Precious Stones - The Tudors and the Stuarts
( Originally Published 1880 )
HENRY VII was intensely avaricious, and added to his accumulated hoards of gold and jewels by the most grinding tyranny. He continued these practices to the last years of his life, and compelled his wealthy subjects to add to his immense treasures, which he kept, for the most part, under his own key at his manor of Richmond. Previous to his death, however, he made a will which strongly shows his remorse and anxiety, enjoining his young successor to do what he had never had the heart to perform himself, to repair the injuries he had committed, and make restitution to the victims he had plundered.
Hall describes the dress of HENRY VIII on his procession to the Tower previous to the coronation. " His grace wared in his upperst apparrell a robe of crimsyn velvet, furred with armyns ; his jacket or coat of raised gold ; the placard embroidered with diamonds, rubies, emeraudes, great pearles, and other rich stones ; a great bauderike about his neck of large balasses."
The same chronicler, who was present at the famous meeting of the Cloth of Gold, has given a lively detail of the gorgeous scene, in which gold and silver dresses, velvets, and jewellery were in the greatest profusion. Such was the insane desire to outshine each other by the French and English nobility, that many of them mortgaged and sold their estates to gratify their vanity, and changed their extravagantly splendid dresses twice daily during the meeting.
" Today the French
The banqueting chamber at Calais was hung with tissue, the seams being covered with broad wreaths of goldsmith's work, full of precious stones and pearls.
It was here that King Henry presented Anne Boleyn, with whom he had danced, the maid of honour of his first queen, with a jewel valued at fifteen thousand crowns.
Hall describes the rich dress of this monarch on his wedding with Anne of Cleves. The sleeves and breast were cut and lined with cloth of gold, and clasped with great buttons of diamonds, rubies, and orient pearls. His sword and girdle were adorned with precious stones with special emeralds ; his cap was garnished with jewels so richly, that few men could value them.
The bride wore a caul, and over that a round bonnet or cap, set full of orient pearls, and about her neck " she had a partlet set full of rich stones."
Henry VIII. is described as attending at St. Paul's (October 3rd, 1515) on the occasion of the proclamation of the peace between France, England, the Pope, the Emperor, and the King of Spain. The king's upper garment was of crimson satin lined with brocade, and a tunic of purple velvet powdered with precious stones : viz., a stone and a large pearl alternately, the jewels being rubies, sapphires, turquoises, and diamonds, all of the best water, and sparkling. He also wore a collar thickly studded with the finest carbuncles, as large as walnuts.
In the picture by Hans Holbein, at Hampton Court Palace, of Henry VIII. and his family, the king is represented with a jewelled dagger, a magnificent collar of twisted pearls, with ruby medallion, a dalmatica edged with pearls, a hat of black velvet adorned with pearls. On his breast is a large medallion jewel having the appearance of a watch.
Henry demanded of Francis I., King of France, the jewels of his sister Mary, who had married Louis XII., and the Duke of Suffolk was entrusted with the commission. At her marriage "a great diamond and a tablet with a great round pearl " formed part of the bridal offerings. The Earl of Worcester wrote from Paris in glowing terms of "the goodliest and richest sight of jewels that ever he saw." The uxorious disposition of King Louis, the " Father of his People," as he was called, and the marital value he attached to his precious gems, I have already alluded to (page 148). It was, however, only in this respect that he was prodigal of his jewels.
The day after the marriage, the king gave her " a ruby two inches and a half long, and as big as a man's finger, hanging by two chains of gold at every end." Every day he gave her rings " with stones of great estimation."
These jewels, and Mary's claim to them, were the basis of a long and intricate negotiation. The jewels, with the exception of four rings, were never returned, on the beggarly plea that Francis was displeased at the loss of the diamond called the " Mirror of Naples." This jewel was valued by the Chancellor of France at thirty thousand crowns.
Thomas Gresham, the merchant prince, was commissioned by EDWARD VI., in 155I, to treat with the Fuggers of Germany, the richest traders of the day, turned into noblemen by Charles V. of Germany, in which, among other "bargains," he was to pay a hundred thousand crowns for "a very fair jewel, four rubies marvellously big, one orient and great diamond, and one great pearl."
Notwithstanding her morose character, QUEEN MARY inherited from her father Henry VIII. the Tudor love for display in jewellery. On her marriage to Philip of Spain she was sumptuously adorned. Her robe, with its ample train, was bordered with pearls and diamonds of immense size and value ; the large sleeves were turned up with clusters of gold, set with pearls and diamonds. Her chapeau, or coif, was bordered with two rows of large diamonds. The queen also wore on her breast a remarkable diamond of inestimable value, sent to her as a gift from Philip whilst he was still in Spain.
Queen Mary's riding-dress is thus described :—' She wore a small coif ; a band of the most costly jewels passed over her head, and clasped under the chin ; she had a carcanet of jewels round the throat, connected with a splendid owche and pear-pearl fastened on the chest ; also jewelled bracelets. The corsage of the dress, tight and tapering, was girt at the waist with a cordilière of gems. The skirt of the robe was open from the waist, but closed at pleasure by aglets, or clasps, studded with jewels."
Mary, on her dying bed, sent her jewels to her sister Elizabeth. To these, by King Philip's orders, was added a very precious casket of gems which he had left at St. James's Palace, knowing that Elizabeth particularly admired them.
Mary left by will to King Philip, to keep " for a memory of her," a jewel, " being a table diamond which the Emperor's Majesty, his and my most honourable father, sent unto me by Count Egmont at the insurance (betrothal of my said lord and husband); also another table diamond which his Majesty sent unto me by the Marquis de los Naves, and the collar of gold set with nine diamonds, the which his Majesty gave me the Epiphany after our marriage."
However remarkable for the rich display of jewels was the court of Henry VIII., that of ELIZABETH, who inherited her royal father's passion for these precious ornaments, was still more extravagant. In her youth she had entertained, or more probably affected, a distaste for jewellery. " The king, her father," says Dr. Aylmer, " left her rich clothes and jewels, and I know it to be true that in seven years after his death, she never, in all that time, looked upon that rich attire and precious jewels but once, and that against her will, and that there never came gold or stone in her head, till her sister forced her to lay off her former soberness, and bear her company in her glittering gayness, and then she so wore that all men might see that her body carried that which her heart misliked."
This abnegation of vanity and ostentation was, however, whether feigned or not, but of short duration, for she soon outshone every sovereign in Christendom by the profusion and rarity of the jewels with which she was literally covered. Bacon gives some reason for this at the risk of his gallantry, for the court adulations to the last were on her grace and " fair " countenance. " She imagined," says Bacon, " that the people who are much influenced by externals would be diverted by the glitter of her jewels from noticing the decay of her personal attractions." If such were the queen's thoughts as age wore upon her, they are but the same feminine notions that generally prevail throughout time, in most countries.
In the portrait of Queen Elizabeth at Henham Hall, Suffolk, she is represented with an enormous ruff, radiated till it rose like a winged background behind the lofty fabric of jewels she wore on her head, and at last overtopped the cross of her regal diadem. She has a rich carcanet, or collar, of rubies, amethysts, and pearls, set in a beautiful gold filagree pattern, with large pear-shaped pearls depending from each lozenge. The bodice of her dress is ornamented with jewels set in gold filagree of the same pattern as the carcanet. The gigot sleeves are surmounted on the shoulder with puffs of gold gauze, separated with rubies and amethysts, and two small rouleaux wreathed with pearls and bullion. The sleeves are decorated with jewels to match the bodice. She wears the jewel and ribbon of the Garter about her neck. The George is a large oval medallion decorated with rubies and amethysts.
No Queen of England has ever been represented with such a blaze of jewels as Elizabeth. Horace Walpole, speaking of her portraits, says :—" There is not one that can be called beautiful. The profusion of ornaments with which they are loaded are marks of her continual fondness for dress, while they entirely exclude all grace, and leave no more room for a painter's genius than if he had been employed to copy an Indian idol, totally composed of hands and neck-laces. A pale Roman nose, a head of hair loaded with crowns and powdered with diamonds, a vast ruff, a vaster fardingale, and a bushel of pearls, are features by which everybody knows at once the picture of Elizabeth."
Elizabeth seems to have had a passion for pearls. The now faded waxwork effigy preserved in Westminster Abbey (and which lay on her coffin, arrayed in royal robes, at her funeral, and caused, as Stowe states, "such a general sighing, groaning, and weeping, as the like hath not been seen or known in the memory of man ") exhibits large, round, Roman pearls in the stomacher; a carcanet of large round pearls, etc., about her throat ; her neck ornamented with long strings of pearls; her high-heeled shoe-bows having in the centre large pearl medallions. Her earrings are circular pearl and ruby medallions, with large pear-shaped pearl pendants. This, of course, represents her as she dressed towards the close of her life. In the Tollemache collection at Ham House is a miniature of her, however, when about twenty, which shows the same taste as existing at that age. She is there depicted in a black dress, trimmed with a double row of pearls. Her point-lace ruffles are looped with pearls, etc. Her head-dress is decorated in front with a jewel set with pearls, from which three pear-shaped pearls depend. And, finally, she has large pearl-tassel earrings. In the Henham Hall portrait, the ruff is confined by a collar of pearls, rubies, etc., set in a gold filagree pattern, with large pear-shaped pearls depending from each lozenge. The sleeves are ornamented with rouleaux, wreathed with pearls and bullion. The lappets of her head-dress are also adorned at every " crossing " with a large round pearl. Her gloves, moreover, were always of white kid, richly embroidered with pearls, etc., on the backs of the hands. A poet of that day asserts even that at the funeral procession, when the royal corpse was rowed from Richmond, to lie in state at Whitehall
" Fish wept their eyes of pearl quite out, And swam blind after."
