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Authorised Guide to the Tower of London online

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(foreign), thumb-screws, the Scavenger's Daughter for confining the
neck, hands, and feet, bilboes for ship use, and thumb-screws. Observe
also the so-called "Collar taken from the Spanish Armada," which however
was here in 1547, and has been in later times filled with lead to make
it more terrible. It was only a collar for detention of ordinary
prisoners. A conjectural model of the rack is also shown, but the only
pictorial authority for this instrument (at no time a legal punishment)
is a woodcut in Foxe's Martyrs, the illustrations for which were drawn
from German sources.

On the left hand are cases of European firearms of the first half of
the present century, and two cannon made for the Duke of Gloucester,
the son of Queen Anne. In the S.E. corner, on a platform, are several
early cannon, including one, and part of another, from the wreck of
the _Mary Rose_, sunk in action with the French off Spithead in 1545.
These display the early mode of construction of such weapons, namely;
bars of iron longitudinally welded together and encircled by hoops of
the same metal. On the window side in the recesses are wall pieces,
which belonged to the Honourable East India Company. The figure of Queen
Elizabeth is supposed to represent her as on her way to St. Paul's
Cathedral after the destruction of the Spanish Armada. Near the lift are
partizans carried by the Yeomen of the Guard, and round the pillars are
the sergeants' halberds used in the Army till about 1830. Observe the
kettledrums captured at the battle of Blenheim, 1704.

On the left hand observe the beheading axe, which has been here since
1687, also the block on which Lord Lovat, in 1747, lost his head at one
stroke for the share he took in the attempt of the Pretender in 1745.

Beyond this, against the wall, is a model by John Bell of a monument for
the Great Duke of Wellington. It was presented by the late Sir Daniel
Lysons, Constable of the Tower, 1890-1898. Still on the left hand, in a
glass case, is the soldier's cloak on which General Wolfe expired in the
moment of victory, at Quebec, 1759.

Beyond, in another case, is the uniform worn as Constable of the Tower
by the Great Duke of Wellington from 1826 until his death, in 1852.

Near this is a portion of the wooden pump of the _Mary Rose_, sunk
in action off the Isle of Wight in 1545.

In a case at the end of the room is a mass of fused gun flints, a relic
of the fire which in 1841 destroyed the Great Store in the Tower and
many thousand stand of arms, cannon, &c.

The staircase in the S.W. corner is now ascended leading to the great
upper chamber, generally known as the Council Chamber, 95 feet by 40
feet, and, like the smaller room, 21 feet high. Round this top floor
runs a passage cut in the thickness of the walls, with numerous openings
inwards opposite the windows, and widening somewhat when forming as
it does the triforium of St. John's Chapel. At the entrance are cases
containing velvet-covered brigandines and canvas-covered jacks, garments
which were much used in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, as giving
protection by means of numerous small plates of metal disposed between
the thicknesses of the material covering and lining them, and also great
flexibility. In the cases on the right hand are specimens of chain mail
in form of hoods, coats, sleeves, &c, mostly, if not all, of Eastern
origin. Observe also some bronze swords and other very early weapons.

Round the walls of the two rooms are arranged the various staff weapons
used in England and the continent. In the first enclosure on the left
are cases in which are ancient bronze tools, weapons, and ornaments from
various localities, stone implements and weapons, and a suit of bronze
armour from Cumæ, an ancient Greek settlement near Naples. In the centre
of the enclosure are grouped many varieties of staff weapons of the
fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries. Among them are boar
spears for the chase and for war, halberds, partizans, bills, glaives,
holy water sprinkles (a staff with a ball with spikes at its extremity),
and the 18 foot pikes of the Civil War period.

The first case on the left contains a fine archer's salade with its
original lining, from the de Cosson collection. A Venetian salade, with
the stamp of the maker of the Missaglia family, a heavy salade for
jousting, a combed morion and the tilting helmet of Sir Henry Lee, K.G.,
Master of the Armouries to Queen Elizabeth and James I. In the lower
case are finely engraved and parcel gilt chamfrons for horses' heads, a
gilt vamplate for the tilting lance belonging to Lord Chancellor Hatton,
an officer's gorget of the time of Queen Anne, and various pieces of
rich armour.

