The Star-Chamber, Volume 1

W. Harrison Ainsworth
The Star-Chamber, Volume 1

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Title: The Star-Chamber, Volume 1 An Historical Romance
Author: W. Harrison Ainsworth
Release Date: May 20, 2004 [EBook #12396]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

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I. The Three Cranes in the Vintry II. Sir Giles Mompesson and his
partner III. The French ordinary IV. A Star-Chamber victim V. Jocelyn
Mounchensey VI. Provocation VII. How Lord Roos obtained Sir
Francis Mitchell's signature VIII. Of Lupo Vulp, Captain Bludder,
Clement Lanyere, and Sir Giles's other Myrmidons IX. The
Letters-Patent X. The 'prentices and their leader XI. John Wolfe XII.
The Arrest and the Rescue XIII. How Jocelyn Mounchensey
encountered a masked horseman on Stamford Hill XIV. The
May-Queen and the Puritan's Daughter XV. Hugh Calveley XVI. Of
the sign given by the Puritan to the Assemblage XVII. A rash promise
XVIII. How the promise was cancelled XIX. Theobalds' Palace XX.
King James the First XXI. Consequences of the Puritan's warning XXII.
Wife and Mother-in-Law XXIII. The Tress of Hair XXIV. The
Fountain Court XXV. Sir Thomas Lake XXVI. The forged Confession
XXVII. The Puritan's Prison XXVIII. The Secret XXIX. Luke Hatton

"I will make a Star-Chamber matter of it." MERRY WIVES OF

The Three Cranes in the Vintry.
Adjoining the Vintry Wharf, and at the corner of a narrow lane
communicating with Thames Street, there stood, in the early part of the
Seventeenth Century, a tavern called the Three Cranes. This old and
renowned place of entertainment had then been in existence more than
two hundred years, though under other designations. In the reign of
Richard II., when it was first established, it was styled the Painted
Tavern, from the circumstance of its outer walls being fancifully
coloured and adorned with Bacchanalian devices. But these decorations
went out of fashion in time, and the tavern, somewhat changing its
external features, though preserving all its internal comforts and

accommodation, assumed the name of the Three Crowns, under which
title it continued until the accession of Elizabeth, when it became (by a
slight modification) the Three Cranes; and so remained in the days of
her successor, and, indeed, long afterwards.
Not that the last-adopted denomination had any reference, as might be
supposed, to the three huge wooden instruments on the wharf,
employed with ropes and pulleys to unload the lighters and other
vessels that brought up butts and hogsheads of wine from the larger
craft below Bridge, and constantly thronged the banks; though, no
doubt, they indirectly suggested it. The Three Cranes depicted on the
large signboard, suspended in front of the tavern, were long-necked,
long-beaked birds, each with a golden fish in its bill.
But under whatever designation it might be known--Crown or
Crane--the tavern had always maintained a high reputation for
excellence of wine: and this is the less surprising when we take into
account its close proximity to the vast vaults and cellars of the Vintry,
where the choicest produce of Gascony, Bordeaux, and other
wine-growing districts, was deposited; some of which we may
reasonably conclude would find its way to its tables. Good wine, it may
be incidentally remarked, was cheap enough when the Three Cranes
was first opened, the delicate juice of the Gascoign grape being then
vended, at fourpence the gallon, and Rhenish at sixpence! Prices,
however, had risen considerably at the period of which we propose to
treat; but the tavern was as well-reputed and well-frequented as ever:
even more so, for it had considerably advanced in estimation since it
came into the hands of a certain enterprising French skipper, Prosper
Bonaventure by name, who intrusted its management to his active and
pretty little wife Dameris, while he himself prosecuted his trading
voyages between the Garonne and the Thames. And very well Madame
Bonaventure fulfilled the duties of hostess, as will be seen.
Now, as the skipper was a very sharp fellow, and perfectly understood
his business-practically anticipating the Transatlantic axiom of buying
at the cheapest market and gelling at the dearest-he soon contrived to
grow rich. He did more: he pleased his customers at the Three Cranes.

Taking care to select his wines judiciously, and having good
opportunities, he managed to obtain
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