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A Windsor Guide from c.1811

Chapter 3 - Of the Upper Ward, Royal Apartments, St. George's Hall, and the King's Private Chapel

The third chapter of a series taken from Charles Knight's 'Guide to Windsor' describing the Castle in his time. For more information about the booklet and texts, please see the information panel in Chapter 1.

See also

1 The Town of Windsor

2 Building of The Castle

3 The Castle - Upper Ward

4 The Castle - The Round Tower

5 The Castle - Lower Ward

6 St George's Chapel - I

6 St George's Chapel - 2

6 St George's Chapel - 3

7 The College of St George

8 The Royal Lodges and Parks

9 Of The Order of The Garter

The History Zone Index

A List of Kings and Queens of England since AD1066

Royal Windsor Home Page

3 Of The Upper Ward or Court: With a Description of The Royal Apartments

Windsor Castle from 1780s

A striking and beautifully hand coloured  copper engraving, entitled  "VIEW OF THE CASTLE & PALACE OF WINDSOR IN BERKSHIRE ". Engraved by Roberts and published by Alexander Hogg, London circa 1780. A delightful view which depicts the Castle from the river Thames and includes two boats on the river and figures on the river bank. The Upper Ward is to the left of this view.


The Upper Ward is a spacious quadrangle, formed on the west side by the Keep or Round Tower; on the north by the Royal Apartments, St. George's Hall, and the Chapel Royal; and on the East and South sides by the apartments of the Prince of Wales, the Royal Family, and the Great Officers of State.

Nearly in the centre of this square, is an equestrian statue in bronze of King Charles II in a Roman habit, and placed on a marble pedestal, on the south side of which are represented, in basso relievo, a variety of figures expressive of navigation. On the west side is the royal cypher, surrounded with the garter, and crowned with other ornaments. On the north side are a variety of fruits, and on the east a shield, on which is a Latin inscription to this effect:

"Tobias Rustat humbly gave and dedicated this statue to his most gracious master, Charles II, the best of Kings, in the year of Our Lord MDCLXXX. [1680]

Underneath is a curious water engine, originally invented by Sir Samuel Morland, in that Prince's reign, to supply the place with water.

I shall now conduct the reader to the upper side of this court, on which, as is above mentioned, are the Royal Apartments.

The Royal Apartments

The entrance to these is by a handsome pair of iron gates, through a vestibule, supported by columns of the Ionic order, with some antique busts in several niches; the principal are a Roman vestal, and a slave in the action of picking a thorn out of his foot.

The staircase consists of three flights of stone steps, containing twelve in each flight, secured on the right hand by twisting iron balustrades. Here, within a dome, is represented the story of Phaeton, petitioning Apollo to permit him to drive the chariot of the sun; and at each corner of the ceiling, under the dome, is one of the four elements.

Fire is represented by a woman sitting on a pile, with a flaming censor in her hand, and by her are a phoenix and a salamander.

Earth is crowned with a chaplet of corn, and holds in one hand a wheat-sheaf, and in the other a cornucopia.

Air is represented by a woman with her left hand on a peacock; a paroquet is by the peacock in a flying posture, and on her right hand is perched a kingfisher.

Water is represented by a nereid holding a fish in her lap, with a dolphin, cod, eel, and other fish under her feet. Each of the elements are further expressed by a variety of their characteristic emblems.

In the different parts of the ceiling are the winds supporting the clouds; and in the front is Aurora with her nymphs in waiting, giving water to her horses. On the cornice are some of the signs of the Zodiac, with baskets of flowers beautifully disposed.

Beneath the cornice are twelve azure columns, painted, of the Corinthian order; and on each hand, in large compartments, is the transformation of Phaeton's sisters into poplar trees, with this inscription; MAGNIS TAMEN EXCIDIT AUSIS. "He fell, however, in a great enterprise;" also the transformation of Cygnus into a Swan. Between each pillar is a niche in which are represented geography, comedy, tragedy, epic poetry, sculpture, painting, music, and the mathematics; all of which are painted in umber, and heightened with gold, so that they appear to the eye like brass statues.

Over the door is a bust of Venus in black marble, and on the front of the staircase is an oval, which gives a view to the back staircase, which is adorned with the story of Meleager, killing the wild boar of Aetolia, and giving the head to his mistress Atalanta.

The painting of the whole staircase was designed and executed by Sir James Thornhill, in the reigns of Queen Anne and King George I.

