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these admirable statues, besides three others quite defaced, and two more over the eastern part of the portico, and as many more over the western door, pretty entire, and all undeniable witnesses of their former excellency."
Many alterations have been made in the appearance of this part of the church since the above account was written; but the imposing effect of its four grand buttresses, curiously and richly ornamented; and of the great porch, stretching far inward, and displaying on each side the most exquisite specimens of sculptural ingenuity, still claims for it the admiration of all who have the good taste to examine its magnificent details. The western porch exhibits a similar variety of ornament; while the great Rose Window, as it is termed, of the third compartment, forms a feature of this side of the edifice equally striking and appropriate. Divided into several smaller circles, each possessing its proper decorations, this beautiful window presents a noble mass of brilliant colour, and delicate fretwork of stone, the painter and the sculptor having each endeavoured to fill it with the choicest specimens of his art. We cannot follow the architect or the antiquary through their laboured descriptions of this wonderful building, so extensive, and so complicated in its plan. The south side, however, is worthy of partioular attention: the original builders were obliged to employ all the resources of their art to overcome the difficulties occasioned by the nearness of the cloisters, and to secure a sufficient space between the abutments and the superstructure, while the walls were not left without a fitting support. Sir Christopher Wren accuses the architect of having attempted this ebject with little success; but his opinion is strongly controverted, and it is shown by those well qualified to decide on the subject, that, considering the nature of the site on which the work was to be performed, it could scarcely have been executed in a more skilful manner.
On entering the building by the western porch, the spectator is immediately struck with the surpassing beauty of the long-drawn aisles, extending before him in solemn repose, and presenting a succession of noble columns, harmonious arches, and fretted vaults, that blend together with the ease and agreement, which make it appear that each necessarily springs from the other. The rich lights of the painted windows, and the majestic marble monuments, quickly divide his attention with the architectural graces of the edifice; and when he enters the nave, he finds himself filled with new wonder and delight, at the continued richness of every portion of the scene around him. Not less magnificent is the north transept, which, with the western and eastern aisles, affords an almost unbroken mass of curious sculpture and noble monumental marbles. In the south transept, known by the appellation of the Poet's Corner, we meet with one of the most inspiring spectacles that an English eye can behold. It is here that the choicest genius of the land has received from admiring ages the acknowledgment of its worth. Here it is that Milton, Dryden, Shakspeare, Thomson, and others but little inferior to them, seem to be still looking upon the world, which they delighted and improved by their song; and he would scarcely deserve to share in the good diffused by the elevated strains of these mighty men, who could stand in the midst of this chamber of soul-breathing imagery, without a deep and generous emotion of thankfulness that such men have been given to his country.
The Chapel of St. Blaize is interesting from its having been, as is supposed, the treasury of the Abbey, and as exhibiting all those singular marks of strength and security which seem to confirm the tradition respecting its early employment. But in the Choir the spectator again finds himself irresistibly held captive by the graceful delicacies of architectural and sculptural art. A slight variation in style distinctly points out the two portions of this beautiful structure, built in the time of Henry the Third and his son Edward. "In the work of Edward's reign," says Mr. Brayley, the elegant historian of the Abbey, "the shafts which surround the larger columns, are not encircled by rows of fillets, like those of Henry's reign, but every alternate one has had a metal cap introduced instead, at the same height as the fillets; the moulding, also, both of the greater and lesser arches are different, and other minute variations may be traced in divers places. Henry's building includes the whole eastern part of the church to the first column west from the transept; from thence Edward extended it to the second column of the nave." The stalls, of which there are thirty-two, besides those for the dean •nd sub-dean, which are covered with purple cloth, are
formed of oak, and are surmounted With canopies, pinnacles, and other ornaments. The sides of the choir are lined throughout with oak, and the general arrangement of the stalls and the seats for the Westminster scholars, of the pulpit, and their several ornaments, is excellently adapted to give full effect to the building. One of the chief objects of curiosity in this part of the edifice, is a most beautiful piece of Mosaic pavement, the gift of Abbot Ware, who brought it from the continent in the reign of Henry the Third. The pavement of the choir itself is composed of black and white marble, and was laid at the expense of the celebrated Dr. Busby. The modern marble altar-piece, which was designed for the chapel at Whitehall, was taken down at the coronation of George the Fourth, and the original altar-piece restored, as nearly as possible to its ancient design. The Screen which separates the choir from the nave is very beautiful*.
