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Victoria R'S" 



Victorian 

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913.42 

K743o 

1845 

vol.1 



COLLECTION 
OF VICTORIAN BOOKS 
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BRIGHAM YOUNG , 
UNIVERSITY i§ 




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OLD ENGLAND: 



^Pictorial $&u£tutn 



REGAL, 



ECCLESIASTICAL, BARONIAL, MUNICIPAL, 



AND 



POPULAR ANTIQUITIES 



VOLUME I. 



LONDON: 
CHARLES KNIGHT AND CO., LUDGATE STREET. 

1845. 



London: Printed bj William Clowes and Sons, Stamford Street. 



( "i ) 



ILLUMINATED ENGRAVINGS OF OLD ENGLAND. 



*„* Some of these Engravings are described at the pages to which they are respectively assigned in the following list. 
Others are not so described, although they are placed with reference to the general subject to which they belong. 
Where such description is not found in the text, we here subjoin a more particular notice of the Engraving. 

1. THE CORONATION CHAIR 19 

2. PAINTED WINDOW OF SAXON AND NORMAN EARLS OF CHESTER 94 

Brereton Hall, in Cheshire, was built in the reign of Elizabeth, by Sir William Brereton ; and it is said that the 
queen herself laid the foundation stone. The founder appears to have liberally used the beautiful art of staining 
glass in the decoration of his mansion. In many of the windows were the various bearings of the principal Cheshire 
families, some of which still remain. But the greatest object of curiosity in this mansion, an object indeed of 
historical interest, was the painted window, of which we have given a faithful copy in the illuminated engraving. 
This window, we know not for what cause, was some years ago removed to Aston Hall, in Warwickshire. It has had 
the advantage of being described and engraved in Ormond's ' History of Cheshire ;' and a most beautiful and elaborate 
series of coloured fac-sirailes, the size of the originals, was executed by Mr. William Fowler, and published in 1808. 
From these our engraving is copied. Two of the figures represent Leofwine and Leofric, Saxon earls of Mercia. 
The other figures exhibit the seven Norman earls of Chester. The first earl, Hugii, surnamed Lupus, came into 
England with the Conqueror, who gave to him and his heirs the county of Chester, to hold as freely by him with 
the sword as he (William) held by the crown. He died in 1103. Richard, the son of Hugh, was the second earl. 
He was drowned in returning from Normandy in 1120. Dying without issue, he was succeeded by his cousin, 
Randolph de Meschines, the third earl, who died in 1 129. The fourth earl, Randolph, surnamed de Gernonijs, took 
part with the Empress Maud and her son Henry, and he, with Robert Earl of Gloucester, made King Stephen 
prisoner at Lincoln in 1141. He died by poison in 1158. Hugh, surnamed Cyveliok, from the place in Wales 
where he was born, w r as the fifth earl; he died in 1180. Randolph, surnamed Blundeville, was the sixth earl. He 
was a brave, and what was more unusual for a baron, a learned man, having compiled a treatise on the Laws of the 
Realm. He lived in great honour and esteem in the reigns of Henry II., Richard I., John, and Henry III. He 
fought in the Holy Land with Cccur-de-Lion, and was the founder of the abbey of Delacroix in Staffordshire and 
of the Grey Friars at Coventry. He died in 1233, having held the earldom fifty-three years. Although married 
three times, he had no issue ; but was succeeded by his nephew John, surnamed Le Scot. Upon his death without 
issue, in the twenty-second of Henry III., 1238, the King " thought it not good to make a division of the earldom 
of Chester, it enjoying such a regal prerogative; therefore, taking the same into his own hands, he gave unto the 
sisters of John Scot other lands, and gave the county palatine of Chester to his eldest son." (Ormerod.) John le 
Scot was therefore the last independent Earl of Chester. From that time the eldest sons of the sovereigns of 
England have been Earls of Chester from the day of their birth. 

In the painted window it will be observed that each figure is placed within an arch. Each arch in the original 
window is seventeen inches in height, and about eight in width between the columns. The arches are struck from 
two centres, and have a keystone on which is represented a grotesque head under a basket of fruit. It will of course 
suggest itself to the reader that this window, being in all probability executed in the time of Elizabeth, cannot be 
received as a perfectly faithful representation even of the costume of these redoubled vice-kings 'of the county pala- 
tine. Upon this point Ormerod has the following remarks : " The style of the architecture is of the era of Elizabeth, 
but an erroneous idea prevails as to the high antiquity of these figures, and as to their [having been the identical 
representations of the earls which formerly graced the windows of Chester Abbey." To correct this idea the county 
historian refers to a rude drawing in the Harleian MS. 2151, which shows the character of that ancient glass. But 
he adds, " It is, however, not unlikely that the figures may have been copied from paintings, stained glass, or monkish 
illuminations, of considerable antiquity ; though the paintings themselves were most probably executed for the deco- 
ration of the newly-erected Hall of Brereton at the close of the sixteenth century." 

3. KEEP OF ROCHESTER CASTLE .98 



ILLUMINATED ENGRAVINGS. 



4. COURT-CUPBOARD IN WARWICK CASTLE 1 03 

TnE furniture of the ancient halls and castles of England was for the most part peculiarly suited to the size and 
structure of the apartments in which it was placed. Much of it was of oak, boldly and richly carved, in a manner 
a\ceedingly appropriate to the beautiful Gothic style of the windows, the panelling of the walls, and the decorations 
of the mantel-pieces and ceilings. The massy sideboard, or court-cupboard, as it is sometimes called, is one of those 
grand pieces of old Gothic furniture, of which, besides the one at Warwick Castle represented in our coloured 
engraving, there are still many specimens remaining in the old baronial apartments of Enn-land. 



5. INTERIOR OF THE TEMPLE CHURCH 

6. ENTRANCE TO THE CHAPEL OF EDWARD THE CONFESSOR 

7. MONUMENT TO SIR FRANCIS VERE 

8. HENRY THE SEVENTH'S CHAPEL . 



10. 



CHANTRY, OR ORATORY OF THE BEAUCHAMP CHAPEL, WARWICK 

cha T ndb C v h r try ' 0rOratOry, T rePre5entCl ' ln the illumi ' ,ated paving, is a detached building, separated from the 
chapel by an open screen. It is a beautiful work of art, and the groined ceiling is especially rich and elegant. 



143 



286 



290 

9. CHANCEL OF THE CHURCH OF STRATFORD-UPON-AVON . 371 

The parish church of Stratford-upon-Avon is a large and handsome structure, of the usual cross-form, with a 
central tower surmounted by a spire. The chancel, of which the coloured engraving exhibits a view from the south 
door, showing Shakspere's monument on the north wall, is a fine specimen of late perpendicular architecture; the 
west end of the nave, the north porch, the piers, arches, and clerestory, are also perpendicular, but of earlier date • 
the tower, transept, and some parts of the nave, are early English : the ancient arches of the tower have been 
strengthened by underbuilding them with others of perpendicular character. Some of the windows have portions of 
good stained glass. Shakspere was buried on the north side of the chancel : his monument on the north wall must 
have been erected previous to 1623, when his works were first published, for Leonard Digges, in the verses prefixed 
to that first edition, thus addresses the departed poet : — 

Shakespeare, at length thy pious fellows give 
The world thy works : tliy works by which outlive 
Thy tomb thy name must : when that stone is rent, 
Ami time dissolves thy Stratford monument, 
Here we alive shall view thee still. This book, 
When brass and marble fade, shall make thee look 
Fresh to all ages. 

The sculptor of the monument was Gerard Johnson. It consists of a bust of Shakspere with the body to the waist 
under an ornamented arch between two Corinthian columns which support an entablature, above which are the" 
arms and crest of Shakspere in bold relief, surmounted by a sculptured skull. Below the figure are the following 
Latin and English verses : — ° 

Judicio Pylium, genio Socratem, arte Maronem, 
Terra regit, populus moeret, Olympus habet. 

Stay, passenger, why goest thou by so fast ? 
Read, if thou canst, whom envious death hath placed 
Within this monument — Shakspeare, with whom 
Quick nature died ; whose name doth deck this tomb 
Far more than cost ; nth all that he hath writ 
Leaves living art but page to serve his wit. 

Obiit Ano. Dni. 1616, ajtatis 53, die 23 Apr. 

Mr. Britton in 1816 published ' Remarks on Shakspeare's Monumental Bust,' in which is the following passage — 
"The bust is the size of life ; it is formed out of a block of soft stone, and was originally painted over°in imitation 
of nature The hands and face were of flesh colour, the eyes of a light hazel, and the hair and beard auburn ■ 
the doublet, or coat, was scarlet, and covered with a loose black gown, or tabard, without sleeves; the upper 
part of the cusluon was green, the under half crimson, and the tassels gilt. Such appear to have been the original 
features of tins important, bu, neglected or insulted bust. After remaining in this state above one hundred°and 
twenty years, Mr. John Ward, grandfather to Mrs. Siddons and Mr. Kemble, caused it to be repaired, and the 
onginal colours preserved, in 1748, from the profits of the representation of Othello. This was a generous and 
apparently judtctous act, and therefore very unlike the next alteration it was subjected to in 1793. In that year 
Mr. Malone caused the bust to be covered over with one or more coats of white paint, and thus at once destroyed 
its ongmal character, and greatly injured the expression of the face." 



875 



ILLUMINATED ENGRAVINGS. 



Pabi 

11. METHLEY HALL 383 

Methley Hall, or Methley Park, in the "West Riding of Yorkshire, seven miles south-east from Leeds, is the 
seat of the Saviles, Earls Mexborough, which family have held the manor for several centuries. The original manor- 
house was built by Sir Robert Waterton, in the reign of Henry IV. ; but after the manor became the property of 
the Saviles, the old house was pulled down, and the present magnificent mansion erected on its site by Sir John Savile, 
Baron of the Exchequer, with additions by his son Sir Henry Savile, in a handsome and uniform style. Of this 
building only the hall and the back part of the house remain : the far-famed gallery with its armorial bearings in 
painted glass no longer exists ; it has given place to the present front part of the mansion, which is of no great 
magnificence without, but contains some very fine apartments, one of which, with its beautiful painted ceiling and 
pendent ornaments, its antique furniture, rich carving, and lofty mullioned windows, is exhibited in our coloured 
engraving. 



12. MORRIS DANCE 

The coloured engraving which is given as a title to the first volume of ' Old England ' is the representation of 
an ancient window of stained glass, formerly in the house of George Tollett, Esq., of Betley, in Staffordshire, 
which has been conjectured by Mr. Douce, from certain peculiarities of costume, to have been executed in the time of 
Edward IV. The six interior lozenges on which we have engraved the title of our work are vacant in the original. 
The figures on the other lozenges represent the performers of a Morris Dance round a May-pole, from which are 
displayed a St. George's red cross and a white pennon. Immediately below the May-pole is the character who 
manages the pasteboard hobby-horse, who, from the crown which he wears, and the richness of his attire, appears 
to represent the King of May ; while, from the two daggers stuck in his cheeks, he may be supposed to have been a 
juggler and the master of the dance. Beneath the King of May is Maid Marian, as the Queen of May, with a crown 
on her head and attired in a style of high fashion, her coif floating behind, her hair unbound and streaming down her 
waist, and holding in her hand an emblematic flower. Margaret, eldest daughter of Henry VII., when married to 
James, King of Scotland, appeared thus, wearing a crown and with her hair hanging down her back. Of the other 
characters some are obvious enough, but others are conjectural. The left-hand figure at the top is the court fool, 
with his cockscomb' cap and his bauble. The first figure to the right is supposed to represent a Spaniard, and the 
next a Morisco or Moor, both men of rank, in rich dresses, with the long outer sleeves hanging loose like ribbons, 
a fashion once prevalent in England as well as on the Continent. Beneatli the Morisco is the instrumental per- 
former, with his pipe and tabor ; below him, the lover or paramour of Maid Marian ; and under him the friar, in the 
Franciscan habit. The King of May is the supposed representative of Robin Hood ; the Queen of May, of his 
favourite Marian ; and the friar, of his chaplain Friar Tuck. Passing by Marian, we have the inferior fool 
furnished with his bib ; above him, the representative of the clown or peasant ; and next above, the franklin or 
"■entleman. The dresses are curiously appropriate to the characters. 



Title 



( Tii ) 



CONTENTS OF VOLUME I. 



BOOK I. 

BEFORE THE CONQUEST. 

CHAPTER I. 
THE BRITISH PERIOD 3 

CHAPTER II. 
THE ROMAN PERIOD 2f> 

CHAPTER III. 
THE ANGLO-SAXON PERIOD 55 



BOOK II. 



THE PERIOD FROM THE NORMAN CONQUEST TO THE DEATH OF 
KING JOHN. a.d. 1066—1216. * 



CHAPTER I. * 
REGAL AND BARONIAL ANTIQUITIES . 81 



CHAPTER II. 
ECCLESIASTICAL ANTIQUITIES 130 

CHAPTER III 
POPULAR ANTIQUITIES 211 



vin CONTENTS. 



BOOK III. 

THE PERIOD FROM THE ACCESSION OF HENRY III. TO THE END OF THE REIGN OF 

RICHARD II. a.d. 1216—1399. 

CHAPTER I. 
REGAL AND BARONIAL ANTIQUITIES .... 

CHAPTER II. 

ECCLESIASTICAL ANTIQUITIES 

255 



CHAPTER III. 

POPULAR ANTIQUITIES 

314 



BOOK IV. 

THE PERIOD FROM THE ACCESSION OF HENRY IV. TO THE END OF THE REIGN OF 

RICHARD III. a.d. 1399-1485. 



CHAPTER I. 
REGAL AND BARONIAL ANTIQUITIES 



. 335 



CHAPTER II. 

ECCLESIASTICAL ANTIQUITIES 



355 



CHAPTER III. 

POPULAR ANTIQUITIES 

377 







/>: 



^Vi 



V 



IV. 



/> 



One Of the most picturesque descriptions in 
the most picturesque of poets,— that in ' Hie 
Faery Queen ' of the old man who 

*• things past could keep in memory," 
shows him Bitting in a chamber which "seemed 
ruinous and old," hut whose walla were » «ght 
firm and strong." Such are the Amownn 
of a great Nation. They may appear " worm- 
eaten and full of canker hole*," but they are 
teeming with life, and wiU he fresh and beauti- 
ful as long as civilisation endure*. W hen the 
knights who looked on the old man of Spenaei 
had perused his "antique Registers," and nad 
traced his wondrous legends up to the time ol 
the British kings who 
" entombed lie at Stonehenge by the heath," 
one or them hursts forth into this noble ape 
strophe :— 

" IIfak CooKTM ! O how dearly dear 
Ought tliv remembrance and perpetual hand 
He to thy foster-child, that from thy hand 
Did common breath and nouriture receive ! 
How brutish is it not to understand 
How much to her we owe, that all 118 gave j 
That gave unto us all whatever good we have ! " 
Such is the just effect upon every generous mind 
of the study of the "ancient record* ol our 
native land." The richest treasures that we have 
derived from a long line of ancestors are our 
antiquities. Thej carry us back to dim periods, 
that have bequeathed to us no written explana- 
tion of the origin and the uses of their inde- 
structible monuments. Vast mound*, gigantic 
temples, mwtfc !"»'< r», 1 elong to ages not of bar- 
barism, but of civilization different from our 
own. These are succeeded h> the rmaatoft/u 
gnat Roman conquerors of the vinld, who be- 
stowed upon Britain their refinement* and their 
learning. Our Anglo-Saxon Arts awl Seieneei 
have left indelible traces, in written descrip- 
tions and pictorial representations snatched 
from the spoils of time ; and in some architec- 
tural remains of earlj pietj which have escaped 
the ravages of the Dane. Gradualh the m- 
flumcesofCJirittianitt/ are apread over the land; 
and the great connecting links between the past 
and the present rise up, in the gloriou 
tical edifices 'bat we are now at length learning 
to look upon with love and admiration— to pre- 
serve and to restore. But there are also monu- 
ments scattered through the country of the 
antagonist principlesof brute force and military 
dominion. The Feudal Timet have left us their 
impressive memorials, in baronial Castles and 
crumbling Fortresses,— in the Weapons and Ar- 
mour of their haughty Chieftains. These are 
succeeded by the venerable Palaces and Mansions 
which belonged to the age of early cowtituttonaf 
government, when the Law allowed comfort to 
he studied in conjunction with security. To 
this age belong the monuments of Oleic Power, 



the Sail* »f Outldt and Companies; and, more 
important still, the splendid seats of liberal Edu. 
eation t o\aEndowedSehooUandCoUeget. Amidst 
all these instructive though silent chronicles of 
the past, in which England is richer than any 
Other countrv, have grown up the infinitely - 
varied peculiarities of the middle clanet, during 
live centuries in which they have formed the 
strength of the nation; and these are preserved 
in numberless evidences of their model of life, 
public and domestic These things are surely of 
the deepest interest even to millions who speak 
the language of "old England," scattered 
through every quarter of Uie habitable globe. 
The Antiquities of England are the Antiquities 
of North America and of Australia,— of mighty 
continents and fertile islands where the de- 
scendants of the Anglo-Saxon have founded 
•' new nations." They are of especial interest to 
every dweller in the father-land. These " rem- 
nants of Historv which have casually escaped 
the shipwreck of time" (so Bacon defines Anti- 
quities) are amongst the best riches of the 
freight of knowledge— not merely curiosities, 
but of intrinsic value. 

We propose to open to all ranks of the peo- 
ple at the cheapest rat-, a complete view- of 
L REG \L ECCLESIASTICAL. 11AROMAI., 
MUNICIPAL, and POPULAR ANTIQUITIES 
OF ENGLAND, by the publication of the larg- 
est collection of Engravings, with explanatory 
letterpress, that lias ever been devoted to this 
important branch of general information Our 
worlt is addressed to the People; but the know- 
ledge which it seeks to impart will be as scru- 
pulously accurate ns if it were exclusively in- 
tended for the most critical antiquary. lo be 
Hill and correct it is not necessary to be tedious 
and pedantic. That knowledge Will be pre- 
sented for the most part, in a chronological 
order; and thus our work will be a Com- 
panion and a Key to every English Hutory. Hie 
Enqravinqs will embrace the most remarkable 
of our Buildings from the earliest times— Dm id- 
ical Remains, Cathedrals. Abbeys, Churches, 
Colleges, Castles, Civic Halls, Mansions : Sepul- 
chrat Monuments of our Princes and Nobles: 
Portraits of British Worthies, and representa- 
tion! of the localities associated with their 
names: Ancient Pieturei and Illummattoni ol 
Historical Events : the ffwol Seals and Arms of 
the Monarchy : Coins ana Medals: Autographs: 
and, scattered amongst these authentic memo- 
rials of the rulers of the land, and of those who 
sat in high places, the fullest Pictorial indica- 
tions of the Industry, the ^rfi, the Sports, the 
Dresses, and the Daily Life of the People. 

The twenty-four COLOURED Enoravinos 
which w ill form a portion of the work will con- 
sist of Fac Similes of Elaborate Architectural 
Drawings, made expressly fortius publication, 
and forming in themselves a most interesting 
series of Picturesque Antiquities. 



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i™l ll™f »^ Dover; K.-.-p. KeuiU.-rU, IV.^I, : ih. Duk,- - Huu.o, »™».m 

I."',- ('-!>' | !lW :,n, i , l !.ITn-,-n(f, 1 ll ll .l.,l Canterbury; C*u» G«* of H. 
o UuTcn Elwi." at lie foot. Sau.h T.rrace and Bound Tower. Wuubor Casus, 



r, Ci.mbri.tBL>; Tomb 




No. ]. 



[OLD ENGLAND.] 



iH ISttgliittfr 



BOOK I. 



CHAPTER I.— T HE BRITISH PERIOD. 




ARUM Plain— the Salisbury Plain 
of our own day — an elevated plat- 
form of chalk, extending as far as 
the eye can reach in broad downs 
where man would seem to have no 
abiding place, presents a series of 
objects as interesting in their degree 
as the sands where the pyramids and 
sphinxes of ancient Egypt have 
stood for countless generations. 
This plain would seem to be the 
cradle of English civilization. The 
works of man in the earliest ages 
of the world may be buried beneath the hills or the rivers ; hut we 
can trace back the labours of those vriio have tenanted the same soil 
as ourselves, to no more remote period than is indicated by the stone 
circles, the barrows, the earth-works, of Salisbury Plain and its 
immediate neighbourhood. 

The great wonder of Salisbury Plain, — the most remarkable monu- 
ment of antiquity in our island, if we take into account its com- 
parative preservation as well as its grandeur, — is Stonehenge. It 
is situated about seven miles north of Salisbury. It may be most 
conveniently approached from the little town of Amesbury. Pass- 
ing by a noble Roman earth-work called the Camp of Vespasian, as 
we ascend out of the valley of the Avon, we gain an uninterrupted 
view of the undulating downs which surround us on every side. 
The name of plain conveys an inadequate notion of the character 
of this singular district. The platform is not flat, as might be ima- 
gined ; but ridge after ridge leads the eye onwards to the bolder hills 
of the extreme distance, or the last ridge is lost in the low horizon. 
The peculiar character of the scene is that of the most complete soli- 
tude. It is possible that a shepherd boy may be descried watching 
his flocks nibbling the short thyniy grass with which the downs are 
everywhere covered ; hut, with the exception of a shed or a hovel, 
there is no trace of human dwelling. This peculiarity arises from the 
physical character of the district. It is not that man is not here, but 
that his abodes are hidden in the little valleys. On each bank of the 
Avon to the east of Stonehenge, villages and hamlets are found at 
every mile ; and on the small branch of the Wyly to the west there 
is a cluster of parishes, each with its church, in whose names, such ns 
Orcheston Maries, and Shrawston Virgo, we hail the tokens of in- 
stitutions which left Stonehenge a ruin. We must not hastily con- 
clude, therefore, that this great monument of antiquity was set up in 
an unpeopled region ; and that, whatever might be its uses, it was 
visited only by pilgrims from far oft' places. But the aspect of 
Stonehenge, as we have said, is that of entire solitude. The distant 
view is somewhat disappointing to the raised expectation. The hull 
of a large ship, motionless on a wide sea, with no object near by 
which to measure its hulk, appears an insignificant thing : it is a 
speck in the vastness by which it is surrounded. Approach that 
ship, and the largeness of its parts leads us to estimate the grandeur 
of the whole. So is it with Stonehenge. The vast plain occupies 
so much of the eye that even a large town set down upon it would 
appear a hamlet. But as we approach the pile, the mind gradually 
becomes impressed with its real character. It is now the Chorea 
Gigantum — the Choir of Giants ; and the tradition that Merlin the 
Magician brought the stones from Ireland is felt to he a poetical 
homage to the greatness of the work. 

Keeping in view the ground plan of Stonehenge in its present 
state (Fig. 1), we will ask the reader to follow us while we describe 
the appearance of the structure. Great blocks of stone, some of 



which are standing and some prostrate, form the somewhat confused 
circular mass in the centre of the plan. The outermost shadowed 
circle represents an inner ditch, a vallum or bank, and an exterior 
ditch, m, n. The height of the hank is 15 feet; the diameter of the 
space enclosed within the bank is 300 feet. The section / shows 
their formation. To the north-east the ditch and bank run off into 
an avenue, a section of which is shown at p. At the distance of 
about 100 feet from the circular ditch is a large grey stone bent 
forward, a, which, in the dim light of the evening, looks like a gi- 
gantic human being in the attitude of supplication. The direct 
course of the avenue is impeded by a stone A, which has fallen in the 
ditch. A similar single stone is found in corresponding monu- 
ments. In the line of the avenue at the point marked c is a 
supposed entrance to the first or outer circle of stones. At the 
points d near the ditch are two large cavities in the ground. There 
are two stones e, and two o, also near the ditch. It is conjectured by 
some, that these formed part of a circle which has been almost to- 
tally destroyed. The centre of the enclosed space is usually deno- 
minated the temple. It consists of an outer circle of stones, seventeen 
of which remain in their original position; and thirteen to the north- 
east, forming an uninterrupted segment of the circle, leave no doubt 
as to the form of the edifice. The restored plan of Dr. Stukeley (Fig. 
2) shows the original number of stones in this outer circle to have 
been thirty ; those shadowed on the plan are still remaining. The up- 
right stones of the outer circle arc 14 feet in height, and upon the 
tops of them has been carried throughout a continuous impost, as it 
is technically called, of large flat stones of the same width. This 
has not been a rude work, as we see in the structures called crom- 
lechs, where a flat stone covers two or three uprights, without any 
nice adjustment : but at Stonehenge sufficient remains to show that 
the horizontal stones carefully fitted each other, so as to form each 
an arc of the circle ; and that they were held firmly in their places 
by a deep mortice at each end, fitting upon the tenon of the up- 
rights. This careful employment of the builder's art constitutes 
one of the remarkable peculiarities of Stonehenge. The blocks 
themselves are carefully hewn. It is not necessary to add to our 
wonder by adopting the common notion that the neighbouring 
country produces no such material. The same fine-grained sand- 
stone of which the greater number of the masses consists, is found 
scattered upon the downs in the neighbourhood of Marlborough and 
Avebury. The stones of the second circle are, iiowever, of a dif- 
ferent character ; and so is what is called the altar-stone, marked j 
on the ground plan. Of the inner circle, enclosing a diameter of 
83 feet, which appears to have consisted of much smaller stones 
without imposts, but about the same in number as the outer circle, 
there are very few stones remaining. There is a single fallen stone 
with two mortices r/, which has led to the belief that there was some 
variation in the plan of the second circle, such as is indicated by the 
letter o on the restored plan. Within the second circle were five 
distinct erections, each consisting of two very large stones with an 
impost, with three smaller stones in advance of each : these have 
been called trilithons. That marked A in the ground plan is the 
largest stone in the edifice, being 21 feet (i inches in height. The 
two trilithons marked i are nearly perfect. The stones of the trili- 
thon It are entire ; hut it fell prostrate as recently as 1797. The ex- 
ternal appearance which the whole work would have if restored, is 
shown in the perspective elevation. (Fig. 3.) The internal arrange- 
ment is exhibited in the section. (Fig. 4.) The present appearance 
of the ruin from different points of view is shown in Figs. 5 and 6. 
The description which we have thus given, brief as it is, may 
appear somewhat tedious; but it is necessary to understand the 

B 2 





J.— Ground-Flail of 3tonelien«e in its present slate. 



5. — StooelicDRe. 




6.— Stouelienge. 




* 



H~n 



3 — Stoaehenge. — Perspective Elevation, reports! 




v • * ^ 

/ j , i y * a i 

, j *?' ^ y:\ 

I "i" J " 

V °' - - - / 

2.— Stoneheni;e.— Bartered l'l.u. 



'- ■ ■ ■ '■■■ .■•' ^ 



4 — Stonehunge : section 1 to 2 (Restoinl Plan, Pig. 2), 105 feel. 



r.— Druidie.il Circle ut Dan.b. 




— Pruidical Stone in Persia. 







—Astronomical Instrument. 




u -Two Druids. Has-relfaf found at Autun- 



17.— Sarum Plum. 




12.— Gaulish Deity. Ham*. 



9.— DruiiUcnl Circle of Jffl 



G 



OLD ENGLAND. 



general plan and some of the details of every great work of art, of 
whatever age, ruinous or entire, before the mind can properly apply 
itself to the associations which belong to it. In Stonehenge this 
course is more especially necessary ; for, however the imagination 
may be impressed by the magnitude of those masses of stone which 
still remain in their places, by the grandeur even of the fragments 
confused or broken in their fall, by the consideration of the vast 
labour required to bring such ponderous substances to this desolate 
spot, and by surmise of the nature of the mechanical skill by which 
they were lifted up and placed in order and proportion, it is not 
till the entire plan is fully comprehended that we can properly 
surrender ourselves to the contemplations which belong to this 
remarkable scene. It is then, when we can figure to ourselves a 
perfect structure, composed of such huge materials symmetrically 
arranged, and possessing, therefore, that beauty which is the result 
of symmetry, that we can satisfactorily look back through the dim 
light of history or tradition to the object for which such a structure 
was destined. The belief now appears tolerably settled that Stone- 
henge was a temple of the Druids. It differs, however, from all 
other Druidical remains, in the circumstance that greater mecha- 
nical art was employed in its construction, especially in the super- 
incumbent stones of the outer circle and of the trilithons, from 
which it is supposed to derive its name : stem being the Saxon for 
a stone, and lienq to hang or support. From this circumstance it is 
maintained that Stonehenge is of the very latest ages of Druidism ; 
and that the Druids that wholly belonged to the ante-historic period 
followed the example of those who observed the command of the 
law : " If thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build 
it of hewn stone : for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast 
polluted it." (Exodus, chap, xx.) Regarding Stonehenge as a work 
of masonry and architectural proportions, Inigo Jones came to the 
conclusion that it was a Roman Temple of the Tuscan order. This 
was an architect's dream. Antiquaries, with less of taste and fancy 
than Inigo Jones, have had their dreams also about Stonehenge, 
almost as wild as the legend of Merlin flying away with the stones 
from the Curragh of Kildare. Some attribute its erection to the 
Britons after the invasion of the Romans. Some bring it down to 
as recent a period as that of the usurping Danes. Others agnin 
carry it back to the early days of the Phoenicians. The first 
notice of Stonehenge is found in the writings of Nennius, who lived 
in the ninth century of the Christian era. He says that at the spot 
where Stonehenge stands a conference was held between Hengist 
and Vortigern, at which Hengist treacherously murdered four 
hundred and sixty British nobles, and that their mourning survivors 
erected the temple to commemorate the fatal event. Mr. Davies, 
a modern writer upon Celtic antiquities, holds that Stonehenge was 
the place of this conference between the British and Saxon princes, 
on account of its venerable antiquity and peculiar sanctity. There 
is a passage in Diodorus Siculus, quoted from Hecataeus, which 
describes a round temple in Britain dedicated to Apollo ; and this 
Mr. Davies concludes to have been Stonehenge. By another 
writer, Dr. Smith, Stonehenge is maintained to have been " the 
grand orrery of the Druids," representing, by combinations of its 
stones, the ancient solar year, the lunar month, the twelve signs of 
the zodiac, and the seven planets. Lastly, Stonehenge has been 
pronounced to be a temple of Budha, the Druids being held to be 
a race of emigrated Indian philosophers. 

Startling as this last assertion may appear to be, a variety of facts 
irresistibly lead to the conclusion that the circles, the stones of 
memorial, the cromlechs, and other monuments of the,highest an- 
tiquity in these islands, have a distinct resemblance to other monu- 
ments of the same character scattered over Asia and Europe, and 
even found in the New World, which appear to have had a common 
origin. In Great Britain and Ireland, in Jersey and Guernsey, in 
France, in Germany, in Denmark and Sweden, such monuments 
are found extensively dispersed. They are found also, though more 
rarely, in the Netherlands, Portugal, and Malta; in Gozo and 
Phoenicia. But their presence is also unquestionable in Malabar, 
in India, in Palestine, in Persia. Figures 1 and 8 represent a 
Druidical circle, and a single upright stone standing alone near the 
circle, which are described by Sir William Ouseley as seen by 
him at Darab, in the province of Fars, in Persia. Our engravings 
are copied from those in Sir William Ouseley's book. We have 
placed them upon the same page with the representations of Stone- 
henge. If we had obliterated the oriental figures, a superficial 
observation might easily receive them as representations of Stone- 
henge from another point of view. The circle of stones at Darab 
is surrounded by a wide and deep ditch and a high bank of earth • 
there is a central stone, and a single upright stone at some distance 
from the main group. The resemblance of the circle at Darab to 



the general arrangement of Stonehenge, and other similar monu- 
ments of Europe, led Sir William Ouseley to the natural conclusion 
that a " British antiquary might be almost authorized to pronounce 
it Druidical, according to the general application of the word 
among us." At Darab there is a peculiarity which is not found at 
Stonehenge, at least in its existing state. Under several of the 
stones there are recesses, or small caverns. In this particular, and 
in the general rudeness of its construction, the circle of Darab 
resembles the Druidical circle of Jersey (9), although the circle 
there is very much smaller, and the stones of very inconsiderable 
dimensions, — a copy in miniature of such vast works as those of 
Stonehenge and Avebury. This singular monument, which was 
found buried under the earth, was removed some fifty years ago 
by General Conway, to his seat near Henley, the stones being placed 
in his garden according to the original plan. 

When we open the great store-house not only of divine truth but 
of authentic history, we find the clearest record that circles of stone 
were set up for sacred and solemn purposes. The stones which 
were taken by Joshua out of the bed of the Jordan, and set up in 
Gilgal, supply the most remarkable example. The name Gilgal 
itself signifies a circle. Gilgal subsequently became a place not only 
of sacred observances, but for the more solemn acts of secular 
government. It was long a controversy, idle enough as such 
controversies generally are, whether Stonehenge was appropriated 
to religious or to civil purposes. If it is to be regarded as a 
Druidical monument, the discussion is altogether needless ; for the 
Druids were, at one and the same time, the ministers of religion 
the legislators, the judges, amongst the people. The account which 
Julius Cassar gives of the Druids of Gaul, marked as it is by his 
usual clearness and sagacity, may be received without hesitation as a 
description of the Druids of Britain : for he says, " the system of 
Druidism is thought to have been formed in Britain, and from 
thence carried over into Gaul; and now those who wish to be more 
accurately versed in it for the most part go thither (t.e. to Britain) 
in order to become acquainted with it." Nothing can be more ex- 
plicit than his account of the mixed office of the Druids : " They 
are the ministers of sacred things; they have the charge of sacri- 
fices, both public and private ; they give directions for the ordi- 
nances of religious worship (relujioncs interpretantur). A great 
number of young men resort to them for the purpose of instruction 
in their system, and they are held in the highest reverence. For it 
is they who determine most disputes, whether of the affairs of the 
state or of individuals : and if any crime has been committed, if a 
man has been shun, if there is a contest concerning an inheritance 
or the boundaries of their lands, it is the Druids who settle the 
matter: they fix rewards and punishments : if any one, whether in 
an individual or public capacity, refuses to abide by their sentence, 
they forbid him to come to the sacrifices. This punishment is among 
them very severe; those on whom this interdict is laid are ac- 
counted among the unholy and accursed ; all fly from them, and 
shun their approach and their conversation, lest they should be in- 
jured by their very touch ; they are placed out of the pale of the 
law, and excluded from all offices of honour." After noticing that 
a chief Druid, whose office is for life, presides over the rest, Csesar 
mentions a remarkable circumstance which at once accounts for the 
selection of such a spot as Sarum Plain for the erection of a great 
national monument, a temple, and a seat of justice : — " These 
Druids hold a meeting at a certain time of the year in a consecrated 
spot in the country of the Carnutes (people in the neighbourhood 
of Chartres), which country is considered to be in the centre of all 
Gaul. Hither assemble all, from every part, who have a litigation, 
and submit themselves to their determination and sentence." At 
Stonehenge, then, we may place the seat of such an assize. There 
were roads leading direct over the plain to the great British towns of 
Winchester and Silchester. Across the plain, at a distance not ex- 
ceeding twenty miles, was the great temple and Druidical settle- 
ment of Avebury. The town and hill-fort of Sarum was close at 
hand (23). Over the dry chalky downs, intersected by a few streams 
easily forded, might pilgrims resort from all the surrounding 
country. The seat of justice, which was also the seat of the highest 
religious solemnity, would necessarily be rendered as magnificent 
as a rude art could accomplish. Stonehenge might be of a later 
period than Avebury, with its mighty circles and long avenues of 
unhewn pillars ; but it might also be of the same period,— the one 
distinguished by its vastness, the other by its beauty of proportion. 
The justice executed in that judgment-seat was, according to 
ancient testimony, bloody and terrible. The religious rites were 
debased into the fearful sacrifices of a cruel idolatry. But it is 
impossible not to feel that at the bottom of these superstitions there 
was a deep reverence for what was high and spiritual : that not only 



OLD ENGLAND. 



were the Druids the instructors of youth, but the preservers and 
disseminators of science, the proclaimers of an existence beyond this 
finite and material world— idolaters, but nevertheless teaching some- 
thing nobler than what belongs to the mere senses, in the midst of 
their idolatry. We give entire what Caesar says of the religious 
system of this remarkable body of men : — 

" It is especially the object of the Druids to inculcate this— that 
souls do not perish, but after death pass into other bodies ; and they 
consider that by this belief more than any thing else men may be 
led to cast away the fear of death, and to become courageous. 
They discuss, moreover, many points concerning the heavenly bodies 
and their motion, the extent of the universe and the world, the na- 
ture of things, the influence and ability of the immortal gods ; and 
they instruct the youth in these things. 

" The whole nation of the Gauls is much addicted to religions 
observances, and, on that account, those who are attacked by any of 
the more serious diseases, and those who are involved in the dangers 
of warfare, either offer human sacrifices or make a vow that they 
will offer them, and they employ the Druids to officiate at these 
sacrifices: for they consider that the favour of the immortal gods 
cannot be conciliated unless the life of one man be offered up for 
that of another ; they have also sacrifices of the same kind appointed 
on behalf of the state. Some have images of enormous size, the 
limbs of which they make of wicker-work, and fill with living men, 
and setting them on fire, the men are destroyed by the flames. 
They consider that the torture of those who have been taken in the 
commission of theft or open robbery, or in any crime, is more agree- 
able to the immortal gods ; but when there is not a sufficient number 
of criminals, they scruple not to inflict this torture on the inno- 
cent. 

"The chief deity whom they worship is Mercury; of him they 
have many images, and they consider him to be the inventor of all 
arts, their guide in all their journeys, and that he has the greatest 
influence in the pursuit of wealth and the affairs of commerce. 
Next to him they worship Apollo and Mais, and Jupiter and Mi- 
nerva ; and nearly resemble other nations in their views respecting 
these, as that Apollo wards off diseases, that Minerva communicates 
the rudiments of manufactures and manual arts, that Jupiter is the 
ruler of the celestials, that Mars is the god of war. To Mars, when 
they have determined to engage in a pitched battle, they commonly 
devote whatever spoil they may take in the war. After the contest, 
they slay all living creatures that are found among the spoil ; the 
other things they gather into one spot. In many states, heaps raised 
of these things in consecrated places may be seen : nor does it often 
happen that any one is so unscrupulous as to conceal at home any 
part of the spoil, or to take it away when deposited ; a very heavy 
punishment with torture is denounced against that crime. 

" All the Gauls declare that they are descended from Father Dis 
(or Pluto), and this, they say, has been handed down by the Druids : 
for this reason, they distinguish all spaces of time not by the number 
of days, but of nights ; they so regulate their birth-days, and the 
beginning of the months and years, that the day shall come after 
the night."* 

The precise description which Caesar has thus left us of the re- 
ligion of the Druids — a religion which, whatever doubts may have 
been thrown upon the subject, would appear to have been the pre- 
vailing religion of ancient Britain, from the material monuments 
which are spread through the country, and from the more durable 
records of popular superstitions — is different in some particulars 
which have been supplied to us by other writers. According to 
Caesar, the Druids taught that the soul of man did not perish with 
his perishable body, but passed into other bodies. But the language 
of other writers, Mela, Diodorus Siculus, and Ammianus Marcel- 
linus, would seem to imply that the Druids held the doctrine of the 
immortality of the soul as resting upon a nobler principle than that 
described by Caesar. They believed, according to the express state- 
ment of Ammianus Mareellinus, that the future existence of the 
spirit was in another world. The substance of their religious system, 
according to Diogenes haertius, was comprised in their three pre- 
cepts — to worship the Gods, to do no evil, and to act with courage. 
It is held by some that they had a secret doctrine for the initiated, 
whilst their ritual observances were addressed to the grosser senses 
of the multitude ; and that this doctrine was the belief in one God. 
Their veneration for groves of oak, and for sacred fountains, was 
an expression of that natural worship which sees the source of all 
good in the beautiful firms with which the earth is clothed. The 
sanctity of the mistletoe, the watch-fires of spring and summer and 
autumn, traces of which ol servances still remain amongst u-, were 

* Cawar lie Bell, Gall. .lib. vi. Our translation is tl at of the article "Pi itamiia," 
in the Penny Cyclopaedia. 



tributes to the bounty of the All-giver, who alone could make the 
growth, the ripening, and the gathering of the fruits of the earth 
propitious. The sun and the moon regulated their festivals, and 
there is little doubt formed part of their outward worship. An as- 
tronomical instrument found in Ireland (Fig. 10) is held to represent 
the moon's orbit, and the phases of the planets. They worshipped 
too, according to Caesar, the divinities of Greece and Rome, such 
as Mars and Apollo : but Ca-sar does not give us their native names. 
He probably found ascribed to these British gods like attributes 
of wisdom and of power as those of Rome, and so gave them 
Roman names. Under the church of Notre Dame, at Paris, were 
found in tin; last century two bas-reliefs of Celtic deities, the one 
Cernunnos (Fig. 11), the other Hesus (Fig. 12), corresponding to the 
Roman Mars. Other writers confirm Caesar's account of their human 
sacrifices. This is the most revolting part of the Druidical super- 
stition. The shuddering with which those who live under a pure 
revelation must regard such fearful corruptions of the principle of 
devotion, which in some form or other seems an essential part of 
the constitution of the human faculties, produced this description of 
Stonehenge from the pen of a laborious and pious antiquary, Mr. 
King : — " Although my mind was previously filled with determined 
aversion, and a degree of horror, on reflecting upon the abomina- 
tions of which this spot must have been the scene, and to which it 
even gave occasion, in the later periods of Druidism, yet it was im- 
possible not to be struck, in the still of the evening, whilst the 
moon's pale light illumined all, with a reverential awe, at the 
solemn appearance produced by the different shades of this immense 
group of astonishing masses of rock, artificially placed, impending 
over head with threatening aspect, bewildering the mind with the 
almost inextricable confusion of their relative situations witli respect 
to each other, and from their rudeness as well as from their prodigious 
bulk, conveying at one glance all the ideas of stupendous greatness 
that could well be assembled together." And yet the "determined 
aversion and degree of horror" thus justly felt, and strongly ex- 
pressed, might be mitigated by the consideration that in nations 
wholly barbarous the slaughter of prisoners of war is indiscriminate, 
but that the victim of the sacrifice is the preserver of the mass. 
If the victims thus slain on the Druidical altars were culprits sacri- 
ficed to offended justice, the blood-stained stone of the sacred circle 
might find a barbarous parallel in the scaffold and the gibbet of 
modern times. Even such fearful rites, if connected with some- 
thing nobler than the mere vengeance of man upon his fellows, are 
an advance in civilization, and they are not wholly inconsistent with 
that rude cultivation of our spiritual being which existed under 
the glimmerings of natural impulses, before the clear light of 
heaven descended upon the earth. 

We stand without the bank of Stonehenge, and we look upon the 
surrounding plains, a prospect wide as the sea. We walk along the 
avenue previously noticed, which extends for the third of a mile on 
the north-east. It then divides into two branches, the northward 
of which leads to what is called the cursus. This is a flat tract of 
land, hounded on each side by banks and ditches. It is more than 
a mile and five furlongs in length. Antiquaries have not settled 
whether it was a more recent Roman work or an appendage to the 
Druidical Stonehenge. At either extremity of the cursus are found 
what arc called barrows. The southern branch of the avenue runs 
between two rows of barrows. On every side of Stonehenge we 
are surrounded with barrows. Wherever we cast our eyes we see 
these grassy mounds lifting up their heads in various forms (Fig. 
18). Some are of the shape of bowls, and some of bells; some are 
oval, others nearly triangular; some present a broad but slight ele- 
vation of a circular form, surrounded by a bank and a ditch (Figs. 
19, 20, 21, and 22.) The form of others is so feebly marked that 
they can be scarcely traced, except by the shadows which they cast 
in the morning and evening sun. This is the great burial-place of 
generations long passed away. Spenser tells us, according to the 
old legends, that a long line of British kings here lie entombed. 
Milton, in his History, relates their story, " Be it for nothing else 
but in favour of our English poets and rhetoricians." The poets had 
used these legends before Milton collected them. If the old kings 
were here buried, though their very existence be now treated as a 
fable, they have wondrous monuments which have literally survived 
those of brass and stone. Unquestionably there were distinctions 
of rank and of sex amongst those who were here entombed. Their 
graves have been unmolested by the various spoilers who have ra- 
vaged the land ; and, what is more important to their preservation, 
the plough has spared them, in these chalky downs which rarely 
repay the labours of cultivation. But the antiquary has broken 
into them with his spade and his mattock, and he has established their 
sepulchral character, and the peculiarities of their sepulture. Sir 








IS.—:. Lots »■"" 



,. D,„„ll..uo»,. i. B,n.h. P «lll..™.«. ..OmMlta... r.T-taBn»» 






ns of oi.i £amm 



?, | Flint Arrow Hta.K 

■ 

f,. Weapon. "1 

G. Pin. 

7. Airnw-Hi-.nl. ^ 

8. Dirk or Knife-. fOfBrOWe. 

9. Spent Hstd 

10. Lateltai ) 

U. Brass Knife in shea tli, Ut 

*tnj>Vliom liaudlc. 
12 Flint Bpe&r-E«nd> 

13. Ivory Tweeter*. 

14. Ivor) Bodkin. 

15. Amlitrr Ornament. 




1G. Necklace of Shells. 
I". Penis of Glass, 
is. Ivory Ornament. 
l'J. Nipper*. 

20. Stone for Sling. 

21. Stone to iharpeu bone. 

22. limy Amulet. 

23. Breastplate of Blue Slate. 

24. Incense Cup. 
26. Ditto. 

26. Ditto. 

27. Whetstone. 
28 to 32. Urns. 

33 to 37. Drill king-Cups. 



2-*.— Coutenis of Ancient Ilriti*li I'.amws. 





= •. • : : / 

"-. ••• .• .-, 




^ ^i&iigv"-.--^-.'-.;.... 



flwwj^nv^ori-itffis^V 



a(,_Abnrv. I'loniuidSwiUi! 




\ M- 






■ ■ 



.<■■ 



\ ' . '■ . : 



■ 1 : %. J; 
/ ! ', 






• , - 



27. Abury. Extended Flail. 




30.-Oman.eots and Pattern, of the Ancient Briton.. 



■29 — Arch-Druid in his full Judicial Costume. 




\ 



- ^ 



ft 




",ir^>-~ ^ <^— <-3» 



28.— Ahury. Bird's eye view, from the Noith. 



31._Hri,:,h Weapon, of hrotm-.iu their earliest and ImpBlWl -' *. 



No. 2. 



[OLD ENGLAND.] 



10 



OLD ENGLAND. 



Richard Colt Hoare, who devoted a life to the examinati t' the 

antiquities of Wiltshire, justly says: •' We must not consider every 
barrow as a mere tumulus, or mound, loosely or fortuitously thrown 
up ; but must rather view them as works of evident design, and ex- 
ecuted witli the greatest symmetry and precision." These remark- 
able monuments contain not only the hones and the ashes of the 
dead, hut various articles of utility and ornament, domestic utensils. 
weapons of war. decorations of the person, perhaps insignia of 
honour (Figs. 13 and 14). the things which contributed to comfort, 
to security, and to the graces of life (Fig. -4). Mela says that the 
Druidical belief in a future state led the people to bury with the 
dead things useful to the living-. The contents of these barrows 
indicate different stages of the arts. In some there are spear-heads 
and arrow-heads of Hint and bone (Fig. 16); in others brass and 
iron are employed for the same weapons. In some the earthen v essels 
are rudely fashioned, ami appear to have been dried in the sun ; in 
others they are of regular form, as if produced by the lathe, are 
baked, and ornamented. But, whatever be the difference in the 
comparative antiquity of these burrows, it is a remarkable fact that 
in those of South Wiltshire, which have nearly all been explored, 
nothing whatever has been discovered which could indicate that this 
mode of sepulture was practised alter the Roman dominion had 
commenced in Britain. The coins of the conquerors of the world 
are not here to be looked for. 

Towards the northern extremity of that extensive range of chalky 
downs which, whether called Salisbury Plain or -Marlborough Downs, 
present the same geological character, we find the seat of one of 
the most remarkable monuments of the ancient inhabitants of this 
island. About a mile to the north of the great road from Hath to 
Loudon is the village of Abury. or Avcbury. A traveller unac- 
quainted with the history of this little village, lying in its peaceful 
obscurity on the banks of the Kennet. out of the common way of 
traffic, might walk through it almost without noticing the vast 
blocks of stone which lie scattered at very irregular distances 
amongst its ploughed fields, or stand, as if defying lime and man. 
close by the farmer's homestead. Year after year has their number 
been diminished ; so that if we had only now begun to judge of the 
whole from its remaining parts, the great temple of Abury might 
have appeared to the incredulous eye little more than the imaginative 
creation of confiding antiquarianism. Upon the neighbouring downs 
there are large blocks of stone lying here and there, and seeming 
perhaps as symmetrically arranged as the remains of Abury. The 
shepherds call them the Grey Wethers, a name which implies that 
they have an affinity to natural objects. Jinn, indeed, has not 
disturbed their rest since they were thrown on these downs like 
pebbles cast by the Titans. The land upon which the ( I rev Wethers 
lie is too barren for culture; but the soil of Abury rendered the 
great Druidical temple an incumbrance upon its fertility. For two 
centuries we can trace the course of its destruction. Gibson 
describes it as '• a monument more considerable in itself than known 
to the world. For a village of the same name being built within 
the circumference of it, and, by the way, out of it- stones too. what 
by gardens, orchards, enclosures, and the like, the prospect is so 
interrupted that it is very hard to discover the form of it." The 
good old gossip Aubrey saw the place in 1648, and Charles the 
Second desired him to write an account of it in 1668. The king 
himself went to see it in that year ; and perhaps wo can have no 
better evidence than this of the remarkable character of the struc- 
ture; for Charles, we imagine, would be as sceptical as Edie 
Ochiltree" about the existence of circles, and avenue-, and altar- 
stones, anil cromlechs, whose plan could be indicated only by a few 
crumbling sandstones. Gibson, continuing his very brief notice 
of Abury. says, ■• It is environed by an extraordinary vallum, or 
rampire, as great autl as high as that at Winchester; and within it 
is a graft' (ditch or nm.it) of a depth and breadth proportionable. 
.... The graft' hath been surrounded all along the edge of it 

with large stones pitched aid, most of which arc now taken away ; 

but some marks remaining give liberty for a conjecture that they 

•' ' 'I'i'te round." In Aubrey's time sixty-three stones, which he 

describes, were standing within the entrenched enclosure. Dr. 
Stukeley made a minute examination of Abury from 172(1 to 1724. 
His work, ■ Abury, a Temple of the British Druids,' was published 
in 174:;. King says, " In Dr. Stukeley's time, when the destruction 
"t the whole for the purposes of building , so rapidly, 

still forty-four of the stones of the great outward circle were left] 

and many of the pi]la,s of the great avenue: and a great CI lech 

was in being, the uppei -tune of which he himself' -aw broke,, and 
carried away, the fragments of it alone making no less than twenty 

A^,m't"" a " hm ' Pratt "'""' ""■"' ' "' i,ul "* **&* ""''-"-Scott's 



[Book I. 

good cartloads." In 1812, according to Sir Richard Hoare, only 
seventeen of the stones remained within the great enclosure. Their 
number has been since still further reduced. The barbarism of the 

Turks, who burned the marble mo ,ei,t- of Greece for lime, may 

Hod a parallel in the stone-breakers of Abury, and in many other 
stone-breakers and stone defitcers, — tin- beautiflers a- had a- ii„. 
destroyers, — in our own country, and almost in our own day. 

Dr. Stukeley, who brought to the study of these early antiquities 
something similar to the ".cuius by which a naturalist can discover 

the structure of a fossil animal by the formation of a tooth or a 
claw, has given us some very complete plans for the restoration of 
Abury : and although hi- has been sometimes held to be enthusiastic 
and credulous, then' is such sound foundation for his conjecture- in 
this particular ea-e. that antiquarians arc pretty well agreed to 
speak of Abury. as it was. upon his authority. His admiration of 
this monument i-. a- we might expect, somewhat exaggerated. 
Aubrey said, ••These antiquities are so axeeedinglj old that no 

books do reach them ; I can nlliirn that I have brought this temple 

from utter darkness into a thin mist." Hut Stukeley endeavours 
to bring the original structure of the building into the char light 
of day; and to describe it as perspicuously as if the ground-plans 

of the Arch-Druid architect wen- lying before Win. We inav smile 
at this; but we must not forget thai the elements of such an arei 

tion are very simple. X I, ,uhts about the great circular 

vallum and ditch which surround the principal woik. It was there 
when Aubrey wrote; it remain- to this day. however broken and 
obscured. The plan (Fig. 26) exhibits this bank f, with the ditch I: 
immediately within the ditch was a circle of stones, dotted on the 

plan. This circle i- stated to have been c posed of a hundred 

stones, many from fifteen to seventeen feet in height, hut some 

much smaller, and others considerably higher, of vast breadth, in 
some ca.-es equal to the height. The distance between each stone 
was about twenty-seven feet The circle of stones was about 

thirteen hundred feet in diameter. The inner slope of the hank 

measured eighty feet. Its circumference a: the top is stated by Sir 

Hiehard Iloarc to be four thousand tour hundred and forty-two 
feet. The area thus enclosed exoeeds twenty-eight acre-. Half- 
way up the bank was a sou of terrace walk of great breadth. 
Dimensions such a- these at once impress us with notions of vn-tne- 
and magnificence. Hut they approach to sublimity when we imagine 
a mighty population standing upon this immense circular tei race, and 
looking with awe and reverence upon the lclign.u- and judicial rites 

that were performed within the area. The Roman amphitheatres 

are petty things compared with the enormous circle of Abury. 
Looking over the hundred columns, the spectators would see. within, 
two other circular temples, marked c ami rf: of the more northerly 
of these double circle- some stone- of ilirneu-e -i/e are still -laud- 
ing. The great central stone of c, nunc than twenty feet Ugh, was 
standing in 1713. In 1720 enough remained decidedly to show 
their original formation. The genera] rii n (Fig. 25) is a restoration 
formed upon the plan (Fig. 2ti). Upon that plan there are two open- 
ings through the bank and ditch, a and/;. These are connected with 

a peculiarity of Abury. such a- is found in no other monument of 
those called Celtic, although mar Penrith a long avenue of granite 

-tone- formerly existed. At these entrances two lines of upright 

-tones blanched off. each extending for re than a mile. These 

avenues arc exhibited in the plan (Fig. 27). That running to the 

-outh. ai.d south-east il, fr the great temple a, terminated at t, in 

an elliptical range of upright .-tone-. It consisted, according to 
Stukeley. of two bundled stones. The oval thus terminating this 
avenue was placed on a hill called the llakpen. or Overton Hill. 

Crossing this i- an old British track-way A Barrows, dotted on 
the plan, are scattered all around. The western avenue c, extending 
nearly a mile and a half towards Beckhampton, consisted also of 
about two bundled stones, terminating in a singlestone, It has 
been held that these avenues, running in curved lines, are emblematii 
of the serpent-worship, one of the most primitive and widely ex- 
tended superstitions of the human race. Conjoined with this wor- 
ship was the worship of the sun, according to those who hold that 
the whole construction of Abury was emblematic of the idolalrv ut 
primitive Druidism. The high ground to the south of Alien 
within the avenues i- indicated upon the plan (Fig. 27). Upon that 
plan i- also marked f, a most remarkable monument of the British 
period, Silburj Hill; of which Sir R. Hoare says, " There can he no 
doubt it was one of the component part- of the grand temple at 

Abury. not a sepulchral mound raised over the I es and ashes of a 

king or arch-druid. Its situation, opposite to the temple, and nearly 
in the centre betwt en the two avenue-, seems in some degree to war- 
rant this supposition." The Roman road /■ Com Bath to London 
passes close under Silbury Mill, diverging from tin usual straight line, 



Chap. I.] 



OLD ENGLAND. 



11 



instead of being cat through this colossal mound. The bird's-eye 
view (Fig. 28), exhibit- the restoration of Abury ami it. neigh- 
bourhood somewhat more clearly. 1 is the dreumvallated bank. 2 
and :; the inner temples, 4 the river Sennet, 5 and the avenues, 
T Silbury Hill, 8 a large barrow, !> a cromlech. 
Silbury Hill (Fig. .'S2) is the largest artificial mound in Europe. 

It is not so large as the mound of Alyattes in Asia Mi ■. which 

Herodotus has described ami a modern traveller has ridden round. 
It is of greater dimensions than the second pyramid of Egypt. 

Stukeley is too anient in the eontcinjilati 1' this \\ ler of his 

nun land when he -ays. " I have no scruple to affirm it is the most 

magnificent mausoleum in the world, without excepting the Egyptian 

pyramids." But an artificial hill which covets* live acres anil 

thirty-four perches; which at the circumference of the base mea- 
sures two thousand ami twenty-seven feet ; whose diameter at top 
is one hundred ami twenty feet, iis sloping height three hundred 
ami sixteen feet, ami its perpendicular height one hundred ami 
seven feet, is indeed a stupendous monument of human labour, of 
which the world can show very few such examples. There can 
he no doubt whatever that the hill is entirely artificial. The 
great earth works of a lern railway ar-c the results of labour, 

assisted by science ami stimulated by capital, employing itself fur 
profit: lint Silbury Hill in all likelihood was a gigantic effort of 

what has been called hero-worship, a labour for no direct nr imme- 
diate utility, but tu pre-erve the memory of some ruler, or lawgiver. 
or warrior, or priest. Multitudes lent their aid in the formation ; 

and shouted or wept around it. when it had settled down into solidity 

under the dews and winds, and its slopes were covered with ever- 
springing grass. If it were a component pari of the temple at 
Abury, it is -till tube regarded, even more than the gathering 

together of the stone circles and avenues of that temple, as the 
work nf great nia— es of the people labouring for some elevating anil 
heart-stirring purpose. Their worship might be blind, cruel. 
guided by crafty men who governed them by terror or by delusion. 
Hut these during monuments show the existence of some great 

and powerful impulses which led the people to achieve mighty 
things. There was a higher principle at work amongst them, how- 
ever abused and perverted, than that of individual selfishness. The 
.social principle was built upon some sort of reverence, whether of 
man. or of beings held to preside over the destinies of man. 

It requires no antiquarian knowledge to satisfy the observer of 

the great remains of Stonehenge and Abury, that they are works 
of art. in the strict sense of the word — originating in design, having 

proportion of parts, adapted to the Institutions of the period to 

which they belonged, calculated to affect with awe and wonder the 
imagination of the people that assembled around them, lint then- 
arc many remarkable groups of immense stones, ami single stones. 
in various parts of England, which, however artificial they may 
appear, are probably wholly or in part natural productions. Some 
of these objects have involved great differences of opinion. For 

inst: !, the i'ock of Canibrc. or Karii-hre*. near TrUTO, is held by 

Borlase, in l.i- ' Antiquities of Cornwall,' tube strewed all over 
with Druidical remain-. He says, " In this hill of Karii-lue. we 
find lock-ba-in-. circle-, stone- meet, remains of cromlechs, cairn-, 
a grove of oaks, a cave, and an inclosure. not of military, but reli- 
gious, structure: and these are evidences sufficient of its having 
been a place of Druid worship ; of which it may be some confirma- 
tion, that the town, about half a mile across the brook, which ions 
at the bottom of this hill, was anciently called Iied-drevv . or. more 
rightly, Kyil-drew. i. «,. the Druids' Ford, or crossing of the brook." 
The little Castle at the top of the hill i- called by l!orln-e a British 
fortress (Fig. •'!■!) : and iii this point some antiquaries are inclined to 
agree with him. lint they for the most part hold that his notions 
of circles, anil stones creel, and cromlechs, are altogether visionary ; 
and that the remarkable appearances of these rocks are produced 
by the unassisted operations of nature. It is certain, however, that 
about a century ago an immense number of gold coins were dis- 
covered on this hill, which hear no traces of Roman art; and 
which, having the forms of something like a horse and a wheel 
impressed upon them, Borlase thinks allude to the chariot-fighting 

of the British, being coined before the invasi f < eesar. Davie-. 

in hi- 'Mythology and Rites of the lititish Druids.' considers them 
to he Druidical coin-; the supposed hor-e being a mystical com- 
bination of a bird, a marc, alula ship,— "a symbol of KM or 

Ceridwen, the Arkite goddess, or Ceres of the Britons." It is 
unnecessary for us to pursue these dark and unsatisfactory inquiries. 

\Vc mention them to point out how full of iloulit and difficulty i- 

the whole subject of the superstition- of our British ancestors, lint 
wherever we caii find distinct traces of their work, we discover 
something far above the conceptions of mere barbarians — great 



monuments, originating in the direction of some nia-ter minds, anil 
adapted by them to the habits and the feelings of the body of the 
people. The Druidical circles, as we have shown, ale not con- 
fined to England or Scotland. On the opposite shores of Brittany 
in t remains of Carnac exhibit a structure of far greater ex- 
tent even than Abury. •- Carnac is infinitely more extensive 
than Stonehenge, but of ruder formation; the stones are much 
broken, fallen down, and displaced; they consist of eleven rows of 
unwrought pieces of rock or, stone, merely set up on end in the 
earth, without any pieces crossing them at top. These stones are 
of great thickness, but not exceeding nine or twelve feet in height ; 
there may be some few tilt, -en feet. The rows are placed from 
fifteen to eighteen pace- from each other, extending in length (taking 
rather a semicircular direction) above half a mile, on unequal 
ground, and towards one end upon a hilly site. When the length 
of these rows is considered, there must have been nearly three hun- 
dred stones in each, and there are eleven rows ; this will give you 
some idea of the Immensity of the work, and the labour such a con- 
struction required. It is said that there are above four thousand 
stones now remaining." (alls. Slothard's 'Tour in Normandy 
and Brittany.') It is easy to understand how the same religion 
prevailing in neighbouring countries might produce monuments of 
a similar character; hut we find the same in the far east, in lands 
separated from ours by pathless deserts and wide seas. So it is 
with those remarkable structures, the Ronnd Towers q£ Ireland; 
which were considered ancient even in the twelfth century. Many 
of these towers are still perfect. They are vaiied in their con- 
struction, and their height is very different ; but they all agree in 
their general external appearance, tapering from the base to a coni- 
cal cap or roof, which forma the .summit. They are almost in- 
variably found clo-ii to an ancient christian church ; which is 
accounted for by the fact, that the sites of pagan worship were 
usually chosen by the early missionaries for rearing a holier struc- 
ture, which should reclaim the people from their superstitious 
reverence, to found that reve:eace upon the truths which were 
purifying the lands of classic paganism. The Round Tower of 
Donoughmore (Fig. 85) is one of these singular monuments. " The 
Only structures that have been anywhere found similar to the Irish 
Hound Towers are in certain countries of the remote east, ami es- 
pecially in India and Persia. This would seem to indicate a con- 
nexion between these countries and Ireland, the probability of 
which, it has been attempted to show, is corroborated by many 
other coincidences of language, of religion, and of customs, as well 
as by the voice of tradition, and the light, though faint ami scattered. 
which is thrown upon the subject by the records of history. The 
period of the first civilization of Ireland then would, under thus 
riew, be placed in the same early age of the world which appears 
to have witnessed, in those oriental countries, a highly advanced 
condition of the arts and sciences, as well as flourishing institutions 
of religious and civil polity, which have al-o. in a similar manner, 
decayed and passed away." (' Pictorial History of England.') The 
same reasoning may he applied to the Druidical circles, of which 
the resemblances are as striking, in countries far removed from 
anv knowledge of the customs of aboriginal Britons. 
About seven miles south of Bristol is a small parish called Stanton 

Drew. The name i- held to mean the Stone Town of the Druids. 
Stukeley was of opinion that the Druidical monument at tlii- place 
was more ancient than Abury. The temple is held to have con- 
sisted of three circles, a large central circle, and two smaller one-. 
Of the larger circle five stones are still remaining ; and of the 
smaller ones .-till more. Stanton Drew via- described in 1718, by 
Dr. Mu-glave. and afterwards by. Stukeley. The stone- had suffered 
great dilapidation in their time ; and the process of breaking them 
up for mads has since gone forward with uninterrupted diligence. 
They are very rude in their forms, as will he seen by reference to 
the engrav ing (Fig. 34.) That marked n i- singular in it- rugged- 
i The stone // inclines towards the north, and its present posi- 
tion is supposed to be its original one : in its general appearance of 
bending forward, it is not unlike the single stone in the avenue at 
Stonehenge. The stone e differs greatly from the others, in being 
square and massive. The largest stone. d, i- prostrate ; it is fifteen 
feet and a half in length. The engraving represents not the cir- 
cular arrange] >. bet remai sable separate stones, of which e is at a 

considerable distance from either of the circles. The laigcst stones 
are much inferior in their dimensions to those at Stonehenge ami 
Abury. The smaller ones lie scattered about at very irregular 
distances ; ami it certainly requires a great deal of antiquarian faith 
to find the circles which are traced with such infallible certainty by 
early and recent writers. It is very different with Abury and 
Stonehenge. The country people have their own traditions about 




^-^VgS^^^i?' ■ 











Wf^V 



12 




89.— Trovrthy Stone 



<*i— Cr..mln'!iutl'.„. Km, ,i,l Ugtar; 



*.>. 





«!.— W.iyltod Smith', Cue. 



41-— Constantine Twlmnn, Cornwall. 



13 



14 



OLD ENGLAND. 



[Book I. 



these remains. They call them "the wedding;" holding tliat. as 
a bride and bridegroom were proceeding to their espousals, sur- 
rounded by pipers and dancers, the whole party, for what crime we 
arc not informed, were suddenly turned into stone. The theories 
of the learned are in some matters almost as difficult to be received 
as the traditions of the vulgar.- King says of the remains of 
Stanton Drew, •■ There are stones cautiously placed nearly On each 
side of the meridian, two at the one end for a sort of observer's 
index, and two at the cither as if designed for leading sites to direct 
the eye to certain points in the heavens, equally distant, a little to 
the east and west of the south : and so in like manner, two to the 
east, and one on the west side for an index, as if to observe the 
rising n f certain stars and planets." Superstition, we apprehend, 
settles these matters much more easily than science. There were 
formerly three huge upright stones near Keo.net, not far from 
Abury. which Dr. Plot held to be British deities. The country 
people had a readier explanation of their use ; for they called them, 
from time immemorial. •• the Devil's Coits." They could be play- 
things, it might be readily imagined, for no other busy idler. But 
the good folks of Somersetshire, by a sort of refinement of such 
hackneyed traditions, hold that a great stone near Stanton Drew, 
now called ■ Ilackell's C'oit,' and which formerly weighed thirty 
tons, was thrown from a hill about a mile off by a mortal champion, 
Sir John Ilautvillc. It is remarkable, though perhaps natural, that 
there is generally some superstitious notion associated with these 
monuments of a dim antiquity. We shall have presently to speak 
of the singular erection near Maidstone, called Kit's Coty House. 
Near this supposed cromlech are some large stones, scattered about 
a ploughed field. .V coachman, who was duly impressed with the 
claims of Kit's Coty House to notice, told us, as the climax of the 
extraordinary thing's connected with it. that no one had ever been 
aide to count the stones in that field, so that it was impossible to 

say what wa- their exact number. In the neighbour! 1 id' 

Stanton Drew, they have a variation of this belief which does not 
go quite so far. They simply hold that it is wicked to attempt to 
count the stones. 

The remains of Druidical circles are so similar in their character, 
that a minute description of any other than the most remarkable 
would be tedious and uninteresting to the general reader. We 
shall content ourselves, therefore, with pointing out those of chief 
importance, which may either recompense the visit of the traveller, 
or lead the student of British antiquities to more careful inquiries. 

Camden, who made an exact survey of Cumberland in 1599, 
thus describes a celebrated British monument near Penrith: "At 
Little Salkeld there is a circle of stones, seventy-seven in number, 
each tin loot high ; and before these, at the entrance, is a single 
one by itself, fifteen foot high. This the common people call Long 
Meg, and the rest her daughters; and within the circle air tun 
heaps of stones, under which they say there are dead bodies buried. 
And indeed it is probable enough that this has been a monuinc.it 
erected in memory of some victory." It is held by later antiquaries 
that Camden was in error in considering this to have been a monu- 
ment of some victory, and that it is an undoubted Druidical circle. 
It is not of the grandeur of Stonehcnge and Abury, for none of the 
stones exceed ten feet in height. There is another circle of stones 
Mitl.in a mil,- and a half of Keswick. Near that bleak and dreary 
region, between Penrith and Kendal, called Shapfells, was. some 
thirty years ago, another remarkable Druidical monument ; but 
upon the inclosure of the parish of Shap the stones vm . blown up 
by gunpowder, and were converted into rude fences. At Arbelov.s 

about live miles from Bakewell, in Derbyshire, is a Druidical circle, 
winch, according to King, ■■ thereis great reason to think, notwith- 
-lauding its mutilated appearance in its present ruined state, was 
once a regular structure very nearly of the same kind with that of 
Stonehenge. In Oxfordshire, about three miles north-west of 

Chipping -Norton, are the remains of a circle of small rude st a 

the highest of which is not more than (he feet above t ,„„„' 

1 here appears to be little doubt of this circle belonging to the early 
British period : though Camden and others hold it to be the monu- 
ment of a Danish victory. The description which Camden rives of 
these Kollrich or Rowldrich stones is very curious: ■• y great 
monument of antiquity ■. a number of vastly large stones placed in 
a circular figure, which the country people call Rolle-rich-stones 
and have a common tradition that they were once men and were 
turned mti. stones. They are irregular, and of unequal heieht 
and by ,h, decays of time are grown ragged and verv much im- 
paired Ihe highest of them which lie. out of the ring towards'the 

east, they caU The King, because they fancy he „ hi have bee 

kingof England if he could have see,. Long Compton, a village 
which is within view at a very few steps farther. Five larger 



•stones, which on one side of the circle are contiguous to one another, 
they pretend were knights or horsemen, and the other common 
soldiers." About five miles from Aberdeen in Scotland are the 
remains of a circle of large stones and smaller stones. At Stennis 

in the Orkney fsl Is a circle' is described where some of the stones 

are twenty feet high. 

The Druidical circles in their uniformity of character present the 
indubitable evidence that they were symbolical of the mysteries of 
the prevailing religion of the country. They were essentially 
religions edifices. They were probably, at the same time, what the 
Icelandic writers call Doom ring's, or Circles of Judgment. That 

,l ""' t ' "> uncut-, in association with religions rites and .solemn 

decisions, had a dee]) influence upon the character of our rude 
forefathers, we cannot reasonably doubt. They were a bold and 
warlike race, an imaginative race, not placing the sole end of ex- 
istence in the consumption of the fruits of the earth, but believing 
in spiritual relations and future existences. Degrading as their 
superstitions might be. and blind their notions of the future, their 
belief was not a mere formal and conventional pretence; it was a 
principle operating upon their actions. We have the express testi- 
mony of an ancient poet to this effect of the old worship of this 

land. Lucan, in a noble passage in the first I k of the 1'harsalia. 

addresses the Druids in the well known lines beginning '• Kt vos 
barbaricos." The translation of Howe is generally quilted ; but it 
appeai-s to us that the lines are rendered with more strength and 
freedom by Kennet, who translated the poetical quotations in 
Gibson's edition of Camden's • Britannia :' 

" Anil you, O Druids, five from noise anil arms, 
Neiicw'il your barbarous rites and borrid charm-. 
What Guds, what powers in happy mausious dwell, 

Or only you, or all but you run tell. 

To secret shades, ami unfrequented groves, 

From world and caves your peaceful tribe removes. 
You teach that souls, eoi'd of their mortal load, 

Nor with grim Pluto make their dark ahode, 

Nov w.imler in (vile troops along Ihe silent flood, 

It"! oc w regions cast resume their reigu, 

Content to em. meonhy frames again. 
Tims death is nothing but the middle line 
Betwixt what lives will come, and what have been, 
Happy the people by your charms possess'd ! 
Nor fate, nor feirs, disturb their peaceful breast. 
On certain dangers uncuncern'd they nm. 

Ami meet uilh pleasure what they Woilhl Hot slum; 

Defy death's slighted power, aud bravely scorn 
To s|urc a life that will so soon return." 

In reading this remarkable tribute to the national courage of our 
remote ancestors, let us not forget that tins virtue, like all other 
great characteristic virtues of a community, was based upon a prin- 
ciple ; and that the principle, whatever might be its errors, rested 

"1 the disposition of man to believe and to reverence. Those 

who would build the superstructure of national virtue upon what 
they hold to be the more solid foundation of self-interest, may, we 
conceive, create a restless, turmciiling turbulent democracy, astute 
in all worldly business, eager for all sensual gratifications, exhibit- 
ing the glitter of wealth plating over vice and misery ; confident 
in their superiority ; ignorant of the past, careless of the future: 
but they will raise up no high-minded, generous, self-devoting 
peojde ; no people that will distinguish between liberty and anarchy ; 
no thoughtful, and therefore firm and just, people; no people that 
will produce any great intellectual work, whether in ait or in 
literature; no people that will even leave such monuments behind 
them, as ihe Stonehcnge and Abury of the blind and benighted 
Druids. 



The high road from Rochester to Maidstone presents several of 
those rich and varied prospects which so often in England compen- 
sate the traveller for the absence of the grander elements of pic- 
turesque beauty. Here', indeed, are no mountains shrouded in mist 
or lipped with paiiial sunlight; but the buhl ridges of chalk are 
tie- boundaries of valleys whose fertility displays itself in wood and 
pa-fure. in corn-lands and scattered villages. If we look to the 
north, the broad Medway expands like a vast lake, with an amphi- 
theatre of town and hill-fort, which tell at one and the same lime 
the history of the different warfare of ancient strength and of mo- 
dern science. When we have ascended the highest point of the 
ridge, we again see the Medway, an attenuated stream, winding 
amidst low banks for many a mile. The hillof chalk is of a sufficient 
height to wear an aspect id' sterility ; it has some of the bleak fea- 
tures of a mountain-laud. The road lies close under the brow of 



Chap. 1] 



OLD ENGLAND. 



I! 



the hill, with a gentle slope to tho village of Aylesford— an histori- 
cal village. Not far from the point where the Aylesford road 
intersects the high road is the remarkable monument called Kit's 
Coty House (Fig. 86). Unlike most monuments of the same high 
antiquity, it remains, in all probability, as originally constructed. 
Ii was described two hundred oud fifty years ago by the antiquary 
Stow, and the description is as nearly exaet as any that we could 
write at the present hour : " I have myself, in company with divers 
worshipful and learned gentlemen, beheld it in anno 1590, and it 
is f four Hat stones, one of them standing upright in the middle of 
two others, inclosing the edge sides of the first, and the fourth laid 
Bat across the other three, and is of such height that men may 
stand on either side the middle stone in time of storm or tempest, 
safe from wind and rain, being defended with the breadth of the 
st, ines, having one at their backs, one on either side, and the fourth 
over their hen, Is." In one point the description of Slew does not 
agree with what we find at the present day : " Ahont a coif's cast 
from this monument lieth another meat stone, much part thereof 
in the ground, as fallen down where the same had been affixed." 
This st,ine was half buried in 1773, when Mr. Colebrooke described 
the monument ; it is now wholly covered up. The demand of a 
few square feet for the growth of corn, in a country with millions 
of acres of waste land, would not permit its preservation. Is this 
Kit's Cory House something different from other ancient monu- 
ments, either in its site or its structure ? Let us see how Camden. 
writing at the same period as Stow, describes an erection in Caer- 
marthenshire, in the parish of Trelech : " We find a vast rude 
chech, or fiat stone, somewhat of an oval form, about three van's 
in length, five foot over where broadest, and about ten or twelve 
inches thick. A gentleman, to satisfy my curiosity, having em- 
ployed some labourers to search under it. found it. after removing 
much stone, to be the covering of such a barbarous monument as 

we call Kist-\acr ■Stone-chest; which was about four foot and 

a half in length, and about three foot broad, but somewhat narrower 
at the east than west end. It is made up of seven stunes. viz.. 

the coveting stone, already mentioned, and two side stones e at 

each end. and one behind each of these, for the better securing or 
bolstering of them ; all equally rude, and about the same thickness, 
the two last excepted, which are considerably thicker." The 
dimensions of Kit's Coty House are thus given in Grose's ■ Antiqui- 
ties:' "Upright stone on the N. or K.-W. side, eight feet high, 
eight feet broad, two feet thick ; estimated weight, eight tons and a 
half. Upright stone on the S. or S.E. side, eight feet high, seven 
atida half feet broad, two feet thick: estimated weight, eight tons. 
Upright stone between these, very irregulars medium dimensions, 
five feet high, five feet broad, fourteen inches thick; estimated 
weight, about two tons. Upper stone, very irregular, eleven feet 
long, eight feet broad, two feet thick ; estimated weight, about ten 
tons seven ewt." Holland, the first translator of Camden's • Bri- 
tannia,' gives a description of Kit's Coty House, which includes Ins 
notion, whiell was also that of Camden, of the original purpose of 
this monument. " Catigern, honoured with a stately awl solemn 
funeral, is thought to have been interred near unto Aylesford, 
where, under the side of a hill. I saw four huge. rude, hard stones 
erected, two for the sides, one transversal in the middest between 
them, and the hugest of all, piled anil laid over them in manner of 
the British monument which is called Stonehenge, but not so arti- 
ficially with mortice and tenants." The tradition to which Holland 
refers is, that a meat battle was fought at Aylesford. between the 
Britons commanded by Catigern. the brother of Voitimer. and the 
Saxon invaders under Hengist and llor.-a: in this battle the Saxons 
were routed, but Catigern fell. An earlier writer than Holland, 
Lambarde, in his ' Perambulation of Kent,' 1570, also describes 
this monument in the parish of Aylesford as the tomb of Catigern ; 
"The Britons nevertheless in the mean space followed their victory 
(as I said) anil returning from the ehaee. erected to the memory of 
Catigern (as I suppose) that monument of four huge and laud 
stones whieli are yet standing in this parish, pitched upright in the 
ground, covered after the manner of Stonage ( that famous sepul- 
chre of the Britons ui Salisbury Plain) and now termed of the 

common people here Citscotehouse." Antiquaries lane puzzled 
themselves about the name of this Kentish monument. Kit. ac- 
cording to Crose. is aii abbreviation of Catigern. and Coty isCoiry, 
coit being a name for a large Hat stone ; so that Kit's Coty House 
is Catigern's House built with coits. Lambarde expressly says, 
"now termed id' the common people here CitSCOtel se." The fa- 
miliar name has clearly no more to do with the ancient object of 
the monument than many other common names applied to edifices 
belonging to the same remote period. Xo one thinks, for example, 
that the name of' Long Meg and her daughters,' of which we have 



spoken, can be traced back even to the Saxon period. The theory 
of the earlier antiquaries that the monuments which we now gene- 
rally call Druidical belong to a period of British history after the 

Christian era. and commemorate great battles with the Snxons or the 
Danes, is set at rest by the existence of similar monuments in distant 
parts of the world ; proving pretty satisfactorily that they all had a 

< iiiioii origin in some form of religious worship that was widely 

diffused amongst races of men whose civil history is shrouded in 
almost utter darkness. Palestine has its houses of Coits as well as 
England. The following description is from the travels of Cap- 
tains Irby and .Mangles: "On the banks of the Jordan, at the 

foot of the in tain, we observed some very singular, interesting, 

and certainly very ancient tombs, composed of great rough stones, 
resembling what, is called Kit's Coty House in Kent. They are 
built of two long side stones, with one at each end, and a small 

door in front. stly facing the north : this door was of stone. All 

were of rough stones, apparently not hewn, but found in Hat frag- 
ments, many of which are seen about the spot, in huge Hakes. Over 
the whole was laid an immense flat piece, projecting both at the 
sides and ends. What rendered these tombs the more remarkable 
was. that the interior was not long enough for a body, being only 
five feet. This is occasioned by both the front and back stones 
being considerably within the ends of the side ones. There are 
about twenty-seven of these tombs, vciy irregularly situated." 
These accomplished travellers call these Oriental monuments tombs, 
but their interior dimensions would seem to contradict this notion. 
The cause of these narrow dimensions is clearly pointed out; the 
front and back stones are considerably within the cuds of the side 
ones. Kit's Coty House (figs. 37. 38) has no stone that we can call a 
front stone : it is open ; but the back stone has the same peculiarity 
as the Palestine monuments; it is placed considerably within the 
side ones. The side stones lean inwards against the back stone ; 
whilst the large fiat stone at top. finding its own level on the irre- 
gular surfaces, holds them all firmly together, without the mortice 
and tenon which are required by the nicer adjustment of the super- 
incumbent stone upon two uprights at Stonehenge. It is evident 
that the mode of construction thus employed has preserved these 
stones in their due places for many centuries. The question then 
arises, for what purpose was so substantial an edifice erected, hav- 
ing a common character with many other monuments in this coun- 
try, and not without a striking resemblance to others in a land with 
which the ancient Britons can scarcely he supposed to have held 
any intercourse? It is maintained that such buildings, called 
cromlechs, were erected for the fearful purpose of human sacrifice. 
•■ For here we find in truth a great stone scaffold raised just high 
enough for such a horrid exhibition and no higher: and just large 
enough in all its proportions for the purpose, and not too large, and 
so contrived as to render the whole visible to the greatest multitude 
of people ; whilst it was so framed and put together, though siiper- 
stitiously constructed only of unhewn stones in imitation of purer 

and more primeval usages, that no length of time nor any c moil 

efforts of violence could destroy it or throw it down." This is 
King's description of what he believes to have been the terrible use 
of Kit's Coty House. The situation of this monument certainly 
renders it peculiarly fitted for any imposing solemnity, to he per- 
formed amidst a great surrounding multitude. But it does appear 
to us that a stone scaffold, so constructed, was of all forms the most 
unfitted for the sacrifice of a living victim, to be accomplished by 
the violence of surrounding priests. Diodorus says of the Druids 
of Gaul, •' I'ouriiigouta libation upon a man as a victim, they smite 
hi,,, with a sword upon the breast in the part near the diaphragm, 
mid on his falling who has been thus smitten, both from the manner 
of his falling and from the convulsions of his limbs, and still more 
from the manner of the flowing of his blood, they presage what will 
come to pa-s." King accommodates KifsCoty House to this descrip- 
tion ; an _,, ing that the top of the Hat stone wasa fitting place for these 
terrible ceremonies. The notion seems somewhat absurd; the ex- 
treme dimensions of the top stone are not more than eleven feet in 
any direction ; a size in itself unsuited enough for such a display of 
physical force. But this narrow stone is also shelving ; it is about 
nine feet from the ground in front, and seven feet at the back. 
having a foil of two feet in eleven feel. King .-ays. "And yet 
the declivity is not such as to occasion the least danger of any 
slipping or 'sliding off." The plain reader may possiblj ask. w hat 
at any rate is to prevent the victim falling off when he receives 
the fetal blow ; and wonder how the presage described by Diodorus 
is to be collected from the manner of his falling, when he must 
infallible slide down at the instant of his fall. We must in truth 
receive the Roman accounts of the sacrificial practices of the 
ancient Druids with some suspicion. Civilized communities have 





48.— Hnrolrt'a Stones. TVlech, Monmouthshire. 



<&— KilmriTtli Rocks, nswvu finm iliif South east. 





47.— The Cheese wring, as seen from the North-west. 



45.- Coronation Chair noaentli th* seat t» the" Stoi D« 




4 *-— ITur.- Si, «t ■ , ■ 




If) 



48— Hugh Lloyd's Pulpit- 





.— Wrlsh Pigit> 



40.— Huta in ft Cingalese Vllln|n* 




63.— riun of Chambers oa a Fjirm twelve miles from Call) henilon- 



M— GruuDd Plan a..a Section of tl»- Solitt mMU Chomtal 
a i UMrighliflt 



No. 3. 



[OLD ENGLAND.] 



18 



OLD ENGLAND. 



[Hook I. 



■ natural tendency to exaggerate the horrors <>f superstitious 
observances amongst remote nations that they call barbarous. 
The testimony is too strong to admit of a doubt that human 
sacrifice did obtain amongst the ancient Britons ; but it can scarcely 
be believed that the practice formed so essential a part of their 
worship as to call for the erection of saerih'eial altars throughout 
the land. Kit's Cory House is by some called a cromlech (or flat 
stone resting upon other stones), by which name is now generally 
understood an altar of sacrifice : but by others it is called a kist- 
vaen (or stone-chest), being, as they hold, a sepulchral monument. 
The Isle of Anglesey, anciently called Mona, was the great strong- 
hold of Druidism, whilst the Romans had still a disturbed possession 
of the country. Tacitus, describing an attack upon Mona. says 
that the British Druids " held it rigid to smear their altars with the 
blood of their captives, and to consult the will of the gods by the 
quivering of human flesh." At Pins Xcwydd, in the Isle of 
Anglesey, are two cromlechs (Fig. 40) : and it is believed that 
these remains confirm the account of Tacitus, and that they were 
the altars upon which the victims were sacrificed. Near Liskeard, in 
Cornwall, in the parish of St. Clear, is a cromlech called Trevethy 
Stone. Trevedi being said to signify in the British language a place 
of graved (Imlt. 39). In the neighbourhood of Lambourn. in Berk- 
shire, are many barrows, and amongst them is found the cromlech 
called Wayland Smith (Pig. 42). The tradition which Scott has 
so admirably used in Ins ' Kenilworth ' that a supernatural smith here 
dwelt, who would shoe a traveller's horse for a '• consideration." is 
one of the many superstitions that belong to these places of doubtful 
origin and use. a remnant of the solemn feelings with which they were 
once regarded. In Cornwall there are many cromlechs and kist-vaens 
described by Borlase. They are numerous in "Wales, and some are 
found in Ireland. In the county of Louth there is one which bears the 
name of the Killing Stone ; and this is held by King to be a decisive 
proof of its original use. But. although we may well believe that 
the horrid practice of human sacrifice was incidental to the Drnidical 
worship, we are not to collect from the Roman writers that it con- 
stituted the chief part of the Drnidical system. It is clear that 
there were many high and abstract doctrines taught under that 
system ; and that the very temples of the worship were symbolical 
of certain principles of belief. 'Whether the cromlechs or kist-vaens 
were used for sacrifice, it has been thought that the stone-chests, at 
least, were symbolical of one of the great traditions of mankind 
which was widely diffused ; and which therefore exhibited itself in 
the outward forms of sacred places amongst divers nations. The 
form of an ark or chest is prevalent in all the ancient religions of 

the world. A recent writer says, •• On careful doliberari and 

considering that the first tabernacles and constructed temples arc to 
be taken as commentaries on the stone monuments of more ancient 
date, we are disposed to find an analogy between the kist-vaen, or 
stone-chest, and the ark. or sacred chest, which we find as the most 
holy object in the tabernacle and temple of the Hebrews, as well as 
in the Egyptian and some other heathen temples." (Kitto's ' Tales- 
tine.') The ark of Noah, the cradle of the post-diluvian races, was 
thus symbolized. In this point of view we can understand how the 
same form of building shall be found on the banks of the .Ionian and 
on the banks of the Mcdway. It is a curious fact that the Bards. 
who were the direct successors of the Druids, and who continued to 
preserve some of their mysterious and initiatory rites, after the 
Drnidical worship was suppressed by the Romans, have distinct 
allusions to the ark, or stone-chest, in which the candidate for 
admission to the order underwent a probationary penance. The 
famous Welsh bard. Taliesin, gives a remarkable description of this 
ceremony, which is thus translated by Davies : '• I was first modelled 
into the form of a pure man, in the hall of Ccridwen. who subjected 
me to penance. Though small within my chest, a.id modest in my 
deportment, I was great. A sanctuary carried me above the surface 
of the earth. 'Whilst I was enclosed within its ribs, the sweet Aweu 
rendered me complete : and my law. without audible language, was 
imparted tome by the old giantess, darkly smiling It, her wrath ; but 
her claim was not regretted when she set sail." Davies adds, 
"Ceridwen was, what Mr. Bryant pronounces Ceres to have been, 
the genius of the ark ; and her mystic rites represented the me- 
morials of the deluge." 

There are remains of the more ancient times of Britain whose 
uses no antiquarian writers ha\e attempted, by the aid of tradition 
or imagination, satisfactorily to explain. They are. to a certain 
extent, works of art ; they exhibit evidences of design : but it would 
appear as if the art worked as an adjunct to nature. The object 
of the great Drnidical monuments, 'speaking generally, without 
reference to their superstitious uses, was to impress the 'mind with 
something like a feeling of the infinite, by the erection of works of 



such large proportions that in these after ages we still feel that 
they are sublime, without paying respect to the associations which 
once surrounded them. So it would appear that those who once 
governed the popular mind sought to impart a more than natural 
grandeur to some grand work of nature, by connecting it with some 
effort of ingenuity which was under the direction of their rude science. 
Such are the remains which have been called Tohncn ; a Tolmati 
being explained to be an immense mass of rock placed aloft on two 
subjacent rocks which admit of a free passage between them. Such 
is the remarkable remain in the parish of Constantino in Cornwall. 
" It is one vast egg-like stone thirty-three feet in length, eighteen 
feet in width, and fourteen feet and a half in thickness, placed on 
the points of two natural locks, so that a man may creep under it." 
(Fig. 41.) There appears to be little doubt that this is a work of 
art, as far as records the placing of the huge mass (which is held to 
weigh seven hundred and fifty tons), upon the points of its natural 
supporters. If the Constantino Toliuan be a work of art, it 
furnishes a most remarkable example of the skill which the early 

inhabitants of England had attained in the applicati f some 

great power, such as the lever, to the aid of man's co-operative 
strength. But there are some remains which have the appearance 
of works of art. which arc. probably, nothing but irregular products 
of nature, — masses of stone thrown on a plane surface by some great 
convulsion, and wrought into fantastic shapes by agencies of dripping 
water and driving wind, which in the course of ages work as effectually 
in the changes of bodies as the chisel and the hammer. Such is 
probably the extraordinary pile of granite in Cornwall called the 
Cheesewring, a mass of eight stones rising to the height of thirty- 
two feet, whose name is derived from the form of an ancient cheese- 
press (Fig. 47). It is held, however, that some art may have been 
employed in clearing the base from circumjacent stones. Such is 
also a remarkable pile upon a lofty range called the Kihnarth Bocks, 
which is twenty-eight feet in height, and overhangs more than 
twelve feet towards the north (Fig. 4b). The group of stones at 
FYstiniog in Merionethshire, called Hugh Lloyd's pulpit (Fig. 4S), 
is also a natural production. But there are other remains which 
the antiquaries call Logan, or Roeking-stones, in the construction of 
which some art appears decidedly to have been exercised. Corn- 
wall is remarkable for these roeking-stones. Whether they were 
the productions "of art, or wholly of nature, the ancient writers 
seem to have been impressed with a due sense of the wonder which 
attached to such curiosities. Pliny tells of a rock near Qarpasa 
which might be moved with a finger (placed no doubt in a parti- 
cular position) but would not stir with a thrust of the whole body. 
Ptolemy, with an expression in the highest degree poetical, -[icaks 
of the Gygoniau rock, which might be stirred with the stalk of an 
asphodel, but. could not lie removed by any force. There is a rock* 
ing-stone in Pembrokeshire, which is described in Gibson's edition 
of Camden's ' Britannia,' from a manuscript account by Mr. Owen : 
'•This shaking stone may be seen on a sea-cliff within half a mile of 
St. David's. It is so vast that I presume it may exceed the draught 
of an hundred oxen, and it is altogether rude and unpolished. The 
occasion of the name (Y maen sigl. or the Hocking-stone) is for 
that being mounted upon divers other stones about a yard in height 
it is so equally poised that a man may shake it with one finger so 
that five or six men sitting on it shall perceive themselves mined 
thereby." There is a stone of this sort at Golcar Hill, near 
Halifax in Yorkshire, which mainly lost its rocking power through 
the labours of some masons, who wanting to discover the principle 
by which so large a weight was made so easily to move, hewed and 
hacked at it until they destroyed its equilibrium. In the same 
manner the soldiers in the civil wars rendered the rocking-stone of 
Pembrokeshire immoveable after Mr. Owen had described it; but 
their object was not quite so laudable as that of the masons, who 
sought to discover the mystery of the stone of Colcar Hill. The 
soldiers upset its equipoise upon the same principle that they broke 
painted glass and destroyed monumental brasses; they held that 
it was an encouragement to Superstition. Ill the same way the 
soldiers of Cromwell threw down a famous stone called Men- 
amber, in the parish of Sithney, in Cornwall, which a little child 
might move ; and it is recorded that the destruction required im- 
mense labour and pains. Some few 3-ears ago one of these famous 
roeking-stones, on the coast of Cornwall, was upset, by a ship's 
crew for a freak of their officers; but the people, who had a pist 
veneration for their antiquities, insisted upon the rocking-stone 
being restored to its place ; it was restored; but the trouble and 
expense were so serious, that the disturbers went away with a due 
sense of the skill of those who had first poised these mighty 
masses, as if to assert the permanency of their art, and to show that 
all that is gone before us is not wholly barbarous. It is a curious 




THE CORONATION CHAIR. 



Cmr. I.] 



OLD ENGLAND. 



19 



fact that the tackle which was used for the restoration of this roek- 
ing-stone, and which was applied by military engineers, brokennder 
the weight of the mass which our rude forefathers hadsetup. The 

rocking-stones which are found throughout the country arc too nu- 
merous here to be particularly <Iescribeil. They are in many places 
distinctly surrounded by Drttidieal remains, and have been consi- 
dered as adjuncts to the system of divination by which the priest- 
hood maintained their influence over the people. 

In various parts of England, in Wales, in Ireland, and in the 
Western Islands of Scotland, there are found large single stones, 
lirmly fixed in the earth, which have remained in their places from 
time immemorial, and which are generally regarded with some sort 
of reverence, if not superstition, by the people who live near them. 
They are in all likelihood monuments which were erected in 
memory of .some remarkable event, or of some eminent person. 
They have survived their uses. Written memorials alone shine with 
a faint light through the darkness of early ages. The associations 
that once made these memorials of stone solemn things no longer 
surround them. When .Tack Cade struck his sword upon London 
Stone, the act was meant to give a solemn assurance to the people 
of his rude fidelity. The stone still stands ; ami we now look upon 
it simply with curiosity, as one of the lew remains of Roman Lon- 
don. Some hold that it had " a more ancient and peculiar desig- 
nation than that of having been a Roman Milliary, even if it ever 
were used for that purpose afterwards. It was fixed deep in the 
ground ; anil is mentioned so early as the time of ^Ethelstan, kin"- 
of the West Saxons, without any particular reference to its having 
been considered as a Roman Milliary stone." (King.) li' this 
stone, which few indeed of the busy throngs of Cannon-street cast 
,i look upon, were only a boundary stone, such stones were held as 
sacred things even in the times of the patriarchs : " And Lallan 
said to Jacob, Behold this heap, and behold this pillar, which I 
have cast betwixt me and thee ; this heap he witness, and this pillar 
be witness, that 1 will not pass over tiiis heap to thee, and that 
tiio'i slialt not pass o\er this heap and this pillar unto me, for harm." 
(Genesis, C. xxxi., v. 51, .32.) In the parish of Sancred, in Corn- 
wall, is a remarkable stone called the Hare Stone {hart: or lioar 
meaning literally border or boundary), with a heap of stones lying 
around it (Fig. 44). It is held that these stones are precisely simi- 
lar to the heap and the pillar which were collected and set up at 
the covenant between Jacob and Laban, recorded in the scriptures 
with such interesting minuteness. It is stated by Rowland, the 
autliorof • Mona Antiqua,' that wherever there are heaps of stones 
of great apparent antiquity, stone pillars are also found near them. 
This is probably too strong an assertion ; but the existence of such 
memorials, which King says, "are, like the pyramids of Egypt, 
records of the highest antiquity in a dead language." compared 
with the clear descriptions of them in the sacred writings, leaves 
little doubt of the universality of the principle which led to their 
erection. A heap of stones and a single pillar was not, however, the 
only form of these stones of memorial. At Trelech, in Monmouth- 
shire, are three remarkable stones, one of which is fourteen feet 
above the ground, and which evidently formed no part of any 
Druidical circle. These are called Harold's Stones (Fig. 43). 
Near Boroughbridge, in Yorkshire, are some remarkable stones of 
a similar character, called the Devil's Arrows. The magnitude of 
these stones of memorial was probably sometimes regulated by the 
importance of the event which they were intended to celebrate ; but 
their sacred character in many cases did not depend upon their size, 
and their form is sometimes unsuited to the notion that they were 
boundary -stones, or even monumental pillars. The celebrated stone 
which now forms the seat of the coronation chair of the sovereigns 
id' England is a Hat stone, nearly square. It formerly stood in 
Argyllshire, according to Buchanan ; who also says that King Ken- 
neth, in the ninth century, transferred it to Scone, and enclosed it 
in a wooden chair. The monkish tradition was, that it was the 
identical stone which formed Jacob's pillow. The more credible 
legend of Scotland is, that it was the ancient inauguration-stone of 
the kings of Ireland. "This fatal stone was said to have been 
brought from Ireland by Fergus, the son of Eric, who led the 
Dalriads to the shores of Argyleshire. Its virtues arc preserved in 
the celebrated leonine verse: — 

Ni fallat 1'atnni, Scoti, quocunnue lucorum 

Invciiiciit lapiilein, legnaie Icueutur ibidem. 

Which may be rendered thus: — 

Unless the Fates arc faithless found, 

Anil Prophet's voice lie vain, 
Where'er tins monument lie fount] 

The Scottish race shall reign.'' 



Sir Walter Scott, in his graceful style, gives us this version of his 
country's legend. The stone, as the youngest reader of English 
history knows, was removed to Westminster from Scone by 
Edward I. ; and here it remains, as an old antiquarian has described 
it. " the ancientest respected monument in the world; for, although 
some others may be more antient as to duration, yet thus super- 
stitiously regarded are they not." (Fig. 4 o.) The antiquity of this 
stone is undoubted, however it may be questioned whether it be the 
same stone on which the ancient kings of Ireland were inaugurated 
on the hill of Tata. This tradition is a little shaken by the fact 
that stone of the saute quality is not uncommon in Scotland. The 
history of its removal from Scone by Edward I. admits of no doubt. 
A record exists of the expenses attending its removal; and this is 
the best evidence of the reverence which attached to this rude seat 
of the ancient kings of Scotland, who standing on it in the sight of 
assembled thousands, had sworn to reverence the laws, and to do 
justice to the people.* 



Of the domestic buildings of the early Britons there are no 
remains, if we except some circular stone foundations, which may 
have been those of houses. It is concluded, perhaps somewliat too 
hastily, that their houses were little better than the huts of the rude 
tribes of Africa or Asia in our own day (Fig. 49). In the 
neighbourhood of Llandaff were, in King's time, several modem 
pig-sties, of a peculiar construction; and he held that the form of 
the.-e was derived from the dwellings of the ancient Britons. (F'ig. 
55.) This form certainly agrees, with the description which Strabo 
gives of tiie houses of the Gauls, w Inch he says were constructed of 
poles and wattled work, of a circular form, and with a lofty taper- 
ing roof. On the Antonine column we have representations of the 
Gauls and the Gaulish houses, but here the roofs are for the most 

part with d es (Fig. .30). Strabo further says, "The forests 

of the Britons are their cities; for, when they have enclosed a 
very large circuit with felled ttees. they build within it houses 
for themselves anil hovels for their cattle. These buildings ate 
very slight, and not designed for long duration." Ciesar says, 
" What the Britons call a town is a tract of woody country, sur- 
rounded by a vallum and a ditch, for the security of themselves and 
cattle against the incursions of their enemies." The towns within 
woods were thus fortresses ; and here the Druidical worship in the 
broad glades, surrounded by mighty oaks which were their natural 
antiquities, was cultivated amidst knots of men, held together by 
common wants as regarded the present life, and common hopes 
with reference to the future (F'ig. 56). A single bank and ditch, 
agreeing with Ca'sar's description, is found in several parts of the 
island. There is such an entrenchment in the parish of Cellau, 
Cardiganshire, called Caer Moms. We shall presently have to 
speak of the ramparted camps, undoubtedly British, which are found 
on commanding hills, exhibiting a skill in the military art to which 
Ctesar bore testimony, when he described the capital of Cassivel- 
launus as admirably defended both by nature and art. lint we here 
insert a description of Chun Castle, in Cornwall, to furnish a proof 
that the skill of the ancient liritons in building displayed itself in 
more important works than their wattled huts : " It consists of two 
circular walls, having a terrace thirty feet wide between (F'ig. 
51). The walls are built of rough masses of granite of various 
sizes, some five orsix feet long, fitted together, and piled up without 
cement, hut presenting a regular and tolerably smooth surface on 
the outside. The outer wall was surrounded by a ditch nineteen 
feet in width : part of this wall in one place is ten feet high, and 
about five feet thick. Iiorlase is of opinion that the inner wall must 
have been at least fifteen feet high ; it is about twelve feet thick. The 
only entrance was towards the south-west, and exhibits in its ar- 
rangement a surprising degree of skill and military knowledge for 
the time at which it is sup] osed to have been constructed. It is six 
feet wide in the narrowest part, and sixteen in the widest, where the 
walls diverge, and arc rounded off on cither side. There also ap- 
pear indications of steps up to the level of the area within the 
castle, and the remains of a wall w hich. crossing the terrace from the 
outer wall, divided the entrance at its two parts at its widest end. 
The inner wall of the castle incloses an area measuring one hundred 
and seventy-five feet ...nth and south, by one hundred and eighty 
feet east and west. The centre is without any indication of build- 
ings : Imt all around, and next to the wall, are the remains of cir- 
cular im Insures, supposed to have formed the habitable parts of the 

»The Coronation Chair, the seat of which rests u) tins -' • of destiny, isalso 

mireseutfd hi the illimuialnl engraving which I mpuiies mil i»>r f our 

■ y j, j sa foc-aimile of a bifrlilv finished architectural drawing, and is printed 
in oil-colours Irom twelve separate plates, so united in fa printing as to produces 

,„ ,f r | , i, ilme, aud to give all the various tints of the origmal. 




20 



r, , , , .i, »--Bril»h Part Stall.. Nulut.l Si.c. 

UUCK Htlli-wiU liarlMusacHA.ioUonAo.lium). 6. S»uudilto(Aliodl>n Cvglau.) 



C2- — (i3uli.li Costume. 



G3 — Gaulish Cosluroe. 




6G-— SMeld in the Meyrick Collection. 





6T. — Circular Uiiti-.li Shield 




C4. — Remains of a British Breast- plate, round j". U >ld< 





21 



22 



OLD ENGLAND. 



[Book I. 



castle. They are generally about eighteen or twenty feet in dia- 
meter, but at the northern side there is a larger apartment thirty by 
twenty." (• Pictorial History of England.') 

That the Britons were agriculturists, using the term in a larger 
sense than applies to the cultivation of small patches of land by 
solitary individuals, we may reasonably infer from some remarkable 
remains that are not uncommon in these islands. Tacitus, in his 
account of the manners of the Germans, says, -• The Germans were 
accustomed to dig subterraneous caverns, and then to cover them 
with much loose motdd, forming a refuge from wintry storms, and 
a receptacle for the fruits of the earth : in this manner the rigour 
of the frost is softened." Tacitus also says that these caverns are 
hiding-places for the people upon the irruption of an enemy. Such 
pits were common to the ancient people of the East, and are found 
in modern times in other European countries. There is a singular 
cavern of this sort at Royston in Hertfordshire, which was dis- 
covered in the market-place of that town in 1742. Kent has 
several such pits. Hasted, the topographer of that county, describes 
many such in the heaths and fields and woods near Crayford. lie 
says that at the mouth, and thence downward, they arc narrow, 
like the tunnel or passage of a well ; but at the bottom they are 
large and of great compass, so that some of them have several 
rooms, one within another, strongly vaulted, and supported with 
pillars of chalk. Camden has given a rude representation of two 
caverns near Tilbury in Essex, " spacious caverns in a chalky cliff, 
built very artificially of stone to the height of ten fathoms, and 
somewhat straight at the top. A person who had been down to 
view them gave me a description of them." The chambers in the 
caverns which Camden depicts, consist cither of a large space, 
with semicircular recesses, or of two chamber's, each with three 
semicircular recesses connected by a passage. The universality 
of the practice is shown in the caves which were discovered in 
Ireland, in 182!). which are described in the 'Transactions of the 
Antiquarian Society of London.' vol. xxiii. (Figs. 52. 53, ami 54.) 
There can he little doubt of the use of Mich eaves. Diodorus 
Siculiis expressly says that the Britons laid up their corn in subter- 
ranean repositories. There are other remarkable remains whose 
purposes do not seem quite so clear. These are artificial pits of a 
conical form. At the top of the Combe Hills, near Croydon in 
Sin rev. is a pit of this sort, minutely described by King. An earlier 
antiquarian, John Leland, — who peregrinated England and Wales in 
the time of Henry VIII., and whose descriptions, whenever he 
enters into detail, are so curious that we sigh over his usual brevity 
and wish that lie were as prolix as the travellers of our own age — 
thus describes similar pits near Caernarvon : '• there be a great 
number of pits made with hand, large like a bowl at the head, and 
narrow in the bottom, overgrown in the swart with fine glass, and 
be scattered here and there about the quarters where the head of 
Kenner river is, tiiat Cometh by ('aire Keiiner. And some of 
these will receive a hundred men, some two hundred. They be in 
the Black Mountain." (• Itinerary.' vol. viii. folio 107, «.) 

Of a later period than that to which we are referi ing are pro- 
halily the very singular caves of Haw thornden. Beneath the rock on 
which Drummond and Jonson sate, looking out upon the delicious 
glen whose exquisite beauties would seem the natural abodes of 
piaccfidncss and innocence, are the hiding-places of remote genera- 
tions. Long galleries and dreary caverns, cut in the rock, are 
peopled by tradition with the brave and the oppressed hiding from 
their enemies. Here we are shown the king's bedchamber; ami 
another cave, whose walls are cut into small recesses of about a 
hint square, was the king's drawing-room. He was -here surrounded 
by ample conveniences for arranging the petty treasures of his 
solitude. Setting these traditions aside, we may reasonably conclude 
that the caves of llawthornden were at once hiding-places and store- 
houses: and it is not carrying our fancies too far to believe that the 
shelved cavities of the rock were receptacles for food, in small por- 
tions — the oatmeal and the pulse that weie thus preserved from 
worms and mildew. 

