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Religious Processions.


Procession at the Reception and Enthronization of Dr. George Morley, Bishop of Worcester.

1661.] "At Red-hill (about a mile from the city) the right honourable and right valiant Lord Windsor (Lord Lieutenant for his Majesty of that county) expected the Lord Bishop's coming, and with him those worthy and loyal gentlemen, Sir John Winford, the High Sheriff, Sir Henry Littleton, Sir John Talbot, Sir Rowland Berkley, the rest of the deputy Lieutenants, with their troops, and a numerous company of gentlemen. After mutual salutations and some vollies of shot (the trumpets sounding) the Lord Lieutenant gave command to march in this order. First the Clergy, by two and two; next all the Prebends of Worcester; after them the Chancellor and Archdeacon; next to whom the trumpeters, in rich liveries, sounding; then my Lord Windsor, and my Lord Bishop on his right hand (my Lord Windsor refusing to march unless the Bishop would be pleased to take that hand); after them all the troops and gentlemen......After half-an-hour's stay [in the Bishop's palace], the Bishop having put on his rochet, his Lordship (my Lord Windsor, all the commanders and gentlemen, with a very numerous company of people attending) went to the Cathedral in this order, all the Prebendaries of the church in their formalities advanced before the Bishop to the church-stile, from which to the door of the church were placed all the petty canons, singing men, choristers, and the whole quire in their surplices, who at my Lord Bishop's approach advanced orderly towards the church, singing TE DEUM and such other hymns as the piety of our forefathers thought congruous for such solemnities."-Bishop Kennet's Chronicle, &c., vol. 1. pp. 535, 536, folio, 1728.


The Grand Procession at Windsor, &c., on the Festivals of

S. George.

Temp. Eliz. &c.] "The Grand Procession hath always been celebrated in the morning of the Feast-day of S. George, or upon such other day as the Sovereign hath appointed to hold the same by proro

gation; but as to the instant of time when it began, we find it divers and uncertain; but those variations make no very great difference, having been ordered and appointed with considerations had to conveniency, and at such a part of the church service as was conceived most proper, and generally after the end of the last collect appointed for the morning in our Book of Common Prayer, immediately before the Litany. Nevertheless, an. 6 Eliz., the feast being then held at Windsor, we find it began presently after the TE DEUM was sung, and, an. 20 of the said Queen's reign (at Greenwich), after the reading of the 2nd lesson. Again, an 22, Jac. R., it is said to begin when the second morning service was celebrating and almost half done. And to come nearer to our times, the grand procession set forward, an. 8, Car. I., when the first service was finished, and an. 17 Car. I. after the sermon. But at the grand feast solemnized at Windsor in the 13th year of the present Sovereign [Charles II.] and since, it took beginning at the most usual and accustomed time, viz. when the Prelate (then officiating at the altar) came to that part of the Common Prayer where the Litany was next to begin: who, there making a pause, was conducted from the altar by the sergeant of the vestry down to his seat.

We come next to the second consideration, which is the compass of the proceeding, or the processional way: and that we observe not to have been always the one and the same at Windsor; for sometimes we find it confined within the walls of S. George's chapel, but at other times enlarged through the lower court of the castle......A few memorials in both cases are left unto us, though none of very ancient date; as an. 15, Jac. R. The Sovereign and whole assembly of the knights'-companions going out at the west door (of the chancel) in remarkable pomp and order, proceeded about the bounds of the churchyard; that is, from the choir through the middle aisle (or nave of the chapel) out at the west door, down to the castlegate, so through the passage into the cloister, and by the chapterhouse door again into the choir. To which purpose doth the Red Book briefly describe the passage of the grand procession, an. 4, Car. 1., and yet more particularly the grand procession (celebrated at Windsor in the 15th year of the present Sovereign's reign) passed down the middle aisle of the chapel, through the west door, and so along the lower ward of the castle, near unto the castle-gate; from whence ascending towards the alms-knights' old lodgings, unto and

through the passage between the east end of the chapel and the tomb-house, into the cloister, it entered into the chapel by the door near the chapter-house, and from thence proceeding down the north aisle unto the west door, and up through the aforesaid middle aisle, it re-entered the choir...... The way through which the grand procession passeth (wheresoever celebrated) is fenced in by the yeomen of the guard and the knights'-companions' attendants and servants, who standing on both sides make a spacious lane for it to pass through, and keep off the crowd from pressing upon it.

