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Title: Kensington Palace, the birthplace of the Queen - being an historical guide to the state rooms, pictures and gardens
Author: Law, Ernest
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  [The words between equals signs (=) appear in Old English type in the
original. A few typographical errors have been made; a list follows the
                  etext. (note of etext transcriber.)]



           =Kensington Palace: the Birthplace of the Queen.=

                             =Illustrated.=

[Illustration: THIS MINIATURE REPRESENTS THE QUEEN AT THE AGE OF EIGHT]

                           1819 MAY 24TH 1899

    [Illustration: H.R.H. THE PRINCESS VICTORIA AT THE AGE OF FOUR.

                     (From a Painting by Denning.)]



                          =Kensington Palace=

                      THE BIRTHPLACE OF THE QUEEN

                             _ILLUSTRATED_

                                BEING AN
                            HISTORICAL GUIDE
               TO THE STATE ROOMS, PICTURES, AND GARDENS

                                   BY

                           =Ernest Law, B.A.=
                            BARRISTER-AT-LAW
      _Author of "The History of Hampton Court Palace;" "The Royal
             Gallery of Hampton Court;" "Vandyck's Pictures
                       at Windsor Castle," etc._

                        [Illustration: colophon]

    _Notice._--This Catalogue and Guide are copyright, and immediate
 proceedings in Chancery will be taken against any infringers thereof.

                                 LONDON
                          GEORGE BELL AND SONS
                                  1899

[Illustration: Decoration]


=Notice to Visitors.=

The State Rooms of Kensington Palace, and likewise Queen Anne's
Orangery, will be open to the public every day in the week throughout
the year, except Wednesdays, unless notice be, at any time, given to the
contrary.

The hours of opening will be 10 o'clock in the morning on week days, and
2 o'clock in the afternoon on Sundays.

The hours of closing will be 6 o'clock in the evening from the 1st of
April to the 30th of September, both days inclusive, and 4 o'clock
during the winter months.

They will be closed on Christmas Day and Good Friday.

[Illustration: Decoration]

[Illustration: KENSINGTON PALACE AND GARDENS IN THE REIGN OF QUEEN
ANNE.]

[Illustration: Decoration]



=Contents.=


                                                                    PAGE
  FRONTISPIECE. H.R.H. THE PRINCESS VICTORIA AT
      THE AGE OF FOUR                                                  4
  NOTICE TO VISITORS                                                   6
  _Plate_--KENSINGTON PALACE AND GARDENS IN THE
        REIGN OF QUEEN ANNE                                            8
  PREFACE                                                             14


  =Historical Sketch.=

  EARLY HISTORY OF KENSINGTON                                         17
  BUILDING OF THE PALACE                                              18
  DEATHS OF QUEEN MARY AND KING WILLIAM                               19
  QUEEN ANNE AT KENSINGTON PALACE                                     20
  DEATH OF PRINCE GEORGE OF DENMARK                                   22
  DEATH OF QUEEN ANNE                                                 22
  GEORGE I. AT KENSINGTON PALACE                                      23
  GEORGE II. AT KENSINGTON PALACE                                     24
  KENSINGTON IN GEORGE III.'S REIGN                                   25
  BIRTH OF QUEEN VICTORIA                                             26
      _Plate_--THE DUCHESS OF KENT WITH PRINCESS VICTORIA (AGED
        TWO YEARS)                                                    27
  QUEEN VICTORIA'S EARLY YEARS AT KENSINGTON                          29
  THE QUEEN'S CHILDHOOD AT KENSINGTON PALACE                          30
      _Plate_--THE PRINCESS VICTORIA IN 1825                          31
  PRINCESS VICTORIA BECOMES HEIRESS TO THE THRONE                     34
  QUEEN VICTORIA'S ACCESSION                                          36
  QUEEN VICTORIA'S FIRST COUNCIL                                      37
  KENSINGTON PALACE IN RECENT YEARS                                   40
  RESTORATION OF THE STATE ROOMS                                      41
  METHODS OF RESTORATION                                              42
  ARRANGEMENT OF THE PICTURES                                         44
  ASSOCIATIONS WITH QUEEN VICTORIA                                    45


  =Descriptive and Historical Guide.=

  OLD KENSINGTON PALACE GARDENS                                       47
  QUEEN ANNE'S GARDENS                                                49
  QUEEN ANNE'S ORANGERY                                               51
      TERRACE OF QUEEN ANNE'S ORANGERY                                53
      EXTERIOR OF QUEEN ANNE'S ORANGERY                               54
      INTERIOR OF QUEEN ANNE'S ORANGERY                               55
      THE ALCOVES OF QUEEN ANNE'S ORANGERY                            56
      RESTORATION OF QUEEN ANNE'S ORANGERY                            56
  KENSINGTON GARDENS                                                  58
      QUEEN CAROLINE'S IMPROVEMENTS IN KENSINGTON GARDENS             58
      KENSINGTON GARDENS IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY                    59
      _Plate_--SOUTH FRONT OF KENSINGTON PALACE IN 1819--AFTER
        WESTALL                                                       61
  SOUTH FRONT OF THE PALACE                                           63
      WREN'S DOMESTIC STYLE                                           63
  EAST FRONT OF THE PALACE                                            64
      _Plate_--PLAN OF THE STATE ROOMS                                66
  PUBLIC ENTRANCE TO THE PALACE                                       67
  QUEEN'S STAIRCASE                                                   68
      OLD OAK WAINSCOTING OF THE STAIRCASE                            69
      WINDOW SASHES OF THE STAIRCASE                                  69
  QUEEN MARY'S GALLERY                                                70
      WAINSCOTING AND CARVINGS OF QUEEN MARY'S GALLERY                71
      PICTURES IN QUEEN MARY'S GALLERY. PORTRAITS OF THE TIME
        OF WILLIAM AND MARY TO GEORGE II                              73
  QUEEN'S CLOSET                                                      77
      PICTURES OF "OLD LONDON"                                        77
  QUEEN ANNE'S PRIVATE DINING ROOM                                    80
      PICTURES IN QUEEN ANNE'S PRIVATE DINING ROOM                    81
  QUEEN MARY'S PRIVY CHAMBER                                          83
      PICTURES IN QUEEN MARY'S PRIVY CHAMBER                          83
  QUEEN CAROLINE'S DRAWING ROOM                                       87
      PAINTED CEILING OF THE QUEEN'S DRAWING ROOM                     88
      CONTEMPORARY FRENCH AND GERMAN PORTRAITS                        88
  THE CUPOLA OR CUBE ROOM                                             93
      THE PAINTED CEILING OF THE CUBE ROOM                            94
      _Plate_--THE CUPOLA OR CUBE ROOM AS IT WAS WHEN THE QUEEN
        WAS BAPTIZED IN IT                                            95
      PAINTED WALLS OF THE CUBE ROOM                                  96
      GENERAL APPEARANCE OF THE CUPOLA ROOM                           98
  KING'S DRAWING ROOM                                                 99
      PAINTED CEILING OF THE KING'S DRAWING ROOM                      99
      WILLIAM KENT, THE ROYAL AND FASHIONABLE DECORATOR              100
      _Plate_--KING'S DRAWING ROOM                                   101
      KENT THE FATHER OF MODERN GARDENING                            103
      WEST'S PICTURES IN THE KING'S DRAWING ROOM                     104
  KING'S PRIVY CHAMBER                                               108
      PORTRAITS OF GEORGE III.'S TIME                                108
  THE NURSERY                                                        113
      Pictures and Prints illustrative of the Queen's Life and
        Reign                                                        113
  ANTE-ROOM                                                          114
      PRINTS ILLUSTRATIVE OF THE LIFE AND REIGN OF THE QUEEN         114
  QUEEN VICTORIA'S BEDROOM                                           115
      PRINTS OF THE LIFE AND REIGN OF THE QUEEN                      116
      MEMENTOES AND RELICS OF THE QUEEN'S CHILDHOOD COLLECTED
        IN "QUEEN VICTORIA'S BEDROOM"                                116
  KING'S GALLERY                                                     117
      DECORATIVE CARVINGS IN THE "KING'S GALLERY"                    117
      CHIMNEY-PIECE, MAP AND DIAL                                    118
      _Plate_--THE KING'S GALLERY                                    119
      PAINTING OF THE CEILING AND WAINSCOT OF THE KING'S GALLERY     121
      NAVAL PICTURES IN THE KING'S GALLERY                           122
  KING'S GRAND STAIRCASE                                             129
      KENT'S ALTERATIONS IN THE KING'S GRAND STAIRCASE               130
      _Plate_--THE KING'S GRAND STAIRCASE                            131
      PAINTED WALLS OF THE KING'S GRAND STAIRCASE                    133
      PAINTED CEILING OF THE KING'S GRAND STAIRCASE                  135
  PRESENCE CHAMBER                                                   137
      PAINTED CEILING OF THE PRESENCE CHAMBER                        138
      CEREMONIAL PICTURES OF QUEEN VICTORIA'S REIGN                  139

[Illustration: Decoration]

[Illustration: Decoration]



=Preface.=


The following pages, compiled under the sanction of the Lord Chamberlain
of Her Majesty's Household and the First Commissioner of Her Majesty's
Works and Buildings, are intended to meet the requirements of visitors
to the State Rooms of Kensington Palace, now open by command of the
Queen to the inspection of the public during Her Majesty's pleasure.
This little book, therefore, is to be understood as aiming only at a
descriptive and historical account of the particular parts of the
building on view--not, in any sense, as attempting a general history of
the Palace. Nevertheless, the author may, perhaps, be permitted to say
that, as far as his object extends, he has endeavoured to render the
information here given as accurate and complete as possible, by devoting
the same amount of time and labour to research and verification, as
though he had been writing a book of a critical nature for a restricted
circle of readers, instead of a mere handbook for ordinary sightseers.

In this way, the writer conceives, can he best promote the object which,
it may be assumed, the Queen and Her Majesty's Government have had in
view in restoring and opening these State Rooms to the public--namely,
that they should serve as an object-lesson in history and art, and a
refining influence of popular culture and education.

In pursuance of this design the author has had recourse not only to such
well-known standard authorities on his subject as Pyne's "History of
Royal Residences," 1819; Faulkner's "History of Kensington," 1820; Leigh
Hunt's "Old Court Suburb," 1853; and Mr. Loftie's
"Kensington--Picturesque and Historical," 1887; but also to a large
number of earlier and less known historical and topographical works,
which have served to illustrate many things connected with the history
of this interesting old building.

His main sources of information, however, have been the old manuscripts,
parchment rolls, and state papers, preserved in the British Museum and
Record Office--especially the "Declared Accounts" and "Treasury Papers,"
containing the original estimates, accounts and reports of Sir
Christopher Wren and his successors, relating to the works and buildings
at Kensington. None of these have ever before been examined or
published; and they throw much light on the art and decoration of this
palace, while also, for the first time, setting at rest many hitherto
debatable points.

The author must here once again--as in works of a similar nature
elsewhere--express his obligations for the kind assistance he has
received from all those who have charge of the Queen's palaces--the Hon.
Sir Spencer Ponsonby Fane, G.C.B., Comptroller of Her Majesty's
Household; the Hon. Reginald Brett, C.B., Secretary of Her Majesty's
Board of Works and Buildings; Sir John Taylor, K.C.B., Consulting
Architect and Surveyor to the Board; and Mr. Philip, Clerk of the Works
at Kensington Palace.

At the same time he wishes to make it clear that for the information
contained herein, and for the opinions and views expressed, he himself
is alone responsible.

Here also the author must make his acknowledgments to the editor of "The
Gentlewoman," who has kindly lent him the blocks for the portraits of
the Queen.

It may be as well to take this opportunity of emphasizing what is more
fully insisted on in subsequent pages, that Kensington Palace, as a
public resort, is not to be considered in the light of an Art Gallery,
but as a Palace with historical pictures in it. The clear understanding
of this may prevent misapprehension as to the scheme followed in
restoring the state rooms to their original state, where the
pictures--and their frames--are arranged on the walls as a part only of
their furniture and decoration.

Finally, it may be observed that though the outline of the history of
the Palace, prefixed to the description of the State Rooms, has
necessarily been brief, the Queen's early life, and the interesting
events that took place here in June 1837, seemed to require a fuller
treatment. These, therefore, have been described in detail, mainly in
the words of eye-witnesses, which, though they have often been printed
before, may, being repeated here, acquire--the compiler has thought--a
new vividness and interest, when read on the very spot where they were
enacted; and thus insure for these famous scenes an even wider
popularity than before.

[Illustration: Decoration]

[Illustration: Decoration]



HISTORICAL SKETCH.

=Early History of Kensington.=


Kensington Palace, built by William and Mary, occupied by Queen Anne as
one of her favourite residences, enlarged by George I. and greatly
appreciated by George II. and his queen, Caroline, has received a
greater renown and more interesting associations from having been the
birthplace and early home of Queen Victoria. In celebration of the
eightieth anniversary of that ever-memorable and auspicious event, Her
Majesty decided on opening the State Apartments free to the public on
the 24th of May, 1899, during Her Majesty's pleasure.

Before recapitulating the events of the Queen's early life here, we must
give a brief outline of the history of the Palace since it became a
royal residence.

The original building, of which it is probable that a good deal still
stands, was erected mainly by Sir Heneage Finch, Lord Chancellor and
Earl of Nottingham, who acquired the estate, including some hundred and
fifty acres of meadow and park--now Kensington Gardens--from his brother
Sir John Finch. Hence it was known as Nottingham House; and under that
title it was bought from Daniel Finch, the second earl, for the sum of
18,000 guineas, in the summer or autumn of 1689, by King William III.,
who was anxious to have a convenient residence near enough to Whitehall
for the transaction of business, and yet sufficiently far to be out of
the smoky atmosphere, in which he found it impossible to breathe. The
King, assisted by his Queen, at once set about enlarging and
embellishing the mansion, and laying out new gardens.


=Building of the Palace.=

The works seem to have been begun on or very soon after the 1st of
October, 1689. We learn this from the enrolled account of "Thomas Lloyd,
Paymaster of Their Majesties Workes and Buildinges," made up from
"paybookes subscribed with the handes of Sir Christopher Wren, Knight
Surveyor of the workes; William Talman, Comptroller; John Oliver, Master
Mason; and Matthew Bankes, Master Carpenter, and with the hand of
Nicolas Hawkesmore, clerke of the said workes, according to the ancient
usual and due course of the office of their Majesties workes."

In the second week of November a news-letter informs us that the new
apartment, then being built, "suddenly fell flat to the ground, killing
seven or eight workmen and labourers. The Queen had been in that
apartment but a little while before."

By February 25th, 1690, they were sufficiently advanced for Evelyn to
record in his diary: "I went to Kensington, which King William has
bought of Lord Nottingham, and altered, but was yet a patched building,
but with the garden, it is a very sweete villa, having to it the Park,
and a straight new way through this Park." The making of this new road
cost just about £8,000.

Building operations were continued during the King's absence in Ireland;
and the day before the news of the battle of the Boyne reached Queen
Mary she spent a few quiet hours in the gardens here, writing the same
evening, July 5th, to William: "The place made me think how happy I was
there when I had your dear company." Until his return she continued to
overlook the building, and on August 6th following, writes again as to
the progress of the building: "The outside of the house is fiddling
work, which takes up more time than can be imagined; and while the
_schafolds_ are up, the windows must be boarded up, but as soon as that
is done, your own apartment may be furnished." And a week after: "I have
been this day to Kensington, which looks really very well, at least to a
poor body like me, who have been so long condemned to this place
(Whitehall) and see nothing but water and wall."

The work of improving Kensington House continued for another year or
more, costing during this period £60,000. It was, however, far from
finished, when, in November, 1691, a serious fire occurred,
necessitating re-building at a cost of upwards of £6,000. From the year
1691 to 1696 another £35,000 was spent in further "altering the old
house," and in additional works of decoration in the galleries and other
rooms--details as to which will be given in our description of those
apartments.

Extensive alterations and improvements were also in progress at the same
time in the gardens, which at this period were confined to the ground
east and south of the Palace, as to which we shall refer again.


=Deaths of Queen Mary and King William.=

Ere the work, however, was completed, Queen Mary was taken ill at
Kensington with small pox in December, 1694. On learning the nature of
her illness she locked herself in her closet, burned some papers, and
calmly awaited her fate, which quickly came a few days after, the 28th
of December.

Evelyn visited Kensington again in 1696, and speaks of it then as "noble
but not greate," commending especially the King's Gallery, which was
then filled with the finest pictures in the royal collection, "a greate
collection of Porcelain, and a pretty private library. The gardens about
it very delicious." Peter the Great's visit to William III. in this same
gallery is referred to in our description of it below.

The next event of moment is William III.'s own death at Kensington
Palace, after his accident in Hampton Court Park. "Je tirs vers ma fin,"
said he to Albemarle, who had hurried from Holland to his master's
bedside; and to his physician: "I know that you have done all that skill
and learning could do for me; but the case is beyond your art, I must
submit." "Can this," he said soon after, "last long?" He was told that
the end was approaching. He swallowed a cordial, and asked for Bentinck.
Those were his last articulate words. "Bentinck instantly came to the
bedside, bent down, and placed his ear close to the King's mouth. The
lips of the dying man moved, but nothing could be heard. The King took
the hand of his earliest friend and pressed it tenderly to his heart. In
that moment, no doubt, all that had cast a slight passing cloud over
their long pure friendship was forgotten. It was now between seven and
eight in the morning. He closed his eyes, and gasped for breath. The
bishops knelt down and read the commendatory prayer. When it ended
William was no more. When his remains were laid out, it was found that
he wore next to his skin a small piece of black silk ribbon. The lords
in waiting ordered it to be taken off. It contained a gold ring and a
lock of the hair of Mary."


=Queen Anne at Kensington Palace.=

Fond as William and Mary had been of Kensington, Queen Anne was even
more attached to it still;--and it became her usual residence whenever
it was necessary for her to be near the great offices of state. She
seems to have remained satisfied with the palace as it had been finished
by her predecessors, except for the addition of one or two small rooms
"in the little court behind the gallery," perhaps because King William
bequeathed to her a debt of upwards of £4,000 for his buildings at
Kensington.

She devoted, however, a great deal of care and expense to the improving
and enlarging of the Palace gardens--as to which we shall have more to
say when we come to describe them. Queen Anne, indeed, was, in this
respect, thoroughly English. She loved her plants and flowers, and would
spend hours pottering about her gardens at Kensington. The appearance of
her gardens will best be seen from our reduced facsimile of Kip's large
engraving, published about 1714 in his "Britannia Illustrata." In the
right distance is seen that most beautiful building called the
"Orangery" or green-house, erected by her orders--which we shall fully
describe on a subsequent page.

Besides enlarging the gardens round about the Palace, Queen Anne greatly
extended the area of the park-like enclosed grounds attached to
Kensington Palace. Mr. Loftie has declared that "neither Queen Anne nor
Queen Caroline took an acre from Hyde Park." But this we have found not
to be the fact. In an old report on the "State of the Royal Gardens and
Plantations at Ladyday, 1713," among the Treasury Papers in the Record
Office, there is a distinct reference to "The Paddock joyning to the
Gardens, _taken from Hyde Park in 1705_, and stocked with fine deer and
antelopes;" and again in another document, dated May 26th in the same
year, being a memorial to the Lord High Treasurer from Henry Portman,
Ranger of Hyde Park, it is stated that "near 100 acres had been enclosed
from the park of Kensington, whereby the profits he had by herbage were
much reduced." Later on, in George II.'s reign, in 1729, we find a grant
of £200 made to William, Earl of Essex, Ranger of Hyde Park, "in
consideration of loss of herbage of that part of the said park which is
laid into his Majesty's gardens at Kensington."


=Death of Prince George of Denmark.=

It was at Kensington Palace that Anne's husband, Prince George of
Denmark, at length succumbed, in 1708, to a prolonged illness of gout
and asthma. During his last sickness and death, Anne had the
"consolation" of the Duchess of Marlborough's "sympathy." Her Grace's
deportment, according to an eye-witness, "while the Prince was actually
dying, was of such a nature that the Queen, then in the height of her
grief, was not able to bear it." She actually forced her way, as
Mistress of the Robes, to the poor Prince's deathbed, and only drew into
the background when peremptorily ordered by the heart-broken wife to
leave the room. After Prince George had breathed his last, she stepped
forward again, and when all the others had left, insisted on remaining
with poor Anne, who was "weeping and _clapping_ her hands together, and
swaying herself backwards and forwards" in an agony of grief. The Queen
was at length induced to accede to the Duchess's advice to leave "_that
dismal body_" and remove to St. James's.

Two years later, in these very same state rooms of Kensington Palace
took place the famous final interview between the Queen and her whilom
favourite, also subsequently noticed in our description of "Queen Anne's
Private Dining Room."


=Death of Queen Anne.=

In the summer of the year 1714 Queen Anne was seized, at Kensington
Palace, with apoplexy, brought on by political worries. She had been
failing in health for some time; and on July 27th had an attack of blood
to the head, while presiding at her Cabinet Council, and was carried in
a dead faint to her bed. Four days after, Charles Ford, an official of
the government and a correspondent of Swift, wrote: "I am just come from
Kensington, where I have spent these two days. At present the Queen is
alive, and better than could have been expected; her disorder began
about eight or nine yesterday morning. The doctors ordered her head to
be shaved; while it was being done, the Queen fell into convulsions, or,
as they say, a fit of apoplexy, which lasted two hours, during which she
showed but little sign of life." At six in the evening of the same day,
another anxious watcher within the palace walls, says Miss Strickland,
wrote to Swift: "At the time I am writing, the breath is _said_ to be in
the Queen's nostrils, but that is all. No hopes of her recovery,"--and
in effect she breathed her last the following day, in the fiftieth year
of her age. "Her life would have lasted longer," wrote Roger Coke, in
his "Detection," "if she had not eaten so much.... She supped too much
chocolate, and died monstrously fat; insomuch that the coffin wherein
her remains were deposited was almost square, and was bigger than that
of the Prince, her husband, who was known to be a fat, bulky man."


=George I. at Kensington Palace.=

The day after the death of Queen Anne, King George was proclaimed her
successor; and soon after his accession he entered into possession of
Kensington Palace. Taking, on his part, also, a fancy to the place, he
decided, about the year 1721, to erect a new and additional suite of
state rooms, the building of which was intrusted to William Kent, as we
shall fully explain in our description of the new state rooms
constructed by him. Otherwise, we hear scarcely anything of George I. in
connection with Kensington. He lived here, indeed, in the greatest
seclusion with his German favourites, and was scarcely ever seen, even
in the gardens, which in his reign first became the fashionable
promenade, where, in the words of Tickell, who wrote a poem on the
subject, in imitation of Pope's "Rape of the Lock"--

    "The dames of Britain oft in crowds repair
    To groves and lawns, and unpolluted air,
    Here, while the town in damps and darkness lies,
    They breathe in sunshine, and see azure skies."


=George II. at Kensington Palace.=

In the reign of George II. Kensington became more than ever the
favourite residence of the court, and much insight into life within the
walls of the Palace at this time is afforded us by such books as Lady
Suffolk's "Memoirs," Lady Sundon's "Letters," Walpole's "Reminiscences,"
and, above all, of course, by Lord Hervey's "Memoirs." Here is a
malignant little sketch drawn by that treacherous, satiric hand: "His
Majesty stayed about five minutes in the gallery; snubbed the Queen, who
was drinking chocolate, for being always 'stuffing;' the Princess Emily
for not hearing him; the Princess Caroline for being grown fat; the Duke
of Cumberland for standing awkwardly; Lord Hervey for not knowing what
relation the Prince of Sultzbach was to the Elector Palatine; and then
carried the Queen to walk, and be re-snubbed, in the garden."

It was the Princess Emily just mentioned who played a practical joke one
evening at Kensington on Lady Deloraine, by drawing her chair from under
her just as she was going to sit down to cards, thus sending her
sprawling on the floor. The King burst out laughing, and, to revenge
herself, Lady Deloraine played his august Majesty the same trick soon
after, which not unnaturally led to her being forbidden the court for
some time.

Although Queen Caroline had to put up with a good deal of snubbing, she
managed, at the same time, usually to get her own way. She was very fond
of art; and it was she who discovered, stowed away in a drawer at
Kensington Palace, the famous series of Holbein's drawings. These she
had brought out, and she arranged all the pictures in the State Rooms
according to her liking. Her substituting good pictures for bad in the
great Drawing-Room during one of the King's absences in Hanover, led to
the famous and oft-quoted scene between Lord Hervey and his Majesty,
who, nevertheless, did not interfere with the Queen's alterations.

Caroline was also devoted to the then fashionable craze of gardening,
and was continually planning and altering at Kensington. It was at her
instance--as we shall see presently in greater detail--that the large
extent of land, formerly the park of old Nottingham House, and also a
portion of Hyde Park, was laid out, planted, and improved into what we
now know as "Kensington Gardens."

Queen Caroline died in 1737, while George II. survived her twenty-three
years, expiring at Kensington Palace on the morning of the 25th of
October, 1760, at the age of seventy-eight. His end was extremely
sudden. He appeared to be in his usual health, when a heavy fall was
heard in his dressing-room after breakfast. The attendants hurried in,
to find the King lying on the floor, with his head cut open by falling
against a bureau. The right ventricle of his heart had burst.


