The institution, laws & ceremonies of the most noble Order of the Garter collected and digested into one body by Elias Ashmole ...
Ashmole, Elias, 1617-1692., Hollar, Wenceslaus, 1607-1677., Sherwin, William, fl. 1670-1710.

SECT. VI. The Proceeding into the Choire.

THE Elect-Knight habited as before, forthwith passeth from the Chapter-house along the North Isle, and so in at the West door of the Choire, in solemn order; but his place in this Proceeding is changed, for here he is led Page  353 between two of the Knights-Companions. This is noted in the aBlack Book to be the order wherein Albro Vasques d' Almadea Earl of Averence, and two other Elect-Knights proceeded to their Installation, an. 24. H. 6. And albeit the Statutes of Institution, and those made by King Henry the Fifth are silent in the order of this Proceeding; yet for an Elect-Knight to be led to his Stall, between two other of the Knights-Companions is no modern Ceremony; since we also find that b Viscount Bouchier, an. 30. H. 6. past to his Installation between the Lord Hastings and Lord Beauchamp. But the order of Proceeding is precisely set down in c King Henry the Eighth's Statutes, to wit, That the Elect-Knight attended by his Gentlemen and Servants, shall be led between two other of the Knights-Companions, the Officers of the Order going before them.

To this Rule the constant practice hath been answerable, at all Installations since; the Knight-Elect proceeding either between d two of the Knights-Com∣missioners, when there hath been no Lieutenant, or between two of the eKnights Assistants, where a Lieutenant was constituted, or lastly between the two f senior Knights-Companions, the Soveraign being present. Of which cases we shall here assign each a President.

* A Proceeding from the Chapter-house into the Choire, at the Installation of the Earl of Rutland, an. 26. Eliz. Viscount Mountagu and Lord Hunsdon being Com∣missioners for that Solemnity.

  • Verger with his Rod.
  • Alms-Knights, two and two
  • Pursuivants, Heralds, and Norroy.
    • Black Rod.
    • Register.
    • Clarenceux, who then executed the Office of Garter.
    • Lord Hunsdon.
    • Earl of Rutland.
    • Viscount Mountagu.

| Another Proceeding from the Chapterhouse at the Installation of the Lord Russel, an. 31. H. 8. the Earls of Essex and Rutland, being then the Lieutenants's Assistants.

  • Heralds.
    • Register.
    • Garter.
    • Earl of Rutland.
    • Lord Russell.
    • Earl of Essex.

* A third Proceeding at the Installation of the present Soveraign, an. 14. Car▪ 1. the two senior Knights-Companions being appointed to conduct the Prince from the Chapter-house to his Stall in the Choire.

  • Alms-Knights, two and two.
  • Officers of Arms, two and two.
    • Black Rod.
    • Register.
    • Garter.
    • Earl of Arundell
    • The Prince
    • Earl of Penbroke.

But when there hath been three Commissioners nominated, then the two senior Commissioners take the Knight-Elect between them, and the * junior Knight Com∣missioner proceeds before them; and thus was it ordered at the Installation of the Earls of Essex, and Ormond, and Sir Christopher Hatton, an. 30. Eliz. where the g Earl of Essex proceeded from the Chapter-house into the Choire, between the Lord Hunsdon and Earl of Worcester, and the Lord Grey the junior Commisioner past singly before them.

In all cases where the Soveraign is present at an Installation (since the Custom of Investing with the Collar in the Chapter-house was left off) this is generally to be observed; that so soon as the Investiture with the Surcoat is finished, the Page  354Soveraign passeth from the Chapter-house into the Choire, with the whole Pro∣ceeding before him, leaving the Elect-Knight behind. And so soon as he and the Knights-Companions have taken their Stalls, in the h usual manner, the two senior Knights-Companions, upon the Soveraign's verbal directions, descend from their Stalls and stand under their Banners, while the Alms-Knights (but not the Prebends) Officers of Arms, and the three inferior Officers of the Order pass out of the Choire in usual manner, and proceed before them to the Chapter-house, from whence they introduce the Elect-Knight into the Choire to his Installation. But if there be more Knights to be Installed, then the two next senior Knights descend, and af∣ter them the next seniors to them, till all the Elect-Knights are conducted in.

And this course is likewise observed when a Lieutenant is constituted, and hath been generally so practised, since the Investiture with the Collar, was performed in the Choire, and particularly at the Installations of the i Duke of Lenox,* and Earls of Penbroke, Marr, and Southampton, an. 1. Iac. R. and of the Duke of Holstein and Earl of Northampton, an. 3. Iac. R. In this Proceeding to Installation, the Register usually carries a Book of the New Testament for the Elect-Knight to take his Oath upon; as also the Oath it self, fairly written in Parchment.

kGarter bears before the Knight-Elect his Mantle, until he arrive at his Stall, and l King Henry the Eighth's Statutes place this service upon some one of the Knights-Companions likewise; but we have not found in all our search, that it was ever performed by any of them.

It should seem, that about the time when this Injunction passed, it was the Cu∣stom for Garter to bear the Mantle upon his arm; for we find it so carried at the Installation of the Lord mRussel, and others an. 31. H. 8. But it was not long after, that the laying it on a Velvet Cushen began.

The great Collar of the Order was also laid upon the Cushen; at the Installa∣tion of n Sir Henry Sidney, an. 6. Eliz. of the o Earl of Derby, an. 16. Eliz. of the p Earl of Rutland, an. 26. Eliz. and of the q Earl of Shrewsbury, an. 34. Eliz. and in this manner born before the Knight-Elect, an. 13. Car. 2. and before the Duke of Monmouth, an. 15. Car. 2. and the Duke of Albermarle, an. 23. Car. 2.

With these the Hood (though heretofore put on in the Chapter-house, yet) of late hath been laid upon the Cushen, and also the Book of Statutes, and so we find them born by Garter before r Prince Henry an. 1. Iac. R. and Fredericks Ele∣ctor Palatine in the 10. year of the same King, as also before the Knights Install∣ed, an. 13. Car. 2. and since.

And here we must note, that when Garter bears these Ornaments and Ensigns upon the Cushen before an Elect-Knight, or a Proctor, he is always placed be∣tween the Register and Black Rod in the Proceeding.

Lastly, in this Proceeding also the Knight-Elect goeth bare headed, holding his Cap in his hand, and so did the Duke of Albermarle, an. 23. Car. 2. for it hath been thought incongruous to the order of Investiture (as is before noted of the Hood) to put on any part of the Habit or other Ornaments that must be taken off again, before the Investiture be compleated; and the due place (among the Ceremonies of Investiture) for putting on the Cap is not till all the other be finished.