Chapter III

Whitehall: Historical and Architectural Notes. Originally published by Seely, London, 1895.

This free content was digitised by double-rekeying. Public Domain.


W J Loftie, 'Chapter III', in Whitehall: Historical and Architectural Notes, (London, 1895) pp. 44-60. British History Online [accessed 28 May 2024].

W J Loftie. "Chapter III", in Whitehall: Historical and Architectural Notes, (London, 1895) 44-60. British History Online, accessed May 28, 2024,

Loftie, W J. "Chapter III", Whitehall: Historical and Architectural Notes, (London, 1895). 44-60. British History Online. Web. 28 May 2024,


Accession of Charles I.—Unfavourable Omens—"The White King"—Henrietta Maria— Her French Followers—The Royal Pictures—Their Partial Sale—The King and Queen at Dinner—Death of Strafford and Laud—Charles at Westminster—Place of the Scaffold—Last Scene.

James I. died in 1625, at Theobalds, having removed thither from Whitehall shortly before. His son Charles I. succeeded him, and for the first years of his reign lived in the old royal apartments on the Thames' bank. The omens observed at the time were all against the new King. Had his reign been prosperous we should have heard nothing about them. First of all, it was remarked that the breath was hardly out of King James's body when the Knight Marshal, in proclaiming his successor at the gate of Theobalds, made a bad blunder. He said Charles was the late King's rightful and dubitable heir. He meant to have said "indubitable." When the news came to Whitehall, Bishop Laud was in the middle of his sermon, for it was a Sunday, and broke off in order to let Charles be proclaimed, nor did he afterwards conclude, so that the new King and the congregation went away without a blessing. At the coronation, in February, 1626, it was similarly noticed that no procession through the City from the Tower to Westminster could take place, because the plague was raging. Several still more ominous accidents marked the day. The wing broke off the golden dove which formed part of the regalia. The Bishop of Carlisle, Richard Senhouse, by an inexcusable blunder, took for the text of his coronation sermon, "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life," from the Revelation. This was much remarked upon then and afterwards, and it is very possible that Charles alluded to the sermon in the last words he ever uttered. But another circumstance was most remarked upon that dark February day in the gloom of the old Abbey. For some unexplained reason, Charles was dressed, not in purple, like the kings before him, but in white satin. Later on this gained for Charles the name of "The White King," and at his burial, in February, 1649, at Windsor, in a snow-storm, as the flakes fell upon the coffin, there were some present who remembered the omen of twenty-three years before. Finally, as if to crown all, that day was marked in the memories of many by a shock of earthquake.

There is little at first to connect Charles with Whitehall, but towards the end of the coronation year a curious scene took place there. The King, weary of the young Bishop and his twenty-nine priests who had come over with Henrietta Maria, decreed that they must return home. This they were very unwilling to do. With them were also to go an immense crew of attendants, whose vagaries disturbed both Whitehall and St. James's. They exceeded in numbers even the four hundred who had formed the household of Henry, prince of Wales. Contemporary letters are full of their arrogance and greed. With the French priests came a crowd of English Jesuits and the like, whose position, as the law stood then, was wholly illegal. The story that Henrietta Maria had to do penance at the instance of her French confessor, by going barefoot to Tyburn to glorify the memory of the Gunpowder Conspirators, rests on very slight evidence. One thing is certain: if she went, it was at the instance of one of the English priests. Even at the present day few Frenchmen know anything of English history thirty years old. It was, however, one thing to resolve, another actually to get rid of these intruders. At first the King wrote to Buckingham, who was then at Paris, to try to persuade the queen-mother of the necessity of the step he contemplated, and, moreover, to ask her to "find a means to make themselves suitors to be gone." Whether she complied or not, the Queen's servants were far too well off to think of moving. Marshal Bassompierre came over in order to arrange matters, but without avail. His report of a stormy interview with Charles is a mass of bombast. The King, coming to Whitehall, and entering the Queen's apartments to inform her that he must be obeyed—that he had put the matter into the hands of that stern soldier, Lord Conway, who had arranged everything—found "a number of her domestics irreverently dancing and curvetting in her presence." He took her by the hand, led her into an adjoining chamber, and locked himself in with her.

The Guardroom, Scotland Yard. From an Etching by J. T. Smith, 1805.