In the window recess behind are shields and horns. In the next enclosure
are three foot figures of the end of the fifteenth century and
commencement of the sixteenth century; the first holds a long-handled
axe as used for encounters on foot in _champ clos_. The second
holds a two-handled sword. The third suit is enriched with engraving,
and was formerly parcel gilt, but the helmet does not belong to the

In the centre of the room is an equestrian figure (III), the man wearing
a fine early sixteenth-century suit of armour, bearing the Nuremberg
stamp, and the horse protected by a barb richly repoussé, engraved, and
formerly silvered. The designs on this display the Burgundian cross
ragulé and the flint and steel. The steel or briquet is to be seen also
in the hinges and in the metal coverings for the reins. It will be
remembered that this design forms the _motif_ of the collar of the
Golden Fleece.

The next equestrian figure (IV) shows the fluted, or as it was called
crested, armour, of about 1500. The horse armour is also fluted. On the
right, in the centre of the room, are two armours which belonged to
Henry VIII. Of these the first (XXVIII) is that formerly described as
"rough from the hammer," though it has been milled or _glazed_ and
no hammer marks are visible. It is a complete suit for fighting on
foot in the lists, and comfort and ability to move about, have been
sacrificed to perfect protection. The suit weighs about 93 lbs., and
is composed of no less than 235 separate pieces of metal. Some details
of construction point to a Spanish influence in the style. The second
figure (XXIX), which wants the leg armour, is of the kind known as a
tonlet, and has a skirt of horizontal lames engraved. The helmet bears
the well-known stamp of the Missaglia family of armourers, and is very
curious and massive. This armour is also for fighting on foot in
_champ clos_ or the lists.

The next suit (VI) on the left is one of Henry VIII, and has been parcel
gilt; the weight of the man's armour is 81 lbs. The two foot figures are
those of a horseman and an officer of foot, both of Henry's time. The
first bears on it Nuremberg marks; the second has an engraving of the
Crucifixion on the left breast. The next equestrian figure (VII), also
of Henry VIII, much resembles the last, and has at its feet extra pieces
for the tilt yard. Other extra pieces which might be worn with these two
suits are in the Royal Armoury at Windsor Castle.

The suit (V) on the equestrian figure in the middle of the room is
one of the finest in existence. It was made by Conrad Seusenhofer,
one of a family of Augsburg armourers, and given in 1514 to Henry VIII
by the Emperor Maximilian. The man's armour is engraved with roses,
pomegranates, portcullises, and other badges of Henry VIII and his
first queen Katharine of Arragon, and has on the metal skirt which
imitates the cloth _bases_ of the time the letters H and K. The horse
armour, probably made afterwards in England by one of Henry's German
armourers, is also covered with engraving, and has panels on which are
depicted scenes from the life and death of St. George and St. Barbara,
both military saints. The whole armour was formerly washed with silver,
of which some traces still remain.

In the enclosure on the left is a mounted figure (XI) of about 1550,
and in front are a pistol shield, one of 80 made for Henry VIII, and
a helmet with grotesque mask formerly attributed to Will Somers, the
king's jester, but since identified as a present from the Emperor
Maximilian. In the next cases are portions of armour of Henry VIII; also
of a puffed and engraved suit of the same time, and of a richly worked
russet and gilt suit of George Earl of Cumberland, who in Elizabeth's
time fitted out at his own cost eleven expeditions against Spain. In the
archway are some combined weapons having gun barrels in the staff and
pole-axe heads; also the three-barrelled weapon formerly called Henry
VIII's walking staff. In the corner of the room are an old German
tilting saddle, which protected the legs of the rider, who stood up in
his stirrups, a large tilting lance shown as far back as the days of
Elizabeth as that of Charles Brandon Duke of Suffolk. At the end of the
room are five suits of the second third of the sixteenth century. The
centre one, which is damascened, has in front of it an extra gorget, and
a placcate to strengthen the breast. The next figure (XXX) is a large
suit of armour 6 feet 10-1/2 inches in height of the time of Henry VIII,
though formerly incorrectly called that of John of Gaunt, of whom, of
course, no armour exists. This suit weighs about 66 lbs.

Descending the room in the first enclosure is the armour (IX) of the
Earl of Worcester, who died 1589. This suit is very massive, the breast
and back plates together weighing 40 lbs. 3 oz. In the same enclosure
are two figures made up of Maximilian armour, and a bowman and a
musketeer of the Earl of Worcester's time. In the archways will be seen
early forms of guns and pistols of various types and swords and other

The next mounted figure (VIII) (formerly called Sir Henry Lee) is of the
middle of the sixteenth century, and the two foot figures are made up of
early sixteenth-century armour.