The primitive inhabitants of all sea-giit countries are fishermen. 
It is impossible not to believe that the people of Britain, having at 
their command the treasures of wide estuaries and deep rivers, were 

fishermen to a large extent. The Britons must always lane been a 
people who were familiar w ith the Waters. The Severn and the 
Wye have still their coracles — little boats so peculiar in their con- 
struction that we may readily conceive them in belong to a remote 
antiquity. Gibson, the translator ami best editor of Camden, has 
described these boats upon the Severn : ■■ The fishermen in these 
parts use a small thing called a coiacle, in which one man being 
seated will row himself with incredible swiftness with one hand, 
whilst with the other he manages hi. net, angle, or other fishing 



tackle. It is of a form almost oval, made of split .sally-twigs inter- 
woven (willow-twigs), round at the bottom, and on that part which 
is next the water it is covered with a horse-hide. It is about five 
feet in length and three in breadth, and is so light that, coming off 
the water, they take them upon their backs and carry them home." 
Such, we may conclude, were the fishing-boats of our primitive 
ancestors. (Fig. oH.) Some of the Roman writers might lead us 
to believe that the Britons had boats capable of distant navigation ; 
hut this is doubted by most careful inquirers, lint the light boats 
which were peculiar to the island were certainly of a construction 
well suited to their objects ; for Csesar, in his History of the Civil 
War, tells us that he had learnt their use in Britain, and availed 
himself of boats of a similar formation in crossing rivers in Spain. 
These were probably canoes, hollowed out of a single tree. Such 
have been found, from seven to eight feet long, in morasses and in 
the beds of rivers, at very distant parts of the country — in Dum- 
fries, and in the marshes of the Jlcdway. In 1834 a boat of this 
description was discovered in a creek of the river Arun, in the vil- 
lage of North Stoke. Sussex (Fig. 57). In draining the Marline 
Mere, or Martou Take, in Lancashire, eight canoes, each formed of 
a single tree, were found sunk deep in the mud and sand. The 
pearl-fishery of Britain must have existed before the Roman 
invasion, for Suetonius says that the hope of acquiring pearls was a 
main inducement to Ciesar to attempt the conquest of the country. 
The great conqueror himself, according to Pliny, the naturalist, 
dedicated to Venus a lueaslplate studded with British pearls, and 
suspended it in her temple at Koine. In a later age the pearls of 
Caledonia were poetically termed by Ansoiiius the white shell- 
berries. Camden thus describes the pearls of the little river Irt ill 
Cumberland: •• In this hrook the shell-fish, eagerly sucking in the 
dew, conceive and bring forth pearls, or, to use the poet's winds, 
shell-berries. These the inhabitants gather up at low-water ; and 
the jewellers buy them of the poor people fin- a trifle, but sell them 
at a good price. Of these, and such like. Marbodoeus seems to 
speak in that verse, 

' Gignit »'t birigiiei Mltiqua Britannia bucos.' 

(' Ami lliitutus ancient linnet gie.it neurit produce.')* 1 

The British pearls were not found in the shells of the oyster, as is 
often thought, but in those of a peculiar species of mussel (Fig. 59). 
The oysters of Britain, celebrated by Pliny and Juvenal after the 
Roman conquest, contributed, we may reasonably suppose, to the 
fluid of the primitive inhabitants. 

The dresses of the inhabitants of Britain before the Roman inva- 
sion are not, Jike those of the people of ancient Egypt, and other 
countries advanced in the practice of the imitative arts, to be traced 
in painting or sculpture. In Roman statues we have the figures of 
ancient Cauls, which give us the characteristic dress of the Celtic 
nations: the braccse, or close trowsers, the tunic, and the sagum, or 
short cloak (Figs. 61, 62,63). The dye of the woad was proba- 
bly used for this cloth, as it was to colour the skins of the warriors 
stripped for battle (Fig. 60). It is difficult to assign an exact 
period to their use of cloth in preference to skins. It is equally 
difficult to determine the date of those valuable relics which have 
been found in various places, exhibiting a taste for symmetry ami 
nice workmanship in the fabrication of their weapons, offensive and 
defensive, and the ruder decorations of their persons. Such are the 
remains of a golden breast-plate found at Mold in Flintshire, now- 
ill the British Museum (Fig. 64). Such are the shields (Figs. 65 
66, 67), of one of which (Fig. 67) Sir Samuel Meyiiek, its 
possessor, says, " It is impossible to contemplate the artistic portions 
without feeling convinced that there is a mixture of British orna- 
ments with such resemblances to the elegant designs on Roman works 
as would be produced by a people in a state of less civilization." 
T'ii ques, or gold and bronze necklaces composed of flexible liars, were 
peculiar to the people of this country. Of all these matters we 
shall have further to speak in the next chapter — the Roman period. 
There also we may more properly notice the great variety of British 
coins, of which we here present a group (Fig. 68). Iviiig-iiioncv, 
peculiar to the Celtic nations, undoubtedly existed in Ireland previous 
to the domination of the Romans in Britain. Although Cassar sa\s 
that the ancient Britons had no coined money, there is sufficient 
probability that they had their metal plates for purposes of currency 
such being occasionally found in English barrows. The Rififf- 
nioiiev ( Fig. 69) lias been found in great quantities ill Ireland, of 
bronze, of silver, and of gold. The rings vary in weight; but they 
are all exact multiples of a standard unit, showing that a uniform 
principle regulated their size, aad that this was determined by 
their use as current coin. The weapons of the ancient Britons 
show their acquaintance with the casting of metals. Their axe- 



Chap. I ] 



OLD ENGLAND. 



23 



heads, called Celts, are composed of ten parts of copper and one of 
tin (Figs. TO and 71); their spear-heads, of si\ parts of copper 
and one of tin. Moulds for spear-heads have been frequently found 
in Britain and Ireland (Figs. 12 and ~,'.V). 

There are no remains of those terrible war-chariots of the Britons 
which Ceesor describes as striking terror into his legions. King, 
who labours very hard to prove that the people who stood up not 
only with undaunted courage, but military skill, against the conquerors 
of the world, were hut painted savages, considers that the British 
war-chariot was essentially the same as the little low cart which the 
Welsh used in his day tor agricultural purposes (Fig. 74). The 
painters have endeavoured to realize the accounts of the Roman 
writers, with more of poetry, and, we believe, with more of truth 
(Fig. 7.>). 

But if the chariots have perished, — if the spears and the axe- 
heade are doubtful memorials of the warlike genius of the people. — 
not so are the mighty earth-works which still attest that they 
defended themselves against their enemies upon a system which 
bespeaks their skill as well as their valour. The ramparted hill 
of Old Sariim. with terrace upon terrace rising upon its hunks and 
ditches, and commanding the country for miles around, is held not 
merely to have been a Roman station, or a British station after the 
Romans, lmt a fortified place of the people of the country, even in 
the time of the great Druidical monuments which are found scattered 
over the great plain where this proud hill still stands in its ancient 
majesty. The Roman walls, the Saxon towers, the Norman cathe- 
dral, which have successively crowned this hill, have perished, lmt 
here it remains, with all the peculiar character of a British fortress 
still impressed upon it (Fig. 2-'J). Such a fortress is the Hereford- 
shire beacon (Fig. To*) which forms the summit of one of the highest 
of the Malvern hills, and looks down upon that glorious valley of 
the Severn n liicli. perhaps more than any other landscape, proclaims 
the surpassing fertility of ' Old England.' Such is, in all likelihood, 
the castellated hill near Wooler, in Northumberland, which rises 
two thousand feet above the adjacent plain, with its stone walls, and 
ditches, and crumbling cairns. It was in these hill-forts that the 
Britons so long defied the Roman power; and one of them ( near 
the continence of the Coin and Teme. in Shropshire) is still sig- 
nalised by the name of one of the bravest of those who fought for 
the independence of their country — Caer-Caradoc. the castle of 
Caractacus (Fig. 77). The Catter-thuns of Angus (Forfarshire) 
are amongst the most remarkable of the Caledonian strong-holds. 
They are thus described by Pennant, in his 'Tour in Scotland:* — 
"After riding two miles on black and heathy hills, we ascended 
one divided into two summits; the higher named the White, the 
lower the Black Catter-tlmn, from their different colour. Both are 
Caledonian posts ; and the first of most uncommon strength. It is 
of an oval form, made of a stupendous dike of loose white stones, 
whose convexity, from the base within to that without, is a hundred 
and twenty-two feet. On the outside, a hollow, made by the dispo- 
sition of the stones, surrounds the whole. Round the base is a deep 
ditch, and below that, about a hundred yards, are vestiges of another, 
that went round the hill. The area within the stony mound is flat ; 
the greater axis or length of the oval is four hundred and thirtv- 
six feet ; the transverse diameter, two hundred. Near the east side 
is the foundation of a rectangular building ; and on most parts are 
the foundations of others small and circular; all which had once 
their superstructures, the shelter of the possessors of the prist. 
There is also a hollow, now almost filled with stones, the well of the 
place. The literal translation of the word Catter-thnn is Camp- 
town." The Vitrified forts of Scotland are so mysterious in their 
origin and their uses, some holding them to be natural volcanic 
productions, others artificial buildings of earth, made solid by the 
application of fire, without cement, that we may safely omit them 
in this notice of the British peiiod. 

In Speaking of those ancient works in these islands which were 
constructed upon a large scale for the defence of the country and 
for the accommodation of the people, it is difficult to define the 
precis? share of the ancient Britons in their construction, as com- 
pared with the labours of successive occupants of the country. Old 
Sarum, for example, has the characteristics of a work essentially 
different from the camps and castles of Roman origin. But the 
Romans, too wise a people to be destroyers, would naturally improve 
the old defences of the island, and adapt them to their own notions 
of military science. So. we imagine, it would have been with what 
we are accustomed to call the four great Roman Ways. The old 
chroniclers record that King Duuwallo (called also Moliuncius or 
Mulmutius) "began the four highways of Britain, the which were 
finished and perfited of Belinus his son." This is the Mulmutius 
whose civilizing deeds are thus described by Spenser: — 



" Then itiiiile he ricrerl laws, which some men s.iy 
W ere unto him r^v-eiilM in vision ; 

By which In freed flit- traveller'* highway, 

The Church's part, and ploughman'* portion, 
Restraining stealth ami strong extortion ; 
The ^radons Nnin.i of Great liritainy : 

For, till tii-. (iayt, tlie ditef dominion 
Uy itraiglli was wielded without policy : 
Therefore he first wore crown uf gold for dignity.'' 

Camden, who naturally enough has a disposition, from the nature of 
his learning, to hold that the civilization of Britain began from the 
Roman conquest, laughs to scorn the notion of the great highways 
being made before the Romans : — " Some imagine that these ways 
were made by one Mulmutius, God knows who, many ages before the 
birth of Christ ; but this is so iar from finding credit with me, that 
I positively affirm, they were made from time to time by the Romans. 
When Agricola was Lieutenant here, Tacitus tells us, that * the 
people were commanded to carry their corn about, and into the most 
distant countries; not to the nearest camps, but to those that were 
far off and out of the way.' And the Britons (as the same author 
lias if) complained, * that the Romans put their hands and bodies to the 
drudgery of clearing woods and paving fens, with stripes and indig- 
nities to boot.' And we find in old records, ' In the days of llonorius 
and Arcadius, there were made in Britain certain highways from 
sea to sea.* That they were \\\n work of the Romans, Bede himself 
tells us: 'The Romans lived within that wall (which, as I have 
already observer I, Severus drew across the island) to the southward ; 
as the cities, temples, bridges, and highways made there, do plainly 
testify at this day.' " But in these quotations there is nothing to 
prove that there were not roads in Britain before the Romans. That 
tUe more ancient roads were not the magnificent works which the 
Romans afterwards constructed we may well believe; but, on the 
other hand, it is impossible to imagine that a people accustomed to 
military movements were without roads. The local circumstances 
also belonging to the great Druidical monuments, such as Stonehenge 
ami Abury, indicate with sufficient clearness that they were not 
solely constructed with reference to the habits of a stationary popu- 
lation, but that they were centres to which great bodies of the 
people resorted at particular seasons of solemnity. AVe may take, 
therefore, the statements of the old chroniclers with regard to the 
more ancient and important of the highways as not wholly fabulous. 
Robert of Gloucester, in his rude rhyme, has told us as much as is 
necessary here to say about them : 

'• Fare weves many on ther ben in Kiiglonde; 
But four mint of alt ther hen I understonde, 
That thurgh an old kynge were made ere this, 
As men sehfti ill this hoke aftir here tell I wis. 
Fram the South into the North raVifh ErmingC-stnte, 

Fram die Rast into the Wert ffoefh Ikeneld-streto. 
Fram S infh-est to North-west, thai i-i sum del grete 
Fram Diver into Chestre goth Watlyug-atretp. 
The forth ofthise is most of alle that tilleth fram Tateceys. 
Fram the South-west t,i North-est into Englondea endo 
Fosse men callith rliilke wey that hy mony town doth wende. 
Thise fonrc weyes on this louda kyng Belin the wise 
Made and ordeiued hem with i;ret frauiichUe.'' 



We have thus hastily presented a sketch, imperfect in the details, 
but not without its impressiveness if regarded as exhibiting the 
solemn picture of man struggling to comprehend the Infinite through 
clouds and darkness— we have thus attempted to group the memo- 
rials of ages which preceded the Roman domination in 'Old Eng- 
land.' We look back upon these earliest records of a past state of 
society with wonder not unmixed with awe. with shuddering but 
not with hatred : 

*' Yel shall it claim our reverence, that to God, 
Ancient of doy*3 that to the eternal Sire 
'i lieie jealous mintsten of law aspire, 
As to the one sole founi whence Wisdom flowd, 
Justice, and Order. Tremblingly escaped, 
As if with prescience of the coming storm, 
That Intimation when the stirs were shaped ; 
Andstill.'mid you thick woods, the primal truth 
Glimmers through many a superstitious form 

'i bal Hlls the »»u1 n Ith unavailing ruth. ' 

Wordsworth. 




4.— Welsh Agricultural Cart. 



^HP^ 3 ^ 



Chariot, Shield, and Sp*an. 



24 







■&■: 




g nwiriug ilie Tort|ua- 






<^ 



79._Symiiol3 of Rome. 




85. — ltom..n i ■ i..- 




86— Prow of a Reman Oolle; 







-Julius Civsar. From a Cojiper Coin iu Iht liiitisli MuHUm. 



No. 4. 



82 — Roman Generali Slaiular.l.tk.u'r*, &c. 

[OLD ENGLAND.] 



at-— Juiiii< d 



i:> 



2(5 



OLD ENGLAND. 



[Book I. 



CHAPTER II.— THE ROMAN PERIOD. 




m$m§ I 



HE inland part of Britain, 
says Cffisar, " is inhabited by 
tliose who, according to the 
existing tradition, were the 
aborigines of the island; the 
sea-coast, by those wdio, for 
the sake of plunder or in 
order to make war, had cross- 
ed over from among the 
Belgae, and in almost every 
case retained the names of 
their native states from which 
they emigrated to this island, 
in which they made war and 
settled, and began to till the 
land. The population is very 
great, and the buildings very numerous, closely resembling tliose 

of the Gauls: the quantity of cattle is considerable 

The island is of a triangular form, one side of the triangle being 
opposite Gaul. One of the angles of this side, which is in Cantium 
(Kent), to which nearly all vessels from Gaul come, looks toward 

the rising sun ; the lower angle looks toward the south Of 

all the natives tliose who inhabit Cantium, a district the whole of 
which is near the coast, are by far the most civilized, and do not 
differ much in their customs from the Gauls." With these more 
civilized people Caesar negotiated. They had scut him ambassadors 
and hostages to avert the invasion which they apprehended ; but 
their submission was fruitless. In the latter part of the summer of 
the year 55 B.C. (Ilalley, the astronomer, lias gone far to prove that 
the exact day was the 26th of August), a Roman fleet crossed the 
Channel, bcaiing the infantry of two legions, about ten thousand 
men. This army was collected at the Tortus Itius (Witsand), be- 
tween Calais and Boulogne. Eighty galleys (Fig. SG) bore the 
invaders across the narrow seas. As they neared the white cliffs, 
which frowned upon their enterprise (Figs. 87, 88, 90), Ca-sar 
beheld them covered with armed natives, ready to dispute his land- 
ing. The laurelled conqueror (Figs. 83, 84), who, according to 
Suetonius, only experienced three reverses during nine years' com- 
mand in Gaul, would not risk the Roman discipline against the 
British courage, on a coast thus girt with natural defences. It is 
held that the proper interpretation of his own narrative is, that he 
proceeded towards the ninth ; and it is considered by most autho- 
rities that the Hat beach between Walmer Castle and Sandwich 
was the place of his disembarkation. It was here, then, that the 
British and Roman weapons first came into conflict (Fig. 80). 
But the captains ami the standard-bearers marched not deliberately 
to the shore, as they are represented on the Column of Trajan 
(Fig. 82). The cavalry and the war-chariots of the active Britons 
met the invader on the beach ; and whilst the soldiers hesitated to 
leave the ships, the standard-bearer of the tenth legion leaped into 
the water, exclaiming, as Caisar has recorded, " Follow me, my 
fellow-soldiers, unless you will give up your eagle to the enemy! 
I, at least, will do my duty to the republic and to our general !" 
(Fig. 85.) The Rinnans made good their landing. The symbols 
of the great republic were henceforward to become more familiar to 
the skin-clothed and painted Britons (Fig. 79) ; but not as yet were 
they to be bound with the chain of the captive (Fig. 81). The 
galleys in which the cavalry of Caesar were approaching the British 
shores were scattered by a storm. This calamity, and his imperfect 
acquaintance with the country and with the coa>t, determined the 
invader to winter in Gaul. It is a remarkable fact that Ca-sar was 
ignorant of the height to which the tide rises in these narrow seas. 
A heavy spring-tide came, and his transports, which lay at anchor, 
were dashed to pieces, and his lighter galleys (Figs. 93, 94, 9.5) 
drawn up on the beach, were swamped with the rising waves. This 
second disaster occurred within a few hours of the conclusion qf a 
peace between the invader and the invaded. That very night, ac- 
cording to Caesar, it happened to be full moon, when the tides 



always rise highest,— "a fact at the time wholly unknown to the 
Romans." The Britons, with a breach of confidence that may al- 
most be justified in the ease of the irruption of a foreign power into 
a peaceful land, broke the treaty. Ca?sar writes that they were 
signally defeated. But the invader hastily repaired his ships ; and 
set sail, even without his hostages, for the opposite shores, where his 
power was better established. 

Caesar, early in the next year, returned to a conflict with the 
people whose coast " looks towards the rising sun." He came in a 
fleet of eight hundred vessels; and the natives, either in terror or 
in policy, left him to land without opposition. The flat shores of 
Kent again received his legions ; and he marched rapidly into the 
country, till he met a formidable enemy in those whom he had 
described as "the inland people," who -for the most part do not 
sow corn, but live on milk ami flesh, and have their clothing of 
skins." Caesar himself bears the most unequivocal testimony to the 
indomitable courage of this people. The tribes with whom Ca?sar 
came into conflict were, as described by him, the people of Cantium, 
inhabitants of Kent ; the Trinobantes, inhabitants of Essex ; the 
Ceiiimagiii, inhabitants of Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridge ; the 
Segontiaci, inhabitants of parts of Hants and Berks; the Ancalites, 
inhabitants of parts of Berks and Wilts; the Bibroci, inhabitants 
of parts of Berks and the adjacent counties ; the Cassi, conjectured 
to be the inhabitants of Cassio hundred, Herts.* Caesar, after va- 
rious fortune, carried back his soldiers in the same year to Gaul. 
He set sail by night, in fear, he says, of the equinoctial gales. He 
left no body of men behind him ; he erected no fortress. It is pro- 
bable that he took back captives to adorn his triumph. But the 
Romans, with all their national pride, did not in a succeeding age 
hold Ca-sar's expedition to be a conquest. Tacitus says that he did 
not conquer Britain, but only showed it to the Romans. Horace, 
calling upon Augustus to achieve the conquest, speaks of Britain as 
"intactus" (untouched); and Properties, in the same spirit, de- 
scribes her as " invictus " (unconquered). There is perhaps, there- 
fore, little of exaggeration in the lines which Shakspere puts into 
the mouth of the Queen in ' Cymbeline :' 

" Remember, Sir, my liege, 

The kings your ancestors ; together with 

The natural bravery of your isle, which stands 

As Neptune's park, ribbed ami paled in 

With rocks unsc&leable, anil roaring waters ; 

With sandt that will not bear your enemies' boats, 

Itut suck them up to the top-mast. A kind of conquest 

Ca-sar made here ; but made not here his brag 

Of came, and saw, and overcame : with shame 

(The lirst that ever ronch'd liim) lie was carried 

From off our coast, twice beaten ; and his shipping 

(Poor ignorant baubles!) on our terrible seas, 
Like egg-shells mnv'il upon their surges, crack'd 
As easily 'gainst our rocks. ' 
We have thus narrated very briefly the two descents of Casar 
upon Britain ; because, from the nature of his inroad into the 
country, no monuments exist or eould have existed to attest his 
progress. But it is not so with the subsequent periods of Roman 
dominion. The great military power of the ancient world may be 
here traced by what is left of its arms and its arts. Camden has 
well described the durable memorials of the Roman sway: "The 
Romans, by planting their colonies here, and reducing the natives 
under the rules of civil government — by instructing them in the 
liberal arts, and sending them into Gaul to learn the laws of the 
Rinnan Empire, did at last so reform and civilize them by intro- 
ducing their laws and customs, that for the modes of their dress and 
living they were not inferior to the other provinces. The buildings 
and other works were so very magnificent, that we view the remains 
of them to this day with the greatest admiration ; and the common 
people will have these Roman fabrics to be the works of giants." 
We proceed to a rapid notice of the more important of these monu- 
ments. 



* See Maps of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. 



Chap. II.] 



OLD ENGLAND. 



27 



In that curious record, in old French, of the foundation of the 
Castle of Dover, which we find in Dugdale's ' Monastieon,' we are 
told that when Arviragus reigned in Britain, he refused to be sub- 
ject to Rome, and withheld the tribute; making the Castle of Dover 
strong with ditch and wall against the Romans, if they should come. 
The old British hill-forts and cities were not works of regular form, 
like the camps and castles of the Romans; and thus the earliest 
remains of the labours of man in Dover Castle exhibit a ditch and 
a mound of irregular form, a parallelogram with the corners rounded 
off, approaching to something like an oval. Yet within this ditch 
are the unquestionable fragments of Roman architecture, still stand- 
ing up against the storms which have beaten against them for 
nearly eighteen centuries (Fig. 89). We may veil believe, there- 
fore, that the statement of the chronicler is not wholly fabulous 
when he said that a British King strengthened Dover Castle ; and 
that the Romans, as in other cases, planted their soldiers in the 
strongholds where the Britons had defied them. Be this as it may. 
the Roman works of Dover Castle are amongst the most interesting 
in the island, remarkable in themselves, suggestive of high and so- 
lemn remembrances. Toil up the steep hill, tourist, and mount the 
tedious steps which place you on the heights where stands this far- 
famed castle. Look landward, and you have a prospect of sur- 
passing beauty, not unmixed with grandeur; look seaward, and you 
may descry the cliHs of Fiance, with many a steamboat bringing 
in reality those lands together which dim traditions say were once 
unsevered by the sea. Look not now upon the Norman keep, for 
after a little space we will ask you to return thither ; but wind 
round the slight ascent which is still before you, till you are at the 
foot of the grassy mound upon which stand the ruined walls which 
attest that here the Romans trod. That octagonal building, some 
thirty or forty feet high, and which probably mounted to a much 
greater height, was a Roman pharos, or lighthouse. Mark the 
thickness of its walls, at least ten feet ; see the peculiarity of its 
construction, wherever the modern casing, far more perishable than 
the original structure, will permit you. The beacon-fires of that 
tower have long been burnt out. They were succeeded by bells, 
which rung their merry peals when kings and lord-wardens came 
here in their cumbrous pageantry, The bells were removed to 
Portsmouth, and the old tower was unroofed. Man has taken no 
care of it; man has assisted the elements in its destruction. But 
its builders worked not for their own age alone, as the moderns 
work. Its foundations are laid in clay, and not upon the chalk. 
The thin Hat bricks, which are known as Roman tiles, are laid in 
even courses, amidst intermediate courses of blocks of hard stalac- 
titical concretions which must have been brought by sea from a con- 
siderable distance. Some of the tiles are of a peculiar construction, 
having knobs and ledges as if to bind them fast with the other ma- 
terials. In the true Roman buildings the uniformity of the courses. 
especially where tiles are used, is most remarkable. Such is the 
case in this building: '• With alternate courses formed of these anil 
other Roman tiles, and then of small blocks of the stalactitical in- 
crustations, was this edifice constructed, from the bottom to the top : 
— each course of tiles consisting of two rows; and each course of 
stalactites, of seven rows of blocks, generally about seven inches 
deep, and about one foot in length. Five of these alternate courses, 
in one part, like so many stages or stories, were discernible a few 
years ago very clearly."— (King.) When the poor fisherman of 
Rutupiffi (Richborough) steered his oyster-laden bark to Gesoriacum 
(Boulogne), the pharos of Dover lent its light to make his path 
across the Channel less perilous and lonely. At Boulogne there was 
a corresponding lighthouse of Roman work ; an octagonal tower, with 
twelve stages of Boors, rising to the height of one hundred and 
twenty-five feet. This tower is said to have been the work of Cali- 
gula. It once stood a bowshot from the sea ; but in the course of 
sixteen centuries the clitf was undermined, and it fell in 1644. 
The pharos of Dover has had a somewhat longer date, from the na- 
ture of its position. No reverence for the past has assisted to pre- 
serve what remains (if one of the most interesting memorials of that 
dominion which had such important iuHuences in the civilization of 
England. The mixed race in our country has. in fact, sprung from 
these old Romans; and the poetical antiquary thus carries us back 
to the great progenitors of Rome herself: •• Whilst," says Camden. 
"I treat of the Roman Empire in Britain (which lasted, as I said, 
about tour hundred and seventy-six years), it comes into my mind 
how many colonies of Romans must have been transplanted hither 
in so long a time ; what numbers of soldiers were continually sent 
from Rome, for garrisons ; how many persons were despatched hither, 
to negotiate affairs, public or private; and that these, intermarrying 
with the Britons, seated themselves here, and multiplied into fami- 
lies : for, 'Wherever' (says Seneca) 'the Roman ( [uers, he 



inhabits.' So that I have ofttimes concluded that the Britons might 
derive themselves from the Trojans by these Romans (who doubtless 
descended from the Trojans), with greater probability than either 
the Arvemi, who from Trojan blood styled themselves brethren to 
the Romans, or the Mamertini, Hedui, and others, who upon fabu- 
lous grounds grafted themselves into the Trojan stock. For Rome, 
that common mother (as one calls her), challenges all such as 
citizens 

" Quits domuit, nexuque pio longinqna revinxit." 
('■ Whom conquer'd, «he in sacred bonds hath tied.") 

The old traditions connected with Dover Castle, absurd as they 
are, are founded upon the popular disposition to venerate ancient 
things. The destruction of ancient things in this country, during 
the last three centuries, was consummated when a sceptical, sneering, 
unimaginative philosophy was enabled, in its pride of reason, to 
despise what was old, and to give us nothing that was beautiful and 
venerable in the place of what had perished. Lambarde thus writes : 
" The Castle of Dover, say Lydgate and Rosse, was first builded by 
Julius Cassar, the Roman emperor, in memory of whom they of the 
Castle keep till this day certain vessels of old win.- and salt which 
they affirm to be the remain of such provision as lie brought into 
it." The honest topographer adds, with a beautiful simplicity, " As 
touching the which, if they be natural and not sophisticate, I suppose 
them more likely to have been of that store which Hubert de Burgh 
laid in there." Now Hubert de Burgh lived three hundred and 
fifty years before Lambarde; and we are inclined to think that even 
his vessels of old wine might have stood a fair chance of being 
tapped and drunk out during the troublesome times which elapsed 
between the reign of John and the reign of Elizabeth. But yet it 
were vain of us to despise this confiding spirit of the old writes. 
\\ e have gained nothing in literature or in art, perhaps very little 
in morals, by calling for absolute proof in all matters of history ; 
and by fancying that, if we cannot have a clear microscopic bird's- 
eye view of the past, we are to turn from its dimly lighted plains, 
and its misty hills losing themselves in the clouds, as if there were 
nothing soothing and elevating in their shadowy perspective. There 
must be doubt and difficulty and uncertainty in all that belongs to 
very remote antiquity : — 

" Darkness surrounds us; seeking, we are lost 
On Snowdon's wilds, amid Brigantiau coves, 
Or where die solitary ihephenl roves 
Along the Plain of Sarum, by the Ghost 
Of Time and Shadows of Tradition crost; 
And where the boatman of the Western Islts 
Slackens bis course, to mark ihose holy piles 
Which yet survive on bleak Iona's coast. 
Nor these, nor monuments of eldest fame, 
Nor Taliesin's untbrgorte » lays, 
Nor characters of Greek or Roman fame, 
To an unquestionable Source have led; 
Enough— if eyes that sought the Fountain-head, 
In vain, upon the growing Kill may graze." 

WoRDSWOHTH. 

This is wisdom— a poet's wisdom, which has sprung and ripened in 
an uncongenial age. But if ue seek the "glowing Kill," we shall 
not gaze upon it H ith less pleasure if we have endeavoured, howei er 
imperfectly and erriugly, to trace it to "the Fountain-head." 

Close by the pharos are the ruins of an ancient church (Fig. 89). 
This church, which was in the form of a cross, was unquestionably 
constructed of Roman materials, if it was not of Roman work. 
The tiles present themselves in the same regular courses as in the 
pharos. The later antiquarians are inclined to the belief that this 
chinch was constructed of the materials of a tinnier Roman building. 
It appears exceedingly difficult to reconcile such a belief with the 
fact that Roman walls, wherever we find them in this country, are 
almost indestructible. The red and yellow tiles at Richborougb, 
for example, of which we shall have presently to speak, are em- 
bedded as firmly in the concrete as the layers of Hint in a cliff of 
chalk. The Hints may be removed with much greater case from 
the chalk than the tiles from the concrete. The whole forms a 
solid mass which tool can hardly touch. It would have been no 
economy, we believe, id' labour or of material to have pulled down 
such a Roman building, to erect another out of its ruins; although 
indeed, the building maj have been destroyed, and another building 
of new materials may have been put together upon the principles of 
Roman construction. Such considerations ought to induce us not 
lightly to reject the traditions, which have come down to us through 
the old ecclesiastical annalists, of a very early Christian church, 
some say the first Christian church, having been erected within the 
original Roman, or earlier than Roman, hill-fort in Dover Castle. 
Little is left of this interesting ruin of some Christian chinch ; and 

E 2 




92.— Roman Eagle. 







, r v ' 

— Roman LrgbttrOIMt, Olmrcli, ami TrBlTOhe* in DbYH Ci-.Ui- 




93.— Romnn Calk-y. 




% — Roman Standard - Hearers. 



97.— Roman Soldiers. 



'Ji — Roman Clmrcli iii Dorei Cattle. 






9j.—Ronia.n Galley. 



28 



90. -Dover Cliff.. 





100.— North Wall oi" Blchbonmgb. 






98.— Plaaol Rich 



102. — lironzi', found al Hicliliovouyli. 




• ' .''•,.. 



warn 



M. -Richoorough. General Via i , from Die K.i^t 






101 — Plan of the ItaUform anil Cross, Richborougli. 




wm A pin 




103.— Ruins of i hi' Aactenl Church of Reculvar. 



104.— Plftn of Porelicstor Caatlt, HanU- 



29 



30 



OLD ENGLAND. 



[Book I. 



that little has been defaced by the alterations of successive centuries 
(Fig 91). But here is a religious edifice of Roman workmanship, or 
built after the model of Roman workmanship, in I he form dear to 
the Christian worship, the primitive and lasting symbol of the Chris- 
tian faith. It is held by some, and perhaps nut unreasonably, that 
here stood the Praetorium of the Roman Castle — the elevated spot 
for state display end religious ceremonial, the place of command and 
of sacrifice. It is held, too, that upon such a platform was erected 
the Sacellum, the low building where the eagles vv Inch led the Roman 
soldiers to victory were guarded with reverential care. (Such 
buildings, it is contended, might grow into Christian churches. It 
is difficult to establish or to disprove these theories ; but the fact 
is certain that in several of the undoubted Roman castles, or camps, 
is a small building of cruciform shape, placed not far from the 
centre of the enclosure. At Porchester (Fig. 104) and at Dover 
these buildings have become churches. The chronicler of Dover 
Castle says (See Appendix, No. 1, to Dugdale's Account of the 
Nunnery of St. Martin), " In the year of grace 1 SO reigned in Britain 
Lucius. lie became a Christian under Pope Eleutherius, and served 
God, and advanced Holy Church as much as he could. Amongst 
other benefits he made a church in (he said castle where the people 
of the town might receive the Sacraments." The chronicler then 
goes on to tell us of " Arthur the Glorious," and the hall which he 
made in Dover Castle ; anil then lie comes to the dreary period of 
the Saxon invasion under Hcngist, when •• the Pagan people destroyed 
the churches throughout the land, and thrust out the Christians." 
The remaining part of this history which pertains to the old church 
in the castle is told with an impressive quaintness : " In the year of 
grace 596, St. Gregory, the Pope, sent into England his cousin St. 
Augustine, and many other monks with him. to preach the Christian 
faith to the English. There then reigned in Kent Adelbert (Ethel- 
bert), who, through the doctrine of St. Augustine, became a Christian 
witii all his people ; and all the other people in the land so became 
through tiie teachers which St. Augustine sent to them. This 
Adelbert had a son whose name was Adelbold (Eadbald), who after 
the death of his father reigned ; and lie became a Pagan, and banished 
the people of Holy Church out of his kingdom. Then the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, Laurence, who was preacher alter St. Augus- 
tine, tied with others out of the land. But St. Peter appeared to 
him, and commanded that he should go boldly to the king and reprove 
him for his misdeeds. He did so, ami by the grace of God the king 
repented and became devout to God and religious. This Adelbold 
ordained twenty-two secular canons in the castle to serve his chapel, 
and gave them twenty and two provenders (means of support). The 
said canons dwelt in the castle a hundred and five years, and main- 
tained a great and fine house there, and went in and out of the castle 
night and day, according to their will, so that the Serjeants of the 
king which guarded the castle could not restrain them." The canons. 
it would appear from this record, conducted themselves somewhat 
turbulently and irregularly during these hundred and five years, till 
they were finally ejected by Ring Withred, who removed them to 
the Church of St. Martin in the town of Dover, which he built for 
them. A fragment of the ruins of the town priory is to be seen 
near the market-place in Dover. This ejectment is held to have 
happened in the year 696. If the story be correct, the church 
within the castle must have been erected previous to the end of the 
seventh century. It might have been creeled at a much earlier 
period, when many of the Roman soldiers of Britain were converts 
to the Roman faith ; and here, upon that commanding rock which 
Matthew Paris called •• Clavis et Repagulum totius Regni," the 
very key and barrier of the whole kingdom, might the eagles have 
vailed before the emblems of the religion of peace (Figs. 92, 96), 
and the mailed soldiers have laid down their shields and javelins 
(Fig. 97) to mingle in that common worship which made the Roman 
and the Barbarian equals. 



It was a little before the commencement of a glorious corn har- 
vest that we first saw Richborough. Descending from the high 
fertile land of the Isle of Thanet, wc passed Ebbefleet, the spot in 
Pegwell Bay where tradition says Ilengist and Ilorsa landed, to 
carry war and rapine into the country. The coast here wears an 
aspect of melancholy dreariness. To the cast we looked back upon 
the bold cliff of Ramsgate ; to the west, upon the noble promontory 
of the South Foreland. But all the land space between these two 
extremities of the bay is a vast flat, drained in every direction by 
broad ditches, amidst which, in propitious seasons, thousands of 
sheep find a luxuriant though coarse pasture. At low-water the 
sea retires many furlongs from this flat shore ; and then, the 
fisherboy fills his basket with curious shells, which are here found 



in great variety. When the tide has ebbed, a narrow stream may 
be traced for a long distance through the sand, which, when the 
salt wave has receded, still fills the little channel into which it 
empties itself from its inland source. This is the river Stour, whose 
main branch, flowing from Ashford by the old Roman Castle of 
Chilham, and onward to Canterbury, forms the boundary of the 
Isle of Thanet on the south-west; and making a sudden bend 
southerly to Sandwich, returns again in a northerly direction to 
empty itself into its sea-channel in Pegwell Bay. The road crosses 
the peninsula which is formed by this doubling of the river. At 
about a mile to the west is a gentle hill crowned with a large mass 
of low wall. At the distance of two or three miles we distinctly 
sec that this is sonic remarkable object. It is not a lofty castle 
of the middle ages, such as we sometimes look upon, with tower 
and bastion crumbling into picturesque ruin ; but here, on the north 
side, is a long line id' wall, without, a single aperture, devoid alike 
of loophole or battlement, and seemingly standing there only to 
support the broad masses of ivy which spread over its surface in 
singular luxuriance. We take boat at a little ferry-house, at a 
place called Saltpans. Leland, when he went to Richborough three 
hundred years ago, found a hermit there ; and he says, " I had an- 
tiquities of the hereunto, the which is an industrious man." So say 
we of the ferry-man. He has small copper coins in abundance, 
which tell what people have been hereabout. He rows us down the 
little river for about three-quarters of a mile, and we are under the 
walls of Richborough Castle (Fig. 99). This is indeed a mighty 
monument of ages that are gone. Let us examine it with some- 
what more than common attention. 

Ascending the narrow road which passes the cottage built at the 
foot of the bank, we reach some masses of wall which lie below the 
regular line (Plan 98). Have these fallen from their original po- 
sition, or do they form an outwork connected with fragments which 
also appear on the lower level of the slope ? This is a question not 
very easy to decide from the appearance of the walls themselves. • 
Another Question arises, upon which antiquarian writers have greatly 
differed. Was there a fourth wall on the south-eastern side facing 
the river? It is believed by some that there was such a wall, and 
that the castle or camp once formed a regular parallelogram. It is 
difficult to reconcile this belief vv ith the fact that the sea has been 
constantly retiring from Richborough, and that the little river was 
undoubtedly once a noble estuary. Bede, wdio wrote his * Ecclesi- 
astical History ' in the beginning of the eighth century, thus describes 
the branch of the river which forms the Isle of Thanet, and which 
now runs a petty brook from Richborough to Reculver : " On the 
east side of Kent is the Isle of Thanet, considerably large, that is, 
containing, according to the English way of reckoning, six hundred 
families, divided from the other land by the river Wantsumu, which 
is about three furlongs over, and fordable only in two places, for 
both ends of it run into the sea." Passing by the fragments of 
which we have spoken, we are under the north (strictly north-east) 
wall, — a wondrous work, calculated to impress us with a conviction 
that the people who built it were not the petty labourers of an hour, 
who were contented with temporary defences ami frail resting-places. 
The outer works upon the southern cliff of Dover, which were inn 
up during the war with Napoleon at a prodigious expense, are 
crumbling and perishing, through the weakness of job and contract, 
which could not endure for half a century. Anil here stand the 
walls of Richborough, as they have stood for eighteen hundred years, 
from twenty to thirty feet high, in some places with foundations five 
feet below the earth, eleven or twelve feet thick at the base, with 
their outer masonry in many parts as perfect as at the hour when 
their courses of tiles and stones were first laid in beautiful regularity. 
The northern wall is five hundred and sixty feet in length. From 
the eastern end, for more than two-fifths of its whole length, it pre- 
sents a surface almost wholly unbroken. It exhibits seven courses of 
stone, each course about four feet thick, and the courses separated 
each from the other by a double line of red or yellow tiles, each 
tile being about an inch and a half in thickness. The entrance to 
the camp through this north wall is very perfect, of the construc- 
tion marked in the plan. This was called by the Romans the 
Porta Principalis, but in after times the Postern-gate. We pass 
through this entrance, and we are at once in the interior of the 
Roman Castle. The area w ithin the walls is a field of five acres, 
covered, when we saw it, with luxuriant beans, whose green pods 
were scarcely yet shrivelled by the summer sun. Towards the 
centre of the field, a little to' the east of the postern-gate, was a 
large space where the beans grew not. The area within the walls is 
much higher in most places than the ground without ; and therefore 
the walls present a far more imposing appearance on their outer 
side. As we pass along the north wall to its western extremity, it 



Chai\ ir. 



OLD ENGLAND. 



31 



becomes much more broken and dilapidated ; large fragments having 
fallen from the top, which now presents a very irregular line (Fig. 
100). It is considered that at the north-west and south-west angles 
there were circular towers. The west wall is very much broken 
down ; and it is held that at the opening (Plan 98) was the De- 
cuman gate (the gate through which ten men could march abreast). 
The south wall is considerably dilapidated ; and from the nature of 
the ground is at present of much less length than the north wall. 
Immense cavities present themselves in this wall, in which the 
farmer deposits his ploughs and harrows, and the wandering iripsy 
seeks shelter from the driving north-east rain. One of these cavities 
in the south wall is forty-two feet long, as we roughly measured it, 
and about five feet in height. The wall is in some places com- 
pletely pierced through ; so that here is a long low arch, with fifteen 
or eighteen feet of solid work, ten feet thick, above it, held up al- 
most entirely by the lateral cohesion. Nothing can be a greater 
proof of the extraordinary solidity of the original work. From 
some very careful engravings of the external sides of the walls, 
given in King's ' Munimenta Antiqua,' we find that the same cavity 
was to he seen in 177.}. 

Of the early importance of Richborough we have the most deci- 
sive evidence. Bede, eleven hundred years ago. speaks of it as the 
chief thing of note on the southern coast. Writing of Britain, he 
says, '• On the south it has the Belgic Gaul ; passing along whose 
nearest shore there appears the city called Rutubi Tortus, the which 
port is now by the English nation corruptly called Reptacester: 
the passage of the sea from Gesoriacum, the nearest shore of the 
nation of the Morini, being fifty miles, or, as some write, four hun- 
dred and fifty furlongs." Camden thus describes the changes in the 
name of this celebrated place : •■ On the south side of the mouth of 
Wantsum (which they imagine has changed its channel), and over 
against the island, was a city, called by Ptolemy Rhutupis; by Ta- 
citus. PortUS Trutulensis, for Rhutupensis, if B. Rhenanus's conjec- 
ture hold good; by Antoninus, Rhitupis Tortus; by Amniianus, 
Rhutupiee statin ; by Orosius. the port and city of Rhutubus ; by the 
Saxons (according to Bede), Reptacester, and by others Ruptimuth ; 
by Alfred of Beverley, Richberge; and at this day Richborrow : 
thus has time sported in varying one and the same name." It is 
unnecessary for us here to enter into the question whether Rhutupiee 
was Riehboroiigh. or Sandwich, or Stonar. The earlier antiquaries, 
Belaud. Lambarde, Camden, decide, as they well might, that the 
great Roman Castle of Richbofough was the key of that haven 
which Juvenal has celebrated for its oysters (Sat. iv.) and Lucan 
for its stormy seas (lib. vi.). Our readers, we think, will prefer, 
to such a dissertation, that most curious description of the place 
which we find in Leland's ' Itinerary ' — a description that has been 
strangely neglected by most modern topographers : " Ratesburgh, 
otherwise Richeboro, was, or ever the river of Store did turn his 
bottom or old canal within the Isle of Thanet ; and by likelihood 
the main sea came to the very foot of the castle. The main sea is 
now off of it a mile, by reason of woze (ooze) that hath there 
swollen up. The site of the old town or castle is wonderful fair 
upon a hill. The walls, the which remain there yet, be- in compass 
almost as much as the Tower of London. They have been very 
high, thick, strong, and well embattled. The matter of them is 
flint, marvellous and long bricks, white and red after the Britons' 
fashion. The cement was made of sea-sand and small pebble. 
There is a great likelihood that the goodly hill about the castle, 
and especially to Sandwich-ward, hath been well inhabited. Corn 
groweth on the hill in marvellous plenty ; and in going to plough 
there hath, out of mind, found, and now is, more antiquities of 
Roman money than in any place else of England. Surely reason 
spcaketh that this should be Rutupinum, For beside that the name 
somewhat toucheth, the very near passage from Clyves, or Cales, 
was to Ratesburgh, and now is to Sandwich, the which is about a 
mile oft'; though now Sandwich be not celebrated because of Good- 
win Sands and the decay of the haven. There is, a good flight 
shot off from Ratesburgh. towards Sandwich, a great dike, cast in 
a round compass, as it had been for fence of men of war. The 
compass of the ground within is not much above an acre, and it is 
very hollow by casting up the earth. They call the place there 
Lytleborough. Within the castle is a little parish church of .St. 
Augustine, and an Hermitage. I had antiquities of the hermit. 
the which is an industrious man. Not far from the Hermitage is 
a cave where men have sought and digged for treasure. I saw it by 
candle within, and there were conies (rabbits). It was so straight, 
that I had no mind to creep far in. In the north side of the Castle 
is a head in the wall, now sore defaced with weather. They call it 
Queen Bertha Head. Near to that place, hard by the wall, was a 
pot of Roman money found." 



In the bean-field within the walls of Riehboroiigh there was a 
space where no beans grew, which we could not approach without 
trampling down the thick crop. We knew what was the cause of 
that patch of (infertility. We had learnt from the work of Mr. 
King, who had derived his information from Mr. Boys, the local 
historian of Sandwich, that there was. "at the depth of a few feet 
between the soil and rubbish, a solid regular platform, one hundred 
and forty-four fuel in length, and a hundred and four feet in breadth, 
being a most compact mass of masonry composed of flint stones and 
strong coarse mortar." This great platform, '• as hard and entire 
in every part as a solid rock," is pronounced by King to have been 
" the great parade, or Augurule, belonging to the IV.etorium, where 
was the Sacellum for the eagles and ensigns, and where the sacrifices 
were offered." But upon this platform is placed a second compact 
mass of masonry, rising nearly five feet above the lower mass, in the 
form of a cross, very narrow in the longer part which extends from 
the south to the north (or, to speak more correctly, from the south- 
west to the north-east), but in the shorter transverse of the cross, 
wdiich is forty-six feet in length, having a breadth of twenty-two 
feet. This cross, according to King, was the site of the Sacellum. 
Half a century ago was this platform dug about and under, and 
brass and lead, and broken vessels were found, and a curious little 
bronze figure of a Roman soldier playing upon the bagpipes (Fig. 
102). Again has antiquarian curiosity been set to work, and 
labourers are now digging and delving on the edge of the platform, 
and breaking their tools against the iron concrete. The workmen 
have found a passage along the south and north sides of the platform, 
and have penetrated, under the platform, to walls upon which it is 
supposed to rest, whose foundations are laid twenty-eight feet lower. 
Some fragments of pottery have been found in this last excavation, 
and the explorers expect to break through the walls upon which the 
platform rests, and find a chamber. It may be so. Looking at the 
greater height of the ground within the walls, compared with the 
height without, we are inclined to believe that this platform, which 
is five feet in depth, was the open basement of some public building 
in the Roman time. To what purpose it was applied in the Christian 
period, whether of Rome or Britain, we think there can be no doubt. 
The traveller who looked upon it three centuries ago tells us dis- 
tinctly, " within the Castle is a little parish church of St. Augustine, 
and an hermitage." When Camden saw the place, nearly a century 
after Leland, the little parish church was gone. He found no 
hermitage there, and no hermit to show him antiquities. He says, 
'• To teach us that cities die as well as men, it is at this day a corn- 
field, wherein when the corn is grown up one may observe the 
draughts of streets crossing one another, for where they have eone 
the corn is thinner. . . . Nothing now remains but some ruinous 
walls of a square tower cemented with a sort of sand extremely 
binding." He also says that the crossings of the streets are com- 
monly called St. Augustine's Cross. There is certainly some con- 
fusion in this description of crossings as one cross. To us it appears 
more than probable that the " little parish church of St. Augustine," 
which Leland saw, had this cross for its foundation, and that when 
this church was swept away — when the hermit who dwelt there, 
and there pursued his solitary worship, fell upon evil times — the 
cross, with a few crumbling walls, proclaimed where the little parish 
church had stood, and that this was then called St. Augustine's 
Cross (Fig. 101). The cross is decidedly of a later age than the 
platform: the masonry is far less regular and compact. Camden, 
continuing the history of Riehboroiigh after the Romans, >ays, •• This 
Rutupise flourished likewise after the coming in of the Saxons, for 
authors tell us it was the palace of Ethelbert, king of Kent, and Bede 
honours it with the name of a city." The belief that the palace of 
Ethelbert was upon this commanding elevation, so strengthened by 
ait, full no doubt of remains of Roman magnificence, the key of the 
broad river which allowed an ample passage for ships of burthen from 
the Channel to the estuary of the Thames, is a rational belief. But 
Lambarde says of Richborough, •■ Whether it were that palace of 
King Ethelbert from whence he went to entertain Augustine, he that 
shall advisedly read the twenty-fifth chaptcrof Beda his first book shall 
have just cause to doubt ; forasmuch as he slioweth manifestly that 
the king came from his palace into the Isle of Thanet to Augustine, 
and Leland saith that Richborough was then within Thanet, although 
that since that time the water has changed irs old course and shut 
it clean out of the island." This is a refinement in the old 
Kentish topographer which will scarcely outweigh the general 
fitness of Richborough for the palace of the Saxon king. The 
twenty-fifth chapter of Bede is indeed worth reading "advisedly;" 
but not to settle this minute point of local antiquaiianism. We 
have given Bede's description of the Isle of Thanet, in which island, 
he says, " landed the servant of our Lord, Augustine, and his com- 





I07-— Wnll< ndiIGHc, I'-' 




: ^^Bk 



w 



105.— General Vim ol OlQ Ruins of Pevensey Castle. 





10.'. — Buppcuod tLuHU In'''] ■- I i ■■ " ■ ..- 



UC— ll.ii, ..i PeretiK] Cutfle. 







ill] v' ''■ ' ewi»oy 



111.— Norman Keep, Pevenscv. 




112.— Interior of Norman Tower, Pevensey. 



EXPLANATION 



ILLUMINATED ENGRAVINGS OF 'OLD ENGLAND.' 



These engravings, which are printed by a process fur which Mr. Knight 
took out a patent in 1840, are copies of highly finished and elaborate 
drawings made expressly for this work. These copies are as nearly fac- 
similes as it is possible to accomplish without that minute finishing of the 
artist which must always surpass any imitation of his labour by a me- 
chanical process. But what is here sold for Sixpence is a copy, BOexaot as 
scarcely to present a difference to an unpractised eye, of an original which 
has cost Ten Guineas. The process enables thousands of copies to be 
multiplied without any deterioration ; and it is thus especially adapted to 
the illustration of such a work as 'Old England/ which addresses itself to 
the largest number of readers. 

The Art of Printing from separate Wooden Blocks, or Metallic Plates, 
in chiaro-scuro, or in positive colours, was carried to some perfection nearly 
a century ago, by J. B. Jackson. In 181D Mr. Savage, in bis ingenious 
work on Decorative Printing, exhibited some specimens of the same art. 
Within the last few years Mr. Baxter lias produced many examples of 
Surface-Printing in Colours, very superior to any previous attempt. The 
Patent which has been taken out by Mr. Knight has for its main object 
the diminution of labour, and the attainment of perfect precision in the 
combination of many coloured surfaces, by new mechanical contrivances. 



In some of the most highly-finished imitations of coloured drawings, it 
may be necessary to combine from twelve to sixteen various colours, each 
produced by separate blocks; and the mosaic work, if we may so term it, 
requires to be fitted upon one sheet of paper with the most rigid accuracy. 
In every process hitherto attempted, this has been effected by shifting the 
sheet each time a new colour has to be impressed upon it. It is evident 
that constant accuracy is not to be attained by such means; for the varia- 
tions of temperature alone to winch the sheet of paper, thus shifted, is ex- 
posed, arc sufficient to derange what is called the register. Further, two 
colours cannot be properly blended so as to produce a compound colour, 
if any time elapses between the impression of the colours. Lastly, the ex- 
pense of labour in these repeated changes of the sheet from one press to 
another is very considerable. It is an object of Mr. Knight's patent to 
complete an impression, either of the largest map, or the minutest picture, 
without shifting the sheet of paper; and by the mechanical arrangement 
for effecting this sixteen different impressions may be stamped consecutively 
upon the same sheet of white paper, without once removing it from the 
bed in which it is originally fixed, and out of which it comes a finished 
work. 



THE CORONATION CHAIR. 



This remarkable relic of very ancient times, or, to speak more 
correctly, the stone which forms its seat, Is noticed at page 1*1 of 
' Old England ;' in the account of those curious monuments of the 
earliest ages called Stones of Memorial. Its position in Westminster 
Abbey is under the screen of the Confessor's Chapel, where the 



chair in which the Sovereign is inaugurated stands by the side of 

a chair similar in shape, but not associated with such venerable 
traditions. This second chair (that on the right in the woodcut 
below) is staled tu have been first used for the Queen Consort at 
the coronation of William and Mary. 




To the account to which we have referred at page 19, we add an 
interesting sketch of the history of the Coronation Chair, which we 
extract from ' London,' vol. iv., p. 81 : — 

"In accompanying a group of visitors i u the Abbey, along the 



usual route of inspection, one may easily see where lies the chief 
object. of attraction. Not iu Poet's Corner, — that they have had 
plenty of time to examine previously ; not iu the antique-looking 
chapels, with their interesting tombs, of the Ambulatory; — not 



THE CORONATION CHAIR. 



even in the 'world's wonder,' Henry Vll.'s Chapel, for the very 
extent and multiplicity of its attractions render any attempt to in- 
vestigate them during the brief period allowed ridiculous; — no; 
but as we are whirled along from object to object, the victims ap- 
parently of some resistless destiny, in the shape of a guide which 
allows us nowhere to rest, and the mind, at first active, eager, and 
enthusiastic, endeavouring to understand and appreciate all, has at 
last ceased to trouble itself about any. and left the enjoyment, such 
as it is, to the eye, we are suddenly roused by the sight of one ob- 
ject, the Coronation Chair ! We are at once rebellious to our guide, 
or would be, but that he, with true statesmanlike craft, knows 
where to yield as well as where to resist: here he even submits to 
pause while questions are asked and answered, old memories revived, 
historical facts and fictions canvassed to and fro — till, in short, 
we achieve in this single instance the object we came for with 
respect to the entire Abbey. And the few and the many are 
alike interested: whilst the many have visions of the most 
gorgeous pomp and dazzling splendour rise before them in con- 
nexion with the coronation ceremony, the few are insensibly led to 
reflect on the varied character and influences of the many different 
sovereigns who have, in this place, and seated in that chair, had 
the mighty English sceptre intrusted to their hands. The very 
contrasts between one occupant and the next, through the greater 
part of the history of our kings, taken in connexion with their 
effects on the national destinies, would furnish matter for a goodly 
kind of biographical history, a book that should be more interesting 
than ninety-nine out of every hundred works of fiction. Recall 
but a few of these contrasts: the great warrior and greater states- 
man, Edward I., and the contemptible, favourite-ridden Edward II ; 
the conqueror of Cressy, with French and Scottish sovereigns 
prisoners at his court, and the conquered, without a battle, of Bo- 
lingbroke, acknowledging allegiance to his born subject ; the pitiful 
Henry VI., and the pitiless Richard III. ; the crafty, but not cruel, 
Henry VII., and the cruel but scarcely crafty Henry VIII. ; the 
gentle Edward, and the bigoted Mary; the masculine-minded 
Elizabeth, and the effeminate-minded James ; the gay irreligious 
Charles, and his gloomily pious brother : one could really fancy, as 
we look over the list of sovereigns, that there lias been but one 
principle upon which they have been agreed, and that is that each 
of them would be as little as possible like his or her immediate 
predecessor. If the history of the chair extruded no further back 
than to the first of these monarchs, Edward I., who placed it here, 
it would be difficult to find another object so utterly uninteresting 
in itself, which should be so interesting from its associations ; but 
in its history, or at least in that of the stone beneath its scat, 
Edward I. appears almost a modern. "Without pinning our feith 
upon the traditions which our forefathers found it not at all diffi- 
cult to believe in — traditions which make this stone the very one 
that Jacob laid his head upon the memorable night of his dream — 
or without absolutely admitting with one story, that this is 'the 
fatal marble chair' which Gathelus, son to Cecrops, King of Athens, 
carried from Egypt into Spain, and which then found its way to 
Ireland during a Spanish invasion under Simon Brek, son of Kin" 
Milo; or with another told by some of the Irish historians, that it 
w as brought into Ireland by a colony of Scythians, and had the pro- 
perty of issuing sounds resembling thunder whenever any of the royal 



Scythian race seated themselves upon it for inauguration, and that he 
only was crowned king under whom the stone groaned and spake 
— without admitting these difficult matters, we may acknowledge 
the possibility of its having been brought from Ireland to Scotland 
by Fergus, the first king of the latter country, and his coronation 
upon it sonic 330 years before Christ, and the certainty that from a 
very early period it was used in the coronation of the Scottish 
kings at Dunstatfnage and Scone. It was carried to Scone by 
Kenneth II. when he united the territories of the Picts and the 
Scots in tlir ninth century, where it remained till the thirteenth. 
After the weak attempt by, or for Baliol, to throw off the English 
yoke in 1296, Edward poured once more upon the devoted terri- 
tory an irresistible army of English' soldiers, ami so overawed the 
Scottish nobles by the decision and rapidity id' his movements, that 
his progress became rather a triumph than a campaign ; the entire 
country submitting almost without a second blow after the san- 
guinary defeat by Earl Warcnnc. It was at this period Edward 
Committed the worst outrage perhaps it was in his [lower to com- 
mit on the feelings and hopes of the people of the country in the 
removal of the famous stone, which was strongly connected by 
superstitious tics with the idea of national independence ; it then 
bore, according to Forilun. the Scottish chronicler, an inscription 
ill Latin to the following effect: — 

Kxcept old saws do fail, 

And wizards' wits lie blind, 
The Scots in place must reign 

When they this stone shall find. 

In consequence of this belief the Scotch became apparently quite 
as anxious tor the restoration of their stone as for that of their 
king ; indeed between the two, Baliol and the stone, we question 
whether they would not have willingly sacrificed the king to secure 
the king's seat. And when they were again ruled by a Scottish 
monarch, they did not relax in their exertions to obtain for him the 
true kingly seat. Special clauses were proposed in treaties, nay, a 
special conference was on one occasion held between the two kin-js, 
Edward III. and David I., and ultimately mandates issued for ifs 
restoration. Some antiquarian misbelievers will have it that the 
stone was in consequence returned, and that the one before us is an 
imposture : a piece of gratuitous misgiving which our readers need 
feel no anxiety about, implying, as it doe-, imposture without object 
on the part of the reigning monarch against the dignity of his own 
successors; and also that the Scots, when they got it back, were kind 
enough to destroy it, in order to keep up the respectability id' our 
counterfeit. Failing to recover it, the people of the sister country 
appear to have very wisely changetl or modified their views, and 
began to regard the prophecy as an earnest that their kings would 
reign over its: the accession of James I., though not exactly the 
kind of event anticipated by the national vanity, was still quite suf- 
ficient to establish for ever the prophetic reputation of their favour- 
ite 'stone of destiny.' We need not describe the general features 
of the chair, as they are shown in the engraving; but we may ob- 
serve that the wood is very hard and solid, that the back and sides 
were formerly painted in various colours, and gilt, and that the 
stone is a kind of rough-looking sandstone, measuring twenty-six 
inches in length, sixteen inches and three quarters in breadth, ami 
ten and a-half in thickness." 




114. — Conflict betwren Rommu iind Barbarians. From Hie Arcli of Trajan* 



115.— Rume— A fragment after Pironeai. 



110.— Rutnan Victory. 




113.— The Thames at CowoJ Stake*. 




J&\ 




113.— roin >"f Claodfau, representing his Britlih triumph. Fit 
the Hiitish Musemn. 




121.— Coin of Cunobelitms. 





120.— Coin ofTlitudius. Actual size- Gold. Weight 122 grains. InBrit.Mus 



118— Clauilit 8. — Prom a Clipper Coin 
in the British Museum. 



No. 5. 



[OLD ENGLAND.] 



33 



34 



OLD ENGLAND. 



[Book I. 



panions, being as it is reported near forty men." Tlie king, according 

to Bede's narrative, hearing of their arrival, ami the nature of their 
mission, ordered them to stay in the island, where they shonld be 
furnished with all necessaries. " Some days after, the king' came 
into the island, and, sitting' in the open air, ordered Augustine and 
his companions to he brought into his presence. For he had taken 
precaution that they should not come to him in any house, according 
to the ancient superstition, lest, if they hail any magical arts, they 
might at their coming impose upon and get the better of him. lint 
they came furnished with divine virtue, not with diabolical, bearing 
a silver cross for their banner, and the image of our Lord and 
Saviour painted on a board, and. singing the Litany, offered up 
their prayers to the Lord for their own, and the eternal .salvation of 
those to whom they were come. Having, pursuant to the king's 
commands, after sitting down, preached to him and all liis attendants 
there present the Word of Life ; he answered thus : ' Your words 
and promises are very taking, but in regard that they are new and 
uncertain, I cannot approve of them, forsaking that which I have 
.so long followed with the whole English nation. But because you 
sire come from far into my kingdom, and. as I conceive, are desirous 
to impart to us those things which you believe to be true, and most 
beneficial, we will not molest yon, but rather give you favourable 
entertainment, and take care to supply you with your necessary 
sustenance ; nor do we forbid yon by preaching to gain as many as 
you can to your religion.' Accordingly he gave them a dwelling- 
place in the city of Canterbury, which was the metropolis of all his 
dominions, and pursuant to his promise, besides allowing them their 
diet, permitted them to preach." This memorable transaction, told 
with such touching simplicity a little more than a century after its 
occurrence, by the illustrious monk of Jarrow, imparts a far deeper 
interest to this locality than its Roman memorials. 

John Twyne, a celebrated antiquarian who lived in the sixteenth 
century, says, " There be right credible persons yet living that have 
often seen not only small boats tint vessels of good burden to pass 
to and fro upon the Wantsum, where now the water, especially 
towards the west, is clean excluded ; and there be apparent marks 
that Sarr, where they now go over, was a proper haven." Those 
who have traversed the low country which lies between Reculver 
and Sandwich — a task not very easily to be accomplished unless the 
pedestrian can leap the broad ditches which drain the marsh — will 
readily comprehend how, in the course of eighteen centuries, the 
great estuary may have dwindled into a petty rill. There is nothing 
in the nature of the country to prevent one believing that a lanre 
arm of the sea cut off the Isle of Thanet from the mainland of Kent, 
and that this channel, in the time of the Romans, formed the readiest 
passage from the coast of Gaul to London. The late Mr. John 
Rickman has well described the course of communication between 
the Continent anil Britain : — " The Roman roads in Kent deserve 
notice as having been planned with an intention of greater scope 
than (within my knowledge) has been ascribed to them. The 
nearest and middle harbour of access from Gaul was evidently 
Dover ; but. whenever the wind was unfavourable for a direct 
passage, further resource became desirable, and from Lemanis 
(Lymne, near Hythe) and Ritupa: (Richborough, near Sandwich) 
branch roads were made, joining the Dover road at Canterbury ; so 
that a dispatch-boat, by sailing from the windward port, or steering for 
the leeward of these three ports, could seldom fail of a ready passage 
to or from the Continent ; and especially it is remarkable that the 
prevailing south-west wind (with this advantage) permitted a direct 
passage from Geaaoriacum or Itius (Boulogne or Witsand) to 
Ritupa?, in effect to London ; the Wantsum channel then and long 
after existing within the Isle of Thanet to Regulbium (Recnlver) 
on the Thames, being that by which early navigation was sheltered 
in its access to the British metropolis. Indeed the first paragraph 
of the Itinerary of Antoninus gives the reputed distance from 
Geasoriacum to Ritupa-, as if more important or more in use than 
the shorter passage to Dover." (• Archteologia,' vol. xxviii.) With 
Uus explanation we can comprehend the advantage of the Roman 
position at Reculver. Through this broad channel of the Wantsum 
the Roman vessels from Boulogne sailed direct into the Thames, 
without going round the North Foreland ; and the entrance to the 
estuary was defended by the great Castle of Richborough at the one 
end, and by the lesser Castle of Reculver at the other. The Roman 
remains still existing at Reculver are less interesting than those at 
Richborough, chiefly because they are of less magnitude and arc more 
dilapidated. Very close to the ruins of the ancient church, whose 
spires were once held in such reverence that ships entering the Thames 
were wont to lower their topsails as they passed (Fig. 103). is an area, 
now partly under the plough and partly a kitchen garden. It is 
somewhat elevated above the surrounding fields ; and, descending a 



little distance to the west (d' the ruined church, we are under the 
Roman wall, which still stands up on the western and southern 
sides with its layers of Hat stone and concrete, defying the dripping 
rain and the insidious ivy. The castle stood upon a natural rising 
ground, beneath which still flows the thread-like stream of the river 
Stonr or Wantsum. Although it was once the key of the northern 
month of the great estuary, it did not overhang the sea on the 
northern cliff as the old church ruin now hangs. When the 
legions were here encamped, it stood far away from the dashing of 
the northern tide, which for many generations has been here 
invading the land w itb an irresistible power. Century after century 
has the wave been gnawing at this dirt'; and, as successive portions 
have fallen, the bare sides have presented human bones, and coins, 
and fragments of pottery, and tessellated pavements, which told that 
man had been here, with his comforts and luxuries around him, long 
before Ethelbert was laid beneath the floor of the Saxon church, 
upon whose ruins the sister spires of the Norman rose, themselves 
to be a ruin, now preserved only as a sea-mark. Reculver is a 
memorable example of the changes produced in the short period of 
three centuries. Leiancl's description of the place is scarcely credible 
to those who have stood beneath these spires, on the very margin 
of the sea. and have looked over the low ruined wall of the once 
splendid choir, upon the fishing-boats rocking in the tide beneath :— 
" Reculver is now scarce half a mile from the shore." In another 

pl ace i. Reculver standeth within a quarter of a mile or a little 

more from the sea-side. The town at this time is but village-like ; 
sometime where as the parish church is now was a fair and a great 
abbey, and Brightwald, Archbishop of Canterbury, was of that house. 
The old building of the church of the Abbey remaineth, having two 
goodly spiling steeples. In the entering of the choir is one of the 
fairest and the most ancient cross that ever I saw, nine feet, as I 
gui". in height : it standeth like a fair column." Long ago has the 
cross perished, with its curiously wrought carvings and its painted 
images; and so has perished the " very ancient book of the Kvan- 
geles," which Leland also describes. The Romans have left more 
durable traces of their existence at Reculver than the ministers of 
religion, who here, for centuries, had sung the daily praises of Him 
who delivered) out of their distress those "that go down to the sea 
in ships, and occupy their business in great waters." The change 
in names of places sometimes tells the story of their material changes. 
The Kegulbium of the Romans became the Raculfcester of the 
Saxons, itstrr indicating a camp; that name changes when the 
camp has perished, and the great abbey is flourishing, to Raculf- 
minster; the camp and the abbey have both perished, and we have 
come back to the Latin Kegulbium, in its Anglicised form of 
Reculver. Some fiercer destruction even than that which swept away 
the abbey probably fell upon the Roman city. Gibson, speaking of 
the coins and jew cilery which have been found at various times at 
Reculver, savs, " These they find here in such great quantities that 
we must needs conclude it to have been a place heretofore of gTeat 
extent, and very populous, and that it has one time or other under- 
went some great devastation, either by war or fire, or both. I think 
I may be confident of the latter, there being many patterns found 
of metals run together." The antiquities of Regulbium are fully 
described in the elegant Latin treatise of Dr. Battely, ' Antiquitates 
Rutupina?,' 1711. 



After the Romans had established a permanent occupation of 
Britain, the defence of the coast was reduced to a system. When- 
ever the Romans conquered, they organized, and by their wise 
arrangements became preservers and benefactors. It is generally 
supposed that Richborough and Reculver were Roman forts as 
early as the time of Claudius, but that other castles on the coast 
were of later date, being for defence against the Saxon pirates of 
the third century. At this period there was a high military officer 
called Comes Littoris Saxonici per Britanniam. the Count of the 
Saxon Shore in Britain. He was the commander of all the castles 
and garrisons on the coast of Norfolk, of Essex, of Kent, of Sussex, 
and of Hampshire. These coasts formed the Saxon Shore. Sir 
Francis Palgrave thinks that the name was derived from the Saxons 
having already here made settlements. Others believe that the 
Saxon Shore was so called from its being peculiarly exposed to the 
ravages of the Saxons, to resist whom the great castles which stood 
upon this shore were built or garrisoned. These castles were nine 
in number ; and, although in one or two particulars there are 
differences of opinion as to their sites, the statement of Horsley is 
for the most part admitted to be correct. 

On the Norfolk coast there were two forts. Branodunum (Bran- 
caster, about four miles from Burnham Market) overlooked the 



Chai'. n .] 



OLD ENGLAND. 



35 



marshes. The station is well defined by the remains which are 
constantly dug up. Gariannonum (Burgh, in Suffolk, situated at 
the junction of the Waveney and the Yare) is a noble ruin. Two 
engravings of its walls will be found at page 3G (Figs. 129, 130). 
These walls, which are about fourteen feet high and nine thick, inclose 
on three sides an area finning nearly a regular parallelogram, six 
hundred and forty-two feet lung by four hundred feet broad. The 
western boundary is now formed by the river Waveney, it being 
supposed, and indeed almost proved by a very ancient map, that 
the west side of the' station was once defended by the sea. If there 
was ever a west wall, which is much to be doubted, it has now 
entirely disappeared. The east wall is almost perfect, as shown 
in our engravings. The north and south walls are in great part 
ruinous. We transcribe from the ' Penny Cyclopaedia' a brief descrip- 
tion of these walls, written by an architect who visited the place, 
and surveyed it with great care: — " The whole area of the Enclosure 
was about four acres and three-quarters. The walls are of rubble 
masonry, faced with alternate courses of bricks and Hints : and on 
the tops of the towers, which are attached to the walls, are holes 
two feet in diameter and two feet deep, supposed to have been 
intended fir the insertion of temporary watchtowers, probably of 
wood. On the east side the four circular timers are fourteen feet 
in diameter. Two of them are placed at the angles, where the 
walls are rounded, and two at equal distances from the angles ; an 
opening has been left in the centre of tin- wall, which is considered 
by Mr. King tn be the Porta Decumaua, but by Mr. Ives the Porta 
Pretoria. The north and south sides are also defended by towers 
of rubble masonry. The foundation on which the Romans built 
these walls was a thick bed of chalk lime, well rammed down, and 
the whole covered with a layer of earth and sand, to harden the 
mass and exclude the water : this was covered with two-inch oak 
plank placed transversely on the foundation, and over this was a 
bed of coarse mortar, on which was roughly spread the first layer of 
stones. The mortar appears to be composed of lime and coarse 
sand, unsifted, mixed with gravel and small pebbles or shingle. 
Mr. Ives thinks they used hot grouting, which will account for the 
tenacity of the mortar. The bricks at Burgh Castle are of a fine 
red colour and a very close texture — they are one font and a half 
long, one foot broad, and one inch and a half thick." 

In Essex there was one Fort, Othona (Ithanchester, not far from 
Maiden), over which the sea now flows. 

To Kent there were four castles thus garrisoned and commanded : 
Regulbium (Reculver), Ritnpa? (Richborough), Dubras (Dover), 
and Lemance (Lymue). The remains of this last of the Kentish 
fortresses are now very inconsiderable. Leland, however, thus 
describes it : — '• Lymine, hill of, or Lyme, was some time a famous 
haven, and good for ships, that might come to the foot of the hill. 
[The river Limene, or Rother, formerly ran beneath tiie hill.] 
The place is yet called Shipway and Old Haven ; farther, at this day 
the Lord of the Five Ports keepeth his principal court a little by 
east from Lynune Hill. There remaineth at this day the ruins of a 
strong fortress of the Britons hanging on the hill, and coming down 
to the very foot. The compass of the fortress seemeth to be fen 
acres. The old walls are made of Britons' bricks, very huge and 
great flint, set together almost indissolubly with mortars made of 
small pebble. The walls be very thick, and in the nest end of the 
castle appeareth the base of an old tower. About this castle in 
time of mind were found antiquities of money of the Romans. 
There went from Lynune to Canterbury a street fair-paved, whereof 
of this day it is called Stony Street. It is the Btraightest that ever 
I saw, ami toward Canterbury-ward the pavement continually 
appeareth for four or five miles." Such is Leland's account, three 
centuries ago, of a ruin which since that period has more rapidly 
perished from the subsidence of the soil upon which it stands. 
Lambarde, who wrote half a century after Leland, says of Lynme, 
u They affirm that the water forsaking them by little and little, 
decay and solitude came at the length upon the place." There is 
the gate-house of a later building than the Roman walls still 
remaining, built of large bricks and flints, as the tower of the 
neighbouring church is built. These may contain some of the 
ancient materials. 

Anderida, the sea-fort of Sussex, is held by some to be Hastings, 
by others to be East Bourn. It is not our purpose to enter upon 
any controversial discussion of such matters; but it appears to us 
that Pevensey, one of the most remarkable castles in our country, 
which the Roman, and the Saxon, and the Norman, had one after 
the other garrisoned and fortified. — the ruins of each occupier them- 
selves telling such a tale of "mutability" as one spot has seldom 
told, — was as likely to have been the Anderida of the Saxon shore, 
as Hastings and East Bourn, between which it is situated. Be that 



as it may, we proceed briefly to describe this remarkable ruin. The 
village of Pevensey is about equi-distant from Bexhill and Kast 
Bourn. The approach to it from either place is as dreary as can 
well be imagined, over a vast marsh, with nothing to relieve the 
prospect sea-ward but the ugly Martello towers, which on this eosst 
are stuck so thick that a second William of Normandy would 
scarcely attempt a landing. They now guard the shore, not against 
Williams and Napoleons, but against those who invade the land 
with scheidam and brandy. Rising gently out of this flat ground 
we see the Castle of Pevensey. It is, with very slight differences, 
situated exactly as Richborough is situated — a marsh from which 
the sea has receded, a cliff of moderate height rising out of the 
marsh, a little stream beneath the cliff. Here, as at Richborough, 
have the Roman galleys anchored ; sheltered by the bold promontory 
of Beachy Head from the south-west gales, and secured from the 
attacks of pirates by the garrison who guarded those walls. We 
ascend the cliff from the village, and enter the area within the walls 
at the opening on the east (Flan 106). The external appearance 
of the gate by which we enter is shown in Fig. 107. This is held 
to have been the Praetorian Gate. The external architecture of the 
gate and of the walls has evidently undergone great alteration since 
the Roman period. In some parts we have the herring-bone work 
of the Saxon, and the arch of the Norman ; but the Roman has left 
his mark indelibly on the whole of these external walls, in the regu- 
lar courses of brick which form the bond of the stone and rubble, 
which chiefly constitute the mighty mass. The external towers, 
which are indicated on the plan, are quite solid ; some of these have 
been undermined and have fallen, but others leave been carefully 
buttressed and otherwise repaired in very modem times (Fig. 10X). 
Having passed into the area by the east gate, we cross in the direc- 
tion of the dotted line to the south-western or Decuman Gate. 
This is very perfect, having a tower on each side. Going without 
the walls at this point, and scrambling beneath them to the south, 
we can well understand how the fort stood proudly above the low 
shore when the sea almost washed its walls. The ruin on this side 
is highly picturesque, large masses of the original wall having fallen 
(Fig. 105). On the north side was a few years since a fiagment 
of a supposed Saxon keep, held to be an addition to the original 
Roman Castrum (Fig. 109). But the most important and interesting 
adaptation to another period of the Roman Pevensey is the Norman 
keep, the form of which is indicated on the Plan 106, at the south- 
cast, and which was evidently fitted upon the original Roman wall 
so as to form the coast defence on that side. We purposely reserve 
any minute description of this very remarkable part of the ruin for 
another period. The ponderous walls of the, Roman dominion are 
almost merged in the greater interest of the moated keep of the 
Norman conquest. It w ill be sufficient for us here to present 
engravings of the Norman works (Figs. 110, 111, 112), reserving 
their description for another Book. The area within the Roman 
walls of Pevensey is seven acres. The irregular form of the walls 
would indicate that here was a British stronghold before the Roman 
castle. 

The one Roman sea-fort of Hampshire, Porius Adurnus (Ports- 
mouth), offers a striking contrast to the decay and solitude which 
prevail, with the exception of Dover, in all the other forts of the 
Saxon shore. 



In noticing the two descents of Caesar upon Britain (page 2G) we 
said, " From the nature of his inroad into the country, no monuments 
exist, or could have existed, to attest his progress." But there is a 
monument, if so it may be called, still existing, which furnishes 
evidence of the systematic resistance which was made to his progress. 
Bede. writing at the beginning of the eighth century, after describing 
with his wonted brevity the battle in which Ca'sar in his second 
invasion put the Britons to flight, says, "Thence he proceeded to 
the river Thames, which is said to be fordable only in one place. 
An immense multitude of the enemy had posted themselves on the 
farthest side of the river, under the conduct of Cassibelan, and 
fenced the bank of the river and almost all the ford under water 
with sharp stakes, the remains of which slakes are to be there seen 
to this day, and they appear to the beholders to be about the 
thickness of a man's thigh, and being cased witli kail, remain 
immoveable, fixed in the bottom of the river." Camden, writing 
nine centuries after Bede, whose account he quotes, fixes this 
remarkable ford of the Thames near Oatlands : " For this was the 
only place in the Thames formerly fordable, and that too not 
without great difficulty, which the Britons themselves in a manner 
pointed out to him [Ca>sar] ; for on the other side of the river a 
stron" body of the British had planted themselves, and the bank 

Fa 



-H- 




1J.1- — Homau Citueu. 



131. —Wall of BeVSRU, on tl'c Sandstone Quarries, Uentou Dean, uinr Nvwcutifl upon-Tyn 




132.— Wall of Severus, ne.ir Housestcad, NorthuraWrUa.l 









134.-Tombofayouiig Komnn PhyBOAIL 







137.— Roman Hig1i«o> on the UunKsoftlte Tilw 




38 



OLD ENGLAND. 



[Book I. 



itself was fenced with sharp stakes drives into tiie ground, and some 
of the same sort were fastened under water." Camden here adopts 
Caesar's own words: "Ripa autem erat acutis sudibus praefixis 
muuita. episdcinque generis sub aqua defixae sudes flumine tege- 
bantur" (' De Bell. Gall.' lib. v.). Our fine old topographer is 
singularly energetic in fixing the place of Caesar's passage: ' * It is 
impossible I should be mistaken in the place, because here the river 
is scarce six foot deep ; and the place at this day, from those stakes. 
is called Coway Stakes ; to which we may add that Ca?sar makes the 
bounds of Cassivelan, where he fixes this his passage, to be about, 
eighty miles distant from that sea which washes the east part of 
Kent, where he landed : now this ford we speak of is at the same 
distance from the sea ; anil I am the first, that I know of, w ho 'has 
mentioned, and settled it in its proper place." It is a rational 
belief of the English antiquaries that there was a great British road 
from Bichborongh to Canterbury, and thence to London. Csesar's 
formidable enemy, Cassivelaunus, had retreated in strong force to 
the north bank of the Thames ; and Caesar speaks of the river as 
dividing the territories of that chieftain from the maritime states. 
If we look upon the map of Kngland, we shall see how direct a 
march it was from Canterbury to Oatlands near Walton, without 
following the course of the river above Loudon. Crossing at this 
place, Caesar would march direct, turning to the north, upon the 
capital of Cassivelaunus, — Verulam, or Cassiobury. Our engraving 
(Fig. 113) represents the peaceful river gliding amidst low wooded 
banks, disturbed otdy by the slow barge as it is dragged along its 
stream. At the bend of the river are to this hour tliese celebrated 
stakes. They were minutely described in 1735, in a paper read to 
the Society of Antiquaries, by Mr. Samuel Gale : " As to the wood 
of these stakes, it proves its own antiquity, being by its long 
duration under the water so consolidated as to resemble ebony, and 
will admit of a polish, and is not in the least rotted. It is evident 
from the exterior, grain of the wood, that the stakes were the entire 
bodies of young oak-trees, there not being the least appearance of 
any mark of any tool to be seen upon the whole circumference, and 
if we allow in our calculation for the gradual increase of growth 
towards its end, where fixed in the bed of the river, the stakes, I 
think, will exactly answer the thickness of a man's thigh, as 
described by Bede : but whether they were covered with lead at the 
ends fixed in the bottom of the river, is a particular I could not 
learn ; but the host part of Bede's description is certainly just, that 
they are immoveable, and remain so to this day." Mr. Gale adds, 
that since stating that the stakes were immoveable, one had been 
weighed up, entire, between two loaded barges, at the time of a 
great flood. 

Gibson, the editor of Camden, confirms the strong belief of his 
author that at Coway Stakes was the ford of Ca?.-ar, by the follow ing 
observations :— •' Not far from hence upon the Thames is Walton, 
in which parish is a great camp of about twelve acres, single work, 
and oblong. There is a road lies through it, and it is probable that 
Walton takes its name from this remarkable vallum." Mr. Gale, 
in his paper in the ' Archa>ologia,' mentions " a large Roman encamp- 
ment up in the country directly southward, about a mile and a half 
distant from the ford, and pointing to it." Here he imagines Csssar 
himself entrenched. When we consider that the Romans occupied 
Britain for more than four centuries, it is extremely hazardous to 
attempt to fix an exact date to any of their works. Encampments 
such as these are memorials of defence after defence which the 
invader threw up against the persevering hostility of the native 
tribes, or native defences from which the Britons were driven out. 
For ninety-seven years after the second expedition of Ca3sar the 
country remained at peace with Home. Augustus (Fig. 117) 
threatened an invasion ; but his prudence told him that he could 
not enforce the payment of tribute without expensive legions. The 
British princes made oblations in the Capitol; and, according to 
Stralio, '• rendered almost the whole island intimate and familiar to 
the Romans." Cunobelinus (Fig. 121), the Cymbeline of Shakspere, 
was brought up, according to the chroniclers, at the court of 
Augustus. Succeeding emperors left the Britons in the quiet 
advancement of their civilization, until Claudius (Fig. 118) was 
stirred up to the hazard of an invasion. In the sonorous prose of 
Milton—" lie. who waited ready with a huge preparation, as if not 
safe enough amidst the Bower of all his Romans, like a great Eastern 
king with armed elephants inarches through Gallia. So full of 
peril was this enterprise esteemed, as not without all this equipage 
and stronger terrors than Roman armies, to meet the native and 
the naked British valour defending their country." (Fig 114) 
The genius of Roman victory inscribed the name of Claudius with 

the addition of Brita <ms (Fig. 1 16). The coins of Claudius still 

bear the symbols of his British triumph (Figs. 119, 120) But 



the country was not yet wholly won. Then came the glorious 
resistance of Caractaeus, which Tacitus has immortalized. Then 
came the fierce contests between the Roman invaders and the votaries 
of the native religion, which the same historian has so glowingly 
described in his account of the attack of Suetonius upon the island 
of Mona: — '• On the shore stood aline of very diversified appearance ; 
there were armed men in dense array, and women running amid 
them like furies, whet, in gloomy attire, and with loose hair hanging 
down, carried torches before them. Around were Druids, who, 
pouring forth curses and lifting up their hands to heaven, struck 
terror by the novelty of their appearance into the hearts of the 
soldiers, who, as if they had lost the use of their limbs, exposed them- 
selves motionless to the stroke of the enemy. At last, moved by the 
exhortations of their leader, and stimulating one another to despise 
a band of women and frantic priests, they make their onset, over- 
throw their opponents, and involve them in the flames which they 
had themselves kindled. A garrison was afterwards placed among 
the vanquished ; and the groves consecrated to their cruel supersti- 
tions were cut down." Then came the terrible revolt of Boadicea 
or Bondnca, — a merciless rising, followed by a bloody revenge. 
Beaumont and Fletcher have well dramatized the spirit of this 
heroic woman : — 

" Ye powerful gods of Britain, hear our prayers; 
Hear us, ye great revengers; and this (Jay 
Take pity from our ■words, doubt from our valours; 
Double tire sad remembrance of our wrongs 
III every breast; the vengeance due to lliese 
Make inlinite anil endlesl ! On our pikes 
Tliis day pale Terror sir, horrors and ruins 
Upon our executions; claps of thunder 
Hang on our armed carts ; and Tore our troop9 
Despair anil Deatli ; Shame beyond these attend 'cm! 
Hise from the dust, ye relics of the dead, 
Whose noble deeds our holy Druids sing; 
Oil, rise, ye valiant bones ! let not base earth 
Oppiess your honours, whilst the pride of Home 
Treads on your stocks, and wipes out all your stories!" 

BoNDUOA, 

The Roman dominion in Britain nearly perished in this revolt. 
Partial tranquillity was secured, in subsequent years of mildness 
and forbearance towards the conquered tribes. Vespasian extended 
the conquests ; Agricola completed thein in South Britain. His 
possessions in Caledonia were, however, speedily lost. But the 
hardy people of the North were driven back in the reign of Anto- 
ninus I'ius. Then first appeared on the Roman money the graceful 
figure of Britannia calmly resting on her shield (Fig. 122), which 
seventeen centuries afterwards has been made familiar to ourselves 
in the coined money of our own generation. Let us pause awhile 
to view one of the great Roman cities which is held to belong to a 
very early period of their dominion in England. 



In 1837 a plan was exhibited to the Society of Antiquaries, 
reduced from a survey made in 1835, by students of the senior 
department of the Royal Military College at Sandhurst, of a portion 
of the Roman road from London to Bath. The survey commences 
close by Staines; at which place, near the pillar which marks the 
extent of the jurisdiction of the city of London, the line of road is 
held to have crossed the Thames. Below Staines, opposite to 
Laleham, there are the remains of encampments ; and these again 
are in the immediate neighbourhood of the ford at which Csesar 
crossed the Thames. All the country here about, then, is full of 
associations with the conquerors of the world ; and thus, when the 
"contemplative man" is throwing his fly or watching his float in 
the gentle waters between Staines and Walton, he may here find a 
local theme upon which his reveries may fruitfully rest. The more 
active pedestrian may follow this Roman road, thus recently mapped 
out. through populous places and wild solitudes, into a country 
little traversed in modern times ; but, like all unhackneyed ways, 
full of interest to the lover id' nature. The course of the road leads 
over the east end of the beautiful table-land known as Englefiekl 
Green ; then through the yard of the well-known Wbeatsheaf Inn, 
at Virginia Water ; and, crossing the artificial lake, ascends the 
hill, close by the tower called the Belvidere. In Windsor Park 
the line is for some time lost ; but it is extremely well defined at a 
point near the Sunning Hill road, where vast quantities of Roman 
pottery and bricks have been discovered. It continues towards 
Bagshot, where, at a place called Duke's Hill, its westerly direction 
suddenly terminates, and it proceeds considerably to the northward. 
Here, in 1783, many fragments of Roman pottery were discovered. 
The Roman road ascends the plain of Easthampstead, sending out a 



Chap. II] 



OLD KNGLAND. 



30 



lateral branch which runs close to well-known places within the 
ancient limits of "Windsor Forest, called Wickham Hushes and 
Ca"-ar's Camp. We remember this vast sandy region before it way 
covered with fir plantations ; and in these solitary hills, where the 
eye for miles could rest upon nothing but barren heath, we have 
listened with the wonder of boyhood to the vague traditions of past 
ages, in which the marvels of history are made more marvellous. 
Cesar's Camp is thus described by Mr. Handasyd, in a letter to the 
Society of Antiquaries, in 1783: — "At the extremity of a long- 
range of hills is situated a large camp, known by the name of 
Ca'sar's Camp, which is but slightly noticed by Dr. Stukelev. nor is 
any particular mention made of it in any account I have hitherto 
seen. In it is a hollow, which has a thick layer of coarse gravel 
all round it, and seems to have been made to contain rain water. 
At not half a mile from the camp stand a vast number of thorn 
bushes, some of a very large size (known by the name of Wickham 
Hushes), bearing on their ragged branches and large contorted stems 
evident marks of extreme age, yet in all probability these are but 
the successors of a race long since extinct. The inhabitants of the 
neighbourhood have a tradition that here formerly stood a town, 
but that Julius Csesar, whom they magnify to a giant (for stories 
lose nothing by telling), with his associates laying the country 
waste, the poor inhabitants were obliged to fly. and seek an asylum 
in the valley beneath." As we proceed along the road approaching 
Finchhampstead, we find the object of our search, sometimes easily 
traced and sometimes continuously lost, bearing the name of the 
Devil's Highway. At length the line crosses the Loddon, at the 
northern extremity of Strathfieldsaye (Strathfield being the field of 
the Strat, Street, or Road), the estate which a grateful nation 
bestowed upon the Duke of Wellington ; through which park it 
passes, till it terminates at the parish church of Silchester. This is 
the line which the students of the Military College surveyed.* 
The survey has gone far to establish two disputed points, — the 
situation of the Roman Pontes, and whether Silchester should be 
identified with Vindonum or Calleva. A very able correspondent 
of the Society of Antiquaries, Mr. Kempe, thus observes upon the 
value of the labours of the students of the Military College : — " The 
survey has effected a material correction of Horsley, for it shows 
that the station Pontes, which he places at Old Windsor, and for 
which so many different places have been assigned by the learned 
in Roman topography, must have been where the Roman road 

from London crossed the Thames at Staines 

The line of road presents no place for the chief city of the 
Attrebatcs until it arrives at the walls of Silchester. Is this, then, 
really the Cvllrm Attrebatum ? The distance between Pontes and 
Calleva, according to the Itinerary [of Antoninus], is twenty-two 
miles ; by the Survey, the distance between Staines and Silchester 
is twenty-six ; a conformity as near as can be required, for neither 
the length of the Roman mile nor the mode of measuring it agreed 
precisely with ours." Having led our readers to the eastern 
entrance of this ancient city, we will endeavour to describe what he 
will find there to reward his pilgrimage. Let tis tell him, however, 
that he may reach Silchester by an easier route than over the 
straight line of the Roman Highway. It is about seven miles 
from Basingstoke, and ten from Reading ; to either of which 
places he may move rapidly from London, by the South-Western 
or the Great Western Railway. 

If we have walked dreamingly along the narrow lanes whose 
hedge-rows shut out any distant prospect, we may be under the 
eastern walls of Silchester before we arc aware that any remarkable 
object is in our neighbourhood. We see at length a church, and 
•we ascend a pretty steep bank to reach the churchyard. The 
churchyard wall is something very different from ordinary walls. — a 
thick mass of mortar and stone, through which a way seems to have 
been forced to give room for the little gates that admit us to the 
region of grassy graves. A quiet spot is this churchyard ; and we 
wonder where the tenants of the sod have come from. There is 
one sole farm-house near the church ; an ancient farm-house with 
gabled roofs that tell of old days of comfort and hospitality. The 
church, too, is a building of interest, because of some antiquity ; 
and there are in the churchyard two very ancient Christian tomb- 
stones of chivalrous times, when the sword, strange contradiction, 
was an emblem of the cross. But these are modern things compared 
with the remains of which we are in search. We pass through the 
churchyard into an open space, where the farmer's ricks tell of the 
abundance of recent cultivation. These may call to our mind the 

* An account of this survey is very clearly Riven in tire ' l 7 nited Service Journal 1 
for January, 1830'. Knowing something of the country we have reversed tile order 
ol dial description, leading our readers from Staines Co Silchester, instead of from 
Silchester to Staines. 



story which Camden has told :— « On the ground whereon this city 
was built (I speak in Nennius's words) tin- emperor Constantius 
sowed three grains of corn, that no person inhabiting there might 
ever be poor." We look around, and we ask the busy tbatchers 
of the ricks where are the old walls; for we can see nothing but 
extensive corn-fields, bounded by a somewhat higher bank than 
ordinary, — that bank luxuriant with oak, and ash, and springing 
underwood. The farm labourers know what we are in search of, 
and they ask us if we want to buy any coins — for whenever the 
heavy rains fall they find coins — and they have coins, as they have 
been told, of Romulus and Remus, and this was a great place a long 
while ago. It is a tribute to the greatness of the place that to 
whomsoever we spoke of these walls, and the area within the walls, 
they called it the city. Here was a city, of one church and one 
farm-house. The people who went to that church lived a mile or 
two off in their scattered hamlets. Silence reigned in that city. 
The ploughs and spades of successive generations had gone over its 
ruins ; but its memory still lived in tradition ; it was an object to 
be venerated. There was something mysterious about this area of 
a hundred acres, that rendered it very different to the ploughman's 
eye from a common hundred acres. Put the plough as deep as he 
would, manure the land with every care of the unfertile spots, the 
crop was nut like other crops. He knew not that old Leland, three 
hundred years ago. had written. " There is one strange thing seen 
there, that in certain parts of the ground within the walls the corn 
is marvellous fair to the eye, and, ready to show perfecture, it 
decayeth." He knew not that a hundred years afterwards another 
antiquary had written, " The inhabitants of the place told me it had 
been a constant observation amongst them, that though the soil here 
is fat and fertile, yet in a sort of baulks that cross one another the 
corn never grows so thick as in other parts of the field" (Camden). 
He knew from his own experience, and that was enough, that when 
the crop came up there were lines and cross lines from one side of 
the whole area within the walls to the other side, which seemed to 
tell that where the lines ran the corn would not freely grow. The 
lines were mapped out about the year 1745. The map is in the 
King's Library in the British Museum. The plan which we have 
given (Fig. 125) does not much vary from the Museum map, which 
is founded on actual survey. There can be no doubt that the 
country-people of Camden's time were right with regard to these 
'•baulks that cross one another." He says, ''Along these they 
believe the streets of the old city to have run." Camden tells us 
further of the country-people. " They very frequently dig up Riitish 
[Roman] tiles, and great plenty of Roman coins, which they call 
Onion pennies, from one Onion, whom they foolishly fancy to have 
been a giant, and an inhabitant of this city." Speaking of the area 
within the walls, he says. " By the rubbish and ruins the earth is 
grown so high, that I could scarcely thrust myself through a passage 
which they call Onion's Hole, though I stooped very low." The 
fancy of the foolish people about a giant has been borne out by 
matters of which Camden makes no mention. '• Nennius ascribes 
the foundation of Silchester to Constantius, the son of Constantine 
the Great. Whatever improvements he might have made in its 
buildings or defences, I cannot but think it had a much earlier 
origin : as the chief fastness or forest stronghold of the Segontiaci, 
it probably existed at the time of Ccesar's expedition into Britain. 
The anonymous geographer of Ravenna gives it a name which I 
have not yet noticed. Artl-miron ; this is a pure British compound, 
and may be read Ardal-Onion, the legion of Einion, or Onion" 
(' Arclurologia,' 1837). It is thus here, as in many other cases, that 
when learning, despising tradition and common opinion, runs its own 
little circle, it returns to the point from which it set out. and being 
inclined to break its bounds, finds the foolish fancies which it has 
despised not always unsafe, and certainly not uninteresting, guides 
through a more varied region. 

By a broader way titan Onion's Hole we will get without the 
walls of Silchester. There is a pretty direct line of road through 
the farm, from cast to west, which nearly follows the course of one 
of the old streets. Let us descend the broken hank at the point n 
(Fig. lL'.i). We are now under the south-western wall. As we 
advance in a northerly direction, the walls become more distinctly 
associated witli the whole character of the scene. Cultivation here 
has not changed the aspect which this solitary place has worn for 
centuries. We are in a broad glade, sloping down to a ditch or 
little rivulet, with a bold bank on the outer side. We are in the 
fosse of the city, with an interval of some fifty or sixty feet between 
the walls and tic- vallum. The grass of this glade is of the rankest 
luxuriance. The walls, sometimes entirely hidden by bramble and 
ivy, — sometimes hare, and exhibiting their peculiar construction, — 
sometimes fallen in great masses, forced down by the roots of 





U4.— Hadrian. 

From a Copper Coin id (lie British Museum. 







143— OIil Walk of Rome. 





14li. — Antiminii* I'iu-- 
a Copper Coin in the Hriiiali Museum. 




130. — IU 1 >i it! i d! llu Human Arch fanning Newport Gate! Lincoln. 



140 — Roman Arch forming Newport Cute, Liucoln, as it apiwiirwl in 1792- 




lil.-R.-m.an8 Of a I'onnn Hypowut, or SubtcrraDe-n Furnace for Beating Uatl.s, at Lincoln. 




142. — Ancient Arch on Road leading into Rome. 



Wall and Diich of Si 




13$.— Profile of the Roman Wall ami Vallum, neur the South A?-er Port Gnte. 




147— Copper Coin of Ant.,r 



com mem oral ire of lib 



victories in BriUin, from one In tho British Museum. 

40 




J 



Section and Wall ofBsreraa. 



Wall and Ditch of Severn*. 







E* 



\<6- — P«tt of it Itomnii Wall ; the Siie of llie Ancient Verulam, near SI. Albsn'i. 




H0.~ Part u, the Kommi Wall of Loudon exeaTatod behind ilie Miuorics. 



,^Siiiiikni 




156. — LuikImh Stoat*. 




15L— Duntocncr Brio"; 




152-— Ili'oii/e Patera. View I. 





i Jj —Bronze Patera. \ lew 3. 



153.— Biou/.' Patera, Vii 




1S6 — I'iS'-'fLiM.i, uitli the Roman Stamp. 

No. 6. 



fv i 


i ™ 


LiM_ 


=¥*AHRIAW1A\^C1 & 


l^B 


a* 



1.35 — Pig of Lead, with llie Roman & 



[OLD KNGL-ANRJ 




157.— Pig f r.t-rd, uitli [In il.<man Stem-;. 



41 



42 



OLD ENGLAND. 



TBook I. 



mighty trees, which have shared the ruin that they precipitated,— 
sometimes with a gnarled oak actually growing out of their tops,— 
present such a combination of picturesqueness as no pencil can 
reach, because it can only deal with fragments of the great mass. 
The desolation of the place is the most impressive thing that ever 
smote our minds n ith a new emotion. We seem alone in the world ; 
we arc here amidst the wrecks of ages ; tribes, whose name- and 
localities are matters of controversy, have lived here before the 
Unmans, for the Romans did not form their cities upon such a plan. 
The Romans have come here, and have mixed with the native 
people. Inscriptions have been found here: one dedicated to the 
Hercules of the Segentiaci, showing that this place was the Caer 
Segont of the Britons; another in honour of Julia Donma. the 
second wife of the Emperor Sevcrus. Splendid baths have been 
dug up within the walls ; there are the distinct remains of a forum 
and a temple. In one spot so much coin has been found, that the 
place goes by the name of Silver Hill. The city was the third 
of British towns in extent. There is an amphitheatre still existing 
on the north-eastern side of the wall, which tells us that here the 
amusements of ancient Koine were exhibited to the people. History 
records that here the Roman soldiers forced the imperial purple 
upon Constantine. the rival of Honorius. The monkish chroniclers 
report that in this city was King Arthur inaugurated. And here. 
in the nineteenth century, in a country thickly populated, — more 
abundant in riches, fuller of energy than at any other period, — inter- 
sected with roads in all directions. — lies this Silchester, which once 
had its direct communications with London, with Winchester, with 
Old Sarum, the capital doubtless of a great district, — here it lies, its 
houses anil its temples probably destroyed by man, but its walls 
only slowly yielding to that power of vegetable nature which works 
as surely for destruction as the tire and sword, and topples down in 
the course of centuries what man lias presumed to build for unlimited 
duration, neglected, unknown, almost a solitary [dace amidst thick 
woods and bare heaths. It is an ingenious theory which derives 
the supposed Roman name of this place from the great characteristic 
of it which still remains: " The term Galleva, or Calleva, of the 
Roman Itineraries, appears to have had the same source, and was 
but a softened form of the British Guul Vuwr, or the Great Wall ; 
both names had their root perhaps in the Greek \u\ii (silex), whence 
also the French Caillon (a pebble). St'fe-chester or Silchester is 
therefore but a Saxoni/.ing, to use the term, of Silicis Castrum, 
the Fortress of the Flint or Wall, by the easy metonymy which I 
have shown." ( 'Archseologia,' ls.'jT.) The striking- characteristic 
of Silchester is the ruined wall, with the flourishing trees upon it 
and around it, and the old trees that have grown up centuries ago, 
and are now perishing with it. This is the poetry of the place, and 
the old topographers felt it after their honest fashion. Leland 
says, " On that wall grow some oaks of ten cart-load the piece." 
Camden says, "The walls remain in good measure entire, only with 
some few gaps in those places where the gates have been ; and out 
of those walls there grow oaks of such a vast bigness incorporated 
as it were with the stones, and their roots and boughs are spread so 
far around, that they raise admiration in all who behold them." 
(Fig. 124.) 

" High towns, fair temples, goodly theatres, 
Strung walls, rich porches, princely palaces. 
Large streets, lirave houses, sacred sepulchres, 
Sure gates, sweet gardens, stately galleries, 
Wrought with fair pillars anil line imageries" — 

ye are fallen. Fire has consumed you ; earth is heaped upon you ; 
the sapling oak has sprung out of the ashes of your breathing 
statues and your votive urns, and having flourished for five hundred 
years, other saplings have rooted themselves in your ruins for 
another five hundred years, and again other saplings are rising — 
so to flourish, and so to perish. Time, which has destroyed thee, 
Silchester, clothes thee with beauty. '• Time loves thee :" 

" He, gentlest among the thralls 
Of Destiny, upon these wounds hath laid 
His lenient touches/' 

Mr. John Rickman. speaking of Silchester, " the third of British 
towns in extent,". says, '• that the Romanized inhabitants of the last- 
named town were distinguished by their cultivated taste, is testified 
by the amphitheatre outside the walls, one of the few undisputed 
relics of that kind in Britain." (' Archseologia,' vol. xxviii.) 
Whether the presence of the inhabitants of Silchester at the brutal 
games of the Romans be any proof of their cultivated taste may be 
reasonably questioned ; but the existence of the amphitheatre is an 
evidence that the Roman customs were here established, and that 
the people had become habituated to them. The amphitheatre at 



Silchester is situated without the walls, to the north-east. There 
can be no doubt about the form and construction of this relic of 
antiquity. We stand upon a steep circular bank covered with 
trees, and descend by its sloping sides into an area of moderate 
dimensions. Some deseribers of this place tell us that the seats 
were ranged in five rows, one above the other. Earlier, and 
perhaps more accurate observers, doubt whether seats were at all 
used in these turfy amphitheatres. " It is well known that the 
Romans originally stood at games, till luxury introduced sitting; 
and it is observable, that the Castrensian amphitheatres in general 
preserve no signs of subsellia, or seats; so that the people must 
have stood on the glassy declivity. I saw no signs of seats in that 
of Carleon, nor in the more perfect one near Dorchester, as Stukeley 
has also observed. Nor tlo I recollect that any such have been disco- 
vered in any other Castrensian amphitheatre, at least in our island, 
wdiere they seem to have been rather numerous." (Mr. Strange, in 
'Archseologia,' vol. v.) The very perfect amphitheatre at Dorchester 
is much larger than that of Silchester, Stukeley having computed 
that it was capable of containing twenty-three thousand people. 
The form, however, of both amphitheatres is precisely similar 
(Fig. 12(j). Their construction was different. The bank id' the 
amphitheatre at Silchester is composed of clay and gravel : that at 
Dorchester of blocks of solid chalk. These were rude structures 
compared with the amphitheatres of those provinces of Rome which 
had become completely Romanized. Where the vast buildings of 
this description were finished with architectural magnificence, the 
most luxurious accommodation was provided for all ranks of the 
people. Greece and Britain exhibit no remains of these grander 
amphitheatres, such as are found at Nismes and at Verona. The 
amphitheatre of Pompeii, though of larger dimensions than the 
largest in England, Dorchester, appears to have been constructed 
upon nearly the same plan as that (Fig. 128). Some bas-reliefs 
found at Pompeii indicate the nature of the amusements that once 
made the woods of Silchester ring with the how lings of infuriated 
beasts and the shouts of barbarous men (Fig. 127). 



The Roman Wall — the Wall of Agricola — the Wall of Hadrian — 
the Wall of Severus — the Fids' Wall — the Wall, are various names 
by which the remains of a mighty monument of the Romans in 
England are called by various writers. William Ilutton, the 
liveliest and the least pedantic of antiquarians, who at seventy-eight 
years of age twice traversed the whole length of the Roman Wall, 
denominates it " one of the grandest works of human labour, per- 
formed by the greatest nation upon earth." From a point on the 
river Tyne, between Newcastle and North Shields, to Boulness on 
the Solway Frith, a distance of nearly eighty miles, have the 
remains of this wall been distinctly traced. It was the great 
artificial boundary of Roman England from sea to sea ; a barrier 
raised against the irruptions of the fierce and unconquerable race 
of the Caledonians upon the fertile South, which had received the 
Roman yoke, and rested in safety under the Roman military pro- 
tection. The Wull, speaking popularly, consists of three distinct 
works, which by some are ascribed to the successive operations of 
Agricola, of Hadrian (Figs. 144, 14.3), and of Severus. The Wall 
of Antoninus (Figs. 146,147). now called Grimes Dyke, was a 
more northerly entrenchment, extending from the Clyde to the 
Forth ; but this rampart was abandoned during subsequent years of 
the Roman occupation, and the boundary between the Solway Frith 
and the German Ocean, which we are now describing, was strength- 
ened and perfected by every exertion of labour and skill. Hnttoit 
may probably have assigned particular portions of the work to 
particular periods upon insufficient evidence, but lie has described 
the works as they appeared forty years ago better than any other 
writer, because he described from actual observation. We shall, 
therefore, adopt his general account of the wall, before proceeding 
to notice any remarkable features of this monument. 

k " There were four different works in this grand barrier, performed 
by three personages, and at different periods. I will measure them 
from south to north, describe them distinctly, and appropriate each 
part to its proprietor ; for, although every part is dreadfully 
mutilated, yet, by selecting the best of each, we easily form a whole ; 
from what is, we can nearly tell what was. We must take our 
dimensions from the original surface of the ground. 

" Let us suppose a ditch,' like that at the foot of a quickset-hedge, 
three or four feet deep, and as wide. A bank rising from it ten 
feet high, and thirty wide in the base ; this, with the ditch, will 
give us a rise of thirteen feet at least. The other side of the bank 
sinks into a ditch ten feet, deep, and fifteen wide, which gives the 
North side of this bank a declivity of twenty feet. A small part 
of the soil thrown out on the north side of this fifteen-feet ditch, 



Chap. II.] 



OLD ENGLAND. 



43 



forms a bank three feet high and six wide, which gives an elevation 
from the bottom of the ditch of thirteen feet. Tims our two 
ditches and two mounds, sufficient to keep out every rogue but lie 

who was determined not to he kept out, were the work of Agrieola. 

" The works of Hadrian invariably join those of Agrieola. They 
always correspond together, as beautiful parallel lines. Close to 
the north side of the little bank I last described, Hadrian sunk a 
ditch twenty-fonr feet wide, and twelve below the surface of the 
ground, which, added to Agricola's three-feet bank, forms a declivity 
of fifteen feet on the south, and on the north twelve. Then follows 
a plain of level ground, twenty-four yards over, and a bank exactly 
the same as Agricola's, ten feet high, anil thirty in the base; and 
then he finishes, as his predecessor began, with a small ditch of 
three or four feet. 

" Thus the two works exactly coincide ; and must, when complete, 
have been most grand and beautiful. Agricola's works cover about 
fifty-two feet, and Hadrian's about eighty-one; but this will admit 
(d' some variation. 

'■ Severns's works run nearly parallel with the other two; lie on 
the north, never far distant ; but may be said always to keep them 
in view, running a course that best suited the judgment of the 
maker. The nearest distance is about twenty yards, and greatest 
near a mile ; the medium, forty or fifty yards. 

"They consist of a stone wall eight feet thick, twelve high, and 
four the battlements ; with a ditch to the north, as near as 
convenient, thirty-six feet wide ami fifteen deep. To the wall 
were added, at unequal distances, a number of stations, or cities, 
said to be eighteen, which is not perfectly true ; eighty-one castles, 
and three hundred and thirty castelets, or turrets, which, I believe, is 
true : all joining the wall. 