Edward The Confessor's Chapel.
Dirfxtly behind the choir is the chapel of St. Edward the Confessor, containing the tomb of that monarch, and other royal personages. The screen which ornaments this structure, though sadly dilapidated, is regarded as one of the most interesting remains of ancient art, and is decorated with a frieze, representing, in elaborate sculpture, the traditionary events of the Confessor's life. It is divided into fourteen compartments; and some of the representations are so remarkable, that the curious in historical traditions will be amply repaid by tracing the events they display. The first three are merely historical, the fourth represents King Edward alarmed by the appearance of the devil dancing upon the money collected for the payment of Dane-gelt; in the next, we have Edward the Confessor's generous admonition to the thief who was purloining his treasure. This subject is thus described by the laborious Mr. Brayley, from Ailred's account of the life and morals of King Edward.
"Whilst Edward was one day lying musing on his bed, a youthful domestic entered his chamber, and thinking the monarch had been asleep, he went up to a coffer, (which Hugoline, the king's chamberlain, had negligently left open,) and taking out a great quantity of money, deposited it in his bosom, and quitted the apartment. Having placed the stolen treasure in security, ho returned a second time, and did the like; and not being yet contented with his booty, he came a third time, and was again kneeling at the chest, when the king, who knew his chamberlain to be at hand, but wished the thief to make his escape, exclaimed, 'You are too covetous, youth; take what you have and fly; for if Hugoline come, he will not leave you a single doit.' The pilferer immediately fled without being pursued. Shortly afterwards Hugoline came back, and perceiving how considerable a sum had been stolen through his negligence, he turned pale and trembled, sighing vehemently at the same time. The king hearing him, rose from his bed, and affecting to be ignorant of what had happened, inquired the cause of his perturbation; which Hugoline relating,' Be at peace,' replied Edward, 'perhaps he that has taken it has more need of it than ourselves: let him have it, what remains is sufficient for us.' In the sculpture, the king appears reclining in his bed, and the thief kneeling at the money chest."
The tomb of the monarch occupies the centre of the chapel, and the translation of his remains to this superb shrine, was, for near three hundred years, commemorated by the church as a grand festival. Offerings of the richest kind, gold and jewels, were presented at the altar; and the shrine itself, constructed of the most precious materials, is said to have presented, before it was despoiled at the Reformation, a specimen of the most sumptuous art. The coffin which contains the ashes of the saint was, by order of James the Second, enclosed within another, made of planks two inches thick, and bound together with iron ; and this coffin may be seen from the parapet of Henry the Fifth's Chapel.
Surrounding this magnificent mausoleum of the Confessor are the tombs of Edward the First, Henry the Third, Queen Eleanor, Henry the Fifth, Queen Philippa, Edward the Third, Richard the Second, and Queen Anne, his consort. Each of these shrines presents some proof of the luxurious taste which prevailed in the periods when they were raised, and of the pious reverence with which the remains of the great and good were regarded by their followers; but on none does the eye rest with more pleasure * See Saturaay Magatme, Vol. IV., p. 97.
than on that dedicated to Queen Eleanor, consort of the adventurous Edward the First. In all the dangers of that monarch's long and valorous career, she was ever at his side; and tradition reports, that when in the Holy Land he lay almost in the agonies of death, she saved him by sucking away the poison which had been infused by the dagger of the Saracen.
The chapel containing the remains of Henry the Fifth, occupies the whole of the east end of the Confessor's, and is supposed to have been erected early in the reign of Henry the Sixth. Several relics of the monarch's warlike achievements are preserved in this shrine and the very helmet which, it is conjectured, he wore in his boldest encounters with the enemies of England. On the south side of the chapel stands the tomb of Queen Philippa, wife of Edward the Third. It is constructed of black marble, surmounted by a rich alabaster canopy, which overhangs a figure of the queen, sculptured out of the same material. To the west of this stands the tomb of Edward the Third himself, formed of grey Petworth marble, but now much decayed; and to the west of this is that of Richard the Second and his Queen, Anne of Bohemia, which is also constructed of Petworth marble, and as is the case with similar parts of Edward's monument, tne figures and the canopy are of metal. The grave of the unfortunate Thomas of Woodstock, who was put to death by the angry favourite of Richard, is near this tomb; and at the northernmost door of the screen is that of John de Waltham, who enjoyed, with the Bishopric of Salisbury, the great political offices of Master of the Rolls and Lord High Treasurer.
