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rival for the altar; lights were burnt on it,* for strangers; and to find for those who dined in prayers offered up before it, processions the refectory so much in bread, wine, ale, and formed to it, and particular days devoted two dishes of meat from the kitchen. to its decoration; and thus by a natural but most fatal analogy, aided by the ancient
It is interesting also to observe that practice of consecrating churches by bury- with these anniversaries is coupled the ing relics beneath the altar, the tomb itself practice of praying for the dead individubecame an altar even in shape.
And this ally, in connection with the doctrine of is the fourth great corruption in the history the form of our sepulchral monuments;
purgatory, which so materially modified of sepulchral monuments. The beginning may be traced to the and likewise the grant of indulgences for
on the custom of keeping anniversaries. On that, persons who attended the mass for example, of Vitalis, abbot of Westmin- solemn obit of particular persons, and join
for their souls.
prayer ster, who died in 1082 :
Nor is it to
be forgotten that this hope of obtaining the * His tomb (now even with the pavement) in prayers of the living was one of the chief the cloisters, was covered with a carpet, and reasons which induced the desire to be over that a covering of silk wrought with gold, buried where attention might be attracted and two wax candles of two pounds each, which to the tomb, in frequented churches, and in the sacristan was to provide, were to be placed the most conspicuous parts of them :there from the hour of vespers till the last mass
some relics of which notion may perhaps of the requiem the following day; and the prior (or sub-prior in his absence) was to celebrate be found lingering, even now, in the relucmass upon that account.'-Darl's Westminster, tance which the poor exhibit to be buried vol. i., book ii., c. iji.
on the north side of the churchyard. And
with the establishment of masses for the And when it became necessary to celebrate dead, and the consequent emolument acthe same anniversaries with feasts and do- cruing from them, the very relation between nations, the possession of the body of a the party deceased and the church which rich man deceased became a source of no received and sheltered their remains belittle emolument, and encouraged still came reversed; and burial in a particular more misplaced devotions. Thus, we church, instead of being asked as a favour, quote the same work
was bequeathed as a legacy. (Gough, vol.
ii., p. 131.) • Walter, abbot of Westminster, who lies in the cloisters likewise, had his anniversary kept and at a certain height will soon shoot out
Érror, however, bas a pollard growth, in this church on the day of St. Cosmo and Damian. The manner thus :-on the vigil of the simultaneously into a number of branches. aforesaid saints the prior and convent were to The interment of bodies within the walls sing Placebo, and a dirge, with three lessons, as of the church, the introducing sculptured usual ; with ringing of bells and solemn sing figures of the dead, the covering them with ings; with two torches burning at his tomb gorgeous cavopies, and finally converting from that vigil to the end of mass next day, their monuments into separate chantries which mass the prior, or somebody there in his and chapels distinct from the body of the to distribute two quarters of corn, made into church, all followed the establishment of bread, at his tomb, according to the custom in tombs. Of the first of these mistakes it is those cases,-for all which this abbot assigned scarcely necessary to speak. Looking to the manor of Paddington. And if any monies the proper use and destination of the arising from that manor remained over and church, or to the health of the living, such above paying the charges of this anniversary; a practice ought to be prohibited. It the almoner was to apply it to good uses, and find for the convent, on the day of the aforesaid sprung up, perhaps, not so much from anniversary, symnells, gastella, canestella, bra- vanity as from the superstitious notion that chinella, and wafers; and to every one of the consecrated ground, and the vicinity of brothers one gallon of wine (cum tribus bonis holy things, would in itself, if not consepittaniciis); and to place good ale before all the crate what was unholy, at least preserve it brothers, at every table, as usual in other anni. from danger. Thus the Emperor Maxiversaries, in a great tankard (25 lagenarum) of milian, father of Charles V., directed that the same ale that the cellarer was used to find he should be buried under the high altar of * Gruther gives an ancient inscription relating to
St. George's Chapel, so that from the this practice of burning lights on heathen tombs:
breast to the head should lie over, in order *Servus meus, et Eutychia, ct Irene ancillæ meæ, that the priest celebrating mass might omnes sub hac conditione liberi sunto, ut monumento tread on his breast. (Ibid., p. 85.) So altervis mensibus lucernam accendant, et solemnia Guiscard d'Angle, Earl of Huntingdon, mortis peragant.' Grutlier, De Jur, Max, lib. ii.,
