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The Archbishop and Bishops then kissed the King's left cheek, and the other Peers of the Realm in their order, immediately advanced to go through the same Ceremonies : the form of their Homage was as follows:
I, FREDERICK DUKE OF YORK and Albany, do become your liege-man of life and limb, and of earthly worship, and faith and truth I will bear unto you, to live and die against all manner of folks.-So help me God.
The Officers of Arms provided every class of the Nobility with copies of this Homage, which was pronounced by the principal Peers of each degree, kneeling at the head of the rest, who repeated it after them. Thus, the Duke of Devonshire performed the ceremony for the Dukes, the Marquis of Rockingham for the Marquisses, Earl Talbot for the Earls, Viscount Say and Sele for the Viscounts, and Lord Henley for the Barons. When all the Peers had performed their Homage, they each of them touched the Crown on his Majesty's head, and kissed his left cheek. During the Homage, the eighth Anthem, taken from several of the Psalms, was sung, as a solemn conclusion to the King's Coronation; and their Majesty's gold and silver medals* were scattered about the Abbey. The Drums and Trumpets then flourished, and the people shouted, “ May the King live for ever."
* The King's Gold and Silver Medals were struck by Laurence Nattier, and were ornamented on one side with his Majesty's bust, and the inscription, GEORGIVS III. D. G. M. BRIT. FRA. ET HIB. Rex. F. D; and on the reverse, was a figure of the Sovereign seated, with Britannia holding a Crown above his head, and the inscription, PATRIAE OVANTI. (To his Country Triumphing), CORON. XXII. SEPT. MDCCLXI.---Silver Medals of the Queen were also thrown into the Scaffolding, and amidst the populace. On one side was represented her bust, with the inscription, Charlotta D. G. M. BR. FR. ET HIB. REGINA ; and on the other side her figure appeared at full-length, standing by an Altar, with a Seraph about to crown her: the whole encircled by the motto, QvaeSITUM MERITIS ( By Merit obtained), CORON. XXII. SEPT. MDCCLXI.
Throughout the whole of the King's Coronation the Queen remained seated in her chair, on the Southside of the Altar; but when the last Anthem was coneluded, and the Archbishop had offered up her Majesty's Consecration Prayer, she was led to a seat between St. Edward's Chair and the Altar, where her Anointing was to be performed. At this Ceremony, Four Peeresses held over her a cloth in a similar manner as that described for the King, and the Archbishop, pouring the Oil upon her head, pronounced this benediction :
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Let the Anointing with this Oil encrease your honour,
and the Grace of God's Holy Spirit establish you for ever and ever. Amen.
A similar form of words accompanied the Anointing of the Queen's breast, and the following blessing finished that part of the Ceremony.
O most merciful God, pour out abundantly Thy Grace and blessing upon this Thy Servant Queen Charlotte, that as by our office and ministry she is this day Anointed and solemnly Consecrated our Queen; so being sanctified by Thy Holy Spirit, she may continue Thy faithful and devout Servant unto her life's end, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The ring (Vide plate 4, fig. 14), was then put on her Majesty's fourth finger of the right hand, with an exhortation nearly similar to that delivered to the King. The Crown, and Ivory Rod with the Dove (Vide figures 15 and 12), were next brought, and the Queen invested therewith, when the Peeresses immediately put on their Coronets, and after the Archbishop's blessing, the ninth Anthem was sung, and her Majesty was conducted back to her former seat by the Altar.
The Communion Service immediately followed,
and the Archbishop commenced the Offertory,
Let your lights so shine,” &c. after which the Choir sung
Let my prayer come up into thy presence as incense, and let the lifting up of my hands be as an evening Sacrifice.
