Slike strani

crease of arts and industry, the rewards of genius and virtue, and the relief of wretchedness and want.

What good, what true, what fit we justly call,
Let this be all our care-for this is all;
To lay this treasure up, and hoard with haste
What ev'ry day will want, and most the last.
This done, the poorest can no wants endure;
And this not done, the richest must be poor.





Or, reasons offered against confining the procession to the usual track, and pointing out others more commodious and proper. To which are prefixed, a plan of the different paths recommended, with the parts adjacent, and a sketch of the procession. Most humbly submitted to consideration m.

ALL pomp is instituted for the sake of the publick. A show without spectators can no longer be a show. Magnificence in obscurity is equally vain with a sundial in the grave.

As the wisdom of our ancestors has appointed a very splendid and ceremonious inauguration of our kings, their intention was, that they should receive their crown with such awful rites, as might for ever impress upon them a due sense of the duties which they were to take, when the happiness of nations is put into their hands; and that the people, as many as can possibly be witnesses to any single act, should openly acknowledge their sovereign by universal homage.

By the late method of conducting the coronation, all these purposes have been defeated. Our kings, with their train, have crept to the temple through obscure passages; and the crown has been worn out of sight of the people,

m First printed in the year 1761.

Of the multitudes, whom loyalty or curiosity brought together, the greater part has returned without a single glimpse of their prince's grandeur, and the day that opened with festivity ended in discontent.

This evil has proceeded from the narrowness and shortness of the way, through which the procession has lately passed. As it is narrow, it admits of very few spectators; as it is short, it is soon passed. The first part of the train reaches the Abbey, before the whole has left the palace; and the nobility of England, in their robes of state, display their riches only to themselves.

All this inconvenience may be easily avoided by choosing a wider and longer course, which may be again enlarged and varied by going one way, and returning another. This is not without a precedent; for, not to inquire into the practice of remoter princes, the procession of Charles the second's coronation issued from the Tower, and passed through the whole length of the city to Whitehall".

" The king went early in the morning to the Tower of London in his coach, most of the lords being there before. And about ten of the clock they set forward towards Whitehall, ranged in that order as the heralds had appointed; those of the long robe, the king's council at law, the masters of the chancery and judges, going first, and so the lords in their order, very splendidly habited, on rich footcloths; the number of their footmen being limited, to the dukes ten, to the lords eight, and to the viscounts six, and to the barons four, all richly clad, as their other servants were. The whole show was the most glorious, in the order and expense, that had been ever seen in England: they who rode first being in Fleet street when the king issued out of the Tower, as was known by the discharge of the ordnance and it was near three of the clock in the afternoon, when the king alighted at Whitehall. The next morning the king rode in the same state in his robes, and with his crown on his head, and all the lords in their robes to Westminster hall; where all the ensigns for the coronation were delivered to those who were appointed to carry them, the earl of Northumberland being made high constable, and the earl of Suffolk, earl marshal, for the day. And then all the lords in their order, and the king himself, walked on foot, upon blue cloth, from Westminster hall to the Abbey church, where, after a sermon preached by Dr. Morley, (then bishop of Worcester,) in Henry the seventh's chapel, the king was sworn, crowned, and anointed, by Dr. Juxon, archbishop of Canterbury, with all the solemnity that in those cases had been used. All which being done, the king returned in the same manner on foot to Westminster hall, which was adorned with rich hangings and statues; and there the king dined, and the lords on either side, at tables provided for them:

The path in the late coronations has been only from Westminster hall, along New Palace yard, into Union street, through the extreme end of King street, and to the Abbey door, by the way of St. Margaret's church yard. The paths which I propose the procession to pass through,


1. From St. James's palace, along Pall Mall and Charing Cross, by Whitehall, through Parliament street, down Bridge street, into King street, round St. Margaret's church-yard, and from thence into the Abbey.

2. From St. James's palace across the canal, into the Birdcage walk, from thence into Great George street, then turning down Long ditch, (the Gate house previously to be taken down,) proceed to the Abbey. Or,

3. Continuing the course along George street, into King street, and by the way of St. Margaret's church yard, to pass into the west door of the Abbey.

4. From St. James's palace, the usual way his majesty passes to the House of Lords, as far as to the parade, when, leaving the horse guards on the left, proceed along the Park, up to Great George street, and pass to the Abbey in either of the tracks last mentioned.

5. From Westminster hall into Parliament street, down Bridge street, along Great George street, through Long ditch, (the Gate house, as before observed, to be taken down,) and so on to the west door of the Abbey.

6. From Whitehall up Parliament street, down Bridge street, into King street, round St. Margaret's church yard, proceed into the Abbey.

