Paul Hentzner.

Travels in England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and Fragmenta regalia; or, Observations on Queen Elizabeth, her times and favourites online

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This etext was transcribed from the 1892 Cassell & Co. edition by
Jane Duff and proofed by David Price, email [email protected]

Travels in England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth by Paul
Hentzner AND Fragmenta Regalia by Sir Robert Naunton. 1892 Cassell



Queen Elizabeth herself, and London as it was in her time, with
sketches of Elizabethan England, and of its great men in the way of
social dignity, are here brought home to us by Paul Hentzner and Sir
Robert Naunton.

Paul Hentzner was a German lawyer, born at Crossen, in Brandenburg,
on the 29th of January, 1558. He died on the 1st January, 1623. In
1596, when his age was thirty-eight, he became tutor to a young
Silesian nobleman, with whom he set out in 1597 on a three years'
tour through Switzerland, France, England, and Italy. After his
return to Germany in 1600, he published, at Nuremberg, in 1612, a
description of what he had seen and thought worth record, written in
Latin, as "Itinerarium Germaniae, Galliae, Angliae, Italiae, cum
Indice Locorum, Rerum atque Verborum."

Horace Walpole caused that part of Hentzner's Itinerary which tells
what he saw in England to be translated by Richard Bentley, son of
the famous scholar, and he printed at Strawberry Hill two hundred
and twenty copies. In 1797 "Hentzner's Travels in England" were
edited, together with Sir Robert Naunton's "Fragmenta Regalia," in
the volume from which they are here reprinted, with notes by the
translator and the editor.

Sir Robert Naunton was of an old family with large estates, settled
at Alderton, in Suffolk. He was at Cambridge in the latter years of
Elizabeth's reign, having entered as Fellow Commoner at Trinity
College, and obtained a Fellowship at Trinity Hall. Naunton went to
Scotland in 1589 with an uncle, William Ashby, whom Queen Elizabeth
sent thither as Ambassador, and was despatched to Elizabeth's court
from Scotland as a trusty messenger. In 1596-7 he was in France,
and corresponded with the Earl of Essex, who was his friend. After
the fall of Essex he returned to Cambridge, and was made Proctor of
the University in 1601, three years after Paul Hentzner's visit to
England. Then he became Public Orator at Cambridge, and by a speech
made to King James at Hinchinbrook won his Majesty's praise for
Latin and learning. He came to court in the service of Sir James
Overbury, obtained the active friendship of George Villiers Duke of
Buckingham, and was sworn as Secretary of State on the 8th January,
1617. The king afterwards gave Naunton the office of Master of the
Court of Wards and Liveries.

Sir Robert Naunton wrote his recollections of the men who served
Queen Elizabeth when he was near the close of his own life. It was
after 1628, because he speaks of Edward Somerset, Earl of Worcester,
as dead, and before 1632, because he speaks of Sir William Knollys
living as the only Earl of Banbury. He was created Earl of Banbury
in 1626, and died in 1632. The "Fragmenta Regalia" were first
published in 1641, after Sir Robert's death. They were reprinted in
1642 and 1653, since which date they have appeared in various
collections. There was a good edition of them in 1870 among the
very valuable "English Reprints" for which we are indebted to
Professor Edward Arber.



We arrived at Rye, a small English seaport. Here, as soon as we
came on shore, we gave in our names to the notary of the place, but
not till he had demanded our business; and being answered, that we
had none but to see England, we were conducted to an inn, where we
were very well entertained; as one generally is in this country.

We took post-horses for London: it is surprising how swiftly they
run; their bridles are very light, and their saddles little more
than a span over.

Flimwell, a village: here we returned our first horses, and mounted
fresh ones.

We passed through Tunbridge, another village.

Chepstead, another village: here, for the second time, we changed

London, the head and metropolis of England: called by Tacitus,
Londinium; by Ptolemy, Logidinium; by Ammianus Marcellinus,
Lundinium; by foreigners, Londra, and Londres; it is the seat of the
British Empire, and the chamber of the English kings. This most
ancient city is the the county of Middlesex, the fruitfullest and
wholesomest soil in England. It is built on the river Thames, sixty
miles from the sea, and was originally founded, as all historians
agree, by Brutus, who, coming from Greece into Italy, thence into
Africa, next into France, and last into Britain, chose this
situation for the convenience of the river, calling it Troja Nova,
which name was afterwards corrupted into Trinovant. But when Lud,
the brother of Cassibilan, or Cassivelan, who warred against Julius
Caesar, as he himself mentions (lib. v. de Bell. Gall.), came to the
crown, he encompassed it with very strong walls, and towers very
artfully constructed, and from his own name called it Caier Lud,
I.E., Lud's City. This name was corrupted into that of Caerlunda,
and again in time, by change of language, into Londres. Lud, when
he died, was buried in this town, near that gate which is yet called
in Welsh, Por Lud - in Saxon, Ludesgate.