=Kensington in George III.'s Reign.=

George II. was the last sovereign to occupy Kensington Palace, which
thenceforth, during the long reign of George III., was left almost
entirely neglected and deserted. Several members of the royal family,
however, occupied, at various periods, suites of apartments in the
Palace. Among others, Caroline of Brunswick, when Princess of Wales,
lived for a short time here with her mother. Her behaviour greatly
scandalized the sober-minded inhabitants of the old court suburb. "She
kept a sort of open house, receiving visitors in a dressing-gown, and
sitting and talking about herself with strangers, on the benches in the
garden, at the risk of being discovered."

Another but more worthy occupant of the Palace in George III.'s reign
was our present Queen's uncle, the Duke of Sussex, who collected a
magnificent library here of nearly fifty thousand volumes, which he
spent the last years of his life in arranging and cataloguing.

Destined, however, to invest Kensington Palace with associations and
memories far transcending any that have gone before, was the advent here
of the Duke and Duchess of Kent, seven months after their marriage. They
occupied most of the old state rooms on the first and second floors of
the easternmost portion of the Palace. Three lives then stood between
the duke and the throne, and little could the newly-married pair have
imagined that from their union would spring the future Queen and Empress
of such a vast and mighty empire as now owns the sway of their first and
only child.


=Birth of Queen Victoria.=

The Queen was born on the 24th of May, 1819, at a quarter past four in
the morning. "Some doubt," says Mr. Loftie, "has been thrown on the
identification of the room in which the future Queen was born; but the
late lamented Dr. Merriman, whose father attended the Duchess, had no
doubt that a spacious chamber, which has been marked with a brass plate,
was that in which the happy event took place." This room, which is on
the first floor, exactly under the "King's Privy Chamber"--the State
Rooms being on the second floor--has a low ceiling, and three windows,
facing east, looking into the "Private Gardens." It has been identified
by the Queen as the one Her Majesty was always told she was born in. The
brass plate, put up at the time of the first Jubilee, in 1887, states:
_In this room Queen Victoria was born, May 24th, 1819_.

[Illustration: THE DUCHESS OF KENT WITH PRINCESS VICTORIA (AGED TWO
YEARS).

(After a picture by Sir William Beechey.)]

Faulkner, writing the year after the event, confirms this
identification, insomuch that he says: "_The lower apartments_ in the
south-east part of the Palace, beneath the King's Gallery, have been
for some years occupied by His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent, whose
premature decease--eight months after the birth of his daughter--this
nation has so recently and deeply lamented; and they are still the
residence of Her Royal Highness the Duchess."

This is how the event was noticed in the "Memoirs" of Baron Stockmar: "A
pretty little Princess, plump as a partridge, was born. The Duke of Kent
was delighted with his child, and liked to show her constantly to his
companions and intimate friends with the words: 'Take care of her, for
she will be Queen of England.'"

An interesting letter of the Duke of Kent's, written a few weeks after
to his chaplain, Dr. Thomas Prince, who had addressed a letter of
congratulation to him while, at the same time, somewhat condoling with
him that a daughter and not a son had been born to him, was published in
the "Times" at the time of the Jubilee of 1897. In it the duke remarked:
"As to the circumstance of that child not proving to be a son instead of
a daughter, I feel it due to myself to declare that such sentiments are
not in unison with my own; for I am decidedly of opinion that the
decrees of Providence are at all times wisest and best."


=Queen Victoria's Early Years at Kensington.=

The next reference we have found to the future Queen, is in a letter,
written on 21st of July, 1820, when, consequently, Her Majesty was a
little more than a year old, by Mr. Wilberforce, who mentions being
received at Kensington Palace by the Duchess of Kent that morning. "She
received me with her fine animated child on the floor, by her side, with
its playthings, of which I soon became one."

Most of the future Queen's early years were passed at Kensington Palace
in great privacy and retirement. She was often seen, however, in
Kensington Gardens, her constant companion in her walks being Miss,
afterwards Baroness Lehzen.

Leigh Hunt, referring to this period, mentions in his "Old Court
Suburb," having seen her "coming up a cross path from the Bayswater
Gate, with a girl of her own age by her side"--probably the Princess
Feodore, her beloved half-sister and constant companion of her
girlhood--"whose hand she was holding, as if she loved her.... A
magnificent footman in scarlet came behind her."

The youthful Princess was sometimes driven in a goat or donkey carriage
in the park and gardens, and, as she grew older, in a small phæton,
drawn by two diminutive ponies. The following gives a little glimpse of
our Queen at this early period of her life:

"A party consisting of several ladies, a young child, and two men
servants, having in charge a donkey gaily caparisoned with blue ribbons,
and accoutered for the use of the infant ... who skipped along between
her mother and sister, the Princess Feodore, holding a hand of each."


=The Queen's Childhood at Kensington Palace.=

In further illustration of the Queen's life as a little girl with her
mother at Kensington Palace, we cannot do better than quote what Mr.
Holmes, writing with authority as the Queen's Librarian at Windsor
Castle, tells us in his interesting work, "Queen Victoria," which, as he
remarks, presents for the first time an accurate account of the
childhood of the Queen. "During these early years, and before a regular
course of studies had been attempted, the family life at the Palace was
simple and regular. Breakfast was served in summer at eight o'clock,
the Princess Victoria having her bread and milk and fruit on a little
table by her mother's side. After breakfast the Princess Feodore studied
with her governess, Miss Lehzen, and the Princess Victoria went out for
a walk or drive. It has been repeatedly said that at this time she was
instructed by her mother; but this is not the case, as the Duchess never
gave her daughter any lessons. At two there was a plain dinner, when the
Duchess had her luncheon. In the afternoon was the usual walk or drive.
At the time of her mother's dinner the Princess had her supper laid at
her side. At nine she was accustomed to retire to her bed, which was
placed close to her mother's...."

[Illustration: THE PRINCESS VICTORIA IN 1825.

(After a picture by G. Fowler.)]

"It was not till the Princess had entered her fifth year that she began
to receive any regular instruction.... In this determination not to
force her daughter's mind, the Duchess of Kent acted on the counsel of
her mother, who had advised her 'not to tease her little puss with
learning while she was so young.' The advice was justified by results,
for the Princess made rapid progress."

The Earl of Albemarle, who was in attendance on the Duke of Sussex at
Kensington, thus describes in his "Recollections" the appearance of the
Princess when seven years old: "One of my occupations on a morning,
while waiting for the Duke, was to watch from the window the movements
of a bright, pretty little girl, seven years of age. She was in the
habit of watering the plants immediately under the window. It was
amusing to see how impartially she divided the contents of the watering
pot between the flowers and her own little feet. Her simple but becoming
dress contrasted favourably with the gorgeous apparel now worn by the
little damsels of the rising generation--a large straw hat and a suit of
white cotton; a coloured _fichu_ round the neck was the only ornament
she wore."

Her education was now conducted on a regular system. Writing,
arithmetic, singing lessons, dancing lessons by Madam Bourdin, "to whose
teaching may be due in some measure the grace of gesture and dignity of
bearing which have always distinguished Her Majesty," drawing, and the
French language. "German was not allowed to be spoken; English was
always insisted upon, though a knowledge of the German language was
imparted by M. Barez. The lessons, however, which were most enjoyed
were those in riding, which has always been since one of the Queen's
greatest pleasures."


=Princess Victoria becomes Heiress to the Throne.=

The death of the Duke of York, and the remote probability of the Duke
and Duchess of Clarence having any offspring, drew increasing attention
to the movements of the Duchess of Kent and her daughter. "Many stories
are current," continues Mr. Holmes, "of the behaviour and appearance of
the young Princess. The simplicity of her tastes was particularly
noticed and admired. It was this simplicity of living and careful
training in home life, which endeared not only the Princess, but her
mother also, to the hearts of the whole nation." Charles Knight, as well
as Leigh Hunt, whom we have already quoted, has recorded the pleasing
impression made upon him by the young Princess. In his "Passages of a
Working Life" he says: "I delighted to walk in Kensington Gardens. As I
passed along the broad central walk, I saw a group on the lawn before
the Palace.... The Duchess of Kent and her daughter, whose years then
numbered nine, were breakfasting in the open air.... What a beautiful
characteristic, it seemed to me, of the training of this royal girl,
that she should not have been taught to shrink from the public eye; that
she should not have been burdened with a premature conception of her
probable high destiny; that she should enjoy the freedom and simplicity
of a child's nature; that she should not be restrained when she starts
up from the breakfast table and runs to gather a flower in the adjoining
pasture; that her merry laugh should be fearless as the notes of the
thrush in the groves around her. I passed on and blessed her; and I
thank God that I have lived to see the golden fruits of such a
training."

The Queen was just on the eve of her ninth birthday when, on May 19th,
1828, Sir Walter Scott dined at Kensington Palace with the Duchess of
Kent. He records in his diary: "I was very kindly received by Prince
Leopold, and presented to the little Princess Victoria, the
heir-apparent to the Crown, as things stand.... This little lady is
educated with much care, and watched so closely, that no busy maid has a
moment to whisper, 'You are heir of England.' I suspect, if we could
dissect the little heart, we should find some pigeon or other bird of
the air had carried the matter."

Sir Walter's surmise, Mr. Holmes informs us, was not altogether without
foundation; and two years later, when, by the death of her uncle, George
IV., only the life of William IV. stood between her and the throne, she
was formally made acquainted with her position.

"The early part of the year 1833 was passed at Kensington. There the
course of study was kept up as before, but the Princess now went out
more into society and was seen more in public.... The Princess's
amusements were her pets, and her walks and drives, and during the
spring and summer she much enjoyed riding."

It was at Kensington, in the summer of 1836, that the Queen first saw
her future husband. The Prince in his diary recorded that his aunt, the
Duchess of Kent, "gave a brilliant ball here at Kensington Palace, at
which the gentlemen appeared in uniform and the ladies in so-called
fancy dresses. We remained until four o'clock.... Dear Aunt is very kind
to us, and does everything she can to please us, and our cousin also is
very amiable."

The Princess Victoria was at Kensington when she attained her majority,
on the 24th of May, 1837. She was awakened by a serenade; she received
many presents, and the day was kept as a general holiday at Kensington.


=Queen Victoria's Accession.=

Less than a month after, King William IV. died at Windsor at twelve
minutes past two on the morning of June 20th. As soon as possible the
Archbishop of Canterbury, with Lord Conyngham (the Lord Chamberlain),
started to convey the news to Kensington, where they arrived at five
o'clock in the morning.

"They knocked, they rang, they thumped," says "The Diary of a Lady of
Quality," "for a considerable time before they could rouse the porter at
the gate; they were again kept waiting in the courtyard; they hurried
into one of the lower rooms, where they seemed forgotten by everybody.
They rang the bell, desired that the attendant of the Princess Victoria
might be sent to inform Her Royal Highness that they requested an
audience on business of importance. After another delay, and another
ringing to inquire the cause, the attendant was summoned, who stated
that the Princess was in such a sweet sleep, she could not venture to
disturb her. Then they said, 'We are come to the _Queen_ on business of
State, and her sleep must give way to that.'"

"In a few minutes she came into the room," says Mr. Holmes, "a shawl
thrown over her dressing-gown, her feet in slippers, and her hair
falling down her back. She had been awakened by the Duchess of Kent, who
told Her Majesty she must get up; she went alone into the room where
Lord Conyngham and the archbishop were waiting. The Lord Chamberlain
then knelt down, and presented a paper, announcing the death of her
uncle, to the Queen; and the archbishop said he had come by desire of
Queen Adelaide, who thought the Queen would like to hear in what a
peaceful state the King had been at the last."


=Queen Victoria's First Council.=

At nine o'clock the Prime Minister was received in audience alone; and
soon afterwards an informal gathering of Privy Councillors, including
the Queen's uncle, the Duke of Sussex, the Duke of Wellington, and a
dozen or so of ministers, prelates, and officials, was held in the
anteroom to the Council Chamber, when an address of fealty and homage
was read aloud and signed by those present.

After this the doors were opened, "disclosing"--to quote the words of
Mr. Barrett Lennard, now the sole survivor of the scene, except the
Queen herself--"a large State Saloon, close to whose threshold there
stood unattended a small, slight, fair-complexioned young lady,
apparently fifteen years of age. She was attired in a close-fitting
dress of black silk, her light hair parted and drawn from her forehead;
she wore no ornament whatever on her dress or person. The Duke of Sussex
advanced, embraced and kissed her--his niece the Queen. Lord Melbourne
and others kissed hands in the usual form, and the Usher taking the
address, closed the doors, and the Queen disappeared from our gaze. No
word was uttered by Her Majesty or by any present, and no sound broke
the silence, which seemed to me to add to the impressive solemnity of
the scene."

The room where this took place is low and rather dark and gloomy, with
pillars in it, supporting the floor of the "Cube Room" above.

The subsequent meeting of the Queen's first Council, which took place at
eleven o'clock, is familiar to everyone from Wilkie's well-known
picture--"though, at the expense of truth he has emphasized the
principal figure by painting her in a white dress instead of the black
which was actually worn." Her Majesty was introduced to the Council
Chamber by her uncles, the Dukes of Cumberland and Sussex, and at once
took her seat on a chair at the head of the table.

In describing this famous scene, it is useless to attempt anything
beyond quoting once more--often as it has been quoted--the admirable
account given by Charles Greville, Clerk of the Council:

"Never was anything like the first impression she produced, or the
chorus of praise and admiration which is raised about her manner and
behaviour, and certainly not without justice. It was very extraordinary,
and something far beyond what was looked for. Her extreme youth and
inexperience, and the ignorance of the world concerning her, naturally
excited intense curiosity to see how she would act on this trying
occasion, and there was a considerable assemblage at the Palace,
notwithstanding the short notice which was given.... She bowed to the
Lords, took her seat, and then read her speech in a clear, distinct and
audible voice, and without any appearance of fear or embarrassment. She
was quite plainly dressed and in mourning.

"After she had read her speech, and taken and signed the oath for the
security of the Church of Scotland, the Privy Councillors were sworn,
the two Royal Dukes (of Cumberland and Sussex) first, by themselves; and
as these two old men, her uncles, knelt before her, swearing allegiance
and kissing her hand, I saw her blush up to the eyes, as if she felt the
contrast between their civil and their natural relations, and this was
the only sign of emotion she evinced. Her manner to them was very
graceful and engaging: she kissed them both, and rose from her chair and
moved towards the Duke of Sussex, who was farthest from her and too
infirm to reach her. She seemed rather bewildered at the multitude of
men who were sworn, and who came one after the other to kiss her hand,
but she did not speak to anybody, nor did she make the slightest
difference in her manner, or show any in her countenance, to any
individual of any rank, station or party. I particularly watched her
when Melbourne and the Ministers and the Duke of Wellington and Peel
approached her. She went through the whole ceremony--occasionally
looking at Melbourne for instruction when she had any doubt what to do,
which hardly ever occurred--with perfect calmness and self-possession,
but at the same time with a graceful modesty and propriety particularly
interesting and ingratiating. When the business was done she retired as
she had entered.

"Peel said how amazed he was at her manner and behaviour, at her
apparent deep sense of her situation, her modesty, and at the same time
her firmness. She appeared, in fact, to be awed, but not daunted, and
afterwards the Duke of Wellington told me the same thing, and added that
if she had been his own daughter he could not have desired to see her
perform her part better."

This description of Charles Greville's, whose pen was given to anything
but flattery, is confirmed by the testimony of many others present. Earl
Grey wrote to Princess Lieven: "When called upon for the first time to
appear before the Privy Council, and to take upon herself the awful
duties with which at so early an age she has been so suddenly charged,
there was in her appearance and demeanour a composure, a propriety, an
_aplomb_, which were quite extraordinary. She never was in the least
degree confused, embarrassed or hurried; read the declaration
beautifully; went through the forms of business as if she had been
accustomed to them all her life." Lord Palmerston says in a letter to
Lord Granville: "The Queen went through her task with great dignity and
self-possession; one saw she felt much inward emotion, but it was fully
controlled. Her articulation was particularly good, her voice remarkably
pleasing."

Next day, the 21st of June, at ten o'clock in the morning, Her Majesty
was formally proclaimed Queen of Great Britain and Ireland at St.
James's Palace, when a salute was fired in the Park, and she appeared at
the window of the Presence Chamber, returning afterwards to Kensington
Palace. On the 13th of July the Queen, accompanied by her mother, the
Duchess of Kent, took her final departure from the place of her birth
and the home of her childhood.


=Kensington Palace in recent Years.=

Since the accession of the Queen, Kensington Palace has had a quiet and
uneventful history--though Her Majesty has frequently, in the course of
her reign, privately revisited her old home, where the Duchess of Kent
retained her rooms until her death in 1861; and where, soon after that
date, Princess Mary and the Duke of Teck also came to reside for a
period. Here their daughter, Princess May, now the Duchess of York, was
born in the State Room called "the Nursery," in 1867.

In the meanwhile, the apartments in the south-west corner of the Palace,
occupied by the Duke of Sussex until his death in 1843, were afterwards
tenanted by his widow, the Duchess of Inverness, who died in 1873, when
they were granted by the Queen to Princess Louise and the Marquis of
Lorne, who still reside in them.

During all these sixty years the Palace had been suffered gradually more
and more to fall into a deplorable state of disrepair. The walls were
bulging in many places, and merely remained standing by being shored up;
the rafters of the roof were beginning to rot away, tiles and slates
were broken and slipping off, so that it was becoming increasingly
difficult to keep the rain and wind at bay. The floors, also, were
everywhere deteriorating, the old panelled walls and painted ceilings of
the grand reception rooms slowly, but surely, crumbling to decay.

"More than once," said a leading article in "The Times" of January 12th,
1898, "it has been seriously proposed to pull the whole building down,
and to deal otherwise with the land, and Her Majesty's subjects ought to
be grateful to her for having strenuously resisted such an act of
Vandalism, and for having declared that, while she lived, the palace in
which she was born should not be destroyed."


=Restoration of the State Rooms.=

The Queen, it is believed, had long desired that her people's wish to be
admitted to inspect the Palace of her ancestors, and her own birthplace
and early home, should be gratified; and it seemed a fitting memorial of
the Diamond Jubilee that this should be done. An obdurate Treasury,
which, as we have hinted, had looked forward rather to demolition than
restoration, was at length induced to recommend the expenditure
necessary to prepare the State Rooms for the admission of the public,
and thus, on the 11th of January, 1898, it was possible to make the
following gratifying announcement in the press:

     "Her Majesty, in her desire to gratify the wishes of Her people,
     has directed that the State Rooms at Kensington Palace, in the
     central part of the building, which have been closed and unoccupied
     since 1760, together with Sir Christopher Wren's Banqueting Room,
     attached to the Palace, shall after careful restoration be opened
     to the public, during her pleasure; and the Government will
     forthwith submit to Parliament an estimate of the cost of
     restoration."

Accordingly the Board of Works proceeded to prepare estimates and on
March 4th following, the First Commissioner, Mr. Akers Douglas, M.P.,
submitted a vote of £23,000 for the purpose. By a unanimous vote of the
House of Commons on April 1st, the amount required was at once agreed
to, and great gratification was on all sides expressed that so happy
solution had at length been arrived at. Forthwith, the restorations were
put in hand--the most pressing repairs having, indeed, been begun in
anticipation, previous to the passing of the vote--and for many months
they consisted entirely in solid structural works, which scarcely seemed
to affect the appearance of the building at all. It was found necessary
to rebuild and underpin walls, to reslate practically the whole of the
roof over the State Apartments and renew the timbers that carried it;
and also almost all the floors. After these heavy works, and those
consequent on the installation of the hot-water warming apparatus, were
completed, the more interesting, but much more difficult, business
involved in the restoration of the old decorative ironwork, woodwork,
and paintings of the State Rooms was taken in hand.

The more substantial but less salient work having been carried out, the
decorative works were next proceeded with, under the constant
supervision of Sir John Taylor, K.C.B., Consulting Architect and
Surveyor to H.M.'s Board of Works, and the continual and immediate
control of Mr. Philip, temporary Clerk of the Works for Kensington
Palace. Moreover, the Hon. Reginald Brett, C.B., Secretary of the Board,
to whose initiative the whole scheme of the restoration, we may say, has
been mainly due, has given a constant close personal attention to
everything that has been done. Nor has any trouble, labour, or research
been spared to render everything as historically and archæologically
correct as possible.


=Methods of Restoration.=

The principles on which the restorations have been carried out will more
fully appear, in the description we give in our subsequent pages, in
regard to every detail of the work. Here we need only say that the most
studied care has been taken never to renew any decoration where it was
possible to preserve it--least of all ever to attempt to "improve" old
work into new. On the contrary, repairing, patching, mending, piecing,
cleaning, have been the main occupations of the decorators, to an extent
that would render some impatient, slapdash builders and surveyors
frantic. Yet it has been all this minute--though no doubt sometimes
costly--attention to details, this laborious piecing together of old
fragments, this reverential saving of original material and work, this
almost-sentimental imitation of the old style and taste where patching
in by modern hands was inevitable, which has produced a result and
effect likely, we think, to arouse the admiration of all who relish the
inimitable charm of antique time-mellowed work.

Never before, we may safely say, has the restoration of any historic
public building been carried out with quite the same amount of loving
care as has been lavished on Kensington Palace. The spirit has been
rather that of a private owner reverentially restoring his ancestral
home, than that of an ordinary public official, with an energy callous
to all sentiment, sweeping away the old to replace it with a
spick-and-span new building. This method of treatment has nowhere been
applied more scrupulously, and we venture to think with greater success,
than in the treatment of the old oak panelling and the beautiful
carving, all of which had been covered over with numerous coats of
paint, so long ago--we have discovered from the old accounts in the
Record Office--as 1724. In the cleaning off of these dirty
incrustations, various processes have been resorted to, as they suited
the nature of the work, and so thoroughly has this been done that the
closest inspection would give us no inkling that any part, either of the
flat surface or of the most delicate carving, had ever been painted at
all. Equal pains were taken in finishing the surface with oil and wax
polish--no stain whatever being used on the panelling, doors or
cornices--so that the real true colour of the wood is seen, varying only
with its natural variation, and exhibiting all its richness of tone, and
its fullness of grain. It makes one almost glad it should have suffered
so many years of long neglect--that when at last it has been taken in
hand, it should have been done when the historical significance and the
technical and artistic value of such things are more truly appreciated
than formerly. There can be little doubt that if an early nineteenth
century upholsterer had got hold of this Palace, most of the beautiful
old work would have been cleared out to make way for vulgar plaster-work
of white and gold.

Substantially the same principles have been followed in the cleaning and
restoration of the painted walls and ceilings, which work has been
executed with the utmost sympathy for the old work, and the most careful
efforts to preserve it. There has not been a touch of paint applied
except to make good portions absolutely destroyed, so that these
ceilings--whatever their merits or demerits--remain exactly as they
were when first completed, save for the more subdued and modulated tone
they have taken on from the softening hand of Time.


=Arrangement of the Pictures.=

A word should now be said about the pictures, which have been brought
from various Royal residences to furnish these State Apartments, and to
illustrate the history of this Palace. The bulk of them have come from
Hampton Court, and a large number are pieces which were removed when the
State Rooms were dismantled by George IV. and William IV., from the very
walls where they now once again hang. Their return here from Hampton
Court, in the overcrowded galleries of which it has been impossible ever
properly to display them, has been a most auspicious thing for that
Palace, and has rendered feasible many long-desired rearrangements and
improvements.

In selecting the pictures which seemed most suitable for hanging at
Kensington, the principle has been followed of restricting them almost
entirely to portraits and historical compositions belonging to the epoch
with which the Palace is connected--the reigns of William and Mary,
Queen Anne, and the Georges, and, finally, of course that of Queen
Victoria.

In the carrying out of this plan an endeavour has been made to group the
pictures together in the various apartments as far as possible according
to the periods to which they belong--making separate collections, at the
same time, of the curious topographical subjects relating to "Old
London," in the Queen's Closet; of the interesting series of Georgian
sea-pieces, sea-fights, and dockyards, in the King's Gallery--where for
the first time they may now at last be really seen and examined--and the
ceremonial and other pictures, relating to the Queen's reign, in the
"Presence Chamber" and the actual rooms originally occupied by Her
Majesty in her youth.

Having given these general indications as to the arrangements, it will
not be necessary to do more than refer to our subsequent pages for the
details of the scheme. Nor need we dwell on what will at once be only
too obvious to the connoisseur, that anyone who expects to behold in
this Palace a fine collection of choice works of art will certainly be
disappointed. Kneller and Zeeman, Paton and Pocock, Huggins and Serres,
West and Beechey, are not exactly names to conjure with--nor even,
indeed, Scott, Monamy, Drouais, or Hoppner, in their somewhat
second-rate productions here. Moreover, it is to be clearly understood,
that it is not as an Art Gallery that these rooms are opened to the
inspection of the public, but as a Royal Palace, with pictures hung in
it illustrative of its history and associations, and as furniture to its
walls.

Nevertheless, it is not high art only, nor great imaginative works,
which can interest and instruct; and, historically, these bewigged,
ponderous, puffy personages of the unromantic eighteenth century, whose
portraits decorate these walls, are more in accord with their setting,
than would be the finer, simpler, and nobler creations of the great
epochs of art.


=Associations with Queen Victoria.=

On the other hand, the Victorian pictures, and the apartments in which
they are arranged, stand apart on a different footing of their own. It
is to the three small, plain and simple rooms, with their contents, in
the south-eastern corner of the building, that all visitors to the
Palace will turn with the liveliest interest, and with the keenest, the
most thrilling emotion. Romance, and all the thoughts and feelings of
tender, natural affection, which appear to have been smothered in the
preceding century and a half of powder and gold-lace, seem to awaken and
revive once more with the child born in this Palace eighty years ago, in
the little girl playing about in these rooms and in these gardens, in
the youthful Queen, who stepped forth from her simple chamber here to
take possession of the greatest throne in the world!

