[From Manx Soc vol 20]
BY C. W. KING, M.A.
No monument of any art could approach in high and holy interest to the one asserted to be preserved in the Treasury of the Vatican, were it possible to give credence to the statement accompanying its pretended copy. This statement, attached to a copperplate engraving, or to a photograph from the same, now commonly to be seen in the London print-shops, runs thus
"The only true likeness of Our Saviour, taken from one cut on. an emerald by command of Tiberius Caesar, and was given (sic) from the treasury of Constantinople by the Emperor of the Turks to Pope Innocent VIII., for the redemption of his brother, taken a captive of the Christians."
But in this instance the claims of both prototype (supposing there really to be one) and of copy may be dismissed at once, a single circumstance sufficing amply to disprove them. Any eye slightly practiced in art will immediately detect that the character of the design in this head is neither antique, Roman, nor even Byzantine, but bears the unmistakeable stamp of the naturalism of the Italian Revival. In fact, if compared with the head of the Saviour in Raphael's "Miraculous Draught of Fishes" (so well known to everybody by its perpetual republication in various forms), it cannot fail to be discovered an exact transcript from that celebrated work. Nevertheless it is probable enough that a real engraved gem (an emerald, too, considering the importance of the object to which the material was devoted) may have served for original to the print, and have impudently usurped the honours of a lost predecessor of the same kind. An Italian gem-engraver, working at any period subsequent to the "divine" painter, would of necessity have adopted his conception of the sacred countenance as the most authoritative model he could take for his art. Commissions for religious subjects were commonly given to the greatest glyptic artists of the Cinque cento and subsequent schools by their ecclesiastic patronswitness the elaborate crystal plaques and medallions done to the order of Clement VII. and the Cardinal Farnese by Valerio Vicentino and Castel-Bolognese, of which Vasari has left full particulars in his lives of those artists. And what is yet more cognate to the present subject, the masterpiece of Carlo Costanzi (and which cost him two and a half years of incessant labour1) executed for Benedict XIV., was an immense table emerald, two inches in diameter, having for obverse the head of St. Peter in relief, for reverse the portrait of the Pontiff himself. It was intended to adorn the morse or clasp fastening the sumptuous cope worn only at the grand festivals of the Church.
Having thus cleared the ground of a pretender who carries his modern origin so conspicuously impressed upon his face, I will proceed to bring under the notice of our Society another of like nature, but whose pretensions are of a very different order, possessing at least the required character of type, backed by a very respectable and indisputable antiquity to countenance them. This is a painting on panel traditionally reported to have been found in the old nunnery of St. Bridget, at Douglas, Isle of Man, degraded to the office of a barrel-lid. Rescued thence the picture came into the possession of the Rev. Philip Moore, rector of Kirk Bride, minister of St. Matthew's, and master of the Grammar School of Douglas, who bequeathed it in the year 1783 to the Grammar School-house of that town as a most precious legacy, with the memorandum that its counterpart was then preserved at Greystoke in the collection of the Duke of Norfolk. The existence of this interesting picture was recently communicated to me by a local correspondent, to whose kindness I was indebted for a careful tracing of the outline of the head, fully us sufficient to certify the style, a facsimile of the inscription underneath, and the other necessary particulars of the description.2 The face is shown in profile, with the eyes some what bent downwards, the hair golden, the beard short and bifurcated, the upper folds of the drapery white, the lower a dark crimson. The type of this portrait is evidently derived from the detailed description of Christ's personal appearance contained in the celebrated letter of Lentulus to Tiberius, first cited by our Anselm of Canterbury " A man indeed of lofty stature, handsome, having a venerable countenance, that the beholders can both love and fear. His hair verily somewhat wavy and curling, somewhat brightish and resplendent, flowing down upon his shoulders, having a parting in the middle of the head after the fashion of the Nazarenes. A forehead flat and full of calmness, without wrinkles or any blemish, which a slight tinge of red adorns. The nose and mouth beyond all praise, having a beard, full and ruddy, of the same colour with his hair., not long but forked. His eyes of changeable colour (variis) and brilliant." For the further information of such as may happen to possess that deservedly popular book, Walsh's "Ancient Coins, &c., as Illustrations of Christianity," I add that the face in this engraving is identical with that on the medal figured by him on Plate I.,3 which latter will come to be considered in another place, inasmuch as its existence appears in some degree to elucidate the subject of our inquiry.
