with the glorious name 
of a king, or the royall authoritie of a queene, as delighted that God 
hath made me His instrumente to maintaine His truth and glorie, 
and to defend thiskingdome from dishonour, dammage, tyrannie, and 
oppression. But should I ascribe any of these things unto myselfe, 
or my sexly weaknesse, I were not worthy to live, and of all most 
unworthy of the mercies I have received at God's hand ; but to God 
onely and wholly all is given and ascribed. 

" The cares and trouble of a crowne I cannot more fitly resemble 
then to the drugges of a learned physitian ; perfumed with some 
aromaticall savour, or to bitter pils guilded over, by which they are 
made more exceptable or lesse ojffensive, which, indeed, are un- 
pleasant to take ; and for my owne part, were it not for conscience 
sake to discharge the duty that God hath layd upon me, and to 
maintaine His glorie, and keepe you in safetie, in mine own dis- 
position I should be willing to resigne the place I hold to any other 
and glad to be free of the glorie with the labors, for it is not my 
desire to live or to reigne longer than my life and reigne shall be for 
your good. And though you have had and may have many mightier 
and wiser princes sitting in this seat, yet you never have had, nor 
shall have, any that will love you better." 

It is said that Queen Elizabeth composed the following prayer 
as she went to her coronation : — '^ O Lord Almightie and everlasting 
God, I give Thee most hearty thanks that Thou hast beene so 
mercifull unto me as to spare me to behold this ioifull dale. And 
I acknowledge that Thou hast dealt wonderfullie, and as mercifullie 
with me, as Thou didst with Thy true and faithfuU servant Daniell, 
Thy prophet, whom thou deliveredst out the den from the crueltie 
of the greedy and roaring lions. Even so was I overwhelmed, and 
only by Thee delivered. To Thee, therefore, onelie, thanks, honor, 
and praise, for ever. Amen." 

In the '' Basilicon Doron. Or His Majesty's Instructions to his 
dearest sonne Henry, the Prince," James I. thus judges the kingly 
character in a sonnet from the preface : — 

" God gives not kings the style of gods in vain, 
For on the throne His sceptre do they sway ; 
And as their subjects ought them to obey 
So kings should fear and serve their God again. 
If then ye would enjoy a happy reign, 
Observe the statutes of our heavenly King, 
And from His law make all your laws to spring. 
If His lieutenant here you should remain, 
Reward the just, be steadfast, true, and plain ; 
Repress the proud, maintaining aye the right ; 
Walk always so as ever in His sight. 
Who guards the godly, plaguing the profane, 
And so shall ye in princely virtues shine. 
Resembling right your mighty King divine." 

In the work of King James, ^' The Trew Law of Free Monarchies, 

XXX introduction: 

etc.," he says, ''Kings are called Gods by the propheticall King 
David, because they sat upon God His throne in the earth, and have 
the count of their administration to give unto Him." '' By the law 
of nature the king becomes naturall father to all his lieges at his 

" Crowns have their compass ; len^^th of days their date ; 
Triumphs their tomb ; felicity her fate ; 
Of nought but earth can earth make us partaker, 
But kuowledge makes a king most like his Maker." 




" Emblems of sov'reign power, the pomp 
And pride of kings, the dread of foes." 

OR royal and imperial crowns, 
or diadems," writes Selden 
in his " Titles of Honour," 
" however these names have 
been from ancient times 
confounded, yet the diadem^ 
strictly, was a very different 
thing from what a crown 
' now is or was ; and it was 
no other then than only a 
fillet of silk, linen, or some 
such thing, Nor appears it 
that any other crown was 
used for a royal ensign, except only in some kingdoms of 
Asia, but this kind of fillet, until the beginning of Chris- 
tianity in the Roman empire." The diadema, not the corona^ 
was the emblem of sovereignty. 

Such fillets appear to have been worn indiscriminately; 
the only difference in the head-dress being in colour. The 
prophet Ezekiel alludes to the " dyed attire upon the heads, 
all of them princes to look to," pointing out the rich and 
ornamented head-dress of the Assyrian kings. Crowns are 
frequently mentioned in the Holy Scriptures, and of this 
character was the inscribed plate of gold in front of the high 
priest's mitre, " the holy crown upon the mitre." Josephus 
^ f B 


says that the mitre was the same in construction and figure 
with that of the common priest (a turban), but that above 
it was another with swathes of blue, embroidered, and round 
it was a golden crown, polished, of three rows, one above 
another, out of which rose a cup of gold, which resembled 
the calyx of the herb called by Greek botanists liyoscyamus ; 
he ends in laboured description by comparing it to a poppy. 
"Possibly," observes Jennings ("Jewish Antiquities"), "this 
might be the crown which Alexander the Great presented to 
Jaddua, when he went out to meet him, and which was after- 
wards worn on grand and solemn occasions." The mitres 
worn by the ancient priests of Egypt resembled those pre- 
scribed to the Jews, divested of idolatrous symbols, which 
were displaced to make way for a simple plate of gold 
inscribed, " Holiness to Jehovah." This plate extended from 
one ear to the other, being bound to the forehead by strings 
tied behind, and further secured in its position by a blue 
ribbon attached to the mitre.* 

The diadevt, properly so called, originally the linen band 
or silken ribbon tied round the temples, became afterwards 
adorned by Eastern luxury, with pearls and precious stones. 

• " The Jewish monarch," remarks Dr. Smith, " was chiefly distin- 
^ished by the crown that he wore upon his turban, also by the richness 
and form of the turban itself, and both of them owed their origin to the 
mitre and lamina of gold bound upon the mitre which adorned the head 
of the high priest. The name of the regal turban is the same that is 
given to the mitre of Aaron, and derived from a word expressive of the 
circumvolutions of the linen by which it was formed. The regal crown 
and the crown or lamina of gold affixed to the pontifical mitre are both 
of them expressed in Hebrew by the same word, which signifies to 
separate or set apart, as the pontiff and the sovereign were separated 
from the rest of mankind, and appointed to their respective high and 
authoritative offices. From the name it appears that the crown was the 
sign of that separation, and the mark of distinguished dignity to both, 
from which reason we may conceive that it differed in its form from the 
crown, or diadem, used by the Gentiles. 

" The form of the regal crown is nowhere ascertained, but the name 
of the portion of gold belonging to the pontifical mitre may, possibly, 
throw some light on the subject. It is called a flower of gold in one 
place, and in another the flower of the holy crown, and in both passages 
signifies the crown itself. 

"The appellation of the 'flower' would lead us to suppose that it was 
made in a flower-like, or radiated form, and we may reasonably enough 
concludo that the regal and pontifical crowns bore some resemblance to 
each other, when we are assured that they were symbolical in both 
instances of the same thing." 


It is probable that the royal crown of the ancient kings was 
like the diadem which we see on the heads of the ancient 
Roman kings on their medals. It was the custom of the 
Jewish kings, as well as those of the neighbouring nations, 
to wear their crown constantly when they were dressed. 
Kinff Saul had his crown on when he was slain in the battle 
of Gilboa, and the King of the Ammonites when he headed 
his army in war ; for when David had reduced Rabbah, the 
royal city, he took the crown from the king's head and put it 
on his own. From this custom it may reasonably be inferred 
that the ancient crowns were much less in size and weight 
than those which are now used by European kings. Yet the 
crown of the King of the Ammonites, just mentioned, is 
said to have weighed "a talent of gold with the precious 
stones." Now, a talent being reckoned to be a hundred 
and twenty-five pounds, such an enormous load on the head 
no man can be supposed to have carried as a part of his 
ordinary dress. Bockhart apprehends, with great probability, 
that the word mislihal denotes not the weight, but the value 
of the crown ; for although the verb shakel in the Hebrew, 
like pondere in the Latin, related originally to weight — by 
which, before the invention of coins, metals were exchanged 
in trafiic — yet this came afterwards to be applied to the pay- 
ment of money, when the custom of weighing it was laid aside. 

The word nezer is said to denote a diadem, and is used in 
this sense for that which Saul wore in battle and which was 
brought to David, and also that used at the coronation of the 
young King Joash ; and as another word, atarah, is applied 
elsewhere to the crown, the probability is that the Hebrew 
kings wore sometimes a diadem and sometimes a crown. 
Josephus mentions the diadem of Pharaoh, which (according 
to him) seems to have been nothing more than a circle or 
fillet of gold. 

Clemens Alexandrinus says generally of the royal crowns 
used by the kings of Judah and Israel, " I know that the 
ancient kings of the Hebrews had their diadem (crown) of 
gold and rich stones, and this was set on their heads at their 
inauguration by the high priest who anointed them." 

Rawlinson describes the tiara of a monarch of Babylon 
as remarkable. It was of great height, nearly cylindrical, 
but with a slight tendency to swell out towards the crown, 
which was ornamented with a row of feathers round its 
entire circumference. The space below was patterned with 


rosettes, sacred trees, and mytliological figures. From the 
centre of the crown there rose above the feathers a projection 
resembling, in some degree, the projection which distin- 
guishes the tiara of the Assyrian kings, but rounded and not 
squared at the top. This head-dress, which has a heavy 
appearance, was worn low on the brow, and covered nearly 
all the back of the head. It can scarcely have been com- 
posed of a heavier material than cloth or felt. Probably it was 
brilliantly coloured, as was the tiara of the Assyrian raonarchs. 
In Egypt and Persia there are sculptures of earlier date 
than the Hebrew monarchies, representing the royal crown 
in the shape of a distinguishing tiara, cap, or helmet, of 
metal and of cloth, or partly cloth and partly metal. The 
bas-reliefs discovered by Layard, at Nineveh, represent the 
king in a high conical tiara, which distinguishes the monarch 
on these Assyrian monuments and appears to have been 
reserved for him alone. " It is impossible," remarks Layard, 
" to determine from the sculptures the nature of the material 
of which it was made, but it may be conjectured that it 
consisted of bands or folds of linen or silk. Such was the 
head-dress of the Persian monarchs called cidaris, which 
appears to have resembled the Phrygian bonnet, or the 
French cap of liberty. That Avorn by Darius was of blue 
and white, or purple and white." * 

* Diodorus states that the Egyptian Pharaohs decorated their 
crowns with figures of lions, bulls, and serpents, branches of trees, and 
repx'escntationa of flames of fire, to inspire fear in the beholders. The 
Assyrians confined themselves to putting horns on the tiaras of their 
idols. The tiaras of the ancient Persians are bare, like those of the 
Parthian monarchs. The custom of ornamenting tlie royal head-dress 
with striking objects appears among the Sassanides in the founder of 
the dynasty. A sphere is seen on the tiaras and the battlemented 
crowns of Ardeschir Babcgau, and is seen up to Djamasp, of Bahi-ara II., 
of Azermidokht ; a pair of wings frequently accompany the diadems. 
Some coins of Bahram II. give on the side of the effigy of the monarch 
busts of women of which the head-dress terminates in the liead of a 
wild boar or griffin. Hormuz II. (Hormisdas) wears a tiara in form of a 
flying eagle, with a pearl in the beak. The crown of the father of 
Hormuz, Narsi, is composed of tall leaves, which reminds one of the 
tufts in the great crown of Novo Tcherkask. The tiara of Ardeschir II. 
displays in front a crescent, which is seen also in several of his 
successors. Later, under Chosroes II. (Khosrou Parviz), the crescent 
became an aigrette issuing from a bird's wing. The ancient gemmed 
taa(j of the Slialis of Persia, and their present talpak in furs, have the 
aigrette in form of a round ensign. The taag was no other than the 
embattled crown of the Sassanides with a circle raised much higher. 


On tlie coins of Sapor I. lie is represented with a cap 
terminating in the head of an eagle, or else a mural crown 
surmounted by an inflated ball. 

Hormisdas I., of the Neo-Persian empire (died a.d. 272), 
wears a lion-crested cap, with a flower rising from the 
summit. Narses (abdicated a.d. 301), said to have been 
named the "hunter of wald beasts," had a head-dress peculiar 
to him, adorned with horns of the ibex or the stag. 

The coins of Sapor III. and his predecessor, Artaxerxes II., 
represent the head-dress as not remarkable : the latter bears 
a head which is surmounted with the usual inflated ball, and 
has the diadem, but is without the crown — a deficiency in 
which some see an indication that the prince thus represented 
was regent rather than monarch of Persia. 

Isdigerd I., sovereign of Persia (died a.d. 419 or 420), is 
shown on coins with the inflated ball, above a fragment of 
the old mural crown, and bears a crescent in front. Zamask 
(a.d. 498-501) has also the ball and mural crown, but a 
crescent in place of the front limb of the crown. The ends 
of the diadem appear over the two shoulders. On either side 
of the head there is a star, and over either shoulder a 
crescent. Outside the encircling ring, or " pearl border," we 
see, almost for the first time, three stars with crescents. 

The special royal head-dress of the Assyrian kings was a 
tall mitre or tiara, which at first took the shape of the head, 
but rose above it to a certain height in a gracefully curved 
line, when it was covered in with a top, flat, like that of a hat, 
but having a projection towards the centre which rose up 
into a sort of apex or peak, not however pointed, but either 
rounded or squared off. The tiara was generally ornamented 
with a succession of bands, between which were commonly 
patterns more or less elaborate. Ordinarily the lowest band, 
instead of running parallel with the others, rose with a gentle 
curve towards the front, allowing room for a large rosette 
over the forehead and for other similar ornaments. If we 
may trust the representations on the enamelled bricks, sup- 
ported as they are to some extent by the tinted reliefs, we 
may say that the tiara was of three colours — red, yellow, and 
white. The red and white alternated in broad bands ; the 
ornaments upon them were yellow, being probably either 
embroidered on the material of the head-dress in threads of 
gold, or composed of thin gold plates which may have been 
sewn on. The general material of the tiara is likely to have 


been clotli or felt; it can scarcely have been metal, if the 
deep crimson tint of the bricks and the relief is true. 

In the early sculptures the tiara is more depressed than 
in the later, and it is also less highly ornamented. It has 
seldom more than two bands, viz. a narrow one at the top, 
and at bottom a broader curved one, rising towards the front. 
To this last are attached two long strings or lappets, which 
fall behind the monarch's back to a level with his elbow^ 

Another head-dress which the monarch sometimes wore 
was a sort of band or fillet. This was either elevated in 
front and ornamented with a single rosette, like the lowest 
band of the tiara, or else of uniform width and patterned 
along its whole course. In either case there depended from 
it, on each side of the back hair, a long riband or streamer 
fringed at the end and sometimes ornamented with a delicate 

Sir J. Gardner Wilkinson, in his " Ancient Egyptians," 
mentions that the head-dress of the kings of ancient Egypt 
was the crown of the upper or lower country, or the jpshent, 
the union of the two. Every king, after the sovereignty of 
the Thebaid and Lower Egypt had become once more vested 
in the same person, put on this double crown at his coronation. 
The king wore his crown during the heat of battle — some- 
times merely a wig ; but a helmet (without a crest) made 
apparently of woollen stuff with a thick nap, not very unlike 
the modern Persian cap, was generally preferred ; and at 
religious ceremonies he put on a striped head-dress, probably 
of linen, which descended in front over the breast and 
terminated behind in a sort of queue bound with ribbon. 

When crowned, the king invariably put on the two 
crowns at the same time, though on other occasions he was 
permitted to wear each separately, whether in the temple, 
the city, or the field of battle ; and he even appeared in his 
helmet during the ceremonies in honour of the gods. On 
some occasions he wore a short wig, on which a band was 
fastened, ornamented with an asp, the emblem of royalty. 

In the British Museum, and also in the Mayer Collection 
at Liverpool, are representations of Egyptian divinities and 
sovereigns with characteristic head oi'naments. Amen-Ra, 
the principal deity of Thebes, is seen as a man, wearing as a 
head-dress the disc of the suii and tall plumes. Ma, allied 
to Thoth, or Mercury, has for emblem of sovereignty an ostrich 
feather. Nefer-Atum (Atum), the "regulator of the two 


worlds," is sometimes depicted with the lily and plumes on 
his head. Munt-Ra, or Mars, is represented with plumes and 
the sun's disc. Pasht, Diana, wears a disc on her head, 
fronted by a serpent. The royal head-dress of Rameses II., 
or the Great, is surmounted by a crown of simple form, 
decorated with small serpents, symbols of imperial authority. 
The upper part of a statue of the same monarch, in the 
character of the ineffable Osiris, wears the pshent over the 
royal wig; the flail and the crook of Osiris, symbols of 
majesty and dominion, crossed, and reaching to the shoulders, 
are the insignia of his ofiice. Khnum, the principal deity 
at Elephantine, is represented with the conical cap of Osiris, 
plumes, and horns. Osiris, the judge of the dead, is seen 
with the crown of Upper Egypt, with plumes on either side, 
and sometimes surmounted by a sun's disc. He is also 
represented wearing a lunar disc. Isis, the wife of Osiris, 
wears a throne on her head. 

The white crown, which was more commonly called the 
atef crown, was a grand head-dress, with disc, plumes, and 
pendant urcei. It was symbolical of the kingdom of Egypt 
and of the divinity of the gods. 

The early Macedonian coins exhibit, some a head with a 
flat cap or hat, and others the royal bandelet only, such as 
those of ^ropus and Pausanias, three hundred and ninety- 
four years before Christ. The coins of Antiochus lY., 
sovereign of Syi'ia a hundred and seventy-six years before 
Christ, have a radiated crown instead of the usual fillet or 
bandelet. The crown of rays was assumed by kings who 
took the title of epiphanes, or gods, who manifested them- 
selves to mortals.* 

* The radiated crown originated in the solar worship of the East, and 
was borrowed from thence by the rulers of the West. The influences 
tending to the increase of the solar worship became still stronger after 
the reign of Hadrian. The original emblem of the Roman emperors was 
the laurel or bay-leaf of victory, and it was the policy of Augustus and 
his first successors to avoid all titles and symbols which savoured of 
royalty; if a radiated crown was allotted to them, it was after their 
death, and as gods, not sovereigns. Nero is said to have been the first 
to assume it in his lifetime ; it appears also in coins of Caligula, but only 
such as were struck in Greek cities. Flattery, however, soon extended, 
even in Italy, to living emperors. Gallienus wore it in public. Whether 
considered as a mark of deification or of solar worship it would be 
equally offensive to Christians. After the time of Constantine we do 
not find the figure of the sun on coins, and the radiated crown is 
replaced by a diadem of gems. In some of the coins of Salonina, the 


The spikes that shot out from the crown represented the 
rays of the sun. There were twelve of them, in allusion to 
the signs of the zodiac. It is the kind of crown which Virgil 
describes ("^neid," lib. xxii.) : — 

" Four steeds the chariot of Latinus bear ; 
Twelve golden beams around his temples play 
To mark his lineage from the god of day." 

In the Assyrian sculptures in the British Museam the 
king is represented wearing a tall cap, or tiara, nearly conical, 
with a spike rising from the flattened crown, both cap and 
spike being jewelled ; two streamers hang from the back of 
the tiara. 

The spiked or radiated crown is exhibited on some of 
the coins of the Roman emperors in the third century. 

The earliest portraits in coins of Artaxerxes, the founder 
of the new Persian dynasty of the Sassanidce, represent 
him wearing the high and richly embroidered cap, which 
is, no doubt, the ancient crow^n of Persia. It had been 
previously assumed by some of the Arsacidse, kings of Parthia. 
The portraits of Vologeses IV., on coins, display a banded 
tiara, above which band the crown of the tiara appears to be 
formed of pearls and a large circular ornament. Sapor, the 
successor of Artaxerxes on the Persian throne, wears an 
ornamental head-dress formed of a singular mass of what 
appears to be drapery of a circular, or rather a pear-shaped, 
fonn, which has been suggested to represent a celestial globe ; 
the crescent, moon, and a star being conspicuous on it. The 
crescent also appears afterwards on the variously shaped 
crowns of his successors, sometimes with and sometimes 
without the star. Some of the coins of Sapor are found with 
the embroidered crown, such as that worn by his predecessor, 
Artaxerxes ; but after Varanes I. the cap or crown finally 

Xerxes, a petty prince of Armenia, appears on a coin in 
a conic cap with a diadem around it. Juba, the father, has 
a singular crown like a conic cap, hung with pearls. 

wife of Gallienus, her bust is represented on a figure of the crescent 
moon. This appears to be another indication of tlie Oriental worship of 
the sun and moon. The first head of an empress placed in this way is 
that of Julia Domua, the second wife of Soptimius Soverus, and grand- 
aunt of Heliogabalus, the high priest of the sun. Valeria, the daughter 
of Diocletian and wife of Maximianus, is the last empress on whose coins 
this peculiarity appears. 


There is a connection between the ancient and modern 
Oriental crowns, the latter consisting either of a cap with a 
fold or turban, variously enriched with aigrettes, or of a stiff 
cap of cloth studded with precious stones. The turreted 
crown appears on a female head on the coins of Tigranes, 
King of Armenia, about eighty years before Christ. It is also 
seen on the coins of Trajan, which have the head of the 
emperor on one side and a female head with a turreted 
crown on the other. In Roman times the turreted heads 
formerly belonging to the independent cities of Smyrna, 
Damascus, etc., were used as a symbol of the entire province 
of Syria. 

The kings upon Greek coins are generally represented 
wearing the viita^ or ribbon, about the head, without any 
other ornament, tied in a floating knot behind, the simple 
but superlative badge of sovereign power. In the Roman coins 
it is seen on the consular medals with ISTuma and Ancus, but 
not after until the time of Lucinius. The diadem was intro- 
duced to the Romans through their Oriental campaigns and 
intercourse with Asiatic nations. When first seen at Rome 
it caused great offence. Though they submitted to the reality 
of sovereign power, their susceptible minds could not endure 
its outward symbols. The golden "corona" had raised no 
alarm. Caligula and Domitian wore it at the public games 
without objection, and it appears on their coins. The diadem 
became a recognized mark of sovereign dignity, but it seems 
to have been chiefly worn on state occasions. The radiated 
crown * (as I have observed, a mark of deification) appears 
on most of the emperors' heads in the early centuries of the 

Under Constantino the Great, who assumed the empire 
of the West (a.d. 306), the fillet, or ribbon, was superseded 
by the diadem of gold and precious stones ; additions were 
made afterwards to various parts that went from ear to ear 
over the crown of the head, and, at length, over a gold helm 
on a cap, which made it somewhat like the close crown of 
later times worn upon caps. In fact, this jewelled helm was 
the origin of the imperial crown in its present form ; the 
gradual transition from the defensive to the decorated head- 

* TertuUian says, *' I will acknowledge none such to be gods and 
eraperors too : for if they be not men, they can be no emperors : he that 
calls himself a god, or allows himself to be so called, plainly shows that 
he is no emperor." 


covering being easily traced in the lapse of after years. The 
combination to which I have alluded is also seen on the 
coins of Gratian, Valentian IL, Theodosius, 
Leo the Great, and Basil, 

Constantine, who died a.d. 337, is repre- 
sented with false hair of various colours, 
a diadem of expensive fashion, a profusion 
of gems and pearls, collars, bracelets, etc.* 
Mr. Planche observes " that the crown of 
the Empress Helena, mother of Constantine 
the Great, throws considerable light on 
y^^-- the forms and ornaments of those we see 

Head of the Empress on the heads of the early Ano^lo- Saxon 


and Norman monarchs. 

In a drawing given by Ferrario, Constantine the Great 
is represented wearing a helmet surrounded by a diadem, 
imtli a cross in front; Heraclius (a.d. 610-642) wears a 
helmet, encircled by a gemmed diadem with pendant ends, 
and a cross above the forehead. 

The combination of the diadem with the cidaris, or tiara, 
had been in use, as Zenophon informs us, from ancient times. 
It was worn by Zenobia, and was adopted by her conqueror, 
Aurelian, Emperor of Rome (died 275). It is seen in medals 
under the form of a peaked cap, which in later times assumed 
the popular name of tuphan, the origin of the modern 

The diadem, in its original form of a ribbon or fillet, 
gradually went out of use from the time of Justinian, and 

* The emperors of the East, at the close of the fourth and the 
beginning of the fifth century, were remarkable for their splendour. 
St. Chrysostom alludes in his sermons to the pompous luxury of the 
reign of Arcadius. " The emperor," he says, "wears on his head a 
diadem, or a crown of gold, decorated with precious stones of inestimable 
value. These ornaments, and his purple garments, are reserved for his 
sacred person alone, and his robes of silk are embroidered with the 
figures of golden dragons. His throne is of massy gold ; whenever he 
appears in public he is surrounded by his courtiers, his guards, and 
attendants. Their spears, their shields, their cuirasses, the bridles and 
trappings of their horses have the substance or the appearance of gold ; 
and the largo, splendid boss in the middle of their shield is encircled 
with smaller bosses, which represent the shape of the human eye. The 
two mules that draw the chariot of the monai'ch are perfectly white, and 
shining all over with gold. The chariot itself, of pure and solid gold, 
attracts the admiration of spectators, who contemplate the purple 
curtains, the snowy carpets, the size of the precious stones, etc." 


was replaced by a flexible band of gold, sometimes adorned 
with a band of pearls and precious stones. Justinian, in the 
mosaics of the sanctuary of San Vitale, at Ravenna, has 
his head covered with a jewelled cap ; while the Empress 
Theodora wears a tiara surrounded with three circles of 
gems. Strings of pearls and other gems hang down from 

In the time of Constantino Porphyrogenitus (died 959) 
the royal treasury contained circlets, or stemmata, of various 
colours, white, green, and blue, according to the enamels 
with which they were coated. These circlets, adorned with 
gems, are mentioned by Claudian in connection with the two 
sons of Theodosius, Arcadius and Honorius, towards the end 
of the fourth century ; " Et vario lapidum distinctos igne 

Dr. Schliemann, on " Troy and its Remains," thus de- 
scribes the diadems found in the (supposed) " Treasure " of 
King Priam : " These consisted of two splendid gold diadems ; 
one consisting of a gold fillet, 21|- inches long, and nearly 
half an inch broad, from which there hang on either side 
seven little chains to cover the temples, each of which has 
eleven square leaves with a groove ; these chains are joined 
to one another by four little cross chains, at the end of which 
hangs a glittering golden idol of the tutelar goddess of Troy, 
nearly an inch long. The entire length of each of these 
chains, with the idols, amounts to ten and a quarter inches. 
Almost all these idols have something of the human form, 
but the owl's head with the two large eyes cannot be mis- 
taken ; their breadth at the lower end is about nine-tenths of 
an inch. Between these ornaments for the temples there are 
about forty-seven little pendant chains, adorned with square 
leaves ; at the end of each little chain is an idol of the tutelary 
goddess of Ilium, about three-quarters of an inch long ; the 
length of these little chains with the idols is not quite four 

" The other diadem is twenty inches long, and consists of 
a gold chain, from which are suspended on each side eight 
chains completely covered with small gold leaves, to hang 
down over the temples, and at the end of every one of the 
sixteen chains there hangs a golden idol, an inch and a 
quarter long, with the owl's head of the Ilian tutelary goddess. 
Between these ornaments for the temples, there are likewise 


seven tj-f our little chains, about four inches long, covered 
with gold leaA'es, to hang down over the forehead ; at the end 
of these chains there hangs a double leaf about three-quarters 
of an inch lon^." 

The same author, in his "Mycenae," relates the discovery 
of the " diadems " which form such an interesting portion of the 
objects unearthed. " On every one of the three bodies, which 
wei-e found on the opening of the second tomb, in the first 
and second sepulchres, were five diadems of thin gold-plate, 
each nineteen inches and a half long, and four inches broad 
in the middle, from which it gradually diminishes to a point 
at both ends. The pointed ends have been broken off, but as 
several of the other diadems have such points, there can be 
no doubt that all had been fashioned in the same way. All 
the diadems were piped with copper wires, in order to give 
them more solidity, and a great many fragments of those 
copper wires were found. All the fifteen diadems show the 
very same ornamentation of repousse work, consisting of a 
border of two lines on either side, between which we see a 
row of treble concentric circles, which increase or diminish 
in size, according to the breadth of the diadem, the largest 
circle being in the middle. Between these treble circles is, 
on either side, a row of smaller double concentric circles, 
which likewise increase or diminish in size, in proportion to 
the breadth of the diadems. As well in the larger treble, as 
in the smaller double circles, the central or innermost circle 
is always hammered so as to protrude, which gives to the 
diadems a splendid aspect." The diadems had at one end a 
pin, and at the other a tube, by means of which they were 
fixed round the head ; of course, in such a way that the 
largest treble circle was just in the middle of the forehead. 

In the third sepulchre was found, on the head of one of 
three bodies, a splendid crown of gold, Avhich Dr. Schliemann 
describes as " one of the most interesting objects collected by 
me at Mycenae. It is two feet one inch long, and pro- 
fusely covered with shield-like ornaments. The work being 
repousse^ all the ornaments pi'otrude and appear in low relief, 
giving to the crown an indescribably magnificent aspect, 
which is still further augmented by the thirty-six large leaves, 
ornamented in a like manner, which are attached to it. It 
deserves particular attention that the crown was bound round 
the head, so that its broadest part was just in the middle of 
the forehead, and, of course, the leaves were standing upright 


around the upper part of the head, for had it been otherwise 
it would have shaded the eyes and the greater part of the 
face. Near each extremity can be seen two small holes, 
through which the crown was fastened by means of a thin 
golden wire. I call particular attention to the curious signs 
between the shield-like ornaments of the lowest row ; five of 
these signs resemble beautiful flowers, the heads of which 
give additional proof that the crown was worn with the leaves 
upwards ; and so I found it on the head of one of the bodies. 
The four other signs resemble the caduceus, the herald's 
staff of Hermes. 

"Around the head of another of the three bodies was found 
a magnificent golden diadem, to which was still attached part 
of the skull ; it is finely worked. It has a border formed 
by parallel lines, and a line of protruding points, which is 
broadest in the middle and gradually diminishes towards both 
ends. This border is ornamented with spiral signs, accom- 
panied by small lines of deep or protruding points. The 
space between the two borders is filled up with a row of 
shield-like ornaments, the size of which varies according to 
the breadth of the diadem, containing a number of concentric 
circles around a central boss. The space between the circles 
is filled up, in the five larger ones, with a circular row of 
small leaves or of protruding points. At each end of the 
diadem is a perforation, which must have served to fasten it 
round the head by means of a thin wire of gold or copper. 
This diadem being of thick gold plate, it was not piped. 

" With the three bodies were five diadems of gold. Two 
of them have an ornamentation similar to the foreg-oingr, but 
less rich. Both are piped with copper wire, and have no 
border; and both consist of two halves, which seem not to 
have been soldered together, but merely joined by the piping 
wire. As neither of them has perfoi*ations in the extremities, 
there must have been attached to them thin wires of copper 
or gold, now broken off, by which they were fastened round 
the head. Both these diadems have suffered much from the 
funeral fire, which has blackened them so that the photographs 
could not take well. The other diadem, though not piped, 
has no border ; it is also ornamented with shield-like circles 
representing beautiful flowers. We see an ornamentation in 
the form of a star at each end, and small shield-like bosses 
on both sides between the circles. At the right extremity is 
still preserved part of the gold wire with which the diadem 


was fastened round the head. On all these six diadems we 
recognize the fine black ashes of the funeral pyre sticking to 
the gold. We find round shields with an ornamentation of 
crescents and stars represented on Macedonian coins ; but 
these can, of course, have no relation whatever to the Mycenaean 
diadems, which may be twelve centuries older. Although 
similar diadems, with an ornamentation of rosettes, have 
never been found before, yet there can be no doubt that they 
were in extensive use in a remote antiquity, for the British 
Museum contains six idols of Aphrodite from Cyprus — two of 
terra-cotta and four of marble — all of which have the head 
ornamented with similar diadems. In the Assyrian collection 
of the same museum are four figurettes of ivory, representing 
Hercules, whose head is likewise ornamented with such 

" There are two other diadems with a still simpler shield- 
like ornamentation, and having in the middle two vertical 
rows of spirals. Both these diadems consist of halves, which 
were seemingly joined only by the copper wire with which 
they are piped. The thin Avires at the extremities are here 
also broken off." 

Close to the head of another body in the fourth sepulchre. 
Dr. Schliemann found a beautiful golden crown (represented 
in Fig. 337, " Mycense "), of which he observes "it should be 
distinctly understood that it is represented in the engraving 
head downward, because to that side which is shown there as 
the lower, were attached, with very small pins, of which six 
can be seen, a number of leaves, a few of which still remain ; 
and if, therefore, the crown had been put round the head as 
it is shown, the leaves would have hung over the eyes, which 
could never have been the case. Thus, this crown had on its 
upper side the leaves, and on its lower a small border with 
small oblique strokes, the intervening space being filled up 
in the middle with three rosettes, intersected by vertical rows 
of very small shield-like circles, and at both ends with similar 
circles or with larger ones. At each extremity there is a 
very small perforation, through Avhich the crown was fastened 
by means of a thin gold wire. 

" In the fourth sepulchre were also found four curious 
golden diadems, two large and two small ones. The larger 
one is one foot eight inches and a half long, and four inches 
broad in the middle. Between two borders of zigzag lines it 
has an ornamentation of shield-like double circles in rejpovss^ 


work, the space between them being on either side filled up 
by small circles of the same pattern, whilst both extremities 
are covered with a beautiful spiral ornamentation. At the 
one end is a pin, and at the other a small tube, by which the 
diadem was fastened round the head. The smaller diadems 
are only one foot five and a half inches long, and two 
inches and five- fifths broad in the middle, and appear to 
have adorned a child's forehead. Their ornamentation in 
repousse work is most varied and curious. Between two 
borders, each of two lines, we see in the middle a circle, 
surrounded by thirteen small ones, on either side of which 
follow two vertical bands, filled with small horizontal strokes ; 
next a vertical row of three circles, and again two vertical 
bands filled with horizontal strokes ; after that a vertical 
band of spirals, and two concentric circles, surrounded by 
smaller ones of the same shape ; then again a vertical band, 
filled with horizontal strokes ; and, lastly, two vertical bands 
of concentric circles, between which a horizontal band with 
oblique strokes goes to the extremity. Only one end, with 
a perforation, is preserved. The other end, probably, was 
similarly fashioned, and the diadem was fastened with a fine 
gold wire round the child's head. None of these diadems 
were piped. 

" There were further found two golden diadems which, like 
the former, are of thin gold plate, but neither of them is 
piped. Both of them are so small that they could only fit 
round the heads of children ; one is one foot four inches and 
a half, the other a foot and one-eighth of an inch long. The 
former is ornamented, between two borders of points, with 
five shield-like circles in the middle, of which three repre- 
sent rosettes, the other two a wheel in motion. The re- 
maining space to the right and left is filled up with small 
shield-like circles, together with two larger ones, repre- 
senting again a wheel in motion, and with spirals. The 
other diadem has, between two borders of concentric circles, 
in the middle, a shield-like circle representing a wheel in 
motion, and to the right and left a similar circle representing 
rosettes. Above the second circle from the middle one to 
the right of the spectator is represented a bird." 

In the church belonging to the monastery of Ghelaty in 
the Crimea, is preserved in the treasury a superb specimen 
of Byzantine art : a high bonnet, or crown, of cloth of gold, 



woven with subjects from sacred history, and profusely 
adorned with pearls and rich jewels. 

Among ancient crowns of peculiar interest is that erro- 
neously stated to have been made for Charlemagne, now at 
Vienna. This crown is evidently of a later period than that 

of the great emperor, and is made up 
of portions belonging to different 
epochs. The costumes of the figures 
in the enamels are Byzantine. The 
crown is divided into eight parts, 
made of gold, weighing fourteen 
pounds. The forepart is decorated 
with twelve unpolished jew^els. On 
the second part, on the right hand. 
Crown of the Holy Roman is our Saviour, sitting between two 
SnV'SrrSgnr "' '^erubs, each with four wings, two 

upward and two downward, with the 
motto underneath, *' Per me reges regnant." The third part, 
on the same side, has only gems and pearls. On the fourth 
part is King Hezekiah sitting, holding his head with his 
right hand, and by his side Isaiah, with a scroll, inscribed, 
" Ecce adjiciam super dies tuos 15 annos ; " also, over the 
head of these figures, " Isaias Propheta," " Ezechias Rex." 
The fifth part, which is behind, contains jewels semes. The 
sixth part has the effigy of a king, crowned, and a scroll in his 
hand, inscribed, " Honor regis judicium diligit," as, also, over 
his head, " Rex David." The seventh part is only of gems ; 
but the eighth has a king sitting, crowned, holding in both 
hands a scroll, inscribed, " Time Dominum," and " Regem 
aurate," and over his head, " Rex Solomon." On the top 
of the crown is a cross, the forepart of which contains 
seventeen jewels, and in the top of the crown are the words, 
"I.H.S. Nazaremus Rex Judseorum ; " also in the arcb, or 
semicircle, stretching over the head to the back is inscribed, 
' Chvonradus, Dei gratia Romanorum Imperator Aug." (the 
Emperor Conrad, a.d. 1138). 

Among the curious incidents in connection with crowns 
may bo mentioned their discovery after a long lapse of time, 
and that under peculiar circumstances. One of the most 
singular trouvailles of this description occurred in 1858, 
which brought to light the celebrated Hispano- Gothic votive 
CROWNS, eight of which were purchased by the French 


Government for tlie Cluny Museum at Paris, and the others 
were obtained by the Spanish Government. An account of 
these invaluable objects was published in Spain in 1861, with 
numerous illustrations. 

Two leagues from Toledo and a quarter of a league from 
the village of Guadamur, at a spot called La Faente de 
Guarraz, is a copious spring of water, which gradually works 
away the ground around it, in which it is further assisted by 
torrents. By the action of the water a vault, probably a part 
of some building, was gradually denuded, and the top washed 
away. In August, 1858, there was a great storm with much 
rain, after which the wife of a labourer at Guadamur acci- 
dentally found some fragments of gold. She called her 
husband, and during the following night they discovered and 
appropriated a considerable treasure. Another labourer at 
Guadamur noticed the light of the treasure-seekers, and on 
the following day made researches on the same spot, and found, 
two days later, a mass of treasure, which he removed and 
concealed. Ultimately, at the persuasion of his uncle, the 
schoolmaster of the village, he presented his treasures to 
Queen Isabella of Spain, receiving in return a handsome 
present and a pension. This was in May, 1861. These 
trouvailles consisted of the following objects : — a crown 
offered to a shrine by.the Visigothic King Svintila (reigned 
621-631), and a rich cross presumed to have belonged to it; 
a crown offered by the Abbot Theodosius ; the fragment of 
another crown ; a cross offered by Lucetius ; an engraved 
gem; part of another crown; various fragments with 
jewels, etc. 

The person who took the eight crowns first discovered 
(now in the Museum, of Cluny) to Paris, seems to have been 
desirous of disclosing as little of the truth as possible, fearing 
probably, what afterwards happened, that the Spanish Govern- 
ment would claim them. He declined, for some time, to 
receive the money for them, thinking it was safer in the 
hands of the French Government than in his own. 

In these Gothic crowns false emeralds and opals may be 
detected among the real stones, evidently intended to pass for 
such, and particularly to replace the emerald, which appears to 
have been then excessively rare in Spain, though the jeweller 
had abundance of most beautiful sapphires at his command. 

The crown of Svintila, King of the Visigoths, which 
is now preserved in the royal armoury at Madrid, is of 


massive gold, enriched with sapphires and pearls set, rose- 
fashion, between two borders set with delicate stones. From 
the lower rim hangs a fringe of open letters of gold, set with 
red glass, suspended by chains of double links, with pendent 
pear-shaped sapphires. The letters form the inscription, 


A beautifully illustrated work on the crowns in the 
Museum of Cluny, Paris, has been published by Count 
Lasteyrie, who, while assigning to them a Gothic origin, 
considers they were brought into Spain by North-German 
barbarians. La Barte, on the other hand, attributes them 
as Spanish work. 

The most important of the crowns is that of King Recces- 
vinthus, who governed Spain 649-672. This consists of a 
broad circle of fine gold, eight inches in diameter, set with 
thirty uncommonly large pearls, alternately with as many fine 
sapphires. This band is edged with a border above and 
below, fitted with a running pattern of Greek crosses of red 
paste cloisonne in gold. From twenty-four little chains hang 
the following letters of gold, encrusted with pastes like the 
borders : " »J< Reccessvinthus rex offeret." From the letters 
are suspended twenty-four pendelogues in gold, and five pearls, 
which support twenty-four pear-shaped sapphires, forming a 
fringe all round the circumference. . Lowest of all comes 
a very magnificent Latin cross, of truly elegant design, four 
inches long, set with eight enormous pearls, as large as ordi- 
nary cherries, and six equally splendid sapphires of the best 
colour — those in the middle row as large as pigeons' eggs, 
all cabocJions — the centre one very protuberant, and having 
three pendants from the arms and foot cut out of square 
pastes. In this cross the gems are set d jour, the back of 
their collets being filled in with a tree ornament in filagree. 
The settings themselves are exquisite ; the claws holding the 
stones being fleurs-de-lys. This cross is the finest example in 
existence of ancient goldsmith's work. It has, perhaps, been 
worn as a fibula or brooch, the acus by which it has been 
fastened to the royal robes being still ^nsible. The entire 
lengtlv of this combination of ornament, from the gold hook 
to which the crown is fastened to the lowest pendent sapphire 
attached to the ci-oss, is about three feet. The crown is com- 
posed of the purest gold, the colour of which, with the violet 
sapphires alternating with the pearls, presents a most gorgeous 


A crown, supposed to have been tliat of the qneen of 
Reccesvinthus, in form and arrangement corresponds to that 
of the king, but the enrichments are less gorgeous. Like 
that, it is formed in two pieces with a hinge, to adapt it to 
the head of the wearer. The hoop is set with fifty-four gems, 
rubies, sapphires, emeralds, and opals. From the lower ring 
hang eight sapphires. There is no inscription. The pendent 
cross is covered with jewels, but less costly than those on the 
king's crown. 

The crown of Theodelinda is a plain circlet, enriched with 
a vast quantity of gems, of more or less value, chiefly emeralds 
and pearls, and a great many pieces of mother-of-pearl. A 
cross is pendent from it, also set with emeralds and pearls. 

The other crowns are most simple, and set with but few 
and inferior stones. Three of these are most singular — an 
open grating with gems set at each intersection of the bars ; 
from each hangs a flat cross, patee^ jewelled. One of the 
crosses bears the dedicatory inscription : — ^ In Dei Nomine 
Offeret Sonniga Sanct^ Marie in Sorbaces." Three crowns 
(or coronets) are very light, and are simply ornamented with 
arcades in repousse work in the common Byzantine style. 

The small diameter of the Gothic crowns proves them to 
have been intended as votive offerings to a church. No lamps 
were attached to them when they were discovered, but the 
appendages, as encumbrances of small value, may have been 
removed when the regalia were buried, most probably to 
conceal them from the Saracen spoiler. 

" Few relics of this period," remarks Mr. Albert Way 
(Archceohgical Journal, vol. xvi. p. 258), " deserve comparison 
with this precious regalia, both in barbaric magnificence of 
enrichment and in the impressive effect of so sumptuous a 
display of natural gems, remarkable for their dimensions and 
lustrous brilliancy." 

The hopelessly lost treasure, the crown of Agilulf, takes 
its name from Theodelinda's second husband, chosen by her 
A.D. 691, on the death of Authar. From its small size (even 
less than the Iron Crown of Lombardy) it must have been a 
suspensory votive crown. This is also proved by the inscrip- 
tion it bore : " ^ Agilulf, Grat. DH, vir. glor. rex . totius . Ital. 
offeret, s^co JoJianni . Baptist . in . Eccl. Modiciay A gold cross 
depended from it, with a large amethyst in the middle, two 
gems in each arm, and four large pearls. Seven little chains 
with pendent acorns hung from the cross. The crown itself 


was a circle of gold, decorated with fifteen arched niches of 
laurel boughs, containing figures of our Lord seated between 
two angels, and the twelve Apostles standing. It bore a circle 
of emeralds, carbuncles, and pearls above. The inscription 
was in enamel. The clumsiness of execution leads La Barte 
to the conclusion tbat this, and the crown of Theodelinda, 
were of Lombard, not of Byzantine workmanship. 

The circumstance of so many crowns, and some w^ith 
inscriptions, reminds us of the fabulous story in the Moham- 
medan histories of Spain, where Tarik, having taken Merida 
(711), is stated to have found, among the rich spoils that 
came into his possession, twenty-five crowns of gold, corre- 
sponding with the number of Gothic kings from Alaric to 

Each crown, we are told, had a separate inscription of the 
name, age, and reign of the wearer. 

The celebrated Iron Crown of Lombardy consists of a 
broad circle composed of six equal pieces, or plates of beaten 
gold, joined together by close hinges of the same metal. The 
face of each plate exhibits two panels divided by spiral 
threads, one long and squarish, the other tall and narrow. 
The plafond is covered with emerald-green semi-transparent 
enamel. The long panels contain a large gem in the centre, 
surrounded by four gold roses, or floral knobs, from which 
ramify small stalks and flowers, in red, blue, and opaque 

white enamels. The tall narrow plaques 
contain three gems set vertically. One 
plaque has only one gem and two roses. 
The two centre plafonds meet without 
an intervening plaque. The number 
of gems is twenty-two, of gold roses 
twenty-six, and of enamels twenty-four, 
lion Crown of Lombardy. Within the circle is the iron band, 

giving a name to the whole. The eccle- 
siastics who exhibit it in the Cathedral of Monza (where it is 
kept in an octagonal recess in the centre of an ornamental 
cross, which is placed in an elevated situation over an altar 
and closely shut up by folding doors of gilt brass) declare 
that there is not a single speck of rust upon the iron, although 
it has been exposed more than fifteen hundred years. This 
iron ring, which is about three-eighths of an inch broad and 
one-tenth of an inch in thickness, is said to have been 
made out of the nails used at the Crucifixion, and given to 


Constantine by his mother, the Empress Helena, to protect 
him in battle.* The traditions of Monza relate that this 
crown was given by Gregory the Great to Queen Theode- 
linda, who died a.d. 628, yet nothing is known of its origin, 
nor was it really used in the coronation of the kings of Italy. 
Henry VII. (or Henry of Luxemburg) is the first who is 
known with any certainty to have worn it, in 1311. The 
crown was carried to Milan for that purpose, in spite of the 

* " The iron ring," remarks Dr. Smith (** Dictionary of Christian 
Antiquities"), *'is asserted to be comparatively modern, never being 
found in the rituals of the churches of Milan and Monza before the 
time of Otho IV. (a.d. 1175). Before this epoch even its advocate 
Bellani allows that it appears in the inventories as corona aurea. The 
belief of its being fashioned from one of the nails of the cross, cannot 
be traced further back than the latter part of the sixteenth century. 
The existence of the band of iron is mentioned by ^neas Sylvius (Pope 
Pius II., died 1464) simply as lamina qucedam, without a hint of its 
supposed sanctity, and with an expression of contempt for the allegorical 
meaning assigned to its employment in the coronation of the emperors 
as denoting strength. According to Muratori, the first author who 
mentions it is Bagatus (1587). He was followed by Zucchius, whose 
violations of truth Muratori holds it charitable to attribute to gross 
carelessness. Two years before the publication of Bagatus's book (a.d. 
1585), a letter sent from the arch-priest of Monza to Pope Sixtus V., 
quoted by Muratori, speaks of the Iron Crown as a most precious pos- 
session of his church, as having been used from early times for the 
coronation of the Roman emperors (even this fact is doubtful), but 
distinguishes it from the relics, so called, and makes no allusion to its 
having been wrought out of a nail of the Crucifixion. From the six- 
teenth century, onwards, the belief gained strength, but having been 
discredited by the searching historical investigations of Muratori, 
the worship of the crown as a sacred relic was alternately suspended 
and re-enforced by decrees and counter-decrees of the ecclesiastical 
authorities, until in 1688 the matter was laid before the Congregation of 
Relics at Rome. A process was instituted, which lingered on until 
1717, when a diplomatic sentence was pronounced, leaving the chief 
point — the identity of the iron ring with the nail — undecided, but 
sanctioning its being exposed to the adoration of the faithful, and 
carried in procession." 

The character of the workmanship of the Iron Crown proves its 
Byzantine origin. La Barte, who holds this as an incontrovertible fact, 
remarks that the art of working in enamel had not penetrated into Italy 
in the time of Theodelinda. The small size of the crown, barely large 
enough for the head of a child two years old, the internal diameter 
being six inches (height 2*4 inches), leads to the conclusion that it never 
was intended for ordinary wearing, but was a suspensory or votive 
crown, hung over the altar and employed temporarily on the occasion of 
coronations, for placing on the sovereign's head as a symbol of royalty, 
and then returned again to its place. 


remonstrances of the inhabitants of Monza. Charles V. was 
the last of the later emperors crowned with it, and the crown 
remained quietly as a relic in the Tesoro, until Napoleon 
crowned himself with it. It has been since used at the 
coronation of the two last emperors of Austria. 

The most striking feature in the grand cortege which 
followed King Victor Emmanuel's remains to the Pantheon 
at Rome (Jan. 18, 1878), was the Iron Crown of Lombardy, 
one of the most venerable political relics in Europe. Escorted 
on its journey by the corporation and chapter of Monza, and 
received with royal honours in its transit through Italy, it 
rested, not unAvorthily, on the bier of him whose inheritance 
had ransomed Lombardy from the yoke of the stranger. 

There is no crown that has passed through so many 
vicissitudes as that of St. Stephen of Hungary. It is a most 
venerable relic of Byzantine art, and is formed by a broad 

flat band of fine gold, whence springs 
an arch supporting a cross. It was 
sent in 1072 by the Emperor Michael 
Ducas to Geisa, the first Duke of 
Hungary, or, as he is strangely styled 
in the enamel portrait of him upon a 
plaque rising above the top of the 
circlet, "Geabitras, King of the Turks." 
Next to this comes the portrait of 
Constantino Porphyrogenitus ; then 
Crown of Hungary. One of Ducas himself ; the fourth and 

largest enamel represents our Saviour 
enthroned. These four portraits are set at the springing of 
the arches which close the top of the crown. On the front 
of the band itself are placed four small enamels of the angels 
Michael and Gabriel, with St. George and St. Demetrius. 
Over the medallion of Christ is a large heart-shaped 
amethyst, below it an enormous rough sapphire ; four moi'e 
large sapphires are set at equal distances on the band, all but 
one being unpolished. The edges of the circlet are bordered 
with a row of pearls set close together. The large sapphire 
at the back is surrounded by four green stones cut oblong, 
but their exact species has not been ascertained. In the deed 
by whi(^h Queen Elizabeth of Hungary pledged the crown to 
the Emperor Frederick lY., the stones are enumerated as 
being fifty-three sapphires, fifty rubies, one emei'ald, and 
a hundred and thirty-eight pearls. 


This remarkable crown, however, really consists of two 
united ones, for it is recorded that Duke Stephen, after the 
battle of Yesprini (a.d. 1000), having put an end to the 
conflict between Christianity and Paganism in Hungary, 
obtained from Pope Sylvester II. permission to assume the 
title of king, and the present of a crown which the pontiff 
happened to have by him, intending it for the Polish king 
Boleslav, but in consequence of a dream it was bestowed 
upon King Stephen.* This crown Geysa had united to his 
own, the Roman crown forming the lower part, and the 
Byzantine one over the upper.f Singular adventures are 
connected w^ith the crown. It was used at the successive 
coronations of the twenty kings of the Arpad dynasty. 
Wenceslas carried it away with him into exile, and is said 
to have bestowed it upon Duke Otho of Bavaria, who had 
been elected in his stead. The opposition of the Emperor of 
Austria made it necessary for Otho to pass through that 
country in disguise, but he succeeded in conveying the crown, 
" packed in a wooden box, safely the whole way." He was 
less fortunate in the next journey, when he went to seek the 
daughter of the Duke of Transylvania in marriage, and lost 
the emblem of sovereignty on the way. Without the crown 
his wooing did not succeed, for the indignant duke imprisoned 
the luckless pretender to his daughter's hand. The treasure 
was subsequently found, and taken to the duke, who liberated 
poor Otho, and accepted his suit. The crown, however, had 
suffered severe injury in its fall, of which it still bears the 

In 1439 King Albert of Hungary died, and his widowed 
queen, Elizabeth, took possession of the sacred crown, and 
placed it for safety in her own chamber. The babe to whom 
she gave birth, not long after his father's death, was named 
Ladislaus Posthumous, and when only four months old was 
invested with the crown of St. Stephen as he lay in his 
mother's arms. The queen trusted that this would secure to 
him the sovereignty, which was so closely connected in the 

* A picture in the Vienna Gallery, and which appears to have been 
painted for Maria Theresa, represents St. Stephen receiving the orown 
sent to him by the Pope. 

t The gift of papal crowns, frequent in the early ages, did not, 
however, secure the wearers from reverses. In the middle of the 
fifteenth century, Stephen Thomas, King of Bosnia, was assassinated, 
partly for the reason that he had accepted a crown from the Pope. 


minds of the Magyars with the possession of the valued 
crown, but the year afterwards the Parliament bestowed her 
hand and the crown upon Wladislaus of Poland. An insur- 
rection compelled her to return to Vienna ; again she resolved . 
to get the crown into her own keeping, and with the help of 
some confidential assistants she accomplished it. The ready 
wit of one of her ladies secured the crown from observation, 
for inverting it in the child's cradle, the interior was con- 
cealed by the bedding around it, and a spoon put in it 
gave it the appearance of being the baby's saucepan. For 
the journey the crown was sewn up in a red velvet cushion 
upon which the same lady sat, and thus it was conveyed over 
the frozen Danube in a sledge. The crown was pledged (as 
before remarked), but redeemed in 1458, for sixty thousand 
gold pieces, by Mathias Corvinus, King of Hungary. About 
seventy years subsequently, after the battle of Mohacs, John 
Zapolya was crowned with the far-famed diadem. He placed 
it in the custody of Peter Pereny, but the man betrayed his 
trust, and gave up the crown to Ferdinand, King of Bohemia, 
who used it for his own coronation in 1527, and then removed 
it to Prague, where it remained for more than half a century, 
to the great sorrow of the Hungarians. Once only during 
that time, at the coronation of Rodolph, was the precious 
treasure used in Hungary. On his abdication, and the accession 
of his brother Mathias, a law was made which provided for its 
better security, by appointing Hungarian crown-keepers, in 
whose custody it was to remain, at Presburg. Other laws 
referring to its safety were enacted from time to time. In 
1784 the imperious mandate of the Emperor Joseph II. im- 
pelled the keepers to remove the crown and the rest of the 
regalia to Vienna, but six years afterwards they were restored 
to Presburg. 

The rapture with which the crown was received was 
remarkable. Triumphal arches were erected in its passage ; 
every town was a scene of festivity ; numbers, flocking from 
all quarters, swelled the cavalcade, and at Buda exulting 
multitudes, crowding to the cathedral, welcomed the precious 
palladium of their national splendour and freedom. 

At night the crown was removed into the chapel of the 
palace, and guarded by two magistrates with drawn sabres. 
The whole city was illuminated ; the streets resounded with 
cries of joy and exultation, and on every side was heard the 
exclamation, " Long live the liberties of the Hungarian people ! " 


The romantic adventures connected with the crown did 
not end there. In 184-9 Kossuth, compelled the keeper to 
deliver it to him. Mag-yar feeling still clung fondly to the 
venerated relic, and the people insisted that the dictator 
should receive it bareheaded. The keeper gave it up with 
these words : "I hand you the holy crown with which fifty 
kings have been crowned during eight hundred years." The 
crown soon disappeared, and all traces of it were lost. A 
Government commission made inquiry into the matter, which 
only resulted in disappointment, and popular superstition 
held that angels had hidden it in the tomb of Arpad. Four 
years afterwards, an inundation of the country on the 
Austro-Wallachian frontier gave Kossuth reason to fear that 
the crown would be discovered, and he laid a plan for its 
removal to London. He had confided the secret of its hiding- 
place to some friends ; but one of them, in an unguarded 
moment, made a remark which led to further investigation, 
and the Austrian Government succeeded in obtaining the 
required information. On September 8, 1853, the Hun- 
garians rejoiced over the discovery of their crown, which 
was found hidden in a field near Orsova. It was taken back 
to Vienna, and subsequently placed at Buda. 





" The crown of England hath ever been sovereign and independent ; 
neither conferred nor protected by any federal head, as some have 
been, but descending from the primitive leaders and chiefs of the 
nation. In this sense the king may be said to hold his crown * immedi- 
ately of the Lord of heaven and earth, without any other meane seyneorie, 
or attendance of corporall or bodely service or allegiance to any other 
worldly prince, or potentate.* " — Selden. 

HE earliest form of a dis- 
tinctive head ornament for 
our English monarchs, as 
represented upon coins, ap- 
pears to have been a fillet, 
or head-band of gold and 
jew^els. This is the case 
with the kings of Mercia ; 
in some instances, tassels 
or strings occur, hanging 
from the back of the head. 
In Whitaker's "History of 
Manchester," 1773 (vol. i, 
p. 347), there is a curious 
delineation of a British 
crown upon the tomb of a sovereign who reigned in the fifth 
century. The stone was discovered in the Isle of Anglesea, 
about the time of Charles II., lying six feet under the ground. 
The edge of it bears an inscription to the memory of Pabo. 
The plane exhibits the figure of the king dressed in his 
armour, grasping a sceptre, and wearing a crown ; the former 
being a strong weapon of iron pointed in the form of a lily, 
and the latter a circlet studded with stars and decorated with 

The head ornament of the Anglo-Saxon kings is described 


by the contemporary biographer of St. Dunstan as "made 
with gold and silver, and set with precious stones."* On the 
coins of Egbert and his son Ethelwulf, a round close cap, or 
helmet, appears, distinct from those of Ethelred and Canute, 
in the latter of which there is the form of a close helmet, 
projecting over the forehead, and also of the conical shape, 
so common to warriors. The most interesting record we 
have respecting the crowns of early English sovereigns is 
that connected with Alfred the Great. In the inventory of 
royal ornaments which were removed from Westminster 
Abbey to the Tower at the time of the Commonwealth, 
mention is made of a crown called " King Alfred's," and it 
is described as of " gould wyerworke, sett with slight stones, 
and two little bells." That the authentic crown of Alfred 
should have been preserved through so many ages, may seem 
almost incredible, yet a tradition of its existence may be 
found in a very early writer, Robert of Gloucester, in. the 
time of Henry III. The gold, weighing seventy-nine ounces 
and a half, was valued by the commissioners of the Common- 
wealth at three pounds per ounce, amounting to £248 IO5. 
Sir Henry Spelman, in his " Life of Alfred," says, "In the 
arched room of the cloisters of Westminster Abbey, where 
the ancient regalia of this kingdom are kept ; upon a box 
which is the cabinet to the ancientest crown, there is (as I 
am informed) an inscription to this purpose : — haec est prin- 
cipalior corona cum qua coronabantur reges -^Ifredus, 
Edwardus, etc., and the crown is of a very ancient work, 
with flowers adorned with stones of somewhat a plain 

Mr. Planche, in his " Regal Records," says, " Mr. Taylor, 
who has quoted this passage in his ' Glory of Regality,' as 
tending to prove the existence of King Alfred's crown, does 
not seem to have been struck with the fact that if it were 
indeed that king's, it was also that of Edward the Con- 
fessor ; a most interesting circumstance, and by no means 
improbable, as the veneration in which Alfred must have 
been held by all Anglo-Saxon monarchs would naturally 
have induced them to preserve his crown, the first crown of 
England (properly so called, because, previously to the 
election of Alfred, we hear only of ' election ' and ' con- 

* Aldhelm (" de Laud. Yirg.," 298) remarks that " the gem.bearing 
belts and diadems of kings, and various instruments of glory, were made 
from the tools of iron." 



secration,' and ever afterwards of 'coronation'), and to be 
crowned with it themselves ; more particularly if there be 
any truth in the story of that identical crown having been 
sanctified by Pope Leo the Fourth ; a tradition alluded to by 
E/obei*t of Gloucester, who saj^s, ' the Pope Leon him 
blessed,' as well as the ' king's crown of this land,' " which 
" he adds, ' in this land yet is,' thereby distinctly asserting that 

a crown considered 
as Alfred's was in 
existence in the thir- 
teenth century. In 
my opinion, there- 
fore," remarks Mr. 
Planche, " the diadem 
with which it was 
customary to crown 
all the kings of Eng- 
land was King Alfred's 
crown, and only St. 
Edward's the Confes- 
sor, because it bad 
descended to him, and 
had been entrusted by 
him to the care of the 
abbot and monks of 

Athelstan and some 
of his successors in the 
regal dignity, appear 
in crowns somewhat 
like the coronets of 
our earls, with slight 
differences, such as 
would occur where 
each monarch would 
have his crown made 
to fit him, to be worn 
on ordinary state oc- 
casions. That there 
were different crowns 
is evident from illuminations and deeds of these periods. A 
book of grants made by King Edgar to the Abbey of West- 
minister, in 966 (preserved among the Cottoniau MSS. in 

King Edgar. From Cottonian MS., Tiberius A. iii. 


the Britisli Museum, marked Vespasianus A. viii.), represents 
that monarch wearing an open crown, with three folinted 
pinnacles of the plainest character, without any jewels, and 
such as are generally seen in Anglo-Saxon illuminations; 
but varieties are also found, and we cannot now discriminate 
between the fanciful designs of the artist and a faithful 
representation of an actual crown of the period. In the 
Cottonian collection (Tiberius A, iii.), Edgar is represented 
wearing a square crown, of which extremely inconvenient 
shape many examples are to be met with in Frankish and 
Anglo-Saxon manuscripts of the tenth and eleventh centu- 
ries ; but in this instance it is apparently jewelled, and is, 
otherwise, more tastefully ornamented on the upper rim. 

Edward the Martyr, son of Edgar, is represented on his 
coins with crowns of various shapes. A radiated cap appears 
first on a coin of Ethelred II., and the trefoil ornament is 
upon a few of the coins of Canute.* The close, or arched, 
crown is seen on some of the Confessor's coins ; upon his 
great seal he is shown wearing the kyne-helme, or royal 
helmet ; " much," says Spelraan, " like that of the Eastern 
emperors." t Harold II. has a richly decorated croAvn, 

* After the well-known rebuke of this king to his conrtiers, who, we 
are told, flattered him grossly when walking on the sea-shore, he is said 
from that day to have placed his golden crown upon the altar of 
Winchester Cathedral, and never to have worn it afterwards. Canute 
the Great, whose ambition could not be bounded even by three kingdoms, 
has not retained so much as a grave for himself and his beloved queen 
Emma. The presentiment of the perishableness of all earthly power 
that seized him when he deposited his golden crown in the same place 
has, in truth, been fulfilled. He was first buried in the old convent of 
St. Peter's at Winchester, but his body was afterwards removed into the 
grand choir of the cathedral, where both his and his son Hardicanute's 
tombs are still to be seen. In Cromwell's time the coffins of the kings 
in the choir were broken open, and the bones dispersed, but they were 
afterwards collected as far as could be done, and again placed in coffins 
in the choir. 

t On opening the chest containing the body of this monarch, during 
the reign of James II., the skull was found entire and encircled by 
a band or diadem of gold, one inch in breadth. According to William 
of Malmesbury, the diadems at this period were of great richness. He 
relates that, at the marriage of a daughter of this king to Hugh, Count 
of Paris, '* there was a diadem precious from its quantity of gold, but 
more so for its jewels, the splendour of which threw sparks of light so 
strongly on the beholder that the more steadfastly any person endea- 
voured to gaze, so much the more he was dazzled, and compelled to avert 
the eyes." 


exhibiting the pendants that hung from the back of it ; in 
one illumination he is seen in a square crown. The crown 
represented in the Bayeux tapestry seems to be one of 
fleurs-de-lys, which is the form of crown worn by Edward 
the Confessor on his death-bed, and in the earlier scenes ; it 
differs from that which is shown as being offered to Harold. 

" It is worthy of remark," says Dr. Freeman in his 
" History of the Norman Conquest," " that the crown (repre- 
sented in the Bayeux tapestry) as offered to Harold is of 
a different and simpler form from that with which Harold 
is shown as being crowned the next day. This last is the 
same as that which Edward is always drawn as wearing, 
even when supported in the arms of Robert on his death-bed. 
This last representation is, of course, merely symbolical ; It 
is simply as much as to say, ' This is the king.' The crown 
thus symbolically drawn is doubtless the crown used at the 
actual coronation, and £ilso on the great days when the king 
' wore his cro^vn ' publicly. But this simpler crown, borne, 
it w^ould seem, immediately from the chamber of the dead 
king, suggests that such a crown was commonly kept at hand 
near the king's person. Compare the well-known story of 
Henry V. trying on the crown which was kept by his father's 
bedside ; a story which may pass as authority for the custom, 
whether true or not as to the fact. This crown, as easier 
of access, would be the one offered to the king elect, as the 
symbol of the kingdom, while the crown of greater ceremony 
would of course be used in the great rite of the morrow." 

William the Conqueror is seen with a crown of singular 
shape, in a curious manuscript of that period, preserved at 
Bouen ; it is a combination of cap and crown. A new crown 
enriched with gems was prepared for his coronation. Guy of 
Amiens says — 

" Auro vel pretntnis jubct ut sibi nobile stemma, 
Illud quo deceat fiat ab artifice." 

He gives twenty-four lines to a description of the jewels. 
•' Why," inquires Dr. Freeman, " did \Villiam have a new 
crown made r" One would have thought that he would have 
made a special point of being crowned with the crown which 
had been worn by Edward. Was it held to be desec^rated by 
the irregular coronation of Harold? " The Saxon chronicles 
describe William as wearing the regal helmet thrice every 
year when he was in England : at Easter, he wore it at 



Winchester ; during Whitsuntide, at Westminster ; and the 
Christmas, at Gloucester. The Noi-man kiugs were ac- 
customed to wear their crowns on 
all great occasions, and these were 
placed on their heads Avith much 
solemnity by the Archbishop of 
Canterbury, or some prelate deputed 
by him to perform that office.* 
Upon his great seal the Conqueror 
wears a circle and three rays, raised 
very high, their points terminating 
in crosses, having a pearl, or pellet, 
at each front of the cross, and two 
fleurons between the rays. William 
Rufus is also represented with a 
radiated crown, with pearls on the 
points, without fleurons. 

The crowns of William the Con- 
queror and William Rufus, the first 
Norman kings of England, are seen, 
also, as nearly similar in form to 
the arched one of the Confessor on 
his silver coins. Froissart, in his 
account of the coronation of Henry 
IV. of England, distinctly describes 
the crown of St. Edward as "archee 
en croix," which may be translated 
either " arched across " by a single 
bar, or " arched in form of a cross " 
by two intersecting circles, which 
would render it more like the 
ancient crowns. 

The earliest form of the crown 
worn by the English kings after 
the Conquest, which appears from 
various illuminations closely to re- 
semble the crowns of the Anglo- 
Saxon princes, is exemplified in the 
effigies of Henry II. and his queen Alianore ; of Richard I. 

Berengaria, Queen of Richard I. 

* It is reported of King Edward I. that " whereas the kings of 
England before his time used to wear their crowns upon all solemn 
feast days, he first omitted that custom, saying, merrily, that crowns 
do rather onerate than honour princes." Afterwards the practice 



and Isabella of Angouleme, at Fontevraud ; of Berengaria,* 
at L'Espan, near Mans ; and of John, at Worcester. The 
crown of the latter monarch is a richly jewelled circlet of 
gold, heightened with what may be entitled heraldic straw- 
berry-leaves. These crowns were, doubtless, enriched with 
real or imitation jewels, and other adornments. 

Henry I., according to his great seal, wears a crown open 
and round, surmounted by three knobs or pinnacles, and 
having appendages on either side, thought to have been used 
for fastening it under the chin. They were distinguishable, 
more or less, upon the coins of the Williams. Gervase of 
Canterbury relates a remarkable anecdote of Archbishop 
Kalph, the successor of Anselm, snatching the crown from 
the head of Henry I., and breaking the ansula, or clasp, by 
the fastening of which it was kept on the head. (See 
chapter on " Omens and Incidents at Coronations.") 

According to the seal of Adelicia, queen-consort of Henry 
I., pendent to the charter she gave Reading Abbey, her crown 
was simple : a smooth band of gold with rims, in which 
circlet three large gems are set ; three high points rise from 
it, each terminated with a trefoil of pearls ; a cap of satin or 
velvet is seen just above the circlet. 

Stephen is represented, on a silver coin that was in the 
collection of the late Sir Henry Ellis, with an open crown, 
richly jewelled, the edges bordered with pearls and sur- 
mounted by leaves. 

The croAvn carried before Richard I. at his coronation is 
stated to have been a large one, set with rich jewels, so heavy 
that two earls supported it after it w^as placed on his head. 

King John, according to William of Malmesbury, was 
first crowned Duke of Normandy at Rouen, with a golden 
circle, or coronet, adorned with roses, curiously wrought. 
This monarch appears to have had several crowns of state. 
In 1204, amongst other valuables taken by his order to 

became forgotten. When the tomb of this monarch was opened in 
1774, the body of the king was discovered, almost entire, with a crown 
of tin gilt upon his head, a sceptre of copper gilt in his right hand, and 
a sceptre and dove of the same materials in his left ; and in this state 
he is still lying. 

* The effigy of Queen Berengaria at L'Espan represents her with a 
regal diadem of peculiar splendour, studded with several bands of gems, 
and surmounted by fleurs-de-lys, to which so much foliage is added as 
to give it the appearance of a double crown — perhaps because she was 
crowned Queen of Cyprus as well as of England. 



Reading, by the masters and almoner of tlie New Temple, 
who had usually, ♦at that time, the crown jewels and regalia 
in keeping, mention is made of " our golden crown made in 
London." Four years later, the king received from Germany 
a present from the Emperor Henry YI. of a large and 
splendid crown, and other ensigns of royalty, of a very rich 
character. These " valuables " were, however, swept away, 
as King John was crossing the Wash between Lincolnshire 
and Norfolk (October 14, 1216). So complete was the loss, 
that on the accession of his son, Henry III., a few days 
afterwards, it was necessary to crown him at Gloucester with 

a simple fillet of gold, London being 
at that time in the hands of Louis 
of France, and the ancient crown 
of England not being attainable for 
the purpose.* 

King Henry III. 

On the monument of King John 
in Worcester Cathedral he is repre- 
sented, as before observed, with a 
crown composed of eight leaves, 
alternating large and small, and in 
form they are almost true trefoils. Henry III. appears on his 

* This want was but temporary, for Matthew Paris tells us that on 
the occasion of King Henry knighting William of Yalence, Earl of 

Effigy of King John. 


effigy at Fontevraud with a crown of trefoil leaves of two sizes, 
a slightly raised point intervening between each pair of the 
leaves. On his first great seal he has the open crown and 
plain diadem. In the forty-sixth year of his reign Henry 
had three gold crowns, which he sent to Paris during the 
troubles of his sovereignty, and confided them to the care 
of Margaret, Queen of France. Edward I. is represented 
with a plain crown, a circle of gold, ornamented with jewels 
and leaves. In an illuminated manuscript he is delineated 
Avitli a bishop on each side, extending a hand to sustain the 
crown — a necessary office where it did not fit the royal 
head. This was likewise done, probably, over the heads 
of the crowned children, Richard II., Henry VI., and 
Edward YI. 

The crown on the effigy of Edward II., at Gloucester, 
is formed of four large and four small oak leaves, rising graceful curves from the jewelled circlet, and having 
eight small flowers alternate with the leaves. Edward III. 
has the coronet and cap on his first great seal, with three 
strawberry leaves, and an ornament composed of three pearls 
alternately ; but on his second great seal he is represented 
with an open crown and three flowers. This monarch, on 
the deposition of his father, received the crown, sceptre, and 
other ensigns of sovereignty from the hands of the commis- 
sioners appointed to receive them from the deposed king at 
Kenilworth. Edward pledged his crown and jewels to the 
merchants of Flanders in the seventeenth year of his reign to 
defray his expenses in the French wars. According to Rymer, 
he frequently pledged his crown, and on one occasion to the 
Bishop of Treves for twenty-five thousand florins. 

In the Westminster portrait of Richard II., " the unhappy, 
beautiful prince " is represented with a crown highly enriched 

Pembroke, ho was seated on his throne in a splendid robe, having a 
coronet of gold upon his head, commonly called a " garland ; " and in the 
inventory of jewels belonging to this monarch, taken in the fifty-sixth 
year of his reign, mention is made of five " garlands" of gold, of Paris 
work, valued at £27 13s. 9d. In the same inventory we find a large and 
valuable crown ; and immediately follow three other crowns of gold 
enriched with precious stones, which are estimated at £336 13s. 4d. ; also 
an imperial cap, or hat^ embellished with jewels. 

When Isabel, sister of Henry III., was aflRanced to the Emperor 
Frederic, she had with her (according to Matthew Paris) a crown of 
most curious woi'kmanship, made on purpose for her, of pure gold 
enriched with precious stones. 



with precious stones, a circlet with raised pinnacles A crown 
which belonged to this monarch was pledged by Henry V. 
to the Abbot of Westminster. It is simply called " the crown 
of the late King Richard." Shakspeare alludes to this crown 
in " Richard II. : " Redeem from broking pawn the blemished 

The crown of Henry IV., the first king of the house of 
Lancaster, as exhibited on his effigy in Canterbury Cathedral, 
was massive and splendid, highly 
jewelled and ornamented. The circlet 
is decorated with eight strawberry 
leaves and as many fleurs-de-lys, the 
whole alternating with sixteen groups 
of pearls, three in each. This may 
have been the famous " Harry " crown 
which was broken up by his succes- 
sor, and the splendid jewels pledged 
to different parties to raise money for 
his expedition to France.* 

Henry V. appears in the minia- 
ture of a book that once belonged to 
him (now in Corpus Christi College, 
Cambridge) with a plain crown, a 
gold circlet, with, perhaps, six pin- 
nacles — only four of which are visible 
— surmounted by trefoil ornaments. 
The head of the king's effigy in West- 
minster Abbey, having been of silver, was stolen, crown and 
all, in the reign of Henry VIII. 

Selden had read that Henry V. was the first English 
monarch who wore the arched, crown ; and in a window of 
Ockholt manor-house, in Berkshire, there remained, until 
within a few years past, the arms of Henry VI. and his queen, 

King Henry IV. From his 
eflBgy at Canterbury. 

* The names of these persons are recorded : — " To Sir John Colvyll 
■was pledged a great flear-de-lys of the said crown, garnished with one 
great balays (ruby of a pink colour), and one other balays, one ruby, 
three great saphires, and two great pearls. To John Pndsey, Esq., a pin. 
nacle of the aforesaid crown. To Maurice Brune and John Saundish, 
two other pinnacles of the crown similarly garnished." Henry also 
pawned a great circle of gold, garnished with fifty-six balays, forty 
sapphires, eight diamonds, and seven great pearls, weighing altogether 
four pounds, and valued at eight hundred pounds sterling. Rymer records 
that the costly fragments of the crown were redeemed in the eighth and 
ninth years of King Henry VI. 


Margaret of Anjou, in separate coats, both surmounted by 
the arch-barred crowns. Mr. Boutell says that the arched 
crown was introduced by Henry V. probably when a simpler 
emblem of royalty was constructed, on the breaking up of the 
more costly and precious crown of his father.* 

In what was called the " Harry " crown was a great fleur- 
de-lys, "garnished with one great balays, and one other 
balays, one ruby, three great saphires, and two great pearls," 
and the pinnacle of the crown was " garnished with, two great 
saphires, one square balays, and six pearls." It is stated that 
at Agincourt, after mass, they brought the armour for the 
head of Henry V., which was a very handsome bascinet, upon 
which he had a very rich crown of gold (a description and 
valuation of "la couronne d'or pur le bascinet," garnished 
with rubies, sapphires, and pearls, to the amount of £679 5.s-., 
is to be seen in the Rolls of Parliament, vol. iv. p. 215), 
circled like an imperial crown. This was twice struck and 
injured by the blows of his enemies. The Duke of Alen- 
9on struck oft' part of it with his battle-axe, and one of the 
points or flowers was cut off by a French esquire, who, 
with seventeen others, swore to perform some such feat or 

A manuscript in the Bibliotheque Rationale at Paris con- 
tains the proceedings in a suit of Gaucourt against Destoute- 
ville, in connection with the recovery of the crown and 
jewels lost by King Henry at Agincourt. Gaucourt had been 
taken prisoner at Harfleur, and in order to obtain his release 
offered to return to France and obtain these objects, which 
also included a cross, containing a piece of the true cross, and 
the chancery seal. Being permitted, he had the good fortune 
to find these valuables ; but Henry is accused of having 
broken his word, retaining Gaucourt in imprisonment, and 
not even paying his expenses. Gaucourt accordingly claimed 
foui-teen thousand crowns, " which the English king's conduct 

* The crown of Don Pedro the Cruel was brought to England by the 
heiresses of that king, one of whom married John of Gaunt, the other 
the father of the Earl of Cambridge. The hitter intended, after a plot for 
assassinating Henry V., to fly to the borders of Wales, where the Earl 
of March was to declare his claims to the throne, and be crowned with 
tlie royal crown of Spain, which was to pass witli tlie common people for 
■the crown of England, and to be carried in the van of the army on a 
cushion. This plot was frustrated by the refusal of the earl to assert his 
rights or dispossess his friend and guardian. Cambridge was the king's* 
near relation, having married Anne Mortimer, the sister of March. 


had caused him," and for which he considered Destouteville 
was answerable with him. 

The appearance of the English crown was greatly changed 
in the reign of Henry VI., by the circlet being arched over 
with jewelled bands of gold, and surmounting the enclosed 
diadem with a mound and cross. Crosses occupy the positions 
filled by strawberry leaves and roses, and fleurs-de-lys the 
place of the small cluster of pearls. The arched crown at 
first has the arches elevated almost to a point ; after a while 
the arches are somewhat depressed at their intersection ; then 
this depression is considerably increased, until at length, in 
the reign of Queen Victoria, the arches which bend over 
almost at right angles are flattened above at the intersection 
where the mound rests upon them. At first, also, the arches 
recede inwards from their spring from the circlet, then they 
slightly project beyond the circlet, and now they rise almost 

Edward IV. is represented with a crown having six arches 
springing from a jewelled circlet, adorned with fleurs-de-lys. 
After the battle of Hexham, when the unfortunate Henry VI. 
only escaped by the fieetness of his horse, the royal equipage 
fell into the victor's possession, and he immediately used it 
by being solemnly crowned at York. Henry's rich cap of 
maintenance, or ahacot, having a double crown, was placed 
upon his head. 

The crown of Richard III., so fraught with retributive 
misfortune, is represented in the Warwick Roll of John 
Rous (preserved in the College of Arms), with four arches. 
On his great seal there are four arches, springing from a 
circlet, adorned with alternate crosses and fleurs-de-lys, sur- 
mounted by the orb or mound. On the death of Richard, on 
Bosworth Field, his crown was hidden by a soldier in a haw^- 
thorn bush, but it was found by Sir Reginald Bray, and 
carried to Lord Stanley, who placed it on the head of his 
son-in-law, saluting him by the title of Henry VII. It was 
in memory of this circumstance that the red-berried haw- 
thorn was assumed as a device by the House of Tudor. The 
loyal proverb of " Cleave to the crown though it hang on a 
bush " alludes to the same incident. Among the devices on 
the tomb of Henry VII. in Westminster Abbey are crowns in 
bushes. The same is represented on the hall window at Stene, 
in Northamptonshire, one of the family estates of the Brays. 

According to the portrait of Rous, Queen Anne wore a 



crown circle of alternate crosses and pearl trefoils. It has 
four plain arches of gold, which meet on the top, under a 
large pearl, on which is a little cross. 

Henry VIII. is represented with a crown of four arches, 

Richard III. From the Warwick Roll, 
College of Arms, a.u. 1484. 

Anne, queen of Richard Ilf. From the 
Warwick Roll. 

surmounted by the orb and cross. The velvet cap worn 
inside the crown appears for the first time on the seals of this 
monarch. The Tudor crown generally is displayed with 
eight crosses, and as many fleurs-de-lys.* 

* A cnrious reason for the " close" crown of the English monarclvfl 
is given in a letter from Dr. Cuthbert Tunstall (afterwai'ds Bishop of 


The crown of Edward VI. was found in an iron chest in 
the Tower. It weighed two pounds one ounce, and. was 
enriched with a fine diamond valued at £200 ; thirteen 
other diamonds, ten rubies, one emerald, one sapphire valued 
at £60, and seventy pearls. The gold was valued at 
£73 I65. M., and the whole of the jewels at £355. This 
was probably the " very rich crown " which, we are told, was 
purposely made for the king, and the third with which he 
was crowned at Westminster. On the great seal of this 
monarch the arched crown, having an ogee curvature, appears 
for the first time. 

Queen Mary wore at her coronation three crowns : one 
erroneously called St. Edward's, the imperial, and another 
made purposely for this solemnity. 

Queen Elizabeth wore two crowns at her coronation. 
There are numerous illustrations of the crowns worn by this 
sovereign, which dijBtered but little from that of her pre- 
decessor. On her great seal, however, she is represented 
wearing a small diadem, having eight arches. 

The crown of James I. approximates the nearest in form 
to the present imperial crown of England. It had eight arches. 
In a curious inventory of the " jewelles remaining in an yron 
cheste in the secrete Jewel house w'in the Tower of London " 
is a description of the state crown and coronets of his Majesty. 
The document was made in 1604, by command of the Earl of 
Dorset, and its accuracy is authenticated by the royal auto- 
graph being at the beginning and end : " fyrst, a crowne im- 
peryale of gold sett about the nether border, with ix^" greate 
pointed dyamondes, and betweene everye dyamonde a knott 
of perle, sett by fyve perles in a knott in the upper border, 
eight rock rubies, and xx"^ rounde perles, the fewer arches 
being sett eche of them with a table dyamonde, a table rubye, 
an emeralde, and uppon twoe of the arches xviij^" perles ; and 
uppon the other two arches xvj*" perles ; and betweene 
everye arche, a greate ballace, sett in a collet of golde, and 
uppon the topp, a very greate ballace perced, and a little 
cross of gold uppon the topp enamelled blewe. 

Durham) to Henry VIIT., who was aiming at the imperial crown : 
" Oon of the cheffe points in the election off th' emperor, is that he which 
shal be electyd must be off Germanic, subgiet to [the] empire ; whereas 
your Grace is not, nor never sithen the Christen faith the kings of 
Englond were subgiet to th' empire. But the crown of Englond is an 
empire of hitselff, mych bettyr then now the empire of Rome : for which 
cause your Grace werith a close crown." 



Queen Elizabeth. From the original in the British Museum. 


" A coronett of golde, setfc about the nether border w"' iiij 
blewe sapbyres,iiij ballaces,one emeralde, v roses of dyamondes, 
and xiiif " round perles ; and about tlie upper border, sett 
with three blewe saphyres, three ballaces, and vj quaters of 
perles, everye quater having in the middle a small pointed 

" A circle of golde sette w*^ a greate ballace rubye, viij 
table dyamondes, Ik*^" emeraldes, xxxvj rocke rubyes, and Ixj 
rounde perles." 

On the great seal of James I. the crown is seen with eight 
crosses, and eight flcurs-de-lys without any roses. 

The state crown of Charles I. contained seven pounds 
seven ounces of gold, and in one of the fleurs-de-lys was a 
picture of the Virgin. In the " Antiquarian Repository " 
there is an account of the valuation of this crown, which 
was enriched with twenty-eight diamonds at £6 each, 
£168 ; sapphires and rubies, £380 ; two emeralds, £5 ; two 
hundred and thirty-two pearls at 155. each, £174 ; twenty-one 
rubies, £16 ; the gold estimated at £40 per pound, with six 
ounces abated for stones, £280 ; making in the whole £1023. 

Sir Edward Walker, in his account of the coronation of 
Charles II., says, " The master of the Jewel-house had orders 
to provide two imperiall crownes, set with pretious stones ; 
the one to be called St. Edward's crowne, wherewith the 
king was to be crowned, and the other to be putt on after 
his coronation before his Maj*'*^* retorne to Westminster Hall." 
Also "two caps of purple velvett for the two crownes, turned 
up with ermines." The coronation crown was enriched with 
pearls, diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires, with a 
mound of gold on the top of it, encircled with a band or 
fillet of gold, garnished also with precious stones, and three 
very large oval pearls, one at the top, the others pendent to 
the ends of the cross. The crown was formed of four crosses, 
and as many fleurs-de-lys of gold, and set with precious 
stones ; from the tops of the crosses rose four arches, which 
met at the top in the form of a cross, at the intersection of 
which was a pedestal, on which the mound was placed. 

The crown of state was garnished with a profusion of 
diamonds and other jewels, but was particularly remarkable 
from being embellished with an emerald seven inches in cir- 
cumference, a pearl of large size, and a ruby set in the middle 
of one of the four crosses, esteemed (according to Sandford) 
at £10,000. 


A slight alteration made in the form of the crown, probably 
at that time, or at the coronation of James II., brought it to 
the shape in which it is represented in the fine work of Sand- 
ford. The crown was taken to pieces, being too weighty, in 
the reign of Queen Anne, and was, of course, altered, and 
made suitable for George I. and his successors, George II, and 
George III. 

On the accession of George TV. an entirely new state 
crown was made. The old one was broken up and another 
made in 1 821, by the court jewellers, Rundell and Bridge. It 
was larger, loftier, and more splendid than the former crown ; 
in elevation fifteen inches ; the arches, instead of sinking in 
their centre, were raised almost to a point, embossed, and 
edged with brilliants, supporting an orb of brilliants more 
than six inches in circumference. It was surmounted with 
a diamond Maltese cross of exquisite workmanship, on the top 
and sides of which were suspended three remarkably large 
pearls. In front of the crown was a unique sapphire of the 
purest and deepest azure, two inches long and one inch 
broad, and at the back was the famous ruby worn by Edward 
the Black Prince and Henry V. The sapphire and ruby were 
each inserted in a Maltese cross of brilliants, and the other 
parts of the crown were enriched with large diamond 
flowers. The rim was encircled with diamonds, sapphires, 
emeralds, and rubies of very considerable size, and the whole 
was surrounded immediately above the ermine with large 
pearls. This magnificent crown was estimated to be worth 
£150,000, and the expenses upon it, preparatory to the 
coronation of George IV., amounted to nearly £60,000 over 
the addition of the inestimable sapphire. Crowned with this 
superb ensign of sovereignty, which weighed five pounds 
and a half, the king returned in the coronation procession 
from the abbey, but on arriving at the hall his Majesty 
exchanged it for one half that weight, made also by Rundell 
and Bridge for the occasion, the jewels being lent for the 
purpose. This light crown was broken up immediately after- 
wards, but a private print of it exists, and was distributed at 
the time by the makers.* 

* In the " Greville Memoirs," under the date of August 10, 1831, \b 
the following Btatement respecting the crown of Queen Adelaide : — 
" Rode to Windsor to settle with the Queen what sort of crown she would 
have to be crowned in. . . . She looked at the drawings, meant, ap- 
parently, to be civil to me in her ungracious way, and said she would 



The crown in which Queen Victoria appeared at her 
coronation was also made by Rundell and Bridge, in 1838, 
and is exceedingly costly and 
elegant ; the design is in much 
better taste than that of the 
crowns of George IV. and Wil- 
liam IV. The crown made for 
the former of these monarchs 
was much too large for the queen, 
and the present one was made 
with jewels taken from old 
crowns, and others furnished by 
command of her Majesty. It con- 
sists of diamonds, rubies, pearls, 
sapphires, and emeralds set in 
silver and gold ; it has a crimson 
velvet cap, with ermine border, 
and is lined with white silk. 
Its gross weight is thirty-nine 
ounces five pennyweights troy. The lower part of the band, 
above the ermine border, consists of a row of one hundred 

State Crown of England. 

have none of our crowns, that she did not like to wear a hired one, and 
asked me if I thought it was right she should. "I said, ' Madam, I can 
only say that the late King wore one at his coronation.' However, she 
said, * I do not like it, and I have got jewels enough, so I will have them 
made up myself.' The King said to me, ' Very well, then you will have 
to pay for the setting.' ' Oh no,' she said, * I shall pay for it all 
myself.' " 

Haydon, in his "Autobiography" (1830), vol. ii. p. 236, has this odd 
entry : " The crown at the coronation was not bought, but borrowed. 
Rundell's price was £70,000, and Lord Liverpool told the King he could 
not sanction such an expenditure. Rundell charged £7000 for the loan, 
and as some time elapsed before it was decided whether the crown 
should be bought or not, Rundell charged £3000 or £4000 more for 
the interval." 

There was a dispute about the will of George III., which he was 
empowered to make by Act of Parliament in 1776. In the " Greville 
Memoirs," under the date 1823, we read : " The King (George IV.) 
conceives that the whole of the late King's property devolves upon him 
personally, and not upon the Crown, and he has consequently appro- 
priated to himself the whole of the money and jewels. . . . The King has 
acted in a like manner with regard to the Queen's (Charlotte's) jewels. 
She possessed a great quantity, some of which had been given her by 
the late King on his marriage, and the rest she had received as presents 
at different times. Those which the late King had given her, she con- 
ceived to belong to the Crown, and left them back to the present King ; 


and twenty-nine pearls, and the upper part of the band of a 
row of one hundred and twelve pearls, between which, in 
front of the crown, is a large sapphire (partly drilled), said 
to have been purchased for the crown by George IV.* At 
the back is a sapphire of smaller size, and six other sapphires 
(three on each side), between which are eight emeralds. 
Above and below the several sapphires are fourteen diamonds, 
and around the eight emeralds, one hundred and twenty-eight 
diamonds. Between the emeralds and sapphires are sixteen 
trefoil ornaments, containing one hundred and sixty diamonds. 
Above the band are eight sapphires, surmounted by eight 
diamonds, between which are eight festoons, consisting of 
one hundred and forty-eight diamonds. In the front of the 
crown, and in the centre of a diamond Maltese cross, is the 
famous ruby, said to have been given to Edward Prince of 
Wales, son of Edward III., by Don Pedro, King of Castile. t 

the rest she left to her clanghters. The King has also appropriated the 
Queen's (Caroline's) jewels to himself, and conceives they are hia 
undoubted property. The Duke '(of York) thinks that the ministers 
ought to have taken the opportunity of the coronation, rohen a new crown 
was to he provided, to state to him the truth tvith regard to the jewels, and 
to suggest that they should he converted to that purpose. This, however, 
they dared not do, and so the matter remains." 

* In the "Autobiography of Miss Knight" that lady mentions 
(date 181 3) . that the Prince Eegent gave to the Princess Charlotte the 
centre sapphire from the crown of Charles II., which the Prince had 
received with the papers of the Stuart family from Rome. In the 
" Greville Memoirs" the subject of this sapphire is also alluded to: 
June 24, 1821, " The King dined at Devonshire house last Thursday 
se'nnight. Lady Conynham had on her head a sapphire which belonged 
to the Stuarts, and was given by Cardinal York to the King, He gave 
it to the Princess Charlotte, and when she died he desired to have it 
back, Leopold being informed it was a croWn jewel. This crown jewel 
sparkled in the head-dress of the Marchioness at the ball. I ascertained 
the Duke of York's sentiments on this subject the other day. He was 
not particularly anxious to discuss it, but he said enough to show he has 
no good opinion of her." 

+ In the Alcazar at Seville, Pedro the Cruel (1353-1364) received the 
red King of Granada with a promise of safe conduct, and then murdered 
him for the sake of his jewels, one of which, a large ruby, he gave 
to the Black Princo after Navarete, and which is the " fair ruby great 
like a rocket-ball" which Elizabeth showed to the ambassador of Mary, 
Queen of Scots, and now adorns the royal crown of England. Mr. 
Speaker Onslow, observes Walpole ("Anecdotes of Painting"), has a 
portrait of the l^ack Prince, which there is great reason to believe was 
painted at the time. In his hat is represented a large ruby, exactly in 
the shape of that now in the crown. 


It is pierced quite through, after the Eastern practice ; the 
upper part of the piercing being filled up by a small ruby. 
Around this ruby, to form the cross, are seventy-five brilliant 
diamonds. Three other Maltese crosses, forming the two 
sides and back of the crown, have emerald centres, and con- 
tain, each, one hundred and thirty-two, one hundred and 
twenty-four, and one hundred and thirty brilliant diamonds. 
Between the four Maltese crosses are four ornaments, in the 
shape of the French fleur-de-lys, with four rubies in the 
centres, and surrounded by rose diamonds, containing re- 
spectively eighty-five, eighty-six, and eighty-seven rose 
diamonds. From the Maltese crosses issue four imperial 
arches, composed of oak leaves and acorns, the leaves con- 
taining seven hundred and twenty-eight rose, table, and 
brilliant diamonds, twenty- two pearls forming the acorns, 
set in cups containing fifty-four rose diamonds and one 
table diamond. The total number of diamonds in the arches 
and acorns is one hundred and eight brilliants, one hundred 
and sixteen table, and five hundred and fifty-nine rose 
diamonds. From the upper part of the arches are suspended 
four large pendent pear-shaped pearls, with rose diamond 
cups, containing twelve rose diamonds, and stems containing 
twenty-four very small rose diamonds. Above the arch 
stands the mound, containing, in the lower hemisphere, 
three hundred and four brilliants, and in the upper, two 
hundred and forty-four brilliants, the zone and arc being 
composed of thirty-three rose diamonds. The cross on the 
summit has a rose-cut sapphire in the centre, surrounded 
by four large brilliants and one hundred and eight smaller 

There is a tradition that the sapphire last mentioned came 
out of the famous ring of Edward the Confessor, so long 
treasured up in his shrine, and the possession of which was 
supposed to give his successors the miraculous power of 
blessing the cramp-rings. If this is at all probable, the stone 
must have been recut for Charles II. (See chapter on the 
" Regalia of England and Scotland.") 

The total of the jewels in the imperial crown of England 
may be thus comprised : one large ruby irregularly polished, 
one large broad-spread sapphire, sixteen sapphires, eleven 
emeralds, four rubies, one thousand three hundred and sixty- 
three brilliant diamonds, one thousand two hundred and 
seventy-three rose diamonds, one hundred and forty-seven 



table diamonds, four drop-shaped pearls, and two hundred 
and seventy-three pearls. 

A pearl from the mouth of the river Conway, where, 
Suetonius informs us, was a pearl fishery in the time of the 
Roman occupation, was presented to the queen of Charles II. 
by Sir R. Wynne, and is said to have found a place among 
the jewels that now adorn the British crown. 

From the time of Henry VII. until the reign of Charles I., 
no important change took place in the fashion of the crown, 

except the introduction of 
the velvet cap, which first 

appears on the great seal of 
Henry VIII. On the second 
great seal of Charles, which 
was brought into use in the 
year 1640, the imperial crown 
assumed the shape it con- 
tinued to bear until the ac- 
cession of Queen Victoria, 
except that between the 
crosses and fleurs-de-lys on 
the rim there was placed a 
small ray, having a pearl on 
the top ; a row of pearls sur- 
rounding the lower edge in the place of the ermine. 

The crown of England (a representation of which is 
given) is that worn on minor occasions of state. It is of 
similar design to that last described, but principally gold- 
smith work, with comparatively few jewels introduced. 

Crown of England. 

( 49 ) 



** 'Tis not the balm, the sceptre, and the ball, 
The sword, the mace, the crown imperial, 
The intertissued robes of gold and pearl, 
The farsed title running 'fore the king. 
The throne he sits on, nor the tide of pomp 
That beats upon the high shore of this world ; 
No, not all these thrice gorgeous ceremonies, 
Not all these, laid in bed raajestical, 
Can sleep so soundly as the wretched slave." 


X the time of Edward the Con- 
fessor the depository of the Re- 
galia and other State treasures 
appears to have been in West- 
minster Abbey,* in what is now 
called the " Chapel of the Pyx." 
Hugolin, the chamberlain of that 
monarch, was entrusted with the 
charge. Here were lodged the 
emblems of sovereignty of the 
Saxon kings : and, at later times, 
the black rood of St. Margaret 
(the holy cross of Holyrood), 
from Scotland ; the cross of St. 
ISTeot, from Wales, deposited here 
by Edward 1. ; the sceptre, or rod, 
of Moses ; the ampulla of Henry IV. ; the sword with which 
King Athelstan cut through the rock at Dunbar ; the sword 

* "In the eastern cloister at Westminster," says Dean Stanley, "is 
an ancient double door, which can never be opened except by the officers 
of the Government or their representatives, now the Lords of the 
Treasury (till recently the Comptroller of the Exchequer), bearing seven 



















of Way land Smith, by whicli Henry II. was knighted ; the 
sword of Tristan, presented to King John by the emperor ; 
the dagger which wounded Edward I. at Acre ; and the iron 
gauntlet worn by King John of France when taken prisoner 
at Poitiers. 

At the coronation of the Norman kings the regalia, as 
connected with Edward the Confessor, were used. They 
were strictly Anglo-Saxon by their traditional names — the 
crown of Alfred, or of St. Edward, for the king ; the crown 
of Edith, wife of the Conqueror, for the queen. The sceptre 
with the dove w^as a reminiscence of Edward's peaceful days, 
after the expulsion of the Danes ; the gloves were a perpetual 
reminder of the abolition of the Danegelt — a token that the 
king's hands should be moderate in taking taxes. The ring 
wath w^hich, as the doge to the Adriatic, so the king to his 
people, was wedded, was the ring of the "pilgrim." The 
coronation robe of Edward was solemnly exhibited in the 
abbey twice a year, at Christmas and on the festival of its 
patron saints, St. Peter and St. Paul. The " great stone 
chalice " which was borne by the chancellor to the altar, and 
out of which the Abbot of Westminster administered the 
sacramental wine, was believed to have been prized at a very 
high sum in St. Edward's days. 

In the reign of King John the crown jewels appear to 
have been lodged for security in the Temple and at the 
Tower. In 1204 some of the reo^alia were taken to Readinof 
by the master and almoner of the New Temple, and delivered 
to the monarch preparatory to his celebrating the feast of 
Christmas in that town. A list of these precious articles, 
preserved in the State documents formerly in the Tower, 
commences with " Coronam nostram auream factam apud 

Henry II., when he was carried forth to be buried (1189), 
was, we are told, first apparelled in his princely robes, having 
a crown on his head, gloves on his hand, and shoes on his 
feet, wrought with gold ; spurs on his heels, a ring of gold on 

keys, some of them of huge dimensions, that alone could admit to the 
chamber within. That chamber, which belongs to the Norman sub- 
etnictions underneath the dormitory, is no less than the Treasury of 
England. Here it was, that probably immediately after the Conquest, 
the kings determined to lodge their treasures under the guardianship of 
the inviolable sanctuary which St. Peter had consecrated, and the bones 
of the Confessor had sanctified." 


his finger, a sceptre in his hand, his sword by his side, and 
his face uncovered. But this regalia was of a strange nature ; 
for the corpse of Henry, like that of the Conqueror, had 
been stripped and plundered, and when those who were 
charged with the funeral demanded the ornaments in which 
Henry was to lie in state, the treasurer, as a favour, sent a 
ring of little value and an old sceptre. As for the crown in 
which the warlike brow of Henry was encircled, it was but 
the gold fringe from a lady's petticoat, torn off for the occasion, 
and in this odd attire the greatest monarch of the world, 
stripped of his regalia, went down to his last abode. 

In the thirty-seventh year of the reign of Henry IH. the 
regalia were sent, sealed up, to the Tower of London. It was 
customary for the king, when travelling abroad, to have the 
regalia carried with him. On the return of Henry from 
France, in 1230, he commanded the Bishop of Carlisle to 
replace the jewels in the Tower, as they had been before. 
They were under the care of a keeper appointed by the king's 
letters-patent, who had a stated salary. During the troubles 
which embittered the latter part of his reign the crown 
jewels and his plate were conveyed abroad, and confided to 
the care of Margaret, Queen of France. They were laid up 
in the Temple at Paris, and afterwards pledged to certain 
merchants of that nation in order to raise money, so much 
was Henry reduced by the rebellion of his barons. In 1272, 
the year of the king's death, they were redeemed and brought 
back into England; and we find in the State documents 
(mentioned in the " Foedcra," vol. i. pars 1, p. 482) not ouly 
a list of them, but a statement of their respective values. 

It would seem that a portion of the regalia at least, 
was kept in the treasury at Westminster in the reign of 
Edward I., from a curious circumstance that happened in 
1303, during the period when that monarch was engaged in 
the Scottish wars. A messenger reached him at Linlithgow 
with the news that the immense hoard of money on which he 
depended for his supplies had been carried off. The chief 
robber appears to have been one Richard de Podlicote, a 
monk of Westminster, who had climbed by a ladder near the 
palace gate, through a window of the chapter' house, and 
broke oj)on the door of the refectory, whence he carried off a 
considerable amount of silver plate. The more audacious 
attempt on the treasury, the position of which he had then 
ascertained, he concerted with friends partly within and 


partly without the precincts. Any one who had passed 
through the cloisters in the early spring of tbat year must 
have been struck by the unusual appearance of a crop of 
hemp, springing up over the grassy graves, and the gardener 
who came to mow the grass and carry off the herbage was 
constantly refused admittance. In that tangled hemp, sown 
and grown, it was believed, for this special purpose, was 
concealed the treasure after it was taken out. In two large 
black panniers it was conveyed away across the river to the 
king's bridge or pier, where now is Westminster Bridge, by 
the monk Alexander, of Pershore, and others, who returned 
in a boat to the Abbot's Mill, on the Mill Bank. The broken 
boxes, the jewels scattered on the floor, the ring with which 
Henry III. was consecrated, the privy seal of the king him- 
self, revealed the deed to the astonished eyes of the royal 
officers when they came to investigate the rumour. The 
abbot and forty-eight monks were taken to the Tower, and a 
long trial took place. The abbot and the rest of the fraternity 
were released, but the charge was brought home to the sub- 
prior and the sacrist. The architecture still bears its protest 
asrainst the treason and the boldness of the robbers. The 
approach from the northern side was walled off, and the 
treasury reduced by one-third. 

