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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In the gallery was painted the genealogy of the Kings of England;
from this place one goes into the garden, encompassed with a ditch
full of water, large enough for one to have the pleasure of going in
a boat and rowing between the shrubs; here are great variety of
trees and plants, labyrinths made with a great deal of labour, a JET
D'EAU, with its basin of white marble, and columns and pyramids of
wood and other materials up and down the garden. After seeing
these, we were led by the gardener into the summer-house, in the
lower part of which, built semicircularly, are the twelve Roman
emperors in white marble, and a table of touchstone; the upper part
of it is set round with cisterns of lead, into which the water is
conveyed through pipes, so that fish may be kept in them, and in
summer-time they are very convenient for bathing. In another room
for entertainment, very near this, and joined to it by a little
bridge, was an oval table of red marble. We were not admitted to
see the apartments of this palace, there being nobody to show it, as
the family was in town, attending the funeral of their lord. {10}

Hoddesdon, a village.

Ware, a market town.

Puckeridge, a village; this was the first place where we observed
that the beds at inns were made by the waiters.

Camboritum, Cantabrigium and Cantabrigia, now called Cambridge, a
celebrated town, so named from the river Cam, which after washing
the western side, playing through islands, turns to the east, and
divides the town into two parts, which are joined by a bridge,
whence its modern name - formerly it had the Saxon one of
Grantbridge. Beyond this bridge is an ancient and large castle,
said to be built by the Danes: on this side, where far the greater
part of the town stands, all is splendid; the streets fine, the
churches numerous, and those seats of the Muses, the colleges, most
beautiful; in these a great number of learned men are supported, and
the studies of all polite sciences and languages flourish.

I think proper to mention some few things about the foundation of
this University and its colleges. Cantaber, a Spaniard, is thought
to have first instituted this academy 375 years before Christ, and
Sebert, King of the East Angles, to have restored it A.D. 630. It
was afterwards subverted in the confusion under the Danes, and lay
long neglected, till upon the Norman Conquest everything began to
brighten up again: from that time inns and halls for the convenient
lodging of students began to be built, but without any revenues
annexed to them.

The first college, called Peter House, was built and endowed by Hugh
Balsam, Bishop of Ely, A.D. 1280; and, in imitation of him, Richard
Badew, with the assistance of Elizabeth Burke, Countess of Clare and
Ulster, founded Clare Hall in 1326; Mary de St. Paul, Countess of
Pembroke, Pembroke Hall in 1343; the Monks of Corpus Christi, the
college of the same name, though it has besides that of Bennet; John
Craudene, Trinity Hall, 1354; Edmond Gonville, in 1348, and John
Caius, a physician in our times, Gonville and Caius College; King
Henry VI., King's College, in 1441, adding to it a chapel that may
justly claim a place among the most beautiful buildings in the
world. On its right side is a fine library, where we saw the "Book
of Psalms" in manuscript, upon parchment four spans in length and
three broad, taken from the Spaniards at the siege of Cadiz, and
thence brought into England with other rich spoils. Margaret of
Anjou, his wife, founded Queen's College, 1448, at the same time
that John Alcock, Bishop of Ely, built Jesus College; Robert
Woodlarke, Catherine Hall; Margaret of Richmond, mother of King
Henry VII., Christ's and St. John's Colleges, about 1506; Thomas
Audley, Chancellor of England, Magdalen College, much increased
since both in buildings and revenue by Christopher Wray, Lord Chief
Justice; and the most potent King Henry VIII. erected Trinity
College for religion and polite letters - in its chapel is the tomb
of Dr. Whitacre, with an inscription in gold letters upon marble;
Emanuel College, built in our own times by the most honourable and
prudent Sir Walter Mildmay, one of Her Majesty's Privy Council; and
lastly, Sidney College, now first building by the executors of the
Lady Frances Sidney, {11} Countess of Sussex.

We must note here that there is certain sect in England called
Puritans; these, according to the doctrine of the Church of Geneva,
reject all ceremonies anciently held, and admit of neither organs
nor tombs in their places of worship, and entirely abhor all
difference in rank among Churchmen, such as bishops, deans, &c.;
they were first named Puritans by the Jesuit Sandys. They do not
live separate, but mix with those of the Church of England in the

Potton, a village.

