« PreviousContinue »
HENRY II. Henry, called Fitz-Empress, from his mother, and Court-Mantel, from his having introduced the fashion of short cloaks into England, was crowned at Westminster on the Sunday before Christmas day, A. D. 1154, being the Romish feast of St. Ligerius, by Theobald, archbishop of Canterbury. Although his hereditary right was unquestionable, he was formally elected by the clergy and people; they testified their assent by loud acclamations, and Langtoft insinuates that his subjects were more anxious to have him for a king than he was to acquire a kingdom: To London thei him brought with grete solempnitie The popille him besouht ther kyng for to be The day of St. Liger was Henry corouned king Thebald of Canterber gaf him the coroune and the ryng. This Henry was Maldo sonne, the erle wif of Anjowe The Emperice was wonne" and right heyre for to trowe' For Henry dochter & his heyre thorgh sight", Now comes hir sonne in pas, Henry hir heyr thorgh right. It is said that Henry was crowned again with his queen, A. D. 1159, but Mr. Arthur Taylor plausibly conjectures that this report arose from his having worn the crown during the ceremony. Indeed it was usual for the English kings to have a kind of minor coronation performed at the great festivals, but this was terminated, A. D. 1159, when Henry and his queen, spending the Easter holidays at Worcester, entered the offertory in solemn procession, placed their crowns upon the high altar, and vowed never to wear them again during their lives. Early in the year 1170, King Henry adopted what was in England a very unusual measure, and which was manifestly pregnant with danger; he proposed to his parliament to have his son Henry crowned titular king. Gervase of Canterbury insinuates that some of the nobles were unwilling to comply with this proposal, but that they feared to oppose the king's pleasure, lest he should bring them to trial for various malversations and outrages during Henry's absence in Normandy. The young prince was knighted by his father on the morning of the 14th of June, being the second Sunday after Trinity, and the same day was crowned by Roger, archbishop of York, assisted by the bishops of Durham, London, Salisbury, and Rochester, in the abbey church of Wesminster. William, king of Scotland, his brother David, and a greater number of nobles and prelates than had ever assembled at a like solemnity, performed fealty and homage to the young king on the following day, with a limitation, “saving the fealty due to their lord the king, his father.” On this occasion Henry did not exhibit his usual prudence, but seems to have been guided by passion rather than policy. The ceremony of the coronation was performed by the archbishop of York, without any protestation to save the rights of the see of Canterbury, and the prince's wife, daughter to the king of France, was not crowned with him, according to the usual practice when the king has a consort. The former of these circumstances was an intentional insult to the archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas à Becket, then in the midst of his fierce contest with the king, and every precaution had been taken to make the injury more flagrant. The king, immediately after the death of archbishop Theobald, got a bull from the pope, allowing him to have his son crowned by whatever prelate he pleased; but Becket contended, and probably with truth, that this licence was obtained to prevent the archbishop of York from pretending to consecrate the * Matilda's. * Found. Believed to be the rightful heir. * Manifestly.
new king, as matter of right, in case the see of Canterbury should be vacant. Roger, archbishop of York, also obtained a bull, granting him the privilege of crowning the king of England, as some of his predecessors had done, and of having his cross carried erect before him through all the kingdom. The latter privilege was restricted, however, to the archiepiscopal province of York by a subsequent bull, and Becket's partisans maintained that the former had been tacitly subjected to a similar limitation. Roger, however, was a privileged person; he was the papal legate for Scotland, and therefore exempt from Becket's legatine jurisdiction, and consequently he was the fittest prelate to consecrate the youthful sovereign.
The apparent slight to the princess Margaret arose solely from the necessity of keeping the exact time of the coronation secret, and thus frustrating the machinations of Becket. As soon as the ceremony was completed, the king sent orders to provide a suitable equipage for Margaret with all the ornaments necessary to the state of a queen. Becket's conduct proves the importance of this secrecy; he had sent inhibitions to the archbishop of York and all the English bishops, forbidding them to officiate at the coronation, and had procured bulls from the pope to the like effect, which, however, the papal messengers were afraid to carry into England. Roger, bishop of Worcester, undertook to convey the papal inhibitions to the English parliament, but he was stopped at Dieppe by Richard du Hommet, justiciary of Normandy, and an embargo laid on all the shipping in the harbour, until the coronation was over.