Elizabeth's christening gift from the Duchess of Norfolk was a cup of gold, fretted with ',earls, that noble lady being (says Miss Strickland) " completely unconscious of the chemical antipathy between the acidity of wine and the misplaced pearls."
It seems to have been the custom of every one connected with the court to give presents to Queen Elizabeth on her birthday, and as her Majesty's weakness for jewellery was well known, articles enriched with precious stones were chiefly given, such as fans, bracelets, caskets studded with jewels, etc. Among the gifts in 1572 we find :
" One juell of golde, being part of the History of Samson, standing upon an emeralde, having also an emeralde in thone hand, and a little rock rubye on his shoulder ; the pillor standing upon two fayre dyamondes, and the upper parte of the pillor garnished with a border of sparks of dyamond on thone side ; upon the top thearof a fayre rock-rubye, the backside of the said juell being a plate of gold enamuled.
" A juell of golde, being a fish called the bull of the sea, fully garnished with dyamonds and rubyes on thone syde, and the other syde having a fynne lykewise garnished, and a man kneeling upon the same, his bodye and hedd garnished with small dyamondes and rubyes. The same juell hanging at three small chains, garnished with six small knobbes, having sparkes of dyamondes and rubyes, and a little knobbe at thende thearof, having two little dyamondes and two rubyes, and a large perle pearefation, pendante.
"A juell, being a chrisolite, garnished with golde, flagon-facyon, thone side sett with two emenaldes, thone of them a little cracked, thnee dyamonds and two sparcks of turquesses ; thother side having in it a clocke, a border about the same flagon of golde, garnished with eight table-rubys and four dyamonds, the foote garnished with four small pointed dyamonds, and twelve sparks of rubyes, and four very lytle perles, also pendante ; the mowthe of the said flaggon made with five pillors, a man standing therin every pillor, sett with a little dyamonde, a little emeralde, and a little rubye, and six litle perles upon the same pillors ; the sam flaggon hangeth at a cheyne of golde having three knotts with two small dyamonds the peece, also hanging a knobbe having three by the sparcks of diamonds, and three very lytle perles."
During the royal progress in 1573, some costly " juelles " were given to the queen, who generally re-turned these compliments with presents of " plate," very inferior in value, to her various favourites.
In 1582 Sir William Drury presented a " new year's gift "to Queen Elizabeth, "a juell of gold being a pommander, garnished with sparcks of diamonds, rubyes, and perles," and Mrs. Francis Drury gave " a forck of corrall garnished slightly with gold. In 1584 Sir William gave her majesty another "jeuell of golde being two snakes wounde together, garnished with sparcks of rubyes, one small diamond, one small emeralde, on the one side, and three very small perles pendant, and a white dove in the midst, garnished with three small rubyes."
In the list of Queen Elizabeth's wardrobe (1600) the coronation robes are described, also the jewels which are thus mentioned ___
" Item. In colletts of golde, in everie collet one ballas (a species of ruby of a vermeil rose colour), one being broken.
" Item. One small jewell of golde, like a white lyon with a flie on his side, standing on a base or foote, garnished with twoe opalls, twoe verie little pearles, fyve rubies, one rubie pendaunte, and twoe little shorte cheines on the backe of the lyon.
" Item. One fearne braunche, having therein a lyzard, a lady-cow (ladybird), and a snaile.
" Item. One jewell of golde, with a flue and a spider in it upon a rose.
" Item. In buttons and camews (cameos).
" Item. One jewell of golde, like an Irish darte, garnished with fower small diamondes.
" Item. In great rounde buttons of golde enameled with sondry colours, each set with small sparcks of rubies, and one pearle in the midst called great bucklers.
" Item. One jewell of golde like a frogg, garnished with diamondes.
" Item. In buttons of golde, like tortoyses, in each one a pearle.
" Item. One jewell of golde like a dasye, and small flowers aboute it, garnished with sparks of diamondes and rubies, with her majestie's picture graven within a garnet, and a sprigge of three braunches, garnished with sparks of rubies, one peanle in the topp, and a small pendaunte of sparks of diamondes."
In the library of Thomas Astle, Esq., F.R.S., was a list of Queen Elizabeth's jewels and plate signed by Lord Burghley, Sir Ralph Sadleir, and Sir Walter Mildmay. The introduction to the book states :—" This Booke made the xiii. daye of Marche, in the xvi. yeare of the reigne of our sovereigne lady Elizabeth, by the grace of God Queene of Englande, Fraunce, and Irelande, defendour of the faith, etc., doth particularly conteinn all such parcells of the queen's majestie's jewelles, plate, and other stuff as remaine the said daye and yere in the custodie and charge of John Asteley, esquire, master and threasurour of her highness juells," etc.
The Earl of Leicester in his will recites, " the token I do bequeath unto her majesty is the jewell with three fair emeralds, with a fair large table diamond in the midst, without a soil, and set about with many diamonds without soil, and a rope of fair white pearls to the number of six hundred to hang the said jewel, all which pearl and jewel were once purposed for her majesty against her coming to Wansted, but it must now thus be disposed."
The last few words have in them something affecting, as showing amidst so much that was deceptive and artificial in the relations of the earl with his royal mistress, a feeling of loyal attachment ; yet the selfish queen had his personal effects sold by public auction to liquidate his debts to her.
The Countess of Leicester (Letitia Knollys) was afterwards married to Sir Christopher Blount. She had the reputation of being rich in jewels, and how Blount got rid of them is shown in the Harleian MSS. Among these is the following curious account :—
" The first year Sir Christopher Blount was married he sold many great jewels, and has continued the same course almost every year since. Three years past were sold to the Earl of Essex, against a great chain of pearl, a fair table-diamond, and a pointed ruby, for which he received 3000 lbs. The Countess of Northumberland bought two pendant pearls. At my lady's being last in London were sold two fair collars and other jewels, pearls, and precious stones."
Following the example of their jewel-loving monarch, the ladies of the court loaded their persons with precious stones, which were profusely displayed on the bodices and skirts of brocade gowns, and vanity soon discovered that the farthingale, the stiff whale-bone framework under the upper skirt, formed an excellent show-case for family jewels.
Instead of following the borrowing propensities of many previous sovereigns, Queen Elizabeth did some capital business as a lender, and proved, as she was in other matters, a shrewd dealer. She left behind her a cupboard of plate, belonging to the House of Burgundy, which she held as security for advances made to the States of Brabant.
In the Inventories of MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS, published by the Bannatyne Club (1843), we have some curious particulars of the jewels of that sovereign, which, in the momentous events of the royal career, passed into different hands, sometimes under sad and romantic circumstances.
Like Queen Elizabeth, Mary was lavish in her display of jewellery. The splendour of her attire at her marriage with the Dauphin of France, in 1558, is mentioned in a Rouen contemporary of the ceremonial, as "so glorious in its fashion and decoration, that it is impossible for any pen to do justice to its details." Her regal mantle, of marvellous length, was covered with precious stones. On this occasion Queen Mary wore a crown royal composed of the finest gold, and of the most exquisite workmanship, set with diamonds, pearls, rubies, and emeralds of immense value, having in the centre a pendant carbuncle, valued at 500,000 crowns. About her neck hung a matchless jewel, suspended by chains of precious stones, which, from its description, must have been that known in Scottish history as the " Great Harry." This was not one of the crown jewels, but her own personal property, having been derived from her royal English great-grandfather, Henry VII., by whom it was presented to her grandmother, Queen Margaret Tudor.
On the death of her husband, Queen Mary left France, and arrived in Scotland (1561), bringing with her a multitude of splendid dresses, etc., and, says Bishop Lesley, " mony costlie jeweils and goldin wark, precious stones, orient pearle, maist excellent of any that was in Europe."
In the inventory above-mentioned there is no trace of the diamond heart which was sent by Mary, soon after her arrival in Scotland, to Queen Elizabeth, with some French verses, written, it is said, by the Scottish Queen herself.
Almost all the portraits of Mary Queen of Scots represent her adorned with jewellery, nearly as abundant as those which distinguish the portraits of her jealous rival, Queen Elizabeth ; the dresses also are very similar, only the ruff of the Scottish Queen is of less imposing height and amplitude.
An inventory of Queen Mary's wardrobe, besides a large number of costly dresses, includes a rich variety of hoods, coifs, cauls, bonnets, and cornettes of velvet, silk, damask, crape, and other costly materials, embroidered with gold, silver, silk, and pearls. With these she wore her regal frontlet of jewellers' work and gems. Her veils, mostly of crape, were adorned with pearls. Mary's wardrobe included fifty dresses of great richness and elegance ; but she was eclipsed in this particular by Queen Elizabeth, who had two thousand magnificent dresses.
" In a testamentary document," observes Miss Strickland, " executed by Mary Queen of Scots before the birth of her son,when under the melancholy impression that she would die in childbed, reference is made to the disposal of her jewels, that were her own personal property. She has written against each of them, with her own hand, the name of the person to whom it was to be given after her death, in case her infant should not survive her. Among the bequests to her husband, the unfortunate Darnley, are a ` Saint Michael, made of forty diamonds; a chain of diamonds and pearls, formed of twenty-four pieces each, deco-rated with two diamonds and twenty-four cordelières of pearls ; twelve great buttons, decorated with twelve roses of diamonds ; twelve other great precious stones, ballas rubies ; four hundred and four buttons of Venetian work, enamelled white, every one set with a ruby ; seventy-one buttons, great, middle-size, and small, every one set with a ballas ruby ; twenty-seven buttons, each set with a sapphire ; sixteen little chatons (cats' eyes), every one set with a sapphire ; a watch decorated with ten diamonds, two rubies, and a cordon of gold. The first bequest in her will was for the honour of the crown she had inherited. She leaves to it the ` Great Harry ;' another jewel of the same fashion ; a grand diamond cross ; a chain enriched with rubies and diamonds ; a necklace of diamonds, rubies, and pearls ; and a large diamond, set in an enamelled finger-ring. These seem to have been among her most precious jewels ; and she desires that an Act might be passed, annexing them to the crown of Scotland, in remembrance of herself and of the Scottish alliance with the House of Lorraine. Seven jewels, containing what appear to have been her largest diamonds, she bequeaths for ornaments to the Queens of Scotland, under injunction not to change the setting, nor to give the pieces away, but to keep them with the crown for evermore."
