Palace of Westminster
The Palace of Westminster serves as the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Known as the Houses of Parliament after its occupants, the Palace lies on the north bank of the River Thames in the City of Westminster, in central London, England, its name, which derives from the neighbouring Westminster Abbey, may refer to either of two structures: the Old Palace, a medieval building-complex destroyed by fire in 1834, or its replacement, the New Palace that stands today. The palace is owned by the monarch in right of the Crown and, for ceremonial purposes, retains its original status as a royal residence. Committees appointed by both houses manage the building and report to the Speaker of the House of Commons and to the Lord Speaker; the first royal palace constructed on the site dated from the 11th century, Westminster became the primary residence of the Kings of England until fire destroyed much of the complex in 1512.
After that, it served as the home of the Parliament of England, which had met there since the 13th century, as the seat of the Royal Courts of Justice, based in and around Westminster Hall. In 1834 an greater fire ravaged the rebuilt Houses of Parliament, the only significant medieval structures to survive were Westminster Hall, the Cloisters of St Stephen's, the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft, the Jewel Tower. In the subsequent competition for the reconstruction of the Palace, the architect Charles Barry won with a design for new buildings in the Gothic Revival style inspired by the English Perpendicular Gothic style of the 14th–16th centuries; the remains of the Old Palace were incorporated into its much larger replacement, which contains over 1,100 rooms organised symmetrically around two series of courtyards and which has a floor area of 112,476 m2. Part of the New Palace's area of 3.24 hectares was reclaimed from the River Thames, the setting of its nearly 300-metre long façade, called the River Front.
Augustus Pugin, a leading authority on Gothic architecture and style, assisted Barry and designed the interior of the Palace. Construction started in 1840 and lasted for 30 years, suffering great delays and cost overruns, as well as the death of both leading architects. Major conservation work has taken place since to reverse the effects of London's air pollution, extensive repairs followed the Second World War, including the reconstruction of the Commons Chamber following its bombing in 1941; the Palace is one of the centres of political life in the United Kingdom. The Elizabeth Tower, in particular referred to by the name of its main bell, Big Ben, has become an iconic landmark of London and of the United Kingdom in general, one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city, an emblem of parliamentary democracy. Tsar Nicholas I of Russia called the new palace "a dream in stone"; the Palace of Westminster has been a Grade I listed building since 1970 and part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.
The Palace of Westminster site was strategically important during the Middle Ages, as it was located on the banks of the River Thames. Known in medieval times as Thorney Island, the site may have been first-used for a royal residence by Canute the Great during his reign from 1016 to 1035. St Edward the Confessor, the penultimate Anglo-Saxon monarch of England, built a royal palace on Thorney Island just west of the City of London at about the same time as he built Westminster Abbey. Thorney Island and the surrounding area soon became known as Westminster. Neither the buildings used by the Anglo-Saxons nor those used by William I survive; the oldest existing part of the Palace dates from the reign of William I's successor, King William II. The Palace of Westminster was the monarch's principal residence in the late Medieval period; the predecessor of Parliament, the Curia Regis, met in Westminster Hall. Simon de Montfort's parliament, the first to include representatives of the major towns, met at the Palace in 1265.
The "Model Parliament", the first official Parliament of England, met there in 1295, all subsequent English Parliaments and after 1707, all British Parliaments have met at the Palace. In 1512, during the early years of the reign of King Henry VIII, fire destroyed the royal residential area of the palace. In 1534, Henry VIII acquired York Place from Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, a powerful minister who had lost the King's favour. Renaming it the Palace of Whitehall, Henry used it as his principal residence. Although Westminster remained a royal palace, it was used by the two Houses of Parliament and by the various royal law courts; because it was a royal residence, the Palace included no purpose-built chambers for the two Houses. Important state ceremonies were held in the Painted Chamber, built in the 13th century as the main bedchamber for King Henry III; the House of Lords met in the Queen's Chamber, a modest Medieval hall towards the southern end of the complex, with the adjoining Prince's Chamber used as the robing room for peers and for the monarch during state openings.