Meanwhile, Conway took the French Bishop and his priests into St. James's Park, and informed them briefly of the King's unquestionable causes of complaint, and of the arrangements made for their immediate departure. The Bishop refused to move, saying he regarded himself as an ambassador. Conway replied that he might regard himself as he pleased, but that if he did not depart peacefully he would be turned out by force.

Next, Lord Conway entered Whitehall, where he firmly but politely informed the French servants of the Queen of his errand. They were to go first to Somerset House in the Strand, where he proposed to make separate arrangements for each of them. The women screamed and stormed, and after Conway had given them reasonable time, he summoned the yeomen of the guard, who thrust them out forcibly and locked the doors after them. They went to Somerset House, where Charles himself visited them the same afternoon.

More than a month later they were still at Somerset House, when Lord Conway was again called in; but, what with the obstinacy of the Bishop, and the clamour of the women, it took four days and forty carriages to transport them to Dover. The whole story is in Ellis's Letters, and in D'Israeli's Curiosities of Literature, and is well summarised by Jesse in his Court of England under the Stuarts, to which I may refer a reader interested in the subject; my own concern having, of course, been only with that part which related to Whitehall.

That Charles should have been forced into war, and, above all, a civil war, was a great misfortune to the progress of civilisation, as shown in the arts and sciences. Painting, music, architecture flourished at his Court, together with poetry and science. He probably brought more fine pictures into England than all the kings put together since his time. Walpole says, "As there was no art which Charles did not countenance, the chasers and embossers of plate were among the number of the protected at Court." Casting in bronze was a favourite art, and Fanelli, who made the statues of Charles and his Queen at St. John's College, Oxford, should be named, as well as Le Sœur, who made the King's equestrian statue which is now at Charing Cross, but which was originally made for Lord Portland and set up at Roehampton. The King's cabinet pictures were lodged at Whitehall in a chamber expressly built for them by Inigo Jones. Undoubtedly the pictures were, of all his works of art, those which Charles chiefly loved. He contrived to acquire a magnificent collection, and it is evident from one or two entries that Jones had a general commission not to let anything slip which would prove a desirable addition to the royal gallery. Although his taste lay chiefly in ancient pictures, Charles largely patronised Van Dyck, and Van Dyck's principal pupils and contemporaries, such as Janssen, Walker, and Dobson. Moreover, he bought on occasion lavishly. The collection of the Duke of Mantua came into the market, and was bought whole by the agents of King Charles. He hung it on the walls of the Banqueting House, but intended to have embellished that building with paintings by Van Dyck, representing ceremonials of the Order of the Garter. These would naturally have comprised portraits of most of the great men of the day. There was also a scheme on foot for establishing a school of art somewhat on the lines of our Royal Academy, but more distinctly intended for teaching. This, of course, fell through, like all other schemes of the kind, during the civil war. Before his death the leaders of the Commonwealth endeavoured to sell off or otherwise make away with the treasures of art which Charles had gathered. Their animosity against pictures containing representations of the second person of the Holy Trinity or of the Virgin Mary induced them to order their destruction. That very few of these orders were carried out is plain from the list preserved by Walpole. We are anticipating the order of events if we pause here to describe the gradual dispersal of the great royal collection. The sale went on at intervals from 1648 to 1653, but many pieces remained in England. Some did not even leave Whitehall, and there are now many in the National Gallery which once belonged to the unfortunate Charles.

