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GARRISON WELL-GOVERNOR'S HOUSE.
governor of Tourney in the time of Henry VIII. The walls of this tower are in some places eighteen feet thick, and still command a beautiful prospect, though less extensive than that from the keep. The ramparts between these towers is about twenty feet high and eight feet thick, including a parapet of two feet and a half, which was carried quite round the castle. Under a small building in the castle-yard, adjoining the governor's house, is
The Garrison Mell, from which the water is drawn by means of a large windlass-wheel, turned by an ass. On a former occasion this duty was performed during a period of more than forty years by the same animal, which, on account of his services, was long one of the great curiosities of the place. Down the well it is usual to drop a nail, or even a pin, which, after a lapse of three seconds, produces a sound much greater than can be well conceived by those who have not actually heard it. Another experiment is often made in showing this well to strangers namely, that of letting down, by means of a pulley, a lighted lamp in a wooden basin, which in descending occasions a loud noise, from the resistance of the air, like a hollow wind or distant thunder; and as the lamp floats upon the surface of the water, the compact masonry of the well—which is partly cut through the rock—is distinctly visible. The water furnished by the castlewell is remarkably pure and sparkling; and in instances where it has been carried to India and back, it has still retained its native purity.
The Gobernor's House (see p. 294) contains several spacious apartments, but now unfurnished, and only inhabited by the cicerone of the castle. Like the additions above mentioned, it is of the Elizabethan epoch, and externally has a rather picturesque appearance—its gables and tall chimneys much resembling buildings of similar date in the Netherlands. At the conclusion of the late war, the garrison consisted of a governor, a lieutenantgovernor, a captain, a master gunner, and three assistants. The salary of the governor was twelve hundred pounds, and that of the lieutenant-governor three hundred and sixty-five pounds per annum.
The castle has been on various occasions attacked by hostile fleets and marauders, and as often to the loss and discomfiture of the assailants. Of these attacks several instances are related by the chief historian of the island -Sir Richard Worsley. The island, however, had continued comparatively anmolested till the reign of Richard II., at which time, says Stowe, “The French took that invincible isle, more by craft than force.” In the preceding reign a landing having been effected by the French, the inhabitants fled for refuge to Carisbrooke Castle, then defended by Sir Hugh Tyrrill, who slew a great number of the assailants. During the siege a party of the intruders coming down a narrow lane towards the castle, fell into an ambuscade, and were mostly cut off. The lane is still called Deadman's Lane. Unable to subdue the castle, the French withdrew; but, before they re-embarked, obliged the natives to redeem their houses from being burnt by a heavy contribution. Again, in the reign of Henry V., a body of French adventurers arrived on the island, and boasted that they would keep their Christmas there. But as about a thousand of them were driving cattle towards their ships, they were suddenly attacked by the islanders, and obliged to leave not only their plunder, but many of their men behind them. On another occasion, when a French fleet had arrived, and demanded a subsidy, the islanders gave them a hardy denial; but told them that, if they had a mind to try their prowess, they should have full permission to land, with six hours to refresh themselves; after which the natives would meet them in the field. But the invitation was not accepted.—For other particulars, the reader is referred to Worsley's military history of the island. Thus far our description has been confined to times and personages when
Carisbrooke Castle was a fortress and palace; we now proceed to view it as the prison of King Charles I.--an event which excites more real interest than all the other circumstances in its
history. At the time when the great question between the King and his Parliament agitated the whole country, Carisbrooke Castle was under the command of the Earl of Portland. This nobleman stood high in the estimation of the inhabitants; for, in a petition numerously signed and presented to Parliament in his behalf, they expressly mention him as “their noble, much honoured, and beloved captayne and governor.” He was nevertheless superseded, and Colonel Brett appointed to the command. In the interim, the Countess of Portland and her five children, accompanied by her husband's brother and sister, took refuge in the castle. The desire of holding it for the king was by no means abandoned;
COUNTESS OF PORTLAND-ELIZABETH'S TOWER.