It is as the scene of such memorable events that Kensington Palace
possesses, and will hereafter ever possess, abiding interests and
engrossing charms altogether its own; and that it will ever inspire,
among those who come to visit it, thoughts and memories moving and deep.
And not to us only in these islands; not to us only of this age; but to
thousands and thousands likewise across the seas; to countless millions
yet unborn, will this ancient structure become, now and in the ages yet
to be, a revered place of loving pilgrimage as the birthplace and early
home of Queen Victoria.

[Illustration: Decoration]

[Illustration: Decoration]



DESCRIPTIVE AND HISTORICAL GUIDE.

=Old Kensington Palace Gardens.=


Before making our way to the public entrance to the state rooms of the
Palace, let us take a glance at the history of the gardens lying round
it, and the exterior of the building; and first as to the gardens on the
east and south of the building. The whole ground here down to the
highway was laid out quite early in the reign of William and Mary; but
its present uninteresting appearance gives us but little idea of how it
looked at that time. We find from the old accounts that large sums,
amounting to several thousands of pounds, were expended on garden
works--for levelling, gravelling, and planting, all in the formal Dutch
style, with figured beds and clipped trees--and also much ornamental
work, such as urns, stone vases, statues, and seats. There are, for
instance, many items such as these:

     "To Edward Pearce for carving a chaire for the garden with a canopy
     of drapery, £43 16_s._; more for carving 4 chairs and 2 seats with
     Dolphins, scollop shells, etc., and other works done about the said
     gardens, £43 2_s._ 4_d._--in both £86 18_s._ 4_d._"

We have also a contemporary account of the gardens as formed by William
and Mary, in a "View of the Gardens near London," dated December, 1691:
"Kensington Gardens are not great, nor abounding with fine plants. The
orange, lemon, myrtle, and what other trees they had there in summer,
were all removed to Mr. London's and Mr. Wise's greenhouse at Brompton
Park, a little mile from them. But the walks and grass laid very fine;
and they were digging up a flat of four or five acres to enlarge the
garden."

The northern boundary of King William's gardens is marked by two piers
of excellent red brickwork, evidently erected by Wren at that time. They
are surmounted by very fine vases of carved Portland stone; and are
perhaps two of the "Four great fflower-pots of Portland stone, richly
carved," for which, we find from the old bills, the statuary Gabriel
Cibber, the father of Colley Cibber, was paid £187 5_s._ Between these
piers, which stand 39 feet apart, there was probably, in old days, a
screen and gates of fine wrought iron. They stand at the south end of
what was called "Brazen Face Walk," and between them the visitor passes
to the public entrance to the Palace. The fencing in of this part of the
gardens is perhaps referred to in the following entry belonging to the
years 1692-95:

     "William Wheatley for makeing and setting up Pallizadoes and gates
     in and about the said Palace--£152 5_s._ 10_d._"

To the north of these piers lies the north-west corner of the now
so-called "Kensington Gardens," where were formerly situated that part
of the old gardens appurtenant to the Palace, laid out by Queen Anne.
The present bare uninteresting appearance of the ground round about is
now entirely different from what it then was.

[Illustration: Decoration]


=Queen Anne's Gardens.=

Bowack, in his "Antiquities of Middlesex," writing in the reign of Queen
Anne, in 1705, tells us of her improvements: "There is a noble
collection of foreign plants and fine neat greens, which makes it
pleasant all the year, and the contrivance, variety, and disposition of
the whole is extremely pleasing, and so frugal have they been of the
room they had, that there was not an inch but what is well improved, the
whole with the house not being above twenty-six acres. Her Majesty has
been pleased lately to plant near thirty acres more towards the north,
separated from the rest by a stately green-house, not yet finished; upon
this spot is near one hundred men daily at work, and so great is the
progress they have made, that in less than nine months the whole is
levelled, laid out, and planted, and when finished will be very fine.
Her Majesty's gardener had the management of this." Of Queen Anne's
"stately green-house" we shall speak in a moment.

Addison, also, in No. 477 of the "Spectator," expatiated on the beauties
of the gardens: "Wise and London are our heroick poets; and if, as a
critic, I may single out any passage of their works to commend, I shall
take notice of that part in the upper garden, at Kensington, which was
at first nothing but a gravel pit. It must have been a fine genius for
gardening, that could have thought of forming such an unsightly hollow
into so beautiful an area, and to have hit the eye with so uncommon and
agreeable a scene as that which it is now wrought into."

The cost of these improvements amounted to several thousands of
pounds--in levelling, planting, turfing, gravelling. The appearance of
the east and south gardens in the reign of Queen Anne will, as we have
already said, best be conveyed by Kip's plate; the general plan of the
new enclosed garden to the north, north-east, and north-west, by
Rocque's engraving, published in 1736. From this we see that Queen
Caroline, who embarked in so many gardening enterprises, left Queen
Anne's new gardens substantially intact; though she made a clean sweep
of all the old fantastic figured flower beds and formal walks of William
III.'s _parterres_ to the south and east of the Palace; substituting
therefor bare and blank expanses of lawn and wide gravel paths.

During the reigns of George III. and George IV. all the gardens were
allowed to become more and more uncared for; and at last those to the
north of the Palace were destroyed altogether. The "old Wilderness" and
"old Gravel Pit" of Queen Anne and the early Georges now exist no
longer--converted by an insane utilitarianism partly into park land, the
rest into meadow.

The old gardens to the east, already flattened out and spoilt by Queen
Caroline, now exist but in part; the small portion, which has not been
covered with hideous forcing houses and frames, is, however, to a
certain extent nicely shrubbed, and closed in by trees and hedges. The
site of the old south gardens, curtailed now to a small enclosure, which
retains little of the old English picturesque air, might with advantage,
we think, be less stiff and bare. There is here little more than a clump
or two of trees and shrubs, a wide gravel path, and two large vacant
lawns, separated from the public walk by a wire fence, and between this
and High Street mere expanses of grass. Fortunately, the devastating
notions of the "landscape gardener" whose one idea was so to arrange the
ground surrounding a house as to look as if it stood plump in the middle
of a park--for all the world like a lunatic asylum--are not quite so
much in favour as they were.

The blankness and barrenness of all the ground between the south front
and the street was even more painfully apparent in Leigh Hunt's time,
who in his "Old Court Suburb" drew attention to this salient defect
nearly fifty years ago. "The house," he remarked, "nominally possesses
'gardens' that are miles in circumference.... There is room enough for
very pleasant bowers in the spaces to the east and south, that are now
grassed and railed in from the public path; nor would the look of the
Palace be injured with the spectator, but rescued from its insipidity."
His suggestion has been acted on to a certain extent in recent times,
but too partially in our view.


=Queen Anne's Orangery.=

Queen Anne is the sovereign to whom we owe the erection of this
exceedingly fine specimen of garden architecture--one of the most
beautiful examples of the art of the Renaissance in London, if not in
England. If we could say with truth that there ever was a "Queen Anne
style," this would, indeed, be a representative and unrivalled example
of it--as it certainly is of Sir Christopher Wren's, which, developing
in the reign of Charles II., was definitely formed and fixed in that of
William and Mary.

To an artist like Wren to beautify the ordinary and useful was to give
expression to one of the highest functions of architecture; and
therefore in this mere store-house for the Queen's treasured plants and
flowers, probably also a place where Queen Anne liked to sit and have
tea, we have a building--unimportant though its object may be
considered--which attains the very acme of his art, exhibiting all his
well-balanced judgment of proportion, all the richness of his
imagination in design.

The building of this greenhouse was begun in the summer of the year
1704. A plan, prepared by Sir Christopher at Queen Anne's express
orders, was submitted to and approved by her, and the original estimate,
which is still in the Record Office, dated June 10th, 1704--probably
drawn up by Richard Stacey, master bricklayer, and entitled: "For
building a Greenhouse at Kensington" at a cost of £2,599 5_s._
1_d._--was accordingly laid before the officers of Her Majesty's Works,
Sir Christopher Wren, John Vanbrugh, Benjamin Jackson, and Matthew
Bankes, for a report thereon. Their opinion, after "considering the
measures and prices," was that "it may be finished soe as not to exceed
the sum therein expressed, viz., £2,599;" and the Lord Treasurer was
accordingly prayed "to pay £2,000 into the Office of Works that it may
be covered in before winter, according to Her Majesties expectation."

The work was consequently put in hand forthwith, but there is some
reason to suspect that Wren's original intentions were departed from,
and that the estimate approved by the Board of Works was afterwards cut
down by the Treasury by a thousand pounds or so. This appears probable
from the fact that Richard Stacey, the bricklayer who contracted for the
work, and who, in a petition dated September 13th, was clamouring for
payment of £800, on account of money then already disbursed by him,
referred to that sum as part of a total of £1,560, "lately altered from
the first estimate."

Whether this is so or not, the details of the original estimate are
interesting. The bricklayer's charges came to £697; mason's, to £102;
"Glass windows, doors, and the window shutters, £340; Glazier for Crowne
Glass, £74; Carpenter, £363," etc.; added to which was: "More to be laid
out the next year: The mason to pave it with stone fine-sanded, £246;
more for stone steps to go up into it, £72; more for wainscoting and
painting the Inside up to the top, £264."

The last item is especially noteworthy, proving, as it does, that the
woodwork was originally painted.

The beauty of Wren's masterpiece of garden architecture seems to have
been thoroughly appreciated in the time immediately succeeding its
erection; but with the steady decline in taste during the Georgian
epoch, it fell more and more into disregard, until, when the court
deserted Kensington in 1760, it was abandoned to complete neglect.
Britton and Brayley, writing in 1810 in their "Beauties of England,"
refer to it regretfully: "The whole is now sinking into a state of
unheeded decay." Soon after this, however, it seems to have undergone
some sort of repair, so, at least, wrote Faulkner, ten years after, who
added: "It is now filled with a collection of His Majesty's exotic
plants." He called it a "superb building," and clearly regarded it with
a much more appreciative eye than did its official guardians, who
probably about this time perpetrated the barbarism of cutting windows in
the north wall, right through the fine panelling and cornice!

Faulkner, nevertheless, was of course quite wrong in declaring, as he
did, that "it was originally built by Queen Anne for a Banqueting House,
and frequently used by Her Majesty as such." There is absolutely no
foundation whatever for either part of this statement, though it has
often been repeated and was improved upon by Leigh Hunt, who asserted
that "balls and suppers certainly took place in it." Funny "balls" they
must have been on the old brick floor! Hunt has nothing more to say of
it than rather scornfully to call it "a long kind of out-house, never
designed for anything else but what it is, a greenhouse." In so great
contempt, indeed, does it appear to have been held about this time, that
it is said the idea was once seriously entertained by some official
wiseacre of pulling it down and carting it away as rubbish! And this
while the State was annually devoting hundreds of thousands of pounds to
art education, art schools, art teachers, and art collections, leaving
one of our most precious monuments to perish from decay! "Out-house" and
"greenhouse" though it be, we would rather see it preserved than half
the buildings of recent times.


=Terrace of Queen Anne's Orangery.=

Before examining the orangery in detail, let us stand a moment in front
of it, on the terrace, platform, or _estrade_--by whichever name we may
call it--of Portland stone, with steps going down from it in front and
at both ends. Here formerly stood, in the summer, some of Queen Anne's
choicest exotics; and here Her Majesty doubtless often sat to have tea,
gossiping with the Duchess of Marlborough or Abigail Hill. In front the
steps led down into a formal parterre.

Now, however, the most prominent objects to the eye here, are the
glass-houses, and the tops of the forcing frames, in which the whole
stock for the bedding out in the park and gardens has been reared for
the last thirty or forty years. It is truly an amazing thing that a
piece of ground, situated as this is, close under the windows of the
Palace, and opposite this orangery, should have been appropriated to so
grossly disfiguring a use. This particular spot is the very last, one
would have supposed, which would have been pitched on for the purpose.
It will not be long, we trust, before the whole ground will be cleared,
and devoted once more to an old-fashioned sunk formal garden, with such
quaint devices as clipped shrubs, trimmed box, figured beds, sundials,
leaden vases--such as still survive in many an old country house.

Nor do we see why such restorations should stop here, nor why much of
the ground around the Palace should not be laid out in the old English
style, with some, at any rate, of the many embellishments for which
Evelyn pleaded as suitable for a royal garden: "Knots, trayle work,
parterres, compartments, borders, banks, embossments, labyrinths,
dædals, cabinets, cradles, close walks, galleries, pavilions, porticoes,
lanthorns, and other _relievos_ of topiary and horticulan architecture,
fountaines, jettes, cascades, pisceries, rocks, grottoes, cryptæ,
mounts, precipices, and ventiducts; gazon theatres, artificial echoes,
automate and hydraulic music!"

Barring the last half dozen items, something in the antique formal style
would, indeed, be a relief from the tedious monotony of modern
"landscape" gardening.


=Exterior of Queen Anne's Orangery.=

As a specimen of an unaffectedly ornamented exterior of brick, this
elevation to the south, aiming rather at simplicity and plain dignity
than magnificence or grandeur, is to our view admirable.

In the centre is a compartment, more decoratively treated than the rest,
with four rusticated piers or pillars of brick, supporting an
entablature of the Doric order, mainly in stone. The cornice, though
probably modelled on the original, must be modern, for it is in Roman
cement, a material which did not come into use in England until about a
hundred years ago; and it so happens that the date, 1805, has been found
on part of the woodwork adjoining. Above the cornice, over the central
window, or rather doorway, is a semi-circular window, apparently to give
light into the roof. On each side of the central compartment are four
high windows, with sashes filled with small panes; and at each end are
slightly projecting wings, or bays, with window-doors, extra high, and
reaching to the floor level, to admit tall-grown oranges and other
plants. These are flanked by plain rusticated piers of bright red
brick; beyond which are plain brick niches, with small brackets above
them.

A very similar arrangement of windows and niches is repeated at the east
and west return ends of the building; where, however, the large window
is surmounted by a small semi-circular recess or panel, and the whole
overhung by the deep, wide eave of the gable of the roof.

The total exterior length of the building is 171 feet, the width 32
feet.


=Interior of Queen Anne's Orangery.=

It is not, however, the exterior of this building, but the interior,
which will arouse in those who behold it the greatest admiration, for it
is here that we can appreciate Wren's imaginative and constructive
genius at its very best. The longer we know and contemplate it, the more
supremely beautiful does it strike us, both in the mass and in its
details. We will not describe it with any minuteness; but content
ourselves with recording that the central portion of each wall, is
treated more elaborately than the rest, being ornamented with Corinthian
columns, supporting a richly carved entablature. The rest of the walls,
both between the windows on the south side, and on the unbroken surface
of the opposite north side, are panelled in deal wood, with beautiful
carved cornices above. At each end, both east and west, there is an
arch, flanked with panelled niches, and surmounted by festoons of
Gibbons' carving. These, we may observe in passing, proved, after being
cleaned, to be so worm-eaten, as to necessitate their being
repainted--mere staining not being sufficient to prevent their falling
to pieces. They are now in fact, held together by the coatings of new
paint.

The dimensions of this main portion of the interior are: 112 feet long
and 24 feet wide between the brick walls, three inches less each way
between the woodwork. The height to the ceiling is 24 feet 6 inches, and
to the top of the cornice 22 feet 9 inches.


=The Alcoves of Queen Anne's Orangery.=

Fine, however, as is the main and central portion of this interior, the
alcoves, into which we pass through the arches at each end of it,
impress us still more with their admirable proportions, their supreme
grace of design, the exquisite beauty of their decorative detail.

Their shape is circular, with fluted Corinthian columns, supporting
highly-carved architraves and cornices, and flanking the entrances, the
windows opposite these and on the south, and the panelled spaces on the
north wall. There are also intervening niches with semicircular heads,
springing from richly carved imposts. The ceilings, which are circular,
rising in coves from behind the cornices, are "saucer-domed."

The dimensions of these alcoves are: east one, diameter, 24 feet, west
one, 24 feet 4-1/2 inches; height to the centre of the dome, 24 feet 2
inches, to the top of the cornice 20 feet.


=Restoration of Queen Anne's Orangery.=

The whole of this beautiful interior, however, now presents a very
different appearance from what it did when taken in hand about a year
ago.

This is how it was described in an interesting article in "The Times" on
the 28th of January, 1898: "The exquisite interior has been the victim
not merely of neglect, but of chronic outrage. For, as the little garden
between this and the Palace has been found a convenient place on which
to put up the glasshouses, frames and potting-sheds necessary for the
park gardeners, what more natural, to the official eye, than that the
Orangery close by should be pressed into the same service? Accordingly,
at some time or other, which cannot have been very many years ago, more
than half the beautiful high panelling of this building was torn down
and has disappeared, the gardeners' stands have been let into the walls,
and there the daily work has proceeded with no thought that it was daily
desecration."

The work of restoring all these beautiful carvings, which has been in
progress during the last fifteen months, has now put an entirely
different aspect on this interior, and not in vain has every piece of
old carving been treasured up, cleaned, repaired, and patched in, with
scrupulous care.

When this work was completed, the question arose, whether the woodwork
was to be all painted over white, as it doubtless originally was, or
merely lightly stained. White painting would, perhaps, have been
artistically, as well as archæologically, the preferable course. But it
was thought that white paint, in the smoky, foggy atmosphere of modern
Kensington, and with the clouds of dust particles from the tread of
numberless visitors, would soon take on the dirty tinge of London mud;
and thus have required such frequent renewal as eventually to choke up
again all the sharpness of the delicate chiselling of the foliated
capitals, architraves and cornices.

The decision eventually come to, therefore, was to stain it, with a tone
of colour like oak, which gives full prominence and clearness to the
carved surfaces. This staining alone, apart from the previous cleaning,
has involved no less than eight distinct processes: (1) washing down;
(2) vinegaring over to take out lime stains; (3) the same repeated; (4)
sizing to keep the stain from penetrating the wood; (5) the same
repeated; (6) staining; (7) varnishing; (8) flat-varnishing.

[Illustration: Decoration]


=Kensington Gardens.=

The modern so-called "Kensington Gardens" are, as we have already
explained, identical with the original domain of old Nottingham House,
increased by the addition of some hundred acres or more taken from Hyde
Park. When William III. first acquired the Nottingham estate he
appointed his favourite, Bentinck, Earl of Portland, "Superintendent of
Their Majesties' Gardens and Plantations within the boundary lines of
Their Majesties' said house at Kensington"--an office distinct from that
of Ranger of Hyde Park--and some planting and other improvements seem to
have been carried out at that time in these "plantations."

Queen Anne's inclosure of a hundred acres from Hyde Park to form a
paddock for deer we have already noted.

Faulkner's exaggerated statement that nearly three hundred acres were
taken in and added to Kensington Gardens by Queen Caroline has been
confuted by Mr. Loftie; but he has gone to the other extreme in
declaring that no alteration whatever was, at any time, made in the
boundary between the park and the gardens. Nevertheless, it is still
doubtful whether Queen Caroline is to be held responsible for any
"rectification" of these frontiers. The reference already quoted, in the
Treasury Papers of the year 1729, for an allowance of £200 to the ranger
"in consideration of loss of herbage of that part of the said park,
which is laid into His Majesty's gardens at Kensington," may of course
refer to the portion previously taken in by Queen Anne.


=Queen Caroline's Improvements in Kensington Gardens.=

To Queen Caroline, however, is certainly due the main credit of the
creation of Kensington Gardens, as we now know them; for it was her
reforming and transforming zeal which made the great "Basin" or "Round
Pond;" turned a string of small ponds, in the course of the "West
Bourne," into the Serpentine; laid out the "Broad Walk," and designed
the diverging and converging vistas and avenues of trees intersecting
the grounds in all directions.

In all these extensive works of improvement Charles Bridgeman, the
King's gardener, was employed; and we find from the old Treasury Minute
Book that in 1729 no less a sum than £5,000 was due to him "for works in
the paddock and gardens at Kensington."

About the same date, Queen Caroline, during one of George II.'s absences
in Hanover, issued an order that:

     "The King's ministers being very much incommoded by the dustiness
     of the road leading through Hyde Park, now they are obliged to
     attend Her Majesty at Kensington, it was her pleasure that the
     whole of the said road be kept constantly watered, instead of the
     ring in the Park; and that no coaches other than those of the
     nobility and gentry be suffered to go into or pass through the
     Park."


Kensington Gardens in the Nineteenth Century.

At that period the gardens were opened to the public only on Saturdays,
when the company appeared in full dress. This was the time of the great
fashionable promenade. During the reign of George III. they were opened
every day in the week, summer and winter, under certain regulations,
"and the number of the gatekeepers," says Faulkner, writing in 1819,
"have lately been increased, who are uniformly clothed in green." He
adds: "The great South Walk, leading to the Palace, is crowded on Sunday
mornings in the spring and summer with a display of all the beauty and
fashion of the great metropolis, and affords a most gratifying
spectacle, not to be equalled in Europe."

In the middle of this century the tide of fashion set back towards
Rotten Row and Hyde Park Corner; and Kensington Gardens have, for the
last sixty or eighty years, been very little frequented by the "world."
Their attractions, however, have not suffered on this account in the
view of the poet, the artist, and the lover of nature. "Here in
Kensington," wrote Haydon the painter, "are some of the most poetical
bits of trees and stump, and sunny brown and green glens and tawny
earth."

But it is not within the scope of these pages, confined as they are to
topics directly connected with Kensington Palace as a new public resort,
to describe these two hundred and fifty acres of delightful verdant
lawns, sylvan glades, and grassy slopes. We must resist the temptation,
therefore, to wander away into the attractive prospect, which unfolds
itself beneath our gaze when looking out from the windows of the state
rooms, or into which we can saunter when we quit the Palace. Moreover,
their charms, as they were and are, have been drawn by too many master
hands--by Tickell, Leigh Hunt, Thackeray, Disraeli--to encourage any
attempt at their description here. In our own day they have still been
the favourite resort of many a jaded Londoner, in which to snatch a few
hours of quiet and repose, out of the whirl of the great city around.
Matthew Arnold's charming poem, "Lines written in Kensington Gardens,"
will occur to many, especially that stanza:

    "In this lone open glade I lie,
      Screen'd by deep boughs on either hand;
    And at its end to stay the eye,
      Those black-crown'd, red-boled pine trees stand."

[Illustration: Decoration]

[Illustration: SOUTH FRONT OF KENSINGTON PALACE IN 1819.

(After Westall.)]


=South Front of the Palace.=

We may look upon this façade as architecturally the most interesting
portion of the existent Palace of Kensington, for it shows us the
exterior almost exactly as finished by Wren for William and Mary, about
the year 1691. While unpretentious and plain, it is well and solidly
built, and altogether appropriate to the purpose which it was intended
to serve, namely, that of a comfortable, homely, suburban residence for
the King and Queen and the court.

The long lower building of two main storeys, in deep purple-red brick,
to the left, forms the south range of the chief courtyard; and there is
every reason to believe that it is a part of the original Nottingham
House, altered and improved by Wren. The loftier building, to the right,
of three storeys, in bright red brick, is unquestionably entirely
Wren's, and in the old accounts is referred to as "the new Gallery
Building." All the windows on the top or second floor here, except the
two on the extreme right, are those of the "King's Gallery" (described
on page 117). The floor beneath consisted, and consists, of the
sovereign's private apartments. The four fine carved vases of Portland
stone, surmounting the four pilasters of the same, are probably those
mentioned in the old accounts as carved by Gabriel Cibber for _£_787
5_s._


Wren's Domestic Style.

Those who are at all acquainted with Wren's style and inclinations will
not be surprised at the marked plainness of his work here--so little
accordant with ordinary pompous preconceived notions of what befits a
regal dwelling-house. In planning habitable buildings we find he always
mainly considered use and convenience--adapting his external
architectural effects to the exigencies of his interiors. Ever ready,
indeed, to devote the full range of his great constructive genius to
the commonest works, rendering whatever he designed a model for the use
to which it was to be put, he was, in these respects, essentially a
"builder" before all; not only a designer of elevations and a drawer of
plans, but a practical worker, thinking nothing useful beneath his
notice. There was, in fact, nothing of the lofty, hoity-toity architect
about him; on the contrary, absorbed with questions of adaptability and
convenience; searching into details of material and workmanship; we find
him in his seat at the head of the Board of Works rigorously testing,
sifting and discussing estimates, values, specifications and
"quantities." It is due to this side of his mind that so much of his
work has endured intact to this day; while we owe it to his positive
intuitive genius for rendering his creations well-proportioned and
dignified, as well as convenient and comfortable; to his wonderful skill
in arranging positions, sizes, and shapes to meet the exigencies of
light and air, that his houses still remain so habitable, and are
distinguished by so homelike an air.


=East Front of the Palace.=

This aspect of Kensington Palace, which we almost hesitate to dignify
with the name of "Front" consists mainly of two distinct portions:
first, the "return" or end of Wren's "Gallery Building," on the left,
distinguished by its fine red brickwork and its deep cornice, similar to
the same on the south side; and on the right, the building tacked on to
it, built for George I. by Kent, as already mentioned on page 23, and
further referred to on pages 86, 93, and 99. We must frankly say--and
few are likely to differ from us--that Kent's building here is about as
ugly and inartistic as anything of the sort could be. It is not alone
the common, dirty, yellow, stock brick with which it is built, but the
whole shape and design, with its pretentious pediment, ponderous and
hideous, the prototype of acres upon acres of ghastly modern London
structures in the solid "workhouse" style. It is amazing that Kent,
with so excellent a model of plainness and simplicity in Wren's
buildings on each side, should have stuck in this ill-formed, abortive
block between them. Fortunately, his taste as a decorator was greatly
superior to his powers as an architect, so that the interior portions of
this building of his, which consists of additional state-rooms, are not
entirely deficient in merit, as we shall see. The three central windows
are those of the "King's Drawing Room," (see page 99).