1380, bequeathed his body to be buried in the church of St. Cross, before the altar of| There was subsequently a royal ordonour Lady, in the very place where the nance in France, that none but archbishops, priest usually stood at the celebration of bishops, curates, patrons, founders, and the mass, (ibid., p. 135.) &c., &c. On Iords who hold supreme courts of judicathis principle the Campo Santo at Pisa ture, should be buried in churches. All was filled, or supposed to be filled, with other persons in churchyards; and that earth from the Holy Land. On the same they should be as far from the church as principle men desired to be buried in the possible. (Ibid., 176.) dresses of friars or monks. (Ibid., p. 341.) Such was the gradual transition from a On the same principle prevailed the pil period when none but saints were thought grimages to the tombs of saints; and worthy of a place within a consecrated the belief that morsels of clay taken from temple, to a day, like the present, when a the grave
of a holy man are preservatives refusal to admit within the walls of a against disease, and against the powers of Christian church the monuments and panedarkness-a superstition as prevalent now gyrics of men who die in infidelity or in Irelard among the poor Romanists as it crime, is stigmatised as bigotry. was anywhere during the darkest ages. It was suggested that the exhibition of
the human figure upon the tomb is another • The canons,' says Gough, p. 178, require departure from the strict propriety of Christhat the burials of the faithful be in the ceme- tian taste and truth: although, if there is one teries. At first this was observed with scrupu: kind of sepulchral monument beautiful in lous exactness; but in time insensibly crept in the custom of burying in the church persons its form, comparatively correct in idea, and distinguished by their sanctity. Afterwards the interesting both to the sculptor and the anemperors made interest to be buried at the door tiquary, it is the old altar-tomb, covered of the church, leaving the interior part to the with its recumbent figure of knight, or saints
. But the saints did not lie long alone. king, or bishop, of which so many exquiIn aftertime interment in the church was per- site remains are still found in our churches. mitted, not only to ecclesiastics of exemplary Some of the most beautiful of these hare conduct, but to those of common character, or eminent only for the rank which they had held. been preserved by the diligence and fidelity At length the laity were admitted indifferently, of the late lamented Mr. Stothard, in . The as at present. The spirit of the church always Monumental Effigies of Great Britain ;' and opposed the abuse of burying in churches, de- it is gratifying to see the same work concrees having been issued against it by councils tinued by Mr. Hollis. And yet against in all ages, and in various parts of Christendom the general idea of thus commemorating the fathers strenuously opposed it. In the 6th century the Council of Braga forbids interment
the dead may be urged what has been obin churches; “ for if cities maintain their privi- jected already—the tendency to individulege of not burying the dead within their walls, al ze sepulchral memorials-the heavy exwith how much more reason should the house pense attending it-its being obviously and temple of the Holy Martyrs be kept clear.” restricted to the rich-its necessarily imAnother Council in the 9th century is equally plying burial within the church-and an strong in its prohibition. Bourbon, archbishop of Rouen, ai a council held appearance of ostentation not compatible there, 1581, decrees that the dead be not buried with the perfect humility and unobtruin churches, not even the rich; “ the honour siveness of a pure Christian character. not being to be paid to wealth, but to the grace In a memorial connected with death of the Holy Spirit, should be reserved for those there must be truth, perfect truth, or it who are especially consecrated to God, and their must fail in taste. And one truth the bodies temples of Jesus Christ and the Holy monumevtal effigies did exhibit in a most Ghost, for those who have held any digrities, striking form, at a very early stage in the ecclesiastical or secular, and are really and truly ministers of God, and instruments of the Holy various transitions through which they Spirit, and for those who by their virtues or passed. Till about 1230, according to merits have done service to God and the both Gough and Corman, the knight was
represented drawing his sword; and the bishop or abbot with hand uplifted in the
act of blessing: but from that time nearly • Constantine the Great was buried close to his church, in the very porch. I was the general prac- be nearer to the holy body of St. Cutlibert. (Gougi, tice to bury the heads of religious houses in their vol. ii., p. 176.). The Emperor Thcodosius, says chapter-houses or their cloisters. Thus in 1420 Gougli, was the first who made a law against bury: (Gough, vol. ii., p. 176). Bishop Chinnoe, who had ing in churches. (Cod. Theod., lib. x., lt. 17.) Albeen abbot of Glastonbury, was buried in the Chap-phonso the Wise, king of Spain, forbade it, except ter House there, because he had completed it; and io royal personages, bishops, &c. (Ley xi., Ph. 1. before Bishop Bell, the Bishops of Durham, in their tit. 13) The custom of burying out of the church Chapter House, because they would not presume to continued in Spain till the end of the 13th century.