7. From the House of Lords along St. Margaret's street, across New Palace yard, into Parliament street, and from thence to the Abbey by the way last mentioned.

But if, on no account, the path must be extended to any of the lengths here recommended, I could wish, rather than see the procession confined to the old way, that it should pass,

and all other ceremonies were performed with great order and magnificence.— Life of lord Clarendon, P. 187.

8. From Westminster hall along Palace yard, into Parliament street, and continued in the last mentioned path, viz. through Bridge street, King street, and round the church yard, to the west door of the cathedral.

9. The return from the Abbey, in either case, to be as usual, viz. round St. Margaret's church yard, into King street, through Union street, along New Palace yard, and so into Westminster hall.

It is almost indifferent which of the six first ways, now proposed, be taken; but there is a stronger reason than mere convenience for changing the common course. Some of the streets in the old track are so ruinous, that there is danger lest the houses, loaded as they will be with people, all pressing forward in the same direction, should fall down upon the procession. The least evil that can be expected is, that in so close a crowd, some will be trampled upon, and others smothered; and, surely, a pomp that costs a single life is too dearly bought. The new streets, as they are more extensive, will afford place to greater numbers, with less danger.

In this proposal, I do not foresee any objection that can reasonably be made. That a longer march will require more time, is not to be mentioned, as implying any defect in a scheme, of which the whole purpose is to lengthen the march, and protract the time. The longest course, which I have proposed, is not equal to an hour's walk in the Park. The labour is not such, as that the king should refuse it to his people, or the nobility grudge it to the king. Queen Anne went from the palace through the Park to the Hall, on the day of her coronation; and, when old and infirm, used to pass, on solemn thanksgivings, from the palace to St. Paul's church".

• In order to convey to the reader some idea, how highly parade and magnificence were estimated by our ancestors, on these solemn occasions, I shall take notice of the manner of conducting lady Anne Boleyn from Greenwich, previous to her coronation, as it is recited by Stow.

King Henry the eighth (says that historian) having divorced queen Catherine, and married Anne Boleyn, or Boloine, who was descended from Godfrey Boloine, mayor of the city of London, and intending her coronation, sent to

Part of my scheme supposes the demolition of the Gate house, a building so offensive, that, without any occa

order the lord mayor, not only to make all the preparations necessary for conducting his royal consort from Greenwich, by water, to the Tower of London, but to adorn the city after the most magnificent manner, for her passage through it to Westminster.

In obedience to the royal precept, the mayor and common council not only ordered the company of haberdashers, of which the lord mayor was a member, to prepare a magnificent state barge; but enjoined all the city corporations to provide themselves with barges, and to adorn them in the most superb manner, and especially to have them supplied with good bands of music.

On the 29th of May, the time prefixed for this pompous procession by water the mayor, aldermen, and commons, assembled at St. Mary hill; the mayor and aldermen in scarlet, with gold chains, and those who were knights, with the collars of SS. At one they went on board the city barge at Billingsgate, which was most magnificently decorated, and attended by fifty noble barges, belonging to the several companies of the city, with each its own corporation on board; and, for the better regulation of this procession, it was ordered, that each barge should keep twice their lengths asunder.

Thus regulated, the city barge was preceded by another mounted with ordnance, and the figures of dragons, and other monsters, incessantly emitting fire and smoke, with much noise. Then the city barge, attended on the right by the haberdashers' state barge, called the bachelors', which was covered with gold brocade, and adorned with sails of silk, with two rich standards of the king's and queen's arms at her head and stern, besides a variety of flags and streamers, containing the arms of that company, and those of the merchant adventurers; besides which, the shrouds and ratlines were hung with a number of small bells: on the left was a barge that contained a very beautiful mount, on which stood a white falcon crowned, perched upon a golden stump, enriched with roses, being the queen's emblem; and round the mount sat several beautiful virgins, singing, and playing upon instruments. The other barges followed, in regular order, till they came below Greenwich. On their return the procession began with that barge which was before the last, in which were the mayer's and sheriff's officers, and this was followed by those of the inferior companies, ascending to the lord mayor's, which immediately preceded that of the queen, who was attended by the bachelors' or state barge, with the magnificence of which her majesty was much delighted; and being arrived at the Tower, she returned the lord mayor and aldermen thanks, for the pomp with which she had been conducted thither.

Two days after, the lord mayor, in a gown of crimson velvet, and a rich collar of SS, attended by the sheriffs, and two domestics in red and white damask, went to receive the queen at the Tower of London, whence the sheriffs returned to see that every thing was in order. The streets were just before new gravelled, from the Tower to Temple-bar, and railed in on each side, to the intent that the horses should not slide on the pavement, nor the people be hurt by the horses; within the rails near Gracechurch, stood a body of Anseatic

« PrejšnjaNaprej »