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exterior was originally covered with wooden shingles or with straw.
Attached to the surface of the eastern tie-beam are three rough planks, whereon, probably, the Holy Rood or Crucifix and other images were placed, but now supporting the Royal Shield; the emblem of the loyalty of our National Church supplanting thus the objects of former Romish superstition. On either side of this shield, are boards cut in the shape of, and painted something like, couchant lions, which, if the practice of setting up the royal arms churches be so old as the time of Edward the Fourth, were no doubt meant for his supporters; as at one period of his reign couchant lions were. The tie-beam which was westward of the rood-loft, has been sawed away for the evident purpose of rendering the rood more visible to persons at the west end of the nave. These kind of images and paintings, which, before "the school-master was abroad," were merely meant as children's and laymen's books, although afterwards perverted by priest-craft and ignorance to superstitious purposes, were ordered by Elizabeth to be destroyed and defaced, and their places occupied by the Creed and Lord's Prayer, and select portions of Scripture. Accordingly, we here find that on the north wall are three, and on the south four such inscriptions, all surrounded with the flowing ornaments so common at the time when, we suppose, they were first put up.
The sanctuary or altar place is spacious, and divided from the chancel by a wooden railing of well-turned spiral balustres; but we did not see any pulvinar, or cushion, for the convenience of communicants, when on the genuflexorium, or kneeling step, at communion time. The Holy Table is neatly made, and stands at the extreme upper end of the chancel. It is of wood, as ordained by Queen Elizabeth, and as primitive Christian altars always were until the time of Constantine, stone altars being then considered more consistent with the magnificent Churches, which Christians had permission to erect after their first persecutions had ceased. The pallium is a decent blue woollen cloth, and so large as to completely hide the
table, a fashion derived from the amplitude of covering formerly necessary to hinder profane hands from touching it. The sacred vessels consist of a silver flagon and chalice for the wine, and paten for the bread, but they have no devices or inscriptions, as we were informed by the vicar, at whose residence they now are kept. The almsvessel, however, is of wood, and not a silver basin, as it should be, the use of wooden vessels having only been allowed during the century succeeding to the ravages of the Danes.
The altar-piece is of mahoganycoloured wood-work. It is in the Roman style, and consists of a pedestal base, above which are two semicircularly headed panels, and two lateral square-headed ones, all flanked by fluted pilasters, supporting a triglyphed and dentilled entablature, but with a truncated pediment. Between the heads of the central panels, surrounded with a glory of gilt radii, is an inverted triangular gilt space, on which are inscribed the four Hebrew letters signifying Jehovah. In the central vacuity of the pediment is a small carved and gilded dove, symbolic of the Holy Ghost, in imitation of the gold vessel wherein the Eucharist was kept, but which, in primitive Churches, was suspended, as if hovering over the altar. In the two central panels, on a white marbled ground, is a copy of the decalogue plainly written in small black Roman letters; and in the lateral panels, on a black ground, are representations of Moses and Aaron standing on marble pedestals. Moses has a venerable beard, carrying under his right arm the two graven tables of stone, with his rod and left hand pointing upwards. Aaron is in the holy garments peculiar to his office as High Priest, namely, the linen trousers, the blue robe with golden bells at its lower border, the ephod, or girdle, and embroidered breast-plate, the precious stones upon his shoulders, and the mitre, with gold forehead plate; and from his right hand swings a golden censer. This Roman style of altar-piece, so common still, not only to our Gothic parish Churches, but also to many collegiate Chapels and Cathedrals, is quite discordant with them, considered architecturally. In the latter, however, we are happy to
observe that they have, in many instances, been removed from before the ancient altar screens they had long concealed, or have been supplanted by new designs more appropriate to the style of the edifices containing them, although they are yet far from what they might be in this respect.