" Exclusive of this wall and ditch, these stations, castles, and 
turrets, Severns constituted a variety of roads yet called Roman 
roads, twenty-four feet wide, and eighteen inches high in the centre, 
which led from turret to turret, from one castle to another ; and 
still larger and more distant roads from the wall, which led from 
inie station to another, besides the grand military way before 
mentioned, which covered all the works, and no doubt was first 
formed by Agrieola, improved by Hadrian, and, after lying dormant 
fifteen hundred years, was made complete in 17.32. 

" I saw many of these smaller roads, all overgrown with turf; 
and when on the side of a hill, they are supported on the lower side 
witli edging stones. 

" Thus Agrieola formed a small ditch, then a bank and ditch, 
both large, and then finished with a small bank. 

•■ Hadrian joined to this small bank a large ditch, then a plain, a 
large mound, and then finished with a small ditch. 

" Severus followed nearly in the same line, with a wall, a variety 
of stations, castles, turrets, a large ditch, and many roads. By much 
the most laborious task. This forms the whole works of our three 
renowned chiefs." 

Eleven hundred years before the persevering Hutton began his 
toilsome march along the Roman Wall, Bede had described it as 

'• still famous and to be seen eight foot in breadth and 

twelve in height, in a straight line from east to west, as is still 
visible to the beholders." liede resided in the neighbourhood of 
the Wall, and he notices it as a familiar object would naturally be 
noticed — as incidental to his narrative. The dimensions which he 
gives are. however, perfectly accurate, as Gibson has pointed out. 
Long before Bede noticed the Wall the Romans had quitted the 
country ; and this great barrier was insufficient to protect the timid 
inhabitants of the South against the attacks of their Northern 
invaders, " who, finding that the old confederates were marched 
home, and refused to return any more, put on greater boldness than 
ever, and possessed themselves of all the North, and the remote 
parts of the kingdom to the very Wall. To withstand this invasion 
the towers are defended by a lazy garrison, undisciplined, and too 
cowardly to engage an enemy, being enfeebled with continual sloth 
and idleness. In the meanwhile the naked enemy advance with 
their hooked weapons, by which the miserable Britons are pulled 
down from the tops of the walls and dashed against the ground." 
This is the description of Gildas, our most ancient historian, who 
lived in the sixth century. Generations passed away ; new races 
grew vip on each side of the Wall ; and here, for another long 
period of strife, was the great scene of the Border fends between the 
English and the Scotch. It is no wonder that the traces of the Wall 
in many places should be almost obliterated ; or that the fair cities 
and populous stations which, under the Roman dominion, existed 
along its line, should have left only fragmentary remains of their 
former greatness. And yet these remains are most remarkable. 
House-steads, which is about the centre of the work, is held to 



have been the eighth station, Borcovicus; and the fragments of 
antiquity here discovered have commanded the admiration of all 
antiquarian explorers. Gibson, who surveyed a portion of the 
Wall in 1708, here saw seven or eight Roman altars which had 
been recently dug up. and a great number of statues. Alexander 
( lordon, whose • Itinerarium Septentrionale' was published in 1726, 
describes Ilouse-steails. '• so named from the marks of old Roman 
buildings still appearing on that ground." as " unquestionably the 
most remarkable and magnificent Roman station in the whole island 
of Britain." He says, amidst his minute descriptions of statues and 
altars, " It is hardly credible wdiata number of august remains of the 
Roman grandeur is to be seen here to this day; seeing in every place 
where one casts his eye there is some curious Roman antiquity to be 
seen, either the marks of streets and temples in ruins, or inscriptions, 
broken pillars, statues, and other pieces of sculpture, all scattered 
along this ground." When Hutton surveyed the Wall, he found one 
solitary house upon the site of the Roman City ; and in this lone 
dwelling a Roman altar, complete as iir the day the workman left it, 
formed the jamb which supported the mantel-piece, " one solid stone 
four feet high, two broad, and one thick." The gossiping antiquary 
grows rhetorical amidst the remains of Borcovicus : — "It is not easy 
to survey these important ruins without a sigh ; a place once of the 
greatest activity, but now a solitary desert : instead of the human 
voice is heard nothing but the wind." Some of the statues and 
inscriptions found at House-steads and other parts of the Roman Wall 
now form a portion of the beautiful collection of Roman antiquities 
in the Newcastle Museum (Eigs. 133, 134, 135, and 136). Of 
these the Roman soldiers and the Victory are rudely engraved 
in Gordon's book. The appearance of the Wall at House-steads is 
shown in Eig. 132; and this engraving suggestsa conviction of the 
accuracy of Camden's description of the Wall ; — " I have observed 
the track of it running up the mountains and down again in a most 
surprising manner." The massive character of the works is well 
exhibited at the sandstone-quarries at Denton Dean, where the 
wall, whose fragment is five feet high, has onty three courses of 
facing-stones on one side and four on the other. Blocks of 
stone of such dimensions must of themselves have formed a quarry 
for successive generations to hew at and destroy (Fig. 131). 
There is a pretty tradition recorded by Camden, which offers as 
good evidence of the Roman civilization as the fragments of their 
temples and their statues. The tomb of a young Roman physician 
is amongst the antiquities of the Newcastle Museum ; and our old 
topographer tells us, '• One thing there is which I will not keep 
from tire reader, because I had it confirmed by persons of very good 
credit. There is a general persuasion in the neighbourhood, handed 
down by tradition, that the Roman garrisons upon the frontiers set 
in these parts abundance of medicinal plants for their own use. 
Whereupon the Scotch surgeons come hither a-simpling every year 
in the beginning of summer ; and having by long experience found 
the virtue of these plants, they magnify them very much, and affirm 
them to be very sovereign." The general appearance of the Roman 
Wall and Vallum is exhibited in Fig. 138. This was delineated by 
John Warburton, from a portion of the wall near Halton-Chesters, 
in 1722. A little farther beyond this point Hutton was well repaid 
for his laborious walk of six hundred miles, by such a satisfactory 
view of the great Roman work, that the admiration of the good old 
man was raised into an enthusiastic transport, at which the dull 
may wonder and the unimaginative may laugh, but which had its 
own reward. With this burst of the happy wayfarer we conclude 
our notice of " that famous wall which was the boundary of the 
Roman province." 4 * I now travel over a large common, still upon 
the Wall, with its trench nearly complete. But what was my 
surprise when I beheld, thirty yards on my left, the united works 
of Agrieola and Hadrian, almost perfect! I climbed over a stone 
wall to examine the wonder ; measured the whole in every direction ; 
surveyed them with surprise, with delight, was fascinated, and 
unable to proceed ; forgot I was upon a wild common, a stranger, 
and the evening approaching. I had the grainiest works under my 
eye of the greatest men of the age in which they lived, and of the 
most eminent nation then existing; all which had suffered hut little 
during the long eourse of sixteen hundred years. Even hunger 
and fatigue were lost in the grandeur before me. If a man writes 
a book upon a turnpike-road, he cannot he expected to move quick; 
but, lost in astonishment, I was not able to move at all." 

The Wall of Antoninus, or Grimes Dyke, to which we have 
already referred, was carried across the north of Britain, under the 
direction of Lollius Urbicus, the legate of Antoninus Phis, about 
the year a.d. 140. It is noticed by an ancient Roman writer as 
a turf wall : and although its course may he readily traced, it has, 
from the nature of its construction, not left such enduring remains 

C 2 



■J* 5 *- m1# * * : ^ . 




!■''•- — n.iii of Human London. 



viviomafx: ' I 












- 



13 1 ). — Rora.in B.itli, Strand Line- 




105.— Coin ami Fragment- 




, ICO. — Sepulchral Stone found at Ludgale. 



Ltt,— Tcwelkbd Pavement. 



Ifi2 —11,,,,,/,. B) ilur. band iu tli« Thames. 




1W.— Vases, Lumps, &c, fuund afttr the Great Put, 




1C4- — Roman Antiquities found on the site of Paul's Cross. 



•14 




1 Itronice Speiir-Ilead. 

2 Bronze Dagger. 

3 Iron Knife. 

4 Brou/.e Lance-Head. 

5 Iroii Luaoo Head. 
G Celt. 

7 Bronze Lance-IIcad. 
:-■ Bronze Oil. 
9 Ivory Arrow-Head- 

10 Iron Bowof a Shield. 

11 Bronze Buckle. 

12 Iron Crook- 

13 Iron Kin-. 

14 Plated Iron Stud- 

15 Bronze Pin. 



Bronze Pins with Iv«r> H.iu.ll 
J Bronze Ornaments- 



Guld Onmmeuts. 

24 Amber and Bead Necklace. 

25 (fold BraaitpUte. 

26 Patera. 

27 Ivory Bracelet 
2d Drinking Cur- 
29 Incense Cu|>. 

31 1 Drinking r. p. 

^ I Double Drinking Cops. 

851 

36 Hi. os. 
37) 

38 DroJdlosl Hook for gathering 
the Sacied Mistletoe. 



168.— Ttomnn-Britisli Weapons, Umamenls, 8fc> 




I'M.- Komiin \f.v,,l,, &C-, (blind iu Britain. 





171— Metal coaling of an ancient Itom.ni Brilisb Miield. found in£ll c be I 
oftlie river William, and BOW III the Meyrick CollecUm). 



173.— lirilisli Coin of Caransins. 
From a unlqno Uulii Coin iu the British Museum. 




172 — Conimntfae the Great 
Ffom a, Gold Coin in Hie British Museum. 

45 



4G 



OLD ENGLAND. 



[Book I. 



as the Wall of Severus. The Wall of Antoninus connected a line 
of Roman forts; anil these wore necessarily built of substantial 
materials. Duntocher Bridge, on the line of this wall, was long 
popularly considered to have been a Roman work ; but it lias been 
more reasonably conjectured to have been a very ancient work. 
constructed out of materials found on the line of the wall (Fig. 148). 
The military way in some places runs parallel with (i rimes Dyke. 
The ditch itself presents in some places a wonderful example of the 
Roman boldness in engineering. At a part called Bar Hill. Gordon 
describes " the fossa running down in a straight line from the top 
of the hill in such a magnificent manner as must surprise the 
beholder, great part of it being cut through the solid rock, and is 
of such a vast breadth and depth, that when I measured it it was no 
less than forty feet broad and thirty-five feet deep." The surprise 
of Mr. Gordon was before the age of railways : the time innv 
perhaps arrive when the deep cuttings and tunnelling* through the 
solid rock in the nineteenth century shall be compared with the 
Roman works of the second century, by new races of men who 
travel by other lines or with different mechanism. But. however 
obscure may then be the history of our own works, it is quite 
certain that we shall have left our traces upon the earth ; some con- 
solation, though small, to balance the reflections which are naturally 
suggested when we look upon the ruins of populous cities and 
mighty defences, and consider how little we know id' their origin, 
of the people who built them, and of the individual life that was once 
busy in these solitary places. 



We have described, rapidly and imperfectly, some ancient places 
now buried in deep solitude, which were once tilled with many 
people who pursued the ordinary occupations of human industry, 
and who were surrounded with the securities, comforts, and elegan- 
cies of social life. Great changes have necessarily been produced 
in the revolution of two thousand years. Hume, in his ' Essay of the 
Populouaness id' Ancient Nations,' says, " The barbarous condition 
of Britain in former times is well known, and the thinness of its 
inhabitants may easily be conjectured, both from their barbarity, 
and from a circumstance mentioned by llerodian, that all Britain 
was marshy, even in Severus's time, after the Romans had been 
fully settled in it above a century." In process of time the marshes 
were drained ; the population of the hills, as in the case of Old 
Narmn, descended into the plains. The advantages of communi- 
cation located towns upon the hanks of rivers, which were restrained 
within deep channels by artificial bounds. London thus grew 
when the Thames was walled out of the lowlands. So probably 
York, when the Ouse became tributary to man, instead of being a. 
pestilent enemy. When the civilizers taught the original inhabit- 
ants to subdue the powers of nature to their use, the sites of great 
towns were tixed. and have remained fixed even to our own day, in 
consequence of those natural advantages which have continued 
unimpaired during the changes of centuries. The Romans were 
the noblest of colonizers. They did not make their own country 
rich by the exhaustive process which has been the curse of modern 
colonization. They taught the people their own useful arts, and 
they shared the riches which they had been the instruments of 
producing. They distributed amongst subdued nations their own 
refinements; and in the cultivation of the higher tastes they found 
thai security which could never have resulted from the coercion of 
brutal ignorance. Tacitus says of Agricola, the great colonizer of 
England, "That the Britons, who led a roaming and unsettled 
life, and] were easily instigated to war, might contract a love of 
peace and tranquillity by being accustomed to a more pleasant 
way of living, he exhorted and assisted them to build houses. 
temples, courts, ami market-places. By praising the diligent, 
and reproaching the indolent, he excited so great an emulation 
amongst the Britons, that after they had erected all those necessary 
edifices in their towns, they proceeded to build others merely for 
ornament and pleasure, such as porticoes, galleries, baths, banquet- 
ing-houses, vVr.'' "Many of the still prosperous places of England, 
<-ven at the present day. show us what tin- Rnmnnw generally, if not 
especially Agricola, did for the advancement of the arts of life 
amongst our remote forefathers. Lincoln is one of these cities 
of far-off antiquity — a British, a Roman, a Saxon city. Leland 
says. " I heard say that the lower part of Lincoln town was all 
marsh, and won by policy, and inhabited for the commodity of the 
water. ... It is easy to be perceived that the town of Lincoln 
hath been notably builded at three times, The first building was on 
the very top of the hill, the oldest part whereof inhabited in the 
Britons' time was the northest part of the hill, directly without New- 
port (late, the ditches whereof yet remain, and great tokens of 
the old town-walls taken out of a ditch by it, for all the top of 



Lincoln Hill is quarry-ground. This is now a suburb to Newport 
Gate." And there at Lincoln still stands Newport Gate — the 
Rinnan gate, — formed by a plain square pier and a semicircular 
arch (Fig's. 139, 140). The Roman walls and the Roman arches 
of Lincoln are monuments of the same great people that we find at 
Rome itself (Figs. 142, 143). At Lincoln too are the remains of 
such baths as Agricola taught the Britons to build (Fig. 141). 
The Newport Gate of Lincoln, though half filled up by the eleva- 
tion of the soil, exhibits a central arch sixteen feet wide, with two 
lateral arches. Within the area of the Roman walls now stand the 
Cathedral and the Castle, monuments equally interesting of other 
times and circumstances. At Lincoln, as at all other ancient 
places, we can trace the abodes of the living in the receptacles for 
the dead. The sarcophagi, the stone coffins, and the funereal urns 
here found, tell of the people of different ages and creeds mingled 
now in their common dust. 

A fragment of Roman wall still proclaims the site of the ancient 
Verulain (Fig. 149). Camden says, " The situation of this 
place is well known to have been close by the town of St. Albans. 
.... Nor hath it yet lost its ancient name, for it is still com- 
monly called Verulam ; although nothing of that remains besides 
ruins of walls, chequered pavements, and Roman coins, which 
they now and then dig up." The fame of the Roman Verulam 
was merged in the honours of the Christian St. Albans ; and the 
bricks of the old city were worked up into the church of the proto- 
niartyr of England. Bede tells the story of the death of St. Albau, 
the first victim in Britain of the persecution of Diocletian, in the 
third century, with a graphic power which brings the natural 
features of this locality full before our view : ''The most reverend 
confessor of God ascended the hill with the throng, the which 
decently pleasant agreeable place is almost five hundred paces from 
the river, embellished with several sorts of flowers, or rather quite 
covered with them ; wherein there is no part upright, or steep, nor 
anything craggy, but the sides stretching out far about, is levelled 
by nature like the sea, which of old it had rendered worthy to be 
enriched with the martyr's blood for its beautiful appearance." 



" Thus was Altian tried, 
England's first martyr, whom no threats coulil shake : 
Seli'-ofler'it victim, tor his friend he died, 
And for the faith — nor shall his name forsal.c 
That Hill, whose ilmvery platform seems to rise 
By Nature decked lor holiest sacrifice." 

Wordsworth. 

In the time of Aubrey, some half-century later than that of 
Camden, there were "to be seen in some few places some remains 
of the walls of this city." Speaking of Lord Bacon, Aubrey says, 
'• Within the bounds of the walls of this old city id' Verulam (his 
lordship's barony) was Verulam House, about half a mile from St. 
Albans, which his lordship built, the most ingeniously contrived 
little pile that ever I saw." It was here that Bacon, freed, 
however dishonourably, from the miserable intrigues of Whitehall, 
and the debasing quirks anil quibbles of the Courts, laid the 
foundations of his ever-during fame. Aubrey tells us a story which 
is characteristic of Bacon's enthusiastic temperament: — "This 
magnanimous Lord Chancellor had a great mind to have made it 
[Verulam] a city again ; and he had designed it to be built with 
great uniformity ; but fortune denied it to him, though she proved 
kinder to the great Cardinal Richelieu, who lived both to design 
and finish that specious town of Richelieu, where he was born, 
before an obscure and small village." Fortune not only denied 
Bacon to {bund this city, but even the " ingeniously contrived little 
pile," his gardens, ami his banqueting-liouses. which he had built 
at an enormous cost, were swept away within thirty years after his 
death : " One would have thought," says Aubrey, " the most bar- 
barous nation had made a conquest here." To use the words of 
the philosopher of Verulam himself, " It is not good to look too 
long upon these turning wheels of Vicissitude, lest we become 
giddy." 

York, the Eboracum of the Romans, was one of the most im- 
portant of these British cities. Its Roman remains have very 
recently been described by a learned resilient, of this city : — " One 
id' the angle-towers and a portion of the wall of Eboracum attached 
to it, are to this day remaining in an extraordinary state of pre- 
servation. In a recent removal of a considerable part of the more 
modern wall and rampart, a much larger portion of the Roman 
wall, connected with the same angle-tower, but in another direction, 
with remains of two wall-towers, and the foundations of one of the 
gates of the station, were found buried within the ramparts; and 
excavations at various times and in different parts of the present 
city have discovered so many indubitable remains of the fortifications 



Chap. II.] 



OLD ENGLAND. 



47 



of Eboraoum, on three of its skies, that the conclusion appears to 
be fully warranted that this important station was of a rectangular 
form, corresponding very nearly with the plan of a Polybian camp, 
occupying a space of about six hundred anil fifty yards, by about 
five hundred and fifty, inclosed by a wall and a rampant mound on 
the inner side of the wall, and a fosse without, with four angle 
towers, and a series of minor towers or turrets, and having four 
gates or principal entrances, from which proceeded military roads 
to the neighbouring stations mentioned in the ' Itinerary' of Antonine. 
Indications of extensive suburbs, especially on the south-west and 
north-west, exist in the numerous and interesting remains of primeval 
monuments, coffins, urns, tombs, baths, temples, and villas which 
from time to time, and especially in late "years, have been brought 
to light. Numberless tiles, bearing the impress of the sixth and 
ninth legions, fragments of Samian ware, inscriptions, and coins 
from the°age of Julius Caesar to that of Constantino and his family, 
concur, with the notice of ancient geographers ami historians, to 
identify the situation of modem York with that of ancient Ebo- 
raoum." (' Penny Cyclopaedia,' vol. xxvii.) 

And well might York have been a mighty fortress, and a city of 
palaces and temples ; for here the Roman emperors had their chief 
seat when they visited Britain; here Severus and Constantius 
Chlorus (lied ; here, though the evidence is somewhat doubtful. 
Constantino the Great was born. 

Bath, a Roman city, connected by great roads with London and 
with the south coast, famous for its baths, a city of luxury amongst 
the luxurious colonizers, has presented to antiquarian curiosity more 
Roman remains than any other station in England. The city is 
supposed to be now twenty feet above its ancient level; and here, 
whenever the earth is moved, are turned up altars, tessellated pave- 
ments, urns, vases, lachrymatories, coins. Portions of a large temple 
consisting of a portico with fluted columns and Corinthian capitals, 
were discovered in 1790. The remains of the ancient baths have 
been distinctly traced. The old walls of the city are held to 
have been built upon the original Roman foundations. These walls 
have been swept away, and with them the curious relics of the 
elder period, which Leland has thus minutely described :— " There 
be divers notable antiquities engraved in stone that yet be seen in 
the walls of Bath betwixt the south gate and the west gate, and 
again betwixt the west gate a.id the north gate." He then notices 
with more than ordinary detail a number of images, antique heads. 
tombs with inscriptions, and adds, " 1 much doubt whether these 
antique works were set in the time of the Romans' dominion in 
Britain in the walls of Bath as they stand now, or whether they 
were gathered of old ruins there, and since set up in the walls, re- 
edified in testimony of the antiquity of the town." Camden appears 
to have seen precisely the same relies as Leland saw, " fastened on 
the inner side of the wall between the north and west gates." These 
things were in existence, then, a little more than two hundred years 
ago. There have been no irruptions of barbarous people into 
the country, to destroy these and other things of value which they 
could not understand. We had a high literature when these things 
were preserved ; there were learned men amongst us ; anil the 
writers of imagination had that reverence for antiquity which is one 
of the best fruits of a diffused learning. From that period we have 
been wont to call ourselves a polite people. We are told that since 
that period we have had an Augustan age of letters and of arts. 
Yet somehow it has happened that during these last two centuries 
there has been a greater destruction of ancient thing's, and a more 
wanton desecration of sacred things, perpetrated by people in 
authority, sleek self-satisfied functionaries, practical men as they 
termed themselves, who despised all poetical associations, and thought 
the beautiful incompatible with the useful, — there has been more 
wanton outrage committed upon the memorials of the past, than all 
the invaders and pillagers of our land had committed for ten centuries 
before. The destruction has been stopped, simply because the 
standard of taste and of feeling has been raised amongst a few. 

It is inconsistent with our plan to attempt any complete detail of 
the antiquities of any one period, as they are found in various parts 
of the kingdom. To accomplish this, each period would require a 
volume, or many volumes. Our purpose is to excite a general spirit 
of inquiry, and to gratify that curiosity as far as we are able, by a 
few details of what is most remarkable. Let us finish our account 
of the Roman cities by a brief notice of Roman London. 

A writer whose ability is concurrent with his careful investigation 
of every subject which he touches, has well described the circum- 
stances which led to the choice of London as a Roman city, upon a 
site which the Britons had peopled, in all likelihood, before the 
Roman colonization : — 

" The spot on which London is built, or at least that on which the 



first buildings were most probably erected, was pointed out by nature 
for the site of a city. It was the suspicion of the sagacious Wren, 
as we are informed in the ' Parentalia,' that the whole valley 
between Camberwell Hill and the hills of Essex must have been 
anciently filled by a great frith or arm of the sea, which increased 
in width towards the east ; and that this estuary was only in the 
course of ages reduced to a river by the vast sand-hills which were 
gradually raised on both sides of it by the wind and tide, the effect 
being assisted by embankments, which on the Essex side are 
still perfectly distinguishable as of artificial origin, and are evidently 
works that could only have been constructed by a people of advanced 
mechanical skill. Wren himself ascribed these embankments to the 
Romans ; and it is stated that a single breach made in them in his 
time cost 17,000/. to repair it— from which we may conceive both 
how stupendous must have been the labour bestowed on their 
original construction, and of what indispensable utility they are 
still found to be. In fact, were it not for this ancient barrier, the 
broad and fertile meadows stretching along that border of the river 
would .-till be a mere marsh, or a bed of sand overflowed by the 
water, though left perhaps dry in many places on the retirement of 

ll, e tide The elevation on which London is built 

ottered a site at once raised above the water, and at the same time 
close upon the navigable portion of it— conditions which did not 
meet in anv other locality on either side of the river, or estuary, 
from the sea upwards. It was the first spot on which a town could 
be set down, so as to take advantage of the facilities of communication 
between the coast and the interior presented by this great natural 
highway." (' London,' vol. i. No. IX.) 

The walls of London were partly destroyed in the time of Fitz- 
Stephen, who lived in the reign of Henry II. He says, « The wall 
of the city is high and great, continued with seven .gates, which are 
made double, and on the north distinguished with turrets by spaces. 
Likewise on the south London hath been enclosed with walls and 
towers ; but the large river of Thames, well stored with fish, and 
in which the tide ebbs and flows, by continuance of time hath 
washed, worn away, and cast down those walls." Camden writes : 
" Our historians tell us that Constantine the Great, at the request 
of Helena, his mother, first walled it [London] about with hewn 
stone and British bricks, containing in compass about three miles; 
wherebv the citv was made a square, but not equilateral, being 
longer from west to east, and from south to north narrower. That 
part of these walls which runs along by the Thames is quite washed 
away by the continual beating of the river ; though Fitz-Stephen 
(who lived in Henry the Second's time) tells us there were some 
pieces of it still to be seen. The rest remains to this day, and that 
part toward the north verv firm ; for having not many years since 
[1474] been repaired by one Jocelyn, who was Mayor, it put on, as 
it were, a new face and freshness. But that toward the east and 
the west, though the Barons repaired it in their wars out of the 
demolished houses of the Jews, is all ruinous, and going to decay.' 
The new face and freshness that were put on the north wall by one 
Jocelyn the Mayor, have long since perished. A few fragments 
above the ground, built-in, plastered over, proclaim to the curious 
observer that he walks in a city which has some claim to antiquity. 
It was formerly a doubt with some of those antiquarian writers 
who saw no interest in any inquiry except as a question of dispute, 
whether the walls of London were of Roman construction. A 
careful observer. Dr. Woodward, in the beginning of the last cen- 
liad an opportunity of going below the 



tury, 



surface, and the 

,m by him put beyond a doubt. He writes; " The city 

wall being npon this occasion, to make way for these new build- 
inos., broke up and beat to pieces, from Bishopgate, onwards, S.L. 
so°fer as they extend, an opportunity was given of observing the 
fabric and composition of it. From the foundation, which lay 
ei-ht feet below the present surface, quite up to the top. which was 
in all near ten foot, 'twas compile,! alternately of layers of broad 
flat bricks and of rag-stone. The bricks lay in double ranges ; and 
each brick being about one inch and three-tenths n. thickness, the 
whole layer, with the mortar interposed, exceeded not three inches. 
The layers of stone were not quite two foot thick of our measure. 
•Tis probable they were intended for two of the Roman, their rule 
being somewhat shorter than ours. To this height the workmanship 
was after the Roman manner; and these were the remains of the 
ancient wall supposed to be built by Constantine the Great. In 
this 'twas very observable that the mortar was, as usually in the 
Roman works, so very firm and hard, that 
broke and gave way as that. 'Tjasthus 
upwards nine foot in thickness." I he removal of old houses in 
London is still going on as in Woodward's time ; and more im- 
portant excavations have been made in our own day, and at the 



the stone itself as easily 
far from the foundation 



*■■■ 




!",-».— Alriutu ul n Human Hi.ust. 




179.- Rom>" V.Ua. BIga«* 





175.— Room of a Roman House. Restoration rrom.Pompeii. 



IE 



crra 



HP 
Tl3 



L_ 



n 



2 











173. — Roman Villa, Grent Witcomtw, Gloucestershire. 







181.— Atrium of a Romtn House. Restoration from Pompeii. 



48 




[OLD ENGLAND.] 



50 



OLD ENGLAND. 



[Book I. 



very hour in which we are writing. Close by St. Paul's, in the 
formation of a deep sewer, the original peat-earth, over which 
probably the Thames once flowed before man rested his foot here, 
has been dug down to. In such excavations the relics of age after 
age have turned up. The Saxon town lies above the Roman ; and 
the Norman above the Saxon ; but when the spade and the pickaxe 
have broken against some mass solid as the granite rock, then 
the labourer knows that he has come to B building such as men 
build not now. foundations that seem intended t" have lasted for 
ever, the Roman work. Woodward described the Wall as he 
saw it in Camomile Street in 1707. Mr. Craik, the writer whom 
we have recently quoted, has recorded the appearance of the Wall 
as he saw it in 1841, laid bare for the works of the Blackwall 
Railway. 

"Beneath a range of houses which have been in part demolished, 
in a court entering from the east side of Cooper's Row, nearly 
opposite to Milbourne's Almshouses, and behind the south-west 
corner of America Square, the workmen, having penetrated to the 
natural earth— a hard, dry, sandy gravel— came upon a wall seven 
feet and a half thick, running a very little to the west of north, or 
parallel to the line of the Minories ; which, by the resistance it 
offered, was at once conjectured to be of Roman masonry. When 
we saw it, it had been laid bare on both sides, to the height of about 
six or seven feet, and there was an opportunity of examining its con- 
struction, both on the surface and in the interior. The principal part 
of it consisted of five courses of squared stones, regularly laid, with two 
layers of flat bricks below them, and two similar layers above — the 
latter at least carried all the way through the wall— as represented 
in the drawing (Fig. 150). The mortar, which appeared to be 
extremely hard, had a few pebbles mixed up with it ; and here and 
there were interstices, or air-cells, as if it had not been spread, but 
poured in among the stones. The stones were a granulated lime- 
stone, such as might have been obtained from the chalk-quarries at 
Greenhithe or Northfleet. The bricks, which were evidently 
Roman, anrl, as far as the eye'eould judge, corresponded in size as 
well as in shape with those described by Woodward, had as fine a 
grain as common pottery, and varied in colour from a bright red to 
a palish yellow. A slight circular or oval mark — in some cases 
forming a double ring — appeared on one side of each of them, which 
had been impressed when the clay was in a soft state." ('London,' 
Vol. I. No. tx.) 

A peculiarity in the construction of a portion of the ancient wall 
of London was discovered during some large excavations for sewer- 
age, between Lambeth Hilland Queenhithc. in 1841. The wall in 
this part measured in breadth from eight to ten feet. Its foundation 
was upon piles, upon which was laid a stratum of chalk and stones; 
then a course of ponderous hewn sandstones, held together by the 
well-known cement ; and upon this solid structure the wall itself, 
composed of layers of rag and flint, between the layers of Roman 
tiles. The peculiarity to which we allude was described to the 
Antiquarian Society by Mr. Charles Roach Smith: — "One of the 
most remarkable features of this wall is the evidence it aflbrds of 
the existence of an anterior building, which from some cause or 
other must have been destroyed. Many of the large stones above 
mentioned are sculptured and ornamented with mouldings, which 
denote their prior use in a frieze or entablature of an edifice, the 
magnitude of winch may be conceived from the fact of these stones 
weighing in many instances upwards of half a ton. Whatever might 
have been the nature of this structure, its site, or cause of its over- 
throw, we have no means of determining." The undoubted work of 
fourteen or fifteen centuries ago is something not to be looked upon 
without associations of deep and abiding interest; but when we find 
connected with such ancient labours more ancient labours, which 
have themselves been overthrown by the changes of time or the 
vicissitudes of fortune, the mind must fall back upon the repose of 
its own ignorance, and be content to know how little it knows. 
In the year 1785 a sewer, sixteen feet deep, was made in Lombard 

Street. Sewers wire not then common in Loud and Sir John 

Hennikcr. speaking of this work, says, " A large trench has been 
excavated in Lombard Street for the first time since the memory of 
man." In making tins excavation vast quantities of Roman anti- 
quities were discovered, which are minutely described and repre- 
sented in the eighth volume of the ' Archseologia.' Amongst other 
curiosities was found a beautiful gold coin of the emperor Galba. 
The coin come into the possession id' Sir John Henniker, who thus 
relates the circumstances under which it was found: — "The soil is 
almost uniformly divided into four strata: the uppermost, thirteen 
feet six inches thick, of factitious earth ; the second, two feet thick, 
of brick, apparently the ruins of buildings; the third, three inches 
thick, of wood-ashes, apparently the remains of a town built of wood, 



and destroyed by fire ; the fourth, of Roman pavement, common and 
tessellated. On this pavement the coin in question was discovered, 
together with several other coins, and many articles of pottery. Below 
the pavement the workmen find virgin earth." (' Archeeologia,' vol. 
viii.) In 1831 various Roman remains were found in the construc- 
tion of a sewer in Crooked Lane, and in Easteheap. There, at a 
depth of about seventeen feet, were found the walls of former houses 
covered with Mood-ashes, and about them were also found many 
portions of green molten glass, and of red ware discoloured by the 
action of fire. Mr. A. .1. Kempe, who communicates these dis- 
coveries to the Society of Antiquaries, adverts to the wood-ashes 
found in Lombard Street in 1785 ; and he adds, " Couple this with 
the circumstances I have related, and what stronger evidence can 
be produced of the catastrophe in which the dwellings of the Romas 
settlers at London were involved in the reign of Nero? The 
Roman buildings at the north-east corner of Eastcheap afforded a 
curious testimony that such a conflagration had taken place, and 
that London had been afterwards rebuilt by the Romans. Worked 
into the mortar of the walls were numerous pieces of the fine red 
ware, blackened by the action of an intense fire." 

The circumstances recorded certainly furnish strong evidence of 
a conflagration, and a rebuilding of the city ; but the fact recorded 
in 1785, that under t lie wood-ashes was a coin of Galba, is evidence 
against the conflagration having taken place in the time of Nero, 
whom (xalba succeeded. Mr. Kempc lias fallen into the general 
belief that when Londinium was abandoned to the vengeance of 
Boadicea, its buildings were destroyed by a general conflagration. 
This was in the year a.d. 61. The coin of Galba under the wood- 
ashes would seem to infer that the conflagration was at a later date, 
in connection with circumstances of which we have no tradition. 
The short reign of Galba commenced a.d. C8. But be this as it 
may, here, seventeen feet under the present pavement of London, 
are the traces of Roman life covered by the ashes of a ruined city, 
and other walls built with the fragments of those ruins, and over 
these the aggregated rubbish of eighteen centuries of inhabitancy. 
The extent of Roman London, of the London founded or civilized, 
burnt, rebuilt, extended by the busiest of people, may be traced by 
the old walls, by the cemeteries beyond the walls, and by the re- 
mains of ancient relics of utility and ornament constantly turned 
up wherever the soil is dug into to a sufficient depth. Look upon 
the plan of this Roman Loudon (Fig. 158). The figures marked 
upon the plan show the places where the Romans have been traced. 
1. Shows the spot in Elect Ditch where vases, coins, and imple- 
ments were found after the Great Eire of 1666. In many other 
parts were similar remains found on that occasion (Fig. 163). On 
the plan, 2 shows the point where a sepulchral stone was found 
at Ludgate, which is now amongst the Arundel Marbles at Oxford 
(Fig. 160). In the plan, 3 marks the site of St. Paul's, where 
many remains were found by Sir Christopher AVren, in digging 
the foundations of the present Cathedral — the burial-place of " the 
colony when Romans and Britons lived and died together " (Fig. 
164). At the causeway at Bow Church, marked 4, Roman remains 
were found after the G reat Fire. At Guildhall, marked 5, tiles and 
pottery were found in 1822. In Lothbury, in 1805, digging for 
the foundations of an extended portion of the Bank of England, 
marked 6, a tessellated pavement was found, which is now in the 
British Museum. Other tessellated pavements have been found in 
various parts of Loudon, the finest specimen having been discovered 
in 1803, in Leadenhall Street, near the portico of the India House 
(Fig. 161). The spot in Lombard Street and Birchin Lane, 
where, previous to the discoveries in 1785 already mentioned, re- 
mains had been found in 1730 and 1774, is marked 7 on the plan. 
Some of these remains are represented in Fig. 166. In 1787 
Roman coins and tiles were found at St. Mary at Hill, close by 
the line of the Thames, marked 8. In 1824, near St. Dunstan's 
in the East, on the same line, marked 9, were pavements and urns 
found. In Long Lane, marked 10, a pavement has been found ; also 
a tessellated pavement in Crosby Square, marked 11 ; a pavement 
in Old Broad Street, marked 12 ; a tessellated pavement in Clutched 
Friars, marked 16 ; a pavement in Northumberland Alley, marked 
17. Sepulchral monuments have been found within the City wall, 
as in Bishopsgate, in 1707, marked 14 ; and in the Tower, in 1777, 
marked 15. But the great burial-places, especially of the Chris- 
tianized Romans, were outside the wall ; as at the cemetery 
beyond Bishopsgate, discovered in 1725, marked 13 ; that in Good- 
man's Fields, marked 19, found in 1787 ; and that at Spitalfields, 
marked 18, discovered as early as 1576. The old London antiquary 
Stow thus speaks of this discovery: "On the east side of this 
churchyard lieth a large field, of old time called Lolesworth, now 
Spitalfield, which about the year 1576 was broken up for clay to 



CHAr. II.] 



OLD ENGLAND. 



51 



make brick : in the digging whereof many earthern pots called 
Urnse were found full of ashes, and burnt bones of men, to wit of 
the Romans who inhabited here. For it was the custom of the 
Romans to burn their dead, to put their ashes in an urn, and then 
to bury the same with certain ceremonies, in some field appointed 

for that purpose near unto their city There hath also 

been found (in the same field) divers coffins of stone, containing 
the bones of men ; these I suppose to be the burials of some special 
persons, in time of tiie Britons or Saxons, after that the Romans 
had left to govern here. Moreover there were also found the 
skulls and bones of men without coffins, or rather whose coffins 
(being of great timber) were consumed. Divers great nails of 
iron were there found, such as are used in the wheels of shod carts, 
being each of them as big as a man's finger, and a quarter of a yard 
long, the heads two inches over." 

The plan thus detailed indicates the general extent of Roman 
London. Within these limits every year adds something to the 
mass of antiquities that have been turned up, and partially examined 
and described, since the days when Stow saw tite earthen pots in 
Spitalfields, Traces of the old worship have at various times been 
found. A very curious altar was discovered fifteen feet below the 
level of the street in Foster Lane, Cheapside, in 1830. Attention 
has recently been directed to a supposed Roman bath in Strand 
Lane, represented in Fig. 150 (See 'London,' Vol. II.). But the 
bed of the Thames lias been as prolific as the highways that are 
trampled upon, in disclosing to its excavators traces of the great co- 
lonizers of England. Works of high art in silver and in bronze were 
found in 182.3 and 1837, embedded in the soil over which the river 
has been rolling for ages. In the southern bank of the Thames 
evidences have recently been discovered that parts of Southwark 
contiguous to the river were occupied by the Romans, as well as 
the great city on the opposite bank. Mr. Charles Roach Smith, in 
a paper read to the Society of Antiquaries in 1841, says, "The 
occurrence of vestiges of permanent occupancy of this locality by 
the Romans, is almost uninterrupted from the river to St. George's 
Church in the line of the present High Street." Mr. Smith is 
decidedly of opinion that a considerable portion of Southwark 
formed an Integral part of Londinium, and that the two shores were 
connected by a bridge. Mr. Smith holds, " First, that witli such a 
people as the Romans, and in such a city as Londinium, a bridge 
would be indispensable ; and, secondly, that it would naturally be 
erected somewhere in the direct line of road into Kent, which I 
cannot but think pointed toward the site of Old London Bridge, 
both from its central situation, from the general absence of the 
foundations of buildings in the approaches on the northern side, 
and from discoveries recently made in the Thames on the line of 
the old bridge." The bronzes, medallions, and coins found in the 
line of the old bridge, which have been dredged up by the ballast- 
heavers from their position, and the order in which they occur, 
strongly support the opinion of Mr. Smith. The coins comprise 
many thousands of a series extending from Julius Caesar to Honorius ; 
and Mr. Smith infers " that the bulk of these coins might have 
been intentionally deposited, at various periods, at the erection of a 
biidge across the river, whether it were built in the time of Ves- 
pasian, Hadrian, or Pius, or at some subsequent period, and that 
they also might have been deposited at such times as the bridge 
might require repairs or entire renovation." 

The shrewd observer and sensible writer whom we have quoted 
has a valuable remark upon the peculiar character of the Roman 
antiquities of London: — "Though our Londinium cannot rival, in 
remains of public buildings, costly statues, and sculptured sarcophagi 
and altars, the towns of the mother-country, yet the reflective 
antiquary can still find materials to work on, — can point to the 
localities of the less obtrusive and imposing, but not less useful, 
structures — the habitations of the mercantile and trading population 
of this ever-mercantile town. The numerous works of ancient 
art which have been yet preserved, afford us copious materials 
for studying the habits, manners, and customs of the Roman 
colonists ; the introduction and state of many of the arts during 
their long sojourn in Britain, and their positive or probable influence 
on the British inhabitants. This is, in tact, the high aim and scope 
of the science of antiquities — to study mankind through their works." 
It is in this spirit that we would desire to look at the scattered 
antiquities of ' Old England,' to whatever period they may belong. 
Whenever man delves into the soil, and turns up a tile or an 
earthen pot, a coin or a weapon, an inscription which speaks of 
love for the dead, or an altar which proclaims the reverence for the 
spiritual, in some form, however mistaken, we have evidences of 
antique modes of life, in whose investigation we may enlarge the 
narrow bounds of our own every-day life. Those who have 



descended into the excavated streets of the buried Pompeii, and 
have walked in subterranean ways which were once radiant with 
the sunshine, and have entered houses whose paintings and 
sculptures are proofs that here were the abodes of comfort and 
elegance, where taste displayed itself in forms which cannot perish, 
— such have beheld with deep emotion the consequences of a sudden 
ruin which in a few hours made the populous city a city of the 
dead. But when we pierce through the shell of successive 
generations abiding in a great city like London, to bring to light 
the fragments of a high state of civilization, crushed and overthrown 
by change and spoliation, and forgotten amidst the trample of 
successive generations of mankind in the same busy spot, the eye 
may not so readily awaken the mind to solemn reflection ; but still 
every fragment has its own lesson, which cannot be read unprofitably. 
It is not the exquisite art by which common materials for common 
purposes were moulded by a tasteful people, that can alone command 
our admiration. A group of such is exhibited in Fig. 169. That 
these are Roman is at once proclaimed by their graceful forms. 
But mingled with these are sometimes found articles of inferior 
workmanship and less tasteful patterns, which show how the 
natives of the Roman colony had gradually emulated their arts, 
and were passing out of that state when the wants of life were 
supplied without regard to the elegancies which belong to an 
advanced civilization (See Fig. 168). The Romans put the mark 
of their cultivated taste as effectually upon the drinking-cups and 
the urns of the colonized Britons, compared with the earlier works 
of the natives, as the emperor Hadrian put his stamp upon the pigs 
of lead which were cast in the British mines, and which may still 
be seen in our national Museum (Figs. 165, 166, 167). The 
bronze patera, or drinking-bowl, found in Wiltshire, marked with 
the names of five Roman towns on its margin, Mas a high work of 
Roman-British art (Figs. 152, 153, 154). The metal coating of 
an ancient Roman-British shield, found in the bed of the river 
Witham, belongs to a lower stage of the same art (Fig. 171). The 
British coin of Carausius (Fig. 173), of which a unique example 
in gold is in the British Museum, and the coin of Constantine the 
Great in the same collection (Fig. 172), eacli probably came out of 
the Roman coin-mould (Fig. 170). After years of contest and 
bloodshed, the Roman arts became the arts of Britain ; and when 
our Shakspere made lachimo describe the painting and the statuary 
of Imogen's chamber, though the description might be an anachronism 
with regard to Cymbeline, it was a just representation of tiie influence 
of Roman taste on tiie home-life of Britain, when the intercourse of 
the countries had become established, and the peaceful colonization 
of those whose arts always followed in the wake of their arms, had 
introduced those essentially Roman habits, of which we invariably 
find the relics when in our ancient cities we come to the subsoil on 
which the old Britons trod. 



A writer on early antiquities, Mr. King, to whom we have 
several times referred, lias a notion that the private dwellings of 
tiie Romans, especially in this island, were not remarkable for 
comfort or elegance, to say nothing of magnificence : "In most 
instances a Roman Quaestor, or Tribune, sitting here in his toga 
on his moveable sella, or wallowing on his triclinium, on one of 
those dull, dark, and at best ill-looking works of mosaic, did 
not after all appear with much more real splendour, as to any 
advantages from the refinements of civilized life, than an old Scotch 
laird in the Highlands, sitting in his plaid on a joint-stool or on a 
chair of not much better construction, in the corner of his rough, 
rude, castle tower." This is a bold assertion, and one that indicates 
that the writer has no very clear perception of what constitutes the 
best evidence of the existence of the " refinements of civilized life." 
The first dull, dark, ill-looking work of mosaic, which Mr. King 
describes, is a tessellated pavement, which he says " shows great 
design and masterly execution." The remains of villas discovered 
in England have for the most part painted walls, even according to 
Mr. King — some proof of refinement, if all other proofs were absent. 
But the rooms with the painted walls had no fire-places with chim- 
neys, and must have been warmed when needful, " merely by iiot 
air from the adjoining hypocaust." This is a curious example of 
the mutation of ideas in half a century. The Romans in Britain, 
according to Mr. King, could have had no comfort or refinement, 
because they had no open fires, and warmed their rooms with hot 
air. The science of our own day says that the open fire and chim- 
ney are relics of barbarism, and that comfort and refinement demand 
the hot air. The remains of a hypocaust at Lincoln (Fig. 141) 
alone indicate something beyond the conveniences possessed by the 
old Scotch laird sitting on his joint-stool. But, in truth, the bare 
inspection of the plan uf any one of the Roman villas discovered in 

112 




193.— Cvslume of a Soldier. From Cotton MS. Til). C. G. 



195. — Anglo-Saxon mantle, caps, and weapon*. 



194.— Ringed Mail. Colton MS. Claud. It. 4. 





191— Armi and Costume of the Tribe* ou the Western Shore* of the Baltic. 



192. — Arms and Costume of Danish Warriors 



52 




.—Crosse* at Sunilbavb. 



51 



OLD ENGLAND. 



[Book I. 



England will show that the colonizers brought here the same 
tasteful arrangements of their private dwellings as distinguished 
similar remains in the states wholly peopled by Romans. Vitruvius 
has given us tho general plan of a Roman villa (Fig. 1TC), which 
we copy, that it may be compared with the plans of Roman villas 
discovered in England. The most important of these is that at 
Woodchester, near Stroud, in Gloucestershire, which was disco- 
vered by Mr. Lysons in 179u (Fig. 177). The plan of this 
remarkable building, which Mr. Lysons has been able distinctly to 
trace, shows that there was a large open court, or atrium, marked 
b ; an inner court, marked a ; and a smaller court in the wing, 
marked e. Round these were grouped the various apartments and 
domestic offices, about sixty in number. Mr. King seems to think 
somewhat meanly of these apartments, as they seldom exceed twenty 
or twenty-five feet in length, with a proportionate breadth ; and 
because " there is no reason from any remaining traces of any 
sort or kind to suppose there was ever a staircase in any part, or 
so much as one single room above the ground-floor." 

Another Roman villa, of which we have given the plan (Fig. 179), 
is described by the same indefatigable antiquary, Mr. Samuel Lvsons. 
who, in consequence of the accidental discovery of a mosaic pavement 
at Bignor, in Sussex, in 1811, was enabled, during that year and the 
succeeding six years, to trace the plan of a building of great extent 
and magnificence, with rich pavements and painted walls. " Many 
of the ornaments and general style of the mosaic work bear a 
striking resemblance to those of the pavements discovered at 
Pompeii, which could not have been of a later date than the reign 
of Titus." Sir Humphry Davy in some degree confirms this 
opinion in a letter to Mr. Lysons: " I have examined the colours 
found on the walls of the Roman house discovered at Bignor, in 
Sussex ; and I find that they are similar in chemical composition to 
those employed in the baths of Titus at Rome, and in the houses 
and public buildings at Pompeii and Hercnlaneum." "We cannot 
have better evidence that the same arts of design, and the same 
scientific means of ornament, were employed in Britain as at 
Pompeii. Accomplished architects have been enabled, from what 
remains tolerably entire in that buried city, to form a general 
notion of the internal arrangements of a Roman house. We 
present such to our readers in the beautiful restorations of Mr. 
Poynter (Figs. 174, 17.J, 180, and 181). The villa discovered at 
Great Witcombe, in Gloucestershire, in 1818 (Fig. 178), exhibits 
the most complete example of the remains of the Roman baths in this 
country, several of the walls still existing, from four to five feet 
above the level of the floors, and most of the doorways being 
preserved. 

The influence "f the Roman taste and science upon the domestic 
architecture of the colonized Britons must no doubt have been 
considerable. " The use of mortar, plaster, and cement, of the 
various tools anil implements for building, the art of making the 
flat tiles, and all things connected with masonry and bricklaying, 
as known and practised by the Romans, must of course, in the 
progress of their works, have been communicated to their new 
subjects; and it appears that, by the close of the third century, 
British builders had acquired considerable reputation. The 
panegyrist Eumanins tells us that when the emperor Constantius 
rebuilt the city of Autun, in Gaul, about the end of the 
third century, he brought the workmen chiefly from Britain, 



which very much abounded with the best artificers." (' Pictorial 
History of England,' vol. i.) It would appear, however, that 
although there can be no doubt that many splendid buildings, such 
as Giraldus Cambrensis described as having seen in the twelfth 
century at Caerleon, were models for the successors of the Romans, 
no remains of a very high style of art have been discovered in 
Britain. Mr. Rickman says, " I think it is clear that nothing very 
good of Roman work ever existed in Britain ; all the fragments of 
architecture which have been discovered, whether large or small, 
whether the tympanum of a temple, as found at Bath, or small altars, 
as found in many places. I believe they were all deficient either in 
composition or in execution, or in both, and none that I know of 
have been better, if so good, as the debased work of the emperor 
Diocletian in his palace at Spalatro. With these debased examples, 
we cannot expect that the inhabitants of Britain would (while 
harassed with continual intestine warfare) improve on the models 
left by the Romans." (' ArcliEeologia,' vol. xxv.) 

It is easy to understand how the Roman architecture of Britain 
should not have been in the best taste. When the island was 
permanently settled under the Roman dominion, the arts had greatly 
declined in Rome itself. In architecture, especially, the introduc- 
tion of incongruous members, in combination with the general 
forms derived from the Greeks, produced a corruption which was 
rapidly advancing in the third century, and which continued 
to spread till Roman architecture had lost nearly all its original 
distinctive characters. The models which the Romans left in 
Britain, to a people harassed with continual invasion and internal 
dissension, were no doubt chiefly of this debased character. Of the 
buildings erected for the Pagan worship of the Saxons we have no 
traces. The re-establishment of Christianity by the conversion of 
the Saxons was rapidly followed by the building of churches. What 
was the nature of the material of these churches, whether any of 
them still exist, whether portions even may yet be found in our 
ecclesiastical buildings, have been fruitful subjects of antiquarian 
discussion. There is somewhat of a fashion in such opinions. In 
the hist century, all churches with heavy columns and semicircular 
arches were called Saxon. Some twenty years ago it was maintained 
that we had no Saxon buildings at all. The present state of opinion 
amongst unprejudiced inquirers is, we think, fairly represented in 
the following candid argument of Mr. Rickman : — " On that part 
of our architectural history which follows the departure of the 
Romans from Britain, and which precedes the Norman Conquest, 
there is of course great obscurity ; but while in the days of Dr. 
Stukeley, Horace Walpole, &c., there appears to have been much 
too easy an admission of Saxon dates on the mere appearance of the 
semicircular arch, I think there has been of late perhaps too great 
a leaning the other way ; and because we cannot directly prove that, 
certain edifices are Saxon, by documentary evidence, we have been 
induced, too easily perhaps, to consider that no Saxon buildings did 
exist, and have not given ourselves the trouble sufficiently to examine 
our earlier Norman works to see if they were not some of them 
entitled to be considered as erected before the Conquest." This is 
the subject which we shall be called upon to illustrate in our next 
chapter ; but in the mean time we refer to some of the details of 
later Roman art, which we give at page 49 (Figs. 182 — 188). It 
is to these forms and arrangements that the architecture of the 
Anglo-Saxons and Normans is to be traced as to a common source. 



GiiAr. III.] 



OLD ENGLAND. 




Tlie Standaid of (he White Hjrse. 



CHAPTER II I.— T HE ANGLO-SAXON PERIOD. 



N Axe was to be laid to the 
root of that prosperity which 
Britain unquestionably enjoyed 
under the established dominion 
and protection of the Romans. 
The military people whom 
Caesar led to the conquest of 
Gaul were, five hundred years 
afterwards, driven back upon 
Italy by hordes of fierce in- 
vaders, who swarmed wherever 
plenty spread its attractions 
for wandering poverty. "The 
blue-eyed myriads" first came to Britain as allies. The period 
when they came was one of remarkable prosperity, according to the 
old ecclesiastical chronicler, whose account of this revolution is the 
most distinct which we possess. Bede says, that after the " Irish 
Rovers" had returned home, and "the Picts" were driven to the 




farthest part of the Island, through a vigorous effort of the unaided 
Britons, the land " began to abound witli such plenty of grain as 
had never been known in any age before. With plenty, luxury 
increased ; and this was immediately attended with all sorts of 
crimes." Then followed a plague ; and to repel the apprehended 
incursions of the northern tribes, " they all agreed with their king, 
Vortigern (Guorteryn), to call over to their aid, from the parts 
beyond the sea, the Saxon nation." The standard of the White 
Horse floated on the downs of Kent and Sussex; and the strange 
people who bore it from the shores of the Baltic fixed it firmly in 
the land, whose institutions they remodelled, whose name was 
henceforth changed, whose language was merged in the tongue 
which they spake. " Then the nation of the Angles, or Saxotis, beiun- 
invited by the aforesaid king, arrived in Britain with three Ion" 
ships, and had a place assigned them to reside in by the same kiier, 
in the eastern part of the island, as it were to fight for their 
country, but in reality to subdue this." 

Britain was henceforth the land of the Angles — Engla-land, 
Engle-land, Engle-lond. Little more than a century after the 
settlement in, or conquest of, the country by the three nations of 
the .lutes, the Saxons, and the Angles, the supreme monarch, or 
Bretwalda, thus subscribed himself: — " Kgo Ethelbertus, Rex 
Anglorum." The Angles and the Saxons were distinct nations, 
and they subdued and retained distinct portions of the land. 
But even the Saxon chiefs of Wessex, when they had extended 
their dominion into the kingdom of the Angles, called themselves 
kings of Engla-land. In our own times we are accustomed to use 



the term Anglo-Saxons, when we speak of the wars, the institutions, 
the literature, and the arts of the people who for five centuries 
were the possessors of this our England, and have left the impress 
of their national character, their language, their laws, and their 
religion upon the race that still tread the soil which they trod. 

The material monuments which are left of these five centuries of 
struggles for supremacy within, and against invasion from without. 
of Paganism overthrow ing the institutions of Christianized Britain 
by the sword, and overthrown in its turn by the more lasting power 
of a dominant Church — of wise government, of noble patriotism, 
vainly contending against a new irruption of predatory sea-kings, — 
these monuments are tew, ami of doubtful origin. The Anglo- 
Saxons have left their most durable traces in the institutions which 
still mingle with the laws under which we live, — in the literature 
which has their written language for its best foundation, — in the 
useful arts which they cultivated, and which have descended to us 
as our inheritance. 

Their most enduring monuments are the Manuscripts and the Illu- 
minations produced by the patient labour of their spiritual teachers, 
which we may yet open in our public libraries, and look upon with 
as deep an interest as upon the fragments of the more perishable 
labours of the architect and the sculptor. But of buildings, and 
even the ornamented fragments of churches and of palaces, this 
period has left us few remains, in comparison with its long duration, 
and the unquestionable existence of a high civilization during a 
considerable portion of these five centuries. But it is possible that 
these remains are not so few as we are taught to think. It has been 
the fashion to believe that the invading Dane swept away all these 
monuments of piety and of civil order ; that whatever of high anti- 
quity after the Romans here exists is of Norman origin. We have 
probably yielded somewhat too readily to this modern belief. For ex- 
ample, Bishop Wilfred, who lived in the seventh century, was a great 
builder and restorer of churches, and Richard, Prior of Hexham, who 
lived in the twelfth century, describes from /lis own observation the 
church which Wilfred built at Hexham. According to this minute 
description, it was a noble fabric, with deep foundations, with crypts 
and oratories, of great height, divided into three several stories or 
tiers, ami supported by polished columns, the capitals of the columns 
were decorated with figures carved in stone ; the body of the church 
was compassed about with pentices and porticoes. Such a church 
we Bhould now call Norman. Within the limits of a work like ours 
it is impossible to discuss such matters of controversy. We here 
only enter a protest against the belief that all churches now existing 
with some of the characteristics of the church of Wilfred, must be 
of the period after the Conquest. 




210.— Eilwurd Hie Couleswrs Chape), WisimiusUr Abbey,— uuw used as the K* Office 



209.— Tower of Earl's Barton Church. 





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[OLD ENGLAND.] 



--0-— St. Cuthheit. From one of Hip externa] Cuuoples of the 
Middle Tower Of Durham. 

57 



as 



OLD ENGLAND. 



[Book I. 



When Johnson anil Boswell visited Tuna, or Icolm-kill, the less 
imaginative traveller was disappointed :— " I must own that Icolm- 

kill.did not answer my expectations There are only some 

grave-stones Hat on the earth, and we could see no inscriptions, 
llow far sliort was this of marble monuments, like those in West- 
minster Abbey. « hich 1 had imagined here I" So writes the matter- 
of-fact Boswell. Hut Johnson, whose niinil was filled with the 
various knowledge that surrounded the barren island with great and 
holy associations, had thoughts which shaped themselves into sentences 
often quoted, but too appropriate to the objects of this work not to 
be quoted once more : — 

" We were now treading that illustrious island which was once 
the luminary of the Caledonian regions, whence savage elans and 
roving barbarians derived the benefits of knowledge and the 
blessings of religion. To abstract the mind from all local emotion 
would be impossible if it were endeavoured, and would be foolish if 
it were possible. Whatever withdraws us from the power of our 
.senses, whatever makes the past, the distant, or the future, pre- 
dominate over the present, advances ns in the dignity of thinking 
beings. Far from me. and from my friends, be such frigid philoso- 
phy as may conduct us indifferent and unmoved over any ground 
which has been dignified by wisdom, bravery, or virtue. That 
man is little to be envied whose patriotism would not gain force 
upon the plain of Marathon, or whose piety would not grow wanner 
among the ruins of lona." 

"The ruins of Iona" are not the ruins of "Saint Columba's 
cell." of that monastery which the old national Saint of Scotland 
founded in the midst of wide waters, when he came from the shores 
of Ireland to conquer a rude and warlike people by the power of the 
Gospel of peace; to preach with his followers "such works of 
charity and piety as tiny could learn from the prophetical, evange- 
lical, and apostolical writings;" and. in addition to this fiist sacred 
duty, to be the depositaries of learning and the diH'users of know- 
ledge. The walls amidst whose shelter Columba lived, training his 
followers by long years of discipline to the fit discharge of their 
noble office, have been swept away ; the later erections are crumbling 
into nothingness (Figs. 198, 199) ; the burial-place of the Scottish 
kings is overgrown with rank weeds, and their tombs lie broken and 
defaced amidst fragments of monumental stones of the less illus- 
trious dead. Silent and deserted is this " guardian of their bones." 
The miserable hovels of a few fishermen contain the scanty population 
of an island which was once trodden by crowds of the noble and 
the learned. Here the highest in rank once came to bow before 
the greater eminence of exalted piety and rare knowledge. To be an 
inmate of the celebrated monastery of lona was to gain a reputation 
through the civilized world. This was not the residence of lazy 
monks, as we arc too much accustomed to call all monks, but of 
men distinguished for the purity and simplicity of their lives, and 
by the energy and disinterestedness of their labours. Iona sent forth 
her missionaries into every land from which ignorance and idolatry 
were to be banished by the workings of Christian love. When the 
bark that contained a little band of these self-devoting men went 
forth upon the stormy seas that beat around these western isles, to 
seek in distant lands the dark seats where Druidism still lingered, 
or the fiercer worship of Odin lifted its hoarse voice of war and 
desolation, then the solemn prayer went up from the sacred choir 
for the heavenly guidance of " those who travel by land or sea." 
When the body of sonic great chief was embarked at Corpach, on 
the mainland, anil the waters were dotted with the boats that crowded 
round the funeral bark, then the chants of the monks were heard 
fir over the sea, like the welcome to some hospitable shore, breathing 
hope and holy trust. Such are the materials for the '-local emo- 
tion " which is called forth by " the ruins of Iona ;" and such emo- 
tion, though the actual monuments that are associated with it like 
these are shapeless fragments, is to he cherished in many a spot of 
similar sanctity, where, casting aside all minor differences of opinion, 
we know that the light of truth once shone there amidst surrounding 
darkness, and that "one bright particular star " there beamed before 
the dawning. 

We have already quoted Heck's interesting narrative of the 
arrival of Augustine in the Isle of Thanet (p. 34). The same 
authentic writer subsequently tells us ,,f the lives of Augustine and 
his fellow-missionaries at Canterbury : " There was in the east side 
near the city a church dedicated to the honour of St. Martin. 
formerly built whilst the Romans were still in the island, wherein 
the queen (Bertha), who. as has been said before, was a Christian, 
used to pray. I„ this they at first began to meet, to sing, to pray' 
to say mass, to preach, and to baptise ; till the king being converted 
to the faith, they had leave granted them more freely to preach 
and build or repair churches in all places." On "the east side of 



the city " of Canterbury still stands the church of St. Martin. Its 
windows belong to various periods of Gothic architecture; its 
external walls tire patched after the barbarous fashion of modem 
repairs; it is deformed within by wooden boxes to separate the 
rich from the poor, and by ugly monumental vanities, miscalled 
sculpture; but the old walls are full of Roman bricks, relics, at 
any rate, of the older fabric where Bertha and Augustine " used to 
pray " (Fig. 197). Some have maintained that this is the ideidieal 
Roman church which Dede describes ; and tradition has been pretty 
constant in the belief that it is as old as the second century. Mr. 
King has bis own theory upon the matter: '* Some have supposed it 
to have been built by Roman Christians, of the Roman soldiery ; 
but if that had been the case, there would surely have been found 
in it the regular alternate courses of Roman bricks. Instead of 
this, the chancel is found to be built almost entirely of Roman 
bricks ; and the other parts with Roman bricks and other materials, 
irregularly intermixed. There is therefore the utmost reason to 
think that it was built as some imitation only of Roman structures 
by the rude Britons, before their workmen became so skilful in 
Roman architecture as they were afterwards rendered, when 
regularly employed by the Romans." Whether a British, a 
Roman, or a Saxon church, here is a church of the highest 
antiquity in the island, rendered memorable by its associations with 
the narrative of the old ecclesiastical historian. There is a 
remarkable font in this church — a stone font with rude carved-work. 
resembling a great basin, ami standing low on the Boor, Such a font 
was adapted to the mode of baptism in the primitive times. In such 
a church might Augustine and his followers have sung and prayed : 
in such a font might Augustine have baptized. Venerated, then, 
be the spot upon which stands the little church of Saint Martin. 
It is a pleasant spot, on a gentle elevation. The lofty towers and 
pinnacles of the great Cathedra] rise up at a little distance ; the 
County Infirmary and the County Prison stand about it. It was 
from this little hill, then, that a sound went through the land 
which, in a few centuries, called up those glorious edifices which 
attest the piety and the magnificence of our forefathers ; which, in 
our own days, has raised up institutions for the relief of the sick 
and the afflicted poor ; but which has not yet banished those dismal 
abodes which frown upon us in every great city, where society 
labours, and labours in vain, to correct and eradicate crime by 
restraint and punishment. Something is still wanting to make the 
teaching which, more than twelve centuries ago, went forth 
throughout the land from this church of St. Martin, as effectual as 
its innate purity and truth ought to render it. The teaching lias 
not even to this day penetrated the land. It is heard at stated 
seasons in consecrated places ; it is spoken about in our parish schools, 
whence a scanty knowledge is distributed amongst a rapidly 
increasing youthful population, in a measure little adapted to the 
full and effectual banishment of ignorance. Our schools are few ; 
our prisons are many. The work which Augustine and his fol- 
lowers did is still to do ; but it is a work which a State that has 
spent eight hundred millions in war thinks may yet be postponed. 
The time may come, if that work be postponed too long, when the 
teachers of Christian knowledge may as vainly strive against the 
force of the antagonist principle, as the monks of Bangor strove, 
with prayer and anthem, 

" When the heathen trumpets' clang 
Ruulnl beleaguer' d Chester rang." 

Whilst we are disputing in what way the people shall be taught, 
ignorance is laying aside its ordinary garb of cowardice and 
servility, and is putting on its natural properties of insolence anil 
ferocity. Let us set our hand to the work which is appointed for 
us, before it be too late to work to a good end, if to do this work 
at all. 

Camden describes a place upon the estuary of the Ilumber which, 
although a trivial place in modern days, is dear to every one familiar 
with our old ecclesiastical history : " In the Roman times, not far 
from its bank upon the little river Foulness, (where Wighton, a 
small town, but well stocked with husbandmen, now stands,) there 
seems to have formerly stood Delgovitia ; as is probable both from 
the likeness and the signification of the name. For the British 
word Delgwe (or rather Ddetie) signifies the statues or images of 
the heathen gods ; and in a little village not far off there stooil an 
tdol-temple, which was in very great honour even in the Saxon 
times, and, from the heathen gods in it, was then called God-mund- 
ingham, and now, in the same sense, Grodmanham." This is the 
place which witnessed the conversion to Christianity of Edwin. King 
of Noithinnbiia. The whole story of this conversion, as told by 
Bede, is one of those episodes that we call superstitious, in which 
history reflects the confiding faith of popular tradition, which does 



Chap. III.] 



OLD ENGLAND. 



50 



not resign itself to the belief that all worldly events depend solely 
upon material influences. But one portion of this story has the 
best elements of high poetry in itself, and has therefore gained 
little by being versified even by Wordsworth. Edwin held a council 
of Ids wise men, to inquire their opinion of the new doctrine which 
was taught by the missionary I'auliuus. In this council one thus 
addressed him: "The present life of man, O King, seems to me, 
in comparison of that time which is unknown to us, like to a spar- 
row swiftly flying through the room, well warmed with the fire 
made in the midst of it, wherein you sit at supper in the winter, 
with commanders and ministers, whilst the storms of rain and snow 
prevail abroad : the sparrow, I say, flying in at one door, and im- 
mediately out at another, whilst he is within is not affected with 
the winter storm ; but after a very brief interval of what is to him 
iair weather and safety, he immediately vanishes out of your sight, 
returning from one winter to another. So this life of man appears 
for a moment; but of what went before, or what is to follow, 
we are utterly ignorant. If, therefore, this new doctrine contains 
something more certain, it seems justly to deserve to be followed." 
Never was a familiar image more beautifully applied ; never was 
there a more striking picture of ancient manners — the storm without, 
the fire in the hall within, the king at supper with his great men 
around, the open doors through which the sparrow can flit. To 
tins poetical counsellor succeeded the chief priest of the idol-worship, 
Coifl. He declared for the new faith, and advised that the heathen 
altars should be destroyed. " Who," exclaimed the king, " shall first 
desecrate their altars and their temples ?" The priest answered, " I ; 
for who can more properly than myself destroy these things that I 
worshipped through ignorance, for an example to all others, through 
tlie wisdom given me by the true God ?" 

" Prompt transformation works the novel lore. 
Tlie Council closed, the priest in full career 
Rides forth, uu armed man, and hurls a sp:'ar 
To desecrate the fane which heretofore 
He served in folly. Woden falls, and Thor 
Is overturned." 

Words wo jitii. 

The altars and images which the priest of Northumbria 
overthrew have left no monuments in the land. They were not 
built, like the Druidical temples, under the impulses of a great 
system of faith which, dark as it was, had its foundations in 
spiritual aspirations. The pagan worship which tlie Saxons brought 
to this land was chiefly cultivated under its sensual aspects. The 
Valhalla, or heaven of the brave, was a heaven of fighting and 
feasting, of full meals of boar's flesh, and large draughts of 
mead. Such a future called not for solemn temples, and altars 
where the lowly and tlie weak might kneel in the belief that 
there was a heaven for them, as well as for the mighty in battle. 
The idols frowned, and the people trembled. But this worship has 
marked us, even to this hour, with the stamp of its authority. Our 
Sunday is still the Saxon Sun's-day ; our Monday the Moon's-day ; 
our Tuesday Tuisco's-day ; our Wednesday Woden's-day ; our 
Thursday Thor's-day ; our Friday Friga's-day ; our Saturday 
Seater's-day. This is one of the many examples of the incidental 
circumstances of institutions surviving the institutions themselves — 
an example of itself sufficient to show the folly of legislating against 
established customs and modes of thought. The French repub- 
licans, with every aid from popular intoxication, could not establish 
their calendar for a dozen years. The Pagan Saxons have fixed 
their names of the week-days upon Christian Kngland for twelve 
centuries, and probably for as long as England shall be a country. 

Some of the material monuments of the ages after the departure 
of the Romans, and before the Norman conquest, are necessarily 
obscure in their origin and objects. It was once the custom to 
refer some of the remains which we now call Druidical to the 
period when Saxons and Danes were fighting for tlie possession of 
the land — trophies of battle and of victory. There are some 
monuments to which this origin is still assigned; and such an 
origin has been ascribed to the remarkable stone at Forres, called 
Stieno's Pillar (Fig. 207). It is a block of granite twenty-five 
feet in height, and nearly four feet in breadth at its base. It is 
sculptured in the most singular manner, with representations of men 
and horses in military array and warlike attitudes ; some holding 
up their shields in exultation, others joining hands in token of 
fidelity. There is to be seen also the fight and the massacre of the 
prisoners; and the whole is surmounted by something like an 
elephant. On the other side of this monument is a large cross, 
with figures of persons in authority in amicable conference. It has 
been held that all this represents the expulsion of some Scandinavian 



adventurers from Scotland, who had long infested the country 
about the promontory of Burghead, and refers also to a subsequent 
peace between Malcolm, King of Scotland, and Sueno, King of 
Norway. Be this as it may, the cross denotes the monument to 
belong to the Christian period, though its objects were anything 
but devotional. Not so the crosses at Saudbach, in Cheshire. 
These are, no doubt, works of early piety ; and they are stated by 
Mr. Lysons to belong to a period not long subsequent to the intro- 
duction of Christianity amongst the Anglo-Saxons (Fig. 208). 
If so, we may regard them with no common interest ; for the greater 
monuments of that century, after the arrival of Augustine, when 
Christianity was spread throughout the land, are, as far as we 
know and are taught to believe, almost utterly perished. Brixworth 
Church, in Northamptonshire, which has been so subjected to 
alteration upon alteration that an engraving would furnish no 
notion of its peculiar early features, is considered by some to have 
been erected in the time of the Uomans. But this very ancient 
specimen of ecclesiastical architecture would scarcely be so 
interesting, even if its date were clearly proved, as the decided 
remains of some church or monastic buildings of the sixth or seventh 
centuries,— even of some building contemporary with our illustrious 
Alfred. There may be such, but autiquariauism is a jealous and 
suspicious questioner, and calls for evidence at every step. We 
are told by an excellent authority that '"an interesting portion of 
tlie Saxon church erected by Paulinos, or Albert, [at York] has 
been recently brought to light beneath the choir of the present 
cathedral." (Mr. Wellbeloved, in k Penny Cyclopaedia.') This 
church, founded by Edwin soon after his baptism, was undoubtedly 
a stone building ; and it marks the progress of the arts in this 
century, that in 6G9 Bishop Wilfred glazed the windows. The 
glass for this purpose seems to have been imported from abroad, 
since the famous Benedict Biscop, Abbot of Wearmouth, is recorded 
as the first who brought artificers skilled in the art of making 
glass into this country from France. (" Pictorial History of" 
England,' vol. i.) 

Wilfred found tlie church of York in a ruinous state, on taking 
possession of the see. He roofed it with lead ; lie put glass in the 
place of the ancient lattice-work. Time has brought to light 
some relics of this church at York, buried beneath the nobler Cathe- 
dral of a later age. It is probable that the more ancient churches 
were as much removed and changed by the spirit of ecclesiastical 
improvement as by the course of civil strife. One generation 
repaired, amended, swept away, the work of previous generations. 
We have seen this process in our own times, when marble columns 
have been covered with plaster, and the decorated window with its 
gorgeous tracery replaced by a villainous casement. The Norman 
church builders did not so improve upon the Saxon ; but it is still 
to be regretted that even their improvements, and those of tlie 
builders who again remodelled the Norman work, have left us so 
little that we can rely upon for a very high antiquity. It would be 
something to look upon the church at liipon which Wilfred built 
of polished stone, and adorned with various columns and porticoes; 
or upon that at Hexham, which was proclaimed to have no equal 
on this side the Alps. It would be something to find some frag- 
ment of the paintings which Benedict Biscop brought from Borne 
to adorn his churches at Wearmouth and at Yarrow ; but they 
perished with his library under the ravaging Danes. More than 
all, we should desire to look upon some fragment of that church 
which the good and learned Aldiielm built at Malmesbury, and 
whose consecration he has himself celebrated in Latin verses 
of considerable spirit. lie was a poet too, in his vernacular 
tongue; and lie applied his poetry and his knowledge of music to 
higher objects than his own gratification. The great Alfred him- 
self entered into his note-book the following anecdote of the 
enlightened Abbot, which William of Malmesbury relates: 
li Aldhelm had observed with pain that the peasantry were become 
negligent in their religious duties, and that no sooner was the 
church service ended than they all hastened to their homes and 
labours, and could with difficulty be persuaded to attend to the 
exhortations of the preacher. He watched the occasion, and sta- 
tioned himself in the character of a minstrel on the bridge over 
which the people had to pass, and suon collected a crowd of hearers 
by the beauty of his verse. When he found that he had gained 
possession of their attention, he gradually introduced, among the 
popular poetry which he was reciting to them, words of a more serious 
nature, till at length he succeeded in impressing upon their minds a 
truer feeling of religious devotion." (Wright's * Biographia Bri- 
tannica Literaria.') Honoured be the memory of the good Abbot 
of Malmesbury. 

The identical bridge upon which the minstrel stood has long 

I 2 




tlF; 



60 



223.-^axon Emblems of tlitr Month of February. 




C37.— Snxou Emblems of the Month of April. 



61 



62 



OLD ENGLAND. 



[Book I. 



ago fallen into the narrow stream ; the church to which the preacher 
invited the people by gentle words and sweet sounds has been 
supplanted by a nobler church, surrounded by the ruins of a gorgeous 
fabric of monastic splendour. We may not believe, say the anti- 
quaries, that the wonderful porches and the intersecting arches ol 
Malmesbury are of Saxon origin. But, in spite of the antiquaries, 
they must be associated with the beautiful memory of Aldhelm. 
His name is not now spoken in that secluded town ; but the people 
there have still their Saxon memories of ancient days. The pour. 
who have extensive common-rights, say that they owe them all to 
King Athelstan ; the humble children who learn to read in an 
ancient building called the Hall of St. John, connect their instruc- 
tion with the memory of some great man of old, who wished that 
the poor should be taught and the indigent relieved, — for over the 
ancient porch under which they enter is recorded that a worthy 
burgher of Malmesbury in 1694 left ten pounds annually to instruct 
the poor, in addition to a like donation from King Athelstan ! We 
wish that throughout the land there were more such living memorials 
of the past, even though they were the mere shadows of tradition. 
It is well for the lowly cottagers of Malmesbury that they are in 
blissful ignorance that the monument of their Saxon benefactor, in 
the restored choir of their Abbey Church, belongs to a later period. 
They look upon that recumbent effigy with reverence — they keep 
the annual feast of Athelstan with rejoicing. The hero-worship of 
Malmesbury is that of Athelstan. It has comedown from the days 
of Saxon song when the victories of the grandson of Alfred were 
thus celebrated : — 



" Here Athelstan K ing, 
of earth the lonl, 

the giver of the bracelets of the nobles, 
and his brother also, 
Edmund the .-Ktlirlnitr. 
the Elder, a lasting glory 
won by slaughter in battle 
with the edges of swords 
at Bruneuburgh. 

The wall of shields they cleaved, 
They hewed the nobles' banners." 



But Athelstan left the memory of something better than victories. 
He'was a lawgiver; and there are traces in his additions to the Code 
of Alfred of a public provision for the destitute amongst his subjects. 
The traditions of Malmesbury have, we doubt not, a solid founda- 
tion. He was a scholar, and collected a library for his private use. 
Some of these books were preserved at Bath up to the period of the 
Reformation ; two of these precious manuscripts are in the Cotton 
Collection in the British Museum. The Gospels upon which the 
Saxon Kings are held to have taken the Coronation oath is one of 
them (See Fac-simile of the 1st Chapter of Saint John, Fig. 226). 
It is not only at Malmesbury that the memory of Athelstan is to be 
venerated. 

We have already alluded to the change of opinion which is 
beginning to take place with regard to the remains of Saxon 
architecture existing in this country (p. 54). We do not 
profess to discuss controverted points, which would be of slight 
interest to the general reader ; and we shall therefore find it the 
safer course to describe our earliest cathedrals, and other grand 
ecclesiastical structures, under the Norman period. But it is now 
pretty generally admitted that many of our humble parish churches 
may be safely referred to dates before the Conquest ; and some of 
the characteristic features of these we shall now proceed to notice. 
We believe, curious as this question naturally is, and especially 
interesting as it must be at the present day, when our ecclesiastical 
antiquities are become objects of such wide-spreading interest, that no 
systematic attempt to fix the chronology of the earliest church 
architecture has yet been made. In 1 833 Mr. Thomas Rickman 
thus wrote to the Society of Antiquaries : — " I was much impressed 
by a conversation I had with an aged and worthy dean, who was 
speaking on the subject of Saxon edifices, with a full belief that 
they were numerous, lie asked me if I had investigated those 
churches which existed in places where ' Domesday-Book' states that 
a church existed in King Edward's days ; and I was obliged to 
confess I had not paid the systematic attention I ought to have 
done to this point: and I now wish to call the attention of the 
Society to the propriety of having a list made of such edifices, that 
they may be carefully examined." We are not aware that the 
Society has answered the call ; but the course suggested by the 
aged and worthy dean was evidently a most rational course, and it 
is strange that it had been so long neglected. 'Domesday-Book' 
records what churches existed in the days of Edward the Confessor ; 



— does any church exist in the same place now? if so, what is the 
character of that church '! To procure answers is not a difficult 
labour to set about by a Society ; but it is probable that it will be 
accomplished, if at all. by individual exertion. Mr. Rickman lias 
himself done something considerable towards arriving at the same 
conclusions that a wider investigation would, we believe, fully 
establish. In 1834 he addressed to the Society of Antiquaries 
• Further Observations on the Ecclesiastical Architecture of France 
and England,' in which the characteristics of Saxon remains are 
investigated with professional minuteness, with reference to buildings 
which the writer considers were erected before the year 1010: 

•• As to the masonry, there is a peculiar sort of quoining, which 
is used without plaster as well as with, consisting of a long atone 
set at the corner, and a short one lying on it, ami bonding one 
way or both into the wall ; when plaster is used, these quoins are 
raised to allow for the thickness , if the plaster. Another peculiarity 
is the use occasionally of very huge and heavy blocks of stone in 
particular parts of the work, while the rest is mostly of small 
stones; the use of what is called Roman bricks j and occasionally 
of an arch with straight sides to the upper part, instead of curves. 
The want of buttresses may be here noticed as being general in 
these edifices, an occasional use of portions with mouldings, much 
like Roman, and the use in windows of a sort of rude balustre. 
The occassional use of a rude round staircase, west of the tower, for 
the purpose of access to the upper floors ; and at times the use of 
rude carvings, much more rude than the generality of Norman 
work, ami carvings which are clear imitations of Roman work. . . 

"From what I have seen, I am inclined to believe that there 
are many more churches which contain remains of this character, 
but they are very difficult to be certain about, and also likely to be 
confounded with common quoins, and common dressings., in counties 
where stone is not abundant, but where flint, rag, and rough rubble 
plastered over, form the great extent of walling. 

" In various churches it has happened that a very plain arch 
between nave and chancel has been left as the only Norman feature, 
while both nave and chancel have been rebuilt at different times, 
but each leaving the chancel arch standing. I am disposed to think 
that some of these plain chancel arches will, on minute examina- 
tion, turn out to be of this Saxon style." 

Mr. Rickman then gives a list of " twenty edifices in thirteen 
counties, and extending from Whittingham, in Northumberland, 
north, to Sompting ; on the coast of Sussex, south ; and from Barton 
on the Humber, on the coast of Lincolnshire, east, to North Bur- 
combe, on the west." He justly observes, " This number of churches 
extending over so large a space of country, and bearing a clear 
relation of style to each other, forms a class much too important 
and extensive to be referred to any anomaly or accidental deviation." 
Since Mr. Rickman's list was published many other churches have 
been considered to have the same "clear relation of style." We 
shall therefore notice a few only of the more interesting. 

The church of Earl's Barton, in Northamptonshire, is a work of 
several periods of our Gothic architecture ; but the tower is now 
universally admitted to be of Saxon construction (Fig. 209). It 
exhibits many of the peculiarities recognised as the characteristics 
of this architecture. 1st, We have the " long stone set at the corner, 
and a short one lying on it" — the long and short work, as it is com- 
monly called (Fig. 201). These early churches and towers some- 
times exhibit, in later portions, the more regular quoined work in 
remarkable contrast (Fig. 200). 2nd, The tower of Earl's Barton 
presents the " sort of rude balustre, such as might be supposed to 
be copied by a very rough workman by remembrance of a Roman 
balustre " (Fig. 202). 3rd, It shows the form of the triangular arch, 
which, as well as the balustre, are to be seen in Anglo-Saxon ma- 
nuscripts. 4th, It exhibits, " projecting a few inches from the 
surface of the wall, and running up vertically, narrow ribs, or 
square-edged strips of stone, bearing, from their position, a rude 
similarity to pilasters." (Bloxam's ' Gothic Ecclesiastical Archi- 
tecture.') The writer of the valuable manual we have quoted adds, 
" The towers of the churches of Earl's Barton and Barnack, North- 
amptonshire, and of one of the churches of Barton-upon-Humber, 
Lincolnshire, are so covered with these narrow projecting strips of 
stonework, that the surface of the wall appears divided into rudely 
formed panels." 5th, The west doorway of this tower of Earl's 
Barton, as well as the doorway of Barnack, exhibit something like 
" a rude imitation of Roman mouldings in the impost and archi- 
trave." The larger openings, such as doorways, of these early 
churches generally present the semicircular arch ; but the smaller, 
such as windows, often exhibit the triangular arch (Figs. 203, 
205). The semicircular arch is, however, found in the windows 
of some churches as well as the straight-lined, as at Sompting, in 



Chap. III.] 



OLD ENGLAND. 



63 



Sussex (Fig. 206). In this church the doorway has a column with 
a rude capital, " having much of a Human character" (Fig'. 204). 
A doorway remaining of the old palace at Westminster exhibits the 
triangular arch (Fig. 212). The windows of the same building 
present the circular arch, with the single zig-zag moulding 
(Fig. 211). 

Mr. Hickman has mentioned the plain arch which is sometimes 
found between the chancel and nave, which he supposes to be Saxon. 
In some churches arches of the same character divide the nave from 
t lie aisles. Such is the case in the ancient church of St. Michael's, 
St. Albau's, of the interior of which we give an engraving (Fig. 
196). The date of this church is now confidently held to be the 
tenth century, receiving the authority of Matthew Paris, who states 
that it was erected by the abbot of St. Alban's in 948. 

The church at Bosham, in Sussex, which is associated with tlie 
memory of the unfortunate Harold, is represented in the Bayeux 
tapestry, of which we shall hereafter have fully to speak (Fig. 216). 
It is now held that the tower of tiie church "is of that construction 
as to leave little doubt of its being the same that existed when 
the church was entered by Harold." 

It would be tedious were we to enter into any more minute 
description of the Anglo-Saxon Ecclesiastical remains. The subject, 
however, is still imperfectly investigated ; and the reader will be 
startled by the opposite opinions that he will encounter if his in- 
quiries conduct him to the more elaborate works which touch upon 
this theme. It is singular that, admitting some works to be Saxon, 
the proof which exists in the general resemblance of other works is 
not held to be satisfactory, without it is corroborated by actual date. 
Mr. Britton, for example, to whom every student of our national 
antiquities is under deep obligation, especially for having rescued 
their delineation from tasteless artists, to present them to our own 
age with every advantage of accurate drawing and exquisite en- 
graving, thus describes the portion of Edward the Confessor's work 
at Westminster which is held to he of the later Saxon age ; but he 
admits, with the greatest reluctance, the possibility of the existence 
of Other Saxon works, entire, which earlier antiquaries called Saxon. 
('Architectural Antiquities,' vol. v.) The engraving, Fig. 210, 
illustrates Mr. Britton's description: — 

" There are considerable remains of one building yet standing, 
though now principally confined to vaults and cellaring, which may 
be justly attributed to the Saxon era, since there can be no doubt 
tiiat they once formed a part of the monastic edifices of Westminster 
Abbey, probably the church, which was rebuilt by Edward the 
Confessor in the latter years of his life. These remains compose 
the east side of the dark and principal cloisters, and range from the 
college dormitory on the south to the Chapter-house on the north. 
The most curious part is the vaulted chamber, opening from the 
principal cloister, in which the standards for the trial of the Pix 
are kept, under the keys of the Chancellor of the Exchequer and 
other officers of the Crown. The vaulting is supported by plain 
groins and semicircular arches, which rest on a massive central 
column, having an abacus moulding, and a square impost capital, 
irregularly fluted. In their original state, these remains, which are 
now subdivided by several cross walls, forming store-cellars, &c, 
appear to have composed only one apartment, about one hundred 
and ten feet in length and thirty feet in breadth, the semicircular 
arches of which were partly sustained by a middle row of eight 
short and massive columns, with square capitals diversified by a 
difference in the sculptured ornaments. These ancient vestiges nm\ 
form the basement story of the College School, and of a part of the 
Dean and Chapter's Library." 

One of the most curious representations of an Anglo-Saxon 
Church is (bund in a miniature accompanying a Pontifical in tin' 
Public Library at Rouen, which gives the Order for the Dedication 
and Consecration of Chinches. (See F*ig. 215. where the engraving 
is inaccurately stated to be from the Cotton MS.) This miniature, 
which is in black outline, represents the ceremony of dedication. 
The bishop, not wearing the mitre, but bearing his pastoral staff, is 
in the act of knocking at the door of the church with this symbol 
of his authority. The upper group, behind [the bishop, represents 
priests and monks ; the lower group exhibits the laity, who were 
accustomed to assemble on such occasions with solemn rejoicing. 
The barrels are supposed to contain the water which was to be 
blessed and used in the dedication. The form of the church, and 
the accessaries of its architecture, are very curious. The perspec- 
tive is altogether false, so that we see two sides of the building at 
the same time ; and the proportionate size of the parts is quite dis- 
regarded, so that the door reaches almost, to the roof. But the 
form of the towers, the cock on the steeple, the ornamental iron-work 
of the door, show how few essential changes have been produced in 



eight hundred or a thousand years. Some ascribe the date of this 
manuscript to the eighth century, and others to the close of the 
tenth century. The figures of the bishop and priest (Fig. 221) 
are from the same curious relic of Anglo-Saxon art; for all agree 
that this Pontifical is of English origin. In the ' Arcliaeologia,' 
vol. xxv., is a very interesting description of this manuscript, in a 
letter from John Gage, Esq. The writer, in his introductory 
remarks, gives some particulars of the ancient practice of the dedi- 
cation of churches : 

'• Gregory the Great, in his instructions to St. Augustine, bade 
him not destroy the Pagan temples, but the idols within them; di- 
recting the precinct to be purified with holy water, altars to be 
raised, and sacred relics deposited; and because the English were 
accustomed to indulge in feasts to their gods, the prudent Pontiff 
ordained the day of dedication, or the day of the nativity of the 
Saint in whose honour the Church should be dedicated, a festival, 
when the people might have an opportunity of assembling, as before, 
in green bowers round their favourite edifice, and enjoy something 
of former festivity. This was the origin of our country wakes, 
rush-bearings, and church ales." "When Archbishop Wilfred had 
built his church at Ripon. the dedication was attended by Egfrid, 
King of Nortlnunbria, with his brother iEIwin, and the great men 
of his kingdom. The church was dedicated, the altar consecrated, 
the people came and received communion ; and then the Archbishop 
enumerated the lands with which the church was endowed. After 
the ceremony the King feasted the people for three days. The 
dedication of the church at Winchelcumbe was marked by an event 
which shewed that the Christian morality did not evaporate in ritual 
observances. Kenulf, King of Mercia. witli Bishops and Ealdor- 
men, was present, and he brought with him Eadbert, the captive 
King of Kent. " At the conclusion of the ceremony Kenulf led 
his captive to the altar, and as an act of clemency granted him his 
freedom." This was a more acceptable offering than his distribu- 
tion of gold and silver to priests and people. The dedication of the 
conventual church of Ramsey is described by the Monk of Ramsey, 
wdio gives some curious details of the architectural construction of 
a former church. In 969 a church had been founded by the Eal- 
dorman Aylwin, which is recorded to have been '• raised on a solid 
foundation, driven in by the battering-ram, and to have had two 
towers above the roof: the lesser was in front, at the west end ; the 
greater, at the intersection of the four parts of the building, rested 
on four columns, connected together by arches carried from one to 
the other. In consequence, however, of a settlement in the centre 
tower, which threatened ruin to the rest of the building, it became 
necessary, shortly after the church was finished, to take down the 
whole and rebuild it." The dedication of this church was accom- 
panied by a solemn recital of its charter of privileges. " Then, 
placing his right hand on a copy of the Gospels, Aylwin swore to 
defend the rights and privileges, as well of Ramsey, as of other 
neighbouring churches which were named." 

But the narrative of the circumstances attending the original 
foundation of this church, as related by Mr. Sharon Turner from 
the ' History of the Monk of Ramsey,' are singularly instructive as 
to the impulses which led the great and the humble equally to 
contribute to the establishment of monastic institutions. They 
were told that the piety of the men who had renounced the world 
brought blessings on the country ; they were urged to found such 
institutions, and to labour in their erection. Thus was the Eal- 
dorman, who founded the church of Ramsey, instructed by Bishop 
Oswald ; and to the spiritual exhortation the powerful man was not 
indifferent. 

•■ The Ealdornian replied, that he had some hereditary land 
surrounded with marshes, and remote from human intercourse. 
It was near a forest of various sorts of trees, which had several 
open spots of good turf, and others of fine grass for pasture. No 
buildings had been upon it but some sheds for his herds, who had 
manured the soil. They went together to view it. They found 
that the waters made it an island. It was so lonely, and yet had 
so many conveniences for subsistence and secluded devotion, that 
the bishop decided it to be an advisable station. Artificers were 
collected. The neighbourhood joined in the labour. Twelve 
monks came from another cloister to form the new fraternity. 
Their cells and a chapel were soon raised. In the next winter 
they provided the iron and timber, and utensils, that were wanted 
for a handsome church. In the spring, amid the fenny soil, a firm 
foundation was laid. The workmen laboured as much for devotion 
as for profit. Some brought the stones ; others made the cement ; 
others applied the wheel machinery that raised the stones on high; 
and in a reasonable time the sacred edifice with two towers appeared, 
on what had been before a desolate waste." Wordsworth has made 






6$& 

©as 



24j.— Saxon Emblem of <l*e Moiilli of M»y. 



£4S. — Trombones, or Flute*. From Ilic Colton 
MS. Cleopatra. 







v /■ 

24&— Drinking from Cows* Horns. Cotton MS. 



247. Dinnerparty. CotfafD MS. 






24C— Saxon EmMemsof :'..e Month of June. 



64 










2j4. — Nixon Etnlj'n-iEB oftlie nioutli of July 




'■ijj— TliiL'=lun^ aud Winnowing Corn. 







liyjf 




No. 9. 



253, — SaxOQ Emlilemsoftlic month of August. 
[OLD ENGLAND.) 



65 



CO 



OLD ENGLAND. 



[Book 



; Ecclesiastical 



(his description the foundation of one of his fine 
Sketches :' — 

« By such eramples moved to unoonght pains, 
The people work lite congregated bees; 

Ka-er to build llic quiet fortresses 

Where Piety, as they believe, obtains 

From Heaven njwm/ blessing; timely rains, 

Or needful iunshine ; prosperous enterprise, 

And peace, and equity." 

Monarchs vied with the people in what they deemed a work ac- 
ceptable to heaven. Westminster Abbey was built by Edward the 
Confessor, by setting aside the tenth of bis revenue fur this holy 
purpose. "The devout and pious king has dedicated that place to 
God, both for its neighbourhood to the fiunous anil wealthy city, 
and for its pleasant situation among fruitful grounds and green 
fields, and for the nearness of the principal river of England, which 
from all parts of the world conveys whatever is necessary to the 
adjoining city." Camden quotes this from a contemporary histo- 
rian, and adds, " lie pleased also to take the form and figure of this 
building out of an old manuscript : The chief aisle of the church is 
roofed with lofty arches of square work, the joints answering one 
another ; but on both sitles it is enclosed with a double arch of 
stones firmly cemented and knit together. Moreover, the cross of 
the church, made to encompass the middle choir of the singers, and 
by its double supporter on each side to bear up the lofty top of the 
middle tower, first rises singly with a low and strong arch, then 
mounts higher with several winding stairs artificially contrived, and 
hist of all with a single wall reaches to the woodeR roof, which is 
well covered with lead." 

The illuminated manuscripts of the Anglo-Saxon period (and 
there are many not inferior in value and interest to the Pon- 
tifical which we have recently pointed out) furnish the most authen- 
tic materials for a knowledge of the antiquities of our early Church. 
It is a subject of which we cannot here attempt to give any con- 
nected view. Our notices must be essentially fragmentary. As 
works of art weshall have more fully to describe some of the Illumi- 
nations which are found in our public and private libraries. In 
connexion with our church history, it is scarcely necessary for us 
to do more than point attention to the spirited representation of 
St. Augustine (Fig. 217) ; to the same founder of Christianity 
amongst the Anglo-Saxons (Fig. 222) ; to the portrait of St. 
Dunstan (Fig. 218) ; and the kneeling figure of the same energetic 
enthusiast (Fig. 224). The group representing St. Ctithbert and 
King Egfrid (Fig. 219) belongs to the Norman period of art. 



The picture history of the manners and customs of a remote pe- 
riod is perhaps more interesting and instructive, is certainly more 
to be relied on, than any written description. It is difficult for a 
writer not to present the forms and hues of passing things as they 
are seen through the glass of his own imagination. But the drafts- 
man, especially in a rude stage of art, is in a great degree a faithful 
copyist of what he sees before him. The paintings and sculptures 
of Egypt furnish the best commentary upon many portions of the 
Scripture record. The coloured walls of the ruined houses of 
Pompeii exhibit the domestic life of the Roman people with much 
greater distinctness than the incidental notices of their poets and 
historians. This is especially the ease as regards the illuminations 
which embellish many Anglo-Saxon manuscripts. Some of these 
were not intended by the draftsmen of those days to convey any 
notion of how the various ranks around them were performing the 
ordinary occupations of life : they were chiefly for the purpose 
of representing, historically as it were, events and personages with 
which the people were familiarised by their spiritual instructors. 
But, knowing nothing of thpse refinements of art which demand 
accuracy of costume, and caring nothing for what we call anachro- 
nisms, the limners of the Anglo-Saxon chronicles and paraphrases 
painted the Magi in the habits of their own kings, riding on horses 
with the equipment of the time (Fig. 2X3) ; they put their 
own harp into the hands of the Royal Psalmist (Fig. 284); and 
they exhibited their own methods of interment when they delineated 
the Raising of Lazarus (Fig. 289). There are some, but few, 
Anglo-Saxon pictures of a different character. They are intituled 
to represent the industrious occupations, the sports, and the enter- 
tainments of their own nation. A series of such pictures is found in 
a Savon Calendar, supposed by Mr. Strutt to be written at the com- 
mencement of the eleventh century, and which is preserved in the 
Cotton Library at the British Museum (Tiberius, B. 5). The 
Calendar is written partly in Latin, and partly in Saxon. The 
picture- represent the characteristic employments of each Month of 
the year. The series of engravings of the months, which occupy a 



part of this and of the previous sheet of our work, are principally 
founded, with corrections of the drawing, upon the illustrations of 
the old Calendar. We probably cannot adopt a more convenient 
mode of briefly describing the occupations of our Anglo-Saxon 
ancestors, than by following the order which these pictorial anti- 
quities suggest to us. 

.Ianuaky. 
The central portion of the engraving- (1'ig. 227) represents the 
ploughman at Ids labour. Four oxen are employed in the team, 
and thev are guided by a man in front, who bears a long. star!'. The 
sower follows immediately behind the ploughman. Fig. 238, 
which is a literal copy from another manuscript, presents, at once, 
the operations of ploughing, sowing, mowing, measuring corn into 
sacks, and the harvest supper. Fig. 2.56 is a rude representation, 
from the Bayeux tapestry, of the wheel-plough. F"ig. 2o7, from 
the same authority, shows us the sower following the harrow — a 
more accurate representation than that of the sower following the 
plough. We thus see that the opening of the year was the time 
in which the ground was broken up, and the seetl committed to the 
bounty of heaven. We cannot with any propriety assume that the 
seed was literally sown in the coldest month, although it is possible 
that the winter began earlier than it now does. December was 
emphatically called Winter-mouat, winter-month. The Anglo- 
Saxon name of January was equally expressive of its fierce and 
gloomy attributes; its long nights, when men and cattle were 
sheltering from the snow-storm and the frost, but the hungry wolf 
was prowling around the homestead. Verstegan says. " The month 
which we DOW call January, they called Wolf-mouat, to wit, wolf- 
month, because people are wont always in that month to be in more 
danger to be devoured of wolves than in any season else of tlte 
year: for that, through the extremity of cold and snow, these 
ravenous beasts could not find of other beasts sufficient to feed 
upon." "We must consider, therefore, that the Saxon emblems for 
January are rather indicative of the opening of the year than of 
the first month of the year. There are preserved in the Cotton 
Library some very curious dialogues composed by Alfric of 
Canterbury, who lived in the latter part of the tenth century, 
which were for the instruction of the Anglo-Saxon youth in the 
Latin language, upon the principle of interlinear translation ; and 
in these the ploughman says, " I labour much. I go out at day- 
break, urging the oxen to the field, and I yoke them to the plough. 
It is not yet so stark winter that I dare keep close at home, for 
fear of my lord." (Turner's ' Anglo-Saxons.') We thus see that 
the ploughing is done after the harvest, before the winter sets in. 
The ploughman continues, " But the oxen being yoked, and the 
shear and coulter fastened on, I ought to plough every day one 
entire field or more. I have a boy to threaten the oxen witii a 
goad [the long start' represented in the engraving], who is now- 
hoarse through cold and bawling. I ought also to fill the bins of the 
oxen with hay, and water them, and carry out their soil." The 
daily task of the ploughman indicates an advanced state of hus- 
bandry. The land was divided into fields ; we know from Saxon 
grants that they had hedges and ditches. He was as careful, too, 
to carry upon the land the ordure of the oxen, as if he had studied 
a modern ' Muck-Manual.' He knew the value of such labour, 
and set about it probably in a more scientific manner than many of 
those who till the same land nine hundred years after him. Mr. 
Sharon Turner has given a brief and sensible account of the Anglo- 
Saxon husbandry, from which the following is an extract : — 

"When the Anglo-Saxons invaded England, they came into a 
country which had been under the Roman power for about four 
hundred years, and where agriculture, after its more complete 
subjection by Agricola, had been so much encouraged, that it had 
become one of the western granaries of the empire. The Britons, 
therefore, of the fifth century may be considered to have pursued 
the best system of husbandry then in use, and their lands to have 
been extensively cultivated with all those exterior circumstances 
which mark established proprietorship and improvement: as small 
farms ; inclosed fields ; regular divisions into meadow, arable, 
pasture, and wood ; fixed boundaries ; planted hedges ; artificial 
dykes and ditches ; selected spots for vineyards, gardens, and 
orchards; connecting roads and paths; scattered villages, and 
larger towns ; with appropriated names for every spot and object 
that marked the limits of each property, or the course of each way. 
All these appear in the earliest Saxon charters, and before the 
combating invaders had time or ability to make them, if they had 
not found them in the island. Into such a country the Anglo- 
Saxon adventurers came, and by these facilities to rural civilization 
soon became an agricultural people. The natives, whom they 



ClIAP. III.] 



OLD ENGLAND. 



07 



despised! conquered, and enslaved, became their educators am! 
servants in the lie"" arts, which they hail to learn, of grazing and 
Milage ; and the previous cultivation practised by the Romanised 
Britons will best account for .the numerous divisions, and accurate 
and precise descriptions of land which occur in almost all the Saxon 
charters. No modern conveyance could more accurately distinguish 
or describe the boundaries of the premises which it conveyed." 
(•History of the Anglo-Saxons,' Vol, HI., Appendix, No. 2.) 

The side emblems of January (Fig. 227) are from manuscripts 
which incidentally give appropriate pictures of the seasons. The 
man bearing feel and the two-headed Janus belong the one to 
literal and the other to learned art. It is difficult to understand 
how we retained the names of the week-days from Saxon paganism, 
and adopted the classical names of the months. 

Febiiuaiiy. 

" They called February Sprout-kele, by kele meaning the kele- 
wort, which we now call the cole-wort, the great pot-wort in time 
long past that our ancestors used; and the broth made therewith 
was thereof also called kele. For before we borrowed from the 
French the name of potage. and the name of herb, the one in our 
own language was called kele, and the other wort ; and as the 
kele-wort, or potage herb, was the chief winter wort for the sus- 
tenance of the husbandman, so was it the first" herb that in this 
month began to yield out wholesome young sprouts, and conse- 
quently gave thereunto the name of Sprout-kele." So writes old 
Verstegan ; and perhaps if we had weighed earlier what he thus 
affirms, we might have better understood Shakspere when he sings 
of the wiutery time, 

" While greasy Joan doth kele the pot." 

The Saxon pictures of February show us the chilly man wanning 
his hands at the blazing tire ; and the labourers more healthily 
employed in the woods and orchards, pruning their fruit-trees and 
lopping their timber (Fig. 228). Spenser has mingled these em- 
blems in his description of January, in the ' Faery Queen ;' but he 
carries on the pruning process into February : — 

" Then came old January, wrapped well 
111 many weeds to keep die cold away ; 
Vet did he quake ami (timer like t.i quell, 
And blow his nails to warm tlieni it' lie may ; 
For they were numh'd with holding all the day 

An hatchet keen, with which he felled w I 

And from the trees did lop the needless spray." 

March. 

The picture in the Saxon Calendar (Fig. 23G) now gives us dis- 
tinctly the seed-time. But the tools of the labourers ate the spade 
ami the pickaxe. We are looking upon the garden operations of our 
industrious forefathers. They called this month " Lenet-monat," 
length-month (from the lengthening of the days); "and this month 
being by our ancestors so called when they received Christianity, 
and consequently therewith the ancient Christian custom of fasting, 
they called this chief season of fasting the fast of Lenet. because of 
the Lenet-monat, wherein the most part of the time of this fasting 
always fell." 

The great season of abstinence from Hesh. and the regular recur- 
rence through the year of days of fasting, rendered a provision 
for the supply offish to the population a matter of deep concern to 
their ecclesiastical instructors. In the times when the Pagan Saxons 
were newly converted to Christianity, the missionaries were the 
great civilizers, and taught the people how to avail themselves of 
the abundant supply of food which the sea offered to the skilful and 
the enterprising. Bede tells us that Wilfred so taught the people 
of Sussex. " The bishop, when he came into the province, and found 
so great misery of famine, taught them to get their food by fishing. 
Their sea and rivers abounded in fish, 'and yet the people had no 
skill to take them, except only eels. The bishop's men having 
gathered eel-nets everywhere, cast them into the sea, and by the 
help of God took three hundred fishes of several sorts, the which 
being divided into three parts, they gave a hundred to the poor, a 
hundred to those of whom they had the nets, and kept a hundred 
for their own use." The Anglo-Saxons had oxen ami sheep: but 
their chief reliance for Hesh meat, especially through the winter 
eason, was upon the swine, which, although private property, fetl by 
thousands in the vast woods with which the country abounded. Our 
word Bacon is "of the beechen-tree, anciently called bucon, and 
whereas swine's flesh is now called by the name of bacon, it grew 
only at the first unto such as were fatted with bucon or beech mast." 
As abundant as the swine were the eels that flourished in their 
ponds and ditches. The consumption of this species offish appears 



from many incidental circumstances to have been very great. Rents 
were paid in eels, boundaries of lands were defined by eel-dykes, 
and the monasteries required a regular supply of eels from their 
tenants and dependents. We find, however, that the people had a 
variety of fish, if they could aH'ord to purchase of the industrious 
labourers in the deep. In the ' Dialogues of Alfric,' which we have 
already quoted from Mr. Turner, there is the following colloquy 
with a fisherman : " What gettest thou by thine art? — Big loaves, 
clothing, and money. How do you take them? — I ascend my ship, 
and cast my net into the river ; I also throw in a hook, a bait, 
and a rod. Suppose the fishes are unclean? — I throw the uncleau 
out, and take the clean for food. Where do you sell your fish ? — 
In the city. Who buys them? — The citizens; I cannot take so 
many as I can sell. AVhat fishes do you take ? — Eels, haddocks, 
minnics and eel-pouts, skate and lampreys, and whatever swims in 
the river. Why do you not fish in the sea? — Sometimes I do ; but 
rarely, because a great ship is necessary there. What do you take 
in the sea? — Herrings and salmons, porpoises, sturgeons, oysters 
and crabs, muscles, winckles, cockles, flounders, plaice, lobsters, 
and such like. Can you take a whale ? — No, it is dangerous to take 
a whale ; it is safer for me to go to the river with my ship than to 
go with many ships to hunt whales. Why? — Because it is more 
pleasant for me to take fish which I can kill with one blow ; yet. 
many take whales without danger, and then they get a great price ; 
but I dare not from the fearfulness of my mind. 1 ' We thus see 
that three centuries after Wilfred had taught the people of Sussex 
to obtain something more from the waters than the rank eels in 
their mud-ponds, the produce of the country's fishery had become 
an article of regular exchange. The citizens bought of the fisher- 
man as much fish as he could sell ; the fisherman obtained big loaves 
and clothing from the citizens. The enterprise which belongs to 
the national character did not rest satisfied with the herrings and 
salmons of the sea. Though the little fisherman crept along his 
shore, there were others who went with many ships to hunt whales. 
We cannot have a more decisive indication of the general improve- 
ment which had followed in the wake of Christianity, even during a 
period of constant warfare with predatory invaders. 

AntiL. 