In 1801 the Upper House moved into the larger White Chamber.
St Buryan is a civil parish and village in Cornwall, United Kingdom. The village of St Buryan is situated five miles west of Penzance along the B3283 towards Land's End. Three further minor roads meet at St Buryan, two link the village with the B3315 towards Lamorna, the third rejoins the A30 at Crows-an-Wra. St Buryan parish encompasses the villages of St. Buryan and Crows-an-wra and shares boundaries with the parishes of Sancreed and St Just to the north, Sennen and St Levan to the west, with Paul to the east and by the sea in the south. An electoral parish exists stretching from Land's End to the north coast but avoiding St Just; the population of this ward at the 2011 census was 4,589. Named after the Irish Saint Buriana, the parish is situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty and is a popular tourist destination, it has been a designated conservation area since 1990 and is near many sites of special scientific interest in the surrounding area. The parish is dotted with evidence of Neolithic activity, from stone circles and Celtic crosses to burial chambers and ancient holy wells.
The village of St Buryan itself is a site of special historic interest, contains many listed buildings including the famous grade I listed church. The bells of St Buryan Church, which have undergone extensive renovation, are the heaviest full circle peal of six anywhere in the world; the parish has a strong cultural heritage. Many painters of the Newlyn School including Samuel John "Lamorna" Birch were based at Lamorna in the south-east of the parish. St Buryan Village Hall was the former location of Pipers Folk Club, created in the late 1960s by celebrated Cornish singer Brenda Wootton; the parish, fertile and well cultivated, comprises 6,972 acres of land, 3 acres of water and 18 acres of foreshore and lies predominantly on granite. It is more elevated at its northern part and slopes north to south-east towards the sea. Carn Brea described as the first hill in Cornwall, sits at its northernmost edge and rises 657 feet above sea level The hill is an important historical site showing evidence of neolithic activity, as well as the remains of the chapel from which it is named.
Toward the south is the village of St Buryan, which sits on a plateau and is centrally sited within the parish. Further to the south the terrain slopes down toward the sea, ending in several deep cut river valleys at Lamorna, Penberth and St Loy that are both sheltered and forested. West of St Buryan, toward St Levan, the terrain again descends, causing the ground to become more marshy and waterlogged and less suitable for growing arable crops. East of the village the land slopes away toward Drift, its reservoir, past the wooded area at Pridden and the deep cut valley at Trelew. Other settlements of note in the parish include Crows-an-Wra to the north, as well as Sparnon and Tregarnoe further south. Since 1990 St Buryan and the surrounding region has been designated a conservation area by Penwith District Council; the village is named after the 6th century Irish Christian missionary Saint Buriana. The local legend describes how, whilst ministering to the local inhabitants from the oratory that stood on the site of the current church, Saint Buriana was abducted by the local king, Geraint of Dumnonia.
Saint Piran, patron saint of Cornwall and a fellow missionary, negotiated for her release, but the reticent Geraint agreed only on the caveat that he be awoken by a cuckoo calling across the snow, something which would be unlikely in mid-winter. The legend states that Saint Piran prayed through the night whilst the snow fell, in the morning Geraint was awoken by a cuckoo's song, he was so taken aback by the miracle that he honoured his pledge, shortly afterwards he changed his mind and tried to recapture Buriana. Buriana is said to have died as Geraint tried to re-imprison her, was purportedly buried on the site of her chapel. St Buryan and the surrounding area is rich in history and has been a centre of human activity for several thousand years; the area surrounding St Buryan was in use by humans in Neolithic times, as is evident from their surviving monuments. A mile to the north of St Buryan lies Boscawen-Un, a neolithic stone circle containing 19 stones around a leaning central pillar; the circle is associated with two nearby standing stones or menhirs.