Besides the monuments this chapel contains some other objects of curiosity. The principal of these is the ancient chair used at the coronation of the kings from the time of Edward the First, and which contains within its seat the Prophetic or Fatal Stone*, so called from the belief of the Scots, to whom it originally belonged, that whenever it was lost, the power of the nation would decline. In the year 129G was fought that dreadful battle between Edward the First and John Baliol, which decided the fate of the latter, and this celebrated stone was then removed, with the regal jewels, to London, where it has ever since remained. The painted windows are also highly worthy of attention, both on account of their great age, and their curiosity as works of 'irt. The glass of which they are made is said to be not less than the eighth of an inch thick, while the figures, which are near seven feet high, are formed out of an innumerable variety of small pieces, cut so as to compose, with proper shades of colour, the form and drapery of the characters described. In the legend of Edward the Confessor and the Pilgrim, the deep and brilliant colours of the glass, the beautiful arrangement of the drapery, and the noble expression given to the countenances of the figures, well deserve the admiration with which they are viewed.
HENRY THE SEVENTH'S CHAPEL
Has been called "The Wonder of the World;" and it may be fairly said, that never did the genius of art, combined with the power and resources of wealth, produce a nobler specimen of architectural skill. It was commenced in 1502, the first stone having been laid in the presence of this monarch, and was completed in about ten years. Sir Reginald Bray is said to have been the chief author of the design after which the edifice was erected; but it is also reported that he shared the labour with Alcocke, Bishop of Ely, who, like himself, was celebrated for his love of, and exquisite skill in, architecture. King Henry lived to see the building nearly completed, and was buried in the sumptuous tomb which his own pride, as well as the piety of his successor, prepared for the reception of his remains. The splendour of the building, when its gates were first opened to crowds of devout worshippers, forms a favourite theme with the antiquary, whose imagination may well be moved at the pictures drawn of the altars covered with gold, of the cross of the same metal, the beauteous marble pillars, and the image of the Virgin bedight with sparkling jewels. Mr. Brayley has given a minute architectural description of this structure, in his general history of the Abbey, and from his very valuable work we borrow the following.
"There is no other edifice in the kingdom, the external
ornaments of which have been spread over its surface with
such exuberant luxuriance as those of Henry the Seventh's
Chapel. It would seem, indeed, as though the architect
* Called, also, in days of vulgar lurfrstition, Jacob's 1'ilUnv.
had intended to give to stone the character of embroidery, and enclose his walls within the meshes of lace-work. With the exception of the plinth, every part is covered by sculptural decorations; the buttress-towers are crested by ornamental domes, and enriched by niches and elegant tracery; the cross-springers are perforated into airy forms; and the very cornices and parapets are charged, even to profusion, with armorial cognizances and knotted foliage.
"This building consists of a nave, two side aisles, and five small chapels, including the east end. There is no entrance but from the interior of the Abbey Church, to which it is attached, except by a small door-way in the south-east staircase-tower, which opens into the south aisle, and would seem to have been principally intended for the conveniency of workmen. The vaulting and roof are supported by fourteen octagonal buttress-towers, viz. six on each side, and two eastward; between which are thirteen lofty windows, those of the aisles being embowed, and those of the chapels projecting in three angles, the central angle forming an acute point.
"Immediately above the base, which rises to the height of eight or ten feet, according to the inequality of the ground, the exterior is surrounded by a double row of square panels, between mouldings and water-tables, crowned by a battlement. In each of the lower panels, on the middle of a quatrefoil, within a diagonal square, is either a portcullis chained, a rose, barbed and seeded, or a lleur-de-lis, boldly sculptured, and ranged in alternate order. All the upper panels are ornamented with radiated quatrefoils, enclosing plain shields, which are alternately of the common form, and of that used in tournaments in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The bases of the buttress-towers are included in this description, and in both the upper and the lower division there are two panels, ornamented as above in every part. In the hollow of the contiguous battlement-cornice, or that over the shields, are a variety of small oblong-shaped basso-relievos, including oak and vine branches, conjoined leaves, dragons, lions, grotesque human heads, de mi-angels, animals with two bodies uniting in one head, animal heads swallowing leaves, and demi-musicians playing the violin.
