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From All The Year Round.
THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD.
AMONG the ever-diminishing number of institutions which connect the life of the present day with that of a more picturesque past, the Yeomen of the Royal Guard, popularly known as "Beefeaters," are conspicuous. There are few prettier sights in London than that of the little band of yeomen in their quaint costume, filing through the Park and Mall on a drawingroom day, to their duty in the palace. There has been much learned discussion among etymologists as to the correct meaning of the word beefeater, by which name the Yeomen of the Guard have long been known.
Some have considered it derived from the French buffetier, with reference to waiting at the royal table. But though it was the practice of the yeomen to carry in the dishes for the royal table, it seems that the duty of officiating at the buffet, or sideboard, devolved on an officer of superior rank, probably on a gentleman usher; at present the generally accepted opinion is that the simple meaning of the word is the right one, viz., an eater of beef. The corps was established by Henry the Seventh at his coronation in 1485, as a body-guard, "on which day," says Lord Verulam, "as if the crown upon his head had put peril into his thoughts, he did in stitute for the better securing of his person a band of fifty archers, under a captain, to attend by the name of Yeomen of the Guard." These men, according to the chronicler Hall, were to be "hardy, strong, and of agilitie," and he adds that it was thought the king must have borrowed the idea from the court of France, "for men remember not any king of England, before that tyme, which used such a furniture of daily souldjours." This was very likely the case, as Louis the Eleventh of France organized a similar body of archers of the guard called, "La Petite Garde de son Corps," in 1475. Hentzner, in his "Travels," tells us that the guard of yeomen was to be composed of the tallest and stoutest men that could be found in all England. Such stress having been laid on the size and strength of the men, it has been argued that they would naturally have been great eaters of beef, the national dish of the day. Moreover, beef was cheap, for when the butchers under Henry the Eighth were compelled to sell their mutton at three-farthings a pound, the price of beef was only one halfpenny. In fact, one always imagines the diet of our forefathers to have been composed largely of roast
beef and mustard, varied by huge capons and venison pasties, and an almost unlimited quantity of beer! However this may have been, there can be no doubt that the new Yeomen of the Guard were popularly supposed to have very excellent appetites, as may be gathered from the allusions to them in various old works. Cowley, in his poem called "The Wish," seems to refer to the yeomen when he writes, "and chines of beef innumerable send me, or from the stomach of the guard defend me." Again, in the old play of "Histrio Mastix," published about 1610, one of the characters
Mavortius dismisses his serving men with the words:
Begone yee greedy beefeaters: y'are best The Callis Cormorants from Dover roade Are not so chargeable as you to feed, which helps us to trace back the use of the word beefeater, as a person of large appetite, to the beginning of the seventeenth century. In another old work, Earle's "Microcosmography," an individual is referred to as a terrible farmer on a piece of beef, and you may hope to stave the guard off sooner." Finally, a certain grand duke of Tuscany, Cosmo by name, who paid a visit to the court of Charles the Second in 1669, mentions the Yeomen of the Guard in his "Travels." "They are called," he says, “in jest, beefeaters, that is, eaters of beef, of which a considerable portion is allowed them every day." Under Henry the Eighth, the number of yeomen was increased to two hundred, of whom one hundred were mounted. When on active service, many were added, for at the siege of Terouenne in 1513, the king, we read, was attended by "six hundred yeomen of his garde, all in white gaberdines and cappes," and when Tournay fell into his hands, among other forces, four hundred archers of the guard were kept for its protection.
In the year 1520, one hundred Yeomen of the Guard accompanied the new lord deputy, the Earl of Surrey, to Ireland - a fact which is noteworthy, as being one of the very few instances of their being employed in any other capacity than as a royal body-guard. In fact, the occasions on which they served out of England are not very numerous, one of the last being in 1544, when we hear of their attending the king at the siege of Boulogne. These yeomen, consisting as they did of picked men, were famous archers and foremost in all games of skill. On a certain occasion, in 1515, we read of King Henry and his Queen Katharine being on a visit to Green
wich: "And as they rode towards Shooters Hill they espied a company of tall yeomen, clothed all in green, with green hoods and bows and arrows, to the number of two hundred. All of these archers were of the King's Guard, and had thus apparelled themselves to make solace to the king." One of the yeomen at their head styled himself Robin Hood, who, after the shooting match was over, regaled their Majesties with venison and wine, "to their great contentacion ;" and then escorted them back to Greenwich.