The lower quarter of the panel is occupied by an inscription, here and there obliterated by accident, of which a facsimile, so far as modern print will allow, is here given
"This Prefent figure is ye f'imilitude of our lord and . . . Saviour lesus Christ imprinted in Amaralde by the Predefef'rs of ye greate Turke and fent to the Pope cente the eigh for this cause for a token to redeine . . . his brother yt Was taken prifoner
Persons conversant with old English writing will at once perceive that spelling and lettering combine to prove this inscription not possibly. later than the reign of Elizabeth, nor, on the other hand, earlier than her father's time. But, as I am informed, this writing, ancient as it is, presents every appearance of having been painted over the original painting, that is, upon the lower part of the bust, obliterated for the purpose. There is consequently proof positive that the picture must be at least three hundred years old, and in all probability very much older: in fact, everything in its appearance would warrant us to refer it to the Italian school of the fourteenth century.
The chief value of this inscription is that it carries back the tradition concerning the emerald Vernicle (vera icon), by its own antiquity, to within a century of the date assigned for the first appearance of the gem in the Treasury of the Vatican. The next step is to examine into the probability of the story which this inscription records. The historical facts briefly stated are these : Zizim, son of Mahomet II., having disputed the succession with his elder brother, Bajazet II., being defeated in the great battle of Brousa, took refuge with the Soldan of Egypt, Kaibai, and after a second unsuccessful trial of his fortune, with D'Aubusson, Grand Master of Rhodes, who sent him.to France in the year 1482. From France he was conveyed, at his own request, to Rome, in 1488, whither both his brother and the Soldan sent embassies on his account, but with very different views. Bajazet promised the Pope, then Innocent VIII., the large sum of 40,000 zechins annually for the safe though. honourable keeping of a respected though formidable brother, whilst Kaibai made large presents to the Head of Christendom in the hopes of securing aid from the Franks against his much dreaded enemy the Turk. Onophrius Panuvinus, his contem porary, the continuator of Platina's Lives of the Popes, mentions that Bajazet, besides the pension, made the Pope a present of the spear of the Crucifixion (the far-famed lance of Longinus), doubtless regarded at the time by donor and receiver as equivalent to a much larger amount, and which at once, skilfully wielded in pontifical hands, proved to the new possessor the very wand of Hermes. This gift suffices to prove that the recent usurper of the throne of the Byzantine Caesars found still something lef in their old storehouse of relics to dispose of when he chose. Onophrius did not indeed mention this emerald (perhaps because he was sceptical as to its genuineness), yet it is very conceivable that amongst the costly gifts of either Turk or Egyptian was included an emerald (or plasma, which usually passes for. its precious congener in these circumstances), actually bearing the head of the Saviour, and proceeding from the early Byzantine school. These gem-works, when the art was lost to the Franks, regularly figure amongst the presents of the Byzantine emperors to the kings of the West. One of the most valued objects in the Tresor de S. Denys, was a large lapis-lazuli engraved with the head of Our Lord on one side, of Our Lady on the other, probably the gift of Heraclius to Dagobert, he being named as the donor of the next article on the list, a silver-gilt reliquary. Now, supposing such a gem to have been received at Rome under such remarkable circumstances, nothing could have been more natural than to account for its origin by applying to it, with very slight amplification, the popular legend concerning Lentulus and his communication to his imperial and inquisitive master, and by making the latter embody the information so received in the most precious material nature could supply.
But there was another and very sufficient cause for assigning the authorship of this emerald to Tiberius. Martinus Scotus (d. 1086) had copied from a certain Methodius the following legend :" The Emperor Tiberius was afflicted with leprosy. Hearing of the miracles of our Lord, he sent for him to Jerusalem; but Christ was already crucified, and had risen and ascended into heaven. The messengers of Tibeiius, however, ascertained that a certain Veronica possessed a portrait of Christ impressed by the Saviour himself upon a linen handkerchief, and preserved by her with reverence. Veronica was persuaded by them to come to Rome; and the sight of the sacred image restored the Emperor to health. Pilata was then sentenced by him to death for having unjustly crucified the Lord." This, Caesar, moreover, had a reputation, throughout the Middle Ages, of a great connoisseur in gems, like that royal Faustus, the Regent Orleans, seventeen centuries later, of whom he was, in many respects, the prototype. Both had passed the better part of their lives, under the cloud of court disfavour, occupied in the cultivation of "curious arts," astrology, alchemy, and the like; and of both the term of power was equally unlucky, a certain ill fate balking the effect of their wisest measures, until, in despair, they drowned themselves in unrestrained voluptuousness.
