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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Unlike so many houses of the period, the duke's has no courtyard, the
centre being occupied by a wide newel stair, an unusual but very pleasing
feature. The rooms are, of course, magnificently lighted, and are light in
proportion to their size. The ceilings are beautifully decorated with
plaster fret-work. There is not, except in a kind of cresting over the
door, and the balustrades already mentioned, an inch of ornament anywhere ;
yet the effect is ornamental in no slight degree. The whole front is
about 50 feet high, about 60 wide. . . . There can be little doubt

438 '/'///; M-11V ORDER.


that the same architect designed both it and Lougleat. In each tliere is
the same reliance upon proportion, rather than upon ornament, to ensure
an ornamental effect, the same abundant feiiestration, the same beautiful
parapet work, and, as compared with contemporary buildings, the saint;
freshness and originality." '

Renaissance Xot, perhaps, quite abreast of the Italianised Elizabethan,

Architecture. . . . . .

but, as one may say, at its girths, came the new style, which
owed nothing to Gothic, but was wholly the product of the
classical Renaissance. Of great buildings in this style few
seem to have been erected, though Gresham's Royal Exchange
may possibly have been an exception ; but none of these, so
far as is known, remain. Have, or Havenius, of Cleves, seems to
have been the architect of the Exchange, and he certainly was
of the gate of Virtue and Wisdom, and of the gate of Honour at
Cains College, Cambridge. The former of these was completed
in 1567, the latter in 1574 ; and it is noteworthy that it was
between those very years that Longleat was being built. In
both gates the archway is slightly pointed. Both are adorned
with Ionic pilasters, and both are charming. The Gate of
Honour is, indeed, by itself sufficient to keep Have's name from
being forgotten. Although the details are not quite pure, the
ensemble is of the most delicate beauty and balance ; and this
gate, crowned with a small temple-like structure of the Corinth-
ian order, forms one of the few gems of pure Renaissance work
in this country. Not unnaturally, the feeling for classical work
seems to have 'taken more root in the universities, though the
proof of this is mostly evidenced by later examples. Elsewhere
one can almost fancy that one sees faint glimmering signs of a
Gothic revival. Thus Wollaton, commenced the year after
Longleat was finished, shows a stronger Gothic feeling. Long-
ford, commenced in 1591, when Wollaton was being com-
pleted, has less Italian dignity than either, though the use of
the order as a means of decoration is more profuse. There is a
jumbling of motives too. The Doric pillars which adorn tlir
porch immediately support pointed arches, Avhile those above
them are circular. On the whole, during the latter part of the
reign of Elizabeth, there is a tendency to that anarchy in aivhi-
tecture which was, a little later, to be expressed in the quaint
form to which the name Jacobean has been given.

1 Loftie. " Inigo Jones and Christopher Wren," p. ;', xnj.

Wullaton Hall.

Knole House, Sevenoaks. photo: Chestar

""< w -

Kingston House, Bradford-on-Avon.





The reign of Klizabeth, though mi Augustan nge in literature,
was not distinguished by any great outburst t' talent in the
direction either of painting or sculpture. l>ut the tirst Knglish
school of painting dates from that reign. It \vtis a school of
miniature, and was destined to have a long life, though never to
develop into anything ot quite European excellence. Neverthe-


less, the tradition is unbroken from the time of Elizabeth to the
time of George IV. ; and ( 'osway may, not unfairly, be designated
as the lineal descendant of Nicholas Milliard. It may well be
doubted whether, prior to the reign of Elizabeth, any artist had
devoted himself exclusively to this form of painting. Of course
Holbein, Zucchero, Van Cleef, Van Heere, the Terlings, and
others Avhose names have been mentioned in dealing with the
reign of Henry VIII, occasionally painted " portraits in little" ;
but probably the first miniaturist pure and simple was Nicholas


(Artist unknown.) (Artist unknown.)

(Artist unknown;)


(By Isaac Oliver.) ^ lsaac 0//uer - )

(Victoria an:l Albert Museum.)

| To /.. 2'. 440.


(Victoria and Albert Museum.)

[To face p. 440.




Milliard He was a Devonshire man of good family, born in Nicholas

. , TT Hilliard.