Edward the Sixth took great pride in the corps, and himself joined at times in their sports and exercises. In 1552, when the young king went in state to Sussex, the guard had given them one hundred and twenty-six livery bows and twentyfour gilt javelins “for their furniture," or, as we should say, equipment, together with one hundred and twenty-five sheaves of arrows, which, with the cases and girdles, cost thirty-three pounds six shillings and eightpence of the money of that day. In 1527 they had been given a livery of scarlet for the first time.
Queen Mary expended a large sum in the ornamentation of their uniform, as much as one thousand pounds being given to one Peter Richardson, “maker of the spangles for the rich coats of the Queen's Highness's guard." Again seven thousand one hundred and seventy-five ounces of gilt spangles were employed for the embroidery of the liveries of her Majesty's Guard, footmen, and messengers.
Elizabeth kept the number of yeomen in ordinary at about two hundred; but, with an eye to economy, reduced the number of extra yeomen to one hundred and seven. Hentzner was present at Greenwich, in 1598, and saw Elizabeth dine in public, in the usual stately fashion. "The Yeomen of the Guard," he says, "entered bareheaded, clothed in scarlet with a golden rose upon their backs, bringing in at each turn a course of twenty dishes."
later, we learn that one Richard Smith was committed to the Marshalsea for spreading abroad "lewd and seditious books; "a curious offence for a member of the Royal Guard. Before being sent to prison, his coat was taken from his back and he was discharged the service.
James the First had two hundred Yeomen of the Guard, some of whom were to attend on Prince Henry. They were diligently to keep guard in the great chamber, suffering no stranger to pass. It was also directed that two of them, with halberts, should attend at the gate to assist the porters to execute their office, and the orders to be observed in time of infection, and on other occasions. They were to be especially careful to keep the great chamber free from ten of the clock in the morning until one, and from four in the evening until seven, that his Highness might quietly take his repast in the Presence Chamber. We do not hear of them during the Commonwealth. Probably enough they were suppressed, together with other vain shows and institutions, only to be revived at the Restoration. Charles the Second reduced their number, in 1668, to one hundred, and supernumeraries were placed on half-pay, amounting to fifteen pounds per annum. Until this period the captain received no fee or salary, his only allowance having been an official gown. The office, however, was generally combined with some more remunerative appointment. Charles the Second now granted the captain a salary of one thousand pounds a year later on raised to one thousand two hundred pounds. The captaincy is now always held by a peer.
For many years the men who mounted guard at St. James's Palace each day (about thirty in number) had fixed rations provided for them on a very liberal scale, as the following menu will show: These thirty yeomen were allowed twenty-four pounds of beef, eighteen pounds of mutton, and sixteen pounds of veal, together with thirty-six loaves and two pounds of butter; twenty-seven gallons of beer were
The Yeomen of the Guard appear to have always been a very well-behaved body of men, for instances of crime being im-allowed in winter, and one gallon extra in puted to them are few and far between. In 1511, however, we hear of a certain member of the King's Guard being executed for murder. Although high in the king's favor, he "slew wilfully a servant of my Lord Willoughby's, in the palace at Westminster; wherefore the king, abhorring that deed and setting aside all affection, caused him to be hanged in the palace at Westminster, where he hong two daies in example of other." A few years
the more thirsty days of summer. The dinner was cooked in the royal kitchen, and served in two messes, one for each guard. There were extra allowances on special occasions, such as haunches of venison twice a year, five geese on Michael. mas day, and three plum-puddings every Sunday. Whenever the guns fired a feu de joie, as on the birthdays of members of the royal family, which were called "pitcher days," wine was added to the
usual fare. A curious note for 4th June, | sions with carbines. For many years the 1802, informs us that "no claret was al- places in the corps were bought and sold, lowed, as there was no ball;" and, again, large fees being paid on appointment. in 1811, on the queen's birthday, owing to In the beginning of the present century the illness of George the Third, it is re- the captain's fee was three hundred and marked that no wine was allowed. This fifteen pounds, that of the clerk of the table allowance was abolished in 1813 on cheque ten pounds ten shillings, captain's the score of expense, the men when on servant sixteen shillings, and so on; while duty being given board wages instead. five pounds were charged for "cloaks "and According to some new orders issued by the same sum for "treat," a sum of two the Duke of Manchester, the captain of shillings and sixpence was monopolized the yeomen in 1738, it would seem that by "sword" and two shillings by "quilt." some