Page images

The Archbishop being previously provided with the orm of words written on a parchment roll, then proceeded to read to his Majesty the following


I, GEORGE the Third, by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. do solemnly and sincerely, in the presence of God, profess, testify, and declare, that I do believe, that in the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper there is not any Transubstantiation of the Elements of Bread and Wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, at or after the Consecration thereof, by any person whatsoever; and that the invocation or adoration of the Virgin Mary, or any other Saint, and the sacrifice of the mass, as they are used in the Church of Rome, are superstitious, and idolatrous. And I do solemnly, in the presence of God, profess, testify, and declare, that I do make this Declaration, and every part thereof, in the plain and ordinary sense of the words read unto me, as they are commonly understood by the English Protestants, without any evasion, equivocation, or mental reservation whatsoever, and without any dispensation already granted me for this purpose by the Pope, or any other authority or person whatsoever, or without any hope of any such dispensation froin any person or authority whatsoever, or without thinking that I am, or may be acquitted before God or man, or absolved of this Declaration, or any part thereof, although the Pope, or any other person or persons, or power whatsoever, should dispense with, or annul the same, or declare that it was null and void from the beginning.

After his Majesty had repeated this declaration, a silver standish was brought, and he subscribed his name to it on the top of his desk or faldstool.*

To this succeeded the Coronation Oath, which the Archbishop began to administer, by first asking the King,

Sır, is your Majesty willing to take the oath? To which the King having answered

I am willing

* The word Faldstool is originally Saxon, and signifies a seat, before which are placed a kneeling cushion and desk, for the purpose of falling down to in the acts of devotion.

The Archbishop then put the following questions to the King, whose replies were made from a book which he held in his hands.

Archbishop. Will you solemnly promise and swear to govern the people of this Kingdom of Great Britain, and the dominions thereto belonging, according to the Statutes in Parliament agreed on, and the respective Laws and Customs of the same?

King. I solemnly promise so to do.

Archbishop. Will you to your power cause Law and Justice in mercy, to be executed in all your judgments ?

King. I will.

Archbishop. Will you, to the utmost of your power, maintain the Laws of God, the true profession of the gospel, and the Protestant reformed Religion established by Law? And will you maintain and preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government thereof, as by law established, within the Kingdoms of England, Ireland, the dominion of Wales, and town of Berwick upon Tweed, and the territories thereunto belonging, before the union of the two Kingdoms? And will you preserve unto the Bishops and Clergy of England, and to the Churches there committed to their charge, all such rights and privileges as by law do or shall appertain to thein, or any of them ?

King. All this I promise to do.

His Majesty then arose out of his Chair, and, attended by his Supporters, went uncovered to the Altar, where, kneeling upon the steps, and laying his hand upon the Holy Gospels, he said,

The things which I have here before promised, I will perform and keep. So help me God.

He then kissed the Book, and signed the Oath, as he had already done the Declaration.

On the King's return to his chair, the third Anthem of " Come Holy Ghost, our souls inspire,” composed by Turner, was sung by the Archbishop and the Choir, during which both their Majesties were kneeling, and upon its conclusion the Archbishop read the following prayer, preparatory to the Anointing :

O Lord, Holy Father, who by Anointing with Oil didst of old make and consecrate Kings, Priests, and Prophets, to teach and govern Thy people Israel; bless and sanctify Thy Chosen Servant George, who by our Office and Ministry is now to be Anointed with this Oil,* and Consecrated King of this Realm, strengthen him, O Lord, with the Holy Ghost the Comforter, comfirm and stablish him with Thy free and princely Spirit, the Spirit of wisdom and government, the Spirit of council and ghostly Strength, the spirit of knowledge and true godliness, and fill him, O Lord, with the Spirit of Thy holy fear, now and for ever. Amen.

At the end of this prayer, the Choir sung Handel's Coronation Anthem, taken from 1 Kings i. v. 39–40. “ Zadok the Priest, &c.” during which the King removed into the ancient Coronation Chair to be anointed. The Duke of Devonshire, the Earl of Northumberland, the Earl of Hertford, and the Earl of Waldegrave, being all Knights of the Garter, held over his head a rich covering, and the Dean of Westminster stood by holding the Consecrated Oil and spoon; then the Archbishop pouring some out, anointed his Majesty on the head, breast, and hands, in the form of a cross, using nearly the same words each time, namely—

Be thy head anointed with Holy Oil, as Kings, Priests, and Prophets were anointed.

