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WINDSOR CASTLE. numents to perpetuate the respectable inhabitants and others. It contains also a very noble organ, which formerly belonged to St. George's Chapel, and was presented by the king to the parish, when the new instrument was erected in the collegiate place of worship.
This princely and magnificent residence of the British Monarchs, is situated on the summit of an hill, which commands the most beautiful, rich, and luxuriant prospects. The silver Thames flows beneath it, and, by its serpentine course through the vale which its waters fertilize, heightens and completes the unrivalled scene.
This castle originated in the preference which William the Conqueror gave to the spot on which it stands. He was so delighted with it, that having obtained the possession of it from the monks of Westminster, as we have already mentioned, he did not delay to erect a royal seat, or fortified castle; for, as early as the fourth year of his reign, it is recorded that he kept his court, and ordered a synod to be held here, at the festival period of Whitsuntide. He also designed the parks, laid out extensive forests where he might enjoy the pleasures of the chase, and enacted laws for the preservation of the deer and other game. This castle is described in Domesday Book as containing half an hide of land, parcel of the Manor of Clewer. Henry the First not only enlarged it with many stately buildings, but strengthened it with walls and ramparts; and, in the tenth year of his reign, summoned his nobles to attend him here at the feast of the Pentecost, which was celebrated with great pomp and magnificence. So many, indeed, and so important were the improvements which this monarch made in the castle, that some of our antiquarian writers have represented him as the original founder of it.
In the succeeding reign, in a treaty of peace between King Stephen and Duke Henry, afterwards Henry the Second, this castle is called Mota de Windesor, the fortress of Wind
In the year 1177, Henry the Second held a grand council or parliament here, at which were present the great barons, the king's chief tenants, William King of Scotland, and his brother David: and when Richard the First departed on his romantic expedition to the Holy Land, Hugh de Pudsey, Bishop of Durham and Earl of Northumberland, being appointed a regent of the kingdom, during the king's absence, made Windsor the place of his residence, on account of its strength and security. King John, for the same reason, in the year 1215, lodged in the castle previous to his granting Magna Charta; which accounts for Runnymede, a meadow on the banks of the Thames, and at a small distance from Windsor, being appointed for the scene of that renowned festival of liberty. That king, however, soon after manifesting a disposition to break his late solemn engagement, this castle was besieged by the barons, though without success. In the year 1263, when Henry the Third and his barons were in a state of hostility, it was delivered up by treaty to the latter; but in the same year it was recovered by surprize, and made a place of rendezvous for the royal party. Edward the First and his Queen Eleanor took great delight in this castle, and four of their royal offspring were born within its walls. Edward the Second made it also the place of his residence; and his son, afterwards Edward the Third, of glorious name, was born here, and, on that account, called Edward of Windsor. The affection which this prince bore to his native place induced him to take down the whole of the old castle, except
the three towers on the west end, in the lower ward, and to rebuild it in a new and more stately form: and a principal part of the structure, as it now stands, was accordingly erected. He also made it the seat of the most noble Order of the Garter, which he had previously instituted in the year 1349. Nor should it be forgotten that, at this period,