The Jerusalem Chamber

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Adjoining the south-west tower, and scarcely, if at all, inferior in historic memories to the abbey itself, is the so-called Jerusalem Chamber, dating from 1376-86 (see Stanley's "Historical Memorials of Westminster Abbey"), most likely named after tapestries or pictures of the history of Jerusalem with which it was hung.

Originally it was nothing more than the withdrawing-room or guest-chamber of the abbey, but subsequently it connected with some of the most important events of English history; for in this small and insignificant looking room, with its "old low shabby wall and one wired window," met the conspirators against Henry IV., and in it that unfortunate monarch breathed his last, after suffering from leprosy, thus fulfilling a prophecy made that he should die in Jerusalem, to which city he was about to make a pilgrimage to be rid of his loathsome disease.

There his son, the young Prince Henry, stole the crown, so soon to be his own; and here Sir Thomas More is said to have written his Appeal to a General Council when imprisoned under the wardenship of the last abbot.

The Jerusalem Chamber, or Pyx House, already referred to, at the south corner of the eastern cloister, is now used for meetings between the Dean and Chapter and for the sittings of the Upper House of Convocation, and is closed to the general public.

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