all have the hands joined over the breast, which are represented at the feet of the in the attitude of prayer. And perhaps various effigies, and of which a satisfactory nothing can bring together in a more touch- account has scarcely yet been given. The ing form the vanity of human greatness, first idea suggested by them appears to the real awfulness of death, and the conso- have been that of the powers of evil tramlation and support administered beneath it pled on or destroyed by good and holy by Christianity. This, indeed, might not men. No other interpretation can be put bive been the lesson really intended to be on their earliest occurrence in the form of conveyed. The attitude was more probu- serpents or dragons' heads pierced by the bly connected with the superstitions of po- end of the bishop's crozier. This device pery, and with those erroneous opinions on is often found, especially on early French the intermediate state of the dead, which monuments; and generally in cases where coupled prayer with the doctrine of purga- no figure is represented on the tomb; and tory. If a truly humble spirit of prayer only the crosier itself, grasped occasionally had originated such designs, they would by a hand sculptured in high relief. From not so soon have degenerated into gorgeous this it is easy to pass to the idea of the lion exhibitions accompanied by more decisive and the dragon, as emblematic of the same iotimations of the state of blessedness of evil powers, and placed under the fect of the deceased than perhaps true Christianity the recumbent figure. A transition appears would warrant in ordinary cases,
to have taken place from this idea to an • Prior to 1350,' says Cotman, the heads of emblematic representation of the virtues military men, and those of kings, ladies, eccle- of the deceased--the lion representing siastics, and burgesses, when represented recum- courage, the dog fidelity. We must not bent, rest on cushions, single or double-called, be drawn aside here into heraldry-—it is in the “ Lincolnshire Church Notes of 1629,” undoubted that by and bye the animals rein the British Museum, a pillow and a bolster presented on the tombs were often con(and the increasing luxury may be traced even nected with the family arms, or some rebus in these). On each side of these is usually of the family name. I'he last stage appears placed an angel, emblematic perhaps of the ministering angels, who are ever about the path to have been where the dog especially is and bed of the faithful, smoothe the pillow of really the representative of the living fathe dying, and carry the disembodied soul to re- vourite, taking its station, not under, but ceive the blessing of its Maker. This last part on, the feet of its mistress, or couched unof their office is shown on the Elsing brass, der its master, with its name written on a where, as from the head of the knight, two an label, or engraved on a collar round the gels are carrying to heaven in a sheet his glorified spirit. On the Lynn brasses the soul is neck; as Sir
Bryan Stapleton's dog. Jakke' traced to its utmost stage, and is seated in the at Ingham, and Dame Cassy's • Terri' at bosom of the Father; to whom the angels are Deerhurst. These are trifles to dwell upon, offering incense, and in whose praise they are but they indicate a remarkable change of striking their celestial harps. The most beau- feeling. tiful example of this is given by Gough, vol. ii., p. 311, from the monument of Lady Percy, at of the recumbent figure is to be found pro
It is unnecessary to say that the origin Beverley Minster.'— Introduct., p. xiii.
bably in the practice of carrying the dead It seems also that, as greater prominence in its most gorgeous apparel, as is the prac
body uncoffined to the grave, and dressed was given to the pomp of life, in exhibiting lice now in many parts of the continent. the figure in its most gorgeous form, and with the strictest accuracy, and in covering petuation of the spectacle exhibited at the
Thus the marble tomb was only the perthe tomb with highly-wrought canopies, it petuation of the spectacle exhibited at the was held necessary to convey the contrast
funeral. The canopy may be traced from of death with life more strikingly by the the recesses in the side walls within which introduction of the skeleton,* or represent
the coffin-tombs were early lodged, and ation of the body in its state of corruption, arch, to the perfect chantries. From some
surmounted by a richly-wrought Gothic in the same tomb. This is not uncommon
of the royal tombs in Westminster Abbey, in the fifteenth century, and becomes more frequent afterwards. It seems as if
, with it might be supposed that it was thought'a the increasing decay of sound religion, death proper appendage, upon the same prinbecame more and more an object of fear;
ciple as the canopy was carried over the and the world more likely to absorb the living person. With the chapels and chanthought. And it may be that some such
tries, such as those of Bishop West and transition may be traced in the animals Bishop Alcock, at Ely, we reach perhaps objectionable features of that melancholy general movement of mind which displayed system ; the sale of masses, the doctrine of itself in the sixteenth century. indulgences and purgatory, the growth of And it is worthy of remark that this a mischievous secular power in the Church, change is not confined to England. There and the withdrawal of attention from the is in the Bodleian Library a very large and one Supreme Being to whom the sacred curious collection of drawings illustrating building is dedicated, to inferior and human the sepulchral monuments of France. They creatures.
