Picture of Celia Fiennes

Celia Fiennes

places mentioned

London, part 2

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Westminster is remarkable for haveing in it ye ancient Large abbey wch is a most magnificent Building of stone finely Graved, and within is adorned wth severall monuments of our Kings and Queens and great personages.

In Harry ye sevenths Chapple Layes our Great and good as well as Ever Glorious King William, and Queen Mary his Royal Consort and joinctly on ye throne of these kingdoms, whome noe tyme Can ever obliterate ye memory off, their being Englands deliverers in Gods hands from popery and slavery wch King James by ye King of Frances power was involving us in. This abby alsoe is ye place where ye sollemnityes of the Kings interrments and Corronations are performed of which shall give a perticular.

At ye Death of a Prince which I have been a mournfull spectator or hearer of two of ye most Renowned yt ever was, King William and queen Marys, the Queen Dying before the king he ommitted noe Ceremony of Respect to her memory and remains wch Lay in State in Whitehall in a bed of Purple velvet all open, the Cannopy ye same wth Rich gold fring, ye middle being ye armes of England Curiously painted and Gilt, ye head piece Embroyder'd Richly wth a Crown and Cyphers of her name, a Cusheon of purple velvet at ye head on wch was ye Imperiall Crown and Scepter and Globe, and at ye feete another such a Cusheon wth ye sword and Gauntlets on the Corps wch was rowled in Lead, and over it a Coffin Cover'd wth purple velvet wth the Crown, and Gilt in Moldings very Curious. A Pall on all of a very Rich tissue of gold and silver, Ruffled round about wth purple velvet wch hung down on ye ground, wch was a halfe pace railed as ye manner of the Princes beds are. This in a roome hung wth purple velvet full of Large wax tapers, and at ye 4 Corners of the bed stood 4 of ye Ladyes of ye bed Chamber-Countesses-wth vailes; these were at severall tymes relieved by others of ye same. Ye anty Chamber hung with purple Cloth and there attended four of ye Maids of honnour all in vailes, and ye Gentlemen of the bed Chamber, pages in another roome all in black, ye staires all below the same. Ye Queen dyeing while ye parliamt sate, ye King gave mourning to them, 500 and Clerks, wch attended thus: their Speaker haveing his traine bore up, then ye Lord Major ye same, and attended by ye aldermen and officers all in black, and ye Judges; then ye officers of the houshold, then ye Guards, then ye Gentleman master of ye horse Led the queens Led horse Cover'd up wth purple velvet, next Came the open Chariot made as ye bed was, the Cannopy ye same all purple velvet, a high arch'd teister Ruffled, wth ye Rich fring and pall, wch was supported by Six of ye first Dukes of ye Realme that were not in office. This Chariot was drawn by the Queens own 6 horses Covered up with purple velvet and at ye head and feete was Laid ye Emblems of her dignity, the Crown and Scepter on a Cushion at ye head, and Globe and Gauntlets at ye feete, after which the first Dutchess in England as Chief mourner walked supported by these Lords, the Lord president of ye Councill and ye Lord privy Seale, she haveing a vaile over her face, and her traine of 6 yards Length being bore up by the next Dutchess assisted by four young Ladyes. After wch two and two ye Ladies followed and Lords, all Long traines according to their ranke, ye Bishops Likewise all on foote on black Cloth strained on boards, from Whitehall to Westminster abby where was a sermon, in wch tyme ye body of ye queen was reposed in a masulium in form of a bed wth black velvet and silver fringe round, and hanging in arches, and at ye four Corners was tapers and in ye middle a bason supported by Cupids or Cherubims shoulders, in wch was one Entire Great Lamp burning ye whole tyme. Then after ye service of burial wch is done with solemn and mournfull musick and singing, ye sound of a Drum unbraced, the breakeing of all ye white staves of those that were ye officers of ye queen, and flinging in ye keys of the rest of ye offices