« PreviousContinue »
This rhiming Epitaph, likewise, was probably the Performance of some Monk:
Hie jacet in tumbd Rosamundi rton Rofamunda,
Returning from hence to Oxford, after Dinner we proceeded on our Journey, and passed through Ewhehne, a Royal Palace, in which some AlmsPeople are supported by an Allowance from the Crown.
Nettlebed, a Village.
We went through the little Town of Henley % from hence the Chilthern Hills' bear North in a continued Ridge, and divide the Counties of Oxford and Buckingham.
We passed Maidenhead.'
Windsor, a Royal Castlej supposed to have been begun by King Arthur, its Buildings much encreased by Edwardlll. The Situation is entirely worthy of being a Royal Residence, a more beautiful being scarce to be found: For from the Brow of a gentle Rising it enjoys the Prospect of an even and green Country; its Front commands a Valley extending every Way, and chequered with arable Lands and Pasturage, cloathed up and down with Groves, and watered by that gentlest of Rivers the Thames; behind rife several Hills, but neither steep nor very' high, crowned with Woods, and seeming designed by Nature herself for the Purpose of Hunting, 'l. V Th?
The Kings of England, invited by the Deliciousness of the Place, very often retire hither; and: here was born the Conqueror of France, the glorious King Edward 111. who built the Castle new from the Ground, and thoroughly fortified it with Trenches and Towers of square Stone ; and having soon after subdued in Battle John King of France, and David King of Scotland, he detained them both Prisoners here at the fame Time.' This Castle, besides being the Royal Palace, and having some magnificient Tombs of the Kings of England, is famous for the Ceremonies belonging to the Knights of the Garter; this Order was instituted by Edward 111. the fame who triumphed so illustriously over King J,obn of France. The Knights of the Garter are strictly chosen for their military Virtues, and Antiquity of Family: They are bound by solemn Oath and Vow to mutual and perpetual Friendship among themselves, and to the not avoiding of any Danger whatever, or even Death itself, to support by their joint Endeavours the Honour of the Society: They are stiled Companions of the Garter, from their wearing below the left Knee a purple Garter, inscribed in Letters of Gold, with Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense, i. e. Evil to him that Evil thinks: This they wear upon the left Leg, in Memory of one which, happening to untie, was let fall by a great Lady, passionately beloved by Edward while she was dancing, and was, immediately snatched up by the King; who, to do Honour to the Lady, not out of any trifling Galantry, but with a most serious and honourable Purpose, dedicated cated it to the Legs of the most distinguished Nobility. The Ceremonies of this Society are celebrated every Year at Windsor on St. George's Day the tutelar Saint of the Order, the King presiding; and the Custom is, that the Knights Companions should hang up their Helmet and Shield, with their Arms blazoned on it, in some conspicuous Part of the Church.
There are three principal and very large Courts in Windsor Castle, which give great Pleasure to the Beholders: The first is enclosed with most elegant Buildings of white Stone, flat-roofed, and covered with Lead; here the Knights of the Garter arc lodged; in the Middle is a detached House, remarkable for-its high Towers, which the Governor inhabits. In this is the public Kitchen, well furnished with proper Utensils, besides a spacious Dining Room, where all the poor Knights eat at the fame Table; for into this Society of the Garter the King and Sovereign elects, at his own Chioce, certain Persons who must be Gentlemen of three Descents, and such as, for their Age and the Straitness of their Fortunes, are fitter for faying their Prayers, than for the Service of War; to' each of them is assigned a Pension of eighteen Pounds per Annum, and Cloaths; the chief Institution of so magnificent a Foundation is, that they should fay their daily Prayers to God for the King's Safety, and the happy Administration of the Kingdom, to which Purpose they attend the Service, meeting twice every Day at Chapel. The left Side ef'thit Court is ornamented by a most magnificent ► Chapel
Chapel of one hundred and thirty-four Paces in Length, and sixteen in Breadth; in this are eighteen Seats fitted up in the Time of Edwardlll. for an equal Number of Knights: This venerable Building is decorated with the noble Monuments of Edward IV. Henry VI. and VIII. and of his Wife Queen 'Jane. It receives from Royal Liberality the annual Income of two thoufand Pounds, and that still much encreased by the Munificence of Edward III. and Henry VII. The greatest Princes in Christendom have taken it for the highest Honour to be admitted into the Order of the Garter; and since its first Institution, above twenty Kings, besides those of England, who are the Sovereigns of it, not to mention Dukes and Persons of the greatest Figure, have been of it. It consists of twenty-six Companions.
In the inward Choir of the Chapel are hung up sixteen Coats of Arms, Swords and Banners, among which, are those of ChaflesY. and Rodolphus II. Emperors; of Philip of Spain; Henry III. of France; Frederick II. of Denmark, Sec. of Cafitnir Count Palantine of the Rhine; and other Christian Princes, who have been chosen into this Order.
In the back Choir, or additional Chapel, are (hewn Preparations made by Cardinal Wolsey, who was afterwards * capitally punished, for his own Tomb ;' consisting of eight large Brazen Columns placed
* This was a strange Blunder to be made so near the Time, about so remarkable a Person, unless he concluded, that whoever displeased Henry VIII. was of course put to Death,
Vol. II. U round round it and nearer the Tomb four others in the Shape of Candlesticks ; the Tomb itself is of white and black Marble : all which are reserved, according to Report, for the Funeral of Queen Elizabeth; the Expences already made for that Purpose are estimated at upwards of 60,900 1. In the fame Chapel is the Surcoat f of EdwardlW. and the Tomb of Edward Fines Earl of Lincoln, Baron Clint on and Say, Knight of the most noble Order of the Garter, and formerly Lord High Admiral of England.
The second Court of Windsor Castle stands upon higher Ground, and is enclosed with Walls of great Strength, and beautified with fine Buildings, and a Tower; it was an antient Castle, of which old Annals speak in this Manner; King Edward, A. D. 1359, began a new Building in that Part of the Castle of Windsor where he was born, for which Reason he took Care it should be decorated with larger and finer Edifices than the rest. In this Part were kept Prisoners "John King of France, and David King of Scots, over whom Edward triumphed at one and the fame Time. It was by their Advice, struck with the Advantageof its Situation, and with the Sums paid for their Ransom, that by Degrees this Castle stretched to such Magnificence, as to appear no longer a Fortress, but a Town of proper Extent, and inexpugnableto any human Force. This particular Part of the Castle was built at the sole Expence of the King of Scotland, except one Tower
f This is a Mistake; it was the Surcoat of Edward IV. enriched with Rubies, and was preserved here till the civil War.
.,.; . which,