The Tower of London was founded in 1078, by William the Conqueror, for the purpose of protecting and controlling the city. To make room for his chief buildings he removed two bastions of the old wall of London, and encroached slightly upon the civic boundaries. Part therefore of the Tower is in London, and part in Middlesex, but it forms, with its surrounding fortifications, a precinct in itself which belongs neither to the city nor the county. It covers an area of 18 acres within the Garden rails.
The present buildings are partly of the Norman period; but architecture of almost all the styles which have flourished in England may be found within the walls. It is well to remember that though the Tower is no longer a place of great military strength it has in time past been a fortress, a palace, and a prison, and to view it rightly we must regard it in this threefold aspect.
It was first built as a fortress, and has a central Keep, called the "White Tower." The Inner Ward is defended by a wall, flanked by thirteen towers, the entrance to it being on the south side under the Bloody Tower. The Outer Ward is defended by a second wall, flanked by six towers on the river face (see Pl. IX, X and XI), and by three semicircular bastions on the north face. A Ditch or "Moat," now dry, encircles the whole, crossed at the south-western angle by a stone bridge, leading to the "Byward Tower" from the "Middle Tower," a gateway which had formerly an outwork, called the "Lion Tower."
The Tower was occupied as a palace by all our Kings and Queens down to Charles II. It was the custom for each monarch to lodge in the Tower before his coronation, and to ride in procession to Westminster through the city. The Palace buildings stood eastward of the "Bloody Tower."
The security of the walls made it convenient as a State prison, the first known prisoner being Ralf Flambard, Bishop of Durham, who had been active under William Rufus in pushing on the buildings. From that time the Tower was seldom without some captive, English or foreign, of rank and importance.
In the Tudor period the "Green" within the Tower was used on very rare occasions for executions. [See page 32.] Condemned prisoners were usually beheaded on
Emerging from the Mark Lane railway station, the visitor obtains an excellent view of the great fortress. Within the railed space of Trinity Square, the first permanent scaffold on Tower Hill was set up in the reign of Edward III, but the first execution recorded here was that of Sir Simon Burley in 1388. Here also were beheaded, among others, Dudley, the minister of Henry VII (1510), his son the Duke of Northumberland (1553), his grandson, Lord Guildford Dudley (1554), Cromwell, Earl of Essex (1540), More and Fisher (1535), Surrey (1547), and his son, Norfolk (1572), Strafford (1641), and Archbishop Laud (1645), and the Scotch lords in 1716, 1746, and 1747, the last being Simon, Lord Lovat.
The Tower moat is immediately before us. It is drained and used as a parade ground. Beyond it, as we approach the entrance, we have a good view of the fortifications. On the extreme left are the Brass Mount and North Bastions. In the middle is Legge's Mount. To the right is the entrance gateway. The highest building behind is the White Tower, easily distinguished by its four turrets. In front of it are the Devereux, Beauchamp, and Bell Towers, the residences of the Lieutenant of the Tower and of the Yeoman Gaoler being in the gabled and red tiled houses between the last two. From one of these windows Lady Jane Grey saw her husband's headless body brought in from Tower Hill, by the route we now traverse; and the leads are still called Queen Elizabeth's Walk, as she used them during her captivity in 1554.
stood where the Ticket Office and Refreshment Room are now. Here the visitor obtains a pass which admits him to see the Regalia, or Crown Jewels, and another for the Armoury. In the Middle Ages and down to 1834 the Royal Menagerie was lodged in a number of small buildings near the Lion Tower, whence its name was derived and the saying arose, "seeing the lions," for a visit to the Tower. Where the wooden gate now stands, there was a small work called the Conning Gate. It marked the boundaries of Middlesex and the Tower Precinct. Here prisoners were handed over to the Sheriff.
was originally built by Henry III, but has been entirely refaced. Through its archway we reach the stone bridge, which had formerly in the centre a drawbridge of wood. We next reach
the great Gatehouse of the Outer Ward. It is in part the work of Henry III, and in part that of Richard II. Observe the vaulting and the dark recesses on the southern side. We pass on the left
which may safely be attributed to the reign of King John. Here Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, was imprisoned by Henry VIII, and the Princess Elizabeth by her sister, Queen Mary. The "Curtain Wall," of great antiquity, is pierced by the windows of the Lieutenant's Lodgings, now called "The King's House," and one of these windows lights the Council Chamber, where Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators were tried and condemned, 1605.
