H. D. (Henry Duff) Traill.

Social England; a record of the progress of the people in religion, laws, learning, arts, industry, commerce, science, literature and manners, from the earliest times to the present day (Volume 3) online

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spoliation, which the strong will of Henry had held in check, GER.
was openly sanctioned by the personal example of Somerset. g
His own palace in the Strand rose on the site of former Church Reaction,
property ; St. Stephen's Chapel became the Parliament House,
and the College of St. Martin-le-Grand was converted into a
tavern. Ecclesiastical preferments, by an abuse which recalls
the unscrupulousness of medieval despots, were frequently

i "* V^ f, X^kS^/ *f >r*i <*- k.


(S. Bateman, " Christall Glasse of Christian Reformation, l.">ii'.' )

bestowed on illiterate laymen ; while the bishops themselves,
in order to retain some portion of their endowments, were fain
to surrender a large proportion of them to the despoiler.
In cases where the monastic endowments partly consisted, as
was frequently the case, of church livings, the new lay patrons
often allowed the cure to go unbestowed, or appointed some
altogether inefficient priest at a miserable stipend. 'To
consider," cried Latimer, "what hath been plucked from
abbeys, colleges, and chantries, it is marvel no more to be
bestowed on this holy office of salvation ! "

King Ed-
ward VI.'s




In justice to the young king it must, however, be observed
that, so far as his personal influence extended, he did his
best to restrain this wholesale diversion of religious endow-
ments to secular purposes, although with very imperfect

success. Thomas Lever, the master
of St. -lohn's College, when preaching
in loSO at St. Paul's Cross, openly
reproached the courtiers for the way
in which they systematically frus-
trated the royal designs. " The
king," he said, " is so disappointed
that both the poor be spoiled, all
maintenance of learning decayed,
and you only enriched. For before
that you did be^inne to be the

/ o

disposers of the king's liberality
towards learning and poverty, there

was in houses belonging unto the university of Cambridge
two hundred students of divinity, many very well learned ;
which be now all clene gone, house and manne, young toward
scholars, and old fatherly doctors, not one of them left." It
was but a very imperfect compensation for this wholesale
spoliation that both the universities were at this time exempted
from the payment of tithes and first-fruits.

In another direction the royal designs were more success-
ful, partly, it would seem, owing to the co-operation afforded
bv the now fast-growing middle classes. Upwards of thirty
grammar schools founded at this time have permanently
associated the reign of Edward VI. with the cause of popular
education. Some of these schools owed their origin to
the royal initiative, but not a few to the petition of the
burgesses of some town, or that of the residents in the
neighbourhood of some suppressed monastery, who thought,
not unreasonably, that the funds thus placed at the royal
disposal might more appropriately be applied to the endow-
ment of a school than to increase the wealth of some
landed magnate. In the preamble to the letters patent for
the foundation of the free grammar school in Loinh. given
in 1 ">;">:>. the royal sympathy with the movement is expressed
in glowing terms. Edward declares that he has "always



coveted, with a most exceeding vehement and ardent desire,
that good literature and discipline might be diffused and
propagated through all parts of the kingdom, as wherein
the best government and administration of uftidrs consists."
" The liberal instruction of youth " is described as " being,
as it were, the foundation and growth of our Commonwealth."
Among existing foundations, there were now established the Free
Grammar Schools at St. Albans, Bath, Bedford, Birmingham,
Bradford, Buckingham, Chelmsford, Chipping Norton, Christ's
Hospital in London, Crediton, Bury St. Edmund's, Giggleswick,
Grantham, Kings ton-on-Thames, Broinsgrovc, Lichfield, Lud-
low, Pontefract, Sherborne, Shrewsbury, Southampton, Stour-
bridge, Tunbridge, and others. They are generally described
as free, and designed mainly for the instruction of the scholars
in the Latin language. It must, however, be noted that a
large proportion were, in the first instance, very slenderly
endowed, and could educate but a small number. That at
Bath, for example, was limited to " ten poor boys " and " ten
poor persons," thus partaking of the character of a " hospital."
It Avould seem that they only very partially supplied the
place of the schools which had been swept away along with
the monasteries, for in the year 3562 we find Williams, the
Speaker of the House of Commons, in an address to the


330 Till] XKW FORCES.

Queen, referring to " the want of schools : that at least a
hundred were wanting in England which before that time
had been " an allusion which we may safely assume, with
Strype, had reference to the schools of the monasteries.