Be thy breast anointed with Holy Oil.

Be thy hands anointed with Holy Oil. And as Solomon was Anointed King by Zadok the Priest, and Nathan the Prophet, so be you Anointed, Blessed, and Consecrated King over this people, whom the Lord your God hath given you to rule and govern, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

The King then kneeled down, and the Archbishop said over him the following blessing, which is here inserted to convey an idea of the prayers peculiar to this part of the Coronation Service:

* The Archbishop here laid his hand on the Golden Eagle, or vessel containing the Anointing Oil, which, with the spoon, were laid upon the Altar.

Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who by his father was anointed with Oil of Gladness above his fellows, by his Holy Anointing pour down upon your head and heart the blessing of the Holy Ghost, and prosper the works of your hands: that by the assistance of his heavenly Grace, you may preserve the people committed to your charge in Wealth, Peace, and Godliness, and after a long and glorious course of ruling this Temporal Kingdom wisely, justly, and religiously, you may at last be made partaker of an Eternal Kingdom, through the merits of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The King being again seated, a fifth Anthem was sung, taken from Psalms, lxxxiv. and xviii. v.9 and 51. Behold, O God, our Defender, &c.” after which the Ceremony of presenting the Spurs and Sword took place. The former were only applied to the King's heel, and immediately afterwards returned to the Altar: the latter was girt upon his Majesty, after having being consecrated with a short prayer for that purpose. When the Sword was delivered to the King he received a charge from the Archbishop, and another also when it was girt about him. The Sword was next offered at the Altar, and then redeemed for £5. by a nobleman appointed by the King, who carried it naked before him throughout the remainder of the Solemnity.

The Dean of Westminster then brought the Armilla,* or great bracelet, and placing round his Majesty's neck, reminded him that it was “a token of the Divine Mercy embracing him on every side.” This was succeeded by putting on the Purple Robe of State, lined with Ermine, the King having first, with the assistance of the Lord Great Chamberlain, taken off the Crimson Robe in which he came to the Abbey: the Orb, ( Vide plate 4, fig. 16.), was next put into the Sovereign's right hand, and the Archbishop delivered his exhortation and blessing. The Master of the Jewel House then delivered the King's Ring, (Vide plate 4, fig. 13.) to the Archbishop, by whom it was placed on the fourth finger of his Majesty's right hand, and the Orb was returned to the Altar. The Marquis of Rockingham, deputy to the Duke of Norfolk, as Lord of the Manor of Worksop, next presented the King with a right hand glove, who putting it on, received from the Archbishop the Sceptre with the Dove, and that surmounted with a Cross; ( Vide figures 5 and 6), the Marquis occasionally supporting the Royal Arm, or relieving his Majesty by holding one of the Sceptres. At the delivery of each the Archbishop gave an exhortation and blessing as before.

* Vide a particular description of the various robes, &c. annexed to the account of the Regalia.

About half past three, the Archbishop taking St. Edward's Crown (Vide plate 4, fig. 1) from off the Altar, after Consecration, set it upon the King's head, when the Trumpets flourished, the audience shouted “God save the King,” a signal was given to the Park and Tower guns, which immediately fired, and the Peers, &c. put on their coronets, caps, or crowns.

The Crowning was followed by the Archbishop's blessing, and the sixth Anthem, taken from Isaiah and various parts of the Psalms; after which the Holy Bible was presented, and this was succeeded by a long and beautiful benediction, delivered by the Archbishop, first to the King individually, and then generally to the people.

After the seventh Anthem of “We praise thee, O God," the King was seated on his Throne in the Theatre, and the Inthronization Charge being finished, the Ceremony of Homage began, by the Archbishop and Bishops kneeling and repeating together the following words, each person altering for himself the name and office.

I, Thomas Archbishop or CantERBURY, will be faithful and true, and Faith and Truth will bear unto you our Sovereign Lord, and your heirs Kings of Great Britain. And I will do, and truly acknowledge the Service of the lands which I claim to hold of you, as in Right of the Church.--So help me Gou.

« PreviousContinue »