Queen's Guard Chamber

In this apartment, into which you first enter, the ceiling is adorned with Britannia, in the person of Queen Catharine of Portugal, consort to Charles II, seated on a globe, bearing the arms of England and Portugal, the four quarters of the earth, and their respective symbols, attended by deities, presenting their several offerings. The signs of the Zodiac are on the outer part of this beautiful representation. In different parts of the ceiling are, Mars, Venus, Juno, Minerva, and other heathen deities, with Zephyrs, Cupids, and other embellishments properly disposed.

On the coving over the door is Minerva, on the east side Achilles, on the south Juno with a peacock, and on the west Venus with her doves.

Over the chimney is George, Prince of Denmark, on horseback, by Dahl, and views of shipping by Vandevelde.

In this room are guns, bayonets, pikes, bandoleers, etc., and disposed in various beautiful forms, with a star and garter, the Royal cypher, and other ornaments intermixed, cut in lime wood.

Queen's Presence Chamber

The ceiling of this room is adorned with the representation of Queen Catharine, attended by Religion, Prudence, Fortitude, and the other virtues. She is under a curtain spread by Time, and supported by Zephyrs, with Fame sounding the happiness of Britain; underneath Justice is seen driving away Sedition, Envy, and other evil Genii.

The paintings are:

Three of the Cartoons, lately removed from Hampton Court, are:

1 - The Miraculous Draught of Fishes

In the first of these celebrated Cartoons, Christ appears with an air of diving benignity. The exotic birds, and large fowl placed on the shore in the foreground, have a sea-wildness in them, and, as their food was fish, contribute to express the business in hand, which was fishing; and being thus placed on the shore, prevent the heaviness which that part would otherwise have had. However, in this cartoon Raphael has made a boat too little to hold the figures he has placed in it; but had he lade it large enough for those figures, the picture would have been all boat' And to have made his figures small enough for a vessel of that size, would have rendered them unsuitable to the rest of the set, and less considerable; there would have been too much boat and too little figure.

2 - Peter and John healing the Cripple at the Gate of the Temple.

The story of the second is finely told: "The man healed of his lameness, to express his sense of the divine goodness which appeared in these apostles, and to show it to be him, not only a crutch under his feet on the ground, but an old man takes up the lappet of his garment, and looks upon the limb he remembers to have been crippled, expressing great devotion and amazement, which are sentiments seen in the other with a mixture of joy.

3 - St. Paul and Barnabas at Lystra.

In the third, all the figures are admirably performed; "The boys are done with great judgment, and by being naked make a fine contrast. The figures are placed at one end near the corner, which varies the side of the picture, and gives an opportunity to enlarge the building with a fine portico, the like of which you must imagine to be on the other side of the main structure; all which together make a noble piece of architecture."

(For an account of the other four, see below The King's Presence Chamber.)

And the following portraits:

King Edward III  Belcamp
King James I, Vandyck
Edward the Black Prince Belcamp

Queen's Audience Chamber

On the ceiling of this room, Britannia is represented in the person of Queen Catharine, seated in a triumphal car, drawn by swans to the Temple of Virtue, attended by Ceres, Pomona, Flora, etc., with other decorations, heightened with gold. The tapestry of this room is of a rich gold ground, made at Coblentz, in Germany, and presented to King Henry VIII. The canopy is of fine English velvet, set up by Queen Ann.

The paintings are:

William, Prince of Orange Honthorst
King James the First's Queen Van Somer
Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange Honthorst

Ball Room

On the ceiling of this room King Charles II is represented giving freedom to Europe, by the figures of Perseus and Andromeda. Over the head of Andromeda is inscribed EUROPE LIBERATA; and on the shield of Perseus is PERSEUS BRITANNICUS; and Mars, attended by other Pagan deities, offers the olive branch. On the cornice is the story of Perseus and Andromeda, the four seasons, and the signs of the zodiac; the whole heightened with gold.

The tapestry, which represents the twelve months of the year, was made at Brussels, and set up by King Charles II. In this room is a large silver table and stand, with a looking glass in a correspondent frame.

The paintings are:

William, Earl of Pembroke Van Somer
St. John after Corregio
The Countess of Dorset after Vandyck
The Duchess of Richmond Vandyck
A Madonna  
The Duke of Hamilton Hanneman

Engraved for the Royal Magazine in 1763,
and captioned 'A Perspective View of Windsor Castle',
this engraving shows the castle much as it would have been
at the time The Windsor Guide was first published.

