Survey of London: Volume 13, St Margaret, Westminster, Part II: Whitehall I. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1930.
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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. n1) "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. n2) "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. n3)
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.
(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. n4) and in 1676 respectively, and the buildings erected by the former were of an entirely different lay-out from the older ones 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. n5): "October 1670 … to Ralph Greatorex (fn. n6) 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. n7)
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 portion.
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. n8) 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. n9) 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. n10) 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. n11)
The gatehouse escaped the Fire of 1698. (fn. n12) It lasted until 1765, when it was found to be "in so ruinous a Condition" as to be in great danger of falling. (fn. n13) 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. n14) This in turn was taken down in 1813, and set up in the City of London Brewery. (fn. n15)
The rooms over the gate were used as lodgings. Among others the Lord Almoner had his residence here, (fn. n16) 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. n17) Sir Robert Carr was accommodated there in 1676, (fn. n18) and in 1729 Lord Vere Beauclerk was granted the use of "ye Lodgings over Whitehall Gate, formerly the Green Cloth Office." (fn. n19)
The Porter's Lodge was on the ground floor under the Gate. (fn. n20) 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. n21) 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. n22)
The Great Court. (fn. n23)
Entering the Palace by Whitehall Gate one arrived in the Great Court, sometimes called the Cloister Court (fn. n24) or Whalebone Court (fn. n25) through which was the passage to the Hall, the Chapel and the water-gate. The reason for the name Whalebone Court is obvious. (fn. n26)
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. n27) 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. n28) 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. n29) at the southern end.
The floor of the Hall was paved, (fn. n30) 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.
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. n31)
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. n32)
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. n33) 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. n34) 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. n35) 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. n36) though at first he gave the impression of taking no great pleasure in this form of entertainment. (fn. n37) 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. n38) and in February, 1609–10, is a reference to "the mending ye paving in ye haull in many places after ye playes." (fn. n39)
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. n40) The masque was written by Chapman, and performed by the gentlemen of the Inns of Court. (fn. n41)
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. n42)
In 1635 a Pastoral was performed in the Great Hall, (fn. n43) 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. n44) 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. n45)
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. n46)
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. n47) 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. n48)
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. n49) and in the following year a not illiberal food allowance to the performers was provided for. (fn. n50)
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. n51) 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. n52) In 1678 Philip died and John Clarke was appointed keeper. (fn. n53)
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. n54)
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. n55) 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. n56)
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. n57)
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. n58)
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. n59)
At the end of the chapel, in a gallery, was the King's closet, (fn. n60) on the left and right hands of which sat the ladies of the court. (fn. n61) 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. n62)
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. n63) 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. n64) 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. n65)
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. n66)
An organ had been used in the chapel from the earliest times. (fn. n67) 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. n68) 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. n69) 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. n70) According to Freeman (fn. n71) 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. n72) it would seem that the old organ had then been taken away. The new instrument was not ready until 1664, (fn. n73) when it was placed in a different position. Some time before 1676 Smith lowered the pitch (fn. n74) 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. n75) 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. n76) 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. n77)
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. n78) "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. n79) may possibly refer to the landing place at the public stairs. Both are mentioned in the accounts for the building of Whitehall: (fn. n80) "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. n81)
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 Henry VIII.
References to the Privy Stairs are scattered among the records, (fn. n82) and this means of communication with the river, which was not only London's principal highway, but the scene of recreation and pleasure, (fn. n83) was much used. Regulations were occasionally necessary, and in March, 1678–9, an order (fn. n84) 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."
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. n85) and in September of the same year Luttrell writes: (fn. n86) "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 10,000 l."
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 Portland.
In 1719 the Countess of Portland obtained a lease of the "Terras commonly called Queen Marys Garden." (fn. n87) 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. n88) that divided the terrace from the earl's property, and encroaching on the passage originally leading to the Privy Stairs. (fn. n89) 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. n90) 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. n91)
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. n92) 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. n93) 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. n94) 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. n95) 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. n96) 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. n97) "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. n98) at some time between 1607 and 1619, is reproduced on p. 119. (fn. n99) 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. n100)
Flanking the north and east sides of the Court was a wooden terrace, (fn. n101) leading to the Privy Lodgings and the Council Chamber. (fn. n102) 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. n103) 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. n104)
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. n105) 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 damage.