REGINALD " UNDER the Tudors," says Mr. Ferguson in an oiten-
Architec' quoted passage, "the Gothic style went out in a hlaxr ot
ture and glory." But it is not possible to point exactly to the moment
1558. * either of final splendour or of final extinction, though both,
in a sense, coincide with the completion of the Royal
Chapels at Windsor and Westminster and Cambridge. The
necessity of preserving something like continuity of story has
obliged us already to treat of these buildings (Vol. II., p. 492),
and of the vaulting, which is their distinguishing character-
istic, as, in fact, the latest members of a series, which com-
mences with the Cloister Vaults of Gloucester, finished as
early as 1412, and the slightly later retro-choir in Peter-
borough. Nevertheless, the greater part of the actual work
in the chapels was not carried out till the reign of
Henry VIII. Thus Windsor, the earliest in foundation (1475),
was not finished till 1521, and the fan vaults of the crossing
were added later still. King's College Chapel at Cambridge
was begun slightly later than Windsor, but more quickly
completed, although the finishing touches were not given to
it till 1532. Henry VII.'s Chapel at Westminster equally
belongs to the two reisms, having been erected in the four-

o O O

teen years which ended in 1515. Magdalen Tower at Oxford
was, it is true, wholly built in Henry VII.'s reign, but the
beautiful steeple of Louth, in Lincoln, and the central tower
of Canterbury, were not finished till 1515 and 1517. The
Savoy Chapel, too, was begun under Henry VII.,, though
it was largely altered by Queen Elizabeth. Even in the
last year of Henry VIII. some real Gothic work was done,
and in places where the surroundings made for the survival
of a good Gothic tradition, the deterioration of the style
remained slight down to a still later period.

It has been said that Wolsey was "the last professor
of Gothic," and if we take his work at Hampton Court
and the noble hall at Christchurch, Oxford (the superb



staircase is a century later), we shall see the justification for
the title. In his work the form is Gothic, however frequently
we may come across Italian details. The coup de grace was
dealt, of course, by the Reformation, which put an end, for
a time at least, to all need of church building. But for
the Reformation, the Renaissance architecture might have
had a more fortunate development ; but, in truth, the spirit
of Protestantism was not instinct with any poetry, and so far
the New Religion was not unsuited to the new architecture.

It is difficult to assay, with anything like accuracy, the
various ingredients that contribute to the healthy and natural
development of a style ; but certainly
the Renaissance architecture, popular
as it became, never seems to have
taken any deep root in England.
One looks in vain to find any great
English ecclesiastical building in


the sixteenth century which can
properly be said to belong to it ;
and the style which grew out of it,
that singular mixture of Gothic and
Italian which goes by the name
of Elizabethan, is only occasionally


VVu'/ii , A. ./dwrv, Louth.

:;:;:: '/'///: .VA'II* FORGES.

present in additions to churches. It is hardly too much
to say that no church, with the slightest pretension to
original artistic design, was erected between the Reformation
and l<m.

It is far otherwise as regards lay buildings, though, of
necessity, lay architecture was chiefly occupied with utilitarian
progress. Spacious rooms, well-lighted galleries, comfortable
chambers in a Avord, good accommodation was what was
sought after, and in this good progress was made, it the
higher qualities were somewhat neglected. \Ve have seen
how in the reign of Henry VJI., and indeed earlier, the
castle, as such, had practically disappeared. Wide windows
were everywhere perforated through the side walls, the oriel
had displaced the loophole, and nothing of the castle was
retained except the ornamental features. The king's avarice,
however, stood in the way of any great enterprise in lay
architecture, and almost the only work of the character,
undertaken by him, was the rebuilding of the palace at
Sheen, necessitated by its total destruction by fire in 1500.
It was in the so-called Burgundian style, borrowed, it is
suggested, from the great palace at Dijon, built, or at least
commenced, by Philip le Bon, the father of Charles le
Temeraire. The connection by marriage between Edward IV.
and the last-named prince, and the fame and splendour of
his court, where noble strangers were always welcome, had,
if not exactly promoted emulation between the magnates of
England and Burgundy, at least familiarised Englishmen
with a certain kind of palatial splendour. At the same
time we may dismiss the idea of there having been much
conscious imitation by the English architects.