Queen's Drawing Room

On the ceiling is represented an assembly of gods and goddesses. The whole intermixed with Cupids, and a variety of flowers heightened with gold.

In this room, which is hung with tapestry, representing the seasons of the year, is a beautiful clock, by Vulliamy, the case and emblematic figures of Time clipping Cupid's wings, etc., are in a peculiar style of taste and elegance.

The paintings are:

Judith and Holofernes Guido
A Magdalen Sir Peter Lely
Henrietta, Duchess of Orleans, in the character of Minerva  
Lady Digby Vandyck
De Bray and his family De Bray
Killegrew and Carew Vandyck

Queen's Bed Chamber

On the ceiling of this room is painted the story of Endimion and Diana. The bed set up by order of her present most gracious Majesty, is of the most exquisite workmanship, and is said to have cost fourteen thousand pounds; the whole of the bedstead, and part of the tester, which is
made with a dome in the centre, are curiously carved and gilt; the curtains and valances were of a rich pea-green corded tabby (the green tabby being much faded is removed and a garter blue satin substituted in lieu of it). The head, tester and counterpane, of white satin, on which are
embroidered a variety of the most curious flowers; the colours of them are beautiful and are disposed with the greatest accuracy and judgement.

In this room is an exceeding fine glass, 10 feet 4 inches, by 4 feet 9 inches, and a curious commode table.

The paintings are:

A portrait of the Queen, at full length, with fourteen of the Royal Offspring in Miniature
Six capital Landscapes Zucarilli
Two Flower Pieces Y. Baptist


Room of Beauties

This room is thus named, from a collection of portraits of the most celebrated beauties in the reign of King Charles II, all of which are originals.

These are:

Mrs. Knot Wiffing
Mrs. Lawson Wiffing
Lady Sunderland  
Lady Rochester  
Lady Denham  
Lady Denham's sister  
Mrs. Middleton  
Lady Biron  Houseman
The Duchess of Richmond  
The Countess of Northumberland  
Lady Gramont  
The Duchess of Cleveland  
The Duchess of Somerset  
Lady Offory  Wiffing

Here are also thirteen portraits of Ladies, after Vandyck, by Russel.

The Queen's Dressing Room

This room has been lately hung, by order of her present Majesty, with a neat silk knotting on Manchester stuff. Here are twelve elegant chairs, the seats of similar work with the hangings, and in a correspondent style.

The only painting in this room is:

Anne of Denmark, King James the First's Queen Jansen

Belonging to this room is a closet, in which is deposited the Banner of France, annually delivered here on the 2nd of August, by the Duke of Marlborough, successor to John, the great Duke of Marlborough, by which he holds Blenheim, a magnificent palace at Woodstock Park, in Oxfordshire, built in the reign of Queen Ann, as a national reward and acknowledgement to that great general, for his many glorious victories over the French, and their allies, in a course of ten years most successful war.

Here is a portrait of Cardinal Wolsey, and other paintings; but as this closet is not open for public inspection, they do not offer to view.

Queen Elizabeth's Gallery (The Picture Gallery)

The Collection of Paintings in this Room consist of:

The Emperor Charles the Fifth after Titian
 A Conversation Teniers
Sir John Lawson Sir Peter Lely
Sir Christopher Minnes Ditto
An Italian Market Bamboccio
The Earl of Sandwich Sir Peter Lely
Sir Thomas Allen Ditto
An Italian Market Bamboccio
Sir William Penn Sir Peter Lely
Sir George Ascough Ditto
Sir Thomas Tiddyman Ditto
The Battle of Spurs  
The Wise Men's Offerings Paul Veronese
Titian and a Senator of Venice Titian
Two Misers Quintin Matsys
A Boy with Puppies, etc Murillo
Ann, Duchess of York, Mother of Queen Ann Sir Peter Lely
Prince Rupert Ditto
King Henry the Eighth Holbein
Our Saviour and
St. John
King Henry the Eighth's Expedition to France  
Saint Joseph Fetti
The Holy Family, after Raphael
Sir Jeremiah Smith Sir Peter Lely
A Man's Head Carlo Cignani
A Boy Paring Fruit Michaelangelo
A Landscape with Men playing at Bowls Teniers

