The great fortress of William The Conqueror, a palace of Kings and a terrible prison.
Ten Things To See And Do
- The White Tower The White Tower is one of the most important historic buildings in the world.
- Crown Jewels Be dazzled by the 23,578 gems that make up the Crown Jewels, including the world’s most famous diamonds.
- Yeoman Warder tours Join a Yeoman Warder tour (included in your admission ticket) and you’ll be entertained by tales from the Tower.
- Ravens Legend says that the kingdom and the Tower will fall if the six ravens ever leave the Tower.
- Medieval Palace The Medieval Palace contains fabulous interiors.
- Hands on history at the Fortress Throughout June and July, join the Tower as it prepares for war! Help shoot the mighty siege engine and test weapons and armour.
- Lady Jane Grey graffiti Lady Jane Grey was queen for nine days. She was imprisoned and executed at the Tower.
- Prisoners exhibition There have been prisoners at the Tower almost since it was built.
- Tower Green Execution inside the Tower was a privilege for those of high rank.
- Family fun activities A wide range of activities and tours to entertain families.
ROMAN and Saxon London was enclosed by a wall with mural towers, which, commencing at the river-bank on the E. side of the Fleet stream, ran northwards to Ludgate, and thence eastwards to Aldersgate and Cripplegate,—where some of it still exists at “London Wall,”-then by the line of Houndsditch, and thence southwards, back again to the Thames, over the high ground which overlooked the low-lying fields where are now the docks of St. Katherine, enclosing an area of about 400 acres. The wall is supposed to have been built by the Romans shortly before they quitted England, about the year 360, and it was rebuilt by King Alfred in 886. It terminated at the edge of the river, near where the Wakefield Tower and entrance Gatehouse stand, and this elevated ground at its eastern terminus was chosen by the Conqueror for the site of a fortress, which he designed both for the subjection of the town and for the protection of the port of London. William was crowned at Christmas, 1066, and he probably at once formed a temporary timber stronghold for his own protection, after the Saxon mode, surrounded by a strong stockade and ditch, using for its E. flank the end of the Roman wall, where two strong towers or bastions existed.
It was not until twelve years later that he was able to commence the building of the great Norman fortress which stands here ; but in 1078 he confided to a clerical architect, Gundulf, then Bishop of Rochester, this great design. Gundulf built also a tower at Rochester, and one also for his own dwelling in Kent at West Malling, and he is thought to have left his mark, by his designs or otherwise, at Colchester, Norwich, and other castles in England. While superintending the erection of William’s White Tower, he lived at the house of a friend in London, one Eadner Anhoende, a burgess of the town, and as he lived to the age of eighty-four, dying in 1108 (9 Henry 1.), it is likely that he saw the completion of this splendid keep in the reign of Rufus, and he may likewise have carried out some of the .wall and towers of what is now the inner ward, or ballium, which was large enough to contain the royal palace and lodgings for the Court and garrison. It is known that in 1097 the Red King gave offence by a taxation imposed for the purpose of creating this fortress. Clark is of opinion that the mighty curtain wall, with the Wakefield, Bell, and Devereux Towers, at three angles of this inner ward, are coeval, and possibly maybe of this reign. Perhaps the Roman wall was still retained on the E. face up to the bastion, which modern excavations have shown to have existed close to the S.E. corner of the keep, where afterwards the Wardrobe Tower was built. A narrow ditch probably enclosed the whole somewhat on the line of the present moat.
Even in those early days “The Tower,” as it was always called, seems to have fulfilled its triple office of a fortress, a palace, and a prison. Its first prisoner was Ralph Flambard, Bishop of Durham, the evil minister of Rufus, whom Henry I. shut up in the council chamber of the White Tower, from whence he escaped. He was allowed a large sum for sustenance, and was in the habit of feasting his gaolers, so when these were drunk enough to fall asleep, having obtained a rope, concealed in a vessel of wine, he lowered himself from a window in the S. gallery ; the rope, however, was too short, and, falling to the ground, the bishop injured himself ; still he managed to escape to Normandy, and eventually returned to his See of Durham. In 1106 Robert, Duke of Normandy, and the rightful Sovereign of England, with the Earl of Mortain, was imprisoned here. Geoffrey de Mandeville, being hereditary custodian (temp. Stephen), added to the defences, and held the fortress, in 1143, against an attack by the citizens, who ever feared and loathed it. After him it reverted to the Crown.
Becket, as Chancellor, repaired the buildings in 1155, and the custody of the Tower was one of the many sources of discord between this prelate and his king.
When Henry II, our first Plantagenet king, came to the throne, the fortress consisted of the White Tower, at the termination of the old City .call, having its then inner ward continued by a curtain wall from the gatehouse at the S.W. corner of the keep, called Cold-Harbour, to the Wakefield or Hall Tower, and thence eastward to the Lanthorn Tower on the S.E., whence perhaps the buildings of the palace, extending northward to the S.E. corner of the keep, completed the E. side of the enceinte which, though small, contained all the palace lodgings. The great hall lay between the Hall, or Wakefield, and Lanthorn Towers, facing the Thames ; outside this was the range of wall and towers, constituting an outer bailey, or ward, somewhat on the lines of what now forms the inner .ward, that is, the line from the Bell to the Devereux lower at the N.W. corner, and then across eastward near the N. end of the White Tower into the City wall again. It is impossible to say whether the present line of the inner ward on the E. existed at that date, from the Salt Tower to the Broad Arrow or the Martin Tower.
To Richard Coeur de Lion is due the perfecting of the defences of the Tower, upon plans which he left to be carried out by his Chancellor, William Longchamp, Bishop of Ely, during his own absence at the Crusade in 1190. This prelate, however, by his tyranny and exactions, excited the resentment of the nation, and gave opportunity to Prince John to intervene, and, with the assistance of a strong party of the nobles, to force himself in his brother’s absence into almost regal power.
Longchamp shut himself up in the Tower, but seeing the forces arrayed against him, surrendered, when the fortress was taken possession of by John. That prince made it a royal residence, and frequently lived there ; he also laid out much money on the buildings, and improved the ditch by widening it to 200 feet. It is in his reign that we first hear of the church of St. Peter ad Vincula in the Tower. In 1215 the barons laid siege to the Tower, but it held out until the signing of the Great Charter, when it was yielded up by the king as a guarantee of good faith, and thus it was held till the arrival of the Dauphin in England, when the nobles put him in possession, and he held it as long as he remained in the country.