At the coronation feast, Henry with his own hand served up a dish at the prince's table, but the arrogant boy, instead of feeling grateful for the unusual honour conferred upon him, said to the archbishop of York, who complimented him upon it, “Assuredly it is not a great condescension for the son of an earl to wait on the son of a king.” Prince Henry was crowned a second time, in company with his wife Margaret, at Winchester, A.D. 1172, by the archbishop of Rouen assisted by the bishops of Evreux and Worcester. The see of Canterbury was then vacant, and the king of France, for whose gratification the ceremony was performed, insisted that neither the archbishop of York, nor the bishops of London or Salisbury, should officiate at the coronation.
ON THE LOSS OF A BELOVED oby ECT.
THE voice which I did more esteem Than music in her sweetest key; Those eyes which unto me did seem More comfortable than the day; Those now by me, as they have been, Shall never more be heard, or seen; But what I once enjoyed in them, Shall seem hereafter as a dream.
All earthly comforts vanish thus;
- LONDON: JOHN WILLIAM PARKER, WEST STRAND.
Publish ED IN WEEKLY NUMarks, PR1cf. ONE PENNY, AND IN Mox rhiy PARTs, PRick Six PEN.cr.
Sold by all Booksellers and Newsvenders in the Kingdom.
How “delightsome" are the associations connected with the Wye | yet how few amongst the great mass who have the means of making an annual excursion in search of health or recreation, are acquainted with it except by name. It shall be our object to give a full and popular illustration of this romantic river, in a short series of papers, with such notices of the remarkable antiquities and highly-interesting country through which it passes, within reach of the tourist, as may tend to render the subject complete. We trust that we shall thus diffuse information amongst the body of our readers, which many of them may be able to turn some day to pleasant account. Our opening remarks may be widely extended. Notwithstanding all the advantages of cheap travelling and steam-boats, how slight is the acquaintance of the majority of our countrymen of the middle, and often of the higher, classes, with the wonders of mature and art that abound in their native land. To our mind the first duty of a man who possesses the means of travelling, should be to make a minute acquaintance with his own country. Comparatively few amongst us are thoroughly acquainted with England,-Wales, that stronghold of the picturesque, although very easily accessible, is trodden but by a few, Scotland, our northern hillcountry, with its wild and romantic shores and Vol. XII.
groups of islands, is still, except by hearsay, as little known to many Englishmen as Polynesia, and Ireland, though rich in natural beauty of the highest class, is an absolute terra incognita; we have, however, undertaken the agreeable task of supplying information on these subjects, and we refer to our papers on Ireland, and other places, with peculiar satisfaction. It has been well remarked by an ingenious writer, in contrasting the scenery of Great Britain with that on the continent of Europe, that magnitude is not essential to beauty, and that sublimity is not always to be measured by yards and feet. A mountain may be loftier, or a lake longer and wider, without any gain to that picturesque effect which mainly depends on form, combination, and colouring. In the peculiar nature of its scenery, too, England mav be said to stand alone. Corn-waving fields, and pasture green, and slope And swell alternate; summits crowned with leaf, Grove encircled mansions,—the church, the farm, the mill, And tinkling rivulet,distinguish even the most uninteresting districts, which sometimes make up for their deficiency in the higher order of matural beauty, by more striking events in their history, or by monastic or castellated
remains of a more attractive character. Nor must 383
we lose sight of local and national attachment, which cast an indescribable charm over all. So much for the “picturesque" or topographical side of the subject. Our limits will not permit us to attempt even a bare enumeration of the wonders of art, which have elevated this country to the highest rank amongst nations, else we could dwell at length on the field presented to the traveller in search of information,-on the manufacturing and commercial establishments, the dockyards and arsenals, ports, mines, canals, bridges, railroads, and other public works, which contribute to our prosperity, and are eminently calculated to instruct the inquiring mind. Having thus slightly glanced at the profitable nature of home tours, let us proceed to our immediate subject, and request the reader to accompany us to the source of the “sylvan Wye.”
