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The Life of John Milton Vol. 3 1643-1649
by David Masson
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And what of surrounding London, what of England, what of the three kingdoms, and the world beyond the seas? A King condemned as a Traitor and a Murderer by a fraction of his subjects; his children taking farewell of him; his time on earth now measured by hours, and the hours by the ticks of a clock; the hum close at hand of carpenters at work in hideous, unnameable preparations! Was there then to be no arrest, might there be no delay? Would not the very stones of London rise and mutiny; might not the land around, even if led but by popular fury, surge in to the rescue; from beyond the seas might there not come execration sufficient, and some foreign voice to stop?

Nearly eight weeks, it is to be remembered, had elapsed since the Army had assumed the absolute political mastery by Pride's Purge of the Commons; and somewhat more than three weeks since the small stump of the Commons which they had fitted for their purpose had voted the Peers a farce, declared all power to reside in itself, and appointed the High Court of Justice for the Trial of the King. If there was to be interposition for Charles, from within Great Britain or from abroad, there had therefore been time for it before his Trial actually began, or at least before his Sentence. What had been the appearances? Among foreign powers and potentates a mere curious amazement, a feeling that the strange Islanders had gone mad, too mad to be meddled with: in France perhaps, where Mazarin had his own notions, even a pleasure in the sense of being unable to interfere and a willingness to see the English fury burn itself out in its own way. The French Ambassador in England had, indeed, conveyed a letter from Queen Henrietta Maria, addressed to the Speaker of the House of Commons; but the House had passed it by, and left it unanswered. Then, among the English Royalists abroad! Among them, of course, a phrenzy unutterable,—passionate pacings of rooms and courtyards in the foreign towns that quartered them; wild clamours of grief wherever a few of them were gathered together; mingled sobbings, curses, prayers, gnashings of teeth, at the thought of what was passing in the home-island beyond their reach! But what within that island itself? What of England and London? The population, as we know, consisted of three sections—the numerous Independents and Sectaries; the multitudinous Presbyterians; and the suppressed and all but silenced Prelatists, or adherents of the old Church of England, What had been the signs from these three sections? Well, while petitions had come in to the Commons from the "well-affected," i.e. the Independents and Sectaries, of various counties, praying for justice on Delinquents of whatever rank, and therefore virtually adhering to the Army; while the Independents of the City of London itself had bestirred themselves in the same sense, and, in spite of the opposition of the Lord Mayor and most of the Aldermen, had carried at a Guildhall meeting an Address from the Common Council to the Commons, which the Commons received with great form and much expression of thanks; while all this had been done in the Army's interest, there had been much fainter counter-demonstrations, from either the Prelatists or the Presbyterians, than might have been expected. The Prelatists, believing their interference would do harm, had remained in dumb horror: only Dr. John Gauden and Dr, Henry Hammond had ventured on protestations in the King's behalf, addressed to Fairfax and the Army Council. The Presbyterians, having more liberty in the way of speech, had certainly not been silent. What indignation among them, what outcries, during the last seven weeks, over the suppression of all legal authority, and the monstrous usurpation of power by the Army-Grandees and their heretical adherents! Among the Presbyterian multitudes of London there had been no protester in this sense more brave than Prynne. Whatever could be done with pen and ink, or by vehement verbal messages, in addition to his published Brief Memento, from his durance in the King's Head Tavern, he had done, and continued to do. Clement Walker was hardly less active. From the Presbyterian Clergy of the City also, notwithstanding the exertions of Hugh Peters and others, in private conferences with them, to keep them from interfering, there did come voices of remonstrance. The Westminster Assembly, or what of the body then remained sitting, had signified their unanimous desire for the King's release; and forty-seven ministers, meeting at Sion College, had drawn up and signed a document, addressed to Fairfax, in which they protested most earnestly, in the name of Religion and general morality, and also of the Solemn League and Covenant, against the usurpation of power by the Army and the violence intended to the King's person. There had been manifestations to the same effect from Presbyterian ministers in various parts of the country, in which, it appears, even some of the Independent ministers had joined. Finally, there was all Presbyterian Scotland. What of it? The Scottish Parliament had met in Edinburgh on the 4th of January, and had been greatly agitated by the news, received from the Earl of Lothian, Sir John Chiesley, and William Glendinning, then acting as Scottish Commissioners in London, "how that above 160 members of the House of Commons were extrudit the House by the blasphemous Army," and how there was no doubt but the King's life was in peril. There had been an express to London in consequence, with instructions to the Commissioners to do their best, by every form of entreaty and remonstrance, to avert the dreaded catastrophe. Both before and during the Trial, accordingly, these Commissioners, aided by Mr. Blair and other Commissioners of the Scottish Kirk, had been going to and fro in London, reasoning, threatening, and imploring. Charles Stuart was King of Scotland; the whole Scottish nation was loyal to Monarchy in him and in his race; from all the pulpits in Scotland there were prayers for him, and forgiveness of his past errors in pity of his present state; would the English nation dare, in defiance of all this, and in outrage of the League and Covenant, to put him to death? [Footnote: Commons Journals, Jan. 15, 1648-9; Neal's Puritans, III. 490-6; Whitlocke Jan. 3; Walker's History of Independency, Part II. 61-87; Balfour's Annals, III. 373 et seq. Life of Robert Blair (Wodrow Society), pp. 213-215.]