Henry III., by his rebuildings and additions, chiefly at the river front, gave the fortress much of its present aspect on that side, his chief work being the formation of the great water gate as an approach to the inner ward. The superb segmental arch of this gateway, now called the Traitors-‘, fell twice during construction, as the vulgar believed, by the interposition of the sainted Becket, but after the Tower containing it had been glorified with the name of St. Thomas, and more solid foundations had been laid below the treacherous bank of the river, the building stood, and remains to this day, a marvel of masonry. This King also, as was his custom in all the royal dwellings, made constant additions, alterations, and repairs to the royal lodgings at the Tower. Abutting on the Hall Tower came the great Hall, which in the Literate Roll of 24 Henry III. is called “the great chamber towards the Thames,” at the E. end of which apartment was built (or rebuilt) in that year the Lanthorn Tower, which contained the King’s bedchamber and closet. He also placed on the top of the S. face of the White Tower a timber allure, or gangway, covered with lead, ” through which people may look even unto the foot of the said tower and better defend.” These works were per¬formed between 1239 and about 1260.
In 1244 Griffin, the son of Llewellyn, Prince of Wales, being confined as a hostage in the White Tower, came to a miserable end in attempting to escape from one of the windows. He was stout, and his weight caused the rope, which he had made out of his bed clothing, to break, and he was found next morning at the foot of the Tower with his neck broken. In 1254 £22 was paid for building a house for the King’s elephant at the Tower, 40 feet long by 20. The beast was a present from the King of France, and was the first elephant seen N. of the Alps.
The keeping of the fortress had, in 1232, been committed to Hubert de Burgh, Earl of Kent, the devoted servant of Richard I., and then of King John, who had also served Henry with extreme fidelity ; this, however, did not prevent the King, on the accusation by the Bishop of Winchester of treason against the earl, from depriving him of all his honours, and consigning him to a dungeon in this his own castle. After the passing of the Oxford Statutes in 1258, the twenty-four barons appointed to conduct affairs took possession of the Tower, among other castles, and confided its keeping to Hugh de Bigod ; but dissensions among the party enabled Henry to re-enter in Feb. 1261, and he remained there for about a year. Again, on his return froth France, Henry shut himself up in the Tower .with his family and council, when the barons, headed by Simon de ;Montfort, obtained from him, under fear of a siege, another ratification of the Oxford Statutes, and they then again took charge of the fortresses, placing the lower under the custody of Hugh le Despenser. It was in this year (47 Henry III.), that the Queen, leaving the Tower by water for Windsor, was so insulted and pelted in her barge by the London mob assembled on London Bridge as she passed, that she was forced to return. The Tower remained in the hands of the barons’ party until after the King’s victory at Evesham in 1265, when the King regained his ascendancy.
In 1268 Gilbert de Clare, the powerful and vacillating Earl of Gloucester, began a new strife, and, entering London with an army, laid siege to the lower, which was then under the care of Hugh Fitz Otho. – At the time, the fortress was full of Jews who had taken refuge there, and it .was so magnanimously defended by them that time was given for Prince Edward to collect a strong force at Cambridge and advance against de Clare, who was forced to raise the siege and make terms. He was pardoned by his friend Prince Edward and the King, but when the former went on the crusade he took Gloucester with him, as too turbulent a chief to be left at home (sec TONBRIDGE).
After this the Tower assumes its new character of a true concentric fortress, the nature of which fortification has been well described by Mr. Clark in his work on ” Mediaeval Military Architecture.” A broad moat now surrounded the fortress on three sides, while that on the S., between the river and the wall, was controlled by a sluice. From the edge of the water arose the line of the outer wall With its long lines of mural towers, inside of which lay the outer ward, or ballium, of narrow width, and then came the complete ring of the partly old and partly new circuit of the inner line of walls and towers, enclosing the extensive inner ward, about the centre of which stood the mighty Norman keep, with its own circuit of wall and palace buildings. The whole formed three concentric fortresses, supporting one another. At that time also, beyond the moat, was formed another small moat defending a barbican, all which latter defence has now disappeared.
In the time of Edward II. the Tower was much used as a safe retreat for that King and his family; his Queen long resided here, and her youngest daughter, being born here, was called ” Joan of the Tower.” At this time the King had shut up in the Tower two nobles of importance for treason, and for attacking the property of his favourites the Despensers ; these were Roger Mortimer, lord of Chirk, the uncle, and Roger Mortimer, lord of Wigmore, the nephew. The uncle died of starvation, but the young noble, managing to get into the good graces of Queen Isabella, had his sentence of death commuted to imprisonment. He, however, conspired again, this time plotting the seizure of the Tower, of Windsor, and of Wallingford, by his friends ; whereon he was again condemned to death. However, his now strong intimacy with the Queen, the disastrous results of which belong to history, afforded him relief, for with her aid he succeeded in escaping from the Tower, by first drugging the keepers, and then by some means getting from the keep into an adjoining kitchen, from the roof of which he managed, with aid from within, to scale the wall and reach the Thames, and so get out of the country and into France. The next year Isabella went to Paris, ostensibly to make a truce between her brother the French king and Edward, and here she was joined by Mortimer and the barons who were disaffected and sided with her against the Despensers.
In 1326, the descent on England was planned, and in September Isabella and a foreign army, with Mortimer in command of an English force, landed at Harwich. The King threw himself into the Tower and tried to attract the Londoners to his standard, but the people declared for the Queen ; whereon Edward, with the two Despensers tied to Bristol, leaving his youngest son, John of Eltham, in charge of the ‘lower, with Stapleton, Bishop of Exeter. Then the citizens rose against the fortress, forced their way into it, seized and beheaded the bishop, and set all the prisoners free. Once more the Tower became the prison of Roger Mortimer, who, after his seizure by the young King at Nottingham Castle in 1330 (see NOTTINGHAM), was sent there before his execution at Tyburn.
Edward III., the first years of whose reign were spent in this fortress, did much for the Tower he caused a survey to be made of it in 1336, which resulted in the buildings being put into good Order, and it was garrisoned in 1337, when the King spent much time there, collecting his arms and stores for the foreign wars. His Mint was also established there.
On November 30, 1340, Edward returned unexpectedly from Tournay to the Tower, and, finding the constable, Sir Nicholas de la Beche (see ALDWORTH, BERKS), absent, and no one left in charge of his young children, he imprisoned the constable and other officials, and punished them, residing himself there until his expedition to Brittany in October, 1342. There is evidence to show that at this date gunpowder was manufactured in the Tower.