with St. Thomas's Tower, is now on our right. Observe the masonry which supports the wide span of the arch. This gate, when the Thames was more of a highway than it is at present, was often used as an entrance to the Tower. St. Thomas' Tower was built by Henry III, and contains a small chapel or oratory dedicated to St. Thomas of Canterbury. In later times it was found convenient as a landing place for prisoners who had been tried at Westminster; and here successively Edward Duke of Buckingham (1521), Sir Thomas More, Queen Anne Boleyn, Cromwell Earl of Essex, Queen Katharine Howard (1542) Seymour Duke of Somerset (1551), Lady Jane Grey, the Princess (afterwards Queen) Elizabeth, Devereux Earl of Essex (1601), and James Duke of Monmouth, passed under the arch on their way to a prison or the scaffold. Opposite is
which is believed to derive its name from the suicide in it of Henry Percy, eighth Earl of Northumberland, in 1585. Under this Tower we enter the Inner Ward. It dates from the reigns of Edward III and Richard II, and was called by its present name as early as 1597, being popularly believed to be the scene of the murder of Edward V and his brother the Duke of York, as well as of Henry VI. It was originally known as the Garden Tower, as its upper storey opens on that part of the parade ground which was formerly the Constable's Garden. Here Sir Walter Raleigh was allowed to walk during his long imprisonment, and could sometimes converse over the wall with the passers-by. Observe the grooves for working the massive portcullis, which was raised by chains and a windlass. These still exist on the upper floor. Immediately adjoining the gateway on the east is the
Its lower storey is the oldest building next to the Keep; it was, with the Lanthorn (rebuilt on the old foundation in 1884-5) and Cold Harbour Towers, part of the original Norman plan. The upper storey was rebuilt by Henry III, who made it the entrance to his palace on the east. The Great Hall, memorable as the scene of Anne Boleyn's trial, adjoined it, but was pulled down during the Commonwealth. In 1360 the records of the kingdom, which had previously been kept in the White Tower, were removed here, and this is called in ancient surveys sometimes the Record, and sometimes the Hall Tower. The present name is said to be derived from the imprisonment of Yorkists after the Lancastrian victory at Wakefield in 1460. It is used now for the safe keeping and exhibition of
The visitor who has obtained a ticket passes up a short stair and finds himself in a well-lighted circular apartment in the Wakefield Tower. The deep window recess opposite the door was fitted up as a small chapel, with Aumbry, Piscina, and Sedilia. Tradition says that Henry VI used it for his devotions when a prisoner in the Tower, and was here murdered. In the centre, in a large double case, are arranged the splendid objects which form the English Regalia. The following are the most remarkable:—
The King's Crown. It occupies the highest place in the case. It was constructed in 1838 for her late Majesty's coronation, the principal jewels being taken from older crowns and the royal collection. Among them, observe the large ruby given to the Black Prince in Spain in 1367. Henry V wore it in his helmet at Agincourt. With seventy-five large brilliants it forms a Maltese cross on the front of the diadem. Immediately below it is a splendid sapphire, purchased by George IV. Seven other sapphires and eight emeralds, all of large size, with many hundred diamonds, decorate the band and arches, and the cross on the summit is formed of a rose cut sapphire and four very fine brilliants. The whole contains 2818 diamonds, 297 pearls, and many other jewels, and weighs thirty-nine ounces and five pennyweights. The Crown was enlarged for His Majesty Edward VII.
The Crown made for the coronation of Mary of Modena, the second wife of James II. This is probably one of the oldest of the crowns, and contains some fine jewels.
The Crown made for Queen Mary II, for her coronation with William III.
St. Edward's Crown, which appears to be the model by which all the later crowns have been fashioned. It was made for the coronation of Charles II.
The Prince of Wales's coronet, with a single arch.
The Orb, of gold, with a cross and bands of jewels.
St. Edward's Staff, a sceptre of gold, 4 feet 7 inches in length, surmounted by an orb which is supposed to contain a fragment of the true cross.
The Royal Sceptre.
The Sceptre of Equity, surmounted by a dove.
Small sceptres, one of ivory.
Besides these magnificent regal emblems, which chiefly date from the Restoration, when the places of the ancient objects, destroyed during the Commonwealth, were supplied as nearly as possible, observe, also—
The Anointing Spoon, the sole relic of the ancient regalia, of silver gilt.
The Eagle, for the anointing oil.
The Golden Salt-cellar, a model of the White Tower.
The Baptismal Font, used at the christening of the Sovereign's children, of silver, double gilt.
The Sacramental Plate used at the coronation.
A large silver-gilt wine-fountain, of good workmanship, presented to Charles II by the Corporation of Plymouth.
In a case in the large recess, Curtana, the Sword of Mercy, pointless, the blade 40 inches long.
Two Swords of Justice, Ecclesiastical and Civil.
Also the State Sword offered at the coronation of His Majesty Edward VII, with richly jewelled hilt and scabbard.
In the central case is a model of the Koh-i-noor in its original setting.
In the cases in the recesses are also exhibited the insignia of the British and Indian orders of Knighthood, their collars, stars, and badges, and the Victoria Cross.
Leaving the Wakefield Tower, we descend the slope and turn to the left near the site of what was the Cold Harbour Tower, a name the exact meaning of which is unknown. The original Jewel House was behind it to the east, forming with the south side of the White Tower, and portions of the palace, a small courtyard, in which some remains of the ancient buildings may still be traced. On a raised platform is the gun-carriage and limber on which the body of Her Majesty the late Queen Victoria was conveyed on the occasion of her funeral, 2nd February, 1901, from Windsor Railway Station to St. George's Chapel. This was placed here by order of the Houses of Parliament. We now reach a doorway made in the south wall of the
or Keep, the oldest part of the whole fortress.
