Imatges de pàgina

settled upon it, for the support of six additional monks, lands worth three hundred pounds per annum. At her death she also left to it all her jewels and other personal ornaments, valued at three hundred marks additional, and procured the church of Farrande in the diocese of Salisbury, and the church of Penmarshe in that of Llandaff, to be appropriated to this Abbey. Furthermore, she ordered four masses to be said in the new chapel which she had founded, for the good of her soul and the souls of her ancestors and successors; and bequeathed to each of the priests who should officiate two shillings, to be paid weekly. She also confirmed all the privileges granted to the monastery by her ancestors, and was buried near the chapel which she had built, with great funeral pomp, by the bishop of Hereford, her confessor, and the lords abbots of Tewkesbury and Winchcomb, as specified in the Abbey Chronicle.

Henry Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, son of Richard by Isabel, heiress of the Despenser family, was about fourteen years old at his father's death. He was crowned King of the Isle of Wight by Henry the Sixth, and at the age of eighteen was created Duke of Warwick, and declared premier Earl of England. He had the Castle of Bristol given him, with the islands of Guernsey and Jersey, the patronage of the church and priory of St. Mary Magdalen of Goldcliff, with leave to annex it to the church of Tewkesbury. He confirmed the grants made by his predecessors to the church of Tewkes1446. Sbury; gave all the ornaments he wore to purchase vestments for the

(monastery; died in the twenty-second year of his age, and was buried in the middle of the Choir. He left issue by his marriage with Cecilia, daughter of the Earl of Salisbury, one daughter, Anne, who died in infancy; whereby Anne, his sister, became sole heiress to his estates. This lady married Richard Nevil, Earl of Salisbury, who in right of his wife succeeded to the vast united inheritance of the Despensers and the Beauchamps-families in which the original possessions had been accumulating for ages. Nevil, in order that his rank in the peerage might keep pace with this great accession of property, was now created Earl of Warwick-familiarly known in the writings of his day as the stout Earl of Warwick, or the King-maker—for both King Henry the Sixth and Edward the Fourth held or lost the sceptre at his dictation. His deeds and prowess are familiar to every reader of history, and will be more particularly noticed when we arrive at that portion of the work with which the name

is more intimately connected. His death at the battle of Barnet, and the

results of the still more sanguinary battle of Tewkesbury,* placed the crown on the head of Edward,t and introduced a new order of affairs in the state.


* See Dyde, Hist. and Antiq. Chron. of Tewkesb. as well as the charter of fishing in the Severn and

+ Edward the Fourth confirmned all the privileges Avon, granted by Warwick. Hist. of the Abbey, P granted by his an to the Abbey of Tewkesbury, 48.






After the fall of this renowned earl, Anne his countess, “ reduced to great distress, was forced to abscond. King Richard would have willingly seized on her estates, had not her two daughters, Isabel and Anne, been his own sistersin-law; but he put these ladies in possession of them all by an equal partition of the vast inheritance between them, which was confirmed by act of parlia

Isabel, the elder of these daughters, married George, Duke of Clarence, brother to Edward the Fourth ; and in her division of the family domains, the ancient manor of Tewkesbury was included. With this lady, therefore, the subject under consideration is more particularly connected. But she was destined not long to survive her renowned father, and died in child-bed in the twenty-fifth year of her age, at Warwick Castle, from which her remains were conveyed to the Abbey of Tewkesbury, and made the object of a grand funeral solemnity, which was prolonged to an unusual duration.

The annexed particulars may give some idea of the gorgeous ceremonial practised on that occasion :-Lord John Strensham, Abbot of Tewkesbury, with several other abbots, in the ecclesiastical habits of their order, and all the brethren of the convent, received her body in the middle of the choir. The funeral office was first performed by the Lord Abbot and his brother abbots there present, with the whole of the convent, in nine lessons; then by the suffragans of the bishops of Worcester and Llandaff; and lastly, by the dean and chaplains of the Duke of Clarence. The vigils were observed by the Duke's own family till the following day, which was the vigil of the Epiphany. The suffragan of the bishop of Lincoln celebrated the first mass of St. Mary in the Chapel of the Virgin; the second mass of the Trinity was celebrated by the Lord Abbot at the high altar; the suffragan of the bishop of Worcester said the third mass of “ Eternal Rest,” at which Dr. Weld, of the Grey Friars of Worcester, preached a sermon in the choir before the prelates and monks there assembled. Mass being ended, the body was left under the Herse, a fabric erected for that purpose in the middle of the choir, for the space of thirty-five days, on every one of which the same solemn obsequies were repeated. The body of this lady was then buried in a vault behind the high altar, before the door of the Lady Chapel, opposite that of St. Edward the Martyr's.—To the fate of George Duke of Clarence, who only survived his lady about a twelvemonth, we need not particularly advert



in this place. He was also buried at Tewkesbury, and left issue two children, Edward and Margaret. This Edward Plantagenet, entitled Earl of Warwick, and heir of Tewkesbury, was first seized and imprisoned by his uncle, the tyrant Richard; next, for safer custody, removed to the Tower, by his cousin, Henry the Seventh, and beheaded on the charge of a pretended conspiracy. But the only crime that could be alleged against him was his being heir male of the house of York; and to this and the king's invincible jealousy he fell a victim in the flower of his age. But as we shall have occasion to revert to this subject hereafter, we omit in the meantime this part of the family history.