King James the First Van Somer
A Man's Head Carlo Cignani
The Ascension of the Virgin Bassan
Boars Drinking, etc Teniers
Sir Joseph Jordan Sir Peter Lely
St. Charles de Boromeo Fetti
The Angel appearing to the Shepherds Poussin
The Interview between King Henry VIII, and Francis I, King of France
Sir William Berkeley Sir Peter Lely
Our Saviour in the Garden Nicolo Poussin
Emanuel Philebert, Duke of Savoy Sir A. More
The Angel delivering St. Peter out of Prison Stenwyck
The Duke of Albemarle Sir Peter Lely
A Landscape Teniers
The Marquis del Guasto and his Family after Titian
Sir John Harman Sir Peter Lely
A Landscape Swanivell

China Closet

This Closet, which is finely gilt and ornamented, is filled with a great variety of curious old china, elegantly disposed. Here is also a fine amber cabinet, presented to Queen Ann, by Doctor Robinson, Bishop of Bristol, and Plenipotentiary to the Congress at Utrecht.

The paintings are:

Prince Arthur and his two Sisters  Mabuse
A Woman with a Kitten in her Hand  
A Woman squeezing Blood out of a Sponge  

From this Gallery, you return to the Queen's Dressing Room, from which you enter the King's Apartments.

King's Closet

On the ceiling of this room is painted the Story of Jupiter and Leda. The hangings are of garter-blue silk, and was put up by order of his present Majesty, [Geo III] in 1788.

The Paintings are:

Anne, Duchess of York Sir Peter Lely
A Man's Head Raphael
St. Catharine Guido

A Woman's Head Parmegiano
A landscape with Boats, etc Breughel
A Landscape with Figures Ditto

A Landscape Teniers
Princess Mary Sir Peter Lely
The Duke of Norfolk Holbein

A Landscape, with the Holy Family Van Uden
Martin Luther Holbein
Erasmus George Pens

Queen Henrietta Maria Vandyck
The Creation Breughel
Mary, Duchess of York Sir Peter Lely

The King's Dressing Room

The ceiling is Jupiter and Danae - the hangings are the same as in the last mentioned room. Here is also a clock, by Vulliamy, in a similar style to that in the Queen's Drawing Room.

The paintings are:

Prince George of Denmark Sir G. Kneller
A Magdalen Carlo Dolci
A View of Windsor Castle Wosterman

A Man's Head Leonardo da Vinci
A landscape Wovermans
Nero Depositing the Ashes of Britannicus Le Sueur

The Countess of Desmond Rembrandt
Figures and Horses, with a Farrier's Shop Wovermans
A Young Man's Head Holbein

King Charles the Second Russel
Herodias's Daughter Carlo Dolci
An Old Man's Head Holbein

James, Duke of York Russel
A View of Windsor Castle Wosterman
King Charles the Second's Queen Sir Peter Lely

The King's Bed Chamber

On the ceiling, King Charles II is represented in the robes of the Garter, seated on a throne, under a canopy supported by Time, Jupiter and Neptune, with a figure representing France, in a suppliant posture, at his feet. He is also attended by Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, paying their obedience to him.

The tapestry represents a part of the story of Hero and Leander.

The bed in this room, which is of rich flowered velvet, was made in Spitalfields, London, and was originally set up in the Queen's Bedchamber, by order of Queen Ann; but was, in 1778, removed hither, and the elegant bed before mentioned, set up where this was taken from. We have here, likewise, another of Mr. Vulliamy's clocks, decorated with masonic symbols, and other devices, in a very superb manner.

The Paintings are:

King Charles the Second, in Armours when Prince Vandyck
Henry, Duke of Gloucester, his Brother

The King's Dawing Room

The ceiling is an allegorical representation of the restoration of King Charles II, who is seated in a triumphal car, drawn by the horses of the Sun, attended by Fame, Peace, and the Polite Arts; Hercules driving away Rebellion, Sedition, and Ignorance; Britannia and Neptune properly attended, paying obedience to the monarch as he passes. In other parts of the ceiling are painted the labours of Hercules, with festoons of fruit and flowers, in stone colour, beautifully heightened with gold.

This room has been lately fitted up in a neat and elegant style; the hangings are of garter-blue silk, skirted with a gilt moulding. Here is a most magnificent glass of English manufactory eleven feet by six feet.

