Εικόνες σελίδας
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

sceptre of copper gilt in his right hand, and a sceptre and dove of the same materials in his left; and in this state he is still lying. Altartomb, with effigy of Eleanor, Queen of Edward I. ; the figure of the Queen was the work of Master William Torell, goldsmith, i.e. Torelli, an Italian, and is much and deservedly admired for its simplicity and beauty; the original iron-work was the work of a smith, Thomas le Leghtone, living at Leighton Buzzard, in Bedfordshire. On the south side, altar-tomb, with effigy of Edward III. ; the sword and shield of state, carried before the King in France, are placed by the side of the tomb.

Sir Roger in the next place laid his hand upon Edward III.'s sword, and leaning upon the pommel of it, gave us the whole history of the Black Prince; concluding that, in Sir Richard Baker's opinion, Edward III. was one of the greatest princes that ever sate on the English throne.--Addison.

Altar-tomb, with effigy of Philippa, Queen of Edward III. The tomb was the work of Hawkin de Liège, and of John Orchard, a stone-mason of London.1 Altar-tomb, with effigies of Richard II. and his Queen. Altar-tomb and chantry of Henry V., the hero of Agincourt; the head of the King was of solid silver, and the figure was plated with the same metal; the head was stolen at the Reformation ; the helmet, shield, and saddle of the King are still to be seen on a bar above the turrets of the chantry. Gray slab, formerly adorned with a rich brass figure (a few nails are still to be seen), covering the remains of Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester, youngest son of Edward III., murdered by order of his nephew, Richard II. Small altar-tomb of Margaret of York, infant daughter of Edward IV. Small altar-tomb of Elizabeth Tudor, infant daughter of Henry VII. Brass, much worn, representing John de Waltham, Bishop of Salisbury, and Lord High Treasurer of England in the reign of Richard II. ; by whose command he was buried in the Chapel of the Kings. At the west end of the Chapel are the two coronation chairs, still used at the coronations of the sovereigns of Great Britain-one containing the famous stone of Scone on which the Scottish Kings were wont to be crowned, and which Edward I. carried away with him as an evidence of his absolute conquest of Scotland : this stone is 26 inches long, 16 inches wide, and 11 inches thick, and is fixed in the bottom of the chair by cramps of iron; it is simply a block of the reddish-gray sandstone of the western coasts of Scotland,? squared and smoothed. “In this chair and on this stone every English sovereign from Edward I. to Queen Victoria has been inaugurated ” (Stanley). The other chair was made for the coronation of Mary, Queen of William III. Between the chairs are placed the great two-handed sword borne before Edward III. in France.

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

i Devon's Issues of the Exchequer from Henry III. to Henry VI.

? Professor Ramsay, see Stanley, p. 58.

The Screen dividing the chapel from the Choir was erected in the reign of Henry VI. ; beneath the cornice runs a series of fourteen sculptures in bas-relief, representing the principal events, real and imaginary, in the life of Edward the Confessor ; the pavement of the chapel, much worn, is contemporary with the shrine of the Confessor.

VII. Chapel of St. John the Baptist contains the tombs of several early Abbots of Westminster: Abbot William de Colchester (d. 1420); Abbot Mylling (d. 1492); and Abbot Fascet (d. 1500). The large and stately monument to Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon, first cousin and Chamberlain to Queen Elizabeth. Large altar-tomb of Cecil, Earl of Exeter (eldest son of the great Lord Burghley), and his two wives; the vacant space is said to have been intended for the statue of his second countess, but outliving him, she disdainfully refused to be represented on the left side, though she is buried below. Monument to Colonel Popham, one of Cromwell's officers at sea, and the only monument to any of the Parliamentary party suffered to remain in the Abbey at the Restoration of Charles II. ; the inscription, however, was turned to the wall; his remains were removed at the same time with those of Cromwell, Ireton, Bradshaw, Blake, and the great Parliamentary leader John Pym, who was buried in this chapel, December 15, 1643, with extraordinary magnificence, the two Houses of Parliament and the Assembly of Divines being in attendance. By Pym's body were laid those of Devereux, Earl of Essex, and Sir William Strode.

VIII. The Chapel of Abbot Islip contains the altar-tomb of Islip himself (d. 1532), and the monument to the great-nephew and eventually heir of Sir Christopher Hatton, Queen Elizabeth's Lord Chancellor. The Hatton vault was purchased by William Pulteney, the celebrated Earl of Bath, who is here interred, and whose monument, by the side of General Wolfe's, is without the chapel, in the aisle of the Abbey. The Wolfe monument was the work of Joseph Wilton, and cost £3000; the bas-relief (in lead, bronzed over) represents the march of the British troops from the river bank to the Heights of Abraham ; this portion of the monument is by Capizzoldi.