Ampthill, a town; here we saw immense numbers of rabbits, which are
reckoned as good as hares, and are very well tasted.

We passed through the towns of Woburn, Leighton, Aylesbury, and

Oxonium, Oxford, the famed Athens of England; that glorious seminary
of learning and wisdom, whence religion, politeness, and letters,
are abundantly dispersed into all parts of the kingdom. The town is
remarkably fine, whether you consider the elegance of its private
buildings, the magnificence of its public ones, or the beauty and
wholesomeness of its situation, which is on a plain, encompassed in
such a manner with hills, shaded with wood, as to be sheltered on
the one hand from the sickly south, and on the other from the
blustering west, but open to the east, that blows serene weather,
and to the north, the preventer of corruption, from which, in the
opinion of some, it formerly obtained the appellation of Bellositum.
This town is watered by two rivers, the Cherwell and the Isis,
vulgarly called the Ouse; and though these streams join in the same
channel, yet the Isis runs more entire and with more rapidity
towards the south, retaining its name till it meets the Thame, which
it seems long to have sought, at Wallingford; thence, called by the
compound name of Thames, it flows the prince of all British rivers,
of whom we may justly say, as the ancients did of the Euphrates,
that it both sows and waters England.

The colleges in this famous University are as follows:-

In the reign of Henry III., Walter Merton, Bishop of Rochester,
removed the college he had founded in Surrey, 1274, to Oxford,
enriched it, and named it Merton College; and soon after, William,
Archdeacon of Durham, restored, with additions, that building of
Alfred's now called University College; in the reign of Edward I.,
John Baliol, King of Scotland, or, as some will have it, his
parents, founded Baliol College; in the reign of Edward II., Walter
Stapleton, Bishop of Exeter, founded Exeter College and Hart Hall;
and, in imitation of him, the King, King's College, commonly called
Oriel, and St. Mary's Hall; next, Philippa, wife of Edward III.,
built Queen's College; and Simon Islip, Archbishop of Canterbury,
Canterbury College; William Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester, raised
that magnificent structure called New College; Magdalen College was
built by William Wainflete, Bishop of Winchester, a noble edifice,
finely situated and delightful for its walks; at the same time,
Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, that great encourager of learning,
built the Divinity School very splendidly, and over it a library, to
which he gave an hundred and twenty-nine very choice books,
purchased at a great price from Italy, but the public has long since
been robbed of the use of them by the avarice of particulars:
Lincoln College; All Souls' College; St. Bernard's College; Brazen-
Nose College, founded by William Smith, Bishop of Lincoln, in the
reign of Henry VII.; its revenues were augmented by Alexander Nowel,
Dean of St. Paul's, London; upon the gate of this college is fixed a
nose of brass; Corpus Christi College, built by Richard Fox, Bishop
of Winchester - under his picture in the College chapel are lines
importing that it is the exact representation of his person and

Christ's Church, the largest and most elegant of them all, was begun
on the ground of St. Frideswide's Monastery, by Thomas Wolsey,
Cardinal of York, to which Henry VIII. joined Canterbury College,
settled great revenues upon it, and named it Christ's Church; the
same great prince, out of his own treasury, to the dignity of the
town and ornament of the University, made the one a bishoprie, and
instituted professorships in the other.

Jesus College, built by Hugh Price, Doctor of Laws.

That fine edifice, the Public Schools, was entirely raised by Queen
Mary, and adorned with various inscriptions.

Thus far of the colleges and halls, which for the beauty of their
buildings, their rich endowments, and copious libraries, excel all
the academies in the Christian world. We shall add a little of the
academies themselves, and those that inhabit them.

These students lead a life almost monastic; for as the monks had
nothing in the world to do but when they had said their prayers at
stated hours to employ themselves in instructive studies, no more
have these. They are divided into three tables: the first is
called the Fellows' table, to which are admitted earls, barons,
gentlemen, doctors, and Masters of Arts, but very few of the latter-
-this is more plentifully and expensively served than the others;
the second is for Masters of Arts, Bachelors, some gentlemen, and
eminent citizens; the third for people of low condition. While the
rest are at dinner or supper in a great hall, where they are all
assembled, one of the students reads aloud the Bible, which is
placed on a desk in the middle of the hall, and this office every
one of them takes upon himself in his turn. As soon as grace is
said after each meal, every one is at liberty either to retire to
his own chambers or to walk in the College garden, there being none
that has not a delightful one. Their habit is almost the same as
that of the Jesuits, their gowns reaching down to their ankles,
sometimes lined with fur; they wear square caps. The doctors,
Masters of Arts, and professors, have another kind of gown that
distinguishes them. Every student of any considerable standing has
a key to the College library, for no college is without one.