The illumination of the Saxon Calendar fur this month represents 
three persons elevated ou a sort of throne, each with drinking-enps in 
their hands, and surrounded with attendants upon their festivities 
(Figs. 237, 267). Strutt, in his description of this drawing, says, 
" Now, taking leave of the laborious husbandman, we see the noble- 
man regaling with his friends, and passing this pleasant month in 
banquetings and music." But he assigns no cause fur the appro- 
priateness of this jollity to the particular season. Is not this pic- 
ture an emblem of the gladness with which the great festival of 
Easter was held after the self-denials of Lent ? April was called 
by the Anglo-Saxons "by the name of Oster-monat ; some think, 
of a goddess called Goster, whereof I see no great reason, for if it 
took appellation of such a goddess (a supposed causer of the easterly 
winds), it seemeth to have been somewhat by some miswritten, and 
should rightly be Oster, and not Goster. The winds indeed, by 
ancient observation, were found in this month most commonly to 
blow from the east, and east in the Teutonic is Ost, and Ost-End, 
which rightly, in English is East-End, hath that name for the 
ea-tern situation thereof, as to the ships it appeareth which through 
the narrow seas do come from t]\e west. So as our name of the 
feast of Easter may be as much to say as the feast of Oster, being 
yet at this present in Saxony called Ostern, which Cometh of 
Oster-monat, their and our old name of April." Those who are 
banqueting on the dais in the illumination, have each cups in their 
hands ; the man sitting at their feet is filling a horn from a 
tankard ; the young man on the right is drinking from a horn. 
There is a clear distinction between the rank of the persons assembled 
at this festivity ; and the difference of the vessels which they 
are using for their potations might imply that the horns Mere filled 
with the old Saxon ale or mead, ami the cups with the more luxu- 
riouswine. In Alfric's Colloquy a lad is asked what he drank; 
and he answers, " Ale if I have it. or water if I have not." He 
is further asked why he does not drink wine, and he replies, " I am 
not so rich that I can buy me wine, and wine is not the drink of 
children or the weak-minded, but of the elders and the wise." But 
if we may reason from analogy, the drinking-horn had a greater im- 
portance attached to it than thedrinking-cup. Inheritances of land 
were transferred by the transfer of a horn; estates were held in 
fee by a horn. The horn of Ulphus (Fig. 292) is a remarkable 
curiosity still preserved in the Sacristy of the Cathedral at York. 

K 2 






2 I8<— Saxon Emblem* of the month of September. 




®l£L 



■o_--- - ; ^ 



S\ N 



P/V^- 




V 



265.— Dinner : The Company pledging each other. (Cotton MS) 









264.— SUOD Emblems of the month of October. 



68 






273.— SuJton Kmblems ol the motitli of November. 








l-V.istat .1 found lil.k-. (IliyaiU T..|..*tr>.) 







■// W 



27i\— Wheel- Bed. (Cotton MS ) 









O ' «gg 





274- — Saxon Emblems of the month of December. 



(J9 



70 



OLD ENGLAND. 



[Book I. 



Ulphus was a Danish nobleman of the time of Canute, who, as 

Camden informs us, " Bj reason of the difference which w.-is like to 
rise between his sons about the sharing of his lands and lordships 
after Iris death, resolved to make them all alike ; and thereupon 
coming to York with that horn wherewith he was used to drink, 
tilled it with wine, and kneeling devoutly before the altar of God 
and St. Peter, prince of the apostles, drank the wine, and by that 
ceremony enfeoffed this church with all his lands and revenues." 
During the Civil Wars the horn of Ulphus came into (he possession 
of Lord Fairfax, after being sold to a goldsmith ; and it was subse- 
i|tieiitly restored to the church by the Fairfax family in 1675. The 
Pusey family in Berkshire hold their possessions by a horn given to 
* their ancestors by King Canute (Fig. 290). So Camden informs us ; 
though the inscription upon the horn which records the fact (Fig. 
291) is held by Camden's editor, Bishop Gibson, to be of a much 
more recent date. Nearly all the Saxon representations of convi- 
vial meetings — anil these are sufficiently numerous to furnish pretty 
clear evidence of the hospitality of that age — exhibit the guests for 
the most part drinking from horns (Fig. 249). Whether the wine 
or mead were drunk from horn or cup. the early custom of pledging 
appears to have been universal (Fig. 265). According to the old 
chroniclers, it was the first wine-pledge that delivered over Britain 
to the power of the Saxons, when the beautiful Rowena sat down in 
the banqueting-hall by the side of Yortigern, and betrayed him by 
her wine-cup and her Waes Ileal (lie of health). Robert of Glo- 
cester has recorded this first wassail in his rough rhyme, which has 
been thus paraphrased : 

" 'Health, my Lord King." the sweet Rowena said ; 
' Health,' cried ttie Chieftain to the Saxon maid ; 
Then gaily rose, and, 'mid the concourse wide, 
Kiss'd her hale lips, and plac'd lier by hisside. 
At the soft scene such gentle thiiughtsnhound. 
That lieulths and kisses 'mongst the guests went round : 
From this the social custom took itj, rise ; 
AVe still retain and still must keep the prize." 

Selden, who gives the story in his Notes to Drayton, conjectures of 
the wassail of the English that it was " an unusual ceremony among 
the Saxons before Hengist, as a note of health-wishing (and so per- 
haps you might make it wish-heil), which was expressed among 
other nations in that form of drinking to the health of their mis- 
tresses and friends." 

Mat. 

Spenser has clothed his May with all the attributes of poetry : 

" Then came fair May. the fairest maid on ground, 
Deck'dall with dainties of her season's pride, 
And throwing Bowers out of her lap around: 
Upon two Brethren's shoulders she did ride, 
The Twills of Leda; which on either side 
Supported her like to their sovereign Queen : 
Lord ! how all creatures laugh "d when her they spied, 
And leap'd and dane'd as they had ravish'd heeii, 
And Cupid self uhout her fluttered all in green."' 

The Saxon name of the month has a pastoral charm about it 
which is OS delightful as the gorgeous imagery of the great poet. 
" The pleasant month of May they termed by the name of Tri- 
milki, because in that month they began to milk their kine three 
times in the day." The illumination of the Calendar carries us into 
the pleasant fields, where the sheep are nibbling the thyniy grass. 
and the old shepherd, seated upon a bank, is looking upon the lamb 
which the labourer bears in bis arms. The shepherd describes his 
duty in the Colloquy of Alfric : " In the first part of the morning 
I drive my sheep to their pasture, and stand over them in heat and 
in cold with dogs lest the wolves destroy them. I lead them back to 
their folds, and milk them twice a day, and I move their folds and 
make cheese and butter ; and I am faithful to my lord." The gar- 
ments of the Anglo-Saxons, both male and female, were linen as 
well as woollen ; but we can ea-ih judge that in a country whose 
population was surrounded by vast forests and dreary marshes, wool, 
the warmer material of clothing, would be of the first importance. 
The Heed- which the shepherd brought home in the pleasant summer 
season was duly spun throughout the winter, by the females of 
•very family, whatever might be their tank. King Edward the 
Elder commanded that his daughters should be instructed in the use 
of the distatf. Alfred, in his will, called the female part of his familv 
the spindle side. At this day, true to their ancient usefulness {the form 
of which, we hope not the substance, has passed away), unmarried 
ladies are called spinsters. But the Anglo-Saxon ladies attained a 
high degree of skill in the ornamental work belonging to clothine. 



The Norman historians record their excellence with the needle, 
and their skill in embroidery. Minute descriptions of dress are not 
amongst the most amusing of reading, although they are highh 
valuable to the systematic chronicler of manners. It maybe suffi- 
cient for us to point attention, first to the cloaks, the plain and em- 
broidered tunics, and the shoes of the males (Fig. 2S.">. and inciden- 
tally in other Figures). These were the loose and Sowing garments 
of the superior classes, a costume certainly of great beauty. The 
close tunic of the labourers (Fig. 2oo) is distinguished by the same 
fitness for the rank and occupation of the wearers. The practice 
of bandaging or cross-gartering the hose is indicated in many Anglo* 
Saxon drawings (Figs. 284,288). Secondly, the ladies wore a long 
and ample garment with loose sleeves (the gunua, whence our 
gown), over a closer-fitting one, which hail tight sleeves reaching 
to the wrist ; over these a mantle was worn by the superior classes, 
and a sort of hood or veil upon the bead (Figs. 286, 287). Those 
who desire further information upon the subject of the Anglo-Saxon 
costume may consult Mr. Blanche's valuable little work upon • British 
Costume,' or the ' Pictorial History of England,' Book II. Chap. 
VI. 

June. 

The emblem which we have given for this month (Fig. 246) is 
assigned to -Inly in the Saxon Calendar; but Mr. Strutt is of 
opinion that the illuminator transposed the emblems of June and 
July, as there would be no leisure for felling trees during the 
harvest time, which is represented in the original as taking place 
in June and in August. The field operations of August are pro- 
perly a continuation of those of July, according to Mr. Strutt. 
But it is not improbable that the hay harvest was meant lo be re- 
presented by one illumination, and the grain harvest by the other. 
June was called by a name which describes the pasturing of cattle 
in the fields not destined for winter fodder. These were the 
meadow s, which were too wet and rank for the purposes of hay. 
The blythe business of hay-making was upon the uplands, Vcrstc- 
gan savs: " Unto June they gave the name of "Weyd-monat, be- 
cause their beasts did then weyd in the meadows, that is to say, go 
to feed there, and thereof a meadow is also in the Teutonic called 
a weyd, and of weyd we yet retain our word wade, which we under- 
stand of going through watery places, such as meadows are wont to 
be." The felling of trees in the height of summer, when the sap was 
up, was certainly not for purposes of timber. It was necessary to pro- 
vide a large supply of fuel for winter use. In grants of land sufficient 
wood for burning was constantly permitted to be cut; and every 
estate had its appropriate quantity of wood set out for fuel and for 
building. 

July. 

This was the Heu-monat or Hey-monat, the Hay-month. The 
July of Spenser bears the scythe and the sickle : — 

" Behind his hack a scythe, and by his side 
Under his helt he hore a sickle circling wide." 

These instruments were probably indifferently used in the har- 
vests of the Anglo-Saxons, as they still are in many of our English 
counties (Figs. 234, 258). 

August. 

This was especially the harvest-month. " August they call 
Arn-monat, more rightly Barn-monat, intending thereby the then 
filling of their barns with corn." The arable portion of an estate 
was probably comparatively small. The population of the towns 
was supplied with corn from the lands in their immediate vicinity. 
There was no general system of exchange prevailing throughout 
the country. In the small farms enough corn was grown for do- 
mestic use; and when it failed, as it often did, before the succeed- 
ing harvest, the cole-wort and the green pulse were the welcome 
substitutes. Wheaten bread was not in universal use. The young 
monks of the Abbey of St. Edmund ate the cheaper barley bread. 
The baker, in Alfric's Colloquy, answers to the question of" What 
use is your art ? we can live long without you :" — " You may live 
through some space without my art, but not long nor so well ; for 
without my craft every table would seem empty, and without bread 
all meat would become nauseous. I strengthen the heart of man 
and little ones could not do without me." In the representation 
of a dinner party (Fig. 247), some food is placed on the table; but 
the kneeling servants offer the roasted meat on spits, from which 
the gusts cut slices into their trenchers. We smile at these 
primitive manners, but they were a refinement upon those of the 
heroes of Homer, who were their own cooks. 



Chap. III.] 



OLD ENGLAND. 



71 



"Patroelus did Ills (U-iir friend's will : ami he that did ilesil - 
To cheer the lords (come faint from light) set on a blazing lire 
A great brass pot, and into it, a chine of mutton put. 
And tat goats' flesh : Automeduu held, while he pieces cot 
To roast and boil, right cunningly : then of a well fed swine, 
A huge fat shoulder lie cuts out, and spits it wondrous tine : 
His good friend made a goodly lire; of which the force once a i-t, 
He laid the spit low, near the coals, to make it brown at last : 
Then sprinkled it with sacred salt, and took it from the racks: 
This roasted anil on dresser set, his friend Patroclus takes 
llreml in fair haskets; which set on, Arhilles brought the meat, 
And to divinost Ithacostook his opposed seat 
Upon the bench : then did he will his friend to sacrifice; 
\\ ho cast sweet incense in tlte fire, to all the Deities. 
Thus fell they to their ready food.'' 

Chapman's Translation op the Iliad, Book ix. 

An illumination amongst the Ilarleian Manuscripts exhibits to 
ns an interesting part of the economy of a lord's house ill the Sa\mi 
times. In the foreground are collected some poor people, aged 
in ii, women, and children, who are storing in their vessels, or 
humbly waiting to receive, the provisions which the lord and the 
lady are distributing at their hall door. It was from this highest 
of the occupations of the rich and powerful, the succour of the 
needy, that the early antiquaries derived our titles of Lord and 
Lady. The modern etymologists deny the correctness of this 
derivation, and maintain that the names are simply derived from a 
Saxon verb which means to raise up, to exalt. Home Tooke, in 
his ' Diversions of Purley,' maintains this opinion ; and our recent 
dictionary-makers adopt it. Nevertheless, we shall transcribe old 
Verstegan's ingenious notion of the origin of the terms, which lias 
something higher and better in it than mere word-splitting : " I 
find that our ancestors used for Lord the name of Laford, which (as 
it should seem) for some aspiration in the pronouncing, they wrote 
HIaford, and Hlafurd. Afterward it grew to be written Loverd, 
and by receiving like abridgment as other our ancient appellations 
have done, it is in one syllable become Lord. To deliver therefore 
t\w true etymology, the reader shall understand, that albeit we 
have our name of bread from lireod, as our ancestors were wont to 
call it, yet used they also, and that most commonly, to call bread 
by the name of ITlaf, from whence we now only retain the name of 
the form or fashion wherein bread is usually made, calling it a loaf, 
whereas loaf, coming of Illaf or Laf, is rightly also bread itself, 
and was not of our ancestors taken for the form only, as now we 
use it. Now was it usual in long foregoing ages, that such as 
were endued with great wealth and means above others, were 
chiefly renowned (especially in these northern regions) for their 
house-keeping and good hospitality ; that is, for being able, and 
using to feed and sustain many men, and therefore were they par- 
ticularly honoured with the name and title of HIaford, which is as 
much to say, as an atforder of Laf, that is, a bread-giver, intending 
(as it seemeth) by bread, the sustenance of man, that being the 
substance of our footl the most agreeable to nature, and that which 
in our daily prayers we especially desire at the hands of God. 
The name and title of Lady was anciently written Illeafdian, or 
Leafdian, from whence it came to be Lafdy, anil lastly Lady. I 
have showed here last before how Illaf or Laf was sometime our 
name of bread, as also the reason why our noble and principal men 
came to be honoured in the name of Laford, which now is Lortl, 
and even the like in correspondence of reason must appear in this 
name of Leafdian, the feminine of Laford ; the first syllable whereof 
being anciently written Hleaf, and not Hlaf, must not therefore 
alienate it from the like nature and sense, for that only seemeth 
to have been the feminine sound, and we see that of Leafdian we 
have not retained Leady, but Lady. Well then both Illaf and 
HIeaf, we must here understand to signify one thing, which is 
bread ; Dian is as much to say as serve ; and so is Leafdian a bread- 
server. Whereby it appeareth that as the Laford did allow food 
and sustenance, so the Leafdian did see it served and disposed to 
the guests. And our ancient and yet continued custom that our 
ladies and gentlewomen douse to carve and serve their guests at the 
table, which in other countries is altogether strange and unusual, 
doth for proof hereof well accord and correspond with this our 
ancient and honourable feminine appellation." 

September. 

The illumination of the Saxon Calendar for this month exhibits 
the chace of the wild boar in the woods, where he fattened on 
acorns and beech-masts. The Saxon name of the month was 
Gerst-monat, or Barley-month; the month cither of the barley 
harvest or the barley beer making. But the pictorial representa- 
tion of September shows us the bold hunting with dog ami boar- 
spear. The old British breed of strong hounds, excellent for 



hunting and war, which Strabo describes as exported to other 
countries, was probably not extinct. Even the most populous 

places were suit ided with thick woods, whore the boar, the wolf. 

and the bear lurked, or came forth to attack the unhappy way- 
farer. London was bounded by a great forest. FitZ-Stephen 
says, writing in the reign of Henry the Second — "On the north side 
are fields for pasture and open meadows very pleasant, among 
which the river waters do How, and the wheels of the mills are 
turned about with a delightful noise. Very near lieth a large 
forest, in which are woody groves of wild beasts in the coverts, 
whereof do lurk bucks and does, wild boars and bulls." All ranks 
of the Anglo-Saxons delighted in the chace. The young nobles were 
trained to hunting after their school-days of Latin, as we are told 
in Asser's • Life of Alfred.' Harold Harefoot, the king, was so 
called from his swiftness in the foot-chace. The beating the woods 
for the boar, as represented in Fig. 231, was a services of danger, 
and therefore fitted for the training of a warlike people. 

October. 

This w as the Wyn-monat, the Wine-month of the Anglo-Saxons. 
Spenser's personification of the month is an image of " Old Eng- 
land :" — 

" Then came October full of merry glee ; 
For yet his noule was totty of the must, 
\\ Inch he w;is treading io the wine-fat's sea, 
And uf the joyous oil, whose gentle gust 
Made him so frolic and so lull of lost.' 1 

The illumination of (he Saxon Calendar (Fig. 264) shows us the 
falconer with his hawk on fist, reatly to let her down I he wind at 
the heron or the wild duck. Other illuminations of this early 
period exhibit the grape-picker and the grape-presser. The wine- 
press of the time will appear in a subsequent page. Much has been 
written upon the ancient culture of the vine in England, liede 
says, '• The island excels for grain and trees, and is fit for feeding 
of beasts of burden and cattle. It also produces vines in some 
places." The later chroniclers, who knew the fact, quote Bede 
without disputing his assertion. Winchester, according to some of 
the earlier antiquaries, derived its name from Yintonia, the city of 
the vine ; but this is very questionable. The Bishop of Hochester 
had a vineyard at Hailing; and one of the bishops, as Lambarde 
tells us. sent to Edward II. "a present of his drinks, and withal both 
wine ami grapes of his own growth in his vineyard at Hailing, 
which is now a good plain meadow." The same authority says. 
" History hath mention that there was about that time [the Norman 
invasion] great store of vines at Santlac [Battle]."' lie has a 
parallel instance of the early culture of the vine : — " The like 
whereof I have read to have been at Windsor, insomuch as tithe of 
them hath been there yielded in great plenty ; which giveth me tc* 
think that wine hath been made long since within the realm, 
although in our memory it be accounted a great dainty to hear of." 
Lambarde then particularly describes the tithe of the Windsor vine- 
yard, as " of wine pressed out of grapes that grew in the little park 
there, to the Abbot of Waltham; and that accompts have been 
made of the charges of planting the vines that grew in the said 
park, as also of making the wines, whereof some parts were spent in 
the household, and some sold for the king's profit." This is an 
approach to a wine-manufacture upon a large scale. There can he 
little doubt that many of the great monasteries in the South of 
England had their vineyards, and made the wine for the use of their 
fraternities. They might not carry the manufacture so far as to 
sell any wine for their profit; but the vineyard ami the wine-press 
saved them the cost of foreign wines, for'their labour was of little 
account. The religious houses founded in the Anglo-Saxon period 
had probably, in many cases, their vineyards as well as their 
orchards. There is an express record of a vineyard at Saint Ed- 
mundsbury ; Martin, Abbot of Peterborough, is recorded in the 
Saxon Chronicle to have planted a vineyard ; William Thorn, the 
monastic chronicler, writes that in his Abbey of Nordbome the 
vineyard was '• ad commodum et magnum honorem " — a profitable 
and celebrated vineyard. Vineyards are repeatedly mentioned in 
Domesday-Book. William of Malmesbury thus notices vineyards 
in his description of the abundance of the County of Gloucester : — 
"No county in England has so many or so good vineyards as this, 
either for fertility or sweetness of the grape. The vine has in it no 
unpleasant tartness or eagerness [sourness, from mgre~\, anil is little 
inferior to the French in sweetness." Camden, in quoting this 
passage, adds, "We are not to wonder that so many places in this 
country from their vines are called vineyards, because they afforded 
plenty of wine ; ami that they yield none now is rather to he im- 
puted to the sloth of the inhabitants than the indisposition of the 




ZSt.— The Harp, accnm pan h-d hy other Instruments 
(Cotton MS )" 




2flfi, — Costume of Female, exhi'riting 
Ihfl under and upper sleeved Tunic, 
the Mantle, aud Hood. (Harli'iau 
MS.) 



2&7- — Au«lo-Sason Females- The slamlitix I 
[a Etheldrytha, a Prince»s of East Anglu, 
the BeuediLtionat of St. Ethelwold. 




2S8-— Civil Cottume of the Anglo-Saxons. 

72 



2*).— The Coffin and Grave clothes. From a Picture of the Raising of Luarus, m Cotton MS. Nero, C 4. 




295.— Smithy ; a Harper in the oilier compartment. (From Cotton MS.) 



No 10. 



Plllnnorilerculei. 

W. 

239 — Anglo-Saxon M.]i of the Tenth Century. 



[OLD ENGLAND.] 



73 



74 



OLD ENGLAND. 



[Book I. 



climate." This question of the ancient growth of the vine m 
England was the subject of a regular antiquarian passage-at-anna 
in 1771, when the Honourable Daines Barrington entered the lists 
to overthrow all the chroniclers and antiquaries, from William of 
Malmesbury to Samuel Pegge, and to prove that the English grapes 
were currants— that the vineyards of Domesday-Book and other 
ancient records were nothing but gardens— that the climate of 
England would never have permitted the ripening of grapes for 
wine. The throng of partisans to this battle-field was prodigious. 
The Antiquarian Society inscribed the paper pellets shot on tins 
occasion as " The Vineyard Controversy." 

We have no hesitation in believing that those who put faith in 
the truth of the ancient records were right ;— that vineyards were 
plentiful in England, and that wine was made from the English 
grapes. It was not a change in the climate, not the sloth of the 
people, that rendered the vineyards less and less profitable in every 
age, and finally produced their complete extinction. The wine of 
France was largely imported into England soon after the Norman 
conquest. It is distinctly recorded that a passion for French wines 
was a characteristic of the court and the nobility, in the reign of 
Henry III. The monks continued to cultivate their vines, — as in 
the sunny vale of Beaulieu, where the abbey, which King John 
founded, had its famous vineyard ; but the great supply of wine, 
even to the diligent monks, was from the shores of France, where 
the vine could be cultivated upon the commercial principle. Had 
the English under the Plantagenets persevered in the home cul- 
tivation of the vine for the purpose of wine-making, whilst the 
claret of a better vine-country, that could be brought in a few hours 
across the narrow sea, was excluded from our ports, the capital of 
England would have been fruitlessly wasted in struggles against 
natural disadvantages, and the people of England would have been 
for tiie most part deprived of the use and enjoyment of a superior 
drink to their native beer. The English vineyards were gradually 
changed into plain meadows, as Larabarde lias said, or into fertile 
corn-fields. Commercially the vine could not be cultivated in 
England, whilst the produce of the sunny hills of France was 
more accessible to London and Winchester than the corn which 
grew in the nearest inland county. The brethren of a monastery, 
whose labour was a recreation, might continue to prune their vines 
and press their grapes, as their Saxon ancestors had done before 
them ; but for the people generally, wine would have been a luxury 
unattainable, had not the ports of Sandwich and Southampton 
been freely open to the cheap and excellent wine of the French 
provinces. This is the course of every great revolution in the 
mode of supplying the necessities, or even the luxuries, of a people 
amongst whom the principle of exchange has been established. 
The home growth for awhile supplies the home consumption. 
A cheaper and better supply is partially obtained through ex- 
change and easy communication — from another parish, another 
county, another province, and finally from another country. Then 
the home growth lingers and declines ; capital is diverted into other 
channels, where it can be more profitably employed. Governments 
then begin to strive against the natural commercial laws, by the 
establishment of restrictive or prohibitory duties. A struggle goes 
on, perhaps prolonged for centuries, between the restrictions and 
the principle of exchange. The result is certain. The law of 
exchange is a law of progress; the rule of restriction is a rule of 
retrogression. The law of exchange goes on to render the com- 
munications of mankind, even of those who are separated by mighty 
oceans, as easy as the ancient communications of those who were 
only separated by a river or a mountain. The rule of restriction, 
generation after generation, and year after year, narrows its circle, 
which was first a wide one, and held a confiding people within its 
fold ; but, as it approaches to the end, comes to contain only a class, 
then a few of the more prejudiced of a class, and, lastly, those who 
openly admit that the rule is for their exclusive benefit. The 
meadows and the corn-fields of England have profitably succeeded 
her unprofitable vineyards ; and the meadows and the corn-fields 
will flourish, because the same law of exchange that drove out the 
vineyards will render the home exchange of corn and meat more 
profitable, generally, to producer and consumer than the foreign 
exchange. England is essentially a corn-growing and a mutton- 
growing country ; and we have no fear that her fields will have 
failing crops, or her downs not be white with flocks, if the law of 
exchange should free itself from every restriction. England was 
not a wine-growing country, and therefore her vineyards perished 
before the same natural laws that will give the best, because the 
most steady, encouragement to her bread-growing and beer-growing 
capacity. 



November. 

This was the Wint-monat, the wind-month, of the Anglo-Saxons. 
Its emblems were the blazing hearth and the swine-killing (Fig. 
273). The great slaughter-time was come, — the days of fresh 
meat were passing away. The beeves, and the sheep, and the hogs, 
whose store of green feed was now exhausted, were doomed to the 
salting-tubs. The Martinmas beef, — the beef salted at the feast 
of St. Martin — is still known in the northern parts of the island; 
and the proverb which we adopted from Spain, " His Martinmas 
will come, as it does to every hog," speaks of a destiny as inevitable 
as the fate of the acorn-fed swine at the salting season. 

Mr. Strutt, in his explanation of the illumination of the Saxon 
Calendar, says, " This month returns us again to the labourers, who 
are here heating and preparing their utensils." He then refers us 
to another drawing of a blacksmith* The Saxon illumination is 
very rude. In the centre of the composition there is a blazing fire 
upon the floor; a group on the right are warming their hands; 
whilst one man on the left is bearing a bundle of fuel, and another 
doing something at the fire with a rough pair of tongs. We 
believe that our artist has translated the illumination correctly, in 
considering this the fire of the domestic hearth, which the labourers 
are supplying with fresh billets. But as the subject is interpreted 
by Mr. Strutt, it refers to the craft of the smith, the most 
important occupation of early times ; and we may therefore not 
improperly say a few words upon this great handicraftsman, who 
has transmitted us so many inheritors of his name even in our own 
day. Verstegan says, " Touching such as have their surnames of 
occupations, as Smith, Taylor, Turner, and such others, it is not 
to be doubted but their ancestors have first gotten them by using 
such trades; and the children of such parents being content to take 
them upon them, their after-coming posterity could hardly avoid 
them, and so in time cometh it rightly to be said, — 

' From whence came Smith, all be lie knight or squire, 
But I'rom the smith that furgeth at the fire.' " 

But the author of an ingenious little book, lately published, on 
" English Surnames," Mr. Lower, points out that the term was 
originally applied to all smiters in general. The Anglo-Saxon 
Smith was the name of any one that struck with a hammer, — a 
carpenter, as well as a worker in iron. They hud specific names for 
the ironsmith, the goldsmith, the coppersmith ; and the numerous 
race of the Smiths are the representatives of the great body 
of artificers amongst our Saxon ancestors. The ironsmith is 
represented labouring at his forge in Fig. 294, and in Fig. 295, 
where, in another compartment of the drawing, we have the figure 
of a harper. The monks themselves were smiths ; and St. Dunstan, 
the ablest man of his age, was a worker in iron. The ironsmith 
could produce any tool by his art, from a ploughshare to a needle. 
The smith in Alfric's Colloquy says, " Whence the share to the 
ploughman, or the goad, but for my art ? Whence to the fisherman 
an angle, or to the shoewright an awl, or to the sempstress a needle, 
but for my art ?" No wonder then that the art. was honoured and 
cultivated. The antiquaries have raised a question whether the 
Anglo-Saxon horses were shod ; and they appear to have decided 
in the negative, because the great districts for the breed of horses 
were fenny districts, where the horses might travel without shoes 
(See * Archseologia,' vol. iii.). The crotchets of the learned are 
certainly unfathomable. Mr. Pegge, the writer to whom we 
allude, says, "Here in England one has reason to think they began 
to shoe soon after the Norman Conquest. William the Conqueror 
gave to Simon St. Liz, a noble Norman, the town of Northampton, 
and the whole hundred of Falkley, then valued at forty pound per 
annum, to provide shoes for his horses." If the shoes were not 
wanted, by reason of the nature of the soil in Anglo-Saxon times, 
the invading Normans might have equally dispensed with them, 
and William might have saved his manor for some better suit and 
service. Montfaucon tells us, that when the tomb of Childeric, the 
father of Clovis, who was buried with his horse in the fifth century, 
was opened in 1653, an iron horseshoe was found within it. If 
the horse of Childeric wore iron horseshoes, we may reasonably 
conclude that the horses of Alfred and Athelstane, of Edgar and 
Harold, were equally provided by their native smiths. There is 
little doubt that the mines of England were well worked in the 
Saxon times. " Iron-ore was obtained in several counties, and there 
were furnaces for smelting. The mines of Gloucestershire in 
particular are alluded to by Giraldus Cambrensis as producing an 
abundance of this valuable metal ; and there is every reason for 
supposing that these mines were wrought by the Saxons, as indeed 
they had most probably been by their predecessors the Romans. 



Chap. III.] 



OLD ENGLAND. 



The lead-mines of Derbyshire, which hart been worked by the 
Romans, famished the Anglo-Saxons with a supply of ore (Fig. 
296) ; but the most important use of this metal in the Anglo-Saxon 
period, that of covering the roofs of churches, was not introduced 
before the close of the seventh century." (' Pictorial History of 
England,' Book II. Chap. VI.) It is not impossible that something 

more than mere ma d labour was applied to the operations of 

lifting ore from the mines, and freeing them from water, the great 
obstacle to successful working. In the Cotton Manuscripts we 
have a representation of the Anglo-Saxon mode of raising water 
from a well with a loaded lever (Fig. 297). At the present day 
we see precisely the same operation carried on by the market- 
gardeners of Isleworth and Twickenham. A people that have 
advanced so far in the mechanical arts as thus to apply the level as 
a labour-saving principle, are in the direct course for reaching many 
of the higher combinations of machinery. The Anglo-Saxons were 
exporters of manufactured goods in gold and silver; and after nine 
hundred years we are not much farther advanced in our commercial 
economy than the merchant in Alfric's Colloquy, who says, " I 
send my ship with my merchandise (Fig. 298), and sail over the 
sea-like places, and sell my things, and buy dear things, which are 

not produced in this land 'Will you sell your things here 

a-s you bought them there? — I will not, because what would my 
labour benefit me ? I will sell them here dearer than I bought 
them there, that I may get some profit to feed me, my wife, and 
children." The geographical knowledge of the Anglo-Saxons was 
no doubt imperfect enough ; but it was sufficient to enable them to 
carry on commercial operations with distant lands. The Anglo- 
Saxon map (Fig. 299) is taken from a manuscript of the tenth 
century, in the Cottonian Library. It was published in the 
• Penny Magazine,' No. 340, from which we extract the following 
remarks upon it : — " The defects of the map are most apparent in 
the disproportionate size and inaccurate position of places. The 
island to the left of Ireland is probably meant for one of the Western 
Islands of Scotland ; but it is by far too large, and is very 
incorrectly placed. The same remark will apply to the islands in 
the Mediterranean. The form given to the Black Sea appears just 
such as would be consequent upon loose information derived from 
mariners. However, in the absence of scientific surveys of any 
coast, and considering the little intercourse which took place 
between distant countries, the Anglo-Saxon map presents as 
accurate an outline as perhaps ought to be expected." 

December. 

The emblem of the Saxon Calendar is that of the threshin"- 
season (Fig. 274). The flail has a reverend antiquity amongst us ; 
the round sieve slowdy does the work of winnowing ; the farmer 
stands by with his notched stick, to mark how many baskets of the 
winnowed corn are borne to his granary. Other emblems show us 
the woodman bearing his fuel homewards, to make his hearth 
cheerful in the Winter-monat, winter-month ; or the jolly yeoman 
lifting his drinking horn during the festivities of the Ileligh-monat, 
holy month, for December was called by both these names. Then 
was the round table filled with jocund guests (Fig. 275). Then 
were the harp and the pipe heard in the merry halls; and the 
dancers were as happy amidst the smoke of their wood-fires, as if 
their jewels had shone in the clear blaze of a hundred wax-lights 
(Figs. 248, 266). 



The Anglo-Saxon illuminations in the preceding pages, which 
are fac-similes, or nearly so, of drawings accompanying the original 
manuscripts in our public libraries, will not have impressed those 
unfamiliar with the subject with any very high notion of the state 
of art in this island eight or nine hundred years ago. It must be 
remembered that these specimens are selected, not as examples of 
the then state of art, but as materials for the history of manners 
and of costume. The false perspective, the slovenly delineations of 
the extremities, and the general distortion of the human figure, will 
at once be apparent. But there was nevertheless a school of art if 
so it may be called, existing in England and Ireland, which has 
left some very remarkable proofs of excellence, and indeed of 
originality, in a humble walk of pictorial labour. The illuminated 
letters of the Anglo-Saxon manuscripts are wholly different from 
those of any continental school; and they display a gracefulness of 
ornament, anil a power of invention, which may be profitably studied 
in these our own times, when ornamental design in connection with 
manufactures is escaping from the monotonous barbarism which lias 
so long marked us in such matters as a tasteless and unimaginative 
people. " The chief features of this species of illumination are 



described by Sir F. Madden to be,— extreme intricacy of pattern, 
interfacings of knots in a diagonal or square form, sometimes 
interwoven with animals, and terminating in heads of serpents or 
birds. Though we cannot distinctly trace the progress of this art, 
we may conclude that it continued in a flourishing and improving 
state in the interval from the eighth to the tenth and eleventh 
centuries, which were so prolific in Anglo-Saxon works of 
calligraphy and illumination, that perhaps, says a competent 
authority, speaking of this period, our public libraries anil the 
collections abroad contain more specimens executed in this country 
than any other can produce during the same space of time." 
(' Pictorial I [istory of England,' Book II. Chap. V.) We give three 
examples, out of the great variety which exists in this branch of art. 
The illuminated letter P is of the eighth century (Fig. 301), at 
which period the illumination of books formed a delightful occupation 
to the more skilful in the monastic establishments, and was even 
thought a proper employment by the highest dignitaries of the Church. 
There is a splendid example known as the ' Durham Book,' which 
was the work of Eadfrid, Bishop of Lindisfarne, who died in 721. 
Dunstan himself, at a subsequent period, varied the course of his 
austerities and his ambition by employing his hand in the illumination 
of manuscripts. The ornament (Fig. 300) and the letter Q (Fig. 
302) are of the tenth century. 

But, although the examples are not very numerous, we have 
proof that the taste thus cultivated in the cloisters of the Anglo- 
Saxons was occasionally capable of efforts which would not have 
been unworthy of that period and that country to which we assign 
the revival of the arts. We are too much accustomed to think that 
there was no art in Europe, and very little learning, during what 
we are pleased to call the dark ages. But in the centuries so 
designated there were, in our own country, divines, historians, 
poets, whose acquirements might be an object of honourable rivalry 
to many of those who are accustomed to sneer at their scientific 
ignorance and their devotional credulity. At the time when Italian 
art was in the most debased condition, there was a monk in England 
(and there may have been many more such whose labours have 
perished) who, in all the higher qualities of design, might have 
rivalled the great painters who are held, three centuries later, to 
have been almost the creators of modern art. In the most successful 
labours of the Anglo-Saxon cloister there was probably little worldly 
fame ; of rivalry there was less. The artist, in the brief intervals 
of his studies and his devotions, laboured at some work of several 
years, which was to him a glory and a consolation. He was 
worthily employed, and happily, because his pencil embodied the 
images which were ever present to his contemplation. He did not 
labour for wealth amidst struggling competitors. Dante says of 
the first great Italian artists, — 

" Cimabue thought 
To lord it over paintings ficlil ; and now 
The cry is Giotto's, and his name eclips'd. 
Tims hath one Guido from the other match 'el 
The letter'd prize : and he, perhaps, is horn. 
AVho shall drive either from their nest. The noise 
Of worldly fame is but a blast of wind, 
That blows from diverse points, and shifts its name, 
Shifting the point it blows from.'' 

There is an Anglo-Saxon collection of drawings in existence, 
undoubtedly produced in the tenth century, whose excellence is 
such that the artist might have pretended " to lord it over 
painting's field" even amongst the Cimabues and Giottos. His 
name is supposed to have been Godemann ; but even that is 
doubtful. To him, whoever he was, might now be addressed the 
subsequent lines of Dante, — 

" Shalt thou more 
Live in the mouths of mankind, if thy flesh 
Part shrivell'd from thee, than if thou liadst died 
Before the coral and the ]iap were left : 
Or e'er some thousand yeais have past :" 

But he has vindicated the general claims of his countrymen to 
take their rank, in times which men falsely call barbarous, amidst 
those who have worthily elevated the grosser conceptions of man- 
kind into the ideal, showing that art had a wider and a purer sphere 
than the mere imitation of natural objects. The Benedictional of 
St. Ethelwold, an illuminated manuscript of the tenth century, in 
the library of the Duke of Devonshire, is the work to which we 
allude. It is fully described by Mr. Gage, in the twenty-fourth 
volume of the ' Areha?ologia ;' and the Antiquarian Society, greatly 
to their honour, caused to be beautifully engraved in their Trans- 
actions thirty plates of the miniatures with which this remarkable 

L 2 




300— Anglo-Saxon Ornament. 
(Prom MS. of the Teeth Century.) 





301.— Anglo Bnon Illuminated Letter. (From MS of ihe Eighth Century.) 





303.— From St. ^lhelw ld'» Uenedictional. Illumination V. 



304. — From St, /EtlielwoM's Be u edict ion al. Illumination VII. 



16 





06. — Ancient Church, Greensted. 



305. — St. Mary's Chap. 1 «t KiagMmt. 




313.— Seal of Alfric, E»rl of Mercia. 




310.— Sason Lnntern. (Engraved in Strutt's 
Chronicle of England-) 




OLD ENGLAND. 



[Book I. 



work is adorned. This manuscript was the ancient Benedictional 
of the Sec of Winchester ; and it is stated at the commencement of 
the work, that " A prelate whom the Lord hail caused to be head of 
the Church of Winchester, the great JSthelwold, commanded a 
certain mnnk subject to him to write the present book : he ordered 
also to be made in it many arches elegantly decorated and filled up 
with various ornamental pictures, expressed in divers beautiful 
colours and gold." At the end of this introduction, or dedication, 
the writer subscribes his name Qodemann. This monk of St. 
Swithin's subsequently became Abbot of Thorney. Mr. Cage says, 
" Although it is likely that this superb volume, filled with beau- 
tiful miniatures, and ornaments of the richest design, was finished 
"before Codemann had the government of the Abbey of Thorney. 
■we are sure of one thing, that it was executed in this country be- 
tween the years 963, when Ethelwold received the episcopal mitre, 
and 984, when he died. . . . That Codemann was the illuminator 
of the manuscript, a.s well as the writer of it, I see no reason to 
doubt. Illumination was part of the art of calligraphy; and, ge- 
nerally speaking, the miniature painting and the writing in the 
early manuscripts are to be presumed the work of the same hand." 
To furnish a general idea, though certainly an insufficient one, of 
the remarkable merit of the miniatures of this book, we present 
copies of the fifth and the seventh plates, a.s engraved in the ' Archaeo- 
logia.' Fig. 303 is the second of two miniatures entitled ' Chorus 
Virgimun.' Fig. 304 is the second of four miniatures, each con- 
taining a group of three Apostles. It is fortunately unnecessary 
that we should attempt ourselves any critical remarks on the rare 
merits of this early work of Anglo-Saxon art ; for in the paper in 
the ' ArcliEeologia ' is inserted a communication from the late Mr. 
Ottley, whose familiar acquaintance with the works of the early 
masters, both in painting and engraving, and the general correct- 
ness of his judgment, have established for him a high reputation. 
"We extract from his letter a passage which points out not only the 
beauties, but defects of this work, and of Anglo-Saxon art in gene- 
ral ; and further notices the superiority of the best productions of 
this our early school, both in colour and drawing, to the works of 
its European contemporaries : — 

" In the thirteenth century, as every one knows, the art of paint- 
ing and sculpture in Italy received new life at the hands of 
Niccola Pisano, Ciunta, Cimabue, and Giotto; from which time 
they steadily progressed, till the happy era of Giulius the Second 
and Leo the Tenth. But, for some centuries preceding the thir- 
teenth, I have sometimes seen reason to conjecture that the arts 
were in a more flourishing state in various countries distant from 
Italy than there; to say nothing of Greece, from which, it is pro- 
bable, the inhabitants of those countries, like the Italians them- 
selves, directly or indirectly, and perhaps at distant periods, 
originally derived instruction in those matters. That the art of 
miniature painting, especially, was better known and more suc- 
cessfully practised in France in the thirteenth century, and probably 
long before, than in Italy, has always appeared to me clear, from 
the well known passage in the eleventh canto of Dante's ' Purga- 
torio,' where the poet thus addresses Oderigi d' Agubbio, a minia- 
ture painter, said to have been the friend of Cimabue :— 

' Oh dissi lui nrcn se' til Oderin, 
L' onor d'Aguhbio, e 1' onor di quell' arte 
Clie alluminar e cliiamata a Parisi V 
( ' Art tliou nut Oderigi ? art nut tliou 
Agobbio'8 glory, glury of that art 
Which they of Paris call the limner's skill ?') 

"But to return to St. Ethelwold's manuscript. The next thing 
I would mention is the justness of the general proportions of the 
figures, especially those larger standing figures of Confer,,. 
female Saints, and Apostles, which occupy the first seven pages of 
the book. The two groups, entitled Chorus Virginum, arc 'parti- 
cularly admirable in this respect, as well as for the easy graceful- 
new of the attitudes of some of them, and the cast of the draperies ; 
so that, had the faces more beauty and variety of expression and 
were the hands less like one another in their positions, and better 
drawn, little would remain to be desired. This deficiency of beauty 
in the heads, amounting, I fear I must admit, to positive ugliness, 
appears to have been in a great measure occasioned by the difficulty 
which the artist encountered in his attempts to finish them with 
body-colours ; as may be seen by comparing these heads with those 
drawn only in outline in the last miniature in the book ; if, indeed 
the colouring was not in great part performed by a different person 
from him who drew the outlines ; and, I would add, that the fault 
is more apparent, throughout the volume, in the large than in the 
smaller figures. Indeed, the little angels, holding scrolls, or sacred 



volumes, especially the two last, have so much gracefulness and 
animation, are so beautifully draped, and so well adapted in their 
attitudes to the spaces they occupy, that I hardly know how to 
praise them sufficiently. 

" Wherever the naked parts of the figure are shown, there we 
have most evidence of the incompetence of the artist; and conse- 
quently the figures of the Apostles, whose feet and ankles appear 
uncovered, are less agreeable than those of the above female Saint. 
But, as you are aware, this unskilfulness in the art of drawing the 
naked parts of the human figure is not the fault of the painter, but 
of the period ; and indeed, it was not until three centuries after the 
date of this manuscript, that any notable advancement was made in 
this difficult part of the art. 

" The draperies of the figures throughout the volume, with scarce 
any exception, are well cast ; though the smaller folds are often 
too strongly ma*rked in proportion to the larger ones ; which, with 
the want of anv decided masses of light and shadow distinguishing 
those sides of objects which are turned towards the light from such 
as are not so, prevents their producing the agreeable effect which 
they otherwise woidd do : but this, again, is more the fault of the 
time than of the artist. The colouring throughout these Illumi- 
nations is rich, without being gaudy. It is possible that in .the 
tenth century some of the gay colours, in the use of which the 
miniature painters of more modern times indulged so freely, were 
but little known. If I am wrong in this supposition, we must 
accord to the illuminator of this manuscript the praise of having 
possessed a more chastened taste than many of his successors. " 

It would be absurd to pretend that the work attributed to Gode- 
mann is an average specimen of Anglo-Saxon art. The illumina- 
tions, for example, are very superior to those of the sacred poem 
known as Caedmon's Metrical Paraphrase of Scripture History, 
preserved in the Bodleian Library at Oxford. In these the human 
figure is badly drawn ; and there is perhaps more of invention in 
the initial letters than in the larger compositions. The poem itself 
is a most remarkable production of the early Anglo-Saxon times. 
The account which Bede gives of one Csedmon, the supposed author 
of this poem, is a most curious one : — " There was in this Abbess's 
Monastery [Abbess Hilda] a certain brother, particularly remark- 
able for the grace of God, who was wont to make pious and religious 
verses, so that whatever was interpreted to him out of Holy Writ, 
he soon after put the same into poetical expressions of much sweetness 
and compunction, in his own, that is, the English language. By 
his verses the minds of many were often excited to despise the 
world, and to aspire to the heavenly life. Others after him attempted 
in the English nation to compose religious poems, but none could 
ever compare with him ; for he did not learn the art of poetising of 
men, but through the divine assistance; for which reason he never 
could compose any trivial or vain poem ; but only those that relate 
to religion suited his religious tongue ; for having lived in a secular 
habit, till well advanced in years, he had never learnt anything of 
versifying ; for which reason being sometimes at entertainments, 
when it was agreed, for the more mirth, that all present should sing 
in their turns, when he saw the instrument come towards him, he 
rose up from table, and returned home. Having done so at a certain 
time, and going out of the house where the entertainment was, to 
the stable, the care of horses falling to him that night, and com- 
posing himself there to rest at the proper time, a person appeared 
to him in his sleep, and saluting him by his name, said, Csedmon, 
sing some song to me. He answered, I cannot sing; for that was 
the reason why I left the entertainment, and retired to this place, 
because I could not sing. The other who talked to him, replied, 
However, you shall sing. AVhat shall I sing ? rejoined he. Sing 
the beginning of creatures, said the other. Hereupon, he presently 
began to sing verses to the praise of God, which he had never 
heard." 

The ode which Csedmon composed under this inspiration is pre- 
served in Anglo-Saxon, in King Alfred's translation of Bede's 
Ecclesiastical History ; and the following is an English translation 
from Alfred's version: — 

" Now must we praise 
The guardian of heaven's kingdom, 
The Creator's might, 
And his mind's thought ; 
Glorious Father of men ! 
As of every wonder he, 
Lord eternal, 
Formed the beginning. 
He first framed 
For the children of earth 
The heaven as a roof; 
Holy Creator ! 



CtlAl'. III.] 



OLD ENGLAND. 



Then mill. earth. 
The Guardian of mankind, 
The eternal Lord, 
Afterwards produced 
The eartli for men, 
Lord Almighty!" 

The Metrical Paraphrase to which we have alluded is ascribed 
by some to a second Caedmon; but the best philological antiquaries 
are not agreed upon this matter. As to its extraordinary merits 
there is no difference of opinion. Sir Francis Palgrave says, " The 
obscurity attending the origin of the Caedmonion poems will perhaps 
increase the interest excited by them. Whoever may have been 
their author, their remote antiquity is unquestionable. In poetical 
imagery and feeling they excel all the Other early remains of the 
North." One of the remarkable circumstances belonging to titese 
poems, whether written by the cow-herd of Whitby, or some later 
monk, is that we here find a bold prototype of the fallen angels of 
' Paradise Lost.' Mr. Conybeare says that the resemblance to Milton 
is so remarkable in that portion of the poem which relates to the Fall 
of Man, that " much of this portion might be almost literally 
translated by a cento of lines from that great poet." The resemblance 
is certainly most extraordinary, as we may judge from a brief passage 
or two. Every one is familiar with the noble lines in tite first book 
of ' Paradise Lost ' — 

" Him the Almighty Power 
Hurl'd headlong (laming from th' ethereal sky, 
With hideous ruin and combustion, down 
To bottomless perdition, there to dwell 
In adamantine chains and penal tire. 
Who durst defy the Omnipotent to arms. 
Nine times the space which measures day and night 
To mortal men, he with his horrid crew 
Lay vanquished, rolling in the fiery gulf, 
Confounded though immortal." 

The Anglo-Saxon Paraphrase of Caedmon was printed at Am- 
sterdam in 16oo. Can there be a question that Milton had read 
the passage which Mr. Thorpe thus translated ? — 

" Then was the Mighty angry, 
The highest Ruler of heaven 
Hurled him from the lofty seat ; 
Hate had he gained at his Lord, 
His favour he had lost, 

Incensed with him was the Good in his mind. 
Therefore he must seek the gulf 
Of hard hell-torment, 

For that he had warr'd with heaven's Ruler. 
He rejected him then from his favour, 
And cast him into hell, 
Into the deep parts, 
When he became a devil : 
The trend with all his comrades 
Fell then from heaven above, 
Through as long as three nights and days, 
The angels from heaven into hell." 



Who can doubt that when the music of that speech of Satan 
beginning 

" Is this the region, this the soil, the clime 
That we must change for heaven ?" 

swelled upon Milton's exquisite ear, the first note was struck by the 
rough harmony of Caedmon ? — 

•'This narrow place is most unlike 
That other that we ere knew 
High in heaven's kingdom." 

It would be quite beside our purpose to attempt any notice, how- 
ever brief, of the Anglo-Saxon literature in general. Those who are 
desirous of popular information on this most interesting subject may 
be abundantly gratified in Mr. Sharon Turner's ' History of the Anglo- 
Saxons,' in Mr. Conybeare's ' Illustrations of Saxon Poetry,' and 
especially in Mr. Wright's admirable volume of Literary Biography' 
of ' the Anglo-Saxon period.' The study of the Anglo-Saxon 
language and literature is reviving in our times ; and we have little 
doubt that the effect will be, in conjunction with that love of our 
elder poets which is a healthful sign of an improving taste, to infuse 
something of the simple strength of our ancient tongue into the 
dilutions and platitudes of the multitudes amongst us " who write 
with ease." Truly does old Verstegan say, " Our ancient English 
Saxons' language is to be accounted the Teutonic tongue, and albeit 
we have in latter ages mixed it with many borrowed words, espe- 
cially out of the Latin and French, yet remaineth the Teutonic 
unto this day the ground of our speech, for no other offspring hath 
our language originally had than that." The noble language — " the 
tongue that Shakspere spake" — which is our inheritance, may be saved I 



from corruption by the study of its great Anglo-Saxon elements. 
All the value of its composite character may be preserved, with a 
due regard to its original structure. So may we best keep our 
English witlt all its honourable characteristics, so well described by 
Camden : — " Whereas our tongue is mixed, it is no disgrace. The 
Italian is pleasant, but without sinews, as a still fleeting water. 
The French delicate, but even nice as a woman, scarce daring to 
open her lips, for fear of marring her countenance. The Spanish 
majestical, but fulsome, running too much on the 0, and terrible 
like the devil in a play. The Dutch manlike, but withal very 
harsh, as one ready at every word to pick a quarrel. Now we, in 
borrowing from them, give the strength of consonants to the Italian ; 
the full sound of words to the French ; the variety of terminations 
to the Spanish ; and the mollifying of more vowels to the Dutch ; 
anil so, like bees, we gather the honey of their good properties, and 
leave the dregs to themselves. And when thus substantialness 
combineth with delightfulness, fullness with fineness, seemliness 
w ith portliness, and currentness with staidness, how can the language 
which consistethof all these, sound other than full of all sweetness?" 
(• Remains.') 



The coins of a country are amongst the most valuable and in- 
teresting of its material monuments. " The study of coins is not 
to be considered as the province of the antiquary alone. Coins are 
among the most certain evidences of history." (' Penny Cyclo- 
paedia.') In our engravings, we have presented a series of coins, 
from the earliest Anglo-Saxon period to the time of Edward the 
Confessor. They begin at page 60, Fig. 232 ; and continue in 
every page to page 69, Fig. 282. To enter into a minute descrip- 
tion of these coins would be tedious to most readers, and not 
satisfactory, with our limited space, to the numismatic student. 
We shall therefore dismiss this branch of Old England's antiquities 
with a few passing remarks suggested by some of this series. 

The little silver coin, Fig. 233, is called a sceatta. This is a 
literal Anglo-Saxon word which means money ; and when, in Anglo- 
Saxon familiar speech, the entertainer at a tavern is called upon to 
pay the shot, the coin of Victoria does the same office as the sceat 
of the early kings of Kent. 

" As the fund of our pleasure, let each pay his shot," 

says Ben Jonson. The penny is next in antiquity to the sceat. 
The silver coins of the princes of the Heptarchy are for the most 
part pennies. There is an extensive series of such coins of the 
kings of Mercia. The halfpenny and the farthing are the ancient 
names of the division of the penny ; they are both mentioned in 
the Saxon Gospels. The coins of Ofta, king of Mercia (Fig. 234), 
are remarkable for the beauty of their execution, far exceeding in 
correctness of drawing and sharpness of impression those of his 
predecessors or successors. " At the beginning of the ninth cen- 
tury Ecgbeorht or Egbert ascended the throne of the West Saxon 
kingdom ; and in the course of his long reign, brought under his 
dominion nearly the whole of the Heptarchic states ; he is there- 
fore commonly considered as the first sole monarch of England, 
notwithstanding those states were not completely united in one 
sovereignty until the reign of Edgar. On his coins, he is usually 
styled Ecgbeorht Rex, and sometimes the word Saxonutn is added 
in a monogram, within the inner circle of the obverse : some of itis 
coins have a rude representation of his head, and some are without 
it. From Egbert's time, with very few exceptions, the series of 
English pennies is complete ; indeed, for many hundred years, the 
penny was the chief coin in circulation." (' Penny Cyclopaedia.') 
The silver pennies of Alfred bear a considerable price ; and this 
circumstance may be attributed in some degree to the desire which 
individuals in all subsequent ages would feel, to possess some me- 
morial of a man who, for four hundred years after his death, was- 
still cherished in the songs and stories of the Anglo-Saxon popula- 
tion, mixed as they were with Norman blood, as the Shepherd of 
the people, the Darling of England (Figs. 268, 272). A relic,, 
supposed more strictly to pertain to the memory of Alfred, is now 
in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford. It is an ornament of gold 
which was found in the Isle of Athelney, the scene of Alfred's 
retreat during the days of his country's oppression. The inscrip- 
tion round the figure, holding flowers, means, " Alfred had me 
wrought" (Fig. 309). The Saxon lantern, which Strutt has en- 
graved in his • Chronicle of England ' (Fig. 310), is also asso- 
ciated with the memory of Alfred, in that story which Asser, his 
biographer, tells of him, that he invented a case of horn and wood 
for his wax candle, by the burning of which he marked the pro- 
gress of time. The genuineness of Asser's Biography lias been 
recently questioned ; but there is little doubt that its facts were 




315.— Great Seal of Edward the Confessor. 



3.— Harold's IntW lew with King Edward on liis Return from Normandy. (Buyeus Tapestry.) 



316.— Gri-al Seal of Edward tlie Confessor. 



:7 r. V=i 




323.— Coronation of Harold. (Bayeux Tapestry.) 



317.— The Sickuess and Death of Edward the Confessor. (Boyeux Tapwtr' 



80 




327 — William giving 0/derj for the Invasion. (Bayeus Tupcstry.) 

No. 11. 



326.— Harold'i Oath to William. (Bayeux Tapestry.) 



[OLD ENGLAND.] 



81 



82 



OLD ENGLAND. 



[Book I. 



lit of Alfred (Fig 



founded upon an older narrative. The portra 

308) is copied from that in Spelman's ' Life :' but the materials 

out of which it is composed are probably not much to be relied 

upon. 

There is a very remarkable object in Berkshire, not a great dis- 
tance from Wantage, the birth-place of Alfred, which has been 
considered a memorial of the bravery and patriotism which lie dis- 
played even before lie eame to the throne. In the reign of Ethelred 
the First, the brother of Alfred, the Danes, who had invaded Berk- 
shire, "ere muted with great slaughter in a battle known as that of 
^scesdun (Ash-tree Hill) i and it -was contended by Dr. Wise, a 
learned antiquary of the last century, that the ridge of chalk hills 
extending from Wantage into Wiltshire was the scene of this battle, 
and that the White Horse which is cut out on the slope of the 
chalk is a memorial of this great victory. The White Horse, which 
gives its name to the hill, and to the fertile valley beneath, is a most 
singular object. It is a rude figure, three hundred and seventy-four 
feet in length, formed by removing the turf, and laying bare the 
chalk, on the north-west face of this hill, just above a lofty and 
steep declivity, which is -vi.ible from the surrounding country. 
When the afternoon son shines upon this side of the ridge, the 
White Horse may be seen from a great distance — as far. it is said, 
as fifteen miles. Lysons mentions that there was a tradition that 
lands in the neighbourhood were formerly held by the tenure of 
cleaning the White Horse, by cutting away the springing turf. An 
annual festival was once held at this ancient ceremonial labour, 
called by the people Scouring the Horse. But as the regard for 
ancient memorials was dying out within the last century, and the 
peasants of Berkshire were ground down to a worse than serf-like con- 
dition of dependence on the poor-rates, the old festival was given 
up, the White Horse was left to be overgrown and obliterated, 
and even the memory of Alfred lived no longer amongst his Saxon 
descendants in these lonely valleys, who had grown np in ignorance 
and pauperism, because the humanities which had associated their 
forefathers with their superiors in rank were unwisely severed. 
The age of festivals, wdiether of religion or patriotism, is gone. We 
ought to mention that some antiquaries differ from Dr. AVise, and 
believe the White Horse to be of earlier origin than the age of 
Alfred. There can be no question, however, that it is a work of 
very high antiquity. 

The civil government of the Anglo-Saxons, whether under the 
Heptarchy, or after the kings of Wessex had obtained that ascen- 
dency which constituted the united monarchy of all England, is 
associated with very few existing monuments beyond those of its 
■nedallic history. There was an ancient chapel at Kingston existing 
about half a century ago, in which kings Edrid, Edward the Mar- 
tyr, and Ethelred are stated to have been crowned. That chapel 
is now destroyed (Fig. 30o). An engraving was made of it whilst 
the tradition was concurrent with the existence of the old building. 
Kingston was unquestionably the crowning place of the Saxon 
kings. There is a remarkable little church existing at Greensted, a 
village about a mile from Ongar in Essex. It was described about 
a century ago in the ' Vetusta Monumenta ' of the Society of 
Antiquaries ; and attention has recently been called to it by a 
correspondent of the ' Penny Magazine.' " In one of the early 
incursions of the Danes into England (a.d. 870), Edmund, King 
of East Anglia, was taken prisoner by them, anil, refusing to 
abjure the Christian religion, put to a cruel death. He was a 
favourite of the people, but especially of the priests ; and came 
naturally, therefore, to be spoken of as a martyr, and his remains 
to be held in estimation as those of a saint. In the reign of 
Ethelred the Unready, the Danes, emboldened by the cowardice or 
feeble policy of the king, wdio only sought to buy them off from 
day to day, and made tyrannous by the diminished opposition every- 
where offered to them, ravaged the country in all directions, until 
at length, in the year 1010, ' that dismal period,' as Mr. Sharon 
Turner calls it, ' their triumph was completed in the surrender of 
sixteen counties of England anil the payment of forty-eight thou- 
sand pounds.' In this year the bones of St. Edmund were removed 
from Ailwin to London, to prevent their falling into the hands of 
the Danes. They appear to have remained in London about three 
years, when they were carried back to Bedriceworth (Bury St. Ed- 
mund's). A MS. citeil by Dugdale in the ' Monasticon,' and 
entitled ' RegUtrtem Canobii .V. Edmundi,' informs us that on its 
return to Bury, 'his body was lodged (hospUabatur) at Aungre. 
where a wooden chapel remains as a memorial to this day.' It is 
this same 'wooden chapel' which is supposed to form the nave of 
Greensted Church. The inhabitants of the village have alway> had 
a tradition that the corpse of a king rested in it, and the appear- 
ance of the building vouches for its great antiquity." (Fig. 306.) 



The Witenagemot, or the great council of the nation, — prelates, 
caldormen. and thanes or governors of boroughs, with the crowned 
king presiding, is represented in one of the Cotton manuscripts in 
the British Museum (Fig. 307). We have an example of the 
almost regal dignity of the greater noblemen, in the remarkable seal 
of Alfric, Earl of Mercia, who lived towards the end of the tenth 
century. The earl not only bears the sword of authority, but wears 
a diadem (Fig. 313). There are representations of particular 
monarchs in Anglo-Saxon manuscripts, which are perhaps more 
valuable as examples of costume than as individual portraits. 
Such is that of King Edgar (Fig. 311), and of Canute and his 
queen (Fig, 312). 

The seal which we have mentioned (or rather, the brass matrix of 
the seal) of Alfric, Earl of Mercia, which was found by a labourer 
in cutting away a bank near Winchester in 1832, is one of several 
proofs which have set at rest a long disputed question as to the use 
of seals among the Anglo-Saxons. The legal antiquaries of the 
seventeenth century, such as Selden and Coke, speak without any 
hesitation of charters with seals granted by the Saxon kings. Mr. 
Astle, a very competent authority, asserted, in 1791, that our Saxon 
ancestors did not use seals of wax appended to their deeds (• Archffi- 
ologia,' vol. x.). He acknowledged, however, that if such a seal 
could be found of a date before the time of the Confessor, the 
argument against their use, derived from the fact that the word 
Sigillum did not always mean seal, would be set at rest. The 
opinion of Astle was founded upon that of earlier antiquaries. The 
late Mr. Douce, in some remarks upon two wax impressions of the 
seal of the Abbey of Wilton, which he believes to be the original 
Anglo-Saxon seal, notices these objections: " If Dr. Hickes and 
the other objectors could have expected successfully to demonstrate 
that the Saxons used no seals, it was necessary for them to annihi- 
late not only the numerous early seals of the German emperors and 
French kings, but even the gems and other sigillatory implements 
of the ancients. It would, indeed, have been a remarkable circum- 
stance, that during a period wherein many of the European 
monarchs were continuing the immemorial practice of affixing seals to 
public instruments, the Saxon sovereigns of England, who were not 
inferior in knowledge and civilization to their contemporaries, and 
who borrowed many of their customs from Italy and France, should 
have entirely suspended a practice so well known and established. 
It is much less extraordinary that a very small number of Saxon 
seals should be remaining, than that, all circumstances considered, 
they should not have been frequently used. All that the objectors 
have been able to prove is, that a great many Saxon instruments 
were destitute of seals ; that some were forged with seals in Nor- 
man times ; and that the words ' Signum' and ' Sigillum ' were often 
used to express the mere signature of a cross, which nevertheless 
was the representative of a seal." In 1821, the seal of Ethclwald, 
Bishop of Dunwich, was found about a hundred yards from the site 
of the Monastery of Eye. That remarkable seal is now in the 
British Museum ; and Mr. Hudson Gurney, who transmitted an 
account of it to the Society of Antiquaries, says, " On the whole I 
conceive there can remain no doubt but that this was the genuine 
seal of Ethclwald, Bishop of Dunwich, about the middle of the 
ninth century, and that it sets at rest the question hitherto in dis- 
pute touching the use of seals among the Anglo-Saxons." 

These few remarks may not improperly introduce to our readers 
the first of an uninterrupted series of monuments belonging to our 
monarchical government — the great seals of England. The seal of 
King Edward the Confessor is represented in Figs. 31 j and 316. 
On one side, according to the description of this seal by Sir Henry 
Ellis, the king " is represented sitting on a throne bearing on his 
head a sort of mitre, in his right hand he holds a sceptre finishing 
in a cross, and in his left a globe. On the other side he is also 
represented with the same sort of head-dress, sitting. In his right a 
sceptre finishing with a dove. On his left a sword, the hilt pressed 
toward his bosom. On each side is the same legend — SlOILLUM 
Eadwahdi Angi.orum Basilei. This seal of King Edward 
is mentioned several times in the ' Domesday Survey.' " 
(' Archseologia,' vol. xviii.) The seal of William the Conqueror, 
which belongs to the next book, is little superior in workmanship to 
that of the Confessor ; and the sitting figures of each have consider- 
able resemblance (Fig. 342). The impression of the seal of the 
Conqueror is preserved in the Hotel Soubise at 1'aris, being 
appended to a charter by which the king granted some land in 
England to the abbey of St. Denis in France. This seal establishes 
the fact that grants of lands immediately after the Conquest were 
guaranteed by the affixing of a waxen seal ; and although this 
might not be invariably the case, it goes far to throw a doubt upon 
the authenticity of the old rhyming grant said to be made by 



Chap. III.] 



OLD ENGLAND. 



83 



AVilliam to the ancient family of the Iloptons, which Stow and 
Other early antiquaries have believed to be authentic. Stow gives 
it in his ' Annals,' upon " the testimony of an old chronicle in the 
library at Iiichmont," omitting three introductory lines, upon the 
authority of which iu the sixteenth century a legal claim was 
actually set up to the estate of the lords of Ilopton : — 

" To tlic heirs male of the Ilopton lawfully begotten :— 
From mc and from mine, to thee anil to thine, 
Wtiilc the water runs, ami the son ilotli shine; 
For lack of heirs, to the king again. 
I, William, king, the third year of my reign, 
(Jive to thee, Norman Iluntere, 
To tne that art both lefe and dear, 
The Hop and Hoptown, 
And all the hounds up ami down, 
Under the earth to hell, 
Above the earth to heaven, 
From me and from mine, 
To thee and to thine, 
As good and as fair 
As ever they mine were. 
To witness that this is sooth, 
I bite the white wax with my tooth, 
Itefore Jugg, Maud, and Margery, 
And my third sou Henry, 
For one bow and one broad arTOW, 
When 1 come to hunt upon Yarrow.'' 

We give the above, with some slight corrections, from Blount's 
' Ancient Tenures.' 

The most extraordinary memorial of that eventful period of tran- 
sition; which saw the descendants of the old Saxon conquerors of 
Britain swept from their power and their possessions, and their 
places usurped by a swarm of adventurers from the shores of Nor- 
mandy, is a work tint of stone or brass, not of writing and illumi- 
nation more durable than stone or brass, but a roll of needlework, 
which records the principal events which preceded and accompanied 
the Conquest, with a minuteness and fidelity w Inch leave no rea- 
sonable doubt of its being a contemporary production. This is the 
celebrated Baveux Tapestry. When Napoleon contemplated the 
invasion of England in 1803, he caused this invaluable record to be 
removed from Bayeux, and to be exhibited iu the National Museum 
at Paris; and then the French players, always ready to seize upon 
a popular subject, produced a little drama in which they exhibited 
Matilda, the wife of the Conqueror, sitting in her lonely tower in 
Normandy whilst her husband was fighting in England, and thus 
recording, with the aid of her needlewomen, the mighty acts of her 
hero, portrayed to the life iu this immortal worsted-work. But 
there is a more affecting theory of the accomplishment of this la- 
bour than that told in the French vaudeville. The women of Eng- 
land were celebrated all over Europe for their work in embroidery ; 
and when the husband of Matilda ascended the throne of England, 
it is reasonably concluded that the skilful daughters of the land 
were retained around the person of the queen. They were thus 
c mployed to celebrate their own calamities. But there was nothing 
in this tapestry which told a tale of degradation. There is no 
delineation of cowardly flight or abject submission. The colours 
of the threads might have been dimmed with the tears of the workers, 
bvtt they would not have had the deep pain of believing that their 
homes were not gallantly defended. In this great invasion anil con- 
quest, as an old historian has poetically said, -'was tried by the 
•rreat assise of God's judgment in battle the right of power between 
the English ami Norman nations — a battle the most memorable of 
all others ; and, howsoever miserably lost, yet most nobly fought 
on the part of England." There was nothing iu this tapestry to 
encourage another invasion eight centuries later. In one of the 
compartments of the tapestry were represented men gazing at a 
meteor or comet, which was held to presage the defeat of the Saxon 
Harold. A meteor had appeared iu the south of France, at the 
time of the exhibition of the tapestry in 1803 ; and the mountebank 
Napoleon proclaimed that the circumstances were identical. The 
tapestry, having served its purpose of popular delusion, was returned 
to its original obscurity. It had previously been known to Lancelot 
and Montfaucon, French antiquaries ; and Dr. Duearel, in 1767, 
printed a description of it. in which he stated that it was annually 
hung up round the nave of the church of Bayeux on St. John's day. 
During the last thirty years this ancient work has been fully 
described, and its date and origin discussed. Above all, the Society 
of Antiquaries have rendered a most valuable service to the world, 
by causing a complete set of coloured fac-simile drawings to be 
made by an accomplished artist, Mr. Charles Stuthard, which have 



since been published in the ' Vetusta Mouumeuta.' The more 
remarkable scenes of the seventy-two compartments of the tapestry 
are engraved in our pages ; and we may fitly close our account of 
the antiquities of the Anglo-Saxon period with a brief notice of 
this most interesting historical record. 

In the Hotel of tlte Prefecture at Bayeux is now preserved this 
famous tapestry. In 1814, so little was known of it in the town 
where it had remained for so many centuries, that Mr. Hudson 
Gurney was coming away without discovering it, not being aware 
that it went by the name of the " Toile de St. Jean." It was 
coiled round a windlass ; and drawing it out at leisure over a table, 
iie found that it consisted of " a very long piece of brownish linen 
cloth, worked with woollen thread of different colours, which tire 
as bright and distinct, and the letters of the superscriptions as legible, 
as if of yesterday." The roll is twenty inches broad, and two 
hundred and fourteen feet in length. Mr. Gurney has some sen- 
sible remarks upon the internal evidence of the work being 
contemporaneous with the Conquest. In the buildings portrayed 
there is not the trace of a pointed arch ; there is not an indication 
of armorial bearing's, properly so called, which would certainly 
have been given to the fighting knights had the needlework 
belonged to a later age ; and the Norman banner is invariably 
Argent, a cross Or iu a bordure Azurr, and not the latter in- 
vention of the Norman leopards. Mr. Gurney adds, •• It may be 
remarked, that the whole is worked with a strong outline; that the 
clearness and relief are given to it by the variety of the colours." 
The likenesses of individuals are preserved throughout. The 
Saxons invariably wear moustaches; and AVilliam, from his erect 
figure and manner, could be recognised were there no superscriptions. 
Mr. Charles Stnthard, who made the drawings of the tapestry 
which have been engraved by the Society of Antiquaries, com- 
municates some interesting particulars iu a letter written in 1819- 
Ile adds to Mr. Guruey's account of its character as a work of art, 
that " there is no attempt at light and shade, or perspective, the 
want of which is substituted by the use of different coloured worsteds. 
We observe this in the off legs of the horses, which are distinguished 
alone from the near legs by being of different colours. The horses, 
the hair, and tnustachios, as well as the eyes and features of the 
characters, are depicted with all the various colours of green, blue, 
red, &c, according to the taste or caprice of the artist. This may 
be easily accounted for, when we consider how few colours com- 
posed their materials." 

The first of the seventy-two compartments into which the roll of 
needlework is divided, is inscribed " Edwardus Bex " (Fig. 318). 
We omit the inscriptions which occur in each compartment, except 
in two instances. The crowned king seated on a chair of state, 
with a sceptre, is giving audience to two persons in attendance ; 
and this is held to represent Harold departing for Normandy. The 
second shows Harold, and his attendants witli hounds, on a journey. 
He bears the hawk on his hand, the distinguishing mark of nobility. 
The inscription purports that the figures represent Harold, Duke of 
the English, and his soldiers, journeying to Bosham (Fig. 320). 
The third is inscribed ''Ecclesia," and exhibits a Saxon church, 
with two bending figures about to enter. This we have given in 
another place as an architectural illustration (Fig. 216). The 
fourth compartment represents Harold embarking ; and the fifth 
shows him on his voyage. We give the sixth (Fig. 324), which is 
his coming to anchor previous to disembarking on the coast of 
Normandy. The seventh and eighth compartments exhibit the 
seizure of Harold by the Count of Ponthieu. The ninth (Fig. 
32o) shows Harold remonstrating with Guy, the Count, upon his 
unjust seizure. 

We pass over the compartments from ten to twenty-five, inclu- 
sive, which exhibit various circumstances connected with the sojourn 
of Harold at the court of William. Mr. Stothard has justly ob- 
served, " That whoever designed this historical record was intimately 
acquainted with whatever was passing on the Norman side, is 
evidently proved by that minute attention to familiar and local 
circumstances evinced in introducing, solely in the Norman party, 
characters certainly not essential to the great events connected with 
the story of the work." The twenty-sixth compartment (Ftg. 326) 
represents Harold swearing fidelity to William, with each hand on 
a shrine of relies. All the historians appear to be agreed that 
Harold did take an oath to William to support Ins claims to the 
crown of England, whatever might have been the ctrcumstances 
under which that oath was extorted from htm. The twenty-seventh 
compartment exhibits Harold's return to England ; and the twenty- 
rh th shows him on his journey after landing. For the cou- 
enience of referring to those parts of the tapestry which are 
onuected with King Edward the Confessor, we have grouped them 

M 2 



etgli 




338.— Death of Harold. (Bayeux Tujeatry.) 







3+3. — The Abbey of St. Etieuue (Slepln'ii), Ciwq. 



347.— Siatuouf William the Conqueror- Placed affaiost one of the external Pillars of St Stcphea, Caea. 



65 



80 



OLD ENGLAND. 



[Book I. 



in one page (SO), not following their order in the tapestry. The 
twenty-ninth compartment (Fig. :J19) has an inscription purport- 
ing that Harold comes to Edward the King. The thirtieth shows 

the funeral procession of the deceased Edward to Westminster 
Abbey, a haral out of heaven pointing to that building- as a 
monument of his piety (Fig. 321). The inscription says, "Here 
the body of Edward Hie King is borne to the church of St. Peter 
the Apostle." The thirty-first and thirty-second compartments 
exhibit the sickness and deatli of the Confessor (Fig. 317). The 
thirty-third shows the crown offered to Harold (Fig. 322). The 
thirty-fourth presents us Harold on the throne, with Stigant the 
Archbishop (Fig. 323). Then comes the compartment represent- 
ing the comet already mentioned ; and that is followed by one 
showing William giving orders for the building of ships for the 
invasion of England (Fig. 327). We have then compart- 
ments, in which men are cutting down trees, building ships, 
dragging along vessels, and bearing arms and armour. The forty- 
third has an inscription, " Here they draw a car with wine and 
arms "(Fig. 329). After a compartment with William on horse- 
back, we have the fleet on its voyage. The inscription to this 
recounts that he passes tin- sea witli a great fleet, and comes to 
Pevensey. Three other compartments show the disembarkation of 
horses, the hasty march of cavalry, and the seizure and slaughter of 
animals for the hungry invaders. The forty-ninth compartment I 
bears the inscription " This is Wadard." Who this personage on 
horseback, thus honoured, could be, was a great puzzle, till the 
name was found in Domesday-Book as a holder of land in six 
English counties, under Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, the Conqueror's 
half-brother. This is one of the circumstances exhibiting the 
minute knowledge of the designers of this needlework. The 
fiftieth and fifty-first compartments present us the cooking and 
the feasting of the Norman army (Fig. 33o). We have then the 
dining of the chiefs ; the Duke about to dine, whilst Odo blesses 



the food; and the Duke sitting under a canopy, The fifty-fifth 
shows him holding a banner, and giving orders for the construction 
of a camp at Hastings (Fig. 334). 

Six other compartments show us the burning of a house with 
firebrands, the march out of Hastings, the .advance to the battle. 
and the anxious questioning by William of his spies and scouts as 
to the approach of the army of Harold. The sixty-third presents a 
messenger announcing to Harold that the army of William is near 
at hand. The sixty-fourth bears the inscription, that Duke William 
addresses his soldiers that they should prepare themselves bohllv 
and skilfully for the battle. We have then six compartments, each 
exhibiting some scene of the terrible conflict (Figs. 337, 338). The 
seventy-first shows the deatli of Harold (Fig. 339). The tapestry 
abruptly ends with the figures of flying soldiers. 

We have probably been somewhat too minute in the description 
of this remarkable performance. If any apology be necessary, it 
may be best offered in the words of Mr. Anryot, in his ' Defence of 
the Early Antiquity of the Bayeux Tapestry,' which is almost 
conclusive as to the fact of its being executed under the direction 
of Matilda, the wife of the Conqueror (' Archffiologia,' vol. xix.). 
" If the Bayeux Tapestry be not history of the first class, it is 
perhaps something better. It exhibits genuine traits, elsewhere 
sought in vain, of the costume and manners of that age which of all 
others, if we except the period of the Reformation, ought to he the 
most interesting to us; that age which gave us a new race of 
monarchs, bringing with them new landholders, new laws, and 
almost a new language. As in the magic pages of Froissart. we 
here behold our ancestors of each race in most of the occupations 
of life — in courts and camps — in pastime and in battle — at feasts. 
and on the bed of sickness. These are characteristics which of 
themselves would call forth a lively interest; but their value is 
greatly enhanced by their connection with one of the most 
important events in history, the main subject of the whole design." 



END OF BOOK I. 










BOOK II. 




THE PERIOD 






NORMAN CONQUEST TO THE DEATH OF KING JOHN. 
a.d. 1066—1216. 



JSO&, 









r«Mff« 



sv^ssr- 



CHAPTER I.— REGAL AND BARONIAL ANTIQUITIES. 







n magno navigio mare 
thansivit, et vexit ad 
Peveksje. 

Such is the inscription to 
the forty-fifth compartment 
of the Bayeux Tapestry— in 
a great ship lie passes the 
sea, and comes to Pevensey. 
The Bay of Pevensey is not 
now as it was on the 28th of 
September, A.n. 10G6, when 
this great ship sailed into it, 
and a bold man, one whose 
stern will and powerful mind 
was to change the destiny of 
England, leaped upon the 
strand, and. falling; upon his face, a great cry went forth that it was 
an evil omen, — but the omen was turned into a sign of gladness 
when he exclaimed, with his characteristic oath, " I have taken 
seisin of this land with both my hands." The shores of the bay are 
now a dreary marsh, guarded by dungeon-looking towers, which 
were built to defend us from such another seisin (Pig- 349). The 
sea once covered this marsh, and the Norman army came a mile or 
so nearer to the chalk hills, beyond which they knew there was a 
land of tempting fertility. It must have been somewhat near the 
old Roman castle that the disembarkation took place, whose inci- 
dents are exhibited in the Bayeux Tapestry. Here were the 
horses removed from the ships ; here each horseman mounted his 
own, and galloped about to look upon a land in which he saw no 
enemy ; here were the oxen and the swine of the Saxon firmer 
slaughtered by those for whom they were fatted not ; here was the 
cooking, and the dining, and the rude pomp of the confident Duke, 
who knew that his great foe was engaged in a distant conflict. The 
character of William of Normandy was so remarkable, and indeed was 
such an element of success in his daring attempt upon the English 
crown, that what is personally associated with him, even though ' 
it be found not in our own island, belongs to the antiquities of 
England. He was a stark man, as the Saxon chronicler describes 
him from personal knowledge, a man of unbending will and ruthless 
determination, but of too lofty a character to be needlessly cruel or 
wantonly destructive. Of his pre-eminent abilities there can be no 
question. Connected with such a man, then, his purposes and his 



success, the remains of his old Palace at Lillebonne (Fig. 345), 
which may be readily visited by those who traverse the Seine in its 
steam-boats, is an object of especial interest to an Englishman. 
For here was the great Council held for the invasion of England, 
and the attempt was determined against by the people collectively, 
but the wily chief separately won the assent of their leaders, and the 
collective voice was raised in vain. More intimately associated 
with the memory of the Conqueror is the Church of St. Etienne at 
Caen (Fig. 348) which he founded ; and where, deserted by his 
family and his dependants, the dead body of the sovereign before 
whom all men had trembled was hurried to the grave, amidst fearful 
omens and the denunciations of one whom he had persecuted. The 
mutilated statue of William may be seen on the exterior of the same 
church (Fig. 347). In England we have one monument, connected 
in the same distinct manner with his personal character, whilst it 
is at the same time a memorial of his great triumph and the revolu- 
tion which was its result — we mean Battle Abbey. When Harold 
heard 

"That iluc Wyllam to Hastynges was ycome,'' 

he gallantly set forward to meet him — but with an unequal force. He 
knew the strength of his enemy, but he did not quail before it. 
The chroniclers say that Harold's spies reported that there were 
more priests in William's camp than fighting men in that of 
Harold's; and they add that the Saxon knew better than the spies 
that the supposed priests were good men-at-arms. Mr. Stothard, 
in his ' Account of the Bayeux Tapestry,' points out, with refer- 
ence to the figures of the Normans, that " not only are their upper 
lips shaven, but nearly the whole of their heads excepting a portion 
of hair left in front." He adds, " It is a curious circumstance in 
favour of the great antiquity of the Tapestry, that time has, I believe, 
handed down to us no other representation of this most singular 
fashion, and it appears to throw a new light on a fact which has 
perhaps been misunderstood : the report made by Harold's spies, 
that the Normans were an army of priests, is well known. I should 
conjecture, from what appears in the Tapestry, that their resemblance 
to priests did not so much arise from the upper lip being shaven, as 
from the circumstance of the complete tonsure of the back part of 
the head." Marching out from their entrenched camp at Hastings 
(Fin-. 350), the Normans, all shaven and shorn, encountered the 
moustached Saxons on the 14th of October. The tapestry repre- 
sents the Saxons fighting on foot, with javelin and battle-axe, 
bearing their shields with the old British characteristic of a boss in 




353.— Fire- place, Conitborough Canl«. 



354-— SeeuTiil Story of Conislioroiijjli Castle- 




355.— Third Story of Coouborough Caslle. 336.- Fourth Story of Coniehurough Catte. 




350 — H.istincs, from the Fairli^lil Down*. 





68 



3i].-IUule Abbey, » H appeared about 150 yean aince. 



357— Coniiborough Castle. 







363.— SpecimeD of DomeidayL'ook. 



35S.— Bittlle Abbey Gateway. 




£C0— Ridiruoad Cjstlf, Itora Hie river Swale. 



36J — flie Keep of Richmond Castle. 



No. 12. 



[OLD ENGLAND.] 



00 



OLD ENGLAND. 



fBoOK II. 



the centre. The Normans are on horseback, with their long 
shields and their pennoned lances. It is not for us to describe the 
terrible conflict. "The English," says William of Malmesbury, 
"rendered all they owed to their country." Harold and his two 
brothers fell at the foot of their standard which they had planted 
on the little hill of Senlac, and on this spot, whose name was sub- 
sequently changed to Baiaille, was built Battle Abbey (Fig. 351). 
It was not the pride of the Conqueror alone that raised up this 
once magnificent monument. The stein man, the hot and pas- 
sionate man, the man who took what he could get by right and 
unright, -was mild to good men who loved God." And so he 
built liattle Abbey. 

Robert of Gloucester has thus described, in his quaint verse, the 
foundation of Battle Abbey : 

" King William bithougl liim also.' of that 

l'olke that was forlome, 
And slayn also thorurg liim 

In the bataile biforne. 
Anil tber us tlie U^t.ii It- wa>. 

An abbey be lete rere 
OfSeinl Martin, for the smiles 

That thereslayn were. 
And die monks wel ynuug 

Fefied without fayle, 
That is called in Ellglontle 

Abbey of Bataile.* 1 

Brown Willis tells us that in the fine old parish church of Battle 
was formerly hung up a table containing certain verses, of which 
the following remained : 

" This place of war is Battle called, because in baltle here 
Quite conquered and overthrown the English nation were. 
Tins slaughter happened to them upon Si. Ceelict's day.* 
The year whereof this number dolh array."' 

The politic Conqueror did wisely thus to change the associations, 
if it were possible, which belonged to this fatal spot. He could not 
obliterate the remembrance of the "day of bitterness," the " (lay of 
death." the "day stained with the blood of the brave" (Matthew 
of Westminster). Even the red soil of Senlac was held, with 
patriotic superstition, to exude real and fresh blood after a small 
shower. " as if intended for a testimony that the voice of so much 
Christian blood here shed does still cry from the earth to the Lord " 
(Gulielmus NeubrigensJs). This Abbey of Bataille is unquestion- 
ably a place to be trodden with reverent contemplation by every 
Englishman who lias heard of the great event that here took place, 
and has traced its greater consequences. He is of the mixed blood 
of the conquerors and the conquered. It has been written of him 
and his compatriots. 

" Pride in their port, defiance in their eye, 
1 see the lords of human kind pass by. 1 ' 

His national character is founded upon the union of the Saxon de- 
termination and the Norman energy. As he treads the red soil of 
Senlac, if his reformed faith had not taught him otherwise he would 
breathe a petition for all the souls, Saxon and Norman, " that there 
slain were." The Frenchman, whose imagination has been stirred 
by Thierry's picturesque and philosophical history of the Norman 
Conquest, will tread this ground with no national prejudices ; for 
the roll of Battle Abbey will show him that those inscribed as 
the followers of the Conqueror had Saxon as well as Norman names, 
and that some of the most illustrious of the names have long been 
the common property of England and of France. But the intelli- 
gent curiosity of the visitor to the little town of Battle will be 
somewhat cheeked, when he finds that the gates of the Abbey are 
rigidly closed against him except for a few hours of one day in the 
week. •■ The Abbey and grounds can be only seen on Monday," 
truly says the Hastings Guide. Be it so. There is not much lost 
by the traveller who comes here on one of the other five days of the 
week. The sight of this place is a mortifying one. The remains 
of the fine cloisters have been turned into a dining-room, and, to 
use the words of the ' Guide-Book,' " Part of the site of the church 
is now a parterre which in summer exhibits a fine collection of Flora's 
greatest beauties." This was the very church whose high altar was 
described by the old writers to have stood on the spot w here the body 
of Harold was found, covered with honourable wounds in the defence 
of his tattered standard. " Flora's greatest beauties !" " Few per- 
sons," adds the ' Guide Book,' " have the pleasure of admission." We 
do not envy the few. If they can look upon this desecration of a spot 
so singularly venerable without a burning blush for some foregone 
barbarism, they must be made of different stuff from the brave who 
here fought to the death because they had a country which not only 
afforded them food and shelter, but the memory of great men and 
* SkCalixtui, October the Uth. 



heroic deeds, which was to them an inheritance to be prized and 
defended. 

The desecration of Battle Abbey of course began at the general 
pillage under Henry the Eighth. The Lord Cromwell's Commis- 
sioners write to him that they have " cast their book" for the dis- 
patch of the monks and household. They think that verj small 
money can be made of the vestry, but they reckon the plunder of 
the church plate to amount to four hundred marks. Within time 
months after the surrender of the Abbey it was granted to Sir 
Anthony Browne ; and he at once set about pulling down the church, 
the bell-tower, the sacristy, and the chapter-house. The spoiler 
became Viscount Montacute J and in this family Battle Abbey 
continued, till it was sold, in 1719, to Sir Thomas Webster. It 
has been held, and no doubt truly, that many of the great names 
that figure on the roll of Battle Abbey were those of very subordi- 
nate people in the army of the C pinor ; and it is possible that 

the descendants of some of those who roasted for the great Duke the 
newly slaughtered sheep on the strand at Pevensey may now look 
with contempt upon a patent of nobility not older than the days of the 

Stuarts. But, with all this, it is somewhat remarkable that Battle 
Abbey, with its aristocratic associations, should have fallen into 
the hands of a lineal descendant of the master-cook to Queen 
Elizabeth. Sir Thomas was an enterprising bustling man, who 
was singularly lucky in South Sea Stock, and had the imnit of 
encouraging the agricultural improvements of Jethro Toll. For 
the succeeding century of Sir Whistlers anil Sir Godfreys, the work 
of demolition and change has regularly gone forward. The view 
(Fig. 3.31) exhibits Battle Abbey as it was about the time that it 
went out of the Montacute family. Brown Willis, who wrote a 
little after the same period, thus describes it in his day : — "Though 
this abbey be demolished. _\et the magnificence of it appears by the 
ruins of the cloisters, &c.,and by the largeness of the hall, kitchen. 
and gate-house, of which the last is entirely preserved. It is a 
noble pile, and in it are held sessions and other meetings, for this 
peculiar jurisdiction, which hath still great privileges belonging to 
it. What the hall was, when in its glory, may be guessed by its 
dimensions, its length above fifty of my paces ; part of it is now 
used as a hay-barn ; it was leaded, part ni' the lead yet remains, 
ami the rest is tiled. As to the kitchen, it was so large as to contain 
five fire-places, and it was arched at top ; but the extent of the 
whole abbey may be better measured by the compass of it, it being 
computed at no less than a mile about. In this church the Conqueror 
offered up his sword and royal robe, which he wore on the day of his 
coronation. The monks kept these till the suppression, and used 
to show them as great curiosities, and worthy the sight of their best 
friends, and all persons of distinction that happened to come thither : 
nor were they less careful about preserving a table of the Norman 
gentry which came into England with the Conqueror." 

Horace Walpole has given us a notion of the condition of Battle 
Abbey, and the taste which presided over it, a century ago. He 
visited it in 1752, and thus writes to Mr. Bentley : " Battle Abbey 
stands at the end of the town, exactly as Warwick Castle iloes of 
Warwick ; but the house of Webster have taken due care that it 
should not resemble it in anything else. A vast building which 
they call the old refectory, but which I believe was the original 
church, is now barn, coach-house, &c. The situation is noble, 
above the level of abbeys: what does remain of gateways and towers 
is beautiful, particularly the fiat side of a cloister, which is now the 
front of the mansion-house. A Miss of the family has clothed a 
fragment of a portico with cockle-shells !" 

A general view of Battle Abbey in its present state may be best 
obtained by passing the old wall, and continuing on the Hastings 
road for about half a mile. A little valley will then have been 
crossed j and from the eminence on the south-east the modern build- 
ing, with its feeble imitations of antiquity, and its few antiquarian 
realities, is offered pretty distinctly to the pedestrian's eye. What 
is perhaps better than such a view, he may, from this spot, survey 
this remarkable battle-field, and understand its general character. 
'I'he rights of property cannot shut him out from this satisfaction. 
The ancient gateway to the abbey, which stands boldly up in the 
principal street in the town of Battle, is of much more recent architec- 
ture than the original abbey. Some hold it to be of the time of Edward 
the Third ; but the editor of the last edition of ' Dugdale's Monas- 
ticon' considers it to be of that of Henry the Sixth (Fig. 3oN). 

In the group (F'ig. 340) we have given the seal of Battle Abbey, 
in the lower compartment on the right. The group also contains 
portraits of the Conqueror and of Harold, views of Pevensey and of 
Hastings, and a vignette of a Norman and Saxon soldier. The 
sea! of Battle Abbey still remains in the Augmentation Office, 
attached to the deed of surrender in the time of Henry the Eighth. 



Chap. I.] 



OLD ENGLAND. 



91 



The side which our engraving represents exhibits a church, having 
an ornamented gateway and tower, with four turrets. This, there 
can be little doubt, represents the church which Sir Anthony 
Browne destroyed, as churches were destroyed in those days, by 
stripping the roof of its lead, and converting the timber into building- 
material or tire-wood.* Time was left to do the rest in part; and 
as the columns and arches crumbled into ruin, the owners of the 
property mended their roads with the rich carvings, and turned the 
altar-tombs into paving-stones— until at last the prettiest of flower- 
gardens was laid out upon the sacred ground, and the rose and the 
pansy flourished in the earth which had been first enriched by the 
blood of the slaughtered Saxons, and grew richer anil richer with 
the bones of buried monks, generation after generation. Truly 
this is a fitting place for " a fine collection of Flora's greatest 
beauties." We may be held to speak harshly of such matters; but, 
as this is the first time we have been called upon so to speak, it may 
he well that we say a few words as to the course we shall hold it 
our duty to pursue in all cases where the historical antiquities of 
our country, and especially where its ecclesiastical antiquities, are 
swept away upon the principle, just, no doubt, in the main, of doing 
what we will with our own. The right of private property has no 
other foundation whatever than the public good. If it could be 
demonstrated that the public good does not consist with the right of 
private property, the basis upon which it rests is irrevocably 
destroyed, and the superstructure (alls. But it cannot be so 
demonstrated. The principle upon which the possessors of Battle 
Abbey, and a hundred other similar properties in this kingdom, 
retain their possessions, is a sure one, because it is the same 
principle that confirms to the humblest in the land the absolute 
control over the first guinea which he deposits in a Savings' Bank. 
It would be no greater atrocity, perhaps not so great a one, to 
reclaim for the Church in the nineteenth century the lands and 
lordships of the Abbey of Battle, than it was for Henry the Eighth 
to despoil the Abbey of liattle of those lands and lordships in the 
sixteenth century. The possessions were wrung from their legal 
proprietors under the pretext of a voluntary surrender, " with the 
gibbet at their door." The same process might be repeated under 
some such pretext of public good. The Church might he again 
plundered ; the possessions of the nobility might be again confiscated; 
but it would only end in property changing hands. York and 
Canterbury would have new grantees, and a new Battle Abbey 
would have a new Sir Anthony Browne. But, looking at all the 
circumstances under which domains and endowments which are 
national, at least in their historical memories, have been for the 
most part originally granted, and are in some instances .-till 
possessed, we maintain not only that it is contrary to the spirit of 
the age, and opposed to the public good, that a continual process of 
demolition and desecration should go forward, but we hold that, 
under all just restrictions, the people have a distinct right to 
cultivate the spirit of nationality, of taste for the beautiful, of 
reverence for what is old and sacred, by a liberal admission to every 
fabric which is distinctly associated, in what remains of it, with the 
history of their country, and the arts and manners of their fine- 
fathers. It was once contemplated to form an association to 
prevent the continual destruction of our architectural antiquities. 
The association has not been formed. But, formed or not, it is no 
less the duty of those who address the public upon such matters to 
direct opinion into a right direction ; and thus to control those who, 
in the pride of possession, disregard opinion. It is the continued 
assertion of this opinion which has at length thrown open the doors 
of our cathedrals, not so widely as they ought to be openetl, but 
still wide enough to admit those who can pay a little for the sight 
of noble and inspiriting objects, which ought to be as patent as 
the blue sky and green trees. It is the assertion of this opinion 
which has stopped, in some degree, the new white-washing of the 
fine carved-work of otir churches, and the blocking up of their 
windows and their arches by cumbrous monuments of the pride of 
the wealthy. But there is yet much to be done. The squire of 
the parish must have his high pew lowered ; and the vicar must 
learn to dispense with the dignity of his churchwarden's seat 
blocking up the arch of his chancel. The funds of all cathedrals 
must in some measure he applied, as they are now in many cases, 
to the proper restoration of the beauty and grandeur of their tombs 
and chantries; and not to the destruction of all harmony and 
proportion, under the guidance of rash ignorance, as formerly at 
Salisbury, Sacred places which have been made hiding-holes for 
rubbish, like the Crypt at Canterbury, must be opened to the light. 
The guardians of our ecclesiastical edifices must, above all, be 
taught that the house of God was meant to be a house of beauty ; 
* Horace W'alnole was clearly in error in taking the liall, or refectory, for tire cliurcli. 



and that their vile applications of mere utility, their tasteless stalls, 
their white paint, and their yellow plaster, for the purposes of 
hilling the glowing colours atal the rich imagery of those who knew 
better than they what belonged to the devotional feeling, will no 
longer be endured as the badges of a pure and reformed religion; 
for that religion is not the cold atal unimaginative thing which the 
puritanism of two centuries has endeavoured to degrade it into. 
We shall do our best not only to direct public attention to the 
antiquities of our country, and incidentally to the history of our 
country in a large sense, but we shall take care, as far as in us lies — 
disclaiming the slightest intention of giving offence to individuals — 
to contend for a liberal throwing open of those antiquities to the 
well conducted of the community, whatever be their social position ; 
and to remonstrate against all wanton and ignorant destruction of 
those remains which wise governments and just individual- ought to 
have upheld, but which to our shame have in many cases been as 
recklessly destroyed as if the annals of our country had perished, 
and we of old England were a young democracy, rejoicing in our 
contempt for those feelings which belong as much to the honour 
and wisdom as to the poetry of civilized life. 



There is an opinion, which probably may have been too hastily 
taken up, that previous to the invasion of William of Normandy 
there were few or no castles or towers of defence in England; and 
that to this circumstance may be attributed the eventual success 
which followed his daring inroad. This opinion has had the sup- 
port of many eminent antiquaries, amongst others of Sir William 
Dugdale. It is scarcely necessary for us to discuss this point ; and 
therefore, when we come presently to speak of Conisborough Castle, 
we shall touch very slightly upon the belief of some that it was a 
Saxon work. That the Conqueror erected castles, and impelled his 
barons to their erection in every part of the kingdom, there can be 
no doubt. His energy was so great in this mode of defence and 
protection, that an old Latin chronicler says that he wearied all 
England with their erection. The general plan of a Norman 
castle is exhibited in Fig. 34G. The keep or dungeon (the tall 
central building) is numbered 1 ; the chapel 2 ; the stable 3 ; the 
inner bailey 4 ; the outer bailey 5 ; the barbacan G ; the mount for 
the execution of justice 7 ; the soldiers' lodgings 8. The following 
clear and accurate description, by an eminent architect, in the 
• Pictorial History of England,' will assist the reader's notion of a 
Norman castle as conveyed by this ancient plan: — "The Anglo- 
Norman castle occupied a considerable space of ground; sometimes 
several acres, and usually consisted of three principal divisions — the 
outer or lower Ballium (AnglicJ Bailey) or court, the inner or upper 
court, and the keep. The outer circumference of the whole was 
defended by a lofty and solitl perpendicular wall strengthened at 
intervals by towers, and surrounded by a ditch or moat. Flights of 
steps led to the top of this rampart, which was protected by a para- 
pet, embattled and pierced in different directions by loop-holes or 
chinks, and leillets. through which missiles might he discharged 
without exposing the men. The ramparts of Rockingham Castle, 
according to Leland, wive embattled on both sides, ' so that if the 
area were won, the castle keepers might defend the walls.' The 
entrance through the outer wall into the lower court was defended 
by the barbacan, which in some eases was a regular outwork, cover- 
ing the approach to the bridge across the ditch ; but the few bar- 
bacans which remain consi-t only of a gateway in advance of the 
main gate, with which it was connected by a narrow open passage 
commanded by the ramparts on both side-. Such a work remained 
until lately attached to several of the gates of York, and still 
remains, though of a later date, at Warwick Castle [Fig. 362 
exhibits the construction of a barbacan in tiiat of Walmgate Bar, 
York]. The entrance archway, besides the massive gates, was 
crossed by the portcullis, which could be instantaneously dropped 
upon any emergency, and the crown of the arch was pierced with 
holes, through which melted lead and pitch, and heavy missiles, 
could he cast upon the assailants below. A second rampart, similar 
to the first, separated the lower from the upper court, in which were 
placed the habitable buildings, including the keep, the relative posi- 
tion of which varied with the nature of the site. It was generally 
elevated upon a high artificial mound, and sometimes enclosed by 
outworks of il- own. The keep here the same relation to the rest 
of the castle that the citadel hears to a fortified town. It was the 
last retreat of the garrison, ami contained the apartments of the 
baron or commandant. In form the Anglo-Norman keeps are 
varied, and not always regular ; but hr those of the larger size rect- 
angular plans are the most common, and of the smaller class many 
are circular. The solidity of their construction is so great, that we 
find them retaining at least their outward form in the midst of the 

N 2 




364.-Great,Seal of William Uufus. 








363.— Silver Penny of WMum II, (From specimen in Brit. Mm.) 




■Yew-tree in Have* Churchyard. 




—Royal Party hunting Rabbits. (Royal MS. 2 II vil.) 



371.— Tomb of Rufus. 




92 





374' — Entrance of Rochester Castle- 



375- — llocaesler Castle ; tnc Seep, with its Entrance Tuwer. 




i"3.— Interior of the remains of the Upper Story of Rocheitex Cattle* 




Bfc— K u dwi to r Ciafle: Plm. 




377.— Tlie Tower, from the Thames. 



93 



94 



OLD ENGLAND. 



fBooic II. 



most dilapidated ruin. Time and violence appear to have assaulted 
them in vain, .-.ml even the love of change has respected them 
through succossh e generations." 

Conisborough Castle, which is pronounced by Jlr. King to be of 
the earliest Saxon times " before the conversion pf that people to 
Christianity," i- held by later antiquaries in its extent and arrange- 
ment to be a fair representation of the Norman keeps of the smaller 
class. It is situated in the West Riding of Yorkshire, in the 
wapentake of Strafiorth, and, standing on asleep knowl, commands 
a splendid view of the winding course of the river Don. It was 
formerly entered by a drawbridge over a deep fosse. Belaud speaks 
of •• the castle standing on a rocket of stone, and ditched. The 
walls of it have been strong and full of towers." By the walls the 
oh! topographer means those which surround the keep, which 
Pennant in his time described as " seemingly circular and having 

the remains of four small rounders." The keep, of which a g I 

part is still entire, is a most remarkable building. It was 01 igiually 
four stories high, and U of a circular form, being about twenty-two 
feet diameter iu.-ide. The walls are fifteen feet thick, and they are 
flanked by six projecting turrets, or square buttresses, 1101100- from 
the top to the bottom, and expanding at the base. The externa] 
appearance of the keep does not at first give the impression of its 
really circular form (Fig. 357). The ground floor or base is 
described by Pennant as a noisome dungeon of vast depth, at the 
bottom of which is a draw-well. Fig. 3,34 exhibits the form of the 
second story ; the steps are numbered 1, the entrance 2. the stairs 
to the third story 3. the opening to the vaulted story or dungeon 
below 4. Fig. 3.3.3 shows the third story : the stairs from the 
second floor are numbered 5, the window 6, a closet which shows 
that our forefathers possessed conveniences which have been thought 
a modern invention IS. stairs to the fourth story ; the chimney is 
numbered 7, and in this and the floor above it is remarkable that 
the construction of a chimney was not only perfectly well known, 
but that the form of the opening projecting over the hearth ex- 
hibited a degree of elegance which might recommend itself to the 
tasteless fire-place builders of eight centuries later (Fig. 353). 
The fourth story is indicated in Fig. 356 ; a small but well deco- 
rated hexagon room, undoubtedly used as a chapel, formed out of 
the thickness of the wall and the turret, is numbered 10. the stairs 
from the third floor 11, the window 12, the chimney 13, the stairs 
to the platform 14. From this platform there are entrances to 
six small rooms formed ill the six turrets which rise above the 
parapet. Such were the conveniences of one of the smaller keeps, 
possessing only a store-room or dungeon, a sort of hall of entrance, 
two living rooms, tnd a chapel, with six pigeon-holes where the 
retainers slept or cooked their food. Of the larger keeps we shall 
have particularly to speak when we come to notice the more com- 
plete establishment of the feudal system under the immediate suc- 
cessors of the Conqueror. At present we shall content ourselves 
with a brief description of the Castle of Richmond in Yorkshire, 
the grant of whose site to its first possessor is distinctly associated 
with "William the Conqueror. 

The charter by which the king bestowed the lands of the brave 
and unfortunate Saxon Earl Edwin upon one of his own followers 
is thus given by Camden: — •■ I William, surnamed Bastard, King 
of England, do give and grant to thee, my nephew, Alan Earl 
Bretagne, and to thy heirs for ever, all the villages and lands which 
of late belonged to Earl Edwin, in Yorkshire, with the knight's 
fees nml other liberties and customs, as freely and honourably as 
the same Edwin held them. Dated from our siege before York." 
Here then, on this noble hill, nearly encompassed by the rhcr 
Swale, amidst a landscape of wild beauty, almost of stern grandeur, 
stands this Castle of liiche-mount, and some of the streets in the 
little town at its feet have still their Norman names. Alan of 
Bretagne quickly set to work to defend the broad lands which his 
kinsman had bestowed upon him, by gathering round him a powerful 
band safe from attack on this fortressed hill. The castle has been a 

ruin for three centuries. Even in Leland's time it was ere 

ruin." lint yet the great keep, whose walls are ninety-nine feet in 
height, and eleven in thickness, still defies the wind and the frost. 
as it onee set at nought the battering-ram and the scaling-ladder 
(Fig. 3G1). Turrets rise above these walls from the four corners. 
The keep consisted originally of three stories. The roofs of the 
two upper stories have now fallen in. There are the ruins of two 
smaller towers to the south-east and smith-west angles of the walls 
(Fig. 860). The view on the town side is given in Fig. 359. 

The grant of lands by the Conqueror to Alan the Breton is 
represented in h very curious illumination in the register of the 
Honour of Richmond (Fig. 3.32). The prolonged resistance ma( le 
to the power of the Norman invaders iu the north brought pillage 



and slaughter upon the inhabitants of the towns, and confiscation 

of their lands upon the native chiefs. Villages and manors 
wire given away by scores in every district, to some fortunate 
follower of the stranger king. It is iu Domesday Book, the most 
extraordinary record of the feudal times, I hat we can trace the 
course of the spoliation of the original proprietors of the soil, 
and the waste and depopulation that had preceded any condition 
approaching to a tranquil settlement, of the country. This book, of 
which a specimen is given in Fig. 363, is unquestionably the most 
remarkable monument of the Norman Conquest. No other country 
1 .. so compll I of the state of society nearly < ight 

centuries ago, as this presents in its registration of the lands of 
England. By special permission it may be seen in the Chapter- 
house at Westminster. It was formerly kept in the Exchequer 
under three different locks and keys. The book familiarly so called 
really consisis of two volumes — one a large folio, the other a quarto, 
the material of each being vellum. The date of the survey, as 
indicated in one of these volumes, is 10SG. Northumberland, 
Cumberland, Westmoreland, and Durham were not included as 
counties in the survey, though parts of Westmoreland and Cumber- 
land are taken. There never was a record which more strikingly 
exhibited the consequences of invasion and forcible seizure of 
property. The value of all the estates was to be triply estimated ; 
as that value stood in the time of Edward the Confessor, at the time 
of its bestowal by the king, and at the formation of the survey. It 
was found that twenty years after the Conquest the rental of the 
kingdom was one fourth less than in the time of the Confessor; and 
the return was made upon oath. The Saxon chronicler looks upon 
the Domesday Book as one of the many evidences of the Conqueror's 
grasping disposition; for he tells us that not a hide or yard land, 
not an ox, cow. or hog, was 'emitted in the census. Later historians 
have cried op the survey as a monument of the Conqueror's genius 
for administration. Thierry holds it only to be the result of bis 
special position as chief of the conquering army. This sensible 
histoi ian has shown, in his notice of Domesday Book, how complete 
was the spoliation of the Saxon proprietors within twenty years, — so 
complete that the Norman robbers actually record their quarrels 
with each other for what they call their inheritance. Describing 
the document generally, be says, •■ The king's name was placed at 
the bead, with a list of his domains and revenues in the county ; 
then followed the names of the chief and inferior proprietors, in the 
order of their military ranks and their territorial wealth. The 
Saxons who, by special favour, had been spared in tliegre.it spolia- 
tion, were found only iu the lowest schedule: for the small number 
of that race who still continued to be free proprietors, or tenants- 
in-chief of the king, as the conquerors expressed it, were such only 
for slender domains. They were inscribed at the end of each chapter 
under the names of thanes of the king, or by some other designation 
of domestic service in the royal household. The rest of the names 
of an Anglo-Saxon form, that are scattered here and there through 
the roll, belong to formers holding by a precarious title a few frac- 
tions, larger or smaller, of the domains of the Norman earls, barons, 
knights, Serjeants, and bowmen." 

The Saxon annalist quaintly writes of the first William, " so much 
he loved the high (leer as if he bad been their father ; he made 
laws that whosoever should slay bait or hind, him man should blind." 
The depopulation and misery occasioned by the formation of the New 
Forest have been perhaps somewhat over-stated. A forest undoubtedly 
existed in this district in the Saxon limes ; the Conqueror enlarged 
its circuit and gave it a fresh name. But even William of Jumieges, 
chaplain to the Conqueror, admits the devastation, in his notice of 
the deaths of William Rufusand his brother Richard in this Forest; — 
" There were many w ho held that the two sons of William the king 
perished by the judgment of God in these woods, since for the 
extension of the forest he had destroyed many towns and churches 
within its circuit." It is this circumstantial statement and popular 
belief which inspired Mr. William Stewart Rose's spirited little poem 
of the Red King:— 

" Now fust beside tlie pathway stood 
A ruin'd village, shagg'd with wood, 

A melaii' holy place; 
The rutliles, Conqueroi easl dowo 

(Wo worth the ileeilj that little town, 
To lengthen out his chase. 

