Part 4 out of 7
richly decorated chamber, in 1240, on the day of the Nativity, an infinite
number of poor persons were collected and fed by the king's command.
During the greater part of Henry's long and eventful reign the works
within the castle proceeded with unabated activity. Carpenters were
maintained on the royal establishment; the ditch between the hall and
the lower ward was repaired; a new kitchen was built; the bridges were
repaired with timber procured from the neighbouring forests; certain
breaches in the wall facing the garden were stopped; the fortifications
were surveyed, and the battlements repaired. At the same time the
queen's chamber was painted and wainscoted, and iron bars were
placed before the windows of Prince Edward's chamber. In 1240 Henry
commenced building an apartment for his own use near the wall of the
castle, sixty feet long and twenty-eight high; another apartment for the
queen contiguous to it; and a chapel, seventy feet long and twenty-
eight feet wide, along the same wall, but with a grassy space between
it and the royal apartments. The chapel, as appears from an order to
Walter de Grey, Archbishop of York, had a Galilee and a cloister, a lofty
wooden roof covered with lead, and a stone turret in front holding three
or four bells. Withinside it was made to appear like stone-work with
good ceiling and painting, and it contained four gilded images.
This structure is supposed to have been in existence, under the
designation of the Old College Church, in the latter part of the reign of
Henry the Seventh, by whom it was pulled down to make way for the
tomb-house. Traces of its architecture have been discovered by
diligent antiquarian research in the south ambulatory of the Dean's
Cloister, and in the door behind the altar in St. George's Chapel, the
latter of which is conceived to have formed the principal entrance to
the older structure, and has been described as exhibiting "one of the
most beautiful specimens which time and innovation have respected of
the elaborate ornamental work of the period."
In 1241 Henry commenced operations upon the outworks of the castle,
and the three towers on the western side of the lower ward--now known
as the Curfew, the Garter, and the Salisbury Towers--were erected by
him. He also continued the walls along the south side of the lower
ward, traces of the architecture of the period being discoverable in the
inner walls of the houses of the alms-knights as far as the tower now
bearing his name. From thence it is concluded that the ramparts ran
along the east side of the upper ward to a tower occupying the site of
the Wykeham or Winchester Tower.
The three towers at the west end of the lower ward, though much
dilapidated, present unquestionable features of the architecture of the
thirteenth century. The lower storey of the Curfew Tower, which has
been but little altered, consists of a large vaulted chamber, twenty-two
feet wide, with walls of nearly thirteen feet in thickness, and having
arched recesses terminated by loopholes. The walls are covered with
the inscriptions of prisoners who have been confined within it. The
Garter Tower, though in a most ruinous condition, exhibits high
architectural beauty in its moulded arches and corbelled passages.
The Salisbury Tower retains only externally, and on the side towards
the town, its original aspect. The remains of a fourth tower are
discernible in the Governor of the Alms-Knights' Tower; and Henry the
Third's Tower, as before observed, completes what remains of the
original chain of fortifications.
On the 24th of November 1244 Henry issued a writ enjoining "the clerks
of the works at Windsor to work day and night to wainscot the high
chamber upon the wall of the castle near our chapel in the upper bailey,
so that it may be ready and properly wainscoted on Friday next [the
24th occurring on a Tuesday, only two days were allowed for the task],
when we come there, with boards radiated and coloured, so that
nothing be found reprehensible in that wainscot; and also to make at
each gable of the said chamber one glass window, on the outside of the
inner window of each gable, so that when the inner window shall be
closed the glass windows may be seen outside."
The following year the works were suspended, but they were
afterwards resumed and continued, with few interruptions; the keep
was new constructed; a stone bench was fixed in the wall near the
grass-plot by the king's chamber; a bridge was thrown across the ditch
to the king's garden, which lay outside the walls; a barbican was
erected, to which a portcullis was subsequently attached; the bridges
were defended by strong iron chains; the old chambers in the upper
ward were renovated; a conduit and lavatory were added; and a
fountain was constructed in the garden.
In this reign, in all probability, the Norman Tower, which now forms a
gateway between the middle and the upper ward, was erected. This
tower, at present allotted to the house keeper of the castle, Lady Mary
Fox, was used as a prison-lodging during the civil wars of Charles the
First's time; and many noble and gallant captives have left mementoes
of their loyalty and ill fate upon its walls.
In 1260 Henry received a visit to Windsor from his daughter Margaret,
and her husband, Alexander the Third, King of Scotland. The queen
gave birth to a daughter during her stay at the castle.
In 1264, during the contest between Henry and the barons, the valiant
Prince Edward, his son, returning from a successful expedition into
Wales, surprised the citizens of London, and. carrying off their military
chest, in which was much treasure, retired to Windsor Castle and
strongly garrisoned it. The Queen Eleanor, his mother, would fain have
joined him there, but she was driven back by the citizens at London
Bridge, and compelled to take sanctuary in the palace of the Bishop of
London, at St. Paul's.
Compelled at length to surrender the castle to the barons, and to
depart from it with his consort, Eleanor of Castile, the brave prince soon
afterwards recovered it, but was again forced to deliver it up to Simon
de Montford, Earl of Leicester, who appointed Geoffrey de Langele
governor. But though frequently wrested from him at this period,
Windsor Castle was never long out of Henry's possession; and in 1265
the chief citizens of London were imprisoned till they had paid the
heavy fine imposed upon them for their adherence to Simon de
Montford, who had been just before slain at the battle of Evesham.
During this reign a terrific storm of wind and thunder occurred, which
tore up several great trees in the park, shook the castle, and blew
down a part of the building in which the queen and her family were
lodged, but happily without doing them injury.
Four of the children of Edward the First, who was blessed with a
numerous offspring, were born at Windsor; and as he frequently resided
at the castle, the town began to increase in importance and
consideration. By a charter granted in 1276 it was created a free
borough, and various privileges were conferred on its inhabitants. Stow
tells us that in 1295, on the last day of February, there suddenly arose
such a fire in the castle of Windsor that many offices were therewith
consumed, and many goodly images, made to beautify the buildings,
defaced and deformed.
Edward the Second, and his beautiful but perfidious queen, Isabella of
France, made Windsor Castle their frequent abode; and here, on the
13th day of November 1312 at forty minutes past five in the morning,
was born a prince, over whose nativity the wizard Merlin must have
presided. Baptized within the old chapel by the name of Edward, this
prince became afterwards the third monarch of the name, and the
greatest, and was also styled, from the place of his birth, EDWARD OF
II. Comprising the Third Great Epoch in the History of the
Castle--And showing how the Most Noble Order of the Garter was
Strongly attached to the place of his birth, Edward the Third, by his
letters patent dated from Westminster, in the twenty-second year of his
reign, now founded the ancient chapel established by Henry the First,
and dedicated it to the Virgin, Saint George of Cappadocia, and Saint
Edward the Confessor; ordaining that to the eight canons appointed by
his predecessor there should be added one custos, fifteen more
canons, and twenty-four alms-knights; the whole to be maintained out
of the revenues with which the chapel was to be endowed. The
institution was confirmed by Pope Clement the Sixth, by a bull issued at
Avignon the 13th of November 1351.
In 1349, before the foundation of the college had been confirmed, as
above related, Edward instituted the Order of the Garter. The origin of
this illustrious Order has been much disputed. By some writers it has
been ascribed to Richard Coeur de Lion, who is said to have girded a
leathern band round the legs of his bravest knights in. Palestine. By
others it has been asserted that it arose from the word "garter" having
been used as a watchword by Edward at the battle of Cressy. Others
again have stoutly maintained that its ringlike form bore mysterious
reference to the Round Table. But the popular legend, to which,
despite the doubts thrown upon it, credence still attaches, declares its
origin to be as follows: Joan, Countess of Salisbury, a beautiful dame, of
whom Edward was enamoured, while dancing at a high festival
accidentally slipped her garter, of blue embroidered velvet. It was
picked up by her royal partner, who, noticing the significant looks of his
courtiers on the occasion, used the words to them which afterwards.
became the motto of the Order--" Honi soit qui mal y pense;" adding that
"in a short time they should see that garter advanced to so high honour
and estimation as to account themselves happy to wear it."
But whatever may have originated the Order, it unquestionably owes its
establishment to motives of policy. Wise as valiant, and bent upon
prosecuting his claim to the crown of France, Edward, as a means of
accomplishing his object, resolved to collect beneath his standard the
best knights in Europe, and to lend a colour to the design, he gave forth
that he intended a restoration of King Arthur's Round Table, and
accordingly commenced constructing within the castle a large circular
building of two hundred feet in diameter, in which he placed a round
table. On the completion of the work, he issued proclamations
throughout England, Scotland, France, Burgundy, Flanders, Brabant,
and the Empire, inviting all knights desirous of approving their valour to
a solemn feast and jousts to be holden within the castle of Windsor on
Saint George's Day, 1345. The scheme was completely successful.
The flower of the chivalry of Europe--excepting that of Philip the Sixth
of France, who, seeing through the design, interdicted the attendance
of his knights-were present at the tournament, which was graced by
Edward and his chief nobles, together with his queen and three
hundred of her fairest dames, "adorned with all imaginable gallantry."
At this chivalrous convocation the institution of the Order of the Garter
was arranged; but before its final establishment Edward assembled his
principal barons and knights, to determine upon the regulations, when
it was decided that the number should be limited to twenty-six.
The first installation took place on the anniversary of Saint George, the
patron of the Order, 1349, when the king, accompanied by the twenty-
five knights'-companions, attired in gowns of russet, with mantles of
fine blue woollen cloth, powdered with garters, and hearing the other
insignia of the Order, marched bareheaded in solemn procession to the
chapel of Saint George, then recently rebuilt, where mass was
performed by William Edington, Bishop of Winchester, after which they
partook of a magnificent banquet. The festivities were continued for
several days. At the jousts held on this occasion, David, King of
Scotland, the Lord Charles of Blois, and Ralph, Earl of Eu and Guisnes,
and Constable of France, to whom the chief prize of the day was
adjudged, with others, then prisoners, attended. The harness of the
King of Scotland, embroidered with a pale of red velvet, and beneath it
a red rose, was provided at Edward's own charge. This suit of armour
was, until a few years back, preserved in the Round Tower, where the
royal prisoner was confined. Edward's device was a white swan,
gorged, or, with the "daring and inviting" motto--
Hay hay the wythe swan By God's soul I am thy man.
The insignia of the Order in the days of its founder were the garter,
mantle, surcoat, and hood, the George and collar being added by Henry
the Eighth. The mantle, as before intimated, was originally of fine blue
woollen cloth; but velvet, lined with taffeta, was substituted by Henry
the Sixth, the left shoulder being adorned with the arms of Saint
George, embroidered within a garter. Little is known of the materials of
which the early garter was composed; but it is supposed to have been
adorned with gold, and fastened with a buckle of the same metal. The
modern garter is of blue velvet, bordered with gold wire, and
embroidered with the motto, "Honi soit qui mal y pense." It is worn on
the left leg, a little below the knee. The most magnificent garter that
ever graced a sovereign was that presented to Charles the First by
Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, each letter in the motto of which
was composed of diamonds. The collar is formed of pieces of gold
fashioned like garters, with a blue enamelled ground. The letters of the
motto are in gold, with a rose enamelled red in the centre of each
garter. From the collar hangs the George, an ornament enriched with
precious stones, and displaying the figure of the saint encountering the
The officers of the Order are the prelate, represented by the Bishop of
Winchester; the Chancellor, by the Bishop of Oxford; the registrar, dean,
garter king-at-arms, and the usher of the black rod. Among the foreign
potentates who have been invested with the Order are eight emperors
of Germany, two of Russia, five kings of France, three of Spain, one of
Arragon, seven of Portugal, one of Poland, two of Sweden, six of
Denmark, two of Naples, one of Sicily and Jerusalem, one of Bohemia,
two of Scotland, seven princes of Orange, and many of the most
illustrious personages of different ages in Europe.
