CHAPTER 3: WHITEHALL PALACE—BUILDINGS
Sorbière came to England about 1665, and has left his impressions
on record. One of the places that he visited was Whitehall. He specially
mentions the Banqueting House, which, he says, (fn. 1) "looks very stately,
because the rest of the Palace is ill Built, and nothing but a heap of Houses,
erected at divers times, and of different Models, which they made Contiguous in the best Manner they could for the Residence of the Court; Which
yet makes it a more Commodious Habitation than the Louvre, for it contains above Two Thousand Rooms, and that between a Fine Park and a
Noble River, so that 'tis admirably well Situated for the Conveniency of
walking, and going about Business into the City." Eight years earlier
another traveller had drawn the contrast between the grandeur of the interior
and the comparative poverty of the outside. (fn. 2) "A heap of houses" seems
aptly to describe the appearance of the Palace in the early part of Charles II's
reign. The building operations of that monarch no doubt improved matters
somewhat, but the aspect of the Palace from the river even as late as 1683
(see Frontispiece) was that of an ill-assorted, incongruous mass of buildings, of
differing styles and dates. James II's rebuilding of the privy gallery and of
the Queen's riverside apartments must, on the other hand, have resulted in
a great improvement during the last dozen years of the Palace's existence
(see Plate 5).
Plans of the Palace.
There are three plans (or rather three versions of the same
original survey) of Whitehall Palace in the reign of Charles II. (A) In
1747 Vertue published "A Survey and Ground Plot of the Royal
Palace of White Hall, with the Lodgings & Apartments belonging to
their Majesties, A.D. 1680, survey'd by Jno Fisher … From a Survey
taken in K. Charles's Reign, 1680, now in the possession of his Grace the
Duke of Portland." It is complete, showing the Palace from the south side
of the Bowling Green to the northern limits of Scotland Yard, and from
the river front to well beyond the furthest buildings on the Cockpit side.
It is reproduced in Plate 1. (B) In the Crace Collection at the British
Museum is a MS. plan entitled "Plan of the Palace of White Hall."
Beneath the bottom margin is a note: "This Plan taken about the latter
end of King Charles the IIds Reign or about 1680." It does not show
the whole of the Palace, extending southward as far as (but not including) the terace which separated the Privy Garden from the Bowling Green,
and northward so as to include the wood-yard in Scotland Yard. To the
west it just fails to include the whole of the Cockpit buildings. (C) In the
possession of the Society of Antiquaries is another MS. plan entitled "A
Survey or Ground-Plot of His Majestyes Pallace of White-hall. C.R.2."
It is a trifle less extensive than B in all directions.
All three plans obviously go back to the same original survey. The
reference letters and numbers used in each are the same, the keys supplied
by A and C correspond so far as the latter goes (there is no key in B), and in
all other respects the maps are identical, save in a number of quite minor
details. A careful examination of about 50 of these trivial points of difference
makes it certain that no one of the plans is based on either of the other two. (fn. 3)
The date (1680) given by both A and B is incorrect. It has for a
long time been recognised that there are several features which are inconsistent with so late a date, and others have emerged during the preparation
of this volume. The following instances may be given.
(i) The "Countess of Castlemaine's " kitchen is shown. In
1680 the Countess of Castlemaine had for ten years been
Duchess of Cleveland.
(ii) The whole of the western portion of the Cockpit buildings
is shown in the occupation of the Duke of Albemarle.
The Duke of Buckingham and the Earl of Danby obtained
grants of parts of this about 1673 (fn. 4) and in 1676 respectively,
and the buildings erected by the former were of an entirely
different lay-out from the older ones shown.
(iii) The Duke of Richmond, whose name is given as the occupier of
a house on the waterside by the Bowling Green, died in 1672.
(iv) The "Earl" of Lauderdale, whose lodgings are shown next
to the Stone Gallery, was created Duke in 1672.
(v) Sir Robert Murray, whose house is shown adjoining the
Holbein Gate, died in 1673.
(vi) Lady Villiers, whose house is shown by the side of the Bowling
Green, died before August, 1674.
(vii) Lord Crofts, whose lodging is indicated next to the Stone
Gallery, died in 1677.
(viii) A prominent feature in the plan is the "Bowling Green"
at the south end of the Palace. In 1673–5 the Bowling
Green was done away with.
(ix) The lodgings of the Earl of St. Albans constructed between
October, 1670, and May, 1671, near the Stone Gallery,
are not shown.
On the other hand, the semicircular entrance to the Court Gate
and the New Gallery, both constructed in 1668–9, are shown. The internal
evidence therefore points to a date 1669–70. In this connection it is interesting to note the following item in the records (fn. 5) : "October 1670 … to
Ralph Greatorex (fn. 6) for 3 quarters of a years pains in surveighing & describing
in vellom an Exact Ground plott of ye whole house of Whitehall, Cockpit &
parts adjacent—60. 0. 0." As payment was probably not made on the nail,
it may be assumed that the work was begun in 1669 and continued into
1670. The inference that this was the survey which lies behind the three
existing plans is irresistible. Whether all or any of the latter were made
direct from Greatorex's survey is doubtful. A was based on a plan in the
possession of the then Duke of Portland. His Grace, the present duke, has
informed the Council that the plan is not in his possession, and that
there is no trace of it in the Welbeck Abbey records. It is not therefore
possible to say definitely whether the plan behind A was the original or a
copy, but the incorrect ascription to Fisher and the wrong date suggest
that the latter was the case.
When B and C were made, and whether they were drawn from the
original survey or from copies, there is little to show. B is backed with
modern material, and no conclusion as to the date of the paper on which it is
drawn is possible. As regards C, Mr. E. Heawood, the Librarian of the
Royal Geographical Society, has kindly informed the Council that although
the watermarks rather suggest a date of 1760–70, they are not absolutely
incompatible with a date even as early as the latter part of the 17th century. (fn. 7)
The evidence of the three plans, which, for everything except minor
points of detail, is equivalent to the evidence of A alone (Plate 1), is
referred to throughout this volume as "the plan of 1670."
Two plans (Plate 3) have been prepared, with the plan of 1670
as a basis, showing as overlays the relationship of the buildings in 1670
with those (a) in 1804 and (b) now existing.
It will be noticed that the line of the river front in the plan of 1670
is further westward than the frontage line shown in the 1804 plan, and that,
in fact, the whole of the southern portion is swung over in a westerly direction.
No attempt, however, has been made to rectify the plan, and the buildings
superimposed are not, therefore, in their correct relationship in the southern
Attention is drawn to the western boundary wall of the Privy Garden
which is shown on Vertue's version of the plan of 1670 without a break
in its length, whereas in the versions in the possession of the British Museum
and the Society of Antiquaries, as well as in the Chatsworth block plan
illustrated on page 113, a decided bend is depicted in the boundary wall,
corresponding with the opposite side of the roadway called "the street."
As the plan of 1670 is only a ground plot, and most of the important
galleries and apartments were on the first floor, its value as a guide to
the interior of the Palace is limited. Our only means of identifying the
approximate positions of such rooms as the Presence Chamber, the
Guard Chamber, and the Vane Room, or of galleries, such as the Shield
Gallery, are casual allusions in contemporary literature or official records.
In the following account of the Palace buildings, an attempt at such an
identification has been made, but, it is to be feared, with only partial success.
Whitehall Gate (The Court Gate).
The old Tudor gatehouse of Whitehall Palace is shown in Hollar's
view on Plate 4. From the fact that it is alluded to several times (fn. 8) between
1531 and 1539 as a "new" building, there can be little doubt that it was
erected by Henry VIII, and was not one of the portions of York Place that
survived the transformation into Whitehall. In 1668, the lower part of the
building was much altered in connection with the formation of the new
gallery from the Banqueting House to the King's Guard Chamber (see
p. 63), and in 1676 the upper part was taken in hand. (fn. 9) The gatehouse,
as thus altered, was more lofty, with a conical roof, and was entered by a
door flanked by two passages, each in the form of a quadrant, together
making a semi-circle. The exterior of the reconstructed gatehouse is well
shown in Terrason's View (Plate 16), the details of the two flanking passages (fn. 10)
being more clearly seen in Persoy's engraving of the Funeral of Queen Mary,
reproduced in Loftie's Whitehall. The "Cosimo" drawing of 1669 (Plate 4)
shows the lower works completed, but the top part, including the battlements, untouched. A view from the inside of the Court is given in Plate 46,
and a view of the interior of the gatehouse is contained in Rooker's illustration of the Horse-Guards here reproduced. (fn. 11)
THE HORSE - GUARDS.
Interior of Whitehall Gate House
The gatehouse escaped the Fire of 1698. (fn. 12) It lasted until 1765,
when it was found to be "in so ruinous a Condition" as to be in great
danger of falling. (fn. 13) It was thereupon demolished. Three years later,
however, as a result of "great disorders & robberys" which had occurred
about Whitehall Court, it was decided to build "a new Gateway and Gates"
at an estimated cost of £156. (fn. 14) This in turn was taken down in 1813, and
set up in the City of London Brewery. (fn. 15)
The rooms over the gate were used as lodgings. Among others the
Lord Almoner had his residence here, (fn. 16) and Dean Dering records that on
his visit to London in 1703 he "lodged in the almoner's lodgings, over the
gate-house at Whitehall, the pleasantest room in London, one window looking
down the Thames to the bridge, and another up the canal in the park." (fn. 17)
Sir Robert Carr was accommodated there in 1676, (fn. 18) and in 1729 Lord Vere
Beauclerk was granted the use of "ye Lodgings over Whitehall Gate, formerly
the Green Cloth Office." (fn. 19)
The Porter's Lodge was on the ground floor under the Gate. (fn. 20) It
was occasionally used as a prison. Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey in 1669
caused the king's physician, Sir Alexander Frasier, to be arrested for £30
due to him for firewood. Pepys states (fn. 21) that the bailiffs were whipped by the
King's command, and that Godfrey hardly escaped the same punishment.
He was, however, confined for a time in the Porter's Lodge at Whitehall. (fn. 22)
The Great Court. (fn. 23)
Entering the Palace by Whitehall Gate one arrived in the
Great Court, sometimes called the Cloister Court (fn. 24) or Whalebone
Court (fn. 25) through which was the passage to the Hall, the Chapel and the
water-gate. The reason for the name Whalebone Court is obvious. (fn. 26)
The Great Hall.
On the south side of the passage leading to Whitehall Stairs, at the
west end, was the Great Hall. As already suggested (p. 8), it seems probable
that this building was erected by Wolsey in 1528. According to the plan of
1670 and the plan of the ruins of the Great Hall and Chapel made by Stukeley
in 1718 (see p. 48), the former building was about 40 feet (fn. 27) wide by about
70 feet long to the "screens," behind which was the passage which led to
the buttery and great kitchen, and also formed the way to the river stairs.
At the west end of the passage was a projecting porch with diagonal buttresses, a typical feature of the halls of Tudor mansions. The building
comprised six bays, with a projecting oriel (fn. 28) on the east side at the upper
end, where would also be situated the dais with the great arched fireplace
on the opposite wall. According to Stukeley three of the bays on each
side were provided with three-light windows, with moulded jambs and mullions, and probably traceried heads filled in with stained glass displaying
heraldry. These windows would be kept high to allow plenty of clear wallspace below on which to hang tapestries. The oriel window, which embraced
two bays, had, in addition to its mullions, transoms, and its sill brought down to
within three or four feet of the floor, while its ceiling may have been vaulted, as
in the case of the oriel at Crosby Hall, or that in the hall of Eltham Palace.
A large mullioned window is shown at each end: a three-light at
the upper end, and a four-light at the lower end above the passage. The
external buttresses shown by Stukeley indicate provision for the thrust of
the high-pitched roof, which was probably of open timber construction and
was surmounted by a large lantern (fn. 29) at the southern end.
The floor of the Hall was paved, (fn. 30) but would be covered with mats
of plaited rushes.
On the plan Stukeley has endeavoured to indicate the upper stage
of the Hall showing the windows, as well as the lower stage with the passage at
the north end. On the plan of 1670 the passage and the openings on the
ground level only are shown, the windows above being ignored.
The Groundplot of the Runs of Whitehall, June 14. 1718.
There are several partial views of the Hall from the river, particularly
that reproduced as the frontispiece, and from these it appears that the
exterior was constructed in stone with a battlemented parapet. No description of the interior is known. (fn. 31)
In its very early years the Great Hall was the scene of a famous
trial. This was the prosecution in November, 1538, of John Lambert for
heresy, a case which excited great interest, not only for its intrinsic importance,
but also for the active part taken by the King, who displayed his theological
knowledge in reasoning at length with the prisoner. (fn. 32)
In Elizabeth's time we find the Great Hall in frequent use for
dramatic performances. In the case of most of the plays presented at Whitehall there is no indication of the building selected, but in the majority of the
instances where this information is given, it was the Great Hall which was
used. Thus in 1579 three plays were performed during Shrovetide, and
a casual reference (fn. 33) to "bote hier to and from the courte sondrey tymes at
the making readie and setting upp the frames, rockes and lightes in the
hall against Shrovesondaie" suggests that the play (The History of the Knight
in the Burning Rock) produced on Shrove Sunday was given in the Hall.
Again, between Christmas, 1579, and Shrovetide, 1580, eight plays were
given at Whitehall, and references to enlarging "the scaffolde in the hall one
Twelfe night" and to providing "syse, cullers, Assidew and other necessaries
used and occupied aboute the Furnyshinge and garnyshinge of three greate
braunches of Leightes in the hall … for Twelfe tyde and Shrove tyde" (fn. 34)
make it probable that the plays on those occasions were in the Great Hall.
In 1580–1 seven plays were shown, and in the only two cases (fn. 35) in which the
place of performance is given it is said to be the Hall.
With the accession of James I the number of plays at court increased, (fn. 36)
though at first he gave the impression of taking no great pleasure in this
form of entertainment. (fn. 37) One of the first records of his reign relating to
the Great Hall refers to "altering of a stage in the hall to bring it nearer to
the King," (fn. 38) and in February, 1609–10, is a reference to "the mending ye
paving in ye haull in many places after ye playes." (fn. 39)
One of the most notable masques given in the Great Hall was on
the second night following the wedding of the Princess Elizabeth in 1613. (fn. 40)
The masque was written by Chapman, and performed by the gentlemen of
the Inns of Court. (fn. 41)
On 4th November, 1616, Prince Charles (afterwards Charles I)
was created Prince of Wales, the ceremony taking place in the Great Hall.