"The horizontal bands which go round the towers, are ranged in conformity with the transoms of the windows. The lowermost band is composed of quatrefoils, charged with portcullises, and having small fleurs-de-lis over them, and small ornamented circles, with foliage underneath. The next principal band is ornamented on each face with a large portcullis, a triplicated rose, or a fleur-de-lis, having at the sides small quatrefoils and foliage. All the headbands are enriched with minute tracery, involving roses of different kinds, expanded flowers, leaves, &c.
"The closely-wrought panelling of the next division, is crowned by a boldly-projecting cornice, charged in an unique manner, with the badges and supporters of the royal founder, in complete relief, and deeply under-cut. Here round the towers, the portcullis, the rose, and the fleur-de-lis, arc ranged in alternate succession, with the lion, the dragon, and the greyhound; which are represented as creeping across the cornice both upward and downward. In the panels of the surmounting parapet, is a continued range of portcullises placed within diagonal squares, and surmounted by handsome tracery. The buttress-towers extend to a considerable height above the parapet, and are each crowned by an octagonal dome, of a graceful contour; having crockets springing up every angle, and terminating in a richly-crusted finial. An embattled cornice surrounds each dome, and at the angles are one or other of the animals just mentioned, in a descending attitude. Below these, in front of each side-tower, are three canopied niches with pedestals for statues; and on each pedestal is a label inscribed in black letters, with the name of some prophet, apostle, or saint: varied tracery adorns the soffites, and the canopies are gracefully formed; the drops are enriched with foliage. The six easternmost towers have each four niches. Sec., similarly decorated.
"The flying-buttresses, or cross-springers, which extend over the side aisles and east-end, from the base of the turrets, are most ingeniously contrived, not only to resist the immense pressure of the vaulting and roof, but likewise to connect the parts of the building, and associate by their lightness and ornaments with the general mass. They are each pierced into circles, &c, including quatrefoils and other forms; and the lion, the dragon, and the greyhound, are sculptured in full relief, as creeping down the weatherings.
"The clerestory windows, which are large and very finely proportioned, occupy a considerable part of the space between the piers against which the cross-springers abut; the side walls being enriched with panelling. Each window is divided into three tiers, by embattled transoms; and further subdivided at the apex, by handsome tracery spreading from the mullions. Amidst the great number of rosettes, with which the cusps are adorned, scarcely any two can be found which are exactly alike. In the spandrils within radiated quatrefoils, are roses and portcullises of a large size, and in the hollows of the surmounting cornice, are various sculptures of a longitudinal form, in bold relief, including demi-angels with foliage, oak branches with cups and acorns, and grotesque heads devouring foliage. From hence the walls are covered by rich panelling to the upper cornice; the frieze of which exhibits a continued range of elaborately-wrought foliage; composed of oak and vine-branches with clustered fruit. On the other members are studded, in full relief, the king's badges and supporters, as before; but here all the animals appear to be descending: in each division, the lion is placed in the middle, between either a rose and a portcullis, or a fleur-de-lis and a portcullis; the dragon and the greyhound are at the sides.
"The design for the present parapet, or embattleraent, as it is improperly called, was furnished by Mr. J. Wyatt; yet there is strong reason to believe that it bears very little resemblance to the original battlement; which had been entirely destroyed long before the commencement of the late repairs. It consists, principally, of a row of diagonal squares; pierced into quatrefoils, and in the angles between them, half diagonals, pierced with trefoils. The whole is terminated by fourteen elevated pinnacles, the crockets and finials of which were partly designed from some remnants of the ancient ones found among the rubbish; but as they now stand, without any merlons between them, they are decidedly too high. On each angle below the springing of the crockets, is a lion, a dragon, and a greyhound, in alternate arrangement. At the west end, rising above the upper stair-case turrets, are ornamental domes, similar to those of the other towers; these were erected in conformity to the original ones, which being in a state of ruin, were taken down by the Abbey mason in July, 1803.
"The internal architecture of this superb structure, is not exceeded, nor perhaps paralleled bv that of any building in Europe: and although, on a slight examination, it may appear that its ornamental character has diverged into overcharged exuberancy, yet, when the mind has had leisure to separate the masses, and to reflect on the consummate science displayed in the details and arrangement, the judgment recoils from its own inference, and willingly submits to be controlled by the more powerful emotions of unmixed admiration. How magical must have been the scene, when, 'in th' olden time,' the sun's rays, beaming through 'the oryent colours and imagery' of its painted windows, tinged the aerial perspective with all the gorgeous hues of the prism and the rainbow!