After this event the more valuable contents of the 
treasury were removed elsewhere ; the regalia, relics, and 
records remained at Westminster, but these were after the 
Restoration removed to the- Tower. Edward I. had his full 
share of imperial regalia. It would seem (Rymer's " Foedera ") 
that the crown, or coronet, of Llewellyn-ap- Griffith, Prince of 
Wales, became his property on the capture (June 21, 1283), 
or shortly after, of his brother David-ap- Griffith, Lord of 
Denbigh, who had assumed the Welsh sovereignty on the 
demise of Llewellyn ; the Princess Catherine, daughter and 
heiress of the latter, and de jure sovereign Princess of Wales, 
being then an infant. We read that Alphonso, about 1280, 
offered the crown, and other jewels, at the shrine of Edward 
the Confessor. That some of the crown jewels were deposited 
in the Tower in the reign of Edward III. appears from the 
grant of that monarch of the office of keeper of his jewels, 
armouries, and other things in the Tower, to John de Flete, 
during pleasure, with wages of "twelve pence per diem;" 
and afterwards, in the same reign, it was enjoyed by John 
de Mildenhall. In the fourteenth year of Edward III., certain 


jewels are described as " en la Blanche Tour deinz la Tour de 
Londrcs." There is another similar mention in the eighteenth 
year of his reign, and in the thirtieth year we read of the 
" Tresorie deinz la haute Toure de Londres^ 

In the " Liber Regalis " we find that the abbot and monks 
of Westminster had charge of the regalia and coronation 
robes. The right of the monastery as guardian of the 
national insignia was established by the foundation charter 
of Edward the Confessor, confirmed by the contemporary 
bull of Pope Nicholas II., and the subsequent ones of Popes 
Pascaland Innocent II., under every sanction that ecclesiastical 
or civil authority could afford ; and there is every reason to 
believe that it was held sacred till the privileges of the 
I'eligious houses were subverted by Henry VIII. ; after which 
period, the more valuable parts of the regalia were removed 
to the royal treasury, in the Tower of London, and kept, like 
the heirlooms of a family, by the possessors of the throne. 
The precise time at which this removal took place cannot 
exactly be traced ; it is likely, indeed, that during the 
interval between the Reformation and the Civil War, the 
regalia were deposited, part in the Tower and part at West- 
minster Abbey, as convenience or accident might dictate. 

Thomas Cromwell, afterwards Earl of Essex, was ap- 
pointed master and treasurer of the jewel-house by Henry 
VIIL, and besides the care of the regalia in the Tower, he had 
the purchasing and custody of all the royal plate, and other 
duties connected with the office.* 

In public processions he had precedence next to privy 
councillors ; at coronations he wore a scarlet robe, and dined 
at the barons' table in AVestminster Hall ; and at opening 
and closing sessions of Parliament, and on passing of bills, 
when the king appeared in his robes, -he attended to put on 

* The salary attached to this appointment of keeper of the jewel- 
house was only £50 per annum, but his perquisites were very con- 
siderable, and in the reign of Charles II., after they had undergone 
considei-able reduction, amounted to £1300 yearly. He was allowed 
a table of fourteen dishes, with beer, wine, etc., or thirty-eight shillings 
daily for board wages. Three hundred pounds came to him every 
year out of the New Year's gift money ; . and about £300 more he 
obtained by cari'ying presents to ambassadors. lie had an allowance of 
twenty-eight ounces of gilt plate yearly, and the small presents sent 
to the king, anciently valued at £30 or £10; as also the purses wherein 
the lords presented their gold, which were usually worth £30 or £-i0 


and take off tlie crown from his Majesty's head. These and 
other privileges and emoluments were enjoyed by Sir Henry 
Mildmay, who was master and treasurer of the jewel-house 
during the interregnum ; but on the restoration of Charles II., 
and the attainder of Sir Henry, the office was given to Sir 
Gilbert Talbot,* when, at the instance of Lord Chancellor 
Hyde, many of the perquisites were either abolished, or came 
into other hands ; and since that period all the duties and 
advantages of the place have either been done away with, or 
have merged in the office of the lord chamberlain, except 
the custody of the regalia in the Tower, the appointment to 
which is, also, in his lordship's gift. 

Of the various precious objects comprising the regalia of 
England in the time of James I., we have the following list 
of " necessaries to be prouided by the M'. of the Jewell 
House, the daye of the king and queen's coronacion," as 
preserved in the Cottonian MSS. : — 

" A circle of gold for the queen to weare, when shee goeth 
to her coronacon. The king's ringe. The queene's rynge. 
St. Edward's crowne, if it be in hys custody e. Two other 
wearing crownes for the king and queen, to be sett readye 
vpon St. Edward's altar, for the king and queen to put on 
after theire coronacon. Two pointed swords. The sword 
called Curtana. The orbe, the scepter, the armill. And 
suche other regalls as hee hath in his custodye. Theis are 
all the particular necessaries which for the present I fynd to 
be proiiided by the M*". of the Jewel house." Signed by 
Willm. Segar, Garter." 

In a tract entitled " England's Farewell to the King of 
Denmark," printed in Nicholls's " Progresses of James the 
First," the writer gives an account of a royal visit to the 
jewel-house in 1601 : " At the Tower, our gracious sovereign, 
his dear esteemed brother King James, met his Highness, 
and with kingly welcomes entertained him, and in his own 
person, conducted him to the offices of the Jewel-house, 
Wardrobe, of the Ordnance, Mint, and other places, where to 
their kingly presence in the Jewel-house, were presented the 
most rare and richest jewels, and beautiful plate, so that 
he might well wonder thereat, but cannot truly praise or 
estimate the value thereof by many thousands of pounds — 

* In the " Flagellum Parliamentarian," 1671 (ascribed to Andrew 
Marvell)j Sir Gilbert Talbot is described by the satirist as " the Kind's 
Jeweller, a great cheat at bowls and cards, not born to a shilling." 


the like in the wardrobe,* whereat for robes beset with stones 
of great price, fair and precious pearl and gold, were such 
as no king in the world might compare." 

Two years previous to this royal visit, a descriptive 
inventory of the crown jewels was made, under the authority 
of a warrant of privy seal ; the original of which, signed at 
the beginning and the end with the king's own hand, is 
preserved among the records at Westminster. This document 
is entitled, " a book conteyninge the remayne of all suche 
Jewells and other p'cells as are remayninge in the Kinges 
ma^ secrete Jewel-house w*''in the Tower." 

" The Iniperial Crown, ■which is the first-mentioned article, is thus 
described : ' A crowne imperyall of golde sett about the nether border 
w* ix*'" greate pointed dyamondes, and betwene everye dyamonde aknott 
of perlo, sett by fyve perles in a knott, in the upper border eight rocke 
rabies and xx*^'*^ rounde perles, the fower arches being sett eche of them 
w*'* a table dyamonde, a table rubye, an emeralde, and uppon twoe of 
the arches xviij'" perles, and uppon the other twoe arches xvij*'" perles, 
and betwene everye arche a greate ballace sett in a collett of golde, and 
uppon the topp a ver\'e greate ballace perced, and a lytle crosse of golde 
uppon the topp enamelled blewe.' 

"A'coronett of golde, sett with sapphirs, ballaces, dyamondes, 
perles, etc.,' is next described; and, after that, 'a circlett of golde, 
sette w*'' a greate ballace rubye, viij table dyamondes, ix"' emeraldes, 
xxxvj rocke rubyes and Lvj x'ounde perles.' Then follow : ' one circlett, 
newe made for the queue, conteyninge in the myddest viij fay re 
dyamondes, of djverse fashions, viij fayre rubyes, viij emeraldes, and 
viij saphyrs, garnished w*'* xxxij smalle dyamondes, xxxij smalle rubyes 
and Lxiiij"*" p'les fixed, and on eche border xxxij smalle dyamondes, and 
xxxij smalle rubyes.' 

" There are also enumerated fifteen golden collars, all of different 
workmanship, and adorned with precious stones ; a great variety of 
rings, brooches, and buttons, the latter chiefly of gold set with diamonds 
and pearls ; a number of minor pieces of jewellery, and among them ' a 
lardge agatt, graven w*'' the picture of Kinge llenrie the viij, and Kinge 
Edwarde the vj"',' and, *a greate and ryche jewcll of golde called the 
Myrror of Greate Brytaigne, conteyninge one verye fayro table dyamonde, 
one verye fayre table rubye, twoe other lardge dyamondes cut lozenge- 
wise, th' one of them called the stone of the I're H. of Scottlande, 
garnished w*^'' smalle dyamondes twoe rounde perles fixed, and one fayre 
dyamonde cut in fawcetis, bought of Sauncy.' Besides these, the Jewel- 
house contained a variety of costly royal ornaments, such as golden 

* Of the wardrobe in the Tower, frequent mention is made in early 
records, not merely as the repository of the royal robes, armour, etc., 
but as a treasury, where moneys were deposited till they were admitted 
to tbe receipt of exchequer. 


flowers and feathers, set with diamoncls, rubies, etc., 'dyverse antiquities 
in a purse of blacke velvett,' a great two-handed sword, garnished with 
silver and gilt, and numerous ornaments which had been given by his 
Majesty to the Queen. Amongst the latter the most curious was, ' a 
fayre tablett w*'* a crosse of xxiij dyamondes on the one syde, and 
a worde conteyninge sixtene I'res of dyamondes, Dieu, et man droyt w^^ 
a lytle knobb pendaunte, therein two little table dyamondes and twoe 
rubyes, w*^ a clocke in it.' " 

At the accession of Charles I. there belonged to the 
crown, "one Suite of goulde, called the Morris Daunce.^^ Its 
foot was garnished with six great sapphires, fifteen diamonds, 
thirty-seven rubies, and forty-two small pearls ; upon the 
border about the shank, twelve diamonds, eighteen rubies, 
and fifty-two pearls, and standing about that yveve Jive morris- 
dancers, having amongst them thirteen small garnishing 
pearls and one ruby. The lady holding the salt had upon 
her garment, from her foot to her face, fifteen pearls and 
eighteen rubies ; upon the foot of the same salt were four 
coarse rubies and four coarse diamonds ; upon the border, 
about the middle of the salt, were four coarse diamonds, 
seven rubies, and eight pearls: and upon the top of the said 
salt, four diamonds, four rubies, and three great pearls ; the 
lady had upon the tyre of her head, ten rubies, twelve 
diamonds, and twenty-nine garnishing pearls. 

By a special warrant of Charles I., dated at Hampton Court, 
December 7, 1625, a large quantity of gold plate and jewels 
of great value, which had long continued, as it were, in a 
continual descent from the crown of England, were transferred 
to the Duke of Buckingham and the Earl of Holland, 
ambassadors extraordinary to the United Provinces, who were 
thereby authorized to transport and dispose of them beyond 
the seas, in such manner as the king had previously directed 
these noblemen in private. The splendid gold salt called 
the morris dance, above described, was disposed of among the 
other precious heirlooms of the crown specified in the king's 

In Ellis's "Original Letters " (1st series, vol. iii. p. 151), 
there is a letter from Mr. Mead to Sir Martin Stuteville, 
dated May 16, 1623, stating that " there be jewels gone from 
the Tower to Spain of six hundred thousand pounds value." 
This must have been at the time when Prince Charles made 
his quixotic expedition into that country, to court the 

We now arrive at the period of the Commonwealth 


when, as might be expected, the ref^alia would find little 
mei'cy from the scorners of kingly dignity. On the 9th of 
August, 1649, as appears from the " Journals," it was ordered 
*' that those gentlemen who were appointed by this House to 
have the custody of the regalia, to deliver them over unto 
the trustees for sale of the goods of the late king, who are to 
cause the same to he totally hrohen, and that they melt down 
all the gold and silver, and sell the jewels to the best advan- 
tage of the Commonwealth, and to take the like care of them 
that are in the Tower." There is every reason to believe that 
this order was executed, and that not only the regalia, but all 
gold and silver articles, were melted down and sold. At this 
period an inventory and appraisement was made, with a view 
to the disposal of the rich objects of the crown. The list is 
printed in the Archceologia (vol. xv. p. 285), from the 
original manuscript : " A true and perfect Inventory of all 
the Plate and Jewells now being in the upper Jewell House 
of the Tower, in the charge of Sir Henry Mildmay, together 
with an appraisem* of them, made and taken the 13th 14th 
and 15th daies of August 1649." 

£ s. d. 
" The imperiall crowne of massy gold, weighing 7 lbs. 6 oz. 

valued at ... .. ... ... ...'. 

The queone's crowne of massy gold, weighing 3 lbs. 10 oz. ... 

A small crowne found in an iron chest ; formerly in the 

Lord Cottington's charge : * — the gold 

the diamonds, rubies, sapphires, etc. 
The globe, weighing 1 lb. 5 J oz. 
Two coronation bracelets weighing 7 oz. (with three rnbies 

and twelve pearls) 
Two scepters weighing 18 oz. 
A long rodd of silver gilt 1 lb. 5 oz. 
The foreniencion'd crownes, since y® inventorie was taken, 

are, accordinge to ord'' of parm* totallie broken and 


The inventory of that part of the regalia which are now re- 
moved from Westminster Ahhey to the Jewel-house in the 

Queen Edith's crowne, formerly thought to be of massy 
gould, but, upon trial, found to be of silver gilt; en- 
riclied with garnetts, foule pearle, saphires, and some 
odd stones, p. oz. 50^ oz., valued at ... ... 16 

• From other accounts this appears to have been the crown of 
Edward VI. 
























King Alfred's crowne of goulde wyerworke, sett with £ 5. d. 

slight stones, and 2 little bells, p. oz. 79| oz. at £3 

per oz. 
A goulde plate dish, enamelled, etc. 
One large glass cupp, wrought in figures, etc. 
A dove of gould, sett with stones, and peai'le, per oz. 8| oz., 

in a box sett with studs of silver gilt ... ... 26 

The gould and stones belonging to a coller of crimson 

taflFaty, etc. ... ... ... ... ... 18 15 

One staff of black and white ivory, with a dove on the top, 

with binding and foote of goulde ... ... ... 4 10 

A large staff with a dove on y'' top, formerly thought to be all 

gould, but upon triall found to be, the lower part, wood 

within, and silver gilt without ... ... ... 2 10 

Two scept", one sett with pearles and stones, the upper end 

gould, the lower end silver. The other silver gilt, with 

a dove, formerly thought gould ... ... ... 65 16 lOJ 

One silver spoone gilt, pr. oz. 3 oz. ... ... ... 16 

The gould of the tassels of the livor cuU'd robe, weighing 

4 oz. valued at £8, and the coat with the neck button 

of gould £2, the robe having some pearle, valued at 

£3 in all ... ... ... ... ... 13 

All these according to order of parliament are broken and 

One paire of silver gilt spurres, etc. ... ... ... 1 13 4 

An inventory of the regalia now in Westminster Ahhey, in an 
iron chest, where they were formerly kept. 

One crimson taffaty robe, very old, valued at 

One robe, laced with gould lace, valued at 

One livor culP*^ silke robe, very old, and worth nothing. 

One robe of crimson taffaty sarcenett, valued at 

One paire of buskins, cloth of silver, and silver stockings, 

very old, and valued at . , . 
One paire of shoes of cloth of gould, at 
One paire of gloves, embroid*"^ w''*^ gould at 
Three swords, with scabbards of cloth of gould ... 
An old combe of home worth nothing. 

The totall of the Regalia 

Sacli was the republican estimation of the time-honoured 
insignia of royalty ! There is no reason for doubting that 
several of the objects of the regalia here mentioned were of 
considerable antiquity, corresponding with items in the cata- 
logues of Richard Sporley (who lived about the year 1450) 
in the Cottonian MSS.* 

* A story is told in Wood's "Athenoe," in connection with the 
seizure of the regalia at this epoch, which does not correspond to the 









612 17 



The royal ornaments and the regalia having been defaced 
and sold under the Protectorate, a committee was formed at 
the Restoration to direct the re-making of the regal insignia,* 
" and to settle," observes Sir William Walker, in his account 
of the coronation of Charles II., " the form and fashion of 
each particular ; all which doe now reteyne the old names 
and fashion, altho' they have been newly made and p'pared 
by orders given to the Earle of Sandwich, Master of the 
great Wardrobe and Sir Gilbert Talbot, Master of the Jewell- 
fact that the crown and the principal objects of the regalia were in the 
Tower at this period, while the sacrilegious scene related is said to have 
occurred in Westminster Abbey. As the story goes, the notorious 
republican, Henry Marten, was intrusted with the commission of pre- 
paring a list of the regalia. A huge iron chest, in the ancient chapel 
of the treasury at Westminster Abbey, was opened ; the royal crown, 
sceptres, swords, and robes were taken out, and George Withers, the 
poet, who had accompanied the fanatical republican, was, by way of a 
sorry jest, invested with them : "who being thus crowned and royally 
arrayed, first marched about the room with a stately gait, and, after- 
wards, with a thousand ridiculous and apish actions, exposed the sacred 
ornaments to contempt and laughter. 

* In a letter to C. R. Weld, Esq., assistant-secretary to the Royal 
Society, the keeper of the crown jewels (the late Edmund Lenthal Swifte. 
Esq.) thus alludes to the subject : " You are but too right in your idea 
of the modern character of our regalia. Whether as an Englishman, a 
Royalist, an historian, or as a gentleman, or in all these capacities, yon 
must grieve over the annihilation of its ancient memorials. The bar. 
barous spirit which descended on the French revolutionists, when they 
destroyed even the tombs and the bones of their ancient monarchy, 
actuated our Puritans to* bi-eak up and sell the old crown jewels of 

" The two jewel houses (for then there were tvoo, the upper and the 
lower) were betrayed by my predecessors. Sir Henry and Mr. Carew 
Mildmay, in 1649, and their precious contents transferred to the 
usurper. The most shameful part of this afflicting transaction was the 
breaking up of King Alfred's wire-work gold filagree crown, and selling 
it for the weight of the metal, and what the stones would fetch. 

" A new Regalia was ordered at the Restoration, to which additions 
and alterations have been made as requisite, constituting that which is 
now in my charge." 

The Sir Henry Mildmay hero mentioned lost his character by this 
dereliction of duty. In tlie last will and testament of the Earl of Pem- 
broke, a singular and eccentric nobleman, who died in 1G50, is a bequest 
of £50 : " Because I threatened Sir Harry Mildmay, but did not beat 
liim, I give fifty pounds to tho footman who cudgell'd him. Item, 
my will is that the said Sir Harry shall not meddle with my Jewells. I 
know him when he served the Duke of Buckingham, and, since, how he 
handled tho crowno Jewells, for both which reasons I now name him 
the knave of diamonds." 


House. Hereupon the Master of the Jewell-House had 
order to provide two Imperiall Crownes, sett with pretious 
stones ; the one to be called St. Edward's crowne, where- 
with the King was to be crowned, and the other to be 
putt on after his coronation, before his Ma*'^* retorne to 
Westminster Hall. Also, an Orbe of Gold with a Crosse sett 
with pretious stones : a Scepter with a Crosse sett with 
pretious stones, called St. Edwards : a Scepter with a Dove 
sett with pretious stones : a long Scepter, or Staffe of gold, 
with a Crosse vppon the top, and a Pike at the foote of 
Steele, called St. Edward's Staffe : a ring with a Ruby : a 
paire of gold Spurrs : a Chalice, and Paten of gold : an 
Ampull for the Oyle, and a spoone, and two Ingotts of Gold, 
the one a pound, and the other a Marke for the Kings 2 Offer- 
ings. The new insignia that were made cost £31,978 95. \\d. 
paid to the King's goldsmith. Sir Henry Yiner, in 1662. The 
Master of the Great Wardrobe had also order to provide the 
Ornaments to be called St. Edward's wherein the King was 
to be crowned." 

It was soon after the appointment of Sir Gilbert Talbot, 
as keeper of the regalia in the Tower, that the royal insignia 
became objects of public inspection, which King Charles 
allowed in consequence of the reduction in the emoluments 
of the office.* The profits which accrued from showing the 
jewels to strangers, Sir Gilbert assigned, in lieu of a salary, to 
the person whom he had appointed to the care of them. 
This was an old confidential servant bf his father's, Talbot 
Edwards, who held this office at the period of Blood's notorious 
attempt to steal the crown (May 9, 1671).t The designer 

* In the ArchoBologia (vol. xxii. p. 122) we find the origin of ex- 
hibiting the regalia in the Tower : " He (the Master and the Treasurer of 
the Jewel-House) hath a particular servant in the Tower, intrusted with 
that great treasure, to whom (because S' Gilbert Talbot was retrenched 
in all the perquisites and profits of his place, as is before mentioned, and 
not able to allow him a competent salary) His Majesty doth tacitlv allow 
him that he shall shew the Regalia to strangers, which furnished him 
with so plentiful a lively-hood, that S"" Gilbert Talbot upon the death of 
his servant there, had an offer made to him off 500 old broad. pieces of 
gold for the place. 

" Yet he first gave it to old Mr. Edwards freely, (who had been his 
father's servant) whom Blood murthered, when he attempted to steal the 
Crown, Globe, and Scepter. Signed May the 20th, 1680." 

t The correctness of this date is proved by the official»account in the 
London Gazette. Strype and other writers have assigned this transaction 
to the year 1673. In a letter from S. W. Heushaw to Sir Robert Pastoij 


of this desperate attempt was an Irishman, who had entered 
the army of the Commonwealth, and rose to the rank of 
colonel. He was a man of great energy, but of ruffianly 
character, and ha^Hing conceived a spite against the Duke of 
Ormond, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, he formed a plot in 
I6G3, for surprising Dublin Castle, and seizing the duke. 
This attempt was, however, unsuccessful. In 1670, however, 
he waylaid the duke, in company with some confederates, in 
St. James's Street, as he was returning from a dinner given 
to the young Prince of Orange. The duke managed to 
escape, but not without considerable hurt, from the rough 
treatment he had experienced. A thousand pounds was offered 
for the capture of the ruffians, but in vain. Such was the 
character of the person, who, a few months afterwards, 
attempted the robbery of the crown. Considerable art was 
employed in preparing for this adventure, the account of 
which, derived chiefly from a relation which Edwards himself 
made of the transaction, is printed in Stow's " Survey," by 
Strype. It appears that about three weeks before the event. 
Blood came to the Tower, dressed as a parson, accompanied 
by a woman whom he passed for his wife. 

" Thej desired to see the regalia, and just as their wishes had been 
gratified, the lady feigned sudden indisposition; this called forth the 
kind offices of Mrs. Edwards, the keeper's wife, who having courteoasiy 
invited them into the house to repose herself, she soon recovered, and on 
their departure they professed themselves thankful for this civility. A 
few days after, Blood came again, bringing a present of four pairs of 
gloves from his pretended wife, and having thus begun the acquaintance, 
they made frequent visits to improve it. After a short respite of their 
compliments, the disguised ruffian returned again ; and, in conversation 
with Mrs. Edwards, said that his wife could discourse of nothing else but 
the kindness of those good people in the Tower, that she had long studied, 
and at length bethought herself of a handsome way of requital. * You 
have,' quoth he, ' a pretty young gentlewoman for )'Our daughter, and I 
have a young nephew, who has two or three hundred a year in land, and 
is at my disposal. If your daughter be free, and you approve it, I will 
bring him here to see her, and we will endeavour to make it a match.' 

(May 13, 1671), we read : '' The romant of the rose is a story you will 
find in Thursday's Gazette, of one Blood's stealing the crown out of the 
Tower ; as gallant hardy a villain as ever herded in that sneaking sect 
of the Anabaptists ; when he was examined before the King he answered 
so frankly and ujulauntedly that every one stood amazed. . . . He 
thought the crown was worth ,iJ100,000 (when crown, sceptre, globe, St. 
Edward's staff cost the King but £6CH)0). There was found about him 
()U signal deliverances from eminent dangers" 


This was easily assented to by old Mr. Edwards, who invited the pre- 
tended parson to dine with him on that day ; he readily accepted the 
invitation ; and, taking upon him to say grace, performed it with great 
seeming devotion, and, casting up his eyps, concluded it with a prayer 
for the king, queen, and royal family. After dinner he went up to see 
the rooms, and observing a handsome case of pistols to hang there, 
expressed a great desire to buy them, to present to a young lord who 
was his neighbour; a pretence by which he thought of disarming the 
house against the period intended for the execution of his design. At 
his departure, * which was a canonical benediction of the good company, 
he appointed a day and hour to bring his young nephew to see his 
mistress ; which was the very day on which he made his daring attempt.' 
" The good old gentleman had got up ready to receive his guest, and 
the daughter was in her best dress, to entertain her expected lover ; 
when, behold. Parson Blood, with three more, came to the Jewel-house, 
all armed with rapier blades in their canes, and every one a dagger, and 
a brace of pocket pistols. Two of his companions entered with him, on 
pretence of seeing the crown, and the third stayed at the door, as if to 
look after the young lady, a jewel of a more charming description, but, 
in reality, as a watch. The daughter, who thought it not modest to come 
down until she was called, sent a maid to take a view of the company, 
and bring a description of her gallant ; and the servant, conceiving that 
he was the intended bridegroom who stayed at the door, being the 
youngest of the party, returned to soothe the anxiety of her young 
mistress with the idea she had formed of his person." 

From the London Gazette, Whiteliall, May 9, 1671, we 
learn the result : 

"This morning, about seven of the clock, four men coming to Mr. 
Edwards, keeper of the Jewel-house in the Tower, desired to see the 
regal crown remaining in his custody ; he carries them into the room 
where they were kept, and shows them ; but, according to the villainous 
design, they, it seems, came upon, immediately they clap a gag of a 
strange form into the old man's mouth, who, making what noise and 
resistance he could, they stabbed him a deep wound in his belly, with a 
stiletto,"' adding several other dangerous wounds on the head, with 
a small beetle they had with them, as is believed, to beat together and 
flatten the crown, to make it more portable ; which having, together with 
the ball, put into bags they had to that purpose, brought with them, they 
fairly walked out, leaving the old man grovailing on the ground, gagged, 
and pinioned ; thus they passed by all the sentinels, till, in the meantime, 
the son-in-law of Mr. Edwards, casually passing by, and hearing the door 
shut, and some bustle, went in to look what it might be, when he found 
his old father-in-law in the miserable condition they had left him; 

* The Society of the Literary Fund are in possession, through the 
bequest of Mr. Thomas Newton, of two daggers, the one used by Colonel 
Blood in his attack upon Edwards, the keeper of the crown jewels, the 
other by an accomplice. The inscription on the sheaths of each record 
the facts. 


■whereupon i*nnning out in all haste, and crying to stop the authors of 
this horrid villain}', the persons began to hasten more than ordinarily ; 
which the last sentinel perceiving, and hearing a noise, bid them stand ; 
but, instead of standing to give an account of themselves, one of them 
fires a pistol at the sentinel, and he his musket at them; which gave the 
alarm, so, as, with the pursuit of Mr. Edwards' son-in-law, two of the 
malefactors were immediately seized ; two more, with another that held 
their horses without the Tower-gate, escaped. With the two that were 
taken were found the crown and ball, only some few stones missing, 
which had been loosened in the beating of the crowu together, with the 
mallet, or beetle spoken of. 

" These two, being brought down to Whitehall, by his Majesties 
command, one of them proves to be Blood, that notorious traytour and 
incendiary, who was outlawed for the Rebellion in Ireland, eight years 
ago; and the other one was Perrott, a dyer, in Thames Street. Within 
two hours afterwards, a third was apprehended, as he was escaping on 
horseback, who proves to be Thomas Hunt, mentioned in his Majesty's 
proclamation for the discovery of the persons, who, sometime since, com- 
mitted that horrid attempt upon his grace the Duke of Ormond, but is, 
indeed, son [son-in-law] to the said Blood, who, with great impudency, 
confesses, that they two were, with seven others, in that action. They 
are, all three, sent close prisoners to the Tower, for the present." 

The more circumstantial account is that — 

" Blood told Edwards that they would not go upstairs until his wife 
came, and desired him to shew his friends the ci'own till then; and they 
had no sooner entered the room, and a door, as usual, shut, than a cloak 
was thrown over the old man's head, and a gag put in his mouth. Thus 
secured, they told him that their resolution was to have the crown, globe, 
and sceptre ; and if he would quietly submit to it, they would spare his 
life ; otherwise he was to expect no mercy. lie thereupon made all the 
noise he possibl}'- could, to be heard above; they then knocked him down 
with a wooden mallet, and told him, 'that if he would lie quietly, they 
would spare his life ; but if not, upon his next attempt to discover them, 
they would kill him.' Mr. Edwards, however, according to his own 
account, was not intimidated by this threat, but strained himself to make 
the greater noise, and in consequence received several more blows on the 
head, with the mallet, and was stabbed in the belly : this again brought 
the poor old man to the ground, where he lay for some time in so sense- 
less a state that one of the villains pronounced him dead. Edwards had 
come a little to himself, and, hearing this, lay quietly, conceiving it best 
to be thought so. The booty was now to bo disposed of, and one of 
them, named Parrot, secreted the orb ; Blood held the crown under his 
cloak, and the third was about to file the sceptre in two, in order that it 
might be placed in a bag, brought for that purpose, but, fortunately, the 
son of Mr. Edwards, who had been in Flanders with Sir John Talbot, 
and, on his landing, had obtained leave to come away, post, to visit his 
father, happened to arrive while this scene was acting, and on coming 
to the door, the person who stood sentinel, asked witlx whom he would 
speak ? to whicli ho answered he belonged to the house ; and, perceiving 
the person to bo a stranger, told him that if he had any business with 


his father, that he would acquaint him with it, and so hastened up to 
salute his friends. This unexpected accident spread confusion among 
the party, and they instantly decamped with the crown and orb, leaving 
the sceptre yet unfiled. 

"The aged keeper now raised himself on his legs, forced the gag 
from his mouth, and cried treason ! murder ! which being heard by his 
daughter, who was, perhaps, waiting anxiously for other sounds, ran out 
and reiterated the cry. The alarm now became general, and young 
Edwards, and his brother-in-law^ Captain Beckman, ran after the con. 
Bpirators ; whom a warder put himself in a position to stop, but Blood 
discharged a pistol at him, and he fell, although unhux't, and the thieves 
proceeded safel}' to the next post ; where one Sill, who had been a soldier 
under Cromwell, stood sentinel; but he offered no opposition, and they 
accordingly passed the drawbridge. Horses were waiting for them at 
St. Catherine's gate, and as they ran that way along the Tower wharf, 
they themselves cried out * stop the rogues ! ' by which they passed on 
unsuspected, till Captain Beckman overtook them. Blood fired another 
pistol at his head, but missed him, and was seized. Under the cloak of 
this daring villain was found the crown, and although he saw himself a 
prisoner, he had yet the impudence to struggle for his prey ; and when 
it was finally wrested from him said, * it was a gallant attempt, however 
unsuccessful ; it was for a crown ! ' " 

Parrot, who had formerly served under General Harrison, 
was also taken; but Hunt, Blood's son-in-law, reached his 
horse and rode off, as did two other of the thieves ; but he 
was soon afterwards stopped, and likewise committed to 
custody. In this struggle and confusion the great pearl, a 
large diamond, and several smaller stones were lost from the 
crown ; but the two former, and some of the latter, were after- 
wards found and restored ; and the balas-ruby, broken off 
the sceptre, being found in Parrot's pocket, nothing con- 
siderable w^as eventually lost. 

The king, when informed of this extraordinary outrage, 
ordered Blood and Parrot to be brought to .Whitehall to be 
examined in his presence, a circumstance which is said to 
have saved these ruffians from the gallows. Blood behaved 
with the utmost effrontery, acknowledged that he was one of 
the party who attempted to assassinate the Duke of Ormond, 
and, on being asked respecting his associates, answered 
that " he would never betray a friend's life, nor deny a 
guilt in defence of his own." He also avowed to the king 
that he had been engaged in a plot to kill his Majesty with a 
carbine from among the reeds, by Thames' side, above Batter- 
sea, but that his heart was checked by an awe of majesty, 
and he not only himself relented, but also diverted his 
associates from the design. He further told the king that 



there were hundreds of his friends, yet undiscovered, who 
were bound by oath to revenge the death of any of their 
colleagues who might be brought to justice. On the other 
hand, if his Majesty would spare the lives of a few, he might 
win the hearts of many ; who, as they had been daring in 
mischief, would be as bold, if received into pardon and favour, 
to distinguish themselves in the service of the State. 

Thus did the audacious and wary villain partly overawe 
and partly captivate the good nature of the king. In short, 
after having been remanded to prison, he and his accomplices 
were not only pardoned, but the chief offender. Blood him- 
self, was received into favour; had £500 a year conferred 
upon him ; was admitted to the private intimacy of that 
abandoned court, enjoying the smiles of royalty, and even 
frequently seen employing his influence as a most successful 
patron.* "He died," says Pennant, " peacefully in his bed, 
on the 29th of August, 1680, fearlessly, and without the signs 
of penitence, totally hardened and forsaken by heaven." f 

Talbot Edwards, so far from receiving the merited reward 
of his fidelity, obtained, through the intercession of his friends, 
a grant from the Exchequer of £200 for himself, and £100 
more for his son ; but the payment of even these small sums 
was so long delayed, and the expenses attendant on the old 

* Evelyn, in his "Diary" (May 10, 1671), writes: "Dined at Mr. 
Treasurer's, where dined M. De Gramont, and severall French noblemen, 
and one Blood that impudent bold fellow. . . . How he came to be 
pardoned, and even received into favour, not only after this, but several 
other exploits a,lmost as daring both in Ireland and here, I could never 
come to understand. Some believe he became a spie of severall parties, 
being well with the Sectaries and Enthusiasts, and did his majesty 
service that way. The man had not onely a daring, but a villainous 
unmercifuU looke, -a false countenance, but very well spoken, and 
dangerously insinuating." 

t In the Luttrcll collection of broadsides, in the British Museum, is 
one entitled, ** An Elegie on Colonel Blood, notorious for stealing the 
crown : " 

" Thanks, ye kind fates, for your last favour shown, — 
For stealing Blood, who lately stole the crowu." 

Rochester, in his " Insipids," writes — 

" Blood that wears treason in his face, 
Villain complete in parson's gown, 
llow muclie he is at court in grace 
For stealing Ormorul and the crown! 
Since loyalty does no man s<^"tl> 
Let's steal the King, and outdo Blood ! " 


man so great, that tbey were, at last, obliged to sell their 
orders for half of their amount in ready money. He died at 
the age of eighty years and nine months (September 30, 
1674), and was buried in the Tower Chapel. 

After this event additional precautions were taken to 
insure the safe custody of the royal insignia, and a sentinel 
was placed at the door during the hours of inspection.* 
What robbery might not effect, however, the ravages of fire 
might consummate, and the imperial regalia had a near chance 
of falling a prey to the conflagration which took place in 
the Tower on October 30, 1841. This calamity commenced 
in the Round or Bowyer Tower, owing to the overheating 
of a flue. The Great or White Tower was for a time in 
imminent danger, and the jewel-house was so exposed to the 
flames, that it was believed impossible to avert its destruction. 
But, fortunately, both buildings were preserved. On the 
news of fire having broken out, Mr. W. F. Pierse, superin- 
tendent of one of the divisions of the Metropolitan police, 
proceeded with a detachment of constables to the Tower. 
Shortly after his arrival, the flames made such rapid advances 
in the direction of the jewel-house, that it was deemed ex- 
pedient at once to remove the regalia and crown jewels to a 
place of safety. Accompanied by Mr. Swifte, the keeper of 
the crown jewels, and other officials, including several of the 
Tower warders, Mr. Pierse entered the building. To get 
hold of the jewels was now the difficulty, as these treasures 
were secured by a strong iron grating, the keys of which 
were in the possession of the Lord Chamberlain, or elsewhere 
deposited at a distance, and not a moment was to be lost. 
Crowbars were procured, and a narrow aperture made in 
the grating, so as barely to admit one person. Through this 
opening Mr. Pierse contrived, with much difficulty, to thrust 
himself, and hand through from the inside the various articles 
of the regalia. One of them, a silver font, was too large to 
be passed thus, and it became necessary to break away an 
additional bar of the grating. While the warders were 
effecting this, repeated cries were heard from outside, calling 

* An instance is on record where some portions of the regalia have 
undergone a temporary removal, for a special purpose, at the wish of the 
sovereign. This was in the case of Allan Ramsay (son of the poet of 
that name), the Court painter to George III., who was entrusted with the 
crown jewels and regalia at his own house, when he was finishing the por- 
trait of Queen Charlotte, with a guard round the dwelling for security. 


to the party within the jewel-house to leave the building, as 
the fire was close upon them. Mr. Pierse, however, retained 
his post within the grating, and, at last, succeeded in rescuing 
the font. The precious articles were all conveyed safely to 
the governor's house, and a most extraordinary spectacle pre- 
sented itself in the warders carrying the crowns and other 
appurtenances of royalty, between groups of soldiers, police- 
men, and firemen. The heat endured by the party in the 
jewel-house was such as almost to reduce their garments to a 
charred state. 

The jewel-house in the Tower, until recently, was on the 
basement floor of the St. Martin Tower. The crown insignia 
seem to have been removed here soon after 1641, from the 
south side of the White Tower, then used as a powder 
magazine, which, it was feared, might be endangered by the 
adjacent chimneys. The regalia were then shown behind 
strong iron bars : through these, however, in 1815, a woman 
forced her hands and injured the royal crown. The regalia 
were next exhibited at one view by the light of six argand 
lamps, with powerful reflectors. The present jewel-house 
was erected in 1842, after the fearful fire of the preceding 
year, in the Late Tudor style, south of the Martin Tower. 

In Scobt's " Gleanings from Westminster Abbey " it is 
stated that few persons are aware that the king's jewel- 
house, built in the time of Richard II., is still standing. The 
walls are perfect, even to the parapets, and the original door- 
ways remain, their heads being of the form called the 
shouldered arch, so much used in domestic work throughout 
the Middle Ages, from the twelfth century to the fifteenth. 
A modern door has been introduced over the first-floor room, 
probably as a security against fire, this room having had, 
originally, a wooden ceiling ; but fortunately the ground 
rooms, having been used for a kitchen and offices, and being 
below the level of the present street, have been preserved 
intact, with their original groined vaults, with moulded ribs 
and carved bosses, evidently a part of the same work as the 
cloisters and other vaulted substructures of Abbot Litlington. 
This tower is situated to the south of the chapter-house, and 
at the back of the houses in Old Palace Yard. 

In the new jewel-house the regalia are shown upon a 
pyramidal stand, enclosed within plate glass, and over the 
wliolo of it is an open iron frame, or cage, of Tudor design, 
surmounted by a regal crown of iron. 



The Regalia of England, now exhibited to the public in 
the jewel-house of the Tower, consists of the Imperial Crown 
(described in the chapter on " the Crowns of England "); St. 
Edward's Crown; the Prince of Wales's Coronet; the Queen 
Consort's Crown, and the Queen's Diadem; St. Edward's Staff; 
the Royal Sceptre, or Sceptre with the Cross ; the Rod of 
Equity, or Sceptre with the Dove; the Queens Sceptre; the 
Ivory Sceptre; and a richly wrought golden sceptre, supposed 
to have been made for Mary, queen of William III. In 
addition to the crowns and sceptres are the Curtana, or point- 
less Sword of Mercy ; the Swords of Justice, temporal and 
ecclesiastical ; the Bracelets and Spurs ; the Ampulla and 
Spoon ; the golden Salt-cellar, used at the coronation 
banquet ; a Baptismal Font, employed at the christening of 
the royal children ; various dishes, spoons, and other articles 
of gold used at the coronation ; and a splendid service of 
sacramental plate used at the same august ceremony. 

The crowns of England, as now worn, are described in the 
last chapter. 

St. Edward's Crown was made for the coronation of 
Charles II., in commemoration (says Sandford) of the ancient 
crown which was destroyed at the Commonwealth. On the 
accession of William and Mary, in 1689, this crown was 
reported by the master of the jewel-house as being dismantled 
of its jewels. It is richly adorned with precious stones of 
various kinds, diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, pearls ; 
with a mound of gold on the top, surmounted by a gold cross 
patee, adorned with jewels, and particularly by three large 
oval pearls, one of which is on the top of the cross, and the 
others pendent at each limb. The crown consists of four 
crosses, and as many fleurs-de-lys of gold upon a rim, or 
circlet, of gold adorned with precious stones, from the tops of 
which crosses rise four circular bars, ribs, or arches. The 
cap within the crown is of crimson velvet, turned up with 

The Queen Consort's Crown is of gold, set with diamonds, 
pearls, and other jewels, and was made for the queen of 
William in. 

The Diadem, or circlet of gold, was used for the corona- 
tion of Marie d'Este, consort of James II., at a cost of 

The Prince of Wales's Coronet is of pure gold, plain, 
without jewels, and is placed on a velvet cushion in the 


House of Lords, before his seat, when the sovereign opens or 
prorogues Parliament.* 

The Royal Sceptre, or Sceptre with the Cross, which is 
placed in the right hand of the sovereign in the coronation, 
is of gold, the handle plain, and the upper part wreathed ; in 
length, two feet nine and a quarter inches. The shaft is 
enriched with rubies, emeralds, and small diamonds. The 
ancient fleurs-de-lys, with which the sceptre was adorned, 
were replaced, previous to the coronation of George IV., by 
golden leaves, surrounding the large amethyst, each bearing 
the rose, the shamrock, and the thistle. The magnificent 
amethyst, at the top, forms a globe, which is encircled with 
diamonds, and surmounted by a cross jpatee of precious stones, 
with a table diamond in the midst. 

The sceptre of Charles IE. was adorned with " a fair ballas 
ruby," which was found in the pocket of Parrot, one of 
Blood's accomplices. It is not particularized by Sandford. 

The Sceptre with the Dove is of gold, three feet seven 
inches in length, three inches in circumference at the 
handle, and two inches and a half at the top. The pommel 
is garnished with a circle or fillet of table diamonds, and in 
several places with precious stones of various kinds. At the 
top is a mound surmounted by a cross, sustaining a dove 
with expanded wings, enamelled white ; the mound is encom- 
passed by a fillet of diamonds. f 

* Charles II. ordered an arch to be added to the coronet of the 
Prince of Wales, which was previously only the rim of the crown ; and 
by the same warrant (issued in February, 1660) assigned to the other 
princes and princesses — sons and daughters of a sovereign, and to their 
sons and daughters — the coronets now borne by them. As there was no 
Prince of Wales acknowledged in England from that period until the 
birth of George II., the first representation of the arched coronet occurs 
in 1751. But it is worthy of remark that in a print of the reign of 
James I., representing the catafalque of Henry, Prince of Wales, his efBgy 
is depicted with an imperial crown of four arches ; and also that in a 
manuscript in Vincent's collection at the College of Arms, known as 
" Prince Arthur's Book " (in consequence of the arms of that prince, in 
whose time it was executed, being painted on the first page), the 
coronet over the shield, as well as that on the head of the lion, the 
dexter supporter, has evidently had an arch to it, which was subsequently 

t " The dove,"" remarks M. Didron, in his " Iconographie Chretienne," 
*' was typical, from the earliest times, of the Holy Ghost. In several 
fresco paintings, various manuscripts, and particularly miniatures, 
amongst the Italians, a white dove, the Holy Ghost, is seen escaping 
from the flowering staff of Joseph (mentioned in the apocryphal history 


The Queen's Sceptre with the Cross is of gold, adorned 
with precious stones, and, in most part, is very like the king's, 
but not wreathed, nor quite so large. 

The Queen's Ivory Rod, which was made for Queen 
Mary, consort of James II., is a sceptre of white ivory, three 
feet one inch and a half in length, with a pommel, mound, 
and cross of gold, and a dove on the top. 

In the year 1814 a sceptre was discovered at the jewel- 
house, lying at the back of a shelf, covered with dust. It 
was found to be a rod of gold, with its emblem, the dove, 
resting on a cross. It is of elegant workmanship, and adorned 
with coloured gems. This nearly assimilates with the king's 
sceptre with the dove, and it is conjectured to have been 
made for Queen Mary, consort of William III., with whom she 
was jointly invested with the exercise of the royal authority. 

St. Edward's Staff, which is carried before the sovereign 
at the coronation, is a staff, or sceptre, of beaten gold, four feet 
seven inches and a half in length, and about three-quarters of 
an inch in diameter, with a pike or foot of steel, four inches 
and a quarter long, and a mound and cross at the top. 

The Ampulla, or Golden Eagle (to which I have alluded 
in the chapter on "Anointing "), containing the consecrating 
oil, is of gold finely chased. The head screws off at the 
middle of the neck, for the convenience of putting in the oil, 
and, the neck being hollow to the beak, the holy oil is poured 
out into the spoon through the beak. The height of the 
ampulla, including the pedestal, is about nine inches, the 
diameter of the pedestal about three inches and a half, and 
the breadth between the furthest points of the wings about 

of the nativity of the Virp^in) at the time of his marriage. The dove is 
regarded, even amongst pagans, as a medium of instruction, an organ 
communicating the vrill of deity. Mahomet taught a pigeon to perch 
upon his shoulder, and made it pass for a celestial messenger, commis- 
sioned to reveal to him the pleasure of the Almighty. The Holy Ghost 
was thought to direct the actions of kings. In Montfaucon is a design 
representing Charlemagne caiTyiug a sceptre surmounted with a dove, 
whicli is evidently intended to symbolize the Holy Ghost. If the sceptre 
bo regarded as a staff to assure the steps of the sovereign, the dove is a 
spirit to direct his course. 

*' At the ceremony of the consecration of the kings of Franco, after th^ 
rite of unction, wliito doves were let loose in the church, indicating that 
as the ca])tive birds regained their liberty, so the coronation of the king 
restored independence to the similarly captive peoi)lo, or, more probably, 
tho custom conveyed an idea analogous to that of tlio sceptre on which 
the Uoly Ghost rests." 


seven inches; the weight of the whole abont eight or ten 
ounces, and the cavity of the body capable of containing 
about six ounces. 

There is no mention of the ampulla in previous inventories 
of the regalia, to which allusion has been made, and it is said 
that the eagle now existing is the real original ampulla. It was 
first used at the coronation of Henry lY/ (October 13, 1399). 

The Spoon, from its extreme thinness, appears to be 
ancient. It has four pearls in the broadest part of the handle. 
The bowl has an arabesque pattern engraved on it. The 
handle was originally decorated with enamel, but this has been 
destroyed, leaving an uneven surface. It seems probable that 
this spoon may have been used at the coronation of our 
monarchs since the twelfth century. The Parliamentary Com- 
missioners at the Commonwealth mention in the " list " of 
the regalia a silver-gilt spoon, weighing three ounces, and 
valued at sixteen shillings. An engraving of the spoon now 
shown in the Tower is in Sandford's " Coronation of James 
the Second," and in Shaw's " Dresses and Decorations of the 
Middle Ages." 

The Orb, Mound, or Globe, which is placed in the 
sovereign's right hand immediately on being crowned, and 
which is carried in the left hand on returning into West- 
minster Hall, is a golden ball, six inches in diameter, en- 
compassed with a band or fillet of gold, embellished with 
roses of diamonds encircling other precious stones, namely, 
emeralds, rubies, and sapphires, and edged about with pearl. 
On the top is a remarkably fine amethyst, of an oval shape, 
nearly an inch and a half in height, which forms the foot, or 
pedestal, of a cross of gold, three inches and a quarter high and 
three inches broad, set very thick with diamonds ; having in 
the centre a sapphire on one side, and an emerald on the other, 
and embellished with four large pearls in the angles of the 
cross, near the centre, and three large pearls at the end of 
the cross. The whole height of the orb and cross is eleven 

The mound (from the French Tnonde) and cross were 
placed in the left hand, either under Constantino the Great or 
under Justinian, in the East,* about the year 527, and came 

* Justinian erected a statue in the Augusteion, to whioh he gave the 
globe and cross, which others had confined to their coins. He modified 
the form of the cross into that which still continues, in the Eastern 
Church, to be peculiarly called the Greek cross. 


iDto use in the Western empire under the Emperor Henrj II., 
A.D. 1013. It was borrowed from the Roman emperors by 
our early Saxon kings. We find the orb and the cross on 
most of the coins and seals of our monarchs from the time of 
Edward the Confessor ; indeed, Strutt authenticates a picture 
of Edgar, made in the year 996, which represents that prince 
kneeling between tf^o saints, who bear severally bis sceptre 
and a globe surmounted by a cross. This part of the regalia, 
representing supreme political power, has never been put in 
the hands of any but kings or queens regnant. In the 
anomalous instance of the coronation of William and Mary 
as joint sovereigns, another and smaller orb was made for the 
queen, which is still amongst the regalia. The "globe," as it 
was called in the inventory of the regalia of Charles I,, weighed 
one pound five ounces and a quarter, and was valued at 
£57 105. 

The Swords are Curtana, or the pointless Sword of Mercy ; 
the Swords of Justice, Temporal and Ecclesiastical ; and the 
Sword of State. Of these the last alone is actually used in 
the coronation, being that with which the sovereign is girded 
after having been anointed ; the others are carried before the 
monarch by certain great officers. 

Curtana is a broad bright sword, the length of the blade 
being thirty-two inches and the breadth two inches ; the 
handle, covered with fine gold wire, is four inches in 
length, besides the pommel, an inch and three-quarters, 
which, with the cross, is plain steel gilt, the length of the 
cross being about eight inches. The scabbard belonging 
to it is covered with a rich brocaded cloth of tissue, with 
a gilt ferrule, hook, and chape. It is also called the sword 
of Edward the Confessor, and is mentioned by both these 
names by Matthew Paris, under the year 1236, when de- 
tailing the marriage ceremonial of Henry III. In ancient 
times it was the privilege of the Earls of Chester to bear 
this sword before the king. The Earl of Oxford carried it 
at the coronation of Charles II. In the wardrobe account 
for the year 1483 are " iij swerdes, whereof oon with a flat 
poynte called curtana.'^ Besides the instances I have men- 
tioned, we find it at the coronation of Edward II. and 
Richard II. ; also in the time of Henry IV., Richard III., 
and Henry VII. ; and among the regalia of Edward VI. we 
read of a " swerde " called curtana. 

The Sivurd of State is a large two-handed sword, having a 


rich scabbard of crimson velvet, decorated with gold plates of 
the royal badges, in order as follow : at the point is the orb 
or mound, then the royal crest of a lion standing on an 
imperial crown ; lower down are the portcullis, harp, thistle, 
and rose. Nearer the hilt the portcullis is repeated. Next 
are the royal arms and supporters. The handle and pommel 
of the sword are embossed with similar devices, and the cross 
is formed of the royal supporters, having a rose with a laurel 
on one side and a fleur-de-lys on the other. 

The Sword of Justice to the Spirituality is a pointed sword, 
but somewhat obtuse. The length of the blade is forty 
inches, the breadth one inch and a half ; the handle, covered 
with gold wire, is four inches long; the pommel, one inch 
and three-quarters deep ; the length of the cross is almost 
eight inches. 

The Sword of Justice to the Temporality is a sharp-pointed 
sword. Length of the handle, four inches ; the pommel, one 
inch and three-quarters ; length of the cross, seven inches 
and a half. 

In the inventory of the regalia of King James " in the 
secrete Jewel-house in the Tower," printed in " Kalendars and 
Inventories of the Exchequer," we find: " Item, one great Two- 
handed Sworde, garnished with sylver and guilte, presented 
to King Henry the Eighth by the Pope." 

No swords are mentioned in the catalogue of Sporley (who 
lived about the year 1450). "It is probable, therefore," 
observes Planche, "that they, as well as the spurs, were 
added to the regalia kept at Westminster by later monarchs." 
Three swords are mentioned as having- been carried before 
Richard I. at his coronation, the scabbards of which were 
richly ornamented with gold. In 1649 three swords, the 
scabbards of cloth of gold, were amongst the regalia in 
Westminster Abbey, and valued at £1 each. 

The Bracelets are of solid fine gold, an inch and a half 
in breadth and two inches and a half in diameter, and edged 
with pearls. They open by means of a hinge for the purpose 
of being put on the arm, and are chased with the symbols of 
the three kingdoms. As an ensign of royalty, the bracelet 
is recorded in the Holy Scriptures (2 Sam. i. 10) : " And I 
took the crown that was upon his head, and the bracelet that 
was on his arm, and have brought them hither unto my 
lord." Bracelets and armlets were worn by the Assyrian 
monarchs. In Eastern countries bracelets have been com- 


monly used as a badge of power, and in Persia thej are only 
allowed to be worn by the Shah and his sons. Among 
Northern nations it was the reward of successful service. 
The epithet, "giver of bracelets," as the kings were called, 
is also to be found in many writings of the Anglo-Saxon 

The armillcB, or bracelets, formed part of the corona- 
tion paraphernalia of our English sovereigns to a very late 

These ancient symbols of royalty appear in the catalogue 
of Sporley under their Latin name "armillam." They were 
not found in Westminster Abbey in 1649, but a pair was 
produced from the Tower w^eighing seven ounces, decorated 
with three rubies and twelve pearls, and valued at £36. In 
the manuscript form of Queen Mary's coronation, they are 
ordered to be produced by the master of the jewel-house ; and 
at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth two garters were put 
upon her arms, which must have been the royal bracelets — the 
word garter being used in the sense of the old Saxon girder^ 
anything which binds or encompasses. 

The Great Golden Spurs, the symbols of chivalry, are 
curiously wrought, both round the edge and at the fastening. 
They have no rowels, but end in an ornamented point, being 
what are commonly denominated " prick- spurs." New richly 
embroidered straps were added to them for the corona- 
tion of George IV. A pair of large heavy gold spurs was 
carried by the earl marshal at the coronation of Richard I., 
and a pair of silver-gilt spurs, valued at £>\ ISs. 4c?., was 
entered in the inventory of the regalia at Westminster in 

The Ring used at the coronation is of plain gold, with a 
large table ruby on which is engraved a St. George's cross. 
This has to be newly made, or at least set, for each sovereign. 
The queen's ring, described by Sandford in his " History of 
the Coronation of King James the Second and Queen Mary," 
was of gold, " with a large table ruby set therein, and sixteen 

* The "royal spurs" formed a part of tlie paraphernalia of the 
Bovereif^ns of Bosnia. After the deatii of Queen Catliorine, in 1177, two 
of her family appeared before Pope Sixtus IV. and presented to him her 
will, in which she bequeathed her kinjj^dom of Bosnia to the Holy Roman 
Church. As a token, her representatives handed over the sword of the 
realm and the royal spurs, *' which the Pontili" bonignantly received, and 
ordered them to be placed, with the will, in the Apostolic arohivos." 


other small rubies set round about the ring, whereof those 
next to the collet were the largest, the rest diminishing 
proportionably . " 

The coronation ring has been called by some writers " the 
wedding-ring of England," and, like the ampulla, a miraculous 
history is given of it in the " Golden Legende" (p. 187), of 
which the folloAving are the leading particulars : — A certain 
"fayre old man" having asked alms of St. Edward the Con- 
fessor, he had nothing to bestow upon him but the ring. 
Shortly afterwards, two English pilgrims lost their way in the 
Holy Land, " when there came to them a fayre ancient man, 
wyth whyte heer for age. Thenne the olde man axed theym 
what they were, and of what regyon. And they answerde 
that they were pylgrims of England, and hadde lost theyr 
fellyshyp and way also. Thenne thys olde man comforted 
theym goodly, and brought theym into a fayre cytee : and 
whaune they had refreshed theym, and rested there alle 
nyghte, on the morne this fayre olde man went with theym, 
and brought thejm in the ryghte waye agayne. And he was 
gladde to here theym talke of the welfare and holynesse of 
theyre Kynge Saynt Edward. And whaune he sholde departe 
fro theym, thenne he tolde theym what he was, and sayd, ' I am 
JoHAN THE EvANGELYST ; and saye ye vnto Edward your Kyng, 
that I grete him well by the token that he gaff to me thys 
rynge with his owne handes, whych rynge ye shalle delyver 
to hym agayne ; ' and whan he had delyvered to them the 
rynge, he departed fro theym sodenly." This command 
was, as may be supposed, duly obeyed by the messengers, 
who were furnished with ample powers for authenticating 
their mission. The ring was received by the royal Confessor, 
and in after times was preserved with due care at his shrine 
in Westminster Abbey, How implicitly this story of the 
ring was believed in past ages may be judged from the pains 
taken to commemorate it in so many places in and about 
Westminster Abbey ; among the rest, over the old gate 
leading into the dean's yard, in the stained glass of one of 
the eastern windows of the abbey, and in the sculptured 
groups on the screen which divides the shrine from the choir. 

The ring is mentioned in Sporley's catalogue, but does not 
appear among the regalia, either found at Westminster or the 
Tower, at the period of the Commonwealth. 

In the wardrobe accounts of Edward I. a ring is men- 
tioned, made by St. Dunstan, ornamented with a sapphire ; 


also a g-old ring with which the king was consecrated,* In 
the " Device " for the coronation of King Henry VII. we 
read, " The said Cardinall (Thomas Bourehier) shall blesse 
the key ring with a rubj, called the regall for the King, to be 
sett on the iiij finger of the right hand." The queen's ring 
had holy water cast upon it. 

On the detention of James II. by the fishermen of Sheer- 
ness, in his first attempt to escape from this country in 1688, 
it is particularly noticed in Clarke's " Memoirs," " the king 
kept the diamond bodkin w^hich he had of the queen's, and 
the coronation ring, which for more security he put into his 
drawers. The captain, it appeared, was well acquainted 
with the disposition of his crew (one of whom cried out, ' It 
is Father Petre — I know him by his lantern jaws ; " a second 
called him an ' old hatchet-faced Jesuit ; ' and a third, ' a 
cunning old rogue, he would warrant him ! ') for, some time 
after he was gone, and probably by his order, several seamen 
entered the king's cabin, saying they must search him and 
the gentlemen, believing they had not given up all their 
money. The king and his companions told him they were at 
liberty to do so, thinking that their readiness would induce 
them not to persist ; but they were mistaken ; the sailors 
began their search with a roughness and rudeness which 
proved they were accustomed to the employment ; at last, 
one of them, feeling about the king's knees, got hold of the 
diamond bodkin, and cried out, with the usual oath, he had 
got a prize, but the king boldly declared he was mistaken. 
He had, indeed, scissors, a. toothpick case, and little keys in 
his pocket, and what he felt was, undoubtedly, one of those 
articles. The man seemed incredulous, and rudely thrust his 
hand into the king's pocket, but in his haste, he lost hold of 

* At the coronation of Henry IV. the king exhibited the signet of 
Richard II., delivered to him by that monarch as a token of his will that 
he should succeed him. A contemporary French metrical history of the 
deposition of the unfortunate Richard (British Museum) says, *' They " 
(the archbishops) " took the costly ring of the realm, wherewith they are 
wont to espouse their kings, w'hich is, say they, their peculiar right. 
'J'hoy bare it between them to the constable, whom they esteem, a notable 
knight, Lord Percy, and when he had taken the ring he showed it openly 
to all wlu) were there present ; then he kneeled down, and put it upon the 
king's right hand by way of espousal. But I would not give a farthing 
for it ; because this office Avas performed without right or justice. I do 
not say that it might not be a worthy thing, were it done as such a thing 
should have been." 


fhe diamond bodkin, and finding the things the king had 
mentioned, remained satisfied it was so. By this means the 
bodkin and ring were preserved." The latter is said to have 
been the favourite ring of Mary, Queen of Scots; to have 
been sent by her at her death to James I., through whom it 
came into the possession of Charles I., and on his execution 
was transmitted by Bishop Juxon to his son. This ring, con- 
nected with so many sad memories, was among the relics of 
the Stuarts purchased in Rome for Greorge IV.* 

The other objects of the regalia in the Tower may be 
briefly mentioned : — The Gold Salt-cellar (used at the last 
coronation banquet in Westminster Hall, that of George IV,) 
is set with jewels and chased with grotesque figures in the 
form of a round castle, said, but erroneously, to be a model 
of the White Tower. The tops of the five turrets are for the 
salt. It was presented to the Crown by the city of Exeter. 
The Baptismal Font, of silver, double gilt, was formerly used 
at the christenings of the royal family. A laege silver Wine 
Fountain, a present from the corporation of Plymouth to 
Charles II. A magnificent service of Communion Plate, 
belonging to the Tower Chapel, but kept in the jewel-house, 
of silver, double gilt ; the principal piece having a fine 
representation of the Lord's Supper. 

Besides the precious objects mentioned, there are also 
tankards, gold spoons, and a fine banqueting-dish, used at the 

The Regalia of Scotland. 

" The steep and iron-belted rock 
Where trusted lie the monarchy's last gems, 
The Sceptre, Sword, and Crown, that graced the brows, 
Since father Fergus, of an hundred kings." 

Albania, a Poem. 

The circumstances connected with the Scottish regalia, 
now preserved in Edinburgh Castle, are extremely interest- 
ing ; especially as they have had for exponent one of 
Scotland's most gifted antiquaries. Sir Walter Scott, who, 
in 1819, published a tract upon the subject, in which he 
explained the origin and archaeological value of these royal 
relics, and their importance in connection with the ancient 
independence of Scotland. 

The Scots, like other nations of Europe, are known to 

* " Finger-ring Lore," by William Jones, F.S.A. Chatto and Windus. 


have employed a crown, as an appropriate badge of 
sovereignty, from a very early period. After the memorable 
revolution in which Macbeth was dethroned, and Malcolm 
Canmor was placed on the throne, the new monarch was 
crowned in the abbey of Scone,* on St. Mark's Day, 1057 ; 
and among the boons granted to requite the services of 
Macduff, Thane of Fife, that nobleman and his descendants 
obtained the privilege of conducting the King of Scotland to 
the royal seat on the day of his coronation — a ceremony which, 
of course, implied the use of a crown ; but if such was the 
case, there is little doubt ^ that the Scottish crown, which 
was used in these ancient times, must have fallen into the 
hands of Edward I. when, in 1296, he defeated John Baliol, 
and took with him to England every monument of Scottish 
independence ; as we read in the Prior of Lochlevin's 
Chronicle : — 

" This John the Baliol on purpose, 

He took and brought him till Munros, 

And in the castle of that town, 

That than was famous in renown. 

This John of Baliol dispoiled he 

Of all his robes of royalty ; 

The pelure [fur or ermine] they took off his Tabart, 

(Toom-Tabart he was called afterward) 

And all other inseygnys 

That fell to Kings on ony wise 

Baith Sceptre, Swerd, Crown, and Ring, 

Fra this John that he made Kiner. 

Halyly fra him he took thare, 

And made him of the Kynryk bare." 

The royal emblems of Scotland having thus passed into 
the hands of the English monarch, it followed that when 
Robert Bruce asserted the independence of Scotland in 
1306, the ancient crown of Scotland was not used at his 
coronation. A circlet, or ring of gold, was hastily prepared, 
which temporary diadem, after the defeat of Bruce at 
Methven, also fell into the hands of the English monarch. 

* Scone Palace, now the seat of the Earl of Mansfield, is built upon the 
site of the ancient palace of the kings of Scotland. The gallery, one 
hundred and sixty feet long, occupies the place of the old coronation hall, 
the last inauguration being that of the Chevalier do St. George (James 
III.) in 1715. On that occasion two swords (of iron) were used to represent 
those of Justice and Mercy, and these wore destroyed by the fire in the 
Tower of London, where they had been deposited. 


This curious fact is established by a pardon afterwards issued 
by Edward I., upon the intercession, as he states, " of his 
beloved Queen Margaret, to Galfredas de Coigners, who is 
therein stated to have concealed and kept a certain coronal of 
gold, with which Robert the Bruce, enemy and rebel of the 
king, had caused himself to be crowned in our kingdom of 

From this it appears that the ancient crown of Scotland was 
not in Bruce's possession when he went through the ceremony 
of coronation in 1306 ; and that the coronal used on that occa- 
sion fell into the hands of Edward in the following year. 
The former must, therefore, have been made at a later period, 
when Bruce was established in the sovereignty of Scotland, 
after the battle of Bannockburn in 1314. 'lA.mong other reasons 
for substantiating this opinion. Sir Walter Scott remarks 
that it is not likely Bruce, highly valuing that independence 
which his own valour had secured for Scotland, would suffer 
her long to remain without the emblem of royalty proper to 
a free state, especially without a crown, which in all 
countries of Europe was regarded as the most unalienable 
mark of royal dignity. It may, indeed, be asked why, in the 
course of Bruce's triumphant negotiations with England, he 
did not demand restitution of the ancient regalia carried off 
by Edward in 1306, as we know that by the Treaty of 
Northampton he stipulated the restoration of the stone called 
Jacob's Pillar, used at the coronation, and of various documents 
which had relation to the independence of Scotland ; but as 
no allusion is made to the ancient crown of Scotland, it was 
not likely to have been in existence, having been probably 
destroyed for the sake of the precious materials of which it 
was formed. 

The present crown of Scotland, exhibited among the 
regalia of Scotland in Edinburgh Castle, may, therefore, be 
fairly presumed to date from the time of Robert Bruce. 
It is said in style to correspond with the state of the jeweller's 
art in the early part of the fourteenth century. It was worn 
by David II., son of Robert Bruce, on his accession in 1329, 
and notwithstanding the troublous periods that ensued, there 
occurs no instance of the Scottish regfalia havingr been in 
possession of an enemy or usurper, so that the present crown 
remained unaltered from the days of Bruce to the accession 
of James V., who added two imperial arches, rising from the 
circle and crossing each other, and closing at the top in a 



mound of gold, again surmounted by a large cross patee, 
ornamented with pearls and bearing the characters I.R.V. 
Three additional arches are attached to the original crown by- 
tacks of gold, and there is some inferiority in the quality of 
the metal. The gold employed was from the mine of Craw- 
ford Moor, and an entry in the " Compotus " of Kirkaldy, of 
Grange, treasurer, states the payment made to the goldsmith 
*' for making and fashioning the king's crown, weighing three 
pounds ten ounces : gold of the mine given out to him, forty 
ounces and a quarter ; the goldsmith being paid for working 
it thirty pounds. In this royal crown were set twenty-two 
stones, of which three were great garnets, and one great 
ammerot (emerald)." 

It is also stated ia the " Compotus" that " the crown was 
delivered to the king's grace at Holyrood House." * A charge 
appears in the same accounts for a case for the king's new 
crown, and one Thomas Arthur had " half an ell of rich pui-ple 
velvet given to him to make a cap for the inside of the new 
crown." This bonnet, or tiara, worn under the crown, is now 
of crimson velvet turned up with ermine. 

During the time of Queen Mary's troubles, scandalous 
dilapidations were made upon the crown jewels ; the regalia, 
however, escaped the general plunder, and appear at this 
period to have been preserved, for purposes of security, at Stir- 
ling Castle. Mary was crowned at Stirling (September 9, 
1543), and thus the royal crown assumes additional interest 
from having been worn on this occasion — one of peculiar and 
romantic circumstances, inasmuch as Mary, at this period, 
had barely completed her ninth month when she was taken 
from her cradle, enveloped in royal robes, and carried 
from her nursery in Stirling Castle by her lord keepers 
and officers of state, in solemn procession to the stately 

* In the same " Compotus " are some items of sums comiected with 
the Scottish crown. The preparations for the coronation of Marj' of 
Lorraine, consort of King James, were commenced in October, 1539, 
when thirty-five ounces of " gold of the mine " (Crawford Moor) were 
given out from the royal stores " for making the queen's crown." The 
entries now become numerous of goldsmith's work for fashioning 
ornaments which were to be worn at the approaching coronation. 
The metal of these jewels is especially noted as "gold of the mynd." 
John Mossman, the king's goldsmith, received thirty-one ounces of 
silver to make a sceptre for the queen against her coronation; and 
four ros(!-nobles were given out of the trcasin'y to gild the sceptre. 
The fashion of the queen's sceptre and the making cost £7 15s. 


church adjacent, where she was invested with the symbols of 

Twenty-four years after this event, the Scottish regalia is 
again brought into prominent notice on the coronation of 
James VI. (July 29, 1567) at Stirling, when, as appears 
from the records of the Privy Council, Adam, Bishop of 
Orkney, " delivered into his hands the Sword and Sceptre, 
and put the Crown Royal upon his head with all due reverence, 
ceremonies, and circumstances, used and accustomed." 

The union of England with Scotland by the accession of 
this monarch to the united crowns, would seem to have left 
the latter regal badge without any distinctive use ; but it was 
found necessary by Charles I. to indulge his Scottish subjects 
with the ceremony of national inauguration, and, finding that 
the Scottish regalia could not be sent to London without 
violation of the independent rights of the people it mostly 
concerned, he judged it necessary to visit Scotland in person 
(June 18, 1633), when he was royally invested after the 
accustomed manner. Charles II. was crowned at Scone 
(January 1, 1661), "but the events which followed were 
fraught with so much danger to the existence of royalty and 
all its emblems," that it became necessary to take measures 
for the preservation of the regalia from a foreign enemy. 
In 1661 the rapid advance of the English arms rendered it 
necessary that the Scottish regalia should be transported to 
some remote place of strength and security, more free from 
the chances of war than the royal castles ; and Dunnottar, a 
strong and baronial fortress, built on an insulated rock which 
projects into the German Ocean, was selected for this purpose. 
The order of Parliament is in these words : — " Instrumentis 
taken by the Erie Mareschal upoun the production of the 
honouris [regalia], with his dessyre represented to the Parlia- 
ment, that the same might be put in sum pairt of secu- 
ritie ; his Majestic and Parliament ordaines the said Erie 
Mareschal to cans transport the saidis honouris to the 
hous of Dunnottar, thair to be keepit by him till further 
or dour is." 

A garrison was placed for the protection of the castle of 
Dunnottar (July 8, 1661), under the command of George 
Ogilvie, of Barras, a conscientious soldier, who, when pressed 
by the Committee of Estates to deliver up the regalia, refused 
compliance, on the plea that the instructions were so worded 
as not to relieve him of any responsibility which this 


important charge had imposed Tipon liim. The lord 
chancellor, to whom the case was referred, gave him the best 
advice he could, which was " that the Honours of the Crowne 
should be speedilye and safelie transported to some remote 
and strong castle, or hold, in the Highlands." 

The danger being imminent, the castle having been 
repeatedly summoned by Lambert to surrender, Ogilvie wrote 
a letter to King Charles, requesting that a vessel might be 
sent to Dunnottar, with a person properly authorized to 
receive the regalia, and transport them beyond seas. This 
was not possible, and a close blockade of the castle took 
place ; the safety of the regalia became a matter of para- 
mount interest, and in this, female ingenuity displayed itself, 
as it often does on extreme occasions. The countess dowager 
marischal, by birth daughter to John, Earl of Mar, was 
probably the author of a scheme to accomplish this. The 
immediate agent was Christian Fletcher, wife of the Rev. 
James Grainger, minister of Kineff, a small parish church 
within four or five miles of the castle of Dunnottar, who 
obtained from the English general permission to pay a visit 
to the governor's lady. Mrs. Ogilvie acted in concert with 
the countess marischal, but it was agreed that her husband 
should not be admitted into the secret, in order that upon 
the surrender of the castle, an event now considered as 
inevitable, he might be enabled to declare, with truth, that 
he neither knew when, how, nor to what place the regalia 
had been removed. 

" In compliance with the scheme adopted, Mrs. Grainger took the 
crown in her lap, and, on her return, the English general himself helped 
her to her horse, which she left in the camp, as the castle cannot be 
approached on horseback. Her maid followed her on foot, bearing the 
sword and sceptre concealed in hards, as they are called, that is, bundles 
of lint, which Mrs. Grainger pretended were to be spun into thread. 
They passed through the English blockading army without being dis- 
covered. From thence she transported the precious objects of the 
regalia to Kineff, and put them under the charge of her husband, James 
Grainger, who gave the countess marischal the account of their secret 
depositation : — 

" 'I, Mr. James Grainger, minister at Kineff, grant me to have in my 
custody the Honours of the Kingdom, viz. the Crown, Sceptre, and Sword. 
For the Crown and Scepti'o I raised the pavement-stone just before the 
pulpit, in the night tyme, and digged under it ane hole, and put thera in 
there, and filled up the hole, and layed down the stone just as it was 
before, and removed the mould that remained, that none would have 
discerned the stone to have been raised at all ; the sword, again, at the 
west cud of the church among some common seits that stand there, I 


digged down in the ground, betwixt the two foremest of these seits, and 
laid it down within the case of it, and covered it up, so removing the 
superfluous mould, it could not be discerned by anybody, and if it shall 
please God to call me by death before they be called for, your ladyship 
will find them in that place.' 

" The regalia were transferred to Mr, Grainger some time in the month 
of March, and in May following (1652) Ogilvie was obliged to surrender 
Dnnnottar Castle to the republican general, Dean. He obtained honour- 
able articles of capitulation, but when it was found he could give no 
account of the regalia, he and his lady were treated with extreme 
severity, dragged from one place of confinement to another, and 
subjected to fines and sequestrations to extort from them this important 
secret. The lady's health gave way under these aflBictions, and she died 
within two years after the surrender of the castle, still keeping the 
important secret, and with her last breath exhorting her husband to 
maintain his trust inviolable. Tradition says that the minister and his 
wife also fell under the suspicion of the ruling powers, and that they 
were severally examined, and even tortured, but without any information 
being extorted from them. 

" The address of the countess marischal at length put the enemy on a 
false scent. She caused a report to be spread abroad that the regalia, on 
being secretly removed from Dunnottar were put into the hands of her 
youngest son, the Hon. Sir John Keith, who went abroad at that time, 
and whom she adroitly caused to write letters to his friends in Scotland, 
congratulating himself on having safely conveyed the crown, sceptre, 
aud sword of state out of that kingdom. Sir John Keith returning 
shortly afterwards, he was examined closely on the fate of the regalia. At 
every risk to himself, he persisted in the patriotic falsehood, that he had 
himself carried them to Paris to King Charles. This feint having 
fortunately succeeded, the Scottish regalia remained safe in their secure 
place of concealment, visited from time to time by the faithful clergy- 
man and his wife, for the purpose of renewing the cloths in which they 
were wrapped, to save them from damp and other injury," 

On the Restoration, Charles II. created Captain Ogilvie a 
baronet, with a new blazon of arms and a more favourable 
charter of the lands of Barras, in which his distinguished 
services are set forth, and the promise of a pension was made 
but not kept. The king, however, told Lord Ogilvie, when 
advocating his kinsman's claims, that Lady Keith had assured 
him that she alone, and her son Kintore, had preserved the 
regalia; whereupon he had made the latter a peer, with a 
salary of £400 a year. 

Sir George Ogilvie's family were, doubtless, very indig- 
nant at the treatment he had received, the preservation of 
the regalia being attributed, in Msbet's " Heraldry," to the 
exertions of the earl marischal only. Sir William Ogilvie, to 
vindicate his father, published " A true Account of the pre- 


servation of the regalia of Scotland from falling into the hands 
of the English usurpers, by Sir George Ogilvie, with the blazon 
of that family " (4to, Edinburgh, 1701) . The Earl of Kintore 
contended that the contents were a libel on his family, and 
the matter being brought before the Privy Council at 
Edinburgh, Sir William was fined for a mere recital of 
facts, and the brochure was ordered to be publicly burnt 
by the common hangman at the Cross of Edinburgh. This, 
however, did not deter him from printing immediately 
afterwards, " A clear vindication and just defence for the 
publishing of the fore-going account, with other remarkable 
and observable passages relating to, and confirming the truth 
of it ; for truth seeks no corners, ' fears no discovery, and 
justice is no respecter of persons." 

Sir Walter Scott, in a letter to Mr. Croker (February 8, 
1818), adverting to the regalia, remarked, " Thus it happened, 
oddly enough, that Keith who was abroad during the 
transaction, and had nothing to do with it, got the earldom, 
pension, etc., Ogilvie only inferior honours." Mr. William 
Bell, in a " Memoir " presented in 1819 to the Bannatyne 
Club, justly observes, " Charles II. seems to have distributed 
his rewards with more regard to rank and influence than 

The Graingers were not forgotten. An Act of Parliament 
in favour of Christian Fletcher states, " For as much as the 
Estates of ParHamen doe understand that Christian Fletcher, 
spouse to Mr. James Grainger, minister of Kenneth, was 
most active in conveying the royal Honours, his Majesties 
Crown, Sword, and Sceptre, out of the Castle of Dunottar 
immediately before it wes rendered to the English usurpers, 
and that be the care of the same wes hid and preserved : 
Thairfore the King's Majestic, with advice of his Estates in 
Parliament doe appoint tioo thousand merhs Scots to be forth- 
with paid unto her be His Majestie's thesaurer, out of the 
readiest of His Majestie's rents, as a testimony of their sence 
of her service." 

The regalia of Scotland continued to be produced in 
public, as formerly, during the sittings of the Scottish 
Parliament down to the Union, when, a report having been 
cuiTcnt that these emblems of national sovereignty were to 
be removed to London, the party who opposed the Union 
proposed an addition to the twenty-fourth article of the 
treaty, by which it should be enacted that " the Crown, 


Sceptre, and Sword of State, Records of Parliament, etc., 
continue to be kept as they are, in that part of the United 
Kingdom, now called Scotland, and that they shall so remain 
in all time coming, notwithstanding of the Union " (January 
14, 1707). This stipulation was adopted by the ministerial 
party ; yet it appears that Government judged these emblems, 
connected with so many galling and hostile recollections of 
past events, could be no safe spectacle for the public eye, 
while men's minds were agitated by the supposed degradation 
of Scotland beneath her ancient enemy. When the Scottish 
Parliament was finally dissolved, the earl marischal was 
called upon, as formerly, to surrender the custody of the 
regalia to the Commissioners of the Treasury ; but he 
declined appearing in person at what he considered a 
humiliating occasion, and delegated William Wilson, one of 
the under clerks of Session, " to deliver the Crown, Sceptre, 
and Sword of State to the Commissioners, to be by them 
lodged in the Crown room of Edinburgh Castle." This 
ceremony took place, March 26, 1707, when the regalia were 
deposited in the chest, which was their usual receptacle, and 
secured by three strong locks. The Grown-rooTn is a strong 
vaulted apartment, its chimney and windows well secured 
by iron stanchels, and the entrance protected by two doors, 
one of oak, and one formed of iron bars, both fastened with 
bolts, bars, and locks of great strength. 

In 1794 the crown-room was opened by special warrant 
from the king, to search for certain records connected with 
Scotland ; but none were found, and nothing was observed 
but the chest in which the regalia had been deposited, which 
the commissioners did not think themselves authorized to 
open. The room was again shut and secured. 

According to Scott, "an odd mystery hung about this 
chest and the fate of these royal symbols of national 
independence." It had become generally apprehended that, 
contrary to the provision in the Act of Union, they had been 
transferred to London. During Sir Walter's conversation with 
George IV., when regent, he mentioned the subject of the 
regalia, which greatly excited his Royal Highness's curiosity. 

In the year 1817 the prince regent, considering that all 
political reasons for withdrawing from the people of Scotland 
the sight of the ancient symbols of her independence had 
long ceased to exist, gave directions for removing the mystery 
which had so long existed with regard to the Scottish 


regalia. A commission was appointed, of which Sir Walter 
Scott was an active member (February 1, 1818), and the lid 
of the great chest in the crown-room was forced, the keys 
having been lost. The regalia were discovered in the same 
state in which they had been deposited there in 1707. With 
the sword of state and sceptre was found another rod, or 
mace, of silver, with a globe at the top — the mace of office of 
the lord high treasurer of Scotland. Upon the discovery 
of the regalia, the royal flag was hoisted upon the castle, 
and greeted by the shouts of a numerous crowd assembled on 
the hill.* Orders were at once given for the safe custody of 
the regalia, which were committed to the officers of state by 

* It appears that all classes in Scotland had exhibited the most 
anxious and lively curiosity, but no one would seem to have been more 
excited than Sir Walter Scott himself. His daughter relates that, 
accompanying him a day after the chest had been opened, to see the 
regalia, she heard him utter an exclamation, in a tone of the deepest 
emotion, something between anger and despair, " No." It appears that 
one of the commissioners, not quite entering into the solemnity with 
which Scott regarded the business, had made a sort of motion as if he 
meant to place the crown on the head of one of the young ladies. The 
gentleman at once laid down the crown with an air of painful embarrass- 
ment. Scott whispered to him, " Pray forgive me." Very different 
from this feeling was that evinced by the Earl of Seafield, chancellor, 
when the sceptre of Scotland performed its last grand legislative 
function of ratifying the Treaty of Union, namely, touching the docu. 
ment, the ancient mode of confirming Acts of Parliament in Scotland. 
His lordship, on returning the sceptre and Act to the clerk, is reported to 
have said, " There is an end to an old song." 

In the " Eecord of a Girlhood," by Frances Ann Kemble, we read : 
" Sir Walter Scott told me that when the Scottish regalia was dis- 
covered, in its obscure place of security in Edinburgh Castle, pending 
the dcci.sion of Government as to its ultimate destination, a committee 
of gentlemen were appointed its guardians, among whom he was one ; 
and that he received a most urgent entreaty from an old lady of the 
Maxwell family to be permitted to see it. She was nearly ninety yeai's 
old, and feared she might not live till the crown jewels of Scotland were 
permitted to become objects of public exhibition, and pressed Sir 
Walter Scott with importunate prayers to allow her to see them before 
she died. Sir Walter's good sense and good nature alike induced him to 
take upon himself to grant the poor lady's petition, and ho conducted 
her into the presence of these relics of her country's independent 
sovereignty ; when, he said, tottering hastily forward from his support, 
she fell on her knees be lore the crown, and clasping and wringing her 
wrinkled hands, wailed over it as a mother over her dead child. Hia 
description of the scene was infinitely pathetic, and it must have 
appealed to all his own poetical and imaginative sympathy with the 
former glories of his native land." 


a warrant under the great seal, with power to appoint a 
deputy-keeper and yeoman-keepers of the regalia, and to 
establish regulations for the safe efxhibition of them to the 
public. Captain Adam Ferguson (son of the historian), an 
old Peninsula officer, Avas appointed deputy-keeper, with 
two non-commissioned officers under him,- their uniform 
being that of the ancient yeomen of the guard. 

On the visit of George IV. to Scotland in August, 1822, 
the regalia were conveyed from the castle to Holyrood 
House, by the Duke of Hamilton, escorted by yeomanry and 
Highlanders, amid the sound of their bagpipes, and submitted 
to his Majesty. In the grand state procession of the king 
from Holyrood House to the castle (the cavalcade wearing 
dresses of satin and velvet of the time of Charles I., mounted 
on Arab horses i*ichly caparisoned with Turkish saddles and 
bridles), the sceptre was carried by the Honourable John 
Stewart Morton, and the crown by the Duke of Hamilton, in 
right of his ancient earldom of Angus, on the crimson 
cushion found with the regalia, which he occasionally ele- 
vated, so as to be seen by the assembled multitude, who 
hailed the diadem of their sovereign with loud acclama- 

Previously to the departure of his Majesty, he conferred 
the honour of knighthood upon Captain Ferguson, and the 
office of earl marischal, which had been forfeited by the 
second Earl of Kintore, in consequence of his taking part in 
the insurrection in 1715, upon Sir i^lexander Keith of 
Dunnottar and Ravelston, as the representative of the ancient 
earls marischal ; but no honours or benefits were bestowed 
upon the Ogilvies. 

It seems that the regalia suffered very little injury during 
, the strange vicissitudes to which they had been exposed. 
Two or three sockets in the crown, which had once been filled 
with precious stones, like those to which they correspond, are 
now empty, and three counterfeit stones, or doublets, may be 
remarked among those which remain in the setting. The 
head of the sceptre has been bent a little to one side, and 
seems to have been broken, and awkwardly mended at some 
early period. The handle and scabbard of the sword of state 
are also somewhat broken, but it is remarkable that these 
very imperfections are noticed in an act of the Privy Council 
(July 10, 1621), when the regalia were narrowly examined, 
lor the purpose of discharging the heir of Sir Gideon Murray 



of Elibank of the keeping of the said honours, which had been 
in his father's possession as deputy-treasurer of Scotland.* 

The Crown op Scotland is of pure gold, and has a broad 
band which encircles the head, adorned with twenty-two 

precious stones, between each 
of which is a large Oriental 
pearl. Above the great 
circle is a smaller one, fronted 
with twenty points, having 
diamonds and imitation 
sapphires disposed alter- 
nately ; the points are all 
decorated with pearls at the 
top. The upper circle is 
raised into ten crosses ^o?'ee5, 
each having in the centre a 
large diamond between four pearls placed in cross saltire^ and 
these cross florees are intermingled with the fleurs-de-lys 
which surmount the points of the second small circle. From 
the upper circle rise the four arches added to the crown by 
James V., as before mentioned, adorned with enamelled figures 
which meet and close at the top, surmounted with a globe 
and cross patee. In the centre of the cross patSe is an 
amethyst which points the front of the crown, and behind, 
on the other side, is a large pearl, below which are the 

The Crown of Scotland. 

* The description is very precise, and deserves to be quoted at 
length. It bears that " Thay [the Lords of the Privy Council] sighted 
the saidis honouris and remarkit the same verie narrowlie and fand 
that the crowne had in the neder circle nyne garnittis, and four 
jasientis, three counterfute emcraulds, four am at ystis, twentie-twa 
pearle : abone the neder circle sax small thine triangle diamontis, ten 
small triangle challoms filled with blew amalyne in steade of stones, 
twa small emptie challoms, having no thing in tham bot the black tent, 
and twa challoms with twa flatt quhyte stones with the boddom upmost, 
nixt abono the small challoms nynetoon grito ami small ray poarle, and 
within the Roise, betwix the Flour de Luce thretty-fivo pearle, sum 
less sum more, with ten quhyte stones in the middis thairof, in the four 
quartaris of the bouett of the crowne four pcai'lo sett in four pecis of 
garnisoone of gold enamald, and in the croco abone the crowne, ane 
amatist and aught pcarlo, and that the sceptour was in three pecis, 
haveing ane peai'le in the top, and ano crystell globo bonethe the heado 
quhairof hes been brokin, and mendit with wyre, and the siwerd had the 
plumbctt bersit and brokin with ane voydo place in everie syde thairof, 
and the scabart thairof riven bersit and brokine, wanting sum pecis out 
of it." 


initials I.R.V. The crown is nine inches in diameter, and 
six inches high from the under circle to the top of the cross. 
The Sceptre was made for James V. It is a slender 

Sceptre of James V. 

Sword of State and Scabbard. 



and elegant rod of silver, double gilt, two feet long, of a 
hexagonal form, and divided by three buttons or knobs. 
Between the first and second button is the handle ; 
from the second to the capital three sides are en- 
graved, the other three are plain. Upon the top 
of the stock is an antique capital of embossed 
leaves, supporting three small figures representing 
the Virgin Mary, Saint Andrew, and Saint James. 
The ornamented niches in which these small figures 
are placed, are again surmounted by a crystal globe, 
of two inches and a quarter in diameter, and again 
by a small oval globe, topped with an Oriental 
pearl. Under the figures are the initials I.R.V. 
The whole length of the sceptre is thirty-four 
inches. Sir AValter Scott thought it probable that 
James Y. had the sceptre made when he was in 
France in 15^6, judging from the workmanship. 

The Sword of State is five feet long, and of 
elegant workmanship. The handle and pommel 
are silver gilt, and fifteen inches in length ; the 
traverse, or cross, represented by two dolphins, 
whose heads join at the handle, is seventeen 
inches and a half. On the blade is indented, in 
gold letters, " Julius II. P. " a present from that 
pope to James IV. The scabbard is of crimson 
velvet, richly ornamented with filagree work and 
silver, the prevailing work being oak-leaves and 
acorns, which were the emblems of Pope Julius II. 

It seems that James V. received a sword and 
hat from Pope Clement VII., which had been 
consecrated upon the night of the Nativity, in ordei* 
that it might breed a terror in a neighbouring 
wicked prince (Henry VIII.), against whom the 
legate declared this holy weapon was sharpened. 
Accordingly, in subsequent lists of King James's 
regalia, we find two swords of honour repeatedly 
mentioned, but only the sword presented by Pope 
Julius is now in existence.* 

* Lesley, in his " History of Scotland," thus relates this 

incident : " Julius the Secound, Paip for the tyme, sent ane 

i{(uj oi ambastadonr to the Kinj^, declaring him to be Protecteur 

^^' and Uefendour of Christen faythe, and in signe thairof send 

unto him ane purpour diadame wrocht with flouris of golde, withe ane 

'the regalia of ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND, 93 

The lord treasurer's Rod of Office is of silver gilt, 
curiously wrought. 

By order of William TV. the following jewels were placed 
in the crown-room (December 18, 1830), being a bequest by 
Cardinal York, the last male descendant of James VII., to 
George IV. : — 

A gold collar of the Order of the Garter, being that 
presented by Queen Elizabeth to James VI. on his creation as 
a knight. 

The Saint George, or badge of the Order of the Garter, 
of gold richly enamelled, and set with diamonds ; being that 
probably worn by James, appendant to the collar. 

The Saint Andrew, having one side the image of the saint, 
finely cut on an onyx, set round with diamonds ; on the other, 
the badge of the thistle, with a secret opening, under which 
is placed a fine miniature of Queen Anne of Denmark. 

A ruby ring, set round with diamonds, being the coro- 
nation ring of Charles I. 

Bword, having tlie hiltis and skabert of gold sett with precious 

In Thomson's " Collection of Inventories " we find among the 
treasures left by James V. of Scotland, " the Hatt that cam fra the Paipe 
[Clement VII.], of gray velvett with the Haly Gaist sett all with orient 
perle " — the mystical cap, or diadem, blessed at Rome by the successor of 
St. Peter at Christmas Eve. 






" Is the chair empty ? Is the sword unswayed ? 
Is the king dead ? " 

" A base, foul sfowe, made precious by the foil 
Of England's chair, where he is falsely set." 

Shakespeare, Richard the Third. 

VERY marvellous history is 
attached to the famous Coro- 
nation Chair in St. Edward's 
Chapel, Westminster Abbey, 
in which our sovereigns have 
been consecrated since the 
time of the first Edward. 
Holinshed gives us the history 
of one Gathelus, a Greek, 
"vvho brought from Egypt 
into Spain the identical stone 
on which the patriarch Jacob 
slept and poured oil at 
Luz.* He was " the sonne 
of Cecrops, who builded the city of Athens ; " but having 
married Scota, the daughter of Pharaoh, he resided some time 
in Egypt, from whence he was induced to remove into the 
west by the judgments pronounced on that country by Moses. 
" In Spain, having peace with his neighbors, he builded a 

* Probably the setting up of a stone by Jacob, in grateful memory of 
the celestial vision, became the occasion of idolatry in succeeding ages, 
to those shapeless masses of unhewn stone of which so many astonishing 
remains are scattered through the Asiatic and European world. In 
Maurice's "Indian Antiquities" we find some notices of "anointed" 
stones ; also in Tavernier's " Travels," where, describing a black stone 
idol in the pagoda of Benares, ho adds that one of the principal cere- 
monies of tlie priests of the stone deities was to anoint them daily with 
odoriferous oils. 


citie called Brigantia [Compostella], where lie sat upon his 
marble stone, gave lawes, and ministred justice nnto his 
people, thereby to maintaine them in wealth and qnietnesse. 
And "hereof it came to passe, that first in Spaine, after m 

Coronation chair in Westminster Abbey. 

Ireland, and then in Scotland, the Kings which ruled over 
the Scotishmen received the crowne sittinge upon that stone, 
untill the time of Robert the First, King of Scotland." In 
another part of his " Historic of Scotland," Holinshed mentions 


King Simon Brech as having transmitted this stone to 
Ireland about seven hundred years before the birth of Christ, 
and that " the first Fergus " brought it out of Ireland, fe.c. 330. 

The Mahometans, however, declare that Jacob's stone was 
conveyed to the Temple of Jerusalem, and is still preserved 
in the mosque there, and is called the " stone of unction." 

Another story is told by some of the Irish historians, that 
the Liagh Fail, or stone of destiny, was brought into Ireland 
by a colony of Scythians, and had the property of giving 
forth sounds whenever any of the monarchs of the Scythian 
race seated themselves upon it.* Hector Boece (died 1536) 
notices a prophecy, which, translated from the Irish, runs 
thus : — 

" Unless the fixed decrees of fate give waj, 
The Scots shall govern and the sceptre swaj 
Where'er this stone they find, and its dread sound obey." 

Of the coronation stone, and its removal from Scotland, 
Drayton thus makes mention in his " Polyolbion " (seven- 
teenth song) : — 

" Our Longshanks, Scotland's scourge, who to the Oreads raught, 
His sceptre ; and with him from wild Albania brought 
The reliques of her crown (by him first placed here), 
The seat on which her kings inaugurated were." 

The value attached to the stone brought by Edward I. 
from Scone, was due in a great measure to the legend of 
" Scota, the fairy princess." The following lines from a 
manuscript in the Bodleian Library show one form of the 
ancient fancy : — 

" En Egipte Moise a le poeple precha, 
Scota la file fata on bien I'escota, 
Quarc il dite en espirite, qui ccste piere avera 
De molt estraunge teiTe conquerour serra." 

* "Nor ought we to pass by nnmentioned," writes Sir James Ware, 
" that fatal stone anciently called Liafail, brought into Ireland by the 
Tuath-de Danaus, and from thence in the reign of Moriertach Mac Ere, 
Bent into Argile by his brother Fergus, but which was afterwards en- 
closed in a wooden chair by King Keneth, to serve in the coronation 
solemnities of the King of Scotland, and deposited in the monastery of 
Scone, from whence it was at length removed to Westminster by 
Edward I. Wonderful things are reported of this stone, but what 
credibility they deserve, I leave to the judgment of others. In particular 
fame reports, that in the time of heathenism, before the birth of Christ, 
he only was confirmed monarch of Ireland, under whom, being placed 
on it, (his stone groaned, or spoke, according to the Book of Hoath." 


Apart from legendary history, the interest of the corona- 
tion stone is sufficiently ancient to claim for it an especial 
regard. It is to be traced, on the best authorities, into 
Ireland ; whence it had been brought into Scotland, and had 
become of great notoriety in Argyleshire, some time before 
the reiofn of Kinc: Kenneth, a.d. 834. This monarch found 
it at Dunstaffnage, a royal castle, enclosed it in a wooden 
chair, and removed it to the abbey of Scone, where for four 
hundred and fifty years "all Kingis of Scotland" (says 
Hector Boece) " war ay crownit quhil y^ tyme of Kyng 
Robert Bruse. In quhais tyme, besyde mony othir crueltis 
done be Kyng Edward Lang Schankis, the said chiar of 
merbyll wes taikin be Inglismen, and brocht out of Scone to 
London, and put into Westmonistar, quhaer it remains to our 
day is." 

Edward left it as an offering of conquest at the shrine 
of the Confessor. In the Archceological Journal (vol. xiii.) 
is an interesting article on Edward I. 's spoliations in Scotland, 
A.D. 1296, by the late Joseph Hunter. From it we find that 
the king took the castle of Edinburgh at the beginning of 
June, and we also learn from an inventory that three coffers 
containing plate and jewelled vessels were sent to West- 
minster. At the beginning of August he visited the abbey 
of Scone, where he found the "fatal stone" enclosed in a 
chair. As to what became of the latter there are no docu- 
ments to afford information. Of the former, however, mention 
is made in several inventories of "una petra magna super 
quam reges Scociae solebant coronari." The king intended 
in the first instance to make the chair in bronze, and one 
Adam, the king's workman, had actually begun it ; indeed, 
some parts were even finished, and tools bought for the 
cleaning up of the casting. However, the king changed his 
mind, and we have, accordingly, one hundred shillings paid 
for a chair in wood, made after the same pattern as the one 
which was to be cast in copper ; also I3s. Aid. for carving, 
painting, and gilding two small leopards in wood, which were 
delivered to Master Walter the painter, to be placed upon 
and on either side of the chair made by him. The wardrobe 
account of the 29th Edward I. enables us to follow the 
progress of the work, for Master Walter is there paid 
^\ 19s. Id. for " making a step at the foot of the new chair 
in which the Scottish stone is placed near the altar, before 
the shrine of St. Edward, and for the wages of the carpenters 



and of the painters, and for colours and gold employed ; also 
for the making of a covering to cover the said chair." The 
present step and lions are modern work. 

The step may have been a sort of platform, occupying 
that space at the extreme west of the Confessor's chapel which 
is now unpaved. The destination of the chair appears to 
have been very clear, from the following entry by a con- 
temporary hand in the inventory of the last year of Edward's 
reign : — " Mittebatur per preceptum regis usque abbathium de 
Westmonasterio ad assedendum ibidem juxta feretrum S' 
Edwardi in quadam cathedra lignea deaurata quam Rex 
fieri precepit (ut Reges Angliae et Scocice infra sederent 
die coronationis eorundem) ad perpetuam rei memoriam." 
Walsingham, however, says, " Jubens inde fieri celebrantium 
cathedram sacerdotum." Most probably both accounts are 
true, and in Walsingham's time it might have formed a seat 
for the priest who officiated at the altar of St. Edward. 

The next thing we hear of the stone is contained in a 
royal writ of July 1, 1328, addressed to the abbot and monks 
of Westminster, saying that the council had come to the 
determination to give up the stone, and enjoining them to 
deliver it to the sheriff ©f London, to be carried to the queen 
mother. This resolution was not, however, carried out. 

At the period when Camden wrote his history, the follow- 
ing lines were to be seen on a tablet that hung by the royal 
stone : — 

** .Si qutti Ijabrnt farrt bcl rliront'ra, rana fitirsfac, 
ClaiiUitur fjac catbctira nobilis rrrr lapis ; 
^tJ caput cximius 3arob quontiam patriarrba 
€iucm posuit,* ccrurns numina mira poli. 

* " We were then conveyed to the two coronation chairs, where my 
old friend (Sir Roger de Covcrley) after having heard that the stone 
underneath the most ancient of them, which was brought from Scotland, 
was called Jacob's pillow, sat himself down in the chair ; and looking 
like the figure of an old Gothic king, asked our interpreter what authority 
they had to say that Jacob had ever boon in Scotland ? The follow, 
instead of returning him an answer, told him that he hoped his honour 
would pay the forfeit. I could observe Sir Koger a little rufflied at being 
thus trepanned ; but our guide not insisting upon his demand, the 
kuight soon recovered his good humour, and whispered in my ear, that 
if Will Wimble were with us, and saw those two chairs, it would go hard 
but ho would get a tobacco-stopper out of one or t'other of them." — 

In tho " Citizen of the World " Goldsmith has a sarcasm at the chair : 
** * Look yo there, gentlemen,' said the attendant, pointing to an old oak 


©uetn tulit EI ^cotis spolians quasio bictor fjonoris 
fEnbartJiis primus, fHars belat armipotens, 

.Scotorum tiamttor, nostcr balitiisstmus J^cctor, 
^nglorum tiKUS, ct gloria milttiae/' 

This "stone from Scotland" is described by Braylej 
(Neale's " Westminster Abbey ") as bearing much resem- 
blance to the dun stones, such as are brought from Dundee 
for various purposes, of an oblong form, but irregular, 
measuring twenty- six inches in length, sixteen inches and 
three-quarters in breadth, and ten inches and a half in 
thickness. With regard to its traditional Egyptian origin, 
" it is remarkable," observes Planche, " that the substances 
composing it accord in the grains with the sienite of Pliny, 
the same as Pompey's (or more properly Diocletian's) Pillar 
at Alexandria, but the particles are much smaller." These 
substances are stated in Neale to be chiefly quartz, with light 
and red coloured felspar, light and dark mica, with, probably 
some green hornblende intermixed ; some fragments of a 
reddish-grey clay slate, or schist, are likewise included in 
its composition, and on the upper side there is also a dark- 
brownish red- coloured flinty pebble. 

From a "Geological Account of the Coronation Stone," 
by Professor Ramsay, printed by Dean Stanley in " Memorials 
of Westminster Abbey" (pp. 499, 500), it appears that "the 
stone is a dull reddish or purplish sandstone, strongly 
resembling that of the doorway of Dunstaffnage Castle, 
which was probably built of the stone of the neighbourhood. 
It is extremely improbable that it was derived from the 
rocks of the Hill of Tara, from whence it is said to have 
been transported to Scotland, neither could it have been 
taken from the rocks of lona. That it belonged originally 
to the rocks round Bethel is equally unlikely ; while Egypt 
is not know^n to furnish any strata similar to the red sand- 
stone of the coronation stone." 

The tablet to which I have alluded has long since 
disappeared. Of the chair of Kenneth no remains have ever 
been heard of, nor does it appear from the historians that 

chair ; " there's a curiosity for ye ! In that chair the kings of England 
were crowned. You see also a stone underneath, and that stone is 
Jacob's pillar! ' I could see no curiosity either in the oak chair or the 
stone ; could I, indeed, behold one of the old kings of England seated 
in this, or Jacob's head laid on the other, there might be something 
curious in the sight." 


Edward brought it to London with the stone, though it is 
not improbable that he did so, and the mention in the ward- 
robe accounts of the new chair rather supports the belief 
that the writer was cognizant of an old one. In that case 
the distich might have been carved on the Scotch chair. It 
was not very likely to have been copied upon the English 
one.* There is, however, a rectangular groove, or indent, 
measuring fourteen by nine inches, and from one- eighth to 
one-fourth of an inch in depth on the upper surface of the 
stone, into which perhaps a metal plate so inscribed might 
have been fixed with cement or melted lead, and at one 
corner of the groove is a small cross, slightly cut. Of the 
very ancient existence of the prophecy there can be no doubt, 
and the belief in it is said to have reconciled many of the 
Scottish nation to the union with this country. The chair is 
of solid oak, and still firm and sound, though much dis- 
figured by wanton mutilations, as well as the hand of time. 
Immediately under the flat seat the stone rests upon a kind 
of middle frame, supported at the corners by four crouching 
lions on a bottom frame or plinth. These lions are clumsily 
executed, and are supposed to have been first attached after 
the original step mentioned in the wardrobe account had 
been destroyed. A new face was made to one of them 
during the preparations for the coronation of George IV. 
All around, on a level with the stone, ran formerly a beautiful 
piece of tracery in quarterly divisions, each containing a 
small shield, originally emblazoned, but there are no vestiges 
of the arms sufficiently distinct to be recognized. Of these 
shields only four out of ten remain, two at the back, and two 
on the left side. All the rest have been broken away, and 

* There is some reason to suppose that there were two stones at 
Scone : the stone of fate, now at Westminster, and a stone chair in 
which it would seem the stone of fate was placed when the kings were 
to be inaugurated. Nothing is more certain than that King Edward I. 
carried the stone of fate to Westminster in 1296. Yet, in 1306, we 
read that King llobert Bruce was placed in the royal seat at Scone — 
" in sede positus Regali." So also, after King Robert II. had been 
crowned and anointed at Scone (March 25, 1371), we have record of 
his sitting next day on the moothill of Scone. We learn elsewhere that 
the moothill was on the north side of the monastery of Scone, outside 
the cVujrchyard. This distinction between the stone of fate and the 
stone chair may exj)lain away the difficulties which suggest themselves 
in the way of applying the descriptions of some of the Scottish 
chronicles to the oblong block of stone now at Westminster. 


even tlie tracery itself is entirely gone in front, so that the 
stone is there fully exposed to view. The back is terminated 
by a high pediment, along each angle of which are five 
crockets ; but these, as well as the moulding whereon they 
are mounted, are of inferior workmanship to the rest of the 
chair, and of subsequent addition. Along each side of the 
pediment is a smooth flat division, about three inches broad, 
which appears to have contained a number of small pieces 
of metal, probably with armorial bearings enamelled upon 
them. The whole chair has been completely covered with 
gilding and ornamental work, much of which may yet be 
distinguished on a close inspection. On the inside of the 
back are some faint traces of a male figure in a royal robe, a 
small portion of the bottom of which, together with a foot 
and shoe (the latter somewhat sharp pointed), are still visible; 
but they were much more so within memory. Below the 
elbow on the left side is distinguishable a running pattern of 
oak leaves and worms, with red-breasts and falcons on the 
oaken sprays in alternate order ; a different pattern of 
diapered work is shown on the right side, as well as within 
the tiers of panelled niches which adorn the outer side and 
back of the chair. 