Amongst the fragments of the church, 
A raven there hail found a perch, — 

She flicker' d with tier wing ; 
She stirr'd not, she, for voice or shout, 
She moved not for that revel. rout, 

But croak'd upon the king. ' 




PAINTED WINDOW. 

TWO SAXON EARLS OF MKKCIA, AND SEVEN NORMAN EARLS OF CHESTER. 



* 



Chap. I.] 



OLD ENGLAND. 



95 



But Mr. Rose does not rest the machinery of his ballad Upon 
tradition alone, or the assertions of prejudiced chroniclers. Ad- 
verting to the disbelief of Voltaire in the early history of the New 
Forest, he points out, in his notes to the poem, what Voltaire did 
not know, that ' Domesday-Book ' establishes the fact that many 
thousand acres were afforested after the time of Edward the 
Confessor. The testimony which Mr. Rose himself supplied from 
his local knowledge is exceedingly curious. ''The idea that no 
vestiges of ancient buildings yet exist in the New Forest, is utterly 
unfounded, though the feet is certainly little known, and almost 
confined to the small circle of keepers and ancient inhabitants. Id 
many spots, though no ruins are visible above ground, either the 
enceinte of erections is to be traced, by the elevation of the earth. 
or fragments of building-materials have been discovered on turning 
up the surface. The names also of those places would almost, if 
other evidence were wanting, substantiate the general fact, and 

even the nature of each individual edifice The total rasure 

of buildings, and the scanty remains of materials under the surface. 
appear at first a singular circumstance. But it is to be observed, 
that the mansions, and even the churches of the Anglo-Saxons 
were built of the slightest materials, frequently of wood ; and that 
of all countries a forest is the least favourable to the preservation 
of ruins. As they are tiie property of the crown, neither the pride 

nor interest of individuals is concerned in their preservation 

This absence of remains of ruins above the surface need notj 
therefore, lead us to despair of further discoveries, and these are. 
perhaps, yet designated by the names of places. May we not 
consider the termination of hnm and ton, yet annexed to some 
woodlands, as evidence of the former existence of hamlets and 
towns?" The historical truth, as it appears to us, may be collected 
from these interesting notices of Mr. Rose's local researches. The 
remains of buildings are few, and scattered over a considerable 
district. The names which still exist afford the best indication that 
the abodes of men were formerly more numerous. The truth lies 
between the scepticism of Voltaire as to any depopulation having 
taken place, and the poetical exaggeration of Pope, in his ' Windsor 
Forest :' — 

<L The fields are ravished from industrious swains, 
Fnim men their cities. Qnd from gOtla tlieir lanes : 
Tlie levelled towns with weeds lie covered o'er; 
The hollow winds through naked temples roar." 

The fact is, that from the very nature of the soil no large population 
could have been here supported in days of imperfect agriculture. 
The lower lands are for the most part marshy ; the higher ridges 
are sterile sand. Gilpin has sensibly pointed this out in his book 
on 'Forest Scenery:' — "How could William have spread such 
depopulation in a country which, from tlie nature of it, must, have 
been from the first very thinly inhabited ? The ancient Ytene was 
undoubtedly a woody tract long before the times of "William. 
Voltaire's idea, therefore, of planting a forest is absurd, and is 
founded on a total ignorance of the country. He took his ideas 
merely from a French forest, which is artificially planted, and laid 
OUt in vistas and alleys. It is probable that William rather opened 
his chaces by cutting down wood, than that he had occasion to plant 
more. Besides, though tlie internal strata of tiie soil of New Forest 
arc admirably adapted to produce timber, yet the surface of it is in 
general poor, and could never have admitted, even if the times had 
allowed, any high degree of cultivation," But, whatever view we 
take of this historical question, the scenery of the New Forest is 
indissolubly associated with the memory of the two first Norman 
hunter-kings. There is probably no place in England which in its 
general aspect appears for centuries to have undergone so little 
change. The very people are unchanged. After walking in a 
summer afternoon for several miles amongst thick glades, guided 
only by the course of the declining sun, 

" Over hill, over dale, 
Thorough hush, thorough briar," 

we came, in the low ground between Beaulieu and Denny Lodge, 
upon two peasants gathering a miserable crop of rowan. To our 
questions as to the proper path, they gave a grin, which expressed 
as much cunning as idiotcy, and pointed to a course which led us 
directly to the edge of a bog. They were low of stature, and 
coarse in feature. The collar of the Saxon slave was not upon 
their necks, hut they were the descendants of the slave, through a 
long line who had been here toiling in hopeless ignorance for seven 
centuries. Their mental chains have never been loosened. A mile 
or two farther we encountered a tall and erect man, in a peculiar 
costume, half peasant, half huntsman. He had the frank manners 



of one of nature's gentlemen, and insisted upon going with us a part 
of the way which we sought to Lyndhurst. His family, too. had 
been settled here, time out of mind. He was the descendant of the 
Norman huntsman, who had been trusted and encouraged, whilst 
the Saxon churl was feared and oppressed. There is a lesson still to 
be taught by the condition of the two races in the primitive wilds 

of the New Forest. 

But we are digressing from our proper theme. In these thick 
coverts we find not many trees, and especially oaks, of that enor- 
mous size which indicates the growth of centuries. The forest has 
been neglected. Trees of every variety, with underwood in pro- 
portion, have oppressed each the other's luxuriance. Now and then 
a vigorous tree has shot up above its neighbours; but the general 
aspect is that of continuous wood, of very slow and stunted growth, 
with occasional ranges of low wet land almost wholly devoid of 
wood. There are many spots, undoubtedly, of what we call pic- 
turesque beauty ; but the primitive solitariness of the place is its 
-rear charm. We are speaking, of course, of those parts which 
must be visited by a pedestrian j for the high roads necessarily lead 
through the most cultivated lands, passing through a few villages 
which have nothing of the air of belonging to so wild and primitive 
a region. Lyndhurst, the prettiest of towns, is the capital of the 
Finest. Here its courts, with their peculiar jurisdiction, are held 
in a hall of no great antiquity; but in that hall hangs the stirrup 
whirl; tradition, from time immemorial, asserts was attached to the 
saddle from which William Rufus tell, when struck by the glancing 
arrow of Walter Tyrell. There is a circumstance even more re- 
markably as-oeiated with tradition, to be found in the little village 
of Jlinestead. It is recorded that the man wdio picked up the body 
of the lied king was named Furkess ; that he was a charcoal-burner ; 
and that he conveyed the body to Winchester in the cart which he 
employed in his trade. Over the door of a little shop in that village 
we aw the name of Furkess in 1843— a veritable relic of the old 
times. Mr. Rose has recorded the fact in prose and verse, of the 
charcoal-burner's descendants still living in this spot, and still pos- 
sessing one horse and cart, and no more: 

" A Minestead churl, whose wonted trade 
Was huming charcoal in the glade, 

Outstretcli'd amid the gorse 
The monarch found; and in his wain 
He raised, and t<i .St. Swithin'fl lane 
Convey'd the bleeding corse. 

And still, so runs our forest creed, 
Flourish the pious woodman's seed 

Even in the selfsame spot : 
One horse and cart their little store, 
Like their forefather's, neither more 

Nor less the children's lot. 

And still, in merry Lyndhurst hall. 
Red William's stirrup decks the wall ; 

Win) lists, the sight may see ; 
And a fair stone, in green Malwood, 
Informs tlie traveller where stood 
The memorable tree." 

The ; ' fair stone," which was erected by Lord Delaware in 174o, is 
now put into an iron case, of supreme ugliness ; and we arc informed 
as follows: — "This stone having been much mutilated, and the 
inscriptions on each of its three sides defaced, this more durable me- 
morial, with the original inscriptions, was erected in the year 1841, 
by "William Sturges Bourne, Warden." Another century will see 
whether this boast of durability will be of any account. In the 
time of Leland, there was a chapel built upon the spot. It would 
be a wise acr of the Crown, to whom this land belongs, to found a 
school here — a better way of continuing a record than Lord Dela- 
ware's stone, or Mr. Sturges Bourne's iron. The history of their 
country, its constitution, its privileges — the duties and the rights of 
Englishmen — things which are not taught to the children of our 
labouring millions — might worthily commence to be taught on the 
spot where the Norman tyrant fell, leaving successors who one by 
one came to acknowledge that the people were something not to be 
despised or neglected. The following is the inscription on the ori- 
ginal stone, which is represented at Fig. 370. 

" Here stood the o.ik-free on which an arrow, shot by Sir Walter Tyrrel, at a stag, 
glanced, and struck King William II., surnamed Rufus, on the breast ; of 
which stroke he instantly died, on the second of August, 1100. 

"King WilliamlL, surnamed Ruftu, being skirt, aa before related, was laid in 
a cart belonging to one ruikess, and drawn from hence to Winchester, and bu- 
ried in the cathedral church of that city. 

" That the snot where an event so memcrahle had happened might not hereafter he 
unknown this stone was set up by John Lord Delaware, who had seen the tree 
growing in this place, anno 1715." 




381.— SU Mary's Chapel, Hustings, and Ruins of C.is'U-oo the Cliff. 




383.— Hock of riamborougli, with the Cnstk- In its prrscnt stale. 



ENTRANCE TO THE CHAPEL 



EDWARD THE CONFESSOR. 




Remains of Hie Shrine of Edward tlic Confessor. Westminster Abbey. 



The Illuminated Engraving exhibits the entrance to the Chapel of 
Edward the Confessor.* Ascending the steps which are screened 
by the paltry wooden balustrade exhibited in the drawing, we are 
in the Chapel, which is elevated above the Ambulatory on each 
side. The top of the shrine of the Confessor is seen in the drawing ; 
the shrine itself is exhibited in the wood-cut above. The tomb in 

* The engraving, in some copies, is inaccurately called "Tlie Southern Aisle of 
tlie Clioir.'' It is the aisle of the parts called "The Ambulatory," near the 
Choir. 



the front of the Confessor's Chapel is that of Henry III., of which 
little of the original splendour remains except the slabs of coloured 
porphyry. The Confessor's Shrine was erected by Henry III. ; 
and it was formerly decorated with golden statues inlaid with sap- 
phires emeralds, and rubies, and covered in its less costly parts 
with the richest mosaic. All these treasures have vanished, and 
there remains only a plain monument, with a wainscot-top, of a 
much more recent period. We shall have to describe these matters 
more minutely in their proper place. 



PAINTED WINDOW, 



SAXON AND NORMAN EARLS OF CHESTER. 



BnERETON Hall, in Cheshire, was built in the reign of Elizabeth 
by Sir William Brereton ; ami it is said that the queen herself laid 
the foundation stone. The founder appears to have liberally used 
the beautiful art of staining glass in tlic decoration of bis mansion. 
In many of the windows were the various bearings of the principal 
Cheshire families, some of which still remain. But t lie greatest 
object of curiosity in this mansion, an object indeed of historical 
interest, was the painted window, of which we have given a faith- 
ful copy in the illuminated engraving. This window, we know not 
for what cause, was Mime years ago removed to Aston Hall, in 
Warwickshire. It has had the advantage of being described and 
engraved in Ornrond's ' History of Cheshire ;' and a most beautiful 
and elaborate series of coloured fac-siinilrs, the size of the originals, 
was executed by Mr* William Fowler, and published in HO^. 
From these our engraving is copied. Two of the figures repre- 
sent Leofwine and Leof Vie, Saxon earls of Mercia. The other figures 
exhibit tlie seven Norman earls of Chester. The first earl, Hugh. 
surnamed Lupus, came into England with the Conqueror, who gave 
to him and his heirs the county of Chester, to hold as freely by him 
with the sword as be (William) held by the crown. He died in 1 103. 
Richard, the son of Hugh, was the second carl. He was drowned 
in returning from Normandy in 1120. Hying without issue, he 
was succeeded by his cousin, Randolph de Meschines, the third 
earl, who died in 1120. The fourth carl, Randolph, surnamed de 
(iernonijs, took part with the Empress Maud and her son Henry, 
ami he, with Robert Earl of Gloucester, made King Stephen 
prisoner at Lincoln in 1141. He died by poison in 1158. Hugh. 
surnamed Cyveliok, from the place in AVales where he was born, 
was the fifth earl; he died in 1180. Randolph, surnamed Blunde- 
ville, was the sixth earl. He was a brave, and what was more un- 
usual for a baron, a learned man, having compiled a treatise on the 
Laws of the Realm. He lived in great honour and esteem in the 
reigns of Henry II., Richard I., John, and Henry III. He fought 
in the Holy Land with Coeur de Lion, and was the founder of the 



Abbey of Delacroix in Staffordshire, and of the Grey Friars at 
Coventry. He died in 1233, having held the earldom fifty-three 
years. Although married three times, he had no issue ; but was 
succeeded by his nephew John, surnamed Le Scot. Upon his death 
without issue, in the twenty-second of Henry III., 123!*, the King 
'• thought it not good to make a division of the earldom of Chester, 
it enjoying such a regal prerogative ; therefore, taking the same 
into bis own hands, he gave unto the sisters of John Scot other 
lands, and gave the county palatine of Chester to his eldest son" 
(Ormerod). John Le Scot was therefore the last independent Earl 
of Chester. From that time the eldest sons of the sovereigns of 
England have been Earls of Chester from the day of their birth. 

In the painted window it will be observed that each figure is 
placed within an arch. Each arch in the original window is seven- 
teen inches in height, and about eight in width between the columns. 
The arches are struck from two centres, and have a key-stone on 
which is represented a grotesque head under a basket of fruit. It 
will of course suggest itself to the reader that this window, being in 
all probability executed in the time of Elizabeth, cannot be received 
as a perfectly faithful representation even of the costume of these re- 
doubted vice-kings of the county palatine. Upon this point Ormerod 
has the following remarks : '* The style of the architecture is of the 
era of Elizabeth, but an erroneous idea prevails as to the high an- 
tiquity of these figures, and as to their having been the identical 
representations of the earls which formerly graced the windows of 
Chester Abbey." To correct this idea the county historian refers 
to a rude drawing in the Harleian MS. 2151, which shows the 
character of that ancient glass. But he adds, " It is, however, not 
unlikely that the figures may have been copied from paintings, 
stained glass, or monkish illuminations, of considerable antiquity ; 
though the paintings themselves were most probably executed for 
the decoration of the newly-erected Hall of Brereton at the close 
of the sixteenth century." 




385.— Vlatildn, Queen of Henry l> From a Statue in the \\V*i 
doorway of Rochester Cathedral. 




-Mascled Armour.— Seal of Milo Fits- Walter, Constable 
of England under Henry I. 






334— Great Seal of Henry I. 




390.— Cardiff Castle, as it appeared in 17 



7*— SUret Penny of Henry I, From specimen in Grit. Mus. 




386.— Monk B 




389.— Ruini of Reading Abbey, the Burial-place of Henry I., as they appeared in 1721. 



No. 13. 



[OLD ENGLAND.] 



97 



OS 



OLD ENGLAND. 



[Book II. 



In the Cathedral Church of Winchester, which Dr. Milner terms 
the "ancient mausoleum of royalty " (Fig. 372), is the tomb of 
William Rufus. " It consists of English grey marble, being of 
form that is dos ifdne; and is raised about two feet above the 
ground" (Fig. 371). The tomb of the Red King was violated 
during the parliamentary war in the time of Charles I., and there 
was found within it " the dust of the king, some pieces of cloth 
embroidered with gold, a large gold ring, and a small silver chalice." 
The bones had been enshrined in the time of King Stephen. What 
remained of these earthy fragments in the sixteenth century had 
become mixed with the bones of Canute and his queen, and of 
bishops of good and evil repute. Bishop Fox caused them all to 
be deposited in one of the mouldering chests which in this Cathedral 
attract the gaze of the stranger, and carry him, if he be of a con- 
templative turn, into some such speculations as those of Hamlet, 
when he traced the noble dust of Alexander till he found it stopping 
a bunghole. 



There are few prospects in England more remarkable, and. in 
certain degree, more magnificent, than that which is presented on the 
approach to Rochester from the road to London. The highest 
point on the road from Milton is Gadshill, of "men-in-buckram" 
notoriety. Here the road begins gradually to descend to the valley 
oftheMedway ; sometimes, indeed, rising again over little eminences, 
which in the hop season are more beautifully clothed than are " the 
vine-covered hills and gay regions of France," but still descending, 
and sometimes precipitously, to a valley whose depth we cannot see, 
but which we perceive from the opposite hills has a range of several 
miles. At. a turn of the road we catch a glimpse of the narrow 
Medway on the south ; then to the north we see a broader stream 
where large dark masses, " our wooden walls," seem to sleep on the 
sparkling water. At last a town presents itself light before us to 
the east, with a paltry tower which they tell us is that of the 
Cathedral. Close by that tower rises up a gigantic square building, 
whose enormous proportions proclaim that it is no modern archi- 
tectural toy. This is the great keep of RociiESTEn Castle, called 
Gundulph's Tower (Fig. 375), and there it has stood for eight 
centuries, defying siege after siege, resisting even what is more 
difficult to resist than tire or storm, the cupidity of modern possessors. 
Rochester Castle is, like the hills around it, indestructible by man 
in the regular course of his operations. It might be blown up, as 
the chalk hill at Folkestone was recently shaken to its base ; but 
when the ordinary workman lias assailed it with his shovel and 
mattock, his iron breaks upon the flinty concrete ; there is nothing 
more to be got out of it by avarice, — so e'en let it endure. And 
worthy is this old tower to endure. A man may sit alone in the 
gallery which runs round the tower, and, looking either within the 
walls or without the walls, have profitable meditations. He need 
not go back to the days of Julius Caesar for the origin of this castle, 
as some have written, nor even to those of Egbert, King of Kent, 
who "gave certain lands within the walls of Rochester Castle to 
Eardulf, tiien Bishop of that see." It is sufficient to believe with 
old Lambarde, " that Odo (the bastard brother to King William 
the Conqueror), which was at the first Bishop of Bayeux in Nor- 
mandy, and then afterward advanced to the office of the Chief 
Justice of England, and to the honour of the Earldom of Kent, was 
either the first author or the best benefactor to that which now 
Btandeth in sight." Odo rebelled against William II.. and was 
driven from his stronghold and from the realm. The history of the 
Castle from his time becomes more distinct: — "After this the 
Castle was much amended by Gnndulphus, the Bishop: who (in 
consideration of a manor given to his see by King William Rufus) 
bestowed threescore pounds in building that great tower which yet 
Btandeth. And from that time this Castle continued (as I indue) 
in the possession of the Prince, until King Henry the First, by the 
advice of his barons, granted to William, the Archbishop of Canter- 
bury, and his successors, the custody, and office of Constable over 
the same, with free liberty to build a tower for himself, in any part 
thereof, at his pleasure. By means of which cost done upon it at 
that time, the castle at Rochester was much in the eye of such as 
were the authors of troubles following within the realm, so that from 
time to time it had a part (almost) in every tragedy." Lambarde, 
who writes this, tells us truly that in the time of the Conqueror 
" many castles were raised to keep the people in awe." Such kingly 
strongholds of oppression were like the " pleasant vices " of common 
men ; they became " instruments to scourge " their makers. Thus 
Odo held Rochester Castle against Rufus. The barons successfully 
maintained it against John. Simon de Montfort carried his vic- 
torious arms against its walls, which were defended by the Constable 
of Henry HI. These were some of the tragedies in which Rochester 



Castle had a part. But the remains of this building show that its 
occupiers were not wholly engrossed by feuds and by fighting. The 
splendid columns, the sculptured arches, of its chief apartments 
proclaim that it was the abode of rude magnificence; anil that high 
festivals, with luxurious feastings, might be well celebrated within 
these massive walls (Fig. 373). This tower, each side of which at 
tlie base is seventy feet long, whilst it- height is one hundred and 
twelve feet, lias attached to its east angle a smaller tower (probably 
for domestics), between seventy and eighty feet in height. A parti- 
tion wall runs up the middle of the larger tower; and the height was 
divided into four stories. The joists and flooring-boards have been 
torn from the walls, but we see the hides w here the limbers were in- 
serted, and spacious fireplaces still remain. Every floor was served 
with water by a well, which was carried up through the central parti- 
tion. This division of the central tower allowed magnificent dimen- 
sions to the rooms, which were forty-six feet in length by twenty-one 
in breadth. The height of those in the third story is thirty-two feet ; 
and here are those splendid columns, with their ornamented arches, 
which show us that the builders of these gloomy fortresses had notions 
of princely magnificence, and a feeling for the beauty of art. which 
might have done something towards softening the fierceness of their 
warrior lives, and have taught them to wear their weeds of peace 
with dignity and grace. Thomas Wai ton has described, in the true 
spirit of romantic poetry, such a scene as might often have lighted 
up the dark walls of Rochester Castle : — 

"Stately the feMf, ami high die cheer: 
Gilt with many an armed peer. 
Anil Canopied with gulden pull, 
Amid Cilgarran's castle hall, 
Sublime in formidable state, 

And warlike splendour, Henry sate, 
Prepar'd In stain the hriny l!ooi] 
Of Shannon's lat.es with rebel blood. 
Illumining the vaulted roof, 

A thousand torches n.nn d aloof: 

From massy cups with gulden gleam, 
Sparkled the red metheglin's stream : 
Togxoce the gorgeous festival. 

Along the h't'ty window'd hall 
i he storied tapestry was hung : 
Willi minstrelsy the rafters rrujg 
Of harps, that with reflected light 

From the proud gallery glillei'd bright.' 1 

Fenced around with barbacan and bastion on the laud side, and 
girded by high walls towards the river (Fig. 37C), the legal anil 
baronial occupiers of Rochester Castle sat in safety, whether dis- 
pensing their rude justice to trembling serfs, or quaffing the red wine 
amidst their knightly retainers. Even Simon tie Montfort, a man 
of wondrous energy, could make little impression upon these strong 
walls. But the invention of gunpowder changed the course of 
human affairs. The monk who compounded sulphur, saltpetre, 
and charcoal, in their just proportions, made Rochester Castle what 
it is now. The last repairs which it. received were in the reign of 
Edward VI. ; and in that of James I. it was granted by the Crown 
to Sir Anthony Welldone. His descendant Walker Welhlone, 
Esq., was but an instrument in the hands of mutability to work 
faster than time. He, good man, " sold the timbers of it to one 
Gimmit, and the stone stairs, and other squared and wrought stone 
of the windows and arches, to different masons in London ; he would 
likewise have sold the whole materials of the Castle to a paviour, 
but on an essay made on the east side, near the postern hailing to 
Bully Hill, the effects of which are seen in a large chasm, the mortar 
was found so hard, that the expense of separating the stones amounted 
to more than their value, by which this noble pile escaped a total 
demolition." (Grose.) The property finally passed into the hands 
of Mr. Child, the celebrated banker ; and it now belongs to the 
Earl of Jersey, who married the heiress of that house. 

The stone bridge at Rochester, over which we still cross the 
Medw r ay, is a very ancient structure, as old as the time of Edward 
III. A great captain of that age, Sir Robert Kindles, w ho, " meaning 
some way to make himself as well beloved of his countrymen at 
home as he had been every way dreaded and feared of strangers 
abroad, by great policy mastered the river of Medway, anil of his 
own charge made over it the goodly work which now standeth." 
This is Lambarde's account of the matter. But the old Kentish 
topographer has raked up two ancient documents which show us how 
great public works were constructed in times when men had first 
begun to see the necessity of co-operating for public good. The elder 
wooden bridge, which Simon de Montfort fired, and which was 
wholly destroyed twenty years after by masses of ice floating down 
the rapid river, was built and maintained at the cost of " divers 
persons, parcels of lands, and townships, who were of duty bound to 




ROCHESTER CASTLE. INTERIOR 



Chap. I.] 



OLD ENGLAND. 



09 



bring stuff and bestow botli cost ami labour in laying it." One of 
the documents which Lambarde prints is the ' Textus de Ecclesia 
Roffensi,' which was written in Anglo-Saxon and Latin. It is 
worth extracting an entry or two, to show how this curious division 
of labour worked in ancient times. Such a mode of repairing a 
bridge may provoke a smile ; but up to this hour do we retain the 
same principle of repairing our roads, in the ridiculous statute labour 
of parishes and individuals. " This is the bridge work at Rochester. 
Here be named the lands for the which men shall work. First the 
bishop of the city takethonthat end to work the land pier, and three 
yards to plank, and three plates to lay, that is from Borstall, and 
from Cuokstane, and from Frensbury and Stoke. Then the second 
pier belongeth to Gillingham and to Chetham, and one yard to 
plank, and (hire plates to lay."' And so runs on the record ; meting 
out their work to bishop and archbishop and king, with the aicl of 
lands ami townships. These progenitors of ours were not altogether 
so ignorant of the great principles of political economy as we may 
have learnt to believe. They knew that common conveniences were 
to be paid for at the common cost ; ami that the bridge which 
brought the men of Rochester and the men of Stroud into intimate 
connexion was for the benefit not of them alone, but of the 
authorities which represented the State and the Church and the 
population of the whole district; and therefore the State and the 
Church, and the neighbouring men of Kent, were called upon to 
maintain the bridge. In these our improved times the burden of 
public works is sometimes put upon the wrong shoulders. 

Gundulphus tin- bishop, the builder or the restorer, we know not 
which, of the great keep at Rochester, was the architect of the most 
remarkable building of the Tower of London. Stow tells us, '• I 
find in a fair register-book of the acts of the Bishops of Rochester, 
set down by Edmund of ETadenham, that William I., surnamed 
the Conqueror, builded the Tower of London, to wit, the great white 
and square tower there, about the year of Christ 1078, appointing 
Gundulph, then Bishop of Rochester, to be principal surveyor and 
overseer of that work, who was for that time lodged in the house of 
Edmere, a burgess of London." Speaking of this passage of Stow, 
the editor of • London ' says, " We seethe busy Bishop (it was he 
who built the great keep at Rochester) coming daily from his 
lodgings at the honest burgess's to erect something stronger and 
mightier than the fortresses of the Saxons. What he found in ruins, 
and what he made ruinous, who can tell? There might have been 
walls and bulwarks thrown down by the ebbing and flowing of the 
tide. There might have been, dilapidated or entire, some citadel 
more ancient than the defences of the people the Normans conquered, 
belonging to the age when the great lords of the world left every- 
where some marks upon the earth's surface of their pride and their 
power. That Gundulph did not create this fortress is tolerably 
clear. What he built, and what he destroyed, must still, to a certain 
extent, be a matter of conjecture." Anil this is precisely the case 
with the great tower at Rochester. The keep at Rochester and the 
White Tower at London have a remarkable resemblance in their 
external appearances (Fig. 377). But we have no absolute certainty 
that either was the work of the skilful Bishop, who, with that 
practical mastery of science and art which so honourably dis- 
tinguished many of the ecclesiastics of his age, was set by his 
sovereign at both places to some great business of construction or 
repair. We must be content to leave the matter in the keeping of 
those who can pronounce authoritatively w here records and traditions 
fail, taking honest Lambarde for our guide, who says, '• Seeing that 
by the injury of the ages between the monuments of the first 
beginning of this place and of innumerable such, other be not come 
to our hands, I had rather in such cases use honest silence than rash 
speech." 

The ruined walls of the Castle of Hastings, and the remains of the 
pretty chapel within those walls, are familiar objects to the visitors of 
the most beautiful of our watering-places. The situation ofthis Castle 
is singularly noble. It was here, according to Eadmer, that almost all 
the bishops and nobles of England were assembled in the year 1090, 
to pay personal homage to lying William II. before his departure 
for Normandy. Grose has given a pretty accurate description of 
this castle, which we abridge with slight alteration. What remains 
of the castle approaches nearest in shape to two sides of an oblique 
spherical triangle, having the points rounded off. The base, or 
south side next the sea, completing the triangle, is formed by a 
perpendicular craggy cliff about four hundred feet in length, upon 
which are no vestiges of walls or other fortification. The east side 
is made by a plain wall measuring near three hundred feet, without 
tower or defence of any kind. The adjoining side, which faces the 
north-west, is about four hundred feet long. The area included is 
about an acre and one-fifth. The walls, nowhere entire, are about 



eight feet thick. The gateway, now demolished, was on the north 
side, near the northernmost angle. Not far from it, to the west, are 
the remains of a small tower enclosing a circular Hight of stairs; 
and still farther westward, a sally-port and the ruins of another 
tower. On the east side, at the distance of about one hundred feet, 
ran a ditch, one hundred feet in breadth at the top, and sixty feet 
deep; but both the ditch, and the interval between it and the wall, 
seem to have gradually narrowed as they approached the gate, 
under which they terminated. On the north-west side there yvas 
another ditch of the same breadth, commencing at the cliff opposite 
to the westernmost angle, and bearing away almost due north, leaving 
a level intermediate space, which, opposite to the sally-port, was 
one hundred and eighty feet in breadth (Fig. 381). 

The Castle of Caelisi-e was founded by William Rufus. He 
was the restorer of the city, after it had remained for two centuries 
in ruins through the Danish ravages. The Red King was a real 
benefactor to the people at this northern extremity of his kingdom, 
lie first placed here a colony of Flemings, an industrious and skilful 
race, and then encouraged an immigration of husbandmen from the 
south, to instruct the poor and ignorant inhabitants in the arts of 
agriculture. We must not consider that these Norman kings were 
all tyrants. The historical interest of Carlisle belongs to a later 
period, and we shall return to it. So does the Castle of Alnwick. 
(Fig. 382). But we here introduce the noble seat of the Fercies, 
for it was a place of strength soon after the Norman Conquest. In 
the reign of Rufus it was besieged by Malcolm the Third, of Scot- 
land, who here lost his life, as did his son Prince Edward. Before 
the Norman Conquest the castle and barony of Alnwick belonged 
to Gilbert Tyson, who was slain fighting against the invader, by 
the side of his Saxon king. The Conqueror gave the granddaughter 
of Gilbert in marriage to Ivo de Vescy, one of his Noianan fol- 
lowers ; and the Lords de Vescy enjoyed the fair possessions down 
to the time of Edward I. The Castle of Bamborough, in North- 
umberland, carries us back into a remoter antiquity. It was 
the palace, according to the monkish historians, of the kings of 
Northumberland, and built by king Ida, who began his reign about 
559. Roger Hoveden, who wrote in 1192, describes it, under the 
name of Bebba, as '' a very strong city." Rufus blockaded the 
castle in 1085, when it was in the possession of Robert de Mowbray, 
earl of Northumberland. The keep of Bamborough is very similar 
in its appearance to the keeps of the Tower of London, of Roches- 
ter, and of Dover. It is built of remarkably small stones ; the 
walls are eleven feet thick on one side, and nine feet on three sides. 
This castle, situated upon an almost perpendicular rock, close to 
the sea, which rises about one hundred and fifty feet above low 
water mark, had originally no interior appliances of luxury or even 
of comfort. Grose says, " Here were no chimneys. The only 
fire-place in it was a grate in the middle of a large room, supposed 
to have been the guard-room, where some stones in the middle of 
the floor are burned red. The floor was all of stone, supported by 
arches. This room had a window in it, near the top, three feet 
square, possibly intended to let out the smoke: all the other rooms 
were lighted only by slits or chinks in the wall, six inches broad, 
except in the gables of the roof, each of which had a window one 
foot broad." One of the most remarkable objects in this ancient 
castle is a draw-well, which was discovered about seventy years 
ago, upon clearing out the sand and rubbish of a vaulted cellar or 
dungeon. It is a hundred and forty-five feet deep, and is cut 
through the solid basaltic rock into the sandstone below. When 
we look at the history of this castle, from the time when it was 
assaulted by Pcuda, the Pagan king of the Mercians, its plunder 
by the Danes, its siege by Rufus, its assault by the Yorkists in 
1403, and so onward through seven centuries of civil strife, it is 
consoling to reflect upon the uses to which this stronghold is now 
applied. It was bought with the property attached to it by Nathaniel 
Lord Crewe, bishop of Durham, and bequeathed by him to chari- 
table puqioses in 1720. The old fortress has now been completely 
repaired. Its gloomy rooms, through whose loop-holes the sun 
could scarcely penetrate, have been converted into schools. Boys 
are here daily taught, and twenty poor girls are lodged, clothed, 
and educated till fit for service. The towers, whence the warder 
once looked out in constant watchfulness against an enemy's ap- 
proach, are now changed into signal stations, to warn the sailor 
against that dangerous cluster of rocks called the Fern Islands ; 
and signals are also arranged for announcing when a vessel is in 
distress to the fishermen of Holy Island. Life-boats are here 
kept, and shelter is offered for any reasonable period to such as may 
be shipwrecked on this dreary coast. The estates thus devoted to 
purposes of charity now yield a magnificent income of more than 
eight thousand a year. Not only are the poor taught, but the sick 

02 





391.— Great Seal of Stephen. 



392.— Stephen. Enlarged from I unique Silver Com in tiu 
Collection of Sir Henry Ellis. 





394.— Silver Penny of Stephen. From 
Specimen in lint. Mus- 




397.— Oxford Castle, as it appeared in the Fifteenth Century. 



393.— Arms of Stephen. 




6. — I U..I.T ol Oxloru Casll«, 



395. — Kougemont Cas'.le. 



100 




393 — South-west View of Norwich Cwtle. 





* , .„. t , 401 — Tek'uUted Armour. 

ieal of Richard, Constable of Chester in the time of Slcphe 




tT 



CS^ 



Rtt 



"3 



03.-PtamI.ird. 



<S' 




4i>4,— St.iutUrrt. 




400.— Winchester. 



402.— Geoffrey ria1.t15e1.el. ( Le Ifcl.) Kerrick't Collect. 6723. 

101 



102 



OLD ENGLAND. 



[Book II. 



are relieved in this hospitable fortress. In the infirmary, to winch 
part of the building is applied, the wants of a thousand persons are 
annually administered to. Much is still left out of these large funds ; 
and the residue is devoted to the augmentation of small benefices, 
to the building and enlarging of churches, to the foundation and 
support of schools, and to exhibitions for young men going to the 
Universities. When William Burns besieged this rock of Bam- 
borough, Bobert de Mowbray had a steward within the walls, who 
would have defended it to the death, had not the king brought out 
the earl his master, who was a prisoner, with a threat that hi- eyes 
should be put out unless the castle surrendered. This was a faithful 
steward. Lord Crewe had an equally faithful steward, after s dif- 
ferent fashion, in Dr. Siiarpe, Archdeacon of Northumberland, who 
devised the various means of best applying this noble bequest, and 
resided on this stormy rock to see that those means were properly 
administered. 



In the fine west doorway of Rochester Cathedral is a statue 
which is held to represent Matilda, queen of Henry I. (Fig. 385). 
The marriage of the son of the Norman Conqueror with the niece 
of Edgar Atlieling was a politic measure, which revived the old 
Saxon feeling in the conquered and oppressed, and made them 
think that days of equality were in store for them, even under the 
new race. Matilda the Good was worthy to be a descendant of 
Alfred. .She probably would have been more happy in the cloister 
to which she had fled for safety during the terrors of the Norman 
licentiousness, than with her ambitious, daring, profligate, but accom- 
plished husband. Iler influence over him did something, no doubt, 
for ameliorating the condition of her native land. She was a civilizer : 
she built bridges; she cultivated music. But the promise which 
Henry had made when he seized the crown, that the old Saxon laws 
should be restored, was wholly broken as soon as he had fairly 
grasped the sword of authority. The collection entitled 'The 
Laws of King Henry I.' is a " compilation of ancient Saxon laws 
by some private person, and not a publication by authority of the 
state." The writer of this adds, " The genera] clamour in England 
for the Saxon laws of the Confessor, under the three Norman 

kings, makes it probable that this c ipilation was made by some 

private person at the time when the restoration of these laws was 
called for by, and repeatedly promised to, the nation." (' Ancient 
Laws and Institutes of England,' published by the Record Com- 
mission.) These laws of Edward the Confessor were founded 
upon older laws, that go back through the times of Canute, and 
Ethelred, and Edgar, and Ethelstan, and Alfred, prescribing many 
things which are difficult to understand in our present state of 
society, but upholding a spirit of justice in mercy which later ages 
have, it is to be feared, not so diligently maintained. The laws of 
king Ethelred, for example, might furnish a text to be written up 
in every police court : " And ever, as any one shall be more 
powerful here in the eyes of the world, or through dignities higher 
in degree, so shall he the more deeply make ' hot ' (amends, com- 
pensation) for sins, and pay for every misdeed the more dearly; 
because the strong and the weak are not alike, and cannot raise a 
like burthen." Again, here is a noble motto for a judgment seat : 
" Let every deed be carefully distinguished, and doom ever be 
guided justly according to the deed, and be modified according to 
its degree, before God and before the world ; and let mercy be 
shown for dread of God, and kindness be willingly shown, and those 
be somewhat protected who need it ; because we all need that our 
Lord oft and frequently grant his mercy to us." This was the 
spirit of Christianity filling lawgivers with right principles ; 
although some of the institutions of society, such as slavery, were 
a violation of those principles. For all free men the old Saxon 
laws were just in their objects, and impartial in their administration. 
It is easy to understand how they could not exist in connexion 
with the capricious despotism of the first Norman kings, and the 
turbulence of their grasping retainers. Fortunate was it for the 
country when a prince arose of such decided character as Henry I. ; 
for he crushed the lesser oppressors, whose evil doings were more con- 
stant and universal. It mattered little to the welfare of the country 
that his unhappy brother Robert was shut up fur years in Cabdiff 
Castle, if the king visited his own purveyors with terrible punish- 
ments when they ground the people by unjust exactions. In Cardiff 
Castle (Fig. 390) o dark vaulted room beneath the level of the ground 
is shown as the place where Bobert of Normandy was confined by his 
brother for twenty-six years. The tradition rests upon no historical 
foundation whatever, nor, indeed, upon any probability. The gallant 
but heedless prince, according to William of Malmesbury and other 
chroniclers, was indeed a prisoner in Cardiff Castle, but surrounded 
with luxury and magnificence, and provided with minstrels and jesters 



to make his life pass away as a gay dream. Matthew Paris tells a 
curious story, which appears very characteristic of the proud anil tri- 
fling mind of him whom Beauclerk had jostled out of a throne. "It 
happened on a feast day, that king Henry trying on a scarlet robe, 
the hood of which being too strait, in essaying to put it on he 
tore one of the stitches, whereupon he desired one of his attendants 
to carry it to his brother, whose head was smaller ; it always 
having been his custom whenever he had a new robe to send one 
cut off from the same cloth to his brother with a polite message. 
This garment being delivered to Bobert, in putting it on be felt 
the fraction where the stitch had been broken, and through the 
negligence of the tailor not mended. On asking how that place 
came torn, he was told that it was done by his brother, and the 
whole story was related to him ; whereupon, falling into a violent 
passion, he thus exclaimed : ' Alas ! alas ! I have lived too long ! 
Behold my younger brother, a lazy clerk, wdio has supplanted me 
in my kingdom, imprisoned and blinded me ! I w ho have been 
famous in arms ! And now, not content with these injuries, he 
insults me as if I were a beggar, sending me his cast off clothes as 
for an alius !' From that time he refused to take any nourishment, 
and, miserably weeping and lamenting, starved himself to death. 
He was buried in Gloucester Cathedral, where his image, as big 
as the life, carved in Irish oak and painted, is yet shown." Death 
levelled these distinctions in the same year. If Robert died of 
mortification about a cast off robe, Henry perished more ignobly 
of a full meal of lampreys. Robert's effigy of heart of oak was 
carefully repaired by a stranger two centuries ago. The monument 
of Henry, in Reading Abbey, which he founded, perished long 
since, and scarcely a stone is now left standing of this princely 
building, to tell the tale of his pious munificence (Fig. 369). 

The successor of Henry Beauclerk was also an usurper. The 
rival pretensions of Stephen of LUois and the Empress Matilda filled 
the land with bloodshed and terror for nineteen years. From the 
ninth to the south, from tlte Barbacans of York (Fig. 386) to the 
Palaces of Winchester (Fig. 400), the country was harried by king 
and baron, by empress and knight. A single burst of patriotism 
carried the English to fight with one accord at Northallerton, tinder 
the ear-borne standard of Stephen (Fig. 403). But during the 
greater part of this period almost every baron's castle had to sustain 
a siege on one side or the other ; and, what was worse, the lands 
around these strongholds were uniformly wasted by the rapacious 
garrison, or their plundering assailants. Stephen had given to the 
nobles the fatal power of fortifying their castles ; and it is affirmed 
that towards the latter end of his reign these "nests of devils and 
dens of thieves," as Matthew Paris styles them, amounted to the 
number of eleven hundred and fifteen. A contemporary annalist of 
the deeds of King Stephen thus describes the miseries of the people 
ilming this desolating contest : — " Many abandoned their country ; 
others, forsaking their houses, built wretched huts in churchyards, 
hoping for protection from the sacreduess of the place. Whole 
families, after sustaining life as long as they could by eating herbs, 
roots, dogs, and horses, perished at last with hunger; and von 
might see many pleasant villages without one inhabitant of either 
sex." There is scarcely a castle of the period that is not associated 
with some memory of this war of ambition. The Saxon Chronicler 
-ays. •■ In this king's time all was dissension, and evil, and rapine. 
The great men soon rose against him. They had sworn oaths, but 
maintained no truth. They built castles which they held out against 
him." It was thus that Hugh Bigod, who had sworn that Henry 
had appointed Stephen his successor, was the first to hold out against 
the king in the Castle of Nobwich, which his ancestor had built. 
Norwich was a regular fortress, with a wall and ditch, an outer, a 
middle, and an inner court, and a keep. The bridge over one of 
the ditches and the keep still remain. The keep had long since 
gone through the customary process of being turned into a jail, and 
the jail being removed it is now gutted and roofless. This keep is 
a parallelogram, a hundred and ten feet in length by about ninety- 
liner in breadth. The walls are in some places thirteen feet thick, 
and the tower is seventy feet in height. It was not sufficient for 
the people in authority in the last century to tear this fine historical 
monument to pieces, by their fittings up and their pollings down, 
but they have stuck on their county gaol at one end — a miserable 
modern thing called Gothic — paltry in its dimensions, and incon- 
gruous in its style (Figs. 398, 399). The same process has been 
resorted to at Oxfobd Castle. It was built by Robert de Oilies, a 
Norman who came over with the Conqueror. Not even the romance 
connected with its history could save Oxford Castle from desecration. 
It was a little county prison a century ago, and it is a great county 
prison in our own day. It is something, indeed, to see the strong- 
holds of lawless oppressors becoming monuments of the power of the 




ELIZABETHAN SIDEBOARD, OR COURT CUPBOARD, 

IN WARWICK CASTLE. 



Chap. I.] 



OLD ENGLAND. 



103 



Law. We shall speak of more of these presently. But, nevertheless, 
in a scat of learning, in a place consecrated to ancient recollections, 
we would gladly have had other associations than chains and gibbets, 
with the venerable walls from which Matilda escaped through be- 
leaguering hosts in a night of frost and snow, and, crossing the 
frozen Thames, wandered in darkness fur many a mile, till she 
reached a place of safety. Ilolinshcd tells the story with the sim- 
plicity of the elder chroniclers : — " It was a very hard winter that 
year; the Thames and other rivers thereabouts wen- frozen, so that 
both man and horse might safely pass over upon the ice: the fields 
were also covered with a thick anil deep snow. Hereupon, taking 
occasion, she Glad herself and all her company in white apparel, that 
afar off they might not be discerned from the snow ; and so, by 
negligence of the watch, that kept ward but slenderly, by reason of 
the exceeding cold weather, she and her partakers secretly in the 
night issued out of the town, and, passing over the Thames, came to 
AVallingford, where she was received into the castle by those that 
had the same in keeping to her use : of whom Brian, the son to the 
Earl of Gloucester, was the chief." The "gaping chinks and 
aged countenance " of RouGEMONT Castle at Exeter (Fig. 395) 
are something more in character with the old times than the feeble 
patchwork of antiquarianistn, the parapets and pepper-boxes of our 
modern castle prisons, pertly bristling up by the sides of these old 
donjons. 

The personal history of Henry II., one of the greatest kings that 
ever sat upon the English throne, belongs more strikingly to the 
ecclesiastical than to the civil annals of those times. The story of 
his wonderful contest with Becket may be best referred to in con- 
nexion with flic scene of Beeket's martyrdom. That story was 
everywhere made familiar to the people by legend and painting (Fig. 
411). The romance of Henry's personal history, in connexion 
witli Rosamond Clifford, was long associated with the old towers of 
Woodstock. These are no more; but what they were is shown in 
Tigs. 413, 414. 



It is a rare consolation for the lover of his country's monuments, 
to turn from castles made into prisons, and abbeys into stables, to 
such a glorious relic of Old England' as Warwick Castle, Who 

can forget the Hist sight of that beautiful pile, little touched by 
time, not vulgarized by ignorance ? (Fig. 41"). As he enters the 
portal through which Gaveston was led to execution, and the 
king-maker marched in ami out to uphold a Yorkist or a Lancastrian 
pretender to the crown, lie feels that lie is treading upon ground 
almost hallowed by its associations (Fig. 41o). Caesar's Tower — 
that is but a name! <iuy's Tower — that belongs to poetry, ami is 
therefore a reality! (Fig. 416). Old Dngdale treated Guy and 
his legend as a true thing : u I >f his particular adventures, lest what 
I say should be suspected for fabulous, I will only instance that 
combat betwixt him and the Danish champion. Colcbrand, whom 
some (to magnify our noble Guy the more) report to have been a 
giant. The story whereof, however it may be thought fictitious 
by some, forasmuch as there be those that make a question whether 
there was ever really such a man, or, if so. \\ nether all be not a dream 
which is reported of him, in regard that the monks have sounded 
out his praises so hyperbolically ; yet those that are more consi- 
derate will neither doubt the one nor the other, inasmuch as it 
hath been so usual with our ancient historians, for the encourage- 
ment of after-ages unto bold attempts, to set forth the exploits of 
worthy men with the highest encomiums imaginable: and therefore, 
should we for that cause be so conceited as to explode it, all history 
of those times might as well be vilified." We shall have to return 
to the fair castle of Warwick : so wc leave it, at present, under the 
influence of Guy and his legends (Fig. 418). 

In glancing generally over the subject of the present state of the 
ancient Castles of England, a striking commentary is afforded to us 
upon the progress that England has made since they studded the 
land over with their stately but terrible walls, and gateways, and 
towers. Look, for instance (to refer only to structures not already 
mentioned), at Fakniiam Castle, in Surrey (Fig. 42G), built by 
Henry of Blois, brother of King Stephen, and forming, no doubt, one 
of the eleven hundred castles said to have been erected in the reign 
of that monarch. Eleven hundred castles built, in sixteen vears ! 
"What a scene of violence and strife does not the bare mention of 
such a fact open to the imagination ! It is to that scene Farnham 
Castle essentially belongs ; and if we now gaze upon it, as it is, 
most strange in all respects appears the contrast between the pre- 
sent and the past associations. The lofty keep stands in a garden, 
forming a picturesque and noble ornamental ruin in the palatial 
grounds of the Bishops of Winchester, but that is its only value 



to the present possessors; it looks down upon the principal street 
of the place, which probably first grew up into importance under 
its protection, but it is only now to behold a population exhibiting 
in a thousand ways their enjoyment of the services of an infinitely 
more powerful defender— the Law. In numerous other cases our 
castles have become direct adjuncts to the very power that has thus 
superseded them. York, Lancaster, and Lincoln Castles are now 
mere gaols for the confinement, or courts for the trial of prisoners; 
and that amazing piece of workmanship which attests to this day 
the strength of the first of these struetures.CLi ffokd's Tower (Fin-. 
423). attributed to the Conqueror, whilst the mount on which it 
stands is supposed to have been raised by Roman hands, now frowns 
in unregarded magnificence over the throng of judges, barristers, 
and witnesses, of debtors and criminals, who pass to and fro through 
the modern gateway at its feet. Then, again. Njewahk Castle (Fig. 
425), erected by Bishop Alexander, the well-known castle-building 
prelate, who seems indeed to have thought he had a mission that 
way, and who certainly exhibited no lack of zeal in fulfilling it: 
Newark (i. c. New-Work, hence the name of the town), a rare ex- 
ample for the time of any departure from the principle of consi- 
dering a castle merely a< a stronghold, rather than as a place of 
residence also; Newark, with its high historical and military repu- 
tation, twice unsuccessfully besieged by the Parliamentarians during 
the Civil War, and only delivered up, not taken, at last in conse- 
quence of Charles's own directions when he had given himself up 
to the Scots, — under what circumstances do we behold the ruins of 
tlii- structure!'' Why. as if in mockery of that reputation, wooden 
bowls now roll noiselessly but harmlessly about the close-shaven 
green, in one part of the castle area, where cannon-balls once 
came thick and fast, dealing destruction and death on all sides ; 
whilst in another, peaceful men and women now congregate in the 
'•commodious market." Bontefract or Pomfret Castle (Fig. 
429), of still higher historical interest, exhibits a change and a 
moral no less remarkable. The rocky foundation upon which the 
cattle was raised, at an enormous expenditure of time, money, and 
labour, is now a quarry of filteiing-stones, which are, wc are told, 
in great request all over the kingdom; the place, for the mainte- 
nance of which the neighbourhood lias been so often of yore laid 
under contribution, now in some measure repays those old exac- 
tionSj from the liquorice-grounds and market-gardens that occupy 
its site. The liquorice-grounds, we may observe by the way, tbrm 
quite a distinctive feature of the country immediately surrounding 
Pontefract, that quietest, and cleanest, and widest-streeted of pro- 
vincial towns, which, within some fourteen miles of the manufac- 
turlng Babel, Leeds, is so little like Leeds, that one might fire a 
cannon-ball down its main street at noon-day with but very small 
danger of mischief. We must dwell a little on the history of 
Pomfret Castle. Royal favour i^ generally attended with substan- 
tial tokens of its existence; but of all English sovereigns who have 
had at once the will and the power to distinguish their friends in 
this way, commend us to the Conqueror. The builder of Pomfret 
Castle was Ilbert de Lacy, who received from William one hundta d 
and fifty manors in the west of Yorkshire, ten in Nottinghamshire, 
ami four in Lincolnshire. Pontefract was among the first, though 
not it seems previously known by that name, winch is said to have 
been conferred on it by De Lacy from its resemblance to a place 
in Normandy, where he was born: a pleasant touch of sentiment 
in connexion with one of those formidable mailed barons who 
struck down at once England's king and liberties on the fatal field 
of Hastings. The area enclosed by the castle-walls was about 
seven acres, the walls being defended by the same number of towel's. 
It had of course its deep moat, barbacan, and drawbridge, and its 
great gateways of entrance. Leland says of the main structure, 
•' Of the Castle of Pontefract, of some called Snorre Castle, it con- 
tained eight round towers, of the which the dungeon cast into six 
roundellcs, three big and three small, is very fur." We should be 
sony to wish that the excellent antiquarian had had an opportunity 
of a closer acquaintance with the " fair " dungeon, but assuredly 
if he had, he would have chosen a somewhat different epithet, in 
spite of its externa] beauty. The dungeons of Bontefract Castle 
have excited no less fearful interest from their intrinsic character, 
than from the prisoners who have wept or raved in them to the 
senseless walls. In the early part of the fourteenth century, Thomas, 
Earl of Lancaster, uncle of Edward II. . married Alice, daughter of 
Henry de Lacy, and thus became the lord of Bontefract. Among 
the barons then opposed to the weak and disgraceful government 
of Edward II. the Karl of Lancaster was conspicuous ; but in one 
of those reverses of fortune which his party experienced, lie, with 
many other nobles and knights, fell into the hands of the royalists, 
was brought by them to his own Castle of Pontefract, then in their 





409.— Aran of Henry I!- 




403. — GMt Se.ilol" Henry II. 




40 J .— Silver Penny of Henry II. From * 
specimeii in Ittit. Mus. 




4ta— Wooditock. 




410.— VUnU genista. 








406. — Henrv II • Prawn from tha Tomb ut Foulevraiul. 



U^i^A^fgPg 




411 —The Martyrdom of Thorn m a Beckrt. From an ancieut Falnti»t{ i» t,,tr 
Chapel uf the Holy Crots, Stratford. 

r% -as^a gp — 



414.— Woodatock, as It appeared before 1714. 




104 



412 — Eleanor, Queen of Henry H« 
From llie Tomb at Fonlevraud. 



40".— Efflcy ofHcnry II- 
From the Tomb at Foulevrand. 








415. — Botanic* W Wwwiek Conic 



4 it';.— Warwick Cftslle; Qny'sTower. 





4I>— ,\r:c> t 9Mn« of Guy atGn> - CUt. 




417 — W 'itrwick CaflUe. horn tin- lal.ujd 



420.— Interior of a Room ia Warkwurtli Cattle. 




419— WurkworthCas:lr. 




4*21.— Ludlo« Otsiti. 



No. 14. 



[OLD ENGLAND. 



!0J 



10G 



OLD ENGLAND. 



[Book II. 



possession, and there, without even a hearing, beheaded, whilst the 
oilier barons were hang. As the owner of the castle and the 
broad lands sweeping so far away on all sides around it lay helpless 
in his own dungeons, in the brief interval that elapsed between his 
capture and horrible death, what thoughts may not, we might almost 
say must not, have crowded into the brain of the unhappy noble- 
man ! Taught, perhaps, when too late, the wisdom of humanity and 
love, we may imagine him giving utterance to some such thoughts 
as those expressed by the poet : 

" And this place our forefathers made for man! 
Tliis is tlit* process of our love ami wisdom 
To each pool brother who olVeuds against ns — 
Most innocent, perhaps — and what if guilty? 
Is this the only cure ?" 

Or as he reflected with unutterable anguish on the beauty of the 
scene without — that scene on which he had so often gazed with heed- 
less eves, but thai, now that he was to behold it but o/ire more, 
seemed to his imagination bathed in loveliness and romance — could 
lie fail to arrive in some degree at the poet's conclusion ? 

" Willi other ministrations, thou, O Nature, 
Healest thy wandering and distempered child ; 
Thou pnurest on him thy soft influences. 
Thy sunny hues, fair forms, and breathing sweets, 
Thv melodies of woods, and winds, and waters, 
Till he relent, and can no more endure 
To he a jarring and a dissonant thing 
Amid this general dance and minstrelsy ; 
But, bursting into tears, wins back bis way, 
His angry spirit healed and harmonized 
By the benignant touch of love and beauty." 

Alas, that the truths here so exquisitely conveyed should be still 
unregarded ! The dungeons of a former day have changed their 
name, and improved in their superficial characteristics, it is true ; 
but only to fit them for still more extensive application. When 
*• such pure and natural outlets " of a man's nature are 

" shrivelled up 
By ignorance and parching poverty, 

His energies roll back upon his heart, 

And stagnate and corrupt, till, changed to poison, 

They break out on him, like a loathsome pla -ue-spot, 

call in our pampered mountebanks : 
And theirs is their best cure ! Uncomforted 
And friendless solitude, groaning and tears." 

But the dungeons of Pontefract Castle whisper of a still more fearful 
story than the Earl of Lancaster's. As we walk about among the 
ruins, and investigate the process of decay, since Gough, the 
editor of Camden, describes in the last century the remains of the 
keep as consisting only of the " lower story, with horrible dungeons 
and winding staircases;" we look with especial interest for the 
•• narrow damp chamber formed in the thickness of the wall, 
with two small windows next the court," where tradition says the 
file of Richard II. was consummated, either by direct violence, as 
the popular story has it, through the agency of Sir Piers Exton 
and his band of assassins, some of whom perished in the struggle, 
or by starvation, as other writers have related the matter. In the 
short reign of the third Richard, another batch of eminent men 
underwent the sharp agony of the axe at Pontefract Castle, namely, 
AVooilville. Rivers, Grey. Vaughan. and Hawse. The edifice was 
tinally dismantled and the materials sold, after the civil war, during 
which it had resisted the parliamentary forces with extraordinary 
bravery and determination, even subsequent to the deatli of 
Charles I. 

This said civil war was to our old castles generally, what the 
Reformation was to our grand and beautiful ecclesiastical remains ■ 
with this difference, that the injuries in the one case were necessarily 
of a much severer character than in the other. Hence we find, in 
looking back to the history of a large portion of our castles, that 
they were comparatively in good preservation up to the sixteenth 
century, ami in ruin beyond that time. Goodrich Castle, Here- 
fordshire (Fig. 422), was one of these, the owners of which could 
boast that the structure dated from a period anterior to the Con- 
ciuc-t: and during the civil war it was defended with a coura e 
worthy of its reputation. It is recorded of Goodrich Castle that 
it held out longer than any other English fortress for the kino-, 
with the single exception of Pendennis Castle, in Cornwall. If one 
■at a matter that necessarily involves so many points 
for congratulation, we might lament to see how few and compara- 

" vt .': ' '"! «-• are the remains of such a castle, interesting to 

us lor its age, and Mill more by the memory of one at least of its 
eariy mliabitants, the brave Talbot of history, and of Shakspere's 



and 



we still 



Henry the Sixth (First Part). It appears from the records of 
Goodrich Castle, that when a great man in the middle ages erected 
a fortress, it was not always the expensive affair we ate accustomed 
to consider it. Goodrich, in the fourteenth century, came into the 
possession of Elizabeth, daughter of John Lord Comyn, of 
Badenagh, in Scotland. The notorious Hugh 1c Despeneer and 
his son, it appears, had taken a particular fancy for portions of this 
lady's property, and the way they set about the accomplishment 
of their desires speaks volumes as to the state of society at the 
period. The lady Elizabeth was suddenly seized, carried into 
another part of the country, confined for upwards of a year, and 
finally compelled, from '• fear of death," as it is stated in a manu- 
script cited by Dugdale in his ' Baronage,' to cede to the son her 
castle of Goodrich, and to the father her manor of Painswick. 
Certainly, as with these feudal oppressors even-handed justice did 
often commend the poisoned chalice to their own lips, there is 
something more than accident in such remarkable conjunctions as 
the fate of the Earl of Lancaster before mentioned and the character 
of the dungeons in his castle — in the wrongs done to this lady and 
the character of (lie dungeons still traceable among the ruins of 
her castle. The keep, of Saxon, or very early Norman architecture, 
originally consisted of three small rooms, one above another; at 
the bottom was a dungeon, which had mil even a single loop-kole 
for liyht or air, but was connected by a narrow passage with 
another and smaller dungeon, situated beneath the platform of the 
entrance steps of the exterior, which had a very small opening for 
the admission of air ; and thus alone was life preserved even for a 
time in the inner dungeon. It is a relief to escape from such dreadful 
recollections of our old castles, to the gay and brilliant scenes that 
occasionally made them the centres of enjoyment to assembled 
thousands, w hen, for instance, the tournament brought from all parts 
of the country the young and old, rich and poor, the knightly and 
the would-be knightly, to see lances broken or to break them, to 
conquer or to be conquered. There were occasions, too, when the ex- 
citing and brilliant sports of the tournament were enhanced by pecu- 
liar circumstances, calculated in the highest degree to attract, not only 
the chivalry of Old England, but of'Europe, into the lists. One of the 
most grandly situated of castles is that of Peveril of the Peak 
(Fig. 424),'built by a natural son of the Conqueror, whose name it 
bears. This was some centuries afterwards in the possession of 
William Peveril, a valiant knight, who had two daughters, one of 
whom, Mellet, having privily resolved to marry none but a knight 
who should distinguish himself for his warlike prowess, her father, 
sympathizing with her feelings, determined to invite the noble 
youth of England generally to compete for such a prize in a grand 
tournament. The castle of Whittiugton, in the county of Salop, 
was also to reward the victor by way of a fitting dowry for the 
bride. We may judge of the hosts who would assemble at such an 
invitation ; and even royal blootl was among them, in the person of 
the Scottish King's son. Worthy of the day, no doubt, were the 
feats performed. Among the combatants, one knight with a silver 
shield and a peacock for his crest speedily distinguished himself. 
The best and bravest in vain endeavoured to arrest his successful 
career. The Scottish prince was overthrown ; so was a baron of 
Burgoyne. Their conqueror was adjudged the prize. Guarine de 
Meez, a branch of the house of Lorraine, and an ancestor of the 
lord Fitzwarren, thus wooed and won an English bride, at Peveril's 
Place in the Peak. 

There are two castles that belong to the present period, inasmuch 
as that their erection chiefly took place in it ; we allude to Caris- 
brook, in the Isle of Wight, and Kenilworth : but as in both cases 
the most essential points of their subsequent history refer to later 
periods, we shall confine our present notices to the erection. 
Caiusbkook (Fig. 427) stands at a short distance from the town of 
Newport, anil near the central point of the isle, of which, from the 
days of the Saxons and of the isle's independent sovereignty down 
to a comparatively recent period, it has been the chief defence. 
The keep, and the great artificial mound on which it stands, are 
supposed to leave been erected so early as the sixth century. Five 
centuries later, the Norman possessor, Fitz-Osbome, desiring to 
enlarge his fortress, built additional works, covering together a 
square space of about an acre and a half, with rounded angles, the 
whole surrounded by a fosse or ditch. All lands in the isle were 
then held of the castle, or in other words, of the honour of 
Carisbrook; and on tire condition of serving and defending it at all 
times from enemies. Of this early building, which still formed only 
the nucleus of the very extensive and magnificent fortress which 
ultimately was raised on the spot, the chief remains are the western 
side of the eastle, forming an almost, regular parallelogram, witli 
rounded corners ; and the keep, on the north, ascended by a flight 



CtlAF. I.] 



OLD ENGLAND. 



107 



of seventy-two steps. The lowest story only is preserved. In the 
centre of the keep there is a well 300 feet deep, telling, by its very 
formation under such difficult circumstances, the importance of 
its existence. Kenilwohth (Fig. 430) seems to have derived its 
name and its earliest castle from the fortress mentioned by 
Dugdale as standing, even in the Saxon times, upon a place called 
Horn, or Holme Hill, and which, it i< supposed, was built by one 
of the .Saxon kings of Mercia, named Kenulph, and his son Kenclm. 
Worth, in the Saxon, means mansion or dwelling-place; conse- 
quently the formation of the word Kenihvorth is tolerably clear. 
But other writers consider this date as much too modern: to carry 
back the history of Kenihvorth only to a Saxon king is not sufficient ; 
we must go to the Britons at once, and their great sovereign of 
romance, and perhaps reality — Arthur, 

11 That here, with royal court, abode did make." 

Whatever the beginning of this castle, its end seems certain enough: 
Dugdale says it was demolished in the wars between King Edmund 
and Canute the Dane. About a century later, or in the reign of 
Henry the First, the present castle was commenced by Geoffrey de 
Clinton, who is stated " to have been of very mean parentage, and 
merely raised from the dust by the favour of the said King Henry, 
from whose hands he received large possessions and no small honour, 
being made both Lord Chamberlain and Treasurer to the said King, 
and afterwards Justice of England : which great advancements do 
argue that he was a man of extraordinary parts. It seems he took 
much delight in this place, in respect of the spacious woods and 
that large and pleasant lake (through which divers petty streams do 
pass) lying amongst them ; for it was he that first built that great 
and strong castle here, which was the glory of all these parts, and 
for many respects may be ranked in a third place at the least witli 
the most stately castles in England." Dugdale (' Baronage') here 
refers no doubt to the strength, size, and architectural character of 
the castle; but if its historical importance be considered, or above 
all, if we weigh the associations which a single writer of our own 
age has bound up with its decaying walls, we must assign to it a 
rank that knows no superior: we must consider tiie " glory of these 
parts" might now without exaggeration be more accurately described 
as the glory of the civilized world. 

With a group of bonier castles — Norham, Warkworth, and New- 
castle — we shall conclude for the present our notice of such structures. 
No mention is made in Domesday Book of the county of Northum- 
berland, in which these three castles are situated, for the reason pro- 
bably that the Conqueror could not even pretend to have taken pos- 
session of it. And there was then little temptation to induce him to 
achieve its conquest. Nothing can be conceived more truly anarchic 
than the state of the country in and around Northumberland at the 
time. The chief employment of the inhabitants was plundering 
the Scots on the other side of the Tweed — their chief ambition was 
to avoid being plundered in return. But the Scots seem generally 
to have had the best of it ; who, not content with taking goods, 
began to take the owners also, and make domestic slaves of them. 
It is said that about or soon after the period of the Conquest, there 
was scarcely a single house in Scotland that was without one or 
more of these English unfortunates. To check such terrible inroads, 
castles now began to spring up in every part ; to these the inhabit- 
ants generally of a district flocked on any alarm of danger; and 
for centuries such a state of things continued unchanged. A highly 
interesting picture of domestic bonier life, and which is at the same 
time unquestionably trustworthy, has been preserved in the writings 
of Pope Bins II., who, before his elevation to the pontificate, visited 
various countries in an official capacity — amongst the rest Scotland, 
to which he was sent as private legate about the middle of the 
fifteenth century. "The Border Land" naturally attracted his 
curiosity, and he determined to risk the danger of a personal visit. 
He thus describes the result. His family name, it may be mentioned, 
was JEneas Sylvius Piccolomini. 

" There is a river (the Tweed) which, spreading itself from a 
bio-h mountain, parts the two kingdoms. jEneas having crossed 
this in a boat, and arriving about sunset at a large village, went 
to the house of a peasant, and there supped with the priest of the 
place and his host. The table was plentifully spread with large 
quantities of pulse, poultry, and geese, but neither wine nor bread 
was to be found there ; and all the people of the town, both men and 
women, flocked about him as to some new sight ; and as we gaze at 
negroes or Indians, so did they stare at /Kneas, asking the priest 
where he came from, what he came about, and whether he was a 
Christian. ./Eneas, understanding the difficulties he must expect on 
this journey, had taken care to provide himself at a certain monas- 
tery with some loaves, and a measure of red wine, at sight of which 



they were seized with greater astonishment, having never seen wine 
or white bread. The supper lasting till the second hour of the night, 
the priest and host, with all the men and children, made the best of 
their way off, and left ./Eneas. They said they were going to a 
tower a great way off, for fear of the Scots, who when the tide was 
out would come over the river and plunder ; nor could they, with all 
his entreaties, by any means be prevailed on to take /Eneas with 
them nor any of the women, though many of them were young and 
handsome ; for they think them in no danger from an enemy, not 
considering violence offered to women as any harm. /Kneas there- 
fore remained alone with them, with two servants and a guide, and a 
hundred women, who made a circle round the fire, and sat the rot of 
the night without sleeping, dressing hemp and chatting with the 
interpreter. Night was now far advanced when a great noise was 
heard by the barking of the dogs, and screaming of the srce-e : all 
the women made the best of their way off, the guide getting away 
with the rest, and there was as much confusion as if the enemy 
was at fiand. jEneas thought it more prudent to wait the event in 
his bed-room (which happened to be a stable), apprehending if he 
went out he might mistake his way, and be robbed by the first he 
met. And soon after the women came back with the interpreter, 
and reported there was no danger ; for it was a party of friends, and 
not of enemies, that were come." (Camden's translation.) Just such 
a castle of defence for a population, rather than a residence for their 
lord, we may suppose Noiuiam (Fig. 428) to have been, built by the 
Bishops of Durham, about the beginning of the twelfth century ; the 
gloomy ruins which still overhang the Tweed exhibiting no traces 
of exterior ornament, its walls reduced to a mere shell, its outworks 
demolished, and a part of the very hill on which it was raised washed 
away by the river. The keep alone exists in a state to remind us 
of the original strength and importance of the fortress, when it was so 
frequently the scene of contest between the people of the two countries. 
On the accession of Stephen we find David of Scotland besieging and 
capturing Norham, for Maud, Stephen's rival ; a little later the 
process was repeated by and for the same parties ; and then Norham is 
said to have been demolished. In the reign of John, however, we 
find it in existence, stronger than ever, and successfully resisting the 
utmost efforts of the Scots, then in alliance with the revolted English 
Barons. The next time the defenders were less brave, or less 
fortunate ; in the reign of Edward III. the Scots once more ob- 
tained possession of Norham. But we need not follow its history 
further ; so by way of contrast to the scene as represented in our 
engraving, let us transcribe a glimpse of Norham Castle under more 
favourable circumstances : — 

" Day set on Norham's castled steep, 
And Tweed's fair river, hroad and deep, 

And Cheviot's mountains lone ; 
The batlled towers, the dragon keep, 
The loop-hole grates, where captives weep, 
The flanking walls, that round it sweep, 
In yellow lustre shone. 

" The warriors on the turrets high, 
Moving athwart the evening sky, 

Seem'd forms of giant height : 
Their armour, u it caught the rays, 
Flash'd hack again the western blaze 

In lines of duzzling light.'' 



The ruins of Wac.kwortii (Figs. 419, 420), in their generally 
elegant and picturesque outline, present a strong contrast to those 
of Norham. Residence for the lord as well as protection for his 
vassals has evidently been studied here. The situation in itself is 
wonderfully fine. It stands on an eminence above the river 
Coquet, a little beyond the southern extremity of the town of 
Warkworth, and commands on all sides views of the greatest 
beauty and variety. In one direction you have the sea outspread 
before you, with the Fern Islands scattered over its surface ; whilst 
along the shore-line the eye passes to the Castles of Dunstan- 
borough and Bamborough at the extremity ; in another you dwell 
with pleasure on the richly cultivated valley that extends up to 
Alnwick Castle; then again, in a third, there are the beautiful 
banks of the Coquet river, dear to salmon fishers and lovers of 
native precious stones, many of which are found among its sands ; 
and lastly, in a fourth, you gaze upon an extensive plain inclining 
seawards, and which is as remarkable for the fertility of its soil, 
ami the amount of its agricultural products, as for the air of 
peaceful happiness that overspreads the whole— pasture, arable ami 
woodlands, villages, hamlets and churches. Such was the site, and 
the structure was scarcely less magnificent. The outer walls, 
which are in many parts entire, enclosed a space of about five acres, 

p 2 




429.— Pomfret Castle. 




■■■'- -* '- " ■' „ 




430— Keuilworth Cast> :n 1620— Prom the Fresco Panting at Newnliam Pddox. 




427 — The K.K<-p, Carisbiuoke Castle- 



426.— Ruins uf Fai oham Castle. 




431.— Casllo of Newcastle upou-Tyue. 



110 



OLD ENGLAND. 



[Book II. 



were about thirty-five feet high, and encircled by a moat. The gate- 
way, of which little is preserved, wasa noble building, with numerous 
apartments for the officers of the ca>tle; and the keep, which was 
of great size, and octagonal, had its eight apartments with stone 
vaulted roofs on the ground floor, for the protection, it is said, of 
cattle brought in from the neighbourhood during any incursion of 
the Scots ; also its great Baronial Hall, nearly forty feet long by twen- 
ty-four wide, and twenty high ; all of which, though deprived of their 
roofs, floors, and windows, remain, through the excellence of the ma- 
snnrv. in admirable preservation. Cupidity alone, indeed, has been 
here at work to destroy. In Leland's time the castle was "well main- 
tained." but in the early part of the seventeenth century the build- 
ings of the outer court with some others were stripped of their 
lead and otherwise dismantled ; ami in 1672 the noble keep itself 
was unroofed. Warkworth has for several centuries been in pos- 
session of the Percy family. One can hardly mention these names 
together without also noticing the neighbouring hermitage, which 
Bishop Percy has made memorable by his poem of the ' Hermit of 
'Warkworth.' This is situated in the perpendicular rocks which 
form the north bank of the Coquet, about a mile above the town, 
and consists of " two apartments hewn out of the rock, with a 
lower and outward apartment of masonry, built up against the side 
of the rock, « hich rises about twenty feet high : the principal apart- 
ment, or chapel, is about eighteen feet long, seven and a half wide, 
and seven and a half high, adorned with pilasters, from which spring 
the groins of the roof: at the east end is an altar with a niche be- 
hind it for a crucifix ; and near the altar is a cavity containing a ceno- 
taph, with a recumbent female figure having the hands raised in the 
attitude of prayer. In the inner apartment are another altar and a 
incite for a conch. From this inner apartment was a door leading 
to an open gallery or cloister. Steps led up from the hermitage 
to the hermit's garden at the top of the bank." (Penny Cyclopaedia.) 
Who u as the inhabitant of this strange home, and why he inhabited 
it, are questions that after all we must leave the poets and romance 
writers to solve, and they could not be in better hands. It has been 
supposed that one of the Bertram family, who had murdered his 
brother, was the tenant of the hermitage, desiring in solitude by 
unceasing repentance to expiate his crime ; but all we know is that 
the Percy family maintained from some unknown period a chantry 
priest here. 

As the present fortress of Newcastle (Fig. 431) was erected 
by Robert tie Curthose, the eldest of the Conqueror's sons, on his 
return from an expedition into Scotland, we mav judge of the 
general antiquity of the place by the name then given, the New- 
Castle. There can be no doubt, indeed, that the spot had been a 
Roman station, and very little but that in those early days it had 
been of some importance. After the introduction of Christianity 
the place became known by the name of Monk Chester, from the 
number of monastic institutions it contained. On the erection of 
the fortress, the town took the same name, New-Castle. The 
tower of this Norman structure remains essentially complete, and 
forms one of the most striking specimens in existence of the rude 
but grand-looking and (for the time) almost impregnable Norman 
stronghold. The first point of attraction to a visitor's eyes on 
entering Newcastle is that huge gloomy pile ; it is also the last on 
which he turns his lingering glance on his departure. It stands 
upon a raised platform near the river, majestically isolated in its 
own •■ garth" or yard, to which we ascend by a steep flight of steps, 
spanned near the top by a strong postern with a circular Norman 
arch, reminding us of the difficulties that formerly attended such 
ascent, when the approval of the inhabitants of the castle bad not 
been previously gained. Crossing the garth to the east side, the 
one shown in the engraving (Fig. 431), we perceive the extraordi- 
nary character of the entrance, which, commencing at the corner on 
the left hand, and gradually rising, runs through the pile that 
seems to have been built against the keep rather than forming 
an integral part of it tip to a considerable height, where the real 
entrance into the keep (originally most richly" decorated) is to be 
found. Through this entrance we pass into one of the most re- 
markable of halls; it is of immense breadth, length, and height, 
dimly lighted through the various slit boles, hung here and there 
with rusty armour, and inhabited by an old pensioner ami his 
family, whose little domestic conveniences when the eye does light 
upon them(fbr generally speaking they are lost in the magnitude of 
the place) have a peculiarly quaint effect. The recesses in various 
parts framed out of the solid thickness of the wall give us the best 
idea of its strength ; one of these, possibly intended for the min- 
strels who sung the mighty deeds of the Norman chivalry to men 
yearning to emulate their fame, is alone of the size of a small and 
not very small apaitment. But let us descend by the winding 



staircase to the chapel beneath ; recalling as we go a Tew recollec- 
tions on the general subject of chapels in castles. 

In the plan of an ancient castle (Fig. 346) it will be seen that 
the chapel forms a component part of the whole ; and in turning 
from the plan to the descriptions of our castles generally, we find 
in almost every case a similar provision made for the performance 
of religious duties. It may seem either a melancholy or a consola- 
tory consideration, according to the point of view from which we 
look, to perceive that in the age to which our present pages refer, 
when the mailed nobles made might right, declared their pleasure 
and called it law, that then religion, as far as regarded sincere, zea- 
lous, and most unquestioning faith, and an indefatigable observance 
of all its forms and ceremonies, formed also a most conspicuous 
feature of the same men. To pray for mercy one hour, and be most 
merciless the next ; to glorify the Giver of all good, as the most fitting 
preparation for the dispensation of all evil ; to enshrine their hopes 
of salvation on the altar of Christ, the div ine messenger of love, 
whilst they pressed forward to the mortal end of all through a con- 
tinuous life of rapine, violence, and stiife; — these were the almost 
unvarying characteristics of the early Norman lords, the builders 
of the old castles, where the keep and the chape] yet stand in many 
places side by side in most significant juxtaposition ; the material 
embodiment of the two principles thus strangely brought together 
working to the most opposite conclusions, but with the utmost appa- 
rent harmony of intention. The great castle-builder provided his 
walls and his courts, his keep and his dungeons ; but a chapel was 
no less indispensable alike to his station and his actual wants. Be- 
leaguered or free, he must be able at all times to hear the daily 
mass, or, more grateful still to lordly ears, the pious orison offered 
up for his own and his family's welfare ; he must be able to fly to 
the chapel for succour when the " thick-coming fancies " of super- 
stition press upon his imagination ami appal him by their mysterious 
influence, or when defeat or danger threatens ; there too in the 
hour of triumph must he be found, his own voice mingling with 
the chant of the priests; at births, baptisms, marriages, and deaths 
the sacred doors must ever be at hand ; the child fast growing up 
towards man's estate, who has spent his entire life within the castle 
walls, looks forward to the chapel as the scene that shall usher him 
into a world of glory, — already he feels the touch of the golden 
spurs, the sway of the lofty plumes, the thrill of the fair hands 
that gird on his maiden sword ; already, with alternating hopes and 
fears, he anticipates his solitary midnight vigil within the chapel 
walls. And truly such a night in such a place as this, to which we 
have descended, below the keep of Newcastle, was calculated to try 
the tone of the firmest nerves; for though beautiful, exceedingly 
beautiful it is in all that respects the architectural style to which 
it belongs, and of which it is a rare example, there are here no 
lofty pointed windows, with their storied panes, to admit the full 
broad stream of radiant splendour, or to give the idea of airiness or 
elegance to the structure. All is massive, great, and impressively 
solemn. (Fig. 432.) 

The Chapel in the Tower of London (Fig. 433), equally perfect 
with that of Newcastle, and probably equally ancient, presents in 
its aspect as remarkable a contrast to that structure as a work erected 
in the same age, country, and style could have well given us. Here 
we have aisles divided from the nave by gigantic but noble-looking 
pillars, being divested of the low stunted character often apparent 
in Norman ecclesiastical edifices ; and their effect is enhanced in no 
slight degree by the arches in the story above. The Chapel is now 
used as a Record Office. We need only briefly mention the other 
ecclesiastical building of the Tower, the Chapel of St. Peter, stand- 
ing in the area that surrounds the White Tower, and which must 
be of very early date, since we find that in the reign of Henry III. 
it was existing in a state of great splendour, with stalls for the king 
and queen, two chancels, a fine cross, beautiful sculpture, paintings, 
and stained glass. But at whatever period erected, the view (Fin-. 
434) shows us that material alterationsof the oi iginal building have 
probably taken place, though no doubt the pews, the flat roof, and 
the Tudor monuments are themselves sufficient, in so small a place 
to conceal or to injure the naturally antique expression. But there 
are peculiar associations connected with these walls that make all 
others tedious in the comparison as a " twice-told tale." In our 
previous remarks we have glanced at the general uses of the cha- 
pels in our old castles ; this one of the Tower has been devoted to 
a more momentous service than any there enumerated : hither, from 
time to time, have come a strangely assorted company, led by the 
most terrible of guides, the executioner, through the most awful 
of paths, a sudden and violent death ; in a word, beneath the un- 
suggestive-looking pavement, which seems to mock one's earnest 
gaze, and along which one walks with a reverential dread of dis- 



Chap. I.] 



OLD ENGLAND. 



Ill 



turbing the aslies of those who lie below, were buried the innocent 
Anne lioleyn and her brother, and the guilty Catherine Howard 
and her associate, Lady Kochfbrd ; the venerable Lady Salisbury, 
and Cromwell, Henry VIII.'s minister; the two Seymours, the 
Admiral and the Protector of the reign of Edward VI.. and the 
Duke of Norfolk, and the Earl of Essex, of the reign of Elizabeth ; 
Charles II. 's son, the Duke of Monmouth, and the Earls Balmerino 
and Kilmarnock, with their ignoble coadjutor. Lord Lovat ; above 
all, here were buried Bishop Fisher, and his illustrious friend More. 
One would suppose, on looking over such a list of names, that the 
scaffold, while assuming the mission of Death, was emulous to strike 
with all Death's impartiality, and sweep away just and unjust, guilty 
and innocent, with equal imperturbability. It was a short road from 
the opening to this death-in-life at the Traitor's Gate (Fig. 435), 
and thence through the gaping jaws of the Bloody Tower (Fig. 436), 
to the final resting-place of St. Peter's Chapel. 



History and ballad, the chronicler and the troubadour, and more 
effectually than either, tiie novelist of the North, have made Richard 
Cccur de Lion one of the favourite heroes of England (Fig. 437). 
Without the wisdom of his great father, he was the representative of 
the courage, the fortitude, and the gallantry of the Plantagenets. — 
of the mixed blood of the Saxon and Norman races. We follow 
the fortunes of the royal crusader over many a battle field, in which 
gallantry was always sure of its guerdon from his knightly sword 
(Fig. 442). We can almost believe in the old metrical romance, 
which tells us how 

" The aweless lion could not wage die fight, 

Nor keep his princely heart from Richard's hand." 

(Fig. 444.) The touching friendship of his minstrel, Blondel, tells 
us that the lion-hearted king had something even nobler in his nature 
than his indomitable courage and his physical strength. " One day 
lie (Blondel) sat directly before a window of the castle where King 
Richard was kept prisoner, and began to sing a song in French, 
winch King Richard and Blondel had sometime composed together. 
When King Richard heard the song, he knew it was Blondel that 
sung it; and when Blondel paused at half of the song, the King 
began the other half, and completed it." His was a premature 
death. But generous as he was, lie would have been a dangerous 
keeper of the rights of England. Of his brother John, the mean 
and treacherous John, a modern writer finely says : " The strong 
hands of the two first Plantagenets. Henry II. and Richard C'ceur 
de Lion, his father and brother, were in the dust, and the iron 
sceptre which they had wielded lay rusting among the heavy 
armour which an imbecile and coward could not wear." (Pictorial 
History of England, vol. i.) The heart of Richard, by his own 
direction, was carried to his faithful city of Rouen for interment, 
and his body was buried at the feet of his father at Fontevraud ; 
the statue which was placed upon Ids tomb in that ancient 
monastery is still remaining. It is of painted stone, and this is the 
principal authority for the portrait of Richard (Fig. 438). Here 
also is an effigy of his Queen Berengaria (Fig. 440). The faithful 
city of Rouen did not well keep its faith to the lion-hearted. A 
splendid tomb was erected over the heart of the king, and it was 
surrounded by a silver balustrade ; but within half a century the 
faithful city melted the silver. In the year 1733 the chapter of the 
Cathedral, to effect some alteration in their church, pulled down 
the monuments of Richard and his brother, and of the great Duke 
of Bedford, and they laid down three plain slabs instead, in the 
pavement of the high altar. In 1838 some searches under this pave- 
ment were made by the prefect of the department, and amongst the 
rubbish was found a fine but mutilated statue of Richard (Fig. 439), 
and a leaden box containing a smaller box. which held all that re- 
mained of the lion heart — something that had " the appearance of a 
reddish-coloured leaf, dry and bent round at the cuds." — "To this 
complexion we must come at last." 

The name of King John has two leading associations — Magna 
Charta and his murdered nephew. The great dramatic poet of 
England has so associated the fortunes of Constance and Arthur 
with the troubles, the fears, and the death-struggles of their faith- 
less kinsman, that we look upon these events through the poetical 
medium as a natural series of cause and consequence. " The death 
of Arthur and the events which marked the last days of John were 
separated in their cause and effect by time only, over which the poet 
leaps." Bid the political history of John may be reail in the most 
durable of antiquities — the Records of the kingdom. And the 
people may read the most remarkable of these records whenever they 
please to look upon it. Magna Charta, the great charter of Eng- 
land, entire as at the hour in which it was written, is preserved, not J 



for reference on doubtful questions of right, not to be proclaimed 
at market-crosses or to be read in churches, as in the time of Ed- 
ward I., but for the gratification of a just curiosity and an honest 
national pride. The humblest in the laud may look upon that 
document day by day, in the British Museum, which more than six 
hundred years ago declared that " no freeman shall be arrested or 
imprisoned, or dispossessed of his tenement, or outlawed, or exiled. 
or in any manner proceeded against, unless by the legal judgment 
of his peers, or by the law of the land." This is the foundation of 
statute upon statute, and of what is as stringent as statute, the 
common law, through which for six hundred years we have been 
struggling to breathe the breath of freedom,— and we have not 
struggled in vain. The Great Charter is in Latin, written in a 
beautiful hand, of which we give a specimen in Fig. 458. 

Runnemedc, — or Runingmede, as the Charter has it, — was, ac- 
cording to Matthew of Westminster, a place where treaties con- 
cerning the peace of the kingdom had been often made. The name 
distinctly signifies a place of council. Rune-med is an Anglo- 
Saxon compound, meaning the Council-Meadow. We can never 
forget that Council-Meadow, for it entered into our first visions of 
Liberty ; — 

,; Fair Runnemede! oft liatli my lingering eye 

Paus'd on thy lotted green anil cultur'd hill; 

And there my busy soul would drink her till 
Of lofty dreams, which on tliy hosnm lie. 
Dear plain ! never my feet have pass'd tliee by, 

At sprightly morn, high noon, or evening still, 

But thou bait foshioii'd all my pliant will 
To soul-ennobling thoughts of liberty. 
Thou dost not need a perishable stone 

Of sculptur'd story ; — records ever young 
Proclaim the gladdening triumph thou hast known : — 

The soil, the passing stream, bath still a tongue: 
And every wind breathes out an eloquent tone, 
That Freedom's self might wake, thy fields among." 

These are commonplace rhymes — schoolboy verses; but we are 
not ashamed of having written them. Runnemede was our Mara- 
thon. Very beautiful is that narrow slip of meadow mi the edg-e of 
the Thames, with gentle hills bounding it for a mile or so. It is a 
valley of fertility. Is this a fitting place to be the cradle of English 
freedom? Ought we not,' to make our associations harmonious, to 
have something bolder and sterner than this quiet mead, and that 
still water, with its island cottage? (Fig. 455.) Poetry tells us that 
" rocky ramparts " are 

" The rougli abodes of want arid liberty." — Gnw. 
But the liberty of England was nurtured in her prosperity. The 
Great Charter, which says. •■ No freeman, or merchant, or villain 
Shall be unreasonably fined for a small offence, — the first shall not 
be deprived of his tenement, the second of his merchandise, the 
third of his implements of husbandry," exhibited a state far more 
advanced than that of the " want and liberty " of the poet, where 
the iron race of the mountain cliffs 

" Insult the plenty of the vales below." 

Runnemede is a fitting place for the cradle of English liberty. 
Denham, who from hi> Cooper's Hill looked down upon the Thames, 
wandering past this mead to become " the world's exchange," some- 
what tamely speaks of the plain at his feet : 

" Here was that Cliar ter seal'd, wherein the crown 
All marks of arbitrary power lays down; 
Tyrant and slave, those names of bate and fear, 
The happier style of king anil subject bear; 
Happy when both to the same centre move, 
When kings give liberty, and subjects love." 

Our liberty was not so won. It was wrested from king*, and not 
given by them ; and the love we bestow upon those who are the 
central point of our liberty is the homage of reason to security. 
That security has made the Thames " the world's exchange :" that 
security has raised up the great city which lies like a misf below 
Cooper's Hill ; that security has caused the towers of Windsor, 
which we see from the same hill, to rise up in new splendour, in- 
stead of crumbling into ruin like many a stronghold of feudal 
oppression. Our prosperity is the child of our free institutions ; 
ami the child has gone forward strengthening and succouring the 
parent. Yet the iron men who won this charter of liberties dreamt 
not of the day when a greater power than their own, the power of 
the merchants and the villains, would rise up to keep what they had 
sworn to win, upon the altar of St. Edmundsbury (Fig. 463). The 
Fitz-Walter, and De Rons, and De Clare, and De Percy, and Do 
Mandeville, and De Vescy, and De Mowbray, and De Montacuk . 
and De Beauchamp, — these great progenitors of our English nobi- 
lity,— compelled the despot to put his seal to the Charter of Runne- 




433.— iDleriwruf the Chapel in the While Tower- 



432. — Ch.ij'el ia Newcastle Castle 




- i.:**Tr.<l v X- -J? -■ 

■ -V 




435— The Ttlttor'l Gate. 



436.— Gateway of the Bloody Tower* 



112 




437~— Gwil Seal of Uiclmnl I. 




:;itU, Qiimo of Richard t. 
■ Tomu ut Fnut'Vi.uilt. 






ۥ 



« 












I 



I i 




<3l.— Ilichard [.— Fn.iii liUTombalFopiennult. 







•HI. — TIm Norin.'iD Cruwdvi 



■ 



■io9. — EITisy or Richard I.— From ihe 
Mai ut? fouuil at Kiiiipii. 




443.— Knighting on tile Field of Battle. 




~<\ 



443. — AviWlfl l« 

n Mp.mH ol Kkliunl I. 

6 Jt;»lilwiu. Count ol Fl.iiuti-rs, ll!>2. 

c ., „ „ 1803. 



No. 15. 




[OLD ENGLAND.) 



Mi — Richard and the Liua. 



113 



114 



OLD ENGLAND. 



[Book II. 



mede (Fig. 459). But another order of men, whom they of the 
pointed shield .-mil the muscled armour would have despised as slaves, 
have kept, and will keep, God willing, what they won cm the 15th 
of June, in the year of grace 1215. The thing has rooted into our 
English earth like the Ankerwyke Yew on the opposite bank of the 
Thames, which is still vigorous, though held to be older than the 
great day ofRunnemede (Fig. 457). 

Magna Charta is a record. Bishop Nicolson says, " Our stores 
of public records arc justly reckoned to excel in one. beauty, cor- 
rectness, and authority, whatever the choicest archives abroad can 
boast of the like sort." Miles, nay, hundreds of miles, of parchment 
arc preserved in our public offices, which incidentally exhibit the 
progress of the nation in its institutions anil its habits, and decide 
many an historical fact which would otherwise be matter of con- 
troversy or of speculation. Nothing can more truly manifest the 
value of these documents than the fact that the actual place in 
which this said King John was, on almost every day, from the first 
year of his reign to the last, has been traced by a diligent examina- 
tion of the Patent Rolls in the Tower of London. Mr. Hardy has 
appended to his curious Introduction to these Rolls, published by 
authority of the Record Commission, the " Itinerary of King John." 
A most restless being docs be appear to have been. Hying about in 
cumbrous carriages (Fig. 461) to all parts of England; sailing- to 
Normandy (Fig. 460); now holding his state in his Palace at 
Westminster, now at Windsor (Fig. 464) ; and never at ease till 
lie was laid in his tomb at Worcester (Fig. 465). We extract an 
instructive passage from Mr. Hardy's Introduction: — 

"liapin, Hume, Henry, and those English historians who have 
followed Matthew Paris, state that, as soon as King John had 
sealed the Great Charter, he became sullen, dejected, and reserved, 
and slimming the society of his nobles and courtiers, retired, with a 
few of his attendants, to the Isle of Wight, as if desirous of hiding his 
shame and confusion, where he conversed only with fishermen and 
sailors, diverting himself witii walking on the sea-shore with his 
domestics; that, in this retreat, he formed plans for the recovery of 
the prerogatives which he had lately relinquished ; and meditated, 
at the same time, the most fatal vengeance against his enemies; 
that he scut his emissaries abroad to cullcet an army of mercenaries 
and Brabacons, anil dispatched messengers to Rome, for the purpose 
of securing the protection of the papal see; and that, whilst his 
agents were employed in executing their several commissions, he 
himself remained in the Isle of Wight, awaiting the arrival of the 
foreign soldiers. 

" That these statements are partially if not wholly unfounded w ill 
appear by the attestations to the royal letters during the period in 
question. 

" Previously to the sealing of Magna Charta, namely, from the 
1st to the 3rd of June. 1215. the King was at Windsor, from which 
place he can be traced, by his attestations, to Odiham. anil thence 
to Winchester, where he remained till the 8th. From Winchester 
he went to Merton ; he was again at Odiham on the !)th, whence 
he returned to Windsor, and continued there till the 15th : on that 
day he met the barons at Runnemede by appointment, and there 
sealed the great charter of English liberty. The King then returned 
to Windsor, and remained there until the 18th of dune, from which 
time until the 23rd he was every day both at Windsor and Runne- 
mede, and dill not finally leave Windsor anil its vicinity before 
the 26th of the same month : .John then proceeded through Odiham 
to Winchester, and continued in that city till the end of .Tunc. The 
first four days of .Inly he passed at Marlborough, from which place 
he went to Devizes, Bradenatoke, and Calne ; reached Cirencester 
on the 7th, anil returned to Marlborough on the following day. 
He afterwards went to Ludgershall, and through Clarendon into 
Dorsetshire, as lav as Corfc Castle, but returned to Clarendon 
on the 15th of July, from which place he proceeded, through New- 
bury and Abingdon, to Woodstock, and thence to Oxford, where 
he arrived on the 17th of that month ; and in a letter dated on the 
15th of .Inly, between Newbury and Abingdon, the King mentions 
the impossibility of his reaching Oxford by the 16th, according to 
his appointment with the barons." 

The publications of the Record Commissioners are enriched by 
the researches of some of our most eminent living antiquarians who 
have brought to their task a fund of historical knowledge and a 
sagacity in showing the connection between these dust-covered 
records and the history of our constitution, which have imparted a 
precision to historical writing unknown to the last age. No man 
has laboured more assiduously in this field than .Sir Francis Palgrave ; 
and he has especially shown that a true antiquary is not a mere 
scavenger of the oascr things of time, but one whose talent and 
knowledge can discover the use and the connection of ancient things 



which arc not really worn out, and which arc only held to be worth- 
less by the ignorant ami the unimaginative. Sir Francis Palgrave is 
the Keeper of the Records in the Treasury of the Exchequer, and 
his publication of the ancient Kalendars and Inventories id' that 
Treasury contains a body of documents of the greatest value, intro- 
duced by an account of this great depository of the Crown Records, 
H Inch is full of interest and instruction. " The custom of depositing 

records and muniments an gst the treasures of the state is 

grounded upon such obvious reasons, that it prevailed almost 
universally amongst ancient nations ; nor, indeed, is it entirely 
discontinued at the present day. The earliest, and In all respects 

the most remarkable, testi ny concerning this practice is found in 

the Holy Scriptures : — ' Now, therefore, if it seem good to the 
King, let there be search made in the King's Treasure-house, which 
is there at Babylon, whether it be so, that a decree was made of 
Cyrus the King to build this house of God at Jerusalem.' 'Then 
Darius the King made a decree, and search was made in the House 
of the Foils, where the treasures were laid up in Babylon."' The 
high antiquity of this custom imparts even a new value to our own 
Treasure Chambers. Those who feci an interest in the subject may 
consult a brief but valuable article under the head ' Records ' in the 
Penny Cyclopaedia. From Sir Francis Palgrave's Introduction to 
the Ancient Kalendars we extract one or two amusing passages 
descriptive of some of the Figures in p. 121 : — 

■• The plans anciently adopted for the arrangement and preserva- 
tion of the instruments had many peculiarities. Presses, such as 
are now employed, do not seem to have been in use. Chests, bound 
with iron ; — forcers or coders, secured in the same manner ; — pouches 
or bags of canvass or leather (Fig. 468) ; — skippcts, or small boxes 
turned on the lathe (Fig. 469); — tills or drawers; — and hanapers 
or hampers of ' twyggys' (Fig. 470) ; — are all enumerated as the 
places of stowage or deposit. To these reference was made, some- 
times by letters, sometimes by inscriptions, sometimes by tickets or 
labels, and sometimes by -signs;' that is to say by rude sketches, 
drawings, or paintings, which had generally some reference to the 
subject matter of the documents (Fig. 467). 

"Thus the sii/n of the instruments relating toArragon is a lancer 
on a jennet ; — Wales, a Briton in the costume of his country, one 
foot shod and the other bare; — Ireland, an Irisher, clad in a very 
singular hood and cape ;-— Scotland, a Lochaber axe; — Yarmouth, 
three united herrings; — the rolls of the Justices of the Forest, an 
oak sapling ; — the obligations entered into by the men of Chester, for 
their due obedience to Edward, Earl of Chester, a gallows, indicating 
the kite which might be threatened incase of rebellion, or which 
the officers of the Treasury thought they had already well deserved ; 
— Royal marriages, a hand in hand ; — the indentures relating to the 
subsidy upon woollen cloths, a pair of shears ; — instruments relating 
to the lauds of the Earl of Gloucester in Wales, a castle surrounded 
by a banner charged with the Clare arms ; — and the like, of which 
various examples will be found by inspection of the calendars and 
memoranda.* 

'■ Two ancient boxes painted with shields of arms, part of the old 
furniture, are yet in existence, together with several curious chests, 
coders, and skippcts of various sorts and sizes, all sufficiently curious 
and uncouth, together with various specimens ofthe hanapers woven 
of 1 twyggys,' as described in the text. 

"One of these hanapers was discovered under rather remarkable 
circumstances. On the 15th of Feb., in the third year of the reign of 
Richard II., Thomas Orgrave, clerk, delivers into the Treasury, to be 
there safely kept, certain muniments relating to the lands and tene- 
ments in Berkhampstead, formerly belonging to William the son and 
heir of John Hunt, and which the King had purchased of Dyonisia 
the widow of William de Sutton, and which are stated to be placed 
in a certain hanaper or hamper within a chest over the receipt. 
Upon a recent inspection of a bag of deeds relating to the county 
of Berks, I found that it contained the hanaper so described, with a 

* "The rolls of the Justices of the Forest were market! by the sapling oak (No. 1). 
Papal trulls, by the triple crown. Four canvass pouches holding rolls iruif tallies 
of certain payments made for llie church of Westminster were marked by the church 
(3). The bead in u cowl (4) marked an indenture respecting the jewels found in 
the house of the Praties Minores in Salop. The scales (5), the assay ofthe mint in 
Dublin. The Driton having one foot shod and the other bare, with the lance and 
sword {(i), marked the wooden 'Collin' holding the acquittance of receipts from 
Llewellin, Priuce of Wales, 'three herrings (7), the ' forcer' of leather bound with 
iron, containing documents relating to Yarmouth, lie. The lancer (8), documents 
relating to Arragon. The united bends (9), the marriage between Henry, Prince 
of Wales, and Philippe, daughter of Henry IV. The galley (10), the recognizance 
of merchants of the three galleys ol Venice. The hand and book (11), fealty to 
kings John and Henry. The charter or cyrograph (12), tieaties and truces between 
England and Scotland. The hooded monk (13), advowsons of Irish churches; 
and the castle with a banner of the Clare arms (14), records relating to the pos- 
sessions of the Earl of Gloucester in Wales." — (Penny Cyclopaedia.) 



Chap. I.J 



OLD ENGLAND. 



115 



label exactly conformable to the entry in the memoranda, crumbling 
and decaying, but tied up, ami in a state which evidently showed 

that it had never 1 11 opened since the time of its first deposit in 

the Treasury; and within the hanaper were all the several deeds, 
with their seals in the highest state of preservation." 

Connected with the subject of the ancient records of the crown 
may lie mentioned the tallies of the Exchequer, which were actually 
in use from the very earliest limes till the year 1834. These pri- 
mitive records of account have been thus described : "The tallies 
used in the Exchequer (one is shown in Fig. 471) answered the 
purpose of receipts as well as simple records of matters of account. 
They consisted of squared rods of hazel or other wood, upon one 
side of which was marked, by notches, the sum for which the tally 
was an acknowledgment ; one kind of notch standing for 1000/., 
another for 100/., another for 20/.. and others for 20s., l.(., &C. 
On two other sides of the tally, opposite to each other, the amount 
of the sum, the name of the payer, and the date of the transaction, 
were written by an officer called the writer of the tallies ; and after 
this was done, (he stick was cleft longitudinally in such a manner 
that each piece retained one of the written sides, and one-half of 
every notch cut in the tally. One piece was then delivered to the 
person who had paid iu the money, for which it was a receipt or 
acquittance, while the other was preserved in the Exchequer." 
Tin- Saxon lieeve-pnle, used in the Isle of Portland down to a very 
recent period by the collector of the king's rents, shows the sum 
which each person has to pay to the king as lord of the manor 
(Fig. 4".'J). The Clog Almanac, which was common in Stafford- 
shire in the seventeenth century, wis in the same way a record 
of the future, cut on the sides of a square stick, such as exhibited iu 
Fig. 472. 



The same combination against the power of the Crown which 

produced the great charter of our liberties, relieved the people 
from many regal oppressions by a charter of the forests. We can- 
not look upon an old forest without thinking of the (lays when men 
who had been accustomed to the free range of their green wooda 
were mulcted or maimed for transgressing the ordinances of their 
new hunter-kings. Our poet Cowper put his imagination in the 
track of following out the customs of the Norman age in his frag- 
ment upon Yardley Oak, which was supposed to have existed before 
the Normans : 

" Tliou wast a bauble once ; a cup ami ball, 
Wbieli babes might play with ; and tlie thievish jay, 
Seeking tier foud, with ease might have purloin'd 
Tlie auburn nut that held thee, swallowing down 
Thy yet close-folded latitude of boughs 
And all thine embryo vastness at a gulp. 
Hut fate thy growth decreed ; autumnal rains 

Heneatli thy parent tree mellow 'd the soil 
Design'd thy cradle; and a skipping deer, 
With pointed hoof dibbling the glebe, prepared 
Tlie soft receptacle, in which, secure, 
Thy rudimeuls should bleep the winter through." 

But the poet's purpose failed. England is full of such natural anti- 
quities of the earliest period : " Within five and twenty miles of St. 
Paul's, the Great Western Railway will place us in an hour (having 
an additional walk of about two miles) in the heart of one of the most 
secluded districts in England. We know nothing of forest scenery 
equal to Burnham Beeches (Eig. 476). There are no spots approach- 
ing to it in wild grandeur to be found in Windsor Forest J Sherwood, 
we have been told, has trees as ancient, but few so entirely un 
touched in modern times. When at the village of Burnham, which 
is about a mile and a half from the Railway station at Maidenhead, 
the beeches may be readied by several roads, each very beautiful 
in its seclusion. We ascend a hill, and find a sort of table-land 
forming a rude common with a few scattered houses. Gradually 
the common grows less open. We see large masses of wood in 
clumps, and now and then a gigantic tree close by the road. The 
trunks of these scattered trees are of amazing size. They are for 
the most part pollards ; but not having been lopped for very many 
years, they have thrown out mighty arms, which give us a notion 
of some deformed son of Anak, noble as well as fearful in Ins gro- 
tesque proportions. As we advance the wood thickens; and as 
tlie road leads us into a deep dell, we are at length completely 
embosomed in a leafy wilderness. This dell is a most romantic 
spot : it extends for some quarter of a mile between overhanging 
banks covered with the graceful forms of the ash and the birch : 
while the contorted beeches show their fantastic roots and unwieldy 
trunks upon the edge of the glen, in singular contrast. If we walk 
Up this valley, we may emerge into tlie plain of beeches, from which ; 



the place derives its name. It is not easy to make scenes such as 
these interesting in description. The great charm of this spot may 
be readily conceived, when it is known that its characteristic is an 
entire absence of human care. The property has been carefully 
preserved in its ancient state, and the axe of the woodman formanv 
a day has not been heard within its precincts. The sheep wander 
through the tender grass as if they were the rightful lords of the 
domain. We asked a solitary old man. who was sitting onastump, 

whether there was any account who planted this ancient wood : 
'Planted!' he replied, < it was never planted: those trees areas 
old as the world ! ' However sceptical we might be as to the poor 
man's chronology, we were sure that history or tradition could tell 
little about their planting." We visited this place in 1841, and 
this slight notice of it already published may as well be transferred 
to these pages. But England has a store of popular associations 
with her old oaks and yews in the vast collection of Robin Hood 
Ballads. 

If there be one district of England over which more than over 
any other Romance seems to have asserted an unquestionable su- 
premacy — " This is mine henceforth, forever !" — and over which she 
has drawn her veil of strange enchantments, making the fairest 
objects appear fairer through that noble medium, and giving beauty 
even to deformity itself, it is surely Sherwood Forest If there be 
one man of England whose story above the stories of all other men 
has entered deeply into the popular heart, or stirred powerfully the 
popular imagination, there can be no doubt but it is the hold yeoman- 
forester Robin Hood. Who, iu youth, ever read unmoved the ballads 
in which that story is chiefly related, absurd and untrue as un- 
doubtedly many of them are? Who now can behold even a partial 
reflex of the lives of these joyous inhabitants of the green woods, 
such, for instance, as 'As You Like It' affords, without a sigh at 
the contrast presented to our own safer, more peaceable, but 
altogether unromantic pursuits ? It is well, perhaps, that there is 
now no banished duke "in the Forest of Arden, and so many merry 
men \\ ith him, " living there " like the old Robin Hood of England ;" 
for there would be still " young gentlemen " too glad to " Hock to 
him every day, and fleet the time carelessly, as they did in the 
golden world." But, perhaps, the most decisive proof of the in- 
herent interest of the lives of the Forest outlaws, is not that such 
interest should simply still exist so many centuries after their death, 
but that it should exist under the heavy load of mistakes and 
absurdities that have so long surrounded and weighed it down : — 
all honour to those whose unerring perceptions and stedfast faith 
have kept that interest alive! Tlie philosopher has once more con- 
descended to learn from the people whom he should teach. What 
they would not " willingly let die " under so many circumstances 
adverse to preservation, he now, in our time, discovers is fit to live, 
and forthwith satisfactorily proves what millions never doubted. 
that Robin Hood was worthy of his reputation — that he was no thief 
or robber, no matter how these epithets might be qualified in Cam- 
den's phrase of tho ''gentlest of thieves," or Major's of the '* most 
humane and prince of all robbers." Altogether the treatment duiiug 
late centuries of the story of Sherwood Forest has been at once 
curious and instructive. The people wisely taking for granted the 
essentials of that story as handed down to them from generation to 
generation, and which described Robin Hood as their benefactor in 
an age when heaven knows benefactors to them were few enough, 
and which at the same time invested him with all the attributes on 
which a people delight to dwell, as mirroring, in short, all then own 
hot qualities — hatred of oppression, courage, hospitality, generous 
love, and dee]) piety : taking all this, we repeat, lbr granted, they 
have not since troubled themselves to ask why they continued to 
look upon his memory with such affectionate respect. Un the other 
hand, our historians, who were too philosophic (so called) to regard 
such feelings as in themselves of any particular importance, if they 
did not even think them decisive against the man who was their 
object, never condescended to inquire as to his true character, but were 
content to take their views of him on trust from some such epigram- 
matic sounding sentences of the older writers a- we have already 
transcribed. And what is the result when they are suddenly 
startled with inquiry by an eminent foreigner, Thierry, putting forth 
a strangely favourable opinion of the political importance of Robin 
Hood r— why, that without referring toa single new or comparatively 
inaccessible document, a writer in the Westminster Review for March 
1840 (to whom every lover of Robin Hood owes grateful acknow- 
ledgment) has shown that there can be no reasonable doubt what- 
ever that it is the patriot and not the freebooter whom his country- 
men have SO long delighted to honour. Of this more presently. 

The severity of the old forest laws of England has become a by- 
word, and no wonder when we kuow that with the Conqueror a 

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117 



118 



OLD ENGLAND. 



