Imatges de pàgina
PDF
EPUB

windows are of the acutely-pointed form ; the canopies over the arches, which are ornamented with the lozenge, rest on corbel-heads of kings; and the transoms form the lower compartment of each light into a plain unadorned parallelogram. The windows, however, are the grand attraction, for in these the story of English freedom is brilliantly told. They are thirteen in number, nine of which are finished, and filled with stained glass.

The great window illustrates the ratification of Magna Charta by King John, who, with an indignant but powerless frown, seems to pause in the act of affixing his signature to the instrument, ils if to upbraid the uncompromising patriotism of the Barons. On his right stand Cardinal Pandolfo, the Pope's Legate, and the Archbishop of Dublin, who turns his head in conversation with other prelates behind him. On his left are seen Cardinal Langton, a mediator between the King and the Barons, but who administered an oath to the latter, never to pause in the struggle till they had obtained full concession of their liberty. Behind the Archbishop stands Almeric, Master of the Knights Templars *. In the foreground appears Baron Fitzwaltert, with his pages; and behind him are the Lord Mayor ş of London, and the attendant guards. In the background is a distant view of the Camp at Runnymede. For chasteness of drawing, depth of colouring, and sparkling brilliancy, this window is considered a masterpiece of modern art. · The other eight windows, executed by Edgington, the talented artist already mentioned, contain full-length figures of eight Barons, progenitors of the Norfolk family, who were instrumental in procuring the Great Charter ||. They are habited in chain-armour, the military costume of the thirteenth century, each with his armorial bearings emblazoned on his surcoat and shield. The heads are actual portraits of various distinguished members of the house of Howard, some of whom are still living. The effect is superb, and, at first sight, there is some difficulty in drawing the distinction between the real and the ideal. The scenes are so finely isolated, and the single portraits so pro

* Portrait of Captain Morris.

+ The late Duke of Norfolk. Henry Howard of Greystoke.

$ H. C. Coombe, Esq. Alderman of London. | On the corner of a stone in this superb hall is the following votive inscription :

“ LIBERTATI
PER BARONES REGNANTE JOHANNE

VINDICATÆ,
CAROLUS HOWARD NORFOLCIÆ DUX,

ARUNDELIÆ COMES

A.C. MDCCCVI.
ÆTATIS LX.”

D. D.

[graphic][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

CASTLE)

THE BARONS' HALL--BANQUET.

33

minent, that each appears as if he had the free and unimpeded use of his limbs, and could step down into the banquet-hall at his pleasure,

“ 'To curb a despot and to save the state.” The door of this magnificent Hall was first thrown open on the 13th of June, 1815, being the six hundredth anniversary of the great foundation of English liberty. For the joyful celebration of this glorious epoch in the old baronial style, a brilliant assembly of rank and title had arrived from various parts of the country, among whom were twenty-two representatives of the ancient Howards. Complete suits of armour, in which the ancient chivalry of England had gathered the spoils of victory—some at Agincourt, others at Cressy—were arranged in military order around the walls. Swords, that, by the evidence on their blades, had “ done the state some service ;" helmets that had been wom by the Howards at Flodden, or by “ Belted Will” in some of his Border forays; chain and scale armour; spears and lances that had often gleamed in strife and tournament—all the implements of ancient warfare, from the thick iron casque of the arcber, to the elaborate and richly-gilded harness of the baron, were all reburnished and brought into unexpected light for this occasion. Nothing, in fact, was omitted that could increase the interest, by giving an air of striking reality to the scene. If the spirits of the ancient Barons could have looked down upon the hall in this hour of gorgeous festivity, they would have rejoiced to see what a bright inheritance their patriotic struggles had bequeathed, and have felt that they had become, indeed, immortal in the hearts of their descendants

At this banquet nearly three hundred guests assisted. At the upper end of the table was a noble “ baron of beef,” surmounted by the ducal coronet and the banners of the House of Norfolk. The evening was ushered in by a splendid ball, at which 'castled Arundel

Had gather'd then
Her beauty and her chivalry, and bright

The lamps shone o'er fair women and brave men.” The ball was opened by the Duke of Norfolk and the Marchioness of Stafford—late Duchess-Countess of Sutherland-followed by about fifty couples, who kept up the dance, enlivened by admirable inusic, till one o'clock in the morning, when supper was announced, and the Sussex Band struck up the patriotic air of “ The Roast Beef of Old England," as an expressive welcome to the hospitable board. The festal scene was continued

VOL. I.

1102 1380.

t:?) the mailed warriors, niched in the walls and casements, caught the morning light on their armour; when King John and Baron Fitzwalter appeared to signify, that as the Grand Charter was now fully ratified, lord and dame were at “ liberty” to retire—wishing

“ To each and all a fair good night,

With rosy dreams and slumbers light.” Among the original Ecclesiastical foundations in Arundel, was the Alien Priory, or Cell of St. Nicholas, already mentioned. Roger Montgomery, who had restored the Benedictine Abbey of Seez, in Normandy, granted to the

monks of that establishment, liberty to erect a priory within the town . l of Arundel, and the building having been completed, five monks from the parent abbey arrived and took possession accordingly. In the early part of the same century, the priory was vacated; and the rectorial residence adjoining the church, of which William de Albini was patron, was converted into a residence for the prior and four monks. Thus occupied, it continued during two centuries to be known as the Convent or Priory of St. Nicholas. But Richard, Earl of Arundel, having resolved to connect it with the chapel of his college then about to be established, obtained from King Richard the Second a grant for that purpose, and on the site of the ancient priory arose the College of the Holy Trinity, a quadrangular structure, inclosing a square yard, or court, partly occupied by cloisters, and partly devoted to other purposes of

a monastic establishment. On the north side was the Collegiate Chapel, forming an apparent chancel to the parochial church; on the east were the refectory and various domestic offices connected with it; and the remaining sides on the south and west, were occupied by the members

of the fraternity. Within the court was the Master's house, attached to the south-east angle of the chapel, with which it communicated by a small stone balcony on the first story, and a flight of steps, which still remain, behind the high altar. As the collegiate church was intended to be the family sepulchre of the founder, every preparation was made to insure its monumental splendour; and the tomb of his son, Earl Thomas, was the first of a magnificent series. No stranger can enter this chapel without being strongly impressed with the classic beauty and elaborate sculpture of its family monuments. But during the siege already noticed, these sacred walls were given up as barracks for Waller's

[graphic]
« AnteriorContinua »