Whilst this was singing, the King made an Offering of Bread and Wine for the Sacrament, together with his second Oblation of a Mark of gold, which were received at the Altar by the Archbishop. The Queen then proceeded to make her similar Oblation, and the Sacrament was afterwards administered by the Archbishop to both their Majesties. Dr. Thomas Newton, who, in November, 1761, was made Bishop of Bristol, in his own amusing Memoir prefixed to his works, has given an interesting account of his Majesty's conduct at the Altar. “The King's whole behaviour at the Coronation,” says he,
was justly admired and commended by every one, and particularly his manner of seating himself on the Throne after his Coronation. No Actor in the character of Pyrrhus in the Distressed Mother, not even Booth himself, who was celebrated for it in the Spectator,* ever ascended the throne with so much grace and dignity. There was another particular, which those only could observe who sat near the Communion-Table, as did the Prebendaries of Westminster.
When the King approached the Communion-Table in order to receive the Sacrament, he enquired of the Archbishop whether he should not lay aside his Crown? The Archbishop asked the Bishop of Rochester, but neither of them knew, or could say, what had been the usual form. The King determined within himself, that humility best became such a solemn act of Devotion, and took off his Crown, and laid it aside during the administration.”
The Coronation Office having been thus performed,
* Vide No. 335.
their Majesties retired into King Edward's Chapel ; where they took off their Crowns, and delivered them, with the Sceptre, to the Archbishop, who placed them upon the Altar. The King then withdrew into a part of the Chapel prepared for him to unrobe; and being dismantled of his Robe of State, and again arrayed in that of purple velvet, which he had previously worn, he came with her Majesty to the Altar, where they were invested with their Crowns of State; which were intended to be worn through the remainder of the Ceremony. (Vide plate 4, figures 3, 17.) The King also received the Orb into his left hand, and the Sceptre with the Cross into his right. To the Queen were given the Sceptre with the Cross into her right hand, and the Ivory Rod into her left. The Archbishop and Bishops then divested themselves of their Copes, and proceeded in their usual habits. The Procession back to Westminster-Hall was next arranged, which differed but little from the former one, excepting that the Peers, &c. who bore the Regalia, which was then left in the Abbey, were ranked according to their Degrees or Consecrations.
CORONATION FESTIVAL IN WESTMINSTER-HALL, AND THE
CEREMONY OF THE CHAMPION'S CHALLENGE.
As six hours had been occupied in the Coronation Ceremony, the return of the Procession was so late, that the Spectators on the Scaffolds without the Church, had but a dim and imperfect view of it. Those in Westminster-Hall were, however, still worse off, being kept entirely in darkness until a short time before the Procession entered, when the whole interior of the building was illuminated for its reception.
In several of the periodical works for 1761, was published an extended account of the Coronation Ceremony and Dinner, in the form of a letter, which, whether written under a real or a fictitious character, frequently gives a very amusing detail of those splendid scenes : “Conceive,” says this descriptive epistle,—“Conceive to yourself, if you can, conceive what I am at a loss to describe, so magnificent a building as that of WestminsterHall, lighted up with near three thousand wax candles, in most splendid branches; our crowned heads, and almost the whole nobility, with the prime of our gentry, most superbly arrayed, and adorned with a profusion of the most brilliant jewels; the galleries on every side crowded with company, for the most part elegantly and richly dressed; but to conceive it in all its lustre, I am conscious that it is absolutely necessary to have been present.”
Until the Dinner was prepared,* their Majesties retired into one of the Chambers adjacent to the Hall, and on their public entrance they were conducted to their States at the upper part of it. At the end of the same table, on the King's right, sat their Royal Highnesses the Dukes of York and Cumberland; and at the other end, upon the Queen's left, was seated the Princess Augusta. The other tables, the disposition of which, as well as the laying out of the Hall itself, may be seen by the Plan; were appropriated to the Peers and others, who had walked in the Procession. They were, as usual, placed lengthways with the building, while the Royal one, elevated on several steps, crossed them at the
* The dishes were provided and sent from the adjacent temporary kitchens, erected in Cotton-Garden for this purpose. No less than sixty haunches of venison, with a surprising quantity of all sorts of game, were laid in for this grand feast. The King's table was covered with one-hundred-and-twenty dishes, at three several times, served up by his Majesty's Band of Gentlemen Pensioners ; but what chiefly attracted notice was their Majesties desert, in which the Confectioner had lavished all his ingenuity in rock-work and emblematical figures. The other deserts were no less admirable for their expressive devices.