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How The Earl Of Surrey And The Fair Geraldine Plighted Their Troth In The Cloisters Of Saint George's Chapel

How The Earl Of Surrey And The Fair Geraldine Met In King James's Bower In The Moat

Of The Combat Between Will Sommers And Patch

How King Henry The Eighth Held A Chapter Of The Garter

Of The Meeting Of King Henry The Eighth And Anne Boleyn At The Lower Gate

What Passed Between Anne Boleyn And The Duke Of Suffolk And How Herne The Hunter Appeared To Her In The Oratory

In What Manner Herne Declared His Passion For Mabel

Showing How Morgan Fenwolf Escaped From The Garter Tower

How Herne Appeared To Henry In The Home Park

How Mabel Lyndwood Was Taken To The Castle By Nicholas Clamp

Least Viewed

How Tristram Lyndwood Was Interrogated By The King

Of The Interview Between Henry And Catherine Of Arragon In The Urswick Chapel

Comprising The Fourth Epoch In The History Of The Castle

Of The Desperate Resolution Formed By Tristram And Fenwolf And How The Train Was Laid

How Wyat Beheld Mabel Lyndwood

How Herne The Hunter Appeared To Henry On The Terrace

Of The Mysterious Noise Heard In The Curfew Tower

Of The Earl Of Surrey's Solitary Ramble In The Home Park

What Passed Between Norris And The Tall Monk

Of The Secret Interview Between Norris And Anne Boleyn And Of The Dissimulation Practised By The King

Comprising The Third Great Epoch In The History Of The Castle

Strongly attached to the place of his birth, Edward the Third, by his
letters patent dated from Westminster, in the twenty-second year of his
reign, now founded the ancient chapel established by Henry the First,
and dedicated it to the Virgin, Saint George of Cappadocia, and Saint
Edward the Confessor; ordaining that to the eight canons appointed by
his predecessor there should be added one custos, fifteen more canons,
and twenty-four alms-knights; the whole to be maintained out of the
revenues with which the chapel was to be endowed. The institution was
confirmed by Pope Clement the Sixth, by a bull issued at Avignon the
13th of November 1351.

In 1349, before the foundation of the college had been confirmed, as
above related, Edward instituted the Order of the Garter. The origin of
this illustrious Order has been much disputed. By some writers it has
been ascribed to Richard Coeur de Lion, who is said to have girded a
leathern band round the legs of his bravest knights in. Palestine. By
others it has been asserted that it arose from the word "garter" having
been used as a watchword by Edward at the battle of Cressy. Others again
have stoutly maintained that its ringlike form bore mysterious reference
to the Round Table. But the popular legend, to which, despite the doubts
thrown upon it, credence still attaches, declares its origin to be as
follows: Joan, Countess of Salisbury, a beautiful dame, of whom Edward
was enamoured, while dancing at a high festival accidentally slipped
her garter, of blue embroidered velvet. It was picked up by her royal
partner, who, noticing the significant looks of his courtiers on the
occasion, used the words to them which afterwards became the motto of
the Order--"Honi soit qui mal y pense;" adding that "in a short time
they should see that garter advanced to so high honour and estimation as
to account themselves happy to wear it."

But whatever may have originated the Order, it unquestionably owes
its establishment to motives of policy. Wise as valiant, and bent upon
prosecuting his claim to the crown of France, Edward, as a means of
accomplishing his object, resolved to collect beneath his standard the
best knights in Europe, and to lend a colour to the design, he gave
forth that he intended a restoration of King Arthur's Round Table, and
accordingly commenced constructing within the castle a large circular
building of two hundred feet in diameter, in which he placed a round
table. On the completion of the work, he issued proclamations throughout
England, Scotland, France, Burgundy, Flanders, Brabant, and the Empire,
inviting all knights desirous of approving their valour to a solemn
feast and jousts to be holden within the castle of Windsor on Saint
George's Day, 1345. The scheme was completely successful. The flower of
the chivalry of Europe--excepting that of Philip the Sixth of France,
who, seeing through the design, interdicted the attendance of his
knights-were present at the tournament, which was graced by Edward
and his chief nobles, together with his queen and three hundred of
her fairest dames, "adorned with all imaginable gallantry." At this
chivalrous convocation the institution of the Order of the Garter
was arranged; but before its final establishment Edward assembled his
principal barons and knights, to determine upon the regulations, when it
was decided that the number should be limited to twenty-six.