Although somewhat overgrown, the site can be reached by travelling along the A30 west of Drift and is only a few hundred metres south of the road. A more accessible stone circle, The Merry Maidens, lies 2 miles to the south of the village in a field along the B3315 toward Land's End; this much larger circle comprises nineteen granite megaliths some as much as 1.4 metres tall, is 24 metres in diameter and is thought to be complete. Stones are spaced around the circle with a gap or entrance at its eastern edge; the Merry Maidens are called Dawn's Men, to be a corruption of the Cornish Dans Maen, or Stone Dance. The local myth about the creation of the stones suggests that nineteen maidens were turned into stone as punishment for dancing on a Sunday; the pipers' two megaliths some distance north-east of the circle are said to be the petrified remains of the musicians who played for the danc
The Royal Lodge is a Grade II listed house in Windsor Great Park in Berkshire, half a mile north of Cumberland Lodge and 3 miles south of Windsor Castle. It was the Windsor residence of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother from 1952 until her death there in 2002. Since 2004, it has been the official country residence of Duke of York; the Lodge dates from the mid-seventeenth century, there being a house on the site by 1662. By 1750, the small Queen Anne style brick house was being used in conjunction with the adjacent dairy. By this time, it was known variously as the Lower Lodge, to distinguish it from Cumberland Lodge known as the Great Lodge, or the Dairy Lodge. From the mid-eighteenth century, it was home to the military topographer and artist Thomas Sandby, as Deputy Ranger of the Great Park; the house was known as the Deputy Ranger's House. It was enlarged by 1792 and was the home of Joseph Frost, the Park Bailiff, of the General Superintendent of Farms, after Sandby's death. George, Prince of Wales, planned to rebuild Cumberland Lodge.
He used the Lower Lodge as temporary accommodation in 1812. Alterations and additions were undertaken by John Nash for the Prince of Wales; the chapels of the Royal and Cumberland Lodges proved too small for the royal households in the early 19th century, the Royal Chapel of All Saints was built in 1825 by Jeffry Wyatville. The chapel is less than a hundred yards from Royal Lodge, it was now a large and elaborate cottage in the contemporary style of the cottage orné, with thatched roofs, a conservatory. It became known as the Prince Regent's Cottage after the prince moved into it in 1815; the renovation of Cumberland Lodge was abandoned. Additions were made after 1820. In 1823, Jeffry Wyatt succeeded Nash as architect, the house became known as the Royal Lodge in the late 1820s. After 1830, King William IV ordered the demolition of all of the house, except the conservatory, it became a residence again in 1840, was used as accommodation for various officers of the Royal Household until 1843, from 1873 to 1931.
The grounds extend to 98 acres under its own head gardener, but the responsibility of the Crown Estates Commissioners. While the house has grown piecemeal since the 1840s, remains small and informal, the grounds have a unifying plan; this was the result of work undertaken by the Duke and Duchess of York in the 1930s, with the assistance of Sir Eric Savill, of the Windsor estate. In 1931, King George V granted Royal Lodge to the Duchess of York as a country retreat. Wings were added on each flank in the 1930s. There are two lodges at the entrance, groups of three cottages each side of the lodges; the main building has some 30 rooms, including 7 bedrooms, a saloon. The original conservatory survives; the grounds contain the miniature cottage Y Bwthyn Bach, a gift to Princess Elizabeth as a child from the people of Wales in 1932. After the death of George VI in 1952, The Queen Mother continued to use the house as one of her country retreats as a grace and favour residence, until her death; the Queen Mother died at the Royal Lodge in March 2002, with her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II, by her side.
In August 2003, Prince Andrew was granted a lease agreement by the Crown Estate for 75 years. The property leased included the Royal Lodge, a Gardener's Cottage, the Chapel Lodge, six Lodge Cottages, Police security accommodation in addition to 40 hectares of land; the lease agreement required Prince Andrew to carry out, at his own expense, extensive refurbishing work estimated at £7.5 million at September 2002 prices, excluding VAT. It provided for a premium payment of £1 million; the National Audit Office report into the lease agreement states that the Crown Estate's independent advisors had advised that the refurbishment work would cost at least £5 million and that the Prince should be given the option to buy out the notional annual rental payment for £2.5 million. Once the Prince committed to spending £7.5 million on refurbishment, it was decided that no rental would be required as he would be treated as having bought out the notional annual rental payment because he exceeded the minimum £5 million required for refurbishment.