This edifice is entered from the Abbey by a flight of twelve steps, which leads through the porch to the brazen gates of the chapel itself. The porch, which is twenty-eight feet four inches in width, opens from the church, by one large and two smaller lateral arches of equal height: these rest on piers, which contribute also to the support of the chantry, chapel, and screen, belonging to the monument of King Henry the Fifth. An elegant arch, or rather vault, of stone, about seventeen feet in its span, forms an embowed roof to the porch, the entire soflite of which is beautifully wrought into panelling; including radiated quatrefoils and other figures, ornamented with roses, fleurs-de-lis, &c. The side walls, also, are adorned with uniform tiers of panelling, disposed thus: at the lower part is a range of small quatrefoils within circles, surmounted by projecting mouldings; these form the base of a row of seven arches, enriched with tracery, and crowned by an embattled cornice, which is continued over the door-ways to the north and south aisles. The space above ihe cornice is divided into four principal compartments, within which are intervening mullions, spreading into a profusion of a handsome tracery; an embattled transom, similarly adorned, crosses the whole; and in the upper spandrils, are circles, quatrefoils, and other figures. The two middle divisions are rather flattened; the others are regularly pointed; the upper compartments of the easternmost division are, on each side of the porch, pierced into a window; but
these being small, hardly sufficient light is admitted te show its ornaments. Upon the summit of the small pillars at the entrance to the porch, are Henry's supporters, viz., the lion, the dragon, and the greyhound; in the spandrils of the middle arch are his arms; and in those of the small arches his badges. Still higher is a range of panelled arches, terminating in pinnacles; and a frieze decorated with roses, &c., the whole design being completed by a battlement. On the eastern side are similar enrichments; and within the frame-work of the doorways, opening to the chapel, there are, also, various compartments of elegant panelling."
The architecture of the nave is equally beautiful and rich in ornament. A long range of statues give grace and animation to the rest of the decorations. The side chapels are beautified in a similar manner, while the noble arch, which extends its magnificent span over the nave from north to south, forms in itself a splendid object for the eye to contemplate. "In the design and construction of the main vaulting of the chapel,' says Mr. Brayley, "profound geometrical knowledge is combined with the utmost practical science; and the result has been truly termed 'a prodigy of art.' It is not alone the untutored mind that contemplates with astonishment the vastness of its extent, and the fearful altitude of its pendent decorations; but even the intelligent architect wonders at the ingenuity and 'daring hardihood' that could arrange, and securely poise in air, such ponderous masses of stone, and counteract the power of gravity by professional skill. The stalls on each side the nave are formed of oak, and are surmounted by richly-carved canopies, while the sub-sellso are as curious for their grotesqucness as the rest of the decorations are for their beauty." These stalls are now appropiated to the Knights of the Bath, whose names and arms are fixed at the back on plates of gilt copper; the names and arms of their esquires being placed in a similar manner on the seats below. The canopies are ornamented with the swords, crests, and helmets, of the knights; and, at the grand installation which took place in 1812, silken banners were hung round the chapel, bearing the arms of the distinguished men who then belonged to the Order.
The principal object of admiration here, both for its antiquity and its workmanship, is the Tomb of Henry the Seventh and Elizabeth his queen*.
In the north aisle of this chapel are the monuments of Queen Elizabeth; the murdered Princes, Edward the Fifth and his brother Richard; Sophia and Maria, infant daughters of James the First; Charles Montague, first Earl of Halifax: and George Saville, Marquis of Halifax. Here likewise is preserved the armour of General Monk.
In the south aisle are the monuments of Mary, Queen of Scots; Catherine, Lady Walpole; Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby, the mother of Henry the Seventh; George Monk, the first Duke of Albemarle, and Christopher his son, the second Duke. Here also is a monument, on which lies a lady finely robed, the effigy of Margaret Douglast, daughter of Margaret, Queen of Scots, by the Earl of Angus. This lady, who was very beautiful, was privately married, in 1537, to Thomas Howard, son of the Duke of Norfolk, upon which account both of them were committed to the Tower by Henry the Eighth, her uncle, for affiancing without his consent, and he died in prison; but this Margaret, being released, was soon after married to Matthew, Earl of Lennox, by whom she had Lord Darnley, father of James the First, whose effigy is foremost on the tomb, in a kneeling posture, with the crown over his head, having been married some time to Mary Queen of Scots, but, in the twenty-first year of his age, murdered, not without some suspicion of foul practices in the queen. There are seven children besides round the tomb of Margaret, of whom only three are mentioned in. history, the rest dying young. This great lady died March 10. 1577. At the end is the royal vault, as it is called, in which the remains of Charles the Second, William the Third and Mary his consort, Queen Anne, and Prince George, are all deposited. Over them, in a wainscot press,
* See Saturday Magazine, Vol. III., p. 88.