In the same inventory are two costly ruby chains, formed of twelve pieces, every one set with two rubies, two diamonds, and twenty-four pearls ; one for the king, her husband, and the other for her godson, Francis Stuart, "a diamond fashioned like a face, and a pointed diamond set in black enamel, for her mother-in-law, the Countess of Lennox. To Both-well, a table diamond set in black enamel ; and another mourning jewel, set with eleven diamonds and one ruby ; to Lady Bothwell, a coif, collar, and pair of sleeves, decorated with rubies, pearls, and garnets.
The dispersion of Queen Mary's jewels and treasures would seem to have began, like other graver misfortunes, with her infatuated passion for Bothwell. Before the middle of June, 1567, when they parted on Carberry Hill, never to meet again, she had lavished upon him jewels valued at more than twenty thousand crowns, or six thousand pounds sterling. These, and the distribution of jewels as personal gifts, with others, that served, very opportunely, in the various emergencies in which the unfortunate Queen found herself ; will afford some idea of the extraordinary quantity of precious articles in her possession. " They have, moreover" (remarks Madame de Barrera), " acquired great historical celebrity, from the frequency with which they were claimed, in her appeals for mercy and justice during her long captivity, and the rapacity with which her royal jailer, and other enemies, sought or retained the possession of these glittering spoils."
A few days before Mary effected her escape, the Regent Moray had sent a costly parure of pearls Mary's personal property, which she had brought with her from France, with a choice selection of her other jewels, very secretly to London, by her trusty agent, Sir Nicholas Elphinstone, who undertook to negotiate their sale. As the pearls were considered the most magnificent in Europe, Queen Elizabeth was complimented with the first offer of them. " She saw them yesterday " (writes Bochetel la Forrest, the French ambassador at the court of England, to Catherine de Medicis) " in the presence of the Earls of Pembroke and Leicester, and pronounced them to be of unparalleled beauty." He thus describes them :—" There are six cordons of large pearls, strung as paternosters, but there are five-and-twenty separate from the rest, much finer and larger than those which are strung. These are for the most part like black muscades " (a very rare and valuable variety of pearl, having the deep purple colour and bloom of the Muscatel grape). " They had not been here more than three days, when they were appraised by various merchants, this queen wishing to have them at the sum named by the jeweller, who would have made his profit by selling them again. They were first shown to three or four working jewellers and lapidaries, by whom they were estimated at £3,000 sterling (about ten thousand crowns), and who offered to give that sum for them. Several Italian merchants came after them, who valued them at twelve thousand crowns, which is the price, as I am told, this queen (Elizabeth) will take them at. There is a Genevese who saw them after the others, and said they were worth sixteen thousand crowns, but I think they will allow her to have them for twelve thousand. In the meantime I have not delayed giving your Majesty timely notice of what is going on, though I doubt she will not allow them to escape her. The rest of the jewels are not so valuable as the pearls." Mary's royal mother-in-law of France (observes Miss Strickland)—no whit more scrupulous than her good cousin of England—was eager to compete with the latter for the purchase of the pearls, knowing that they were worth nearly double the sum at which they had been valued at London. Some of them she had herself presented to Mary, and especially desired to recover, but the ambassador wrote in reply " that he had found it impossible to accomplish her desire of obtaining the Queen of Scots' pearls, for, as he had told her from the first, they were intended for the gratification of the Queen of England, who had been allowed to purchase them at her own price, and was now in possession of them."
When (as Miss Strickland relates) Mary fled from her capital to begin the disastrous campaign which closed at Carberry, most of her jewels were in Edinburgh Castle, and they remained there after the fortress surrendered to the Regent Moray. He gave it in keeping to Kirkaldy, of Grange, and when that mirror of Scottish knighthood, yielding to his own chivalrous impulses, and to the persuasive eloquence of Lethington, passed over to the queen's side on the death of Moray, the castle and its contents remained with him. During the three years it was held for the queen, her diamonds were the garrison's chief source of credit. In 1570 when Grange was straining every nerve to strengthen its defences, he seems to have sent some of the queen's jewels, dresses, and hangings to be sold in London. But the watchful ministers of the English queen not only stopped the sale, on the pretext that (as they affirmed) it was without Mary's consent, but ordered the articles to be detained. The English market being thus closed against him, Grange turned elsewhere. It is related that his brother appeared in Leith Roads, in a little bark, laden with munitions and stores bought in France with the price of a parcel of the queen's diamonds.
About a twelvemonth afterwards, another parcel seems to have been sold to a secret agent of Queen Elizabeth for £2,500. Other parcels were, it is said, at different times given in pledge to Edinburgh merchants, goldsmiths, and others, for money advanced by them, to supply the needs of the garrison. When, at length, the English cannon without, and, want and mutiny within, forbade all hope of further resistance, and terms of capitulation began to be debated, one of the articles was that Grange should account for all the queen's jewels and other moveables. But the implacable Morton, who had now succeeded to the regency, would agree to nothing but unconditional surrender, and rather than suffer what remained of the jewels to fall into his hands, the garrison seem to have hidden a part of them in a crevice of the castle rock, and to have delivered others to Sir William Drury, the commander of the English troops. It was whispered that Grange carried some away concealed on his person, but this he indignantly denied.
The jewels hidden in the castle were discovered without much difficulty, and among them were the " Honours," as the crown, sceptre, and sword of state were fondly called among a people to whom they were dear as the visible signs of a hardly-won national independence. It was not, however, so easy to recover the spoil which had passed into the hands of the English commander. But Morton addressed him-self to the English court, and, although he had to contend against the claim of the Queen of Scots, he succeeded, except the detention of some diamonds on which monies had been advanced, and of one jewel which had found its way into Queen Elizabeth's possession.
Parliament had given the new regent powers for the recovery of the Queen's diamonds and moveables which had fallen into private hands, and he hastened to proceed against all who had jewels and household stuff in their keeping, whether by gift, by purchase, in pledge for monies lent, or otherwise. He recovered six jewels which had been pawned with the Provost of Edinburgh for 2,600 marks, and a pearl necklace, and fifteen diamonds which had been pawned to Lady Home for £600. The " Great Harry" was recovered from the widow Moray, after fruitless endeavours to obtain it. This jewel survived James's accession to the English throne, when its large diamond was taken to adorn a new and still more splendid jewel, the " Mirror of Great Britain," which is thus described in the " Inventory of the Jewels in the Tower of London, March 22nd, 1605," in ancient calendars, and in the " Inventories of the Treasury of the Exchequer " (vol. ii. p. 305), "A greate and ryche jewell of golde, called the Myrror of Great Brytayne, conteyninge one verie fayre table diamonde ; one verye fayre table rubye ; twoe other lardge diamondes cut lozengewise, the one of them called the stone of the letter H of Scotland, garnyshed with small diamondes, twoe rounde perles, fixed, and one fayre dyamonde cutt in fawcettis, bought of Sauncey."
We find what remained of the " Great Harry," the gold-setting, the chain, and the ruby, among the jewels for which the king gave a discharge to the Earl of Dunbar in July, 1606; "The jewell callit the H, with the chaine thairof, and als with the rubie of the samyn." (Thomson's " Collection of Inventories.")
The widow of Moray had baffled Queen Mary, Huntley, and Lennox, and did not yield to the Regent Morton without an obstinate struggle, in which the English Queen had to interpose again and again. On February 3rd, 1573-4, the Regent Morton and the Lords of the Council gave judgment against the countess and her second husband, the Earl of Argyle, for refusing to restore, or even to produce, " thre greit rubyes and thre greit dyamontis, with ane greit jewell in the forme of an H set with dyamontis." An appeal was at once taken to Parliament. On July 18th, 1574, Killigrew writes to Walsingham as to the need of Queen Elizabeth's interference for my Lord of Argyle and his lady. On August 12th we hear of the conditions upon which the Regent of Scotland, at the request of the Queen of England, will agree that the Earl and Countess of Argyle shall retain in their hands certain jewels belonging to the King of Scotland. Seven days afterwards the earl and the countess write to Queen Elizabeth thanking her for her intercession with the regent. On the same day the earl writes to Killigrew that he means to agree to the conditions proposed to him and the countess in respect of the king's jewels, in regard of which they had been so extremely handled. A conference took place between the regent and the earl, but the result was unsatisfactory ; and on September loth the countess writes once more to Queen Elizabeth complaining of further demands made by the regent respecting the king's jewels, and requesting that her majesty will again write to him. Nine days after, there is a letter from Robert Fletcher to Killigrew urging the necessity of the English Queen's intercession. At length, on March 5th, 1574-5, the Earl of Argyle appears before the regent in council, and delivers up "ane greit H of diamont, with ane rubye pendant thairat ; sex uther jowellis, thairof thre dyamontis and the uther thre rubyis intromettit with and kepit bi the said Dame Agnes and hir said spous, sen the deceis of the said umquhile Erll of Moray."
