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CHARLES G. ADDISON, ESQ. The history of the Knights Templars, Temple Church, and the Temple

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CHARLES G. ADDISON, ESQ.
The history of the Knights Templars, Temple Church, and the Temple
page 320



In η recces in the south wall, close to the elegant marble piscina, reposes the recumbent figure of a bishop clad in pontifical robes, having a mitre on his head and a crosier in his hand. It rests upon an altar-tomb, and has been beautifully carved out of a single block of Purbeck marble. On the 7th of September, 1810, this tomb was opened, and beneath the figure was found a stone coffin, about three feet in height and ten feet in length, having a circular cavity to receive the head of the corpse. Within the coffin was found a human skeleton in a state of perfect preservation. It was wrapped in sheet-lead, part of which had perished. On the left side of the skeleton were the remains of a crosier, and among the bones and around the skull were found fragments of sackcloth and of garments wrought with gold tissue. It was evident that the tomb had been previously violated, as the sheet-lead had been divided longitudinally with some coarse cutting instrument, and the bones within it had been displaced from their proper position. The most remarkable discovery made on the opening of this tomb was that of the skeleton of an infant a very few months old, which was found lying at the feet of the bishop. Nichols, the antiquary, tells us that Brown Willis ascribed the above monument to Silvester de Everdon, bishop of Carlisle, who was killed in the year 1255 by a fall from a mettlesome horse, and was buried in the Temple Church.* All the monumental remains of the ancient Knights Templars, formerly existing in the Temple Church, have unfortunately long sinee been utterly destroyed. Burton, the antiquary, who was admitted a member of the Inner Temple in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, on the 20th of May, 1693, tells us that in the body of the church there was " a large blue marble inlaid with brasse," * ΛΊβΗοϋϊ Hist. Leiceeteraldre, roi. iii. p . 960, note. Malcolm, Loudinium Ee dirirnin, vol. ti. p . 291· χ 2


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