The Prince, preceded by trumpeters and heralds, the Knights of the Bath
and others, "came bare-headed, and so entred the great Hall, where the
King was set in his royall Throane, and the whole State of the Realme in
their Order; the Prince made lowe obeisance to his Maiestie three times,
and after the third time, when hee was come neere to the King, hee kneeled
downe on a rich Pillow or Cushion." The letters patent having been read,
the King put on him the robes, girt on the sword, invested him with the
rod and ring, and set the cap and coronet on his head. Then "the King
arose and went up to Dinner, but the Prince, with his Lords, dined in the Hall,
and was served with great State and Magnificence." (fn. 42)
In 1635 a Pastoral was performed in the Great Hall, (fn. 43) not particularly
notable in itself, but of importance as furnishing the occasion for the plan
of the Hall reproduced opposite. The plan gives a valuable indication of the
methods adopted for seating the spectators, the position and size of the stage,
etc. It will be noticed that a communication is shown with the building
on the other side of the passage to Whitehall stairs; this was probably used
as a tiring-room. The small squares dotted along three sides seem to indicate
posts supporting temporary galleries. There were no permanent galleries
in the Great Hall until the time of Charles II. In 1613 it was found necessary to provide galleries for the performance of the Inns of Court masque
(see below), and in 1637–8 a temporary gallery had to be set up at the end
of the Hall "for the Gentl' of the Chapple." (fn. 44) A permanent gallery at the
south end was not provided until the adaptation of the Hall for the purposes
of a theatre in 1665, and as late as 1675 it was necessary to arrange,
in connection with the performance of a grand masque, for the
provision of "two Galleryes on each side ranginge with the Gallery at ye
End." (fn. 45)
There is little record of the use of the Great Hall during the Commonwealth, but on the Restoration it came into its own again. In August, 1660,
there was dancing on the ropes in the Hall. (fn. 46)
The Great Hall arranged for a Pastoral.
In 1665 the Hall was altered for use as a theatre, including the
provision of a gallery at the south end and of permanent arrangements
for tiring-rooms. (fn. 47) The work was carried out in February-April, 1665,
and on 20th April Pepys records: "This night I am told the first play is
played in Whitehall noon-hall, which is now turned to a house of playing." (fn. 48)
Great consideration was apparently given to the comfort of the
actors. An order to "Henry Harrys, yeoman of ye Revells to his Matle"
required him to "repaire unto Sir John Dinham … and to advise with him
concerninge the Convenient Makeinge the Attyreing roome in the New
Theatre in Whitehall and … see that all things be fitt and Convenient
accordinge to ye Duty of your place; " (fn. 49) and in the following year a not
illiberal food allowance to the performers was provided for. (fn. 50)
George Johnson, who had been keeper of the Cockpit playhouse,
was the first keeper of the new theatre, but on 21st November, 1666, Henry
Glover was appointed. (fn. 51) Apparently Johnson later on resumed the position,
for on 15th November, 1672, a warrant was issued appointing "Phillipp
Johnson … keeper of his Mats theatre … of Whitehall … in the place of
George Johnson dec[ease]d." (fn. 52) In 1678 Philip died and John Clarke was appointed keeper. (fn. 53)
In 1674 the theatre was used "for the practiseing of a Maske,"
and as the Duke of York's children were to be present to see the rehearsal,
orders were given for "fires in panns" to be provided "in ye Pitt." The
masque was duly performed in the Great Hall in the early part of 1675, the
Lady Mary, the Lady Anne and the Duke of Monmouth taking part, and
considerable works, including the provision of side galleries, the bringing
forward and widening of the stage, and enclosing "the front of the pitt
next the stage for the musick the whole breadth of ye house" were carried
out for the occasion. (fn. 54)
Pepys, on the occasion of his visit in 1666, had expressed an unfavourable opinion of the acoustics of the building. His criticism was apparently justified, for in 1675 orders were given for the construction of "a
new Ceelinge in the Theatre in Whitehall, that ye Voyce may ye better be
heard." (fn. 55) The theatre was apparently open to the world. Marvell writing
on 24th July, 1675, says: "Scaramuccio acting dayly in the Hall of Whitehall,
and all Sorts of People flocking thither and paying their Mony as at a common
Playhouse; nay even a twelve-penny gallery is builded for the convenience
of his Majesty's poorer Subjects." (fn. 56)
The alleged "popish plot" of 1678 was no doubt responsible for the
orders which were issued in November of that year for the safeguarding of
the King's person in the Hall. It was arranged that "some discreete honest
person" should "watch & attend every Night under the Kings Seate in the
Hall at the tyme His Matle shall be at ye Play in ye Theatre in Whitehall,
for ye prevention of any Danger that may happen to His Matle;" and orders
were given "to take Especiall care every Night to search under His Mat8
Seate in ye Theatre in Whitehall, & see if there bee anything dangerous
for His Mat8 being there at ye play or not." (fn. 57)
In 1679 leave was granted to Anne Capell and her servants "to
come into ye Theatre in Whitehall to sell fruite every Night that a Play is
Acted there: And If any other presume to sell fruite there I doe hereby Order
His Matles Gentlemen Ushers dayly Wayters forthwith to turne them
out." (fn. 58)
One of the last notices regarding the Hall is on 6th February, 1696–7,
when Luttrell writes: "This being the princesse of Denmark's birth day, his
majestie ordered the play of Love for Love to be acted at Whitehall." Less
than a twelvemonth later the building was destroyed in the Great Fire.
The Chapel Royal
Adjoining the Great Hall on the east was the Chapel Royal, with
its two vestries, as shown in the plan of 1670. No illustration or description of the building is known, and the details given in the plans of 1670
and of Stukeley (p. 48) are not consistent.
The latter shows the dimensions as approximately 28 feet wide by
40 feet in length, but according to the former the chapel was about 75 feet long.
Moreover, while the plan of 1670 shows a vestry on the east and an outward
vestry on the west abutting against the eastern wall of the Great Hall,
Stukeley leaves only a narrow space, quite insufficient for a vestry, on the
west side, but makes up for the omission by widening the vestry on the
east side. According to his plan the chapel was divided into four bays
containing three-light mullioned windows, which probably had traceried
heads filled with diamond panes of stained glass. At each end is shown a
four-light window; that at the east end originally contained painted glass
which was destroyed by Parliament (see p. 55). The roof as indicated in
views of Whitehall was of a good pitch, covered with lead. It was probably
ceiled, and divided into panels by moulded ribs with carved bosses at the
intersections. The exterior was faced in stonework contemporary with the
Great Hall, and the parapet indicated in the views was originally decorated
with carved figures on high pedestals, as shown in the frontispiece and
Morden and Lea's view (p. 76). In February, 1665–6, work was done in
"taking downe some of ye stone figures yt stood on the battlements over ye
Kings chappell, and repaireing all the battlements there." (fn. 59)
At the end of the chapel, in a gallery, was the King's closet, (fn. 60) on the
left and right hands of which sat the ladies of the court. (fn. 61) Their places
were separated from the royal seats by hangings. When attending service
on 14th October, 1660, Pepys observed "how the Duke of York and Mrs.
Palmer did talk to one another very wantonly through the hangings that
parts the Kings closet and the closet where the ladies sit." It was a good
place from which to view the service, and on the occasion of the admission
of new members into the Order of the Garter in 1615 the Spanish
ambassador, who had expressed a desire to witness the proceedings,
"had his place for sight of divine Service and Offering in the King's
Closet." (fn. 62)
There are fairly frequent allusions to the chapel in contemporary
literature, but few of interest. Of the marriages in the chapel the following
27th December, 1604. Sir Philip Herbert (afterwards Earl of Montgomery) and Susan, daughter of the Earl of Oxford.
15th January, 1605–6. Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex, and Frances,
daughter of the Earl of Suffolk.
6th January, 1606–7. Lord James Hay (afterwards Earl of Carlisle) and
Honor, daughter of Sir Edward Denny.
9th February, 1607–8. Sir John Ramsay, Viscount Haddington (afterwards Earl of Holderness) and Elizabeth, daughter of the
Earl of Sussex.
14th February, 1612–13. Frederick, Count Palatine of the Rhine, and
Elizabeth, daughter of James I.
26th December, 1613. Robert Carr, Viscount Rochester (afterwards Earl
of Somerset), and the divorced Countess of Essex.
2nd May, 1641. William (afterwards Prince of Orange) and Mary,
daughter of Charles I.
The most splendid of these was the marriage of the Princess Elizabeth
in 1613, a detailed description of which is given in a tract printed the same
year and reproduced in Nichols' Progresses of James I.
Whitehall Chapel fared ill under the rule of the Parliament. On
9th March, 1643–4, it was ordered that the committee for demolishing
superstitious monuments should "consider of Heads for a Conference to
be had with the Lords, for the demolishing of all superstitious Pictures and
Monuments in Whitehall." (fn. 63) The effect was quickly seen. A receipt by
John Rutland for £7 "for 241 feet of new white glass set up in the East
window of the King's Chapel at Whitehall" calls up a vision of a fine east
window of painted glass that had been ruthlessly destroyed. Other items
tell a similar tale. "Receipt for … taking down the cross at Whitehall
and for colouring the boards from which the carpenter had planed off the
pictures;" "receipt … for cutting down the stem of the cross over the
chapel at Whitehall;" "receipt … for work done in the chapel of Whitehall about defacing pictures and plastering the walls;" "receipt … for
taking down the organ at Whitehall." (fn. 64) Iconoclasm was evidently rife in
the year 1644. Two years later the altar plate was melted down to provide
plate for the King's use at Holdenby. (fn. 65)
The chapel figured in the plot of Miles Sindercombe against Oliver
Cromwell. In 1656 Sindercombe had made plans to assassinate Cromwell
at Hammersmith, but these had failed, and on 8th January, 1656–7, he attempted to set fire to the chapel, in the hope that in the ensuing confusion
he might have an opportunity to accomplish his purpose. The conspirators
"cut a hole in one of the doors of the Chappel, and so unbolting it, they
… went in and placed the materials for firing, which were discovered about
nine a Clock that night, for in one of the Seats was found upon the Floor a
Basket filled with a strange composition of combustible stuff, and two lighted
matches, aptly placed, which matches had been rub'd over with gunpowder,
on purpose to keep them surely burning, and by the length of them, it was
conceived they would have given fire to the Basket about one a clock in the
morning." (fn. 66)
An organ had been used in the chapel from the earliest times. (fn. 67)
In 1644 the then existing instrument was removed, but on the Restoration
an organ was again installed. On 17th June, 1660, Pepys writes in his
Diary: "This day the organs did begin to play at White Hall before the
King," (fn. 68) and three weeks later he records: "To White Hall chapel …
Here I heard very good music, the first time that ever I remember to have
heard the organs and singing-men in surplices in my life." The instrument,
which had certainly been provided in a hurry and may have been an old one,
was two years later under repair. (fn. 69) The results seem not to have been entirely
satisfactory, for in the same year (1662) an order was made for a warrant to
pay Hingeston £900 "for a fair double organ for Whitehall Chapel." (fn. 70)
According to Freeman (fn. 71) there is little doubt that this organ was actually
built by Father Smith, and was the first of the many instruments he built
in this country. From the fact that on 20th August, 1663, Wren was
instructed to "erect a large organ loft … in the place where formerly the
great Double organ stood," (fn. 72) it would seem that the old organ had then been
taken away. The new instrument was not ready until 1664, (fn. 73) when it was
placed in a different position. Some time before 1676 Smith lowered the
pitch (fn. 74) of the organ by a semi-tone.
During the regin of James II the Chapel Royal fell into comparative
neglect in face of its important rival, the Roman Catholic Chapel. The only
member of the Royal Family attending the Chapel Royal was the Protestant
Princess Anne, and her position in this respect was formally recognised on
20th February, 1685–6, when an order was issued (fn. 75) in the following terms:
"It is his Matyes pleasure that Her Royall Highnesse Princes Anne of Denmarke Doe sit in His Matyes Closett at His Chappell Royal at Whitehall, upon
one side of ye Kings chaire, wch must remaine in its place not turned:
And that Noe man of what degree or quality soever, presume to come into
ye clossett when Her Royall Highnesse is there, except ye Clerke of ye Clossett,
or His Deputy to officiate there, And the Lord Chamberlayne and Mr. Vice
Chamberlayne of His Matyes Household to stand behind ye Kings chaire."
In 1688 repairs and decorations to the building were carried out at Anne's
request. (fn. 76) In 1698 it was destroyed in the Great Fire, and a few years later
the ruins were in use as a place for practising archery. (fn. 77)
The Stairs and Queen Mary's Terrace.
Beyond the chapel were Whitehall Stairs, and it is convenient at
this point to deal, as a whole, with the various river stairs at Whitehall, as
well as with the terrace formed in the time of William and Mary.
From the beginning there were two sets of river stairs at Whitehall,
the public or Whitehall Stairs, and the Privy Stairs. The site of the former
is covered by the buildings of Whitehall Court on the north side of Horse
Guards Avenue, while that of the latter lies just to the south of Pembroke
House, within the borders of No. 6 Whitehall Gardens.
Reference to the construction of the landing place at the Privy Stairs
is made in July, 1530: (fn. 78) "Item the xxj daye paied to Nedam the kinges
Carpenter towardes the making of a pryvat bridge at yorke place … x.ll."
An earlier reference (January, 1529–30) to a payment of xiijll vjs viijd
"for the finisshing of the bridge at york place" (fn. 79) may possibly refer to
the landing place at the public stairs. Both are mentioned in the accounts
for the building of Whitehall: (fn. 80) "The kinges armes sette oute in ij tables,
the one appoyntid ovir the gate of the greate bridge and the other ovir the gate
of the prevey bridge." The two sets of stairs were, perhaps, rebuilt in 1548. (fn. 81)
The provision of a private landing place to the Palace is easily understood, but why was a public landing place, with a corresponding right of
way through Whitehall Gate to the main road, thought necessary? It is
possible that there had previously been a public landing place in the neighbourhood with a thoroughfare to the main street between York Place and
"Scotland," and that, as in the case of the right of way from Charing Cross to
Westminster through the Palace, public rights had to be considered even by
Admission to Whitehall Stairs was gained by a postern (probably
the "gate" referred to above) shown in the frontispiece.
The stairs existed until the construction of the Victoria Embandment.
References to the Privy Stairs are scattered among the records, (fn. 82)
and this means of communication with the river, which was not only London's
principal highway, but the scene of recreation and pleasure, (fn. 83) was much
used. Regulations were occasionally necessary, and in March, 1678–9,
an order (fn. 84) was issued as follows: "Whereas greate noise & disorders are
made at the privy Staires by all sortes of Watermen comeing there & plying,
& landing fares & persons there, whereby his Matle is disturbed goeing
into His Barge, I doe therefore hereby Order That noe Watermen Whatsoever But the Kings & Queenes Watermen doe presume to ply any fares
there, or bring theire Boates there or land any persons there at theire perrills.
Except only If any Gentleman belonging to ye Court … The Greate Gate
being Shutt may be there landed, but ye Watermen to depart thence & not
to stay there or receave any fare at these staires at theire perrills."
Hollar's View of Whitehall Stairs and the Privy Stairs.
A beautiful representation of the Privy Stairs soon after their construction is given in Wyngaerde's sketch of Whitehall preserved in the
Bodleian Library. Views of them in a later stage of their existence are
given by Hollar (see above) and in Morden and Lea's Map of 1682 (p. 76),
and a still better representation of them in 1683 in the frontispiece to this work.
They lasted only a few years longer, being done away with when Queen
Mary's Terrace was formed.
