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posuit, hæc verba proferens: Nos Carolus juramus ad sacrosancta corpus Domino et evangelia firmiter servare, etc."32 The missal in this instance was evidently sworn upon, not as a missal or with any reference to the Te igitur, or Canon, but as containing the Gospels and I cannot but conceive that other cases which have been produced of swearing "super Te igitur," or "super librum missalem," are to be understood in the same way, although Ducange seems to have supposed the contrary. Again, from Walsingham; a Carmelite friar, in the reign of Richard II. "obtento aditu ad regale colloquium, porrexit schedulam, jurans in sacramento corporis Christi, quod ipse eodem die celebrando confecerat, nullum verbum fore falsum, etc."33
I cannot agree with the authorities whom I have quoted in the note above, that the term "corporal oath" is to be traced to the corporale: because there is no evidence that that ornament was the thing touched, but, on the contrary, that it was removed, and the consecrated eucharist itself was touched. The two examples from Walsingham, especially the first, would have induced us to have concluded this: and I am able to refer to an illumination, of the very time of the reign of K. Richard II., which sets the question at rest. In the British Museum, among the Harleian MSS. is a French metrical history of the deposition of that prince: in the course of it, the earl of Northumberland offers to take his corporal oath: "Then replied the earl, Sire, let the body of our Lord be consecrated. I will swear that there is no
32 Hist. Angl. p.
deceit in this affair; and that the duke will observe the whole as you have heard me relate it here.' Each of them devoutly heard mass: then the earl without farther hesitation made oath upon the body of our Lord." 35 There is a representation of this circumstance. The earl is kneeling before the altar, upon which are placed a gilt chalice, and below it the host, exposed; upon which last the earl places his right hand.36 I hope that the reader will pardon this digression, and consider it not altogether foreign to the subject of my dissertation.
35 This is from the translation of the history, printed in the Archæologia, Vol. XX., with many illustrative notes.
36 The celebrant is vested in a violet coloured chasuble, with narrow gold stripes.
N the first rubric of the Liber Regalis, which forms the first appendix below to the Order of Coronation, there occurs the following passage: "provideatur quod in aula regia majori sedes eminens sit, pannis sericis et inauratis decenter ornata, super quam dictus rex regnaturus cum omni mansuetudine et reverentia elevetur."
This ceremony has been supposed to, have been derived from the more ancient customs of the northern nations, and many curious particulars, especially some relating to Sweden, have been collected by Mr. Taylor: who continues thus: "Perhaps the point in our English ceremony which is most analogous to the Gothic elevations is that of our kings being anciently placed upon a seat in Westminster Hall, which was thence denominated the King's Bench. This ancient seat, which occupied the upper end of the great hall, was appropriated to the administration of justice by the sovereign in person, or by the judges of his court, to which it gave the title of the Court of King's Bench.”1
1 "At the upper end of this hall, is a long marble stone of twelve feet in length and three feet in breadth. And there also is a marble chair, where the kings of England formerly sate at their coronation dinners; and, at other solemn times, the lord chancellor : but now not to be seen, being
built over by the two courts of chancery and king's-bench." Stow : Survey of London. cit. Glory of Regality, p. 303. The chief point is here omitted in Stow's statement about the coronationfeast the seat was used, as a ceremony, before, not after, the procession to the Abbey. It was
The same writer gives the following examples of the sovereign being placed in this chair. Of Richard II. from Rymer: of Richard III, who according to Speed and Stow, went in great pomp unto Westminster hall, and there in the king's-bench court took his seat: as the Croyland chronicle relates; "se apud magnam aulam Westmonasterii in cathedram marmoream immisit." And Grafton says more plainly of the same king, "he came downe out of the white hall into the great hall at Westminster, and went directly to the kings-benche." To these I would add one more from Rastell, of Edward IV. "He was brought into Westmyster, and there toke possessyon of the realme. And syttynge in the seate royall, in the great hall of Westmyster, with his septer in his hande, a question was axed of all the people, yf they wolde admitte hym to continue as kynge: to the whiche, with one voyce, all the people cryed there, Ye."
And these from the MSS. before cited, in the British Museum. "The King's see. Also it must be ordeyned that in the day of the kyng's coronacyon in the grete halle of Westmynster, the kyng's see bee rially ordeyned and tressid with clothis of silke and golde, and ryall quysshyns and tapets :-in the whiche the prynce shall sit abydyng the procession." "5 Again, the "Devyse" for Henry VIII. "He shall come yerely, as it
used at the feast, doubtless, but not as a circumstance of the solemnity, properly so called. See Hall, Chronicle, p. 105.
2 I extract the passage itself from Rymer: "Mane autem facto surrexit rex, et-egrediens de camera sua, descendebat in præ
dictam magnam aulam :- -et, se.
4 Chronicle, p. 274.
5" Maner and forme of a coronacion." Lansdown MS. 285.
is founden in presidents by vj. of the clok from his chambre into Westm. hall. Where he shall sytte vnder cloth of estate in the marble cheyer apparelled with clothes and quysshyns of clothe of golde baudekyn, as it apperteyneth. And it is to remembre, that the king's benche and all the place of the chauncerye be apparailed vndre feete vppon the raylls and along vppon the walls, with rede worsted.” 6
The actual communion of the sovereign, after the coronation, in the Abbey, requires one or two brief remarks. One point has been long doubtful in the modern coronation services: namely, whether the crown was to be removed before receiving the Holy Eucharist. In the order for George III. there was no rubric: and it is said, nor do I see any reason to doubt the fact, that when the king approached the altar, in order to receive the sacrament, he enquired of the archbishop, 'Whether he should not lay aside his crown?' That the archbishop asked the bishop of Rochester, but neither of them knew, nor could say, what had been the usual form. And the king, with his usual piety, determined within himself upon the fitting course which he should pursue: he took off his crown, and humbly laid it aside during the administration of the Sacrament. The archbishop (Secker) possibly had not examined any other Order than that immediately preceding, of George II. where, in like manner, no direction was given upon this matter: at least, it is certain that he took, and naturally, that Order for his guide; because the copy which he used is preserved at Lambeth, interlined and corrected with his own hand.
• Cotton MS. Tiberius E. viij.