Within the spandrils connected with the upper tier of 
arches at the back, small sprigs were formerly depicted on a 
metallic ground, either gilt or silvered, and covered with 
plain or coloured glass, as may yet be seen in three or four 
places. The diapering within the panels, as far as can now 
be traced, was formed of running patterns of vine and oak 
branches. The entire height of the chair is six feet nine 
inches ; breadth at the bottom, three feet two inches ; width, 
two inches ; breadth of the seat, two feet five inches ; depth 
of the seat, one foot six inches ; from the seat to the ground, 
two feet three and a half inches ; height of the elbows, one 
foot two inches. * 

Queen Mary appears to have been the only exception of 
the monarchs who have occupied this chair at their coronation, 
since the time of Edward I. A chair is reported to have 
been blessed and sent her by the Pope for her consecration. 

* The coronation stone is noticed at considerable length by Dr. W. 
F. Skene and Dr. John Stuart in the Proceedings of the Society of 
Antiquaries in Scotland. See also the "Coronation Stone," by the 
former, published at Edinburgh by Edmonston and Douglas, with 


At the coronation of our sovereigns this venerable chair of 
the "fatal stone" is covered in cloth of gold. It was 
arrayed at the installation of Charles II., and from this 
practice is shamefully disfigured with all sorts of nails, tacks, 
and brass pins, which have been driven in to fasten the cloth 
of gold, or tissue, upon that and subsequent occasions. The 
use of the Scottish stone is first expressly mentioned at the 
coronation of Henry IV., October 13, 1399. 

Since the time of Edward I. this stone has only been 
.moved once from the abbey, when Cromwell was installed 
as Lord Protector in Westminster Hall ; then the " Chair of 
Scotland" was brought there for that special occasion, "It 
was," says Prestwick in his account of Cromwell's installation, 
" set under a prince-like canopy of state." 

"The Coronation Chair," says Dean Stanley, "is the one 
primeval monument which binds together the whole empire. 
The iron rings, the battered surface, the crack which has all 
but rent its solid mass asunder, bear witness to its long 
migrations. It is thus embedded in the heart of the English 
monarchy — an element of poetic, patriarchal, heathen times, 
which, like Araunah's rocky threshing-floor in the midst of 
the Temple of Solomon, carries back our thoughts to races 
and customs now almost extinct; a link which unites the 
Throne of England to the traditions of Tara and lona, and 
connects the character of our complex civilization with the 
forces of our mother earth, — the stocks and stones of savage 

An allusion may be made to the marble seat in West- 
minster Hall, on which our early kings used to sit and 
administer justice ; hence it was called the " King's Bench." 
"At the upper end of this hall," writes Stow, "there is a 
long marble stone of twelve feet in length and three feet in 
breadth. And there is also a marble chair where the King's 
of England formerly sate at their coronation dinners, and, at 
other solemn times, the lord chancellor : but .now not to be 
seen, being built over by the two courts of Chancery and 
King's Bench." There are several instances of sovereigns 
who are recorded as sitting in the marble chair. Henry VII. 
was to come "by vj of the clock" in the morning of his 
coronation " from his chambre into Westminster Hall, where 
he shall sitt, under clothe of estate in the marble cliaire, 
apparcilled with clothes and quisshins of clothe of golde 


bawdekyn as it apparteigneth." Richard III. went in great 
pomp into Westminster Hall, and there in the King's Bench 
court took his seat. Grafton informs ns that the same king 
on the day of his coronation " came downe out of the white 
hall into the great hall of Westminster, and went directly to 
the Kinge's Benche." Hall records that Katherine, queen 
of Henry V., after her coronation was " conveighed into 
Westminster hal and ther set in the throne at the table of 
marble at the upper end of the hal." 

If the coronation stone of Scone ranks first in traditional 
and antiquarian interest, that of Kingston in Surrey, upon 
which some of our early Anglo-Saxon monarchs were 
consecrated, possesses also peculiar claims to our regard. 

"That stones of a particular form, or in a remarkable 
situation," remarks Dr. William Bell, " were gradually elected 
from the mass as the royal throne of princes and kings, 
whence, when the pontiff and kingly character were united, 
they were deemed holy, and afterwards shed the halo of their 
sanctity on everything around, or in contact with them, is 
but the natural and gradual march of the human intellect 
from things common to select — from select to sacred and 
divine. The meteor stones that had been observed to fall 
from heaven — the Bethulia — had an additional, perhaps to 
the savage mind, an inevitable cause of reverence, which in 
many cases, as in the Caaba of Mecca,* or the misshapen 
fragment worshipped as a deity at Edessa, and transferred 
by Heliogabalus to Home with unbounded reverence and 
unlimited expense, received honours more than human — they 
became themselves the deities ; and when Sanconiathon 
teaches that the worship of these Bethulia was invented by 
Caelus, he but personifies the visible heavens, and ascribes to 
the voluntary act of giving, a necessary operation of nature. 
So rooted did this practice become in the East, that the two 
ideas of stones and worship, or divinity, became almost 
identical. The Hebrews frequently used the terms as 
synonymous, when we find them giving the name of stone or 
rock to kings and princes — even to God himself, as the Rock 

* It is a tradition in Arabia, that when the black covering (the 
Kesona) of the Caaba stone undulates in the wind, it is caused bj the 
seventy thousand guardian angels of the shrine waving it with their 
wings. These angels are to transport it to paradise when the last 
trumpet sounds. 


of Israel, where the stone metaphor was intended to convey- 
as much of sanctity, as of security or endurance," 

At or near a consecrated stone, it was an ancient Eastern 
custom to appoint kings or chiefs to their office. Thus we 
read in the Scriptures of Abimelech being " made king by 
the plain of the pillar that was in Shechem " — the earliest 
royal appointment, perhaps, of which we have any traces 
in history. Joash had the crown put upon him while " he 
stood by a pillar, as the manner was." Subsequently, and 
among the northern nations, the practice was to form a circle 
of large stones, commonly twelve in number, in the middle 
of which one was set up, much larger than the rest : this 
was the royal seat ; and the nobles occupied those surround^ 
ing it, which served also as a barrier to keep off the people 
who stood without. Here the leading men of the people 
delivered their suffrages and placed the elected king on hig 
seat of dignity. 

Whenever an Irish king or chief was to be inaugurated 
on one of the sacred hills, it was usual to place him on a 
particular stone, whereon was imprinted the form of their 
first chieftain's foot, and there proffer to him an oath to 
preserve the customs of the country. " There was then," 
says Spenser, who had himself witnessed the election of an 
Irish dynast in this manner, "a wand* delivered to him by 
the proper officers, with which in his hand, descending from 
the stone, he turned himself round thrice forward and thrice 

Among the ancient kings of Ireland, the Eugenian 
branch of the Munster monarchs w^ere inaugurated on a 
large stone ; those of the Dalcassian line were inducted 
under the Bile-Magh-Adair, or sacred tree in the Plain of 
Adoration at Adair. In 982 the tree was cut down by King 
Malachy the Great. 

The coronation chair of the O'Neills of Castlereagh 
originally stood on the hill of that name, within two miles of 
Belfast; but after the downfall of the family it was thrown 
down and neglected, until the year 1750, when it was removed 

* In an account of the ceremonies performed at the initiation of the 
kings of Tyrconnel, we are told that in presenting the new king with 
the wand, which was perfectly white anct 6trai«j:ht, the chief who 
officiated used these words : " Eeceive, O king, the auspicious badge 
of your autliority, and remember to imitate in your conduct the 
straightness and whiteness of this wand." 


to Belfast, and built into the wall of tlie market house. On 
the taking down of that building some years ago, it again 
changed its quarters, and is in the possession of a family of 
Rathcarrick, in the county of Sligo. The chair is very rudely 
constructed, and made of common whin, or gritstone ; the 
seat is lower than that of an ordinary chair, and the back 
higher and narrower. 

These inaugural chairs were sometimes merely large stones, 
in which the impression of two feet were sculptured, and they 
were anciently placed on some elevated spot in every princi- 
pality or lordship. 

The kings of Denmark were crowned in a circle of stones, 
and in reference to the enormous weight of these stones, 
Mallet remarks, " Que de tout temps la superstition a 
imagine qu'on ne pouvait adorer la divinite qu'en faisant 
pour elles des tours de force." 

The election of the Swedish kings took place on the Mora 
stone, near Upsala. The monarch took the oath prescribed, 
and was placed on the sacred stone. For each new sovereign 
a stone was put close to it, with the date of his election 
engraved upon it.* 

The ducal stone at Carinthia was an erection of stone. 
On this a countryman, plainly dressed, was seated, to whom 
the newly elected prince was introduced. The sovereigns 
of Germany were inaugurated in the " Konigsstuhl," or 
king's seat, in a building about four miles from Coblentz. 
This relic of antiquity was replaced, in 1848, by a building 
erected similar to the original plan. 

Adjoining the north side of the church at Kingston, in 
Surrey, stood — upwards of half a century ago — a chapel, 
close to the famous stone to which I have alluded. This 
building contained the figures of the Anglo-Saxon monarchs 

* The Mora stone is described as a mass of rock, mounted on several 
others ; round it were ranged twelve smaller ones, on which the chief 
men sat. Beneath stood the throne of homage, carved with the image of a 
king — crown and insignia. A smaller stone, bearing the date and name 
of the newly elected sovereign, was placed within the ring, several of 
which, mutilated, are still extant. To preserve these interesting relics, 
Crown Prince Gustaf, in 1770, erected a small building over them, snr- 
mounted by a crown. The Mora field, in which these stones are, derives 
its name from a swamp. Saxo describes the king standing, or sitting, 
upon a heavy stone, as "a sign and surety that his intentions were firm 
and endurinsr." 


who had been crowned at Kingston, and also a representation 
of King John, who gave the inhabitants of that town their 
first cliarter. In the inscriptions over these figures, some of 
the kings were said to have been crowned in the market- 
place, and others in the chapel, but no particular spot is 
mentioned in the old chronicles. Unfortunately these figures 
were destroyed by the fall of the chapel in 1730. 

Alhiding to Kingston, in Sui'rey, Leland says, " The 
tounisch men have certain knowledge of a few Kinges crowned 
there afore the Conqueste." 

It is certain that authentic historical documents fix the 
locality for the royal installation of some of the Anglo-Saxon 
monarchs at this town, in preference to other places of the 
same name in various parts of the country. In the Saxon 
charters it is laontioned that in 838 a great council Avas 
held in the town of Kingston, in Surrey, at which King 
Egbert, Athelwulf his son, and the bishops and nobles 
of the land were present. In the record of this event the 
town is called " Kyningeston, famosa ilia locus." In a chartei' 
of King Edred (946), Kingston is mentioned as the royal 
town where consecration is accustomed to be performed. 

The number of kings crowned here, as recorded by Speed, 

is nine, two of which are, however, doubtful. Those of which 

we have authentic record are: — 

924. Athelstan, by Archbishop Aldhelm. 

940. Edmund, ) i » i i • i r\i.^ 
946. Edred, / ^^ ^r^l^^^shop Otho. 

All three sons of Edward the Elder. 

959. Edgar. 

975. Edward the Martyr, his son. 

978. Ethelred the Second, brother of Edward. 
1016. Edmund the Second. 
The rude stone on which they were crowned formerly stood 
against the old town-hall, in the market-place, and was re- 
moved to the yard of the Assize Courts, on the building of a 
new one in 1837, where it remained — preserved, it is true, but 
almost unobserved — until 1850, when the town council of 
Kingston, having had their attention called to the matter, 
appointed a committee to consider it, and eventually selected 
a suitable place for its preservation. A design was made by 
Mr. C. E. Davis, of Bath, and a grant of money was devoted 
to defraying the cost of erection. The remainder of the funds 
required were raised by private means. The coronation stone 


is placed on a septagonal block of stone, six feet in diameter 
and fifteen inches thick, standing in the centre of seven stone 
pillars connected together by an iron railing, moulded after 
a design presumed to be characteristic of the period. These 
pillars and the septagonal form of the monument are in 
allusion to the seven kings crowned in the town, and by the 
kindness of Mr. J. D. Cuffe, of the Bank of England, and 
Mr. W. Haw^kins, a penny of each monarch was placed under 
their respective names. The shafts of the pillars are of blue 
Purbeck stone, polished, and the capitals of Caen stone, carved 
with Saxon devices. The spot chosen for the monument 
seems most appropriate, for tradition has always fixed it as the 
site of the palace of the Saxon monarchs. In the notice of 
the inauguration of the Kingston monument, published in 
the Gentleman'' s Magazine (October, 1850), it is observed 
that an additional interest is thrown around the stone by the 
probability that the veneration in which it was held by the 
Saxons did not originate with themselves, but had descended 
from the ancient Britons, by whom it might have been held 
sacred for inaugurations and other solemn and important 
ceremonies from a very remote period ; and some weight is 
given to this conjecture by the fact of the stone being a 
kind of what is termed Druid's stone, similar in geological 
character to those of Stonehenge. If this deduction be 
correct, the Kingston crowning stone is in itself extremely 
curious, and may lay claim to very great antiquity, without 
assigning to it quite so many years as are given to the 






" The prirao genitive and due of birth, 
Prerogative of age, crowns, sceptres, laurels, 
But by degree stands in authentic place ; 
Take but degree away, untune that string, 
And hark what discord follows ! " 

Troilus and Cressida, Act i. sc. 3. 

" I'd net be king unless there sate 
Less lords that shar'd with me in state, 
Who by their cheaper coronets know 
What glories from my diadepi flow : 
Its use and rate values the gem : 
Pearls in their shells have no esteem," 


OURT OF Claims 
takes its origin 
from the ancient 
prerogatives of 
the lord high 
vsteward, who 
sat, judicially, 
in the White 
Hall of the 
king's palace 
at Westminster, 
to receive the 
appl i cation s 
and decide upon 
the claims of 
all those who 

held land on the tenure of performing some personal 

service at the coronation. 


The office of Lord High Steward is of great antiquity, 
having been established prior to the reiga of Edward the 
Confessor, and was formerly one of inheritance.* The services 
which were decided in the Court of Claims had the name of 
magnum servitium, or grand ser jean try, as being attached to 
the person of the sovereign, and involved the honour of 
knighthood in all cases ; no person beneath that rank, nor a 
minor or female tenant, being allowed to perform them. 

"Tenure by grand serjeantry," remarks Lyttleton, "is, 
where a man holds his lands or tenements of the sovereign, 
by such services as he ought to do in his own person, as to 
carry the banner of the king, or his lance, or to lead his 
army, or to be his marshal, or to carry his sword before him 
at the coronation, or his carver, or his butler, etc." 

The lord high steward (the " stead ward," or ward of the 
king's stead or place), in after reigns, had the assistance of 
councillors in deciding claims to service, and at the present 
time the duty is committed to the whole of the Privy Council, 
" or any five or more of them." 

The office of lord high steward, which had been heredi- 
tary in the house of Simon de Montfort, was, on his death, 
abolished by Henry III., as a check to the enormous power 
conferred on that office. 

Many of these services at coronations are now obsolete, 
and some of them are curious, illustrating the peculiarities 
of manners and customs in bygone ages. 

The feudal pomp and service which has been ever 
attached to the ceremony of crowning a British king may, in 
these days of universal information (it will be well if that 
word may be coupled by future historians of the time with a 
record of essential improvement), be thought a uselessly 
expensive display of obsolete customs. Yet, on the other 
hand, it may be observed that customs which exhibit the 
tenure on which every man holds his fee, according to the 
ancient constitution of the land, never, while that constitution 
exists, can be trifling and unimportant. The king is, by 
common consent, the fountain of honour, of property, and of 

* The following order, copied from the original warrant book of the 
Board of Green Cloth, will show the nature of the duties of the lord 
steward at cei'tain times : — " June 12, 1681, Order was this day given 
that the Maides of Honour should have CheiTy Tarts instead of Goose- 
berry Tarts, it being observed that Cherrys are at three pence per 



the public peace. If a man holds his land of him by the 
service of tendering a rose on Midsummer Day, that rent is 
not to be sneered at as trifling and ridiculous ; it is rather 

a demonstration on 
what generous terms 
the constitution of 
Great Britain exacts 
the fealtj due to her 
monarch. That she 
looks chiefly to the 
loyalty of heart, and 
not to gain, with a 
faithful adherence to 
the great keystone of 
^ the social bond, is her 
^ object. 

It may, therefore, be 
^ matter not unworthy 
of consideration, how 
far the services and 
attendance of the nobles, 
and the tenants of 
the crown by grand 
serjeantry, on occasion 
of a coronation, can be, even in these days, wisely dispensed 
with. Such a dispensation might be to omit a useful 
admonition, that they hold all from the people, through their 
chosen and hereditary chief magistrate.* 

* A proclamation for celebrating the solemnity of Queen Victoria's 
coronation was issued April 4, 1838, and made in the usual form by the 
heralds-at-arms in Loudon and Westminster. Subsequently, the pro- 
cession and coronation banquet being omitted, as in the case of William 
IV. and Queen Adelaide, a proclamation " declaring Her Majesty's 
further Pleasure touching her Eoyal Coronation and the Solemnity 
thereof" was issued, noticing these changes tlius : " The said Committee 
of our Privy Council have further submitted to us, that in dispensing 
with the ceremonies which have heretofore taken place in Westminster 
Hall, it may be proper that we should disi)ense with the service and 
attendance of those who, by ancient customs and usages, as also in regard 
of divers tenures of sundry manors, lands, and other hereditaments, do 
claim and are bound to do and perform divers several services at the 
time of our said Coronation, which services would have been performed 
in Westminster Hall, or in the procession, and at the same time that we 
should bo graciously pleased to declare that such disptMisation should in 
no wise interfere with the righta and privileges they may claim aa 

John of Gaunt. From Cotton. MSS. 


The coronation of Rictiard II., of which we have more 
detailed records than those of preceding monarchs, affords 
the first accounts of the proceedings of the Court of Claims.* 
John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster and King of Castile and 
Leon, presented himself before the king and his council, as 
Earl of Leicester, and claimed the office of high steward or 
grand seneschal of England. In virtue of this, the duke, 
previous to the coronation, held his Court of Claims in the 
White Hall of the Palace of Westminster, to determine such 
claims of grand serjeantry, and the fees appertaining to them. 
On the day assigned, open proclamation was made that all 
claimants of such services, by their estates or any other title, 
should prefer their several claims by bills or personal petition 
to the steward or his deputies. 

The claim of Thomas of Woodstocke, uncle to the king, 
to be Constable of England, on the ground of his marriage 
with the daughter of Humphrey Bohun, Earl of Hereford, 
was allowed. This constituted the tenure by which that 

touching the performances of the said services at any future Coronation 
of the Kings or Queens of this realm, etc." 

* In Rymer's " Fcedera " are found the following mandates, in 
Latin, respecting the coronation of Richard II., from which it 
appears the necessary workmen for the purpose were compulsorily 
impressed : — 

" The King, to all and singular Sheriffs, Nobles, Bailiffs, Ministers 
and others, his Liegemen within as well as without the liberties (of 
London), to whom these letters shall come, health. Know ye that we 
liave appointed our beloved William Hanway, clerk, to take and provide 
by himself and his deputies, stone, mortar, and other necessaries for our 
works which we have ordained to be executed in our palace of West- 
minster for the solemnity of our Coronation. And to take Carpenters 
and all other workmen necessary for the works aforesaid in our City of 
London, and Counties of Middlesex and Surrey, and to put them on the 
works aforesaid, to remain on the same at our command, as shall be 
necessary. And all those whom he shall find perverse, or disobedient in 
this matter, to arrest, take, and commit them to our prisons, there to 
remain until by deliberation we shall be induced otherwise to ordain. 
And therefore we command and strictly enjoin, that to the said William 
and his deputies aforesaid, in all and singular the premises to be done 
and executed, ye shall be acting, aiding, and answering, as often and 
according as by William himself, aforesaid, or his deputies, ye shall be 
warned on our part respecting this matter. In witness whereof we have 
caused these our letters to be made patent. Witness the King at West- 
minster, the 7th day of July." 

By an order in precisely similar terms, Thomas de Thoroton is 
appointed pavilioner, to impress tent-makers for preparing the tents 
appointed to be made for the coronation. 


dignity was successively held by the families of De Gloucester, 
Bohun, and Stafford. 

The great constable was an officer of state of very great 
power, from an early period in France, and both in France 
and England during the sway of the Norman and Plantagenet 
sovereigns. He was the supreme judge in all matters brought 
before the High Court of Chivalry, and to him lay the final 
appeal in all questions of moment in military affairs. 

The first great constable of England was Ralph de 
Mortimer, who received 'the staff of office from the Conqueror 
himself, and the dignity passed afterwards in succession 
through several great families, until it was at length abolished 
in the reign of Henry VIII. by the attainder of Henry 
Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, who was lord high constable 
.in the year 1521. Some of the duties of the constable were 
afterwards administered under other names; but the dignity 
has never since been revived as a permanent office, only on 
temporary occasions, as that of a coronation or other im- 
portant State pageant, a lord high constable is created for 
the time, and his power expires when the occasion is over. 
The most recent instance was the appointment of the late 
Duke of Wellington at the coronations of George IV., William 
IV., and Queen Victoria. 

At coronations it is the place of the lord high constable to 
attend the royal person, assist at the reception of the regalia 
from the Dean and Chapter of Westminster, and, together 
with the earl marshal, to usher the champion into the hall.* 

The office of Earl Marshal, now held by the dukes of 
Norfolk, is of great antiquity, from the fact of the first 
possessor of this dignity on record being Gilbert de Clare, in 
1135, afterwards Earl of Pembroke.f The rights belonging 

* The original high constable's staff of office, the same which was 
last borne by Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, at the coronation 
of King Henry VIII., and used by him in his attendance on that monarch 
at the famous interview with Francis I. at the Champ du drap d'or, is 
still preserved in the castle of Stafford. 

f Prynne (on the " Institutes ") says, " This is to be observed that 
though there were divers lord marshals of England, before the reign of 
Richard II., yet Richard II. created Thomas Mowbray, first earl marshal 
of England, per nomen Comitis Mareschalli Anglice. He (and his suc- 
cessor earl marshal) was enabled by this charter to carry a golden 
staff before the king, and in all other places, with the king's arms on the 
top of it, and his own at tlie lower end, when all the marshals before his 
creation carried only a wooden staff." 



to this office were, formerly, to have the king's horse and the 
queen's palfrey when they had alighted at the place where 
they were to be crowned. He was always to be near the king 
during the coronation cei'emony, and to sustain his crown " by 
the flower." He also kept the king's peace within seven 
miles of the court, and acted as high usher on the corona- 
tion day, and to have the tablecloth of the high dais and the 
cloth of estate, under which the king sate. The fees he 
received were numerous. 

Among the high duties appertaining also to the earl 
marshal of England is the publication (as head master of the 
Heralds' College) of all royal publications and the arrange- 
ments for the coronation of the sovereign. 

The day selected for this event is chosen by the sovereign, 
and in the instance of Queen Victoria was proclaimed in the 

By the earl marshal of England an order also is issued 
respecting the robes, coronets, etc., which are to be worn by 
the peers and peeresses on that august occasion.* 

* The notice given at the inauguration of Queen Yictoria was thus : 
" These are to give notice to all Peers who attend at the coronation of 
Her Majesty, that the robe or mantle of the Peers be of crimson velvet, 
edged with minever, the cape furred with minever pure, and powdered 




Marquess. Duke. 

Avith bars or rows of ermine, according to their degree, viz. Barons, two 
rows ; Viscounts, two rows and a half ; Earls, three rows ; Marquesses, 
three rows and a half ; Dukes, four rows. The said mantles or robes to 
be worn over the full court-dress, uniform, or regimentals usually worn 


The lord of the Isle of Man was bound by bis tenure to 
bring two falcons to the king* on his coronation.* The lord 

at Her Majesty's Drawing-Rooms. Their coronets to bo of silver-gilt ; 
the caps of crimson velvet turned up with ermine, with a gold tassel 
on the top ; and no jewels or precious stones are to be set or used 
in the coronets, or counterfeit pearls instead of silver balls. 

*' The coronet of a Baron to have, on the circle or rim, six silver balls 
at equal distances. 

" The coronet of a Viscount to have, on the circle, sixteen silver balls. 

" The coronet of an Earl to have, on the circle, eight silver balls, 
raised upon points, with gold straAvberry leaves between the points. 

" The coronet of a Marquis to have, on the circle, four gold strawberry 
leaves and four silver balls alternately, the latter a little raised on points 
above the rim. 

" The coronet of a Duke to have, on the circle, eight gold strawbeiTy 

The earl marshal's order concerning the robes, coronets, etc., which 
are to be worn by the peeresses at the coronation of her Most Sacred 
Majesty, Queen Victoria : — " These are to give notice to all Peeresses 
who attend at the Coronation of Her Majesty, that the robes and mantles 
appertaining to their respective ranks are to be worn over the usual full 

" That the robe or mantle of a Baroness bo of crimson velvet, the 
cape whereof to be furred with minever pure, and powdered with two 
bars or rows of ermine ; the said mantle to be edged round with minever 
]>nre, two inches in breadth, and the train to be three feet on the ground ; 
the coronet to be according to her degree, viz. a rim or circle, with six 
pearls on the same, not raised upon points. 

" That the robe or mantle of a Viscountess be like that of a Baroness, 
only the cape powdered with two rows and a half of ermine, the edging 
of the mantle two inches as before, and the train a yard and a quarter ; 
the coronet to be according to her degree, viz. a rim or a circle with 
pearls thereon, sixteen in number, and not raised on points. 

" That the robe or mantle of a Countess be as before, only the cape 
powdered with three rows of ermine, the edging three inches in breadth, 
and the train a yard and a half ; the coronet to be composed of eight 
pearls raised upon points or rays, with small strawberry leaves between, 
above the rim. 

" That the robe or mantle of a Marchioness bo as before, only the 
cape powdered with throe rows and a half of ermine, the edging four 
inches in breadth ; the train a yard and thi'oo quarters ; the coronet to 
1)0 composed of four strawberry leaves and four pearls i*aised upon 
points, of tho same height as the leaves, alternately above the rim. 

" That the robe or mantle of a Duchess bo as before, only the cape 
powdered with four rows of ermine, the edging five inches broad, the 
train two yards ; the coronet to bo composed of eight strawberry leaves, 
all of equal height above the rim. 

" And that tho caps of all the said coronets be of crimson velvet, 
turned up with ermine, with a tassel of gold on the top." 

* The Lord of the Me of J/an (the "Mona" of tho Romans) was a 


of the manor oE Xether Blesingtoa, in Kent, presented three 
maple cups. A moiety of the manor of Heydon, in Essex, 
was held by the owner on bearing a towel for the king when 
washing before the banquet, and another moiety of the land 
by the service of bearing the basin and ewer. The manor of 
Addington, in Surrey, was held by presenting a mess called 
<)(irout to the sovereign at the banquet. At the coronation of 
Richard II. this claim was made by William Bardolph, who 
calls the mess " dilgerunt," or " dillegrout," and " si apponatur 
sagina ; " if fat were used in the making, it was called 
" malpigerium " or " malpigernon." "Addington," observes 
Blount, " is now come to the possession of Thomas Leigh, 
Esq., who, at the coronation of his Majesty that now is 
(16G1), brought up to the king's table a mess of pottage called 
dillegrout, whereupon the Lord High Chancellor presented 
him to the king, who accepted his service, hut did not eat the 

In the reign of the Conqueror this manor was held by 
Zezelin, the king's cook, which will account for the culinary 

Dillegrout was, perhaps, a gruel flavoured with dill. 
Johnson in his dictionary explains grout as coarse meal, 
pollard, and then quotes as follows : — 

" King Hardiknute, 'midst Danes and Saxons stout, 
Caroused on nut-brown ale, and dined on grout ; 
Which dish its pristine honour still maintains, 
And when each king is crowned, in splendour reigns." 

Dr. William King's Art of CooJcery. 

dignity connected with many interesting historical associations. A few 
particulars must suffice. Orry, a Danish prince, was the first sovereign 
of the island of whom we have any trustworthy account. After six 
successors a Norwegian race of kings followed, who held their power 
from the time of their usurpation (1066) till 1270, when it fell into the 
hands of Alexander III., King of Scotland. William de Montacute with 
•an English force drove out the Scots, but his poverty prevented him from 
keeping the island, and it thus became the property of the kings of 
England. In 1307 Edward II. bestowed it, first, upon the Earl of Corn- 
wall, and then on Henry Beaumont. Henry IV. granted it to Henry 
Percy, Earl of Nortliumberland, upon whose attainder for high treason, 
in 1403, the Isle of Man was forfeited, and given by the king to William 
Stanley and his heirs, afterwards earls of Derby, on condition that he 
should give two falcons to the kings of England on their condonation. By a 
marriage with the Derby family, James, Duke of Athol, became king of 
the island, but in 1764 sold the sovereign rights and privileges to the 
British Government. 


The manor of Liston, in Essex, was held by the servict 
of making- tvafers — a composition of sup^ar, almonds, ginger, 
saffron, and otlier things — for the king and queen at the 
coronation banquet.* 

The lord of the manor of Worksop, in Nottinghamshire, 
claims the service of finding a glove for the king's right 
hand, and supporting his right arm when holding the sceptre. 

The barons of the Cinque Ports claim to carry over the 
sovereign in the coronation pi-ocession a canopy of cloth of 
gold or purple silk, Avith a gilt silver bell at each corner, sup- 
poi'ted by four staves covered with silver, four barons to every 
stalf, and to cany a canopy in like manner over the queen ; 
haA-ing' for their fee the canopies, bells, and staves, with the 
privilege of dining at a table on the king's right hand. The 
oriofin of this claim is so ancient that a charter of Charles IT. 
speaks of " the time of the contrary being never remembered 
to have been." According to Richard of Devizes (1189), as 
a i-eward for the readiness with which the Cinque Ports had 
assisted John in his unfortunate voyages to and from Nor- 
mandy, their five bai-ons were allowed henceforward to carry 
the canopy over the king as he went to the abbey, and to 
hold it over him when he was unclobhed for the sacred 
unction. t 

* In the collection of manuscripts belonging to Mr. Baillie Cochrane 
are some papers relating to a portion of the lands in the neighbourhood 
of the town of Lanark, which were held by the tenure of baking certain 
" wafers " for the king when he happened to reside there. 

t At the South Kensington Museum are three silver bells, bequeathed 
by the late Countess of Waldegrave, all of different designs and of his- 
torical interest. They w^ere appended to the canopies used at the 
coronation of George II., George III., and George IV. The first husband 
of the late Lady Waldegi*ave (Mr. Milward) was one of the barons of 
the Cinque Ports, and it was through him that the bells came into the 
possession of the testatrix. 

A writer in ^oteii avd Queries (5th series, vol. v. p. 338) remarks: 
" I am enabled, through the courtesy of Messrs. Widowson and Veale, 
the well-known silversmiths in the StiTind, to annex, hereunder, a 
description of a piece of gold plate, which has a direct bearing upon 
the duties of the Cinque Ports Barons and fees, when employed on the 
august ceremonies referred to. The tray, or salver, to which I alliade, 
is of an oblong shape with rounded coi'ucrs ; the plate marks thereon 
being the standard, the London assay; the maker's initials K. B. and the 
date letter O, which would signify 1728-9. In the centre are engraved 
these armorial bearings (without tinctures) : A chevron between three 
trefoils slipped ; in chief a sunflower erect. Croat, a domi stag. Under- 
neath is the inscription, 'This plate was made of the Staff of the Canopy 


The lord mayor and twelve citizens of London claim their 
right to assist the chief butler of England in the execution of 
his office, and to sit at a table next the cupboard, on the left 
side of the hall. The lord mayor serves the sovereign with 
wine in a gold cup, and receives it for a fee. At the corona- 
tion of Richard II. these claims were foi-mally made, and the 
records of the Exchequer afforded a precedent for them ; but 
the matter was left to the king's discretion, who yielded 
to their requests for the following singular reasons, as ex- 
pressed in the language of an ancient manuscript : — The king 
*' considering the great fondeness and subsidy that his pro- 
genators habundantly tyme paste had founde of the citie of 
London, and trusting for the like fondeness and subsidie 
tyme commyng, amongest the said citizens ; and to make 
their heai'tis merier, and well willyng to do hym true service 
and to helpe hym hereafter in his necessities, benignlie to 
accomplish their desires, decreed and ordeyned that they 
should doo service in the said offices before by them demanded, 
according to their desires in all things." * 

The mayoi', bailiff, and commonalty of Oxford also claim 
to assist the chief butler, and have for their services three 
maple cups. In the Cottonian MSS. the following account 
of this service appears in a list of the claims of Edward VI. : 
'- The Mayor of Oxenford claimeth to ayde the Chief Butler, 
in their service of ale at the barr ; and for profe shewed olde 

which I had the Honour to Support over the Queen, at the Coronation of 
Their Sacred Majesties, King George 11"'^'. and Queen Caroline, October 
11. 1727, as Baron of the Cinque Ports, being Elected for the Port of 
Sandwich.— Gerald de Gols.' " 

* On the coronation of Eleanor of Provence, queen of Henry III. 
(1235), the citizens of London claimed the oflBce of " cellarers " to the 
King of England, which having been granted, they attended the king 
and queen on horseback in a procession from the Tower, each citizen 
bearing a gold or silver cup in his hand for the royal use. (See chapter 
on "Coronation Processions from the Tower.") At the banquet they 
served the king and company with wine, according to their duty. The 
Mayor of London, Andrew Buckeral, the pepperer, claimed the place of 
Master Michael Belot, the deputy of Albini, Earl of Arundel, the grand 
boteler or pincerna of England ; but he was repulsed by the king, who 
said, " No one by right ought to perform that service, but Master 
Michael." The mayor submitted to the royal decision, and served the 
two bishops at the king's right hand. 

As the citizens of London had claimed the service of the butlery, so 
those of Winchester claimed that of the royal kitchen ; but the doings of 
the men of Winchester, in the capacity of cooks' assistants, have not 
been recorded. 


])residente.s wherein it appeared that the INIajor of Oxenford 
hade done the service, wheruppon the Erie of Arrondell, 
Chief Butler, gave him his livery, and did admit him to tht 
same service." 

The Chief Butli:rship is traced by authentic records into 
the hands of William de Albini, who came to England with 
William the Conqueror. The office has been held by some of 
the noblest families in England, and is now an hereditary 
right of the Duke of Norfolk as Earl of Arundel. The fees for 
services at the coronation banquet were — the best gold cup and 
cover, with all the vessels and Avine remaining under the bar, 
and all pots and cups, except those of gold and silver, which 
shall be in the wine-cellar after the banquet. The fees are 
now commuted to a gold basin and ewer. As a proof of the 
honour attached to this office, Henry III. himself attended on 
his son as chief butler on the coronation of that prince. 

The office of HereditapvY Gkand Almoner of England is- 
attached to the barony of Bedford. The duties are to collect 
and distribute certain moneys at the coronation from a silver 
dish, which he claims as his fee. A tun of good wine was 
formerly allowed him, together with all the cloth on which 
the sovereign Avalks in pi-ocession from the door of the hall at 
Westminster to the abbey church.* 

* At Burghloj House, Northamptonshire, the seat of the Marquis 
of Exeter, there is a buffet of gold plate, comprising coronation plate of 
the times of King James, Queen Anne, George I., and George IV., and 
received by the earls of Exeter in their capacity of hereditary grand 
almoners at the coronations of the various sovereigns. The marquisate 
was conferred in 1801. At the coronation of Henry IV. the office of 
grand almoner was claimed by John, Lord Latimer, and Thomas do 
Mowbray, in virtue of lands formerly belonging to Beauchamp, Lord 
Bedford : by the former as one of the co-heirs, by the marriage of his 
ancestor with Maud de Beauchamp; and by the latter as inhei'itiug a 
]mrt of the barony which had passed in marriage with JMaud, daughter 
of Beatrix do Beauchamp, to the family of Botelort. The claim was 
disputed at the coronation of James II., but it was adjudged to the Earl 
of Exeter, as descended from the Latimers. 

The duties of the hereditary grand almoner, first instituted in the 
reign of Richard I., are confined to the distribution of alms at a corona- 
tion. The office of the higli almoner is of a more general description.. 
In the reign of Edward I, liis otticc was to collect the fragments of the 
royal table, and distribute theui daily to the poor; to visit the sick, poor 
widows, prisoners, and other persons in distress; to remind the king 
about the bestowal of his alms, especially on saints* days ; and to see 
that the cast-pfE robes were sold to increase the king's charity. For 
more than a century the office of lord high almoner was held by tho 
Archbishop of York. 


The Dajpifer, or Seiver (a service now extinct), brought 
up and arranged the dishes at the coronation banquet. In 
Ives's " Select Papers " we are told that at the coronation of 
Elizabeth, queen of Henry VII., "the lorde Fitz-water, sewer, 
or dapifer, attended in his surcote with tabard sleeves, and a 
hoode about his neck, and his towell above, and served the 

The office of Grand Carver seems to have been attached 
formerly to the earldom of Lincoln. 

The Chief Cup-beaeer is the lord of the manor of Great 
Wymondley, in Hertfordshire, who claims to serve the 
sovereign with the first cup that he shall drink at the 
banquet, and to have the said cup, of silver gilt, as his fee. 

The duty of the Grand Pannetier (an office now extinct) 
was "to beare the salte and the kerving knives from the 
pantre to the kinge's dyning table," and his fees were the 
salt-cellars, knives, and spoons laid before the king at the 
coronation feast. The chief business of the pannetier, as 
the name implies, was to provide the bread, and upon that 
account the coverpane was also allowed. The office was of 
great antiquity, and was performed of old by the Beau- 
champs, Earls of Warwick. 

The Chief Lar diner was entrusted with the care of the 
royal larder, and his fees were the remainder of the beef, 
mutton, venison, kid, lard, etc., as also the fish, salt, and 
other things remaining in the larder after the coronation 
feast. In 1333 Margaret, widow of John de Burdeleys, held 
office by the service of coming to the king's larder on the 
coronation day, with a knife in her hand, to perform the duty 
of larderer. 

The royal Napier had charge of the napery, or table-linen, 
at the banquet. In an account of the coronation of Eleanor, 
wife of Henry III., it is stated that Henry de Hastyngs, 
whose office it was to serve the linen from ancient times, took 
the tablecloths and napkins as his fee. Humfrey Tyrell, 
in the time of Henry VII., claimed, "for the love of God, 
to be gardeine of the napery," by virtue of certain lands in 

The Herh'Strewer was an office of some importance at 
the royal court. Among the manuscripts belonging to 
C. J. Eyston, Esq., of East Hendred, Wantage, is one dated 
1702 (April 11, 1 Anne), " Order for a gown of scarlet cloth 
with a badge and her Majesty's cypher on it, for the 


Streioer of Herbs to her Majesty, as was provided at the 
last coronation."* 

Amongst the various offices Avhich were to be filled at 
the coronation of George IV., considerable interest was nsed 
by the ladies to procure that of herb-woman to his Majesty. 
It was finally granted to Miss Fellowes, sister to Mr. Fel- 
lowes, secretary to the lord great chamberlain, pursuant to 
a promise which was made to her while his Majesty was yet 
Prince of Wales. Sandford does not specify the precise 
manner in which this duty is to be performed, but he repre- 
sents the principal herb- woman with the royal arms embroi- 
dered on her left breast. 

The right of consecrating the sovereigns of England is 
attached to the metropolitan Chair op Canterbury, the 
archbishops of which see have (with three exceptions) 
exercised it from the earliest ages of the monarchy. In the 
reign of William I. this office is ascribed to them by a con- 
temporary historian as an acknowledged privilege of ancient 
(late. In the reign of Henry II., Pope Alexander III. inter- 
dicted the Archbishop of York, and the bishops who assisted 
him, because they had crowned Prince Henry, at the per- 
suasion of the king, his father, in the absence of Thomas a 
Becket, Archbishop of Canterbuiy, and without his licence. 
In later times this privilege of the metropolitan see, though 
broken through at the accession of Elizabeth, has, on all 
occasions, been fully admitted. f 

The Archbishop of Canterbury receives as his fee after 
a coronation, the purple velvet chair, cushion, and footstool 
on which he sits during the ceremony. 

The Archbishop of Yoi'k has the honour to crown the 
Queen Consort. 

* In the clays of Stephen it was usual in houses, upon occasions of 
festivity, to strew flowers over the floor. It was part of the luxury of 
the times ; and Becket, when he was chancellor in the next reign, 
ordered his hall to be strewed every day in the winter with fresh straw 
or hay, and in summer with rushes and green leaves, fresh gathered ; 
and this reason is given for it, that such knights as the benches could 
not contain might sit on the floor without soiling their clothes. 

t Cranmer takes the following view ou this subject in his address to 
Edward VI. on his coronation : — " The oil, if added, is but a ceremony : 
if it be wanting, that a king is yet a perfect monarch notwithstanding, 
and God's anointed, as well as if he was inoiled. Now for the person 
or bishop, tliat dotli annoint a king, it is proper to he done by the chicfest. 
But if they cannot, or will not, any bishop may perform this ceremopy.'* 



The Dean and Chapter of Westminster, as successors to 
the abbots of St. Peter, claim to instruct the sovereign in the 
rites and ceremonies used at the coronation ; to assist the 
Archbishop of Canterbury in perfoi'ming divine service, and 
to have the keeping of the coronation robes ; with divers 
fees, viz. robes for the dean and his three chaplains, and 
sixteen ministers of the said church ; the royal habits which 
are put off in the church ; the several oblations, the furniture 
of the church, the canopy, staves, and bells, and the cloth on 
Avhich the sovereign walks from the west door of the church 
to the theatre. 

The Abbot of Westminster was charged with the singular 
office of administering the chalice to the king and queen, as a 
sign of their conjugal unity, after their reception of the Sacra- 
ment from the archbishop. The convent on that day was 
to be provided wdth " 100 simnals [cakes] of bread ; a gallon 
of wine, and as many fish as become the royal dignity." 

The Bishop of Durham and the Bishop of Bath and Wells 
claim jointly, as of old custom, to assist in supporting the 
sovereign in the coronation procession ; the first walking on 
the right hand, and the latter on the left. So early as the 
reign of Richard I. we find the predecessors of these prelates 
in the enjoyment of this distinction.* It does not appear to 

* Bishops wore their mitres at the coronation of Henry VIII., 
Edward VI., Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth. At that of James I. 
they wore their rochets, and therefore, most probably, their square caps. 

At the coronation of Charles I., the 

account given of that ceremony is 

not sufficiently explicit to say 

whether or not mitres were worn 

by the prelates. The archbishop, 

after the recognition, invested him- 
self " in pontiticalibus." Whether 

this term is to be received in its 

full signification in reference to 

the Roman Catholic ritual, or 

simply as a conventional mode, 

signifying that the bishops were 

in their proper ecclesiastical habits, 

is not quite clear. The ceremony 

was performed at Edward VI.'s 
coronation according to the form agreeable to the use of the Refoi-med 
Church of England. 

At the coronation of Charles I. the bishops wore their rochets, as 
also at the coronation of James II., with their square caps in their 
hands. At the coronation of William and Mary they wore their rochets 

Archbishop's mitre. 

Bishop's mitre. 


be older than that reign. According to illuminated manu- 
scripts, one part of the office of the two bishops was that of 
supporting King Edward's crown, on each side, if it did not 
happen to fit the royal head on which it had descended. 
Thus Edward I. is represented with a bishop on each side 
extending a hand to sustain the crown of St. Edward by ont^ 
of its ornaments. 

The duties of the Lord Geeat Chajiberlaix at a corona-^ 
tion were to dress the king, and serve him with water, foi' 
which service he had the basins, towels, and cup of assay, 
also forty yards of crimson velvet, the king's bed- and 
bedding', the furniture of the chamber where he lay the night 
before, with his wearing apparel and nightgown. But the 
Court of Claims, only allowed the robe at George IV. 's coro- 
nation, as it was shown that this fee was the only one 
received in kind by usage, the others being compounded for 
in a sum of money. 

At the coronation of Eleanor of Provence, consort of 
Henry III. (1285), Gilbert de Sandford claimed, for the 
service of keeping the queen's chamber-door, the queen's bed 
and all its furniture, as her chamberlain. Ho assists at the 
reception of the regalia from the dean and chapter of West- 
ininster, and, together with the earl marshal, ushers the 
champion into the hall. To this office belongs many perqui- 
sites, privileges, etc., but Avhich, on a coronation, are compro- 
mised for a certain sum. It is of very high antiquity, and 
was for many successions vested in the family of De Yere, 
Earls of Oxford. It is now claimed by Lord Willoughby 

and caps. The bishops wore their caps at the coronation of Queen 
Anno. At tlie coronation of George I., Gooi'go II., George III., thej 
carried their caps in their hands, and put them on at the time the peers 
put on their coronets after the " crowning." 

* Ashmole, in his " Laws of Honour," says of the lord gi*eat cham- 
berlain : — '' To this great officer belongs Livery and Lodgings in the 
lloyal Court, and certain fees due from each Archbishop or Bishop, when 
they perform their Homage or Fealty to the Sovereign, and from all the 
Peers of the Realm at their Creation, or doing thorn Homage or Fealty. 
And at the Coronation of every King or Queen, ho claims Forty Ells of 
Crimson Velvet for his own llobes ; as also on the Coronation Day, 
before the King rises, to bring his A]iparal, and after ho is by him 
Dress'd, the liod, and all the Furniture of the Chamber is his Foes j 
with all the King's Night Ai)paral. Ho carries the (Jloves and Linneu 
us'd by the King at the C/oronation, likewise the Sword and Scabbard, 
and the Gold to be offor'd by the King, with the Robe Royal and Crown, 


George, Lord Dartmouth, as master of tlie horse to 
James II., was permitted, by the special consent of that 
monarch, to attend at the coronation as Serjeant of the Silver 
Scullery, and to have all the silver dishes and plates served 
at the king's table at the coronation banquet ; also to take 
assay of the king's meat at the kitchen-dresser bar. 

At the coronation of Richard II., John, son and heir of 
the Earl of Pembroke, claimed to bear the great gilt Spues — 
"Ze5 grandes esperons " — as William Marshall, his progenitor, 
had done at the coronation of Edward II. The claim was 
allowed, but, owing to the nonage of the claimant, the office 
was assigned to Edmund, Earl of March, in right of the 
claimant. At the coronation of Queen Victoria the spurs 
were carried by Lord Byron, deputy to the Baroness Grey de 

and to pnt them on, and serve the King that Day, before and after 
Dinner with Water to Wash his Hands, and to have the Bason and 
Towel for his Fees." 

In a curious manuscript entitled " The Booke of Henrie Erie of 
Arundell Lord Chambr to King Henrie the Eighte, and copie of a Book 
signed by his Ma'tie and deluered to the Erie of Worcetour sometime 
Lord Chamberlain to his highnes," directions are given for the dif- 
ferent officers about the court of King Henry VIII., drawn up at 
the command of that king, by Henry Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel, lord 
chamberlain from 1526 to 1530. These directions, as affording an 
insight respecting the courtly customs of those times, and of the attend- 
ance and observance that were paid to the monarch, are almost as 
curious as they are copious. They detail the whole minutiae of the duties 
of the officers of the court, from the knights and esquires to the lower 

* On the failure of the male line the rights and jDrivileges of the 
females in the succession to, and enjoyment of all, the feudal privileges,, 
were recognized and respected by the Crown. At the coronation of 
Henry IV., Thomas Dymocke officiated as champion in right of his 
mother Margaret. In Blount's " Fragmenta Antiquatis " we find that 
occasionally grand serjeantries were performed by them at the corona- 
tions of the kings and queens of England and Scotland, in respect of 
baronies, lands, manors, and tenements. Ela, Countess of Warwick, held 
the manor of Hoke Norton, Oxfordshire, of the king in capite by the 
serjeantry of carving before the king on Christmas Day, and to have the 
knife with which she carved (" Pla. Coron." 13th Edward I., rot. 30). 
Lady Lora de Saundford held in dower the manor of Hornmede, Hert- 
fordshire, by being chamberlain to the queen ("Pla.," 7 Edward I., 
rot. 39). The Prioress of St. Leonard of Stratford held fifty acres of 
land in Brambelegh, Middlesex, by the service of finding for the king a 
man to hold the towel at the coronation (22 Edward I.) . 

In France there are similar instances. Thus, Mahaut, the Countess 
of Artois, assisted at the coronation of Philip the Long, and with other 
peers supported the crown. 


In the " R-atland Papers " (Camden Society) are given 
the Claims at the coronation of Queen Mary (1553). "The 
paper from which this is taken is without a date, but it 
evidently i-elates to the coronation of a queen-regnant, and 
npon comparison with the formulary for the coronation of 
Queen Mary in the library of the Society of Antiquaries, and 
other authorities for the same ceremony, it is clear she is the 
queen referred to." 

" The Duke of N'orthfolke, Earl Marsliall, claymethe to 
liave the Queue's horse and palfrey, with all the furnyture 
that is on the horse, and he claymethe to be liiqlie vsslier 
the daye of the coronacion, and to haue the table clothe of 
the high desse, and the cloth of estate that is behind the 

" Therle of Arundell claymeth to be cliief huttler the day 
of the coronacion, and to have the Queene's best cuppe, and 
to have all the wyne in the pypes and hogsheddes, and othei- 
vessells of wyne as sooue as the same vesselles is drawen to 
the barre, and also to have all the pottes and cuppes within 
the wyne seller remanynge after dynei-, so that they be 
neyther golde nor silver. 

" Therle of Sussex claymethe to be sJieirer at dyner, the 
daye of the coronation, and claymeth to have xxli in the 
name of a fee, and xviij yardes of crymesin Aellett, and the 
Queene's cloke, the hatt, and the cloke bagge, and one 
geldinge with a foot clothe of vellett ; he claymeth, also, 
tappoynte .all other sheweres that day, and to haue the 
surnape which is borne before the spyce plate at the 

"Therle of Oxford claymeth thoffice of great cliamherlayne 
of England, and to have for his fees xl"^ yardes of crymesin 
vellett ; and also he claymeth to have the Queene's bedd 
■wherein she lieth the night before hir coronacion, with all the 
jipparell and furnyture belonginge to the same, and to have 
the nighte robe with the which the Queene was clothed the 
night before, with all hangings, cusshions, and other furny- 
ture and apparel of the Queene's bedd chamber; also the said 
orle claymeth to serue the Queene with water at the coro- 
nacion, as well before as after dyner, and to have the basens 
and towells that the Queene is serued with that daye. 

" Therle of Derbye claymeth to beare the short sworde 
<;aulcd Cnrfaua, before the Queene the daye of the coronacion, 
and to have the fees thereunto belonginge ; also he claymetho 


to be cheef cnppe berer to the Queene that daje, and to have 
for his fee [blank in the manuscript]. 

" The Lord La;tymer and the Lord Braye do clame to be 
the Queenes almoner the day of the coronacion, and to have 
the almoners dishe of silver. 

" The Lord of Burgeveney claymeth to be seriaunte and 
cheef officer of the larder the daye of the coronacion, and to 
have all the beefes, muttons, veales, venyson redd and fallowe- 
kydd, bacon, and all other fleshe and fyshe, salte, and all 
other thinges remayning in the said office after dyner. 

" The Lord Gray of Wilton claymeth to be master of the 
Queenes haivlces the daye of the coronacion, and to have thtv 
robe or vesture which the queene shall weare that daye. 

" The Maior of London (claymeth) to serue the Queene 
after meat, with a cuppe of wyne, and he to haue the cuppe 
of golde for his labor. 

" The Barons of the Sinque Portes clayme to beare the 
canapye the da,je of the coronacion, and to haue the same 
canapye, with the staves, and all thinges thereunto belonginge. 

" Sir Gyles Alington, knight, claymythe (to) serue the 
Queene at hir coronacion, with the first cuppe of silver and 
gilt, and to have the same for his fee. 

" William Clopton, esquire, claymeth to make wafres for 
the Queene at the coronacion, and to serue the same wafres 
to the Queenes table, and to haue for his fee all the instru- 
mentes, as well as of silver as other mettall ordeyned for 
makinge of the same wafers, and also to haue all the 
napkyns and other profites and fees thereunto aperteyninge. 

" Sir Edward Dymock, knight, claymythe to be the Q,ueene''s 
champion the day of the coronacion, and to haue for his fee 
one cuppe of golde, the horse and furnyture, with tharmoure 
which he that day wearithe, and all other to his furnyture 
apperteyning ; and he claymethe also xviij yardes of 
crymesyn sattin for his lyvery, and the full servyce of meate 
and drynk belonginge to a baron to be conveyed to his 

With regard to the Poet Laureate of the sovereigns of 
England — an office remaining to this day — he is undoubtedly 
the same that is styled the king's Versifier, and to whom one 
hundred shillings were paid as his annual stipend in the year 
1251. But (says Warton) when or how that title com- 
menced, and whether this officer was solemnly crowned with 


laurel at his tirst investiture, is not known. It seems most 
])robable that the name of versifier gave way to an appellation 
<if more elegance and dignity ; or, rather, that at length 
those only were in general invited to this appointment who 
had I'eceived academical sanction, and had merited a crown of 
laurel in the universities, for their abilities in Latin compo- 
sition, particularly Latin versification. Great confusion has 
entered into this subject on account of the degrees in 
grammar, which included rhetoric and versification, anciently 
taken in our universities, particularly at Oxford, on which 
occasion a wreath of laurel was presented to the new 
graduate, Avho was usually styled poeta laiireatus. These 
scholastic laureations, however, seem to have given rise to 
the appellation in question. Thus the king's laureate was 
nothing more than a graduated rhetorician employed in the 
service of the king. Th^t he originally wrote in Latin, 
appears from the ancient title versificator, and may be, more- 
over, collected from the two Latin poems which Baston and 
Gulielmus, who appear to have respectively acted in the 
capacity of royal poets to Richard I. and Edward II., officially 
composed on Richard's crusade and Edward's siege of Strive- 
h"ng Castle. 

The first mention of the king's poet, under the appellation 
of laureate, was John Key, who was appointed poet laureate 
to Edward IV. Andrew Barnard, successively poet laureate 
to Heniy VII. and his successor, received a salary of ten 
marks (£G H^s. 4^/.). John King, his successor, was followed 
by Skelton, upon whose testimony we learn that Gower, 
(/haucei-, and Lydgate enjoyed no such distinction ; they 
wanted nothing hut the laurel. Then came a splendid train 
of names: Spenser, Daniels, Jonson, Davenant, and Dry den. 
Shadwell united the offices of poet laureate and histori- 
ographer. At his death, Rymer (author of the " Fcedera ") 
l)ecarae historiographer, and Tate the laureate ; who was 
succeeded by Rowe, Eusden, and Gibber. William White- 
head was the forerunner of '^rhomas Warton, and Henry 
I'ye the harbinger of Dr. Southey, who was succeeded by 
Wordsworth ; and one of the brightest constellations of the 
poetic firmament, Alfred Tennyson, now adds a splendour to 
this ancient office. 

The poet laureate was formerly expected to prepare a 
given quantity of "long and short" verses, fashioned into 
the shape of an ode, upon every impoi'tant event, and 


invariably, on the natal day of the sovereign, to furnish a 
birthday ode. This was set to music by the court composer 
for the time, and performed at the Drawing-Room, but this 
has been discontinued for some time. Southey, before 
receiving the appointment of laureate (which had been 
tendered to Sir Walter Scott, but declined in favour of the 
former), stipulated that his poetical offerings should be "free- 
will " offerings, and that though he might have verses as 
plenty as blackberries, he should not give them on " compul- 

In 1630 the first patent of this office appears to have been 
granted, which fixed the salary or pension attached to it at 
£100 a year, Avith an additional grant of a tierce of canary 
wine from the king's stores. A commutation was agreed to, 
in the case of Dr. Southey, of £27 for the allowance of wine. 
*' The laurels," says Southey, in an amusing letter to his 
daughter Edith, " should be gathered from the grove on 
that mountain where the Nine Sisters take care of my 
winged horse, and it is not proper that I should wear any 

The King^s Barher was an important office in the house- 
hold of Edward IV. He was to have " every Saturday at 
night, if it please the King, to cleanse his head, legs, or feet, 
and for his shaving, two loaves, and one pitcher of wine. 
Also, this Barber taketh his shaving cloths, basons, and all 
his other towels [tools], and things necessary, by the 
Chamberlain's assignment of the Jewel-house ; no fees of 
plate or silver, but it be in his instrumental tools used by 
occupation, and that by allowance of the King's Chamber- 

As a protection to the royal throat, "it is accustomed that 
ii Knight of Chamber, or else Squire for the Body, or both, be 
present every time when the King will be shaven." 

During the season of Lent, an ofiBcer denominated 
the King's Coclc-crower crowed the hour every night within 
the precincts of the palace, instead of proclaiming it in the 
ordinary manner. On the first Ash Wednesday after the 
accession of the house of Hanover, as the Prince of Wales, 
afterwards George II., was sitting down to supper, this officer 
suddenly entered the apartment, and proclaimed, in a sound 
resembling " the cock's shrill clarion," that it Avas past ten 


o'clock. Taken thus by surprise, and very imperfectly 
acquainted with the English language, the prince mistook 
the treniulation of the assumed ci'ow as some mockery 
intended to insult him, and instantly rose to resent the 
affront ; with some difficulty he was made to understand the 
nature of the custom, and that it was intended as a compli- 
ment, and according to court etiquette. From that period 
the custom has been discontinued. 

So recently as in Debrett's "Imperial Calendar" for 
1822, the " Cock and Cryer of Scotland Yard " is mentioned 
as one of the individuals holding office in the lord steward's 
depai-tment of the royal household. His duties were, during 
Lent, to crow the hour of night instead of calling it.* 

" When first the new-crowned King in splendour reigns, 
A golden cup the loyal Champion gains. 
With gesture fierce, his gauntlet stern he throws, 
And dares to mortal fight his absent foes. 
Where no brave Quixote answering to his call, 
He rides triumphant through the guarded hall. 
Thrice happy conqu'ror, that the laurel wears 
Unstain'd b}^ warrior's blood or widow's tears. 
Arm'd at all points, shoidd he a foe behold, 
Say, would lie Tcee'p the field, or quit the gold ?'* 

The office of Champion — the most perfect, and perhaps the 
most striking, relic of feudalism that has come down to us 
from the age of chivalry — is said to have been confen'ed by 
William the Conqueror on Robert de Marmion, or Marmyon, 
one of his followers, whose family held the barony of Fonteney, 
in Normandy, by the service of being hereditary champions 
to the dukes on the day of their inauguration, and their 
lands in England were granted on the same tenure : — 

* The cock-crowing, although strange and absurd at the present 
day, may not be unreasonable, nor, perhaps, the following singular 
tenure : — "King John gave several lands at Keppcrton and Attcrton, in 
Kent, to Solomon Attefcld, to be held by this singular service, that as 
often as the king should be pleased to cross the sea, the said Solomon, 
or his heirs, should be obliged to go with him, to liold his luajesty's head, 
if there should be occasion for it, that is, if he should bo sea-sick ; and 
it appears by the recoi'd in the Tower, that this same office of head- 
holding was actually performed in the reign of Edward I." 

In tho same county we find that the manor of Ai'cher's Court was 
hold by grand serjoautry (feivp. Edward III.) with this condition, that 
tho owner or owners should hold the king's head when ho passed to 
Calais, " and by the working of the sea, should be obliged to vomit." 


'' Lord of Fontenaye, 
Of Lutteward and Scrivelbaye, 
Of Tamworth Tower and Town." 

The possessions of Robert de Marmion descended to 
Philip, the last Lord Marmion, a gallant soldier and adherent 
of Henrj III., who died in 1292, leaving daughters only, one 
of whom was married to Sir Thomas de Ludlow, and con- 
veyed to him the manor of Scrivelsby in Lincolnshire, which 
had come to her by inheritance. Their daughter wedding- 
Sir John Dymoke, a Gloucestershire knight, invested him 
with the championship of England, which office he executed 
at the coronation of Richard II. The castle of Tamworth 
passed by inheritance from Philip de Marmion to his elder 
daughter and co-heir to the family of Frevile, and this 
division of the family estates gave rise to a contest for the 
privileges of the championship at the last-mentioned corona- 
tion. This high distinction was claimed by Sir John Dymoke 
as the possessor of Scrivelsby, and likewise by Sir Baldwin 
de Frevile as lord of Tamworth. A decision was then given 
that the latter was only holden by knight service, and that 
the office was attached to the manor of Scrivelsby. At the 
coronation of Henry lY. (1399), another Sir Baldwin de 
Frevile revived the claim, and Dame Margaret Dymoke, then 
a widow, asserting the right of her own inheritance was 
successful, on the plea that Scrivelsby was holden per 
haroniam, and was the head of the barony of the Marmion 
family ; " moreover, it appeared that the late King 
Edward III. and his son Edward, Prince of Wales, surnamed 
the Black Prince, had often been heard to say that the office 
belonged to Sir John Dymoke." 

In the College of Arms there is a curious volume contain- 
ing a pedigree of the Dymoke family. There is a " true " 
representation of one painted in the margin opposite the 
name, as he appeared accoutred on horseback, glove in hand. 
The name of the Dymokes or Dymocks (being spelt both 
■ways) is Welsh. According to Sir Bernard Burke, they 
claim a traditional descent from Tudor Trevor, lord of Hereford 
and Wbittington, and founder of the tribes of the Marches. 

During a succession of ages the high distinction of the 
championship has remained in this ancient family. Sir 
Henry Dymoke, the seventeenth representative of the office, 
died in 1865. His grandfather, John Dymoke, was champion 
at the coronation of George III., and his second son, the Rev. 



John Dymoke (father of the late baronet), was called upon 
to ofiBciate as champion at the coronation of George IV. He 
was obliged, owing to his clerical character, to act by deputy, 
and appointed his eldest son, the late Sir Henry Dymoke, 
who fulfilled the duties accordingly. 

On the death of Sir Henry Dymoke, his brother, Mr. John 
Dymoke, of Scrivelsby, became the " Honourable, her 
Majesty's Champion;" deceased November, 1873, at the age of 
nearly seventy. His son and successor, Henry Lionel Dymoke 
(born in 1832), died abroad before attaining even middle age, 
leaving a widow, but no legitimate issue. 

" Family feuds," observes Walford in his " Tales of our 
Great Families," and pecuniary difficulties have together 
done their best to level in the dust a once noble house, whose 
heads once ranked as equal to the proudest peers of the realm. 
There is, therefore, I believe, no male Dymoke who at this 
moment, if a Coronation were to occur, could put in a claim 
for the Championship — at all events without first establish- 
ing his descent in a court of law. Such is the sad end of the 
" Dymokes of Scrivelsby." Had the second Marquis Towns- 
hend been still alive, in all probability he would have chosen 
this moment to prefer a claim to the honour on his own 
account. At all events, Horace Walpole wrote to Lady 
Ossory, under date October, 1789 : — 

" When he was but two and twenty, his Lordship called 
on me one morning and told me he proposed to claim the 
Championcy of England, being descended from the eldest 
daughter of Ralph de Basset, who was Champion before the 
Flood — or before the Conquest, I forget which — whereas the 
Dymokes came only from the second; and he added 'I did 
put in my claim at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth.' A 
gentleman who was with me and who did not understand 
the heraldic tongue, hearing such a declaration from so 
young a man, stared and thought he had gone raving mad ; 
and I, who did understand him, am still not clear that the 
gentleman was in the wrong." * 

* In the following: note respecting the " champion, " from De la Pryme'a 
" Ephomoris Vita)," tho diarist says, " I have promiss'd my votes for 
[Captain] Wliitclicot and ('hanipiou Do Moc, commonly called Dimraock. 
This champion holds certain lund.s by exhibiting, on a certain day every 
year, a milk-white bull with black ears to the people, who are to run it 
down, and then it is cutt in pieces and given amongst tho poor. His 
estate is almost £2000 a year, and whoever has it is champion of 


The manorial residence of the Dymokes, Scrivelsbj Court, 
was partly destroyed by fire towards the close of the last 
century. In the portion consumed was a very large hall 
ornamented with panels, exhibiting in heraldic emblazonment 
the various arms and alliances of the family. " The loss," 
says Sir Bernard Burke, " has been in some degree com- 
pensated by the additions made to the remnant which escaped 
the fire, but the grandear of the original edifice can no longer 
be traced." 

The following version of an old Anglo-ISTorman ballad 
describes the transmission of the lands of Scrivelsby : — 

" The Norman Barons Marmyon 

At Norman court held high degree ; 
Knights and champions every one 
To him who won broad Scrivelsby. 

"Those Lincoln lands the Conqueror gave, 
That England's glove they should convey- 
To knight renowned amongst the brave, 
The baron bold of Fonteney. 

" The royal grants through sire to son 

Devolv'd direct in capite, 
Until deceased Phil Marmyon, 

When rose fair Joan of Scrivelsby. 

" From London city on the Thames 
To Berwick town upon the Tweed, 
Came gallant all of courtly names, 
At feet of Joan their suit to plead. 

" Yet, maugre all this goodly band. 

The maiden's smiles young Ludlow won, 
Her heart and hand, her grant and land, 
The sword and shield of Marmyon. 

" Out upon Time, the scurvy knave. 

Spoiler of youth, hard-hearted churl, 
Hurrying to one common grave 
Goodwife and ladie, hind and earl. 

England ; but he ows more by far than he is worth, and has no family, so 
that it will get into another family. The Dimmock has enjoyed it ever 
since [William] the Conqueror's days, if I do not mistake." 

In a note to this by Mr. Charles Jackson, the editor of Pryme's "Diary," 
he says that this Charles Dymoke, here referred to, was champion at 
the coronation of William and Mary, and at that of Queen Anne, and was 
succeeded by his brother, Lewis Dymoke, who dying unmarried, the 
Scrivelsby estates went to his cousin, Edward Dymoke, then an eminent 
batter in Fenchurch Street. 


" Out on Time — since the world be^an, 
No Sabbath hath his greyhound limb 
In coursing man, devoted man, 

To age and death, out, out on him ! 

" In Lincoln's chancel, side by side, 
Their effigies from marble hewn. 
The anni written when they died. 
Repose De Ludlow and Dame Joan. 

" One daughter fair survived alone, 
One son deceased in infancy, 
De Ludlow and De Marmyon * 

United thus in Margery. 

" And she was wooed as maids have been, 
And won as maids are sure to be. 
When gallant youths in Lincoln green 
Do suit, like Dymoke, fervently. 

" Sir John de Dymoke claimed of right 

The championship through Margery, • 

And 'gainst Sir Baldwin Frevile, knight. 
Prevailed as lord of Scrivelsby. 

** And ever since, when England's kings 
Are diadem'd — no matter where. 
The Champion Dymoke boldly flings 

His glove, should treason venture there. 

** On gallant steed, in armour bright, 

His visor clos'd and couch'd his lance, 
Proclaimeth he the monarch's right 

To England, Ireland, Wales, and France. 

" Then bravely cry with Dymoke bold, 

' Long may the king triumphant reign ! ' 
And when fair hands the sceptre hold. 

More bravely still — ' Long live the queen ! ' " 

Singularly interesting is the ancient office of the 
champion. The word itself (from a Gothic root, signifyino- 
to contend, Ang.-Sax. camp, fight) carries thought back to 
the ordeals, or judicial combats of olden times, when it was 
allowed to women, children, and aged persons (except in 
cases of high treason and parricide) to appear in the lists, by 
a hired combatant or representative, to assert their rights. 
This same privilege, after ages of desuetude, was, owing to its 
attempted revival in our own country in the remarkable case 


of Ashford V. Thornton in 1818, abolished by Act of Par- 
liament (59 Geo. III. c. 46). 

There are many allusions to the office of champion in 
old writers. In Shakspere's " Henry VI.," when Sir John 
Montgomery appears before the walls of York at the head of 
the army, in the cause of Edward IV., we read — 

** Mont. Ay now, my sovereign speaketh like himself ; 
And now will 1 be Edward's champion." 
Hast. Sound trumpet ; Edward shall be here proclaimed. 
Come, fellow- soldier, make thou proclamation." 

And when the soldier has read aloud the name, style, and title of 
the king, Montgomery adds, as he throws down the gauntlet — 

" And whosoe'er gainsays King Edward's right, 
By this I challenge him to single fight." 

Champions are mentioned as early as the days of Charle- 
magne, and Otto I. employed them in deciding the succession 
to the empire. At a later period, the word " champion " had 
a more dignified significance, and knights-errant, in the palmy 
days of chivalry, devoted themselves to redress injuries from 
a pure sense of honour, and to protect the defenceless. The 
distinction of " champion " was also applied to that knight 
who, at tournaments, had the charge of the safety and welfare 
of the lady spectators. 

Notwithstanding the presumed antiquity of the tenure of 
champion of ducal rights in Normandy, and the assumption 
of royal champion from the period of the Conquest, the first 
historical mention of the official performance of the duties is 
at the coronation of Richard II. This event, which occurred 
in 1377, was unusually magnificent. The champion, in the 
discharge of his duty, is thus introduced by Walsingham : 
" Sir John Dimmook being armed according to usual custom, 
came with his attendants to the door of the church when the 
service was concluding ; but the Lord Marshal came to him 
and said that he should not have appeared so soon. The 
champion complied with the admonition and retired." 

At this coronation the proclamation of the champion was 
to this effect : — " Yf ther be any man of high degree or lowe, 
that will saie that this oure soverayn liege Lorde Richarde, 
cousin and heire of the Kynge of Englande, Edwarde late 
deceased, ought not of right to be Kynge of Englande crowned, 
he is redy now till the laste houre of his brethe, with his 


bodie, to betn him like a false man and a traitor, on what 
other daie that slial be apoynted." 

His motto, in alhision to his name, was " Dz*m?cc» pro rege.'' 

Anciently the champion rode with the royal procession 
from the hall to the abbey, and proclaimed the challenge on 
his way, as well as at the banquet. Sir William Segur states 
that at the coronation of Henry TV. the challenge was pro- 
claimed in the palace and in six places of the city. It also 
appears from some reports of the challenge that it was 
originally adapted to delivery before the coronation. This 
would certainly appear to have been the proper mode. It is 
difficult to conceive how any person could come forward to 
gainsay or deny a right which has been already put in execu- 
tion ; thus the challenge being made at the banquet, between 
the first and second course, makes this ceremony a mere act 
of state and pageantry. 

Froissart, in his account of the coronation of Henry IV., 
says, " In the midst of the dinner there came in a knight 
who was called Dymoke, all armed, upon a good horse, richly 
apparelled, and had a knight before him bearing his spear, 
and his sword by his side, and his dagger. The knight took 
the king a label, the which was read ; therein was contained, 
that if there was either knight, squire, or any other gentleman, 
that would say that King Henry was not rightful king, he 
was there ready to fight with him in that quarrel. That bill 
was cried by a herald in six places of the hall, and in the 
town. There were none that would challenge him." 

Fabian says, " The herald proclaimed that if any man 
would gainsay the king's title, the champion was there ' redy 
to wage with hym batayle.' " 

The exuberant account by Hall of the coronation cere- 
monies of Henry VIII., as regards the champion, is worth 
quoting : — 

" The seconde course beyng served [at the Coronation banqnet], in at 
the haule dooro entered akniglit armed at al poyntes, his bases rich tissue 
embroudercd, a great phinio and a sunipteons of oistriche fethers on hia 
helmet, sittyng on a proat courser, trapped in tissue and ombroudered 
with tharmea of Phiolaud and of Fraunce, and an herauld of annes 
before hym. And i)assyng through the halle, presented hymself with 
humble reverence before the kynges niaiestic, to whom Garter, kyng 
of herauldcB, cried and said •with a Icude voyce, Sir knight, from 
whence come you, and wliat is your pretence ? This knighte'a name 
was Sir ]U)bcrt Dinmuicko, champion to the king by tenure of his 
enheritanco, who answered the saied kyng-of-armes in effecte, after thi.s 


maner : Sir, the place that I come from is not materiall, nor the cause 
of my repaire hether is not concernyng any matter of any place or 
countrey, but onely this. And therewithall commaunded his heraulde 
to make an Oyes : then saied the knif^ht to the kyn^ of armes, now shal 
ye here the cause of my commyng and pretence. Then he commaunded 
his owne herauld by proclamacion to saie : If there be any persone, of 
what estate or degree soever he be, that will saie or prove that King 
Henry the eight is not the rightful! enheritor and king of this realme, 
I Sir Kobert Dimmocke hero his champion offre my glove to fight in his 
querell with any persone to thutteraunce." 

At the coronation banquet of Queen Mary the champion 
of England was Sir Edward Dyraoke, whose portrait, pre- 
served in the College of Arms, in the act of throwing down 
his gauntlet, gives the heau ideal of a knight worthy to do 
battle in vindication of the claims of his sovereign lady. He 
pronounced his challenge gallantly, the first in behalf of 
a queen-regnant : " If there be any manner of man, of what- 
ever estate, degree, or condition, soever he be that will say 
and maintain that our sovereign lady. Queen Mary the First, 
this day here present, is not the rightful and undoubted 
inheritrix to the imperial crown of this realm of England, 
and that of right she ought not to be crowned Queen, I say he 
lieth like a false traitor ! and that Jam ready the same to main- 
tain with him while I have breath in my body, either now at 
this time, or any other whensoever it shall please the Queen's 
Highness to appoint ; and therefore I cast him my gage ! " * 

In Sir Edward Walker's "Account of the Coronation of 
Charles II.," we find the following account of the champion's 
appearance at the banquet in Westminster Hall : — 

" Before the second course was ready, Sir Edward Dimock, the 
Kinges Champion, came rideing into the Hall vpon a goodly white 
Courser, Armed at all points in a Rich Armour, between the High 
Conestable and Errle Marshall on Horseback : before him went two 
Trumpetts, the Sergeant Trumpetter, and two Surgeants at Armes with 

* Sir Edward Dymoke wrote a letter of complaint (November 23, 
1553) to Sir William Cecil for making him sue out a warrant from the 
queen, for his perquisites. "At the coronation of King Edward," he 
says, " I had aU such delivered to me by your father [Richard Cecil, 
groom and yeoman of the wardrobe] without warrant. I had my cup of 
gold without warrant. I had my horse without warrant, and all my 
trappings of crimson satin without warrant ; and, by the old precedents 
of my claim, I ought to have them now. It is the Queen's pleasure that 
I should have all things, pertaining to my office, and so she willed me to 
declare to my lord treasurer ; and rather than I would be driven to sue 
a warrant for such small things I would lose them." 


their Maces, then 2 Esq"*, the one on his left hand caryed a Targett 
with his Armes paynted thereon, and the other his Lance vpright; then 
imediately before him went George Owen Yorke Herauld. The passage 
to the Kinges table being cleered by the Knight Marshall, York Herauld 
Proclaymed the Champion's challenge in these ensueing Words at the 
lower end of the Hall. 

" ' If any person of what degree soever, high or low, shall deny or 
gainsay Our Soveraigne Lord King Charles the Second, King of England, 
Scotland, France, and Ireland, defender of the faith, Sonne and next 
heire to our Soveraigne, Lord Charles the First, the last King deceased, 
to be right heire to the Imperiall Crowne of this Realme of England, or 
that he ought not to enjoy the same; here is his Champion, who sayth 
that he lyeth and is a false Traytor, being ready in person to combate 
with him, and in this quarrell will venture his life against him, on what 
day soever hee shale be appointed.' 

"And therevpon the Champion caste downe his Gan tie tt, which lying 
some small time, Yorke Hei'auld tooke it vp and delivered it to him. 
Then they all advanced to the midst of the Hall, and Yorke made there 
the same proclamation, the Gantlet being allsothrowno downe and againo 
delivered the Champion. Lastly they advanced to the ffoot of the stepps, 
and Yorke Herauld vpon the topp of the stepps made the third Procla- 
mation, and the Champion then also threw downe his Gantlet, w*^'' 
nobody takeing vp, it was againe delivered him, hee makeing his humble 
obeysance therevpon to the King, and a guilt Cupp full of wine being 
brought to the King, by the Earle of Pembroke, assisted as before, the 
King drank to the Champion, and by the Earle sent him the Cupp, who 
drank off the Wine, and makeing his humble reverence departed, takeing 
the Cupp for his ffee." 

Previous to the coronation, the said Edward Djmock was 
knighted bj the king, and, on the fulfilment of his duties, 
received as fees the king's great courser, with its harness and 
trappings, as also the suit of armour, and bases of cloth of 
gold, and the gold (gilt) cup and cover. 

At the coronation of James II., Sir Charles Dymock, having 
required, as one of his fees, the gold cup, it was bj a hyper- 
critical decision declared that the cup was a gilt cup, the word 
in the record being d'orie, which could not be understood 
otherwise than gilt : and at the last coronal ion it was so taken ; 
so the champion had to be satisfied with a gilt cup, instead of 
one of the intrinsic metal. 

The arms provided for the champion at this coronation 
are very particularly enumerated : " A complete suit of white 
armour, a pair of gauntlets, a sword and hanger, a case of 
rich pistols, an oval shield with the champions arms painted 
on it, and a gilded lance fringed about the handles. Also 
a field saddle of crimson velvet, with breastplate and other 
caparisons for the horse, richly laden with gold and silver; 


a plume of red, white, and blue feathers, consisting of 
eighteen falls and a heron's top, another plume for the horse's 
head, and trumpet banners with the champion's own arms 
depicted on them." These were lawful fees to the champion, 
but it was understood, that on payment, by way of compen- 
sation, they were to be delivered to the master of the Royal 

* In the " Records of the Ordnance Department " are the following 
notices of the champion's claims: — 

"At the coronation of King Wilb'am and Queen Mary (1689), the 
Champion had delivered to him from the stores the armour for his use, 
on the day of their Majesties' coronation, which he never returned again 
to the storehouse, but kept for his fee. And at the coronation of Queen 
Anne he wore the same armour he did at the coronation of King William 
and Queen Mary, and from the storehouse he had only a lance which he 
returned. It appears from a letter written 17th March, 1714, that the 
Champion received for his fee at the coronation of Queen Anne £50, and 
furnished himself with everything. 

" Copy of a letter written by the Board [of Ordnance] 14th Apiil, 1715, 
to Champion Dymoke, ' in answer to a letter the Champion writ me on 
30th March, in answer to the letter on the other side sent him per order 
of the Surveyor-General, who dictated it to me at his house 17th March, 
1714-5 :— 

"'Office of Ordnance, 14th April, 1715. 


" ' Mr. Nicholas having showed us a letter of yours of 30th 
March, in which you demand the armour you had at the last coronation, 
we must acquaint . you that it being the armour of King Charles the 
Second, we cannot justify parting with the same, but, to prevent further 
trouble both to you and us, we have ordered to be paid you £60, which 
we hope will be to your satisfaction. 

*' ' Your humble servants, 

*' 'Edward Ashe, 
" ' John Armstrong, 
" 'Thomas Erle, 
'"A. Richards, 
" ' To Lewis Dymoke, Esq.' " ' D. Windsor. 

"1714. October 20. To Lewis Dymoke, Esq., for his use this day 
at his Majesty's coronation : — 

" One suit of armour, cap-d-pie, white and parcel gilt of King 
Charles II. One white manifair. One short gauntlet, white engraven 
and parcel gilt. One target painted with his arms, and set round with 
silk fringe. One sword, with scabbard of crimson velvet. One belt of 
crimson velvet." 

The last order for the equipment of the champion was given by the 
Duke of Wellington, as master general of the ordnance, in obedience to 
the Order in Council relative to the coronation of George IV. The duke 
reported (May 23, 1820) the supply for that purpose of — "One suit of 


The Dymocks peem to have kept a vig'ilant eye on the 
cups, for we find the hereditary champion, Charles Dyraock, 
Esq., claimint^ two cups at the coronation of William and 
Mary in the double capacity of champion for king and queen. 
With recrard to the horse and armour, these were anciently 
only claimed as a right in case a combat ensued, which, for 
the ease and comfort of the bellicose champion, has never 
occurred. When this did not take place, it was at the 
sovereign's pleasure whether they became the claimant's 
property. At the coronation of George IV., Sir Walter Scott 
tells us, "the champion was performed (as of right) by young 
Dymoke, a fine looking youth, but bearing too much, perhaps, 
the appearance of a maiden knight to be the challenger of the 
world in a king's behalf. He threw down his gauntlet, how- 
ever, with becoming manhood, and showed as much horse- 
manship as the crowd of knights and squires around him 
would permit to be exhibited. On the whole, this striking 
part of the exhibition somewhat disappointed me, for I would 
have had the champion less embarrassed by his assistants, 
and at liberty to put his horse on the grand pas, and yet the 
young lord of Scrivelsby looked and behaved extremely 

armour, cap-d-pic, lined and complete. A pair of s^anntlets lined with 
doeskin f^loves. One target painted with the Dymoke arms, and fringed 
with pilk. One sword, gilt hilt, and crimson velvet scabbard. One 
Bword-belt, do. One pair of pistols." 

On July 17> 1877, a cap-a-pie suit of plate annour was at Christie, 
Manson, and Wood's auction rooms, described " as the property of the 
late Hereditary Champion Dymoke, removed from Scrivelsby Court, 
Lincolnshire." A small portion of the horse armour belonging to the 
suit was also on sale, and, it was understood, purchased for her Majesty's 
collection at Windsor Castle. 

* The haclcing of the horses by the champion and his supporters, to 
be graceful and free from any mischance, was a matter considered 
with some anxiety at the time of the coronation of George III. A kind 
of dress rehearsal of this part of the ceremony took place in Westminster 
Hall, a few days previous to the coronation. In tlio Public Advertiser 
of September 11), 1761, it was anuounced as follows : — " Last night 
Westminster Hall was illuminated, and John Dyjnoke, Esq., put on his 
armour, and tried a grey horse which his late Majesty rodo at the battle 
of Dettingon (?), before his Royal Highness the Duke of York, Prince 
Henry Frederic, the Duke of Devonshire, Earl Talbot, and many other 
pcrs(ms of distinction. There were also another grey and four other 
horses, which were walked and rodo several times up and down the hall. 
Earl Talbot rode one of tliem, a very fine brown bay horse, which his 
lordship proposes to ride on the side of the Champion on the coronation 


Haydon, the painter, in his ^rand coronation tableaux 
displays the Dnke of Wellington, Howard, and the champion, 
standing in full view, as the most prominent objects in the 
splendid ceremonial.* 

The challenge given by the champion on this august 
occasion was as follows : — " If any person of what degree 
soever, high or low, shall deny or gainsay our Sovereign 
Lord, George the Fourth, of the United Kingdom of Great 
Britain and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, Son and next 
Heir to our Sovereign Lord, King George the Third, deceased, 
to be right Heir to the Imperial Crown of the United 
Kingdom, or that he ought not to enjoy the same, here is his 
Champion, who saith that he lieth, and is a false traitor ; 
being ready in person to combat with him, and in this quarrel 
will adventure his life against him on what day soever he 
shall be appointed," 

It will be remembered that, owing to the economy of the 
Whigs, the champion was not called upon to perform any 
official duty at the coronation of William IV., and this 
omission, no doubt, served as a precedent when Queen 
Victoria was crowned in 1838. 

day." Whatever confidence his lordship may have had in the good 
manners of his brown bay, it must have been shaken afterwards, for 
Horace Walpole says that it entered the hall backwards (see chapter on 
" Omens and Incidents at Coronations"). It is doubtful whether the 
charger of the champion was the Dettingen one, for that battle was 
fought in 1743. 

* Haydon, in his " Diary," mentions the, perplexity he was in to get 
a court dress, without which an entrance into the hall was impossible : 
" Sir George Beaumont lent me ruffles and a frill, another friend a blue 
velvet coat ; a third, a sword ; the rest I had." Being early at the 
door he obtained a front place in the chamberlain's box. He thus 
describes the championship : " Wellington, in his coronet, walked down 
the hall, cheered by the officers of the Guards. He returned shortly, 
mounted, with Lords Howard and Anglesea. They rode gracefully to 
the foot of the throne, and then backed out. Lord Anglesea's horse 
became restive. Wellington looked impatient, and, I am convinced, 
thought it a trick of Lord Anglesea's to attract attention. He never 
paused, but backed on, and the rest were obliged to follow him. This was 
a touch of character. The hall doors opened again, and outside, in 
twilight, a man in dark shadowed armour, appeared against the shining 
sky. He then moved, passed into darkness, under the arch, and 
suddenly Wellington, Howard, and the Champion stood in full view, with 
the doors closed behind them. This was certainly the finest sight of 
the day. The herald read the challenge; the glove was thrown down. 
They all then proceeded to the throne." 


Accepting the challenge of the champion and the raising 
of the gauntlet have been frequently alluded to. 

The probability of this occurrence is thus mentioned in 
a letter to Sir John Pringle from David Hume on the subject : 
" You see, this story is so nearly traced from the fountain- 
head as to wear a good deal of probability." Further, he 
inquires, " What if the Pretender had taken up Dymoke's 
gauntlet ? " Horace Walpole, writing to Miss Berry in 
1791, remarks, " Madame d' Albany . . . chose to go and see 
the King in the House of Lords, with the crown on his head, 
proroguing the parliament. What an odd encounter ! Was it 
philosophy or insensibility ? I believe it is certain that her 
husband was in Westminster Hall at the coronation." 

All are acquainted with the graphic incidents related in 
Sir Walter Scott's " Redgauntlet," in which the romance of 
the story is vividly introduced. In a note to that work the 
author states that the popular notion had little appearance of 
truth, and " was probably one of the numerous fictions which 
Avere circulated to keep up the spirits of a sinking faction." 

C HI ) 



" Mounted upon a liot and fiery steed, 
Which his aspiring rider seemed to know, 
With slow but stately pace, kept on his course ; 
While all tongues cried, God save thee, Bolingbroke ! 
You would have thought the very windows spake. 
So many greedy looks of young and old 
Through casements darted their desiring eyes 
Upon his visage ; and that all the walls 
With painted imagery had said at once, 
Jesu preserve thee ! welcome, Bolingbroke ! 
Whilst he, from one side to the other turning, 
Bare-headed, lower than his proud steed's neck, 
Bespoke them thus : I thank you, countrymen ; 
And thus still doing, thus he passed along." 


UCH as the august ceremony of 
the coronation is attended with 
splendour and solemnity in 
modern times, it has lost a 
portion of its former eclat by 
the omission of the Procession 
FROM THE Tower, through the 
City to Westminster, as — with 
but slight intermission — was 
the custom from the time of 
E/ichard II. to that of Charles 
II., whose "procession" occu- 
pied one whole day, the corona- 
tion taking place on the day following, and with whom ended 
this picturesque part of the ceremonial. 

The discontinuance of these splendid processions was 
indeed necessary, in consequence of the enormous expense 



they entailed upon tlie city and the Government. We must 
remember, also, tbat these ])rocessions took their rise from a 
period when the Tower was the occfisional abode of the 
sovereign For several centuries the White Tower was used 
as a royal residence, and continued to be occupied as such 
until the reign of Elizabeth. Henry III, while he strengthened 
iru / J^^ ""^ ?^^^' ^^orned it as a palatial place of abode. 
Ihe first, second, and third Edwards resided at intervals 
withm its wa Is, and Kichard 11. was brought up there in his 
minority, by his royal mother, "who was lodged in that part 
of the Tower Royal called the Queen's Wardrobe." During 

Star of the Order of the Bath. 

the insurrection of Wat Tyler, the court and principal nobility 
to the number of six hundred, wx^re domiciled there Henry 
IV. and ^V. are recorded as departing from their "castle o*f 
liondon on many occasions of feasting and rejoicincr and to 
the unfortunate Henry VI. this regal abode was by'^turns a 
palace and a prison. Edward IV. frequently kept his court 
here with great splendour, and both hi.nself and Queen 
J^.Iizabeth Woodville, the parents of the ill-fated Edward V 
lodged at the Tower before the day fixed upon for their 


coronation ; proceeding thence to Westminster, according to 
ancient usage, to be invested with th*e symbols of royalty.* 

The rojal progress from the Tower to Westminster was a 
theme of exuberant admiration to our old chroniclers, among 
whom Hall, from his enthusiastic love for these displays, 
and his notice of the most trivial circumstances attending 
them, is conspicuous. It would, indeed, be difficult to conceive 
a more popular accompaniment of the coronation ceremonial, 
and although passed away from kingly pageants, the descrip- 
tions of these processions through the city are full of 

Before the departure of the sovereign on these august 
occasions from the Tower, a creation of Knights of the Bath 
took place. t It was an imposing and solemn ceremony in 

* " Prince of Wales. Say, uncle Gloster, if our brother come, 
Where shall we sojourn till our coronation ? 

Gloster. Where it seems best unto your royal self. 
If I may counsel you, some day or two 
Your highness shall repose you at the Tower." 

Richard III., Act iii. sc. 1. 

t In the HarleianMSS. (No. 433, p. 227) there is a letter from King 
Edward V. to Ofces Gilbert, Esq,, commanding him to be prepared to 
receive knighthood at his approaching coronation : " Trusty and well 
beloved, we greet you well ; and by the advice of our dearest uncle, the 
Duke of Gloucester, Protector of this our Royaume during our young 
age, and of the Lords of our Council, we write unto you at this time, 
willing and natheless charging you to prepare and furnish yourself to 
receive the noble order of knighthood at our coronation ; which, by 
God's grace, we intend shall be solemnized the twenty-second day of this 
present month at our palace at Westminster, commanding you to be 
here at our Tower of London, four days before our said coronation, to 
have communication with conamissioners concerning that matter, not 
failing hereof in any wise, as ye intend to please us, and as ye will 
answer. Given, etc., the 5th day of June. 

"To Otes Gilbert, Squier." 

In the reign of George I. a change was made in the accompaniments 
of the coronation, namely, a new arrangement of the knights of the 
Bath. In the earlier coronations it had been the practice of the sovereigns 
to create a number of knights before they started on their procession 
from the Tower. These knights, being made in time of peace, were not 
enrolled in any existing order, and for a long period had no special 
designation, but inasmuch as one of the most striking and characteristic 
parts of their admission was the complete ablution of their persons on 
the vigil of their knighthood, as an emblem of the cleanliness and purity 
of their future profession, they were called " knights of the Bath." 

Every 20th of October — the anniversary of George I.'s coronation, a 
procession of the knights was to take place in Henry Vll.'s Chapel, with 


former days. The noviciate was conducted to a chamber 
where a bath was prepared, in which he was bathed. He 
then resumed his clothes, with a hermit's weed of russet 
cloth, and going to the church, or chapel, he there kept his 
vigil until almost daybreak, when he retired to rest. In the 
morning, habited in proud and costly robes, he came forth, 
and took horse in the court, and, coming to the hall, received 
the sword and spurs, and was dubbed knight by the hand of 
the sovereign. 

Such were the ceremonies practised in the creation of 
knights of the Bath, previous to the coronation of our 
monarchs ; but from the reign of Charles II., this part of the 
ceremonial has been discontinued. The king ordinarily dined 
at the Tower on the day after the creation of the knights of 
the Bath, and devoted the greater part of the day, after 
dinner, to the prolonged exhibition of himself to the people. 
After the royal feast to the knights in the Tower, arrange- 
ments were made for the convenient progress of the king and 
his court through the capital. The streets were cleaned ; the 
houses of the citizens were decorated with tapestry and arras ; 
bands of music were stationed at different places ; and grand 
triumphal arches were erected, peopled with gods and genii, 
who saluted the sovereign in his route with speeches and 
songs. The aldermen of the city were placed in Cheapside, 
and the city companies ranged along the streets in their 
several habits of ceremony. The procession consisted of 
the usual attendants of royalty, and of the judges, peers, 
great officers of state, and princes of the blood. As early 
as 1235 we have, on the coronation of Queen Eleanor of 
Provence, consort of Henry III., particulars of an equestrian 
procession of the citizens of London, who, on that occasion, 

a solemn service. On the occasion of an installation, they proceeded 
after the service to a banquet in the prince's chamber. The royal cook 
stood at the door of the abbey, with his* cleaver, threatening^ to strike 
off the spurs from the heels of any knight who proved unworthy of his 
knightly vows. 

It was also the custom in France to make knights at the coronation. 
Monstrolot mentions that " Louis XI., on being crowned, drew his sword, 
and presented it to the Duke of Burgundy, desiring that he would make 
him a knight, which was a novelty, for it has been commonly said that 
all the sons of the kings of France were made knights at the font when 
baptized ; nevertheless, the duke, in obedience to command, gave the 
king the accolade, and with his hand dubbed him knight, with five or 
six other lords then present. Upwards of two hundred knights were 
created on that dav." 



claimed tlie office of cellarers to the King of England. This 
having been granted, they rode forth to accompany the king 
and the queen from the Tower, clothed in long garments, 
embroidered with gold and silk of various colours. They 
mounted to the number of three hundred and sixty. Their 
steeds were richly caparisoned with shining bits and new 
saddles, each citizen bearing a gold or silver cup in his hand 
for the royal use, the king's trumpeters sounding before 
them ; and so rode they in at the i-oyal banquet. 

The procession attending Richard II., which occurred 
on July 15, 1377, the day preceding the coronation, was 
conducted with great sjalendour. The young sovereign, 
clothed in white robes, rode forth, attended by a multitude of 
nobles, knights, and esquires ; the conduits in the streets 
flowed with wine, and at the principal thoroughfares the pro- 
cession was delayed to witness the exhibition of pageants. 
The Goldsmiths' Company, in particular, shone in this part 
of the festivities. A castle was erected at the upper end of 
Cheape, with four towers, on two sides of which ran wine. In 
these towers four beautiful damsels, with white vestures, blew 
on the king's face leaves of gold, and threw before him and 
his horse counterfeit golden florins. When he was come 
before the castle, they took cups of gold, and filling them 
with wine from the spouts of the castle, presented the same 
to the king and his nobles. On the top of the castle, betwixt 
the towers, stood a golden angel, holding a crown in his 
hand, and so contrived that, when the king came, he bowed 
down and gave him the crown. This was said to be the most 
striking part of the pageants. 

Nothing seemed wanting in this procession, which in- 
genuity could devise, or expense procure, to testify the en- 
thusiasm of the people for a prince whose father was endeared 
to them ; but how shortlived was the duration of anticipated 
peace and happiness ! 

Froissart relates the progi*ess of Henry IV., in 1.399, 
through the city : " The Duke of Lancaster left the Tower 
this Sunday after dinner, on his return to Westminster ; he 
was bareheaded, and had round his neck the order of the 
King of France. The Prince of Wales, six dukes, six earls, 
and eighteen barons accompanied him ; and there were of 
knights and other nobility, from eight to nine hundred horse 
with the procession. The duke was dressed in a jacket of the 
German fashion, of cloth of gold, mounted on a white courser, 



with a l)lue garter on bis left leg. He passed throngh the 
streets of London, which were all handsomely decorated with 
tapestries and other rich hangings ; there were nine foun- 
tains in Cheapside, and other streets he passed through, 
which perpetually ran with Avhite and red wines. He w^as 
escorted by prodigious numbers of gentlemen, with their 
servants in liveries and badges ; and the different companies 
of London were led by their wardens, clothed in their purple 
livery and with ensigns of their trade. The whole cavalcade 
amounted to six thousand horse, forming the escort of the 
duke from the Tower to Westminster." 

Under a more vivid aspect Shakspere describes the 
monarch in the lines quoted at the head of this chapter. 
The period fixed for the coronation of Edward lY. was Sun- 
day, the 29th of June, 1461, being St. Peter's Day, and on 
the Thursday or Friday preceding he removed from the 
palace at Shene to the Tower of London, whither he was eon- 
<lucted by the mayor and aldermen and four hundred citizens, 
Avho went out to meet him on horseback, clad in splendid 
liveries. At the Tower, Edward sumptuously entertained 
most of the nobility and great men who were favourers of the 
house of York ; and in the morning preceding that of his 
coronation, he there made thirty-two new knights of the 
Bath, who " being arrayed in blue gowns, with hoods and 
tokens of w^hite silk upon their shoulders," rode before him 
the same afternoon in the splendid procession which was 
made through the city to Westminster. 

Sir George Buck, in his " History of Richard the Third," 
remarks the observance " of the auncyent manner and custome 
tliat the prince who was next to succeede the kinge deceased, 
slioulde goe to the Tower of London, the castell royall and 
clieefe howse of safetye in this kingdome, and stay there untill 
all things of royall apparall and pompe necessarye and proper 
to his consecration and coronation were fitly in rediness." 

In the procession from the Tower there were three dukes 
(the princely Buckingham, says Grafton, appearing "in 
t;"rcat splendour, his habit and caparison being of blue velvet 
embroidered with gokl, and the trappings of his horse were 
sn Imported by footmen in rich and costly dresses, in such 
solemn fashion that all men regarded it"), nine earls, and 
t wenty-two barons, besides knights and esquires. 

In the " Device for the Coronation of King Henry YII.," 
published from a manuscri])t belonging to his Grace the 


Duke of Rutland (Rutland Papers, Camden Society), we 
have notices of the procession of the monarch from the Tower 
to Westminster : * 

"And sone theruppon the King at the said Tour, arraied in a 
■doblet of gren or white cloth of gold satyu, a long goune of purpur 
velwct, furred with ermyns poudred, open at the sides and purfild with 
■ermyns, with a riche sarpe and garter, to take his horse trapped in a rich 
trapper, with vij coursours folowing hym, all trapped in rich and diuerse 
trappers, and with a spare coursar lad in hand trapped with a trappur of 
the Kiuges armes, and sadlet with a saddell of estate couerid with cloth 
of gold, and all other saddels couerid with crymesyn velwet, except the 
Kinges owne saddel whiclie is couerid in like cloth of gold to the saddell 
of estate and vij henxmen, clothed in dobletts of crymesyn saten, and in 
gownes of white cloth of gold, to folow the King vppon the said vij 
coursers barehed. 

" In this wise the King shall ride opyn heded vndre a seele of cloth 
of gold baudekyn with iiij staves gilte, to be borne alweis by iiij noble 
Knights, they to be chaunged at diuerse and many places, as well for that 
the King may be serued of meny noble persones to their greit honoure, 
as for the ese of the borers, considered the long distaunce from the Tour 
to Westmynster. 

" Afor the King directly his swerd shalbe borne by the Erie of Derby, 
on the right hand of the Kinges swerd the Erie of Oxenford as Grete 
Chamberlayn of England ; on the right hand of the said swerd, the Duke 
t)f N. as Marshall of England ; then the mair of London bering a mace, 
and the chieff herauld of the Kinges armys anempst him ; then, behynd 
the King, my lords the Dukes of Bedford and Suffolk, the oon by hynd 
the King on the right hand of the furst foloer, and on the left hand the 
Duke of Suffolke ; and next before the mair of London William Newton 
and Davy Phillipp, sqwiers for the Kinges body, bering in bawderik wise 
ij mantels furred, couered with ermyns, and ij hatts of estate of crymesyn 
cloth of gold, bek on bek, turned vppe by hynd, and furred also with 
■ermyns, in representation of the Kinges ij ducheries of Guyan and Nor- 
mandy ; afor them, all the herauldes and mynstrels ; afor them the new 
made Knights of the Bath ; afor them, all noble men. 

" Thise so ordred, the Kinge's Highnes (attendyng vppon hym on 
ifote alwaies Ix Knights, an c*'' sqwiers wering his lieury, and yomen of 

* From Anstis's " History of the Knights of the Bath," it appears that 
*' upon Symon and Jude's eveyn, the King proceeded to the Tower, and 
the following day created several Knights of the Bath, each of whom 
wex*e preceded when they went to the Sovereign, by a king-of.arms, 
When the Knights were all dubbed, the King created a pursuivant, and 
named him Rouge-Dragon, and then departed to his chamber." The 
creation of this office upon the vigil of the king's coronation was in 
memory of the banner, bearing the device upon it which he had at 
Bosworth, painted upon white-and-green silk. This he had offered, with 
other trophies of his victory, at St. Paul's. It is notable, in regard to this 
coronation, hat in the archers that attended him aj^pear the yeomen of 
the guard. 


the corone, and of his chamber, in great and huge nowmbcr,) shall ride 
from the said Tour by open stretes of London in to the Chepe, from 
thens to Fletc Strete, and so directly to the Kinges graytc haull in his 
palace of Wcstmynstcr." 

The "Device" next gives the order of the queen's pro- 
cession from the Tower ; bat as the manuscript was evidently 
drawn up as a formula of tlie coronation ceremonies, and not 
a relation of the circumstances as they occurred, it is to be 
remarked that Queen Elizabeth of York was not crowned 
until November 25, 1487. 