[Illustration: PLAN OF THE STATE ROOMS KENSINGTON PALACE.]

To the north-west of the structure comprising Kent's state apartments
lies another of the older parts of the Palace, a low building of two
storeys, in deep russet brick, of uniform appearance, with fifteen
windows in a row on the first floor. This range, built, or, at any rate,
altered and improved by Wren, and forming the east side of Princess's
Court, comprises the state and habitable rooms of Queen Mary and Queen
Anne. At its extreme north end is the "Queen's Staircase," now the
public entrance to the state rooms.


=Public Entrance to the Palace.=

Access to the state rooms open to the public being by way of the
"Queen's" or "Denmark Staircase," situated in the northernmost angle of
the building, visitors approach it from the north-west corner of
"Kensington Gardens," where, as we have already explained, were formerly
situated those parts of the old formal gardens attached to the Palace,
which were laid out by Queen Anne, called the "Old Gravel Pit," the
"Wilderness," etc. The path here, leading straight up to the present
public entrance, was then known as "Brazen-face Walk." Going along it
southwards, we pass between a pair of fine gate-posts of red brick,
surmounted by richly-carved vases of Portland stone, evidently designed
by Wren, already referred to in our account of "Old Kensington Palace
Gardens" on page 48; and then between a privet hedge and a wire fence up
to the public doorway into the "Queen's Staircase."

This doorway, on the north wall, is very commonplace; with a porch in
the later Georgian style, consisting of a couple of pillars of Portland
stone, glazed between, and supporting a hood above.

Round the corner, however, on the east wall, is a very different
doorway, both interesting and picturesque. It is the one which
originally gave access to the staircase, and was designed and built by
Sir Christopher Wren, probably in the year 1691. The space within the
hood or circular pediment above the door is filled with beautiful stone
carving, in the centre of which is a shield or panel bearing the
initials W. M. R. Above this is a brick niche with a bracket, on which
stands an old urn or flower-pot. Something very similar probably stood
here formerly, and was thus charged for in the old parchment accounts
for the years 1689-91:

     "Henry Long for a large vase of earth (terra-cotta) wrought with
     handles and festoons painted with gilt £6 10_s._"


=Queen's Staircase.=

This forms the entrance by which the public are admitted into the State
Rooms. Built by Sir Christopher Wren for Queen Mary on the "Queen's
Side" of the Palace, it was called the "Queen's Staircase," while being
situated in that part of the Palace which was at one time occupied by
Queen Anne and her husband, Prince George of Denmark, it has also been
occasionally known as the "Denmark Staircase," as this portion of the
building itself has been called the "Denmark Wing."

       *       *       *       *       *

In the view of the ordinary Londoner, with eye too much dazzled and
demoralized by the tawdry vulgarities of the over-gilded,
over-looking-glassed, blazing, modern "Restaurant" style of decoration,
this beautiful staircase, in its just proportions and its subdued
simplicity, may appear plain, if not mean.

Yet as an example of the genuine, unaffected old English treatment of
oak wainscoting, as a cover and ornament to large wall spaces, nothing
could be more pleasing and more appropriate. The deep rich, almost
ruddy, tone of colour of the wood, the admirable proportion and balance
of the stiles and rails to the sizes of the panels, their adjustment to
the rise of the stairs, and their fitment to the various spaces on the
walls, produce an effect of soundness and comfort, most admirable and
nowhere to be matched.


Old Oak Wainscoting of the Staircase.

When the work of cleaning down this woodwork was taken in hand last
autumn, it was, as the phrase is, "as black as your hat;" and it was
then supposed to have been smeared over, at some time or other, with a
black stain. It proved, however, to be only ingrained with dirt and
dust, which had been coated over with red-lead and boiled oil, and which
quickly yielded to cleansing.

Nevertheless, the oak is not English, but probably Norwegian, which
seems to be richer in the grain than our own native tree. It is clear
that the wood must have been carefully cut in such a way as to show as
much "figure" as possible--the cuttings being, with this distinct
object, as nearly as possible radiating from the centre of the trunk of
the tree--the "medullary rays" of the wood being, in fact, sliced
through, instead of intersected transversely. This has the effect of
displaying the largest amount of the grain.


Window Sashes of the Staircase.

The visitor should notice the difference in the sashes of the two
windows on the left-hand side of the stairs as you go up, as compared
with the other two on the landing at the top. The first two windows have
had large panes of glass--2 feet 1 inch high by 1 foot 2-1/2 inches
wide--and thin bars, substituted for the original smaller panes--12-1/2
inches high by 9-1/2 inches wide--and the thick moulded bars, which
still remain in the landing windows. This side by side comparison
enables us to estimate how deplorable and stupid was the want of taste,
which led to the destruction here, as elsewhere in this Palace, of the
picturesque, well-proportioned spacings of the window panes, to insert
instead ill-proportioned panes and thin bars.

Not until the time of George II. did this foolish, inartistic fancy come
into vogue. Wren, of course, knew what he was about when he selected the
sizes of the spaces and bars. He determined them on definite principles
of scale and proportion, according to the sashes they were intended to
fill, and according, also, to the dimensions of the room, and the plan
and shape of the surrounding wainscot. He had, in fact, eight or ten
different types of sashes--the mouldings, as well as the widths and
sizes of the bars varying, and the shapes of the panes--square or
upright--varying also; not like your ingenious modern builder, who runs
out "mouldings" at so much a foot, mitres them up into equal spaces,
and, regardless of scale and proportion, sticks in the same sized
sashes, panes, and bars everywhere, in large lofty rooms or small low
ones--all alike.

The dimensions of this staircase are 24 feet 3 inches long by 22 feet 10
inches wide, and 25 feet high.


=Queen Mary's Gallery.=

Queen Mary and Queen Anne are the sovereigns with whom this gallery is
mainly associated; and indeed, it is now--since the restorations of the
last twelve months, which have mainly consisted in repairing the
panelling, and removing the paint with which it was all smeared over in
the reign of George I.--to be seen for the first time for a hundred and
seventy-four years, exactly as it appeared in their time. It remains,
indeed, more intact than any other room in the Palace; and with its
beautiful deep-toned oak panelling, its richly-carved cornice, its
low-coved ceiling, and its closely-spaced, thick-barred window-sashes,
it has a most comfortable, old-fashioned air.

There is no storey above this gallery, but only a span roof; and it was
originally--we do not know exactly when--a true "gallery" in the old
English meaning of the word, that is, a long chamber with windows on
both sides. The window spaces or recesses, on the right or west side,
still remain behind the panelling, and are exactly opposite the existent
windows on the left or east side. We may observe, also, that the room
seems at one time to have terminated just beyond the sixth window,
reckoning from the entrance, the line of the wall behind the wainscot on
the right, setting back at this point about a foot; while on the left
side, both inside and out, there is a straight joint in the brickwork,
and a break in the line of the wall.


Wainscoting and Carvings of Queen Mary's Gallery.

The wainscoting, as we have already indicated, was fixed here in the
early years of the reign of Queen Mary. The panels, which are very thin
and of unusual breadth, nevertheless have remained but little twisted or
buckled to this day, owing to Wren's particular and invariable
insistence that only the best seasoned wood should be used in all the
work under his charge. In the course of the restorations, it has,
however, been necessary to take it all to pieces in order to repair the
injuries of nearly two centuries of misusage and neglect. Here, as in
the staircase, are to be noticed the extreme richness in grain of the
old oak, and its deep warm tone of colour.

From the old enrolled parchment accounts of the years 1689-1691, we find
that Henry Hobb and Alexander Forst were the joiners who made the
wainscoting, as well as the "shashes," shutters, window-boards,
chimney-pieces, picture frames, shelves, etc.; while Nicolas Alcocke,
William Emet, and Grinling Gibbons carved "1,405 feet Ionick medallion
and hollow cornish; 942 feet of picture frame over the doors and
chimneys, and 89 feet of astragall moulding, about the glasses in the
chimneys." Another item of payment in the same accounts, also relating
to the work here, is the following:

     "To Gerard Johnson, Cabinet maker, for severall pannells of
     wainscot, covered with looking-glass for chimney pieces in the
     King's dining-roome, the gallerie, and over the doors, and for
     putting them up--£100."

Among others here referred to were doubtless =the looking-glasses= over
the two chimney-pieces in this gallery. These are particularly fine and
worthy of notice. When the restorations were begun last summer, they
were literally dropping to pieces, falling in shreds, we might say. The
greatest care has been taken to piece the bits together; and to replace
the missing portions. Only such patched and added parts have been
regilt; the old gilding still remaining almost as bright and untarnished
as when these glasses were first put up, two hundred years ago, by
Gerard Johnson, cabinet maker, and Robert Streeter, serjeant painter.
Honour to their names, as two good old English handicraftsmen, whose
honest work thus survives to this day!

Over each of the four doors are long richly-carved brackets of oak,
similar to those on which rest the looking-glasses over the
chimney-pieces. We know from Pyne's drawing in 1818, that these brackets
over the doors then still supported looking-glasses, with richly carved
frames. Unfortunately, all trace of them has now disappeared.

=The chimney-piece= of the first fire-place on the right as you enter
the gallery is the original one of Wren's design, of marble streaked and
veined blue-grey. The second, of white marble streaked with red,
technically known as "Breche-violett-antico," is new--copied from the
first. This fire-place was, until last summer, filled with a common
cooking range, inserted many years ago for the use of the soldiers, when
this gallery was used as a barrack!

=The window-sashes= in this gallery are of the charming old-fashioned
type, divided by thick, deeply moulded bars, into small rectangular
spaces. Through these windows we have a pleasant view eastward of the
private gardens of the Palace, and of Kensington Gardens beyond.

The dimensions of this gallery are: 88 feet 4 inches long by 22 feet
broad by 13 feet 3-1/2 inches high to the top of the cornice, and 17
feet 13 inches high to the highest part of the ceiling.


=Pictures in Queen Mary's Gallery. Portraits of the Time of William and
Mary to George II.=

1 Queen Mary . . . . . KNELLER.

     Full-length, standing, in royal robes; her left hand lifting her
     ermine cloak; her right holding the orb on the table by her side,
     on which also is the crown on a cushion. In the right distance is
     seen the parapet of the roof of Wren's building at Hampton Court.

     This and its companion piece of King William, at the other end of
     this gallery, were painted by Kneller about 1692, in which year he
     was knighted.

2 George II. (_718_) . . . . . _By Shackleton, after_ KNELLER.

     Seated, in robes of the Garter, facing to the left.

3 _Unassigned._

4 Frederick, Prince of Wales (_619_) . . . . . VANLOO.

     Full-length, face turned to the right. His right hand is extended,
     his left holds back his crimson and ermine cloak. His dress is blue
     with rich gold lace. He has a short wig. On canvas, 7 ft. 9 in.
     high, by 4 ft. 9 in. wide.

     Vanloo came to England in 1737, and this portrait was probably
     painted about two years after. He became a very popular artist, and
     made a great deal of money, for, as his French biographer
     observes:--"L'Angleterre est le pays où il se fait le plus de
     portraits et où ils sont mieux payés." Engraved by Baron.

     This picture, therefore, dates from the time when the Prince was
     about thirty-one years of age, and had been expelled from St.
     James's Palace, and was in declared enmity with his father. His
     insignificant character, which excited contempt rather than
     dislike, is very happily satirized in the famous epitaph:

            "Here lies Fred,
            Who was alive and is dead;
            Had it been his father,
            I had much rather;
            Had it been his brother,
            Still better than another;
            Had it been his sister,
            No one would have missed her;
            Had it been the whole generation,
            Still better for the nation;
            But since 'tis only Fred,
            Who was alive and is dead,
            There's no more to be said."

5 _Unassigned._

6 Caroline, Queen of George II. (_784_) . . . . . ZEEMAN?

     Full-length, standing, figure to the left, face a little to the
     right. Her left hand holds up her cloak, her right is on a table,
     on which is a crown and sceptre. She wears a blue velvet dress
     trimmed with broad gold braid, and a white satin skirt, richly
     worked with gold and jewels. Her hair is short and powdered. On
     canvas, 7 ft. 9 in. high, by 4 ft. 9 in. wide.

     This was formerly attributed to Kneller, but it cannot be by him,
     as she is represented as queen, while Kneller died four years
     before her accession. Caroline was forty-five when her husband
     became king.

     "Her levées," says Coxes, "were a strange picture of the motley
     character and manners of a queen and a learned woman. She received
     company while she was at her toilette; prayers and sometimes a
     sermon were read; learned men and divines were intermixed with
     courtiers and ladies of the household; the conversation turned on
     metaphysical subjects, blended with repartees, sallies of mirth,
     and the tittle-tattle of a drawing-room."

7 _Unassigned._

8 Portrait of George I. (_782_) . . . . . KNELLER.

     Seated, facing in front. He is in the robes of the Order of the
     Garter. His left hand on the arm of the chair, his right on a
     table, whereon are a crown and a plumed helmet. On canvas, 7 ft. 9
     in. high, by 4 ft. 9 in. wide.

     George I. was the tenth sovereign who sat to Kneller, and for this
     portrait, which was painted soon after his accession, the king made
     him baronet. Addison refers to it in his "Lines to Sir Godfrey
     Kneller on his picture of the King," beginning:

          "Kneller, with silence and surprise
          We see Britannia's monarch rise,
          A godlike form, by thee displayed
          In all the force of light and shade;
          And, awed by thy delusive hand,
          As in the Presence Chamber stand."



9 William III. when Prince of Orange (_864_) . . . . . KNELLER.

     Half-length, facing to the right, with his right hand extended.

10 George II. in his Old Age (_598_) . . . . . _By Shackleton, after_
PINE.

     Full-length; in a rich dress, with the Order of the Garter, his
     left hand on his sword, his right in his bosom. His eyes are cast
     upwards.

11 Peter the Great, Czar of Russia (_60_) . . . . . KNELLER.

     Full-length, in armour, with a truncheon in his left hand, and his
     right hand on his hip. From his shoulders hangs a mantle lined with
     ermine and embroidered with the double eagle. To the left is a
     table, on which is the crown imperial. The background, which shows
     some ships, is said to be signed by _W. Vandevelde_, but no trace
     of this exists. On canvas, 7 ft. 9 in. high, by 4 ft. 9 in. wide.
     There is also an inscription, of which I can only make out the
     words: "_Petrus Alexander Magnus Domimus Cæsar & Magnus Dux
     Moscouiæ ... Eques. Pinxit 1698_." Engraved by Smith.

     This picture was painted for William III. during Peter the Great's
     visit to England, in the early part of 1698, and probably in the
     house in Norfolk Street, where he took up his residence and lived
     in close seclusion. It is considered one of the best portraits of
     the Czar extant, and well portrays "his stately form, his
     intellectual forehead, his piercing black eyes, and his Tartar nose
     and mouth." His age was then twenty-six years. He naturally excited
     the greatest curiosity, and became the principal topic of
     conversation. Every one was full of stories of him; "of the immense
     quantities of meat which he devoured, the pints of brandy which he
     drank, the fool who jabbered at his feet, the monkey which grinned
     at the back of his chair," and last, but not least, of his filthy
     habits. When he went to stay at Evelyn's house, Sayes Court, at
     Deptford, in order to more conveniently indulge in his favourite
     pursuit of shipbuilding, Evelyn's servant writes to him:--"There is
     a house full of people, and right nasty. The Czar lies next your
     Library, and dines in the parlour next your study. He dines at ten
     o'clock and six at night, is very seldom home a whole day, very
     often in the King's Yard or by water, dressed in several dresses."
     Evelyn himself afterwards remarked "how miserably the Czar had left
     his house, after three months making it his Court."

     Peter visited King William in Kensington Palace, as we have noted
     in our "Historical Sketch," and as we shall notice again in our
     account of the King's Gallery.

12 King William III . . . . . KNELLER.

     Full-length, in royal garter robes; his left hand by his sword, his
     right on his hip. The crown and orb are on a table on his left;
     pillars and a curtain behind.

     This is a companion piece to the portrait of Queen Mary at the
     other end of this gallery.

13 Portrait of Mrs. Elliott . . . . . JOHN RILEY.

     Half-length, seated; turned to the left, but facing in front. She
     is dressed in black; her right hand rests on the arm of the chair;
     she holds a handkerchief on her lap in her left.

     This was in Queen Anne's catalogue, No. 331:--"Mrs. Elliott at
     half-length." It is a good specimen of a portrait-painter who
     flourished in the time of Charles II. and James II., and whose
     talents have hardly had justice done them.

     Mrs. Elliott was the wife of Mr. Elliott, Gentleman of the
     Bedchamber to Charles II., and sister to Secretary Craggs.

14 Two Daughters of George II . . . . . MAINGAUD.

     The eldest is to the left, standing, her right arm clasping a stem
     of tree, round which twines a vine; her left hand giving a rose to
     her younger sister; she is dressed in white. Her sister is kneeling
     to the right, facing in front, and takes the rose with her left
     hand; her right rests on a lictor's fasces. On canvas, 4 ft. 6 in.
     high, by 3 ft. 7 in. wide.

[Illustration: Decoration]


=Queen's Closet.=

This small room, which is but 23 feet 3 inches long by 12 feet wide, and
12 feet 9 inches high, is called in Pyne's drawing, published in 1817,
"The Queen's Closet,"--and this most probably is its correct
designation, though in Faulkner's "History of Kensington," published but
three years after, it is described as the "Queen's Dressing Room." Its
walls were at that time still entirely panelled with the oak wainscot
with which Wren had covered them. Afterwards all this was removed and
the walls plastered and distempered, the room being used as a kitchen.
The existent oak chair-rail and cornice, inserted during the last few
months, are copied from old models in this palace.

       *       *       *       *       *

Across the angle, where was originally the fire-place, is temporarily
fixed a very beautiful =stone chimney-piece=, formerly in Westminster
Palace, in one of the rooms on the north side of Westminster Hall. When
the old law-courts on that side were removed, this chimney-piece was
preserved by the Office of Works. It is one of the finest specimens
extant of a late Tudor domestic chimney-piece work, bearing the initial
and crown of Queen Elizabeth.


Pictures of Old London.

In this chamber are collected various pictures of Old London, moved from
Hampton Court and other royal palaces. Few of them, excepting one or two
attributed to Scott, have much artistic merit, but they are interesting
as representations of the topography of London, and especially of the
banks of the Thames.

20 View of the Horse Guards from St. James's Park
(_1022_) . . . . . JAMES.

     The buildings of the Horse Guards are seen on the right, and in the
     centre distance, Westminster.

21 View on the Thames--Old London Bridge and Fishmongers' Hall
(_1044_) . . . . . JAMES.

     The view is taken eastward; and right across the picture is the old
     bridge, with the houses built on it. On the left are Fishmongers'
     Hall and the column on Fish Street Hill.

     These are two of a series of views of Old London from the Thames,
     by William James, an imitator and probably a pupil of Canaletti's,
     though he resembles him in little except his mechanical precision.
     His works, however, are interesting to the antiquarian, as they are
     almost photographic in their accuracy.

22 View on the Thames--Old Somerset House and Temple Gardens
(_1023_) . . . . . JAMES.

     The north bank of the Thames is seen, looking eastward, from about
     the position of the middle of the present Waterloo bridge. On the
     extreme left is old Somerset House, with its landing-stairs, next
     comes the Temple, and in the distance St. Paul's. Behind are seen
     the spires of St. Mary-le-Strand, St. Clement Danes, St. Bride's,
     Fleet Street, etc. On canvas, 2 ft. high, by 3 ft. 8 in. wide.

23 View on the Thames--The Savoy, the Temple, &c.
(_1031_) . . . . . JAMES.

     On the left is the old Savoy Palace with its curious chequered
     brickwork; more in the middle old Somerset House, the Temple, etc.
     On the right is seen a portion of the south bank of the Thames.

24 View on the Thames--Old Fleet Ditch (_1043_) . . . . . JAMES.

     The mouth of the Fleet Ditch is in the centre of the picture,
     crossed by a stone foot-bridge of a single arch. On both sides of
     it are large buildings.


25 View on the Thames--The Adelphi, Whitehall, and Westminster
(_1032_) . . . . . JAMES.

     The view is of the north bank looking westward, and shows, on the
     right, Inigo Jones' water-gate; next the octagonal tower of the
     waterworks, then Whitehall, and beyond, Westminster Abbey and the
     old bridge.

26 View on the Thames--Greenwich Hospital (_1079_) . . . . . JAMES.

     The view is taken eastward, and shows Greenwich Hospital on the
     left, and the church to the right.

27 View on the Thames--Old Savoy Palace (_1045_) . . . . . SCOTT?

     The view is the same as No. 23. In an old inventory there is an
     entry relating to it:--"Rec^{d}. 23^{rd} March 1819. View of the
     Savoy, with old Somerset House, on the banks of the Thames, painted
     by Scott, the English Canaletti. Bought of Colnaghi, £265." Samuel
     Scott, the marine painter, is the artist referred to. He was a
     companion of Hogarth's, and a jovial one too--but he was also much
     more, being an admirable painter of marine and topographical
     subjects. There are three characteristic views of London by him in
     the National Gallery, where is also his own portrait by Hudson.

28 The Thames from the Hill above Greenwich (_1016_) . . . . . DANCKERS.

     To the left is the Observatory rising high up. Below is Greenwich
     and the Hospital, and the river winding round the "Isle of Dogs,"
     and London seen in the distance. Though hitherto unnamed, this is
     doubtless:--"The Landscape of Greenwich, the prospect to London; by
     Danckers," in James II.'s catalogue, No. 195. (_Royal Catalogue._)

[Illustration: Decoration]


=Queen Anne's Private Dining Room.=

This picturesque little room remains almost exactly in the same state as
it was when finished about 1690 for Queen Mary, who, perhaps, as well as
Queen Anne, used it as a private dining room. It is, indeed, a very
characteristic example of one of Wren's comfortable and eminently
habitable rooms. The protruding doorway in the right-hand corner, the
picturesque recess on the left-hand side of the fireplace, and the
porch-like treatment of the similar recess on the other side--where is
the doorway into the Queen's Closet--all show how the accidents of
construction and convenience may be so judiciously laid hold of, as to
render what would otherwise have been a mere uninteresting commonplace
room, a charmingly homelike and picturesque one. Such an example as this
of Wren's artistic adaptability should be a most valuable
"object-lesson" to modern builders, who, when not planning exactly
rectangular rooms, go to the other extreme of straining after a designed
and artificial "quaintness."

     The coved ceiling, rising from behind the oak cornice, adds greatly
     to the apparent height of the room.

     The dimensions are: 17 feet 9 inches long by 14 feet wide.

It was in this and the similar adjoining rooms that took place those
many curious intimate conversations between Queen Anne and the Duchess
of Marlborough, both when "Mrs. Morley" and her "dear Mrs. Freeman,"
were all in all to each other, and also when "Atossa" vainly endeavoured
by fury, invective, and torrents of reproaches and tears, to regain her
fast-waning influence over the dull and feeble, but stolid and
obstinate, mind of the Queen. It was at Kensington Palace too, and
perhaps in this very room, that took place their famous interview, one
April afternoon in the year 1710, when the only reply which the great
Duchess Sarah could get to her inquiring entreaties was the phrase "You
desired no answer and you shall have none,"--reiterated with
exasperating and callous monotony by her whilom friend and mistress.


Pictures in Queen Anne's Private Dining Room.

40 Installation of Knights of the Garter at Kensington Palace, on August
4th, 1713, by Queen Anne . . . . . PETER ANGELIS.

     There has been some question as to the exact ceremony, which is
     depicted here, but there can be but little doubt that it represents
     the Chapter of the Order of the Garter, held by Queen Anne at
     Kensington Palace on August 4th, 1713, when Henry Grey, Duke of
     Kent, Robert Harley, first Earl of Oxford, Charles Mordaunt, third
     Earl of Peterborough, and John, Earl Poulett, were installed as
     Knights of the Garter. The chapter was the last held by Queen Anne,
     and was held at Kensington, and not at Windsor, owing to her
     physical infirmities. Two of these noblemen kneel on the lowest
     step of the throne, and have already been invested with the mantle
     and collar of the Order and the Garter itself. The Queen places her
     hand upon the joined hand of the two Knights of the Garter. It is
     uncertain which of the noblemen are represented here, but the
     Knight kneeling on the right of the picture would appear to
     represent Harley. One of these noblemen is attended by a page boy
     in grey silk, and the other has two black boys supporting his long
     blue mantle. Among the Knights of the Garter in attendance, and
     they all wear their full robes and collars, one figure is prominent
     holding a long slender wand. This is probably Charles Talbot, Duke
     of Shrewsbury, who was Lord Chamberlain of the Household, Lord
     Lieutenant of Ireland, and for a brief period Lord High Treasurer.
     Two yeoman of the Guard, in the well-known costume, but without
     ruffs or rosettes to their shoes, holding halberds, stand
     prominently forth on the extreme left. Through a wide door, in the
     distant apartments, may be seen a crowd of courtiers waiting for
     admission, and through the large square panes of the window in a
     garden are seen clustered various persons in dark and formal
     attire, peering anxiously through the glass as if to obtain a
     sight of the ceremonial.