All this before the King's trial had actually begun, or at least before his sentence. And what now that the sentence had been pronounced, and Charles in St. James's was making ready for his doom? The Trial had been swift; hardly more than the expectation of it can have reached foreign shores; of the actual sentence many parts of England were yet ignorant. Only at the centre, only in London itself, could there be interference at this last moment. To the last there were some efforts. After the sentence the pleadings and protests of the Scottish Commissioners became nearly frantic in their vehemence, the Presbyterianism of London too numb for farther expression itself, but speaking through the Scots. All to no effect. Nor was greater attention paid to the intercession of the only foreign Power that then made an effort to save Charles. The States- General of Holland had sent over a special embassy for the purpose; but, though the Ambassadors were in London on the 29th and were received that day with most ceremonious respect by the Commons as well as by the Lords, they knew that they had come on a vain errand.

Why was all in vain? For one very simple and yet very sufficient reason. At the centre of England was a will that had made itself adamant, by express vow and deliberation beforehand, for the very hour which had now arrived, and that, amid all entreaties and pleadings of men, women, classes, corporations, and nations, would go through with the business that had been begun. Relentings there were near the centre, but not at the very centre. Fairfax had relented; Pennington had relented; others who had taken part in the Trial had relented; Vane, St. John, Skippon, Fiennes, leaders hitherto, had withdrawn from the work, and were looking on moodily; there was an agony over what was coming among many that had helped to bring it to pass. Only some fifty or sixty governing Englishmen, with OLIVER CROMWELL in the midst of them, were prepared for every responsibility, and stood inexorably to their task. They were the will of England now, and they had the Army with them. What proportion of England besides went with them it might be difficult to estimate. One private Londoner, at all events, can be named, who approved thoroughly of their policy, and was ready to testify the same. While the sentenced King was at St. James's there were lying on Milton's writing- table in his house in High Holborn at least the beginnings of a pamphlet on which he had been engaged during the King's Trial, and in which, in vehement answer to the outcry of the Presbyterians generally, but with particular references also to the printed protests of Prynne, the appeals of the Prelatists Hammond and Gauden, and the interferences of the Scots and the Dutch, he was to defend all the recent acts of the Army, Pride's Purge included, justify the existing government of the Army-chiefs and the fragment of Parliament that assisted them, inculcate Republican beliefs on his countrymen, and prove to them above all this proposition: "That it is lawful, and hath been held so through all ages, for any who have the power, to call to account a Tyrant, or wicked King, and, after due conviction, to depose and put him to death, if the ordinary Magistrate have neglected or denied to do it!" The pamphlet was not to come out in time to bear practically on the deed which it justified; but, while the King was yet alive, it was planned, sketched, and in part written. [Footnote: Commons Journals, Jan, 22 and 29; Lords Journals, Jan. 29; Rushworth, VII. 1426-7; Milton's Tenure of Kings and Magistrates, and his Def. Sec.—That Milton's Tenure of Kings and Magistrates, though not published till after the King's death, had been on hand before, if not completed, might be inferred from the pamphlet itself, the language and tense of some parts of which are scarcely explicable otherwise. But see his account of the composition of the pamphlet in his Def. Sec. He there says that the book did not come out till after the King's death, and consequently had no direct influence in bringing about that fact; but this very statement, and the sentences which precede it, confirm what is said in the text as to the time when the pamphlet was schemed and begun.]