" Soon after the King is passed cute of the Tour, the Quene shall 
folowe vppon quysshons of white damaske cloth of gold, bareheded, 
wering a round cercle of gold set with perles and precious stones araid& 
in a kirtill of white damaske dale cloth of gold furred with raenyver 
pure, garnished with anletts of gold. Item, a mantelle furred with 
naenyver pure garnished, a trayne of the same with damaske cloth of 
gold furred with ermyns, Avith a greit lase and ij botons and taxselles 
of white silk and gold at the brest above, sittyng in a litter, withoute 
any bayles or couering aboue her hed, coiitrid with white damaske cloth 
of gold, with out sides and within to be perfourmed with white damask, of 
silke, garnished with frenge of silke and gold with riband of gold, and 
gilt nailes, with iiij pomellis chased and gilt lyned in the botom with 
lynon cloth, ij greit coursers, bering the said littar vppon ij saddels, 
couered in white damaske cloth of gold, garnished with frenge of whitt^ 
silke and gold ryband of the same, ij dorsers of ledder coverid in white 
damaske of silke, ij bridels, ij cropers, ij colors, ij petrelles, with ij 
trapers, and otheir thair apparcll, in white damaske of silke. Alwaies 
iiij noble knights bering a cele of M'hite damaske lyned with white 
tarteran vppon shaftes burnished with sylver, with iiij bellys of lateu 
fasted to them, ouer the Quene ; thei to be chaunged as is above said 
of the Eling, the lords Graies Powis leding the horses of the littar. 

*' Ther shall folowe the Quene v henxmen, all clothed in doblettes, 
crymesyn saten, and gounes of blew velwet, riding in wymmen saddels, 
couered with crymesyn cloth of gold ; next after them a palfray ■\A'ith a 
saddell of estate courid with crymesyn cloth of gold to be lad spare by the- 
yoman of the Quenys horses; after them, iij chares with xij ladies in 
them ; the furst char couered with crymesyn cloth of gold, the second 
with crymesyn velwet, the third with crymesyn damaske ; after them 
vij ladies, all clothed in gounes of blew velwet purfold with crymesyn 
saten, sittyng on vij palfraies all of oon colour, with saddels couered 
with crymesyn cloth of gold, horse hames of the same, in maner of demy 
trappers cutte flawe wise, furred with ermyns poudred. 

"Next bcfor the Queene shall ride her chamberlayn; afor him ij 
sqwiers vsshers of her chamber, either of them bering in bawdorik wise 
a mantell furred with ermyns, and couered with ermyns, and ij hattes 
of estate of crymesyn cloth of gold, bek on bek, turned vpp bo hynd, 
and furred with ermyns. 

"Also, ther shall ride afor the Queue many lords of all estates. 


•Knights, sqwiers, and noble men in grete noamber, and aboute her persoue, 
on fote, many knights, sqwiers, vsshers, and yomen of her chamber. 

" In this wise the Quene shall ride folowing the King till they both 
come to Westmynster hall, wher they bothe, vnder clothes of estate at 
the oon end of Westminster hall, shalbe serned of the voide, and that 
done to be brought into their chambers, and for the King shalbe araied 
a bayn, and he therin to be bayned, which done the King and the Quene 
may take tlier rest, and so endeth thobseraunce of the eve, or the vigill 
of the coronacion." 

In the beginning of June, 1509, the marriage of Henry YIII. 

with his first wife, Cathaiine of Arragon, was solemnized at 
Greenwich, and thence the royal pair afterwards removed, wdth 
a numerous and splendid court, to the Tower, preparatory to 
their coronation. On the 23rd of that month the king, being- 
then with the queen in the Tower, made twenty-four new 
knights of the Bath, and the next day their Majesties pro- 
ceeded through the city to Westminster, surrounded with a 
display of all that gorgeous and costly pageantry which soon 
became the prevailing taste and fashion of the age. Hall 
informs us that the — 

''streates where his grace should passe were hanged with tapesterie 
and clothe of arras, and the greate parte of the Southe side of Chepe 
with clothe of golde, and some part of Cornhill also ; and the streates 
railed and barred on the one side from over against Bred streate in 
Chepeside, where every occupation rode in their liveries in ordre, 
beginning with base and meane occupations, and so ascending to the 
worshipfull craftes. Highest and lastly, stode the maior, with the 
aldermen; the goldsmithes stalles unto the ende of the Olde Chaunge 
being replenished with virgins in white, with braunches of white waxe. 

"His Grace wared a robe of crymsyn velvet, with diamonds, rubies, 
emaraudes, greate pearles, and other riche stones; a great bauderike 
about his necke, of large balasses ; the trapper of his horse damaske 
gold, with a depe purfell of armyns [ermines]. 

"The Queen sittyng in her litter borne by two white palfries, the 
litter covered and richely appareled, and the palfries trapped in whyte 
cloth of gold : her persone appareled in whyte satyn embroidered; her haire 
hanging downe to her backe, of a very great length, bewtef al and goodly 
to behold, and on her hedde a coronall set with many riche orient stones." 

Lady Anne Boleyn, the second queen of Henry VIIL, was 
crow^ned June 1, 1533, and her procession through the city 
from the Towner is thus described in a manuscript of the 
time : — 

" In the month of May, the King's Highnesse addressed his letters to 
the maior and communalitie of London, signifying unto them, that his 
pleasure was to solemnize the coronation of his most deare and wel- 
beloved wife, Queen Anne, at Westminster, on Whitson-daie next 


cnsuinf^, willing them to make preparation, as well to fetch her Grace 
from Greenewich to the Tower by water, as to sec the city garnished 
with pageants in places accustomed, for the honour of her Grace, when 
shee should be couveyed from the Tower to Westminster. Whereupon a 
common councell was called, and commandement given to the Haber- 
dashers, of which craft the maior was, that they should prepare a barge 
for the bachelors, with a master and a foyste, garnished with banners,, 
like as they use when the maior is presented at Westminster on the 
morrowe after the feast of Saint Simon and Jude. Also all other crafts 
were commaunded to prepare barges, and to garnish them, not onely with 
their banners accustomed, but also to decke them with targets, by the 
sides of the barges, and to set up all such seemely banners and ban- 
nerets, as they had in their hallos, or could get to furnish their said 
barges ; and every barge to have minstrels. According to which com- 
mandement great preparation was made for all things necessarie for 
such a noble triumph. 

" The 29th day of Maie, being Thursdaie, the maior and his brethren, 
all in scarlet, and such as were Knights, had collars of esses, and the 
residue having great chaines, and the councell of the citie assembled with 
them at St. Marie Hill ; and at one of the clocke descended to the newe 
staire to their barge, which was garnished with manie goodlie banners and 
streamers, and richly covered, in which barge was shalmes, shage-bushes, 
and divers other instrumentes of niusicke which played continually. 

"After that the maior and his brethren were in their barge, seeing 
that the companies, to the number of fiftie barges, were readie to wayte 
uppon them, they gave commandement to the companies, that no barge 
should row neerer to another than t'5\'ice the length of the barge ; and to 
see the order kept, there were three whirries prepared, and in every part 
two officers to call upon them to keepe their order. 

" After which commaundement given, they set forth in order, as here- 
after is described. First, before the maior's barge was a foyste, for a 
wafter full of ordinance, in which foyste was a great red dragon, con- 
tinually mooving and casting wild fire; and round about the said foyste 
stoode terrible monstrous and wilde men casting fire, and making hideous 
noyse : next after the foyste a good distance came the maior's barge, in 
the which were trumpets, and divers other melodious instruments ; the 
deckes of the saide barge, and saile yardes, and the top castles, were 
hanged with rich cloth of gold and silke ; at the foreship and the sterno 
were two great banners, rich beaten with the armes of the King and the 
Queen ; and on the top castle also was a long streamer newly beaten with 
the sayd armes : the sides of the barge were set full of flags and banners 
of the devices of the companies of Haberdashers and Merchant Avcn- 
turers, and the lassiters or cords, were hanged with innumerable penscls, 
having little bells at the endes, which made a goodlie noise, and Avas a 
goodlie sight, wavei'ing with the wind : on the outside of the bai'gc were 
li dozen scutcheons, in metall, of the armes of the King and Queenc, 
which were beaten u})pon square buckeram divided, so that the right 
side had the King's colours, and the left side the Quoenes; which 
scutclicons were fastened on the clothes of goldo and silver hanging on 
the deckes : on the left hand of the maior was an other foyste, in the 
which was a mount, and on the mount stoode a white faulcon, crowned 
upon a roote of golde, environed with white roses and red, which was the 


Queenes device; about which mount sate virgins singing and playing 
melodiously. Next after the maior followed his fellowship, the Haber- 
dashers ; next after them the Mercers ; then the Grocers ; and so every 
companie in his order ; and last of all the maior's and sheriflfes officers ; 
every company having melodie in their barge by themselves, and goodlie 
garnished with banners, and some covered with silke, and some with 
arras or such like, which was a goodlie sight to behold ; and in this order 
they rowed by Greenwich to the point beyond Greenwich, and there they 
turned backward in another order, that is, to wit, the maior's and 
sheriff e's officers first, and the meanest craft next, and so ascending to 
the uppermost craft in order, and the maior last, as they go to Paules at 
Christmas ; and in that order they rode downeward to Greenewich towne, 
and there cast anchor, making great melodie. At three of the clocke, 
the Queene, apparrelled in rich cloth of golde, entered into her barge, 
accompanied with divers ladies and gentlewomen ; and incontinent the 
cittizens sette forward in their order, their minstrels continually playing ; 
and the batcheler's barge going on to the Queenes right hande, which 
shea tooke great pleasure to beholde. About the Queenes barge were 
manie noblemen, as the duke of Suffolke, the marquesse Dorset, the earlc 
of Wilshire her father, the earles of Arundale, Darbie, Rutland, Wor- 
cester, Huntington, Sussex, Oxford, and manie bishops and noblemen, 
every one in his barge, which was a goodlie sight to beholde ; shee thus 
being accompanied rowed towards the Tower : and in the meane way the 
ships which were commanded to lie on the shoare for letting of the 
barges, shotte diverse peales of guns, and ere shee landed, there was a 
marvellous shot out of the Tower, I never heard the like : and at her 
landing, there mette with her the lord chamberleine, with the officers of 
armes, and brought her to the King, which received her with loving 
countenance at the Posterne by the water-side, and kissed her, and then 
shee turned backe againe, and thanked the maior and the cittizens with 
manie goodlie wordes, and so entred into the Tower. 

"After which entrie the cittizens all this while hovered before the 
Tower, making great melodie, and went not a land, for none were 
assigned to lande but the maior, the recorder, and two aldermen : but to 
speake of the people that stoode on everie shoare to beeholde this 
sight, he that saw it not will not beleeve it. 

" On Fridaie at dinner served the King all such as were appoynted 
by his Highnesse to bee Knights of the Bathe, which after dinner were 
brought to their chambers, and the night were bathed, and shriven 
according to the old usage of England, and the next dale in the morning 
the King dubbed them according to the ceremonies thereto belonging, 
whose names hereafter ensue, nineteen in number : the marquesse 
Dorsett ; the earle of Darby ; the lord Clifford, sonne and heire to the 
earle of Cumberland ; the lord Fitz-Walter, sonne and heire to the earle 
of Sussex; the lord Hastings, sonne and heire to the earle of Hun- 
tington ; the lord Montague ; the lord Vaux ; Sir Henry Parker, sonne 
and heire to the lord Morley ; Sir William Winsore, sonne and heire to 
lord Winsore ; Sir John Mordant, sonne and heire to the lord Mordant ; 
Sir Francis Weston ; Sir Thomas Arondale ; Sir John Hudlestone ; Sir 
Thomas Poynings ; Sir Henry Savell ; Sir George Fitzwilliam of Lin- 
colnshire ; Sir John Tindale ; Sir Thomas Jemey. 


" On Satiirdaic the one and thirtieth daie of Maie, the Queene was 
conveyed through London in order as followeth : to the intent that the 
liorses shonlde not slide on the pavement, nor that the people shoulde 
l)ee hnrt by hoi'ses, the high etreetes wherethrough the Queene shonlde 
passe, were all gravelled from the Tower unto Temple-barre, and rayled 
on each side ; within which rayles stood the crafts along in their order 
from Grace Church, where the merchants of the Stil-yard stoode untill 
the little Conduit in Cheape, where the aldermen stoode, and on the other 
side of the streete stood the constables of thecittie, apparelled in velvet 
and silke, with great staves in their hands, to cause the people to give 
roome, and keepe good order ; and when the streets were somewhat 
ordered, the maior in a gowne of crimosin velvet, and a rich collar of 
esses, with two footemen clothed in white and red damaske, rode to the 
Tower, to give his attendance on the Queene, on whom the SherifFes, 
with their officers, did awaite untill they came to the Tower Hill, where 
they, taking their leave, rode down the high streets, commanding the 
constables to see roome and good order kept, and so went and stood 
by the aldermen in Cheape ; and before the Queene with her traine 
shoulde come, Grace Streete and Cornhill were hanged with fine 
scarlet, crimosin, and other grained clothes, and in some places with 
rich arras ; and the most parte of Cheape was hanged with cloth of 
tissue, golde, velvet, and manie rich hangings which did make a goodlie 
shewe ; and all the windowes were replenished with ladies and gentle- 
women, to beholde the Queene and her traine as they should passe by. 

" The first of the Queene's companie that set forward were twelve 
Frenchmen, belonging unto the French ambassador, clothed in coats of 
blew velvet, with sleeves of yellow and blew velvet, their horses trapped 
with close trappers of blcwe sarsenet poudred with white crosses; after 
them marched gentlemen, esquires. Knights, two and two ; after them 
the judges ; after them the Knights of the Bathe in violet gownes with 
hoodes purfled with miniver like doctors ; after them abbots ; then 
barons ; after them bishops, the earles and the marquesses ; then the 
Lord Chancelor of England ; after him the archbishoppe of York, and 
the ambassador of Venice ; after them the archbishoppe of Canter- 
burie, and the ambassadour of France ; after rode two esquires of 
honor, with robes of estate rolled and worne bauldrike-wise about their 
iieckcs, with caps of estate, repi*esenting the Dukes of Normandy and 
Aquitaine ; after them rode the maior of London with his mace, and 
Garter in his coate of armos, which bare also his mace of Westminster- 
Hall ; after them rode the lord William Howard with the marshal's rod, 
deputy to his brother the Duke of Norfolk, marshall of England, which 
was ambassador then in France ; and on his right hande rode Charles, 
duke of Suffolke, for that daie high constable of Englande, bearing 
the warder cf silver appertaining to the office of constabloship ; and all 
the lordes for the most part wore clothed in crimson velvet ; and all the 
Queene's servants or officers of armes in scarlet; next bofoi'e the Queene 
rode her chancelor bare headed ; the Serjeants and officers at armes 
rode on both sides of the lordes ; then came the Queene iji a white litter 
of white clotli of golde, not covered or vailled, which was led by two 
palfreis clad in white damaske downe to the ground, head and all, led 
by her footmen : she had on a kirtlo of white cloth of tissue, and a 


mantle of the same furred with ermine, her haire hanging downe ; but 
on her head she had a coife with a circlet about it full of rich stones ; 
over her was borne a canapie of cloth of golde with foure gilte staves 
and foure silver belles; for bearing of the which canapie were appoynted 
.sixteene knights ; foure to beare it one space on foote, and foure another 
space, according to their own appoyntment ; next after the Queene rode 
the lord Browgh her chamberlain ; next after him William Cofl&n, master 
of the horses, leading a spare horse with a side saddle, trapped downe 
with cloth of tissue ; after him rode seaven ladies in crimosin velvet, 
turned up with cloth of golde and of tissue, and their horses trapped 
with golde ; after them two chariots covered with red cloth of golde ; in 
the first chariot were two ladies, which were the olde dutchesse of 
Xorfolke, and the olde marchionesse of Dorset ; in the second chariot 
were foure ladies all in crimosin velvet ; after them rode seven ladies in 
the same suit, their horses trapped and all ; after them came the third 
chariot all in white, with sixe ladies in crimosin velvet ; next to them 
came the fourth chariot all red, with eyght ladies also in crimosin; 
af tr whom followed thirty gentlewomen all in velvet and silke, in the 
iiverie of their ladies, on whome they gave their attendance ; after them 
followed the guarde in coates of goldsmith's worke, in which order they 
rode forth till they came to Fan- church, where was made a pageant all 
of children apparelled like marchants, which well-coumed her to the 
cittie, with two proper propositions both in French and in English ; and 
from thence shee rode unto Grace-church Corner, where was a costlie 
and marvellous cunning pageant made by the marchants of the Stil- 
yard, wherein was the Mount Pernassus, with the Fountaine of Helicon, 
which was of white marble, and four streames without pipe did rise an ell 
high, which fountaine ranne abundantly with rackt Eeynish wine till 
night ; on the mountain sat Apollo, and at his feete sat Caliope ; and on 
every side of the mountaine sate foure Muses playing on severall sweete 
instruments, and at their feete epigrams and poesies were written in 
golden letters, in the which every Muse, according to her property, 
praysed the Queene. 

" From thence the Queene with her traine passed to Leaden-hall, where 
was a goodly pageant, with a tippe and heavenly rose ; and under the 
tippe was a goodlie roote of gold set on a little mountain, environed 
with red roses and white ; out of the tippe came downe a faulcon all 
white, and set uppon the roote, and incontinent came downe an angell 
with great melodie, and set a close crowneof golde on the faulken's head: 
and in the same pageant sate Saint Ann, with all her issue beneath her; 
and under Mary Oleophe sate her foure children ; of the which children 
one made a goodlie oration to the Queene of the fruitfulness of Saint 
Anne, and of her generation, trusting that like fruit should come of her. 
Then shee passed to the Conduit in Cornhill, where were the three 
Oraces sette in a throne, afore whome was the spring of grace, con- 
tinuallie running wine ; afore the fountaine sate a poet, declaring the 
property of every Grace ; that done, every ladie by herself, according to 
her propertie, gave to the Queene a severall gift of grace. 

" That done, shee passed by the great conduit in Cheape, which was 
newlie paynted with armes and devises, out of the which Conduit (by a 
goodlie fountaine set at the end) ranne continuallie wine, both white 


and claret, all that aftei'noon; and so sliee rode to the Standarfc which 
was richly payntcd with images of Kinges and Quoeues, and hanged 
with banners of armes ; and in the toppe was marvellous sweet harmonie, 
both of songs and instruments. 

"Then she went forward by the Crosse, which was newlie gilte, till 
shee came where the aldermen stood; and then maister Baker, the 
recorder, came to her with lowe reverence, making a proper and briefe 
proposition, and gave to her, in the name of the cittie, a thousande markes 
in golde, in a purse of goldc, which shee thankfully accepted with manie 
good words, and so rode to the little Conduite, where was a rich pageant 
full of melody and songs, in which pageant were Pallas, Juno, and 
Venus, and afore them stood Mercuric, which in the name of the thre& 
goddesses gave unto her a ball of gold, divided into three, signifying 
three gifts which these three goddesses gave to her, that is to say, 
Wisedom, Riches, and Felicitie. 

"As shee cntred into Paule's gate there was a pretie pageant, in 
which sate three ladies I'ichly clothed ; and in a circle on their heade 
was written ' Regina Anna, prosper, proceede, and raigne.' The lady 
in the middest had a tablet, in the which was ^a-itten, ' Veni, amiccij 
Coronaberis' and under the tablet sate an angell, with a close crowne» 
And the ladie sitting on the right hand had a tablet of silver, in which 
was written, * Domine, dirige gressus meos.' And the third ladie had 
a tablet of golde, with letters of azure written, ' Confido in Domino,' 
and under their feete was written, 

* Bogina Anna paris regis de sanguine nata, 
Et paries populis aiu-ea soeclai tuis.' . 

And these ladies cast downe wafers on which the said two verses were 

*' From thence shee passed to the easte end of St. Paul's Church 
against the schoole, where stoode a scaffoldc, and children well appa- 
relled, which said to her divers goodlie verses of poets translated into 
English, to the honor of the King and her; which shee highly com- 
mended. And then she came to Ludgatc, which newe gate was newe 
garnished with golde and bisse ; and on the leades of St. Martin's 
Church stoode a goodlie queero of singing men and children, which sang 
newe ballets made in prayse of her Grace. 

"After that shee was past Ludgate, shee proceeded toward Fleet- 
street, where the Conduit was newly paynted, and all tho armes and 
angels refreshed, and tho shalmes melodiouslie sounding. Upon tho 
Conduit was made a tower with fouro turrets, and in every turret stood 
one of the cardinal vertues, with their tokens and properties, which had 
severall speeches, promising tho Queene never to leave her, but to ho 
aiding and comforting her ; and in the middest of the tower itself was 
such severall solemn(; instruments, that it seemed to bee an heavenly 
noyse, and was much regarded and praysed ; and besides this tho Con- 
duit ranne wine, claret and red, all the afternoone ; so shee with all h(>r 
companie, and the maior, rodo forth to Temple-bar, which was newly 
paynted and repaired, where stood also divers singing men and childi'cn, 
till shoo came to \V(^stminster-hall, which Avas richly hanged with cloth 
of arras, and newly glaseil ; and in the middest of the hall shoo was 


taken out of her litter ; and so ledde up to the high deske under the 
cloth of estate, on whose left hand was a cupboord of ten stages high, 
marveylous rich and beautifuU to beholde ; and within a little season 
was brought to the Queene, with a solemne service in great standing, 
spice plates, a voido of spice, and subtleties, with ipocrasse, and other 
Avines, which shee sent downe to her ladies, and when the ladies had 
drunke, shee gave hearty thanks to the lords and ladies and to the maiory 
find other that had given their attendance on her ; and so withdrewo 
herselfe with a fewe ladies to the White-hall, and so to her chamber, 
and there shifted her ; and after went in her barge secretly to the King- 
to his manner of Westminster, where she rested all night." * 

On the 19tli of February, 1547, Edward VI. proceeded 
from the Tower, and passed through the City to Westminster, 
in a manner not inferior in magnificence and pomp to 
preceding processions. Valentine and Orson were exhibited 
"in Cheap," at due distance from whom stood "Sapience" 
and the " Seven Liberal Sciences," who " declared certaine 
goodly speeches " for the instruction of the young king. 
Various other allegorical personages harangued him by the 
w^ay ; but the most singular spectacle was that whereby 
" Paul's steple laie at anchor," as Holinshed expresses it. 
An Arragosen made fast a rope to the battlements of St. 
Paul's, which was also attached to an anchor at the gate of 
the dean's house, and descended upon it in the sight of the 
king and assembled populace, to the no small gratification of 
both. A similar feat of dexterity was performed by one 
Peter, a Dutchman, during the procession of Queen Mary from 
the Tower (September 30, 1553). This man stood on the 
weather-cock of St. Paul's steeple, holding a streamer in his 
hand five yards long, and wa^v^ng it ; he stood for some time 
on one foot, shaking the other, and then knelt down, to the 
astonishment of the spectators. He had two scaffolds under 
him, one above the cross having torches and streamers set 
on it. 

" ' The Queen's coronation,' says Strype, * was now all the care 
which was resolved to be very splendid and glorious, being to be 
performed on the 1** Oct. 1553 ; against which day her Majesty having 
to pass through London, it was the citizens province, according to old 
custom to adorn the city.' Mary removed from St. James' to White- 

* At the beheading of this unfortunate victim of tyranny, only three 
years afterwards, on the Tower green, the mayor, aldermen, and sheriffs, 
" and certaine of the principall companies of the cittie," are described 
as being among the mournful spectators of one whose elevation they had 
so recently been taught to reverence and honour. 


hall, where she went on board her barge accompanied by the Lady 
Klizabeth her sister, and other ladies, and proceeded by water to the 
Tower, attended by the lord mayor and aldermen, and all the companies 
in their bai'ges, with streamers, and trumpets and waits, shawmes, and 
regals, together with great volley shots of gnns, until her Grace came 
into the Tower and some time after. On the moiTow the Earl of 
Arundel, by commission from the Queen, made fifteen new Knights of 
the Bath. The next day Mary made her solemn procession through the 
city to Westminster, the streets, as usual, being adorned with magnificent 
drapery, 'and in many places were goodly pageants, and devices 
therein, with music and elegant speeches.' Mary was drawn in a 
sumptuous litter, and apparelled in ' a mantle and kirtle of cloth of 
gold, furred with mynever pure, and powdered ermins,' and her head 
was adorned with a circlet of gold, enriched with pearls and precious 
stones. Next to the queen, followed the Princess Elizabeth and the 
Lady Anne of Cleves in a chariot ; and after them came the Duchess 
of Norfolk, the Marchionesses of Exeter and Winchester, the Countess 
of Ai'undel, and a gorgeous train of other ladies on horseback or in 
chariots, chiefly attired in crimson velvet, and their horses caparisoned 
with the same; and this splendid cavalcade passed through the city, 
wanting nothing but the hearty rejoicings of the people to render it 
equal to any of those splendid shews, which custom had now established 
as a necessary accompaniment to the ceremonies of a coronation. The 
Lady Elizabeth, who was soon to eclipse her sister in splendour, and 
far exceed her in popular demonstrations of good-will, 'sat,' we are 
told, 'in her litter, clad in a gowne of purple velvet, furred with 
powdered ermins, having on her head a kail [caul] of cloth of tinsel], 
beeset with pearle and stone, and above the same, uppon her head, a 
round circlet of gold, bccset so ricblie Avith pretius stones, that the 
value thereof was inestimable ; the same kail and circle being so massie 
and ponderous, that she was fain to beare up her head with her hand.' 
In this state Queen Mary, rode through the city, passing in Fenchurch 
»Sti*ect a costly pageant made by the Genoese, consisting of a triumphal 
arch, with complimentary Latin inscriptions and guarded by four great 
giants, who, also, accosted her Majesty with goodly speeches. At 
(iracechurch coi'ner, another pageant, erected by the Easterlings; and 
at the upper end of Gracechurch Street, a triumphal arch erected by 
the riorentincs, with three thoroughfares, or gates, and on the top of 
Avhich ' stood,' says Stowe, ' an Angel all in green, with a trumpet in 
his hand, and when the trumpeter, Avho stood secretly in the Pageant, 
did sound his trump, the Angel put his trump to his mouth, as though 
it had been the same that had sounded, to the great marveling of many 
ignorant persons.' The Conduit in Cornhill, and the Great Conduit in 
Cheap ran wine. By the side of each was a pageant, made at the charge 
of the city. The Standard in Cheap was newly painted, and the City 
AVaits played on the top of it. The Cross in Cheap was new washed and 
burnished ; and there was a third pageant at the city's cost at the little 
Conduit in Cheap, next to St. Paul's where the aldermen stood. Hero 
the Queen was addressed by the Eecorder, and then the Chamberlain 
presented to her a purse of cloth of gold, with a thousand marks of 
gold in it. At the School in St. Paul's Churchyard, one Master Hay- 


wood, sat in a pageant, nnder a vine, and delivered an oration in Latin, 
and in English. Against the Dean of Paul's Gate, there was another 
pageant, where the choristers of St. Paul's played upon viols and sang. 
Ludgate was newly repaired, painted, and adorned with rich hangings, 
and minstrels playing and singing there. The last pageant was at the 
Conduit in Fleet Street, and then passing through Temple Bar, which 
was newly painted and hung with tapestry, her Majesty at length 
reached Whitehall, where she took her leave of the Lord Mayor, giving 
him great thanks for his pains, and the city for their cost." 

The procession from the Tower of Queen Elizabeth, who 
was particularly partial to magnificent displays, was one of 
the most striking that had ever been exhibited. The pompous 
habits of the age, in which the citizens of London vied with 
each other in costly shows, were illustrated to their fullest 
extent in this ceremony. With the reign of this monarch , 
the grand old ci^-ic pageants had reached their culminating 
point, and seem to have subsided, at least, in much of their 
old-fashioned and quaint peculiarities. I have therefore 
extracted from Nichols's " Progresses " the account of the 
procession of the queen from the Tower, given in a tract 
printed by Richard Tottell, and in which I have preserved the 
original style and manner of spelling, omitting only, from a 
regard to space, the Latin version of the several speeches 
made on that occasion. As a curious relic of the manners- 
and habits of our ancestors in the reign of the Virgin Queen, 
it is well worthy of reproduction. 

*' Ulie Passage of our onost drad soveraigne Lady Queue Elizaheth 
through the citie of London to Westminster, the daye before her Coronation^ 
Anno 1558. (Imprinted at London in Flete-strete, within Temple-barre, 
at the signe of the Hand and Starre, by Richard Tottell, the xxiii day of 
January. Cu7n privilegio.) 

"Upon Saturday, which was the 13th day of January, in the yere of 
our Lord God 1558, about two of the clocke at aftemoone, the moste noble 
and Christian Princesse, our moste dradde Soveraigne Ladye Elizabeth ^ 
by the grace of God, Queue of Englande, Fraunce, and Irelande, 
Defendour of the Faith &c. marched from the Towre, to passe through 
the citie of London towarde Westminster, richely furnished, and most 
honourably accompanied, as well with gentlemen, barons, and other the 
nobilitie of this realme, as also with a notable trayne of goodly and 
beawtifuU ladies, richly appoynted. And entryng the citie was of the 
people received marveylous entirely, as appeared by the assemblie, 
prayers, wishes, welcomminges, cryes, tender woordes and all other 
signes, which argue a wonderfull earnest love of most obedient subjectes 
towarde theyr soveraigne. And on thother side, her Grace, by holding 
up her handes, and merie countenance to such as stode farre of, and 
most tender and gentle language to those that stode nigh to her Grace, 
did declare herselfe no lesse thankfullye to receive her people's good 


wyll than they lovingly offered it unto her. To all that wyahed her 
Grace well, she gave heartie thaukcs, and to such as bade God save her 
Grace, she sayde agayi^e God save them all, and thanked them with all 
her heart : So that on eyther syde there Avas nothing but gladnes, 
nothing biit prayer, nothing but comfort. The Quenes Majestic rejoysed 
marveilously to see that so exccadingly shewed towarde her Grace, 
which all good princes have ever desyred. I meane so earnest love of 
subjectes, so evidently declared even to her Grace's owne person being 
carried in the middest of them. Tlie people again were wonderfully 
rauished with the louing answers and gestures of theyi" Princesse, like 
to the which they had before tryed at her first comming to the Towre 
from Hatfield. This her Grace's loving behaviour preconceived in the 
people's heades upon these considerations was then throughly confirmed, 
and indeed emplauted a wonderfull hope in them touchy ng her woorthy 
governement in the reste of her rcygne. For in all her passage, she 
did not only shew her most gracious love toward the people in generall, 
but also privately, if the baser personages had offered her Grace any 
flowers or such like as a signification of their good wyll, or moved to her 
any sute, she most gently to the common rejoysing of all the lookers on, 
and private comfort of the partio, staid her chariot, and heard theyr 
requostes. So that if a man shoulde say well, he could not better 
tearnae the citie of London that time, than a stage wherein was shewed 
the wonderfull spectacle, of a noble hearted Princesse toward her most 
loving people, and the people's cxccding comfort in beholding so worthy 
a Soveraigne, and hearing so princclike a voice, which could not but 
have set the encmic on fyro, since the vertue is in the enemie alway 
commended, much more could not but cnflame her naturall, obedient, 
and moste loving people, whose weale leaneth onely uppon her Grace, and 
her governement. Thus therefore the Queue's majcstie passed from the 
Towre till she came to Fanchurche, the people on eche side joyously 
l)eholdyng the viewe of so gracious a ladye theyr Queue, and her Grace 
no lesse gladly notyng and observing the same. Nere unto Fanchurch 
was erected a scaffolde richely furnished, whereon stode a noyse of 
instrumentes, and a chyldo ia costly apparell, whiche was appojiited to 
welcome the Quenes majestic in the hole cities behalfe. Against which 
])lace, when her Grace came, of her owne wyll, she conimaunded the 
chariot to be stayde, and that the noyse might be appeased till the 
chylde had uttered his welcomming oration, which he spake in English 
meter, as here followeth : — 

*0 poreles soveraygne queue, behold what this thy town 
Hatli thee presented with at tliy fyrst entraunce here ; 
Behold with how rich hope she Icdeth thee to thy crown, 
Beliolde with what two gyftes she coiuforteth thy chere. 

* The first is blessing tongos, which many a welcome say, 

Which pray thou niaist do wel, wliich praise thee to tlie skj- ; 
Wliicli wisli to do thee long lyfe, which blesse tliis happy day, 
Which to thy kingdome heapes, all that in tonges can lye. 

Tlie second is true hertes, which love thee from their rootc. 
Whose sute is tryuraphc now, and ruletli all tlie game : 


Wliicli faithfulnes have -woue, and all untruthc driven o\it, 
Which skip for joy, wlien as tliey lieare thy happy name. 

* Welcome therefore, Qnene, as much as herte can thiukc ; 
Welcome ajj-ayn, Quene, as much as tong can tell ; 
Welcome to joyous tono-es, and hartes that will not shrink : 
God thee preserve we praye, and wish thee ever well.' 

At which wordes of the last line the hole people gave a great shout, 
wishing with one assent, as the chylde had said. And the Queues 
majestic thanked most hartely both the citie for this her gentle 
receiving at the first, and also the people for confirming the same. 
Here was noted in the Queues majesties countenance, during the time 
that the cliildc spake, besides a perpetuall attentiveness in her face, a 
marvelous change in loke, as the childes wordes touched either her 
person, or the peoples tonges or hertes. So that she with rejoysing 
visage did evidently declare that the wordes tooke no lesse place in her 
minde, than they were moste heartely pronounced by the chylde, as 
from all the heartes of her most heartie citizeins. The same verses 
were fastned up in a table upon the scaffolde, and the Latine thereof 
likewise in Latine verses. 

Now when the childe had pronounced his oration, and the Queues 

Highnes so thankefully had received it, she marched forwarde towarde 

Gracious Streate, where, at the upper ende, before the signe of the Egle, 

the citie had erected a gorgeous and sumptuous arke, as here followeth: — 

" A stage was made whiche extended from thone syde of the streate 

^to thother, richely vawted with battlements, conteining three portes, 

md over the middlemost was avaunced three severall stages in degrees! 

{Upon the lowest stage was made one seate royall, wherein were placed 

bwo personages representyng Kyng Henrie the seventh, and Elyzabeth 

[his wyfe, doughter of Kyng Edward the fourth, eyther of these two 

fpi'inces sitting under one cloth of estate in their seates, no otherwyse 

fclivided, but that thone of them, which was Kyng Henrie the seventh, 

H'oceeding out of the house of Lancaster, was enclosed in a read rose, 

md thother which was Quene Elizabeth, being heire to the house of 

[Yorke, enclosed with a whyte rose, eche of them royally crowned, and 

'decently apparailled as apperteineth to princes, with sceptours on their 

Leades, and one vawt surmounting their heades, wherein aptly were 

placed two tables, eche containing the title of those two princes. And 

these personages were set, that the one of them joined hands with 

thother, with the ring of matrimonie perceived on the finger. Out of 

the which two roses sprang two branches gathered into one, which were 

directed upward to the second stage or degree, wherein was placed one 

representing the valiant and noble prynce King Henry the eight, which 

sprong out of the former stock, crowned with a crown imperial, and by 

him sate one representing the right worthy ladie quene Ann, wyfe to 

the said King Henrie the eight, and mother to our most sovereign ladie, 

quene Elizabeth that now is, both apparelled with sceptours and 

iliademes, and other furniture due to the state of a king and quene, and 

two tables surmounting their heades, wherein were written their names 

and titles. From their seate also proceaded upwardes one braunche 

directed to the thirde and uppermost stage or degree, wherein lykewyse 


was planted a scate royall, in the whiche was sette one representing the 
queene's most excellent raajestie Elizabeth nowe our most draddo 
soveraignc ladle, crowned and apparalled as thother prynccs were. Out 
of the foreparte of this pageaunt was made a standyng for a chylde, 
whiche at the quencs majesties comeing declared unto her the hole 
meaning of the said pageaunt. The two sides of the same were filled 
with loudc noyses of musicke. And all emptie places thereof were 
furnished with sentences concerning unitie. And the hole pageant 
garnished with redde roses and white, and in the forefront of the same 
pageant, in a faire wreathe, was written the name and title of the same, 
which was, ' The uniting of the two howses of Lancastre and Yorke.' 
Thys pageant was grounded upon the Queues majesties name. For 
like as the long warre between the two houses of Yorke and Lancastre 
then ended, when Elizabeth doughter to Edward the fourth matched in 
mariage with Henry the seventhe, heyre to the howse of Lancastre ; so 
since that the Queues majesties name was Elizabeth, and forsomuch as 
she is the onelye heire of Henrye the eighth, which came of botho the 
howses, as the knitting up of Concorde, it was devised, that like as 
Elizabeth was the first occasion of concordc, so she, another Elizabeth, 
myght maintaine the same among her subjectes, so that unitie was the 
ende whereat the whole devise shotte, as the Queues majesties names 
moved the first grounde. Thys pageant nowe agaynst the Queues 
majesties comniing was addressed with children representing the fore- 
named personages, with all furniture dewe unto the setting forth of 
such a matter well meant, as the argument declared, costly and 
sumptuously e set forth as the beholders can beare witnes. Kow the 
Queue's majestic drewe nearc unto the sayde pageant, and forsomuch 
as the noyse was greate by reason of the prease of people, so that she 
could scarce heare the childe which did interprete the said pageant, and 
her chariot was passed so farre forwarde that she coulde not well view 
the personages representing the kynges and queenes abovenamed ; she 
required to have the matter opened unto her, and what they signified, 
with the ende of unitie, and ground of her name, according as is before 
expressed. For the sight whereof, her Grace caused her chariot to be 
i-emoved back, and yet hardly could she see, because the children were 
set somewhat Avith the farthest in. 

" But after that her Grace had understode the meaning thereof, she 
thanked the citie, pi-aysed the faircnes of the worke, and promised that 
she would doe her whole endeavour for the coutinuall preservation of 
Concorde, as the pageant did cmport. The childe appoyuted in the 
standing above named to open the meaning of the said pageant, spake 
these wordes unto her Grace : — 

The two Princes that sit under one cloth of state. 
The man in the rcddo rose, the woman in the white, 

llenry the VII. and Queue Elizabeth his mate, 
By ring of mariage as man and wife unite. 

Both heires to both their bloodes, to Lancastre the Kyng, 
The Qucene to Yorke, in one the two howses did knit ; 

Of whom as heire to botli, Heniy the eighth did spring, 

In whose seat, his true heire, thou Queue Elizabeth dost sit. 


' Therfore as civill warre, and fuede of blood did cease, 
When these two houses were united into one, 
So now that jarrs shall stint, and quietnes encrease, 
We trust, O noble Quene, thou wilt be cause alone.' 

The which also were written in Latin verses, and both drawn in two 
tables upon the forefront of the saide pageant. 

*' These verses, and other pretie sentences, were drawen in voide 
places of thys pageant, all tending to one ende, that quietnes might be 
rnainteyned, and all dissention displaced, and that by the queues majestie, 
heire to agrement, and agreeing in name with her which tofore had 
joyned these houses, which had ben thoccasyon of much debate and 
civill warre within thys realme, as may appere to such as will searche 
cronicles, but be not to be touched in thys treatise only declaring her 
Graces passage through the citie, and what provisyon the citie made 
therfore. And ere the Queue's majestie came within hearing of thys 
pageaunt, she sent certaine, as also at all the other pageauntes to require 
the people to be silent. For her Majestie was disposed to heare all that 
Bhoulde be sayde unto her. 

" When the Queues majestie had hearde the chyldes oration, and 
understoode the meanyng of the pageant at large, she marched forward 
toward Cornehill, alway received with lyke rejoysing of the people ; and 
there, as her Grace passed by the conduit which was curiously trimmed 
agaynst that tyme with riche banners adourned, and a noyse of loude 
instrnmentes upon the top therof, she espyed the second pageant, and 
because she feared for the peoples noyse, that she should not heare the 
child which dyd expour^de the same, she enquired what that pageant 
was ere that she came to it : and there understoode that there was a 
chylde representing her Majesties person, placed in a seate of governe- 
ment, supported by certayne vertues which suppressed their contrarie 
vyces under their feete, and so forthe, as in the description of the sayd 
pageant shall hereafter appear. 

" This pageant standynge in the nether ende of Cornehill, was ex- 
tended from thone syde of the streate to the other, and in the same 
pageant was devysed three gates, all open ; and over the middle parte 
thereof was erected one chayre, or seate royal, with clothe of estate to 
the same apperteynyng, wherein was placed a chylde representinge the 
Queues highnesse, with consideracion had for place convenient for a 
table, whiche conteyned her name and tytle. And in a comely wreathe, 
artificiallie and well devised, with perfite light and understanding to the 
people, in the front of the same pageant was written the name and title 
thereof ; which is, * The seate of worthic Govei'nance ' whych seate was 
made in such artificiall manor, as to the apperance of the lookers on, 
the forparte seemed to have no staye, and therfore of force was stayed 
by lively personages, which personages were in nuinbre foure, standing 
and staieng the foref route of the same seate royall, echo having his 
face to the Quene and people, wherof every one had a table to expresse 
their effectes, which are Vertues ; namely, Pure Religion, Love of 
Subjectes, Wisdom, and Justice : which did treade their contrarie vyces 
under their feete; that is to witte, Pure Religion did treade upon Super- 
stition and Ignoraunce, Love of Subjectes did treade upon Rebellion and 
Inaolencie, Wisdome did treado upon FoUie andVaine Glorie, Justice did 



treade upon Adnlacion and Bribery. Eche of these personages, accord- 
ing to their proper names and properties, had not onely their names in 
plaine and perfit writing set upon their breastes easely to be read of all, 
but also every of them was aptly and properly apparelled, so that 
hys apparell and name did agre to expresse the same person that in 
title he represented. This part of the pageant was thus appoynted and 
furnished. The two sydes over the two side portes had in them placed 
a noyse of instrumentes whych immedyatlye after the chyldes speache 
gave an heavenlie melodie. Upon the top or uppermost part of the 
said pageant stode the armes of England, totally portratured with the 
proper beastes to upholde the same. One representing the Queues 
liiglmes sate in this seate, crovmed with an imperial crowne : and before 
her seate was a convenient place appointed for one childe which did 
interpret and appl^e the saide pageant as herafter shall be declared. 
Every voyde place was furnished with proper sentences, commendyng 
the seate supported by Vertues, and defacing the Vyces, to the utter 
extirpation of rebellion, and to everlasting continuance of quyetnes 
and peace. The Queues majestic approaching nyghe unto thys pageaunt 
thus beawtifyed and fumyshed in all poyntes, caused her chariot to bee 
drawen nyghe thereunto, that her Grace mighte hears the chylde'a 
oration, whiche was this : 

' Whyle that Eeligion true shall Ignorance suppresse, 

And with her weightie foote, breake Superstition's head, 
Whyle Love of Subjectes shall Rebellion distresse 
And, with zoale to the Prince, Insolency down treade: 

' While Justice can Flattering tonges and Bribery deface, 
While Folie and Vaineglorie to Wisdome yeld their handes 
So long shal Government not swerve from her right race, 
But Wrong decayeth still, and Eightwisenes up standes. 

* Now all thy subjectes hertea, Prince of pereles fame 
Do trust these Vertues shall maintayn up thy throne, 
And Vice be kept dowe still, the wicked put to shame, 
That good with good may joy, and naught with naught may 

Which verses were painted upon the right sydo of the same pageant, ' 
and the Latin thereof on the left side. 

" Beside these verses, there were placed in every voide part of the 
pageant, both in Englishe and Latin, such sentences as advaunced the 
seate of govcrnaunce upholden by Vertue. The gromid of thys pageant] 
was, that lykc as by Vertues (whych doe abundantly appere in heVJ 
Grace) the Qucne's majcstie was established in the seate of governe- 
inent ; so she should sctte fast in the same, so long as she embraced! 
Vortue and hrldo Vice under foote. For if Vice once gotte up the] 
head, it would put the seate of govcrnemcnt in poryll of falling. 

" The Queues majcstie, when she had heard the childe, and under J 
stode the pageant at full, gave the citio also thankes there, and inoe 
gracionslio promised her good endeavour for the maintenance of thd 
aaydo Vertues, and suppression of Vyces, and so marched on till sbtj 


came againste the Great Conduite, in Cheape, which was bewtified with 
pictures and sentences accordinglye against her Graces coming thether. 

" Against Soper-lanes ende was extended from thone side of the 
streate to thother a pageant, which had three gates, all open. Over the 
middlemoste wherof wer erected three severall stages, whereon sate 
eight children, as hereafter foloeth : On the uppermost one childe, on 
the middle three, on the lowest fonre, echo having the proper name of 
the blessing that they did represent written in a table, and placed above 
their heades. In the forefront of this pageant, before the children 
which did represent these blessings, was a convenient standing, cast 
out for a chylde to stande, which did expownd the sayd pageant unto 
the Quenes majestic as was done in thother tofore. Everie of these 
children wer appointed and apparelled according unto the blessing 
which he did represent. And on the forepart of the sayde pageant was 
written, in fayre letters, the name of the said pageant, in this maner 
folowing : — 

" ' The eigiit beatitudes expressed in the V. chapter of the Gospel of 
St. Matheus, applyed to our Soveraigne Lady Quene Elizabeth.' 

" Over the two syde portes was placed a noyse of instrumentes* 
And all voyde places in the pageant were furnished with pretie sayinges, 
commending and touching the meaning of the said pageant, which was 
the promises and blessynges of Almightie God made to his people. 
Before that the Quenes hignes came unto this pageant, she requited the 
matter somewhat to be opened unto her, that her Grace might the 
better understand what should afterward by the childe be sayd unto 
her. Which so was, that the citie had there erected the pageant with 
eight children, representing theyght blessinges touched in the fifth 
chapiter of St. Mathew. Wherof every one, upon just consideracions, 
was applyed unto her Highnes ; and that the people thet-by put her 
Grace in mind, that as her good doinges before had geven just occasion 
why that these blessinges might fall upon her ; that so, if her Grace 
did continue in her goodnes as she had entered, she should hope for the 
fruite of these promises due unto them that doe exercise themselves in 
the blessinges; whiche her Grace heard marvellous graciously, and 
required that the chariot might be removed towardes the pageaunt, that 
she might perceyve the chyldes woordes, which were these ; the Quenes 
majestic giving most attentive care, and requiring that the people's 
noyse might be stayde : 

'Thou hast been viii times blest, Quene of worthy fame. 
By mekenes of thy spirite, when care did thee besette. 
By mourning in thy griefe, by mildnes in thy blame. 
By hunger and by thyrst, and j ustice couldst none gette. 

* By mercy shewed, not felt, by cleanes of thyne harte, 
By seking peace alwayes, by perSecucion wrong. 
Therfore trust thou in God, since he hath helpt thy smart, 
That as his promis is, so he will make thee strong.' 

When these woordes were spoken, all the people wished, that as the 
child had spoken, so God woulde strengthen her Grace against all her 
adversaries j whom the Quenes majestic did most gently thanke for 


their 8o louing wishe. These verses wer painted on the left syde of the 
said pao-eant, and other in Latin on thother syde. 

"Besides these, every voide place in the pageant was furnished with 
sentence touching the matter and ground of the said pageant. When 
Tthat wastobe said in this pageant was ended, the Queues majestie 
pissed on forward in Chepesyde. At the Standard - Cheape w,.eh^^^^^^ 
dressed fayre agaynste the tyme, was placed a noyseof trumpettes, witu 
brnners and otheJf urniture.' The Crosse lykewyse was also xnade fayre 
and well trimmed. And neare unto the same, uppon ^be porche of Samt 
Peter church dove, stode the waites of the citie, which did geve a 
pleasant noyse with'their instrumentes as the Queues majestic did pas^e 
bv whiche on every syde cast her countenaunce, and wished well to all 
he^ most lovinc. people. Sone after that her Grace passed the Crosse 
she Td espyed°tLp'ageant erected at the Little Conduit mCheape, and 
incontinent required to know what it might sigmfye. And^t was tolde 
her Grace that there was placed Tyme. ' Tyme ? quoth she, and Tyme 
hZhhrought me hether.' And so furth the hole matter ^^^^«P^-f .^^ 
her Grace, as hereafter shalbe declared in the descnpcion of the 
m-eaunt But in the opening, when her Grace understode that the 
Bylle^n Englyshe shoulde be d^elivered unto her by Trueth whiche was 
fherin represented by a chylde ; she thanked the citie for tbat g^ft and 
sayde that she woulde oftentymes reade over that booke, commanding 
Sir John Parrat, one of the Knyghtes which helde up her ^/^^^PJ' to goe 
before, and to receive the booke. But learning that it should be delivered 
to her Grace downe by a silken lace, she caused hym to staye, and so 
passed forward till she came agaynste the aldermen in the ^yghe ende ot 
Cheape, tofore the Little Conduite, where the companies of the citie 
ended;'whiche beganne at Fanchurche, and stoode along tbe streate . 
one b^ another, enclosed with rayles, hanged with clothes, and them, 
selves^well apparelled with many riche furres, and their l^^erj -hodes 
nppon their shoulders, in comely and semely maner, ^^^^^f ^^^f^^^^^^P^ 
sondry persones well apparelled in silkes and chaines of gold e, asjvyfle™ 
and garders of the sayd companies, beside a number of riche hangings, 
as well of tapistrie, arras, clothes of golde, silver, velvet damaske, sa^tm 
and other silkes plentifullye hanged all the way as the Queues hgnea 
passed from the Towre through the citie. Out at the windowes and pent- . 
houses of every house did hang a number of ryche and costlye banners M 
and streamers, tyll her Grace came to the upper ende of Cheapo Ana 
there, by appointment, the right worshipf ull niaister Ranu ph Cholmeley 
recorder of the citie, presented to the Quones majestic a purse of 
crimosinsattinrichcly wrought with gold,wherin the ctie gave unto the 
Queues majestic a thousand markes in gold, as "^'^'f^'J^Z.^,^'^^ 
declare brieflie unto the Queues majestic ; whose woordes tended to this 
ende, that the lorde maior, his brethren and commmaltie ot the citie, to 
declare their gladnes and good-wille towardes the Queues majostie. dyd 
present her Grace with thJt golde, desyring her Grace t" ««"tumf^^ .^^J' ' 
good and gracious Queue, and not to estcme the value of the gift, but the 
mind of the gevers" The Queues majestic with both her handes tooke 
the purse, and aunswercd to hym againe merveylous pithdie; and BO 
pithilie, that the standcrs by as they embraced entierly her grac.ons| 
aunswer, so they mervailcd at the thereof ; which was in, 
wordcs truely reported these: ' I thanke my lord maior, his brethien,j 


and you all. And wheras your request is tbat I should continue your 
good Ladie and Quene, be ye ensured that I will be as goodunto you as 
ever quene was to her people. No wille in me can lacke, neither doe I 
trust shall ther lacke any power. And perswade your selves that for the 
safetie and quietues of you all, I will not spare, if need be, to spend my 
blood. God thanke you all.' 

" Which aunswere of so noble an hearted pryneesse, if it moved a 
mervaylous showte and rejoysing, it is nothyog to be mervayled at, 
since both the heartines thereof was so wonderf ull, and the woordes so 
joyntly knytte. When her Grace hadde thus aunswered the Recorder, 
she marched toward the Little Conduit, where was erected a pageaunt 
with square proporcion, standynge directlye before the same conduite, 
with battlementes accordynglie. And in the same pageaunt was advaunced 
two hylles, or mountaynes of convenient heyghte. The one of them 
beyng on the North syde of the same pageaunt, was made cragged, 
barreyn, and stonye; in the whiche was erected one tree, artificiallye 
made, all withered and deadde, with braunches accordinglye. And 
under the same tree, at the foote thereof, sate one in homely and rude 
apparell, crokedlye, and in mournyng maner, havyuge over his headde, 
in a table, written in Laten and Englyshe, hys name, which was, 
* Euinosa Kespublica,' ' A decayed Commonweale.' And uppon the same 
"withered tree were fixed certayne tables, wherein were written proper 
sentences, expressing the causes of the decaye of a common weale. The 
other hylle on the south syde, was made fayre, freshe grene, and beaw- 
tifull, the grounde thereof full of flowers and beawtie : and on the same 
,was erected also one tree very freshe and fayre, under the whiche stoode 
uprighte one freshe personage, well apparaylled and appoynted, whose 
name also was written bothe in Englyshe and Laten, whiche was * Ees- 
publica bene instituta.' ' A flourishyng Commonweale.' And uppou the 
Bame tree also were fixed certayne tables, conteyning sentences which 
expressed the causes of a flourishing commonweale. In the middle, 
betwene the sayde hylles, was made artificiallye one hoUowe place or 
cave, with doore and locke enclosed ; oute of the whiche, a lyttle before 
the Queues hyghnes commynge thither, issued one personage, whose 
name was Tyme, apparaylled as an old mane, with a sythe in his hande, 
havynge wynges artificiallye made, leadinge a personage of lesser stature 
then himselfe, whiche was fynely and well apparaylled, all cladde in 
whyte silke, and directlye over her head was set her name and tytle in 
Latin and Englyshe, ' Temporis filia,' ' The daughter of Tyme.' Which 
two so appoynted, went forwarde toward the south syde of the pageant. 
And on her brest was written her proper name, which was 'Veritas,' 
Truth, who helde a booke in her hande, upon the which was written 
' Verbum veritatis,' the woorde of trueth. And out of the south syde 
of the pageaunt was cast a standynge for a childe which shoulde enter- 
prete the same pageant. Against whom when the Queues majestie 
camBj he spake unto her Grace these woordes : 

' This olde man with the sythe, olde father Tyme they call, 
And her his daughter Truth, which holdeth yonder boke ; 
Whom he out of his rocke hath brought forth to us all, 

From whence this many yerea she durst not once out loke. 


' The ruthfnl wight that sitteth under the bairen tree, 

Reseniblcth to us the fonrme, when common wealea decay; 
But when they be in state tryumphant, you may see 
By him in freshe attyre that setteth under the baye. 

' Now since that Time again his daughter Truth hath brought, 
We trust, worthy Queue, thou wilt this truth embrace ; 
And since thou understandste the good estate and nought, 
We trust wealth thou wilt plant, and barrennes displace. 

* But for to heale the sore, and cure that is not scene, 

Which thing the boke of truth doth teache in writing playn ; 
She doth present to thee the sauie, O worthy Queue, 

For that, that wordes doe flye, but wryting doth remayn.' 

•When the childe had thus ended his speache, he reached his bookc 
towardes the Queues majestic, whiche, a little before, Trueth had let downe 
unto hym from the hill; whiche by Sir John Parrat was received, and 
delivered unto the Queue. But she, as soone as she had receyved the 
booke, kissed it, and with both her handes held up the same, and so 
laid it upon her brest, with great thankes to the citie therfore. And 
so went forward toward Paules Churchyarde. The former matter which 
was rehersed unto the Queues majestic was written in two tables, on 
either side the pageant eight verses. The sentences written in Latin 
and Englishe upon both the trees, declaring the causes of Ijoth estates, 
we;re these : 

" Causes of a ruinous Commonweale are these : 

Want of the feare of God. Civill disagrement. 

Disobedience to rulers. Flattring of princes. 

Bl indues of guides. Unmercifullness in rulers. 

Briberie in majcstrats. Unthankfullness in subjects. 

liebellion in subjectes. 

" Causes of a florishing common weale. 
Feare of God. Obedient subjectes. 

A wise prince. Lovers of the commonweale. 

Learned rulers. Vertue rewarded. 

Obedience to officers. Vice chastened. 

The matter of this pageant dependeth of them that went before. For 
as the first declared her Grace to come out of the house, of uuitie, the 
second that she is placed in the seat of government, staied with Vertue, 
to the suppression of Vice, and therfore in the third the eight blessinges 
of Almighty God might well be applyed unto her : for this fourth now 
is to put her Grace in remembrance of the state of the commonweale, 
which Time, with Truth his daughter, doth rovole, which Truth also her 
Grace hath received, and therfore cannot but be mercifull and careful 
for tlie good government therof. From tlience the Queues majestic 
Panics Scol(\ a chiltle appointed by the scolemaster therof pronounced 
passed towarde Paules Churchyard ; and when she came over against a 
certein oration in Latin, and certein verses. Which the Queue's majestic 


most attentivlye barkened unto : and when the childe had pronounced, 
he did kisse the oration, which he had there fayre written in paper, and 
delivered it unto the Quenes majestic, which most gently received the 
same. And when the Quenes majestie had heard all that was there 
offred to be spoken, then her Grace marched toward Ludgate, where she 
was received with a noyse of instrumentes, the fore front of the gate 
being finelie trimmed up against her Majesties comming. From thence 
by the way as she went down toward Fletebridge, one about her Grace 
noted the cities charge, that there was no cost spared : Her Grace 
answered, that she did well consyder the same, and that it should be 
remembred. An honourable aunswere, worthie a noble prince, which 
may comfort all her subjectes, considering there can be no point of 
gentlenes, or obedient love shewed towarde her Grace, whych she doth 
not most tenderlie accepte, and graciously waye. In this manor, the 
people on either side re joy sing, her Grace wente forwarde, towarde the 
Conduite in Fleetestrete, where was the fift and last pageaunt erected 
in forme folowing : From the Conduite, which was bewtiiied with 
painting, unto the Northside of the strete, was erected a stage, em- 
battelled with foure towres, and in the same a square platte rising 
with degrees, and uppon the uppermost degree was placed a chaire, 
or seate royall, and behynde the same seate, in curious and artficiall 
maner, was erected a tree of reasonable height, and so farre advaunced 
above the seate as it did well and semelye shadow the same, without 
endomaging the syght of any part of the pageant ; and the same 
tree was bewtiiied with leaves as greene as arte could devise, being of a 
convenient greatnes, and conteining therupon the fruit of the date, and 
on the toppe of the same tree, in a table, was set the name thereof, 
which was ' A palme tree ; ' and in the af oresaide seate, or chaire, was 
placed a semelie and mete personage, richelie apparalled in parliament 
robes, with a sceptre in her hand, as a Queue, crowned with an open 
crowne, whose name and title was in a table fixed over her head in this 
sort : ' Debora the judge and restorer of the house of Israel, Judic. iv.' 
And the other degrees, on either side were furnished with vi personages ; 
two representing the nobilitie, two the clergie, and two the comminaltye. 
And before these personages was written, in a table, ' Debora with her 
estates, consulting for the good governement of Israel.' At the feete of 
these, and the lowest part of the pageant, was ordeined a convenient 
rome for a childe to open the meaning of the pageant. When the 
Quenes majestie drew nere unto this pageant, and perceived, as in the 
other, the childe readie to speake, her Grace requested silence, that she 
myghte plainlie heare the childe speake, whych said as hereafter 
fploweth : 

' Jaban of Canaan king had long, by force of armes, 
Opprest the Isralites, which for God's people went : 
But God minding at last for to redresse their harmes^ 
The worthy Debora as judge among them sent. 

* In war she, through God's aide, did put her foes to fright. 
And with the dint of sworde the hand^ of bondage brast. 
In peace, she through God's aide, did alway mainteine right ; 
And judged Israeli till f ourty yeres were past. 


* A worthie president, O worthie Qaene thou bast, 
A worthie woman judge, a woman sent for staie. 
And that the like to us endure alway thou maist 

Thy loving subjectes will with true hearts and tongas praie.* 

Which verses were written upon the pageant ; and the same in Latin 

" The voide places of the pageant were filled with pretie sentences 
concerning the same matter. Thys ground of this last pageant was, 
that forsomuch, as the next pageant before had set before her Grace's 
eyes the florishing and desolate states of a commonweale, she might by 
this be put in remembrance to consult for the worthy government of her 
people ; considering God oftimes sent women nobly to rule among men ; 
as Debora, whych governed Israeli in peas the space of XL years : and 
that it behoved both men and women so ruling to use advise of good 
oounsell. When the Quenes majestic had passed this pageant, she 
inarched towarde Temple bari'e ; but at St. Dunstones church, where the 
children of thospitall wer 'appointed to stand with their governours, her 
Grace perceiving a childe offred to make an oration unto her, stayed 
her chariot, and did caste up her eyes to heaven, as w4io should saye, ' I 
here see thys mcrcyfuU worke towarde the poore, whom I must in the 
middest of my royaltie nedes remembre ! ' and so turned her face towarde 
the childe, which, in Latin, pronounced an oracion to this effecte : ' That 
after the Quenes hyghnes had passed through the citie, and had sene 
so sumptuous, rich, and notable spectacles of the citizens, which declared 
their most hartie receiving and joyous welcomming of her Grace into the 
same : thys one spectacle yet rested and remained, which was the ever- 
lasting spectacle unto the poore membres of Almighty God, furthered by 
that most famous and noble prince, King Henry the eight, her gracious 
father, erected by the citie of London, and advaunced by the most 
godly verteous and gracious prince Kyng Edwarde the vi., her Graces 
dero aijd loving brother, doubting nothing of the mercy of the Quenes 
most gracious clemencie, by the which they may not onely be releved 
and helped, but also stayed and defended ; and therfore incessaunUy 
they would pray and crie unto Almighty God for the long life 
and raigne of her highnes with most prosperous victory against her 

" The childe, after he had endei his oracion, kissed the paper wherein 
the same was written, and reached it to the Quenes majestic, whych 
received it graciouslye both with woordes and countenance, declaring 
her gracious raynde towarde thej'r reliefe. From thence her Grace came 
to Temple Harre, which was dressed fynely with the two ymages Got- 
magot the Albione, and Corinuus the Briton, twogyantes bigge in stature, 
furnished accordingly ; which helde in their handos, even above the gate, 
a table, whorin was writen in Latin verses, theffect o| all the pageantos 
which the citie before had erected ; 

' Behold here in one view thou mayst see all that playne, 
O Princesso, to this thy people the onely stay; 
Whatechowhore thou hast seen in this wide town, again 
It ia one arohe whatsoovor the rest conteyued doth eay. 


* The first arche, as trae heyre unto thy father dere, 

Did set thee in the throne where thy pfraundfather satte : 
The second did confirine thy seate as Princesse here, 
Vertues now bearing swaye, and vyces bet down flatte. 

' The third, if that thou wouldst goe on as thou began, 
Declared thee to be blessed on every syde, 
The fourth did open Trueth, and also taught thee whan 

The commonweale stoode well, and when ic did thence slide. 

' The fifth, as Debora, declared thee to be sent 

From Heaven, a long comfort to us thy subjectes all : 
Therefore goe on, O Queue, on whom our hope is bent, 
And take with thee this wishe of thy town as finall : 

' Live long, and as long raygne, adourning thy countrie 
With vertues, and maintayne thy peoples hope of thee ; 
For thus, thus Heaven is won ; thus must you pearce the skye. 
This is by Vertue wrought, all other must nodes dye.' 

On the south syde was appoynted by the citie, a noyse of singing children; 
and one childe richely atbyred as a poet, which gave the Queues majestie 
her farewell, in the name of the hole citie, by these wordes : 

' As at thyne entraunce first, O Prince of high renown 

Thou wast presented with tonges and harts for thy fayre ; 
So now, sith thou must needes depart out of this towne, 
This citie sendeth thee firme hope and earnest prayer. 

' For all men hope in thee, that all vertues shall reygne, 
For all men hope that thou none errour wilt support, 
For all men hope that thou wilt trueth restore agayne, 
And mend that is amisse, to all good mennes comfort. 

* And for this hope they pray, thou mayst continue long, 
Our Queue amongst us here, all vyce for to supplant ; 
And for this hope they pray, that God may make thee strong. 
As by his grace puissant, so in his trueth constant. 

' Farewell, O worthy Queue, and as our hope is sure, 
That into errours place thou wilt now truth restore ; 
So trust we that thou wilt our Soveraigne Queue endure. 
And loving Lady stand, from henceforth evermore.' 

Whyle these woordes were in saying, and certeine wishes therein 
repeted for maintenaunce of trueth and rooting out of errour, she now 
and then helde up her handes to heavenwarde, and willed the people to 
say, Amen. 

" When the childe had ended, she said, ' Be ye well assured I will 
staude your good Queue.' 

" At whiche saying, her Grace departed forth through Temple Barre 
towarde Westminster, with no lease shoutyng and crying of the people, 


then she entred the citie, with a noyse of ordinance whiche the Towrc 
shot of at her Graces entraunce first into Towre Streate. 

" The childcs saying was also in Latin verses, wrytten in a table, 
which was hanged up there. 

" Thus the Quenes hyghnesse passed throughe the citie, whiche, 
without any forreyne persone, of itselfe beawtifyed itselfe, and receyved 
her Grace at all places, as hath been before mentioned, with most tender 
obedience and love, due to so gracious a Quene and soveraigne ladie. 
And her Grace lykewise of her side, in all her Graces passage shewed 
herselfe generally an ymage of a woorthye ladie and governour ; but 
privately these especiall poyntes wer noted in her Grace as sygnes of a 
most princely courage, whereby her loving subjectes maye ground a sure 
hope for the rest of her gracious doinges hereafter." 

This was the last queenly progress through the city in 
connection with the coronation. 

" James T.," says Stowe, " rode not through the city in 
royal manner as hath been accustomed " by reason of the 
plague, which was then so spreading its ravages through 
the capital that eight hundred and fifty-seven persons died 
that week in the city and its suburbs.* For the same reason 
the accustomed ceremony of proceeding in state from the 
Tower to Westminster was omitted at the coronation of 
Charles I. This affliction had visited London with all its 
horrors, and was daily carrying off hundreds of the popu- 

The austere habits which prevailed during the time of the 
Commonwealth had their influence on the festal habits of 
the citizens of London ; but at the Restoration the ancient 
style of receiving and welcoming the monarch was revived, 
if not in equal splendour, yet with changes which mai-ked 
the character of the times ; and with the coronation pro- 
cession of Charles II., a pageant which had been regarded 

* Henry Petowe, in his poem on the coronation called " England's 
Caesar" (a rare tract reprinted inNichols's "Progresses of King James "), 
thus alludes to the disappointment felt in London at there being no pro- 
cession from the Tower : — 

" Thousands of treasure had her bounty wasted, 

In honour of her king to welcome him : 
But, woe is she ! that honour is not tasted. 

For royal James on silver Thames doth swim. 
The water hath that glory — for he glides 

Upon those pearly streams unto his crown, 
Looking with pity on her as he rides, 

Saying, ' Alas, she should have this renown! ' 
So well ho knew that woful London loved him, 
That her distress unto compassion movd him." 


for many ages as an essential solemnity, the custom subsided, 
and has never been renewed. 

Heath, in his " Chronicle," records the procession of the 
"merry" monarch through the City, on the 23rd of April, 
1661 :— 

" There attended upon his Majesty at the Tower, all the nobility, 
and the principal gentry of the kingdom. The ceremonial began in the 
afternoon with all the law and other oflficers of the crown, the judges, 
the master of the rolls ; the knights of the bath in the habits of their 
order, ' a brave sight of itself ' remarks Pepys in his Diary, the great 
officers of the royal household ; the sons of peers according to their 
rank, and the pfters in their different degrees, attended by heralds and 
officers at arms : after these and the lord treasurer, the lord chancellor, 
the lord chamberlain, rode two persons representing the Dukes of 
Normandy and Aquitaine, ' remarkable ' observes Pepys ' were these two 
men.' Then the gentleman usher ; garter king-at-arms, and the Lord 
Mayor of London ; next to them was the Duke of York; Lord Monk 
rode bareheaded after the king, and led in his hand a spare horse as 
being master of the horse. ' The king ' says Pepys ' in a most rich 
embroidered suit and cloak looked most noble.' Before his Majesty, 
rode the Earls of Northumberland and Lindsay, as lord high constable 
and lord high steward of England, and the Duke of Richmond, bearing 
the sword : next about the king were his equerries and footmen, and 
then the gentlemen and pensioners. 

" ' Wadlow the vintner, at the Devil, in Fleet Street,' says Pepys, 
* did lead a fine company of soldiers, all young, comely men in white 
doublets. There followed the Yice-chamberlain, Sir G. Carteret, a com- 
pany of men all like Turkes ; but I know not yet what they are for. 
The streets all gravelled, and the houses hung with carpets before them, 
made brave shew, and the ladies out of the windows. So glorious was 
the shew with gold and silver, that we were not able to look at it ; our 
eyes at last being so overcome. Both the king and the Duke of York 
took notice of us, as they saw us at the window.' 

" To increase the splendour of these ceremonies there were created 
five earls and six barons; and sixty eight gentlemen, many of whom 
were sons of the nobility, were made knights of the bath. These 
attended upon the king in the Tower, and rode before him with their 
esquires and pages in the procession to Westminster, clad in ' mantles 
and surcoats of red taffeta, lined and edged with white sarcenet, and 
thereto fastened two long strings of white silk, with buttons and tassels 
of red silk and gold, and a pair of white gloves fastened to them ; white 
hats and feathers.' 

" The streets were, as usual, lined with the different companies of 
the city in their liveries, attended with their banners and music. Four 
triumphal arches were erected in different parts of the city ; the first 
of which represented the happy event of the king's landing at Dover ; 
and the three others, which stood in Cornhill, Cheapside, and Fleet 
Street, were emblematical of commerce, concord, and plenty. Evelyn 
notes in his Diary [April 22, 1661], ' I spent the rest of the evening in 
seeing the severall arch-triumphals, built in the streetes at severall 


eminent places thro' -which his Majesty was next day to passe, some of 
which, the' temporary, and to stand but one yeare, were of good inven- 
tion and architecture, with inscriptions." 

" The kin<j was everywhere received with the strongest demonstra- 
tions of loyalty ; and the magnificence of the procession was no less the 
joy than amazement of all spectators : * indeed ' says Heath ' it were 
in vain to attempt to describe this solemnity : it was so far from being 
utterable, that it was almost inconceivable ; and much wonder it caused 
to outlandish persons, who were acquainted with our late troubles and 
confusions, how it was possible for the English to appear in so rich and 
stately a manner; for it is incredible to think what costly clothes were 
worn that day : the cloaks could hardly be seen what silk or satin they 
were made of, for the gold and silver laces and embroidery that were 
laid upon them ; besides the inestimable value and treasure of diamonds, 
pearls, and other jewels, worn upon their backs and in their hats ; 
to omit the sumptuous and rich liveries of their pages and footmen; the 
numerousness of these liveries, and their orderly march ; as also the 
stately equipage of the esquires attending each earl, by his horse's side : 
so that all the world that saw it, could not but confess, that what they 
had seen before, was but solemn mummeiy to the most august, noble, 
and true glories of this great day : even the vaunting French confessed 
their pomps of the late marriage with the Infanta of Spain, at their 
majesties' entrance into Paris, to be inferior in state, gallantry, and 
riches, to this most glorious [and, sic transit^ LAST coitoNATiON] caval- 
cade KliOM THE TOWEU.' " 

"James II.," remarks Lord Macaulay, "ordered an esti- 
mate to be made of the cost of such a procession, and found 
it vv^ould amount to about half as much as he proposed to 
expend in covering his wife with trinkets. He accordingly- 
determined to be profuse where he ought to have been frugal, 
and niggardly where he might pardonably have been profuse. 
More than a hundred thousand pounds were laid out in 
dressing the queen, and the procession from the Tower was 

" At length," adds Lord Macaulay, " the old practice was 
partially revived. On the day of the coronation of Queen 
Victoria there was a procession in which many deficiencies 
might be noted, but which was seen with interest and delight 
by half a million of her subjects, and which undoubtedly 
gave far greater pleasure, and called forth far greater enthu- 
siasm, than the more costly display which was witnessed by a 
select circle within the abbey." 

( 173 ) 



" First Gent. God save you, sir ! Where have you been broiling ? 
Third Gent. Among the crowd i' the abbey ; where a finger 
Could not be wedg'd in more. . . . 

Second Gent. You saw the ceremony ? 

Third Gent That I did. 

First Gent. How was it ? 

Third Gent. Well worth the seeing. 

Second Gent. Good sir, speak it to us. 

Third Gent. As well as I am able." 

Shakspere, Henry VIIL, Act iv. sc. 1. 

HAT is the finest sight in the 
world ? A Coronation. What 
do people most talk about ? A 
Coronation. What is the thing 
most delightful to have passed ? 
A Coronation." So pleasantly 
and flippantly remarks that 
genteel flaneur in literature, 
Horace Walpole. There may 
be some truth in this, hov^- 
ever, and the august cere- 
monial of a royal inauguration 
must appear to the mere novelty-seeker " a fine sight ; " but 
a deep seriousness would rather seem to be the prevailing 
feeling of those who see, beyond the gorgeous display and 
formalities of crowning a monarch, the eifect that may be 
produced in the destinies of a nation ; and every celebration 
of coronation rites must bring with it a forecast of events, 
which may result in the benefit or misfortune of a country. 
We have only to search the annals of our own rulers to find 
instances how soon, after the glitter and parade of the in- 
vestiture of sovereigns have passed away, royal oaths have 


been broken, promises forgt^tten. and the rights of the people 
— which would seem to be entitled to receive protection from 
the solemnity of a sacred institution — have been violently 
and impiously disregarded.* 

If there is any faith to be placed in symbols of honour 
and disrnity. the coronation ceremonial, handed down to us 
through so many ages, would seem to insure it. It is the 
type of that which spiritually binds our afEections, and secures 
our devotion to a far higher Power than the mightiest of 
the earth can boast, '* the King of kinsrs " and ** the Lord of 

Loyalty attaches us to the throne, from the possessor of 
which we expect, in return, the wise adm.inistration of justice 
and a patenud regard for the happiness and social security 
of the people. ** The life of a sovereicrn." remarks Cardinal 
Wiseman, ** generally dates from his accession to the throne. 
It is bj reigns that the world's history is written. The man 
is nothing to mankind, the king everythins' to the nation. 
What he was before the commencement of his royal career. 
is scarcely recorded or faintly remembered, for it is not taught 
to children. To have a place for anterior honoui^ in his 
Goiuitry^s annals, he mnst die before reaching that throne 
which will eclipse them all. A Black Prince, or a Princess 
Charlotte, had the best friend to their early fame, in death. 
A royal crown will cover over and hide an immense quantity 
of laurels," 

The ceremony of the coronation is a religious ceremonv — 
a eolemn compact between the king and his people. In a 
free country like this, mnch of authority depended on the 
recollections which the people entertained of their sovereigns, 
and their predecessors in the kingly dignity. The recollec- 
tion constituted a part of the pride and property of the 
subject, who felt there was a just dismity in seeing these 
rights upheld in all the splendour of their antiquity. Every 
government must suffer a proportionate, and no small loss, as 
it po cso o Bo d less of the sacrod protecting influence of this 

The coronation rites may be traced to the earliest periods 
of the world's history. They have a sacred origin in the 

* A angle "»«**■»'*> aBMO? manj : Bidiaxd IL BMiA'jai. the laws. - 
ther were in his bnath, and he ooold make or uninVte tbem a: 
pleasure. He said of the memben of the Hooae of Commons, " slaves 
they were, and slavw they daoold be." 


holy writings, and the sanction of Grod is there bestowed in 
the transmission of sovereign jK)wer to His chosen people. 
The ceremonies of the consecration, the anointing, the in- 
vestiture and enthroning, the crowning, and the benediction, 
are chiefly Jewish, bnt the divine spirit of Christianity now 
-heds its influence over the rites of the royal inaagnration. 
There is a solemn meaning in every part of the coronation 
service ; the regal ornaments, the symbols of power, and also 
the instruments of legal conveyance, are formally placed on 
the communion table, before they are conveyed to the sovereign, 
to express to him the grounds on which the power is con- 
veyed, and the end to which it shoald be directed. The 
i^oronation ceremony mast be regarded as the origin and 
source of those powers which are attributed to the consti- 
tution, and as the key-stone of the political arch, which all 
the parties sharing it then contract to form. 

The investiture of the king is of two characters, and 
relates to his two distinct powers in the Church and State. 
The pastoral staff and ring, and the vests used at the same 
time, are sacerdotal — are such as are delivered to bishops — 
and communicate a sacred authority. It is from these 
investitures that the term vested rights is derived. 

" The solemn rites of corona Hon,'* said Archbishop 
Cranmer, in his address to Edward YL on his inauguration, 
'' have their ends and utility, yet neither dii*ect force nor 
necessity ; they be good admonirions to put kings in mind 
of their datv to God, but no increasement of their dicrnitv : 
for they be God's anointed — not in respect of the oil which 
the bishop useth. but in consideration of their power, which 
is ordained ; of the sword, which is authorized : of their 
persons which are elected of God, and endured with the gifts 
of His spirit for the better ruHng and guiding of His people." 

As the place of consecration of our British sovereigns. 
Westminster Abbey — "the head, crown, and diadem of the 
kincrdom," as it has been called — in addition to its elorioua 
architecture and antiquity, and as the resting-place of the 
greatest and noblest names in onr country's history, possesses 
absorbing interest. As Dart writes — 

*' To monnt their throne here monarchs bend their way, 
O'er pavements where their predecessors lav. 
Ye sons of empire who, in pompous hoar. 
Attend to wear the ctunbrous robe of pow'r, 


When ye proceed along the shouting way, 

Think, there's a second visit yet to pay. 

And, when in state, on buried kings you tread, 

And swelling robes sweep o'er th' imperial dead ; 

While, like a god, your worshipp'd eyes move round, 

Think, then, oh, think, you walk on treach'rous ground. 

Though firm the chequer'd pavement seems to be, 

'Twill surely open and give way for thee ! 

While crowding lords address their duty near, 

Th' anointing prelate, and the kneeling peer ; 

While with obsequious diligence they bow. 

And spread the careful honours o'er thy brow 

While the high-raised spectators shout around, 

And the long aisles and vaulted roofs resound, 

Then snatch a sudden thought and turn thine head, 

From the loud-living to the silent dead ! 

With conscious eye the neighb'ring tombs survey. 

These will instruct thee better far than they ! 

What noxo thou art, in yon gay homage see, 

But these best show what thou art sure to be." 

The words of Jeremy Taylor, on the same subject, are 
strikingly beautiful : " Where our kings are crowned, their 
ancestors lie interred, and they must walk over their grand- 
sire's head to take his crown. There is an acre sown with 
royal seed ; the copy of the greatest change from rich and 
naked, from ceiled roofs and arched coffins, from living like 
gods to die like men. There is enough to cool the flames of 
lust ; to abate the height of pride ; to appease the itch of 
covetous desires ; to sully and dash out the dissembling 
colours of a lustful, artificial, and imaginary beauty. There 
the warlike and the peaceful, the fortunate and the miserable, 
the beloved and the despised princes mingle their dust, and 
pay down their symbol of mortality ; and tell all the world, 
that when we die, our ashes shall be equal to kings, and 
our accounts easier, and our pains or our crowns shall be 
less." Jeremy Taylor founded this — one of his finest 
bursts of oratory — upon the lines of Beaumont, written ou 
the spot : — 

" Here's an acre sown indeed 
With the richest, royallist seed 
That the earth could o'er suck in 
Since the first man died for sin." 

So Waller :— 

" That antique pile behold 
Whore royal heads receive the sacred gold ; 


It gives them crowns, and does their ashes keep ; 
There, made like gods — like mortals, there they sleep. 
Making the circle of their reign complete, 
These suns of empire, where they rise, they set." 

*' The Anglo-Saxon kings," remarks Dean Stanley, 
'* had, for the most part, been buried at Winchester, where 
they were crowned, and where they lived. The English 
kings, as soon as they became truly English, were crowned, 
and lived, and died, for many generations at Westminster, 
and even since they have been interred elsewhere, it is still 
under the shadow of their grandest royal residence ; in 
St, George's Chapel, or the precincts of Windsor Castle. 
Their graves, like their thrones, were in the midst of their 
own life, and of the life of their people." 

" Pageants on pageants in long order drawn ; 
Peers, heralds, bishops, ermine, gold, and lawn." 

to have been their war-kings, continued for life, and the 
distinction was partly hereditary and partly elective ; that 
is to say, the kings were taken from certain qualified families, 
but the Witan, the great council of the Anglo-Saxons 
(resembling more our present House of Lords than House 
of Commons), claimed the right of choosing the person whom 
they would have to reign. On every fresh occasion the 
great compact between the king and the people was literally 
as well as symbolically renewed, and the technical expression 
for ascending the throne is being " elected,* and raised to be 

* That part of the coronation ceremony which is now called the 
"recognition" is, in the older formularies, termed "election." The 
latter was never in our country made to extend beyond the family of 
the king, but the succession was not regulated according to the rules 
now observed. But as the Christian religion led men to establish the 
right of primogeniture, that right adhered to the crown, and the term 
"recognition" was substituted in the place of the word "election." 
Recognition, according to the feudal law, is the acknowledgment of the 
heir to his landed possession, and of his right to his inheritance. It is 
the act of the vassal acknowledging the right of his lord according to 
lawful succession ; and in the succession of a private patrimony this 
form conveys a full title. In the form for the coronation of Henry VIII., 
according to a device drawn up by that prince himself, the hereditary 
doctrine is set forth in the strongest language, but the principle of 
"election" is put forth in language equally strong. Prince Henry is 
spoken of as "rightful and undoubted enheritour by the lawes of God 


king " — the word raised referring to the old Teutonic custom 
of beinof elevated on shields. 

We have the earliest particulars extant of the coronation 
service in the " Pontificale " of Egbert, Archbishop of York 
(a.d. 732-767), the title being " Missa pro regibus in die 
Benedictionis ejus." The " Pontificale," or volume of episcopal 
jffices, was printed for the first time by the Surtees Society 
(vol. xxvii.), from a manuscript in the National Library at 
Paris, formerly belonging to the church of Evreux.* 

and man ; " but he is also " elected, chosen, and required by all the three 
estates of this lande to take uppon hym the seid coronne and royal 
dignitie." The assent of the people is asked in this form. : " Well ye 
serve at this tyme, and geve your wills and assents to the same consecra- 
tion, enunction, and coronacion ? Whereunto the people shall say with 
a grete voyce Ye, ye ye : So be it ; King Henry, King Henry." This is 
perhaps the last very distinct case of " election." 

It has been remarked by Dean Stanley that the right of coronation 
represents two opposite aspects of European monarchy. It was (1) a 
symbol of the ancient usage of the choice of the leaders by popular 
election, and of the emperor by the imperial guard, derived from the 
practice of the Gaulish and Teutonic nations ; and (2) a solemn consecra- 
tion of the new sovereign to his office, by unction with holy oil, and the 
placing of a crown or diadem on his head by one of the chief ministers 
of religion, after the example of the ancient Jewish Church. 

* The service is thus epitomized in Smith's " Dictionary of Biblical 
Antiquities." It commences with the antiphon " Justus es Domine," 
etc. (Ps. cxix. 137), and the Psalm " Beati immaculati" (Ps. cxix. 1). 
Then succeeds a lesson from Leviticus, " Ha3c dicit Dominus" (Lev. xxvi. 
6, 9); the gradual, " Salvum fac," etc., and the verse " Auribus percipe," 
and " Alleluia ; " the Psalm " Magnus Dominus " (Ps. xlviii.) or " Domine 
in virtute" (xxi.), and a sequence from St. Matthew, '* In illo tempore" 
(Matt, xxvii. 15). Then follows the " Benedictio super regem novitur 
electum," and three collects, " Te invocamus Domine Sanctse," " Deus 
qui populis tuis" (both of which are found in the " Liber Regalis "), and 
" In diebus ejus oriatur omnibus acquitas." The unction follows. After 
the collect " Deus electorum fortitude," succeeds the delivery of the 
sceptre. The rubric is, " Hie omnes pontifices cum principibus dant ei 
sceptrum in manu." Fifteen Preces, follow. After this is the delivery of 
the staff (" Hie datur ei baculum in manu sua ") , with the prayer, " Omni- 
potons det tibi Deus de rore cceli," etc., and imposition of the crown 
(the rubric is, "Hie omnes pontifices sumant galerum et ponant super 
caput ipsius"), with the prayer, " Bonedic Domine fortitudinem regis 
principis, etc. " This is succeeded by the recognition of the people and 
the kiss. The rubric runs, " Et dicat omnis populis tribus vicibus cum 
episcopis et prosbyteris, Vivat rex N. in sempiternum. Tunc confirma- 
bitur cum benodictione omnis populus " (Lcofric missal, " omni populo 
in solio regni") " et osculandum principem in sempiternum dicit, Amen^ 
Amen, Amen." The seventh "oratio" is said over the king, and the 
mass follows, with appropriate Offertory , Preface, etc. The whole termi- 



In the Cottonian MSS. (Britisli Museum, Claudius A. 
iii.) we have a detailed account of the installation cere- 
monial of Ethelred II. (a.d. 978), remarkable as showing the 
little diiference which has occurred in the coronation of our 
sovereigns thi*ough successive ages to the present time, a 
period of nearly a thousand years. 

" Two bishops with the Witan, shall lead him [the king] to the 
Church, and the clergy with the bishops shall sing the anthem, 
* Firmetur manus tua,' and the ' Gloria Patri.' 

" When the King arrives at the church, he shall prostrate himself 
before the altar, and the ' Te Deum ' shall be chaunted. When this is 
finished the King shall be raised from the ground, and, having heen chosen 
by the bishops and people, shall, with a clear voice before God and all 
the people, promise that he will observe these three rules. The 
Coronation Oath. In the name of Christ, I promise three things, to the 
Christian people, my subjects : first ; — that the church of God, and all 
the Christian people, shall always preserve true peace under our auspices : 
second : — that I will interdict rapacity, and all iniquities to every con- 
dition : third : — that I v^ill command equity and mercy in all judgments, 
that to me and to you the great and merciful God may extend his mercy. 

" All shall say Amen. These prayers shall follow, which the bishops 
are separately to repeat. We invoke thee, Oh Lord, Holy Father, 
Almighty and Eternal God, that this thy servant, (whom by the wisdom, 
of thy divine dispensations from the beginning of his formation to this 
present day, thou hast permitted to increase, rejoicing in the flower of 
youth) enriched with the gift of thy piety, and full of the grace of truth 
thou mayest cause to be always advancing, day by day, to better things 
before God and men. That, rejoicing in the bounty of supernal grace) *i9 
may receive the throne of supreme power, and defended on all ^h-'t-i 
from his enemies by the wall of thy mercy, he may deserve to gov« . 
happily the people committed to him with the peace of propitiation, ■ ' 
the strength of victory. 

" Second Prayer. Oh God, who directest thy people in strength 
governest them with love, give this thy servant such a spirit of wv 
with the rule of discipline, that devoted to thee with his whole hef r , ^e 
may remain in his government always fit, and that by thy favo { ,he 
security of this church may be preserved in his time, and C^ r-an 
devotion may remain in tranquillity, so that, persevering in goof o rks, 
lie may attain under thy guidance to thine everlasting kingdom. 

"After a third prsbjer, the consecration of the King bv the bit^ihop 
takes place, who holds the crown over him, saying, Almighty Cvf ator. 
Everlasting Lord, Governor of heaven and earth, the maker and disposer 
of angels and men. King of kings, and Lord of lords, who mudte thy 
faithful servant Abraham to triumph over his enemies, and /^vest 
manifold victories to Moses and Joshua, the prelates of thy peop](e, and 

ji nates with the three royal precepts, to preserve the peace of the Church, 
to restrain all rapacity and injustice, and to maintain justice and mercy 
in all judicial proceedings. 



didst raise David, thy lowly child, to the summit of the kinpjdom, 
and didst free him from the mouth of the lion, and the paws of the 
beast, and from Goliah, and from the malignant sword of Saul and his 
enemies ; who didst endow Solomon with the ineffable gift of wisdom 
and peace : look down propitiously on our humble prayers, and 
multiply the gifts of thy blessing on this thy servant, whom, with 
humble devotion, we have chosen to be King of the Angles and the 
Saxons. Surround him everywhere with the right hand of thy power, 
that, strengthened with the faithfulness of Abraham, the meekness of 
Moses, the courage of Joshua, the humility of David, and the wisdom 
of Solomon, he may be well. pleasing to thee in all things, and may 
always advance in the way of justice with inoffensive progress. May he 
BO nourish, teach, defend and instruct the church of all the kingdom 
of the Anglo-Saxons, with the people annexed to it, and so potently and 
royally rule against all visible and invisible enemies, that the royal 
throne of the Angles and Saxons may not desert his sceptre, but that he 
may keep their minds in the harmony of pristine faith and peace ! May 
he, supported by the due subjection of the people, and glorified by 
worthy love, through a long life, descend to govern and establish it with 
the united mercy of thy glory ! Defended with the helmet and 
invincible shield of thy protection, and surrounded with celestial arms, 
may he obtain the triumph of victory over all his enemies, and bring 
the terror of his power on all the unfaithful, and shed peace on those 
joyfully fighting for thee ! Adorn him with the virtues with which thou 
hast decorated thy faithful servants ; place him high in his dominion, and 
anoint him with the oil of the grace of thy Holy Spirit! 

" Here ho shall be anointed with oil ; and this anthem shall be sung : 

" ' And Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, anointed Solomon 
King in Siou, and, approaching him they said : May the King live for 
over. ' 

"After two appropriate prayers, the sword was given to him, with 
\ this invocation : — 
Nt " ' God, who governest all things both in heaven and in earth, by thy 
IProvidence, bo pro])itious to our most Christian King, that all the 
st^.rength of his enemies may be broken by the virtue of the spiritual 
aWord ; and that thou combating for him, they may be utterly de- 
sfcroyed ! ' 

" The king shall here be crowned, and shall be thus addressed: — 
V ** * May God crown thee with the crown of glory, and with the honour 
of ,instice, and the labour of fortitude; that by the virtue of our 
ben^ediction, and by a right faith, and the various fruit of good works, 
tho ■! mayCst attain to the crown of the everlasting kingdom, through 
hie bounty whose kingdom endures for over.' 

" After the crown shall bo put on his head, this prayer shall be 
said : — 

" " God of eternity commander of the virtues, the conqueror of all 
enemiGB, bless this thy servant, now humbly bending his head before 
tlieo, .and preserve him long in health, prosperity, and happiness. 
Whonc vor he shall invoke thine aid, bo speedily iireaent to him, and 
prf)tert, and defend him. nestow on him the riches of thy grace ; fulfil 
his desii^cH with cvriy good thing, and crown him v\i1h thy mercy.' 
" The aceptro shall bo here given to him, with this address : — 


" * Take the illustrions sceptre of royal power, the rod of thy dominion, 
the rod of justice, by which may est thon govern thyself well, and the 
holy church and Christian people, committed by the Lord to thee ! 
Mayest thou with royal virtue, defend from the wicked ; correct the 
bad, and pacify the upright ; and that they may hold the right way, direct 
them with thine aid, so that from the temporal kingdom thou mayest 
attain to that which is eternal, by his aid whose endless dominion will 
remain through every age.' 

" After the sceptre has been given, this prayer follows : — 

" ' Lord of all ! fountain of good ! God of all ! Governor of governors ! 
bestow on thy servant the dignity to govern well, and strengthen him 
that he become the honour granted him by thee. Make him illustrious 
above every other King in Britain ! Enrich him with thine aflfluent 
benediction, and establish him firmly in the throne of his kingdom ! 
Visit him in his offspring, and grant him length of life ! In his day, may 
justice be pre-eminent, so that with all joy and felicity, he may be 
glorified in thine everlasting kingdom.' 

" The Rod shall here be given to him, with this address : — 

" ' Take the rod of justice and equity, by which thou mayest under- 
stand how to soothe the pious, and terrify the bad ; teach the way to 
the erring ; stretch out thine hand to the faltering ; abase the proud ; 
exalt the humble ; that Christ our Lord may open to thee the door, who 
says of himself, "I am the door, if any enter through me he shall be 
saved." And HE who is the Key of David, and the Sceptre of the house 
of Israel, who opens, and no one can shut ; who shuts and no one can 
open ; may he be thy helper ! HE who bringeth the bounden from the 
prison-house, and the one sitting in darkness and the shadow of Death ! 
That in all things thou mayest deserve to follow him of whom David 
sang : " Thy seat, oh God, endureth for ever ; the sceptre of thy 
kingdom is a right sceptre." Imitate him who says, " Thou hast loved 
righteousness, and hated iniquity ; therefore God, even thy God, has 
anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." ' 

" The benedictions follow. 

" * May the Almighty Lord extend the right hand of his blessing, and 
pour upon thee the gift of his protection, and surround thee with a wall 
of happiness, and with the guardianship of his care ; the merits of the 
Holy Mary ; of Saint Peter, the prince of the apostles ; and of Saint 
Gregory, the apostle of the English ; and of all the Saints, interceding 
for thee ! May the Lord forgive thee all the evil thou hast done, and 
bestow on thee the grace and mercy which thou humbly askest of him ; 
that he may free thee from all adversity, and from the assaults of all 
visible and invisible enemies. May he place his good angels to watch 
over thee, that they always and everywhere may precede, accompany, 
and follow thee; and by his power may he preserve thee from sin, from 
the sword, and every accident and danger. May he convert these 
enemies to the benignity of peace and love, and make thee gracious and 
amiable in every good thing ; and may he cover those that persecute 
and hate thee with salutary confusion; and may everlasting sanctifica- 
tion flourish upon thee. May he always make thee victorious and 
triumphant over thine enemies, visible or invisible; and pour upon thv 
heart both the fear and the continual love of his holy name, and make 
thee persevere in the right faith and in good works ; granting thee 


peace in thy days, and with the palm of victory may he bring thee to 
an endless reign. And may he make thee happy in this world and the 
partaker of his everlasting' felicity, who will to make thee King over 
his people. Bless, Lord, this elected prince, thou who rulest for ever 
the kingdom of all kings. And so glorify him with thy blessing, that 
he may liold the sceptre of Solomon, with the sublimity of a David, etc. 
Grant him by thy inspiration, so to govern thy people, as thou didst 
permit Solomon to obtain a peaceful kingdom.' 

" ' Designation of the state of the kingdom. 

" ' Stand and retain now the state which you have hitherto held by 
paternal succession, with hereditary right, delegated to thee by the 
authority of Almighty God, and our present delivery, that is, of all the 
bishops and other servants of God ; and in so much as thou hast beheld 
the clergy nearer the sacred altars, so much more remember to pay 
them the honour due, in suitable places. So may the Mediator of God 
and men confirm thee the mediator of the clergy and the common 
people, on the throne of this kingdom, and make thee reign with him 
in his eternal kingdom.' 

" This prayer follows : 

*' * May the Almighty Lord give thee, from the dew of heaven, and 
the fatness of the earth, abundance of corn, wine, and oil ! May the 
people serve thee, and the tribes adore thee ! Be the lord of thy 
brothers, and let the sons of thy mother bow before thee : He who 
blesses thee shall be filled with blessings, and God will be thy helper : 
May the Almighty bless thee with the blessings of the heaven above, 
and in the mountains, and in the vallies ; with the blessing of deep 
below ; with the blessing of the suckling and the womb ; with the 
blessings of grapes and apples ; and may the blessing of the ancient 
fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, bo heaped upon thee ! Bless, 
Lord, the courage of this prince, and prosper the works of his hands ; 
and by thy blessing may his land be filled with apples, with the fruits, 
and the dew of heaven, and of the deep below ; with the fruit of the 
sun and moon ; from the top of the ancient mountains, from the apples 
of the eternal hills, and from the fruits of the earth and its fulness. 
May the blessing of Uim who appeared in the bush come upon his head, 
and may the full blessing of the Lord be upon his sons, and may he 
steep his feet in oil. With his horn, as the horn of the rhinoceros, 
may he blow the nati(ms to the extremities of the earth ; and may He 
who has ascended to the skies, be his auxiliary for ever.' 

" Hero the coronation ends." 

Such are the interesting particulars wliich have been pre- 
served of the consecration of our earliest Enj^lish rulers. 
The notices of previous inaugurations consist of only a few 
allusions to the assum])tion of sovereign power. The assem- 
blnge of states, commonly called the Heptarchy, were con- 
stantly at war with one another, and of the existence of any- 
general controlHug authority except such as one king was 
occasionally enabled to maintain over the rest by his sword, 


their history affords no trace. To certain of the kings, 
however, by whom, this temporary supremacy appears to 
have been asserted in the most marked manner, Bede, and 
after him the Saxon Chronicle, has attributed the title of 
" Bretwalda," Wielder, or Emperor of Britain ; and it is 
probable that a species of superior honour and dignity, 
such as this title would imply, may have been claimed by 
the princes in question. The title of Bretwalda can only 
be considered an ostentatious and empty assumption of some 
of the Saxon kings, and did not carry with it a real or legal 

Egbert of Wessex, although not strictly entitled to be 
called the first King of all England, certainly laid the foun- 
dation of what afterwards became the English monarchy. 
The royal house of Wessex never lost the ascendency, which 
he acquired for it, so long as the Anglo-Saxons remained 
masters of England. Only one charter is known to exist in 
which Egbert is styled Bjex Anglorum. In general both he 
and his successors, down to Alfred inclusive, call themselves 
"Kings of the West Saxons." In 886 Alfred the Great, 
grandson of Egbert, became by common consent sovereign 
of all England, excepting those parts of the north and east 
which were still in foreign hands. There is no record of any 
solemn formality gone through, or universal homage done to 
Alfred on this occasion, and probably such did not take 
place ; his title was stronger and better than what could 
have been thus conferred. Neither are there any particulars 
of the coronation of the king in 871, except that it took place 
at Winchester, the capital of Wessex. The crown worn on 
this occasion was, in all probability, that to which I have 
alluded in the chapter on the " Crowns of England." The 
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle states that in 853 " King Ethelwulf 
sent his son Alfred " (then five years old) " to Rome ; at that 
time, Leo was pope in Rome, and he consecrated him king." 
Malmesbury says that the pope gave him " the regal unction 
and the crown," and Robert of Gloucester has — 

" Erst he adde at Rome ybe, and vor is gret wisdome 
The pope Leon hym blessede, tho he thuder come, 
And the king is croune of this lond, y* in this lond yat is ; 
And elede him to be king, ere he were king ywis. 
And he was king of Engelond, of all that there come 
That verst thus yeled was of the Pope of Rome, 
And sutthe other after him, of the erchebissop echon, 
So that biuore him thur king was ther non.' 


It may be observed that no one of his brothers, Ethelbert, 
Ethelbald, or Ethelred, appear to have received a regal 
consecration. In the will of King Alfred there is a clause 
which shows that he did not consider his crown as conferred 
either by inheritance from his royal forefathers, or by the 
pope's consecration, but that he held it as a gift. 

Edward, the eldest surviving son of King Alfred, was 
recognized by the Witenagemot as his successor, and was 
crowned (according to some writers) in 901 at Kingston- 
upon-Thames, but Langtoft states "at London, at Saynt 
Poules took he ye croune." 

Athelstan, or Etherstan, said to have been a natural son 
of the last monarch, was elected king by the Witan, and was 
the first sovereign who called himself " King of t}ie English^ 
He was crowned at Kingston-upon-Thames in 925. " The 
monarch," says Dean Hook, in his " Lives of the Archbishops 
of Canterbury," " stood before the people ; a thin spare man, 
thirty years of age, with his yellow hair beautifully inwoven 
with threads of gold. He was arrayed in a purple vestment, 
with a Saxon sword in a golden sheath, hanging from a 
jewelled belt. 

On an elevated platform in the market-place, and on 
a stone seat, he took his place, to be better seen of the 
multitude. He was received with shouts of loyalty, and as 

*' One eminent among the rest for strength, 
For stratagem, or courage, or for all, 
Was chosen leader." 

Then, elevated on a stage or target, he was carried on the 
shoulders of his men,* being from time to time, in their 

* The " lifting " of a chief or sovereign (see frontispiece) was 
a practice from the earliest times. It was a custom among the tribes 
of ancient Germany. Tacitus alludes to the ceremonial in the case of 
Brinno, chief of the Batavian tribe of Canninefutes, " impositus scuto, 
more gentis, et sustinentium huraerisvibratus,dux dcligitur" (" Uist.," iv. 
15). The German soldiers of the imperial guard introduced this custom 
to the Romans. The elected emperor was raised on a shield and carried 
round the camp three times. This practice was a recognized portion of 
the ritual of a coronation in the Eastern empire. At the inauguration 
of Justin the Younger in St. Sophia, a shield was held up by four young 
men. On this the emperor stood erect, like the letter I, with which his 
name, and that of his two immediate predecessors, commenced. Subse- 
quently the emperors adopted the securer position of sitting, instead of 
standing, on the buckler. Gregory of Tours states that the " chairing" 
of Uunbald, King of Burgundy (a.d. 500), was performed with rather 
more zeal than caution, for being carried for the third time around the 


enthusiasm, tossed into the air, until they arrived at the 
doors of the church. Here the archbishop (Aldhelm) was 
standing to receive him, and the king, supported by two 
prelates on either side, proceeded to the steps of the altar, 
and, prostrating himself, remained some time in private 
prayer, after which the archbishop proceeded to the coronation. 
William of Malmesbury remarks, " To celebrate such 
splendid events, and the joy of that illustrious day, the poet 
justly exclaims — 

" ' The nobles meet, the crown present, 
On I'ebels, prelates curses vent ; 
The people light the festive fires, 
And show by turns their kind desires. 
Their deeds their loyalty declare, 
Though hopes and fears their bosoms share. 
With festive treat, the court abounds ; 
Foams the brisk wine, the hall resounds : 
The pages run, the servants haste, 
And food and verse regale the taste. 
The minstrels sing, the guests commend, 
Whilst all in praise to Christ contend. 
The king with pleasure all things sees, 
And all his kind attentions please.' " 

After King Edmund I. (a.d. 941) and King Edrrd (a.d. 
946), Edwy, or Edwin, the eldest son of Edmund I., was 
crowned by Archbishop Odo in the year 955 — a coronation 
remarkable for the outrage on the monarch by Dunstan, to 
which I have alluded in the chapter on " Omens and Incidents 
in connection with Coronations." In 973 Edgar and his 
consort Elflida, or Elfrida, were solemnly crowned at St. 
Peter's, Bath ; the coronation ceremony being performed by 
Archbishop Dunstan, on the 11th of May, the feast of Pente- 
cost. St. Oswald assisted in the ceremonies of consecrating 

assembled people, the sovereign fell from his high estate, and was, with 
diflBculty, kept from descending to the earth. In the East it was the 
rule that the shield should be supported in front by the emperor (when 
the choice of a successor was made in his lifetime), the father of the 
new created monarch if alive, and the patriarch; the other highest 
dignitaries of the state supporting it behind. 

