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Title: A History of Mourning
Author: Davey, Richard, 1848-
Language: English
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Transcriber's note:

      Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).

[Illustration: MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS,
_As Widow of Francis II. of France, a facsimile of the original drawing
by Clouet, preserved in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris._--Reproduced
expressly for this Publication.]




Regent Street, W.

_Wreath composed of the flowers mentioned in Shakespeare's dirges._

Entered at Stationers' Hall.]        [Copyright.

Published at Jay's, Regent Street, W.

McCorquodale & Co., Limited
Cardington Street, N.W.



ALTHOUGH tradition has not informed us whether our first parents made
any marked change in their scanty garments on the death of their near
relatives, it is certain that the fashion of wearing mourning and the
institution of funereal ceremonies and rites are of the most remote
antiquity. Herodotus tells us that the Egyptians over 3,000 years
ago selected yellow as the colour which denoted that a kinsman was
lately deceased. They, moreover, shaved their eyebrows when a relative
died; but the death of a dog or a cat, regarded as divinities by this
curious people, was a matter of much greater importance to them, for
then they not only shaved their eyebrows, but every hair on their
bodies was plucked out; and doubtless this explains the reason why so
many elaborate wigs are to be seen in the various museums devoted to
Egyptian antiquities. It would require a volume to give an idea of
the singular funereal ceremonials of this people, with whom death was
regarded, so to speak, as a "speciality;" for their religion was mainly
devoted to the _cultus_ of the departed, and consequently innumerable
monumental tombs still exist all over Egypt, the majority of which are
full of mummies, whose painted cases are most artistic.

[Illustration: FIG. 1.--_An Egyptian Lady preparing to go into Mourning
for the death of her pet Cat._--From a picture by J. R. WEGUELIN.]

The cat was worshipped as a divinity by the Egyptians. Magnificent
tombs were erected in its honour, sacrifices and devotions were offered
to it; and, as has already been said, it was customary for the
people of the house to shave their heads and eyebrows whenever Pussy
departed the family circle. Possibly it was their exalted position in
Egypt which eventually led to cats being considered the "familiars"
of witches in the Middle Ages, and even in our own time, for belief
in witchcraft is not extinct. The kindly Egyptians made mummies of
their cats and dogs, and it is presumable that, since Egypt is a corn
growing, and hence a rat and mouse producing country, both dogs and
cats, as killers of these vermin, were regarded with extreme veneration
on account of their exterminating qualities. Their mummies are often
both curious and comical, for the poor beast's quaint figure and face
are frequently preserved with an indescribably grim realism, after the
lapse of many ages.

[Illustration: FIG. 2.--_Egyptian Maiden presenting Incense to the
new-made Mummy of a Cat._]

The funeral processions of the Egyptians were magnificent; for with the
principal members of the family of the deceased, if he chanced to be
of royal or patrician rank, walked in stately file numerous priests,
priestesses, and officials wearing mourning robes, and, together with
professional mourners, filling the air with horrible howls and cries.
Their descendants still produce these strident and dismal lamentations
on similar occasions.

THE Egyptian Pyramids, which were included among the seven wonders of
the world, are seventy in number, and are masses of stone or brick,
with square bases and triangular sides. Although various opinions have
prevailed as to their use, as that they were erected for astronomical
purposes, for resisting the encroachment of the sand of the desert, for
granaries, reservoirs, or sepulchres, the last-mentioned hypothesis has
been proved to be correct, in recent times, by the excavations of Vyse,
who expended nearly £10,000 in investigating their object. They were
the tombs of monarchs of Egypt who flourished from the Fourth to the
Twelfth Dynasty, none having been constructed later than that time; the
subsequent kings being buried at Abydos, Thebes, and other places, in
tombs of a very different character.

[Illustration: FIG. 3.--_The Pyramids and Great Sphinx._--From a
pen-and-ink sketch by HORACE VERNET.]

The first, or Great Pyramid, was the sepulchre of the Cheops of
Herodotus, the Chembes, or Chemmis, of Diodorus, and the Suphis of
Manetho and Eratosthenes. Its height was 480 feet 9 inches, and its
base 764 feet square. In other words, it was higher than St. Paul's
Cathedral, and built on an area the size of Lincoln's Inn Fields. It
has been, however, much spoiled, and stripped of its exterior blocks
for the building of Cairo. The original sepulchral chamber, called
the Subterranean Apartment, 46 feet by 27 feet, and 11 feet 6 inches
high, has been hewn in the solid rock, and was reached by the original
passage of 320 feet long, which descended to it by an entrance at
the foot of the pyramid. A second chamber, with a triangular roof,
17 feet by 18 feet 9 inches, and 20 feet 3 inches high, was entered
by a passage rising to an inclination of 26° 18', terminating in a
horizontal passage. It is called the Queen's Chamber, and occupies a
position nearly in the centre of the pyramid. The monument--probably
owing to the long life attained by the monarch--still progressing,
a third chamber, called the King's, was finally constructed, by
prolonging the ascending passage of the Queen's Chamber for 150 feet
farther into the very centre of the pyramid, and, after a short
horizontal passage, making a room 17 feet 1 inch by 34 feet 3 inches,
and 19 feet 1 inch high. The changes which took place in this pyramid
gave rise to various traditions, even in the days of Herodotus, Cheops
being reported to lie buried in a chamber surrounded by the waters of
the Nile. It took a long time for its construction--100,000 men being
employed on it probably for above half a century, the duration of the
reign of Cheops. The operations in this pyramid by General Vyse gave
rise to the discovery of marks scrawled in red ochre in a kind of
cursive hieroglyph, on the blocks brought from the quarries of Tourah.
These contained the name and titles of Khufu (the hieroglyphic form of
Cheops); numerals and directions for the position of materials, etc.

[Illustration: FIG. 4.--_Mummies of Cats and Dogs._--British Museum and
Museum of the Louvre.]

The second Pyramid was built by Suphis II., or Kephren, who reigned
66 years, according to Manethro, and who appears to have attained a
great age. It has two sepulchral chambers, and must have been broken
into by the Calif Alaziz Othman Ben-Yousouf, A.D. 1196. Subsequently
it was opened by Belzoni. The masonry is inferior to that of the first
Pyramid, but it was anciently cased below with red granite.

The third Pyramid, built by Menkara, who reigned 63 years, is much
smaller than the other two, and has also two sepulchral chambers, both
in the solid rock. The lower chamber, which held a sarcophagus of
rectangular shape of whinstone, had a pointed roof, cut like an arch
inside; but the cedar coffin, in shape of a mummy, had been removed
to the upper or large apartment, and its contents there rifled.
Amongst the debris of the coffin and in the chambers were found the
legs and part of the trunk of a body with linen wrapper, supposed by
some to belong to the monarch, but by others to an Arab, on account
of the anchylosed right knee. This body and fragments of the coffin
were brought to the British Museum; but the stone sarcophagus was
unfortunately lost off Carthagena, by the sinking of the vessel in
which it was being transported to England.

There are six other Pyramids of inferior size and interest at Gizeh;
one at Abou Rouash, which is ruined, but of large dimensions; another
at Zowyet El Arrian, still more ruined; another at Reegah, a spot in
the vicinity of Abooseer, also much dilapidated, and built for the
monarch User-en-Ra, by some supposed to be Busiris. There are five
of these monuments at Abooseer, one with a name supposed to be that
of a monarch of the Third Dynasty; and another with that of the king
Sahura. A group of eleven Pyramids remains at Sakkara, and five other
Pyramids are at Dashour, the northernmost of which, built of brick, is
supposed to be that of the king Asychis of Herodotus, and has a name of
a king apparently about the Twelfth Dynasty. Others are at Meydoon and
Illahoon, Biahmo and Medinat El Fyoum, apparently the sepulchres of the
last kings of the Twelfth Dynasty.

In Nubia, the ancient Æthiopia, are several Pyramids, the tombs of the
monarchs of Meroë and of some of the Ethiopian conquerors of Egypt.
They are taller in proportion to their base than the Egyptian Pyramids,
and generally have a sepulchral hall, or propylon, with sculptures,
which faces the east. The principal groups of these Pyramids are at
Bege Rauie, or Begromi, 17° N. lat., in one of which, gold rings and
other objects of late art, resembling that of the Ptolemaic period,
were found.

The numerous Pyramids of Mexico are of vast size and importance, but
their purpose is not yet fully ascertained. Completely covered as they
are with dense vegetation, filled with venomous reptiles, they are
difficult to investigate, but they were evidently much the same in
shape and structure as the Egyptian, and their entrances were richly

The art of preserving the body after death by embalming was invented
by the Egyptians, whose prepared bodies are known by the name of
mummies. This art seems to have derived its origin from the idea that
the preservation of the body was necessary for the return of the
soul to the human form after it had completed its cycle of existence
of three or ten thousand years. Physical and sanitary reasons may
also have induced the ancient Egyptians; and the legend of Osiris,
whose body, destroyed by Typhon, was found by Isis, and embalmed by
his son Anubis, gave a religious sanction to the rite, all deceased
persons being supposed to be embalmed after the model of Osiris in the
_abuton_ of Philæ. One of the earliest embalmments on record is that
of the patriarch Jacob; and the body of Joseph was thus prepared, and
transported out of Egypt. The following seems to have been the usual
rule observed after death. The relations of the deceased went through
the city chanting a wail for the dead. The corpse of a male was at
once committed into the charge of undertakers; if a female, it was
detained at home until decomposition had begun. The _paraschistes_,
or flank-inciser of the district, a person of low class, conveyed
the corpse home. A scribe marked with a reed-pen a line on the left
side beneath the ribs, down which line the paraschistes made a deep
incision with a rude knife of stone, or probably flint. He was then
pelted by those around with stones, and pursued with curses. Then the
_taricheutes_, or preparer, proceeded to arrange the corpse for the
reception of the salts and spices necessary for its preservation,
and the future operations depended on the sum to be expended upon
the task. When Herodotus visited Egypt, three methods prevailed: the
first, accessible only to the wealthy, consisted in passing peculiar
drugs through the nostrils, into the cavities of the skull, rinsing
the body in palm wine, and filling it with resins, cassia, and other
substances, and stitching up the incision in the left flank. The
mummy was then steeped in natron for 70 days, and wrapped up in linen
cemented by gums, and set upright in a wooden coffin against the walls
of the house or tomb. This process cost what would now amount in our
money to about £725. The second process consisted in injecting into the
body cedar oil, soaking it in a solution of natron for 70 days, which
eventually destroyed everything but the skin and bones. The expense was
a _mina_, relatively, about £243. In the third process, used for the
poorer classes, the corpse was simply washed in myrrh, and salted for
70 days. When thus prepared the bodies were ready for sepulture, but
they were often kept some time before burial--often at home--and were
even produced at festive entertainments, to recall to the guests the
transient lot of humanity. All classes were embalmed, even malefactors;
and those who were drowned in the Nile or killed by crocodiles received
an embalmment from the city nearest to which the accident occurred.

The Ethiopians used similar means of embalming to preserve the dead,
and other less successful means were used by nations of antiquity.
The Persians employed wax, the Assyrians, honey; the Jews embalmed
their monarchs with spices, with which the body of Our Lord was also
anointed; Alexander the Great was preserved in wax and honey, and
some Roman bodies have been found thus embalmed. The Guanches, or
ancient inhabitants of the Canary Isles, used an elaborate process
like the Egyptian; and dessicated bodies, preserved by atmospheric or
other circumstances for centuries, have been found in France, Sicily,
England, and America, especially in Central America, and Peru. The art
of embalming was probably never lost in Europe, and De Bils, Ruysch,
Swammerdam, and Clauderus boast of great success in it. During the
present century it has been almost entirely discarded, except under
very exceptional circumstances.


[Illustration: FIG. 5.--_Tomb of Runjeet Singh at Lahore._]

LEAVING the Oriental and remotely ancient nations aside, we will now
consider the history of mourning as it was used by those peoples from
whom we immediately derive our funereal customs. In ancient times,
even amongst the Greeks and Romans, it was the custom to immolate
victims--either slaves or captives--on the tomb of the departed, in
order to appease the spirit, or that the soul might be accompanied by
spirits of inferior persons to the realms of eternal bliss; and in
India we have some difficulty even now in preventing the burning of a
widow on the funeral pyre of her husband, instances of this barbarous
custom occurring almost every year, notwithstanding the vigilance of
our Government.

It would be extremely interesting to trace to their sources all the
various rites and ceremonies connected with our principal subject,
of every nation, savage or civilised, ancient or modern; but the
task would be quite beyond my limits. A thorough investigation of the
matter, assisted very materially by a systematic investigation of that
mine of curious information, Picard's famous "_Cérémonies et coutumes
religieuses de tous les peuples_", which contains so many original
letters from missionaries of the 16th and 17th Centuries, obliges me to
come to the conclusion that there is, after all, not so much variety
in the funereal ceremonies of the world as we imagine. Those of the
Chinese and Japanese resemble in many ways, very strikingly too, the
ceremonies which the Roman Catholics employ to this day: there are the
same long processions of priests and officials; and Picard shows us a
sketch of a very grand burial at Pekin, in 1675, in which we behold the
body of the Emperor of the Celestials stretched upon a bier covered
with deep violet satin, and surrounded by many lighted candles; prayers
were said for the repose of the soul; and, as all the world knows,
the costumes of the priests of Buddha are supposed to have undergone,
together with their creed and ritual, a great change in the early part
of the 17th Century, owing to the extraordinary influence of the Jesuit
missionaries who followed St. Francis Xavier into India and Japan.
The Japanese cremated their dead and preserved the ashes; the Chinese
buried theirs; but the Cingalese, after burning the body, scattered the
ashes to the winds; whilst a sect of Persians exposed their dead upon
the top of high towers, and permitted the birds of prey to perform the
duty which we assign to the gravedigger.

Cemeteries existed in the East at a remote epoch, and were rendered
so beautiful with handsome mausoleums, groves of stately cypresses
and avenues of lovely rose bushes, that they are now used as public
promenades. On certain days of the year multitudes resort to them for
purposes of prayer, and the Armenian Christians illuminate theirs
with lamps and tapers on the annual feast of the commemoration of
the departed. Perhaps India possesses the most elegant tombs in the
world, mainly built by the sovereigns of the Mongol dynasty. None
among them is so sumptuous as the mausoleum of Taj Mahal, situated
about a mile outside the port of Agra. It was built by Shah Jehan for
himself and his wife Arjimand Banoo, surnamed Mumtaz Mahal; 20,000
men were employed for 20 years erecting it. It is constructed of the
purest white marble, relieved with precious stones. In the interior
is the sepulchral apartment, which is chiefly decorated with lapis
lazuli. The tombs of the Emperor and Empress, which stand under the
dome, are covered with costly Indian shawls of green cashmere, heavily
embroidered with gold.

Another most beautiful specimen of Mahometan sepulchral architecture is
the tomb of Runjeet Singh, near Lahore, which, though less known, is
externally as magnificent as the mausoleum above described.


MOSES prohibited the immolation of human victims on the tombs of the
dead, and decreed that relatives should signify their sorrow by the
manner in which they tore their garments. They rent them according
to the degrees of affinity and parentage. Sometimes the tears were
horizontal, and this indicated that a father, mother, wife, brother,
or sister had died; but if the tear was longitudinal, it signified
that some person had departed who was not a blood relation. An idea
can be formed of the appalling destruction of clothing which must
have occurred on certain occasions amongst the ancient Jews, when we
remember that on the death of a king everybody was expected to tear
their garments longitudinally, and to go about with them in tatters for
nine days. This curious custom possibly explains Solomon's proverb,
"There is a time to rend and a time to mend."

The High Priest among the Jews was exempted from wearing mourning. The
French, when they embraced Christianity, added many Jewish customs
to their own: up to the time of the Revolution of 1789, their Grand
Chancellor, or Chief Magistrate, was not bound to wear mourning even
for his own father.

The Greeks, doubtless, derived their funereal ceremonies from the
Egyptians, and it is from this ancient people that we obtain the
custom of wearing black as mourning. When a person in Greece was
dangerously ill and not expected to recover, branches of _laurestinus_
and _achanthus_ were hung up over the door, and the relatives hurried
round the bed and prayed to Mercury, as the conductor of souls, to have
mercy upon the invalid, and either to cure him completely or else help
his soul to cross the river Styx. If the death really occurred, then
the house was filled with cries and lamentations. The body was washed
and perfumed, and covered with rich robes; a garland of flowers was
placed on its head, and in its hand a cake made of wheat and honey,
to appease Cerberus, the porter of Hell; and in the mouth a purse of
money, in order to defray the expenses of Charon, the ferryman of Styx.
In this state the deceased was exposed for two days in the vestibule of
the house. At the door was a vase full of water, destined to purify the
hands of those who touched the corpse.