Actually on Monday, Jan. 29, while the Dutch Ambassadors were having their audiences with the two Houses, the Death-Warrant was out, as follows:—

"At the High Court of Justice for the Trying and Judging of Charles Stuart, King of England, January XXIXth, Anno Dom. 1648.

"Whereas Charles Stuart, King of England, is and standeth convicted, attainted, and condemned of High Treason and other high Crimes, and sentence upon Saturday last was pronounced upon him by this Court to be put to death by the severing of his head from his body; of which sentence execution yet remaineth to be done: These are therefore to will and require you to see the said sentence executed in the open street before Whitehall upon the morrow, being the Thirtieth day of this instant month of January, between the hours of Ten in the morning and Five in the afternoon of the said day, with full effect. And for so doing this shall be your sufficient warrant. And these are to require all Officers and Soldiers and other the good people of this Nation to be assisting unto you in this service. Given under our hands and seals:—

"Jo. Bradshawe Ri. Deane Thos. Horton Tho. Grey Robert Tichborne J. Jones O. Cromwell H. Edwardes John Moore Edw. Whalley Daniel Blagrave Gilb. Millington M. Livesey Owen Rowe G. Fleetwood John Okey William Perfoy J. Alured J. Danvers Ad. Scrope Rob. Lilburne Jo. Bourchier James Temple Will. Say H. Ireton A. Garland Anth. Stapley Tho. Mauleverer Edm. Ludlowe Gre. Norton Har. Waller Henry Marten Tho. Challoner John Blakiston Vint. Potter Thomas Wogan J. Hutchinson Wm. Constable John Venn Willi. Goffe Rich. Ingoldesby Gregory Clements Tho. Pride Will. Cawley Jo. Downes Pe. Temple J. Barkestead Tho. Wayte T. Harrison Isaa. Ewer Tho. Scot J. Hewson John Dixwell Jo. Carew Hen. Smyth Valentine Wauton Miles Corbet. Per. Pelham Simon Mayne

"To Colonel Francis Hacker, Colonel Huncks, and Lieutenant-Colonel Phayre; and to every of them." [Footnote: The original of this Warrant, a parchment eighteen inches wide and ten inches deep, is in the possession of the House of Lords, having been produced before that body by Colonel Hacker in 1660, and then retained. Mr. William J. Thorns, who has minutely inspected it, made it the subject of a curious and interesting inquiry in Notes and Queries, July 6 and July 13, 1872. He observes that the date of the Warrant itself, and the words "upon Saturday last" for the day of the sentence, are written over erasures and in a different hand from the rest, and that the word "Thirtieth" for the day of execution is inserted in a space too large for it; and, for this and other reasons, he arrives at the conclusion that we see the document now in its second state, and that a good number of the signatures were not attached to it on the 29th, but had been attached to it on an earlier day when it was in its first state. His conjecture, on the whole, is that it had been expected, at the private meeting of the Court on Friday the 2eth, when the sentence was agreed upon, that it might be pronounced that same day, and executed the next day (Saturday the 27th), and that a warrant to that effect had then been drawn up and signed; but that, this idea having been abandoned, for whatever reason, and the Sentence not having been pronounced till Saturday, it was thought better, at the meeting on Monday the 29th, still to use the first Warrant with its signatures, only with the dates altered, and with additional signatures then obtained, than to write out a fresh warrant and apply for second signatures from absentees who had signed the first.—It is noteworthy that, though sixty-seven of the Commissioners had, as we have seen, virtually constituted themselves "the Regicides" by being present in Westminster Hall on Saturday when the Sentence was pronounced, and then standing up in assent to it, nine of these did not attach their names to the Warrant. They were Francis Allen, Thomas Andrews, General Hammond, Edmund Harvey, William Heveningham, Cornelius Holland, John Lisle, Nicholas Love, and Colonel Matthew Tomlinson. Subtract these nine from the sixty-seven, and the number of the signers to the Warrant ought to be fifty-eight. But they are fifty-nine. Who, then, is the fifty- ninth? Cromwell's young kinsman, Colonel Richard Ingoldsby, who, though a member of the Court, had attended none of its meetings till precisely that of the 29th, the date of the Warrant. Here comes in Clarendon's famous story, a distortion of some convenient rigmarole of Ingoldsby's own in later times. Ingoldsby, says Clarendon, "always abhorring the action in his heart," had purposely kept away from every meeting of the Court, till, chancing to look into the Painted Chamber on the fatal 29th, he was clutched by Cromwell, dragged to the table on which the Warrant lay, and compelled to sign it, Cromwell forcibly holding his hand and tracing the letters for him, with loud laughter at the joke! More by token, as Clarendon reports him, if his name on the Warrant "were compared with what he had ever writ himself," the difference would be seen! Unfortunately, Mr. Thoms, who has made this comparison, vouches that no difference can be detected, and that the name "Rich. Ingoldsby" in the Warrant "is as bold and free as signature can be," and could never have been written by a hand held by another's. Ex uno omnes. In the hard straits that were coming eleven years hence, there were to be others of the signers of the Warrant, besides Ingoldsby, who were to aver that they did it under compulsion, Cromwell and Henry Marten sitting beside each other, smearing each other's faces with ink in their fun, and overbearing the scrupulous with jeers or threats. The simple fact I believe to be (and this I do believe) that Cromwell was anxious that the Warrant should be well signed, and reasoned, or perhaps remonstrated, with some waverers, as he had done with young Hammond of the Isle of Wight in a similar case two months before. Cromwell was now in his fiftieth year.]