Clevis was inaugurated as king with the old Prankish custom of 
being raised on a shield ; Pepin was lifted on a target, from which time 
the custom was but casually observed in France. The Emperor Otho 
was raised on a shield at Milan (a.d. 961). From a passage in Constan- 
tino Porphyrogenitus this custom appears to have prevailed among the 
Turks. It was in use in the kingdom of Arragon, in Spain, and traces 
of it are found in the annals of Castile. 


and anointing Edgar and his queen. This event was com- 
memorated in a poem preserved in the Saxon Chronicle : — 

" Here Edgar was 

(of Angles wielder) 
With mickle pomp 

to kyng yhallowed 
in the old borough 
but those that dwell 

in other word 
Bath name it. 
There was bliss mickle 

on that happy day 
caused to all 
which sons of men 
name and call 
Pentecost Day." 

Edgar, on the day of his coronation, resumed the insignia 
of royalty (which had been interdicted by Dunstan for his 
crime in carrying off the nun Wulfreda, of Wilton), and he 
was surrounded by his nobles, to whom he gave the custo- 
mary gifts. The royal robes worn by Edgar at his coronation 
are described as of great value, on which account the king 
afterwards bestowed them on the Abbey of Glastonbury, as 
a decoration for the altar. 

Edgar, in his will, had declared that the crown should 
devolve on Edward, the son of his first wife, Ethelflede " the 
Fair," or the " White," an amiable prince then in his thir- 
teenth year ; but Elfrida, the second wife of Edgar, wished 
to secure the succession to her son Ethelred, then a child of 
seven years, on the plea that his mother had not been law- 
fully wedded to Edgar, or that the young prince was born 
before their coronation ; besides which, the queen alleged 
that he was of a cruel and harsh disposition. Elfrida had 
many partisans, but Dunstan, fearing a diminution of his 
power if Ethelred became king under the regency of his 
mother, convened an assembly of nobles at Kingston for the 
purpose of crowning and anointing Edward II. The faction 
of Elfrida, among whom was Alfer, Duke of Mercia, formally 
declared against the ceremony taking place. The queen 
herself, who was present, objected on account of the prince's 
illegitimacy. At this crisis Dunstan appeared, bearing in his 
hands the banner of the crucifix, accompanied by young 
Edward, whom he presented to the nobles as their rightful 


sovereign, declaring- that lie himself would be responsible for 
the prince's conduct, whom he would regulate, as his father's 
tutor and prime minister. This promise of Dunstan united 
the wavering minds of the assembled nobles, "and Edward," 
says Holinshed, " was received with universal joy." 

Taking the youth by the hand, Dunstan marched directly 
to the church, accompanied by the other bishops, followed by 
a great crowd of people, where he anointed him king (a.d. 
975), in spite of the opposition of Elfrida and her party, who 
were overwhelmed with grief at the archbishop's triumph. 
The young king, however, had but a short-lived reign of 
three years, for it is said that whilst drinking a cup of wine 
at Corfe Castle, whither he had gone to pay his respects to 
his mother-in-law Elfrida, he was stabbed to the heart, either 
by the queen or by one of her attendants. 

Edward, who on account of his barbarous murder was 
surnamed the " Martyr," was succeeded on the throne (978) 
by his half-brother, Etheleed II., or the " Unready," con- 
secrated at Kingston, and the particulars of which ceremony 
have been mentioned. This sovereign abdicated the throne 
in 1012, and Swain or Swegn, King of Denmark, usurped the 
crown, and was proclaimed king in the autumn of 1014, in 
which year he died, and Ethelred was restored. " Under 
Ethelred [the Unready]," says Freeman, " nothing was done, 
or more truly, throughout his whole reign he left undone 
those things he ought to have done, and he did those things 
which he ought not to have done." On his death, Edmund 
Ironside, said to have been the natural son of Ethelred, was 
elected by the Witan in London and the citizens, as his suc- 
cessor, and crowned April, 1016. He was, however, defeated 
by Canute, with whom, it is said on debatable authority, he 
divided the realm, and on his death the latter became sole 
monarch of England (1017). 

Haeold L, the son of King Canute, succeeded to the throne 
by election of the Witan (1036) ; and three years afterwards 
Hardicanute, his half-brother, became king over all England 
for two years, all but ten days. 

In 1041 Edward the " Confessor," son of Ethelred II., 
was elected to the throne (before the funeral of Hardicanute), 
and was crowned at Winchester, "with great worship," as 
stated in the Saxon chronicles, on Easter Day, 1043. The 
ceremony of the consecration was performed by the Arch- 
bishops of Canterbury and Tork. We are expressly told 


that the metropolitan, Archbisliop Eadsige, gave much ex- 
hortation, both to the newly made king and to his people. 
It seems that this coronation was attended bj an apparently 
unusual assemblage of the ambassadors of foreign princes. 
From Edward's third, charter to Westminster Abbey, dated 
1066, the year of his death, it appears that the king had 
expressly applied to Pope Nicholas 11. on the subject of 
Westminster Abbey being the established place for crowning 
the monarchs of England. The answer of the pope is in the 
form of a rescript, making the abbey the future place of in- 
auguration, from which time the custom has been recognized. 
(It may be mentioned that the use of the great seal was 
first introduced in this reign.) In the interesting series of 
relievi in the chapel of Edward the Confessor in Westminster 
Abbey, the third subject (one of fourteen) represents the 
coronation of this monarch. He is seated under a canopy of 
state, and the crown is being placed on his head by the Arch- 
bishops of Canterbury and York. There is a large assemblage 
of nobles and courtiers. Owing to the dilapidation of this 
work, it is impossible to ascertain correctly the minor details 
of the subject. 

A curious picture of the coronation of Harold II. (1066) 
is given in the famous Bayeux Tapestry, from which it appears 
that neither the story of the king being crowned by Ealdred, 
Archbishop of York, during the suspension of Stigand, Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury (in consequence of a quarrel with the 
court of Rome), nor that of Harold having with his own 
hands put on the " golden round " in the absence of Stigand, 
are true, for in the tapestry Stigand is represented, " duly 
labelled," to prevent mistakes. In this wonderful specimen 
of ancient art,* Harold appears on his throne, in St. Paul's, 
with the globe and cross in his left hand, and a sceptre in his 
right. Two men on his right-hand side present him with a 
sword, and Stigand, the Archbishop of Canterbury, is standing 

* Dr. Freeman considers the Bayenx Tapestry as a contcnipoi'ary 
work of art ; there is no reason to connect it with Matilda, the consort 
of Williain the Conqueror, but thei'e is every reason to connect it with 
Odo, half-brother of William. " It was probably, but I cannot say cer- 
tainly, made in En<]^land." The tapestry is now carefully preserved in 
its iNlorman home. It was formerly wound round a sort of windlass, and 
was unwound and handled whenever anybody looked at it. It is 
now kept under f^lass in the public library at Bayeux, where it is stretched 
out round the room. 


on his left. The inscriptions are: "Here they give the crown 
to King Harold ; " " Here sits Harold, King of the English," 
" Stigand, Archbishop." 

Dr. Freeman, in his "History of the Norman Conquest," 
considers that there is no doubt whatever of Harold having 
been consecrated king with all the usual ecclesiastical rites. 
That the ceremony was performed by Eldred may be thought 
in one degree to be less certain, but that seems to be a point 
in which scepticism is unreasonable. With regard to the 'place 
of the ceremony, the balance between the minister of St. Paul's 
and Westminster seems to be in favour of the latter. Dr. 
Freeman thus graphically describes the coronation ceremony : 

" The rite began. Earl Harold, the King-Elect, was led by two 
bishops, with hymns and processions, up to the high altar of the 
minster. The anthem sung by the choir in that great procession, prayed 
that the hand of Harold might be strengthened and exalted, that justice 
and judgment might be the preparation of his seat, that mercy and 
truth might go before his face. Before the high altar the earl of the 
West Saxons bowed himself to the ground, and while he lay grovelling, 
the song of Ambrose, the song of faith and victory, was sung over one 
whose sin at Porlock, whose atonement at Waltham, might well make 
him another Theodosius. The Earl then rose from the pavement, and 
for the last time he looked on the crowd around him, the Prelates and 
Thegns, and the whole people of England, as still one of their number. 
Their voice had already hailed him as their King, but a still more solemn 
election before the altar of God was needed before the Chui-ch admitted 
him to the sacramental unction. Once more the voice of Ealdred 
(primate of Northumberland) demanded of the English people, in ancient 
form, whether they would that Earl Harold should be crowned as their 
Lord and King. A loud shout of assent rung through the minster. 
Chosen thus by Prelates and people, the King-Elect swore with a loud 
voice his three-fold oath to God and to all his folk. Kings swore in after 
days that they would observe all the rights and liberties which the 
glorious Eadward had granted to his clergy and his people. The oath of 
the prince who had so lately renewed the Laws of Cnut was of a simpler 
form. Earl Harold swore to preserve peace to the Church of God, and 
to all Christian people. He swore to forbid wrong and robbery to men 
of every rank within his realm. He swore to enforce justice and mercy 
in all his judgments, as he would that God should have mercy upon him. 
And all the people said Amen. The Bishops then prayed for the Ruler 
whom they had chosen, for his guidance by the Spirit of Wisdom in the 
government of his realm, for peace to his Church and people, for his 
welfare in this world and in the next. Then a yet more solemn prayer 
from the lips of Ealdred followed. In that ancient English form which 
other nations have been fain to borrow of us, the God who had wrought 
His mighty works by the hands of Abraham and Moses and Joshua and 
David and Solomon, was implored to shower down all the gifts and 
graces of those famous worthies, upon him who was that day chosen to 


be King of the Angles and Saxons. Ealdred prayed that Harold, faithful 
as Abraham, gentle as Moses, brave as Joshua, humble as David, wise as 
Solomon, might teach and rule and guard the Church and realm of the 
Angles and Saxons against all visible and invisible foos. With feelings 
too deep for words must that prayer have risen from the hearts of those 
who could already see the gathering storm, which was still but like a 
little cloud out of the sea. The Primate prayed that their chosen King 
might never fail the throne and sceptre of the Angles and Saxons, that 
for long years of his life he might reign over a faithful people in peace 
and concord, and if need be, in victory. Christ himself was prayed to 
raise him to the throne of His Kingdom, and to pour down upon him the 
unction of the Holy One. 

" The oaths were said, the pi-ayers were prayed. And now came the 
sacramental rite itself, which changed an Earl into a King, and which 
gave him, so men deemed, grace from on high to discharge the duties 
which it laid upon him. The holy oil was poured upon the head of 
Earl Harold, by the hand of Ealdred. And while the symbolic act was 
in doing, the choir raised their voices in that glorious strain to which the 
noblest music of later times has given a still higher majesty. The walls 
of the West Minster echoed to the anthem, which told how Zadok the 
Priest, and Nathan the Prophet, anointed Solomon King, and which 
added the prayer of England that Harold might live for ever. Again 
the Primate prayed, that as of old Kings and Priests and Prophets were 
anointed with oil, so now the oil poured on the head of God's servant, 
might be a true sign of the inner unction of the heart, a means of grace 
for his glory, and the welfare of his people. And now King Harold, the 
Lord's Anointed, the chosen of the people, the consecrn ted of the Church, 
vested in the robe of royalty and priesthood, received in due order, the 
insignia of the kingly office. The sword was placed in his hand, with the 
prayer that he might therewith defend his realm, and smite his enemies, 
and the enemies of the Church of God. The King then bowed his head, 
and the Imperial diadem of Britain was placed by the hand of Ealdred 
on the head of the King of the Angles and Saxons, the Emperor of the 
Isle of Albion. God was again implored to crown His Anointed with 
glory, and justice, and might, and to give him a yet brighter Crown in a 
more enduring Kingdom. Then the sceptre, crowned with the cross, and 
the rod crowned with the holy dove, were placed, one after the other, in 
the royal hands. Prayer was again made that the sceptre of Harold's 
Kingdom might be a sceptre of righteousness and strength, that he, who 
had been anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows, might 
through all his days be a lover of righteousness, and a hater of iniquity. 
Further prayers, further blessings followed ; the prayers and merits of 
all the saints, of the Virgin mother of God, of the Prince of the Apostles, 
and of his successor the special Apostle of the English nation, were 
implored on behalf of the anointed King. And now King Harold sat on 
his royal throne, the crown upon his brow, in his right hand the sceptre, 
in his left the orb of Empire, the proud badge which belonged of right 
to the Caosar of another world. Two chiefs, pcrha])s his faithful brothers, 
bore the sword at his side ; his people stood and gazed upon him with 
wonder and delight. The day, at last, liad come, for whicli Harold and 
Englatid had looked so long. 

" On the Coronation followed the mass, and afterwards the banquet, 



and then, on the' last day of the Christmas festival, we cannot doubt that 
King Harold, in all the glory of his new digAity, wore his Crown with all 
kingly state in what was now his palace at Westminster. The old dynasty 
had passed away; the new dynasty had taken possession." 

Harold liad a brief reign, being* crowned January 6, 1066, 
and slain at the battle of Hastings, October 14 of tbe same 

The victorious rival of this unfortunate monarch, William, 
Duke of Normandy, was crowned King of England at West- 

Death of Harold. From the Bayeux Tapestry. 

minster Abbey on Christmas Day, 1066, by Ealdred, Arch- 
bishop of York.* The ceremony was one of great splendour. 

* The circumstance of Stigand, Archbishop of Canterbury, not per- 
forming this duty is mentioned by Langtoft : — 

" The Pope reft him the state. 
The abbot and prioure, men of religion 
The oder men of honoure, archedecane and person 
Wer prived of thar office, of woulfes had renoun 
For lechorie that vice wer many als don doun. 
The Archbishope of York, com with devocioun, 
Though William praiere, come to London toun ; 
Bifor the barons brouht, he*gaf William the coroun 
To chalange was he nouht, Sir Stigand was don doun." 


According to the Saxqn Chronicle, William entered the city 
on the preceding afternoon, and took np his abode at the 
palace of Blackfriars. On Christmas morning he took boat 
to London Bridge, repaired to a house near London Stone, 
and thence proceeded to the abbey at the head of a splendid 
cavalcade, surrounded with all the trappings of royalty. 
Near to his person, next to the Norman banners, rode the 
English nobles and officers of state. The archbishop pro- 
nounced an address, and, in compliance with the Anglo-Saxon 
laws, asked the English whether they chose to accept William 
as their king. Geoffrey, Bishop of Coutances, also demanded 
of the Normans in their own language whether they con- 
sidered that their sovereign should take the dignity of King 
of England. William then took the oath of the Saxon kings, 
and solemnly promised that he would treat the English 
people as well as the best of their monarchs had done, to 
preserve the privileges of his new subjects, and administer 
true justice — a mere mockery in this case, as events very 
soon afterwards proved. 

The coronation of William II., " Ruf us " (September 26, 
1087), took place seventeen days after his father's death. 
Peter Langtof t says — 

" To William y" rede kyng 
Is f?yvon ye coroun 
At Westmyiistere tok he ryng 
In ye abbay of Londoun." 

Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury, officiated. 

Stained with the most odious tyranny was the thirteen 
years' reign of the second William, and the inauguration of 
his brother, Henry I. (August 5, 1100), was made the occasion 
of a solemn condemnation of the acts committed under the 
previous sovereign. He was chosen on condition of restoring 
the laws of St. Edward and the old liberties of the kinsfdom. 
which he conferred by a charter immediately after his con- 
secration.* The ceremonial of this consecration is preserved 

* The compact between Henry and the electors Avas more marked 
than in any previous Norman coronation, lie promised everything 
excepting the one thins^ which he declared that ho could not do, namely, 
to give up the forests of game which he had received from his father. 

A yet more important coronation than his own, in the eyes of the 
Saxon population, was that of his wife Matilda (November 10, 1100). 
Never since the battle of Hastings had there been such a joyous day 
as when Queen Maude, (he descendant of Alfred, was crowned in the 
abbey and feasted in the great hall. 



among the Cottonian MSS. (Claudius A. iii. and Tiberius 
B. viii.) in the British Museum. "In those days," observes 
Lord Campbell in his " Lives of the Lord Chancellors," 
*' anointment by a prelate was supposed to ^vjq a divine right 
to kings, and the commencement of a reign was dated from 
the day of the coronation, not from the death of a predecessor. 
The privilege of crowning the kings of England has always 
been considered to belong to the Archbishop of Canterbury 
as primate, but Anselm, the archbishop, from his quarrel 
with the late king, was still in exile. Henry, in this ex- 
tremity, applied to Maurice, the ex-lord chancellor, and over- 
came his scruples as to the law of primogeniture by a share 
of the royal treasure, which he had secured to himself as he 
passed through Winchester, and by which history records 
that his usurpation was accomplished. On the third day 
from the tragical end of Rufus, Maurice placed the crown on 
the head of the new sovereign in Westminster Abbey." At 
that time, says Fuller, the present providing of good swords 
was accounted more essential to a king's coronation than the 
long preparing of gay clothes. Such preparatory pomp as was 
used in after ages for the ceremony was now conceived not 
only useless, but dangerous ; speed being safest to supply the 
vacancy of the throne. 

Stephen was crowned December 26, 1135, the day of his 
patron saint Stephen. The Saxon Chronicle thus describes 
his accession, after noticing the death of Henry I. : " Mean- 
while was his nephew come to London, Stephen de Blois. 
He came to London, and the people of London received him, 
and sent after the Archbishop, William Corboil, and hallowed 
him to king on mid- winter day." At this ceremony, says 
William of Malmesbury, " there were no abbots, and scarcely 
any of the nobility." 

Henry II., grandson of Henry I., succeeded to the crown 
on the death of Stephen, and was consecrated, together with 
Queen Eleanora, December 19, 1154. Henry of Huntingdon 
says that on proceeding to London he was received with the 
:greatest gladness, and " blessed as king " with much splendour. 
This monarch caused his eldest son and heir-apparent. Prince 
Henry, to be crowned king in his lifetime (June 14, 1170), 
being most probably desirous to engage the nobles and great 
men of the realm to swear to preserve the regular succession 
.in his family, his own hereditary right having, in the person 
of his mother, Maude the empress, been interrupted by the 


reign of Stephen. In the case o£ Heniy II. the ceremony of 
consecration had been repeated several times. The corona- 
tion of his son as Henry III. took place during the height of 
the king's quarrel with Becket. Accordingly, as the primate 
was necessarily absent, the Archbishop of York took his 

The coronation ceremonial of Henry and Eleanora was 
magnificent. Here were seen in profusion mantles of silk 
and brocade, of a new fashion and splendid texture, brought 
by Queen Eleanora from Constantinople. Henry wore a 
doublet and short Angevin cloak, which gave him the sov.- 
hriquet of " Court-mantle." His dalmatica was of the richest 
brocade, with gold embroidery. At this coronation ecclesi- 
astics were first seen in England dressed in sumptuous robes 
of silk and velvet, worked with gold in imitation of the Greek 

Of Richard I., "that robbed the lion of his heart," Peter 
Langtof t writes — 

" In a moneth mirie 
September y^ gynnyng', 
Bauclwyn of Canterbiric 
Com to coroune y® king." 

The ceremonial took place at Westminster, September 3, 
1189. In Hoveden we find some particulars of this corona- 
tion which are very interesting : 

" The Archbishops of Canterbury, Koan [Rouen], Triei"s [Tours], and 
Dublin, with all the otlier bishops, abbots and clergy, apparelled in rich 
copes, and having the cross, holy water, and censers carried before 
them, came to fetch the king at the door of his privy -chamber; where 
receiving him, they led him to the church of Westminster in solemn 
procession, until they came before the high altar. In the middle of tho 
bishops and clergy, Avent four barons bearing candlesticks with tapers 
— after whom came Geffrey de Lucy, bearing the cap of maintenance, 
and next to him, John Marshall, bearing a massy ])air of gold spurs; 
then followed William Marshall, Earl of Striguil (alias Pembroke) who 
bare the royal sceptre, in the top whereof was a cross of gold ; and next 
to him William Fitz-Patrick, Earl of Salisbury, who bare the warder or 
rod, having on the top thereof a dove; — then came three earls, viz. r 
David, Earl of Huntingdon, brother to the King of Scots ; John, Earl of 
Mortaigno, and Robert, Earl of Leicester ; each of which carls bare a 
sword upright in his hand, the scabbards being richly adorned with 

"After these followed six earls and barons, bearing a checker table* 
upon which were set tho king's scutcheons of arms : — then camo 
William Mandeville, Earl of Albemarle, bearing a crown of gold a great 


height, before the king, who followed, having the bishop of Durham on 
his right hand, and Eeynold, bishop of Bath, on the left, over whom a 
canopy was borne. 

" In this order Richard came into the church at Westminster, where 
before the high altar, in the presence of the clergy and the people, 
laying his hand upon the holy evangelists and the reliques of certain 
saints, he took a solemn oath that he should observe j)eace, honour and 
reverence to Almighty God, to his church and to his ministers, all the 
days of his life ; also, that he should exercise upright justice to the 
people committed to his charge ; and that he should abrogate and dis- 
annul all evil laws, and wrongful customs, if any were to be found in 
the precinct of his realm, and maintain those which were good and 
laudable. This done, the king put off all his garments from his middle 
upwards, but only his shirt, which was open in the shoulders, that he 
might be anointed, — then the Archbishop anointed him in three places ; 
on the head, on the shoulder, and on the right arm, with prayers in 
such cases accustomed. After this he covered his head with a linen 
cloth, hallowed, and set his cap thereon, and then, after he had put on 
his royal garment, and his uppermost robe, the Archbishop delivered 
him the sword with which he should beat down the enemies of the 
church ; which done, two earls put his shoes upon his feet, and having- 
his mantle put upon him, the Archbishop forbade him, on the behalf of 
Almighty God, to presume to take upon him this dignity, except he 
faithfully meant to perform those things which he had there sworn 
to perform. Whereunto the king made answer, that by God's grace he 
would perform them. 

'* Then the king took the crown beside the altar, and delivered it to 
the Archbishop, which he set upon the king's head, delivering him the 
sceptre to hold in his right hand, and the rod royal in his left hand, and 
thus being crowned, he was brought back by the bishops and barons, 
with the cross and candlesticks, and three swords, passing forth before 
him unto his seat.* 

" When the bishop who sang mass came to the offertory, the two 
bishops that brought him to the church, led him to the altar, and 
brought him back again. The mass ended, the king was brought with 
solemn procession into his chamber, and so the whole ceremony was 

On his return from captivity Richard was crowned again 
at Winchester, as if to reassure his subjects. This was the 
last trace of the old Saxon regal character of Winchester. 
He submitted very reluctantly to this repetition, but the 
reinvestiture in the coronation robes was considered so 
important, that in these he was ultimately buried.t 

"■ On the effigy of Richard I. in the Abbey of Fontevraud are seen the 
royal gloves, with a large jewel on the back of the hands, characteristic 
of dignity. These are also represented on the figure of Henry II. 

t In 1191 Richard I., who had overcome the Cypriots, "in the 
joyous month of May," says an ancient writer, "in the flourishing and 
spacious isle of Cyprus, celebrated as the very abode of the goddess of 


John, tlie brother of Richard I., succeeded to the crown 
by the nomination of his brother, with the consent and 
election of the states of the realm, and was inaugurated at 
Westminster Abbey, May 27, 1199. Various circumstances 
tend to prove that he was indebted for the crown to the 
election of his subjects, rather than to hereditary right. In 
one of his charters he seems to admit that his title to the 
throne was founded, partly at least, on the consent and 
approbation of his subjects. This coronation is memorable 
for the oration of Hubert Walter, Archbishop of Canterbury, 
as related by Matthew Paris (" Historia Major"), in which 
the declaration of the elective principle of our early sovereigns 
is made : " It is well known to you all that no man hath 
right of succession to this crown, except that by unanimous 
consent of the kingdom, with invocation of the Holy Ghost, 
he be elected for his own deserts. If, indeed, of the family 
of the deceased monarch, there be one then supereminently 
endowed, he should have our preference." Thus John, the 
sixth and youngest son of Henry II., succeeded to the crown, 
although Arthur, then in his twelfth year, and the son of 
Geoffrey, King Henry's fourth son, was living.* 

The archbishop, adds Matthew Paris, was a man of bold 
character, and a support to the kingdom by his steadiness and 

love, solemnly took to wife his beloved Lady Berengaria." By the 
advice of tlie allied cnisaders, who came to assist at his nuptials, 
Jli chard was crowned King of Cyprus, and his bride Queen of England 
and Cyprus. 

" To Limoussa the lady was led, his feast the King did cry 
Berengere will he wed, and sojourn thereby, 
The third day of the feast, bishop Bernard of Bayonne 
Kenewed oft the gcste, to the Queen he gave the crown." 

* On the death of Richard I. the right to the throne devolved, 
iiccording to modern usage, upon Arthur of Brittany, son and heir of 
Geoffrey ]?lantagenet, next brother of that monarch; but John pretended 
to have a superior right, as nearer of kin to Richard, being his next sur- 
viving brother, whereas Arthur was one degree further removed, being 
])is brother's son. 

"The infamy of John's reign in no way affects his right to the 
crown, which was perfectly good. It does not appear that Arthur of 
Brittany, who is commonly spoken of as having a better right, had any 
partisans in England iit all." — Freeman. 

Sir Harris Nicolas mentions as a remarkable fact, and one which has 
liithorto escaped notice, that all the Anglo-Noi'man kings, from William 
ilic Conqiioror to Richard I. inclusive, styled themselves kings, dukes, 
or counts of tJicir people, and not of their dominions. 


incomparable wisdom ; no one, therefore, dared to dispute 
what he said, as knowing that he had good cause for what he 
did. John, and all who were present, acquiesced, and he 
was unanimously elected with cries of " God save the king ! " 
King John bound himself by a triple oath at this corona- 
tion, says Roger of Wendover, to love the holy Church and 
its ordained priests, to jDreserve it harmless from the attacks 
of evil designers, to do away with bad laws, substituting good 
ones in their stead, and to see justice rightly administered 
throughout England.* 

Henry III. of Winchester, had just completed his tenth 
year when he succeeded his father, and was crowned twice : 
first at Gloucester (October 28, 1216), by the Bishop of 
Winchester (Westminster being in the hands of Prince Louis 
of France) ; and afterwards (Whit-sunday, May 17, 1220) 
at Westminster Abbey, " to the end," as Holinshed ob- 
serves, " it might be said that now, after the extinguishment 
of all seditious factions, he was crowned by the general 
consent of all the estates and subjects of his realm." 

Of the coronation at Gloucester, Roger of Wendover 
relates " that the legate, in company with the bishops and 
nobles, conducted the king in solemn procession to the conven- 
tual church to be crowned ; and there, standing before the 
great altar, in the presence of the clergy and people, he swore 
on the holy Gospels and reliques of the saints, that he would 
preserve honour, peace, and reverence, towards God, and 
the holy Church, and its ordained ministers all the days of his 
life ; he also swore that he would show justice to the people 
I entrusted to his care, and would abolish all bad laws and cus- 
I toms, if there were any in the kingdom, and would observe those 
|i that were good, and cause them to be observed by all. He 
J then did homage to the holy Church of Rome, and to the 
Pope, for the kingdoms of England and Ireland, and 
swore, that as long as he held those kingdoms, he would 
faithfully pay the thousand marks which his father had 
given to the Roman Church ; after this Peter, bishop of 

* John had been previously (April 25, 1199) inaugurated as Duke of 
Normandy. He was girt at Eome, says Eoger of Wendover, with the 
sword of the duchy in the mother church, by Walter, Archbishop of 

^ Kouen, "and the same archbishop before the great altar placed on his 
head the golden circle with rosettes of gold artificially worked in a circle 

1 on the top of it." The duke then, in the presence of the clergy and 

i people, swore on the relics of saints and by the holy Gospels, a similar 

• oath to that taken at his English coronation. 



Winchester, placed the crown on his head, and anointed him 
king, with the usual ceremonies of prayer and chanting 
observed at coronations. After mass had been performed, the 
bishops and knights clothed the king in royal robes, and 
conducted him to the table, where they all took their seats 
accoi'ding to their rank, and feasted amidst mirth and 

On the restoration of Westminster to the king he was 
crowned by Stephen Langton, having the day before laid the 

Coronation of King Edward I. Initial letter from illuminated manuscript. 

foundation of the new Lady Chapel, the germ of his 
magniiiccnt church. The royal banquet was so splendid 
that the oldest man present could remember nothing like it 
at a previous coronation. The young king, says Dean 
Stanley, impressed probably by his double coronation, 
asked the great theologian of that time, Grossetete, Bishop 
of Lincoln, the difficult question," What was the precise grace 
wrought in a king by the unction ? " The bishop answered 
witli some hesitation that it was the sign of the king's special 
reception of the sevenfold gifts of the Spirit, "as in 


At the close of the long reign of Henry III., his son 
Edward was in the Holy Land, from whence he sent orders 
for his coronation on his return. Some idea may be formed of 
the royal banquet on this occasion from a passage in the 
directions given for the ceremony (Rymer's ' ' FcBdera ") . These 
were — to provide three hundred and eighty head of cattle, four 
hundred and thirty sheep, four hundred and fifty pigs, 
eighteen wild boars, two hundred and seventy-eight flitches 
)f bacon, and nearly twenty thousand capons and fowls. 

The coronation of Edward I. and Queen Eleanor took 
)lace at Westminster Abbey (August 19, 1274). There was 
labundant cheer ; a kitchen of extraordinary size was built at 
'Westminster, and from the builder's account we learn that 
the boiled meats placed before the king's guests were pre- 
pared in leaden vessels. 

Archbishop Kilwarby crowned the king and Eleanor, his 
l-queen. There were present Alexander, King of Scotland, and 
[John, Count of Bretagne, with their ladies, the sisters of the 
Iking. " The King of Scots," we are told by Holinshed, 
r' did homage to King Edward for the realme of Scotland, in 
like manner as other the kings of Scotland before him had done 
to other kings of England ancestours to this King Edward." * 

Edward II., and his queen, Isabella, received the crown on 
i February 25, 1308. They were consecrated by the Bishop 
I of Winchester, the primate being out of the realm. We read 
I that during the ceremony the king offered first a pound of 
[gold made like a king' holding a ring in his hand, and after- 
wards a mark, or eight ounces of gold, formed into a pilgrim 
\ putting forth his hand to receive the ring — a conceit suggested 
by the legend of Edward the Confessor. 

" At the coronation of the king and queen," says Speed, 
^' (which the lords would have impeached had hee not promised 
reasonably to satisfiethem about Gaveston) none was neare to 
[Piers in bravery of apparell or delicacie of fashion." 

* Edward I. is sometimes called Edward IV., the three Saxon 
monarchs who bore the name of Edward being reckoned. The 
copy of the Chronicle of Lanercost, written in the fourteenth century, 
is headed, ' in some pages, " Edwardus, 1, post conquest ; " in others, 
" Edwardus, Eex 1 ; " and in another page, " Edwardus, Eex iiij*"*." 

Among the manuscripts belonging to Eichard Orlebar, Esq., of Hinwick 
House, Bedford, is an " Account of the opening of the tomb of Edward I. 
in Westminster Abbey," dated May 30, 1774. The body was in cerecloth, 
a sceptre in each hand ; the stones in the belt supposed to be glass, etc. 
He measured six feet two inches. 


On the deposition of Edward II., whicli event occurred 
January 20, 1327, his son, Prince Edward, was brought to a 
general assembly of the nobles and clergy in the abbey 
church of Westminster, and the Archbishoji of Canterbury,, 
taking for his text the old aphorism, "Vox populi, vox Dei," 
exhorted all present to choose the young prince for their 
sovereign. They were asked whom they preferred to reign 
as their king, the father or the son ? They replied unani- 
mously that the son should be made king. Prince Edward 
was, consequently, immediately proclaimed king in West- 
minster Hall, by the name of Edward III., but he refused to 
accept the dignity, and swore he would never do so during 
his father's lifetime without his consent. Commissioners 
Avere therefore appointed to go to Edward II., and on their 
arrival at Kenilworth they communicated the resolution of 
Parliament to the king, who then formally renounced the 
royal dignity by delivering to them the crown, sceptre, and 
other ensigns of sovereignty. 

Edwakd III., having been previously knighted by the Earl 
of Lancaster, assisted by the Count of Hainault, received the 
crown from the Archbishop of Canterbury, February 1, 1827, 
and was proclaimed king. 

The sword of state and shield of state Avere, for the first 
time, carried before the sovereign at this coronation. 

A remarkable coronation medal was struck on this occasion : 
on one side the young prince was represented crowned, laying 
his sceptre on a heap of hearts, with the motto, " Populo dat 


other was a hand held out to save a falling crown, with the 


RiCHAED II., on the death of his grandfather, Edward III., 
was declared by Parliament next heir to the throne. He Avas 
crowned, July 16, 1377, at Westminster, by Simon, Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury. The proceedings on this occasion, 
including the progress through the city of London, Avere full 
of pomp and magnificence (see chapter on " Coronation 
Processions from the Tower"). On St. Swithin's Day, after 
dinner, the mayor and citizens assembled near the Tower, 
Avhen the young king, clad in Avhite garments, came forth 
with a great multitude in his suite. They proceeded through 
the street called La Chepe, and into the ])alace of Westminster. 
On the morroAV, the king, arrayed in the fairest A'estments, 
and with buskins only on his feet, came down into the hall. 


He was then conducted to the church, where the usual 
ceremonial was performed ; and returning again to his palace, 
was carried on the shoulders of knights, being oppressed with 
fatigue and long fasting. The coronation feast was splendid 
and profuse. Walsingham says in the midst of the palace 
a hollow marble pillow was set up, surmounted by a large 
gilt eagle, from under the feet of which, through the four 
sides of the capital, flowed wine of different kinds throughout 
the day ; nor was any one forbidden to partake of it. After 
dinner the king retired with a number of nobility to his 
chamber, and was entertained till the fcime of supper with 
dancing and minstrelsy. 

The profuse extravagance of this coronation was made 
the excuse for the immense demands on Parliament after- 

This coronation is remarkable as affording the first detailed 
record of the proceedings of the Court of Claims (as mentioned 
in the chapter on that subject). The "Liber Regalis " 
describes the rights and ceremonies attending this august 
event, and was intended as a precedent for future coronations. 
The form commences thus : — 

'' Imprimis. — Tlie king to be newly crowned, the day before his 
coronation, shall be brought forth in royal robes, and shall ride from 
the Tower of London to his Palace of Westminster, with his head un- 
covered, being accompanied on horseback by his temporal lords, his 
nobles, the commons of London, and other his servants. 

" The seat of Estate. 
" Item. — Let there be appointed against the day of coronation in the 
king's great hall of Westminster a chair of estate, fittingly provided 
with hangings of embroidery, with cushions and carpets on all parts, 
and likewise on the floor. 

" The Scaffold. 
" Item. — Let there be provided, that a stage or scaffold be erected iu 
the church at Westminster, with steps on either side ; let it be orderly 
suited with clothes and carpets on all parts, and likewise on the floor. 

" The Royal Throne. 
'\Item. — Let it be provided that upon the said scaffold there be erected 
a throne or chair, wherein the king is to sit ; let it be accordingly suited 
with rich furniture and cushions of cloth of gold. 

" The Ahhot of Westminster. 
" Item. — It is to be observed, that the abbot of Westminster for the 
time being, by the space of two or three days before the coronation of 
the king or queen, shall instruct them what duties they are to perform 
in the celebration of their coronation, as also to prepare their consciences 
before the receiving the sacred unction. And if the abbot be dead or 


sick, or absent in somo remote country, or lawfully liindered, then shall 
one of the monks of the said monaster}^ (nominated by the convent of 
tlie same churcli) supply the office of tlie said abbot in this case. 

" 0/ tlxe Eirtle and Surcoat. 
" Item. — Upon the day of the coronation, the king that is to be 
crowned shall be placed in the said chair of estate in the aforesaid hall 
(but being first bathed), and after his bathing, a kirtle and surcoat of 
velvet shall be prepared for him, open on the breast between the shoulders 
and blades of his arms : let his open kirtle and surcoat be fastened 
together with loops of silver ; and upon the kirtle let him be clothed 
with other royal robes, and let him be shod with sandals. 

" Procession. 

" Item. — Let a solemn procession be provided by the abbot and 
convent of Westminster, from the aforesaid church to the king's seat in 
the aforesaid hall ; in wliich procession there shall be archbishops, and 
other prelates ; then the king shall descend and follow the procession 
into the church at Westminster ; and he shall go upon blue cloth spread 
upon the ground from the aforesaid chair to the stage erected in the 
aforesaid church; and in the said procession shall be sung such like 
hymns as are accustomed to be sung in the reception of kings and 

''The Cross, ^c. 

" Item. — The cross, sword, sceptre, and royal mace (ensigns of honour) 
shall be borne in the procession by the abbot, prior, and senior naonks of 
Westminster, into the palace, and there shall they be surrendered to 
divers of the lords, to be borne before the king in the church. 

" The Barons of the Five (cinque) Ports. 
'"'Item. — The barons of the five (cinque) ports shall carry a rich 
canopy upon silvered staves over the king or queen's head, in the afore- 
said procession to the church. 

" The AUbot of Westminster. 
Item. — '* The abbot (or the monk supplying his place) ought always 
to be near about the king or queen to give instructions. 

" Tlie Archhishop ought to demand the good liking of the people. 
" After the king hath a little reposed himself in the chair, or throne 
erected upon the scaffold, the Archbishop of Canterbury shall go unto 
the four squares of the scaffold, and with aloud voice ask the good liking 
of the people concerning the coronation of the king ; meanwhile the king 
sliall stand upon his throne and turn himself unto tlio four squares in 
like manner as the archbishop speaketh unto the people, and after the 
said demand the anthem ' firmetur manus tua,' &c., shall be sung. 

" The Offertory of the King. 
" The anthem being ended, tlie king shall descend from the scaffold, 
up to the altar, tlie bishops leading him ; whereupon he is bound to offer 
a mantle, and one pound of gold, therein fulfilling his commandment 
who said * non apparebis vacuus in conspectu dei tui.' 

" The King prostrateth liimself. 
" The offering being finished, the king bowed himself upon the pave» 


ment before the altar, being before prepared by the king's officers, with 
clothes and suitable cushions of velvet, until the archbishop hath said • 
over him the prayer ' Deus fidelinni,' and then ought a sermon to be 
preached unto the people. 

" T/ie King tahetli an Oath. 
" The sermon being ended, tlie king approaches the altar to take his 
oath, which he ought to perform upon the sacrament of our Lord's body ; 
then let the hymn * Veni creator, spiritus ' be solemnly sung ; which I 
being begun, the king shall prostrate himself before the high altar, until « 
the litany and preface be wholly sung over him ; which being finished, 
let the king arise, and sit in his chair, therein reposing himself awhile. 

" The Anointing of the King. 
" After this, let the king arise from his chair and go unto the altar, 
and there shall be put off his robes (except his kirtle and surcoat),,and 
there let him receive unction, the choir meanwhile singing ' Unxerunt ■ 
Solomonem ' with the prayer following. Then let him be anointed in 
live places, viz. in the palms of his hands, on his breast, between his ' 
shoulders, on the blades of his arms, and on his head, with holy oil, in 
form of a cross ; and afterwards making the sign of the cross upon his 
head with the chrism, the fastenings and mantle being first opened. 
Item. After the aforesaid unction, and wiping with linen cloths (which 
ought afterwards to be burnt), let the opened places for the anointing 
be closed again by the abbot of Westminster or his deputy. 

" The abbot of Westminster shall take off the King^s cap. 
" After anointing of the king's head, let it be covered with a linen 
cap,'because of the holy unction, and so let it remain until the eighth day 
after the unction; upon which day the abbot of Westminster or his 
deputy shall come unto the king and take off the said linen cap, and 
shall wash and mundify the king's head; after the said washing 
the abbot of Westminster or his assigns shall put upon the king royal , 
liabiliments ; viz. a sindon, fashioned after the Dalmatian fashion, with I 
liose and sandals ; and then let these royal robes be made sacred by the 
Archbishop as ' patet in libro.' 

" The King shall be clothed in a long robe by the abbot. 
" These offices being finished, the aforesaid king shall be arrayed by 
the abbot of Westminster or his assigns with a long cloak, or mantle, | 
woven with fair imagery of gold, before and behind, with his buskins, 
pantofles, and spurs fitted to his leg. i 

" The setting of the crown upon the King's head. 
" After the king is thus arrayed, then let the crown be placed upon 
the king's head by the Archbishop, and afterwards let a ring be put on 
the king's hand by a bishop. 

'' Of the Sword. 
" After this, let the royal sword be blessed, and the said king shall 
receive it from the bishop, and shall gird himself with the same sword, 
and receive the bracelets ; afterwards let him be clothed with a royal 

" The offering of the Sword. 
" After this, let the king offer the said sword upon the altar to God ; 


•vvhicli the wortliicst earl then present is to redcom for one hundred 
shillings, and to carry it naked before the king, the price whereof per- 
taineth to the said altar. 

" The receiving of the Sceptre. 
•^' After this, let the king receive a pair of linen gloves, and after that 
the sceptre, with the cross in his right hand, and the mace in his left ; 
then being blessed, he shall kiss the bishop, by whom (as also by the 
residue of the nobility) he shall be honourably conducted to his royal 
seat, the choir singing, * te Deum laudamus.' 

" The prelates and the residue shall make their homage. 
" After this, let the prelates and lords make their fealty and liege 
homage to the king, and then let mass begin. Itein. — While ' Gloria in 
excelsis ' is singing, the king shall be censed by a deacon, and at 
* Credo ' he shall kiss the book. 

*' The offering of hread and vjine. 
" While the offertory is singing, let the king approach to the altar, 
and make his offering of bread and wine ; and after that let him also 
offer a mark of gold ; which being done, the king shall a little bow down 
his head, while the archbishop shall bless him with two orisons, which 
being finished, let the king be brought back to his throne or estate. 

" The Mssing of the Pax after the Agnus Dei. 

'' The kiss of the ^?aaj after the Agnus Dei being received, let the king- 
descend from his estate, and humbly approach the altar, and there 
receive the body and blood of our Lord ; which being received, the abbot 
of Westminster shall minister unto him wine out of a stone chalice per- 
taining to the king, and then immediately the king shall return to his 

"Mass being finished, let the king descend from his throne, and go 
unto the high altar j and let the archbishops, bishops, and nobility go 
before him to the shi'ine of St. Edward, where the king shall bo arrayed 
in other robes, all of which shall be offered upon the altar of St. Edward. 

" Tlie taking of the robes. 
" The great chamberlain, viz. the earl of Oxford, shall unclothe the 
king of the aforesaid robes in a withdrawing place near unto the shrine ; 
which robes as they are particularly taken from the king, so they shall 
be laid upon the said altar by the abbot. 

" Another croivn. 

*' The king, attired in other honoui-able apparel, shall approach unto 
the altar of St. Edward, where the archbishop shall put another crown 
upon his head. 

" The King returneih to the palace. 

" The king being thus crowned, and carrying in his hand the royal 
sceptre from the shrine to the high altar, and from thence to the scaffold, 
then shall he descend through tlio midst of the quiro by tho same way 
as lie came into the church, the aforesaid carls carrying the sword 
before him, I'cturning with great glory unto the king's palace to 
dinner. • 


" r/ie deliveri/ oftlie sceptre. 
" Dinner being ended, and the king withdrawn into liis chamber, the 
sceptre shall be delivered to the abbot of Westminster, or his deputy by 
the king's own hands, to be kept in the said church of Westminster. 

" The coronation of the queen. 
" And note, that in the coronation of the queen procession shall be 
celebrated, and if she be crowned with the king, then ought she to be 
anointed upon the crown of her head, and on her breast ; and if she 
be crowned alone, then ought she to be anointed upon the crown only, 
crossways, with the chrism. 

" The King's oath upon the day of his coronation. 

" The archbishop of Canterbury shall demand of the king, saying, 
* Pleaseth it you to confirm and observe the laws of ancient times, 
granted from God by just and devout kings unto the English nation, 
by oath, unto the said people, especially the laws, customs, and liberties 
granted unto the church and laity by the famous King Edward ? ' 

"The king answering that he will perform and observe all the 
promises, then shall the archbishop read unto him the articles, where- 
unto he shall swear thus, saying, — 

" * Thou shalt procure unto the church of God, unto the clergy, and 
people, firm peace and unity in God, according to thy power.' 

" He shall answer ' I will perform it.' 

" * Art thou pleased to be administered in all thy judgements, in- 
different and upright justice, and to use discretion with mercy and verity.' 

" He shall answer, * I will do it.' 

" 'Art thou pleased, that our upright laws and customs be observed; 
and dost thou promise, that those shall be protected, and maintained by 
thee, to the honour of God, according to thy strength.' 

" He shall answer: ' I grant and promise.' 

" The petition of the bishops. 
" The admonition of the bishops unto the king follows, and must be 
read by one (the bishop of Lincoln), viz. ' We desire your pardon, that 
you would vouchsafe to defend to every one of us, our canonical 
privileges, with equity and justice, as a king in his kingdom ought to do 
unto every bishop, abbot, and churches committed unto him.' He shall 
answer thus : — 

" The King^s answer. 

" ' With a willing and devout heart, I promise it unto you, and I 
pardon every one of you, and the churches committed unto you. I will 
confirm the canonical privileges, minister equity and justice, and will 
defend them, by God's favour, as far as I am able ; even as a bishop 
ought with uprightness to do unto every bishop, abbot, and the churches 
committed to him.' 

The oath of homage made to the King. 

" * I become your man liege of life and limb and troth, and yearly 
honour to you shall bear against all men that now live, so help me God 
and holy doom.* Item. — That the archbishop of Canterbury shall first 
make his fealty, then the bishops, and afterwards all the nobles of the 


Froissart has given a vivid account of the coronation of 
Henry IV., wliich took place October 13, 1399, the anni- 
versary of the day on which Richard had sent BoHngbroke 
into exile : — 

" The prelates and clergy having accompanied the king from the 
palace, went to the church in procession, and all the lords with him in 
their robes of scarlet furred with minever, barred of [on] their shoulders, 
according to their degrees ; and over the king was borne a cloth of 
estate of blue, with four bolls of gold, and it was borne by four burgesses 
of the port at Dover, and other [of the cinque ports]. And on every 
[each] side of him he had a sword borne, the one the sword of tho 
church, and the other, the sword of justice. The sword of the church 
his son, the Prince, did bear, and the sword of justice the Earl of 
Northumberland, and the Earl of Westmoreland bore the sceptre. Thus 
they entered into the church about nine of the clock, and in the midst 
of the church there was a high scaffold all covered with red, and in tho 
midst thereof there was a chair royal covered with cloth of gold. Then 
the king sat down in the chair, and so sate in estate royal, saving he 
had not on the crown, but sate bareheaded. Then at four corners of 
the scaffold the Archbishop of Canterbury shewed unto the people how 
God had sent unto them a man to be their king, and demanded if they 
were content ho should be consecrated and crowned as their king ; and 
they all with one voice said Yea ! and held up their hands promising 
obedience. Then the king rose and went down to the high altar to be 
sacred [consecrated], at which conseci'ation there were two archbishops, 
and ten bishops ; and before the altar there he was despoiled out of all 
vestures of estate, and there he was anointed in six places — on the head, 
the breast, and on the two shoulders behind, and on the hands. Then a 
bonnet Avas set on his head, and while he was anointing the clergy sang 
the litany, and such service as they eing at the hallowing of tlie font. 
Then the king was apparelled like a prelate of the church, with a copo 
of red silk, and a pair of spurs with a point without a rowel ; then the 
sword of justice was drawn out of the sheath and hallowed, and then it 
was taken to the king, who did put it again into the sheath ; then the 
Archbishop of Canterbury did gird the sword about him ; then St. 
Edward's crown was brought forth (which is close above) and blessed, 
and then the archbishop did sot it on the king's head. After mass the 
king departed out of the church, in the same estate, and wont to his 
palace ; and there was a fountain that ran by diverse branches white 
wine and red." 

From the abbey the king passed through the hall into> 
the palace, and then back into the hall, to the sumptuous 
entertainment that there awaited him. 

"At tho first table," continues Froissart, "sato the king, at the 
second the five peers of the realm, at tho third the valiant men of 
London, at the fourth the new-made knights, at the fifth the knights 


and squires of honour, and by the king* stood the Prince, holding the 
sword of the church, and on the other side the constable with the 
sword of justice, and a little above, the marshall with the sceptre. 
And at the king's board sat two archbishops, and seventeen bishops; 
and in the midst of the dinner there came in Dymoke, all armed, 
upon a good horse, richly apparelled.'* 

This coronation is the first in which the creation of 
knights of the Bath is particularly noticed by historians, 
though there is no doubt of the observance of this formality 
in much earlier times. Forty-six gentlemen (among whom 
were three of the king's sons) watched on the vigil of the 
coronation at the Tower of London, and received knighthood 
there on the day before the festival. 

In the curious French metrical history, by a contemporary, 
of the deposition of Richard II.,* translated in the 
" Archseologia" (vol. xxi.), some particulars are given of the 
coronation of Henry IV. : — 

"To grace, and the higher to honour the said coronation, four dukes 
with ceremony and pomp supported over [the king's] head a rich pall 
of cloth of gold (a or bastu). The Duke of York was the first, and next 
the good Duke of Surrey, who did it not with a good will ; for he loved 
King Richard, and so was always on his side, let them do what they 

* Froissart thus describes the scene of Richard II.'s abdication in. 
favour of Henry IV., which took place in the council chamber of the 
Tower : " King Richard was released from his prison, and entered 
the hall which had been prepared for the occasion, royally dressed, 
the sceptre in his hand, and the crown on his head, but without sup- 
porters on either side. He addressed the company as follows : — ' I 
have reigned king of England, duke of Aquitaine, and lord of Ireland 
about twenty-two years, which royalty, lordship, and crown, I now 
freely and willingly resign to my cousin, Henry of Lancaster, and 
entreat of him, in the presence of you all, to accept this scejjtre.' He 
then tendered the sceptre to the duke of Lancaster, who took it and 
gave it to the Archbishop of Canterbury. King Richard next raised 
the crown with his two hands from his head, and placing it before him, 
said, * Henry, fair cousin, and duke of Lancaster, I present and give 
to you this crown, with which I was crowned king of England, and all 
the rights dependent on it.' The duke of Lancaster received it, and 
delivered it over to the Archbishop of Canterbury, who was at hand to 
take it. These two things being done, and the resignation accepted, 
the duke of Lancaster called in a public notary, that an authentic act 
should be drawn up of this proceeding, and witnessed by the lords and 
prelates then present. Soon after, the king was conducted to where 
he had come from, and the duke and other lords mounted their horses 
to return home." 


would to liim. The Duke of Aumarlc was the third in performing the 
c'oremony ; lie did the business willingly for he was not right loyal, as 
yoix will learn hereafter. The fourth knew well how to behave himself, 
:ind was named the Duke of Gloucester. These four dukes, right or 
wrong, with one accord supported the pall over their king who made a 
very fair shew. And when he was crowned king, they returned to the 
court, where dinner was most sumptuously provided. This was the 
manner of it. The Archbishop of Canterbury was seated first at 
tlie royal table. Duke Heni'y then took possession of the middle of the 
table, which, in notable state, was raised two feet and a half higher 
than both ends ; so he that was present told me ; according to his 
account it was two ells long or more. He also told me that many new 
bishops, who were neither true nor loyal, but made without right or 
reason, were seated at the king's table. His eldest son, who was made 
Prince of Wales, held in his hand a sword for tourney [the principal 
sword called Cxtrtana], but I never heard what this ceremony signi- 
fieth. He was at the right hand of his father, and close to him 
was a knight who held the sceptre of the cross. On his left, I believe 
was the new constable bearing before the table the sword [the 
Lancaster sword, the first introduced at the coronation by Henry IV., 
being that which he wore at his landing] of his office for the establish, 
jncnt of justice ; but at that season they wrought it not ; for without 
measure or rule, like people full of iniquity, evil, and disloyalty, they 
pcrscvei'ed in their work. There stood the new marshall, the Earl of 
Westmoreland, holding the royal sceptre before Henry; next to him 
the Earl of Warwick, Avhom they highly esteem ; one who was the Earl 
of Arundel, young and active was baker and grand butler on that day. 
The marquess carved at dinner; such was the order of it. The Duke 
of Aumarle served him with wine, but before he had done, there came 
on horseback into the hall, the seneschal, the marshal and the 
constable ; they placed themselves before the table as long as their 
services were required. And a knight named Thomas de Noth [Sir 
Thomas Dymock] well armed for combat in battle, entered the hall 
ii])on a mailed horse saying; 'if there were any one, little or great, 
who would maintain or affirm that King Henry was not Lord and right- 
ful king of all England, he Avould challenge him at all arms to the 
utterance.' No man ])resent made the least I'eply ; so he rode three or 
four turns round the hall, seeking the combat, as he proved by what he 

"After dinner all the greatest lords of England, without exception, 
did homage to Duke Henry ; but some of them did it not heartily and 
truly; for they had already in secret plotted his death, since he had on 
this day forcibly and wrongfully caused himself to be crowned." 

That tlio accession of Henry IV. was an act of conquest 
and nsnrpation is clear. He was at tlie liead of an unresisted 
army, the master of tlie Parliament. The election had been 
in Westminster Hall. The texts of the three inauQ^uration 
sermons were all sig-nificant : "Jacob" (a snpplanter indeed) 
"received the blessing;" "This man" (in contrast to 



Richard) " shall rule over ns." " We " (the Parliament) 
"must take care that our kingdom be quiet." 

Henry Y. was consecrated by Archbishop Fitz-Alan on 
the 9th of April (being Passion Sunday), 1413, his father 
having died on the '20th of March preceding. Some of the 
peers are said to have shown an unusual forwardness of zeal 

Henry V. From Arundel MS., No. 38. 

in favour of this prince, by offering him their homage before 
his coronation ; a thing, as Hall observes, " not before 
5 experimented." This solemn event was celebrated at West- 
minster Hall, with a splendour proportioned to the lustre of 
those great achievements which afterwards distinguished the 


annals of that victorious monarch. By way of preserving 
order, and adding to the magnificence of the spectacle, many 
of the nobility were arranged along the sides of the table on 
large war horses, at a festival " which," says Thomas de 
Elmham, "was a second feast of Ahasuerus." 

On the shrine of Henry V., in Westminster Abbey, is 
represented the coronation, the nobles attending, in lines of 
figures on each side. On the south face of the arch, the 
central object is the king on horseback, armed cap-a-pie. 
Over the canopies which surmount the figures are the 
alternate badges of the antelope and swan (from the king's 
mother, co-heiress of the Bohuns), and the same animals 
appear on the cornices, chained to a tree, on which is a 
flaming cresset, a badge which was borne by Henry Y. alone, 
as typical of the light " to guide his people to follow him in 
all honour and virtue." Thomas de Elmham, in his life of 
this monarch, gives a glowing account of the coronation 
festivities. Of the banquet he says — 

"What feast can be thought more splendid than one that was 
honoured with so royal a presence, and graced by such a company of 
nobles and of ladies; where the ear was filled with the tumultuous 
noise of trumpets, or soothed with the sweeter melody of the harp ; 
and where the countenance was gladdened by the liberal gifts of 
Bacchus and of Ceres ? — in sooth, whatever, nourisht in the lap of 
earth, the bosom of the deep, or the regions of serene air, could serve 
to increase the general joy, was brought to swell the glory of this feast." 

Henry YI. was only eight months old when his father 
died, and was crowned, in scarcely his ninth year (November 6, 
1422), at Westminster by Archbishop Chicheley, A manu- 
script in the Cotton Library thus relates the event : — 

"And now shall ye heere of the solempnyte of the coronacion of 
the kynge. All the prelattes wento on procession berynge echo of 
them a relyk of dyuerse sayntes. And the prior of the same place bare 
a rodde called virga regia. And the abbot bare the kyng's sopture, and 
my lord of Warwyk bare the kynge to chyrchc in <a cloko of scarlet 
furred right as the ncwo knyghtos wento with furred hoodes with 
menover. And than he was loyde vpon the high scaffold, and that was 
covered all with red say between the higli autero and the qucre. And 
lie was set in his astato in the myddes of the scaffold there, beholdynge 
tlie people all abowte sadly and wyscly. Then made the archebisshopr 
of Caunterbery a proclamacion on the iiij quarters of the scaffolde. 
And thanno tlio archebysshop, and all other bysshoppes with all the 
prelattes stondynge rowndo aboute hym, reddo exorcious ouyr hym, 
and many antemes songo with note." 



After the ceremonies of the eoronation were ended he 

" rose up ayen and went to the shryne. And there was he dyspoyled 
of all his bysshopp's gere, and arayd as a kynge in riche cloth of gold, 
with a crowne on his hede ; which crowne the kyng dyd doo make for hym 
self. And so the kyng was led thrugh the paleys in to the halle ; and 
the newe knyghtes before hym, in their aray of scarlet ; and all the other 
Iprdes f olowying hym. And than cam the channceler with his crosse and 
his abyte like a chanon in a garment of red chamlet furred with whyte 
menyvere ; and than folowed the kynge. And he was led betwene 
the byshoppe of Durham, and the bysshop of Bathe, and my 
lord of Warwyk bare up his trayne. And before hym rode the erle of 
Salysbery as constable of Engelond in stedo of the duke of Bedford, 
a^nd thanne the Duke of Glowcestre, as styward of Engelond ; and aftyr, 
the duke of Norfolke as m'chall of Engelonde ; and before the kynge 
iiij lordes berynge iiij swerdes, ij shethed and ij naked. And oon of the 
iiij was withoute poynte, &c. Sittynge at the mete the kyng kept his 
astate ; and on the right hand sat the cardynall with a lower astate, 
And on the left hande satt the chaunceler and a bysshop of France, and 
no moo at that table. And on the right hand of the table at that 
boord sat the barons of the v. portes. And so forth the clerkes of the 
same chauncery. And on the left hande of the hall sat the mayre of 
London with the aldyrmen. And so forth worthy cominers : and 
in the myddis of the hall sat the bisshoppes, justices, and worthy 
knyghts and equyers. And so they fylled bothe the mydde boordes of 
the hall. And upon a scaffold stoode the kynges herawdes of armes 
all the tyme with crownes on theyr hedes ; and at the fyrst cours they 
came down from the scaffold, and they went before the kynges 
chaumpyon Syr Phelip Dymok that rode in the hall bright as seynt 
George. And he proclaimed in the iiij quarters of the hall that the 
kyng was a rightfull kyng and heyre to the crowne of Engelond ; and 
what maner man that wyll say the contrary he was redy to defende it as 
his knyght and his chaumpion, for by that offyce he holdith his lande." 

The particnlars of the coronation banquet are curious, as 
preserved in Fabyan's Chronicle : — 

" Now the first course : — The bore's hede enarmed in a castell royall, 
frumenty with venysown, viaunde ryall gylt, groce, char, swan, capon 
Btewed, heron, grete pyke; reed leche with a whyght lyon crowned 
ther-inne; custardys ryall, with a riall lybbard of old set ther-in, 
holdygnge a floure delyce ; fritour like a sonne, a floure delyce therinne. 
A Sotyltye : * — Seynt Edward and seynt Lowes armed, in their coote of 
armes bryngyng inne the yonge kynge bytwene them in his cote 
armure, &c." 

* Subtleties, or sotilties, signified paste moulded into the form of 
•figures, animals, etc., and grouped so as to represent some scriptural or 
political allusion. At the coronation banquet here mentioned, at the 
third course was exhibited a sotiltie of the Virgin with her Child in her 
lap, and holding a crown in her hand ; St. George and St. Denis kneeling 
on either side, presenting to her King Henry with a ballad in his hand. 


The victorious sword of Henry Y. having gained anothe] 
sceptre for his son — that of France — this monarch made hil 
progress to receive it in the year 1431. He was then in his 
eleventh year. On entering Paris from St. Denis, he was 
met by the national and municipal authorities, who, in tlie 
true spirit of the time, were accompanied by the nine 
worthies, "sytting richely on horseback, armed with the 
armes to them apperteyning." * On the 7th of December, 
" he was honourable accompany ed to the church of our Lady 
in Paris, where he was anointed and crowned by the Cardinal 
bishop of Winchester, after which he departed to the palace, 
having one crown on his head, and another borne before 

" But," continues Grafton, " what should I speak of the 
honourable service, the dayntie dishes, the pleasant conceytes, 
the costly wynes, the sweet armony, the musicall instruments 
which were seene and shewed at that feast, sithe all men may 
conjecture that nothing was omitted that might be bought 
for golde, nor nothing was forgotten, that by man's wyt 
could be invented." 

Monstrelet, in his " Chronicles," has given a vivid picture 
of the ceremonies of this French installation.f 

King Henry brought back his queen, Margaret, to be 
crowned in Westminster Abbey. 

Edward IV., son of Richard, Duke of York, and a descen- 

* The " nine worthies " were famous personages, often alluded to by 
the old writers, and classed together, rather in an arbitrary manner, like 
the seven wonders of the world, etc. In an old poem, "The Paradise of 
Dainty Devices," they are thus alluded to : — 

" The worthies nine that were of might, 

By travaile won immortal praise ; 
If they had liv'd like carpet knights, 

Consuming idly all their dayes, 
Their praises had been with them dead, 
Where now abroad their fame is spread.'* 

t In the " Astley Book " in the possession of Lord Hastings, there is 
a poem on the coronation of Henry VI., commencing — 

" Holde up oure yonge Kyngo, Ave benigna 
And send us pecs in oure londe, Ave regina. 

The manner and forme of the coronacioun of Kyngis and Queeneff 
in Englond." 

This valuable work, the table-book of the accomplished English 
goTitl(MHan of tlio times of Henry VI., comprises subjects of a very 
miscoUancous character. 


dant of Edward III., obtained the regal power on tlie deposi- 
tion of Henry VI. in 1461. Fabyan states that " he was 
elected and chosen for King of England," in a great council of 
the lords spiritual and temporal, with the agreement of the 
commons there present ; and that after this parliamentary 
election he was brought to Westminster, " and sitting on his 
estate royall, in the great hall of the same, a question was asked 
of the people then presente if they would admitte hym for 
their kyng and soveraigne lorde, the which with one voice 
cried, Yea ! Yea ! " This coronation was celebrated June 29, 
1461, Archbishop (afterwards Cardinal) Bourchier officiating. 

On the death of Edward I.V., at Westminster, his eldest 
son was proclaimed king by the title of Edward Y., and pro- 
vision was made for his coronation, but the estates of the 
realm having resolved that the ofPspring of Lady Grey should 
not inherit the crown, it was given to Kichard, Duke of 
Gloucester, the late king's brother.* 

" On July 6th, 1483," Grafton tells us— 

" The King [Richard III.] with Queen Anne his wife, came downe 
out of the white hall into the great hall of Westminster, and went 
directly to the Kinges Benche. And from thence the King and Queene 
goying upon raye cloth barefooted, went unto Saint Edward's shrine, 
and all his nobilitie goying with him euery lorde in his degree. And 
first went the trompets and then the heraultes of armes in their rich 
cotes, and next folowed the crosse with a solempne procession, the 
priestes hauyng fine surplesses and gray amysses upon them. The 
abbottes and bishops my tred and in riche copes and euery of them caryed 
their crosiers in their handes ; the bishop of Rochester bare the crosse 
before the cardinall." 

Being now come into the church, 

" forthwith there came up before the king and the queene both priests 
and clarkes, that song most delectable and excellent musick." 

The usual ceremonies were then performed, 
"and in so order as they came they departed to Westminster Hall,- 

* Edward V. was only in his thirteenth year when his father died. 
His reign is reckoned from April 9, 1483, the day of his father's decease, 
but during the few weeks it lasted he never was a king in more than 
name. The public transactions of his reign all belong properly to the 
history of his uncle, Richard III. Edward was at Ludlow, Shropshire, 
at the time of his father's death, and possession of his person was 
obtained at Northampton, by Richard (then Duke of Gloucester), as he 
was on his way to London in charge of his maternal uncle, Anthony, 
Earl Rivers. 


and so to their chambers for a season ; during which time the Duke of 
NorfPolke came into the hall, his horse being trapped to the ground, in 
clothe of golde, as high marshall, and voyded the hall. 

"About foure of the clock, the king and the queene entred the hall, 
and the king sate in the middle, and the queene on the left hande of 
the table, and on every side of her stoode a countesse holding a cloth 
of pleasaunce when she list to drinke. At the ende of dynner, the 
maier of London served the king and queen with ipocras, and had of 
echo of them a cup of golde with a cover of golde. And by that tyme 
all was done it was darke night ; and so the king and queene returned 
to their chambers, and every man to his lodging." 

The concourse of nobility at this coronation was, as 
Walpole observes, extraordinarily great ; it is remarkable 
that three duchesses of Norfolk were present. But of the 
circumstances attending it, that which more particularly 
claims notice relates to the unfortunate young prince, whose 
pretensions to the throne had just been set aside. Arrange- 
ments were certainly made for Edward himself and his 
attendants to appear in the procession : whether or no he 
really attended the ceremony we have not the means of 
learning, but the official record of his "apparel and array," 
as delivered from the great wardrobe, is no unimportant part 
of the mysterious history of his life.* 

Ifc is asserted by Sir Greorge Buck, in his biography of 

* Walpole, in his " Historic Doubts," says, " In the coronation roll 
itself is this amazing entry : ' to Lord Edward, son of the late King 
Edward IV. for his apparel and array, that is to say a short gowne 
made of two yards and three quarters of crymsyn clothe of gold, lined 
with two yards and three quarters of blue velvet ; a long go^^me made 
of six yards of crymsyn cloth of gold, lynned with six yards of green 
damask ; a shorte gowne made of two yards and three quarters of 
purpell velvet,' etc. Let nobody tell me that these robes, this magnifi- 
cence, these trappings for a cavalcade were made for the use of a 

In the " ArchaBologia " (vol. i. p. 361), however, it is argued that, 
■from the wardrobe accounts of deliveries from the day of Edwaid 
IV.'s death to the month of February in the following year, including 
the time of the intended coronation of Edward V. and the actual 
coronation of llichard III., the number and similitude of the robes 
delivered for each of these kings justifies the conclusion (arrived at in 
consequence of the discussion that ensued when piiblic attention was 
directed to the above-mentioned coronation roll) that the robes ordered 
for " Lord Edward, son of Edward IV.," wore designed for the apparel 
of this young ])rinco at his own contemplated coronation. Thus, they 
wore not, as Lord Orfortl was first led to imagine, used by him to grace 
the procession of his uncle, llichard III. 


Ricliard, that the king, having made a progress to York 
shortly after his accession to the throne, was there 

"a second tyme crowned, by Dr. Rotheram, Archbishop of York, in 
the cathedral church, with great solempnity." 

That nothing might be wanting to throw splendour on 
this ceremonial, the king directed the keeper of his wardrobe 
to send him a variety of rich clothes, spurs, banners of Our 
Lady, the Trinity, St. George, St. Edward, St. Cuthbert, and 
his own arms, all of sarcenet; three coats of arms beaten 
with fine gold for his own person,* 

" five coat armes of heralds lined with buokram, forty trumpet banners 
of sarsenet, 740 pensils of buckram, 350 pensils of tartar, 4 standards of 
sarsenet with boars, 30,000 quinysans of fustian with boars," etc. 

The king's secretary, John Kendale, was to acquaint 
" the gude maisters, the mair, recorder, and aldermen, and 
sheri:ffs of the citie of York," of his intentions, that they 
might properly entertain His Highness, and the Queen, at 
their coming, as laudably as their wisdom could devise, 
with pageants and good speeches, allowing for the shortness 
of the warning. They were desired to hang the streets 
through which the king's grace should come, with cloth of 
arras, tapestry work and other, assigning as a reason because 
" there would be many southern lords, and men of worship, 
who would greatly mark their city's manner of receiving 
their graces." 

Hall states that King Richard was received at York with 
great pomp and triumph by the citizens ; that on the day of 
his coronation (September 8, 1483), to which the whole 
country had been invited, the clergy of the church, in their 
richest copes, and with a reverend ceremony, went about the 
streets in procession, after whom followed the king, with his 
crown and sceptre, apparelled in his surcoat robe royal. 
Then followed Queen Anne, his wife, crowned likewise, lead- 
ing in her left hand Prince Edward, her son, having on his 
head a demy crown appointed for the degree of a prince. In 
this manner they marched to the cathedral, where the king 
was crowned in the chapter-house. On the same day was 
Edward, his son, a youth of ten years of age, invested with 

* Richard appears to have had an excessive love of finery. In the 
" Antiquarian Repertory " is a detailed description of the magnificent 
dresses worn by the king, queen, and court at the Westminster 
coronation. He was more splendid in his establishment than even his 
brother Edward IV. 


the principality of Wales by a golden rod and a coronet of 
gold, and other ensigns. The king now knighted Gaufridns 
de Sasiola, ambassador from the Queen of Spain, who was 
present at this solemnity, by putting a collar of gold about 
his neck, and striking three times upon his shoulders with 
his sword, and by other marks of honour, according to the 
English custom, with agreeable words added. He also 
knighted Kichard of Gloucester, his natural son, and many 
gentlemen of the country .< The lords spiritual and temporal 
of the realm were present on this solemn occasion; and 
"indeed it was a day of great state," says Polydore 
Vergil, " there being then three princes in York wearing 
crowns, the King, the Queen, and the Prince of Wales." Tilts 
and tournaments followed, with masques, revels, and stage 
plays, and other triumphant sports, with prodigal feasting. 

Henry YII., the leader of a successful rebellion,* obtained 
the crown, literally, after the battle of Bosworth Field, being 
that worn by the miserable Richard during the conflict. It 
was brought by Sir Reginald Bray from the hawthorn bush 
in which it was found, and given to Lord Stanley, who 
placed it on Henry's head at the place still called from that 
circumstance "Crown Hill."t 

* Henry VII. has left evidence that he considered himself indebted 
for the throne to his sword. In his will the following passage occurs : 
— " Also, we will that our executors cause to be made an image of a 
King, representing our o^^^l person, the same to be of timber, covered 
and wrought with plate of fine gold, in manner of an armed man ; and 
upon the same armour a coat-armour of our amis of England and 
France, enamelled, with a sword and spurs accordingly ; and the said 
image to kneel upon a table of silver and gilt, and holding betwixt his 
hands the Croivn which it pleased Ood to give us, with the victory of our 
enemy at our first field, the which image and crown we bequeath to 
Almighty God, our blessed Lady," etc. 

t This incident is illustrated in the stained glass of the chapel built 
for the monument of Sir Reginald Bray, in Westminster Abbey. The 
knight in his will enjoined that his imago on the tomb should be 
represented as holding the crown. 

Shakspere makes no allusion to the incident of the hawthorn 
bush. Stanley, bearing the crown, addresses Richmond — 

'* Lo, liero, these long usurped royalties 
From the dead temples of this bloody wretch 
Have I plucked off, to grace thy brows withal : 
Wear it, enjoy it, and make much of it." 
The old cavalier, Wyndham, in addressing his sons before his death, 
said, " I charge you never to forsake the crown, though it hang upon a 


The coronation ceremonial took place at Westminster 
Abbey, October 30, 1485; tbe officiating prelate was Cardinal 
Bourcbier, Henry being the third monarch who had been 
consecrated at his hands. There are but scanty particulars 
of the installation ; contemporary chroniclers, though they 
delight in extolling the glory of the reign, have not left any 
lengthened account of this transaction. Lord Bacon admits 
that Henry's marriage was celebrated with greater triumph 
and demonstrations (especially on the people's part) of joy 
and gladness, than the days either of his entry or coronation ; 
and it may fairly be presumed that the conduct and attend- 
ance of the solemnity could not be recorded with advantage. 

Among the "Rutland Papers" published by the Camden 
Society, is one on the coronation of King Henry YIL, or 
rather " a device for that ceremony, prepared probably by 
some officer of the College of Arms, and intended to be 
submitted to the correction of the King and his advisers. 
Several copies of this device got abroad, from which cir- 
cumstance we may infer that it was adopted and acted upon ; 
one copy is at the Heralds' College, another- in the Harleian 
MSS. (No. 5111, art. S), and another was in the possession 
of Ives, the Suffolk antiquary. All these differ in many 
respects from the one now printed [in the Rutland Papers], 
and especially from Ives's copy, which he printed in a little 
work entitled ' Select Papers relating to English antiquities, 
published from the originals in the possession of John Ives, 
Esq., 4to, 1774.' This volume is so scarce and so little 
known, and the device is printed in it so inaccurately, that 
it has been thought advisable not to lose the opportunity 
which is afforded by the liberality of his Grace the Duke of 
Rutland, of furnishing antiquaries with a more accurate and 
more easily accessible copy of a paper, which, apart from its 
historical value, presents a striking picture of the state 
costume and ceremonial of the period. It will be observed 
that the device w^as prepared ais for the coronation of the 
intended Queen, as well as for that of the King. In that 
respect it was certainly not acted upon. Henry VII. was 
crowned October 30, 1485, but his marriage to Elizabeth of 
York did not take place until the 18th of January, 1486, and 
the Queen was not crowned until November 25, 1487 " 
(Preface to the "Rutland Papers," by W. Jerdan). 

The title of this tract is, " Here foloweth undre 
co[rrecc]ion a litle deuyse for the coronacion of the most 


high, myghtj, and cristen prince, Henry the vij'** rightfull 
and undoubted enheritour of the Corones of England and of 
Fraunce, with their appurtenaunces, and by the hole assente 
of all the lordes spirituellis and temporellis, and also of all 
the comons of this land, electe, chosen, and required, the 
XXX** daye of October, the yer of our lord MHiij^^'v. to be king 

of the same. Also of the moost noble princes, Dame 

his wiff. Queue of England and of Fraunce, etc. to be 
solempnysed at Westmynster." A few extracts from this 
work will show the peculiarities of coronation rites at this 
period. We have the king's dress on the morning of the 

" On Sunday, the day of the Coronacion, the xxx*-^ day of Octobre, 
the King, arraied by Sir Guyles Dawbeney, deputio for that daie, his 
chamberlayn, in fourme that foloweth, fFurst with ij sherts, that oon of 
lawne, that other of crymesyn tarteron, bothe largely open before and 
behynd and in the shuldres, and lased with aunlettes of siluer and gilt, 
a greite large brech to the middell thigh pynched togeidr befor and 
behynd, a brech belt of velwet to gadre the same to gedr, a pair of 
hosyn of crymesyn sarcenet vampeis, and [over] all a cote of ci'jTiaesyn 
saten largely openyd as the sherte be, to which cote his hosen shalbe 
lased with riband of silke, a surcote closed fiirred witli menyvcr pure, 
whereof the colar, handes, and the speres shalbe garnished with riband 
of gold, a hode of estate furred with menyver pure and perfiled with 
ermyns, a grete mantell of crymesyn saten furred also with menyver 
pure with a greite lace of silke with ij tarcellis, also in colour crymesyn, 
a litle cap of estate of crymesyn saten ermyned and garnished with 
ryband of gold, and accompanyed with his lords temporelles in their 
robes, and noble men, shall come yerly, and it is foundcn by presidents 
by vj of the clokke, from his chambre into Westminster Hall, where he 
shall sitt vndre cloth of estate in the marble chair apparelled with clothes 
and quisshons of cloth of gold bawdekyn, as it apperteyneth." 

The queen's dress is also minutely described, and the order 
of procession from Westminster Hall to the abbey. The 
recognition is thus mentioned : — 

" The Cardinall, as Archbisshoppe of Caunterburc, showing the King 
to the peple at the iiij parties of tho said puli)itt, shall say in this wise. 
* Sirs, I here present Henry [true] and rightfull, and vndoubted, en- 
heritour by the lawcs of God and man to the coroune and roiall dignite 
of England, with all things therunto ennexed and apporteyning, electe, 
chosen, and required by all three estats of the same land to take yppon 
hym the said coroune and roiall dignite, whcruppon ye shall vndrestand 
that this daie is prefixed and np])oyntod by all tho piers of this laiul for 
the consecracion, onvnccion, and coronacion of the said most excellent 
Prince Henry; will ye, sirs, at this tyme geve your willes and assentes 
to the sumo consecracion, onvnccion, aud coronacion?' Wherunto the 


pepie shall saie, with a greate voice, ' Ye. Ye. Ye. So be hit. King 
Henry ! King Henry ! ' " 

The king and tlie queen proceed to the altar, and the 
offering is made. 

"At the which aulter the King anght to offer a pall, and a pound of 
gold xxiiij'^ in coigne, whiche shalbe deliuered unto hym by the Cham- 
berlayn ; and, forthwith, the paveament afore the high aulter worship- 
fully arraied with carpetts and quisshens, the King shall ther lye downe 
groveling, whils the said Cardinall as archbisshoppe saye yppon hym, 
Deus huynilium, which done, the said Cardinall may, at his pleasur, 
commaund some short sermon to be said, during the which the said 
Cardinall shall sitt before the high aulter, his back towards the same, as 
is the custome." 

The oath was next administered (see chapter on " The 
Coronation Oath "), the Litany chanted, and the ceremony of 
anointing performed. The king is arrayed with the " tabard," 
the " coif," the long coat, hose, sandals, and spurs. The 
delivery of the sword follows : — 

" After this his sword shalbe blessid of the Cardinall, saying this 
orison, Exaudi Doniine preces nostras, which orison ended, all the Bushoppes 
shall delyaer to hym and seyase hym, standing, with a swerd, they all 
leaning their hands on the same, and the Cardinall saying unto hym, 
Accipe gladium, and with the same swerd shall gyrd hymself." 

The armill is next presented, and afterwards St. Edward's 
crown, which is first blessed by the cardinal, " castyng holy 
water, and sensyng the same." The ring, called the "regall," 
is placed upon the fourth finger of the king's right hand, 
with these words, ''^ Acci2)e regie dignitatis, etc., with this 
orison, Deus cujus, etc." 

The king offered his sword on the altar, and, taking it 
again, delivered it to 

" som grete Erie to be redeemed of thabbot for an c^ ; the whiche Erie 
shall afterward bere the said swerd naked before the King. After that 
the Cardinall shall geve to the King in his right hand the septour of 
gold with the dove in the toppe, the King having furst put on his hands, 
roiall gloves by the said Cardynall." 

The king received in his left hand the golden rod with 
the cross on the top. Seated on his chair before the high 
altar the sovereign received the kiss from the bishops, and 
the act of homage was performed ; * 

* Concerning the Kiss of Homage, Selden observes that "kissing the 
feet hath been used in Europe at the doing of homage upon investitures 
received from great princes, as we see in that of Eollo, or Robert, first 


" the King to sitt in his sege roiall accompanyed with all the peris of 
this realm, all the said peris to hym shall make feaute and homage, vndre 
such wourds and fourme as foloweth ; tharchbishoppes and bishoppes 
vndrc this fourme, *Ye shall swere that ye shalbe faithfull and true, and 
faith and trowthe ber vnto the King, our souerayn lord, and to his heures, 
Kinges of England, and truly ye shall do, and truly knoledge, the seruice 
due of the lands the which ye clayme to hold of hym as in the right of 
your church, as God shall helpe youe and the saynts.' And all the 
temperall lords vnder this ffourme, ' I, N., become your ligeman, of lif 
and lymme and of erthly worshipp ; and fcith and trouthe I shalbere vnto 
you, to lyue and die ayenst all manner of folke ; so God me help and his 
halowes.' " 

The anointing of the queen (see chapter on " Anointing "), 
the blessing of her ring and crown, followed, with the de- 
livery of the sceptre and the rod : — 

" The Queue thus corowned shalbe led of the abouesaid Bisshoppes of 
Excetour and Ely vnto her seage of astate nere to the Kinges seage 
roiall, obeying herself afore the Kinges maieste in her commyng ther 
vnto, the noble ladies folowing her, esspeceally the greate lady as aboue 
beyng nigh vnto her for her instruccion and comfort, and in the same 
Beage the Queue shall sitt till the offrctory shalbe begon." 

The mass performed, the book of the Gospel w^as kissed 
by the King and Queen, and the Oblation followed : — 

" The King shall offre an obley of bred laid vppon the patent of saynt 
Edward, his chalice, with the which obley after consecrate the King 
shalbe houselled [receive the Euchfirist], also he shall offre, in a cruet 
of gold, wyne, which he shall vse in the said chalice after he is housilled, 
and aswell the said patent with the obley as the cruet with wyne, shalbe 

Duke of Normandy, receiving the dutchy from Charles the Simple ; and 
such more ; though in later ages and at this day, the kiss in homage be 
on the cheek or lips." Selden deduces the several customs of kissing 
the hands, feet, and lips from the Roman empire and the Eastern 
nations, and connects them with. the " kiss in homage." The custom, pro- 
bably, is not of heathen antiquity, but mny be I'cferred to the practice 
of the Christian Church, intended as a token of union and agreement 
rather than of reverence or submission. Selden remarks that the kis> 
of homage is so essential " that the homage hath not enough it seems oi 
what is legal without it, for in the time of llenry VI., a great plague 
being about London, a bill was put up in Parliament to ordain and grant 
by the authoritie of this present pnrliament that evoiiche of your said 
lieges in the doing of their said homage may omit the said kissing of 
you and be excust^d thereof (at your will the homage being of the same 
force as though they kissed you), and have their letters of doing their 
homage, the kissing of you omitted notwithstanding. — And the bill 
having ])assed both Uouses, the subscription is Lc Roy le voet as the usual 
words of his consent are." 



delyuered vnto hym by the gospellar at tyme of his offering ; the King 
also shall then ofire a inarke of golde and xvj H in coyne to hym to be 
delyuerid by the Chamberlayn, and the King kneling, and bowing his 
hed, the Cardinall shall blesse hym, saying ouer hym thise orisons : 
Omnipotens sempiferne Deus and, Benedic, Domine ; after the King the 
Quene shall offre her offeryng accustomed." 

The celebration of the Holy Communion followed, after 
which the crowns were taken off the heads of the king and 
queen, and the various objects of the regalia being placed on 
the altar, the royal pair were arrayed in other robes of state, 
and going to the altar before the shrine of St. Edward, received 
two other crowns, and seated themselves while the procession 
was being reformed from the abbey to the palace. 

Henry VIII. and Catharine of Arragon were crowned at 
Westminster, June 24, 1509, by Archbishop Warham. Hall 
has given a glowing account of this ceremonial, which was 
as magnificent as taste and boundless expenditure could 
render it. 

" Their Highnesses went to Westminster Abbey, upon cloth vulgarly 
called cloth of ray, the whiche cloth was cut and spoyled by the rude 
and common people, immediately after their repaire into the abbey, 
where, according to the sacred observaunce and auncient custome, his 
grace with the quene were anoynted and crowned by the archebusshopp 
of Canterbory with a great multitude of commons of the same. After 
the whiche solempnitie and coronacion finished, the lordes spirituall and. 
temporall did to hym homage, and returned to Westminster hall, with 
the queue's grace every one under their canabies, where by the lorde 
marshall and his tipped staves was made rome and office that daie, to 
execute their services accordingly." 

Of the coronation banquet Hall says — 

" What should I speake or write of the sumpteous, fine and delicate 
meates prepared for this high and honorable coronacion, provided for 
aswel in the parties beyond the se as in many and sundery places 
within this realme, where God so abundantly hath sent suche plentie 
and foyson : or of the honorable ordre of the services, the clean 
handelyng and breaking of meates, the ordryng of the dishes, with the 
plentifull abundaunce. So that none of any estate beeing there did 
lacke, nor no honorable or worshipfull persone went unfeasted." 

The customary largesse and the serving with ipocras are 
then detailed in the conclusion of the feast, and the solemni- 
ties of this " triumphant coronacion " w^ere followed by joust 
and tourney, worthy of this golden age of pageants. 

The coronation of the boy-king, Edward VI., occurred 
(within a month of his father's decease) at Westminster 
Abbey, February 20, 1547. The proceedings of the cere- 


monial were shortened, according to the programme of the 
inauguration, " for the tedious length of the same, which 
should weary and be hurtsome peradventure to the king's 
majesty, being yet of tender age [ten years], fully to endure 
and bide out ; and also for that many points of the same were 
such as by the laws of the realm at this present were not 
allowed," in allusion, probably, to the change in religious 
opinions consequent on the Reformation. The office of the 
mass was, however, said by Cranmer. One alteration in the 
ceremonial from the usual routine was that of reversing 
the order of first administering the coronation oath to the 
king, and then presenting him to the people for acceptation.* 
In other respects the ceremony presented many minute but 
interesting points of difference from the general practices. 
The way from York Place to the palace, and thence into the 
choir of the abbey, was covered with blue cloth ; in the choir 
was erected a stage of unusual height, ascended by a flight on 
one side of twenty-two steps, which with the floor at the top 
were covered with carpets, and the sides hung with cloth of 
gold. Besides the general rich decorations of the altar, a 
splendid valance was now hung upon it, enriched with 
precious gems, while the neighbouring tombs were covered 
with curtains of golden arras. On the stage stood a lofty 
throne, ascended by seven steps. The procession commenced 
at nine in the morning, when the choir of the abbey in their 
copes, with crosses borne before and after them, the gentle- 
men and children of the royal chapel with surplices and 

* The consent of the people to the assumption of the crown was 
changed into a dutiful recognition by Cranmer, under King Edward VI. 
The former seems to have been until that time the constant practice. 
Tindal (speaking of its use at the coronation of Richard II.) says, " Tliia 
ceremony, though not mentioned in any of our historians, was no inno- 
vation, but seems to bo a remainder of the old English custom of electing 
the king, as may bo observed by comparing the manner of the corona- 
tion and election of King Edward the Confessor, and William I., with 
this action, and which has been observed ever since." Upon the altera- 
tion to the present form Hallam remarks, " This alteration in the form 
is a curious proof of the solicitude displayed by the Tudors, as it was 
much more by the next family, to suppress every recollection that could 
mako their sovereignty appear to bo of popular origin." Up to that 
time tlie Church, while claiming a divine independence, defended 
popular i-ights against the crown, which then, for the first time, asserted 
a supremacy over botli. 

At this coronation, for the first and last time, kissing the royal 
sandal formed j)art of the ceremonial. 


copes all in scarlet, ten mitred bisliops in garb of the same 
colour, and tlie Ai'chbisliop of Canterbury, received the king 
at the palace, and conducted him to the stage in the choir. 
Here he was placed in a chair of crimson velvet, which two 
noblemen carried whilst he was presented to the people.* 
Then, descending to the altar, he was censed and blessed. 
The anointing was not the least curious part of the ceremony. 
" Then anon," quotes Malcolm from an authority which he 
does not mention, " after a goodly care, cloth of red tinsel 
gold was holden over his head ; and my Lord of Canterbury, 
kneeling on his knees, his Grace lay prostrate before the altar, 
and anointed his back." The archbishop then took the crown 
into his hands, and commenced the " Te Deum." Whilst the 
choir sang and trumpets sounded from above, the Lord Pro- 
tector Somerset and the archbishop placed the crown on the 
king's head, and subsequently two other crowns were worn 
by him. After the enthronization he was reconducted to the 
throne, when "the lords in order kneeled down and kissed 
his Grace's right foot, and after, held their hands between 
his Grace's hands, and kissed his Grace's left cheek, and so 
did their homage a pretty time. Then after this began a 
goodly mass by my Lord of Canterbury, and goodly singing 
in the choir, with the organs going. At offering time his 
Grace offered to the altar a pound of gold, a loaf of bread, 
and a chalice of wine." 

At this coronation the Bible was, for the first time, pre- 
sented to the sovereign — an act, says Dean Stanley, which 
may, perhaps, have suggested to the young king the substitu- 
tion, which he had all but effected, of the Bible for St, George 
in the insignia of the Order of the Garter. 

At the royal banquet the king sat under his estate, and 
on the right hand of the same table sat the Protector and the 
archbishop. After the feast " it was ordeyned that there 
should be made a certain number of knights " (the king had 
been knighted previously to the coronation by the Duke of 
Somerset, Protector) " instead of the Bathe, because the time 

* The recognition of Edward YI. was — " Sirs, Here I present King 
Edward rightful! and undoubted inheritor by the lawes of God and man 
to the crown and royal dignity of this realme ; whereupon ye shall 
understand that this day is prefixed and appointed by all the peers of 
[[ this realme for his consecration, enunction and coronation. Will you 
serve at this time, and give your good wills and assent to the same 
consecration, enunction, and coronation ? Whereunto the people an- 
swered all in one voice, Yea, yea, yea, God save King Edward ! " 


was so short that they could not be made of the Bathe 
according to the ceremonies thereunto apperteyning." On 
the morrow after the coronation there were holden "royall 
justes against all comers." 

Holinshed's account of this coronation is curions. He 
informs us that the king "rode through London into West- 
minster with as great roialtie as might be. . . . As he passed 
on the south side of Panic's churchyard, an Argosine came 
from the battlements of Panic's Church upon a cable, being 
made fast to an anchor by the Deane's gate, lieing on his 
breast, aiding himself neither with hand nor foot, and after 
ascended to the middest of the cable, where he tumbled and 
plaied many pretty toies, whereat the king and the nobles 
had great pastime." 

When, at the coronation, the three swords typical of the 
three kingdoms were brought to be borne before him, Edward 
remarked that there was yet one wanting, and called for the 
Bible. "That," said he, "is the sword of the Spirit, and 
ought in all right to govern us, who use these for the people's 
safety by God's appointment. Without that sword we are 
nothing ; we can do nothing. From that we are what we 
are this day . . . we receive whatsoever it is that we at this 
present do assume. Under that we ought to live, to fight, 
to govern the people, and to perform all our affairs. From 
that alone we obtain all power, virtue, grace, salvation, and 
whatsoever we have of Divine strength." 

The unfortunate liady Jane Grey^ the unwilling usurper of 
the throne on the death of the young King Edward, and the 
victim of atrocious deceit and ambition, although proclaimed 
queen, was ungraced by the ceremony of a coronation.* 

* Though a usurper, observes Sir Harris Nicholas, the date of the 
assumption of the regal title by this personage merits attention, because 
a few documents, both public and private, arc dated " in the first year 
of the reign of Jane, Queen of England." Having reluctantly consented 
to assume the royal dignity immediately on the death of Edward VI., 
she was proclaimed queen on the 10th of July, four days after that 
monarch's decease. The proclamation recited her title to the throne, 
and stated " that the Imperial Crown and other promises to the same 
belonging, or in any wise appertaining, now be and remain to us in 
actual and royal possession." It appears, however, that Jane's succes- 
sion took place before the date of her proclamation ; and her reign was 
most probably considered to have commenced on the Gth of July. On 
the Dth of that jnonth, the Privy Council, in reply to a letter from Mary 
claiming the throne, and expressing hor surpi-iso that the death of 
Edward VI. had not been notified to her, informed her that " our 


Mary, the elder daughter of Henry VIII., and the first 
reigning female sovereign of England, was crowned October 1, 
1553. Planche, in his " Regal Records," has published an 
account of this ceremonial from the original records in the 
College of Arms, and a manuscript in the library of the 
Society of Antiquaries, a programme drawn up immediately 
previous to the event. A few brief notices will be interesting. 
The preparations for the inauguration in Westminster Abbey 
are stated to have been — 

''first) the Quire very richly hung with cloth of arras, well strewed with 
rushes, and the place between the high altar and the chair. There was 
there ordained a mounting scaffold, with stairs up to the same and down 
to the altar, and thereupon a throne of seven stairs, whereof the four 
uppermost covered with fine baudekin, and the other stairs covered with 
carpet. And in the middle of the throne set a great royal chair, covered 
with baudekin damask gold, with two cushions; one black velvet em- 
broidered with gold very richly, and the others of cloth of tissue ; the 
said chair having pillars at the back, whereon stood two lions of gold, 
and in the midst a turret with a flower de lice of gold, the said place to 
be always guarded by four gentlemen ushers daily waiters, viz. — besides 
other gentlemen ushers to assist them. 

" And thus the Queen's Majesty, between x and xi of the clock, was 
conducted by two noblemen to her throne to King Edward's chair as is 
aforesaid ; wherein, after her Gi'ace had reposed a little time, she was 
removed by the said lords into the four parts of the mount into the sight 
of the people, beside whom the Bishop of Winchester, standing, declared 
to the people in the aforesaid parts the Queen's Majesty's free election.* 
. . . And then her Grace was brought unto the said throne again, and 
immediately removed into a rich chair by the gentleman ushers before 
the high altar, upon which altar her Grace offered her pall of baudekin 
and XX6-., verifying the words of Scripture, ' Thou shalt not appear void 
before the Lord God.' 

sovereign lady Queen Jane is, after the death of our sovereign lord 
Edward VI., invested and possessed with the just and right title in the 
Imperial Crown of this realm, not only by good order of old ancient 
good laws of this 1 ealm, but also by our late sovereign lord's letters 
patent, signed with his own hand, and sealed with the great seal of 
England, in presence of the most part of the nobles, counsellors, judges, 
with divers other grave and sage personages, assenting and subscribing 
to the same." 

* The recognition ran thus, being fuller and more comprehensive 
than any similar address : — " Sirs, — Here present is Mary, rightful and 
undoubted inheritrix, by the laws of God and man of the crown and 
royal dignity of this realm of England, France, and Ireland ; and you 
shall understand, that this day is appointed bj^ all the peers of this land 
for the consecration, unction, and coronation of the s:iid most excellent 
princess Mary. Will you serve at this time, and give your wills and 
assent to the same consecration, unction, and coronation ?" 



" Then a little after her Grace returned to her chair, a cushion of 
velvet was laid before the altar, upon the which her Grace lay prostrate 
while certain oraisons were said over her." [The sermon was preached 
by the Bishop of Chichester, the subject being, according to Noailles, the 
obedience due to kings. The oath was then taken, the Litany chanted, 
and the queen prepared for the anointing ; having a pall holden over 
her by four knights of the Garter, the Bishop of Winchester applying 
the holy oil and chism and] " saying unto her certain words, with divers 
oraisons and prayers, which thereunto appertaineth. Then after the 
inunction the Bishop of Winchester did dry every place of the same with 
cotton or linen cloth, and after Mrs. Walgrave did lace again her 
Highnesse's apparel, putting on her hands a pair of linen gloves." The 
queen's rich robe of crimson velvet was then again put on. " And after 
her Grace was brought to the altar, whereat she offered up the sword 
that she was girt withal by the Bishop of Winchester, and after to 
redeem the same was given by the Earl of Arundel, Lord Steward, who did 
bear the same sword before her Grace naked on the left hand of the 
sword in the scabbard from the church to Westminster Hall." 

" This done her Grace was brought again to the chair, before the 
high altar where the Bishop of Winchester and the Duke of Norfolk brought 
unto her Highness three crowns ; — to wit, one King Edward's crown ; 
the other the imperial crown of the realm of England ; the third, a very 
rich crown purposely made for her Grace. Then the crowns were set 
one after another upon the Queen's head by the Bishop of Winchester ; 
and betwixt the putting on of every crown the trumpets did blow. 

"Then immediately after, the quire sung and the organs did play 
* Te Deum.' And in the mean season the same was singing, a ring of 
gold was put on her Grace's marrying finger by the Bishop of Win- 

" Then the Master of her Grace's jewel-house brought her Grace's 
bracelets of gold and precious stones. Then divers other things were 
delivered to her Grace, as the sceptre, by the Earl of Arundel : Saint 
Edward's Staff, by the Earl of Bath : the spurs, by the Earl of Pem- 
broke ; the ball of gold, by the Marquis of Winchester ; the regal of 
gold, by the Bishop of Winchester. 

"And the Queen thus sitting in her chair apparelled in her royal 
robes of crimson velvet, containing a mantle with a train, a surcoat with 
a kirtle furred with the wombs of miniver, pure, a riband of Venice 
gold, a mantle lace of silk and gold, with buttons and tassels of the 
same, having her crown imperial on her head, her sceptre in her right 
hand, and the ball in her loft hand, was conveyed again to the throne to 
St. Edward's chair ; having a pair of sabatons on her feet, covered with 
crimson cloth of gold, lined with crimson satin, garnished with a ribbon 
of Venice gold, delivered by the master of her great guard-robe. 

" And during the space of the homage doing, tho Lord Chancellor 
having first done, departed into tho four parts of the said mount, and 
declared a goodly large and ample pardon for all manner of offences 
exc(>pt certain pi^rsons and conditions contained in the same not worthy to 
be panUmed. This done, the office of the mass began by the Bishop of 
Winchester, and at the time of the Gospel, the book was brought by 
a Bishop to the Queen, who kissed the same. 

" Then at the time of the otii'ering, her Grace was brought down to 


make her offering, — viz. an oble of bread laid upon the paten of Kin^ 
Edward's chalice, a cruet of wine, and a pound of gold. Then, bowing 
her head, the Bishop of Winchester said a prayer over her. Then her 
Grace was conveyed again to her siege royal, and there sat till ' Agnus 
Dei.' Then the pax was brought to her to kiss by a Bishop. Then the 
Queen was conducted down to the said altar, and the Bishop of Win- 
chester took the crown from her head and set it on the said altar. 
Then she was conveyed again into her traverse, and the Lord Great 
Chamberlain received of her all the regalia, and delivered them to the 
Dean of Westminster, to be laid upon the said altar. Then her Grace 
was unclad of her apparel, and other royal apparel given to her by the 
said Great Chamberlain, viz. a robe of purple velvet with the kirtle and 
surcoat overte, and a mantle with a train furred with miniver and 
powdered ermine, and a mantle lace of silk and gold, with buttons 
and tassels of the same, and riband of Venice gold, the crown set upon 
her head, and a goodly canopy borne over her by the barons of the cinque 
ports. And so was conveyed in goodly order with all her train unto 
Westminster Hall to dinner, in like manner as her Grace's coming thither 
was in all thinges saving procession." 

The coronation banquet was most sumptuous : — 

" At the first course there came riding in on two goodly coursers the 
Lord High Steward of England, and the Earl Marshal, both richly 
apparelled, and their horses trapped according to their estate. On the 
Queen's right hand sat the Bishop of Winchester, and the Lady Elizabeth, 
her Grace, and the Lady Anne of Cleves, on the left hand. Four swords 
were held before the Queen during the dinner. At the end of the second 
course, the Queen's Champion appeared upon a courser richly trapped 
with cloth of gold, holding in his hand a mace, and on the other side 
of him a page, one holding his spear, another his target with a herald 
before him. The usual challenge having been made, and repeated thrice, 
the champion received the cup as his fee from which her Majesty had 
drunk to him. The Queen's style was then proclaimed by Garter with 
the rest of the oflficers of arms, in Latin, French, and English, concluding 
with ' larges, larges, larges.' 

" Her Majesty having dined arose, and stood in the ' hault place ' 
with the Lady Elizabeth her Grace, and the Lady Anne of Cleves, and 
all the nobility, according to their degrees and estates. Then the Mayor 
of London brought a goodly standing cup of gold to the Queen's Majesty, 
and after her Highness had drunk so, gave the Mayor the cup. Then 
after, her Highness withdrew to her Parliament chamber, she shifted 
her there in her Privy Chamber, where she was first apparelled before 
her going to church. The Queen was then conveyed by water to the 
palace, where there was that night feasting and cheer." 

Of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth, the particulars are 
not ample. The tract published by Tottill, and represented 
in Nicholls's "Royal Progresses," gives a detailed account of 
the queen's procession through the city, previous to her coro- 
nation (see chapter on " Coronation Processions from the 


Tower "), and concludes witli that portion of the solemnity. 
Strype Las briefly noticed the coronation thus: "On tho 
15th day of January [1559], she was crowned with the usual 
ceremonies at Westminster Abbey. She first came to West- 
minster Hall. There went before her trumpets, knights, and 
lords, heralds of arms in their rich coats. Then the nobles 
in their scarlet, and all the bishops in scarlet ; then the Queen 
and all her footmen waiting upon her to the hall. There hei- 
Grace's apparel was changed. In the hall they met the 
bishop that was to perform the ceremony,* and all the chappel, 
with three crosses borne before them, in their copes, the 
bishop mitred ; and singing as they passed ' Salvae festa dies.' 
All the streets new laid with gravel and blue cloth, and railed 
in on each side. And so to the abbey to mass. And there 
her Grace was crowned. Thence, the ceremony ended, the 
Queen and her retinue went to Westminster Hall to dinner; 
and every officer took his place at service upon their lands ; 
and so did the lord mayor of London and the aldermen." 

Some particulars are also given in Ashmole's collections 
at Oxford (8G3, p. 211) of the " cerymonies of the coronacon 
of the moost excellent Queene Elysabeth : " — 

"Item, fyrst her Grace sett in a chayre of estate, in the middle of 
the church before the high aulter; and iiTiediately hir Grace was con- 
ducted from the said cha3're and lede between two lords to be proclaimed 
by a byshop Queene of Inglande. And imediately the Queenes Majestic 
"was brought to the chayre of estate and imediately hir Grace was lede 
byfore tlie high avilter and there sittinge a bysshop the Qoeenes Maj"'' 
kneeling byfore the bysshop and kissed the patyn her Grace offered 
money and the bisshop laid it in the basjne and immediately ofFerid a 
))art of red sylke wherein the paten was covered. And immediately hir 
Highnes sat in a chayre byfore the aulter there being a bisshop in the 
pulpitt preacliing a sermon byfore tho Queenes Maj''" and all the lords 
spirituall and tempitll. And after the sermon done, the bysshop 'bade 
the beads' her Grace voyde out of the chayre knelynge and said the 
Lords Prayer. And aftir that hir Grace satt in hir chayre, and the 

* " The see of Canterbury," says Rapin, " being vacant, by tho death 
of Cardinal Pole, the office of tho coroTiation devolved on the Archbishop 
of York [Michael Heath], but that i)rclnte, and all the rest having, with 
one voice, refused to assist in the office, because Elizabeth, both by 
proclamation, and the admission of men into her counsel, who had not 
the character of good catholics, had sufficiently declared her aver- 
sion to tho church of Rome. Only Oglethorpe, Bishop of Carlisle, was 
at last brought to do the office, notwithstanding the complaints of hia 
brothcrcn." This prelate, it is said by Burnet, afterwards died of 


bysshop gave hir a booke which shee had takeing hir oathe. And after 
that, the bysshop knelynge byfore the aulter red in two bookes and hir 
Grace gave a little booke to a lord to deliver unto the bysshop. And 
he received the booke. The bysshop retomyed the booke to the lorde, 
not reading the saide booke, and red other bookes. And iniediately y* 
bysshop tooke the Queenes booke and red it byfore the Queene her Grace. 
And after that hir Grace kneeled byfore the aulter. And the bysshop 
red a booke byfore hir Grace. And immediately her Grace went to 
shift her apparell. And the bysshop sang the ... of the masse in 
a booke which was brought in byfore the Queene and than and there 
was a carpet with knssyns of golde spread before the aulter. And ' 
secretaiy Cycill delivered a booke to the busshop, and there was a 
bysshop standing at the left hand of the aulter. 