     On canvas, 2 ft. 5-1/4 in. high by 1 ft. 11-3/4 in. wide. Lent by
     the Trustees of the National Portrait Gallery.

41 William, Duke of Gloucester, son of Queen Anne
(_885_) . . . . . KNELLER.

     Bust; in an oval turned to the left, face seen in full. He is in
     armour, and has a blue ermine-lined cape. On canvas, 2-1/2 ft.
     high, by 2 ft. wide.

     The young duke, though of feeble constitution, was not deficient in
     martial spirit. When but a boy of six years old, he came to meet
     his uncle William of Orange, who had just returned from a campaign,
     with a little musket on his shoulder, and presented arms, saying,
     "I am learning my drill, that I may help you beat the French." The
     king was so pleased that he made him a knight of the Garter a few
     days after. Many men have received that honour for less. He died in
     July 1700.

42 Prince George of Denmark, Husband of Queen Anne (_884_) . . . . . DAHL.

     In an oval, to the shoulders; in armour.--His death in this Palace
     has been mentioned on page 22.

43 John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough . . . . . JAN WYCK.

     Three-quarters length, in armour; face turned three-quarters to the
     left. His left hand is on his hip, his right on a table by his
     side, on which is a plumed helmet. A battle scene is shown in the
     lower right background. On canvas, 3 ft. high, by 2 ft. 4 in. wide.
     Lent by the Trustees of the National Portrait Gallery.

     This portrait would seem to represent him as a comparatively young
     man--about twenty-three--after he had distinguished himself at
     Maestricht, when he was nicknamed by Turenne "the handsome
     Englishman." It was the period of his famous _liaison_ with the
     Duchess of Cleveland, who had fallen a willing victim to his beauty
     and his charm of manner. Lord Wolseley, in his "Life of
     Marlborough," describes his appearance at this period as:
     "Strikingly handsome, with a profusion of fair hair,
     strongly-marked, well-shaped eyebrows, long eyelashes, blue eyes,
     and refined, clearly-cut features. A wart on his right upper-lip
     though large, did not detract from his good looks. He was tall, and
     his figure was remarkably graceful, although a contemporary says:
     'Il avait l'air trop indolent, et la taille trop effilé.'"


=Queen Mary's Privy Chamber.=

Except for the oak panelling, which covered the walls of this room as
late as the beginning of this century, but which was removed now many
years ago, we see it exactly as it was finished for Queen Mary. Her
initial, with that of her husband, King William, appears in the fine
carved oak cornice. The ceiling is coved.

At one time this room was called "The Admiral's Gallery," on account of
the series of copies of portraits of British Admirals by Kneller and
Dahl, which formerly hung here--until their removal in 1835 to Hampton
Court, whence they have now been brought back to decorate again the
walls of these state rooms at Kensington. They are now hung, as we shall
see, in "The King's Gallery."

The dimensions of this room are: 25 feet long by 17 feet 10 inches wide,
by 12 feet 7 inches high to the top of the cornice, 15 feet 8 inches to
the highest part of the ceiling.


Pictures in Queen Mary's Privy Chamber.

50 Queen Mary, when Princess of Orange (_23_) . . . . . W. WISSING.

     Seated, nearly full length. She is dressed in blue in the costume
     of a lady of the time, and with a crimson mantle edged with ermine.
     Her left hand rests on a table, over which her mantle falls.
     Engraved by John Verkolje.

     This picture is signed on the left-hand side, and is the original
     of many replicas or copies at St. James's Palace, at
     Burley-on-the-Hill, Woburn, The Grove, etc. It was painted for
     James II., who sent Wissing over to the Hague for the purpose. His
     popularity as a portrait-painter was great, and was partly due no
     doubt to his making such flattering likenesses. "When any lady
     came to sit to him whose complexion was any ways pale, he would
     commonly take her by the hand and dance her about the room till she
     became warmer."

51 William III. when Prince of Orange . . . . . W. WISSING.

     Three-quarters length, standing; facing to the right, in a rich
     dress. This is the companion piece to the foregoing.

52 Portrait of James Stuart the Pretender (_664_) . . . . . B. LUTI.

     Half-length; facing in front, inclined to the right; his right hand
     only is seen. He is in the robes of the Order of the Garter, of
     which the jewel hangs on his breast, and has a long full-bottomed
     wig, a lace cravat and cuffs. On his left is a table on which is
     the royal crown of England. The background is gray, with a red
     curtain. On canvas, 3 ft. 3 in. high, by 2 ft. 6 in. wide.

     The canvas is new. Behind was formerly this inscription:--"_James
     son of James II.; by the Cavaliere Benedetto Luti, from the
     Cardinal of York's collection at Frascati._" (Note in the _Royal
     Inventory_.) This picture and No. 839 were bequeathed to George
     III. by Cardinal York, the old Pretender's son, and the last of the
     Stuarts, who died in 1807.

     It was no doubt painted at Rome, some time between the year 1718,
     when Prince James accepted the asylum in the Eternal City offered
     him by the Pope, and the year 1724, when Luti died there. In 1720
     he was married to the Princess Sobieski, and at the end of the same
     year the young Pretender was born.

     The Pretender's countenance has that heavy, sodden appearance, and
     that weak dejected look, which were due partly to his inert
     character, partly to his misfortunes, and not less to the debauched
     and indolent life he led. His person, indeed, was never impressive;
     and even an adherent, writing of the events at Perth in 1715,
     admits:--"I must not conceal, that when we saw the man, whom they
     called our King, we found ourselves not at all animated by his
     presence, and if he was disappointed in us, we were tenfold more so
     in him. We saw nothing in him that looked like spirit. He never
     appeared with cheerfulness and vigour to animate us. Our men began
     to despise him; some asked him if he could speak."

     Gray the poet gives a similar account of him some years after:--"He
     is a thin, ill-made man, extremely tall and awkward, of a most
     unpromising countenance, a good deal resembling King James II., and
     has extremely the air and look of an idiot, particularly when he
     laughs or prays; the first he does not do often, the latter
     continually." Horace Walpole observed that "enthusiasm and
     disappointment have stamped a solemnity on his person, which rather
     creates pity than respect."

53 Frederick, Prince of Wales, at a Party (_606_) . . . . . M. LAROON?

     The Prince is at the head of the table, round which eight ladies
     and gentlemen are seated. He is pouring wine into a glass. Some
     thirteen persons, attendants, and a clergyman, are also in the
     room. Most of them are probably portraits. Altogether twenty-three
     small figures. On canvas, 3 ft. high, by 2 ft. 10 in. wide.

     This picture, though long labelled "Vanderbank," is probably by
     Marcellus Laroon, the younger, to whom it is attributed in an old
     catalogue. The likelihood that he is the painter is greatly
     strengthened by the close resemblance in style between it and the
     similar piece that follows--the personages evidently being the
     same.

     It is not certain what is the subject represented; though it has
     borne the above title for many years. In one of the Lord
     Chamberlain's old inventories it is stated to represent "a fête in
     honour of the marriage of the Duke of Wharton."

54 A Royal Assembly in Kew Palace . . . . . MARCELLUS LAROON.

     This represents some Royal assembly, apparently Augusta of
     Saxe-Gotha, the wife of Frederick, Prince of Wales, and her
     friends, in Kew Palace. The Princess in blue is pouring out the
     tea; a lady in white is singing; Handel is at the harpsichord, and
     "Orator" Henley close by. The equestrian portrait on the wall
     appears to be George II.

     Signed _Mar. Laroon_, and dated _1740_. Lent by Mr. Humphry Ward.

55 Matthew Prior . . . . . _By Thomas Hudson, after_ JONATHAN
RICHARDSON.

     Half-length, seated, almost in profile to the right. On canvas, 3
     ft. 4 in. high, by 2 ft. 9 in. wide. Lent by the Trustees of the
     National Portrait Gallery.

     Prior--poet, statesman, and diplomatist--published with Charles
     Montagu, afterwards Earl of Halifax, in 1689, "The City Mouse and
     the Country Mouse," intended to ridicule Dryden's "Hind and
     Panther." He was patronized by Dorset, who introduced him to the
     Court; and he was often employed in diplomatic offices.

56 Flower-Piece--_over the mantelpiece_ (_826_) . . . . . BAPTISTE.

     A green glass vase with chrysanthemums, poppies, honeysuckles, etc.
     Baptiste was a _protégé_ of Queen Mary, and painted a great number
     of flower-pieces to decorate Kensington and Hampton Court.

57 Portrait of Robert Boyle the Philosopher (_56_) . . . . . KERSEBOOM.

     Nearly full-length, seated in a big armchair; turned to the right,
     but facing in front. He leans his right arm on the chair; his left
     is turning over the leaves of a book on a table in front of him. He
     wears a large full-bottomed wig. This picture has been engraved by
     Baron several times.

     Boyle, the famous chemist and experimental philosopher, was the
     seventh son of the first Lord Cork, and from him received a fortune
     of _£_3,000 a year, which he devoted in a great measure to
     scientific research and the promotion of the Christian religion. He
     was never married, being of opinion that "a man must have very low
     and narrow thoughts of happiness or misery who can expect either
     from a woman's conduct." For his life, see his _Philaretus_.

     Frederic Kerseboom was a native of Germany, who worked at Paris and
     Rome under Le Brun and Poussin. He was in England during William
     III.'s reign, and painted a few indifferent portraits.

58 Portrait of John Locke (_947_) . . . . . KNELLER.

     Half-length, standing; turned to the right, but facing in front. He
     rests his left hand on a table, on which are an inkstand and a pen;
     his right hand in front of him. He wears a plain black coat, with
     part of his shirt showing; and he is without his wig, and shows his
     long white hair.

     This is one of Kneller's best portraits. It was evidently painted
     in the philosopher's later years, for he looks here on the point of
     dying of the asthma to which he succumbed in 1704. "Pray," said
     Locke in a letter to Collins, "get Sir Godfrey to write on the back
     of my picture 'John Locke;' it is necessary to be done, or else the
     pictures of private persons are lost in two or three generations."

59 Sir Isaac Newton (_957_) . . . . . KNELLER.

     Three-quarters length; turned to the left, facing in front. His
     right arm is by his side, his left leans on a table, on which are a
     globe and a book. He wears a dark, loose robe, and a large wig. On
     the left is inscribed: "_I Newton Esq^{re} Ætatis_ 47. 1689."

     There is a similar portrait to this at Petworth, which is engraved
     in Lodge. Newton was at this time member of the Convention
     Parliament, for the University of Cambridge.

59A King William III. (_779_) . . . . . KNELLER.

     Three-quarters length in armour, directed to the right; face turned
     round to the left. He wears a blue and gold sash. In the left
     background is a black servant, perhaps the one whose marble bust is
     now in this palace.


=Queen Caroline's Drawing Room.=

In entering this room we pass from the portion of the palace built in
1690 by Sir Christopher Wren for William and Mary, to that constructed
by William Kent about 1723 for George I. The visitor has thus a good
opportunity of comparing the styles and tastes of the two architects and
of gauging their relative powers. Wren had been driven from his office,
in 1718, by a shameful backstair intrigue; and two years afterwards,
Kent, doubtless by the influence of his patron, the Earl of Burlington,
was commissioned to build a set of new state rooms.

How very mediocre were his talents, the exterior of his addition to
Wren's work will, as we have already said, ever remain a palpable proof;
and though for internal construction he shows less incapacity, still
this room exhibits all his false ideas of pseudo-classicism--developed,
as we shall see, to a most extravagant extent in the adjoining "Cube or
Cupola Room."

Examining the decoration in detail, we perceive everywhere evidences of
his awkward, graceless style. The doorways, for instance, are
unnecessarily lofty and gaunt, and with their heavy cumbrous
architraves, flat moulded, with little light and shade, greatly impair
the proportions of the room. In the tall semi-circular headed central
window also, surmounted by a purposeless oak bracket--even in such
details as the mouldings of the panelling and of the framing of the
doors, and the flatness of the raised panels and their relative sizes to
the width of the rails and "stiles,"--we detect his marked inferiority
to Wren in the designing of such fittings.

The =chimney-piece=, which is one of Kent's plainer and less ponderous
ones, is of a choice marble, veined black and gold.

The dimensions of this room are: 32 feet 9-1/2 inches long, 24 feet 2
inches wide, and 19 feet 2 inches high to the top of the cornice, 24
feet to the ceiling.


Painted Ceiling of Queen Caroline's Drawing Room.

But it is by the ceiling especially, with its great heavy oval frame of
plasterwork, and its appearance of overhanging crushing weight, that we
can most accurately appreciate Kent. The central recessed panel,
containing an allegorical representation of Minerva, attended by History
and the Arts, gives us a measure of his powers as a pictorial artist.
The decorative painting of the cove of the ceiling, above the oaken
cornice, is more satisfactory. In the four angles, and in the middle of
each side, are classical pediments with volutes.

Besides, the workmanship of the wainscoting being very good, and the
original rawness of the ceiling somewhat faded, this room, with its new
oak floor, its gorgeous paper, its Georgian furniture, probably designed
by Kent, and the magnificent frames of some of the pictures on its
walls, presents a fine and stately appearance.


Contemporary French and German Portraits.

60 Madame de Pompadour (_986_) . . . . . DROUAIS.

     Half-length, seated, turned to the left. She wears a dress of
     figured brocade, worked with coloured flowers and foliage on a
     white ground, and trimmed with white ribbons; her sleeves are short
     and edged with lace. On her head is a sort of mob cap, or headdress
     of lace, tied under the chin with a striped ribbon; her hair is
     short and powdered. In front of her is a frame of embroidery called
     tambour-work, which she is working, her right hand being above, and
     her left under the canvas. The background is grey, with a red
     curtain to the right. Painted in an oval. On canvas, 2 ft. 7-1/2
     in. high, by 2 ft. wide.

     This picture has been attributed, but quite unwarrantably, to
     Greuze, who does not appear to have painted Louis XV.'s mistress at
     all, and certainly could not have done so when she was as young as
     she is here represented. It is in fact a replica (and by no means a
     bad one) of a portrait by Drouais, of which a great many
     repetitions are extant, and of which the original--a
     full-length--is now at Mentmore, Lord Rosebery's. The Mentmore
     picture was purchased for £1,000.

     Drouais was an indifferent artist whose name would long have passed
     into oblivion, had he not painted princes and princesses. Diderot
     drew this just estimate of his works:--"Tous les visages de cet
     homme-là ne sont que le rouge vermillon le plus précieux,
     artistement couché sur la craie la plus fine et la plus blanche....
     Il n'y en a pas une de laide, et pas une qui ne déplût sur la
     toile. Ce n'est pas de la chair; car, où est la vie, l'onctueux, le
     transparent, les tons, les dégradations, les nuances?" And Larousse
     endorses this view with the following remarks:--"Toutes ces
     peintures, habilement traitées d'ailleurs comme métier, n'ont rien
     de saillant, aucune puissance, aucune originalité. Les têtes sont
     banales, ternes, sans physionomie. L'allure est gauche et pénible.
     Les personnages sont fort mal habillés, bien que les draperies
     soient exécutées en trompe-l'oeil et avec magnificence."

     Madame de Pompadour is here represented at about the age of
     thirty-five, a period when, having lost the influence of a lover
     over the debauched and fickle Louis XV., she endeavoured to retain
     her power by ministering to his pleasures and vices. Her appearance
     completely tallies with the account given of her:--"Elle était
     assez grande, bien faite, les cheveux, châtain clair, tres-beaux,
     avec une peau d'une grande finesse et d'une blancheur éclatante.
     Mais elle avait un genre de beauté qui se fane vite: ses chairs
     molles s'infiltraient, s'enflammaient aisément; elle avait des
     langueurs et des pâleurs maladives."

     The tambour-work at which she is engaged was one of her favourite
     occupations; and it is pleasant to remember, with the shocking
     record of her extraordinary career, that she created that style in
     decoration, furniture, dress, literature, and even art, which is
     known by the name of Louis XV., a style which, wanting as it is in
     the simplicity of mediævalism, and stamped though it be with the
     character of its meretricious inventor, is yet always pleasing from
     a certain refinement and artificial beauty.

61 Mademoiselle de Clermont (_984_) . . . . . _unnamed._

     Half-length, facing in front, hands not seen. She is dressed in a
     white dress, with a garland of flowers across it from under her
     left arm to her right shoulder. Behind her she has a blue scarf.
     Her hair is powdered and done high up. On canvas, 2 ft. 5 in. high,
     by 2 ft. wide.

     Behind is written:--"_Marianne. de. bourbon. nommeo. Mademoiselle.
     de. Clermont._"

     She was born in Paris in October, 1697, and was the daughter of
     Louis, the third Duke of Bourbon, and his wife Louise Françoise de
     Bourbon, Mademoiselle de Nantes, a natural daughter of Louis XV. In
     1725 she was appointed "Surintendante de la Maison de la Reine."
     The story of her and her lover, M. de Melun, and his tragic end,
     forms the basis of Madame de Genlis' charming little novel,
     "Mademoiselle de Clermont."

     This portrait is painted in the style of Nattier.

62 Louis XVI. in his Coronation Robes (_516_) . . . . . CALLET.

     Full-length, standing, facing to the left. His left hand holds his
     hat by his side, his right leans on his sceptre. He is attired in
     the royal robes of France, a purple mantle embroidered with
     fleurs-de-lys, and an ermine tippet, etc. He has a small wig; his
     face is shaven. Behind him is his throne, with a figure of Justice.
     On canvas, 9 ft. high, by 6 ft. 5 in. wide.

     This is the original presentation frame, decorated with
     fleurs-de-lys.

     Though formerly labelled "Greuze," it is really a replica of
     Callet's well-known portrait, of which, besides the original at
     Versailles, there are other repetitions at Madrid and elsewhere,
     distributed to the various courts of Europe on the king's
     accession. The original was engraved by Bervic, the greatest of
     French engravers, the plate being lettered with the painter's name,
     "Callet Peintre du Roi."

63 Portrait of Louis XV. when young (_925_) . . . . . RIGAUD.

     Half-length, turned to the left; his left hand is in his sash, his
     right holds a marshal's bâton. His dress is a fawn-coloured doublet
     with a cuirass, a blue sash, and a blue mantle embroidered with a
     fleur-de-lys over it. Short hair, beardless face. On canvas, 3 ft.
     high, by 2 ft. 5 in. wide.

     This portrait was painted by Rigaud, as the contemporary mezzotint
     engraving by J. Simon proves, and not, as has been said, by
     Mignard, who had been dead thirty years. He is considered one of
     the best French portrait-painters of that period. Louis XV.
     conferred several favours on him, and decorated him with the Order
     of St. Michael, in 1727, soon after this portrait was painted. This
     distinction was given, as he said, "tant en considération de la
     réputation acquise dans son art, que pour avoir peint la famille
     royalle jusqu'à la quatrième génération."

64 Marianne, Duchess of Bourbon (_985_) . . . . . SANTERRE?

     Half-length, facing in front; her hands not seen. Her hair is dark,
     and dressed high, with a blue ribbon fastened over with a red
     jewel, and carried to the front. Her dress is yellow brocade with
     red drapery. On canvas, 2 ft. 5 in. high, by 2 ft. wide.

     Behind is written in ink:--"_Marianne. de. bourbon. fille. de.
     Monsieur. le. prince. de. Conty. famme. de. Monsieur. le. duc. de.
     bourbon._"

     She married, in 1713, Louis Henri de Bourbon, brother of
     Mademoiselle de Clermont (see No. 61), and died in 1720. There is a
     portrait of her husband at Paris, by Drouais.

     The portrait before us is very possibly by Jean Baptiste Santerre,
     a good painter whose works are rare. He died in 1717.

65 The Emperor Paul of Russia (_894_) . . . . . ----?

     Bust, turned to the left, eyes looking at the spectator. He is in a
     green uniform with red facing; and on his breast three stars and a
     green ribbon across from his right shoulder to his left. His hair
     is curled and powdered. On canvas, 2 ft. 4 in. high, by 1 ft.
     10-1/2 in. wide.

     Behind the picture is inscribed:--"_Kopal T. Ep. K. E._ (?) 1799"
     and "_Catalogue No. 545, Emperor Paul of Russia._."

     This portrait represents the emperor in the forty-fifth year of his
     age, three years after his accession, and two years before his
     assassination.

66 Louis XIV., when young (_396_) . . . . . MIGNARD?

     Three-quarters length, facing in front. His left hand hangs by his
     side, right is on his hip. He is clad in armour, over which is a
     purplish robe, lined with yellow. He has a long brown wig. On
     canvas, 5 ft. high, by 3 ft. 7 in. wide.

     If this is really by Mignard, it must, on account of the age of the
     king, be one of the first pictures he painted in 1658, on his
     introduction to the French Court.

67 Stanislaus, King of Poland (_895_) . . . . . LAMPI.

     Bust, turned slightly to the left. He is dressed in a purple velvet
     coat, across which is a light blue sash, and on the left side of
     his breast a star. He wears a small wig and pigtail; his face is
     shaven. On canvas, 2 ft. 4 in. high, by 1 ft 10-1/2 in. wide.

     Behind in ink is written:--"Cavalieri Lampi de Vienna."

     In an old inventory, dated 1819, is this entry:--"Half-length
     portrait of the King of Poland, purple velvet coat, etc., painted
     by Lampi, member of the Academy of Vienna. Bought of Colnaghi for
     £21."

     Stanislaus-Augustus Poniatowski was proclaimed King of Poland on
     the 7th of September, 1764, having owed his election to his lover
     the Empress Catherine. It was during his reign that the infamous
     partition of Poland was perpetrated, to which he lent a passive
     assistance. He died in 1798.

68 Queen of Prussia (_907_) . . . . . ANTON GRAFF?

     Seated in a high-backed armchair covered with blue velvet; she is
     turned to the left, but faces in front. Her right hand rests on a
     table beside her, and points to a book; her left hangs by her side.
     She is dressed in black trimmed with ermine, and her head is
     covered with a black lace veil. Her hair is white. On canvas, 4 ft.
     7 in. high, by 3 ft. 3 in. wide.

     This is attributed in the _Royal Inventory_ to Graff, a German
     painter who flourished at the end of the last century.

     Is she Sophia Dorothea, sister of George II., who married, in 1706,
     William I., King of Prussia, and who died in 1757?

69 Frederick, Prince of Wales (_789_) . . . . . ZEEMAN?

     Small full-length; turned to the right. His right hand pointing in
     front of him, his left on his breast. He wears a red coat, leather
     boots to the knees, and a long wig.

     Though this has long been known as Frederick, Prince of Wales,
     there are reasons to suspect that it is really his Brother William,
     Duke of Cumberland.

70 Louis XIV. on Horseback (_853_) . . . . . CHARLES LE BRUN?

     He is shown the size of life, on a cream-coloured charger, rising
     on its hind legs, and turned to the left. His dress is an
     embroidered coat, with jack boots and scarlet breeches. In his
     right hand he holds a bâton. On his head is a black laced hat; he
     has long flowing hair and curls. In the distance under the horse's
     forelegs an attack of cavalry is seen. On canvas, 8 ft. 3 in. high,
     by 6 ft. 2 in. wide.

     This has been attributed to Van der Meulen, but there is a similar
     picture at Versailles by Charles le Brun of which this is perhaps a
     replica.

71 Frederick the Great (_555_) . . . . . ANTOINE PESNE.

     Full-length, standing, turned to the left, but facing round to the
     front. His left hand points to a battle in the distance; his right
     holds a marshal's truncheon. He is in armour, over which is a
     crimson ermine-lined mantle; he has a small close-curled wig; his
     helmet is on the ground in front of him. On canvas, 8 ft. 7 in.
     high, by 5 ft. 7 in. wide.

     "To this admirable painter (_i.e._ Pesne) I am inclined to
     attribute the portrait of Frederick the Great. The king, who is
     still in youthful years, is pointing to a battlefield in the
     background, probably in allusion to the Silesian war. A picture of
     considerable merit."--_Waagen._ The painter is well remembered by
     the following couplet by Frederick the Great:--

         "Quel spectacle étonnant vient de frapper mes yeux,
         Cher Pesne, ton pinceau t'égale au rang des Dieux,"

     which Voltaire interpreted thus:--"Le roi ne regardant jamais le
     peintre, ce dernier était pour lui invisible comme Dieu."

     Pesne, who was a Frenchman and studied in Paris, was in England in
     1724. He afterwards went to Berlin, where he became court painter
     to Frederick the Great. He died in 1757, the year of the Battle of
     Prague.

     The frame is doubtless a presentation one.

72 Frederick the Great (_978_) . . . . . _unnamed._

     Bust, turned to the left, facing in front; his hands not seen. He
     wears a small wig and a dark-blue coat, with the star of the Order
     of the Black Eagle.

73 Charles XII. of Sweden (_977_) . . . . . MAGNUS DU BLAIRE?

     Bust; wearing a blue coat and a black choker; grey hair, and a
     beardless face.

     A small whole length, 49 in. by 39 in., of which this appears to be
     an enlarged copy of part, was in the Hamilton Palace collection,
     No. 1031, attributed to Magnus du Blaire, and inscribed: "In fatum
     Scandici Die XXX Nov. MDCCXVII."