Directly under the rood-loft beam, and dividing the chancel from the nave, is a well-designed open screen of lime or sycamore, or some such closegrained wood, too well, however, executed to have been made at the public cost, unless in times more munificent than ours, and therefore, probably, the gift of some pious public-spirited parishioner. It is in the Italian taste, and was most likely erected in the early part of the last century. This screen, (if so it may be called, not having any lattice work or the cancelli which ancient chancel-screens invariably had, and whence, indeed, the word chancel is derived,) consists of a narrow central semicircularly-headed archway, between two wide flat-headed openings, flanked by rectangular ornamented pillars, supporting a neatly carved entablature, the console or key and spandrels of the central arch being adorned with finely cut flowing foliage. Against the north and south walls of the chancel is a continuation of this screen-work, as a return arch, like that just described, but with a console, embellished with a beautifully carved cherub; thus giving to the backs of the manorial and vicarage pews somewhat the appearance of stalls in a cathedral. This returning portion of the screen is not extended so far on the north as on the south wall, where some of the panelling partly hides a recess in which has been the altar tomb we have before alluded to, as probably the tomb of a prior or benefactor to the Church, or the shrine of some more saintly personage.
The baptistery pew is under a north gallery, and near the western door, through which every one about to be received into Christ's Church, should properly enter, now that fonts are no longer kept in porches or detached buildings, as they anciently were. The font is placed in the southwest corner of the pew, which has a seat on its north side for the sponsors, that they may conveniently turn to
the west when renouncing the Devil, and to the east upon their assent to the creed and promise of obedience. It is of the reddish compact sandstone, of which ancient fonts are generally made, but its "comeliness" has been defaced by time, and its "cleanliness" by dirt, so that it would certainly "occasion contempt and aversion," were it now put to its former use. Exteriorly, its plan is octagonal,
recommended by St. Ambrose, being also somewhat in the form of a truncated inverted pyramid, and has a boldly moulded base and rim. upper surface being only about three feet from the ground, it has not the step or platform at its base, which fonts often have, whereon the priest, stood for the "discreet and wary dipping and lifting out of the infant. It is embellished at each angle with small buttresses, each face consisting of a trefoliated ogee-headed and finialed panel with large trefoil spandrels. is probably of the 14th or 15th century, and therefore old enough to demonstrate that Hurley Church, although conventual, was also a baptismal or parochial one. Being nearly two and twenty inches wide, its concavity is sufficiently capacious for the immersion of naked infants of the early age of eight days, when properly, unless too weak, they should be baptized. these degenerate days," however, our children are always presumed to be too weak for immersion, whereas among our more robust ancestry immersion was performed at each separate mentioning of the three Persons of the Trinity. The common basins, which we sometimes see instead of a font, are disgraceful to the sanctity of public baptism, and were moreover positively prohibited, as well as sprinkling, by the canons of 1571 and 1584. This font is lined with lead, and has the usual hole at bottom for conveying out the water after administration of the rite, or at most every seven days, by a channel through the pedestal or shaft, into the ground. On its leaden rim, the marks of two iron staples still attest that it had formerly a cover, which was no doubt kept reverently locked down, that its contents should not be employed for any purposes of sorcery or witchcraft. Immediately above the font is a large ring inserted
into the under part of the gallery, from which the cover was suspended by a cord and pulley, when the font was used, a circumstance which makes it not unlikely that the cover was massive, and handsomely carved.
Attached to the wall of the baptistery pew is a covered shelf for charity bread. But the thrice-locked "Poore Mennes Boxe," with a hole through the top, ordered by James the First to be fastened up in every church, and which, we believe, should still remain, has been, in these times of compulsory charity, removed, as no longer necessary.
The pulpit and reading-desks are conveniently situated on the south side of the nave, and were probably put up, as most of our wooden pulpits were, in the early part of James the First's reign. This pulpit is neatly made of wainscot, and is of hexagonal form, as well as the sounding-board, a handsomely inlaid piece of joinery, projecting from the capital of an oaken fluted pilaster attached to the wall. The pulpit cloth and cushion are of blue velvet, now much faded; but the books are in good condition, being almost new, and are of the full size, enjoined by the canons so to be.
The pews extend on both sides from near the west end to the altar rails. They are of one height, but of irregular dimensions, and mostly of plain deal or beechen panelling, their ends being painted to represent wainscot. All have boarded floors, and two have woollen linings, and comfortable cushions and hassocks, with which latter accomodation, adopted first when church floors ceased to be strewed with straw or rushes, and peculiar, we believe, to English churches, each person should be provided, as several portions, even of our reformed liturgy, require the kneeling posture for its correct celebration.
At the west end of the church is a small music gallery, the front of which was formerly a series of balustrades, and also a plain narrow gallery returning on the north side.