Truly hath the learned Selden written, "that the Order of the Garter hath
not only precedency of antiquity before the eldest rank of honour of
that kind anywhere established, but it exceeds in majesty, honour, and
fame all chivalrous orders in the world." Well also hath glorious Dryden,
in the "Flower and the Leaf," sung the praises of the illustrious
" Behold an order yet of newer date, Doubling their number, equal in
their state; Our England's ornament, the crown's defence, In battle
brave, protectors of their prince: Unchanged by fortune, to their
sovereign true, For which their manly legs are bound with blue. These
of the Garter call'd, of faith unstain'd, In fighting fields the laurel have
obtain'd, And well repaid the laurels which they gained."
In 1357 John, King of France, defeated at the battle of Poitiers by
Edward the Black Prince, was brought captive to Windsor; and on the
festival of Saint George in the following year; 1358, Edward outshone all
his former splendid doings by a tournament which he gave in honour of
his royal prisoner. Proclamation having been made as before, and
letters of safe conduct issued, the nobles and knighthood of Almayne,
Gascoigne, Scotland, and other countries, flocked to attend it, The
Queen of Scotland, Edward's sister, was present at the jousts; and it is
said that John, commenting upon the splendour of the spectacle,
shrewdly observed "that he never saw or knew such royal shows and
feastings without some after-reckoning." The same monarch replied to
his kingly captor, who sought to rouse him from dejection, on another
occasion-- "Quomodo cantabimus canticum in terra aliena!"
That his works might not be retarded for want of hands, Edward in the
twenty-fourth year of his reign appointed John de Sponlee master of the
stonehewers, with a power not only "to take and keep, as well within
the liberties as without, as many masons and other artificers as were
necessary, and to convey them to Windsor, but to arrest and imprison
such as should disobey or refuse; with a command to all sheriffs,
mayors, bailiffs, etc., to assist him." These powers were fully acted
upon at a later period, when some of the workmen, having left their
employment, were thrown into Newgate; while the place of others, who
had been carried off by a pestilence then raging in the castle, was
supplied by impressment.
In 1356 WILLIAM OF WYKEHAM was constituted superintendent of the
works, with the same powers as John de Sponlee, and his appointment
marks an important era in the annals of the castle. Originally secretary
to Edward the Third, this remarkable man became Bishop of Winchester
and prelate of the Garter. When he solicited the bishopric, it is said that
Edward told him he was neither a priest nor a scholar; to which he
replied that he would soon be the one, and in regard to the other, he
would make more scholars than all the bishops of England ever did. He
made good his word by founding the collegiate school at Winchester,
and erecting New College at Oxford. When the Winchester Tower was
finished, he caused the words, HOC FECIT WYKEHAM, to be carved
upon it; and the king, offended at his presumption, Wykeham turned
away his displeasure by declaring that the inscription meant that the
castle had made him, and not that he had made the castle. It is a
curious coincidence that this tower, after a lapse of four centuries and
a half, should become the residence of an architect possessing the
genius of Wykeham, and who, like him, had rebuilt the kingly edifice--
SIR JEFFRY WYATVILLE.
William of Wykeham retired from office, loaded with honours, in 1362,
and was succeeded by William de Mulso. He was interred in the
cathedral at Winchester. His arms were argent, two chevrons, sable,
between three roses, gules, with the motto--" Manners maketh man."
In 1359 Holinshed relates that the king "set workmen in hand to take
down much old buildings belonging to the castle, and caused divers
other fine and sumptuous works to be set up in and about the same
castle, so that almost all the masons and carpenters that were of any
account in the land were sent for and employed about the same
works." The old buildings here referred to were probably the remains of
the palace and keep of Henry the First in the middle ward.
As the original chapel dedicated to Saint George was demolished by
Edward the Fourth, its position and form cannot be clearly determined,
But a conjecture has been hazarded that it occupied the same ground
as the choir of the present chapel, and extended farther eastward.
"Upon the question of its style," says Mr. Poynter, from whose valuable
account of the castle much information has been derived, "there is the
evidence of two fragments discovered near this site, a corbel and a
piscina, ornamented with foliage strongly characteristic of the
Decorated English Gothic, and indicating, by the remains of colour on
their surfaces, that they belonged to an edifice adorned in the
polychromatic style, so elaborately developed in the chapel already
built by Edward the Third at Westminster."
The royal lodgings, Saint George's Hall, the buildings on the east and
north sides of the upper ward, the Round Tower, the canons' houses in
the lower ward, and the whole circumference of the castle, exclusive of
the towers erected in Henry the Third's reign, were now built. Among
the earlier works in Edward's reign is the Dean's Cloister. The square of
the upper ward, added by this monarch, occupied a space of four
hundred and twenty feet, and encroached somewhat upon the middle
ward. Externally the walls presented a grim, regular appearance,
broken only by the buttresses, and offering no other apertures than the
narrow loopholes and gateways. Some traces of the architecture of the
period may still be discerned in the archway and machecoulis of the
principal gateway adjoining the Round Tower; the basement chamber
of the Devil Tower, or Edward the Third's Tower; and in the range of
groined and four-centred vaulting, extending along the north side of the
upper quadrangle, from the kitchen gateway to King John's Tower.
In 1359 Queen Philippa, consort of Edward the Third, breathed her last
in Windsor Castle.
Richard the Second, grandson of Edward the Third, frequently kept his
court at Windsor. Here, in 1382, it was determined by council that war
should be declared against France; and here, sixteen years later, on a
scaffold erected within the castle, the famous appeal for high treason
was made by Henry of Lancaster, Duke of Hereford, against Thomas
Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, the latter of whom defied his accuser to
mortal combat. The duel was stopped by the king, and the adversaries
banished; but the Duke of Lancaster afterwards returned to depose his
banisher. About the same time, the citizens of London having refused
Richard a large loan, he summoned the lord mayor, sheriffs, aldermen,
and twenty-four of the principal citizens, to his presence, and after
rating them soundly, ordered them all into custody, imprisoning the lord
mayor in the castle.
In this reign Geoffrey Chaucer, "the father of English poetry," was
appointed clerk to the works of Saint George's Chapel, at a salary of
two shillings per day (a sum equal to 657 poundsper annum of modern
money), with the same arbitrary power as had been granted to previous
surveyors to impress carpenters and masons. Chaucer did not retain
his appointment more than twenty months, and was succeeded by
It was at Windsor that Henry the Fourth, scarcely assured of the crown
he had seized, received intelligence of a conspiracy against his life
from the traitorous Aumerle, who purchased his own safety at the
expense of his confederates. The timely warning enabled the king to
baffle the design. It was in Windsor also that the children of Mortimer,
Earl of March, the rightful successor to the throne, were detained as
hostages for their father. Liberated by the Countess-dowager of
Gloucester, who contrived to open their prison door with false keys, the
youthful captives escaped to the marshes of Wales, where, however,
they were overtaken by the emissaries of Henry, and brought back to
their former place of confinement
A few years later another illustrious prisoner was brought to Windsor--
namely, Prince James, the son of King Robert the Third, and afterwards
James the First of Scotland. This prince remained a captive for
upwards of eighteen years; not being released till 1424, in the second
of Henry the Sixth, by the Duke of Bedford, then regent. James's
captivity, and his love for Jane of Beaufort, daughter of the Duke of
Somerset, and granddaughter to John of Gaunt, to whom he was united,
have breathed a charm over the Round Tower, where he was confined;
and his memory, like that of the chivalrous and poetical Surrey, whom
he resembled in character and accomplishments, will be ever
associated with it.
In the "King's Quair," the royal poet has left an exquisite picture of a
garden nook, contrived within the dry moat of the dungeon.
" Now was there made, fast by the tower's wall,
A garden faire, and in the corners set
An arbour green with wandis long and small
Railed about, and so with leaves beset
Was all the place, and hawthorn hedges knet,
That lyf was none, walking there forbye,
That might within scarce any wight espy.
So thick the branches and the leave's green
Beshaded all the alleys that there were.
And midst of every harbour might be seen
The sharpe, green, sweet juniper,
Growing so fair with branches here and there,
That as it seemed to a lyf without
The boughs did spread the arbour all about."
And he thus describes the first appearance of the lovely Jane, and the
effect produced upon him by her charms:
"And therewith cast I down mine eye again,
Where as I saw walking under the tower,
Full secretly, new comyn her to plain,
The fairest and the freshest younge flower
That e'er I saw, methought, before that hour;
For which sudden abate, anon did start
The blood of all my body to my heart."
Henry the Fifth occasionally kept his court at Windsor, and in 1416
entertained with great magnificence the Emperor Sigismund, who
brought with him an invaluable relic--the heart of Saint George--which
he bestowed upon the chapter. The emperor was at the same time
invested with the Order.
In 1421 the unfortunate Henry the Sixth was born within the castle, and
in 1484 he was interred within it.
III. Comprising the Fourth Epoch in the
History of the Castle--And showing how Saint George's Chapel was
rebuilt by King Edward the Fourth.
Finding the foundation and walls of Saint George's Chapel much
dilapidated and decayed, Edward the Fourth resolved to pull down the
pile, and build a larger and statelier structure in its place. With this
view, he constituted Richard Beauchamp, Bishop of Salisbury, surveyor
of the works, from whose designs arose the present beautiful edifice.
To enable the bishop to accomplish the work, power was given him to
remove all obstructions, and to enlarge the space by the demolition of
the three buildings then commonly called Clure's Tower, Berner's
Tower, and the Almoner's Tower.
The zeal and assiduity with which Beauchamp prosecuted his task is
adverted to in the patent of his appointment to the office of chancellor
of the Garter, the preamble whereof recites, "that out of mere love
towards the Order, he had given himself the leisure daily to attend the
advancement and progress of this goodly fabric."