Visitors to Paris will remember how often they have seen a coffin
exhibited in the doorway of a house, elaborately covered with flowers,
having at its head a crucifix, and many lights surrounding it,
everybody as they passed saluting it--the men by taking off their
hats, and the women by making the sign of the cross, often using for
this purpose holy water offered to them on a brush by an acolyte.
Now, the Greeks used blessed water when they exposed their dead in
front of their dwellings; possibly the French custom is derived from
the Grecian. The funeral in Greece took place three days after the
exhibition of the remains, and usually occurred before sunrise, so
as to avoid ostentation. Many women surrounded the bier, weeping and
howling, and not a few, being professionals, were paid for their
trouble. The corpse was placed on a chariot, in a coffin made of
cypress wood. The male relatives walked behind, those who were of
close kinship having their heads shaved. They usually cast down their
eyes, and were invariably dressed in black. A choir of musicians came
next, singing doleful tunes. The procession, as a rule, had not far
to go, for the body of a wealthy person was usually buried in his
garden--if his city house did not possess one, in that of his villa

[Illustration: FIG. 6.--_A Greek Tomb: the Monument of Themistocles,

The Greeks, it will thus be seen, buried their dead, and did not
cremate them as did the Romans; but in the latter years of the Republic
both forms of disposing of the body were common. After the burial,
libations of wine were poured over the grave, and all objects of
clothing which had belonged to the deceased were solemnly burnt. The
ninth and fourteenth days after the funeral, the parents, dressed in
white, visited the grave, and a ceremony was gone through for the
repose of the soul. The anniversary of the death was also observed,
and the Greeks, moreover, had a general commemoration of the dead in
the month of March. And here let us make a digression to see how very
closely the Greeks must have influenced the early Christians, and
consequently their more immediate descendants, the Roman Catholics, in
the matter of religious ceremonies; for it is usual among Catholics to
hear a Mass for the Dead a week after the death, and also another on
the anniversary. The universal feast of the dead is observed by them,
however, not in the month of March, but in that of November. People
who have lived in Paris will know how very largely these funereal
ceremonies enter into the manners and customs of that gay city, so
that it is not unfrequent for foreign residents to observe that their
time is passed in perpetually going to funerals; for, if you have a
large acquaintance, you are sure to receive at least twenty or thirty
invitations to funerals and funereal commemorations in the course of
the year. Of course, everybody will remember how on the Continent
the first day of November is devoted to visiting the cemeteries and
decorating the tombs of relatives and friends.

[Illustration: FIG. 7.--_Gallo-Roman bas-relief--found in Paris about
fifty years ago--representing a family surrounding the body of a woman
who has recently died._--Museum of the Louvre.]

To return to the Greeks, it should be observed that their respect
for the dead was remarkable, even amongst the ancients. If a man
accidentally found a body on the high-road, he was obliged to turn
aside and bury it. When the people saw a funeral procession pass, they
uncovered their heads and murmured a prayer. The laws against the
violation of the sepulchres of the dead were most severe, and any one
who was caught damaging a tomb was usually flogged for his trouble, but
if he overthrew it and disturbed the body, he was burnt alive.

If a person died at sea, all the people on board the ship assembled at
sunset, and cried out three times the name of the departed, who was
usually thrown overboard. In the morning they repeated these calls, and
so forth until the ship entered port. This was done in order to recall
the names of the deceased, or at any rate to keep them propitious.

When an illustrious person died in Greece, the ceremonies were on a
most elaborate scale, and even accompanied by games, which lasted for
many days. Readers of Homer's "Iliad" will remember his magnificent
description of the death and funeral of Patroclus.

Among the Romans the men were not obliged to wear mourning, but it was
the fashion for women to do so. Very wisely, children under three years
of age were not forced to put on black, even for their parents, and
after that age, only for as many months as they had lived years.

The Roman ladies only wore mourning for their parents for one year. Men
were expected to wear it for the same period in the case of the death
of a father, mother, wife, sister, or brother. Numa fixed the period
of wearing deep mourning for the nearest of kin as ten months. People,
however, were not obliged to wear mourning for any of their relatives
who had been in prison, were bankrupt, or in any way outlawed. Numa
published a minute series of laws regulating the mourning of his
people. A very odd item in these included an order that women should
not scratch their faces, or make an exceptional fuss at a public
funeral. This was possibly decreed to put some stop to abuses which the
hired mourners had occasioned: scratching their faces, for instance,
so as to injure themselves, and making an over-dismal wail which was
offensive to the genuine mourners.

For freedmen and slaves among the Romans, the greatest mark of respect
was the erection of a monument or inscription in the tomb reserved
for the family they had served. Thousands of these inscriptions to
slaves and faithful servants still exist, and lead us to hope that the
hardships of slavery in ancient Rome were often softened by mutual
kindness and respect. One of the most touching of these is in a tomb on
the Appian Road, which is supposed to have belonged to the attendants
of Livia, the illustrious consort of Augustus. It runs:--

"To my beloved Julia, my slave-woman, whose last illness I have watched
and attended as if it had been that of my own mother."

Tombs of slaves who were martyrs to the Christian religion are very
frequent, and their inscriptions are usually of a most pathetic

The ashes of the dead, after the solemn burning of the body, were
carefully gathered together and placed in an often very beautifully
painted urn, and taken to the family tomb on the Appian Way, where
an appropriate inscription was affixed to the wall under the niche
containing the vase or urn. Little glass bottles, said to be filled
with the tears of the nearest relations, were likewise enclosed in the
urn, or else hung up beside it. Thousands of these, brilliant, after
ages, with iridescent colours, are still found in the Roman tombs.

It was not imperative for a man in old Rome to wear mourning at all;
but it was considered very bad taste for a male not to show some
external sign of respect for his dead. With women, on the other hand,
it was obligatory.

On great occasions, such as the death of an Emperor or a defeat of
the army in foreign parts, the Senate, the Knights, and the whole
Roman people assumed mourning; and the same ceremony was observed when
any general of the Roman army was slain in battle. When Manlius was
precipitated from the Tarpeian rock, half the people put on mourning.
The defeat at Cannæ, the conspiracy of Catilina, and the death of
Julius Cæsar were also events celebrated in Rome with public mourning;
but during the whole period of the Republic it was not compulsory for
people to notice death, either publicly or privately.

The first public mourning recorded as being observed throughout the
entire Roman Empire was that for Augustus. It lasted for fifty days
for the men, and the whole year for women. The next public event which
called forth a decree commanding that the entire people of Rome and
the Empire should wear mourning, was the death of Livia, mother of
Tiberius. The same thing occurred at the death of Drusus; and Caligula
followed the example, and ordered general mourning on the death of

Private mourning, which was among the Romans, as we have already
intimated, not at all compulsory, could be broken by events such as the
birth of a son or daughter, the marriage of a child, and the return
of a prisoner of war. Men wore lighter mourning than women, but were
expected to absent themselves from places of public amusement.

The usual colour adopted by women for mourning, under the Roman Empire,
was a peculiar blue-black serge, and an absolutely black veil. As with
us, occasionally, the wearing of mourning brought forth some sharp
remarks from the satirical poets. Thus, Macrobius tells us, in his
Saturnalia, that Croesus on one occasion went to the Senate wearing the
deepest mourning for the largest lamprey in his tank, which had died.

Women were not allowed to remarry within the year of their husband's
death. Imperial permission, however, might smooth this difficulty.

AMONG the early Christians the sincerest respect for the memory of
their dead was paid; for most of them, in the first centuries of the
Church, were either martyrs or near connections of such as had suffered
for the faith. The Catacombs are covered with inscriptions recording
the deaths of martyrs; and many of these memorials are exceedingly
pathetic, testifying to the fortitude with which the first Christians
endured any manner of torture rather than deny the new faith which
had been imparted to them by Divine revelation. The remains of the
martyrs, however mangled they might be, were gathered together with the
greatest reverence, and their blood placed in little phials of glass,
which were considered relics of a most precious nature. The Catacombs,
which served the first Christians as churches as well as places of
burial, are called after the most distinguished martyrs who were buried
therein. In that of St. Calixtus, for instance--where that early and
martyred Pope was interred--about two centuries ago was found the body
of Saint Cecilia, "the sweet patroness of music." With such precaution
had her remains been transported to their place of interment, that
Bernini, the most eminent sculptor of the 17th Century, was able to
take a cast of them, which he subsequently worked into a lovely statue,
representing the saint in the graceful and modest attitude in which it
is said her body was found after the lapse of a thousand years. This
exquisite work of art is to be seen in the church which bears Saint
Cecilia's name, in the Trastevere; and a fine replica of it is in the
chapel of St. Cecilia, in the Oratory, Brompton.

[Illustration: FIG. 8.--_Divine Service in the Catacombs of St.
Calixtus_, A.D. 50.]

The Catacombs are subterraneous chambers and passages usually formed
in the rock, which is soft and easily excavated, and are to be found
in almost every country in which such rocks exist. In most cases,
probably, they originated in mere quarries, which afterwards came to be
used either as places of sepulchre for the dead, or as hiding-places
for the persecuted living. The most celebrated Catacombs in existence
are those on the Via Appia, at a short distance from Rome. To these
dreary crypts the early Christians were in the habit of retiring, in
order to celebrate Divine worship in times of persecution, and in them
were buried many of the saints, the early Popes, and martyrs. They
consist of long narrow galleries, usually about eight feet high and
five wide, which twist and turn in all directions. The graves were
constructed by hollowing out a portion of the rock, at the side of
the gallery, large enough to contain the body. The entrance was then
built up with stones, on which usually the letters D. M. (Deo Maximo),
or [CHR], the first two letters of the Greek name of Christ, were
inscribed. Though latterly devoted to purposes of Christian interment
exclusively, it is believed that the Catacombs were at one time used
as burying-places for Pagans also, and there are one or two which were
evidently entirely devoted to the Jews. At irregular intervals, these
galleries expand into wide and lofty vaulted chambers, in which the
service of the Church was no doubt celebrated, and which still have
the appearance of chapels. The original extent of the Catacombs is
uncertain, the guides maintaining that they have a length of twenty
miles, whereas about six only can now be ascertained to exist, and of
these, many portions have either fallen in or become dangerous. When
Rome was besieged by the Lombards in the 8th Century, several of the
Catacombs were destroyed, and the Popes afterwards caused the remains
of many of the saints and martyrs to be removed and buried in the
churches. The Catacombs at Naples, cut into the Capo di Monte, resemble
those at Rome, and evidently were used for the same purposes, being
partially covered with remarkable Christian symbols. At Palermo and
Syracuse, there are similar Catacombs, and they are also to be found
in Greece, Asia Minor, Syria, Persia, and Egypt. At Milo, one of the
Cyclades, there is a hill which is honeycombed with a labyrinth of
tombs running in every direction. In these, bassorilievi and figures
in terra-cotta have been found, which prove them to be long anterior
to the Christian era. In Peru and other parts of South America,
ancient Catacombs still exist. The Catacombs of Paris are a species of
charnel-house, into which the contents of such burying-places as were
found to be pestilential, and the bodies of some of the victims of the
Revolution, were cast by a decree of the Government. The skulls are
arranged in curious forms, and a visit to these weird galleries is one
of the sights of Paris, which few strangers, however, are privileged
to study. The Capuchin monks have frequently attached to their
monasteries, a cloister filled with earth brought from the Holy Land.
In this the monks are buried for a time, until their bones are quite
fleshless, when they are arranged in surprising groups in the long
corridors of a series of galleries, and produce sometimes the reverse
of a solemn effect.

[Illustration: FIG. 9.--_Crypt of a Chapel in the Catacomb of St.
Agnes, without the walls of Rome (restored), showing the manner in
which the bodies of the early Christians were arranged one above the
other. The front of each tomb was of course walled up._--From the work
on the Catacombs of Rome, by M. PERRET.]

[Illustration: FIG. 10.--_An Anglo-Saxon Widow Lady. The upper garment
is of black cloth, edged with fur, and a veil of black gauze hangs from
the head._--9th Century MS., National Library, Paris.]

AS the Church emerged from the Catacombs, and was enabled to take her
position in the world, her funereal ceremonies became more elaborate
and costly. Masses for the dead were offered up in the churches, to
the accompaniment of music and singing; and the funereal ceremonies
which attended the burial of the Empress Theodolinda, A.D. 595, the
friend and correspondent of Pope St. Gregory the Great, lasted for
over a week. The Cathedral of Monza, where she was buried, was hung
with costly black stuff, and the body of the Empress was exhibited
under a magnificent catafalque, surrounded with lights, and was visited
by pilgrims from all parts of Lombardy. Many hundreds of masses were
said for her in all the churches, and all day the great bells of the
cathedral and of the various monastic establishments tolled dolefully.
At the end of the week the body of the illustrious Empress was placed
in the vault under the high altar, where it remains to this day; and
above it was a shrine filled with extraordinary relics, many of which
still subsist, as, for instance, her celebrated "Hen and Chickens"--a
plateau or tray of silver gilt with some gold chickens with ruby eyes
upon it--and the famous iron crown, which is, indeed, of gold, having
one of the nails said to have been used at the Crucifixion beaten in a
single band round the inside. Napoleon I. crowned himself, at Milan,
King of Italy, with this singular relic.

[Illustration: FIG. 11.--_An Anglo-Saxon Priest wearing a black
Dalmatic, edged with fur, ready to say a Requiem Mass._--From an early
MS., 10th Century.]

Our Catholic ancestors spent large sums of money upon their funerals.
The pious practice of praying for the dead, which they doubtless
derived from the Hebrews, induced them to secure the future exertions
of their friends, by building chanteries and special chapels in the
churches, with a view of reminding the survivors of their demise.
Guilds, which by the way, still exist, were created for the purpose of
binding people together in a holy league of prayer for the souls of the
faithful departed. We find in the laws established for the Guild of
Abbotsbury, the following regulations:--"If any one belonging to the
association chance to die, each member shall pay a penny for the good
of the soul, before the body be laid in the grave. If he die in the
neighbourhood, the steward (secretary) shall enquire when he is to be
interred, and shall summon as many members as he can, to assemble and
carry the corpse in as honourable a manner as possible to the grave or
minster, and there pray devoutly for his soul's rest." With the same
view, our ancestors were ever anxious to obtain a place of sepulchre in
the most frequented churches. The monuments raised over their remains,
whilst keeping them safe from profanation, recalled them to memory,
and solicited on their behalf the charity of the faithful. The usual
inscription on the earlier Christian tombs in this country was the
pathetic "Of your charity, pray for me." In the Guild of All Souls,
in London, when any member died, it was the custom of the survivors
to give the poor a loaf for the good of the soul; and the writer can
perfectly remember, that some thirty years since, in remote parts of
Norfolk, when anybody died, it was the fashion to distribute loaves
of bread in the church porch as a dole. The funeral of an Anglo-Saxon
was thus conducted:--The body of the deceased was placed on a bier or
in a hearse. On it lay the book of the gospels, the code of his or her
belief, and the cross, the signal of hope. A pall of silk or linen was
thrown over it till it reached the place of interment. The friends
were summoned, and strangers deemed it a duty to join the funeral
procession. The clergy walked before or on each side, bearing lighted
tapers in their hands, and chanting a portion of the psalter. If it
were in the evening, the night was passed in exercises of devotion.
In the morning, mass was sung and the body deposited with solemnity
in the grave, the sawlshot paid, and a liberal donation distributed
to the poor. Before the Reformation, it was the excellent custom for
all persons who met a funeral to uncover and stand reverentially
still until it had passed. The pious turned back, and accompanied the
mourners a part of the way to the grave. It is pleasant to notice
that this essentially humane habit of taking off the hat and behaving
gravely as a funeral goes by, which is universal upon the Continent,
is at last becoming more and more general here. The homage of the
living to the mortal remains of even the humblest is excellent, and
one which should be earnestly encouraged, being far more beneficial in
its results than the heaping of costly flowers upon a hearse, which no
one notices as it passes, laden with its ephemeral offerings, to the

[Illustration: FIG. 12.--_Funeral of St. Edward the Confessor, January
5th, 1066. The body, covered with a silken pall adorned with crosses,
is carried by eight men, and followed by many priests, to Westminster
Abbey, which he had founded. Under the bier are seen two small
figures ringing bells._--From the Bayeux Tapestry, worked by Matilda
of Flanders, Queen of William the Conqueror, and preserved in the
Cathedral at Bayeux--11th Century.]