It was probably at this period that the Beauchamp Tower was added, as well as the Bowyer, and perhaps others,—among them, the Salt Tower, if it be not of infinitely older date. The taking of Caen, in 1346, brought hither the Comte d’Eu and de Tankerville, with 300 of the chief citizens as prisoners, to fill this fortress ; and hither likewise, in January, 1347, was brought prisoner David, King of Scotland, taken the preceding year at the battle of Neville’s Cross ; having been badly wounded by arrows in the face and leg, he had been hitherto kept at Bamburgh Castle (q.v.). As there is a charge recorded for his being doctored in the Tower, his cure does not seem to have been completed in the North. Later, in the same year, were confined here Charles de Blois, nephew of the French king, Philip, captured at the Castle of Roche de Rien, and upon the surrender of Calais, Jean de Vienne, its brave governor, with twelve of his best burghers. In 1358 John, King of France, and his son Philip, captured at Poictiers, were brought to England by the Black Prince, and were imprisoned first in the Savoy, and then at Windsor (q.v.), where much liberty was allowed them, and they. “went a-huntyng and a-hawkyng at their pleasure;” but suspicion falling on King John’s actions and intentions at Windsor, he was in 1359 sent into confinement in the Tower, where he remained until the Peace of Bretigny in 1360.
Richard II. took refuge here with his mother and other ladies at the outbreak of the insurrection of Wat Tyler, who marched to London, with a multitude, said to have been 60,000 strong, and menaced the Tower. The young King, getting the greater part to retire to Mile End, went to meet the rebels, but during his absence, before the gates could be closed, an armed rabble broke into the Tower, and finding Archbishop Sudbury and Sir Thomas Hales, the treasurer, in the chapel of St. John dragged them out and murdered them. They then forced their way into the royal apartments, and insulted the Queen-mother, the widow of the Black Prince, and pillaged the rooms. In 1387 Richard again sought refuge here at the time of the rebellion headed by his uncle Gloucester, and here he afterwards imprisoned Thomas Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick in the tower which still bears his name. To the Tower, in 1396, he brought his child-wife, Isabel of France, for her marriage and coronation ; and here, too, was acted the last scene of his troubled reign, when, on September 29, 1399, in the council-chamber of the White Tower, he resigned his crown to Henry of Bolingbroke. Next year his dead body was brought to the Tower from Pontefract to be publicly exhibited.
Henry IV. kept prisoner here for a long time the young king, James I. of Scotland, who had accidentally fallen into his hands when on his journey by sea to France. After Agincourt, Charles, Duke of Orleans, was confined here, in the State apartments of the White Tower, as is shown by a drawing in Froissart given in Lord de Ros’s Memoirs of the Tower.
The Tower was twice besieged in the reign of Henry VI.; once, in 1450, unsuccessfully, by Jack Cade and his followers, and again, in 1460, when, after Edward, Duke of York, had landed from Calais, the citizens in support of him laid violent siege to it, with large guns planted on the other side of the Thames ; it was then held for Henry by Lord Scales. Evidences of this attack were found in the shape of balls of iron and of Kentish stone, in the S. ditch in 1843, when cleaned out. On the capture of King Henry, after the Battle of Northampton, Scales yielded the Tower to the Yorkists, and essayed to quit it privately himself by water, but he was pursued and slain, his naked body being thrown on shore. After-wards the ill-fated Henry himself was immured here, being restored to regal power for a brief space in 1470 by the exertions of Warwick the King-maker ; but after the final defeat of Barnet he was again introduced as a captive, his unhappy queen being also brought in after Tewkesbury. Then Edward IV. entered London again triumphant, on May 21, and next morning King Henry was found dead in the Bloody Tower, as some say.
Edward IV. improved the defences of the fortress at the entrance, at what was called the Lions’ Tower, and in 1478 he is said to have caused here the murder of his brother George, Duke of Clarence, drowned in Malmsey wine (Malvoisie) in the basement of the Bowyer Tower. This King died April 9, 1483, and then occurred all the historical events so faithfully recited by Shakespeare, after the stories of the chroniclers, namely, the acts of the usurping Duke of Gloucester : first, the hurried murder of Hastings, who was thrust out of the council-chamber of the keep, and beheaded on a log of wood outside, on June 13 ; and three days after, the reception at the Tower of the young princes, “under suer keepyng,” who were no more heard of alive. On July 6, Richard came to the Tower for his coronation on the following day.
One of the first acts of Henry VII. after Bosworth was to remove to this prison, from Sheriff Hutton, in Yorkshire (q.v.), the nearest remaining heir to the Crown, Edward Plantagenet, Earl of Warwick, whom he finally murdered on the Tower scaffold after Perkin Warbeck’s insurrection. Then, upon his father’s death, Henry VIII. retired to the Tower, and lived there after his marriage with Katherine of Arragon, in great State, as he did also at the time of his nuptials with Anne Boleyn, who went hence to Westminster for her coronation. These were the days of the greatest magnificence and State pomp which the old fabric ever witnessed, a brilliant prelude to the spectacle of dismal horrors that soon after ensued. Then commenced the reign of the scaffold, with the impeachment and execution of Sir Thomas More, the witty Chancellor, and of the ruthless tyrant’s old tutor, Bishop Fisher. In 1536 came the cruel end of ill-fated Anne, the Queen ; but the list of victims, with their stories, is too lengthy to be treated here. At the King’s death, in 1547, his son was escorted to the palace in the Tower, and it was here that all the quarrels and troubles occurred, ending in the death of the Lord Protector Somerset, and his brother, the husband of Queen Katherine Parr (see SUDELEY, GLOUCESTER), and of their friends. Then came the episode of Lady Jane Grey, the nine days’ queen, who resided in the fortress throughout her short reign. Queen Mary’s triumphant entry into the Tower followed, after which the terrors of the prison commenced anew. After the rebellion of Sir Thomas Wyatt, Lady Jane and her husband were sent to the scaffold, with many others, in February, 1554. Thither, upon Gardiner’s accusation, came the Princess Elizabeth, prisoner to the Tower from her retreat at Ashbridge, and, though exonerated by Wyatt, was kept in durance for some months, her life in serious peril all the time. Between the Bell and Beauchamp Towers is a path along the rampart of the wall which is still called Queen Elizabeth’s Walk.
When Elizabeth succeeded to the crown, a short four years later, she at once established her Court at the Tower, but this occupation ceased after her coronation, and thenceforth the fortress is seldom more than a State prison; at no time, indeed, in its history, were its cells more constantly occupied than during the reign of this Tudor mistress. Protestants and Catholics, bishops and abbots, dukes, earls, and knights, Howards and Percies, Raleigh and Essex—the lists of prisoners are curiously long and impartial. In 1585 Henry, eighth earl of Northumberland, who had been incarcerated on account of Mary Stuart, was found dead in his room in the Garden Tower, with three bullets in his side, and, though declared to be suicide, his death was more probably a murder, and was one of those tragedies which gained for the scene of them the name of the Bloody Tower.