In an out-part of the town are the remains of a pretty large
fortification, but quite in ruins. We were entertained at supper
with an excellent concert, composed of a variety of instruments.

The next day we went as far as the Royal Palace of Woodstock, where
King Ethelred formerly held a Parliament, and enacted certain laws.
This palace, abounding in magnificence, was built by Henry I., to
which he joined a very large park, enclosed with a wall; according
to John Rosse, the first park in England. In this very palace the
present reigning Queen Elizabeth, before she was confined to the
Tower, was kept prisoner by her sister Mary. While she was detained
here, in the utmost peril of her life, she wrote with a piece of
charcoal the following verse, composed by herself, upon a window

"O Fortune! how thy restless wavering state
Hath fraught with cares my troubled wit!
Witness this present prison whither fate
Hath borne me, and the joys I quit.
Thou causedest the guilty to be loosed
From bands wherewith are innocents enclosed;
Causing the guiltless to be strait reserved,
And freeing those that death had well deserved:
But by her envy can be nothing wrought,
So God send to my foes all they have thought.
A.D., M.D.L.V."
"Elizabeth, Prisoner.

Not far from this palace are to be seen, near a spring of the
brightest water, the ruins of the habitation of Rosamond Clifford,
whose exquisite beauty so entirely captivated the heart of King
Henry II. that he lost the thought of all other women; she is said
to have been poisoned at last by the Queen. All that remains of her
tomb of stone, the letters of which are almost worn out, is the

" . . . Adorent,
Utque tibi detur requies Rosamunda precamur."

The rhyming epitaph following was probably the performance of some

"Hic jacet in tumba Rosamundi non Rosamunda,
Non redolet sed olet, quae redolere solet."

Returning from hence to Oxford, after dinner we proceeded on our
journey, and passed through Ewhelme, a royal palace, in which some
alms-people are supported by an allowance from the Crown.

Nettlebed, a village.

We went through the little town of Henley; from hence the Chiltern
Hills bear north in a continued ridge, and divide the counties of
Oxford and Buckingham.

We passed Maidenhead.

Windsor, a royal castle, supposed to have been begun by King Arthur,
its buildings much increased by Edward III. The situation is
entirely worthy of being a royal residence, a more beautiful being
scarce to be found; for, from the brow of a gentle rising, it enjoys
the prospect of an even and green country; its front commands a
valley extended every way, and chequered with arable lands and
pasturage, clothed up and down with groves, and watered by that
gentlest of rivers, the Thames; behind rise several hills, but
neither steep nor very high, crowned with woods, and seeming
designed by Nature herself for the purpose of hunting.

The Kings of England, invited by the deliciousness of the place,
very often retire hither; and here was born the conqueror of France,
the glorious King Edward III., who built the castle new from the
ground, and thoroughly fortified it with trenches, and towers of
square stone, and, having soon after subdued in battle John, King of
France, and David, King of Scotland, he detained them both prisoners
here at the same time. This castle, besides being the Royal Palace,
and having some magnificent tombs of the Kings of England, is famous
for the ceremonies belonging to the Knights of the Garter. This
Order was instituted by Edward III., the same who triumphed so
illustriously over John, King of France. The Knights of the Garter
are strictly chosen for their military virtues, and antiquity of
family; they are bound by solemn oath and vow to mutual and
perpetual friendship among themselves, and to the not avoiding any
danger whatever, or even death itself, to support, by their joint
endeavours, the honour of the Society; they are styled Companions of
the Garter, from their wearing below the left knee a purple garter,
inscribed in letters of gold with "HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE," I.E.,
"Evil to him that evil thinks." This they wear upon the left leg,
in memory of one which, happening to untie, was let fall by a great
lady, passionately beloved by Edward, while she was dancing, and was
immediately snatched up by the King, who, to do honour to the lady,
not out of any trifling gallantry, but with a most serious and
honourable purpose, dedicated it to the legs of the most
distinguished nobility. The ceremonies of this Society are
celebrated every year at Windsor on St. George's Day, the tutelar
saint of the Order, the King presiding; and the custom is that the
Knights Companions should hang up their helmet and shield, with
their arms blazoned on it, in some conspicuous part of the church.

There are three principal and very large courts in Windsor Castle,
which give great pleasure to the beholders: the first is enclosed
with most elegant buildings of white stone, flat-roofed, and covered
with lead; here the Knights of the Garter are lodged; in the middle
is a detached house, remarkable for its high tower, which the
governor inhabits. In this is the public kitchen, well furnished
with proper utensils, besides a spacious dining-room, where all the
poor Knights eat at the same table, for into this Society of the
Garter, the King and Sovereign elects, at his own choice, certain
persons, who must be gentlemen of three descents, and such as, for
their age and the straitness of their fortunes, are fitter for
saying their prayers than for the service of war; to each of them is
assigned a pension of eighteen pounds per annum and clothes. The
chief institution of so magnificent a foundation is, that they
should say their daily prayers to God for the King's safety, and the
happy administration for the kingdom, to which purpose they attend
the service, meeting twice every day at chapel. The left side of
this court is ornamented by a most magnificent chapel of one hundred
and thirty-four paces in length, and sixteen in breadth; in this are
eighteen seats fitted up in the time of Edward III. for an equal
number of Knights: this venerable building is decorated with the
noble monuments of Edward IV., Henry VI., and VIII., and of his wife
Queen Jane. It receives from royal liberality the annual income of
two thousand pounds, and that still much increased by the
munificence of Edward III. and Henry VII. The greatest princes in
Christendom have taken it for the highest honour to be admitted into
the Order of the Garter; and since its first institution about
twenty kings, besides those of England, who are the sovereigns of
it, not to mention dukes and persons of the greatest figure, have
been of it. It consists of twenty-six Companions.

In the inward choir of the chapel are hung up sixteen coats-of-arms,
swords, and banners; among which are those of Charles V. and
Rodolphus II., Emperors; of Philip of Spain; Henry III. of France;
Frederic II. of Denmark, &c.; of Casimir, Count Palatine of the
Rhine; and other Christian princes who have been chosen into this

In the back choir, or additional chapel, are shown preparations made
by Cardinal Wolsey, who was afterwards capitally punished, {12} for
his own tomb; consisting of eight large brazen columns placed round
it, and nearer the tomb four others in the shape of candlesticks;
the tomb itself is of white and black marble; all which are
reserved, according to report, for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth;
the expenses already made for that purpose are estimated at upwards
of 60,000 pounds. In the same chapel is the surcoat {13} of Edward
III., and the tomb of Edward Fynes, Earl of Lincoln, Baron Clinton
and Say, Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, and formerly
Lord High Admiral of England.

The second court of Windsor Castle stands upon higher ground, and is
enclosed with walls of great strength, and beautified with fine
buildings and a tower; it was an ancient castle, of which old annals
speak in this manner: King Edward, A.D. 1359, began a new building
in that part of the Castle of Windsor where he was born; for which
reason he took care it should be decorated with larger and finer
edifices than the rest. In this part were kept prisoners John, King
of France, and David, King of Scots, over whom Edward triumphed at
one and the same time: it was by their advice, struck with the
advantage of its situation, and with the sums paid for their ransom,
that by degrees this castle stretched to such magnificence, as to
appear no longer a fortress, but a town of proper extent, and
inexpugnable to any human force. This particular part of the castle
was built at the sole expense of the King of Scotland, except one
tower, which, from its having been erected by the Bishop of
Winchester, Prelate of the Order, is called Winchester Tower; {14}
there are a hundred steps to it, so ingeniously contrived that
horses can easily ascend them; it is a hundred and fifty paces in
circuit; within it are preserved all manner of arms necessary for
the defence of the place.

The third court is much the largest of any, built at the expense of
the captive King of France; as it stands higher, so it greatly
excels the two former in splendour and elegance; it has one hundred
and forty-eight paces in length, and ninety-seven in breadth; in the
middle of it is a fountain of very clear water, brought under
ground, at an excessive expense, from the distance of four miles.
Towards the east are magnificent apartments destined for the royal
household; towards the west is a tennis-court for the amusement of
the Court; on the north side are the royal apartments, consisting of
magnificent chambers, halls, and bathing-rooms, {15} and a private
chapel, the roof of which is embellished with golden roses and
FLEURS-DE-LIS: in this, too, is that very large banqueting-room,
seventy-eight paces long, and thirty wide, in which the Knights of
the Garter annually celebrate the memory of their tutelar saint, St.
George, with a solemn and most pompous service.

From hence runs a walk of incredible beauty, three hundred and
eighty paces in length, set round on every side with supporters of
wood, which sustain a balcony, from whence the nobility and persons
of distinction can take the pleasure of seeing hunting and hawking
in a lawn of sufficient space; for the fields and meadows, clad with
variety of plants and flowers, swell gradually into hills of
perpetual verdure quite up to the castle, and at bottom stretch out
in an extended plain, that strikes the beholders with delight.

Besides what has been already mentioned, there are worthy of notice
here two bathing-rooms, ceiled and wainscoted with looking-glass;
the chamber in which Henry VI. was born; Queen Elizabeth's
bedchamber, where is a table of red marble with white streaks; a
gallery everywhere ornamented with emblems and figures; a chamber in
which are the royal beds of Henry VII. and his Queen, of Edward VI.,
of Henry VIII., and of Anne Boleyn, all of them eleven feet square,
and covered with quilts shining with gold and silver; Queen
Elizabeth's bed, with curious coverings of embroidery, but not quite
so long or large as the others; a piece of tapestry, in which is
represented Clovis, King of France, with an angel presenting to him
the FLEURS-DE-LIS to be borne in his arms; for before his time the
Kings of France bore three toads in their shield, instead of which
they afterwards placed three FLEURS-DE-LIS on a blue field; this
antique tapestry is said to have been taken from a King of France,
while the English were masters there. We were shown here, among
other things, the horn of a unicorn, of above eight spans and a half
in length, valued at above 10,000 pounds; the bird of paradise,
three spans long, three fingers broad, having a blue bill of the
length of half an inch, the upper part of its head yellow, the
nether part of a . . . colour; {16} a little lower from either side
of its throat stick out some reddish feathers, as well as from its
back and the rest of its body; its wings, of a yellow colour, are
twice as long as the bird itself; from its back grow out lengthways
two fibres or nerves, bigger at their ends, but like a pretty strong
thread, of a leaden colour, inclining to black, with which, as it
has not feet, it is said to fasten itself to trees when it wants to
rest; a cushion most curiously wrought by Queen Elizabeth's own

In the precincts of Windsor, on the other side the Thames, both
whose banks are joined by a bridge of wood, is Eton, a well-built
College, and famous school for polite letters, founded by Henry VI.;
where, besides a master, eight fellows and chanters, sixty boys are
maintained gratis. They are taught grammar, and remain in the
school till, upon trial made of their genius and progress in study,
they are sent to the University of Cambridge.

As we were returning to our inn, we happened to meet some country
people CELEBRATING THEIR HARVEST HOME; their last load of corn they
crown with flowers, having besides an image richly dressed, by
which, perhaps, they would signify Ceres; this they keep moving
about, while men and women, men and maid servants, riding through
the streets in the cart, shout as loud as they can till they arrive
at the barn. The farmers here do not bind up their corn in sheaves,
as they do with us, but directly as they have reaped or mowed it,
put it into carts, and convey it into their barns.

We went through the town of Staines.

Hampton Court, a Royal Palace, magnificently built with brick by
Cardinal Wolsey in ostentation of his wealth, where he enclosed five
very ample courts, consisting of noble edifices in very beautiful
work. Over the gate in the second area is the Queen's device, a
golden Rose, with this motto, "Dieu et mon Droit:" on the inward
side of this gate are the effigies of the twelve Roman Emperors in
plaster. The chief area is paved with square stone; in its centre
is a fountain that throws up water, covered with a gilt crown, on
the top of which is a statue of Justice, supported by columns of
black and white marble. The chapel of this palace is most splendid,

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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 3 of 9)