The paintings are:

The converted Chinese Sir G. Kneller
St. John
St. Stephen stoned Rotterman

Cupid and Pysche Vandyck
Endymion and Diana Gennari
The Harvest Bassan
Venus turned Painter (a copy)

Martha and Mary from Bassan
Our Saviour before Pilate Schiavoni
A Shepherd and Shepherdess Gennari

Danae Ditto
Peter, James and John Michaelangelo

The King's Public Dining Room

On the ceiling is painted the banquet of the gods, with a great variety of fish and fowl on the several parts of the coving.

The carving of this room is most exquisite, representing great variety of fruit, fish, and fowl, done in lime-wood, by Mr. Gibbons, [Grinling Gibbons] a famous statuary and carver in the reign of King Charles II.

The paintings are:

Lacy, a Comedian, in three Characters Wright
A Bohemian Family Purdinoni
A Family Singing by candle light Honthorst

Divine Love Baglioni
Nymphs and Satyrs
Rubens and Snyders
The Marriage of St. Catharine Dankers
The Naval Triumph of Charles II Verrio
The Birth of Venus Gennari

Venus and Adonis Ditto
Cephalus and Procris Ditto
Hercules and Omphale Ditto

A Sea Piece
The Hunting of the Wild Boar Synders
The taking of Bears Bassan
A Piece of Still-life, that is a brass pan, a fawn and a Bittern Kalf
A Cocoa Hut and Tree  
A Crown Bird  

The King's Audience Chamber

The ceiling is a most lively representation of the re-establishment of the Church of England on the restoration of Charles II in the characters of England, Scotland and Ireland, attended by Faith, Hope and Charity. Religion triumphing over Superstition and Hypocrisy, who are driven by Cupids from before the face of the Church; all of them represented in their proper attitudes, and highly finished.

The furniture, paintings, and embellishments (except the ceiling) of this room, are all new; every part of them in the most superb style. The cornice and mouldings are highly gilt; the hangings of rich blue silk, with the most beautiful embroidered borders; the canopy and chair extremely magnificent; and the chimney piece tables, glasses and chandeliers, all in a similar style of splendour.

The paintings are by B. West, Esq., wherein he has happily celebrated some of the principal glories of the immortal Edward III.

These are:

The surrender of Calais to Edward III.
An Entertainment given by Edward III, after defeating the French in their attempt upon Calais.
The Passage of Edward III over the River Somme.
The interview between the King and his victorious son, the Black Prince, after the battle of Cressy, in 1346
The History of St. George.
The Battle of Poitiers, where Edward the Black Prince took King John and his son Philip prisoners, whom he afterwards brought over into England.
The Battle of Neville's Cross, where David, King of Scotland, was taken prisoner by Queen Philippa, while her royal consort, Edward III, was besieging Calais
The first Installation of the Order of the Garter, in St. George's Chapel

For a detail of these subjects, see Hume's History of England, Vol. II or Rapin. Vol. IV.

The King's Presence Chamber

On the ceilings is painted, in a most masterly style, a portrait of King Charles II, shown by Mercury to the four quarters of the world; who are introduced by Neptune; Fame, with a branch of olive in her left hand, and a trumpet in her right, is sounding the glory of the Prince, and Time driving away Rebellion, Sedition, and other evil Genii. Over the canopy, Justice is showing the arms of Britain to Thames and his river nymphs; the star of Venus, and the following label, "Sydus Carolinum". At the lower end of the chamber is Venus in a sea car, drawn by tritons and sea nymphs. The ground and manner of finishing this ceiling are the same as those we have before mentioned.

The hangings, etc., are in a similar style with those in the preceding apartment, and were done at the same period of time.

The Paintings are:

Duns Scotus Spagnolet
Peter, Czar of Muscovy Sir G. Kneller
Prometheus Young Palma
Four cartoons

1 Elymas the Sorcerer

Charles Knight's Note re cartoons:
Three other of these inestimable performances are in the Queen's Presence Chamber.
Formerly at Hampton Court, viz. Elymas the Sorcerer, struck blind. The whole body of Elymas from head to foot, expresses his being blind. How admirably are terror and astonishment expressed in the people present, and how variously, according to their several characters. The Proconsul has these sentiments, but as a Roman and a gentleman; the rest in several degrees and manners. The same sentiments appear in Ananias's death together with joy and triumph, which naturally arise in good minds, upon the sight of divine justice, and the victory of truth. What grace and majesty seen in the great Apostle of the Gentiles, in all his actions, preaching, rending his garments, denouncing vengeance on the Sorcerer. the Proconsul, Sergius Paulus, has a greatness and grace superior to his character, and equal to what one can suppose in Caesar, Augustus, or Trajan!"