The famous river Thames owes part of its stream, as well as its
appellation, to the Isis; rising a little above Winchelcomb, and
being increased with several rivulets, unites both its waters and
its name to the Thame, on the other side of Oxford; thence, after
passing by London, and being of the utmost utility, from its
greatness and navigation, it opens into a vast arm of the sea, from
whence the tide, according to Gemma Frisius, flows and ebbs to the
distance of eighty miles, twice in twenty-five hours, and, according
to Polydore Vergil, above sixty miles twice in twenty-four hours.

This city being very large of itself, has very extensive suburbs,
and a fort called the Tower, of beautiful structure. It is
magnificently ornamented with public buildings and churches, of
which there are above one hundred and twenty parochial.

On the south is a bridge of stone eight hundred feet in length, of
wonderful work; it is supported upon twenty piers of square stone,
sixty feet high and thirty broad, joined by arches of about twenty
feet diameter. The whole is covered on each side with houses so
disposed as to have the appearance of a continued street, not at all
of a bridge.

Upon this is built a tower, on whose top the heads of such as have
been executed for high treason are placed on iron spikes: we
counted above thirty.

Paulus Jovius, in his description of the most remarkable towns in
England, says all are obscured by London: which, in the opinion of
many, is Caesar's city of the Trinobantes, the capital of all
Britain, famous for the commerce of many nations; its houses are
elegantly built, its churches fine, its towns strong, and its riches
and abundance surprising. The wealth of the world is wafted to it
by the Thames, swelled by the tide, and navigable to merchant ships
through a safe and deep channel for sixty miles, from its mouth to
the city: its banks are everywhere beautified with fine country
seats, woods, and farms; below is the royal palace of Greenwich;
above, that of Richmond; and between both, on the west of London,
rise the noble buildings of Westminster, most remarkable for the
courts of justice, the parliament, and St. Peter's church, enriched
with the royal tombs. At the distance of twenty miles from London
is the castle of Windsor, a most delightful retreat of the Kings of
England, as well as famous for several of their tombs, and for the
ceremonial of the Order of the Garter. This river abounds in swans,
swimming in flocks: the sight of them, and their noise, are vastly
agreeable to the fleets that meet them in their course. It is
joined to the city by a bridge of stone, wonderfully built; is never
increased by any rains, rising only with the tide, and is everywhere
spread with nets for taking salmon and shad. Thus far Paulus

Polydore Vergil affirms that London has continued to be a royal
city, and the capital of the kingdom, crowded with its own
inhabitants and foreigners, abounding in riches, and famous for its
great trade, from the time of King Archeninus, or Erchenvinus. Here
the kings are crowned, and solemnly inaugurated, and the council of
the nation, or parliament, is held. The government of the city is
lodged, by ancient grant of the Kings of Britain, in twenty-four
aldermen - that is, seniors: these annually elect out of their own
body a mayor and two sheriffs, who determine causes according to
municipal laws. It has always had, as indeed Britain in general
has, a great number of men of learning, much distinguished for their

The walls are pierced with six gates, which, as they were rebuilt,
acquired new names. Two look westward:

1. Ludgate, the oldest, so called from King Lud, whose name is yet
to be seen, cut in the stone over the arch on the side; though
others imagine it rather to have been named Fludgate, from a stream
over which it stands, like the Porta Fluentana at Rome. It has been
lately repaired by Queen Elizabeth, whose statue is placed on the
opposite side. And,

2. Newgate, the best edifice of any; so called from being new
built, whereas before it was named Chamberlain gate. It is the
public prison.

On the north are four:

1. Aldersgate, as some think from alder trees; as others, from
Aldericius, a Saxon.

2. Cripplegate, from a hospital for the lame.

3. Moorgate, from a neighbouring morass, now converted into a
field, first opened by Francetius {1} the mayor, A.D. 1414.