It is, however, quite unaccountable to me how this legend of the emerald, most assuredly "vetus et constans opinio," came to escape the notice of all writers on the subject of vernicles, not being once alluded to by Peignot in his elaborate essay, "R6cherches sur ha Personne de J6sus Christ," published in 1829; nor by Heaphy in his "Examination into the Antiquity of the Likeness of our Blessed Lord," in the Art Journal, iv. s. vol. vii., 1861; nor again by the latest writer upon the subject, the author of the article, "Portraits of Christ," in the Quarterly Review, vol. cxxiii. p. 490, who has evidently taken immense pains to make his researches thoroughly exhaustive.
The medal, to which passing reference was made above, and of which specimens are not uncommon, was in existence as early as the opening of the sixteenth century, for it is described as a most precious antiquity~being supposed contemporary with its prototype by Theseus Ambrosius, who flourished under Julius II. and Leo X. Passing over the other absurdity of this notion on the grounds of ancient usage, art, and language of the legend, it suffices to point out that its material, white bell-metal,4 and its fabrique being a sand-cast, not struck with a die, conclusively declare it to proceed from the century before Ambrosius' date, the period when the manufacture of medals thus produced most especially flourished in Italy. Throughout this period, before the invention of the coining-press, casting in sand from a wax pattern was the sole effectual method of executing those medallions, or, rather, small bas-reliefs, of large diameter and highly-raised designs, the easily produced memorials of the celebrities of the age which have come down to us in such other wise inexplicable abundance. The medal, therefore, whose sacred antiquity struck Ambrosius with so much awe, can only belong to the generation preceding his own: Gothic art never produced anything of the like nature; and had it originated in ancient times, even those of the Christian emperors of the West (which its style also entirely controverts), it would have been made by a die like the other medallions of the same princes.
Nevertheless the existence of this medal may be fancied indirectly to support the tradition concerning the emerald of Bajazet. Supposing a new vera efilgies to have come to Rome in so conspicuous a manner, and with 50 august a voucher for its authenticity as the Grand Turk himself, it would necessarily excite the highest interest and devotion amongst all who flocked to St. Peter's shrine, and nothing could be more obvious to its wonderfully intelligent proprietors than the multiplying the relic (with the spiritual advantages accompanying the sight) by converting its imprint into the popular form of a medal. An analogous instance offers itself in the linen impressions of St. Veronica's far-famed S dariztm, still regularly kept on sale at the same temple. The inscription in the modern Hebrew character, filling the reverse of the medal in question, may be supposed to countenance in some slight degree the conjecture above hazarded as to its invaluable prototype: "The Messiah has reigned, He came in peace, and being made the Light of Men, He lives."
But setting this conjecture aside, there is another important question that must not be eluded, inasmuch as it involves a circumstance which might effectually prevent the rccognition of the real emerald by a modern and too-knowing eye, supposing it still to repose in the Vatican cabinet. It is true that the Byzantines, from the very commencement of their empire, were fond of engraving sacred images upon green-coloured stones, substitutes for the too costly smaragdzts. I have seen amongst others a plasma of such beautiful quality as might well be mistaken for emerald, bearing in relief the Saviour's bust in front face, at the side the sacred initials IC-XC, executed in the highest style to which Byzantine glyptic art ever attained. Nevertheless, there is a possibility of a strange confusion of personages in the giving of the names to such representations. Even that very learned and practical antiquary, Chiflet, has fallen into a singular error in this actual particular. He figures a noble head of Serapis, wreathed with persea-branches, as that of the Saviour crowned with thorns,~ and attributes its origin to the Carpocratian Gnostics, who are accused by Epiphanius of making and worshipping similar images. But the ealallius capping the head would alone unmistakeably declare the presence of the patron god of Alexandria, did not the excellence of the engraving likewise bespeak the best period of the glyptic art, not the offspring of the decrepit ages when the Guosis flourished.