of the men had adopted a slovenly In 1835 the system of selling and purchasway of dressing, which brought a sharp ing these various situations was abolished, reprimand from their commanding officer, together with the fees on appointment. who seems to have had a great opinion The chief posts were henceforth to be of the merits of pipeclay or its equiva- filled by officers on half-pay, while the lent. One of the clauses is as follows: privates were to be non-commissioned "Whereas it has been observed of late officers not below the rank of sergeant. time that several of the guard, to the great The force at present consists of one hundishonor of the service, have been very dred and forty yeomen, together with a negligent in keeping themselves neat and captain, lieutenant, ensign, four exons, clean while they have been on duty, hav- and a clerk of the cheque who acts as ing their shoes, stockings, and gloves adjutant. The word "exon "is probably dirty, and their hair and wigs unpowdered, derived from an old French word signify. and not wearing the gloves and stockings ing "exempt," and is applied to a resident provided them by his Majesty, and having officer who sleeps at St. James's as combeen negligent in keeping their partisans mander of the yeomen on duty, and is clean. It is ordered that the officer in exempted from the usual guard-mounting, waiting shall take care that no such neg- and the like. The clerk of the cheque lect shall occur again, etc." Any yeoman was first appointed by Henry the Eighth, offending in these respects might, in fu- and was doubtless employed in keeping a ture, be discharged from his wait, and was record of the fines imposed as penalties liable to forfeit his salary. for any breaches of discipline. Six of the corps are styled yeomen hangers from it being their duty in former times to put up and take down the royal tapestry or arras, while two others are called yeomen bedgoers from their being intrusted with the care of the king's bedding, and the like. Besides attending on royalty, other duties have at different times fallen to the lot of the yeomen guard. Such was that of arresting persons of high station. Thus Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, who fell a victim to Wolsey's enmity, was attacked by Sir Henry Marney, captain of the king's guard, with one hundred of his yeomen, and conveyed to the Tower; and, by the irony of fate, it was by a body of Yeomen of the Guard that the great car. dinal himself was brought from Sheffield to the Tower. Another of their duties was to carry the bodies of deceased members of the royal family to the grave. The last occasion on which they were thus employed was in 1817, on the death of Princess Charlotte, daughter of George the Fourth, when one of their number was injured. Since this they have only at tended at the ceremony of lying-in-state. During the Chartist demonstrations in
As regards the costume and equipment of the Yeomen of the Guard, it has been already mentioned that a red livery was first given them in the eighteenth year of Henry the Eighth, before which time they appear to have worn white. A rose was embroidered on the front and back of the coat; after the accession of James the First the thistle was combined with the rose, and the shamrock was added at the Union. The stockings have been of different colors, blue, grey, and white. The scarlet hose and Elizabethan ruff were restored to them by George the Fourth. Rosettes of red leather were given them, in 1785, instead of shoebuckles. The present rosettes are made of red, white, and blue ribbon. The yeomen were first armed with bows and arrows, which gradually yielded to the arquebus. Sometimes they carried pikes and partisans. In the reign of Queen Anne they gave up the arquebus and retained the partisan, which had been introduced at the Restoration. In 1743, when the yeomen attended George the Second to Hanover, they were armed with partisans when the king halted, on other occa
1848, the whole available force of beef- the Tower to the keeping of the gates eaters was stationed at St. James's Palace. from their first opening in the morning Before closing this brief account of the until their closing at night, and that they oldest corps in England, some notice must should each carry a halbert or bill wherebe taken of the warders of the Tower. soever they went within the said Tower. They were never really incorporated with They do not wear the shoulder-belt, as the Yeomen of the Guard, though from they never carried carbines. The old certhe reign of Edward the Sixth they have emony of the "keys" is still kept up. worn the same picturesque costume-the Within the Bloody Gate nightly, at eleven design of which, it has been said, we owe P.M., the sentry of the guard challenges to Holbein. The warders are appointed the chief warder who is in possession of solely by the constable of the Tower, to the keys of the fortress, "Who goes whom the lord chamberlain applies when- there?" "Keys." "Whose keys?" ever he needs the services of beefeaters " 'Queen Victoria's keys." Thereupon the from the Tower at any state ceremony. warder exclaims: "God bless Queen VicUnder James the First it was ordered that toria." To this the soldiers respond, the twenty-five should always remain within | keys pass on, and the guard disperse.
