Billeder på siden


just nor conscientious to require from him the surrender of the patrimony of his See. Hall says, “the Chapiter of the Cathedral Church of Yorke, by their writing, confirmed the same feoffement, and then the King changed the name, and called it the Kinges Manor of Westminster, and no more Yorke Place.”

Having thus secured the inheritance of this demesne to the Crown, the King immediately began to enlarge and improve it, by erecting additional buildings, and connecting them with the adjoining park of St. James ; where also, about the same period, he built a new Palace on the site of the ancient Hospital.

King Henry commenced his improvements at York Place, by causing to be erected there a new gallery, which Wolsey, but a short time prior to his fall, had “ newly set up” at Asher. He also erected a spacious room for entertainments, an elegant gate-house across the street, and a sumptuous gallery which overlooked the tilt-yard, and formed the line of communication between York Place and St. James's Park. On the Park side also, he built a tennis-court, cock-pit, and bowling-alleys, for he was fond of those diversions, as well as of tilts and tournaments, and the more athletic exercises. The gate-louse is generally considered to have been designed by Holbein,whom the King had lately taken into his own service; he had also allotted him apartments in his palace, and an annual salary of 200 florins. That the pencil and talents of that great artist were employed to decorate the interior of York Place is unquestionable. Peacham states, that he painted the chapel there, and says, that St. James, Joseph of

Arimathea, Lazarus rising from the Dead, &c., were his work.*

It does not appear when the appellation Whitehall was first given to this palace; but that it was not generally employed till Queen Elizabeth's reign, is quite certain. It is evident, however, from a curious instrument in Rhymer's 66 Fœdera," "that one of the buildings of York Place was so called in Henry's time: that document records the delivery of a new Great Seal to Sir Thomas Audley, Knight, which was done, præfato rege tunc apud le Whitehall,† prope Palatium


* Vide Feacham's "Complete Gentleman," p. 109, edit. 1622. Whilst the works at York Place were in progress, the King was also inclosing a park, and building another palace. on the site of St. James's Hospital, as shewn by the following passage from Stow's "Chronicle," under the date 1531:

"This yeere King Henry tooke into his hands the Hospitall of St. James's, neere vnto Charing Crossé, and all the medowes to the same belonging, compounding with the sisters of that house, they to have pensions during their lives: and then builded in place of the said Hospital, a goodlie mansion, retaining still the name of St. James's. Hee also inclosed a parke with a wall of brick, nowe indifferently serving to the saide mansion, as also to his place of Whitehall, at Westminster."

Fiddes says, that Wolsey "built a great part" of York Place, ("Life of Card. Wolsey," p. 497,) yet I never met with any corroboration of that fact, except in Storer's Metrical History of the Cardinal's "Life and Death," &c. (4to. 1599), in which are these lines:

"Where fruitful Thames salutes the learned shoare, Was this graue Prelate and the muses placed;

And by those waues he builded had before

suum Westmonasteriense in le Banket Chamber, ibidem existente," on the 6th of September (24th Hen. VIII.) anno 1532.†

One of the most important events, in its consequences, that ever perhaps was recorded in history, was the marriage, in this Palace, of King Henry and Aune Boleyn, which was solemnized on the 25th of January, 1533. On that day, says Stow, "King Henry privily married the Lady Anne Boleine, in his closet at Whitehall, being S. Paules day." They were mar

A Royall House, with learned muses graced,
But by his death imperfect and defaced.

'O blessed walls and broken towers,' (quoth he,)
'That neuer rose to fall again with me.'"

It is not improbable that the White Hall, properly so called, was erected by Wolsey, and obtained its name from the newness and freshness of its appearance, when compared with the ancient buildings of York Place. Shakspeare, in his Play of "King Henry VIII.," makes one of the interlocutors say, in describing the coronation of Queen Anne Boleyn :

"So she parted,

And with the same full state paced back again
To York place, where the feast is held."

To this is replied,

"Sir, you

Must no more call it York-Place, that is past;
For since the Cardinal fell, that title's lost:

"Tis now the King's, and called― Whitehall."

+ Vide Rymer's "Foedera," tom. vi. pars. ii. p. 173. edit. tertia.

ried by Dr. Rowland Lee, who was shortly after "made Bishop of Chester, then Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, and President of Wales.'


The period of the completion of King Henry's improvements at York Place and St. James's, is tolerably well ascertained by an Act of Parliament which was passed in the summer of the year 1536 (28th Hen. VIII. cap. 12), for the annexation of those estates to the ancient Palace of Westminster. After reciting that "the Old Palace" was then, and had been long time before, in utter ruin and decay, the Act states, that the King had lately obtained one great Mansion Place and House (which had belonged to the Archbishopric of York), near the said Palace, and that upon the soil and ground thereof he had "most sumptuously and curiously builded, and edified many, and distinct, beautiful, costly, and pleasant Lodgings, Buildings, and

* Lingard, whose great aim has been to debase Queen Anne Boleyn, and disparage the Reformation, intimates that the marriage ceremony was performed "in a garret, at the western end of the Palace of Whitehall." But the tenor of his work is to support Catholicism, and his "History" is that of a partizan. Hall states, that the marriage took place on St. Erkenwald's Day (November 14th) 1532, immediately on the King's return from Calais; and Holinshed, evidently on his authority, affirms the same. Stow's account, however, is strongly corroborated by a letter of Archbishop Cranmer, quoted by Burnet, which, speaking of Queen Anne's coronation, in June 1533, says, "she was married much about Sainte Paule's daye laste (January 25th), as the condicion thereof dothe well appere, by reason she ys nowe somewhat bigge with chylde."

Mansions," and adjoining thereunto “ had made a Park, and walled and environed it round with brick and stone, and there devised and ordained many

and singular coinmodious things, pleasures, and other necessaries, apt and convenient, to appertain to so noble a Prince, for his pastime and solace ;" wherefore it was enacted, “ that all the said Ground, Mansion, and Buildings, together with the said Park, and the entire space between Charing Cross and the Sanctuary at Westminster, from the Thames on the east side, to the Park Wall westward, with all the houses, tenements, lands, &c., and also the soil of the ancient Palace, should from thenceforth be deemed the King's whole Palace of Westminster, and be called and named the King's Palace at Westminster, for ever,” and “enjoy all the like prerogatives, liberties, jurisdictions, and privileges, as appertained to the ancient Palace." From that time until its destruction by fire in King William's reign, Whitehall was the chief metropolitan residence of all our Sovereigns, and many important and most interesting events occurred within its precincts and neighbourhood.

On the 8th of May, 1539, there was a grand muster of armed citizens, by order of the King, as a preparatory step against the invasion threatened by the Catholic Potentates. The show, as described by Holinshed, was extremely splendid. Upwards of 15,000 persons, including gunners, pikemen, archers, billmen, &c., passed in review before the “ King's Maiestie, which at that time sat in his New Gate House, at his

« ForrigeFortsæt »