This terrace seems to have originated in a scheme for the improvement of part of the Palace consequent on the Fire of 1691. The first mention
of it that has been found is in July, 1691, (fn. 85) and in September of the same year
Luttrell writes: (fn. 86) "There is orders given for building a fine tarras walk
under the lodgings at Whitehal, towards the water side." A design for the
terrace is among the Wren drawings in the Library of All Souls' College,
and is reproduced in Plate 9. In September, 1693, Luttrell says: "The
queens tarras walk at Whitehall, facing the Thames, is now finished, and
curiously adorn'd with greens, which cost some 1000 of pounds, about
The terrace was about 70 feet wide and about 280 feet long, and
stretched from the northern extremity of what was afterwards the Earl of
Pembroke's ground to a point well within the frontage of the Duke of
In 1719 the Countess of Portland obtained a lease of the "Terras
commonly called Queen Marys Garden." (fn. 87) The countess, however,
quarrelled with the Earl of Pembroke, whose premises the terrace completely shut off from the river, and mutual recriminations ensued. The
earl complained of the countess's action in "planting forrest trees thereupon to the prejudice of his house," while the latter accused the earl of
infringing her rights in the wall (fn. 88) that divided the terrace from the earl's
property, and encroaching on the passage originally leading to the Privy
Stairs. (fn. 89) The matter came before the Commissioners of the Treasury, who
decided that the lease to the countess was void, because the grant was for
50 years and the terrace was not a building within the meaning of the Civil
List Act, and instructions were given for proceedings to be taken to recover
the property for the Crown. A decree was obtained restoring the premises,
and in 1744 the terrace was divided between the two parties, the Earl of
Pembroke obtaining a lease of the portion between his house and the river,
while the remainder was leased to the countess.
Some river stairs to the terrace had obviously been provided for the
use of the King on the demolition of the original Privy Stairs. On the partition of the terrace between the earl and the countess, a dividing wall was
built, with the result that the King had "on Stairs to either Land or take
Water at Whitehall." (fn. 90) Instructions were accordingly given for the making
of "plain substantial Stone stairs from the reserv'd part of Lady Portland's
Garden for His Majesty to take Water or Land at, together with a Causeway
at the foot of the stairs." (fn. 91)
The plan of 1670 shows some stairs at the northern end of the Bowling
Green (formerly the Orchard) next to Kirke's lodgings. These must be
the same as the "Garden Stairs" shown on Norden's map of 1593 and
Visscher's View of London in 1617. It is possible that the origin of these
stairs is referred to in the payment recorded in 1563–4 (fn. 92) for the "making
of a newe brydge in the Orcharde." Later references, which show that the
stairs were provided with a water gate, are (i) (fn. 93) a petition of John Henry, the
keeper of the orchard, in 1637 for some recognition of his services in giving
attendance "at the Orchard gate & Water Gate to lett in & out the Prince
Elector Palatine his Highnes servants" during the Prince's stay at Whitehall,
and (ii) a Warrant, (fn. 94) dated 28th February, 1666–7," … to cause a Pale to
be erected in the Bowleing greene from his Grace ye Duke of Richmonds
Lodgings to ye Walke there, & likewise to continue the Pales to ye Watergate
on that Side next Mr. Kirkes."
The stairs were rebuilt in 1682. (fn. 95) They are marked on Rocque's
May of 1746 ("Privy Garden Stairs") and were specially exempted from
the Duke of Richmond's lease of the first Richmond House in 1738 (see
p. 246). They were removed on the formation by the Dukes of Richmond
and Montagu of the continuation of Queen Mary's Terrace (see p. 215).
The Pebble Court.
Behind the Banqueting House, and separated from the Great Court
by a wooden terrace, which was afterwards replaced by a brick gallery (see
below), was the courtyard known in Charles II's time as the Pebble Court,
but in earlier days called the Preaching Place, or Sermon Court, (fn. 96) from the
presence there of the outdoor pulpit. (For the suggestion that it was the
original Privy Garden, see p. 88.) We have an early description of it in
the account given by Von Wedel in 1584: (fn. 97) "Then we were brought to a
grass plot surrounded by broad walks below and above, enabling many
persons to promenade there. In the middle of the place a pulpit is erected,
with a sounding board above. When the queen commands preaching here,
the walks are filled with auditors." A plan showing the court (there called
The Chapell Courte) and the pulpit, (fn. 98) at some time between 1607 and 1619,
is reproduced on p. 119. (fn. 99) The projecting building about half-way down on
the south side represents the Council Chamber (see p. 98). This was
frequently used as a gallery for distinguished persons when sermons were
delivered and other special events were held in the court. (fn. 100)
Flanking the north and east sides of the Court was a wooden terrace, (fn. 101)
leading to the Privy Lodgings and the Council Chamber. (fn. 102) On the occasion
of the festivities in connection with Princess Elizabeth's marriage in 1613
"a new banquetings house" was erected "upon the Tarras for the feasts
to be keapte at the marriadge." (fn. 103) This was made use of on 21st February
when "there was a great supper prepared by the King … in a large roome
built of purpose for the time over the North Terras next the first Court of
Whitehall. The King and Prince onely were seated at a Crosse Table placed
at the end of the Roome next the Banqueting House. The Prince Palatine,
the Lords, Ladies [etc.], sate at another Table placed longways [to] the
chamber." (fn. 104)
A few years later an accident, which might have had serious results,
occurred at the end of the terrace. The Count de Gondemar, the Spanish
ambassador, went to Whitehall on 12th March, 1619–20, for his first
public audience with James I. After resting awhile in the Council Chamber,
he proceeded to the Presence Chamber and "passing over the then ruinous
woodden Terras, at the instant that he was entring the first great doore next
that of the Guard Chamber, the weight of the overthronging multitude next
about him, pressing downe part of the Plancks and Joyces under him, that it
suddainly fell, and with all the Earle of Arrundell, the Lord Gray and others,
with great danger, and some hurt (particularly to one youth, who under the
ruins had his arme and shoulder broken) the Ambassador having received
but halfe a fall of the nether parts of his Body onely, his Servants next him
staying and holding him by the upper, as he was at the instant of entring
under the doore." (fn. 105) The mishap caused consternation, but the ambassador,
with great tact, laughed it off as due to "his hast and longing to see his
Majesty." There is an item respecting the "mendinge the Tarras in the
Sermon Courte" for the year 1621–2, but this probably refers to some later
The way from the Court Gate to the Terrace was at first open, (fn. 106) but in
1629–30 a pent-house was provided, "being lty fo. longe and vj fo. wyde,
leadinge from the Courte gate to a newe Dore goeinge to the walke under the
Terrasse for the Lords and Ladies to goe drye there." (fn. 107) By about this time the
grass area of the court had apparently been replaced by stone pavement, for
an item in the Accounts of the Paymaster of Works for 1632–3 relates to
"squaring, working and setting the purbecke paving against the banquetting
howse wall in the preaching place Court." (fn. 108)
In 1635 the Rubens paintings were placed in position in the Banqueting House ceiling. The smoke from torches on occasions when the
building was used at night was not calculated to improve the ceiling, and
for a time no masques were held. In 1637, however, Charles I gave instructions for a new room to be provided for the purpose. (fn. 109) The site selected
was on the terrace where the temporary room had been erected on the
occasion of the Princess Elizabeth's wedding. (fn. 110) The order was given on
29th September, the work being treated as urgent, (fn. 111) and the building was
opened on the Sunday after Twelfth Night, 1637–8, with the presentation
of the masque Britannia Triumphans, by Inigo Jones and William Davenant. (fn. 112)
The building lasted until 1645, when orders were given for it to be pulled
down. (fn. 113)
In 1668 the terrace was replaced by a brick gallery. The main
portion of the work was accomplished between July and December of that
year, and consisted in "setting up a Brick wall Cxlv foot long xij foot high
in the Pibble Court for a Gallery betwixt the Banquetting howse and the
Kings Guard chamber, all wrought faire on one side with Bricks rubbed
and hew'd to a scatling, with three dorewayes and fower windowes in the
said wall. Working up two stairecases with rough Brickes xxij foot high above
the foundation on one side and xlix foot long x foot high on the other side
above the said Gallery wall, the one stairecase going up to the Banquetting
house and the other to the Kings Guard chamber, with tenn windows and
fower dorewayes in the said stairecases. Cutting and setting of straight Arches
and round Mouldings round the said windows and doorwayes, raising ye old
wall (fn. 114) in ye great Court on the other side ye said Gallery, Cix foot long iiij
foot high." (fn. 115) The work was finished in 1669. (fn. 116)
On New Year's eve, 1686, (fn. 117) a statue of James II (fn. 118) was set up in the
Pebble Court. When the Privy Gallery was destroyed in the Fire of 1698,
the Pebble Court became merged in the Privy Garden, and the statue remained
in its original position until 27th August, 1897, when it was removed to
the garden of Gwydyr House. It was again taken down in December, 1903,
and set up in St. James's Park.
The King's Guard Chamber, The Great Chamber and The Wine Cellar.
The plan of 1670 shows that the new gallery terminated near the
Wine Cellar, and the record of the construction of that gallery in 1668
(see p. 63) mentions that its termination, on the first floor, was at the King's
Guard Chamber. The inference that the latter was immediately over the
Cellar is confirmed by (i) the entry relating to the Cellar in the list of lodgings
in 1691: (fn. 119) "Great Cellar—under the Guard Chamber, 3 roomes," and
(ii) an order made in 1683 (fn. 120) for "the New roome which is at ye head of the
Kings Guard Chamber Stayres & over the Passage into ye Cellar" to be
assigned to the corporals of the Yeomen of the Guard.
The position of the King's Guard Chamber may therefore be regarded
as certain. The question which now arises is: "Was the King's Guard
Chamber at Whitehall identical with the Great Chamber?" The late Mr.
Ernest Law was evidently of opinion that it was. In a paper read before
the London Topographical Society in 1911 (fn. 121) he placed the site of the Great
Chamber "exactly over Cardinal Wolsey's cellars," a position which, as
has been seen, was occupied by the King's Guard Chamber. In making the
identification he probably argued from the analogy of Hampton Court.
On the other hand Sir Edmund Chambers, on the strength of a statement
made in 1613 (see pp. 65–6), rejects the identification. (fn. 122)
In favour of the identity of the two rooms the following points may
(i) The Boarded Masque House was, according to one description,
situated between the Guard Chamber and the Banqueting House, while
according to another it was between the Banqueting House and the Great
Chamber. (fn. 123)
(ii) In a series of regulations for the government of Whitehall
made some time in Charles II's reign, (fn. 124) the following occurs under the
heading "Great Chamber:" "And they shall take care that the Yeomen
Ushers see that the Chamber be kept Clean and Sweet, And that they cause
the Doore to be carefully kept, not suffering any Footman to enter into
the Chamber except Our Footmen and the Footmen of Our Dearest Consort
the Queene, Our Deare Brother and Sister the Duke and Dutchesse of Yorke,
and Our Cousin Prince Rupert, and all Pages: these are permitted to stay
there, but to passe no further."
Again, in a further series, dated 1673 (fn. 125) is the following relating to
the King's Guard Chamber: "That you appoynt that in the Guard Chamber
there be noe Tobacco taken in Smoake, that there be no ill Savour of Beere
or any thing else for the inconvenience of the passage that way, but that in
the Morninge the Dores and Windowes be sett open, and something burnt
in the room to take away the Scent of ye Watch of ye Night, And that the
footmen of all persons be prohibited to come in as sometymes thay have done.
And that all pages are to stay in the Guard Chamber and to come noe
The prohibition in both cases against footmen entering the room,
and the permission, also in both cases, to pages to enter the room but proceed
no further, suggest that the same room is in question in both series of
(iii) Under the same heading, "Great Chamber," in the former of
the two documents mentioned above is the regulation: "The Yeomen of
our Guard are to attend in Our Great Chamber as hath been accustomed."
The regular place of attendance of the Yeomen of the Guard was of course
the Guard Chamber, "where His Majesties great Beefe-eaters had wont to sit
in attendance on their places" (see p. 30).
(iv) In a list, drawn up in 1689 (fn. 126) of the amounts of fuel for the
winter months allowed for the various rooms in Whitehall, while the Privy
Chamber, Fane Room, Privy Gallery, Presence Chamber, Guard Chamber,
Council Chamber, Waiters' Chamber, The Robes, etc., are all given, there
is no mention of the Great Chamber. Similarly, a list of locks and bolts (fn. 127)
to be supplied for the Palace in 1682, and two lists of mourning (fn. 128) (to be
hung and removed respectively) in 1687, contain no reference to the Great
(v) A comparison of the details concerning other Royal residences
seems to suggest that the two were usually identical. (a) In an Elizabethan
plan of Havering Palace the Great Chamber (the Guard Chamber is not
given) is shown leading into the Presence Chamber, as did the Guard Chamber
at Whitehall, and a room in what appears to be a similar relative position at
St. James's Palace is still called the Guard Room. (fn. 129) (b) In the Parliamentary
Surveys of Woodstock, Richmond and Nonsuch, the Guard Chamber is
mentioned, but not the Great Chamber. In the two former cases the Guard
Chamber was next the Presence Chamber, in the case of Nonsuch it was
on the ground floor. Either these palaces had no Great Chamber, or it was
identical with the Guard Chamber.
Against the identification is the following passage in a contemporary
account (quoted in Nichols' Progresses of James I, II, p. 541) of the procession of James I from his Privy Chamber to the Chapel on the occasion
of the Princess Elizabeth's wedding in 1613: "His Majesty, to make the
Procession more solemn, and in order that it might be seen by more people,
proceeded from his Privy-chamber through the Presence and Guard-chamber,
and through the new Banquetting-house erected of purpose to solemnize
this Feast, and so down a pair of stairs at the upper end thereof by the Courtgate, and went along upon a stately scaffold to the Great-chamber stairs, and
through the Great-chamber and Lobby to the Closet down the staires to the
Sir Edmund Chambers regards this account as conclusive against
the identification of the two rooms, and it must be admitted that it does
suggest a distinction between the two. The "new Banquetting-house"
was on the wooden terrace on the site of the new gallery shown in the plan
of 1670, and the "stately scaffold" presumably ran from the Court Gate
more or less parallel with the terrace. The "Great-chamber stairs" therefore,
if distinct from the Guard Chamber Stairs, would be somewhere near the
north-west angle of the Great Hall, a position which can hardly be reconciled
with the plan of 1670. Moreover, it is very remarkable that no mention
whatever of these stairs has been found in the records of the Surveyor of
Works, which nevertheless contain several references to the Guard Chamber
On the whole the balance of evidence seems to incline to the
identification of the two rooms.
From the Guard Chamber there was communication on the one
hand with the Presence Chamber, (fn. 130) and on the other with the Chapel. (fn. 131) It
formed the usual way of approach to the Court. Another way was by the
Privy Gallery, but on 13th May, 1673, an order was issued forbidding the
use in general of "the passages by ye Privy Gallery," and prescribing "the
way to be by his Guard Chamber, presence and Privy Chamber." (fn. 132)
The Guard Chamber suffered severely in the Fire of 1698, which
left the cellar beneath to a great extent intact. (fn. 133)
No description of the room has been found, but, if it was identical
with the Great Chamber, it must have been fairly extensive, having regard
to the special uses to which the latter was put. These were various. Plays
were acted there occasionally in the reigns of Elizabeth and her successors. (fn. 134)
It was sometimes prepared for dancing, and on several occasions was used
for the meeting of Parliament. (fn. 135) An early reference to the use of the Great
Chamber for the dissolution of Parliament occurs in Edward VI's reign.
"The 31 of March , beinge Goodfryday, the Parliament brake up
and was clerely dissolved at the Kinges place at Whitehall at vii of the clock
at night, the Kinges Maiestie sittinge in his robes in the great chamber on
the Kynges syde." (fn. 136)
The Wine Cellar which was underneath the Guard Chamber, is
described on p. 146. Close by, if not actually in that building, was a place
for the public sale of liquor. Soon after the accession of James II, on
search being made for a room in which to house the Queen's sedan-chair,
it was found (fn. 137) that "there is roome under the Greate Staires goeing up to the
King's Guard Chamber wherein ale and Brandy is now Sold, to the dishonor
of the Court, at the entrance thereof," and that "this roome will bee very
propper and convenient to place the Queenes chaire in." Orders were
therefore given "to turne out the person or persons who are in that roome." (fn. 138)
The Presence Chamber.