The funeral of Edward the Confessor was exceedingly magnificent, and
the shrine built over his relics, behind the high altar of the glorious
abbey which he founded, is still an object of reverence with our Roman
Catholic fellow-citizens, who, on St. Edward's Day, are permitted by
a tolerant age to offer their devotions before the resting-place of
the last of our Saxon Kings. But our first Norman King was buried with
scant ceremony. He died 1087, at Hermentrude, a village near Rouen,
having been taken suddenly ill on his way to England. No sooner was
the illustrious king deceased, than his servants plundered the house
and even the corpse, flinging it naked upon the floor. Herleadin, a
peasant, undertook at last to convey the body to Caen, where it was to
be buried in the Abbey of St. Stephen, Prince Henry and the monks being
present. Scarcely, however, was the mass of requiem begun, when the
church took fire, and everybody fled, leaving William the Conqueror's
hearse neglected in the centre of the transept. At last the flames were
extinguished, the interrupted service finished, and the funeral sermon
preached. Just, however, as the coffin was about to be lowered into the
vault, Anselm Fitz-Arthur, a Norman gentleman, stood forth and forbade
the interment. "This spot," cried he, "is the site of my father's
house, which this dead man burnt to ashes. On the ground it occupied I
built this church, and William's body shall not desecrate it." After
much ado, however, Fitz-Arthur was prevailed upon by Prince Henry to
allow the body to be buried, on the payment of sixty shillings as the
price of the grave. In the 17th Century the Calvinists ravaged the tomb
and broke the monument. It was restored in 1642, but finally swept
away, together with that of Queen Matilda, in the Revolution of 1793.


[Illustration: FIG. 13.--_The Shrine of the Confessor, in Westminster

[Illustration: FIG. 14.--_Funeral of an Abbess--10th Century._--From a

PERHAPS the most curious funeral on record occurred just at the dawn
of the Renaissance--that of the ill-fated Inez de Castro--"the Queen
crowned after death"--who was murdered in the 14th Century by three
assassins in her own apartment at Coimbra. "Being conveyed," says the
Chronicle of Fray Jao das Reglas, "to the chapel of the neighbouring
convent, her body was arrayed in spotless white and decked with roses.
The nuns surrounded the bier, and the Queen-mother of Portugal,
Brittes, sat in state--her crown upon her head and her royal robes
flowing around her--as chief mourner, having given an order that the
body should not be buried until after the return of her son Don Pedro.
When he did come back, he was transported with grief and anger at the
foul murder of his consort; and, throwing himself upon the corpse,
clasped it to his heart, covered its pale lips, its hands, its feet
with kisses, and, refusing all consolation, remained for thirty hours
with the body clasped in his embrace! At last, being overcome with
fatigue, the unhappy Prince was carried away senseless from the piteous
remains of his most dear Inez, and they were consigned to the grave.
It was his father who had instigated the murderers to commit their
foul deed, and this determined Pedro to take up arms against him; and
Portugal was desolated by civil war. Eventually the reasoning of the
Queen (Brittes) prevailed, and peace was restored. Pedro, however,
never spoke to his father again until the hour of his death, when he
forgave the great wrong he had done him. He now ascended the throne,
and his first act was to hunt down the three murderers, two of whom
were put to death, with tortures too awful to describe, and the other
escaped into France, where he died a beggar. After this retributive
act, Don Pedro assembled the Cortes at Cantandes, and, in the presence
of the Pope's Nuncio, solemnly swore that he had secretly married Inez
de Castro at Braganza, in the presence of the bishop and of other
witnesses." "Then occurred an event unique in history," continues this
naive contemporary chronicle. "The body of Inez was lifted from the
grave, placed on a magnificent throne, and crowned Queen of Portugal.
The clergy, the nobility, and the people did homage to her corpse,
and kissed the bones of her hands. There sat the dead Queen, with her
yellow hair hanging like a veil round her ghastly form. One fleshless
hand held the sceptre, and the other the orb of royalty. At night,
after the coronation ceremony, a procession was formed of all the
clergy and nobility, the religious orders and confraternities--which
extended over many miles--each person holding a flaring torch in his
hand, and thus walked from Coimbra to Alcobaça, escorting the crowned
corpse to that royal abbey for interment. The dead Queen lay in her
rich robes upon a chariot drawn by black mules and lighted up by
hundreds of lights."

[Illustration: FIG. 15.--_Bird's-eye view of the Monument (restored) of
the Queen Inez of Castro, Abbey of Alcobaça, Portugal._]

The scene must indeed have been a weird one. The sable costumes of the
bishops and priests, the incense issuing from innumerable censers,
the friars in their quaint garments, and the fantastically-attired
members of the various hermandades, or brotherhoods--some of whom were
dressed from head to foot entirely in scarlet, or blue, or black, or in
white--with their countenances masked and their eyes glittering through
small openings in their cowls; but above all, the spectre-like corpse
of the Queen, on its car, and the grief-stricken King, who led the
train--when seen by the flickering light of countless torches, with its
solemn dirge music, passing through many a mile of open country in the
midnight hours--was a vision so unreal that the chronicler describes it
as "rather a phantasmagoria than a reality." In the magnificent abbey
of Alcobaça the _requiem_ mass was sung, and the corpse finally laid to

The monument still exists, with the statue, with its royal diadem and
mantle, lying thereon. The tomb of Don Pedro is placed foot to foot
with that of Inez, so--the legend runs--that at the Judgment Day they
may rise together and stand face to face.

In 1810 the bodies of Don Pedro I. and Dona Inez de Castro were
disturbed by the French, at the sack of Alcobaça. The skeleton of Inez
was discovered to be in a singular state of preservation--the hair
exceedingly long and glossy, and the head bound with a golden crown
set with jewels of price. Singularly enough, this crown, although very
valuable, was kicked about by the men as a toy and thrown behind the
high altar, whence, as soon as the troops evacuated the monastery, it
was carefully taken and laid aside by the Abbot. Shortly afterwards it
again encircled the unhappy Queen's head, when, by order of the Duke
of Wellington, the remains were once more replaced in the tomb, with
military honours.

[Illustration: FIG. 16.--_Funeral Service, in which are shown
the Candelabra and Incense Vessels which were deposited in the
coffin._--Drawing of the 14th Century--Collection of the Rev. Father

[Illustration: FIG. 17.--_Angels praying over a Skull._--Bas-relief of
16th Century.]

[Illustration: FIGS. 18 & 19.--_Death Criers_--_French costumes of 17th
Century. The English dress was almost identical._--From a rare print
in the collection of Mr. RICHARD DAVEY. Engraved expressly for this

FUNERAL services of great magnificence entered largely into the customs
of this pageantic epoch; and to this day, in Catholic countries, no
religious ceremonies are conducted with more pomp than those intended
to commemorate the departed. Besides the religious orders, there were
numerous confraternities, guilds, and brotherhoods devoted to the
burying and praying for the deceased. As no newspapers existed in those
days, when a person of distinction died, the "Death Crier,"--in some
parts of England called the "Death Watch,"--dressed in black, with a
death's-head and cross-bones painted on the back and front of his gown,
and armed with a bell, went the round of the town or village, as the
case might be, shouting "Of your charity, good people, pray for the
soul of our dear brother, [or sister] who departed this life at such
and such an hour." Upon this the windows and doors of the houses were
opened, and the "good people" said an ave or a pater for the "rest"
of the dead, and at the same time the passing bell was tolled. In
London, when the King or Queen died, the crier, or "Death Watch," who
paraded our principal thoroughfares was, of course, a very important
personage. Attended by the whole brotherhood, or guild, of the Holy
Souls, with cross-bearer, each carrying a lighted candle, he proceeded
processionally through the streets, notably up and down Cheapside and
the Strand, solemnly ringing his bell, and crying out in a lugubrious
voice his sad news. These criers, both in England and France, were
paid, as officials, by the civic corporation so much per day, and were
obliged, in addition to their usual mournful occupation, to inspect and
report on the condition of low taverns and places of ill-fame. In the
course of time they added to their "cry" news of a more miscellaneous
character, and after the Reformation, became, we may well imagine,
those rather musty folks the "Watch," who only disappeared from our
midst as late as the early half of this century.

[Illustration: FIG. 20.--_Pall from the Church of Folleville, France,
now in the Museum at Amiens. It is of black velvet, with stripes of
white silk let in, embroidered with black and gold thread. It was
placed over the coffin. Similar palls existed in England, and one or
two are still preserved in our national collections._]

[Illustration: FIG. 21.--_Scene from Richard III._--_The body of Henry
VI. being by chance met by Richard on its way to Chertsey, he orders
the bearers to set it down, and then pleads his cause to the Lady

Shakespeare, whose knowledge of Catholicism of course came to him from
immediate tradition, possibly remembered a very ancient custom when, in
_Richard III._, he makes the Duke of Glo'ster command the attendants
who follow the body of Henry VI. to set it down,--an order which they
obey reluctantly enough,--thereby giving him an opportunity to make
love to Lady Anne in the presence of her murdered father-in-law's
remains. In Catholic times the streets were adorned not only by many
fine crosses, such as those at Charing and Cheapside, but also by
numerous chapels and wayside shrines. Funerals, when they passed
these, were in the habit of stopping, and the assistants, kneeling,
prayed for the dead person whom they were carrying to the grave. They
likewise stopped, also, and very frequently too, at certain well-known
public-houses or taverns, the members of the family of the deceased
being obliged by custom to "wet the lips" of the "thirsty souls" who
carried the corpse. Sometimes very disorderly scenes ensued. The hired
mourners and more unruly members of the guilds got drunk; and it is on
record that on more than one occasion the body was pulled out of its
coffin by these rascals and outraged, to the horror and indignation of
honest people. It has frequently occurred to the writer, that if the
attendants in the curious scene in the tragedy just mentioned, were to
convey the body of the dead King to the side or back of the stage, in
front of some shrine or cross, and occupy themselves with prayer, they
would render the astonishing dialogue between Glo'ster and Lady Anne
much more intelligible than when we hear it spoken, as is usually the
case, before a number of persons for whose ears it was certainly never

[Illustration: FIG. 22.--_Funeral of King Richard II., showing his
waxen effigy._--From an early MS. of FROISSART.]

IMPORTANT personages in olden times in this country were usually
embalmed. The poor, on the contrary, were rarely furnished even with
a decent coffin, but were carried to the grave in a hired one, which,
in villages, often did duty for many successive years. Once the brief
service was said, the pauper's body, in its winding-sheet, was placed
reverently enough in the earth, and covered up--a fact which doubtless
accounts for the numerous village legends of ghosts wandering about in
winding-sheets. Charitable people paid for masses to be said by the
friars for their poorer brethren, and the guilds paid all expenses of
the funeral, which were naturally not very considerable. On the other
hand, the funeral of great personages, from king to squire, was a
function which sometimes lasted a week. The bell tolled--as it still
does--the moment the death became known to the bell-ringer. Then the
body was washed, embalmed with spices and sweet herbs, wrapped in a
winding-sheet of fine linen,--which, by the way, was often included
among the wedding presents--and taken down into the hall of the palace
or manor, which was hung with black, and lighted by many tapers, and
even by waxen torches--sometimes as many as 300 and 400 of them--an
immense expense, considering the cost of wax in those days. After three
days' exposition--if the body remained incorrupt so long--the corpse
was sealed up in a leaden coffin, and taken to the church, where solemn
masses were sung. The clothes--we may presume the old and well-worn
ones only--were then formally distributed to the poor of the parish.
Finally came the funeral banquet of "baked meats," to which all those,
including the clergy, who had taken part in the funeral service and
procession were invited.

When the Sovereign or any person of royal rank deceased, a waxen
presentment was immediately made of him as he was seen in life under
the influence of sleep. This figure, dressed in the regal robes,
was exposed upon the catafalque in the church, instead of the real
body--a custom doubtless inspired originally by hygienic motives, for
frequently the funeral rites of a king or prince of the blood were
prolonged for many days. In Westminster Abbey there are still several
of these grim ancient waxen effigies to be seen, by special permission
of the Dean, very faded and ghastly, but interesting as likenesses,
and for the fragments which time has spared of their once gorgeous
attire. This custom lasted with us until the time of William and Mary.
In France it disappeared in the middle of the 17th Century, the last
mention of it being on the occasion of the death of Anne of Austria;
for we read in a curious letter from Guy Patin to his friend Falconet,
"The Queen-Mother died to-day [Jan. 21, 1666]. She was immediately
embalmed, and by noon her waxen effigy was on view at the Louvre.
Thousands are pressing in to see it."

[Illustration: FIG. 23.--_Funeral Procession of King Henry V._, A.D.

In France, so long as the wax effigy was exposed in the church or
palace, sometimes for three weeks, the service of the royal person's
table took place as usual. His or her chair of state was drawn up to
the table, the napkin, knife and fork, spoon and glass, were in their
usual places, and at the appointed time the dinner was served to the
household, and "the meats, drinks, and all other goodly things" were
offered before the dead prince's chair, as if he were still seated
therein. When, however, the coffin took the place in the church
of the wax figure, and the body was put into the grave, then the
banqueting-hall was hung with black, and for eight days no meals were
served in it of any kind.

[Illustration: FIG. 24.--_Queen Katherine de Valois in her Widow's
Dress, A.D. 1422. The costume is of black brocade elaborately trimmed
with black glass beads, and trimmed with white fur._--MS. of the

We still possess some curious details concerning the funeral of Henry
V., who died at Vincennes in 1422. Juvenal des Usines tells us that
the body was boiled, so as to be converted into a perfect skeleton,
for better transportation into England. The bones were first taken
to Notre Dame, where a superb funeral service was said over them.
Just above the body they placed a figure made of boiled leather,
representing the king's person "as well as might be desired," clad in
purple, with the imperial diadem on its brow and the sceptre in its
hand. Thus adorned, the coffin and the effigy were placed on a gorgeous
chariot, covered with a "coverture" of red velvet beaten with gold.
In this manner, followed by the King of Scots, as chief mourner, and
by all the princes, lords, and knights of his house, was the body of
the illustrious hero of Agincourt conveyed from town to town, until it
reached Calais and was embarked for England, where it was finally laid
at rest in Westminster Abbey, under a new monument erected by Queen
Katherine de Valois, who eventually caused a silver-plated effigy of
her husband, with a solid silver gilt head, to be placed on the tomb,
which was unfortunately destroyed at the time of the Reformation.

The funeral of Eleanor of Castile, the adored consort of Edward I.,
was exceptionally sumptuous. This amiable Queen died at Hardbey, near
Grantham, of "autumnal" fever, on November 29, 1290. The pressing
affairs of Scotland were obliterated for the time from the mind of the
great Edward, and he refused to attend to any state duty until his
"loved ladye" was laid at rest at Westminster. The procession, followed
by the King in the bitterest woe, took thirteen days to reach London
from Grantham. At the end of every stage the royal bier surrounded by
its attendants, rested in some central place of a great town, till the
neighbouring ecclesiastics came to meet it in solemn procession, and
to place it upon the high altar of the principal church. A cross was
erected in memory of King Edward's _chère reine_ at every one of these
resting-places. Thirteen of these monuments once existed; now only
two of the originals remain, the crosses of Northampton and Waltham.
The fac-simile at Charing Cross, opposite the Railway Station, though
excellent, is of course modern, and does not occupy the right spot,
which was, it is said on good authority, exactly where now stands the
statue of Charles II. The Chronicler of Dunstable thus describes the
ceremony of marking the sites for these crosses: "Her body passed
through Dunstable and rested one night, and two precious cloths were
given us, and eighty pounds of wax. And when the body of Queen Eleanor
was departing from Dunstable, her bier rested in the centre of the
market-place till the King's Chancellor and the great men there present
had marked a fitting place where they might afterwards erect, at the
royal expense, a cross of wonderful size,--our prior being present, who
sprinkled the spot with holy water."

Perhaps the most magnificent funeral which took place before the
Reformation was that of Elizabeth of York, consort of Henry VII. It
was one of the last great Roman Catholic state funerals in England,
for the obsequies of Henry VII. himself were conducted on a much
diminished scale; and those of the wives of Henry VIII., and of that
monster himself, were not accompanied by so much pomp, owing to the
religious troubles of the time. Queen Elizabeth of York was the last
English Queen who died at the Tower. Her obsequies took place in the
chapel of St. Mary, which was, until quite lately, the Rolls Office,
and which was magnificently hung on this occasion with black brocade.
The windows were veiled with crape. The Queen's body rested on a bed of
state, in a _chapelle ardente_, surrounded by over 5,000 wax candles.
High Mass was said during the earlier hours of the morning, and in the
afternoon solemn Vespers were sung. When the Queen's body was nailed up
in its coffin, the usual waxen effigy took its place. The procession
left St. Mary's, in the Tower, at noon, for Westminster Abbey, and was
of exceeding length. At every hundred yards it was met by the religious
corporations, fraternities, and guilds, and by the children attached
to sundry monastic and charitable foundations, some of them dressed as
angels, with golden wings, and all of them singing psalms. There were
over 8,000 wax tapers burning between Mark Lane and the Temple; and
the fronts of all the churches were hung with black, and brilliantly
illuminated. The people in the streets held candles, and repeated
prayers. At Temple Bar the body was received by the municipal officers
of the City of Westminster, who accompanied it to the Abbey, where the
Queen's effigy was exhibited with great state for two days, and on the
morning of the third she was buried in what is since known as "Henry
VII.'s Chapel."