THE CURATIVE EFFECT OF MUSIC. The choly, languishing tunes does, instead of elealleged curative effect of music has afforded vating the spirits, rather tend to their depresa topic of discussion for more than the pro- sion, and, therefore, in order to enjoy the verbial nine days, and is still a matter for pleasing and profitable effects that I have proremark. Meanwhile, proof upon proof of the posed in singing, we are to make choice of antiquity of the subject accumulates. A such tunes as, having life and vigor in their writer who dates from Guy's Hospital, quotes composition, are adapted to cheer and elevate a medical treatise written by a Spanish lady the soul and invigorate the motion of the as far back as the time of Queen Elizabeth, in spirits." Apart from the good effects of which music is represented as "that which singing upon the singer, this old writer spetends most to comfort, rejoice, and strengthen cially recommends music as helpful in attacks the brain," and as a disarmer of epilepsy. of "the spleen or vapors. Here a soft We ourselves called attention, some time ago, adagio, according to Mr. Browne, would be to a pamphlet published anonymously in 1749, very improper, as by its melodious strains and entitled "Reflections on Ancient and it only tends to soothe our melancholy, and Modern Musick, with the Application to the bring a languishing upon the spirits that are Cure of Diseases." This work, however, is already drooping. The author pins his faith later by twenty years than a little book, to a brisk allegro," which he proclaims to "Medicina Musica; or, A Mechanical Essay be "of prodigious service in the cure of on the Effects of Singing, Music, and Dancing apoplexies, lethargies, etc. The St. Cecilon Human Bodies,' written by Richard ians, we understand, put their trust in soft Browne, an apothecary of Oldham. It ap- and gentle strains. They must take care not pears from the preface that Mr. Browne first to bring a languishing upon the spirit, though issued his treatise anonymously, but was after- the patient may prefer it to any results dewards persuaded to publish a new edition with rived from the "airy, sprightly strokes of an his name attached. The speciality of the work allegro." Daily Telegraph. is its recommendation of the exercise of singing as useful in certain disorders. In discussing this point the author lays down a number of propositions, beginning, "There is a sympathy betwixt the soul and animal spirits," and going on to assert that animal spirits regulate the action of the heart; that the pressure of air in the lungs caused by singing more effectually removes deleterious matter from the blood, and so on. We cannot follow the "ingenious" writer's arguments; but it is curious that the eminent philosopher who lately advised the St. Cecilia Society to try lively airs upon patients was anticipated by the Oldham apothecary who wrote: "The singing of some certain melan- This book fetched fifty francs.
MEDIOCRE VERSE IN EPIGRAM.-George Sand's library, or at least what was left of it after the death of M. Maurice Sand, has been sold by public auction. The collection was in many respects disappointing, but it contained a volume of minor verse, on the fly leaf of which Alexander Dumas fils had written the following epigram:
Voilà ce que, sur ma parole,
Fifth Series, Volume LXXVII.
} No. 2485.- February 13, 1892.
I. MONASTERIES of the LEVANT REVISITED, New Review,
II. A TRIM EXPLOIT,
III. THE DECAY OF ORIGINALITY,
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