     "David Krafft, a Swedish painter, born in 1655, painted the
     portrait of Charles XII. at the command of his sister, afterwards
     Queen Ulrica Eléanora; but this monarch, who objected to being
     portrayed, was so displeased at the accuracy of the picture, that
     he cut out the head. It had, however, already been transferred to
     copper, and also etched by several engravers."--_Bryan._

74 Flower Piece . . . . . BAPTISTE.

75 Flower Piece . . . . . BAPTISTE.

76 Flower Piece . . . . . BAPTISTE.


=The Cupola or Cube Room.=

In this sumptuous and gorgeous chamber, with its marble-pillared
doorways, its painted and gilded walls, its niches, brackets, slabs, and
pediments of white marble, its gilt antique statues, its gaudy domed
ceiling of blue and gold, we have the very acme and essence of the style
and art of William Kent, triumphant and rampant. After our remarks on
his work in the foregoing room, we shall not be expected to lose
ourselves in admiration over this masterpiece of his pseudo-classic
design and decoration. Yet little as we may agree with his theories of
art, little as we may admire the way he carried them into practice, it
is not to be denied that, viewed as a whole, there is considerable
grandeur and stateliness, and a certain degree of fine proportion, about
this highly-emblazoned saloon.

Though called the "Cube" Room, its dimensions are not exactly of that
mathematical figure, the walls being only 26 feet 2 inches high, to the
top of the cornice, and 34 feet 7 inches to the centre of the ceiling,
though each side is 37 feet long.


The Painted Ceiling of the Cube Room.

The ceiling seems to have been the first portion of the work undertaken
by Kent, and to have been finished by him by the spring of the year
1722. That he was employed to do this work occasioned much very
justifiable heart-burning. Sir James Thornhill was at that time
serjeant-painter to the King, and in virtue of his office was entitled
to receive the commission for painting this ceiling. Indeed, it appears
from a "Memorial of Sir Thomas Hewett, Knt., Surveyor-General of His
Majesties Works," addressed to the Lords of the Treasury, dated 14th
February, 1722-3, and "relating to the painting of the large Square Room
at Kensington," that in the foregoing autumn the King had commanded
Hewett's attendance at Kensington "about finishing the Three Large Rooms
in the New Building," and that Hewett then showed the King "several
sketches of mosaic work, etc., for painting the ceiling of the Great
Square Room." The Memorial proceeds to state:

     "His Majesty chose one of them; and after I ordered a model to be
     made, and Sir James Thornhill painted it, which His Majesty saw and
     approved of; and commanded me to tell the Vice-Chamberlain he
     should treat with Sir James Thornhill for the Price, and that it
     should be done out of Hand, which is all I know of the matter."

Nevertheless, for some reason or other--probably owing to some backstair
intrigue--Kent was employed to do the work instead. But before he had
half finished it the officers of works were directed by the Treasury "to
view and take care that the particulars of Mr. Kent's proposal for
painting the ceiling of the Great Chamber at Kensington be well
answer'd, and the work in the best manner performed with
l'Ultra-Marine." They accordingly commissioned several of the best
artists of the day "to view and carefully to consider the same and
report in writing."

[Illustration: THE CUPOLA OR CUBE ROOM, AS IT WAS WHEN THE QUEEN WAS
BAPTIZED IN IT.]

The artists, or rather critics as they became--and trust an artist to be
no too lenient a critic of a fellow artist's work--were John van Vaart,
Alex^{r} Nisbett, and Jacob Rambour. Their report is dated May 22nd,
1722, and in it they state as follows:

     "We have been to Kensington and carefully view'd and considered the
     said painting, which we did find better than half done: But having
     examin'd the particulars thereof, we have observed, and 'tis our
     opinion, that the Perspective is not just; that the principal of
     the work, which consists in ornaments and architecture, is not done
     as such a place requires. Mr. Nesbot adds that the Boys, Masks,
     Mouldings, etc., far from being well, he has seen very few worse
     for such a place: and Mr. Rambour affirms that the said work, far
     from being done in the best manner, as mentioned in your letter, it
     is not so much as tolerably well perform'd. As for the quality of
     the Blew used in the work, Mr. Vandewart and Mr. Rambour declare
     that they can't judge whether it is true ultramarine, because it
     does not look fine enough, but Mr. Nesbot's opinion is that it is
     nothing but Prussian Blew, in which perhaps there may be some
     Ultra-marine mixt."

Nevertheless, the colours have endured unfaded until to-day; and the
gilding also, both on the ceiling and the walls, has required but little
renewing, only cleaning and an occasional application of modern leaf
gold, and retouching with the paint brush, where the old surface had
been injured.

Much of the woodwork, however, had to be repaired, especially the
capitals of the pilasters, some of which had to be renewed.

The shape of the ceiling is slightly domed, the four coved sides
terminating above in a flat centre, painted with a gigantic star of the
Order of the Garter. The coved sides themselves are painted with
octagonal panels, diminishing upwards to simulate a lofty pierced dome.
Kent himself seems to have been so well satisfied with the work, that he
made use of almost exactly the same design when painting the Queen's
Staircase at Hampton Court some twelve years after. Across, part of the
north cove of the ceiling is painted a deep shadow, to indicate that
cast by the wall and cornice above the windows.


The Painted Walls of the Cube Room.

Kent, after finishing the ceiling, proceeded to decorate the walls with
painting and gilding. There is a letter in the Record Office, from Lord
Grafton, to the Lords of the Treasury, dated 29th of May, 1725, ordering
payment of "£344 2_s._ 7_d._ to Mr. Kent, for painting the sides of the
Cube Room at Kensington with ornaments enriched with gold."

These walls, including the four pilasters on each, are of oak, painted
with a light olive-green colour as a ground, embellished with niches of
white marble, surmounted by brackets of the same, let into the woodwork.

In the =six niches= are well-designed statues of classical
deities--Ceres, Mercury, Venus, Minerva, Bacchus, Apollo, in cast lead,
somewhat under life-size. These were so dirty and tarnished as to
necessitate their being entirely new-gilt. Above them, standing on
brackets in flat rectangular niches, were formerly busts representing
Roman poets, now unfortunately no longer to be found.

The two =doorways= opposite each other are likewise of the same fine
polished marble, with pilasters and pillars of the Ionic order,
supporting heavy entablatures, on the apexes of which are antique busts.

The =chimney-place= is of the same design in miniature, of polished
"dove-coloured" white-veined marble, similar to that at Marlborough
House. On the apex was formerly a gilt bust of Cleopatra, now missing.
Within the fireplace itself are very fine panelled and moulded "covings"
or sides, of the same "dove-coloured" marble, discovered during the
progress of the restorations.

Above the chimney-piece is a large =bas-relief= in statuary marble
representing a Roman marriage, sculptured by the statuary Rysbach. It is
a fine work, but one feels rather as if standing in front of a
sepultural monument in some foreign _campo santo_ than before an English
fireside.

Rysbach, who was a native of Antwerp, came over to England in 1720, four
or five years before he executed this work. His talents were for some
time--as have been those of many an unsuspecting foreigner--exploited by
a commercializing British impresario, Gibbs. Two-thirds of the prices
paid for his work found its way into the pockets of the unscrupulous
intermediary, until Rysbach, at last shaking himself free from this
bondage, took commissions on his own account, and, becoming the rage, he
was able to exact great prices for his work. It is possible that he
designed the gilt statues in the niches, which seem too good for Kent's
narrow invention.


General appearance of the Cupola Room.

Such was the decoration of this famous Cupola or Cube Room when finished
by Kent, such it appeared in 1818, when Pyne's drawing, from which our
illustration is taken, was made, and such it appears to this day, save
for the large musical clock which then stood in its centre, for the
console tables against the walls, and the four large chandeliers that
hung from the ceiling. These last were most essential features in this
saloon, for its windows, abutting northwards on the private gardens,
admit but very insufficient light; and only when illuminated by a blaze
of candlelight can full justice have been done to the extravagant
glories of its walls and ceilings.

It was, in fact, intended essentially as a room for grand evening
entertainments, and Kent evidently bore this in mind when he constructed
it; for he contrived a very ingenious method, whereby the double doors
in the doorways between it and the two drawing-rooms, with which it
communicates, fold back, when opened, into the door jambs, in which they
lie flush, offering no projecting hindrance to the movement of guests
passing either way. This is a point never thought of by modern
architects, who might do worse, when designing great reception rooms,
than take a hint in this matter from the much contemned Kent, and so
obviate the usual "crush" at the too narrow doorways.

       *       *       *       *       *

It seems to have been in this Cupola Room that took place, on the 24th
of June, 1819, the baptism of the infant Princess Victoria. Faulkner
records that "the Royal Gold Font was brought from the Tower and fitted
up in the Grand Saloon, with crimson velvet covering from the Chapel
Royal, St. James's. The ceremony was performed by the Archbishop of
Canterbury, assisted by the Bishop of London.... The Prince Regent and
nearly all the Royal Family were present at the ceremony, or at the
dinner in the evening."

Exactly underneath this room is the famous pillared "Council Chamber" in
which, as we have already stated, the Queen held her first council.


=King's Drawing Room.=

Built at the same time as the two preceding rooms by command of King
George I., William Kent here again reigns supreme in the design and
decoration. "It was on the walls of this drawing-room," we are told by
Pyne, writing in 1818, "that the then new art of paper-hangings, in
imitation of the old velvet flock, was displayed, with an effect that
soon led to the adoption of so cheap and elegant a manufacture, in
preference to the original rich material from which it was copied."

The paper that now covers the walls is a copy of an old pattern, and has
been supplied by Messrs. Bertram, the decorators.

We may again notice here the five lofty doorways, surmounted by flat
architraves, and the oak pilasters in the dado as characteristic of
Kent. There was originally one of his great massive marble
chimney-pieces in this room, long since replaced by the present plain
insignificant one.

The dimensions of this room are 39 feet 6 inches long (from east to
west), 28 feet wide, and 22 feet 8 inches high to the top of the
cornice.


Painted Ceiling of the King's Drawing Room.

This is another of Kent's artistic efforts. There is in the Record
Office a letter from Lord Grafton dated June 26th, 1725, conveying his
majesty's commands that "their Lordships of the Treasury would give
orders to Mr. William Kent to paint the ceilings, etc. in the new
apartments at Kensington"--including this one.

The cove of the ceiling, or portion nearest the cornice, is elaborately
decorated with scroll-work and architectural ornaments, richly gilt and
painted, and with medallions in the middle of each side supported by
female figures. In the centre is a large projecting heavy oval frame of
plaster, with the panel within it recessed about three feet. This is
painted with the story of Jupiter and Semele, the God appearing in a
thunder-cloud, and Semele, in a ridiculous attitude, on a couch. No
painting could be worse. The signature of the artist, "_William Kent
pinxit_, 1725," has been found a little to the left of the right foot of
Semele.

When the restoration of this room was taken in hand last winter, the
ceiling was so begrimed with the dirt, dust, smoke, and smuts of upwards
of a hundred and fifty years of London atmosphere, as to be nearly
black. The cleaning was carried out with the most scrupulous care, and
practically no re-painting or re-gilding has been necessary.


William Kent, the Royal and Fashionable Decorator.

The whole effect of this ceiling _if you do not look at it_ is rich and
striking, and with the fine paper and the pictures on the walls will
pass muster as a suitable decorative treatment of a grand state
reception room. George I. and George II. at any rate had no hesitation
in extending an unqualified approval to Kent's work. After having
finished this suite he grew into greater favour than ever. He was soon
after appointed "Master Carpenter, Architect, Keeper of the Pictures,
and Principal Painter to the Crown, the whole, including a pension of
£100 a year, which was given him for his works at Kensington,
producing--according to Walpole--£600 a year." From the Court his vogue
extended to a large circle of patrons and votaries. "He was not only
consulted for furniture, as frames of pictures, glasses, tables, chairs,
etc., but for plate, for a barge, for a cradle; and so impetuous was
fashion, that two great ladies prevailed on him to make designs for
their birthday gowns. The one he dressed in a petticoat decorated with
columns of the five orders; the other like a bronze, in a
copper-coloured satin, with ornaments of gold!"

[Illustration: KING'S DRAWING ROOM.]


Kent, the "Father of Modern Gardening."

Kent also had a great reputation as a horticulturist, and was generally
designated, at the end of last century, as the "Father of Modern
Gardening"--his ghastly progeny consisting of the destructive and
desolating "landscape-gardening" enterprises of "Capability Brown,"
Repton, and their followers. His hand doubtless fell heavy on the old
Queen Anne formal gardens about Kensington Palace. We can see the
influence of his taste, which was followed with enthusiasm by Queen
Caroline and her gardener Bridgman, in the barrenness and commonplace
appearance of the grounds that lie immediately below in front of us, as
we look out of the windows of this room, and in the entire absence of
planting or gardening in the large expanse surrounding the "Round Pond."

This =Round Pond=, or "=the Basin=" as it used to be called, is, by the
bye, not round at all, but of a geometrical figure, more of an oval form
than circular, and with the four sides flattened and the intermediate
portions of the circumference bent into "ogees." In thus shaping this
basin the designer, whether Kent or Bridgman, has overstepped artistic
discretion; for from no point of view, neither in Kensington Gardens,
from the ground beside it, nor even from this window is its real shape
to be made out--only from Rocque's plan or bird's-eye view, of 1736, can
it be seen to be so eccentric.

The distant =view=, however, beyond the private gardens, across the
Round Pond and Kensington Gardens, over grassy slopes and ancient trees
to Hyde Park, a mile away, is one of the pleasantest in the metropolis.
Not a street, not a road, not a house, not a roof is to be seen. In the
spring and early summer, when the foliage is fresh and green, one might
imagine oneself in the depths of the country, in some old house
overlooking midland pastures and woods.


West's Pictures in the King's Drawing Room.

In this room are hung the paintings of West, all of which were executed
for George III., who greatly admired them, and extended to him a most
liberal patronage. He was equally in favour with the public, who lauded
his performances to the skies, and with his fellow-artists, who made him
President of the Royal Academy. We now hardly know which to wonder at
most--an obscure lad in the wilds of Pennsylvania, who took his earliest
lessons in painting from a tribe of Cherokees, accomplishing what he
did; or the English fetish, Public Opinion, having been so deluded as to
regard his efforts as masterpieces of Art. The depreciation which has
overtaken him may be judged when we hear that an "Annunciation," for
which £800 was originally paid, was knocked down in 1840 for £10! His
portraits, nevertheless, are interesting.

80 The Death of General Wolfe (_497_) . . . . . WEST.

     Wolfe lies in the centre, to the right, supported by three
     officers. In front of him is a wounded officer, standing, supported
     by others, to hear his dying injunctions. At his feet is an Indian
     warrior in his war-paint, gazing at him to see how an English chief
     will die. On the extreme left is a messenger running, and on the
     left ships with soldiers disembarking. On canvas, 5 ft. high, by 8
     ft. wide.

     Wolfe was killed on the 13th September, 1759, in the moment of
     victory before Quebec. "The fall of Wolfe was noble indeed. He
     received a wound in the head, but covered it from his soldiers with
     his handkerchief. A second ball struck him in the belly, but that
     too he dissembled. A third hitting him in the breast, he sank under
     the anguish, and was carried behind the ranks. Yet, fast as life
     ebbed out, his whole anxiety centred on the fortune of the day. He
     begged to be borne nearer to the action, but his sight being dimmed
     by the approach of death, he entreated to be told what they who
     supported him saw: he was answered, that the enemy gave ground. He
     eagerly repeated the question, heard the enemy was totally routed,
     cried 'I am satisfied,' and expired." (Walpole's _Memoirs_.)

     "In this picture, which was painted in 1771, West introduced the
     sensible innovation of dressing the characters in their proper
     costume; previous to that time it was the common practice with
     painters to dress their figures in historical compositions of any
     kind, in the Greek or Roman costume. Sir Joshua Reynolds was one
     of those who were averse to the innovation, but when the picture
     was finished, he changed his opinion. After a careful examination
     of the picture, he observed to the Archbishop of York, who was with
     him at the time, 'West has conquered; he has treated his subject as
     it ought to be treated; I retract my objections. I foresee that
     this picture will not only become one of the most popular, but will
     occasion a revolution in the art.' When West related this to the
     King, he said, 'I wish I had known all this before, for the
     objection has been the means of Lord Grosvenor getting the picture,
     but you shall make a copy for me.'"

     This is the copy ordered by George III., for which the painter
     received £315. The original is at Grosvenor House, and has been
     finely engraved by Woollett. There are several other repetitions of
     it.

81 Prince of Wales (George IV.), and Duke of York
(_500_) . . . . . WEST.

     The Prince is on the left, in yellow satin, his right hand on his
     hip, his left on his brother's shoulder, who leans against a table.
     They are both in the robes of the Garter and St. Andrew. On canvas,
     9 ft. high, by 7 ft. wide.

     The Prince of Wales was born on August 12th, 1762; Frederick, Duke
     of York, on August 16th, 1763. This picture represents them when
     they were about fifteen and fourteen years old, therefore, about
     1777.

     Soon afterwards the Duke of York proceeded to Prussia for the
     purpose of being educated as a soldier.

82 Dukes of Cumberland, Sussex, and Cambridge, and the Princesses
Augusta-Sophia, Elizabeth, and Mary (_488_).

     The Duke of Cumberland is on the left, standing; the Duke of Sussex
     is lying down near his sister Elizabeth, who holds on her lap the
     infant Princess Mary (?). Kneeling by them is the Duke of
     Cambridge, and behind is the Princess Augusta-Sophia. Signed and
     dated 1776. On canvas, 6 ft. 7 in. high, by 7 ft. 10 in. wide.

     Prince Ernest Augustus, afterwards Duke of Cumberland and King of
     Hanover, and grandfather of her Royal Highness Princess Frederica,
     was born June 5th, 1771; Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex,
     on January 27th, 1773; and Prince Adolphus Frederick, Duke of
     Cambridge, on February 24th, 1774. Princess Augusta-Sophia was born
     on November 8th, 1768; Princess Elizabeth, on May 22nd, 1770; and
     Princess Mary, on April 25th, 1776.

     The Princesses have long been wrongly called, Charlotte, Augusta,
     and Sophia; the correct names, as given above, are derived from the
     contemporary mezzotint by V. Green; besides, when this picture was
     painted the Princess Sophia was not born.

83 Queen Charlotte, aged 36, with her thirteen children in the
background (_498_) . . . . . WEST.

     Standing; dressed in white, her hair powdered and piled up high.
     The thirteen children are seen in the distance to the left, in a
     picture which is now at Windsor Castle. On canvas, 9 ft. 6 in.
     high, by 7 ft. wide.

84 George III.; Lords Amherst and Lothian behind (_494_) . . . . . WEST.

     He is standing, facing to the right, in full regimentals. He holds
     a scroll of paper in his hands in front of him. Behind him is his
     crown and sceptre; and in the background the two peers, and a view
     of Coxheath Camp. On canvas, 9 ft. 6 in. high, by 7 ft. wide.

     It appears from West's own memoranda that this picture was painted
     before 1779, consequently the King cannot have been more than
     forty.

85 Duke of Cambridge, and Princesses Charlotte and Augusta
(_487_) . . . . . WEST.

     The Duke, in a maroon-coloured suit, is standing on the right.
     Princess Charlotte is sitting on a stool, with her sister on her
     lap. In the background are a curtain, a column, and Kew Gardens
     with the Pagoda. Signed on the top in the left hand corner; and
     dated 1778. On canvas, 9 ft. high, by 6 ft. wide.

     Princess Charlotte, George III.'s eldest daughter, afterwards Queen
     of Wirtemburg, was born on September 29th, 1766; and Princess
     Augusta, on November 8th, 1768. It is doubtful whether the names
     are correct.

86 =Apotheosis of the Infant Princes Octavius and Alfred= (_503_).

     Alfred, the younger of the two, is seated on clouds, with his hands
     out-stretched to his brother, who is being conducted up to him by
     an angel.

     Prince Octavius was born on February 23rd, 1779, and Prince Alfred
     on September 22nd, 1780. Alfred died on August 20th, 1782. "I am
     very sorry for Alfred," said the King, "but had it been Octavius I
     should have died too."

     Octavius followed his brother to the grave on May 2nd, 1783. For
     this picture West received £315. Engraved by Sir Robert Strange.

87 =Queen Charlotte and the Princess Royal= (_492_) . . . . . WEST.

     The Queen is sitting on a sofa, with embroidery on her lap. The
     Princess stands on the right, by her side, and holds the
     embroidery. Dated 1776. On canvas, 5 ft. 5 in. high, by 6 ft. 8 in.
     wide.

88 Duke of Clarence (William IV.), and Duke of Kent
(_502_) . . . . . WEST.

     The Duke of Clarence is on the left, dressed in a blue coat with a
     white vest; he has his right hand on a globe, his left on his hip.
     The Duke of Kent is in red turned full to the front, but looking at
     his brother; his right hand is on his brother's left hand, his left
     is pointing upwards. On canvas, 9 ft. 6 in. high, by 7 ft. wide.

     Prince William Henry, Duke of Clarence, afterwards William IV., was
     born August 21st, 1765. Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, father of her
     present Most Gracious Majesty, was born November 2nd, 1767. This
     picture was painted when they were about thirteen and eleven years.
     In 1780, the Duke of Clarence went to sea as a midshipman. West
     received 250 guineas for the picture.

89 George III. Reviewing the Tenth Dragoons in Hyde Park in 1797
(_168_) . . . . . BEECHEY.

     The King is in front on a white horse, whose head is turned to the
     left. He is in full regimentals, with a cocked hat. Just behind him
     is the Prince of Wales, in the uniform of the 10th, holding up his
     sword and giving the word of command. To the left of the King is
     the Duke of York, with Generals Goldsworthy and Sir David Dundas;
     Sir William Fawcett is standing in front of them. The King is
     turning round to speak to them, and points with his right hand to
     the cavalry charge in the left distance. On canvas, 13 ft. 8 in.
     high, by 16-1/2 ft. wide.

     The 10th Light Dragoons (now the 10th Hussars) were frequently
     reviewed by George III. in company with the Prince of Wales, who
     entered the army as brevet-colonel, November 19th, 1782, and after
     whom the regiment was called "The Prince of Wales's Own," on
     Michaelmas Day, 1783. In 1793 he was appointed colonel-commandant
     of the corps, and succeeded as colonel on July 18th, 1796. The
     review commemorated here took place not long after that date, for
     the picture is mentioned in a biographical sketch of Sir William
     Beechey in _The London Monthly Mirror_ for July, 1798, where we are
     told that the King rewarded him for it with the honour of
     knighthood. The names of the officers were derived from an account
     of a review, which took place in 1799, and which this picture was
     formerly supposed to represent; it is therefore doubtful whether
     they are quite correct. (See _Notes and Queries_.)

     This picture is regarded as Beechey's masterpiece, and was very
     much admired at the time. But "although a clever and showy group of
     portraits, it has little of real nature, and is full of the
     painter's artifices. Thus the King's white horse forms the
     principal light, and comes off the Prince of Wales's dark horse,
     and so on; the light and shadow of all the heads being the light
     and shadow of the studio, and not of the field."--(Redgrave's
     _Century of Painters_.) The King had several copies taken of it; in
     one, which he gave to Lord Sidmouth, the figure of the Prince was
     omitted by the King's own desire, a curious proof of his dislike of
     his son. When the Prince became King he hinted that it should be
     restored, but this was evaded. Benjamin Smith engraved the portrait
     of George III. from this picture.


=King's Privy Chamber.=

Although this room formed part of the state apartments built by Kent, it
was much transformed in the reign of George III., so that it bears
little trace of its original decoration. Indeed, it is so commonplace in
appearance, that, except for the pictures which now hang on its walls,
it looks more like an ordinary bedroom in an old-fashioned country inn
than a king's chamber in a palace. The plain deal dado, the common
chimney-piece of black veined marble, the wood and plaster cornice, the
shutters and windows, are all of the most ordinary and inartistic
pattern.

The dimensions of this room are 31 feet long, 24 feet wide, and 17 feet
high.


=Portraits of the Time of George III.=

90 Portrait of Francis, 5th Duke of Bedford (_961_) . . . . . J.
HOPPNER.

     Full-length, turned to the left, looking to the front. He is
     dressed in a peer's full robes. His left hand is on his hip, his
     right holds a scroll of paper. He is bareheaded, face close-shaven,
     and his hair short. Behind him is a red curtain, and in the
     distance on the left a statue of Hercules. On canvas, 8 ft. 3 in.
     high, by 5 ft. 2 in. wide.

     Behind is written:--"Received, 7th April, 1810, from Mrs. Hoppner."
     The duke, who was born in 1765, died on March 2nd, 1802.

     "More dignified and well painted than the similar one at
     Woburn."--_Sir George Scharf._

91 Francis Hastings, Earl of Moira (_950_) . . . . . HOPPNER.

     Full-length, figure slightly to the right, but the face turned
     round to the left. Dressed in uniform, with the Ribbon and Star of
     the Garter. His right hand holds a scroll of paper by his side;
     his left rests on a document on a table. Background, a green
     curtain, and sky on the right. On canvas, 7 ft. 10 in. high, by 4
     ft. 10 in. wide.

     Behind is painted "R.A. 1794," the year of Hoppner's election, and
     "The Star and Garter added 1812," in June of which year Lord Moira,
     after failing to form a ministry, accepted the Garter, "but," says
     Lord Spencer in a letter to Lord Buckingham, "whether as a calm to
     his honour or his understanding, it is not for me to say." This
     picture was received from Hoppner's widow, in June, 1810, a few
     months after his death.