The chapel, however, was not completed in one reign, or by one
architect. Sir Reginald Bray, prime minister of Henry the Seventh,
succeeded Bishop Beauchamp as surveyor of the works, and it was by
him that the matchless roof of the choir and other parts of the fabric
were built. Indeed, the frequent appearance of Bray's arms, sometimes
single, sometimes impaling his alliances, in many parts of the ceiling
and windows, has led to the supposition that he himself contributed
largely to the expense of the work. The groined ceiling of the chapel
was not commenced till the twenty-seventh year of the reign of Henry
the Seventh, when the pinnacles of the roof were decorated with
vanes, supported by gilt figures of lions, antelopes, greyhounds, and
dragons, the want of which is still a detriment to the external beauty of
"The main vaulting of St. George's Chapel," says Mr. Poynter, "is
perhaps, without exception, the most beautiful specimen of the Gothic
stone roof in existence; but it has been very improperly classed with
those of the same architectural period in the chapels of King's College,
Cambridge, and Henry the Seventh, at Westminster. The roofing of the
aisle and the centre compartment of the body of the building are indeed
in that style, but the vault of the nave and choir differ essentially from
fan vaulting, both in drawing and construction. It is, in fact, a waggon-
headed vault, broken by Welsh groins--that is to say, groins which cut
into the main arch below the apex. It is not singular in the principle of
its design, but it is unique in its proportions, in which the exact mean
seems to be attained between the poverty and monotony of a waggon-
headed ceiling and the ungraceful effect of a mere groined roof with a
depressed roof or large span--to which may be added, that with a
richness of effect scarcely, if at all, inferior to fan tracery, it is free from
those abrupt junctions of the lines and other defects of drawing
inevitable when the length and breadth of the compartments of fan
vaulting differ very much, of which King's College Chapel exhibits some
Supported by these exquisite ribs and groins, the ceiling is decorated
with heraldic insignia, displaying the arms of Edward the Confessor,
Edward the Third, Edward the Black Prince, Henry the Sixth, Edward
the Fourth, Henry the Seventh, and Henry the Eighth; with the arms of
England and France quartered, the holy cross, the shield or cross of
Saint George, the rose, portcullis, lion rampant, unicorn, fleur-de-lis,
dragon, and prince's feathers, together with the arms of a multitude of
noble families. In the nave are emblazoned the arms of Henry the
Eighth, and of several knights-companions, among which are those of
Charles the Fifth, Francis the First, and Ferdinand, Infant of Spain. The
extreme lightness and graceful proportions of the pillars lining the
aisles contribute greatly to the effect of this part of the structure.
Beautiful, however, as is the body of the chapel, it is not comparable to
the choir. Here, and on either side, are ranged the stalls of the knights,
formerly twenty-six in number, but now increased to thirty-two,
elaborately carved in black oak, and covered by canopies of the richest
tabernacle-work, supported by slender pillars. On the pedestals is
represented the history of the Saviour, and on the front of the stalls at
the west end of the choir is carved the legend of Saint George; while on
the outside of the upper seat is cut, in old Saxon characters, the
twentieth Psalm in Latin. On the canopies of the stalls are placed the
mantle, helmet, coat, and sword of the knights-companions; and above
them are hung their emblazoned banners. On the back of each stall are
fixed small enamelled plates, graven with the titles of the knights who
have occupied it. The ancient stall of the sovereign was removed in
1788, and a new seat erected.
The altar was formerly adorned with costly hangings of crimson velvet
and gold, but these, together with the consecrated vessels of great
value, were seized by order of Parliament in 1642 amid the general
plunder of the foundation. The service of the altar was replaced by
Charles the Second.
The sovereign's stall is immediately on the right on the entrance to the
choir, and the prince's on the left. The queen's closet is on the north
side above the altar. Beneath it is the beautiful and elaborately-
wrought framework of iron, representing a pair of gates between two
Gothic towers, designed as a screen to the tomb of Edward the Fourth,
and which, though popularly attributed to Quentin Matsys, has with
more justice been assigned to Master John Tressilian.
One great blemish to the chapel exists in the window over the altar, the
mullions and tracery of which have been removed to make way for dull
colourless copies in painted glass of West's designs. Instead of
-" blushing with the blood of kings, And twilight saints, and dim
steeping the altar in rich suffusion, chequering the walls and pavement
with variegated hues, and filling the whole sacred spot with a warm and
congenial glow, these panes produce a cold, cheerless, and most
The removal of this objectionable feature, and the restoration of
framework and compartments in the style of the original, and enriched
with ancient mellow-toned and many-hued glass in keeping with the
place, are absolutely indispensable to the completeness and unity of
character of the chapel. Two clerestory windows at the east end of the
choir, adjoining the larger window, have been recently filled with
stained glass in much better taste.
The objections above made may be urged with equal force against the
east and west windows of the south aisle of the body of the fane, and
the west window of the north aisle. The glorious west window,
composed of eighty compartments, embellished with figures of kings,
patriarchs, and bishops, together with the insignia of the Garter and the
arms of the prelates--the wreck gathered from all the other windows--
and streaming with the radiance of the setting sun upon the broad nave
and graceful pillars of the aisles--this superb window, an admirable
specimen of the architecture of the age in which it was designed, had
well-nigh shared the fate of the others, and was only preserved from
desecration by the circumstance of the death of the glass-painter. The
mullions of this window being found much decayed, were carefully and
consistently restored during the last year by Mr. Blore, and the ancient
stained glass replaced.
Not only does Saint George's Chapel form a house of prayer and a
temple of chivalry, but it is also the burial-place of kings. At the east
end of the north aisle of the choir is a plain flag, bearing the words--
King Edward IIII. And his Queen Elizabeth Widville
The coat of mail and surcoat, decorated with rubies and precious
stones, together with other rich trophies once ornamenting this tomb,
were carried off by the Parliamentary plunderers. Edward's queen,
Elizabeth Woodville, it was thought, slept beside him; but when the
royal tomb was opened in 1789, and the two coffins within it examined,
the smaller one was found empty. The queen's body was subsequently
discovered in a stone coffin by the workmen employed in excavating
the vault for George the Third. Edward's coffin was seven feet long,
and contained a perfect skeleton. On the opposite aisle, near the
choir door, as already mentioned, rests the ill-fated Henry the Sixth,
beneath an arch sumptuously embellished by Henry the Eighth, on the
key-stone of which may still be seen his arms, supported by two
antelopes connected by a golden chain. Henry's body was removed
from Chertsey, where it was first interred, and reburied in 1484, with
much solemnity, in this spot. Such was the opinion entertained of his
sanctity that miracles were supposed to be wrought upon his tomb, and
Henry the Seventh applied to have him canonised, but the demands of
the Pope were too exorbitant. The proximity of Henry and Edward in
death suggested the following lines to Pope--
"Here, o'er the martyr-king the marble weeps,
And fast beside him once-fear'd Edward sleeps;
The grave unites, where e'en the grave finds rest,
And mingled here the oppressor and the opprest."
In the royal vault in the choir repose Henry the Eighth and his third
queen Jane Seymour, together with the martyred Charles the First.
Space only permits the hasty enumeration of the different chapels and
chantries adorning this splendid fane. These are Lincoln Chapel, near
which Richard Beauchamp, Bishop of Salisbury, is buried; Oxenbridge
Chapel; Aldworth Chapel; Bray Chapel, where rests the body of Sir Reginald
de Bray, the architect of the pile; Beaufort Chapel, containing sumptuous
monuments of the noble family of that name; Rutland Chapel; Hastings
Chapel; and Urswick Chapel, in which is now placed the cenotaph of
the Princess Charlotte, sculptured by Matthew Wyatt.
In a vault near the sovereign's stall lie the remains of the Duke of
Gloucester, who died in 1805, and of his duchess, who died two years
after him. And near the entrance of the south door is a slab of grey
marble, beneath which lies \one who in his day filled the highest offices
of the realm, and was the brother of a king and the husband of a queen.
It is inscribed with the great name of Charles Brandon.
At the east end of the north aisle is the chapter-house, in which is a
portrait and the sword of state of Edward the Third.
Adjoining the chapel on the east stands the royal tombhouse.
Commenced by Henry the Seventh as a mausoleum, but abandoned for
the chapel in Westminster Abbey, this structure was granted by Henry
the Eighth to Wolsey, who, intending it as a place of burial for himself,
erected within it a sumptuous monument of black and white marble,
with eight large brazen columns placed around it, and four others in the
form of candlesticks.
At the time of the cardinal's disgrace, when the building reverted to the
crown, the monument was far advanced towards completion--the vast
sum of 4280 ducats having been paid to Benedetto, a Florentine
sculptor, for work, and nearly four hundred pounds for gilding part of it.
This tomb was stripped of its ornaments and destroyed by the
Parliamentary rebels in 1646; but the black marble sarcophagus
forming part of it, and intended as a receptacle for Wolsey's own
remains, escaped destruction, and now covers the grave of Nelson in a
crypt of Saint Paul's Cathedral.
Henry the Eighth was not interred in this mausoleum, but in Saint
George's Chapel, as has just been mentioned, and as he himself
directed, "midway between the state and the high altar." Full
instructions were left by him for the erection of a monument which, if it
had been completed, would have been truly magnificent. The
pavement was to be of oriental stones, with two great steps upon it of
the same material. The two pillars of the church between which the
tomb was to be set were to be covered with bas-reliefs, representing
the chief events of the Old Testament, angels with gilt garlands,
fourteen images of the prophets, the apostles, the evangelists, and the
four doctors of the Church, and at the foot of every image a little child
with a basket full of red and white roses enamelled and gilt. Between
these pillars, on a basement of white marble, the epitaphs of the king
and queen were to be written in letters of gold.
On the same basement were to be two tombs of black touchstone
supporting the images of the king and queen, not as dead, but sleeping,
"to show," so runs the order, "that famous princes leaving behind them
great fame do never die." On the right hand, at either corner of the
tomb, was to be an angel holding the king's arms, with a great
candlestick, and at the opposite corners two other angels hearing the
queen's arms and candlesticks. Between the two black tombs was to
rise a high basement, like a sepulchre, surmounted by a statue of the
king on horseback, in armour--both figures to be "of the whole stature
of a goodly man and a large horse." Over this statue was to be a
canopy, like a triumphal arch, of white marble, garnished with oriental
stones of divers colours, with the history of Saint John the Baptist
wrought in gilt brass upon it, with a crowning group of the Father
holding the soul of the king in his right hand and the soul of the queen
in his left, and blessing them. The height of the monument was to be
The number of statues was to be one hundred and thirty-four, with forty-
four bas-reliefs. It would be matter of infinite regret that this great
design was never executed, if its destruction by the Parliamentary
plunderers would not in that case have been also matter of certainty.
Charles the First intended to fit up this structure as a royal mausoleum,
but was diverted from the plan by the outbreak of the civil war. It was
afterwards used as a chapel by James the Second, and mass was
publicly performed in it. The ceiling was painted by Verrio, and the
walls highly ornamented; but the decorations were greatly injured by
the fury of an anti-Catholic mob, who assailed the building, and
destroyed its windows, on the occasion of a banquet given to the
Pope's nuncio by the king.
In this state it continued till the commencement of the present century,
when the exterior was repaired by George the Third, and a vault,
seventy feet in length, twenty-eight in width, and fourteen in depth,
constructed within it, for the reception of the royal family. Catacombs,
formed of massive octangular pillars, and supporting ranges of shelves,
line the walls on either side.
At the eastern extremity there are five niches, and in the middle twelve
low tombs. A subterranean passage leads from the vault beneath the
choir of Saint George's altar to the sepulchre. Within it are deposited
the bodies of George the Third and Queen Charlotte, the Princesses
Amelia and Charlotte, the Dukes of Kent and York, and the last two
sovereigns, George the Fourth and William the Fourth.