As a result, only the £1 million premium was paid to the Crown Estate. There is no provision for any further rent review over the life of the 75-year lease agreement; the lease agreement provides that the prince may not benefit financially from any increase in the value of the property as the freehold belongs to the Crown Estate. The leasehold may be assigned only to his widow or his two daughters, Princess Beatrice of York and Princess Eugenie of York; this may be a significant benefit given the increase in the value of the property and the notional annual rental payment which it would command over the course of the 75-year lease. The NAO Report does not specify whether sub-leasing by the prince or his daughters is allowed under the rental agreement. If the prince terminates the lease, the property would revert to the Crown Estate, he would be entitled to compensation for the refurbishment costs incurred up to a maximum of just under £7 million, reduced annually over the first 25 years, after which no compensation is payable.
The NAO report states that having taken advice fro
History of Penkridge
Penkridge is a market town and parish in Staffordshire with a history stretching back to the Anglo-Saxon period. A religious as well as a commercial centre, it was centred on the Collegiate Church of St. Michael and All Angels, a chapel royal and royal peculiar that maintained its independence until the Reformation. Mentioned in Domesday, Penkridge underwent a period of growth from the 13th century, as the Forest Law was loosened, evolved into a patchwork of manors of varying size and importance dependent on agriculture. From the 16th century it was dominated by a single landed gentry family, the Littletons, who attained the Peerage of the United Kingdom as the Barons Hatherton, who helped modernise its agriculture and education system; the Industrial Revolution inaugurated a steady improvement in transport and communications that helped shape the modern town. In the second half of the 20th century, Penkridge grew evolving into a residential area, while retaining its commercial centre, its links with the countryside and its fine church.
Early human occupation of the immediate area around Penkridge has been confirmed by the presence of a Bronze or Iron Age barrow at nearby Rowley Hill. A significant settlement in this vicinity has existed since pre-Roman times, with its original location being at the intersection of the River Penk and what became the Roman military road known as Watling Street; this would place it between Gailey, about 2.25 miles SSW of the modern town. The town of Penkridge in its current location dates back at least to the early Middle Ages, when the area was part of Mercia, it held an important place in local society and religious observance; the first clear reference to the settlement of Pencric comes from the reign of Edgar the Peaceful, who issued a royal charter from it in 958, describing it as a "famous place". Around 1000, Wulfgeat, a Shropshire landowner, left bullocks to the church at Penkridge, which means that the church must date from at least the 10th century. In the 16th century, John Alen, dean of Penkridge and Archbishop of Dublin, claimed that the founder of the collegiate church of St. Michael at Penkridge was King Eadred, Edgar's uncle, which seems plausible.
The origins of the settlement may go back much earlier in the Anglo-Saxon period, but the known dates suggest that it achieved considerable importance in the mid-10th century and that the town's significance was in large part dependent on its important church. A local legend claims that King Edgar made Penkridge his capital for three years whilst he was reconquering the Danelaw; however most historical sources see the reign of Edgar as an uneventful one, as his cognomen suggests, there is no record of any internal strife between English and Danes during his reign, making this claim doubtful. At Domesday, more than a century Penkridge was still a royal manor, St. Michael's was a chapel royal; this makes it that Edgar stayed here because it was one of his homes: medieval rulers were itinerant, moving with their retinue to consume their resources in situ, rather than having them transported to a capital. In about 1086, Domesday not only recorded the situation at Penkridge, but gave considerable insight into changes and continuities since the Anglo-Saxon period.