92 Portrait of John Hely, Lord Hutchinson (_872_) . . . . . PHILLIPS, R.A.

     Three-quarters length, seated, turned to the left, and looking
     downwards. His left leg is crossed over his right, and in his left
     hand he holds a map of Egypt; his right holds an eyeglass on his
     breast. He is in his uniform. In front of him on a table are
     writing materials. On canvas, 4 ft. high, by 3-1/2 ft. wide.

     John Hely was born in 1757, and in 1774 went into the army. In the
     expedition to Egypt in 1801 he was appointed second in command to
     Sir Ralph Abercrombie; on whose death the chief command devolved on
     Hely, then a major-general. For his admirable conduct of the
     campaign, in which he drove the French from Egypt, he received the
     thanks of both Houses, and was raised to the peerage in 1813. In
     1823 he succeeded his brother to the earldom of Donoughmore. He
     died in 1832.

93 Christian VII. of Denmark (_976_) . . . . . DANCE.

     A head, in an oval, turned to the right; dressed in a red uniform
     trimmed with gold; on his breast a blue ribbon. His hair is
     powdered and brushed back.

     This was formerly unnamed, but the mezzotint engraving after it by
     Fisher shows it to have been painted by Dance; doubtless when the
     King was over here in 1767 for his marriage to Princess Matilda. He
     was then eighteen years old.

     Their domestic life was not happy. In politics he distinguished
     himself by granting liberty of the press to his subjects; in reward
     for which Voltaire addressed the famous lines to him, in which he
     tells him: "Je me jette à tes pieds au nom du genre humain."

     He afterwards went out of his mind, and died in 1808.

     He was the son of Princess Louisa, the daughter of George II., and
     succeeded to the throne in 1766. The engraving after this picture
     by G. Fisher is dated 1769.

94 Portrait of Richard Brinsley Sheridan (_891_) . . . . . K. A. HICKEL?

     Bust; face turned slightly to the right. He has a blue coat and a
     yellow waistcoat. His face is close-shaven. On canvas, 2 ft. high,
     by 1 ft. 8 in wide.

     "Whatever Sheridan has done, or chosen to do, has been _par
     excellence_ always the best of its kind. He has written the best
     comedy, the best farce, and the best address ('Monologue on
     Garrick'), and, to crown all, delivered the very best oration (the
     famous Begum speech) ever conceived or heard in this
     country."--_Byron._

     This appears to be the study for, or a replica of, the head of
     Sheridan in the picture of the Interior of the old House of Commons
     in 1793, painted by Karl Anton Hickel, and now in the National
     Portrait Gallery.

95 Portrait of Spencer Perceval (_890_) . . . . . JOSEPH.

     Half-length, turned to the left. In his left hand he holds a paper.
     He wears a blue coat and a white waistcoat. His face is shaven, his
     hair grey, and his head bald in front. On canvas, 2-1/2 ft. high,
     by 2 ft. wide.

     Behind is written:--"Received from Mrs. Joseph, 18th June, 1814."

     This is a posthumous likeness, taken from a mask after death, but
     considered by all who knew him to be a faithful resemblance. When
     Queen Charlotte went to see it, and the curtain which covered it
     was withdrawn, she was so struck with its truth, that she burst
     into tears. Many copies with slight variations were executed; one
     of them is now in the National Portrait Gallery. It is engraved in
     mezzotint by Turner. It is a fair specimen of George Francis
     Joseph, an indifferent artist, who was elected an associate of the
     Royal Academy after painting this portrait. He died in 1846.

     Perceval, who became Prime Minister in October, 1809, was
     assassinated in the lobby of the House of Commons by Bellingham, on
     May 11th, 1812. The official documents he holds in his hand remind
     us that his state papers were not at all to the taste of the Prince
     Regent, who remarked, "that it was a great misfortune to Mr.
     Perceval to write in a style which would disgrace a respectable
     washerwoman."

96 Mary Granville, Mrs. Delany (_944_) . . . . . OPIE.

     Bust, turned to the left. She is dressed in a black silk dress,
     trimmed with lace, and having a hood over her white widow's cap.
     Round her neck is a locket. On canvas, 2 ft. 6 in. high.

     This portrait represents her as a very old woman, and was probably
     painted not many years before her death, in 1788, at the age of
     eighty-eight. She was the eldest daughter of Bernard Granville,
     grandson of Sir Bevil Granville, the Royalist leader, and was born
     in 1700. She was educated under the care of her uncle, Lord
     Lansdowne, and married in 1717 Alexander Pendarves. She was
     intimate with Swift, through whom she became acquainted with her
     second husband, Dr. Delany. After his death she spent most of her
     time with her friend, the Duchess of Portland, and when she died,
     George III., who, with the Queen, became very intimate with the old
     lady, gave her a pension and a house at Windsor. She occupied her
     declining years in copying flowers in paper, and executed as many
     as 980. She died in 1788. Her autobiography was published in 1861;
     it contains a great many reminiscences of the court and family of
     George III.

     This picture first brought Opie into notice. A replica painted for
     the Countess of Bute is in the National Portrait Gallery.

97 Brownlow North, Bishop of Winchester (_888_) . . . . . _after_ DANCE.

     Bust, nearly a full face, slightly inclined to the right. He is
     seated in a purple-covered chair, in the robes of a Chancellor of
     the Garter, with the chain of the order on his breast. On canvas, 2
     ft. 8 in. high, by 2 ft. 2 in. wide.

     He was a half-brother of Lord North, the Prime Minister; was born
     in 1741; and was successively appointed Bishop of Lichfield and
     Coventry, Worcester and Winchester, and died in 1820.

98 Portrait of Hurd, Bishop of Worcester (_889_) . . . . . GAINSBOROUGH.

     Bust, turned to the left, facing and looking in front. Dressed in a
     bishop's canonicals, with a small, but full, curly wig. Painted in
     an oval. On canvas, 2 ft. 6 in. high, by 2 ft. 1 in. wide. Compare
     No. 371.

99 Richard Hurd, Bishop of Worcester (_887_) . . . . . GAINSBOROUGH.

     Bust, to the right, looking to the front His left hand is on his
     breast, holding his gown. Dressed in canonicals, with a bushy wig.
     On canvas, 2 ft. 6 in. high, by 2 ft. 1 in. wide.

     He was the son of a farmer at Congreve, Staffordshire, and was born
     in 1720. He was appointed preceptor to the Prince of Wales and the
     Duke of York, and was nominated Bishop of Worcester in 1781; but
     declined the primacy offered by George III., with whom he was a
     great favourite. He wrote many moral and religious works, long
     since relegated to the limbo of insipid mediocrities. Engraved by
     Holl in 1774? Perhaps the picture exhibited in 1781.

100 A Rabbi (_266_) . . . . . _after Rembrandt, by_ GAINSBOROUGH.

     Bust, to the right. He wears a dark dress, and cap with flaps; his
     beard is long. On canvas, 2 ft. 6 in. high, by 2 ft. 1 in. wide.

     This was in Gainsborough's possession at his death, and was
     exhibited at Schomberg House, 1789.

101 Portrait of C. F. Abel, the Musician (_938_) . . . . . ROBINEAU.

     Half-length; seated at a piano or spinet, turned towards the right,
     but his face looking behind him, over his shoulder to the left. He
     is dressed in a red coat and has a small wig. On canvas, 2 ft. 1
     in. high, by 1 ft. 8 in. wide. Signed on the left-hand side:--"_C.
     Robineau 1780._"

     Charles Frederick Abel was a pupil of Bach's, and at one time
     belonged to the royal band at Dresden. He came to England about
     1765, and was appointed master of Queen Charlotte's band. Although
     he wrote music, he was more celebrated for his playing than his
     compositions. Abel was a very passionate man, and much addicted to
     the bottle,--peculiarities which the visitor would suspect him of,
     from his flushed face and red nose. He died in 1787, after being
     three days in a sort of drunken torpor.

Robineau was a portrait-painter who practised in Paris and London.

102 Duchess of Brunswick, Sister of George III . . . . . A. KAUFFMAN.

     Full-length, turned to the right. She holds a child in her arms on
     an altar in front of her. She is dressed in white with an
     orange-coloured mantle, lined with light blue; she wears sandals.
     On canvas, 8 ft. 11 in. high, by 5 ft. 11 in. wide.

     On the left at the foot of the column is the signature:--"_Angelica
     Pinx Aº_. 1767." To the left, on a vase, the inscription:--

         _Carol._ ILLE _de Bruns. & Priñ. Hered_.
          A. MDCCLX M. _Jul. apud Enisdorff_ VICTORIA.
         _et_ A. MDCCLXIV M. _Jan. apud Lond._ AMORE. _Coron._

     Augusta, the eldest daughter of Frederick, Prince of Wales, was
     born on the 31st of July, 1737, and was married to the Duke of
     Brunswick on the 17th of January, 1764. By him she became the
     mother, among other children, of Caroline, Princess of Wales, and
     of Duke William Frederick, "Brunswick's fated chieftain," who fell
     at Quatre-Bras. In 1767, when this portrait was painted, she was in
     England on a visit.

     The child in her arms must be her eldest son Charles George
     Augustus, who was born 8th February, 1766, and died in 1806.

103. Frederick, Prince of Wales (_893_) . . . . . VANLOO?

     Bust, turned to the left, facing in front. He wears a blue sash
     over his coat. See _ante_, No. 4.

104. George III., when Prince of Wales, aged 12, and Prince Edward
Augustus, Duke of York and Albany, aged 11 . . . . . RICHARD WILSON,
R.A.

     Seated figures, on a couch by a table, the Prince of Wales on the
     left. On canvas, 3 feet 3-1/2 inches high, by 4 feet 1-1/2 inches
     wide. Lent by the trustees of the National Portrait Gallery.

     The Duke of York was born in 1739, became an admiral in 1759, and
     died at Monaco in 1767.


=The Nursery.=

The designation of "The Nursery" has been for many years applied to this
room, having, it appears, been so used at one time by Queen Victoria,
whose doll-house is now placed here. It was afterwards occupied by the
late Duchess of Teck, and it was here that Princess May, now Duchess of
York, was born, on May 26th, 1867.

Its associations are, therefore, exclusively Victorian, with which its
decoration--so far as it can be said to have any--accords. The "shell"
of the room, however, is part of Kent's addition to the State Rooms.

The dimensions of this room are 30 feet 7 inches long by 23 feet 5
inches wide, and 17 feet high to the highest point of the ceiling, 15
feet 2 inches to the top of the cornice.


Pictures and Prints illustrative of the Queen's Life and Reign.

A collection is here being formed by Mr. Holmes, the Queen's Librarian,
of various prints, illustrative of Her Majesty's Life and Reign. Among
them are old prints of the Queen as a child, and as the young Princess
Victoria, Heiress to the Throne; also of the marriage of the Prince of
Wales in St. George's Chapel, the Baptism of the Princess Royal, etc.;
and also the Jubilee Celebration of 1887 in Westminster Abbey, from the
painting by W. E. Lockhart, R.S.A.

110 The Queen's First Council in the pillared Council Chamber at
Kensington Palace on 20th of June, 1837 . . . . . _After_ WILKIE.

     For an account of this famous scene, _see_ page 37.


=Ante-Room.=

As we go through the door of "The Nursery" into this ante-room, we pass
from the portion of the Palace built by Kent, to the original block
erected by Wren, this ante-room being a part of what was formerly one of
William III.'s state rooms.

Through this lobby it was that the Queen passed to the adjoining
staircase when she went downstairs to receive the news of her accession.

The dimensions of this room are: 19 feet 3 inches long, 10 feet 2 inches
wide, and 16 feet high.


Prints illustrative of the Life and Reign of the Queen.

The wall space here will be devoted to further prints illustrative of
the Queen's Life and Reign.

[Illustration: Decoration]


=Queen Victoria's Bedroom.=

To future ages, if not indeed already to the present one, this plain,
modestly-decorated chamber must have an interest far transcending that
of the more gorgeous Georgian saloons, which we have just traversed.
For, it was for many years the bedroom of our own Queen, when as a
little girl of tender age she lived in quiet simplicity at Kensington
Palace with her mother, the Duchess of Kent.

From the windows of this room we can imagine the little princess, when
she rose in the morning, gazing out over the gardens and the Park
beyond, as the beams of the eastern sun struggled through the mists and
smoke of distant London, musing on the mighty destiny awaiting her; or
in the evening hour, when the flower-scented air of the garden beneath
floated in at the casement, looking out where the far-off lights of the
great town twinkled among the trees, her mind filled with solemn
thoughts of the awful responsibility that was to be hers.

Even now, when the building octopus, with its stucco tentacles, has
clutched and sucked in so many a fair surrounding green field, from
these windows not a roof, not a chimney meets the eye; not an echo,
even, of the ceaseless roar of the traffic strikes the ear.

It was in this room that the Queen was sleeping on the memorable morning
of the 20th of June, 1837, when she was awakened by her mother, the
Duchess of Kent, to go to the Drawing Room downstairs, where Lord
Conyngham and the Archbishop of Canterbury were awaiting to inform her
of her accession to the throne.

The dimensions of this room are: 23 feet 3 inches long, 19 feet 3 inches
wide, and 16 feet high.


Prints of the Life and Reign of the Queen.

Prints in continuation of the series commenced in "The Nursery," are in
process of being arranged in this room.


Mementoes and Relics of the Queen's Childhood, collected in "Queen
Victoria's Bedroom."

Here also will be arranged some of the Queen's toys, with which she
played as a little girl in these rooms; and perhaps other similar
objects of interest. Labels will, doubtless, be affixed to explain, what
these are.

[Illustration: Decoration]


=King's Gallery.=

This magnificent gallery, the finest of all the state rooms at
Kensington Palace, was designed and built by Sir Christopher Wren for
William III. about the year 1693. It owes much of its architectural
effect to the great architect's wonderful knowledge and appreciation of
proportion--an element too often disregarded in buildings of modern
times. Its length is 96 feet, its breadth 21 feet 6 inches, and its
height 18 feet to the top of the cornice, and 19 feet 8 inches to the
highest point of the ceiling. It is, therefore, 12 feet longer than the
already-described Queen Mary's Gallery, 2 feet higher, but of the same
width. Compared with it, the "King's or Cartoon Gallery" at Hampton
Court, built by Wren almost exactly at the same time, it is 21 feet less
long, 3 feet less wide, and 10 feet less high.

In relation to it the following items from the old accounts, dating from
about the year 1693, are interesting:

     "Item to Richard Hawkesmore, Clerk of the Workes, for making up an
     account [an estimate?] of the King's New Gallery at
     Kensington--£5."

     "More to him for Pasteboard and other Materialls for making a
     modell of the said Gallery for the King--£5 2_s._"

     "Cha: Houghton for rating, casting up, and engrossing the Books of
     the said Building for the Auditor--£5."


Decorative Carvings in "the King's Gallery."

The oak cornice and the oak doors of this gallery, especially the
beautiful architraves of the doors, are among the finest specimens
anywhere existing of Wren's decorative art, designed by him and carried
out under the superintendence of Gibbons. Relating to this work we find
the following item in the accounts for the years 1691 to 1696:

     "To Grinling Gibbons, carver, for worke done in the new Gallery
     building, in the King's great and Little Closet, in three Roomes
     under the King's apartment, in the King's Gallery, and other places
     about the said Pallace--£839 0_s._ 4_d._"

In other respects the appearance of this room has been much altered; for
the oak panelling, which appears originally to have entirely covered its
walls was removed, it would seem, in the reign of George I. or of George
II.; when also the ceiling, which was originally plain, was painted as
we see it now.


Chimney-Piece, Map and Dial.

At the same time a new chimney-piece was inserted. Part of the original
over-mantel, however, of the time of William III., still remains,
especially a very curious map of the north-west of Europe, showing the
names of various towns, especially in the north of France, the
Netherlands, and the British Isles. Relating to it we have discovered,
in the course of our researches among the old parchment rolls in the
Record Office, the following entry, dating from about, the year 1694:

     "To Rob^{t} Norden for his paines in drawing a map for the
     chimney-piece and for attending the painters--£5."

Round the circumference of the map are the points of the compass; and an
old =dial-hand= or pointer, still remains, which was actuated by an iron
rod connected with a vane, still existing above the roof. This enabled
King William to know from which quarter the wind was blowing; whether,
therefore, it was safe for him, with his asthma, to venture out of
doors, or whether the wind was favourable for wafting him away from this
hated climate to his own dearly-loved country of Holland.

It was this dial which so greatly interested Peter the Great, when he
privately visited William III. in this palace in 1698, being admitted by
a back door. "It was afterwards known," says Macaulay, but unfortunately
without giving his authority, "that he took no notice of the fine
pictures, with which the palace was adorned. But over the chimney in
the royal sitting-room was a plate which, by an ingenious machinery,
indicated the direction of the wind; and with this plate he was in
raptures."

[Illustration: THE KING'S GALLERY.]

This old dial is fixed in a square carved and gilt frame, probably the
one referred to in the following item in the old accounts of the years
1691-96:

     "To Rene Cousins gilder for a large frame carved and gilt with
     burnished gold--£10."

The outer frame of deal wood surrounding this gilt one is, on the other
hand, of a later date, evidently designed by Kent, as was also the
decorated panel above it, itself surmounted by a pediment, richly
carved, doubtless by men trained in the school of Wren and Gibbons.

In the centre of this fine "Kentian" panel is a medallion picture of the
"Virgin and Child," painted in fresco, of the school of Raphael, and
inscribed behind with the date, 1583.

All this over-mantel was, in the time of George I., painted over white
with enrichments of gold. It so remained until last winter, when the
thick coats of filthy paint were cleaned off. It has been thought best
to leave the deal wood in its natural state, unpainted, only applying a
little stain to tone it into harmony with the colour of the surrounding
oak carvings.

Although this carved over-mantel is an addition, and as far as the
pediment is concerned, very out of place so close to the cornice, yet it
is very beautiful and of much interest as being one of the finest
examples of decorative design executed in England during the reigns of
the first two Georges. In it we trace the influence of the lighter
French taste of Louis XV., which Kent had no doubt become acquainted
with when travelling abroad. The marble chimney-piece below, on the
other hand, is in that architect's regular massive, heavy style.

       *       *       *       *       *

Almost at once, after this gallery was finished by Wren, it became the
receptacle of some of the finest works of art in the Royal collection.
Among the manuscripts in the British Museum is the original list of
William III.'s pictures, placed "in Kensington House, 1697"--some
seventy pieces being mentioned as then hanging on its walls.

It was in the year following that Peter the Great was in England; when,
besides his private interview with the King, mentioned above, he was a
spectator at a ball given in this same gallery on the birthday of
Princess Anne, not publicly, however, but peeping through one of the
doors, in a closet prepared for him on purpose.

In this room, King William, in the month of March, 1702, after his
accident, and a few days before his death, "took several turns" to
exercise himself; but soon becoming fatigued, he reclined upon a couch
and fell asleep, "but soon to awake in a shivering fit, which was the
beginning of a fever, attended with serious symptoms, from which he
never recovered."


Painting of the Ceiling and Wainscot of the King's Gallery.

This gallery was also a favourite sitting-room of Queen Anne and her
husband, and of George I. It was by command of the latter monarch that
Kent, about the year 1724, undertook the painting of the ceiling, his
charge for which, with similar work in "the little closets," amounted to
_£_850. Although the richness of the colouring and gilding give it a
gorgeous appearance, neither the design nor the ornaments, least of all
the panels, painted with mythological subjects, are interesting. It is
divided into seven compartments, surrounded by elaborate classic scroll
and arabesque work, and allegorical figures. The centre medallion is
oval, the other six oblong or lozenge shaped. The officers of Works in
their Report, dated 30th of September, 1725, to the "Lords Commissioners
of His Majesty's Treasury," on this work, added:

     "We have caused an estimate to be made of the charge of painting
     the wainscot of the sd. Gallery and little closets in the same
     manner as the Bedchamber and closets are already painted, amounting
     to £32: 16:

     Gilding the same--£154: 4:

     Providing Scaffolds for the Painters and covering the floors with
     Boards to prevent their being damaged, etc., £233: 3:"

They further added:

     "We crave leave to lay before your Lordships a letter that we have
     received from Sir James Thornhill, Serj^{t} Painter to his Majesty,
     in which he complains that the gilding of the cornishes, which hath
     hitherto been done by himself, and his predecessors, is by my Lord
     Chamberlain's Letter directed to be done by another person, which
     letter we have hereunto annexed."

On October 5th, accordingly, an order was made to the Board of Works to
commission Sir J. Thornhill to do the gilding of the cornices.

On the barbarity of painting the beautiful oak work in this gallery, and
especially the exquisitely carved oak architraves and cornices, we need
not dwell. They remained painted until last autumn, when with infinite
trouble and pains, the paint was cleaned off, and all the delicate
chiselling of Gibbons and his assistants revealed to the eye, after
being obscured for a hundred and seventy-four years. The visitor can
judge for himself with what success this has been accomplished. No stain
has been used in this restoration; and only after repeated experiments
was the method adopted of treating it simply with wax polish.

The old panelling of Wren's time was probably removed in the time of
George II., in order to afford more wall-space for hanging pictures
on--which was Queen Caroline's great hobby.

An even worse barbarism was perpetrated in this superb gallery at the
beginning of the century--when it was divided by partitions into three
distinct rooms--in which state it remained until the restorations were
begun last year. One of these subdivisions was used by Queen Victoria,
when a little girl, for her toys.


Naval Pictures in the King's Gallery.

In this gallery have now been collected a large number of sea-pieces,
sea-fights, dockyards, and admirals, mainly of the time of the Georges,
to illustrate the history of the British Navy. Though but very few--for
instance, those by Monamy and Scott--can be considered fine works of
art, yet all of them will be found interesting and curious; and no one,
who has known them only when hanging in bad lights on dark screens in
the overcrowded rooms at Hampton Court, would have suspected how much
there is to be studied in them, now that they are at length properly
displayed.

201 The Dockyard at Sheerness (_1055_) . . . . . R. PATON.

     The dock is on the left, terminated by a fort in the centre of the
     picture. On the left are a large man-of-war and a disabled ship
     towed by a barque.

     This and Nos. 204, 232, 233, and 236 are pieces of dockyards,
     painted by Paton more than a hundred years ago. They are each on
     canvas, 3 ft. 4 in. high, by 4 ft. 10 in. wide.


202 Close of the Action, November 4th, 1805, Sir R. Strachan's Victory
(_1037_). [See Companion Piece, No. 234.] . . . . . N. POCOCK.

     On the left are three French vessels,? The Formidable, Scipion,
     Mont Blanc, or Duguay Trouin, two of them utterly dismantled; to
     the right is the English fleet.

     The engagement took place off Ferrol, about a fortnight after
     Trafalgar, the French ships being under the command of Rear-Admiral
     Dumanoir, who had escaped from that battle.

203 George III. Reviewing the Fleet at Portsmouth (_1011_). [See No.
235.] . . . . . D. SERRES.

     In the centre is a large man-of-war, the "Barfleur": near it the
     "Worcester" firing a salute, and beyond a line of men-of-war, the
     "Royal Oak" and "Lennox" being distinguishable on the right. On
     canvas, 4 ft. 10 in. high, by 7 ft. wide. Signed "D. Serres, 1776."

204 The Dockyard at Deptford (_1000_). [See No. 201] . . . . . R. PATON.

     Greenwich is seen in the background; the dock buildings on the
     right; and on the left various ships, one firing a salute.

205 Ships in a Dockyard (_999_) . . . . . _unnamed._

206 A Sea-piece (_1046_) . . . . . D. SERRES.

     A large vessel is seen broadside, and in front an officer's gig;
     other vessels are behind. Signed in lower right-hand corner, "D.
     Serres, 1789."

207 Action between the "Arethusa" and "Belle Poule"
(_673_) . . . . . _unnamed._

     The "Arethusa," with its stern to the spectator, is to the left;
     "La Belle Poule" is on the right. They are discharging heavy
     broadsides at each other. The moon is seen in the distance between
     them.

     The action took place on the 17th of July, 1778, off the Lizard,
     and lasted two hours at close quarters without intermission. The
     "Belle Poule" got away, though the English had got the best of the
     fight.

208 Sea Piece (_1078_) . . . . . BROOKING.

     On the right is an English frigate bearing away; on the left one
     coming in. A fair specimen of this good marine painter.

209 George III. Reviewing the Fleet at Portsmouth (_1012_). [See No.
235.] . . . . . D. SERRES.

     A large man-of-war in the centre; smaller craft on each side.

210 The Royal Yacht which brought Queen Charlotte to England in 1761, to
be married to George III., in a storm (_1001_) . . . . . WRIGHT.

     The Royal Yacht is in the centre of the picture, attended by a
     convoy of twelve vessels. It had been re-named "The Royal
     Charlotte," and was newly ornamented with a profusion of carving
     and gilding for the occasion. They embarked at Stade on the 24th of
     August, and landed at Harwich on September 6th.

     Richard Wright was a painter of marine subjects.

211 A Small Sea-Piece (_1080_) . . . . . P. MONAMY.

     In the centre, towards the left, is an English man-of-war firing a
     salute; other smaller craft are to the right and left. 1 ft. 8 in.
     high, by 2 ft. 11 in. wide.

     This is an excellent specimen of Peter Monamy, an imitator, and
     probably pupil, of the Vandeveldes. Though much cracked, it is
     beautifully painted, "showing a fine quality of texture, with great
     precision of touch; the calm plane of the ocean level receding into
     the extreme distance, without that set scenic effect of passing
     cloud-shadows, which even the best masters have used to obtain the
     appearance of recession and distance; this work well deserves
     notice, and might puzzle the best painters of such subjects to
     rival."--(Redgrave's _Century of Painters_.)