But to return to the reign of Edward the Fourth, from which the desire to
bring down the history of Saint George's Chapel to the present time has
led to the foregoing digression. About the same time that the chapel
was built, habitations for the dean and canons were erected on the
north-east of the fane, while another range of dwellings for the minor
canons was built at its west end, disposed in the form of a fetterlock,
one of the badges of Edward the Fourth, and since called the Horse-
shoe Cloisters. The ambulatory of these cloisters once displayed a fine
specimen of the timber architecture of Henry the Seventh's time, when
they were repaired, but little of their original character can now be
In 1482 Edward, desirous of advancing his popularity with the citizens
of London, invited the lord mayor and aldermen to Windsor, where he
feasted them royally, and treated them to the pleasures of the chase,
sending them back to their spouses loaded with game.
In 1484 Richard the Third kept the feast of Saint George at Windsor,
and the building of the chapel was continued during his reign.
The picturesque portion of the castle on the north side of the upper
ward, near the Norman Gateway, and which is one of the noblest Gothic
features of the proud pile, was built by Henry the Seventh, whose name
it still bears. The side of this building looking towards the terrace was
originally decorated with two rich windows, but one of them has
disappeared, and the other has suffered much damage.
In 1500 the deanery was rebuilt by Dean Urswick. At the lower end of
the court, adjoining the canons' houses behind the Horse-shoe
Cloisters, stands the Collegiate Library, the date of which is uncertain,
though it may perhaps be referred to this period. The establishment
was enriched in later times by a valuable library, bequeathed to it by
the Earl of Ranelagh.
In 1506 Windsor was the scene of great festivity, in consequence of the
unexpected arrival of Philip, King of Castile, and his queen, who had
been driven by stress of weather into Weymouth. The royal visitors
remained for several weeks at the castle, during which it continued a
scene of revelry, intermixed with the sports of the chase. At the same
time Philip was invested with the Order of the Garter, and installed in
the chapel of St. George.
The great gateway to the lower ward was built in the commencement
of the reign of Henry the Eighth; it is decorated with his arms and
devices--the rose, portcullis, and fleur-de-lis, and with the bearings of
Catherine of Arragon. In 1522 Charles the Fifth visited Windsor, and
was installed I knight of the Garter.
During a period of dissension in the council, Edward the Sixth was
removed for safety to Windsor by the Lord Protector Somerset, and
here, at a later period, the youthful monarch received a letter from the
council urging the dismissal of Somerset, with which, by the advice of
the Arch-bishop of Canterbury, he complied.
In this reign an undertaking to convey water to the castle from
Blackmore Park, near Wingfield, a distance of five miles, was
commenced, though it was not till 1555, in the time of Mary, that the
plan was accomplished, when a pipe was brought into the upper ward,
"and there the water plenteously did rise thirteen feet high." In the
middle of the court was erected a magnificent fountain, consisting of a
canopy raised upon columns, gorgeously decorated with heraldic
ornaments, and surmounted by a great vane, with the arms of Philip and
Mary impaled upon it, and supported by a lion and an eagle, gilt and
painted. The water was discharged by a great dragon, one of the
supporters of the Tudor arms, into the cistern beneath, whence it was
conveyed by pipes to every part of the castle.
Mary held her court at Windsor soon after her union with Philip of Spain.
About this period the old habitations of the alms-knights on the south
side of the lower quadrangle were taken down, and others erected
in their stead.
Fewer additions were made to Windsor Castle by Elizabeth than might
have been expected from her predilection for it as a place of residence.
She extended and widened the north terrace, where, when lodging
within the castle, she daily took exercise, whatever might be the
weather. The terrace at this time, as it is described by Paul Hentzner,
and as it appears in Norden's view, was a sort of balcony projecting
beyond the scarp of the hill, and supported by great cantilevers of
In 1576 the gallery still bearing her name, and lying between Henry the
Seventh's buildings and the Norman Tower, was erected by Elizabeth.
This portion of the castle had the good fortune to escape the
alterations and modifications made in almost every other part of the
upper ward after the restoration of Charles the Second. It now forms
the library. A large garden was laid out by the same queen, and a small
gateway on Castle Hill built by her--which afterwards became one of the
greatest obstructions to the approach, and it was taken down by
George the Fourth.
Elizabeth often hunted in the parks, and exhibited her skill in archery,
which was by no means inconsiderable, at the butts. Her fondness for
dramatic performances likewise induced her to erect a stage within the
castle, on which plays and interludes were performed. And to her
admiration of the character of Falstaff, and her love of the locality, the
world is indebted for the "Merry Wives of Windsor."
James the First favoured Windsor as much as his predecessors;
caroused within its halls, and chased the deer in its parks; Christian the
Fourth of Denmark was sumptuously entertained by him at Windsor. In
this reign a curious dispute occurred between the king and the dean
and chapter respecting the repair of a breach in the wall, which was
not brought to issue for three years, when, after much argument, it was
decided in favour of the clergy.
Little was done at Windsor by Charles the First until the tenth year of
his reign, when a banqueting-house erected by Elizabeth was taken
down, and the magnificent fountain constructed by Queen Mary
demolished. Two years after wards "a pyramid or lantern," with a
clock, hell, and dial, was ordered to be set up in front of the castle, and
a balcony was erected before the room where Henry the Sixth was
In the early part of the year 1642 Charles retired to Windsor to shield
himself from the insults of the populace, and was followed by a
committee of the House of Commons, who prevailed upon him to desist
from the prosecution of the impeached members. On the 23rd of
October in the same year, Captain Fogg, at the head of a
Parliamentarian force, demanded the keys of the college treasury, and,
not being able to obtain them, forced open the doors, and carried off
the whole of the plate.
The plunder of the college was completed by Vane, the Parliamentary
governor of the castle, who seized upon the whole of the furniture and
decorations of the choir, rifled the tomb of Edward the Fourth, stripped
off all the costly ornaments from Wolsey's tomb, defaced the
emblazonings over Henry the Sixth's grave, broke the rich painted glass
of the windows, and wantonly destroyed the exquisite woodwork of the
Towards the close of the year 1648 the ill-fated Charles was brought a
prisoner to Windsor, where he remained while preparations were made
for the execrable tragedy soon afterwards enacted. After the slaughter
of the martyr-monarch the castle became the prison of the Earl of
Norwich, Lord Capel, and the Duke of Hamilton, and other royalists and
Cromwell frequently resided within the castle, and often took a moody
and distrustful walk upon the terrace. It was during the Protectorate, in
1677, that the ugly buildings appropriated to the naval knights, and
standing between the Garter Tower and Chancellor's Tower, were
erected by Sir Francis Crane.
Containing the History of the Castle from the Reign of Charles the
Second to that of George the Third--With a few Particulars concerning
the Parks and the Forest. Windsor Castle IVContaining the
History of the Castle from the Reign of Charles the Second to that of
George the Third--With a few Particulars concerning the Parks and the
ON the Restoration the castle resumed its splendour, and presented a
striking contrast to the previous gloomy period. The terrace, with its
festive groups, resembled a picture by Watteau, the courts resounded
with laughter, and the velvet sod of the home park was as often
pressed by the foot of frolic beauty as by that of the tripping deer.
Seventeen state apartments were erected by Sir Christopher Wren,
under the direction of Sir John Denham. The ceilings were painted by
Verrio, and the walls decorated with exquisite carvings by Grinling
Gibbons. A grand staircase was added at the same time. Most of the
chambers were hung with tapestry, and all adorned with pictures and
costly furniture. The addition made to the castle by Charles was the
part of the north front, then called the "Star Building," from the star of
the Order of the Garter worked in colours in the front of it, but now
denominated the "Stuart Building," extending eastward along the
terrace from Henry the Seventh's building one hundred and seventy
feet. In 1676 the ditch was filled up, and the terrace carried along the
south and east fronts of the castle.
Meanwhile the original character of the castle was completely
destroyed and Italianised. The beautiful and picturesque irregularities
of the walls were removed, the towers shaved off, the windows
transformed into commonplace circular-headed apertures. And so the
castle remained for more than a century.
Edward the Third's Tower, indifferently called the Earl Marshal's Tower
and the Devil Tower, and used as a place of confinement for state
prisoners, was now allotted to the maids of honour. It was intended by
Charles to erect a monument in honour of his martyred father on the
site of the tomb-house, which he proposed to remove, and
70,000 pounds were voted by Parliament for this purpose. The design,
however, was abandoned under the plea that the body could not be
found, though it was perfectly well known where it lay. The real motive,
probably, was that Charles had already spent the money.
In 1680 an equestrian statue of Charles the Second, executed by
Strada, at the expense of Tobias Rustat, formerly housekeeper at
Hampton Court, was placed in the centre of the upper ward. It now
stands at the lower end of the same court. The sculptures on the
pedestal were designed by Grinling Gibbons; and Horace Walpole
pleasantly declared that the statue had no other merit than to attract
attention to them.
In old times a road, forming a narrow irregular avenue, ran through the
woods from the foot of the castle to Snow Hill but this road having been
neglected during a long series of years, the branches of the trees and
underwood had so much encroached upon it as to render it wholly
impassable. A grand avenue, two hundred and forty feet wide, was
planned by Charles in its place, and the magnificent approach called
the Long Walk laid out and planted.
The only material incident connected with the castle during the reign of
James the Second has been already related.
Windsor was not so much favoured as Hampton Court by William the
Third, though he contemplated alterations within it during the latter
part of his life which it may be matter of rejoicing were never
Queen Anne's operations were chiefly directed towards the parks, in
improving which nearly 40,000 pounds were expended. In 1707 the
extensive avenue running almost parallel with the Long Walk, and
called the " Queen's Walk," was planted by her; and three years
afterwards a carriage road was formed through the Long Walk. A
garden was also planned on the north side of the castle. In this reign
Sir James Thornhill commenced painting Charles the Second's
staircase with designs from Ovid's Metamorphoses, but did not
complete his task till after the accession of George the First. This
staircase was removed in 1800, to make way for the present Gothic
entrance erected by the elder Wyatt.
The first two monarchs of the house of Hanover rarely used Windsor as
a residence, preferring Hampton Court and Kensington; and even
George the Third did not actually live in the castle, but in the Queen's
Lodge--a large detached building, with no pretension to architectural
beauty, which he himself erected opposite the south terrace, at a cost
of nearly 44,000 pounds. With most praiseworthy zeal, and almost
entirely at his own expense, this monarch undertook the restoration of
Saint George's Chapel. The work was commenced in 1787, occupied
three years, and was executed by Mr. Emlyn, a local architect. The
whole building was repaved, a new altar-screen and organ added, and
the carving restored.
In 1796 Mr. James Wyatt was appointed surveyor-general of the royal
buildings, and effected many internal arrangements. Externally he
restored Wren's round-headed windows to their original form, and at the
same time gothicized a large portion of the north and south sides of the
Before proceeding further, a word must be said about the parks. The
home park, which lies on the east and north sides of the castle, is
about four miles in circumference, and was enlarged and enclosed with
a brick wall by William the Third. On the east, and nearly on the site of
the present sunk garden, a bowling-green was laid out by Charles the
Second. Below, on the north, were Queen Anne's gardens, since whose
time the declivity of the hill has been planted with forest trees. At the
east angle of the north terrace are the beautiful slopes, with a path
skirting the north side of the home park and leading through charming
plantations in the direction of the royal farm and dairy, the ranger's
lodge, and the kennel for the queen's harriers. This park contains many
noble trees; and the grove of elms in the south-east, near the spot
where the scathed oak assigned to Herne stands, is traditionally
asserted to have been a favourite walk of Queen Elizabeth. It still
retains her name.