There are many curious and deeply-interesting relics of Mary Queen of Scots in the possession of favoured individuals, of undoubted genuine character. Amongst these Miss Strickland mentions a watch of French workmanship belonging to the Rev. Mr. Torrance, minister of Glencross, which, together with an elegant little jewel called a solitaire, were given, or bequeathed by Mary, the night before her execution, to a French lady named Massie, the ancestress of the late possessor, Dr. Scott. The watch itself is small and circular, in a black shagreen case, studded with gold stars, with a central cross formed of fleurs-de-lys. The dial plate is of white enamel, somewhat larger than a shilling, with antique Roman figures in black. The maker's name is Etienne Hubert, of Rouen. A thread of catgut supplies the place of the chain used in the works of modern watches. The catgut is not found in watches later than those of the sixteenth century. The solitaire is one of those light elegant triangular jewels, with which the portraits of Mary are sometimes adorned, having a tiny enamelled Cupid in the character of a court fool, with his cap, bells, and bauble. This jewel is of the most delicate workmanship, and of purest gold, the gems are table-cut diamonds, and garnets, and pendant pearls. On the back of the straight bar, under the little figure, is a Latin motto, signifying, " He looks simple, but he is not."
Another affecting relic of Mary Stuart is her harp, now in possession of the Stuart family of Dalguise, Perthshire, which was originally adorned with a portrait of the queen, and the arms of Scotland, in solid gold, enriched with several gems, two of which were considered of great value, but these were stolen during the civil wars. This was her favourite harp, and at a music meeting she proclaimed it as the prize of the best performer. It was adjudged to Beatrice Gardyn, whose delivery of a simple Scotch ballad enchanted the queen. It is on this incident that Hogg founded his charming poem of the " Queen's Wake."
The harp was strung anew, tuned, and played on, in the year 1806.
One of the first acts of JAMES I. on arriving in England was to order an inventory to be made of all the jewels and valuables left by Elizabeth ; and to collect those she had allowed to remain in the charge of certain lords and ladies. The Earl of Suffolk was asked to replace a quarter of a million's worth, but he put in a plea of condonation. Among the crown jewels inventoried by the order of King James, was a crown imperial of gold ; two circlets of gold ; fifteen gold collars; a great and rich jewel of gold called the ` Mirror of Great Britain,' containing one very fair table diamond, one very fair table ruby, two other large diamonds cut lozenge-wise, garnished with small diamonds, two round pearls, and one fair diamond cut in fawcets."
With regard to the Stuarts, James I., in 1617, was much offended with the aldermen of London because they refused to advance him £100,000 upon the crown jewels, that sum being wanted to defray the moiety of the cost of his progress into Scotland ; however, he contrived to raise £60,000 upon them in some other quarter. Two years afterwards, Chamberlain, writing to Sir Dudley Carleton that the King intended making a petty " progress " to Oatlands, Oking, and Windsor, says, " We are driven to hard-ships for money, and all too little, so that we are fain to make sale of jewels for twenty thousand pounds to furnish out this progress ;" but it seems that his Majesty, or her Majesty—for they were the Queen's jewels that were pledged on this occasion—could not persuade Master Peter Van Lore to advance more than £i8,000. Chamberlain consoles himself with the reflection, that " the choice of pearls and other rare jewels are not touched, among which there is a carquenet of round and long pearls, rated at £40,000, in the judgement of Lord Digby and others, the fairest that are to be found in Christendom."
The Accounts and Vouchers of Jewels furnished by George Heriot, the court jeweller, to Anne of Denmark, consort to James I., from the year 1605 to 1615, present some curious features of the predilection for jewellery of the Queen, and the fashions of royalty at that period. The total of Heriot's accounts, in little more than ten years, amounted to nearly £40,000, a large sum at that period. The following are extracts ; the orthography, it may be observed, is as in the original accounts, and the money all sterling :
" A Note of the Jewells received by Mr. George Herriott, at the handis of the Queene's most excellent Matie to be impawned, viz.: May 1, 1609.—One gold ring sett with a lairg thick table diamond, and set round about with small table diamondis; a rose jewell opening for a picture, sett on both the sides with diamondis ; a crosse of gold, sett with seven diamondis and two rocke rubies. November, 1609.—A jewell in fashion of a bay leafe, opening for a picture, sett with diamondis.
"All which jewelles were, as he affirmeth, by her Mat's commandment, impawned for the soume of mcccvli. xvs. The interest whereof, from the first of May, 1609, to the first of March, 1615, being six yeires and x moneths, amt. vnto the somes of mccxxxviijli. xxviijth of April, 1613, a jewell in fashion of a rose, set on the one side with diamondis, laid to pawne for the soume of vijcli. The interest, from the xxiijth of April, 1613, to the xxiiijth of Febyr., 1616, being two yeares and x moneths, is ccxxijli. xs. Total, ixcxxijli. xs.
" [A Breef of the Jewellis Mr. Heriott pawned for her Matie delivered to my Lo. Cooke.] For a diamond to be paid on bond, 12001i. A bound deated the xxix of Merch, 1613, off twelff hundreth punds, for which is pawned a ffayre round jewell, from George Abercromy vnto the Lady Rommeny, dwell-in ffischmunger layne. Since the daett aboue-wrettin there is one half yeares enterest payed.
" Mr. Heriottis bill of 14201i. 13s. 4d., to give satisfaction for the receipt of ixcxxli. of the Lord Knyvett. —Bought and receaued from our jeweller, George Heriote, theis jewells and other things under-written, furnished by him vnto us from the xxxist of December, 1605, to the xx of September, 1606, extendinge in all to the some of one thowssand ffower hundred and twentie pownds 13S. 4d. sterlinge Sould and deliuered to the Queene's most excellent Matie from the xth of Aprill, 1607, to the xth of February followinge, by George Heriote, her Highnes' jeweller, these jewells and other furnishings underwritten, extending in all to the some of One Thowsand, Sixe Hundred, Three-score One Pownds, Three Shillings Sterlinge.
" Imprimis, sould and deliured to her Matie one tablet for a picture sett with diamonds on the one side, price ljvjli. Item, for fower ounces of fyne musk de Levant, at xxxviijs. the ounce, vijli. xijs. Item, half an ounce of fine cynett, ijli. xs. Item, for a glass of balsome, ijli. Item, for garnishing of a pendant saphier, xxs. Item, for garnishing of a pendant dyamond, xxs. Item, for one eare-ringe conteyning xxxiiij diamonds, xxijli. Item, to her Matie on the xiij of Maye, one ring, with a table diamond on the head, and sett about the bodie with diamonds, xlvjli. Item, for making of an eare-ringe, xs. Item, made to her Matie a backside for a tablett, weighing in gold xviij pennywaight, extends to ijli. xiiijs. Item, for makinge of it, iijli. Item, sould and deliuered to her Matie on the xvijth of June, one ring, with a great pointed diamond, Item, for a casse of crimson veluett for a tablett, with her Matte's picture, xijs. Item, the same daie, to her Matie a hoop ring, grauen, xvjs. Item, deliuered to Margarett Hartsyde, a ring set all about with diamonds, and a table diamond on the head, which she gave me to understand was by her Matié s direction, price xxxli. Item, furnished to a tablet made for to be sent to her Mat's mother, the Queene of Denmark, xvj table diamonds, at xlvs. the peece, xxxvili. Item, furnished to the said tablett xxxvi diamonds at xxs. the peece, xxvjli. Item, vj diamonds iijli. the peece, xviijli. Item, ij diamonds at vli. the peece, xli. Item, for the diamond in the midle of the backsyde of the said tablet, xxxiiijli. Item, for making the said tablet, xxxijli. Item, for a case of veluet to it, xijs. Item, to her Matie, the xiiijth of September, one ring sett with ix diamonds, price xxxiijli. Item, on the ffyrst of October, one ring contayning v diamonds, viili. xs. Item, to her Matie on the iiijth of October, a little pendant in the form of a c, contayning xix diamonds, xxli. Item, to her Matie the viijth of October, a ring of a cross of diamonds, xxvli. Item, for gold and makinge of a braslett of diamonds, saphiers, and pearle, ijli. Item, on the xxth of October, a ring set about with diamonds, xxiijli. Item, a ring contayninge v diamonds, viijli. Item, one eare-ringe, sett with a table. 14th of March, a ring set with iiij diamondis, in forme of a rosse, xxxvli. Item, for, the garnishing of vi doge collers, weighing in silver xix ounces, iiijli. xvs. Item, for the workmanshipe of the said collers, ijli. xs. Item, boght to the said collers, ij ounces iij quarters of silver lace, at vs. vjd. ounce, xvs. id. ob. Item, for making up of the said collers, at ijs. the peice, inde xijs. Item, for gold and makinge of a clasp for the froge jewell, xs. Item, on the 15th of Aprill, 1606, a jewell set with diamondis, weighing in gold ij ounces vij penyweights, inde vijli. xjs. iijd. Item, for making of the said jewel, xxxli. Item, a purceland cup, and putting it on a foote, vjs. Item, garnished a coller for a doge, weighing in silver one ounce and a half, vijs. vjd. Item, for the workmanship of it, vs. Item, the xth of Maye, a diamond ring in forme of a herte, vli. xs. Item, the xxijth of Maye, a ring set all about with diamondis, xxijli. Item, for setynge a ring twyce in plaine gold, and againe in a ring amellit black, jli. Item, for mending of the tablet of the Kinge of Denmarke's picture, xs. Item, on the viijth of September, a ring set all about with diamondis, xxxijli. Item, a ring set with ix diamondis, at xxixli. Item, for a glasse of whyte balsome jli. xs. Item, a diamond set in a ring, of a hert betwixt two handis, iiijli. xs.