[Book II. 



sovereign's paternal care for his subjects was understood to apply 
to red deer, not to Saxon men; and that accordingly, of the two, 
the lives of the former alone were esteemed of any particular value. 
But it was not the severity merely that was. after the Conquest, 
introduced (whether into the spirit or into the letter of the forest 
laws is immaterial), but also the vast extent of fresh laud then 
afforested, and to which such laws were for the first time applied, 
that gave rise to so much opposition and hatred between the 
Norman conquerors and the Saxon forest inhabitants; and that in 
particular parts of England infused such continuous vigour into 
the struggle commenced at the invasion, long after that struggle 
had ceased elsewhere. The Conqueror is said to have possessed 
in this country no less than sixty-eight forests, anil these even were 
not enough ; so the afforesting process went on reign after reign, 
till the awful shadow of Magna Charta began to pass more and 
more frequently before royal eyes, producing first a check, and 
then a retreat : dis-atibrcsting- then began, ami the finest laws 
gradually underwent a mitigating process, Rut this was the work 
of th.' nobility of England, and occupied the said nobility a long 
time first to determine upon, and then to carry out: the people in 
the interim could not afford to wait, but took the matter to a 
certain extent into their own hands ; freehands roved the woods, 
laughing at the king's laws, ami killing and eating his deer, and 
living a life of perfect immunity from punishment, partly through 
bravery and address, and still more through the impenetrable cha- 
racter of the woods that covered a large portion of the whole 
country from the Trent to tiie Tync. Among the more famous 
of the early leaders of such men were Adam Bell, Ciym of the 
Clougll, anil William of C'loudesley (Fig. 479), the heroes of many 
a northern ballad, lint as time passed on, and Normans anil 
Saxons gradually amalgamated, and forgot their feuds of race in the 
necessity for resisting the oppressions of class, such a life would 
cease to be honourable j liberty would become licence — resistance 
to government rebellion. Assuredly the memory of Robin Hood 
would not have been treasured as it was by our forefathers, if, 
whilst the country was gradually progressing onwards to peace, 
order, and justice, he had merely distinguished himself by the ex- 
ercise of excellent qualities for a very mischievous purpose. What 
was it then that justified such a man in establishing an independent 
government in the woods, after so much had been done towards the 
establishment of a more regular authority, and after the people 
generally of England had patiently submitted, and began in earnest 
to seek an amelioration of their condition in a legal and peace- 
able way ? It was, in a word, the overthrow of the national party 
of united Englishmen at the battle id' Evesham in 12G.J, when 
Simon de Montfort and a host of other leaders of the people fell : 
when the cause that had experienced so many vicissitudes, and 
which had assumed so many different aspects at different times, was 
apparently lost for ever; and when the kingly power, unrestrained 
by charters — since there were no longer armed bands to enforce 
them — rioted in the degradation and ruin of all who had been 
opposed to it. In a parliament called almost immediately after this 
i vent, which sat at Winchester, and consisted of course entirely of 
nobles and knights who had been on the victors' side, the estates 
of all who hail adhered to the late Earl of Leicester (Montfort) 
were confiscated at one fell swoop. It is important to mark what 
then took place. "Such measures." writes ])r. Lingard, whose 
sympathies are all on the royal side. " were not calculated to restore 
the public tranquillity. The sufferers, prompted by revenge, or 

compelled by want, had again recourse to the sword: then i- 

tains, forests, and morasses furnished them with places of retreat ; 
and the flames of predatory warfare were kindled in most pans of 
the kingdom. To reduce these partial, but successive insurrections, 
occupied Prince Edward [himself one of the popular party till he 
found popular restrictions were to be applied to his reign as well as 
his father's] the better part of two years, lie first compelled Simon 
de Montfort [son of the late earl] and his associates, who had 
sought an asylum in the Isle of Axhobn. to submit to the award 
which should be given by himself and the King of the Romans. 
lie next led his forces against the men of the Cinque Torts, who had 
long been distinguished by their attachment to Leicester, and who 
since his fall had by their piracies interrupted the commerce of the 
narrow seas, and made prizes of all ships belonging to the king's sub- 
jects. The capture of Winchelsea, which was carried by storm, taught 
them to respect the authority of the sovereign, and their power by 
sea made the prince desirous to recal them to their duty and attach 
them to the crown. They swore fealty to Henry ; and in return 
obtained a full pardon, and the confirmation of their privileges. 
From the Cinque Porta Edward proceeded to Hampshire, which, 
with Berkshire and Surrey, was ravaged by numerous banditti, 



under the command of Adam Gordon, the most athletic man of the 
age. They were surprised in a wood near Alton. The prince 
engaged in single combat with their leader, wounded and unhorsed 
him : and then, in regard of his valour, granted him his pardon. 
Still the garrison of Kcnilwurth [the Montfort family seat] con- 
tinued to brave the royal power, ami even added contumely to their 
disobedience. To subdue these obstinate rebels, it was necessary lo 
summon the chivalry of the kingdom: but the strength of the place 
defied all the efforts of the assailants ; and the obstinacy of Hastings, 
the governor, refused tin- six months every offer which was made to 
him in the name of his sovereign." At length it became necessary 
to offer something like terms of accommodation ; there was danger 
in such long and successful resistance. So it was declared that 
estates might be redeemed at certain tales of payment, the highest 
being applied to the brave Kenilworth garrison, who were to pay 
seven years' value. They submitted at last. Others still held out, 
hoping perhaps to see a new national organization, and at all events 
determined to refuse submission so long as they could. Such were 
the men who maintained their independence for nearly two years in 
the Isle of Ely : above all. such were the men who maintained their 
independence for a lifetime in the forest of Sherwood and the adja- 
cent woodlands. Fordun, the Scottish historian, who travelled in 
England in the fourteenth century diligently collecting materials for 
his great work, which forms lo this day our only authority for the 
facta of Scottish history through a considerable period, stales, im- 
mediately after his notice of the battle of Evesham, and its c se- 
quences to all who had been connected, on the losing side, with the 
general stream of events to which that battle belongs, " Then from 
among (If dispossessed ami the banished arose that most famous rut- 
throat Robert Hood tunl Little John ." If any one rises from the 
perusal of the mighty events of the reign of Henry the Third with 
the conviction that Simon de Montfort, to whom in all probability 
England owes its borough representation, was a rebel instead of a 
martyr, as the people called him, and that the words so freely used 
by Dr. Lingard, of pirates, banditti, and rebels, were properly applied 
to Simon de Moutliut's followers, then also they may accept Fordun's 
opinion that Robin Hood was a cut-throat, — but not else ; they will 
otherwise, like ourselves, accept his fact only, which is one of the 
highest importance, and beyond dispute as to its correctness, how- 
ever strangely neglected even by brother historians. I'm dun's work 
was continued and completed by his pupil, Bower, Abbot of St. 
Colomb, who under the year lLb'6. noticing the further progress of 
the events that followed the battle ofEvesham, >ays, •• In this year 
were obstinate hostilities carried on between the dispossessed barons 
of England and the loyalists, amongst whom Roger Mortimer occu- 
pied the Marches of Wales, and John Ouguil the Isle of Elv. 
Robert Hood now lived an outlaw among the woodland copses and 
thickets." It is hardly necessary after this to add that the one, and 
there is but one undoubtedly, ancient ballad relating to Robin Hood, 
the ' Lytell Geste,' furnishes an additional corroboration of the most 
satisfactory character ; it relates, as its title-page informs us, to 
•' Kv nge Edtoarde and Robyn Ilode and Lytell Johan." We may 
here observe that this ballad, one of the very finest in the language, 
which for beauty and dramatic power is worthy of Chaucer him- 
self, about whose time it was probably written, has shared Robin 
Hood's own fide: that is, enjoyed a great deal of undiseiiniinaling 
and. therefore, worthless popularity. It has simply been looked on 
as one of the Robin Hood ballads, whilst it in fact stands out as much 
from all the others by its merits as by its antiquity, and its internal 
evidence of being written by one who understood that on which lie 
wrote : which is much more than can be said for the ballad doers of 
later centuries, when Friar Tuck and Maid Marian first crept into 
the foresters' company, when the gallant yeoman was created without 
ceremony Earl of Huntingdon, and his own period put back a century 
in order that he and the Lion Heart might hob and nob it together. 
Here then we see the origin of Robin Hood's forest career ; we see 
him — the yeoman — doing what the few leaders of the people, the 
knights and barons whom Evesham had spared, everywhere did also, 
resisting oppression ; the difference being that they (ought as soldiers 
wdth a better soldier. Prince Edward, and failed ; and that he fought 
as a forester in the woods he had probably been familiar with from 
boyhood, and succeeded. Without exaggerating his political im- 
portance, it is not too much to say that but for Edward's wisdom in 
conceding substantially, when he became king, what he had shed so 
much blood to resist whilst prince, that little handful of freemen in 
Sherwood Forest might have become the nucleus of a new organi- 
zation, destined once more to shake the isle to its very centre. 
Edward prevented this result; but, nevertheless, they found their 
mission. They enabled their leader to become " the representative 
and the hero of a cause far older and deeper even than that in which 



Chap. I.] 



OLD ENGLAND. 



119 



De Montfort had so nobly fallen ; we mean the permanent protest 
of the industrious classes of Gangland against the galling injustice 
mid insulting immorality of that framework of English society, and 
that fabric of ecclesiastical as well as civil authority, which the iron 
arm of the Conquest had established. Under a system of general 
oppression— based avowedly on the right of the strongest — the suf- 
fering classes beheld, in a personage like Robert Hood, asortof 
particular Providence, which scattered a few grains <>f equity amid 
all that monstrous mass of wrong. And when, in his defensive 
conflicts, the well-aimed missile entered the breast of some one of 
their petty tyrants, though regarded by the ruling powers as an 
arrow of malignant fate, it was hailed by the wrung' and goaded 
people as a shaft of protecting or avenging Heaven. The service 

of such a chieftain, t afforded a sure and tempting refuge for 

every Anglo-Saxon serf who, strong in heart and in muscle, and 
stung by intolerable insult, had flown in the face of his Norman owner 
or his owner's bailiff, — for every villain who, in defending the decen- 
cies of his hearth, might have brained some brutal collector of the 
poll-tax. — for every rustic sportsman who had incurred death or 
mutilation, the ferocious penalties of the Anglo-Norman forest laws, 
by ' taking, killing, and eating- deer"' (Westminster Review). 

The forest of Sherwood, which formerly extended for thirty 

miles northward from Nottingham, skirting- the great north road 

on both sides, was anciently divided into Thorney Wood and High 

Forest ; and in one of these alone, the first and smallest, there were 

comprised nineteen towns and villages, Nottingham included. 

But this extensive sylvan district formed but a part of Robin 

Hood's domains. Sherwood was but one of a scarcely interrupted 

series of forests through which the outlaws roved at pleasure ; 

when change was desired, either for its own sake, or in order to 

decline the too pressing attentions of the " Sheriff," as they called 

the royal governor of Nottingham Castle and of the two counties, 

Notts and Derby, who had supplanted the old elective officer — the 

people's sheriff. Hence we trace their haunts to this day so far in 

one direction as " Robin Hood's Chair," Wyn Hill, and his 

"Stride" (Fig. 486) in Derbyshire; thence to "Robin Hood's 

Bay," on the coast of Yorkshire, in another, with places between 

innumerable. But the " woody and famous forest of liarnsdale," 

in Yorkshire, and Sherwood, appear to have been their principal 

places of resort ; and what would not one give for a glimpse of the 

scene as it then was, with these its famous actors moving about 

among it ! There is little or nothing remaining in a sufficiently 

wild state to tell us truly of the ancient loyal forest of Sherwood. 

The clearing process has been carried on extensively during the 

last century and a half. Prior to that period the forest was full of 

ancient trees — the road from Mansfield to Nottingham presented 

one unbroken succession of green woods. The principal parts now 

existing- are the woods of Iiirkland and Bilhagh, where oaks of the 

most giant growth anil of the most remote antiquity are still to be 

found : oaks against which Kobin Hood himself may have leaned, 

and which even then may have counted their age by centuries. 

Such arc the oaks in Wclbeck Bark (Fig. 480). Many of these 

ancient trees are hollow through nearly the whole of their trunks, 

but their tops and lateral blanches still put forth the tender green 

foliage regularly as the springs come round. Side by 'side with 

the monarch oak we find the delicate silver-coated stems and 

pendent branches of the lady of the woods ; and beautiful is the 

contrast and the harmony. But everything- wears a comparatively 

cultivated aspect. We miss the prodigal luxuriance of a natural 

forest, where every stage upward, from the sapling to the mightiest 

growth, may be traced. We miss the picturesque accidents of 

nature always to be found in such places, the ash key for instance, 

of which Gilpin speaks (Forest Scenery), rooting in a decayed 

part of some old tree, germinating, sending down its roots, and 

lifting up its branches till at last it rends its supporter and nourisher 

to pieces, and appears itself standing in its place, stately and 

beautiful as that once appeared. Above all we miss the rich and 

tangled undergrowth ; the climbing honeysuckle, the white and 

black briony, and the clematis ; the prickly holly and the golden 

furze, the heaths, the thistles, and the foxgloves with their purple 

bells ; the bilberries, which for centuries were wont to be an 

extraordinarily great profit and pleasure to the poor people who 

gathered them (Thornton) ; the elders and willows of many a little 

marshy nook ; all which, no doubt, once flourished in profusion 

wherever they could find room to grow between the thickly set 

trees, of which Camden says, referring to Sherwood, that their 

" entangled branches were so twisted together, that they hardly 

left room for a person to pass." It need excite little surprise that 

the outlaws could defend themselves from all inroads upon such a 

home. The same writer adds, that in his time the woods were 



much thinner, but still bred an infinite number of deer and stags 

with lofty antlers. When Kobin Hood hunted here, there would. 
In- also the roe. the fox, the marten, the hare, the coney, as well as 
the partridge, the quail, the rail, the pheasant, the woodcock, 
the mallard, and the heron, to furnish sport or food. Even the 
wolf himself may have been occasionally found in Sherwood, down 
tn the thirteenth century ; in the manor of Mansfield Woodhouse a 
parcel of land called Wolf Iiuntlanil was held so late as Henry the 
Sixth's time by the service of winding a horn to frighten away the 
wolves in the forest of Sherwood. We must add to this rude 
and imperfect sketch of the scene made for ever memorable 
by Kobin Hood's presence and achievements, that in another point 
it would seem to have been expressly marked out by nature for 
such romantic fame. Caverns are found in extraordinary numbers 
through the forest. Those near Nottingham are supposed to have 
given name both to the town and county ; the Saxon word Sno- 
dengaham being interpreted to mean the Home of Caverns. There 
are similar excavations in the face of a cliff near the Lent-, west of 
Nottingham Castle. Above all, there is a cave traditionally con- 
nected with the great archer himself. This is a curious hollow 
rock in the side of a hill near Newstead, known as Robin Hood's 
Stable, but more likely from its aspect to have been Ills chapel. It 
contains several passages and doorways cut in the Gothic style, nut 
of the solid rock ; and there are peculiar little hollows in the wall, 
which might have been intended fur holy water. Kobin Hood's 
devotion is attested ill a thousand ways by tradition, ballad, and 
sober history. Thus the ' Lytell Geste' observes : — 

A good mancr than had Robyn 
In londe where tliiit lie were, 

Every daye or lie wmilile dyne, 

Three messes wolde be here. 

Fordun's illustration of Kobin Hood's piety is an exceedingly 
interesting anecdote, and one that assuredly would mil have found 
its way into his work unless from his full conviction of its truth. 
••Once upon a time, in Barnsdale, where he was avoiding the wrath 
of the King and the rage of the Prince, while engaged in very 
devoutly hearing mass, as he was wont to do, nor would he interrupt 
the service for any occasion — one day. I say, while so at mass, it 
happened that a certain Viscount [the sheriff or governor, no doubt, 
before-mentioned], and other officers of the King, who had often 
before molested him. were si -eking after him in that most retired 
woodland spot wherein he was thus occupied. Those of his men 
who first discovered this pursuit, came and entreated him to fly with 
all speed ; but this, from reverence for the consecrated host, which 
he was then most devoutly adoring, he absolutely refused to do. 
While the rest of his people were trembling for fear of death, Robert 
alone, confiding in Ilim whom he fearlessly worshipped, with the 
very few whom he had then beside him, encountered his enemies, 

overcame them with ease, was enriched by their spoils and rans 

and was thus induced to hold ministers of the church and masses in 
n-reater veneration than ever, as mindful of the common saying, 

" 'God hears the man that often hears llie mas*.' 

The life in the forest must indeed have been steeped in joyous 
excitement. No doubt it had its disadvantages. Winter Haws in 
such a scene would not he pleasant. Agues might be apt occasion- 
ally to make their appearance. One feels something of a shivering 
sensation as we wonder, 



When they did hear 



Tlie rain and wind beat dark December, how 
In that their pinching cave they cunld discourse 
The freezing hours away. 

Yet even the rigours of the season might give new zest to the 
general enjoyment of forest life; we may imagine one of the band 
singing in some.such words as those of Amiens : 

Under the greenwood tree 
Who loves to lie with me, 
And tone his merry note 
Unto the sweet bird's (liroat, 
Cume hither, come liillier, come hither: 
Here shtill lit sre 
A"o enema 

Eur winter 'mil rough unathir. 
Vnd that very thought would ensure such enemies when they did 
come, a genial and manly reception. But reverse the picture and 
what a world of sunshine, and green leaves, and flickering lights 
and shadows breaks in upon us-cxciteuicn in the ehace w he her 
the , followed the deer (Figs. 485 and 48,) or were themselves 
followed by the sheriff, through bush and brake, over bog and 
quagmire— of enjoyment in their shooting and wrestling matches 





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BnglUli SUIpBi tpmi'- .lutiii 




463.— Altar at St. Edtnnindslmn 




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44'.'. — Udoni t>f State, Wmp. John. 




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120 



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No. 16. 



[OLD ENGLAND.] 



121 



122 



OLD ENGLAND. 



[Book II. 



(Fig. -184), in thtir sword-fights (Fig. 483), and sword-dances 
(Fig. 489) ; in their visits to all the rustic wakes and feasts of the 
neighbourhood, where they would be received as the most welcome 
of guests. The variety of the life in the forest must have been 
endless. Now the outlaws would be visited by the wandering- 
minstrels, coming thither to amuse them with old ballads, and to 
gather a rich harvest of materials for new ones, that should be lis- 
tened to with the deepest interest and delight all England through, 
not only while the authors recited them, but for centuries after the 
very names of such authors were forgotten. The legitimate poet- 
minstrel would be followed by the humbler gleeman, forming one 
of a baud of revellers (Fig. 490), in which would be comprised a 
taborer, a bagpiper, and dancers or tumblers, and who, tempted by 
the well-known liberality of the foresters, would penetrate the thick 
wood to find them. And great would be the applause at their 
humorous dances and accompanying songs, at their balancings and 
tumblings ; wonderful, almost too wonderful to be produced without 
the aid of evil spirits, would seem their sleight-of-hand tricks. At 
another time there would be suddenly heard echoing through the 
forest glades the sounds of strange bugles from strange hunters. 
Their rich apparel shows them to be of no ordinary rank. How dare 
they then intrude upon the forest king? Nay, there is not any 
danger. Are there not lady hunters (Fig. 481) among the company? 
and what says the ballad, the truth of which every one attests ? — 

Robyn loved one dere lady, 

For tluute of dedely synue ; 
Wolde lie never do company liarme 

That any woman was ynne. 

So their husbands, brothers, sons, and fathers hunt freely through 
Siierwood in their company, safe from the sudden arrow, aye, though 
even the hated sheriff himself be among them. But there were 
occasions when the forest would present a much more extraordinary 
scene than any we have yet referred to. For scores of miles around, 
what preparations are there not made when the words " Robin Hood's 
Fair" spread from mouth to mouth, and the time and place of it 
being held become known ! Thither would resort all the yeomen 
and yeomen's wives of the district, each one hoping to get a " Robin 
Hood's pennyworth," as the well-understood phrase went, in some 
courtepy or hood, in handkerchiefs telling their goodness by 
their weight, in hats, boots or shoes, the spoil of some recent cam- 
paign, and bespeaking their general excellence from the known 
quality of their recent owners. Thither would resort the emissaries 
of more than one priory and respectable monastery, to look after 
some richly-illuminated Missal or MS. that they had heard were 
among the good things of the fair, or to execute the High Cellarer's 
commission to purchase any rare spices that might be offered. 
Knightly messengers too would not be wanting, coming thither to 
look after choice weapons, or trinkets, or weighty chains of gold : 
perhaps even the very men who had been despoiled, and whose 
treasures had contributed so largely to the " fair," would be send- 
ing to it, to purchase silently back some favourite token at a trifling 
price, hopeless of regaining it by any other mode. Of course the 
Jews would flock to Sherwood on such occasions from any and all 
distances. And as the fair proceeded, if any quarrels took place 
between the buyers and sellers, a Jew would be sure to be concerned. 
Even whilst he laughed in his heart at the absurd price he was to 
give for the rich satin vest, or the piece of cloth of gold of such 
rare beauty that the forester was measuring with his long bow, 
generally of his own height, for a yard, and even then skipping 
two or three inches between each admeasurement, the Jew would 
be sure to be haggling to lower the price or to be increasing the 
quantity ; till reminded that he was not dealing with the most patient 
as well as with the most liberal of men, by a different application 
of the tough yew. Then the adventures of the forest !— indigenous 
and luxuriant as its bilberries ; how they give a seasoning, as if 
were, to the general conjunction of life in the forest, and prevented 
the possibility of its ever being felt as " weary, stale, flat, and un- 
profitable !" Were recruits wanted ?— there was a pretty opening 
for adventure in seeking them. They must be men of mark or 
likelihood who can alone be enlisted into brave Robin's band, and 
severe accordingly were the tests applied. In order to prove their 
courage, for instance, it seems, from the later ballads, it was quite 
indispensable that they should have the best of it with some veteran 
forester, either in shooting with the bow, or playfully breaking a 
crown with the quarter-staff, or even by occasionally beating their 
antagonists when contending with inadequate weapons. 

Robin Hood himself should appear from these authorities to have 
been almost as famous for his defeats, as other heroes for their 
victories. We suspect that what little portion of tiuth there is in 



the tradition thus incorporated into the ballads, may be explained 
by imagining a little ruse on his part in these recruiting expedi- 
tions. When he met with some gallant dare-devil whom he de- 
sired to include among his troops, what better method could he 
devise than to appear to be beaten by him after a downright good 
struggle ? He to beat Robin Hood ! It was certainly the most 
exquisite and irresistible of compliments. The promise of a sergeant 
in later days to make the gaping rustic commander-in-chief was 
nothing to it. But suppuse we now look at two or three of the 
more interesting adventures which are recorded in the ' Lytell 
Geste' as having actually taken place, and which, be it observed, 
may possibly be as true, bating a little here and there for the 
poetical luxuriance of the author, as if Fordun had related them : 
ballads in the early ages ivere histories. In one part of this poem 
we find a story of the most interesting character, and told with 
extraordinary spirit, discrimination of character, and dramatic effect. 
Whilst Little John, Scathelock (the Scarlet of a later time), and 
Much the Miller's son, were one day watching in the forest, the • 
beheld a knight riding along : — 

All dreari then was his semblaunte, 

And lytell was his pride ; 
Hys one tote in the sterope stode, 

Tbe other waved besyde. 

Hys bode hangynge over hys eyen two, 

He rode in syniple amy ; 
A sorjer man than he was one 

Rode never in soniers day. 

The outlaws courteously accost and surprise him with the informa- 
tion that their master has been waiting for him, fasting, three hours ; 
Robin Hood, it appears, having an objection to sit down to dinner 
till he can satisfy himself he has earned it, by finding strangers to 
sit down with him — and pay the bill. Having •• washed," they 
dine : — 

Brede and wyne they had ynough, 

And nomblea [entrails] of the deer; 
Swamies and fesauntes they had full good, 

And foules of the revere: 
There fayled never so lytell a byrde 

That ever was bred on brere. 

After dinner the Knight thanks his host for his entertainment, buf 
Robin hints that thanks are not enough. The Knight replies that he 
has nothing in his coffers that he can for shame offer — that, in short, 
his whole stock consists of ten shillings. Upon this Robin bids 
Little John examine the coffers to see if the statement be true (a 
favourite mode with Robin of judging of the character of his 
visitors), and informs the Knight at the same time that if he really 
have no more, more he will lend him. 

" What tydyuge, Joliau ? " — sayd Robyn : 
• ( Syr, tbe Kuyglit is trewe enough." 

The great outlaw is now evidently interested ; and, with mingled 
delicacy and frankness, inquires as to the cause of the Knight's low 
estate, fearing that it implies some wrong doing on his part. It 
comes out at last that his son has killed a " Knyght of Lancastshyre " 
in the tournament, and that, to defend him " in his right," iie has 
sold all his own goods, and pledged his lands unto the Abbot of St. 
Mary's, York ; the day is now nearly arrived, and he is not merely 
unable to redeem them before too late, but well nigh penniless into 
the bargain. We need hardly solicit attention to the mingled 
pathos and beauty of what follows : — 

"What is the somme ? " sayd Robyn ; 

" Trouthe then tell thou me." 
" Syr," he sayd, '• fours hondred jjounde, 

The Abbot tolde it to me.*' 

" Now, and thou lese thy londe,'' sayd Robin, 

'• What shall fall of the ! " 
"Hastely I wyll me buske,*' sayde the Kuygbt 

" Over tbe salt see ; 

" And se where Cryst was quyckc and deed 

On the mount of Calvarc. 
Farewell, freode, and have good day, 

It may noo better be "' 

Tears fell out of bis eyeti two, 

He wolde have gone his waye — 
" Farewell, fieudes, and have good day J 

I ne have more to nay."' 



Chap. I." 



OLD ENGLAND. 



123 



" Where lie tliy fiieudes? " sayde Robyn. 

"Syr, never nne wyll me know ; 
Wliyle I was ryche enow at home, 

Crete bust tlien wolde they blowe, 

"And now tliey reiuie awayc fro me, 

As hestes on a rowe ; 
They take no more heed of me 

Then they me never sawe." 

For ruthe then wepte T.ytell Johan, 

Scathclocke and Much in fere [in company]; 

" Fyll of ttie best wyne,'' sayd Robyn, 
" For here is a syniple cliere." 

Before many liours the Knight was pursuing liis way with a full 
pocket anil a full heart to redeem hifl lands. We must follow him 
to York. The day of payment lias arrived. The chief officers of 
the Abbey are in a state of high excitement, on account of the value 
of the estates that will be theirs at nightfall) if the Knight comes 
not with the redemption money. The Abbot cannot repress his 
anticipations : — 

" But he come this ylke day, 
Dysheryte shall he be." 

The Prior endeavours to befriend the absent Knight, but is answered 

impatiently — 

" Thou arte euer in my berde," sayde the Abbot, 
« Dy God and Saynt liicharde." 

And then bursts in a " fat-headed monk," the High Cellarer, with 
the exulting exclamation 

" He is dede or hanged." sayd the monke, 
'• By God that bought nie dere; 
And we shall have to spende in this jdace 
Fotire hondred pounde by yere." 

To make all sure, the Abbot has managed to have the assist- 
ance of the High Justicer of England on the occasion by the usual 
mode of persuasion, a bribe ; and is just beginning to receive his 
congratulations when the Knight arrives at the gate. But he 
appears in " symple vedes," and the alarm raised by his appearance 
soon subsides as he speaks : 

"Do gladly, Syr Abbot," sayd the Knyght ; 
" I am come to hohle my day." 
The fyrst word the Abbot spoke, — ■ 
'■Hast thou brought my pay?" 

" Not one peny," sayde the Knyght, 

"By God that maked me." 
"Thou art a sinewed dettour," sayd the Abbot ; 

" Syr Justyee, ilrynke to m«." 

The Knight tries to move his pity, but in vain ; and after some 
further passages between him and the Abbot, conceived and ex- 
pressed in the finest dramatic spirit, the truth conies out in answer 
to a proposition fiom the Justice that the Abbot shall give two 
hundred pounds more to keep the land in peace ; the Knight then 
suddenly astounds the whole party by producing the four hundred 
pounds. 

" Have here thy goldc, Syr Abbot," sayd the Knyght, 

" Which that thou leutest ma; 
Haddest thou ben ourteya at my comynge, 

Hewarde sholdest thou have be." 

The Abbot sat styll. and ete no more 

For all bis ryall [royal] cbere; 
He cast his bede on his sholder, 

And fast began to stare. 

" Take [give] me my golde agayne," sayd the Abbot, 

"Syr Justycc, that I toke the." 
"Not a peny," sayd the Justyce, 

" By God that dyed on a tree." 

A twelvemonth afterwards, and on the very day that the Knight 
has fixed for repaying Robin Hood, a magnificent procession of 
ecclesiastics and ecclesiastical retainers is passing through the 
forest ; and being stopped by the outlaws, who should be at the 
head of the whole but our friend the fat-headed monk, the High 
Cellarer of St. Mary, York ! Now Robin Hood's security, the only 
one that he would take from the Knight, had been that of the 
Virgin — what more natural than that he should think the High 
Cellarer of the Virgin's own house at York had come to pay him his 
four hundred pounds ! It is in vain the holy man denies that he 



has come for any such purpose. At last, driven to his shifts, he 
ventures a lie when the actual state of his coffers is inquired into. 
His return, in official language, is twenty marks. Robin is very 
reasonable, and says, if there really be no more, not a penny of it 
will be meddled with. 

I.ytell Johan spred hi* mantell downe 

As be had done befi.re, 
Anil he tolde out of the monkes male 

Eyght huudreth pounde and more. 

No wonder that Robin exclaims— 

Monk, what told I thee ? 
Our Lady is the trewest woman 
Thai ever yet foumle I me. 

All this is told with a more exquisite humour than our own 
partial extracts can do justice to. Anon a second, and to archer 
eyes still more attractive pageant, appears. It is the good and 
grateful Knight at the head of a hundred men clothed in white anil 
red, and bearing as a present to the foresters a hundred bows of a 
quality to delight even such connoisseurs in the weapon, with a 
hundred sheaves of arrows, with heads burnished fidl bright, even- 
arrow an e" long, y-dight with peacock plumes, and y-nocked 
with silver. The Knight had been detained on his way ; the 
sun was down; the hour of payment had passed when he arrived 
at the trysting-tree. His excuse was soon made to the generous 
outlaw. He had stayed to help a poor yeoman who was suffering 
oppression. The debt was forgiven ; the monks had paid il doubly. 
The ballads of Robin Hood which, century after century, followed 
the ' Lytell Geste ' are, at any rate, evidences of the deep hold 
which this story of wild adventure, and of the justice of the strong 
hand, long retained upon the popular mind. We have already men- 
tioned how unequal these later productions are to that ancient ballad 
which professes to tell the doings of ' Kynge Edwarde and Robyn 
Hode and Lytell Johan.' Many of these ballads were reprinted by 
a scrupulous antiquary, Ritson ; and most of them are to be found 
in some collection with which the lovers of early poetry are familiar. 
A very neat abridgment of some of the more striking of these 
stories was published in ' The Penny Magazine,' in a series of papers 
written by the late Mr. Allan Cunningham. To these sources we 
may refer our readers. But as the ballad poetry of a country is 
amongst the most curious of its records— as the ballads of ' Old 
England,' even though they may have been written in the reign of 
Elizabeth, or even later, reflect the traditions of the people, and in 
many cases are founded upon more ancient compositions that have 
perished, we shall, in each period into which our work is divided, 
present one or two ballads entire, without any very exact regard to 
the tlate of their publication, provided they bear upon the events 
and manners of the age of which we are treating. 

The first ballad which we select for this purpose is from a collec- 
tion printed in 1607, called '.Strange Histories, or Songes and 
Sonets, of Kings, Princes, Dukes, Lordes, Ladyes, Knights, and 
Gentlemen ; very pleasant either to be read or songe, and a most 
excellent warning for all estates.' Of this curious book there are 
only two original copies known to be in existence ; but it has been 
recently reprinted by the Percy Society. The principal author of 
these poems is held to have been Thomas Deloney, who acquired 
great popularity by his books for the people in the end of the six- 
teenth century, and is spoken of by a contemporary as "the ballad- 
ing silk-weaver." The subject of the ballad which we now print 
is an interesting event connected with the Norman conquest. We 
modernize the orthography, for there is no advantage in retaining 
the antique modes of spelling when they have no reference to the 
date of a production, or to the peculiarities of its metre. ' The 
Lytell Geste' could not be thus modernized with the same pro- 
priety. 

STRANGE HISTORIES. 

The Valiant Courage and Policy of the Kentishmen with Lomj Tails, \ehmoy 
they kept their Ancient Laws and Customs, irhieh William the ConjutYttr 
taught to tahtfrom them* 

When as the Duke of Normandy, 

Willi glistering ipear and shield, 
Had enter'.! into lair England, 

And foil'd his foes in Held, 
On Christmas Day in solemn sort, 

Then was he crowned here 
By Albert, Archbishop of York, 

With many a noble Peer. 




478.— Robin Hood tod His TaqiOT— Quartet-Hall 





481.— Ladies hunting Deer. (Royal MS. 2 B. vii.) 



-1*2.— Cross-Bow shooting at small Buds. (Ruyal MS. 2 B vii. 




479 — William of Cloud eslie and his Family in Engle^ood Forest. 





483.— SwotoVfight. (Royal MS. 80 E. 6 ) 




484— Wrestling. (Roy*! MS. 2 B. vii.) 




Dultei Wa1kinj*lfck. 



4?0.— 0*ks in Wrllieck Park. 



Tlie Seven S,steis. 

125 



12G 



OLD ENGLAND. 



[Book II. 



Which being ilonc, he changed quite 

The custom of this land, 
And punish "d such as daily sought 

His statutes to withstand: 
And many cities he subdued, 

Fair London with the rest; 
But Kent tlid still withstand his fjrce, 

Which did his laws detest. 

To Dover then he took his way 

The Castle down to (ling. 
Which Arviragns builded there, 

The nnhle Briton King. 
Which when the brave Archbishop bold 

Of Canterbury knew, 
The Abbot of St. Austin's eke, 

With all their gallant crew, 

They set themselves in armour bright 

These mischiefs to prevent, 
Willi all the yeomen brave and bold 

That were in fruitful Kent. 
At Canterbury they did meet 

Upon a certain 'lay, 
With sword and spear, with bill an 1 bow, 

And Btopp'd the Conqueror's way. 

" Let us not live like bondmen pojr 

To Frenchmen in their pride, 
But keep our ancient liberty, 

What chance soe'er betide; 
And rather die in bloody field, 

In manlike courage press'd. 
Than to endure the servile yoke 

Which we so much detest." 



Thus did the Kentish commons cry 

Unto their leaders still, 
And so march'd forth in warlike sort, 

Anil stand on Swanscomhe Hill ; 
Where in the woods they hid themselves 

Under the shady green. 
Thereby to get them vantage good 

Of all their foes unseen. 

And for the Conqueror's coming there 

They privily laid wait, 
And thereby suddenly appall'd 

His lofty high conceit : 
For when they spied Ins approach, 

In place as they did stand, 
Then marched they to hem him in, 

Each one a bough in hand. 

So that unto the Conqueror's sight, 

Amazed as he stood, 
They si'fin'd to be a walking grove, 

Or else a moving wood. 
The shape of men lie could not see, 

The houghs did hide them so; 
And now liis heart for fear did quake 

To see a forest go. 

Before, behind, and on each side 
As lie did cast bis eye, 

He spied these woods with sober pace 
Approach to him full nigh. 

But when the Kentishmen had thus 
Knclos'd the Conqueror round, 
osl suddenly they drew their swords. 
And threw the boughs to ground. 

Their banners they displayM in sight, 

Theil trumpets sound ;i charge; 
Their rattling drums strike up alarm, 

Their troops stretch out at lai\*e. 
'The Conqueror with all his train 

Were beie.it sore aghast, 
And mo^t in peril when he thought 
All peril had been past. 

I. ntu the Kentishmen he sent 

The cause to understand, 
Pol what intent ami fur what cause 

They took this war in hand ! 
To whom they made this short reply ; 

'■ Fur liberty we fight, 
And to enjoy King Edward** laws, 

The which we hold our right." 



"Then,'' said the dreadful Conqueror, 

" You shall have what you will, 
Your ancient customs and your law , 

So that you will be still ; 
And each thing else that ynu will nave 

With reason at my hand, 
So you will but acknowledge me 

Chief king of fair England." 

The Kentishmen agreed hereon. 

And laid their arms aside, 
And by this means King Edward's laws 

In Kent doth still abide: 
And in no place in England else 

Those customs do remain, 
Which they by manly policy 1 

Did of Duke William gain. 



In the possession of Dr. Percy, the accomplished editor of 
1 Reliques of Ancient English Poetry,' was an ancient ballad entitled 
' King John and the Bishop of Canterbury.' The following version 
of this ballad, in which are some lines found in the more ancient 
copy, is supposed to have been written or adapted in the time of 
James I. : — 



KING JOHN AND THE ABBOT OF CANTERBURY. 



An ancient story I '11 tell you anon, 
Of a notable prince, that was called King John ; 
And be ruled England with main and with might, — 
For he did great wrong, and maintaiii'd little right. 

And I '11 tell you a story, — a story so merry, — 
Concerning the Abbot of Canterbury : 
How for his housekeeping, and high renown, 
They rode post for him to fair London town. 

An hundred men, the King did hear say. 
The Abbot kept in his house every day; 
And fifty gold chains, without any doubt, 
In velvet coats, waited the Abbot about. 

How now ! Father Abbot, I hear it of thee, 
Thou kecpest a far better house than me : 
And for thy housekeeping, ami high renown, 
1 fear thou work'st treason against my crown. 

My Liege, quoth the Abbot, I would it were known, 
I never Spend nothing but what is my own : 
And I trust your Grace will do me no deere, 
For spending my own true-gotten gear. 

Yes, yes, — quoth he, — Abbot, thy fault it is high, 
And now for the same thou needest must die ; 
For except thou canst answer me questions three, 
Thy head shall he smitten from thy body. 

And first, — duo' the King, — when I "m In this stea 1, 
With my crown of yold so fair on my head, 
Among all my liegemen so noble of birth, 
Thou must tell me, to one penny, what I ain worth. 

Secondly, tell me, without any doubt, 
How soon I may ride the whole world about; 
And at the third question thou must not shrink, 
But tell me here truly, what I do think. 

O, these are hard questions for my shallow wit, 
Nor I cannot answer your Grace as yet ; 
But if you will give me but three weeks* space, 
I "11 do my endeavour to answer your Grace. 

Now three weeks' space to thee I will give, 
And that is the longest time thou bast to live; 
For if thou dost not answer my questions three, 
Thy lauds and thy livings are forfeit to me. 

Away rode the Abbot, all sad at that word, 
And he rode to Cambridge and Oxenford; 
But never a Doctor there was so wise, 
That could, with his learning, an answer devise. 

Then home rode the Abbot, of comfort so cold, 
And he met his shepherd a-going to fold : 
How now ! my Lord Abbot, you are welcome home, 
What news do you bring us from good King John 1 



Chap. I.] 



OLD ENGLAND. 



127 



Sad news, sad news, shepherd, I must give, — 
That I have hut three days more to live: 
For if I do not answer him questions three, 
My head will he smitten from my body. 

The first is, to tell him, there in that stead, 
Willi his crown of gold so fair on his head, 
Among all his liegemen bo noble of birth, 
To within ~nc penny of what he is worth. 

The second, to tell him, without any doubt, 
How soon he may ride [his whole world about ; 

And at the third question I must not shrink, 
But tell him there truly what he does think* 

Now cheer up, Sir Abbot, — did you never hear yet, 
Tliat a fool lie may learn a wise man wit ? 
Lend me horse, and serving-men, and your apparel 
And I '11 ride to Loudon, to answer your quarrel. 

Nay, frown not, if it hath been told unto me, 
I am like your Lordship as ever may be; 
And if you will but lend me your gown, 
There is none shall know us at fair London town. 

Now horses and serving-men thou shalt have, 
With sumptuous array, most gallant and brave, — 
With crosier and mitre, anil rochet and cope, — 
Fit to appear 'fore our father the Pope. 

Now welcome. Sir Abbot, the King he did say 
'Tis well tlion rt come back to keep thy day: 
For, and if thou canst answer my questions three 
Thy life and thy living both saved shall be. 

And first when thou seest me here in tin's stead, 
With my crown of gold so fair on my head, 



Among all my liegemen so noble uf birth, 
Tell me, to one penny, what I am worth. 

For thirty pence Our Saviour was sold 
Among the false Jews, as I have heen told, 
And twenty-nine is the worth of thee, 
For I think thou art one penny worser thin lie. 

The King he laughed, and swore by St. Hi ltd, 
I did not lliiuk I ii.nl been worth so little : 
Now secondly tell me, without any doubt, 
How soon I may ride this whole world about, 

V'ou must rise with the sun, and ride with the same, 
Until the next morning he riseth again, 
And then your Grace need not make any doubt 
But in twenty-four houis you will ride it about. 

The King he laughed, and swore by St. Jone, 
I did not think it could be gone so soon: 
Now from the third question thou most not shrink, 
But tell me here truly what 1 do think. 

Yea, that shall I do, and make your Grace merry— 
You think / 'm the Aliiui of Cimttrliurg ; t 
But I 'm his poor shepherd, as plain you in iy see, 
That am come to beg pardon for him and for me. 

The King lie laughed, and swore by ihe mass, 
1 will make thee Lord Abbot this day in hi* place : 
Now stay, my liege, be not in such speed, 
For alack I I can neither write nor read. 

Four nobles a week, then, I will give thee, 
For this merry jest thou hast shown unto me ; 
And tell the old Abbot when thou comest home, 
Thou hast brought him a pardon from good King John 





4S3 — The P.ulumenl 0.1* In 



Ub 



-I- _•■ WUI Serin, In did kill, buck." 






491 — A CurtliuniaiN 



102— A I -; i 



•W3.-A Cbtenhn. 




494. — Roner, ISi»liop»rSanim.U91. 
Salisbury Cathedral. 





495.— Andrew, Abbot of Peter- 
;b, U99-— Peterborough 
Cutheilnl. 



497.— Costume of an English Sifted AUbat* 



498. -Costume of an English Abbes*. 






496— One of the early Abbots of West- 
minster.— Cloisters, Westminster. 



499.— Vision of Henry I. ; »n ancient drawing, showing the cosiuine of the ClergTi 



50;).— Oilo, Kislioji oi It wfoii pronouncing a 
Batfowl Uies.ins. 



No. 17. 



[OLD ENGLAND.] 



129 



130 



OLD ENGLAND. 



[Book II. 



CHAPTER II.— ECCLESIASTICAL ANTIQUITIES. 




HE first century of the Nor- 
man rule in England lias left 
behind it more durable monu- 
ments; of the earnest devotion 
of the miNed races of the 
country than any subsequent 
period of our history. The 
ecclesiastical distribution of 
England was scarcely altered 
from the time of Henry I. to 
that of Henry VIII. The 
Conqueror found the arch- 
bishoprics of Canterbury and 
York established, as well as 
the following bishoprics : — Durham, London, Winchester, Ro- 
chester, Chichester, Salisbury, Exeter, Wells, Worcester, Hereford. 
Coventry, Lincoln, Thetford. Norwich became the see of the 
Bishop of Thetford in 1088. The see of Ely was founded in 1109, 
and that of Carlisle ill 1133. The governing power of the church 
thus remained for four centuries, till Henry VIII., in 1341, 
founded the sees of Bristol, Gloucester, Oxford, Peterborough, and 
Chester, portions of the older dioceses being taken to form the see 
of each new bishop. The Rev. Joseph Hunter, in his excellent 
' Introduction to tiie Valor Ecclesiastieus of King Henry VIII.,' 
says, " It is indeed a just subject of wonder that in the first century 
after the Conquest so many thousand of parish churches should 
have been erected, as if by simultaneous effort, in every part of 
the laud, while at the same time spacious and magnificent edifices 
win mining in every diocese to be the seats of the bishops and 
archbishops, or the scenes of the perpetual services of the inhabitants 
of the cloister. Saxon piety hail done much, perhaps more than 
we can collect from the pages of Domesday : but it is rather to the 
Normans than to the Saxons that we are to attribute the great mul- 
titude of parish churches existing at so remote an era ; and a truly 
wise and benevolent exertion of Christian piety the erection of 
them must be regarded." To describe, with anything like minute- 
ness of detail, any large proportion of these ecclesiastical antiquities, 
would carry us far beyond the proper object of this work ; but we 
shall endeavour in this chapter, and in those of subsequent periods, 
to present to our readers some of the more remarkable of these 
interesting objects, whether we regard their beauty and magnifi- 
cence, or the circumstances connected with their foundation and 
history. Our scries of cathedrals will, however, be complete. 
Mr. Hunter, speaking of the historical uses of the 'Valor Ecele- 
siasticus' (which ha, been printed iii six large folio volumes, under 
the direction of the Record Commissioners), says, that in this 
record " We at once see not only the ancient extent and amount of 
that provision which was made by the piety of the English nation 
fir the spiritual edification of the people by the erection of churches 
and chapels for the decent performance of the simple and touching 
ordinances of the Christian religion, but how large a proportion 
had been saved from private appropriation of the produce of the 
soil, and how much had subsequently been given to form a public 

fund ac sible to all. out of width might be supported an order of 

cultivated and more enlightened men dispersed through society, 
and by means of which blessings incalculable might be spread 
amongst the whole community. If there were spots or extrava- 
gancies, yet on the whole it i, a pleasing as well as a splendid 
spectacle, especially if we look with minute observation into any 
portion of the Record, and compare it witli a map which shows the 
distribution of population in those times over the island, and then 
observe how religion had pursued man even to his remotest abodes, 
and was present among the most rugged dwellers in the hills ami 
wildernesses of the land, softening and humanizing their heart,. 
..... But the Record does not stop here. It presents us with 
a view of those more gorgeous establishments where Mir service of 
the Most High was conducted in the magnificent structures which 
still exist amongst us, with a great array of priests, and all the 



pomp of which acts of devotion admit ; and of the'abbeys and other 
monasteries, now but ruined edifices, where resided the son, and 
daughters of an austerer piety, and where the services were scarcely 
ever suspended." 

Who can turn over such a record as this, or dwell upon the 
minuter descriptions of our county histories, without feeling there 
was a spirit at work in those ages which is now comparatively cold 
and lifeless? Who can lift up his eyes to the pinnacles and towers, 
or stand beneath the vaulted roof of any one of the noble cathedrals 
and minsters that were chiefly raised up during this early period — 
who can rest, even for a brief hour, amidst, the solitude of some 
ruined abbey, as affecting in its decay as it was imposing in its 
splendour — who even can look upon the ponderous columns, the 
quaint carvings not without their symbolical meanings, the solidity 
which proclaims that those who thus built knew that the principle 
through which they built must endure — wdio can look upon such 
things without feeling that there was something higher and purer 
working in the general mind of the people than that which has pro- 
duced the hideous painted and whitewashed parallelograms that we 
have raised up and called churches in these our days? We shall 
not get better things by the mere copying of the antique models by 
line and compass. When the spirit which created our early eccle- 
siastical architecture has once more penetrated into the hearts of 
the people ; when it shall be held, even upon principles of utility, 
that man's cravings after the eternal and the infinite are to be as much 
provided and cared for as his demands for food and raiment ; then 
the tendencies of society will not be wholly exhibited in the per- 
fection of mechanical contrivance, in rapidity of communication, in 
never-ceasing excitements to toil without enjoyment. When the 

double nature of man is undent 1 and cared for, we may again 

raise up monuments of piety which those who come live hundred 
years after us will preserve in a better spirit than we have kept up 
many of those monuments which were left to us by those who did 
not build solely for their own little day. 

In entering upon the large subject of our ecclesiastical antiquities 
we have found it almost impossible to attempt any systematic 
division. Our architecture from the period of the Conquest is 
generally divided into Anglo-Norman, Early English, Decorative, 
and Perpendicular. We shall endeavour,as far as we can, to make 
our chronological arrangement suit these broad distinctions, lint 
as there is scarcely an important building remaining that docs not 
exhibit more than one of these characteristics, and as we cannot 
return again and again to the same building, we must be content to 
classify them according to their main characteristics. For example, 
Canterbury, and Lincoln, and Durham have portions of the earlier 
styles still remaining in them, and these naturally find a place in the 
present Book; but our engravings and descriptions must necessarily 
include the other styles with which these edifices abound. A little 
familiarity with the general principles of ecclesiastical architecture 
will soon enable the reader to mark what belongs to one period and 
what to another; and. without going into professional technicalities, 
we shall incidentally endeavour to assist those who really desire to 
study the subject. Looking in the same way, not to the date of 
tile foundation, but to the main characteristics of the existing edifice, 
we Bhall be enabled to disperse our ecclesiastical materials through 
some of the subsequent periods into which our little work is divided, 
not attempting great precision, but something like chronological 
order. For example, we know that the present Westminster Abbey 
wa-. not built till the time of Henry the Third, and we therefore 
postpone our notice of Westminster Abbey, although it was founded 
by Edward the Confessor, to the period which succeeds the reign of 
John. Other buildings, such as Salisbury Cathedral, St. George's 
Chapel at Windsor, and King's College Chapel at Cambridge, being 
the work of one age, and probably of one architect, do not involve 
the same chronological difficulties that a Cathedral presents which has 
been raised up by the munificence of bishop after bishop, the choir 
being the work of one age, the nave of another, the transepts of 
another, each age endeavouring at some higher perfection. If we 



Chap. II.] 

are sometimes betrayed into anachronisms, (hose who have studied 
this large subject scientifically will, we trust, yield us their excuse. 
The noblest ecclesiastical edifices which still remain to us, as well 
as the ruins which are spread throughout the land, were connected 
with the establishments of those who lived under the monastic rule. 
This will he incidentally seen, whether we describe a cathedral, with 
all its present establishment of bishop, dean, and chapter, or a ruined 
abbey, whose ivy-covered columns lie broken on the floor, where 
worshippers have knelt, generation after generation, dreaming not 
that in a few centuries the bat and the owl would usurp their places. 
We shall proceed at once to one of the most ancient and splendid 
of these forsaken places — Glastonbury. We shall not here enter 
upon any minute description of the engravings numbered 491 to 
511, which precede the view of that celebrated abbey. Those 
engravings represent the costume of the monastic orders of that 
early period, as well as some specimens of the more ancient fonts and 
other matters connected with the offices of the Church. We shall 
have to refer to these more particularly as we proceed. 



OLD ENGLAND. 



131 



Glastonhury is one of those few remaining towns in England, 
whicli seem to preserve, in spite of decay and innovation, a kind of 
grateful evidence of the people and the institutions from whence 
their former importance was derived. No one can pass through its 
streets without having most strongly impressed upon his mind the 
recollections of the famous monastery of Glastonbury, or without 
seeing how magnificent an establishment must have been planted 
here, when the very roots, centuries after its destruction, still arrest 
the attention at every step by their magnitude and apparently almost 
indestructible character. We have hardly left behind us the marshy 
flats that surround and nearly insulate the town (whence the old 
British name of the Glassy Island), and ascended the eminence upon 
which it stands, before we perceive that almost every other building 
has been either constructed, in modern times, out of stone, quarried 
from some architectural ruins, or is in itself a direct remain of the 
foundation from whence the plunder has been derived ; in other 
words, some dependency of the monastery. The George Inn is not 
otdy one of these, but preserves its old character ; it was, from the 
earliest times, a house of accommodation for the pilgrims and others 
visiting Glastonbury. As we advance we arrive at a quadrangle 
formed by four of the streets, and from which others pass oft' ; in that 
quadrangle stand the chief remains of wdiat was once tiie most magni- 
ficent monastic structure perhaps in the three countries. They consist 
of some fragments of the Church, and of two other structures tolerably 
entire, the Kitchen, and the Chapel of St. Joseph (Fig. 512). The 
style of the Church belongs to the transition period of the twelfth 
century, and is of a pure and simple character. The Kitchen is a 
very curious example of domestic architecture, of comparatively 
recent date ; the following story is told of its origin : — Henry VIII. 
one day said to the Abbot, who had offended him, but professedly 
in reproof of the sensual indulgences which he appeared to believe 
disgraced the monastery, that he would burn the kitchen ; upon 
which the Abbot haughtily replied that he would build such a 
kitchen that not all the wood in the royal forest should be sufficient 
to carry the threat into execution ; forthwith he built the existing 
structure. The Chapel is a truly remarkable place on many 
accounts. It presents essentially the same architectural charac- 
teristics as the Church, but, is much more highly enriched. It 
stands at the west end of the Church, with which it communicates 
by an ante-chapel, the whole measuring in length not less than one 
hundred and ten feet, by twenty-five feet in breadth. But interest- 
ing as the Chapel and all the other monastic remains stretching so 
far around (some sixty acres in all were included within the esta- 
blishment) must be to every one, it cannot be these alone, or aught 
that we may infer from them, that gives to Glastonbury its absorb- 
ing interest. Strip the locality of every tradition in which real 
facts have but assumed the harmonious colourings of the imagina- 
tion, or in which pure fictions have but still made everlasting a fact 
of their own, that such and such things were believed at some 
remote time, and are therefore scarcely less worthy of record, — 
strip Glastonbury of all these, and enough remains behind to render 
it impossible that it can ever be looked upon without the deepest 
feelings of gratitude and reverence. Before we look at the soberer 
facts, suppose we let Tradition lead us at her own " sweet will," 
whithersoever she pleases. We are, then, moving onwards towards a 
small eminence, about half a mile to the north west, noticing on our 
way the numerous apple-trees scattered about, with their swelling 
pink buds suggesting the loveliness of the coming bloom ; these 
trees, Tradition tells us, gave to the isle one of its old and most 
poetical names, Avalon, from the Saxon Avale, an apple. But we 



have reached the eminence in question, and are looking about us 
with keen curiosity, to learn, if we can, from the very aspect of the 
place, the origin of its curious designation — Weary-all-IIill. Here, 
Tradition informs us, was the spot where the first bringer of glad 
tidings to the British heathen, Joseph of Arimathea, sent by Philip 
the apostle of Gaul on that high mission, rested on his inland way 
from the sea-shore where he had landed, and, striking his staff into 
the ground, determined to found in the vicinity the first British 
temple for the Christian worship. Hence the name existing to this 
day of Weary-all-IIill, and hence that peculiar species of thorn, 
which, springing from St. Joseph's budding staff, tells to a poetical 
belief the story of its origin, anil the period of the year when Joseph 
arrived, in its winter or very early spring flowers (Fig. 514). The 
spot itself was no doubt thought too small to rear such a structure upon 
as was desirable, and therefore the little band of missionaries moved 
half a mile farther, and there commenced their labours in founding 
a Christian edifice for the native worshippers, who speedily flocked 
around them. In that early building St. Joseph himself, continues 
our authority, Tradition, was buried on Ids decease ; and when, in 
the lapse of ages, the new faith had become prosperous and 
magnificent in all its outward appliances, and a new Church was 
erected more in harmony with the tastes, skill, and wants of the 
age, the site of that primeval building, and the place of Joseph's 
burial, were still reverentially preserved by the erection over them 
of a Chapel dedicated to the Saint's memory. And this is the Chapel 
of St. Joseph, within whose walls we may still wander and commune 
with our own thoughts, on the importance of the truths which from 
hence gradually extended their all-pervading influence through the 
length and breadth of the land. But are these traditions true? — 
We answer, that in their essence, we have no doubt they are strictly 
so. Wcary-all-Hill may never have been trodden by Joseph of 
Arimathea's steps ; the staff certainly never budded into the goodly 
hawthorns that so long were the glory of the neighbourhood ; but 
in the subsequent history of Glastonbury, we find ample corrobora- 
tive evidence to show that there was some especial distinction enjoyed 
by the monastery, and that that distinction was the fact so poetically 
enshrined in the popular heart, of its having been the place where 
the sublime story of the Cross, and its immeasurable consequences, 
were first taught among us. Thus, in the most ancient charters 
of the monastery, we find the very significant designation assigned 
to it — " The fountain and origin of all religion in the realm 
of Britain ;" thus, we find, through the earliest Saxon periods, one 
continued stream of illustrious persons, showering upon it wealth, 
pri\ ileges, honours, during life ; and confiding their bodies to its 
care after death. What was it that brought the great Apostle of 
Ireland, after his successful labours, to Glastonbury, a little before 
the middle of the fifth century; when as yet no monastery existed, 
and the few religious, who performed the service of the church, 
burrowed, like so many wild beasts, in dens, caves, and wretched 
Inns? What could bring such a man, in all the height of his 
spiritual success, to such a place? What, but the sympathy that 
his own exertions in Ireland naturally caused him to feel, in an 
extraordinary degree, for the place where similar exertions had been 
previously made in England? Here St. Patrick is said to have spent 
all the latter years of his life, and to have raised Glastonbury into a 
regular community. A century later exhibits another retirement 
to Glastonbury, whicli also, probably, marks the peculiar attraction 
that the circumstances we have described had given to it. About 
the year 530, David, archbishop of Menevia, with seven of his suf- 
fragans, came to Glastonbury, and enlarged the buildings by the 
erection of the chapel of the Holy Virgin, on the altar of which he 
deposited a sapphire of inestimable value. In 708, all previous 
exertions to increase the comfort, size, and beauty of the conventual 
edifice were thrown into the shade by those of Ina, King of Wes- 
sex, who rebuilt the whole from the very foundation. At that 
period, the alleged origin of Glastonbury seems to have been 
fully believed ; it was on the chapel of St. Joseph that the mon- 
arch lavished his utmost care and wealth, garnishing it all over 
with gold and silver, tilling it with a profusion of the most costly 
vessels, and ornaments. Still growing in magnificence, scarcely a 
century and a quarter had elapsed, before new works were com- 
menced, which when finished, made Glastonbury the '-pride of 
England, and the glory of Christendom." A striking evidence of its 
pre-eminence is given in the statement that it then furnished su- 
periors to all the religious houses in the kingdom. But when we 
know who was the abbot of Glastonbury at the period, we may 
cease to be surprised— it was Dunstan, a man whose connection 
with it has added even to Glastonbury's reputation. Born almost 
within its precincts, his mind saturated with all its strange and 
beautiful legends, lie formed a personal attachment to the monas- 

S 2 



. 



SI ^ 





531 — F.iiitin Nharohourn QmhcW 
Norfolk. 



50/1— Wosl side of Bvidekirk Foot. 





503.— Ea«t side of Uridrkitk Fout. 




504.— Foul iu Beikeley Church. 




50>. Maruge of tlii! Father aud Mother of Becket. (From the ttoval MS. 2 11. vii.) 



50?.— Baptism of the Mother of B*ck«rt. (From the Royal MS. ! B. vii.) 



*'-^j? i 





510.— Buriii of a deceased Monk in the interior of a CoDTent. (From an ancient drawing in the Hatlewu MSS.) 



511.— Stone Coflins.— Uworlh Abbey, Suffolk. 




jOj.— Foot in Ifflty Church. 



132 





506.— 1- ... r« i in Neswick Chuich- 



507.— Group of Nornnn-Ei.jli.h Fonts. 




5U.— The GtuteubOTJ Thorn. 




51C— Lewes Priory. 



jit*.— St. Botoli'lt's Prior)-, Colchester. 



133 



134 



OLD ENGLAND. 



[Book II. 



tery, long before ambition could have led him to connect its ad- 
vancement with his own ; in early life he received the tonsure 
w ithin its walls ; and when, returning for a time, disgusted with the 
world, or at least that portion of it, Athelstan's court, with which 
he was best acquainted, lie buried himself in privacy, it was in or near 
the Abbey of Glastonbury that lie built himself a cell or hermitage 
with an oratory, and divided his time between devotion, and the 
manual service of the abbey, in the construction of crosses, vials, 
censers, and vestments. It is hardly necessary to state that here 
too he held that meeting with the Evil one, which has redounded 
so greatly to his fame. Those who like to study the hidden mean- 
ings that no doubt generally do exist in the most marvellous nar- 
rations that have been handed down from a remote time, may find 
a clue to this one, in the statement of the E Golden Legend.' printed 
by Caxtou, that the Devil came in the form of a handsome woman. 
From the period of the abbacy of Dunstan dates the establishment 
of the Benedictine monks in England, who were brought from Italy 
by him, and subsequently introduced into his own monastery, in 
spite of the clamour raised against them, in consequence of their 
severe discipline, which put to shame the loose and almost licen- 
tious habits of the secular clergy. He lost his abbacy, however, 
for a time, in consequence, and was banished during the reign of 
Edwy; but returned during that of his successor, Edgar, over 
whose mind it is well known he obtained the most absolute control. 
It was probably through this intimacy, that Edgar was induced to 
erect a palace within two miles of Glastonbury, at a most romantic 
situation, still known as Edgarley ; and of which structure some 
interesting vestiges remain, — a pelican and two wolves' heads, at- 
tached to a modern house ; the last symbol referring to Edgar's 
tax upon the Welsh people for the extirpation of wolves. The 
King was buried at Glastonbury, and, we may be sure, in the most 
sumptuous maimer, for the monks owed much to him. What with 
the privileges conferred by him, and what with those previously 
possessed, Glastonbury was raised to the highest pitch of monastic 
splendour. Over that little kingdom, the isle of Avalon, the abbots 
were virtual sovereigns ; neither king nor bishop might enter with- 
out their permission. They governed themselves in the same inde- 
pendent mode: the monks elected their own superior. And, although 
some reverses were subsequently experienced, as immediately after 
the Conquest, for instance, the foundation continued, (low u to its very 
destruction at the Reformation, in such magnificence, that the poor 
of the whole country round were twice a week relieved at its gates, 
and when the last abbot, Whytyng, rode forth, he was accustomed 
to move amidst a train of some sixscore persons. That same abbot 
died on the scaffold, a victim to the brutal monarch who then dis- 
graced the throne ; and a revenue exceeding 3500/. a year fell into 
Henry's rapacious hands. 

Such is a mere sketch of the history of the important abbey of 
Glastonbury ; but there is yet one point, connected with it, that, in 
the absence of all other interesting associations, would invest the 
precincts of Glastonbury with a thousand fascinations. Here King 
Arthur was buried ! Arthur, tliat hero, whose most romantic 
history appears so dimly to our eyes through the mists of above 
thirteen centuries, that we can hardly distinguish the boundaries 
between the true and false. There can be no doubt, however, of 
that part of his history which relates to Glastonbury. lie died, it is 
understood, at the battle of Camlan in Cornwall," in .342, and was 
conveyed by sea to Glastonbury, there buried, and, in process of time, 
the spot was altogether forgotten and lost. The way in which it was 
discovered harmonizes with all the rest of Arthur's story. When 
Henry the Second was passing through Wales on his way to Ireland, 
in 1172, he delighted the Welsh with his politic compliments upon 
their services in his Irish expeditions. They, full of enthusiasm, 
wished him all the prosperity that had attended their (avourite King- 
Arthur, whose exploits were sung to him as he dined, by one of the 
native bards. In the song mention was made of the place of Arthur's 
burial, between two pyramids in the churchyard at Glastonbury. 
On Henry's return to England, he told the Abbot of the monastery 
what lie had heard ; and a search was instituted. Of this very interest- 
ing event there was fortunately eye-witness one of our chronicles, 
Giraldus Cambrensis, Seven feet below the surface a huge 
broad stone was found, with a small thin plate of lead in the form 
of a corpse, ami bearing, in rude letters and barbarous style, the 
Latin inscription: "Hicjacet Sepultus Inclytus Bex Arturius in 
Insula Avalonia." Nine feet deeper, they found the object of their 
search, in the trunk of a tree; the remains of Arthur himself were 
displayed to their eyes, and by his side lav those of his wife 
Guinever. The bones of the king were of extraordinary si,e ■ the 
shin-bone, fastened against the foot of a very tall man, reached three 
fingers' breadth above his knee. The skull was covered with wounds ■ 



ten distinct fractures were counted ; one of great size, apparently 
the effect of the fatal blow. The queen's body was .strangely whole 
and perfect ; the hair neatly platted, and of the colour of burnished 
gold; but when touched, it fell suddenly to dust, reminding one of 
the similar scene described in Mrs. Gray's work on ' Etrurht,' where 
the party beheld for a moment, on openings tomb, one of the ancient 
kings of that mysterious people, raised and garbed in life-like and 
sovereign state, and in which, on the exposure to the fresh air, there 
was perceptible a kind of misty frost. The next moment all was lost, 
in the dust of the ground upon which they gazed with so much 
astonishment. This discovery appears to have excited 80 deep and 
permanent an interest, that Edward the First could not be eon- 
tented without seeing the remains himself ; so he came hither with 
his beloved Queen Eleanor; and the ceremony of exhumation was 
very solemnly performed. The skulls were then set up in the 
Treasury, to remain there; the rest of the bodies were returned to 
their places of deposit, Edward inclosing an inscription recording 
the circumstances. The stately monument erected over Arthur 
and Guinever was destroyed at the Reformation, and with it dis- 
appeared all traces of the contents. 

"We conclude with the following spirited lines from Drayton: — 

"O three times famous isle, where is that place that might 
He with thyself coiimai'd for glory and delight, 
Whilst Glastonbury stood ? exulted to thai pride 
Whose monastery seemM all oilier to deride : 
Oh ! who thy ruin sees whom wonder doth Dot lill 
With our great fathers' pom]), devotion, and their ikill ? 
Thou more than mortal power (Uiis judgment lightly wcigVd) 
Then present to assist, at tliat foundation laid, 
On whom, for this sad waste, should justice lay the crime? 
Is there a power in fate, or doth it yield to time V 
Or was their error such, that thou could'st not protect 
Those buildings which thy hand did with their seal erect '. 
To whom didst lliou commit that monument to keeii, 
That suffereth with the dead their memory to sleep i 
When not gnat Arthur's tomb, nor holy Joseph's grave, 
From sacrilege had power their sacred hones to save ; 
He who tint Gud in man to his sepulchre brought, 

Or he which for the faith twelve famous kittles fought. 

What ! did so many kings do honour to tliat place, 

For avarice at last so vilely to deface 1 

For reverence to that seat which had ascrihed heen, 

Trees yet in winter uloom and hear their summers green." 



Of another monastic establishment of the period in review, St. 
Botolph's, Colcuestek, we need not enter into any lengthened 
notice (Fig. 516). It was founded in the reign of Henry the First, 
as a Priory of Augustine Canons, by a monk of the name of 
Ermilph ; dissolved, of course, at the Reformation ; and the chief 
buildings reduced to a premature ruin in the Civil War, when the 
great siege of Colchester took place. Tarts of the Church form 
the chief remains. The west front has been originally a very 
magnificent though very early work ; the double series of intersect- 
ing arches that form the second and third stages of the facade, and 
extend over the elaborately rich Norman gateway, are especially 
interesting ; as it is from such examples of the pointed arches thus 
accidentally obtained by the intersections of round ones that the 
essential principle of the Gothic has been supposed to have been 
derived. Some of the lofty circular arches of the walls forming 
the body of the Church also exist in a tolerable state of preserva- 
tion. The length of the Church was one hundred and eight feet, 
the breadth across the nave and aisles about forty-four. The 
exceeding hardness of much of the materials used in the construc- 
tion of this building renders it probable that they had been taken 
from the wrecks of Roman buildings at Colchester. 

The Priory of Lewes, in Sussex, of which there are only a few 
walls remaining (Fig. 515), was founded in 1077, by William, Karl 
of Warenne, who came into England with the Conqueror. The 
founder lias left a remarkable document in his charter to the Abbey, 
wherein he describes the circumstances which led him to this act of 
piety. He and his wife were travelling in liurgundy, and finding 
they could not in safety proceed to Rome, on account of the war 
which was then carrying on between the Pope and the Emperor, 
took up their abode in the great monastery of St. Peter at Cluni. 
The hospitality with which they were treated, the sanctity and 
charity of the establishment, determined the Earl to offer the new 
religious house which he founded at Lewes to a select number of 
the monksof that fraternity. After some difficulties Ms request was 
complied with, and the Cluuiacs took possession of this branch of 
their house. The anxiety of the Earl liberally to endow this house, 
and his determination "as God increased his substance to increase 
that of the monks," finds a remarkable contrast four hundred and 



Chap. II.] 



OLD ENGLAND. 



135 



fifty years afterwards. After the dissolution of the religious houses 
John Portmari writes to Lord Cromwell of his surprising efforts In 
pulling flown the Church ; and having recounted how he had 
destroyed this chapel, and plucked down that altar, he adds, " that 
your Lordship may know with how many men we have done this, 
we brought from London seventeen persons, three carpenters, two 
smiths, two plumbers, and one that keepeth the furnace. These 
are men exercised much better than the men we find here in the 
country." And yet they left enough " to point a moral." 



Tradition and romance have been busily at work respecting the 
origin and locality of the earliest building dedicated to St. Paulas 
the chief metropolitan church. It has been supposed to have been 
founded by the Apostle Paul himself; while there is really some 
reason to presume that the site, possioly the actual building, hail 
been at first dedicated to the heathen worship of Diana. Ox 
heads, sacred to that goddess, were discovered in digging on the 
south side of St. Paul's in 1316 ; at other times tin- teeth of boars 
and other beasts, and a piece of a buck's horn, witli fragments of 
vessel-, that might have been used in the pagan sacrifices, have been 
found. The idea itself is of antique date. Fletc. the monk of 
Westminster, referring to the partial return to heathenism in the 
fifth century, when the Saxons and Angles, as yet unconverted to 
Christianity, overran the country, observes, " Then were restored the 
old abominations wherever the Britons were expelled their places. 
London worships Diana, and the suburbs of Thorney [the site of 
Westminster] otter incense to Apollo." To leave speculations, and 
turn to facts. The see of London was in existence as early as the 
latter part of the second century ; though it is not until the sixth 
that we find any actual reference to a church. But at that period 
a very interesting incident occurred in the church, which Bede 
dramatically relates: — When Sebert, the founder of Westminster 
Abbey, and the joint founder (according to Bede) witli Ethelbert, 
king of Kent, of St. Paul's, died, he " left his three sons, who were 
yet pagans, heirs of his temporal kingdom. Immediately on their 
father's decease they began openly to practise idolatry (though 
whilst he lived they had somewhat refrained), and also gave free 
licence to their subjects to worship idols. At a certain time these 
princes, seeing the Bishop [of London, Mellitus] administering the 
sacrament to the people in the church, after the celebration of Mass, 
and being puffed up with rude and barbarous folly, spake, as the 
common report is, thus unto him : — ' "Why dost thou not give us, 
also, some of that white bread which thou didst give unto our 
father Saba [Sebert], and which thou dost not yet cease to give to 
the people in the church ?' lie answered, ' If ye will be washed 
in that wholesome font whereas your father was. ye may likewise 
eat of this blessed bread whereof he was a partaker; but if ye 
contemn the lavatory of life, ye can in nowise taste the bread 
of life.' ' We will not,' they rejoined, ' enter into this font of 
water, for we know we have no need to do so ; lint we will eat of 
that bread nevertheless.' And when they had been often and 
earnestly warned by the bishop that it could not be, ami that no 
man could partake of this most holy oblation without purification, 
and cleansing by baptism, they at length, in the height of their rage, 
said to him, 'Well, if thou wilt not comply with us in the small 
matter that we ask, thou shalt no longer abide in our province and 
dominions;' and straightway they expelled him. commanding that 
he and all his company should quit the realm." Thus once more 
Christianity was banished from London. It was, however, but for 
a short time. The worship that the great Apostle of the Gentiles 
pleached soon again appeared in the church dedicated to his name ; 
and powerful men vied with each other in raising the edifice to the 
highest rank of ecclesiastical foundations. Kenred, king of the 
Mercians, one of these early benefactors, ordained that it should be 
as free in all things as he himself desired to be in the Day of Judg- 
ment. The feeling thus evidenced continued, or rather gained in 
strength. When the Conqueror came over, some of its possessions 
were seized by his reckless followers: on the very day of his coro- 
nation, however, their master, having previously caused everything 
to lie restored, granted a charter securing its property for ever, 
and expressing the giver's benedictions upon all who should augment 
the revenues, and his curses on all who should diminish them. The 
church of Ethelbert was burnt in the Conqueror's reign, and a new 
one commenced by Bishop Maurice. That completed, in little 
more than a century, when it appeared " so stately and beautiful, that 
it was worthily numbered among the most famous buildings," — a 
great portion of the labours were recommenced in order to give 
St. Paul's the advantage of the strikingly beautiful Gothic style that 
had been introduced in the interim, and carried to a high pitch of 



perfection. In 1221 a new steeple was finished ; and in 1240 anew 
choir. Not the least noticeable feature of these new works is the 
mode in which the money was raised — namely, by letters from the 
bishops addressed to the clergy and others under their jurisdiction, 
granting indulgences for a certain number of days to all those who, 
having penance to perform, or being penitent, should assist in the 
rebuilding of St. Paul's. The subterranean church, St. Faith, was 
begun in 1236 (Fig. 517). And thus at last was completed the 
structure that remained down to the great fire of London, when 
Old St. Paul's was included in the wide-spread ruin that overtook 
the metropolis. 

And in many respects that Old St. Paul's was an extraordinary 
and deeply interesting pile. Its dimensions were truly enormous. 
The space occupied by the building exceeded three acres and a half. 
The entire height of the tower anil spire was 534 feet (Fig. 522). 
For nearly 700 feet did nave and choir and presbytery extend in one 
continuous and most beautiful architectural vista; unbroken save by 
the low screen dividing the nave from the choir. The breadth and 
height were commensurate ; the former measuring 130 feet, the latter, 
in the nave, 102 feet. Overall this immense range of wall, Hoor, 
and roof, with supporting lines of pillars, sculpture and painting 
and gilding had lavished their stores ; and their effects were still 
further enhanced by the gorgeously rich and solemn hues that 
streamed upon them from the stained windows. At every step was 
passed some beautiful altar with the tall taper burning before it, or 
some chantry, whence issued the musical voices of the priests, as 
they offered up prayers for the departed founders, or some magnifi- 
cent shrine, where all the ordinary arts of adornment had been in- 
sufficient to satisfy the desire to reverence properly the memory of 
its Saint, and which therefore sparkled with the precious metals, and 
still more precious gems — silver and gold, rubies, emeralds, and 
pearls. Pictures were there too, on every column or spare corner 
of the walls, with their stories culled from the most deeply treasured 
and venerated pages of the Sacred Scriptures; the chief of these was 
the great picture of St. Pan], which stood beside the high altar in a 
beautiful " tabernacle" of wood. Then there were the monuments; 
a little world in themselves of all that was rare and quaint, splendid, 
or beautiful in monumental sculpture and architecture ; and which 
yet when gazed upon, hardly arrested the careful attention of the 
beholder to their own attractions, but rather prc-occupied his mind 
at the first sight of them by remembrances of the men to whose me- 
mory they had been erected. Here lay two monarchs — Sebba, King 
of the l'^ast Saxons, converted by Erkenwold, Bishop of London, 
and son of King Offii ; and Ethelred the Unready, whose reign might 
be appropriately designated by a more disgraceful epithet. Here 
lav also Edward Atheling, or the Outlaw, Ethelred's grandson, one 
of the popular heroes of English romantic history, wdio lost the 
kingdom by his lather's (Edmund Ironside's) agreement with Ca- 
nute, to divide the kingdom whilst both lived, aial the survivor to 
inherit the whole, and who was waiting about the Court of Edward 
the Confessor in the hope of regaining that kingdom, when he died, 
poisoned, it was suspected, by his rival Harold. Here also lay Saint 
Erkenwold, the canonized bishop of the see. and in such glo- 
rious state as has been accorded to the remains of few even of the 
mightiest potentates of earth. Among all the marvels of artistical 
wealth that filled almost to overflowing the interior of Old St. 
Paul's, the shrine of St. Erkenwold stood pre-eminent. It con- 
sisted of a lofty pyramidical structure, in the most exquisitely deco- 
rated pointed style ; with an altar-table in front, covered with jewels 
ami articles of gold and silver. Among the former was the famous 
sapphire stone, given by Richard de Preston, citizen and grocer of 
London, for the cure of infirmities in the eyes of all those who, thus 
afflicted, might resort thither. To the mental as well as to the 
bodily vision this shrine was the grand feature of the Cathedral ; 
for the commemoration of the Saint's burial was regularly observed 
with the highest and most magnificent of church ceremonials. Then, 
in solemn procession, the Bishop, arrayed in robes of the most daz- 
zling splendour, accompanied by the Dean and other distinguished 
officers, and followed by the greater part of the parochial clergy of 
the diocese, passed through the Cathedral to the shrine, vi here solemn 

sses were sung, and the indulgences granted to all who visited the 

Saint's burial-place, and to those who there ottered oblations, recited. 
Then might have been beheld a touching and beautiful scene; rich 

and ! r pressing forward with their gilts— costly in the one case; 

a mere mite, like the poor widow's, in the other. 

But there were yet mightier spirits among the buried dead of Old 
St. Paul's, Passing over Sir John IScauchamp, son of the renowned 
Guy, Earl of Warwick, Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln, one id' 
Edward the First's ablest military officers, and the accomplished 
Sir Simon Burley, executed during the reign of Richard II., we 




518— Paul's Walk. 







i-i a. -, bttTon tbs-daotniclioo of the Stafple 



500— Paul's Crow. 





519,— Old Bt, Paul's Cathedral— Somh VUw. 



."•-i — ;: m Wbidew, from the Choir, M PtuL'i 
136 




527.— The Western Entrance, Interior, St. Bartholomew'* Church. 



525.— The Crypt. St. Bartholomew's Church- 



529. — Entrance to Bartholomew Close, from Smilhfielil. 




i 









530.— Prior Bolton's Rebus. 



523.— Piior Raherc'i Tomb- 



523— South side of St. Bartholomew'* Church. 




)26.— The Choir, St. Barth lomew's Cliuich. 



No. 



18. 



|OLD ENGLAND.] 



137 



138 



OLD ENGLAND. 



[Book II. 



find that John of Gaunt. " time-honoured Lancaster," was interred 
in Old St. Paul's beneath a magnificent monument, where athwart 
the Blender octagonal pillars appeared with a very picturesque effect 

his tilting-spear, and where the mighty duke himself lay in effigy 
beneath a canopy of the most elaborate fretwork. Beside him re- 
clined Blanche, the Duke's first wife, n horn Chaucer has made im- 
mortal by his grateful verse. In the Cathedral was witnessed on 
one occasion ail important scene, with which John of Gaunt was 
most honourably connected. Wickliffe was cited here to answer 
before the great prelates of the realm the charge of heresy and inno- 
vation, lie appeared, but with such a train as seldom falls to the 
early history of Church Reform to speak of; it will be sufficient to 
say, John of Gaunt was at their head. The meeting broke up 
in confusion. In later times Linacre, the eminent physician, and 
founder of the College of Physicians, Sir Christopher Hatton, Sir 
Francis Walsingham, Elizabeth's secretary, and Sir Nicholas, father 
of Lord Bacon, her keeper of the seals, were all interred in St. 
Paul's; as were Dean Colet, the founder of St. Paul's School, and 
the poet Donne, whose effigy yet exists in the present Cathedral, 
disgracefully thrown into a dark corner in the vaults below. 

There were many features of Old St. Paul's which, if they did not add 
to, or even harmonise in our notions with, the religious character of 
the edifice, certainly added wonderfully to its attractions in the eyes of 
our more enjoying and less scrupulous forefathers. Thus, did civil 
Mar threaten—the martial population of London flocked to the 
church to witness the presentation of the banner of St. Paul to 
Robert Fit /.waiter, the hereditary Castellan of the city, who came 
on horseback, ami armed, to the great west door, where he was met 
by the Mayor and Aldermen, also armed; and, when he had dis- 
mounted ami saluted them, handed to him the banner, " gules," w ith 
the image of St, Paul in gold, saying they gave it to him as their 
bannerer of fee, to bear and govern to the honour and profit of the 
city. After that, they gave the baron a horse of great value, and 
twenty pounds in money. Then was a marshal chosen to guide the 
host of armed citizens, who were presently to be called together en 
masse by the startling sound of the great bell. Was amusement 
sought, — there were the regular Saturnalias of the Boy Bishops, and 
the plays, for which Old St. Paul enjoyed such repute. The boys 
of the church seem to have been originally the chief performers, 
and obtained so much mastery over the art as to perform frequently 
before the kings of England. Their preparations were expensive, but 
werr evidently more than paid for by the auditors; for in the reign 
of Richard II. they petitioned that certain ignorant and inexpe- 
rienced persons might be prohibited from representing the History 
of the Old Testament, to the great, prejudice of the clergy of the 
Cathedral. Were great public events passing — had one monarch 
been pushed from the throne by another, or by death — St. Paul's was 
almost sure to furnish, in one shape or another, palpable evidences of 
the matter that was in all men's thoughts. Thus, when Louis of 
France came to London in 1216, the English barons present, swore 
fealty to him in St. Paul's j thus, when successnow elated the heart 
of a Henry VI., now of his adversary Edjvard IV., each came to St. 
Paid's, to take as it were solemn and public possession of the king- 
dom ; thus, when the body of a Richard II., or of a Philip Sydney, 
had to be displayed before the eyes of a startled or of a mourning 
nation, to St. Paul's was it brought — the King to be less ho- 
noured in his remains than the humblest of knights, the Knight to 
be more honoured than any but the very best of kings. Were 
there business to attend to, when all these other sources of interest 
were unheeded or for the time in abeyance,— then to St. Paul's 
Walk must the citizens of London have had frequent occasion to go. 
There were lawyers feed, horses and benefices sold, and set payments 
made. A strange scene, and a strange company in consequence, 
did the Cathedra] present through the day ! " At one time," writes 
an eye-witness, " in one and the same rank, yea, foot by foot, and 
elbow by elbow, shall yon see walking, the knight, the gull, the 
gallant, the upstart, the gentleman, the clown, the captain, the 
appcl-squire, the lawyer, the usurer, the citizen, the bankront, the 
BCholar, the beggar, the doctor, the idiot, the ruffian, the cheater, 
the puritan, the cut-throat, the high men, the low men, the true 
man, and the thief; of all trades and professions some; of all coun- 
tries si. me. Thus while Devotion kneels at her prayers, dotli Pro- 
fanation walk xinder her nose" (Dekker's Dead Term) (Fin- 
OIK.) ' °' 

The undoing of Old St. Paid's forms scarcely a less interesting 
history than the doing. The Bell Tower was the stake of Henry 
VIII.. when he played at dice with Sir Miles Partridge; the Knight 
won, and the Bell Tower was lust to St. Paul's : it soon disappeared. 
In the reigns of Edward VI. and Elizabeth, the greater part of the 
sculpture and rich brasses of the interior were destroyed by Puritan 



hands ; whilst the former reign was also marked by the wholesale 
plunder of the very w:ills of the outworks of the structure, the 
chapel and cloisters of Pardon Church Ilaugh, where the ' Dance 
of Death 9 was painted, Shyxington's Chapel, and theCharnel House 
and Chapel, with their many goodly monuments, in order (such was 
the base fact) to get the materials, the mere stone and timber, for 
the new palace in the Strand, Somerset House. Then followed the 
destruction of the Steeple by lire in 1561. Next the Civil War, 
with its injuries. That over, and the State, after the brief inter- 
regnum of the Commonwealth, restored to its old ways, came the 
Great Fire, and put an end to all that remained of the Cathedral, as 
well as to the many degradations the fine old edifice had experienced. 
Among these injuries, not the least were the beautifying and restoring 
processes of Inigo Jones, whose portico might elsewhere have added 
even to his well-deserved fame, but at St. Paul's only evidenced 
the mistake the great architect had made, when he fancied he under- 
stood the Gothic (Fig- 519). 



There are probably few of our readers who, as they have gazed 
on those architectural wonders of the middle ages, our cathedrals 
and larger ecclesiastical structures, and thought of the endless diffi- 
culties] mechanical and otherwise, surmounted in their construction, 
but have felt, a strong desire to look back to the periods of their 
erection, and to note all the variety of interesting circumstances that 
must have marked such events. What, for instance, could Ik- at once 
more gratifying and instructive than to be able to familiarize ourselves 
with the motives and characters of the chief founders, with the 
feelings and thoughtsof the peopleamongand for whom the structures 
in question were reared ? If our readers will now follow us into the 
history of St. BARTHOLOMEW Priory, Smithfield, we think we can 
venture to promise them some such glimpse of those fine old builders 
at work ; and that too founded upon the best of authorities — an in- 
mate of the Priory, who wrote so soon after its foundation, that 
persons were still alive who had witnessed the whole proceedings. 
We shall borrow occasionally the language as well as the facts of the 
good monk's history; which has been printed in the ' Mouasticon,* 
and in Malcolm's ' London.' In the reign of Henry the First there 
was a man named Kahere, sprung and born from low lineage, and 
who when he attained the flower of youth began to haunt the house- 
holds of noblemen and the palaces of princes; where, under every 
elbow of them he spread their cushions, with japes and Batterings 
delectably anointing their eyes, by this manner to draw to him their 
friendships. Such was the youthful life of Kahere. But with years 
came wisdom and repentance. He would go to Rome, and there 
seek remission of his sins. He did so. At the feet of the sluine of 
the Apostles Peter and Paul he poured out his lamentations j but, 
to his inexpressible pain, Cod, he thought, refused to hear him. He 
fell sick. And then he shed out as water his heart in the sight of 
God ; the fountains of his nature to the very depths were broken up ; 
he wept bitter tears. At last dawned a new life upon the penitent 
man. lie vowed, if God would grant him health to return to his 
own country, he would make an hospital in recreation of poor men, 
and minister to their necessilies to the best of his power. With re- 
turning health to the mind not unnaturally came back health to the 
body. And now more and more grew upon him the love of the 
great work he had determined to perform. Visions, as he believed, 
were vouchsafed to him for his guidance. On a certain night lie 
saw one full of dread and sweetness. He fancied himself lo be borne 
up on high by a certain winged beast, and when from his great ele- 
vation he sought to look down, he beheld a horrible pit, deeper than 
any man might attain to see the bottom of, opening, as it seemed, 
to receive him. He trembled, and great cries proceeded from his 
mouth. Then to Ins comfort there appeared a certain man, having 
all the majesty of a king, of great beauty, and imperial authority, 
and his eye fastened upon Kahere. " O man," said he, " what and 
how much service sbouldest thou give to him that in so great a 
peril hath brought help to thee?" Kahere answered, " Whatever 
might be of heart and of right, diligently should I give in recom- 
pense to my deliverer." Then said the celestial vi.>itant, " I am 
Bartholomew, the apostle of Jesus Christ, that come to succour 
thee in thine anguish, and to open to thee the sweet mysteries of 
Heaven. Know me truly, by the will and commandment of the 
Holy Trinity, and the common favour of the celestial court and 
council, to have chosen a place in the suburbs of London, at Smith- 
field, where in my name thou shalt form a church." Kahere with 
a joyful heart returned to London, wiiere he presently obtained the 
concurrence of the king to carry out his views. The choice of the 
place was, according to the monkish historian, who believed but 
what all believed, no less a matter of special arrangement by Heaven. 



Chap. II.] 



OLD ENGLAND. 



J. 39 



King Edward the Confessor had previously had tlie very spot pointed 
OUt to him when he was bodily sleeping, but his heart to God waking ; 
nay, more, three men of Greece who had come to London, had gone 
to the place to worship God, and there prophesied wonderful things 
relating to the future temple that was to lie erected on it. In 
other point?, the locality was anything but a favoured one. Truly 
says the historian, the place before his cleaning- pretended to no 
hope of goodness. Right unclean it was; and as a marsh dungy 
and fenny, with water at most times abounding; whilst the ordy dry 
portion was occupied by the gallows for the execution of criminals. 
"Work and place determined on, Rahere had now to begin to build ; 
and strange indeed were the modes adopted by him to obtain the 
gift of the requisite materials, bring together the hosts of unpaid work- 
men, or to find funds for such additional materials and labour as might 
be necessary. He made and feigned himself unwise, it is said, and 
outwardly pretended l he cheer of an idior, and began a little while to 
hide the secretness of his soul. And the more secretly lie wrought 
the more wisely he did his work. Truly, in playing unwise he drew 
to him the fellowship of children and servants, assembling himself 
as one of them ; and with their use and help, stones, and other 
tilings profitable to the building, lightly he gathered together. 
Tims did he address himself to one class of persons, those who 
would look upon his apparent mental peculiarities as a kind of 
supernatural proof of Ins enjoying the especial care of the Deity. 
Another class he influenced by his passionate eloquence in the 
churches; where he addressed audiences with the most remarkable 
effect, now stirring them so to gladness that all the people applauded 
him, now moving them to sorrow by his searching and kindly exposure 
of their sins, BO that nought but Sighing and weeping were heard on 
all Bides. A third mode of obtaining help was by the direct one of 
personal solicitation at the houses of the inhabitants of the neigh- 
bourhood, in the course of which, St. Bartholomew often, it appeals, 
redeemed his promise to Rahere of assistance. Alfun, a coadjutor of 
Rahere's, the builder of old St. Giles, Cripplegatc, went one day to 
a widow, to see what she could give them for the use of the church 
and the hospital of St. Bartholomew. She told him she had but seven 
measures of meal, which were absolutely necessary for the supply of 
her family. She, however, at last gave one measure. After Alfun had 
departed with her contribution, she casually looked over the remaining 
measures, when she thought she counted seven measures still; she 
counted again, and there were eight; again, there were nine. How 
long this very profitable system of arithmetic lasted, our good monk 
does not state. And thus at. last was St. Bartholomew's Priory raised, 
clerks brought together to live in it, a piece of adjoining ground con- 
secrated as a place of sepulchre, privileges showered upon it by the 
hands of royalty, and the whole stamped, as was thought, with the 
emphatic approval of Heaven by the miraculous cures that were then 
wrought in the establishment. Yes, the work was finished, and Iiahere 
made the first Prior. No wonder that the people, as we are in- 
formed, were greatly astonished both at the work and the founder; 
or that St. Bartholomew's was esteemed to belong more to the super- 
natural than the natural. No wonder that as to Kahere it should 
be asked, in the words of the monkish chronicler, "Whose heart 
lightly should take or admit such a man /tot product of gentle blood, 
not greatly endowed with literature, or of divine lineage" not- 
withstanding* his nominally low origin? Kahere fulfilled the duties 
of Prior in the beloved house of Ins own raising, for above twenty 
years, when the clay house of this world he forsook, and the 
house everlasting entered. 

Of this very building, or rather series of buildings erectetl by 
Habere himself, there remains in a tine slate of preservation an im- 
portant portion, the Choir of the Conventual Church, used as the 
promt parish church (Fig, 526). There can be no doubt that we 
have there the original walls, pillars, and arches of the twelfth cen- 
tury ; the massive, grand, and simple style of the whole tells truly 
enough the date of their erection. This choir, therefore, forms one 
of the most interesting and valuable pieces of antique ecclesiastical 
architecture now existing in England. Among its more remarkable 
features may be mentioned the continuous aisle that runs round the 
choir, and opening into it between the fiat and circular arch-piers ; 
the elegant horseshoe-like arches of the chancel at the end of the 
choir ; and the grand arches at the opposite extremity, shown in our 
engraving, on which formerly rose a stately tower corresponding in 
beauty and grandeur to all the other portions of the pile. The tomb 
of Kahere is also in the choir, but is of somewhat later date than the 
Priory. Nothing so exquisitely beautiful in sculpture as that work, 
with its recumbent effigy, and attending monks and angels, its 
fretted canopiesand niches and finials, had yet burst upon Old England 
when Iiahere died (Fig. .128). The very perfect state in which it 
now appears is owing to Prior Bolton, wiio restored it in the 



sixteenth century, as well as other parts of the structure ; a labour 
of which he was evidently very proud, for wherever his handiwork 
may be traced, there too you need not look long for his hand writing 
■ — his signature as it were— a Bull in tun (Fig. 530). This Prior was 
an elegant and accomplished man ; if even he were not much more. 
The beautiful oriel window in the second story of the choir which 
encloses the Prior's pew or seat, nearly facing Rahere's monument 
as if that the Prior might the better look down on the last resting- 
place of the illustrious founder, this was added by Bolton, and has 
been supposed, for reasons into which we cannot here enter, to be 
from his own designs. Another part of the ancient structure is to 
be found in the old vestry-room, which was formerly an oratory, de- 
dicated to the Virgin. Among the burials in the church the most im- 
portant perhaps was that of Roger Walden, Bishop of London, wdio 
rose from a comparatively humble position to the highest offices of 
the state; he was successively Dean of York, Treasurer of Calais, 
Royal Secretary, and Royal Treasurer, and, lastly, Primate of 
England, on the occasion of the banishment of Archbishop Arundel 
by Richard the Second. That ecclesiastic, however, returned 
with Bolingbroke, to his country and office, and AValden became 
at once a mere private person. Arundel, it is pleasant to re- 
late, behaved nobly to the unfortunate prelate, making him Bishop 
of London. He died, however, shortly after. Fuller compares 
him to one so jaw-fallen with over-long fasting that he cannot 
eat meat when brought unto him. Sir "Walter Mildmay, founder 
of Emanuel College, Cambridge and Dr. Francis Anthony, the dis- 
coverer and user of a medicine drawn from gold (aurum potabile 
he called it), also lie here buried. There are other monuments not 
unworthy of notice, though at St. Bartholomew's, as now at most 
other churches, the major portion refer to those who were, like 
'•Captain John Millet, mariner, 1600," 



Desirous hither to resort 
Ueeaiise this parish wu the 



'■ port ; 



but who have not, like him, told us this in so amusing a manner. 
Of the other parts of the Prior)', there remain the entrance gateway 
(Fig. 529), portions of the cloisters, and of the connected domestic 
buildings ; above all, the Refectory, or grand hall, still stands to a 
great extent entire, though so metamorphosed that its very existence 
has hardly been known to more than a few. It is now occupied by 
a tobacco manufactory, and divided into stories ; but there can be 
no doubt that any one who shall attentively examine the place will 
come to tiie same conclusion as ourselves, that the whole has formed 
one grand apartment, extending from the ground to the present roof, 
and that the latter has been originally of open wood-work. It may 
help to give some general idea of the magnificent scale of the Prior)', 
to state that this hall must have measured forty feet high, thirty 
broad, and one hundred and twenty in length. Another illustration 
of the same point is furnished by the plan, which shows the pile in 
its original state (Fig. 524).* If we look at the part marked 0, the 
present parish Church, and the old Choir, and see how small a 
proportion it bears to the entire structure, we have a striking view 
of the former splendour and present degradation of St. Bartholo- 
mew's. The site of the other buildings there marked are now 
occupied by the most incongruous assemblage of filthy stables and 
yards, low public-houses, mouldering tenements, with here and there 
re-ideuces of a better character; and in few or none of these can we 
enter without meeting with corners of immense walls projecting 
suddenly out, vaulted roofs, boarded-Up pillars, and similar evidences 
of the ruin upon which all these appurtenances of the modern in- 
habitants have been established. The only other feature that it is 
necessary to mention is the Crypt, which extends below the Refec- 
tory, and is one of the most remarkable places of the kind, even in 
London, so rich in crypts (Fig. 52o). It runs the whole length of 
the Refectory, and is divided by pillars into a central part and two 
aisles. Popular fancy has not even been satisfied with these sufti- 

•EXPLANATIOX OP REFERENCES IN THE PLAN (R«. 5'J4). 

tlmt still re- 



A. The East Cloister, the only one of which 

then are any remains. 

B. The North Cloister, parallel with the 

Nave. 

C. The South Cloister. 

I). The Wesl Cloister. The Squire time en- 
cloaed i>y the Cloislors measures uliuui ;i 
bund rail Rial etch wb} - . 

E. The North Aisle oi the Nave. 

F. Tlie South Aisle, lo whleh the milling 

G itewn) in front "i Snii bfli Id ».i- the 
original entrance. 

G. The Nave, no >>;»t of which or of I he 

Aisle* now remiiius. 
|J. si Bartholomew's Uliapal, destroyed by 

Fire i I i- "■ 

I. Middlesex Passage, lending from Grwl to 

Little Bartholomew W«e 
J. The Dining Hallorltufrotoryof ttaerriorj't 

with the Cm* beneath. 
K. Situation or tlm Great Tower, which vu 



supported on four arches, 

L. The Northern Aisle of the Choir. 
M. Tlie -cmlliern Aisle ol 'lie Choir. 
N. The Kostvrn AUeoftho Choir. 

l>. The pi at Pniieh Cliurcli, formin» (.he 

Choir ol the old Priory Clmrch. 
p. The Prior's Koose, with the Dormiturv 



ud i«i 



Prior's Offices, Stables, Wood- 



■ of III- 

Yard, Ike. 
K. The Old Vustrv. 
y. The, Cbapiei House with an entrance gate- 

way I rum 

T. The Sunlit Transept 

U. The North Transept. 

V. The present enhance info the Church. 
Oa die tup ni tin' plan is Lit lie l'snholomew 
Close, on the left Cloifa K^ir, at the 
bottom SmitliOeld. and ou tlie right 
Great Bartholomew Close. 

T 2 




531.— 'Hie Temple Church, fromiht Entrance. 





532.— The Western Window, Altar, &c,, Templo Church. 



534— Porch, Temple Church. 




140 



5i ■'■• - Ibtvi .ii o| tilt Round, Tempi*- Church. 





539.— Round Church, Cambridge. Interior. 



541.— St. John's Hospital.— Fiom Hollar- 




540— Hound Church, Cauiuudye. 



544.— Kniyht Templar. 




542.— St. John'« Gate, Clerkeuwell, 1S41. 



53*,— The Temple Churcli, from the South. 



141 



142 



OLD ENGLAND. 



[Book II. 



ciently noticeable facte as to the subterranean regions of St. Bar- 
tholomew's, but has stretched the Crypt all the way to Islington, 
where the Trior had his country residence and pleesance or garden 
of Canonbury ; and where the mansion and garden house of Prior 
Bolton are still preserved, close by the famous Tower of Canonbury. 
The tower of course formed a part of the Canonbury estate, which 
evidently derives its name from the canons of the Priory. 



Among those extraordinary institutions which from time to time 
spring up in the world, rise to great prosperity, and in that state 
exist for centuries together, exercising the most important influence 
over the affairs of men, and then at last, either through the process 
of gradual decay or the operations of a more sudden agency, dis- 
appear altogether, and leave behind them, as the only traces of their 
existence, a few mouldering edifices for the antiquary to mourn over 
or to restore — among such institutions, conspicuous before all 
others, stand those of the famous Christian warriors, as they loved 
to designate themselves, the Knights of St. John's ami of the 
Temple. And never was there a more deeply interesting history 
given to the world than is embodied in the records that tell us of 
the growth of these Orders, of the picturesque amalgamation of the 
most opposite qualities of human nature required as the indispensable 
preliminary of membership, of the active bravery and passive for- 
titude with which the objects of the Institutions were pursued, of 
the curiously intense hatred that existed between the two great 
Orders, and of their fate, so sudden, terrible, and, in some respects, 
sublime in the one case, so protracted and comparatively undignified 
and commonplace in the other. In these pages vie can only touch, 
and that briefly, upon the salient points of such a history. St. 
John's may lie called tin 1 oldest of the two Orders, since it dates 
back to the erection of the Hospital of St. John at Jerusalem, soon 
after the middle of the eleventh century, wdien it was founded for 
the accommodation of Christian pilgrims, in connection with the 
church of Santa Maria de Latina, built by the Christians of com- 
mercial Italy, with the consent of the Mohammedan governors of 
the Holy Laud. But it was then no fighting community ; to relieve 
the hungry, weary, houseless, and sick, of their own faith, whom 
piety had brought to that far-off land, was their especial vocation. 
But the kindly offices of the good monks were not limited by the 
boundaries of creed ; the " Infidel " Arab or Turk was also welcome 
whenever necessity brought him to their doors ; a state of things 
that contrasts powerfully and humiliatingly with the state that was 
to supersede it. 

The influences that transformed the peaceful monks of St. John's 
into the most turbulent of soldiers did not spring out of common 
occurrences. The wars of the Crusades broke out, the Saracens 
were driven from Jerusalem, and Godfrey of Bouillon elected its 
first Christian sovereign; but the Hospital of St. John remained 
essentially the same, more prosperous, but not more martial. It 
should seem, even, that the ambition that alone agitated the members 
at the time was that of enhancing the legitimate merits of their 
position, by becoming still more charitable in their charity, still 
more humble in their humility, still more self-denying in their 
religious discipline, for in 1120 the Serpens or Servientes of the 
hospital formed themselves for such purposes into a separate 
monastic body under the direct protection of the Church of Rome. 
But about the same time a little band of Knights, nine in number, 
began to distinguish themselves by their zeal and courage in the 
performance of a duty self-imposed, but of the most dangerous and 
important character. They had devoted themselves, life and fortune, 
to the defence of the high roads leading to Jerusalem, where the 

Christian pilgrims were I tiuually harassed and injured by the 

warlike onslaught of the- Mussulmen ami the predatory attacks of 
robbers. " Poor fellow-soldiers of Jesus Christ" they called them- 
selves ; and poor enough indeed they were, since their chief, Hugh 
de Payens, was constrained to ride with another Knight on the 
same horse: a memorable incident, which the Order, with noble 
pride, commemorated in their seal. Such services spoke eloquently 
to every one. Golden opinions were speedily won. The poor 
Knights soon became rich Knights. The little body began speedily 
to grow into a large one. As a special honour they were lodged, 
by the Church, on the site of the great Hebrew Temple, an, I the 
fame of the "Knighthood of the Temple of Solomon" began to 
spread through Christian Europe. Amid the general excitement 
of the Holy Wars this junction of the priest and soldier seemed but 
a most happy embodiment of the prevailing passions, duties, and 
wants of the age (Fig. 544). Thus, when Hugh de Payens himself 
set out on a tour with four of the brethren, in order to promulgate 
more distinctly the objects of the Society, and to seek assistance, 



great was the interest anil excitement that prevailed wherever they 
came. They arrived in England in 1128, and were received with the 
deepest respect by Henry the First and his court. The result of 
these travels was, that when the four brethren returned to Jerusalem 
they brought with them in company three hundred of the best and 
bravest of European chivalry. The new Society was evidently 
moving the Christian world ; what wonder that the monks of St. 
John felt themselves at last moved too — in the same direction. 
Within a few years after De Payens' return, and during the spiritual 
rule of Raymond du Puy, they took up the lance, and rushed forth 
into the field in rivalry of the brotherhood of the [Temple* And 
between the warlike merit of the two, the Knights who had become 
monks, atid the monks who had become Knights, it would evidently 
be impossible to decide; both were the flower of the Christian 
armies, and the especial dread of the Saracen. The military annals 
of no country or time exhibit deeds that can surpass, few even that can 
rival, the prodigies of valour continually performed by these warrior 
monks. But with wealth, corruption, as usual, flowed in. When 
one Order (the Templars) possessed nine thousand manors, anil the 
other nineteen thousand, in the fairest provinces of Christendom, it 
would be too much to expect that humility would long continue to 
characterize cither. The first evidence of the evil spirit that was at 
work in their hearts was exhibited in their mutual quarrels, which 
at last grew to such a height that they actually turned their arms 
against each other, and even on one occasion, in 1259, fought a 
pitched battle, in winch the Knights Hospitallers were the conquerors, 
and scarcely left a Templar alive to carry to his brethren the in- 
telligence of their discomfiture. This was an odd way to exhibit 
the beauties of the faith they were shedding so much blood and ex- 
pending so much treasure to establish among the Saracens, and 
scarcely calculated to convince the infidel even of the military 
necessity of acknowledging or giving way to it. The fact is that 
the decline of the Christian power in the Holy Land may be traced, 
in a great measure, to these miserable jealousies ; it may be doubted 
whether the two Orders did not, on the whole, retard rather than 
promote the cause they espoused. But let us now look at their position 
in this country. The first houses of both were established in London, 
and nearly about the same time, the Priory of St. John at Clerkcn- 
well in 1100, by Jordan Briset, an English baron, and his wife ; and 
the Old Temple, in Ilolborn (where Southampton Buildings now 
exist), founded during the visit of Hugh de Payens, twenty-eight 
years later. As the Templars, however, increased in numbers and 
wealth, they purchased the site of the present Temple in F'leet 
Street, and erected their beautiful church and other corresponding 
buildings on a scale of great splendour. Both this church and the 
church of St. John, Clerkenwell, were consecrated by Ileraclius, 
Patriarch of Jerusalem, whom events of no ordinary nature brought 
to this country ; events which threatened to involve something like 
the entire destruction of the Christians and their cause in the Holy 
Laud, if immediate succour was not granted by some most potent 
authority. With Ileraclius came the Masters of the two Orders ; 
and the hopes of the trio, it appears, were centred on the King of 
England, who had, on receiving absolution for the murder of 
Becket, promised not only to maintain two hundred Templars at 
his own expense, but also to proceed to Palestine himself at the 
head of a vast army. At first all looked very encouraging. Henry 
met them at Reading, wept as lie listened to their sad narration of 
the reverses experienced in Palestine, anil, in answer to their prayers 
for support, promised to biing the matter before parliament imme- 
diately on its meeting. In that assembly, however, the barons 
urged upon him that he was bound by his coronation oath to stay 
at home and fulfil his kingly duties, but offered to raise funds to 
defray the expense of a levy of troops, expressing at the same time 
their 4 opinion that English nobles and others might, if they wished, 
freely depart for Palestine to join the Christian warriors. Henry 
with apparent reluctance agreed ; and " lastly, the king gave answer, 
and said that he might not leave his land without keeping, nor yet 
leave it to the prey and robbery of Frenchmen. But he would 

give largely of his own to such as would take U] them that 

voyage. With this answer the Patriarch was discontented, ami 
said, ■ We seek a man, and not money ; well near every Christian 
region sendeth unto us money, but no land sendeth to us a prince. 
Therefore we ask a prince that needeth money, and not money that 
needeth a prince.' But the king laid for him such excuses, that the 
Patriarch departed from him discontented and comfortless; whereof 
the king being advertised, intending somewhat to recommit him 
with pleasant words, followed him unto the sea-side. But the more 
the king thought to satisfy him with his fair speech, the more the 
Patriarch was discontented, insomuch that, at the last, he said unto 
him, 'Hitherto thou hast reigned gloriously, but hereafter thou 




INTERIOR OF THE TEMPLE CHURCH. 



Chat. II.] 



OLD ENGLAND. 



143 



slialt lie forsaken nf Him whom thou at this time forsakest. Think 
on Him, what lie hath given to thee, and what thou hast yielded to 
Him again; how first thou wert false to the king of France, and 
after slew that holy man Thomas of Canterbury ; and lastly thou 
forsakest the protection nf Christian faith.' The king was moved 
with these words, and said unto the Patriarch, ' Though all the 
men of my land were one body, and spake with one mouth, they 
durst not speak to me such words.' ' No wonder,' said the Pa- 
triarch, * for they love thine, and not thee; that is to mean, they 
love thy goods temporal, and fear thee for loss of promotion ; but 
they love not thy soul.' And when he bad so said he offered his 
head to the king, saying, ' Do by me right as thou didst by that 
blessed man Thomas of Canterbury ; for I had liever to be slain 
of thee than of the Saracens, for thou art worse than any Saracen.' 
But the king kept his patience, and said, ' I may not wend out of 
my laud, for my own sous will arise against me when I was absent.' 
' No wonder,' said the Patriarch, ' for of the devil they come, and 
to the devil they shall go ;' and so departed from the king in great 
ire." (I'abyan.) Two years later Saladin had put an end to the 
Christian kingdom of Jerusalem, generously dismissing to their 
homes his many distinguished prisoners, among whom was Ileraelius. 
and granting to the Christians generally of Europe the possession 
of the sepulchre of Christ. His liberality experienced no suitable 
return. A third Crusade was set on foot, the one in which Coeur- 
de-Lion was engaged, to fail like the previous ones, to be again 
followed by others, with the same result. In 1291 Acre was 
besieged by the Sultan of Egypt, and taken, after a most terrible 
conflict, in which the two Orders were nearly exterminated : that 
event in effect may be said to mark the final defeat of the Crusaders 
in their long-cherished object of the conquest nf the Holy Land. 

