Page:Chronicle of the Grey friars of London.djvu/32

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xxviii
PREFACE.

the renewed effort was made, and who invited the bishop into the city council-chamber to advise with the aldermen thereon,—and next to his successor sir George Barnes, whose "endevour was to have a House of Occupation set up," and for that purpose procured the princely palace of Bridewell from "that godly king, that Christian and peerless prince."

Mr. Trollope tells us that "In the month of June, 1553, the young king received the corporation at the palace, and presented them with the charter, the children also being present at the ceremony."[1] This is purely legendary, as much so as the velvet coat and silver buttons which he says are among the archaic myths of the school-boys.[2] It was on the 10th of April, as already stated, that the king gave audience to the mayor. On the 26th of June, when the letters patent passed the seal, he was languishing in his last illness. Nor if he had lived on in health would he have delivered his charter to the corporation with the ceremonial represented. Mr. Trollope has adopted as a piece of contemporary evidence the great picture which hangs in the hall of Christ's hospital, not being aware of the element of poetry which it contains, stiff and ungainly as its composition

  1. History of Christ's Hospital, p. 41.
  2. The blue-coat boys, it seems, indulge in some very amusing speculations on their now obsolete costume. "It has been imagined that the coat was the mantle, and the yellow, as it is technically called, the sleeveless tunic of the monastery; the leathern girdle also corresponding with the hempen cord of the friar. There is an old tradition among the boys, that the dress was originally of velvet, fastened with silver buttons, and an exact facsimile of the ordinary habit of their royal founder."—History of Christ's Hospital, p. 50.