At the side is a cuir bouilli crupper as worn by the English heavy
cavalry in the sixteenth century.

The next enclosure contains an equestrian figure (X) of Robert Dudley
Earl of Leicester, the favourite of Elizabeth. This fine suit bears all
over it the badge of the Ragged Staff, and is engraved with the badges
and collars of the Garter and of the Order of St. Michael of France. The
suit was made between 1566 and 1588, and is of very great interest as
one of the very few known which also possesses the extra pieces for the
tilt yard, viz.: the Grandguard and the Passguard, ornamented like the
suit, which with them weighs about 83-1/2 lbs. It will be seen that the
extra pieces are for the left side, and the helmet has no air holes on
that side, as the tilters passed left arm to left arm on either side of
the tilt or barrier. The two foot figures are of about the same date.

The next mounted figure (XII) is one still showing the gilt enrichment
so many of these suits for the tilt yard originally had. It was
attributed to Robert Earl of Essex, another favourite of his Queen, but
has now been identified as the armour made by Jacobe Topf, for Sir John
Smith, cousin german to Edward VI, and a great military writer of the
sixteenth century. Many other pieces of this suit are in the Royal
collection in Windsor Castle. The two foot figures came from the Great
Armoury at Malta. Beyond the passage are a mounted figure showing how
the lance was held when jousting at the tilt or barrier in the sixteenth
century and later, and inferior suits for horsemen, and some other suits
from Malta.

On leaving the large room, in the case in the archway will be seen axes,
horsemen's hammers and maces, all designed for breaking and rending
armour. Observe also various forms of the bayonet, from the early plug
bayonet to the later socketed type of that weapon.

The first case on the right contains crossbows of various types.
This weapon, at no time our national arm, was used for the defence of
fortresses, and later on for sport. The heavy kind were bent by means of
arrangements of pulleys, the windlass, or a kind of lifting jack called
the Cranequin or Cric. The lighter forms were bent by an attached lever
called the Goat's Foot. Specimens of these are in the case, as also two
bowstaves from the wreck of the _Mary Rose_, 1545, and some leaden
sling bullets from the battle field of Marathon. In the next case are
firearms of early types. Among these observe two guns which belonged to
Henry VIII, both of them breechloaders on a system resembling the modern
Snider rifle. Note also the German Reiter wheel-lock pistols, with ball
pommel; the William III match-lock, with plug bayonet stuck in the
muzzle; the bandoliers, each containing twelve charges of powder and a
bullet bag; the Vauban lock, combining the flint and match; also a still
earlier form of this lock of English make. Montecucuh says he had
similar locks made, having seen them used still earlier by the Turks.

The next case contains rapiers and swords and bucklers. Observe the
raised bars on the latter, to entangle and break the sword-point. The
mounted figure in brown armour shows the equipment of the cavalry in the
early part of the seventeenth century, the armour being browned or
blacked to prevent rust and to avoid detection at a distance.

The figure (XXIV) in the first enclosure is that of James II. It will be
seen that it only consists of a headpiece, breast and back plates, and a
long gauntlet to protect the bridle arm. All the pieces bear the King's
initials, and the face guard is pierced with the design of the Royal
Arms. The next equestrian figure is a gilt suit of Charles I (XIX),
said to have been given to him by the City of London. It is the latest
complete suit in the collection, and was probably never worn by him. In
the centre of the room is a case containing gun locks, powder flasks,
and other pieces for the furnishing of a soldier's equipment. The cannon
were made for the instruction of Charles II when a prince. In the wall
case observe with other objects two swine feathers, or feather staffs,
having one long and two short blades which can be concealed in the
shaft, also a German Calendar sword with the saints' days marked in
gold, and other swords. Below are two _waistcoat_ cuirasses opening
down the front.