t This lady, as the English inscription expresses, had to her greatgrandfather, Edward the Fourth; to her grandfather, Henry the Seventh; to her uncle, Henry the Eighth; to her cousin-german, Edward the Sixth; to her brother, James the Fifth of Scotland; to her gTandson, James the Sixth: having to her great-grandmother and grandmother two queens, both named Elizabeth; to her mother, Margaret, queen of Scots; to her aunt, Mary, the French queen: to her cousins-german, Mary and Elizabeth, queens of England; to bet niece and daughter-in-law, Mary, queen of Scots.
is the effigy of Charlesthe Second in wax-work, dressed in the robes he wore at Windsor, at the installation of the Knights of the Garter.
In a fine vault under Henry the Seventh's Chapel is the burying-place of the Royal Family, erected by George the Second.
The Dimensions of Henry the Seventh's Chapel are,—
Length of Nave 104 feet.
Breadth of Nave 36
Height of Nave 61
Breadth of each Able.. 17
Length 115 feet.
Height of Towers 71
Height of Roof 86
Height of West Turrets . 102
For the present beautiful appearance of this splendid building, the nation is indebted to the extensive repairs commenced at the suggestion of Dr. Vincent. Three centuries had elapsed since its foundation, and little or nothing had been done during that period to preserve it against the ravages of time. Such, consequently, was its state of decay, that it was evident the whole would shortly be a mass of ruins, if speedy measures were not taken for its repair. A memorial was accordingly presented to Parliament, and £2000 being granted, the general repairs were begun in 1809. Further grants were successively made, to the amount of £42,000; and, on the Christmas eve of 1822, the scaffolding was taken away, and the magnificent edifice was again seen in all the beauty which it exhibited three hundred years before.
St. Andrews Chapel, which is next to the north cross, and the others which surround the choir, are crowded with monuments of noble personages, worthy of the attention of the curious.
St. Benedict's Chapel contains the tomb and effigies of Archbishop Langham, and at the corner is an iron gate opening into the south cross aisle.
THE POETS CORNER
Is so called from the number of monuments erected there to celebrate English poets, though we find here a monument to the memory of John, Duke of Argyle; and others to Camden, the antiquary; Dr. Isaac Barrow, the divine; and Thomas Parr, who died at the age of 152 years.
Amongst the most interesting monuments in Poet's Corner is that to the memory of Shakespeare. His attitude, dress, shape, and air, are so delicately expressed by the sculptor, that they cannot be too much admired, and the beautiful lines that appear upon the scroll are very happily chosen from the poet's works. On the pedestal are represented the heads of Henry the Fifth, Richard the Third, and Queen Elizabeth.
Here likewise may be seen the names of Ben Jonson, Spenser, Chaucer, Butler, Milton, Mason, Gray, Prior, Granville Sharp, Thomson, Mrs. Rowe, Gay, Goldsmith, Handel, Chambers, Addison, Dr. Hales, Sir J. Pringle, Sir R. Taylor, Wyatt, Grabius, Casaubon, Garrick, Dryden, Cowley, Davenant, Gifford, &c. &c.
The monuments in the other parts of the Abbey are too numerous to be minutely detailed. In the south aisle are those of Dr. South, Dr. Vincent, Sir Cloudesley Shovel, Dr. Watts, General Paoli, Dr. Burney, Thomas Thynne, whose murder in his own carriage is here represented, &c. In the west aisle are those of Major Andre, whose remains were brought from America, and interred here in 1821; Sir J. Chardin, Lord Howe, Admiral Tyrell, Congreve, Sir Thomas Hardy, Sir Godfrey Kneller, Banks the sculptor, Dr. Mead, Sir Isaac Newton, Lord Stanhope, by Rysbach, &c. In the north aisle those of Lord Ligonier, General Wolfe, Pulteney Earl of Bath, Dr. Arnold, Dr. Croft, Dr. Burney, Mr. Perceval, two Knights Templars, &c. The monument of Mr. Pitt, (who is represented speaking in his robes, as Chancellor of the Exchequer,) is over the west door.
