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too, it was, in 1401, that William Sautre, the parish priest of St. Osithes, in London, and conspicuous as the first English martyr, underwent the imposing ceremony of being stripped of his priestly vestments, and of being degraded from his priestly office, preparatory to his being led forth to a death of agony in the flames.
With the tale of the illustrious Wickliffe, the father of the Reformation in England, St. Paul's is also intimately associated. Here it was, on the 19th of February 1377, that this extraordinary man presented himself before the solemn conclave which had been convoked by the Church of Rome, who were prepared to crush him with all the weight of their formidable authority. Instead, however, of presenting the humbled look of a criminal or a suppliant, he appeared before the haughty synod, supported by the great John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, on one side, and by Lord Percy, the Earl Marshal, on the other. These powerful lords were each accompanied by a formidable train composed of their armed retainers. "With whatever intent," says Southey, "these powerful barons accompanied him, their conduct was such as discredited the cause. Before the proceedings could begin, they engaged in an angry altercation with Bishop Courtenay, who appears to have preserved both his temper and his dignity, when Lancaster had lost all sense of both. Here, however, the feeling of the people was against Wickliffe, probably because he was supported by an unpopular govern
ment; and when the citizens who were present heard Lancaster mutter a threat of dragging their bishop out of the church by the hair of his head, they took fire; a tumult ensued; the synod was broken up, and the barons were glad to effect their escape as they could. In consequence of this disturbance an imprudent bill was brought forward the same day in Parliament, by Lord Percy, that London should be governed by a captain, as in former times, instead of a mayor, and that the sole power of making arrests within the city, should be vested in the Earl Marshal. The member for the City, John Philpot, manfully opposed this attempt upon the liberties of London. A riot ensued the next day: Lancaster and the Earl Marshal escaped up the river to Kingston; and the mob, to show their detestation of the Duke, hung his escutcheon upon gibbets in the open places of the City, as if he had been a convicted traitor. By the interference of the Court and of the Bishops, who, notwithstanding the occasion of these troubles, supported the cause of government, as that of order, with the whole strength of their authority, the Duke and the City were reconciled; one of the conditions being that, in atonement probably for the death of a priest in his service whom they had murdered in their fury, the citizens should maintain a great wax taper marked with the Duke's arms, to burn continually before the image of Our Lady in St. Paul's."
After the mysterious death of the ill-fated
Richard the Second, in Pomfret Castle, his body was conveyed to St. Paul's Cathedral on a bier drawn by four black horses, and followed by four knights habited in black. Here it was exposed to public view for three days, during which period, says Froissart, "There came in and out twenty thousand persons, men and women, to see him where he lay; his head upon a black cushion, and his visage open. Some had pity on him, and some had none, but said he had long ago deserved death." From St. Paul's, the royal corpse was conveyed to Langley, "and there this Kyng Richard was buryed;-God have mercy on his soule!" According to Stow, among those who were present at the performance of the funeral obsequies over King Richard's body, in St. Paul's, was his rival and successor, Henry the Fourth.
In 1470, when the revolution effected by the great"King-maker," Earl of Warwick, drove Edward the Fourth into temporary exile, we find Henry the Sixth waited upon in his dungeon in the Tower, by the Duke of Clarence, the Earls of Warwick and Shrewsbury, and other noblemen, who conducted him with great formality to the royal apartments in that palatial fortress. Thence, clad in a long robe of blue velvet, and with the crown on his head, he rode through the streets in solemn state to St. Paul's, where, amidst the hollow shouts of the capricious multitude, he solemnly returned thanks for his unexpected deliverance. From this period till he was led back a
prisoner to the Tower, the following year, Henry appears to have principally held his court in the Bishop of London's Palace, at St. Paul's. The sequel of his melancholy history is well known. On the very morning after the triumphal entry of Edward the Fourth into London, the unfortunate Henry was found dead in the Tower. From hence his body was conveyed by torch-light to St. Paul's, where it lay for some days on a bier, exposed to the view of the multitude. There was a rumour, which obtained general credit at the time, that blood flowed from it on this occasion. From St. Paul's, the royal corpse was conveyed by torchlight to the river side, where it was placed on board a barge, and from thence conveyed to Chertsey.*
* In Rymer's "Fœdera" will be found the following interesting particulars relating to the funeral of Henry the Sixth:—
"To Hugh Brice, in money to him delivered for such monies by him paid for clergy, linen cloth, spices, and other ordinary expenses, by him laid out and disbursed about the burial of the said Henry of Windsor, who died within the Tower of London; and for wages and rewards of divers men carrying torches, from the Tower aforesaid to the cathedral church of St. Paul, and thence to Chertsey with the body, xvl. iiis. vid. ob.
"To Master Richard Martyn, in money to him delivered, namely, at one time, ixl. xs. xjd. for so much money by him paid for twenty-eight ells of linen cloth of Holland, and expenses, as well within the Tower aforesaid at the last departure of the said Henry, as at Chertsey on the day of his burial, and for reward given to divers soldiers of Calais watching round the body, and for hire of barges with the masters and sailors rowing by the water of Thames to Chertsey aforesaid; and at another time, viiil. xiis. iiid. for so much money by him paid to the four orders of brethren within the City of London, and to the brethren of the Holy Cross there, and in other works of charity, namely, to
From the reign of Queen Elizabeth to that of Charles the First, the body or middle aisle of St. Paul's Cathedral, was the common and fashionable resort of the gay and the idle; of the politician, the adventurer, the news-monger, and the man of fashion. The hours at which it was principally resorted to were between eleven and twelve in the morning, and three and six in the afternoon. Those who frequented it were called Paul's Walkers, and occasionally Paul's Men, in the same way that Bond Street Loungers formerly derived their appellation in our own time. For instance, among the dramatis persona, in Jonson's "Every Man in his Humour," we find "Captain Bobadil a Paul's Man." Dekker has left us a very graphic and amusing account of the strange medley of persons who were daily to be seen assembled in Paul's Walk. "At one time, in one and the same rank, yea, foot by foot, and elbow by elbow, shall you see walking the knight, the gull, the gallant, the upstart, the gentleman, the clown, the captain, the appel-squire, the lawyer, the usurer, the citizen, the rankrout, the scholar, the beggar, the doctor, the idiot, the ruffian, the cheater, the puritan, the cut-throat, the high-man, the low-man, the true-man, and the thief; of all trades and professions some; of all countries some. Thus, whilst Devotion kneels at the Friars Carmelites xxs., to the Augustine Friars xxs., to the Friars Minors xxs., to the Friars Preachers, for obsequies and masses to be celebrated, xls., and to the said Friars of the Holy Cross xs., and for obsequies and masses to be said at Chertsey aforesaid, on the day of the burial of the said Henry, liis. iijd.”