devoted by yt badge into ye tomb. They seale it up and soe returne in same order they went. There is allwayes a high steward made for all solemnityes of ye Kings and Queens and he is only soe for that day, and he goes just before the Led horse. The pages also Lead all ye horses that draws ye Chariot, and the yeaumen of ye guard walks on Each side all ye way. This is ye manner of publick funeralls but if it be Kings then the Ladyes attend not. Ye next Ceremonys is the Crowning the Kings and Queens of England wch is done in this manner as I have seen it. The Prince by Letters Summons all the nobility to be ready to attend them such a day-its usually on St Georges day-by the Earle marshall at Westminster Hall, another Greate Building which containes the Parliament houses and the courts of justice, and requests all-wch shall Describe hereafter. But as I said they being Come to this Westminster Hall ye Dean of Westminster abbey wth prebends & comes with the Crown, scepter, swords and orb and all the Regalias, it being in their Custody wch are all put on ye table. Ye prince does appoynt these all to be Carryed by severall Lords; then there being blew Cloth spread from ye Hall to ye Abby wch is all railed in and Lined with foote and horse Guards, the Procession beginns thus. First four drums two and two as is the whole procession, these beate ye March; then the 6 Chancery Clerkes, then the Chaplaines that have Dignityes, then the aldermen of London and ye masters in Chancery, ye Solicitor Generall, ye Attorney General, then the Gentlemen of the privy Chamber, next the judges, then the Children of the Kings Chappel, then the Choir of Westminster, then the gentlemen of the Chapple, next ye Prebends of Westminster, then the Master of ye jewel house, then goes the Privy Councellors yt are not Peers of the realme, then two Pursuivants goe, next them goes ye Barronesses in Crimson velvet Robes Lined wth Earmine, and Cut waved in a Long traine Lined with white sarsnet, the sleeves were open to the shoulder, tyed up there with Silver Cords and tassells hanging down to ye wast, the sleeves being fringed wth silver, under wch fine point or Lace sleeves and Ruffles, wth Gloves Laced or wth Ribon gold and white, their peticoates were white; some tissue Laced wth gold or silver, and their stomatchers some were all Diamonds; over all they had mantles of ye same Crimson velvet Lined wth Earmine and fastened to the shoulder, on wch there was a broad Earmine Like a Cape reaching to ye waste powder'd wth rowes according to their Degree, ye barroness 2 rows, the viscountess 2 rows and halfe, the Countesses 3 Rowes, the Marchoness 3 rows and a halfe, the Dutchesses 4 Rows, the Queen 6; these all having Long traines suiteable to their Robes and were in Length as their Degree. Ye Barronesses had their traines 2 yards and a quarter drawing on the ground, the Viscountess 2 yards and halfe, ye Marchionesses 2 yards 3 quarters, ye Dutchess 3 yards drawing on the Ground. Their heads were dress'd wth much haire and Long Locks full of Diamonds- some perfect Peakes of bows of Diamonds as was the Countess of Pembrook, - their heads so dress'd as a space Left for their Coronets to be set, all ye rest is filled wth haire, Jewells and gold, and white small Ribon, or Gold thinn Lace, in form of a peake, and gold gause on their rowles, they have also Diamond necklaces and jewels on their habitts. Each Carry their Corronets in their hands wch does also Distinguish their Dignityes. The Barrons is a velvet Cap wth a Coronet of Gold, wth six great pearles or what resembles them a white Gilding in that form. Ye Viscounts Coronet is a Gold set wth 16 pearles of Like sort set very Close together. Ye Earles Coronet is of Gold wth spikes, on ye tops of which are Laid pearles wch stands at a Distance, and have Leaves at ye frame. Ye Marquess's Coronet is Gold alsoe wth spikes of Leaves of ye same at distances, between wch are those pearles much Lower just proceeding from ye frame. The Dukes are a Double row of Leaves ye one standing up at distances, ye others between, Low by ye frame.