" Item, the Queenes Maj''^ being new apparrelled came byfore the 
aulter and leand upon the kussene and over her was spread a reed silken 
cloth. And than and there the bysshop annoy n ted her Grace. And 
y*done changing apparell her Grace retorned, and satt in her chayre. 
And there was a sword with a girdele putt over her & upon one of her 
shoulders and under the other : And soe the sword hangeing by her 
side. And after that two gartares uppon her hands ; and than one 
crowne put the bysshop uppon her heade, and than trompetts sounding, 
and the bysshopp put a ringe upon her finger and delivered the sceptre 
in her hand, and then aftir the bysshopp satt a crowne upon her heed 
and the ti-ompetts sounding. And aftir that hir Grace offerid the sword 
and laid it uppon the aulter and retorned kneelinge. And the bysshop 
readeinge upon a booke and shee haveing the scepter and a crosse in 
her hand and aftir that hir Grace retorned to the chayer of estate. And 
then the bysshop put his hand to the Queenes hand and read certaine 
wordes to her Grace. And then the lords went up to her Grace kneel- 
ing uppon their knees and kissed her Grace. And after the lords had 
done the bysshopps came one after another kneeling and kissing her 
Grace. And after that the bisshop began the masse the Queenes Maj*® 
haveinge the septer in the right hand, and the world [orb] in the left 
hand the Epystel red fyrst in Latyn and after that in English. And 
after that the bysshop brought her Grace the Gospell which also was 
read first in Latyn and after in Englishe : and shee kyssed the words of 
the Gospell. And iniediately after her Maj"'' went to the offering and 
byfore hir Grace was borne iii naked swordes and a sword in the 
scabbard, and her Grace kneelyng byfore the aulter and kissed the 
patyn and offeryd certain money into the bassyn & than and there was 
rede to her Grace certaine wordes. And then her Grace retorned into 
her closett hearing the consecration of the masse and hir Grace kissed 
the pax.* And when masse was done her Grace removed behinde the 
high aulter and than and there her Maj*'" changed her apparell and so 
her Maj"*' was conducted from the abby to Westminster hall and there 

* The 'pax is a piece of board having the image of Christ upon the 
cross on it, which the people, before the Reformation, used to kiss after 
the service was ended, that ceremony being considered the kiss of 


In the Harloian MSS. (No. 1386) the queen's title is thus 
mentioned : " Of the most high and mightye Princeses our 
dread Sovereigne Lady Elizabeth, by the Grace of God, Queene 
of England, France, and Irelande, defender of the trewe 
auncient and Catholic faithe, most worthy Empresse from the 
Orcade Isles to the Mountaynes Pyrenei." 

Aikin, in his memoirs of Elizabeth, remarks that the in- 
creased seriousness of the time is shovsrn in the contrast 
between the grave Biblical figures and the light classical 
imagery of the pageants that witnessed the passage of her 

The arrangements for the coronation of James I. were 
intended to be of the most splendid character, but the plague 
was then raging, and, in consequence, the people were for- 
bidden to come to Westminster to see the pageant. This 
event occurred February 25, 1603, the day of his namesake, 
the Apostle, Archbishop Whitgift performing the consecra- 
tion service. An account of the proceedings is published in 
Nichols's " Royal Progresses," and in its principal features 
follows pretty closely the installation ceremonies of Queen 
Elizabeth, whose coronation, like that of James I., took place 
nearly a year after her accession. 

A letter from Sir Simonds D'Ewes to Sir Martin Stute- 
ville, from his " Autobiography and Correspondence," gives 
some interesting particulars of the coronation of Charles I. : — 

" About eight of the clocke [February 2, 162G], His Majestie was 
expected to have landed at Sir Robert Cotton's stairs, my Lord Marshall 
having himselfe given order for carpets 'to bee laied. Sir Robert stoode 
readic thcr to receave him, with a booke of Athelstane's, being the fouer 
Evangelists in Lattine, that King's Saxon Epistle prefixed, upon which 
for divers hundred yeares together, the Kings of England had solemlie 
taken the coronation oath. 

" But the royall barge bawked these step]ies soe filtie accomodated, 
and being put forward was ran on ground at Parliament stairs, by which 
both His Majestie and the Lordes were faine to use the neighbour boates 
for ther landing. 

" Sir Robert told me, and I believe it, that this act might have brought 
a customc of setting ther, and so was glad it missed ; but I conceived 
the Duke had ])rovoTited that act of grace to bee done him by reason of 
that peice I showed you which begann — ' soe long as those attended our 
master now with God &c.' framed by him. You may remember how I 
told you that 1 doubted him the author by reason of the style and 
gravitic thereof. 

** Yet I think a little while after the booke was delivered, His 
Majestie and the Peeres being receaved ther first, came into West- 
minster Hall, a high stage and throne being ther erected for that end. 


I saw the Duke [of Buckingham] Lord Constable for this day, taking 
the right hand of him going upp the stairs, and putting foorth his left 
to beare upp the King ; — he, putting it foorth by which his right hand 
helped upp the Duke, and with a smiling countenance tolde him, ' I have 
as much needs to assist you, as you to assist me.' I dare say he meant 
it plainlie, yet searching brains might pick much from it. Upon a table 
placed on the left hande of the estate, weere the Regalia laide ; which 
the Duke upon his bringing to the King, here delivered them to several 
noblemen ; the first sworde to Marquesse Hambledon, the seconde to 
the Earle of Kent, the crowne to the Earle of Pembroke, the ball with 
the crosse to the Earle of Sussex, the long scepter to the Earle of Essex, 
St. Edward's Rodd to the Earle of Hartforde, and onlie the Lorde Mayor 
carried the short scepter. 

" These weere thinges ad placitu and noe claims allowed for this 
time. Then proceeded His Majestic bare (for after the deliverie of his 
crowne, having laied offe his hat, he continued soe till crowned) on foote, 
under a canopie to the churche : first went the Knights of the Bath, 
then the Kinges Serjeants, then Masters of Requests, then Judges, then 
Peeres, then carriers of the Regalia, and, lastlie, His Majesty. 

" I was thinking to see his passage, and soe to go home, having in 
the morning, without colour of secresse, endeavoured to gett into the 
churche ; in my passage spying a doore guarded by one, and thronged 
at by few, I went, and with little trouble found an easie entrance, — the 
good genius of that guardman guiding his gentler thoughts. 

" Being in, I instantlie settled myself at the stage on which stoode 
Ithe royall seate. My expectation was soon answered with His Majestie's 
[approach, who, presenting himself bare-headed to the people, (all the 
idoores being then opened for ther entrance) the Archbishopp on his 
jright hand, and Earle Marshall on his left, the Bishopp said in my articu- 
|late hearing to this purpose : — ' My masters and freinds ; I am here 
3ome to present unto you your King, King Charles, to whome the crowne 
[of his auncestors and predecessors is now devolved by lineall right, and 
[hee himselfe come hither to bee settled in that throne, which God and 
[his birth have appointed for him ; and therefore I desire you by your 
[generall acclamations to testifie your content and willingness therunto.' 

" Upon which, whether some expected hee should have spoken moore, 
[others hearing not well what hee saied, hindered those by questioning 
[which might have heard, or that the newnes and greatnes of the action 
)asied men's thoughts, or the presence of so deare a King drew 
[admiring silence, so that those which weere nearest doubted what to 
[doe, but not one worde followed till my Lorde of Arundel tolde them 
[they should crie out * God save King Charles ! ' Upon which, as ashamed 
lof ther first oversight, a little shouting followed. At the other side, 
jwheere he presented himselfe, ther was not the like failing. Then going 
[from this erected stage downe into St. Edward's chappell, Dr. Senhouse, 
[Bishop of Carlisle preached, before which the organs and quire answeered 
[to two Bishopps, whoe upon ther knees sang the letanie. Then followed 
{His Majestie's Coronation, wheere because the putting on of his crimson 
Ishirte, the anointing of his naked shoulders, armes, hands, and head 
[weere arcana, a traverse was drawen, and I dare say boldlie few moore 
[single lessons, than ther weere thousands within the church saw it ; yet 
[might we guesse when the anointed glories and quoife, and robes, and 
[crowne, weere brought then those weere to bee put on. 


" The archbisshopp [Abbot], performed the unction, which I doubted 
hee should not, by reason of suspicion of irregularitie, upon the unfor- 
tunate killing of a man, som few yearea since : then receaved his 
Majestic the communion, and after crowned in his purple robes, ascending 
the stage, and throne, tooko homage of all the Peres — they putting ther 
handes into his, and being kissed by him did him both homage and 
foaltie. Then returned hee into an inner chappell, and ther putt on 
blacke velvett robes, lined with ermine, and soe ci'owned went backe to 
Westminster Hall, in the same manner hee had come thither wheere 
everie Lorde delivered backe againe his regalia. The crowne hee wore 
was narrower and higher than that my Lorde of Pembroke carried, yet 
both incomparablie rich. After the Kinges crowning all the Earles and 
Viscounts putt on their coronets, and capps ; the Bishopps ther capps ; 
the Barons continued bare. Before this, the Lorde Keeper gave his 
Majestie's free pardon to all that would take it out, which was followed 
by an exceeding acclamation. The Lorde Conway tooke place of all 
barons, being a baron and principall secretarie ; else he goeth below 
them. The Queen was neither crowned, nor at the church, yet saw 
their going. Other newes there is, much which my little time suffring 
mee not to write." 

In 1633 Charles T. proceeded to Scotland, to be crowned. 
He arrived at Edinburgh, June 15, 

" accompanied by the Duke of Lennox, the Marquis of Hamilton, and 
divers other Scotch and English lords and gentlemen, to the number of 
about five hundred. His furniture and plate were carried about with 
him, in princely form. He, riding on horseback, was received at the 
West Port, in a theatrical manner, after the fashion of the allegorical 
entertainments with which Ben Jonson has made us familiar. There 
was a kind of theatre under an arch, where a nymph representing 
Edinburgh, appeared on a mountain, which was so arranged as to move 
at the approach of majesty. The nymph was attired in a sea-green 
velvet mantle, with sleeves and under-robe of blue tissue, and blue 
buskins on her feet ; about her neck she wore a chain of diamonds ; her 
head-dress represented a castle with turrets, and her locks dangled 
about her shoulders. 

" A speech of welcome was delivered by this fair lady, together with 
the keys of the city. Meanwhile, the provost, Alexander Clark, and 
the bailies in furred red robes, with about threescore councillors and 
others, in black velvet gowns, had taken up a position on a wooden stand 
at the other side of the gate. Thence the provost addressed the king 
in a brief speech, presenting him at the same time with a gold basin, 
worth five thousand merks, into which were shaken out of an em- 
broidered purse a thousand golden double angels, as a token of the 
town's love and service. ' The king looked gladly upon the speech and 
gifts both ; but the Marquis of Hamilton, master of his Majesty's horse, 
hard beside, meddled with the gift, as due to him by virtue of his office.' 

" The provost then mounted his own horse, which was sumptuously 
attired, and, followed by the couiu;illois and others on foot, attended his 
Majesty along the (irassmarket. Here appeanMl 'a bravo company of 
town's soldiers all clad in white satiu doublets, black velvet breeches, 


and silk stockings, with hats, feathers, scarfs, bands, and the rest cor- 
respondent. These gallants had dainty muskets, pikes, and gilded 
partisans, and such like,' and attended his Majesty as a guard. At the 
gate in the middle of the West Bow, there was another theatre, pre- 
senting a Highland scene, labelled with the word Grampius. and from 
which a female, representing the genius of Caledonia, welcomed his 
Majesty in verse. Coming to the west end of the Tolbooth, he there 
found an arch across the narrowed street, sui'mounted by a crown; 
Mars, as the protecting deity of the country, on one side, and Minerva 
on the other. Here, on the withdrawal of a curtain, Mercury appeared, 
as if just arrived from the Elysian fields, with his Majesty's deceased 
progenitors. This was a part of the spectacle really interesting to the 
King, for the portraits struck his faithful eye, as well executed ; and so 
they were, being the work of George Jameson, of Aberdeen. Here there 
was a fourth speech. 

" ' At the Mercat Cross, he had a fifth speech, where his Majestye's 
health was drunk by Bacchus on the cross, and the haill stroups [spouts] 
thereof running over with wine in abundance. At the Tron, Parnassus 
hill was erected curiously, all green with birks, where nine pretty boys, 
representing the nine nymphs or muses, were nymph-like clad [in varying 
taffetas, cloth of silver, and purple].' Amidst the trees appeared Endy- 
raion, like a shepherd, in a long coat of crimson velvet, with gilt leather 
buskins, telling the King in William Drummond's verse that he had 
been despatched by Cynthia to celebrate the day. 

" At the Nether Bow, where he made his exit from the city, another 
speech was addressed to him. ' Whilk haill orations, his Majesty, with 
threat pleasure and delight, sitting on horseback, as his company did, 
heard pleasantly ; syne rode down the Canongate to his own palace of 
Holyrood house, where he stayed that night.' 

" On the Monday following, the King was conducted by his nobility 
in state, in his royal robes, to the Abbey Kirk of Holyrood, and there was 
solemnly crowned by the Bishop of Brechin." 

Of the coronation of Charles II. (April 23, 1661), in 
Westminster Abbey, we have ample details in the " Circum- 
stantial Account " of Sir Edward Walker, Garter principal- 
at-arms at that period ; in the " Entertainment of Charles II., 
in his passage through London to his Coronation, with a 
narrative of the ceremony at the Coronation by John Ogilby," 
with plates by Hollar, folio, London, 1662, and the " Cere- 
monial and Proceedings " as set forth by Elias Ashmole, 
Windsor Herald ; also notices in the diaries of Samuel Pepys 
and John Evelyn, spectators on that occasion.* 

* Among the manuscripts of the Duke of Sutherland is a letter dated 
from Drury Lane, April 13, 1661, from William Smith to John Langley: — 
"The chiefest affairs now in hand are his Majesty's Coronation and 
marriage, the first of which now draws near, the four stately standing 
pageants being now almost finished. The first his Majesty shall encounter 
is in Leadenhall Street, and it presenteth Anarchy, and the confusion 
which that government brings : the second is erected at the Eoyal 


Exchange, and it holds forth Presbetery, and with it the decay of Trade ; 
the third, which is the most sumptuous, stands in Cheapside, relating 
the honours due to the Hierarchy, and showeth the restoration of Epis- 
copacy. In this maignificent building his Majesty is to be treated to a 
stately banquet, and to show the power which Episcopacy hath over 
Presbetery, just at his Majesty's departure will arise the form of the old 
Crosse whicla anciently stood at the same place, at whose appearance 
Presbetery vanisheth. The last, which is also very glorious, stands in 
Fleet Street, and represents Monarchy, whereby the former disorders 
are brought into their first conformities : — and these are to be the works 
of Monday, the 22. of this instant April . . . — For the Coronation, the 
Lord Wharton's furnitures for his horse, (as it is said) will amount to 
£8000 ; the bit of his bridle being valued at £500. The Duke of 
Buckingham has written to some friends (as they say) that, notwith- 
standing the malice of cards and dice, he has bestowed £30,000 upon a 
suit to attend his Majesty at his Coronation." 

*' Upon Tuesday," says Walker, " the 23rd of April, being St. George's 
Day, about half-past seven in the morning, the King entered his rich 
barge at Whitehall and landed at the parliament stairs, from whence he 
proceeded up to the room behind the lords house called the Prince's 
lodgings, where after he had reposed himself for a while, he was arrayed 
in his robes of crimson velvet, furred with ermine ; by which time the 
nobility being assembled, robed themselves in the lords house and painted 
chamber. The judges also, with those of the long robe, the knights of 
the Bath, and gentlemen of the privy chamber, met in the court of 

" After some space the King's heralds and pursuivants, began to set 
the proceeding in order, each of them taking his share assigned in 
chapter, (held at the heralds' office the evening before,) and thence 
directed all the above-mentioned degrees (except the nobility) down into 
Westminster Hall, where the rest of the proceeding attended, and from 
whence the march began. About half an hour after nine, the nobility, 
in their robes and coronets, before the King, ascended up to the estate, 
which was raised at the west end, and placed themselves upon each side 

" His Majesty, having taken his chair, under a rich cloth of estate, 
first. Sir Gilbert Talbot, the master of the jewel-house, presented the 
sword of state, as also the sword called curtana, and two other swords 
to the Lord High-Constable, who took and delivered them to the 
Lord High-Chamberlain, and he (having drawn the last) laid them upon 
the table before the King. Then the said master of the jewel-house 
delivered likewise the s})urs to the Lord High-Constable, and he, again, 
to the Lord High-Clianiberlain, who also placed them upon the table. 

" Immediately after, the Dean and j)rebends of Westminster (by 
whom the regalia had been brought in procession from the Abbey 
church into Westminster Hall), being invested in rich copes, proceeded 
from the lower end thereof in manner following : — 

" The Serjeant of the vestry in a scarlet mantle. The children of 
the King's chaj)el, being twelve in number, in scarlet mantles. The 
pursuivants, heralds, and provincial kings, the Dean, carrying St. 
Edward's crown, Doctor Helyn, the Sceptre with the Cross, Doctor 
Hey wood, the Sceptre with the Dove, Doctor Nicholas, the Orb with the 


Cross, Doctor Killigrew, St. Edward's Staff, Doctor Jones, the Chalice 
and Patena, Doctor Dowty, the Spoon, Doctor Busby, the Ampulla. 

" All standing towards the lower end of the hall, ready to proceed, 
they made their first reverence together ; then coming to the middle of 
the said hall, they made there a second ; and thence going a little further, 
both the quires fell off, and stood on either side, through which lane, 
the pursuivants, heralds, and kings passing, fell likewise off on either 
side, the seniors still placing themselves uppermost towards the throne ; 
after whom the Dean and prebends proceeded, and arrived at the foot 
of the stone steps, and approaching near to the table before the King, 
made their last reverence. 

" The Dean first presented the crown, which was by the Lord High- 
Constable, and Lord Groat-Chamberlain set upon the table ; who after- 
wards took from each of the prebends that part of the regalia, which 
they carried, and laid them also by the crown : which done, they 

" Then the Lord Great- Chamberlain presenting the regalia severally 
to the King, his Majesty thereupon disposed of them unto the noble- 
men hereafter named, to be carried by them in the proceeding of the 

** All thinges being thus prepared, and it being about ten o'clock, the 
proceeding began from out the said hall into the palace yard, through 
the gate-house, and the end of King Street, thence along the great 
sanctuary, and so to the west-end of the Abbey-church, all upon blue 
cloth, which was spread upon the ground, from the throne in West- 
minster Hall, to the great steps in the Abbey-church, by Sir George 
Carteret, knight, vice-chamberlain, appointed by the King to be his 
almoner for this day." [The order of the procession is described : the 
King having entered the west door of the Abbey-church, was received 
with an anthem, and on arriving at the fald-stool, kneeled down, and 
used some private ejaculations, which being finished, he proceeded to 
the great theatre upon which the throne was placed, at the entrance 
of which was placed a chair, foot-stool and cushion, covered with cloth 
of gold, on which he reposed himself. The proceedings of the corona- 
tion thereupon commenced, the Bishop of London officiating in part 
(the Archbishop of Canterbury by age and infirmity not being able to 
sustain the whole duty), presenting the King to the people at three 
sides of the theatre, as the rightful inheritor of the crown, the King 
rising from his chair, and turning his face in each direction, and 
being received with loud shouts and acclamations.] 

" The Bishop of London afterwards proceeded to the altar followed 
by the King and his suite, the regalia being carried before him. Being 
arrived at the altar, he kneeled down, having first offered the pall [of 
cloth of gold], as also a wedge of gold of a pound weight, which were 
received by the Bishop of London and laid reverently on the altar. 
The regalia were laid upon the altar, and the Bishop of Worcester 
preached a sermon from a pulpit placed on the north side of the altar, 
opposite to the King, the texts being the second verse of the twenty- 
eighth chapter of Proverbs, the King having put on his cap of crimson 
velvet, turned up with ermine, during the discourse. 

" Sermon being ended the King took the oath as administered by 
the Bishop of London. The ceremony of anointing took place on the 


Kini^'s breast, between liis shoulders, on both his shoulders, the two 
bowinc^s of his arms, and on the crown of his liead ; during which a 
rich pall of g()ld was hold over the King's head. After certain prayers, 
the Lord Great- Chamberlain delivered the coif to tlie Archbishop of 
Canterbury, who put it on the King's head, and immediately afterwards 
the Dean of Westminster put the coif with the colobium sindonis, or 
surplice, upon the King, and after a short prayer took the tissue-hose 
and sandals from the altar, with which he arrayed the King ; as also 
with the super-tunica, or close pall of cloth of gold, and girded the 
same about him. The spurs were then delivered by the Dean to the 
Lord Great-Chamberlain, who touched the King's heels with them, and 
then returned them to the altar. The girding with the sword of state 
next occurred, and the arrail, made of cloth of tissue, was placed about 
the King's neck, and tied to the bowing of his arms, the Archbishop 
standing before the King, with the Bishop of London on his right hand, 
and saying : — 'receive the armil of sincerity and wisdom, as a token of 
God's embracing, whereby all thy works may be defended against thine 
enemies, both bodily and ghostly, through Christ our Lord. Amen.* 

"The mantle, or open pall, of cloth of gold and lined with red 
taffety was next put upon the King by the Dean of Westminster, with a 
prayer by the Archbishop, who afterwards took St. Edward's crown 
and blessed it, saying; — ' God, the crown of the faithful, re-bless and 
sanctify this crown, that as the same is adorned with divers precious 
stones, so this thy servant that weareth it, may be filled with thy 
manifold graces of all precious virtues, through the King eternal, thy 
Son our Lord. Amen,' 

" In the meantime St. Edward's Chair was removed into the middle 
of the aisle, and sat right over against the altar, whither the King went 
and sat down in it, and then the Archbishop brought St. Edward's crown 
from the altar, and put it upon his head. Whereupon, all the people 
with loud and repeated shouts cried, ' God save the King.' And by a 
signal then given the great ordnance from the Tower were also shot off. 

" After the customary prayers, and an anthem, the master of the 
jewel-house delivered to the Archbishop a King, who alter consecrating 
it, placed it on the fourth finger of the right hand with the address and 
prayer. The delivery of the sceptres was then made, after which the 
Archbishops and Bishops present kneeled before the King, and were 
kissed by him. In the meantime the chair of state was set above the 
upper steps at the entrance upon the theatre, whither the King went 
preceded by the bearers of the four swords, and attended by the Arch- 
bishop, the Bishops, and great officers. ' Te Deum ' having been sung, 
the King ascended his thione placed in the middle of the theatre 
and the act of homage took place. During the performance of this 
ceremony, the Lord High-Chancellor proclaimed the King's general 
l)ardon, and medals of gold and silver, prepared for the Coronation, 
were flung al)out by the treasurer of the Kings household. The Holy 
Communion was next administered, after which the King descended 
from his throne crowned with both the sceptres in his hands. The rest 
of the regalia (which lay all this while on the altar) being de- 
livered to the noblemen that brought them to the church were carried 
before him to St. Edward's Chapel, where, on arrival, the King took off 
St. Edward's crown, and delivered it to the liishop of Loudon, who laid 


it on St. Edward's altar : all the rest of the regalia were given into th(t 
hands of the Dean of Westminster, and laid there also. The King 
entering the traverse erected in the middle of the wall at the back of 
the high altar was disrobed of St. Edward's robes, which were after- 
wards delivered to the Dean of Westminster to lay up with the regalia. 

" The King was then arrayed in his purple robes, and then came 
near to St. Edward's altar, where the Bishop of London stood ready 
with the imperial crown in his hands, and set that upon the King's 
head ; thereupon the King took the sceptre with the cross in his right 
hand, with the globe in his left, and immediately the procession moved 
into Westminster Hall. 

" The Coronation banquet was of the most splendid character. The 
King came forth from the Inner Court of Wards, in his royal robes, 
with the crown on his head, and sceptre in his hand, having the three 
swords borne naked before him, and went directly to his chair at the 
royal table. The Bishop of London said grace. The first course was 
carried in with great state, the Earl-Marshall, the Lord High-Steward, 
and the Lord High-Constable escorting the service on horseback in 
their robes, and wearing their coronets, their horses richly caparisoned ; 
the dishes wei*e set on the table by the Earl of Lincoln, Carver, assisted 
Lby the Earl Sewers. The usual feudal services were performed. A 
flittle before the second course was served, Sir Edward Dymoke, the 
King's Champion, entered the Hall. ' Largess' was proclaimed thrice 
by Garter, principal king-of-arms, and the King's style in Latin, 
[French, and English. 

"The banquet having been prolonged, 'the day being far spent,' 

bhe King washed and rose from dinner before the third course was 

)rought in, and after disrobing in the Inner Court of Wards, went 

[privately to his barge, and landed at Whitehall, ' where,' says Evelyn in 

ihis brief narrative of the Coronation, ' was extraordinary feasting.' 

Charles had been previously crowned (January 1, 1651) 
[by the Scots, at Scone, the southern part of the country 
being occupied at the time by Cromwell with a hostile army. 
Charles, who was then only twenty, being anxious to get a 
[footing in his father's lost dominions, consented, much 
against his will, to accept the famous Solemn League and 
Covenant, which inferred an active persecution of both popery 
and prelacy, and the Scots accordingly received him amongst 
I them, fought a battle for him against Cromwell, at Dunbar, 
and now inaugurated him as sovereign. The crown was 
placed upon the young king's head by the Marquis of 
lArgyle, whom, ten years after, he sent to the scaffold for 
I compliances with Cromwell. The Earl of Crawford carried 
the sceptre, and after the crown had been placed on his 
*^Majesty's head, delivered it into his hand with an exhorta- 
tion, saying, " Sir, resave this sceptere, the sign of the royal 
[power of the kingdom, that you may govern yourself right, 


and defend all Christian people committed by God to jour 
charge, punishing the wicked, and protecting the just." 

The rule, as settled by repeated orders of the Privy 
Council of Scotland, was that the crown, the sceptre, and 
the sword, constituting collectively the " honours " of the 
Scottish kingdom, should be carried at the coronations and 
"ridings" of the Parliament by the three peers respectively 
in rank present. 

At this coronation a very extraordinary sermon was 
preached by " Master Robert Douglas," minister at Edin- 
burgh, moderator of the General Assembly (from 2 Kings 
xi. 12, 17). He delivered a bitter philippic against the 
young king, and went so far as to compare his mother to 
the wicked Athaliah. After the ceremony was concluded, 
" the minister spoke to him a word of exhortation," being 
in fact, an oration of considerable length.* 

The coronation of James II. took place on St. George's 
Day, April 23, 1685. " He was the last of our monarchs," says 
Pegge, " to keep up the regal state in its full splendour. 
His Majesty was extremely desirous of having his coronation 
magnificent, and took such care that it should be recorded 
by posterity as to command Sandford, Lancaster Herald, to 
minute down the ceremonial, and have the whole procession 
engraved." Noble, in his " History of the College of Arras," 
speaks of this work as a monument of the munificence of 
King James and the costume of the period. f 

The following is an abridged notice of the coronation 
procession from Westminster Hall to the abbey, which com- 
menced at twelve o'clock in the forenoon : — 

"The Dean's Beadle of WestTriinster with his staff. The High Con- 
stable of Westminster and his staff. Fifes, drums and trumpets. The 

* Several editions of the " Form and Order of the Coronation of 
Charles II. at Scone " were published in Aberdeen at the time, and were 
reprinted in London (IGOO). 

t Noble says, " The Earl Marshal " (who had a pique against Sand- 
ford), "at the suggestion of some of the h(>ralds, suspended him, under 
pretence tliat he liad not finislied the liistory of the coronation ; but 
submitting, the suspension was soon taken off."' The book did not 
answer expectation, for the engravings being many, and taking a long 
time to execute, it was not Unished \intil Christmas, 1687, and the 
Revolution being in the following year, tliere was no time to dispose of 
the copies, so that the expenses were only just saved, which amounted 
to nearly £000. 


six Clerks ili Chancery in gowns of black flowered satin. The closet- 
keeper of the Chapel Royal. His Majesty's Chaplains in scarlet habits 
as doctors, and wearing black silk tippets. The aldermen of London 
in their scarlet gowns furred with foyns, and those who had passed the 
chair wearing their gold chains. Masters in Chancery in their gowns 
of black figured silk. The King's Serjeants at Law in their scarlet 
gowns wearing their coifs. The King's Solicitor and Attorney in gowns 
of black velvet. The King's Ancient Serjeants in scarlet gowns. 
Esquires of the body in rich habits. Gentlemen of the Privy Chamber. 
Parous of the Exchequer, and Justices of both Benches, in their judges' 
robes. The Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer, and Lord Chief 
Justice of the King's Bench in judges' robes, wearing their collars of 
S.S. Children of the choir at Westminster, in surplices. Serjeant of 
his Majesty's Vestry, in scarlet robe, with his gilt verge. Serjeant 
Porter of his Majesty's palace, in scarlet robe, and with black ebony 
staff. The children of the Chapel Royal in surplices. Gentlemen of 
the Chapel Royal in surplices and mantles. Prebendaries of West- 
minster in their surplices and rich copes. Dean of Westminster in a 
rich cope of purple velvet, embroidered in gold and silver. Master of 
the Jewel-house in a scarlet robe. Privy Councillors, not being peers, 
in rich habits. Two Pursuivants-of-Arms, in coats of his Majesty's 
arms, richly embroidered with gold and silver upon damask and satin, 
and lined with crimson taffeta. Baronesses in their robes of estate, 
with their coronets in their hands. Barons in their robes of estate, 
with their coronets in their hands. Bishops in their rochets, with their 
square caps in their hands. Two Pursuivants-of-Arms. Viscountesses 
in their robes of estate. Two Heralds-of-Arms. Countesses in their 
robes of estate. Earls in their robes of estate. Two Heralds-of-Arms. 
Duchesses in their robes of estate. George Villiers, Duke of Bucking- 
ham, in his robes of estate, with his coronet in his hand, and wearing 
his collar of the order of the Garter. The two provincial Kings-of- 
Arms. The great officers in their robes of estate. Two persons repre- 
senting the Dukes of Aquitaine and Normandy, in robes of estate of 
crimson velvet, lined with white sarcenet, with deep capes and broad 
facings, all richly powdered with ermine, and with hats or caps of 
estate, of crimson and gold podesway, furred with ermine, etc. The 
Queen's Vice-Chamberlain. Two gentlemen ushers. The Queen's Lord 
Chamberlain. The Queen's regalia, all borne by noblemen in their 
robes of estate, with their coronets in their hands. The Queen, in 
royal robes of purple velvet, richly furred with ermine, and bordered 
with gold lace, with a circle of gold on her head, under a canopy 
of cloth of gold.* Assistants to the Queen's train, four in number. 

* Lord Fountainhall, in his " Diary," remarks that "the Queen was 
not crowned with the imperial crown of England, but there was a new 
one of gold, valued at £300,000 sterling, and the jewels she had on her 
were reckoned at a million, which made her shine like ane angel." 

According to Evelyn, however, the price of the diamonds, pearls, 
and other jewels in the queen's crown amounted to £100,658 sterling. 
He mentions having seen the bills attested by the goldsmith and jeweller 
who set them. When completed, however, it was valued at £111,900. 


The Duchess of Norfolk in her robes of estate, bearing the Queen's 
train. Two ladies of the bed-chamber. Two of her Majesty's 
women. His Majesty's regalia, borne by noblemen in their robes oP 
estate, according to their respective dignities, with their coronets in 
their hands. St. Edward's Staff, borne by Kobert Bruce, Earl of Ayles- 
bury. The Golden Spurs, by Henry Yelverton, Lord Grey. The Sceptre 
with the Cross, called St. Edwards Sceptre, by Henry Mordaunt, 
Earl of Peterborough. Curtana, by Charles Talbot, Earl of Shrews- 
bury. The second Sword, by the Earl of Derby. The third Sword, 
by the Earl of Pembroke. Garter, pnncipal King-of-Arms, wearing 
the collar of S.S. and badge, or jewel, belonging to Garter, and carry- 
ing his coronet of pure gold in his hand. The Lord Mayor of London 
in a ciimson velvet gown, wearing a collar of S.S. of gold, and the city 
jewel thereto appendant, and bearing the city mace, or sceptre. The 
Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, in very rich habit, wearing his 
badge in a gold chain, and bearing the black rod in his hand. The 
Lord Great Chamberlain of England, in his robes of estate, with his' 
coronet and white staff in his hand. The Sword of State in the 
scabbard, borne by the Earl of Oxford, premier Earl of England, in his 
robes of estate, and collar of the order. The Earl Marshal of England, 
in his robes of estate, with his coronet and marshal's staff in his hand. 
The Lord High Constable of England, with his coronet, and Constable's 
staff or mace. St. Edward's Crown, with which his Majesty was 
crowned, borne by the Duke of Ormond, Lord High Steward, in his 
collar of the order, and with his white staff. The Sceptre with the 
Dove, borne by the Duke of Albemarle, in his collar of the order. The 
Orb w'ith the Cross, borne by the Duke of Somerset, in his collar of the 
order. The King, in his royal robes of crimson velvet, furred with 
ermine, and bordered with gold lace, with his cap of estate of crimson 
velvet, turned up with ermine, under a canopy of cloth of gold. 'I'he 
King's train supported by four noblemen's eldest sons. The captain of 
the troop of horse-guards. The captain of the yeomen of the guard. 
The captain of the band of gentlemen-pensioners. A gentleman of the 
King's bed-chamber. The groom of the bed-chamber. The yeomen of 
his Majesty's body-guard, in number one hundred, with partizans on 
their shoulders (for many of them carried carabines that day), their 
coats of red broad-cloth, with large breeches of the same. 

The coronation robes of the queen were of purple velvet, furred with 
ermine, and looped with ropes and tassels of pearls. Her kirtle, of rich 
white and silver brocade, was ornamented with pearls and precious 
stones, with a stomacher very elaborately set with jewels. On her head 
was a cap of purple velvet, turned up with ermine, powdered with 
gems, and a circlet of gold very richly adorned with large diamonds, 
curiously set, with a row of pearls round the upper edge. 

In the days of her sorrowful exile and widowhood she declared tliat 
she had never taken any pleasure in the envied name of a queen, "yet 
she sometimes spoke of the glories of her coronation, and descanted 
with true feminine delight on the magnificence of the regalia prepared 
for lier." She told the nuns of Chaillot " tliat no coronation of any 
])receding King of England had been so well conducted." 


" In this order," says Sandford, " did this glorious proceeding move 
from Westminster Hall through the new Palace Yard, into King Street, 
and so through the Great Sanctuary unto the west door of the collegiate 
church of St. Peter, the passage being railed in on both sides, from the 
north door of the hall to the entrance into the choir, and guarded by 
his Majesty's horse and foot guards." 

The incidents of the coronation service are most circum- 
stantially related in Sandford's work. After the recognition 
an anthem composed by Dr. Blow, organist to the king, was 
sung, and the first oblation, consisting of a pall of cloth of 
gold and an ingot, or wedge, of gold of a pound weight, were 
offered. After the reading of the Litany, a sermon was 
preached by the Bishop of Ely, who took his text from 
1 Chron. xxix. 23 : " Then Solomon sat on the throne of the 
Lord as king instead of David his father, and prospered : 
and all Israel obeyed him." The oath was next administered, 
the king, with his hand on the Gospels, swearing to observe it. 
The anointing oil * was applied to the palms of his Majesty's 
hands, the breast, on both shoulders and between the 
shoulders, on the bowings of both arms, and on the crown 
of the head, with the customary invocations by the arch- 
bishop. An anthem succeeded ; after which the investiture 
with the colobium sindonis, the supertunica, buskins and 
sandals, the spurs, the sword, the armil, the mantle or open 
pall, and orb took place. 

At the moment the king was crowned. Lord Dartmouth, 
master-general of the ordnance, having ordered a signal to 
be given from the battlements of the north cross of the 
church, by two gunners, one of them took his station on the 
inner roof over the area to observe the exact minute of 
the event, and thereupon hastening to the battlements, com- 

* This was, by the king's order, prepared by James St. Armand, Esq., 
the court apothecary, and was solemnly consecrated on the morning of 
the coronation by the Dean of Westminster. It was exceedingly rich 
and fragrant, and was so highly approved by their Majesties that the 
fortunate preparer of it was afterwards rewarded with a fee of £200, 
paid to him by a warrant from the lord chamberlain. 

Messrs. Child, the famous bankers of Temple Bar, appear to have 
done some business as jewellers, for in the private account of " the 
King's and Queen's Majesties," under date 1687, May 17, we find the 
following entries on the debtor side : — '' For loan of jewels for the Core- 
nation to the Queen, £222 ; " " For diamond earrings to the Queen, 
£300 ; " " For a ring for his Majesty's own hand, £215." On the same 
page'fand the following are similar entries of rings given by James to 
the ambassadors from France, Savoy, and other countries. 


manded his companion to fire a musket, and lighted a port- 
fire. Upon this the twenty-one great guns in St. James's 
Park were fired, and upon the same signal, the ordnance of 
the Tower being discharged by the master-gunner of Eng- 
land, were echoed by several peals of cannon from the ships 
and other vessels in the river. 

The investiture with the ring and sceptres succeeded, and 
the second oblation was made, consisting of a mark weight 
of gold. During the enthroning and homage, gold and silver 
medals of two sorts, commemorative of the king's and the 
queen's coronation, were thrown amongst the people. A 
verse-anthem, composed by Dr. Blow, concluded the king's 
part of the coronation, after which the ceremony of anointing, 
crowning, and enthroning the queen was proceeded with. 

The return of the splendid procession to the hall was in 
much the same order as its arrival at the abbey. The 
banquet was of the most sumptuous character. Their 
Majesties' table was furnished by Patrick Lamb, Esq., the 
king's master-cook, with an ambigue of ninety-nine dishes. 
The six other tables in the hall were supplied with a like 
ambigue of twelve hundred and seventy dishes, which with 
others made a total of twelve hundred and forty-five dishes. 
Before the second course was brought in, the king's champion 
entered the hall, completely armed, in one of his Majesty's 
best suits of white armour, mounted on a white horse, richly 
caparisoned, and performed the usual formalities, receiving 
as his fee the bowl from which the king had drunk to him. 

Their Majesties withdrew from the banquet at seven 
o'clock, departing in the same manner as they came, " ex- 
tremely well satisfied with the great order and magnificence 
that appeared in every part of this glorious solemnity." * 

The coronation of William III. and Queen Mary II. took 
place at Westminster, April 11, 1G89. The ceremony did 
not materially differ from preceding solemnities, except in 
the alteration of the royal oath, which is mentioned in the 
chapter on " The Coronation Oath." Evelyn, who was an 
eye-witness of the solemnity, observes that "much of the 

* Thrco relics, says Dean Stanley, of .Tames's coronation remain : 
1. Tlio music, then lirst used, of Pnrcell and Blow (Planche, p. 52) ; 2. 
Tlie tapestry, ])rescrved in Westminster School and in the Jerusalem 
(/hamher, of which two of the i)ieces, those of the Circumcision and of 
(Joliatli, can bo identified in Sandford's cn2:ravings; 3. The attendance 
of the Westminster scholars (.Sundford, 83). 


splendour of the proceeding was abated by the absence of 
divers who should have contributed to it, there being but 
five bishops, four judges (no more being yet sworn), and 
several noblemen and great ladies wanting." 

The Archbishop of Canterbury excused himself from 
officiating at the coronation,* which was performed by the 
Bishop of London, assisted by the Archbishop of York. Dr. 
Barnet, Bishop of Salisbury, preached the sermon. 

The coronation of Queen Anne was solemnized on St, 
Greorge's Day, April 23, 1702, O.S. An account of the 
ceremony is preserved in the official records of the College of 
Arms and manuscripts in the British Museum. The account 
in the London Gazette is ver}'- brief. Blanche, in " E/Cgal 
Records," has given the whole of the proceedings. Anne, 
although only thirty-eight years of age when she ascended 
the throne, had suffered much from gout and corpulence, and 
in consequence occasionally lost the use of her feet. This 
happened at the time of her coronation, and she was obliged 
to be carried in some of the processions in a low arm-chair, 
instead of walking. 

The ceremonial of the installation was, in most respects, 
similar to former precedents, and was conducted with great 
state. The Archbishop of York preached the coronation sermon 
from Isaiah xlix. 23, " Kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and 
their queens thy nursing mothers," In the London Gazette 
the act of homage is thus mentioned : " Then the Holy Bible 
was presented to her Majesty, and she vouchsafed to kiss the 
Bishops, and being enthroned, first, his Royal Highness 
Prince George, and then the Archbishop and Bishops, and 
lastly, the temporal lords did then homage, and seemingly 
kissed her Majesty's left cheek, and afterwards touched the 
crown, whilst tlie treasurer of the household threw about the 
coronation medals." 

The banquet in the hall was of the usual sumptuous 
character. Prince George of Denmark sat at the queen's left 
hand, two of her Majesty's women sitting at her feet. " The 
Lord the Sewer, with the Lord his assistant, went to the 

* Evelyn, in his " Diary " (June 8, 1688), says, " This day the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, with the Bishops of Ely, Chichester, St. Asaph, 
Bristol, Peterborough, and Bath and Wells, were sent from the Privy 
Council prisoners to the Tower, for refusing to give baile for their 
appearance, on their not reading the Declaration for liberty of con- 
science ; they refused to give baile as it would have prejudiced their 


dresser of the Kitchen, where the Master of the Horse to her 
Majesty, as Serjeant of the Silver-scullery, called for a dish 
of meat, wiped the bottom of the dish, and likewise the cover 
within and without, took assay of that dish, and covered it, 
then delivered that dish and the rest of the hot meat to the 
Gentlemen Pensioners, who carried it to the Queen's table," 
and " placed it was thereon by the Lord Carver, with the 
help of the Lord the Sewer, and his assistant." 

The queen's champion had his challenge proclaimed 
against any who should deny or gainsay the Sovereign Lady 
Queen Anne of England, Scotland, France, and L^eland, De- 
fender of the Faith, etc. ; and the other usual formalities 
were strictly observed. 

'' Dinner being ended" (London Gazette)^ "and all things 
performed with great splendour and magnificence, about half 
an hour past eight in the evening, her Majesty returned 
to St. James's ; the day concluding with bonfires, illumina- 
tions, ringing of bells, and other demonstrations of a general 
satisfaction and joy." 

The accession to the throne of the house of Hanover in 
the person of George L was inaugurated by a splendid 
coronation ceremonial (October 20, 1714), at which it was 
remarked that no such appearance of lords, spiritual and 
temporal, had ever been seen since the Conquest. 

His Majesty came to Westminster about nine in the 
morning, and retired into the Court of Wards, until the 
nobility, and those who performed the first part of the pro- 
ceeding, being put into order by the heralds, came in solemn 
procession to Westminster Hall, where his Majesty being 
seated under a canopy of state, the swords and spurs were 
presented to him, and laid upon the table at the upper end of 
the hall. Then the dean and prebendaries of Westminster 
having brought the crown and other regalia, with the Bible, 
chalice, and patena, they were presented severally to his 
Majesty, and shortly after were, together with the swords and 
spurs, delivered to the lords appointed to carry them. 

The procession to the abbey was in the usual order. His 
Royal Highness the Prince of Wales followed the Lord Great 
Chamberlain of England, wearing his robes of estate of 
crimson velvet, furred with ermine, his coronet set with* 
precious stones, and cap borne by the Earl of Hertford on 
a crimson velvet cushion, his train sup]iorted by two grooms 
of the bed-chamber. After the officials bearing the regalia, 


the king appeared in liis royal robes of crimson velvet, furred 
with ermine and bordered with a rich broad gold lace, wearing 
the collar of St. George, and on his head a cap of estate of 
crimson velvet, turned up with ermine, adorned with a circle 
of gold, enriched with diamonds, supported by the Bishops of 
Durham and Bath and Wells, under a canopy borne by the 
Barons of the Cinque Ports. On arriving at the abbey, the 
Archbishop of Canterbury began the coronation proceedings 
with the recognition, which ended with a great shout from 
each side of the theatre ; then his Majesty made his first 
oblation, and the lords who bore the regalia presented them 
at the altar; the Litany was sung, and after the Epistle, Gospel, 
and Nicene Creed, the Bishop of Oxford preached a sermon 
fi'om the text. Psalm cxviii. 24, " This is the day which the 
Lord hath made ; we will rejoice and be glad in it." 

After sermon, his Majesty repeated and signed the de- 
claration or test, made in the reigns of William and Mary 
and Queen Anne, and took the oath, which he subscribed ; 
and in King Edward's chair, placed in the middle of the 
area before the altar, was anointed, then presented with the 
spurs, girt with the sword, then vested with his purple robes, 
and having received the ring, the orb, and the sceptres, was 
solemnly crowned about two o'clock, the people expressing 
their joy with loud and repeated acclamations, the drums 
beating, trumpets sounding, and the great guns being dis- 
charged ; whereupon the Prince of Wales, and the peers put 
on their coronets, and the bishops their caps, the Dukes of 
Aquitaine and Normandy, or their representatives, their 
hats,* and the kings-of-arms their coronets. 

* " King George was crowned King of France, as well as of Great 
Britain and Ireland. In proof of his right, two persons representing the 
Dukes of Aquitaine and Normandy consorted with peers of more sterling 
coinage. These persons were, on this occasion, a couple of players. 
They wore crimson velvet mantles, with white sarcenet, furred with 
miniver, and powdered with ermine. Each of these held in his hand a 
cap of cloth of gold, also furred and powdered with ermine. They did 
homage to the king, as the English peers did, and when these put on 
their coronets in the royal presence, the sham dukes clapped their caps 
jauntily on their heads. 

** This part of the spectacle was the only part that afforded amuse- 
jnent to the Jacobite party " (Doran's " London in the Jacobite 

The absurd assumption of King of France was renounced by George 
III. on the occasion of the Peace of Amiens, in 1802, although such 
renunciation was not one of the stipulations of the treaty. 


Then the Holy Bible was presented to his Majesty by 
the archbishop ; and his Majesty having received the bene- 
diction, sat down in his chair, and then kissed the archbishops 
and bishops, and being enthroned, the Prince of Wales, and 
the lords spiritual and temporal, performed homage, seemingly 
kissing the king's left cheek, and afterwards touching the 
crown. The second oblation being made, the king received 
the Holy Communion, and, after the final prayers, retired into 
King Edward's chapel ; and being vested in his robes of 
velvet, and the procession being again put in order, his 
Majesty returned to Westminster Hall, wearing his crown of 
state, and the peers and kings-of-arms their coronets. 

A.t the coronation banquet the king had on his left 
hand the Prince of Wales, and the various services were per- 
formed with great splendour, his Majesty's champion doing 
his part with grace and dignity. About seven o'clock the 
king returned to St. James's. 

George II. was crowned, with his consort. Queen Caroline, 
October 11, 1727. The circumstances attending this corona- 
tion present but little change from those of the preceding 
ceremonial. " His Majesty," remarks Lord Hervey, "despite 
his low stature and fair hair, which heightened the weakness 
of his expression at this period, was, on this occasion, every 
inch a king." 

The national enthusiasm for a sovereign was, perhaps, 
never more fully displayed than at the coronation of George 
III. and Queen Charlotte, September 22, 1761, the august 
pair having been united in marriage only a fortnight before. 
"Never," remarks Mr. Jesse (in his Life of George HI.), 
" shone a more beautiful morn on seas of heads, on tapestried 
balconies, on glittering troops, on waving plumes, and blazoned 
heraldry. Thousands of persons slept all night in the open 
air, and all London poured forth to greet their young King 
and his gentle consort. That part of the ceremony which 
took place in Westminster Abbey, passed ofE with its usual 
solemnity, and more than its usual tediousness. But when 
later in the day the King and Queen entered the great hall 
of William Ruf us, — when, at their entrance, a thousand lights, 
as if by enchantment, suddenly illuminated the colossal ban- 
queting room of the Norman kings, — when the eye fell upon 
long galleries filled with gorgeous beauty, on peers and 
peeresses robed in velvet and ermine, on the plumed hats of 
the knights of the Bath, — on the judges in their scarlet robes, 


and on prelates in their vestments, — on pursuivants and 
heralds, — then, indeed, was presented as magnificent a 
spectacle as the mind can well imagine." Gray, the poet, 
writes, " The instant the Queen's canopy entered, fire was 
given to all the lustres at once by trains of prepared flax 
that reached from one to the other. To me it seemed an 
interval of not half a minute before the whole was in a blaze 
of splendour. It is true that for that half minute it rained 
fire upon the heads of all the spectators, the flax falling in 
large flakes ; and the ladies. Queen and all, were in no small 
terror, but no mischief ensued. It was out as soon as it fell, 
and the most magnificent spectacle I ever beheld, remained. 
The King bowing to the lords as he passed, with the crown 
on his head, and the sceptre and orb in his hands, took his 
place with great majesty and g-race. So did the Queen with 
her crown, sceptre, and rod. Then supper was served in gold 
plate. The Earl Talbot, Duke of Bedford, and the Earl of 
Effingham in their robes, all three on horseback prancing and 
curveting like the hobby horses in the ' Rehearsal,' ushered 
in the courses to the foot of the Jiaut-pas. Between the 
courses the Champion performed his part with applause. The 
Earl of Denbigh carved for the King ; the Earl of Holder- 
ness for the Queen." 

" The King's whole behaviour at the coronation," writes 
Bishop Newton, " was justly admired and commended by 
every one, and, particularly, his manner of ascending and 
seating himself on the throne after his coronation. No actor 
in the character of Pyrrhus, in the ' Distressed Mother ' (a 
tragedy of Ambrose Philips), not even Booth himself, who 
was celebrated for it in the Spectator, ever ascended the 
throne with so much grace and dignity." 

Horace Walpole, who was a spectator at the coronation, 
has also described the scene in one of the most graphic of his 
charming letters : " For the Coronation, if a puppet show 
could be worth a million, that is : the multitudes, balconies, 
guards, and processions, made Palace Yard the liveliest 
spectacle in the world. The Hall was the most glorious. The 
blaze of lights, the richness and variety of habits, the cere- 
monial, the benches of peers and peeresses, frequent and full, 
was as awful as a pageant can be, and yet, for the King's 
sake, and my own, I never wish to see another. My Lady 
Harrington covered with all the jewels she could borrow, 
hire, or seize, and with the air of Roxana, was the finest 


figure in the distance. She complained to George Selwyn 
that she was to walk with Lady Portsmouth, who would have 
a wig and a stick. ' Pooh,' said he, ' you would only look as 
if you were taken up by the constable.' She told this every- 
where, thinking that the reflection was only on my Lady 
Portsmouth. Lady Pembroke, alone at the head of the coun- 
tesses, was the picture of majestic modesty. The Duchess of 
Kichmond, as pretty as nature and dress, with no pains of 
her own, could make her ; Lady Spencer, Lady Sutherland, 
and Lady Northampton very pretty figures ; Lady Kildare, 
still beauty itself, if not a little too large. The ancient peeresses 
were, by no means, the worst party. Lady Westmoreland still 
handsome, and with more dignity than all ; the Duchess of 
Queensbury looked well, though her locks milkwhite. Lady 
Albemarle, very genteel ; nay, the middle age had some 
good representatives in Lady Holderness, Lady Rochfort, and 
Lady Strafford, the perfectest little figure of all. My Lady 
Suffolk ordered her robes, and I dressed part of her head, as 
I made some of my Lord Hertford's dress, for, you know, no 
profession comes amiss to me, from a tribune of the people to 
a habit maker. Do not imagine that there were not figures 
as excellent on the other side : old Exeter who told the Queen 
he was the handsomest man she ever saw ; old Effingham, 
and a Lady Say and Scale with her hair powdered, and her 
tresses black, were an excellent contrast to the handsome. 

Lord B put rouge npon his wdfe and the Duchess of 

Bedford, in the Painted Chamber ; the Duchess of Queens- 
bury told me of the latter that she looked like an orange 
peach, half red and half yellow. The coronets of the peers 
and their robes disguised them strangely. It required all 
the beauty of the Dukes of Richmond and Marlborough to 
make them noticed. One there was, though of another 
species, the noblest figure I ever saw, the High Constable of 
Scotland, the Lord Errol. As one saw him in a space capable 
of containing him, one admired him. At the royal wedding, 
dressed in tissue, he looked like one of the giants at Guild- 
hall, newly gilt. It added to the energy of his person that 
he was then acting so considerable a part in that very Hall, 
where, so few years ago, one saw his father. Lord Kil- 
marnock, condemned to the block.* The Champion acted his 

* Lord Errol was accounted tlio handsomest niAn in Britain. At 
the coronation ho neglected, by accident, to take off liis cap when the 
king entered. He a])ologized for his negligence in the most respectful 


part admirably, and dashed down his gauntlet with proud 
defiance. His associates, Lord Effingham, Lord Talbot, and 
the Duke of Bedford, were woeful." 

Amongst many anecdotes connected with the coronation 
of George III., it has been noticed of Archbishop Seeker that 
he had baptized the king, confirming him when Prince of 
Wales, marrying him at St. James's, and crowning him at 

The account of the coronation of George lY., an event of 
the greatest splendour and cost in modern times, has been, 
in part, published, but not completed; two portions only having 
appeared.* Of course, the details of the ceremonial are most 
ample, derived from contemporary sources, for no pains were 
spared to render this event illustrious in every respect. But 
still, notwithstanding the enormous expense incurred (amount- 
ing to £238,238), there was a lack of the enthusiasm and 
earnest good-will shown at the installation of his august 
father. The character of the monarch as Prince of Wales 
was highly exceptionable ; his intrigues at court, his entire 
disregard of filial respect and obedience, and his treatment 
of his unfortunate and weak-minded consort had alienated 
from him the good-will and devotion of many of his subjects. 
Nevertheless, as a pageant from its commencement to the end, 
as a mere matter of ceremonial and lavish display, the 
coronation of George lY. (July 19, 1821) is, so far, remarkable. 

" During the arrangements for the assembling of the peers and officials 
for the procession from Westminster Hall to the Abbey, the King was 
in his chamber, near the south entrance to the Hall. The peers were 
then called over in the House of Lords by deputy Garter, and proceeded 
to the Hall, where the other persons appointed 'to walk in the procession 

manner, but his Majesty, with great complacency, entreated him to be 
covered, as he looked upon his presence at that solemnity as a very par- 
ticular honour. As hereditary High Constable of Scotland, his family 
charter to this office dated from 1316. 

* The " Illustrated History of the Coronation of George IV." contained 
forty-five splendidly coloured plates, atlas folio, at the price of fifty 
guineas per copy. Sir George Naylor lost a considerable sum by the 
publication, though Government voted £5000 towards the expenses. 
Sir George also undertook a much more costly memorial of this 
coronation for George IV., but it was never completed. The portion 
executed contains seventy-three coloured drawings, finished like 
enamels, on velvet and white satin. The portraits are very accurate 
likenesses, and many of the coronets have rubies, pearls, and brilliants, 
set in gold; each portrait costing fifty guineas, first hand. 


had been previonsly marshalled on the right and loft by the officers of 
arms ; leaving an open passage in the middle, so that the procession 
with the regalia might pass uninterruptedly up the hall. 

'* His Majesty, preceded by the great officers of state, entered the Hall 
a few minutes after ten, and took his seat in the chair of state at the 
table, when a gun was fired. The deputy Lord Great Chamberlain, the 
Lord High Constable, and the deputy Earl Marshal, ascended the steps, 
and placed themselves at the outer side of the table. The Lord High 
Steward, the great officers, deputy Garter, and Black Rod, arranged 
themselves near the chair of state ; the royal tx'ain-bearers on each side 
of the throne. 

"The Lord Chamberlain, assisted by officers of the jewel-house, then 
brought the Sword of State to the Lord High Constable, who delivered 
it to the deputy Lord Great Chamberlain, by whom it was laid upon the 
table; then Cnrtana, or the sword of mercy, with the two Swords of 
Justice, being in like manner presented, were drawn from their scab- 
bards by the deputy Lord Great Chamberlain, and laid on the table 
befoi'e his Majesty; after which the gold Spurs were delivei'cd, and also 
placed on the table. Immediately after, a procession, consisting of the 
Dean and prebendaries of Westminster, in their surplices and rich copes, 
proceeded up the hall from the upper end thereof, in manner follow- 
ing : — Serjeant of the Vestry in a scarlet mantle. Children of the 
King's Chapel, in scarlet mantles, four abreast. Children of the choir 
of Westminster, in surplices, four abreast. Gentlemen of the King's 
Chapel, in scai'let mautlcs, four abreast. Choir of Westminster, in 
surplices, four abreast. Sub-dean of the Chapel Royal. Two pnrsni- 
vants-of-Arms. Two heralds. The two provincial Kings-of-Arms. 
The Dean of Westminster, earring St. Edward's Crown, on a cushion of 
cloth of gold. First prebendary of Westminster, carrying the Orb. 
Second prebendary, carrying the Sceptre with the Dove. Third pre- 
bendary, carrying the Sceptre with the Cross. Fourth prebendary, 
carrying St. Edward's Staff. Fifth prebendary, carrying the Chalice 
and Patina. Sixth prebendary, carrying the Bible. 

" In this procession they made their reverences, first at the lower end 
of the Hall, secondly about the middle, where both the choirs opening 
to the right and left a passage, through which the officers of arms 
passing opened likewise on each side, the seniors placing themselves 
nearest towards the steps : then the Dean and prebendaries having come to 
the front of the steps made their third reverence. This being done the 
Dean and |)rebendaries being come to the foot of the steps, deputy Garter 
preceding them (he having waited their coming there), ascended the 
steps, and approaching near the table before the King, made their last 
reverence. The Dean then presented the crown to the Lord High 
Constable, who delivered it to the deputy Lord High Chamberlain, and 
it was by him placed on the table before the King. The rest of the 
regalia was severally delivered by each prebendary, on his knee, to 
the Dean, by him to the Lord High Constable, by him to the deputy 
Lord Great Chamberlain, and by him laid on the table. The regalia 
being thus delivered, the prebendaries and Doan returned to the middle 
of the hall. His Majesty having commaiKhHl d(^puty Garter to snmmon 
the noblemen and Bishops who were to bear the regalia, the deputy 
Lord Great Chamberlain, then taking up the several swords, sceptres, 


the orb, and crown, placed them in the hands of those by whom they were 
to be carried. St. Edward's Staff, by the Marqais of Salisbury. The 
Spurs, by Lord Calthorpe, as deputy to the Baroness Grey de Ruthyn. 
The Sceptre with the cross, by the Marquis Wellesley. The pointed 
Sword of temporal justice, by the Earl of Galloway. The pointed Sword 
of spiritual justice, by thogDuke of Northumberland. Curtana, or sword 
of mercy, by the Duke of T^ewcastle. The Sword of State, by the Duke 
of Dorset. The Sceptre with the dove, by the Duke of Rutland. The 
Orb, by the Duke of Devonshire. St. Edward's Crown, by the Mar- 
quis of Anglesey, as Lord High Steward. The Patina, by the Bishop of 
Gloucestei-. The Chalice, by the Bishop of Chester. The Bible, by the 
Bishop of Ely. 

"The procession to the Abbey then commenced ; the second gun was 
fired ; blue cloth had been spread from the throne in the Hall to the 
great steps in the church. An anthem ' Oh Lord, grant the King in 
long life, &c.,' was sung, with his Majesty's band playing, the sounding 
of trumpets, and the beating of drums. The Kir.g entered the west 
door of the Abbey church at eleven o'clock, taking his place on a chair 
placed below the throne, when the Recognition was made, and the first 
oblation offered, consisting of an altar-cloth of gold, and a wedge of 
gold of a pound weight. The litany and communion service followed, 
succeeded by the sermon, preached by the Archbishop of York from the 
text of 2 Sam. xxiii. 3, 4 : ' He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling 
in the fear of God. And he shall be as the light of the morning, when 
the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds.' The Oath was next 
administered, the King advancing to the altar, uncovered, and laying 
his right hand on the Holy Gospel in the great Bible, kneeling upon 
the steps, promising to perform the same. After the anointing, the 
presentation of the Spurs and Sword, and the girding and oblation of 
the latter, took place ; then the investing with the Armil and royal robe, 
and the delivery of the Orb. After the investiture with the Ring and 
Sceptre, the King was crowned amidst the acclamations of the people, 
the sounding of trumpets, and the firing of the great guns at the Tower. 
The presentation of the Holy Bible, the benediction, and the singing of 
' Te Deum ' succeeded, and the homage was performed, the treasurer 
of the household throwing amoiig the people medals of gold and silver 
as largess. With the Holy Communion and final prayers the ceremony 
of the installation concluded, the return of the procession to the Hall 
being more irregular than on its arrival at the Abbey, owing probably 
to the great fatigue which all the parties had undergone, and their 
anxiety to get to their seats; in this latter respect the aldermen shewed 
an undue haste, breaking the line of the procession, and taking by 
storm one of the tables, an irregularity which was corrected by the 
heralds, and the civic magistrates were re-conducted to their former 
station in the procession. 

" The entrance of the King into the banquet-hall was announced soon 
after five o'clock by one of the principal heralds. His Majesty was 
followed by the Lord Great Chamberlain, the Dukes of York, Clarence, 
Cambridge, Sussex, and Gloucester, and Prince Leopold, who appeared 
in the full dress of the Order of the Garter. The King wore the same 
robes as those with which he had been invested in the Abbey, and the 
same crown. In his right hand he carried the sceptre, and in his left the 


orb, which, on taking his seat on the throne, he delivered to two peers 
stationed at his side for the purpose of receiving thera. The first course 
consisted of twenty-four gold covers and dishes, carried by as many 
gentlemen pensioners. Before the dishes were placed on the table, 
the great doors at the bottom of the Hall were thrown open to the sound 
of trumpets and clarionets, and the Duke o^Wellington, as Lord High 
Constable, the Marquis of Anglesey, as Lord High Steward, and Lord 
Howard of Effingham, as deputy Earl Marshal, entered on horseback. 
The two former were mounted on beautiful white horses gorgeously 
ti'apped, and the latter on his favourite dun-coloured Arabian. 

" Before the second course the deputy appointed to officiate as King's 
Champion entered the Hall with his supporters and attendants, and the 
usual challenge was given, no ' false traitor ' being present to answer the 
defiance. The proclamation of the royal style, and the services in pur- 
suance of claims, were next performed, and the sumptuous banquet 
concluded with the King's health being drank by all present in the Hall, 
with three times three, and the singing of the national anthem. The 
Duke of Norfolk then said, ' The King thanks his peers for drinking his 
health ; he does them the honour to drink their health and that of his 
good people.' His Majesty rose, and bowing three times to vai'ious 
parts of the immense concourse, he drank the health of all present. 
The King quitted the Hall at a quarter before eight o'clock ; after- 
wards the company was indiscriminately admitted to partake of such 
refreshments as remained on the table of the peers." 

The coronation of William IV. and Qujsen Adelaide 
(September 8, 1831), although by no means approaching 
the gorgeous character of the preceding ceremony, was dis- 
tinguished by a due regard to the public purse, costing 
only one-fifth of the money lavished at the installation of 
George IV. It was this sensible plea that furnished Earl 
Grey, in the House of Lords (in the preceding August), with 
an answer to Viscount Strangford's accusations of " un- 
seemly mutilations " of the intended coronation ceremonial : 
" It was the hope of the king and his ministers to prevent a 
heavy burden from falling on the people : to preserve all 
necessary forms, to dispense with many that were unsuited 
to the age, and yet not to do anything inconsistent wath due 
respect to the peerage, or the dignity of the crown." A vote 
of £50,000 was granted to cover the whole expense of the 

" At daybreak on the day of the ceremonial the bells were rung, at 
five o'clock a royal salute was fired in the Green Park, and at si.x all the 
household troops were in attendance. In the whole lino of route, tem- 
])()rary balconies had been erected in every part where a view of the 
]>ageant could be obtained. In front of the grand west entrance of the 
Abbey, a temporary building had been erected as a robing. room for 
their Majesties j it was a structure of wood and canvas painted in the 


style of Henry III., the architectural design and ornaments being appro- 
priate, and the painting excellent. The central doorway of the building 
led into a passage, on each side of which were elegantly furnished 
apartments for their Majesties and their immediate attendants. In the 
interior of the Abbey, the ornaments of the throne, platform, &c., were 
in the best taste, and every arrangement had been made for the accom- 
modation of those who had assembled to witness the ceremony. 

"At ten o'clock the military and carriages appointed to form the 
procession from the palace, moved on under a royal salute — his Majesty's 
being the only carriage that entered the quadrangle, all the others 
stopping to take up at the outer gate. The procession passed through 
Pall Mall, Charing Cross, Parliament Street, and King Street in the 
following order : — -A squadron of Life Guards. The Duke and Duchess 
of Gloucester and attendants, in their Royal Highnesses' two carriages, 
each drawn by six horses, and escorted by Life Guards. The Duchess 
of Cambridge and attendants, in her Royal Highness's two carriages, 
each drawn by six horses, and escorted by Life Guards. The Duke of 
Sussex and attendants, and the Duke and Duchess of Cumberland and 
attendants, in their carriages, escorted by Life Guards. The King's 
Barge-Master, and the King's forty-eight watermen in scarlet clothes 
and wearing badges. Their Majesties' Carriages, ten in number, each 
drawn by six horses, and containing oflBcials and royal attendants. A 
squadron of Life Guards. His Majesty's equerries and aides-de-camp on 
horseback; other officials, yeomen of the guard, grooms, footmen, &c. 
The State Coach, drawn by eight cream-coloured horses, conveying the 
King and the Queen, the mistress of the robes, and lady of the bed- 

" On the first appearance of the state carriage, a simultaneous cheer 
arose from all present, with every demonstration of loyalty, which con- 
tinued throughout the whole progress, but nothing could surpass the 
enthusiasm displayed in the grand area in front of the western entrance 
of the Abbey. It was nearly eleven o'clock when their Majesties arrived, 
and they retired with their suite to the apartments before mentioned, 
while the Regalia were distributed in the Jerusalem Chamber to the 
persons whose ofiice it was to bear them, and the procession formed at 
the great west entrance. It being announced to their Majesties that all 
was prepared, the procession moved into the church : — Officers of Arms. 
Prebendaries and Dean of Westminster. His Majesty's Vice-Chamber- 
lain. Comptroller of his Majesty's Household. The Lord Chamberlain 
and Lord Privy Seal. Treasurer of his Majesty's Household, bearing 
the crimson bag with the medals. The Lord Steward and Lord Presi- 
dent of the Council. The Lord Chancellor of Ireland and the Lord High 
Chancellor. The Archbishop of Canterbury. The Princesses of the 
Blood Royal. The Queen's Vice Chamberlain. The Queen's Regalia. The 
Queen, attended on either side by the Archbishop of Armagh and the 
Bishop of Winchester. The King's Regalia : St Edward's Staff borne 
by the Duke of Grafton; the Golden Spurs, by the Marquis of Hastings ; 
the Sceptre with the Cross, by the Duke of St. Albans ; Curtana, by the 
Marquis of Salisbury ; the second Sword, by the Marquis of Downshire ; 
the third Sword, by the Marquis of Cleveland. Black Rod, and Garter, 
and Deputy Lord Great Chamberlain of England. The Princes of the 
Blood Royal. The High Constable of Ireland, the Duke of Leinster ; 


the Hi>h Constable of Scotland, the Earl of Errol. The Earl Marshal 
of England ; tlie Sword of State borne by Earl Grey. The Lord High 
Constable of England, the Duke of Wellington. The Sceptre with the 
Dove, borne by the Duke of Richmond. St. Edward's Crown, borne by 
the Lord High Steward, the Duke of Hamilton. The Orb, borne by the 
Duke of Somerset. The Bible, by the Bishop of Chichester; the Patina, 
by the Bishop of Carlisle; the Chalice, by the Bishop of Rochester. 
The King, in his royal crimson robe of State ; his Majesty's train borne 
by six eldest sons of Dukes. The Bishop of Bath and Wells and the 
Archhishop of York on either side of the King. Master and Groom of 
the robes ; Gold-stick of the Life Guards ; Groom of the Stole ; Master 
of the Horse ; Captain of the yeoman of the guard ; Captain of the band 
of gentlemen-pensioners; Lords of the bed-chamber j Yeomen of the 
guard ; Exons of yeomen of the gnards. 

" When the King and Queen had reached the smaller chairs of state, 
on the east side of the choir, the ceremony of the recognition took place, 
the King standing up in his chair and shewing himself to the people, 
who cried, as with one voice, ' God save King William ! ' The trumpets 
then sounded, the oblation next took place, the litany was read, the 
Archbishop entered on the communion service, after which the Bishop 
of London preached the sermon. The ceremonies of the oath ; the 
anointing ; the investing with the supertunica ; the spurs ; the sword ; 
offering the sword; investing with the mantle; the orb; St. Edward's 
crown; the investiture with the ring and sceptre; the gloves (presented 
by the Duke of Norfolk); the putting on of the crown ; the presenting 
of the Holy Bible ; the benediction, enthronement, and homage, then 
followed, which was succeeded by a general scramble for the medals. 

" The ceremony of anointing, crowning, and enthroning the Queen 
next took place, great cheering attending the whole of the ceremony. 
Their Majesties then received the sacrament ; appropriate anthems 
were performed, and when the ceremony was concluded the trumpets 
again sounded. Their Majesties entered St. Edward's Chapel, where 
the King delivered the sceptre with the dove, to the Archbishop, and 
was disrobed of his robe of state, and arrayed in his royal robe of purple 
velvet. At three o'clock the King and the Queen left the chapel, when, 
all being in readiness, their Majesties and the Princes and Princesses 
proceeded out of the choir, attended as before, their Majesties wearing 
their crowns ; the King bearing the Sceptre with the Cross in his right 
hand, and in his left the orb ; the Queen bearing in her right hand her 
Sceptre with the Cross, and in her left the ivory rod with the dove; 
the peeresses wearing their coronets ; the Archbishops and Bishops 
supporting their Majesties wearing their caps, and the kings-of-arms 
their crowns. The Dean, prebendaries, and Bishops, who carried the 
Bible, the chalice and patina, remained in the choir. On arriving at the 
west door of the Abbey, Garter king-of-arms proclaimed the King's 
stylo, and the sword and the regalia were received by the officers of the 
Jewel office. After reinaining a short time in the robing-room, their 
Majest'es, the Princes, and Princesses, returned to St. James's in the 
same order in which tliey came, the King and Queen continuing to 
wear their crowns and robes, 

" There was a grand dinner given at St. James's. In the evening 
the illuminations in the metropolis were splendid and general. The 


royal banquet in Westminster Hall, with its attendant ceremonies, par- 
ticularly that of the King's Champion, and other feudal services hitherto 
performed on that occasion, were dispensed with: it may be 'sic transit' 
for ever." * 

The coronation of Queen Victoria on June 28, 1838, was 
of a peculiarly interesting character ; the youth and amiable 
character of the young monarch securing the universal 
homage of the nation. Perhaps no coronation, excepting 
that of George III., excited so greatly the enthusiasm and 
devotion of the people, and however the august ceremonial 

"' Macaulay, in one of his letters to his sister (September 9, 1831), 
gives a brief and lively account of the impression made upon him by 
the coronation ceremonial : " Our gallery [that for the House of Com- 
mons] was immediately over the great altar. The whole vast avenue of 
lofty pillars was directly in front of us. At eleven the guns fired, the 
organ struck up, and the procession entered. All down that immense 
vista of gloomy arches, there was one blaze of scarlet and gold. First 
came heralds in coats stiff with embroidered lions, unicorns, and harps ; 
then nobles bearing the regalia, with pages in rich dresses, carrying 
their coronets on cushions ; then the Dean and Prebendaries of West- 
minster in splendid copes ; then a crowd of beautiful girls and women, 
who at a distance looked altogether beautiful, attending on the Queen. 
Her train of purple velvet and ermine was borne by six of these fair 
creatures. All the great ofiicers of state in full robes, the Duke of 
Wellington with his Marshal's staff, the Duke of Devonshire with his 
white rod. Lord Grey with the Sword of State, and the Chancellor with 
his Seals, came in procession. Then all the royal Dukes with their trains 
borne behind them, and at last the King, leaning on two Bishops. . . . 
The whole Abbey was one blaze of gorgeous dresses, mingled with lovely 

" The Queen behaved admirably, with wonderful grace and dignity. 
The King very awkwardly. The Duke of Devonshire looked as if he 
came to be crowned instead of his master. I never saw so princely a 
manner and air. The Chancellor looked like Mephistopheles behind 
Margaret in the church. The ceremony was much too long, and some 
parts of it were carelessly performed. The Archbishop mumbled. The 
Bishop of London preached, well enough, indeed, but not so effectively 
as the occasion required ; and above all, the bearing of the King made 
the foolish parts of the ritual appear monstrously ridiculous, and 
deprived many of the better parts of their proper effect. Persons who 
were at a distance did not, perhaps, feel this, but I was near enough to 
see every turn of his finger, and every glance of his eye. The moment 
of the crowning was extremely fine. When the Archbishop placed the 
crown on the head of the King, the trumpets sounded, and the whole 
audience cried out ' God save the King ! ' All the Peers and Peeresses 
put on their coronets, and the blaze of splendour through the Abbey 
seemed to be doubled. The King was then conducted to the raised 
throne, where the Peers successively did him homage, each of them 
kissing his cheek, and touching the crown." 


may have been eclipsed in lavish display and grandeur by 
that attending the installation of George IV., the pageant — 
for such it always must be — received its best illustration in 
the aiiection and good-will of the people to a most refined, 
accomplished, and virtuous sovereign. This coronation was 
especially distinguished by the number and distinction of the 
persons officiating. The representatives of foreign potentates 
(so we read in the journals of that time), never made such 
a display of magnificence as at this event. Mai-shal Soult, 
Duke of Dalmatia, represented the court of France, and 
received the most popular ovation; the representatives of the 
Sultan being the next thus distinguished. 

" Soon after nine o'clock the procession left the palace, the discharge 
of a gun announcing that the Queen had entered the state-carriage. 
The equipages of the foreign ambassadors formed the first part of the 
line. The Duchess of Kent was the first of the royal family who passed 
through the gateway, and she was received with loud cheering by the 
multitude, as were also the Dukes of Sussex and Cambridge, but the 
popular feeling was roused to the utmost when the young Queen 
appeared. The route to. Westminster through Piccadilly, St. James's 
Street, Pall Mall, and Charing Cross was thronged by a dense mass of 
spectators of the most jubilant character. The scene at the entrance 
into the Abbey was most striking, where arrangements had been made 
for receiving her Majesty. At ten o'clock the great officers of State had 
assembled : about eleven o'clock the Duke de Nemours arrived at the 
Abbey. The ambassadors then came, and met with a warm reception. 
Prince Estcrhazy excited admiration from his incompai'able display of 
diamonds, but the most enthusiastic reception was reserved for the 
Duke of Wellington. At half -past eleven the officers of the army, and 
the Dean and prebendaries of Westminster clothed in full canonicals, 
marshalled themselves in order to receive her Majesty, who at length 
arrived, attended by the Mistress of the Eobes (the Duchess of Suther- 
land), and the Master of the Ilorse (the Earl of Albemarle). The Queen 
bowed repeatedly to the enthusiastic multitude, and the deepest satis- 
faction was manifested, not only by her graceful and courteous manner, 
but by the kindly expression of her animated features. 

" XJpon her Majesty entering tlio Abbey, the procession was 
formed : — The prebendaries and Dean of Westminster. Officers of 
arms. Comptroller of the Queen's Household. Treasurer of the 
Queen's Household. Her Majesty's Vico-Chambei'lain and Lord Steward 
of the Household. Lord Privy Seal. Lord Chancellor of Ireland. Lord 
President of the Council. Archbishop of Armagh. Archbishop of York. 
Lord High Chancellor. Archbishop of Canterbury. Her ]?oyal High- 
ness the Duchess of Cambridge, in a robe of estate of purple velvet ; 
and wearing a circlet of gold on her head. Her Koyal Highness the 
l)iu-!i(>ss of Kent, and Her Poyal lliglmess the Duchess of Gloucester, 
siniihirly attired. St. Edward's Staff, borne by the Duke of Roxburghe ; 
tho goldcu Spurs, by Lord Byron j the Sceptro with the Cross, by the 


Dake of Cleveland ; Curtana, by the Duke of Devonshire ; the second 
Sword, by the Duke of Sutherland ; the third Sword, by the Marquis 
of Westminster. Black Hod and deputy Garter. Lord Willoughby 
d'Eresby, as Lord Great Chamberlain of England. His Royal Highness 
the Duke of Cambridge, in his robes of estate, with baton as Field- 
Marshal. His Royal Highness the Duke of Sussex, in his robes of estate. 
High Constable of Ireland, Duke of Leinster. High Constable of 
Scotland, Earl of Errol. The Earl-Marshal of England, the Duke of 
Norfolk, with his staff ; the Sword of State borne by Viscount Mel- 
bourne ; the Lord High-Constable of England, the Duke of Wellington, 
with his staff and baton as Field- Marshal. The Sceptre with the Dove, 
borne by the Duke of Richmond ; St. Edward's Crown, by the Duke of 
Hamilton ; the Orb, by the Duke of Somerset ; the Patina, by the 
Bishop of Bangor ; the Bible, by the Bishop of Winchester ; the Chalice, 
by the Bishop of Lincoln. The Queen, in her robe of crimson velvet, 
furred with ermine, and bordered with gold lace, wearing the collars of 
her Orders : a circlet of gold on her head : attended on either side by 
ten gentlemen-at-arms, with their standard-bearer, and supported by the 
Bishop of Bath and Wells and the Bishop of Durham. Her Majesty's 
train borne by eight noble ladies. The Lord Chamberlain of the House- 
hold. The Groom of the Robes. The Duchess of Sutherland, Mistress 
of the Robes ; the Marchioness of Lansdowne, first Lady of the bed- 
chamber. Ladies of the bed-chamber ; Maids of honour ; women of 
the bed-chamber. Gold-stick of the Life Guards in waiting ; the Master 
of the Horse. Captain-general of the royal archer-guard of Scotland. 
Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard ; Captain of the band of the 
Gentlemen-at-Arms. Keeper of her Majesty's privy -purse. Ensign of 
the Yeomen of the Guard, and Lieutenant of the same. Exons, clerk 
of the cheque, and twenty yeomen of the guard. 

" The Queen, ascending the theatre, passed on the south side of her 
throne to her chair of state (being the Recognition Chair), and after 
her private devotions (kneeling on her f aid-stool), took her seat, the 
Bishops, her supporters, standing on each side ; the noblemen bear- 
ing the four swords on her Majesty's right hand, the Lord Great 
Chamberlain and the Lord High Constable on her left : the other great 
officers of State, the noblemen bearing the regalia, the Dean of West- 
minster, deputy Garter, and Black Rod, standing near the Queen's 

"After the singing of the anthem, the Recognition took place, 
and the first oblation made, consisting of an altar cloth of gold, and 
a wedge of gold of a pound weight ; the Litany followed, read by the 
Bishops of Worcester and St. David's, and the sermon, pi-eached by the 
Bishop of London, from the second of Chronicles (chap, xxxiv. verse 
31) : ' And the King stood in his place, and made a covenant before 
the Lord, to walk after the Lord, and to keep His commandments, and 
His testimonies, and His statutes, with all his heart, and with all his 
soul, to perform the words of the covenant, which are written in this 

" The sermon being concluded, the Oai/i was administered by the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, the Queen proceeding to the altar, and kneeling 
on a cushion placed on the steps, laying her right hand on the Holy 



Gospel in the gfreat Bible, and saying : — * The things which I have here- 
before promised, I will perform and keep ; so help me God ! ' * 

" The Anointing was preceded by the singing of the hymn Veni Creator 
Spiritus, by the choir, the Archbishop of Canterbury reading the first 
line. At the commencement of the anthem, the Queen, rising from her 
devotions, went before the altar, attended by her supporters, and assisted 
by the Lord Great Chamberlain, the Sword of State being carried before 
her, where her Majesty was divested of her crimson robe, and then pro- 
ceeded to St. Edward's chair, and sat down to be anointed. Four 
Knights of the Garter held over the Queen a rich pall of silk or cloth 
of gold. The Dean of Westminster taking the Ampulla and Spoon from 
the altar, poured some of the consecrating oil into the spoon, with which 
the Archbishop then anointed the Queen, in the forui of a cross, on the 
crown of the head, and on the palms of both the hands, pronouncing the 
usual formulary. 

" The Spttrs were then brought from the altar by the Dean of West- 
minster, and delivered to the Lord Great Chamberlain, who, kneel- 
ing down, presented them to the Queen, who forthwith returned them 
to be laid upon the altar. Lord Viscount Melbourne, who carried the 
Sword of State, now delivered it to the Lord Chamberlain, and received 
in lieu thereof, another sword in a scabbard of purple velvet, and this, 
after a short prayer, was placed by the Archbishop in the Queen's right 
hand, with the usual injunction. Then the Queen rising up and going 
to the altar ofPered the sword there in the scabbard, and delivered it to 
the Archbishop, who placed it upon the altar. The sword was then 
redeemed for one hundred shillings by Viscount Melbourne, who carried 
it, unsheathed, before her Majesty during the remainder of the 

" The Investiture with the royal robe, of cloth of gold, and the delivery 
of the Orh with the cross, succeeded, the Ai'chbishop pronouncing a 
blessing and exhortation, as also with the Ring and Sceptre. The cere- 
mony of Croicning then took place ; the Queen still sitting in King 
Edward's chair, the Archbishop placed the crown reverently on her 
Majesty's head ; on which the peers and peeresses put on their coronets, 
the Bishops their caps, and Kings-of-Arms their crowns, amidst the 
most enthusiastic cheering of all present : — 

" ' Soon as the royal brow received the crown, 
And Majesty put all her glories on, 
Straiglft on a thousand coronets we gaze — 
Straight all around was one imperial blaze.' 

" The great guns at the Tower fired a royal salute. The scene at this 
moment was intensely exciting. To this succeeded the presentation of 
the Holy Bible, the benediction and Te Deum, during the singing of 
which, a gleam of sunshine, breaking through the south gi-eat rose- 
window of the Abbey, liglited direct on the Queen's crown, the dazzling 
effect of which was remarkable. 

• The Bible on whicb Queen Victoria took the coronation oath is in 
tho possession of the llev. J. H. Sumner, Rector of Buriton, Hants. 
This interesting relic came to him from his fatlior, tho Bishop of Win- 
chester, to whom it was given after the coronation. 


" The Te Deum being ended, her Majesty ascended the theatre, and was 
supported to her throne by the Archbishops, Bishops, and Peers, with the 
great officers of the state around her, and after a preparatory admo- 
nition and benediction by the Archbishop, the ceremony of Homage 
commenced. The performance of this was peculiarly affecting, 
especially when the Duke of Sussex embraced her Majesty, and was so 
overcome with emotion, that he was obliged to be led from the theatre 
by the peers around him ; the warmest indication of popular feeling was, 
however, shown when the Duke of Wellington presented himself to do 
homage for the dukes, when a shout of enthusiastic recognition was 
raised, and prolonged after his grace had descended from the theatre. 

" The peers having performed their homage stood near the Queen, and 
each degree, in order, putting off their coronets, stretching forth their 
hands, touched the crown on her Majesty's head, and then kissed the 
Queen's hand. Lord Rolle, in attempting to ascend the theatre, 
stumbled, and fell back from the second step to the floor. He was 
immediately raised and supported by two noble lords in the area. The 
Queen seemed to view the occurrence with emotion, and on the noble 
Baron again presenting himself, she rose from the throne, and advancing 
several paces, took him by the hand, a graceful condescension which 
elicited hearty acclamations. The Holy Communion followed the homage, 
and the Coronation ceremonial was closed by the benediction of the 

" Hei Majesty then proceeded through the choir to the west door of the 
Abbey, in the same manner in which she came, wearing her Crown, and 
bearing in her right hand the Sceptre with the Cross, and in her left the 
Orb ; all peers wearing their coronets, and the Archbishops and Bishops 
their copes. 

** ' When to St, Peter's dome the lords repair, 

Their robes are splendid, but their heads are bare ; 
When back, the Monarch crowned, the train proceeds, 
Their coronets adorned their noble heads. 
Homage performed, reflected glory brings, 
They march like nobles, they return as kings,' " 

The richness and variety of this grand spectacle rendered 
it one of the most interesting that could possibly be con- 
ceived. It almost justified the hyperbolical language in 
which " Old Decker " makes Fortunatus describe the wonders 
which he saw at the court of Cyprus : — 

" Here you shall see faces angelical 
Whose star-like eyes have power, might they still shine, 
To make night day, and day more crystalline. 
Near them shall you behold great heroes, 
White-headed counsellors, and gallant spirits, 
Standing like fiery cherubims to guard 
The monarch who in god-like glory sits, 
In midst of these, as if this deity 
Had with a Icok erected a new world. 
The standers-by being the fair workmanship." 


On May 24th, 1883, Queen Victoria attained her sixty- 
fourth birthday, and completed the forty-sixth year of her 
reign. Her Majesty has already worn the crown one year 
longer than our famous Queen Elizabeth, and there are but 
three English monarchs whose tenure of the sovereignty has 
exceeded these limits. 

Brilliant, indeed, has been the reign of her Majesty — the 
model of a patriot monarch — 

SSai^Dm ma» (Sotr \^xi% jprriStr&e ! 

The earliest details we have respecting the coronation of 
A Queen Consort * in our country are those which have been 

* The Queen. Consort has been regarded in all countries as a person 
of eminent dignity. A peculiar protection is thrown over her person. 
It is as much treason to compass or imagine the death of the king's 
consort as of the king himself. 

The coronation of the Queen-Consort has been pronounced to be, " as 
an acknowledgment of the right of succession in her issue " and " as a 
recognition of her constitutional character, as essential as that of the 
monarch himself," but the coronation of a Queen-Consort proceeds, in 
fact, from the king, and is granted to his consort for the honour of the 
kingly oflBce. 

The q.ueen consort has also many exemptions and minute preroga- 
tives, but, in general, unless where the law has expressly declared her 
exempted, she is on the same footing as other subjects ; being to all 
intents and pui-poses the king's subject, and not his equal. The queen 
consort of England has also separate courts and officers distinct from 
the king's, not only in matters of ceremony, but even of law ; and her 
attorney and solicitor-general are entitled to a place within the bar of 
his Majesty's courts, together with the king's counsel. 

The original revenue of our ancient queen's consort seems to have 
consisted of certain reservations or rents out of the demesne lands of 
the Crown, which were expressly appi'opriated to her Majesty, distinct 
from the king. It is frequent in Domesday Book, after specifying the 
rent due to the crown, to add likewise the quantity of gold or other 
renders reserved to the queen, and which were frequently appropriated 
to particular purposes ; as, to buy wool for her IMajesty's use, to pur- 
chase oil for her lamps, — or to furnish her attire from head to foot ; which 
was frequently very costly, as one single robe in the fifth year of Henry 
II. stood the city of London in upwards of fourscore pounds. She had 
a further addition to her income in that ancient perquisite called queen- 
gold, or Aurnm Rcgince, which is supposed to have been originally granted 
in consequence of tliose matters of grace .and favour, out of which it 
arose, being frequently obtained from the Crown by the powerful inter- 
cession of the queen. No attempt, however, has been made to force 
this claim since Chai'les I., at the petition of his queen, Henrietta 
Maria, issued out his writ for levying it, but afterwards purchased it of 
his consort for ton thousand pounds, finding it, porliap.s, too trifling and 
troublesome to levy. 


preserved by Du Chesne, of the inauguration of Judith 
(daughter of Charles the Bald, King of France), who was 
united to Ethelwulf, King of Wessex, in 856. It is the only 
record extant of the phi'aseology used at these solemnities. 
Amid the general dissatisfaction at the infringement of the 
West Saxon law, which pronounced it illegal for a queen of 
England to w^ear a crown of state, Ethelwulf convened the 
three estates of his kingdom to sanction the ceremony of 
Judith's coronation. The ceremony was performed with all 
possible pomp. A rather long and elegant prayer was offered 
on anointing the head of the young and beautiful queen, in 
which it was supplicated that she might possess " the sim- 
plicity and meekness of the dove," after which the corona- 
tion took place in the following words : — "May the Lord crown 
thee with glory and honour, and place upon thy head a crown 
of spiritual precious stones, that whatever may be typified 
by the brightness of gold, or the changeful splendour of gems, 
may ever shine forth in thy life and conduct, which may He 
grant, to whom be honour and glory, world without end." 

Then follows the blessing thus : — " Bless, O Lord, this 
thine handmaiden. Thou who rulest the kingdom of kings 
through all generations. Accept the offerings of her hands, 
and may she be replenished with the blessings of the fruits 
of the earth, of the heavens, of the dews of the depths, from 
the heights of the ancient mountains, and from the eternal 
hills. May the blessing of Him who dwelt in the bush come 
upon her head. Grant to her showers from heaven, the 
fatness of the earth, abundance of corn and wine, that their 
people and their posterity may obey them, and this nation 
bring honour to her and to her children." The service con- 
cludes with a short prayer, probably the same still said after 
the communion, and, truly beautiful and simple as it is, 

Another ancient perquisite belonging to the queen consort, men- 
tioned by all our old writers, is that on the taking of a whale on the 
coasts, which is a royal fish, it shall be divided between the king and 
the queen ; the head only being the king's property, the tail of it the 
queen's. The reason of this whimsical division was, according to ancient 
records, that the queen's wardi'obe might be furnished with whalebone ! 

Before the Conquest the queens consort were anointed and crowned, 
and sate with the kings in seats of state. The time when these honours 
were first allowed to them is uncertain ; the earliest evidence is the 
ritual assigned to the age of Ethelred II., who was elected in 978. The 
Anglo-Saxon queens were deprived of the right in the ninth century, 
from the crimes of Eadburga, but Judith, queen of Ethelwulf, regained it. 


claims no small interest from the fact of its having been in 
use among our ancestors no less than a thousand years ago. 

The coronation of Matilda, the consort of William the 
Conqueror, took place at Winchester in April (Whit- 
Sunday), 1068. William, who had been exceedingly anxious 
to share his newly acquired honours with Matilda, chose to 
be re-crowned at the same time, to render the pageant of her 
consecration more imposing. This coronation was far more 
splendid than that which had preceded it in Westminster 
Abbey, at William's first inauguration. The company was 
exceedingly numerous and noble, and the Conqueror was in 
one of his most gracious moods, conferring favours liberally. 
The graceful and majestic person of Queen Matilda charmed 
the beholders. The nobles of Normandy attended their 
duchess to the church, but after the crown was placed on her 
head by Ealdred, Archbishop of York, she was served by her 
new subjects, the English. The ceremonial of Matilda's 
inauguration banquet afforded precedents for most of the 
grand feudal offices at subsequent coronations.* 

* The ceremonies attending the coronation of a Queen consort op 
Sicily in 1177 — tliat of Joanna, third daug:hter of Henry II. of England, 
married to William the Good, King of Sicily — are detailed by Inveges. 
Two couches were prepared, on one of which sat the king, attired in his 
regal robes, while the other was occupied by the Archbishop of Palermo, 
surrounded by his prelates. The service commenced by the performance 
of the mass, and at the chanting of the " Hallelujah," the king, wearing 
his crown, and the sword of state carried before him, advanced to the 
altar, and standing before the footstool of the archbishop, who sat, 
mitred, on his throne of state, he took off his crown and thus addressed 
him : " We entreat, reverend father, that you will deign to bless 
and adorn with the crown royal our consort united to us by God, to the 
praise and glory of our Saviour Jesus Christ." He then returned to his 
couch, and the queen, her hair loosely flowing down her shoulders, and 
her head veiled, was conducted by two prelates to the archbishop, who 
still remained seated, and lowly kneeling before him, and kissing his 
hand, seemed silently to urge the petition. On this he rose, and 
wearing his mitre, knelt on his footstool, while the queen, on his left 
hand, prostrated herself to the ground. A short litany was then said, 
after which the archbishop stood up, and uncovering himself, pro- 
nounced a prayer over the kneeling queen, and then anointed her with 
the holy oil, making the sign of the cross on the wrist and elbow of her 
right arm, and between lier shoulders, saying, '* God the Father," etc. 
She tlien withdrew to a pavilion, where she assumed the royal robes ; 
aft'jr which she was recondnct(Hl to the archbishop, and again kneeling 
before him, he })laced the diadem on her head, saying, " lleceive the 
crown of glory, that thou mayst know thyself to bo the consort of a 
king," and giving her the sceptre, said, " licn-oive the rod of equity 
and virtue, and bo merciful and condescending to the poor." After 


In Banks's MSS. in the British Museum, (No. 9297 of 
Additional MSS.), we are told that "Queens [of England] 
formerly proceeded from the Tower to their coronation in 
litters of cloth and gold, or white tissue without cover or 
baytes ; their hair dishevelled about their shoulders, with a 
circlet of gold on their heads, richly set with precious stones. 
Their kirtells of cloth and tissue, and mantells of the same, 
furred with ermine, and two palfreys clad in white damask, 
head and all over, down to the ground, or with some other 
rich covertures suitable in colour to the litter, and they bear 
the same. Over the Queen was carried a cloth of gold or 
tissue, with gilt curtains, and sometimes silver bells at the 
end, borne by sixteen knights, disposed four and four by 
turns. A palfrey of state with a side-saddle, trapped with 
cloth of tissue, was led after her by the Master of the Horse. 
Queens have had three, and, at other times, four chariots 
following them ; the first two of red cloth of gold, the third 
of white, and the fourth of red satin ; every chariot being 
drawn by six horses longways, and open in all ways except 
the top. Betwixt the Queen's litter and every of these 
chariots, rode six or seven ladies richly apparelled in crimson 
velvet, &c., and last of all, the ladies' women, all clad in the 
liveries of their ladies." 

One of the most magnificent coronations in early times 
appears to have been that of Eleanor, the beautiful young 
queen of Henry III., which took place on her marriage 
(January 20, 1236). Matthew Paris, speaking of this 
solemnity, says, " To this nuptial entertainment there came 
such a multitude of the nobility of both sexes, — such hosts of 
religious persons, — such crowds of people, and such a variety 
of jugglers and buffoons, that London could scarcely contain 
them in her capacious bosom." He further says, " Why need 
I recount the train of those who performed the sacred offices 
of the church ; why describe the profusion of dishes which 
furnished the table, — the abundance of venison, — the variety 
of fish, — the diversity of wine, — the gaiety of jugglers, — the 
readiness of the attendants, — whatever the world could pro- 
duce for glory or delight was there conspicuous." 

this the bishops and the maids of honour led her back to her seat. 
When the offertory was finished the king and queen came to<^ether to 
the altar, and presented as much gold as they thought proper, and at 
mass they both communicated. On the conclusion of these ceremonies, 
Joanna was proclaimed throughout Palermo, as Queen of Sicily. 


In a Cottonian MS. we read that the queen of Henry "V., 
Katherine of Valois, was crowned with all royalty at West 
minster, and the rich English diadem was placed upon her 
head. The feast was great with all princely services, and 
the state such as deserved the report, for the queen sitting 
at table, at the right side of her chair kneeled the Earl of 
March, holding a sceptre in his hand ; the Earl Marshal, 
kneeling on the left side, held another, and the Countess 
of Kent sat under the table at her right foot. Upon her 
right hand at table sat the Archbishop of Canterbury and 
Bishop of Winchester, and upon the left the King of Scots, 
the Duchess of York, and the Countess of Huntingdon ; the 
nobles giving their attendance, each man according to his 
office and place. 

Alluding to the coronation banquet, " Ye shall under- 
stand," says Fabyan, " that this feast was all of fish, for 
being February 24th Lent was entered upon, and nothing 
of meat was there, saving brawn served with mustard." 
Among the fish dishes of the first course, Fabyan mentions 
especially dead eels stewed. 

To the coronation of the queen of Henry VII. I have 
alluded in the account of the ceremonial. 

The account of the Coronation of Queen Anne Boleyn, 
given by contemporary writers, has so many picturesque 
details that it is printed in extenso : — 

" On Whitsondaie, the 1st. of June [1533] the maior, clad in crimosin 
velvet, with his coller, and all the aldermen and sherifPes in scarlet, and 
the counsell of the citty, took their barge at the Crane by seven of the 
clocke, and came to Westminster, where they were welcommed and 
brought into the hall by M. Treasurer, and other of the King's house, 
and so gave their attendance till the Queene should come forth : 
betweene eight and nine of the clocke shoe came into the hall, and 
stood under the cloth of estate, and then came in the King's chappell ; 
and the monks of Westminster, all in rich coapes, and many bishops 
and abbots in coapes and miters, which went into the middcst of the 
hall, and there stood a season ; then there was a ray cloth spread from 
the Queene's standing in the hall, through the pallace and sanctuarie, 
which was railed on both sides, to the high altar of Westminster; after 
that the ray cloth was cast, the officers of arms appoynted the order 
accustomed. First went gentlemen, then esquires, then knights, then 
aldermen of London in their cloaks of scarlet cast over their gownes of 
scarlet. After them the judges in their mantles of scarlet and coifes; 
then followed the knights of the Bath being no lords, every man having 
a white lace on his left sleeve ; then foUowc^d barons and viscounts in 
their parliament robes of scarlet; after them came carles, marquesses 
and dukes, in their robes of estate, of crimosin velvet, furred with 


ermin, poudred according to their degrees ; after them came the lord 
chancellor in a robe of scarlet, open before, bordered with lettice; 
after him came the King's chappell, and the monks solemnely singing, 
with procession. Then came abbots and byshops mitered ; then 
Serjeants and officers at armes, then the maior of London with his mace, 
and Garter in his coate of armes ; then the marques Dorset in his 
robe of estate, which bare the scepter of golde, and the earle of 
Arundcll, which bare the rod of ivori& with the dove, both together ; 
then alone, the earle of Oxford, high chamberlaine of England, which 
bare the crowne ; after him the duke of Suffolke, in his robe of estate ; 
for that dale being high stewarde of England, having a long white rod 
in his hande, and the lord William Howard with the rod of the 
marshal' s-ship, and everie knight of the Garter had on his collar of the 
order. Then proceeded forth the Queeiie, in a circote and robe of 
purple velvet, furred with ermine in her hayre, coife, and circlet, as 
shee had the Saturdaie ; and over her was borne the canapie, by foure 
of the Cinque Fortes, all in crimosin, with points of blew and redde 
hanging on their sleeves ; and the byshops of London and Winchester 
bare up the laps of the Queenes robe ; and her traine, which was verie 
long, was borne by the olde dutchesse of Norf olke ; after her followed 
ladies being lordes wives, which hadde circotes of scarlet, with narrow 
sleeves, the breast all lettice, with barres of ponders according to their 
degrees, and over that they had mantles of scarlet furred, and every 
mantle had lettice about the necke like a neckerchiefe, likewise 
pondered, so that by the pouderings their degrees might bee known ; 
then followed ladies being knights' wives, in gownes of scarlet, with 
narrow sleeves, without traines, onelie edged with lettice, likewise had 
all the Queenes gentlewomen. 

" When shee was thus brought to the high place made in the middest 
of the church, betweene the queere and the high altar, she was set in 
a rich chaire ; and after that shee had rested a while, shee descended 
downe unto the high altar, and there prostrated herself e, while the arch- 
byshop of Canterburie said certain collects over her. Then shee rose, 
and the byshop annointed her on the head and on the breast, and then 
shee was led uppe againe to her chaire, where, after divers orisons 
saide, the archbyshop set the crowne of St. Edward on her head, and 
then delivered her the scepter of golde in her right hand, and the rod 
of ivor}'^ with the dove, in her left hand ; and then all the queere sung 
Te Deum &c. ; which done, the bishop tooke oflf the crowne of St. 
Edward, being heavie, and set on her heade the crowne made for her,* 
and so went to masse; and when the offering was begunne, she descended 

* Alas ! within that crown 

" Kept death his court, and there the antick sate, 
Scoffing her state, and grinning at her pomp. 
Allowing her a little breath, a little scene 
To monarchize, be feared, and kill with looks. 
Infusing her with self and vain conceit, 
As if the flesh which walled about her life 
Were brass impregnable, and honoured thus 
Bored through her castle walls ; and, farewell, Queen." 


downe and offered, being crowned, and so ascended up againe, and sate 
in her chaire till Acjnus was sayd, and then shee went downe and 
kneeled before the high altar, where shee received of the archbishop 
the holy sacrament, and then went up to the place againe. After that 
masse was done, she went to St. Edward's shrine, and there offered ; 
after which offering doone, she withdrewe into a little place made for the 
purpose on the one side of the queere. Now in the meane season every 
dutchesse put on her bonet a,coronell of golde wrought with flowers; 
and every marchioness put on a demy coronell of golde ; and every coun- 
tesse a plain circle of golde without flowers ; and every king-at-armes 
put on a crown of copper and gilte; all which were worne till night. 

" When the Queene had a little reposed her, the companie returned 
in the same order that they set forth, and the Queene went crowned, and 
so did the ladies aforesaid ; her right hand was sustained by the earle 
of Wilshire her father, and her left hand by the lord Talbot, deputy 
for the earle of Shrewsbury, and lord Fnrnivall his father. And when 
she was out of the sanctuarie within the pallace, the trumpets played 
marveylous freshly, and so shee was brought to Westminster-hall, and 
so to her withdrawing chamber : during which time the lords, judges, 
maior, and aldermen, put off their robes, mantles, and cloakes, and 
tooke their hoodes from their neckes, and cast them about their 
shoulders ; and the lordes sate onely in their circotes ; and the judges 
and aldermen in their gownes ; and all the lordes that served that day 
served in their circotes, and their hoods about their shoulders ; also 
diverse officers of the Kinges house, being no lords, had circotes and 
hoods of scarlet, edged with miniver, as treasurer, controller, and 
master of the jewell-house, but their circotes were not gilt. While the 
Queen was in her chamber, every lord and other that ought to doe 
service at the coronation, did prepare them according to their dutie ; 
as the duke of Siiffolke high steward of Englande, which was richly 
apparelled, his dublet and jacket set with orient pearle, his gowne 
crimosin velvet embrothcred, his courser trapped with a close trapper, 
head and all to the ground of crimosin velvet, set full of letters of golde 
of goldsmithes worke, having a long white rod in his hand ; on his left 
hand rode the lord William, deputy for his brother, as earle marshall, 
with the marshal's rod, whose gowne was crimosin velvet, and his horse 
trapper purple velvet cutte on white sattin, embrothcred with white 
lions; the earle of Oxforde was high chamberlaine; the earle of Essex 
carver ; the earle of Sussex sewer ; the carle of Arundell chiefo butler, 
on whom 12 citizens of London did give their attendance at the 
cupboord ; the earle of Darby cupbearer; the viscount Lisle panter ; 
the lord Burgeiny chiefe larder ; the lord Bray almoner for him and his 
copartners; and the maior of Oxford kept the buttery-bar; and Thomas 
Wyatt was chosen ewerer for Sir Henry Wyatt his father. 

