The Monastery of St. PETER.11

The Monastery of St. PETER.

sitting in the Ornaments and Chair of his Coronation; one of the ancientest Pieces (as it is said) now extant in England. and well done, considering the Distance of Years since it was made. It shews him to be of great Beauty, and of admirable Features.

Within the Rails before the High Altar, is a most noble and curious in-laid Floor, done at the Cost of Richard de Ware, Abbot of Westminster, Anno 1260, and Lord Treasurer of England, still remaining entire; where, in most artificial Work and Figures, there be set these several Sorts of Stones, the Jasper, Porphyry, Lydian, Touch, Alabaster, and Serpentine: And compassing the Squares and great Circles were these Latin Verses described in Letters of Brass; which when entire, were thus to be read, somewhat enigmatical according to the Fancy of that Age.

The curious Floor before the High Altar.

Si Lector posita prudenter cuncta revolvat,     
Hic finem primum Mobilis inveniet.
Sepes, trina, canes & equos, homines, superaddas
Cervos & corvos, aquilas, immania cete,
Mundi quodque sequens pereuntis triplicat annos.
Sphæricus Archetypum globus hic monstrat Microcosmum,
Christi milleno bis centeno duodeno,
Cum sexageno, subductis quattuor, anno,
Tertius Henricus Rex, Urbs, Odericus & Abbas     
Hos compegerunt Porphyreos Lapides.


But the greatest Piece of Curiosity in this Church yet remains to be related, viz. a Chapel of that exact Composure, that nothing in the World of the same Kind is said to exceed, if equal it.]

King Henry the Seventh, about the Year of Christ 1502, caused the Chapel of our Lady, builded by Henry the Third, with a Tavern also called the White Rose, near adjoining, to be taken down: In which Plot of Ground, on the 24th of January, the first Stone of the new Chapel was laid by the Hands of Abbot Islip, Sir Reginald Bray, Knight of the Garter, Doctor Barnes, Master of the Rolls, Dr. Wall, Chaplain to the King, Mr. Hugh Aldham, Chaplain to the Countess of Darby and Richmond (the King's Mother) Sir Edward Stanhope, Kt. and divers other: Upon the which Stone was engraven, the same Day and Year, &c.

The new Chapel at Westminster, i. e.Henry 7. his Chapel built.

The Charges in building this Chapel amounted to the Sum of 14000l. The Stone for this Work (as I have been informed) was brought from Huddlestone Quarry in Yorkshire.

The Altar and Sepulchre of the same King Henry the Seventh, wherein his Body resteth in this his new Chapel, was made and finished in the Year 1519, by one Peter a Painter in Florence; for which he received 1000l. Sterling for the whole Stuff and Workmanship, at the Hands of the King's Executors, Richard, Bishop of Winchester, Richard, Bishop of London, Thomas, Bishop of Durham, John, Bishop of Rochester, Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, Treasurer of England, Charles, Earl of Worcester, the King's Chamberlain, John Fineaux, Kt. Chief Justice of the King's Bench * , [Robert Reade, Kt. Chief Justice of the Common Pleas.]

The Monument of Henry 7.

*Of the Common Place.

First Edit.

This Chapel is of most admirable Architecture, and hath a most noble Roof. On either Side are the Figures of Saints and Martyrs, to the Number of an hundred and twenty; and round about, other lesser Images, and antick Figures, excellently carved, and curiously engraven; in so much, that many, exercised in the Art of Painting, have copied them. The Workmanship of the Stalls and Wainscot is also very curious. In the Windows every Light is composed of diapered and well painted Glass; each Pane containing either a red Rose, the Badge and Cognizance of the House of Lancaster, or a Text the initial Letter of the Royal Builder's Name: But especially, this Chapel is adorned with the Furniture of many Sepulchral Monuments of Persons of the most illustrious Quality, as well Kings and Queens, as others.]

An admirable Structure.

J. S.

Monum. Westmon.

This Monastery being valued to dispend by the Year 3470l. &c. was surrendered to Henry the Eighth, in the Year 1539, and Benson, then Abbot, was made first Dean; and not long after, it was advanced to a Bishops See, in the Year 1541. Thomas Thurleby, being the first and last Bishop there, who, when he had impoverished the Church, was translated to Norwich in the Year 1550, the Fourth of Edward the Sixth, and from thence to Ely, in the Year 1554, the Second of Queen Mary. Richard Cox, Doctor in Divinity (late School-master to King Edward the Sixth) was made Dean of Westminster, whom Queen Mary put out, and made Doctor Weston Dean, until the Year 1556; and then he being removed from thence on the 21st of November, John Feckenham (late Dean of Paul's) was made Abbot of Westminster, and took Possession of the same, being installed, and 14 Monks more received the Habit with him that Day, of the Order of St. Benedict: But the said John Feckenham, with his Monks, enjoyed not that Place fully three Years: For in the Year 1559, in the Month of July, they were all put out; and Queen Elizabeth made the said Monastery a Colledge, instituting there a Dean, twelve Prebends, a School-master, and Usher, 40 Scholars, called commonly The Queen's Scholars, 12 Alms men, and so it was named The Collegiate Church of Westminster, founded by Queen Elizabeth. Doctor Byll, one of her Majesty's Chaplains, was made the first Dean [of that new Erection] after whom succeeded Mr. Doctor Gabriel Goodman, [who governed that Church forty Years, and after him Doctor Lancelot Andrews.]

Westminster a Bishop's See.

Tho. Thourleby.

Rich. Cox, Dean.

Feckenham, Abbot.

The College at Westminster.

First Edit.

The Order of the Government of this College, from the first Erection under Queen Elizabeth, begun by Dr. Byll, and continued by Dr. Goodman, with the Assent of the Chapter, was thus, as appeareth by divers Decrees recorded in the Chapter-Book.

The Government of this Collegiate Church.

J. S.

Daily Prayer in King Henry the Seventh's Chapel, at six of the Clock in the Morning, and a Lecture there read upon the Wednesday and Friday. Daily Service sung in the Chancel of the great Church, according to the Order of her Majesty's Chapel, at usual Hours; that is, upon the Sundays, from Eight to Eleven in the Forenoon; Upon Wednesdays and Fridays, and other Holy Days, from Nine to Eleven; at other Days to begin at Nine until almost Eleven. And in the Afternoon, Service to begin at Four, and to continue until Five, or after Five.

The Service in the Church.

Chapt. Book.

A Sermon every Sunday in the Year, either by the Dean, or one of the Prebendaries, or some other of them. The Dean to preach four Times in the Year, in his own Person, unless there be Cause to the contrary; that is, upon Christmas-Day, Easter-Day, Whitsunday, and Alhallowday. Every Prebendary to preach in their own Persons upon the Sundays in their Course of Residence, or else some other of them.

Solemn Communion ministred upon the great Feasts, and every first Sunday of every Month: Where, by Order, there do communicate, the Dean and Prebendaries present, the Ministers and four of the Clerks, and four of the Alms-Men.

Upon those Days that the Dean, is bound to preach, either he himself doth minister the Communion, or some one of the Prebendaries.