1547, and began lite as a goldsmith. Me was, to some extent,

self-taught, and professed to have modelled himself on Holbein,
though, in truth, he seems to have owed more to the old missal
painters, whom he resembles both in his opaque colours, in his
use of gold to heighten the effect of ornament, and by a certain
flatness and absence of shadow. He seems to have been a pre-
cocious genius, and to have begun to paint at the age of four-
teen. There are miniatures by him of Henry VII. and Henry
VIII., and of Jane Seymour
and her son, though obviously
some of these could not have
been taken from the life.
Queen Elizabeth was fre-
quently painted by Hilliard
old Hilliard, as he is called
to distinguish him from his
son Lawrence, also a miniature
painter. He lived till 1G19 ;
and James I. rewarded him
in a characteristic manner, by
the grant of a monopoly of
reproducing the royal image.
He found a younger rival, and
indeed much more than a
rival, in Isaac Oliver, or
Olivier. He was apparently
of French extraction, as the

notes in his pocket-book, which has been preserved, are partly Isaac
in that language. He was born in 1556 ; and his work, as
Dr. Propert excellently says, is " second to none in the whole
history of miniature art." Isaac Oliver pursued his laborious
profession until his death in 1617. He was succeeded by
his son Peter, a miniaturist of almost equal excellence, to
whom his father bequeathed the refusal of his works " at fyve
shillings in a pound cheaper than any would pay for them."
He enjoyed the favour of Charles I., who employed him to
make reduced copies of the masterpieces of the Royal collec-
tions. Out of the same school came a long line of miniaturists,
including Balthazar Gerbier, knighted by Charles in 1628,








Robert Peake who is known to have received payment from the
Council in 1(512, Hoskins, and the two Coopers, his nephews, <>i'
whom Samuel is, and deserves to be, the best known ; but these,
though most of them at work in the early part of Charles's reign
belong properly to the Commonwealth and the Restoration.

In the other and higher branches of painting England was
less fortunate. The insatiable vanity of the Queen would, no
doubt, have given us a richer harvest, had not that vanity been
constrained by an equally imperative parsimony. The collection
of royal portraits is, however, considerable, though, for the most
part, they are the work of second-rate Dutchmen or Italians.
"A pale Roman nose, a head loaded with crowns and powdered
with diamonds, a vast ruff, a vaster fardingale, and a bushel of
pearls, are the features by which everybody knows the
pictures of the Queen of England." Walpole's sarcastic descrip-
tion is certainly graphic enough.

Federigo Zucchero, an Umbrian, is the greatest Italian who
painted " her Grace " (p. 527) ; and Lucas Van Heere, Ketel, Marc
Gerhardt of Bruges, and Cornelis Vroom are believed to have
had the same honour. But once more we have a list of foreign
names, and no considerable native artist, seems to have risen
to paint the features of a reign prolific above all others in men
whose portraits were worth painting.

A large importation of coined Spanish gold had been one of
the suggestive incidents of the marriage of Philip and Mary, and
consequently, on Elizabeth's accession, the usual demand for gold
coin was somewhat diminished. But soon after her accession a
commission was issued to Sir Edmund Peckham and others for
a coinage of sovereigns, angels and angelets, of exceptionally tine

AXGEL OF ELIXAliKTII, !.s-i:>78.




gold, representing the values of thirty, ten, and five shillings re-
spectively. At the same time, in the Crown gold (of the ordinary
twenty-two carats fineness) there were issued sovereigns (of

twenty shillings) and half-sove-
reigns, crowns and half-crowns, of
proportionate value. By procla- currency
mation, too, the earlier silver was Reform -
ordered to be taken at three-
fourths of its value pennies, half-
groats, and the rest, except certain
testoons, which were excepted on
the ground of exceptional inferiority. Subsequently there was
an issue of old standard silver, including, besides the ordinary
denominations, the three-halfpenny piece, and that most
singular coin, the silver three farthings. Most of the base coins
were got into the treasury, but not without a good deal of diffi-
culty. There was, in fact, a sort of panic in the early part of
Elizabeth's reign, but it was put an end to in a heroic fashion
(cf. p. 490). In 1561 a final proclamation was issued, lowering
the values without decreasing the pureness of the coinage. A
list is subjoined:


/ Sovereign formerly current at 30/- to pass for 20/-.