[Illustration: FIG. 25.--_Gentleman in Mourning, time of Henry VII. The
costume is entirely black, edged with black fur._--From a contemporary

The funeral of the unfortunate Katherine of Arragon took place, as all
the world knows, in Peterborough Cathedral.

[Illustration: FIG. 26.--_Richard I. and his Queen attending the
Requiem Mass for the fallen Crusaders, in the Cathedral of Rhodes._]

In a recently discovered contemporary Spanish chronicle, translated
by Mr. Martin Sharpe Hume, it seems that the servants of the "Blessed
lady" (Queen Katherine) were all dressed in mourning, and the funeral
was a fairly handsome one. More than three hundred masses were said
during the day at Peterborough, for all the clergy for fifteen miles
round came to the various services. Chapuy, the Spanish Ambassador to
the Court of King Henry, in a letter to his master Charles V., however,
informs him that the funeral of Queen Katherine was mean and shabby in
the extreme, quite unworthy even of an ordinary baroness. Jane Seymour
fared better after death than any other of the wives of Henry VIII.,
and was buried with considerable solemnity at Windsor. The first royal
Protestant state funeral mentioned as taking place in this country
was that of Queen Catherine Parr, at Sudeley Castle. The ceremony was
of the simplest description: psalms were sung over the remains, and a
brief discourse pronounced. The Lady Jane Grey was chief mourner.

[Illustration: FIG. 27.--_Lying in State of Queen Elizabeth of York,
Consort of Henry VII._]

The author of the Spanish chronicle just mentioned, who evidently
witnessed the interment of Henry VIII., assures us that the waxen
effigy of the King was carried in a chair to Windsor, and was an
astonishing likeness. It was followed by 1,000 gentlemen on horseback,
the horses all being draped with black velvet. Many masses were said in
St. George's Chapel for the rest of the King's soul, but the obsequies
do not appear to have been exceptionally splendid.

[Illustration: FIG. 28.--_Tomb of Henry V._]

The funeral of Anne of Cleves, who had become a Catholic, took place
at Westminster, under the special supervision of Queen Mary. It was a
plain but handsome function, conducted with good taste, but without
ostentation. The unpopular Mary Tudor's funeral was the last Catholic
state ceremony of the kind which ever took place in Westminster Abbey.
Queen Elizabeth attended her sister's funeral, which was a simple one,
and listened attentively to the funeral oration preached by Dr. White
Bailey, of Winchester, who, when he spoke of poor Mary's sufferings,
wept bitterly, and exclaimed, looking significantly at her successor,
_Melior est canis vivis leone mortuo_. Elizabeth understood her Latin
too well not to be fired with indignation at this elegant simile,
which declared a "living dog better than a dead lion," and ordered the
bishop to be arrested as he descended from the pulpit, and a violent
scene occurred between him and the Queen, which, Her Majesty prudently
permitted him to have the best of, by withdrawing with her train from
the Abbey.

[Illustration: FIG. 29.--_Departure of the body of Queen Elizabeth from
Greenwich Palace, for Interment at Westminster._]

QUEEN ELIZABETH died in the seventieth year of her age and the
forty-fourth of her reign, March 24, on the eve of the festival of the
Annunciation, called Lady Day. Among the complimentary epitaphs which
were composed for her, and hung up in many churches, was one ending
with the following couplet:--

    "She is, she was--what can there be more said?
    On earth the first, in heaven the second maid."

It is stated by Lady Southwell that directions were left by Elizabeth
that she should not be embalmed; but Cecil gave orders to her surgeon
to open her. "Now, the Queen's body being cered up," continues Lady
Southwell, "was brought by water to Whitehall, where, being watched
every night by six several ladies, myself that night watching as one
of them, and being all in our places about the corpse, which was fast
nailed up in a board coffin, with leaves of lead covered with velvet,
her body burst with such a crack that it splitted the wood, lead, and
cere-cloth; whereupon, the next day she was fain to be new trimmed up."

Elizabeth was most royally interred in Westminster Abbey on the 28th of
April, 1603. We subjoin a rare contemporary engraving of the funeral
procession, by which it will be seen with what pomp and ceremony the
remains of the great Queen were escorted to their last resting-place.
"The city of Westminster," says Stow, "was surcharged with multitudes
of all sorts of people, in the streets, houses, windows, leads, and
gutters, who came to see the obsequy. And when they beheld her statue,
or effigy, lying on the coffin, set forth in royal robes, having a
crown upon the head thereof, and a ball and a sceptre in either hand,
there was such a general sighing, groaning, and weeping as the like
hath not been seen or known in the memory of man; neither doth any
history mention any people, time, or state to make such lamentation
for the death of a sovereign." The funereal effigy which, by its close
resemblance to their deceased sovereign, moved the sensibility of the
loyal and excitable portion of the spectators at her obsequies in this
powerful manner, was no other than the faded waxwork effigy of Queen
Elizabeth preserved in Westminster Abbey.

[Illustration: FIG. 30.--_A memento mori, or death's-head timepiece,
in solid silver, lately exhibited at the Stuart Exhibition, 1888-9.
On the forehead is a figure of Death standing between a palace and a
cottage: around is this legend from Horace,_ "Pallida mors equo pulsat
pede pauperum tabernas Regum que turres." _On the hind part of the
skull is a figure of Time, with another legend from Ovid:_ "Tempus
Edax Rerum tuque Mirdiosa Vetustas." _The upper part of the skull
bears representations of Adam and Eve and the Crucifixion; between
these scenes is open work to let out the sound when the watch strikes
the hour upon a silver bell which fills the hollow of the skull and
receives the works within it when the watch is shut. On the edge is
inscribed:_ "Sicut meis sic et omnibus idem." _It bears the maker's
name, Moysart à Blois. Belonged formerly to Mary Queen of Scots, and by
her was given to the Seton family, and inherited thence by its actual
owner, Sir T. W. Dick Lauder._]

Elizabeth was interred in the same grave with her sister and
predecessor in regal office, Mary Tudor. Her successor, James I., has
left a lasting evidence of his good feeling and good taste in the
noble monument he erected to her memory in the Abbey, and she was the
last sovereign of this country to whom a monument has been given.

[Illustration: FIG. 31.--_Funeral of Queen Elizabeth, 18th of April,
1603._--From a very rare contemporary engraving, reproduced expressly,
and for the first time, for this work, by M. Badoureau, of Paris. No. 1
represents the wax effigy of the Queen lying on her coffin; gentlemen
pensioners carrying the banners. The chariot is drawn by four horses.
2. Kings at Arms. 3. Noblemen. 4. The Archbishop of Canterbury. 5.
The French Ambassador and his train-bearer. 6. The great Standard
of England, carried by the Earl of Pembroke. 7. The Master of the
Horse. 8. The Lady Marchioness of Northampton, grand mourner, and the
ladies in attendance on the Queen. 9. Captain of the Guard. 10. Lord
Clanricarde carrying the Standard of Ireland. 11. Standard of Wales,
borne by Viscount Bindon, followed by the Lord Mayor. 12. Gentlemen
of the Chapels Royal; children of the Chapels. 13. Trumpeters. 14.
Standard of the Lion. 15. Standard of the Greyhound. 16. The Queens
Horse. 17. Poor Women to the number of 266. 18. The Banner of Cornwall.
The Aldermen, Recorders, Town Clerks, etc.]

We have very minute details of how royal personages were buried in
France, in a curious book published in the 17th Century, from a MS. of
the time of Louis XI. In it we learn that King Louis XI. wore scarlet
for mourning on the death of his father, Charles VII. Up to the time of
Louis XIV. the Queens of France, if they became widowed, wore white;
and this is the reason that Mary Tudor was called "_La Reine Blanche_,"
when she clandestinely married the Duke of Suffolk in the chapel of
that most interesting place, the Maison Cluny, now a museum, which
still retains its name of _La Reine Blanche_. The Queen had been but a
very short time the widow of Charles VIII., and still wore her weeds
when she gave her hand to the lusty English duke. Mary Stuart wore
white for her husband, Francis II. of France; and when she arrived in
Scotland she still retained, for some months, her white robes, and
was called the "White Queen" in consequence. But this illustrious and
ill-fated princess throughout the greater part of her life wore black,
and we have many minute details of her dresses, especially of the
stately one she wore on the day of her execution, which was of brocaded
satin, having a train of great length; a ruffle of white lawn, edged
with lace; and a veil (which still exists) made of drawn threads, in
a check-board pattern, and edged with Flemish lace. From her girdle
was suspended a rosary, and in her hand she carried a crucifix. Her
under garments, we know, were scarlet; for, when she removed her dress
upon the scaffold, the bodice at least, all contemporaries agree,
was flame-coloured. Queen Elizabeth ordered her Court to go into
mourning for the Queen of Scots, whose sad and "accidental" death she
hypocritically decreed should be regarded as a very great misfortune.

[Illustration: FIG. 32.--_French Lady of the 16th Century in Widow's
Weeds. This costume is identical with that worn by Mary Stuart as
widow of the Dauphin, only her dress was perfectly white._--From
PIETRO VERCELLIO'S famous work on Costume, engraved expressly for this

King James ordered the deepest mourning to be worn for his royal
mother--a requisition with which all his nobles complied, except the
Earl of Sinclair, who appeared before him clad in steel. The King
frowned, and inquired if he had not seen the order for a general
mourning. "Yes," was the noble's reply; "this is the proper mourning
for the Queen of Scotland." James, however, whatever his inclinations
might have been, was unprovided with the means of levying war against
England, and his Ministers were entirely under the control of the
English faction, and, after maintaining a resentful attitude for a
time, he was at length obliged to accept Elizabeth's "explanation" of
the murder of his mother.

Early in March, 1587, the obsequies of Mary Stuart were solemnised
by the King, nobles, and people of France, with great pomp, in the
Cathedral of Notre Dame at Paris, and a passionately eloquent funeral
oration was pronounced by Renauld de Beaulue, Archbishop of Bourges
and Patriarch of Acquitaine, which brought tears to the eyes of every
person in the congregation.

After Mary's body had remained for nearly six months apparently
forgotten by her murderers, Elizabeth considered it necessary, in
consequence of the urgent and pathetic memorials of the afflicted
servants of the unfortunate princess and the remonstrances of her
royal son, to accord it not only Christian burial, but a pompous state
funeral. This she appointed to take place in Peterborough Cathedral,
and, three or four days before, sent some officials to make the
necessary arrangements for the solemnity. The place selected for the
interment was at the entrance of the choir from the south aisle. The
grave was dug by the centogenarian sexton, Scarlett. Heralds and
officers of the wardrobe were also sent to Fotheringay Castle to
make arrangements for the removal of the royal body, and to prepare
mourning for all the servants of the murdered Queen. Moreover, as
their head-dresses were not of the approved fashion for mourning in
England, Elizabeth sent a milliner on purpose to make others, in the
orthodox mode, proper to be worn at the funeral, and to be theirs
afterwards. However, these true mourners coldly, but firmly declined
availing themselves of these gifts and attentions, declaring "that they
would wear their own dresses, such as they had got made for mourning
immediately after the loss of their beloved Queen and mistress."

On the evening of Sunday, July 30, Garter King of Arms arrived at
Fotheringay Castle, with five other heralds and forty horsemen,
to receive and escort the remains of Mary Stuart to Peterborough
Cathedral, having brought with them a royal funereal car for that
purpose, covered with black velvet, elaborately set forth with
escutcheons of the arms of Scotland, and little pennons round about
it, drawn by four richly-caparisoned horses. The body, being enclosed
in lead within an outer coffin, was reverently put into the car, and
the heralds, having assumed their coats and tabards, brought the same
forth from the castle, bare-headed, by torchlight, about ten o'clock at
night, followed by all her sorrowful servants.

The procession arrived at Peterborough between one and two o'clock on
the morning of July 30, and was received ceremoniously at the minster
door by the bishop and clergy, where, in the presence of her faithful
Scotch attendants, she was laid in the vault prepared for her, without
singing or saying--the grand ceremonial being appointed for August 1.
The reason for depositing the royal body previously in the vault was,
because it was too heavy to be carried in the procession, weighing,
with the lead and outer coffin, nearly nine hundredweight. On Monday,
the 31st, arrived the ceremonial mourners from London, escorting the
Countess of Bedford, who was to represent Elizabeth in the mockery of
acting as chief mourner to the poor victim. At eight in the morning
of Tuesday the solemnities commenced. First, the Countess of Bedford
was escorted in state to the great hall of the bishop's palace, where
a representation of Mary's corpse lay on a royal bier. Thence she was
followed into the church by a great number of English peers, peeresses,
knights, ladies, and gentlemen, in mourning. All Mary's servants,
both male and female, walked in the procession, according to their
degree--among them her almoner, De Préau, bearing a large silver cross.
The representation of the corpse being received without the Cathedral
gate by the bishops and clergy, it was borne in solemn procession and
set down within the royal hearse, which had been prepared for it, over
the grave where the remains of the Queen had been silently deposited by
torchlight on the Monday morning. The hearse was 20 feet square, and
27 feet high. On the coffin--which was covered with a pall of black
velvet--lay a crown of gold, set with stones, resting on a purple
velvet cushion, fringed and tasselled with gold.

All the Scotch Queen's train--both men and women, with the exception
of Sir Andrew Melville and the two Mowbrays, who were members of the
Reformed Church--departed, and would not tarry for sermon or prayers.
This greatly offended the English portion of the congregation, who
called after them and wanted to force them to remain. After the prayer
and a funeral service, every officer broke his staff over his head
and threw the pieces into the vault upon the coffin. The procession
returned in the same order to the bishop's palace, where Mary's
servants were invited to partake of the banquet which was provided for
all the mourners; but they declined doing so, saying that "their hearts
were too sad to feast."

[Illustration: FIG. 33.--_Shakespeare's Tomb before the present

But let us turn aside from the pageants of kings and queens, and direct
our attention for a few moments towards Stratford-upon-Avon, where,
on April 23, 1616, the greatest of all Englishmen breathed his last.
A vague tradition tells us that, being in the company of Drayton and
Ben Johnson, Shakespeare partook too freely of the cup, and expired
soon after. This may be a calumny; and, if it were not, it would not
diminish our gratitude and reverence for the highest intellect our
race has produced. It, however, leads us to think and hope, that at
the modest funeral of the "great Bard of Avon" the illustrious Ben
Johnson as well as Drayton were present with his sorrowing relatives
and fellow-citizens. His remains rest under the famous slab which bears
the inscription due, it is said, to his own immortal pen:

    "Good friend, for Jesus' sake forbeare
      To digg T--E dust encloased here:
    Blessed be T--E Man T/y spares T--ES Stones,
      And curst be He T/y moves my bones."

If his contemporaries have forgotten to give us details of that
memorable funeral, and if for nearly two centuries his modest grave was
almost neglected, ample reparation has been made to his memory in this
enlightened age, and Shakespeare's tomb has become a shrine visited
by countless pilgrims from all parts of the earth; and a glorious
monument, more beautiful than has been generally admitted, stands
not far from the church, erected to Shakespeare only last year by a
nobleman, Lord Ronald Gower, whose taste and culture would have done
honour to the epoch which produced not Shakespeare alone, but Sydney
and Raleigh.

[Illustration: FIG. 34.--_Stratford-on-Avon Church._]

If we could discover all the particulars respecting Shakespeare's
burial, we should possibly find that, being a "gentleman," he was
wrapped in his coffin in "wool," for which privilege his survivors
paid a tax of 10s. This curious habit, which we derived from our
Norman ancestors, endured until the first few years of this century.
By "wool" we should read flannel. Almost all the old parish registers
in the country make a point of informing us that "the body" was buried
in wool, and the "usual tax paid." The Normans, and their descendants
in Normandy to this day, had some curious superstitions connected with
"flannel," which even the industrious bibliophile Jacob has failed to
discover. This custom they introduced into England, and it lasted for
hundreds of years. I believe the coffin was also frequently filled up
with fine sheep's wool. Another curious custom, which is now obsolete,
was to put cloves, spikenard, fine herbs, and twigs of various aromatic
shrubs into the coffin, in memory of the embalming of our Lord. Young
girls and unmarried women were buried in white, and had their coffins
covered with white flowers. All the people who accompanied the funeral
wore white scarves, and before the Reformation, white dresses, and the
way was strewn with box leaves, grass, and flowers. The porch of the
deceased's house was decked with flowers and garlands, and especially
with dog-roses and daisies.

