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the triumph portrayed. Thus, in the Triumph of Fame or Renown, we have figures representing Julius Cæsar and Pompey; and in the first aspect of the Triumph of Chastity we see Venus, driven by naked cupids, and surrounded by heroines of amorous renown attacked by Chastity.
The reader will now recognize how pointed is the reference to these tapestries in the following lines of Skelton's satire :
“With Triumphs of Cæsar
Rich tapestries, such as are here described, were the hangings used for the decoration of the 280 guest bedrooms, and the various great parlours, and presence and other chambers of the Cardinal's palace. For his own use, however, in his private rooms, he was bent on procuring something more gorgeous still, having them hung with “white cloth of gold, blue cloth of gold, crimson velvet upon velvet, tawny velvet upon velvet, green velvet figurée and cloth of bawdekyn.”
Of cloth of gold, also, were the “cloths of state," or canopies under which he sat at dinner, and the cloths on his tables at the same meal.
His Inventory includes several entries such as this : “one cloth of estate of red cloth of tissue fringed with crimson silk and venice gold, also one rich cloth of estate, embroidered with my
Lord's arms." Space will not allow us to do more than mention that there were, besides, innumerable hangings, curtains, and WOLSEY'S GORGEOUS STUFFS AND CARPETS. 31
"traverses” of various coloured velvets, of tawny and blue “sarcenet,” and of red and green say, some "paned violette and yalowe," and others green and red.
For "foot-carpets,” or mats, as we should call them, “cupboard carpets,” and window carpets, he was content with such as could be purchased in England. But for the
floors of his more sumptuous chambers he would be satisfied with nothing less than the choicest carpets from the East.
The other furniture was of similar magnificence. As we have already noticed, there were at Hampton Court no less than 280 beds always ready for strangers; and from the Inventory we find that there were scores upon scores of beds of red, green, and russet velvet, satin, and silk, with rich curtains and fringes of the same materials, and all with magnificent “ceilers” and “testors ”—that is, canopies and backs, while the counterpanes were of similar materials, often decorated with exquisite needlework.
His own pillow-cases are described : “seamed with black silk and fleur-de-lys of gold”; and with “white silk and fleur-de-lys of red silk.”
Which bedsteads among the very many magnificent ones described in his Inventory, were for Wolsey's own use, is not
stated therein. Probably he slept in the “Greate Riche bedstede, having 4 gilte postes and 4 boulles' with Cardinall hattes gilte”; or in the “Trussing bedstede of alabaster with my Lordes arms and flowers gilt upon the sides.” If he reclined in the first of these, his upturned eyes would meet a “ceiler” of red satin, "wrought with a great red rose of needlework, embossed with garters and portcullis ; with a valance of fringe of white, green, yellow, tawny and blue silk."
Many other beds of equal gorgeousness are mentioned,
some of carved and gilt oak and other wood, with ceilers and testers of right arras of old work, “with the sun in the ceiler”; with testers of hawking and fowling; with "fowls and beasts having banners about their necks with the arms of England and France"; "with small imagery of children bathing and playing in water”; with trees and divers beasts with scriptures, and with pictures “of our Lady and her son in her arms wrought with needlework.”
The chairs, cushions, tables, chests, and cupboards that furnished Wolsey's palace were not less resplendent, being of silk, silk velvet, and cloth of gold, often embroidered with his initials or arms, and Cardinals hats. The Cardinal's “andirons” were articles on which much artistic decoration
was lavished. For instance, he had eight pairs made of brass, some displaying roses and his own arms, others with mermaids, with lions, with angels, and with fools on the tops. Of seventeen pairs more of iron, six were enriched “with my Lordes armes and Cardinall hattes on the toppes," four with his arms and gilt balls, three with lions, five with dragons, two with balls, one with roses, and one with the arms of England. Twenty-two pairs more displayed his own arms, gilt, with balls of metal; and a few had scutcheons and crosses of St. George, and double roses “on either side of their shanks.”
"As for the furniture of his Chapel," says Cavendish, "it passeth my capacity to declare the number of costly ornaments and rich jewels, that were used to be occupied in the same continually. For I have seen in procession about the
hall forty-four of very rich copes, of one suit, worn, besides the rich crosses and candlesticks and other ornaments necessary to the furniture of the same.”
A curious item in regard to the images was the “Seyntes Apparell,” with which they were clothed, according to the usage of that day. There were two “coats for our Lady, one of crimson velvet, guarded with cloth of gold, and set with counterfeit pearls; the other of black damask, guarded with crimson velvet, and bordered with white satin ; and also “a coat for her son,” of black velvet, guarded with cloth of gold. There were, of course, numerous vestments, crosses, candlesticks, bells, censers, chalices, pixes of gold and silver, and many images of saints.
His pictures were, as became an ecclesiastic, chiefly of a religious type, consisting of altar-pieces for his chapel and private rooms. But that he also appreciated the new development of pictorial art, we have evidence in his bespeaking a picture of Quentin Matsys.
For jewellery, of course, the Cardinal had but little use; but yet we find a goodly enumeration of rings, signets, aiglets, girdles, and chains, many of which were bestowed in presents to ladies and royal persons.
There remains to be noticed the most valuable of all Wolsey's effects, namely his gold and silver plate, of which he had so large an amount that the Venetian ambassador, Marco Antonio Venier, estimated what he saw in 1527, at Hampton Court alone, as worth 300,000 golden ducats, or about £150,000, which, if we are to multiply by ten to give the equivalent in modern coin, yields the astounding sum of a million and a half! Giustinian gives the same sum as the value of his silver in 1519; and he informs us that wherever he might be, there was always a sideboard of plate worth £25,000, and in his own chamber a cupboard with vessels to the amount of £30,000.
Nor must we suppose that his acquisitions were prompted merely by love of vulgar ostentation; on the contrary, the old records show that he was ever on the alert to procure articles of artistic workmanship. And his taste in this regard was exhibited, not only in his crosses, censers, monstrances, paxes, chalices, and such like sacred vessels, but likewise in his chains, rings, staffs, seals, and candlesticks; while the