Chiflet calls the material emerald, and his word may be accepted in this instance without too much questioning, for the Greco Egyptians frequently consecrated the most costly produce of their national mines to the embodiment of the conceptions of their gods. Examples in fine ruby as well as emerald have repeatedly come within my own observation. This interchange of personages, however, is facile enough to a beholder paying no attention to the distinctive attributes of the Alexandrine deity. Antique art has stamped the features of Seraphis with that expression of profound thoughtfulness and majestic severity so well befitting his special character as Lord and fudge of the dead, the very character in which the Saviour came subsequently to be most usually depicted in early Christian work. Compare any of the numerous fine camei extant of the Seraphis' head in front face with the better executed samples of the Byzantine Christ, for instance, as portrayed (for the first time) in coinage on the solidi of Justinian Rhinotmetus (685-711), and every draughtsman will detect and be astonished at their identity. The latter portrait, however, is said (on what authority I know not) to have been copied from the bronze statue of Christ which stood over the vestibule Chalce of the imperial palace until destroyed by the great iconoclast, Leo the Isaurian, who has commemorated his substitution of the simple Cross in place thereof by an inscription still (or recently) to be read upon the marble.
Lastly comes the all-important questionDoes this paragon of all glyptic monuments anywhere exist, with any probability of ever being recognized ?an object of warmest adoration to devotee and to archmologist alike. Alas! sober consideration compels an answer in the negative. Small chance had it of escaping that worse than "Spartacum vagantem," the mercilessly ransacking Spaniard at the lamentable sack of the Eternal City in 1527, unless, indeed, by special miracle (like that which protected the vernicle of Edessa) it should have had the good luck
The following Extract, from the Rev C. W. King's masterly work on "The Uses, &e., of Antique Gems" may interest the general reader
The chief of archaeologists, Visconti, remarks in his Esp. di Gamma Antiche: "How conducive the study and the accurate examination of ancient works in the precious stones, commonly called 'gems' is to the understanding of antiquities, and to every species of valuable erudition, as well as to the intelligence of the arts of design, and to the teaching of the eyes in the distinguishing of true and simple beauty. Two advantages, over all other existing relics of antiquity are possessed by engraved gems, and both are connected with the service to be derived from them: the first is that they are able to furnish accurate instruc tion, not to those 'present alone, whilst those absent are either entirely deprived, or must derive it from drawings merely as the sole resource; drawings too, often incorrect, scarcely ever perfectly accurate, and which can only transfuse into the plate what the eye of the draftsman, (often an unskilled one) has been able to comprehend in the original of his design. Antique Intagli, on the contrary, by means of the impression from them, in a certain manner, may be said to multiply themselves, and are represented in perhaps a better point of view, than the originals: from which circumstance these impressions serve equally well with the monument itself to build our reflections and our decisions upon. The second advantage, and that of the highest importance is, that their very hardness of material and the nature of the work on them, especially as regards Intagli, to such a degree, secure the integrity of these antique productions of art, that the representations, together with all their symbols and accessories, have been preserved without the slightest damage, to the present moment; not mutilated, as is too often the case with works of art in marble or as with medals, made illegible by wear, or changed and corroded by their long entombment amidst the acids of the earth."
In the "Lapidorium" of Marbodus, a poem composed by him, when Master of the Cathedral School of Anjou, in France, from 1067 to 1081, the substance of which is partly taken from Plinyhe introduces a number of Greek words. The author of "Antique Gems" goes on to say :" It is my belief that Greek as a spoken tongue must have lingered in the South of France long after the fall of the Roman Empire. Charlemagne though quite illiterate is said to have under stood and spoken Greek, which would imply that it was necessary in his intercourse with some of his own subjects."
"Some of his own Subjects."This latter remark, may with as much propriety be extended to the Manx language,a branch equally of the more ancient Phceneeian. The poem is of considerable length, and is very curious. In Canto vii., is the following description of the emerald, the Gem at present under our consideration, viz
"Of all green things which bounteous Earth supplies,
Nothing in greenness with the Emerald vies;
Twelve kinds it gives, and from the Scythian clime,
The Bactrian mountain, and old Nilus' slime;
And some from copper mines of viler race,
Marked by the dross drawn from their Matrix base;
The Carchedonian from the Punic vale
To name the others were a tedious tale."