In the King's last hours he had offers of the spiritual services of Messrs. Calamy, Vines, Caryl, Dell, and other Presbyterian ministers, and hardly had these gone when Mr. John Goodwin of Coleman Street came to St. James's, all by himself, with the like offer. They were all dismissed with thanks, the King intimating that he desired no other attendance than that of Bishop Juxon. Late into the night of the 29th, accordingly, the Bishop remained with the King in private. After he had gone, Charles spent about two hours more in reading and praying, and then lay down to sleep, Mr. Herbert lying on the pallet-bed close to his. For about four hours he slept soundly; but very early in the morning, when it was still dark, he awoke, opened the curtain of his bed, and called Mr. Herbert. The call disturbed Herbert suddenly from a dreamy doze into which he had fallen after a very restless night; and, when he got up and was assisting the King to dress by the light of the wax-cake that had been kept burning in the chamber as usual, the King observed a peculiarly scared look on his face. Herbert, on being asked the cause, told his Majesty he had had an extraordinary dream. The King desiring to know what it was, Herbert related it. In his doze, he said, he had heard some one knock at the chamber-door. Thinking it might be Colonel Hacker, and not willing to disturb the King till he himself heard the knock, he had lain still. A second time, however, the knock came; and this time, he thought, his Majesty had heard the knock, and told him to open the door and see who it was. He did go to the door, and, on opening it, was surprised to see a figure standing there in pontifical habits whom he knew to be the late Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Laud. He knew him well, having often seen him in his life. The figure said he had something to say to the King, and desired to enter. Then, as Herbert thought, the King having been told who it was, and having given permission, the Archbishop had entered, making a profound obeisance to the King in the middle of the room, a second on coming nearer, and at last falling on his knees as the King gave him his hand to kiss. Then the King raised him, and the two went to the window together, and discoursed there, Herbert keeping at a distance, and not knowing of what they talked, save that he noticed the King's face to be very pensive, and heard the Archbishop give a deep sigh. After a little they ceased to talk, and the Archbishop, again kissing the King's hand, retired slowly, with his face still to the King, making three reverences as before. The third reverence was so low that, as Herbert thought, the Archbishop had fallen prostrate on his face, and he had been in the act of stepping to help him up when he had been awakened by the King's call. The impression had been so lively that he had still looked about the room as if all had been real.—Herbert having thus told his dream, the King said it was remarkable, the rather because, if Laud had been alive, and they had been talking together as in the dream, it was very likely, albeit he loved the Archbishop well, he might have said something to him that would have occasioned his sigh. There was yet more conversation between the King and Herbert by themselves, the King selecting with some care the dress he was to wear, and especially requiring an extra under-garment because of the sharpness of the weather, lest he should shake from cold, and people should attribute it to fear. While they were still conversing, poor Herbert in such anguish as may be imagined, Dr. Juxon arrived, at the precise hour the King had appointed the night before.