The Conqueror, before he entered London, formed a camp, eastward of the city, and probably on part of the ground now occupied by the Tower. Immediately after his coronation he commenced the works here. At first, no doubt, they consisted of a ditch and palisade, and were formed partly on the lower bastions of the old City Wall, first built by the Romans, and rebuilt in 885 by King Alfred. The work of building the Keep was entrusted to Gundulf, a monk of Bec, in Normandy, who was shortly afterwards made Bishop of Rochester, and who probably commenced operations in 1078. In 1097, under William Rufus, the works were still going on and the inner ward was enclosed. A great storm in 1091 damaged the outworks. Ralf Flambard, Bishop of Durham, being imprisoned in the Tower by Henry I, contrived to escape, 1101. During the wars between Stephen and Matilda, the Earl of Essex was Constable of the Tower, and obtained a grant even of the City of London from the Empress. When he fell into Stephen's hands the Tower formed his ransom, and the citizens regained their ancient liberty. When Richard I was absent on the Crusade, his regent, Longchamp, resided in the Tower, of which he greatly enlarged the precincts by trespasses on the land of the city and of St. Katharine's Hospital. He surrendered the Tower to the citizens, led by John, in 1191. The church of St. Peter was in existence before 1210, and the whole Tower was held in pledge for the completion of Magna Charta in 1215 and 1216. In 1240 Henry III had the chapel of St. John decorated with painting and stained glass, and the royal apartments in the Keep were whitewashed, as well as the whole exterior. In the reign of Edward III it begins to assume its modern name, as "La Blanche Tour." During the wars with France many illustrious prisoners were lodged here, as David, King of Scots; John, King of France; Charles of Blois, and John de Vienne, governor of Calais, and his twelve brave burgesses. In the Tower Richard II signed his abdication, 1399. The Duke of Orleans, taken at Agincourt, was lodged by Henry V in the White Tower. From that time the Beauchamp Tower was more used as a prison, but it is probable that some of the Kentish rebels, taken with Wyatt in 1554, slept in the recesses of the crypt of the Chapel, long known as Queen Elizabeth's Armoury. In 1663, and later years down to 1709, structural repairs were carried out under the superintendence of Sir Christopher Wren, who replaced the Norman window openings with others of a classical character. Remains of four old windows are visible on the river side. A few years ago some disfiguring annexes and sheds were removed, as well as an external staircase of wood, which led up from the old Horse Armoury and entered the crypt by a window.
The White Tower is somewhat irregular in plan, for though it looks so square from the river its four sides are all of different lengths, and three of its corners are not right angles. The side towards which we approach is 107 feet from north to south. The south side measures 118 feet. It has four turrets at the corners, three of them square, the fourth, that on the north-east, being circular. From floor to battlements it is 90 feet in height. The original entrance was probably on the south side, and high above the ground, being reached as usual in Norman castles by an external stair which could be easily removed in time of danger. Another or the same entrance led from an upper storey of the palace. The interior is of the plainest and sternest character. Every consideration is postponed to that of obtaining the greatest strength and security. The outer walls vary in thickness from 15 feet in the lower to 11 in the upper storey. The whole building is crossed by one wall, which rises from base to summit and divides it into a large western and a smaller eastern portion. The eastern part is further subdivided by a wall which cuts off St. John's Chapel, its crypt, and its subcrypt, each roof of which is massively vaulted. There is no vaulting but a wooden floor between the storeys of the other part. There are several comparatively modern entrances.
A short external stair leads to a staircase in the thickness of the wall on the south side, by which we approach the Chapel. A brass plate on the right refers to some children's bones found in the reign of Charles II. They were identified, somewhat conjecturally, with the remains of Edward V and his brother who disappeared so mysteriously at the accession of Richard III, and were removed to Westminster Abbey in 1678. Ascending the stair we come to the passage which led from the palace to
The chapel is the largest and most complete now remaining in any Norman castle, and must have seen the devotions of William the Conqueror and his family. It is 55 feet 6 inches long by 31 feet wide, and 32 feet high, and is vaulted with a plain arch. There are four massive columns on either side and four in the apse. The south aisle, as we have seen, communicated with the palace, and an upper aisle, or gallery, similarly opened into the
of the White Tower, which we reach by a circuitous route through a passage round the walls, only wide enough for one person at a time, and a circular, or newel, stair in the north-east turret, gaining at every turn glimpses of the extensive stores of small arms. The second floor is divided into two large apartments, not reckoning the chapel; in the eastern wall of the smaller or Banqueting Chamber, is a fire-place, the only one till recently discovered in any Norman Keep. A second and third have of late years been found in the floor below, but the whole building was designed for security, not for comfort and in spite of the use of wooden partitions and tapestry must have been miserable as a place of residence. On leaving St. John's Chapel we enter
In connection with the Armouries, it should be noted that the present collection of arms and armour had its origin in that formed at Greenwich by King Henry VIII, who received many presents of this nature from the Emperor Maximilian and others. He also obtained from the Emperor several skilled armourers, who worked in his pay and wore his livery. English iron in former days was so inferior, or the art of working it was so little known, that even as far back as the days of Richard II German and Italian armourers were the chief workmen in Europe. It should be remembered that the earlier kind of armour chiefly consisted of quilted garments, further fortified by small pieces of leather, horn, or metal. So far from the invention of gunpowder having driven out armour, if we may credit the story of the earliest employment of that explosive, it was at a date when plate armour was hardly in use, certainly not in large pieces. What actually did cause the disuse of armour was the change in ideas as to the movement of troops and the large quantity of armour which was made in the sixteenth century, and consequently the inferior make. In England the disuse of armour seems to have begun earlier than on the Continent, but at no time were the ordinary soldiers covered with metal as seen in Armouries and other places. The weight, and what was more important, the cost, prevented such a thing. It was only the rich who could afford to pay for and had horses to carry armour, who wore much of what we see now. Again, armour for war was much lighter and less complete than that used for the tilt yard, where protection to the wearer was more considered than his ability to hurt his opponent. The greater substance of such armour and its frequent enrichment with engraving and gilding no doubt led to the preservation of this class of defence. Chain mail suffered extremely by rust and neglect, and even plate armour was subject to the same deterioration. It is consequently not to be wondered at that little or no armour of a date previous to the fifteenth century is to be seen in this collection. On Henry VIII's death the first inventory of the Royal collection was made, and this includes the armour and arms at Greenwich, and arms and artillery at the Tower of London which, from the time of Henry VIII, was one of the sights for foreigners of distinction. In the troubles of the Civil War the arms were drawn out, and there is no doubt much, both of arms and armour, was used and lost. The Protector took one suit, and it was not till 1660 that the armour, which had meanwhile been brought to London, was collected, and, with the weapons still in the store, were formed into a kind of museum. It is to that period that may be traced most of the grotesque stories associated with the collection. At various subsequent periods additions were made to the collection, and it was arranged in such manner as suited the knowledge of the day. Series of figures of kings of England and famous persons were made and added to or changed on the death of the sovereign. In later times the whole has been arranged by Sir Samuel Meyrick. Mr. Hewitt, and Mr. Planché, and in 1859 Mr. Hewitt drew up the first catalogue of the contents.