4. And Bishopsgate, from some bishop: this the German merchants of
the Hans society were obliged by compact to keep in repair, and in
times of danger to defend. They were in possession of a key to open
or shut it, so that upon occasion they could come in, or go out, by
night or by day.

There is only one to the east:

Aldgate, that is, Oldgate, from its antiquity; though others think
it to have been named Elbegate.

Several people believe that there were formerly two gates (besides
that to the bridge) towards the Thames.

1. Billingsgate, now a cothon, or artificial port, for the
reception of ships.

2. Dourgate, VULGO Dowgate, I.E., Water-gate.

The cathedral of St. Paul was founded by Ethelbert, King of the
Saxons, and being from time to time re-edified, increased to
vastness and magnificence, and in revenue so much, that it affords a
plentiful support to a bishop, dean, and precentor, treasurer, four
archdeacons, twenty-nine prebendaries, and many others. The roof of
this church, as of most others in England, with the adjoining
steeple, is covered with lead.

On the right side of the choir is the marble tomb of Nicholas Bacon,
with his wife. Not far from this is a magnificent monument,
ornamented with pyramids of marble and alabaster, with this

Sacred to the memory of

Sir Christopher Hatton, son of William, grandson of John, of the
most ancient family of the Hattons; one of the fifty gentlemen
pensioners to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth: Gentleman of the privy
chamber; captain of the guards; one of the Privy Council, and High
Chancellor of England, and of the University of Oxford: who, to the
great grief of his Sovereign, and of all good men, ended this life
religiously, after having lived unmarried to the age of fifty-one,
at his house in Holborn, on the 20th of November, A.D. 1591.

William Hatton, knight, his nephew by his sister's side, and by
adoption his son and heir, most sorrowfully raised this tomb, as a
mark of his duty.

On the left hand is the marble monument of William Herbert, Earl of
Pembroke, and his lady: and near it, that of John, Duke of
Lancaster, with this inscription

Here sleeps in the Lord, John of Gant, so called from the city of
the same name of Flanders, where he was born, fourth son of Edward
the Third, King of England, and created by his father Earl of
Richmond. He was thrice married; first to Blanche, daughter and
heiress of Henry Duke of Lancaster; by her he received an immense
inheritance, and became not only Duke of Lancaster, but Earl of
Leicester, Lincoln, and Derby, of whose race are descended many
emperors, kings, princes, and nobles. His second wife was
Constance, who is here buried, daughter and heiress of Peter, King
of Castile and Leon, in whose right he most justly {2} took the
style of King of Castile and Leon. She brought him one only
daughter, Catherine, of whom, by Henry, are descended the Kings of
Spain. His third wife was Catherine, of a knight's family, a woman
of great beauty, by whom he had a numerous progeny; from which is
descended, by the mother's side, Henry the Seventh, the most prudent
King of England, by whose most happy marriage with Elizabeth,
daughter of Edward the Fourth, of the line of York, the two royal
lines of Lancaster and York are united, to the most desired
tranquillity of England.

The most illustrious prince, John, surnamed Plantagenet, King of
Castile and Leon, Duke of Lancaster, Earl of Richmond, Leicester,
and Derby, Lieutenant of Aquitain, High Steward of England, died in
the twenty-first year of Richard II., A.D. 1398.

A little farther, almost at the entrance of the choir, in a certain
recess, are two small stone chests, one of which is thus inscribed:

Here lies Seba, King of the East Saxons, who was converted to the
faith by St. Erkenwald, Bishop of London, A.D. 677.

On the other:

Here lies Ethelred, King of the Angles, son of King Edgar,

On whom St. Dustan is said to have denounced vengeance, on his
coronation day, in the following words:- "Inasmuch as thou hast
aspired to the throne by the death of thy brother, against whose
blood the English, along with thy infamous mother, conspired, the
sword shall not pass from thy house! but rage all the days of thy
life, afflicting all thy generation, till thy kingdom shall be
translated to another, whose manner and language the people under
thee knoweth not. Nor shall thy sin be done away till after long
chastisement, nor the sin of thy mother, nor the sin of those men
who assisted in thy wicked council."

All which came to pass as predicted by the saint; for after being
worsted and put to flight by Sueno King of the Danes, and his son
Canute, and at last closely besieged in London, he died miserably
A.D. 1017, after he had reigned thirty-six years in great

There is besides in the middle of the church a tomb made of brass,
of some Bishop of London, named William, who was in favour with
Edward, King of England, and afterwards made counsellor to King
William. He was bishop sixteen years, and died A.D. 1077. Near
this is the following inscription:

Virtue survives the funeral.
To the memory of
Thomas Linacre, an eminent physician, John Caius placed
this monument.