An hour or two still had to elapse before the last scene. Charles arranged with Herbert about the distribution of some of his favourite books, with some trinkets. His Bible, with annotations in his own hand, and some special accompanying instructions, was to be kept for the Prince of Wales; a large silver ring-sundial of curious device was to go to the Duke of York; a copy of King James's Works, with another book, was left for the Duke of Gloucester; for the Princess Elizabeth Hooker's Ecclesiastical Polity, Bishop Andrewes's Sermons, and some other things. These arrangements made, the King was for an hour alone with Juxon, during which time he received the Communion. Then, Herbert having been re-admitted, the Bishop again went to prayer, and read the 27th chapter of Matthew; which, by a coincidence in which the King found comfort, chanced to be one of the lessons in the Rubric for that day. While they were yet thus religiously engaged, there came Colonel Hacker's knock. They allowed him to knock twice before admitting him; and then, entering with some trepidation, he announced that it was time to go to Whitehall. The King told him to go forth, and he would follow presently.

It was about ten o'clock in the morning (Tuesday, Jan. 30) when the procession was formed, from St. James's, through the Park, to Whitehall. With Bishop Juxon on his right hand, Colonel Tomlinson on his left, Herbert following close, and a guard of halberdiers in front and behind, the King walked, at his usual very fast pace, through the Park, soldiers lining the whole way, with colours flying and drums beating, and such a noise rising from the gathered crowd that it was hardly possible for any two in the procession to hear each other speak. Herbert had been told to bring with him the silver clock or watch that hung usually by the King's bedside, and on their way through the Park the King asked what o'clock it was and gave Herbert the watch to keep. A rude fellow from the mob kept abreast with the King for some time, staring at his face as if in wonder, till the Bishop had him turned away. There is a tradition that, when the procession came to the end of the Park, near the present passage from Spring Gardens, the King pointed to a tree, and said that tree had been planted by his brother Henry. Arrived at last at the stairs leading into Whitehall, he was taken, through the galleries of the Palace, to the bed- chamber he had usually occupied while residing there; and here he had some farther time allowed him for rest and devotion with Juxon alone. Having sent Herbert for some bread and wine, he ate a mouthful of the bread and drank a small glass of claret. Here Herbert broke down so completely that he felt he could not accompany the King to the scaffold, and Juxon had to take from him the white satin cap he had brought by the King's orders to be put on at the fatal moment. At last, a little after twelve o'clock, Hacker's signal was heard outside, and Juxon and Herbert went on their knees, affectionately kissing the King's hands. Juxon being old and feeble, the King helped him to rise, and then, commanding the door to be opened, followed Hacker. With soldiers for his guard, he was conveyed, along some of the galleries of the old Palace, now no longer extant, to the New Banqueting Hall, which Inigo Jones had built, and which still exists. Besides the soldiers, many men and women had crowded into the Hall, from whom, as his Majesty passed on, there was heard a general murmur of commiseration and prayer, the soldiers themselves not objecting, but appearing grave and respectful.