The Knights of St. John, however, for about two centuries after 
this, found ample employment of a kind after their own heart ; 
they obtained possession of the island of Rhodes, from whence they 
kept up continual war, — of a very piratical character, though, be it 
observed, — against the Turks ; but in 1522 Solyman the Fourth, or 
the Magnificent, after a tremendous siege, in which he is said to 
have lost upwards of 100,000 men, completely overpowered the 
defenders, although they fought with a courage that won his re- 
spect, and induced him to consent at last that the Grand-master, 
LTsle Adam, and his surviving companions, might depart freely 
whithersoever they chose. He visited his illustrious captive on 
entering the city, and was heard to remark as he left him, " It is 
not without pain that I force this Christian, at his time of life, to 
leave his dwelling." The emperor Charles the Fifth then bestowed 
on them the island of Malta, which they fortified with winks that 
render it to this day almost impregnable, but where, after success- 
fully resisting a most formidable attack from the Turkish troops of 
Solyman, they gradually fell into a mode of life very different from 
that which had previously characterized them, and which was 
suddenly brought to a very ignominious conclusion by the appear- 
ance of Napoleon, leading his Egyptian expedition, in 1798. ami 
by his lauding without opposition, through the mingled treachery 
and cowardice of the Knights ; who, however, received their reward : 
the Order itself was then virtually abolished. It is not unworthy 
of notice, as evidence of the amazing strength of the place, as well 
as of the feeling of the French officers at so disgraceful a surrender, 
that one of them, Caffarolli, said to Napoleon, as they examined the 
works, li It is well, General, that some one was within to open the 
gate for us. We should have had some difficulty in entering had 
the place been altogether empty." A Grand-master and a handful 
of Knights, it seems, do still exist at Fcrrara. and possess a scanty 
remnant of the once magnificent revenue. The Templars experienced 
a more tragical, but also infinitely more honourable termination of 
their career, and one that redeemed a thousand faults and vices. 
Within twenty years after their conduct and misfortunes at the 
siege of Acre had entitled them to the sympathy of their Christian 
brethren throughout the world, they were suddenly charged in 
France with the commission of a multitude of crimes, religious and 
social, and to convince them that they were guilty, whether they 
knew it or not, tortures of the most frightful description were un- 
sparingly applied to make them confess. One who did confess, 
when he was brought before the commissary of police to be ex- 
amined, at once revoked his confession, saying, " They held me a 
long before a fierce fire, that the flesh was burnt off my heels ; two 
pieces of bone came away, which I present to you." Such were 
the execrable cruelties perpetrated on the unhappy Templars in 
France, where they were also sent to the scaflbld in troops, and 
thus at last the Order was made tractable in that country. In 
England there was greater decency at hast observed. If the 
torture was applied at all, it was but sparingly, and the confession 



obtained was at last reduced to so very innocent an affair, that no 
man would have been justified in sacrificing life and limb in resist- 
ance ; so the Templars w isely gave way. All matters thus pre- 
pared, the Pope in 1312 formally abolished the Order; and then 
the world saw the truth of what it had before suspected, namely, 
that all these atrocious proceedings were but to clear the way for 
a general scramble for the enormous property of the Order, in which 
the chief actors were of course the sovereigns of France and 
England, and the Pontiff. They had tried to persuade themselves 
or their subjects that the rival Order of St. John's was to have the 
possessions in question, and they were nominally confirmed to it; 
but about a twentieth of the whole was all that the Knights Hos- 
pitallers ever obtained. 

Of the two churches consecrated by Ileraelius in London, that 
of the Temple alone remains. St. John's was burnt, with all the 
surrounding buildings of the Priory, by the followers of Wat Tyler in 
the fourteenth century, when the conflagration continued for no less 
than seven days. The Temple had been previously injured by them 
on account of its being considered to belong to the obnoxious Hos- 
pitallers. We see from Hollar's view of the Priory in the seven- 
teenth century (Fig. .541), that previous to the dissolution by Henry 
the Eighth it had recovered much of its ancient magnificence. 
But in the reign of Edward the Sixth the " church, for the most 
part," says Stow, •' to wit, the body and side aisles, with the great 
bell-tower (a most curious piece of workmanship, graven, gilt, and 
enamelled, to the great beautifying of the city, and passing all 
other that I have seen), was undermined and blown up with gun- 
powder ; the stone whereof was employed in building of the Lord 
Protector's house in the Strand." The remains of the choir form 
at present a portion of the parochial church of Clerkenwell. But 
there is another relic of the Priory, the gateway (Fig. 542), which 
Johnson " beheld with reverence, "and which his successors can hardly 
look on without a kindred sentiment, were it on his account alone ; 
for here it was that Johnson came to Cave, the publisher of the 
' Gentleman's Magazine,' to seek and obtain employment, being at 
the time poor, friendless, and unknown ; nay, so very poor, that he 
sat behind the screen to eat his dinner, instead of at the printer's 
talde. in order to conceal ins shabby coat. The principal part of 
the gateway now forms the Jerusalem Tavern. The groined roof 
of the gate has been restored of late years. But we now turn to a 
remain of the rival metropolitan house of the Templars, which is 
of a very much more important character. 

No one probably ever beheld the exterior of the Temple Church 
(Fig. 53S), for the first time, without finding his curiosity at least ex- 
cited to know the meaning of its peculiar form, that round — half for- 
tress, half chapter-house like — structure, with such a beautiful oblong 
Qothic church body attached to it at one side. That the second 
was added to the first at a later period is sufficiently evident ; but 
we are puzzled by the " Round" as it is called, till we begin to re- 
member who were its founders : the men whose lives were spent in 
the Holy Land, in a continual alternation of fighting and devotion ; 
whose houses there were one day a place of worship, the next of 
attack and defence. Such, no doubt, were the origin of the Round 
churches of England, of which we possess but three others. 

The restoration of these fine old works of our forefathers promises 
to become a marked feature of the present time, anil if so, there will 
be one especial labour of the kind, truly a labour of love to those 
who have been concerned in it, that will stand out from all the rest, 
as the grand examplar of the true spirit that should animate restorers. 
When the Benchers of the Temple began their noble task, they found 
nearly all that was left of the original building, walls oidy excepted, 
in a state of decay, and everything that was nol original, without any 
exception, worthless. Thus the elaborately beautiful sculpture of 
the low Norman doorway, which leads from the quaint porch (Fig. 
534) into the interior of the Round, was in a great measure lost; 
now we see it again in all its pristine splendour. The airy clustered 
columns of Purbcck marble, w Inch, standing in a wide circle, support 
with their uplifted, uniting, anil arching arms the roof of the Round 
(Fig. 535), were no longer trustworthy ; so they had to he removed 
entirely, and new ones, at an immense expense, provided ; and the 
ancient quarry at Purbcck, from which so much marble must have 
been drawn in the middle ages, for the erection of our cathedrals, was 
again opened on the occasion. Everything through the whole church 
\\as covered with coating upon coalingof whitewash ; consequently, 
all traces were lost of the gilding and colour that had been everywhere 
expended with a lavish hand; and which now again relieve the 
walls, in the forms of pious inscriptions in antique letters, which 
glow in the roofs of the Round anil of the Chancel, and which gra- 
dually increase into a perfect blaze of splendour towards and around 
the altar (Fig. 532). The beautiful junction of the twopaitsof the 




r — The Lady ntiapel. St. Mury Overic* 




550.— The Choir. St M.trv "•■ .; - 




543.— General View gf St. Mary Overies. from Ihe South. 





549.— Templar, St. Maty Overie*. 



548.— Gower'* Monument. 




546.— Norman Arcli, St. Mary Overies. 



144 






564-— Crockets, Canterbury. 



:."3.— Fiuhis Cflutvrbnry. 



536. — Aichiepiscopal Chair, Can 




5j3._Cuuterliury. 



No. 19. 



5j5.— Foot, Canterbury. 
[OI.D ENGLAND.] 



554.-ConleIbuty Cathedral, before tl.e Tower was rebuilt. 

1-15 



146 



OLD ENGLAND. 



[Book II. 



entire structure was then concealed by a barbarous screen of the age 
of Charles the Second, that extended right across between them, and 
over which was placed the orpin : now, once more, the eye ranges 
along without interruption from the entrance door up to the very altar 
(Fig. 531), through one of the most beautiful of vistas, and the organ 
has "been removed into a chamber constructed expressly outside the 
central window of the chancel, on the north side; the window itself, 
by slight but judicious alterations, forming a beautiful open screen 
through which the chamber communicates with the church. Then 
again, the monuments of all kinds but the beautiful, which were 
formerly let into the very body of the pillars or placed in other 
equally incongruous positions, have been removed into the triforium 
or gallery of the Round ; warm rich-looking tiles have replaced the 
wooden pavement ; gorgeous stained-glass windows again diffuse 
their magnificent lines upon every object around, and tell in their 
" panes " the story of Him who died that all might live. In a word, 
the Temple church now presents, in most respects, an almost per- 
fect example, on a small scale, of what the grand ecclesiastical 
structures of the thirteenth century were generally ; that is, a con- 
summate and most magical union of all the arts, architecture, paint- 
ing, sculpture, and music, calculated at once to take man from the 
world, that they might guide him to heaven. With one individual 
feature of the Temple, we must now conclude our notice of it. On 
the floor of the Hound lie the sculptured ettigics of men who belonged 
to the period of • Old England,' which we have at present under re- 
view, and which, as being undoubted originals, are among the most 
interesting pieces of sculpture we possess (Figs. .536. 537). They have 
lately been restored with remarkable success, by Mr. Richardson — 
having become seriously decayed — and now present to us, each in his 
habit as he lived — Geoffrey de Magnaville, that bold and bad baron 
of the time of Stephen, who, dying excommunicate, was for a time 
hung up on a tree in the Temple Garden here — the great Protector, 
Pembroke, wdio by his wisdom assuaged the divisions among his 
countrymen alter the death of John — the Protector's sons William 
and Gilbert, the former sheathing his sword ; he had fought, and 
well, but his race was done ; the latter drawing it in the service, 
as he intended, of God, in Palestine, when death stopped the jour- 
ney — and among others I)e Roos, one of the barons to whom the 
bloodless field of Runnemede has given undying reputation ; the 
exquisitely beautiful effigy, with the head uncovered, and the curl- 
ing locks flowing about it, represent that nobleman. These pieces 
of sculpture were originally, like all the others in the Temple, 
painted and gilded. AVe cannot here avoid drawing attention to 
the head of a seraph, discovered on the wall between the Round and 
the oblong part of the church during the restoration. The expres- 
sion is truly seraphic. Traces of colour are even now perceptible ; 
the cheeks and lips have once borne the natural hues of life, the 
pupil of the eye has been painted blue, the hair gilded. In other 
heads, also original, the eyes were found to be of glass. How all 
this reminds one of the customs that prevailed among the Greeks, 
where some of the most beautiful works the world had ever seen, or 
would ever see, were thought to be enhanced by means like those we 
have described. 



The very magnificent character of the restoration of the Temple 
Church, London, has been attended with one undesirable effect — it 
has drawn away our attention from other labours of a similar and 
only less important character. Such, for instance, is the restoration 
of the Round Church of Cambridge, the oldest of the structures 
erected in England in the extraordinary circular form (Figs. 539 and 
540). And what gives still higher interest to this building is the fact 
alleged that it was consecrated in the year 1101, orseveral years be- 
fore the institution of the Order of Knight Templars ; so that it can 
hardly be attributed to them. In a paper recently read before the 
Camden Society, the Church is supposed to have been founded by 
some one interested in the recovery of the Holy Sepulchre at Jeru- 
salem,— hence the imitation of the form of that building, and tin- 
name ; and that the object in view was to make provision for constant 
prayers for the success of the Crusaders. AVe learn from the same 
pages some other interesting matters. The parish has been tradition- 
ally known as the Jewry, which designation it is supposed was given 
to it inconsequence of the model of tin- most sacred of Jewish struc- 
tures being placed in it. The stained glass votive window with a 
saintly figure, which attracts the eyes of visitors to the restored 
(lunch, it appears preserves the memory of Bede's legendary resi- 
dence in the vicinity. Of the restoration id' this important structure 
it is hardly possible to speak too highly. The entire funds, with the 
exception of some £1G00 still required, have been raised by volun- 
tary subscription, and expended by a little band of ardent and 
reverential lovers of all that is antique, grand, or beautiful in 



our ecclesiastical architecture. The Camden Society especially 
stands conspicuous in the good work, which has been carried on. we 
are sorry to learn, through "repeated interruptions and obstruc- 
tions," and which has — a common nw — proved a much more 
elaborate and costly task than was anticipated. The substan- 
tial reparation of the decayed fabric was the object the committee 
set before themselves ; and, much as these words include, it seems that 
they have found it necessary to add the enlargement of one aisle, 
the entire erection of another, a new bell-turret, '• breaking up 
the unsightly uniformity of the rest of the building," the entire fit- 
ting id' the church with open seats and other necessary furniture in 
carved oak, and. lastly, the beautiful east window. They have thus 
involved themselves in debt to the amount before stated, but we do 

not think they will have relied in vai the public sympathy and 

assistance. The stately solemn-looking fabric, so eloquent of those 
mighty primeval artists, those architectural giants of our early his- 
tory, wl dreamt not of a perishable home " when they dedicated 

their skill and cunning to the service of the Almighty, appears 
again fresh as it were from their very hands. The restoration was 
completed and the church given up to the parish authorities on the 
last day of the year 1H43, when a statement was made to the world, 
concerning which great is yet the clamour in local and theological 
publications. It was discovered that the restorers had erected a 
Stone altar, instead of a wooden one. and that they had placed a 
credence — a stone shelf or table — for the display of the elements of 
the Sacrament. AVe leave the facts for our readers to weep over, 
or smile at, as they may see occasion. 

Ofanother of the establishments of the Templars, the Phe< uptorv 
AT SwiNOPIELD, situated about eight miles from Dover, and in which 
John is said to have resigned his crown to the Pope's Legate, but 
little now remains, and that is used as a farm-house, while the foun- 
dations may be traced in various parts of the homestead. The 
eastern part, which was the most ancient (the Preceptory was 
founded before 1190), exhibits three lancet-shaped windows, above 
which are the same number of circular ones, and was probably the 
chapel (Fig. 543). 



A few years ago, when the approaches to the new London Bridge 
were in preparation, an agreement was proposed, and all but con- 
cluded, that a space of some sixty feet should be granted for the 
better display of an old church on the Southwark side, and that a 
certain chapel belonging to the latter should be at the same time 
swept away. The church in question, in short, was to be made as 
neat and snug as possible, as a fitting preliminary to the new display 
that it was to be permitted to make. There were persons, however, 
who by no means approved of the scheme. They said that the 
Chapel of our Ladye (Fig. 547), which was sought to be destroyed, 
was one of the most beautiful and antique structures of the kind in 
England. There were some, even, who held that the fact, that the 
honoured ashes of good Pushup Andrews lay in it (Bishop Andrews, 
whose death drew from Milton, no bishop-lover generally, a most pas- 
sionate elegy), ought to make the place sacred. All this no doubt 
seemed very nonsensical to the framers of the plan in question, who 
quietly appealed to the parishioners of St. Saviour's, and obtained the 
sanction of a large majority to the destruction of the Ladye Chapel. 
But the persons before mentioned were exceedingly obstinate. They 
would not be quiet. The Press then took up the matter, and strove 
might and main to forward the views of these malcontents. At 
another meeting of the parishioners, the " destructives," to borrow 
a political phrase, found their majority had dwindled down to three; 
and what was infinitely worse, on a poll being demanded, they were 
left in a minority of between two ami three hundred — the beautiful 
Ladye Chapel and Bishop Andrews's grave were safe. The work- 
men not long after entered, but it was to restore, not to destroy. 
Many, no doubt, owe their first personal acquaintance with, if not 
their first knowledge of, the Church of St. Maiiv Ovehjes to the 
circumstances here narrated, and have been at once surprised and 
delighted to find so noble and interesting a structure (as beautiful 
and almost as large as a cathedral) in such a place— the Borough. 
And when they have been thus led to inquire into the history of the 
building, their pleasure has been as unexpectedly enhanced. The 
story of its origin is a tale of romance ; poetical associations of no 
ordinary character attach to its subsequent annals ; holy martyrs 
have passed from the dread tribunal sitting within its walls to the 
fiery agony of the stake at Smithfield. Stow's account of the origin 
of St. Mary Overies, derived from Linsted, its last Prior, is as fol- 
lows: — "This church, or some other in place thereof, was of old 
time, long before the Conquest, a House of Sisters, founded by a 
maiden named Alary. Unto the which house and sisters she left (as 
was left her by her parents) the oversight and profits of a eross 



Chap. II.] 



OLD ENGLAND. 



147 



ferry over the Thames, there kept before 1 1 ■ ; 1 1 any bridge vvasbuilded. 
This House of Sisters was afterwards, by Swithin, a noble lady. 
converted into a College of Priests, who, in place of the ferry, builded 
a bridge of timber." Something like corroborative evidence of the 

truth of this story was accidentally discovered a few years ago: — 
" When digging for a family vault in the eentre of the choir of the 
church, near the altar, it was found necessary to cut through a very 
ancient foundation wall, which never could have formed any part of 

the present edifice: the edifice exactly corres] da with that of the 

House of Sisters" described by Stow as near the east part of the 
present St. Mary Overies, "above the choir," and where he says 
Mary was buried. 

In a wooden box, in the choir, now lies a remarkably fine effigy, 
of wood, of a Crusader : who he was it is impossible to tell with 
any certainty, but we venture to think it represents one of the two 
distinguished persons to whom St. Mary Overies was next largely 
indebted after the humble ferryman's daughter, and the proud lady, 
Swithin : those two are, " William Pont de 1'Arehe, and William 
Dauncy, Knights, Normans," who. ill the year 1 106, refounded the 
establishment, on a more magnificent scale, for Canons regular 
(Fig. 546). This Pont de l'Arche was probably the same as the 
Royal Treasurer of that name in the beginning of the reign of Rufus. 
Anil as carrying still further the records of the connection between 
St. Mary Overies and the ferry first, and afterwards the bridge, it ap- 
pears from a passage in .Maitland (vol. i. p. 44, ed. 1756), that Wil- 
liam Pont del'Arche, whom we have just seen as the founder of the 
first, was also connected with the last. If weare right in presuming 
theTemplarto he oneofthese" Knights, Normans," there can be no 
doubt too that originally there was also the effigy of the other (Fig. 
549): the destructive fires that have from time to time injured the 
structure explains its absence, There are two curious low arched 
niches on the north aisle of the choir; were not these the resting- 
places of the Founders of the Priory? We venture to think so, and 
have placed the Templar in one of them. Aldgod, we may observe, 
was the first prior of St. Alary Overies. By the fourteenth century, 
the buildings had become dilapidated ; a poet, Cower, restored them ; 
or at least contributed the principal portion of the funds. Gowerwas 
married in St. Mary Overies in 1397 ; and there was at one time a 
monument to his wife's memory, as well as to his own : the last alone 
now survives (Fig. 548). This is an exquisitely beautiful work, 
which has been most admirably restored to all its pristine splendour, 
and where thecjnaint rhyming inscriptions in Norman French appear 
in gay colours, and the effigy of the poet appears radiant in colour and 
gilding. His head rests on three gilded volumes of his writings: one 
of them is the ' Confossio Amautis,' his principal and only published 
work, the origin of winch he thus relates: 

In Tliemse [Thames] when it was llowende, 

As 1 by boat came roweud, 

So us Fortune ber time set 

My liege lord perchance I met ; 

Ami si, befel .is I came uigb 

Out nt" my bout, when lie me sigh [saw]. 

He bade me come into bis barge, 

And when I was Willi liim at large 

Amongea other tlnnges be said, 
H. hath ibis charge upon me laid, 
Anil bade me do my business, 
That tu bis high worthiness 
Suine ncwe tiling I should book. 

King Richard the Second's wishes were fulfilled in the ' Confessio 
Amantis.' 

On the pillar seen in our engraving of Gower's monument ap- 
pears a Cardinal's hat, with arms beneath. They refer directly, no 
doubt, to the beneficence of a very remarkable man. Cardinal Beau- 
fort, Bishop of Winchester, and who in that capacity resided in the 
adjoining palace, hut indirectly to still more interesting matters, in 
which the busy Cardinal had the principal share. Who has not 
read, and treasured up ever in the memory after, the history of the 
poet king, James of Scotland, he who, taken a prisoner whilst yet a 
boy, was kept for many long years in captivity, but educated in the 
mean time in a truly princely manner ; he v\ ho, as he has informed us 
in his own sweet verse, whilst looking out upon the garden which lay 
before his window, in Windsor Castle, beheld 

walking under the lower, 



['nil secretly new coming her to plain, 
The fairest and the freshest younge llower 
That ever be saw, methought, before th.it hour, 

and who from that time was no longer heart-whole; he w ! , . . ia all 
probability was only allowed to free himself from one kind of bond- 
age in older to enter into another, but then that was his marriage 
with the lady in question, Jane Beaufort, the Cardinal's niece ; — who. 



but has been charmed by this romance of reality ? It is something 
then to be able to add, for the honour of St. Mary Overies, that it 
was within its walls that the ceremony took place. We may add to 
the foregoing poetical reminiscences, two or three brief but preg- 
nant sentences, all derived from the same authority, the Parish Re- 
gisters. Under the year 1607 we read, " Edmond Shakspere, player, 
in the church ; " and that sums up the known history of one of the 
great dramatist's brothers. The date 1625 records, " Mr. John 
Fletcher, a man, in the church ;" of whose personal history we 
know little more. Aubrey thus relates his death : " In the gTeat 
plague of 1625, a Knight of Norfolk or Suffolk invited him into the 
country : he stayed but to make himself a suit of clothes, and while 
it was making, fell sick and died ; this I heard from the taylor, 
who is now a very old man and clerk of St. Mary Overy." Lastly 
comes the most striking entry of all in connection with the year 
1640: " Philip Massinger, a stranger." Let us leave the passage, 
without comment, in all its awful brevity. 

The Priory was dissolved in 1539, when Linsted, the Trior, was 
pensioned off with 100/. a year. The annual revenue was then valued 
at 624/. 6,«. (id. 

Dining Wyatt's insurrection in 1554, the insurrectionary troops 
were posted in Southwark ; and the Lieutenant of the Tower bent his 
ordnance against the foot of the bridge to hinder the passage, and also 
against the towers of St. (Slave's and St. Mary Overies churches. One 
year afterwards still deadlier weapons were directed against the 
faith to which St. Mary's belonged, and by its own friends, though 
in the hope of benefiting it ; then was clearly seen the reality of the 
dangers Wyatt had apprehended, and strove, but unsuccessfully, to 
avert, in the sittings of a commission in the church, for the trial of 
those diabolical offenders who dared to have an opinion of their 
own. Among them first came John Rogers, a prebendary of St. 
Paul's, who, when questioned by the judge, Bishop Gardiner, asked, 
" Did you not yourself, for twenty years, pray against the Pope ?" 
'• I was forced by cruelty," was the reply. " And will you use the 
like cruelty to us ?" rejoined Rogers. Of course he went to the 
stake, Bonner refusing him permission to speak to his wife. Bishop 
Hooper, who was also tried on the same day. Mas dismissed to the 
like fate. John Bradford, another of the victims of the St. Mary 
Overies commission, writing, somewhat about this time, of the death 
of Hooper, says, "This day, I think, or to-morrow at the utter- 
most, hearty Hooper, sincere Saunders, and trusty Taylor, end their 
course, and receive their crown. The next am I, which hourly 
look for the porter to open me the gates after them, to enter into 
the desired rest." 

The plan of St. Mary Overies is that, of a cross, the principal 
part of which is formed by the Lady Chapel, choir and nave ex- 
tending from east to west nearly 300 feet ; and crossed by the 
transept near the centre, where rises the majestic tower, 150 feet 
high. The Anglo-Norman choir (Fig. 550) and transept still remain, 
and present a fine specimen of the transition state between the com- 
paratively rude and massive structures of the eleventh century, and 
the more elegant and stately productions of the thirteenth. This 
portion of the church is now unused ; and the pews have consequently 
been removed. The nave was found a few years ago in so ruinous 
a state, that it became necessary either to restore it, for which suffi- 
cient funds could not be obtained, or build on the site of it a less 
expensive structure to be used as the parish church, and which 
should, in some degree at hast, harmonize in style with the rest 
of the pile. The new nave has been rebuilt ; but not with such 
success as to prevent our deep regret for the loss of the old one. 
Our engraving ( Fig. 545) exhibits the church as it was befoie the 
rebuilding in question took place. The part nearest the eye shows 
the old nave. Many objects of interest are to be found in the inte- 
rior, in addition to those already incidentally mentioned j tliescreen, 
for instance, a most elaborate and beautiful piece of sculpture, pre- 
sumed to have been erected by Bishop Fox, as the pelican, his 
favourite device, is seen in the cornice. It consists ,,1 four stories 
of niches for statues, divided by spaces, from which project half- 
length figures of angles. Right up the centre, from the bottom to 
the top, extend three larger niches, one above another, in the place 
uC the hnii' smaller ones that are found in every other part of the 
screen; these give harmony, completeness, and grandeur to the 
whole. Ornament in profusion extends over every part. It will 
be Min that the screen forms one mass of the richest sculpture; and 
this. too. is a work of restoration of our own times. The monu- 
mental sculpture of St. alary Overies is particularly curious and 

interesting, much of it being painted, with the effigies resembling 
the natural tints of life both in countenance and costume ; much of 
it also referring to interesting personages ; and accompanied in some 
cases by inscriptions which provoke a smile bv their quaintness, or 

U2 




56G— Cathedral Precinct Gotewny. 



5C7.— Cliapel iu Canterbury Cathedrul. 



148 




571- — St. Augustine's Gute, Cuuteibury. 



149 



ISO 



OLD ENGLAND. 



[Book II. 



i sigh by their mournful beauty. Two specimens must suffice to 
conclude our present notice. On the tomb of a grocer, formerly 
in the Ladye Chapel, was inscribed, 

Weep m>t for liim, since he is gone hefnre 

To heaven, where grocers there are many more. 

On the very large magnificent piece of monumental sculpture 
which encloses the remains of Richard Humble, alderman of London, 
his two wives, and his children, we read the following lines, forming 
part of a poem attributed to Francis Quarles: — 

Like to Hie damask rose you see, 

Or like the blolsum ou the tree ; 

Or like the dainty flower of May, 

Or like the mor e of the day ; 

Or like the son or like the shade. 
Or like the gourd which Jonas had. 

Evenso is man, whose thread is spun, 

Drawn out, arid cut, and so is done. 
The rose withers, the hlossom blasteth, 
The (lower fades, the morning hasteth ; 
The sun sets, the shadow flies, 
The gourd consumes, and Man he dies. 



If Glastonbury may be assumed to have been the spot where the 
faith of Christ was first expounded to our heathen forefathers, it is 
certain that it was at Canterbury that it first exhibited all the 
marks of success, and gave promise of becoming in no very distant 
period the general religion of the country. There were first heard 
the teaching's of St. Augustine, who may almost be esteemed the 
real founder of Christianity among us. so great were his achieve- 
ments in comparison with all that had been done before : — and 
there are yet existing two buildings, or parts of buildings, the walls 
of which may have often echoed with the earnest and lofty elo- 
quence of the illustrious apostle. One of these is St. Martin's 
Church, already noticed (vol. i. jr. 58) : he who would visit the 
remains of the other, which dispute priority even with St. Martin's 
itself, must inquire for the Crypt or Undercroft of Canterbury 
Cathedral. It is a place that would repay any one for a careful and 
protracted examination, if the guardians of the sacred edifice had 
not chosen to shut it up for some twenty years, and to make it a 
hiding-place for lumber and rubbish. Let the indignation of Eng- 
land call with a loud voice that this Crypt shall cease to be dese- 
crated. Nothing more eminently characteristic of the times of 
its erection perhaps exists in the island. The walls are without 
ornament, and in that respect contrast strongly with the pillars, 
upon which the Saxon architect has expended all his fancy. 
When Ethelbert gave Augustine and his companions leave to 
settle in the capital of his kingdom, Canterbury, we know, from Bede, 
that there was a small church existing in the city, which had been 
previously used for Christian worship, and which must have been then 
of some age, for Augustine found it necessary to repair and enlarge 
it. That was the church which, it is supposed, Augustine raised 
to the rank it has ever since maintained of the first English 
Cathedral, and that is the church of which these rude unorna- 
mented walls of the crypt probably yet form an existing me- 
morial. For although it was made little better than a ruin by the 
Danes in 938, ami again, after reparation by Odo, brought to a 
similar state by the same people in 1011; though Canute's ex- 
tensive restorations were also followed by scarcely less extensive 
injuries after his decease, anil during the early days of the Con- 
quest ; and though, lastly, during the Conqueror's reign, Lanfrane. 
rebuilt the whole almost from the foundation, we still perceive, 
during all these repairs and restorations, something like evidence of 
parts of the walls and foundations having been left untouched; no 
doubt in consequence of their exceedingly massive and inde- 
structible character. These walls, in short, if we read their history 
aright, speak to us, in all their simplicity, of a time approaching 
within a century or two of the life of the Saviour himself, to whom 
they have been so long dedicated, and of builders whose handiwork 
can hardly be mistaken for the labour of any other people in what- 
ever part of the world found— the Roman's, who are supposed to 
have built it fur the use of their Christian soldiers. 

Turning from the plain walls to the curiously decorated pillars, 
we evidently pass over several centuries of architectural history. 
A strange mixture of the simple and the rude with the elaborate 

and the fantastical do these pillars present, not only in their super- 
ficial ornaments, but in their very form; some are wreathed, or 
twisted, some round, and no two. either of the shaft, ,„• of the 
capitals, are alike (Figs. 5.37. 658, and 559). A distinguishing 
feature of Norman architecture, xisibl.- even in its latest ami most 
beautiful stages, namely, breadth and strength, rather than height 
and statelineca, is here must strikingly developed. The circum- 



ference of the shafts is about four feet, and the entire height of 
plinth, shaft, and capita] is only six feet and a half; from these pillars 
i ise arches of corresponding span, supporting the roof at the altitude 
of fourteen feet ; the quaint and stunted, yet massive aspect of the 
place, may from this brief description be readily imagined. To 
determine the date of the later portions with any 'precision is im- 
possible ; but there is little question that they belong to a period 
anterior to the Conquest. 

A building thus surrounded by the holiest and most endearing 
associations was, of course, a continual object of improvement; 
scarcely one of its prelates but seems to have done something in 
the way of rebuilding or enlarging ; a fact strikingly attested by 
the variety of styles the cathedral now exhibits, even to the least 
architecturally instructed eyes. Thus while Lanfrane, the Nor- 
man, who succeeded Stigand, the Saxon archbishop, in the see, is 
understood to have left the whole essentially finished, we find 
Anselm and others of his successors not the less busily at work, 
pulling down here, and atlding there ; and such labours of love were 
not confined to the archbishops, for it seems that Conrad, a prior of 
the adjoining monastery, was allowed to participate in them; who 
accordingly improved the choir so greatly that the part was for 
some time afterwards known by his name. But a new and more 
solemn interest was to invest those walls, than even that derived from 
their early history. In the second half of the twelfth century, 
Thomas a Becket was the archbishop, and a troubled period did 
this prelacy become both for the see and England generally. The 
struggle for supremacy between the royal and the ecclesiastical 
powers was then at its height ; and for a time the former appeared 
to have triumphed. The beginning of the year 1170 found Becket 
the resolute asserter of all the rights and privileges of the church, 
in his seventh year of exile ; but unshaken, uncompromising as ever. 
At last, in July of the same year, the king, Henry the Second, 
fearing Becket would obtain from the Pope the power of excommu- 
nicating the whole kingdom, agreed to a reconciliation, and the two 
potentates met on the Continent ; the king holding Becket's stirrup 
as he mounted his horse. The archbishop now prepared for his 
return. But many warnings of danger reached him. Among 
others, was one to the effect that Ranulf de Broc, the possessor of 
a castle within six miles of Canterbury, wdio had sworn that he 
would not let the archbishop eat a single loaf of bread in England, 
was lying in wait, with a botly of soldiers between Canterbury and 
Dover. The determined spirit of Becket was revealed in his reply. 
Having remarked that seven years of absence were long enough for 
both shepherd and Hock, he declared he would not stop though he 
was sure to be cut to pieces as soon as he landed on the opposite coast. 
But if he had powerful enemies among the nobles and chief ecclesi- 
astics, he had the great body of the people for his friends. As he 
was about to embark, an English vessel arrived ; and the sailors were 
asked as to the feelings of the English towards the archbishop ; 
they replied that he would be received with transports of joy. He 
landed at Sandwich on the 1st of December, and he was not disap- 
pointed in the welcome he had anticipated from his poorer coun- 
trymen. But he had already ensured his destruction, by an act of 
extraordinary presumption or courage, for it may be called either ; 
he had sent before him letters of excommunication which he had ob- 
tained from the Pope, against his old enemies the archbishop of 
York, and the bishops of London and Salisbury. These almost 
immediately set out for Normandy, to the king, from whom they 
implored redress. " There is a man," said they, " who sets England 
on fire ; he marches with troops of horse and armed foot, prowling 
round the fortresses, and trying to get himself received within them." 
This was indeed adding fuel to the tire that already burnt in the king's 
breast ; " How !" cried he, in a frenzy, " a fellow that hath eaten 
my bread, — a beggar that first came to my court on a lame horse, 
dares insult his king and the royal family, anil tread upon the 
whole kingdom, and not one of the cowards I nourish at my 
table— not one will deliver me from this turbulent priest !" These 
memorable words fell upon ears already inclined perhaps by private 
hatred to listen to them with delight ; such were Reginald Fitzurse 
William Tracy, Hugh de Morville, and Richard Brito, knights, 
barons, and servants of the king's household; who leaving the 
king t.i determine in council that lie would seize Becket and proceed 
against him in due form of law for high treason, quietly set out for 
England tu take the matter into their own hands. Whilst Becket 
was inarching about in a strange kind of state, with a host of poor 
people armed with old targets and rusty lances for his defenders, 
the conspirators were gradually drawing towards him by different 
routes. On Christinas-day the archbishop was preaching in the 
Cathedral, with more than his accustomed fervour, his text being 
" I come to die among you ;" and one cannot but look with a cer- 



Chap. II.] 



OLD ENGLAND. 



151 



rights to God 

." After some 

reminded three of 



tain amount of admiration ami sympathy on the man, notwithstand- 
ing the undoubted violence and ambition of the prelate, when we 
see him performing all the last and most questionable acts of eccle- 
siastical power, excommunication of personal enemies, with the 
clearest anticipation of what might be the personal consequences. 
On that day, he fold the congregation that one o£ the archbishops had 
been a martyr, and that they would probably soon see another ; and 
forthwith blazed out the indomitable spirit as fiercely and as bril- 
liantly as ever. " Before 1 depart home, I will avenge some of the 
wrongs my church hassnffered during the last seven years ;" and im- 
mediately he fulminated sentence of excommunication against Kanulf 

and Robert de Broc. and Kigellus. rector of Barrow. Thr ays 

after, the knights met at the castle of that very Ranulf de Broc ; 
and finally determined upon their plans. The next morning 
they entered Canterbury with a large body of troops, whom they 
Stationed at different quarters in order to quell any attempt of the 
inhabitants to defend the doomed man. They then proceeded to 
the monastery of St. Augustine (Fig. 570) with twelve attendants, 
and from thence to the palace, where they found the archbishop. 
It was then about two o'clock. They seated themselves,.,, the floor, 

in silence, and gazed up, in,. There was awful meaning in that 

glance; a no less awful apprehension of it, in the look with which 
it was returned. For the murderers to do what they had deter- 
mined upon, against such a man, and at such a period, was. if 
possible, more terrible than for the victim to suffer at then- hands. 
At last Reginald Fitzurse spoke : " We come," said he. " that 
you may absolve the bishops whom yon have excommunicated : 
re-establish the bishops whom you have suspended; and answer for 
your own offences against the King." Beeket, understanding they 
came from Henry, answered boldly and warmly, yet not without 
symptoms of a desire to give reasonable satisfaction. He sa,d he 
,.,,,,1,1 not absolve the archbishop of York, whose heinous case must 
be reserved for the Pope's judgment, but that he would withdraw 
the censures from the two other bishops, if they would swear to 
submit to the Papal decision. They then questioned Inn, upon the 
grand point-supremacy ; " Do you hold your archbishopric of 
the King or the Pope?" "I owe the spiritual 
and the Pope, and the temporal rights to the Kin; 
altercation, in the course of which Beeket 
then, of the time when they were his liege men, and haughtily 
said, that it was not for such as they to threaten him in his own 
house, the knights departed, significantly observing they would 
do more than threaten. Whether the hesitation, here apparent, 
arose from a desire to try to avoid extremities, or from want of mental 
courage to perform the terrible act meditated, may lie questioned ; 
both influences probably weighed upon their minds. By and bye 
they returned to the palace, and, finding the gates shut, endeavoured 
to force an entrance. Presently Robert de Uroc showed them an 
easier path through a window. The persons around Beeket had 
been previously urging him to take refuge in the church, thinking 
his assailants would be deterred from violating a place so doubly 
sacred— by express privileges, and by its intimate connection with 
the growth of Christianity in the country ; but he resisted until the 
voices of the monks, as they sang the vespers in the choir, struck 
upon his ears, when he said he would go, as duty then called him. 
Calmly he set forth, his cross-bearer preceding him with the 
crucifix raised on high, not the slightest trepidation visible in his 
features or his movements; and when the servants would have 
closed the doors of the Cathedral, he forbade them ; the house of 
God was not to be barricadoed like a castle. He was just entering 
the choir when Reginald Fitzurse and Ids companions appeared at 
the other end of the church, the former waving his sword and crying 
aloud, " Follow me, loyal servants of the King." The assassins were 
armed from head to foot. Even then Peeket might have escaped, 
in the gloom of evening, to the intricate underground parts of the 
Cathedral ; but he was deaf to all persuasions of the kind, and 
advanced to meet the knights. All his company then fled, except 
one, the faithful cross-bearer, Edward Gryme. "Where is the 
traitor?" was then called out; but as Beeket in his unshaken pre- 
sence of mind was silent to such an appeal, Reginald Fitzurse added, 
•■ Where is the archbishop?" " Here an, I," was the reply | " an 
archbishop, but no traitor, ready to suffer in my Saviour's name." 
Tracy the,, pulled him by the sleeve, exclaiming. - Come hither; 
thou art a prisoner!" but Beeket perceiving their object, which 
was to get him without the church, resisted so violently as to 
make Tracy stagger forward. Even then hesitating and uncertain, 
hardly knowing "what they said, and unable to determine what 
they would do. they advised Beeket to flee in one breath. 
to accompany then, in another. It is probable, indeed, that 
Beeket might have successfully antl safely resisted all their 



demands, had lie condescended to put on for one hour the garb he 
ought never to have put otf — gentleness ; but his bearingand language 
could hardly have been more haughty and contemptuous than now, 
when he saw himself utterly defenceless and encompassed by deadly 
enemies. Speaking to Fitzurse, he reminded him he had done him 
many pleasures, and asked him why he came with armed men into 
his church. The answer was a demand to absolve the bislni|.s ; 
to which Beeket not only gave a decided refusal, but insulted 
Fitzurse by the use of a foul term that one would hardly have 
looked for in the vocabulary of an archbishop. "Then die," ex- 
claimed Fitzurse, striking at his head with his weapon ; but the 
devoted cross-bearer interfered; when his arm was nearly cat 
through, and Beeket slightly injured. Still anxious to avoid the con- 
summation of a deed that necessarily appeared so tremendous in 
their eyes, one of them was heard even then to utter the warning 
voice, "F'ly, or thou diest." The archbishop, however, clasped his 
hands, bowed his head, and, with the blood running down his face, ex- 
claimed. "To God, to St. Mary, to the holy patrons of this church, 
and to St. Denis, I commend my soul, and the church's cause." I le 
was then struck down by a second blow, and a third completed tire 
tragedy. One of the murderers placed his foot on the dead pre- 
late's neck, and cried " Thus perishes a traitor." The party then 
retired, and after dwelling for a time at Knaresboroiigh, and finding 
they were shunned by persons of all classes and conditions, spent 
their last days in penitence in Jerusalem: when they died, this 
inscription was written upon their tomb— " Here lie the wretches 
who murdered St Thomas of Canterbury." The spot where this 
bloody act was performed is still pointed out in the northern wing 
of the western transept, and that part of the Cathedral is in con- 
sequence emphatically called Martyrdom; the martyr being the 
designation by which Beeket was immediately and universally 
spoken of. The excitement caused by the event has had few parallels 
in English history. For a twelvemonth divine service was sus- 
pended ; the unnatural silence reigning throughout the vast pile 
during that time, making the scene of bloodshed all the more im- 
pressive to the eyes of the devout, who began to pour thither from 
all parts of the world in a constantly increasing stream. Canterbury 
then became a kind of second Holy City, where the guilty sought 
remission of their sins— the diseased, health— pilgrims, the blessings 
that awaited the performance of duly fulfilled vows. Henry him- 
self, moved by a death so sudden and so dreadful, and so directly 
following upon his own hasty words, did penance in the most abject 
manner before Becket's tomb ; and two years later gave up all 
that he had so long struggled for by repealing the famous con- 
stitutions of Clarendon, which had subjected both church and clergy 
to the civil authority. 

It was a noticeable coincidence that only four years after the death 
of Beeket the Cathedral was all but destroyed by tire ; a calamity 
that at such a time would hardly appear like a calamity, from the 
opportunity it afforded of developing in a practical shape the 
passion that filled the universal heart of England to do something 
memorable in honour of the illustrious martyr. To say that funds 
poured in from all parts and in all shapes, gives but little notion 
of the enthusiasm of the contributors to the restoration of the edifice, 
'flic feelings evidenced by foreigners show forcibly what must have 
been those of our own countrymen. In 1179, says Mr. Batteley, 
in his additions to Somner's ' Antiquities of Canterbury,' " Louis 
VII., King of France, landed at Dover, where our king expected his 
arrival. On the 23rd of August these two kings came to 
Canterbury, with a great train of nobility of both nations, and 
were received by the archbishop and his corn-provincials, the prior, 
and convent, with great I ur and unspeakable joy. The obla- 
tions of gold and silver made by the French were incredible. The 
king [Louis] came in manner and habit of a pilgrim, and was con- 
ducted to the tomb of St. Thomas in solemn procession, where he 
Offered his cup of gold, and a royal precious stone, with a yearly 
rental of one hundred muids [hogsheads] of wine for ever to the 
convent." The task of rebuilding even a Canterbury Cathedral 
would be found but comparatively light under such circumstances j 
so the good work proceeded rapidly towards completion, until the 
filbric appeared of which the chief parts remain to the present time. 
It is not. therefore, in its associations merely that the Cathedral 
reminds us at every step we take in ,t of the turbulent and ambi- 
tious, but able and brave p,iest,-it may really be almost esteemed 
Ids monument : for admiration of his self-sacrifice, veneration of Am 

piety, and yearning to do him I ir, were the moving powers 

that raised anew the lofty roof, and extended the long-drawn aisles 
.,,„] nave and choir. The direct testimonies of the people's affec- 
tions were still nunc remarkable. Among the earliest additions 
made after the fire to the former plan was the circular east end, 






578,— Norman Capitals. Town, Lincoln. 



579— EnrlvEog'ish Capital, ChaplflvROui 

Untolo- 



,,-4 —Lincoln Cathedral. 




381.- Gaule Ciom, Lincol; 




888 —Bracket. Chapter House, Lincoln. 




5?2.— Gahle Cross, Lincoln. 



37G.— Lincoln Cathedral. 






534— Bracket, Lincoln. 



577.— Interior of Lincoln Cathedral- 



152 




536.— North-west View of Durham Cathedral. 




53$.— Durham Cathedral. 




590. -Stone Chair in the Chapter-House, Durham- 




5'.U.— Arcade, Chapter-House, Duiham. 





JSO.— Durli.im Cathedral. 



587.— Durham. 



No 20. 



[OLD ENGLAND.] 



153 



15-1 



OLD ENGLAND. 



[Book II. 



including the chapel of the Holy Trinity, and anothercalled Becketa 
( Irown (Fig. 567) : the last so designated, according to some autho- 
rities, from the circumstance of the chapels having been erected 
during the prelacy of Becket, whilst others attribute it to the form 
of the roof: there may have been, however, a much more poetical 
origin: Becket's crown was possibly intended to be significant of the 
crow n of main n'.oin here won by the slaughtered prelate. It was in 
that chapel of the Holy Trinity that the shrine, famous the wide world 
over, was erected, and w Inch speedily became so rich as to be w ithout 
rival, we should imagine, in Europe. It was •• budded." says Stow, 
•■about a man's height, all of stone, then upwards of timber plain, 
within which was a chest of iron, containing the bones of Thomas 
Becket, skull and all, witli the wound id' his death, and the piece cut 
out of his skull laid in the same wound. The timber-work of this 
shrine on the outside was covered with [dates of gold, damasked witli 
gold wire, which ground of gold was again covered with jewels id' 
gold, as rings, ten or twelve cramped with gold wire into the said 
ground of gold, many of these rings having stones in them, brooches, 
images, angels, precious stones, and great pearls." The contents 
of the shrine were in accordance with the outward display. Eras- 
mus, who obtained a glimpse of the treasures a little before the 
Reformation, says that under a coffin of wood, inclosing another 
of "old, which was drawn up by ropes and pulleys, he beheld 
an amount of riches the value of which he could not estimate. 
Gold was the meanest thing visible ; the whole place glittered with 
the rarest and most precious gems, which were generally of extra- 
ordinary si/.e, and some larger than the egg of a goose. When 
Henry VIII. seized upon the whole, two great chests were 
filled, each requiring six or seven men to move it. In strict 
keeping with the character of the brutal despot was Ids war with 
the dead, as well as with the living, when he ordered the remains 
of Becket to be burned, and the ashes scattered to the winds. The 
shrine, then, has disappeared, with all its contents, but a more 
touching memorial than either remains behind— the hollowed pave- 
ment—worn away by countless knees of worshippers from every 
Christian land. 

As our ecclesiastical builders seem to have had not the smallest 
notion of " finality " in their labours — but when a building was 
even fairly finished, in the ordinary sense of the term, were 
sure to find some part requiring re-erection in a new style — we 
find Canterbury for centuries after Becket's death still in pro- 
gress: the Reformation found the workmen still busy. There is 
something in all this truly grand, harmonizing with and ex- 
plaining the mighty ends obtained ; reason and feeling alike 
whisper — Thus alone are Cathedrals built. Yet how deep and per- 
vading the influence of art must have been upon the minds of all 
who were connected witli such structures. Centuries pass, archi- 
tect after architect dies otf, and is succeeded by others, yet still the 
work grows in beauty, and above all in the loftiest, but under the 
circumstances apparently the most difficult kind of beauty — expres- 
sion; each man evidently understands his predecessor so thoroughly, 
that he can depart from his modes of working — his style, secure 
still of achieving his principles. Look at Canterbury. How many 
changes of architectural taste are not there visible ; how many dif- 
ferent periods of architectural history may not be there traced : yet 
is the effect anywhere discordant? — Oil, he were indeed presump- 
tuous who should say so. Is it not rather in the highest degree 
grand and impressive, conveying at once to the mind that scum' of 
sublime repose which belongs only to works of essential unity ? We 
need not subjoin any detailed architectural descriptions. The Ca- 
thedral is pleasantly situated in an extensive court, surrounded by 
gardens, cemetery, the deanery and prebendal houses, and what 
remains of the archiepiscopal palace, and of other buildings con- 
nected with the Cathedral, among which may be mentioned the 
Staircase (Fig. 569). The Precinct Gate (Fig. 5GG) form- tin 
principal entrance to this court. As to the Cathedral, the double 
transepts may be noticed as the most noticeable feature of the plan, 
which represents, as usual, a cross. The choir is of extraordinary 
length, nearly two hundred feet, and the great tower is generally 
esteemed one of the chastest and most beautiful specimens we pos- 
sess of Pointed architecture. Its height is two hundred and thirty- 
five feet. The entire length of the building measures five hundred 
and fourteen feet. One of the two western towers lias been re- 
cently restored. The Cathedral is exceedingly rich in objects of 
general interest to the visitor, and may be readily conceived when 
we consider what a history must lie thai of Canterbury, how many 
eminent men have been buried within its walls, what splendid ex- 
amples of monumental anil other sculpture exist there even vet, 
hunt tokens of the wealth art. once lavished upon its walls and 
niches and windows. But among the crowd of interesting objects 



there are two which peculiarly attract notice : a sarcophagus of 
grey marble, richly adorned, and bearing the effigy of a warrior, in 
copper gilt — that is the monument of the Black Prince, wonderfully 
fresh and perfect : and an ancient chair in the chapel of the Holy 
Trinity, formed also of grey marble, in pieces, which is used for the 
enthronization of the Archbishops of the See, and which, sayeth 
tradition, was (he ancient regal seat of the Saxon kings of Kent, 
who may have given it to the Cathedral as an emblem of their pious 
submission to Him who was then first declared unto them — the 
King of Kings (Fig. oG7). 



If St. Augustine's Monastery possessed no other claim to atten- 
tion than that of hai ing been the burial-place of the great English 
Apostle of Christianity, it were amply sufficient to induce the 
visitor to the glorious cathedral to pass on from thence to a space 
beyond the walls, along the northern side of the Dover road, and 
there muse over the powers that are from time to time given into 
the hands of a single man to influence to countless generations the 
thoughts, feelings, manners, customs, in a word, the spiritual and 
temporal existence of a great people. Yes, it was here that, after 
successes that can fall to the lot of few, even of the greatest men, 
Augustine reposed in b'04 : he found England essentially a heathen 
country ; he left it if not essentially a Christian one, still so far 
advanced to a knowledge of the mighty truths of the Gospel, as to 
render it all but certain that their final supremacy was a mere 
question of time. The monastery was founded by him on ground 
granted by Ethelbert, and dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul. It 
was IJiinstan who, some centuries later, with honourable reverence 
for Augustine's memory, re-dedicated the establishment to those 
Apostles and to St. Augustine. Not long after that time Augus- 
tine's body was removed into the Cathedral. We fear the pious 
monks of the monastery must have felt their stuck of charity 
severely tried on the occasion, if we may judge from their known 
sentiments towards their brethren of Christ Church, who were thus 
honoured at their expense. 

There are some curious passages in what we may call the mutual 
history of the two establishments. As they both sprang from one 
source, Augustine, and were of course founded witli the same views, 
they looked on each other, as usual, with feelings that must charm 
the hearts of those who think it rather creditable than otherwise 
to be "good haters." Their disputes began early; "neither," 
says Lambarde, " do I find that ever tiiey agreed after, but were 
evermore at continual brawling between themselves, either suing 
before the King or appealing to the Pope, and that for matters of 
more stomach [pride] than importance ; as, for example, whether 
the Abbot of St. Augustine's should be consecrated or blessed in 
his own church or in the other's ; whether he ought to ring ids bells 
at service before the other had rung theirs ; whether he and his 
tenant- owed suit to the bishop's court, and such like." At the 
dissolution Henry VIII. took a fancy to the monastery, and made it 
one of his own palaces. Queen Mary subsequently granted it to 
Cardinal Pole ; but on her death it again reverted to the crown ; 
and Elizabeth on one occasion, in 1573, kept her court in it. Sub- 
sequently Lord Wotton became the possessor, w hose widow enter- 
tained Charles II. whilst on his way to take possession of the 
throne ; the note then given to the building may have caused it 
to be known as Lady Wotton's Palace, which designation is still 
in use. 

We may gather from these facts that the monastery in its days 
of prosperity must have been an unusually magnificent structure ; 
and, great as have been the injuries since experienced, both in the 
shape of actual destruction and in the disgraceful treatment of 
wdiat little was still permitted to exist, no one can look upon the 
architectural character or extent of the pile, as evidenced in the 
remains, without being impressed with the same conviction (Fig. 
.370). The space covered by the different buildings extended to 
sixteen acres. Of these the gateway (Fig. .071), a superb piece of 
architecture, is preserved essentially entire. 



A Monastery at Bristol, dedicated also to St. Augustine, may be 
here fitly noticed. This was built by Robert Fitzharding, the 
Founder of the present Berkeley family, and a prepositor, or chief 
magistrate, of the city during the stormy reign of Stephen. The 
establishment afterwards attained to such a pitch of wealth and 
splendour, that when Henry VIII., in placing his destructive hands 
upon the religious houses of England generally, was moved in 
some way to spare this, lie was able to create a bishop's see out of 
the abbey lands: the Abbey church was consequently elevated to 



Chap. II.] 



OLD ENGLAND. 



155 



the rank it now holds, of a cathedral. As an example of the sum- 
mary way in which the king's creatures were accustomed to ileal 
with such beautiful anil revered structures, it is not unworthy of 
notice that a part of the church was already demolished, before the 
arrangement we have mentioned was formally completed. The 
transept, the eastern part of the nave, and the choir of the original 
church, are the parts that were saved, and their stately character 
leaves us grateful for the possession of so much. There is also a 
tower at the western end of the building, of considerable size 
and height, and richly decorated. The beautifully arched roof 
is always looked upon with admiration. The painted windows 
are also ancient, and therefore interesting. Among the monu- 
ments are those to the Eliza of Sterne and to the wife of the 
poet Mason, lint perhaps a still more valuable portion of the 
Abbey than any we have mentioned is to be found in the gateway 
(Fig. 573), which has been attributed to an earlier period— the 
arms of the Confessor are sculptured upon its front, — and which 
is universally esteemed one of the finest Norman gateways in 
England. 

It is to be observed, in examining the engraving, that the rising 
of the ground in the course of so many centuries has materially 
injured the effect of the proportion of the arch to the rest of the 
edifice; and that the window seen there is not what we now see in 
the gateway itself, but. what we ought to be able to see there ; 
comparatively modern sashes having replaced the antique bay 
window. 



The first view of Lincoln Cathedral obtained by the approaching 
traveller is something to remember for a lifetime. One of the 
most beautiful of English structures is certainly at the same time 
one of the most nobly situated. As we advance towards it from 
the south by the London road, we suddenly arrive at the brow of a 
steep hill, leading down into a fertile valley extending far away to 
the right and to the left, and through the centre of which the river 
Witharo glides along, whilst immediately opposite rises a corre- 
sponding eminence to that on which we stand, at about the distance 
of a mile or so. In that valley, and stretching up that hill to and 
over its top, lies outspread before us like a panorama the beautiful 
city of Lincoln ; and crowning the whole stands the glorious Cathe- 
dral, its entire length, four hundred and seventy feet, fully displayed, 
with its two western towers rising at the left extremity, and the grand 
main tower, truly worthy of its name, lifting itself proudly up from 
the centre to the height of some two hundred and sixty-seven feet. 
Such is the first view obtained of Lincoln Cathedral ; such the impres- 
sions excited by it : and a nearer inspection enhances even the warmest 
admiration. The architect finds in it the history of his art during 
two centuries, and those two of more importance (we refer to England 
only) than all other periods put together, written in styles that make 
those of words appear tame indeed to his eyes. The sculptor in Lin- 
coln Cathedral looks around him with astonishment at the loftiness of 
design, as well as consummate beauty of execution, which much 
of the works that pertain to his own province exhibit. The 
antiquary finds the blood quickening in his veins as he thinks of 
the rich storehouse of material that here awaits him, and on which 
he may exercise, if he pleases, his industry, talents, ami zeal for 
years together ; no fear that he will exhaust them. But we are 
now before the western front, a perfectly unique and stupendous 
work ; simple even to a fault, perhaps, in the generally level character 
of so large a surface, but still sublime in expression, most richly 
elaborate in ornament, and in the highest degree interesting from 
the manner in which it tells us, as we look upon it, how it was 
gradually completed in different eras. There, above all, we per- 
ceive in the central portion, including that series of recesses with 
semicircular arches rising to so many different heights, — the original 
Norman front of Remigius, the founder of the earliest structure ; 
the pointed window and arch of the central recess alone excepted, 
which have been substituted for the ancient round ones (Fig. 576). 
The date of the erection is the reign of the Conqueror, with whom 
Hemigius came over from Normandy. He appears to have been a 
most enterprising, able, and benevolent man. William of Malms- 
bury says of him, "that being in person far below the common pro- 
portion of men, his mind exerted itself to excel and shine." To 
show the labourers the spirit that actuated him in rearing the 
mighty pile, he is said to have carried stones and mortar upon his 
own shoulders. Of his benevolence if may be sufficient to observe — 
and the fact is interesting as affording a glimpse of the domestic 
customs that in some degree ameliorated t lie frightful misery 
wrought by the Conquest — he fed daily, during three months of 
each year, one thousand poor persons ; and clothed the blind and 



the lame among their number, in addition. Such was the Bishop 
of Dorchester, who, having removed the see to Lincoln, then one of 
the most important places in the kingdom, founded the see of Lin- 
coln, and the Cathedral, with the adjoining Bishop's Palace, and 
other buildings fur the residence of the ecclesiastical officers. Un- 
fortunately one pleasure was denied him, that he must have looked 
forward to with no ordinary emotions ; lie died the very day before 
tlic grand opening ofthe Minster ; to which — warned of his approach- 
ing dissolution — he had invited all the most distinguished prelates of 
the realm to assist in the solemn art of consecration. One of these, 
the Bishop of Hereford, curiously enough, had excused himself from 
attending the ceremony, on the ground that he had learnt, by astro- 
logy, that the church would not be dedicated in the time of Re- 
migius. Of this early fabric the central portion ofthe west front 
is all that now remains ; as to the remainder, it has been supposed, 
by an authority competent to offer an opinion, that it did not ma- 
terially differ from the present structure in arrangement or size ; 
except that it ended eastwards about sixty feet within the present 
termination, and that the eastern front formed a semicircular tribune ; 
therefore very unlike the present one, of which it may be said, that 
if any one desires to see an example of the Gothic, so perfectly 
beautiful that it is impossible to conceive any more exquisite com- 
bination of architectural forms and architectural decorations, let him 
look upon that eastern front of Lincoln Cathedral. 

The building of the Cathedral occupied somewhat more than two 
centuries ; but this did not, as we have partly seen, arise from the 
circumstance that it was unfinished for so long a time, but that 
accidents, among them a fire and an earthquake, did great damage 
to the pile at different periods ; another circumstance that no doubt 
delayed the final completion ofthe structure was the desire to improve 
it from time to time as the new and admired Gothic continued to 
develop fresh beauties and excellencies. Among the bishops to 
whom, after Remigius, the Cathedral was largely indebted, we may 
mention Hugh de Grenoble, to whom we owe much of the present 
fabric, erected by him between 1186 and 1200, no doubt in conse- 
quence of the earthquake of 1185. The east or upper transept, with 
the Chapel attached to it, the Choir, Chapter-house, and east side 
of the western transept, with [tarts of the additions to Remigius's 
west front, are all attributed to Bishop Hugh. Even in this collec- 
tion of examples of the architecture of but fourteen years, the 
progression of the art is clearly visible ; beautiful as is the Choir, 
for instance, a pure unmixed specimen of early Gothic, it is far 
surpassed by the Chapter-house — with its most airy and elegant of 
interiors — w here, in the centre of the lofty octagonal building, rises 
a stately pillar formed of a group of slender pillars, and which, at a 
certain height, branch off in all directions, still rising, over the roof. 
Tins Bishop, as his name implies, was a native of Grenoble; and 
so distinguished for his austere piety, that when he died, in 1200, 
and was brought to Lincoln for interment, the Kings of England 
and Scotland, who were then holding a conference in the city, went 
to meet his body at the gates, and bore it on their shoulders to the 
Cathedral Close, whence it was carried to the Choir by a multitude 
of the most distinguished personages of the realm, and finally 
buried at the east end of the Cathedral. Such a man was of 
course sure to be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church — that 
ceremony took place in 1220 ; and sixty-two years later his 
remains were taken up and deposited in a shrine of pure gold in the 
Presbytery. The enormous value of this memorial may be conceived 
from a statement of its dimensions — eight feet by four. The shrine 
was plundered at the dissolution of the Monasteries, as well as the 
Cathedral generally. The inventory of jewels, of articles of gold 
and silver, and of costly vestments taken from Lincoln, fills several 
folio pages of the great edition of the ' Monasticoji.' The Nave, 
unequalled, it is supposed, in the world for its combined magnitude 
and beauty of proportion, and the curious Galilee porch, so richly 
decorated, are among the next additions ; the use of the last-named 
work has been thus explained by Dr. Milncr ('Treatise on the 
Ecclesiastical Architecture of the Middle Ages ') :— •■ There were 
formerly such porches at the western extremity of all large churches. 
In these public penitents were stationed, dead bodies were some- 
times deposited, previously to their interment, and females were 
allowed to see the monks of the convent who were their relatives. 
We may gather from a passage in Gervasr. that upon a woman's 
applying for leave to see a monk, her relation, she was answered in 
the words of Scripture, 'He goeth before you into Galilee, there 
you shall see him.' Hence the term ( ialilee. It is well known that 
at Durham Cathedral women were not even allowed to attend 
Divine Service except in the Galilee." To a greater man than any 
we have yet mentioned, Grosteste, ire are indebted for the lower 
portion of the main tower. What powerful kings strove in vain 

X2 




|M-— OrearnnHal Shaft. Poor of 
Ni.mli Cloutiflm, Durham. 



— -Ornamental Shaft, Door of Norlli 
CloiMera, Durham. 



592. — Nave of Durham Cathedral. 




|M,-Nnnn»rt Moulding 
Durham. 








JL6L 



V'_r- " k .' 






I r ■ J 

•a A V H O 



O a O n C ci O O 



(00,- Norm*n Moulding. 
Uuniun. 




Li ; . i mUa r=r 





-Normnn Moulding 
Durham - 



VOALC OT HIT. 




601.— Norman Mnulding, 
Durham. 



158 



OLD ENGLAND. 



fFocK II. 



to do, was accomplished by Bishop ffirosteste ; he opposid si ss- 

fully the Papal power in its very palmiest days. The Pope and he, 
it appears, did not agree about various matters, and no wonder,since 
he was accustomed to talk about the inordinate ambition of the 
Pontificate, and to .-peak disrespectfully of some of its convenient, 
but nor very just, customs — for instance, that of appointing Italian 
priests to offices in the English church. So Grostesfe went to Home. 
to see if I"' could not come to a better understanding with his 
spiritual superior. His ill success was made apparent on his return, 
by his publication of a letter in which he animadverted in no very 
measured terms upon the gross perversions of the Papal power, and 
instituted a most unflattering comparison between the living and 
past possessors of the chair of St. Peter. The wrath of the Pope 
may be imagined : " What !" he exclaimed, " shall this old dotard, 
whose sovereign is my vassal, lay down rules for me.' ISy St. 
Peter, I'll make such an example of him as shall astonish the 
world." He accordingly excommunicated Grosteste ; who astonished 
him. whatever lie might have done the world, in return, by pro- 
ceeding quietly with his episcopal duties, making every one speak 
of him with reverence for his wisdom and piety, anil dying at last, 
eighteen years afterwards, not a jot the worse in any respect for the 
Pope's thunders and excommunications. The only other portion 
ot the structure that, we need particularize is the east end, including 
the Presbytery, or space beyond the Choir, and the eastern front, of 
which we have spoken with so much admiration : all this appears to 
have been built in the latter half of the thirteenth century; and formed 
a suitable termination to so grand a work, surpassing, as it did, all 
that had been previously erected. In these— the earlier parts— a 
very gradual progression of improvement in the style forms the 
chief characteristic; but in the Presbytery and east front, while 
with consummate art we see all the essentials of the former 
preserved, a striking air of novelty is superadded, and the whole 
becomes markedly richer, airier, more delicate and stately, without 
any diminution of grandeur or strength. The buttresses almost 
cease to look like buttresses, so profusely are they decorated with 
crockets, creepers, and finials. with clustered columns at the angles, 
and with brackets and canopies for statues on the faces. The 
windows now cease to be mere single lights, they are divided into 
several compartments bynrallions; they begin to revel in all the 
luxuriant variety of geometrical tracery. From the highest to the 
lowest details, a very '• shower of beauty " seems to have suddenly 
fallen over all; ami Time has in most parts dealt so gently with 
them, that the very freshness of that early period seems to be still 
preserved. 

There are, of course, many matters of interest connected with the 
erection of the Cathedral, which we have not even referred to, and 
many others of its general history, or of its individual features, 
upon which our space either forbids us to comment at all. or but 
slightly. The Bishop's Porch, at the eastern corner of the southern 
side of the building, was originally one of the most sumptuous and 
admirable specimens of mingled architecture and sculpture that 
even Old England itself could furnish; and, mutilated as the porch 
now is, more than traces of its superb beauty yet remain. The 
principal part is the alto-relievo above the doorway, representing 
the Last Judgment in a style of the loftiest design, that fiils one, like 
the beautiful statue of Eleanor in Westminster Abbey, with 
astonishment and perplexity: how could such works have been 
executed in England in the thirteenth or fourteenth century? The 
various chapels and monumental remains of Lincoln are in them- 
selves a wide field for study and observation ; but we can only here 
remark, that among the latter are those of Bishop Iiemigins, Ca- 
therine Swynford, wife of John of Gaunt, and sister of Chaucer's 
wife, and the remains of a monument, covering the stone coffin of 
little St. Hugh, a boy alleged to have been crucified by the dews 
in derision of the Sa\iour— a charge absurd enough in all but 
its consequences ; these are painful even to relate. In 1255 one 

h Ired and two Jews were taken from Lincoln to the Tower; and 

eventually twenty-three were executed in London, and eighteen at 
Lincoln. The explanation, frightful as is the wickedness it involves, 
if true, seems to be partially given in the existing record of a com- 
mission to Simon de Pasaeliere and William de Leighton, to seize 
for the king's use the houses belonging to the .lews w ho were hanged 
at Lincoln. Knowing what atrocities were perpetrated, avowedly 
to make their victims, the .lews, submit to spoliation, there is but 
little difficulty in believing, however reluctantly, that the spoilers 
were glad to mail themselves of any conceivable means of directing 
against that unhappy people the greatest possible amount of popular 
odium. A painted statue of the boy formerly existed here, bearing 
marks of crucifixion in the hands and feet, and blood issuing from a 
wound in the side. The story has been commemorated in the ballad 



of 'Sir 
Tales' » 



Hugh, or the Jew's Daughter;' and in the ' Canterbury 
ere Chaucer, in the Prioress's Tale, alludes to 

O youngs Hugh of Lincoln slain also, 
With iMiiji" 1 Jewess, as \ 1. notable, 
For it n'is but a litflq vvhrl ago - &c 

Great Tom of Lincoln must have a passing word. The old bell, 
having been accidentally broken in 1827, has been since recast, with 
the additional metal of the four lady bells that also hung in the 
great tower ; and it now deserves more than its former reputation. 
Its size and weight are enormous. The height exceeds six feet ; the 
greatest breadth is six feet ten inches and a half; the weight is five 
tons eight hundredweight. As to tone and volume of sound, the 
imagination can conceive nothing more grandly, musically solemn. 



The records of the foundation of many of our earliest monastic 
houses, as well as of the faith to the cultivation and dissemination 
of which they were devoted, exhibit, as we have already partly 
seen, ample store of miracles on the part of the teachers, responded 
to by a most unbounded credulity on the part of those who were 
taught. But all the wonders of all the other religious establish- 
ments of England put together, hardly equal those which Durham 
was once accustomed to boast of. and which were received with 
implicit credence ; for any important event in its early history to 
have happened in a simply natural manner seems to have been the 
exception: the supernatural was the mode — and the rule. Our 
readers must not, therefore, be surprised to find that an intrinsically 
serious and solemn subject has, in the lapse of ages, and through 
the growth of an intelligent scepticism as to these continual aberra- 
tions from all the ordinary laws of nature, become surrounded with 
many amusing and ludicrous associations. Fortunately the com- 
mencement of the history of Durham, which is also the commence- 
ment of the history of the introduction of Christianity into that 
part of the island, has not been impaired by such derogatory in- 
fluences. Ethelfrith, King of Northumberland, at his death left a 
widow and seven sons, who were obliged to fly into Scotland, to 
escape the hands of the usurper Edwin, the boys' uncle. Donald 
IV. then reigned in Scotland, and being a convert to Chris- 
tianity, instilled its principles into the minds of the Youthful 
exiles. The eldest son ultimately obtained a portion of his in- 
heritance, after the usurper's death, but relapsed into heathenism, 
and was murdered byCadwallon, King of Cumberland, who overran 
the whole country. It was to do battle with this monarch that 
Oswald, a second son, then set out from Scotland, and placed him- 
self at the head of the miserable Northumbrians. The utmost 
force he could collect, however, was so small in comparison with that 
commanded by Cadwallon, that but for his reliance on the Power 
so recently made known to him. he must have resigned the contest 
for his kingdom in despair. Undismayed, he prepared for the bloody 
fight, and causing across to be brought to him in front of the army, 
he held it with his own hands in an upright posture, while his 
attendants, animated by his enthusiasm into a similar conviction 
that they were to be aided by more than mortal influences, heaped 
up the earth around, and made it fast. Then addressing the men, 
he said : — " Let us fall down on our knees, and beseech the 
Almighty, the living and true God, to defend us against this proud 
and cruel enemy ;" and they obeyed him. After devotions, he led 
on his little band toward the enemy, the whole actuated by a 
spirit that was irresistible: a complete victory was obtained. Full 
of gratitude, Oswald sent to Scotland for some holy man, who might 
assist in the conversion of the inhabitants of his newly gained 
dominions, and one was sent whose austere manners proved so little 
to the taste of the Northumbrians, that Oswald was fain to send him 
back, lie was replaced by Aidau, who seems to have been all that 
was desired, and who, having successfully looked ibr the most 
suitable spot, at last fixed upon the island of Lindisfaunk, where he 
established a monastery and a bishopric. Of the sanctity of the 
lives of these primitive Christians of Northumbria we have a kind 
of testimony in the name subsequently given to the place — Holy 
Island. But a more direct and interesting evidence is to be found 
in liede's charming picture of the lives of the monks during the 
period that the Scottish bishops continued to fill the office of Abbot. 
( tae could almost fancy Chaucer must have had it in view when, 
at a later period, be drew his inimitable portrait of the " poure 
parson." "Their frugality and simplicity of life, and parsimony, 
appeared in the place of their residence, in which there was nothing 
superfluous, or unnecessary for the humblest life. In the church 
only magnificence was permitted. Their possessions consisted chiefly 
in cattle, for money was only retained till fit opportunity offered 
to distribute it to the poor. Places of entertainment and reception 



Chap. II.] 



OLD ENGLAND. 



1.59 



wore unnecessary, for the religious were visited solely for their 
doctrines and the holy offices of the church. When the king 
came thither, he was attended only by live or six persons, and had 
no other object in view than to partake of the rites of religion, 
departing immediately after the service; if perchance they took 
refreshment, it was of the common fare of the monks. The 
attention of those pastors was confined to spiritual matters only ; 
temporary affairs were deemed derogatory to the holy appointment ; 
and thence proceeded the profound veneration which was paid by 
all ranks of people to the religious habit. When any ecclesiastic 
went from the monastery, it was to preach the word of salvation, 
and he was everywhere received with joy, as a messenger of the 
divinity; on the road the passengers bowed the head to receive 
the holy benediction and sign of the cross, with pious reverence 
treasuring up the good man's precepts as documents of the most 
salutary import. The churches were crowded with a decent 
audience; ami when a monk was seen entering a village in his 
travels, the inhabitants Hoekeil about him, entreating admonition 
and prayers. On their visitation, donations and riches were not 
their pursuit, and when any religious society received an augmen- 
tation to the revenues of the house, as an offering of Christianity 
by the donor, they accepted it as an additional store with which 
they were intrusted for the benefit of the poor." The humble 
fishermen of Galilee might have recognised kindred spirits In these 
monks of Lindisfarne. 

That most terrible of scourges that was perhaps ever inflicted 
upon an unfortunate people, a neighbouring nation of pirates, 
ultimately caused (in connection with another matter, to which we 
shall refer presently) the removal of the bishopric from Lindis- 
farne. Again and again the merciless and insatiable Dane burst 
down upon the island, so Holy to all but him, and destroyed and 
slaughtered what he could not carry away or make captive ; and at 
last the monks in despair ceased for a time their exertions to make 
the place retain its original importance. After the Conquest, how- 
ever, a new Priory was erected, holding the position of a cell only 
to the former bishopric. The remains of that edifice (shown in 
Fig. 572) are singularly beautiful in their ruin. Scott has described 
the whole as forming 

A siik'mti, huge, and dark red pile, 
Placed on tile margin of the Isle ; 

and which, it is to be feared, will be lost to the next generation, 
notwithstanding the care that is said to have been of late years 
bestowed on them : the material is a soft red freestone, which wastes 
rapidly under the action of the elements. About one hundred yards 
distant from the mainland, with which Lindisfarne itself is con- 
nected at low water, and facing the Priory, there stands, on a low 
detached piece of rock, the foundations of a building upon which 
most persons look with even deeper interest than on those stately 
neighbouring ruins. In some parts the walls yet rise a foot or two 
above the ground ; these walls and foundations belonged to a small 
chapel, dediealed to the saint who was the immediate cause of the 
removal of the bishopric — St. Cuthbert. himself one of the early 
prelates. His remains were buried at Lindisfarne. But, having 
taken up the body about the year 875, and conveyed it away from 
Lindisfarne, to avoid the attacks of the Danes, the Bishop Landulf 
and flic Abbot Ladled, and all the monastic household, were kept 
marching to and fro, now alarmed by rumours that the Danes were 
coming this way, and the monks consequently going that ; then ao-ain 
stopped by fresh intelligence, and compelled to diverge into new 
tracks. No wonder that the good bishop at last felt heartily tired 
of these incessant and somewhat unseemly manoeuvres, and resolved 
to put an end to them by going over to Ireland. Accordingly 
the party, which included a great number of the more zealous anil 
attached Christian people, proceeded to the mouth of the Derwent 
and took ship ; but they had scarcely got out to sea, before a 
violent storm arose, and drove the vessel back to the spot from 
whence they had departed. To minds accustomed to look upon all 
such events as bearing some spiritual meaning, it was considered 
certain that God thus signified his will that they should not iinit 
England. Food now grew scarce, and the people, driven away by 
hunger, gradually disappeared, until there were left only the 
Bishop, the Abbot, and seven other persons to take care of the 
saintly corpse. In the midst of their distress, one of the number 
llunied, had a vision which greatly comforted the wanderers; 
they were told, through him, by a celestial voice, to repair to the 
sea, where they would find a hook of the Gospels they had lost out 
of the ship during the storm, and which appears to have been 
greatly valued, for it was adorned with gold and precious stones. 
The message then continued, that they would next find a bridle 



hanging on a tree, which was to be placed on a horse that would 
come to them, and the horse was to be attached to a ear that they 
would also meet with, and thus the body might he carried with 
greater ease and comfort. Everything happened as foretold ; ami 
again the party moved on, following the horse wherever it led. 
We must not forget to mention, as a very interesting evidence in 
favour of the truth of all the more natural parts of the story, that 
at the time of Symeon of Dunelmensis, the ancient historian of the 
see, from whom this part of our narration is derived, the book was 
still preserved in the library at Durham, and it, is supposed that one 
of the must valued treasures of the British Museum is this ancient 
copy of the Gospels. When our travellers had thus spent seven 
years in incessant motion, Halfdane, the great Danish leader, was 
seized with a loathsome disorder, which made his presence so 
unendurable to his fellow-men, that he suddenly went out to sea 
with three ships, and there perished. And thus, peace at last 
blessed the troubled ecclesiastics of Lindisfarne. They went first 
to the monastery of Cree, where they were " lovingly entertained," 
and where they stayed for some mouths. The country at that time 
was in a terrible state of anarchy; and it is to the credit of the 
monks that they set to work to reduce the whole into order. It 
was now the Abbot's turn to have a vision ; in which St. Cuthbert 
appeared to him, and enjoined Eadred to repair to the Danish 
camp, and there inquire for a youth called Guthred, the son of 
Hardecuut, who had been sold into slavery ; him he was to redeem, 
and proclaim king. It was a bold manoeuvre, for if it succeeded, 
Guthred must be ungrateful indeed not to remember who placed 
him on the throne. It did succeed ; the slave became a monarch ; 
both Danes and Northumbrians, wearied with their perpetual 
contests and the misery thence produced, acknowledging him at Os- 
wiesdune. And now was seen the ecclesiastical importance of that 
lucky vision of the Abbot's ; the see was formally translated from Lin- 
disfarne to Cunecasestre (C'hester-le-street), and the Bishop Eandulf 
made the first prelate there ; whilst the whole of the laud between 
the Weir and the Tyne was bestowed by Guthred on St. Cuth- 
bert, or, in other words, on the Bishop of Durham, and thus became 
the foundation of their palatine jurisdiction. 

A new alarm, about 995, caused by Sweyu's appearance in Lug- 
land, set the Bishop, and all his clergy and religious, once more 
on their travels with St. Cuthbert's body. Another miraculous 
intervention is held to have taken place, and the wandering party 
were directed to Durham. The spot at that time was strong by 
nature, but uninhabited, and not easily made habitable — it was so 
thickly wooded. In the midst was a small plain, which the hus- 
bandman had reclaimed ; that was the only evidence of civilization 
the place presented. But there were willing hearts and hands 
ready to flock thither from all parts, and help these memorable 
guardians of the most memorable of saints to set up a house and a 
temple in the wilderness. From the river Coquet to the Tees they 
came in "multitudes." The trees were grubbed up, and there soon 
appeared, in the place of the little oratory of wattles first and tem- 
porarily put up, dwellings for all the people who had come with the 
ecclesiastics, and then a church of stone, a more honourable resting- 
place for the saint than the wattled building, but also intended to 
be but temporary ; for Aldun, the bishop, of course desired to rear 
a structure worthy of the saint's reputation. There seems little 
doubt here, also, but that we have followed the details of a true 
history, the more marvellous portion alone excepted ; and a very 
striking idea they give us of the foundation of one of the most 
interesting cities of the kingdom. The see was again formally, 
and for the last time, translated, and hence the Bishopric of 
Durham. There is a tradition relating to one of the removals 
of the body, thus commemorated by Scott, in his • Marmion :' 

In his stone cuflili forth he rides, 
A ponderous halk tor river tides ; 
Yet light as gossamer it glides 

Downward to TiUmontli cell: 



and. strange to say, the tradition may be true. Not only did the 
coffin exist till within the last icw years, perhaps docs so still, but 
was so constructed that statical experiments have proved it to 
be capable of floating with a weight equal to that of a human 
body. It was finely shaped, ten feet long, and three and a half in 
diameter. 

The history of the bishops of Durham forms too large a subject 
even to be glanced at in our pages ; so we shall merely give one 
passage from it, of a noticeable character, and then conclude with a 
short account of the building' around which all these historical 
recollections, as it were, concentrate themselves — the Cathedral. 
During the frightful period of the Conquest, which fell with more 
than its ordinary severity on the northern counties, — William for 




C04.— Waltlmm Abbey, from the Norlli-vest. 



COS.— Transept. St. Albans. 




\bbeyof St. All 





eoi— Wdliham Abbey. 



C07— Nave, St. Albaoa. 



160 




61V.— Flint Masonry. St. Ethel 
bert's Uale Houne, Norwich. 



No 21. 



6;o. — Norwich 
[OLD ENGLAND.] 



618.— Flint Mnsunry, St- Ethel- 
bert's Gate House, Norwich. 



161 



OLD ENGLAND. 



fBooK II. 



16-2 

tata* Bt one time^asted the whole «»^ *«** d * 

Durham with fire and sword-the Saxon bishop Egelwm tod 



heart, and Walcher, a 
.t ecoloaiaatia was by n 
mauu content to be an ed ,,, : .0 matter wh*t the rank 



prisoner in the Isle of Ely, of a broken heart an 
Norman, was appointed his successor. 1 hat ecclesias 



aspect ge 



uvstie was by no 

rank ; 

..purchased the earldom of Northumberland, and thus joined!.. 

his own person, for the first time in the see, the spmtual and civil 

iTtnT lis success was not at all canted to en« age 

Son. When the people saw the office they had been aceus- 
to m ed to venerate connected with the inffietton oi legal sevenUes, 
the, began to murmur against the man who had so lowered ...and 
they did not long eonfine themselves .0 murmunng only. On the 
14th of May, 1080, Walcher was holding a public assembly at 
Gateshead in exercise of his obnoxious civil authority ; and although 
large numbers of the people were congregated, there appeared 
nothing in their appearance and demeanour to excite particular 
alarm." Hut suddenly there arose the cry of '-Short rede, good 
rede ■ slay ye the bishop," which had been the watchword chose, 
and at once the people drew arms from beneath their garments and 
rushed upon the bishop's party, while others set (ire to the church. 
Walcher, seeing escape hopeless, determined to die with dignity, so 
veil',,,.- his face with his robe, he advanced towards the assailants, 
( ,„e of whom instantly killed him with a lance. Of the sueeeedmg 
early bishops of the see may be named Ralf Flambard. Hugh de 
Pudsey, and Anthony Bek, whose life gives one an extraordinary 
idea of the power occasionally obtained by the more eminent 
churchmen of the middle ages ; he was at once Bishop of Durham, 
Patriarch of Jerusalem, Governor of the Isle of Man, and. as a 
military chieftain, able to send his thirty-two banners to the battle 
of Falkirk. Among the later bishops was Tunstall, of whom, 01, 
his return to England, Erasmus touching!, wrote :-•' I seem now 
Tunstall being torn from me ; I know not where I 



Norman, strike one at a glance. The Great 
Tower the most important of all the additions, was finished by 
Richard Hotounwho became Prior in 1290; and who had also 
the honour of completing the chapel of the Nine Altars. 1 he 
great western window was the work of Prior John Fossour, about 
1350, and the altar-screen, erected at the expense ot John, Lord 
Neville was finished in 1380 by Prior lierrington. It is painful to 
have to record that such a building should ever have been allowed 
to be touched by incompetent and tasteless hands ; need we say hat 
they belong to the last century ? which, with its predecessor, enjoys 
an eminence of a peculiar kind-they were, in all that concerns archi- 
tectural art, the worst periods of English modern history. Durham, 
at the time to which we refer, underwent a thorough repair, and we 
suppose, in the ideas of the repairers, beautifying-" Heaven save the 
mark!"— and the result is in many parts but too evident, lhe 
Galilee was also repaired by Cardinal Langley at the commence- 
ment of the fifteenth century, in the exquisitely flond Githic 
the time The dimensions of the Cathedral are four hundred and 
eleven feet in length, eighty in breadth, and the main lower two 
hundred and twelve in height. The interior, as usual, presents many 
objects of high interest— as the sumptuous Bishop's Throne (Fig. 
602), the stone chair (Fig. 590), and. above all, the common torn!) 
of St. Cuthbert and of the Venerable Bede, the author of the 
valuable Ecclesiastical History to which we are indebted for many 
Of the most interesting facts relating to the establishment of 
Christianity and Christian houses and temples in England. 

[Waltham Abbey and Saint Alban's form a page of cuts imme- 
diately following Durham. We postpone their description till we 
have completed our notices of the earlier Cathedrals.] 



scarce to live, 

shall tlv to." . 

Durham, like Lincoln, enjoys the inestimable architectural ad- 
vantage of a truly noble site. The city, being nearly surrounded 
«y the river Weir, forms a kind of peninsula, the centre »1 which 
rises to a considerable height, with the Cathedral at the summit, 
surrounded at its base by buildings and hanging gardens which 
descend to the river, and are there continued as it were m the 
delightful walks of the " Banks," which skirt the water on both 
sides. The situation of the Cathedral and the other ecclesiastical 
buildings for surpasses any pictures we have ever seen of it— truly 
beautiful and grand it is. You make your way up to the eminence 
on which stands the cathedral, through steep and narrow lanes, 
which bring you into a fine open space, with the Cathedral on the 
south of the square. The palace, or castle (now occupied as the 
University of Durham), forms another side. You descend to an 
ancient bridge, and are now under these grand monuments of 
ancient magnificence. A beautiful walk leads along their base, 
overhanging the river at a considerable height. You cross a noble 
bridge of modern construction, and find a similar walk on the oppo- 
site bank. You have now, following the windings of the river, 
passed from the west to the south side of the Cathedral, and in 
continuation of it are most picturesque groups of houses rising one 
above another on the steep bank, embosomed in trees. The wind- 
ing course of the river brings you now to the east end, and still 
you have the same grand view of this lordly place. Well might 
the old bishops feel that theirs was a princely rule, as they gave 
laws from such a throne. 

The Cathedral was begun in the reign of Rufus, by JBishnp 
William de Carilepho, and in part or entirely completed by the 
next bishop, Half Flambard. The structure then erected we 
possess in an all but perfect state. The eastern extremity, where the 
Nine Altars (see plan, Fig. 593) now stand, was probably in the 
Norman building semicircular; the Nave (Fig. 592) anil the Choir 
were open to the timber roof, instead of being vaulted as at present ; 
partial alterations, improvements, and some important additions 
have also been made ; but essentially we have the true Norman 
building before us, when we gaze upon the noble semicircular 
arches, and the tall, massive, and in some instances curiously 
-decorated pillars of Durham Cathedral. We may observe by the 
way that some of these pillars are twenty-three feet in circumference. 
'The Galilee Chapel (Fig. 603), the uses of which are explained in 
our account of Lincoln Cathedral, was the first addition to the 
original structure; this was built by Hugh de Pudsey, in the latter 
half of the twelfth century ; and we perceive in it the first of that 
series of architectural stages, from the Norman to the finished 
Gothic, which give to Durham, as to some of our other Cathedrals, 
«o much artistical value. 

The lightness and elegance of the pillars, though in every other 



A curious storv is told in explanation of the>rigin of Nonwim 
Cathedral. During the reign of William Rufus, Herbert de 
Lozingia, an eminent ecclesiastic, attracted towards himself a 
degree of unpleasant attention from his spiritual superiors, which 
ended in his being cited to appear before the Pope at Rome, to 
answer for simoniacal practices, among which in particular was 
alleged against him his purchase of the sec of Thetford. The 
punishment was at once characteristic and sensible, and involving 
what we call poetical justice ; he was commanded to build various 
churches and monasteries at his own expense, and thus Lozingia 
found enforced upon him a very arduous undertaking for the good of 
the church, when he had been intending to pursue what he conceived 
to be more peculiarly his own good. Among the buildings so erected, 
it seems, were the earliest Cathedral of Norwich, and the Monastery, 
both commenced in 1094. Many of our important cities and foun- 
dations are accustomed to boast of the public spirit and liberality of 
their founders or early promoters ; the City of Norwich, it will be 
seen, may date much of its prosperity to qualities of a very opposite 
kind. Lozingia, however, appears to have been a shrewd — perhaps, 
after the shame of the exposure, a repentant — man, and to have 
performed the penance imposed upon him in so creditable a spirit, 
that he was ultimately allowed to transfer the bishopric of which 
he had been deprived, Thetford, to Norwich, and was there con- 
secrated the first bishop in the Cathedral of his own erection. Of 
this structure it has been supposed by some that we possess no 
remains, on account of the presumed general destruction of the pile 
in the extraordinary events that mark the history of Norwich ill 
connection with lhe year 12T2. It appears that, from a very early 
period after the establishment of the monastery, quarrels had broken 
out between the monks and the citizens, the former asserting their 
entire independence within their own precincts, the latter maintain- 
ing that the charter granted by Henry I. in 1122 gave them right 
over every part of the city without exception. There was a fail- 
then held at certain times on a piece of ground called Tombland, 
which lay directly before the gates of the monastery ; this spot 
formed a very bone of contention between the two parties, and at 
last the bad feelings excited broke out in sudden violence and blood- 
shed. The monks or their retainers, it matters little which, fell 
upon the citizens, and killed several. The people of Norwich were 
exasperated in the highest degree. An inquest was held upon 
the bodies of the dead, a verdict of murder returned against those 
who had killed them, and a warrant issued for their apprehension. 
The monks — who seemed to have felt, themselves quite safe 
through the whole proceedings— now thought it necessary to resort 
to more decided warfare ; so having let loose the spiritual artillery 
at their command, in the shape of a sweeping excommunication of 
the entire body of citizens, they then took more ordinary weapons 
into their hands, and amused themselves by picking off a passing- 
citizen every now and then, by a well-directed shot. If this was 



ClIAl-. II.] 



OLD ENGLAND. 



103 



their reading of their religious duties, it was only in strict keeping 
that they should prefer the holiest day for the more important 
deeds. On the Sunday before .St. Lawrence's-dav, tired of this 
desultory warfare, the monastic belligerents sallied forth from their 
high-walled monastery, with a " great noise, and all that day and 
night went in a raging manner about the city," killing here and 
there a merchant or other inhabitant, and plundering here and 
there a house. They finished by breaking open a tavern kept by 
one Hugh de Bromholm, where they drank all the wine they could, 
and left the rest to run to waste from the open taps, and then these 
good and faithful servants returned to their admiring Prior. The 
citizens appear to have remained more patient than one might 
expect under their provocations, till this last and worst of all. But 
then the magistrates assembled, word was sent to the king of what 
had taken place, in order that he might give them redress, and in 
the mean time a general assemblage of the people was called for the 
next morning, to arrange measures of defence. They met — an 
army in numbers, though unfortunately not in discipline. Before 
the chief persons of influence could instil into their minds the in- 
dispensable qualities of order, patience, and firmness, they were 
borne away by some uncontrollable impulse of anger towards the 
monastery, where they flung themselves tumultuoiisly against the 
gates, and endeavoured to force an entrance. The Prior resisted 
for a while the raging storm of assailants, but at last they burnt 
down the great gates of the Close, with the church of St. Albert 
that stood near, and then swept on, with redoubled energy and 
determination, to fire the chief conventual buildings. The Almonry 
was speedily in flames, then the church doors, then the great tower. 
Many of the people ascended the neighbouring steeple of St. 
George's, and from thence, by means of slings, threw fiery missiles 
into the great belfry, beyond thechoir of the Cathedral, and thus in 
a short time the whole building was enveloped in flames. Besides the 
injury done to the building, the monastery lost all its gold and silver 
ornaments, its costly vestments, holy vessels, and library of books ; for 
what the fire spared, was carried off by the incendiaries. Most of the 
monks fled, but the sub-dean, and some of the clerks and laymen, were 
killed, where they were met with, in the cloisters and in the precincts ; 
others were hurried into the city, to share the .same bloody fate; 
and some were imprisoned. The Prior fled to Yarmouth, but it 
was in order that he might return with fresh strength, and take 
full vengeance for the sufferings his own disgraceful conduct had 
brought upon the monastery. He entered Norwich with sword 
and trumpet in hand — what a picture of the priest militant ! — and fell 
upon the people in their own way, witli fire and sword ; and having 
satiated himself, withdrew, to wait, and consider, like the men of 
Norwich, now that all was over between themselves, what would 
not both have to answer for to a third party, the government of 
the country — in other words, the king. Even-handed justice was 
undoubtedly to be dreaded by both; but that was just the sort of 
justice that was seldom dispensed when Church and laity stood as 
the disputants on either side of the judgment-seat. Henry's first 
proceeding was enough to show the citizens what they might expect. 
He summoned a meeting of the hierarchy, at Eye in Suffolk : and 
the result was, that an interdict was laid upon the town generally ; 
all persons directly concerned in the riots were excommunicated ; 
thirty-four persons were drawn through the streets by horses, and 
dashed to pieces ; others were hanged, drawn, and quartered, and 
afterwards burnt ; and a woman who was recognised as having set 
tire to the gates, was burnt alive. And, as on all such occasions 
in the middle ages, there must be a something forthcoming for 
the royal treasury, why, twelve of the men of Norwich, no doubt 
the very richest that could be in any way implicated, were mulcted 
of their possessions. Such was the punishment of the people ; 
what was the sentence against their opponents and oppressors, w ho 
had so recklessly provoked their fury i The Prior's conduct was 
evidently loo bad to be altogether looked over, so he was sent to 
prison for a short lime, and whilst there resigned his priory. And 
that was all. The Church did not even suffer in its revenues. 
Before the interdict was taken off, the citizens were compelled to 
pay three thousand marks towards the re-edifying of the Cathedral, 
and one hundred pounds in money, for a pis, or cup of gold, weigh- 
ing ten pounds. 

It is strange and lamentable that, after this tragical event, no 
wise and statesman-like measures were carried into effect to prevent 
their recurrence for the future; and although the scenes of 1272 
were never repeated, the cause of all the jealousy and ill-feeling 
remained in active operation down to the time of Cardinal AVoisey, 
when the city formally resigned all jurisdiction within the Priory 
walls ; and the Priory all power without them. That was just 
before the Reformation, which settled the matter in its own sum- 



mary fashion, by quietly doing away with the monastery altogether. 
It had been supposed, we repeat, that the church built by Lozhigia 
was entirely destroyed in this fire, and that the present must have 
been erected in its place. But it is astonishing how any one who 
had even looked at the Cathedral could allow himself for a moment 
to doubt that the original edifice is still preserved to us. The 
wood-work, decorations, &c. must certainly have been destroyed, 
and the structure, generally, seriously injured ; but not so seriously 
as to involve anything like a rebuilding of the whole, for a more 
characteristically Norman edifice does not exist in the country 
than the present Cathedral of Norwich; and it would be absurd 
to suppose that such a style would have been adopted at the close 
of the thirteenth century, when pointed architecture was giving 
us some of its most exquisite examples of the perfection to which 
it had attained. The very plan of Norwich is as unmistakable 
Norman as the buildings erected on it, — transept without aisles o* 
pillars, choir extending beneath the tower in the centre of the 
structure, into the very nave itself, circular eastern extremity, form- 
ing within a chancel with side aisles running round it, and circular 
chapels. It is, in a word, the very decided Norman character of Nor- 
wich that makes it, notwithstanding its smaller size and comparatively 
undecorated aspect, its decayed surface, and cramped position, one of 
the most interesting of our Cathedrals. The length of the whole 
building is four hundred and eleven feet ; and the tower, one of the 
finest specimens of decorated Norman extant, rises with its spire, 
which is of later date, to the great height of three hundred and 
thirteen feet. One single ancient statue tomb of an enriched cha- 
racter, and one such only, is to be found in the church — Bishop 
Goldwell's, shown in Pig. G'20. The plain aspect of the Cathedral 
may, no doubt, be in a great degree attributed to the injuries done 
in the time of the civil war. Bishop Hall, the Satirist, who suf- 
fered from both parties, not being apparently partisan enough for 
either, has given us an interesting account of what took place. 
In his ' Hard Measure,' he says, " It is tragical to relate the 
furious saciilege committed under the authority of Linsey, Tofts 
the Sheriff, and Greenwood ; what clattering of glasses, what beat- 
ing down of walls, what tearing down of monuments, what pulling 
down of seats, and wresting out of irons and brass from the windows 
and graves ; what defacing of arms, wdiat demolishing of curious 
stone-work that had not any representation in the world, but of the 
cost of the founder and the skill of the mason ; what piping on 
the destroyed organ-pipes. Vestments, both copes and surplices, 
together with the leaden cover, which had been newly cut down 
from over the greenyard pulpit, and the singing-books and service- 
books, were carried to the fire in the public market-place ; a lewd 
wretch walking before the train in his cope, trailing in the dirt, 
with a service-book in his hand, imitating in an impious scorn the 
tone and usurping the words of the Liturgy. The ordnance being 
discharged on the guild-day, the Cathedral was filled with mus- 
keteers, drinking and tobacconing as freely as if it had turned 
alehouse." 

An interesting appendage of the monastery remains on the south 
side of the Cathedral, a cloister, also of later date than the oiiyinal 
buildings, forming a large quadrangle with a handsome door- 
way am! lavatories. But the most striking feature of the locality 
is the Erpingham gateway, a truly superb work. Few but 
will remember the name of the founder as that of the gallant 
knight of Henry V.'s army, who, whilst commanding the ar- 
chers at Agincourt, had the honour of giving the signal for the 
first momentous forward movement, which he did by throwing 
his truncheon high into the air, and exclaiming " Now strike ! " 
And they did strike, and with such efiect that the French never 
through the conflict recovered from the blow thus given by the 
bowmen of England under their grey-headed leader at the very 
outset. Considering how great a favourite Sir Thomas was with 
the victor of Agincourt, and the treatment that Lord Cobham 
received during the same reign for his religious heresy, it is a 
curious and noticeable circumstance in Sir Thomas's history to find 
that he too at one time had been dallying with the proscribed Lollard 
principles, and had exerted himself to promote their diffusion. But 
Henry Spencer, the "warlike Bishop of Norwich," then ruled 
over the diocese, who would fain have pursued as short a way with 
the followers of Wickliffe as he did witli those of Wat Tyler. In 
that most famous of English insurrections, the bishop, unlike many 
of the more powerful nobles, who shut themselves up in their strong 
Castles, went forth with his retainers to meet the rcvolters in the 
field, where he speedily overthrew them; then, having sentenced 
them in crowds to the scaffold, he laid aside the warrior and judge, 
and became the ministering priest to his own victims, and exerted 
himself as busily to save their souls as to destroy their bodies. 

Y2 





035. -Tudor Badges, Statu of Prince Arthur, Worcest^i 




i;;ii.— r.it.ital and linte. Worcester. 



63G.-Capital .ind Ba*e, Chapter House, Worcester. 




632— Worcester, General View. 





637. — Effiny of King Julm, 
Worc;»ter. 




633.— Kiutf John's Tomb, Worcester. 



63S — Effigy of Udy Harcourt, 
Worcester. 



165 



166 



OLD ENGLAND. 



[Book II. 



When such a man declared that if he found any Lollards in his 
diocese, he would make them hop headless, or fry a faggot, to use 
his own suitable mode of expressing his benignant sentiments, 
there was no possibility of mistake as to the matter. Lollardism 
might be safe enough, but it was assuredly a dangerous time and 
place for the Lollards. Sir Thomas Erpingham seems to have felt 
this, and to have desisted in time, when he found that not all his 
popularity deterred the bishop from throwing him into prison : so 
he agreed, as the price of his release, to erect a gatehouse at the 
entrance of the precinct, over against the west end of the Cathedral, 
and renounce all heresies for t lie future. Hence the erection of 
the gateway shown in our engraving (Fig. 609). 

The matter altogether was deemed of such importance, that 
Henry IV. took steps publicly to reconcile the knight and the 
bishop, first by declaring in parliament that the proceedings had 
been good, and that they had originated in great zeal, and then 
by directing them to shake hands and kiss each other in token 
of friendship, which they did. The reconciliation, unlike such 
forced ones generally, turned out real, for Sir Thomas became a 
willing, as he had already been an unwilling, benefactor to the 
Cathedral ; and one of the bequests of his will was a provision of 
three hundred marks to the prior and convent of Norwich, to found 
a chantry for a monk to sing daily mass for him and his family 
before the altar of the holy cross in the Cathedral. It has been 
supposed, from the circumstance that his wife, who died four years 
after Sir Thomas's imprisonment, made no mention in her will of 
saints, as was usual, that it was her influence which had led the 
knight towards Lollardism, rather than any powerful inherent con- 
victions of his own. If so, it ought to be no imputation on his 
moral courage that he declined making a martyr of himself. One 
should be very sure what one does think, when stakes and bonfires 
begin to argue. The interest attached to this gateway, as well as 
its remarkable beauty, induce us to dwell for a few seconds on its 
details. Mr. Button, in his work on Norwich Cathedral, thus 
speaks of it : — " Amongst the great variety of subjects and designs 
in the ecclesiastical architecture of England, the Erpingham gate- 
way may be regarded as original ami unique ; and considering the 
state of society when it was first raised, and the situation chosen, 
we are doubly surprised, first at the richness and decoration of 
the exterior face, and secondly, in beholding it so perfect and 
unmutilaled after a lapse of four centuries. The archivolt mould- 
ings, spandrils, and two demi-oetangular buttresses, are covered 
with a profusion of ornamental sculpture, among which are thirty 
small statues of men and women, various shields of arms, trees, 
birds, pedestals and canopies ; most of these are very perfect, and 
some of the figures are rather elegant. The shields are charged 
with the arms of Erpingham, Walton, and Clopton, the two latter 
being the names of two wives of Sir Thomas Erpingham. In the 
spandrils are shields containing emblems of the Crucifixion, the 
Trinity, the Passion, &c, while each buttress is crowned with a 
sitting statue, one said to represent a secular, and the other a 
regular priest, &c." The first of these priests lias a book in his 
hand, from which he appears to be teaching the youth standing at 
his side. The regular priest has also his book, but appears to be 
making no use of it. and turns his eyes idly upon the passengers 
who may go through the gate. Bloomfield, the historian of'the 
county, thinks this was subtilly designed by Sir Thomas " to signify 
that the secular clergy not only laboured themselves in the world, 
but diligently taught the growing youth, to the benefit of the world ; 
when the idle regular, who by his hooks also pretended to learning, 
diil neither instruct any nor inform himself, by which he covertfy 
lashed those that obliged him to their penance, and praised those that 
had given him instruction in the way of truth." Sir Thomas himself 
kneels in effigy in the pediment of the gateway, a remarkable 
instance to after-limes of the power exerted by the clergy of his 
own day. 



In simplicity, we may say plainness of decoration, the exterior 
of Worcester Catiiei.ral presents a striking contrast to that of 
Exeter, which we shall presently notice. The outlines of the form 
are light arid beautiful, and the large size gives them grandeur ; but 
those objects achieved, the architects, unlike the architects of our ca- 
thedrals generally, seem to have rested content, and to have shunned 
altogether that elaborate richness of decoration which so generally 
characterizes these works. and which show so happily il„. unwearied 
desires of all concerned to he constantly doing something to render 
art more worthy of its sublime objects. They were surely the least 
conceited of men, those old ecclesiastical builders ; it is a fine lesson 
they have bequeathed to the world, and usable in a thousand ways 
I he noblest temples ever raised by human hands were raised by 



them ; works that, to all eyes but their own, not only in their own 
time, but to all time, present and future, appeared, and must appear, 
essentially perfect, demanding but one thought and sentiment, — yet 
compounded of a host of thoughts and sentiments — admiration, to 
them, on the contrary, appeared to be but so many centres of study 
and improvement. Art was long, and life was short, they saw ; 
and they were content, therefore, to labour, each in his allotted space, 
in the raising of great works for others, and thought nothing of 
making great names for themselves. It is curious to see at how 
early a period a kind of antagonist feeling, a desire to check rather 
than to participate in such enthusiasm, exhibited itself at Worcester. 
We may premise that the see of Worcester was founded so early as 
the seventh century, by Ethelred, King of Mercia, and probably a 
church then existed in the city, on the site of the present building. 
In 969 the endowments of the Cathedral were removed to the 
church of St. Mary's convent, which then assumed the rank pre- 
viously attached to St. Peter's, but the latter building, or rather its 
site, obtained, a few years later, the restoration of its privileges ; 
St. Oswald having, however, first built a new church in the burial- 
ground. This was burnt by the followers of Ilardicanute in 1041, 
and replaced by an entirely new edifice, erected by Bishop Wulstan. 
As the workmen were pulling down the remains of the spoiled 
church, the prelate was noticed weeping. One of his attendants 
told him he ought rather to rejoice, since he was preparing an 
edifice of greater splendour, and more suitable to the enlarged 
number of his monks. He replied, " I think far otherwise ; we 
poor wretches destroy the works of our forefathers, only to get 
praises to ourselves ; that happy age of holy men knew not how to 
build stately churches, but under any roof they offered up them- 
selves living temples unto God, and by their example incited those 
under their care to do the same; but we, on the contrary, neglecting 
the cure of souls, labour to heap up stones." One might fancy that 
the feeling thus evidenced remained in force at Worcester through 
all succeeding alterations and reparations, and more particularly 
those consequent on the extensive damage done in the fires of 1113 
and 1202, when both city and cathedral were burnt; and that the 
plain exterior that we behold to this day at Worcester is in itself 
but an evidence of it. The works carried on after the fire of 1202 
were so important, that the structure was newly consecrated ; and 
it is that building which forms our cathedral. The plan of Wor- 
cester is on a very grand scale. It represents a double cross, the 
extreme length of which is five hundred and fourteen feet, with a 
noble tower, rising from the intersection of the nave, choir, and western 
transept, to the height of two hundred feet. This tower is the most 
embellished of all the exterior portions. The interior is remarkably 
light and airy. It is rich in both ancient and modern monuments; 
among the latter, there being several by our modern sculptors, as 
Roubiliac ami the younger Bacon ; and among the former, those of 
Sir John Beauchamp of Holt, beheaded on Tower Hill in the reign 
of Henry V., and of his lady, both striking examples of early 
costume ; also of Lady Harcourt (Fig. 638), Judge Littleton, Prince 
Arthur (the son of Henry VII.), and King John. The Prince lies 
buried in a beautiful chapel of highly ornamented open woik, the 
decorations of which are representative of the union of the white and 
red roses of York and Lancaster. The tomb of John (Fig. 633), 
the great object of interest and inquiry with all visitors, stands in 
the middle of the choir. Before the year 1797 it had been supposed 
that the remains of the King had been interred in the Lady Chapel, 
but as an opportunity then offered, during some alterations, of deter- 
mining the point, an investigation took place of no ordinary interest. 
The effigy on the top (Fig. 637) was first removed, with the stone 
slab on which it rested ; the interior was thus laid open, where two 
brick partition walls were discovered, raised no doubt for the more 
effectual support of the superincumbent mass. After clearing away 
a quantity of rubbish, and removing one end and a panel at each 
side, a stone coffin was found between the buck walls ; and when 
that was opened, the remains of the monarch were visible, much 
decayed, and with some of the smaller bones no longer seen, but 
the whole presenting an almost exact counterpart of the effigy 
on the exterior of the tomb. The only differences were the 
gloves on the hands, and the coveting on the head, which consisted 
of a crown on the effigy, and of the celebrated monk's cowl on the 
body, placed there before burial, as a passport through the regions 
of purgatory. A feeling of the same kind actuated the fierce and 
bold, but superstitious king, when he desired that his resting-place ill 
his favourite church should be between the bodies of St. Oswald 
anil St. Wulstan, whose effigies, in small, also grace his tomb ; 
the evil spirits, he fancied, would not venture into such company, 
even to seize him. The hood appeared to have fitted the head 
exactly, and to have been tied or buckled under the chin by straps, 



Chat. II.] 



OLD ENGLAND. 