The first installation took place on the anniversary of Saint George,
the patron of the Order, 1349, when the king, accompanied by the
twenty-five knights'-companions, attired in gowns of russet, with
mantles of fine blue woollen cloth, powdered with garters, and hearing
the other insignia of the Order, marched bareheaded in solemn procession
to the chapel of Saint George, then recently rebuilt, where mass was
performed by William Edington, Bishop of Winchester, after which they
partook of a magnificent banquet. The festivities were continued for
several days. At the jousts held on this occasion, David, King of
Scotland, the Lord Charles of Blois, and Ralph, Earl of Eu and Guisnes,
and Constable of France, to whom the chief prize of the day was
adjudged, with others, then prisoners, attended. The harness of the King
of Scotland, embroidered with a pale of red velvet, and beneath it a
red rose, was provided at Edward's own charge. This suit of armour was,
until a few years back, preserved in the Round Tower, where the royal
prisoner was confined. Edward's device was a white swan, gorged, or,
with the "daring and inviting" motto--

Hay hay the wythe swan By God's soul I am thy man.

The insignia of the Order in the days of its founder were the garter,
mantle, surcoat, and hood, the George and collar being added by Henry
the Eighth. The mantle, as before intimated, was originally of fine blue
woollen cloth; but velvet, lined with taffeta, was substituted by
Henry the Sixth, the left shoulder being adorned with the arms of Saint
George, embroidered within a garter. Little is known of the materials
of which the early garter was composed; but it is supposed to have been
adorned with gold, and fastened with a buckle of the same metal.
The modern garter is of blue velvet, bordered with gold wire, and
embroidered with the motto, "Honi soit qui mal y pense." It is worn on
the left leg, a little below the knee. The most magnificent garter
that ever graced a sovereign was that presented to Charles the First by
Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, each letter in the motto of which was
composed of diamonds. The collar is formed of pieces of gold fashioned
like garters, with a blue enamelled ground. The letters of the motto are
in gold, with a rose enamelled red in the centre of each garter. From
the collar hangs the George, an ornament enriched with precious stones,
and displaying the figure of the saint encountering the dragon.

The officers of the Order are the prelate, represented by the Bishop
of Winchester; the Chancellor, by the Bishop of Oxford; the registrar,
dean, garter king-at-arms, and the usher of the black rod. Among the
foreign potentates who have been invested with the Order are eight
emperors of Germany, two of Russia, five kings of France, three of
Spain, one of Arragon, seven of Portugal, one of Poland, two of Sweden,
six of Denmark, two of Naples, one of Sicily and Jerusalem, one of
Bohemia, two of Scotland, seven princes of Orange, and many of the most
illustrious personages of different ages in Europe.

Truly hath the learned Selden written, "that the Order of the Garter
hath not only precedency of antiquity before the eldest rank of honour
of that kind anywhere established, but it exceeds in majesty, honour,
and fame all chivalrous orders in the world." Well also hath glorious
Dryden, in the "Flower and the Leaf," sung the praises of the
illustrious Institution:--

"Behold an order yet of newer date, Doubling their number, equal in
their state; Our England's ornament, the crown's defence, In battle
brave, protectors of their prince: Unchanged by fortune, to their
sovereign true, For which their manly legs are bound with blue. These
of the Garter call'd, of faith unstain'd, In fighting fields the laurel
have obtain'd, And well repaid the laurels which they gained."

In 1357 John, King of France, defeated at the battle of Poitiers by
Edward the Black Prince, was brought captive to Windsor; and on the
festival of Saint George in the following year; 1358, Edward outshone
all his former splendid doings by a tournament which he gave in honour
of his royal prisoner. Proclamation having been made as before, and
letters of safe conduct issued, the nobles and knighthood of Almayne,
Gascoigne, Scotland, and other countries, flocked to attend it, The
Queen of Scotland, Edward's sister, was present at the jousts; and it is
said that John, commenting upon the splendour of the spectacle, shrewdly
observed "that he never saw or knew such royal shows and feastings
without some after-reckoning." The same monarch replied to his
kingly captor, who sought to rouse him from dejection, on another
occasion--"Quomodo cantabimus canticum in terra aliena!"

That his works might not be retarded for want of hands, Edward in the
twenty-fourth year of his reign appointed John de Sponlee master of the
stonehewers, with a power not only "to take and keep, as well within
the liberties as without, as many masons and other artificers as were
necessary, and to convey them to Windsor, but to arrest and imprison
such as should disobey or refuse; with a command to all sheriffs,
mayors, bailiffs, etc., to assist him." These powers were fully acted
upon at a later period, when some of the workmen, having left their
employment, were thrown into Newgate; while the place of others, who had
been carried off by a pestilence then raging in the castle, was supplied
by impressment.

In 1356 WILLIAM OF WYKEHAM was constituted superintendent of the works,
with the same powers as John de Sponlee, and his appointment marks
an important era in the annals of the castle. Originally secretary to
Edward the Third, this remarkable man became Bishop of Winchester and
prelate of the Garter. When he solicited the bishopric, it is said
that Edward told him he was neither a priest nor a scholar; to which he
replied that he would soon be the one, and in regard to the other, he
would make more scholars than all the bishops of England ever did. He
made good his word by founding the collegiate school at Winchester, and
erecting New College at Oxford. When the Winchester Tower was finished,
he caused the words, HOC FECIT WYKEHAM, to be carved upon it; and the
king, offended at his presumption, Wykeham turned away his displeasure
by declaring that the inscription meant that the castle had made him,
and not that he had made the castle. It is a curious coincidence that
this tower, after a lapse of four centuries and a half, should become
the residence of an architect possessing the genius of Wykeham, and who,
like him, had rebuilt the kingly edifice--SIR JEFFRY WYATVILLE.

William of Wykeham retired from office, loaded with honours, in 1362,
and was succeeded by William de Mulso. He was interred in the cathedral
at Winchester. His arms were argent, two chevrons, sable, between three
roses, gules, with the motto--"Manners maketh man."

In 1359 Holinshed relates that the king "set workmen in hand to take
down much old buildings belonging to the castle, and caused divers other
fine and sumptuous works to be set up in and about the same castle, so
that almost all the masons and carpenters that were of any account
in the land were sent for and employed about the same works." The old
buildings here referred to were probably the remains of the palace and
keep of Henry the First in the middle ward.

As the original chapel dedicated to Saint George was demolished by
Edward the Fourth, its position and form cannot be clearly determined,
But a conjecture has been hazarded that it occupied the same ground as
the choir of the present chapel, and extended farther eastward.

"Upon the question of its style," says Mr. Poynter, from whose valuable
account of the castle much information has been derived, "there is the
evidence of two fragments discovered near this site, a corbel and
a piscina, ornamented with foliage strongly characteristic of the
Decorated English Gothic, and indicating, by the remains of colour
on their surfaces, that they belonged to an edifice adorned in the
polychromatic style, so elaborately developed in the chapel already
built by Edward the Third at Westminster."

The royal lodgings, Saint George's Hall, the buildings on the east and
north sides of the upper ward, the Round Tower, the canons' houses in
the lower ward, and the whole circumference of the castle, exclusive of
the towers erected in Henry the Third's reign, were now built. Among the
earlier works in Edward's reign is the Dean's Cloister. The square of
the upper ward, added by this monarch, occupied a space of four
hundred and twenty feet, and encroached somewhat upon the middle ward.
Externally the walls presented a grim, regular appearance, broken only
by the buttresses, and offering no other apertures than the narrow
loopholes and gateways. Some traces of the architecture of the period
may still be discerned in the archway and machecoulis of the principal
gateway adjoining the Round Tower; the basement chamber of the Devil
Tower, or Edward the Third's Tower; and in the range of groined and
four-centred vaulting, extending along the north side of the upper
quadrangle, from the kitchen gateway to King John's Tower.