The great park is approached by the magnificent avenue called the
Long Walk, laid out, as has been stated, by Charles the Second, and
extending to the foot of Snow Hill, the summit of which is crowned by
the colossal equestrian statue of George the Third, by Westmacott. Not
far from this point stands Cumberland Lodge, which derives its name
from William, Duke of Cumberland, to whom it was granted in 1744.
According to Norden's survey, in 1607, this park contained 3050 acres;
but when surveyed by George the Third it was found to consist of 3800
acres, of which 200 were covered with water. At that time the park
was over grown with fern and rushes, and abounded in bogs and
swamps, which in many places were dangerous and almost impassable.
It contained about three thousand head of deer in bad condition. The
park has since been thoroughly drained, smoothed, and new planted in
parts; and two farms have been introduced upon it, under the direction
of Mr. Kent, at which the Flemish and Norfolk modes of husbandry have
been successfully practised.
Boasting every variety of forest scenery, and commanding from its
knolls and acclivities magnificent views of the castle, the great park is
traversed, in all directions, by green drives threading its. long vistas, or
crossing its open glades, laid out by George the Fourth. Amid the
groves at the back of Spring Hill, in a charmingly sequestered situation,
stands a small private chapel, built in the Gothic style, and which was
used as a place of devotion by George the Fourth during the progress of
the improvements at the castle, and is sometimes attended by the
Not the least of the attractions of the park is Virginia Water, with its
bright and beautiful expanse, its cincture of green banks, soft and
smooth as velvet, its screen of noble woods, its Chinese fishing-temple,
its frigates, its ruins, its cascade, cave, and Druidical temple, its obelisk
and bridges, with numberless beauties besides, which it would be
superfluous to describe here. This artificial mere covers pretty nearly
the same surface of ground as that occupied by the great lake of olden
Windsor forest once comprehended a circumference of a hundred and
twenty miles, and comprised part of Buckinghamshire, a considerable
portion of Surrey, and the whole south-east side of Berkshire, as far as
Hungerford. On the Surrey side it included Chobham and Chertsey, and
extended along the side of the Wey, which marked its limits as far as
Guildford. In the reign of James the First, when it was surveyed by
Norden, its circuit was estimated at seventy-seven miles and a half,
exclusive of the liberties extending into Buckinghamshire. There were
fifteen walks within it, each under the charge of a head keeper, and the
whole contained upwards of three thousand head of deer. It is now
almost wholly enclosed.
V. The Last Great Epoch in the History of the Castle.
A prince of consummate taste and fine conceptions, George the Fourth
meditated, and, what is better, accomplished the restoration of the
castle to more than its original grandeur. lie was singularly fortunate in
his architect. Sir Jeffry Wyatville was to him what William of Wykeham
had been to Edward the Third. All the incongruities of successive
reigns were removed: all, or nearly all, the injuries inflicted by time
repaired; and when the work so well commenced was finished, the
structure took its place as the noblest and most majestic palatial
residence in existence.
To enter into a full detail of Wyatville's achievements is beyond the
scope of the present work; but a brief survey may be taken of them.
Never was lofty design more fully realised. View the castle on the
north, with its grand terrace of nearly a thousand feet in length, and
high embattled walls; its superb facade, comprehending the stately
Brunswick Tower; the Cornwall Tower, with its gorgeous window;
George the Fourth's Tower, including the great oriel window of the
state drawing-room; the restored Stuart buildings, and those of Henry
the Seventh and of Elizabeth; the renovated Norman Tower; the Powder
Tower, with the line of walls as far as the Winchester Tower;--view this,
and then turn to the east, and behold another front of marvellous
beauty extending more than four hundred feet from north to south, and
displaying the Prince of Wales's Tower, the Chester, Clarence, and
Victoria Towers--all of which have been raised above their former level,
and enriched by great projecting windows;--behold also the beautiful
sunken garden, with its fountain and orangery, its flights of steps, and
charming pentagonal terrace;--proceed to the south front, of which the
Victoria Tower, with its machicolated battlements and oriel window,
forms so superb a feature at the eastern corner, the magnificent
gateway receiving its name from George the Fourth, flanked by the
York and Lancaster Towers, and opening in a continued line from the
Long Walk; look at Saint George's Gate, Edward the Third's renovated
tower, and the octagon tower beyond it; look at all these, and if they fail
to excite a due appreciation of the genius that conceived them, gaze at
the triumph of the whole, and which lords over all the rest--the Round
Tower--gaze at it, and not here alone, but from the heights of the great
park, from the vistas of the home park, from the bowers of Eton, the
meads of Clewer and Datchet, from the Brocas, the gardens of the naval
knights--from a hundred points; view it at sunrise when the royal
standard is hoisted, or at sunset when it is lowered, near or at a
distance, and it will be admitted to be the work of a prodigious
But Wyatville's alterations have not yet been fully considered. Pass
through Saint George's Gateway, and enter the grand quadrangle to
which it leads. Let your eye wander round it, beginning with the inner
sides of Edward the Third's Tower and George the Fourth's Gateway,
and proceeding to the beautiful private entrance to the sovereign's
apartments, the grand range of windows of the eastern corridor, the
proud towers of the gateway to the household, the tall pointed windows
of Saint George's Hall, the state entrance tower, with its noble
windows, until it finally rests upon the Stuart buildings and King John's
Tower, at the angle of the pile.
Internally the alterations made by the architects have been of
corresponding splendour and importance. Around the south and east
sides of the court at which you are gazing, a spacious corridor has
been constructed, five hundred and fifty feet in length, and connected
with the different suites of apartments on these sides of the
quadrangle; extensive alterations have been made in the domestic
offices; the state apartments have been repaired and rearranged; Saint
George's Hall has been enlarged by the addition of the private chapel
(the only questionable change), and restored to the Gothic style; and
the Waterloo Chamber built to contain George the Fourth's munificent
gift to the nation of the splendid collection of portraits now occupying
"The first and most remarkable characteristic of operations of Sir Jeffry
Wyatville on the exterior," observes Mr. Poynter, "is the judgment with
which he has preserved the castle of Edward the Third. Some additions
have been made to it, and with striking effect--as the Brunswick Tower,
and the western tower of George the Fourth's Gate-way which so nobly
terminates the approach from the great park. The more modern
buildings on the north side have also been assimilated to the rest; but
the architect has yielded to no temptation to substitute his own design
for that of William of Wykeham, and no small difficulties have been
combated and overcome for the sake of preserving the outline of the
edifice, and maintaining the towers in their original position."
The Winchester Tower, originally inhabited by William of Wykeham, was
bestowed upon Sir Jeffry Wyatville as a residence by George the
Fourth; and, on the resignation of the distinguished architect, was
continued to him for life by the present queen.
The works within the castle were continued during the reign of William
the Fourth, and at its close the actual cost of the buildings had reached
the sum of 771,000, pounds and it has been asserted that the general
expenditure up to the present time has exceeded a million and a half of
The view from the summit of the Round Tower is beyond description
magnificent, and commands twelve counties--namely, Middlesex,
Essex, Hertford, Berks, Bucks, Oxford, Wilts, Hants, Surrey, Sussex,
Kent, and Bedford; while on a clear day the dome of Saint Paul's may be
distinguished from it. This tower was raised thirty-three feet by Sir
Jeffry Wyatville, crowned with a machicolated battlement, and
surmounted with a flag-tower.
The circumference of the castle is 4180 feet; the length from east to
west, 1480 feet; and the area, exclusive of the terraces, about twelve
For the present the works are suspended. But it is to be hoped that the
design of Sir Jeffry Wyatville will be fully carried out in the lower ward,
by the removal of such houses on the north as would lay Saint George's
Chapel open to view from this side; by the demolition of the old
incongruous buildings lying westward of the bastion near the Hundred
Steps, by the opening out of the pointed roof of the library; the repair
and reconstruction in their original style of the Curfew, the Garter, and
the Salisbury Towers; and the erection of a lower terrace extending
outside the castle, from the bastion above mentioned to the point of
termination of the improvements, and accessible from the town; the
construction of which terrace would necessitate the removal of the
disfiguring and encroaching houses on the east side of Thames Street.
This accomplished, Crane's ugly buildings removed, and the three
western towers laid open to the court, the Horse-shoe Cloisters
consistently repaired, Windsor Castle would indeed be complete. And
fervently do we hope that this desirable event may be identified with
the reign of VICTORIA.
THUS ENDS THE THIRD BOOK OF THE CHRONICLE OF WINDSOR CASTLE
BOOK IV CARDINAL WOLSEY
I Of the Interview between Henry and Catherine of Arragon in the
Urswick Chapel--And how it was interrupted.
IT was now the joyous month of June; and where is June so joyous as
within the courts and halls of peerless Windsor? Where does the summer
sun shine so brightly as upon its stately gardens and broad terraces, its
matchless parks, its silver belting river and its circumference of proud and
regal towers? Nowhere in the world. At all seasons Windsor is magnificent:
whether, in winter, she looks upon her garnitures of woods stripped of
their foliage--her river covered with ice--or the wide expanse of country
around her sheeted with snow--or, in autumn, gazes on the same
scene--a world of golden-tinted leaves, brown meadows, or glowing
cornfields. But summer is her season of beauty--June is the month
when her woods are fullest and greenest; when her groves are
shadiest; her avenues most delicious; when her river sparkles like a
diamond zone; when town and village, mansion and cot, church and
tower, hill and vale, the distant capital itself--all within view--are seen to
the highest advantage. At such a season it is impossible to behold from
afar the heights of Windsor, crowned, like the Phrygian goddess, by a
castled diadem, and backed by lordly woods, and withhold a burst of
enthusiasm and delight. And it is equally impossible, at such a season,
to stand on the grand northern terrace, and gaze first at the proud pile
enshrining the sovereign mistress of the land, and then gaze on the
unequalled prospect spread out before it, embracing in its wide range
every kind of beauty that the country can boast, and not be struck with
the thought that the perfect and majestic castle -
"In state as wholesome as in state 'tis fit Worthy the owner, and the
owner it,"-together with the wide, and smiling, and populous district
around it, form an apt representation of the British sovereign and her
dominions. There stands the castle, dating back as far as the
Conquest, and boasting since its foundation a succession of royal
inmates, while at its foot lies a region of unequalled fertility and
beauty-full of happy homes, and loving, loyal hearts--a miniature of the
old country and its inhabitants. What though the smiling landscape
may he darkened by a passing cloud!--what though a momentary gloom
may gather round the august brow of the proud pile! - the cloud will
speedily vanish, the gloom disperse, and the bright and sunny scene
look yet brighter and sunnier from the contrast.
It was the chance of the writer of these lines upon one occasion to
behold his sovereign under circumstances which he esteems singularly
fortunate. She was taking rapid exercise with the prince upon the
south side of the garden-terrace. All at once the royal pair paused at
the summit of the ascent leading from George the Fourth's gateway.
The prince disappeared along the eastern terrace, leaving the queen
alone. And there she stood, her slight, faultless figure sharply defined
against the clear sky. Nothing was wanting to complete the picture:
the great bay-windows of the Victoria Tower on the one hand--the
balustrade of the terrace on the other--the home park beyond. It was
thrilling to feel that that small, solitary figure comprehended all the
might and majesty of England--and a thousand kindling aspirations
were awakened by the thought.