The way from the Court Gate to the Terrace was at first open, (fn. n106) 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. n107) 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. n108)
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. n109) The site selected was on the terrace where the temporary room had been erected on the occasion of the Princess Elizabeth's wedding. (fn. n110) The order was given on 29th September, the work being treated as urgent, (fn. n111) 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. n112) The building lasted until 1645, when orders were given for it to be pulled down. (fn. n113)
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. n114) in ye great Court on the other side ye said Gallery, Cix foot long iiij foot high." (fn. n115) The work was finished in 1669. (fn. n116)
On New Year's eve, 1686, (fn. n117) a statue of James II (fn. n118) 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. n119) "Great Cellar—under the Guard Chamber, 3 roomes," and (ii) an order made in 1683 (fn. n120) 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. n121) 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. n122)
(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. n123)
(ii) In a series of regulations for the government of Whitehall made some time in Charles II's reign, (fn. n124) 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. n125) 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 further."
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 regualtions.
(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. n126) 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. n127) to be supplied for the Palace in 1682, and two lists of mourning (fn. n128) (to be hung and removed respectively) in 1687, contain no reference to the Great Chamber.
(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. n129) (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 Chapel."
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 stairs.
From the Guard Chamber there was communication on the one hand with the Presence Chamber, (fn. n130) and on the other with the Chapel. (fn. n131) 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. n132)
The Guard Chamber suffered severely in the Fire of 1698, which left the cellar beneath to a great extent intact. (fn. n133)
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. n134) It was sometimes prepared for dancing, and on several occasions was used for the meeting of Parliament. (fn. n135) 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. n136)
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. n137) 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. n138)
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. n139)
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. n140) It was probably the room which Von Wedel (fn. n141) 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. n142)
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. n143)
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. n144)
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. n145) 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. n146) which was at the extreme south end, next to the Privy Stairs, and adjoining the Shield Gallery. (fn. n147) Pepys visited the room on 24th June, 1664, but his record is not very informative. (fn. n148)
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. n149) Pepys also refers (fn. n150) to the leads "before the Queen's drawing-room." The Queen had a little garden on the leads. (fn. n151)
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. n152) owing to the fact that the latter building had been adapted as a lodging for the Duke of Lennox. (fn. n153) The room seems again to have been used as the Council Chamber during the Commonwealth. (fn. n154) Pepys took his wife to the Queen's Presence Chamber on 30th December, 1662. (fn. n155)
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. n156)
Possibly included among these rooms was the Queen's volary, which was over the Privy Stairs. (fn. n159) 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. n160)
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 Italians sing."
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. n161) 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."
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 Mary.
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. n162) and Dr. Frazier.
Lady Arlington's lodgings are referred to in 1676 and 1679. (fn. n163) They seem to have been quite distinct from "the Lord Arlingtons new lodgings next ye thamis" (fn. n164) 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. n165) who had in 1672 married Arlington's only daughter Isabella, "a sweet child if ever there was any." (fn. n166) The duke died in 1690, and his widow was soon after given some additional rooms close to the Privy Stairs. (fn. n167)
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. n168) 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. n169)
Sir Alexander Frazier was chief physician to the King. He had left these lodgings by October, 1678, (fn. n170) 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. n171)
The Shield Gallery.
There are several references which show that the Shield Gallery was close to the Privy Stairs, (fn. n172) and it seems probable that it ran east and west over the passage leading to those stairs. (fn. n173)
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. n174) "We were taken into a long passage across the water, which on both sides is beautifully decorated with shields and mottoes. (fn. n175) 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. n176) "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. n177) from which doors gave admittance into the Lords' Room and the Vane Room, both of which had entrances into the Privy Gallery. (fn. n178) 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. n179) 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. n180)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. n181) which was the scene of the following incident told by the Baroness D'Aulnoy. (fn. n182) 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. n183) 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 Papillon."
