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“ Ye three holy Kings,
Gaspar, Melchior, Balthasar, Pray for us now, and in the hour of death." “ These papers have touched the three heads of the “ holy Kings at Cologne. They are to preserve tra6 vellers from accidents on the road, head-achs, falling “sickness, fevers, witchcraft, all kinds of mischief, and sudden death."17
Mr. Smith in his Notes during his Tour on the Continent, in 1826, furnishes the following account of this superstitious belief,
“ The guide pointed out the Chapel of The Three Kings or Magi on the other side of the Altar, where the credulous believe the bones of the Wise Men of the East are deposited. The Tomb remains, 18 but the sacrilegious French, as my guide observed, made free with all the magnificent and costly articles which adorned it. The riches of this Tomb, before the
17 Gentleman's Magazine, for February, 1749. vol. xix. pp. 42, 88.
18 It is a square stone, on which is engraven a Star, and under it “Sepulchrum trium Magorum."--STEVENSON'S Tour in France, &c. vol. i.
Revolution, were astonishing, it being covered with pearls and gems. It is still richly embossed with gilt carving, and otherwise ornamented. Devotees are replacing the gold crowns with crowns of metal gilt, set with pearls, bearing the names of the Magi, viz. Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar. Their remains are said to have been removed to Cologne by CHARLEMAGNE. This little Chapel is quite dark. Near the tomb hangs the Litany of The Three Kings, to repeat which entitles the person to an Indulgence of nine days. There is also a curious painting of the Adoration of the Magi, four hundred years
A Picture representing the Adoration of The Three Kings by VELASQUEZ is said to be one of his best pieces.20
It is, doubtless, to the superstitious veneration in which the fame of these Wise Men was holden, that the Signs at
19 Smith's Notes made during a Tour in Denmark, &c. p. 412.
20 Twiss's Travels through Spain. p. 308.
our Inns of “ The Three Kings” took their origin.
These, therefore, appear to have been originally Religious establishments, connected with benevolent purposes, -and by the
grace of Royal favour, their foundations were renewed for similar benefits, notwithstanding the Statutes of Dissolution.
And, although no trust deeds are found relating to various Town lands, the rents and profits of which had been time out of mind employed to the benefit and relief of the Poor,-yet, it may be collected from the decree of the The Commissioners of Charitable uses, that part of them at least had been applied for the benefit and relief of the Poor, before the general provision for the Poor was made by the Statute of the 43d of ELIZABETH, 1601.
Thus it will be seen that, on the Dissolution of Monasteries, eleemosynary establishments were either newly constituted or old ones were permitted to remain, which received substitutionary grants from the Crown,—and at the present time, the two Royal Hospitals in Glastonbury are entitled to certain allowances, which they now receive from the Treasury. Many Grammar schools are likewise entitled to small annual payments from the Crown revenues.21
INVESTIGATIONS INSTITUTED BY
PARLIAMENT, RELATIVE TO
The first Act of CHARITABLE USES, which was a temporary one, passed in the 39th year of Queen ELIZABETH, at the time when the state of the Poor was attracting the notice of Parliament. The well known Act of the 43d of Her Majesty's reign, which followed, was passed in the same year with the celebrated Poor Law, and stands next but one to it in the Statute Book.
'The first Act of the Legislature which occurs in later times, relative to CHARITABLE DONATIONS for the benefit of POOR PERSONS, is one which was passed in the Twenty-sixth year of His late Majesty GEORGE the Third, 1786, requiring Answers to be made to certain Questions by the Ministers and Churchwardens of the