But it was, as has been said, the merry month of June, and Windsor
Castle looked down in all its magnificence upon the pomp of woods,
and upon the twelve fair and smiling counties lying within its ken. A
joyous stir was within its courts--the gleam of arms and the fluttering of
banners was seen upon its battlements and towers, and the ringing of
bells, the beating of drums, and the fanfares of trumpets, mingled with
the shouting of crowds and the discharge of ordnance.
Amidst this tumult a grave procession issued from the deanery, and
took its way across the lower quadrangle, which was thronged with
officers and men-at-arms, in the direction of the lower gate. Just as it
arrived there a distant gun was heard, and an answering peal was
instantly fired from the culverins of the Curfew Tower, while a broad
standard, emblazoned with the arms of France and England within the
garter, and having for supporters the English lion crowned and the red
dragon sinister, was reared upon the keep. All these preparations
betokened the approach of the king, who was returning to the castle
after six weeks' absence.
Though information of the king's visit to the castle had only preceded
him by a few hours, everything was ready for his reception, and the
greatest exertions were used to give splendour to it.
In spite of his stubborn and tyrannical nature, Henry was a popular
monarch, and never showed himself before his subjects but he gained
their applauses; his love of pomp, his handsome person, and manly
deportment, always winning him homage from the multitude. But at no
period was he in a more critical position than the present. The
meditated divorce from Catherine of Arragon was a step which found no
sympathy from the better portion of his subjects, while the ill-assorted
union of Anne Boleyn, an avowed Lutheran, which it was known would
follow it, was equally objectionable. The seeds of discontent had been
widely sown in the capital; and tumults had occurred which, though
promptly checked, had nevertheless alarmed the king, coupled as they
were with the disapprobation of his ministers, the sneering
remonstrances of France, the menaces of the Papal See, and the open
hostilities of Spain. But the characteristic obstinacy of his nature kept
him firm to his point, and he resolved to carry it, be the consequences
what they might.
All his efforts to win over Campeggio proved fruitless. The legate was
deaf to his menaces or promises, well knowing that to aid Anne Boleyn
would be to seriously affect the interests of the Church of Rome.
The affair, however, so long and so artfully delayed, was now drawing
to a close. A court was appointed by the legates to be holden on the
18th of June, at Blackfriars, to try the question. Gardiner had been
recalled from Rome to act as counsel for Henry; and the monarch,
determining to appear by proxy at the trial, left his palace at Bridewell
the day before it was to come on, and set out with Anne Boleyn and his
chief attendants for Windsor Castle.
Whatever secret feelings might be entertained against him, Henry was
received by the inhabitants of Windsor with every demonstration of
loyalty and affection. Deafening shouts rent the air as he approached;
blessings and good wishes were showered upon him; and hundreds of
caps were flung into the air. But noticing that Anne Boleyn was
received with evil looks and in stern silence, and construing this into an
affront to himself, Henry not only made slight and haughty
acknowledgment of the welcome given him, but looked out for some
pretext to manifest his displeasure. Luckily none was afforded him,
and he entered the castle in a sullen mood.
The day was spent in gentle exercise within the home park and on the
terrace, and the king affected the utmost gaiety and indifference; but
those acquainted with him could readily perceive he was ill at ease. In
the evening he remained for some time alone in his closet penning
despatches, and then summoning an attendant, ordered him to bring
Captain Bouchier into his presence.
"Well, Bouchier," he said, as the officer made his appearance, "have
you obeyed my instructions in regard to Mabel Lyndwood?"
"I have, my liege," replied Bouchier. "In obedience to your majesty's
commands, immediately after your arrival at the castle I rode to the
forester's hut, and ascertained that the damsel was still there."
"And looking as beautiful as ever, I'll be sworn!" said the king.
It was the first time I had seen her, my liege," replied Bouchier; "but I do
not think she could have ever looked more beautiful."
"I am well assured of it," replied Henry. "The pressure of affairs during
my absence from the castle had banished her image from my mind; but
now it returns as forcibly as before. And you have so arranged it that
she will be brought hither to-morrow night?"
Bouchier replied in the affirmative.
"It is well," pursued Henry; "but what more?--for you look as if you had
something further to declare."
"Your majesty will not have forgotten how you exterminated the band of
Herne the Hunter?" said Bouchier.
"Mother of Heaven, no!" cried the king, starting up;"I have not forgotten
it. What of them ?--Ha! have they come to life again?--do they scour the
parks once more? That were indeed a marvel!"
"What I have to relate is almost as great a marvel," returned Bouchier.
"I have not heard of the resurrection of the band though for aught I
know it may have occurred. But Herne has been seen again in the
forest. Several of the keepers have been scared by him--travellers have
been affrighted and plundered--and no one will now cross the great
park after nightfall."
"Amazement!" cried Henry, again seating himself; once let the divorce
be settled, and I will effectually check the career of this lawless and
"Pray heaven your majesty may be able to do so! "replied Bouchier.
"But I have always been of opinion that the only way to get rid of the
demon would be by the aid of the Church. He is unassailable by mortal
"It would almost seem so," said the king. "And yet I do not like to yield
to the notion."
"I shrewdly suspect that old Tristram Lyndwood, the grandsire of the
damsel upon whom your majesty has deigned to cast your regards, is in
some way or other leagued with Herne," said Bouchier. "At all events, I
saw him with a tall hideous-looking personage, whose name I
understand to be Valentine Hagthorne, and who, I feel persuaded, must
be one of the remnants of the demon hunter's band."
"Why did you not arrest him?" inquired Henry.
"I did not like to do so without your majesty's authority," replied
Bouchier. "Besides, I could scarcely arrest Hagthorne without at the
same time securing the old forester, which might have alarmed the
damsel. But I am ready to execute your injunctions now."
"Let a party of men go in search of Hagthorne to-night" replied Henry;
"and while Mabel is brought to the castle to-morrow, do you arrest old
Tristram, and keep him in custody till I have leisure to examine him."
"It shall be done as you desire, my liege," replied Bouchier, bowing and
Shortly after this Henry, accompanied by Anne Boleyn, proceeded with
his attendants to Saint George's Chapel, and heard vespers performed.
Just as he was about to return, an usher advanced towards him, and
making a profound reverence, said that a masked dame, whose
habiliments proclaimed her of the highest rank, craved a moment's
audience of him.
"Where is she? "demanded Henry.
"In the north aisle, an't please your majesty," replied the usher, "near
the Urswick Chapel. I told her that this was not the place for an
audience of your majesty, nor the time; but she would not be said nay,
and therefore, at the risk of incurring your sovereign displeasure, I have
ventured to proffer her request."
The usher omitted to state that his chief inducement to incur the risk
was a valuable ring, given him by the lady.
"Well, I will go to her," said the king. " I pray you, excuse me for a short
space, fair mistress," he added to Anne Boleyn.
And quitting the choir, he entered the northern aisle, and casting his
eyes down the line of noble columns by which it is flanked, and seeing
no one, he concluded that the lady must have retired into the Urswick
Chapel. And so it proved; for on reaching this exquisite little shrine he
perceived a tall masked dame within it, clad in robes of the richest
black velvet. As he entered the chapel, the lady advanced towards
him, and throwing herself on her knees, removed her mask--disclosing
features stamped with sorrow and suffering, but still retaining an
expression of the greatest dignity. They were those of Catherine of
Uttering an angry exclamation, Henry turned on his heel and would
have left her, but she clung to the skirts of his robe.
"Hear me a moment, Henry--my king--my husband--one single moment--
hear me!" cried Catherine, in tones of such passionate anguish that he
could not resist the appeal.
"Be brief, then, Kate," he rejoined, taking her hand to raise her.
"Blessings on you for the word! "cried the queen, covering his hand with
kisses. "I am indeed your own true Kate - your faithful, loving, lawful
Rise, madam!" cried Henry coldly; "this posture beseems not Catherine
"I obey you now as I have ever done," she replied, rising; "though if I
followed the prompting of my heart, I should not quit my knees till I had
gained my suit."
"You have, done wrong in coming here, Catherine, at this juncture," said
Henry, "and may compel me to some harsh measure which I would
willingly have avoided."
"No one knows I am here," replied the queen, "except two faithful
attendants, who are vowed to secrecy; and I shall depart as I came."
"I am glad you have taken these precautions," replied Henry. "Now
speak freely, but again I must bid you be brief."
"I will be as brief as I can," replied the queen; "but I pray you bear with
me, Henry, if I unhappily weary you. I am full of misery and affliction,
and never was daughter and wife of king wretched as I am. Pity me,
Henry--pity me! But that I restrain myself, I should pour forth my soul in
tears before you. Oh, Henry, after twenty years' duty and to be brought
to this unspeakable shame--to be cast from you with dishonour--to be
supplanted by another--it is terrible!"
"If you have only come here to utter reproaches, madam, I must put an
end to the interview," said Henry, frowning.
"I do not reproach you, Henry," replied Catherine meekly, "I only wish to
show you the depth and extent of my affection. I only implore you to do
me right and justice--not to bring shame upon me to cover your own
wrongful action. Have compassion upon the princess our daughter--
spare her, if you will not spare me!"
"You sue in vain, Catherine," replied Henry. "I lament your condition,
but my eyes are fully opened to the sinful state in which I have so long
lived, and I am resolved to abandon it."
"An unworthy prevarication," replied Catherine, "by which you seek to
work my ruin, and accomplish your union with Anne Boleyn. And you
will no doubt succeed; for what can I, a feeble woman, and a stranger in
your country, do to prevent it? You will succeed, I say--you will divorce
me and place her upon the throne. But mark my words, Henry, she will
not long remain there."
The king smiled bitterly
"She will bring dishonour upon you," pursued Catherine. "The woman
who has no regard for ties so sacred as those which bind us will not
respect other obligations."
"No more of this!" cried Henry. "You suffer your resentment to carry
you too far."
"Too far!" exclaimed Catherine. "Too far!--Is to warn you that you are
about to take a wanton to your bed--and that you will bitterly repent
your folly when too late, going too far? It is my duty, Henry, no less than
my desire, thus to warn you ere the irrevocable step be taken."
"Have you said all you wish to say, madam?" demanded the king.
"No, my dear liege, not a hundredth part of what my heart prompts me
to utter," replied Catherine. "I conjure you by my strong and tried
affection--by the tenderness that has for years subsisted between us--
by your hopes of temporal prosperity and spiritual welfare--by all you
hold dear and sacred--to pause while there is yet time. Let the legates
meet to-morrow--let them pronounce sentence against me and as
surely as those fatal words are uttered, my heart will break."
"Tut, tut!" exclaimed Henry impatiently, "you will live many years in
"I will die as I have lived--a queen," replied Catherine; "but my life will
not be long. Now, answer me truly--if Anne Boleyn plays you false--"
"She never will play me false!" interrupted Henry.
"I say if she does," pursued Catherine, "and you are satisfied of her
guilt, will you be content with divorcing her as you divorce me?"
"No, by my father's head!" cried Henry fiercely. "If such a thing were to
happen, which I hold impossible, she should expiate her offence on the
"Give me your hand on that," said Catherine.
"I give you my hand upon it," he replied.
