vol II date / index
St. Gregory Thaumaturgus, Bp. A. D. 270. St. Dionysius, Abp. of Alexandria, A. D. 265. St. Gregory, Bp. of Tours, A. D. 596. St. Hugh, Bp. of Lincoln, A. D. 1200. St. Anian, or Agnan, Bp. A. D. 453.
Queen Elizabeth's Accession.
This day was formerly noted in the almanacs as the anniversary of queen Elizabeth's accession to the throne, in the year 1558. In 1679, while the bill for excluding the duke of York, afterwards James II., from the throne of England, was in agitation, there was a remarkable cavalcade in London on this day. The following account of it was drawn up at the time:—
"The bells generally about the town began to ring at three o'clock in the morning. At the approach of evening, all things being in readiness, the solemn procession began, setting forth from Moor-gate, and so passed first to Aldgate, and from thence through Leadenhall-street, by the Royal Exchange, through Cheapside, and so to Temple-bar, in the ensuing order, viz.
"1. Six whifflers, to clear the way, in pioneers' caps, and red waistcoats.
"2. A bellman ringing, and with a loud but dolesome voice, crying out all the way, 'remember justice Godfrey.'
"3. A dead body, representing justice Godfrey, in a decent black habit, carried before a jesuit in black, on horseback, in like manner as he was carried by the assassins to Primrose-hill.
"4. A priest, in a surplice, with a cope embroidered with dead bones, skeletons, sculls, and the like, giving pardons very plentifully to all those that should murder protestants, and proclaiming it meritorious.
"5. A priest in black, alone, with a great silver cross.
"6. Four carmelites, in white and black habits.
"7. Four grey-fryars, in the proper habits of their order.
"8. Six jesuits, with bloody daggers.
"9. A concert of wind music.
"10. Four bishops, in purple, and lawn sleeves, with a golden cross on their breast, and crosier staves in their hands.
"11. Four other bishops, in pontificalibus, with surplices and rich embroidered copes, and golden mitres on their heads.
"12. Six cardinals, in scarlet robes and caps.
"13. The pope's doctor, (sir George Wakeman, the queen's physician,) with jesuit's powder in one hand, and an urinal in the other.
"14. Two priests in surplices, with two golden crosses.
"Lastly, the pope, in a lofty glorious pageant, representing a chair of state, covered with scarlet, richly embroidered and fringed, and bedecked with golden balls and crosses. At his feet a cushion of state, and two boys in surplices, with white silk banners, and bloody crucifixes and daggers, with an incense pot before them, censing his holiness, who was arrayed in a splendid scarlet gown, lined through with ermine, and richly daubed with gold and silver lace; on his head a triple crown of gold, and a glorious collar of gold and precious stones, St. Peter's keys, a number of beads, agnus deis, and other catholic trumpery. At his back, his holiness's privy councillor, (the degraded seraphim, anglice, the devil,) frequently caressing, hugging, and whispering him, and ofttimes instructing him aloud, 'to destroy his majesty, to forge a protestant plot, and to fire the city again;' to which purpose he held an infernal torch in his hand.
"The whole procession was attended with 150 flambeaux and lights, by order; but so many more came in voluntarily that there was some thousands.
"Never were the balconies, windows, and houses more numerously lined, or the streets closer thronged with multitudes of people, all expressing their abhorrence of popery, with continual shouts and exclamations, so that it is modestly computed that, in the whole progress, there could not be fewer than 200,000 spectators.
"Thus, with a slow and solemn state they proceeded to Temple-bar; where, with innumberable swarms, the houses seemed to be converted into heaps of men, and women, and children; for whose diversion there were provided great variety of excellent fireworks.
"Temple-bar being, since its rebuilding, adorned with four stately statues, viz. those of queen Elizabeth and king James on the inward, or eastern side, fronting the city, and those of king Charles I. and king Charles II. on the outside, facing towards Westminster; and the statue of queen Elizabeth, in regard to the day, having on a crown of gilded laurel, and in her hand a golden shield, with this motto inscribed, —'The Protestant Religion and Magna Charta,' and flambeauxs placed before it; the pope being brought up near thereunto, the following song (alluding to the posture of those statues) was sung in parts, between one representing the English cardinal, (Howard,) and others acting the people.
"From York to London town we came,
To talk of popish ire,
To reconcile you all to Rome,
And prevent Smithfield fire.
"Cease, cease, thou Norfolk cardinal,
See yonder stands queen Bess,
Who sav'd our souls from popish thrall,
O! queen Bess, queen Bess, queen Bess.
"Your popish plot and Smithfield threat
We do not fear at all;
For lo! beneath queen Bess's feet
You fall, you fall, you fall!
"'Tis true, our king's on t'other side,
Looking tow'rds Whitehall,
But could we bring him round about,
He'd counterplot you all.
"Then down with James and set up Charles
On good queen Bess's side,
That all true commons, lords, and earls,
May wish him a fruitful bride.
"Now God preserve great Charles our king
And eke all honest men;
And traitors all to justice bring,
Amen, amen, amen.
"Then having entertained the throning spectators for some time with the ingenious fireworks, a vast bonfire being prepared just over against the Inner Temple Gate, his holiness, after some compliments and reluctances, was decently toppled from all his grandeur into the impartial flames; the craft devil leaving his infallibilityship in the lurch, and laughing as heartily at his deserved ignominious end as subtle jesuits do at the ruin of bigotted lay-catholics whom themselves have drawn in; or as credulous Coleman's abettors did, when, with pretences of a reprieve at the last gasp, they made him vomit up his soul with a lie, and sealed up his dangerous chops with a flatter. This justice was attended with a prodigious shout, that might be heard far beyond Somerset-house, (where the queen resided,) and it was believed the echo, by continual reverberations, before it ceased, reached Scotland, [the duke was then there,] France, and even Rome itself, damping them withal with a dreadful astonishment."
These particulars, from a tract in lord Somers's collection, are related in the "Gentleman's Magazine" for 1740; and the writer adds, that "the place of prompter-general, Mr. North insinuates, was filled by lord Shaftesbury."
Tree Stramony. Datura arborea.
Dedicated to St. Gregory.