Some building works in the Volary Garden were carried out in 1663, (fn. n184) 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. n185) and it ran close by the Countess of Suffolk's lodgings (fn. n186) 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. n187) 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. n188) and the remainder of the Turks Gallery was demolished. (fn. n189) The exact site of the new buildings is difficult to define. Some, however, were close to the river. (fn. n190) 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. n191) These five pedestals are shown in the plan of 1670. Some of the buildings at any rate were three storeys high, (fn. n192) 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. n193)
The King's new laboratory was in the new buildings, (fn. n194) as was also the Library, (fn. n195) of which Evelyn has left a full account. (fn. n196) From the court a grand staircase led to the lodgings above. (fn. n197)
The buildings were finished by the middle of 1668. (fn. n198)
The lodgings of the Countess of Suffolk and of Lord Gerard, both adjoining the Volary Garden, (fn. n199) were next taken in hand. These alterations, which included the building of several new rooms, were effected in 1671. (fn. n200) From a later reference it would appear that certain of the new rooms were for the Queen. (fn. n201)
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. n202) 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. n203) 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. n204) 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. n205) eating room. The ante room was entered from the withdrawing room, and the eating room communicated with the Queen's side. (fn. n206)
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. n207)
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. n208) The new room was ready later in the year, (fn. n209) and a document of August, 1682, (fn. n210) contains orders for furniture to be provided for the bedchamber. It includes the provision of "Cushions for ye Doggs" in that room, (fn. n211) 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. n212)
Next to the Privy Stairs the plan of 1670 shows the lodgings of "Mr. Chiffinch." (fn. n215) 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. n216) 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. n217) and there are several references to Miss Stuart's lodgings. (fn. n218) 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. n219) 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. n220)
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. n221)
On his arrival in London on 3rd February, 1659–60, General Monck had the Prince's Lodgings assigned to him, (fn. n222) 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. n223)
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. n224) 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. n225) The King had himself occupied the lodgings in the previous year while the erection of his new apartments was in progress. (fn. n226) After the accession of James II some of the principal rooms were used for the accommodation of Father Petre, the King's confessor. (fn. n227) At the Revolution the lodgings, including others which had been more or less intermixed with them, were divided. To Richard Hampden (fn. n228) were given "all the roomes and garetts over the Dukes and Dutchesse Apartment wherein the Earle of Peterburgh and Colonel Werden (fn. n229) 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. n230) 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. n231)
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. n232)
The Stone Gallery.
The Stone Gallery is shown in the plan of 1670 (fn. n233) 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. n234) 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. n235) "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. n236)
During the latter part of the gallery's existence, it seems to have been partially adapted for other purposes. (fn. n237) It was burnt down in the Fire of 1691.
The Long Gallery and the Matted Gallery.
The term "long gallery" in some cases undoubtedly refers to the Privy Gallery, (fn. n238) 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 those
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. n239) In 1681 two bolts were placed on "the dore going out of ye vaine roome into ye Long Gallery," (fn. n240) 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. n241) 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. n242) from which stairs led up to it. (fn. n243) It also adjoined the lodgings of Prince Rupert, shown in the plan of 1670 on the west side of the Stone Gallery. (fn. n244)
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. n245) 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. n246) and elsewhere, (fn. n247) and, as in the case of the Long Gallery, it adjoined Prince Rupert's lodgings, (fn. n248) and a staircase led from the end of it down to the Bowling Green. (fn. n249)
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. n250) 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. n251) (b) "at the end of the longe gallery," (fn. n252) and (c) "over the stone gallery." (fn. n253)
(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. n254) 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. n255)
(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. n256) Among others was a picture by Vandyck which seems to be the one referred to above. (fn. n257) 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. n258) 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. n259) In 1671, Louise de Keroualle arrived at the English Court, and by October of that year had been established in lodgings at Whitehall. (fn. n260)
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. n261) 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. n262) These must have been very extensive. In a letter (fn. n263) 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. n264) 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)."
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. n267) The rooms were actually in course of being prepared for the Duke of Gloucester, her son, (fn. n268) when they were burnt down in the Fire of 1691. (fn. n269)
Lodgings Between the Stone Gallery and the Privy Garden.
