23. ST. JAMES'S PALACE. 231
during the same period was 519,505. In 1877 the number of read¬
ers' tickets in use was 11,657 (including temporary admissions),
and the number of visits paid to the Reading Room by visitors
amounted to 113, 596.
Persons desirous of using the Reading Room must send a written
application to the Principal Librarian, specifying their names, rank
or profession , and address, and enclosing a recommendation from
some well-known householder in London. The applicant must
not be under 21 years of age. The permission, which is granted for
six months, is not transferable, and may be renewed at the end of
that period. Under exceptional circumstances it is possible to get
permission to use the Reading Room for a single day by personal
application at the office of the Principal Librarian, to the left of
the First Grreco-Roman Room. Tickets for visitors to the Read¬
ing Room are obtained on the right side of the entrance hall.
Visitors are not allowed to walk through the Reading Room, but
only to view it from the doorway. — The Libraries contain a collection
of books and manuscripts, rivalled in extent by the National Library
of Paris alone. The number of printed books is about 1,000,000.
The Print Boom, not usually shown to visitors, contains an
admirable collection of original drawings and engravings; half-
year's tickets of admission may be obtained by persons engaged in
artistic pursuits or studies.
23. St. James's Palace and Park. Buckingham Palace.
The site of St. James's Palace (PI. T10), an irregular brick build¬
ing at the S. end of St. James's Street, was originally occupied by
a hospital for lepers, founded previous to 1190. In 1532 the build¬
ing came into the possession of Henry VIII., who erected in its
place a royal palace, said to have been designed by Holbein. Here
Queen Mary died in 1558. The palace was considerably extended
by Charles I., and, after AVhitehall was burned down in 1691,
it became the chief residence of the English kings from AVilliam III.
to George IAr. In 1809 a serious fire completely destroyed the
eastern wing, so that with the exception of the interesting old brick
gateway towards St. James's Street, the Chapel Royal, and the old
Presence Chamber, there are few remains of the ancient palace of
theTudors. The staterooms are sumptuously fitted up, and contain a
number of portraits and other works of art. The initials HA above
the chimney-piece in the Presence Chamber are a reminiscence of
Henry ATII. and Anne Boleyn. It is very difficult to obtain per¬
mission to inspect the interior. The guard is changed every day at
10.45 a m., when the fine bauds of the Grenadier, Coldstream, or
Fusilier Guards play for i/i hr. in the Colour Court.
On the N. side, entered from Colour Court, is the Chapel Royal,
in which the Queen and some of the highest nobility have seats.