Penkridge was still held by the king, William the Conqueror, not as overlord of another magnate - just as Edward the Confessor held it before the Norman Conquest. The king had a substantial area of woodland; the numbers working on the king's land are, however small: just two slaves, two villeins and two smallholders, although the land at Penkridge was worth 40 shillings annually. There were the subsidiary parts of the manor: Wolgarston, Congreve, Dunston and Beffcote, which had 30 workers and had increased in value from 65s. To 100s. Since the Conquest – unusual in the Midlands or North at that time. At Penkridge itself a substantial part of the agricultural land was held from the king by nine clerics, who had a hide of land, worked by six slaves and seven villeins; these clerics had a further 2 3/4 hides to the north, with twelve workers. Both these holdings had risen in value since the Conquest. In Henry I's time, there was a dispute between the Abbey of Saint-Remi or Saint-Rémy at Reims in Northern France, which claimed the church at Lapley, next to its daughter house, Lapley Priory, a royal chaplain.
It is believed the clerk in question was a canon of Penkridge, trying to vindicate an ancient claim to Lapley. A 13th-century source confirms; the court found in favour of Saint-Rémy and Lapley was confirmed as a small independent parish in the advowson of Saint-Rémy. However, this was not a result of the Norman Conquest directly, but was intended as confirmation of a grant to the French abbey by Ælfgar, Earl of Mercia, in the closing years of the Anglo-Saxon monarchy. Penkridge seems to have passed through the Conquest not only unscathed but enhanced in wealth and status: a royal manor, with a sizeable royal demesne and a substantial church, staffed by a community of clerics. However, it was not, in the modern sense, a town. Penkridge itself would have been a small village on the southern bank of the River Penk, with the homes of the laity grouped to the east of the church, along the Stafford-Worcester road, with a scattering of hamlets in the surrounding area; the church was the most notable feature of Penkridge from late Anglo-Saxon times.
By the 13th century, it had reached a distinctive form. It was a chapel royal - a place set aside by the monarchs for their own use; this made it independent of the local Bishop of Li
St Peter's Collegiate Church
St Peter's Collegiate Church is located on the northern side of central Wolverhampton, England. For many centuries it was a chapel royal, from 1480 a royal peculiar, independent of the Diocese of Lichfield and the Province of Canterbury; the collegiate church was central to the development of the town of Wolverhampton, much of which belonged to its dean. Until the 18th century, it was the only church in Wolverhampton and the control of the college extended far into the surrounding area, with dependent chapels in several towns and villages of southern Staffordshire. Integrated into the diocesan structure since 1848, today St Peter's is part of the Anglican Parish of Central Wolverhampton; the Grade I listed building, much of, Perpendicular in style, dating from the 15th century, is of significant architectural and historical interest. Although it is not a cathedral, it has a strong choral foundation in keeping with English Cathedral tradition; the Father Willis organ is of particular note: a campaign to raise £300,000 for its restoration was launched in 2008.
Restoration began in 2018. St Peter's is an Anglo-Saxon foundation; the history of St Peter's was dominated for centuries by its collegiate status, from the 12th century constituted as a dean and prebendaries, by its royal connections, which were crystallised in the form of the Royal Peculiar in 1480. Although a source of pride and prosperity to both town and church, this institutional framework, hard-won and doggedly defended, made the church subject to the whims of the monarch or governing elite and unresponsive to the needs of its people. Characterised by absenteeism and corruption through most of its history, the college was involved in constant political and legal strife, it was dissolved and restored a total of three times, before a fourth and final dissolution in 1846-8 cleared the way for St Peter's to become an active urban parish church and the focus of civic pride. There is some doubt about the origins of the College of Wolverhampton; the most important item of evidence is a charter, alleged by an anonymous history of the Diocese of Lichfield to have been discovered around 1560 in ruderibus muri, "in the ruins of a wall."