The second Tudor king was of a temper very different
from that of his father. A quaint writer of a little later
date describes him as " the onlie Phrenix of his time for
fine and curious masonrie." He built the palaces of Bridewell,
St. James's, and Bcaulieu, and made extensive and decorative
additions to Windsor, Whitehall, and Hunsdon. The king's
sumptuousness was imitated by the profusion of his courtiers.
Wolsey. besides his palace at Hampton and his college's at
Oxford and Ipswich, rebuilt more than one of the episcopal
residences. The heads of the ducal houses of Norfolk and





'////; XKW

A Six-


Buckingham were not far behind Wolsey in emulating their
sovereign's splendour, and were not more fortunate in living
to enjoy them. In earlier volumes of this work (I., p. "):;,s ;
II., pp. M>, Hiii) descriptions have been given of the actual form
and contents of a fortified manor-house of the thirteenth and
fourteenth centuries. In a curious treatise printed in 1547,
entitled " A dyetorie or regiment of health," by Andrew Boorde,
a physician (p. 229), we have a contemporary description of
a typical sixteenth century mansion:

"Make the hall of such fashion." he says, "that the parlour be
annexed to the head of the hall ; and the buttrye and pantry e at the
lower ende thereof. The cellar under the pantrye sett somewhat at a
base, the kechyn sett somewhat at base from the buttrye and pantrye.
coming with an entrie within by the wall of the buttrye; the pastric
house and the larder annexed to the kechyn. Then divide the logging's
by the circuit of the quadrinal courte, and let the gate house be opposite
or against the hall doore, not directly, but the hall doore standing abase
of the gate house, in the middle of the front euteringe of the place. Let
the prevye chamber be annexed to the great chamber of estate, with ol her
chambers necessary for the buildinge, so that many of the chambers may
have a prospecte into the chapell."

It is a little confused, but the picture is sufficient to show
how complete was the departure from the ideas of the early
builder. The change had in most material respects, as far as
internal arrangements went, been more or less complete in the
time of the later Plantagenets. But now, so to speak, the mask
was thrown off. Almost alone of castellated features the
flanking towers at the angles were retained ; but they were
retained for ornament merely, or for the utilitarian purpose
of carrying staircases. These hexagonal towers, with the masses
of lofty and richly ornamented chimneys on the root's, give a
highly characteristic and special character to the earlier Tudor
domestic architecture.

In the work of the sixteenth century, the so-called Cinque-
eento, the idea of making painted glass a part of the decoration
of a Gothic cathedral having a due relation to the scheme of the
architect, may be said to have passed away. The stained glass
window of this period is simply a picture painted on glass, and
itself framed or mounted in glass: and except in a few trees of
Jesse and like cases, the frame and the mount were kept



perfectly distinct. Amongst the works of this period the first
half of the sixteenth century are no doubt the most elaborate
glass pictures that have been produced. Only a small number of
those that survive can, however, be attributed safely to English


artists, the greater part having, like the famous windows in the
Choir of Lichfield, been imported from Flanders. Generally
speaking, the colour of the glass work during the reigns of the
first four Tudor princes is softer and more agreeable to the eye
than that of the earlier period, though never equalling in depth
that of the earliest mosaic.


p aint- It is probable that a few Englishmen picked up some of the

Painters. Flemings' skill, even in the reign of Henry VII. We know, at
least, the name of one John Crust, who early in Henry Ylli.'s
reign received various payments from the exchequer, and to whom
a rather famous processional picture is attributed. This is the
meeting of Henry and Francis at the Field of the Cloth of Gold,
which took place in May, 1520 (p. 5). It was painted soon alter that
event, and we may take it that it would not have been entrusted
to an artist whose reputation was not fully established. From
the English or foreign pupils of the Flemings came, no doubt,
the portrait of Dean Colet ascribed to Jan Mabuse, and
quite a number of portraits of the new magnates of the Tudor
dynasty. If but little was done under Henry VII. , the ground
was broken, ready to receive the seed from the first sower. The
tradition of an English royal patronage of art was established,
and as we find it recorded that in the second year of Henry VII I.,
one John Browne was appointed sergeant painter, it is probable
that the office was not newly created. At the death of Browne,
Andrew Wright was appointed sergeant painter. Besides
these official personages, Vincent Yolpe received a salary from
Henry VIII. of 20 a year as painter to the king. Lucas
Horemhout, or Hornebaud, of Ghent, seems to have been the
first foreign artist who appeared at Henry VIII. 's court. His
brother Gerard, and his sister Susanna, also settled in England.
We should know comparatively little of these personages and of
the other artists here mentioned, but for the jealous system
which required foreigners to take out letters of denization to
enable them to obtain the benefit of the English law. Most
of them availed themselves of the privilege, and many obtained
grants of arms ; some left wills disposing of considerable