The East Aisle of the North Transept was formerly divided by screens into the Chapels of St. John, St. Michael, and St. Andrew. Here are two of the most remarkable monuments in the Abbey. One is that of Sir Francis Vere, the great Low Country soldier of Queen Elizabeth's reign. Four knights kneeling, support on their shoulders a table, on which lie the several parts of a complete suit of armour; beneath is the recumbent figure of Vere; the whole full of vigour and admirably executed. The sculptor is unknown. The other is the monument by Roubiliac (one of the last and best of his works) to Mr. and Mrs. Nightingale. The bottom of the monument is represented as throwing open its marble doors, and a sheeted skeleton is seen launching his dart at the lady, who has sunk affrighted into her husband's arms.

The dying woman would do honour to any artist. Her right arm and hand are considered by sculptors as the perfection of fine workmanship. Life seems slowly receding from her tapering fingers and quivering wrist. —Allan Cunningham.

When Roubiliac was erecting this monument, he was found one day by Gayfere, the Abbey mason, standing with his arms folded, and his looks fixed on one of the knightly figures which support the table over the statue of Sir Francis Vere. As Gayfere approached, the enthusiastic Frenchman laid his hand on his arm, pointed to the figure, and said, in a whisper, “Hush ! hush! he vil speak presently."1 The monument to Lord Norris, another of Elizabeth's generals, near the north end, is also a noteworthy work, not less magnificent though less beautiful than that of Sir Francis Vere. The kneeling figures which support the slab are those of Lord Norris's six sons, who had all, but the youngest, died in their father's lifetime; they are praying, he is praising God.

Behind the Norris tomb are statues of Mrs. Siddons by Chantrey, and of her brother John Philip Kemble, modelled by Flaxman, and sculptured after his death by Hinchcliffe (removed from the South Transept); both, however, are buried elsewhere. Against the walls are a bust of Sir Humphry Davy, the great chemist, and a medallion of Dr. Thomas Young, the pioneer in deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics and author of the undulatory theory of light. On the west side are monuments to Admiral Kempenfelt, lost in the Royal George; Sir John Franklin, the Arctic voyager; and a bust of Dr. Matthew Baillie.

The Choir affords the best point of view for examining the architecture of the Abbey. The view from here is very grand. In the centre, under the tower, is the spot where the sovereigns of England, from the Conqueror downwards, have been crowned. The altar, erected in 1867, from the designs of Sir G. G. Scott, has in the reredos a mosaic of the Last Supper, executed by Messrs. Clayton and Bell, and is altogether a most elaborate and costly work. Observe. - Tomb of Sebert, King of the East Saxons, erected by the abbots and monks of Westminster in 1308. Portrait of Richard II., a contemporary painting lately and skilfully restored by G. Richmond, R.A. Tomb of Edmund Crouchback, Earl of Lancaster, second son of Edward III., and of his countess. Tomb of Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke (very fineone of the best views of it is from the north aisle).

The monuments of Aymer de Valence and Edmund Crouchback are specimens of the magnificence of our sculpture in the reign of the two first Edwards. The

i Smith, Nollekens and his Times, vol. ii. p. 90, says that Gaysere related this anecdote to him, with the difference that Roubiliac's eyes

were "rivetted to the kneeling figure at the north-west corner of Lord Norris's monument."

[ocr errors]

loftiness of the work, the number of arches and pinnacles, the lightness of the spires,
the richness and profusion of foliage and crockets, the solemn repose of the principal
statue, the delicacy of thought in the group of angels bearing the soul, and the
tender sentiment of concern variously expressed in the relations ranged in order
round the basement, forcibly arrest the attention, and carry the thoughts not only to
other ages, but to other states of existence.Flaxman.
Tomb of Ann of Cleves, one of King Henry VIII.'s six wives.

The rich mosaic pavement is an excellent specimen of the Opus Alexandrinum, and was placed here at the expense of Henry III., in the year 1268. The black and white pavement was laid at the expense of Dr. Busby, master of Westminster School.

The organ is divided and placed above the stalls. It is blown by the action of a gas engine fixed in the centre of the cloisters. The visitor now enters the North Transept, where inscribed stones mark the graves of the rival statesmen, Pitt and Fox.