The story of its discovery and its subsequent disappearance has cast doubt on the authenticity of the charter. It is known from a transcription made by William Dugdale in 1640, when the original was in the library at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, included in his famous survey, Monasticon Anglicanum. Sigeric, Archbishop of Canterbury, confirms Lady Wulfrun's endowment of a Minster at Hampton; the original grant by Wulfrun Latin and Old English, is quoted in the charter. A translation begins: I, Wulfrun, do grant to the proper patron and high-throned King of Kings, the everlasting Virgin mother of God, of all the saints, for the body of my husband, of my soul, ten hides of land, to that aforesaid monastery of the servants of God there, in another convenient place another ten hides for the offences of Wulfgeat my kinsman lest he should hear in the judgment to be dreaded from the severe Judge, "Go away from me, I hungered and thirsted," and so on; because he is blessed who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.
Now my sole daughter, has migrated from the world to the life-giving airs. For the third time I have granted 10 hides to the almighty God, with ineffable charity, more willingly than the others; these are the boundaries of the land that Wulfrun has given to the minster in Hamtun and the names of the towns that this privilegium refers to: First of Earn-leie and Eswick and Bilsetna-tun and Willan-hale and Wodnesfeld and Peoleshale and Ocgingtun and Hiltun and Hagenthorndun and Kynwaldes-tun and another Hiltune and Feotherstun. The charter defines the boundaries of the estates given by Wulfrun in considerable detail; some of the places named are easy to recognise from their modern or medieval forms: Arley, Wilenhall, Pelsall, Ogley Hay, Hatherton, Featherstone. Others raise problems; these were discussed in the notes to a collection of Anglo-Saxon charters prepared for publication by C. G. O. Bridgeman in 1916, his conclusions have been accepted; these include the identification of Eswick as Ashwood, Staffordshire, as it was Haswic in the Domesday Book, of the second Hilton as a village of that name near Ogley and Wall, Staffordshire.
The ten hides of land at Wolverhampton were those which Wulfrun herself had received from Ethelred II by a charter of 985. These were specified as ix uidelicet in loco qui dicitur aet Heantune, et aeque unam manentem in eo loco quae Anglice aet Treselcotum uocitatur: the latter is a place on the River Smestow to the west of Wolverhampton; the Arley lands came from a grant which King Edgar the Peaceful had made to Wulfgeat, a relative of Wulfrun, in 963. In 1548, before the alleged discovery of Wulfrun's charter, Edgar himselfwas accepted as the founder of the College. Wulfgeat was an important adviser to Ethelred, a king who proverbially, as the Unready or Redeless, did not accept good advice: he fell into disgrace and Wulfrun's grants were to make amends for his perceived injustices; when Wulfgeat died in about 1006, he left four oxen to the church at Heantune. The church was dedicated to St Mary and this was still the dedication at the Domesday survey: It was switched to St Peter in the mid-12th century: an escheator's inquisition in 1393 recalled that it was still St Mary's when Henry I granted a small estate to set up a chantry for himself and
Order of the Garter
The Order of the Garter is an order of chivalry founded by Edward III in 1348 and regarded as the most prestigious British order of chivalry in England and the United Kingdom. It is dedicated to the image and arms of England's patron saint. Appointments are made at the Sovereign's sole discretion. Membership of the Order is limited to the Sovereign, the Prince of Wales, no more than 24 living members, or Companions; the order includes supernumerary knights and ladies. New appointments to the Order of the Garter are announced on St George's Day, as Saint George is the order's patron saint; the order's emblem is a garter with the motto Honi soit qui mal y pense in gold lettering. Members of the order wear it on ceremonial occasions. King Edward III founded the Order of the Garter around the time of his claim to the French throne; the traditional year of foundation is given as 1348. However, the Complete Peerage, under "The Founders of the Order of the Garter", states the order was first instituted on 23 April 1344, listing each founding member as knighted in 1344.