" When all thinges were ready and ordered, the Queen under her 
canapie came into the hall and washed, and sate dowjjo in the middest of 
the table under her cloth of estate ; on the right side of her chaire stoode 
the countesse of Oxford, widdow, and on her left hand stoode the 
countesse of Worcester all the dinner season, which divers times in the 
dinner time did hold a fine cloth before the Quoenos face when she list 
to spit, or doe otherwise at her pleasure : and at the table's end sate the 
archbishop of Cauterburio; on the right hando of the Queene, and in the 


niiddest between the archbislioppe, and the conntesse of Oxford, stoode 
the earle of Oxford with a white staffe all dinner time ; and at the 
Queenes feet under the table sate two gentlewomen all dinner time. 
When all these things were thus ordered, came in the duke of Suffolke 
and the lord William Howard on horsebacke, and the Serjeants of armes 
before them, and after them the sewer, and then the Knights of the 
Bathe, bringing in the first course, which was eyght and twentie dishes, 
besides subtleties, and shippes made of ware, marveylous gorgeous to 
beholde ; al which time of service the trumpets, standing in the window 
at the neather end of the hall, played. 

" When shee was served of two dishes, then the archbishop's service 
was set downe, whose sewer came equall with the third dish of the 
Queenes service on his left hand. After that the Queene and the arch- 
bishoppe were served, the barons of the ports began the table on the 
right hand next the wall ; then at the table sate the maisters and clearkes 
of the Chancerie ; and beneath them other doctors and gentlemen. The 
table next the wall on the left hande by the cupboorde was begunne by 
the maior and aldermen, the chamberlaine and councell of the citty of 
London ; and beneath them sate substantiall merchants, and so downe- 
warde other worshipful! persons. At the table on the right hand, in the 
middest of the hall, sate the lord chancellor, and other temporall lordes, 
on the right side of the table in their circotes ; and on the left side of 
the same table sate bishops and abbots in their parliament robes ; 
beneath them sate the judges, Serjeants and the Kiiige's councell; 
beneath them the knights of the Bath. At the table on the left hande 
in the middle part sate duchesses, marquesses, countesses, baronesses in 
their robes, and other ladies in circotes, and gentlewomen in gownes, all 
which gentlewomen and ladies sate on the left side of the table along, 
and none on the right side ; and when all were thus set, they were in- 
continent served so quicklie that it was marvellous ; for the servitors 
gave so good attendance, that meat, nor drinke, nor anything else needed 
to be called for, which in so great a multitude was marvell. As touching 
the fare, there could be devised no more costlie dishes nor subtleties. 
The maior of London was served with foure and thirtie dishes at two 
courses, and so were all his brethren, and such as sate at his table. The 
Queene had at her second course foure and twentie dishes, and thirtie at 
the third course ; and betweene the last courses, the kinges of armes 
crowned, and other officers of armes, cryed ' Larges ' in three partes of 
the hall, and after stood in their place, which was in the bekens of the 
Kinges Bench ; and on the right hand, out of the cloyster of St. Stephen's 
Chappell, was made a little closet, in which the King with divers ambas- 
sadours, stoode to beholde the service. The duke of Suffolke and the 
lord William rode oftentimes about the hall, cheering the lords, ladies, 
and the maior and his brethren. 

" After they in the hall had dined, they had wafers and ipocrase, and 
then they washed, and were commanded to rise and stand still in their 
places before the tables, or on the fourmes, till the Queene had washed. 
When shee had taken wafers and ipocrase, the table was taken up, and 
the earle of Rutland brought up the surnape, and laid it at the boord's 
end, which immediately was drawne and cast by Mr. Reade, marshall of 
the hall, and the Queene washed and after the archbishoppe ; and after 
the surnape was withdrawn. Then shee rose, and stoode in the middest 


of the, to whome the earle of Sussex, in a goodlie spice plate, 
brought a void of spice and confections. After him the maior of London 
brought a standing cup of golde, set in a cup of assay of golde ; and after 
that shoe had drunke she gave the maior the cuppe, with the cup of 
assay, because there vras no cover, according to the claime of the cittie, 
thanking him and all his brethren of their paine. 

" Then shee under her canapy departed to her chamber ; and at the 
entry of her chamber, she gave the canapie, with bels and all to the 
barons of the ports according to their claime, with great thanks ; then 
the maior of London, bearing his cuppe in his hande, with his brethren, 
went through the hall to their barge, and so did all other noblemen and 
gentlemen, for it was sixe of the clocke." 

Shakspere gives a description of the ceremonies attend- 
ins: this coronation : — 



"At length her grace rose, and with modest paces 
Came to the altar ; where she kneel'd, and, saint-like, 
Cast her fair eyes to heaven, and pray'd devoutly : 
Then rose again and bow'd her to the people ; 
When by the Archbishop of Canterbury, 
She had all the royal makings of a queen, 
As holy oil, Edward Confessor's crowoi, 
The rod, and bird of peace, and all such emblems, 
Laid nobly on her ; which perform'd, the choir, 
With all the choicest music of the kingdom, 
Together sung ' Te Deum.' So she parted, 
And with the same full state pac'd back again 
To York-place, where the feast is held." 

Catharine of Arragon and Anne Boleyn were the only 
consorts of Henry VIII. who were honoured with a corona- 
tion. Jane Seymour would have been thus distinguished, but 
for the plague, which raged in the precincts of the abbey. 

We have some curious notices from the papers of con- 
temporary writers of the coronation of Anne of Denmark, 
consort of James VI., as Queen of Scotland. This event took 
place on Sunday, May 17, 1590, within the abbey-church of 
Holy rood ; Miss Strickland, from whom I quote the par- 
ticulars, having collated them from the Bannatyne Papers 
and the chroniclers, Melville, Majoribanks, and Moysie. 

" Twa high places were appointed there ; one for the King and the 
other for the Queen. The King's procession having entered the Abbey, 
that of the Queen followed, preceded by several Danish nobles magnifi- 
cently dressed, with diamond chains about their necks ; then came the 
Scottish nobles and the heralds. Lord Lyon, King-at-arnis, ushered Lord 
Thirlosraino 'bearing twixt his twa hands' the Queen's crown. Then 
followed tho Queen herself in her royal robes, supported on the right 
hand by Thomas Bowes, ambassador from England ; on the left by Peter 


Munch, the Danish admiral, and Stene Brahe and Bredou Kanzou, 
ambassadors of Denmark. Mrs. Bowes and dame Annable, Countess of 
Mar, ' quha (who) had brought up the King's majesty from his birth and 
minority,' followed directly after the Queen. After them the Countesses 
of Bothwell and Orkney, Lady Seaton and Lady Thirlestaine, the Chan- 
cellor's wife, and other Scottish ladies. Next to them followed certain 
noble Danish virgins, as Katrine Skinkell and Anna Kraas, and after 
them other noble ladies and virgins, which accompanied the Queen to 
the place where she was to sit in the church ; quhilk (which) all being 
set down, Maister Paitrik Galloway, the King's minister, goes up into 
the pulpit, and after prayers made, chooses his text out of the 45th 

" The preaching being ended the Duke of Lennox and the Lord 
Hamilton, maister Kobert Bruce, and maister David Lindsay, go, all four 
together to the King's majesty that he might publicly order them to pro- 
ceed to the act of coronation. Maister Robert Bruce then declared to the 
assembled people ' that he was directed by his Majesty to crown the 
Queen.' The Countess of Mar immediately canae to her Majesty, and 
took her right arm, and opened the craig (neck) of her gown, and laid 
bare part of the arm and neck ; Maister Robert Bruce then poured on 
her breast and arm a bonny quantity of oil, and then covered them with 
white silk. The Duke of Lennox, Lord Hamilton and the virgins of 
Denmark then convoyed the Queen to her retiring room, where she put 
on another princely robe, and came and sat in her former high place. 
Silence being demanded, the King commanded the Queen's crown to be 
brought to him ; which being done he gave it to the Duke of Lennox, 
Lord Hamilton, and the Chancellor, who placed it on the Queen's head. 
The crown being ^rmi?/ linit on her head, the King sent immediately the 
sceptre which maister Robert delivered to her. Thus the Coronation 
of a Queen-consort of Scotland was ostensibly and publicly shewn to be 
entirely an act of grace of her royal lord, who, by the hands of his 
chamberlain and chancellor, actually crowned her himself. The offi- 
ciating religious minister addressed the following words to her : ' We, by 
the authority of the King's Majesty, with the consent of his states, 
representing the whole body of his country, place the crown on your 
Majesty's head ; and we deliver this sceptre to your Highness, acknow- 
ledging you to be our Sovereign Qiieen and Lady, to whom we promise 
all points of office and obedience, dutiful in those things that concern 
the glory of God, the comfort of the Kirk, and the preservation of his 
Majesty ; and we crave from your Majesty the confession of the faith 
and religion we profess.' 

" This request Mr. David Lindsay, who had resided in Denmark for 
the preceding seven months, expounded in her Majesty's language, who 
agreed, and by touching the Bible with her right hand, made oath to 
the following tenor : — ' I, Anne, Queen of Scotland, profess, and before 
God and his angels wholly promise, that during the whole course of my 
life, as far as I can, I shall sincerely worship the sauie eternal God 
according to His will revealed in the Holy Scriptures. That I withstand 
and despise all papistical superstitions, and ceremonies, and rites, con- 
trary to the word of God, and I will procure peace to the Kirk of God 
within this kingdom. So, God, the Father of all mercies, have mercy 
on me ! ' 


" When the whole prayers were ended, the heralds (the Lord Lyon and 
his brethren) cried with loud voices ' God save the Queen! ' and the 
whole people echoed the exclamation, and the trumpets sounded. 'Then 
her Majesty was raised ofif the seat where she was sitting and brought to 
a higher place; and silence being made, Mr. Andrew Melvin, principal 
of the college of Theologians, made ane oration in twa hunder Latin 
verses,' which, it will be owned, was an unreasonable number. Maister 
Robert Bruce then addressed the people ' on the subject of the great 
benefit that would accrue to Scotland, by God having given their King 
a helpmate of the same religion,' after which the nobility knelt before 
the Queen, and holding up their hands, offered her the oath of homage 
as Queen and spouse of their most clement sovereign.' Maister Paitrik 
Galloway then pronounced a blessing on the coronation from the pulpit, 
and the royal procession retired from the Abbey of Holyrood, the Queen 
still wearing the crown on her head, and the Chancellor going directly 
before her Majesty. The remainder of the day was spent in princely 
revelry at Holyrood Palace." 

At this coronation the reh"gious rites were performed by 
the Presbyterian clergy, who, at first, demurred upon the point 
of the unction, and, strange to say, the objection to it was its 
being a Jewish ceremony. In this simple matter these con- 
scientious men forgot their apostle Knox's application of 
Samuel's hewing Agag in pieces. James knew how to manage 
them ; a threat to employ the bishops in the coronation was 
sufficient to remove their scruples. 

( 271 ) 



" 'Tis not the many oaths that make the truth, 
But the plain simple vow, that is vow'd true." 


EGARDIIS'G the coronation 
OATH," observes Dr. Lingard 
in his " History of the Anglo- 
Saxon Church," " it may be 
traced in its origin to Anthe- 
mius, the patriarch of Con- 
stantinople,* whose zeal re- 
fused to place the crown of 
Anastasius, a prince of sus- 
pected orthodoxy, till he had 
sworn to make no innovation 
in the established religion. 
But the oath of the Anglo- 
Saxons was more comprehensive ; it was a species of com- 
pact between the monarch and the people, which the bishop, 
as the representative of Heaven, ratified with his benediction." 
The following is the oath which St. Dunstan administered 
to King Ethelred, at his coronation at Kingston, in 978, with 
an admonition that he should give no other pledge whatever. 
The original manuscript from which it is transcribed is in 
the Cottonian MSS. in the British Museum (Claud. A. 3). 
(See chapter on " Coronations of English Sovereigns.") " In 
the name of Christ, I promise three things to the Christian 
people, my subjects : first, that the Church of God and all 

* In the history of the Jewish kings, there are informal traces of 
the king pledging or binding himself to observe the laws. It was still 
more the case among the tribal chiefs who broke up the western Roman 
empire, and established themselves upon its ruins. 


the Christian people shall always preserve true peace under 
onr auspices ; second, that I will interdict rapacity, and all 
iniquities to every condition ; third, that I will command 
equity and mercy in all judgments, that to me, and to you, 
the gracious and merciful God may extend His mercy." 
flThis oath the king pronounced from a written copy, which 
he then laid for a memorial upon the altar. 

The next copy of the oath on record is that of Henry I., 
which agrees exactly with that of the former — a proof that, 
in this respect, no change was made by the Norman Con- 
quest. Lord Lyttleton thus notices their identity : " I agree 
entirely with Mr. Carte in the opinion that the old office used 
at King Ethelred's coronation, and, after him, by all our 
Kings of the Anglo-Saxon race, was made use of by William 
I., as we know it was by his successors." 

The oath of Henry II., though not preserved by itself, or 
in any account of his coronation, is recorded as it was cited 
in a Parliament during his reign ; from the report of this 
citation it appears to have been the same as his predecessors. 

John Lackland, when he wrongfully assumed the crown, 
took an oath " to love the Catholic Church and Ordinances 
thereof : to keep and defend the same harmless from all 
invasion of evil-disposed persons ; to disannul perverse laws, 
and erect good laws ; and according to the same, to minister 
true judgment throughout the kingdom." 

His son and successor, Henry III., at nine years of 
age, swore " to bear Reverence and Honour to God, and to 
His Holy Church, and to do right and justice to all the 

The oath made by Edward I. is thus recorded : " 1, 
Edward, son and heir of King Henry, do profess, protest, and 
promise, before God and his holy Angels, from this time 
forward, to maintain without partiality the Law, Justice, and 
Peace, of the Church of God, and the People subject unto 
me ; so far as we can devise by the counsel of our liege and 
legal Ministers ; as, also, to exliibit due and canonical honour 
to the Bishops of God's Church ; to preserve unto them, 
inviolably, whatsoever has been granted by former Emperors 
and Kings to the Church of God ; and to pay due honour to 
the Abbots and the Lord's Ministers, according to the advice 
of our Lieges, &c. So help me God, and the Holy Gospels of 
the Lord." 

On examining the oath of Edward II., we see that some 


important changes had been made in the intervening period. 
This oath, which is in the French language, agrees with the 
old one ia the number, but not in the contents of its clauses ; 
it further differs in being arranged interrogatively, and not in 
the manner of a promissory engagement. 

The laws of Edward the Confessor were justly regarded by 
our forefathers with the greatest respect, and it appears that 
the Conqueror himself had been more than once obliged to 
promise that they should be kept inviolate — a promise repeated 
with great solemnity by Henry I., and ratified in his great 
charter. It is probable, however, that their restoration by this 
king was far from complete, and that a disposition was mani- 
fested by all the Norman kings to depart from the strict obser- 
vance of the English code. Such a disposition did not lessen 
the nation's zeal for the attainment of their favourite object ; 
they made the keeping of their old laws a primary condition 
in their acceptance of a candidate for the crown. This, with 
the Norman princes, and some of their immediate successors, 
was the subject of previous treaty and compact ; but after- 
wards, when the public right was rather to be preserved than 
acquired, the condition was proposed at the time of the coro- 
nation, and hence it became a permanent custom that every 
king, before he received the crown, and before he took the 
regular official oath, should renew the pledge which had been 
thus exacted. 

The oath of King Edward II. recites : — 

" Archbishoj). Sir, will you grant to keep, and by your oath 
confirm to the people of England, the laws and customs 
to them granted by the Kings of England, your lawful and 
religious predecessors ; and, namely, the laws, customs, and 
franchises, granted by the glorious King, St. Edward, your 
predecessor, according to the laws of God, the true profession 
of the Gospel established in this kingdom, and agreeing to 
the prerogatives of the Kings thereof, and the ancient cus- 
toms of this realm ? King. 1 grant and promise to keep 
them. Archbishop. Sir, will you keep peace and godly agree- 
ment entirely, according to your power, to the holy Church, 
the Clergy, and the People ? King. I will keep it. Arch- 
bishop. Sir, will you, to your power, cause law, justice, and 
discretion, in mercy and truth, to be executed in all your 
judgments? King. I will. Archbishop. Sir, will you grant 
to hold and keep the rightful customs which the commonalty 
of this your kingdom have ? And will you defend and 



uphold them to the honour of God, as much as in you lieth ? 
King. I grant and promise so to do." * 

A petition of the bishops to the king follows, the Latin 
of which is in the " Liber Regalis " in the coronation of 
Richard II. 

The oath of Edward III. is in the same words as bis prede- 
cessors, and agrees in substance with the form continued 
during the reigns of Henry IV,, Henry Y., and Henry VI. 
Of the latter king we find a " Serement en Fraunceys " like 
that of Edward II., except in orthography. 

The oath of Henry VII. was as follows : — " The cardi- 
nall shall ask the king under this form, with an open and 
distinct voyce : Will ye graunte and keepe to the people of 
Englande, the lavves and customes to them as old rightful! 
and devoute kings graunted ; and the same ratifie and con- 
firme by your othe ? and specially lawes, customes, and liber- 
ties, graunted to the clergie and people by your predecessor 
and glorious king Saynct Edward ? The king shall answer, 
I graunt and permit. Then shall the said cardinall open unto 
him the speciall articles wherunto the king shall be swome ; 
the same cardinall saying as followeth : Ye shall keepe, 
after your strenght and power [to] the church of God, to the 

* A pamphlet published against Charles I., during the time of the 
Rebellion, entitled, "A Remonstrance of the Lords and Commons 
assembled in Parliament," etc., informs us that the oath taken by 
Edward If. and till after the reign of Henry VIII., as found in the 
record in Latin and French (in which language it used to be taken by 
the king), and translated into English (not correctly, however), is in 
an old book in the Heralds' Office, belonging to Clarencieux Hanley, who 
lived in Henry VIII. 's time. The French is as follows : — 

" Sire, volez vous graunter et garder, et par vostre serment confirmer, 
an poeple d'Engleterro les leys et les custumes a eux grauntees par les 
auntienes rois d'Englcterre vos predecessours, droitures et devotz k Dieu, 
et nomement les lois, les custumes, et les franchises grauntez au clergie 
et au poeple par le gloriens roi Soint Edward vostre predecessour ? 

'^ liespons. Jeo les graunte et iiromette. 

" Sire, garderez vous a Dieu et seint Eglise, et au clerge et au poeple, 
paeis et accord en Dieu entierment, soleno vostre poer ? 

" Eespnns. Jeo les garderai. 

" Sire, freez vous faire en touz voiz jugemens ovele et droit justice et 
discretion, en miscricordo et verite, a vostre poor ? 

" Rtispnns. Jeo le frai. 

" Siro, grauntez vous a tcnir et gardor lea loya et les custumes 
droiturolcs los quic^ls la communaute do vostre roiauine aura eslcu, et les 
defendrez et afTortcrez al hotmr do Dion, a vostre poer ? 

" liespons. Jeo les grauuto et promette." 


clergle, and the people, hoole peace and godlie concord ? The 
king shall answer, I shall keepe. Ye shall make to be done, 
after your strenght and power [equal and] rightfull justice 
in all your domes and judgements, and discrecion, with mercie 
and trowthe ? The king shall answer, I shall do. Do ye 
graunt the rightfull lawes and customes to be holden ; and 
permitte you, after your strenght and power, such lawes as to 
the worship of God shall be chosen by your people, by yow to 
be strenghtenid and defendid ? The king shall answer, I 
graunte and permitte." 

In the first volume of Sir Henry Ellis's " Letters Illustra- 
tive of English History," we have a facsimile of the coro- 
nation oath of Henry VIII., altered and interlined hy Ids own 
hand. One of such interlineations, namely, of the words 
" nott prejudyciall to hys jurysdyction and dygnite royall " — 
after the promise to maintain the rights and privileges of the 
Holy Church — is very curious, as showing that Henry looked 
to something like supremacy in the Church of England at 
the very outset of his reign. 

The oath in its original form was : — " This is the Othe 
that the King shall swere at his Coronation ; that he shall 
kepe and mayntene the right and the liberties of Holie 
Churche of old tyme graunted by the rightuous Cristen 
Kings of England ; and that he shall kepe all the londs, 
honours, and dignytees rightuous and fre of the Crowne of 
England in all manor hole, without any manor of mynysshe- 
ment ; and the rights of the Crowne, hurte, decayed, or lost, 
to his power shall call agayn into the auncyent astate ; and 
that he shall kepe the peax of the Holie Churche, and of the 
Clergie, and of the People, with good accorde ; and that he 
shall do in his judgements equytee and right justice, with 
discretion and mercye ; and that he shall graunte to holde 
the Lawes and Customes of the Realme ; and to his power 
kepe them and affirm e them which the folk and people have 
made and chosen ; and the evill Lawes and Customes hoUie 
to put out ; and stedfaste and stable peax to the people of his 
Realme kepe, and cause to be kept to his power." 
The oath as altered stands thus: — 

" The Othe of the King's Highness at every Coronation. 
" The King shall then swere that he shall kepe and mayn- 
tene the lawfull right and the libertees of old tyme graunted 
by the rycrhtuous Cristen Kings of England to the Holy 
Chirche off England nott prejudyciall to hys Jurysdyction and 


Dignife ryall, and that he sliall kepe all the londs, tonours, 
and dignytees rightuous, and fredomraes of the Crowne of 
Englond in all maner hole, without any maner of mynysshe- 
ment and the rights of the Crowne hui-te, decayed, or lost, 
to his power shall call agayn into the auncyent astate ; and 
that he shall indevore hymselfe TO Keep Unite in his CLERGYE, 
and temporell subjects ; and that he shall, accordyng to his con- 
siens in all his judgements mynystere equytie, right, and jus- 
tice, shewyng wher is to he shewyd nnercy ; and that he shall 
graunte to bolde the lawes and approvyd customes of the 
Realme, and lawfull and not prejudiciall to hys Crowne or 
Imperial duty, to his power kepe them and affirme them which 
the nohlys and people have made and chosen with his consent; 
and the evill Lawes and Customes hoUie to put out ; and 
stedfaste and stable peax to the people of his realme kepe 
and cause to be kept to his power, in that whych honour and 
equite do require.''^ 

The coronation oath of King Edward VI. was altered by 
the Lord Protector and king's council in words, but not in 
sense, in consequence of the Reformation : — " Doe you grant 
to make no new lawes, but such as shall be to the honour and 
glory of God, and to the good of the Commonwealth, and 
that the same shall bee made by consent of your people 
as hath been accustomed ? " This part of the oath, observes 
Prynne ("Signal Loyalty," ii. 251), " referres wholly and 
onely to future new lawes, to be chosen, and made, by the 
people's consent, not to lawes formerly enacted." 

For the disputes which arose respecting this clause, " per- 
haps," says Taylor, " we may agree with Johnson that the 
controversy upon the words was of little value ; for if the 
laws were anciently made by the people, as the oath asserts, 
and the kings were bound to confirm and keep tiiem when 
made, then must they still be bound to do so, whether the 
terms of the obligation be past or future." 

With regard to Queen Elizabeth's coronation oath. Arch- 
bishop Whitgift, in a sermon before her Majesty, thus 
addresses her : " As all your predecessors were at this coro- 
nation, so you also were sworn before all the nobility and 
bishops then present, and in the presence of God, and in 
His stead to one of them that anointed yon, 'to maintain 
the church lands, and the rit^hts belont^in": to it,' and this 
testified openly at the Holy Altar, by laying your hands on 
the Bible then lying upon it." 


The form of coronation oath seems to liave been adhered to 
with but little alteration until the reign of James L, at whose 
inauguration the following was read to him by the arch- 
bishop, and sworn to by him at the altar : — " Sir, will you grant 
and keep, and by your oath confirm to the ])eople of England, 
the laws and customs to them granted by the kings of Eng- 
land, your lawful and religious predecessors ; and, namely, 
the laws, customs, and franchises granted to the clergy by the 
glorious King Edward the Third, your predecessor, according 
to the laws of God, the true profession of the Gospel estab- 
lished in this kingdom, agreeable to the prerogative of the 
kings thereof, and the ancient customs of this realm? Answer. 
I grant and promise to keep them. Will you keep peace and 
godly agreement entirely, according to your power, both to 
God, the Holy Church, the Clergy, and the People ? Answer. 
I will keep it. Will you, to your power, cause Law, Justice, 
/and Discretion in mercy and truth to be executed to your 
judgment? I will. Will you grant to hold and keep the 
laws and rightful customs, which the Commonalty of this, 
your kingdom, have ; and will you defend and uphold them 
to the honour of God, so much, as in you lieth ? Answer. I 
grant and promise so to do." Then one of the bishops read 
this passage to the king, before the people, with a loud voice : — 

" Our Lord and king, we beseech you to pardon, and to 
grant and preserve unto us, and to the churches committed 
to our charge, all canonical laws and privileges, and due law 
and justice, and that you would protect and defend us as 
every good king in his kingdom ought to be protector and 
defender of the bishops, and the churches under their govern- 

The King answered, " With a willing and devout heart, 
I promise and grant my pardon, and that I will preserve and 
maintain to you and the churches committed to your charge 
all canonical privileges, and due law and justice; and that I 
will be your protector and defender to my power by the 
assistance of God, as every good king in his dominion, in 
right ought to protect and defend the bishops and churches 
under his government." 

Then the king arose, and was led to the communion 
table, where he took a solemn oath, in sight of all people, to 
observe all the promises, and laying his hand upon the Bible, 
said, "The things which I have here promised, I shall perform 
and keep ; so help me God, and the contents of this book." 


In the reign of Charles I., Archbishop Laud was accused 
of making both a serious interpolation and an impor- 
tant omission in the coronation oath — a circumstance which, 
on his trial, brought its introductory clauses into warm 
discussion. Our forefathers had ever been jealous of all 
encroachments on what some copies of the old oath call " the 
lawes and custumes of the people," by " old, rightfuU and 
devoute kings graunted to the clergy, and to the people by 
the glorious King St. Edward, according and conformable to 
the laws of God, the true profession of the Gospel established 
in this kingdom," etc. They had even compelled the Con- 
queror to engage repeatedly that these ancient statutes of 
the kingdom should not be violated — a stipulation renewed 
expressly in the great charter of his son, Henry I. Laud 
was charged with adding after the clause last quoted these 
words, " which the people have chosen or shall choose." Of 
the latter charge he soon disposed by proving there were 
no such words in the oath of James I., and of the former 
he stated, " First, I humbly conceive this clause takes off 
none of the people's assurance. Secondly, that alteration, 
whatever it be, was not made by me — 'tis not altogether 
improbable it was added to the oath in Edward the Sixth, or 
Queen Elizabeth's time, and hath no relation at all to the 
laws of this kingdom absolutely mentioned before in the begin- 
ning of this oath ; but only to the words ' the profession of 
the Gospel established in this kingdom ; ' and then imme- 
diately follows, ' and agreeing to the prerogative of the 
kings thereof.' If this be the meaning he that made the 
alteration, whoever it were, for I did not, deserves thanks for 
it, and not the reward of a traitor." 

When Charles I. was crowned in Scotland, the form of 
his coronation oath was as follows : — 

^^ Archbishop. Sir, Avill you promise to serve Almighty 
God, and as every good king in his kingdom ought to do, 
maintain the gospel of Jesus Christ in this your kingdom, 
against all atheism, profaneness, heresy, schism, or super- 
stition whatsoever ? King. I promise faithfully so to do. — 
Archbishop. Sir, will you promise to rule this people subject 
to you, and committed to your charge, according to the laws, 
constitutions, and customs of this your kingdom, causing (as 
much as in you lieth) justice and equity to be ministered 
without partiality? And to endeavour the peace of the 
church of Christ and all Christians ? King. I grant and 


promise so to do. — ArchhisJiop. Sir, will you likewise promise 
to preserve the rights and privileges of the crown of Scot- 
land ? King. I promise so to do. — ArcJibisJiop. Sir, we do 
also beseech you to grant unto us of the clergy, and to the 
churches committed to our charge, all canonical privileges, 
and that you will defend and protect us as every good king 
ought in his kingdom, to defend his bishops and the churches 
that be under their government. King. With a willing* heart 
I grant the same, and promise to maintain you, and every 
one of you, with all the churches committed to your charge, in 
your old rights and privileges, according to law and justice." * 

In the oath of James II., in which the precedent of 
Charles II.'s coronation was followed, both these alleged 
alterations are found. 

The present coronation oath dates only from the acces- 
sion of William and Mary. Immediately upon that event 
"An Act for Establishing the Coronation Oath" (1 Will, and 
Mary, c. 6) was passed, which recites that — 

" Whereas, by the Law and ancient Usage of this Realm, 
the Kings and Queens thereof have taken solemn Oath upon 
the Evangelists at their respective Coronations, to maintain 
the Statutes, Laws, and Customs of the said Realm, and 
all the People and Inhabitants thereof in their Spiritual and 
Civil Rights and Properties ; but forasmuch as the Oath 
itself, on such occasion administered, hath heretofore been 
framed in doubtful Words and Expressions, with relation to 
ancient Laws and Constitutions at this time unknown. To 

* In the debates of Parliament in 1657, it was resolved that a form 
of oath should be submitted to the Lord Protector, to be solemnly taken 
by him : — " I do, in the presence and by the name of God Almighty, 
promise and swear, that, to the utmost of my power, I will uphold and 
maintain the true reformed, Protestant, Christian religion, in the purity 
thereof, as it is contained in the Holy Scripture of the Old and New 
Testament ; and encourage the profession and the professors of the 
same : and that, to the utmost of my power, I will endeavour as Chief 
Magistrate of these three nations, the maintenance and preservation of 
the just rights and privileges of the people thereof; and shall, in all 
things, according to my best knowledge and power, govern the people of 
these nations, according to law." 

From the journals of the House it appears " that his Highness 
was well satisfied with the form of the oath; only, he desires these 
words may be inserted, * to the utmost of my power and understanding/ 
next after the word ' Testament," and that these words, ' of the peace 
and safety, and' may be added to the oath, next after the word 
* preservation.' " 



the end, therefore, that One uniform Oath may be in all Times 
to come taken by the Kings and Queens of this Realm, and 
to them respectively administered at the times of their and 
every of their Coronations. 

" That the Oath herein mentioned, and hereafter ex- 
pressed, shall and may be administered to Their Most Excel- 
lent Majesties King William and Queen Mary (whom God 
long preserve) at the time of their Coronation, in the presence 
of all persons that shall be then and there present at the 
solemnising thereof, by the Archbishop of Canterbury or 
the Archbishop of York, or either of them, or by any other 
Bishop of this Realm whom the King's Majesty shall there- 
unto appoint, and who shall be hereby thereunto respectively 
authorized ; which Oath followeth, and shall be administered 
in this manner ; that is to say, 

" The Archbishop, or Bishop shall say — 'Will you solemnly 
promise to govern the people of this kingdom of England and 
Dominions thereunto belonging, according to the Statutes in 
Parliament agreed on, ^nd the Laws and customs of the same ? 

" The King and Queen shall say — I solemnly promise so 
to do. 

" Archbishop or Bishop — Will you to your power cause 
Law and Justice in Mercy to be executed, in all your judg- 
ments ? 

" King and Queen — I will," 

The Coronation Oath is as follows : — 

''^Archbishop or Bishop — Will you, to the utmost of your 
power, maintain the Laws of God, the true profession of the 
Gospel, and the Protestant Reformed Religion established by 
Law? And will you preserve unto the Bishops and Clergy of 
this realm, and to the Churches committed to their Charge, 
all such Rights and Privileges as by Law do or shall appertain 
unto them or any of them ? 

" King and Queen — All this I promise to do. 

"After this the King and Queen, laying his and her hand 
upon the Holy Gospels, shall say, 

^^ King and Queen — The things which I have herebefore 
promised, 1 will perform and keep. So help nie, God/ 

" Then the King and the Queen shall kiss the Book. 

" And be it further enacted, That the said Oath shall be 
in like manner administered to every King or Queen who 
shall succeed to the Imperial Crown of this Realm at their 
respective Coronations," etc. 


Previous to Queen Anne taking the oatb, the Archbishop 
of Canterbury inquired, " Is your Majesty willing to make 
the Declaration ? " The queen answered, " I am willing." 
The arclibishop having provided himself with the required 
declaration, written on a roll of parchment, read it as 
follows : — 

" I, Anne, by the grace of God, Queen of England, 
Scotland, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. do 
solemnly, in the presence of God, profess, testify, and declare, 
that I do believe that in the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, 
there is not any transubstantiation of tlie elements of bread 
and wine into the body and blood of Christ, at or after the 
consecration thereof by any person whatsoever. 2ndly, that 
the invocation or adoration of the Virgin Mary, or any other 
saint, and the sacrifice of the mass, as they are now used in 
the Church of Rome, are superstitious and idolatrous. 3rdly, 
and I do solemnly in, the presence of God, profess, testify, and 
declare, that I do make this declaration, and every part 
thereof, in the plain and ordinary sense of the words read to 
me, as they are commonly understood by English Protestants, 
without any evasion, equivocation, or mental reservation 
whatsoever, and without any dispensation already granted to 
me for this purpose, by the Pope, or any other authority or 
person, or without any hope of such dispensation from any 
person or authority whatsoever, or without thinking I am, 
or can be, acquitted before God or man, or absolved of this 
declaration, or of any part thereof, although the Pope, or any 
other person or power whatsoever, should dispense with, or 
annul the same, or declare that it was null and void from the 

The queen audibly made and repeated the same, and 
afterw^ards subscribed it. 

In 1706, twenty years after the declaration of Parliament, 
an Act (6 Anne, c. 8) was passed "for securing the Church 
of England as by law established," and by this Act, which 
was inserted bodily in the Act of Union with Scotland, in 
which it forms the twenty-fifth article, it was enacted: — 

" That after the Demise of Her Majesty (whom God long 
preserve) the Sovereign next succeeding to Her Majesty in 
the Royal Government of the Kingdom of Great Britain, and 
so for ever hereafter, every King or Queen succeeding, and 
coming to the Royal Government of the Kingdom of Great 
Britain, at his or her Coronation, shall, in the pi^sence of all 


persons who shall be attending, assisting, or otherwise then 
and there present, take and subscribe an Oath, to maintain 
and preserve inviolably the said Settlement of the Church of 
England, and the Doctrine, Worship, Discipline, and Govern- 
ment thereof, as by Law established within the Kingdoms of 
England and Ireland, the Dominion of Wales, and Town of 
Berwick-npon-Tweed, and the Territories thereunto belong- 
ing." The two latter places having been included in all 
English Acts by 20 George II., cc. 42 and 43, these words were 
afterwards omitted from the oath.* 

The oath taken by George IV. was altered so far only as 
to meet the requirements of the Act of Union with Ireland : — 

^'' Arclibishop. Will you, to the utmost of your powder, 
maintain the Laws of God, the true profession of the Gospel, 
and the Protestant Reformed Religion established by Law ? 
And will you maintain and preserve inviolably the Settle- 
ment of the United Church of England and Ireland, and the 
Doctrine, Worship, Discipline, and Government thereof, as 
by Law established within England and Ii-eland, and the 
Territories thereunto belonging ? And will you preserve 
to the Bishops and Clergy of England and Ireland, and the 
United Church committed to their charge, all such Rights 
and Privileges as by Law do or shall appertain to them, or 
any of them ? 

" King. All this I promise to do." 

This was the oath taken by King William TV. and Queen 
Victoria — the coronation oath as it now exists, except that 
in these two later cases the words " the Churches there " have 
been substituted for " the United Church." 

The following is an accurate copy of the oath taken by 
Queen Victoria, as preserved in the Record Office : — 

^^ Archbishop ; Madam, is Your Majesty willing to take the 

* Goorgo III. attached peculiar sanctity to the coronation oath. 
Lord Eldon relates that when the king was pressed to give his consent 
to Roman Catholic emancipation, ho said, " I can give np my crown and 
retire from power ; I can quit my palace and live in a cottage ; I can 
lay ir\y liead on a block and lose my life ; but I cannot break my corona- 
tion oath." The king told the Duke of Portland that were he to consent 
to Catholic oniancipation, h(i would not only betray his trust and forfeit 
his crown, but, in all probability, the framers of the measure would be 
brought to tlie scaffold. [See " Letters from his late Majesty to the 
late liord Kenyon on the Coronation Oath, with his Lordship's Answers, 
also letters of the Right Hon. W. Pitt to his late Majesty (George III.)." 


Oath? Queen; I am willing. ArchbisJiop; Will you solemnly 
promise and swear to govern the People of this United 
Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and the Dominions 
thereto belonging, according to the Statutes in Parliament, 
agreed, on, and. the respective laws and customs of the same ? 
Queen : I solemnly promise so to do. Archbishop : Will you 
to Your Power cause Law and Justice, in Mercy, to be exe- 
cuted in all your Jud<>-ments ? Queen: I will. Archbishop: 
Will You to the utmost of Yotur Power maintain the Laws 
of God, the true Profession of the Gospel, and the Protes- 
tant Reformed Rehgion established by Law ? And will You 
maintain and preserve inviolably the Settlement of the United 
Church of England and Ireland, and the Doctrine, Worship, 
Discipline, and Government thereof, as by Law established 
within England and Ireland, and the Territories thereunto 
belonging ? And will you preserve unto the Bisho^ps and 
Clergy of England and Ireland, and to the Churches there 
committed to their charge, all such Rights and Privileges, as 
by Law, do, and shall, appertain to them, or any of them ? 
Queen: All this I promise to do. The things which I have 
herebefore promised, I will perform and keep. So help me 

The oath, of which the foregoing is a copy, is vn:*itten on 
vellum, and attached to that part of the coronation roll which 
describes the mode in which the oath is administered. On 
the accession of a sovereign to the throne of these realms, a 
commission is issued under the great seal, constituting certain 
members of the Privy Council a court for adjudicating on the 
claims of persons who desire to render certain services, or to 
receive certain fees and perquisites at the coronation. The 
clerk of the Crown for the time being is always the clerk to 
such court of claims, and as such it afterwards becomes his 
duty to prepare the coronation roll, on which is recorded the 
whole particulars of the ceremony, with the names of those 
who did homage. 

This roll is afterwards deposited with great ceremony 
among the records of the Court of Chancery — a fact which 
is duly recorded on the roll itself. 

The original oath, as already stated, taken by the sovereign 
is always attached to the coronation roll ; an exception must 
be made in the case of the coronation roll of George IV. 

At the coronation of that sovereign, when the time came 
for him to subscribe the oath, it was found that by some over- 


sight the vellum copy of the oath, which the sovereign was 
to°subscribe, was not upon the altar. In this dilemma the 
king, with great presence of mind, suggested that he should 
subscribe the oath printed in the book oF the form and order 
of the service ; and the fact that he did so is recorded m a 
certificate from the Archbishop of Canterbury, which is 
attached to the roll, and where, after certifying the admini- 
stration of the oath in the manner prescribed, is added 
as a " memorandum : " " The above mentioned Oaths not 
being in this instance prepared upon Vellum, His Majesty 
placed his signature to the said Oaths in a book containing 
the form and order of the Service to be performed, and of 
the Ceremonies to be observed in the Coronation of his said 
Majesty, which book having the signature of His Majesty 
to the said Oaths therein, remains deposited in the manuscript 
library of the Archiepiscopal Palace at Lambeth.— C. 

CanTUAR." 1 • 1, J.-U 

The following is a record of the mode m which the 
coronation roll was delivered : — i • i j 

" Be it remembered that on Friday, the twenty-third day 
of January, in the fourth year of the Reign of the said most 
Serene Lord Kin<r George the Fourth, the before-named the 
Right Honorable'' Sir Charles Abbott, Knight, Chief Justice 
of ''the King's Bench, brought this Process into the open 
Court of Chancery, in Lincoln's Inn Hall. And the said 
Sir Charles Abbott with his own proper hand delivered the 
same Process into the hands of the Right Honorable John, 
Earl of Eldon, Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, 
sitting the Court there, which same Lord Chancellor, then 
and there likewise delivered the same into the hands of the 
Right Honorable Sir Thomas Plumer, Knight, Master, or 
Keeper of the Rolls of the said Court of Chancery, to remain 
of Record amongst the Records and Rolls of the Court of 
Chancery aforesaid, as well as in the presence of the said Sir 
Charles Abbott, as of the whole court aforesaid." 

The coronation rolls contain the commission and proceed^ 
ings of the commissioners appointed to hear and declare 
claims of service to be performed at coronations, as well as 
the oaths taken by the king or queen when crowned— the 
collection of which, with the exception of the coronation rolls 
of Charles T. and George III., which are wanting, is perfect 
from James 1. to Queen Victoria. 

( 285 ) 



" Not all the water in the rough, rude sea 
Can wash the balm from an anointed king." 

Shakspere, Richard III. 

" Hail, you anointed deputies of heaven ! " 

King John. 

,N a rare and curious old book in 
the British Museum, " The royal 
Charter granted unto Kings by 
God himself, and collected out of 
his Holy Word in both Testa- 
ments, by T. B., D"" in Divinitie," 
are the following observations : — 
^^ Anointing is a sacred signature, 
betokening sovereignty, obedience 
to the throne, submission to the 
scepter, allegiance to the crown ; 
and, supremacy to the oyle must 
needs be given, for oyle will have 
it ; pour oyle, and wine, and 
water, and vinegar, or what other 
liqueur you please, together oyle 
will be sure to be the uttermost. Kings are the Lord's 
anointed, because they are anointed with his own oyle, 
oleo sancto meo, with my holy oyl have I anointed him. 
Psal. Lxxxix. 20, It is not with any common or vulgar oyl, 
or oyl that any laies claim to but himself ; but it is oleo meo, 
my oyl : neither is it oyl that was fetched out of any common 
shop or warehouse ; but it is oleo sancto, with holy oyl, oyl 
out of the sanctuary : and no question but that this is a main 
reason (if they would speak out) why some have such an 
aking tooth at the sanctuaries ; because they maintain in 
them oyl for the anointing of kings : but if the alabaster 
box were broken, the ointment w'^ soon be lost ; if they c** 
persuade the king out of the cburch into the barne, they 


w** soon pul] a reed out of the thatch, to put into his hand 
instead of a scepter ; or if they c** get him to hear sermons 
under a hedge, there w*^ not be materials wanting to make 
a crown of thorns to pleat it on his head." 

In another chapter the author endeavours to prove that 
bad kings as well as good are to be held sacred and divine : 
" When in the cave of Engidi, David m* have cut off Saul's 
head ; like precious oyntment ! he descends only to the skirts 
of his garment ; and with a quid feci ? checks himself and 
beshrews his heart that he had done so much," etc. After 
adducing many such cases from Holy Writ, the author comes 
to the conclusion "that no faults or pretences whatsoever 
can make it lawful to depose, or so much as to touch, the 
Lord's anointed." 

In the Holy Scriptures we have the first detailed mention 
of the inauguration of a sovereign by anointing. The Israelites 
having assembled and urged Samuel — who was di*awing near 
to his end — to name a king to reign over them, he at first 
refused, but in obedience to the command of Grod he did so, and 
Saul, the son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, was elected. 

" Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his 
head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the Lord 
hath anointed thee to be captain over His inheritance ? " 
(1 Sam. X. 1). The consecration was repeated at Gilgal, 
after the slaughter of the Ammonites (b.c. 1095).* 

The reign of Saul was of short duration ; David was 
elected in his place, and as soon as Samuel had anointed 
him, " the spirit of the Lord left Saul, and filled David." 

* The anointing of rvilcrs previous to the time of Saul, however, 
must have been usual from the words in Judges ix. 8 : " The trees went 
forth on a time to anoint a king over them ; and they said nnto the 
olive tree, Keign thou over us." 

" Though," observes Mcnin in his "Histoire du Sacre," " the anointing 
of kings was only practised among the Hebrews, and not introduced 
into any other kingdoms before Christianity ; yet, God, who has a 
particular care for monarchs, whom He makes the delegates of His 
supreme authority here below, has always inspired the most barbarous 
])eople, plunged in the darkness of paganism and idolatry, with senti- 
ments of love and veneration for their kings; so that all nations of the 
world, from their first origin, have observed, and still keep up, some 
cenMuonies of show and splendour in the election and coronation of 
their kings, or governors; which, though they differ according to the 
manners, laws, and customs of such people in })arrictilar, yet all tend 
to the same purpose, which is, to stamp a singulai- character upon the 
prince, that points out Ids greatness, and the autliority he lias over his 
people ; and creates a duo fear and respect to his government." 


The Scriptures tell us that when a certain Amalekite 
brought to David the news of the death of Saul, and repre- 
sented himself as the person who had slain him, expecting 
without doubt a splendid reward for the presumed service, 
David said to him, " How wast thou not afraid to stretch, 
forth thine band against the Lord's anointed ? " After a 
glorious reign, when old and infirm, the royal Psalmist 
delegated the affairs of sovereignty to his son Solomon, 
whom he caused to be proclaimed king, after having placed 
him upon his throne ; for he feared that after his death the 
succession might be disputed, and bring heavy troubles upon 
the people. Solomon, mounted upon the mule of his father, 
was conducted by the high priest Zadok and the prophet 
Nathan to Gihon, where the king was anointed with, the oil 
taken from the tabernacle, where it had been deposited ; for 
it was regarded with peculiar sanctity. Zadok the priest 
and Nathan the prophet anointed Solomon king. And they 
blew the trumpets, and "piped with pipes, and rejoiced with, 
great joy, so that the earth rent with the sound of them." 
And they said, " God save King Solomon ! Long live the king ! 
May the king live for ever ! " 

We have also in the Scriptures some particulars of the 
crowning and anointing of Joash, the eight king of Judah, 
in his seventh year (b.c. 878). By the contrivance of the high, 
priest Jehoiada, to elude the vigilance of the usurper Athaliah, 
the child — the only surviving scion of David's illustrious 
house — was brought forth secretly on an appointed day, and. 
appeared in the place of the kings, by a particular pillar in 
the Temple court ; the book of the law was placed in his hands, 
and he was crowned and anointed with the usual ceremonies, 
and amidst the cries of " Long live the king ! " from the people. 

Tertullian mentions that the sacred oil * was always 
used in the coronation ceremonials of the Hebrew monarchs — 

* Of the composition of the unguents for the pui^poses of consecration, 
the most ancient of which we have any knowledge is the ointment 
prepared at the Divine command by Moses, and particularly described 
in the Book of Exodus (xxx. 23, 25). This unguent, which is dis- 
tinguished from consecrated oil, was, however, a fluid ; it is said — 
though perhaps figuratively — to have run down upon Aaron's beard, 
and descended to the skirts of his garment. 

The oil spoken of in Holy Scripture is always pure olive oil, or the 
holy oil, which contained other ingredients besides. And it is to be 
noted that the olive was in many ways a sacred tree, and always 
associated with peace and blessedness, fruitfulness and prosperity. 


which included a period of nine ages — to the destruction 
of the Temple of Solomon, in which it was kept and regarded 
with peculiar sanctity. At this time the holy chrism of 
the Jews was lost, and, as it was deemed unlawful to attempt 
renovation of it, the practice of anointing was laid aside. 

The Jews probably derived the practices of crowning and 
anointing from the Egyptians, " whose temples," as Sir 
Gardiner Wilkinson informs us ("Ancient Egyptians," vol. v. 
p. 277, et seq^., edit. 1847), "and more particularly those of 
Memnoniem, or Reraesseum, and Medenet Haboo, contain 
to this day pictorial representations of the pomp and cere- 
monies common to such occasions, and which agree in the 
most remarkable particulars with the several descriptions of 
similar institutions contained in Holy Writ." 

Dr. Kitto supports this presumption, from the circum- 
stance that the custom of inaugural anointing first occurs 
among the Israelites immediately after they left Egypt, and 
no example of the same kind is met with previously ; thus it 
is fair to conclude that the practice and the motives con- 
nected with it were acquired in that country. As the Jewish 
lawgiver mentions the ceremony of pouring oil upon the head 
of the high priest after he had put on his entire dress, with 
the mitre and crown, the Egyptians represent the anointing of 
their priests and kings after they were attired in their full 
robes, with the cap and crown upon their heads. 

Cyrus, King of Persia, is called the " Lord's anointed," 
which is a frequent expression of kings in the Scriptures. 

Sri d'liamasauka, King of Birmah (289 years B.C.), is 
described in Birmese story as having received the " sacred 
effusion," the Hindoo coronation equivalent to our anointment. 

From the East is, therefore, derived the custom of anoint- 
ing the sovereigns of Christendom.* 

" The many instances," remarks Lingard, " of royal 

* The chief of the closcriptive names and oflRcial titles of the Saviour 
and Redeemer of mankind is the Messiah, wliich in Greek has been 
rendered Christ, and in our own langua^jfc Anointed. At a very early- 
period, oil appears to have been a divinely instituted symbol of the Holy 
Spirit, the Sauctifier ; not merely a type, but a sacramental sign and 
m(>ans of consecration. By it, inanimate objects were made sacred. 
Thus Jacob poured oil on a memorial or dedication stone at Bethel, and 
thus the tabernacle and its furniture wore consecrated. Moreover, 
oil entered largely into the ritual of offerings and sacrifices. By it, 
prophets, ])riests, and kings w(»re consecrated, and were thereby endued 
with the gifts of the lloly Spirit. 


nnction in the Scriptures offer a sufficient reason why every 
Christian nation should, at a very early period, have initiated 
the practice." Gildas, doubtless more oratorical than historical, 
states that the kings who reigned in Britain about the close of 
the fifth century were accustomed to receive the royal nnction. 

The earliest authentic instances of the ceremony of 
unction, as an essential element in Christian coronations in 
Europe, appear in the annals of the Spanish kingdoms. The 
rite is mentioned in the Acts of the Sixth Council of Toledo 
(a.d. 636). The unction, it appears, was an established 
custom, and took place at Toledo. 

From \^Q " Pontiticale " of Archbishop Egbert (732-767) 
it may be concluded that the Northumbrian princes in our 
country were anointed in his time. 

The ritual, together with other ceremonies, expressly in- 
cludes the anointing of the king's head with oil : " Bene- 
dictio super regem noviter electum. Hie verget oleum cum 
cornu super caput ipsius cum antiphone ' unxerunt Salomo- 
nem'et Psalmo ' Domine in virtute tua.' Unus ex ponti- 
ficibus dicat orationem et alii unguant." 

The twelfth Canon of the Council of Celchyth (a.d. 787) 
contains a valuable incidental mention of unction, as an 
essential element of the kingly office, in the words " Nee 
Christus Domini esse valet nee rex totius regni qui ex legi- 
timo non fuerit connubis generatus." Of Egferth, son of 
Offa, who was crowned at this council as his father's col- 
league, the language of the Anglo-Saxon chronicle, in which 
this is the earliest coronation mentioned, " hallowed to king," 
can only be interpreted of unction, and so William of Malms- 
bury has understood it "in regem inunctum." Eardwulf, 
King of Northumberland, is recorded to have been conse- 
crated and elevated to his throne by Archbishop Eanbald 
and three bishops ; and, finally, of Alfred the same chronicle 
says (a.d. 854) that when Pope Leo IV. heard of the death 
of Ethel wulf, he consecrated him king. The rhyming 
chronicle of Robert of Gloucester, in describing this corona- 
tion, uses the remarkable phrase " he oiled him to be king." 

Pepin, the successor of Charles Martel, was, according to 
strict historical evidence,* the first anointed sovereign in 

* Le Noble, in his " Histoire du Sacre, etc., des rois do France " 
(Paris, 1825), observes, with reijfard to the Sainte Ampoule, that the early 
annalists, in alluding to the consecration of Pepin, state that it was done 
" according to ancient usage." D'Yves de Chartres says that Goutran, 



France. He was twice consecrated, once at Soissons, by 
Saint Boniface, the papal legate, in the year 750, and in 755 
in the abbey of St. Denis by Pope Stephen III., who poured 
the sacred oil upon his head, his breast, and under the 
shoulders, with the words, " With this holy oil I consecrate 
thee king, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy 
Ghost." Charlemagne, King of the Franks, who obtained 
the empire of the West, was anointed Emperor of the Romans 
(November 24, 800), at St. Peter's, by Pope Leo III. On 
this occasion, says Constantin Manasses, the monarch re- 
ceived the oil from the head to the feet, " according to the 
custom prescribed by the Jewish law." 

In the earliest detailed particulars of the coronation ser- 
vice of our English monarchs, that of Ethelred II. (a.d. 978), 
preserved among the Cottonian MSS. in the British Museum, 
after the consecrating prayer by the bishops, concluding 
with the words that " God would anoint thee king with the 
grace of His Holy Spirit," the unction was performed, but in 
what manner is not mentioned. This differed considerably 
in succeeding consecrations.* Richard I. was stripped to 
his shirt and drawers to receive the anointment. In some 
ordinals. the king was anointed in three places, in some five, 
others seven. So much sanctity was attached to this cere- 
monial, that, formerly, the piece of fine linen with which the 
oil was wiped off was religiously burnt, from a dread of 
pollution ; the king's head was to be covered with a thin 
small cap, which was to be worn for eight days, when the 
Abbot of Westminster was to take it off and wash the part. 

In the " Device for the Coronation of King Henry VII." 
(Rutland Papers, " Camden Society ") is given the formula 
connected with the anointing of the monarch, " who shall go to 

King of Orleans, and Caribort, or Cherebert, King of Paris, were con- 
secrated in the sixtli century with the holy unction. 

* " With regard to the unction, it strikes me," says Dr. Freeman, 
" that according to the ancient English rite, the king was simply 
anointed on the head. The rubric in Ethelred's office, copied in the 
French office, is simply ' hie unguatur olco.' In the later offices, the 
king is anointed on the hands, breasts, shoulders, and elbows, and on 
the head last of all. In the very ancient office printed by Maskell (p. 76) 
from the ' Tontifical ' of Archbishop Ecgberht, the rubric is ' hie verget 
oloum cum cornu super caput ipsius,' but another rubric follows, * unus 
ex j)ontificibus dicat orationem et alii unguaut." This may possibly 
mean such a manifold unction as we find in the later offices, but at any 
rate the order is different." 


the liigli aulter susteynged with the said Busshoppes, as aboue 
said, wher as the Bling shalbe vnraied and vnclothed by his 
Chamber lay n, vnto his cote of crymesyn saten largely opened 
as the sherts be, which all iij coots and ij sherts shall be 
opend afor, behinde, on the shuldres, and the elbowes, by 
the said Cardinall, to thentent that in those places he be 

" And whiles he is anoynted, Sir Thomas Mongomery and 
Sir Thomas Borough ben appoynted for to hold a pall oner 
hym, and, fiirst, the said Cardinall, sitting, shall anoyiit the 
King, kneling on quisshons, with holy oile, in the palmes of 
his hands, saying thise words, Vngatur onanus &c., with this 
colet Bespice OTnnipotens Deus, the quere synging in the 
meanetym, and contynuelly whiles the Kinge is anoynted, 
Vnxerunt Uegem, and the salme, Domine, in vertute tua letabitur 
Rex, &c., he shall anoynte the King with the same oile on the 
brest, in the myddes of his bak, on his ij shuldres, on his ij 
elbowes, and on his hed, with the said oile making a crosse, 
and afterward making an other crosse with the holy creme on 
his said hed, after the end of that colet, the Cardynall seying 
to eury place to be anoynted, wordes conveniently, as is in 
example, to the hed these wordes Vngatur caput, and to the 
shuldres Vngafitur scapule. 

" And it is to be remembered, that the abbot of West- 
mynster, after the Kinges inunccion, shall drye all the places 
of his body wher he was anoynted, with som coton or som 
lynon cloth, which is to be brend, and forthwith close and 
luse ayen the openyngs of the Kinges said shurte and cote, 
puttyng on the Kinges hands a pair of lynon gloves, to be 
brought thidre by his said Chamberlayn." 

The king's head is afterwards to be " washed, dryed, and 
kymbed." In the " Liber Regalis " St. Edward's ivory comb 
is to be used if the king's hair, after the anointing, lie not 
smooth. In Sporley's catalogue of the regalia (see chapter 
on the " Regalia of England and Scotland ") there is also 
mention of a golden comb, but Mr. Planche states that the 
Parliament Commissioners in 1649 found neither a gold nor 
an ivory comb, but " one old comb of home, worth nothing." 

The ceremony of the queen's anointing is thus related : 
" Then the Queue, lad as aboue, shall go to the aulter, the 
greces afor it honorably arraied with carpetts and quisshons, 
by thusshers of the queue's chambre, wher yppon the 
Queue shall lie prostrat as the King dud afor, the Cardinal 


seing oner this orison, Deus qui solus hahes ; that ended she 
shall arise and knele and by (her) the great ladye that shalbe 
alwaies attending vppon her, the cercle of gold taken from, 
her brest by the cardynall opjned, the same Cardinall shall 
anoynt her twoo tymes ; furst, in her forhed, with hole oyle, 
making a crosse, saying thise words, In nomine Patris et Filii 
et Spiritus sancti, amen, prosit tibi hec unctio ; secondly, with 
the same oile in her brest, with the same words and maner 
folowingly, the Cardinall shall say this orison, Omnipotens 
sempiterne Deus, which ended the said grete lady shall close 
her brest." 

The mediaeval rite of royal nnction is peculiar in anoint- 
ing the head, breast, and arms, denoting glory, sanctity, and 

The chrism (such as was used in baptisms, confirmations, 
and consecrations) was an unguent of oil mingled with balm, 
which was prepared at a particular season, and always conse- 
crated by a bishop, by whom only it could be used, except in 
case of necessity, in the rites of baptism. This, says Taylor, 
was the chrism of our coronations, such as was used in the 
unction of Edward VI., and in that of Mary. The latter 
monarch would not be anointed, it is said, with the same 
chrism that had been consecrated on the previous occasion by 
the ministers of the reformed religion, but the sacred unction 
was sent from Brussels by the Emperor Charles V., at her 

A legendary interest is attached to the consecrated oil 
used at the corcmation of our earlier monarchs. It is stated 
that Thomas a Becket was in banishment at Lyons, and was 
praying one night in a church, when the Virgin appeared to 
him with a golden eagle and a small vial of stone or glass, 
which she delivered to the archbishop, assuring him of the 
happiest effects on those kings who should be anointed with 
it, and commanded him to deliver it to a monk of Poitiers, 
who w^oald conceal it in a large stone in the church of St. 
Gregory. In this place the ampulla with the eagle, and an 
account of the vision written by St. Thomas, were preserved 
until the reign of Edward III., when they were discovered in 
consequence of a dream by a holy man, who brought the 
sacred vessel to the Duke of Lancaster, and by him it was 
delivered to the Black Prince, who sent it to the Tower, where 
it was kept iu a strong chest. Here it was found by Richard 


II., who wished to be anointed with it; but he was told it was 
enough for him to have received the holy unction, and that it 
ought not to be repeated ; nor was it used until the accession 
of Henry IV., who was anointed with it at his coronation in 

One of the accusations against Richard II. was, says 
Walsingham, " that he had carried with him towards Ireland, 
without the consent of the states of the kingdom, the treasures, 
relics, and jewels of the Crown." The holy oil of anointing 
used at coronations, he kept about him during the remainder 
of his difficulties, till it was " wrested from him at Chester by 
the Duke, who entertained, or affected to entertain, the same 
superstitious value for it." 

A still greater legendary interest, in point of antiquity, is 
attached to the Sainte Ampoule, which occupied a very pro- 
minent position in French coronations from the ninth century 
to the consecration of Charles X. in 1824. Hincmar, Arch- 
bishop of Rheims in the ninth century, relates, in his " Life of 
St. Remi," that the vial containing the celestial unction was 
brought from heaven by a white dove for the coronation of 
King Clovis. " And, behold," says the legend, " a dove fairer 
than snow, suddenly brought down a vial in his mouth, full 
of holy oil. All present were delighted with the fragrance of 
it, and when the Archbishop received it, the dove vanished." * 

Solemn ceremonies attended the removal of the holy vial 
to Notre Dame de Rheims from the abbey of St. Remi, where 
it was preserved within the founder's tomb. Before the relic 

* " Guillermtis Brifco," observes Selden, in his " Titles of Honour," 
Bpeaking of the coronation of Philip I., " describes the consecrating oil as 
having been derived from heaven. ' And for the manner how it came, 
he says that the Devil broke the viol of oil which St. Remigius held in 
his hand ready to use it in the baptism of King Clovis, and that the oil 
being so spilt, he obtained by prayer a supply from heaven. ' " 

In Flodoard, who wrote in the first half of the tenth century, we find 
the legend fully developed. He tells us that at the baptism of Clovis the 
clerk who bore the chrism was prevented by the crowd from reaching his 
proper station ; and that when the moment of unction arrived, St. Remi 
raised his eyes to heaven and prayed, when " ecce subito columba ceu 
nix advolat Candida rostro deferens ampullam ccelestis doni chrismate 

But, alas ! for poetry and legend, the miracle of the Sancta Ampulla, 
it must be added, was not heard of till four hundred years after the date 
of the supposed event, and then in connection with the baptism and 
confirmation of Clovis ! 


was removed, hostages, consisting of fonr noblemen, selected 
by the king, were sent to the abbey as a guarantee of its safe 
restoration, and a guard of honour, consisting of fifty in- 
habitants of Chene-le-Pouilleux (a town six leagues from 
Rheims), who claimed this privilege from time immemorial, 
was appointed to watch over it during its transfer. Upon 
these occasions it was transported in a richly chased reliquary 
in the form of a dove suspended to the neck of the grand 
prior (by a silver chain), who rode on a beautiful white 
palfrey, which, with its embroidered trappings and the costly 
canopy borne over the prior's head, were gifts from the 
ki :g to the chapter of St. Remi. First in the procession 
appeared a long train of priests, monks, and choristers ; then 
came a deputy master of the ceremonies, and a field officer of 
the king's guards, attired in rich mantles ; the grand prior 
followed, with the Sainte Ampoule, the four poles of the 
canopy over him being borne by the knights barons of the 
Sainte Ampoule. The guard of honour and military closed the 
procession, which, upon reaching the door of the metropolitan 
church, was met by the archbishop and clergy. 

The prior, having dismounted, requested the archbishop to 
engage, on oath, to restore the precious I'elic, and the latter 
having given the required assurance, " on the faith of a pre- 
late," the former delivered the Sainte Ampoule into his hands, 
and it was then placed on the altar. In the ceremony of 
anointing, the archbishop, having dipped the tip of his right 
thumb in the ointment, proceeded to apply it to the king — 
first, on the summit of the head ; secondly, on the breast ; 
thirdly, on the back ; then on the right and left shoulder, and 
on the joints of the right and left arm. Two officiating 
bishops opened the king's camisole at the appointed places, 
whilst the archbishop crossed himself, and accompanied each 
unction with the following words : — " I anoint thee king with 
the holy oil, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the 
Holy Ghost." 

The ceremony of the first seven nnctions being completed, 
the bishops closed the openings in the royal camisole with 
the gold laces attached to them, and the grand chamberlain 
placed the tunic and dalmatic — which the kings of France 
assumed as lay canons — and royal mantle on the king, who 
again knelt down and was anointed twice more on the 

The anointing in nine places was a later development of 


the rite of unction. When Charles the Bald was crowned by 
Hincmar (a.d. 869), the head alone was anointed, in three 
places — the right ear, the forehead round to the left ear, and 
the crown on the head. 

Monstrelet mentions that in 1483 Louis XI. determined, 
in consequence of his illness, to have the holy ampulla 
brought to him from Rheims, Monfaucon, Governor of 
Auvergne, was specially commissioned for this purpose. It 
was brought to Paris, and was carried with much reverence 
in a solemn procession, and afterwards conveyed to the king 
at Plessis-le-Parc. It was accompanied by the rods of Moses 
and Aaron, and the cross of victory, which had been sent to 
Charlemagne that he might vanquish the infidels. 

In Menestrier's " Histoire du Roy Louis le Grrand," on the 
reverse of a medal of Louis XIV., above the view of the city 
of Rheims, is a dove descending, holding a flask in its beak, 
and surrounded by rays of light. The explanation given is 
(" Sacrat. ac. salut. Rhemis."), " Sacre et salue a Rheims le 
7 Juin 1654. — le revers est la Sainte Ampoule qui descend du 
ciel, avec la ville de Rheims, oil se fit le Sacre, et ou il fut 
salue Roy par les princes, etc." The vial called the Sainte 
Ampoule was about an inch in diameter at the bottom, and 
not more than two inches high. It contained a balsam of a 
reddish-brown colour, and used to be enclosed in a shrine of 
gold, surrounded with precious stones, and kept in a bag of 
crimson velvet. At a coronation a small portion of congealed 
balsam was taken out by the Archbishop of Rheims with a 
golden pin, and mixed with holy chrism, to which it gave a 
reddish colour. When the Revolution broke out the sacred 
vial was taken from the tomb of St. Rrcmigius and concealed ; 
but Philip Ruhl, a deputy of the Convention, had it brought 
forth, on October 6, 1793, into the public square at Rheims, and 
broke the vial to pieces with a hammer. The officer, how- 
ever, who brought the vial is said to have dipped a needle 
into it, and thus obtained a small portion of its contents ; and 
some persons who stood near, particularly a M. L. Champagne 
Prevoteau, picked up and preserved some fragments of the 
glass, with some of the holy balsam adhering to them. On May 
22, previous to the coronation of Charles X., which took place 
May 29, 1825, the Archbishop of Rheims took the depositions 
of those persons who had preserved any portions of the Sainte 
Ampoule, and collected the remains of the balsam which 
adhered to the fragments. These were deposited in a new 


vial, and from this the archbishop took a little to mix with 
the holy chrism with which he anointed King Charles X. The 
new vial was deposited, like the former, in the tomb of St. 

France can boast of a double legend in connection with the 
Sainte Ampoule — that of St. Martin of Marmoutier-les-Tours — 
with which Henry IV. was consecrated. A celestial origin is 
ascribed to it, according to which St. Martin, having fallen 
from a ladder, was so injured that his life was despaired 
of. An angel appeared to him, carrying a small vial, full of 
fragrant oil, with which he anointed his wounds, and he was 
immediately relieved. This legend is related in the life of the 
saint by St. Paulin.* 

At the coronation of Henry IV., the precious oil was con- 
veyed in a chariot made for the purpose, amidst great pomp. 
A white horse was sent for the sacristan of the abbey of 
Marmoutier, who carried the sacred vial under a damask 

The emperors of Austria, being Catholics, are crowned 
according to the order of coronation in the Roman pontifical, 
which prescribes anointing with the Oleum Catechumentorum, 
— the right arm at the wrist, at the elbow, and between the 
shoulders. Charlemagne, when crowned in Rome as Emperor 
of the West by Pope Leo. I., was anointed with oil from, head 
to foot ; but this was exceptional. According to Goar (quoted 
by Selden),the emperors of the East were not anointed "before 
that Charles the Great was crowned in the West." 

The anointing of the Russian emperors is the most essential 
distinction between the ceremonials of that country and' other 
European coronations. There the coronation takes prece- 
dence of the anointing ; whereas in Germany and England, 
and during the monarchy of France, the sovereigns are, and 
were, first anointed and then crowned. The metropolitan 

* Among the relics of the treasury of the cathedral of Monza in 
Italy, is an ampulla for sacred oil said to have been presented by 
Gregory the Great to Theodelinda, wife of Antharis, King of Lombardy, 
probably some time soon after a.d. 590. It is circular, and the head of 
our Lord, with a cruciform nimbus, is placed at the top. Below, to right 
and left, are tlio two thieves with extended arms, but without crosses; 
and below them two figures are kr .-eling by a crosS which seems to be 
budding into leaves. Two saint"^., or angels, are on the extreme right 
and left, and the usual holy sepulchre below, with an angel watching it 
on the right in the act of Vcnediction, while St. John and St. Mary 
Magdalene are (apparently'', approaching it on the other side. 


immerses a golden branch into the vessel containing the 
chrism, and with it anoints the emperor's forehead, eyelids, 
nostrils, ears, and lips, and the backs and palms of his hands, 
saying, " This is a token of the gift of the Holy Ghost." 
The empress receives the nnction only on the forehead. 





*"Tis thought the king is dead; "sve ■will not stay. 
The bay -trees in our country are all withered, 
And meteors fright the fixed stars of heaven ; 
The pale-faced moon looks bloody on the earth, 
And lean-looked prophets whisper fearful change ; 
Rich men look sad, and ruffians dance and leap, 
(The one in fear to lose what they enjoy, 
The other to enjoy by rage and war) : 
These signs forerun the death or fall of kings." 

Shakspeee, Richard II., Act ii. Sc. 4. 

MEN is a word representing a 
sign, good or bad, as a pro- 
gnostic. It may be defined as 
that indication of sometbing 
future which we get, as it 
were, by accident, and without 
our seeking for. In this sense 
I have now to enter upon the 
present chapter, as regards 
the coronations of the sove- 
reigns of our country. By our 
forefathers, the least untoward 
incident or event on these 
solemn occasions was magnified by superstitious tendencies 
into a forecast of the future ; and although, ha]ipily, we are 
released at the present day from the heaviest trammels of a 
diseased imagination, yet a lingeriug feeling of the old leaven 
exists, and will probably remain, until education and refine- 
ment eradicate these remnants of weakness and folly.* 

* Referring to omous at a groat national crisis, a writer in the 
Times (September 22, 1863) says, "Every throb in the political 
ground is acutely felt, every tremor in the air is caught by the ear 


It is curious to observe tlie strength, and vitality of super- 
stition in the Middle Ages, and in regard to the august cere- 
mony of the consecration of sovereigns, the slightest circum- 
stance of remissness or accident furnished matter for pro- 
gnostics, good or evil, the latter, of course, predominating. 

An untoward event is said to have disturbed the coro- 
nation festivities of Edwy, or King Edwin the Fair, son of 
King Edmund, in 955. An extraordinary outrage was prac- 
tised upon the person of this sovereign, giving rise to a 
prognostic that the power of the Church would predominate 
over the monarchy. It seems that King Edwin had retired 
from the coronation banquet to enjoy the society of his wife, 
to whom he was related in the prohilaited degree. The guests 
at the feast were displeased at his absence, and incited by the 
provocative words of Archbishop Odo, who had just crowned 
the monarch, deputed the famous Dunstan and Cynesius, 
Bishop of Lichfield, to recall the king to his place at the 
table. The commission was performed with an amount of 
brutality which can only be ascribed to the licence of the age. 
Ethelgiva was in the royal chamber with King Edwin and 
her daughter, when the two priests entered rudely and unan- 
nounced. The king was in a gay mood, and had taken off 
his crown, which he had placed on the ground, and probably 
thought irksome, because he had not been able to share it 
with the woman he loved. He refused to go, and Dunstan 
dragged him rudely from his seat, and forced the crown again 
upon his head. Ethelgiva upbraided the abbot for his inso- 
lence, who retorted with violence. The young king, however, 
recovered his dignity, and one of his first acts was to deprive 
Dunstan of all the ofiices he held, and to sentence him to 
banishment. Retaliation, however, ensued, and the miserable 
fate of Ethelgiva is well known. 

The coronation of King Ethelred, in 979, was clouded 
by the ominous denunciations of Dunstan against the 
monarch, for wearing a crown bought with the price of 
blood (the murder of Edward by Edgar's first wife, but 
of which crime Ethelred, being very young at the period, 

instantly, and every motion on the surface of things is observed with 
anxiety ; it is made an ornen on one side or the other, it speaks to the 
whole nation, it prophesies an issue. The air of a troubled state 
becomes soon thick with signs and prognostics, and everybody becomes 
an augur, a soothsayer, an interpreter of dreams, and every event is hailed 
as a bright, or a black one." 


was innocent).* Dunstan, on this occasion, moved as by a 
prophetic spirit, declared to the young monarch all the 
calamities to which the kingdom would be exposed in his 
reign : " Because thou hast aspired to the crown by the 
death of thy brother, whom thy mother hath murdered, 
therefore hear the word of the Lord. The sword shall not 
depart from thine house, but shall furiously rage all the days 
of thy life, killing thy seed, until such time as thy kingdom 
shall be given to a people whose customs and language the 
nation thou governest know not ; neither shall thy sin, the 
sin of thy mother, and the sins of those men who were par- 
takers of her counsels and executors of her wicked designs, 
be expiated, but by a long and most severe vengeance." 

Harold's assumption of the crown was inaugurated by an 
ominous incident : Edward the Confessor lay on his death- 
bed (January 5, 1066). It is traditionally stated that Harold 
and his kinsmen forced their way into the apartment of the 
dying monarch, and exhorted him to name a successor. " Ye 
know full well, my lords," said Edw^ard, "that I have 
bequeathed my kingdom to the Duke of Normandy, and are 
there not those here whose oaths have been given to secure 
his succession ? " Harold stepped nearer, and interrupted 
the king. He asked of Edward upon whom the crown 
should be bestowed. The king answered, " Harold, take it, 
if such be thy wish, but the gift will be thy ruin. Against 
the duke and his baronage, no power can avail thee." Harold 
replied " that he did not fear the Norman nor any other 
enemy." The dying king, wearied, turned himself upon the 
couch, and faintly intimated that the English nation might 
name a king, Harold or whom they liked, and then expired. 

The coronation of William the Conqueror was ominously 
marked by the absence (it is said by some writers) of Stigand, 
Archbishop of Canterbury, who, according to William of 
Newbury, " manfully refused to crown one who was covered 
with the blood of men, and the invader of others' rights." | 

* Ethelred had, on the contrary, tenderly loved his brother, and was 
inconsolable on hearing the news of his death, which so excited his 
mother p]lfrida, " that," relates Holinshed, " she furiously assaulted 
him with a huge wax taper, and beat the boy so severely that she had 
almost made an end of him also. So impressed upon the memory of 
Ethelred was this cruelty that he could not bear afterwards to have these 
candles lighted before him." 

t The biography of William tlio Conqueror from the first sailing of 
his fleet from Normandy to England, to the battle of Hastings, is 


At the moment when the crown was placed on the king's 
head, the Norman guards, mistaking the acclamations of the 
spectators for some tumult, fell upon the people outside, and 
began to set fire to the neighbouring houses, until the king 
showed himself to them in his state robes, when the fears of 
his followers were allayed, and the riots ceased. The spec- 
tators in the abbey, noticing the glare of the burning houses, 
fled from the church precipitately. William alone, with a few 

marked by superstitious incidents, to which, however, we must add that 
the duke rose superior to his followers. After being detained in the Dive 
by contrary winds, the invading fleet succeeded in reaching the harbour 
of St. Valery. Still it could not make sail, and so many obstacles 
occurred, in addition to the adverse elements, that the bravest began to 
doubt, and the duke was compelled to have recourse to his old expedient 
of reassuring the minds of the weak and wavering by a fresh appeal 
to their ignorance and superstition. He proclaimed a religious cere- 
mony, at which the entire armament was to attend, to invoke the aid of 
all their tutelary saints. The desired success followed. Some of his 
vessels had already been beaten back, others lost, and in this dilemma 
he was accosted by a holy man, who inquired why he looked so down- 
cast. " I want a fair wind," was the duke's reply. " Then why," 
answered the stranger, " do you not address your prayers to Saint 
Valery, and he will send you a fair wind and all you need." At this 
comfortable assurance the duke instantly ordered a public procession to 
take place in honour of the saint, accompanied by all his relics, and his 
body itself, which was conveyed from the adjacent abbey. 

On arriving at Pevensey (September 28, 1086), so great was the 
duke's impatience to effect a landing unopposed, that, advancing first, he 
leaped upon the shore, and his foot slipping, he fell ; but, observing his 
followers disconcerted at this bad augury, he grasped the earth with 
both hands, exclaiming, " By the splendour of the earth, I have seized 
England with both hands." 

A similar story to this is related by Froissart of Edward III. : " When 
the fleet of England were all safely arrived at La Hogue, the King 
leaped on shore first, but by accident he fell, and with such violence 
that the blood gushed out of his nose. The knights that were near him 
said, ' Dear sir, let us entreat you to return to your ship, ard not to think 
of landing to-day, for this is an unfortunate omen.' The King instantly 
replied, * For why ? I look upon it as very favourable, and a sign that 
the land is desirous of me.' " 

It is recorded of Julius Caesar that, on alighting from shipboard in 
Africa, his foot slipped, and he fell. He also averted the omen, and 
turned it to good account by exclaiming, " Africa, I hold thee fast ! " 

In arming for the battle at Hastings, Duke William called for his 
harness. His coat of mail was brought forth ; but in putting it on, by 
some accident, the forepart was turned hindmost. It was an evil omen 
to some of his followers ; but (said the duke) the sign was a good one, 
for as the hauberk had been turned about, so he who bore it would be 
turned from a duke into a king. 


priests, remained, and althougli lie is said to have " trembled 
violently," he refused to postpone the coronation, and, amidst 
a scene of confusion, the ceremony was proceeded with, 

" The deeds of wrong," remarks Dr. Freeman, " of that 
mid-winter day were not forgotten. Men saw in them an 
omen of what the rule of the Norman would be. There can 
be no doubt that they did much to set the minds of English- 
men against the new king and his government. And in truth 
the deeds of wrong of that day were, in every way, a presage 
of what the reign of William was to be." 

When Henry I. came to the throne, Becket was not yet 
Archbishop of Canterbury, That title was then in the 
keeping of Ralph of Escures, a bold divine who could 
insist upon a seemly bearing at church which he did not 
himself observe. Archbishop Ralph had the right to " fix 
the crowns " on the heads of the king and his queen Ade- 
licia, but the prelate was stricken with palsy, and Roger, 
Bishop of Salisbury, was appointed to actually crown the 
sovereign. Ralph knew nothing of this arrangement until 
he saw Roger take up the crown to place it on the king's 
brow, and then the palsied man stretched forth his shaking 
hands to arrest it from Roger, who was ill inclined to let it 
go. In the struggle they held it together, for a moment, 
above the king's head, but rage gave strength to the palsied 
Ralph, and he got the object for which they were struggling 
out of his rival's grasp. Overhaste nearly made shipwreck 
of the solemnity, for Ralph's shaking hand overturned the 
crown from Henry's head as soon as he had placed it there, 
and it would have fallen to the ground, but for the inter- 
ference of officials, who saved the august memorial from being 
marred by a gloomy omen. 

Stephen, a grandson of the Conqueror, was elected king 
on the death of his uncle Henry I., and was crowned on St. 
Stephen's Day. The superstitious spectators of the cere- 
monial regarded as an evil omen that, by some mistake, the 
benediction, or, according to some writers, the kiss of peace, 
was omitted in the performance of the sacrament. It was 
also remarked afterwards, that the Archbishop of Canterbury, . 
whose consent to Stephen's usurpation was directly opposed 
to his oath to Maud, died within the same year as that in which 
the coronation took place, and that the greatest personage who 
assisted at the ceremony perished miserably. It was noticed, 
also, that the host given at the Communion suddenly disap- 


peared. In the twelfth year of Stephen's reign, remarks 
William of Huntingdon, he wore his crown during Christ- 
mas at Lincoln, which no king, from some superstitious feel- 
ing, had before ventured to do.* 

In 1170 Henry II. adopted a measure not common in 
England — that of associating his eldest son in the royal 
dignity as a titular king. The prince was crowned in that 
year, at Westminster, by the Archbishop of York, the primate, 
Thomas a Becket, being in exile. This violation of the rights 
of the see of Canterbury led to the suspension of the offici- 
ating prelates, and contributed to the subsequent misfortunes 
of the king. Even at the coronation feast the arrogant spirit 
of the young prince appeared, in his answer to those who 
complimented him when his royal father waited upon him at 
the table. "It was," he said, ironically, "such great con- 
descension for the son of an earl to wait npon the son of a 
king.''' f 

The coronation of Richard I. was ominously and dis- 
gracefully tarnished by the massacre of the Jews on that 
occasion. The circumstance is quaintly related by Hichard 
of Devizes : "' Now in the year of our Lord's incarnation 1189 
Richard the son of King Henry the Second, by Eleanor, — 
brother of Henry the Third, was consecrated King of the 

* Prodigies and omens of every kind were rampant at this period. 
At Wallingford, when Henry, Duke of Normandy, and Stephen were 
contesting for the crown, an accidental circumstance prevented the 
deadly effusion of kindred blood from staining the snows of the wintry 
plain of Egilaw. " That day," says Matthew Paris, " Stephen's horse 
reared furiously thrice, as he advanced to the front to array his battle, 
and thrice fell with his fore-feet flat to the earth, and threw his royal 
rider. The nobles exclaimed it was a portent of evil, and the men 
murmnred among themselves." Advantage was taken of this pause by 
William de Albini to address the king on the horrors of civil war, and 
to urge an amicable arrangement with Henry Plantagenet. 

t As a reverse to this unfilial conduct, we read, in Sir Walter Scott's 
"Letter on the Coronation Banquet of George IV.," "The duties of 
service at the banquet and of attendance in general were performed by 
pages, dressed very elegantly in Henri Quatre coats of scarlet, etc. There 
were also Marshal's-men for keeping order. Both departments were 
filled up almost entirely by young gentlemen, many of them of the very 
first condition, who took these menial characters to gain admission to 
the show. When I saw many of my young acquaintance thus attending 
upon their fathers and kinsmen, the peers, knights, and so forth, I could 
not help thinking of Crabbe's lines, with a little alteration — 

" ' 'Twas schooling pride to see the menial wait, 
Smile on his father, and receive his plate.' " 


English, by Baldwin, Archbishop of Canterbury, at Westmin- 
ster, on the third of the nones of September [3rd September]. 
On the very day of the coronation, about that solemn hoar in 
which the Son was immolated to the Father, a Sacrifice of 
the Jews to their father, the Devil, was commenced in the 
city of London, and so long was the duration of this famous 
mystery, that the holocaust could scarcely be accomplished 
the ensuing day. The other cities and towns of the kingdom 
emulated the faith of the Londoners, and with a like devotion 
despatched their blood-suckers [the Jews] with blood to 

Besides the evil presage derived from the massacre of the 
Jews, much alarm was caused during the coronation cere- 
monial, says Richard of Devizes, by the appearance of a bat 
" in the middle of the bright part of the day, fluttering about 
the church, inconveniently circling in the same tracks, 
especially around the king's throne." 

Another evil augury was the peal of bells, rung without 
any agreement or knowledge of the ministers of the abbey ; 
" of such portentous omen as then was hardly allowable to 
be related even in a whisper. At Complin, the last hour 
of the day, the first peal happened to be rung, neither by 
any agreement, nor even by the ministers of the church 
themselves being aware of it, until after it was done, for 
prime, tierce, sext, nones, and the solemn service of vespers, 
and two masses were celebrated without any ringing of 
peals." Astrologers also noticed that it was an Egyptian 

It was significant, however, of the self-reliance and de- 
termination of the lion-hearted monarch to uphold his power, 
when he took the crown from the altar on the day of con- 

* A Saxon manuscript among the Cottonian MSS. in the British 
Museiim (Vitell. C. viii. fo. 20) gives the following account of these 
unlucky days : — " Three days there arc in the year, which we call Egyptian 
days ; that is in our language, dangerous days, on any occasion whatever, 
to the blood of man or beast. In the month which wo call April, the 
last Monday ; and then is tlie second at the coining in of the month we 
call August; then is the third, which is the first monday of the going 
out of the month of December {i.e. the last fifteen days of any month). 
He who on any of these three days reduces blood, bo it of man, be it of 
beast, this we have heard say, that speedily in the first or seventh day, 
his life he will end. Or, if liis life bo longer, bo that he come not to the 
Boventh day, or if he drink some time in these throe days, ho will end 
his life ; and ho that tastes of gooso-ilesh within forty days' space his life 
he will end." 


secration to crown himself, signifying that he only held it 
from God ; after which the archbishop accomplished the 
other ceremonies. 

John was crowned on Ascension Day, the same fatal 
festival as astrologers predicted would close his reign. It 
was also remarked as an evil omen that the king hurried 
away without receiving the Holy Sacrament. At the religious 
ceremony which was to have hallowed his investiture as 
Duke of Normandy, he laughed most irreverently, from no 
other reason, however, than seeing his young lawless asso- 
ciates amusing themselves. He was so little master of him- 
self that, when as a part of the ceremony a spear was placed 
in his hand, he was so shaking with laughter that he let it 
fall. This circumstance was severely commented upon at the 
time, and it was remembered afterwards when John lost that 
ducal sovereignty of which the spear was the outward 

The name " John," which comes from lona^ a remote femi- 
nine root, has been reckoned unfortunate for the king's name 
both in England and in France. The reason of this does not 
appear to be anywhere stated. 

The sacred unction was not administered at the coronation 
of Henry III., nor was there an imposition of hands, lest the 
rights of the see of Canterbury to those sacred offices should 
be infringed. The king was crowned with a golden fillet or 
garland rather than a crown, owing to the loss of the regalia 
by King John when crossing the Wash, near Wisbeach 
(October 14, 1216). At the same time an edict was issued 
that for a month no person, male or female, should appear in 
public without a chaplet, in order to testify that the king was 
really crowned. 

As a picture of the times it is recorded that, at the coro- 
nation of the queen of Henry III., an incident occurred 
which marred the splendour of the royal banquet. Its pre- 
siding officer, the hereditary chief butler, Hugh de Albini, 
was absent, having been excommunicated by the Archbishop 

* Witli that union of superstition and profaneness so common in the 
religious belief of the Middle Ages, King John was anxious, after death, 
to elude the demons whom he had so faithfully served in life. For this 
purpose he not only gave orders to disguise his body in a monk's cowl' 
but to bury it between two saints. The royal cathedral of Worcester, 
which John had specially favoured in life, possessed two Saxon saints 
in close juxtaposition, and between these two (Wulfstan and Oswald) the 
wicked king was laid. 



of Canterbury for refusing to let the primate hunt in his 
Sussex forest ! 

The coronation of Edward I. was remarkable for several 
incidents of a peculiar character. Alexander, King of Scot- 
land, was present " to doe homage," says Holinshed, " to 
King Edward for the realm of Scotland, and," he adds, "at 
the solemnite of this coronation, there were let goe at libertie 
(catch them that catch might), five hundred great horses of 
the King of Scots, the Earles of Cornwall, Glocester, Pem- 
broke, Warren, and others, as they alighted from their 

The coronation of Edward II. was marked by an in- 
auspicious circumstance ; an omen of the evil fortunes which 
befell the unhappy king, in the fact of Piers Gaveston, the 
unworthy favourite, "carrying St. Edward's Crowne in that 
pompe," as to excite the indignation of the jealous barons 
who had reason to mistrust him. " None," says Speed, " was 
near to Piers in bravery of apparell, or delicacie of fashion." 
These, no doubt, were additional reasons for increasing the 
dislike to him. 

The selection of Woodcock, Bishop of Winchester, to 
crown the king and queen was also an evidence of the weak 
and unworthy character of the monarch, that prelate having 
conspired against his sovereign, Edward I. 

Gaveston had either taken on himself the whole manage- 
ment of the coronation ceremonial or made his arrangements 
with want of judgment ; but, as it was, from beginning to 
end it was a scene of confusion and disorder. It was three 
o'clock before the consecration of the king and queen was 
over, and the short wintry days protracted the banquet till 
dark. This lateness appears to have excited the w^rath of 
the hungry nobles more than any other of Gaveston's mis- 
deeds that day. The food also was badly cooked, and was 
ill served, with a total want of ceremony. The queen ex- 
perienced many slights, but whether intentional on the part 
of Gaveston or otherwise is not known; but Queon Isabella 
sent a letter to the King of France, her father, complaining 
bitterly of Gaveston. 

At this coronation, so great was the pressure of the crowd 
tViat a knight. Sir John Bakewell, was trodden to death. 

A noteworthy feature at the coronation of Edward III. 
was the hypocritical demeanour of the queen-mother, Isa- 
bella, who, although she had been the principal cause of her 


husband's deposition, affected to weep during the whole of 
the ceremony. 

At the coronation of Richakd II., which was remarkable 
for its profuse extravagance, the Bishop of Rochester in his 
sermon, as if with a prescience of Wat Tyler, uttered a 
warning against excessive taxation. After the ceremonial, 
on returning to his palace, the king was carried on the 
shoulders of knights, " being oppressed with fatigue and.long 
fasting." * Other omens were mentioned, and served to 
prognosticate that the splendours of the opening reign were 
destined, as in the case of Edward II., to be clouded at its 
end with sorrow. 

In the chapter on " Anointing " I have alluded to the 
ampulla containing the sacred oil, discovered in the Tower 
in the last year of his reign, having been carried to Ireland 
by Richard II. On his return he delivered it to the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury at Chester, who had refused to anoint 
him with it, on the plea that the regal unction could not 
be repeated, the king observing, as a melancholy presage, 
" that it was meant for some more fortunate king." 

At the coronation of Henry Y. a terrible thunderstorm 
occurred, which was supposed to predict the conflagration of 
Norwich, Gloucester, and other cities during the ensuing 
summer, the snow and rain during the winter, and the wars 
and tumults during the rest of the king's reign. 

A somewhat similar occurrence to that at the consecration 
of Richard II. is recorded at the coronation of another 
juvenile king, Henry Yl.f It was observed that, young as 

* In the coronation offices of different ages, mention is often made of 
the weariness of the king, caused, according to Maskell, by his obligation 
to receive the Communion fasting. It was therefore necessary to begin 
the ceremony early in the day. 

t " The Duke of Gloucester, his uncle, having been named Eegent of 
England by the late king, was allowed to assume the government under 
that title. At the end of a month from the death of Henry V. a council 
was held at Windsor, at which the^ baby monarch was present in his 
nurse's arms, and was supposed to preside. Longley, Lord Chancellor to 
the late king, put the great seal into the royal lap, and placed upon it 
the hands of the child, who was too young even to be amused with it 
as a toy " (Campbell's " Lives of the Lord Chancellors "). 

In April, 1425, at the opening of Parliament, the royal infant was 
carried on a great horse from the Tower of London through the City to 
Westminster. Having taken a peep at the palace, he was from thence 
conducted to the House of Lords, and sat on his mother's knee on the 
throne. '* It was a strange sight," says Speed, " and the first time it 


he was (nine years), "he sat on the platform beholding the 
people about him, sadly and wisely, as with a prescient glance 
at the evils before him." 

The coronation of Henry VI. was on the 6th of November, 
corresponding, as was fancifully thought, to the 6th of 
December, his birthday, and to the perfection of the number 
six in the sixth Henry. 

There was a difficulty in deciding the day for the corona- 
tion of Edward IV. It was to have taken place early in 
March, 1461. In consequence, however, of the siege of 
Carlisle, it was put off until the 28th of June in that year, 
the Sunday after midsummer. The coronation, however, was 
again deferred until the 29th, in consequence of the singular 
superstition which prevailed regarding the 28th of any month 
to be a repetition of Childermas Day — always considered 

It seems natural that inauspicious circumstances would 
mark the coronation of the brutal and usurping Richard III. 
It w^as remarked that Bourchier, Cardinal Archbishop of 
Canterbury, served the Holy Sacrament to the king and 
queen, and yet had pledged " his own body and soul " to the 
widowed queen, mother of the murdered infant Duke of York, 
when receiving him from sanctuary, scarcely three weeks 
before the coronation, not only for his " surety," but also for 
his estate. 

The monks of Westminster, we are told, " sung the Te 
Deum with a faint courage." 

The absence from the ceremony of Richard's heir, the 
youthful Earl of Salisbury, for whom no place had been 
apportioned, was also noticed. In Rymer we find a pro- 
clamation respecting the precautionary measures taken by 
Richard — distrusting the peaceable recognition of his claims 
to the throne — at his coronation. Amongst other matters, it 
was commanded that no man, under pain of imprisonment, 
should take any lodging in the city or suburbs of London, 
except by appointment of the king's harbingers. Buck, who 
wrote a panegyrical account of Richard's reign, relates that 
four thousand gentlemen of the north came up to assist at 
his coronation. Hall and Grafton say there were five thou- 
sand, but speak opprobriously of them, " as evil apparelled 

ever was Koon in England ; an infant sitting on his mother's lap, and 
before it could tell wliat Knglish irjcant, to exercise the place of sovereign 
direction in open parliament." 


and worse harnessed, which, when mustered, were the con- 
tempt of the beholders." Fabian, who Hved at the time, has 
left this account of them: " Kichard, not daring to trust the 
Londoners, for fear of the Qaeene's Blood, an othere of which 
he had jealousie, sent for a strength of men from the North. 
The which came shortly to London, a little before his corona- 
tion, and mustered in the Morefeelds, well upon four thousand 
men in their best jacks, and rusty salletts, with a few in 
white harnesse, but not burnished, to the Sale, and shortly 
after his coronation were counterman nded home with sufficient 
rewardes for their travaile." 

Bishop Burnet mentions that at the coronation of 
Edward YI., Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, left 
out the usual address to the people to ask them whether they 
chose Edward for their king. 

An incident at this coronation is peculiar, as showing the 
solemn recognition of the young monarch as the head of the 
Reformed Church. There was no sermon, but Archbishop 
Cranmer delivered an address, perhaps, says Dean Stanley, 
the boldest and most pregnant utterance ever delivered in the 
abbey : " The promises your Highness hath made here, at 
your Coronation, to forsake the devil and all his works, 
are not to he taken in the Bishop of Rome's sense, when you 
commit anything distasteful to that see, to hit your Majesty 
in the teeth, as Pope Paul the Third, late Bishop of Rome, 
sent to your royal father, saying, ' Didst thou not promise, 
at our permission of thy Coronation, to forsake the devil 
and all his works, and dost thou run to heresv ? For the 
breach of this thy promise, knowest thou not that it is 
in our power to dispose of thy sword and sceptre to whom 
we please ? • We, your Majesty's clergy, do humbly conceive 
that this promise reacheth not at your Highness's sword, 
spiritual or temporal, or in the least at your Highness 
swaying the sceptre of this your dominion, as you and your 
predecessors have had them from God. Neither could your 
ancestors lawfully resign up their crowns to the Bishop of 
Rome, or his legates, according to their ancient oaths then 
taken upon that ceremony. The Bishops of Canterbury, for 
the most part, have crowned your predecessors, and anointed 
them kings of this land ; yet it was not in their power to 
receive or reject them, neither did it give them authority to 
prescribe them conditions to take or to leave their crowns, 
although the Bishops of Rome would encroach upon your 


predecessors by their act and oil, that in the end they might 
possess those bishops with an interest to dispose of their 
crowns at their pleasure. But the wiser sort will look to their 
claws and clip them." 

In Strjpe's account of the coronation of Queen Mary in 
1553, he describes the jewels worn on the royal head-dress, 
during the procession, as so numerous and ponderous, that 
her Majesty was fain to bear up her head with her hand, an 
omen, probably considered, of the cares and troubles which 
beset her reign. At the enthroiiization, as an evil augury for 
Protestantism, it was noticed that the queen avoided being 
crowned in the same chair as that once occupied by her 
deceased brother, but sat in one which had been blessed by 
the Pope, and sent to her for that purpose. (This chair is 
now said to be in the cathedral of Winchester.) 

At the act of homage, which was performed by the pre- 
lates and nobles kissing the queen's left cheek, it was observed 
that " every one of them held both their hands together, in 
manner of lamenting^ 

The queen had been alarmed lest Henry IV. 's holy oil 
should have lost its efficacy through the interdict, and, 
accordingly, a fresh supply was sent through the imperial 
ambassador, blessed by the Bishop of Arras. 

The coronation day of Queen Elizabeth was fixed in 
deference to her astrologer, the famous charlatan. Dr. Dee, 
who pronounced it a day of " good luck." It was long 
observed as an anniversary at Westminster Abbey.* 

* Henry IV. of France, contemporary with Queen Elizabeth, had a 
similar superstition with regard to lucky or sinister days. He put off 
the coronation of his queen as long as he could, owing to a prediction 
that he would not survive the event one day. Sully, the great states- 
man, was quite as credulous in this respect as his royal master. The 
coronation took place May 13, 1610, and on the next day Henry was 
pierced to the heart by the maniac regicide llavaillac. A few nights 
before this fatal event, his queen dreamed that all the jewels in her 
crown were changed into pearls, and she was told that pearls were 
significant of tears. 

At the coronation of Henry III., King of France, at Rheims, in 1575, 
when the crown was placed on his head, he exclaimed that it hurt him, 
and it looked as if it would fall from his head — " co qui fut remarque et 
interprete h. mauvais presage." The same monarch, assassinated by 
Jacques Clement, in 1589, three days before that event had a dream, in 
which he saw all the royal ornaments of the coronation, the large and 
small crown, the sceptre, and the hand of justice, the gold spurs and 
sword, all covered with blood, and trodden under feet by monks and the 


Some incidents are mentioned in connection with, this 
coronation — that of the refusal of the bishops, excepting one, 
Oglethorpe, to assist at the ceremony. The coronation mass 
was celebrated, and the Abbot of Westminster took his part 
in the service for the last time. The queen observed to her 
maids after the unction, that the anointing oil was " grease, 
and smelt ill ;" but, notwithstanding the e:fforts of the papists 
to draw evil omens of the queen's reign, her coronation 
went off brilliantly, and she attained the height of royal 

The coronation of James I. was remarkable as being the 
first celebrated by the Anglican Reformed Church. When 
the king was seated on the " stone of Scone," the first king 
of Great Britain, the Scots believed the ancient prediction to 
have been at last fulfilled. The queen, Anne, refused to 
take the sacrament, saying " she had changed her religion 
once before " for the Presbyterian forms of Scotland, and 
that was enough. The weather at the coronation was un- 
usually stormy, and the plague raged so violently that the 
people were forbidden to go to Westminster to see the shows 
and pageants. 

Perhaps no coronation has occurred from which so many 
prognostics of evil were derived as that of Charles L, whose 
unfortunate career afforded ample opportunities for super- 
stitious conclusions. Sir Simonds d'Ewes records in his 
autobiography that, in company with Sir Robert Cotton, he 
went on the day of the coronation to see the arrival of the 
royal barge in which the king proceeded to the palace. A 
landing-place had been prepared, the steps being covered 
with carpets, but the barge passed on unaccountably to the 
stairs belonging to the backyard of the palace, where the 
landing was dirty and inconvenient ; the barge, dashing into 
the ground, stuck fast a little before it reached the causeway. 
" This was taken to be an evil and ominous presage." 

It is said that Sir Edward Zouch, when proclaiming the 
king at the " court-gate "at Theobald's, instead of "indubi- 
table," said " dubitable heir to the throne." 

people. He was so terrified that he gave orders to the sacristan of 
. St. Denis, where the regalia was kept, to look after it. 

Among the numerous devices made for Mary, Queen of Scots, was 
one which prognosticated her misfortune. This was three crowns, two 
opposite, and one above in the sky; the motto "aliamque moratnr " (And 
awaits another), implying that the Queen of France and Scotland awaited 
a crown celestial in the heavens. 


The coronation ceremony had been deferred to the ■2nd 
of February on account of the plague, and the procession 
from the Tower was omitted for the same reason. The 
king chose to be clothed in wliite^ rather than purple,, as his 
predecessors usually were, and this was regarded, when he 
was afterwards led out as a victim, as having drawn upon 
him the misfortunes, predicted in ancient days, for the 
" white " king.* When Laud presented the king to the 

* In "A Prophecy of the White King and Dreadf ull Dead-man 
explaned," etc., by William Lilly, Student in Astrology (1614), we find, in 
relation to Charles I., " The occasion of the Prophets calling him White 
King was thi^, the Kings of England antiently did weare the day of their 
Coronation purple clothes, being colour onely fit for Kings, bothe Queen 
Elizaheth, King James, and all their Ancestors did weare that colour the 
day of their Coronation, as any may perceive by the Recordes of the 
Wardrobe ; contrary unto this custome, and led unto it by the indirect 
and fatall advise of William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury, hee was 
perswaded to apparoU himself the day of his Coronation in a White 
Garment ; there were some dehorted him from wearing the white 
apparell, but hee obstinately refused their Counsell. Canterbury would 
have it as an apparell representing the King's innocency, or I know not 
what other superstitious devise of his. And of this there is no question 
to bee made, myselfe though not occnlarly seeing him that day, yet have 
had it related verbally by above twenty whose eyes beheld it, one or two 
were workmen that cai-ried his Majestic apparell that day, so that I 
challenge al the men upon earth living to deuy his wearing White 
apparell that day of his Coronation," etc. 

" It is a very old idea," remarks Jennings in his " Rosicrucians," 
"derived from the highest antiquity, that the colour 'white' — which, 
considered in the mystic and occult sense, is feminine in its origin — is 
fateful in its effects sometimes ; and that as a particular instance of its 
unfortunate character, it is an unlucky colour for the royal throne of 
England — at all events, for the king or queen of England personally — 
singular as the notion would appear to be. We are not aware whether 
this unfortunate effect of the ominous colour xchite is suppovsed to extend 
to the nation generally. It is limitcfl, we believe, to the prince or 
sovereign of England, and to his immediate belongings. 