The mighty chiefs sleep side by side ;
Drop upon Fox's grave the tear,

'Twill trickle to his rival's bier.—Sir Walter Scott.
Grattan, Canning, Castlereagh, and Palmerston.—The monuments to
the Duke and Duchess of Newcastle, of the time of Charles I. and II.
Roubiliac's monument to Sir Peter Warren, containing his fine figure
of Navigation. Rysbrack's monument to Admiral Vernon, who dis-
tinguished himself at Carthagena. Bacon's noble monument to the
great Lord Chatham, erected by the King and Parliament at a cost of

Bacon there
Gives more than female beauty to a stone,
And Chatham's eloquence to marble lips.

Cowper, The Task. Nollekens's large monument to the three naval captains who fell in Rodney's great victory of April 12, 1782, erected by the King and Parliament, cost £4000. Flaxman's grand portrait-statue of the great Lord Mansfield, with Wisdom on one side, Justice on the other, and behind the figure of a youth, a criminal, by Wisdom delivered up to Justice-erected by a private person, who bequeathed £2500 for the purpose. Statue of Sir W. Follett, by Behnes. Small monument, with bust, to Warren Hastings—erected by his widow. Sir R. Westmacott's Mrs. Warren and Child—one of the best of Sir Richard's works. Chantrey's three portrait-statues of Francis Horner, George Canning, and Sir John Malcolm. Statue, by Gibson, of Sir Robert Peel, disguised, by a pedantic anachronism, in a Roman toga; and statue of Lord Palmerston robed as a Knight of the Garter, by Jackson.

On the way to the Nave, and in the North Aisle of the Choir, are tablets to Henry Purcell (d. 1695), and Dr. Blow (d. 1708), two of our greatest English musicians. The Purcell monument was erected at the expense of the wife of Sir Robert Howard, the poet; the inscription is attributed to Dryden. Portrait-statues of Sir Stamford Raffles, by Chantrey; and of Wilberforce, by S. Joseph.

The Nave.—Entering the nave on the right is the monument to Sir John Herschel A small stone, in the middle of the north aisle (fronting Killigrew's monument), inscribed, "O Rare Ben Jonson," marks the grave of the poet. He is buried here standing on his feet, and the inscription was done, as Aubrey relates, “in a pavement-square of blue marble, about fourteen inches square . . . at the charge of Jack Young (afterwards knighted), who, walking here when the grave was covering, gave the fellow eighteenpence to cut it.” When the nave was repaved in 1821, the stone was taken up and the present uninteresting square placed in its stead. The original stone was, however, recovered from the stoneyard in the time of Dean Buckland, who caused it to be affixed to the north wall of the nave. In 1849, when Sir Robert Wilson was buried, and again when John Hunter's grave was dug a little to the west, the loose sand in which Ben Jonson was interred gave way, and the poet's skull, with “the red hair still upon it,” rolled down; but


each occasion was reverently replaced. Tom Killigrew, the wit, is buried by the side of Jonson; and his son, who fell at the battle of Almanza in 1707, has a monument immediately opposite. East of Ben Jonson's grave is that of David Livingstone, the African traveller ; and near his those of Telford and Stephenson, the engineers, the latter commemorated by an incised brass on the floor, and both by a memorial window just above. In the south aisle are—Monument to Sir Palmes Fairborne, with a fine epitaph in verse by Dryden. Monument to Sir William Temple, the statesman and author, his wife, sister-in-law, and child ;—this was erected pursuant to Temple's will. Monument to Sprat, the poet, and friend of Cowley. (Bishop Atterbury is buried opposite this monument, in a vault which he made for himself when Dean of Westminster, “as far," he says to Pope, “from kings and kæsars as the space will admit of.") Monument, with bust, of Sidney, Earl of Godolphin, chief minister to Queen Anne “during the first nine glorious years of her reign.” Monument to Heneage Twysden, who wrote the genealogy of the Bickerstaff family in the Tatler, and fell at the battle of Blaregnies in 1709. Monument to Congreve, the poet, erected at the expense of Henrietta, Duchess of Marlborough, to whom, for reasons not known or mentioned, he bequeathed a legacy of about £10,000.

When the younger Duchess exposed herself by placing a monument and silly epitaph of her own composing and bad spelling to Congreve in Westminster Abbey, her mother, quoting the words, said " I know not what pleasure she might have had in his company, but I am sure it was no honour.”Horace Walpole.

In the Baptistery, at the west end of the south aisle, are the monuments to Atterbury; to Secretary Craggs (with an epitaph in verse by Pope), and Dean Wilcocks; a seated statue of the poet Wordsworth by Lough, and a bust of Keble, author of the Christian Year, by Woolner. In front of Congreve's monument Mrs. Oldfield, the actress, is buried, “in a very fine Brussells lace head,” says her maid; "a Holland shift

1 Frank Buckland's Curiosities of Natural History, 3d S., vol. ii. pp. 181-189.

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »