Page images

land, sent to the officers of arms the gown of cloth of gold, which he had worn when " fyanced," in the name of his Sovereign Lord, and one hundred crowns; and Henry VII. gave Lion king at arms of Scotland, who came into England upon the occasion, a purse containing one hundred crowns of gold, and a gown of fine satin. The officers of arms in their coats, and the serjeants at arms with their maces, were continually with the Princess during the whole of her journey. The Earl of Northumberland received the King's daughter with every mark of attention. In his train was his own officer of arms, named Northumberland herald, who was "arrayed" in his livery, and bearing his coat. At the coronation of the royal bride, none of the officers of arms of Scotland came with her Majesty, being attendant upon the King, the duty of conducting the Queen being assigned to the English heralds, who waited upon Margaret to her seat in the cathedral; some time afterwards, James, accompanied with his officers at arms in their coats, entered with all his nobles, standing on the right side of the church. Largesse was proclaimed, for which the heralds received the King's bounty of forty crowns of light gold. The Scottish monarch would not permit more than three of his heralds to attend the solemnity, as there were at his court only that number of English ones. "The Queen delivered her robe of marriage to "the officers of Scotland, the which, the next day following, Marchmont "herald barred in court, in escharpe, he and his companions thanking the King and Queen therefore; but on the morrow she gave them the sum of forty nobles for largesse, and they brought again the same robe into the wardrobe of the said Queen, as she desired at her recompensing."


[ocr errors]


Henry VII. settled the ceremonial of his own court, and limited with exactness the state which should be used by his nobility and the officers of the Crown. The Society of Antiquarians have published this in the ordinances and regulations of the royal households of our Sovereigns. Time, which changes customs and manners, had deprived the heralds of some perquisites; but emoluments arose from new ones. Henry established the royal power upon a more permanent foundation; he became more the centre of gravity, which drew all the great to him; his dignity eclipsed all others in splendor; the heralds were made ample amends for what they lost other ways; the whole gentry of the kingdom became known to them, and paid a willing tribute to have their respectability recorded.


On days of festivity their emoluments from largesses produced much, be- HEN. VII. cause the whole of the guests in the palace rewarded them. The Sovereign, the Queen, and the King's mother, were cried thrice on New Year's Day, 1486: the nobility once; but none of lower dignity than a viscount, except he was steward or chamberlain: the clergy never, except, probably, such prelates as held great places of a civil nature. Barons, bannerets, knights, esquires, with their wives, were used to be mentioned in general. This publishing of titles was proclaimed in French. The king gave six pounds; the Queen two pounds; the King's mother one pound; the other princes and nobility, with the officers of state, from two pounds to five shillings. Those who were not cried separately probably gave less. Some of the nobility and gentry, who were " coming and going," paid nothing. These sums seem very inconsiderable; but if we consider that these festivals were often celebrated, that there were many to give and few to receive, and reflect upon the difference between the worth of money then and now, these donations will be regarded as very considerable.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

It was not at feasts only that the officers of arms were enriched. Magnificent funerals became fashionable; at these the royal heralds officiated but when a prince of the blood died, there was still greater attendance required from them. At the interment of Arthur, Prince of Wales, in Worcester Cathedral, in 1502, his own officer at arms, and several royal ones, assisted. "At every Kurie elyeson one of the heralds "said with a loud voice, for Prince Arthur's soul, and the souls of all "Christian souls, say a pater-noster.' His officer of arms, sore weeping, "took off his coat of arms, and cast it along over the chest, right lamentably." So also at King Henry's funeral: "Incontinent all the heralds "did cast off their coat armor (tabards), and did hang them upon the "rails of the hearse, crying lamentably in French, the noble King Henry "the Seventh is dead;' and as soon as they had so done, every herald put "on his armor again, and cried, with a loud voice, vive le noble Henry "le VIIJ."

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

At the enthronization of prelates, the heralds also attended, and as a contrast they officiated at trials by combat. Lord Bacon mentions one between Sir James Parker and Mr. Hugh Vaughan, one of the King's gentlemen ushers, to prove the right of arms, which a king at arms had


HEN. VII. given the latter. At the first course Sir James fell, owing to having a faulty helmet. So great was the force of his antagonist's blow, that his tongue was driven into the back part of his head; no wonder, therefore, that he died upon the spot. Trials by combat were allowed when one person accused another of having spoken treason, when there was no other evidence than the accuser. What is still more extraordinary, even property was adjudged by so precarious, so preposterous an issue.

It appears, by Rymer's Fœdera, that in this reign the Princes of Europe, if not constantly, very frequently, sent some of the heralds in their embassies. Amongst the commissioners for negotiating the marriage between James III., King of Scotland, and Elizabeth, the Queen Dowager of Edward IV. of England, settled at Edinburgh, November 20, 1487, Snowdon and Carlisle heralds are mentioned on behalf of their respectivě Sovereigns. Henry VII., February 5, 1592-3, gave a safe conduct to George Gascon, Hospiti sui Magistrum, and Mountjoy, king of arms, whom the French Monarch wished to send over. The herald of Denmark attended an embassy to England, and as a reward, March 1, 1493, Henry granted him £10. When Alphonso, Duke of Calabria, sent to Henry about receiving the order of the Garter, we find that Prince sent a safe conduct to " John Jorko, king at arms," meaning John Waters, York herald, deputy, probably, to Garter. The constant employment of our heralds to the Continent will, in some measure, be seen in this, and the following reigns. The elder Anstis, Garter, has mentioned so many foreign heralds who have come hither upon state affairs, that his relation would fill a great number of pages.