In the next enclosure on the right is a mounted figure (XVIII) of
Charles I when young. The armour is apparently of French make, and
is very interesting as being a double suit - that is, it represents
the equipment of the cuirassier or cavalryman of about 1610, and
then by removing the helmet and the armour for the arms and legs, and
substituting the pott and the short thigh defences (in the small glass
case) we have the equipment of the foot soldier as seen in the figures
of pikemen on the other side of the room. The small silvered cap and
breast and back in another glass case was made for Charles II when

In a table case are a gun and pistol dated respectively 1614 and 1619,
made for Charles I when Prince of Wales. The gun is not quite perfect,
but the two weapons are the earliest examples of _flint locks_ in
the collection. Note also a fine wheel lock of about 1600. The gunner's
axe was used for laying cannon, and has on its shaft scales showing the
size of cannon balls of stone, iron, lead, and slag. It belonged to the
Duke of Brunswick Luneburg. The last enclosure contains a suit (XVII) of
richly decorated armour given to Henry Prince of Wales by the Prince de
Joinville. This suit, though rich, is of late and inelegant form, as may
be seen by observing the breast and the treatment of the feet. In the
suit of his brother Prince Charles also will be seen an instance of the
decay of the armourer's art, namely, the thigh-pieces, which are marked
as though of several pieces of metal whilst being of one rigid piece.

In a small case are unfinished portions of a helmet and gorget, and a
gilt and engraved vamplate belonging to a suit of Henry Prince of Wales.

The figures on the opposite side of the room are horsemen and pikemen
of the seventeenth century, after which time armour may be said to have
ceased to be worn, till at the coronation of George IV in 1820, when the
Household Cavalry appeared in cuirasses. In the table cases in this room
are odd portions of armour: gorgets, gauntlets, cuisshes, &c., daggers,
knives, and swords, including good examples of the Cinquedea, or short
broad-bladed sword peculiar to Northern Italy.

In the series of wall cases at the end of both rooms will be found
several varieties of helmets, including salades, close helmets, tilting
helmets; also morions and cabassets and breasts and backs. Among these
observe the fine painted archers' salade, with vizor; two fine Venetian
salades, like the ancient Greek helmets, and bearing armourers' stamps;
sixteenth-century tilting helmets, with side doors for air; spider
helmets, &c. Those on the upper shelves are either false or imitations
of real examples. In the case by the door is a helmet made for and worn
by the late Emperor Napoleon III (when prince) at the Eglinton
Tournament, in 1839.

On the walls are portions of horse armour, bucklers for foot soldiers,
and several shields simulating the embossed ornamentation of the
sixteenth century.

_The Parade_.

The Waterloo Barracks are opposite, built in 1845 on the site of
storehouses burnt in 1841. The building of similar character to the
right is the Officers' Quarters: between the two a glimpse is obtained
of the Martin or Brick Tower, whence Blood stole the crown in 1671.
Observe, on the left, the extensive collection of cannons of all ages
and countries, including triple guns taken from the French, of the time
of Louis XIV, and some curious and grotesque mortars from India.

Observe, on the right, almost adjoining the Barrack, the Chapel of St.
Peter "ad Vincula," so called from having been consecrated on that
well-known festival of the Latin Church, the 1st of August, probably in
the reign of Henry I (1100-1135). The old chapel was burnt in 1512, and
the present building erected only in time to receive the bodies of the
first victims of the tyranny of Henry VIII. It was considered a Royal
Chapel before 1550; the interior is not shown to the public. Here it is,
in the memorable words of Stow, writing in the reign of Queen Elizabeth,
that there lie before the high altar, "two dukes between two queens, to
wit, the Duke of Somerset and the Duke of Northumberland, between Queen
Anne and Queen Katharine, all four beheaded." Here also are buried Lady
Jane (Grey) and Lord Guildford Dudley, the Duke of Monmouth, and the
Scotch lords, Kilmarnock, Balmerino, and Lovat, beheaded for their share
in the rebellion of 1745. The last burial in the chapel was that of Sir
John Fox Burgoyne, Constable of the Tower, in 1871.

The space in front of the chapel is called Tower Green, and was used as
a burial ground; in the middle is a small square plot, paved with
granite, showing the site on which stood at rare intervals the scaffold
on which private executions took place. It has been specially paved by
the orders of Her late Majesty. The following persons are known to have
been executed on this spot: -

1. Queen Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII, 19th May, 1536.

2. Margaret Countess of Salisbury, the last of the old Angevin or
Plantagenet family, 27th May, 1541.

3. Queen Katharine Howard, fifth wife of Henry VIII, 13th February,

4. Jane Viscountess Rochford, 13th February, 1542.

5. Lady Jane (Grey), wife of Lord Guildford Dudley, 12th February, 1554.

6. Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, 25th February, 1601.

They were all beheaded with an axe except Queen Anne Boleyn, whose head
was cut off with a sword by the executioner of St. Omer, brought over
for the purpose. The executioner of the Earl of Essex was not able to do
his work with less than three strokes, and was mobbed and beaten by the
populace on his way home. The bodies of all six were buried in the
Chapel of St. Peter.

Lord Hastings was also beheaded on Tower Green by order of the Duke of
Gloucester in 1483.

_The Beauchamp Tower_

is on the west side of Tower Green, facing the White Tower, and is on
the inner wall between the Bell Tower on the south and the Devereux
Tower on the north, being connected with both by a walk along the
parapet. Its present name probably refers to the residence in it as a
prisoner of Thomas, third Earl of Warwick, of the Beauchamp family, who
was attainted under Richard II in 1397, but restored to his honours and
liberty two years later under Henry IV. It is curious that the most
interesting associations of the place should be connected with his
successors in the earldom. Although built entirely for defensive
purposes, we find it thus early used as a prison, and during the two
following centuries it seems to have been regarded as one of the
most convenient places in which to lodge prisoners of rank, and in
consequence many of the most interesting mural inscriptions are to
be found in its chambers.

In plan the Beauchamp Tower is semicircular, and it projects eighteen
feet beyond the face of the wall. It consists of three storeys, of which
the middle one is on a level with the rampart, on which it formerly
opened. The whole building dates from the reign of Edward III. We enter
at the south-east corner and ascend by a circular staircase to the
middle chamber, which is spacious and has a large window, with a
fire-place. Here are to be found most of the inscriptions, some having
been brought from other chambers. A few are in the entrance passage and
on the stair. All are numbered and catalogued. The following - to which
the numbers are appended - will be found the most interesting: -

2. On the ground-floor, near the entrance, ROBART DVDLEY. This was the
fifth son of John, Duke of Northumberland, and next brother to Guildford
Dudley, the husband of Lady Jane Grey. When his father was brought to
the block in 1553 he and his brothers remained in prison here, Robert
being condemned to death in 1554. In the following year he was liberated
with his elder brother Ambrose, afterwards created Earl of Warwick, and
his younger brother Henry. In the first year of Queen Elizabeth he was
made Master of the House and elected a Knight of the Garter. In 1563 he
was created Earl of Leicester. He died at Cornbury, in Oxfordshire, in

8. On the left, at the entrance of the great chamber, is a carved cross,
with other religious emblems, with the name and arms of PEVEREL, and the
date 1570. It is supposed to have been cut by a Roman Catholic prisoner
confined during the reign of Queen Elizabeth.

13. Over the fire-place this inscription in Latin: - "The more suffering
for Christ in this world the more glory with Christ in the next," &c.
This is signed "Arundel, June 22, 1587." This was Philip Howard, son of
Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, beheaded in 1573. Philip inherited from his
maternal grandfather the earldom of Arundel in 1580. He was a staunch
Roman Catholic and was constantly under suspicion of the Government, by
which in 1584 he was confined in his own house for a short time. On his
liberation he determined to quit the country, but was committed to the
Tower in 1585, and died in custody ten years later, having refused
release on condition of forsaking his religion. His body was buried in
his father's grave in the Chapel of St. Peter, but was eventually
removed to Arundel. He left other inscriptions, one in the window (79),
and one on the staircase (91), dated 1587.

14. On the right of the fire-place is an elaborate piece of sculpture
(Pl. XII), which will be examined with peculiar interest as a memorial
of the four brothers Dudley: Ambrose (created Earl of Warwick 1561),
Guildford (beheaded 1554), Robert (created Earl of Leicester 1563), and
Henry (killed at the siege of St. Quintin, 1558), carved by the eldest,
John (called Earl of Warwick), who died in 1554. Under a bear and a lion
supporting a ragged staff is the name "JOHN DVDLE," and surrounding
them is a wreath of roses (for Ambrose), oak leaves (for Robert,
_robur_, an oak), gillyflowers (for Guildford), and honeysuckle
(for Henry). Below are four lines, one of them incomplete, alluding
to the device and its meaning. It is on record that the Lieutenant
of the Tower was allowed 6_s._ 8_d._ a day each for the diet of these
captive brothers.

33. This is one of several inscriptions relating to the Poole or Pole
family (see also Nos. 45, 47, 52, 56, 57). They were the sons of the
Countess of Salisbury, by Sir Richard Pole, K.G. No. 45 contains the


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