The best account of the sale is that written by Horace Walpole, who used for his purpose the notes of George Vertue, the engraver. The prices were fixed, but the highest bidder, if more was offered, was adjudged the buyer. We cannot do better than take some items from Walpole's list. The cartoons of Raphael were bought in by Cromwell for the insignificant sum of 300l. The other cartoons, those representing the triumphs of Cæsar, by Andrea Mantegna, went for 1000l., and were also reserved for Cromwell. They had formed part of the Mantua Gallery already referred to. Apparently they had been removed from Whitehall to Hampton Court, where they have ever since remained. We read of many Madonnas; one, said to be by Raphael, fetching 800l.; but another Raphael, afterwards estimated much more highly, was the celebrated "St. George and the Dragon," sometimes called "St. Michael," now in the Louvre. A Venus, called "Del Pardo," by Titian, sold for 600l. The "Mercury teaching Cupid, with Venus standing by," painted by Correggio, which is now in the National Gallery, went for 800l. This had also formed an item in the great Mantua Collection. The picture had many adventures. The Duke of Alva took it to Spain and subsequently it became the property of the famous Prince of the Peace, in whose collection it remained until 1808, when it fell into the hands of Murat. It thus found its way back into Italy. Lord Castlereagh bought it and the "Ecce Homo," which hangs near it, from the ex-Queen of Naples at Vienna, and in 1834 it was purchased from Lord Londonderry for the National Gallery. Rubens' "Peace and War" was presented to Charles by the painter in 1630. It now only fetched 100l., and went to the Doria Gallery at Genoa, whence it was sold, brought back to England, and presented to the National Gallery in 1828 by the first Duke of Sutherland. After the Restoration, strong efforts were made to gather the dispersed pictures again. The States of Holland bought the whole collection of Gerard Reyntz and presented them to Charles II. on his restoration. The Government went to law with Van Leemput, who had bought a great portrait of King Charles I., by Van Dyck, for 150l. There were various negotiations, in which Van Leemput was offered a fair compensation. As he refused, the law was put in force, and Van Leemput got nothing. This must not be confused with the Marlborough Van Dyck which is now in the National Gallery. It is plain, remarks Walpole, from a catalogue made for James II., that a large number of pictures remained at Whitehall unsold, and it is very possible that Oliver Cromwell intervened, when he had the power, to prevent their sale. We must always thank his taste for having rescued the two great sets of Mantegna's and Raphael's cartoons. It will be observed that though the store was by no means exhausted, the sales ceased in 1653, the year of his inauguration as Protector. In 1660 Cromwell's widow tried in vain to retain possession of some pictures and other treasures.

Before we go on to speak of the great tragedy which gave Whitehall a world-wide celebrity, we may make a note from a passage quoted by Mr. Law in his catalogue of the pictures at Hampton Court. One of these pictures represents Charles I. and his Queen dining in public. The picture is by Van Bassen, who also painted the King and Queen of Bohemia similarly employed. Mr. Law's account of the first-named picture is very interesting, and relates mainly to life at Whitehall. The King and Queen are being "served by gentlemen-in-waiting with dishes, more of which are being brought in from the door opposite them by attendants. In the right corner is a sideboard, and wine cooling in brass bowls on the floor. Several dogs are running about. At the end of the hall is a raised and recessed daïs, where spectators are looking on through some columns. The decoration of the hall is in the classic taste, and is very fine and elaborate. On the walls hang several pictures." Though this doubtless belonged to Charles I., it is not found catalogued among his pictures; but in the catalogue of James II. we find No. 937: "A large piece, where King Charles the First and Queen, and the Prince are at dinner." It is dated over the door, on the right, 1637. It is engraved in Jesse's Memoirs of the Stuarts, and is chiefly valuable for the architecture and decoration, and as exhibiting the manners of the time, and the prevalent custom in that age of royalty dining in public. "There were daily at Charles I.'s Court, 86 tables, well furnished each meal; whereof the King's table had 28 dishes; the Queen's, 24; 4 other tables, 16 dishes each, and so on. In all about 500 dishes each meal, with bread, beer, wine and all things necessary. There was spent yearly in the King's house, of gross meat, 1500 oxen; 7000 sheep, 1200 calves; 300 porkers, 400 young beefs, 6800 lambs, 300 flitches of bacon; and 26 boars. Also 140 dozen geese, 250 dozen of capons, 470 dozen of hens, 750 dozen of pullets, 1470 dozen of chickens; for bread, 364 000 bushels of wheat; and for drink, 600 tuns of wine and 1700 tuns of beer; together with fish and fowl, fruit and spice, proportionately." (Present State of London, 1681.)

As to Henrietta Maria at dinner, an anecdote is reported by Jesse: "Notwithstanding her conciliating manners on her first arrival in England, it soon became evident that the spirit of Henry IV. was not entirely dormant in the bosom of his daughter. A singular scene, which took place at Court, shortly after her marriage, is thus described by an eye-witness. 'The Queen, howsoever very little of stature, is yet of a pleasing countenance, if she be pleased, but full of spirit and vigour, and seems of a more than ordinary resolution. With one frown, diverse of us being at Whitehall to see her, being at dinner, and the room somewhat over-heated with the fire and company, she drove us all out of the chamber. I suppose none but a Queen could have cast such a scowl.'" (See Jesse's Court of England under the Stuarts, ii. 16.)