Fine Gold

Crown Gold

) Real

| Angel

\ Half -angel
I Sovereign ,,
) Half-sovereign .,
I Crown

V Half-crown














444 THE NEW <> It />/;//.

Shilling to pass for -/8.
\ I Shilling ,. -14.
Silver < J Shilling -/:.

| Three Half-penny Pieces- /I.
\ Three Farthing Pieces -/(&.

In addition three groats were to serve as 8d., three half-groats as 4d.,
and three pennies as :M.

There were a great many supplementary and later coinages

during the long reign
of the Queen. Those of
Louison, which included
angels, angelets, quar-
ter-angels, half and
quarter shillings, three-
halfpenny and three-
farthing pieces, and
pennies, were specially
notable. The use of
private tokens increased
Tokens. steadily : lead, leather, and base metals of various kinds being
employed for the purpose. The abundance of these was so great
that an attempt was made to legalise the situation, and in 1576 a
licence for their issue was granted to the town of Bristol. A copper
coinage was even proposed, and not only received the royal



fiat, but dies were prepared for the purpose ; }-et it appears that
no issue was ever made, the existing specimens being supposed
to be only patterns. The reform of the coinage was justly





considered by Elizabeth to be one of the glories of her reign
but her method of dealing with the exceptionally bad silver
was characteristic. It was transferred in large quantities to
Ireland, and notwithstanding its original inferiority, four thou-
sand pounds of this base silver, only three ounces tine, were
further diluted into eight thousand pounds of Irish currency.

A special feature of the reign was a coinage for the Indian
trade. The natives seem to have been accustomed to Spanish
money, but the Queen objected to its use by her subjects.
Accordingly, crowns, half-crowns, and sixpences Avere issued to
the East Indian traders, but it was found necessary to adjust
their weight according to the Spanish piastre. These coins
have the shield of arms on one side, and on the other the
portcullis. The portraiture exhibited on Queen Elizabeth's
coins is excellent, even on some of the tokens.










DURING the fifteenth century the fear of the supernatural
was slowly drawing round the minds of the people of AVestern
Europe. Hitherto the magic of the people had been of the
nature of folklore, reminiscences of pagan worship which had
become heresy by the conquest of the Christian faith ; but
when, in 1398, the Sorbonne published its twenty-seven articles
dealing with conjurations, with images of devils, and sorcery,
it gave the widest possible advertisement to the crime. AYo
have shown how popular belief in the demoniac compact gradually
took shape and grew (Vol. II, p. 112); but it did not loom
large in the public mind till in the fifteenth century the
accusation of sorcery began to be used as a political weapon,
chiefly against women. Thus in 1419, Joan, the Queen
Dowager, was committed to prison for sorcery against Henry
V., and her associate, Friar John Randolph, taken in Jersey,
was sent to the Tower. We have the charges against the
Duchess of Gloucester and the Duchess of Bedford, Joan of Arc,
and Jane Shore, whom the Archbishop of York and the Bishop
of Ely were afterwards accused of assisting. In Scotland, too,
the Earl of Mar, brother of James III. (1460-1488), was bled to
death by order of the Lords of the Council for magical practices
against his brother ; and, subsequently, twelve witches and
four wizards were burnt to death in Edinburgh for the same

At the end of that century, what has been well called
a diabolical nightmare fell on Europe a nightmare which
weighed on our country for over a century. In 1484 Innocent
7111. issued his celebrated bull against the witches of Germany }
enumerating the evils they wrought, and appointing inquisitors
to put down the scandal. It is difficult to say what the effect
of this was a single inquisitor burns 900 in fifteen years, 500
are burned in one city in three months. The wave of terror
did not reach England in any force till near the middle of
the century. It shows itself almost simultaneously in England
and Scotland by the revival of the old charges of sorcery.
This was one of the crimes which fell under the jurisdiction
of the King's Council (Vol. II., p. 655), of which few records
exist ; but we find from them that Cromwell issued a proc-
lamation forbidding it. and Lord Hungerford, in England



(1540), and Lady Glanmis, sister of the Earl of Angus a
Douglas (1537) were executed for attempting the lives of their
respective monarchs. As Henry grew older, and his thirst for
blood grew strong, the fear of witchcraft increased; and in 1541
the first Act against witchcraft (33 Henry VIII., c. 8) was Legislation
passed, the " tricesimotertio of Henry," quoted in Ben Jonson's witch^
Alchemist. The practices it forbade were the devising and craft,
practising invocations to find gold and silver, or to destroy a
neighbour's person or goods ; the making images of men, angels,
devils, beasts, or fowls ; of burying crowns, sceptres, swords, rings,
glasses ; and of telling where things lost or stolen should be

o O O

found. The penalty was death, without benefit of clergy. In
the same year an Act was passed by the affrighted Parliament
making it felony, without clergy, to found any prophecy on
badges, or field beasts, fowls, etc., worn in arms (which might
bring them into trouble with our lord the king) ; and on
July 1st a Welsh minstrel suffered under the Act.