IG7 



part of which remained. The body had been wrapped in an em- 
broidered robe, reaching from the neck to the feet, made, it was 
supposed, of crimson damask, but the cuff, greatly decayed, alone 
remained. Fragments of the sword and of the scabbard were also 
found. On the legs there had been some kind of ornamental 
covering tied round the ankles, anil extending over the feet, where 
the toes were visible through its decayed parts. The exposure of 
these relics of kingly mortality caused their speedy destruction, the 
whole mouldering to dust. On ascending the steps of the altar, 
visitors are shown another object of curiosity — the stone covering 
the body of William, Duke of Hamilton, who fell in the memorable 
battle of Worcester, in 1661. In the tower is a fine peal of eight 
bells, each bearing a different inscription. On the last we read : 



I, sweedy tolling, men do cull 
To taste a meat lliat feeds the sool. 



The changes which the names of places have undergone arc 
often strikingly illustrative of the vast extent of time over which 
the annals of such places extend ; Exeter forms a remarkable 
case in point. In the Caer-Isc of the Britons, signifying the 
town on the water, we are carried back to the very beginning 
of all, when the founders in that, as in so many other instances, 
took as their name for the new place some characteristic circum- 
stance of position. Then in the Isca of the Romans, a Latinized 
version of the same thing, we are reminded of the dominion of the 
conquerors of the world. Another change shows us the Roman 
empire in Great Britain at an end, though the memory of that 
dominion is preserved in the .Saxon Exaneeetre, that is to say, the 
Castle on the Ex : from this we pass finally into the great stream 
of modem history, as we begin to meet with the comparatively 
modem appellation of Exeter. The ecclesiastical antiquity of the 
city is no less noticeable; another name ascribed to Exeter — 
Monketon — seems to show that even in the Saxon times it had 
become distinguished for the number of these religious ascetics 
who resided in it. This very remoteness of origin may be the 
cause why we have been left uncertain of the precise time when 
the earliest building on the site of the cathedral was begun. All 
we know on the subject is, that soon after the junction of the sees 
of Devon and Cornwall, the scat of the united bishopric was 
removed to Exeter, and Leofric, the bishop, installed with great 
pomp into the cathedral, in the presence of the Confessor and his 
queen, both of whom took a prominent share in the ceremony. In 
10.50, then, the date of this event, there was a cathedral standing 
in Exeter, but whether recently erected or no is unknown. After 
the Conquest we find Warlewast, one of the followers of William, 
busily at work altering and enlarging during the early part of the 
twelfth century. Happily for him, he did not live to see his 
labours rendered of no avail by the mischief done to the Cathedral 
during the tune Exeter was besieged by Stephen in 1136, and 
which rendered it necessary for his successor, Chichester, to com- 
mence a reparation on the most extensive scale. He seems to have 
been the very man for the time and the task imposed upon him. 
A remarkable proof of his zeal, and which was probably exercised 
in favour of the rebuilding of the Cathedral, is given in the state- 
ment that he was accustomed to go abroad very frequently in 
pilgrimage, sometimes to Rome, and sometimes to other places, 
" and ever would bring with him some one relic or other." 
(Bishop Godwin.) During the life-time of Chichester and the 
three succeeding prelates, the Cathedral works were steadily carried 
on ; the last of them, Bishop Marshal], whose sculptured effigy is 
seen in Fig. 647, having the honour of completing the whole 
before his death in 1206. Whether the large sums of monej that 
had been constantly, and for so long a time, pouring into the 
Exchequer had begotten something like a love of wealth for other 
than church purposes in the minds of the chief officers, we shall not 
venture to decide, but a few years after the religious world was 
greatly scandalised at some discoveries made at Exeter. Richard 
Blondy. a recently deceased bishop, " a man of mild spirit, but 
very stout against such as in his time did offer any injury to the 
church," had, it appeared, waxed weaker as he grew older, ami 
allowed his chancellor, registrar, official, and keeper of the seal, 
with other of the household, to obtain conveyances from him of 
various estates, advowsons, &c. that then were in his disposition ; 
and for their own private and general benefit. The business was 
transacted with great secrecy and skill ; but the next bishop dis- 
covered the whole, and in place of their enjoying the nice little 
pickings provided, all the great officers of Fxeter Cathedral found 
themselves soon after excommunicated, and doing public penance 
in their own building openly, upon Palm Sunday, as the indis- 



pensable preliminary to their re-admission into the Christian body. 
Before long, however, the masons were again thickly clustering 
about the Cathedral walls and foundations; and bringing the 
structure to the plan and the state in which a considerable portion 
of it remains to this day. Peter Quivil was the bishop who thus 
signalized himself by commencing the great undertaking of bring- 
ing the old-fashioned Cathedral into better harmony with the 
architectural knowledge and tastes of the thirteenth century. He 
may be, indeed, almost called the author of the present Cathedral, 
for what portions of it were untouched by him, and executed after- 
wards, were built in pursuance of his designs. How extensive 
these were, may be shown by simply stating that the renovation in 
the new style, begun by him between 12.S1 and 1291, and which 
was ended by Bishop Brontingham, about a century later, extended 
to every part of the structure, the towers alone excepted. Bishops 
Stapledon and Grand isson, during this period, particularly dis- 
tinguished themselves by their architectural labours. Godwin 
furnishes us with some interesting particulars of the installation of 
a bishop in the early ages, in his notice of Stapledon's induction to 
the see. At the East gate he alighted from his horse, and went on 
foot to the Cathedral; black cloth having been previously laid 
along the streets for him to walk upon. Two gentlemen of 
" great worship," one on each side, accompanied him, and Sir Hugh 
Courtney, of the great family of that name, who claimed to be 
steward of the feast, went before. At Broad-gate he was received 
by the Chapter and Choir, all richly apparelled, and singing the Te 
Deum ; and thus they led him to the church. After the service 
and the usual ceremonies, all parties adjourned to the Bishop's 
Palace, where a feast, such as the middle ages alone can furnish, 
was provided. " It is incredible," Godwin remarks, " how many 
oxen, tuns of ale and wine, are said to have been usually spent 
at this kind of solemnity." Stapledon's feast would, no doubt, be 
more than usually magnificent and expensive ; for, whatever his 
faults, something like princely liberality seems to have been one 
of his characteristic merits. 

ICxeter College, Oxford, was founded by him, and originally 
called by his name : Hart Hall, in the same University, also derives 
its origin from Bishop Stapledon. Unfortunately for him, he was a 
busy statesman, as well as a zealous prelate. Having held posts of 
high honour under Edward II., he was found among the adherents 
of that unhappy prince when, towards the close of the reign, his 
queen, son, brothers, and cousin marched at the head of an army 
against him. Edward was in London, and appealed to the citizens, 
but they gave him so decisive a rebuff, that he fled precipitately, 
leaving the Bishop of Exeter, Stapledon, as governor. He had 
scarcely reached the outskirts when the people rose, and, putting aside 
all opposition, obtained possession of the bishop, and of his brother 
Sir Richard Stapledon, and executed them both in Chcapside, on 
the loth of October, 1326. In the north aisle of the Cathedral are 
two splendid monuments facing each other; they are those of the 
two brothers. The choir is the principal portion that we owe to 
Bishop Stapledon. The gorgeous west front, with its almost inter- 
minable series, in double tier, of sculptured kings, prophets, apostles, 
prelates, and distinguished persons, forming one of the richest 
architectural facades in Europe, is understood to have been raised 
by Bishop Grandisson, who ''sequestering himself from all idle 
persons," is said to have *" kept no more about him than were ab- 
solutely necessary, in order to compass the charge of such mighty 
works; likewise, assembling his whole clergy, he persuaded them to 
bequeath all their goods, &c. to the building of the mother church 
of the diocese." After this last circumstance, one need not wonder 
that he should also be able to prevail " on sundry temporal men to 
give of their store." 

The building, whose gradual formation we have thus traced, now 
consists of a Nave, seventy-six feet wide and one hundred and 
seventy-five feet long, with corresponding aisles at the sides ; two 
short transepts formed in a peculiar way, namely by two towers, of 
unmistakable Norman original, and therefore, to an antiquary, the 
most interesting parts of the Cathedral ; a Choir of the same breadth 
as the Nave, and one hundred and twenty-eight feet long; to these 
— the principal features of the place — must be added, ten Chapels, 
of which the Lady, or St. Mary's, Chapel, at the eastern end, is the 
most important, and the Chapter House. It is hardly necessary to 
say the interior is in many respects surpassingly noble and beautiful. 
The delicate and numberless pillars, clustering together into so many 
solid groups for the support of the Nave and Choir, always a 
beautiful illustration of a beautiful thought, the power resulting 
from union, seem to particularly arrest our attention in Exeter 
Cathedral. The Choir and Nave are divided by a screen of the 
most exquisite character. The Chapter House is, as usual, very 




645.— Bracket, Exeter. 



<4l, .— Bracket, Exeter. 






C t7.— Effigy of Bishop Marshall, Euter. 

166 



640 — Exeler Cutbedral. 



C43.— Effigy of Bishop Bartholomew, Exeler, 



'fir 5 




##■— St. Augustine. From the Door of the Chapter- Houae, 
Rochester. 



No. 22. 



C50.— West Front of Rochester Cathedral. 
[OLD ENGLAND-] 



660. — Emblematic Figure of the Mosaic Dispenaminn. 
From the Door of the Chapter-House. Kochtwter. 

169 



170 



OLD ENGLAND. 



[Book II. 



beautiful; its roof is of oak. The windows of the Cathedral 
generally are very large, and some of them strikingly handsome, 
with their stained glass. Among the lesser objects of attraction 
the Cathedral presents, may be mentioned the Organ, which is 
probably the largest in Europe, the Haerlem only excepted, and 
without any exception the finest in tone; the Clock in the North 
Tower, which exhibits all the moon's phases, as well as the ordinary 
time of the day ; the great bell, said to weigh twelve thousand five 
hundred pounds ; the episcopal throne, an almost unique example of 
carved wood-work, forming as it does a magnificent pyramid 
fifty-two feet high, built up of arches, pillars, niches, pannels, 
crockets, and foliated ornaments ; and lastly, the Minstrels' Gallery, 
near the middle of the Choir, supported by thirteen pillars, with a 
niche between each two, containing a statue of a musician playing 
on some instrument. The Monastery, we may notice in conclusion, 
belonged to the Benedictine Order. 

Lambarde, the old Kentish topographer, lias a curious passage in 
his ' Perambulation,' on the subject of the comparative insignifi- 
cance of the diocese of Rochester. " The learned in astronomy," 
he savs, " be of the opinion that if Jupiter, Mercury, or any other 
planet approach within certain degrees of the sun, and be burned 
(as they term it) under his beams, that then it hath in manner no 
influence at all, but yieldeth wholly to the sun that oversliineth it ; 
and some men beholding the nearness of these two bishoprics, 
Canterbury and Rochester, and comparing the bright glory, pomp, 
and primacy of the one, witli the contrary altogether in the other, 
have fancied Rochester so overshadowed and obscured, that they 
reckon it no see or bishopric of itself, but only a place of a mere 
suffragan, and chaplain to Canterbury. Rut lie tiiat shall either 
advisedly weigh the first institution of them both, or but indiffer- 
ently consider the estate of either, shall easily find that Rochester 
hath not only a lawful and canonical cathedral see of itself, but 
that the same was also more honestly won and obtained than even 
that of Canterbury was." 'Worthy master Lambarde's enthusiasm 
here probably carries him a little too far ; however the history of 
Rochester shows decidedly enough that its claims to respect and 
attention ore little if at all inferior to the claims of its more potential 
neighbour, great as those are. Roth were founded under the 
auspices of the same royal convert from paganism to Christianity, 
Ethelbert; and if Canterbury had an Augustine for its first spi- 
ritual superior, Rochester had for its first bishop one of Augustine's 
companions, Justus ; whilst, therefore, it was natural enough that 
the former should rise to the very summit of ecclesiastical wealth 
and power, it was really extraordinary that the latter should as 
steadily decline till it became what it remains, — the smallest, 
poorest, anil least influential of English sees. The particular 
causes of this declension appear to have been tiic wars between the 
different states of flie Heptarchy, then the incursions of the Danes, 
which left the Church in such a state at the time of the Conquest 
that divine worship was entirely neglected in it, and the four or 
five secular canons who then remained nominally attached to it, 
found it necessary to eke out their means of subsistence by the 
alms of the benevolent The Conqueror, however, still found 
something to pillage and confer upon his relative, Bishop Odo ; and 
the see seemed about to perish altogether, when Lanfianc, the 
Archbishop of Canterbury, endeavoured to cheek the downward 
progress of Rochester by the appointment of a monk of the Abbey 
of Bee, for the avowed purpose of achieving a restoration of the 
old estates and prosperity ; and though he died shortly after, his 
successor was Gundulph, of whom Lambarde says; "He never 
rested from building and begging, tricking and garnishing, until 
he had erected his idol building to the wealth, beauty, and etiola- 
tion of a popish priory." He too was chosen by Lanfianc from the 
Abbey of Bee, and a tradition recorded by William of Malmesbury 
gives us an interesting glimpse of the two friends before the con- 
quest of England was dreamt of, and before, therefore, either had 
any idea of the future power that would be reposed in their hands. 
The historian says that Lanfianc foretold Gnndulph's advance- 
ment by a trial of the Sortes Evangelicte, that is to say, opening 
the book of the Gospels at hap hazard, and taking the first text on 
which the eye rests as the prophetic one. Gundulph, like William 
of Wykeham, was one of those ecclesiastics who shed a glory upon 
the middle ages, by their happy union of comprehensive intellects 
to devise, and firm purposes to carry out. measures of high importance 
to the general weal. Whilst he did almost everything for Rochester. 
recovering, with the assistance of Lanfianc, its former possessions, 
obtaining the grant of new ones, building a castle, and rebuilding 
the Cathedral, he signalized himself in other quarters by the 
foundation of a nunnery (at West Mailing) and by the erection of 



the famous White Tower, the nucleus around which all the 
assemblage of buildings now known as the Tower of London has 
gradually grown up. Among his other doings at Rochester he 
removed the secular canons and replaced them by Benedictine 
monks ; and he obtained for the monastery from Henry I. the 
privilege of coining. And that was not the only royal favour 
conferred upon it, and commemorated in the statues of the king 
and queen in the magnificent doorway of the Cathedral. Gundulph, 
who appears to have been confessor to the queen Matilda, obtained 
through her means many gifts and privileges from her husband. 
The Cathedral was in the main completed during the life-time of 
G undulph, who died in March 1 107-8, and was buried in his episcopal 
vestments with great splendour before the altar of the crucifix 
placed at the entrance of the choir ; but the whole does not appear 
to have been considered finished till 1130, when, on the day of 
Ascension, a solemn and magnificent dedication of the pile to St. 
Andrew took place in the presence of King Henry, assisted by all 
the chief prelates of the country. The Cathedral was originally 
•• dedicated to St. Andrew as a token of respect to the monastery of 
St. Andrew at Rome, from which Augustine and his brethren were 
sent to convert the Anglo-Saxons ; and after the church was 
rebuilt Lanfianc did not change the name of its tutelary saint, 
as he did in his own Cathedral, the primate having such confidence 
in this apostle, that he never transmitted by Gundulph any principal 
donation without entreating the Bishop to chant the Lord's prayer 
once for him at the altar of St. Andrew." [' Denne's Memoirs of 
the Cath. Church of Rochester.'] The festival of St. Andrew 
was of course kept with great splendour in the monastery ; and 
Gundulph, to enhance the proceedings of the day, made special 
provision for it, by appointing that there should be reserved out of 
the estates that he had caused to be settled upon the establishment, 
what was called a Xenium, from a Greek word, signifying a 
present given in token of hospitality. Gnndulph's Xenium seems 
to have been a very handsome affair, consisting of sixteen hogs 
cured for bacon, thirty geese, three hundred fowls, one thousand 
lampreys, one thousand eggs, four salmon, and sixty bundles of 
furze, with a large quantity of oats, &c, the whole apparently 
intended for the entertainment in the Bishop's palace of the poor, 
and strangers generally; for Gundulph expressly says, "If it 
should happen, contrary to my wishes, that I, or any of my succes- 
sors, shall be absent from the feast, then, in God's name and my 
own, I order that the whole Xenium be carried to the hall of St. 
Andrew, and there, at the discretion of the prior and brethren of 
the church, be distributed to the strangers anil poor, in honour of 
the festival." The fate of this Xenium forms but one of the many 
illustrations that the history of our country unhappily furnishes of 
the fate of the unprotected poor; this provision for a festal day, 
which must have lightened so many weary spirits by its enjoyments, 
if it did not even relieve many empty stomachs by its store of food, 
was ultimately treated as a matter that merely concerned the 
bishops and the monastery ; and hotly enough they disputed it, 
till the former consented to receive a composition in money in lieu 
of the provisions in kind ; of course we should now look in vain in 
Rochester for any " open house," ecclesiastical or otherwise, whether 
on St. Andrew's or on any other day. Of Gnndulph's works in 
the Cathedral the nave forms the principal existing remain, many 
of the other portions having been seriously injured by the destruc- 
tive fires that have taken place in Rochester. On the north side of 
the choir, between the two transepts, there is also a low square 
tower now in ruins, and known as Gundulph's, the walls of which 
arc six feet thick. It has been doubted, however, whether this was 
really erected by the architect in question. Tarts of the Cathedral 
are recorded as having been built by persons designated simply as 
monks, rich men, no doubt, wdio had retired to the cloister of St. 
Andrew, sick of the vanities and turmoil of active life, and there 
expended their possessions in the adornment of the house of God. 
Richard of Eastgate, and Thomas of Mepeham, were the monks 
who restored and rebuilt the north side of the west transept, after 
the great fire of 1179 ; Richard of Waledene the monk, who, about 
the commencement of the thirteenth century, completed what they 
had begun, by the erection of the south side. How the upper 
transept and choir came to be re-erected in the reigns of John anil 
Henry III., forms a curious story, and one strikingly illustrative 
of the time. In 1201 a rich, benevolent, and pious tradesman, a 
baker, named William, set out with his servant to perform a pil- 
grimage to Jerusalem. On the road to Canterbury, a little beyond 
Rochester, the servant murdered his master, and fled with the 
property, which had tempted him to the commission of the crime. 
The corpse was found and taken back to Rochester, where a fate 
awaited it that the unfortunate William had certainly never antici- 



II.] 



OLD ENGLAND. 



in 



pated. The monks were probably at the time very anxious to enhance 
the reputation of their monastery and church in any way they could, 
and particularly by rebuilding the parts of the latter that had been 
damaged in the fires, and were therefore quite prepared to appre- 
ciate any remarkable circumstance that might happen in connection 
w.!h their establishment. And such it seems now occurred when 
the body of William the baker was placed in the Cathedral. 
Miracles— of what nature is not recorded— were wrought at his 
tomb, the repute of which, spreading far and wide, brought hosts 
of devotees to Rochester, whose offerings filled the treasury, and 
gave the monks the necessary funds for the erection of the parts of 
the Cathedral we have mentioned, or, in other words, the whole of 
the Cathedral eastward of the west transept. In 1254 the pope 
canonized the murdered traveller, and granted indulgences to all 
who should visit and make offerings to his shrine,— circumstances 
that naturally gave a new impetus to the popularity of the tomb 
and Cathedral. The northern part of the east transept, known as 
St. William's Chapel, preserves to this day the remembrance of 
these events. The tomb itself has disappeared, though flu- spot 
where it stood is marked by a slab in the centre of a square, formed 
of curiously figured mosaics. Pilgrims reached the chapel by a 
small dark aisle, which, after paving between the choir and 
Gundnlph's toner, opens into the former. Midwav in the aisle is 
a flight of steps, worn down to something very like an inclined 
plane by the innumerable feet that have trodden them. The 
destruction of the tomb probably took place at the Reformation, 
when tin- church generally received considerable damage. During 
the Civil War the fabric was still more seriously injured by the 
soldiers of the parliament. These are said to i lave converted one 
portion of the Cathedral into a carpenter's shop, and another into a 
tippling house. From such unpleasant reminiscences it is doubly 
gratifying to pass to the consideration of the recent doings at 
Rochester, where the Dean and Chapter have shown that they are 
fully conscious of the valuable nature of the trust reposed in 'their 
hands, and determined to exhibit that consciousness practically. 
In 182.5 a central tower was erected at the intersection of the 
principal transept, whilst within the last three or four years the 
interior has undergone a comprehensive repair, including many 
important restorations of the old details of the structure, such as 
windows and arches, long filled up. but now once more diffusing a 
sense of lightness and giaccfulncss around. The north transept or 
St. William's Chapel has in consequence again become what it 
originally was, one of the most interesting and beautiful specimens 
of early English architecture that England anywhere possesses. 

The other parts of the Cathedral eastward are less decorated, 
and all those westward, including the nave and west front, are in 
the main Norman. Of course the perpendicular window in that 
front (Fig. 650) is the introduction of a much later time. The 
exceeding richness of the gateway beneath, when the stone was as 
yet undecayed, and the sculpture exhibited the faithful impress of 
the artist's hand, is evident at a glance even in t\\e present state. 
The Chapter house, now in ruins, also exhibits some remarkably 
fine sculpture, among which maybe mentioned the statue of Augus- 
tine in the doorway. The dimensions of the Cathedral are small 
when compared with those of Cathedrals generally. The entire 
length is three hundred anil six feet, breadth of the nave and side 
aisles sixty-six feet; breadth of the west front eighty-one feet. 
There are numerous monuments and chapels ; and beneath the 
choir, and extending its wdiole length, is a crypt. Anion" the 
many eminent bishops of the see may be mentioned Walter de 
Mcrtou, the founder of the college known by his name at Oxford ; 
the venerable Fisher, the friend and fellow-sufferer of Sir Thomas 
More, beheaded by the brutal despot Henry VIII. ; and the 
literary trio, Sprat, the poet, Atterbury, the eloquent divine and 
delightful correspondent of Pope, Pearee, the critic and commen- 
tator. 



was connected with it. Yet the history of Etheldreda was one 
calculated to live in the popular recollection. She was the daughter 
ot Anna, King of East Anglia, who gave her the Isle of Ely as 
a part of her dowry on her marriage with Tonbert, a nobleman of 
the same kingdom. After Tonberfs death she married Egfrid 
King of Northumberland ; but from a very early period all her 
affections and desires seem to have been placed on a monastic lift— 
we are informed she lived with both husbands in a state of virginity 
—and so she finally obtained the unwilling consent of the kin~ to her 
retirement to the cloister, and took the veil at Coldingham. Egfrid 
however, who was passionately attached to her, withdrew" this 
permission, and brought her home. Determined to fulfil what she 
conceived to be her mission, she again left him, secretly, and tied 
to the Isle of Ely, where she began the erection of the monastery, 
assisted by her brother, then King of the East Angles. Egfrid 
still persevering in his endeavours to compel her to live with him 
was (so the monastic writers tell us) warned to desist, by a miracle' 
As he pursued her with a body of knights, the rock on which she 
happened at the time to be standing, accompanied by her maidens 
was suddenly surrounded by water. After that Etheldreda was 
allowed to pursue her own way in peace. And then the new 
monastery was finished, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and the 
foundress appointed its first Abbess. Bede has given us a striking 
View of her domestic life in this high office. It appears she never 
wore any linen, but only woollen garments, ate only once a day, 
except during sickness, or on occasions of great festivals, and never, 
except when her ill-health rendered indulgence necessary, returned 
to bed after matins, which were held in the church at midnight, 
but made it her custom to continue there at prayers till day-break. 
The fame of all this sanctity and discipline gained many and dis- 
tinguished converts. Persons of the noblest family, matrons of the 
highest rank, we are told, devoted themselves to religion under her 
guidance; even some of royal state joined her, resigning all the 
comforts and luxuries to which they had been accustomed" for the 
hard fare and severe monotony of a monastic life ; such were 
Etheldreda's own relatives— Sexburga, her sister, Queen of Kent ; 
Ermenilda, Sexburga's daughter ; and Wurburga, the daughter of 
Ermenilda, who succeeded each in turn to the Abbacy. Etheldreda 
died, as she had foretold, of a contagious disorder, and was buried, 
as she had directed, in a wooden coffin, in the common cemetery of 
the nuns. The chief events of her life, as here narrated, and others 
to which we have not thought it necessary to refer, are shown 
in a series of sculptures which decorate some of the pillars in the 
Cathedral. 



The fair of Ely, commencing on the 2S)th of October, used to 
exhibit a picturesque kind of memorial of the (Saint to whom the 
day had been originally dedicated, and from whom the Isle has 
derived, in a great measure, its importance ; we refer to the ribbons 
of various colours then offered for sale — no ordinary merchandise 
for they had touched the shrine of St. Etheldreda, more popularly 
known as St. Audrey, and were thence called St. Audrey's ribbons. 
But this, like so many of our other interesting customs, has shared 
the fate of the views and sentiments that first gave them birth, and 
disappeared, and we must now look to the dusty records of our local 
antiquaries for any tokens of remembrance of the pious lady to 
whom we owe the foundation of the great religious establishment 
on the Isle, and therefore remotely of the Cathedral itself, which 



In 870 the Abbey thus erected was pillaged and destroyed by the 
Danes, and all its revenues seized for the use of the crown. But 
King Edgar, in 970, regranted the whole to Ethelwold, Bishop of 
Winchester, who rebuilt the monastery, and placed a number of 
monks in it. It was no doubt after this complete restoration that 
the Bishop invited Ethelred, brother of the reigning monarch, 
Edward the Martyr, to visit Ely, who came with his mother and 
some of the nobility, and went in solemn procession to the shrine of 
St. Etheldreda; where the young prince, whose heart seems to 
have been filled with veneration for the memory of the virgin-wife, 
promised to become her devoted servant. This was the prince for 
whom that mother, then present, afterwards murdered her elder 
born Edward ; Ethelred then ascended the throne, and subsequently 
evidenced in various ways that he had not forgotten his visit to 
Ely. As to his mother, Elfrida, the annals of Ely tell of another 
murder committed by her, only less atrocious than that which has 
made her memory for ever infamous. Desiring to get rid of Abbot 
Brithnolh, she is said to have resorted to her usual mode of solving 
such difficulties— a violent death— and which was thus accomplished. 
Her servants having heated sharp-pointed irons in the fire, thrust 
them into the Abbot's body beneath the arm-pits ; Elfrida con- 
sidering, probably, that with a little management, as to the display 
and care of the corpse, she would thus be able to avoid discovery. 
And, if such was her hope, she was gratified ; for the cause of 
Brithnoth's death appears to have remained unknown till remorse 
for the murder of her son made Elfrida herself confess this murder 
too. 

The next event in the history of the monastery is connected with 
one of those struggles against the Normans, that have peculiarly 
attracted the popular attention. It was in the Isle of Ely that 
llereward, " England's darling," as his countrymen affectionately and 
admiringly called him, held out for a considerable period against 
all the forces of the Conqueror, causing him a great amount of loss, 
anxiety, and undissemblcd rage and mortification ; and it was in 
the famous monastery of the Isle, that the patriots appear to have 
found at first their warmest religious supporters. And although 

Z2 




CC7.— Capital, Ely 



661,— Ely Cathedral, Notth-West. 




Shrine of St, Ethelreda, Ely. 




CC2.— Ely Cathedral. 




670. — Vesica l'hcii, Ely. 



172 






673. — Heatl ui Waytillote, Wiuchi'stcr. 



075. — Font, Winchester. 



674.— Effigy of WyuMuun, Winchester. 




GTS. — Norman Capital, W 
Chester. 



678.— Norman Capital, Qypt 
W in Chester. 



671. — North West View ol the Cathedral at Winchester. 




690.— Finial, Winchester. 





2. — Winchester. 



C81.— Finial, Lady Chanel, 
Wiuclmster. 



173 



174 



OLD ENGLAND. 



[Book II. 



made 



there were some recreant few of the monks, « ho, bavin- 
profession of feting up to a certain point, were so utterly averse to 
mine beyond it. that when provisions grew (scarce, they treaone- 
ronsfv showed the Normans a my into the Isle, an,! thuscaujed 
Hercward to be at last driven from it ; yet the history of ^ illiam 8 
conduct towards the Abbey seems to show that the monks generally 
had been actuated by nobler principles, and had really -ncu all 
possible aid to the brave Hercward ; on the reduction of the Isle, 
the furniture and precious jewels of the monastery were seized, and 
its lands wee divided among the Norman chieftains. The firmness 
of a Norman ecclesiastic alone prevented the ruin that thus seemed 
to threaten the establishment. Tlieodwin having been named 
Abbot by "William, refused to enter upon the duties of his Abbacy 
till all the property of the monastery had been restored to it; and 
so the restoration was made. 

A pleasant evidence of the amiable character of the monks of 
Ely is furnished by an incident that is supposed to have occurred 
during the time that Theodwin's friend, Godfrey, held the office of 
Procurator, there having been a temporary vacancy of the Abbacy 
after Theodw in's death. The story also gives a curious illustration 
of the uses to which our Kings were sometimes accustomed to turn 
the religions establishments of England. Certain knights and 
gentlemen, who arc understood to have belonged for the most part 
to the best families of the country, and who were officers in the 
King's army. «ere sent down by the King to be quartered for a 
lime in the monastery, until he could better provide for them, or 
until he needed their services. The monks received them well, 
admitted I hem to dine with themselves in the common hall or 
refectory, ami at last grew so much attached to them, that when 
they were called away to go into Normandy, to repress the insurrec- 
tion of Robert, the King's son, the monks conducted them a portion 
of the way with solemn procession, and singing, and only parted with 
them at Hadenham, after mutual expressions of deep regret and 
respect. We need only add to the foregoing historical notices, that 
Ely was raised into a bishopric by the King, Henry I., in 1107, 
who thus expected to decrease the political importance of the Isle, by 
dividing the ecclesiastical lands and authority ; and that after the 
dissolution of monasteries, Henry VIII. raised the church to the 
rank of a Cathedral— dedicated to the Undivided Trinity. 

A glance at our engraving (Fig. Gfil) will show that this building 
is at once nobleand n markable. The elegant lantern-like character 
of the towers in particular arrests our attention, and we are further 
surprised to find that the shorter of the two occupies the position 
generally assigned to the main tower, namely the centre of the 
structure, whilst the larger forms a portion of the Western front. 
The interior of the octagon tower presents a no less interesting 
peculiarity of rich architectural effect. In looking at the date of 
the different parts of the Cathedral, we are naturally curious to 
know first if there be any remains of Etheldreda's work, and we are 
answered in the affirmative, and referred to the various antique 
spi riniens i.f masonry now enclosed within, or forming parts of the 
walls of the neighbouring prebendal houses. Of the Cathedral 
itself, the nlilest portion is the transept, which appears to be of the 
style prevalent in the early part of the twelfth century, and was 
therefore, in all likelihood, built when the erection of the bishopric 
gave a new dignity to the church, and demanded, as may have been 
thought, a more magnificent structure. The transept therefore is 
Norman, with circular arches and heavy pillars ; anil the nave, 
which was erected in the same century, does not materially differ 
from it. Between 1174 and 1189, however, the great western 
tower was erected by Bishop Bydel, and afforded a noble example 
of the mighty architectural changes which a single century had 
brought forth ; elegance and beauty were fast growing upon the 
solid foundation that had been laid for them. Before the close of 
the same century the Galilee Chapel was built. The Presbytery, 
now n>ed as the Choir, was the work of half a century later, when 
pointed architecture had attained a state of essential perfection ; if 
we contrast the choir of Ely with the choirs of other Cathedrals 
more distinguished for their exquisite architecture, we find that it 
is mere elaborateness of decoration that makes the difference. And 
it is no slight merit in the builders of our Cathedrals that they 
knew how to go on elaborating without losing in the process all the 
more valuable qualities of their productions ; it is something to be 
able tn say, after looking at. the exquisite purity of the Choir of 
Ely, that the Octagon Tower is the most beautiful part of the whole 
building, simply because it is the latest. 

The height of this tower is one hundred and seventy feet. The 
dimensions of the other parts of the Cathedral are, the "West Tower 
two hundred and seventy feet, Transept one hundred and ninety 
feet, entire length five hundred anil thirty-five feet. The monu- 



ments present some superb specimens of sculpture— such are the 
tombs of Bishops Alcott and West,— and some memorials of still 



hop: -- 
higher interest than art can give, though not altogether disconnected 
with art ; we allude more particularly to the tomb of Tiptoft, the ill- 
fated Eail of Worcester, the patron of Caxton, and a man of such 
universal accomplishments that, when he was executed at Tower 
Hill in 1470. it was said, " The axe then did at one blow cut oft" 
more learning than was left in the heads of all the surviving 
nobility." 



According to certain authorities, more amusing than trustworthy, 
there was reigning over Britain in the second century, and some 
twelve and a half centuries after Brute, the descendant of the far- 
famed JRaeas of Troy, ruled in the island, one Lucius, who became 
a convert to Christianity, and erected a church at Winchester, 
on the site previously occupied by the chief Pagan temple of the 
country. Whether the story be true or false, it gives us a striking 
idea of the antiquity of the Cathedral, whose origin is thus carried 
back to the period where fact and fable mingle inextricably to- 
gether. The first record of a strictly historical nature, respecting 
Winchester, seems to be in connection with the seventh century, 
when the Saxon kings and people of Wcssex generally relinquished 
idolatry ; Kinegils, a descendant of that very Cerdic who is said 
to have destroyed Lucius's structure, setting the example in 63o, 
and began the erection of a new Cathedral, of great size and 
magnificence, which was completed by his successor Kenewaleh. 
The first bishop was St. Birinus, who had been sent over to Eng- 
land by Pope Honorius, and to whom the merit of Kinegils's con- 
version is attributed. 

In this brief statement we may perceive ground to satisfy us that 
Winchester must have been a place of no ordinary importance, 
and the direct history of the city tells us that backwards from the 
reign of Richard the First, through English, Norman, Saxon, and 
it is supposed even British times, Winchester was really the capital 
of the island. Of its origin, it were almost idle to speak. " It 
may possibly have existed," says a writer in the ' Penny Magazine,' 
" as a village in the woods for a thousand years before the Christian 
era." The Danes, who, as we have seen, figure so conspicuously 
and so destructively in the annals of a great proportion of the 
oldest churches and monasteries of the country, reduced the build- 
ing once more to a ruin, in 871, to be re-edified, as is supposed, by 
him whose very name became more terrible to the Danes, than 
their own had been to the afflicted people of England — Alfred. 
But the earliest portions of the present pile are those which were 
erected towards the close of the tenth century, by Bishop Ethelwold, 
who, finding the Cathedral greatly dilapidated, rebuilt it from the 
foundation. Some of the most substantial walls and pillars of the 
existin 1 '" pile are the presumed remains of St. Ethelwold's labours. 
With the following century came the Conquest, and a Norman 
ecclesiastic. Walkelyn, to rule over the see, and introduce his own 
country's superior knowledge of, and taste for, architecture. His 
advent was delayed, however, in an unexpected and extraordinary 
manner. When the Conqueror died, there was but one Saxon 
bishop to be found in broad England, — Wulstan, bishop of Win- 
chester ; a man whose only learning was the best of all learning, 
that which taught him to live a life of spotless purity, humility, and 
unremitting usefulness. He was required to resign Ids episcopal 
staff, by a synod, sitting in Westminster Abbey, on the ground 
that he was ignorant of the French language. Wulstan rose, on 
the demand being made, grasped his crozier firmly in his hand, 
and thus spoke : " I am aware, my lord Archbishop, that I am 
neither worthy of this dignity, nor equal to its duties : this I 
knew when the clergy elected, when the prelates compelled, when 
my master called me to fill it. By the authority of the Holy See 
he laid this burden upon me, and with this staff he commanded me 
to receive the rank of a bishop. You now demand of nic the pas- 
toral staff, which you did not present, and the office which you did 
not bestow. Aware of my insufficiency, and obedient to this 
holy synod, I now resign them ; not, however, to you, but to him 
by wdiose 'authority I received them." Advancing then to the 
tomb of Edward the Confessor, he thus apostrophised the decea led 
sovereign, " Master, thou knowest how reluctantly I assumed this 
charge at thy instigation. It was thy command that, more than 
the wish of the people, the voice of the prelates, and the desire of 
the nobles, compelled me. Now we have a new king, a new 
primate, and new enactments. Thee they accuse of error, in 
having so commanded, and me of presumption, because I obeyed. 
Formerly, indeed, thou mightest err, because thou wert mortal ; 
but now thou art with God, and canst err no longer. Not to them, 
therefore, who recall what they did not give, and who may deceive 



Chap. II] 



OLD ENGLAND. 



175 



and be deceived, but to thee who gave them, and art now raised 
above all error, I resign my staff, and surrender my flock." And 
so saying, lie laid the crozier upon the tomb, and took liis place 
among the monks, as one of their own rank. But lo, a miracle ! 
or what was alleged to he one — the staff became so firmly embedded 
in the stone, that it could not be removed ; an evident token that 
it was the pleasure of Heaven, that Wulstan should not he deprived 
of his bishopric: the synod left him therefore in its possession in 
peace. At his death, Walkelyn, a Norman, was appointed by 
the King, and it was in his case, as in many others, of prelates 
appointed by the Conqueror, if they could not satisfy the people of 
their right, they certainly did convince them of their fitness. 
Walkelyn built the present tower, part of the present nave and 
transepts, and altogether made the Cathedral so essentially a new 
work, that it was re-dedicated by him, to the Apostles Peter and 
Paul, and the Saint Swithin. Succeeding prelates continued to add 
and to decorate till Wykeham came, and crowned the whole with the 
magnificent west front, truly hit front, as the statue in the pediment 
seems fittingly to assert, for he was the architect, as well as in a 
general sense the builder. The character of this distinguished 
man illustrates so strongly what we conceive must have been the 
character, in a lesser degree, of many of the prelates to whom we 
owe our Cathedrals, that we should have been glad to have dwelt 
on it, did our space permit, at more length. As it is, we can only 
observe, by way of showing the marvellous versatility, as well as 
lofty excellence in particular pursuits, winch men, in those early 
ages, often exhibited, unconscious of the practical refutation they 
were giving to the absurd " philosophy " of later ones, that William 
of Wykeham, as a man of the world, raised himself, by address and 
ability, from a very humble position in life, that left him dependent 
on strangers for his education, to a position which gave him an 
opportunity of commanding the most lofty ; that William of Wyke- 
ham, as a priest, was so distinguished in his holy calling-, that he was 
raised by successive steps from the mere clerk to the all-potential 
bishop ; that William of Wykeham, as a statesman, after a similar 
series of ascending stages, became Lord High Chancellor, and that, 
too, at a time, the latter part of the reign of Edward the Third, 
and the reign of Richard the Second, when the national affairs 
were in the most perturbed state ; that William of Wykeham, a 
wholesale restorer and reformer of existing religious founda- 
tions, was scarcely less famous as an establisher of new ones in 
honour, and for the promotion of learning, witness to the last 
feature those two noble colleges of Winchester and Oxford that 
were founded by him ; that, lastly, William of Wykeham, as an 
artist, was without rival in his own time, and hardly surpassed 
in any other ; to the man who began his career in this department of 
his multifarious history, as a clerk of the works to the King, we 
owe not merely the grand western front of Winchester Cathedral, 
but such works as England's one palace, among the several so called, 
Windsor, which assumed, under Wykeham, for the first time the 
extent and general arrangement that still prevail through the 
Castle. 

Since the bishopric of this noble specimen of all-sided humanity, 
to borrow Goethe's characteristic mode of expression, the chief 
builder at Winchester has been Bishop Fox, whose statue, under 
a canopy, terminates his improvements on the east. But the good 
work has been continued with admirable spirit and taste in our own 
days. Not less than forty thousand pounds have been recently 
expended in restoration, and what in one instance was still more 
needed, alteration ; we allude to the beautiful choir screen, that now 
stands where stood Inigo Jones's elegant, but ridiculously inhar- 
monious, piece of composite handiwork. 

Figures of arithmetic sometimes describe better than figures 
of speech, and we are not sure but that will be the case, as respects 
the general external aspect of Winchester Cathedral. Whilst the 
entire length of the structure reaches to five hundred anil forty-five 
feat, the main tower rises only to the height of one hundred and 
thirty-eight feet ; the outspread hut stunted expression of the pile 
may therefore be seen at once. The tower, indeed, rises but twentv- 

six feet above the roof; the explanation, therefore, is evident the 

work remains unfinished. Apart from the west front, however 
Winchester is, in many respects, a truly magnificent structure. 
The view that opens upon the spectator, as he enters by the western 
door, is one of almost unequalled splendour; he looks through one 
continuous vista of pillars, arches, anil roof, extending to the eastern 
extremity, where the eye finally rests upon the superb eastern 
window, that casts its '• dim religious light" into the choir. The 
pillars and arches of the nave are among the most interesting 
parts of the Cathedral ; within the clustered columns that give so 
light an aspect to those enormous masses of masonry, are hidden 



the very Saxon pillars of Ethelwold's structure; within those 
pointed arches above them, yet remain Ethelwold's semicircular 
ones; the skilful architect having thus adapted both pillars and 
arches to the style required, rather than pull them down unneces- 
sarily. The Cathedral is rich in monuments : William Rufus lies 
here, in the choir, in a tomb of plain grey stone. In six mortuary 
chests, carved in wood, painted, and gilt, are buried the remains of 
Saxon Kings, Kii.egils probably among them, and of other dis- 
tinguished persons, transferred by Bishop Fox from the decayed 
coffins in which they had been buried. But in an artistical sense, 
the monumental glory of the Cathedral consists in the chantries 
or oratories of the Bishops Edyngton, Wykeham, Beaufort, 
Waynflete, and Fox: the last four are among the most supeib 
specimens we possess of these generally beautiful works. One of 
West's best pictures, the Raising of Lazarus, forms the Cathedral 
altar-piece. 



The magnificence of Cardinal Wolsey has become a by-word, 
and, as often happens in such cases, has by that very proof of its 
original fitness almost ceased to be of any practical value ; in other 
words the term now rises habitually to the mind whenever the 
subject is before it, in place of, rather than as concentrating and 
explaining the circumstances and thoughts which originally gave 
currency to it. But if any one desires to revive the idea of that 
magnificence in all its primitive freshness of meaning, he need only 
visit Oxford. Near the southern entrance of the city, with its 
picturesque series of bridges across the Isis, or Thames, he will 
find a pile of building at first attracting his attention by its general 
architectural splendour, then by its extraordinary extent, the plan 
including a cathedra], two great quadrangles, and two courts; lastly 
by the individual interest attached to almost every separate feature, 
and more especially the Cathedral, the superb west front, the 
stately hall, and the entrance tower, in which hangs one of the 
most famous of English bells, Great Tom of Oxford.— That pile of 
building forms Christ Church College and Cathedral, the former 
being the establishment that Wolsey founded in grateful acknow- 
ledgment of the benefits he had derived from the university, and in 
redemption of the promise which he had consequently made at an 
early period of his prosperity, to bestow some lasting mark of his 
esteem upon the place. And splendid as is the edifice, important 
as are its uses, the one and the other represent but imperfectly the 
gigantic plan of its founder, which was and is an unprecedented 
instance of princely beneficence in a country of wealthy men and 
prodigal benefactors. The best architects of the age were collected 
together to erect the buildings ; and the society for whose accommo- 
dation they were to be reared, was to consist of one hundred and 
sixty persons, chiefly engaged in the study of sciences, divinity, 
canon anil civil law, arts, physic, and literature. But the sunshine 
of royal favour in which the great Cardinal basked, became suddenly 
eclipsed by newer favourites ; he fell even more suddenly and 
signally than he had risen. The crowned despot, however, for once 
seems to have been moved in a good cause ; and either Wolsey 's 
pathetic consignation of his cherished project to the royal care, or 
the entreaties of the University, caused him to save Christ Church 
and become its patron. Some years later he translated the see of 
Oseney, formed by himself out of the monastery of that name, to 
Oxford, and Christ Church became the Cathedral. At the same 
time the principal estates were granted to the chapter, on condition 
of their maintaining three public professors of Divinity, Hebrew, 
and Greek ; one hundred students in theology, arts, and philosophy, 
eight chaplains, and a suitable choir. We have thought it neces- 
sary to give this short notice of the origin of the junction of the 
College with the Cathedral, which would otherwise have seemed 
unaccountable to those ignorant of their history ; and, having dune 
that, proceed to notice the structure that more peculiarly belongs 
to our present section. 

Wolsey founded his college upon a site not only time-honoured, 
but made sacred by its early connection with the growth of Chris- 
tianity in England, and, to some eyes at least, by one of those 
pious legends with which church history is so rife ; it was on the 
site of" the monastery of St. Fritlesw ida, the church of which yet 
remained, that he began to build. 

We need hardly speak of the antiquity of Oxford itself, since 
there are learned men who talk of literature having flourished there 
ever since certain " excellent philosophers with tht^ Trojans coming 
out of Greece, under the command of Brute, entered and settled in 
Britain." Whatever truth there may be in this, it seems to be 
undoubted by any one that it was a place of importance in the 
British times. But the first event that may be called historical, 
and that hail any great influence over its future fortunes, was one 




685.— Finn tele, Oiford. 






696.— Corbul Shaft, Oxford. 



6.*2.— Stirioeof St. Fredeswide, Oxford. 





633.— Christ Church, Oxtord. 




.—Poppy-head, Oxford. 






689.— Bom, Oxford. 



f34.— Arcide, Tower, Oxford. 



690.— Norman Capital, Oxford. 



17S 




691.— Bury St. Edmunds. 




S92— Bury St. Edmunds, 




693.— Bury St Edmunds.— 1743 




694.— Abbey Gateway, Bury St. Edmundj. 

No. 23. 



696.— I'drlUmeot m Abbey of Huj 
[OLD ENGLAND.] 



69 j.- Saxon Tower, Bury. 



178 



OLD ENGLAND. 



[Book II. 



of which the Cathedral of Christ Church is to this day the palpable 
embodiment. In 727 Didan, the sub-regulus, or Earl of Oxford, 
founded a monaster)', then dedicated to the Holy Trinity, and in 
which Didan and his wife were interred. Their daughter, Frideswida, 
devoted herself to a religious life, and was appointed to the govern- 
ment of her parents' foundation ; when an event occurred that 
incalculably enhanced the popularity of the monastery, and ended 
in her canonization and the re-dedication of the monastery to her. 
Algar, Earl of Leicester, fell in love with her, and allowed his 
passion so far to exceed all the limits that prudence, as well as 
religious principle, marked out, as to endeavour to force her, sacreil 
to the service of God as she was by her own choice and the 
monastic laws, into a marriage. She then concealed herself in a 
wood at Benson, near Oxford ; and the Earl, unable to discover her 
abode, threatened to fire the city if she was not delivered up to 
him. "Such tyranny and presumption," observes Lelftnd, "could 
not escape divine vengeance ; he was struck blind ! Hence arose 
such a dread to the Kings of Britain, that none of his successors 
dared enter Oxford for some time after." 

Frideswida died in 740, and was probably buried in a chapel on 
the south side of the church, for there stood her shrine, until the 
great fire of Oxford in 1002 (that occurred during the simultaneous 
massacre of the Danes by Ethelred's order), when it was nearly 
destroyed, and for a time neglected. But in 1180 the shrine was 
removed to its present situation, in the dormitory, to the north of the 
choir ; and the worn steps leading to the little oratory, erected at 
the back of the shrine, show how numerous have been the devotees 
who have there visited it. In course of time, a new shrine was 
desired for so popular a saint, which was accordingly erected in 
1289, and which remained until the Reformation, when it is said 
to have been destroyed ; but was more probably simply defaced. 
And even then the relics of the body of St. Frideswida were pre- 
served by some ardent Catholics, and restored subsequently to the 
church. In the reign of Queen Mary, the remains of the wife 
of Peter Martyr, the Reformer, were taken up from their resting 
place in the Cathedral, and formally condemned to be buried 
beneath a dunghill ; when Elizabeth came to the throne, they were 
restored with as marked honours ; and to prevent any further dis- 
turbance in case of a restoration of the older religionists to power, 
the very singular step was taken of mixing the mouldering relics 
of the wife of the Protestant reformer with those of the 
canonized nun and abbess Frideswida. Whether the mingled 
uhee now lie in the grave of Martyr's wife, or beneath the large 
altar tomb that is supposed to be St. Frideswida's, and is called by 
her name, is now unknown. In Fig. 682 this monument is 
shown ; the one to the extreme right, with three stages of decorated 
architectural work, the lowest being of stone, the other two of 
wood. Beyond, and next to it, is the very rich monument of Lady 
Elizabeth Montacute, with her effigy, in the costume of the day, 
the dress enamelled in gold and colours all over. The third and 
last monument of the same range is the tomb of Guimond, the 
first prior; for St. Frideswida's monastery for nuns was subse- 
quently changed into a house of secular canons, and then again 
into one for regular canons of the order of St. Austin ; and thus it 
remained till Wolsey obtained an order for its dissolution from the 
Pope, prior to the change he meditated. 

There is no reason to suppose that any portions of the pile erected 
by the parents of Frideswida are preserved in the present Cathe- 
dral. At the same time, the architectural character of the oldest 
portions of the church — early Norman or Saxon— has induced 
some antiquaries to refer its date to the very beginning of the 
eleventh century ; but the more received opinion is that which 
attributes the erection to the twelfth century. Much, however, 
has been added since, as the Chapter House, which, with a highly 
enriched Norman doorway, exhibits generally a valuable example 
of the early English style ; the tower of similar architecture (the 
present spire was added by Wolsey) ; and the cloisters, which are 
in the beautiful perpendicular style. Some of the most striking 
parts of the interior belong to the same period as the cloisters. 
The roof of the nave is especially deserving of attention, for its 
curiously beautiful groining, and for the pendants which stud it 
over. The size of Christ Church is certainly remarkable, but in the 
opposite sense to that in which such words are usually applied to 
such structures : it is, indeed, one of the most petite of Cathedrals. 
Its entire length but little exceeds one hundred and fifty feet, and 
the entire breadth is but fifty-four feet; the transept measures one 
hundred and two feet, from end to end ; the roof is about forty feet 
high ; the steeple, one hundred and forty-six. 



Leland, writing of Bury St. Edmunds, some three centuries ago, 



observed with unwonted enthusiasm, "the sun hath not shone on 
a town more delightfully situated ;" and we may almost add, that the 
sun doth not now shine on a town, in the whole, more worthy of its na- 
tural beauty of position, or of the name which it is said to have borne 
in the Roman times — the Villa Faustina, or the " happy town." 
This has partly arisen from the circumstance that a great portion of 
the place was burnt down in 1806, and has been rebuilt in a handsome 
manner; but still more must be owing to the feelings and taste of 
the inhabitants. The river, which, as may be seen in our engrav- 
ings (Figs. 691, 692), gives so charming an appearance to Bury St. 
Edmunds from whatever direction viewed, is the Larke ; and it 
contributes no less to the internal than the external aspect, to the 
comfort than the prosperity of the place. Here we see its waters 
washing the lower part of the very pretty botanical garden ; there 
bearing along the numerous barges laden with coals and other com- 
modities which they have received about a mile below the town, 
where the Larke ceases to be navigable to larger vessels. The 
entrance to that garden is through the "Abbey gate," almost the 
only relic of a monastery which, in architectural extent and mag- 
nificence, wealth, privileges, and power, surpassed every other in 
Great Britain, Glastonbury alone excepted ; and the early history 
of which almost ranks even with that foundation in interest. 

In the ninth century the place belonged to Beodric, and was 
hence called his wort/tc or cortis, that is to say, his villa or mansion, 
and was by that nobleman bequeathed to Edmund, the King and 
Martyr. How the last-named title was obtained it is our business 
here briefly to relate, for in the martyrdom of King Edmund we 
look for the origin of much of the prosperity of Bury, and of the 
historical interest which now invests its monastic remains. Min- 
gling, as usual, truth and fable, the story runs thus : — Edmund, the 
brother and predecessor of the great Alfred, succeeding to the 
throne of East Anglia, was crowned at Bury, on the Christmas- 
day of 8.36, being at the time only fifteen years old. In 870 he 
was taken prisoner by the Danes, and, as he was a Christian as well 
as an enemy, tortured to death. The Danes first scourged him, 
then bound him to a tree, and pierced his body all over with 
arrows ; lastly they cut off his head, which they threw into a neigh- 
bouring wood. On the departure of these terrible visitors, the 
subjects of the murdered king sought his remains, that they might 
inter them with all the honour and reverence due alike to his 
position and his character/. The body was found still attached to 
the fatal tree ; this they buried in a wooden chapel at Hagilsdun, 
now Hoxne. For a time, all their endeavours to discover the head 
were ineffectual ; but when forty days had elapsed, it was found 
between the fore-paws of a wolf, which, strange to say, yielded it 
up quietly, and stranger still, unmutilated, and then retired into 
the forest. No wonder that Lydgate the poet, who was a monk of 
Bury, observes, " An unkouth thyng, and strange ageyn nature." 
The greatest marvel was yet behind. The head was taken to 
Hagilsdun, placed against the body in its natural position, when it 
united so closely with the latter, which was not at all decomposed, 
that the separation could hardly be traced. The corpse was sub- 
sequently removed to Bury, which hence obtained the name of 
Bury St. Edmunds. Events of this nature were calculated to call 
forth in the highest degree the pious enthusiasm of the people ; 
and which found, as usual, its development' in a magnificent house 
for religious men, whose lives should be devoted to the honour of 
the king, martyr, and saint, and of the God in whose service he 
had so worthily lived and died. Six priests first met, and formed 
the nucleus. Benefactors of every class, from the highest to the 
lowest, assisted in the good work ; among the earliest of these 
may be named king Athelstane, and Edmund, son of Edward the 
Elder. But the time was inauspicious in many respects for rapid 
or safe progress. The Danes still threatened ; and, on one occasion 
(just before Swein destroyed Bury, in the beginning of the eleventh 
century), Ailwin, guardian of the body of St. Edmund, conveyed 
it to London. In the metropolis a new perplexity arose : the 
Bishop of London, having obtained possession of the treasured 
remains, by a process that might almost be called a kind of felony, 
refused to give it up when Ailwin was prepared to return ; the 
guardian, however, was immovably true to his trust, and so, after 
much altercation, it was again safely deposited in Bury. Peace 
at last blessed the land, and Ailwin began in earnest the erection 
of a place that should be esteemed suitable to the memory of him 
whose mausoleum it was in effect to be. In 1020 he ejected all 
the secular clergy, and filled their places with Benedictine monks, 
obtained their exemption from all episcopal authority, and, these 
preliminaries settled, began the erection of a beautiful church of 
wood. Two other churches were subsequently raised of the same 
material. But in 1065_ Abbot Baldwyn laid the foundation of 



Chap. II.] 



OLD ENGLAND. 



179 



a fourth, of stone, and on the most magnificent scale. It was 
above five hundred feet long : the transept extended two hundred and 
twelve feet ; the western front was two hundred and forty feet 
broad ; no less than twelve chapels were attached in different 
parts : twelve years were spent in the erection. Of this grand 
structure there remain but portions of the west front : the' chief 
are, a tower converted into a stable, and three arches, forming 
originally the entrances into the three aisles of the church, which 
the utilitarianism of the age has converted, no doubt with con- 
siderable self-congratulation at the ingenuity of the idea, into very 
snug and comfortable dwelling-houses. Notwithstanding all that 
we know of the influences that have been in operation during the 
last three centuries to injure or degrade those noble architectural 
monuments of our forefathers, it strikes one every now and then 
with a sense of surprise to see how extensive these injuries have 
been, involving, indeed, in many cases, the almost absolute destruc- 
tion of piles that, before such influences began to operafe, were in 
the most perfect and apparently indestructible state. When Leland 
looked upon Bury in the sixteenth century, and said the sun 
had not shone upon a more delightfully situated town, he added 
also, nor on "a monastery more illustrious, whether we consider 
its wealth, its extent, or its incomparable magnificence. You 
might indeed say that the monastery itself is a town ; so many 
gates are there, so many towers, and a church than which none can 
be more magnificent ; and subservient to which are three others, 
also splendidly adorned with admirable workmanship, and standing 
in one and the same churchyard." That was but little more than three 
centuries ago ; yet of all these buildings, which, if even left uncared 
for to the uninterrupted processes of natural decay, would have ex- 
hibited as yet but mere superficial injury, what have we now left ? 
Two of the three smaller churches, a tower arid a few arches of the great 
one, a gateway and part of the walls of the monastery, and another 
gateway, or tower, which formed the entrance into the churchyard, 
opposite the western front of the monastic church : and that is, in 
effect, all. It is, indeed, difficult to believe in the truth of Leland's 
description, and the description of other writers, who speak in 
minuter detail of the four grand gates to the abbey, the lofty em- 
battled walls extending so far around, and enclosing, besides the 
four churches and the necessary monastic buildings of residence, 
a palace and garden for the abbot, chapter-house, infirmaries, 
churchyard and several chapels, — till we begin patiently to explore 
the traces yet to be found on the spot, and to remember the size 
and importance of that community which had here for so many 
centuries its abode. The household of St. Edmundsbury included 
some eighty monks, sixteen chaplains, and one hundred and eleven 
servants. The importance of the monastery is shown in its power 
and privileges. The abbot sat in parliament as a baron of the 
realm, and in his chapter-house and hall as something more. 
No sovereign, indeed, could be much more absolute. He appointed 
the parochial clergy of Bury — all civil and criminal causes 
arising within the place were tried within his court — the life and 
death of offenders were in his hand. The monastery coined its own 
money, and the monarch's into the bargain, when it suited him to 
obtain its assistance : Edward I. and Edward II. both had mints 
here. It permitted no divided allegiance in the locality, whether 
of a spiritual or a temporal nature, and had a very summary mode 
of setting at rest any question of the kind that might arise. In the 
thirteenth century, some Franciscan friars came to Bury, and built 
a handsome monastery ; but the monks having by that time, we 
presume, settled in their own minds that they did not like friars, 
went and pulled down their building, and drove its tenants forth 
from the town. Redress appears to have been quite out of the 
question. Another evidence of the importance of the monastery 
may be drawn from our knowledge of its wealth. At the disso- 
lution, the commissioners of the king said they had taken from it 
in gold and silver five thousand marks, a rich cross with emeralds, 
and also divers stones of great value, but still left behind ample 
store of plate of silver for the service of the church, abbot, and 
convent. As to its revenues, a writer in 1727 said, they would have 
been equal at that time to the enormous sura of two hundred thou- 
sand pounds yearly. 

"We have already noticed the remains of the monastic church. 
The Abbey gate (Fig. 694) was erected in 1327, and is, therefore, 
above five centuries old, yet notwithstanding its age, and the entire 
destruction of its roof, remains surprisingly perfect. As a specimen 
of Gothic architecture it is at once majestic and superb ; the 
height being no less than sixty-two feet, and the fronts, more par- 
ticularly that on the western or exterior side, being decorated in 
the most gorgeously splendid style. Among the beautiful deco- 
rations of the interior of the gateway is much carved-work, including, 



in one part, the arms of the Confessor. But the tower leading 
into the churchyard (Fig. G9o) is, considering its remoter antiquity, 
as well as its extraordinary magnificence, the most interesting of 
all the remains of this great religious establishment. It rises to 
the height of eighty feet, is simple and massive in form, but most 
elaborately beautiful in decoration — and pure unadulterated Saxon. 
It is, in a word, one of the finest things of the kind in existence. 
No records carry us back to the date of its erection. The sculp- 
ture upon it is exceedingly curious and valuable as the product of 
so early a time. Near the base on the western side are two bas- 
reliefs ; in one of which Adam and Eve, entwined by the serpent, 
typify man in his fallen state ; whilst in the other, the Deity 
is seen sitting in triumph in a circle of cherubim, as representative 
of man's spiritual restoration. In the interior of the arch are 
some grotesque figures. The stone of which the edifice is built is- 
remarkable for the number of small shells it contains. Through 
this gateway we pass to the churchyard, where, as we wander 
along an avenue of stately and fragrant lime-trees, we perceive, in 
different parts, the two churches of St. James and St. Mary, and 
the Shire-hall, erected on the site of the third and destroyed church 
of St. Margaret ; various portions of the Abbey ruins ; Clopton's 
Hospital, a modern work of beneficence ; and the Mausoleum, once the 
chapel of the charnel, where Lydgate is understood to have resided, 
and where possibly the greater part of his multifarious writings 
were composed. His case furnishes a valuable and instructive 
example of one of the uses of our monasteries — that of nurturing 
men of learning and literary ability. Lydgate was at once a tra- 
veller, a schoolmaster, a philologist, a rhetorician, a geometrician, 
an astronomer, a theologist, a disputant, a poet ; and it is hardly 
too much to say, that lie was all this chiefly because he was also a 
monk. How many such men may not these institutions have 
contained, but who did not, like Lydgate, seek for fame beyond the 
confines of their own monastery I Such encouragement as the 
Abbot of St. Edmundsbury gave to Lydgate was, in all proba- 
bility, the rule rather than the exception, in such establishments 
generally. The pride in tiie reputation thus reflected upon their 
house, and the eternal craving for some kind of mental occupation 
and excitement, which no discipline could entirely eradicate, must 
have made many a superior encourage such studies, even when he 
had in himself no particular tendency towards them; but how 
much more when lie had : and the frequency of the qualification 
" learning " recorded in accounts of election to monastic govern- 
ment shows that this must have been a matter of common 
occurrence. We need not then be surprised to see Lydgate 
allowed to master so many departments of knowledge, or to open a 
scliool in the monastery at Bury for teaching some of them, as he 
did, to the sons of the nobility of his day. Another and equally 
pleasant instance of the estimation in which he was held is com- 
memorated by a most splendidly illuminated MS. now in the 
British Museum, forming a life of St. Edmund, and which he pre- 
sented to Henry VI. when he visited the monastery in 1440: 
a pension of 11. 13*'. 4/1. was the monarch's answering gift; a most 
princely one, according to the then value of money. Both 
the smaller churches, that we have mentioned as existing, are 
strikingly handsome. St. Mary's has three aisles, divided by two 
rows of very elegant columns; and the roof of the middle aisle, 
sixty feet high, is beautifully carved. The roof of the chancel 
presents an additional feature, carved gilt work on a blue ground, 
supposed to have been brought from Caen in Normandy. In this 
church lies Mary Tudor, third daughter of Henry VII., and wife, 
first, of Louis XII. of France, and afterwards of the Duke of 
Suffolk : there also, in the middle of the chancel, rests the last 
Abbot of Bury, John Reeves. 

Many events of historical importance are recorded in connection 
with the monastery. During tiie wars between Henry II. and his 
son, the forces of the former marched out of Bury with the sacred 
standard of St. Edmund, to a spot in the neighbourhood where the 
enemy was met with, and a battle fought, which ended in favour of 
the king: to the standard, of course, was attributed the honour of 
the victory. This incident probably suggested to Richard I. the 
idea of bringing to Bury the rich standard of Isaac, King of 
Cyprus, which lie had taken whilst on his way to Acre and the 
Holy Land. But the most important of all such events were 
those connected with the baronial struggle for the great Charter. 
John arrived from France in October, 1214, full of rage and 
mortification at the defeat his forces had recently experienced at a 
place between Lisle and Tournay, and determined to repay himself 
for his sufferings and losses at the hands of tiie enemy by increased 
exactions from his own subjects. FitzPeter, the Justiciary, a man 
whom John feared, had died during his absence. He laughed 

2 A 2 




637 — Bermondsey.— Remains of the Eastern Gatehouse of the Abbey. 



T03 — Walsiu-lmm AJbbe 





60?._BertnOD.U. y.-Ex.nini; Bemaiai of the Comeotual Buildm**. 

180 



G'J'.'.— BL-tmoudsey.— Ri'inaina ol the Abbey i from a drawing made immediately before their demolitou. 





-=5- •=*•->-- 



708 — Crois near Perihure. 




704.— Priory Cliurch, Hexlum. East Eod. 





7u5. — Tow kesbury. 



706.— Tewkesbury. 



isi 



182 



OLD ENGLAND. 



[Book II. 



as the news was imparted to him : " It is well," said he ; " in 
hell he may again shake hands with Hubert our late primate, for 
surely lie will find him there. By God's teeth, now, for the first time, 
I am King and Lord of England." But the barons were prepared. 
A league had been already formed with Langton, the Cardinal, anil 
they now agreed to meet : " The time is favourable," they said : 
•' the feast of St. Edmund approaches ; amidst the multitudes that 
resort to his shrine, we may assemble without suspicion." On the 
da; in question, the 20th of November, they met, and resolved to 
demand their rights from the king, in his very court, on the coming 
Christmas-day. It Mas a hazardous undertaking, and one from 
which weak minds might easily be induced to draw back, to which 
faithless hearts might be as readily instigated to turn traitors ; so the 
solemn sanction of the church was as it were invoked to deter both 
the one class and the other, if any such there were. The barons 
advancing in the order of their seniority, one by one, laid their 
hands on the high altar, and swore that if the king refused the rights 
they demanded, they would withdraw their fealty, and make war 
upon him, until he should yield. We need not follow their pro- 
ceedings further, they are too well known; but the virtual con- 
clusion of the memorable meeting at Bury was the still more 
memorable one on the plains of Kunnymede. Several parliaments 
have been held in the monastery; the most noticeable is the one 
that sat in 1447 for the not very estimable or dignified purpose of 
promoting the object which Margaret, the Queen of Henry VI., and 
her favourite Suffolk, had so much at heart, namely, the destruction 
of the good Duke Humphrey of Gloucester. Of course that object 
was for a time concealed, and Gloucester, in consequence, went 
unsuspiciously to his fate. On the 11th of February, or the very 
day alter The opening of the parliament, he was arrested on a charge 
of high treason. In less than three weeks from that time he was found 
dead in his bed, and although no marks of violence were visible when 
the body was publicly exhibited to the people of Bury St. Edmunds, 
the impression was universal that he had been murdered. The 
w-eak young king, who had consented to all but the last foul pro- 
ceeding, "thus" — to use, with mere verbal alteration, the words 
Shakspere has put into the mouth of Gloucester, in the Second 
Part of Henry VI.— 



King Henry threw away his crutch, 



Before his legs were firm to hear his body : 
Thus was the shepherd beaten from his side, 
When wolves were gnarling who should gnaw him first. 

But for Gloucester's sudden death, we might have known nothing of 
the wars of the Roses. 



So completely has every important vestige of the once famous 
Abbey of Bermondsey (see Fig. 698) been swept away, that one 
may pass a hundred times through the streets and lanes that now 
cover the site, without even a suspicion that any such establishment 
had ever existed there. A few decaying squalid-looking tenements 
in the corner of an out of the way court (Fig. 697), a small 
portion of a gatehouse, with half the rusty hinge still inserted in 
the stone, scattered masses of wall about the present churchyard, 
ami a few names of streets and squares, as the Long Walk, and 
the Grange Walk, are the sole relics of the monastery which in 
iis days of splendour was esteemed of so much importance, that 
great councils of state were frequently held in it. Of the church, 
which unquestionably was a large and handsome, probably a very 
magnificent structure, there is not even a trace to be found, unless 
we may make an exception in favour of a very curious anil ancient 
salver of silver, now used in St. Mary's Church for the collection 
of alms, and which possibly formed a part of the abbey treasure. 
The salver presents a view of the gate of a castle or town, with 
two figures, a knight kneeling before a lady, while she places a 
helmet on his head. The costume uf the knight appears to be of 
the date of Edward II. This church of St. Mary, we may observe, 
was built on the site of a smaller one, erected by the monks at a 
very early period, and, it is supposed, for the use of their tenants 
and servants. With so little, then, existing at present to stimulate 
our curiosity as to the past, it will be hardly advisable to dwell at 
any length upon the subject, though far from an uninteresting one. 
The founder of Bermondsey was a citizen of London, Aylwin 
Child, who, in his admiration of the new order of Cluniacs that had 
just been introduced into England, obtained four monks from one of 
the foreign monasteries to establish a house of Cluniacs at Ber- 
mondsey. The Benedictine rule or discipline was, one would 
imagine, strict enough for any body of men, however pious : not so 
thought some of the members of the order themselves ; and from 



their thoughts and desires gradually arose the order we have 
referred to. Bermondsey, like the other houses of Cluniacs in 
England, was considered an alien priory, that is to say, was under 
subjection to the great Abbey of Cluny in Burgundy, and shared 
therefore in the fate that befel all such alien houses in the fourteenth 
century — sequestration. But Richard II. not only restored it to 
life and activity, but raised it to the rank of an abbey ; among his 
motives for this gracious and important favour, a present of two 
hundred marks, we presume, ought to be enumerated. At the 
dissolution Bermondsey was valued at 548/. 2s. 5$d. ; and it 
is remarkable enough that King Henry seems to have really 
got nothing in this instance by the dissolution ; through his 
unusual liberality, the monks were all pensioned off with sums 
varying from five pounds six shillings and eightpence to ten 
pounds yearly, while the abbot's share must have swept away 
nearly all the rest, amounting, as it did, to 336/. 6s. St/. King 
Henry certainly was never more shrewdly managed than by the 
last Abbot of Bermondsey. 

Among the historical recollections of the Abbey may be 
mentioned the residence and death in it id' Catherine, who had 
for her first husband Henry V., and for her second, Owen 
Tudor, the founder of the Tudor dynasty. Two days before 
her death, her son by the conqueror of Agincourt, Henry VI., 
sent to her, in token of his affectionate remembrance, a tablet 
of gold weighing thirteen ounces, and set with sapphire) and 
pearls. The chief interest, however, that we now feel in the 
Abbey of Bermondsey arises from the enforced residence of 
Elizabeth Woodville, whose eventful life finds few parallels in 
female history. At first the wife of a simple English knight ; then, 
after his death in the wars of the Roses, a wretched widow, pleading 
at the feet of Edward IV. for the reversal of the attainder that 
threatened to sweep away the home and estates of herself and 
children ; then the queen of that king, and married by him for the 
very unpolitical reason that he had fallen passionately in love with 
her ; then again a widow struggling to keep her royal offspring 
from the murderous grasp of their usurping uncle the Duke of 
Gloucester, — and who, after their murder in the Tower, became 
Richard III. ; then once more lifted into apparent prosperity by 
the union of the rival Roses in the persons of her daughter and 
Henry VII. ; and then, lastly, a prisoner at Bermondsey during 
the very reign of that daughter, and at the instance of that 
daughter's husband. And there she died, the queen of one king, the 
mother of the wife of another ; and so poor, that in her will, which 
is touchingly pathetic, we find her leaving her blessing to her child 
as the only thing it was in her power to bequeath to her. " I have 
no worldly goods to do the queen's grace, my dearest daughter, a 
pleasure with, neither to reward any of my children according to 
my heart and mind." Henry's reason for this harshness appears to 
have been a belief that she had been instrumental in raising a new 
Yorkist insurrection in Ireland in 1486, under the leadership of the 
pretended Earl of Warwick, but really Lambert Simnel, the son of 
a joiner. He had reason to know she did scheme ; for, says Bacon, 
'■in her withdrawing chamber had the fortunate conspiracy for the 
king against King Richard III. been hatched, which the king knew 
and remembered perhaps but too well." After the death of his 
wife, Henry established a yearly anniversary at Bermondsey, when 
prayers were to be offered for his own prosperity, and fur his wife's, 
his children's, and other relatives' souls ; but not a word as to the 
soul of his wife's mother, the beautiful, intriguing, possibly unprin- 
cipled, but certainly most unfortunate, Elizabeth Woodville. 



Having now noticed in our pages, and at what may be considered 
sufficient length, some of the more important of the English monas- 
teries, we shall, as a general principle, treat the remainder in 
groups ; passing over most of the subjects in each with a brief, or 
at least a very partial account, but dwelling, as we may see occasion, 
on the others. If many highly important establishments may be 
thus cursorily dismissed, many also will receive a fair share of 
attention ; whilst, by not attempting what is impracticable in the 
present instance, — to preserve the individual interest of all, we may 
hope to convey a more satisfactory impression as to those we select 
from the multitude. In our first group we include Byland and 
Fountains Abbeys in Yorkshire, Walsingham Priory in Norfolk, 
Tewkesbury Abbey in Gloucestershire, and Hexham Priory in 
Northumberland. With such subjects it is indeed difficult to 
make a choice, but on the whole we may consider Fountains Abbey 
as the best fitted for lengthened notice. 

Among the monastic remains we have had, or may yet have, 
occasion to notice, there are of course some few that enjoy a marked 



Chap. II.] 



OLD ENGLAND. 



183 



pre-eminence, either for their history, the beauty of their archi- 
tectural relics, or the advantages of their local position : they are 
antiquities that every one feels interested in, that many have personally 
seen. Fountains Abbey is of this class. Its very name is sug- 
gestive of a world of pleasant associations, green ruins, with many 
a legend or story hanging about them, picturesque and attractive 
as themselves ; quiet woods, and delightfully unquiet waters ; nooks 
and corners among rocks or by water-banks, or beneath great over- 
arching trees; a place, in fine, for deep emotion and elevated 
thought, — where one seems to stand between the Past and the 
Future, unaffected by all the disturbing influences of the Present ; 
and to look on all things with a sense of newly aroused powers of 
apprehension of the truth or falsehood that is in them, — of newly 
awakened desire to draw from these chewings of the cud of sweet 
and bitter fancy the most wholesome nutriment for the every day 
business of life, towards which we at last must again, however 
reluctantly, address ourselves. It is no wonder that Fountains 
Abbey should have obtained so high or extensive a reputation. 
All the peculiar advantages above enumerated, as tending to give 
such relics of 'Old England' their fame, are combined in this. 
It is situated in a beautiful and romantic valley, through which 
runs the Skell, and in the vicinity of Studley park and pleasure- 
grounds, the last forming one of the horticultural notabilities of 
England, a continuous garden of some three hundred acres laid out 
in the most charming style. For the beauty of the architecture of 
Fountains Abbey we need only refer to the view (Fig. 702), 
where the remarkable state of preservation in which the pile 
generally exists, as well as some indications of the elegance of the 
prevailing style, will be apparent. On the whole the Abbey ruins 
form the most perfect specimen that the country possesses of what 
may perhaps be called tiie most perfect architectural time, — the age 
of Henry III., and of Westminster Abbey. All the walls of both 
church and monastery yet stand, though roofless and with dilapi- 
dated windows. The majestic tower, from its unusual position at 
the north end of the transept, still rises upward in serene grandeur. 
We may walk through the nave and admire the arch of its once 
glorious eastern window ; from thence wander into the " ruined 
choir " and listen to hymns of praise, albeit the choristers are of 
a tinier race than of yore. The Chapter House yet tells us of the 
Abbots who sat there in due course of spiritual government, and 
some of whose tombs now lie beneath our feet, with half illegible 
inscriptions ; we can still perceive, over the Chapter House, where 
the library was situated in which the monks read, and the adjoining 
scriptorium wherein they wrote. It is as long a walk as ever to pace 
from end to end of the cloisters, and almost as picturesque, with those 
curious arches over head formed by tiie mazy intersections of the 
groinings of the roof; the kitchen is ready at any moment to glow 
with " unwonted fires," and renew those old hospitalities of which 
iis two immense fire-places give one such an expansive idea; the 
very garden of the monastery still smells sweet and looks lair with 
quivering leaves and " flowres fresh of hue." 

Whilst such the position and such the remains of Fountains 
Abbey, both at the same time borrow from their past history 
higher and deeper interest than the picturesque hands of nature or 
of time could bestow. The monastic orders generally, perhaps 
universally, had their origin in the desire of some one man, or 
some few men, to cheek prevailing evils in the lives or views of the 
people, or of their spiritual teachers, or to carry on still further 
reformations or improvements already begun. It is easy to imagine 
that much heart-burning and strife must have frequently resulted 
from such endeavours ; which set brother against brother, divided 
the once peaceful monastery against itself, which annoyed the idle, 
or supine, or the licentious, by placing monitors eternally at their 
elbow. In connection with the records of Fountains Abbey we 
find a curious and ample account of the growth of such a division : 
"The fame of the sanctity of the Cistercian monks at Rieval 
[Rievaulx], the first of that order in Yorkshire, having extended to 
the Benedictine monastery of St. Mary at York, several of the 
monks there, finding too great a relaxation in the observance of the 
rules, were desirous of withdrawing themselves to follow the stricter 
rules observed by the monks of Rieval. But Galfrid, their abbot, 
opposed their removal, as being a reflection on Ids government of 
the abbey ; whereupon, in a.d. 1 132. the 33rd of Henry I., Richard, 
the Prior, went to Thurstan, Archbishop of York, to desire that 
he would visit the abbey and regulate what was amiss therein, and 
assist them in their design of withdrawing themselves. The day of 
visitation being come, the archbishop, attended by many grave 
and discreet clergy, canons, and other religious men, went to St. 
Mary's Abbey, whither the abbot had convoked several learned 
men, and a multitude of monks from different parts of England, 



that by their aid he might oppose the archbishop, if requisite, and 
correct the insolence of those brethren that wanted to leave the 
abbey. On the 6th of October, a.d. 1132, the archbishop arrived 
at the monastery, when the abbot, with a multitude of monks, 
opposed his entrance into the chapter with such a number of per- 
sons as attended him ; whereupon an uproar ensued : and the arch- 
bishop, after interdicting the church and monks, returned; 
and the prior, sub-prior, and eleven monks withdrew them- 
selves, and were joined by Robert, a monk of Whitby, who went 
along with them, and were maintained at the archbishop's expense, 
in his own house, for eleven weeks and five days. . . . The abbot 
did not cease by messages to persuade the withdrawn monks 
to return to their monastery, while they at the bishop's house 
spent most of their time in fasting and prayer. However, two of 
them were prevailed on to quit the rest, and go back ; and yet one 
of the two repenting, soon returned to those who were for a more 
strict way of life." It is to these monks of St. Mary's that Foun- 
tains Abbey owes its origin ; they were its founders, and very 
interesting were the circumstances of the foundation, as related by 
the same writer, Burton [' Monast. Eboracen.']. " At Christmas, 
the archbishop, being a t Ripon, assigned to the monks some land 
in the patrimony of St. Peter, about three miles west of that place, 
for the erecting of a monastery. The spot of ground had never 
been inhabited, unless by wild beasts, being overgrown with wood 
and brambles, lying between two steep hills and rocks, covered 
with wood on all sides, more proper for a retreat of wild beasts 
than the human species. . . . Richard, the prior of St. Mary's at 
York, was chosen abbot by the monks, being the first of this 
monastery of Fountains, with whom they withdraw into this 
uncouth desert, without any house to shelter them in that winter 
season, or provisions to subsist on ; but entirely depending on 
Div ine Providence. There stood a large elm in the midst of the 
vale, on which they put some thatch or straw, and under that they 
lay, eat, and prayed, the bishop for a time supplying them with 
bread, and the rivulet (the Skell) with drink. Part of the day 
some spent in making wattles to erect a little oratory, whilst others 
cleared some ground to make a little garden." A clump of yew- 
trees, it appears, however, offered a better shelter, and to these 
they removed, and there remained during the erection of the 
monastery. Some of these trees, we believe, still remain, and are 
of such extraordinary size and so close together, as to corroborate 
the statement of the uses to which they were put above seven centuries 
ago. The monks adopted the Cistercian rule, and placed them- 
selves in direct communication with the famous founder of it, St. 
Bernard, who sent them a monk from his own monastery of Clair- 
vaux, to instruct them alike in spiritual and temporal affairs. 
Some cottages were now built, and ten other persons joined them. 
Terrible, and all but intolerable, as were the difficulties these men 
endured, their enthusiasm seems to have never slackened for a 
moment ; they were even liberal in their severest destitution. At a 
time when they were obliged to feed on the leaves of trees, and herbs 
boiled with a little salt, a stranger came and begged for a morsel 
of bread : two loaves and a half were all that the community pos- 
sessed ; and one was given to the applicant, the abbot saying, 
" God would provide for them." Almost immediately after, two 
men came from the neighbouring castle of Knaresborough with 
a present of a cartload of fine bread, from Eustace FitzJohn, its 
lord. Left, however, entirely to the assistance of the Archbishop 
of York, they were, at the end of two years, about to retire to the 
Continent, on the invitation of St. Bernard, when prosperity at last 
dawned upon them ; Hugh, Dean of York, falling sick, caused 
himself to be taken to Fountains, and settled all his immense 
wealth upon the community. From that time the monks steadily 
progressed until their establishment became one of the most dis- 
tinguished in the kingdom. Its territorial wealth seems almost 
incredible. From the foot of Pinnigant to the boundaries of St. 
Wilfred, a distance exceeding thirty miles, extended without 
interruption its broad lands. There is a circumstance in the later 
history of the abbey, winch, taken in connection with those already 
narrated as to its earlier, forms a striking commentary on the causes 
of the rise and fall of all such institutions. William Tliirske. the 
last but one of all the long line of abbots, was expelled for stealing 
from his own abbey, and afterwards hanged at Tyburn ! 

Byland Abbey (Fig. 701) needs but few words. It was founded 
in 1177 by Roger de Mowbray, the nobleman whose estates were 
sequestrated by Henry I. for disloyalty, and then given to another 
nobleman, also of Norman extraction, who took the Mowbray name, 
and founded the great family of the Movvbrays, Dukes of Norfolk 
and Earls of Nottingham. The exquisite form of the lancet win- 
dows yet remaining in a part of the ruins, shows that Byland has 




184 




no. 24. 



716. — W»rkwurlli Henuitag«. 
[OLD ENGLAND] 



185 



186 



OLD ENGLAND. 



[Book II. 



been a beautiful and stately pile. The memory of our "Lady 
of Wals.ngham " demands longer pause before the beautiful rums 
of the priory at that place. It is difficult to account for the 
reputation obtained by this monastery. In 1061, a Buy, the 
widow of Richoldis de Favarches, erected a small chapel in honour o 
the Virgin Mary, in imitation of the Saneta Casa at Nazareth ; and 
to this chapel, the lady's son added a Priory for Augustine canons, 
In these facts there does not appear to be 



and built a church. 

anything at all unusual or remarkable; not the less, however 
did the shrine of our Lady, erected in the chapel, become the most 
popular piace of resort, without exception, that Old England 
contained. Even Thomas a Beckefs shrine at Canterbury seems 
to have been hardly so much visited. Foreigners came hither 
from all parts of the world, guided, as they fancied, by the light of 
the milky way. which the monks of Walsingham persuaded the 
people-so Erasmus says— was a miraculous indication of the 
way to their monastery. Many kings and queens were among 
the pilgrims: above all, let us not forget to mention, for the 
sake of Hie strange contrast the incident presents to the subsequent 
acts of the same man, Henry the Eighth came hither in the second 
year of his reign, and walked barefoot from the village of Basham. 
Not many years after, the image of our Lady was burnt at Chelsea, 
to the horror of the Roman Catholic world ; and who should direct 
the act, but that same quondam worshipper and royal pilgrim to 
Walsingham, King Henry. Trior to the dissolution of the monas- 
tery, Erasmus visited it. The chapel, he says, then rebuilding, 
was distinct from the church, and contained a smaller chapel of 
wood, with a little narrow door on each side, where strangers were 
admitted to perform their devotions, and deposit their offerings ; 
that it was lighted up with wax torches, and that the glitter of 
gold, silver, and jewels would lead you to suppose it to be the seat 
of the gods. A Saxon arch, forming part of the original chapel, still 
exists ; and there also remain extensive portions of the church and 
monastery, among which may be especially mentioned, on account 
of its exceeding beauty, the lofty arch, sixty feet high, which formed 
the cast end of the church, and the two wells called the Wishing 
wells, from which whoever drank of the waters obtained, under 
certain restrictions, whatever they might wish for : as least so many 
a devotee was told and believed. Most of the convent ruins are now 
included in the beautiful pleasure grounds of a modern residence 
known as Walsingham Abbey. (Fig. 703.) 

Tewkesulky Church, as it is called, but which for size, 
plan, and magnificence may rank among our cathedrals, was, 
before the dissolution of monasteries, the church of the Abbey 
of Tewkesbury, originally founded in the Saxon times by two 
brothers, Dodo and Odo, who both died in 725. During the 
rei**n of the Confessor, an incident occurred which led to the 
temporary ruin of the foundation, and which is too remarkable to 
be passed without notice. Bithric, Earl of Gloucester, was sent 
into Normandy, on an embassy, and whilst there, Matilda, daughter 
of Baldwin, Earl of Flanders, fell so passionately in love with him, 
as to forget the delicacy of her sex and make her feelings known 
to him who had called them forth. Whether the earl disliked the 
Norman lady, or was already in love with an English one, we know 
not, but he at all events so discouraged the advances made that the 
love, as is not unfrequent in such cases, changed to hate, and led 
but one desire in Matilda's heart, that of vengeance. The earl no 
doubt laughed at threats from such a quarter, and returned to 
England, where most probably the circumstance was altogether 
forgotten. But by and bye, news came that Matilda hail married 
Duke William of Normandy. Time passed again, and rumours of 
invasion at the hands of this Duke William filled all England ; 
and truly the duke came at last, and England was conquered. ] 
Then too came the time that Matilda had never, it seems, ceased to 
look forward to. She personally solicited the conqueror to place 
Bithric at her disposal, and having obtained possession of his person, 
threw him into prison at Winchester, and there he died. Many 
of his estates were at the same tine seized by Matilda, among them 
the town and abbey of Tewkesbury. By William Rufus, however, 
the church and monastery were re-granted to Robert Fitz Hamon, 
who rebuilt the whole about 1 102. " It cannot be easily reported," 
says William of Malmesbury, •• how highly he exalted this monas- 
tery, wherein the beauty of the buildings ravished the eyes, ami 
the charity of the monks allured the hearts of such folk as used to 
corae thither." Among the interesting features of the interior of this 
Church may be particularized the monuments of the nobles and 
others slain in the fatal battle of Tewkesbury. (Figs. 705, 706.) 

Hexham Church (Fig. 704) was also the church of a 
famous monastery, and, like Tewkesbury, owes its preservation, 
in much of its ancient magnificence, to the fact of its being used 



after the Reformation, as a place of worship for the town and 
parish. The plan is cathedral-like, including nave, choir, and 
transepts, though the nave, having been burnt by the Scots in the 
time of Edward the First, has never been rebuilt. The architec- 
ture generally is of the twelfth century, but there are both later 
and earlier portions; some of the last indeed being supposed to be 
remains of a structure that formed one of the marvels of Saxon 
England, the church erected by Wilfrid, Archbishop of York, in 
the latter part of the seventh century. It has been thus glowingly 
described by one who assisted to restore it from the ruin into which 
it had fallen. Wilfrid "began the edifice by making crypts, and 
subterraneous oratories, and winding passages through all parts of 
its foundations. The pillars that supported the walls were finely 
polished, square, and of various other shapes, and the three galleries 
were of immense height and length. These, and the capitals of 
their columns, and the bow of the sanctuary, he decorated with 
histories and images, carved in relief on the stone, and with pictures 
coloured with great taste. The body of the church was surrounded 
with wings and porticos, to which winding staircases were contrived 
with the most astonishing art. These staircases also led to long 
walking galleries, and various winding passages so contrived, that 
a very great multitude of people might be within them, unperceived 
by any person on the ground-floor of the church. Oratories, too, 
as sacred as they were beautiful, were made in all parts of it, and 
in which were altars of the Virgin, of St. Michael, St. John the 
liaptist, and all the Apostles, Confessors, and Virgins. Certain 
towers and blockhouses remain unto this day specimens of the 
inimitable excellence of the architecture of this structure. The 
relics, the religious persons, the ministers, the great library, the 
vestments, and utensils of the church, were too numerous ami mag- 
nificent for the poverty of our language to describe. The atrium 
of the cathedral was girt with a stone wall of great thickness and 
strength, and a stone aqueduct conveyed a stream of water through 
the town to all the offices. The magnitude of this place is apparent 
from the extent of its ruins. It excelled, in the excellence of its 
architecture, all the buildings in England ; and in truth, there was 
nothing like it, at that time, to be found on this side the Alps." 
[Richard, Prior of Hexham.] It can hardly be supposed there 
were English architects to design, or English workmen to execute 
such a building, in the seventh century : both classes were brought 
from Rome. 



In dealing with a second group, we may commence with the 
venerable and picturesque ruins of the monastery of Easiiv. 
which are near the village of that name, about a mile and a half 
from Richmond, and on the rocky and well-wooded banks of the 
Swale. Ronld, Constable of Richmond Castle, was the founder, 
about the year 1152. Its inhabitants were members of the then 
recently introduced order of Premonstratensian Canons, who lived 
according to the rule of St. Austin. Their dress was entirely 
white— a white cassock, with a white rochet over it, a long white 
cloak, and a white cap ; and a picturesque addition to one of the 
most picturesque of houses and scenes, these white canons must 
have formed. Our cut (Fig. 711) shows the more important 
of the existing remains, which are well described in Dr. Whitaker's 
' Yorkshire :' — 

" By the landscape painter and the man of taste the ruins of this 
house, combined with the scene around them, have never been con- 
templated without delight. But admiration and rapture are very 
unobscrving qualities; and it has never hitherto been attended to, 
that this house, though its several pails are elaborate and ornamen- 
tal, has been planned with a neglect of symmetry and proportion 
which might have become an architect of Laputa, Of the refectory, 
i a noble room nearly one hundred feet long, with a groined apart- 
ment below, every angle is either greater or less than a right angle. 
Of the cloister-court, contrary to every other example, there have 
been only two entire sides, each of which has an obtuse angle. 
From these again the entire outline of the church reels to the west, 
and though the chapter-house is a rectangle, the vestry is a tra- 
pezium.* Once more : of the terminations of the north and south 
aisks eastward, one has extended several yards beyond the other ; 
the choir also is elongated, out of all proportion. The abbot's 
lodgings, instead of occupying their usual situation, to the south 
east of the choir, and of being connected with the east end of the 
cloister-court, are here most injudiciously placed to the north of 
the church, and therefore deprived, by the great elevation of the 
latter, of warmth and sunshine. The abbot's private entrance into 
the church was by a doorway, yet remaining, into the north aisle of 
the nave. To compensate, however, for the darkness of his lodg- 
• Trapezium, a figure where the four eides are neither equal nor parallel. 






Chap. II.] 



OLD ENGLAND. 



187 



ings, lie had a pleasant garden, open to the morning sun, with a 
beautiful solarium, f highly adorned with Gothic groinings at the 
north-east, angle. 

" Hut to atone for all these deformities in architecture, many of 
the decorations of this house are extremely elegant. Among these 
the first place is due to the great window of the refectory, of which 
the beauties are better described by the pencil than the pen. This, 
with the groined vault beneath, appears to be of the reign of Henry 
III. North-west from this are several fine apartments, contempo- 
rary, as appears, with the foundation ; but the whole line of wall, 
having been placed on the shelving bank of the Swale, has long 
been gradually detaching itself from the adjoining parts, and 
threatens in no long period to destroy one of the best features of 
the place. On the best side of the imperfect cloister-court is a 
circular doorway, which displays the fantastic taste of Norman 
enrichments in perfection. A cluster of round columns, with 
variously adorned capitals, is surmounted by a double moulded 
arch, embossed with cats' heads hanging out their tongues, which 
are curled at the extremities. Above all is an elegant moulding of 
foliage. Not far beneath is a large picturesque tree (perhaps 
truly) distinguished by the name of the Abbot's elm. The abbey 
gateway, still in perfect repair, is the latest part of the whole fabric, 
and probably about the era of Edward III." 



On a bold bluff rock, looking out upon the German Ocean, stand 
the ruins of the Priory of Tynemoutfi. We pass into the con- 
secrated ground, which is still used as a burial-place, through a 
barrack, the buildings of which have been partly erected out of the 
materials of the Priory. When we are within the Priory inclo- 
sure we see artillery pointing seaward and landward, — sentinels 
pacing their constant walk, and in the midst the old grey ruin, 
looking almost reproachfully upon these odd associations. There is 
one living within constant view of this ruin — a writer who has won 
an enduring reputation — to whom the solitude of a sick-room has 
brought as many soothing and holy aspirations as to the most 
pure and spiritual of the recluses, who, century after century, 
looked out from this rock upon a raging sea, and thought of a 
world where all was peace. The scene which is now presented by 
the view from Tynemouth is thus described by the writer to whom 
we allude, in ' Life in the Sick-room.' What a contrast to the 
scene upon which the old monks were wont to look ! (Fig. 710.) 

" Between my window and the sea is a green down, as green as 
any field in Ireland, and on the nearer half of this down hay- 
making goes forward in its season. It slopes down to a hollow, 
where the Prior of old preserved his fish, there being sluices 
formerly at either end, the one opening upon the river, and 
the other upon the little haven below the Priory, whose ruins still 
crown the rock. From the Prior's fish-pond, the green down 
slopes upwards again to a ridge ; and on the slope are cows grazing 
all summer, and half way into the winter. Over the ridge, 
I survey the harbour and all its traffic, the view extending 
from the lighthouses far 'to the right, to a horizon of sea to the 
left. Beyond the harbour lies another county, with, first, its 
sandy beach, where there are frequent wrecks — too interesting 
to an invalid— and a fine stretch of rocky shore to the left; and 
above the rocks, a spreading heath, where I watch troops of boys 
flying their kites; lovers and friends taking their breezy walk on 
Sundays ; the sportsman with his gun and dog ; and the washerwomen 
converging from the farm-houses on Saturday evenings, to carry 
their loads in company, to the village on the yet farther height. I 
see them, now talking in a cluster, as they walk each with her 
white burden on her head, and now in file, as they pass through 
the narrow lane ; and finally they part off on the village green, 
each to some neighbouring house of the gentry. Behind the village 
and the heath stretches the railroad ; and I watch the train 
triumphantly careering along the level road, and putting forth its 
steam above hedges and groups of trees, and then labouring and 
panting up the ascent, till it is lost between two heights, which at 
last bound my view. But on these heights are more objects ; a 
windmill, now in motion and now at rest; a limekiln in a 
picturesque rocky field ; an ancient church tower, barely visible 
in the morning, but conspicuous when the setting sun shines upon 
it ; a colliery with its lofty wagon-way, and the self-moving wagons 
running hither and thither, as if in pure wilfulness." 

The original choice of the situation for the Priory appears to 
have been dictated by that benevolence which was characteristic of 

* Solarium, as the name implies, signifies a place exposed to the sun, and Mas 
applied originally In places on tlie tops of houses, where the Romans used to take 
air and exercise. In the present instance it means simjly a s ardeu or summer- 
house. 



the early religious foundations. Tynemouth Priory was a beacon 
to the sailor, and when he looked upon its towers he thought of the 
Virgin and Saint Oswin, who were to shield him from the dangers 
of the great waters. That the situation, at the mouth of a river, 
and on an elevated site, early recommended the place as suitable 
both for military defence and religious purposes, is evident from 
the fact that Robert de Mowbray, about the year 1090, fled 
hither, and defended himself within its walls against William Rufus 
(against whom he had conspired) ; but, after a time, finding that 
he could hold out no longer, he sought " sanctuary " at the altar 
of the church, from which, however, he was taken by force, and, 
after suffering a tedious imprisonment, was put to death. The 
monastery at one time enjoyed considerable wealth. It possessed 
twenty-seven manors in Northumberland, with their royalties, 
besides other valuable lands and tenements. At the dissolution, in 
1539, there was a prior, with fifteen prebendaries and three novices. 
The annual revenues of the priory were then estimated (separate 
from the Abbey of St. Alban's, on which it depended) at 397/. 
10s. 5rf. by Dugdale, and at 511/. 4s. Id. by Speed. The prior, on 
the surrender of the monastery, received a pension of. 80/. per 
annum. The site and most of the lands were granted in the 5th of 
Edward VI. to John Dudley, Earl of Northumberland ; but by his 
attainder in the next year it reverted to the Crown, in which it 
remained till the 10th of Elizabeth. During the reign of Elizabeth 
the place was occupied as a fortress. Camden says, " It is now 
called Tinemouth Castle, and glories in a stately and strong castle." 
The following description of the remains is from a small work 
published at North Shields in 1806. There is very slight altera- 
tion at tire present time, for the ruins are now carefully preserved. 
" The approach to the priory is from the west, by a gateway 
tower of a square form, having a circular exploratory turret on 
each corner ; from this gateway, on each hand, a strong double wall 
has been extended to the rocks on the sea-shore, which from their 
great height have been esteemed in former times inaccessible. The 
gate, with its walls, was fortified by a deep outward ditch, over 
which there was a drawbridge, defended by moles on each side. 
The tower comprehends an outward and interior gateway, the out- 
ward gateway having two gates, at the distance of about six feet 
from each other, the inner of which is defended by a portcullis and 
an open gallery ; the interior gateway is, in like manner) 
strengthened by a double gate. The space between the gateways, 
being a square of about six paces, is open above to allow those on 
the top of the tower and battlements to annoy assailants who had 
gained the first gate. 

"On passing the gateway, the scene is strikingly noble and 
venerable ; the whole enclosed area may contain about six acres ; 
the walls seem as well calculated for defence as the gateway tow er ; 
the view is crowded with august ruins ; many fine arches of the 
priory are standing. The most beautiful part of these remains is 
the eastern limb of the church, of elegant workmanship. The 
ruins are so disunited, that it wotdd be very difficult to determine 
to what particular office each belongs. The ruins which present 
themselves in front, on entering the gateway, appear to be the 
remains of the cloister, access to which was afforded by a gateway 
of circular arches, comprehending several members inclining inwards, 
and arising from pilasters. After passing this gate, in the area 
many modern tombs appear, the ground being still used for sepul- 
ture. The west gate entering into the abbey is still entire, of the 
same architecture as that leading to the cloister. The ground, 
from the cloister to the south wall, is almost covered with founda- 
tions, which, it is presumed, are the remains of the Priory. Two 
walls of the church are standing: the end wall to the east contains 
three long windows ; the centre window, the loftiest, is near twenty 
feet high, richly ornamented with mouldings. Beneath the centre 
window at the east end is a doorway of excellent workmanship, 
conducting to a small but elegant apartment, which is supposed to 
have contained the shrine and tomb of St. Oswin." (Fig. 709.) 

Pershore, a name derived, it is said, from the great number 
of pear-trees in the vicinity, is delightfully situated on the northern 
bank of the Avon. The origin of the town is probably to be dated 
from the foundation of the abbey here in the seventh century, 
by Oswald, one of the nephews of Ethelhert, King of Mercia. The 
patrons of the establishment seem to have had some difficulty in 
making up their minds as to what particular religious communitv 
should be permanently settled in it, tor at one time we find secular 
clerks at Pershore, then monks, then seculars (females) again 
and lastly, from 984, Benedictine monks. Legend has been 
busy concerning the early history of Pershore. One Duke 
Delfere usurped the possessions, and in consequence — so it wa 

2B2 



\, \ 






188 





721 — Aipatrio. 



712— Chri-t church. Hampshire. 




713,— St. John*!, Chester 



190 



OLD ENGLAND. 



[Book II. 



generally believed— died eaten up by vermin. Oddo, another 
Mercian duke, to whom the estates had passed, was so moved 
by Delfere's miserable fate, that he not only restored the lands, 
but made a vow of celibacy, iu order that no son of his should ever 
be guilty of the sacrilege of endeavouring to obtain repossession. 
There remain of the abbey, some vestiges of the monastic build- 
ings, a part of the entrance gateway, and considerable portions of 
the church, as in the tower, the southern part of the transept, and 
a chapel, all included in the existing church of the Holy Cross. 
(Fig. 707.) Near the gateway we have mentioned, stood the 
small chapel of St. Edburga, to whom the abbey was dedicated. 
This lady was a daughter of Edward the Elder, and distinguished 
herself even in her childhood by her scholastic and pious tastes. 
Her father one day placed before her a New Testament and several 
other books on one side, and some fine clothes and rich jewels on 
the other, and desired her to choose. The princess at once took 
the books. The king, thinking, no doubt, he was bound to obey 
what he esteemed such decisive tokens of her proper position in life, 
immediately placed her in a nunnery at "Winchester, where she 
died, and where her bones were preserved for ages after, as invalu- 
able relics. 

No one need be surprised at the magnificence of the ancient priory 
of CintiST Church, Hampshire (Fig. 712), as that magnificence is 
attested to the present day by the church, when the circumstances 
related of the erection are considered. The first establishment of 
the house is lost in the darkness of antiquity, but in the twelfth 
century we find Ralph Flambard, that turbulent and oppressive, 
but able and zealous prelate, busily engaged rebuilding tiie whole, 
and obtaining the necessary funds by seizing the revenues of the 
canons, allowing each of tliem merely a sufficiency for his sub- 
sistence. "We may imagine the confusion, the dismay, the uproar, 
though, unfortunately, no Sydney Smith was then among the 
oppressed to record their feelings and sentiments as on a somewhat 
similar occasion in our own time. The Dean, Godric, resisted the 
bishop with all possible energy, but was, in consequence, degraded 
from his office, and obliged to seek refuge ou the continent ; and 
though he was ultimately allowed to return, it was only in a spirit 
of due obedience to his superior. Flambard, having removed all 
opposition, levelled the old buildings to the ground, and raised the 
new ones, of which considerable portions exist to this day : these 
are to be found in the nave, the south western aisle, and the 
northern transept. But )ct it not be supposed that Flambard 
obtained all the honours of this mighty work. According to a legend 
told by the monkish writers, he had supernatural assistance. 
"Whenever the workmen were engaged in their labours, there was 
observed one workman of whom no one could tell from whence he 
came, or what he was, except that he exhibited a most extraordinary 
indefatigability in the business of raising the monastery, and an 
equally extraordinary liberality in declining to be paid anything 
for what he had done ; at the times of refreshment, and of settle- 
ment of wages, he was ever absent. And so the work progressed, 
until near completion. One day a large beam was raised to a 
particular place, and found, unfortunately, to be too short. The 
interrupted and embarrassed workmen were unable to remedy the 
defect, and retired to their dwellings for the day. The next 
morning, when they returned to the church, there was the beam 
in its right position, longer even than was required. The strange 
workman immediately occurred to every one's thoughts ; and the 
general conclusion was, that the Saviour himself had been the 
supernatural assistant. The dedication of the pile to Christ was 
in later ages attributed to this circumstance, and hence comes 
the name of Christ Church. Nay, if there are any persons very 
anxious about the legend, we believe they may yet find some 
who will show them in the church what they hold to be the 
very miraculous beam itself. It is probable that Christ Church 
was originally founded in the earliest days of Christianity in 
England, on the site of a heathen temple, the usual mode in 
which the shrewd missionaries of Home at once attested the triumph 
of the new over the old religion, and reconciled the people to the 
change, by adopting their habitual places of worship. In the course 
of the last century there was discovered, in the Priory foundations, 
a cavity about two feet square, that had been covered with a stone 
cemented into the adjoining pavement, and which contained a lar^e 
quantity of bones of birds, — herons, bitterns, cocks and hens. 
Warner, a local antiquarian writer, observes that, among the 
Ilomans, " many different species of birds were held in high vene- 
ration, and carefully preserved for the purposes of sacrifice and 
augural divination. Adopting the numerous absurdities of Egyptian 
and Grecian worship, their tolerating conquerors had affixed a 
sacredness to the cock, the hawk, the heron, the chicken, and other 



birds ; the bones of which, after their decease, were not unfrequently 
deposited within the walls of the temple of the deity to whom they 
were considered as peculiarly appropriated." Tortious of the Priory 
yet remain, and a visitor to the neighbourhood occasionally hears 
of the Convent Garden, now a meadow, of Paradise, the appropriately 
named place of recreation for the scholars of Christ Church school, 
and forming also a relic of the Priory, — of vestiges of fish-ponds 
and stews. But the church is the only important part of the Priory 
now existing, which apart from its architectural characteristics, 
exhibits many interesting features. Including St. Mary's Chapel 
at the eastern end, and the Tower at the western, the Church 
extends to the distance of three hundred and eleven feet. The parts 
of the building which may be separately distinguished are the Norman 
remains already noticed, the Porch or principal entrance, ami the 
Tower, with the Great Window nearly thirty feet high. On the under 
sides of the benches of the stalls, are a series of satirical and grotesque 
carvings, representing, there can be little doubt, the monkish 
opinions of the friars. In one is seen a fox with a cock for his 
clerk, preaching to a set of geese, who are greedily imbibing the 
doctrines he puts forth. In a second the people are typified by a 
zany, who while his back is turned upon his dish of porridge, is 
saved the trouble of eating it by a rat. A third exhibits a baboon 
with a cowl on his head, reposing on a pillow, and exhibiting a 
swollen paunch. From what we know of the origin of the friars, 
who sprung up to reform the state of idleness and sensuality into 
which the monks and clergy generally had fallen, one would think 
the last of these pieces of carved satire must have told much more 
strongly against its authors than its objects. Another very curious 
carving is the Altar-piece, which Warner supposes to be coeval 
with Bishop Flambard. If so, it is one of the most extraordinary 
things of the kind existing in England. The carving represents 
the genealogy of Christ, by a tree springing from the loins of Jesse. 
On each side is a niche, one containing a statue of David, the other 
Solomon. Above these sit the Virgin with the child Jesus, and 
Joseph, and surrounded by the Magi. Projecting heads of an ox, 
and an ass, remind us of the manger, and of the flight to Egypt. 
Still higher are shepherds with their sheep, the former looking up 
toward a group of angels, over whom, at the apex of the carving, 
God extends his protecting arms. Exclusive of all these figures, 
which are mostly mutilated, there are niches which contained nine 
others, and there are a host of small figures of saints, thirty-two in 
number, also in niches, and each bearing his particular emblem or 
distinguishing mark. The chief individual memories of Christ 
Church are connected with the noble family of the Montacutes, 
Earls of Salisbury. By them was the noble Tower at the west end 
erected in the fifteenth century ; by them were the two small 
Chantries in the North Transept raised ; by them was the beautiful, 
but mutilated Chapel — to the north of the altar — left to excite the 
admiration of visitors to the Church by its beauty, to stir at the 
same time their deepest sympathies and warmest indignation as it 
reminded them of the noble and most unhappy lady whose fate that 
mutilation may be said to commemorate. The chapel was erected 
by Margaret, Countess of Salisbury, for her own resting place, 
when in due course of nature she should have need of it. But the 
venerable mother of the eloquent Cardinal Pole, the man who had 
refused to minister to the depraved appetites of Henry, and sub- 
sequently held him up to the scorn and abhorrence of the European 
world, was not likely to die a peaceful death in England during 
that monarch's lifetime. In 1538 thechief relatives of the Cardinal, 
namely, Lord Montacute and Sir Geoffrey Pole, his brothers, 
and the Countess, his mother, were suddenly arrested with the 
Marquis of Exeter and others, on a vague charge of aiding the 
Cardinal, as the King's enemy ; and Geoffrey, the youngest, having 
pleaded guilty and made a confession involving the remainder, on 
a promise that he should be pardoned for so doing, the two noble- 
men were beheaded on Tower Hill. A month afterwards, on the 
ground of some alleged discoveries made through the wreck of a 
French vessel on our shores, fresh arrests took place ; and parlia- 
ment was instructed to pass bills of attainder against the living 
mourners of the recent victims of the scaffold, — namely, the Countess 
of Salisbury, her grandson, the child of Lord Montacute, and the 
widow of the Marquis of Exeter, and with them were associated two 
knights. The Countess was then seventy years of age, but behaved 
not the less with so much firmness and presence of mind on her ex- 
amination before the Earl of Southampton, and the Bishop of Ely, 
that these personages wrote to their employer, Cromwell, saying 
she was more like a strong and constant man than a woman, and 
that she denied