Through a passage broken in the wall of the Banqueting Hall, or more probably through one of the windows dismantled for the purpose, Charles emerged on the scaffold, in the open street, fronting the site of the present Horse Guards. The scaffold was hung with black, and carpeted with black, the block and the axe in the middle; a number of persons already stood upon it, among whom were several men with black masks concealing their faces; in the street in front, all round the scaffold, were companies of foot and horse; and beyond these, as far as the eye could reach, towards Charing Cross on the one side and Westminster Abbey on the other, was a closely-packed multitude of spectators. The King, walking on the scaffold, looked earnestly at the block, and said something to Hacker as if he thought it were too low; after which, taking out a small piece of paper, on which he had jotted some notes, he proceeded to address those standing near him. What he said may have taken about ten minutes or a quarter of an hour to deliver, and appears, from the short-hand report of it which has been preserved, to have been rather incoherent. "Now, Sirs," he said at one point, "I must show you both how you are out of the way, and I will put you in the way. First, you are out of the way; for certainly all the way you ever have had yet, as I could find by anything, is in the way of conquest. Certainly this is an ill way; for conquest, Sirs, in my opinion, is never just, except there be a good just cause, either for matter of wrong, or just title; and then, if you go beyond it, the first quarrel that you have to it, that makes it unjust at the end that was just at first." A little farther on, when he had begun a sentence, "For the King indeed I will not," a gentleman chanced to touch the axe. "Hurt not the axe," he interrupted; "that may hurt me," and then resumed. "As for the King, the Laws of the Land will clearly instruct you for that; therefore, because it concerns my own particular, I only give you a touch of it. For the People: and truly I desire their liberty and freedom as much as anybody whomsoever; but I must tell you that their liberty and freedom consists in having of Government those laws by which their life and their goods may be most their own. It is not having share in Government, Sirs; that is nothing pertaining to them. A subject and a sovereign are clean different things; and therefore, until they do that—I mean, that you put the People in that liberty, as I say—certainly they will never enjoy themselves." In conclusion he said he would have liked to have a little more time, so as to have put what he meant to say "in a little more order and a little better digested," and gave the paper containing the heads of his speech to Juxon. As he had said nothing specially about Religion, Juxon reminded him of the omission. "I thank you very heartily, my Lord," said Charles, "for that I had almost forgotten it. In truth, Sirs, my conscience in Religion, I think it very well known to the world; and therefore I declare before you all that I die a Christian, according to the profession of the Church of England as I found it left me by my father; and this honest man (the Bishop) I think will witness it." There were some more words, addressed particularly to Hacker and the other officers; and once more, seeing a gentleman go too near the axe, he called out, "Take heed of the axe; pray, take heed of the axe." Then, taking the white satin cap from Juxon, he put it on, and, with the assistance of Juxon and the chief executioner, pushed his hair all within it. Some final sentences of pious import then passed between the King and Juxon, and the King, having taken off his cloak and George, and given the latter to Juxon, with the word "Remember," knelt down, and put his neck on the block. After a second or two he stretched out his hands, and the axe descended, severing the head from the body at one blow. There was a vast shudder through the mob, and then a universal groan. [Footnote: Herbert's Memoirs, 183—194; Wood's Ath. (repeating Herbert), IV. 32—36; Rushworth, VJI 1428-1431; Fuller's Church Hist. (ed. 1842) TTI. 500, 501; Disraeli's Charts J. (ed. 1831) V. 449-50; Cunningham's London, Whitehall. Herbert only mentions the fact of his dream in the body of his Memoir; but the detailed account of it in his own words, written in 1680, is given in the Appendix, 217-222, and in a note in Wood's Ath. as above.—The coherance of Charles's last speech seems to have struck Fuller, who says that, "though taken in shorthand by one eminent therein," it is done defectively. I rather think it is punctually literal. I find in the Stationers' Registers this entry, under date Jan. 31, 1648-9: "Peter Cole entered for his copy, under the hand of Mr. Mabbott, King Charles his Speech upon the Scaffold, with the manner of his Suffering, on Jan. 30, 1648." I suppose this is the Report afterwards repeated by Rushworth, though objected to by Fuller. Was Rush worth the reporter?]

