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of nothing. And who could have any interest in making the Bloody-tower the scene of a tragedy which was thought to have been enacted in another place? No one can assert with safety that the royal youths were slain in this murderous-looking apartment; but, in the absence of stronger evidence to the contrary than has yet been adduced, the popular tendency to believe that they were, is, at least, quite as philosophical as the critical tendency to doubt.
The Bloody-tower has been the prison of many illustrious men, and the scene of many great crimes. Bayley thinks it probable that it was the place in which the Earl of Northumberland came to his death, and that it received its present name from that event: a conjecture which is strengthened by a consistent tradition. The fate of Henry Percy furnishes a good example of the foul mysteries of this great dungeon. He was arrested on suspicion of favouring the cause of Mary Queen of Scots, then a prisoner in the hands of her cousin Elizabeth—of plotting with the Guises to invade England and set the unfortunate captive at liberty. His brother Thomas had already-without trial ! been beheaded at York for the same offence. Henry was kept a close prisoner for more than twelve months, yet no preparation was made for bringing him before his peers. On the 10th of June, (1595,) the lieutenant received orders to remove the earl's keeper, and put a fellow named Bailiff, a servant of Christopher Hatton, in his place. That night poor Percy was found dead in his bed, three slugs having passed through his heart. The
court coroner returned a verdict of felo de se,
and the ministers of the queen spread a report that the wretched man had called Elizabeth by a foul name, had sworn that she should inherit no property of his, and had committed suicide to prevent the lapse of his estates to the crown. To prove their case, government brought forward a witness named Mullan, who said he had furnished the gun : a fellow named Pantin deposed that he saw the gun delivered into the earl's hands by his servant Price. But Price himself, the most important witness in the matter, though in custody, was not allowed to give evidence. Why was the keeper changed on the day of the murder ? The circumstance is at least suspicious. In a similar way, Brackenbury had been removed from his post the day before the murder of the two princes. How could fire-arms be introduced into the Tower without permission ? Whatever the court might choose to say, no one at that time believed that the earl had put an end to his own life. In a letter written by Walter Raleigh to Robert Cecil fifteen years after the crime was committed, it is spoken of as a thing perfectly well known to the correspondents that Percy was assassinated by the servant, and at the command, of Sir Christopher Hatton. The death of the Earl of Northumberland was neither the first nor the last of those foul and midnight murders which have made the very name of the Tower a word of fear and horror. Some of the other cases of greatest note were—Henry VI. ; George, Duke of Clarence, brother to E ard IV.
and Richard III. ; Edward, Prince of Wales, and Richard, Duke of York; Sir Thomas Overbury; Arthur Capel, Earl of Essex. If persons of such high rank-most of them of the blood-royal of England—could not escape, what reason can there be for thinking that obscurer individuals could evade the evil genius of the place ? He would be a rash man who would venture to assert that one of the score of minor towers formerly used as prisons is free from the stain of blood. Nor is there in these low dark chambers anything to incline one to doubt of the perpetration of such evil deeds. The very rooms, with their narrow passages and secret stairs, look like the scenes of murder. The only windows which let in light open on to that fatal spot, the old green, the present parade, where so many royal personages have suffered death, innocently and otherwise :—The beautiful Ann Boleyn ; the haughty and ambitious Catharine Howard ; the aged and noble Margaret, Countess of Salisbury,the last of the Plantagenet race of princes of pure blood, butchered by form of law, but in outrage of every principle of justice, for the crime of having a son who refused to give up his conscience to his sovereign ; the pious and gentle, the loving and good, Lady Jane Grey! All women, all queens or the daughters of queens, and all guiltless of the offences for which they died! And what a death was that of the venerable Margaret ! She had committed no crime—the blood of her race was powerful within her-and she would not submit to
her dark doom. But her struggles were vain. Led by force to the scaffold, she refused to lay her head upon the block. The headsman was sternly commanded to do his duty, and he followed her round and round the scaffold, gashing and mangling her with his axe till she was dead. Seldom had such a sight been seen in England. Her mutilated remains were then picked up and buried in the adjoining chapel. Was anything impossible after such horrors ? The last person who occupied the state apartments in the Bloody-tower was Arthur Thistlewood, the Cato-street conspirator.
Connecting this ill-omened tower with the Belltower stands a mass of old building, used as a residence for the lieutenant. The rooms posing it consist of an old council chamber and some state prisons, all of which have been full of unfortunates at various periods of our history. The last person confined in the lieutenant's house was Sir Francis Burdett, committed on the 6th of April, 1810, for writing an article which appeared in Cobbett's Weekly Register. Burdett was then a reformer. The apartment known as the council chamber, now occupied as a bed-room, is that in which the ministers met to interrogate Guy Fawkes and his gunpowder-plot accomplices. It is said that James himself came down to see the conspirators tortured : it is certain that with his own hand he gave particular instructions as to the manner in which torture should be inflicted-first the milder pains, gradually increased up to the
severest known in the hellish art. All the Stuarts who reigned in England seem to have delighted in the sight of agony.
Let into the wall, and covered with folding doors, is a large monument of different coloured marbles inlaid with five metallic plates, on which are recorded an account of the plot, the names of the royal family, a list of the council which examined the prisoners, and a list of those who were concerned, arranged in three rows, the name of Guy Fawkes being in the centre. Over the mantelpiece is a bust of James in stone. The walls of this ominous chamber are painted over with representations of men inflicting and suffering torture in various shapes; but these horrid objects have been hidden from view by the upholsterer. The room has the reputation of being haunted : no wonder ! and the ladies of a former lieutenant's family were unable to sleep in it while those frightful pictures glared at them from the walls.
From the lieutenant's house we pass into the Belltower, already mentioned as the prison of Bishop Fisher and the Princess Elizabeth. In a room adjoining, there has recently been discovered an in scription, which states that the Countess of Lennox was confined there in the year 1565, for the marriage of her son, Henry Darnley, to the Queen of Scots. Between the Bell-tower and Beauchamp-tower there was formerly a passage by the leads, used as a promenade for prisoners ; and along the low brick walls some of these unfortunates have left sad memorials of themselves inscribed. One runs thus :-" Respice