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Two Trumpets, with the Champion's Arms on their banners.*
The Champion's two Esquires, richly habited, the one carrying his Lance
A Herald of Arms, in his Tabard and Collar, holding a paper containing
The Earl Marshal on horseback, in his robes and Coronet, holding his
THE CHAMPION,† com-
his head, ornamented
The Lord High Constable on horseback, in his robes and Coronet, holding his Constable's Staff.
Four Pages, richly dressed, attendant on the Champion.
*The earliest arms of the King's Champion, were of that kind which are termed Arms allusive:-i. e. relating either to the name or office of the bearer. These were used by Philip de Marmyun, who lived in the time of King Henry the Third, and were Sable, an arming sword erect, Argent. The arms shewn in the plate were those worn by Sir Charles Dymocke, Champion to King James the Second, which were-Sable two Lions passant in pale, crowned and armed, Or.-The coat belonging to the ancient Barons de Marmion, who were once hereditary Champions, was Vaire a Fesse Gules.
+ There is probably no part of the Coronation Ceremony, so popularly interesting as the Champion's Challenge; for it is a kind of scenic exhibition, which fixes itself on the mind, and seems an undecayed fragment of England's former chivalric exercises. Rapin relates, that the first mention of the King's Champion appearing at a Coronation, was in 1377, at the crowning of King Richard the Second. He however supposes that the office was of much greater antiquity, since the then Champion claimed it by virtue of his Manor of Scrivelsby, which evidently shews that the duty was vested in that Manor. Philip de Marmyun, who lived in the time of King Henry III. is known to have been the King's Champion; and some writers suppose that the office existed antecedent to the Norman Conquest. They support this argument by stating, that as the early Norman Sovereigns had no right to the English Throne, so they would not rest their pretensions on the issue of a single combat, and that in consequence the Ceremony of a Challenge was suppressed, until time had given somewhat of a legal title to the Monarchs of the Norman line.
The following was the provision of Arms, &c. made for the Champion, at the Coronation of King James the Second, on the 23d. of April, 1685. A complete suit of white armour, a pair of gauntlets, a sword and hanger, a case of rich pistols, an oval shield, with the Champion's Arms painted on it, and a gilded lance fringed about the handles. All these would have become the Champion's fee, but that certain compensation-money was allowed for his re-delivering them to the Earl of Dartmouth, Master of the Armory. There were also provided a field-saddle of crimson velvet, with breast-plate, and other caparisons for the horse, richly laced with gold and silver, a plume of red, white, and blue feathers, consisting of eighteen falls and a heron's top, another plume for the horse's head, and trumpet banners with the Champion's own Arms depicted upon them.
The passage to their Majesties' table being cleared by the Knight Marshal, the Herald at Arms, with a loud voice, proclaimed the Champion's Challenge, at the lower end of the Hall, in the following words:
If any person, of what degree soever, high or low, shall deny or gainsay Our SOVEREIGN LORD King George III. King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. grandson and next heir to our Sovereign Lord King George II. the last King, deceased, to be the right heir to the Imperial Crown of the Realm of Great Britain, or that he ought not to enjoy the same; here is his Champion, who saith that he lieth, and is a false traitor, being ready in person to combat with him; and in this quarrel will adventure his life against him, on what day soever shall be appointed.
The Champion then threw down his Gauntlet; which, having laid a short time, the Herald took up returned.
They next advanced in the same order to the middle of the Hall, where the Herald made Proclamation as before; and, lastly, to the foot of the steps, when the Herald, and those who preceded him, going to the top of the steps, made Proclamation a third time, at the end whereof, the Champion again cast down his Gauntlet*; which, after some time, being taken up, and
In the Gentleman's Magazine for 1764, page 28, is an extract from a letter addressed to the Duke of Devonshire, which contains the following singular anecdote.- "It is publickly said too, that the Young Pretender himself came from Flanders to see the Coronation, that he was in Westminster-Hall during the Coronation, and in town two or three days before and after it, under the name of Mr. Brown; and being asked by a Gentleman who knew him abroad, how he durst venture hither, his answer was, that he was very safe." This relation receives additional strength from a part of a letter written by David Hume, in 1773, which is as follows:-" But what will surprise you more, Lord Marshal, a few days after the Coronation of the present King, told me that he believed the Young Pretender was at that time in London, or, at least, had been so very lately, and had come over to see the Show of the Coronation, and had actually seen it. I asked My Lord the reason for this strange fact. Why,'
returned to him by the Herald, he made a low obeisance to his Majesty. Then the Cup-bearer brought to the King a gilt bowl of wine, with a cover; his Majesty drank to the Champion, and sent him the bowl by the Cup-bearer. This the Champion, having put on his Gauntlet, received, and retiring a little, drank thereof, again made his humble reverence to his Majesty; and, being accompanied as before, rode out of the Hall, taking the bowl and cover with him as his fee.