 2 The death of Ananias

Charles Knight's Note re "The Death of Ananias"

The greatest dignity appears in the Apostles. They are, however, only a subordinate group, because the principal action relates to the criminal; thither the eye is directed by almost all the figures in the picture: what a horror and reverence invisible in the whole assembly, on this mercenary man's falling down dead!

3 Our Saviour giving the charge to Peter

Charles Knight's Note re "Our Saviour giving the charge to Peter"

This has received some injury, and is not what Raphael made it. As this is the appearance of our Saviour after the Resurrection, present authority, late suffering, humility, majesty, and divine love, are at once visible in his celestial aspect. He is wrapt only in one large piece of white drapery, his left arm and breast are bare, and part of his legs naked, which was undoubtedly done to denote his appearing in his resurrection-body, and not as before his crucifixion, when this dress would have been altogether improper. The figures of the eleven Apostles all express the same passion of admiration, but discover it differently, according to their characters. Peter receives his Master's orders on his knees, with an admiration mixed with a more particular attention; the words used on that occasion are expressed by our Saviour's pointing to a flock of sheep, and St. Peter's having just received two keys. The two next express a more open ecstasy, though still constrained by their awe of the divine presence. The beloved disciple has, in his countenance, wonder drowned in love; and the last personage, whose back is toward the presence, one would fancy to be St. Thomas, whose perplexed concern could not be better drawn, than by this acknowledgement of the difficulty to describe it. The apostle, who stands in profile, immediately behind St. John, has a yellow garment, with red sleeves, which connects the figure with St. Peter and St. John, whose draperies are of the same species of colours: next is a loose, changeable drapery; then another different yellow, with shadows, bearing on purple, all of which produce wonderful harmony.

4 Paul Preaching at Athens

Charles Knight's Note re "Paul Preaching at Athens"

Under preparation

The King's Guard Chamber

The ceiling is much admired for the manner in which it is painted in water colours. In one circle, are Peace and Plenty; in another, Mars and Minerva; and in the dome is a representation of Mars, with helmets, shields, and trophies.

In this room, the Knights of the Garter, in the absence of the Sovereign, dine at an installation.

The magazine of arms, and warlike instruments, deposited in this spacious room, were ingeniously disposed in colonnades, pillars, circles, shields, and other devices by Mr.Harris, late master gunner of this Castle. Among the coats of mail, is that of the renowned Edward, the Black Prince, which is placed over the door leading to St. George's Hall.

The paintings are:

Charles XI, King of Sweden, on Horseback Wyck
Eight views of Battles, Sieges, etc. Rugendas

St . George's Hall

Editor's Note: St George's Hall was changed to a great degree by Wyatville in the 1820s and subsequently severely damaged in the fire of 1992, so much of the description that follows can relate only to The Hall as it was described by Charles Knight in The Windsor Guide, c.1811.

This most magnificent apartment, which is generally allowed to be one of the finest in Europe, is dedicated to the peculiar honour of The Most Noble Order of the Garter.

In a large oval, in the centre of the ceiling, King Charles II is represented in the habit of the Order of the Garter, with his right foot on a lion's head, attended by England, Scotland, and Ireland; religion and plenty, holding the crown of these kingdoms over his head; on each side of the monarch, are Mars and Mercury, with the emblems of war and peace. In the same oval, is regal government, supported by religion and eternity; justice, attended by fortitude, temperance, and prudence, beating down rebellion and faction; and among the evil genii, the painter is said to have introduced the Earl of Shaftesbury, a statesman of that reign, dispersing libels. Nearer the throne is an octagon, in which is St. George's Cross, encircled with the Garter, within a star or glory, supported by Cupids, with the motto:

Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense

the Muses attending in full concert, and other embellishments, expressive of the grandeur of the order.

Editor's Note

Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense translated reads: "Shame on he who thinks evil of it".

The story of the Order of the Garter will be the subject of a future Thamesweb History story.

On the back of the Sovereign' s Throne, is painted a large canopy and drapery, on the latter of which is represented, as large as life, St. George encountering the dragon; and on the lower border is inscribed:

Veniendo Restituit Rem

In English:
By coming, he restored affairs.