When James I. came to the throne of England he kept his Court in the Tower for a short time only, but resorted thither occasionally to enjoy the sight of wild beasts fighting, or being baited. His gaolers’ lists were full enough: he cruelly imprisoned his cousin, the Lady Arabella Stuart, who was kept here until, losing her reason, she died. In the Tower, too, was accomplished the murder, by poison, of Sir Thomas Overbury, at the hands of King James favourite, Robert Carr, Earl of Somerset, and his wife.
The differences of Charles I. with his Parliament led to the use again of the Tower as a State prison, and, from its cells, both Strafford and Laud went to their deaths. At the Restoration, Charles II., like so many of his predecessors, went from the Tower to his coronation. In the same year when, during the Great Fire, a change of wind saved the old fortress from imminent peril of burning, a plot was discovered, in which the seizure of it was planned ; while the attempt made by Blood, in 1671, to steal the regalia from the Martin Tower is interesting among the many crimes here committed, so systematically was it planned, and so audaciously carried out.
James II. did not observe the old custom of occupying the Tower before the kingly ceremony at Westminster, and from this date the character of a royal residence no longer attaches to the place, no Sovereign in later days having lived there ; indeed, the removal by Cromwell of the ancient palace in the S.E. corner of the inner ward made the fortress uninhabitable by royalty.
In July, 1685, was landed at the Traitors’ Gate James, Duke of Monmouth, after his defeat at Sedgemoor, and his execution on Tower Hill followed shortly afterwards. Three years later the committal of the seven prelates to the Tower filled up the measure of James’ iniquities in the minds of the people, and much advanced the Revolution of 1689.
Thus, the Tower of London, no longer—since the introduction of artillery—an impregnable fortress, or a royal dwelling, preserved only its remaining use as a State prison, and as such it continued to be occupied in the eighteenth century, when the Jacobite insurrections of 1715 and 1745, once more filled the cells, and gave employment to the headsman and the hangman, the Lords Derwentwater and Kenmure being the principal victims of the former, and Kilmarnock, Balmerino and Lovat, of the latter. Then the block was seen no more, save as an interesting relic ; but prisoners have occasionally been immured within the Tower since, the last being Sir Francis Burdett, during the riots of 1810, and the Cato Street conspirators in 1820.
The entrance to the Tower of London is through a gatehouse called the MIDDLE TOWER, which stands on the counterscarp of the ditch at its S.W. angle, at a point where there once existed a barbican and tete-du pont, with a small moat of its own, Where, in after-times, was placed the royal menagerie, the Sovereigns of England having kept here lions and other wild beasts, since the Conquest, until about the year 1830.
This Middle, or St. Martin’s, Tower, is perhaps of the same age as the Byward, but was faced with Portland stone (temp. Charles II.). It is a strong building, with two circular flanking towers, the gateway between them being formerly defended by a double portcullis. The towers each contain two floors of. timber, with a well staircase.
This gatehouse gives admission to the bridge of 130 feet across the moat, the last 20 feet having, in old times, been covered by a drawbridge.
We then enter the BYWARD TOWER, the great gatehouse of the outer ward, standing on the escarp of the moat, and forming the outer S.W. corner of the fortress, with its two drum flanking-towers rising out of the ditch itself. The passage lies through a low archway, defended by two portcullises and heavy gates. A door into the S. turret, on the ground-floor, enters an octagonal guardroom with a high vaulted and ribbed roof, two of its five recesses being occupied by the door and a fireplace, and the others having loops. The N. turret is similar, but is entered from a lobby, which, from its window, may have formed an oratory. Adjoining this is an outer well-stair leading to the upper rooms; and attached to the S. turret is a small postern which has a bridge over to the quay, with an upper storey for working its drawbridge.
This building is Perpendicular, of the reign of Richard II. (Clark.)
Entering thus the outer ward in its S. range, we pass the Bell Tower at the S.W. angle of the inner ward, below the windows of the lieutenant’s lodgings, and come to the main gatehouse of the inner ward, called the BLOODY TOWER ; this unites with the WAKEFIELD TOWER, formerly called the Hall Tower, from its proximity to the great hall of the Palace, which was entered from it. it is a circular building, 50 feet in diameter, and 50 feet high, and is the next oldest part to the keep. It had formerly three floors, but now has only two, with the basement. This chamber, at the around level, being the oldest portion, contains an octagon room, with four large recesses having loops, now made into windows, while the other three are blank. An entrance doorway has been of late cut through into the warders’ room of the Bloody Tower, the ancient exterior one being walled up. Formerly the flooring above this basement was of timber (perhaps the work of Henry III.), supported by an oaken post in the centre, and four others, carrying oaken head-beams. All this ancient work has quite recently been removed in order to adapt the tower for holding the regalia, to sustain which, on the higher stage, the basement has received a heavy octagonal, vaulted roof of stone, supported by a large stone column on a stone base.
In this chamber were penned some seventy victims of the Scottish rebellion of 1745-6, under such treatment as to air and food that more than one-half of them died.
The tower itself may be Late Norman of Stephen or Henry II., the upper part being added by Henry III. The first floor, which now contains the regalia, has also been vaulted ; it is octagonal also, and has a fireplace in one of its recesses, and an oratory in another, in which is a piscina ; adjoining this recess is visible the arch of the great entrance to the ancient hall of the palace, now blocked up. This entrance is mentioned in the Liberate Roll of 22 Henry III., where there is ordered “a good and fitting partition of boards between the chamber and the chapel of the new turret near the King’s Hall towards the Thames.” After the reign of Henry VI. it .was called the Record Tower, but on the removal of the records, it reverted to the present appellation, which is derived, it is said, from the immuring here of prisoners after the battle of Wakefield. Some accounts allege the murder of Henry VI. to have been effected in the above-mentioned oratory.