The list includes Sir Sanchet D'Abrichecourt, who died on 20 October 1345. Other dates from 1344 to 1351 have been proposed; the King's wardrobe account shows Garter habits first issued in the autumn of 1348. Its original statutes required that each member of the Order be a knight and some of the initial members listed were only knighted that year; the foundation is to have been inspired by the Spanish Order of the Band, established in about 1330. The earliest written mention of the Order is found in Tirant lo Blanch, a chivalric romance written in Catalan by Valencian Joanot Martorell, it was first published in 1490. This book devotes a chapter to the description of the origin of the Order of the Garter. At the time of its foundation, the Order consisted of King Edward III, together with 25 Founder Knights, listed in ascending order of stall number in St George's Chapel: King Edward III Edward, the Black Prince, Prince of Wales Henry of Grosmont, Earl of Lancaster Thomas de Beauchamp, 11th Earl of Warwick Jean III de Grailly, Captal de Buch Ralph de Stafford, 1st Earl of Stafford William de Montacute, 2nd Earl of Salisbury Roger Mortimer, 2nd Earl of March John de Lisle, 2nd Baron Lisle Bartholomew de Burghersh, 2nd Baron Burghersh John de Beauchamp, 1st Baron Beauchamp John de Mohun, 2nd Baron Mohun Sir Hugh de Courtenay Thomas Holland, 1st Earl of Kent John de Grey, 1st Baron Grey de Rotherfield Sir Richard Fitz-Simon Sir Miles Stapleton Sir Thomas Wale Sir Hugh Wrottesley Sir Nele Loring Sir John Chandos Sir James Audley Sir Otho Holand Sir Henry Eam Sir Sanchet D'Abrichecourt Sir Walter Paveley They are all depicted in individual portraits in the Bruges Garter Book made c.
1431, now in the British Library. Various legends account for the origin of the Order; the most popular involves the "Countess of Salisbury", whose garter is said to have slipped from her leg while she was dancing at a court ball at Calais. When the surrounding courtiers sniggered, the king picked it up and returned it to her, exclaiming, "Honi soit qui mal y pense!", the phrase that has become the motto of the Order. However, the earliest written version of this story dates from the 1460s, it seems to have been conceived as a retrospective explanation for the adoption of what was seen as an item of female underclothing as the symbol of a band of knights. In fact, at the time of the Order's establishment in the mid-14th century, the garter was predominantly an item of male attire. According to another legend, King Richard I was inspired in the 12th century by St George the Martyr while fighting in the Crusades to tie garters around the legs of his knights, who subsequently won the battle. King Edward recalled the event in the 14th century when he founded the Order.
This story is recounted in a letter to the Annual Register in 1774: In Rastel's Chronicle, I. vi. under the life of Edward III is the following curious passage: "About the 19 yere of this kinge, he made a solempne feest at Wyndesore, a greate justes and turnament, where he devysed, perfyted substanegally, the order of the knyghtes of the garter. And afterwarde they were called the knyghtes of the blew thonge." I am obliged for this passage to Esq.. Hence some affirm, that the origin of the garter is to be dated from Richard I* and that it owes its pomp and splendor to Edward III. *Winstanley, in his Life of Edward III says that the original book of the institution deduces the invention from King Richard the First. The motto in fact refers to Edward's claim to the French throne, the Order of the Garter was created to help pursue this claim; the use of the garter as an emblem may have derived from straps used t
The Chapel Royal is an establishment in the Royal Household serving the spiritual needs of the sovereign of the British royal family. It was a body of priests and singers that travelled with the monarch; the term is now applied to the chapels within royal palaces, most notably at Hampton Court and St James's Palace, other chapels within the Commonwealth designated as such by the monarch. The Chapel Royal's role is to perform choral liturgical service, it has played a significant role in the musical life of the nation, with composers such as Tallis and Purcell all having been members of the choir. The choir consists of Gentlemen of the Chapel Royal singing the lower parts alongside the boy choirsters known as the Children of the Chapel. In their early history, the English chapel royal travelled, like the rest of the court, with the monarch and performed wherever he or she was residing at the time; the earliest written record of the chapel dates to c.1135 in the reign of Henry I. Specified in this document of household regulations are two gentlemen and four servants, although there may have been other people within the chapel at this time.