Immediately after the execution Juxon and the sorrowing Herbert were allowed to take charge of the corpse. Embalmed, coffined in wood and lead, and covered with a velvet pall, it lay for some days in St. James's Palace, where crowds came to see it. There was some difficulty about the place of burial. Charles himself having left no directions on the subject, Juxon and Herbert thought that the fittest place would be King Henry the Seventh's Chapel, in Westminster Abbey, containing as it did the tombs of his four immediate predecessors, and those of his grandmother Mary, Queen of Scots, and his brother Prince Henry. The authorities, however, considering that this place was too public and would attract inconvenient crowds, Juxon and Herbert next proposed the Royal Chapel in Windsor, where some of his earlier predecessors had been buried, and among them Henry VIII. To this no objection was made, and on the 7th of February the body was conveyed from St. James's to Windsor in a hearse drawn by six horses, and followed by four mourning coaches. Colonel Whichcot, the Governor of the Castle, having been shown the order, allowed Herbert and those with him to select whatever spot they chose. They thought first of what was called "the tomb-house," built by Cardinal Wolsey, and intended by him as a splendid sepulchre for his master, Henry VIII.; but they decided against it, partly because it was not within the Royal Chapel, but only adjoining it, and partly because they were uncertain whether Henry VIII. (of whose exact place of burial the tradition had been lost) might not actually have been buried in the "tomb-house," and they recollected that this particular predecessor of Charles was not one of his favourites. He had been heard, in occasional discourses, to express dislike of Henry's conduct in appropriating Church revenues and demolishing religious edifices. They therefore fixed on the vault where Edward IV. was interred, on the north side of the choir, near the altar. The vault was opened for the purpose, and preparations for the interment there were going on, when (Feb. 8) the Duke of Richmond, the Marquis of Hertford, and the Earls of Southampton and Lindsey, with Dr. Juxon, arrived from London, specially authorized by the House of Commons to attend the funeral, and the Duke empowered to arrange all wholly as he thought fit. Herbert and those with him having then resigned the duty into the hands of these great persons, there was a new inquiry as to the best spot for the grave. The "tomb-house" was again looked at, and the choir of the Chapel diligently re-investigated. At length, a spot in the choir having been detected where the pavement sounded hollow when struck- -"being about the middle of the choir, over against the eleventh seat on the Sovereign's side"—the stones and earth were removed, and a vault was disclosed; in which there were two leaden coffins close together, one very large and the other small. From the velvet palls covering them, some portions in their original purple colour, and others turned into fox- tawny or coal-black by the damp, there was no doubt that they were the coffins of Henry VIII. and his third wife, Lady Jane Seymour. As there was just room for one coffin more in the vault, it was determined that the fact of its being the vault of Henry VIII, now accidentally discovered after so long a time, should be no bar to the burial of Charles in the otherwise suitable vacancy. Accordingly, on Friday the 9th of February, the body was brought from the royal bed-chamber, where it had been meanwhile lying, to St. George's Hall, and thence, with slow and solemn pace, to the Chapel. It was borne on the shoulders of some gentlemen in mourning; the noblemen in mourning held up the pall; and Colonel Whichcot, with several gentlemen, officers, and attendants, followed. As they were moving from the Hall to the Chapel, the sky, which had been previously clear, darkened with snow, which fell so fast that, before they reached the Chapel, the black velvet pall was white with the flakes. The coffin having been set down near the vault, ex-Bishop Juxon would have read the burial-service over it according to the form of the Book of Common Prayer; but, though permission to do so seemed to be implied in the wording of the order granted to the Duke of Richmond by the House of Commons, and though the noblemen present were desirous that it should be done, Colonel Whichcot did not think himself entitled to allow any service except that of the new Presbyterian Directory. Without any service at all, therefore, save what may have been rendered by the tears and muttered words of those who stood by, the coffin was deposited, about three o'clock in the afternoon, in the vacant space in the vault. A kind of scarf or scroll of lead, about five inches broad, had been soldered to it, bearing this inscription in capital letters: "KING CHARLES, 1648." At the time of his death, King Charles was forty-eight years, two months, and eleven days old, and he had reigned twenty-three years and ten months. [Footnote: Herbert's Memoirs, 194-216; Commons Journals, Feb. 8; Fuller's, Church Hist,. III. 501-4.—In March 1813 some workmen, employed in making a passage from under the choir of the Royal Chapel at Windsor to a mausoleum erected by George III. in the "tomb- house" described in the text, accidentally broke into the vault containing the bodies of Charles I., Henry VIII., and Queen Jane Seymour. The fact having been reported to the Prince Regent, a careful examination was ordered. It was made April 1, 1813, in the presence of the Prince Regent himself, the Duke of Cumberland, Count Munster, the Dean of Windsor, Sir Henry Halford (Physician to the King and the Prince Regent), and Mr. B. C. Stevenson. The coffin of Charles I. was examined with great minuteness, and corresponded in every particular with the account given by Herbert. When the black velvet pall had been removed, the coffin was found to be of plain lead, with the leaden scroll encircling it, bearing the inscription "KING CHARLES, 1648," in large legible characters. A square opening was then cut in the upper lid, so that the contents might be clearly seen. An internal wooden coffin was found to be very much decayed, and the body was found to be carefully wrapped up in cerecloth, into the folds of which there had been poured abundantly some unctuous substance mixed with resin. With considerable difficulty the cerecloth was removed from the face, and then, despite the discolouring and the decay of some parts, the features of Charles I., as represented in coins and busts, and especially in Vandyke's portraits of him, could be distinctly recognised. There was the oval face, with the peaked beard. When, by farther removal of the cerecloth, they had disengaged the entire head, they found it to be loose from the body. On taking it out, they saw that "the muscles of the neck had evidently retracted themselves considerably, and the fourth cervical vertebra was found to be cut through its substance transversely, leaving the surfaces of the divided portions perfectly smooth and even—an appearance which could have been produced only by a heavy blow indicted by a very sharp instrument." The hair, which was thick at the back, looked nearly black; but, when a portion of it was afterwards cleaned and dried, the colour was found to be a beautiful dark brown,—that of the beard a redder brown. The body was not examined below the neck; and, the head having been replaced, the coffin was soldered up again and the vault closed. (See account by Sir Henry Halford, quoted by Bliss in his edition of Wood's Ath. IV. 39-42.)]

THE END

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