In the first Parliament of Edward VI. the Acts of this
session were repealed, with few exceptions ; but witches were
not thereby set free, since the jurisdiction of the ordinary was
untouched (1 Edward VI, c. 12). Indeed, in 1549, Cranmer's
visitation directs the clergy to inquire after users of charms,
etc., and to present them to the archdeacon. During the
reign of Mary the hunt for heretical doctrine was so keen
that we have no record of witch burning ; but in one of the first
sermons preached before Elizabeth in 1558 by Jewell, he
took occasion to remark on the widespread sin of sorcery. In
1562 Henry's law was re-enacted in a more merciful form
5 Elizabeth, c. 16), the first offence being punished by a )^ear's
imprisonment and four exposures in the pillory, a second con-
viction being felony. It seems that for some time there were
few prosecutions under the Act, but in 1575 a witch persecution
was begun, though not carried out with the ferocity of that
begun and carried on by James. In 1576 two children, and
Mildred Norrington, the maid of Westwell, were pilloried.
Soon the madness spread. In 1577 a waxen image of Eliza-
beth was picked up, and Dr. Dee was consulted as to the best
means of guarding her Grace : but his measures were in-
effectual, for next year she suffered greatly from pains in her
teeth, and Dee was again applied to. Such an evident case


'/'///; XEW ORDER.


Jg g B 6 A
amaet- 1LJr~~><>* X V



of sorcery was not neglected ; the ordinaries actively took up
the search for witches witness the fate of Simon Pembroke,
who, lieing observed to be lucky at dice, was summoned be-
fore the ordinary at Southwark. But being in the act of passing
some money to the proctor, his head sank, and he died ; where-
1 1 1 K m he Avas searched, and they found a tin n lan h< >lding three dice,
marked "chance the dice fortunately," and " five devilish books
on conjuration and most abominable practices." After 1579
the persecution ceased for a time, perhaps discouraged by the
publication of Reginald Scot's " Discoverie of Witchcraft," a

learned and sensible book, con-
sidering the state of popular
belief. Almost the only other
execution for witchcraft in the
reign after this was the famous
Warboys case in 1593, when
three persons named Samuels
were executed for bewitching, in
1590, the five children of the
Throgmorton family, with seven
servants, Lady Cromwell and
others. The story of this case
is more fully preserved than
usual, since Sir Samuel Crom-
well, as lord of the manor,
founded an annual sermon on
witchcraft to be preached every
Lady-Day in Huntingdon by a
D.D. or B.D. of Queen's College,
Cambridge, out of the property
of the felons which escheated to him.

Our survey of English alchemy in the previous volume
brought us up to the end of the fifteenth century, with its
evidence of a revival of study in the earlier part of the
second half of the century. We know of few alchemists in
the early part of the sixteenth. Sir Robert Greene, of Welby
(1467-1538), who is spoken of as Comes Palatinus, was a
voluminous writer, and Robert Freelove in 1536 makes a copy
of Lully's works, which he values at 20. In 1550 he trans-
lates Bacon's "Radix Mundi," and seems to have been living

I Tlxfi frma at tjttj llv f,J,, ,f iht aril,, tiltml lh, >
I +h(li /ujfin lied yftrre, vccrpt thmt hate ftim with ihtt. i


(li'i'iiuiilil Scot's "Discoverie of Witchcraft,"




in the Savoy in 1566. The issue of base coin in Henry and
Edward's reigns produced the usual result of a plentiful crop
of alchemists. Men of all classes joined in the search for
riches, from the yeomen of Kent to the treasurer of England.
The Queen accepted the dedication of many of the works on
alchemy, and perhaps with propriety, for the philosopher's


(Ashmuk, " Thcati-'m ni ihiml-nm Britannicum,"

stone was, as Jonson says in the Alchemist, "a wealth unfit
for any private subject " ; and the fate prophesied to its OAvner
was no unlikely one


"You may come to end

The remnant of your days in a loathed prison
By speaking of it."