The Dukes, Marquess's, Earles, Viscounts' and Barrons, are Differenced as the Ladyes are by their Rows of Earmine on their Mantles-they all being Clad wth Rich vests under their Robes, and trimm'd gloves of Lace or fringe, fine Linnen, and Carry their Coronets in their hands. Only those that are knights of ye garter weare a Chaine of Gold S S on their shoulders upon their Earmine Cape, and have their George hanging to it, their Starr on ye breast of their Robes and a Diamond garter on their Leg wth blew Ribon. In this manner habited proceeds ye Barronesses and Barrons, then the Bishops that sit in ye Parliamt as peeres their habit is Lawn sleeves and Black, their Capps are flatt Like a 4 square trencher put on v Cornerwise; after which went a pursuivant, then in same order ye Viscountesses and next ye Viscounts; then two Heraulds, then in same order the Countesses and next the Earles, then a Herauld, then in ye same order ye marchionesses next ye marquisses, then two heraulds, then in the same order the Dutchesses, next them the Dukes, then two Kings at armes, after which ye Lord Privy Seale, next him Lord President of ye Councill. Then ye ArchBishops wch are Esteemed in higher Rank than ye Dukes, then a Duke wch is of ye Royal family wth their traine bore up, Prince George of Denmarke being Royal Consort to Queen Ann walked so haveing his traine bore by the vice-Chamberlaine, the Prince is Duke of Cumberland wch is ye first Duke; next goe two personages in Robes of state, but of an antique forme, velvet and Earmine wth Hatts of Gold tissues, personateing ye two Dukes of Acquitaine and Normandy wch belongs to ye English Crown. Next them went the Lord wch bore St Edmunds staff, wth a Lord that bore the Gold Spurrs, another Lord with ye Scepter Royal' 3 other Lords following wth ye sword of justice, ye Curtana sword of mercy, and another poynted sword, v next which Sr Garter King at armes between my Lord Major and the usher of ye black Rod. These Heraulds dress in Coates full of ye Kings armes all about with Gildings, and hang short wth Long sleeves and sleeves hanging behind alsoe. Next ye Lord High Chamberlaine single, then next an Earle beares ye sword of State between ye Earle Marshall and ye Lord high Constable, made for yt Dayes Solemnity. Next goes an Earle Beareing ye Scepter of ye Dove, next yt a Duke Carrying ye Globe orb, next went a Duke wth ye Crown wch must be Lord High Steward for that dayes Solemnity, next went a Bishop wth ye Bible between two other Bishops yt Carryed ye pattent and ye Challice wch Last appertaines to ye Dean of Westminster. Next this the Cannopys and in Case there is a King then his Consort goes before him in this manner under a Cannopy of Cloth of Gold borne up by 8 Barrons of ye Cinque ports, and is supported by two Bishops, and her Coronet or Crown is alsoe Carryed by a Lord before, and alsoe a silver Rod by another Lord, wch when she returns she holds in one hand and the Little scepter. Her traine is bore up by ye first Duchess of ye Realme assisted by 4 maiden Daughters of Earles and her Robes ought to be only Crimson velvet, but King James's Queen would have purple, but never Changes them as doth a Queen that is Regent in her self ye Principal, as Queen Ann and her sister Queen Mary joinct in ye throne wth King William. All wch in some things makes a Difference as shall show, for ye Queen Consort as King James's queen was was not anoynted nor sworne unless as a subject to ye King and walked thus before him, after which ye King Came under another Cannopy of gold tissue supported by 8 more of ye Barrons of the Cinque-ports; he leaned on two Bishops, his traine borne up by the Lord wch is Master of his robes assisted by four Lords sonns. These Cannopyes have silver staves for Each person to hold them up by. In ye Case of King William and Queen Mary that were set joynctly on the throne anoynted both and sworne by ye Coronation oath, they Likewise walked both under one of these Canopyes made very Large supported by ye 16 Barrons, and on ye outside of Each went a Bishop on whome they Leaned, Leading Each other; and their traines were bore, the Kings by ye Lord wch is master of ye Robes, the Queen by ye first Dutchess and young Ladies. And soe their throne was Entire two seates and their Cannopyes one at ye table, but now as in Case of our present Majesty Queen Ann I saw her thus; her Cannopy was Large bore by ye sixteen, and she because of Lameness of ye Gout had an Elbow Chaire of Crimson velvet wth a Low back, by wch meanes her mantle and Robe was Cast over it and bore by the Lord Master of ye Robes and ye first Dutchess, wth 4 maiden Ladies, Earles Daughters on Each side Richly Dress'd in Cloth of Gold or Silver, Laced, wth Long traines, Richly Dressed in fine Linnen, and jewells in their hair, and Embroider'd on their Gowns. The Queens traine was 6 yards Long, the Mantle suitable of Crimson velvet with Earmine as ye other of ye nobility, only the rowes of powdering Exceeded, being six rowes of powdering. Her Robe under was of Gold tissue, very Rich Embroydery of jewellry about it, her peticoate the same of Gold tissue wth gold and silver lace, between Rowes of Diamonds Embroyder'd, her Linnen fine. The Queen being principall of the order of ye Garter had a row of Gold S S about her shoulders, ye Georges wch are allwayes set with Diamonds and tyed with a blew Ribon. Her head was well dress'd wth Diamonds mixed in ye haire