The mounted figures from 1826 till 1883 stood in a long gallery adjoining the south side of the Tower, but at the latter date this was pulled down, and the figures removed to the top floor. Within the last few years the floor below has been used for the later arms, but the lighting of the rooms and their shape, with various other causes, prevent any strictly chronological arrangements of the collection, many objects of which also belong to long periods of time.
The arms and armour are now placed on the two upper floors of the White Tower, the earlier weapons and all the armour, being on the top floor, while the later weapons and the Indian arms and armour, with various personal relics, are placed on what is the third stage or second floor. To this the visitor ascends by a circular staircase in the south front of the Tower. At the foot observe a brass plate recording the finding in 1674 of the supposed remains of the "Princes in the Tower," Edward V and his brother Richard Duke of York. The visitor then enters the Chapel of St. John, and on leaving passes into the smaller of the two rooms on this floor.
At the end of the room is a Persian horse armour of brass scales connected by chain mail. Near this is the quilted armour of the Burmese General Maha Bundoola, killed in 1824. At the other end of the room is a large bell from Burmah, presented by the late General Sir William Gomme, G.C.B., and near it are two figures with Japanese armour, one of them presented to Charles II when prince by the Mogul. It is interesting as being one of the earliest examples of Eastern armour which has an authentic record of its presence in this country, and it also exhibits the persistence in early forms so common in the East. The cases on either hand contain weapons, helmets, and armour from most parts of our Indian Empire, as well as weapons from Cabul, Persia, Africa, America, and the South Seas. Some of these were presented by the Honourable East India Company, some were acquired by purchase after the Great Exhibition of 1851, and others have been added at various times. In the centre of the room are models showing the Tower buildings in the years 1842 and 1866.
The Large Room is now entered, and on the left is a case containing firearms, hand grenades, and a series of the rifled arms in use in the British Army since 1801. These include the two Baker rifles of 1801 and 1807; the Brunswick rifle, 1836; the Minie rifle, 1851; the Enfield rifle musket, 1855; the Snider, 1865; the Martini-Henry, 1871; and the Lee-Metford magazine rifle. On the right, between two grotesque figures, called Gin and Beer, from the entrance to the Buttery of the old Palace of Greenwich, is a case containing executioners' swords (foreign), thumb-screws, the Scavenger's Daughter for confining the neck, hands, and feet, bilboes for ship use, and thumb-screws. Observe also the so-called "Collar taken from the Spanish Armada," which however was here in 1547, and has been in later times filled with lead to make it more terrible. It was only a collar for detention of ordinary prisoners. A conjectural model of the rack is also shown, but the only pictorial authority for this instrument (at no time a legal punishment) is a woodcut in Foxe's Martyrs, the illustrations for which were drawn from German sources.
On the left hand are cases of European firearms of the first half of the present century, and two cannon made for the Duke of Gloucester, the son of Queen Anne. In the S.E. corner, on a platform, are several early cannon, including one, and part of another, from the wreck of the Mary Rose, sunk in action with the French off Spithead in 1545. These display the early mode of construction of such weapons, namely; bars of iron longitudinally welded together and encircled by hoops of the same metal. On the window side in the recesses are wall pieces, which belonged to the Honourable East India Company. The figure of Queen Elizabeth is supposed to represent her as on her way to St. Paul's Cathedral after the destruction of the Spanish Armada. Near the lift are partizans carried by the Yeomen of the Guard, and round the pillars are the sergeants' halberds used in the Army till about 1830. Observe the kettledrums captured at the battle of Blenheim, 1704.
On the left hand observe the beheading axe, which has been here since 1687, also the block on which Lord Lovat, in 1747, lost his head at one stroke for the share he took in the attempt of the Pretender in 1745.
Beyond this, against the wall, is a model by John Bell of a monument for the Great Duke of Wellington. It was presented by the late Sir Daniel Lysons, Constable of the Tower, 1890-1898. Still on the left hand, in a glass case, is the soldier's cloak on which General Wolfe expired in the moment of victory, at Quebec, 1759.
Beyond, in another case, is the uniform worn as Constable of the Tower by the Great Duke of Wellington from 1826 until his death, in 1852.
Near this is a portion of the wooden pump of the Mary Rose, sunk in action off the Isle of Wight in 1545.
In a case at the end of the room is a mass of fused gun flints, a relic of the fire which in 1841 destroyed the Great Store in the Tower and many thousand stand of arms, cannon, &c.
The staircase in the S.W. corner is now ascended leading to the great upper chamber, generally known as the Council Chamber, 95 feet by 40 feet, and, like the smaller room, 21 feet high. Round this top floor runs a passage cut in the thickness of the walls, with numerous openings inwards opposite the windows, and widening somewhat when forming as it does the triforium of St. John's Chapel. At the entrance are cases containing velvet-covered brigandines and canvas-covered jacks, garments which were much used in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, as giving protection by means of numerous small plates of metal disposed between the thicknesses of the material covering and lining them, and also great flexibility. In the cases on the right hand are specimens of chain mail in form of hoods, coats, sleeves, &c, mostly, if not all, of Eastern origin. Observe also some bronze swords and other very early weapons.