On the lower part of it is this inscription in gold letters:

Thomas Linacre, physician to King Henry VIII., a man learned in the
Greek and Latin languages, and particularly skilful in physick, by
which he restored many from a state of languishment and despair to
life. He translated with extraordinary eloquence many of Galen's
works into Latin; and published, a little before his death, at the
request of his friends, a very valuable book on the correct
structure of the Latin tongue. He founded in perpetuity in favour
of students in physick, two public lectures at Oxford, and one at
Cambridge. In this city he brought about, by his own industry, the
establishing of a College of Physicians, of which he was elected the
first president. He was a detester of all fraud and deceit, and
faithful in his friendships; equally dear to men of all ranks: he
went into orders a few years before his death, and quitted this life
full of years, and much lamented, A.D. 1524, on the 29th of October.

There are many tombs in this church, but without any inscriptions.
It has a very fine organ, which, at evening prayer, accompanied with
other instruments, is delightful.

In the suburb to the west, joined to the city by a continual row of
palaces belonging to the chief nobility, of a mile in length, and
lying on the side next the Thames, is the small town of Westminster;
originally called Thorney, from its thorn bushes, but now
Westminster, from its aspect and its monastery. The church is
remarkable for the coronation and burial of the Kings of England.
Upon this spot is said formerly to have stood a temple of Apollo,
which was thrown down by an earthquake in the time of Antoninus
Pius; from the ruins of which Sebert, King of the East Saxons,
erected another to St. Peter: this was subverted by the Danes, and
again renewed by Bishop Dunstan, who gave it to a few monks.
Afterwards, King Edward the Confessor built it entirely new, with
the tenth of his whole revenue, to be the place of his own burial,
and a convent of Benedictine monks; and enriched it with estates
dispersed all over England.

In this church the following things are worthy of notice:

In the first choir, the tomb of Anne of Cleves, wife of Henry VIII.,
without any inscription.

On the opposite side are two stone sepulchres:

(1) Edward, Earl of Lancaster, brother of Edward I.; (2) Ademar of
Valence, Earl of Pembroke, son of Ademar of Valence. Joining to
these is (3) that of Aveline, Countess of Lancaster.

In the second choir is the chair on which the kings are seated when
they are crowned; in it is enclosed a stone, said to be that on
which the patriarch Jacob slept when he dreamed he saw a ladder
reaching quite up into heaven. Some Latin verses are written upon a
tablet hanging near it; the sense of which is:

That if any faith is to be given to ancient chronicles, a stone of
great note is enclosed in this chair, being the same on which the
patriarch Jacob reposed when he beheld the miraculous descent of
angels. Edward I., the Mars and Hector of England, having conquered
Scotland, brought it from thence.

The tomb of Richard II. and his wife, of brass, gilt, and these
verses written round it:

Perfect and prudent, Richard, by right the Second,
Vanquished by Fortune, lies here now graven in stone,
True of his word, and thereto well renound:
Seemly in person, and like to Homer as one
In worldly prudence, and ever the Church in one
Upheld and favoured, casting the proud to ground,
And all that would his royal state confound.

Without the tomb is this inscription:

Here lies King Richard, who perished by a cruel death,
in the year 1369.
To have been happy is additional misery.

Near him is the monument of his queen, daughter of the Emperor

On the left hand is the tomb of Edward I., with this inscription:

Here lies Edward I., who humbled the Scots. A.D. 1308.
Be true to your engagements.

He reigned forty-six years.

The tomb of Edward III., of copper, gilt, with this epitaph:

Of English kings here lieth the beauteous flower
Of all before past, and myrror to them shall sue:
A merciful king, of peace conservator,
The third Edward, &c.

Besides the tomb are these words:

Edward III., whose fame has reached to heaven. A.D. 1377,
Fight for your country.

Here is shown his sword, eight feet in length, which they say he
used in the conquest of France.

His queen's epitaph:

Here lies Queen Philippa, wife of Edward III. Learn to live. A.D.

At a little distance, the tomb of Henry V., with this legend:

Henry, the scourge of France, lies in this tomb. Virtue subdues all
things. A.D. 1422.

Near this lies the coffin of Catherine, unburied, and to be opened
by anyone that pleases. On the outside is this inscription:

Fair Catherine is at length united to her lord. A.D. 1437.
Shun idleness.