"The origin of the dangerous colour of v:hite to England is unknown, 
but it is imagined to be at least as old as the time of Merlin. Thomas do 
Quincey, who takes notice of the prophecy of the ' While King,' says of 
Charles the First that the foreboding of the misfortunes of this ^ white 
King' were 8U])posed to have been fulfilled in his instance, because he 
was by accident clothed in white at his coronation; it being remembered 
afterwards that white was the ancient colour for a victim. This, in 
itself, was sufliciently formidable as an omen. Do Quincey's particular 
expressions are, ' That when King Charles the First came to bo crowned, 
it was found, that, by some oversight, all tho store in JiOiulon was insuf. 
ficient to furnish the purple velvet necessary for tho robes of the king, 
and for tho furniture of the throne. It was too late to send to Genoa 


people, he said in an audible voice, " My masters and friends, 
I am here come to present unto you your king, King 
Charles, to whom the crown of his ancestors and predeces- 
sors is DOW devolved by lineal right ; and therefore I desire 
you, by your general acclamation, to testify your consent 
and willingness thereunto." Strange and unaccountable as 
it seems, not a voice nor a cheer answered; there was a 
death-like silence. At length the earl marshal told the 
spectators they should cry, " God save King Charles ! " and 
they then did so. 

An omen of the Civil Wars was deduced from an accident 
to the sceptre with the dove : " The left wing of the dove, 
the mark of the Confessor's halcyon days, was broken on the 
sceptre staff — by what casualty God Himself knows. The 
king sent for Mr. Acton, then his goldsmith, commanding 
him that the ring-stone should be set in again. The gold- 
smith replied that it was impossible to be done so fairly but 
that some mark would remain thereof. The king in some 
passion said, ' If you will not do it another shall.' There- 
upon Mr. Acton returned, and got another dove of gold to 
be artificially set in ; whereat his Majesty was well con- 
tented, as making no discovery thereof." 

An unlucky text is numbered among the omens which 
coincided with the doom of the unhappy monarch. The 
preacher of the sermon was Senhouse, Bishop of Carlisle, 
who chose for his subject, " I will give thee a crown of life." 
"This," says Echard, "was rather thought to put the new 
king in mind of his death than his duty in government, and 

for a supply, and through this accidental deficiency it happened that the 
King was attired in white velvet at the solemnity of his coronation, and 
not in red or purple robes, as consisted with the proper usage.' . . . 
The consummation in the fatalities of the colour ivhiteto English royalty, 
seemed to be in the execution of King Charles the First, who was brought 
out to suffer before his own palace of ' Whitehall,' where, again, we find 
* white ' introduced in connection with royalty and tragical events." 

Herbert, in his account of the funeral of Charles I. in Wood's 
*' Athenae," remarks, " It was observed that at such time as the King's 
body was brought out from St. George's Hall, the sky was serene and 
clear, but presently it began to snow, and the snow fell so fast, that by 
the time the corpse came to the west end of the royal chapel, the black 
velvet pall was all white (the colour of innocency), being thick covered 
over with snow. Thus went the White King to his grave." 

At the trial of the Earl of Strafford, at which Charles was present, in 
Westminster Hall, Lilly, the astrologer, who was also there, saw the 
silver top fall from the king's staff. 


to have been his funeral sermon when alive, as if he was to 
have none when he was buried." During the solemnity an 
earthquake was felt. 

It is also said that the unction, in order that it raif^-ht not 
be seen, was performed behind a traverse by Archbishop 
Abbot ; " which I doubted hee should not," remarks Sir 
Simonds d'Evves in a letter to Sir Martin Stuteville on the 
king's coronation, " by reason of suspicion of irregularitie 
upon the unfortunate killing of a man." The prelate had 
shot a gamekeeper by accident. 

A charge of altering the coronation oath was afterwards 
one of the articles of impeachment against Archbishop Laud, 
to which I have referred in the chapter on the "Coronation 

The queen's absence at the ceremonial in the abbey, and 
refusal to be crowned, on account of her religious opinions, 
was also commented upon. Meade says, " She took a place at 
the palace-gate, where she might behold the procession going 
and returning, her ladies frisking and dancing in the room." 
The queen's absence from the coronation caused, likewise, 
the absence of the French ambassador, the Count de Blain- 

The king's coronation at Holyrood House, three days 
after his arrival in Scotland, was marked by evil prognostics. 
" Dr. Lindsay, Bishop of Brechin," says Row, " taught a 
sermon wherein he had some good exhortations to his Majesty, 
for the well of this kirk and kingdom, but uttered in so 
general and ambiguous a way, that they might have been 
applied divers ways." It was remarked that there was " ane 
four-nooked tafle [table], in manner of an altar, standing 
within the kirk, having standing thereupon two books, at 
least resembling clasped books, called ' blind books,' with 
two chandlers [candelabra], and two wax candles, whilk were 
unlight, and ane bason wherein there was nothing ; at the 
back of this altar, (covered with tapestry,) there was ane rich 
tapestry, wherein the crucifix was curiously wrought ; and 
as thir bishops who were in service passed by this crucifix, 
they were seen to bow their knee and beck, which, with their 
habit, was noted, and bred great fear of inbringing of popery. 
The Archbishop of Glasgow, aud remanent of the bishops 
there present, who was not in service, changed not their 
habit, but v/are their black gowns, without rochets or white 
sleeves" (Spalding, tom. i. pp. 17, 18). "It was observed," 





says Mr. Laing (" History of Scotland," torn. iii. p. 110), " at 
the coronation that Laud (who had accompanied King Charles 
to Scotland) displaced the Archbishop of Glasgow with the 
most indecent violence from the king's side, because that 
moderate prelate scrupled to officiate in the embroidered 
habits prescribed for his order." 

" Could any one have foretold," remarks Robert Cham- 
bers (" Annals of Scotland," vol. i. p. ^1^, "that in the course 
of a series of circumstances flowing from these matters of 
dress and ceremonial, the youthful king now present in such 
grandeur would perish on a scaffold ? " * 

Even the coronation of Charles II., the " merry " monarch, 
the successor of the " sad " king, was not without its evil 
prognostics. Pepys, giving an account in his " Diary " of 
what he saw on that occasion, remarks, " Strange it is to 
think that these two days have held up fair, till now that all 
is done, and the king gone out of the Hall, and then it fell 
a-raining, and thundering, and lightening, as I have not 
seen it to do for some years, which people did take great 
notice of." 

Aubrey observes : " King Charles was crowned at the 
very conjunction of the sun and Mercury; Mercury being 
then in corde solis. As the king was at dinner at Westminster 
Hall, it thundered and lightened exceedingly. The cannons 
and the thunder played together." Baxter in his " Life," 
makes mention of the storm on Charles II.'s coronation day, 
with reference to a potent of earlier date : " There was very 
terrible thunders when none expected it, which made me 
remember his father's coronation, on which, being a boy at 
school, and having leave to play for the solemnity ; an earth- 
quake about two o'clock in the afternoon, did affright the 
boys and all the neighbourhood. I intend no commentary 
on them, but only to relate the matter of fact." 

The coronation of Charles II. was marked also by an 

• On the king's return to Edinburgh from Perth, ho crossed the 
Frith of B\)rth in fair weather; nevertheless a boat perished in his sight 
containing thirty-five of liis domestics, all of" whom, excepting two, 
were drowned. " His Majesty's silver plate and household stuff," says 
Spalding, " perished with the rest ; a pitiful sight, no doubt, to the king 
and the haill beholders . . . betokening great troubles to fall betwixt 
the king and his subjects, as after does appear." 

"I was told at Dunfermline," says Dr. Whittaker, "that when 
Charles 1st was in his cradle there, an Image (by which was meant an 
Angel) descended from lleaven, and covered him with a bloody mantle." 


unseemly quarrel between the royal footmen and the barons 
of the Cinque Ports for the possession of the canopy which 
was borne by the latter over the king's head. The alterca- 
tion attracted his Majesty's notice, and one of the equerries 
was despatched, by his command, for the footmen to be 
imprisoned and dismissed from his service. 

There were also quarrels as to precedency ; the Earls of 
Northumberland and Ossory had words as to the right of 
carrying the insignia, as they sat at table in the hall. 

Dr. Hickes, in a letter to Dr. Charlett, Master of Uni- 
versity College, Oxford, dated January 23, VI \\^ and pre- 
served in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, mentions the omens 
that happened at the coronation of James II., " which I saw, 
viz. the tottering of the crown upon his head ; the broken 
canopy over it; and the rent flag hanging upon the white 
Tower when I came home from the coronation. It was torn 
by the wind at the same time the signal was given to the 
Tower that he was crowned. I put no great stress upon these 
omens, but I cannot despise them ; most of them, I believe, 
come by chance, hut some from superior intellectual agents, 
especially those which regard the fate of kings and nations. ^^ 

Aubrey, also, in his " Remaines of Gentilisme," notices 
the tearing of the canopy at King James's coronation* in 
returning from the abbey ; adding, " 'Twas of cloth of gold 
(and my strength could not, I am confident, have rent it), 
and it was not a windy day." 

It was, curiously enough, Henry Sidney, brother of the 
great patriot Algernon Sidney, who prevented the tottering 
crown of King James from falling, saying as he did so, 
" This is not the first time, your Majesty, that my family 
have supported the crown ! " — an irony the more trenchant, 
inasmuch as he was at that very time engaged in a treason- 
able correspondence with the Prince of Orange for the purpose 
of undermining the throne of his unsuspecting sovereign. 
" It is well known," observes Miss Strickland, " that this 
trifling incident, which a little foresight on the part of King 
James might have prevented, was regarded by the super- 

* Of this unfortunate monarch, his brother, Charles, is said to have 
spoken prophetically to Sir Richard Balstrode : " I am weary of 
travelling, I am resolved to go abroad no more ; but when I am dead 
and gone, I know not what my brother will do : I am much afraid when 
he comes to the throne he will be ohl'ged to travel again" (" Supple- 
ment to Seward's Anecdotes "). 


stition of many present, as an evil omen. Few are aware 
that the circumstance was noted with dismay by the anxious 
queen of James, who was, of course, the most deeply interested 
person there. She mentioned it herself, many years after 
the Revolution, in these words : — ' There was a presage that 
struck us, and every one who observed it : they could not 
make the crown keep firm on the king's head ; it appeared 
always on the point of falling, and it required some care to 
hold it steady.' " 

Echard, in his " History of England," notices that on the 
day of the coronation the royal arms, beautifully stained in 
glass, fell, without any ascertainable cause, from the windows 
of one of the principal London churches. 

Other circumstances in connection with the coronation 
of James II. were considered ominous. " James," observes 
Macaulay, "had ordered Sancroft to abridge the ritual. The 
reason publicly assigned was that the day was too short for 
all that was to be done. But whoever examines the chancres 
that were made will see that the real object was to remove 
some things highly offensive to the religious feelings of a 
zealous Roman Catholic. The Communion Service was not 
read. The ceremony of presenting the sovereign with a 
richly bound copy of the English Bible, and exhorting him 
to prize, above all earthly treasures, a volume "which he had 
been taught to regard as adulterated with false doctrine, was 
omitted. What remained, however, after all this curtailment, 
might well have raised scruples in the mind of a man who 
sincerely believed the Church of England to be a heretical 
society, within the pale of which salvation was not to be 
found. The king made no oblation on the altar. He ap- 
peared to join in the petitions of the Litany which was chaunted 
by the bishops. He received from those false prophets the 
unction typical of a. divine influence, and knelt with the 
semblance of devotion while they called down upon him that 
Holy Spirit of which they were, in his estimation, the 
malignant and obdurate foes. Such are the inconsistencies 
of human nature that this man, who, from a fanatical zeal 
for his religion, threw away three kingdoms, yet chose to 
commit what was little short of an act of apostacy, rather 
than forego the cliildisli ])leasure of being invested with the 
gew-gaws symbolical of kingly power." * 

* Prymo, in his " Epliomcria Vita)," mcntiona the following anec- 
dote : — "When Cliampion Dimock let of his horse to kiss K[ingJ 


The procession at the coronation of William and Mart 
from Whitehall (1689) was delayed more than two hours, in 
consequence of the intelligence received that very morning- 
of the landing of James II. in Ireland.* There were many 
peculiarities, remarks Dean Stanley, in the spectacle. The 
short king and tall queen walked side by side, not as king 
and consort, but as joint sovereigns, with the sword between 
them. For the first time a second chair of state was pro- 
vided, which has since been habitually used by the queens- 
consort. Into this chair Mary was lifted, and, like her 
husband, girt with the sword and invested with the symbols 
of authority. The Princess Anne, who stood near, said, 
" Madam, I pity your fatigue." The queen turned sharply 
with the words, " A crown, sister, is not so heavy as it 

James II.'s hand, after that he had challenged any one that durst 
question the King's rights to the crown, as the custome is, the 
Champion in moving towards the King, fell down all his length in the 
hall, when as there was nothing in his way that could visibly cause 
the same ; whereupon the Queen sayde, ' See you, love, what a weak 
champion you have.' To which the K[ing] sayd nothing, but laught, 
and the Champion excused himself, pretending his armour was heavy, 
and that he himself was weak with sickness, which was false, for he 
was very well, and had had none.' " 

In Menin's brief notice of the anointing and coronation of the 
kings of England (inserted in his " Description of the Coronation of 
the Kings and Queens of France,", he remarks that *' if (at the coronation 
ceremonial) the king's champion, after making several rounds and 
flourishes with his horse, does so without falling, the English take it for 
a very good omen, for if the champion be dismounted, or the horse 
makes a trip, they reckon it an ill presage to that reign." 

* At the same moment Lord Nottingham delivered to Queen Mary 
the first letter her father had written to her since her accession. It 
was an awful one, and the time of its reception was awful. King James 
wrote to his daughter, " that hitherto, he had made all fatherly excuses 
for what had been done, and had wholly attributed her part in the 
revolution to obedience to her husband ; but the act of being crowned 
was in her own power, and if she were crowned while he and the 
Prince of Wales were living, the curse of an outraged father would light 
upon her, as well as of that God who has commanded duty to parents." 
Lord Nottingham declares that King William forthwith thought fit 
to enter into a vindication of himself from having, by harsh authority, 
enforced the course of conduct, which had brought on his wife her 
father's malediction, and he took the opportunity of declaring " that he 
had done nothing but by her advice and with her approbation." It was 
on this memorable occasion that the queen exclaimed, " that if her 
father regained his authority, her husband might thank himself for 
letting him go as he did." 


Bad omens were remarked bj the Jacobites, The day- 
was neither a Sunday nor a holiday. The king had no money 
for the offertory (his purse having been stolen from his side), 
and Lord Danby had to produce twenty guineas for the 
purpose. The champion's glove was reported to have been 
carried off by an old woman on crutches. Among other 
incidents,* the Commons were excluded at the banquet from 
any specific seats, which gave great offence. 

Amongst the gifts was the presentation of the Bible, 
revived from the coronation of Edward VI. and the instal- 
lation of Cromwell, and continued from that time. 

At the coronation of Queen Anne, she required the actual 
aid of sustaining hands to support her person in a standing 
position. Singularly, she was the only infirm person ever 
crowned monarch of England, either before or since, and yet 
she had only completed her thirty-seventh year. She had 
again lost the use of her feet from gout and corpulency. 

The queen fixed the day for the ceremonial on St. George's 
Day, the anniversary of that of her unfortunate father, de- 
claring, at the same time, that the very deep mourning was 
to cease after the coronation. Contrary to every precedent 
in British history, Prince George of Denmark, the consort of 
the queen, was excluded from all participation in her dignities. 
It is said that the " kiss of peace " was only given to the 
archbishops and the other prelates. 

The whole of the plate used at the coronation banquet in 
Westminster Hall, together with a vast quantity of pewter 
and valuable table linen, were carried off by thieves, a 
" licence " unsanctioned by royalty. 

In the final prayers at the coronation a blessing was 
invoked for the queen, Catharine the queen dowager, and 
the whole royal family. Catharine of Braganza was then 
reigning as queen-regent in her native country. It seems 
singular that she should be remembered in the prayers at the 
coronation, and that Queen Anne's Protestant consort should 

* " The most dismal weather in winter and summer," says Miss 
Strickland, " liad plagued the British empire, since the accession of 
William the Third, and greatly added to his unpopularity with * the 
honest, peaceable and obedient commonalty,' who laid the whole blame 
upon his Majesty ; insomuch, it is traditionary in the Highlands, ' that 
on the 8th of March, a cottager going out to trench his kail-yard, and 
seeing the first fine day he had beheld for twelve or fourteen years, 
threw down his spade, gave a Highland tling in the air, and au exclama- 
tion in Gaelic, " The wicked king is dead to a certainty." ' '' 


not be named in the first Protestant coronation that had 
occurred in this country of a queen acknowledged as entirely 
sovereign-regnant, which her sister and predecessor could 
scarcely be considered, unless at times when she was formally 
invested with the regency. 

Lady Cowper, in her " Diary," gives an amusing account 
of the feelings and deportment of the different parties at the 
coronation of George I. : " One may easily conclude that this 
was not a day of realizing to the Jacobites ; however, they 
were all looking as well as they could, but very peevish with 
everybody that spoke to them. My Lady Dorchester stood 
underneath me, and when the Archbishop went round the 
throne demanding the consent of the people, she turned about 
to me and said : ' Does the old fool think that anybody here 
will say 'No to his question, v^hen there are so many drawn 
swords ? ' There was no remedy but patience, so everybody 
was pleased, or pretended to be so." 

The coronation day was celebrated at Oxford by Jacobite 
degrees, and at Bristol by Jacobite riots. 

George I. was not acquainted with the English language, 
and very few of those near him knew anything of German ; 
the ceremonies attending his coronation had, therefore, to be 
explained to him through the medium of such Latin as those 
around him could muster. This circumstance gave rise to 
a jest, which was very popular for some time afterwards, 
to the effect that much had language had passed between the 
king and his ministers on the day of the coronation. It is 
said that thfe king at his coronation rudely repulsed Dean 
Atterbury's ceremonious offer of the canopy. 

At the coronation of George II. and Queen Caroline, the 
dean and prebendaries of Westminster brought the Bible 
and the regalia, but forgot the chalice and paten. 

Ominous signs, not unmingled, however, with favourable 
prescients, were not wanting at the coronation of even the 
1 " good " King George III. The ceremonial had wellnigh been 
• delayed by the sudden and unexpected strike of the workmen 
at Westminster Hall. It seems that these worthies had been 
I accustomed to receive gratuities from visitors, and, no doubt, 
imade a good harvest of their predatory custom. A com- 
promise was effected in the shape of an increase of wages, 
jso this difficulty was overcome. Other matters impeded 
the procession. The earl-marshal forgot some very indis- 
ijpensable items ; among others, the sword of state, the state 



banquet chairs for the king and queen, and the canopy. 
They were obliged to borrow the ceremonial sword of the 
Lord Mayor, and a hasty canopy was raised ; thus the pro- 
cession was delayed until noon. When the king complained 
of these omissions to the deputy earl-marshal, the Earl of 
Effingham, " It is true, sir," was his lordship's blundering 
reply, " that there has been some neglect, but I have taken 
care that the next coronation shall be regulated in the exactest 
manner possible." Instead of being offended at this remark, 
the king insisted upon his repeating it several times for his 

As the king was moving with the crown on his head, 
the great diamond in the upper portion of it fell to the 
ground, and was not found again without some trouble. 
This awakened some alarm in the superstitious : 

" When first, portentous, it was known 
Great George had jostled from his crown 

The brightest diamond there, 
The omen-mongers, one and all, 
Foretold some mischief must befall, 

Some loss beyond compare." 


" When Pitt reign' d, a nation's tears will own, 
Then fell the brightest jewel of the crown." 

This incident was, observes Banks, as if it were a presage, 
or figurative foreboding, of that loss which subsequently took 
place in the separation of the American colonies from the 
mother country. 

Gray, in his letter to Mason, writes: " I must tell you that 
the Barons of the Cinque Ports, who, by ancient right, should 
dine at a table on the haut-pas at the right hand of the 
sovereign, found that no provision at all had been made for 
them, and representing their case to Lord Talbot (Lord 
Steward of the Household), he said to them, ' Gentlemen, 
if you speak to me as High Steward, I must tell you that 
there was no room for you, but if as Lord Talbot, I am ready 
to give you satisfaction in any way you think fit.' They are, 

"■ " A similar awkward observation had," says Mr. Jesse in his 
"Memoirs of George the Third," "been formerly made by the beautiful 
Lady Coventry to George the Second : * The only sight,' she said, ' which 
she was eager to see was a coronation.' The king laughed heartily, 
and at isujipcr, repeated the story in good humour to the royal family." 


several of them, gentlemen of the best families, so this has 
bred ill-blood. In the next place, the city of London found 
they had no table neither, but Beckford bullied my Lord 
High Steward till he was forced to give them that intended 
for the knights of the Bath, and instead of it, they dined at 
the entertainment prepared for the great officers." 

Lord Talbot, so conspicuous on this august occasion, was 
the hero of a scene which excited the amusement of the by- 
standers, at the coronation banquet. It was part of his office 
to ride on horseback up to the dais, and having made his 
obeisance to the sovereign, to back his horse, in the manner 
of the champion, out of the hall. The animal persisted in. 
entering backwards, nor was it without much difficulty it was 
prevented advancing with its hind quarters turned towards 
their Majesties. This incident afterwards led to a duel with 
the famous John Wilkes, who had made some unpalatable 
jokes on the subject ; but, fortunately, the event did not turn 
out serious to either party. 

The most pleasing incident of the coronation, and which 
shows George III. to have been actuated by sincere religious 
feelings, was the fact of the king taking off his crown previous 
to the celebration of the Holy Sacrament. The king inquired 
of the Archbishop of Canterbury whether he should not lay 
aside his crown, before receiving the Communion. The arch- 
bishop asked the Dean of Westminster, but neither knew nor 
could say what was the usual form. The king took off the 
crown, saying, " There ought to be one." A similar wish was 
expressed by Queen Charlotte, but it was found that the 
little crown fastened on her head was so secured, to keep it 
from falling off, that this very appropriate wish could not be 
accomplished, and it was dispensed with. The king quieted 
his scruples by observing that it might be considered simply 
as a part of her dress, not as indicating any power or great- 
ness residing in a person humbly kneeling in the presence 
of God. 

Among other " good " omens that attended this coronation 
V was the remembrance of the circumstance that the king's 
I accession to the throne had taken place on the anniversary of 
-. the glorious battle of Agincourt. 

The concluding part of the coronation sermon (by the 
- Bishop of Salisbury) time has since shown to have been 
;'i almost a prophecy, alluding, as it did, to the length of years 
ji that the king wore the crown. 


The coronation of George IV., sumptuous as it was, as far 
as externals were concerned,* was marked by a singularly 
inauspicious event — the unsuccessful attempts of his re- 
pudiated consort to joint coronation with her royal husband. 
In the Courier newspaper of the day, there is an account of 
her Majesty's reception on the day of the coronation at the 
door of Westminster Abbey : — 

" Lord Hood (by whom the Queen was attended) having desired 
admission for her Majesty, the door-keepers drew across the entrance, 
and requested to see tlae tickets. 

" Lord Hood. I present you your Queen ; surely it is not necessary 
for her to have a ticket. 

" Door-lceeper. Our orders are to admit no person without a peer's 

" Lord Hood. This is your Queen ; she is entitled to admission without 
such a form. 

" The Queen, smiling, but still in some agitation. Yes, I am your Queen, 
will you admit me ? 

" Door-keeper. My orders are specific, and I feel myself bound to 
obey them. 

" The Queen laughed. 

"Lord Hood. I have a ticket. 

" Boor-keeper. Then, my Lord, we will let you pass upon producing it. 

" Lord Hood now drew from his pocket a peer's ticket for one person ; 
the name in whose favour it was drawn, was erased, and the name of 
* Wellington ' substituted. 

" Door-keeper. This will let one person pass, but no more. 

"Lord Hood (addressing the Queen). Will your Majesty go in 
alone ? 

" Her Majesty at first assented, but did not persevere. 

" Lord Hood. Am I to understand that you refuse her Majesty's 
admission ? 

" Door-keeper. We only act in conformity with our orders. 

" Her Majesty again laughed. 

" Lord Hood. Then you refuse the Queen admission ? 

" A door-keeper of the superior order tlien came forward, and was 
asked by Lord Hood whether any preparations had been made for her 
Majesty. He was answered respectfully in the negative. 

" Lord Hood, to the Queen. Will your Majesty enter the Abbey with- 

* "Never," says Dr. Doran, "did sovereign labour as George the 
Fourth to give i^clat to the whole ceremony. He passed days and nights 
with his familiar friends, discussing questions of dress, colours, fashions, 
and effects. His own costume was to him a subject of intense anxiety, 
and when his costly habits were com])leted, so desirous was he to witness 
their ettects, that according to the gossip of the day, his Majesty had 
one of his own servants attired in the royal garments, and the king 
contemplated with considerable satisfaction the sight of a menial pacing 
up and down the room in the monarch's garb." 


out your ladies ? this the Queen declined. Lord Hood then said that it 
was clear no provision had been made for the accommodation of her 
Majesty, and she had better retire to her carriage. 

*' Some persons within the porch of the Abbey laughed, and uttered 
some exclamations of disrespect. 

I " Lord Hood. We expected, at least, to have met with the conduct 
of gentlemen. Such conduct is neither manly or mannerly. 

" Her Majesty then retired, leaning on Lord Hood's arm, and 
followed by Lady Hood and Lady Hamilton. She was preceded by 
constables back to the platform, over which she returned, entered her 
carriage, and was driven off amidst reiterated shouts of mingled 
applause and disapprobation." 

Among otlier incidents at the coronation, which would 
have been considered ominous in former times, was one re- 
lating to the crown itself. The late Marquis of Anglesea was 
lord high steward on this occasion, and it was part of his office 
to carry the crown to the altar, before the Archbishop of 
Canterbury placed it on the king's head. It was heavier 
than he reckoned upon, and the glittering " bauble," pon- 
derous with gold and precious stones, slipped from his hands. 
He dexterously recovered it, however, before it reached the 

Some immaterial incidents are mentioned in connection 
with the coronation of Queen Victoria, but none that might 
be considered of ill portent. The coronation service was 
abridged ; the day was changed from June 26 to June 28, to 
avoid the anniversary of George IV. 's death. A story, 
scarcely worth notice, is told that a large bird had been 
seen for some time flying backwards and forwards in St. 
James's Park, and then hovered over the palace so frequently 
as to excite the attention of some credulous spectators, among 
whom was an old lady who declared it to be a goose. To 
describe the instant expression of horror that possessed her 
hearers is impossible ; sighs of commiseration for the young 
queen at this portentous omen escaped from many : " Poor, 
dear soul ! Well, there's no saying anything for a certainty 
beforehand. Who would have thought it, that a nasty, ugly, 
long-necked goose should have been fated to mar the happy 
events of this day ? There will surely be some accident, or 
the poor dear soul — God bless her ! — will not long survive 
the ceremony." To this prediction many assented, one of the 
< spectators adding, however, that probably so lamentable a 
;' result might be averted if any one would only shoot the 
k wretch. 


On the coronation day the weather became the subject of 
many portents, both for evil and good : — 

" The dawn was overcast, the morning lour'd, 
And heavily in clouds brought on the day." 

Fortunately all forebodings vanished, when, just as the royal 
procession was passing through St. James's Street, the sun 
shed its genial ray, and lent additional splendour to the 
gorgeous spectacle. Queen's weather has become a popular 
saying, and if not always to be depended upon, yet, as Shak- 
spere has it — 

" It never yet did hurt, to lay down likelihoods, and forms of hope." 

The newspapers of the day, in alluding to this circumstance, 
did not follow the profane hyperbole of the French press at 
a similar occurrence, when Napoleon ,>vas married to Maria 
Louisa, Archduchess of Austria, in 1810. " The star of the 
Emperor," says one paper, " once more prevailed over the 
equinoctial gales, and at the moment that the cannon an- 
nounced the departure of his Majesty for Paris, the sun 
dispersed the clouds ! " 

( 327 ) 



" Who, among millions, would not be the mightiest 
To sit in god-like state ; to have all eyes 
Dazzled with admiration, and all tongues 
Shouting loud prayers ; to rob every heart 
Of love ; to have the strength of every arm. 
A sovereign's name ! Why, 'tis a sovereign's charm ! " 

Marlowe's Lust's Dominion. 

CRIPTURE history affords 
the earliest information on 


In the chapter on " Anoint- 
ing" I have briefly alluded 
to that special rite of the 
ancient consecration service. 
I may mention, however, that 
we do not find in the Bible 
any statement of anointing 
the kings of Israel, when 
that kingdom was separated 
from the kingdom of Judah, 
which arose from the rulers 

of the former not having any of the sacred oil in their 


Whether the king was girded with a sword at the time of 

his accession to the throne, is not certain ; although by some 

it is supposed that such a custom is alluded to in the forty- 

fifth Psalm. 

It appears that a sceptre was presented to the monarch 

on his inauguration, and that a diadem was placed on his 


The covenant which defined and fixed the principles on 

which the government was to be conducted, and likewise the 


laws of Moses^ were presented to him ; and he took an oath 
that he would rule in accordance with the covenant and the 
Mosaic law. The principal men of the kingdom, the princes, 
elders, etc., promised obedience on their part ; and as a pledge 
of their determination to perform what they had promised, 
they hissed, it appears, either the feet or the knees of the 
person inaugurated. 

After the ceremonies were completed, the new monarch 
was conducted into the city with great pomp, amidst the accla- 
mations and. the applause of the people, and the cries of 
" Long live the king ! " accompanied with music and songs of 
joy. Sacrifices were offered up, and were intended probably 
as a confirmation of the oath which had been taken. In the 
later ages these sacrifices were converted into feasts. 

There are allusions in many passages of Scripture to the 
public entrance into cities, which took place at the time of 
the coronation, and to the rejoicings and acclamations on that 

Finally, the king took his seat on the throne, and received 
the congratulations of the assembled people. At the acces- 
sion of Saul to the .monarchy, when there was neither 
diadem, throne, nor sceptre, many of these ceremonies were 
necessarily omitted. Most of them were also omitted in the 
case of conquests, when the conqueror himself, without con- 
sulting the people or the principal men, designated the king 
for the nation which he had subdued ; merely gave him 
another name, in token of his new dignity, exacted the oath 
of fidelity, and signalized the event by a feast. 

It was a perpetual custom of the ancient Egyptians that, 
after the old traditional manner, every king on the day of his 
solemn coronation — which was distinct from the day of his 
receiving the kingdom in his father's lifetime, or on the 
death of his predecessor — received as his insignia two crowns, 
of which the upper one symbolized his sovereignty over the 
south (special]}'' committed to the god Set), the red lower 
one, on the contrary, his dominion over the north (com- 
mitted to the god Hor, the son of Osiris), of the Egyptian 

In the " Great Harris Papyrus," a translation of which is 
given in the " Records of the Past " (vols. vi. and viii.). King 
Ramesos III. (twentieth dynasty of Thebes, n.c. 1200), in a 
summary of events immediately before liis accession to the 
throne, relates : " My father Anion, the lord of the gods, and 


Ra, and Ptali witli the beautiful face, caused me to be 
crowned as lord of the land on the throne of my parent. I 
received the dignities of my father amidst shouts of joy. 
The people were content and delighted because of the peace. 
They rejoiced in my countenance as king of the land, for I 
was like Horus, who was king over the land on the, throne of 
Osiris. Thus was I crowned with the Atef-crown, together 
with the Urseus-serpents ; I put on the ornament of the 
double plumes, like the god Tatanen ; thus I reposed myself 
on the throne-seat of Hormakhu ; thus was I clothed with the 
robes of state, like Tum."* 

* By the kindness of Mr. W. St. Chad Boscawen, the eminent Egypt- 
ologist, I am able to give the translations of four Assyrian inscriptions 
relating to the kings of Assyria and their coronations. That marked 
A contains several beautiful similes, such as in line 5, " Honey and milk 
may they flow," and in line 9. The text also points to patriarchal times, 
when the king (as in the case of Saul) had absolute control over the 
revenues of the people. In the second hymn, B, reference is made to the 
warrior king and his protection. Hymn C is in honour of Esarhaddon, 
on his accession, which was chanted by one of the priestesses of Istar 
Astarte of Arbela, and contains many fine expressions (lines 4, 5, 11, 17). 
Hymn D is a list of royal titles of very ancient date. Hymn E contains 
an account of the coronation ceremony of Assarbanipal or Sar- 

A. 1. " The crown." 2. " Of the princedom of mankind." 3. " On. 
the holy throne." 4. " Of the princedom of mankind." 5. " Honey and 
milk may they flow." 6. " The mountains bring tribute (to thee)." 
7. " The desert the field bear tribute (to thee)." 8. " The plantations 
of grapes (vineyards) bear tribute (to thee)." 9. " The noble over- 
shadowing power of the Moon God (protect thee)." 10. " Of the King 
the extent of his land on his right hand." 11. "The Sun God." 12. 
" On his left hand the Moon God. The Holy Spirit. The Holy Giant, for 
lordship and sovereignty." 13. "In the land. In his body maybe 
established." 14. " So be it of the crown." 

B. (A second hymn on the same tablet.) 1. " The weapon which is the 
brightness of the firmament The restorer of his royalty he points.'* 

2. " A weapon of defence he raises which the defence of his royalty he 
takes." 3. "His powerful protection he establishes to his power 
None dare face." 4. " To hostile land sweeping the foes Those are 
drawn away." 

C. (Extracts from a coronation hymn of Esarhaddon,*King of Assyria.) 
1. "Do not thou fear oh Esarhaddon." 2. " I Am Bed thy support." 

3. "The strength of thy heart." 4. "I was zealous for thee as thy 
mother." 5. " Thou wast brought forth by me." 6. " Sixty great Gods 

were my keepers." 7. " With they protect thee." 8. " The Moon 

on thy right hand the Sun on thy left." 9. " Sixty great gods the 
organs of thy body." 10. " Placed in the interior they fixed." 11. 
" Upon mankind do not thou trust." 12. " Rest thy eyes." 13. " On 
me trust thou me." 14. " I am Istar of Arbela." 15. " Thy strength 


"Very scanty are the materials afforded us of the rites and 
ceremonies attending the coronation of the ancient monarchs ; 
that they were minute and characteristic, we cannot doubt. 
The paintings of the Thebaid prove that wheat and barley 
were grown extensively in Lower Egypt long before the time 
of Herodotus. The king at his coronation, cutting some ears 
of wheat, afterwards offered them to the gods, which shews 
the value set on them. The custom of a king, at his coro- 
nation, partaking of a cake of figs, some of the fruit of the 
terebinth tree, and a cup of acidulated milk, was probably a 
memorial of the time when these things formed the food of 
the nation," 

The kings of ancient Egypt had a troublous life. Strabo 
tells us that the influence of the priests at Meroe, through 
the belief that they spoke the commands of the deity, was 
such, that it was their custom to send to the king, when it 
pleased them, an order that he should put an end to himself, 
in obedience to the will of the oracle imparted to them ; and 
to such a degree had they contrived to enslave the under- 
standing of those princes by superstitious fears, that they 
were obeyed without opposition. At length a king called 
Ergamenes, a contemporary of Ptolemy Philadelphus, dared 
to disobey their orders, and having entered the " golden 
chapel " with his soldiers, caused the priest to be put to death 
in his stead, and abolished the custom. Ergamenes had 
studied the philosophy of Greece, and had the sense to dis- 
tinguish between priestly rule and religion, knowing that 
blind obedience to the priests did not signify obedience to the 
Divine Will. But these vested rights on man's credulity 

I make perfect." 16. " Thy beauty Thou art purified." 17. " Do not 
thou fear Glorify thou me." 

D. As in Chinese, the king had numerous official epithets : " The man 
on thy right hand," i.e. the fortunate one ; " Great Man," " Lord of 
Destiny," " Heart ruler," " Law maker," " Wise one," " the Eenowned '* 
or hero. 

E. (Coronation of Sardanapalus.) " In the month lyar, the month of 
Hea, the Lord of Mankind, the twelfth day, the holy feast day of Gula. 
In performance of the expressed commands Istar Bel Nebo and Istar of 
Nineveh, the Queen of Love, Istar of Arbela. He gathered the men of 
Assyria, small and groat, from the Upper sea to the Lower. For the 
substantiation of my royalty the sovereignty of Assyria made. The 
gods I offered them. I confirmed the decrees. With joy in the conio 
moncemont, I entered on to Bit Keduti, Of Nadurab the father of my 
father, my begotten of the royal race, and sovereignty he had made 
within it." 


seem, afterwards, to liave been revived among the Ethiopians, 
and the expedition sent by Mohammed Ali up the White 
Nile learnt that the same custom of ordering the king to die 
still existed among some of their barbarous descendants. 

In ancient Egiy'pt no woman, except the queen, attended 
in the grand procession of a king's coronation, 

Ptolemy Philadelphus, after his father Ptolemy Soter, 
King of Egypt (283 B.C.), had abdicated the crown in his 
favour, ascended the throne, and celebrated his accession by 
a magnificent coronation procession. Atheneeus has left a 
long description of this pageant, transcribed from Callixenes, 
the Hhodian. 

This pompous solemnity continued a whole day, and was 
conducted through the extent of the city of Alexandria. It 
was divided into several parts, and formed a variety of 
separate processions. Besides those of the king's father and 
mother, the gods had each of them a distinct cavalcade, the 
decorations of which were descriptive of their history. 
Athenseus has related only the particulars of that of Bacchus, 
by which an idea may be formed of the magnificence of the 

Three thousand two hundred crowns of gold were like- 
wise carried in this procession, together with a consecrated 
crown of a hundred and twenty feet, most probably, in cir- 
cumference ; it was likewise adorned with a profusion of 
gems, and surrounded the entrance into the temple of 
Berenice. There was another golden aegis. Several large 
crowns of gold were also supported by young virgins richly 
habited. One of these crowns was three feet in height, and 
twenty-four in circumference. In this procession were also 
carried a golden cuirass, eighteen feet in height, and another, 
of silver, twenty-seven feet high, on which latter was the 
representation of two thunderbolts of gold, eighteen feet in 
length ; an oaken crown embellished with jewels ; twenty 
golden bucklers ; sixty-four complete suits of golden armour; 
two boots of the same metal, four feet and a half in length ; 
twelve golden basins ; a great number of flagons ; ten large 
vases of perfumes for the baths ; twelve ewers, fifty dishes, 
and a large number of tables. All these were of gold. There 
were likewise five tables, covered with golden goblets, and a 
horn of solid gold, forty-five feet in length. All these gold 
} vessels and other ornaments were in a separate procession 
from that of Bacchus. There were likewise four hundred 


chariots laden with vessels and other works of silver, twenty 
others filled with gold vessels, and eight hundred appro- 
priated to the carriage of aromatic spices. 

The troops that guarded this procession were composed of 
67,500 foot and 23,200 horse, all dressed and armed in a 
magnificent manner. During the games and public combats, 
which continued for some days after this pompous ceremony, 
the victors were presented with twenty crowns of gold, and 
they received twenty-three from Queen Berenice. It appeared 
by the registers of the palace that these last crowns were 
valued at 2230 talents and 50 minoe — about £334,400. From 
this some judgment may be formed of the immense sums 
to which all the gold and silver employed in this splendid 
ceremonial amounted. 

The inauguration of a monarch by the ancient Persians 
took place at Persepolis, in the temple of Pallas, erected by 
Cyrus (died 529 B.C.), and called Pasigardis. The splendour 
of the ceremony was great. The high priest, or pontiff, 
clothed in magnificent vestments, received the newly elected 
monarch at the door of the temple. He presented to him 
cakes and a mixture of milk and vinegar, signifying that 
the kingly office was sweet, but sorrow and bitterness would 
mingle with its pleasures. The priest placed his hand on the 
head of the king, invoking the protection of Mithi'a. He was 
then crowned with the diadem, and amidst the most sumptuous 
state was conducted to the throne of Cyrus,* which was sur- 
mounted by a canopy of azure, on which were represented the 
starry host, supported by golden columns garnished with 
precious gems. The high priest and the princes prostrated 
themselves, and paid the monarch divine honours, while he 

♦ *• From Galicia it is reported " (Times, September 13, 1879) " that, 
about three weeks ago, a peasant woman, while working in the fields in 
the neighbourhood ot Michalkov, on the Dneister, dug up several golden 
objects, including goblets, a staff, brooches with dragons' heads, and a 
crown. The well-known historical investigator. Dr. Praglovski, and other 
archicologists of Lemberg have come to the conclusion that these orna- 
ments belong to the regalia of the elder Cyrus, who fell in a campaign 
against the Massagetco, about 529 years B.C. In his report on these 
objects Dr. Praglovski declares that any one who examines the details 
and style of the ornaments, and then compares the place where they 
were found with the reports in Greek historians concerning Cyrus's 
expeditions against the Scythians, will at once agree with his con- 
clusion. The intrinsic value of the objects is set down at 100,000 
florins at least, or about £10,000." 


was proclaimed "king of kings and brother of the sun and 

It was in the year 33 B.C. that Mark Antony, after the 
conquest of Armenia, returned to Alexandria, and, to give a 
new proof of his devotion to Cleopatra, resolved to solemnize 
the coronation of her and her children. A throne of massy- 
gold was erected for that purpose in the palace, the ascent to 
which was by several steps of silver. Antony was seated 
upon this throne, dressed in a purple robe embroidered with 
gold, and with diamond buttons. At his side he wore a 
scymetar after the Persian fashion, the hilt and scabbard of 
which were loaded with precious stones. He had a diadem. 
on his brow and a sceptre of gold in his hand, in order, as he 
said, that, thus equipped, he might deserve to be the husband 
of a queen. Cleopatra sat on his right hand, in a brilliant 
robe made of the precious linen which was appropriated to 
the use of the goddess Isis, whose name and habit she had 
the vanity to assume. Upon the same throne, but a little 
lower, sat Caesarion, the son of Julius Caesar and Cleopatra, 
and the two other children, Alexander and Ptolemy, whom 
she had by Antony. 

Every one having taken the place assigned him, the 
heralds, by the command of Antony and in the presence of 
all the people, to whom the gates of the palace had been 
thrown open, proclaimed Cleopatra Queen of Egypt, Cyprus, 
Libya, and Coele- Syria, in conjunction with her son Caesarion. 
They afterwards proclaimed the other princes kings of kings, 
and declared that, until they should possess a more ample 
inheritance, Antony gave Alexander, the eldest, the kingdoms 
of Armenia and Media, with that of Parthia, when he should 
have conquered it, and to the youngest, Ptolemy, the king- 
doms of Syria, Phoenicia, and Cilicia. These two young 
princes were dressed after the mode of the several countries 
over which they were to reign. After the proclamation, the 
three princes, rising from their seats, approached the throne 
and, putting one knee to the ground kissed the hands of 
Antony and Cleopatra. 

Antony led forth Alexander dressed in a Median vest, with 
a tiara and cittaris upright, and Ptolemy in boots and a 
chlamys and a causia with a diadem attached to it. The 
cittaris seems to be the higher part of the tiara. The causia 
was a Macedonian hat with a broad brim. 


Titus Livius informs us how Numa Ponipilius was created 
King of Rome (b.c. 714). After some brief particulars of the 
ceremony he adds, " The augur predicted the future gi^eatness 
of the Romans ; * then, taking his wand in the left hand, he 
placed his right on the head of Numa, invoking the protection 
of Jupiter on Rome and the king." 

Under the imperial domination the inauguration of a new 
sovereign varied according to circumstances. If he was elected 
by the senate, he received investiture at their hands. When 
the emperor designated his succcessor, the act was sufficient 
to confer the dignity. Thus Tiberius chose Caligula, to 
w^hom he sent his ring, after having left him the empire 
by will. 

Taking the purple was the mark of empire until Aurelian, 
and when, aftei'wards, the diadem or fillet came to be so, 
both were assumed at the commencement of a reign, and 
consequently did not admit of that ceremony which after 
times introduced, where a distinction was made between being 
possessed of a throne and inaugurated into it. 

Among the Romans the wife of the emperor had the title 
of Augusta, which was always conferred with some ceremonies, 
and latterly by that of coronation. 

The title of emperor, however, originally designated the 
commander of an army, and was regarded as inferior to that 
of king. Thus Mark Antony, in his oration over Caesar's 
body, says — 

" You all did see that on the Lnperal 
1 thrice presented liiin a kingly crown, 
Which he did thrice refuse." 

The Emperor Julian, the Apostate, elected to that dignity 

* In the chapter on " Omens and Incidents in connection with 
Crowns and Coronations" I have alluded to the superstitious fancies 
engendered by peculiar circumstances that occurred in our own country. 
Diodox'us relates the effect produced upon Alexander the Great by 
various events that happened before his death, and which probably may 
have hastened it. During his visit to the great lake of Babylon, the 
boats that caiTicd his friends having separated, his own was left unaided 
for three days, and in some peril. Arriving in a narrow passage, his 
diadem was caught by the branch of a tree, and fell into the water. One 
of the rowers dived immediately after it, and getting the crown, placed 
it on his own head, so as to have more freedom in swimming. At this 
act Alexander was troubled, and consulted the augurs, who advised him to 
propitiate the gods by pompous sacrifices, and to put to death the finder 
of the diadem for his involuntary impiety ! 


in Paris by a tumultuous assemblage of bis troops (a.d. 361), 
was raised on a buckler, and crowned with the military collar 
of a pikeman ; for he refused to make use for this purpose of 
a woman's collar or a portion of horse-trappings which were 
brought to him by some soldiers, considering them unlucky. 

Roman emperor, armed. 

Roman emperor, in a military tunic, 

On a coin of the Emperor Maxentius he is represented in 
a triumphant chariot, drawn by four elephants, with the 
legend, "Felix processus consularis Augusti nostri." 

When the immense extent of the Roman dominions became 
divided into east and west, the inauguration of the respective 


emperors took place in the capitals of each empire. The 
Sovereigns of the East received investiture at Constantinople, 
on their accession to the throne, with more formalities than 
had been hitherto observed. It has been erroneously asserted 
that Theodosius II. (a.d. 439) is the first whom we know to 
have been crowned by a bishop. Leo I. (a.d. 457) received 
the patriarchal benediction of Anatolius, who was permitted 
to express by this ceremony the suffrage of the Deity. " This," 
observes Gibbon, " appears to be the first origin of a ceremony, 
which all the Christian princes of the world have since 
adopted, and from which the clergy have deduced the most 
formidable consequences." The assertion, however, is by no 
means proved, as there are allusions to previous sacerdotal 
services at coronations, although it is uncertain when the 
custom of episcopal consecration originated. The first hint 
of such a practice that we meet with is in the dream of Theo- 
dosius I., before his admission to a share of the imperial 
dignity (about 379), in which he saw Meletius, Bishop of 
Antioch, putting on him a crown and royal robe. The next 
recorded instance of episcopal coronation is that of Justin I. 
This emperor was crowned twice — first by John II., Patriarch 
of Constantinople (a.d. 518), and secondly by Pope John II., 
on his visit to Constantinople (a.d. 525). 

Episcopal consecration became the custom at the coronation 
of the successors to the throne until the epoch when the 
Ottoman princes assumed the sovereign power.* In the time 

* About two centuries ago lived and died in an obscure part of the 
kingdom Theodore Paleologus, the immediate descendant of the Con-" 
Btantine family, and in all probability the lineal heir to the empire of 
Greece. In the parish church of Landulph, in the eastern extremity 
of Cornwall, is a small brass tablet fixed against the wall, with the fol- 
lowing inscri{)tion : — "Here lyeth the body of Theodore Paleologus, of 
Pesaro, in ttalye, descended from the Imperial lyne of the last Christian 
Emperors of Greece, being the sonne of Camilio, the sonne of Prosper, 
the sonne of Theodore, the sonne of John, the sonne of Thomas, second 
brother of Constantino Paleologus, the 8'^ of the name, and last of that 
lyne that rayned in Constantinople until subdued by the Turks; who 
married with Mary, the dangliter of William Balls, of Hadlye, in Souf- 
folko, gent, and had issue 5 children, Theodore, John, Ferdinando, Maria, 
and Dorothy ; and departed this life at Clyftou, the 21** of Jan>'. 1036." 

Above the inscription are the iin})orial arms ])ropor of the emjure of 
Greece — an eagle displayed with two heads, the two legs resting apon 
two gates ; tlui imperial crown over the whole, and between the gates a 
crescent for difference as second son. 

Clyfton was an ancient mansion of the Arundel family, in the parisli 
of Lundul])h. 


of the Emperor Justin II. (a.d. 565) tlie ceremonial of conse- 
cration seems to have received the form and religious sanction 
it maintained to the end. The ritual is elaborately described 
by Corippus. The ceremony took place at break of day. After 
the emperor's elevation on a shield he was carried into St. 
Sophia's, where he received the patriarch's benediction, and 
the imperial diadem was imposed by his hands. He was then 
recognized as emperor by acclamation, first of the " patres," 
and then of the " clientes." Wearing his diadem, he took his 
seat on the throne, and, after making the sign of the cross, 
he made an harangue to his assembled subjects. 

With the addition of the important ceremony of unction, 
and a considerable elaboration of ritual, the coronation office, 
as given by Joannes Cantacuzenus, afterwards emperor 
{circa 1330), and a century later by Georgius Codinus (died 
1453), corresponds with that described by Corippus in all 
essential particulars. 

Leontius (" Yita Sancti Joan. Alex. Episc," c. 17) men- 
tions a remarkable custom prevailing in the coronations of 
the Eastern empire in the sixth century, as an admonition 
of the transitoriness of all earthly greatness. After his coro- 
nation the architects of the imperial monuments approached 
the emperor, and presented specimens of four or five marbles 
of different colours, with the inquiry which he would choose 
for the construction of his own monument. The analogous 
ceremony described by Peter Damianus, though belonging to 
a later period, was this : The emperor, having taken his seat 
on the throne with his diadem on his head and the sceptre in 
his hand, and his nobles standing around, was approached by 
a man carrying a box full of dead men's bones and dust 
in one hand, and in the other a wisp of flax, which, as in 
the papal enthronization, was lighted and burnt before his 

Among the Visigoths, when the election of a chief was to 
be made, the whole ceremony consisted in making the suc- 
cessful candidate promise that he would behave valiantly in 
war and rule with justice during peace, and in raising him on 
a buckler above the heads of the surrounding multitudes, who 
hailed him as their leader. But from the time of Leovigild 
(a.d. 570-587), and especially when the elective power rested 
as much in the hands of the clergy as in the warlike chiefs, 
there was more "pomp and circumstance" attending the 



inauguration.* According to Isidore this monarch was the 
first of the sovereigns to assume the crown, sceptre, and royal 
robe : " Nam ante eum et habitus et consessus communis ut 
genti ita et regibus erat." Both the secular and spiritual 
chiefs being assembled for the purpose, the candidate was 
nominated. He swore to observe the laws, to administer 
justice without partiality, and to permit the exercise of no 
other religion than the Catholic. He then received the oaths 
of fidelity and obedience from all assembled, and was pro- 
bably raised on the buckler, as in former ages, and as we 
know was afterwards practised in regard to the Austrian 
kings. Before the same assembly, in the metropolitan church 
of Toledo, he was solemnly consecrated by the prelate of that 
see, and his head anointed with oil. His titles were high- 
sounding. " Your glory " was the most usual, though the 
epithets of Pious, Conquering, etc., were often added. Recared 
was the first of the Visigothic kings distinguished by the 
name of Flavius. Whether he assumed it after the imperial 
family of that name or from its reputed Gothic signi6cation 
is unknown, but it continued to adorn the titles of his suc- 
cessors. His father was the first who surrounded the throne 
with regal state, and whose effigy bore the impress of a 
crowned head. The successors of that monarch improved 
on his magnificence ; robes of purple, thrones of silver, 
sceptres and crowns of gold distinguished them still more 
from the time of Chindaswind (a.d. 642). 

Charlemagne, King of the Franks, who obtained the 
Empire of the West, was crowned at Rome under peculiar 
circumstances. Pope Leo III. sought protection from the 
revolted Romans at the hands of that great monarch, who 
received him in solemn state at Paderborn in 799. Charle- 
magne promised to march against the disaffected subjects of 
the pontiff, and effectually quelled the insurrection. Charles 
was present in the church of St. Peter's at Rome on Christ- 
mas Day, 800. On this grand occasion individuals had 
come from almost every nation of the West. After high 
Mass, when the monarch was kneeling before the altar, the 


*' Whoro was tho rubied crown, the sceptre where, 
And where tho gokien porno, tho proud array 
Of orniinos, aureate vests, and jcwohy, 
With all which Leovigild for after kings 
Left, ostentatious of his power ? " 

Southey's " Roderic." 


pope brought an imperial crown and placed it on his head, 
while the people shouted, " Charles Augustus, crowned by the 
Almighty, the great and peace-bringing Emperor of the 
Romans ! Hail ! all hail ! and victory ! " At the same time 
the pope knelt down before him, and rendered him homage. 
Beyond a few brief notices of this remarkable event there 
are no details of the ceremony. Constantino Manasses men- 
tions the anointment from head to feet, " according to the 
custom prescribed by Jewish law," and there is a notice of 
the oath taken on that occasion.* 

M. Planche, in the " Cyclopasdia of Costume," remarks 
that on state occasions Charlemagne is said to have worn a 
jewelled diadem, a tunic interwoven with gold, a mantle 
fastened with a brooch of gold ; his shoes were adorned with 
gems ; his belt was of gold or silver, and the hilt of his sword 
of gold, ornamented with jewels. M. Quicherat observes 
that one is so accustomed to see Charlemagne arrayed in 
imperial vestments that he would not be recognized if a 
painter or sculptor were to represent him in any other 
costume, and yet it is historically true that he never wore 
them in his life. Once, on the occasion of his inauguration 
in St. Peter's at Rome, he appeared in the dress of a Roman 
patrician, at the urgent solicitation of the pope, who only 
succeeded in persuading him to do so by recalling to him 
that, sixteen years previously, at the request of Adrian, he 
had presented himself one day to the people in the long tunic, 
or chlamys, and the calcei of a Roman senator. 

* In the treasury of St. Peter's, at Rome, is the famous sacerdotal 
robe called the " Dalmatica di Papa San Leone," said to have been em- 
broidered at Constantinople for the coronation of Charlemagne as 
Emperor of the West, but fixed by German criticism as a production 
of the twelfth or the early part of the thirteenth century. The emperors, 
at least, have worn it ever since while serving as deacons at the pope's 
altar during their coi'onation mass. 

It is a large robe of stiff brocade, falling in broad and unbroken folds 

in front and behind, broad and deep enough for the Goliath-like stature 

I and the Herculean chest of Charlemagne himself. On the breast the 

1 Saviour is represented in glory ; on the back, the Transfiguration ; and 

on the two shoulders, Christ administering the Eucharist to the apostles. 

In each of these last compositions our Saviour, a stiff but majestic figure, 

I stands behind the altar, on which are deposited a chalice and a paten, or 

I basket, containing crossed wafers. He gives, in the one case, the cup to 

St. Paul ; in the other, the bread to St. Peter. They do not kneel, but 

bend reverently to receive it. Five other disciples await their turn in 

each instance ; all are standing. 


The figure of Charlemagne in the mosaic in the chnrch of 
St John de Lateran, at Rome, is probably the most rehable 

one as far as his cos- 
tume is concerned. He 
is represented in a 
short tunic, terminat- 
ing above the knees, 
with a mantle appa- 
rently fastened on the 
right shoulder (though 
by what means is not 
visible), and which, if 
not borne up, as it is, 
by his arm on the left 
side, would hang down 
to his feet. It has an 
ornamental border, the 
studs in which may be 
meant either for gold 
or jewels. Over his 
shoulders is a coHar of 
flat plates studded, it 
may be, with jewels, 
and of the same pat- 
tern as the bands or 
borders of the leggings. 
On his head is a cap 
rising to a low peak 
atop, with a border of 
indented pattern, and 
having a circular orna- 
ment in front. 

M. Planche haB 
minutely described this 
dress, because it has 
been the custom of ])aintcrs and sculptors for so many 
years past to portray Charlemagne in the gorgeous robes ol 
an emperor of the tifteenth century, and crowned with the 
remarkable diadem which is erroneously appropriated to him, 
and which is still reverently preserved in the imperial 

treasury at Vienna. i • i 4. *«• 

When Charlemagne felt his end approaching, he sent tor 

his son Louis to come to him, in the year 813, to Aix-la- 

Charlemagne. From a mosaic in the church of 
St. John de Lateran. 


Chapelle, and there, on a Sunday, wlien in the cathedral 
together, he reminded him of all the duties of a good 
monarch, and he then caused Louis to place the golden 
crown (which lay upon the altar) upon his head, and, thus 
crowned, his venerable father presented him to the assembly 
as the future king of all the Franks. By this act Charles 
wished to show that his crown was independent of the 
papal chair. 

When the tomb of Charlemagne at Aix-la- Chapelle was 
opened by the Emperor Frederic Barbarossa in 1165,* he 
found, it is said, the body not reclining in the coffin, as is the 
usual fashion of the dead, but seated on a throne, as one 
alive, clothed in the imperial robes, bearing the sceptre in its 
hand, and on its knees a copy of the Gospels. The throne 
in which the body was seated, the sarcophagus (of Parian 
marble, the work of Roman or Greek artists, ornamented 
with a fine bas-relief of the " Rape of Proserpine ") in which 
the feet of the dead emperor were placed, are still pre- 
served in the cathedral. The throne is placed in the gal- 
lery (Hoch Mllnster), running round the octagon, facing 
the choir. It is an armchair, in shape somewhat like that 
of Edward the Confessor in Westminster Abbey, but made 
of slabs of white marble, which during the coronation were 
covered with plates of gold. It is protected by wooden 
boards, which the sacristan will remove to gratify a stranger's 

* Under the dome of the cathedral of Aix-la- Chapelle, suspended 
over the tomb of Charlemagne, is a gigantic crown of enamelled copper, 
an offering of the Emperor Barbarossa, inscribed with the Greek 
characters " I am." In the centre of the crown the archangel Michael 
is seen, enclosed in an aureole of quatrefoils. He is descending from 
heaven to combat the enemies of peace, for in singular contrast to the 
warlike spirit of Charlemagne and Barbarossa, the legend on the crown 
proclaims the blessedness of the peaceful : " Beati Pacifici, quoniam 
fiUi Dei vocabuntur," taken from the sermon on the mount. The 
" Catholic Caesar of the Eomans," as Barbarossa styles himself, caused 
the eight beatitudes to be engraven below eight great lamps, by which 
the crown is supported. 

The " Talisman " of Charlemagne was, according to tradition, a 
fragment of the true cross, in an emerald case on a gold chain, given to 
him by the Empress Irene. It was taken from his neck when his tomb 
was opened. The town of Aix-la-Chapelle gave it to the Emperor 
Napoleon, who presented it to Queen Hortense, who much prized it in 
the later years of her life. It afterwards came into the possession of the 
late Emperor Napoleon III. 


The formalities and the solemn pomp attending the 
INAUGURATIONS OF THE EMPERORS OF Germ-any in various ages 
were characteristic of the period. 

In Heiss's " History of the Empire " we have a few 
particulars of the " election " and coronation of Otho the 
Great (of the house of Saxony), in 936, as Emperor of 
Germany. The election took place at Aix-la-Chapelle.* 
Hildebert, Archbishop of Mentz, with the bishops and 
clergy, clothed in sumptuous habits, met the monarch at the 
church door, where, having proclaimed him with the usual 
ceremonies, the archbishop conducted him to a place where 
he could be seen by all the people, and theu said, " I here 
present you. Otho, chosen by God, appointed emperor by 
Henry, his father, and justly elected to that dignity by all 
the princes. If you approve this election, give a sign of it by 
lifting up your hands." This being done by the people, with 
loud acclamations, the clergy conducted the emperor to the 
high altar, whereon the sword, the belt, the mantle, the hand 
of justice, the sceptre, the crown, and all the imperial orna- 
ments were placed. The sword was girded to his side, the 
archbishop saying, " Receive this sword, and use it to drive 
away the enemies of Jesus Christ, and employ the power and 
authority of the empire, conferred on you by God, to secure 
the peace of the Church." The prelate then put on the 
mantle, the sleeves whereof hung to the ground, saying, 
" Remember with what resolution and fidelity you are obliged 
to maintain peace to the end of your life." The sceptre and 
the hand of justice were then given, with these words: " These 
marks of power are yours, and engage you to keep your 
subjects in their duty to repress and punish vice and disorders 
severely, but yet with humanity ; to become the protector of 
the Church, its ministers, widows, and orphans; and to use all 
with the tenderness and goodness of a father, that you may 
(in eternity) receive the reward you will deserve by so 
prudent and Christian a conduct." 

The Archbishop of Mentz having finished these words, the 
bishops anointed the emperor's head with holy oil, which 
done, the former crowned him. These ceremonies being over, 
the emperor ascended a throne, where he remained while 

• A very ancient manuscript of the ceremonial of crowning the 
German cmperorH at Aix-la-Chapclle, was purchased at the last of the 
Hales of Prince Talleyrand's libraries, by the late Mr. Banks, and is now 
among tho additional manuscripts in the British Museum. 


psalms were sung and prayers were offered. He tlien returned 
to the palace and dined in public, the bishops sitting at his 
table ; the dukes and other great lords serving him. 

Charles lY. was the first to establish the regulations con- 
cerning the coronation ceremonials, and these were announced 
to the Imperial Diet at 
Nuremberg in 1356. 
This deed, to which was 
attached a gold seal, was 
then called the Bulle 
dJor. According to this, 
when the emperor died, 
the Archbishop of May- 
ence was to summon the 
princes to the election at 
Frankfort ; the corona- 
tion was to take place at 
Aix - la - Chapelle. From 
this circumstance origi- 
nated the custom of de- 
spatching from Frankfort 
a princely deputation to 
Aix-la- Chapelle, to bring 
from that city a chest of 
earth, on which the em- 
peror stood when he was 

* Six cities contended for 
the inauguration of the new 
kaiserdom. First in antiquity 
was Worms, the residence of 
the earliest recorded con- 
querors of Rhineland, the 
Burgundian dynasty (434), 
Frankish line of sovereigns, 
then Charlemagne. Next, 
Aaachen, Aix - la - Chapelle. 
Thirty-one emperors were crowned here, and until 1793 the regalia and 
robes belonging to the coronation were preserved in this city. 

Charles V. received the imperial crown at the hand of Pope Clement, 
at Bologna, 1530, and at the same time with the Lombard or Italian 
crown. There were, besides the imperial crown, three other distinct 
crowns, some or all of which were assumed by each emperor according 
to his respective rights. 

The German crown, which by the time of Charles V. had become 

Elector of Germany in state dress. 


The electors were to be present, escorted by their vassals 
and attendants ; they were to be seven in number, " in 
honour," as recorded in the deed, "of the seven candlesticks 
of the Apocalypse." The prince who was elected bore, at first, 
the title of King of the Romans.* To attain full possession of 
imperial dignity, it was necessary that he should be conse- 
crated and crowned. The regalia, consisting of the crown 
(en'oneously called that of Charlemagne), the sceptre, the 
hand of justicCjf the sword, and the orb, are still preserved 
at Vienna. 

the most important of the four, was taken at Aix-la-Chapelle ; the 
Lombard, or Italian crown, generally at Milan ; and the Burgundian 
crown, of less importance than the others, at Aries. Charlemagne took 
them all four. Charles V. took the first German crown at Aix-la- 
Chapelle. It was not until 1530 that he took his other two crowns 
at Bologna. 

* The ceremonies observed on the coronation of emperors of Eome 
were of an august character. On the day preceding the event, the 
Koman citizens met the emperor-elect at the gates of their city, had 
their charters confirmed by him, and received the oath that he would 
preserve the good customs. On the next day the emperor proceeded to 
St. Peter's, where he was received by the pope and his clergy, and was 
solemnly blessed and crowned. 

The coronation of the German emperors of Eome, more especially in 
the eleventh century, is best represented from the original monuments by 
Muratori (" Antiquitat. Italiae medii iEvi," tom. i. diss. 2, p. 99, etc.) 
and Cenni (" Monument. Domin. Pontif," tom. ii. diss. 6, p. 261). 

The last coronation of a German emperor at Rome was that of 
Frederic III. of Austria (1452). After drawing his military force to the 
metropolis and imposing the best security of oaths and treaties, Pope 
Nicolas received, with a smiling countenance, the faithful advocate and 
vassal of the Church. So tame, says Gibbon, were the times, so feeble 
was the Austrian, that the })omp of his coronation was accomplished with 
order and harmony ; but the superfluous honour was so disgraceful to an 
independent nation, that his successors have excused themselves from 
tho toilsome pilgrimage to the Vatican, and rest their imperial title on 
the choice of the electors of Germany. 

t Tho *' hand of justice," which formed a part of the regalia alluded 
to, is a very ancient symbol. Hands were dedicated by tho ancient 
Egyptians to the two or three divinities in whose temples the cure of the 
sick was practised. In Montfaucon, we find mystic fingers which appear 
to have had the same signification. The fingers represented are of 
bronze, and end in a long nail, showing that they were fastened to a 
wall, or that they ■wore borne on a stafi in tho festivals of Isis. 

The " hand " reappears in tho coronation ceremonies of Europe, and 
after a time wo begin to recognize it as the symbol of the royal gift of 
healing by touch. This, however, is not understood under its earlier 
forms described by Montfaucon. A hand, for example, is represented as 
descending from heaven in a picture of Charlemagne, and in two 


The ceremonies of the coronation were grand and im- 
posing. The Archbishop of Cologne officiated at the altar, 
and placed the crown on the emperor's head, whose titles were 
then proclaimed as "Caesar; Very Sacred Majesty; Always 
August ; Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, and the 
German nation." On leaving the church of St. Bartholomew, 
at Frankfort, the imperial cortege proceeded through the 
town to the Rath-haus, or town-hall, called the Romer (from 
Rome), and there in the kaiser-saal a banquet was prepared 
for the principal actors in this ceremony. At the moment 
when the emperor entered, the Elector of Saxony spurred 
his horse at full speed toward a heap of oats which had been 
placed there, holding in one hand a silver measure, and in the 
other a scraper of the same metal, both of them weighing 
twelve marks. Filling the measure with oats, he ground 
them with the scraper, and delivered it to the hereditary 
marshal ; the rest of the oats were then pounced upon by the 
people who witnessed this spectacle. Then the count 
palatine performed service by placing before the emperor, 

portraits of Charles the Bald, pointing with four fingers to his head, to 
illuminate him in his duties and justice towards his subjects. From the 
fingers of these hands proceed rays. On a monument of Dagobert, at 

\^ s . — r rir-^ gKcijaiit: 

Ivory sceptre of Louis XII. (XIII. ?). 

, Details of the ivory sceptre of Louis XII. (XIII. ?). 

St. Denis, a similar hand was represented, with three fingers extended, 
while the king, naked, with a crown on his head, was raised over some 
drapery by two bishops with two angels near hira. According to 
Montfaucon, similar hands are common to the emperors of Constantinople 
about the period of Charlemagne. From these and many similar doca- 
nients of antiquity, a divine origin has been ascribed to this symbol. 

The "hand" was a symbol of Providence, as well as of the five 
fundamental tenets of Islam. A talismanic power was ascribed to it. 


seated at the imperial table, four silver dishes, each of three 
marks, bearing meats. The King of Bohemia, as archbutler, 
offered wine and water to the emperor in a silver cup. The 
walls of the banqueting room, or kaiser-saal, where the 
emperors were entertained and waited on at table by kings 
and princes, are covered with their portraits in the order of 
succession from Conrad I. to Francis II. 

In the market-place, called the Romerberg, in front of the 
building, upon the occasion of an imperial coronation, an ox 
was roasted whole, from which the arch-steward cut a slice 
for the emperor. A fountain flowed with wine, from which 
the arch-cupbearer filled his glass ; the arch-marshal dis- 
tributed corn from a silver measure, and the populace enjoyed 
the privilege of appropriating the scarlet cloth upon which 
the emperor walked from the cathedral. So greedily was it 
cut away behind him as he passed onwards, that he ran the 
risk of having his heels cut also. 

Leopold II., Emperor of Germany, was crowned Sep- 
tember I, 1790, at Frankfort. Everything connected with 
the election of an emperor — his coronation, the banquet in the 
Romer, and other national festivities by which the great event 
was celebrated — was fixed by the " Golden Bulle " 
tioned. That ancient document is to this day preserved in the 
Romer, as the town-hall of Frankfort is still called, although 
the remains of the Germanic- Roman empire, fi'om which 
that public building derives its name, were swept away by 
Napoleon I, 

The three ecclesiastical electors met in the cathedral 
before eight o'clock, robed and mitred in full state, ready to 
receive the ensigns of imperial power — the jewels, the sword 
(said to be) of Charlemagne, and the Gospel, printed in 
golden characters, on which the coronation oaths were taken. 
These treasures were sent from the ancient towns of Aix-la- 
Chapelle and Niirnberg, which claimed the right of holding 
them in charge. The venerated objects and their noble 
attendants travelled, exposed to the public view, in state 
carriages diawn by six horses. They were pompously re- 
ceived by the three ecclesiastical electors, and placed in a 
small chapel of the cathedral, near the high altar, called the 
Electoral Chapel, in which the emperor was to put on his 
robes. When all these preparations were completed, the door 
of the chapel was closed by the hereditary door-keeper to the 
Holy Roman Empire. 


While the ecclesiastical electors were thus occupied, the 
secular electors went to the palace, where they were formally 
received by his Majesty, and where they waited while the long 
procession was forming. 

The " Golden Bulle " decreed that the emperor should ride 
to the cathedral, habited in the robes and wearing the crown 
of his own house. The Hapsburgg of Austria, being the 
strongest and most influential of the empire, had been the 
chosen family for many generations. 

At ten o'clock Leopold mounted his richly caparisoned 
horse. His dalmatic robe — the ancient Roman purple — 
glistened with diamonds and pearls, . and the crown of 
Austria, a heavy relic of early feudal times, pressed his brow. 
Over his head was upheld a splendid crimson canopy, em- 
broidered with the double-headed eagle, which widely spread 
its wings to cover the royal head. This baldachin, upheld on 
poles, was supported by twelve senators of Frankfort, who 
rode on each side of the emperor as he slowly moved in 
grand procession to the cathedral. Before him were borne 
by the hereditary officers of the empire the crown on a 
cushion of cloth of gold, the sceptre, the orb, and the drawn 
sword of St. Maurice. 

Within the sacred edifice, while high mass was being 
performed, the emperor on the steps of the altar took the 
oaths on the gilded copy of the New Testament. The Elector 
of Mainz, the highest of the ecclesiastical electors, as the 
chief pastor, anointed the sovereign with consecrated oil, and 
administered to him the Holy Communion. This done, 
Leopold mounted the throne. The coronation was announced 
to the nation by the firing of cannons and ringing of bells. 

The procession, on leaving the cathedral, turned towards 
the river, and crossed it by the old red-stone bridge, the only 
one then in existence, to show itself in Saxonhausen before 
it proceeded to the Romer, where the banquet was prepared. 
The bridge was carpeted with red, black, and yellow cloth, 
which, as soon as the emperor had passed over it, belonged 
to the people, who lost not a moment in dragging it up and 
cutting it into fragments. 

The arch-treasurer acted an important part in the corona- 
tion. He rode into the Romerberg on a noble horse. To its 
sides, instead of holsters, several bags were suspended, em- 
broidered with the arms of the elector palatine, grand 
seneschal of the Holy Roman Empire. From these bags the 


arch-treasurer took handfuls of coins. A bright shower of 
silver and gold glittered in the air, innumerable hands were 
held up, and the next instant the people were all tumbling 
one over another, scrambling for the money. 

At the banquet the Prince of Hesse Darmstadt had the 
honour of carving for his Majesty in the kaiser-saal, and the 
Duke of Mecklenburg, who held a superior appointment of a 
similar character, was posted at the door of the Romer with 
a white napkin over his breast, and the badge of his office, a 
huge knife, in his hand. The grand chamberlain kindled the 
fire at which the ox was roasted whole, under a wooden booth 
in the market-place. In front of the Romer, but bearing 
towards St. Nicholas's Church, four rough paving-stones, with 
the letters " 0. K.," for ox-kitchen, rudely cut on them, may 
be seen to this day. 

Ritter Heinrich von Lang has given an amusing account 
of this part of the proceedings. The truchsess, or trencher- 
man, was in Spanish costume, with loose hair and a cloth-of- 
gold mantle. Sitting his horse with becoming dignity, and 
followed by a suite of attendants in grand liveries, he rode in 
state to the roasting ox, on which his work was to be done. 
"Four gentilhommes, of whom I was one," says Von Lang, 
"rode on each side of the Trencherman. I had to wear a 
Spanish hat, with blue and white feathers, and to carry a 
silver dish. While the Trencherman remained seated on his 
horse outside the kitchen, we waited inside close to the in- 
fernal fire at which the entire ox was roasting, and emitting 
a most disgusting stench. It was our duty to cut a slice and 
to carry it on a plate before the count, who was the honorary 
bearer of the slice of beef. Just as we turned to go off with 
it, a fight began among the roughs in the market-place; 
they fought for the gilded horns of the ox, and in the 
struggle down came the whole wooden kitchen with a crash, 
probably as a symbol of what was to befall the Holy Roman 

The immutable laws and traditions of the empire decreed 
that on these grand occasions the dishes should be carried bv 
representatives of four states of the empire, to whom tha' 
service was assigned, to be held throughout all generations 
The states thus honoured were Swabia, Wetheran (a Hessian 
province), Franconia, and Westphalia. Each of these states 
sent a count to be a dish-bearer at the coronation. Nim 
times they passed from kitchen to kaiser-saal, and thus 


thirty-six dishes were placed ; but then appeared a thirty- 
seventh dish, and this odd dish caused a disagreement which 
seemed likely to end in bloodshed. It had naturally come 
round to Swabia, but the Swabian count could not degrade 
himself and the state which he represented by placing the last 
dish on the emperor's table. He contended that it ought to be 
carried by a Westphalian, and in the dispute he was sup- 
ported by a number of his fellow-countrymen, who had come 
to Frankfort to be the bearers of St. George's shield at the 
coronation. The grand chamberlain, who referred to records 
which went back to the days of Charlemagne, produced a list 
of the dishes which had been set before the Emperor Rodolph. 
Then it appeared that this particular dish was one of them, 
and could not be left out. 

A pleasant and full account of the coronation of Joseph II., 
Emperor of Germany, is given in the " Autobiography of 
Goethe," who was present on that occasion. 

MAN Emperor) took place at Konigsberg, October 18, 1861.* 

* The name of Prussia was unknown in Europe before the end of the 
tenth century. The rise to power of the present imperial and , royal 
family of Prussia dates from the comparatively recent period of the 
fifteenth century; but the crumbling walls of the crag-built castle in 
Swabia, whence they take their name, " Hohen (lofty) Zollern," seems to 
imply that they are sprung from a family as ancient as any in the 

The true foundation of the greatness and power of the reigning 
dynasty of Prussia was laid by Frederick, usually called the sixth Count 
of Hohenzollern and Markgraf of Nuremberg, who purchased of the 
Emperor Sigismund, for the sum of four hundred thousand florins, the 
margi'avate of Brandenburg, with the rank and title of elector, for which 
he received homage (April 18, 1417). 

The title of King of Prussia was first assumed by his son Frederick. 
The province of Preussen has given its name to the entire kingdom of 
Prussia, and its capital, Konigsberg, was the original seat of government 
before it was transferred to Berlin. 

Frederick, the twelfth Elector of Brandenburg, was crowued first 
King of Prussia January 18, 1701. The ceremony took place at Konigs- 
berg. Great magnificence was displayed on this occasion. The king 
put the crown on his own head, and a smaller crown on the head of his 
wife, Sophia Charlotte, in token of his independence, to show that he was 
no vassal of the emperor and no subject of the pope. The action was 
symbolical, and the sign was more fully understood by posterity than by 
those who witnessed it, or even by the king himself, although he per- 
ceived the wisdom of " sowing for the future " — one of his favourite 


About half -past ten in the morning, the king in one pro- 
cession, and the queen in another following, left the royal 
apartments for the church adjoining the castle, preceded by 
heralds in blue costumes and numerous state dignitaries, 
including the grand master of the wardrobe bearing the 
royal mantle on a velvet cushion, the bearers of the great 
seal, the globe, the sword of state (naked, and borne upright) , 
the sceptre, on a cushion. Immediately after followed Prince 
Radziwill carrying the crown, and next came the king in a 
general's uniform, covered with the mantle of the Order of 
the Black Eagle, his plumed helm in his hand. He was fol- 
lowed by other dignitaries, and General Wrangel bearing the 
state banner. The queen, attired in white silk with ermine, 
came next, accompanied by her entourage. 

The king and queen took their places at the foot of the 
two pillars in front of their thrones, facing the altar. After 
the usual liturgy of the Lutheran Church and sermon, the 
coronation service commenced. Whilst the Salvum fac JRegem 
was sung the bearers of the crown, sceptre, and globe 
approached the altar, and laid the regalia on it and retired. 
The high officials also who bore the sword of state and the great 
seal stood near the altar, which the king ascended, knelt, and 
prayed. On his rising, the crown prince approached the king 
and took oil the Black Eagle mantle and collar, while the court 
officials placed on his Majesty the coronation robes. 

The king then went forward and, taking the crown from 
the altar with both hands, placed it on his head. He then 
took the sceptre and globe, and, turning towards the spec- 
tators, waved the latter twice or thrice, and then laid it down 
on the altar, and passing the sceptre from the left hand to 
the right, he grasped the sword of justice. 

The queen, after being arrayed in her coronation robes, 
approached the altar, and the king placed the crown on her 
head. Their Majesties both knelt and prayed, after which 
the procession left the church, and on entering the palace 
the queen retired. 

The king, in coronation robes, with crown and sceptre, 
appeared on the platform in the great hall, and received the 
three addresses from the Upper House, the Chamber of 
Deputies, and from the witnesses to the coronation. His 
Majesty replied, and waved his sceptre thrice. The list of 
decorations to be given away was then read by the Minister 
of the Interior. The chief herald and four others advanced, 


and exclaimed in a lond voice, " Long live King William the 
First ! " and whilst the grand chorale, " Nunc danket alle 
Gott " was being sung by thousands of voices, the king 
re-entered the palace, and the ceremony, which lasted about 
four hours, terminated. 

The royal crown of Prussia, which was in use for State 
ceremonies until 1871, is of compara- 
tively modern workmanship. It is 
without a cap ; the arches and the 
diadem are set with diamonds and 
other precious stones. 

On the 18th of January, 1871, King 
William I. of Prussia was proclaimed 
German Emperor, at the palace of Ver- 
sailles, the war still raefino: between the 

r^ J i 1 -rT< 1 Royal crown of Prussia. 

Germans and the Jb rench. 

About noon the king drove to the palace, and was re- 
ceived by the Crown Prince of Prussia, at the eastern portal, 
at VEscalier des Princes. Immediately on his arrival the 
king reviewed the troops drawn up in the courtyard, after 
which he was conducted by his son to the Salle des Glaces. 
As he entered he bowed towards the altar, which had been 
erected at the end of the gallery, and on which stood a cruci- 
fix and lighted candles, and then took his place in front of 
the dais, facing the altar. He was dressed in the uniform of 
a general. 

After the military liturgy, sermon, and the Te Deum had 
been given, the king walked to where the colours of all the 
regiments were displayed, and stood before them, while the 
document proclaiming the re-establishment of the German 
Empire was read by Bismarck. The Grand Duke of Baden 
then stepped forward, and exclaimed, " Long live his Majesty 
the emperor ! " The bands struck up amidst the cheers of 
the assembly. The emperor embraced his son and relatives. 
The officers, of whom there were representatives from nearly 
every part of the army who could be possibly spared, then 
filed past and saluted. Later, a magnificent banquet was 

A writer on this eventful subject says that after the 
1 proclamation of the empire, the crown prince, as if seized 
by an irresistible impulse, rushed forward, and flung him- 
self at the feet of the newly-made emperor. The latter, 



deeply moved, raised him from, that reverential attitude, 
and, with tears, father and son kissed each other on both 

It was just one hundred and seventy years ago that the 
world first heard of a King of Prussia, in the person of 
Frederick I., and the anniversary is always kept at Berlin 
with a certain amount of splendour. But Berlin cannot 
compete with Versailles in such matters, and what occurred 
on January 18, 1871, will ever be remembered by the German 
people as one of their greatest triumphs. 

To spare the feelings of minor sovereigns, the new title is 
not really " Emperor of Germany," but " German Emperor." 

Crown of the Gennan Empire. 

The former title would imply that the territories of other 
sovereigns are situate in a land belonging to the owners of 
the title ; the other means simply the head of the Germai 

The Grown of the German Empire takes its principal 
features from the old crown of tlie Koman-German Empire.] 
Four of the shields are ornamented with diamond crosses, the|i 
other four with the imperial eagle. Four hoops, richly 
studded with diamonds, support the imperial globe and cross! 
on the top. The inside cap is embroidered with a network] 
of gold. 


The Crown of the German Empress is similar in character 
to that of the emperor; interlaced Gothic arches springing 
from a jewelled circlet, and terminating in rosettes, takes the 
place of the shields. The inner cap is of gold brocade, and 
the arrangements of the jewels are executed in a more 
modern stjle. 

The Coronet of the Prince Imperial of Germany is executed 
in a style similar to that of the crown of the German 
Emperor, and consists of four crosses from which the arches 
rise, the intervals between the crosses being filled up by 
imperial eagles. The rich ornamentation is effected with 
diamonds, precious stones, and pearls. 

The King of Saxony's palace at Dresden contains the 

Crown of the Empress of Germany. 

Coronet of the Prince Imperial of 

" Griine Gewolbe," in which are deposited the regalia of 

These celebrated " Green Vaults," a range of apartments 
on the ground floor of the palace, contain, probably, the 
richest collection of valuables possessed by any sovereign in 
Europe. Indeed, the treasures remind one rather of the 
gorgeous, dazzling magnificence of Oriental despots, or the 
magic production of Aladdin's lamp in the Eastern tale. The 
value of the whole must amount to several millions. 

The Saxon princes, besides being far more powerful and 
important in former times than at present, were also among 
the richest sovereigns in Europe. One mode by which they 
showed their magnificence and expended their money, was in 
the accumulation of all kinds of rare objects, such as jewels 

2 a 


and exquisite carvings, in the precious metals and in other 
costly materials, which were deposited in a secret strong 
room under the palace. 

' There is in this collection a glass case filled with splendid 
precious suites of the most costly jewels. The first division 
contains sapphires ; the largest of them, an ancient specimen, 
was a gift of Peter the Great. The second, emeralds. The 
third, rubies ; the two largest spinels weigh forty-eight and 
fifty-nine carats. The fourth, pearls. Among sixty-three rings 
there are two which belonged to Martin Luther — one a 
cornelian bearing a rose, and in its centre a cross ; the other, 
his enamelled seal-ring, bears a death's head and the m.otto, 
" Mori saepe cogita." 

The fifth division is devoted to diamonds. The diamond 
decorations of the gala dress of the elector consist of 
buttons, collar, sword hilt and scabbard, all of diamonds ; 
the three brilliants in the epaulette weigh nearly fifty carats 
each. But the most remarkable stone of all, which is con- 
sidered unique, is a green brilliant, weighing one hundred 
and sixty grains = forty carats. 

The CROWN OF Bavaria is hereditary in the male line. 
The constitution dates no further back than 1818, when the 
country was declared a part of confederated Germany. 

King Maximilian II. died March 10, 1864, and on the 
same day the royal herald, accompanied by a detachment of 
cuirassiers and trumpeters, proclaimed in all the chief 
squares and streets of Munich, Ludwig II., King of Bavaria 
and Count Palatine of the Rhine. The young monarch (then 
eighteen years of age) took the oath of fidelity to the con- 
stitution before the assembled royal princes and state mini- 
sters. Afterwards, the soldiers took the oath of allegiance, 
and the king issued the first state notice convening the 
ministers to a state council. 

In 1870 Bavaria, by treaty, recognized the King of 
Prussia as the head of a new German empire. 

Some scanty particuhirs are given by old writers of the 
baptism, anointing, and coronation of Clovis, the first Chris- 
tian King op France. This took place at Rheims, in the 
clmrch of St. Renii, on the night of Christmas Eve, A.D. 496. 
The solemnities were conducted witli great j)onip ; the houses 
were covered with tapestry, the churches with white linen, 


and tlie baptistery, near the gate, was magnificentlj adorned. 
The air was filled with rich perfumes, and the light of 
flambeaux and tapers dispelled the gloom of tbe night from 
that august place. St. Remi, who led the king by the hand 
to the font, gave him a short exhortation, " Humble thyself, 
Slcamhrian! Burn what thou hast worshipped, and 
worship that which thou hast burnt ! " After this the king 
professed his belief in one God and three Persons ; and St. 
Remi baptised him in the name of the Father, and of the 
Son, and of the Holy Ghost, while the bishops who were 
present, holding him by his arms, immersed him in the holy 
laver, into which three thousand French descended after him. 
Afterwards the king entered the church for his confirmation, 
anointing, and consecration as a Christian king. Sicamhria 
was the name of the country from which Clovis came. 

A great similarity subsisted between the coronation 
CEREMONIES of our own country and that of France. Some 
curious details of the latter are given in a manuscript in the 
Cotton Library, written in French (Tiberius B viii.), the 
illuminations in which are exceedingly beautiful. They once 
represented the different stages of the whole ceremonial of a 
French coronation. Unfortunately the manuscript has been 
mutilated, many of the illuminations having been cut out. 
It is headed, " This is the order of anointing and crowning 
the King." The following inscription, in the handwriting of 
Charles Y. of France, gives its origin : — " Ce livre du sacre 
des Rois de France, est a nous Charles, Y. de notre nom, roy 
de France, et le fimes corriger, ordiner, escrire et istorier I'an 
1365.* The manuscript acquaints us with the following 
particulars preparatory to the ceremony, and furnishes us 
also with a ritual of the consecration : — 

" First, a stage somewhat elevated must be prepared, adjoining the 
choir of the church, on which the King and the peers of the realm shall 
be placed. On the day that the King comes to be crowned, he should be 
received in procession by the canons of the mother church, and the 
members of the other conventual churches." 

' Some other arrangements are mentioned in the preparation. 
On the day of coronation — 
:" between prime and tierce, the monks of St. Eemi should come in proces- 

1 * At a sale of the books of M. Ruggieri, the pyrotechnist, at Paris, 
in 1873, a copy of this work was sold for £1600. 



sion with the holv ampulla, which the Abbot should bear with great rever 
once under a canopy of silk supported by four ^^a^s, borne by rnonks 
attired in auhes [white garments], and when they shall f^^^^^^^^^^^.^^^^ 
of St. Remi, the Archbishop should proceed to meet them, and with him 
the other Archbishops and Bishops ; . . . the Archbishop --*> P--^ 
the Abbot, in good faith, that he will return it to him. and then the 
Archbishop must carry the ampulla to the altar with great reverence of 

Charles V. of France. 1370. 

the people. The Abbot with some of the monks accompanying him, th 
rest^waitiug behind until all be completed; and then the holy ampul 
hall be carried back either to the church of St. 1 -- «^,\^«,«^^^^^^^^^ 
St. Nicholas. These things being performed, the Ajchb hop shaU 
attire himself for the mass in his most noble vestments, >^>th the pall 
after the Deacons and Subdeacons, and attired in this manner mu 
come to the altar in procession, according to custom. The King must 


rise with reverence, and repair thither ; and when the Archbishop shall 
have arrived at the altar, he, or any of the Bishops, for their whole 
body, and for the churches submitted to them, must ask the King if he 
will swear to maintain the rights of the Bishops and their churches, as 
it befits the King to do in his kingdom, to preserve the dignity and 
jurisdiction of the crown, to administer justice in all his judgments ; 
and if he will subscribe, moreover, to the oath of the new constitution of 
the Council of Lateran, viz. to expel heresies from his kingdom. 

" These things being promised by the King, and ratified by his vow 
on the Holy Evangelists, Te Deum Laudamus is sung. In the mean time 
must be placed on the altar the King's crown, the sword in its scabbard, 
his golden spurs, his golden sceptre, and his rod of the measure of a 
cubit or more, which shall have on it a hand of ivory. Also the stock- 
ings of silk, of a violet colour, embroidered or tissued with golden fleurs- 
de-lys, and a coat of that colour, and of the same workmanship, made in 
manner of the tunic with which the Subdeacons are attired for the 
mass ; and with this the surcoat, which should be entirely of the same 
colour, made nearly like a cope of silk without the hood ; all which 
things the Abbot of St. Kemi should bring from his custody, and 
should be at the altar and keep them. 

'* The King shall repair to the altar, and shall undress himself with 
the exception of his silk coat and his shirt, which are to be open between 
the breast and shoulders ; there are also to be openings in the sides, 
which shall be joined by silver clasps. Then first, the Great Chamber- 
lain of France shall put on the King the stockings which the Abbot of 
St. Remi shall give him, after which the Duke of Burgundy shall put 
on the spurs given him by the same, and immediately afterwards, these 
shall be removed. 

" Afterwards, the Archbishop alone shall gird on his sword with the 
scabbard, which sword being girt, the Archbishop shall draw it out of 
the scabbard, and the scabbard shall then be placed on the altar, and the 
Archbishop shall put the sword in the hand of the King, who is humbly 
to offer it on the altar; and he shall immediately receive it back by the 
hand of the Archbishop, and forthwith commit it to the Seneschal of 
France to support before him in the church to the end of the mass, and 
afterwards when he shall return to the palace. 

" These things accomplished and the chrism placed upon the altar, 
on a consecrated paten, the Archbishop is to prepare the holy ampulla 
on the altar, and take from it, on the point of a gold needle, a little 
of the oil sent from heaven, and mix it very carefully with the chrism 
which is prepared for anointing the King. This glorious privilege of 
being anointed with oil from heaven is peculiar to the Kings of France 
above all others in the world. Then the openings before and behind 
must be undone, and the King anointed ; first, on the top of the head, next 
on the breast ; thirdly, between the shoulders ; fourthly, on the shoulders ; 
fifthly and lastly, on the joints of the arms. While the anointing is 
going on, they shall sing the anthem ' Innnxerunt regem Salomonem,' etc. 
The openings in his garments are then to be closed ; the coat before 
mentioned is then to be put on by the Chamberlain of France, the 
Abbot of St. E,emi handing it to him for the purpose ; the Chamberlain 
is also to invest him with the surcoat. The Archbishop is then to put 
the sceptre in his right hand, the rod in his left, and calling all the 


Peers of France who are standing round, the Archbishop takes the royal 
crown, and he alone puts it on the head of the King. 

" The crown being thus placed, all the Peers, both clerical and lay, 
must put their hands to it and support it on all sides. The Archbishop 
and Peers who support the crown must conduct the King to the chair 
prepared for him, ornamented with silken cloths, and place him therein. 
This must be elevated within full view of all. The Archbishop must 
then kiss the King, and after him the Bishops and the lay peers. 

The CORONATION OF Louis XVI. (June 11, 1775) took 
place in the cathedral church of Notre Dame, at Rheims.* 
On reaching the principal entrance (June 9), the king de- 
scended from his carriage, and knelt down to receive the 
holy water from the cardinal archbishop. His Majesty then 
kissed the Evangile, and, having been complimented by the 
clergy, was conducted to a splendid prie-BieKj placed in the 
chancel, where he remained during the celebration of the Te 
Deum, whose effects were rendered more imposing by the 
volleys of cannon and musketry fired from the i-amparts. 
The first gentleman of the chamber handed a beautifully 
chased gold cup (ciboire) to the king, who placed it on the 
altar as an offering, and having received the benediction, 
retired to the archiepiscopal palace, where the ecclesiastical 
and civil authorities did homage to him. 

In the afternoon of the lOtli the king, attended by the 
princes of his family, proceeded in state to the metropolitan 
church, to hear vespers. The service was chanted by the 
archbishop, Duke of Rheims, accompanied by the most 
exquisite music, and a sermon preached by the Archbishop 
of Aix, after which his Majesty returned to the palace. 

" On the 11th the canons and clergy of Notre Dame took their places 
in the stalls beneath the galleries. Shortly afterwards the prior, with 
three ecclesiastics from the Abbey of St. Denis (near Paris), entered 
and stationed themselves near the altar in order to be ready with the 

* " Every King of the French crowned at Rheims has been at once a 
Frenchman by birth, and the undisputed heir of the founder of the 
dynasty, liheims alone preserved her proud prerogative as the crowning 
])lnce of kings, whoso right was never so niuch as called in question. 
Paris, the scat of temporal dominion, has never bocome the ecclesiastical 
home of tho nation, the crowning place of lawful kings. None but 
strangers and usurpers have ever taken tho diadem of France in the 
capital of France. While Rheims has beheld the coronation of so many 
generations of native Frenchmen, Paris has beheld only the coronation 
of a single English king and a single Corsican tyrant" (Freeman's 
" History of Normandy "). 


regalia required for the coronation.* These regalia consisted of 
Charlemagne's crown of solid gold, sparkling with rubies and sapphires, 
lined with crimson satin, beautifully embroidered, and surmounted by a 
golden fleur-de-lys, studded with pearls ; the sceptre of massive gold, 
enamelled and crusted with pearls ; the sceptre called the * hand of 
justice,' consisting of a gold wand, ornamented with rubies and pearls, 
and terminated by an ivory hand ; Charlemagn£'s sword, the handle 
and guard of molten gold, and the scabbard of purple velvet, powdered 
with fleurs-de-lys; the lozenge-shaped aigrette or clasp, intended to fasten 
the royal mantle, studded with precious stones ; the golden spurs, enriched 
with rubies ; and, lastly, the book of prayers used at the coronation, 
richly bound and clasped with silver. 

'' The ecclesiastics, secretaries of state, great crown officers, court 
functionaries, and marshals of France, including those selected to bear 
the regalia, were introduced and conducted to their places by the master 
of the ceremonies, whilst the Queen, Princesses, and foreign ambassadors 
proceeded to their respective galleries. Last of all appeared the lay 
peers, whose dress consisted of a long mantle of purple lined with ermine, 
capes of the same fur, encircled with the collars of St. Louis and the 
St. Esprit ; robes of gold cloth ; violet-coloured silk sashes, and coronets 
upon their heads. The whole being seated, the Bishops, Duke of Laon 
and Count of Beauvais, were deputed, according to custom, by the Arch- 
bishop, to proceed to the King's apartments in order to escort his Majesty 
to the church. Upon the arrival of the two prelates at the door of the 
King's chamber, the head beadle knocked with his staff, and the following 
dialogue took place between the Bishop of Laon and the Grand 

" The Grand Chamberlain (from icithiyi) — * Whom do vou demand ? ' 

" The Bishop—' The King.' 

*' The Grand Chamberlain (ivithout opening the door) — ' The King 

" Thereupon the beadle struck the door a second time, and the 
Bishop again exclaimed — * The King.' 

* The regalia and ornaments were preserved at St. Denis, whence 
they were transported to Kheims by the prior, escorted by a detachment 
of Gardes du Corps. 

In former times the monarchs of France were buried with theii: 
crowns, sceptres, rings, etc. Thus, at the destruction of the royal tombs 
at St. Denis, in 1793, in the coffin of Charles Y. were a crown and 
sceptre of gold, and a hand of justice beautifully carved in silver. In 
the coffin of Jeanne de Bourbon, his wife, were the remains of a crown 
and a gold ring. Part of a crown and a gilt sceptre were also found in 
the coffins of Charles YII. and his wife, ^[arie d'Anjou. In that of 
Louis X. were part of a sceptre and brass crown, much rusted. Beside 
the body of Louis VIII. were part of a wooden sceptre and a diadem of 
gold tissue. In the coffin of Philippe le Bel was a gold ring, a diadem 
of gold tissue, and a brass gilt sceptre. The skeleton of Philippe le Long 
was clothed in royal robes ; on his head was a gold crown, enriched by 
precious stones. 


" Thp- Grand Chamberlain — ' I tell you the King sleeps.' 

" Upon this the beadle knocked at the door a third time, and the 
same questions and answers being repeated, the Bishop added, — ' We 
demand Louis the Sixteenth whom God has given us as our King.' 

" The door was now opened, and the Grand Master of the Ceremonies, 
Buperbly dressed in a blue coat with red facings, richly embroidered, 
waistcoat, breeches, and stockings of red silk, and a mantle of purple 
velvet trimmed with lace, conducted the Bishops to the King, whom 
they found reclining (pro fornm) upon the splendid couch, which was 
made by order of Francis I. for the coronation of himself and successors. 
The dress worn by the King was composed of a long crimson silk 
camisole, or inner vest laced with gold, open as well as the skirt 
beneath, at the different parts of the body destined to be anointed. 
Over the vest was a long robe of silver tissue, and upon his head he 
wore a black velvet toque, ornamented with a string of diamonds, and 
shaded with a plume of black and white herons' feathers. As soon 
as the Bishops had presented the holy water, they raised the monarch 
from the couch, and a procession was formed to the church, where 
the King, after kneeling before the altar, took his seat on a chair of 

" An usher announced the arrival of the Sainte Ampoulle from 
St. Remi. The Archbishop advanced to meet the prior who bore it, and 
placed it upon the altar. He then respectfully solicited the King to 
maintain the canonical rights and privileges of the Church of Rheims. 
Ilis Majesty having promised with ' God's aid ' to ' protect and defend 
the Church,' the Bishops of Laon and Beauvais lifted him from his chair, 
and then turning to the spectators exclaimed loudly, — ' Do you accept 
Louis the Sixteenth for your liege King and Sovereign ? ' A silent and 
respectful assent being returned, the Archbishop requested the King to 
take the usual oaths of fidelity to certain obligations. Upon this, his 
Majesty seated himself, and taking the Testament between his hands, 
replied in Latin, that he promised to ' preserve peace in the Church — to 
prevent j)lunder and robbery in his dominions — to enforce and dispense 
justice — and to endeavour with all his might to extirpate heresy.' 
Having made this oath, his Majesty took those required of him as 
Sovereign Grand Master of the Orders of the St. Esprit and St. Louis, 
and then swore to maintain inviolate the edicts against duelling, first 
promulgated by Louis the Fourteenth in 1651, and sworn to by that 
monarch at his coronation. 

"Whilst the King was engaged in repeating these oaths, the robes 
and regalia recjuired for the coronation were placed upon the altar. 
These, in addition to the ornaments brought from St. Denis, consisted of 
a crimson satin camisole, a richly embroidered tunic and dalmatic, a 
pair of velvet sandals sprigged with fleurs-de-lys, and a royal mantle 
of purple velvet, junvdered with fleurs-de-lys and lined with ermine. 
Besides these, were two crowns, one of which was of marvellous splendour, 
being comjxised of a circular gold band or diadem, surinounted with 
eight diamond ll(>urs-de-ly8 8ej)aratcd by an equal number of fleurons, 
couiposed of diamonds and precious stones. From the former rose eight 
gold branches uniting at the top of the crown, which was terniinatod by 
u ninth fleur-de-lys, composed of the famous ' Sanci ' diamond, and six- 
teen others of wonderful size and lustre, all mounted with such skill 


as to appear like one stone. In front of the fleur-de-lys was the famous 
' Pitt ' or ' Regent " diamond. The band or diadem was bordered bv two 
rows of pearls interspersed with twenty-four large diamonds and eight 
coloured stones. Among the first were the celebrated ' Miroir de 
Portugal,' aud another called ' le plus gros de Mazarins.' Amongst 
the second were a ruby, emerald, sapphire, and Oriental topaz of pro- 
digious size and brilliancy. The total height of the crown from the 
lower edge of the diadem to the point where the branches united was 
nine French inches. 

" The King, seated in his chair of state, received the investiture of 
the sandals and the golden spurs. The Archbishop then blessed 
Charlemagne's sword, and girded it round the King's waist ; then 
drawing forth the blade, he delivered it into the monarch's hands, 
who kissed it, and offered it to God, by placing it on the altar ; upon 
this the Archbishop returned it to the King, who delivered it to the 

" The prayers required to be recited upon this occasion being ended, 
the Grand Prior of St. Rerai approached the altar, and opening the 
reliquary containing the Sainie Ampoulle delivered it to the Archbishop, 
who extracted a drop of its sacred contents with the point of a golden 
needle, and then taking a little consecrated chrisra {sainte creme) he 
mixed it with the precious oil upon a richly embossed patena. The 
ointment being ready, the King and Archbishop prostrated themselves 
at the foot of the altar, whilst four Bishops, kneeling at their sides, sang 
litanies, which were responded to by the choir and music. These being 
finished, the Archbishop rose, and placed himself with his back to the 
altar, the King also rising and placing himself on his knees. The former 
then dipped the tip of his right thumb in the ointment' and proceeded 
to anoint the King, first, upon the summit of the head ; secondly, on the 
stomach ; third, on the back ; fourth, on the right ; fifth, on the left 
shoulder; sixth, on the joints of the right; and, lastly, on those of the 
left arm. Two officiating Bishops opened the King's camisole at the 
appointed places, whilst the Archbishop repeatedly crossed himself, and 
accompanied each unction with the following words, — ' Ungo te in regem 
de oleo sanctificato, in nomine Patris, Filii, et Spiritus Sancti.' 

" After the ceremony of the first seven unctions, the Grand Chamber- 
lain placed the tunic and dalmatic of subdeacon and royal mantle upon 
the shoulders of the King, who again kneeled down, and was anointed 
twice more on the palms of his hands. The Archbishop then blessed 
the gloves and the ring, sprinkled them with holy water, and placed the 
former on the King's hands, and the latter on the fourth finger. The 
prelate then delivered the sceptre into his right, and the hand of justice 
into his left hand, and thus terminated that portion of the ceremony 
called the consecration. 

" After a short pause, during which the King continued kneeling, the 
Chancellor of France ascended the steps of the altar, and addressing 
each of the lay and ecclesiastical peers in succession, exclaimed, 
' Approach, and be present at this act.' The Archbishop then took 
Charlemagne's crown from the altar, and held it above the sovereign's 
head, the assisting peers touching it the while with the forefinger of 
their right hands; having uttered a short prayer, the Archbishop 
then placed the crown upon the King's head, and gave him and his 



assistants the usual benediction. This part of the ceremony was 
announced by a flourish of trumpets and a royal salute. 

"The Archbishop, substitutinpj the crown of diamonds for that of 
Charlemagne, raised the King and conducted him towards the throne. 
The procession was opened by the heralds and peers, followed by the 
Constable with the sword. Then came the King holding the sceptre 
and hand of justice, followed by the peers, &c., and took his seat on the 
throne. The Archbishop recited a prayer, and then taking off his 
mitre, bowed to the Sovereign, kissed him, and exclaimed three times, 
* Vivat re