TOWER of London. Wild Beasts kept here. 118

TOWER of London. Wild Beasts kept here.

macula, [Buckles.] Ten Baculos, [Staves,] containing 208 Rings, cum Rubetis & Balesiis. Two Staves containing 66 Rings, cum Maragdenibus. One Staff containing 20 Rings, with Saphires. One Staff containing 13 Rings, with Topazes. One Staff containing 17 Rings, with divers Stones. Sixty six Girdles. Also Two Golden Peacocks. One Buckle with Twelve Diamonds. Other Fourteen Buckles, with Five Gold Garlands.

There is another Custody in the Tower, which concerns the keeping and providing for the Lions there, and other wild Savage Creatures, in a strong Apartment on the West Part of the Tower. These are now and then presented to the Prince by Foreign Kings, or by Sea-Officers, who have brought them from other Parts of the World.

Keeper of the Lions.

Stow hath searched into the Original of bringing these fierce Creatures here, and hath given us some Ancient Records concerning them. I shall add a few more.

In the 16th Year of Henry VI. the Office of Keeping the Lions and Leopards of the Tower was granted to Robert Mansfield, Esq; for Life, with a certain Place there anciently belonging to it; with the Fee of Sixpence a Day for every Lion, &c.

The Fee.

Tower Rec.

Again, in the 37th of the said King's Reign, the said Office was granted to the said Robert Mansfield; and his Son Robert was put into the Patent.

Again, in the 39th of the said King, the Office was granted to Thomas Rookes.

In the 4th of Edward IV. the Office of keeping the Lions and Leopards of the Tower, was granted to R. Hastings, Esq;

Such Grants also are extant in the Tower Records, in the Reigns before; as in Edward I. Edward II. and the succeeding Kings.

From whence we gather, that the wild Beasts kept in the Tower were generally Lions and Leopards; (for seldom any other Creatures are mentioned in the Patents) That the Keeper was some Officer about the King, and of Quality; and appointed by the King's Letters Patents: That his Wages wad 6d. a Day allowed for himself, and 6d. more a Day for every Lion and Leopard: And that that Place or Apartment where the Lions were kept, was also granted him; as by this Patent to the aforesaid Robert Mansfield appears.

Lions and Leopards formerly kept in the Tower.

The Fee.

"Rex omnibus ad quos, &c. Dilecto Servitori nostro, Roberto Mansfield Armigero,Marescallo Aulæ nostræ - de Gratia nostra speciali, &c."

"The King to all to whom these Presents shall come, &c. We, of our special Grace, have granted to our beloved Servant, Robert Mansfield, Esq; Marshal of our Hall, the Office of Keeper of the Lions, with a certain Place which hath been appointed anciently within our said Tower for them; to have and to occupy the same, by himself, or by his sufficient Deputy, for the Term of his Life; with the Wages of Sixpence per Day for himself, and with the Wages of Sixpence per Day for the Maintenance of every Lion or Leopard, now being in his Custody, or that shall be in his Custody hereafter; to be taken yearly from the 22d Day of September, during his Life, from the Issues and Profits of the Counties of Bedford and Buckingham, coming to the Hands of the Sheriff of the said Counties for the Time being, &c."

Rot. Pat. 16. H. VI. p. 2. m. 34.

But long before this King, Henry VI. namely, in the Reign of Henry III. there was a white Bear and an Elephant kept in the Tower. In which Creatures the King seemed to delight: For he issued out several Orders concerning providing for, and taking care of them; and that to the Sheriffs of London: As appears by these Liberates found lately in the White Tower.

A white Bear and an Elephant in the Tower.

Liberat. 36. H. III. m. 4.

G. Holmes.

"Rex Vicecomitibus, &c."

"The King to the Sheriffs of London, greeting. We command you, That for the Sustenance of a white Bear, which we send to our Tower of London, there to be kept, and for his Keeper, ye cause to be allowed Four Pence every Day, as long as they shall be there. Witness the King at S. Edmund's, Sept. 13."

The like Order was sent to the Sheriffs from the King, dated from Windsor, Sept. 29.

There was still the next Year, (viz. An. 1253) concerning this white Bear, another Order issued from the King, to provide him a Muzzle, and a Chain, and a strong Rope, to make Sport in the Thames.

"Rex Vicecomitibus London, &c."

"The King to the Sheriffs of London, greeting. We command you, That for the Keeper of our white Bear, lately sent us from Norway, and which is in our Tower of London, ye cause to be had one Muzzle, and one Iron Chain, to hold that Bear without the Water, and one long and strong Cord, to hold the same Bear fishing [or washing himself] in the River of Thames. Witness the King at Windsor, October the 30th."

Record. Alb. Tur. 37. H. III. m. 15.

The King also, a Year or two after, had an Elephant, viz. An. 1255, which the Sheriffs were to build a House for in the Tower, and provide for his Sustenance, and his Keepers.

"Rex Vicecomitibus London, Salutem, &c."

"The King to the Sheriffs of London, greeting. We command you, That of the Ferm of our City, ye cause (without Delay) to be built at our Tower of London, one House of forty Foot long, and twenty Foot deep, for our Elephant: Providing, that it be so made, and so strong, that when need be, it may be fit and necessary for other Uses. And the Cost shall be computed at the Exchequer. Witness the King at Westminster, the 26th Day of February."

Liberat. 39. H. III. m. 11.

Again, the next Year;

"The King to the Sheriffs of London, greeting. We command you, That from the Feast of S. Michael last past, and as long as you shall be Sheriffs of London, and our Elephant shall be there, ye find for him and his Keeper Necessaries, as there shall reasonably be need. Witness the King at Westminster, Octob. 11." ]

Now concerning the Nature of these imprisoned wild Beasts.]

Anno 1604, June 3. K. James, taking with him the Duke of Lenox, (with divers Earls and Lords) went to see the Lions at the Tower. And here he caused Two of them, a He Lion and a She, to be put forth. And then a live Cock was cast to them: Which being their natural Enemy, they presently killed it, and sucked the Blood. Then the King caused a live Lamb to be put to them; which the Lions out of their Generosity (as having respect to its Innocency) never offered to touch, altho' the Lamb was so bold as to go close to them. Then the King caused the Lions to be taken away, and another Lion to be put forth, and two Mastiffs to be turned to him. The Mastiffs presently flew upon the Lion, and turned him upon his Back; and tho' the Lion

K. James goes to the Tower.

R. B.