The whole sad history of the Great Rebellion has been told at full length in divers places, and only incidentally concerns us here. We see that Charles was shifty and wanting in straightforwardness. None of his political opponents could trust even his promises. No one could deny him both courage and coolness in the hour of danger. We might dwell on what might have happened if he had saved Strafford; but the bold policy in which that would have landed him —the policy Strafford himself described as "thorough"—though it might have rid him of his enemies, would have cost a tremendous price to the nation. When Charles promised Strafford to save his life, he had scarcely power to make his promise true. He gained nothing by Strafford's death, and only lost one of the two or three really able advisers he had. It is not possible to believe that he thought the savage fanatics who clamoured for the great minister's blood would pause and ask no more. "Moderation" was a word that did not exist in their vocabulary, and it is rather melancholy to see John Milton made the mouthpiece of a series of foul scandals on a King whose private life seems to have been absolutely pure, as Milton must have known. But politics were up to boiling point in those days. It was not enough to defeat an opponent in the House or at the poll; he must be put to death. So far the traditions of the Tudor times survived. Having stimulated their appetite by the death of Strafford, under legal forms and with the unwilling consent of the King, they proceeded to murder, by the travesty of a judicial process, the highest they could find in the country. Archbishop Laud was brought to trial, or rather to condemnation, in March, 1644, and in January, 1645, he was beheaded. There was only left to quench their thirst for the best blood in the land a few nobles—the Duke of Hamilton, the Earl of Holland, and others; but there was one victim, the highest of all, and they had no notion of sparing him, though, by compassing his death, they ruined their own cause.

Lambeth and Whitehall. From the Engraving by W. Hollar.

We can easily see that a Prime Minister like Strafford had done many things to make himself hated. We can see that Laud was also hated, mainly for being an archbishop. Another minister or another archbishop would be appointed in course of time, and both would be hated, and that, too, by a great many people who were, on the whole, loyal to the Crown, if not to the person of Charles. The death of Charles at Whitehall changed the feelings of this whole class. They may have groaned, as we hear they did. Some groaned because their King was killed, even though they may have thought he deserved his fate; but the great majority saw that all the good the popular party might have carried out for the people was annihilated at that one blow. Murderers are seldom moderate and beneficent reformers, though Agathocles did contrive to succeed in both these rôles in Sicily. But that was a long time ago and a long way off, and few of the truer patriots of 1649 looked at these violent proceedings without both apprehension and horror—apprehension lest a murder of such huge dimensions should only mean anarchy in the Government and oppression of the people—as, in effect, it did—and horror at the perpetration of such an irrevocable crime without any reference to the people, either at the hustings or by a direct vote. But it appeared as if the Parliament, though, with the help of the army, it could kill the King, could not dissolve itself. The soldiers, however, without the Parliament, could, and did, force a dissolution, and in our next chapter we shall see the chief leader of the rebels residing in the old palace of Whitehall as a sovereign prince.

The greatest of all these changes was simply this. If we allow, as many of the so-called Puritans did, that the King had strictly forfeited his life, imprisonment, like that inflicted on Henry VI. for many years, or exile, like that which James II. afterwards underwent, would have been a sufficient penalty. France would not have gone to war to reinstate a Protestant dynasty, as it did not half a century later go to war to reinstate a Romanist, and the longer Charles I. lived the more improbable the return of his son became. But that scaffold at Whitehall altered the state of affairs. Instead of a King who certainly had not deserved well of his people, it gave them a young and, so far as they knew, an innocent and blameless King, whose coming they were forced, by the violence of the dominant faction, to hope for as for the salvation of their country.

Very little of the history of the Great Rebellion concerns Whitehall, at least until Oliver Cromwell assumes possession, and apes royalty in the old halls; but in Rymer's Fœdera we may observe that, from the beginning of the reign of James I., "Whitehall" gradually and more and more becomes the official designation of the palace. Charles naturally was not there during a long term of years. He was marching and counter-marching in the north, and so mismanaging all his affairs successively that, regarded as a game, the Civil War consisted of a series of alternate military and diplomatic defeats. The inevitable consequence was the utter ruin of the royal cause. In January, 1649 (then reckoned 1648), the King, a prisoner, was brought from Windsor Castle and lodged at St. James's. On Saturday, the 20th, he walked, strongly guarded, across the park to Whitehall. He probably entered his old palace by the stairs near the tilt - yard, and traversed the passage which led to his former apartments. Here was a "bridge," or floating pier on the water's edge, and he was put into a boat and rowed up to Westminster, where he was placed in Sir Robert Cotton's house. The King was then brought into Westminster Hall and allowed a seat. Bradshaw was president of the Court, and there were some eighty commissioners. The King attended the Court four times in all, sometimes going in a Sedan chair, sometimes, as we have seen, by boat. We need not detail the proceedings of Bradshaw and his assessors; but there is one thing which must be noted, namely, the dignity and tact of the King's behaviour when brought up to receive sentence. Green, who had but little sympathy with him, observes, quoting Marvel, "Whatever had been the faults and follies of his life—

Whitehall, from the River. From Ogilvy's Map, 1677.