The Bloody Tower, or as anciently named, the Garden Tower, has been lately closely connected with the Wakefield by a stair through it into the regalia chamber of the latter, the old well-staircase being cut off and closed. This tower is the great gatehouse of the inner ward, and lies immediately opposite to the Traitors’ Gate entrance under St. Thomas’ Tower of the outer ward. It has a passage 38 feet in length, with a portcullis (still existing) in a groove at the S. end, and a groove for another at its N. end. A heavy wooden gate, partly original, closes either end of the gateway, which is vaulted and groined in two bays. From it the road into the enceinte rises with a gradient of one in ten, to the foot of a flight of steps near the keep, hawing on its E. side the main guard-house, built on the line of the old inner palace wall, and the gate called Cold Harbour, and on the W. the retaining wall of the parade, .with another staircase leading thereto. Ascending these we return to the gatehouse (where is the entrance to its first-floor chamber), situated at the end of the small herb garden, which formerly occupied the corner of the parade, and which was the place .where Sir Walter Raleigh used to walk. The room over the gateway has the machinery for working the portcullis, and a well-staircase leads to the upper storey, the room of which has its S. side formed into a passage to carry the walk of the ramparts through the gatehouse. This is the room which tradition gives as the scene of the murder of the two princes by Richard III., the passage being the route by which the assassins approached their sleeping victims. It is also the apartment where Henry, eighth Earl of Northumberland was shot, or committed suicide, as already mentioned.This gatehouse is attributed to Edward III., but may have been built temp. Richard II., the whole work being probably between the Decorated and Perpendicular styles. (Clark.)
The lieutenant’s lodgings .were built by Henry VIII., against the S. curtain wall W. of the gatehouse, incorporating the Bell Tower and extending again some distance along the E. curtain, when the range is continued by other houses almost to the Beauchamp ‘Tower.
On the E. of the lodgings (whose name has of late been altered to that of the Queens House) are some more modern dwellings, erected on the site of the garden, which formerly gave its name to the Gatehouse Tower. The lieutenant’s quarters, which are now inhabited by the major of the Tower (representing the constable), contain a large apartment called the council chamber, wherein the examination of the conspirators in the Gunpowder Plot was held, and adjoining it is the room from which in 1716 the Earl of Nithsdale effected his escape, by his wife’s contriving, the evening before his intended execution.
In the sixteenth century there existed an underground passage communicating between this house and the basement of the White Tower, which was made use of in proceeding from the formal examination of prisoners to the further questioning of them under torture. This is shown in the Life of Father John Gerard, a Jesuit (by John Morris, 1881), who, being hunted down, like other Catholics at the close of Elizabeth’s reign, was confined, in 1597, in the Salt Tower, and brought next morning to be examined in this council chamber by the Lords Commissioners, who were the Queen’s Attorney General, Sir Edward Coke, Sir Francis Bacon, the lieutenant, Mr. Thomas Fleming, and William Waad, or Wade, secretary to the council (see “P. R. O. Domestic Eliz.,” vol. cclxii. n. 123).
Questions were put to the prisoner touching his connections with other Catholics, especially with Father H. Garnet, and on his refusal to give information, the order for his torture was produced and given him to read; but he persisted, although entreated not to oblige the Commission to use torture which they “are bound not to desist from, day after day, so long as life lasted.” Father Gerard was still obdurate, and then recounts: “We then proceeded to the place appointed for the torture. We went in a sort of solemn procession, the attendants preceding us with lighted candles, because the place was underground and very dark, especially about the entrance.” Then they arrived at the vaults of the White Tower. “It was a place of immense extent, and in it were ranged divers sorts of racks, and other instruments of torture. Some of these they displayed before me, and told me I should have to taste them every one; still refusing to satisfy them, they led me to a great upright beam or pillar of wood, which was one of the supports of this vast crypt.”
Here they hung him up, by placing an iron gauntlet on each hand, and attaching these to an iron rod fixed on the pillar above him, whereby, on removing the stool on which he stood, he was suspended by his wrists, and so being a big and very heavy man, suffered intense agony, the five Commissioners standing round for a time, and pressing him with questions. Here he was allowed to hang for about five hours, fainting eight or nine times from the pain. At about five o’clock P.M. Waad returned and tried again to obtain disclosures from hill, but failing, turned away in a rage saying, “Hang there, then, till you rot.” At five, however, when the bell sounded and the Commissioners left the tower, they took Gerard down, hardly able to stand, and led him back to his cell.
Next day he was summoned again to the lieutenant’s house, where Waad told him that he had come from the Queen and Master Secretary Cecil, who knew that Father Garnet had been meddling in political matters, and demanded to know where he was. Gerard again refused to declare, whereon Waad summoned a tall and commanding figure, whom he called the superintendent of torture, and said : ” I deliver this man into your hands ; you are to rack him twice to-day, and twice daily until such time as he chooses to confess:’ Thereupon they descended again with the same solemnity to the torture chamber, where again Gerard was subjected to the gauntlets, in spite of his swollen wrists and hands, and though not racked, was again hung up until he fainted, when he was with difficulty revived. Then the lieutenant pressed him to declare all he knew, which he refused to do, saying he would not while breath remained in him ; whereon he was hung up again for the third time, for an hour, when the lieutenant, seeing nothing was gained, in compassion ordered him to be taken down.
It was three weeks before Father Gerard recovered the use of his hands at all, and more than five months before the sense of touch returned to them. Some more of his story, including his escape, will be found in the account of the Salt Tower.
This long episode regarding the Jesuit Father Gerard may be excused in consideration of the proof it furnishes, in sufficient detail, by the mouth of a victim, of those iniquitous practices which, under the mask of law, were perpetrated at that epoch, and which, with other deadly work, gained for the Tower of London such terrible associations and so hideous a reputation.
The BELL TOWER, which forms the S.W. angle of the inner ward, is 150 feet from the gatehouse, and is enclosed in the Tudor dwellings last mentioned. It was so called from the alarm bell which once hung in a wooden turret on its summit, and now lies in the upper storey. The Articles of 1607 declare that : ” When the Tower bell dooth ring at nights for the shutting in of the gates, all the prisoners, with their servants, are to withdrawe themselves into their chambers, and not to goe forth for that night.” At its base the tower is octangular, the upper 20 feet being cylindrical ; it is 60 feet in height, and is built solid for 10 feet above the ground level, where lies the floor of the basement, a curiously vaulted chamber with five bold stone ribs rising to a boss in the apex of carved stone, and having four deep recesses with loopholes. The upper room, which is reached by the usual spiral stair, is partly circular, with four recesses having windows which once were loops, and there is a long passage ending in a garderobe contrived in the wall. The tower probably dates from the end of the twelfth century. The top has a brick parapet of later date, and from below this there was a door on the S. leading to a gatehouse, once crossing the S. outer ward at this point, and another giving to the ramparts along the E. curtain wall to the Beauchamp Tower. In the lowest of these rooms was confined John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, once tutor to Henry VIII., an old man of seventy-eight, for opposing Henry’s will to disinherit his eldest daughter, Mary. After suffering great misery and discomfort he was beheaded (June 1535), being scarcely able to crawl from his cell. Sir Thomas More, Lord Chancellor, and perhaps the first Englishman of his day, was immured at the same time and for the same reasons in the upper room of this tower; he was beheaded a few days after the bishop. It is said that Queen Mary confined her sister Elizabeth in this tower, and the rampart path thence to the Beauchamp is still called “Queen Elizabeth’s Walk ;” but as Mary was then living at Whitehall, it is more likely that her sister was an occupant of the palace in the tower. In one of the dwelling-rooms close to this tower there was discovered in 1830 an inscription stating that on June 21, 1565, the Countess of Lennox was “comettede prysoner to thys lodgynge for the marreage of her sonne, my Lord Henry Darnle and the Quene of Scotland.”