wch at ye Least motion Brill'd and flamed. She wore a Crimson velvet Cap with Earmine under ye Circlet, wch was set with Diamonds, and on the middle a sprig of Diamonds drops transparent hung in form of a plume of feathers, for this Cap is ye Prince of Wales's Cap wch till after ye Coronation that makes them Legall king and queen-they weare. Thus to ye quire doore she Came, then Leaveing ye Cannopy-(ye Chaire she Left at ye Abby doore-) she is condvucted to ye Alter which was finely deck'd wth Gold tissue Carpet and fine Linnen, on the top all ye plaite of ye abby sett, ye velvet Cushions to place ye Crown and all ye regallias on. She made her offering at ye Alter, a pound weight or wedge of gold, here the Dean of Westminster and ye prebends which assists the Arch-Bishop in the Cerimonyes are arrayed in very Rich Coapes and Mitres, black velvet Embroyder'd wth gold Starrs, or Else tissue of gold and silver. Then the Littany and prayers are sung and repeated by two Bishops wth a small organ, then the Queen being seated on a green velvet Chaire faceing the pulpit attends ye words of ye sermon wch was by ye arch-Bishop of York, wch being ended ye Queen arose and returned thanks for ye Arch-bishops Sermon, is shewed to ye people by saying a form, Will you take this to be your Souveraigne to be over you ? thus I saw the Queen turn her face to ye four sides of ye Church, then the Coronation oath is repeated to her, wch she distinctly answered each article, which oath is very Large in three articles, relateing to all priviledges of ye Church and State to which she promised to be the security and to maintaine all to us. Then she kiss'd ye Bible, then a Bible was presented to her to maintaine ye true Protestant religion. Then she being on a Little throne by the alter, Cover'd all wth Cloth of Gold, she has ye spurrs of gold brought her and they toutch her heele, then the sword of state v is presented her which she offers up on the alter, wch a Lord appoynted for it redeemes ye sword for 100 shillings, and draws it out and beares it naked all ye day. After the other swords are brought and presented her wch she delivers to ye severall officers, then the ring is put on her finger to witness she is married to the Kingdom, then the orb I saw brought and presented to her and ye Scepters. Then she was anoynted in this manner; there was a Cloth of silver twilight Embroyder'd, held a Little shaddowing over her head. I saw ye Bishop bring ye oyle on a spoone soe annoynted ye palmes of her hands, her breast and her forehead, Last of all ye top of her head, haveing taken off ye prince of Wales's Cap and ye haire being Cutt off Close at ye top ye oyle was poured on and with a fine Cloth all Dryed againe. Then Last of all ye arch Bishops held the Crown over her head wch Crown was made on purpose for this Cerimony vastly Rich in Diamonds, ye borders and ye Globe part very thick sett wth vast diamonds, ye Cross on ye top with all diamonds wch flamed at ye Least motion, this is worth a vast summe, but being made for this Cerimony and pulled to pieces againe, its only soe much for the hire of such Jewells that made it. This I saw was fix'd on ye Queens head wth Huzza's and sound of Drumms trumpets and gunns, and at the same tyme all ye peeres and peeresses put on their Coronets on their heads. There are divers forms of speech that belong to each Cerimony. Ye Queen after this goes to ye alter and there I saw her receive the Sacrament, I saw the deane bring her ye bread and wine. Then she is Conducted with her Crown on, her Globe and Scepter in her hand and seated on ye Royal throne of ye Kingdom wch is of gold finely wrought, high back and armes set on a theatre of severall steps, assent rises on four sides to it. She being thus seated is followed wth a second Huzza and sound of drums and trumpets and Gunns, then all ye Lords and Bishops pay their homage to her; the Eldest of Each ranke swears fidelity to her in his own name and in ye name of all of his ranck. They all singly come and touch her Crown and some kiss her Right Cheeke-they make all do soe,-she kisses the Bishops. All this while anthems are sung and the Medals are Cast about by the treasurer of ye houshold, after wch the Queen arose and went and made her second offering, sate down on the throne on wch she was annoynted and Crown'd. After, an anthem is sung proper for the tyme, after wch the Queen retired into King Edwards Chappel to private prayer, wch being ended and her Crimson velvet mantle being taken off and one of purple velvet made just ye same put on, in ye same manner they returned Each one in his station, only the Lords yt Carryed the Regalias now tooke their places as peers with ye rest, ye Queen walked to ye doore of ye abby wth obligeing Lookes and bows to all yt Saluted her and were spectatours, wch were prodigious numbers in Scaffolds built in the Abbey and all the streetes on each side reaching to Westminster hall, where the Queen againe quitted her Chaire wch was Carryed by four men, the whole procession being both going and comeing attended by ye gentlemen pensioners Clad in Scarlet Cloth wth gold Lace, Holding halberds wth gold tops Like pickaxes. These make a Lane for the queen to pass and follow two and two, next them ye groomes of the bed Chamber, then the Captaine of ye guards went between ye Captaine of ye pensioners band and the Captain of ye yeaumen, and were attended by their officers and yeamen.