The site of the Presence Chamber is, fortunately, fixed by an entry
in the list of Whitehall lodgings drawn up in 1691: "Privy Cellar—under
the Presence Chamber, 2 roomes." The Private Wine Cellar is not shown
in Vertue's reproduction of the plan of 1670, but is indicated on both the
other versions as lying on the south side of the interior court behind the
Great Cellar, between the rooms marked G and those marked H. It communicated on the one side with the King's Guard Chamber and on the other
with the Private Closet or Oratory lying between it and the King's Privy
Chamber. (fn. 139)
The Presence Chamber was the room in which presentations were
ordinarily made, and seems to have been open to anyone who was entitled
to appear at Court. (fn. 140) It was probably the room which Von Wedel (fn. 141) calls the
audience chamber. "We were led into the queen's audience chamber,
which is very large and high with gilt ceiling, upon which, on tablets, are
written the dates of wars that have been made."
On the arrival in London of Philip and Mary in August, 1554,
after their marriage a month previously, "they departed from Temple barre
towardes Yorke place, otherwyse called the Whyte hal: wher after they had
lighted they came hand in hand into the great chamber of presens, where
also, after they had talked a little space, they toke theyr leave eache of other. (fn. 142)
Use of the Presence Chamber for special purposes seems to have
been rare. A reference, however, occurs in 1610 to "making readie the
presence Chamber for feasting the venetian Ambassador." (fn. 143)
The Private Oratory.
Leading out of the Presence Chamber was a passage communicating
with the Private Oratory. The latter was done away with in 1691. (fn. 144)
The Queen's Lodgings.
Before passing on from the Private Oratory to the King's Privy
Chamber, it will be convenient to deal with the remaining buildings north
of the Privy Stairs. These, in the upper floors, consisted in 1670 chiefly
of the Queen's apartments.
The Queen's Back Stairs were situated in the passage running out
of the east side of the Pebble Court, (fn. 145) though their exact position is not known.
From the Back Stairs one passage ran to the Eating Room, and another to
the Great Bedchamber, (fn. 146) which was at the extreme south end, next to the
Privy Stairs, and adjoining the Shield Gallery. (fn. 147) Pepys visited the room on
24th June, 1664, but his record is not very informative. (fn. 148)
One door from the bedchamber led to the King's side, and another
to the Withdrawing Room, which adjoined the Privy Chamber. Both these
latter rooms communicated with the leads, which formed a favourite position
from which to view pageants on the river. The frontispiece to this volume
shows the leads occupied by Royalty on the occasion of the Lord Mayor's
Procession in 1683. Two years later (16th April, 1685) an order was issued
to Sir Christopher Wren "to make a shed of boards very strong upon the
leads before the Queen's Privy Chamber in Whitehall, wherein the King
and Queenes Mats are to sitt and see the fireworks upon the night of the day
of the Coronation." (fn. 149) Pepys also refers (fn. 150) to the leads "before the Queen's
drawing-room." The Queen had a little garden on the leads. (fn. 151)
From the Privy Chamber a door led to the Queen's Presence Chamber,
which had a communication also with the King's Presence Chamber. The
Queen's Presence was for some years used as the Council Chamber, (fn. 152) owing
to the fact that the latter building had been adapted as a lodging for the
Duke of Lennox. (fn. 153) The room seems again to have been used as the Council
Chamber during the Commonwealth. (fn. 154) Pepys took his wife to the Queen's
Presence Chamber on 30th December, 1662. (fn. 155)
The Queen's Guard Chamber, which would naturally adjoin the
Presence Chamber, seems to have been at the end of the passage from the
Pebble Court. (fn. 156)
In 1664 a new closet was built for the Queen over the Shield Gallery, (fn. 157)
and in 1668–9 some new rooms, including a bathing room, were erected
near the Privy Stairs. (fn. 158)
Possibly included among these rooms was the Queen's volary,
which was over the Privy Stairs. (fn. 159) Keeping birds seems to have been much
the fashion in Charles II's Court. There was a large volary on the King's
side, and the Countess of Castlemaine had one. Queen Catherine also kept
birds in her bedchamber. (fn. 160)
The Queen's Chapel is mentioned on several occasions. On 22nd
March, 1667–8, Pepys, after visiting the Chapel Royal, where he heard
"a very plain sermon," went to the Queen's chapel "and there did hear the
In 1685–7 new lodgings were built for the Queen by the privy
gallery (see p. 102), and those on the river front were otherwise used, but on
8th February, 1687–8, an order was given (fn. 161) to Wren "that you forthwith
pull downe the Queens Mates Privy Lodgeings which are next the waterside
in Whitehall, and that you erect a New Building in that place, according to
the Draught and designe you have shewed unto the King and Queenes Mats
which they have approved of. And that you give notice to such persons
who are to remove out of theire Lodgeings, that they do not take away Chimney
peices, Wainscott, or partitions which are in theire respective Lodgeings."
Hollar's View of Whitehall from the River, showing the Queen's Old Lodgings Next to the Privy Stairs
In the collection of Wren's drawings preserved in the library of All
Souls' College are two sketches of designs for the river frontage of "ye
Drawing room Whitehall" (Plate 8). The King's withdrawing room
was not on the river front, and the designs (probably alternative designs)
must have been for the Queen's lodgings. The length of the frontage of
the second design (85 feet 8 inches) almost exactly corresponds with that
shown for the Queen's apartments in Wren's design (Plate 9) for Queen
Mary's Terrace, and the design itself shows a remarkable similarity to the
building shown in precisely the right position in the view of 1695–8 (Plate 5).
Either that design or one very similar was evidently the one approved by the
King and Queen. The work of rebuilding proceeded until after March,
1689, and was therefore not completed before the arrival of William and
The plan of 1670 shows the ground floor of the Queen's apartments
occupied by the Lady Arlington, Father Patrick, Sir William Killigrew,
Sir Francis Clinton (fn. 162) and Dr. Frazier.
Lady Arlington's lodgings are referred to in 1676 and 1679. (fn. 163)
They seem to have been quite distinct from "the Lord Arlingtons new
lodgings next ye thamis" (fn. 164) mentioned in 1670, which must, however, have
been in the same neighbourhood. The latter were at the Revolution transferred to the Duke of Grafton, (fn. 165) who had in 1672 married Arlington's only
daughter Isabella, "a sweet child if ever there was any." (fn. 166) The duke died
in 1690, and his widow was soon after given some additional rooms close to
the Privy Stairs. (fn. 167)
The list of Whitehall lodgings drawn up in 1691 describes the
duchess's apartments as "8 little roomes towards the water side and 2 over
against the door for servants: her Father built them." The duchess's
lodgings (thus equated for the most part with "Lord Arlington's new
lodgings") were immediately north of the Privy Stairs, (fn. 168) and it would be
a natural assumption that they occupied the site of Sir William Killigrew's
lodgings as shown on the plan of 1670, were it not for the fact that Lady
Killigrew seems to have been residing in much the same situation in 1682. (fn. 169)
Sir Alexander Frazier was chief physician to the King. He had left
these lodgings by October, 1678, (fn. 170) to occupy a house in Green Cloth Yard
on a site granted to him in the previous year.
Father Patrick was sub-almoner to Queen Catherine. He got into
trouble about these lodgings. He had apparently carried out certain repairs
without obtaining sanction, and then applied for the cost to be refunded.
The King "remitted … the irregularity" and ordered the charge to be
allowed. (fn. 171)
The Shield Gallery.
There are several references which show that the Shield Gallery
was close to the Privy Stairs, (fn. 172) and it seems probable that it ran east and west
over the passage leading to those stairs. (fn. 173)
The gallery took its name from the circumstance that the shields
offered on the occasion of tournaments in the Tilt Yard were hung there.
Von Wedel in 1584 says: (fn. 174) "We were taken into a long passage across the
water, which on both sides is beautifully decorated with shields and mottoes. (fn. 175)
These shields originate from tournaments which the queen orders to be
held twice a year, the first on her birthday, the second when she ascended
the throne. Everybody who wishes to take part must ask permission; this
being granted, he offers the shield to the queen, who orders it to be hung
up there. In this passage the queen has secret [? private] doors to the river
if she wishes to take a trip on the water."
The position of the gallery made it a natural place for viewing
arrivals at or departures from the Privy Stairs. On the arrival of Queen
Henrietta Maria in 1625 we are told: (fn. 176) "Their landing was at the Privy
Staires of Whitehall, where in the Sheild Gallery stood on each side ranged
those Ladies of quality and beauty, that had not yet seen the Queen."
The King's Lodgings.
From the Private Oratory a short passage led to the Privy Chamber, (fn. 177)
from which doors gave admittance into the Lords' Room and the Vane Room,
both of which had entrances into the Privy Gallery. (fn. 178) There was in 1682 a
passage from the Vane Room "towards the new withdrawing roome." The
position of other rooms in the privy lodgings before Charles II's rebuilding
is not certain.
Close to the riverside, (fn. 179) and south of the Privy Stairs, was a garden
called the Volary Garden, from the fact that the King's aviary was kept
there. The open space shown in the plan of 1670, in front of the lodgings
of the maids of honour was a part of this garden, (fn. 180) which from the account
of the building works undertaken in 1667–8 certainly included also what was
afterwards known as the Square Court, or Volary Court, next to the Privy
Stairs. Originally therefore it was about 140 feet long, and, in the absence
of information as to any other garden at Whitehall save the Privy Garden,
in the time of Charles I, it is almost certainly to be identified with "the
King's little garden," (fn. 181) which was the scene of the following incident told
by the Baroness D'Aulnoy. (fn. 182) Mary Villiers, daughter of the 1st Duke of
Buckingham, was married, when not yet eleven, to Charles, Lord Herbert,
son of the Earl of Pembroke. Her husband died very shortly after, so that she
was still a child when she appeared at Court in her widow's weeds. "It
happened one day that, in order to pick fruit, she had climbed a tree in
the King's little garden, where no one had a right to enter. She was attired
in a long, black dress & a black veil that entirely covered her." The
Prince of Wales (afterwards Charles II) saw her from a distance, and "could
not imagine what sort of bird it was, for her veil, stretched over the branches
of the tree, resembled large wings. Knowing how well he shot, the Prince
called to George Porter, telling him to go & kill the big bird that he saw in
the tree." When Porter "approached the tree & recognised the little
Countess of Pembroke, (fn. 183) he had a difficulty in hiding his amusement. At
first she stared at him, & then with childish laughter commenced to pelt
him with fruit." An explanation followed in which Porter told her he had
come to kill the bird and take back its feathers to the Prince. "You must
keep your word," she said, "and we will play the merriest game on him.
That he may be the better deceived I will conceal myself in a basket with a
cover; this can be carried to him. … When they arrived he presented the
Prince with the basket, saying that it had been his good fortune to take the
butterfly alive, & that he would sooner have died than have killed it,—it
was so beautiful. The Prince … promptly raised the lid, & had
the agreeable surprise of the young lady flinging her arms round his
neck. … After that day she was never called anything else but the
Some building works in the Volary Garden were carried out in 1663, (fn. 184)
as also in the Turks Gallery. The exact position of this gallery is uncertain,
but one end of it lay between the Privy Gallery and the Privy Stairs, (fn. 185) and it
ran close by the Countess of Suffolk's lodgings (fn. 186) shown in the plan of 1670.
The works here included the construction of a new bedchamber for the
King and a little bedchamber for the Queen. (fn. 187) In 1667 the scope of these
building operations was much extended. The volary itself was removed
and set up in St. James's Park, (fn. 188) and the remainder of the Turks Gallery
was demolished. (fn. 189) The exact site of the new buildings is difficult to define.
Some, however, were close to the river. (fn. 190) Included in the work was "rubbing and working fower Bases of Portland stone for the setting of Figures
on the Square Court at the Vollery Building … Working, rubbing and setting
five Pedestalls with three Capitalls in the said Court, and setting five Figures
thereon." (fn. 191) These five pedestals are shown in the plan of 1670. Some of
the buildings at any rate were three storeys high, (fn. 192) and on the whole it seems
probable that the buildings included those on the north and south sides of
the Square Court, shown in the left-hand portion of Morden and Lea's View
of Whitehall in 1682, here reproduced. The King's little bedchamber seems
to have been at the end of these buildings by the waterside. The new rooms
were not, however, all in this quarter, for they included a new withdrawing
room which lay nearer the Privy Gallery. (fn. 193)
Part of WHITE-HALL to the THAMES
The King's new laboratory was in the new buildings, (fn. 194) as was also
the Library, (fn. 195) of which Evelyn has left a full account. (fn. 196) From the court a
grand staircase led to the lodgings above. (fn. 197)
The buildings were finished by the middle of 1668. (fn. 198)
The lodgings of the Countess of Suffolk and of Lord Gerard, both
adjoining the Volary Garden, (fn. 199) were next taken in hand. These alterations,
which included the building of several new rooms, were effected in 1671. (fn. 200)
From a later reference it would appear that certain of the new rooms were
for the Queen. (fn. 201)
For ten years no further works of any extent were carried out in this
quarter, but in 1682 fresh operations were begun. Maurice Emmett on 10th
March in that year entered into a contract "to pull downe all Tyleing,
Brickwalls & Stone Walls wch have beene directed to be pulled downe
in ye Volery lodgings, the lodgings of ye Countess of Suffolkes and ye
Kings backstaires and ye low Roomes and partes of lodgings adjoyning …
for the makeing … and finishing one pile of building for his Maty in Whitehall
in the roome of the aforesaid lodgings according to a Designe … Drawne
… by Sr Christopher Wren." (fn. 202) Elsewhere we are informed that the buildings taken down were "his Mats old building between his Withdrawing
roome and his new Lodgings towards the Thames." (fn. 203) Having regard to the
position of the withdrawing room which lay (p. 97) immediately to the
east of the Vane Room, the new rooms would seem to have been situated
principally on the western side of the Volary Court. From the account of
carver's work (fn. 204) done in "the King's new Building" in September, 1682,
it appears that the rooms comprised chiefly the great ante-room, the little
ante-room, the King's bedchamber (which had thus been rebuilt), the King's
eating room and the Queen's lobby. The relative positions of these rooms
were, from south to north: bedchamber, ante-room, (fn. 205) eating room. The ante
room was entered from the withdrawing room, and the eating room communicated with the Queen's side. (fn. 206)
The withdrawing room seems to have been on the north side of the
little court shown in the plan of 1670 between the Countess of Suffolk's
lodgings and the Queen's Wardrobe. (fn. 207)
The King's old bedchamber had faced the Privy Garden (see p. 97),
but he had left this in 1663–4 for a room in the Turks Gallery. The latter
was among the buildings pulled down in 1682, when the King removed
temporarily to the Duke of York's sleeping apartment. (fn. 208) The new room was
ready later in the year, (fn. 209) and a document of August, 1682, (fn. 210) contains orders
for furniture to be provided for the bedchamber. It includes the provision
of "Cushions for ye Doggs" in that room, (fn. 211) and also mentions "the Roome
within the Kings Bed Chamber." This was the scene of the famous interview
which the bishops had with James II, when they presented to him their
protest against the reading in the churches of the proclamation of
indulgence. (fn. 212)
The exact position of the King's back stairs has not been found.