Round the walls of the two rooms are arranged the various staff weapons used in England and the continent. In the first enclosure on the left are cases in which are ancient bronze tools, weapons, and ornaments from various localities, stone implements and weapons, and a suit of bronze armour from Cumæ, an ancient Greek settlement near Naples. In the centre of the enclosure are grouped many varieties of staff weapons of the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries. Among them are boar spears for the chase and for war, halberds, partizans, bills, glaives, holy water sprinkles (a staff with a ball with spikes at its extremity), and the 18 foot pikes of the Civil War period.
The first case on the left contains a fine archer's salade with its original lining, from the de Cosson collection. A Venetian salade, with the stamp of the maker of the Missaglia family, a heavy salade for jousting, a combed morion and the tilting helmet of Sir Henry Lee, K.G., Master of the Armouries to Queen Elizabeth and James I. In the lower case are finely engraved and parcel gilt chamfrons for horses' heads, a gilt vamplate for the tilting lance belonging to Lord Chancellor Hatton, an officer's gorget of the time of Queen Anne, and various pieces of rich armour.
In the window recess behind are shields and horns. In the next enclosure are three foot figures of the end of the fifteenth century and commencement of the sixteenth century; the first holds a long-handled axe as used for encounters on foot in champ clos. The second holds a two-handled sword. The third suit is enriched with engraving, and was formerly parcel gilt, but the helmet does not belong to the suit.
In the centre of the room is an equestrian figure (III), the man wearing a fine early sixteenth-century suit of armour, bearing the Nuremberg stamp, and the horse protected by a barb richly repoussé, engraved, and formerly silvered. The designs on this display the Burgundian cross ragulé and the flint and steel. The steel or briquet is to be seen also in the hinges and in the metal coverings for the reins. It will be remembered that this design forms the motif of the collar of the Golden Fleece.
The next equestrian figure (IV) shows the fluted, or as it was called crested, armour, of about 1500. The horse armour is also fluted. On the right, in the centre of the room, are two armours which belonged to Henry VIII. Of these the first (XXVIII) is that formerly described as "rough from the hammer," though it has been milled or glazed and no hammer marks are visible. It is a complete suit for fighting on foot in the lists, and comfort and ability to move about, have been sacrificed to perfect protection. The suit weighs about 93 lbs., and is composed of no less than 235 separate pieces of metal. Some details of construction point to a Spanish influence in the style. The second figure (XXIX), which wants the leg armour, is of the kind known as a tonlet, and has a skirt of horizontal lames engraved. The helmet bears the well-known stamp of the Missaglia family of armourers, and is very curious and massive. This armour is also for fighting on foot in champ clos or the lists.
The next suit (VI) on the left is one of Henry VIII, and has been parcel gilt; the weight of the man's armour is 81 lbs. The two foot figures are those of a horseman and an officer of foot, both of Henry's time. The first bears on it Nuremberg marks; the second has an engraving of the Crucifixion on the left breast. The next equestrian figure (VII), also of Henry VIII, much resembles the last, and has at its feet extra pieces for the tilt yard. Other extra pieces which might be worn with these two suits are in the Royal Armoury at Windsor Castle.
The suit (V) on the equestrian figure in the middle of the room is one of the finest in existence. It was made by Conrad Seusenhofer, one of a family of Augsburg armourers, and given in 1514 to Henry VIII by the Emperor Maximilian. The man's armour is engraved with roses, pomegranates, portcullises, and other badges of Henry VIII and his first queen Katharine of Arragon, and has on the metal skirt which imitates the cloth bases of the time the letters H and K. The horse armour, probably made afterwards in England by one of Henry's German armourers, is also covered with engraving, and has panels on which are depicted scenes from the life and death of St. George and St. Barbara, both military saints. The whole armour was formerly washed with silver, of which some traces still remain.
In the enclosure on the left is a mounted figure (XI) of about 1550, and in front are a pistol shield, one of 80 made for Henry VIII, and a helmet with grotesque mask formerly attributed to Will Somers, the king's jester, but since identified as a present from the Emperor Maximilian. In the next cases are portions of armour of Henry VIII; also of a puffed and engraved suit of the same time, and of a richly worked russet and gilt suit of George Earl of Cumberland, who in Elizabeth's time fitted out at his own cost eleven expeditions against Spain. In the archway are some combined weapons having gun barrels in the staff and pole-axe heads; also the three-barrelled weapon formerly called Henry VIII's walking staff. In the corner of the room are an old German tilting saddle, which protected the legs of the rider, who stood up in his stirrups, a large tilting lance shown as far back as the days of Elizabeth as that of Charles Brandon Duke of Suffolk. At the end of the room are five suits of the second third of the sixteenth century. The centre one, which is damascened, has in front of it an extra gorget, and a placcate to strengthen the breast. The next figure (XXX) is a large suit of armour 6 feet 10-1/2 inches in height of the time of Henry VIII, though formerly incorrectly called that of John of Gaunt, of whom, of course, no armour exists. This suit weighs about 66 lbs.
Descending the room in the first enclosure is the armour (IX) of the Earl of Worcester, who died 1589. This suit is very massive, the breast and back plates together weighing 40 lbs. 3 oz. In the same enclosure are two figures made up of Maximilian armour, and a bowman and a musketeer of the Earl of Worcester's time. In the archways will be seen early forms of guns and pistols of various types and swords and other weapons.