PLINLYM MON-SOURCE OF THE WYE-LLANGURIG -R HAYA in Y R. Thou sylvan Wye, since last my feet Wandered along thy margin sweet, I've gazed on many a far-famed stream,” * * * o Tout none, to my delighted eye, Seemed lovelier than my own sweet Wye, Through meads of living verdure driven, "Twixt hills that seein earth's links to heaven; With sweetest odours breathing round, With every woodland glory crowned, And skies of such cerulean hue, A veil of such transparent blue, That God's own eye seems gazing through. THE “pleased Vaga," as the Wye is poetically termed by Pope, takes its rise from a spacious hollow near the summit of Plymlimmon, a dreary mountain which attains an altitude of 2463 feet, on the borders of the counties of Cardigan and Montgomery, about fifteen miles from that fashionable watering-place, Aberystwith. The lower parts of the mountain are covered with soft mossy turf, and stunted heath, but often broken with rugged and extensive bogs, which render the ascent dangerous and difficult”. In other places the surface is entirely overspread with large loose stones, or white-coloured rocks, which give it a singular appearance on approaching its base. The summit consists of two peaks, on each of which are piled a pyramid of loose stones, called in the language of the country, Carnedd, or Carneddau. Similar heaps of stones are common on the neighbouring mountains, and in many other places in Wales. It has been supposed that they are sepulchral monuments erected by the Britons in honour of their military heroes, but it seems more probable that those on Plymlimmon were formerly used as beacons, as they might have been seen from ten counties. In 1401, the renowned chieftain, Owen Glendower, posted himself on this mountain with a small body of men, awaiting the arrival of his vassals and friends from various parts of the principality, and from whence he frequently descended and harassed the adjacent country. The entrenchments he threw up may still be traced. The blade of a British spear or pike made of brass, was found in a bog near this spot some years ago. The views from the summit in clear weather embrace a wild and extensive range of landscape; exhibiting mountains rolling, as it were, over each other in the most sublime forms and beautiful hues. In the north appears Cader Idris, and the lofty region of Snow. donia; the hills of Salop and Hereford may be seen to the cast and north-east; and on the west the bay
* At a small roadside inn at Eisteddfa Gurrig, a guide can be *4, and iron whence the mountain is generally ascended.
of Cardigan, and a dim outline of the coast of Ireland. After a copious fall of rain, the cataracts which descend with headlong fury down the sides of the mountain, add considerably to the grandeur and wildness of the scenery. This “hill king” of Cambria is best known, however, as the parent of no less than five streams or rivers, whence is derived the name Pum, five, and Luinon, springs, or fountain. The most important of these is the Severn, which rising in the north-east of the same group of mountains, (for Plymlimmon consists properly of three mountains piled together into one gigantic mass,) after a course of about two hundred miles, pours its waters into the sea below Bristol. The WYE, or Gwy, which in Celtic signifies a river, issuing from the southern side of the mountain, falls in a narrow streamlet several hundred yards nearly perpendicular, till gradually increasing by the union of several small springs, the overplus of the surrounding morasses, it soon forms a cataract, rolling with amazing rapidity over a rocky channel. The other rivers, the Rheidal, the Llyffmant, and the Fynach, though considerable streams, are of minor importance. The WYE, (says Gikpin,) after dividing the counties of Radnor and Brecon, passes through the middle of Herefordshire; it then becomes a second boundary between the counties of