The work of Thomas ( 'harnock gives an interesting account
of the Avay in which he proceeded. The potter makes him
some large vessels for furnaces, and he has to tell him for
what they are to be used. Then the carpenter makes a stand
for them; and, lastly, lie has to go to Chiddingfold in Surrey
to the glass-blower to get his vessels blown. Lastly, we have
an account of his troubles and trials ending up with the
neighbouring gentleman who impresses him to serve for the
relief of Calais, when he breaks up his furnaces with a
hatchet, and marches forth " with a cross upon his back " to
serve as a soldier. A note in one of the Sloane MSS. tells
that the price of a glass body for a still, i.e.. a wide-necked
flask, was 2s. Gd. for the gallon size, or Is. Gd. for a potell, at
this period. It must be said that some of the alchemists had
minor secrets not to bo disdained by any women ; " water to
cleanse and keep bright the skin and flesh, a precious water
for purifying and preserving the teeth, etc.," are among the
secrets imparted to Queen Elizabeth by one of them, Ralph
Rabbard, in 1574. A London haberdasher translates Lully ; a
Bristol customer forms a manuscript library of alchemy ; the
" Master of the Engynes " has other translations made for him;
the Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity resigns his chair to
study it more freely facts like these testify to the widespread
interest. In truth, though we cannot yet discern it, the birth
of science was at hand.
Paracei- p or fifteen years an extraordinary man, Paracelsus (152G-

SUS 3,11 d

science. 1541), held the attention of Europe. The grossness of his
language and his hearty animalism are the things that strike
a modern observer most; but in his own time, amony the
men hit so hard by the " Epistolae Obscurorum Yirorum,"
neither his language, his gluttony, nor his drunkenness would
be so great as to be noticeable. What was extraordinary was
his bold revolt against authority, and the application, in some
measure, of common sense to medicine. We are chiefly con-
cerned with him here because he gave publicity to a new
theory of the chemical elements of bodies. The medieval
theory was that metals consisted of mercury and sulphur, the
impurities of which made the difference between them, while
earths were bodies of a different nature. The theory after
Paracelsus seems to have been that all bodies consisted of




mercury, sulphur, and salt, to which was soon added phlegm.
The sulphur of the body was the inflammable part of it, the
mercury was that which could be sublimed or collected from
the smoke, and the salt was the ash or earthy substance left
when it was burnt. These are the chemical elements against
the theory of which Boyle wrote the " Sceptical Chymist."
Another characteristic of Paracelsus was his unbridled imagin-


(Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.)

ation. A whole mythology of elves and salamanders is described
in his works. The " homunculus " of Goethe, the flower re-
vived from its burnt ashes of Sir Thomas Browne, the weapon-
salve, demogorgon, etc., of other writers, all passed through or
sprung from Paracelsus. Tf he was in one sense a great man,
he was in every way a great charlatan.

From his time alchemy became the peculiar property of
charlatans and visionaries. Typical examples are found in the



Dee and famous association of Dee and Kelly. The latter, an almost
uneducated man, is first heard of in 1578 as an alchemical
writer; in 1580 Ins ears were clipped for coining base money;
in 1582 he became associated with Dee in magic and alchemy,
and in 1583 they went abroad. In December 1580, Kelly
wrought the projection, and gave away a large number of gold
rings on his daughter's marriage ; and when, after various
adventures, Dee left him and returned to England, Kelly was
imprisoned by the Emperor. He was finally killed in endeavouring
to escape, 1595. Dee, on the other hand, was the son of a
servant of Henry VIII., and became known first as a mathe-
matician, writing of algebra, astronomy, astrology, and geometry.
At about the age of forty his attention seems to have been turned
towards the Neo-Platonist writers, and he wrote an extraordinary
little book called " Monas Hieroglyphica " at Antwerp, 1565, ad-
dressed to the Emperor Maximilian, on the properties and parts of
the alchemical sign for mercury. After visiting this Emperor he
returned to England, and had an interview with the Queen
early in 1568, in which he imparted to her the great
secret contained in that work. He now seems to have

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 39 of 68)