Carchedonian."Any one to whom Manx is familiar will at once recognise in this epithet the Manx phrase "Kiark y dooinney"Hen of the Man. The significance of this reading will be understood by a reference to St. Matthew, xxiii., 37 ver., taken in connection with the name "Kiark," sometimes improperly spelt Kirk as applied to our Christian churches.
Here it may not be inappropriate to call attention to the title of a very ancient and fragmentary Quatrain, sung as accompaniment to a little dramatic scene acted by people on Periwinkle or Penniwinkle Fair- day, the sixth of February, St. Dorothy,see Butler's "Lives of the Saints" for the doubtfulness of her title to this celebration which our Manx ancient Tradition and Legend attribute to St. Catherine, for whom see the same work, but for Nov. 25th. The Quatrain in question commences
"Kiark y Treen e Marrow," &c.,
developed by the Romish Church, after Reginald's surrender to the Pope (1219) into "Kiark Catrina Marrow," in sound nearly the same, in meaning very different, and is of historical value, as being a sort of requiem over the departed "Treen," perhaps after St. Machutus, or Maughold, changed in A.D. 490, these most ancient Ecclesiastical Divisions into parishes. The translation of the term is :" The Hen of the Treen is dead," &e., and this brings us back to the "Kiark y dooniney" of Marbodus.
In regard to the allusion made to St. Matthew's Gospel, it should be borne in mind that Marbodus could scarcely be acquainted with the Manx phrase and Legend, also that he was a monk evidently well-read in the School Divinity of his times, his choice of name therefore likely to be guided by scriptural associations and allusions. There is also "another name," Mr. King tells us, "used by the Greeks" (equally suggestive) "for this gem," that of "Smaragdus, which is itself a corruption of the sanscrit 'Smarakata', the gem of this name having been imported from Bachtria into Europe by the Traders of that race."
Even here we find a Manx Relationship," Smeyrey" a Stain, and may well refer to the covering or blotting-out efficacy of the Atonement made by the Mac.y-Dooinney (Son of Man). A double purpose seems also to be combined in this significant name as applied to this Gem, extending as it does to the Resurrection, for as the resurrections of Spring in the Natural World point to the higher prospect of a Resurrection from the dead, even so does this most comprehensive word, in a slightly modified form, include "Smarage"Embers, or live coal, carrying our thought onwards to that great succeeding event in the order described in the Sacred History, those Embers expanded into the accomplished fact of a future, and as it were a crystallized Life, when we "shall shine as stars (or gems) in the Firmament."
The Poet Gray has illustrated this latter view in his beautiful "Elegy in a Country Churchyard"
"Ev'n in our Ashes, live their wonted fires,"
But to pursue fully this part of the subject belongs more properly to the serious discourse of a duly ordained minister of the "Living Word," rather than to our present purpose, which merely consists in an attempt to trace these, to us, foreign languages up to our own old "friends and acquaintance," all uniting in the one idea intended to be conveyed to us in the choice of these names as given to this Green Gem. A French writer says: "que le vrais solution do ces muigmes numismatiques n'est pas encore trouvee." It must not be forgotten that all these are strictly emblems (or "patterns") of great Truthsapplied equally in the Sacred Writings and in the ancient poets generally,but having this essential difference that the latter deviated into fable, while as regards the Words of Truth they are surrounded by an invincible barrier which renders their conquest by error impossible.
This extended view of the subject has travelled too far perhaps from the point at which we started, namely, the more restricted consideration of Marbodus' lines regarding the Gem on which the portrait has been engraved.
But the close connection that exists between the Manx name and the epithet he employs as the pun~c name given to it, has insensibly led us to the more enlarged idea conveyed to the mind of any one to whom the ancient language of this small Island is familiar, and therefore not entirely irrevelant to the subject, the more that the picture which has partly given rise to Mr. King's interesting memoir belongs to this Island.
"Extract from the Will of the Rev.