the acmé of corruption under the influence For instance, see Gough, vol. ij., pp. 111, 118. of popery. They involve many of the most
were purchased, we believe, by Gough himBut in the mean time another very in- self, and fill upwards of a dozen folio vol. teresting form of monument had been in- umes. This collection is the more intetroduced in brasses, a form indicating a resting and valuable, as in the tumults of more general demand for sepulchral me- the Revolution the monuments themselves morials, a more lax admission of bodies to must have for the most part perished. be buried within the church, and a greater They are executed with great care ; and disposition to overlook strict Christian dis- an examination of them will show a sincipline in the circumstances of death. The gular coincidence with the history of the earliest English brass (says Cotman) upon sepulchral monuments of England. record is that of Simon de Beauchamp, who The altar tomb was soon affected. It completed the foundation of Ravenham became gradually charged with mere ornaAbbey, and died before 1208, and was ments, and those of a classical character, buried in front of the high altar in St. Paul's until it sunk into the heathen sarcophagus ; Church, at Bedford. On the Continent bulging out under James into a variety of their date is as early ; and in the church of heavy, cumbrous forms; and retaiving no St. Julien, at Mons, is one of Geoffroi le trace whatever of its original coffin-shape. Bel, who died in 1150.* The honour of The figure on it, by slow and almost imthe invention is attributed by some to perceptible advances, begins to stir, and France. Those mentioned by Cotman, in pass from death into life. The feet feel the France, accord with those of Lynn, in Nor- new idea first: they fall apart, as is natural folk, in being not mere effigies let into the in a sleeping posture, instead of being ristone, but large sheets of metal covering gidly fastened together, as in the ancient the whole slab; and, where not occupied mode of laying out the corpse, and particuby the figure, filled with tabernacle work, larly as specified in many of the monastic or representing an embroidered carpet' rules. It is no longer the dead, whether They have also cushions under the head, occupied in the last moments with prayer, which are not to be found in any other of or reminding the bystander of the pains of that epoch in Norfolk. Others bave de- purgatory, but the living, wbich fixes the rived them from Flanders, and especially attention. And yet it is the living asleep, from Ghent; and traced them to those and asleep in the greatest number of early countries chiefly which supplied the Flem- instances in most painful postures; as if ings with wool. They were composed of the process of turning in their beds and various squares, for the convenience of im- raising themselves on their arm to look portation; are often enamelled, and in the round, they could only perform painfully canopy and tabernacle work exhibit some and by stealth, and in a considerable numof the most exquisite combinations which ber of years; and from this they rise to we possess of Gothic architecture. What kneel together, with their wives and childever might be thought of restoring them, it ren, until they finally attain an erect posis lamentable to think how many have been ture, as in most of our modern statues. destroyed, some to make tablets for inscrip. Perhaps the most remarkable instance of tious upon later tombs, but far more for the this transition is to be found in the Fetiplace sake of the metal in times of war and pil- monuments in Swinford church, which bave lage.
been noticed and slightly etched in Mr. We come now to the period in which the Markland's little volume, but are engraved revival (we will not call it of art, for art in with great beauty in Shelton's ‘Oxfordshire.' great perfection existed already, but) of Among these are two of precisely the same Grecian art, began to corrupt and break general form, exhibiting each three figures, down the system of Gothic architecture; | lying on shelves, as in the berths of a ship, and with it to introduce entirely new prin- and under one canopy or cornice. But ciples into our sepulchral monuments, they are of different dates; and, except in principles very closely connected with the the details of ornament, there is scarcely
any difference but in the attitude of the * Cotman's Brasscs, p. 5.