In the north transept were buried near to each other, Pitt, Earl of Chatham; those celebrated rivals, Pitt and Fox; Grattan the Irish orator, Lord Londonderry, Mr. Canning, and Mr. Wilberforce. Here likewise are the monuments of Lord Mansfield, by Flaxman; the Earl of Chatham, by Bacon; Admiral Warren, by Roubiliac; Sir Eyre Coote, Jonas Hanway, Mr. Horner, by Chantrey; and C. J. Fox, by Westmacott.
St. Erasmus's Chapel
contains the tombs of Lord Hunsdon and Lord Exeter, in the time of Elizabeth; and wax figures of Queen Elizabeth, William and Mary, Lord Chatham, Queen Anne, and Lord Nelson,
The Chapel Of St. John And St. Michael is adorned with the monument of Lady Nightingale, executed by Roubiliac, and remarkable for the beauty of its workmanship; the lady is represented as protected by her husband, whilst a fine figure of Death is seen coming out of a tomb to hurl his dart. Here, also, are the tombs of Admirals Kempenfelt and Pococke.
The Abbey was formerly called the Collegiate Church of St. Peter and was dedicated to that saint. The name of Westminster was given to it with reference to its situation in the western part of London, and from its having been, as already noticed, the Minster or church of a monastery.
The Establishment of the Abbey is a College, founded by Queen Elizabeth in 1560 consisting of a dean, and twelve secular canons, or prebendaries, to which the Queen also attached a school for forty scholars, called the Queen's scholars, to be educated in the liberal sciences, preparatory to their removal to the Universities. Private scholars are also admitted, and some of the most illustrious persons have been educated here. To the establishment also belong choristers, singing-men, an organist, and twelve almsmen.
Dimensions Of The Abbey. Length, exclusive of Henry
the Seventh's Chapel. 416 feet. Height of West Towers 225
Breadth at the Transept 203
Breadth of Nave 39 feet.
Height of Nave 102
Breadth of each Aisle.. 17
Length of Choir 156
Breadth of Choir .... 28
Besides the church, many of the ancient appendages of the Abbey remain.
The Cloisters are entire, and filled with monuments. In them may still be traced the signs of monastic life. The door-ways are pointed out by which the monks proceeded to the refectory, and other portions of the building set apart for their retreat; and a serious, and not unprofitable, delight, may be found in bringing to recollection the customs' which prevailed, the modes of worship, the habits and opinions which existed when the venerable walls of these cloisters bore no signs of decay. They are built in a quadrangular form, with piazzas towards the court, in which several of the prebendaries have houses.
The entrance into
The Chapter-house (built in 1250) is on one side of the cloisters, through a Gothic portal, the mouldings of which are exquisitely carved. By consent of the abbot, in 1377, the Commons of Great Britain first held their parliaments in this place; the Crown undertaking the repairs. H ere they sat till 1547, when Edward VI. granted them the Chapel of St. Stephen It is at present filled with the public records, among which is the original Doomsday Book, now above 700 years old. Beneath the chapter-house is a singular crypt, the roof of which is supported by massy plain ribs, diverging from the top of a short round pillar, quite hollow. The walls are not less than eighteen feet thick.
The Jerusalem-chamber built by Littlington, formed a part of the Abbot's lodgings. It is noted for having been the place where Henry IV. breathed his last: he had been seized with a swoon while praying before the shrine of St. Edward; and being carried into this room, asked, on recovering, where he was? Being informed, he answered, to use the words of Shakspeare, founded on history—
Laud be to God !—even here my life must end.
It hath been prophesied to me many years
I should not die but in Jerusalem,
Which vainly I supposed the Holy Land! Not far from the Abbey stood
The Eleemosynary, Or Almonry, where the alms of the Abbey were distributed. But it is still more remarkable for having been the place where the first printing-press ever known in England was erected. It was in 1474, when William Caxton, encouraged by "the Great,"' and probably by the learned Thomas Milling, then Abbot, produced " the Game and Play of the Chesse," the first book ever printed in these kingdoms. There is a slight difference about the place in which it was printed, but all agree that it was within the precincts of this religious house.
The Abbey is open every day for divine service at ten in the morning and at three in the afternoon.