Philip Moore, Rector of Bride, and for many years Chaplain of St. Matthew's
Chapel, Douglas, Isle of Man, (viz., from 1735 to 1765) and in connection therewith
Master of the Grammar School in that town": "Item.I leave to the
house (that is the house adjoining the School
and wherein he resided during his long continuance as Master) and therein to remain where it now isthat most valuable and curious remain of antiquitya painting purporting to be a picture of our Lord Jesus Christ."
"N.B.There is one of the same* date and inscription at Greystock Castle, now the Duke of Norfolk'ssupposed to be the only piece of the kind in England."
Nothing is with certainty known of this ancient "piece" beyond what is said of it in the foregoing extract from the Rev. P. Moore's will and the remarks included in it.
There is a Tradition that its preservation is due to some discerning and reverential eye, jealous for the departed relics of the old Nunnery, that had rescued this one from continuing to be used as a "lid or cover on a Meal Tub." Here tradition ceases. The graphic account given by Mr. Moore suggests the probability that however it may formerly have been preserved, it would be in the year 1783 the date of Mr. Moore's will, that the discovery of its originally great value was made. In that year it was, that the artists Messrs. Win. Byrne and Thomas Hearne published their engravings of Peel Castle and other Manx Antiquities, with a dedication to Sir Joseph Banks [fpc - wrong Peel ! - the painting was of the Peele at Foudrey near Barrow ]. While in the Island they would see and appreciate the high value and antiquity of this portrait under its eclipse, and point out its merits to Mr. Moore, and that he with the promptitude characteristic of his nature both felt and recognised the force of their remarks, and then bequeathed the newly-discovered treasure as an heir-loom to the Grammar School House, where be had lived so long while fulfilling the office of Master with so much credit to himself and advantage to the youths committed to his teaching. It is thought by Mr. Nicholson, a rising artist of great promise, and who has made a most satisfactory fac-simile copy of the picture, that he can detect amid other alterations from the original, the profuse "glory" of very thick yellow paint around the head as a late addition, also that the back-ground was originally goldprobably a restoration of the originalwith other minor "touchings up." The time when these restorations were made may be attributed to the year when these artists pointed out the true though expiring merits of this ancient relic; they might even suggest and superintend the restorations.
The counterpart picture mentioned by Mr. Moore is not now at Greystock. It is supposed that in the great fire which nearly destroyed the interior of the whole of the left wing of the castle, this with other valuable paintings most have perished. There is no record known to exist as to the date when, or by whom this picture became a possession in the Nunnery. Some conjectural remarks will be found in the note to Bishop Thos. Stanley.
Of the Rev. Philip Moore himself, many interesting notices may be found in "Keble's Life of Bishop Wilson."
* Underneath this picture is the following" This present figure is ye fimilitude of our Lord and Saniour lesus Christ, imprinted in Amaralde, by the Predecess'rs of the greate Turke, and sent to the Pope Innocent the eigth for this cause for a token to redeme His brother yt was taken prisnor."
Bishop T. Stanley.* Of this Bishop little personally is known, while he yet fills a very remarkable and important place in the history of the Manx Church. It is through him we possess an unbroken line of Episcopal descent from Apostolic times to the present day. For many interesting particulars regarding this Bishop, consult "Records and Documents relating to the Isle of Mann and Diocese of Sodor and Mann, collected by the Rev. W. Percival Ward, M.A.," "Seacombe's History of the Earls of Derby" and Cumming's "Isle of Man." In the following notes conjectural inferences as regards the reasons for his being left in undisturbed possession of his Episcopate, are partly gleaned from Miss Strickland's interesting memoirs of the "Tudor Princesses."