In 1662–3 is a record of "building ij roomes in ye privy garden for his Highnes Prince Rupert," (fn. n270) 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. n271) In 1671–2 the building was certainly larger, (fn. n272) and shortly afterwards several new rooms and a staircase were added. (fn. n273) 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. n274)
"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. n275) who was still occupying them when they were burnt down in the Fire of 1691. (fn. n276)
The Earl of Lauderdale had a lodging at Whitehall at least as early as 1663. (fn. n277) On 4th January, 1674–5, a contract was entered into (fn. n278) 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. n279) 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. n280)
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. n281) 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. n282) relating to the mending of "xx fote of new glasse in the chamber agenst the pulpet in the prevey garden." (fn. c1) 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. n283) and (b) that which Foxe calls "the inward garden." (fn. n284)
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. n285) "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 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 rane owtt."
The earliest description undoubtedly applying to the "great garden" is that given in 1584 by Von Wedel: (fn. n286) "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. n287) 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. n288) 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 seats."
In 1629–30 is a reference to "fastening the Seates & mending of the Arbor under the Vyne in the Privie Garden." (fn. n289)
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. n290) During the latter years of the Commonwealth the statues suffered considerable damage. An account, (fn. n291) 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. n292) 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. n293) and March, 1686–7. (fn. n294) An allusion in 1675 (fn. n295) 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. n296) "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. n297) from which the following extracts have been taken: (fn. n298)
"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 …
"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 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. n299)
In 1632–3 further references (fn. n300) 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 againe."
In March, 1665–6, William Marre received payment of £200 for "making the dial in the King's privy Garden at Whitehall." (fn. n301)
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. n302) 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 dial survived the Fire of 1698, (fn. n303) 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. n304) 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. n305) 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. n306) met with further mishap. In a letter (fn. n307) 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. n308) 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. n309)
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. n310) that some of the remains were afterwards at Buckingham House, and Walcott (fn. n311) 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 sun-dial.
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. n312) 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. n313) (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.
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. n314) and took its name from the fact that above it was the principal weathercock in the Palace. (fn. n315) That the room was highly ornamented may be gathered from a curious account of decorative work carried out in 1620–1. (fn. n316)
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. n317) and (c) in 1663 when the Duke of Monmouth was chosen Knight at a chapter "held in the Withdrawing Roome at Whitehall." (fn. n318)
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. n319) 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. n320)
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. n321) but the part with which we are here concerned is that which lay between the Holbein Gate and the Vane Room.
Next to the Vane Room was the King's old bedchamber, looking out on to the Privy Garden, (fn. n322) and beyond this lay the lesser withdrawing room, sometimes called the Horn Room. (fn. n323) On the other side of the gallery were the Square Table Room (fn. n324) and the Council Chamber. These adjoined one another. (fn. n325)
The Council Chamber was over the rooms marked "The Councill Office" in the plan of 1670. (fn. n326) 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. n327) 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. n328)
Close by was the King's cabinet. (fn. n329) 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. n330)
During the Civil War the Cabinet and its contents were seized by Parliament. (fn. n331) One of the first acts of Charles II after the Restoration was to have the Cabinet Room done up. (fn. n332) 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. n333); 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. n334) leading from the Privy Garden to the Privy Gallery was the Adam and Eve staircase, (fn. n335) so called from a picture of Adam and Eve (fn. n336) 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. n337)
The gallery in 1607 contained a "riche fountain," (fn. n338) probably the one in respect of which John de Critz in 1608–9 received £40 (fn. n339) "for payntinge and guildinge wth fine golde … wth nine Carved pictures and eight poeticall stories painted rounde aboute the same … and garnished wth fine goulde."