It is unfortunate that we cannot more accurately identify the
works of the different individuals. This is markedly the case
with regard to Lucas Horembout, who yet must have been a
person of distinction, for he received an exceedingly hi^h salary,
higher indeed than that of any contemporary artist. The same is
true of the works of Susanna, said to have been an accomplished
miniaturist. As regards Gerard, who worked apparently for
more than thirty years in England, he undoubtedly painted
many of the inferior portraits to which the great name of



Holbein has been attached. The latest portraits of the king, Gerard

i o 7 Horein-

executed after Holbein's death in 1543, are probably by this bout,
painter. They display inferior draughtsmanship, but great
character. The Warwick Castle picture ot Henry VIII.
possesses, indeed, very high qualities, and what Dr. Waagen


(From the portrait in the possession of the Right Hon. the Earl of Warwick.")

calls " brutal egotism, obstinacy, harshness, and the suspicious
wakemlness of a wild beast," are finely brought out in the
features of the old king. Besides these, Henry VIII. subsidised
Toto dell a Nunziata, who was both painter and architect, and
Bartolomew Penni, a Florentine. Alice Carmillion and Katharine
Maynon, chiefly known as miniaturists, were also favoured by

338 Till-} A'Eir FORGES.

Henry, Mild tlic staff was increased under Edward \'I. by the
addition of Levina TcrliiiL' 1 of Unices. Cerbiit Flick and
Johannes (onus are names found on a fr\v pictures belong-
ing to the reign. The list of artists who received English
patronage under Henry VIII. is so long as to l>e tedious, hut
among those not to lie omitted is the name of Cirolamo da
Trevigi, painter, son y.nd ]>upil of 1'ier Maria I'ennaechi, who is
probably represented l>v the portrait of the founder of (iresham
College, and that of Nicola, da Modena, sculptor, possibly the
antlior of a statuette of llenrv VI II. of great delicacy, and of
a medallion at Hampton Court, given without authority to

That great artist had, as \ve have mentioned, entered into
a contract with Henry VII. for the erection of his tomh in
Westminster Abbey. But the work of Master Peter Torrvsany
as the English records name him, both as we know it in the royal,
tomb or the tomb of the Lady Margaret, or the terra-cotta of Dr.
Young in the Rolls Chapel, was thoroughly exotic. Probably
this was true of the productions of Benedetto Rovezzani and of
Bernard! of Amsterdam, who were employed under Henry VIII.,
though most of their English work has perished, or has ceased
to be identifiable. Hut neither Florentine, nor Dutchman seems
to have been a vivifying influence in England. Yet all these
names, whether of painter or sculptor, are overshadowed by the
Holbein, greater glory of Hans Holbein the younger, an artist whose
executive talent has hardly been excelled in any age or country,
lie was born at Augsburg in 14!)."), settled in Basle in !.ll(i, and
came to England in 1520. He brought with him a letter of
introduction from Erasmus to the Chancellor, Sir Thomas More,
who took him into his house at, Chelsea, and introduced him to
the king and the court. This was in fulfilment of a promise
made to Erasmus by a letter (of course in Latin) of the bSth
December, 1525, in which he thus comments on some sample of
the painter's work sent him by Erasmus: Your painter, mv
dear Erasmus, is a marvellously clever workman, but I i'ear he
may find England a less fertile soil than he had hoped. So
far as I can, however, I will see that he does not find it altogether
barren." More's diffidence was, however, little justified by the
event. Holbein quickly became a favourite, and both before and
after his patron's death his pencil was never idle. AVit.h the



exception of three visits to Baste in the years 1528-9, 1532, and
1538, possibly having some connection Avith the retention of his
pension of fifty florins a year paid to him as painter to the town,