The next mounted figure (VIII) (formerly called Sir Henry Lee) is of the middle of the sixteenth century, and the two foot figures are made up of early sixteenth-century armour.
At the side is a cuir bouilli crupper as worn by the English heavy cavalry in the sixteenth century.
The next enclosure contains an equestrian figure (X) of Robert Dudley Earl of Leicester, the favourite of Elizabeth. This fine suit bears all over it the badge of the Ragged Staff, and is engraved with the badges and collars of the Garter and of the Order of St. Michael of France. The suit was made between 1566 and 1588, and is of very great interest as one of the very few known which also possesses the extra pieces for the tilt yard, viz.: the Grandguard and the Passguard, ornamented like the suit, which with them weighs about 83-1/2 lbs. It will be seen that the extra pieces are for the left side, and the helmet has no air holes on that side, as the tilters passed left arm to left arm on either side of the tilt or barrier. The two foot figures are of about the same date.
The next mounted figure (XII) is one still showing the gilt enrichment so many of these suits for the tilt yard originally had. It was attributed to Robert Earl of Essex, another favourite of his Queen, but has now been identified as the armour made by Jacobe Topf, for Sir John Smith, cousin german to Edward VI, and a great military writer of the sixteenth century. Many other pieces of this suit are in the Royal collection in Windsor Castle. The two foot figures came from the Great Armoury at Malta. Beyond the passage are a mounted figure showing how the lance was held when jousting at the tilt or barrier in the sixteenth century and later, and inferior suits for horsemen, and some other suits from Malta.
On leaving the large room, in the case in the archway will be seen axes, horsemen's hammers and maces, all designed for breaking and rending armour. Observe also various forms of the bayonet, from the early plug bayonet to the later socketed type of that weapon.
The first case on the right contains crossbows of various types. This weapon, at no time our national arm, was used for the defence of fortresses, and later on for sport. The heavy kind were bent by means of arrangements of pulleys, the windlass, or a kind of lifting jack called the Cranequin or Cric. The lighter forms were bent by an attached lever called the Goat's Foot. Specimens of these are in the case, as also two bowstaves from the wreck of the Mary Rose, 1545, and some leaden sling bullets from the battle field of Marathon. In the next case are firearms of early types. Among these observe two guns which belonged to Henry VIII, both of them breechloaders on a system resembling the modern Snider rifle. Note also the German Reiter wheel-lock pistols, with ball pommel; the William III match-lock, with plug bayonet stuck in the muzzle; the bandoliers, each containing twelve charges of powder and a bullet bag; the Vauban lock, combining the flint and match; also a still earlier form of this lock of English make. Montecucuh says he had similar locks made, having seen them used still earlier by the Turks.
The next case contains rapiers and swords and bucklers. Observe the raised bars on the latter, to entangle and break the sword-point. The mounted figure in brown armour shows the equipment of the cavalry in the early part of the seventeenth century, the armour being browned or blacked to prevent rust and to avoid detection at a distance.
The figure (XXIV) in the first enclosure is that of James II. It will be seen that it only consists of a headpiece, breast and back plates, and a long gauntlet to protect the bridle arm. All the pieces bear the King's initials, and the face guard is pierced with the design of the Royal Arms. The next equestrian figure is a gilt suit of Charles I (XIX), said to have been given to him by the City of London. It is the latest complete suit in the collection, and was probably never worn by him. In the centre of the room is a case containing gun locks, powder flasks, and other pieces for the furnishing of a soldier's equipment. The cannon were made for the instruction of Charles II when a prince. In the wall case observe with other objects two swine feathers, or feather staffs, having one long and two short blades which can be concealed in the shaft, also a German Calendar sword with the saints' days marked in gold, and other swords. Below are two waistcoat cuirasses opening down the front.
In the next enclosure on the right is a mounted figure (XVIII) of Charles I when young. The armour is apparently of French make, and is very interesting as being a double suit—that is, it represents the equipment of the cuirassier or cavalryman of about 1610, and then by removing the helmet and the armour for the arms and legs, and substituting the pott and the short thigh defences (in the small glass case) we have the equipment of the foot soldier as seen in the figures of pikemen on the other side of the room. The small silvered cap and breast and back in another glass case was made for Charles II when prince.
In a table case are a gun and pistol dated respectively 1614 and 1619, made for Charles I when Prince of Wales. The gun is not quite perfect, but the two weapons are the earliest examples of flint locks in the collection. Note also a fine wheel lock of about 1600. The gunner's axe was used for laying cannon, and has on its shaft scales showing the size of cannon balls of stone, iron, lead, and slag. It belonged to the Duke of Brunswick Luneburg. The last enclosure contains a suit (XVII) of richly decorated armour given to Henry Prince of Wales by the Prince de Joinville. This suit, though rich, is of late and inelegant form, as may be seen by observing the breast and the treatment of the feet. In the suit of his brother Prince Charles also will be seen an instance of the decay of the armourer's art, namely, the thigh-pieces, which are marked as though of several pieces of metal whilst being of one rigid piece.
In a small case are unfinished portions of a helmet and gorget, and a gilt and engraved vamplate belonging to a suit of Henry Prince of Wales.
The figures on the opposite side of the room are horsemen and pikemen of the seventeenth century, after which time armour may be said to have ceased to be worn, till at the coronation of George IV in 1820, when the Household Cavalry appeared in cuirasses. In the table cases in this room are odd portions of armour: gorgets, gauntlets, cuisshes, &c., daggers, knives, and swords, including good examples of the Cinquedea, or short broad-bladed sword peculiar to Northern Italy.