Monmouth and Gloucester, and falls into the Severn a little below Chepstow. The exquisite beauty and grandeur of the scenery which in many parts adorn its shores in almost endless variety, is scarcely to be equalled. Such is the sinuosity of its course, that between Ross and Chepstow, a distance not exceeding seventeen miles in a direct line, the water passage is thirty-eight. Along the whole of this distance, the poet Gray truly observes, that its banks are a succession of nameless beauties. The beauty of these scenes arises chiefly from two circumstances; the lofty bunks of the river, and its mazy course; both of which are accurately embodied by the poeto, when he describes the Wye as echoing through its winding bounds. It could not well echo, unless its banks were both lofty and winding [.. Let us now commence our matter-of-fact tour. The progress of the Wye from its source to LLANGu Rug, a distance of about ten miles, is through a naked and dreary country, with undulating hills in the background. Mr. Roscoe observes, in his delightful Wanderings, that the village is honoured in all travellers' note-books with the cognomen of “wretched.” There is only one very indifferent house of entertainment, but now that there is a prospect of the Upper Wye Tour becoming appreciated as it ought, we agree with Mr. Roscoe that Llangurig will no doubt at an early period afford superior accommodation. Poor as the village is, the scenery is wild and extremely magnificent, so much so, indeed, that Nicholson speaks of it as “exceeding the powers of description.” The hamlet stands on the north bank of the river, surrounded by towering mountains, the lower portions of which are partially covered with wood, and relieve the hitherto monotonous tone of the landscape, the eye having previously been accustomed to dwell chiefly on the sullen and savage sterility of Plymlimmon. The scenery from Llangurig to Rhayadyr, especially on approaching the latter, is highly interesting; the river being confined by close rocky banks, and having a considerable declination, the whole is a succession of rapids and waterfalls. The Namerth rocks, for nearly three miles, form a fine screen to the north bank. The trees and shrubs which overhang the eddying pools and rapids in many places, add considerably to the picturesque character of the scenery. RHAYADYR, a straggling, but rather a curious specimen of a Welsh town, has little to recommend
... ? Pope. ; Gilpin's Observations on the rive" Wye.
before the birth of Christ.
it, save its beautiful situation. It stands on elevated ground on the east bank of the Wye, which, after leaving the Namerth rocks, makes an easy bend under woody hills. The view from the bridge, which has a very fine arch, is singularly grand, the river here falling over a ledge of rugged rocks and forming a magnificent cascade, from which the town derives its name Rhayadyr Gwy; Rhayadyr, signifying a cataract, and Gwy, a river. There is excellent fishing above Rhayadyr, the river abounding with fine trout, and in the Summer season it is much resorted to by the lovers of the piscatory art. The town is divided into four streets, intersecting each other at right angles, a plan common in most of the old Welsh towns. In the reign of Henry the Eighth, the quarter sessions were held here, but were soon afterwards removed, chiefly on account of the inability of the place to afford necessary accommodation for the judges. In the centre of the town stands the hall, a square building erected about 1768. The castle, which stood on a nook of the Wye, at the extremity of Maes-bach, a small common in the neighbourhood, was anciently of considerable importance. Of the superstructure nothing now remains. It is said to have been erected by Rhys, prince of South Wales in the time of Richard the First, and afterwards burnt in 1231 by Llewellyn ap Jorwerth.
CHAPTERS ON CORONATIONS. No. II.