An ordnance from the reign of Henry VI sets out the full membership of the chapel as of 1455: one Dean, 20 Chaplains and Clerks, seven Children, one Chaplain Confessor for the Household, one Yeoman. However, in the same year the clerks petitioned the King asking that their number be increased to 24 singing men due to "the grete labour that thei have daily in your chapell". From the reign of Edward IV further details survive. There were 26 chaplains and clerks, who were to be "cleare voysid" in their singing and "suffisaunt in Organes playing"; the children were supervised by a Master of Song, chosen by the dean from among the gentlemen of the Chapel. They were allocated supplies of meat and ale, their own servant. There were two Yeoman of the Chapel who acted as epistlers, reading from the bible during services; these were appointed from Children of the Chapel whose voices had broken. The chapel remained stable throughout the reign of Henry VIII and the Dissolution of the Monasteries; the number of singers did vary during this period however, without apparent reason, from between twenty to thirty gentlemen and eight to ten children.
The chapel travelled with the King to the Field of the Cloth of Gold, on the second invasion of France. In the Tudor period, the chapel took on another, function that would gain in significance into the 17th century - that of performing in dramas. Both the gentlemen and children would act in pageants and plays for the royal family, held in court on feast days such as Christmas. For example at Christmas 1514, the play "The Triumph of Love and Beauty" was written and presented by William Cornysh Master of the Children, was performed to the King by members of the chapel including the children; the chapel achieved its greatest eminence during the reign of Elizabeth I, when William Byrd and Thomas Tallis were joint organists. The Master of the Children of the Chapel Royal had, until at least 1684, the power to impress promising boy trebles from provincial choirs for service in the chapel; the theatre company affiliated with the chapel, known as the Children of the Chapel Royal, produced plays at court and commercially until the 1620s by playwrights including John Lyly, Ben Jonson and George Chapman.
In the 17th century the chapel royal had its own building in Whitehall, which burned down in 1698. The English Chapel Royal became associated with Westminster Abbey, so that by 1625 over half of the Gentlemen of the English Chapel Royal were members of the Westminster Abbey choir. In the 18th century the choristers sang the soprano parts in performances of Handel's oratorios and other works. Under Charles II, the choir was augmented by violinists from the royal consort. In the United Kingdom, the Chapel Royal is a department of the Ecclesiastical Household, formally known as the royal "Free Chapel of the Household"; the household is further divided into two parts: an ecclesiastical household each for Scotland and England, belonging to the Church of Scotland and the Church of England respectively. Since such establishments are outside the usual diocesan structure, the chapels royal are royal peculiars. Scotland and England have distinct Deans of the Chapel Royal, that of England being held since 1748 by the Bishop of London, while daily control is vested in the Sub-Dean, presently the Revd Canon Paul Wright, Domestic Chaplain to the sovereign at Buckingham Palace.
He is assisted by the Revd William Whitcombe and the Revd Richard Bolton, who both hold the office of Priest in Ordinary to the Sovereign, Jon Simpson, Sergeant of the Vestry. The chapels royal are served by a choir, six Gentlemen-in-Ordinary and ten Children of the Chapel— all boys; the current Director of Music of the English Chapel Royal is Joe McHardy, assisted by a sub organist. The chapel royal occupies a number of buildings; the Chapel Royal conducts the Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph in Whitehall and combines with the choir of the host abbey or cathedral on Royal Maundy. The principal locations in which the chapel operated have varied over the years. For example in the early Tudor period and in Elizabeth I's reign, the chapel's activity was centered around the Greenwich Palace and the Palace of Whitehall. Under Elizabeth II the chapel's primary location is at St James's Palace; the chapel at St James's has been used since 1702 and is the most used facility today. Located in the main block of St James's Palace, it was built c. 1540 and altered since