[Illustration: FIG. 35.--_Seal of an imaginary Bull of Pope
Lucifer._--From the _Roi Modus_, a MS. of the 15th Century, Royal
Library, Brussels. The inscription is evidently cabalistic and

[Illustration: FIG. 36.--_The Funeral of Juliet_ ("Romeo and
Juliet").--This charming engraving from KNIGHT'S splendid edition of
Shakespeare gives a very fair idea of a grand funeral procession in the
16th Century.]

THE funeral ceremonies of the French kings and princes of the blood
during the Middle Ages and the period of the Renaissance, were, as
may well be imagined, exceedingly magnificent. As already related,
the death criers announced the decease of the sovereign in the usual
manner, shouting out, "_Oyez! bonnes gens de Paris_--listen, good
people of Paris: the most high and mighty, excellent and powerful King,
our sovereign Master, by the grace of God King of France, the most
Christian of Princes, most clement and pious, died last night. Pray for
the repose of his soul."

The first part of the ceremony took place at Notre Dame, where what is
known as the lying-in-state was conducted with appropriate splendour.
The procession, after a solemn mass, formed on the _Pavis_, or square,
round the Cathedral, and began to move slowly over the bridge and
through the Marais to St. Denis, some miles distant from Paris. There
was a halt, however, at the convent of St. Lazaire (now covered by the
railway station), and the gentlemen in attendance mounted their horses.
Before the Revolution of '93, fifteen beautiful wayside crosses, or
_montjoies_, as they were called, stood on the roadside between the
Porte St. Denis and the Abbey. At each of these prayers were said and
the coffin rested. Sometimes, as in the case of Charles VIII., the
coffin and its waxen effigy were carried on the shoulders of a number
of noblemen; but usually, since their feet were hidden by heavy black
velvet draperies, very common men were charged with the "honourable
burden." After the first half of the 16th Century, the royal body was
conducted to the grave in a chariot drawn sometimes by as many as
four-and-twenty black horses. If I err not, the last King of France
whose coffin was carried by men was Francis I., whose gentlemen of the
bedchamber performed this office, having each a halter round his neck,
and a cord or rope.

At St. Denis the ceremonies were very imposing. High Mass of Requiem
being over, the body was removed from the catafalque and lowered into
the vaults under the altar. The Grand Almoner of France recited the _De
profundis_, all kneeling. Suddenly a voice, that of the Herald-at-Arms,
was heard, crying out from the vault below, "Kings-at-Arms, come
do your duty." The grand officers were now summoned by name, thus:
"Monsieur le duc de Bourbon, bring your staff of command over the
hundred Archers of the Guard, and break it and throw it into the
grave." "Monsieur le comte de Lorges, bring your staff of office as
commander of the Scotch Guard, and break it and throw it into the
grave," and so forth, until some fifty of the grand dignitaries of the
Court had in turn performed this lengthy ceremony. The last time it
occurred was in 1824, on the occasion of the funeral of Louis XVIII.,
when each detail of the ancient ceremonial was punctually followed.
Every staff of office was broken and thrown into the King's grave,
except the banner of France, which was merely inclined three times to
the very edge of the crypt.

At the conclusion of this rather tedious ceremony, everybody knelt
down, and the herald shouted, "The King is dead; pray for his soul."
A moment of silence ensued, which was eventually broken by a blast
of trumpets. Then the organ played a lively strain, and the Herald
proclaimed, "_Le roi est mort, vive le roi_--long live the King!" The
banners waved, the cannon boomed, the bells pealed forth joyously, and
the procession reformed, whilst the officiating clergy sang the _Te
Deum_. As almost all the Kings and Queens of France, with not more
than half a dozen exceptions, from the time of Clovis to that of Louis
XVIII., were buried at St. Denis, the funeral rites were rarely if ever
altered. But with us, although so many of our most illustrious princes
are interred at Westminster, still not a few were buried at St. Paul's;
many at Blackfriars and at Greyfriars, two glorious churches destroyed
in the 17th Century, at Windsor, and in various Cathedrals; so that our
royal funereal ceremonies were not always conducted with such punctual
etiquette as were those of our neighbours.


THE minute details of the funeral of Mary Stuart, at Westminster
Abbey, prove that it was conducted on the same scale and with the same
ceremonies as the one which preceded it by many years at Peterborough.
King James, her son, was present, and shortly afterwards the sumptuous
monument which we still admire marked the place where her mutilated
remains, translated from Peterborough, found a permanent place of rest.

The great changes in religion which occurred at the time of the
Reformation, although they took much longer to permeate the habits
and customs of the people than is usually imagined, nevertheless were
so radical, that of the ancient ritual little soon remained, and the
beautiful funeral service of the Church of England, which is so full
of faith and hope, and mainly selected from passages of Holy Scripture
adapted to the requirements of a religion which abolished belief in
an intermediary state, and therefore in the necessity of prayers for
the dead, was introduced, and little by little the pompous ceremonies
of the Roman Church were forgotten. The lying-in-state of the corpse,
for instance, which up to the close of the reign of Mary was general,
even with poor people, was now only in use among those of the very
highest rank. The increase in the use of carriages, too, and of course
the abolition of the monastic orders and brotherhoods, diminished the
splendour of the street processions which used to follow the bier.
Still, much that was quaint remained in fashion, and it is only, as
already said, a few years since that ladies ceased wearing a scarf and
hood of black silk, and gentlemen "weepers" on their hats and arms,
which were black or white according to the sex of the deceased. In
Norfolk, until the end of the first quarter of the present century,
it was the custom to give the mourners at a funeral black gloves,
scarves, and bunches of herbs. Indeed, it is but a short time since a
very old lady told me that so rich, broad, and beautiful was the silk
of the scarves presented to each lady at a funeral, when she was a
girl, that ladies were wont to keep the pieces by them until they were
sufficient in number to form a dress. A bill of the funeral expenses of
a very rich gentleman who died at Brandon Hall, in Norfolk, early in
this century,--Mr. Denn, of Norwich,--and who left over half a million
of money, enables us to form some idea of the expense to which our
grandfathers of the upper class were put in order to be buried with
what they considered proper respect. It would seem that in those days
the hearse and funeral carriages had to be hired from London, and they
took three days to perform the journey from the metropolis--a distance
of about three hours by rail. No fewer than 40 persons figure as
accompanying these vehicles, and as they had to be put up at inns along
the road, going both to and from London to Brandon Hall, their expenses
were £180. The hire of horses and carriages was £106, and what with
the distribution of loaves to the poor at the grave, and the expense
of bringing relatives from far parts of the country, and of providing
them with silk scarves, gloves, etc., and the housing and entertaining
of them all, the worthy Mr. Denn's funeral cost his survivors not less
than £775.

[Illustration: FIG. 37.--_Interment in a Church in the first quarter of
the 18th Century._--From PICARD'S great work on the Religions of all

In Picard, there is a very beautiful engraving by Schley, representing
a funeral procession in 1735, entering the church of St. Paul's, Covent
Garden. It occurs by night, and a number of pages in black velvet walk
in it, carrying lighted three-branched silver candlesticks. It seems
that until 1775 women in England only attended the funerals of their
own sex, and that men in the same manner only followed men to the
grave. Possibly as a disinfectant against the plague, at all English
funerals a branch of rosemary was handed to all who attended, which
they threw into the open grave. This fashion endured, to the writer's
knowledge, in Norfolk up to 1856.

The French Revolution cannot be described as an unmitigated
blessing--far from it; but it certainly did away with many
superstitious practices, and shed a flood of light upon civilisation.
Before that event it was the universal custom throughout Europe to
bury in churches, a practice which was most detrimental to health. By
one of the earliest decrees passed by the Convention of Paris, 1794,
intramural interments were abolished, although, to be sure, cemeteries
already existed of considerable extent, possibly suggested by those
which for ages the Mahometans have used in all the principal cities
of Asia and Asiatic Europe. That of Père la Chaise, so called after
the confessor of Madame de Maintenon, who founded it, is one of the
earliest. With the counter-Reformation, as the movement is called in
history, the ceremonial of the Roman Church became, on the Continent,
even more elaborate than heretofore, and nothing can be imagined more
theatrically splendid than the church decorations on occasions of
funerals of eminent personages.

[Illustration: FIG. 38.--_The Cemetery of Père la Chaise, Paris._]

[Illustration: FIG. 39.--_Funeral of the Grand Duke Albert VII.,
surnamed "the Pious," Archduke of Austria, at Brussels, 11th March,
1622. The coffin, covered with a pall of cloth of gold, is carried
under a canopy by the Ambassador of his Catholic Majesty, by the Duke
d'Aumale, the Marquis of Baden, and other great nobles, followed
by the Archbishop of Patras and two Cardinals. The horse of the
deceased is seen led immediately behind, by grooms and officers of the
household._--From the exceedingly rare work by FRANCQUART, printed
at Antwerp in 1623. (From the collection of Mr. RICHARD DAVEY, and
engraved expressly for this publication.)]

From the last half of the 16th Century down to the Revolution of 1789,
possibly the most extraordinary funeral recorded in history was that
of the Emperor Charles V. It was celebrated with almost identical pomp
simultaneously, at Madrid and at Brussels. The procession at Brussels
took six hours to pass any one point, and it is estimated that 80,000
persons walked in it, the participants being supplied from every city
of Belgium and Holland. In this extraordinary function figured cars
on floats, representing certain striking events in the life of the
Emperor, and one of these we reproduce, since it will best afford an
idea of the supreme magnificence of the spectacle. It represents a
ship, and is intended to illustrate the maritime progress made in the
reign of this enterprising monarch. The float on which this clever
model of a vessel of the period was arranged was dragged through the
streets by 24 black horses, covered with black velvet, and followed by
representatives of the navies both of Belgium and Spain, and by some
300 lads dressed as sailors of all nations.

[Illustration: FIG. 40.--_Float carried in the Funeral Procession of
Charles V. at Brussels, December 29, 1558, and intended to illustrate
his maritime greatness. The vessel was the size of a real ship, and the
persons who appear upon its deck were living._--From the "Magnificent
and Sumptuous Funeral of the Very Great Emperor Charles V." (Antwerp,
published by Plantin, 1559.) Collection of M. RUGGIERI, Paris.]

We also reproduce a little sketch from the funeral procession of
Philip II., son of Charles V., which gives us an excellent idea of
the costumes worn on such an important occasion. The large full-page
engraving represents a portion of the funeral procession which took
place at Brussels, of the Archduke Albert VII. of Austria, surnamed
"the Pious." It was almost as sumptuous as that of Charles V., and,
fortunately a complete record of it has been preserved by Francovoart,
who published a book in the following year, containing no less than 49
plates illustrating this pageantic procession, which was of enormous
length, and must have cost a great sum of money. The great engraver
Cochin has left us one of his most beautiful plates, representing the
interior of the Church of Notre Dame as arranged for the funeral of
the Infanta Theresa of Spain, Dauphiness of France, in 1746. It gives
us rather the idea of a scene in a court ball-room than of a grave
ceremony. Literally, thousands of lights blazed in all directions,
and there was nothing of a sombre character present, excepting the
catafalque, which was of black velvet, and in a certain sense produced
an admirable effect by showing off to still greater advantage the
illuminations. The funeral of Louis XIV., was fabulously gorgeous, and
so complete an apotheosis of that vain monarch, it brought about a sort
of reaction, and made most persons observe that it was of little use
praying for the soul of one who evidently must already be in glory. In
order to put some bounds to these extravagant services, many people of
a devout character have in all ages prayed in their wills that they
should be carried to the grave in the simplest manner, sometimes in the
habit of a Franciscan, or mendicant friar, and that only a few pounds
should be expended upon their burial.

[Illustration: FIG. 41.--_Costumes worn by King Philip II. of Spain and
his attendants in the funeral procession of his father, Charles V. The
group consists of the King; the Herald of Spain, of the Order of the
Golden Fleece, who walks in front; of the Duke of Brunswick, the Duke
of Arcos, Don Ruy Gomez, Count of Milito, and finally the Duke Emmanuel
Philibert of Savoy. Mark that the hood was only worn by the heirs of
the deceased._--From the "Sumptuous Funeral of Charles V. at Brussels."
(Antwerp, 1559.) Collection of M. RUGGIERI, Paris.]

The Italians, and especially the Venetians, spent enormous sums upon
their funeral services, which were exceedingly picturesque; but as the
members of the brotherhoods who walked in the procession wore pointed
hoods and masks, so that, by the glare of the torches, only their eyes
could be seen glittering, and as it was the custom, also, for the
funeral to take place at night, the body being exposed upon an open
bier, in full dress, the scene was sufficiently weird to attract the
attention of travellers, perhaps more so than anything else which they
saw in the land _par excellence_ of pageant. Horace Mann, in one of his
letters, thus amusingly describes the funeral of the daughter of Cosmo
III., Grand Duke of Tuscany:--

[Illustration: FIG. 42.--_Funeral of the Infanta Theresa of Spain,
Dauphiness of France, at Notre Dame, 1746._--From the original
engraving of COCHIN.]

"There was nothing extraordinary in the funeral last night. All the
magnificence consisted in a prodigious number of torches carried by
the different orders of priests, the expense of which in lights, they
say, amounted to 12,000 crowns. The body was in a sort of a coach quite
open, with a canopy over her head; two other coaches followed with her
ladies. As soon as the procession was passed by Madame Suares's, I went
a back way to St. Laurence, where I had been invited by the master of
the ceremonies; here was nothing very particular but my being placed
next to Lady Walpole, who is so angry with me that she would not even
give me the opportunity of making her a bow, which for the future,
since I see it will be disagreeable to her, I will never offer to do


NOTHING could be imagined more picturesque than a Venetian funeral in
bygone days. The state gondola of the family, containing the body, and
also the attendant priests and friars, was covered with black velvet,
and blazed with candelabra full of lighted candles; and from the stern
of the boat hung an immense train of black velvet, which was permitted
to touch the water, but prevented from sinking underneath it by golden
tassels, which were held by members of the family in the gondolas which
followed close behind. All those persons who took part in the funeral
of course carried lights in their hands. If the individual happened
to belong to one of the numerous confraternities, or _scuole_, which
existed in Venice up to the end of the last century, a grand musical
mass was celebrated in the chapel belonging to the order; and on these
occasions some of the finest music ever composed was heard for the
first time, such, for instance, as Paesiello's Requiem, an infinitely
beautiful one by Marcello, and the majestic mass for four voices, by

[Illustration: FIG. 43.--_Tomb of Hamlet._]

[Illustration: FIG. 44.--_Death devouring Man and Beast. A singular,
illuminated document on parchment, of the 12th Century, measuring over
fifty feet by one yard wide. The figure above is intended to represent
the letter T._--From the Mortuary Roll of the Abbey of Savingy,
Avranches, France. The original is preserved among the French National

THE funeral of a Pope is attended by many curious ceremonies, not the
least remarkable of which is, that so soon as His Holiness' death
is thoroughly assured, the eldest Cardinal goes up to the body, and
strikes it three times gently on the breast, saying in Latin, as he
does so, "The Holy Father has passed away." The body is then lowered
into the Church of St. Peter's, where it is exhibited--as was the case
when Pope Pius IX. died in '78--for three days to the veneration of
the faithful, after which it is conveyed in great state to the church
which the Pope has selected for his burial-place. As it passed along
the streets of Rome in the good old times, the members of the nobility
assembled at the entrance of their houses, each carrying a lighted
taper in his hand, and answering back the prayers of the friars and
clergy in the procession. It will be remembered that it was this sort
of spontaneous illumination which so offended a rabble of freethinkers,
on the occasion of the funeral of the late Pope, that they stoned the
coffin, and created a riot of a most disgraceful character. After the
Pope is buried, it is usual for his successor or his family to build
a stately monument over his remains, and this custom accounts for the
amazing number of fine Papal monuments in the Roman basilicas and

[Illustration: FIG. 45.--_Lying-in-State of Pope Pius IX._]

At a time when everybody is talking about the Stuart dynasty, owing to
the great success of the recent exhibition of their relics (1888-9),
the following curious account of the interment of the Old Pretender
will prove of interest:--

"On the 6th of January, 1756, the body of his 'Britannic Majesty' was
conveyed in great state to the said Church of the Twelve Apostles,"
says a correspondent from Rome of that date, "preceded by four servants
carrying torches, two detachments of soldiers; and by the side of the
bier walked twenty-four grooms of the stable with wax candles; the
body of the deceased was dressed royally, and borne by nobles of his
household, with an ivory sceptre at its side, and the Orders of SS.
George and Andrew on the breast.