The queen being Come up to her table wch was a great rise of stepps she was seated on her throne wch was under a fine Cannopy. When King James was Crown'd he sate soe: at his Left hand sate his Queen under another Cannopy' but King William and Queen Mary being both principalls sate under one Large Cannopy on one Large throne, but our present Queen should have sate alone as she did in the upper End under ye Cannopy, but she sent and did invite Prince George her Consort to dine with her. So he Came and at her request tooke his seate at her Left hand without the Cannopy. The first Course was served just before the Queen Came in, She being ushered in by the Earle Marshall, Lord High Steward, and Lord high Chamberlaine on horseback, their horses being finely dress'd and managed, and the Cookes Came up with their point aprons and towells about their shoulders of poynt; after wch Comes up the Lord high steward againe on horseback, with the other two Lords, and acquaints the king or queen there is their Champion without ready to Encounter or Combate with any that should pretend to dispute, after wch he is Conducted in on horseback by the Earle Marshall and ye Lord high steward, and they Come up to the stepps of the throne' and there the Champion all dress'd in armour Cap-a-pe and declares his readyness to Combate wth any that should oppose the Right of their Majestyes, and there upon throws down his guantlet wch is giving Challenge, after wch the King or Queen drinks to him in a Gold Cup wth a Cover, ye same wch is Carryed to ye Champion and he drinks, and then he retires back and Carrys it away being his Due as is the best horse in the kings stable, ye best suite of armour in ye armory. This belongs to Sr John Dimmocks familly yt hath a yearly salery from the Crown. My Lord Major here officiates as ye kings Butler, and hath for a Reward such another Cup of gold Covered and thus the Ceremony Ends and they all retire. Westminster Hall is as full of spectatours sitting on scaffolds on Each side, under wch are severall Long tables spread and full of all varietyes prepared for the Lords and Ladies, others for the judges, aldermen &.

When there is a Rideing Coronation they proceed on from ye abbey when a king is Crowned, all on horseback thro' ye Citty in ye same order as at the Entry at ye peace, quite to ye Tower all richly dress'd and their horses wth fine trappings, Led on both sides by Each Lords pages, and when its a King only, then only ye Lords attend as in ye Coronation of King Charles the second, but at Queen Elizabeths the Ladies alsoe attended to ye Tower which is at the utmost extremity of ye Citty of London, where the Governour presents the King with ye Keyes which he returns againe and after some other Cerimonyes and makeing some Knights of ye Bath Either six or Eight I Cannot tell which. These are an order that prefferr such v a knight above all other knights, but is not so high as a Barronet and it alsoe expires at their Death descending not to ye son; they wear a scarlet Ribon round their shoulder Like a belt: then they all return back to the pallace; Usually the rideing Coronation holds two dayes.

Celia Fiennes, Through England on a Side Saddle in the Time of William and Mary (London: Field and Tuer, The Leadenhall Press, 1888)

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