"'He nothing common did nor mean
Upon that memorable scene.'"

This fact—for it is not merely an opinion—seems to answer a question that is often asked: Did the coolness of Charles on that last day at Westminster Hall, and again on the scaffold at Whitehall, betray any feeling, any certainty that he would be respited or rescued? A moment's thought dispels the idea. Charles was manly, dignified, truthful before Bradshaw and before the crowds which had assembled to see him die, because he recognised that all the finessing, the double meanings, the secret understandings, and the thousand miserable subterfuges which he imagined to be "statesmanship," and with which he had endeavoured to impose on the Scots and on the authorities of Carisbrooke and of Hampton Court, had done nothing for him, and if renewed now would have ensured that the fate which he foresaw had at last overtaken him would be justified by a large section of his contemporaries. He rose to the occasion. During those few hours at St. James's he saw that all he could do would be to save the throne for his son, and he succeeded, but it was by a line of conduct wholly different from that by which he had lost it for himself.

The place of execution was most carefully chosen. Though called "the open street of Whitehall," it was far from being really open. On the south were buildings pierced by the narrow archway of Holbein's Gate. On the west were the walled tilt-yard and the barracks and other buildings, ending with Wallingford House. On the north was the comparatively open roadway to Charing Cross. On the eastern side were long rows of gabled buildings already described, with, just south of an archway into the old courts of the palace, the Banqueting House. It was sworn at the trials of the Regicides, a few years later, that Oliver Cromwell superintended the arrangements. The evidence is not well supported, but, owing to Cromwell's great military reputation and to his subsequent elevation to the Protectorate, everything at this conjuncture was attributed to him. It is not very easy to reconcile the conflicting details of different stories. It neither adds to nor detracts from Oliver's guilt, neither adds to nor detracts from his fame, whether he was at Westminster or at Whitehall on that fatal day.

The crowd coming into the narrow court from Charing Cross saw an empty space in front of the hall. The palace and the barracks, and the innumerable passages and lodgings, were lined with "the sour-visaged saints" of the various Roundhead regiments—men to whom the death of Charles would be a latter-day miracle, a sign from Heaven that their cause was won—that the Millennium, the Fifth Monarchy, was about to begin. Even when their own turn came such men believed, till they were actually "dancing on air," that they would be supernaturally rescued. The crowd which swarmed into the street saw only a few soldiers round the black scaffold which, at the height of the first floor, stood in front of the hall, a little to the northward. The better sort of spectators were on the roof of Wallingford House, not directly fronting the scaffold, but near enough to see. Here was stationed the venerable Archbishop Ussher of Armagh, who is reported to have fainted as he saw the King led forth. Below was a man whose account of the scene would have been invaluable now. He only alludes to it in a note written in October, 1660. This was Samuel Pepys; and he remarks, after witnessing the death of General Harrison, "thus it was my chance to see the King beheaded at White Hall, and to see the first blood shed in revenge for the blood of the King at Charing Cross."

The Banqueting House is clearly described for us in a note, probably by Inigo Jones, which was printed a few pages back. It answers most of the questions raised in a long correspondence in the papers a few years ago. The situation, the problem to be solved, was briefly this. The scaffold was before the two windows next to Charing Cross. A hole was broken through the wall to admit of a passage to the platform direct from the interior. The regicides saw that there would be great danger in taking the King out by the only door, which was at the back or east side of the hall. They would have had to conduct him by a narrow open-air passage northward to the palace gate. After passing through the gate he would have had to go several yards through the crowd before he could reach the scaffold, wherever it was placed.