The length of curtain from the Bell to Beauchamp Tower is 138 feet ; it is 10 feet thick and is very perfect, and has the rampart on top, while, below, the wall is built on deep piers and arches with loopholes in the recesses. Inside, beyond the lieutenant’s lodging, the houses of the yeoman, gaoler, and other officials are clustered upon this old wall, which dates from Edward IV. or Richard III. The BEAUCHAMP is probably of the reign of Edward III., and is supposed to derive its name from the fact that Thomas, Earl of Warwick, was imprisoned in it in 1397. It has also been called the Cobham Tower, from Lord Cobham and his sons having been confined and kept here by Mary after the insurrection of Sir Thomas Wyatt (sec COULING, KENT). It seems to have been used more than any other quarter as the most convenient lodging for State prisoners, regarding whom a strong interest attaches from the inscriptions which are left upon its walls.
This tower had been much disfigured by additions, both inside and out, but was well restored in 1854, though the propriety of adding to Beauchamp inscriptions, many of which were removed from other towers, is questionable. It is 36 feet in diameter, in three storeys, the middle one being open to the public view, .while the basement and the upper room are warders’ quarters. The rampart allure is carried through the tower. .all its floors are of timber, and there is a circular staircase to the top.
From this to the DEVEREUX TOWER is a length of 48 feet ; this bastion stands at the N.W. angle of the fortress, and had an old name of the Develin, or Robyn the Devyll’s Tower, until after the confinement in it of Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, the favourite of Elizabeth, in 1601. It is almost circular, and contains two storeys and a well staircase. The basement is vaulted and groined, and is 19 feet in diameter, with walls 11 feet thick ; between it and the first floor is an entrance to a small cell, 6 feet by 3, in the wall, .while higher up is the opening of a secret passage in the wall to the next tower. The walls of this bastion may be Norman, the superstructure is modern. (Clark.)
The next tower on this N. face of the inner ward is the FLINT, at a distance of 90 feet ; it was much decayed, and was taken down, at the beginning of the present century, nearly to the ground and rebuilt in brick, but has again been built partly in stone. On both sides of it the old curtain remains, though casemated in recent times, and with a modern parapet. From its narrow dungeons it was called “Little Hell.”
From thence to the BOWYER TOWER, which caps the salient, is 90 feet ; this is half-round in plan, and 45 feet in diameter, and projects 45 feet. It was formerly the lodging of the master provider of the King’s Bows, and so derived the name. Its vaulted basement alone is original, with windows in substitution for loops, and dates probably from Edward III. In this gloomy chamber it is said that the murder of George, Duke of Clarence, in the Malmsey butt, took place. There are in it two recesses, and by the side of the door is the entrance to a cell in the wall or a secret passage to the next tower. The great fire of 1841 originated in an upper chamber of this tower, used as an armourer’s shop.
In 1858 nothing remained of this building but the basement ; therefore the upper part is wholly new, as well as the casing.
Thence 62 feet of curtain brings us to the BRICK TOWER, called in 1552 the Burbridge. It is shown in the survey of 1597 as half-round, with a circular turret on its E. flank, containing a well-stair. It has recently been rebuilt from the foundations, and is now in horseshoe form, projecting 36 feet from the walls.
The MARTIN TOWER, at a distance of 65 feet from the last, forms the N.E. bastion at the junction of the N. and E. faces. It was once called the Brick Tower, and until recently was the residence of the keeper of the jewels. It is of irregular circular shape, 40 feet in diameter, and has a solid base for 14 feet.
Until about the year 1867, when the Wakefield was fitted up for their reception, the Regalia were kept in this tower; and here it was, in 1673, that the attempt was made by Thomas Blood, which so nearly succeeded, to steal the crown and sceptre.
In Tudor days, the Martin was used as a prison, and as the name of Anne Boleyn is carved on a wall, it is probable that her brother, or some other gentleman, who suffered on her account, was immured here. This tower is said to be haunted by the Earl of Northumberland, probably Earl Henry, “the Wizard,” who was concerned in the Gunpowder Plot.
At 102 feet further is the CONSTABLE, a tower very similar in plan to the Beauchamp, and also used as a prison. It has recently been rebuilt from the foundations in a half-round form, 32 feet in diameter.
The next is the BROAD ARROW, at a length again of 102 feet. As there are inscriptions on its walls, this tower, like the rest, was “a prison lodging.”
It seems to be of early date, and has been rebuilt now in two storeys as before, the path of the rampart traversing the upper room. This is “the tower at the E. end of the Wardrobe,” mentioned in 1532, as it adjoined the Wardrobe. A spiral stair ascends to the first floor, which is a dismal chamber, hawing three recesses, and by the side of the door leading to the ramparts is a small cell in the wall with a loop. ‘There are numerous inscriptions by State prisoners of the sixteenth century.
‘The origin of the name of the SALT TOWER, .which is placed 156 feet from the Broad Arrow, is not known ; in the survey of 1532 it is called Julius Caesar’s Tower, and is undoubtedly of great antiquity. It forms the S.E. angle of the inner ward, and is a circular building 30 feet in diameter and 62 feet high, in three stages. The basement is a pentagon, vaulted and ribbed, forming five deep recesses with a loophole in each ; a well-staircase rises from this to the leads, giving access to the two rooms above, and to the ramparts a little above the first floor chamber, which is a large room, having five recesses now fitted .with windows. There is on its E. side a good Decorated chimney with hood. This tower was the meeting-place of four walls, the E. curtain of the ward being continued S., across the outer ward to the Well Tower, while its S. curtain also crossed from the Salt to the outer wall, each of these crossings having gateways. Until of late years this tower was hidden behind the ordnance storehouses and among ignoble sheds, all of which have now been removed, while the old tower has been well restored. It was constantly used as a prison lodging, and in the walls of the rooms are many curious inscriptions.