"Enough," said the queen: "if I cannot have right and justice I shall at
least have vengeance, though it will come when I am in my tomb. But it
will come, and that is sufficient."
"This is the frenzy of jealousy, Catherine," said Henry.
"No, Henry; it is not jealousy," replied the queen, with dignity. "The
daughter of Ferdinand of Spain and Isabella of Castile, with the best
blood of Europe in her veins, would despise herself if she could
entertain so paltry a feeling towards one born so much beneath her as
"As you will, madam," rejoined Henry. "It is time our interview
"Not yet, Henry--for the love of Heaven, not yet!" implored Catherine.
"Oh, bethink you by whom we were joined together!--by your father,
Henry the Seventh--one of the wisest princes that ever sat on a throne;
and by the sanction of my own father, Ferdinand the Fifth, one of the
justest. Would they have sanctioned the match if it had been unlawful?
Were they destitute of good counsellors? Were they indifferent to the
"You had better reserve these arguments for the legates' ears
tomorrow, madam," said Henry sternly.
"I shall urge them there with all the force I can," replied Catherine, " for
I will leave nought untried to hinder an event so fraught with misery.
But I feel the struggle will be hopeless."
"Then why make it?" rejoined Henry.
"Because it is due to you--to myself--to the princess our daughter--to our
illustrious progenitors--and to our people, to make it," replied Catherine.
"I should be unworthy to be your consort if I acted otherwise--and I will
never, in thought, word, or deed, do aught derogatory to that title. You
may divorce me, but I will never assent to it; you may wed Anne Boleyn,
but she will never be your lawful spouse; and you may cast me from
your palace, but I will never go willingly."
"I know you to be contumacious, madam," replied Henry. "And now, I
pray you, resume your mask, and withdraw. What I have said will
convince you that your stay is useless."
"I perceive it," replied Catherine. "Farewell, Henry--farewell, loved
husband of my heart--farewell for ever!"
"Your mask--your mask, madam!" cried Henry impatiently. "God's death!
footsteps are approaching. Lot no one enter here! " he cried aloud.
"I will come in," said Anne Boleyn, stepping into the chapel just as
Catherine had replaced her mask. "Ah! your majesty looks confused. I
fear I have interrupted some amorous conference."
"Come with me, Anne," said Henry, taking her arm, and trying to draw
her away--" come with me."
"Not till I learn who your lady--love is," replied Anne pettishly. "You
affect to be jealous of me, my liege, but I have much more reason to be
jealous of you. When you were last at Windsor, I heard you paid a
secret visit to a fair maiden near the lake in the park, and now you are
holding an interview with a masked dame here. Nay, I care not for your
gestures of silence. I will speak."
"You are distraught, sweetheart," cried the king. "Come away."
"No," replied Anne. "Lot this dame be dismissed."
"I shall not go at your bidding, minion!" cried Catherine fiercely.
"Ah! "cried Anne, starting, " whom have we here?"
"One you had better have avoided," whispered Henry.
"The queen! " exclaimed Anne, with a look of dismay.
"Ay, the queen!" echoed Catherine, unmasking. "Henry, if you have any
respect left for me, I pray you order this woman from my presence. Lot
me depart in peace."
"Lady Anne, I pray you retire," said Henry. But Anne stood her ground
"Nay, let her stay, then," said the queen; "and I promise you she shall
repent her rashness. And do you stay too, Henry, and regard well her
whom you are about to make your spouse. Question your sister Mary,
somewhile consort to Louis the Twelfth and now Duchess of Suffolk--
question her as to the character and conduct of Anne Boleyn when she
was her attendant at the court of France--ask whether she had never to
reprove her for levity--question the Lord Percy as to her love for him--
question Sir Thomas Wyat, and a host of others."
"All these charges are false and calumnious!" cried Anne Boleyn.
Let the king inquire and judge for himself," rejoined Catherine; "and if
he weds you, let him look well to you, or you will make him a scoff to all
honourable men. And now, as you have come between him and me--as
you have divided husband and wife -- for the intent, whether successful
or not, I denounce you before Heaven, and invoke its wrath upon your
head. Night and day I will pray that you may be brought to shame; and
when I shall be called hence, as I maybe soon, I will appear before the
throne of the Most High, and summon you to judgment."
"Take me from her, Henry!" cried Anne faintly; "her violence affrights
"No, you shall stay," said Catherine, grasping her arm and detaining her;
"you shall hear your doom. You imagine your career will be a brilliant
one, and that you will be able to wield the sceptre you wrongfully wrest
from me; but it will moulder into dust in your hand--the crown unjustly
placed upon your brow will fall to the ground, and it will bring the head
"Take me away, Henry, I implore you!" cried Anne.
"You shall hear me out," pursued Catherine, exerting all her strength,
and maintaining her grasp, " or I will follow you down yon aisles, and
pour forth my malediction against you in the hearing of all your
attendants. You have braved me, and shall feel my power. Look at her,
Henry--see how she shrinks before the gaze of an injured woman. Look
me in the face, minion--you cannot!--you dare not!"
"Oh, Henry!" sobbed Anne.
"You have brought it upon yourself," said the king.
"She has," replied Catherine; "and, unless she pauses and repents, she
will bring yet more upon her head. You suffer now, minion, but how will
you feel when, in your turn, you are despised, neglected, and
supplanted by a rival--when the false glitter of your charms having
passed away, Henry will see only your faults, and will open his eyes to
all I now tell him?"
A sob was all the answer Anne could return.
"You will feel as I feel towards you," pursued the queen--"hatred
towards her; but you will not have the consolations I enjoy. You will
have merited your fate, and you will then think upon me and my woes,
and will bitterly, but unavailingly, repent your conduct. And now,
Henry," she exclaimed, turning solemnly to him, "you have pledged your
royal word to me, and given me your hand upon it, that if you find this
woman false to you she shall expiate her offence on the block. I call
upon you to ratify the pledge in her presence."
"I do so, Catherine," replied the king. "The mere suspicion of her guilt
shall be enough."
"Henry!" exclaimed Anne.
"I have said it," replied the king.
"Tremble, then, Anne Boleyn!" cried Catherine, "tremble! and when you
are adjudged to die the death of an adulteress, bethink you of the
prediction of the queen you have injured. I may not live to witness your
fate, but we shall meet before the throne of an eternal Judge."
"Oh, Henry, this is too much!" gasped Anne, and she sank fainting into
"Begone!" cried the king furiously. "You have killed her!"
"It were well for us both if I had done so," replied Catherine. "But she
will recover to work my misery and her own. To your hands I commit her
punishment. May God bless you, Henry!"
With this she replaced her mask, and quitted the chapel.
Henry, meanwhile, anxious to avoid the comments of his attendants,
exerted himself to restore Anne Boleyn to sensibility, and his efforts
were speedily successful.
"Is it then reality?" gasped Anne, as she gazed around. "I hoped it was a
hideous dream. Oh, Henry, this has been frightful! But you will not kill
me, as she predicted? Swear to me you will not!"
"Why should you be alarmed?" rejoined the king. "If you are faithful,
you have nothing to fear."
"But you said suspicion, Henry--you said suspicion!" cried Anne.
"You must put the greater guard upon your conduct," rejoined the king
moodily. "I begin to think there is some truth in Catherine's
"Oh no, I swear to you there is not," said Anne--"I have trifled with the
gallants of Francis's court, and have listened, perhaps too
complacently, to the love-vows of Percy and Wyat, but when your
majesty deigned to cast eyes upon me, all others vanished as the stars
of night before the rising of the god of day. Henry, I love you deeply,
devotedly--but Catherine's terrible imprecations make me feel more
keenly than I have ever done before the extent of the wrong I am about
to inflict upon her--and I fear that retributive punishment will follow it."
"You will do her no wrong," replied Henry. "I am satisfied of the justice
of the divorce, and of its necessity; and if my purposed union with you
were out of the question, I should demand it. Be the fault on my head."
"Your words restore me in some measure, my liege," said Anne. "I love
you too well not to risk body and soul for you. I am yours for ever--ah!"
she exclaimed, with a fearful look.
"What ails you, sweetheart?" exclaimed the king.
"I thought I saw a face at the window," she replied--"a black and
hideous face like that of a fiend."
"It was mere fancy," replied the king. "Your mind is disturbed by what
has occurred. You had better join your attendants, and retire to your
"Oh, Henry!" cried Anne--" do not judge me unheard - do not believe
what any false tongue may utter against me. I love only you and can
love only you. I would not wrong you, even in thought, for worlds."
"I believe you, sweetheart," replied the king tenderly.
So saying, he led her down the aisle to her attendants. They then
proceeded together to the royal lodgings, where Anne retired to her
own apartments, and Henry withdrew to his private chamber.
II. How Herne the Hunter appeared to Henry on the Terrace.
Henry again sat down to his despatches, and employed himself upon
them to a late hour. At length, feeling heated and oppressed, he arose,
and opened a window. As he did so, he was almost blinded by a vivid
flash of forked lightning. Ever ready to court danger, and convinced,
from the intense gloom without, that a fearful storm was coming on,
Henry resolved to go forth to witness it. With this view he quitted the
closet, and passed through a small door opening on the northern
terrace. The castle clock tolled the hour of midnight as he issued forth,
and the darkness was so profound that he could scarcely see a foot
before him. But he went on.
"Who goes there?" cried a voice, as he advanced, and a partisan was
placed at his breast.
"The king! " replied Henry, in tones that would have left no doubt of the
truth of the assertion, even if a gleam of lightning had not at the
moment revealed his figure and countenance to the sentinel.
"I did not look for your majesty at such a time," replied the man,
lowering his pike. "Has your majesty no apprehension of the storm? I
have watched it gathering in the valley, and it will be a dreadful one. If I
might make bold to counsel you, I would advise you to seek instant
shelter in the castle."
"I have no fear, good fellow," laughed the king. " Get thee in yon porch,
and leave the terrace to me. I will warn thee when I leave it."
As he spoke a tremendous peal of thunder broke overhead, and seemed
to shake the strong pile to its foundations. Again the lightning rent the
black canopy of heaven in various places, and shot down in forked
flashes of the most dazzling brightness. A rack of clouds, heavily
charged with electric fluid, hung right over the castle, and poured down
all their fires upon it.
Henry paced slowly to and fro, utterly indifferent to the peril he ran--now
watching the lightning as it shivered some oak in the home park, or
lighted up the wide expanse of country around him--now listening to the
roar of heaven's artillery; and he had just quitted the western extremity
of the terrace, when the most terrific crash he had yet heard burst over
him. The next instant a dozen forked flashes shot from the sky, while
fiery coruscations blazed athwart it; and at the same moment a bolt
struck the Wykeham Tower, beside which he had been recently
standing. Startled by the appalling sound, he turned and beheld upon
the battlemented parapet on his left a tall ghostly figure, whose
antlered helm told him it was Herne the Hunter. Dilated against the
flaming sky, the proportions of the demon seemed gigantic. His right
hand was stretched forth towards the king, and in his left he held a
rusty chain. Henry grasped the handle of his sword, and partly drew it,
keeping his gaze fixed upon the figure.
"You thought you had got rid of me, Harry of England," cried Herne, "but
were you to lay the weight of this vast fabric upon me, I would break
from under it--ho! ho!"
"What wouldst thou, infernal spirit?" cried Henry.