They were, however, close to the Countess of Suffolk's lodgings, (fn. 213) and their
entrance was from the Stone Gallery. (fn. 214)
Next to the Privy Stairs the plan of 1670 shows the lodgings of
"Mr. Chiffinch." (fn. 215) The two brothers of this name, Thomas and William,
successively held the position of closet keeper to Charles II, and William,
who succeeded in April, 1666, gained a most unenviable reputation. (fn. 216) When
Monmouth, after the battle of Sedgemoor, was brought to London, he was
kept for a short time at Chiffinch's lodgings, and it was here that James II
granted him that interview on which Macaulay commented in scathing terms.
Reference has already been made to the lodgings of the maids of
honour at the southern end of the Volary Garden. Allusions to the rooms
of two of the ladies have been found among the records. In November,
1662, is an item of "making a painthowse over a doore at Mrls Wells Lodging
in ye vollery garden," (fn. 217) and there are several references to Miss Stuart's
lodgings. (fn. 218) The records for 1664 also contain an item: "Setting up two
posts and a length of raile and pallisado pales Cross ye Garden [the Volary
Garden] before Mr. Stewards lodgings." (fn. 219) The presence of a Mr. Steward in
what must have been the lodgings of the maids of honour presents difficulties,
and it seems likely that "Mr." is a mistake for "Mris." If so, the palings
are those shown in the Volary Garden in the plan of 1670, and the reference
suggests that her apartments were about the middle of the south end of the
garden. In that case, however, it would appear that certain details in
Grammont's story of the surprise discovery by Charles II of the Duke of
Richmond in her bedroom require revision, as her room could not have been
so near the waterside as that account implies. (fn. 220)
The Prince's Lodgings, Etc.
Beyond the apartments of the maids of honour the plan of 1670
shows those of the Earl of Bath, the Duke of York, Lord Peterborough and
Mrs. Kirke. The Duke of York's lodgings comprised the suite known
as "the Prince's Lodgings." (fn. 221)
On his arrival in London on 3rd February, 1659–60, General
Monck had the Prince's Lodgings assigned to him, (fn. 222) and on the Restoration
James, Duke of York, took up his residence there. Extensive works were
carried out to the lodgings in 1664–6, including the heightening of some. (fn. 223)
When in 1677 the Prince of Orange came to England to marry
Mary, elder daughter of the Duke of York, the latter's lodgings were put
at his disposal, (fn. 224) and again in 1683, when Prince George of Denmark came
to wed the Lady Anne, a part of the same lodgings was prepared for him. (fn. 225)
The King had himself occupied the lodgings in the previous year while the
erection of his new apartments was in progress. (fn. 226) After the accession of
James II some of the principal rooms were used for the accommodation of
Father Petre, the King's confessor. (fn. 227) At the Revolution the lodgings,
including others which had been more or less intermixed with them, were
divided. To Richard Hampden (fn. 228) were given "all the roomes and garetts
over the Dukes and Dutchesse Apartment wherein the Earle of Peterburgh
and Colonel Werden (fn. 229) heretofore dwelt, and the Kitchen which formerly
Mr. Graham made use of, and the two little roomes over against it, and the
Dukes lodge and the roome next and shed adioyning to it." The Earl of
Dorset received "the ground roomes on the left hand which has a Bow
Window in the Stone passage next the Waterside in the Lodgings called
the Dukes Lodgings in Whitehall, wherein Coll. Worden Servants lately
was." The Earl of Devonshire's share comprised "these roomes followinge
in the Lodgeings heretofore called the Princes or Dukes Lodgings in Whitehall, vizt., the roomes on the Waterside on the floore even with the Gallery,
and the roomes overhead wherein the Lord Dunmore and Coll. Worden
lately were, and alsoe all ye ground roomes on the ground floore with the
kitching and offices belonging to ye Dukes lodgeings, excepting onely the
roome called the Dukes Anteroome where He used to eate, and the Bedchamber and Clossett which the Duke had wherein lately Mr. Petrie [Father
Petre] Lodged." The rooms given to the Earl of Mulgrave are only
specified as "the lodgings in Whitehall called the Duke and Duches
Lodgings with the roomes above and under those lodgings, with one of
the kitchins belonging." (fn. 230) From what has gone before it is evident that
Mulgrave could only have obtained a portion of the lodgings. His rooms
were afterwards given to the Earl of Portland, and as the latter's original
property took in only a very few of the rooms marked as the Duke of York's
on the plan of 1670, while it contained all those ascribed to the Earl of Bath
and extended northwards as far as the southern side of the Volary Garden,
it is open to conjecture that the upper floors occupied by the Duke of York
were much more extensive than his rooms on the ground floor. Some
support is given to this theory by the statement that his closet adjoined
the volary. (fn. 231)
In addition to the various rooms in the Duke of York's lodgings
already mentioned, references have been found to the Guard Chamber,
"ye Duchesse of Yorkes bedchamber and withdrawing roome next ye
Thames," "Lord Barclays Lodgings," Madam Cranmore's lodgings, Madam
Howard's lodgings, and Secretary Coventry's lodgings.
Between the Duke of York's Lodgings and the Bowling Green
the plan of 1670 shows the rooms of "Mrs. Kirk." This was Mary, wife
(or more probably widow) of George Kirke, who had been appointed housekeeper of Whitehall in 1663. References to portions of the Duke of York's
lodgings adjoining those of the housekeeper occur occasionally. (fn. 232)
The Stone Gallery.
The Stone Gallery is shown in the plan of 1670 (fn. 233) as a ground-floor
gallery extending from the Privy Gallery to the Bowling Green. It is frequently referred to in the accounts for the building of Whitehall (fn. 234) as the
low gallery. On the occasion of the visit of the Duc de Montmorency in
1559 a banquet was provided in the Privy Garden, "under the long and
wide gallery on the ground floor (galeria terena)." The gallery, we are
told, (fn. 235) "was all hung with gold and silver brocade and divided into three
apartments, in the centre of which was the table prepared for her Majesty,
and at a short distance from it another for the ambassadors. There was
also a table 54 paces in length for the other lords, gentlemen and ladies.
The whole gallery was closed in with wreaths of flowers and leaves of most
beautiful designs, which gave a very sweet odour and were marvellous to
behold, having been prepared in less than two evenings, so as to keep them
fresh." (fn. 236)
During the latter part of the gallery's existence, it seems to have
been partially adapted for other purposes. (fn. 237) It was burnt down in the Fire
The Long Gallery and the Matted Gallery.
The term "long gallery" in some cases undoubtedly refers to the
Privy Gallery, (fn. 238) but in many instances is applied to quite a different
building. Thus Vanderdoort, in his catalogue of Charles I's pictures,
after detailing those "in the Privy Gallery at Whitehall," mentions in order
(i) "in the King's Breakfast Chamber,"
(ii) "in the King's Bedchamber,"
(iii) "in the little room between the King's Withdrawing Room, also
called the Breakfast Chamber, and in (sic) the Long Gallery,"
(iv) "in the King's Long Gallery towards the Orchard,"
(v) "at the lower end of the gallery beside the orchard window door."
From the above it would appear that the term "long gallery" was
applied to a gallery between the King's withdrawing room (and therefore
on the first floor) and the Orchard (later the Bowling Green).
From other allusions the same inference may be drawn. Thus in
1631–2 the long gallery is said to adjoin the King's withdrawing-room
(afterwards the Vane Room, see p. 96) and lead to the Prince's Lodgings. (fn. 239)
In 1681 two bolts were placed on "the dore going out of ye vaine roome
into ye Long Gallery," (fn. 240) and in 1687 a bow hinge was ordered "to be putt
upon the doore in the Fane roome which goes towards the long Gallery." (fn. 241)
The Vane Room was on the first-floor, and the Long Gallery was therefore
also on that floor. It terminated at the Bowling Green (fn. 242) from which stairs
led up to it. (fn. 243) It also adjoined the lodgings of Prince Rupert, shown in the
plan of 1670 on the west side of the Stone Gallery. (fn. 244)
From both sets of allusions, therefore, it would appear that the
Long Gallery occupied more or less the same position as the Stone Gallery,
but on the first, not the ground, floor. It is known that the Stone Gallery
had a gallery above it, (fn. 245) and the facts seem in accord with the suggestion
that the latter was the Long Gallery.
That the Matted Gallery also led to the Prince's Lodgings is evident
from several allusions in Pepys (fn. 246) and elsewhere, (fn. 247) and, as in the case of the
Long Gallery, it adjoined Prince Rupert's lodgings, (fn. 248) and a staircase led
from the end of it down to the Bowling Green. (fn. 249)
It is evident that the Matted Gallery occupied much the same
position as the Stone Gallery and the Long Gallery. It can hardly have
been identical with the former, for there is an allusion to the leads above, (fn. 250)
and it has been shown that the Stone Gallery had another gallery over it.
From the coincidences noted above, therefore, it may be provisionally
concluded that the Matted Gallery and the Long Gallery were the same, and
the following facts make their identity practically certain.
(i) The Duchess of Portsmouth's apartments are variously described
as being (a) "at end of the matted gallery," (fn. 251) (b) "at the end of the longe
gallery," (fn. 252) and (c) "over the stone gallery." (fn. 253)
(ii) On the occasion of the last recorded visit of Pepys to the Matted
Gallery, on 28th August, 1668, he found it undergoing repairs. "So
parted [from the Duke of York in his closet], and with much difficulty,
by candle-light, walked over the Matted Gallery, as it is now with the mats
and boards all taken up, so that we walked over the rafters. But strange to
see what hard matter the plaister of Paris is, that is there taken up, as hard
as stone! And pity to see Holben's work in the ceiling blotted on, and
only whited over!" The work to the ceiling is evidently that referred to
in the official records as "beating downe ye old Plaistered Ceiling in the
Matted Gallery, making good ye lathing and new Plaistering ye said Ceiling." (fn. 254)
There was an old and ornamental ceiling in the Long Gallery, to which work
had been carried out in 1631–2. "Woorking and setting upp of a greate
quantity of Ceeling in the greate longe Gallery Leading to the princes
Lodgings like unto the ould woorke, being made in a lardge pannell wth
Pillausters betweene every pannell and other mouldings." (fn. 255)
(iii) Pepys records that on 26th April, 1667, while he was waiting
in the Matted Gallery, "a young man was most finely working in Indian
inke the great picture of the King and Queen sitting, by Van Dyke." Now
the Long Gallery was (at any rate in the time of Charles I) the picture gallery
par excellence in the Palace. There were 102 pictures in it, as well as statues
on pedestals in every window. (fn. 256) Among others was a picture by Vandyck
which seems to be the one referred to above. (fn. 257) Of course the picture may have
been moved from one gallery to the other, and the fact that it was in the Matted
Gallery in the time of Charles II constitutes no kind of proof of the identity
of the two galleries. It should, however, be noticed that the document
containing the record of the pictures and statues in Charles I's time, while
dealing in detail with the numerous art treasures in the Long Gallery, the
Privy Gallery and elsewhere, never mentions the Matted Gallery.
(iv) The work of constructing lodgings for the Earl of St. Albans
was, according to one book of account, "at ye end of Matted gallery" and
included "takeing downe ye stone steps goeing from ye bowling green up
to ye Earle of St. Albons his lodging … making of a vault under ye said
staires & fitting & setting up ye said steps againe." (fn. 258) According to another
book of account now bound up in the same volume the work included
"taking downe the stone staires at the End of the long gallery next the bowling
greene." This is a very strong confirmation of the theory that the Long
Gallery and the Matted Gallery were identical.
Duchess of Portsmouth's Lodgings.
Between October, 1670, and May, 1671, a set of apartments for
the Earl of St. Albans was constructed "at the End of the Matted Gallery." (fn. 259)
In 1671, Louise de Keroualle arrived at the English Court, and by October
of that year had been established in lodgings at Whitehall. (fn. 260)
No official record of the transfer of the St. Albans lodgings to Mlle.
de Keroualle has been found, but the position of the latter's apartments leaves no
doubt that such a transfer took place. In the following year considerable additions
were made to the lodgings, (fn. 261) and a kitchen was built at the other end of the Bowling Green (see p. 246). Other works are recorded during the years 1673 and
1674, but of the alterations that were made later no record has been found. (fn. 262)
These must have been very extensive. In a letter (fn. 263) written probably in 1678 is
the statement: "The Duchess of Portsmouth [Louise had been created
Duchess in 1673] has begun to pull down Whitehall, I mean her lodgings
only," and Evelyn (fn. 264) states that the Fire of 1691 began "at the apartment
of the late Duchess of Portsmouth (which had been pulled down and rebuilt
no less than three times to please her)."
The duchess's lodgings were splendidly furnished, (fn. 265) and Evelyn
has left an account of their magnificence. (fn. 266)
According to the Duchess of Marlborough, the Princess Anne at
the Revolution expressed a desire to exchange her rooms at the Cockpit
for those of the Duchess of Portsmouth, and to have in addition some rooms
"that lay nearest to those of the duchess" for her servants. The Duke of
Devonshire, however, also cast longing eyes on the Portsmouth lodgings,
"where there was a fine room for balls," and so managed things that the
Queen finally told the Princess "that she could not let her have the lodgings
she desired for her servants, till my lord Devonshire had resolved whether he
would have them, or a part of the Cockpit. Upon which the Princess
answered: She would then stay where she was, for she would not have my
lord Devonshire's leavings. So she took the duchess of Portsmouth's
apartment, granted her at first, and used it for her children, remaining her self
at the Cockpit." (fn. 267) The rooms were actually in course of being prepared for
the Duke of Gloucester, her son, (fn. 268) when they were burnt down in the Fire
of 1691. (fn. 269)
A small sketch of the elevation of the lodgings appears in Morden
and Lea's map of 1682.
Lodgings Between the Stone Gallery and the Privy Garden.
In the plan of 1670 four sets of lodgings are shown in this position:
part of Lord Peterborough's, Prince Rupert's, Mr. Hyde's and the Earl
In 1662–3 is a record of "building ij roomes in ye privy garden
for his Highnes Prince Rupert," (fn. 270) and in the following year is an account
for "rendering the Outside Walls & the Bricke Worke at Prince Ruperts
Lodgings new built in the Privy Garden." (fn. 271) In 1671–2 the building was
certainly larger, (fn. 272) and shortly afterwards several new rooms and a staircase
were added. (fn. 273) The work was begun in September, 1672, and finished in
April, 1673. It seems probable that this was the "building of thirty
foot in breadth in His Mats Privy Garden adioyrning to the Gallery, betweene
the Robes and His Highnesse prince Ruperts Lodgings," which Wren
was required on 22nd June, 1672, to erect. (fn. 274)
"The Robes" is probably the building marked "Mr. Hyde" in
the plan of 1670, for Laurence Hyde (afterwards Earl of Rochester) was from
1662 to 1675 Master of the Robes. In 1679 these rooms were rebuilt by
Baptist May, (fn. 275) who was still occupying them when they were burnt down
in the Fire of 1691. (fn. 276)
The Earl of Lauderdale had a lodging at Whitehall at least as early
as 1663. (fn. 277) On 4th January, 1674–5, a contract was entered into (fn. 278) on his
behalf for the erection of "a small building in his Majts Privie garden,
according to a designe signed by Mr. Surveyor." It was to consist of two
storeys and a garret floor and "to correspond in hight and uniformitie
of his Matle's Elaboratory." The page is headed "Ld. Rochesters," and
the assumption that Lauderdale's lodgings had passed into the hands of
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester (not the earl alluded to a few lines above),
is confirmed by the order for the work issued on the same day, that "a building
be erected for ye Right honrble the Earle of Rochester in his Mats Privy
Garden at Whitehall betweene the Lord Keepers Lodgings & ye Lodgings
his Lordpp now possesseth, with a Celler & other conveniences as his
Lordpp. shall desire, but soe that a light may be preserved into ye stone
Gallery." (fn. 279) The lodgings were extended in the following year by the taking
in of a piece of ground 7 feet in frontage and 11 feet deep for the construction
of a staircase. (fn. 280)
Rochester died in 1680, and either then or shortly afterwards the
lodgings (including Lauderdale's kitchen near the waterside) passed into
the hands of the Earl of Monmouth. The later history of the premises is
given on p. 189.