The third consideration relating to the grand procession is the order and manner thereof............ The whole order is as followeth :

The morning service having proceeded to the end of the second lesson, and the prelate conducted by the sergeant of the vestry from the altar to his seat with usual reverences, [first towards the altar, and then towards the Sovereign's stall];

The alms-knights rise from their seats and pass to the middle of the choir, and after their accustomed reverences, go up to the sides of the altar.

Next, in like manner, do the officers-of-arms pass up.

Hereupon Garter riseth from his seat and makes his reverences, then waving his rod, summons the junior knights'-companions to descend.

Whilst they and the rest of the knights are leaving their stalls, with usual reverences, the gentlemen of the chapel, petty canons, and vicars of Windsor, put on copes, and make themselves ready to proceed.

Then the knights'-companions being all come down, and having made their accustomed reverences, stand each under his proper stall. Then the Black-rod, Garter, and Registrar rise, and, after reverences made, stand before their forms.

So do the Chancellor and Prelate.

This done, the alms-knights come down from the altar, and passing into the middle of the choir, make again their double reverences, and proceed out of the choir.

After them all the choristers pass in a body to the middle of the choir, and having made their double reverences, (so do all that follow,) proceed forth two and two.

So do the vicars of Windsor.

Next four of the petty canons come from their seats into the middle of the choir, and there begin to sing the hymn.

Then followeth the sergeant of the vestry, bearing his gilt rod. After whom, the gentlemen of the chapel at Whitehall.

Next, the verger of Windsor chapel, bearing his silver rod.

Then the prebends of Windsor.

After whom, the officers-of-arms come down from the altar and pass on.

Then the knights'-companions, the juniors first.
Then the Black-rod, Garter, and Registrar.

The Chancellor and Prelate.

The nobleman that bears the sword of state.

Then the Sovereign above in his stall makes a reverence towards the altar, and being descended, another below; then passes out and enters under the canopy which waits him at the choir door, having his train carried up; the Lord Chamberlain of the household, if he be not a knight of the order, attending somewhat behind the side of the canopy, on the sovereign's right hand, and the Vice-Chamberlain at the like distance on the left, for so they waited in the grand procession, an. 23, Car. II.

And lastly, the band of pensioners, who attend in guard on each side the sovereign and knights'-companions, with their captain in the head of them.

In this order (at this day) they proceed with great devotion, the whole choir singing the office appointed, which heretofore was the Litany, but that supplicational procession is now converted into a hymn of thanksgiving, composed by the Reverend Doctor Brune Ryves, the present Dean of Windsor, and Registrar of the Garter, at the command of the sovereign and knights'-companions in chapter, held the 17th of April, an. 13, Car. II. . . . The grand procession, when it hath been celebrated at Whitehall (or elsewhere beside Windsor), is, for the most and principal part, ordered after the aforesaid manner, as may be seen by the following scheme.

Sergeant of the vestry, with his gilt rod.

Choristers in surplices.

Gentlemen of the chapel in copes.

Sub-Dean in a cope.

Dean of the chapel in a cope.



Officers of the Order.

The Sword.

Sovereign under a canopy with his train carried up.
The pensioners as before.


Whilst the knights'-companions are descending from their stalls, the gentlemen of the chapel go into the vestry to put on their copes, but the dean of the chapel hath his brought into the choir, which he puts on below under his seat.... The state and pomp of this grand procession appears both solemn and magnificent to the eyes of the beholders, since the glory thereof is much augmented by the splendour of the sovereign's apparel, canopy, and train; the lustre in which the knights'-companions shine, the various habits of the rest of the proceeding, the rich apparel of the retinue attending thereon, and lastly the solemnity of the vocal musick... To complete the pomp of this great ceremony, we may (in the last place) fitly remember the musick as a part thereof; it being particularly taken notice of in most places of the register where the grand procession is recorded. The choirs both of the sovereign's chapel at Whitehall and this at Windsor being here (as before is noted) united, all singing the sacred hymn together, while the grand procession devoutly passeth on.

This hymn was composed and set with verse and chorus by Captain Cook, master of the children of the sovereign's chapel, by whose direction some instrumental loud musick was at that time introduced, namely, two double sackbuts and two double courtals, and placed at convenient distance among the classes of the gentlemen of both choirs to the end, that all might distinctly hear, and consequently keep together in both time and tune. For one sackbut and courtal was placed before the four petty canons who begun the hymn, and the other two immediately before the prebends of the college.

And now behold the sculp of the grand procession, as it was ordered upon this solemn occasion, an. 23, Car. II., designed and etched by Mr. Wineslaus Hollar, in which the postures and habits are expressed with singular spirit and freedom.*

Upon the return of the grand procession to the choir door, the

*See ante, p. 157, note, EDD.

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