TOWER of London. Regalia. 115

TOWER of London. Regalia.

partly out of the loose, rude Heaps of Instruments in the Chapel of the White Tower. The Contents of them so published by him, shewed the ancient supreme Jurisdiction of the Kings of this Land, whether British, Saxon, or Norman; but especially under the Reigns of King John, Henry III. and Edward I. The last and Third Volume came out Anno 1670. he having been stopt some Time in his Searches in the Office by the Plague and the great Fire. Which Fire consumed his Printer's House, and all his Printing Presses, and most of his Cases and Letters; and also of his printed Copies of the First and Second Tome, with Forty Printed Sheets of his Third.

His Collections consisted of Writs of Prohibitions issued out, and Attachments, Suits at the Prosecutions of our Kings, or their grieved Subjects, brought for Contempt of them, either against Popes, Nuncio's, their Collectors and Delegates; or against our own Archbishops, Bishops, Archdeacons, Officials, or Ecclesiastical Judges; in vexing the Subjects by Excommunications, and Writs De Excommunicat. capiendo; of which he found Multitudes yet remaining; besides those that were putrified, torn, lost, or perished; enough not only to satiate, but surfeit the Readers. The most whereof he abbreviated, and inserted in his Third Tome.

His Collections. Epist. Dedic. to the Third Tome.

In which Tome he also presented the World with a large Collection of Records, Writs, Epistles, Patents, Bulls, Procurations, Antiquities, not formerly Printed, relating principally to the Ecclesiastical, and some to Civil Affairs of greatest Note in England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, and Rome, during the Reigns of several Kings. Many of which he rescued from Dust and Putrefaction, as well as Oblivion. Wherein all great Officers both in Church and State, Common Lawyers, Canonists, Members of Parliament, Historians, Heralds, Divines, may find some Antiquities and Rarities suiting them.

His Third Tome.

But the Multiplicity and Variety of the said Records were such, that he could only collect and digest them in a Chronological Order, as the Year Books and Repertories are independent on each other; and that also in a rude and unpolish'd Style, most suitable to old Motheaten, lacerated, musty Records and Antiquities (as he expressed it) overspread with Dust and Cobwebs, as many of them were. And therefore to make some Amends for this, the same laborious Man added no less than Fourteen Tables to the Third Tome (which made a Volume of it self) for the better finding out and knowing the multifarious Matters contained in the Body of his Book.

Lastly, By way of Appendix to his Third Tome, he added many more Writs of Prohibitions, Epistles, Bulls, and other Records, pertinent to his Design, which he had gathered from Bundles thrown by in a confused Heap, buried Time out of Mind in Dust, lying in the White Tower Chapel; all happening in the Reign of King Edward I. And in his Epistle Dedicatory, and Epistle to the Reader before the said Third Tome, he crowded in more Records still, as they came to his Hand, in that King's Reign; as likewise others in the Reign of Henry I. and II. which he found in the several Treasuries and Offices in the Court of Exchequer.

Records in the White Tower.

William Petyt of the Inner Temple, Esq; immediate Predecessor in this Office to the present Keeper. As he had long studied, and was arrived to deep Knowledge in the ancient History and Constitutions of this Kingdom, so he was very communicative of it to all that repaired to him for that Purpose; and was very assistant to such as published any things of that Nature; whereof I my self have had ample Experience. He was a strong Assertor of the Liberties of England; and how well he acquitted himself therein, his Books printed against Dr. Brady do shew. He did for many Years employ his Clerks in making Extracts of such Records and Rolls lying in the Office of which he was Keeper, as might be of Publick Use to be known and read in these Times, and let in Light into the Affairs either of the State, or the Church. Which at last amounted to a great Number of Volumes fairly written: These, with a great many other valuable MSS. of Law, History, Antiquity, Processes, Acts of Parliament, Church Affairs, by his last Will he left to certain of his Friends, to be reposited safely for Posterity in some convenient Place, as they should think most fit; and did bequeath 150l. for the building a Library to contain them and his other Books.

William Petyt, Esq;

He spent his last Years at Chelsea; where at his own Charge, in his Life-time, he erected a Building, that contained a Vestry for the Use of the Parishioners to meet in about Parish Business, and a School Room for the teaching of the Youth, and convenient Chambers for the Schoolmaster. He was affable, pious, and charitable, and left a good Name behind him. He lived to a fair Age, being 72 Years old; dying Octob. 3. Anno 1707, and was buried in the Round of the Temple Church. Where his Brother, Sylvester Petyt, of Bernard's Inn, Gent. hath set up against the South Wall a decent Monument to his Memory.

His Library, furnished with his Books and MSS. is finished, and placed in a Court of the Inner Temple.

One Thing more in this strong and Royal Fort comes next to be mentioned.

In the Tower of London are kept the Imperial Crown, the Mound, the Sceptre, the Jewels, and other Royal Treasure, called, The Regalia, to be used at Coronations, &c. The Officer to whom these were committed, is called the Keeper of them, who must be a Person of great Integrity, so great a Trust being reposed in him. The Place where they are kept is at the East End of the New Armoury. Before one Blood by Name, boldly, and by an unparalleled Impudence and Craft, stole away the Crown (though he was taken soon after) it was customary for such whose Curiosities induced them to see these Things, to be admitted into the Room where they were kept, and to take them in their Hands: But since that Time there is more Care, the Place being enclosed with Iron Grates. So that they may be seen, but none admitted into the Room.

The Regalia kept in the Tower.

Vid. Chap. 17.

From ancient Times the Royal Jewels were here at the Tower carefully preserved by some trusty and faithful Person, appointed by the King, who had a settled Fee for the same. And from hence upon great Triumphs and Days of Publick Splendor, they used to be brought to Westminster: And when all was over, diligently sent back again, and that under the King's own Hand.

The Jewels anciently kept here.

So in the Records I find a Command to William Bishop of Karlioll, 14. Hen. III. De quatuor Coffins cum Jocalibus Reg. ibid. reponendis; i.e. Concerning Four Coffins, or little Coffers, with the King's Jewels, to be laid up there [in the Tower] as formerly was used to be: And that King Edward III. in the 12th of his Reign, appointed one John Flete Custodem Jocalium, &c. i.e. Keeper of the Jewels, and also of his Armour, and other Things in the Tower, during his Pleasure. And to take for his Fee 12d. per Diem.

Record. Turr.

A List Printed is wont to be given to those who come daily to see these inestimable Curiosities in the Jewel-House, briefly mentioning the chief of them: And it is this that followeth.

A List