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. n340) 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. n341) 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. n342) In 1672–3 a new laboratory and bathing room were constructed on the old site. (fn. n343) 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. n344) 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. n345) 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. n346)
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. n347)
An order (fn. n348) 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. n349) References to "the lower rome" and "the twoe Ceelings of the roomes" (fn. n350) 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. n351)
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. n352) 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. n353)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. n354) 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. n355) An item in the Secret Service Expenses (fn. n356) 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. n357)
An Estimate of a Building to be erected for her Majesty, Being the whole south (fn. n358) 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. n359) 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 square,||3900||0||0|
|For altering, raising and adorning the Vane-room,||500||0||0|
|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. n360)||13305||0||0|
|(Sgd.) Chr. Wren.|
An agreement was made with Maurice Emmett to carry out the building work, (fn. n361) and a contract was entered into with Nicholas Goodwin for the supply of bricks. (fn. n362) The work was put in hand without delay. (fn. n363) Very full details of the new buildings are given in the records. (fn. n364)
The Privy Gallery block was 200 feet long, and comprised two storeys (fn. n365) 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 Banqueting House.
The old materials, including certain internal fittings, were carefully sorted and used again, as far as possible, in the new building. (fn. n366)
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. n367) 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 of gold.
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. n368) 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.
The buildings were finished in the course of 1686, and early in 1687 the Queen took possession of her new apartments. (fn. n369) 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. n370) 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 destruction.
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 adjoining.
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 well fulfilled.
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. n371) had a modillion cornice with "leafe & O.G.," as well as "lace" and other carving, and two fluted marble columns with capitals and bases.
Benedicto Gennari received sums amounting to £590 for providing pictures for the chapel. (fn. n372) One of these representing the Nativity, and costing £150, was placed over the altar, the frame for it being carved by Grinling Gibbons.
The chapel was opened on Christmas Day, 1686, (fn. n373) and a few days later Evelyn attended service there. (fn. n374) There are not many records relating to it during its brief existence. (fn. n375) 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. n376) This seems rather unlikely, and it is possible that the reference is rather to rooms adjoining (fn. n377) or even over the chapel. (fn. n378) Devonshire was still in the neighbourhood of the chapel in 1695. (fn. n379)
In November, 1691, we hear of a plan to convert the chapel into a library, but apparently it came to nothing. (fn. n380) 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. n381)
At some time in 1694–6 the altar-piece was taken down, loaded into barges and sent to Hampton Court. (fn. n382) There it remained in store, until in 1706 Queen Anne, on the petition of the Dean and Chapter, granted it to Westminster Abbey. (fn. n383)
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. n384)
Ackermann's description (fn. n385) of the altar-piece, as it was in 1812, is as follows:
"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. n386) 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 the altar-piece."
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. n387) 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.
The pulpit, which was also the work of Gibbons, (fn. n388) was in 1696 presented to the Danish church then building in Wellclose Square. (fn. n389) An account of the expenditure connected with the building and fitting up of the church (fn. n390) 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. n391) 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 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. n392) 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. n393) and a new platform was set up in 1688. (fn. n394) 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).
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.
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 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. n395) 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. n396) 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. n397) 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 place.
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. n398) 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 a scheme.
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 court.
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. n399) 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. n399) Whitehall in 1695–8 (photograph of drawing preserved in the Westminster Public Library).
Whitehall in 1695–8 (photograph of drawing preserved in the British Museum).
(fn. n399) Hollar's View of the Banqueting House etc. (photograph of drawing preserved in the Pepysian Library).
(fn. n399) The "Cosimo" View of the Banqueting House, etc. (photograph of drawing preserved in the British Museum).
(fn. n399) The Great Hall arranged for a Pastoral (photograph of drawing preserved in the British Museum).
(fn. n399) A design for Queen Mary's Terrace (photograph of drawing in the Wren Collection in the Library of All Souls' College, Oxford).
(fn. n399) "A description of Maister Latimer preaching" (photograph of engraving in Foxe's Acts and Monuments, British Museum).
(fn. n399) 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. n399) Sketch of altar-piece from Roman Catholic Chapel (pen-and-ink drawing).
(fn. n399) 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. n399) Portions of the altar-piece as now in the church of St. Andrew, Burnham (five) (photographs).
Organ from Roman Catholic Chapel now in the church of St. James, Piccadilly (photograph).
(fn. n399) Plan of enclosure of part of Privy Garden (copied from plan preserved in the Public Record Office).