3 February 2016

Reading the Daily Papers (Part 1)

I know we should all do this regularly; but one can get a bit behindhand. I fear this has happened to me. Here is an extract from the Daily Universal Register. April 23 1788 ... my first reaction is to notice that the paper seems more recently to have changed its title to something deplorably modern and snappy ... no matter ...

"The funeral obsequies of the late COUNT OF ALBANY were celebrated on the third of February, in the Cathedral Church at Frascati, of which See Cardinal Duke of York, his brother, is Bishop.

"The church was hung with black cloth (the seems covered with gold lace) drawn up between the pillars in the form of festoons, intermixed with gold and silver tissues, which had a very magnificent and solemn effect; especially as a profusion of wax tapers were [sic] continually burning during the whole of the ceremony in every part of the church.

"Over the great door, and the four principal side altars, there were written in the festoons (in large characters) the following texts of Scripture, which were chosen by the Cardinal, as allusive to the situation and fortunes of the deceased: Ecclesiasticus 47:17; Job 29:5; Tobit 2:18; Proverbs 5:17; II Maccabees 6:31.

"A large Catafalque was erected on a platform, raised three steps from the floor, in the Nave of the Church, on which the Coffin containing the Body was placed, covered with a superb pall, on which was embroidered, in several places, the royal arms of England; on each side stood three gentlemen servants of the deceased, in mourning cloaks, and holding a Royal Banner - and about it were placed a very considerable number of very large wax tapers, in the form of a square, guarded by the Militia of Frascati.

"About ten o'clock in the forenoon, the Cardinal was brought into the Church in a Sedan Chair, convered with black cloth, attended by a large suit of his officers and servants, in deep mourning ...

My index finger, the only thing I can type with, is getting tired. I will finish this in a Part 2. Must have been a unique liturgical occasion, don't you think, a reigning monarch being buried by his own brother, a Suburbicarian Cardinal Bishop, who had already succeeded de jure to his Three Crowns?

13 comments:

Joshua said...

I wonder a little at the immediate appropriateness of some of the Scriptural verses selected:

And thou didst multiply riddles in parables: thy name went abroad to the islands far off, and thou wast beloved in thy peace. (Ecclesiasticus 47:17)
When the Almighty was with me: and my servants round about me? (Job 29:5)
For we are the children of the saints, and look for that life which God will give to those that never change their faith from him. (Tobit 2:18)
Keep them to thyself alone, neither let strangers be partakers with thee. (Proverbs 5:17)
Thus did this man die, leaving not only to young men, but also to the whole nation, the memory of his death for an example of virtue and fortitude. (II Maccabees 6:31)

Little Black Sambo said...

"Reigning" and "monarch" need a little explanation.

Pontiacprince said...

I recall similar type funerals in the province of Quebec in the mid 50's and into the early 60's.
Lots of black banners .Even the windows were covered in black banners and,yes, there were huge candles (or so it seemed to me then) surrounding the casket which rested on a platform just outside the Communion rail.The priest had heavily embroidered black vestments and the Dies Irae was sung mournfully by the choir.
Suddenly that all changed and I recall a funeral service for one of my deceased aunts (a nun) where a nun carried a handheld bowl around the casket that spewed lots of smoke while another nun did a dance near the altar.
At least I recall back then that the rosary was recited each night of the wake and prayers were offered for the repose of the deceased's soul.
Now we celebrate their lives and place them among the choirs of angels.

Seamus said...

a Suburbicarian Cardinal Bishop, who had already succeeded de jure to his Three Crowns

Only three crowns? What about France? And Virginia (whose colonial motto was "En dat Virginia quintum")?

Thomas said...

Appropriate Scripture texts for Charles Edward Louis John Casimir Sylvester Severino Maria Stuart?

And thou didst multiply riddles in parables: thy name went abroad to the islands far off, and thou wast beloved in thy peace. (Ecclesiasticus 47:17) -
The Jacobites used many songs and rhymes which appeared innocuous or romantic but were code for their cause and their heroes. The reference to "the islands far off" would clearly be the British Isles and Ireland where the Bonny Prince was welcomed among his supporters, although not really "in peace".

When the Almighty was with me: and my servants round about me? (Job 29:5) -
The army of the 1745 Rising was at first victorious (Prestonpans) and even reached Derby, only turning back because they lost their nerve, not realising their opponents had almost lost theirs.

For we are the children of the saints, and look for that life which God will give to those that never change their faith from him. (Tobit 2:18) -
Surely a reference to the family keeping to the Catholic faith, which was the reason James II had been deposed. Unfortunately, Charles Edward did reportedly renounce his faith and receive Anglican communion in an attempt to gain support for his claim to the throne - but then again he was reconciled to the Church when that failed.

Keep them to thyself alone, neither let strangers be partakers with thee. (Proverbs 5:17) - Perhaps this captures the life of danger, suspicion, spies and intrigue that inevitably surrounded him in exile.

Thus did this man die, leaving not only to young men, but also to the whole nation, the memory of his death for an example of virtue and fortitude. (II Maccabees 6:31) -
He hardly lived a virtuous life, to say the least, but perhaps (please God) he died a repentant and pious death. His brother would have been in a good position to know.

Jhayes said...

The Old Pretender could be said to "reign" because, at least, the Pope recognized him as the legitimate King. However, as I recall, the Pope never gave that recognition to the Young Pretender nor to his brother, the Cardinal. I don't think they can be said to have reigned

Highland Cathedral said...

'who had already succeeded de jure to his Three Crowns?'
Indeed. So it’s a pity that the only royal arms mentioned are those of England, especially as most of the support he received in his attempt to gain the thrones of England and Scotland came from Scotland.

Melinda said...

"Remote and ineffectual don!"

E Milco said...

Father, an off topic question: when at mass we say "Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis," etc. Why is it "Agnus" and not "agne"?

William Tighe said...


'And Virginia (whose colonial motto was "En dat Virginia quintum")?'

Virginia was no more a kingdom in its own right than, say, Bermuda, Rhode Island, Barbados or the Channel Islands.

Michael LaRue said...

Although, Dr. Tighe, I have known many Virginians who were generous with a fifth.

Fr John Hunwicke said...

Mr Hayes: to avoid confusion, I shall in future disallow the term 'Pretender' unless it clearly refers to a member of the Electoral House of Hannover.

Mr Cathedral: I noticed that. I am pretty certain that it is an example of the corrupt habit of saying 'England' when 'Great Britain etc.' is meant. I have seen numbers of exemplars of the arms of James III, Charles III, and Henry IX, and they have all been First and fourth grand quarters France and England quarterly quartering Scotland and Ireland. As Duke of York, the Cardinal placed a crescent [sic] on his arms for a difference.

JL said...

The quartered shield with crescent is clearly visible above and to the right of the altar at Santa Maria in Trastevere, of which the Cardinal Duke of York held the honorary titulus. Above his arms are both the cardinal's galero and a crown.