" Summa of the particularis aforesaid is just one thowssand ffower hundred and twentie pownds 13s. 4d. sterlinge. Which was payed as followeth, viz.: by Mistris Hartsyde, the some of ffyve hundred powndis ; and by the Lord Knyvett, the some of nyne hundred and twentie powndis. GEORGE HERIOTE."
" Janewarie, 1605.
"Imprimis, on the xxxith of December, one ring set all about with diamonds, with one diamond in the toppe, cut in forme of a rosse, at the pryce of jcxxli. Item, one other ring, set all about with diamondis, at lxli. Item, one rocke ring, set with xj diamondis, at xxxviijli. Item, a ring set with ix diamondis, at xxxiiijli. Item, a ring set with vij diamondis, at xviijli. Item, a ring set about with diamondis, at xxli. Item, a ring set with v diamondis, at ixli. Item, two rings, with a rubie and ij diamondis, in eatch, at vjli. the peice, inde xijli. Item, a ring set with a table diamond, at vli. Item, two ringis, with two handis, a hert with a diamond in eatch, at iijli. the peice, vjli. Item, a diamond, set in an open clawe ring, at xvli. Item, a ring set with vij diamondis, at xijli. Item, a diamond ring in forme of a hert, at iiijli. Item, two other hert and hand ringis with a diamond in eatch, at iijli. xs. the peice, vijli. Item, a ring set with a lairge diamond, at lxvli. Item, one rings set all about with diamondis, at xxiiijli. Item, another herte ring set with a diamond, iijli. xs. Item, a ring set with a small diamond, at ili. xs. Item, two pendantis set with xxj diamondis, xlviijli. Item, a jewell for a hat, set with xxix diamondis, lxxxli. Item, on the xij of Janewarie, xxiiij gold bottons, with v diamondis in eatch, at vli. the peice, inde jcxxli. Item, on the xxvj of Janewarie, a tablet for two pictures, set with diamondis on both the sydes, at the pryce of iiijclli. Item, two cristallis to the said tablet, iiijli. Item, a ring set with xi diamondis, at xvjli. Item, a silver bassone and ewer, at xxijli. Item, garnished lxxx currall beids, weighing in gold xiiij penyweight, ijli. ijs. Item, for workmanship of euerye one of them, xijd., inde iiijli. Item, for gold, and garnished a pair of braslitis of great pearles and saphires, iiijli. Item, put to v great diamondis, v needles and v scrues of gold, weighing xvj penyweight, inde ijli. viijs. Item, for making the said needles, and putting to the said scrues, ijli. xs. Item, an eare-ring with a diamond in it, iijli. xs. Item, for garnishing of a pearle, xs. Item, for vj silver needles at ijs. the peice, inde xijs. Item, for making a jewell weighed in gold, one ounce xviij penyweight, vli. xiiijs. Item, for sundrye mendings of old jewellis and plate for the tyme aforesaid, iijli. Item, on the xth of March, one perfumynge pann, parcell gilt, for the making and guildinge thereof, ijli. xs. Item, furnished to it v ounces ij penyweight of silver, ili. vs. vid. Item, on the diamond, iijli. Item, for golde and makinge of a foote for the picture of Hercules, xxxs. Item, for gold and making of a braslett of rubies and opalls, iiijli. xs. Item, furnished to the said braslett ij rubies at ijli. xs. the peece, vli. Item, one ring in forme of a garter, of diamonds and rubies, iiijli. xs. Item, to one opall, price xxxvis.
Item, on the iiijth of December, a ring, in forme of a pensse, set with v diamonds, price xxxvjli. Item, on the viijth of December, a border of gold, sett with pearle, xxli. Item, garnished xij saphiers, waighing in gold xij penyweight, ijli. xiiijs. Item, for making of them, iijli. Item, for pearcing and polishinge of ij of the saphiers, xxs. Item, for a ring with vj diamonds, ixli. Item, for sundrie mendings in the tyme aforesaid, iijli.
" The ffyrst of January, 1607.
" Item, delivered to her Matie one jewell in forme of a feather sett with diamonds, one other round jewell, also sett with diamonds, price of both two hundreth pownds, ijcli. Item, xxiiij gold buttons, sett with a diamond in each of them, at iiijli. xs. the peece, jcviijli. Item, a tablet for a picture, sett with diamonds, lxli. Item, one great ring in forme of a hart, lxxxli. Item, a ringe, with a table diamond on the head, and sett about with diamonds, xxxijli. Item, one other ring, set about with xxiiij diamonds, xxijli. Item, a ring containing flue diamonds, vjli. Item, taken out of a chayne, which I showed vnto her Matie, iij rings, price of them, iijli. Item, the garnishing of her Mats great saphier, waying in gold x penyweight xij graines, xxxijs. Item, for makinge of the said garnishinge, ijli. xs. Item, made a screw and a bodkin for a jewell, waighing in gold vij penywaight xij graines, xxijs. vjd Item, for makinge the said screw and nedle, xij. Item, for garnishynge two great pendant rubies, xxs. Item, for makinge a ring for a great diamond, xxiiijs. Item, a ring contayning vij diamonds, vijli. xs. Item, delivered to her Matie on the xxviijth of January, a ring with ix diamonds on the head, and sett about with diamonds, jli. Item, a feather for a hatt, all sett with diamonds, jli. Item, on the x of Februarie, a jewell with an A and two C C, sett with diamonds, iijcli.
" Summa total of this accompt is one thowsand sixe hundred threescore one powndes three shillings sterling.
" Rests unpaid of this accompt the some of eight hundreth fowerscore pownds sterlinge.
" ANNA R."
The following list is made out from the other Account of Jewels, the most curious of which are here enumerated
" A ring in form of a garter ; a case for a jewel of crimson velvet, laid with gold lace ; for making a brilliant in form of a ship ; for gold, and making of a Valentine ; for 48 nails of gold ; for garnishing 32 grat pearls, with needles of gold ; 21 pennyweight of gold to a spoon, and making the same; for gilting and garnishing a cup of jasper-stone ; for making a claw-ring for a pointed diamond ; 40 gold buttons, a diamond in each ; a jewel, in form of an A, set with diamonds ; for setting of a great diamond in a ring, which her Majestie had taken out of the ring herself ; making a tablet for a picture, and a crystal to the said tablet ; a ringe set with 5 little Turkis stones ; for making and gilting 4 great clasps for two great books ; a ring in form of a rock ; a ring with a heart and a serpent, all set about with diamonds ; a ring in form of a flower-de-luce of diamonds ; a pendant all set with diamonds ; for 14 great buttons and 14 Scotis diamondis set in them; for gold, and making a skrew and a bodkin for a great rubye ; for silver, and making of 13 dozen of buckles, whereof 4 dozen were gilt ; a ring, set with 5 diamonds, in form of a rose ; a coronet of pearls and diamonds ; a cross of diamonds ; two pendants made like Moore's heads, and all sett with diamonds ; a ring, with a single diamond set in a heart betwixt two hands ; 9 diamonds furnished to the bay-leaf; for gold, and making of a muske million, wherein there stood a great rubie; furnished to the said muske million 21 diamonds ; a great ring in the form of a perssed eye and a perssed heart, all sett with diamonds; a ring, in forme of a dart, sett with diamonds; 64 ounces of small seed pearle ; received from Patrick Simpson, servant to our said jeweller, one great ring, in forme of a frog, all sett with diamonds, price two hundreth poundis. Item, from the said Patrick, a jewell in forme of a butterfly ; a jewell in forme of a lillye, sett with diamonds; a pendant sett with diamonds, in forme of the letter C ; a broach for a hatt, set with diamonds ; a ring, sett with diamonds in forme of a St. Andrew's Crosse ; for a pearl pendant and crystall to a tablet ; an anker sett with diamonds ; a lock of a braslett sett with 9 diamonds. Item, for a diamond was hung to a pendant of a Moore's head ; five ounces and a half of fyne civett, at li 4 the ounce ; a braslite sett with diamonds, emeroids, Turkois, and rubies ; a racket of gold, set with 38 table diamonds ; for making of 30 pieces of a collar of roses, set with great diamonds ; garnished 60 muske beads, and two muske pendants ; for gold, and making of a needle and a skrew for the King of Denmark's picture. The embrotherer, 28 ounces of pearl ; to Mathew Harestenes, by her Maj. directions, a ring set with 13 table diamondis ; for twyce making of a gold needle sett with 60 diamondis ; for making of the said needle, the third tyme ; for making a casse for a picture on the backside of a rose and diamondis ; a jewell in forme of a honey-suckle ; a pair of pendants, made lyke two drums, sett with diamondis ; to the goldsmith's officer for warning of her Majestie's diamond, which was lost at Salisburie, 6s. 8d.; the Prince's cypher, set with 38 table diamonds. March, 1611: for a christall to the infanteis picture, and mending of the tablet, 1611 ; a ring in fashion of a dart, sett about with diamonds ; a ring, sett with a diamond in forme of a hart, and a diamond in forme of an eye ; a ring with a table diamond, enamelled black ; a ring enamelled blew, sett with an harte diamond ; a ring with a harte and two handis, sett with a diamond ; two gold chaines ; a jewell in forme of a jolly flower, sett with diamonds ; a diamond cut with fawcette, sett in an open clawe ring ; a table buike, sett on both the sides with diamonds ; a jewell in forme of a horne of aboundance, set with 6 rose diamondis and 12 table diamondis ; due unto him more for jewelles retained unto her Maj. owne handis, to be carried on her first and second jorneys to the Bathe, viz., in April, 1613, and August following, mmmvcxlvli. xs.; for 12 ounces of fair round curallae; a ring of a blacke hert with a table diamond ; for peircinge 12 rocke rubies ; furnished to the said braslete of rubies, 11 diamondis ; owing by the Lady Sutch, fowerscore and one powndis, which she affirmes her Maj. is pleased to paye ; a pair of peer pendants, sett with diamondis ; a ring of a burning heart; set with diamondis; a jewell in forme of a starre, set with diamondis ; two pendants of diamonds like the letter A ; a little pendant diamond was hunge at the heart of a turquoise ; for gold, and making a nidle for the hair ; for a crystall to the tablet wherein is the Infant of Spain's pictur, Ili. 10sh. ; a ring in forme of a scallope-shell, set with a table diamond, and opening on the head ; a cross ring set in lossen fashione ; a hert ring sett all about with diamondis, and opening with a cross of diamondis within the head of it ; a pair of pendentis of two handis, and two serpentis hanging at them ; a parrate of diamondis ; a pendant made like a corslete, set with diamonds ; a ring of a love trophe, set with diamondis ; two rings, lyke black flowers, with a table diamond in each ; a pendant of a coronet herte ; a ring, like a froge, set with diamonds, opening on the head; a ring like the letter A, set with diamonds; for mending the King of Denmark's cipher, and making a nidle and a huike to it ; a tablet with a cipher A and C set in the one syde with diamonds ; for setting of a great table diamond, and a longe pendant diamond in a jewell a joure ; an S ring set with diamondis; a ring of a Jerusalem crosse, of diamonds; a leaf ring of diamonds; a daisie ring sett with a table diamond ; a jewell in fashione of a bay-leaf, opening for a pictur, and sett with diamondis on the one syde ; a pair of lizard pendantis sett with diamondis ; a starre pendant sett with diamonds ; a pendant sett with diamonds in leafe fashion ; a ring in forme of a pierced hart ; a jewell for a hatt, in forme of a bay leafe, all sett with diamonds ; for a little watch all sett over with diamonds, sold the 12th September, 1611, 4170 ; for a ryng sett all over with diamondis, made in fashion of a lizard, the same day, £120; a crosse with six table diamondis and three pendantis ; two globe pendantis sett with 48 diamondis ; two peare pendantis sett with diamonds ; a ring sett with 3 diamonds, in forme of a flieing hart; a cupp of gold, with a cover to it, and a say-taste of gold, both graven and enamelled, £26 ; a ring set with 9 diamonds, and opening on the head, with the king's picture in that."