The Privy Garden.
The plan of 1670 shows the Privy Garden occupying the space
between the highway on the west, the Privy Gallery north, the buildings
adjacent to the Stone Gallery east, and the Bowling Green south. It has
been seen (see p. 19) that from 1531–2 to about 1545 the Orchard was
situated here. Where then was the Privy Garden at that time? There is
reason to believe that it occupied the site of the later Pebble Court.
(i) According to the continuator of Stow (fn. 281) a pulpit was on 17th
March, 1547–8, "set up in the King's privie garden at Westminster, and
therein Doctor Latimer preached before the King, where he might be heard
of more then foure times so many people as could have stoode in the King's
Chappell," and the statement is confirmed by an entry in an account book
for Oct.-Nov., 1549 (fn. 282) relating to the mending of "xx fote of new glasse in
the chamber agenst the pulpet in the prevey garden." <This pulpit was in fact erected in the time of Henry VIII. See Survey of London, volume XIV, The Parish of St Margaret, Westminster (Part 3), 1931, p.169> The pulpit was certainly as early as 1584 in the Pebble Court (see p. 60), and the illustration
(see opposite page) contained in the first edition (1563) of Foxe's Acts and
Monuments certainly conveys the impression of a scene in the Pebble Court,
with the King listening from a window in the Council Chamber, though the
Terrace seems to be on the wrong side. It is difficult to reconcile it with
a view in the later Privy Garden.
(ii) In Machyn's account of a procession on St. George's Day,
1557, "through the hall and rond abowt the court hard by the halle,"
Queen Mary is said to have viewed it from "a wyndow beside the cowrt
on the garden syde." The mention of the hall makes it quite certain that the
"court" was the Great Court, nowhere near the later Privy Garden. If,
however, the "garden" occupied the site of the Pebble Court, the difficulty
vanishes, and it becomes evident that the Queen was seated in the terrace
between the Great Court and the Pebble Court.
It is therefore probable that after about 1545 there were for a time
two privy gardens (in addition to the small garden afterwards known as the
Volary Garden, see p. 74): (a) the great garden, (fn. 283) and (b) that which Foxe
calls "the inward garden." (fn. 284)
In view of the doubt as to the exact date when the new orchard was
formed, it is difficult to say which of the two gardens is described in the
statement of the Duke of Najera in 1544: (fn. 285) "This house of the King is very
fine, and within it is a very pleasant garden with great walks and avenues in
all directions, containing many sculptures of men and women, children
and birds and monsters, and other strange figures in high and low relief."
A Description of Maister Latimer preaching before Kyng Edward the syxt,
in the preachyng place at Westminster.
A similar uncertainty attaches to the identity of the garden referred
to in Machyn's account of how "ser James Garnado" on 4th May, 1557,
"dyd ryd a-for the Kyng and Quen in her grace(s) preve garden … and
so the bridle bytt dyd breke, and so the horsse rane aganst the wall, and so
he brake ys neke, for ys horsse thruw ym agane the wall and hys brauns
As late as 1584 the "inward garden" still retained to some extent
its garden-like character (see pp. 60–1).
The earliest description undoubtedly applying to the "great garden"
is that given in 1584 by Von Wedel: (fn. 286) "Hence we went into the queen's
garden, in which there are thirty-four high columns, covered with various
fine paintings; also different animals carved in wood, with their horns gilt, (fn. 287)
are set on the top of the columns, together with flags bearing the queen's
arms. In the middle of the garden is a nice fountain (fn. 288) with a remarkable
sun-dial, showing the time in thirty different ways. Between the spices that
are planted in the garden there are fine walks grown with grass, and the
spices are planted very artistically, surrounded by plants in the shape of
In 1629–30 is a reference to "fastening the Seates & mending of
the Arbor under the Vyne in the Privie Garden." (fn. 289)
According to the plan of 1670 the lay-out of the garden at that time
was very different. It was divided into 16 grass plots, each provided with a
pedestal, on all of which save one was placed a statue. In the middle towards
the north end was the sundial, with a paved way leading to it from the side
of the garden next the Privy Gallery.
The statues seem to have come from St. James's Palace. On 13th
February, 1650–1, the surveyor of works was instructed to select 12 statues
from those at "James's House, to be placed in the garden of Whitehall,"
and on 27th May a committee was appointed to superintend the removal.
The work had apparently been carried out by 10th June, as on that date the
same committee received directions with regard to the disposal of "the
rest of the statues." (fn. 290) During the latter years of the Commonwealth the
statues suffered considerable damage. An account, (fn. 291) dated November,
1659, relates how "about this time theire was a Cooke that lived by the
pallace gate, Westminster, that in Sermon time went into whit hall garden,
and wth him carried a Smiths Great hamer: hee brake theire those goodly
statuers of brass and marbl, which report said they ware the neatlest made
and the best workmanshipp in Euorope, in halfe an houers time did above
500l. worth of hurte." The statues were apparently removed and repaired,
or their place taken by others after the Restoration, for one of the first records (fn. 292)
concerning the garden after the return of Charles II is: "helping to carrie
statues into the privie garden."
References to the statues also occur in March, 1667–8, (fn. 293) and March,
1686–7. (fn. 294) An allusion in 1675 (fn. 295) to "mending a marble figure which stands
upon the Cupolowe in the privie garden, for casting both hands in lead and
a bunch of grapes and leaves aboute the same" suggests a statue of Bacchus.
Reference has already been made to Von Wedel's mention of the
"remarkable sundial," which was a feature of the Privy Garden. This is
no doubt the one referred to in the following entry of 1621–2: (fn. 296) "Nicholas
Stone, mason, for takeinge downe the greate Sune Diall in the privy garden
at Whitehall, makinge there a newe Diall of Portland stone answerable to
the same in all poyntes, settinge in and fasteninge all the Gnomons there."
The new dial was a copy of the old one so far as the main structure was
concerned (save in the particular kind of stone used, see below), but seems
to have differed in other respects. What may be called the scientific portion
of the apparatus was devised by Edmund Gunter, the most famous mathematician of his time. In 1624 Gunter, by "the speciall direction of the
Prince his Highnesse" (afterwards Charles I), published a description (fn. 297)
from which the following extracts have been taken: (fn. 298)
"The stone whereon the Dials are described, is of the same
length, bredth, and depth, with that which stood in the same place
before. That, was of Cane stone, and of many pieces: this, all of
one intire stone from Purbecke Quarrie. The base of it is a square
of somewhat more than foure foot and a halfe; the height three foote
and ¾ and so unwrought contained about 80 feete, or five Tonne
of Stone …
"There be five Dialls described on the upper part: foure
on the foure Corners; and one in the middle, which is the chiefest
of all, the great Horizontall Concave …
"The Margent of this Horizontall Concave containeth foure
Circles: whereof, the Uttermost is the Circle of the xij Moneths,
conteining the severall dayes, the Dominicall letters, and the standing
Festivails: The Holy dayes, in Redde; The Garter dayes in Blue,
and the common Saints dayes in Blacke …
"The second Circle is of the twelve Signes: Aries, Taurus,
"The third Circle is a standing Compasse, divided into thirty
two points … whereby you may see upon what point the Sunne
beareth, and how the winde bloweth.
"The fourth and innermost Circle containeth another description of the dayes of each moneth, fitted to the concave …
"The Concave is twentie inches deepe, and fourtie inches over:
and being halfe round resembleth that halfe of the heavens which
may be seene.
"The one part, which is drawen upon the white ground,
resembleth so much of the heavens, as is contained between The
Tropiques. As, there, the Sunne hath all varietie of motion, so
heere, the point of the Style, all variety of shadow. The other part,
which is on the Blue ground, is that part of the heaven, where the
Sunne never commeth.
"The Style belonging to the Concave is xx inches long, and
about xiij inches broad at the foot. The one edge which is upright,
is the Axis of the Horizon, and with his shadow sheweth the Azimuth." (fn. 299)
In 1632–3 further references (fn. 300) occur to Gunter's dial: "Thomas
Decritz, Painter, for painting, guilding and oyling the greate Dyall in the
privy Garden and fower little dialls there"; "John Marr, Mathematician,
for his paines and invention in making the greate Stone Dyall in the privy
Garden at Whitehall"; "Elias Allen for taking of the horrizon of the
greate Dyall in the privy Garden and making xx new screwpins to fasten it
In March, 1665–6, William Marre received payment of £200 for
"making the dial in the King's privy Garden at Whitehall." (fn. 301)
There can be little doubt that "the Sun Dial" marked in the plan
of 1670 was in the main the same structure as erected in 1622. (fn. 302) We meet
it again in 1688 when William Marre applied for payment for "new lineating
the Dyall in the Privy Garden." He mentioned that the work done was
similar to that when he "made" the dial "in the late King's time," so that
"making" need not mean more than "new lineating."
The Grand Pyramidical & Multiform Dial: set up in the Privy Garden at
White Hall, July 24, 1669.
The dial survived the Fire of 1698, (fn. 303) but had disappeared before
1741, the date of Maurer's view (Plate 6).
A much more elaborate dial was set up in the Privy Garden (fn. 304) on
24th July, 1669. This was of pyramidal form, with a series of iron branches
projecting at intervals and supporting glass bowls, which showed the time
according to various methods. The inventor (the "Reverend Father Francis
Hall, otherwise Line, of the Society of Jesus, Professor of Mathematicks")
wrote a detailed account of the dial, which was printed, with illustrations, in
1673. (fn. 305) That illustration which gives the best general view, is reproduced
on p. 93. Glass entered very largely into the composition of the dial, which
was therefore liable to damage by frost. It was, nevertheless, left exposed to
the inclemency of the weather, and the natural result followed. Towards
the middle of the winter Father Hall "receaved a letter from a friend at
London, wherein he told me that the Diall, for want of a cover (which
according to his Majestyes gracious order, should have been set over it in
the winter) was much endomaged by the snow lying long frozen upon it,
and that, unlesse a cover were provided (of which he saw little hope), another
or two such tempestuous winters would utterly deface it."
In 1675 the dial (fn. 306) met with further mishap. In a letter (fn. 307) dated 26th
June in that year it is recorded that "My Lord Rochester in a frolick after
a rant did yesterday beat doune the dyill which stood in the midle of the
Privie [Gard] ing, which was esteemed the rarest in Europ. I doe not know
if … it is by the fall beat in peeces." About this time the works were in
hand for the erection of the statue of Charles I at Charing Cross, (fn. 308) and Marvell,
asking the question
"What can be the Mistery why Charing Cross
This five moneths continues still blinded with board?"
rejects the suggestion that it might be for the erection of a sundial, with an
allusion to the above incident:
"For a Diall the place is too unsecure
Since the privy garden could not it defend,
And soe near to the Court they will never indure
Any monument how their time they mispend." (fn. 309)
The incident seems to have marked the end of the dial, for it does
not appear in the view of 1695–8 (Plate 5). Vertue doubtfully suggests (fn. 310) that
some of the remains were afterwards at Buckingham House, and Walcott (fn. 311)
records that "about 1710 Mr. William Allingham, mathematician in Canon
Row, demanded £500 to repair this dial, but his offer was refused." It has not
been possible to confirm this statement, which more likely refers to the great
Plan of the enclosure of part of Privy Garden, in 1734. From plan preserved
in the Public Record Office
In 1673–4 the terrace between the Privy Garden and the Bowling
Green was removed, and part of the site of the latter was added to the garden.
At its other (northern) end the garden was enlarged after 1698
by the addition of the sites of the Privy Gallery and the Pebble Court.
These additions were counterbalanced by the loss of area suffered in
1723, when the street was widened. The King Street Gate was removed,
as well as certain of the buildings lying between the Banqueting House and
the Holbein Gate, the wall of the Privy Garden between the two gates was
pulled down, and a new wall built "stretching in a line from the corner of
the building adjoyning to the Banquetting House to the narrow passage
leading to Channell Row." By this means a strip of ground about 80 feet
wide was shorn from the western side of the Privy Garden.
The garden became neglected, and in 1733 the Duke of Richmond and other residents called attention (fn. 312) to the filthy condition of the
"void ground" before their houses, and asked to be allowed to take up a
lease of it so that they might keep it in order. Two leases were accordingly
granted in 1734 (fn. 313) (subsequently renewed) of (i) the southern piece, fronting
the houses of the Earl of Loudoun and Nathaniel Gould, 149 feet
long on the east side, 182 feet on the west, 103 feet on the north and 87
feet on the south, and (ii) an adjoining portion to the north, 371 feet long
from north to south and 151 feet wide. The plan of enclosure (ii) is
reproduced on p. 95. The extreme northern part was left untouched.
A view of the Privy Garden in 1741 (Plate 6), taken from the north,
shows the railings which had by then been placed round the middle portion.
The other end of the garden is well shown in the painting, by Canaletto, of
Whitehall from Richmond House, made in 1746 and reproduced in Plate 7.
The Orchard, afterwards the Bowling Green.
It has been found convenient to deal with the Orchard (or Bowling
Green) at a later stage in this volume (see Chapter 22).
The Vane Room.
The Vane Room lay at the point of intersection of the Privy Gallery
with the line of the Stone Gallery. It was originally the King's withdrawing
room, (fn. 314) and took its name from the fact that above it was the principal weathercock in the Palace. (fn. 315) That the room was highly ornamented may be gathered
from a curious account of decorative work carried out in 1620–1. (fn. 316)
It seems to have been usual for chapters of the Order of the Garter
to have been held in this room. Instances of this have been found (a) in
1662, when the eldest son of the King of Denmark was admitted as a Companion of the Order; (b) in 1666, when James, Duke of Cambridge, son of
James II, was installed Knight of the Order "in his Majesties withdrawing
Room" (fn. 317) and (c) in 1663 when the Duke of Monmouth was chosen Knight
at a chapter "held in the Withdrawing Roome at Whitehall." (fn. 318)
The Vane Room is mentioned several times by Pepys. "Anon the
King and Duke and Duchesse came to dinner in the Vane-roome, where
I never saw them before; but it seems since the tables are done, he dines there
alltogether." (fn. 319) It was to that room that Pepys on 4th June, 1666, fetched
the two seamen who had brought the news of the victory over the Dutch,
and there they told the story of the fight. Again he relates how on 6th
March, 1668, the Lords waited in the Privy Gallery for the King to come
from the Park, and then, withdrawing to the Vane Room with the King,
delivered to him their message as to precedence.