212 His Majesty's Yacht in Portsmouth Harbour (_1035_) . . . . . J. T.
SERRES.

     She has twenty-six guns, and lies across the picture; other craft
     are to the right and left. Behind is seen Portsmouth. Signed "_J.
     T. Serres_, 1820."

213 Shipping . . . . . _unnamed._

214 On the Thames--The Tower of London (_1024_) . . . . . _unnamed._

215 A Man-of-War engaged with two Vessels (_1015_) . . . . . MONAMY.

     A man-of-war is on the left engaged with two of the enemy's
     vessels; behind are others shown in action. (See No. 219.)

216 Rear-Admiral Sir Charles Knowles's Squadron attacking Port Louis in
St. Domingo (? Hispaniola) March 8th, 1748 (_998_) . . . . . R. PATON?

     To the left is an English vessel, the "Cornwall," firing at a fort
     in the centre of the picture. More to the left is a small ship
     burning; on the right are other vessels attacking the fort.

     The fire-ship of the enemy was towed clear of the squadron by the
     boats, and left to burn and blow up at a distance from the fleet.
     The fort surrendered in the evening, and was blown up. The English
     lost seventy men.

217 Battle of Trafalgar--Close of the Action (_1058_). [See Companion
Piece, No. 224.] . . . . . HUGGINS.

     In the centre is a large vessel (? the "Victory") with rigging much
     shot away and torn. Others are seen behind in action.

     These are two of three pictures, painted for William IV.; the third
     is now at St. James's Palace.

218 Rear-Admiral Sir Charles Knowles's Action with a Spanish Squadron
off the Havannah, October 1st, 1748 (_1002_) . . . . . R. PATON?

     In the background is the battle-line of the enemy, under
     Vice-Admiral Reggio, against which the British fleet is bearing.
     The action began at two o'clock. Although defeated, nearly all the
     Spaniards got into port; they lost eighty-six men. Knowles, when he
     came home, was tried by court-martial for not pursuing the enemy
     with more vigour, and was reprimanded.

219 Sea Fight--A Man-of-War attacked by Boats (_226_) . . . . . MONAMY.

     The vessel is surrounded by boats, and is responding to their
     musketry by a fierce cannonade. 3 ft. 4 in. high, by 4 ft. 2 in.
     wide.

220 Admiral Viscount Keith . . . . . T. PHILLIPS, R.A.

     Half length, in robes, turned to the left. His right hand holds up
     his cloak, his left is seen underneath. His hair is gray.

     He commanded the fleet which, in 1795, captured the Cape of Good
     Hope, and performed other brilliant services. He died in 1823.

221 Shipping on the Thames--Temple Gardens (_1026_) . . . . . _unnamed._

222 Sea-Piece--The British Fleet (_1017_) . . . . . ELLIOT.

     In front are some eight large vessels, some with the yards manned,
     others with their sails partly set; other ships are seen behind.

     On the frame in front is written:--"_To the R^{t}. Hon^{ble}.
     W^{m}. Pitt this view of the British Fleet, which secured to
     England the uninterrupted navigation of the Southern Ocean is
     dedicated_." William Elliot was a bad marine painter in the style
     of Serres.

223 Battle of Camperdown--Close of the Action (_1064_). [See Companion
Piece, No. 225.] . . . . . J. T. SERRES.

     In the centre is a British flag-ship, shown at the end of a long
     line of vessels. On the right is one of the enemy on fire, to which
     boats are hastening. On the left is a ship with the name
     "WASSANAER."

224 The Day after the Battle of Trafalgar (_1057_). [See Companion
Piece, No. 217.] . . . . . HUGGINS.

     It represents the storm which separated the squadron the day after
     the battle. On the right is a dismantled vessel rolling over; on
     the left is the "Victory." On canvas, 8 ft. high, by 10 ft. wide.

225 Battle of Camperdown--Lord Duncan's Victory (_1053_). [See Companion
Piece, No. 223.] . . . . . J. T. SERRES.

     The English fleet is ranged in three lines about to begin the
     action by breaking the line of the enemy ranged beyond them. The
     enemy have already opened fire. On canvas, 3 ft. high, by 4 ft.
     wide. Signed, "J. T. Serres, 1793."

     John Thomas Serres was the son of Dominic Serres, who brought him
     up as a marine painter. In the year in which this picture was
     painted he succeeded, on his father's death, to the office of
     marine painter to the King, and one of his duties in this post was
     to make sketches of the harbours on the enemy's coast. He married
     the _soi-disant_ Princess Olive of Cumberland, who lost him his
     appointment, and brought him to misery, destitution, imprisonment,
     and madness. (Redgrave's _Dict. of Artists_.)

226 Equipment of the English Fleet in 1790 (_1033_) . . . . . ELLIOTT.

     Three full-rigged men-of-war and others partially rigged are in
     front; beyond is a port. In front is a label:--"_To the Earl of
     Chatham this view of the expeditious equipment of the British Fleet
     in 1790 is dedicated_."

227 A Man-of-War going out to Sea (_1034_) . . . . . _unnamed._

     Crossing the picture to the left, following another going into the
     picture.

228 Admiral Lord Anson (_19_) . . . . . _After Hudson by_ BOCKMAN.

     This appears to be a copy of a picture in Lord Lichfield's
     possession at Shugborough in Staffordshire, by Thomas Hudson, a
     portrait painter, who flourished from 1701 to 1779, and who is
     chiefly remembered now as the master of Reynolds.

     Anson was a victorious admiral in the reign of George II., well
     known for his famous voyage round the world in the years 1740-44,
     and for his great exploit of capturing, in 1743, the Spanish
     galleon "Manilla," which had a cargo on board valued at £313,000.
     He was created a peer in 1747 for his victory over the French
     fleet, and was First Lord of the Admiralty during the Seven Years'
     War.

     He is here represented in peer's robes, which approximately fixes
     the date of the picture.

     Bockman, by profession a mezzotint engraver, was in England about
     1745-50, when he executed copies of various portraits of admirals,
     which had been painted by Kneller for James II., and G. Dahl, a
     Swedish painter, for William III. The originals were presented by
     William IV. in 1835 to Greenwich Hospital.

229. Shipping (_1025_) . . . . . _unnamed._

230. A Ship (_381_) . . . . . _unnamed._

231 George III. Reviewing the Fleet at Portsmouth (_1013_). [See No.
235.] . . . . . D. SERRES.

     In the centre is a large three-masted vessel, with the Union Jack
     flying, and the royal party on board. Many others are behind.

232 The Dockyard at Portsmouth (_1051_). [See No. 201.] . . . . . R.
PATON.

     On the left is a large vessel about to be launched; the dock
     buildings are behind.

233 The Dockyard at Chatham (_1062_). [See No. 201.] . . . . . R. PATON.

     The dock is on rising ground to the right; on the left is seen the
     Medway. Various ships are on the river.

234 Commencement of Sir Robert Calder's Action, July 22nd, 1805
(_1038_). [See Companion Piece, No. 202.] . . . . . N. POCOCK.

     A small English ship is engaging two French vessels on the left.

     On the 19th of July, Calder had received despatches from Nelson
     stating that the combined Franco-Spanish fleet was on its return
     from the West Indies, and he cruised about off Cape Finisterre in
     the hope of intercepting it. Though both sides lost heavily, the
     action had no very decided result. The small English ship is
     probably the "Hero," the van-ship of the British, which began the
     attack.

     Nicholas Pocock, like D. Serres, acquired his knowledge of the sea
     in the navy, which he gave up to adopt marine painting as a
     profession.

235 George III. Reviewing the Fleet at Portsmouth (_1014_) . . . . . D.
SERRES.

     To the right is a large line-of-battle ship firing a salute.
     Several yachts with officers and spectators on board are seen.

     This, and Nos. 203, 209, and 231 pieces were painted by Dominic
     Serres, a native of Gascony, who, after running away from home,
     becoming a sailor, and then master of a trading vessel, and being
     captured by an English frigate, settled in England and took to
     painting marine pieces to earn a living. He was one of the original
     members of the Royal Academy, and frequently exhibited. He is to be
     distinguished from his son, J. T. Serres (see No. 225).

236 The Dockyard at Woolwich (_1066_) . . . . . [See No. 201.] R. PATON.

     Woolwich church is seen in the centre background; the dock
     buildings are on the right.

237 Admiral Sir John Jennings (_11_) . . . . . _After Kneller by_ BOCKMAN.

     Knighted by Queen Anne in 1704, died in 1743, and is buried in
     Westminster Abbey.

238 Admiral John Benbow . . . . . _After Kneller by_ BOCKMAN.

     He was given the command of a ship by James, Duke of York, for his
     bravery. In 1702, when in command of the West India squadron, he
     sustained, almost alone, the fire of the whole French fleet under
     Du Casse; his cowardly officers, two of whom were afterwards tried
     by court-martial and shot, having basely deserted him. He died at
     Jamaica very soon afterwards from a wound received in the action.

239 Admiral George Churchill (_10_) . . . . . _After Kneller by_ BOCKMAN.

     A brother of the Duke of Marlborough's. He died in 1708.

240 Admiral Sir G. Bing, Viscount Torrington (_7_) . . . . . _After
Kneller by_ BOCKMAN.

     The celebrated admiral of the reigns of Queen Anne and George I. He
     was especially distinguished for his services against the
     Pretender, and for his great victory over the Spanish off Sicily in
     1718. His son was the famous Admiral Byng, who was shot, as
     Voltaire said, "pour encourager les autres."

241 Admiral Edward Russell, Earl of Orford (_27_) . . . . . SIR G.
KNELLER.

     Half length, to the right; in blue. His left hand is on his hip,
     his right has a bâton.

     This is the famous admiral in the reign of William and Mary, who
     gained the victory of La Hogue against the French fleet under
     Tourville.

     This portrait is one of the series of admirals painted for William
     III.

242 Portrait of General Spalken (_910_) . . . . . _unnamed._

     Three-quarters in length. Bareheaded, with grey hair. His right arm
     rests on a table, on which is his cocked hat; his left is in his
     belt. He wears a general's uniform, a red coat with blue facings, a
     long white waistcoat with brass buttons, and white breeches.

     I can find nothing about Spalken.

243 Admiral Sir Thomas Dilks (_9_) . . . . . _After Kneller by_ BOCKMAN.

     This is the hero of a brilliant action in Cancalli Bay in 1703,
     when a small English squadron attacked a fleet of forty-three
     French merchantmen with three men-of-war, and captured them all.

244 Admiral Sir Stafford Fairbourne (_18_) . . . . . _After Kneller by_
BOCKMAN.

     Lived in the reigns of William III. and Anne.

245 Admiral Sir John Gradin (_8_) . . . . . _After Kneller by_ BOCKMAN.

     Served in the reign of Queen Anne, and was dismissed for
     over-caution.

246 Admiral Beaumont (_1_) . . . . . _After Dahl by_ BOCKMAN.

     He perished on the Goodwin Sands in the great storm "such as of
     late o'er pale Britannia passed," in 1703.


=King's Grand Staircase.=

Sir Christopher Wren was the original builder of this staircase,
although Kent's name has usually alone been associated with it. To the
great architect, however, we certainly owe the "shell" of the building,
its proportions, the black marble steps, the black and white chequered
marble on the landings, and the fine balustrade of wrought iron. This
ironwork was doubtless designed by Jean Tijou, whose name we have found
in the contemporary accounts relating to this palace, and in whose style
the design certainly is. As to the stair-treads, it is worthy of note
that in an estimate of Wren's for the completion of the King's Great
Staircase at Hampton Court, in 1699, he proposed that they should be
made "of Irish stone such as are at Kensington, but longer and easier,"
which, in fact, they are.

In King William's time the windows must have been of a different type to
those now here, which are in the style of Kent. As to the walls, they
were then probably painted with simple ornaments. Among the Kensington
accounts for the year 1692, we have found the following record of a
payment relating to such work:

     "To Robt. Streeter, Serg^{t} Painter, for japanning, gilding and
     painting several Roomes and Lodgings in the said Pallace, painting
     severall staircase, and the Guard Chamber, and other places in and
     about the said Pallace--£3,599."


Kent's Alterations in the King's Grand Staircase.

Kent's improvements, which must have been carried out about 1725,
included--besides the painting of the walls and ceiling--the alteration
of the approach to the staircase on the ground floor, where he inserted,
in the area or "well," an arcade of two plain arches, which support, or
rather appear to support, the landing above. Under the first arch begins
the wide flight of black marble steps, with two landings in the ascent,
paved with alternate squares of black and white marble, as is also the
long top landing or balcony. The balusters are now painted blue, their
original colour, found under successive coats of more recent paint. The
hand-rail of oak has had its dirty paint cleaned off.

[Illustration: THE KING'S GRAND STAIRCASE.]

No one who did not see this staircase before the restorations were begun
can conceive the woeful state of dust, filth, decay and rot which it
then presented. With the fine iron balusters broken, damp oozing from
the walls, the paintings indistinguishable from incrustations of
smoke, and strips of the painted canvas hanging from the walls in
shreds--it seemed impossible that it could ever be restored to its
pristine splendour. The visitor must judge for himself whether this
result has not been triumphantly accomplished.


The Painted Walls of the King's Grand Staircase.

Opposite the balustrade, on the right side as one goes down the stairs,
is a low wainscot of plain moulded panelling; and above this, level with
the top of the second landing, is painted a large Vitruvian scroll. The
square space thus formed beside the first landing, and the spandril
space beside the rise of the stairs, are filled with representations, in
chiaro-oscuro, of sea-horses, armorial trophies and other devices, and
scroll-work, heightened by gilding. These, as well as similar paintings
on the arcade, opposite and under the stairs, show that Kent's taste and
skill as a decorative artist were by no means contemptible, whereas as a
painter of subjects or figures he was no artist at all.

The two walls of the staircase above the Vitruvian scroll are painted to
represent a gallery, behind a colonnade of the Scamozzian Ionic order,
supporting a corresponding entablature, with a frieze embellished with
unicorns' heads, masks of lions, and festoons of foliage, divided by
fleurs-de-lys, richly heightened with gold. Between these columns is
painted a balustrade; with numerous figures of personages of George I.'s
court, looking over it.

In =the first and second compartments= on the left are yeomen of the
guard and various ladies and gentlemen; and a young man in a Polish
dress representing a certain Mr. Ulric, a page of the King's, "and
admired by the court," says Pyne, "for the elegance and beauty of his
person;" while the youth standing on the plinth outside the balcony is a
page of Lady Suffolk's. In the third or right-hand compartment on the
same wall are seen, among many other unidentified persons, a Quaker and
an old man in spectacles.

Two other servants of the court appear in this group, Mahomet and
Mustapha, who were taken prisoners by the Imperialists in Hungary. At
the raising of the siege of Vienna in 1685, George I., then elector of
Hanover, was wounded, and was attended by these two Turks, who had been
retained in his service, and who were said to have saved his life.
Mahomet apostatized from the faith of his fathers and became a
Christian; married a Hanoverian woman and had several children. King
George, on his accession to the British throne, brought these two
faithful servants with him to England in his suite. They were constantly
about his person, and were credited with obtaining large sums of money
from persons who purchased their influence to obtain places about the
court. Mahomet, however, in whatever way he may have obtained his
wealth, made a noble and benevolent use of it; for among many other
recorded acts of benevolence, he released from prison about three
hundred poor debtors by paying their harsh creditors.

Pope, at any rate, believed in Mahomet's integrity, for he mentions him
in his Epistle to Martha Blount in these lines:

    "From peer or bishop 'tis no easy thing
    To draw the man who loves his God or King.
    Alas! I copy (or, my draught would fail,)
    From honest Mahomet or plain Parson Hale."

Mahomet died of dropsy in 1726, just after these walls were painted.
Mustapha, after the death of George I., continued in the service of his
successor, and is supposed to have died in Hanover.

In the same group are also a Highlander, and a youth known as "Peter the
Wild Boy." He was found in the woods of Hamelin, near Hanover, in 1725,
and when first discovered was walking on his hands and feet, climbing
trees with the agility of a squirrel, and feeding upon grass and moss of
trees. He was supposed to be about thirteen years of age. He was
presented to George I., then in Hanover, when at dinner, and the King
made him taste of the different dishes at table. We get this information
from Pyne, who adds:

     "He was sent over to England in April, 1726, and once more brought
     before his Majesty and many of the nobility. He could not speak,
     and scarcely appeared to have any idea of things, but was pleased
     with the ticking of a watch, the splendid dresses of the King and
     princess, and endeavoured to put on his own hand a glove that was
     given to him by her royal highness. He was dressed in gaudy
     habiliments, but at first disliked this confinement, and much
     difficulty was found in making him lie on a bed: he, however, soon
     walked upright, and often sat for his picture. He was at first
     entrusted to the care of the philosophical Dr. Arbuthnot, who had
     him baptized Peter; but notwithstanding all the doctor's pains, he
     was unable to bring him to the use of speech, or to the
     pronunciation of words.... He resisted all instruction, and existed
     on a pension allowed in succession by the three sovereigns in whose
     reigns he lived. He resided latterly at a farmer's near
     Berkhampstead in Hertfordshire, till February, 1785, where he died,
     at the supposed age of nearly ninety."

The =east wall= of the staircase is painted as far as the width of the
second landing with a continuation of the arcade, showing a fourth
compartment, in which are again figures of yeomen of the guard and
ladies--one holding an infant in her arms over the balustrade. Further
up, on the same wall, is painted a pedimented niche, with a figure of a
Roman emperor; and higher up still, on the top landing or balcony, are
figures of Hercules, Diana, Apollo, and Minerva.

All these paintings are on canvas, stretched on battens fixed to the
wall.


Painted Ceiling of the King's Grand Staircase.

The ceiling of the staircase being square and flat, it did not afford
much scope for the exercise of imaginative design, and Kent was obliged
to content himself with a very commonplace pattern--sufficiently
apparent in the accompanying plate. In the four corners are a sort of
double oblong panels, with similar square ones intervening between them.
The ground colour is gray. The oblongs are painted with ornamental
scroll-work and horses' heads, the squares with human heads. These
panels are bordered with very heavy projecting frames of plaster work,
white and gilt, as is also the great square compartment in the middle.
The panel of this last is painted with a representation of a circle,
within which are four semicircular spaces or apertures, apparently
intended to portray a pierced dome with galleries--but they are all in
quite impossible perspective. In three of these spaces are seen
musicians playing on various instruments, and spectators looking down
upon the company below. In the fourth "the painter," says Pyne, "has
introduced his own portrait, holding a palette and pencils, with two of
his pupils, who assisted him in the decoration of the walls, and a
female of a very pleasing countenance, which is supposed to be a
resemblance of an actress with whom he lived in the habits of peculiar
friendship, and to whom he left a part of his fortune."

All these decorations--including "the female of a very pleasing
countenance"--the visitor can make out, if he thinks it worth while to
incur a stiff neck in doing so; but, in truth, the figures, as well as
the perspective, are all so badly drawn and painted, that the less they
are examined the better. They prove to us once more that Kent, as a
pictorial artist, was beneath contempt. If, however, we are content to
look on his paintings on this staircase as mere formless colour
decoration, the general effect is rich and sumptuous enough.

The paintings of the staircase were finished, as we have said, about
1726. Three years after we find among the records the following warrant:

     "For the delivery of the following for the King's service at
     Kensington, viz. for the Great Staircase 6 lanthorns, 12 inches
     square and 17 high, with a shade over each, an iron scroll and 2
     flat sockets for candles, 1 lanthorn for a pattern 11 inches square
     and 19-1/2 inches high, with scrolls, etc."

Our illustration, taken from Pyne's drawing dated 1818, shows these
lanthorns still in it. Except for these, which disappeared a long time
ago, and the tall German stove, which was only removed a few months ago,
the staircase appears exactly the same to-day.


=Presence Chamber.=

In this room we have a blending of the style of Wren, who originally
built and designed it, and of Kent, who redecorated it for George I. The
chimney-piece and over-mantel, with its fine Gibbons carving of foliage,
fruit, and flowers, the beautifully designed and richly carved oak
cornice and the panelled dado are Wren's; whereas the painted ceiling
and the doors are Kent's. It was, doubtless, he also who altered the
spacing of the window sashes, and substituted the present ugly large
panes for the originally picturesque small ones. There is record of this
being done in 1723, among the old accounts.

The walls appear originally to have been entirely lined, like most of
Wren's rooms, with oak wainscot, but this had entirely disappeared long
before the beginning of this century, when they were covered with
tapestry, over which were nailed a great quantity of pictures--among
them several which have now been brought back here from Hampton Court.
At the same period, in 1818, there was still hanging between the windows
"a looking-glass of large dimensions, tastefully decorated with festoons
of flowers, painted with great truth and spirit by Jean Baptiste
Monnoyer.... Queen Mary sat by the painter during the greatest part of
the time he was employed in painting it."

This looking-glass has disappeared. =Gibbons' fine carving=, however,
over the chimney-piece, of foliage, fruit, and flowers in lime wood
fortunately remains. When recently cleaned and repaired, it was found to
be so fragile and friable as to necessitate its being all painted over
in order to hold the fragments together. An oaken colour, "flatted," in
accord with the prevailing tone of the panelling in the room was thought
most suitable.

The two windows of this room, the sashes of which were altered by Kent,
look into a small courtyard.

The dimensions of the room are 27 feet 4 inches long, 26 feet 10 inches
wide, by 16 feet 4 inches high to the top of the cornice, 18 feet to the
highest part of the ceiling.

We presume it to have been in this room that William III. in May, 1698,
received the Count de Bonde, Ambassador Extraordinary from the Court of
Sweden, when he returned to the King the insignia of the Order of the
Garter, which had belonged to Charles XI., King of Sweden. "The
Sovereign assembled the Knights Companions upon this occasion in the
Presence Chamber, and all appeared in their mantles, caps, and feathers,
attended by the officers of the order in their mantles, and the heralds
in their coats."


Painted Ceiling of the Presence Chamber.

The ceiling of this room, like most of those in the state apartments
built by Wren, is "coved" or "saucer-domed," and was no doubt originally
quite plainly-coloured, with a light cream-tinted wash. As we see it
now, it gives the idea of an attempt by Kent to imitate Raphael's Loggie
in the Vatican. The paintings have been stated to be in imitation of
those "then recently discovered on the ruined walls of Herculaneum and
Pompeii," but these were not unearthed until twenty-five years after.
Kent has, however, carefully followed what indications he could get of
the decorative treatment of Roman classic art. The colours are
bright-reds and blues, enriched with gilding on a white ground. The
ceiling, or rather the plaster behind the cornice, bears the date, 1724.
Faulkner, in his "History of Kensington," considers that "a proof of his
liberal zeal for the interest of his profession is clearly evinced by
his adopting this antique ornament rather than his own historical
compositions." Why this should be the case, however, he does not deign
to explain.


Ceremonial Pictures of the Queen's Reign.

In this room are arranged the ceremonial pictures of the reign of the
Queen, copied from well-known pictures by British artists. They afford
most accurate representations of the events depicted, and no doubt will
live to remotest history, as interesting and curious specimens of early
Victorian art. The scenes, and the participants in them are all too well
known to require explanation. Perhaps later on the numbered "key-plans"
will be put up to assist in the identification of each personage.

271 Coronation of the Queen in Westminster Abbey, June 28th, 1838. Her
Majesty taking the Sacrament . . . . . _After_ C. R. LESLIE, R.A.

     When the Queen had been formally invested with the insignia of her
     sovereignty, and had received the homage of the peers, she laid
     aside the crown and sceptre, and following the Archbishop, advanced
     to the altar to receive the sacrament.

272 Marriage of the Queen and Prince Albert at the Chapel Royal, St.
James's, 10th February, 1840 . . . . . _After_ HAYTER.

273 Christening of the Princess Royal at Buckingham Palace, 10th
February, 1841 . . . . . _After_ C. R. LESLIE, R.A.

274 Marriage of the Princess Royal to Prince Frederick William of
Prussia in the Chapel Royal, St. James's, 25th January,
1858 . . . . . _After_ J. PHILLIP, R.A.

275 Christening of the Prince of Wales in St. George's Chapel, Windsor
Castle, 28th of January, 1842 . . . . . _After_ HAYTER.


276 Marriage of the Prince of Wales and the Princess Alexandra of
Denmark in St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, 10th March,
1863 . . . . . _After_ W. P. FRITH, R.A.

277 A Sketch of the Queen leaving Westminster Abbey after her
Coronation . . . . . _By_ CAMILLE ROQUEPLAN.

     Camille Roqueplan was a French artist sent over by Louis Philippe
     to make sketches at the Queen's Coronation.

278 The Marriage of H.R.H. the Duke of Connaught and Strathearn and
H.R.H. Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia in St. George's Chapel,
Windsor, 13th March, 1879 . . . . . _After_ SIDNEY P. HALL.

[Illustration: Decoration]

[Illustration: Decoration]

              CHISWICK PRESS:--CHARLES WHITTINGHAM AND CO.
                  TOOKS COURT, CHANCERY LANE, LONDON.

       *       *       *       *       *

Typographical errors corrected by the etext transcriber:

William Talman, Comptroler=> William Talman, Comptroller {pg 18}

his exernal architectural effect=> his external architectural effect {pg
63}

being situate=> being situated {pg 68}

his face his shaven=> his face is shaven {pg 91}

Prince Octavious was born on February 23rd, 1779=> Prince Octavius was
born on February 23rd, 1779 {pg 106}





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