and by her presence in the fortress she hoped to exert some salutary influence over the minds of the populace, whose attachment to her husband and his family had been so publicly manifested on a late occasion. The proverbial fickleness of popular favour, however, was soon to be verified; for, instigated by the mayor of Newport, who represented that the island could not be safe so long as Colonel Brett and the Countess of Portland remained in Carisbrooke Castle, Parliament directed the captains of all ships stationed in the river to assist in any measures which the said mayor might deem necessary for securing the island, The Newport militia accordingly, with four hundred naval auxiliaries, were marched up to the walls of the castle, near Elizabeth's Tower, which at this time, says Worsley, “ had not three days' provision for its slender garri
The moment was critical; the assailants had every advantage, while the prospect of famine or surrender was all that could be expected by the besieged. The countess, too, had a young family around her; and it may be imagined with what feelings she beheld the planting of hostile ordnance, and anticipated the probable effusion of kindred blood. There was little time for reflection or hesitation. With the magnanimity of a Roman matron, she made her appearance on the platform with a lighted match in her hand, and there, raising her voice, so as to be distinctly heard by the mayor and his armed followers, told them, with an undaunted air and unfaltering accents, that unless honourable terms were granted to herself and the garrison—whom they had so unaccountably summoned to surrender—she would instantly, with her own hand, discharge the first cannon, and defend the walls to the last extremity. Struck with her dignified demeanour, and the determination to which she had just given utterance, the mayor paused in his operations, and, having consulted with his townsmen, all that the countess demanded was agreed to: she was allowed to retain possession of her apartments in the castle; Colonel Brett, his staff, and servants, who composed the garrison, were allowed the freedom of the island, but were restricted from going to Portsmouth, then held for the king by Goring, and the castle was surrendered to Parliament. The countess, however, being represented as still firmly attached to the king's interest—consequently a dangerous inmate in the castle—an order was issued, that within two days after notice given, she should vacate both the castle and island. She did so, and was indebted to the humanity of a few generous fishermen for the means of conveying herself and family to Southampton.-See the political history of this period.
Passing over the governorship of the Earl of Pembroke, who next held command in this ancient fortress, we come to that of Colonel Hammond, who had the unenviable distinction of being captain of the fortress when, as already mentioned, it became the prison of the martyr-king.
Among the accounts handed down by Clarendon and other writers, who have severally treated of King Charles's confinement in this castle, there is considerable discrepancy; but the following particulars, condensed from other sources less accessible to general readers, seem best suited to the scope and limits of the present work. After effecting his escape from the palace of Hampton Court, in the manner described by Lord Clarendon, Charles threw himself into the Isle of Wight, of which Colonel Hammond was then governor. At first, and for a considerable time after his arrival in the island, he appears to have been well lodged, to have suffered neither humiliation nor outward restraint, but to have experienced, on the part of the civil and military authorities, every mark of respect and sympathy to which a good man and a great monarch, struggling with adversity, was so justly entitled. permitted to take exercise on horseback where he pleased, though his motions and actions were no doubt carefully observed; and as the Parliament had made him a grant at the rate of five thousand pounds per annum, he lived a few months in the state Apartments of the castle-still shown as King Charles's Rooms—with much of the external forms and appearance of royalty. This liberty, however, was soon abridged; and he was made to feel that he was no longer a potentate to be heard and obeyed, but a prisoner at the mercy of his subjects. His chaplains and faithful attendants were first removed; and shortly afterwards his intercourse was peremptorily restricted to certain persons, strangers to him, whom the Parliament had appointed to be about his person. He was no longer permitted to pass the gate of the castle, but mostly confined to his apartments-now reduced to masses of rubbish and fragments of ivy-covered walls. So solitary was his confinement during a great portion of his time, “that as he was standing one day near the gate of the castle, with Sir Philip Warwick, he pointed to a decrepit old man, and said—That man is sent every morning to light my fire, and is the best companion I have had for many months.'" The king, however, submitted to all this severity with
He was 02 CABISBROOKE.)
KING CHARLES THE FIRST-HIS CHAMBERS.
Christian patience and equanimity, and endeavoured as much as possible to keep his mind employed. He had always had serious impressions of religion,
and these were neither shaken nor diminished, but strengthened and confirmed, by the harassing restraint under which he was now placed. Devotion, meditation, and reading the scriptures, were his greatest consolations. The few books which he had brought into the castle with him, were chiefly on religious subjects, or of a serious cast. Among these was Hooker's Ecclesiastical Polity-a book which it is probable he had studied with great attention, as it related much to the national question so much agitated at that time, and in which no man was better versed. In his slender catalogue, we find also two books of amusement, Tasso's “Jerusalem,” and Spenser's “Faëry Queen." His freedom, however, was more and more abridged. He was an excellent horseman, and fond of that exercise; but as this indulgence was denied, he spent two or three hours every morning in walking on the castle ramparts. There he enjoyed at least fresh air and an extensive prospect; although every object he beheld—the “flocks straying carelessly on one side, and the ships sailing freely on the other”—brought painfully to remembrance that liberty and enjoyment of life of which he was so cruelly deprived. Thus circumstanced, he became regardless of his dress; he allowed his beard to grow, lost much of his cheerfulness; and in the expression of his countenance betrayed the inward feelings of a patient but unhappy captive.
During his imprisonment in this castle, three several attempts appear to