In 1670 a new withdrawing room was built (see p. 76) and the Vane
Room, either then or after the completion of the new Privy Gallery in 1687,
was converted into a waiting room. (fn. 320)
The Privy Gallery.
One of the most striking features of Henry VIII's Whitehall was
the "new gallery" which, in continuation of the Tiltyard Gallery, led from
the passage over the Holbein Gate along the northern side of the Privy
Garden to the Privy Lodgings. The whole was officially styled "Privy
Gallery," (fn. 321) but the part with which we are here concerned is that which lay
between the Holbein Gate and the Vane Room.
From the gallery on either side doors led to some of the chief rooms
in the Palace.
Next to the Vane Room was the King's old bedchamber, looking
out on to the Privy Garden, (fn. 322) and beyond this lay the lesser withdrawing room,
sometimes called the Horn Room. (fn. 323) On the other side of the gallery were
the Square Table Room (fn. 324) and the Council Chamber. These adjoined one
another. (fn. 325)
The Council Chamber was over the rooms marked "The Councill
Office" in the plan of 1670. (fn. 326) It faced the Pebble Court, and its use as an
auditory when sermons were preached in that court has already been referred
to (p. 61). (fn. 327) For some time in James I's reign it was occupied by the Duke
of Lennox (see p. 69).
There was a staircase (not shown on the plan of 1670) leading
from the Pebble Court up to the Privy Gallery near the Council Chamber. (fn. 328)
Close by was the King's cabinet. (fn. 329) Whatever its exact position, it
certainly led out of the Privy Gallery, and one can only wonder at Pennant's
bold identification of its site on the western side of Whitehall. (fn. 330)
During the Civil War the Cabinet and its contents were seized
by Parliament. (fn. 331) One of the first acts of Charles II after the Restoration
was to have the Cabinet Room done up. (fn. 332) On 1st November, 1660, Evelyn
visited the room, and has left an account of its contents:—
"I went with some of my relations to Court, to show them
his Majesty's cabinet and closet of rarities; the rate miniatures of
Peter Oliver, after Raphael, Titian, and other masters, which I infinitely
esteem; also, that large piece of the Duchess of Lennox, done in enamel
by Petitot, and a vast number of agates, onyxes, and intaglios, especially
a medallion of Cæsar, as broad as my hand; likewise, rare cabinets of
pietra-commessa, a landscape of needlework, formerly presented by
the Dutch to King Charles the First. Here I saw a vast book of maps,
in a volume near four yards square (fn. 333) ; a curious ship model; and, amongst
the clocks, one that showed the rising and setting of the sun in the
zodiac; the sun represented by a face and rays of gold, upon an azure
sky, observing the diurnal and annual motion, rising and setting
behind a landscape of hills, the work of our famous Fromantil; and
several other rarities."
The principal staircase (fn. 334) leading from the Privy Garden to the Privy
Gallery was the Adam and Eve staircase, (fn. 335) so called from a picture of Adam
and Eve (fn. 336) at the stair head. The room, over the door of which the picture
hung, was called the Adam and Eve Chamber or the Adam and Eve Stairs
Room. The staircase is probably that shown on the plan of 1670 next to
the rooms of the Lord Keeper. Another staircase led up from it to the
upper floor. (fn. 337)
The gallery in 1607 contained a "riche fountain," (fn. 338) probably the
one in respect of which John de Critz in 1608–9 received £40 (fn. 339) "for payntinge and guildinge wth fine golde … wth nine Carved pictures and eight
poeticall stories painted rounde aboute the same … and garnished wth fine
The rooms beneath the Privy Gallery are shown in the plan of 1670
to have been with one exception occupied as offices, and perhaps also as
lodgings, by the Lord Chamberlain, (fn. 340) the Lord Keeper, Lord Arlington
(Secretary of State) and the Treasurer. The exception is the King's Laboratory and Bath.
Henry VIII had a bathing room somewhere in this neighbourhood, perhaps on the identical site. (fn. 341) The laboratory seems to have been
removed in 1669, and two new laboratories set up, one in the Volary
lodgings and the other on the Cockpit side. (fn. 342) In 1672–3 a new laboratory
and bathing room were constructed on the old site. (fn. 343) Full details are given
in an entry headed: "Charges in altering ye Kings bathing roome & fitting
ye walls & Ceiling to be sett with Lookeing Glasses & altering ye roome
within it according to Sr Samuell Morelands directions in ye Month of
May 1673 & in severall Months before." (fn. 344) This contains references to
"3 pilasters in ye Corners of ye roome," "cubberds under ye windowes next
ye privy garden," "one end of ye roome where ye printing presse is sett,"
"ye outer dore next ye pibble courte," "window shutters of waynscott in
that which was ye bathing roome," "the staires goeing up to ye Councill
chamber," "ye roome where ye … Cisterne is to be sett." The new laboratory was for the use of Dr. Dickinson. (fn. 345) Edmund Dickinson, physician
and alchemist, had been introduced to the King by the Earl of Arlington,
whom he had cured of a tumour when all the doctors in London and Paris
had given him up. "But what ingratiated him with his Majesty more than
anything, was his deep Knowledge in Chymistry: the King was so great a
Lover of this Art, that he ordered a Laboratory to be built in Whitehall,
under his own Bed-chamber, from which there being a Back-stairs, he
privately spent many hours in seeing and trying Experiments with the Doctor;
no-body being admitted but the Duke of Buckingham." (fn. 346)
Adjoining the Privy Gallery at its west end, and in the north-west
corner of the Privy Garden, a building is shown on the plan of 1670 as in the
occupation of "Sr Robert Murrey." It is obviously that referred to in a
warrant, dated 6th August, 1660, to provide for the furnishing of "two
roomes in the privy Garden for Sr Robert Murrey." (fn. 347)
An order (fn. 348) had on 10th April, 1636, been given for the erection of a
"still house & a roome to keepe the Clocks in in ye privy garden at Whitehall
for David Ramsey." (fn. 349) References to "the lower rome" and "the twoe
Ceelings of the roomes" (fn. 350) suggest that the building consisted of two rooms,
one above the other, but there is no evidence as to its position in the garden.
It seems likely, however, that the two rooms in question were those granted
to Murray in 1660.
Murray died in 1673 at "the leaded pavillion in the garden at
Whitehall." (fn. 351)
The building seems to have passed into the occupation of the Earl
of Dorset, whose lodgings must have been on this site. In September,
1681, an order was issued to (fn. 352) Wren stating that the King had given "to the
Right honoble the Earle of Dorsett liberty to build over his Lodgings in ye
Privy Garden; and that you permitt the same to be done at his Lopps owne
Costs, … yet that you see the same to be done regular and not prejudiciall
to ye Kings Gallery." Dorset had not, however, reckoned with the Duchess
of Cleveland, who occupied rooms over and near the Holbein Gate, and in
December a further order (fn. 353) was issued "to stop the building that is in the Privy
Garden at the Earle of Dorsetts Lodgings from goeing any further, and that
you suffer none of the lights of the Dutchesse of Clevelands lodgings to bee
stopped up or any wayes changed … and if any shall presume to worke
contrary to this order I shall grant my Warrant to send the Workemen to
the prison of the Marshalsea."
Matters seem to have been accommodated with the duchess, for
when, a few years later, the earl's premises were demolished (fn. 354) in connection
with the rebuilding of the Privy Gallery, he petitioned for compensation
in view of the fact that he had "expended severall summes in New building
and making additions thereunto." (fn. 355) An item in the Secret Service Expenses (fn. 356)
shows that the earl obtained a sum of £300.
On his accession in 1685 James II at once took steps for the demolition of the Privy Gallery and all the rooms connected with it, and for the
construction in their place of a new building for the Queen, as well as of a
Roman Catholic Chapel adjoining, at the north-west corner of the Privy
Garden. The estimate submitted by Wren was as follows: (fn. 357)
An Estimate of a Building to be erected for her Majesty, Being
the whole south (fn. 358) side of the Privy Garden double; the ground story
eleven ft high; the second story nineteen, containing the gallery and
the Queen's apartment, and the chapel the heighth of both stories.
The ground story to be fitted with deal wainscot into lodgings and
offices for the Treasury, Secretaries, Lord Chamberlain and others:
the second story and galleries to be finished as the King's new
lodgings, (fn. 359) and the chapel decently adorned.
|For the Queen's apartment, with the
rooms under and in the roof, and the
chapel, containing 84 squares and ¼,
at 100l the square,||8425||0||0|
|For the gallery and rooms under, containing 52 squares at 75l the
|For altering, raising and adorning the
|For alterations that may happen in
piecing the old works to the new, and
joining the Banqueting-house, the
Council-chamber, the Lord Chamberlain's and the old lodgings||1500||0||0|
|The old buildings to be pulled down,
when the charge of carting away
the useless rubbish is defrayed,
may be valued at||1020||0||0|
|Which being deducted, remains
May 15th, 1635. (fn. 360) ||13305||0||0|
|(Sgd.) Chr. Wren.|
An agreement was made with Maurice Emmett to carry out the
building work, (fn. 361) and a contract was entered into with Nicholas Goodwin
for the supply of bricks. (fn. 362) The work was put in hand without delay. (fn. 363) Very
full details of the new buildings are given in the records. (fn. 364)
The Privy Gallery block was 200 feet long, and comprised two
storeys (fn. 365) with garrets above, over cellars, and was faced with brickwork
with rubbed quoins to the openings and some stone dressings, and a modillion cornice "answerable to that on the Banqueting House." The roof
was high-pitched, with dormer windows affording light to the garrets, which
were allocated to the maids of honour and the mother of the maids. The
chimney-stacks, were evidently carefully considered in the general composition, as 21 stacks are mentioned, as well as "a great stack" next the
The foundations (6 feet wide and 8 feet deep) were of an unusual
size for this type of building and were probably necessitated by the bad
state of the subsoil and the proximity of the river.
In connection with the work it was found necessary to remove "two
great buttrisses" which were against the Banqueting House.
The old materials, including certain internal fittings, were carefully
sorted and used again, as far as possible, in the new building. (fn. 366)
Wren's estimate had provided for the ground-floor rooms being
wainscotted in deal. The rooms in the floor above were panelled, with the
chief mouldings picked out in gilt, the gallery being further decorated with
36 pilasters with carved capitals. The mantelpieces were in marble, some
being brought by water from Greenwich.
The Queen's great bedchamber had a mantelpiece in white and
veined marble, with a 10-inch moulding, and the overmantel contained a
mirror within a carved frame, while above was a large picture-panel enriched
with carved leaves, flowers and husks, surmounted by the crown and Royal
arms with draped festoons all of which were gilded. The gilding with
"burnisht gould" was carried out by Rene Cousin. Grinling Gibbons
received £48 for carving work in connection with this chimneypiece. (fn. 367) The
ceiling was painted by Antonio Verrio, who was paid £200 for the work.
Verrio also painted the ceilings of the Queen's closet and private chapel,
both of which were further embellished by Rene Cousin with 3316 leaves
Other rooms provided with marble chimneypieces were:
(i) The Queen's little bedchamber (purple, with an 8-inch mould).
(ii) The eating-room (black and yellow, with 9-inch mould).
(iii) The Council Chamber (white and veined marble, with 12½-inch
mould, with slab and slips "wrought out of the Ks Stone,"
Reigate stone being used for the hearth and curb).
(iv) The Duchesse Mazarin's room (white and veined).
(v) The Duchesse's low-room "next ye garden" (statuary marble).
(vi) The Treasury Office (Egyptian marble).
The great staircase was in Portland stone, with the landings in black
and white marble. The iron balustrading and rail were composed of 97
iron scrolls and 92 twisted balusters. (fn. 368) The ceiling had a fret decoration
with a coved cornice and a guilloche on the ribs, with panels containing
shields, trophies and wreaths of flowers. It was surmounted by a lantern.
A general idea of the external appearance of the buildings is given
in the view of 1695–8 (Plate 5).
The buildings were finished in the course of 1686, and early in
1687 the Queen took possession of her new apartments. (fn. 369) On the arrival
of the Princess of Orange at Whitehall on 12th February, 1688–9, she
was met at the Privy Stairs "by the Prince and divers of the Nobility, and
was led to the new Apartment facing the Privy Garden, by her Sister, the
Princess of Denmark." (fn. 370) Nine years later the buildings were entirely consumed in the Fire of 1698, and the fact that thenceforth the Pebble Court
was merged in the Privy Garden, without a trace of the large block of
buildings that had formed the division between, shows how complete was
The Roman Catholic Chapel.
Included in the scheme for rebuilding the Privy Gallery and the
rooms adjacent thereto was the erection of a Roman Catholic Chapel in the
north-west corner of the Privy Garden. From the details contained in the
records it is possible to form a fairly accurate idea of this splendidlyappointed but short-lived building.
The chapel, which was 80 feet long, and extended westwards to the
street side, contained a porch, vestry, ante-chapel and stairs, with priests'
lodgings over the ante-chapel. A paved chapel-yard is also mentioned.
The original scheme seems to have been departed from after the
work had been begun, for part of the walls and some of the marble pillars
were taken down, and the roof shored up, to admit of an additional building on the garden side.
The exterior was in brickwork, with Portland stone quoins and
dressings, a modillion cornice at the eaves and a pediment at the end. The
windows were semi-circular headed, and the roof was covered with "blew"
slates. The building generally was in harmony with the gallery block
According to Wren's estimate the height of the chapel was to be
equal to the sum of the storeys of the privy gallery block, and the building
was to be "decently adorned." The latter condition seems to have been
The floor of the chapel was paved with six-angled white marble
stones and "amandolis," which were brought from the store at Greenwich.
The level of the floor was raised, earth having to be carted in for this purpose.
The altar-rails consisted of carved pedestal panels between balusters,
and an item in the accounts records these as being painted to look like
marble. The paving within the rails was lozenge-shaped, with moulded
steps in white marble. A tabernacle for the altar was made by John Heisenbuttle for £15, further charges being recorded for gilding and carving.
The latter work was carried out by Grinling Gibbons for £38. Gibbons also
received £12 for the "marble holy water Pott."
The King's seat (also referred to as the throne) (fn. 371) had a modillion
cornice with "leafe & O.G.," as well as "lace" and other carving, and
two fluted marble columns with capitals and bases.
Verrio was paid £1250 for painting the ceiling and walls of the
chapel, except the organ lofts, and Rene Cousin received £67 for gold
leafwork to the ceiling, comprising 8132 leaves of gold.
Some of the mouldings were also picked out in "burnisht gould,"
and an interesting item in the accounts refers to "preparing and glewing ye
Limetree for the Carving in the great Chappell, £11. 2. 0."
Twenty-eight carved Doric capitals were used, probably for dividing
the wall surfaces into bays.
Benedicto Gennari received sums amounting to £590 for providing
pictures for the chapel. (fn. 372) One of these representing the Nativity, and
costing £150, was placed over the altar, the frame for it being carved by
The chapel was opened on Christmas Day, 1686, (fn. 373) and a few days
later Evelyn attended service there. (fn. 374) There are not many records relating
to it during its brief existence. (fn. 375) At the Revolution it became to a large
extent derelict. After the Fire of 1691 had consumed the Earl of Devonshire's rooms by the Stone Gallery, Queen Mary, it is said, gave him the
chapel as lodgings. (fn. 376) This seems rather unlikely, and it is possible that the
reference is rather to rooms adjoining (fn. 377) or even over the chapel. (fn. 378) Devonshire was still in the neighbourhood of the chapel in 1695. (fn. 379)
In November, 1691, we hear of a plan to convert the chapel into a
library, but apparently it came to nothing. (fn. 380) The building lasted until the
Fire of 1698, when it was swept out of existence.
