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FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ. Queens of England. Vol.1.

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FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ.
Queens of England. Vol.1.
page 471



assembled peers and commons by Wriuthcsley, who read an extract from the royal will, relating to the government of the realm, during Edward the Sixth's minority, declared the parliament dissolved, and invited the lords to pay their respects to the new King, who, on the same day, was conducted to the Tower, and proclaimed. The following interesting account of the pompous and truly Catholic funeral of Henry the Eighth, wo extract from an old volume in the College of Arms. "The chest wherein the royal corpse was laid stood in the midst of the privy chamber, with lights, and divine service said about him. with masses, obsequies, and continual watch made by the chaplains and gentlemen of the privy chamber, in their order and course, night and day, for five days, till tbe chapel was ready, where was a goodly hearse, with eight square tapers, every light containing two feet in length, in the whole, one thousand eight hundred, or by another relation, two thousand weight in wax, garnished with pencils, escutcheons, banners, and bannerets of descent ; and at the four corners banners of saints, beaten in fine gold upon damask, with a majesty, whereover, of rich cloth of tissue and vallance of black silk, and fringe of black silk and gold; and the barriers without the hearse, and the sides and floor of the said chapel covered with black cloth, to the high altar, and at the sides and ceiling of the said chapel set with banners and standards of St. George and others. " The second of February the corpse was removed, and brought into the chapel by tho lord great master and officers of the household, and then placed within the hearse, under a pall of rich cloth of tissue, garnished with escutcheons, and a rich cloth of gold set with precious stones thereon. It continued there twelve days, with masses and diriges sung and said every day. Norroy king at arms, each day standing at tbe choir door, beginning with those words, pronounced aloud, ' Of your charity, pray for the soul of the high and mighty prince, our late sovereign lord and King, Henry the Eighth.' " On the thirteenth of February, the corpse was removed with imposing pomp to Sion, on the way to Windsor, for interment ; and, as the lid of tbe coffin had burst by the shaking of the carriage, the King's blood wetted the pavement in tbe night, and in the morning a gaunt dog was discovered licking it up ; the plumbers engaged in soldering up tbe coffin, hallowed and struck at the dog, but, to their horror, if they drove him off on the right, be returned again on tbe left, and so persevered till he had licked the stones clean. This frightful circumstance spread like wild-fire. Tbe superstitious remembered that this Sion—a desecrated convent—had been the prison of the ill-starred Queen Katherine Howard, and, by a singular coincidence, the body of Henry rested there on the fifth anniversary of her execution. Others viewed the appalling incident as a fulfilment of the remarkable sermon preached at Greenwich, in 1533, by tbe daring friar, Peyto, who, from the pulpit, told Henry to his face, that, like Ahab, ' the dogs should lick his blood.' "On the fifteenth, the royal remains were removed to Windsor, and on the next dav interred. Stephen Gardiner, bishop of Winchester, preached the sermon, on that text, ' Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord ;' where he declared the frailty of man, and the community of death both to high and low, and showed the loss that all had sustained by the death of so gracious a King [a piece of gross flattery to the memory of the blue-beard tyrant, and a false picture of the sentiments of the nation], yet comforting them again by the resurrection in the life to come, and exhorted them all to rejoice and give thanks to the Almighty God, for having sent so towardly and virtuous a prince to reign after him, desiring all men to continue in obedience and duty, with many other exhortations notably set forth and with great learning. "The corpse being let uOwn by a vice, with the help of sixteen tall yeomen of the guards, tho same bishop [Gardiner] standing at the head of the vault, proceeded in the service of the


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