"On the 7th, the first funeral service took place, in the Church of
the Twelve Apostles. The _façade_ of the church was hung with black
cloth, lace, and golden fringe, in the centre of which was a medallion,
supported by skeletons with cypress branches in their hands, and
bearing the following inscription:

        'Clemens XIII. Pont. Max.
                  Jacobo III.
  M. Britanniæ, Franciæ, et Hiberniæ Regi.
        Catholicæ fidei Defensori,
          Omnium urbis ordinum
        Frequentia funere honestato.
          Suprema pietatis officia
          Solemni ritu Persolvit.'

"On entering the church, another great inscription to the same purport
was to be seen; the building inside was draped in the deepest black,
and on the bier, covered with cloth of gold, lay the corpse, before
which was written in large letters:

  'Jacobus III. Magnæ Britanniæ Rex.
          Anno MDCCLXVI.'

"On either side stood four silver skeletons on pedestals, draped in
black cloth, and holding large branch candlesticks, each with three
lights. At either corner stood a golden perfume box, decorated with
death's-heads, leaves and festoons of cypress. The steps to the
bier were painted in imitation marble, and had pictures upon them
representing the virtues of the deceased. Over the whole was a canopy
ornamented with crowns, banners, death's-heads, gilded lilies, etc.;
and behind, a great cloth of peacock colour with golden embroidery,
and ermine upon it, hung down to the ground. Over each of the heavily
draped arches down the nave of the church were medallions with
death's-head supporters, and crowns above them, representing the
various British orders and the three kingdoms of England, Ireland, and
Scotland; and on the pilasters were other medallions, supported by
cherubs, expressing virtues attributed to the deceased, each with an
inscription, of which the following is an instance:

    'Rex Jacobus III. vere dignus imperio, quia natus ad imperandum:
    dignus quia ipso regnante virtutes imperassent: dignissimus quia
    sibi imperavit.'

"On the top of the bier, in the nave, lay the body, dressed in royal
garb of gold brocade, with a mantle of crimson velvet, lined and edged
with ermine, a crown on his head, a sceptre in his right hand, an
orb in his left. The two Orders of SS. George and Andrew were fastened
to his breast.

[Illustration: FIG. 46.--_Funeral of his late Holiness Pope Pius IX.,
Feb._ 13, 1878. _The lowering of the body into St. Peter's._]

"Pope Clement regretted his inability to attend the funeral, owing to
the coldness of the morning, but he sent twenty-two cardinals to sing
mass, besides numerous church dignitaries.

"After the celebration of the mass, Monsignor Orazio Matteo recited
a funeral oration of great length, recapitulating the virtues of the
deceased, and the incidents of the life of exile and privation that
he had led. After which, the customary _requiem_ for the soul of the
departed was sung, and they then proceeded to convey his deceased
Majesty's body to the Basilica of St. Peter.

"The procession which accompanied it was one of those gorgeous
spectacles in which the popes and their cardinals loved to indulge.
Every citizen came to see it, and crowds poured in to the Eternal City
from the neighbouring towns and villages, as they were wont to do for
the festivals at Easter, of Corpus Domini.

"All the orders and confraternities to be found in Rome went in front,
carrying amongst them 500 torches. They marched in rows, four deep; and
after them came the pupils of the English, Scotch, and Irish College in
Rome, in their surplices, and with more torches.

"Then followed the bier, around which were the gaudy Swiss Papal
Guards. The four corners of the pall were held up by four of the most
distinguished members of the Stuart household.

"Then came singers, porters carrying two large umbrellas, such as the
Pope would have at his coronation, and all the servants of the royal
household, in deep mourning, and on foot. After them followed the papal
household; and twelve mourning coaches closed the procession.

"The body was placed in the chapel of the choir of St. Peter's, and
after the absolution, which Monsignor Lascaris pronounced, it was put
into a cypress-wood case, in presence of the major-domo of the Vatican,
who made a formal consignment of it to the Chapter of St. Peter's,
in the presence of the notary of the 'Sacred Apostolic Palace,' who
witnessed the consignment, whilst the notary of the Chapter of St.
Peter's gave him a formal receipt.

"The second funeral was fixed for the following day, when everything
was done to make the choir of St. Peter's look gorgeous. A large
catafalque was raised in the midst, on the top of which, on a cushion
of black velvet embroidered with gold, lay the royal crown and sceptre,
under a canopy adorned with ermine; 250 candles burnt around, and the
inscription over the catafalque ran as follows:

    'Memoriæ æternæ Jacobi III., Magnæ Britanniæ Franciæ et Hyber,
    regis Parentis optimii Henricus Card. Dux Eboracensis moerens justa

"Then the cardinals held service, thirteen of whom were then assembled;
after which, the Chapter of St. Peter's and the Vatican clergy, with
all the Court of the defunct king who had assisted at the mass,
accompanied the body to the subterranean vaults beneath St. Peter's,
where the bier was laid aside until such times and seasons as a fitting
memorial could be placed over it."

AMONG the Jews, according to Buxtorf (who published, in the 17th
Century, perhaps the most valuable work upon the Jewish ceremonies
which still existed in various parts of Europe in his time, many of
which have been modified or have entirely disappeared since), it was
the fashion when a person died, after having closed the eyes and
mouth, to twist the thumb of the right hand inward, and to tie it
with a string of the _taled_, or veil, which covered the face, and
was invariably buried with the corpse. The reason for this doubling
of the thumb was that, when it was thus turned inward, it represented
the figure Schaddai, which is one of the names of God. Otherwise, the
fingers were stretched out so as to show that the deceased had given
up all the goods of this world. The body was most carefully washed,
to indicate that the dead was purified by repentance. Buxtorf tells
us that in Holland, with the old-fashioned Jews, it was the custom to
break an egg into a glass of wine, and to wash the face therewith. The
more devout persons were dressed in the same garments that they wore on
the last feast of the Passover. When the body is placed in the coffin,
it is the habit even now, among the Polish and Oriental Jews, for ten
members of the family, or very old friends, to walk processionally
round it, saying prayers for the repose of the soul. In olden times,
for three days after the death, the family sat at home in a darkened
room and received their friends, who were indeed Job's comforters;
for they sought to afflict them in every way by recalling the virtues
of the dead person, and exaggerating the misery into which they were
thrown by his or her departure. Seven days afterwards, they were
employed in a less rigorous form of mourning, at the end of which the
family again went to the synagogue and offered up prayers, after which
they followed the customs of the country in which they lived, retaining
their mourning only so long as accorded with the prevailing fashion of
the day.


[Illustration: FIG. 47.--_The Knight of Death on a White Horse_--After
ALBERT DURER. From a fac-simile of the original engraving, dated 1513,
by one of the Wiericx (1564). This famous engraving, which so perfectly
characterises the weird genius of the Middle Ages, passing into the
Renaissance, represents a knight armed, going to the wars, accompanied
by terrible thoughts of Death and Sin, whose incarnations follow him on
his dismal journey.]

ONE of the saddest, and certainly the simplest of royal funerals,
was that of King Charles I. After his lamentable execution, his body
lay at Whitehall from January 28, 1649, to the following February 7,
when it was conveyed to Windsor, placed in the vault of St. George's
Chapel, near the coffins of Henry VIII. and Jane Seymour. The day had
been very snowy, and the snow rested thick on the coffin and on the
cloaks and hats of the mourners. The remains were deposited without any
service whatever, and left inscriptionless, save for the words "Charles
Rex, 1649," the letters of which were cut out of a band of lead by
the gentlemen present, with their penknives, and the lead fastened
round the coffin. In this state it remained until the year 1813,
when George IV. caused it to be more fittingly interred. In striking
contrast were the obsequies of the unfortunate King's great rival and
enemy, Cromwell, "who lay in glorious state" at Somerset House, all
the ceremonial being copied from that of the interment of Philip II.
of Spain. The rooms were hung with black cloth, and in the principal
saloon was an effigy of the Protector, with a royal crown upon his head
and a sceptre in his hand, stretched upon a bed of state erected over
his coffin. Crowds of people of all ranks went daily during eight weeks
to see it, the place being illuminated by hundreds of candles. The wax
cast of the face of Cromwell after death is still preserved in the
British Museum. His body, however, was carried away secretly, and at
night, and buried privately at Westminster, for fear of trouble. Later,
in 1660, the remains of the great Protector, and those of his friends
Ireton and Bradshaw, were sacrilegiously taken from their graves,
dragged with ignominy through the streets, and hanged at Tyburn, to the
apparent satisfaction of Mrs. Pepys and her friend Lady Batten, and all
and sundry in London, as is recorded in the "immortal diary." By the
way, Mr. Pepys himself, who died in 1703, was buried with much state
and circumstance in Crutched Friars Church, but at night, the service
being said by Dr. Hickes, the author of the _Thesaurus_.


PERHAPS the strangest funeral recorded in modern history was that of
the translation of the remains of Voltaire, popularly known as his
"apotheosis." The National Assembly in May, 1791, decreed that the
bones of the poet should be brought from the Abbey of Scellières, and
carried in state to the Pantheon. In Voltaire's lifetime it was boasted
that he had buried the priests and the Christian religion, but now
the priests were going to bury him, having very little of Christian
religion left amongst them. The day of the procession was fixed for
July 10; but the 10th was a deluging, rainy day, and the ceremony was
postponed to the next day, or till the weather should be fine. The next
day was as wet, and the Assembly was about to renew the postponement,
when about two o'clock it cleared up. The coffin was placed on a car
of the classic form, and was borne first to the spot on which the
Bastille had stood, where it was placed on a platform, being covered
with myrtles, roses, and wild flowers, and bearing the following
inscriptions:--"If a man is born free, he ought to govern himself." "If
a man has tyrants placed over him, he ought to dethrone them." Besides
these, there were numerous other inscriptions in different parts of the
area, including one on a huge block of stone: "Receive, O Voltaire! on
this spot, where despotism once held thee in chains, the honours thy
country renders thee!"

From the Bastille to the Pantheon all Paris seemed to be following the
procession, which consisted of soldiers, lawyers, doctors, municipal
bodies, a crowd of poets, literary men, and artists carrying a gilded
chest containing the seventy volumes of Voltaire's works; men who had
taken part in the demolition of the Bastille, bearing chains, fetters,
and cuirasses found in the prison; a bust of Voltaire, surrounded by
those of Rousseau, Mirabeau, and Montaigne, borne by the actors from
the different theatres, in ancient costume; and lastly came the funeral
car, now surmounted by a statue of the philosopher, which France was
crowning with a wreath of immortelles. The immense procession halted
at various places for the effigy to receive particular honours. At
the opera houses the actors and actresses were waiting to present
a laurel crown and to sing to Voltaire's glory; at the house of M.
Villette--where was yet deposited the heart of the great man, previous
to being sent to Fernay--four tall poplars were planted, and adorned
with wreaths and festoons of flowers, and on the front of the house
was written in large letters: "His genius is everywhere, and his
heart is here." Near this was raised a sort of amphitheatre, on which
were seated a crowd of young girls in white dresses with blue sashes,
crowned with roses, and holding wreaths in honour of the poet in their
hands. The names of all Voltaire's works were written on the front of
the Theatre Français. The next halt was made on the site of the Comédie
Française, and a statue of the poet was there crowned by actors
costumed as Tragedy and Comedy. Thence the procession wended its way
to the Pantheon, where the mouldering remains of Voltaire were placed
beside those of Descartes and Mirabeau. All Paris that evening was one
festal scene; illuminations blazing on the busts and figures of the
patriot of equality.

[Illustration: FIG. 48.--_Funeral Car of Nelson._--From a contemporary
engraving, reproduced expressly for this publication.]

The obsequies in England of Lord Nelson, which took place on January
9, 1806, were extremely imposing. I transcribe from a contemporary and
inedited private letter the following account of it:--"I have just
returned from such a sight as will never be seen in London again. I
managed at an inconveniently early hour to get me down into the Strand,
and so down Norfolk Street to a house overlooking the river. Every
post of vantage wherever the procession could be seen was swarming
with living beings, all wearing mourning, the very beggars having a
bit of crape on their arms. The third barge, which contained the body,
was covered with black velvet and adorned with black feathers. In the
centre was a viscount's coronet, and three bannerols were affixed
to the outside of the barge. In the steerage were six lieutenants
of the navy and six trumpets. Clarencieux, King-at-Arms, sat at the
head of the coffin, bearing a viscount's coronet on a black velvet
cushion. The Royal Standard was at the head of the barge, which was
rowed by forty-six seamen from the 'Victory.' The other barges in the
cortege were rowed by Greenwich pensioners. The fourth barge contained
Admiral Sir Peter Parker, the chief mourner, and other admirals,
vice-admirals, and rear-admirals; whilst the Lords of the Admiralty,
the Lord Mayor of London, members of the various worshipful Companies,
and other distinguished mourners occupied the remaining barges, which
were seventeen in number, and were flanked by row-boats, with river
fencibles, harbour marines, etc., etc. All, of course, had their
colours half-mast high. On the following morning, the 9th, the land
procession, which I also contrived to see, started from the Admiralty
to pass through the streets of London to St. Paul's, between dense
crowds all along the route. This procession was of great length, and
included Greenwich pensioners, sailors of the 'Victory,' watermen,
judges and other dignitaries of the law, many members of the nobility,
public officers, and officers of the army and navy; whilst in it were
carried conspicuously the great banner, gauntlets, helmet, sword,
etc., of the deceased. The pall was supported by four admirals. Nearly
10,000 military were assembled on this occasion, and these consisted
chiefly of the regiments that had fought in Egypt, and participated
with the deceased in delivering that country from the power of France.
The car in which the body was conveyed was peculiarly magnificent. It
was decorated with a carved resemblance of the head and stern of the
'Victory,' surrounded with escutcheons of the arms of the deceased, and
adorned with appropriate mottoes and emblematical devices, under an
elevated canopy, in the form of the upper part of a sarcophagus, with
six sable plumes, and a viscount's coronet in the centre, supported
by four columns, representing palm trees, entwined with wreaths of
natural laurel and cypress. As it passed, all uncovered, and many wept.
I heard a great deal said among the people about 'poor Emma' (Emma,
Lady Hamilton), and some wonder whether she will get a pension or not.
On the whole, the processions were most imposing, and I am very glad I
saw it all, although I am much fatigued at it, from standing about so
much and pushing in the crowd, and faint from the difficulty of getting
food, every eating-place being so full of people; and surely, though a
nation must mourn, equally certain is it that it must also eat."

[Illustration: FIG. 49.--_Funeral Car of Lord Nelson._--From a
contemporary engraving, reproduced expressly for this publication.]

[Illustration: FIG. 50.--_An Old Market Cross, Rouen._]

[Illustration: FIG. 51.--_Funeral Procession of the Emperor
Napoleon I., December_ 15, 1840. _The Cortége descending the Champs
Élysées._--From a contemporary engraving.]

LOUIS PHILLIPPE, who, by the way, had neglected no opportunity to
render justice to the genius of Napoleon, obtained, in 1840, the
permission of the British Government to remove his body from St.
Helena; and on December 15 it was solemnly interred in the gorgeous
chapel designed by Visconti, at the Invalides. The Prince de Joinville
had the honour of escorting the remains of the Emperor from the lonely
island in the Indian Ocean to Paris. Words cannot paint the emotion
of the inhabitants of the French capital, as the superb procession
descended the long avenue of the Champs Élysées, or that of the
privileged company which witnessed the striking scene in the chapel
itself, as the Prince de Joinville formally consigned the body to the
King, his father, saying, as he did so, "Sire, I deliver over into your
charge the corpse of Napoleon." To which the King replied, "I receive
it in the name of France," and then taking the sword of the victor of
Austerlitz, he handed it to General Bertrand, who, in his turn, laid
it on the coffin. Many years later, when another Napoleon reigned in
France, a Lady who had not yet reached the _mezzo camin di nostra
vita_, stood silently, with bowed head, before the grave of the mighty
enemy of the glorious empire over which she rules, and it was observed
that there were tears in the eyes of Queen Victoria when she quietly
left the chapel.