In the meantime, it had been gradually dismantled, and two at
least of its more important fittings, the altar-piece and the organ, being
transferred elsewhere, have survived, while a third, the pulpit, is probably
still in existence in some unknown church.
In 1685 an agreement had been entered into with Grinling Gibbons
and Arnold Quellan "to erect an Altar peice in his Mats new Chappell in
Whitehall … with clean white marble, free from Vents, with pillastors of
white, well veind marble, and Collums of purple Ranee, the Shafts of both
to be in whole stones and the work adorned with Statues and other Sculptures
according to a … designe … made … by Sr Christopher Wren Knt."
It was stipulated that the work should be completed on or before 25th
September, 1686. The contract price was £1800. (fn. 381)
At some time in 1694–6 the altar-piece was taken down, loaded into
barges and sent to Hampton Court. (fn. 382) There it remained in store, until in
1706 Queen Anne, on the petition of the Dean and Chapter, granted it to
Westminster Abbey. (fn. 383)
It is obvious that the altar-piece in its entirety would not have been
thought suitable for inclusion in a Protestant place of worship, and we have
Thoresby's testimony to the effect that it was deprived of its two chief figures
before being erected in the Abbey. (fn. 384)
Ackermann's description (fn. 385) of the altar-piece, as it was in 1812, is
"It is of white marble, faintly veined with blue, and consists of a
basement of the Tuscan order in three compartments; of which that in the
center is semicircular and the largest. It is formed by twelve pilasters, with
their architrave, frieze, and cornice. On the frieze of a slight projection
over the altar is inscribed, 'Anna Regina, Pia, Felix, Augusta, Parens
Patriae, D.' On either side is and arched door, which communicates with
Edward the Confessor's chapel. The spaces over them, and beneath the
architrave, are filled by alto-relievos of children on clouds, in the act of
adoration, with glories above them. On each side of the table are empty
niches. Above them are two children; the one with a thuribulum incensing
the altar, and the other on one knee bearing the paten, on which are two
cruets. On the cornice is a tablet, whose base is enriched with carvings,
in fruit and flowers. Within a frame of black marble is a glory in gold
and the words, 'Glory To God In The Highest, On Earth, Peace, Goodwill
Towards Men.' Two palm branches enclose the ever-memorable command,
"Do This In Remembrance Of Me.' On the tablet is a pediment, with a crown
in the tympanum, and over it another tablet, with four pilasters and a circular
pediment, containing a basso-relievo of ten cherubim surrounding a gilded
glory, on which is written mm. (fn. 386) On the apex of the pediment three
boys support the Holy Bible, The central figure waves a branch of palm
over it. Six beautiful Corinthian columns of variegated marble, with their
entablature, extend over the center compartment to the great tablet, adorned
by kneeling angels, in attitudes of reverence to the altar below. Festoons
of flowers hang in the open inter-columniations, and round the upper part of
A view of the choir of Westminster Abbey in Ackermann's volume
shows the altar-piece at the end.
At the beginning of the reign of George IV a new altar-piece was
set up, and the old one was presented to Walter King, Bishop of Rochester,
who was also a canon of Westminster and Vicar of Burnham, Somerset.
He erected it in Burnham church, and a pamphlet published by him in 1826
contains an illustration (reproduced in Plate 10) of it in situ. "It reached
almost to the roof and entirely concealed the east window. In later years it
was felt that the Italian style of this massive work was unsuitable in the small
Gothic chancel. So it was taken to pieces. Four panels remained on the
east wall, but the panel containing the Sacred Name surrounded by cherubs
was removed to the south wall beneath the tower, and the two large figures
of angels were placed on either side of the west door. Parts of the work
were practically destroyed, and many fragments were recently found in a
lumber room at the old vicarage." (fn. 387) Details of the altar-piece as now existing
in Burnham church are given in Plates 10, 11, 12 and below is a sketch based
on the present remains and on the view in Ackermann's volume, showing its
appearance when in Westminster Abbey.
Altar-piece as erected in Westminster Abbey.
The pulpit, which was also the work of Gibbons, (fn. 388) was in 1696
presented to the Danish church then building in Wellclose Square. (fn. 389) An
account of the expenditure connected with the building and fitting up of
the church (fn. 390) contains an item of £5 3s. 3d. for "charges on the pulpit," and
mentions that "the Pulpit was given by Prince George of Denmark." This
was not quite the fact, as the pulpit was not his to give, but it is probable
that the granting of the request of the Danish congregation was largely due
to his influential support.
A drawing of the interior of the Danish church by Kip in 1697 shows
the pulpit. The church was demolished in 1869, and most of the fittings were
sold by auction on 3rd March in that year. Among them was a "fine old
oak pulpit, with richly carved panels containing figures representing the
four evangelists, and elaborately decorated with carvings of fruit, flowers,
cherubim, etc., on pedestal, and the sound board with carved mouldings."
The pulpit was purchased for £24, and tradition has it that it was bought for a
church in the south of England, but so far endeavours to trace it have been
in vain. Some day no doubt the authorities of some country church will
awake to the fact that they possess a genuine Grinling Gibbons pulpit with
an interesting history, and it will then be possible to complete the story.
There were two organs (great and little) in the chapel. Among the
Secret Service Expenses of James II are items: (i) "To Rene Harris, by
advance, the same being intended to be employed in the making and buying
a new organ for the chappel in Whitehall … 200.0.0" (ii) "To Giles
Campion for gilding the organ in the chappell at Whitehall … 100.0.0."
Grinling Gibbons also was paid £40 "for carving the front before the great
Organ on the side of the Chappell." In 1691 the organ "in ye Greate Chappell
at Whitehall, which heretofore ye Papist possessed" (fn. 391) was presented by Queen
Mary to the church of St. James, Piccadilly. In 1852 an entirely new inside
(with the exception of two stops) was provided, but the handsome old case
is still preserved.
The Holbein and King Street Gates.
The account of these two gates, as well as of the buildings of Whitehall Palace on the west side of the road, will be given in the next volume.
The Gun Platform.
In the copies of the plan of 1670 in the possession of the Society of
Antiquaries and in the Crace Collection (but not in Vertue's reproduction)
the centre building of the short range between the Holbein Gate and the
Banqueting House is marked "The Platform." According to a plan of
1722 the "Platforme of Guns" at that time occupied the whole of this
range, measuring about 90 feet. It was probably constructed in 1643 (see
p. 31), but a reference (fn. 392) in 1660–1 to "setting a new roofe over the Gunns
at the banquetting house and makeing a roome to put powder and shott
in" is the earliest official allusion to it that has been found. It was taken
down in 1685 in connection with the rebuilding of the Privy Gallery, (fn. 393) and a
new platform was set up in 1688. (fn. 394) The guns are shown in Terrason's engraving of the Banqueting House (Plate 16). When, in 1723, the King
Street Gate was demolished and the wall of the Privy Garden set back to the
Banqueting House frontage, the gun-platform was pulled down.
The Banqueting House.
The Banqueting House is dealt with separately in the next
chapter, and with that the circuit of the Palace between the road and the
river (so far as it was situated in the Parish of St. Margaret's) is completed.
View of the Palace in 1695–8.
Before finally leaving the Palace buildings, however, it is necessary
to refer to a remarkable view of Whitehall and the neighbourhood which
has hardly received fair treatment. This view exists in two versions, (i) The
first is a pen-and-ink drawing, ascribed to Kip, and preserved in the British
Museum. It is not quite finished, certain of the buildings in different
portions of the view not having been inked in. (ii) The second is also a
pen-and-ink drawing, ascribed to Knyff, formerly in the Gardner Collection,
and now preserved in the Westminster Public Library. It is complete, and
while remarkably like (i), differs from it in certain minor details. The fact
that it extends a trifle further to the south than (i) shows that it is not
dependent on the latter, and the further fact that (i) includes a niche in the
centre of the Queen's riverside apartments which is not given in (ii), but
which is almost certainly correct, as it is shown in the Wren design (Plate 8),
suggests that (i) is not merely based on (ii). Both are therefore either based
on an unknown original, or, more probably, are independent drawings made
about the same time by the same artist, either Knyff or Kip.
An engraving of (i) was included in the supplement to J. T. Smith's
Antiquities of Westminster. Smith assigned the view to the early part of the
18th century (thereby to a great extent depriving it of any value as a representation of the buildings at Whitehall which had been swept away in 1698)
on the ground that it showed the first Pembroke House. This, as is shown
below, is a complete misapprehension. A reproduction of (ii) has recently
been published in Beeton and Chancellor's edition of Defoe's Tour thro'
London, where (apparently following the lead given by J. T. Smith) it is
dated "circa 1720." Of the two views, the latter has been selected for
reproduction in this volume (Plate 5).
There can be little doubt that the drawing is a fairly accurate
representation of the Palace made in the closing years of the latter's
The Privy Gallery (and its adjunct, the Council Chamber) is shown
as a much more regular and imposing building than would be gathered from
the plan of 1670 and the elevation sketch in Morden and Lea's Map of 1682.
It is in fact the new building designed by Wren and erected in 1686–7,
albeit it appears a storey higher than was provided for in the original design.
At the south-western end of the Privy Gallery is a building which is
obviously the Roman Catholic Chapel and its vestry.
According to the plan of 1670 there were four rows of grass plots
in the Privy Garden, but in the drawing the northernmost row has been
done away with. The sundial remains in its original position. The destruction of at least the westernmost of these grass plots must have been a necessary
consequence of the building of the chapel, and the others may have been
removed for the sake of uniformity or possibly because of a southward
extension of the line of the Privy Gallery.
The Bowling Green and the terrace separating it from the Privy
Garden are not shown. Instead, a part of the former is laid out as part of
the Privy Garden. This work was in fact carried out in 1673–5, the
view is in accordance with the representation in Morden and Lea's Map.
The sites of the Stone Gallery and the Prince's lodgings which had
been burnt down in 1691 are vacant.
Queen Mary's Terrace, formed in 1693, is shown.
The most conclusive evidence of the general accuracy of the drawing,
however, is to be found in the delineation of the very building which has
heretofore been regarded as fatal to its genuineness. Fronting the terrace,
towards the northern end, it occupies the site of the Queen's apartments.
It is quite unlike the views of the Queen's lodgings in 1682 and 1683, and
as stated above, has been identified as the first Pembroke House. It bears,
however, little resemblance to that house, but is markedly similar to one of
the designs for the Queen's drawing room (Plate 8) made probably in 1687–8,
when this part of the Palace was ordered to be rebuilt (see p. 71).
In fact the only possible objection to regarding the drawing as made
shortly before 1698 is the view of the Admiralty, which is somewhat like
the present building erected in 1724–6 on the site of Wallingford House.
The present Admiralty is not, however, as usually stated, the immediate
successor of Wallingford House. The latter was pulled down in 1694, (fn. 395)
and on its site were erected buildings along four sides of an open courtyard.
The western range was built for use as an Admiralty, and the eastern range,
facing the street, was of only a single storey. (fn. 396) These one-storey buildings
are clearly shown in the drawing, and it will be noticed that the Admiralty
itself lacks the portico which is a notable feature in the present building.
It may be taken, therefore, that the building shown is that which was erected
in 1695, (fn. 397) and the drawing must have been made some time between that
date and 1698, when the Palace buildings were destroyed.
Proposals for Rebuilding.
Drawings illustrating schemes (academic or otherwise) for the rebuilding of the Palace on a vast scale have figured prominently in most of
the published works on Whitehall, but have been deliberately excluded from
this volume. A few remarks on the subject, however, may not be out of
Block plan of a scheme for builging a new Palace.
The principal drawings in question are preserved at Worcester
College, Oxford, Chatsworth, and the British Museum. They comprise at
least seven sets of differently worked-out schemes attributed to Inigo Jones
and his pupil John Webb; and there are a number of others. According
to J. Alfred Gotch (fn. 398) the drawings in these collections have at some period
become intermixed, for he states that "the Chatsworth drawings and those
at Worcester College evidently at one time formed one collection, because
there are elevations in one which correspond with plans in the other, and
vice versa." Colin Campbell published c. 1720 a selection in Vol. II of his
Vitruvius Britanncus, and Kent in 1727 published a series of drawings in
Designs of Inigo Jones. Schemes were at various times submitted to Charles I,
Charles II and William III. One set was described by Webb, who claims
the authorship for himself, and states that the set was accepted. In a petition
to Charles II by Webb for the position of Surveyor of His Majesty's Works
shortly after the Restoration the latter mentions: "That he was Mr. Jones
Deputy and in actuall possession of the office upon his leaving London,
and attended his Matle in that Capacity at Hampton Courte and in ye Isle
of Wight, where he received his Maties comand to designe a Pallace for
Whitehall, wch he did untill his Maties unfortunate calamity caused him to
desist." This definitely connects Webb with the Royal authority to prepare
Wren was also called in, being commissioned to prepare plans
during the reign of Charles II, and again in that of William III after the
Fire of 1698. Details of these will be found in the Parentalia.
A block plan of one of the schemes in the Chatsworth Collection
is reproduced on p. 113. It shows the relationship of the proposed palace
buildings to the properties existing according to the plan of 1670. The
new buildings extend from the river across Whitehall to the Park,
and the Banqueting House is shown on the east side of the south-west
Lack of funds would not permit of any of these grandiose schemes
being put into execution, but had they been carried out London's Royal Palace
would have equalled the Louvre or the Escorial, or in fact any other European
palace, in dignity and grandeur of conception.
In the Council's Collection Are:—
(fn. 399) The Palace of Whitehall in 1683 (photograph of picture in the Royal Collection).
Plan of Whitehall in Charles II's reign (photograph of drawing in the Crace Collection).
Plan of Whitehall in Charles II's reign (photograph of drawing in possession of the
Society of Antiquaries).
(fn. 399) Whitehall in 1695–8 (photograph of drawing preserved in the Westminster Public
Whitehall in 1695–8 (photograph of drawing preserved in the British Museum).
(fn. 399) Hollar's View of the Banqueting House etc. (photograph of drawing preserved in the
(fn. 399) The "Cosimo" View of the Banqueting House, etc. (photograph of drawing preserved
in the British Museum).
(fn. 399) The Great Hall arranged for a Pastoral (photograph of drawing preserved in the British
(fn. 399) A design for Queen Mary's Terrace (photograph of drawing in the Wren Collection in
the Library of All Souls' College, Oxford).
(fn. 399) "A description of Maister Latimer preaching" (photograph of engraving in Foxe's
Acts and Monuments, British Museum).
(fn. 399) Wren's designs for the Queen's Drawing Room (photograph of drawing in the Wren
Collection in the Library of All Souls' College, Oxford).
(fn. 399) Sketch of altar-piece from Roman Catholic Chapel (pen-and-ink drawing).
(fn. 399) Altar-piece from Roman Catholic Chapel as originally set up in the church of
St. Andrew, Burnham (photograph of engraving preserved in the Library of the
Dean and Chapter, Westminster).
(fn. 399) Portions of the altar-piece as now in the church of St. Andrew, Burnham (five)
Organ from Roman Catholic Chapel now in the church of St. James, Piccadilly (photograph).
(fn. 399) Plan of enclosure of part of Privy Garden (copied from plan preserved in the Public