In that of "Margaret Clifford, Countess of Derby and Queen in Mann" we read of the peculiarly vindictive treatment by Queen Elizabeth of her most unfortunate cousin. That she bore the title equally with herself of "Queen" though of so tiny a kingdom, yet at least of equal antiquity with her own, was doubtless a sore point, and gave an edge to the petty yet most cruel persecution she was made to undergo. Taking this view of the case as a probable one, we may further be permitted to point out that in these insulting proceedings against the wife of the Earl of Derby, there was a limit which her politic Majesty did not venture to infringe. If Henry IV., Earl of Derby bore with an astonishing equanimity, incarceration of his wife with the other mortifications heaped upon her, he may yet be supposed to have sat thus quiet by the consideration that while this unhappy victim of Queen Elizabeth's narrow and jealous tyranny was his Countess and Queen, she was not the less a near cousin to the imperious Queen "paramount" over his own little Insular Dominions. He felt that he dare not resent this grievance as became him, the more that his own allegiance was questioned by his enemies at the English Court from his having some claim to the crown worn by Elizabeth herself; but Elizabeth knew full well all that was passing in her court and kingdom, and would be aware of these rumours. While she held the reins of Govern ment with a firm hand, she knew well where to stop, and in this case abstained from trenching on a strictly Insular prerogative, that of the entire reservation to its sovereign of the Church of Sodor and Mann, guaranteed on more than one remarkable occasion, and which till the unconstitutional interference of King Henry VIII. and the Government of Edward VI., had ever been carefully guarded and preserved intact. We can thus perhaps naturally account for this conduct of Queen Elizabeth, and may indeed accept it as a providential inter position in behalf of an orthodox, ancient, and independent Church.
This seems to be the proper place to point out a more recent inter position, of which Bishop Ward was the favoured and distinguished instrument. When the "Ecclesiastical Commissioners" took upon themselves the management of Church affairs in 1832, this See was one of those ruthlessly stamped out; "scotch'd, not killed," however, as the event proved, for to this Bishop's courageous, untiring and well- directed exertions, we owe under an all directing Providence the unprecedented event of an already passed Act of Parliament being actually rescinded and our Bishopric restored. This is an event ever to be held in grateful recollection in this Island, indeed by the Church at large.
It is time to return to our Bishop, Thomas Stanley, and state that some writers say he also held the office of Governor of the Island, thus acquiring the title of' "Sword Bishop." Though holding this secular appointment, however, the exercise of few of its functions can have fallen to him, for Earl Henry did not often leave his little kingdom, receiving as he did sundry very intelligible hints to remain there. Again it is also said of this Bishop that he "passed beyond sea"; this would be either in company with Cardinal Pole, or afterwards, to put himself out of Elizabeth's keen surveillancetrusting all the rest to the "laissez faire" systemas best suiting his safety and convenience. Having thus somewhat tediously cleared the way, we at length arrive at the point that more especially belongs to his assumed connection with the Picture which forms part of the subject of the printed memoir. Supposing him t~ have chosen Rome as the place of his sojourn, his being there would coincide in point of time with that of the rich presents made to Pope Innocent VIII. by the Grand Turk, amongst which was the almost priceless engraved Gem, afterwards called the "Emerald of the Vatican," treated of in the foregoing memoir by Mr. King, from which we infer that the engraved subject was copied by some celebrated Italian artist, and treated after the Byzantine model, by giving the portrait a back-ground in gold. Decayed as it is, there are remains sufficient to authorize the opinion now formed that it has been "a very fine picture"sadly injured by time and uncareful keeping. Bishop Stanley we may well suppose would not fail to see both the Gem and the copies made from it, and as an equally probable consequence secure one of them, presenting it on his return as a votive offering at the shrine of the patron Saint of the Nunnery, in his Bishopric of Sodor and Mann. To sum up we may suppose our Bishop to have become the happy owner of this portraitand by him handed over to the Nunnery, near Douglas.
The detailed circumstances attending the dissolution of this Convent are not known to the writer, nor, indeed, who first became the secular or lay proprietor of the estate; curtain it is that the picture in question was made but small account of, for in the mutations that befel it, the last thing known before the Rev. Philip Moore's bequest of it to the Grammar School House of Douglas was through a tradition that it was the lid of a meal tub in the house of the Nunnery. "To such base uses we may come at last !" There is no fear that it will be again lost sight of, since the paper read at the meeting of the Archaeological Institute, in March, 1870, by Mr. C. W. King, will by his kind permission be printed in an enduring volume of the Manx Society for the Publication of National Documents. There is also a careful facsimile copy in colours made of the portrait, and photographs have been taken to accompany the published memoir.