(By permission of the Master of tlie Rolls.)

the rest of the life of Holbein was spent in London. He had a
house and fee in the " Parish of Saint Andrewe rndershafte,"
and there he died of the plague in 1543. Although he did not
enter the king's service for some three years after his arrival in



England, More's introductions had, before that time, secured him
a considerable <-l im/i'lr among noble and distinguished persons,
such as Archbishop Warhani, Sir Henry Guildt'ord, Sir Bryan
Tuke, and Thomas Linacre. At the same time he painted
the chancellor and Margaret Roper, whose likenesses were
despatched as a present to Erasmus, possibly by the hand of the

Photo: Wm. ftyotim-r <( ('.. Xtrii

(Hampton Court 1'nJm;.)

II". c '.

painter himself. His industry was indeed astonishing, and as his
superiority to all his northern contemporaries became rapidly
known, opportunities for its exercise were never wanting. It has
been said that no eminent man or woman of the period in
England escaped his pencil. But though this is true. Holbein
found time to paint an astonishing series of portraits of
obscurities, including among these such works as the portrait of
" Reskemeer of Cornwall," and that most faultless work, the



portrait of Morett, Henry YIII.'s jeweller, now at Dresden. As
.court painter to Henry he was commissioned to paint the like-
ness of Anne of Cleves, and, for this once, he is alleged to have
departed from his uncompromising truthfulness. According to
the popular story, the king found the original so much worse than
the picture, that he made the marriage scheme (it must be

Photo : Wm. fpooner J; Co.. Strand, ir.C.
(Hampton Court Palei'-e.)

allowed that he had long been spoiling for the quarrel) a
pretext for breaking with the able but unpopular minister
who had advised it (p. 52). Holbein's portrait of another
lady wooed but not won, the Duke of Norfolk's Duchess
of Milan, shows a similar disposition to abate some of his
rough honestv of statement. The series of Windsor drawinsfs

tJ ^ O '

mostly in red and coloured chalk, belonging to the English
Crown, shows Holbein in his most attractive mood as a



portrait painter, and gives a higher idea <>F the talent of
the man than his most, finished works in oil. He was,
however, far from being a portrait painter only. Not only

is the fact contradicted )>y
the existence of the famous
I >armstadt masterpiece, the
" Meyer" Holy Family, !>ut
by the fine group of the
Barber-Surgeons' Company,
which is not unworthy to
rank with the Regent and
Doelen pieces of Holland.
Holbein is the highest re-
presentative of the simple
exact imitative school of
portraiture, in which the
resemblance of feature, not
of character, is sought first
and last, Great as Holbein
was, it is probable that
Henry endeavoured to
entice to his court still
greater men, and was
anxious to secure the ser-
vices of Rafaelle and Titian.


(Windsor Castle.)

There is some evidence

that Rafaelle executed at least one work for the English
king - - the St. George now hung in the Hermitage at St.

What Holbein

certainly was to the reign of Henry,

his son. He

Art under

Edward. VI-

and Mary. Guillim Stretes probably was to that of

painted numerous pictures of the young king and of various
notables living during his short reign, and in the last years
of that of his father. In manner (if identification is possible)
he is like a weak Holbein, and without the rough vigour
that is to be found in some of the portraits attributed to
Gerard and Lucas Horembout. A better artist was Joost
van Cleef, but it is not clear when he arrived in England.
As a draughtsman he was almost the equal of Holbein, and
possessed more breadth of touch. (^ueen Mary's reign is


interesting in the history of art for the arrival on the scene
of a painter variously called Antonis Mor, Antonio Moro,
and Sir Antonio More. Born in Utrecht, he had studied long
in Italy, and was perhaps the most talented of all the
Italianising Flemings of the century. He is supposed, though
without much evidence, to have endeavoured to model himself
on Holbein. He was the first
fashionable painter who early
commanded large prices for his
work. He probably came to
England charged with the task
of painting Queen Mary for Philip,
and this task he at any rate exe-
cuted so satisfactorily that his
patrons "gave him one hundred
pounds, a gold chain, and a

Online LibraryH. D. (Henry Duff) TraillSocial England; a record of the progress of the people in religion, laws, learning, arts, industry, commerce, science, literature and manners, from the earliest times to the present day (Volume 3) → online text (page 31 of 68)