In allusion to King William III who is seated under the above-mentioned canopy, in the habit of the order, by Sir Godfrey Kneller. The ascent to the throne is by five steps of fine marble, to which the painter has made an addition of five more, in such perfection, that they agreeably deceive the sight, and almost induce the spectator to believe them equally real.

In the lower compartments of the ceiling, over the music gallery, is the collar of the order of the Garter, supported by cupids, and encompassed with a variety of characters, emblematic of this most illustrious order of knighthood.

On the north side of this superb chamber, extending 108 feet in length, is elegantly painted the triumph of Edward, the Black Prince, son of Edward III, founder of the Order of the Garter, who is seated at the upper end, receiving John, King, of France, and David, King of Scotland, prisoners, under a canopy of green velvet. The Prince, crowned with laurels, is seated in a triumphal car, in the midst of the procession, supported by slaves, preceded by captives, and attended by the emblems of Liberty, Victory, and other ensigns of the Romans, with the banners of France and Scotland displayed. The painter has closed this procession with the Countess of Salisbury, in the person of a fine lady, making garlands for the Prince, and a representation of Shakespeare's 'The Merry Wives of Windsor'. In this last part of the group, he has humorously introduced himself, in a black hood and a scarlet cloak.

At the lower end of the hall is a noble music gallery, finely carved and gilt, supported by four slaves, beautifully carved in wood, bending, as it were, beneath their burthen, representing a father and his three sons, whom the brave Edward, the Black Prince, is said to have made Captives in his wars. Over the music gallery is the following inscription:

ANTONIUS VERIO, Neapolitanus,
Non Ignobili, Stirpe Natus.
Augustissimi REGIS CAROLI Secundi
Molem Hanc Foelicissima Manu

In English thus:

Anthony Verrio, a Neapolitan,
born of a noble race, ornamented with a most happy hand
this large pile of' building,
of the most noble King Charles II and St. George.


St George's or The King's Chapel

Editor's Note: The King's Chapel became part of St George's Hall during Wyatville's alterations in the 1820s, so much of the description that follows can relate only to The Chapel as it was described by Charles Knight in the Windsor Guide of c.1811.

In this Chapel, which is adjoining to St. George's Hall, divine service is performed every morning, during his Majesty's summer residence at Windsor, at eight o'clock.

The ceiling is a masterly and striking representation of the ascension of our Saviour, accompanied by a numerous host of angels. On the west end, over the altar, is Mary Magdalen, weeping on the outside of the sepulchre; and on each side, on the cornice, are the Roman soldiers.

The Altar-piece is The Last Supper; and on the north side of the Chapel are painted some of the miracles of our Saviour, as, his raising Lazarus from the dead, curing the sick of the palsy, casting out devils, etc., by Verrio, who, in the principal part of the design is masterly, but is thought by connoisseurs not to have been quite so happy in his execution of it, the figures of the sick men being too athletic for persons in their supposed condition. There is also a much greater inconsistency in the painter's having introduced Sir Godfrey Kneller, and Mr. Cooper, who assisted him in these painting and likewise himself, in a full black wig, bidding the cripples go to our Saviour to be healed.

The closets for the King and the Royal Family form the east end of this Chapel. The canopy, curtains, and furniture, are of crimson velvet, with gold fringe. The carved work of this Chapel is worth the particular attention of the curious; it represents a great variety of palms, pelicans, doves, and other allusions to scripture history; likewise the star and garter, with other ornaments, all finely executed by Gibson.

From this Chapel you return into the Queen's Guard Chamber, and this closes the several apartments shown to the public; the other apartments being seldom open, except when the Court resides at Windsor, though they consist of many beautiful rooms, with paintings by the best masters.


Thamesweb are grateful to Master James (aged 11) for scanning and proof reading the above from the original typed text prepared by MNC to whom we are equally indebted.

See also

1 The Town of Windsor

2 Building of The Castle

3 The Castle - Upper Ward

4 The Castle - The Round Tower

5 The Castle - Lower Ward

6 St George's Chapel - I

6 St George's Chapel - 2

6 St George's Chapel - 3

7 The College of St George

8 The Royal Lodges and Parks

9 Of The Order of The Garter

The History Zone Index

A List of Kings and Queens of England since AD1066

Royal Windsor Home Page


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