But many asked, in the correspondence just mentioned, Why did they break through the wall? Why did they not go through the window? Simply because there was at that time no glazed window on the western front of the hall. A great window was at the "upper end," probably that toward Westminster. There was, also, it is probable, a central window looking into the palace court on the eastern side. But toward "the street of Whitehall" there were no open windows, all being built up—as, indeed, the lowest tier remained until a couple of years ago. It is unlikely, though some have asserted it, that the upper tier had been opened and glazed at this time. In any case, these upper windows, if they existed, which is unlikely, would have been of no use to the contrivers of the King's death. They were too high up and inaccessible except through a narrow balcony within the hall, where one man might have successfully resisted hundreds. The window "at the upper end" may have given light enough, as the hall was not built for use in daylight. It remained in this twilight condition until George I. opened it as a chapel about 1724. Then windows on the first floor became necessary. At first, as on the eastern side, only the centre window was opened. As late as 1761, the third and fifth were still built up. It was probably not until 1830, when the hall was "thoroughly restored" by Sir John Soane, that all the windows on the western side were opened, except those on the ground floor. The ground-floor windows were opened first for the United Service Institution. It was asserted in the daily papers that they were re-opened, but, as a fact, they never were opened before.

If we schedule these notes we may safely conclude that the lowest tier of windows was only glazed in our own day; that those of the middle—the Ionic storey—were still unglazed in 1649; and that in Sylvestre's view, taken about fifty years after the great tragedy, there was not a single glazed window on this, the western, front. All the apparent openings were filled with masonry.

We now understand why the wall had to be broken' through, and perhaps why the middle window was chosen. The scaffold stretched from the opening to the north-west corner of the hall, both it and the short passage leading to it being parallel with, and possibly close against, the face of the blank wall with its closed and built-up windows. The reason for this arrangement is obvious. Had the passage and the scaffold jutted out at right angles they would have reached far into the surging and probably angry crowd, and the number and daring of the soldiers must have been quadrupled at least. Again, had the scaffold stretched toward the southern extremity of the Banqueting House, it would have been close to the gallery by which Charles had entered the palace that morning. This gallery, in fact, touched the southern corner of the hall. The military eye of the officer who made and carried out the arrangements must have seen dangers of rescue and other possibilities which it was needful to guard against. Knowing all these things and others of the kind, we see that some of the contemporary views—they are chiefly Dutch— which show the northward position of the scaffold are correct, and not those—chiefly English—which adorn prayer-books printed after the Restoration, and place the scaffold before the middle window.

When Charles was brought out, he showed that, as he himself had said to Lord Digby, if he could not live like a King, he could die like a gentleman. Juxon, at that time Bishop of London, had the courage to attend him, as well as Herbert, his long-tried servant. The King's last devotions in his old chapel were interrupted by the impertinences of some of the unauthorised ministers, whose nonconformist consciences probably justified their interference. There was some unexpected delay in the preparations. If the carpenters employed were not Roundheads or Fifth Monarchy fanatics, it is easy to understand that they hesitated over a task which would make them marked men among their fellows for years to come.

The King had reached Whitehall at ten. It was now past noon, the dinner-hour of that day. Some dishes were provided for his use, but he would not eat. He had received the Holy Communion, and would eat no more in this world. Meanwhile, he retired to the apartments he had occupied in happier days, and gave himself up to private meditation and prayer. As the afternoon wore on, Bishop Juxon persuaded him, lest his strength should fail him at the last, to eat a piece of bread and drink a glass of wine. Then he went with the soldiers to where in the western wall of the Banqueting House the masonry had been pierced to give access to the scaffold. Jesse, writing just after Soane's operations in 1830, reports that he had seen traces of the opening in the brickwork. He does not say clearly where it was, nor does it now greatly matter, as we know where it must have been. Charles very soon reached the scaffold and made ready for the end. Meanwhile, Juxon spoke to him of the future life. It was far off, he said, but the passage short. The King replied as if grateful for the good Bishop's dry and dull remarks. If we contrast them with the "Son of Saint Louis, ascend to Heaven!" of another ecclesiastic, they seem all the more tame. But to the King's ear they brought a different echo. He remembered that he had once been crowned. The applauding congregation had crowded round him in the old Abbey close by; and the words of Bishop Senhouse, so distasteful then, so truly prophetic now, came into his mind: "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." He turned to Juxon and answered, "I go from a corruptible to an incorruptible crown." The Bishop, who was not at the coronation, probably wondered. Then followed the gift of his jewel of St. George, with the still unexplained charge: "Remember!" The block was low, it seemed too low. But after a moment's hesitation—to quote the words of Marvell once more—

The Execution of Charles I. From a Print of 1649.

"He laid his comely head
Down as upon a bed;"

and in a few moments more the White King had set out on his last journey, "faithful unto death."