"I am come to keep company with you, Harry," replied the demon; "this
is a night when only you and I should be abroad. We know how to enjoy
it. We like the music of the loud thunder, and the dance of the blithe
"Avaunt, fiend!" cried Henry. "I will hold no converse with thee. Back to
thy native hell!"
"You have no power over me, Harry," rejoined the demon, his words
mingling with the rolling of the thunder, "for your thoughts are evil, and
you are about to do an accursed deed. You cannot dismiss me. Before
the commission of every great crime--and many great crimes you will
commit--I will always appear to you. And my last appearance shall he
three days before your end--ha! ha!"
"Darest thou say this to me!" cried Henry furiously.
"I laugh at thy menaces," rejoined Herne, amid another peal of
thunder--" but I have not yet done. Harry of England! your career shall
be stained in blood. Your wrath shall descend upon the heads of those
who love you, and your love shall be fatal. Better Anne Boleyn fled this
castle, and sought shelter in the lowliest hovel in the land, than
become your spouse. For you will slay her--and not her alone. Another
shall fall by your hand; and so, if you had your own will, would all!"
"What meanest thou by all?" demanded the king.
"You will learn in due season," laughed the fiend. "But now mark me,
Harry of England, thou fierce and bloody kin--thou shalt be drunken with
the blood of thy wives; and thy end shall be a fearful one. Thou shalt
linger out a living death--a mass of breathing corruption shalt thou
become--and when dead the very hounds with which thou huntedst me
shall lick thy blood!"
These awful words, involving a fearful prophecy, which was afterwards,
as will be shown, strangely fulfilled, were so mixed up with the rolling of
the thunder that Henry could scarcely distinguish one sound from the
other. At the close of the latter speech a flash of lightning of such
dazzling brilliancy shot down past him, that he remained for some
moments almost blinded; and when he recovered his powers of vision
the demon had vanished.
III. How Mabel Lyndwood was taken to the Castle by Nicholas Clamp--
And how they encountered Morgan Fenwolf by the way.
THE storm which had fallen so heavily on the castle had likewise visited
the lake, and alarmed the inmates of the little dwelling on its banks. Both
the forester and his grand-daughter were roused from their beds, and they
sat together in the chief apartment of the cottage, listening to the awful
rolling of the thunder, and watching the blue flashing of the lightning.
The storm was of unusually long duration, and continued for more than
an hour with unintermitted violence. It then paused; the thunder rolled
off, and the flashes of lightning grew fainter and less frequent. During
the storm Mabel continued on her knees, addressing the most earnest
prayers to the Virgin for her preservation and that of her grandfather;
but the old forester, though evidently much alarmed, uttered not a
single supplication, but remained sitting in his chair with a sullen,
scared look. As the thunder died away, he recovered his composure,
and addressed himself to soothe the fears of his granddaughter. In this
he had partially succeeded, and was urging her again to seek her
couch, when the storm recommenced with fresh fury. Mabel once more
fell on her knees, and the old man resumed his sullen posture. Another
dreadful half-hour, marked by a succession of terrible peals and vivid
flashes, succeeded, when, amidst an awful pause, Mabel ventured to
address her old relative.
"Why do you not pray, grandfather? "she said, regarding him uneasily.
"Sister Anastasia and good Father Anselm always taught me to utter an
Ave and cross myself during a thunderstorm. Why do you not pray,
"Do not trouble me. I have no fear."
"But your cheeks and lips are blanched," rejoined Mabel; "and I
observed you shudder during that last awful crash. Pray, grandfather,
"Peace, wench, and mind your own business!" returned the old man
angrily. "The storm will soon be over--it cannot last long in this way."
"The saints preserve us! " cried Mabel, as a tremendous concussion
was heard overhead, followed by a strong sulphureous smell. "The
cottage is struck!"
"It is--it is!" cried Tristram, springing to his feet and rushing forth.
For a few minutes Mabel continued in a state of stupefaction. She then
staggered to the door, and beheld her grandfather occupied with two
dark figures, whom she recognised as Valentine Hagthorne and Morgan
Fenwolf, in extinguishing the flames, which were bursting from the
thatched roof of the hut. Surprise and terror held her silent, and the
others were so busily engaged that they did not notice her.
At last, by their united efforts, the fire was got under without material
damage to the little building, and Mabel retired, expecting her grandsire
to return; but as he did not do so, and as almost instantly afterwards
the plash of oars was heard en the lake, she flew to the window, and
beheld him, by the gleam of the lightning, seated in the skiff with
Morgan Fenwolf, while Valentine Hagthorne had mounted a black horse,
and was galloping swiftly away. Mabel saw no more. Overcome by
fright, she sank on the ground insensible. When she recovered the
storm had entirely ceased. A heavy shower had fallen, but the sky was
now perfectly clear, and day had begun to dawn. Mabel went to the
door of the hut, and looked forth for her grandfather, but he was
nowhere to be seen. She remained gazing at the now peaceful lake till
the sun had fairly risen, when, feeling more composed, she retired to
rest, and sleep, which had been banished from them during the greater
part of the night, now fell upon her lovely eyelids.
When she awoke, the day was far advanced, but still old Tristram had
not returned; and with a heavy heart she set about her household
concerns. The thought, however, of her anticipated visit to the castle
speedily dispelled her anxiety, and she began to make preparations for
setting out, attiring herself with unusual care. Bouchier had not
experienced much difficulty in persuading her to obey the king's
behest, and by his artful representations he had likewise induced her
grandfather to give his consent to the visit--the old forester only
stipulating that she should be escorted there and back by a falconer,
named Nicholas Clamp, in whom he could put trust; to which
proposition Bouchier readily assented.
At length five o'clock, the appointed hour, arrived, and with it came
Nicholas Clamp. He was a tall, middle-aged man, with yellow hair,
clipped closely over his brows, and a beard and moustaches to match.
His attire resembled that of a keeper of the forest, and consisted of a
doublet and hose of green cloth; but he did not carry a bugle or hunting-
knife. His sole weapon was a stout quarter-staff. After some little
hesitation Mabel consented to accompany the falconer, and they set
The evening was delightful, and their way through the woods was
marked by numberless points of beauty. Mabel said little, for her
thoughts were running upon her grandfather, and upon his prolonged
and mysterious absence; but the falconer talked of the damage done by
the thunderstorm, which he declared was the most awful he had ever
witnessed; and he pointed out to her several trees struck by the
lightning. Proceeding in this way, they gained a road leading from
Blacknest, when, from behind a large oak, the trunk of which had
concealed him from view, Morgan Fenwolf started forth, and planted
himself in their path. The gear of the proscribed keeper was wild and
ragged, his locks matted and disordered, his demeanour savage, and
his whole appearance forbidding and alarming.
"I have been waiting for you for some time, Mabel Lyndwood," he said.
"You must go with me to your grandfather."
"My grandfather would never send you for me," replied Mabel; "but if he
did, I will not trust myself with you."
"The saints preserve us!" cried Nicholas Clamp. "Can I believe my
eyes!--do I behold Morgan Fenwolf!"
"Come with me, Mabel," cried Fenwolf, disregarding him.
But she returned a peremptory refusal.
"She shall not stir an inch! " cried the falconer. "It is thou, Morgan
Fenwolf, who must go with me. Thou art a proscribed felon, and thy life
is forfeit to the king. Yield thee, dog, as my prisoner!"
"Thy prisoner!" echoed Fenwolf scornfully. "It would take three such as
thou art to make me captive! Mabel Lyndwood, in your grandfather's
name, I command you to come with me, and let Nick Clamp look to
himself if he dares to hinder you."
"Nick will do something more than hinder her," rejoined the falconer,
brandishing his staff, and rushing upon the other. "Felon hound! I
command thee to yield!"
Before the falconer could reach him, Morgan Fenwolf plucked a long
hunting-knife from his girdle, and made a desperate stab at his
assailant. But Clamp avoided the blow, and striking Fenwolf on the
shins, immediately afterwards closed with him.
The result was still doubtful, when the struggle was suddenly
interrupted by the trampling of horse approaching from the side of
Windsor; and at the sound Morgan Fenwolf disengaged himself from his
antagonist and plunged into the adjoining wood. The next moment
Captain Bouchier rode up, followed by a small band of halberdiers, and
receiving information from the falconer of what had occurred, darted
with his men into the wood in search of the fugitive. Nicholas Clamp
and his companion did not await the issue of the search, but proceeded
on their way.
As they walked at a brisk pace, they reached the long avenue in about
half-an-hour, and took their way down it. When within a mile of the
castle they were overtaken by Bouchier and his followers, and the
falconer was much disappointed to learn that they had failed in
tracking Morgan Fenwolf to his lair. After addressing a few
complimentary words to the maiden, Bouchier rode on.
Soon after this the pair quitted the great park, and passing through a
row of straggling houses, divided by gardens and closes, which skirted
the foot of Castle Hill, presently reached the lower gate. They were
admitted without difficulty; but just as they entered the lower ward the
falconer was hailed by Shoreditch and Paddington, who at the moment
issued from the doorway of the guard-room.
Clamp obeyed the call and went towards them, and it was evident, from
the gestures of the archers, that they were making inquiries about
Mabel, whose appearance seemed to interest them greatly. After a
brief conversation with the falconer they approached her, and,
respectfully addressing her, begged leave to attend her to the royal
lodgings, whither they understood she was going. No objection being
made to the proposal by Mabel, the party directed their course towards
the middle ward.
Passing through the gateway of the Norman Tower, they stopped
before a low portal in a picturesque Gothic wing of the castle, with
projecting walls and bay-windows, which had been erected in the
preceding reign of Henry the Seventh, and was consequently still in all
its freshness and beauty.
IV How Mabel was received by the Party in the Kitchen--And of the
Quarrel between the two Jesters.
Addressing himself to a stout-built yeoman of the guard, who was standing
within the doorway, Nicholas Clamp demanded admittance to the kitchen,
and the man having detained them for a few moments, during which he
regarded Mabel with a very offensive stare, ushered them into a small hall,
and from thence into a narrow passage connected with it. Lighted by narrow
loopholes pierced through the walls, which were of immense thickness, this
passage described the outer side of the whole upper quadrangle, and
communicated with many other lateral passages and winding stairs
leading to the chambers allotted to the household or to the state
apartments. Tracking it for some time, Nicholas Clamp at length turned
off on the right, and, crossing a sort of ante-room, led the way into a
large chamber with stone walls and a coved and groined roof, lighted
by a great window at the lower end. This was the royal kitchen, and in
it yawned no fewer than seven huge arched fireplaces, in which fires
were burning, and before which various goodly joints were being
roasted, while a number of cooks and scullions were congregated
round them. At a large table in the centre of the kitchen were seated
some half-dozen yeomen of the guard, together with the clerk of the
kitchen, the chief bargeman, and the royal cutler, or bladesmith, as he
These worthies were doing ample justice to a chine of beef, a wild-boar
pie, a couple of fat capons, a peacock pasty, a mess of pickled
lobsters, and other excellent and inviting dishes with which the board
was loaded. Neither did they neglect to wash down the viands with
copious draughts of ale and mead from great pots and flagons placed
beside them. Behind this party stood Giovanni Joungevello, an Italian
minstrel, much in favour with Anne Boleyn, and Domingo Lamellino, or