In 1359 Queen Philippa, consort of Edward the Third, breathed her last
in Windsor Castle.

Richard the Second, grandson of Edward the Third, frequently kept his
court at Windsor. Here, in 1382, it was determined by council that war
should be declared against France; and here, sixteen years later, on a
scaffold erected within the castle, the famous appeal for high treason
was made by Henry of Lancaster, Duke of Hereford, against Thomas
Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, the latter of whom defied his accuser to
mortal combat. The duel was stopped by the king, and the adversaries
banished; but the Duke of Lancaster afterwards returned to depose his
banisher. About the same time, the citizens of London having refused
Richard a large loan, he summoned the lord mayor, sheriffs, aldermen,
and twenty-four of the principal citizens, to his presence, and after
rating them soundly, ordered them all into custody, imprisoning the lord
mayor in the castle.

In this reign Geoffrey Chaucer, "the father of English poetry," was
appointed clerk to the works of Saint George's Chapel, at a salary of
two shillings per day (a sum equal to 657 pounds per annum of modern
money), with the same arbitrary power as had been granted to previous
surveyors to impress carpenters and masons. Chaucer did not retain his
appointment more than twenty months, and was succeeded by John Gedney.

It was at Windsor that Henry the Fourth, scarcely assured of the crown
he had seized, received intelligence of a conspiracy against his life
from the traitorous Aumerle, who purchased his own safety at the expense
of his confederates. The timely warning enabled the king to baffle the
design. It was in Windsor also that the children of Mortimer, Earl of
March, the rightful successor to the throne, were detained as hostages
for their father. Liberated by the Countess-dowager of Gloucester,
who contrived to open their prison door with false keys, the youthful
captives escaped to the marshes of Wales, where, however, they were
overtaken by the emissaries of Henry, and brought back to their former
place of confinement.

A few years later another illustrious prisoner was brought to
Windsor--namely, Prince James, the son of King Robert the Third, and
afterwards James the First of Scotland. This prince remained a captive
for upwards of eighteen years; not being released till 1424, in the
second of Henry the Sixth, by the Duke of Bedford, then regent. James's
captivity, and his love for Jane of Beaufort, daughter of the Duke of
Somerset, and granddaughter to John of Gaunt, to whom he was united,
have breathed a charm over the Round Tower, where he was confined; and
his memory, like that of the chivalrous and poetical Surrey, whom he
resembled in character and accomplishments, will be ever associated with

In the "King's Quair," the royal poet has left an exquisite picture of a
garden nook, contrived within the dry moat of the dungeon.

"Now was there made, fast by the tower's wall, A garden faire, and in
the corners set An arbour green with wandis long and small Railed about,
and so with leaves beset Was all the place, and hawthorn hedges knet,
That lyf was none, walking there forbye, That might within scarce any
wight espy. So thick the branches and the leave's green Beshaded all
the alleys that there were. And midst of every harbour might be seen
The sharpe, green, sweet juniper, Growing so fair with branches here
and there, That as it seemed to a lyf without The boughs did spread the
arbour all about."

And he thus describes the first appearance of the lovely Jane, and the
effect produced upon him by her charms:

"And therewith cast I down mine eye again, Where as I saw walking under
the tower, Full secretly, new comyn her to plain, The fairest and the
freshest younge flower That e'er I saw, methought, before that hour;
For which sudden abate, anon did start The blood of all my body to my

Henry the Fifth occasionally kept his court at Windsor, and in 1416
entertained with great magnificence the Emperor Sigismund, who brought
with him an invaluable relic--the heart of Saint George--which he
bestowed upon the chapter. The emperor was at the same time invested
with the Order.

In 1421 the unfortunate Henry the Sixth was born within the castle, and
in 1484 he was interred within it.

Next: Comprising The Fourth Epoch In The History Of The Castle

Previous: Comprising The First Two Epochs In The History Of Windsor Castle

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