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to avoid the long and dreary ceremonies that preceded the burial.
Next day the corpse was "embowelled,” that is, embalmed, “and wax-chandlers and plumbers, and such others did their office about her.” On the following day, Friday, the body was removed, with much solemnity, from the room in which she died, on a hearse covered with a rich pall of cloth of gold, and a cross set upon it, to the Presence Chamber, which had been prepared for the lying-in-state. Here the hearse was placed in the middle of the room, with twentyfour tall tapers about it; all the walls were draped with black; and an altar was provided for masses to be said, "richly apparelled with black, garnished with the cross, images, censers, and other ornaments.” This done, dead masses were said and dirges sung, day and night for a week, for the repose of her soul; and the ladies of the Court, with the Princess Mary, in mourning habits, with white kerchiefs over their heads and shoulders, “kneeling about the hearse in lamentable wise,” kept incessant watch by the body.
On the last day of October, the body, after it had been solemnly blessed with holy water and incensed with smoking censers, by the Bishop of Carlisle, her almoner, assisted by the Bishop of Chichester and many other ecclesiastical dignitaries, was removed in procession to the chapel, with the priests and choir singing and carrying tapers. Here the same rites were continued till November the 12th, on which day the coffin was carried to the “Clock Court,” where it was placed on a funeral car, drawn by four horses trapped with black velvet, “with four escutcheons of the King's arms and Queen's, beaten in fine gold upon double sarcenet: and upon every horse's forehead a shaffron of the said arms”-decorations evidently much in the style of the modern undertaker. On the bier was “a representation of the Queen in her robes of estate-one of those waxwork effigies well known to sightseers in Westminster Abbeywith a rich crown of gold upon her head, all her hair loose, a sceptre of gold in her right hand, and on her fingers rings set with precious stones, and her neck richly adorned with gold and stones; and under the head a rich pillow of cloth of gold tissue; her shoes of cloth of gold, with hose and smock, and all other ornaments."
SPECTRE OF JANE SEYMOUR.
Princess Mary was the chief mourner; and she, as well as all the ladies of the Court, rode on horses trapped with black velvet. In this manner the whole funeral cavalcade proceeded to Windsor, where the body was buried in St. George's Chapel.
At St. Paul's a solemn dirge and a requiem, attended by the Lord Mayor, the Aldermen, and the Common Council
, were sung; and the Corporation also ordered twelve hundred masses to be said for the repose of her soul, within the bounds of the City.
But even this large number of masses does not appear to have been sufficient for the repose of the soul of the maid of honour, who had supplanted her Queen and mistress, Anne Boleyn, in the affections of Henry VIII. For, if we are to credit the assurances of those who believe in supernatural visitations, a spectre of Queen Jane, clothed all in white, has been seen to emerge from the doorway in the Queen's old apartments, and wander about, with a lighted taper in her hand, on the stairs and in the neighbouring Silver-Stick Gallery.
Having made this digression into the spirit world, we may as well here introduce the reader to another and better known Hampton Court ghost, the accounts of whose appearances are more definite and circumstantial than are usually forthcoming in such cases. The ghost in question is that of Mistress Sibell Penn, who, in October, 1538, exactly a year after Jane Seymour's death, became Prince Edward's drynurse and foster-mother. Her duties in this capacity she discharged with such care, fidelity, and loyal affection, that she won the gratitude and esteem of Henry VIII., as well as the fond regard of her foster-son. When he grew up and became King she continued to live at Court, and after he died was treated with kindness and consideration by Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, and apparently was given apartments at Hampton Court.
Here, at any rate, in the autumn of 1562, she was taken ill with the small-pox, and she died in the palace on the 6th of November. Her body was buried in Hampton Church, and a fine monument, consisting of a life-sized recumbent effigy of the old lady, under a marble canopy supported on Corinthian pillars and pilasters, was raised over her tomb.
On the monument is the date of her death, her coat-of-arms, and a rhyming epitaph to her memory.
The inscription and the rest of the monument still remain intact in the staircase going to the organ-loft; but it appears that when the old church was pulled down in 1829, Mrs. Penn's tomb was irreverently disturbed, and her remains scattered—though one account declares that all that was found under the monument was a hair-pin and a little hair, from which it was inferred that her body had been previously removed.
But whenever the desecration may have been perpetrated, certain it is--as the story goes—that immediately after the shifting of the position of Mrs. Penn's monument, strange noises, as of a woman working at a spinning-wheel, and muttering the while, were heard through the wall of one of the rooms in the large apartment in the south-west wing of the palace. When search was made, by the Board of Works, in the direction whence these mysterious sounds proceeded, an ancient, and till then unknown chamber was discovered, in which an antique spinning-wheel and a few other articles were found, and the old oak planks were seen to be worn away where the treadle struck the floor. The idea broached at that time was that, on account of the desecration of her tomb, her spirit had returned to haunt the rooms which she had occupied in life.
No further manifestations, however, were noticed until about five or six years ago, when according to the ghoststory-tellers—the phenomena were renewed, and have since become increasingly frequent and startling.
The accounts describe the constant prevalence of mysterious sounds—such as the low whirring of an spinning-wheel, the weird mutterings of a sepulchral voice, and the stealthy tread of invisible feet. It is even affirmed that Mrs. Penn's tall, gaunt form, dressed in a long gray robe, with a hood over her head, and her lanky hands outstretched before her, has been seen in the haunted chamber—a supernatural visitation, which was rendered the more impressive from the narrator being a recent arrival at the palace, and consequently ignorant of the legend. when, afterwards, attention was drawn to Mrs. Penn's monument (the existence of which was, at that time, un
GHOST OF EDWARD VI.'S NURSE.
known to anyone in the palace), and it was found that the description of the ghost exactly corresponded with the appearance of the effigy, the coincidence was so startling as to shake the judgment even of the most sceptical.
Enough has now been probably stated to establish the
THE GHOST OF MRS. PENN, EDWARD VI.'s NURSE.
claim of Mrs. Penn to rank among the best authenticated of historical ghosts.
To return to the current of our narrative. Although Henry VIII. left Hampton Court at once on the death of Jane Seymour, and, apparently, did not return there until November in the following year, the infant Prince Edward was left behind in the royal nursery at the palace, where, almost immediately, a regular household, of considerable