AMoNG the Regalia of England there is no article possessing more historical interest than King Edward's or, as it is commonly called, St. Edward's CHAIR, in which the sovereign is seated when the crown is placed upon his head. It is in shape similar to the high-backed chairs which were fashionable in England about a century ago; its height is six feet seven inches, its depth twenty-five inches, and the breadth of the seat measured withinside is twenty-eight inches. At the height of nine inches from the ground there is a ledge which supports the celebrated Stone of Destiny, which Edward I., or Longshanks, brought from Scotland as a memorial of his conquest of that country. This stone was originally the royal seat of the kings of Ireland; they called it Liafail, or “the stone of destiny,” and attributed so much importance to it, that they named the island in honour of it, Innisfail, or “the island of destiny.” According to the monkish legends, this was the identical stone which served Jacob as a pillow when he saw the miraculous vision in Bethel; they tell us that it was brought by Gathol, king of the Scuths, or Scots, to Brigantia, a city of Gallicia in Spain, and that it was removed from thence to Ireland by Simon Brech, the leader of a body of Scots, about seven hundred years From these invaders Ireland received the name of Scotia, which it retained until within a century of the English invasion. Fergus, a descendant of Simon Brech, being compelled to leave Ireland in consequence of civil wars, led a body of emigrants to Argyleshire, and brought with him the stone of destiny, which he deposited at Dunstaffnage, about three hundred years before the birth of Christ. All his descendants were installed on this stone seat, and it was believed that when the rightful heir took his seat, the stone emitted loud and harmonious musical sounds, but that it remained
silent whenever a pretender attempted to be crowned.
The real history of the stone is scarcely less curious than that ascribed to it in the legend. We learn
from sacred history that the earliest altars were made of unhewn stone : indeed, the Chaldee word for altar, signifies literally, “stones orderly erected,” and God himself directs Moses, “If thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it thou hast polluted it.” (Exod. xx. 25.) This reverence for unhewn stones led to their being used as idols. We read of the children of Israel in the age of their corruption, that “they set them up images and groves in every high hill and under every green tree.” (2 Kings xvii. 10.) Here the Hebrew word Matzebah, which our translators have rendered “image,” properly signifies “a stone pillar.” So also in the Levitical law: “Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land to bow down before it: for I am the Lord your God.” (Levit. xxvi. 1.) Here the word Matzebah, rendered “standing image,” signifies simply a stone pillar. In consequence of these perversions, the erection of the Matzebah was entirely prohibited, when Moses recapitulated the law to the children of Israel. The worship of stone pillars was very common in the East; Clement of Alexandria declares that rude stones were the object of adoration in those lands where the art of statuary was not understood ; Pausanius mentions several such pillars in Boeotia, where they were probably introduced by the Phoenician colonists; and Arnobius declares that the pagans of Northern Africa consecrated pillars of stone for idols so late as the fourth century of the Christian era. Superstition connected stone seats with the admimistration of justice, which was regarded as a right delegated to rulers by the gods. This custom lasted to a very late period; a marble bench anciently stood at the upper end of Wesminster Hall, where the king in person, and at a subsequent period his chief judges, heard the pleas of those who complained of injury, and hence the chief criminal court of the realm is now called the Court of King's Bench. The Irish stone of destiny appears from the ancient records of Ireland to have been an altar, an idol, and the throne of the kings; and it was therefore viewed with three-fold reverence. A remarkable prophecy identified its fortunes with those of the royal line of the Scots, which is thus given in the old monkish rhymes:– Ni fallat fatum, Scoti, quocunque locatum Invenient lapidem, Tenentur regnare ibidem. That is: Or Fate is false, or where this stone is found, A king of Scottish race will there be crowned.
It was on account of the importance attached to this prophecy that Kenneth removed the stone from Dunstaffnage to Scone, where, for more than four hundred and fifty years, it was used as a throne at the coronation of the Scottish kings. Its removal to England was felt by the entire people of Scotland as a national humiliation, and they stipulated for its restoration at the treaty of Northampton, A.D. 1328. Writs for sending it back were issued by Edward the Third, but from some unexplained cause they were never executed. When James the First ascended the throne of England great importance was attached to this fulfilment of the prophecy connected with the stone of destiny, and so deep was the impression thus produced on the minds of the Scottish people, that in the reign of Queen Anne it reconciled many to the Union, who would otherwise have opposed that measure., 383—2
KING Edward's chain.