Warrant of Privy Seal for payment to George Heriot of Seven Hundred and Fifty Pounds. 18th October, 16o5 :
" James, by the grace of God, Kinge of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, to the Treasurer and Chamberlains of our Exchequer, greeting.—Whereas, at the departing from hence of the Conte Villa Mediana, late ambassadour here from our good brother the Kinge of Spaine, there was bought of George Heriott, goldsmith, by the Queene, our most deare wife, a cheine of stone, and pearle of the value of fower hundred and fiftie pounds, and a tablet, with a picture therein of our said wife, the Queene, amounting to the soume of three hundred pounds, which tablett was given to the said ambassadour himself, and the cheine to the ladie, his wife ; we will and command you, out of our treasure, to the receipt of our Exchequer, to cause to be delivered and paid to the said George Herriott, or to his assigne, both the above said soumes, amounting in the whole to seaven hundred and fiftie pounds ; and theis our letters shall be your sufficient warrant and discharge in this behalf. Given under our privie seale, at our Pallace of Westminster, the 18th daie of October, in the third yeare of our raigne of England, France, and Ireland, and of Scotland the nyne and thirtieth."
Among the valuable manuscript collections in the Advocates' Library, Edinburgh, is the " Jewel-Book of Queen Anne, wife of James VI.," a very curious Inventory, in folio.
In the " Archæologia " (vol. xv.) there is " An Inventorie of the Jewelles belonging once to the high and mightie prince Henry, Prince of great Brytane (died Nov., 1612). A Crowne sett with Dyamants, Saphirs, and Emeraudes. A very riche cros Sword all sett with Dyamants, with chap richlie sett, gevin be her Matte at his creation. A Rapier and Dagger enamelled and sett with Dyamants, geven to the King of Denmarke. A Sword with a cros hilt, enamelled, sett with Dyamants, geven be my lord Harrington. A chayne of Spanish work sett with Dyamants, with a great George hanging thereat. A great riche Jewell in forme of a Crescent, given out of his Maties owne store. A great George sett with dyamants upon both sydes. Twelf great Buttons, all sett with dyamants. A great Agat George, sett with Dyamants upon the one syde. Another great George, sett with Dyamants upon the one syde, and with Rubies on the other. Fyve other Georges sett with Dyamants. Thre little Georges of plane gold. One Garter all sett with Dyamants. One Garter of gold letters, with Dyamantes thinne sett. Two Garter of perles. A great Saphir. A great ballat Rubie, with a great Perle hanging theretoe. Another ballat Rubie, in forme of an H, with perles upon everie syde, with a great perle hanging theretoe. A helmet upon a shield, with a plume, sett with Dyamants. A payre of. Brydell bosses sett with Dyamants. A payre of gold Spurres sett with Dyamants. A Thistle, with Dyamants and Rubies. A booke of an Agat, sett with Dyamants.
" A note of those Jewelles which are not yett payd, bot taken and agreed upon be his Highnes owne self : A riche hatband, all of Dyamantes, with a great Jewell toe it in forme of a Rose, and this Jewell was made of his owne store, which is not receaved becaus it is not finished. A fayre riche chayne, all sett with Dyamants, boght and aggreed upon with the hatband whiche his Highnes did appoynt for his deere and worthy sister. A fayre chaine and tablett of Dyamants, which his Highnes did appoynt for the Prince Electeur. Another little chayne and tablett, whiche his Highnes did appoynt for Comte Henry. Fyfteen dissone of gold buttons, with a Dyamant in top of everie one of them, for his hignes owne wearing.
A little chayne of gold, curiouslie wroght, for his highnes owne wearing.
At the marriage of Elizabeth, daughter of James I., to Frederic the Elector-palatine, her father loaded himself with six hundred thousand pounds' worth of jewels ; and the bride's white satin dress was embroidered with pearls and gems, and her coronet set in pinnacles of diamonds and pearls.
Among the MSS. belonging to the Rev. Walter Sneyd, of Keele Hall, county Stafford, is a receipt, dated April 9, 1612, signed by Elizabeth of Bohemia, for jewels delivered to her by Jacob Hardret, on this and some previous days. The total value was £325 and 25s. There were pendants and rings, some of diamonds and some of rubies.
Howell tells us, in one of his letters, that " Queen Anne (consort of James I.) hath left a world of brave jewels behind ; and although one Piers, an outlandish man, hath run away with many, she hath left all to the Prince (Charles I.) and none to the Queen of Bohemia."
It appears, from Evelyn, that " a great collar of rubies " had been disposed of in Holland for the King's necessities as early as Sept. 1o, 1641. Queen Henrietta Maria raised on the royal jewels two millions sterling in one year.
CHARLES I., in the very first year of his reign, went over the contents of the Jewel House to see what would be available to pledge for money, con-signing them to the charge of his favourite, Bucking-ham, about to proceed as ambassador to the Hague, for that purpose. In vain did Sir Henry Mildmay, the master of the Jewel House, suggest the advisability of the king taking the advice of his council on the matter, and with their concurrence, using a war-rant under the Great Seal, authorizing the pledging of the royal treasures, on the ground that they were too many, both in the court and the kingdom, who looked upon the duke's proceedings " with more than a curious eye " ; in vain did Lord Brooke, who had some of the crown jewels in his possession, throw difficulties in the way, and complained of having to deliver up such valuables without a proper warrant. The king was determined on having his own way, and, before long, Mildmay wrote he had sent all the jewels and gold plate in his care, and if the king wanted anything more, he must be contented with silver plate, as there was nothing else left in the Jewel House.
On the arrival of Buckingham at the Hague, he commissioned a Mr. Sackville Crow and one Philip Calandrani to raise three hundred thousand pounds upon two parcels of jewels, and one parcel of gold plate set with stones. The Hollanders, however, required a guarantee from some merchants of standing that the jewels should be redeemed within three years. After four months of negotiation difficulties were renewed, and rumours of quarrels between Charles and the Commons caused the Dutch usurers to express great doubt on the kings power to pawn his jewels without the consent of his parliament, and Crow finally returned to England with the greater part of his precious charge. Crow's fellow-agent seems to have been more successful, having managed to raise fifty-eight thousand pounds upon certain jewels. In 1628, a warrant was issued for the payment of three thousand pounds for interest on the above-named sum ; but twelve months later, Calandrani writes to Secretary Dorchester that his brother has written to him from Holland " that those who have the pearls in hand, and also the Widow Thibaut, who has his majesty's jewel of the " Three Brethren," will not wait any longer, but proceed to execution before March, and begs the secretary to prevent the damage and dishonour which will be caused by delay in redeeming the pledges. Upon this Charles took the affair in hand himself, and sent out instructions to sell four thousand tons of iron ordnance to the States General for one hundred and twenty thousand pounds. With this sum the plate and jewels pledged in Holland, and . " the collar and rich ballasses " pawned to the King of Denmark, were to be redeemed. But the jewels did not find their way to the jewel House, and through the roguery of parties concerned, much spoliation occurred. In 1629 Charles took away from the secret Jewel House a fine large agate, engraven with the portraits of Henry VIII. and Edward VI., and at the same time ordered the sale of sundry articles of more or less value. Among these discarded ornaments were twelve pieces of gold-smith's work, like friar's knots, with ninety-one pendant pearls, being part of a collar of gold ; two great half-round pearls taken from the " Mirror of Britain " ; four gold collars, including that of the Order of St. Michael, composed of twenty-four knots of gold, and twenty-four scallop shells, with the saint hanging to it by a couple of little chains, also a gold lorayne, or double cross, set with diamonds and rubies ; an old jewel in the shape of the letter M ; a circlet of gold " new made for our dear mother, Queen Anne, having in the midst eight fair diamonds, eight fair rubies, eight emeralds, and eight sapphires, and garnished with thirty-two small diamonds, thirty-six small rubies, and sixty-four pearls, and on each border thirty-two diamonds and rubies ; and a girdle of rubies in the form of red and white roses. A year after his sale Charles accepted 1108 lbs from James Maxwell, and in consideration for that sum, authorizing him to retain as his own property two large diamonds upon which he had previously advanced £11,346.
