« PreviousContinue »
top. The Peers were placed on the outermost sides of the tables, and the Peeresses within, nearest to the walls. When the Company was seated, the first course was served up to the King's table in State; at the head of which were Earl Talbot, the Steward of his Majesty's Household, on horseback, properly attended by the Earl Marshal, the Lord High Constable, several of the Officers of his Majesty's Household, and the Serjeants at Arms. On Lord Talbot's return, the manner of backing his horse, that he might keep his face still towards the King, surprised and delighted the Spectators, who, notwithstanding the Royal presence, gave him loud and repeated applauses. The first course was followed by the Lord of the Manor of Addington, in Surrey, serving up a dish of Grout, according to his claim.* Between the first and second courses, the King's Champion, John Dymocke, Esq. who enjoyed that office as being Lord of the Manor of Scrivelsby, in Lincolnshire, entered the Hall, completely armed, in one of his Majesty's best suits of white armour, mounted on a fine white horse, the same which King George II. rode at the battle of Dettingen, richly caparisoned, and attended in the following manner:t
* Vide the account of Claims, page 16, number 6. The word Grout signifies a sort of coarse meal, and the following is the method of preparing the dish mentioned above. The Grouts are to be boiled in water, according to the intended thickness; when they become soft, mace, wine, sugar, and currants, are to be added. It is then usually served up in a bowl; with a toast laid round it, cut in narrow pieces.
+ There seems to have been what may be called a dressed rehearsal of this ceremony a few days before it actually took place; for in the Public Advertiser of Sept. 19th. 1761, is the following curious paragraph :
“Last night Westminster-Hall was illuminated, and John Dymocke, Esq. put on his armour, and tried a grey horse, which his late Majesty rode at the Battle of Dettingen, before his Royal Highness the Duke of York, Prince Henry Frederick, the Duke of De. vonshire, Earl Talbot, and many other persons of distinction. There were also another grey, and four other horses, which were walked and rode several times up and down ahe Hall. Earl Talbot rode one of them, a very fine brown bay horse, which his Lord.. ship proposes to ride on the side of the Champion, on the Coronation.day.”
Two Trumpets, with the Champion's Arms on their banners.
The Serjeant Trumpeter, with his Mace. The Champion's two Esquires, richly habited, the one carrying his Lance erect upon the right hand, and the other his Shield, with his
arms depicted thereon, upon the left.
the words of the Challenge.
pletely armed in white The Earl Marshal on
armour,t and mounted on horseback, in bis robes a grey horse, holding a
The Lord High Constable
on horseback, in bis robes and Coronet, holding his gauntlet in his right hand, Marshal's Staff. and having his helmet on
and Coronet, bolding his
of Red, White, and Blue.
The earliest arms of the King's Champion, were of that kind which are termed Arms allusive: i. e. relating either to the name or office of the bearer. These were used by Philip de Marmyun, who lived in the time of King Henry the Third, and were Sable, an arming sword erect, Argent. The arms shewn in the plate were those worn by Sir Charles Dymocke, Champion to King James the Second, which were—Sable two Lions passant in pale, crowned and armed, Or.—The coat belonging to the ancient Barons de Marmion, who were once hereditary Champions, was Vaire a Fesse Gules.
+ There is probably no part of the Coronation Ceremony, so popularly interesting as the Champion's Challenge; for it is a kind of scenic exhibition, which fixes itself on the mind, and seems an undecayed fragment of England's former chivalric exercises. Rapin relates, that the first mention of the King's Champion appearing at a Coronation, was in 1377, at the crowning of King Richard the Second. He however supposes that the office was of much greater antiquity, since the then Champion claimed it by virtue of his Manor of Scrivelsby, which evidently shews that the duty was vested in that Manor. Philip de Marmyun, who lived in the time of King Henry III. is known to have been the King's Champion; and some writers suppose that the office existed antecedent to the Norman Conquest. They support this argument by stating, that as the early Norman Sovereigns had no right to the English Throne, so they would not rest their pretensions ou the issue of a single combat, and that in consequence the Ceremony of a Challenge was suppressed, until time had given somewhat of a legal title to the Monarchs of the Norman line.
# The following was the provision of Arms, &c. made for the Champion, at the Coronation of King James the Second, on the 23d. of April, 1685. A complete suit of white armour, a pair of gauntlets, a sword and hanger, a case of rich pistols, an oval shield, with the Champion's Arms painted on it, and a gilded lance fringed about the handles. All these would have become the Champion's fee, but that certain compensation-money was allowed for his re-delivering them to the Earl of Dartmouth, Master of the Armory. There were also provided a field-saddle of crimson velvet, with breast-plate, and other caparisons for the horse, richly laced with gold and silver, a plume of red, white, and blue feathers, consisting of eighteen falls and a heron's top, another plume for the horse's head, and trumpet banners with the Champion's own Arms depicted upon them.
The passage to their Majesties' table being cleared by the Knight Marshal, the Herald at Arms, with a loud voice, proclaimed the Champion's Challenge, at the lower end of the Hall, in the following words :
If any person, of what degree soever, high or low, shal} deny or gainsay Our Sovereign LORD King GEORGE III. King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. grandson and next heir to our Sovereign Lord King George II. the last King, deceased, to be the right heir to the Imperial Crown of the Realm of Great Britain, or that he ought not to enjoy the same; he is his Champion, who saith that he lieth, and is a false traitor, being ready in person to combat with him; and in this quarrel will adventure his life against him, on what day soever shall be appointed.
The Champion then threw down his Gauntlet; which, having laid a short time, the Herald took up
They next advanced in the same order to the middle of the Hall, where the Herald made Proclamation as before; and, lastly, to the foot of the steps, when the Herald, and those who preceded him, going to the top of the steps, made Proclamation a third time, at the end whereof, the Champion again cast down his Gauntlet*, which, after some time, being taken up,
In the Gentleman's Magazine for 1764, page 28, is an extract from a letter addressed to the Duke of Devonshire, which contains the following singular anecdote.- :-“ It is publickly said too, that the Young Pretender himself came from Flanders to see the Coronation, that he was in Westminster-Hall during the Coronation, and in town two or three days before and after it, under the name of Mr. Brown; and being asked by a Gentleman who knew him abroad, how he durst venture hither, his answer was, that he was very safe.” This relation receives additional strength from a part of a letter written by David Hume, in 1773, which is as follows:-“But what will surprise you more, Lord Marshal, a few days after the Coronation of the present King, told me that he believed the Young Pretender was at that time in London, or, at least, had been so very lately, and had come over to see the Show of the Coronation, and had actually seen it. I asked My Lord the reason for this strange fact. · Why,'