The ringing loft is partitioned off from the back of the west gallery, and above it is the belfry, in which are three variously sized bells. One is thus inscribed: "This bell was made 1602, J. V," Another has the letters
E. R. and a crown upon it, hung up, no doubt, in Elizabeth's reign; and the third has some old English characters which we could not get at to decipher, and was, no doubt, one of the priory bells, and as such may have been honoured with chrism and consecration.
In the ringing-loft is an antique chest, the former register chest, perhaps; the upper parts of porches and of towers having been, formerly, the usual muniment rooms for the depositing of parish papers and other property. The modern register chest is of iron, and kept at the vicar's residence. The registers are perfect from the year 1563.
Under the north gallery, at the extreme west end, is a small space completely inclosed with laths arranged in a cancellated manner and reaching to the ceiling, the original purpose of which we cannot conceive, unless possibly it was the baptistery, or vestiary, or a place for the catechumens of more modern times, the young unruly children of poor parishioners.
Opposite, on the south side, are wooden stairs leading up to the galleries, and a dark inclosure the use of which was fully explained by its contents, an old chest for funeral furniture, the bier, "a pick-axe and a spade," and other instruments to which we all some day must be indebted for our viaticum to mother earth.
The principal Monument in Hurley Church is that to the memory of three of the early Berkshire Lovelaces. It is against the north wall of the chancel, and is in the mixed Italian or cinquecento style, so prevalent soon after the Reformation, when its central part was probably erected; but, although the general design is not inelegant, its execution, especially of the wings, is rude; and, being of a crumbling stone, many ornamental parts are loose, and the whole will soon tumble to pieces, unless the munificence of the newly created Earl of Lovelace should think fit to order its immediate restoration. This monument is nearly twelve feet high, and now consists of three compartments flanked by fluted Ionic columns, which support an entablature and attic embellished in the style above alluded to, and surmounted on each side by a skull, The central compart
ment is a large tablet, bordered with billets and scrolls in high relief, and arabesque-like ornaments. It is now
blank, but Ashmole states it to have
"LOVELACE, thy name layes downe a lasting love,
On the base of this monument, in Ashmole's time, the following inscription was also visible, but is now concealed by the raising of the Altarplace floor, as before mentioned.
"JOHANNES LOVELACE, armiger,
mortem obiit 25 Augusti, 1558, et uxor ejus obiit 120 Novembris Anno 1579."
Above the entablature, against the centre of the dado of a kind of attic, is a large stone shield sculptured and emblazoned with the old Lovelace and Eynsham arms: viz. Gules, on a chief dancetté Sable three martlets Argent; quartering, Azure, on a saltier engrailed Argent five martlets Sable, in the fess point a mullet Or. At either side, standing insulated on the blocking course of this attic, fully sculptured and of large size, is the Lovelace crest, viz. on an oak branch laying fessways Proper, with acorns Or, an eagle displayed Sable, bearing upon the breast a mullet Or.
The lateral compartments are occupied by stone effigies, about three feet high, of Richard Lovelace, Esquire, and Sir Richard Lovelace his son; but both now literally totter on their knees. The first is " habited," as Ashmole merely says, " in the fashion of his times," in a close doublet with sleeves, and fastened down the front of the body with buttons and loops, but finishing just above the knees in full round skirts. About the neck and wrists are small ruffs, his hair being closely cut, but his beard and mustachios are long. He holds his right hand on his breast, and his left hand, from its position, probably held a skull. Sir Richard is " gallantly armed,” having over his doublet a suit of the plate armour peculiar to his times, when armour was beginning to
be laid aside. This consists of a gorget, a cuirass with skirts of overlapping plates called tassets, the garde de reines, and "cuisses on his thighs," with epauldrons, brassarts, elbowpieces, and vambraces upon his arms. He also has a ruff and closely cut hair, but his beard is pointed, like that of other cavaliers, and of their Sovereign Charles the First. The right arm hangs by his side, but the other forearm, and the hilt of a sword which was suspended by a narrow belt diagoAbove them, respectively, are these innally across the hips, have disappeared. scriptions, in badly engraved gilt roman capitals:
"Richard Lovelace, sone of John Lovelace, Esquire, lived vertuously, and departed this life the 12th day of March, An. Dni. 1601."
"Sir Richard Lovelace knighted in ye warrs sonne of Richard Lovelace, Esquire, lived worthelye and departed this life Anno Domini . . . . . ."