While all this pawning and selling was going on, Charles patronized the jewellers as liberally as though the royal exchequer was overflowing with riches. In the very year that his agents were bringing England into contempt abroad by carrying her crown jewels from money-lender to money-lender, the king added to the royal collection a diamond costing eight thousand pounds, a gold ring of four hundred pounds, a fair jewel set with diamonds, worth nine thousand five hundred pounds, and a looking-glass set with diamonds, priced at two thousand five hundred pounds. He purchased three thousand pounds' worth of jewellery for the queen from Mercadet, and when the jeweller presented the order for the money, he was informed that the exchequer had not the wherewithal to satisfy his demands, and was compelled to give it some months' credit. John Vaulier, who supplied the king about the same time with about two thousand pounds' worth of jewellery, is found, after eighteen years of constant dunning, still without his money ; while Sir Thomas Roe, after patiently waiting for three years and a-half, complained bitterly that he saw no prospect of obtaining two thousand five hundred pounds, for some jewels he had procured at the express desire of the queen, and for which he had actually paid three thousand pounds.
In 1642, when both king and parliament were preparing for war, Charles authorized Queen Henrietta to dispose of his great collar of rubies, and sundry other jewels she had conveyed abroad to raise funds for equipping his adherents. As soon as this became known, parliament issued an order of the day declaring the king had no power to pawn or sell the crown jewels, and ordering that " whoever had or should pay, lend, send, or bring any money into the kingdom for, or upon those jewels, should be accounted an enemy of the state, and be dealt with accordingly."
In Miss Strickland's " Lives of the Queens of England " we have interesting notices of the means adopted by the consort of Charles I. to raise money on the royal jewels. The Queen solicited loans not only from the female nobility of England, but from private families whom she had reason to believe sympathized in the royal cause. To such as supplied her with these aids, she was accustomed to test her gratitude by the gift of a ring, or some other trinket from her own cabinet. But when affairs became critical she was compelled to sell or pawn in Holland the whole of her plate and most of her jewels. She adopted an ingenious device by which she was enabled, at a small expense, to continue her gifts to her friends. She had a great many rings, lockets, and bracelet-clasps made with her cypher, the letters H. M. R., in a very delicate filagree of gold, entwined in a monogram, laid on a ground of crimson velvet covered with thick crystal cut like a table diamond, and set in gold. These were called the " Queen's pledges," and presented by her to any per-son who had lent her money, with an understanding that if they were returned to her majesty at any future time, the money should be repaid.
Charles I. seems to have had a passion for gems in his more prosperous days. In the Atheneum (No. 573) there is a formidable list of expenses incurred by him for jewellery—fifty thousand pounds worth in eighteen months. The greater part of this was, however, for gifts.
Dean Swift tells us that Charles I., in gallantry to his queen, thought one day to surprise her with the present of a diamond brooch and fastening it to her bosom with his own hand, he awkwardly wounded her with the prong so deeply that she snatched the jewel from her bosom, and flung it to the ground. The king looked alarmed and confounded, and turned pale, which he was never seen to do in his worst misfortunes.
Sir Paul Pindar is said to have brought from Turkey a large diamond, valued at £30,000 (a vast sum in his days), which James I. wished to obtain on credit; but the merchant wisely declined the contract, yet allowed his sovereign the use of the diamond on State occasions. Charles I. afterwards became the purchaser.
Among the Harleian MSS. is a long detailed "Inventory of the goods, jewels, etc., sold by order of the Council of State from the several places and palaces following : —The Tower Jewel-Houses, Somerset House, Whitehall, Greenwich, Wimbledon, Oatlands, Windsor, Hampton Court, Richmond, Sion House, St. James's, and several other places ; with the several contracts made by the contractors for sale of the said goods, etc., from the year 1646 to the year 1652." In this we have notices of much that is lost—the splendid tapestry, the gorgeous jewels and regalia, and many curious items of great interest. The Jewel-House, at the period this account was taken, was, in fact, a museum of curiosities. A few items will suffice. In the Tower Jewel-House we read of " a Bugill-horn tipped with gold, and a chain," sold for £12. " A Fountain for perfumed waters, artificially made to play of itself" (of silver), sold for £30. A large antique vessel for mead from the Duke of Muscovy, £25, and a large beaker from the said Duke, made of many pieces of coin joined together, £20. A silver eagle, made to move, £6 5s. The Temple of Jerusalem, made of ebony and amber, 25 lbs. A branch for candles, cut in rock-crystal, with silver sockets, £50. A chess-board said to be Queen Elizabeth's, inlaid with gold, silver, and pearls, £23. A great Amethyst, engraved in Hebrew, in gold, £55. A conjuring drum from Lapland, with an Almanack, cut on wood,
A trumpet made of a large elephant's tooth, engraved with several odd figures, 7s. 6d. A very large scimetar, £5 17s. A Saxon King's mace used in war, £37 8s. A Roman shield of buff leather, covered with a plate of gold, finely chased with a Gorgon's head ; set round the rim with rubies, emeralds, turquoise stones, in number £137, l32 I 2s.
In the Tower Upper Jewel-House are enumerated, amongst others, an ewer of mother-of-pearl, garnished with gold and rubies, a fair sapphire at the foot, £41. A large estridge (ostrich) egg-pot, garnished with enamelled gold, the cover gold, and the handle a green enamelled serpent, £72. A golden nun, enamelled, with a ragged staff in her hand, £35. The imperial Crown of massy gold, weighing 71b. 6oz., enriched, etc., at L40 per lb.: valued Z280; delivered to the Mint to be coined. One blue sapphire, £50 ; one do., £15; one do., L3; two do., £30; one do., L3; one do., 10 lbs; two do., £15 ; one do., 8 lbs; one do., £8; one do., £3 ; one do., £20; one do., L1 5 ; one do., £3 ; one do., £5 ; two do., .4-to. 232 pearls at 15s. a piece, £174. Ruby Ballassis: Four rubies in the flower-de-luce, £20; do. do. cross, £6; two do. de-luce, £12; four do. cross, £6 ; two do. de-luce, £3 ; four do. cross, £12; four do. de-lute, £30; do. do. cross, £20; do. do. de-luce, £20 ; do. do. cross, £20 : total, £149. The Queen's crown, 31b. 10oz., valued at £40 per lb., 5oz. being abated for stones, is £136 13s. 4d.; the gold delivered to the Mint to be coined. 20 sapphires, £70 ; 16 do., £50 ; 22 rubies, £40 ; 83 pearls, £41 : total, £201 ; sold for £210. A small crown found in an iron chest, formerly in the custody of Lord Cottington, weighing 21b. 10oz., whereof three ounces are allowed for the weight of the stones, valued at £3 6s. 8d. per oz,., £73 6s. 8d. The globe, weighing 1lb. 5oz., at £3 6s. 8d. per oz., valued at £51 10s., delivered to the Mint to be coined. Two coronation bracelets, weighing 7oz., whereof one ounce to be deducted for the weight of the stones and pearls, at £3 6s. 8d. per oz., £20 ; to be delivered to the Mint to be coined. The stones and pearls of the three parcels sold for £25. Broken stones : Three rubies ballas, set in each of the bracelets, valued at £6. Twelve pearls valued at £6. Two sceptres, weighing 16oz., at £3 6s. 8d. per oz., £60; delivered to the Mint. A long rod of silver gilt, weighing 11.5 oz., at 5s. 4d. per oz., £4 10s. 8d.; delivered to the Mint. One gold poringer and cover, weighing 1510Z., valued at £ 3 6s. 8d. per oz., £ 5 1 18s. 4d. ; delivered to the Mint. One gold cup set with two sapphires and two ballas rubies, weighing 15oz., at £ 3 6s. 8d. per oz., '51 13s. 4d. ; delivered to the Mint. Divers pieces of broken gold enamelled, put together in a bag, weighing 51b. 7oz., at £3 per oz., £201. A George on horseback, of gold, with a pearl in his helmet, and a dragon enamelled, weight 33oz., at £ 3 per oz., £99 delivered to the Mint.