A close examination of the stone induces us to believe that it is a block of red sandstone, containing a more than ordinary proportion of ferruginous matter; it certainly is not an aérolite, as several authors have asserted. Its dimensions are, twentytwo inches in length, thirteen in breadth, and eleven in depth. At each end are two short iron chains. The chair itself was anciently decorated with carving, gilding, and painting, but its beauty has been long since effaced. At modern coronations it is covered with cloth of gold, but we could wish that the decorations of this very interesting relic of antiquity should be restored as nearly as possible according to the ancient patterm. The AMPULLA, or Golden Eagle, in which the holy oil for anointing the kings is preserved, is a vessel of pure gold, in the shape of an eagle with expanding wings, nearly seven inches in height, and weighing about ten ounces. The old historian Walsingham, in his account of the coronation of Henry the Fourth, connects the use of this Ampulla with a very singular legend:—Henry the Fourth, according to the historian, was anointed with the identical holy oil which the blessed Virgin gave to St. Thomas the Martyr, archbishop of Canterbury: that is, to Thomas a Becket, whose extreme pride and insolence form so remarkable a part of the history of Henry the Second. Becket received this extraordinary boon when he was in exile, and the Virgin assured him, that whatever kings of England should be anointed with this oil, they would become merciful rulers and distinguished champions of the church. It may be curious to remark, that Walsingham, or, as he is more frequently called, “the worthy monk of St. Alban's,” is not very scrupulous respecting the purity of the language he attributes to the Virgin, for the word which we have rendered “champions,” literally sigmifies boxers, or heroes of the prize-ring, a kind of champions not very well suited to the defence of the church. This oil, preserved in a golden eagle and stone jar, was long lost, but it was at last miraculously brought to light. While Henry, the first duke of Lancaster, was waging war in foreign parts, the aforesaid eagle
and jar were delivered to him by a holy man, to whom the place of its concealment was divinely revealed. He gave it to the most noble Prince Edward, commonly called the Black Prince, who deposited it in the Tower of London. It was enclosed in a box secured with more than ordinary care; but the box itself by some accident was put astray, so that the holy oil could not be used at the coronation of Richard the Second. In the year of grace 1399, Richard the Second, having made an inquisition into the treasures bequeathed to him by his ancestors, found the eagle and jar, together with a manuscript in the handwriting of “St. Thomas of Canterbury,” containing the prophetic description of all the advantages and blessings that the kings of England would derive from being anointed with this holy oil. He was so struck with the enumeration, that he wished the ceremony of his coronation to be repeated, and applied to the archbishop of Canterbury for the purpose. The prelate obstinately refused, declaring that unction was a sacrament, which, like the sacrament of baptism, could not be administered a second time. Richard took the eagle and jar with him when he made his unfortunate voyage to Ireland, and on his return resigned them to the custody of the archbishop of Canterbury at Chester, saying, “It is manifestly the will of God that I should not be anointed with this holy oil; that solemn sacrament is reserved for some more favoured monarch." The archbishop kept these precious treasures until the usurpation of Henry the Fourth, who was the first English sovereign anointed with this precious oil. The legend of the Ampulla used at the coronation of the French kings is still more extraordinary. It is said to have been brought from heaven by a dove to St. Remy, when he was performing the ceremony of the coronation of Clovis. Hincmar, in his life of St. Remy, thus narrates the legend:— And behold a dove, fairer than snow, suddenly brought down a phial 3. his mouth full of holy oil. All that were present were delighted with the fragrancy of it, and when the archbishop had received it, the dove vanished. Another historian, quoted by Menin, is rather more particular in his relation :When he that bore the chrism was absent and kept off by the people, lo! suddenly no other doubtless than the Holy Spirit appeared, in the visible form of a dove, who carrying the holy oil in his shining bill, laid it down between the hands of the minister. The oil of this mystic vessel was declared by the Romish priests to be undiminished by use, and this was gravely put forward as a standing miracle until the time of the French Revolution. At the coronation of Charles the Tenth, the priests had the folly to proclaim in the public papers that a phial containing some of this invaluable unction had been preserved from the destruction of the rest of the Regalia, to anoint the head of a monarch so devoted to the interests of the Romish church. The original Ampulla given to Thomas à Becket