Against the entablature above the Esquire is a small stone shield thus sculptured and emblazoned, Lovelace quartering Eynsham, as before, impaling, Azure, a cross patonce Or. Above the knight, in a similar shield, Lovelace and Eynsham, impaling Dodsworth, Vert, a chevron Argent between three buglehorns Sable. Ashmole states these figures to be kneeling; but, although their knees do seemingly rest on cushions, yet being in a front position and projecting only a little from the wall, there is no room behind them for their legs, so that they appear rather to be standing upon amputated stumps than kneeling. The central portion of this monument was, no doubt, for John Lovelace only, and if erected soon after his decease in 1558, as pro
bably it was, may be considered an early example of the renaissant Roman or Italian style, and perhaps from a design of the celebrated John of Padua. The inscription recording the lady's death was probably added afterwards, as the wings certainly were, if we may so judge by their ruder workmanship, compared to that of the centre, from which they have been evidently imitated. It would seem, moreover, from the omission of the date of Sir Richard's death, that these wings were put up by him, after his money-making expeditions with Sir Francis Drake, and before his ennoblement in 1627. He did not, however, flatter the Spirit of his sire," or himself, by employing the best artists of his time; nor have his successors evinced more taste by their beautifications of this monument; its shields and crest having been incorrectly emblazoned as above described, and the figures and mouldings painted with coarse distemper
(To be continued.)
MR. URBAN, Cork, 30th April. IN your Magazine for October last, p. 381, I pointed out some glaring historical oversights that had incidentally struck me in the commentators of Shakspeare; but as these errors proceeded from persons rather devoted to old English literature, or black-letter lore, than to European annals or general history, their misrepresentations of facts did not so much surprise me; nor did I seek, as I might easily have done, by a further reference to the same source, to swell the catalogue, of which I presented you a specimen. But a recent composition,
Shakspear's Historical Plays historically considered," by the Rt. Hon. Th. P. Courtenay, published successively in the New Monthly Magazine, and apparently concluded in the number of that periodical for the past month, arrogates higher pretensions, and challenges more distinct notice, whenever aberrant (as rarely, indeed, happens,) from its professed accuracy. An opportunity, moreover, is thus offered of defining the sense and application of an ambiguous epithet in the great poet; and, when a doubt as to his meaning arises, which Mr. Courtenay's misconception of it sufficiently
shows may be the case, the elucidation, however minute the object may seem, will not, I trust, be deemed superfluous or unworthy of attempt.
In Act. II. scene 2 of Shakspeare's Henry VIII. the Duke of Norfolk, addressing the Duke of Suffolk, relative to the share attributed to Wolsey in Henry's scheme of divorce, says, (page 67, vol. xi. of Steevens's edition, 1793). "How holily he works in all his business! And with what zeal! For, now he has cracked the league
Between us and the Emperor, the Queen's great nephew," &c.
To these last words "the Emperor, the Queen's great nephew,” Mr. Courtenay subjoins an explanatory note, signifying that the monarch referred to was "Maximilian, the grandson of Philip of Austria and Joanna the sister of Catharine." And, doubtless, this Maximilian (second of the name) stood in the expressed degree of relation to Catharine; but it is equally certain, that it was not that sovereign whom Shakspeare contemplated on the occasion; for at the period embraced in this act of the drama, namely 1529, the Austrian prince was in his cradle, only two years old, and did not become emperor until 1564, on the death of his father Ferdinand, Catharine's younger nephew, thirty-five years subsequently, when all the actors in the scene, Henry, Catharine, and Wolsey, had long departed from the theatre of life. The poet's allusion was clearly to the Emperor Charles V. the most powerful monarch of his time, or since the age of his predecessor Charlemagne; and, as such, well entitled to the designation of great, adjoined to his quality of Catharine's nephew, being her sister Joanna's son. It is, therefore, in this obvious acceptation, equivalent to powerful, that the expression must be interpreted, and not as the right honourable commentator has viewed it, as distinctive of the relative kindred of the Queen and Emperor. Indeed, I much doubt whether, in that century, the adjective great was used to imply a graduated remove of consanguinity, descending or ascending, as it now generally is in England, though not in Ireland, where grand is more ordinarily employed in that sense; and Shakspeare, had