figures; those of the later century being
advanced another stage in liveliness by line, the picturesque grouping, the pendent drawing up one of the legs, as well as rest- masses, the niches and pillars, the florid ing on the right arm. Those who wish to foliage running over the surface, all of them trace this change may observe it in West- points in perfect keeping with the priinary minster Abbey in the monuments of John principle of elevation which is the germ of Lord Russell (1584), Thomas Owen, Esq. the Gothic, are wholly incompatible with (1598), Sir Thomas Hesketh (1605), Sir the simplicity and symmetry of the Grecian. Dudley Carleton (1631), Lord Cottington And the artists vainly endeavoured to pre(1652), the Duke of Newcastle (1676);— serve them by means of vases, pyramids, without mentioning others where the pro- busts, scrolls, coats-of-arms, projecting cess of resuscitation, or, as it really seems, cornices, broken pediments, and by what of waking out of sleep, is farther advanced.* has not inappropriately been called the
For a long time, however, a devotional crinkum-crankum' style of Elizabeth and feeling still prevailed; and the attitude of James; in which angles and curves are, as prayer is preserved. Generally the hus- before, studiously intermixed, but interband and wife are kueeling face to face; mixed without due proportion ; and enand a book lies open before them on a tangle the eye in a labyrinth of fractured prie-Dieu. But instead of asking the pray- lines, without unity, or harmony, or grace. ers of the bystanders, they pray for them- As the figure on the tomb gradually rises selves, as Sir John Spelman and his wife, into life, the artists appear to have laboured (1545,) at Narburgh: the prayer issuing under increasing difficulties in impressing from their lips. Nor must we forget ano- on the spectator, through some other means, ther feature which begins to appear about the fact that the person represented had the end of the fifteenth century, and rises really paid the debt of mortality. To acinto great importance in the two next. complish this purpose, the first symbol This is the introduction of children into which they recurred to, as the nearest apthe tombs of their parents. As the Romish proach to the Gothic pinnacle, was the pysuperstitions were discarded, the merits of ramid or obelisk-no unfitting emblem of celibacy fell with them; the character and eternity. At the same time, as if to give duties of the citizen became prominent; this eternity a due degree of instability, and 10 have raised up defenders for his they contrived to rest the pyramid upon country was one of the chief virtues to be four round balls. Instead of the whole skerecorded on his tomb. The sons are thus leton exposed under the same tomb with brought in kneeling behind their father, or the gorgeously-attired effigies, they were standing at his feet; and daughters by content with scattering about a few death'stheir mother. Where there are two wives, heads, cross-bones, and hour-glasses. And, or sometimes three (and this alone is a fea- as if to exhaust every possible contingency, ture indicating strongly a revolution of sen- while the sarcophagus, on which the figure timent), each family is attached to its own lies, implies that the body is contained mother. On the tomb of William Yelver- within it, the spectator is informed, by ton, at Roughâm, (1586) there are sixteen; means of a number of urns, that the re. Richard Althorp's (1554) bas effigies of mains have been burned, in defiance of the nin-teen; and William Bardewell's, at West practice of Christians; while the inscripSterling, (1460,) commemorates no less tion takes care to inform us that it was neithan thirty sons and daughters. Even the ther burned nor entombed, but buried in a dead children are represented in their vault underneath. winding-sheets, or, at a later period, lying About the same period comes in onē of on their beds. It is unnecessary to point the most monstrous innovations upon the out here the architectural solecisms com- pure principles of Christian art—we mean mitted in the attempt to preserve the ori- the studied and elaborate representation of ginal Gothic features of the altar-tomb, the naked figure. "Græca res est,' says with the recumbent figure and canopy, in Pliny,* • nihil velare.' And with the intro: the altered elements of Grecian or Italian duction of Grecian art the ‘nihil velare' art. All that was beautiful and appropriate principle penetrated even into our Churches, in the Gothic design becomes full of sole- With this came also the entire loss of realcisms in the new style. The broken out- ity. Allegory had indeed begun to intrude,
as we have seen, in the employment of an• An useful Handbook to Westminster Abbey imals during the purer period of Gothic has just been published by Mr. Peter Cunningham, son of the Poet. The index to this little volume is taste. But the recumbent figure was still carefully done, –a rare case now-a-days, and thus the actual representative of the real figure the date of any monument may be easily ascertained. + See Cotman, p. 13.
* Lib. xxxiv. Ć. 8.