In the series of wall cases at the end of both rooms will be found several varieties of helmets, including salades, close helmets, tilting helmets; also morions and cabassets and breasts and backs. Among these observe the fine painted archers' salade, with vizor; two fine Venetian salades, like the ancient Greek helmets, and bearing armourers' stamps; sixteenth-century tilting helmets, with side doors for air; spider helmets, &c. Those on the upper shelves are either false or imitations of real examples. In the case by the door is a helmet made for and worn by the late Emperor Napoleon III (when prince) at the Eglinton Tournament, in 1839.
On the walls are portions of horse armour, bucklers for foot soldiers, and several shields simulating the embossed ornamentation of the sixteenth century.
The Waterloo Barracks are opposite, built in 1845 on the site of storehouses burnt in 1841. The building of similar character to the right is the Officers' Quarters: between the two a glimpse is obtained of the Martin or Brick Tower, whence Blood stole the crown in 1671. Observe, on the left, the extensive collection of cannons of all ages and countries, including triple guns taken from the French, of the time of Louis XIV, and some curious and grotesque mortars from India.
Observe, on the right, almost adjoining the Barrack, the Chapel of St. Peter "ad Vincula," so called from having been consecrated on that well-known festival of the Latin Church, the 1st of August, probably in the reign of Henry I (1100-1135). The old chapel was burnt in 1512, and the present building erected only in time to receive the bodies of the first victims of the tyranny of Henry VIII. It was considered a Royal Chapel before 1550; the interior is not shown to the public. Here it is, in the memorable words of Stow, writing in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, that there lie before the high altar, "two dukes between two queens, to wit, the Duke of Somerset and the Duke of Northumberland, between Queen Anne and Queen Katharine, all four beheaded." Here also are buried Lady Jane (Grey) and Lord Guildford Dudley, the Duke of Monmouth, and the Scotch lords, Kilmarnock, Balmerino, and Lovat, beheaded for their share in the rebellion of 1745. The last burial in the chapel was that of Sir John Fox Burgoyne, Constable of the Tower, in 1871.
The space in front of the chapel is called Tower Green, and was used as a burial ground; in the middle is a small square plot, paved with granite, showing the site on which stood at rare intervals the scaffold on which private executions took place. It has been specially paved by the orders of Her late Majesty. The following persons are known to have been executed on this spot:—
1. Queen Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII, 19th May, 1536.
2. Margaret Countess of Salisbury, the last of the old Angevin or Plantagenet family, 27th May, 1541.
3. Queen Katharine Howard, fifth wife of Henry VIII, 13th February, 1542.
4. Jane Viscountess Rochford, 13th February, 1542.
5. Lady Jane (Grey), wife of Lord Guildford Dudley, 12th February, 1554.
6. Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, 25th February, 1601.
They were all beheaded with an axe except Queen Anne Boleyn, whose head was cut off with a sword by the executioner of St. Omer, brought over for the purpose. The executioner of the Earl of Essex was not able to do his work with less than three strokes, and was mobbed and beaten by the populace on his way home. The bodies of all six were buried in the Chapel of St. Peter.
Lord Hastings was also beheaded on Tower Green by order of the Duke of Gloucester in 1483.
is on the west side of Tower Green, facing the White Tower, and is on the inner wall between the Bell Tower on the south and the Devereux Tower on the north, being connected with both by a walk along the parapet. Its present name probably refers to the residence in it as a prisoner of Thomas, third Earl of Warwick, of the Beauchamp family, who was attainted under Richard II in 1397, but restored to his honours and liberty two years later under Henry IV. It is curious that the most interesting associations of the place should be connected with his successors in the earldom. Although built entirely for defensive purposes, we find it thus early used as a prison, and during the two following centuries it seems to have been regarded as one of the most convenient places in which to lodge prisoners of rank, and in consequence many of the most interesting mural inscriptions are to be found in its chambers.
In plan the Beauchamp Tower is semicircular, and it projects eighteen feet beyond the face of the wall. It consists of three storeys, of which the middle one is on a level with the rampart, on which it formerly opened. The whole building dates from the reign of Edward III. We enter at the south-east corner and ascend by a circular staircase to the middle chamber, which is spacious and has a large window, with a fire-place. Here are to be found most of the inscriptions, some having been brought from other chambers. A few are in the entrance passage and on the stair. All are numbered and catalogued. The following—to which the numbers are appended—will be found the most interesting:—
2. On the ground-floor, near the entrance, ROBART DVDLEY. This was the fifth son of John, Duke of Northumberland, and next brother to Guildford Dudley, the husband of Lady Jane Grey. When his father was brought to the block in 1553 he and his brothers remained in prison here, Robert being condemned to death in 1554. In the following year he was liberated with his elder brother Ambrose, afterwards created Earl of Warwick, and his younger brother Henry. In the first year of Queen Elizabeth he was made Master of the House and elected a Knight of the Garter. In 1563 he was created Earl of Leicester. He died at Cornbury, in Oxfordshire, in 1588.
8. On the left, at the entrance of the great chamber, is a carved cross, with other religious emblems, with the name and arms of PEVEREL, and the date 1570. It is supposed to have been cut by a Roman Catholic prisoner confined during the reign of Queen Elizabeth.