Margaret, the only sister of this unfortunate young noble, met with a fate equally tragical and unmerited on her own part, and disgraceful to the tyrant by whom it was inflicted. She was married to Sir Richard Pole in early life, by whom she had a family, and upon an act of attainder passed against her for corresponding with her son Cardinal Pole, she was beheaded in the thirtythird

year of the reign of Henry the Eighth. Anne, youngest daughter of Richard Nevil, Earl of Salisbury and Warwick, was first married to Edward Prince of Wales, son of King Henry the Sixth, who, being taken at the battle of Tewkesbury, was there murdered by Richard Duke of Gloucester, whom she afterwards married, and had issue Edward Prince of Wales, who died not long before his mother, who is said to have been poisoned by Richard to facilitate his intended union with his niece, Elizabeth, daughter of Edward the Fourth, and afterwards queen of King Henry the Seventh. *

From this period till the accession of Edward the Sixth, the lordship of Tewkesbury was annexed to the crown. It was then granted to Sir Thomas

Seymour, who held it till his attainder; when it reverted back again, and continued vested in the crown till the seventh of the reign of James the

First, when it was granted, by letters patent from that monarch, to the corporation of Tewkesbury, for the sum of “two thousand four hundred and fifty-three pounds seven shillings and fourpence halfpenny.”+

Such is the descent of the manor of Tewkesbury in connexion with the Abbey to which it gave origin, and with which it was intimately associated during the long lapse of six or seven centuries.

During the many ages of prosperity which intervened between the period of its foundation down to that of its dissolu


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OF TewkesBURY.)



tion the Abbey of Tewkesbury is a name of frequent recurrence in history. Its abbots were generally men of learning, moderation, and piety; and possessed an influence in public affairs which extended far beyond the jurisdiction of their convent. They had possessions in ten different counties, and, with 'few exceptions, exerted a mild and benignant sway over the monastic brotherhood, of whose moral and intellectual improvement they were the watchful guardians. The compliment paid to this Abbey and its numerous inmates by William of Malmesbury,* already quoted, appears to have been well merited. But in later times it was still more deserving of admiration. The magnificent style of its architecture, the number and richness of its shrines, tombs, and chapels, the elegance of design and beauty of workmanship by which they were distinguished, did honour to the classical taste of the abbots, and fostered that national love of the fine arts which has never found more zealous or more munificent patrons than among the old English Hierarchy.

They loved the arts: what taste and truth approved,

What genius formed they patronized and loved. The Abbey cloisters and offices have almost disappeared; they were demolished by the commissioners; but, like those of St. Albans, their remembrance is perpetuated in the sacred edifice of the conventual church to which they belonged, and which has happily escaped those violent state commotions which have exploded more than once under its very walls. Its dimensions bespeak the early importance to which it laid claim as one of the great temples of the national religion;t whilst the style and elaborate execution exhibited in detail, do full justice to the noble design of the general mass as it first meets

This church contains a rich and varied series of monuments, from the “ early style to that of the late perpendicular. They amount to at least a dozen—all of excellent workmanship, and several of very singular composition. It contains also several good specimens of stone and iron work.” It is also enriched with a series of genealogical portraits in stained glass of the De Clares, the Despensers, and other benefactors of the Abbey

who struggled to keep alive

The lamp of Hope o'er man's bewildered lot. But the Gateway is the only remaining feature that conveys to the

the eye.

* Edit. 1574, p. 164. Dimensions.- Original length of the Church, including the Lady Chapel, nearly......

Length from east to west, in its present state

of the great Cross Aisle ...........
Breadth of the Choir and side Aisles

West front.......
Height from the area to the roof of the Tower

2 B

400 ft. 300 120

70 100 120

spectator's mind some idea of what the Abbey itself must have been in the days of its prosperity. It is a structure of great solidity, finely proportioned, crowned with embattled walls, and is much admired by architects and others for the beauty of its Norman arch. In its minuter features, it displays much of the fine and graceful workmanship usually observed in Gateways of


its class and period. Like that of St. Albans, it is said to have been the prison of the Abbot's jurisdiction; and certainly no building connected with the monastery could have been more adapted for a place of “durance." It was the strongest portion of the conventual buildings, and in cases of emergency served the double purpose of prison and barbican. At the period of the Dissolution it was particularly specified as one of the conventual buildings that were to be kept up.

When yonder broken Arch was whole,
'Twas there was dealt the weekly dole ;
And where yon mouldering columns nod,
The Abbey sent the hymn to God.
So fleets the world's uncertain span;
Nor zeal for God, nor love to man,
Gives mortal monuments a date,

Beyond the power of time and fate.-Scott. The Abbey church of Tewkesbury presents in design and construction the characteristic features of its class and era. It is built in the usual form of a cross; with the central tower, erected over the great arcade which divides the transepts, and separates the nave from the choir. “This tower is considered the finest Norman specimen of its kind in England, and was only equalled by

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