" An Inventory of that Part of the Regalia, which is now removed from Westminster to the Tower Jewel-House." Queen Edith's crown, formerly thought to be of massy gold, but upon trial found to be of silver gilt ; enriched with garnet, fowl pearl, sapphire, and some stones, weighing 50oz., valued at Z16; 10oz. sold Mrs. Dammersque for 5s. 4d. King Ellfred's crown of gold, wire-work, sett with slight stones and two little bells, weighing 79oz., at Z3 per oz., 10 lbs; delivered to the Mint. A dove of gold, set with stones and pearl, per oz, 8A oz., set with studs of silver gilt, in a box, valued together £26 ;; delivered to the Mint. A large staff with a dove at the top, formerly thought to be all gold, but upon trial found to be the lower part wood within and silver gilt without, the upper part wood within and gold without, weighing 27oz., and valued at £35 ; delivered to the Mint. One small staff, with a flower-de-lute on the top, formerly thought to be all gold, but upon trial found to be iron within and silver gilt without, value Z2 10s. 0d.; delivered to the Mint. Two sceptres—one set with pearls and stones, the upper end gold, the lower end silver, the gold weighing 23oz., at 35s. per oz., the lower end being horn and a little silver gilt, valued at its. ; the other, silver gilt, with a dove formerly thought to be gold, weighing 7oz., at 5s. 6d. per oz. Z65 19S. 74d.; delivered to the Mint.
Immediately after the accession of CHARLES II., a proclamation was issued commanding all persons holding possession of any jewels or plate belonging to the Crown, to restore the same. Nathaniel Hearne, a London merchant, was arrested for refusing to give up " Queen Elizabeth's great and precious onyx stone," upon which he professed to have lent money. Frances Curson was committed to prison, for having received a hatful of gold and jewels at the time of the dispersion of the Crown jewels, and she confessed that she knew of a Jesuit who had managed to appropriate property of the same kind worth forty thousand pounds. However, the royal valuables came in but slowly. Two years after the proclamation was issued, a warrant was granted to certain parties to search for and seize a diamond hatband and garter, a gold wedge and cup, and a stirrup of gold, taken from the late king's closet at Whitehall. In the same year, too, it was thought necessary to appoint a commission " to examine the accounts of the so-called trustees, con-tractors, or treasurers, for the sale of the late king's goods ; viz., the crowns, jewels, plates, pictures, etc., formerly kept in the Tower and Whitehall Jewel-Houses, but forced from the persons to whom they were intrusted, and disposed of to those who were not creditors to the late king, and who are therefore not pardoned by the Act of Oblivion, but must return the property, or pay over the money they received for it ;" but nothing came of this royal commission.
In the first year of the Restoration a new set of regalia became necessary. "The Master of the Jewell-House," says Sir Edward Walker, Garter Principall King of Armes, "had order to provide two Imperiall Crownes, sett with pretious Stones, the one to be called St. Edward's Crowne, wherewith the King was to be crowned, and the other to be putt on after his Coronation, before his Maties retorne to Westminster Hall. Also, an Orbe of golde with a Crosse, sett with pretious Stones ; a Scepter with a Crosse, sett with pretious Stones, called St. Edward's ; a Scepter with a Dove, sett with pretious Stones ; a long Scepter, or Staffe of gold, with a Crosse upon the top, and a Pike at the foote of Steele, called St. Edward's Staffe ; a Ring with a Ruby. A paire of golde Spurrs; a Chalice and Paten of Gold ; an Ampull for the Oyle, and a Spoone ; and two ingotts of golde, the one a pound, and the other a Marke, for the King's Two Offerings."
The bill of Vyner, the court goldsmith, amounted to £ 31,978 9s. i id., besides a sum of £ 1,200 for some borrowed stones lost during the coronation ceremony. Charles II., shortly after his accession, bought a valu-able oriental ruby and a large heart-diamond of great perfection, and decorated his stirrups with three hundred and twenty diamonds. In the third year of his reign, Mary Simpson petitioned his Majesty to award her £ 15,595 out of the Dunkirk money, for jewels supplied to him by her father and uncle ; and three years later, another jeweller presented an account for £ 12,179.
In the "Archeologia" (vol. xv., page 271) is a communication of the Rev. John Brand, secretary to the Society of Antiquaries (read May 17th, 1804), of " A true Inventorie and Appraisement of all the Plate now being in the Lower Jewell-House of the Tower, in the Custodie of Mr. Carew Mildmay, made and taken 13th of August, 1649;" also "A true and perfect Inventorie of all the Plate and Jewells now being in the Upper Jewell-House of the Tower, in the charge of Sir Henry Mildmay, together with an appraisemt of them made and taken the 13th, 14th, and 15th daies of August, 1649," the year in which the unfortunate Charles was martyred. The "Totall of the Lower Jewell-House " was valued at £6,496 12s. 4d. The contents of the Upper Jewel-House, including the " King's Crowne" the " Queene's Crowne," a small crown found in an iron chest, the globe, two sceptres, two coronation bracelets, etc., were valued at £6,771 0s. 4d. The estimated value of the " Regalia now in Westmr Abby in an iron chest where they were formerly kept," is £612 17s. 8d.
There is also an " Inventory of several things received from some Gentlemen, in whose custody they were, and now remayning in Somerset House Closet, in Mr. Browne's charge." This includes " a quarter of blue velvett, sett with 412 small diamonds, formerly in captaine Preston's custody, and now in the Closett of Somerset House." This was valued at £160. The total value of the " several things " is estimated at £341 5s. The " Totall of the whole Duplicate amounts to £14,221 15s. 4d."
Alluding to the coronation of JAMES II., Macaulay says, that the King " ordered an estimate to be made of the cost of the state procession from the Tower to Westminster, and found it would amount to about half as much as he proposed to expend in covering his wife with trinkets. He accordingly determined to be profuse where he ought to have been frugal, and niggardly where he might pardonably have been profuse. More than a hundred thousand pounds were. laid out in dressing the Queen, and the procession from the Tower was omitted."
The circlet crowns and other regal ornaments appear to have been of unparalleled magnificence. The cost of the diamonds, pearls, and other gems with which the imperial diadem was set, amounted to 100,658 lbs sterling, according to Evelyn, who saw the bills attested by the goldsmith and jeweller who set them. When completed, however, it was valued at 111,900 lbs.
The rest of the coronation decorations were on the same splendid scale, so that there is no wonder that the historian, describing the Queen on this occasion, should state, " The jewels she had on were reckoned at a million's worth, which made her shine like an angel."
In the days of the Queen's exile and sorrowful widowhood at Chaillot, she sometimes spoke of the glories of her coronation, and descanted with true feminine delight on the magnificence of the regalia that had been prepared for her. " My dress and royal mantle," she said to the nuns of Chaillot, " were covered with precious stones, and it took all the jewels that the goldsmiths of London could procure to decorate my crown."
In the " Inventory of the Goods and Chattels belonging to King James the Second," at the time of his death (" Archæologia," vol. 18), is appended a note, that " all our own Jewells and Chamber-Plate were brought safe out of England, as appears by a list of them now in our hands" (Queen Mary Beatrix), whereof to the value of 159,128 livers have been sold, partly in the late King's time, and partly since, as may be seen by the dates of the respective sale of each Jewell in the following list ; and that, for the relief of such distressed families and other faithfull Subjects, who having followed the late King in his misfortunes, must inevitably have perished, especially since the Pope's charity has been discontinued, had not this extraordinary means of selling our owne Jewells and Plate been made use of for their support. To which may be added one large Diamond of the Prince of Wales, now the King, sold in Jan., 1698, for 4200 liv., and also â pair of diamond buttons of his, sold in December, 1701, for 3,600 liv." The following is "a List of Jewells sold " (omitting dates) : "A large Diamond of the Prince of Wales, 4,200 livres ; a Diamond, 7,000 ; two Pearles, 1,000 ; a Diamond, 7,000 ; two Pearles, 8,000 ; a Bodkin with one Diamond, 16,000 ; a pair of Diamond pendants, 15,000 ; seven Diamond attaches, 19,000 ; two pair of Diamond but-ton's, 3,600 ; a Diamond Girdle, Buckle, and twelve Buttons and Loops, 21,000 ; a pair of Diamond shoe-buckles, 3,000 ; two Diamond attaches, 48,000 ; one Coulant of a Diamond Crosse, with the middle stone of the said Crosse, 8,000. Total, 166,928 livres."
In this inventory of effects belonging to King James II. there is an entry, among " severall things belonging to the late King" (Charles II.) "in our owne closet." "One ruby ring, having a cross en-graved on it, with which the late King was crowned." A curious interest is attached to this coronation ring. On the first attempt of James to escape from England, in 1688, he was detained by the fishermen of Sheerness. The King kept the diamond bodkin, which he had from the Queen, and the Coronation Ring, which for more security he put into his drawers. The captain, it appeared, was well acquainted with the dispositions of his crew, one of whom cried out, " It is Father Petre—I know him by his lantern jaws ;" a second called him an " old, hatchet-faced Jesuit ;" and a third, " a cunning old rogue, he would warrant him ;" for, some time after he was gone, and probably by his order, several seamen entered the King's cabin, saying they must search him and the gentleman, believing that they had not given up all their money. The King and his companions told them they were at liberty to do so, thinking that their readiness would induce them not to persist ; but they were mistaken ; the sailors began their search with a roughness and rudeness which proved they were accustomed to their employment. At last, one of them, feeling about the King's knee, got hold of the diamond bodkin, and cried out, with the usual oath, that he had found a prize ; but the King boldly declared he was mistaken. He had, indeed, scissors, a tpothpick case, and little keys in his pocket, and what was felt was undoubtedly one of these articles. The man still seemed incredulous, and rudely thrust his hand into the King's pocket ; but in his haste he lost hold of the diamond bodkin, and finding the things the King mentioned, remained satisfied it was so. By this means the bodkin and the ring were preserved.
This ring is said to have been a favourite one of the unfortunate Mary Queen of Scots, and was sent by her, previous to her death, to James I., through whom it came into the possession of Charles I., and on his execution was transmitted by Bishop Juxon to his son. It came afterwards into the hands of George IV., with other relics belonging to Cardinal York.