[Illustration: FIG. 52.--_The Tomb of Napoleon I. at the Invalides,

The earliest year of the last half of this century witnessed another
funeral of much magnificence, that of the great Duke of Wellington.
It was determined that a public funeral should mark the sense of the
people's reverence for the memory of the illustrious deceased, and
of their grief for his loss. The body was enclosed in a shell, and
remained for a time at Walmer Castle, where the Iron Duke died. A guard
of honour, composed of men of his own rifle regiment, did duty over it,
and the castle flag was hoisted daily half-mast high. On the evening
of the 10th of November, 1852, the body was placed upon a hearse and
conveyed, by torchlight, to the railway station, the batteries at
Walmer and Deal Castles firing minute-guns, whilst Sandown Castle
took up the melancholy salute as the train with its burden swept by.
Arrived at London, the procession re-formed, and by torchlight marched
through the silent streets, reaching Chelsea about three o'clock in the
morning, when the coffin containing the body was carried into the hall
of the Royal Military Hospital. Life Guardsmen, with arms reversed,
lined the apartment, which was hung with black and lighted by waxen
tapers. The coffin rested upon an elevated platform at the end of the
hall, over which was suspended a cloud-like canopy or veil. The coffin
itself was covered with red velvet; and at the foot stood a table on
which all the decorations of the deceased were laid out. Thither,
day by day, in a constant stream, crowds of men, women, and children
repaired, all dressed in deep mourning. The first of these visitors was
the Queen, accompanied by her children; but so deeply was she affected
that she never got beyond the centre of the hall, where her feelings
quite overcame her, and she was led, weeping bitterly, back to her

The public funeral took place on the 18th of November, and was attended
by the Prince Consort and all the chief officers of State. The body
was removed by torchlight, on the evening previous, to the Horse
Guards, under an escort of cavalry. At dawn on the 18th the solemn
ceremony began. From St. Paul's Cathedral, down Fleet Street, along the
Strand, by Charing Cross and Pall Mall, to St. James's Park, troops
lined both sides of the streets; while in the park itself, columns of
infantry, cavalry, and artillery were formed ready to fall into their
proper places in the procession, of which we publish two interesting
engravings. How it was conducted--with what respectful interest watched
by high and low--how solemn the notes of the bands, as one after
another they took up and entoned the "Dead March in Saul"--how grand,
yet how touching the scene in the interior of St. Paul's--none but
those who can remember it can realise.

[Illustration: FIG. 53.--_Funeral of the Duke of Wellington, November_
18, 1852. _The Procession passing Apsley House._--From an original
sketch, reproduced expressly for this publication.]

[Illustration: FIG. 54.--_Funeral of the Duke of Wellington, November_
18, 1852. _Scene inside St. Paul's._--Reproduced from an original
sketch, expressly for this publication.]

A man of genius in France is rightly placed on a kind of throne,
and considered a "king of thought;" so the obsequies of so truly
illustrious a poet as Victor Hugo, which took place in Paris, June 1,
1885, assumed proportions rarely accorded even to the mightiest
sovereigns. Unfortunately, it was marred by the desecration of a noted
church, the Pantheon; for it pleased a political party in power to
make out that Hugo had denied even the existence of God, and this
notwithstanding the fact that every page of his works is a testimony
to his ardent creed in the Almighty and his hope in the life to
come. The lying-in-state took place under the Arch of Triumph, which
was decorated with much taste by a huge black veil draped across it.
Flaring torches lighted up the architectural features of the monument,
and also the tremendous throng of spectators. The arch looked solemn
enough, but the behaviour of the people who surrounded it was the
reverse, especially at night. On Thursday, June 1, early in the day,
which was intensely hot, the procession began to move from the Arc de
Triomphe to the Pantheon, and presented a scene never to be forgotten.
The coffin was a very simple one, in accordance with the poet's wishes
to be buried like a pauper; but what proved the chief charm of this
really poetical spectacle was the amazing number of huge wreaths
carried by the countless deputations from all parts of France, and
sent from every city of Europe and America. There were some 15,000
wreaths of foliage and flowers carried in this strange procession,
many of which were of colossal dimensions, so that when one beheld the
cortége from the bottom of the Champs Élysées, for instance, it looked
like a huge floral snake meandering along. The bearers of the wreaths
were hidden beneath them, and these exquisite trophies of early summer
flowers, combined with the glittering helmets of the Guards, the bright
costumes of the students, and, above all, with the veritable walls of
human beings towering up on all sides, filling balconies and windows,
covering roofs and every spot wherever even a glimpse of the pageant
could be obtained, created a spectacle as unique as it was picturesque.


[Illustration: FIG. 55.--_Funeral of Victor Hugo, Paris, June_ 1, 1885.]

[Illustration: FIG. 56.--_Her Imperial Majesty the Empress Frederick of
Germany, Princess Royal of Great Britain._]

THE solemn but exceedingly simple obsequies of that much regretted and
most able man His Royal Highness the Prince Consort, took place at
Windsor on the 23rd December, 1861. At his frequently expressed desire
it was of a private character; but all the chief men of the state
attended the obsequies in the Royal Chapel. The weather was cold and
damp, the sky dull and heavy. There was a procession of state carriages
to St. George's Chapel, at the door of which the Prince of Wales and
the other royal mourners were assembled to receive the corpse. The
grief of the poor children was very affecting, little Prince Arthur
especially, sobbing as if his heart were breaking. When all was over,
and the last of the long, lingering train of mourners had departed,
the attendants descended into the vault with lights, and moved the
bier and coffin along the narrow passage to the royal vault. The day
was observed throughout the realm as one of mourning. The bells of
all the churches were tolled, and in many of them special services
were held. In the towns the shops were closed, and the window blinds
of private residences were drawn down. No respectable people appeared
abroad except in mourning, and in seaport towns the flags were hoisted
half-mast high. The words of the Poet Laureate were scarcely too strong:

    "The shadow of his loss moved like eclipse,
    Darkening the world. We have lost him; he is gone;
    We know him now; all narrow jealousies
    Are silent; and we see him as he moved,
    How modest, kindly, all-accomplished, wise;
    With what sublime repression of himself,
    And in what limits, and how tenderly;
    Not swaying to this faction or to that;
    Not making his high place the lawless perch
    Of wing'd ambitions, nor a vantage ground
    For pleasure; but thro' all this tract of years
    Wearing the white flower of a blameless life,
    Before a thousand peering littlenesses,
    In that fierce light which beats upon a throne,
    And blackens every blot; for where is he
    Who dares foreshadow for an only son
    A lovelier life, a more unstained than his?"

[Illustration: FIG. 57.--_Funeral of His Royal Highness the Prince
Consort, at Windsor, December_ 23, 1861.]

When Her Majesty became a widow, she slightly modified the conventional
English widow's cap, by indenting it over the forehead _à la_ Marie
Stuart, thereby imparting to it a certain picturesqueness which was
quite lacking in the former head-dress. This coiffure has been not only
adopted by her subjects, but also by royal widows abroad. The etiquette
of the Imperial House of Germany obliges the Empress Frederick to
introduce into her costume two special features during the earlier
twelve months of her widowhood. The first concerns the cap, which is
black, having a Marie Stuart point over the centre of the forehead, and
a long veil of black crape falling like a mantle behind to the ground.
The second peculiarity of this stately costume is that the orthodox
white batiste collar has two narrow white bands falling straight from
head to foot. This costume has been very slightly modified from what it
was three centuries ago, when a Princess of the House of Hohenzollern
lost her husband.


Photograph by Messrs. W. & D. Downey._]

THE first general mourning ever proclaimed in America was on the
occasion of the death of Benjamin Franklin, in 1791, and the next on
that of Washington, in 1799. The deep and wide-spread grief occasioned
by the melancholy death of the first President, assembled a great
concourse of people for the purpose of paying him the last tribute of
respect, and on Wednesday, December 18, 1799, attended by military
honours and the simplest but grandest ceremonies of religion, his body
was deposited in the family vault at Mount Vernon. Never in the history
of America did a blow fall with more terrible earnestness than the
news of the assassination of President Lincoln on April 14, 1865. All
party feeling was forgotten, and sorrow was universal. The obsequies
were on an exceedingly elaborate scale, and a generous people paid
a grateful and sincere tribute to a humane and patriotic chieftain.
After an impressive service, the embalmed body was laid in state in
the Capitol at Washington, guarded by officers with drawn swords, and
afterwards the coffin was closed for removal to Springfield, the home
of the late President, a distance of about 1,700 miles. It took twelve
days to accomplish the journey. The car which conveyed the remains was
completely draped in black, the mourning outside being festooned in
two rows above and below the windows, while each window had a strip of
mourning connecting the upper with the lower row. Six other cars, all
draped in black, were attached to the train, and contained the escort,
whilst the engine was covered with crape and its flags draped. At
several cities _en route_ a halt was made, in order to permit people
to pay tributes of respect to the deceased, and several times the body
was removed from the train, so that funeral services might be held. At
last, on the 3rd of May, the train reached Springfield, and after a
brief delay the procession moved with befitting ceremony to Oak Ridge
Cemetery, President Lincoln's final resting-place. During the period
intervening between President Lincoln's death and his interment, every
city and town in the United States testified the greatest grief, and
public expressions of mourning were universal. To take New York, as an
instance, that city presented a singularly striking appearance. Scarce
a house in it but was not draped in the deepest mourning, long festoons
of black and white muslin drooped sadly everywhere, and even the gay
show-cases outside the shop doors were dressed with funereal rosettes.
The gloom which prevailed was intense. In many places, however, the
decorations, though sombre, were exceedingly picturesque, the dark
tones being relieved by the bright red and blue of the national
colours, entwined with crape.

Scarcely less magnificent were the obsequies accorded by the people of
America to General Grant. Funeral services were observed in towns and
cities of every state and territory of the Union, amidst a display of
mourning emblems unparallelled. In New York, for two weeks previous to
the funeral ceremony, preparations of the most elaborate description
were going on, and the best part of the city was densely draped.
The route of the procession to the tomb was 9 miles long, and it is
estimated that three million persons saw the cortege, in which over
50,000 people joined, including 30,000 soldiers. Some further idea
of the magnitude of this solemn procession can be formed when it is
stated that its head reached the grave three hours and a half before
the funeral car arrived. This car was exceptionally imposing, inasmuch
as it was drawn by 24 black horses, each one led by a coloured servant,
and each covered with sable trappings which swept the street.

Another imposing funeral, which many who are still young can remember,
was that of his Majesty Victor Emmanuel, the first King of United
Italy, who died in Rome early in 1878. His obsequies were conducted
with all the pomp of the Roman Catholic religion, and the catafalque,
erected in the centre of the Pantheon, was supremely imposing. We give
an engraving of it, which will afford an excellent idea of its great


[Illustration: FIG. 59.--_The Catafalque erected for the Funeral
Service of His Majesty King Victor Emmanuel, in the Pantheon, Rome._]

THE ingenious idea of the _Magasin de Deuil_, or establishment
exclusively devoted to the sale of mourning costumes and of the
paraphernalia necessary for a funeral, has long been held to be
exclusively French; but our quick-witted neighbours have, to speak the
truth, originated very few things; for was not the father of French
cookery a German physician in attendance on Francis I., assisted by an
Italian cardinal, Campeggio, who, by the way, came to England on the
occasion of the negotiations in connection with the divorce of Queen
Catherine of Arragon. The _Magasin de Deuil_ is but a brilliant and
elaborate adaptation of the old _Mercerie de lutto_ which has existed
for centuries, and still exists, in every Italian city, where people in
the haste of grief can obtain in a few hours all that the etiquette of
civilisation requires for mourning in a country whose climate renders
speedy interment absolutely necessary. Continental ideas are slow to
reach this country, but when they do find acceptance with us, they
rarely fail to attain that vast extension so characteristic of English
commerce. Such development could scarcely be exhibited in a more marked
manner than in Jay's London General Mourning Warehouse, Regent Street,
an establishment which dates from the year 1841, and which during that
period has never ceased to increase its resources and to complete its
organisation, until it has become, of its kind, a mart unique both
for the quality and the nature of its attributes. Of late years the
business and enterprise of this firm has enormously increased, and
it includes not only all that is necessary for mourning, but also
departments devoted to dresses of a more general description, although
the colours are confined to such as could be worn for either full or
half mourning. Black silks, however, are pre-eminently a speciality
of this house, and the Continental journals frequently announce that
"_la maison Jay de Londres a fait de forts achats_." Their system is
one from which they never swerve. It is to buy the commodity direct
from the manufacturers, and to supply it to their patrons at the very
smallest modicum of profit compatible with the legitimate course of
trade. The materials for mourning costumes must always virtually,
remain unchangeable, and few additions can be made to the list of
silks, crapes, paramattas, cashmeres, _grenadines_, and _tulles_ as
fabrics. They and their modifications must be ever in fashion so long
as it continues fashionable to wear mourning at all; but fashion in
design, construction, and embellishment may be said to change, not only
every month, but well-nigh every week.

The fame of a great house of business like this rests more upon its
integrity and the expedition with which commands are executed than
anything else. To secure the very best goods, and to have them made up
in the best taste and in the latest fashion, is one of the principal
aims of the firm, which is not unmindful of legitimate economy. For
this purpose, every season competent buyers visit the principal silk
marts of Europe, such as Lyons, Genoa, and Milan, for the purpose
of purchasing all that is best in quality and pattern. Immediate
communication with the leading designers of fashions in Paris has
not been neglected; and it may be safely said of this great house of
business, that if it is modelled on a mediæval Italian principle,
it has missed no opportunity to assimilate to itself every modern

[Illustration: FIG. 60.--_Funeral of Earl Palmerston, in Westminster
Abbey, Oct._ 27, 1865.]

Private mourning in modern times, like everything else, has been
greatly altered and modified, to suit an age of rapid transit and
travel. Men no longer make a point of wearing full black for a fixed
number of months after the decease of a near relation, and even content
themselves with a black hat-band and dark-coloured garments. Funeral
ceremonies, too, are less elaborate, although during the past few
years a growing tendency to send flowers to the grave has increased in
every class of the community. The ceremonial which attends our State
funerals is so well known that it were needless to describe them. We,
however, give, as "records," illustrations of the funerals of Lord
Palmerston, Lord Beaconsfield, Mr. Darwin, and of the much-regretted
Emperor Frederick of Germany, a function which was extremely imposing,
as the etiquette of the German Court still retains many curious relics
of bygone times.

[Illustration: FIG. 61.--_Funeral of the Right Honourable the Earl of
Beaconsfield, in Hughenden Church, April_ 26, 1881.]

GENERAL Court mourning in this country is regulated by the Duke of
Norfolk, as Earl Marshal, but exclusively Court mourning for the Royal
Family by the Lord Chamberlain.

The order for Court mourning to be observed for the death of a foreign
sovereign is issued by the Foreign Office, and transmitted thence to
the Lord Chamberlain.

Here is the form of the order for general mourning to be worn on the
occasion of the death of the Prince Consort:

  COLLEGE OF ARMS, Dec. 16, 1866.

    _Deputy Earl Marshal's Order for a General Mourning for His late
    Royal Highness the Prince Consort._

    In pursuance of Her Majesty's commands, this is to give public
    notice that, upon the melancholy occasion of the death of His Royal
    Highness the Prince Consort, it is expected that all persons do
    forthwith put themselves into decent mourning.


The order to the army is published from the War Office:

  HORSE GUARDS, Dec. 18, 1861.

    _Orders for the Mourning of the Army for His late Royal Highness
    the Prince Consort._

    The General commanding-in-chief has received Her Majesty's commands
    to direct, on the present melancholy occasion of the death of
    H.R.H. the Prince Consort, that the officers of the army be
    required to wear, when in uniform, black crape over the ornamental
    part of the cap or hat, over the sword-knot, and on the left
    arm;--with black gloves, and a black crape scarf over the sash.
    The drums are to be covered with black, and black crape is to
    hang from the head of the colour-staff of the infantry, and from
    the standard-staff of cavalry. When officers appear at Court in
    uniform, they are to wear black crape over the ornamental part of
    the cap or hat, over the sword-knot, and on the left arm;--with
    black gloves and a black crape scarf.

A like order was issued by the Admiralty, addressed to the officers and
men of the Royal Navy.


       December 16, 1861.

    _Orders for the Court to go into Mourning for His late Royal
    Highness the Prince Consort._

    The LADIES attending Court to wear black woollen Stuffs, trimmed
    with Crape, plain Linen, black Shoes and Gloves, and Crape Fans.

    The GENTLEMEN attending Court to wear black Cloth, plain Linen,
    Crape Hatbands, and black Swords and Buckles.

    The Mourning to commence from the date of this Order.


       December 31, 1861.