13. Over the fire-place this inscription in Latin:—"The more suffering for Christ in this world the more glory with Christ in the next," &c. This is signed "Arundel, June 22, 1587." This was Philip Howard, son of Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, beheaded in 1573. Philip inherited from his maternal grandfather the earldom of Arundel in 1580. He was a staunch Roman Catholic and was constantly under suspicion of the Government, by which in 1584 he was confined in his own house for a short time. On his liberation he determined to quit the country, but was committed to the Tower in 1585, and died in custody ten years later, having refused release on condition of forsaking his religion. His body was buried in his father's grave in the Chapel of St. Peter, but was eventually removed to Arundel. He left other inscriptions, one in the window (79), and one on the staircase (91), dated 1587.
14. On the right of the fire-place is an elaborate piece of sculpture (Pl. XII), which will be examined with peculiar interest as a memorial of the four brothers Dudley: Ambrose (created Earl of Warwick 1561), Guildford (beheaded 1554), Robert (created Earl of Leicester 1563), and Henry (killed at the siege of St. Quintin, 1558), carved by the eldest, John (called Earl of Warwick), who died in 1554. Under a bear and a lion supporting a ragged staff is the name "JOHN DVDLE," and surrounding them is a wreath of roses (for Ambrose), oak leaves (for Robert, robur, an oak), gillyflowers (for Guildford), and honeysuckle (for Henry). Below are four lines, one of them incomplete, alluding to the device and its meaning. It is on record that the Lieutenant of the Tower was allowed 6s. 8d. a day each for the diet of these captive brothers.
33. This is one of several inscriptions relating to the Poole or Pole family (see also Nos. 45, 47, 52, 56, 57). They were the sons of the Countess of Salisbury, by Sir Richard Pole, K.G. No. 45 contains the name of "GEFFRYE POOLE 1562." He was the second son and gave evidence against his elder brother, Lord Montagu, who was beheaded in 1539.
48. "IANE." This interesting inscription, repeated also in the window (85), has always been supposed to refer to the Lady Jane Grey, daughter of the Duke of Suffolk, and wife of Guildford Dudley, fourth son of the Duke of Northumberland. A second repetition in another part of the room was unfortunately obliterated in the last century when a new window was made to fit this chamber for a mess-room. It is sometimes, but erroneously, supposed that the name was carved by this Queen of ten days herself, but it is improbable that she was ever imprisoned in the Beauchamp Tower. She is known to have lived in the house of Partridge, the Gaoler. It is much more probable that the two inscriptions were placed on the wall either by Lord Guildford Dudley, her husband, or by his brother, whose large device has been described above.
66. In the window is the rebus, or monogram, of Thomas Abel: upon a bell is the letter A. This was Dr. Abel, a faithful servant to Queen Katharine of Arragon, first wife of King Henry VIII. He acted as her chaplain during the progress of the divorce, and by his determined advocacy offended the King. For denying the supremacy he was condemned and executed in 1540.
The visitor who has time to spare will find many other records of this kind in the Beauchamp Tower, the oldest of all being the name of "Thomas Talbot 1462" (89), supposed to have been concerned in the Wars of the Roses. Emerging again upon Tower Green we see on the right the
now called the King's House. The Hall door, where a sentry stands, is the same through which Lord Nithisdale escaped in female dress, the night before he was to have been beheaded, 1716. Some parts of the house are of great antiquity, among them the rooms in the Bell Tower, those on the upper storey which open on the leads and the rampart known as The Prisoners' Walk, and the Council Room, a handsome apartment containing a curious monument of the Gunpowder Plot. In this room Guy Fawkes and his associates were examined, 1605. The interior of the King's House is not shown to the public. Next to it is the house of the Gentleman Gaoler, or Chief Warder. It was in this house that Lady Jane Grey lived when a prisoner, and from its windows saw her husband go forth from the adjoining Beauchamp Tower to his execution on Tower Hill, and his headless body brought to the chapel "in a carre," while the scaffold was being prepared for her own death on the Green in front, which took place on the same day, Monday, 12th February, 1554.
NOTE.—Visitors who wish to know more about the Tower are referred to the works of Bayley, of Brayley and Britton, of Doyne C. Bell, of G.T. Clark, and of Hepworth Dixon.
|ARM OF THE SERVICE||In first year.||In
During the first year of service the rate of Bounty of a Militiaman varies from 10s. to £2.
A Training Bounty of £1 10s. is issued on the completion of each Annual Training. Ex-Army N.C.O.'s, who are appointed Sergeants, receive a training bounty of £3. Non-training bounty of £3 is issued in sums of £1 on each of the following dates—1st October, 1st December, and 1st February, to men who have completed two trainings or the equivalent thereof. A Special bounty of £1 is also given on the completion of an authorised course of instruction other than during the 28 days immediately preceding the training of the unit.
During Drill and training, N.C.O.'s and men receive Army rates of pay of their rank, also rations; and provided they are 19 years of age and have attended one training, or the equivalent thereof, messing allowance at 3d. a day.
In addition to the ordinary pay, extra-duty pay varying from 2d. to 6d. per day will be issued during the annual training to non commissioned officers and men of the Militia for the performance of certain specified duties.
Engineer Pay varying from 4d. to 2s. a day, will also be allowed to non commissioned officers and men of the Militia Engineers according to their qualifications.
Corps pay, varying from 4d. to 1s. a day, is granted to N.C.O.'s and men of the Royal Army Medical Corps, who are reported as duly qualified.
A Pamphlet containing detailed information as to the Conditions of Service in the Militia and in the Reserve Division of the Militia can be obtained free of charge at any Post Office in the United Kingdom, from any Sergeant Instructor of Volunteers, or other Recruiter.
and maintained by
images and text are copyright Ronald Hunter 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 & 2009.