The tomb of Henry III., of brass, gilt, with this epitaph:

Henry III., the founder of this cathedral. A.D. 1273. War is
delightful to the unexperienced.

It was this Henry who, one hundred and sixty years after Edward the
Confessor had built this church, took it down, and raised an entire
new one of beautiful architecture, supported by rows of marble
columns, and its roof covered with sheets of lead, a work of fifty
years before its completion. It has been much enlarged at the west
end by the abbots. After the expulsion of the monks, it experienced
many changes; first it had a dean and prebendaries; then a bishop,
who, having squandered the revenues, resigned it again to a dean.
In a little time, the monks with their abbot were reinstated by
Queen Mary; but, they being soon ejected again by authority of
parliament, it was converted into a cathedral church - nay, into a
seminary for the Church - by Queen Elizabeth, who instituted there
twelve prebendaries, an equal number of invalid soldiers, and forty
scholars; who at a proper time are elected into the universities,
and are thence transplanted into the Church and State.

Next to be seen is the tomb of Eleanor, daughter of Alphonso King of
Spain, and wife of Edward I., with this inscription:

This Eleanor was consort of Edward I.
A.D. 1298. Learn to die.

The tomb of Elizabeth, daughter of Henry VII.

In the middle of this chapel is the shrine of St. Edward, the last
King of the Saxons. It is composed of marble in mosaic: round it
runs this inscription in letters of gold:

The venerable king, St. Edward the Confessor,
A heroe adorned with every virtue.
He died on the 5th of January, 1065,
And mounted into Heaven.
Lift up your hearts.

The third choir, of surprising splendour and elegance, was added to
the east end by Henry VII. for a burying-place for himself and his
posterity. Here is to be seen his magnificent tomb, wrought of
brass and marble, with this epitaph:

Here lies Henry VII. of that name, formerly King of England, son of
Edmund, Earl of Richmond, who, ascending the throne on the twenty-
second day of August, was crowned on the thirtieth of October
following at Westminster, in the year of our Lord 1485. He died on
the twenty-first of April, in the fifty-third year of his age, after
a reign of twenty-two years and eight months wanting a day.

This monument is enclosed with rails of brass, with a long epitaph
in Latin verse.

Under the same tomb lies buried Edward VI., King of England, son of
Henry VIII. by Jane Seymour. He succeeded to his father when he was
but nine years old, and died A.T. 1553, on the 6th of July, in the
sixteenth year of his age, and of his reign the seventh, not without
suspicion of poison.

Mary was proclaimed queen by the people on the 19th of July, and
died in November, 1558, and is buried in some corner of the same
choir, without any inscription.

Queen Elizabeth.

Here lies Queen Elizabeth, daughter of Edward IV., sister of King
Edward V., wife of Henry VII., and the glorious mother of Henry
VIII. She died in the Tower of London, on the eleventh of February,
A.D. 1502, in the thirty-seventh year of her age.

Between the second and third choirs in the side-chapels, are the
tombs of Sebert, King of the East Saxons, who built this church with
stone: and

Of Margaret of Richmond, mother of Henry VII., grandmother of Henry
VIII.; she gave this monastery to the monks of Winbourne, {3} who
preached and taught grammar all England over, and appointed salaries
to two professors of divinity, one at Oxford, another at Cambridge,
where she founded two colleges to Christ and to John His disciple.
She died A.D. 1463, on the third of the calends of July.

And of Margaret, Countess of Lenox, grandmother of James VI., King
of Scotland.

William of Valance, half-brother of Henry III.

The Earl of Cornwall, brother of Edward III.

Upon another tomb is an honorary inscription for Frances, Duchess of
Suffolk. The sense of it is,

That titles, royal birth, riches, or a large family, are of no
That all are transitory; virtue alone resisting the funeral pile.
That this lady was first married to a duke, then to Stoke, a
And lastly, by the grave espoused to CHRIST.

The next is the tomb of Lord Russell, son of the Earl of Bedford,
whose lady composed the following Greek and Latin verses, and had
them engraved on the marble:-

How was I startled at the cruel feast,
By death's rude hands in horrid manner drest;
Such grief as sure no hapless woman knew,
When thy pale image lay before my view.
Thy father's heir in beauteous form arrayed

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Online LibraryPaul HentznerTravels in England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and Fragmenta regalia; or, Observations on Queen Elizabeth, her times and favourites → online text (page 1 of 9)