The Jesuit Father Gerard, whose experiences of the torture chamber arc given in connection with the Lieutenant’s lodging, was confined in the upper room of the Salt, and from it he escaped, in 1597, m the following way. A Catholic gentleman named John Arden was confined at that time in the Cradle Tower of the outer ward, which was visible from the Salt across a small garden belonging to the palace which filled the triangular space between the Salt and Lanthorn. After long residence, Gerard prevailed on his warder to let him visit this friend in the Cradle, and having found a means of corresponding with friends outside, by writing in orange juice, he obtained from them a fine line with a leaden weight at its end. It was then arranged that on a certain night a boat with two men in it should be lying in the river, at a certain hour,, opposite the Cradle, and under the wharf wall .which bordered the outside of the moat, at which time Gerard managed to linger with Arden in his room. At the pre-arranged hour, they slung the weight over the moat and wall on to the wharf, where a strong rope being attached to their line they hauled it over to the Cradle roof and made it fast. Then Arden first descended, or rather swarmed, along the rope, which was nearly level, the Cradle being a low tower, and, after him came Father Gerard, who nearly failed from the difficulty in crossing the wharf wall. However, they succeeded, and were received into the boat and taken to a place of safety, whence they escaped from the country.
The whole of the royal palace, .which extended from the Wakefield to the Salt, having been destroyed by Cromwell, this space was in after times used for the erection of enormous and frightful storehouses, to build which the LANTHORN, standing between Wakefield and Salt, was demolished ; it has only of late years been rebuilt, upon its old foundations and its cellar, when the stores were removed. The curtain wall westward between these two towers seems to have been removed centuries ago when the Queen’s Gallery was built along the same line. This gallery contained the private apartments of the Queens, and was certainly inhabited by Anne Boleyn, both after her coronation, and during her imprisonment in the Tower, till her execution. King Henry’s rooms were in the Lanthorn Tower, at the end of the gallery, and from this tower, which has quite recently been rebuilt, extended the curtain wall, and the great hall at its rear, up to the Wakefield. The curtain wall here has likewise been restored of late, on the ancient design of piers and arches. The Lanthorn was a large round tower, and, it is said, originally had a small turret for the exhibition of a light. It was burnt in 1788 and was afterwards removed. From it a short wall with a gateway crossed the outer ward to a tower on the outer wall, which has now quite vanished. The distance from Salt to Wakefield is 343 feet.
No plan exists to show the buildings of the palace accurately, but they were enclosed on the W. by the wall running up to the Cold Harbour gatehouse, at the keep, now lost, and on the E. by a range of buildings extending from the Lanthorn, northward, to the WARDROBE TOWER, which stood close to the S.E. corner of the keep, and of which a small portion still stands.
The outer ward, or ballium, which encloses the inner ward, is contained by the curtain springing from the N. flank of the Byward Tower, already mentioned, and which forms the escarp of the ditch in a straight unbroken line as far as the N.W. outer point of the fortress, where the angle with its N. face is filled by a bastion called Legge’s Mount, whose front forms a segment of a circle of 40 feet radius, while on the extreme N.E. angle of the work is another round-headed bastion of similar form, but larger, named the Brass Mount. The lower part of these two low towers is of the same age as the walls, but their upper masonry has been built in modern times, and they are both casemated. Almost midway between these two works is the salient of the fortress, the north bastion, a completely new fortification, of circular trace, with three tiers of casemates flanking the curtains and the ditch on both sides. These are the only towers of the outer ward, excepting those on the S. face which protect the river front and the palace.
The towers upon this S. face are four in number, commencing with the DEVELIN at the S.E. angle of the fortress, a strong rectangular work, built entirely in the ditch and flanking the E. curtain wall ; temp. Richard II. this was called “Galighinanes Tower,” and it has generally been used as a powder magazine : its upper storey has lately been rebuilt. At this point there was, in 1597, an embattled dam across the moat, containing sluices to control the moat waters, and ending at the counterscarp in a small work called the Iron Gate (a name which still adheres to the place), and in 1641 the tower is called the Iron Gate Tower, being on the precincts of St. Katherine’s monastery. It was probably built by Henry III.
Forty feet to the W. of this tower is the WELL TOWER, a small and slightly projecting square building, of Early English architecture. It contains a vaulted chamber at almost the level of the moat, and on its E. side is a well-stair leading to an upper room at the level of the ramparts, to which a door gives access. The well stands due S. of the Salt, and was connected therewith by a gateway and a defensible wall, part of which still remains.
At a further distance of 118 feet stands the CRADLE TOWER, a square building of moderate size, projecting into the front moat. It formed the private gatehouse to the royal palace, in front of which it stood. A vaulted passage is carried through its centre, having a portcullis and a door at each end, and on either side of the passage is a vaulted lodge for the warders. The architecture is Decorated, and may be of late Henry III. or of Edward I. (Clark.)
In front of the tower was a cradle, or drawbridge, giving access across the moat to the quay, and the drawing of 1597 shows it to have been a water-gate, with a square turret on the W. side. The same view shows on the W. of the cradle a large tower with a gateway over the outer ward, connected with the Lanthorn ; of this, however, there are now no traces.
ST. THOMAS’ TOWER, known as the Traitors’ Gate, was the water-gate of the Tower of London, and was so built as to bestride the moat, 40 feet wide, affording, by means of a short canal, partly arched over, a communication from the Thames to the interior of the tower.
Under this rectangular building was a basin, 66 feet long by 40 feet, for a barge to turn and lie at the foot of a flight of steps from the water up to the level of the outer sward, only 10 yards distant from which was the gatehouse of the inner court. The tower stands very much as it was built by Henry III., though alterations have been made in the windows and other points, and the whole structure was carefully restored in 1866. The river face had a low arched portal defended by a portcullis and a pair of water-gates, opening inwards. Over the water-basin below, and supporting the inner face wall of the tower, is a curious large segmental arch of clever masonry, 61 feet in span, the voussoirs of .which form two ribs, those of the lower rib being joggled together with much ingenuity. It was, perhaps, the repeated failure of this fine arch, by a yielding of the abutments, which twice brought down the tower. The ends of the river. front terminate in two cylindrical turrets, while, on the land side, the ends of the tower are supported by two square turrets, all four of which rise above the battlements. A mural gallery in the thickness of the wall runs round each side of the building, controlling a range of loopholes on either flank.
The two circular turrets each contain four beautiful octagonal cells, the upper one on the S.E. having been an oratory, and containing a piscina. The N.E. square tower had on each floor a door communicating with a passage into the Wakefield, and the upper one has of late been thus connected by means of an arch across the outer ward, in order that the Jewel Chamber may be privately accessible to the keeper of the jewels, whose residence is now in St. Thomas’ Tower.