Immediately after the return of the Champion, Garter King of Arms, attended by the rest of the Heralds, thrice proclaimed his Majesty's style at three separate parts of the Hall, and each time in as many different languages; viz. Latin, French, and English. The first Proclamation was upon the top of the steps, near the Royal Table, the second near the centre of the Hall, and the third at the lower end of the same. The various forms were as follow:
Serenissimi, Potentissimi, et Excellentissimi Monarchæ GEORGII TERTII Dei Gratia, Magnæ Britanniæ, Franciæ, et Hiberniæ REGIS, Fidei Defensoris.
says he, 'a gentleman told me so, who saw him there, and whispered in his ear-"Your Royal Highness is the last of all mortals whom I should expect to see here;' It was curiosity that led me,' said the other: but, I assure you,' added he, 'that the person who is the cause of all this pomp and magnificence, is the man envy the least!""
It has also been reported, in addition to these evidences, that when the Champion cast down his Gauntlet for the last time, a white glove fell from some of the Spectators, who were in an elevated situation; and that on its being handed to the Champion, he demanded “ who was his fair foe?" supposing that some lady had accidentally dropped it. As soon as this story became public, it was instantly connected with the young Chevalier, and the glove was said to have been thrown by him, who was present in female attire. That the latter might have been the case seems from the letters already cited, to be extremely probable, but it also appeared impossible that any one should thus hazard so much as the casting down a gage to the King's Champion would bring upon them. Such was the light in which the affair was viewed at the time, and it soon passed away entirely disbelieved.
Du Tres Haut, Tres-Puissant, et Tres Excellent Monarque, GEORGE le TROISIEME, par la Grace de Dieu, Roy de Grande Bretagne, France, et Irlande, Defenseur de la Foi.
The Most High, Most Mighty, and Most Excellent Monarch, GEORGE the THIRD, by the Grace of God KING of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith.
The Second Course was then served up with the same Ceremonies as the first, and several of the Services allowed by the Court of Claims, were afterwards performed.
About ten o'clock the Peeresses, by the courtesy of their Majesties, began to withdraw, in order to avoid, as much as possible, the crowd without, which was assembled to gaze upon Royalty. A short time after that hour, the King and Queen departed in the same manner as they came; and, according to former custom, the Hall doors were immediately thrown open, and the multitude admitted, when every thing that remained of the Festival, was seized upon and carried away.
CIVIC FESTIVAL CONNECTED WITH THE CORONATION.
IT has been an ancient custom, that the new Sovereign, on the first Lord-Mayor's-day, or ninth of November, after his Coronation, should dine with the Chief Magistrate and Corporation of the City of London. Many accounts are extant of the sumptuous manner in which former Monarchs have been banquetted, and of the Pageants with which they have been greeted; but few of those Festivals can be put in competition with that given to their late Majesties, on Monday, November 9th, 1761. For a considerable time before-hand, Guildhall was being repaired and beautified, and six hundred pounds were appropriated by the City to these Services.
As in an instance already mentioned, the best account of this Civic Festival was given in a long descriptive letter published at the time, of which, as it contains several circumstances not otherwise recorded, while, at the same time, it does not omit any thing worthy of remembrance, the greater part is now reprinted. It is possible, as the second letter is without a signature, that it was written by the same hand as the former; and, indeed, there may be traced a great resemblance between the styles in which they are both composed; and whatever other doubts may be excited by them, it will never be supposed that they were not the relations and descriptions of an eye-witness.
"When I got up," says the writer of this amusing detail, "the morning was so foggy that I could scarce see across the way; but, as at the Coronation, it soon after cleared up, and we had the uncommon satisfaction of having as fine a day as ever was known at this season of the year. I call it uncommon, because it has been remarked almost to a proverb, that the Lord-Mayor's-day is generally a bad one. That part of the Ceremony, on this occasion, which is presented to us on the water, is perhaps equal to any thing of the kind in Holland or Venice. I therefore took a boat, and ordered the waterman to row me alongside the Lord Mayor's and the Companies' barges, as they proceeded on to Westminster. The Thames was quite covered with boats and gilded barges. The Skinners' barge was distinguished from the rest by the outlandish dresses, in strange spotted skins and painted hides, of their rowers. The barge belonging to the Stationers' Company, after having passed the narrow strait through one of the arches of Westminster-bridge, and tacked about to do honour to the Lord Mayor's landing, touched at Lambeth, and took on board a hamper of claret (the tribute annually paid to learning) from the Archbishop's Palace. This,