Most ViewedHow 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
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How Mabel Lyndwood Was Taken To The Castle By Nicholas Clamp
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Comprising The Fourth Epoch In The History Of The Castle
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How Herne The Hunter Appeared To Henry On The Terrace
How Wyat Beheld Mabel Lyndwood
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
What Happened At The Jousts
The first of May arrived; and though destined to set in darkness and
despair, it arose in sunshine and smiles.
All were astir at an early hour within the castle, and preparations
were made for the approaching show. Lists were erected in the upper
quadrangle, and the whole of the vast area was strewn with sand. In
front of the royal lodgings was raised a gallery, the centre of which,
being set apart for the queen and her dames, was covered with cloth
of gold and crimson velvet, on which the royal arms were gorgeously
emblazoned. The two wings were likewise richly decorated, and adorned
with scutcheons and pennons, while from the battlements of the eastern
side of the court were hung a couple of long flags.
As soon as these preparations were completed, a throng of pages,
esquires, armourers, archers, and henchmen, entered it from the Norman
gateway, and took up positions within the barriers, the space without
the pales being kept by a double line of halberdiers. Next came the
trumpeters, mounted on richly caparisoned horses, and having their
clarions decorated with silken bandrols, fringed with gold. Stationing
themselves at the principal entrance of the lists, they were speedily
joined by the heralds, pursuivants, and other officers of the tilt-yard.
Presently afterwards, the Duke of Suffolk, who was appointed judge of
the lists, appeared, and rode round the arena to see that all was in
order. Apparently well satisfied with the survey, he dismounted, and
proceeded to the gallery.
Meanwhile, the crowd within the court was increased by a great influx
of the different members of the household, amongst whom were Shoreditch,
Paddington, and Hector Cutbeard.
"Marry, this promises to be a splendid sight!" said the clerk of the
kitchen; "the king will, no doubt, do his devoir gallantly for the sake
of the bright eyes that will look upon him."
"You mean the queen's, of course?" said Shoreditch.
"I mean hers who may be queen," replied Cutbeard; "Mistress Jane
"May be queen!" exclaimed Shoreditch. "You surely do not think the king
will divorce his present consort?"
"Stranger things have happened," replied Cutbeard significantly. "If
I am not greatly out of my reckoning," he added, "these are the last
jousts Queen Anne will behold."
"The saints forefend!" cried Shoreditch; "what reason have you for
"That I may not declare," replied Cutbeard; "but before the jousts are
over you will see whether I have been rightly informed or not."
"Hush!" exclaimed Shoreditch. "There is a tall monk eyeing us strangely;
and I am not certain that he has not overheard what you have said."
"He is welcome to the intelligence," replied Cutbeard; "the end will
prove its truth."
Though this was uttered in a confident tone, he nevertheless glanced
with some misgiving at the monk, who stood behind Paddington. The object
of the investigation was a very tall man, with a cowl drawn over his
brow. He had a ragged black beard, fierce dark eyes, and a complexion
like bronze. Seeing Cutboard's glance anxiously fixed upon him, he
advanced towards him, and said in a low tone--"You have nothing to fear
from me; but talk not so loud if you value your head."
"So saying he proceeded to another part of the lists.
"Who is that tall monk?" asked Paddington.
"Devil knows!" answered Cutbeard; "I never saw him before. But he has a
villainous cut-throat look."
Soon afterwards a flourish of trumpets was heard, and amid their joyous
bruit the queen, sumptuously arrayed in cloth of gold and ermine, and
having a small crown upon her brow, entered the gallery, and took her
seat within it. Never had she looked more beautiful than on this fatal
morning, and in the eyes of all the beholders she completely eclipsed
her rival, Jane Seymour. The latter, who stood on her right hard, and
was exquisitely attired, had a thoughtful and anxious air, as if some
grave matter weighed upon her.
While the queen's attendants were taking their places, Lord Rochford,
accompanied by Sir Henry Norris and the Earls of Surrey and Essex,
entered the lists. The four knights were completely armed, and mounted
on powerful steeds barded with rich cloth of gold, embroidered with
silver letters. Each had a great crimson plume in his helmet. They rode
singly round the arena, and bowed as they passed the royal gallery,
Norris bending almost to his saddle-bow while performing his salutation
to the queen.
The field being thus taken by the challengers, who retired to the upper
end of the court, a trumpet was thrice sounded by a herald, and an
answer was immediately made by another herald stationed opposite Henry
the Seventh's buildings. When the clamour ceased, the king fully armed,
and followed by the Marquis of Dorset, Sir Thomas Wyat, and the Lord
Clifford, rode into the lists.
Henry was equipped in a superb suit of armour, inlaid with gold, and
having a breastplate of the globose form, then in vogue; his helmet was
decorated with a large snow-white plume. The trappings of his steed were
of crimson velvet, embroidered with the royal arms, and edged with great
letters of massive gold bullion, full of pearls and precious stones.
He was attended by a hundred gentlemen, armourers, and other officers,
arrayed in white velvet.
Having ridden round the court like the others, and addressed his
salutation exclusively to Jane Seymour, Henry took his station with his
companions near the base of the Round Tower, the summit of which was
covered with spectators, as were the towers and battlements around.
A trumpet was now sounded, and the king and the Lord Rochford having
each taken a lance from his esquire, awaited the signal to start from
the Duke of Suffolk, who was seated in the left wing of the royal
gallery. It was not long delayed. As the clarion sounded clearly and
loudly for the third time, he called out that the champions might go.
No sooner were the words uttered, than the thundering tramp of the
steeds resounded, and the opponents met midway. Both their lances were
shivered; but as the king did not, in the slightest degree, change his
position, he was held to have the best of it. Courses were then run by
the others, with varied success, the Marquis of Dorset being unhorsed
by Sir Henry Norris, whose prowess was rewarded by the plaudits of the
assemblage, and what was infinitely more dear to him, by the smiles of
"You have ridden well, Norris," cried Henry, advancing towards him.
"Place yourself opposite me, and let us splinter a lance together."
As Norris reined back his steed, in compliance with the injunction, the
tall monk stepped from out the line, and drawing near him, said, "If you
wish to prove victorious, aim at the upper part of the king's helmet."
And with these words he withdrew.
By the time Norris had placed his lance in the rest, the trumpet
sounded. The next moment the word was given, and the champions started.
Henry rode with great impetuosity, and struck Norris in the gorget with
such good will that both he and his steed were shaken.
But Norris was more fortunate. Following the advice of the monk, he made
the upper part of the king's helmet his mark, and the blow was so well
dealt, that, though he did not dislodge the royal horseman, it drove
back his steed on its haunches.
The success was so unequivocal that Norris was at once declared the
victor by the judge. No applause, however, followed the decision, from a
fear of giving offence to the king.
Norris dismounted, and committing his steed to the care of an esquire,
and his lance to a page, took off his helmet and advanced towards the
royal gallery, near which the Earl of Surrey and Sir Thomas Wyat were
standing talking with the other dames. As Norris drew near, Anne leaned
over the edge of the gallery, and smiled at him tenderly, and, whether
by design or accident, let fall her embroidered handkerchief.
Norris stooped to pick it up, regarding her as he did so with a glance
of the most passionate devotion. A terrible gaze, however, was fixed
on the unfortunate pair at that moment. It was that of the king. While
Henry was careering in front of the gallery to display himself before
Jane Seymour, a tall monk approached him, and said, "Look at Sir Henry
Thus addressed, Henry raised his beaver, that he might see more
distinctly, and beheld Norris take up the embroidered handkerchief,
which he recognised as one that he had given, in the early days of his
affection, to the queen.
The sight stung him almost to madness, and he had great difficulty
in repressing his choler. But if this slight action, heightened to
importance, as it was, by the looks of the parties, roused his ire,
it was nothing to what followed. Instead of restoring it to the queen,
Norris, unconscious of the danger in which he stood, pressed the
handkerchief fervently to his lips.
"I am hitherto the victor of the jousts," he said; "may I keep this as
Anne smiled assent.
"It is the proudest I ever obtained," pursued Norris. And he placed it
within his helmet.
"Does your majesty see that?" cried the tall monk, who still remained
standing near the king.
"Death of my life!" exclaimed Henry, "it is the very handkerchief I gave
her before our union! I can contain myself no longer, and must perforce
precipitate matters. What ho!" he cried, riding up to that part of
the gallery where the Duke of Suffolk was seated--"let the jousts be
"Wherefore, my dear liege?" said Suffolk. "The Earl of Surrey and Sir
Thomas Wyat are about to run a course."
"Let them he stopped I say!" roared Henry, in a tone that admitted of
no dispute. And wheeling round his charger, he dashed into the middle of
the barriers, shouting in loud, authoritative accents, "The jousts are
at an end! Disperse!"
The utmost consternation was occasioned by the announcement. The Duke of
Suffolk instantly quitted his seat, and pressed through the crowd to the
king, who whispered a few hasty words in his ear. Henry then called to
the Earl of Surrey, the Marquis of Dorset, the Lord Clifford, Wyat, and
some others, and bidding them attend him, prepared to quit the court.
As he passed the royal gallery, Anne called to him in an agonised
voice--"Oh, Henry! what is the matter?--what have I done?"
But without paying the slightest attention to her, he dashed through the
Norman Gate, galloped down the lower quadrangle, and quitted the castle.
The confusion that ensued may be imagined. All saw that something
extraordinary and terrible had taken place, though few knew precisely
what it was. Dismay sat in every countenance, and the general anxiety
was heightened by the agitation of the queen, who, uttering a piercing
scream, fell back, and was borne off in a state of insensibility by her
Unable to control himself at the sight, Norris burst through the guard,
and rushing up the great staircase, soon gained the apartment to which
the queen had been conveyed. Owing to the timely aid afforded her, she
was speedily restored, and the first person her eyes fell upon was her
lover. At the sight of him a glance of affection illumined her features,
but it was instantly changed into an expression of alarm.
At this juncture the Duke of Suffolk, who, with Bouchier and a party
of halberdiers, had entered the room, stepped up to the queen, and
said-"Will it please you, madam, to retire to an inner apartment? I
grieve to say you are under arrest."
"Arrest!" exclaimed Anne; "for what crime, your grace?"
"You are charged with incontinency towards the king's highness," replied
"But I am innocent!" cried Anne--"as Heaven shall judge me, I am
"I trust you will be able to prove yourself so, madam," said Suffolk.
"Sir Henry Norris, your person is likewise attached."
"Then I am lost indeed!" exclaimed Anne distractedly.
"Do not let these false and malignant accusations alarm you, madam," said
Norri. "You have nothing to fear. I will die protesting your innocence."
"Sir Henry Norris," said the duke coldly, "your own imprudence has
brought about this sad result."
"I feel it," replied Norris; "and I deserve the worst punishment that
can be inflicted upon me for it. But I declare to you as I will
declare upon the rack, if I am placed upon it--that the queen is wholly
innocent. Let her not suffer for my fault."
"You hear what Sir Henry says," cried Anne; "and I call upon you to
recollect the testimony he has borne."
"I shall not fail to do so, madam," replied Suffolk. "Your majesty will
have strict justice."
"Justice!" echoed Anne, with a laugh of bitter incredulity. "Justice
from Henry the Eighth?"
"Beseech you, madam, do not destroy yourself," said Norris, prostrating
himself before her. "Recollect by whom you are surrounded. My folly and
madness have brought you into this strait, and I sincerely implore your
pardon for it."
"You are not to blame, Norris," said Anne; "it is fate, not you, that
has destroyed me. The hand that has dealt this blow is that of a queen
within the tomb."
"Captain Bouchier," said the Duke of Suffolk, addressing that officer,
who stood near him, "you will convey Sir Henry Norris to the strong-room
in the lower gateway, whence he will be removed to the Tower."
"Farewell for ever, Norris!" cried Anne. "We shall meet no more on
earth. In what has fallen on me I recognise the hand of retribution. But
the same measure which has been meted to me shall be dealt to others. I
denounce Jane Seymour before Heaven! She shall not long retain the crown
she is about to snatch from me!"
"That imprecation had better have been spared, madam," said the duke.
"Be advised, my gracious mistress," cried Norris, "and do not let your
grief and distraction place you in the power of your enemies. All may
yet go well."
"I denounce her!" persisted Anne, wholly disregarding the caution; "and
I also denounce the king. No union of his shall be happy, and other
blood than mine shall flow."
At a sign from the duke she was here borne, half suffocated with
emotion, to an inner apartment, while Norris was conveyed by Bouchier
and a company of halberdiers to the lower gateway, and placed within the
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