There is another and perhaps even more probable mode by which our Bishop, Thomas Stanley, may have acquired this picture. By referring to the Genealogical Tables of the two noble houses of Norfolk and of Stanley, we find that Dorothy, daughter of Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, married to Edward Stanley third Earl of Derby, was the mother of Henry, fourth Earlhe again marrying the unfortunate heiress of Henry Clifford, Earl of Cumberland, and cousin to Elizabeth, Queen of England, as we have already seen. In this way we may be entitled to trace our picture to Henry, who was so much in this Island kingdom. Thomas Stanley, being not only Bishop but also Governor, by which we may well suppose he was much in the confidence and favour of his king- cousin, and suggest to him the transfer of this valued portrait to the Nunnery. The writer has somewhere read, but unfortunately cannot find the authority, that the Lord Admiral of England, Ireland, and Aquitaine (Guienne) held in his command a more extensive range of coast than bordered that province, landing officially among other places at Nice, and other ports of the Mediterranean. Now as the unfortunate Djem, brother to Bajazett III, "the Greate Turk" was conveyed by the orders of D'Aubusson, Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes, to whom he was first consigned to Nice, afterwards to Roussillon, Psy, &c., and as the French king, Charles VIII., (1492) then interposed and fairly handed him over to the Pope Innocent VIII., (though it was under his successor, Alexander Borgia, that he was confined in the Castle of St. Angelo, and finally murdered there), may not some of the treasures sent for his safe keeping have found their way to Nice, &c., where the Ducal "Lord Admiral" may have picked up this identical picture, copied from the Emerald Gem?indeed "the two" thus answering to the Rev. P. Moore's statement in his will. One of these may so naturally have fallen to the share of Dorothy, mother of Henry IV., Earl of Derby, and by him, as we have said, been handed over to his cousin-Bishop, and sometime Governor of his Island-kingdom; thus in either case finding a resting-place in our Nunnery, and authorizing the tradition respecting a companion picture contained in Mr. Moore's will bequeathing the one that is the subject of this paper, to the School.house of St. Matthew's, Douglas. It is now in the custody of the Rev. J. Cannell, who is a collateral descendant from the Mr. Cannell, who is by some believed to have been the first lay proprietor of the Nunnery, after its dissolution.
"The family of Heywood came into possession of the Nunnery estate through their connection with the old family of the Callcotts, a Captain Callcott, married Margaret Goodman, last prioress of the Nunnery, near Douglas, who considered herself released from her vows by the dissolution of Religious Houses at the Reformation. She obtained a grant of the Convent and estate of the Nunnery, and the last descendant of that union being a female and the heiress, married Hugh Cannell, Vicar-General, whose only daughter married Mr. Heywood." See Lady Beleher's History "The Mutineers of the Bounty."
Before taking leave of this "Vicar. General Hugh Cannell," it may be added that a subsequent member of the same family studied for the Manx Church, at the Academic School at Castletown. No vacancy in the Church livings occurring when he had passed through his curriculumin 1680 he went to Londonand through the patronage of Bishop Leringe, was appointed lecturer of two city churches. He published a political sermon which he had preached, entitled "The case of the Pretender considered," which attracted much attention at the time, and was said to be an able performance.
Query ?Is this sermon preserved by any of the family ?
It might throw some light on the otherwise unaccountable accusation regarding the political tendencies of some Manx clergymen, commented upon in an "Old London Journal," of 1724.
* It is not a little remarkable that the Title chosen by this Bishop's branch of the House of Stanley should he that of "Lord Mount Eagle," (in Manx "Cronk Urleigh.") " King Henry VIII., ordained that the Stanley who so much distinguished himself at the Battle of 'Flodden Field,' should as his reward be proclaimed Lord of Mount Eagle, and for that his ancestors bore the Eagle on their crest."
1 According to his contemporary, Mariette, in his "Recueil des
pierres gravees en creus du Cabinet du Roi," pub. 1750.
2 This description belongs rather to the engraving made from two shadowy, one quite indistinct photographs made direct from the painting.
3 Plate I. representing the medal or amulet found by Mr Corlet in Friars Walk near Cork, in 1812.
4 The same is the material of the famous statue of St. Peter, a work of the Quattro-Cento schoola sufficient refutation in itself to the Protestant joke about the "christened Jove."
No. 111 in the plates to his valuable "Macarii Abraxas-Proteus, seu Apisto pistus." Antv. 1657.
Any comments, errors or omissions
gratefully received The