The distance hence to the Byward, or entrance gatehouse, is 160 feet.
The WHITE TOWER, or Keep, must be regarded as the central gem, of which the concentric buildings which we have been describing form the setting. It stands somewhat out of the centre of the inner ward, and is a rectangular building, in three storeys, 118 feet in length E. and W., and toy N. and S., rising to a height of 90 feet at the battlements. The corners are strengthened with bold pilasters on each face, as are the middle spaces of the curtains ; three of these corners are carried up in square turrets, while that at the N.E. forms a huge projecting circular turret, with a broad circular staircase from base to roof. From the S.E. corner, the E. wall has a large rounded projection, the whole height of the building, which affords the apse to the chapel of St. John. The walls are from 4 to 5 yards in thickness, and the fabric is divided into two unequal parts by a wall 10 feet thick, running N. and S., from foundations to roof, in the manner of other Norman keeps, the E. portion being again divided by a wall into two rooms on each floor. Originally, these floors were all of timber, supported by ranges of timber columns bearing heavy oak joisting, laid closely from wall to wall; but when Sir Christopher Wren modernised and destroyed the fine mediaeval architecture of the keep, heavy brick vaults were built over the lower basements. The sub-crypt beneath the great chapel has always had the name of Little Ease, and as we have seen from the Life of Father Gerard, a part of the basement storey was given up for the purposes of a torture chamber.
On the second stage, the rooms resemble those of the basement in plan, and were lighted by loops, now converted into windows, the chief space being appropriated as a store of spare arms. In the crypt of the chapel there is a recess, 10 feet by 8, contrived in the thickness of the side wall, which was used as a prison cell, and on either side of the entrance to it are inscriptions by prisoners. At the end of the apse is another cell, which tradition has assigned to Raleigh as one of his prisons.
The third stage, or second floor, has three chambers also, the large one on the W. side, measuring 95 feet long by 40 wide, being the great Banqueting Hall. At the S.E. is the superb chapel of St. John—one of the purest and most perfect specimens of Norman church architecture in the country—the apse of which is projected boldly beyond the E. wall of the keep. The chamber on the E. side, from .which entrance is given to the chapel, was in ancient times the seat of the Court of King’s Bench ; it measures 64 feet by 32. At this floor, in the N.W. and S.W. angles, commence the well-stairs to the roof, the latter one descending also to about 15 feet above ground level, and above leading to a mural passage which enters the S. aisle of the chapel, thus affording a private approach from the palace to the chapel and State rooms of the keep. It was below the foot of this stair that, in the time of Charles II. were found the bones of King Edward V. and his young brother, which were removed to Westminster Abbey. On this second floor were confined Bishop Flambard, Prince Griffin, and later—after Agincourt—the Duke of Orleans. Here, also, John Baliol, who lost his crown at the battle of Dunbar, was allowed, for six months, to keep up a regal state.
The fourth stage, or third floor, contained the State apartments, the room on the W., over the hall, being the council chamber, the E. wall of which had three openings into the lesser chamber on that side. The walls of the chapel rise through this floor to the roof, but contain at this level a mural passage running round the chapel with a triforium, wherein the Sovereign could attend the services in private. It was from this council chamber that, at Richard of Glo’ster’s bidding, Lord Hastings was dragged to sudden execution on the green.
The roof of the White Tower is almost flat, and was in Tudor times adapted as a platform for guns. The great round turret at the N.E. angle is said to have formed the prison of the beautiful maiden, Maud FitzWalter, the victim of King John, but it is doubtful if the fatal egg was given her here. In later times the turret was fitted up as an observatory, and was thus used by the astronomer Flamsteed, a contemporary of Newton.
The original entrance to the White Tower must have been by an outside staircase, probably with a drawbridge, to the second floor, whence the different rooms were approached by such a labyrinth of passages and stairs that access to them might be easily defended or stopped.
The CHAPEL of St. Peter ad Vincula on the Tower Green is the only ancient structure which remains to be noticed. A large amount of the gloomy interest attached to the Tower centres here, since within its walls lie the remains of so many illustrious personages executed in front of it, or upon Tower Hill, in obedience to the will of a succession of ruthless kings and queens of England, or of the temporary wielders of authority of State.
An original church or chapel, built perhaps by Henry I., and dedicated to the same saint, existed within the precincts of the Tower long before the present building was founded by Edward I., but the site of it is not certain. It had two chancels, one dedicated to the B.V.M, and one to St. Peter, and it is respecting the decoration and fitting of these that Henry III. gives the minute instructions recorded in the Liberate Roll of 1240. The present church is a very plain one, consisting of a nave and chancel and one side aisle, separated by a row of good stone columns with low pointed arches. It underwent from time to time considerable alterations, especially after a fire that occurred in the reign of Henry III.
Edward III. made the chapel into a sort of collegiate church, appointing three chaplains to its service, and it was free from all episcopal jurisdiction until temp. Edward VI., when it was included in the diocese of London. There is now a chaplain with lodgings and £115 a year, and daily service, to which the public are admitted, is held for the garrison.
The interest attaching to this church is mainly due to its being the depository of the mouldering remains of many very great historical personages, whose headless trunks were laid here in peace after their sufferings. Beginning only from Henry VIII.’s reign : hither were brought the mangled bodies of old Bishop Fisher, and of the great and witty Chancellor, Sir Thomas More ; of the unfortunate Catherine Howard, and of the other fair queen, Anne Boleyn, hustled into an arrow chest, and of her brother, Lord Rochford ; of Margaret, Countess of Salisbury, the last of the royal line of Plantagenet ; of Cromwell, the tool of the tyrant ; of the Protector Somerset and his brother, the Lord High Admiral ; of the Duke of Norfolk and his son ; of the two Essexes ; and of the handsome son of Charles, James, Duke of Monmouth ; and, only one hundred and fifty years ago, of the three Jacobite lords, Balmerino, Kilmarnock, and the aged Lovat ” In truth,” writes Macaulay, ” there is no sadder spot on the earth than that little cemetery. Death is there associated …. with whatever is darkest in human nature and in human destiny, with the savage triumph of implacable enemies, with the inconstancy, the ingratitude, the cowardice of friends, with all the miseries of fallen greatness and of blighted fame.”
Until comparatively late years the ground E. of this church, between the White Tower and the barrack, was used as a graveyard common to all the inmates of the Tower. (Castles Of England, Sir James D. Mackenzie, 1896)