It is impossible to know the exact state of the College at Arms at Henry's accession: it is certain he made some alteration at the commencement of his reign. In 1487, only three years after Richard's death, no mention is made of Ireland and Gloucester kings at arms; so that the kings were reduced to three in number. He gave the name of Richmond, first to the provincial king on the north, and afterwards to him on the south side the river Trent; but at length he permitted them to re-assume their ancient names of Clarenceux and Norroy, which they still retain.

Though at his accession Henry, affecting great state, had appointed a suitable number of heralds, and had established regulations for their due attendance, yet the spirit of saving at length pervaded every depart



ment. In nothing more than in that of the heraldic body; for at one time HEN. VII. "the King's grace had but three kings, Garter, Richmond, and Norroy, "and one herald, that is Somerset (Lancaster, York, Windsor, and Falcon'

[ocr errors]

being void), and all the pursuivants were Rouge-croix, Rouge-dragon, Calais, Berwick, Guisnes, Hamms, Rysbank, Montorguil, Portcullis, "Rasune; and none estate hath any but only the Lord Marquis, that "hath Groby pursuivant, and the Earl of Northumberland, that hath "Northumberland herald." At the interment of his Queen, in February 1502, there assisted Garter, Clarenceux, Somerset, Windsor, Lancaster, Blue-mantle, Rouge-dragon, Groby, and Serreshall. It is evident this. was after the preceding account. Groby was not a royal pursuivant, but belonging to the Marquis of Dorset, Thomas Grey, who was Lord. Groby.

This reign was remarkable for a foreign king at arms performing part of a ceremonial at the English court with Garter, and at which other heralds assisted, probably both natives and strangers. Philip having left Flanders with his Queen, his nobles, and suit, to take possession of the kingdoms of Castile and Leon, after suffering greatly from a tempest, landed at Falmouth in Cornwall, January 16, 1506, against the advice of his council. Henry, under pretence of doing all possible honor to the Spanish monarch, shewed him every respect, yet detained him, until he had gained several concessions, which at any other time Philip would undoubtedly have refused. No sooner had Sir Thomas Trenchard received. the royal guests, than hastening to court to inform Henry with the arrival. of the royal strangers, the King immediately dispatched Thomas Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel, with three hundred horse, who came to their Majesties at torch-light to do them the greater honor, bringing professions of the greatest personal regard, promising to wait upon them soon in person. Thus circumstanced, Philip, making a virtue of necessity, set out for the English court at Windsor, accompanied by his Queen, nobility, and suit, whither they came by slow marches. They were received with the utmost magnificence. The Prince of Wales met him five miles from Windsor, accompanied with five earls, seven barons, knights, and gentlemen, amounting to five hundred persons. The King, with most of his nobility, received them at the distance of about one mile, and conducted the Spanish Monarch to the castle. Amongst other demonstrations of regard affected


HEN. VII. by Henry, he caused Philip to be elected a knight-companion of the Garter, and he was solemnly installed at Windsor. At the same time Henry Prince of Wales was also chosen into the order of the Golden Fleece; Queen Joanna, and Catherine Princess of Wales, being sisters. The heralds of the two monarchs assisted at the double ceremonial. The procession from the Sovereign's lodgings in the castle to the south door of St. George's chapel was in this order:


Knights-companions of the Garter, in the whole habit of the order, accompanied
with some of the Knights of the Golden Fleece, or Toyson d'or.
Prelate of the order. | Archbishop of Canterbury.

Spanish Ambassador.

Toyson d'or king at arms in histabard. | Garter, principal king at arms, in his tabard.

The Sword.

Henry Prince of Wales.

Philip King of Castile and Leon. | Henry VII. Sovereign of the order

of the Garter.

This was one of the most splendid, and certainly the most novel sight, that England had ever witnessed. It is only necessary to farther remark, that Henry having obtained a treaty which the Flemish, called "the Bad," permitted Philip to re-embark at Falmouth, to pursue his voyage to Spain, where he died, September 25, in the same year. He was father of Charles V. Emperor of Germany, and sole monarch of Spain, after the death of his mother Joanna, who lived a lunatic from the death of Philip until she became very old; falling a victim to conjugal affection. She never would suffer the corpse of her husband to be buried, but had it conveyed in a splendid coffin whithersoever she went: death released her, April 12, 1554. From Henry and Philip descended Mary I., and her husband, Philip II. Ferdinand King of Arragon-Isabella Queen of Castile and Leon. Henry VII.

Phil. I. K. of Castile & Leon-Joanna. Arthur P. of W.-Catharine Henry VIII.

Charles V. Emp. of Germ. fucceeded his father,
as King of Castile and Leon, and his mother,
in the kingdom of Arragon.

Mary, daughter

of Emanuel
K. of Portugal.

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »