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There are some remarkable circumstances relating to the coronation of K. Edward VI., and I do not see any reason to doubt the assertion of bishop Burnet, that the Form was shortened ; although it is not correct, unless mere omissions made it so, that “a new form was ordered to be drawn.13 The chief document, of authority, which describes at length the order in which the coronation was to be observed, is “the Order” printed by Burnet in his records, Book 1. No. 4: from the council book. It cannot be denied that there were in the ancient service some few and short passages, which, after the dissolution of the abbeys, would necessarily call for some alteration, but the reason which the council gave for shortening the ceremony, was not true, viz. : that he was too young to bear the fatigue of so long a ceremony: for he was older than his predecessors, Henry III. and Henry VI., and about one year younger than Richard II. Whatever the true cause may have been, the fact, that the service was mutilated and curtailed, does not seem to admit of dispute: and to a very considerable extent, if we place any reliance on the order of the council. For among other things omitted, it does not appear that Edward received investiture with the royal robe, or ring; or that he was even offered or presented with the sceptres of the realm of England. If one would object that this record from the council books is not to be interpreted so strictly, because it is not credible that so solemn a part of the ceremonies, as that regarding the sceptres, would have been struck out, I do not
has been given by Sir Henry Ellis, in the 1st volume of the second series of his “ Original Let.
ters:" a work of very great value and interest.
13 Hist. Reform. vol. 3. p. 26.
then see how he would prove that Edward VI, was not, as he ought to have been, completely crowned after the ancient manner and custom of his fathers. I leave the matter to the consideration of the reader.14
Queen Mary was crowned according to the old and full form of the Liber Regalis : Holinshed gives a very long description of the pageants, as she went to the Abbey; but of the service itself he merely states, that “the coronation and other ceremonies and solemnities were according to the old custome.” 15 Archbishop Parker corroborates this, and says; “regina Maria missationibus sacrisque pontificiis, uncta regnoque initiata est.”16 Queen Elizabeth was also crowned according to the old rites, and with the celebration of the mass, omitting only the elevation of the host.17
14 Holinshed, in a general way, asserts that “his coronation was solemnized in due forme and order, with all the roialtie and honour which therevnto apper teined." vol. 3. p. 979.
I am indebted to a friend for a transcript also of a contemporary account of this coronation, (Harleian MS. 3504.) possibly drawn up by an eye-witness, in which it is asserted that the sceptres were delivered to the king, by two noblemen: and also, that he was anointed on the soles of his feet. I hesitate to place much reliance on this document, where it differs from the council-minute; and the writer, without intending it, might have both mistaken and misrepresented facts.
15 l'ol, 3. p. 1091.
16 De antiquitate Brit. Ecc. p. 509.
17 Burnet, vol. 3. p. 762. It seems certain however that there was only one bishop present, Oglethorpe, of Carlisle: and Collier, speaking loosely, says that the solemnity "was performed according to ancient custom, and directed by the Roman pontifical." vol. 2. p. 412. The ancient custom was very different from the Roman order. But some modification of the old rubrics of the Liber Regalis must have unavoidably taken place, in consequence of the refusal of the bishops to attend. It has been said that the queen never forgot or forgave their resolution in tbis matter: see Ellis, Original Letters, 3rd Series, vol. 2. p. 324. .
The new Form, new, that is, in its language more than in its order and details, was first used upon the occasion of the coronation of King James in 1603; and this, with some alterations, has been “the Coronation Service,” up to the present day.
By a careful examination of the notes below, the reader will be able, I trust, to trace sufficiently for himself, the principal changes which have been made, from time to time, during the last two centuries : and for more exact enquiry, (these modern services being rather incidentally than truly within the proper limits of my subject) I must refer him to the Forms themselves, all of which are, I believe, still extant in our great libraries. 18
18 Besides the Bodleian and the British Museum, several Forms, not to be found elsewhere, are in the libraries of Lambeth, and of the dean and chapter of Westminster.
