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Cromwell, “for the birth of our Prince, whom we hungered for so long, than there was, I trow, inter vicinos, at the birth of John the Baptist. God give us grace to yield due thanks to our Lord God—the God of England! For, verily, He hath showed Himself the God of England; or rather an English God, if we will consider and ponder His proceedings with us !” Nor was his Majesty, who had so long and ardently desired an heir, and been so often disappointed, less overjoyed at the appearance of a son.
The baptism was arranged with that eye to the picturesque which was never wanting in those days, and took place on Monday, the 15th of October, in the chapel. That building and the “holiday closets,” or oratories, adjacent to it, had just been much embellished by Henry VIII. New stained glass had been placed in the windows, and elaborately carved stalls, with “crests” or canopies, such as we see in St. George's Chapel at Windsor, had recently been erected. A new organ and organ-house also had been added, and the splendid arched roof, with its great pendants of angels holding escutcheons with the King's and Queen's arms and mottoes, and boys playing on musical instruments, had just been “gilt with fine gold and fine bice, set out with other fine collars,” and “set with antique of lead, gilt with the King's word.” Unfortunately this is the only part of the chapel still remaining in its pristine state, the stained glass having been knocked out during the Great Rebellion; the stone mullions of the windows, the tiles, the stalls, and other fixtures and ornaments taken away in the reigns of King William III. and Queen Anne, and replaced by work of a more modern kind; and the east window blocked up, and the pillared Italian canopy erected over the altar, at the same period.
The procession, which was "made, gathered and put in readiness” at the door of the “Prince's Lodgings," or royal nursery—situated to the north of the Chapel Court-passed thence through the Council Chamber, which was also in the same part of the palace. First went all the gentlemen, squires, and knights, two and two, to the number of eighty. They all carried torches of virgin wax in their hands, which, however, were not lit till after the christening. After them came the children and ministers of the chapel, together
PRINCE EDWARD CARRIED IN PROCESSION. 91
with the Dean and chaplains, all in surplices and copes. Next came the King's Council, and then the great lords, spiritual and temporal. Then followed the Comptroller and Treasurer of the Household ; next the ambassadors and their suites; after them the Queen's Chamberlain, the King's Chamberlain, and the Lord High Chamberlain of England;
Cromwell, Lord Privy Seal, the Lord Chancellor, the Duke of Norfolk, and the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Next came the various persons who were to take part in the ceremony itself. First, the Earl of Sussex, and another Lord carrying “a pair of covered basins, and a towel upon that, with a cup of assay.” “Next after, a taper of virgin wax, borne by the Earl of Wiltshire, with a towel about his neck.” After that, "a salt of gold, richly garnished with pearl and stone, borne by the Earl of Essex, with a towel about his neck." The "chrysom richly garnished, borne by the Lady Elizabeth, the King's daughter, the same for her tender age was borne by the Viscount Beauchamp, with the assistance of the Lord Morley.” Lastly came the Prince himself, carried by the Marchioness of Exeter, “assisted by the Duke of Suffolk and the Lord Marquis her husband.” The train of the Prince's robe was borne by the Earl of Arundel and sustained by Lord William Howard. - The nurse went equally with him that supported the train, and with her the midwife.” A rich canopy was borne over the prince by four gentlemen of the King's Privy Chamber; and
(From an original sketch of the whole procession in the College of Arms.) torches were borne about the canopy by four other gentle
“Next after the canopy went the Lady Mary, the King's daughter, appointed for the lady godmother, with her train borne by the Lady Kingston." After the Lady Mary, "all other ladies of honour and gentlewomen, in order after their degrees, did follow."
In this order the procession, attended by the King's and great nobles' servants, passed through the Council Chamber, along part of the “Haunted Gallery,” and so into the “King's Great Watching Chamber," at the upper end of the Great Hall. Thence it passed through the Hall, down the Great Stairs, under Anne Boleyn's Gateway, into the Second
THE CHRISTENING OF PRINCE EDWARD.
or Clock Court, and then along the cloister towards the chapel door. All the way was lined with men-at-arms, attendants, and servants holding torches; and in the courtyard the ground was strewn with rushes; and barriers decorated with rich hangings, were erected, behind which thronged all the dwellers in the palace. No other spectators, however, were present, for access to the Court had been
prohibited by proclamation, on account of infection from the plague, which was prevailing at the time.
In this manner the procession moved to the chapel door, where a large porch had been erected, "covered with rich cloth of gold or arras, and double-hanged with rich arras, and the floor boarded and covered with carpets.” Here, and at every point, were stationed gentlemen ushers. All the body of the chapel and the choir were likewise hung with tapestries, and “the high altar richly garnished with plate and stuff.” In the middle of the choir had been erected a font of solid silver gilt," set upon a mount or stage.”.
While the Prince was being prepared for the christening within the “travers," the “Te Deum was sung by the choir, and then he was brought forth and baptized with all the elaborate ceremonial of that age. After the christening had been performed, all the torches were immediately lit, and Garter King-at-Arms proclaimed his name and style in the following form: “God of his Almighty and infinite grace, give and grant good life and long to the right high, right excellent and noble Prince, PRINCE EDWARD, Duke of Cornwall, and Earl of Chester, most dear and entirely beloved son to our most dread and gracious lord, King Henry the Eighth.” [Largess! Largess !]
The procession then formed again in the same order as before, preceded by the sergeants-at-arms, with the heralds sounding their trumpets, and all the torches lit. Various persons also carried the christening gifts that had been made to the Prince, among which was a cup of gold given by the Princess Mary. Thus they proceeded to the Queen's Bedchamber, into which the Prince was brought by some of the principal persons; the trumpets, in the meanwhile,
standing in the utter court within the gate, there blowing, and the minstrels playing, which was a melodious thing to hear.”
During the baptism Henry VIII. had remained with Jane Seymour in her bedroom, where the Prince was then presented to him, “and had the blessing of Almighty God, our Lady, and St. George, and his father and mother."
Very soon after this ceremony the Queen was taken with a serious illness, aggravated by having been allowed by those who had charge of her to eat improper food and catch cold. But all their art and care were unavailing; and on Wednesday, the 24th of October, at two o'clock at night, the soul of Henry VIII.'s third Queen quietly passed away.
The grief of the King at her death is said to have been very deep and sincere, though the fact that he at once withdrew from the palace "to a solitary place, not to be spoken with, leaving some of his counsellors to take order about her burial,” on the plea that "he could not find it in his heart” to remain, may not unfairly be attributed to a desire