    _Orders for the Court's change of Mourning, on Monday, the 27th
      January next, for His late Royal Highness the Prince Consort,

    The LADIES to wear black Silk Dresses, trimmed with Crape, and
    black Shoes and Gloves, black Fans, Feathers, and Ornaments.

    The GENTLEMEN to wear black Court Dress, with black Swords and
    Buckles, and plain Linen.

    _The Court further to change the Mourning on Monday the 17th of
    February next, viz._:

    The LADIES to wear black Dresses, with white Gloves, black or white
    Shoes, Fans, and Feathers, and Pearls, Diamonds, or plain Gold or
    Silver Ornaments.

    The GENTLEMEN to wear black Court Dress, with black Swords and

    _And on Monday the 10th of March next, the Court to go out of

             *       *       *       *       *


       November 7, 1817.

    _Orders for the Court's going into Mourning on Sunday next, the
      9th instant, for Her late Royal Highness the Princess Charlotte
      Augusta, Daughter of His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, and
      Consort of His Serene Highness the Prince Leopold Saxe-Cobourg,

    The LADIES to wear black Bombazines, plain Muslin, or long Lawn
    Crape Hoods, Shamoy Shoes and Gloves, and Crape Fans.

    Undress:--Dark Norwich Crape.

    The GENTLEMEN to wear black cloth without buttons on the Sleeves
    or Pockets, plain Muslin, or long Lawn Cravats and Weepers, Shamoy
    Shoes and Gloves, Crape Hatbands and black Swords and Buckles.

    Undress:--Dark Grey Frocks.

    For LADIES, black Silk, fringed or plain Linen, white Gloves, black
    Shoes, Fans, and Tippets, white Necklaces and Earrings.

    Undress:--White or grey Lustrings, Tabbies, or Damasks.

    For GENTLEMEN, to continue in black, full trimmed, fringed or plain
    Linen, black Swords and Buckles.

    Undress:--Grey Coats.

    For LADIES, black silk or velvet coloured Ribbons, Fans, and
    Tippets, or plain white, or white and gold, or white and silver
    Stuffs, with black Ribbons.

    For GENTLEMEN, black Coats and black or plain white, or white and
    gold, or white and silver stuffed Waistcoats, coloured Waistcoats
    and Buckles.

[Illustration: FIG. 62.--_Funeral of Charles Darwin, Esq., in
Westminster Abbey._]

THE Register of "Notices" preserved at the Lord Chamberlain's Offices
date back from 1773 to 1840. They are written in chronological order
from the first folio (9th March, 1773) to folio 16 (28th Nov., 1785).
After this date a number of papers are missing, and, curious to relate,
the next entry is Oct. 24, 1793, and orders the Court to go into
mourning for ten days for Her late Majesty Marie Antoinette, Queen of

On the margin of the one for mourning for Louis XVIII., is written
a note to the effect that the "King this day, Sep. 18, 1824, orders
three weeks' mourning for the late King of France." At about this time,
too, the word "the ladies to wear bombazine gowns" disappears, and is
replaced by "woolen stuffs."

Our military etiquette connected with mourning was really modelled
on that in use in the army of Louis XIV., as is proved by a rather
singular fact. In 1737 George II. died, and an order was issued
commanding the officers and troopers in the British army to wear
black crape bands and black buttons and epaulettes. Very shortly
afterwards the French Government issued a decree to the effect that,
as the English army had "slavishly imitated the French in the matter
of wearing mourning, henceforth the officers of the French army should
make no change in their uniform, and only wear a black band round the
arm." Oddly enough, at the present moment both the French and the
English armies wear precisely the same "badge of grief," a black band
of crape on the left arm above the elbow.

The Sovereign can prolong, out of marked respect for the person to be
mourned, the duration of the period for general and Court mourning.

The following are regulations for Court mourning, according to the
register at the Lord Chamberlain's office:--

For the King or Queen--full mourning, eight weeks; mourning, two weeks;
and half-mourning, two weeks: in all, three full months.

For the son or daughter of the Sovereign--Full mourning, four weeks;
mourning, one week; and half-mourning, one week: total, six weeks.

For the brother or sister of the Sovereign--full mourning, two weeks;
mourning, four days; and half-mourning, two days: total, three weeks.

Nephew or niece--full mourning, one week; half-mourning, one week:
total, two weeks.

Uncle or aunt--same as above.

Cousin, ten days; second cousin, seven days.

THE following are the accepted reasons for the selection of various
colours for mourning in different parts of the world:--

_Black_ expresses the privation of light and joy, the midnight gloom of
sorrow for the loss sustained. It is the prevailing colour of mourning
in Europe, and it was also the colour selected in ancient Greece and in
the Roman Empire.

_Black and white striped_ expresses sorrow and hope, and is the
mourning of the South Sea Islanders.

_Greyish brown_--the colour of the earth, to which the dead return. It
is the colour of mourning in Ethiopia and Abyssinia.

_Pale brown_--the colour of withered leaves--is the mourning of Persia.

_Sky-blue_ expresses the assured hope that the deceased is gone to
heaven, and is the colour of mourning in Syria, Cappadocia, and Armenia.

_Deep-blue_ in Bokhara is the colour of mourning; whilst the Romans in
the days of the Republic also wore very dark blue for mourning.

_Purple and violet_--to express royalty, "Kings and priests of God." It
is the colour of mourning of Cardinals and of the Kings of France. The
colour of mourning in Turkey is violet.

_White_--emblem of "white-handed hope." The colour of mourning in
China. The ladies of ancient Rome and Sparta sometimes wore white
mourning, which was also the colour for mourning in Spain until 1498.
In England it is still customary, in several of the provinces, to wear
white silk hat-bands for the unmarried.

_Yellow_--the sear and yellow leaf. The colour of mourning in Egypt and
Burmah. In Brittany widows' caps among the peasants are yellow. Anne
Boleyn wore yellow mourning for Catherine of Arragon, but as a sign of

_Scarlet_ is also a mourning colour, and was occasionally worn by the
French Kings, notably so by Louis XI.


[Illustration: FIG. 63.--_Funeral of His Imperial Majesty Frederick
the Noble, Emperor of Germany. The Funeral Service in the Imperial

[Illustration: FIG. 64.--_Funeral of His Majesty the Emperor of
Germany. The Procession leaving the Palace._]


(_a_) In the 18th Century, the undertaker issued his
handbills--gruesome things, with grinning skulls and shroud-clad
corpses, thigh bones, mattocks and pickaxes, hearses, etc.:

    "These are to notice that Mr. John Elphick, Woollen Draper, over
    against St Michael's Church, in Lewes, hath a good Hearse, a Velvet
    Pall, Mourning Cloaks, and Black Hangings for Rooms, to be lett at
    Reasonable Rates.

    "He also sells all sorts of Mourning and Half Mourning, all sorts
    of Black Cyprus for Scarfs and Hatbands, and White Silks for Scarfs
    and Hoods at Funerals; Gloves of all sorts, and Burying Cloaths for
    the Dead."


    "Eleazar Malory, Joiner at the Coffin in White Chapel, near Red
    Lion Street end, maketh Coffins, Shrouds, letteth Palls, Cloaks,
    and Furnisheth with all the other things necessary for Funerals at
    Reasonable Rates."

(_b_) The dead were formerly buried in woollen, which was rendered
compulsory by the Acts 30 Car. ii. c. 3 and 36 Ejusdem c. i., the first
of which was for "lessening the importation of Linen from beyond the
seas, and the encouragement of the Woollen and Paper Manufactures of
the Kingdome." It prescribed that the curate of every parish shall keep
a register, to be provided at the charge of the parish, wherein to
enter all burials and affidavits of persons being buried in woollen. No
affidavit was necessary for a person dying of the plague, but for every
infringement a fine of £5 was imposed, one half to go to the informer,
and the other half to the poor of the parish. This Act was only
repealed in 1815. The material used was flannel, and such interments
are frequently mentioned in the literature of the time.

(_c_) Misson throws some light on the custom of using flannel for
enveloping the dead, but I fancy that it is of much greater antiquity
than he imagined. However, he asserts:--

    "There is an Act of Parliament which ordains, That the Dead shall
    be bury'd in a Woollen Stuff, which is a kind of a thin Bays, which
    they call Flannel; nor is it lawful to use the least Needleful of
    Thread or Silk. This Shift is always White; but there are different
    Sorts of it as to Fineness, and consequently of different Prices.
    To make these dresses is a particular Trade, and there are many
    that sell nothing else; so that these Habits for the Dead are
    always to be had ready made, of what Size or Price you please,
    for People of Every Age and Sex. After they had washed the Body
    thoroughly clean, and shav'd it, if it be a Man, and his Beard be
    grown during his Sickness, they put it on a Flannel Shirt, which
    has commonly a sleeve purfled about the Wrists, and the Slit of the
    Shirt down the Breast done in the same Manner. When these Ornaments
    are not of Woollen Lace, they are at least edg'd, and sometimes
    embroider'd with black Thread. The Shirt shou'd be at least half
    a Foot longer than the Body, that the feet of the Deceas'd may be
    wrapped in it as in a Bag. When they have thus folded the end of
    the Shirt close to the Feet, they tye the Part that is folded down
    with a piece of Woollen Thread, as we do our stockings; so that the
    end of the Shirt is done into a kind of Tuft. Upon the Head they
    put a Cap, which they fasten with a very broad Chin Cloth, with
    Gloves on the Hands, and a Cravat round the Neck, all of Woollen.
    That the Body may ly the softer, some put a Lay of Bran, about four
    inches thick, at the Bottom of the Coffin. Instead of a Cap, the
    Women have a kind of Head Dress, with a Forehead Cloth."

Funeral invitations of a ghastly kind were sent out, and Elegies,
laudatory of the deceased, were sometimes printed and sent to friends.
These were got up in the same charnel-house style, and embellished with
skulls, human bones, and skeletons. Hat-bands were costly items.

    "For the encouragement of our English silk, called a la modes,
    His Royal Highness the Prince of Denmark, the Nobility, and other
    persons of quality, appear in Mourning Hatbands made of that silk,
    to bring the same in fashion, in the place of Crapes, which are
    made in the Pope's Country where we send our money for them."

(_d_) The poor in Anne's time had already started Burial Clubs and
Societies, and very cheap they seem to have been.

    "This is to give notice that the office of Society for Burials, by
    mutual contribution of a Halfpenny or Farthing towards a Burial,
    erected upon Wapping Wall, is now removed into Katherine Wheel
    Alley, in White Chappel, near Justice Smiths, where subscriptions
    are taken to compleat the number, as also at the Ram in Crucifix
    Lane in Barnaby Street, Southwark, to which places notice is to be
    given of the death of any Member, and where any person may have the
    printed Articles after Monday next. And this Thursday evening about
    7 o'clock will be Buried by the Undertakers, the Corpse of J. S.,
    a Glover, over against the Sun Brewhouse, in Golden Lane; as also
    a child from the corner of Acorn Alley, in Bishopsgate Street, and
    another child from the Great Maze Pond, Southwark."

(_e_) Undertakers liked to arrange for a Funeral to take place on
an evening in winter, as the costs were thereby increased, for then
the Mourners were furnished with wax candles. These were heavy, and
sometimes were made of four tapers twisted at the stem and then
branching out. That these wax candles were expensive enough to excite
the thievish cupidity of a band of roughs, the following advertisement
will show:--

    "Riots and Robberies--Committed in and about Stepney Church Yard,
    at a Funeral Solemnity, on Wednesday, the 23rd day of September;
    and whereas many persons, who being appointed to attend the same
    Funeral with white wax lights of a considerable value, were
    assaulted in a most violent manner, and the said white wax lights
    taken from them. Whoever shall discover any of the Persons, guilty
    of the said crimes, so as they may be convicted of the same, shall
    receive of Mr. William Prince, Wax Chandler in the Poultry, London,
    Ten Shillings for each Person so discovered."

(_f_) We get a curious glimpse of the paraphernalia of a funeral in the
Life of a notorious cheat, "The German Princess," who lived, and was
hanged, in the latter part of the 17th Century, and the same funeral
customs therein described obtained in Queen Anne's time. She took a
lodging at a house, in a good position, and told the landlady that a
friend of hers, a stranger to London, had just died, and was lying at
"a pitiful Alehouse," and might she, for convenience sake, bring his
corpse there, ready for burial on the morrow.

    "The landlady consented, and that evening the Corps in a very
    handsome Coffin was brought in a Coach, and placed in the Chamber,
    which was the Room one pair of Stairs next the Street, and had
    a Balcony. The Coffin being covered only with an ordinary black
    Cloth, our Counterfeit seems much to dislike it; the Landlady tells
    her that for 20s. she might have the use of a Velvet Pall, with
    which being well pleas'd, she desir'd the Landlady to send for the
    Pall, and withal accommodate the Room with her best Furniture,
    for the next day but one he should be bury'd; thus the Landlady
    performed, setting the Velvet Pall, and placing on a Side Board
    Table 2 Silver Candlesticks, a Silver Flaggon, 2 Standing Gilt
    Bowls, and several other pieces of Plate; but the Night before
    the intended Burial, our Counterfeit Lady and her Maid within the
    House, handed to their comrades without, all the Plate, Velvet
    Pall, and other Furniture of the Chamber that was Portable and of
    Value, leaving the Coffin and the supposed Corps, she and her Woman
    descended from the Balcony by help of a Ladder, which her comrades
    had brought her."

It is needless to say that the coffin contained only brickbats and hay,
and a sad sequel to this story is that the undertaker sued the landlady
for the loss of his pall, which had lately cost him £40.

According to a request in the will of one Mr. Benjamin Dodd, a Roman
Catholic, "Citizen and Linnen Draper, who fell from his horse and died
soon after," four and twenty persons were at his burial, to each of
whom he gave a pair of white gloves, a ring of 10s. value, a bottle
of wine, and half-a-crown to be spent on their return that night, "to
drink his Soul's Health, then on her Journey for Purification in order
to Eternal Rest." He also appointed his "Corps" to be carried in a
hearse drawn by six white horses, with white feathers, and followed
by six coaches, with six horses to each coach, and commanded that "no
Presbyterian, Moderate Low Churchmen, or Occasional Conformists, be at
or have anything to do with his Funeral."

(_g_) Parisian funerals at the present day present many features common
to those celebrated in England in the last century. The church, for
instance, is elaborately decorated in black for a married man or woman,
but in white for a spinster, youth, or child. The costumes of the hired
attendants, and these are numerous--I counted one day, quite recently,
no less than twenty-four, two to each coach, all handsomely dressed
in black velvet--are of the time of Louis XV. I am assured that the
expenses of a first-class funeral in Paris, in this year of Grace 1889,
sometimes exceeds several hundred pounds.

The _lettre de faire part_, as it is called, is also a curious feature
in the funeral rites of our neighbours. It is an elaborate document in
the form of a printed letter, deeply edged with black, and informs that
all the members, near and distant, of the deceased's family--they are
each mentioned by name and title--request you, not only to attend the
funeral, but to pray for his or her soul.

The fashion of sending costly wreaths to cover the coffin is recent,
and was quite as unknown in Paris twenty years ago as it was in
this country until about the same period. Wreaths of _immortelles_,
sometimes dyed black, were, however, sent to funerals in France in
the Middle Ages. In Brittany, the "wake" is almost as common as it is
in Ireland, and quite as frequently degenerates into an unedifying
spectacle. Like the Irish custom, it originated in the early Christian
practice of keeping a light burning by the corpse, and in praying for
the repose of the soul, _coram_ the corpse prior to its final removal
to the church and grave, certain pagan customs, the distribution of
wine and bread, having been introduced, at first possibly from a sense
of hospitality, and finally as means of carousal.



      *      *      *      *      *      *

Transcriber's note:

Variable spelling and hyphenation have been retained.

Minor punctuation inconsistencies have been silently corrected.

Some illustrations have been moved from their original position
so as not to interrupt the text.


The first line indicates the original, the second the correction.

p. 20:

  In these, bassirilievi and figures in terra-cotta have been found,
  In these, bassorilievi and figures in terra-cotta have been found,

p. 27:

  at the dawn of the Rennaissance
  at the dawn of the Renaissance

p. 88:

  This coifure has
  This coiffure has

p. 91:

  of this solemn procession can be ormed
  of this solemn procession can be formed

p. 111:

  but in white for a spinister
  but in white for a spinster


The first line indicates the original, the second how it should read.

p. 66:

  "On the 6th of January, 1756, the body of his 'Britannic Majesty' was
  conveyed in great state to the said Church of the Twelve Apostles,"

  "On the 6th of January, 1766, the body of his 'Britannic Majesty' was
  conveyed in great state to the said Church of the Twelve Apostles,"

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A History of Mourning" ***

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