I do not enter into any account or history of the regalia : much information may be obtained from common books respecting them, such as Sandford, or Taylor, in the Glory of regality." The regalia now used are not the ancient ones: those having been destroyed, and melted down, by order of the Long Parliament: among them, it is said, the gepuine crown of K. Alfred. The modern crowns, sceptres, &c., were made for Charles II. · There is however one monument of antiquity remaining, the Coronation Chair. The legend
is, that it is the stone on which the patriarch Jacob laid his head in the plain of Luz; that it was brought from Egypt to Spain; from thence to Ireland A. c. 700; carried to Scotland A. C. 300; and at last offered at the shrine of Edward the Confessor at Westminster by K. Edward I. Whatever amount of truth there may be in this, the remark is just, that “this is the antientest respected monument in the world, for though some others may be more antient as to duration, yet thus superstitiously regarded they are not." Toland, Hist. of the Druids. p. 104. The stone was reckoned among the Jewels of Scotland: thus, in the Wardrobe account of Edward the first, we find; “ Jocalia remanentia in fine anni xxvij mi. de jocalibus quæ fuerunt quon
The coronation Oath, and the history of it, have been so accurately investigated and explained by va
dam regis Scocie, inventis in cas- bathiam de Scone, ubi sublato latro de Edeneburgh anno xxy to., pide quo reges Scotorum tempore videlicet, Ciphus argenti, etc. Una coronationis solebant uti pro thropetra magna super quam reges no, transtulit illum usque WestScocie solebant coronari." Liber monasterium, jubens idem fieri quotidianus, 4 to. p. 353. See celebrantium cathedram sacerdoalso Chalmers' Caledonia, vol. 1. tum.” Ypodigma Neustrie. p. p. 468. cit. Glory of regality, 485. p. 58. The first chair was made Before the reformation, all the by Kenneth of Scotland, in the regalia, it is said, were kept at ninth century: and Edward I. Westminster, under the care of ordered a new chair, for the pay. the abbot and convent: and now, ment of which a considerable sum though deposited in the Tower, is entered in the Wardrobe ac- they are brought the evening becounts of the year 1300.
fore the coronation to the dean There is no record of the first of Westminster, and are left after coronation at which the stone was the ceremony in his charge, at used in England : probably by Ed. the shrine of the Confessor. Risward II. And even if Edward I. did hanger in his Chronicle, speaking not specify the purpose to which of the two sceptres being carried it was, in after ages, to be put, it in procession by the abbot of is not likely that his successors Westminster, adds: “Hoc offiwould either forget the old tradi- cium fecit abbas, non quia primus tions about it, or neglect to secure est inter abbates, sed quia regato themselves the blessings which lium insignium est repositorium were promised to those, who locus suus." cit. Taylor. p. 92. should have the power and be But compare an order “thesauentitled to be crowned on it. But rario et camerariis de scaccario" it is not to be denied, and the to deliver up the golden eagle writers upon the regalia have not with the ampulla. An. 8. Henr. noticed this circumstance) that an VI. Rymer. Fædera. tom. 4. pars. early authority, Thomas Walsing. 4. p. 151. And again in 1220, ham, says that Edward deposited a similar order “ Petro de malo it at Westminster, for the use of lacu,” to bring the “regale, quod the celebrant at the Confessor's penes ipsum est apud Corff.” shrine. His statement is; “In Tom. I. pars. I. p. 81. redeundo autem transivit per ab. There is, however, one remrious authors, 19 that I shall merely add one or two observations upon points, which I do not remember to have seen noticed elsewhere. Either in the rituals,
nant of the ancient regalia, if I that occasion, and the likeness may so entitle it, still entrusted must either therefore be convento the custody of the dean of tional, or intended for his predeWestminster: viz: the Liber cessor, Edward III.* or for himRegalis. This most valuable vo- self in after-life. Whatever the lume, so often to be referred to fact may be, the intrinsic value below, is a thin folio, of 38 leaves and importance of the Liber Reof vellum. There are four illu- galis is not affected; it still reminations in it, each occupying mains, “the Royal Book,” the nearly a page, prefixed to the Book of the Royal Offices, to be offices which correspond. 1. Of performed and observed accorda king being crowned. 2. Of a ing to the Use of the Royal Church king and queen crowned together. of Westminster, in the fourteenth 3. Of a queen alone. 4. Of a century. king lying in state. These illumi- I would observe here, that an nations are executed upon a very ancient privilege of the king, at rich ground of highly burnished his coronation, was to nominate gold, with scrolls, according to a nun to be received into certain the fashion of that time, repre- abbeys; for example, Shaftsbury, sented by minute punctures upon Wilton, and Barking. The forms the surface. A fac-simile, with a are given in the Federa. Tom. 4. description of the book is given pars. iv. p. 152. 156. by Mr. Westwood, in his Palæographia Sacra. The date of the 19 The student should consult manuscript cannot be later than Rymer, Fødera: Blackstone, the reign of Richard II., for Commentaries, vol. 1. Prynne, whose coronation it has been sup Signal Loyalty: Wharton, Trouposed to have been written; but bles of Archbishop Laud, p. the illuminations represent a mo 318. Taylor, Glory of Regality, parch much older than he was on p. 329–344.
* In which case, the book would have been written in his reign. And it is remarkable, that the chair in which the sovereign sits,
is not of that character, which is attributed to the later years of Edward III., as being made by him, for the stone.